Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
By ALEX KLINEWEST ORANGE, N.J. — With a loaded field of St. Anthony, Teaneck, St. Joe’s Metuchen, Trenton Catholic, St. Benedict’s, Roselle Catholic, Hudson Catholic, Rutgers Prep, Paramus Catholic & Hun, Sunday’s action at the Hoop Group Tip-Off Showcase was elite.
With five intense games at West Orange High School, the story of the day was Rutgers Prep’s 44-43 upset of Hudson Catholic. After being outscored 26-9 at halftime, the Argonauts battled back to head into the 4th quarter down 33-26. As the Hawks struggled with shooting all game, and 2013 point guard Kavon Stewart got in foul trouble, Rutgers Prep hit clutch shots to gain a last minute lead and hold on. With primarily Division 2- and 3- bound prospects, the Prep B school pulled the inevitable by defeating a school that starts four future D-1 standouts in Stewart, Mike Young, Reggie Cameron and Iona bound Grant Ellis. 2012 point guard Mike Klinger led the way for Rutgers Prep with 15 points to go along with 12 from senior, Greg Grippo.
***Another close game was Teaneck’s comeback 53-49 win over St. Joe’s Metuchen. The trio of Chris Jones, Neville Fincher and Joel Hernandez played a big role in the win over Temple bound Quenton DeCosey and star freshman Karl Towns. The senior, Jones, finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Highwaymen. As the two shooting guards went at each other, the back and forth play on the court resulted in a competitive game with DeCosey finishing with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Despite the loss, St. Joe’s Metuchen had some positive aspects within the game – including Towns – who played extremely well for a freshman.
***While the St. Benedict’s-Roselle Catholic was expected to be a treat, things got ugly early as the Gray Bees got out to a 20-8 lead after one quarter of play. The Lions were without talented 2013 transfers Tyler Roberson and Hakim Saintil, who have to sit 30-days to due to New Jersey state transfer rules. With just Stony Brook bound Jameel Warney and a cast still looking to find its identity, Roselle Catholic struggled against the three-headed monster in the St. Benedict’s backcourt. Led by 17 points and 5 assists from 2013 Canadian floor general Tyler Ennis, the team won 70-48 with Louisville’s Rick Pitino, Georgetown’s Mike Brennan, Syracuse’s Mike Hopkins, Georgia Tech’s Billy Schmidt, Rutgers’ Mike Rice, Cincinnati’s Darren Savino and many more watching on.
***As Trenton Catholic suffered another loss to St. Anthony, 53-33, it was Iron Mikes freshman Malachi Richardson who gained a name for himself. Richardson broke out in the third quarter of what was a blowout game at halftime. Scoring 12 points in front of dozens of college coaches, he may have land his first scholarship offer very soon. The Friars were led by strong performances from seniors Jerome Frink and UCLA bound Kyle Anderson, as well as junior guards Hallice Cooke and Temple bound Josh Brown.RECRUITING RUNDOWN
Among the schools represented were the aforementioned Louisville, Syracuse, Georgia Tech, Georgetown, Rutgers and Cincinnati, along with Wagner, Iona, Fairfield, Fordham, Drexel, Monmouth, NJIT, Fairleigh Dickinson, St. Peter’s, Hofstra, Harvard, Manhattan, Boston, La Salle, St. Joe’s, Lehigh, Rider and many more.
Reggie Cameron, a 2013 small forward from Hudson Catholic, is considering offers and interest from Cincinnati, Rutgers, St. John’s, Seton Hall, Miami, Xavier, Northwestern, Providence, Tennessee, Villanova, Virginia, West Virginia, Oregon State, Pittsburgh, DePaul and UMass. Cameron has been on the Seton Hall and Rutgers campus numerous times during the fall and winter. He also attended two Oregon State games when they played in New Jersey last month.
Mike Young, a 2013 power forward from Hudson Catholic, is considering Rutgers, Miami, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Seton Hall, Florida, Baylor, Wake Forest, West Virginia and others. Young has taken the same visits and trips as Cameron.
Kavon Stewart, a 2013 point guard from Hudson Catholic, is considering UMass, Cincinnati, Seton Hall, Rutgers, Florida International, Manhattan, Quinnipiac, Towson, Iowa, Miami, Xavier, West Virginia and Pittsburgh. Stewart has taken the same visits and trips as Young and Cameron.
Nassir Barrino, a 2015 combo guard from Hudson Catholic, is considering Rutgers, Seton Hall, St. Joe’s and George Mason.
Neville Fincher, a 2013 power forward from Teaneck, is considering Hofstra, Rhode Island, Western Kentucky, Temple, Binghampton, Manhattan, Robert Morris, Monmouth, Seton Hall, Siena and more.
Chris Jones, a 2013 shooting guard from Teaneck, is considering Siena, Hofstra, La Salle, UMass, San Francisco, Rhode Island, Boston, Fairfield and more.
Karl Towns, a 2015 combo forward from St. Joe’s Metuchen, is considering UConn, Kentucky, Florida, St. John’s, Baylor, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Georgetown, Cincinnati, Syracuse, Louisville and more.
Malachi Richardson, a 2015 shooting guard from Trenton Catholc, is considering Penn State, Miami, Rutgers, St. Joe’s, Delaware, Rider, James Madison, Akron, Iona and Nebraska.
Hallice Cooke, a 2013 shooting guard from St. Anthony, is considering South Florida, Seton Hall, La Salle, VCU, Richmond, St. Joe’s, San Francisco, Rice, Iona, Wagner, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Yale, Quinnipiac, Fordham, Cincinnati, Temple, Virginia, Rutgers and Villanova.
Isaiah Briscoe, a 2015 point guard from St. Benedict’s, is considering Seton Hall, Rutgers, Syracuse, Georgia Tech, Baylor, Arizona, Pittsburgh, DePaul, Cincinnati and more.
Tyler Ennis, a 2013 point guard from St. Benedict’s, is considering Arizona State, Boston College, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Florida, Georgetown, Georgia Tech, Iowa State, Kansas, Kentucky, NC State, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Oregon State, Pittsburgh, Providence, Rice, Rutgers, Santa Clara, Seton Hall, Villanova, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Wake Forest, Maryland and West Virginia.
Isaiah Watkins, a 2013 power forward from St. Benedict’s, is considering Arkansas, Cincinnati, Harvard, Indiana, Iowa State, New Mexico State, Penn, Temple, St. Bonaventure, Providence, Rice, Santa Clara, Lafayette and more.
Photo: Hoop Group
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.