This past weekend, many of the top AAU from New York as well as several others throughout the region and country battled in New York. The Albany City Rocks hosted the 10th annual Rumble in the Bronx at Fordham’s historic Rose Hill Gym. Here is a look at some of the top players from Saturday’s action.
Kemba Walker (2008, 6-0 PG) Committed to UCONN
Over the weekend, Kemba announced his decision to continue his career at UCONN. He followed that up with a stellar performance in his team’s overtime victory on Saturday night. The Gauchos lead guard was brilliant all game. He opened with one of the most impressive plays of the day. He faked a behind the back pass and brought the ball back around for a scoop finish. Kemba is a fantastic ball handler who seems to get into the paint at will. He has great body control and can really sense when to change direction or use one of his various moves. Kemba is a capable drive and dish point guard as well, but he’s at his best scoring the ball. He also had a good game from the perimeter. He sunk a huge game tying three towards the end of regulation. He also hit several other jumpers. The Big East bound Walker has really established himself this AAU season.
Kevin Phillips (2008, 6-7 SF/PF)
On a team loaded with outstanding guards, it’s not always easy for Kevin to get touches. The athletic forward is very active though and seemed to make the most of every opportunity. Kevin is at his best attacking from the mid range area along the baseline and driving to the hoop. He handles the ball well for a forward and is an explosive leaper. He also rebounded well in this contest. He would benefit by showing more of a perimeter game, but his game is still quite impressive.
Darryl "Truck" Bryant (2008, 6-1 PG/SG)
Truck was running on all cylinders during this game. He has an excellent pull up game from both the mid range area and behind the arc. He was draining shot after shot after shot in the first half. Truck has a great combination of speed and power when he’s on the attack, so he’s tough to stop in the lane as well. He was solid driving in this contest, but most often just opted to go with his red hot perimeter game. He showed his willingness to play the team game when he took a charge. Truck is a talented all around guard.
Jordan Theodore (2008, 6-0 PG)
Jordan is another explosive ball handler for the Gauchos. He has a stellar crossover move that can freeze defenders. Jordan is also excellent at using stop and go moves to get to rim. He changes directions quickly as well. On an early play, he drove left and quickly switched hands to finish on the right side. Jordan is very effective at finishing around the hoop and he’ll often use reverse lay-ups to do so. While he is great at getting into the lane, he seldom shoots the ball. Jordan is a fantastic guard who wreaks havoc on defenders though.
Chris Fouch (2008, 6-1 SG)
Chris is the sniper on this guard heavy team. Unfortunately, the two times I’ve seen the Gauchos play, he’s been ice cold from the perimeter. While he is a solid ball handler, he can’t match the trio of Walker, Bryant and Theordore. Those three are the guys that really put pressure on the defense off the dribble, so when Chris is off from the outside he becomes rather ineffective. He is still a very talented guard though and fits in well with this Gauchos team.
Devin Hill (2008, 6-8 PF)
Devin is a long, athletic forward. On a team loaded with guards, it’s tough for him to get many touches. He was rather quiet offensively, but did rebound fairly well. Devin did show he can step out on the wing and bury the three point shot though.
Albany City Rocks
Mark Lyons (2008, 6-0 PG) Committed to Xavier
Mark is a very gifted point guard. He is a superb ball handler who has an uncanny ability to find his teammates. He possesses good vision and a feel for the game. He throws dart passes that get on his teammates quickly. Although he seems to prefer to drive and dish, Mark is also a very proficient scorer. He can finish around the hoop using either hand. He’s also able to absorb contact. Mark is good in the open court as well. He did struggle from the perimeter, but managed to hit a deep pull up jumper late in the morning session. Mark looks to be a very nice pickup for Xavier.
Brett Marfurt (2008, 6-4 190 SG)
Brett is a very talented shooter. He opened the morning game by knocking down a pair of early threes. He is a good spot up shooter, but can also hit off the dribble. He’s a solid ball handler, but won’t consistently get to the rim off the bounce. Brett does have good size for a guard and that makes him tough to defend when his shot is on.
Shimeek Johnson (2008, 6-7 SF/PF)
Shimeek is a long armed guard. He had a nice put back in the early game. He also used his length to disrupt a pass and dunk at the other end. Shimeek didn’t have a huge day, but was solid for the City Rocks.
Malcolm Austin (2008, 6-3 SG)
Malcolm is a good sized guard with a solid all around game. He was able to score in a variety of ways. He hit a nice floater in the lane in the morning session. Malcolm also knocked down a three point shot during that game. He handles the ball well too and can get into the lane.
Jordan Stevens (2009, 6-5 200 SG/SF)
Jordan is a smooth shooting left handed guard. He really caught everyone’s attention today with a rather athletic throw down on the break. His athleticism is not something I recall seeing before. Instead, he often prefers using the pull up jumper. Jordan can attack off the dribble and get into the lane at times, but he’s not quick enough to really do that consistently.
Devin Erwin (2008, 6-7 SF/PF)
Devin is an athletic forward who catches your attention with plays in transition. Throughout the day, he made his presence felt with several impressive dunks.
Quincy Hankins (2008, 6-5 PF)
Quincy is a tough, physical low post player. The undersized forward battled for rebounds and drew several fouls with his physical play. He was solid for the Metro Hawks on this day.
Josh Malone (2009, 6-3 SG)
Josh is a talented young guard. He’s a capable three point shooter. Josh can also attack off of the dribble as well.
Demetrius Porter (2007, 6-4 SG)
Demetrius is a very active forward. He gets off the ground quickly and that allows him to grab rebound after rebound. He had a number of put back buckets in the game. Demetrius did hit a mid range jumper too, but that shot wasn’t the pretty. He is undersized and would benefit from showing more wing skills. He posted up several times, but had one shot blocked and didn’t do much else with those plays. Demetrius does get good positioning though. He blocked a shot as well. He needs some work, but Demetrius is athletic and has a real nose for the ball.
Sterling Gibbs (2011, 5-8 PG)
It’s really hard to believe this talented youngster hasn’t even played a high school game. His brother just committed to Pitt and it would be no shock to see Sterling playing at that level too. Much like his brother, Sterling is quick off the dribble and can score. The most impressive part of his game though is that he doesn’t seem to make mistakes despite playing up several age groups. Sterling has a bright future ahead of him.
Team NJ ABC
Paris Bennett (2009, 6-6 SF)
Paris is among several talented players who will take over for departed seniors next season at St. Pat’s. With the way he played on Saturday, they don’t look like they’ll drop off much. The well built forward can flat out score. He he’s a very good shooter who buried shot after shot. He really put on a shooting clinic on Saturday. Paris has an excellent mid range jumper which is tough to defend due to his size. He likes to use head fakes to free himself. He isn’t an explosive ball handler, but instead uses long strides to drive. Paris rarely does go all the way to the hoop though, opting instead to take jump shots. He can hit set shots or shoot off the dribble. Paris can also hit from beyond the arc, but the mid range game was working best on this day.
Connecticut Basketball Club
Chris Prescott (2008, 6-2 175 PG/SG)
Chris is a talented guard. He opened with a beautiful drive and dish. He finished well in transition, including an athletic dunk. Chris also has a smooth jumper and can hit from beyond the arc. He’s a quick ball handler who can get into the lane. He scored off of a tough bank shot after contact on one occasion.
Tony Taylor (2008, 5-10 PG/SG)
Tony is a quick, aggressive ball handling guard. He gets into the lane in a hurry and can drive in either direction. Tony also changes directions well. He hit a nice floater right after a spin move on one play. He also has the ability to step outside and knock down the three point shot. Tony appears to be more of a scoring point than a pure point guard. He is a talented guard regardless.
Patrick JacksonPatrick Jackson (2008, 6-6 180 SG/SF)
Patrick is a solid wing player who had an impact in the limited minutes that I was able to see. He had a nice left handed finish in transition. He stepped outside and buried a three pointer with his smooth stroke. Patrick grabbed an athletic rebound and was solid on the boards throughout.
Josh Watkins (2008, 5-10 PG)
Josh was his usual self attacking off the dribble. He has such a high motor and puts so much pressure on the opposition defensively. There are few guards of his size that are as good as he is in the open court.
Martin Bros. (IA)
Matt Gatens (2008, 6-5 SG) Committed to Iowa
Matt is a talented shooting guard so it’s no surprise he’ll continue his career at Iowa. He is a skilled three point shooter who can shoot off the dribble. He runs the floor well and can finish, partly due to his size. Matt really made his presence known when he surprised everyone in the gym with a high flying dunk.
L.A. Pomlee (2008, 6-7 PF)
L.A. is a very athletic forward. He was active around the basket. The out of state talent was at his best rebounding and blocking shots though.
NJ Shore Shots
Matt DeSouza (2008, 6-7 PF)
It has been over a year since I saw Matt play. On that day, Matt showed a fantastic set of skills. Naturally, I was eager to see him again. It appears that he has put on some weight since then. He was slow getting up and down the court and moving defensively. That said, Matt is still quite a skilled forward. He has soft touch on his shot and can post up or play some on the wing. He possesses good footwork as well. Matt had a nice hook shot in the post and nailed a deep turn around jumper. He also knocked down a three. If he can shed the weight, Matt could become a good combo forward.
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