MANALAPAN, N.J. -- The Elevate Hoops Summer Icebreaker I is one of two tournaments being held at Sportika Sports Complex this week, the first of three five-day periods this month where Division I coaches can be out on the road watching and evaluating high school prospects.
Here’s a notebook from the evening’s 17U action:
Ryan Young (above) visited several high-major schools last month, but doesn't have any offers from them yet. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
BeCaHi big man Young on fringe of high-major offers
Ryan Young not only wanted to see what was out there, he needed to, so he took a trip west.
The 6-foot-10 Jersey Shore Warriors center took a week in June to take unofficial visits to Stanford, Notre Dame and Michigan. This, after a slew of mid-majors had already offered the Bethlehem Catholic star, including Saint Joseph’s, George Washington, Richmond, Drexel, Yale.
All five of those programs, plus approximately 20 more, were present for the Warriors’ 62-57 opening win Wednesday night over Team AJ Price at the Elevate Hoops Summer Icebreaker.
“It was a good experience, I’m glad I did it before July,” Young said. “To get out there, see the different programs, different styles of play, different coaching staffs, different campuses, it was important.
Young now finds himself in an interesting position recruiting-wise. As an excellent passer with a good motor, but as a big kid still clearly growing into his frame, Young could have his pick of mid-major programs right now, or keep playing to see who else enters the picture.
Aside from Stanford, Michigan and Notre Dame, Young said Maryland assistant Bino Ranson reached out a few days ago. It is also noteworthy that the Wolverines and head coach John Beilein are a year removed from scoring a commitment from another Jersey Shore Warrior, former Spring Grove point guard Eli Brooks, who will be a freshman in Ann Arbor this fall.
“None of those schools have offered, but I wanted to get there and see if that was something I was interested in,” Young said. “I don’t know if they’ll offer. Maybe all of them will, maybe none of them will. There’s a ton of different factors, but that’s why I did it, to see and compare if I’d be interested.” -- Josh Newman
Phillips’ tournament luggage a little more critical
The backpack is a ubiquitous feature at basketball events, with every player at Sportika carrying some various of a bag which holds all the essentials. There’s typically shoes and a jersey, perhaps snacks and drinks, headphones, whatever else they need to get through the day of competition.
In addition to all those necessities, Mitchell Phillips’ backpack includes an especially important piece of hardware, one which helps keep him alive - his Artificial Pancreas, a device which he and his father built by themselves.
Phillips suffers from Type 1 Diabetes, and the machine in his bag monitors his glucose levels and automatically provides him with the right amount of insulin that he needs. He uses the monitor after every game to make sure he’s in tip-top shape.
“It’s a computer that runs algorithms nonstop for my diabetes, it’s really cool,” Phillips said. “A lot of companies are working on developing them so it’s cool to have one.”
There are only about 100 of these specific artificial pancreas in the world, and Phillips hopes to pursue a career in the medical device field, where his father currently works, after college.
After spending his first three years of high school at Hopewell (N.J.) Phillips transferred to The Pennington School and reclassified to the Class of 2018 last summer.
A 6-7, 240 pound old school back-to-the-basket big man, Phillips has a great touch around the rim and a great footwork down low. While a three-point jumper is still a work in progress, Phillips hit two long balls en route to a 13 point, six rebound performance in a win over HoopDreamz on Wednesday night.
When he isn’t developing new medical devices, Phillips, a rising senior at the Pennington School (N.J.), is being recruited by some of the region's highest academic basketball programs.
Division III programs Carnegie Mellon and Johns Hopkins and local school TCNJ plus D-II University of the Sciences are all after the 6-7 forward.
Phillips visited USciences last week, and enjoyed getting to see the campus and meeting with head coach David Pauley. He plans on visiting Johns Hopkins in September.
“I visited and walked around with Coach Pauley, and I really liked him and the school’s academics,” Phillips said.
Phillips hopes to be able to play basketball as long as he can, but when that comes to an end, he certainly has a passion for a career. Just take a look in his bag. -- Tyler Sandora
Christian Wilson (above) is heading to a junior college this fall but only plans on staying for one year. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
New York guard heading to Texas JUCO after late growth spurt
Christian Wilson is out of high school eligibility, but that doesn’t mean his college future is set.
A 6-foot-6 shooting guard out of NEPSAC Class B program Pomfret (Conn.), Wilson is young enough to be on the AAU circuit this summer, looking for a bridge to his final stop. After finishing at Pomfret, the Queens native will spend a year at junior college power South Plains (TX), which finished third at the NJCAA Tournament in 2016-17.
“There’s a lot on the line and this is a very important time of year,” said Wilson, after opening the live period on Wednesday evening with New York-based 60 Elite at the Elevate Hoops Summer Icebreaker. “I was leaning towards Boston University or NJIT, but I grew an Inch-and-a-half my senior year, and realized a year of junior college would be great for me.
“I’m a little bit of a late-bloomer.”
Wilson, who says he was not an academic casualty, as some would assume given his situation, lists, committed to South Plains when it was still coached by Matt Bringman, who has since taken an assistant position at IUPUI.
IUPUI will be in on Wilson this summer given that connection, while the one-time CHSAA standout at Holy Cross High School in Queens lists Bryant, Siena and Iona as the schools showing the most love. If Wilson continues to play well, it won’t just be those three after him.
“I’m really trying to just somewhere that’s a great fit,” Wilson said. “Names really don’t matter to me, I just want to go somewhere where I can have an impact.” -- Josh Newman
-- Ray Bethea does not have many suitors at the moment, but as part of a Jersey Force team with multiple Division I recruits, that could soon change. The 2018 point guard out of Atlantic City High School looked spry on Wednesday evening, complementing a backcourt crop that includes 2018 Mater Dei point guard Kenny Jones, who has upwards of 25 offers.
Bethea, for now, only has four offers: NJIT, Stony Brook, St. Francis (Pa.) and Howard. “Drexel, UMass and Rhode Island, especially,” Bethea said when asked what schools were on his radar that he would like an offer from. “I’m just trying to get a lot more schools to look at me, whoever they may be.”
-- New Hampshire, Boston, and Loyola (M.D.) are three schools monitoring Andrew Petcash. Petcash recently graduated as part of Pine-Richland’s class of 2017, and will be reclassifying to the class of 2018 and head up north next fall to attend the New Hampton School, in New Hampton, New Hampshire, which competes in the super competitive NEPSAC.At Pine-Richland, Petcash finished his career as the school’s all-time leading scorer, with over 1700 career points. A quick 6-foot-4 lead guard with a quick trigger from beyond the arc, Petcash scored 13 points in a loss to Jersey Force on Wednesday night. During his senior year, Pine-Richland made it all the way to the state finals before losing to Lonnie Walker and Reading High. “Another year of high school will hopefully help me find a better fit in college,” Petcash said. “Everyone says it’s intense and a great league. I’m really excited to get up there and start playing.”
-- Shawnee guard Dean Noll got South Jersey Hoops Elite into the main draw of the 17U bracket with a game-winning layup over Positive Image, hitting the scoop shot just a split-second before the buzzer sounded in a 60-58 victory. That capped off a terrific start to the live period for the 6-2 guard, who had 23 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals in the win; like many in the building, Noll is chasing his first Division I look. Noll’s Shawnee teammate, 2019 SG Connor Deveney, came off the bench to knock down five 3-pointers in the win (17 points), and a third Shawnee player, wing guard and NC State football commit Daevon Robinson, had eight points and 10 rebounds.