CoBL Staff (@hooplove215)
READING, Pa. -- The first of two Hoop Group Elite camps this summer hit Albright College this week, with over 600 high school prospects taking to the courts in front of well over a hundred college coaches from all levels.
Here’s a notebook from Thursday’s action featuring prospects in the Class of 2019:
Christian Ings (above) will be the lead guard at Neumann-Goretti this season now that Quade Green is at Kentucky. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
Saints’ Ings makes decision on high school
After rumors have swirled all offseason about a potential move to a New Jersey private school, Christian Ings made it clear Thursday that he was staying put.
The talented rising junior guard had been linked to St. Patrick’s (N.J.) for a few months on the rumor mill, and one outlet reported several weeks back it was a done deal, though that report was eventually retracted.
Ings confirmed that the rumors were true, but after thinking it over he decided the best move was no move at all.
“I’m definitely staying at Neumann-Goretti this year,” he said. “This whole summer, I was looking at St. Pat’s...but I’ve got unfinished business to take care of at home at Neumann.”
Ings cited a long talk with Saints coach Carl Arrigale as helping him feel more comfortable in the decision to stay, and said that he and his family made the final decision over July 4 weekend.
With Quade Green (Kentucky) off to school, there's certainly a big opening in the Saints' backcourt as the program tries to win its eighth state championship in the last nine years. It's been a succession of guards from Green to Lamarr Kimble (St. Joe's) and Ja'Quan Newton (Miami) and back much further than that.
“(Arrigale was) telling me how it was my time to run the team, he wants me there, wants me to be the head of the show,” Ings said. “He said I want you to come in and run the show, the keys are yours.”
A desire to end Neumann-Goretti’s three-year losing streak in Catholic League championship games was certainly in the mix.
“I’ve got to go get that PCL ‘chip,” he added. “Lost three years in a row, came close this year, couldn’t finish it out. I’ve got to win it before I can leave.”
Ings, a bouncy 6-2 lefty, recently picked up his first Division I offer, from La Salle; he said that the Explorers, along with Penn, St. Joe’s, Drexel, Mt. St. Mary’s, Colgate and Virginia Tech, had indicated they would be out to see him this July.
He showcased off his impressive skillset on Thursday, knocking down jumpers from 3-point and mid-range while dribbling his way around the opposing defense to get to the rim.
“I’m working on getting my teammates involved before I get involved,” he said, “being the leader on defense and offense, talking more and standing and shooting.”
Massoud (above) showcased his terrific shooting ability off the wing all day long. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
New York wing sprouting into serious prospect
As Ismael Massoud has grown, so, too has his recruiting stock.
The MacDuffie School (Mass.) wing, who plays with the Nike EYBL PSA Cardinals’ 16Us, was “about 6-5” when he made the decision last summer to leave Cardinal Hayes (N.Y.) and reclassify into the 2019 class, but now stands easily three inches taller than that with shoes on.
And considering his fluid athleticism and smooth shooting stroke either off the catch or bounce, it’s no wonder he’s now considered the No. 66 prospect in the country by Rivals and a 4* recruit by numerous outlets.
“I don’t really feel (taller), but as I go to more things and I see more tall people, they don’t seem as tall to me anymore,” he said. “I’m right up there with them, and it’s much easier for me to score and stuff.”
A burst of high-major offers came in a flurry this spring and summer: Wake Forest, Xavier, Rutgers, Minnesota, Rhode Island, and Saint Louis, joining those from St. Bonaventure and Yale. Pitt, Stanford, G.W., Providence, UConn and Ohio State are also intrigued in the NYC native.
He was all over the court on Thursday: knocking down shots on one end and blocking them on the other, coming up his fair share of steals in an arena full of them; he’s fluid with the ball in his hands and can score from all three levels.
“It’s been the best decision I ever made, to go to MacDuffie, it gave me that extra year and the coach, he was able to take it to the next level and push me mentally and physically. It was the best decision I made.”
-- Strong game in the morning session from Wings Academy (N.Y.) 2019 SG Brian Mitchell, who took over the two quarters he played in for his team. A 6-2 guard, Mitchell loved to crash the glass and then start the fastbreak, where he had exceptional quickness on the dribble, often beating the entire defense upcourt for an easy layup. When he scored in the half-court, it was with a smooth shooting stroke from 3-point range and a strong first step off the rip to get to the rim.
-- Playing alongside fellow standout Soulemayne Koureissi, Jonas Harper has proven himself to be one of the best all-around point guards at the camp. Thus far, Harper has only one Division I offer (Boston U), but now the Connecticut native is in talks with multiple Ivy League schools, including Yale, Brown, and Dartmouth.
At 6-3, Harper has the ideal size and build of a point guard, and has the athleticism to guard both guard positions on the guard. He can score at the rim, and facilitated well for teammates Koureissi and Jordan Thomas, as his drafted team is undefeated this week at Albright. Harper will be in Reading for the next week and a half, both for the team camp (PSA Cardinals) and Elite Session 2. If Harper continues his solid guard play, he’ll be adding to his offer sheet.
-- With his crafty handle and shifty passing ability, Mike DePersia likes to compare his game to that of Steve Nash, a 19 year NBA veteran, known for his great ability to lead a team. A rising junior at Haddonfield High (NJ), holds one D-I offer, from Delaware State. According to the guard, One of the Hornets’ coaches had a connection with DePersia’s high school coach, and made a trip out to a game last year and liked what he saw. DePersia, a 5-10 point guard, played the role of facilitator on Thursday, getting into the lane with his quickness and kicking the ball back out for open looks from beyond the arc.