Kevin Emmons (@OfficialKEmmons)
Day one of the 2021 Hoop Group Atlantic City Jam Fest is in the books and it didn’t cease to amaze. A handful of the Mid-Atlantic region’s best talents strung together efficient performances to help their teams perform at a high level.
Here are some recruiting news and notes about a few eye-catching performers from Wednesday night:
Andrew Ball (above) had an unexpected growth spurt during the pandemic that is helping him tap into his potential. (Photo: Kevin Emmons/CoBL)
Andrew Ball (2022 | Shawnee, N.J.)
The 6-foot-8 guard has exploded onto the scene this spring with strong outings at various events playing with Philly Pride Gold under the direction of former Penn State coach Brian Daly.
Ball averaged over 11.5 points per game this past winter at Shawnee High School in Medford, N.J., and paced the Renegades offense as a sophomore, averaging 12.8 points per game prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ball tallied six points, including a massive two-hand slam in Philly Pride Gold’s 68-57 setback to Rhode Island Elite.
The incoming senior has generated interest from a handful of Division I institutions.
“The offers I have right now are Bucknell, Albany and Army,” Ball said. “Princeton is really after me right now. I really like them a lot. I’ve taken unofficial (visits) to Lafayette, Lehigh, Bucknell, Princeton, Cornell and Boston U. It’s going pretty well. They all love my game — tall guard who can shoot the ball, get off the bounce and score on all three levels. I feel like my game is pretty rare and I think they like that and that’s why they offered me.”
An unexpected growth spurt during the pandemic caught Ball by surprise. Although it was an unusual adjustment at first, the burst of height appeared to be a blessing in disguise. The 6-foot-8 guard is finally tapping into his potential.
“I think at the end of the high school season last year, I was 6-5 with shoes on,” Ball said. “I don’t know what happened — maybe all the sleep during quarantine got me up a couple inches. It was an adjustment, especially (in terms of) moving. I had to get coordination back. I feel like I’m right there — shooting over people, shooting threes over people. Coach Daly is always on me to not finger roll, but to try to bang on someone, so that’s something I’m trying to work on that shows my aggressiveness.”
Tommy Haugh (above) has seen his development skyrocket after transferring to the Perkiomen School after his sophomore year. (Photo: Kevin Emmons/CoBL)
Tommy Haugh (2022 | Perkiomen School, Pa.)
The 6-foot-9 forward from the Perkiomen School (Pa.) excelled in Philly Pride Gold’s 68-57 setback to Rhode Island Elite on Wednesday night.
Haugh’s continual day-by-day improvement has garnered Division I attention.
“I started talking to Division I coaches at the end of my sophomore year,” Haugh said. “I have offers from Mount St. Mary’s, Albany, Lafayette, Lehigh and Army. I’m getting interest from some Ivy League schools like Princeton, Cornell, Brown, and some other schools like Belmont, William & Mary and Davidson.”
Following his sophomore year, Haugh’s transition from a public school to a private school allowed his development to skyrocket and also augmented his level of competitiveness.
“I moved to Perkiomen and that’s when it started to kick off,” Haugh said. “I was at New Oxford High School, a public school around Gettysburg, Pa., and then after my sophomore year, I got contacted by (Perkiomen School) coach Thomas Baudinet. I went up, checked the campus out, and liked the campus. (My family and I) didn’t know if I was gonna play or not at New Oxford with COVID, so I just decided to go to Perkiomen. Just getting to play with high level competition, it’s completely different from public school. There’s maybe one or two D-I guys in the whole league, but then when you go to private school you’re practicing with D-I guys.”
On Wednesday night, Haugh was matched up with Rhode Island Elite’s Isaiah Miranda, a four-star prospect from the Phelps School (Pa.), and at times and did an excellent job matching his physicality and utilizing his awareness to consistently be in the right position. The 7-foot-1 Miranda managed only two points in the first half.
For Haugh, the opportunity to matchup with the four-star recruit was priceless.
“It was fun,” Haugh said. “Playing against really good guys, they make my game better to be able to compete with them.”
The senior forward also possesses a 4.32 GPA and is intrigued by oral medicine. It’s a fitting occupation.
Haugh’s on-court antics often bring smiles to coaches, teammates and parents, so why not help others perfect their smile?
“I want to study biology in college,” Haugh said. “I hopefully want to become a dentist when I get older.”
Aidan Kehoe (2022 | Canterbury School, Conn.)
The 6-foot-10 forward exhibited a knack for being in the right position at the right time — a concept easier said than done. Kehoe was extremely efficient in the low post and showcased his ability to fill the lanes in transition. The post-graduate forward from Pascack Hills High School (N.J.) notched 12 points and grabbed six rebounds in the New Jersey Panthers’ 61-45 win over Team Spartans National on Wednesday night.
Kehoe will do a prep year at the Canterbury School in New Milford, Conn.
“I’m really excited,” Kehoe said. “One of (the things I want to improve on) is shooting. I’d say I have a solid mid-range (shot). Dribbling, especially driving (and) defensively (I want to improve my) lateral quickness. With my size, it’s very important to catch the ball and put yourself in a good position. That’s why I’ve been working on that. Watching basketball, watching film of my own games, just learning how to do that and putting myself in the best position to score in the easiest way. I’m really looking forward to playing with them.”
Kehoe was all business on Wednesday night, so it’s no surprise that business management grabs his attention.
“I’d love to play overseas for a couple years,” Kehoe said. “After that, I’d love to get a business degree and be able to use that.”
Ryan Pettit (above) has benefitted from playing and continuing to work out with with Villanova's Trey Patterson. (Photo: Kevin Emmons/CoBL)
Ryan Pettit (2022 | Rutgers Prep, N.J.)
Pettit notched a team-high 14 points as the New Jersey Panthers cruised past Team Spartans National on Wednesday night.
The 6-foot-2 point guard exhibited comfortability with the ball in his hands and illustrated how he is a high-IQ decision maker that can create for himself and his teammates.
Petitt has drawn interest from a handful of Division I schools and has received official offers from two Division II institutions.
“I’m talking to Niagara, Colgate, Marist, Davidson, George Washington,” Pettit said. “Those are some of the names I’m talking to. I have two Division II offers from Caldwell and Georgian Court.
“I want to be a coach when I get older. I’m not set on one thing. I’m looking at communications and business, between the two in that realm. I have a 3.4 GPA.”
The Rutgers Prep senior had the opportunity to play alongside Villanova’s Trey Patterson and benefited as the Argonauts primary ball-handler. The two continue to workout together and have an unbreakable bond on and off the court that has helped them grow as individuals and teammates.
“I saw a lot of growth out of him throughout the years from his sophomore to senior year,” Pettit said. “Just becoming a complete team player, the development of how hard he worked was just unbelievable. It was great playing with him. He’s a great teammate. We have great chemistry.”
—Matty Curtis (2022 | Northwest Catholic, Conn.)
The 6-foot-3 combo guard was a bright spot for Team Spartans National in their 61-45 setback to the New Jersey Panthers on Wednesday night at the Atlantic City Convention Center. Curtis netted a game-high 17 points. The West Hartford, Connecticut native picked up an offer from Georgetown in May and was a Connecticut First Team All-State selection in 2021.
—Christopher Edwards (2022 | Palmyra, Pa.)
Edwards tallied 15 points, a steal, an assist and two rebounds in the York Ballers 66-65 setback to Miami Triple Threat. The 6-foot-7 forward has the ability to knockdown smooth, fadeaway jumpers and can also dial in from beyond-the-arc. His wingspan allows him to interrupt the passing lanes on defense and his scrappy play in the paint often leads to second chance opportunities on offense.
Sam Kodi (above) showed off his scoring ability in Rhode Island Elite's win over Philly Pride Gold. (Photo: Kevin Emmons/CoBL)
—Sam Kodi (2022 | Bradford Christian, N.H.)
Kodi was a standout performer in Rhode Island Elite’s 68-57 win over Philly Pride Gold, pouring in a game-high 21 points and tallying seven assists. Kodi’s quickness paired with his ability to switch hands on the drive led to a majority of his hard-earned points. The 6-foot-2 point guard capped the night with a thunderous one-hand flush in transition and also finished a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line.
—Isaiah Miranda (2023 | Phelps School, Pa.)
The 7-foot-1 center overcame a sloppy start to pour in 14 points for Rhode Island Elite in its 68-57 win over Philly Pride Gold on Wednesday night. Miranda picked up offers from Oklahoma State, St. John’s, Memphis, Maryland, UConn and Providence in June.