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Hoop Group AC Jam Fest Notebook Pt. 2 (July 6-7, 2023)

07/09/2023, 11:30am EDT
By Josh Verlin

Josh Verlin (@jmverlin)

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — The Hoop Group helped kick off the July live periods with the start of the AC Jam Fest this week, a three-day tournament to set up the final Hoop Group Summer League events of the season. A couple hundred teams and a couple thousand players filled the 30-plus courts at the Atlantic City Convention Center throughout Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in front of all levels of college coaches.

The CoBL staff was on hand throughout checking in with some potential recruits. Here's the second part of our recruiting notebooks from the event.:


More from the AC Jam Fest: Day 1 Standouts | Day 2 Standouts | Day 3 Standouts | Recruiting Notebook (Pt. 1)


Jordan Rogers (2024 | All-In Beasts HGSL 17U)
Before Rogers’ junior year of high school, he got the wake-up call he needed. 

“My dad told me, ‘yo if you want to compete with these guys, you’ve got to start getting in the weight room,’” Rogers said. “He was like ‘look, don’t let your strength and physicality be the reason you don’t get recruited.’”

Jordan Rogers (above) is doing a post-grad year at the Phelps School this winter. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

It’s hard to believe that Rogers — now a muscular 6-foot-6, 205-pound wing forward — was anything but physically impressive, as he brings a college-ready body to the court for the New Jersey-based All-In Beasts. 

“I was really scrawny,” he said. “You look back on my pictures, it’s like no arms, no legs.”

Despite having a college-ready body, the still-17-year-old Rogers decided to do a post-graduate year upon graduation from Ridgewood (N.J.) high school, and he’ll head to Malvern to the Phelps School this fall. The weight room won’t be an issue; instead, it’s about Rogers continuing to work on his game as a wing, a different role from the post he played the last four years.

“It was one of those situations where my team needed me to be the center on the team, but it didn’t fit what I needed to do to get recruited for college,” he said, making sure to include that wasn’t a knock on his high school coach, as he was willing to do what it took to have a successful year. And they did indeed find success, making it to the North Jersey Section 1, Group 4 championship before long to Paterson Eastside. 

In a win on Thursday afternoon over Baltimore Basketball Club, Rogers contributed 10 points, eight rebounds (two offensive), three steals and one assist, playing the ‘3’ spot and knocking down a 3-pointer. He was especially effective in shot-fake situations, getting defenders up in the air and driving the lane to get to the rim, his physicality making it easy for him to finish at the hoop. 

He’s currently without a scholarship offer at the next level, but listed a whole group of Division I schools he said had been in touch: “Buffalo, UMBC, Dartmouth, Princeton, NJIT, Fairfield and Sacred Heart.” Getting seen at Phelps, which has a number of Division I prospects in its ‘24, ‘25 and ‘26 classes, including a few high-majors. 

Rogers got to experience what that was like for the first time, playing with Phelps at the Mid-Atlantic Independent School Showcase events at Hun School (N.J.) and Blair Academy (N.J.), with dozens of D-I coaches looking on.

“When there’s a lot of coaches there I try to tunnel vision, focus on my game, because I don’t want to fall into that role of ‘there’s coaches here so I want to try to go get mine.’ What I do best is knowing my role, playing defense, hitting open shots — maybe getting to the rim — but when I can perfect my role and help those guys, it’s what I can do to help my team win.”


Matt Lange (2024 | NJ ShoreShots HGSL 17U)
It’s been a tough road for Lange to get healthy. The younger son of St. Joe’s head coach Billy Lange got sick just before his junior year at Shipley, putting him being the eight-ball at the worst time of year; as he was getting back to feeling right, he got growing pains in his knees which cost him much of the spring. 

Matt Lange (above) picked up his first offer from a familiar face. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

So the 6-2 guard decided to focus on the camp circuit in June, stopping by Bucknell, Cornell and Princeton’s camps as a method of attracting high-academic college coaches. It was the first one of those trips that proved most fruitful when Bison coach John Griffin III offered him a spot on the roster, Lange’s first. 

It’s certainly not a new relationship: Griffin III worked under Billy Lange the last four years at St. Joe’s, becoming the associate head coach before taking the job at his alma mater earlier this offseason. Matt Lange said he’s known Griffin since his middle school years, and even as they toured the campus together after the camp, he wasn’t ready for what was coming next. 

“Out of nowhere he was like, I’m offering you a spot on the team, by the way, I’d love for you to come here,” Lange recalled. “I didn’t even say thank you, I didn’t know how to act. I was stunned, I really wasn’t expecting it.”

Now playing with the ShoreShots as their starting point guard, Lange is getting his most consistent minutes in months, and he’s waiting to see if these next few weeks of Hoop Group tournaments turn up any more Division I offers. Otherwise, it seems like a potential post-grad year is off the table, with a high-academic Division I option on the table, exactly what Lange was looking for the whole time. 

“I’m going to see how the summer finishes out,” he said, adding that if it’s just one option come August, “I don’t feel like there’s any point in waiting” through his senior year to make a decision. 


Jeremy Clayville (2024 | All-In Beasts HGSL 17U)

With the summer recruiting window winding down, just a couple weekends of play remaining to get out in front of dozens of college coaches at once, Clayville has one offer in his pocket — but it’s one he’s quite happy with. 

Jeremy Clayville (above) is taking an offiical visit to St. Francis (Pa.) in the next few weeks. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

The 6-1 combo guard with a sweet outside shot and confident game has had a number of high-academic regional schools involved over the years, including Columbia, Navy, Lafayette and Stonehill. But so far, his first and only Division I offer came in the spring, from St. Francis (Pa.). He’s been up to Loretto, just southwest of the center of the state, on a couple visits — once to see the campus, once to see the game, 

“I really like it there, I really like the coaching staff a lot,” he said of 12th-year head coach Rob Kimmel and his staff. “They just seem like good people, it’s not necessarily what they’re saying to me — I know I’m wanted there, you can tell they care about their players, and they don’t like going to the transfer portal, so I really like that.”

In his first year at St. Joe’s-Metuchen, Clayville missed half the season with an ankle fracture but came back in time for the South Jersey Non-Public ‘A’ championship game, which his team lost to Union Catholic. He’s spending the offseason working on adding strength to his 155-pound frame, aiming to get up to 175 by the time he heads off to college next fall. 


Munir Greig (2027 | NJ Scholars EYBL 15U)

Before he’s even stepped foot inside Imhotep Charter as a ninth grader, Greig already has a scholarship offer coveted by every ballplayer in the area: Villanova. The Wildcats saw the 6-6 wing playing with the Panthers during Philly Live and almost immediately became his first offer, as it was clear to all watching that Andre Noble has a special talent arriving this fall. 

Munir Greig (above) is already making a splash before starting high school. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

“I was surprised, I was like ‘this is crazy, I’m only going in as a freshman,’” he said on Thursday. “That made me motivated to get in the gym.”

Greig is already impressive on the court, a high-level athlete who can create his own shot, with terrific positional size and length and basketball IQ. He showed his stuff in a win over All-In Beasts on Thursday night, scoring 19 points with six rebounds, two assists and two steals, hitting his only 3-pointer while going 8-of-10 from the line. 

Of course, playing for Noble at ‘Tep, which has been the most dominant program in the PIAA over the last decade, winning the Public League and PIAA 5A championship this year, means living up to high demands, regardless of class.

“He doesn’t care about offense — it’s defense, that’s all that matters, it’s defense,” Greig said. “That’s what I love to do, play defense, that’s what I love.”

His frame, position and upside will immediately lead to comparisons between himself and recent Imhotep grad Justin Edwards, the No. 1 player in the 2023 class and an incoming freshman at the University of Kentucky. It’s not a comparison he shies away from; in fact, it’s one the West Philly native is aiming for, talking to Edwards regularly to keep the torch going. 

“I treat him like my brother, he treats me like his brother, he’s my brother,” Greig said. “[He gives me] a lot of advice — he said I could be the next him, for real. [He tells me to work on] my jump shot, just my shot. Everything else I’ve got, but just my shot.” 


— Duke Cloran (2025 | PA Hoops Academy) hit fast-forward on his grassroots experience. After missing the summer last season due to injuries, he’s playing on the 17U circuit this time around, technically ‘up a season’ though he admits he’s not at much of an age disadvantage due to repeating eighth grade when he transferred to the Haverford School three years ago.

Though he missed part of his sophomore season with a sprained ankle, Cloran still played enough to show why he’ll be a heavily-counted-on piece as a junior, one of the more veteran members of a young-but-potent Fords core along with rising sophomore Manny Butts and rising freshman Silas Graham, as well as classmate KJ Carson and senior Billy Rayer

“Got a good amount of playing time, felt like we got better throughout the season,” he said. “We were really young so a lot of it was growing together as a team, being better year by year [...] we’re all young, but we’re really mature and we’re smart players.”

Cloran’s father Steve, the former head coach at Cardinal O’Hara, played his college ball at St. Francis (Pa.) in the early 90s, playing in 88 games (36 starts) for the Red Flash. Duke Cloran said he’s yet to hear from any schools yet, but he’s shown in numerous 17U showcase games that he can score from all three levels and run point; he said he’s working this summer on catch-and-shoot 3s and his defense. 


Carter Wamsley (above) picked up his first offer last month. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

— Carter Wamsley (2025 | York Ballers 16U) found out about his first Division I offer during an unusual time: his math final. Well, just after it. 

“I was in my math class and my dad texted me, but I was taking my final exam,” he said, “I got out of class and was like ’what the heck,’ so I had to go in the bathroom to make sure everything was alright.”

As it turned out, it was a scholarship offer from Towson, the CAA school having recruited central PA hard over the years, getting York Ballers alum Four McGlynn among others. Their next target is the 6-6 wing guard from Eastern York, a physical ‘3’ man who can score inside and out and make plays with the ball in his hands. 

Wamsley said he still hasn’t personally spoken with Towson coach Pat Skerry, but is planning on visiting the school soon; he’s also been hearing from Loyola (Md.), Mt. St. Mary’s, Lafayette, American, and William & Mary. 


— It’s been a long road for Max Liebsky (2024 | Eastern PA Elite) and the team now known as Eastern PA Elite’s 17s, who played under the Collegeville Jags banner for most of their summers before the program rebranded in the last couple years. The Phoenixville rising senior is one of six members of the roster who’ve been teammates since fourth grade, meaning the next two tournaments are the end of an era up 422. 

“It’s bittersweet, I guess,” Liebsky said. “It’s our last tournament, our last times ever playing together. We’re going to try to end it with a win.”

They gave it a good run in Atlantic City, making it to the championship game of their bracket; as of this writing, they were in the semifinals of their bracket during the weekend’s Summer Jam Fest at Spooky Nook. 

Liebsky is a skilled 6-5, 230-pound forward with nimble footwork and the ability to score around the rim with either hand, as well as face up and knock down mid-range jumpers or put the ball on the floor; he said he’s working on his outside shot. He put in a 12-point, 14-rebound effort against LA Elite, his jumper not falling but his effort not stopping on either end. That versatility and effort is why he’s hearing from a number of regional Division III programs, having already taken visits to Scranton, Arcadia, Elizabethtown and Wilkes; he said more visits are planned in the fall.

“I really liked Scranton,” he said. “It was kind of a bigger school for that division, so I really liked that, it was nice.”


Deuce Maxey (2025 | Team Final Red EYBL 16U) led his group to the 16U title on Friday with a 22-point outing in the win over York Ballers, the 6-2 guard from Archbishop Wood knocking down 3s and getting to the rim as he went 10-of-16 from the floor. 

He’s counting on more outings like that this fall for the Vikings after averaging 6.4 ppg as a sophomore, fifth on the team in scoring. Wood won’t need him to be a featured scorer just yet — Jalil Bethea takes plenty care of that — but alongside Wood + Final teammate Milan Dean Jr., he needs to be a more consistent double-digit threat to take pressure off the top-10 guard in his class. In the meanwhile, he toes the party line for his efforts this summer.

“Really just getting more into playing defense, that’s been my main thing, just getting into playing defense, sitting down on my defender, not letting him go by me,” he said. “The scoring part of my game is already pretty good; there’s still stuff I can add, but it’s already pretty good. Just working on defense.”

Maxey picked up offers from St. Joe’s and Lafayette last November, and those remain his only two thus far; he cited interest from Siena, Quinnipiac and Towson as well.

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