Kahssian Kay (above) put on an impressive performance to lead Positive Image II into the second round. (Photo: Tommy Smith/CoBL)
CoBL Staff (@hooplove215)
CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. -- Here’s a recap of Donofrio Classic first-round action on Tuesday night:
Game One: As has been something of a theme in this first round, what was a close game at halftime quickly became a 20-point gap as Positive Image II topped Filly Sol, 86-67. Kahssian Kay (2017/Rocktop Academy) paced Positive Image with 20 points, coming up with more than a handful of steals and assists as well as he was the clear engine driving the train on this particular night. Zuri Peyton (2017/SCH Academy) had 18 points, Justin Kupa (2017/Lenape) had 16 and Rashon Johnson (2017/Simon Gratz) added 16 for Positive Image II, which plays the Old School Cavs next Tuesday at 7 PM. Filly Sol was led by 11 points each from Malik Archer (2017/MC&S) and Kyle Thompson (2018/St. Joe’s Prep), both of whom got all of their production in the first half.
Game Two: Despite a 15-man roster featuring no fewer than three Division I recruits and a whole bevy of players who will be on Division II rosters in the next few years, Del-Val VC faced a formidable challenge from Hunting Park II before hitting its foul shots to survive, 88-84. West Chester commit Evan-Eric Longino (2017/Germantown Academy) and undecided Terrell Jones (2017/Lower Merion) led the way with 22 and 14 points, respectively, each hitting a crucial pair of FTs in the final minute after Hunting Park had taken a late one-point advantage; 11 different players scored for Del-Val. Maurice Waters (2017/Constitution) carried Hunting Park for large stretches, finishing with 18 points; his high school teammate, Rayquon West (2018/Constitution) added 14.
Kay impresses in all facets
For Filly Sol, containing Kahssian Kay was as difficult as stopping Looney Toons’ Taz at full speed; the 5-foot-10 jack of all trades was all over the court and incredibly hard to stifle.
Kay lit up the Fellowship House gymnasium in the first game on Tuesday night, scoring a game-high 20 points on an array of tough takes to the cup and three-point daggers while also dishing up no-look assists and even blocking shots and snatching steals on the other end.
The more he had the ball in his hands, the larger the Positive Image lead grew.
“My coach told me to just keep attacking. He said ‘none of their guards can stay in front of you, get your teammates involved, shoot the good shots, not the bad shots,’” Kay said. “And that’s what I did.”
Kay is participating in his third Donofrio Classic, playing alongside his AAU compatriots after a senior season at Rocktop Academy during which he averaged 13 points, seven assists, and five rebounds.
His stellar play has been noticed by colleges, but for now, Kay plans to attend junior college at County College of Morris in Randolph, N.J., improve his prospects of getting into a top-tier athletic program, and then reevaluate his options.
“I’m want to go to junior college for two years and I want to go to NJIT,” he said. “Hopefully, after junior college, I can get in.”
After drawing the interest of NJIT head coach Brian Kennedy during an AAU game against the NJ Roadrunners last summer, Kay is intent on becoming a Highlander.
“[Kennedy] really liked me in the summertime. I told him if I could get a chance to come there that I would,” he said.
Should NJIT not work out, Kay says he could potentially end up at Arcadia, though he’s really focused on making it to a Division I program.
“I’ve got a good bond with the coach from Arcadia so I go there sometimes, but I’m trying to go Division I if I can,” Kay said.
Wherever he ends up, if Kay continues to perform like he did on Tuesday night, his team will be fortunate to have him. -- Zach Drapkin
Clifton Moore (above, blocking a shot) will have a pick of a few dozen schools if he ultimately decides to open up his commitment from Indiana. (Photo: Tommy Smith/CoBL)
Clifton Moore waiting on Miller meeting before decision
Every March, the Division I coaching carousel takes it’s toll on various coaches -- and as some coaches leave their programs, the players that they recruit do as well.
Such is the case for Hatboro-Horsham senior forward Clifton Moore as he was recruited to play at Indiana University last offseason by then-head coach Tom Crean.
Well, Crean got the boot from Indiana in March which left Moore wondering if Indiana was still the right fit.
While nothing is official yet, Moore is pondering getting a release from Indiana and re-opening his recruitment. But before any of that can happen, he has to meet with new head coach Archie Miller on Sunday.
Miller is coming to Indiana from Dayton where he led the Flyers to the NCAA Tournament in each of the last four years; in six seasons, he went 139-63 (.688). Miller’s brother Sean is also the head coach at Arizona.
“I just want to talk to him and see how he would play me,” Moore said. “I want to see how he likes me, how I fit into his system, how he plays, his player development and all that stuff.”
Moore is a lanky 6-9 wing who has an impressive face-up game and can hit the outside jumper.
Even though schools can’t contact Moore directly, they can contact his AAU and high school coaches.
Among the long list of very well known programs, local schools such as Temple, Saint Joe’s, Delaware, Penn State and Villanova have talked to his coaches, according to Moore’s dad.
The recruiting process is nothing new to Moore; after having gone through it once, he feels that he knows what to expect from the schools.
“It helps that I went through the process once,” he said. “I get a better feel for the recruiting but we’ll see what happens.”
In his previous recruitment, Moore chose Indiana over schools such as Northwestern, Ole Miss, Temple, Saint Joe’s and Lafayette.
Moore also said that he is targeting a commitment date before the month of June.
“You have to make sure you don’t make an impulse decision right away just out of emotion,” he added, “so you can’t take it lightly.” -- Austin Petolillo
Dougherty weighing basketball against beginning career
For most seniors, the decision they face regarding college only affects what campus they arrive on and what team they suit up for in the fall.
Eric Dougherty has a bigger choice to make: go to college, or jump right into the work force.
His father, Joe Dougherty, an Archbishop Wood assistant, is a longtime PECO employee, and Eric wants to follow in his father’s footsteps, either as a technician or a lineman with the energy company.
The decision is whether that happens now, or in four years.
Dougherty is hearing from several Division II and III schools, but there’s one that seems to stick out: D-III Gwynedd-Mercy, due to a family connection.
“Gwynedd’s at the top for me, because my sister went there,” he said. “I know the school pretty well, it’s right around the corner for me.”
Dougherty’s sister, Jackie Dougherty, didn’t just go to Gwynedd-Mercy. The 2007 grad is one of 13 women to surpass the 1,000-point mark in a Griffins uniform, helping the team to back-to-back conference championships in 2006-07; the team went 93-23 in her four years.
So if Dougherty picks the college route, he’ll arrive on campus with a bit of name recognition.
“Pretty scary to go there and follow in her steps,” Dougherty said with a smile. “She said it’s fun, she liked it a lot, learned a lot, it’s a pretty good school.”
A 6-foot-6 wing forward, Dougherty’s best asset is his ability to spot up and knock down the 3-point shot, which he does with range out to the NBA arc. He’s got good length as well on the perimeter, and certainly has the size and ability to make an impact even at a Gwynedd program that’s used to winning 20-plus games and making deep runs in the CSAC tournament.
So the ability to continue his hoops career after winning a District 1 6A championship with Abington as a senior is one that’s tempting, indeed.
“I want to play basketball, so I kind of want to go to college,” he said. “So I’ll be making that decision very soon.” -- Josh Verlin
Lower Merion senior figuring out hoops future
The process of choosing a college is hard for anyone, and having to choose whether or not to continue following your basketball dreams makes it all the more difficult.
Currently caught up in this age-old dilemma is Lower Merion senior Terrell Jones.
The 6-foot-4 wing, coming off a Central League championship, has opportunities available to him at a pair of Division III programs, Arcadia and Rosemont, but is also weighing the option of attending La Salle or a PSAC school “just to go and be a student.
“I’ve been playing high school basketball, top-tier basketball for four years. You get beat up,” Jones said. “So maybe it’s time to see something new, get a change.”
That’s not to say he hasn’t enjoyed his time as an Ace, or that he’s done with basketball. If he ends up at Arcadia or Rosemont, it’ll be because of his love for the game.
“There’s nothing better than winning over 21 games, being a league champ, getting selected first-team all-league,” he said. “I truly believe everyone enjoyed 30 games and we had the same energy from game one to game 30.
“As long as I’m having fun, it’s all pros at Rosemont and Arcadia,” Jones added. “I’m playing basketball, enjoying what I’ve played all my life.”
Participating in the Donofrio Classic for the second year, Jones is getting his final crack on the high school scene alongside standouts from schools across the region.
It’s likely his last chance to play in front of college coaches before making his decision, but even if he doesn’t end up picking a school for basketball reasons, his career won’t necessarily be over.
A walk-on effort is still very much in the picture.
“Who knows, the first day of school I might want to walk on or tomorrow I might want to play ball and take that opportunity at Arcadia or Rosemont,” Jones said. “[There are] multiple options on the table so we’ll see.”
It’s hard for Jones to narrow anything down based on academics, since he’s not yet sure what field he’d like to pursue.
“I’m business one day, kinesiology the other, so I’m applying undecided,” he said. “I think I can do anything I put my mind to.”
Luckily for Jones, he has quite a bit of time to select his major. The clock’s ticking on his college decision, but he won’t rush to make that choice either.
“I probably won’t commit until the last possible day,” he said.
In the meantime, Jones will enjoy the days left in his high school career and begin honing in his game.
“I think I have a good knowledge for the game so I’ve got to work on some more fundamentals,” Jones said. “Most and foremost, if I’m going any level, D-I to D-3, I’ve got to work on my defense, that’s a huge thing.” -- Zach Drapkin
-- Math, Civics & Sciences senior Malik Archer is weighing several options, including whether or not to make his college decision or play out the April live recruiting periods and then see where the chips lie. Currently he’s being pursued hard by several Division II schools, notably Lincoln (Pa.) and Univ. of the District of Columbia, but a few Division I programs are also staying in touch with the 6-3 scoring guard; Archer mentioned Quinnipiac as one in particular. If a Division I offer comes, expect that to be taken — otherwise, he could hit the AAU circuit with his Basic Ball Philly squad for two weekends to try and show that he’s deserving. “I don’t want to really settle,” he said. “I know what I can do.”
-- Tymir Cooper (2017/Bonner-Prendergast) has made his college decision, and the 5-9 point guard will be headed to Cuyahoga (Ohio) CC, a Division II junior college in Cleveland. He made his decision to attend the school, whose basketball program was in need of a point guard; Cuyahoga was ranked as high as No. 5 in the NJCAA Division II rankings this year, going 28-3 on the season. Cooper credited the Friars coaching staff, led by Jack Concannon, for helping him develop as a player and putting him in touch with the college: “I don’t know where I’d be…if I didn’t play in the Catholic League I wouldn’t have gotten seen, I wouldn’t have gotten recruited. I really appreciate the coaches for giving me the opportunity from the Public League ‘C’ to go into the Catholic League.”
-- Cheltenham senior Trevonn Pitts appears to be down to a pair of Division II schools who are in pursuit of his services. Chestnut Hill College and West Chester University both offered the athletic 6-3 wing, who only started playing organized basketball his junior year but instantly became a player to watch for the Panthers thanks to his high-flying dunks and versatile, tough, aggressive style of play. Both got involved midway through his senior season, which saw Cheltenham reach the state playoffs; he was able to see both schools and teams during the year and is current just weighing his choices. Expect a decision next week.
-- After making it to the state title game with Constitution, senior Maurice Waters said he will “commit soon.” Waters has narrowed his decision down to three schools, which he would not disclose, but he did say that he has “been weighing playing time, the distance, and the teammates” and talks to the coaches of each school on a daily basis. Constitution head coach Rob Moore said that Waters appeared interested in District of Columbia and West Chester. He looked impressive in his 20-point outing in a losing effort on Tuesday night, scoring off the bounce and finishing several tough layups around the rim.