At The Hoop Group we see a tremendous amount of players from various teams and often the big names garner most of the attention, as they should. However, certain AAU programs and players get overlooked because they don’t come into the event with the huge hype. Here are a few players that I have seen over the past few weeks that have stood out to me, and I think these names may blow up over the next few months.
Darrien Mackay: Class of 2017: South Jersey Jazz: Running the show for Tim Leglar’s talented U15 team, this point guard I have been watching for a few years now, and he continues to impress me with his court savvy, tough play. What he lacks in size, standing at a rough 5’8, he makes up in pure toughness, and determination. Every time he steps on the court he thinks he is the best player, and this is something that shines through in his game. As long as he continues to work on his game, with the addition of a few inches, I think he is on the road to leading a Division 1 program. The only question is what level D1.
Alex Sorenson: Class of 2016: NY Game 7 Elite: This name will begin to blow up over the course of this season. He is a long Island native that has a huge upside. He has great size for point guard standing at a solid 6’3 (with girth). Built like a linebacker, he is able to use his strong left hand to get into the paint at will, overpowering smaller quicker guards, but going by bigger slower players. My question originally was could he make the outside shot consistently, and after seeing him hit 6 threes this past Saturday against The Jersey Shore Warriors, it’s obvious he is beginning to completely well round his game. Only question as of now is will he be able to sit down and guard the quickness of some opposing guards, but this kid is a winner, and I am sure he will figure that out.
Dan Largey: Class of 2015: New Jersey Shoreshots: Coaches can always use players that can make shots, and this 6’4 wing can definitely do that. Highlighted by an 8 for 13 from behind the arc (31 total points) against The City (NY) at The Hoop Group Summer Showdown 2, he is a smooth versatile player. He has a developing handle, and he is a tireless worker in the gym. Don’t overlook his post game either, although he is a little undersized to play the 4, often he can take smaller 2 or 3 men to the block and use his versatile inside skill set to score in a variety of ways.
Hamidou Diallo: Class of 2017: NYC Jayhawks: Sporting a few early offers, and tons of early interest, this young bull is a nightmare for opposing defenses. If he learns how to consistently put the ball in the basket, and finish all his easy shots, he is a no brainer (possible high major) prospect. Playing for Jay David’s NYC Jayhawks, he will have every opportunity to improve and showcase his talents because few do that better than him. It should be fun to continue to watch his improvement.
Jared Kimbrough: Class of 2018: Jersey Force: This post player, has improved over the last few years probably more than anyone I have seen. A credit to Joe Stein and his staff at The Jersey Force, Jared has turned himself into a 6’5, long, skilled, athlete that can dunk on you in transition, but hit you with an up and under in the post too. With an undeveloped looking body, I wouldn’t be shocked if this young man ended up being 6’7 or 6’8 and if he gets to that point, The Jersey Shore won’t have anything that can compete with him. Potentially the biggest upside of almost any rising Freshman I saw all Spring.
Adam Picket: Class of 2015: East Coast Fusion: Coming off an impressive second place finish at the prestigious Hoop Group Summer Class East, Adam Picket, who currently holds 8 low major division 1 offers, is on the verge of breaking out. Sporting multiple games for Coach Sean Duke Crocker at Stuart Hall High School of over 40 points, Adam is a SCORING MACHINE. Don’t be fooled by his selectiveness on the AAU circuit. Although he doesn’t often shoot from the outside, he has the ability to make threes and has a very smooth looking stroke. I would be shocked if more mid majors don’t get involved with this player, and if they don’t whatever school that ends up getting him will be getting a high level PERSON and PLAYER.
Nate Brown Bull: Class of 2015: Little Wound South Dakota: A 7 foot athlete that was taken in by NBA legend Fatty Taylor, Nate is relativity new to high level basketball. A Native American, Nate has spent a good amount of time playing against players who are smaller and less skilled than he is, but he showed a tremendous upside at Hoop Group Elite Camp at Albright College against some of the biggest and best big men on the east coast. Anyone who is looking for size, Nate is every bit of his 7 foot listing. Nate has the ability to block shots, and although he doesn’t rebound out of his area great yet, he wants to get better and has a great attitude. This is the true definition of untapped potential, and anyone who takes a risk on him may end up getting rewarded for it.
Barry (Pop) Brown: Class of 2016: Jersey Storm: A smooth combo point guard who averaged 14 points a game as a Freshman, Pop has a chance to be special. Playing for his dad’s AAU team has kept him slightly under the radar, but Pop’s game with eventually speak for itself. At times playing more like an undersized 2, he will need to continue to work on his decision making skills to be a high level division one point guard. However, he can score, he is tough, and he is in the gym 5 days a week. Look for this combo guard to continue to develop and rise on the national scene.