I got a chance to spend some time at the Rutgers Prep Tip Off this weekend. My goal was to watch a few teams that I rarely see. It was a good move on my part because I was really impressed with a few teams that get little if any attention. I also got see how some kids have improved and see some real unknown gems as well.
First of all I was shocked at the level of play by the 9th grade Cardinals Coyle team. This team by far was the most impressive group I saw this weekend. They had 3 monster wins this as they went undefeated. Listen to who this group beat…They beat a Comet team loaded with D1 players, they then beat another loaded D1 team in IXL and finally they knocked off the talented Mansonious Exodus Wildcat Team 10th grade team. This group was really a tight knit group that is insanely well coached. I will SPOTLIGHT this team this week, but they certainly opened my eyes.
Paul Martinez has been talking about his kids for two years. They are a over looked group that I finally got a chance to see and let me say this. WOW! The Martinez CARDINAL team is as talented as any group in Central Jersey. They have a terrific mix of kids, both seniors and under classmen. My guess is that they have no less than 5 D1 players on the roster and that number could rise as high as 7. Now this team has a little of everything, I believe they could be the most interesting team in Central Jersey because most of the players are heavily under recruited. I will SPOTLIGHT this crew as well this week.
One of the most impressive things this weekend was how well the COMETS organization is run. I was amazed how each team is well coached and more importantly deep in talent. Now while winning is important, it clear each team has been told that everyone plays and is given a role to play. I saw 3 of there teams and not one was a selfish group. It is a first class organization in every way. Kids play hard, coaches are respectful and parents not over the top…more on this organization down the road.
Now here is something I hope everyone thinks about. I saw 2 young ladies from RBC step it up big time. Trust me when I tell you this Catlin Carroll is going to have a monster summer. The young lady is in great shape and playing as well as one can ask her, she is going to find herself in demand. Then Rachel Gazza who didn’t even play varsity last year is so improved that it was amazing to watch this weekend. This young lady has made a MAJOR JUMP AS A PLAYER. It is a real testament to BOTH these kids, because getting better is always the key to becoming a good player. Joe Montana is going to be a happy man next season. I will spotlight both players this week…
Now I got so many texts and e-mails from young players and parents bragging about playing up. So let me address that; folks playing up against weaker competition does not impress me. Playing up against real competition now that’s impressive. I have tried to tell 8th graders for years, you must compete against the best juniors and seniors to really know where you stand. Lauren Lithgow plays for the Whalen Shoreshots and she is playing up against real competition. This is how you really get to measure a players true talent. Not beating up on older less talented players.
I also think kids should challenge themselves. I believe so many talented kids gets lost for reasons that have nothing to do with ability. I know for example that the Cardinals have a player that every Patriot and Mid Major should recruit. I also know that she has not been in the right recruiting or training setting to create a buzz or reputation. I also had a parent tell me about RYAN WIESE of the Cardinals earlier in the year, but I never got to see her play. Why you ask? She is not on a powerhouse high school team and doesn’t train in a competitive D1 setting, so she is unknown to college coaches and its truly hard to measure her talent. Yet after watching her one time, I believe she has a chance to be a special player, playing with the Cardinals should help.
There has to be big props given to Kristen Somogyi as the TIP OFF was a great way for kids to get ready for this up and coming weekend recruiting period. I think everyone would agree this event is going to grow in a big way.
There was also news out of Long Island as well. The Hawks/ Lighting Laux(https://nothingbutskills.com/aau-spotlight-central-jersey-hawkslighting-laux/) team just crushed people and may have had the win of the weekend. They defeated the Hudson Valley Elite 73-66 a team made up of the MSG #2 rated Ossining players. Jen Louro is proving to a special player as she had 20 points and went 4-6 from the three point line. Mikayla Markum had 16 points and folks she is becoming a household name among college coaches. But the player who generated the most buzz of any player this weekend playing anywhere period was clearly Lucinda Thomas who everyone was talking about. Here is a quote from a friend of mine ” Tiny, Thomas is going to be one of the best ever in shore history” Now I’m not ready to go that far…but she is pretty darn good!
The MARTORELLI Hawks just demolished the competition on Long Island this weekend. This tea m is going to become a real powerhouse on the recruiting circuit. They are just loaded as I wrote about them last week. https://nothingbutskills.com/central-jersey-hawks-17-martorelli/
COACHES WE HAVE A NBS/CORE SKILLS CHEAT SHEET COMING YOUR WAY WEDNESDAY…YOUR WELCOME…6 NEW D1 NAMES
ADVICE– TOO Parents yelling from the stands, here is a message. You child better be a stud, because I have a list a mile long of kids parents who have ruined there child recruitment over the years. You know the old saying…If the kid is a program changer and the parent is yelling …”THERE JUST MISS UNDERSTOOD” If the player is just good TALENT “the parent is a pain in the ass and so is the kid” I know of only one program changer in the shore and her parents don’t yell…. I saw a parent this weekend yelling at his daughter, the refs and the coaches. People trust me this behavior gets back to coaches. NOBODY COVERS THIS TYPE PARENT!
Kids this weekend is an important one. You be wise to get in the gym going hard at least until Thursday. Give your all in practice and stay focused on the mission at hand…
POINT GUARD SCHOOL IS TODAY 4.4:30 AT HOOP GROUP…guards please take my advice and attend this event.
NBS TONIGNT AT 6PM WE HAVE A FEW SPOTS OPEN
CORE SKILLS TRAINING STARTS TUESDAY….NOT SURE THERE IS A BETTER SPRING PROGAM FOR PLAYERS