Part 2 of Rivals.com's look at some of the top junior prospects in the mid-atlantic region. Featuring early looks at players like Nigel Munson, Lance Thomas, and Reggie Redding among others.
6-foot-9 205 pound PF from Abington Friends. Jones is a long skinny athlete with the ability to make shots from 15' and in. He doesn't yet have the strength to bang with the big boys in the paint, but if he can improve in this area, he is a sure fire high major target. Uses his length effectively to rebound and block shots. Runs the floor like a deer. Big East and Atlantic 10 schools are taking a very close look, as well as a few ACC schools. Could be a highly sought after recruit, expecially if he continues to grow.
6-foot-8 250 pound C/F from Abington Friends. Love is the other half of the talented Abington Friends front court. He's a wide body with excellent hands and a soft touch around the basket. He's not overly quick or athletic, and he'll need to monitor his weight. Foul prone at the defensive end of the floor, though he is a good shot-blocker with excellent timing. How his body continues to develop will determine whether he is a high major, or mid-major recruit.
6-foot-10 230 pound C from Bishop O'Connell. Moody has bounced around a bit and struggled at times to get on the floor, but now, as a starter on a good Bishop O'Connell team with excellent senior leadership, he is beginning to come into his own. Terrific size and athletic ability, but needs to be more assertive and develop better footwork in the paint. Boom or bust prospect for high majors.
6-foot 160 pound PG from DeMatha Catholic. Munson is an ultra-quick lead guard who led DeMatha in scoring last year at 15.7 PPG while shooting over 50% from beyond the arc. He also averaged 8.9 assists according to coach Mike Jones and shot 90% from the free throw line. He's a high major lock who should, when it's all said and done, be one of the nation's top PG recruits in the Class of 2006. Great penetrator who possesses excellent court vision and delivers crisp passes. Seems to have made an even bigger effort to get his teammates involved in the scoring this year, and that is one of the major factors in DeMatha emerging as a Top 10 team nationally. Virginia Tech, Vanderbilt, Connecticut, Virginia, Wake Forest, NC State, Georgetown, and George Mason are involved. He is also an excellent student.
6-foot-10 220 pound C from Germantown Academy. Ott was primarily thought of as a perimeter big man with range out to 17', and had even been labeled "soft" by some in the business. He has added some bulk this year and has made a concerted effort to play more in the paint, and it has paid off in spades. Ott is averaging a double-double this year, and even had a high game of 25 rebounds. We saw him go for 13 points and 14 rebounds at the Gonzaga Classic against a tall and physical Westbury Christian front line. Still has a realiable stroke from the foul line extended, and does a nice job running the floor in transition, and now the big time programs are paying attention. Duke, Georgia Tech, Illinois, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Penn State, Purdue, Villanova, Virginia and Wake Forest are just a few of the schools involved early on.
6-foot-5 200 pound G/F from Neumann-Gorretti. Pettis is an intriguing combination of good size, quickness, and athleticism who can put it on the floor and go one on one with just about anybody. However, he is a streak shooter (at best) and is another guy that just doesn't always make smart decisions with the ball. There are also times where Earl fails to assert himself as the go to guy at crunch time. At this level that's just not acceptable for a player with his talents. He can be a high major player if he focuses on improving in those areas, but right now he projects as a good mid-major recruit.
6-foot-4 210 pound G/F from St. Joseph's Prep. Redding has shown time and time again that above all else, he's a winner. That counts for a lot in my book, but when you factor that in with excellent court vision and passing ability, basketball savvy, and a petal-soft perimeter stroke, you're looking at a lock high major player. Redding is not going to blow anyone away with his athleticism, but he always finds ways to make a positive contribution to the team effort. We've seen him in games where the shots aren't falling, and he just focuses on making hustle plays, finding teammates, and working the paint and the mid-range area for easier shots. If basketball had a plus/minus system like hockey Redding would be an all-american. He's averaging around 25 points and 10 rebounds per game for once beaten St. Joseph's Prep. His coach, the legendary Speedy Morris, told us that Virginia, Georgia, Temple, Villanova, and Penn have been in to see him, but that he's not really thinking about college at this point.
6-foot-1 165 pound PG from Neumann-Gorretti. Rivera is a guy who's come into his own a bit in recent months, and is probably a borderline high major prospect at this point. Superb quickness and defensive intensity. Really moves his feet well and has exceptionally quick reflexes. Perimeter shooting needs to get better, but his ballhandling and decision making has improved dramatically in the last year.
6-foot-8 215 pound P/WF from St. Benedict's. Thomas once again put his exceptional work ethic on display in the Grey Bees' win over Colonia. Down the stretch as the other team wore down, Thomas just kept on comin', and finished with a typical 24 points and 11 rebounds. He's an extaordinarilly quick leaper who's usually well into his second jump as most players are coming down from their first, and this makes him a terror on the glass, especially at the offensive end of the floor. Thomas is far from a finished product, as he does not yet have a reliable jump shot, and doesn't handle it well enough to play full time on the wing. However, anyone who's spent any time watching him practice or work out could have little doubt that his burning desire to improve as a player will overcome those deficiencies down the road.
Class of 2007 and 2008 profiles coming soon!