There were a number of top available senior prospects at last weekend's War on the Shore Tournament in Milford, Del.
Russ Blake of Rivalshoops.com was on hand for the event, and he turned in these evaluations of some of those players who will be courted by Division I programs this winter.
Roberto Felipe, Blair Academy. Felipe, a 6-3 swing type from New York City, has already generated interest from Ivy and Patriot League type schools. Felipe is scrappy around the basket and an effective scorer on the break. He was especially potent last Saturday in Blair's 72-54 victory over Notre Dame Academy of Virginia, scoring 17 points.
Patrick Davidson, Blair Academy. A hard-nosed 6-1 combo guard, Davidson is a decent athlete who can really stroke the basketball. His three point marksmanship was a key factor in Blair's Friday night victory over Our Savior New American. A native of Arkansas, Davidson had planned to attend Lehigh University in Pennsylvania before a coaching change last spring at the Patriot League program.
Ivan Kostic, Brewster Academy. A 6-7 forward from Croatia with a qualifying test score already in tow, Kostic kind of grew on us as the weekend progressed. He showed adequate ball handling skills for a player of his size, and was also effective as a spot up shooter. While he needs to add size and strength to his frame, Kostic is mobile enough to get out and defend on the perimeter. Should be a key target for many low-mid major type programs this winter.
Blake Schilb, Brewster Academy. Schilb, a native of Rantoul, Ill., really impressed with his fine overall floor game. While he's clearly not a run/jump athlete, Schilb can beat you with his brains and brawn. On top of seeing the floor well and passing it effectively, Schilb simply outworks the opposition on both ends of the glass. A definite mid and potential high major basketball prospect.
Alexander Johnson, Bridgton Academy. Probably the most skilled big man outside of Charlie Villanueva on display at last weekend's War on the Shore, Johnson has a power game with developing perimeter skills. Johnson can out-muscle opponents for points and rebounds in the paint, yet he also showed the ability to step out and hit three pointers. Johnson also can put the ball on the floor for limited stretches and get to the basket, but needs to avoid dribbling it far away from the tin. With his decision to sign late, Johnson could be the top available big man left on the board in the Class of 2003.
Danilo "JR" Pinnock, Coastal Christian Academy. JR Pinnock is certainly a high major athlete, and the 6-4 swingman from Georgia has attracted significant Division I looks with his recent decision to sign late. Earlier this fall, Pinnock had committed to Wichita State but later reneged. While his three point shot wasn't falling consistently at the War on the Shore, Pinnock showed great elevation and the ability to finish acrobatically around the basket. His senior campaign at Coastal Christian will go a long way in determining where Pinnock winds up next fall.
Ryan Lambert, Hargrave Military Academy. For whatever reason, Lambert didn't have a great weekend at the War on the Shore. A live bodied athlete, he played aggressively in the Tigers' 69-43 loss to St. Thomas More last Saturday, tallying eight points and grabbing nine rebounds. Colonial Athletic Association programs are all over Lambert, and with some strong performances this winter, that list could grow quite a bit.
Asrangue Souleymane, Laurinburg Institute. Souleymane didn't show much from an offensive standpoint at the War on the Shore, but he's a very mobile 6-9 run/jump athlete with a penchant for playing defense and rebounding. High majors will likely give him a look this winter with the dearth of available quality big men.
Arnaud Dahi, Life Center Academy. Dahi, a 6-7 combo forward, lived up to his reputation at the War on the Shore as a high octane offensive player. He was especially explosive on Sunday, when he erupted in the second half of a blow out victory over West Nottingham Academy. In some ways, Dahi was feast or famine at the War on the Shore. He had some incredibly potent halves, and some less than stellar outputs. But he's a bit like a lit fuse that can go off at a moment's notice. Mid to high majors will be involved with Dahi this winter.
Mbainai Narmbaye, Life Center Academy. Narmbaye struggled offensively at the War on the Shore, and really wasn't a factor for much of the weekend until an eight point, eight rebound effort in the Warriors' 67-50 victory over West Nottingham on Sunday. On the plus side, he's a steady defensive presence in the paint, and Rivalshoops.com will have many more chances to watch Narmbaye this winter. The 6-9 lefty power forward/center from Africa is still down to five schools -- LaSalle, St. Joe's, UMass, Colorado and Rutgers.
Maurice Maxwell, Lutheran Christian Academy. To his credit, Maxwell played at the War on the Shore despite suffering from a severe case of the flu. He is a versatile talent who probably didn't play up to his normal par due to his illness. Maxwell still remains a viable mid to high major recruiting target this winter.
Zakee Boyd, Lutheran Christian Academy. Boyd, an athletic 6-4 small forward, had committed to Hartford this fall but opted to sign late. Zakee is more of an opportunistic scorer than a true perimeter threat. He does quite a bit of his handiwork around the basket, and can also elevate for short jumpers on the baseline. Boyd will most likely remain a key mid-major recruiting priority this winter.
Patrick Ewing Jr., National Christian Academy. Ewing, a 6-7 forward, didn't have a stellar weekend at the War on the Shore. But to be fair to him, he didn't get a lot of help from his Eagle teammates, as NCA went 0-3 at the War on the Shore. Had 6-8 junior forward Anthony Ivory been able to play for NCA, it might have taken some of the pressure off Ewing.
Michael Cook, New Hampton School. Cook, a 6-3 swingman, was a consistent force at the War on the Shore. He led the Huskies on Saturday with a terrific 30 point, 14 rebound effort against Coastal Christian. On Sunday against Notre Dame Prep, Cook was a bit more pedestrian, but still managed to score 20 points in a 72-56 loss. Cook is a strong driver and finisher who gets to the free throw line quite a bit. Equally important, he hits the glass hard on both ends of the floor. If Cook can continue to improve his defense and three point shot, more and more high majors will wind up courting him this winter.
Oluwafemi "Femi" Ibikunle, New Hampton School. Ibikunle, a native of Nigeria, struggled quite a bit at the War on the Shore. He scored just two points before fouling out in Saturday's victory over Coastal Christian Academy, and then was ejected from Sunday's loss to Notre Dame Prep after picking up a quick pair of technical fouls. A 6-9 power forward seemingly carved out of granite, Ibikunle will likely remain a key high major recruiting target this winter due to his size and upside. But he's far from a finished product at this juncture.
Marcus Sikes, Notre Dame Academy. Sikes had a lot to gain from a strong performance at the War on the Shore. But for whatever reason, the 6-7 forward just didn't have it in a 72-54 loss to Blair Academy. He got into foul trouble, finishing with just two points, four rebounds and six turnovers. Larry Cullinane's Dragons play an aggressive schedule this season, and there's little doubt that Sikes will rebound and play significantly better.
Josh Bell, Notre Dame Prep. Rivalshoops.com has had a chance to see Bell and Notre Dame play four times this winter. Bell is a quick 6-4 forward who works the baseline and rebounds quite well for his size. He scored 12 points and grabbed 12 rebounds on Sunday in a 72-56 victory over New Hampton. He's a scrapper and a battler who with continued fine play, could have a chance to earn a Division I scholarship this winter.
Anthony Bruin, St. Thomas More. Bruin, a 6-6 lefty forward who is the son of former Syracuse star Tony "Red" Bruin, did a lot of the dirty work for the Chancellors at the War on the Shore. He's a smart inside player who has a knack for scoring in the paint via fakes and good footwork. Bruin is being looked at by a variety of low-mid Division I programs this winter.
Dominik Stefanac, Winchendon School. A lanky 6-8 forward, Stefanac can stroke it from the perimeter. He is an effective spot up shooter who can create mismatches on the wing thanks to his size and quick release. Stefanac will need to get stronger to play the four, and work on his handle if he is to play the three at the college level. A very intriguing prospect.
Nick Stafford, Worcester Academy. A nifty run/jump athlete, the 6-7 Stafford has limited shooting range, but he can flush it with the best of them. He turned in an 11 point, 11 rebound performance in a blowout win over West Nottingham Academy last Saturday. Worcester Head Coach Mo Cassara said that low-mid Division I programs expressed the most interest in Stafford this fall, but his list could continue to grow significantly with a fine winter of play for the Hilltoppers.
Carl Elliott, Worcester Academy. A stocky 6-3 combo guard, Elliott is still trying to find his niche on a team loaded with high Division I guards. Worcester has 6-0 Steve Hailey (Boston College) and 6-4 Dwight Brewington (Providence) as key cogs in the backcourt. At the War on the Shore, Elliott played off the ball quite a bit. He's a strong driver who is still fine tuning his perimeter shot. Eliott signed with George Washington a year ago, but after failing to qualify academically, he enrolled at Worcester and reopened his recruitment.