The top basketball talent from all across New England gathered in Foxboro on Wednesday and plenty of standouts emerged.
Winchendon-bound big man John Hegarty (7-0, 325) stole the show in the two daytime sessions, scoring at will when he got the ball in the post. Hegarty, who was dunking the ball and doing reverse layups, has dropped about 30 pounds and is far more agile than most people give him credit for.
While Hegarty excelled, UConn-bound sophomore Alex Oriakhi was somewhat of a disappointment. The 6-foot-8 Oriakhi was banged up early in his head-to-head matchup with Erik Murphy and while he showed flashes, he didn’t have one of his better days.
Murphy, on the other hand, was impressive. He’s 6-foot-8, skilled and could grow a few more inches. He’s gained 20 pounds in the past year and while he still needs to get stronger, he made nearly all of his shots from inside 10 feet – including a few nice short hooks and baseline jumpers.
The St. Mark’s sophomore also runs the court extremely well and drew high praise from Winchendon coach Mike Byrnes in the morning drills.
Oriakhi’s future teammate at Winchendon, Jamal Coombs, won’t blow anyone away – but he does everything well and has a terrific feel for the game. The 6-foot-6 wing, who also gave Jim Calhoun an early pledge, is a mix between Marcus Williams of Arizona and former N.C. State standout Julius Hodge.
The state of Connecticut was well represented and plenty of its players stood out, including Northwest Catholic High junior point guard Chris Prescott, who was sensational in the first game of the day. Forward Damian Saunders showed his athleticism throughout the day and is likely headed to Notre Dame Prep. The surprise of the camp may have been Hillhouse senior wing Mike Moore, who finished with a game-high 25 points in the all-star game and was knocking down shots from just about everywhere. The most impressive part of Moore’s game was his effectiveness from mid range. Jordan Williams, a 6-foot-7 sophomore out of Torrington High, came into the event as a virtual unknown – but left with plenty of praise after using his big body and work ethic to get plenty done on the glass and in the paint.
One player who should be getting plenty of attention in a month or so is Eric Webster, who spent last season at Tilton (N.H.) and will be heading to Notre Dame Prep (Mass.) this fall. The 6-foot-3 Webster went for 30-plus in a game in Las Vegas in July and while he didn’t score as much on Wednesday, he displayed the toughness, leadership and an all-around game that college coaches should fall in love with.
A couple of Boston-area big men that are worthy of, at least, mid-major looks are long 6-foot-9 junior Orion Outerbridge (New Hampton) and Gabe Fumudoh (Brighton High). Outerbridge is raw, but runs the court well, blocks shots and can finish – especially in transition. Fumudoh plays hard, is athletic and was able to step out, make shots and also played unselfish. Andrew McCarthy, a hard-working 6-foot-7 forward out of the Buckingham, Browne & Nichols School, appears to be gaining confidence and once he puts on some more weight, he’ll be able to do more in the paint. McCarthy is versatile enough to score in the post and also step out and make shots from the perimeter
Boston College-bound shooting guard Rakim Sanders appeared far more comfortable than he did in July, when his play was erratic. When Sanders looks as though he’s having fun, he’s far more effective. Sanders’ teammate, Joey Accaoui, continues to impress – and not just with his shooting ability. Accaoui is making good decisions with the ball in his hands despite not having played point guard until the last few months. Other guys out of Rhode Island that were impressive include junior shooting guard Jerrell Gomes (Feinstein) and sophomore point guard Carl Mangum (Central High).
There was talent from Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire on display. Tyrone Conley (Burlington High) is an athletic 6-foot-2 combo guard who opened plenty of eyes with his scoring ability, Sam Leclerc of Exeter (Maine) came out of virtually nowhere to earn a spot in the all-star game and guys like James Hale (Burlington) and Simon McCormack also fared well.
The young kids from the Class of 2010 didn’t disappoint. Led by all-star Nadir Tharpe, who has the poise and passing ability of someone three or four years older, the incoming freshman more than held their own. Corey Andrews (Sacred Heart), Josh Turner (Sacred Heart) and Greg Langston (St. Joseph’s) were impressive – as was Massachusetts point guard Rodney Beldo and Brimmer & May guard Joe Sharkey – who displayed surprising athleticism. Billy Baron, the son of URI coach Jim Baron, is definitely someone worth watching. Like his older brother, Jim, he can really shoot the ball – but is more of a point guard and is quicker than the current URI sophomore.
All-Star Game Rosters:
Matt Hill, 6-8, F, Sr., Tilton (N.H.) – COMMITTED TO UMASS
Alex Oriakhi, 6-8, PF, Soph., Winchendon (Mass.) – COMMITTED TO UCONN
Eric Webster, 6-3, G, Sr., Notre Dame Prep (Mass.)
Orion Outerbridge, 6-9, PF/C, Jr., New Hampton (N.H.)
Erik Murphy, 6-8, F, Soph., St. Mark’s (Mass.)
Chris Prescott, 6-1, PG, Jr., Northwest Catholic (Conn.)
David Gibbs, 6-3, SG, Jr., Master’s School (Conn.)
Nadir Tharpe, 5-11, PG, Fr., St. Peter-Marian (Mass.)
Tyrone Conley, 6-2, G, Sr., Burlington (Vt.)
Damian Saunders, 6-7, F, Sr., Notre Dame Prep (Mass.)
John Hegarty, 6-11, C, Sr., Winchendon (Mass.)
Andrew McCarthy, 6-7, F, Jr., Buckingham, Browne & Nichols
Mike Moore, 6-5, SF, Sr., Hillhouse (Conn.)
Jordan Williams, 6-7, PF, Soph., Torrington (Conn.)
T.J. Robinson, 6-6, SF, Sr., Kolbe Cathedral (Conn.)
Trevon Wilcher, 6-7, F, Sr., Lee Academy (Maine) – COMMITTED TO UMASS
Carl Mangum, 6-3, PG, Soph., Central (R.I.)
Gabe Fumudoh, 6-7, F, Jr., Brighton (Mass.)
Tevin Baskin, 6-5, F, Soph., Trinity Catholic (Conn.)
Rakim Sanders, 6-5, SG, Sr., St. Andrew’s (R.I.)
Sam Leclerc, 6-0, PG, Jr., Exeter (Maine)
John Mariano, 6-1, SG, Sr., Trinity Catholic (Conn.)
Jamal Coombs, 6-6, SG-SF, Soph., Winchendon (Mass.) – COMMITTED TO UCONN