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November 9, 2012
Best of the 757 All-Camp Basketball Team
The Best of the 757 Basketball Showcase took place on Sunday, October 14th at the Boo Williams Sportsplex in Hampton, VA.
A total of 73 athletes participated in the growing event, including many of the area's top underclassmen who are expected to make a major mark this winter. In fact, of the 10 players we selected in consultation with the coaches running the event for the All-Camp Team, eight of them were underclassmen.
Below you can check out a Photo Feature from the event, plus notes on each of the players from the All-Camp Team and other Award winners.
There's an awful lot to like about Gray, who transferred to Cape Henry from Woodside and re-classed to 2015. He's an athletic, inside-outside forward who plays with a lot of energy, finishes at the cup and gets rebounds. Off running and jumping ability alone, there might not have been a better prospect in attendance as he possesses some unique D-1 qualities that separate him from most players. In addition to scoring in the paint or on the perimeter, Gray can put the ball on the floor adequately, making it even trickier for defenses to stop him unless they have someone much quicker or bigger than him.
Maybe the forgotten guy on a loaded Cape Henry squad, Morris is poised to make some noise for the defending State Champs this winter if the Best of the 757 was any indication. An All-TCIS Tournament Team selection in volleyball as well, Morris won the three-point shooting contest for the forwards/bigs. Not only did he shoot it proficiently, but he was also willing to stick his nose in there, mix it up around the basket and defend well. Two years ago, he blew his knee out, so you have to like how he has battled back from adversity.
Transferring to Bishop Sullivan after three seasons at First Colonial and re-classing to 2014, Barber has been a name on the basketball scene in Hampton Roads for some time now (and not just that Cat guy in Hampton either). DeAndre showed off a mid-range jumper that was solid throughout to go with being one of the better ball-handlers at the event as well as in the entire Tidewater area. Barber brings a certain level of confidence and poise at point guard. He'll definitely be a pleasant addition to the Crusaders as he can get in the lane, get to his spots exceedingly well and create scoring opportunities for himself or his teammates.
Those that watched Haskett on the 15-Under circuit during AAU began to whisper that he has the potential to be the next great Peninsula District point guard and the evidence of that coming to fruition is starting to show. Last year as a freshman, he shared the starting point guard duties alongside Nate Motley. Haskett brings noticeable quickness to the table that makes him difficult for defenders to keep him in front of them, plus causes havoc defensively. His harassing, on-ball defense will make him a major contributor, regardless of what he does on the offensive end of the floor.
While he's yet to play a game of High School Basketball at the varsity level, Orlina is a name we'll be hearing plenty from in the years to come. Already blessed with good size and length, Orlina gets in the lane, attacks in the paint and on defense shows a willingness to draw charges. He's got pretty good form on his shot for a freshman, is mobile and plays with a high motor and energy. As he matures and continues to develop, the sky is the limit. This forward has a chance to be really special, and D-1's may soon to be keeping a close eye on him.
There are some really talented underclassmen at Woodside and Carter is one of them. The point guard has a certain swagger about his game, and for a ninth grader, that stands out playing against several guys who are bigger, stronger and more experienced than him. Still, he didn't flinch under pressure, playing under control with steady handles and knocking down a couple of off-balanced jumpers to turn coaches' heads. If he can make others around him better and impact the game in a variety of ways, then Carter is sure to be one of the state's top prospects from the Class of 2016 because skill-wise he has the tools.
A rising sophomore for the Warriors who checks in at 6-foot-4, Spencer is an impressive looking two-sport athlete that does damage from the wing position. Not only does he have hops and the ability to impact the game with his athleticism, but his jumper was on point during the camp. He contains himself well in small spaces and is efficient with his movement and body control as well. Spencer is a natural scorer and the type of talent whose game should only continue to get better, so expect him to be challenge for All-District honors, maybe even All-Region before he graduates.
To me, Marshall was the sleeper or surprise of the camp, simply because he wasn't a name I knew all that much about before the event took place and has been kind of a hidden gem from the Phoebus program. He might not be a secret much longer. While he may not be a dead-eye shooter, what Marshall does have in his favor is that he's super quick and athletic. These are the types of wings and guards that colleges tend be intrigued by since there are a few things that can be polished up, but he already possesses some raw attributes that are an asset at any level. Speed-wise, he ranked right near the top of this talented group.
Entering his sophomore year at First Colonial, Simpkins becomes 'the man,' in the backcourt for Mark Butts' Patriots this season and his freshman season showed signs he has what it takes to get the job done, averaging 6.9 points per game with 16 points against State Tournament qualifier Kecoughtan in the Eastern Region Tournament. On the court, Simpkins what we like to call 'spurt-ability,' (i.e. the ability to score in spurts) and overcomes being a little out of control at times with his penchant for scoring points in bunches. Simpkins has a nice change of direction dribble, and should he continue to progress at the rate he's headed, a nice future likely awaits him.
Often times the phrase 'a coach on the floor,' is uttered and those that speak that probably have Thomas in mind. From a pure scoring and outside shooting perspective, he doesn't offer a ton, but he makes a number of positive plays that don't show up in the box score, fitting the description of a team guy and role player. The way he defended and competed for loose balls caught the eye of our evaluators. Look for Thomas to take on an increased scoring role this coming year with the Pilots, counting on him for senior leadership as they try to defend their Eastern District title.
Top Vertical Jump: Grassfield's Marcus Anderson (35.6 inches)
3/4 Court Sprint: Alliance Christian's Wilson Thomas (2.96 seconds)
Power Ball Toss: Nansemond River's Scott Spencer (34.5)
Shooting Contest: Nansemond River's William
Matthew Hatfield serves as State Basketball Analyst for VirginiaPreps.com, part of the Rivals.com Network. Check out Hatfield's Twitter page for more sports related updates, and you can also read his work in the Suffolk News Herald. To contact Matthew, please e-mail email@example.com, and don't forget to listen to him Saturdays from 10AM to Noon on ESPN Radio 94.1 plus watch him on the Cox 11 Sports Report.
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