By Nick Restifo
The Mass & NH High School Basketball Report had their first annual Boy's Showcase a couple of weeks ago at Reading Memorial High School. The Showcase featured some of the best high school basketball players in the region, and it allowed them the chance to demonstrate their skills.
Here were the standouts of the evening.
Ricky Ledo, SG/SF - Ledo, who is the #12 ranked ESPN junior, had the best night of anyone at the event. He put on an offensive clinic at the showcase and scored from all areas of the floor. Ledo is athletic and explosive and he truly shined in the way he made use of all of his natural gifts. Ledo drilled several threes over the course of the event, some of them from well beyond the arc, and he shoots the ball with both proper mechanics and spectacular lift. Ledo is a very high percentage shooter off the jab, even from three point range, and is not afraid to pull if given the space. Ledo also showcased a very strong court awareness. He is very aware of his own body movements, a quality sometimes not always possessed for developing high schoolers; and he almost made the appropriate play, whether that be a eurostep attack to the weak side of the hoop or a kick out to his open teammate. Ledo’s crossover was extremely quick, but was unique in that it is particularly reactive, he would often cross back to his other hand if he was not pleased with the separation achieved and his crossover was just as deadly coming back as it was going there. When he got into the paint, Ledo was an extremely adept at finishing regardless of contact, and he possessed several counters to defenders shifting over to help. His spin move is particularly devastating, and a ridiculously quick one drew several oohs and ahhs from the crowd.
Noah Vonleh, SF/PF - Vonleh, who is the #12 ranked ESPN sophomore, was the best athlete at the event. He has a powerful and ahtletic body. Vonleh was a presence on the glass at both ends of the floor and spent much of the evening rebounding well above the rim. Vonleh had several big blocks, and is beginning to become a bit of a defensive stopper down low. At 6'7", Vonleh demonstrated that his handle is a weapon as he always started the transition after rebounding well above the rim. Vonleh also found his way to the perimeter where he is a nightmare for opponents. His handle is so good he unguardable by a guard never mind a forward. A much improved shooter, the ball is coming off Vonleh's hands with grace.
Zach Auguste, F - Auguste is all of 6'9" and extremely long. Add to that, Auguste runs like a deer with wonderful grace to his gallup. Auguste is oozing potential has he demonstrated an ever improving set of skills and his ability to knock down the three. Auguste already has several major division 1 offers on with his huge wingspan and soft touch. He even hit a three pointer Friday night, showing flashes of a developing outside game.
Jared Terrell, SG/SF - Terrell, who was placed on Ledo’s team, fed off the attention Ledo received all night. Terrell is an explosive and bullish scorer who is not afraid of contact and scores in bunches. Terrell’s mid range game is quite strong, and he consistently hit jump shots off the dribble from the elbow and free throw line area. Terrell has a quick crossover move, but the move he most exploited was a go-to hesitation dribble which he effectively and consistently used to get defenders on their heels and then explode by them. Rebounding wise, Terrell always seemed to be in the right place at the right time at the event, as he grabbed several rebounds, despite being one of his team’s primary ball handlers. He was just as hungry to get the ball as he was to score.
Akosa Maduegbunam, SG/SF - Maduegbunam had a tendency to start off his games quickly, and always seemed to score within the first two or three possessions. Strong and incredibly quick with the potential to be an excellent finisher, Maduegbunam used this event to show off his devastating long-range game. Maduegbunam rained in threes from all around the arc, and he is an excellent shooter from range. His shooting form is beautiful, and he really gets his legs into his shot. When Maduegbunam left his feet, he had an impressive ability to maintain his position in the air, showcasing an excellent sense of body control and balance. His notable shooting performance was not even deterred by the shots he missed: His missed jump shots would always knock around on the rim several times before barely popping out.
Demitry Coronell, SF - Coronell can shoot from mid-range well enough, but his real strength is putting the ball on the floor. Coronell is an effective penetrator with impressive hangtime and amazing body control after contact. Coronell scored a lot during the event and possesses an uncanny ability to finish drives he shouldn’t be able to.
Cedric Kuakumensah, PF - Kuakumensah is a powerful and long 6'6" forward who was a rebounding machine corralling missed shots on both the offensive and defensive glass. Kuakumensah has also earned the reputation of challening every shot and that was exactly the case at the showcase. With the ball in his hand, Kuakmensah demonstratd that he an improved finisher around the basket with the ability to step away and make shots 15 feet away from the basket.
Dimitri Floras, PG/SG -Floras showed off his ankle breaking and world-devastating handle, most notably during the drills session at Friday’s showcase. Floras demonstrated his mid-range savvy as well, knocking down several 15 footers off the dribble; a skill set that perfectly completements his ability to kill defenders off the dribble.
Cornelius Tyson, PG - Tyson is incredibly fast and has a very refined handle. He has an almost funny flair for the fancy on the pass or the dribble, and is very fun to watch play. Tyson a true point guard looks to distribute the basketball first and is exceptional in transition.
Jaylon Blakely, PG Blakely has an ankle breaking crossover with super speed to match. He showcased good decision making on Friday night and almost always made the right pass.