The annual Memorial Day Super 16 Showcase tips this weekend in Southern Connecticut with the varsity and 10th grade divisions based at Connecticut College and other facilities in the New London area and the 9th grade division in the greater New Haven area.
With over 60 teams in the varsity division alone this field is by far the deepest and most talented in the event's history and NERR will have their full team of evaluators out in full force.
Stay tuned to New England Recruiting Report for updates throughout the weekend or for the most immediate information follow us on twitter at @NERRhoops.
There will be major changes on the sidelines of the nation's top prep school league next season as both the New Hampton School and South Kent School have welcomed new men's basketball coaches within the last week after the departure of Peter Hutchins and Kelvin Jefferon to join the college ranks.
Hutchins will remain in New Hampshire and join the staff of newly appointed Dartmouth head coach David McLaughlin while Jefferson is heading south to Old Dominion University where he will join Jeff Jones' staff.
"I can't begin to describe my gratitude & appreciation for the chance to be a part of the New Hampton School community over the last decade," Hutchins said via his twitter account last week. "Giving back to a place that gave me so much was an honor & I couldn't be prouder to have coached such special kids. I'll always be a #Husky. With that said, I'm thrilled to be joining Coach McLaughlin's vision for the future of #Dartmouth basketball & can't wait to get to work!"
There aren't many players in New England's class of 2018 who have helped themseslves more than Eric Ayala this spring.
Playing alongside the best point guard in high school basketball, Trevon Duval, on a We-R1 squad that currently sits atop the Under Armour Association standings with a 7-1 record, Ayala has proven himself to be one of the most dangerous guards in all of the UAA.
While Duval has often times been the primary playmaker, Ayala has the ball in his hands plenty, averaging 12 points per game and sometimes even being the player to have his number called in late game situations.
It was more of the same last weekend at the Hoop Group's Southern Jam Fest when Duval played led the way throughout much of the weekend only to be forced out of the line-up in the finals with severe dehydration and leg cramps. That void was all Ayala needed to step-up with a huge performance in the final, delivering 33 points to lead We-R1 over Team Loaded Virginia for the championship.
Bryant University scooped up what might have been New England's biggest sleeper, rougly six weeks before the July evaluation was set to kick-off.
Vincent Baker Jr., a six-foot-seven forward from Old Saybrook High School in Connecticut, committed to the Bulldogs on Monday night.
Baker, the son and namesake of the former NBA All-Star who first starred at the University of Hartford before playing for the Milwaukee Bucks and Seattle SuperSonics among others, has been playing for his father on the AAU trail this spring with the Connecticut Playmakers and was one of the standouts at last month's Northeast Hoops Festival.
This wasn't the first time we've seen Baker Jr. in action, but some might not have recognized him after his last appearance at the 2014 Elite 75 Frosh/Soph Showcase when he was just a six-foot-two guard. 18 months and five inches later and Baker Jr. is experiencing the same late growth spurt that his dad had in the late 80's when he too starred for Old Saybrook High...
Putnam Science Academy announced earlier this week that KeAndre Fair would be joining the program as a post-graduate next year following his graduation from Weaver High School.
The 6-foot-2 guard has had a decorated high school career playing in the CIAC state championship game for four consecutive years and helping Weaver to the 2015 Class M state championship as well as a pair of CCC championships.
He was also named first-team All-State for all four years of his high school career by the Connecticut High School Coaches Association, is a three time All-CCC selection and a two-time New Haven Register first team All-State selection. The Hartford Courant named him their Player of the Year in 2015.
He leaves Weaver as the program's all-time leading scorer with 2,005 career points, their all-time leader in made three-pointers with 210 and their all-time leader in games played with 110. He was also a member of the school's National Honor Society for all four years.
Anthony Gaines is one of the biggest stock-risers in the Nike EYBL this year, not just in terms of New England, but in terms of the entire league.
One of four local prep products to play with the Albany City Rocks, he took the league by storm from day one of the first session in New York. By the time the month of April was over he had six double-doubles in seven games and had established himself as one of the top rebounding wings in the entire country.
It was more of the same this past weekend at session III in Virginia as Gaines shot 68% from the floor while averaging 20 points and 9 rebounds per game.
On the season, he’s leading a City Rocks team that currently has an 8-3 record in both scoring (17.9 points per game) and rebounding (10.4 boards per game) while his aggressive driving style is also getting him to the free-throw line at an unmatched rate.
Gaines’ value exceeds beyond just the individual stats though. He’s an elite defender who can already guard as many as four...
Looking at their roster heading into this spring's Nike EYBL Circuit, it was easy to envision Hasahn French's role for a loaded PSA Cardinals squad. When French wasn't benefiting from the vision of point guard Quade Green, who would find him for easy buckets, he would clear the lane of opposing frontcourt players with delusions of grabbing an offensive rebound, while teammate Mohamed Bamba skied high above the rim for the board.
You could've looked at rosters throughout the EYBL and made similar assertions about how certain players' skills would be highlighted playing alongside teammates meant to compliment them perfectly. What makes French's situation so unique is that he bought into his role immediately, without hesitation, and happily accepted wins as the fruits of his labor rather than individual statistics.
The result of putting team first: PSA (10-1) stands in 1st place within their EYBL division, while French has received more than a dozen new scholarship offers from high...
A Connecticut native, Vessichio previously starred at Berlin High School before transferring into WMA for the 2014-2015 season. He went on to become the team's captain and an honorable mention All New England performer as a senior.
A 6-foot-4 swingman who evolved into more of a true guard during his career in the prep ranks, Vessichio is now a versatile perimeter player capable of playing multiple positions, rising up and finishing above the rim, and making shots off both the catch and the dribble.
Below are some of his highlights from his senior year:
Sacred Heart High School senior guard Charles Fisher won't be going far from home next year as he recently accepted a scholarship offer to stay in Waterbury, Connecticut where he'll join Post University, a local division II school competing in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference.
Fisher is coming off three straight CIAC state championships at Sacred Heart. A highly talented individual player who could have been the top scoring option at almost any other school in the state, Fisher was content to accept a more supporting role behind the likes of Mustapha Heron and Tyrn Flowers in order to form one of the most dominant teams Connecticut high school basketball has seen in a long way.
Appropriately, his sacrifice paid off as both his abilities and unselfish nature were noticed and ultimately rewarded with a scholarship.
"We are very excited to add Charles to our team," Post head coach Al Sokaitis said after receiving Fisher's National Letter of Intent. "He is a great defender...