I was in Schaumburg tonight to check out the 17U and 16U Greater Purpose Athletics teams. GPA has had a good spring in their inaugural season with solid players from around the surrounding Chicago area. Of the players who were at practice, here are the evaluations from the practice.
Elijah Brown (6’1 PG, St. Thomas More [CT])
A former guard at Schaumburg, Brown is a creative finisher that has some flash to his game. When he got the ball in space, he excelled in isolation situations where he could break down defenders. Brown made a few tough layups around the rim at difficult angles.
Edvin Bosnjak (6’8 PF, Schaumburg)
Bosnjak is long and moves very well at his size. He’s a good run-and-jump athlete that can finish off rolls and dives to the front of the rim. Even though he didn’t take many jumpers during the live portions of practice, he showed touch and a solid stroke during the drills. His length and rim-running potential are worth a look for Division 3 programs.
Anthony Ciaravino (6’2 SG, Mount Carmel)
Ciaravino was knocking down threes all night and has the type of consistent release that demands defensive attention. He might not be the biggest guard, but he stays in motion off of the ball and it doesn’t take him long to get up into his shot. That activity led to some open cuts and easy layups. Ciaravino plays to his strengths and makes the most of open looks.
Sean Clavadetscher (6’6 PF, St. Ignatius)
The physical, 6-foot-6 forward has a bruising style of play. Clavadetscher was rebounding at a high volume during live segments and used his frame to stay solid defensively. Offensively, he made some nice passes when the defense collapsed and scored on some dump offs.
Anthony Mordini (6’4 SF, Lake Forest)
Mordini does a lot of little things that will help a team win. His hard cuts and screens led to open shots for himself and teammates and he used his strength well to catch the ball where he wanted to in the flow of the offense. Mordini hit a couple of jump shots and guarded multiple positions. He is a quality role player that has good versatility on both ends.
Connor Mosele (6’4 SG, Notre Dame College Prep)
Mosele is a tough kid that competes as an on-ball defender and doesn’t shy away from contact offensively. There were multiple times where he was able to get to the rim in straight lines. During drills, he shot it well and has some range off the catch. Mosele projects as a floor spacer and defender at the next level.
Ryan Sammons (6’4 SG, Fremd)
The lanky Fremd combo guard has a clean outside stroke with range past the college line. When he had catch-and-shoot looks, they were usually on the mark. But his playmaking was just as good, making some nice bounce passes on the move to cutters and finding shooters off of his penetrations. Sammons has gotten bigger and should be able to play both guard spots going forward.
Maurice Thomas (6’0 PG, DePaul College Prep)
Thomas was the most impressive 17U player. He’s built like a modern lead guard, physical and skilled enough to create his own shot but smart and patient enough to run an offense. Shots were coming from all three levels, making a few open threes, hitting a turnaround and pull-up off a handoff, and getting all the way to the rim. Thomas made some tough shots and controlled tempo with his pace and passing instincts. He was also aggressive and disciplined defensively. Thomas is a rock solid point guard.
Matthew Casale (6’7 PF, St. Viator)
Casale hit some hooks in the post and displayed some solid footwork on the block. He’s got good size and plays hard on the interior to get positioning on both ends. Casale worked as a passer in the high-low a few times and scored through contact when he got angles around the rim.
Camden Cerese (6’2 PG, Lake Park)
Cerese is a wired scorer that plays with confidence. At 6-foot-2, he has good length and athleticism to get to his spots to shoot over defenders. He did a nice job of playing off of two feet and using his pivot to create scoring angles for turnarounds and floaters. As Cerese gets stronger, his aggressive driving ability should be even more effective. There’s a lot to like about his potential for Lake Park over the next few years.
Ben Person (6’4 SG, Johnsburg)
Long and rangy, Person covers ground well as both a penetrator and when rotating defensively. He looked good as a spot-up shooter during drills and has the ability to shoot from well beyond the arc. Person had a nice one-dribble pull-up and got to the paint for some scoop layups as well. When defending in isolation situations, he showed some flashes of using his length to contain and contest quicker guards which should only add to his value.
Tommy Rochford (6’4 PF, Lake Park)
Rochford’s combination of footwork, strength, perimeter skills, and feel are advanced. His wingspan allows him to finish hooks with both hands against size and shoot face-up jumpers over the top of defenders. He used his base well to seal deep in the lane and hold his ground as a post defender. Above all else, his smooth jump shot stood out. Rochford has a high release and shot it well off pick-and-pop actions and kickouts. Add in his high post passing and comfort putting it on the ground, and I feel confident in saying that Rochford is going to be a problem.
Brandon Watson (5’8 PG, Evanston)
Watson was a blur with the ball in his hands. He stays low to the ground and changes gears well to break down defenders. That blowby speed got defenders on their heels and allowed him to create opportunities. Watson is able to hit open threes and can finish acrobatic layups once he gets into the teeth of the defense. Being able to handle pressure and get to the secondary help are coveted traits that coaches look for in a point guard.