Wednesday, July 2, 2014

USA National Select 2019 - Remember these Titans

Domination :  the exercise of control or influence over someone or something, or the state of being so controlled.
1:  supremacy or preeminence over another
2:  exercise of mastery or ruling power
3:  exercise of preponderant, governing, or controlling influence

USA National Select became the definition as it most recent 2019 group took Pittsburgh, PA by storm in the recent Basketball Stars of America Tournament.  Their undefeated weekend included victories of 79-14, 59-7, and a championship shellacking of 90-28. Their 49.5 average margin of victory topped USA National Selects Dream Team I (2021) of 46.5 set in the PAT Tournament in New York City earlier this year.  With a collection of players that have not received the level of national credit that they deserve; each member came with something to prove to the country and to themselves.  Upon analysis by P2, we can clearly say they have proven that they belong in any and all conversations regarding the nation’s best players.

Here’s what we learned:

Malik Anderson (DC) – How this player has remained under the radar is unknown.  A major contributor to is squad in the nationally acclaimed NYBL Anderson displayed from the opening tip of the first game that he is force to be reckoned with. A tough as nails defensive stopper who can flat out guard his position he plays the game with wreakless abandon and utter disregard.  His motor is one that if bottled every coach in America would buy it for their own teams.  Skill wise Anderson does it all and from all levels, starting with defense generating his offense Malik also displays amazing body control and finishes in a variety of different ways at the basket.  A future scoring point, Anderson also handles and passes with great purpose and efficiency – he can attack angles and gaps with great quickness with the ball and with the pass.  Mid-range touch and long range distance on the jumper complete this stellar package that must be considered a top national prospect by any and all.

Caleb Hodgson (MI) – Standing 6’6 Hodgson is an advanced and versatile big; not just a back to the basket player Caleb can function out to 18-feet and also shows the ability to play face up basketball and run both the pick and roll and pick pop like a seasoned pro.  With soft hands Hodgson is a greedy receiver who comes to meet the ball and can also pass in and out of the post.  Well trained, he catches and finishes high and run the floor on both ends.  With great length Hodgson plays the passing lanes in trap set and also serves as a phenomenal rim protector.  One of the most complete true bigs in the class without question; this is a player who is very good and on his way to great.  Without question a name that will be heard from in the future as his skill set and package translate well to the next level and beyond especially if he reaches the 6’9/6’10 range which seems more than likely.

Kevin Ayissi Etoh (MD) – This 6’2 wing is without question one of the top 3 to 5 athletes at the   Extraordinary length and lateral quickness his physical tools are scary; a terror in the paint where he is already finishing at the rim – he plays with controlled aggression and intensity.  Nothing changes the pace in which he plays the game.  His game in the paint is relentless while his mid-range game includes work off the block, jumpers that cannot be blocked due to length, and lane filling that puts defenses in fear just thinking about it.  Having trained most of the 2014 season Kevin is now ready to unleash his wide-array of skills to the country and he will dominate whoever is in front of him on both ends with his high end motor and diverse ability. 
position in this class.

AJ Hoggard (NJ) – We are very careful to distinguish a player with the title of “best in class” as it reserved solely for those that are able to prove and translate such onto the basketball court.  Hoggard is that player, forever a staple on the national ranking boards – P2 will document that AJ is the best passer that we have seen in the class of 2019.  Seeing play development two to three movements ahead, he has a special and uncanny ability to deliver on passes that other wouldn’t see and if they did wouldn’t have the heart to try.  These are not risky passes for Hoggard rather a tangible part of his actual game.  A game that he plays silky smooth and at his own pace; he doesn’t look like his is moving fast but he is always in the right place and the right time to make the right basketball play.  A true point that has for years displayed a primetime handle; viewing him in this instance was no different.  A solid jumper with range and excellent finishing ability through contact with a vast and impressive set of flips and finishes also are found in the Hoggard package and this include doing so with and through contact. A underrated team and on ball defender he plays on both ends and is a leader/coach on the floor.  An impressive player and person, he is the type of player every coach wants and every team needs.

Jordan Hairston (VA) – Your prototypical scoring two, Jordan puts pressure on the defense each and every time the ball is in his hands.   Able to penetrate the lane in small spaces he only needs a second to put himself into a scoring zone and to make a bucket.  Tough with a high motor Hairston is able to work his defender due to his ability to create natural space with a solid perimeter shot that must be honored beyond the stripe and off the pull up.  Able to guard both back court positions; his man defense is played less than an arm’s length away – a certified stopper he won’t be denied and with a short memory he will come right back and attack his man; on both ends.  The heart of a lion, his conversion to the lead guard position fully will make his a viable asset to any team.  Seasoned and experienced from years on the national stage vs top comp and with a year of NYBL ball under his beat Jordan’s time is now and he is primed for breakout and full assault on the national ranking board.  

Vannabbrey Thomas (OH) – A certified assassin, scorer extraordinaire – he knows what he is and he does it very well. With a Allen Iverson like frame Thomas utilizes his quickness and speed to flat out kill, kill, kill;  what makes him extra special is his catch and shoot where his text book release tickles the twine more often than not.  Transition game is simply unfair with him either as a lead or a lane filler; where he just might spot up and knock it down from distance.  Even with his frame his able to deal with contact and if he is sent to the line you can go ahead and count that bucket too.  Your ideal two guard, we see him as a future lethal scoring one that will pace and run a team and that he can get you a bucket when you need and any way that you need.  Scorer like this are not created they are born and Thomas is that type of player.  Needs to remain on the national stage as often as possible to ensure that his game is fully appreciated out of his local – one of the youngest in his age group; if re-classed he would immediately be considered top 20 in the nation that’s how good he is. 

Ryan Conway (MD) – A 2020 member and first time National Select attendee he proved he belongs; great size and strength he competed against the 2019 players without issues showing a propensity to find ways to score.Conway already has a super frame that can carry more strength he boards on both ends, but is exceptional on the offensive glass.  A very nice catch and shoot player who also can stop and pop in the paint with great consistency.  A student of the game who wants to get better and be the best; has to be one the best kept secrets in his class and in the nation.  At the 2020 level Conway is a prolific scorer and can dominate games and opponents.  Great free-throw shooter, excellent hands, and a soft touch – he is able to guard in space and guard multiple positions.  A unquestioned future star whose best days will be at the next level and that saying a lot given his high end status currently. Another player who MUST stay on the national radar and ensure he compete against this level comp regularly.   


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