Parker breaks onto national scene
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- The second day of our coverage from the Hoophall Classic featured many local teams. The highlight, however, involved a pair of games featuring out-of-town guests. Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia), led by Wake Forest-bound Tony Chennault (18 points), fought off Chicago's Simeon High School and wunderkind Jabari Parker (16 points, 8 rebounds) 54-50. St. Frances Academy (Baltimore) dispatched of pesky Newton North (Newton, Mass.) 72-57 behind undeclared senior Dante Holmes' 23 points and 10 rebounds.
Be sure to tune in to ESPNU to catch Monday's matchups of ranked teams:
St. Benedict's (N.J.) vs. Bishop O'Connell (Va.), 11 a.m. ET
St. Anthony (N.J.) vs. Westchester (Calif.), 1 p.m. ET
St. Patrick's (N.J.) vs. Findley Prep (Nev.), 3 p.m. ET
DeMatha (Md.) vs. Mater Dei (Calif.), 5 p.m. ET
StandoutDante Holmes, SG (6-3, 185)
2010, Baltimore/St. Frances Academy
Holmes is a good-looking athlete who played a solid all-around game, leading his team in both scoring and rebounding. He showed the ability to get to the rim, absorb contact and finish. He is a high-energy guy who gets out in transition and is in attack mode when his team has a numbers advantage. He is a threat to knock down an open 3 but prefers to play off the dribble and shoot from midrange or try to get to the free throw line when he can consistently make you pay. His strong build should aide him in quickly adjusting defensively to the college game, where his athleticism should allow him to defend the 2 or the 3. I like this kid's toughness and energy; he could be a good late pickup in the April signing period.
One to watchJabari Parker, PF (6-6, 210)
Parker, the son of former NBA player Sonny Parker, is a promising young player who showed very good instincts, along with an advanced game for a player of his age. Although he is an average athlete who should improve as he matures, Parker battles. He is smart and efficient with his movement, and he understands how to play to his strengths without forcing things. He is skilled enough to play facing the basket, showing a nice shot from behind the arc. He can put it on the floor and pass with either hand and can also help break pressure when needed. He is the first freshman to start for Simeon (something even Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose did not do) and already has asserted himself as a player his teammates and coaches can trust -- he is the inbounder against pressure and a go-to guy in key situations). A lot of time will pass -- and improvement should come -- before this young man steps on a college campus, but the obvious signs are there for him to have a bright future.
• St. Frances Academy's 6-9 junior Greg Lewis showed why he will be a sought-after prospect in the 2011 class, working his way to a 21-point, 7-rebound effort against Yale pledge Greg Kelly. Lewis has upside and has a great frame that can take a pounding in the paint.
• Rider is getting a good one in Neumann-Goretti's 6-6 combo-forward Daniel Stewart. He is a high-energy athlete who is active on the glass and is an explosive finisher in transition.
• Groton-Dunstable's 6-6 senior forward Ryan Romich, who is drawing a lot of Patriot League-level interest, showed a good blend of skills and athleticism. He had a nice stretch during which he knocked down a 3-pointer, blocked a shot and finished with a jam in transition.
Mike LaPlante has spent nearly 20 years coaching college basketball. Most recently, he was the head coach at Jacksonville State University.