On October 9th, 2019 the NJ Panthers basketball program hosted their 2nd annual college showcase at the Pingry School in Basking Ridge, New Jersey.
The event doubled in size for its sequel and hosted 25+ coaches from colleges looking to load up their rosters with the area’s hottest talent.
Basketball trainer and former pro overseas professional T-John Casiello lead the group of high-level 2020 and 2021 prospects through warm-up drills that tested footwork, ball-handling and shooting ability while also giving the athletes a chance to get above the rim for the colleges in attendance.
Half and full-court scrimmages concluded the showcase and gave us an opportunity to see the players go at it in highly competitive real-game situations on a rotating basis. The energy was electric and the players were into the action whether they were on the court or the sideline. The following is a list of standout players that caught my eye during the event.
2020 SF/PF Amir Britt 6’7 Westtown (PA)
Britt is a skilled scorer who displayed eye-popping athleticism with a windmill and reverse jam during the skills and drills portion of the workout. When gameplay began he showed much more than his leaping ability. He presented onlookers with versatile offensive skillset converting both at the rim and behind the arc. Amir does not hesitate to use his body to initiate contact, giving him the extra space needed to finish on either side of the rim using his length.
2020 SG/SF Lucas Green 6’5 Princeton Day School (NJ)
Green did a little bit of everything showing great shooting touch both off the catch and off the dribble while displaying solid vision finding teammates on good looks several times in scrimmages. He projects as a high IQ versatile wing that will give coaches the added benefit of a sharp-shooting perimeter player that also has no problem banging around the rim for rebounds and contact finishes.
2020 PG Michael Bressler 5’6 Watchung Hills (NJ)
The electric point guard may have been the most aggressive player in the gym. Every time Bressler had an opportunity it was a full-on track meet to the rim where he displayed both creative finishes and the ability to pass out of the trees into the waiting hands of open shooters. The Senior was an all-area selection for his contributions to Watchung Hills during his Junior season including stunning then-ranked Gill St. Bernards with 19 points including 11 from the charity stripe. That box score was no anomaly as Bressler’s attack-first mentality and razor-sharp handle more than makes up for his height helping him to bait wannabe shot-blockers into fouls with his agility and creativity around the basket.
2020 SG Justin Carbone 6’4 South Brunswick (NJ)
Carbone is a smooth knockdown shooter that also has the ability to make plays off the bounce. Shooting is his calling card but his defense showed brightly during scrimmages where he displayed quick lateral ability that enabled him to keep the ball in front of him all night. GMC Hoops voted him the conference’s best-kept secret after his Junior campaign. With a more prominent role this year after nailing 41 threes last season coaches need to get more eyes over to South Brunswick to see the highly poised floor-stretcher.
2021 SG/SF Kunga Tsering 6’6 Hasbrouck Heights (NJ)
This long and skilled wing is going to be a name to follow in New Jersey for the next two seasons. The drill sessions revealed a confident shooting stroke that translated seamlessly to the scrimmages. Tsering has a complete offensive package that pairs his shooting with the ability to finish at the rim in a variety of ways including above it.
2021 PG Ernest Carter 6’0 Rahway (NJ)
Carter is a quick, high-motor player who can and will change the game on both ends for his team. He never gives up on a play and ran underneath bigs to steal rebounds and poke the ball away multiple times during scrimmages. He was the peskiest defender in the gym and paired that with tight handles and mature vision offensively. Once he beats his defender his eyes are up looking for the passing lane first which you love to see in a young lead guard. His defense and pass-first attitude will make Rahway tough to beat.
2021 SF Daniel Boateng 6’6 Woodbridge (NJ)
Boateng pairs a great size and strength with a nice shooting stroke from the outside. He is aggressive and knows that he can overpower smaller wings and took every opportunity to do so. Sagging off is not an option and he proved that by consistently hitting from deep throughout the night when given the opportunity. Boateng also has no problem mixing it up inside and displayed excellent box-out technique to grab rebounds against bigger bodies in the paint.
2021 PG Christian Cevis 6’0 West Morris Central (NJ)
The maturity in Cevis’s game stood out immediately on Wednesday night. The high-IQ guard has a crafty offensive package that he uses to get consistent paint touches and bend the defense to make angles for sharp passes to open teammates. Cevis is a capable long-range shooter and uses that threat to bait defenders into hard closeouts before blowing by for easy dump-off passes. He was 2nd team All Group 3 as a sophomore and will continue to make more noise this year as an upperclassman. Cevis is right there among the best 2021 guards in the state.