Dennis Gregory Memorial Classic Report
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Elijah Gertrude 6’4 Shooting Guard 2023 (Hudson Catholic Regional HS): Gertrude gets to the rim effectively in the halfcourt or on the break with his crafty handle and quickness. He finishes proficiently around the hoop using either hand. Also does a nice job initiating contact when driving to the basket, getting to the foul line at a solid rate. While penetrating to the hoop is Gertrude’s forte, he shows flashes in the mid-range with his pull-up and floater. Defensively, he uses active hands and good instincts to create steals. Also makes quick rotations when coming over from the help side to block or alter opponents’ shots around the rim.
Alex Rodriguez 5’11 Point Guard 2023 (Verona HS): Rodriguez has a smooth stroke from beyond the arc, making three-pointers at a solid rate when spotting up. He gets to the basket productively with his good burst and sharp jab-step move. Is a capable finisher around the hoop with his left or right hand, along with having a soft touch high off the glass. Rodriguez is a good passer in transition, finding streaking teammates for high percentage layups.
Nick Koch 6’0 Point Guard 2022 (Don Bosco Preparatory HS): Koch gets by defenders well with his speed off the dribble along with crisp crossover or through the legs moves. He scores productively around the rim with inside hand layups. When opponents collapse on him in the paint, Koch has a soft floater in his mid-range arsenal. Also is a good playmaker, hitting teammates on push-ahead passes for high percentage finishes in transition. Defensively, Koch moves well laterally. He does a nice job of limiting blow by drives against him when defending on the ball.
Ryan Pettit 6’2 Combo Guard 2022 (Rutgers Preparatory School): Pettit is a reliable floor spacer from long-range, making three-pointers proficiently when spotting up. He moves well without the ball, creating high percentage finishing opportunities for himself with sharp cuts to the rim. Also attacks closeouts well to get all the way to the basket. Pettit makes others better with his passing, finding teammates for high percentage layups on drop-offs and open three-pointers from drive and kicks. Defensively, he creates steals at a very good rate. Pettit has active hands that lead to steals when opponents are weak with their handle and his quick instincts lead to interceptions of opponents’ lazy passes. Also is excellent at drawing charges, consistently beating opponents to the spot when they are driving recklessly down the lane.
Terry Copeland 6’8 Center 2024 (Bergen Catholic HS): Copeland is a skilled finisher around the basket. He uses his well built frame effectively to get deep post position on opponents and score layups efficiently with his soft touch off the glass. Creates high percentage second chance layup opportunities for himself with his aggressiveness on the offensive glass. Also shows flashes in his post move repertoire using a jump-hook or drop-step. Defensively, Copeland shows good mobility sliding his feet when switching on wings. Also makes his presence felt on the defensive glass, using his body to block out opponents and limit second chance opportunities.
Starrell Hearns 6’2 Shooting Guard 2022 (Patrick School National): Hearns excels in transition. He does a nice job pushing the ball after corralling a rebound and using his speed to get all the way to the rim for finger-roll finishes. Has no problem playing through contact around the basket, allowing him to score layups for and-ones. Hearns is constantly active on the offensive glass, creating second chance layup opportunities for himself. Defensively, he uses good timing and leaping ability to alter or block opponents’ shots around the hoop at a solid rate for his position. Also has good instincts being around the ball when it comes off the rim on the defensive glass to be an effective rebounder on this end.
Damir Stone 5’10 Point Guard 2023 (St. Mary’s Rutherford): Stone has to be accounted for from beyond the arc. He makes treys on standstill attempts or when pulling-up off of ball screens. Gets into the lane well to create for himself and others with a quick first step. Stone has a nice floater in his mid-range game when he is not able to get all the way to the rim. He is a solid playmaker, finding teammates for open looks on drive and kicks. Also is willing to make unselfish extra passes in the halfcourt to hit someone else for a higher percentage shot.
Tarik Bicic 6’3 Combo Guard 2023 (Rutherford HS): Bicic gets into the paint well using a quick crossover move and nice change of pace. He has a soft tear-drop in the paint when big men take away his driving lane to the rim. Finishes proficiently around the basket with his explosiveness and good body control. Bicic can also hit open standstill three-pointers effectively when the ball is swung his way on the perimeter. He makes others better with his passing as well. Finds teammates for high percentage layups on drive and dishes or good looks from deep using his size to see over defenders. Defensively, Bicic has good instincts jumping into passing lanes for steals when an opponent telegraphs his pass. He also shows good effort going for the ball on the defensive glass and gets rebounds at a solid rate.