Zero Gravity Live in Atlantic City Report Part One
Henry Bickford 6’6 Power Forward 2023 (Middlesex Magic-Corcoran/Needham HS): Bickford is a skilled scorer in the post. He can back defenders down and finish with drop-step or up and under moves. Has the ability to also catch the ball in the mid-post and rise over opponents with face-up jumpers. Bickford uses his long strides to take opposing forwards off the dribble on straight-line drives. He is a solid passer. Finds teammates for open three-pointers out of short rolls. Defensively, Bickford protects the rim well. Has good mobility and timing to block or alter opponents’ shots around the hoop when coming over from the weak side.
Troy McCall 6’3 Wing 2023 (ASA Select/St. Sebastian’s School): McCall has a smooth stroke from long range. Needs very little time and space to get his shot off. He makes treys at a solid rate off the catch. Also shows flashes of making three-pointers when pulling up. If an opponent closes out hard on him from the perimeter, McCall can put the ball on the floor and score in the paint with a soft floater. Creates high percentage of layup opportunities for himself with his good awareness of when to make sharp cuts to the basket. Defensively, McCall is consistently in the correct spots on his rotations when one pass away or coming over from the help side.
Ryan Jackson 5’9 Point Guard 2024 (Pro Level Titans/Fordham Prep): Jackson is an impressive shooter. He has range well behind the line. Defenders cannot go under ball screens against him with his ability to make three-pointers when pulling up. Provides some off-ball value as he can also hit treys when coming off screens. Jackson regularly gets into the paint with his shifty handle or subtle change of pace moves. If an opponent collapses on him in the lane, he can stop on a dime and get to his smooth mid-range pull-up. He is a solid playmaker. Finds cutting teammates in the half-court for high percentage finishing opportunities with thread the needle bounce passes.
Elijah Jean-Guillaume 6’3 Wing 2023 (New Haven Heat/Wilbur Cross HS): Jean-Guillaume creates lane penetration effectively with quick crossover or through the legs moves. Finishes around the rim with crafty finger-roll layups high off the glass using either hand. Also has comfort scoring near the hoop through contact. Jean-Guillaume needs to be accounted for from beyond the arc. Makes open standstill three-pointers at a good rate. Defensively, he generates steals well. Uses active hands to rip the ball away from opponents when they are not strong with their handle.
John Brigham 6’9 Center 2023 (Rise Above Basketball/Franklin HS): Brigham uses his wide frame well to get deep post position on opponents. Scores effectively on the block with a soft touch on his jump hook using either hand. He is consistently in the dunker spot at the right times for teammates to dump the ball off to him for high percentage finishes. Brigham is a solid passer out of the post when defenders double him. Finds teammates for cutting layups or open three-pointers. Also creates second chance opportunities for himself with his high motor on the offensive glass. Defensively, he does a nice job keeping his hands up straight. Forces opponents into lower percentage attempts around the rim while staying out of foul trouble. Brigham also is a good defensive rebounder. Uses his frame effectively to get an advantageous position on opponents when boxing out.
Luca Antonio 6’3 Wing 2023 (DTX Basketball/Trumbull HS): Antonio is a reliable floor spacer from beyond the arc. Has compact form on his shot. Makes treys at a good rate when spotting up. When opponents close out hard on him from the perimeter, he can put the ball on the floor to get to his smooth mid-range pull-up or runner in the paint. Antonio also can get into the lane using a sharp crossover move. He can create better scoring angles for himself when penetrating to the basket with a spin-move. Has the ability to finish layups from difficult viewpoints with his soft touch off the glass with either hand.
Will Laplante 6’1 Shooting Guard 2023 (Mass Premier/King Phillip Regional HS): Laplante is an excellent long-range shooter. Has range out to the NBA line. Makes three-pointers on the move or when spotting up. Shows flashes of hitting treys on pull-up attempts. Excels in an offense with quick ball movement and unselfish passing. When opponents make hard contests to take away Laplante’s potent outside shot, he has other layers in his offensive arsenal. Has a smooth mid-range pull-up, while also finishing proficiently around the rim with good body control and a strong frame to score through contact.
Azmar Abdullah 6’2 Combo Guard 2023 (BCRI/Bishop Hendricken HS): Abdullah makes his mark from deep. The southpaw has a quick trigger, making treys off the catch, on pull-up attempts, or when coming off screens. Complements his long-range shooting ability with a soft pull-up in the lane when attacking closeouts. Abdullah gets into the paint with his good burst or subtle hesitation moves to create for himself and others. Finishes around the rim effectively with crafty finger-roll layups. Finds teammates well on drive and kicks for open three-pointers when opponents collapse on him in the lane. He also has upside as a pick-and-roll playmaker. Shows in spurts the ability to hit teammates with pocket passes for high percentage finishing opportunities near the hoop.