MBNation Elite College Night recap
On Sunday, 34 of the best players in Maine -- high school and post graduate -- took to the floor at Southern Maine Community College for MBNation's third annual Elite College Night with 35 college coaches from various Division II and III schools looking on. The players went through a series of college level drills that involved playing in transition, ballhandling, shooting off the dribble, and scrimmage games against each other for the final hour of the session. The event was hosted and conducted by MBNation director Mike "Woody" Woodbury.
Here are the players who stood out during the course of this intense workout. Some of them are on the verge of landing scholarships and the coaches who have expressed interest had a chance to see them in live practice/game action, while others have flown under the radar.
Scholarship worthy players
Jayvon Pitts-Young (Portland High School, 2014) -- Coming off a great summer, Pitts-Young was perhaps the star of the night, not only executing the drills to near perfection but demonstrating them as well to the other guys in attendance who were not familiar with them. He is perhaps the toughest and grittiest player in the state, relentlessly chasing loose balls as well as defending and rebounding against players who are much larger than he is while displaying excellent shooting and ballhandling skills. To top this all off, Pitts-Young had just played a football game 24 hours earlier.
Zach Gilpin (Hampden Academy, 2014) -- Gilpin had a fine summer with Maine Athletic Club (Maine MAC) and was his usual self on Sunday, physically dominating on both ends of the floor during the scrimmages. He continued to show the ability to get to the rim at any time (often resulting in dunks) as well as shoot over people. He enters his senior year at Hampden as a legitimate candidate for Mr. Basketball in Maine.
Tanner Hyland (Bridgton Academy, 2014) -- Hyland is coming off a fine summer with MAC as well as a high school season in which he was arguably the best player in the state during the final month and a half or so, leading South Portland High School to a state championship appearance. He can beat guys off the dribble at any time as well as hit threes in bunches, and his shot was once again on full display on Sunday. Look for Hyland to have a big year for the Wolverines and secure a scholarship soon.
Gavin McTavish (Bridgton Academy, 2014) -- The 6-foot-7 wing showed off his athleticism to all in attendance, finishing in traffic as well as in transition. Physically, he is more than capable of being an impact player at the next level with his strength and leaping ability. His perimeter game is improving all the time.
Shyheim Ulrickson (Mt. Ararat High School, 2016) -- Coming off a first team all conference selection as a freshman at Mt. Ararat as well as an outstanding summer with MBNation, Ulrickson celebrated his 16th birthday on Sunday by once again displaying his tight handle, soft shooting touch, and devastating quickness against players who were in most cases two or three years older than he is. The question is not whether or not he will receive a scholarship but at what level.
Gage Feeney (Washington Academy, 2015) -- Feeney made the long trip from downeast Maine to participate in this event. The 6-foot-4 wing showed off a superior midrange jump shot as well as excellent rebounding ability for his size.
Rayon Miller (Bridgton Academy, 2014) -- The 6-foot-2 combo guard displayed the important ability to create offense for himself and others off the dribble by getting into the paint. With continued improvement on his shot, he will be a factor at the next level.
Nick Mayo (Messalonskee High School, 2015) -- Mayo has flown under the radar a bit, but he is a 6-foot-7 guard/wing (and still growing) and a very good athlete who can shoot it as well as put it on the deck. He's still a little raw but he has loads of potential. Look for Mayo to be one of the most improved high school players in Maine this winter.
Justin Martin (Winslow High School, 2015) -- The 6-foot-6 forward showed his versatility on Sunday by making shots, scoring underneath, and hitting the glass. He had a good summer playing with Maine MAC and projects as one of the top bigs in Maine this winter and beyond.
Simon Pitman (Bridgton Academy, 2014) -- Pittman's athleticism had the coaches and scouting services buzzing about the 6-foot-5 wing on Sunday . He showed the ability to create his own shot as well as knock them down.
Austin Boudreau (Cheverus High School, 2017) -- The lone freshman in attendance turned some heads with his shooting and playmaking. He's a 6-3 point guard with a tremendous handle and shot as well as the wingspan to wreak havoc defensively. His game compares favorably to MBNation alum and current Bentley guard Alex Furness. He is expected to start at point guard immediately for Cheverus.
Jack Lesure (Lake Region High School, 2016) -- Another kid who has flown under the radar lately, Lesure has blossomed into an excellent athlete with a high basketball IQ. Expect him to make noise for Lake Region this upcoming season.
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