"It's All About The Game"
MAS: Fundamentally making a name for itself
Robert Stephens, Featured Writer
Organization is getting it done, basically.
Welcome to Mid-Atlantic Select Basketball.
"That's what we're going to find out real early. We feel like we have the athleticism, definitely", said MAS Director, James Lee during a break in the action. "Now it's just teaching these guys not to just play with their athleticism, but to play with their fundamentals too, so that's why we're stressing fundamentals in the first month of the season".
Christian Lutete being defended by Jermaine Ukaegbu.
It's not something new with MAS, as focusing on intelligent play has been a staple of the program during its five existence. "And it carries over to our college guys" remarked Lee of why he and his coaches take that approach. "They weren't learning (basics) when they went into college, they were already fundamentally sound. So once they got to the college level, they are just picking up whatever system that the coach is teaching".
Presently, the organization boasts an alumni list of "about 50 kids" having received scholarships, including "15 kids playing D1 basketball" last season alone. Of that group, three were all conference performers; Rodney Glasgow (VMI ), Zaid Hearst (Quinnipiac) and Malcolm Miller (Holy Cross), according to Lee.
The present roster looks to add to MAS' Division I player bonafides. Following are a few:
Christian Lutete, 6'3", 175 pound, PG swingman, Phillips Exeter (NH) - Headed to that prep school next year, Lee believes "Patriot League, Ivy League" and other academic oriented schools will be all over Lutete. The interest in him has extended to many others who will be monitoring the solid A student from McKinley Tech (DC) this summer.
"He has the best motor on the team" said Lee. "He can score, looks to shoot. Just one of the most underrated players in the area". A dead eye shooter, Lutete will continue improving his driving and must hit the weight room.
CJ Keyser, 6'6", 180 pound, Class of 2015 swingman, Patterson Mill (MD) - A high flying athlete, Keyser has to focus on "Just playing on the ball more, showing he can run his team better if someone was to move him on the ball a little bit" noted Lee. Additionally "his perimeter game is there, but just consistently having it there" is another point of development.
"Most of the Atlantic 10 - St. Joes, Duquesne, St. Bonaventure" have offered Keyser, while high majors such as Maryland, Georgetown and Cincy have reached out and are monitoring him, indicated Lee.
Lee believes Keyser is "top five" in DC-B'More, "possibly the best player in the area". More wiggle on his ball patting and overall strength development would aid Keyser in solidifying his high major status.
Donovan Walker, 6'1", 165 pound, Class of 2015 guard, St. Maria Gorietti (MD) - Another top shelf athlete, Lee et all are "trying to make him a better decision maker because his athleticism is fine for the next level". Lee believes Walker has improved in that regard, finishing "very strong at the end of the season".
Possessing long arms, this budding combo guard will put in on your head.
CJ Keyser is one to watch this summer.
Isaiah Lamb, 6'5", 190 pound , Class of 2015 swingman, Delaney (MD) - Lee said of Lamb "He can be that guy that can take pressure off CJ and Christian, he can score". That includes slash, finish and shoot. Is somewhat rugged.
Lamb already owns scholarship offers from Siena and High Point. He can add more by demonstrating he's back from an injury that precluded most of this past season, consistently shoot and get better fining teammates.
Jermaine Ukaegbu, 6'3", 175 pound, Class of 2015 forward, Springbrook (MD) - Lee believes Ukaegbu can be an 'X' factor, as "He can guard a lot of different positions", and has the potential to be a shut down guy.
Offensively Ukaegbu must get more confident shooting the rock and patting it, for college. Has good passing skills. Must hit the weight room as well.
Lee thinks the road for these guys is easier than past MAS performers.
"When we go to a gym now, we've got 30, 40, 50 guys coming to watch", he said, "where those (previous players) guys weren't fortunate enough, they had to beat people to get people to watch".
Those same college scouts will undoubtedly see this group of Mid Atlantic
Select performers beat teams as well.
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