"It's All About The Game"
Super Team Showcase updates, Pt. 2
Ron Bailey, Publisher
May 8, 2014 - More standout players from this past weekend's Super Team Showcase are discussed below. Click here for Part 1.
Craig Lecesne - 6'7", 185 pound Class of 2016 forward, St. James (MD), DC Thunder - A native of Sweden, Lecesne came to the States last year and immediately faced adjustment challenges. "The game's a lot faster" he said. "It's a little bit more aggressive. It's more up and down. It's a little bit more slowed down, more methodical in Europe".
Possessing good perimeter skills - shooting, driving - Lecesne admitted to struggles applying them in the U.S. setting, again due to the speed of the game, including "getting my shot off quicker, attacking the rim", against "6'9" guys trying to take your head off".
He's made strides doing so. Though Lecesne at times can disappear, he's clearly more confident and aggressive, and plays more ruggedly.
Monte Buckingham, strapping up.
Colleges have taken note, with UNC-Charlotte having provided him his first offer recently. The likes of "Maryland, Colgate, George Washington" and others are interested.
Lecesne acknowledges the need to get stronger, and sees the weight room "three times a week". His training includes "a lot of complete body stuff with kettle bells" while also incorporating traditional exercises like bench press.
Aaron Thompson - 6'2", 160 pound Class of 2017 guard, Paul VI (VA), Team Takeover Black 15u - Thompson is a tough young guard that penetrates, scores and competes. His older brother has played an instrumental role in Aaron being one.
"My brother has definitely helped me be a better defender" shared Aaron of his older sibling, Anthony, a soon-to-be sophomore at Holy Cross that earned All-Rookie Patriot League status .
"My brother is real quick. He helped me to say on my toes a lot more. And he helped me become a better ball handler. He is also a quick defender, so I have to keep the ball on a string, so he doesn't take it from me".
Did Anthony grind him coming up? "Yeah, pretty much. Made me cry a lot" laughed Aaron.
It's opponents that are sad now, as Aaron drives, defends and battles. Being a lefty helps also, to which Thompson noted "I think it gives me an advantage. People are not used to playing against lefties all the time, so it can be a surprise sometimes. Lefties are special I guess. That's what they say".
He understands the need to improve his shooting - "expanding my range and getting a better mid-range" - while also being a more vocal leader.
Thompson hopes to be a point guard in the future, as it would make him "different than everybody else" who wants to score. For the record, Anthony is a PG also.
Aaron is tracking in that direction, even scouting future opponents: "I like to study their moves and see if I can get them down...In high school I study tendencies. "That's what point guards do".
Big time schools have noticed him, as interest is being received from "UVA, Virginia Tech, Miami, Maryland" and others, including "VCU".
Monte Buckingham - 6'3", 200 pound Class of 2016 guard, Henrico (VA), Team Takeover Black (16u) - Buckingham or 'Buck' as he's known on Takeover has caused quite a recruiting stir in his Richmond area. According to him, the likes of "Radford, Virginia Tech, UVA, ODU, VCU, Longwood, Cincinnati and Maryland" have all offered, while "Xavier, Florida, Miami, Villanova, Oklahoma" and UNC are showing interest.
What they see is a strong player that can shoot, has a smooth release and is not afraid of contact. As he indicated "The one thing I need to work on is my ball handling"; he's a straight line, power driver now. Doing so will allow Buckingham to be the combo guard he fashions himself as in college.
Zach Bare - 6'0", 185 pound Class of 2016 point guard, St. Paul's (MD), Maryland 3D - A player that relentlessly gets into the lane and finishes via layup, Bare is a tough player that seems to understand the game. Also is strong and in good physical shape.
"Just interest from Bucknell, Columbia, Longwood and Colgate" shared Bare of his recruitment.
In his estimation, "I have to play harder all the time. And play
better defense" going forward, as well as develop a "more consistent
jumpshot". He also agreed that more shiftiness is necessary on his
drives; Bare is more of a straight line penetrator. All of these things
are being worked on.
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