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The Apple's Best Ballaz
Rumble in the Bronx 2002
Player Evaluations
- By Keith Mason

17 & Under

Sammy Mejia 6'6 SG Long Island Panthers 2003- Didn't play as well in this tournament as he is capable of  playing. His jump shot wasn't falling like it usually does, but he was able to score points in the paint and in transition. He may have been adjusting to a new team. But he did show the ability to make the nice pass, which I didn't know he could do. Unlike most scorers he does not force shots, which is one reason why he didn't score like he could, when defenses closed out on him he gave the ball up to his teammates.
Lamont Hamilton 6'9 PF Long Island Panthers 2003- Hamilton played very strong down low. He dunked whenever he got the chance, and rebounded well. His highlight of the weekend was when Shagari Alleyne tried to dunk on him and he blocked it, which is the first time I've seen Shagari have a dunk blocked.
Dante Milligan 6'8 SF Long Island Panthers 2003- He started the weekend off very good but faded after that. He showed a nice outside touch and the ability to score inside as well. His major weakness is lack of intensity and consistency. He has a lot of skills but it means nothing if you don't play hard.
Moses Gonzalez 6'2 SG LPAC 2003?- I put a question mark next to his year because I hear this past year he enrolled in Broward County Community College but failed out. And I know for a fact he is overage. But since he did play in this event and played well he can't be ignored. He showed incredible athleticism, to go along with a nice mid range game. He hit Tim Thomas Gold up with 22. He has a lot of skills, but will need to get his academics together to get anything out of them.
Marlon Smith 6'0 PG Gauchos 2003- Smith only played in one game, but the game he did play he played better then I have seen him in a while. He showed all the offensive skills, the handle, the quickness, the jumper. He scored 26 against the Panthers but he definitely shot too much, and made some bad decisions. One particular play where he made a bad decision, he had the ball in the corner and Shagari Alleyne flashed to the middle and was wide open for a dunk, but Marlon put the ball on the floor and dribbled through his legs a couple of times until Alleyne was called for a 3 second violation. He still has the skills to be a big time D1 point guard, he just has to improve his decision making and learn how to get his teammates involved.
Shagari Alleyne 7'3 C Gauchos 2003-In the first game I saw him he played very well. Making his shots in the lane and catching a very nice alley-oop. He caught it when he wasn't facing the basket, and turned in the air and put it in. Something he would not have been able to do a year ago. There were even a couple of times when he grabbed the rebound and dribbled up court. He is improving a lot and this summer at Nike Camp and in other tournaments that the Gauchos are playing in he will show how good he really is.

Russell Robinson 6'2 PG Gauchos 2004-Robinson played very well when he was running the team. He showed off a much improved handle, and as always the ability to score. On Saturday night he poured in 26 points against NCA (DC).  He runs a team very well, and knows how to get everybody involved when he is at the point. He didn't force shots, and took what was there which usually resulted in a basket.
Sebastian Telfair 6'0 PG Juice All-Stars 2004- Showed everybody why he is #1. He scored at will, but at times did shoot too much, but when the shot is dropping it doesn't matter too much. But he did get the ball to his teammates in the right spots when they were open. He showed off a sick handle, and the ability to make very tough shots, including fadeaways off the dribble. He got fouled on jumpshots more then anybody I have ever seen. Despite having many highlights the moment that drew the biggest reaction was when he was ripped by Armando Brace. But he made an example out of Brace, because got confidence and guarded him full court, so Telfair made him look real bad all the way up court, then put him in the post and nearly made him fall out of bounds before hitting a fadeaway. It will be very interesting to see him play against Darius Washington at ABCD this year.
Brian Laing 6'4 SF New York Ravens 2004- Laing has deceptive athleticism, most people when they look at him don't think he can rise, but he showed everybody this weekend that if you give him a lane he is going up for the two handed dunk. He rebounded the ball very well, and he showed the ability to hit the outside shot, and handle. If he can continue to improve his guard skills he will be a high major prospect. 

16 & Under

Keith Benjamin 6'1 SG Riverside Church 2004-Benjamin showed me he can hit the outside shot, which is something I didn't know he could do. He also showed he can handle the rock. He penetrated very well and finished in the lane. But the one thing I noticed he didn't do well was rebound well. When a team plays a zone they need their guards to rebound, but none of the Riverside guards got to long rebounds. 
Arturo Dubois 6'6 C Riverside Church 2004- I finally saw him dunk with two hands, but he got carried away, because the next time he got on the break he tried to dunk with two again, and missed and landed hard on the floor. While he is not athletic, he can score down low. In the team's lost he was the lone bright spot scoring 26 and made every shot he got around the basket. Arturo will have to work on his footwork down low if he wants to be a dominant player on varsity. 
Dave McClure 6'5 SF Westchester Hawks 2004- McClure showed a lot of skills this weekend. He hit the outside shot, got to the basket and is athletic. McClure will make a lot of noise this summer as well as next season. He showed me Westchester has some very talented ballaz.
Jason Holmes 6'2 SG Westchester Hawks 2004- Holmes can really shoot the rock. He was the team's best player against Riverside, he hit the three and took it to the hole strong. But in the other game I saw him he was a non factor, scoring 0 points against Philly JMC. He will have to work on his consistency to be a star.
Wesley Wicks 5'10 PG New York Ravens 2004- He played very well in this event. He can handle the rock, and finishes very well. He is very creative in the lane, which allows him to get good looks even when players are on him. Didn't really take too many outside shots, so I don't know if he has that part of his game. 
Dante Chisolm 5'11 PG New York Ravens 2004- He has a very similar game to Wicks, but he is not as strong but he shoots better. He played better here then I've seen him play before. He knocked down plenty of outside shots, and got to the basket and finished very well.

Shawn Hilliard 6'6 PF New York Ravens 2005- He is a very talented player. He showed he can handle the rock, and get points down low. He is not very athletic, but he is a very good rebounder. He showed the ability to draw the foul, and he knocked down his free throws.
Chris Bethel 6'5 C New York Ravens 2005- He is a very good low post players, and finishes strong around the basket. He is an excellent rebounder. An advantage he has over Hilliard is that he is athletic, and can soar over players for 2 points. 
Ricky Torres 6'3 SF New York Ravens 2005-One thing that can be said about Torres is he will put up shots. He won't pass up open shots, but his major problem is when he is on a 2 on 1 break he won't give it up either. He had a couple of games when his shot was dropping, but he also had a couple of games when he wasn't making anything. 
Antonio Pena 6'6 C Juice All-Stars 2005- He may be the best big man in the class of 2005. He can put the ball on the floor but he knows his place on the floor is in the paint. He has a nice touch out to 15 feet. The one negative thing I noticed is that he doesn't go after rebounds as hard as he should. If he can become a dominant rebounder there will be stopping him.

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