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Discussion Starter #1
Hey, Black Bear fans, went to the MBR pre-season showcase Sunday afternoon at Southern Maine Comm. College where a Maine All-Star team played Brewster Academy.

Mostly interested in seeing Carlos Strong, Jordon Cook, Sean Costigan and Sean McNally.

McNally wasn't there and the game was, predictably, pretty much a one-on-one fest with Brewster winning big.

Strong is a nice looking ballplayer, but he had to work real hard to bring the ball up against the Brewster full-court pressure and, once he did, he'd never get it back so didn't see much of his shot or penetration skills. It was pretty much one pass and shot all the time. There's a kid from Gorham who loves to dribble. Don't remember his name.

My impression is that Cook and Costigan can develop into nice AE players. Although, like most high school guys coming into college, they'll learn real fast that you only think you're hustling in high school compared to what is expected in college.

Any number of times, a lack of sprinting back to cover the basket led to easy hoops. Then again, it was an exhibition. Like Cook's hands and he obviously has a nice touch on his shot and feel for the game. Costigan seemed to be bothered by Brewster's active defense getting out on his shot, but he runs the floor nicely and doesn't mind mixing it up.

Those are my first impressions and heavily skewed because of the type of game it was. No real team play. Just a lot of dribbling.
 

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Thanks for the report Chet!

I know that some are questioning Cook's ability at the next level, but the fact that he HAS HANDS is a major point in his favor. A 6-10 high school player with hands and a soft touch sound good to me. You can't teach size either, but you can add bulk by spending some time with a trainer in the weight room.

Has Strong's stock dropped some? I haven't heard as much about him, and have not seen him mentioned on any recruiting sites. Pretty weird considering that he is considered the #1 or #2 senior in Maine (and ahead of Cook and Costigan).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I was told the same thing by someone, but he looks like a stout guard to me. His stroke looks sound, but like I said, I only saw him take two or three shots and two free throws. Brought the ball up against constant pressure and handled it nicely I thought. But the game was just so ragged.

Hoping to get a chance to see him and the others in a team setting later this winter. Of course, they'll be playing much inferior competition. I liked Strong for his composure alone yesterday. Brewster guys were all over Maine team, getting their hands on everything. Strong seemed unfazed for the most part.

Also, I didn't mention this in an earlier post: I thought Cook showed something when he took a feed from Strong (I think it was) along the left block and was lining up for a two-hand flush. A collision in the lane sent a Brewster player to the floor and, feeling the player underneath him, Cook adjusted his shot and laid it in and avoided a nasty spill at the same time. Maybe added strength will allow him to go ahead with the slam, but he still finished. Little item, but I think it does show a court awareness and ability with the ball.
 

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Chet,
Any thoughts on Logan Bouchard of Old Town? I've heard he had a great weekend and may have been the best player at the showcase, and that he also won the dunk contest. I've seen him play in years past, and didn't think he was as good as some have hyped him up to be. I do think with a bit of work on his jumper and overall work ethic, he could play at the America East level, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I thought of the guys that I'd never heard of, he looked pretty good. He's a strong looking kid, but if I had a reservation, it'd be his lateral quickness, kind of heavy legged. Then again, there wasn't a whole lot of defense being played by anyone. I did notice that he could get off the floor with a couple steps to wind it up. The problem with that, as you know, is that good defenses don't give you the time and space to wind up.

Your comment about overall work ethic is interesting. That's a key point. Many of these guys are good basketball players, but their version of work ethic -- based on what I saw defensively yesterday and in high school games -- and what will be expected of them in college (especially if it's at the D1 or D2 level) is much different than they are used to playing now. But that's not really news. It is what it is.

Note: There was a guard out of Bangor Christian, name escapes me right now, but he looks like he's got a nice shot. He's got the typical Maine (outside-in) game and looks hard-nosed. Not sure what if any kind of interest there is in him right now. But I liked the looks of his stroke. Maybe a walk-on? I think he was about 6-foot, 6-1?
 

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Bouchard is a 6 foot senior pg from Old Town, who really exploded over the summer, even outplayed Socoby head to head from some reports of summer league games. The Wiz had him at #7 I believe in his preseason rankings. He is probably one of the better ballhandlers in the state, and is easily one of the most explosive. He needs to really work on his jumper, especially if he wants to play at the D1 level. He has a slightly funky release, which could use some refinement. He definitley can get his own shot because of his quickness, but looks to go to the hoop every time - which he is also very good at, and can finish strong in traffic. As for defense, it's hard to say based on pickup/allstar games, but with his quickness, all he needs to be a successful defender is a desire to work hard on the defensive end.
 

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Chet the Jet said:
There was a guard out of Bangor Christian, name escapes me right now, but he looks like he's got a nice shot. He's got the typical Maine (outside-in) game and looks hard-nosed. Not sure what if any kind of interest there is in him right now. But I liked the looks of his stroke. Maybe a walk-on? I think he was about 6-foot, 6-1?
This sounds like Brock Bradford. He reminds me a lot of Zak Ray, who won Mr. Basketball in 2003 and is now at Bates. Another name that comes to mind is Jon Sheets, currently at Maine. Brock needs to spend some time in the weight room if he wants to play D1, he will be a very good D2-D3 player.
 

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Gentlemen- The WIZ has Logan Bouchard ranked #11 in Preseason Rankings but from what I saw Sunday he should be top 10. Needs to work on his jumper but he is athletic, can penetrate, great passing skills and runs the floor very well. I was impressed with his overal game though. Carlos Strong is still being heavily recruited I guess he is weighing out all his options. He scored 28 in the final game of the night against class A East. Brock Bradford is a Zak Ray type player and I really love this kid but when he plays against a higher level he tends to have a lot of turnovers because he is not use to the quickness at that level. I do think he could ajust if he played with that type calibur all the time. The kid mentioned from Gorham would be Jeff Manchester (Sprained his ankle ). He is good but I think you'll see him at the DII level which would be a good fit for him. I don't know what was up with Sean McNally I was looking forward to seeing him possibly matching up against Martin Cleveland. It was a great day of hoops.

Good luck to all the teams in the American East and Go BlackBears!

The WIZ
 

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Which schools is Strong considering? Is he waiting until May to commit? Someone mentioned somewhere that Boston U was one of them.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks, Wiz ... yeah, I was hoping to see McNally, too. I only watched the game vs. Brewster, but I could imagine that Strong, after playing against Brewster's pressure, took a veritable "walk in the park" vs. regular high school competition later on. Thanks for the info. I think Strong would look good in Black Bears blue.

Turner, Sheets, Bernal, and Strong sounds like a good firm to me.
 

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The WIZ learned today that Jeff Manchester has committed to DII Franklin Pierce. I believe that Jeff will Red-Shirt his freshmen year and then have 4 years of eligibility to play for the Ravens. He will join former Thornton H.S. star Sean Mayo on the Ravens roster.
 
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