The summer recruiting period has come to an end and while this year’s schedule was very different due to the NCAA calendar, there were still plenty of prospects who managed to completely change their recruitment over the course of the last few months.
Stock-risers, by their definition, aren’t necessarily the most highly recruited prospects in the class (although some of them now are), but they are the prospects who have played their way into significantly higher recruitment than they previously had.
With that in mind, here’s a look at some of New England’s biggest stock-risers in the class of 2020.
Matt Cross, Brewster Academy, BABC
Cross was on the high-major radar following his junior season at Woodstock Academy, he pushed his recruitment to the highest levels this spring though, finishing among the top ten scorers and rebounders during the EYBL regular season. His recruitment shot-up to the highest levels in correlation to that production and he has since taken official visits to Indiana, Butler, Miami, South Carolina, and Florida. The Beverly, Massachusetts native is also making one more move in the high school ranks as he’ll head to Brewster Academy in New Hampshire for his senior season. He’s a tough and versatile four-man who can rebound, stretch the floor, and is showing increased ability to put the ball on the floor.
Jordan Geronimo, St. Paul’s School, Mass Rivals
There isn’t a player in New England who experienced a bigger surge in their recruitment this summer. Geronimo went from having a couple of early division I offers to landing recent offers from the likes of Indiana, Providence, West Virginia, Xavier, Iowa, Virginia Tech, Texas A&M, Utah, and Boston College among others. The irony is that while Geronimo’s potential is now starting to emerge, he’s still only just scratching the surface. He has a ton of physical upside with high-level athleticism and a terrific frame on the wing. He owns a naturally soft shooting touch and should keep emerging as a shot-maker from behind the arc. Defensively, he has all the tools to be a game-changer.
Hassan Diarra, Putnam Science Academy, PSA Cardinals
Diarra missed the summer of 2018 with injury but had already played himself into both high-major offers and national rankings with a big junior season for Putnam Science Academy. This spring and summer though, he only continued to ascend. Diarra is a big guard with a strong body, physical attacking style, and very high-motor. Those qualities have continued to be on full display in recent months but he’s simultaneously added to his skill set. He’s becoming a more consistent shot-maker and also playing with the ball in his hands more often, which only makes his size that much more valuable. Coming into the grassroots season, he had three high-major offers to his name (Georgia, Texas Tech, South Florida) but has since added St. John’s, Indiana, Penn State, Wake Forest, Seton Hall, Texas A&M, California, Iowa State, Illinois, and N.C. State.
Aidan Carpenter, Lee Academy, Rhode Island Elite
Carpenter’s grassroots season got off to a challenging start as he bounced around to a couple of programs before finding his footing with Rhode Island Elite in mid-May. He has blossomed ever since, showing a combination of perimeter size, speed, and smooth playmaking ability that has made him a mid-major priority. He had picked up a few early offers but came into the spring with Rider being the only consistent suitor. Since then, he’s added at least a dozen new opportunities ranging from the American East to the NEC to the MAAC to CAA to Conference USA and others. Accordingly, Carpenter is playing with unprecedented confidence and making strides with his jump-shot as well. After two years at Hyde (ME), he’ll stay up north but make the move to Lee Academy for his final season in the prep ranks.
Reece Brown, Loomis Chaffee School, New Heights
Brown is another guy whose spring got off to a slower start as he initially struggled to carve out a role with a very deep Albany City Rocks team. The tide started to turn in June though as Brown found a more immediate opportunity with New Heights and was one of the big winners of the new June scholastic events as he showcased his elastic athleticism at both NEPSAC events. Now, in less than two years in the prep ranks, he’s gone from a prospect who could barely dunk to one of the best athletes in New England. He also holds over 25 division I offers at this point and is making strides with his face-up skill-set as well.
Sam Thomson, Brooks School, Middlesex Magic
Tyler Kolek was established as the leader and top offensive threat for this year’s Middlesex Magic team from day one, and he lived up to that billing, but no one helped themselves more on the Magic roster than Thomson. He didn’t land his first division I offer until April and now has his choice of programs from the Ivy, Patriot, America East, MAAC, and NEC along with other offers from places like Bradley, Elon, Wofford, and San Francisco. His versatility at his size is what makes him so appealing as he’s a 6-foot-9 big man who can make threes, put the ball on the floor, and pass it. He’s engaged on both ends and has a high basketball I.Q.
Thatcher Stone, Dexter Southfield, WrightWay Skills
Charles Coleman, Noah Kamba, and Jordan Mason had been the foundation of the WrightWay program since its inception, but with that trio graduating in 2019, no one knew what to expect from the group coming into this spring. Ultimately, guys like Kam Farris, Myles Foster, and Chuma Oyigbo all benefitted from the opportunity but Stone was arguably the most notable riser this summer. He went from the division I radar to mid-major priority in a matter of months. In fact, he has mid-major schools ready to take him right now, as a member of the 2019 class. He’s tough, athletic, and has the potential to play both forward positions.
Max Edwards, Bunnell High School, New York Lightning
A thick and powerful lefty wing with a soft natural touch and powerful legs that will launch him up above the rim, Edwards was doing damage in the CIAC this winter but proved this spring he could make his presence felt among the nation’s elite in the EYBL. He’s relatively young for his grade, especially by New England standards, and owns versatile tools that should keep blossoming. He’s at his best though when able to get downhill with the ball in the open floor and is a very good finisher around the rim. His recruitment now extends as high as the CAA with A10’s monitoring his progress.
Anthony Morales, Beaver Country Day, Boston Bocats/New England Rivals
Morales began the season with the same Boston Bobcats program he had come up the ranks with and showed signs of breaking out from virtually the very first weekend of the spring. He appeared in a BABC uniform briefly because of their collaboration with the Bobcats and then shifted to New England Rivals with his coach for the summer. While he’s still just scratching the surface of his potential there simply aren’t many guys who can match his combination of size (6-foot-7+), length, fluidity, and terrific hands. He handles the ball well, can make plays off the bounce, has finishing touch at the rim, and shooting potential. He owns multiple D1 offers now but has his best basketball still ahead of him.
Erickson Bans, Shea High School, Expressions Elite
Bans put up huge numbers in the RIIL before deciding to try out for Expressions’ EYBL team this spring. He may have exceeded external expectations just by making the team, as he outplayed other guards with higher recruitment, and then went on to carve out a role with steady rotation minutes during the EYBL regular season. What was most impressive was his natural feel for the game as he was able to adjust the volume-based approach he relies on in high school and show a natural instinct for the game to match his skill-set. In the process, he proved himself to be a division I caliber player.