WEST ORANGE, N.J.- On Saturday at West Orange High School, Hoop Group hosted the Tip Off Showcase, bringing together programs from across the state of New Jersey for a two-day event.
New Jersey has produced NBA-level talent in the past, most recently Kyrie Irving, the number one overall pick in the 2011 draft, by way of Duke and St. Patrick’s (N.J.) before that.
Some nationally-recognized prospects whose names will appear on college rosters in the next few years showed up on day one of the Hoop Group Tip Off Classic. NBCSports.com evaluates below.
Another installment will be released for prospects from day two.
Melvin Johnson | 6-3, 175 lbs. G | St. Benedict’s (N.J.) | Class of 2012
Johnson (pictured) signed to play for Jim Larranaga and Miami next season. Originally playing for Rice (Ny.) before it was shut down, Johnson is a multi-talented and crafty shooting guard with an old school feel to his game.
He posted an impressive 29 points in a win over Plainfield (N.J.) on Saturday night, including a few big baskets down the stretch that kept St. Benedict’s in it, while they were struggling to score. In addition to his raw skill on the floor, he is vocal and plays with a controlled passion and confidence that will translate well to the college level.
Before signing with Miami, he was considering Virginia Tech and South Florida.
Quadri Moore | 6-8, 270 lbs. C | Linden (N.J.) | Class of 2014
At 6-8, 270 pounds and only a sophomore, Moore’s physical size is what makes him most appealing.
Moore had 13 points in Linden’s comeback win over Christian Brothers Academy (N.J.), showing his versatility on the inside and the outside.
The main thing to consider with Moore is that he is young. With his size, he has good touch with extended range, but needs to make his living more inside the paint, rather than drifting out to the perimeter. Physically, he must drop fat and add muscle as he gets older.
He has an offer on the table from Providence, as well as interest from Cincinnati, Seton Hall, Temple, Georgetown, Ohio State, and others.
Tyler Ennis | 6-2, 180 lbs. G | St. Benedict’s (N.J.) | Class of 2013
Ennis is not an ultra-athletic guard in the mold of Derrick Rose or John Wall. Instead, he uses all of his different tools, his craftiness, and his passing skills to be effective.
In a win over Plainfield on Saturday night, he had six points and seven rebounds, but his awareness was what made him a hero, grabbing a rebound off a missed free throw with six seconds remaining and laying it back up for two, which ended up being the deciding points in a 67-65 win.
Canadian-born, Ennis is not an electric shooter, but can still be solid within range.
He is already rated in the top 60 of his class, with high-major interest across the board. Schools who have offered include Kansas, N.C. State, Georgetown, Georgia Tech, Villanova, West Virginia, and more.
Dallas Anglin | 6-1, 165 lbs. G | Seton Hall Prep (N.J.) | Class of 2012
Anglin is signed to play for head coach Mo Cassara and Hofstra next season and will fit well into the CAA.
He posted 10 points and five steals against Columbia on Saturday night and has a good understanding of his role as a scorer, whether attacking the basket or working in the mid-range. He is not a knock-down shooter, but has the shot in his repertoire. Against Columbia, working the ball inside, he drifted out to the three-point line and hit two shots that spurred a second-half run.
Before signing with Hofstra, he was being recruited by Penn State, Manhattan, Richmond, Siena, and St. Joseph’s.
Isaiah Briscoe | 6-2, 185 lbs. G | St. Benedict’s (N.J.) | Class of 2015
Briscoe is the most intriguing prospect of the bunch because, though he is skilled already, he’s only a freshman. It’s scary to think how good this kid could be by the time he is a senior.
Every time I see him play, it seems he has added muscle, both to his upper and lower body. He is an impressive athlete with a strong handle, solid jumpshot, and ability to finish at the rim through contact. He had 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting in St. Benedict’s win over Plainfield.
Clichés aside, the sky is really the limit for Briscoe, as he’ll continue to grow, both physically and mentally.
He already has high-major offers from schools that include St. John’s, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Cincinnati, and others.