james1MSE National Select Pre-Combine Day I

The action heated up quickly as the top players from throughout the country arrived in Kansas to prepare to take on the nation at their respective age groups.  Pre-Camp shoot around and workouts looked particularly good as players spent time in the gym getting used to the court and rims they’ll be playing on, and shaking off any feelings of jet lag.  A quiet air of anticipation fills the hotel and grounds as each parent and player prepare for the coming days ahead.

Damin Altizer MSeThe National Combine kicks off Saturday morning 9am, and it’s a good thing, too, as camp is only two days long – International Clinician Damin Altizer arrived and greeted many of the players he’ll be working out and training; he too is tremendously excited to be in the gym with the most talented youth team in the country bar none.  Even with the combine missing some key pieces due to other commitments the collective talents on this stage out paces any other environment where youth basketball will be played this weekend.  Saturday will open with a 3-hours training session led by Altizer who plans to enlist a pro-level schedule for each player in attendance.  This will be followed by the installation of the national team offense, inter-squad scrimmaging and team event to close out the day.  Coach Francis anticipates a high level of execution in all aspects stating “even though we can out shoot anyone in the country and dominate as individual players – our goal is to out-execute any team that we face”; even with limited amount of practice time in comparison MSE National Select will be ready.  College Coaches are ready too; looking forward to the first formal presentation of the rosters and the national player profile updates that will be forthcoming at the conclusion of the combine.  Tomorrow this historic journey officially takes off; at minimum the competition should be weary and college recruiters excited especially with MSE NEW Video Recruiting tools being provided to all team members.  Check back tomorrow for the Day II update as things continue to heat up in Kansas.

MSE National Select Combine Day II

MSEWill Shields 68’s Sports Gym, in Kansas hosted top players from 12 different states – some coming as far as from Utah to participate in this event.  The word of the day was “intensity”; as MSE Team Trainer put the nation’s top talent through their paces under the watchful eye of Coach Francis and a gym full of locals who traveled to marvel at the talent from across the country at the middle school age group.  As word got out as to who was in the gym, top talent from the area joined the National Select Team; including Kansas’ top underclassman and future ESPN TOP 100 player Jeriah Horne the 6’7 , 225 pound behemoth with the soft touch who is averaging 35.5 ppg.  Each player competed hard in ever drill pushing each other and representing their home states and clubs teams.  Damin Altizer proved to all in attendance why he is the premiere clinician in basketball today; challenging Florida Guard Jalen Smith with pro level drills – which just as MSE had expected were met head on with high levels of success and aptitude.  As the day got tougher Altizer moved to ball handling, passing on to the players his arsenal of ball handling secrets; in turn making the National Select Team even more lethal than first anticipated.

6th graders- William Paige, No. 21 Joshia Hardy, No. 23 Jeremy Roach, Charles Harris, Jared Cross

Evan Young from Alpine, Utah class of 2022 who consistently works out with the famed Lone Peak HS varsity team showed diligence and dedication to the game and his craft as he progressed through each drill; already one of deadliest shooters in his age – Evan wants for there to be no weaknesses to his game and showed it in each drill.DC Blue Devil Kyree Banks as well worked to master his craft under the tutelage of Damin asking questions and making plans to enhance his game and the strength of National Select by scheduling post camp workouts; “this is why these kids are the best in the Country” Altizer said, “their consistent and persistent desire to get better, even planning to do more work in the future.”  Altizer wrapped up the workout session burning out the players with core work; showing to all in attendance the aspect of strength training.  Why is MSE National Select the best Team in the country; because they work harder and smarter than any other team – having Damin as the team trainer doesn’t hurt either.  Parents and players are still talking about the experience and expressing their delight in the MSE National Select staff.

Day II after session consisted on the man-to-man offence installation; players who are used to physically playing multiple games in “camp settings” practiced; YES WE ARE TALKING ABOUT PRACTICE! Each approached it with a depth of enthusiasm exhibited by champions.  Understanding that time had to be invested in this area each player gave their full and undivided attention to the details and nuisances of the offense.  Within just a few hours all players in attendance from multiple states, clubs, ages, and playing styles were working as a cohesive unit.  The intellectual growth and confidence of players like Josiah Hardy, class of 2020, 6’0”, and 125lbs – C) from Leesburg, VA. exemplified the purpose of this event.  Running and jumping is but part of the game, working as a skilled unit, communication, calling for the ball, finishing over smaller opponents with old school fundamentals showed why this player is one to watch.  Having already competed against some of the nation’s best in Shemar Marrow, Donavan Billings, and Jordan Toles in the past Hardy grew a lot in his time at the combine and is ready to play alongside these phenomenal players and is ready to be mentioned in the same breath. The Banneker King group led by PG’s, Samual Scott and Andre Crawley along with super big Andrew Reubottom looked solid all weekend.  Scott and Crawley both all weekend controlled tempo and operated like floor generals.  Whatever is going on in this program should be packaged and sold – with Jaden Johnson NOT in attendance his national ranking may have to be re-evaluated as Scott again made a claim for the #1 spot.  Andre was so sturdy and operated with attention to detail, showed a consistent jump shot and played defense all over the court.  Not a scorer by nature he showed range and the ability to take over in key moments.  Reubottom has the potential to be something really special, we have only seen a very rare few at this stage (class of 2022) who can catch, finish, rebound, and run the floor at an already huge and growing 5’6 – YES 5’6.  Once it all clicks he has the potential to dominate the circuit for years to come.

MSE National Select Combine Day III


6’4″ Jordan Mitchell (OH) C/o 2019

DEFENSE, yes! Day three consisted of the installation of the National Select Teams pressure defensive system; designed to wreak havoc on their opponents. Careful attention was provided to this aspect of trip with a classroom style session which covered the principles, concepts, and designs of the defense.  Trey English and Barry Evans out of Baltimore lead by example in the inter-squad scrimmage showing why their club is National Title Contender year in and year out; with effort and tenacity they raised the level of intensity for day 3 after a tough 9 hour Saturday session. Ian Golden from Tulsa also stepped up his game, showing poise and creating scoring opportunities for him and others while playing both ends of the court.  A big timer scorer on the circuit Golden showed the ability to play both ends of the floor effectively. Closing out the weekend the National Select group scrimmaged a group of Trainer Keith Mccullough students; one of Kansas’s top players who still plays professionally and former Victor William Basketball Academy Student.  The group consisted of high school players of which 3 where over 6’5 and actively competed in the NIKE EYBL with their in state club.  One might expect domination but such a large, older, more experienced, and talented group.  Well one might be wrong, if they did not know that for years Middle School Elite has been able to pinpoint and find the best player in their respective age groups.  When first seeing whom they were scrimmaging there were smiles and snickers – they too assumed this would be a cake walk.  The first example of how wrong they were was the tenacity of Jake Koverman from Severn, who took the ball at them offensively and at a “mere” 5’7 and in the class of 2021 vigorously competed on the boards and defensive end against players 6’4 and 6’5 respectively refusing to back down even when multiple attempts to dunk on him failed, showing his teammates and the crowd the heat of a Lion. Bobby Carson Jr. 6’2 swing, also exhibited future star potential using his length and penetration to score easy buckets, a new 2019 member, we expect next year to see a meteoric rise from him as he continues develops physically  – skill wise he is ready and will be a welcomed addition to the national stage and rankings.

The stars of the game and weekend were class of 2019 National Select Teammates Jordan Mitchell and Cole Mattiesen; both standing 6’4 they took over and dominated when they wanted throughout the weekend.  Both played a team oriented style most of the weekend but when the lights came on for game time each took it to another level.  Cole, a true back to the basket post threat rebounded, finished, and flat out dominated the paint – taking his game out to 15 feet he showed time and time again why he is considered one of the best in the nation.  Playing unselfishly Mattiesen, would receive the ball – kick it out, repost, and demand the ball again playing like a seasoned veteran.  Coles cerebral style is one of the main reason MSE is so high on him and it makes his skill set even more obvious as he is a player who can positively impact a game without demanding or requiring sets or plays for him.  A 4.0 student at one of the top academic institutions in Washington DC Cole will be making a HS and College very happy one day; MSE suggest that you meet him now before he falls in love with someone in the ACC or Big 10. Jordan Mitchell, 6’4 out of Ohio is as good as advertised, maybe better – a Kevin Durant type style with a soft touch only skims the total package that he is.  Able to handle, see over, and pass like a point the unselfish players finds ways to score and contribute as needed and more importantly when needed.  MSE will get a chance to see him again in the Ohio Top 20 Game on April 19th and 20th at PRO BOUND SPORTS in Blacklick, Ohio  (contact 240.440.0842 for more details) and can’t wait as there are so many aspects to Mitchell’s game 2 days isn’t enough to see it all.  At any point Jordan is whatever you need him to be – scoring in isolation situations, running sophisticated two man games from the top of the key and foul line extended, even scoring and setting up out of the post.  One of the most COMPLETE players in the class our only regret is that he was rarely tested during the weekend, but when he was he left no doubt.  He knows that legends are forever and his will continue to grow with performances such as the one we saw this weekend.  We like his range, he displayed a sturdy reliable handle, a very even keeled approach to competing – currently top 20, we see him without a question breaking into the top 10 – the National Selects future match up the Scottie Lewis of Team Rio will say a lot and is a match up we cannot wait to see.  Jordan clearly is ready for the challenge, he is ready for HIGH Major D1, and possibly beyond. Thank you to all players who attended – remember there is only one question they will ask and there is only one answer we will give.
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