PITTSBURGH, PA–We’ve been saying it for years and now the message is becoming more clear to the public. Ontario is not the only province with a major talent pool in Canada. Jerome Desrosiers backs up this statement on day one of #PittJamFest in Steel Town, leading his Brookwood Bounce Elite team in a mercy rule win (63-29) in their first game against Team F.O.E from Pennsylvania. Today they will go up against another home state team in JB Hoops.
There’s been a lot of chatter among the NPH National Rankings panel about the possibility that Desrosiers could be in the top three of the 2016 class based off of his size, length and advanced skill set. By the end of this tournament there’s a real good chance that he climbs in the ranks.
“You got to look out for Jerome, he’s going to be a problem. He’s a big kid that can shoot it and put it on the floor. The glue to this team is Richardson (Maitre), he’s our leader and gets guys open shots,” remarked Head Coach of Brookwood Bouce Elite, Nelson Osse.
Since first seeing him at Canadian Nationals last summer, the young wing player (Desrosiers) has added a fluid three point shot that has made him a major threat from all angles. He started off last night’s game going 3-4 from deep and finished the game with a high of 16 points.
Even with this efficiency, Coach Osse feels that the team could play at a much higher level with some minor adjustments and better decisions on offense.
“We started slow, you know… there was some rust since a lot of the guys haven’t had the chance to play with each other and shot selection was an issue, but in the second half things started to come together.”
Coach Osse expects his team to play with a defensive edge for the remainder of the tournament.
“To win games and get to the top we got to defend first. There’s a lot of guys on our team who can score, but there are other teams in the same situation so the defensive end is my main priority.”
Richardson Maitre and Kendrick Jolin are in charge of the pack and do a solid job controlling the floor. No matter who you have running the point, there’s very unselfish play from both and a strong ability on defense to fluster ball handlers.
“I think we played a decent game,” Jolin referred to the 34 point blow out.
He continues, “When we’re able to control the pace of the game better and get into our sets quicker, I think we’ll be ok. The goal for our program is to win the whole tournament and continue building a name for ourselves.”
Due to the proximity of this tournament to the Canadian border, there’s always a tonne of Canadian teams at Hoop Group’s Pitt Jam Fest, 38 to be exact this time around. Although we won’t get a chance to watch everyone, there are a few teams to keep a close eye on.
Team Boltt’s 16U team lead by the #2 player in 2015, Munis Tutu is coming off a championship at the Motown Showdown in Detroit and have sneaked out a one point victory last night to keep them in the winning bracket. U-Play Toronto (15U) is stacked with 2016 talent and could be working towards a tournament championship in the platinum division.
One of the scariest teams on the scene in the 15U division is YAAACE. The combination of size, very athletic guards and an overall speedy unit makes them a force to reckon with. Don’t be surprised if you here that they have taken gold in the Platinum bracket.
We’ll keep you updated with the action as games progress, be sure to follow along on Twitter @NorthPoleHoops