The New Year’s Resolution presented by the New Jersey Sparks has become a staple on our yearly evaluation tour. Every January the event is loaded with talent from around the Atlantic Northeast with the occasional out of region team. This year the three-day event saw teams from as far as Florida and Virginia make their way to New Jersey to compete against some of the best teams in the country. Here is a look at some of the early standouts from Saturday’s coverage.
Abbey Lawrence (Newark Tech, New Jersey) – Although it is still fairly early in her prep career, Lawrence has earned a reputation as one of the hardest playing kids in the country. The 5-foot-9 wing brings an abundance of energy and effort whenever she plays and her ability to move without the basketball affords her the ability to consistently make plays on the offensive end. One area where Lawrence continues to improve is her perimeter shooting. Early in her career she would be streaky from the perimeter and off the bounce. As she has progressed and developed as a player, Lawrence, who is a member of the class of 2018, has become a much more reliable perimeter shooter.
Raven Farley-Clark (Queen of Peace, New Jersey) – With her college decision made and her future home in Baton Rouge at Louisiana State, 6-foot-4 post Raven Farley-Clark made her presence known early in her game here. Farley-Clark is a quality athlete who can block, challenge, and change shots around the rim. Her offensive game continues to show polish as she becomes more and more comfortable making plays with the ball in her hands.
Maryrita Curcio (Blair Academy, New Jersey) – As a member of the class of 2018, Curcio’s combination of size and ball skill can bring a lot to a college program. The 6-foot-1 forward has the versatility to play as a stretch four and the ball skill to play as a big wing. Curcio plays the game with a mix of energy and skill that makes her one of the more interesting prospects in the class. Over the year it will be fun to track her game and see where her development takes her.
Jennifer Davis (TPLS Christian, Virginia) – When you talk about playmakers in the 2018 class, Jennifer Davis is a name that is worthy of mention. At 5-foot-5, Davis isn’t an overwhelming athletic or physical presence on the floor but her basketball IQ and ability to make timely, and on target passes allows her to be effective working as a set up person. When the offense breaks down or the ball is reversed, Davis shows an advanced perimeter shooting touch.
Jordan McLemore (Immaculate Conception, New Jersey) – This summer and fall, McLemore impressed us with her ability to play at a high tempo and make sound plays despite the pace of play. This weekend, McLemore showed another side of her game as she played the role of a traditional point guard, ran the show, set up teammates, while also showing more range on her perimeter jumper than we have seen in previous evaluations. With McLemore’s athleticism and the continued growth in her game, she can evolve into one of the more sought after guards in the 2018 class.
Keil Moore is the Director of Scouting for the JumpOffPlus.com National Scouting Report and international scouting report. He serves on the Naismith Trophy Board of Selectors and has been a member of the women's basketball community for more than eight years as a trainer and evaluator. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.