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Elevate Hoops #ProvingGround: Session II Analysis
by Eric Hampford, Future150 (8:28 AM CT, Fri March 3, 2017)
2022 guard Zion Cruz had an excellent weekend at Elevate.
2022 guard Zion Cruz had an excellent weekend at Elevate.
Eric Hampford
Eric Hampford:

Future150 GM / Senior National Analyst. Covering high and middle school basketball.

Burlington, NJ (Future150) -- The Elevate Hoops 'Proving Ground' circuit has proven to be an elite middle school league over the past two years, and session II gave us plenty to talk about after last weekend. 

New York Rens 8th Grade Group Is Dominant

Session II marked the debut of the much talked-about 14U New York Rens group, and they were very impressive all weekend. Not only did they leave the weekend with an unblemished 3-0 record, but they had an average margin of victory of almost 25 points per game. Not only do they have star power with 6'9" big man Moussa Cisse as their centerpiece, but they have size, athleticism and depth across the board. At this point, they've made their case as one of the top three teams in the country. 

DC Premier Cruising In 13U Division

At the 7th grade level, there hasn't been a more dominant team than DC Premier, who's now 7-0 after two sessions of play. They are an impressive team led by a number of guards who come at the opposition in waves. They love to get out and run, while also taking pride in defending their basket. In a very competitive league, they are leading with a team-first approach, and it's paying dividends. 

Is Moussa Cisse The #1 Prospect In The Country?

The most talked-about prospect in attendance over the weekend was certainly New York Rens 6'9" 2021 big man Moussa Cisse, who continues to improve and impress. After arriving in the United States from Guinea last month, he's made his mark on the youth basketball world quickly. He's an absolute game-changer on both ends of the floor, and is incredibly fluid on the offensive end. Expect his name to really explode in the spring.

Session II Standouts:

Jaquan Carlos, 2021 PG, New Heights (NY): Leading his New Heights squad to a 5-1 record through two stops, the 5'11" floor general tracks as one of the elite prospects in New York City, and is arguably the most productive 8th grader locally. A strong prospect who is built to score, he can rack up points in a hurry while also providing high assist totals when necessary as well.

Kaleem Moultrie, 2022 PG, Team Final (PA): The long and shifty lead guard is a high-volume scorer on the floor. During session II, he had games of 25, 20 & 10 points, while also filling up the box score with assist and rebound totals as well. This winter, he's impressed us on mulitple occasions, and the future looks very bright for the Philadelphia product.

Zion Cruz, 2022 PG, Team Rio (NJ): An advanced prospect for his age, the 6'1" combo guard can do anything you ask of him on the floor. Right now, the game comes extremely easy to him. When he needs to score, he scores. When he needs to get others involved, he gets others involved. When he's engaged in the game, there is rarely a better player on the floor.

Khalil Farmer, 2021 SG, Team Final (PA): At 6'2" and a strong 160 pounds, there wasn't a more impressive wing in the field over the weekend when it came to attacking going downhill. He showed no mercy when slashing to the rim, and finished against contact regularly. We've been waiting for a breakout performance from him this winter, and that's exactly what he did over the weekend.

Kyle Duke, 2021 PG, Canade Elite (CAN): The 6'1" Toronto product is a pleasure to watch with his flashy style of play. He's incredibly smooth on the floor, and showed that he can score with ease when necessary. He's also a very talented passer and playmaker, who also plays defense with an edge about him.


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