On Wednesday, Hawk Hill Hardwood examined the individual games of a number of players involved in the Eddie Griffin Challenge Juniors Game, on the Jersey side of things. Now it's time to look at the winning team, the Philadelphia juniors. Specifically we will look at Amile Jefferson and Ryan Arcidiacono.
Both Amile Jefferson and Ryan Arcidiacono are players that Saint Joseph's was involved with at a very early stage of the game. Amile, who plays for Friends' Central, participated in the Saint Joseph's Elite Camp on campus two summers ago, prior to his sophomore year of high school. Since that point, he has developed into one of the most highly coveted forwards in the country. He recently attended Duke's version of Midnight Madness, where they revealed their 2010 National Championship banner. Amile is also being recruited heavily by Georgetown, Villanova, and a plethora of other big-name programs. Amile stands right around 6'7 and is labeled by most as a combo forward at this point of his development. During the second half of Sunday's game, Amile showed why he is so well-regarded in recruiting circles. He finished with 23 points and 8 boards, the majority of both coming in the second half. Amile is still being recruited by many schools on potential, and you see these brilliant flashes. In the second half, from the left side of the bucket, he spun his man baseline and went around strong for a reverse lay-up. He showed a number of solid post moves on Sunday, and those moves will only improve as he continues to bulk up. Amile also hit a shot from three, another area of his game that continues to improve. He plays the game hard, plays it the right way, and has a special skill set.
While I had seen Amile play a number of times, this was my first time seeing 6'3 Neshaminy point guard Ryan Arcidiacono. Ryan has an offer from the Hawks, as well as offers from Temple, Villanova, Rutgers, Florida, Notre Dame, Boston College, and Georgetown. After absolutely exploding on the scene over the summer with his strong play, it seems as if a new high-major is getting involved with Ryan every day. In fact, Ryan returned from his visit to Florida's Midnight Madness the night before the Eddie Griffin Challenge. The Gators are one of many schools that have made Ryan top priority at the guard spot. He also, like Amile Jefferson, Kyle Anderson, Savon Goodman, Nick Faust, and more, attended Villanova's Midnight Madness last night. Ryan is a strong lead guard. He showed off his toughness driving into the lane on Sunday against bigger defenders time after time, unintimidated, almost seeking out, contact. I knew about his ball-handling skills and tenacity taking the ball to the hoop, but what most impressed me about Ryan's game Sunday was his perimeter shooting. His range easily extends 5 or 6 feet outside the three-point line. Although he was not entirely on his game, probably due to the Florida visit, Ryan still played a terrific game, finishing with 11 points, 7 boards, and at least 3 assists.
While neither Ryan or Amile are likely to suit up for the Hawks in 2012, they are still exciting players to watch. In addition to their tremendous basketball ability, both have a great desire to win and seem like stand-up individuals. Hawk Hill Hardwood will continue to track them this year in both their seasons and their recruitment.