Expressions Elite (MA) surpassed expectations in 2018, proving to be a difficult riddle to solve for more than half of their opponents. Head coach Todd Quarles returns three veterans from last season, highlighted by super-sophomore Terrence Clarke. Expressions will bring an 11-man lineup to Atlanta, and they on paper, they look to have a more complete team in 2019. One thing certainty about Expressions is that they will defend at a high level. Quarles preaches efficient defense, and he has a group of athletes should stop the opposition at a high rate. Their entire rotation has Division I potential, and if they establish the proper chemistry and cohesion, Expressions has every opportunity to return to Peach Jam in 2019.
Clarke (247 No. 3) is the highest-ranked recruit in program history. Blessed with elite length and athleticism, Clarke is a bouncy wing that has a refined offensive skill-set. He has an extensive bag of tricks when attacking the basket, and his impact in the transition game will be invaluable. Clarke is coming off an impressive sophomore campaign for powerhouse Brewster Academy where he operates as the youngest player on the roster. Transferring to Brewster was terrific for Clarke's development, and the 6-foot-6 playmaker will be looking to improve on his 2018 EYBL averages of 8.6 points, 2.1 rebounds & 2.0 assists in 20 games. Clarke was a 1st-Team NEPSAC AAA selection, which is relatively unheard of in the league's toughest prep league. Clarke enters the season as 'the guy' for Expressions, and he's leaning on the experience he gained in 2018.
"After last season, I learned a lot from the older guys on the team," Clarke said. "The opportunity of playing for Expressions for a second year is a blessing especially on the best circuit in the country. I've worked tirelessly since we lost during Peach Jam. Now I want to show how much I've improved. Working with our director and coach Todd Quarles, I want to become more of a leader for this team as a returner to the league."
Expressions Elite sophomore Terrence Clarke (247 2021 No. 3)
Clarke is more than capable with the ball in his hands, but he will share the duties with four other guards. Junior Enoch Cheeks will see major minutes at the top of Expressions' backcourt rotation, and the 6-foot-3 lead guard from Providence, Rhode Island is ready to explode on the national scene. Cheeks transferred to prep powerhouse Putnam Science Academy in March, cementing the notion that his best basketball is yet to come. Cheeks is a high-major play-maker and can get you a bucket from all over the floor. Sophomore guard Bensley Joseph enjoyed a standout junior season for Cushing Academy and currently holds offers from Iowa and Richmond. Like Cheeks, Joseph can score it at all three levels. He's a tough, athletic lead guard that should excel with more talent alongside him. He likes to play fast and get out in transition, meaning his ability to facilitate should be on full display for Quarles and company. Joseph is an honor-roll student, and it's easy to see that his intelligence translate nicely to the basketball court. Local junior guards Aidan Carpenter (6-foot-5) and Erickson Bans (5-foot-11) will see minutes off the bench, and both have been with the program for years. Carpenter is an attacking guard and a great finisher at the cup at the high school level, and his size should allow him to guard multiple positions. Bans is dynamic with the ball in his hands while starring at Shea (RI) high school, and he will offer a nice sparkplug in a reserve role.
Dyondre Dominguez and Bas Leyte are the two frontcourt returners, and both will see expanded roles in year two. The 6-foot-8 Dominguez is long and athletic, and his game has proven to be effective against the nation's top talent. The junior averaged 7.0 -points and 3.3 rebounds in 21 games for in a glue-guy role for Expressions in 2018. He is capable of stretching the floor with his jump shot, and will need to improve on his percentages from last season (29%). Leyte, a 6-foot-10 big man from the Netherlands, will take on much more responsibility in the frontcourt. Leyte will be looking to improve on per-game averages of 3.6 points and 2.5 rebounds in 2018. Leyte provides Expressions with a big body and a proven rebounder, and the same thing can be said about his teammate Chad Venning. Listed at 6-foot-10, 260 pounds, Venning is a massive presence in the middle and will likely tag-team the interior duties with Leyte. Venning is a hard-working prospect, and the EYBL should be a terrific gauge for how much he's developed over the past year. Leyte and Venning will need to be productive rim-protectors for Expressions.
Trey Hall (247 No. 220) will see big minutes in a swingman role, and the 6-foot-7 junior is already being recruited by high-major schools such as Penn State, Uconn, Miami, and Providence. Colleges have become fans of his offensive skill-set, and with his quickness and athleticism, he likely projects as a guard at the next level. Junior forward John Adams wraps up the rotation and the 6-foot-8 big man nearly averaged a double-double for Wilbraham & Monson during the 2018-19 high school season. Adams is a skilled forward that seems to have a nose for the ball, and he'll be a great motor-guy for the back half of the Expressions rotation.
Expressions will have their eyes set on another trip to Peach Jam, and they should have plenty of optimism as they kick off the season. Clarke gives them a bonafide go-to-star, and if they can get a couple of members of the frontcourt to step up their production, Expressions won't have any noticeable gaps in their rotation. Again, if Expressions keeps up their defensive output, they will be able to compete with anyone on the circuit. Expect the Boston-based EYBL affiliate to put up a major fight in Division D.