Every year, many players compete at Our Lady of Sorrows during the CYP Tournament with the hope of proving themselves. Two who fell into that category this year were tournament all-stars: former Lincoln star Dustin Hogue and New Rochelle’s P.J. Torres.
The two seniors played important roles in Frenji’s second straight CYP championship, a 90-81 win Monday night over the New York Panthers. The 6-foot-5 Hogue (PICTURED LEFT, IN BLUE), who is the younger brother of aspiring NFL linebacker Doug Hogue, scored 20 points and actually played impressive defense. Hogue keyed Frenji’s second half, which saw the defending champ pull away before the Panthers made a late rally. Hogue helped extinguish that rally when he caught a drop-off pass from Jabarie Hinds and rocked the rim with a slam that caused him to break out in a big smile.
“Lately, I’ve been off the radar,” Hogue told me afterward. “I’m trying to bring my name back up. It’s hard. I wasn’t here for so long.”
Hogue starred at Lincoln High in Yonkers before playing prep-school ball at NIA Prep in Newark, N.J., this season. Section 1 certainly missed him. As a junior, Hogue was one of three underclassmen named tri-county by the coaches association, joining Hinds and Torres.
“I wasn’t talked about before as one of the players who represented Frenji, like Jabarie or P.J.,” Hogue said. “I’m just working hard, trying to get back to where I was. I’ve gotten a little bit better, and I want to show people I’m still capable of doing what I can do.”
Hogue reiterated last night that he will enroll in another year of prep school. He does not expect to return to NIA Prep and said he is unsure of where he’ll turn next. One option: South Kent Prep in Connecticut, which would almost certainly land him a Division I scholarship. South Kent is the home to last night’s MVP and St. John’s commit Maurice Harkless and has sent a number of players to that level in recent years.
Without a doubt, Hogue had developed a great deal since last year. His athleticism sets him apart from almost any other forward, and last night he played harder than anyone on the court. He actually drew a couple charges in the notoriously interior-defense-free CYP. I heard last night that talent evaluators/scouts at the game believe Hogue is a low-to-mid D-I player. That’s not outside the realm of possibility.
It was interesting to watch Torres play in a game where he’s not one of the bigger players on the court. Obviously, it takes away his rebounding advantage, which is abundantly clear in any Section 1 game. Instead, the CYP forced Torres to show his ability to handle the ball, pass, finish at the rim and play defense. His shot obviously still has to improve, but he showed the ability to do everything else I listed above. One strength that doesn’t get mentioned here enough is how well he passes it. Torres might have been the best pure passer in the section this season. That’s how much of a strength it is in his game.
Torres scored 14 points last night and threw a few great no-look feeds. One went for another Hogue dunk, but it was also Torres steadiness that stood out. He earned the tournament’s sportsmanship award, so you knew just how seriously he took the event.
“Coming in, when my coach called me, he said this was a tournament where you can really see who’s who,” said Torres, who had a pair of second-half dunks. “Coming in, I knew I had to be aggressive and attack and play how I play to open people’s eyes. I think I proved I can play in the last two games.”