Alabama, baylor Recruiting, DePaul Recruiting, Florida Recruiting, Florida State, George Mason Recruiting, Georgetown Recruiting, Hofstra Recruiting, Kent State Recruiting, Marquette Recruiting, Maryland Recruiting, Miami Recruiting, Mount St. Mary's Recruiting, Ohio State Recruiting, Penn State, Pittsburgh Recruiting, Providence Recruiting, Quinnipiac Recruiting, Robert Morris Recruiting, Siena Recruiting, St. John's Recruiting, St. Mary's Recruiting, Temple Recruiting, Tennessee Recruiting, UC-Davis Recruiting, UC-Riverside Recruiting, UCLA, USF Recruiting, Villanova Recruiting, Washington Recruiting
2011 DESERT DUEL MEMORIAL – DAY ONE RECAP: COACHES GALORE ON HAND FOR ACTION
By Raphielle Johnson
With the second ten-day open period of the month on the back end it would have been easy for teams still playing to perform in a sluggish manner. But that didn’t happen on Wednesday, especially at the Desert Duel Memorial Tournament where a few games needed overtime to render a decision. One of those games was the matchup between Long Island Lightning Blue and Seattle Rotary Select, with the Lightning making up a four-point deficit in the final 30 seconds of regulation and going on to win by the final score of 69-65.
The guard tandem of Kareem Canty (2012; postgrad) and Melvin Johnson (2012) made crucial plays down the stretch with both being able to get to the rim off the dribble. Canty’s more of a scoring point who was also to make some nice passes to his big men after beating his man off the dribble, and the pull-up jumper he says he’s been working on was on display as well.
As for Johnson, he’s a very good perimeter shooter who can also finish with either hand once at the rim. He’s working on his strength and speed this offseason, and Johnson’s also a good on-ball defender who should get even better on that side of the ball with more work in the weight room. But the Lightning weren’t the only team with solid prospects in this one.
Standouts on the day for Seattle Rotary include forward Salim Goyd (2013), center Zachary Banner (2012) and wing Malik Barnes (2012). Goyd, who will have to transition from the four to the three at the college level, has range out beyond the three point line and was quite effective in pick and pop situations.
Banner, who is also a very good football prospect, is lighter on his feet than one would expect and his power was on display (including nearly running over the author on one foray into the coaches/media seating). And Barnes is an athletic wing who can flat-out rise, but the perimeter shot needs a little work at this point.
Schools in attendance for this game included Seton Hall*, Oregon State*, Virginia Tech*, Washington*, Washington State*, George Mason*, Miami*, Fairfield, Texas Tech, Siena, BYU, Stony Brook and UC Irvine. (*- head coach)
The day began with a look at the Mac Irvin Fire 16U team, which features highly-touted 2014 prospect Jahlil Okafor. He didn’t have one of his best games but there were also flashes of the talent that has so many elite coaches pining for his commitment.
Okafor, who has recently been offered by Ohio State and Tennessee, played in front of schools such as Illinois*, Oklahoma State*, Washington State*, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, DePaul, Xavier, Colorado State, Florida State, Auburn, Tennessee, Michigan State, South Florida, Missouri and Harvard.
Also playing well for the Fire 16′s was guard Kyle Davis (2013), who was quick to the basket off the dribble while also showing off the ability to hit the open man once the defense the collapses. From there it was on to Team 94, which features Providence target McKenzie Moore (2012). Unfortunately for Team 94 he was lost in the second half due to an ankle injury, but his distribution ability in the first half played a large role in their jumping out to a lead as large as 20 (22-2).
The perimeter shot needs work (it’s almost more of a set shot right now) but his ability to beat guys off the dribble and see over defenders opened things up for players such as Devereaux Manley (2012), who was arguably the best player on the floor.
Manley displayed a diverse array of skills, knocking down perimeter shots while also getting to the hoop off the bounce and even making a few back to the basket moves. He’s also a good defender who can take on a variety of assignments, even guarding interior prospect Charles Mitchell for large stretches of the game.
Playing well for the Worldwide Renegades was guard Chris Bolden (2012), who was crucial in the Renegades’ ability to cut the deficit to two in the second half. Bolden was able to beat defenders off the dribble in addition to knocking shots down out in NBA three-point range.
Schools represented at this game included George Mason*, Florida*, Oklahoma State*, Saint Mary’s*, Georgia*, Georgia Tech*, Virginia Tech*, Providence, Marquette, Texas, Nebraska, Richmond, Illinois, Kansas, Washington State, Cal and many schools from the WCC and Ivy League.
The game between Texas D-1 Ambassadors and Seattle Rotary Select brought out a number of high-major coaches, with a number of them looking to get another viewing of talented wing Alex Caruso (2012). But Caruso only played the second half, and that allowed some other players to shine with him on the bench.
One of those players was Aly Mohamed (2012), who moved to Houston from Egypt a short time back. While it’s obvious that he’ll need a little work in the weight room in order to drop weight, Mohamed is a very talented player who even went coast-to-coast (behind the back dribble) on one occasion. Keep an eye on Mohamed as he works on his body.
And if he can give those 20-25 pounds to teammate Jonathon Motley (2013) that would be an ideal situation for the Ambassadors. Motley can tend to drift with regards to his involvement in the game at times but the athleticism is quite apparent. When he goes from rim to rim Motley tends to be at his best, although right now he spends a little too much time out beyond the arc.
Schools represented at this game include Colorado State*, Washington*, Washington State*, Nevada*, Oregon State*, Creighton*, Oklahoma*, Fresno State*, Georgia*, Marquette, Georgetown, Pittsburgh, South Florida, Colorado, LSU, Arkansas, Nebraska, Boston College, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Iowa, Wichita State and Houston.
A number of Northeast schools were in attendance for Team Philly vs. LBA Seawolves, with Philly winning behind the efforts of Chazz Patterson (2012) and Brandon Taylor (2012). Patterson is an athletic wing with good wingspan and he’s more of a slasher on the offensive end of the floor. Taylor, who also played well in the loss to the Atlanta Celtics later in the day, displayed good hands and passing ability along with a solid pick and pop game (range out beyond the three-point line).
Schools in attendance included Temple*, Penn State*, St. John’s*, South Florida, Tennessee, Rider, Fairfield, UMBC, Penn, Siena, Wake Forest, Nebraska, Duquesne, Hofstra, Miami, Maryland, Quinnipiac, New Hampshire, Long Beach State and Fairleigh Dickinson.
Playing well for the DC Assault 16U team in their win over Team Phenom were guard Romelo Trimble (2013) and forward Rashard Kelly (2013), with Trimble knocking down perimeter shots and playing under control for much of the game. Kelly is an above the rim finisher who was also able to knock down open perimeter looks. For Team Phenom Joseph Gripper (2012) was able to find gaps in the zone off the dribble, scoring himself of setting up teammates for good looks.
Schools represented at this game include Pittsburgh*, George Mason*, Virginia Tech*, Miami*, South Florida, Maryland, Xavier, Temple, Dartmouth, New Hampshire, Albany, Quinnipiac, Northeastern, American, Princeton, Penn and Fairfield.
Both Kelly and Trimble noted the influence that former Duke player Nolan Smith has had, with the first round draft pick being a good influence for both. Of course Smith was ejected from a game later in the day for arguing with an official but the officiating at a lot of AAU events tends to move coaches (Smith is helping coach his former club) past their breaking point.
Schools at the New Jersey Playaz (17′s) vs. I-Can All-Stars game included St. John’s*, Pittsburgh*, Seton Hall*, Florida*, UCLA*, Nevada*, Miami*, Georgetown, Villanova, Monmouth, UC Irvine, Siena, Xavier, Fairleigh Dickinson, Boston College and Temple. A number the head coaches made an appearance for Kyle Anderson (2012), one of the most versatile players in his class.
It’s been said here before and I’ll say it again: to attempt to fit Anderson’s game in one specific box does a great disservice to him. Anderson continues to work towards being an all-around player, and he sees himself as a coach on the floor as well. Also playing well for the Playaz were guards Darrick Wood (2012) and Sekou Harris (2012) and big man Neville Fincher (2012).
In the Playaz 16U’s win over DC Assault 16U at night Kavon Stewart (2013) was on of the standouts, showing off some serious speed off the dribble (although there were a couple instances when he was a little too fancy) and a nice pull-up jumper. Schools represented at the game included Pittsburgh*, DePaul, Villanova, Kansas and Miami.
- In speaking with Kyle Anderson, he stated that he and his parents will discuss his recruitment, with the question centering around Dominic Artis commiting to UCLA a few days ago. The Bruins are on his list along with Florida, Georgetown, St. John’s and Seton Hall.
- McKenzie Moore of Team 94 is considering Providence‘s request that he possibly enroll this year instead of in 2012 but will talk things over with his parents in the coming weeks. What it will come down to is what provides the best opportunity for him to be successful. Saint Mary’s is also in consideration for Moore’s services.
- Team 94 teammate Devereaux Manley displayed his versatility on both ends of the floor in their win over the Worldwide Renegades, even guarding the powerful Charles Mitchell for large stretches of the game. Kent State, Quinnipiac, Monmouth, Mount St. Mary’s, UC Davis, UC Riverside and a number of WCC schools are on his current list. He’ll be taking visits to Kent State, Mount St. Mary’s, UC Davis and UC Riverside next month.
- DC Assault 16 forward Rashard Kelly wasn’t too sure as to who all is after him at this stage in his recruitment, although he did mention Siena and Tulsa as schools who have shown serious interest.
- Teammate Romelo Trimble has received offers from Miami and UMass, and Maryland and Rutgers have both shown interest. New Maryland assistant Dalonte Hill was present for the 16U’s win over Team Phenom.
- Both Kelly and Trimble said that recent Kansas commit Conner Frankamp was the most impressive performer they’ve taken on this month.
- LI Lightning Blue guard Melvin Johnson provided the following list of interested (offers) schools: Temple, Providence, Rutgers, George Mason, Miami, Hofstra and Penn State. There were other schools that escaped his mind at the time as well.
- Kareem Canty‘s decision to hold off on a college decision and go postgrad (Westwind Prep) has resulted in more schools entering the fray, according to Canty. In addition to Florida State, Miami and Seton Hall the following schools have entered: Alabama, Baylor, UCLA and Washington.