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JULY EVALUATION PERIOD RECRUITING NOTEBOOK – PART I
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The opening July evaluation period has come to a close, ending on Sunday, giving players, coaches and media a short little break to catch their breath before doing it all again this week. NBE Sports spent time at the Lebron James Skills Academy (prior to the official opening of the evaluation period), Reebok Breakout Challenge, Hoop Group Elite Session II, Adidas Invitational, Reebok Showdown Championship, Nike Global Challenge and Nike Skills U in the past week. Hopefully everyone has enjoyed our coverage and we have greatly enjoyed bringing you news and notes from all the action.
Next up this week will be the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League Championship at the Peach Jam. NBE will also be getting coverage of the Under Armour Summer Jam in Milwaukee (WI). In the meantime, here are some additional recruiting notes gathered by Matt Whitfield from his time bouncing back and forth between the Nike Global Challenge and Nike Skills U last weekend…
Kuran Iverson has had a fantastic spring and early summer, pushing his recruitment higher and higher as his stock has soared. Always a player with loads of potential who seemed to only show flashes of what he is capable of, Iverson has consistently performed throughout the AAU season and terning the corner into status of an elite recruit in the Class of 2013. Accordingly, college coaches are showing him their attention, and he is noticing.
“I saw Jim Calhoun sit down with Kevin Ollie [to watch my game] so that’s good,” Iverson told NBE’s Matt Whitfield this weekend. “They’re from around my area.”
Iverson, who runs on the AAU circuit with Long Island Lightning, has attended Northwest Catholic in Hartford (CT), but will be heading off to Fishburne (VA) Military Academy (as reported by www.zagsblog.com) this coming year.
In addition to Connecticut, Iverson also noticed coaches from Kentucky and Indiana, whom he has had some correspondence with, take in the action of his games while in DC.
“I’ve haven’t talked to them [Indiana] recently, so I don’t know anything about the basketball program there..hopefully the coach will call me and tell me more about the school and I’ll be interested,” he said of the Hoosiers. “I’m very interested in Kentucky. They play my style of game up and down the court so I’d be real interested if they offered me.”
Iverson said if an offer came from UK he would definitely schedule one of his official visits to there. Also involved in his recruitment is Memphis, Syracuse, Florida, Oklahoma State and others.
“I’m open to everybody,” he said.
Kuran also holds a famous last name as he is a relative of former NBA star and Hoya Allen Iverson.
“I see Allen all the time,” he said. “I saw him last week. He was with my Dad. He tells me to keep playing hard out there and he tells me he’s watching.”
Ishmail Wainright, a native of Missouri who now attends Montrose Christian and running with Team Takeover DC on the AAU circuit participated in the Nike Skills U and updated NBE Sports on his recruitment.
“Right now we have SMU, Baylor, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma State, Duke, Syracuse, Tulsa, and a couple others,” he said.
The 6-foot-5 small forward is developing quite a relationship with the Duke coaching staff now that coaches are allowed unlimited contact via text or phone calls with recruits.
“Duke’s interest level is high, very high,” Wainright told NBE’s Matt Whitfield. “I talk to coaches mostly every day.”
Wainright claims a Duke offer and anticipates using one of his official visits to get a closer look at Coach K’s program this fall.
“They [Duke] offered three months ago,” he said. “I’m trying to [take an official to Duke].”
Team Canada had many familiar names in the Nike Global Challenge that coaches are very familiar with. One player coaches got a chance to see that they might not have known a lot about was Matt Etewe, a 6-foot-9 C/PF in the Class of 2013. Etewe will spend next season at Notre Dame Prep and is a member of the 2013 recruiting class.
Etewe definitely looks the part of an athletic post player and his recruitment will be one to track into the fall. Schools are becoming more and more familiar with him and his recruiting list is just beginning to formulate.
“Auburn, Purdue, USC, Marquette, Illinois, St. Bonaventure, and a lot of others,” Etewe told NBE when asked about his recruitment.
Only a member of the Class of 2015, Isaiah Briscoe did nothing to dispel the notion he is an up-and-coming elite prospect while participating in the Nike Skills U camp. Despite playing against older competition at every stop in the regular season, spring and summer, Briscoe never looks out of place. Schools he mentioned, on a list that will only grow longer and longer, as being actively involved in his recruitment this weekend were Miami, Florida, Connecticut, Arizona, Seton Hall, Cincinnati, DePaul, Pittsburgh, Baylor and Virginia.
Another playing opening plenty of eyes with his play at Nike Skills U was Lennard Freeman, a football player-turned-power forward from Washington, DC. The 6-foot-7, 220-pound Freeman attends St. John’s College High School in DC and runs ont he AAU circuit with Team Takeover DC, which is headed this week to the Peach Jam. An impressive run in North Augusta, SC could lead to increased recruiting attention for the underrated big man.
“I got offers from UAB, Temple, Rice, Delaware, Xavier, UMass, Towson and George Washington,” Freeman told NBE’s Matt Whitfield at Nike Skills U this past weekend. I have interest from Villanova, Memphis, and that’s it.”
That may be it for now. Freeman is out to prove he can and should be recruiting by more schools into the fall.
“I can compete with anybody,” he said. “Every time I play against a big time player I try and try to stop them and I’m usually successful at it and so I consider myself a big time player.”
At this point Freeman says UAB, George Washington and Xavier are recruiting him the hardest and he is planning to visit Xavier in the near future, maybe before the end of July.