Brian Bosworth, Connecticut Recruiting, Iowa State Recruiting, Kentucky Recruiting, Pittsburgh Recruiting, Rutgers Recruiting, Syracuse Recruiting, UCLA, West Virginia Recruiting
‘LIVE IN AC’ HIGHLIGHTS – 16U EXPRESSIONS ELITE VS. JUICE ALL-STARS
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On Friday in Atlantic City one of the main attractions was the 16U battles between Expressions Elite and the Juice All-Stars. Sherwyn Cooper of BallasTV.com (subscribe to his Youtube channel here) was in Atlantic City and took some video of the action on Thursday for NBE Sports, just as he did when Philly Pride and Team Final went head-to-head the day before.
In Thursday’s featured contest, the main headliner entering the game was Juice All-Stars Isaiah Whitehead. However, it was Expressions Elite big man Abdul-Malik Abu who continued his national breakout summer and turned in a dominating performance. The video highlights both player’s performance and it also features Abu’s teammates Damion Smith and Alec Brennan. Check out the video below to see all of them in action and a little more down the page is the scouting report from NBE’s Brian Bosworth on Abu, Smith and Whitehead, who is also featured in a recruiting update as well (stay tuned for a full Expressions Elite Update before the weekend is up).
Abdul-Malik Abu (Expressions Elite 2014) – Abu is a big name in New England who deserves to be a big name on the national level. He was a physical force on the 16U level dominating the paint in both games I watched on Thursday. A strongly built 6’8” and 225 pounds, Abu can both post up and blow by defenders off the dribble. He loves contact once around the rim and finished while drawing fouls on multiple plays throughout the day. While Abu is a wide bodied post player, that doesn’t take away from his elite athleticism as both his first step off the dribble and explosion at the rim are of the highest level. He had some of the fiercest and most powerful dunks of the day both rising over defenders and finishing through them. Abu can play anywhere in the country at the college level and his recruitment is starting to show that.
Damion Smith (Expressions Elite 2014) – This is likely one of the last times Smith will be referred to as under the radar considering the number of college coaches who were impressed with him on Thursday. A 6’4” wing, Smith couldn’t be kept out of the paint all day as he drove the ball with both hands and finished from a variety of angles around the rim. Mid major and even some lower tier high major programs are sure to be on notice of Smith going forward.
Isaiah Whitehead (Juice All Stars 2014) – While Juice struggled as a team on Thursday, Whitehead’s individual exploits were exactly what’s become expected of him. He’s impossible to stop off the dribble using both power and speed to bully his way into the lane. In addition Whitehead is one of the best tough shot makers in the class consistently hitting step backs and pull-up jumpers with defenders draped all over him.
Whitehead has a who’s who of college basketball after his services holding offers from UCLA, Syracuse, Connecticut, Iowa State, Rutgers, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, and “most of the Big East.” In addition Kentucky is actively recruiting Whitehead but has yet to pull the trigger on a scholarship offer. From the group Whitehead says that UCLA, Kentucky, and Syracuse stand out to him but especially Kentucky. He loves the Wildcats system and their ability to turn elite college players into first round draft picks. As of now Whitehead is planning to take his time and make a college decision after next summer heading into his senior season. He admitted, however, that an offer from John Calipari at Kentucky could change that time table and they have to be considered his favorite at this time.