NBE Basketball Report
Brian Bosworth

CLASS OF 2015 POST-JULY TOP 25

August 23, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

Earlier this month we released our Post-July Class of 2013 Top 125 Post-July Class of 2014 Top 75. Now this morning we release the Top 25 players that stood out in our early look at the Class of 2015, which is shaping up to be another blockbuster class in terms of talent. NBE’s National Recruiting Analyst, who spent July on the move with stops at the Hoop Group Elite Camp, Adidas Invitational, Nike Peach Jam, Nike Invitational and Live in AC, accumulated these rankings from his time on the summer trail.

Read on below for the details of the Top 25 players in the Class of 2015…

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CLASS OF 2014 POST-JULY TOP 75

August 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

Unlike the Post-July CLass of 2013 Top 125, the #1 spot in the Class of 2014 remained unchanged from our previous Class of 2014 Pre-July Top 40 as Andrew Wiggins did nothing but strengthen his hold on the top spot during July. There was some shuffling in the top 10 and we expanded the rankings to include the Top 75 players in the eyes of Brian Bosworth, NBE’s National Recruiting Analyst, who spent July on the move with stops at the Hoop Group Elite Camp, Adidas Invitational, Nike Peach Jam, Nike Invitational and Live in AC.

Read on below for the details of the Top 75 players in the Class of 2014…

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CLASS OF 2013 POST-JULY TOP 125

August 14, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

With stops during the month of July at the Hoop Group Elite Camp, Adidas Invitational, Nike Peach Jam, Nike Invitational and Live in AC…NBE’s National Recruiting Analyst Brian Bosworth is ready to release his Class of 2013 National Top 125. The list has exanded from the Pre-July Period Top 75 and also includes a new #1 player in the class.

The Class of 2013 certainly flexed their muscles on the camp and AAU circuit all July. The class is widely regarded as one of the best in recent memory with a deep pool of talent, especially near the top.

Read on below to see the current rankings as we begin to prepare for the 2012-2013 prep and high school season which will be here before we know it!

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‘LIVE IN AC’ – FINAL REPORT

August 1, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

The inaugural “Live in AC” event came to close by crowning champions at the 15U, 16U and 17U levels last Friday afternoon. The youngster division was taken by Team Final (PA) after a championship game victory over the NJ Playaz. Team Takeover DC swept the two older divisions defeating Expressions Elite (MA) for the 16U crown and Sports U (NJ) for the 17U. Stars from all these programs and others stood out on the road to the title and here is our final report from the Nl Playaz hosted event in Atlantic City.

Top Performance of the Day:

Josh Hart (Team Takeover 2013) – Hart’s physicality and aggression from the wing fuel everything that Takeover wants to do. His constant motor and “whatever it takes to win” attitude are a perfect fit for the hardnosed program. Offensively Hart puts pressure on the opposition with straight line drives at the rim. He finishes with both hands and welcomes contact once in the paint. On the defensive side of the ball he often takes the challenge of the other team’s top scorer and has the ability to be a shut down type guy. Hart also rebounds extremely well for his position often starting the break after a defensive board.
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‘LIVE IN AC’ HIGHLIGHTS – 16U EXPRESSIONS ELITE VS. JUICE ALL-STARS

July 28, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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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).

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‘LIVE IN AC’ REPORT — DAY II

July 28, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

Thursday at “Live in AC” featured a few big names playing up to their reputations but was mostly about under the radar guys getting a chance to shine. Here’s who caught NBE’s eye on the day.

Top Performance of the Day:

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.
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THE BATTLE FOR PHILLY AT ‘LIVE IN AC’ – PHILLY PRIDE VS. TEAM FINAL HIGHLIGHTS

July 27, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

A special treat for NBE followers…Sherwyn Cooper of BallasTV.com (subscribe to his Youtube channel here) is in Atlantic City for the ‘Live in AC’ event this week and took some video of the action on Wednesday between Team Final and Philly Pride for NBE Sports. These teams are deep in Philly roots and Jimmy Salmons and his staff with the Playaz Basketball Club certainly gave fans and college coaches a treat with some tremendous pool play match-ups and the talent in this game did not disappoint.

In our Live in AC Report – Day I, Brian Bosworth wrote about the performances of Rysheed Jordan, Miles Overton and BJ Johnson, all featured in the video, along with Rondae Jefferson.

Enjoy the video and we also included the scouting reports provided by Brian and his recruiting updates on Rysheed Jordan and Miles Overton from Wednesday as well…
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‘LIVE IN AC’ REPORT – DAY I

July 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

While “Live in AC” is only in its inaugural year that didn’t stop New Jersey Playaz director Jimmy Salmon from putting together quite an impressive field of talent. I’ll be camped out at the main Stockton College site throughout the tournament which features most of the 17U action with some of the younger guys sprinkled in. Here’s who caught my eye on Wednesday night.

Top Performance of the Day:

Rysheed Jordan (Philly Pride 2013) – An electric scoring combo guard, Jordan played in two games on Wednesday night and was the best player on the floor in both including a matchup with Team Final that featured a bunch of high major talent. While Jordan refers to himself as a combo guard it’s his ability at the point that stands out to me. He has unique athleticism for someone running the show and is able to use his physical advantages to explode past defenders and work his way into the paint. Jordan is best in the open floor when his physical tools can shine and his vision in high paced action also stands out. He has a great feel for the action in an up and down game and has a way of gliding through traffic and creating angles with his speed. In half court sets, Jordan punished defenders for playing off him by knocking down deep jumpers and then blew past them when they tried to press up on him. His decision making and knowledge of how to efficiently run a team still need work but Jordan’s physical tools already make him a high major priority.
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2012 PEACH JAM REPORT – DAY IV (PART B)

July 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

Saturday night at the Peach Jam brought quarterfinal action in the 17U field along with both consolation games and the semifinals in the 16U field. Here’s who was a cut above the rest in the games NBE was on hand for.

Top Performer of the Night:

Theo Pinson (CP3 All Stars 2014) – An explosive athlete, Pinson made a few plays on Saturday night that very few high school players can make. His length and bounce off the floor make him a threat to put defenders on a poster every time he’s around the rim. While his elite physical skills alone would make Pinson a highly coveted prospect, his feel for the game and basketball IQ are what separates him from other athletes. Pinson makes outstanding decisions both with the basketball and in how he moves without the ball. He understands spacing and how to create something when operating off the ball. It is a real transformation for Pinson over the last year as he has gone from a super talented athletic wing to a super talented athletic wing who knows how to maximize his physical advantages. Plenty of young athletes don’t ever turn into basketball players but Pinson proved Saturday night his skills more than stand up to his athleticism.
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NIKE ELITE INVITATIONAL 15U SEMIFINAL RECAP

July 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

While the Peach Jam took a long break during the afternoon on Saturday, 15U semifinal action at the Nike Elite Invitational more than filled the void. Elite talents both known and unknown had a chance to shine and here’s a sample of who impressed.

Top Performer of the Afternoon:

Thomas Bryant (Team Scan 2015) – Bryant is still far more prospect than player but his ceiling is enormous and all his incredible tools were on full display on Saturday. Growing rapidly and nearly 6-foot-10, the Rochester (NY) native who attends Bishop Kearney High School moves like a guard and possesses some guard skills on the offensive end. He is very comfortable shooting the ball out to 18 feet, and can handle and attack off the dribble. Bryant also backed his man down in the post but needs major work on his footwork when navigating on the block. Perhaps his most impressive offensive move came as a ball handler in a pick and roll when he turned the corner and dropped off a pretty bounce pass to his rolling teammate. Very few pros at Bryant’s size have that level of skill so for a 15 year old to flash it is borderline ridiculous. He also protects the rim and projects as an elite shot blocker but does need to become much more physical. Bryant can be bullied for position and doesn’t rebound as well as he should because of that but added strength and a better understanding of how to use that strength should clean that up.
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2012 PEACH JAM REPORT – DAY IV (PART A)

July 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

17U teams concluded pool play on Saturday morning and many of the games had major playoff implications. Here’s who stood out on the courts NBE was camped out at.

Top Performance of the Morning:

James Young (The Family 2013) – With John Calipari, Bill Self, Tom Izzo, and a host of other high major coaches watching courtside, Young showed why he is such a coveted wing in the 2013 class. He finished with 34 points, 12 rebounds, and 7 assists remaining in constant attack mode throughout his team’s win. Young’s 19 free throw attempts are a perfect indication of how aggressive he played throughout not settling for jumpers but rather forcing the issue in the paint. At a well built 6’6” he has the ability to overpower other wing players at the high school level and to shoot over them from the perimeter. In addition to grinding his way into the paint all game Young also buried deep shots going 5-6 from behind the arc mostly off the dribble. He uses a tight crossover to create space and then rises over his defender to sink shots. A clear cut top 10 player in the 2013 class, Young has his choice of basically any college program in the country.
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2012 PEACH JAM REPORT – DAY III (PART C)

July 21, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

Friday night at the Peach Jam is a session I will never forget. It featured a game between CIA Bounce and the Texas Titans that will be talked about in recruiting circles a decade from now as the nation’s best player made it clear he has no equal in high school basketball.

Top Performer of the Night:

Andrew Wiggins (CIA Bounce 2014) – Wiggins didn’t just have the best performance of the night or the best performance of the tournament, but rather had arguably the best single performance I’ve ever seen in an AAU game. Matched up head to head with one of 2013’s best in Julius Randle, Wiggins ended any lingering debate over who is the top prospect regardless of class. He finished with 28 points and 13 rebounds but those numbers don’t even do justice to the greatness that he showed. Wiggins is the freakiest of freak athletes consistently making plays above the rim that leave scouts who have been doing this 20+ years with their jaws on the floor. His CIA team was down double digits at the half and Wiggins came out after intermission with a focus and determination to change that. It took about two minutes for the standing room only crowd to realize what was happening and they soon exploded with every play Wiggins made. He attacked Randle time and again finishing outrageous play after outrageous play. Words and numbers don’t even do justice to the greatness that Wiggins showed on Friday night as he just operates on a different level from everyone else on the court. I said it during the end of the game and I’ll stand by it here; I believe Andrew Wiggins will become the best player in the NBA before his playing career is over. He is an unstoppable offensive force.
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2012 PEACH JAM REPORT – DAY III (PART B)

July 21, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

Friday afternoon in North Augusta brought 16U pool play at the Peach Jam along with a quick stop at the Nike Invitational. Here’s who managed to standout while NBE was watching.

Top Performer of the Afternoon:

Obi Enechionyia (Team Takeover 2014) – At 6’8”, the athletic forward showed off both an inside and outside scoring package. He flashed major bounce around the rim with a few ferocious dunks along with swatting away countless attempts at his own basket. While his work in the paint alone would have made Enechionyia a very intriguing prospect, he was also able to step out and make jump shots past the college 3-point line. The combination of owning the paint and being able to draw big men away from the rim by spacing the floor make it easy to project Enechionyia at the high major level for his college future. He needs to continue refining his ball handling and overall skill package and frankly could end up playing on the wing if his skills improve quickly enough.
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2012 PEACH JAM REPORT – DAY II (PART C)

July 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

Thursday evening brought more 17U EYBL action to North Augusta with star players on every court in the facility. NBE had the chance to see its share of the action and here is who stood out to us.

Top Performer of the Night:

Moses Kingsley (Arkansas Wings 2013) – While already a well known name nationally, Kingsley outperformed his reputation in a victory over Cal Supreme. The 6’9” center was an absolute monster on the backboard and protecting the rim. Credited with 11 rebounds and 3 blocked shots, my eyes tell me that both of those numbers are a little bit low. In a game featuring highly touted big men like Marcus Lee, Torren Jones, and his teammate Bobby Portis, Kingsley was unquestionably the best big on the court. His defense has remained consistent but offensively is where he has really taken strides since the April live period. Kingsley was able to finish through contact, flashed good footwork on the block, and even showed a developing off the dribble game. If his offense is ever able to catch up to his prowess on the defensive end, Kingsley could challenge for top center in the 2013 class.
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2012 PEACH JAM REPORT – DAY II (PART B)

July 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

Thursday afternoon I had the chance to watch elite 16U action at the Peach Jam while also skipping over to the Elite Youth Invitational to catch one game between the Jackson Tigers and the Carolina Hurricanes. Here’s who managed to impress.

Top Performer of the Afternoon:

Mickey Mitchell (Texas Titans 2015) – Mitchell solidified his status as the #1 ranked player in my 2015 top 15. At 6’7” the guard has a combination of skills rarely seen among players his age. He is an excellent athlete most noticeable today with an explosive first step in either direction. While Mitchell is a more than capable scorer once he beats his man, he truly loves to pass and has a unique talent for it. His vision and ability to whip the ball into tight windows are extraordinary and are what separates Mitchell from other wing players. While he does have a tendency to try for the outstanding play when a simple one will do, this is something that he should clean up as he gets older. I’d also like to see him be a little bit more selfish at times because Mitchell could be an elite scorer as well as an elite passer if he chose to be that. Learning to balance getting his own offense with getting offense for his teammates will fuel Mitchell’s development over the next few years.
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2012 PEACH JAM REPORT – DAY II (PART A)

July 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

After a fun sample of 16U action on Wednesday night, the 2012 Peach Jam kicked into full gear with 17U action taking center stage on Thursday morning. While plenty of players had standout performances, a trio of wings from the Oakland Soldiers squad separated themselves from the pack.

Top Performers of the Morning:

Aaron Gordon (Oakland Soldiers 2013) – After missing a large time of time this AAU season with a foot injury, Gordon seemed determined to erase any question marks about his health moving forward. He was better than ever before making plays from the wing that weren’t in his arsenal 12 months ago. Gordon flashed off the dribble skills that firmly project him as a SF going forward and make him an even more devastating player than I previously thought. In addition to his improved handle, Gordon remains the most electric finisher in high school basketball around the rim. He drew more than a few Blake Griffin comparisons after a series of ridiculous dunks in transition.
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2012 PEACH JAM REPORT — DAY I

July 19, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

While the 17U action for the EYBL crown will have to wait until Thursday, the 16U play kicked off Wednesday night. NBE was focused on Pool D for the night and had the chance to watch all four teams in the pool. The early game featured Southern Stampede defeating Each 1 Teach 1 while the night cap was a Texas Elite victory over The Family. A bunch of players managed to shine in the double dip led by a 2015 big man from Texas.

Top Performer of the Night:

Elijah Thomas (Texas Elite 2015) – In a head to head matchup with highly touted big man Diamond Stone, Thomas got the best of his friend who runs with The Family. He made a point to mention after the game that he was looking forward to the contest with Stone because he felt Stone had outplayed him earlier in the season at the Nike Elite 100 camp in St Louis. Thomas wanted another opportunity to prove that he was every bit the player and prospect that Stone is and did just that on Wednesday night. He’s an ambidextrous player who I legitimately thought was left handed for the entire first half until I watched him shoot his free throws right handed. Thomas is big, strong, and finishes everything in the paint with his left (off) hand. He welcomes and often initiates contact in the lane showing an ability to draw a foul and then finish anyway. Thomas can continue developing his game by expanding his range and furthering his set of moves on the low block but is already a very effective big man on strength alone.
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2012 ADIDAS INVITATIONAL – SUNDAY RECAP

July 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

Sunday in Indianapolis concluded a great week featuring all the premier Adidas sponsored teams in America. Champions were crowned with Eric Gordon All Stars (15U), Louisville Magic (16U), and Florida Elite (17U) taking home the hardware. Players from those clubs and others managed to shine on the brightest stage.

Top Performance of the Day:

Kasey Hill (Florida Elite 2013) – verbal to Florida – The week belonged to Kasey Hill and he capped it with a signature performance in a semifinal victory over Dream Vision. With most of his team looking sluggish, Hill took matters into his own hands erupting for 46 points in the best individual performance I’ve seen this year. Dream Vision tried every perimeter defender they had on the roster and Hill burned them all exploding by guys off the dribble, pulling up for 3-pointers, and grinding his way to the free throw line. As he had been all week, Hill was devastating in pick and roll sets where his greatly improved jump shot combined with his elite quickness make him an impossible cover. When defenders went under the screen, he buried the long ball and when they followed him over it he turned the corner and finished at the rim. Billy Donovan had a noticeable grin sitting court side because he knows that he has one of America’s best players coming to Gator country to run the show.
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2012 ADIDAS INVITATIONAL – SATURDAY RECAP

July 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

Saturday in Indianapolis was all playoff action at the Adidas Invitational and with higher stakes came stronger performances. All three age groups (15U, 16U, 17U) were represented at the main gym and players from all ages and all places managed to stand out. Here’s a sampling of who impressed.

Top Performers of the Day:

Daniel Hamilton (Dream Vision 2014) – The younger of the pair of brothers on Dream Vision’s 17U squad, Daniel is two inches taller and significantly longer than his older brother. While Daniel’s set of tools on the offensive end is not quite as refined as Isaac, he does have the middle game down to a science. He’s best scoring on runners or floaters going in either direction often using the back board from unusual angles. Hamilton has range out to the 3-point line but is consistently more successful when he puts the ball on the floor and pressures the defense off the dribble. Added strength, improved ball handling skills, and better shot selection can spring board Hamilton’s game to the next level.

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2012 ADIDAS INVITATIONAL – FRIDAY RECAP

July 14, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

Friday at the Adidas Invitational brought pool play to a close and marked the start of playoff action. It also allowed a chance to view some of the tournaments younger talent as the 15U pools wrapped up at the main site I’ve been stationed at. Star performances became the norm with one Texas big man standing out as top dog on the day.

Top Performer of the Day:

Jordan Mickey (Urban DFW Elite 2013) – The 6’9” post player was unstoppable in an afternoon playoff victory dominating the paint from start to finish. Mickey has outstanding footwork on the block and can score over either shoulder with either hand. He uses spins, drop steps, and a host of other moves keeping the defense on its heels all the time with his wide array of options down low. Mickey also succeeded from the high post where his 15 foot jumper is deadly and he can use 1 dribble to attack the rim. Still a bit on the slender side, a college weight room will do wonders for Mickey’s development and he projects as a go to low post scoring option within his first couple years on a high major college campus.
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