by Alex Schwartz
Before getting into the recruiting news, we want to send our condolences to the family and friends of Josh Level. A standout basketball player from North Carolina in the junior class, Level sadly passed away last week, far too young. The guys over at Ball is Life put together a nice “Josh Level Tribute Mix,” which can be found Here.
On the trail, one of the biggest pieces of news involved a star dual-sport athlete. Derrick Griffin of Terry (TX) committed to Miami for football, in news that looks to have been broken by Peter Ariz of Canesooks to have been broken by Peter Ariz of CanesInSight.com. The class of 2013 prospect, who has signed a Letter of Intent, is expected to play basketball at Miami as well.
Griffin, who checks in at 6-foot-6, is a wide receiver/tight end on the gridiron and a power forward on the hardwood. He had been committed to Texas A&M for a long time, but did not sign with the Aggies due to reported academic issues.
Tyrek Coger of Word of God Christian Academy (NC) tweeted that he pledged to Middle Tennessee State. Coger is a 6-foot-8 center in the class of 2013 and he is a former Missouri commit.
by Alex Schwartz
Several high-major programs landed commitments in the past week, including a couple from the Big East. That includes a program from the Midwest coming into the New York metro area to land a top 25 recruit.
Jermaine Lawrence, a New York native who attends Pope John XXIII (NJ), popped to Cincinnati, per his Tumblr account. Lawrence, a 6-foot-9 power forward, is ranked No. 24 in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125.
Lawrence selected the Bearcats over St. John’s and UNLV. He is the fifth member of Cincinnati’s 2013 recruiting class and is a significant addition.
RJ Curington of Oak Hill Academy (VA) pledged to DePaul, according to Brian Snow of Scout.com. A 6-foot-5 shooting guard, Curington was among the better available players in the nation in the class of 2013 and is a nice late pickup for the Blue Demons.
Scout.com’s Josh Gershon had the news that Dion Wade of Findlay Prep (NV) came off the board to Auburn. A 6-foot-7 small forward, Wade is the second player from Findlay Prep in the class of 2013 to pick the Tigers. The other is Benas Griciunas, a 6-foot-10 power forward.
by Alex Schwartz
KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Monday was championship day at the ESPN Wide World of Sports for the 11th Grade AAU Nationals tournaments. Although Division I coaches were not allowed to be in the gym, NBE Sports was there to take in the action and wrap up our coverage of the event. A future SEC big man was easily the day’s top performer, while a rising senio guard who had a big week in Orlando listed a top three.
Bobby Portis was the clear cut choice for this spot from Monday’s action. A top-notch big man in the class of 2013, Portis is an Arkansas commit out of Little Rock Hall (AR). The 6’9 power forward was clearly the best player on the floor in the championship game and he was very impressive overall. Portis showed off some nice offensive skills and even knocked down a midrange jumper. He got the free throw line and displayed nice touch at the stripe too. Portis is not only tall, but also long and looks to have added some strength. Portis runs the floor well and demonstrated some very good passing ability. Additionally, he is a talented defensive player who can really impact the opposition around the rim.
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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst
The Elite 75 took place on the campus of Umass-Lowell on Friday afternoon bringing together the top talent New England has to offer. All of the area’s top AAU programs were represented including, but not limited t,o Expressions Elite, BABC, NE Playaz, Mass Rivals, CBC and the NY Lightning. I had the chance to catch up with players from all of those programs regarding their recruitment since the unlimited contact period started on June 15th. Starting with Expressions Elite, NBE Basketball will be profiling players from each of these six programs over the next few days.
Expressions Elite was well represented at this year’s Elite 75 led by arguably the top 2 performers at the entire event in Jared Terrell (2014 SG) and Abdul-Malik Abu (2014 PF). Both were dominant in early skill development as well as full court 5 on 5 game action. Before getting started on their stand out days, both stars caught up with NBE regarding their burgeoning recruitment.
Back at the Pittsburgh Jam Fest during the April open evaluation period Josh Level, a 6-foot-5, 207-pound wing wth Team Loaded 16U and the Christ School (NC) was impressive. Level undoubtedly caught the eye of many coaches in the stands with his combination of strength, athleticism and a smooth jumper that was knocking down three-pointers helping Team Loaded to a well-deserved 16U Gold Championship.
Not known for his shooting prior to this weekend, Level was deadly from long range on Sunday, hitting four three pointers and scoring 19 to help lead the way against Team Work and then hitting two more threes en route to 8 points in the championship game.
Level also showed his more well-known ability to slash to the rim, crash the boards and defend. He has some areas to refine in his game, but the potential is there to be a very complete young wing player.
Level plans to spend a lot of time working on his ball handling ability, especially in tight spaces to help his overall game improve and mature. Looking back on the spring AAU season, the time in Pittsburgh was a highlight for him.
By Alex Schwartz
PHILADELPHIA – In its inaugural year, the Reebok Showdown Series has managed to attract some quality teams. In fact, the field at the Philadelphia event this weekend is one of the best of any tournament in the month of June. NBE Sports was on hand for much of the day on Saturday and had the chance to take in some impressive performances and talk with some talented prospects.
Rondae Jefferson: One of the top players in the class of 2013 on a national level, the Chester (PA) star was at his absolute best on Saturday afternoon. Versatile enough to play three positions, the 6’6 Jefferson is best suited as a small forward who can be a secondary ball handler and also provide aid down low. With Jaren Sina not present for Team Final, Jefferson actually played a lot of point guard in this affair and was fantastic in doing so. He has a great feel for the game, sees the floor quite well and knows how to hit the open man. Possessing a great build, quality athleticism and nice strength, Jefferson is also impressive from a physical standpoint. The younger brother of Temple’s Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson, Rondae has an impressive skill set, gets to the cup with ease and can really score it. He continues to improve his game and does not seem to be done making progress.
By Raphielle Johnson, NBE West coast Editor/Recruiting Analyst
After one round of play on Friday night things got into full swing in Hayward with all teams playing two games on Saturday. There were many players who stood out, most notably a high-major talent from North Carolina. Below are some thoughts and recruiting updates from Saturday’s action.
- Player of the Day: Theo Pinson (CP3 All-Stars)
There were some very good performances on Saturday, but the way in which Pinson played for CP3 earned him this spot. Pinson’s an immensely talented player blessed with excellent athleticism, something he used to his benefit on both ends of the floor.
Offensively Pinson was able to get to the basket off the dribble at will, and he has to be considered as one of the top athletes in the 2014 class. Pinson showed off the ability to finish above the rim, and with some improvement to his perimeter shot he will become even more dangerous at that end of the floor.
On the defensive end Pinson was a major distraction in their win over Alabama Challenge, whether CP3 was playing man or going with their 1-3-1 zone. In the zone Pinson would play up top, and the combo of his quickness and wingspan made things difficult for the Challenge guards.
- Sleeper of the Day: John Davis (Team Final)
Davis played well in both games for Team Final on Saturday, with his effort standing out on both ends of the floor. He isn’t afraid of physical play inside, and he’s more likely to attack the basket than put up a perimeter shot.
Davis also played well on the defensive end of the floor, moving his feet well and working hard on the glass. He mentioned multiple Atlantic 10 and CAA schools in a post-game conversation (more on that info below), and that would be a good level for him with some work on his jumper.
More Player Observations:
- G/F Rondae Jefferson (Team Final)
Jefferson played better in Team Final’s afternoon win over Alabama Challenge, finishing with 15 points, six rebounds and three steals, than he did in the morning defeat at the hands of Team United. Jefferson’s a gifted player, and he’s played the point for lenghty stretches on Saturday, but a little more controlled aggression would help his game in a big way. That happened in the afternoon tilt, as he was more aggressive in looking to make plays.
- G Nigel Williams-Goss (California Supreme)
Not sure there’s a better defensive guard in the 2013 class than Williams-Goss, who will figure prominently in Findlay Prep’s plans next season as well. Williams-Goss also displayed his well-rounded skill set on the offensive end of the floor, but he really stood out defensively. Very good on the ball, he also displayed good awareness of what was going on when his man didn’t have the ball.
- PG Darren Williams (Team United)
Williams played well in Team United’s win over Team Final, accounting for eight points and an assist against Final’s long-armed defenders. Williams displayed good handle and made solid decisions with the basketball, even though he finished with just one assist.
- C Kennedy Meeks (Team United)
Meeks may have scored just four points in United’s win over Team Final but it’s easy to see why much of the ACC (among others) is after this 6-9 ½ big man. Meeks racked up seven assists with just one turnover, playing the high post against the Team Final zone and doing a very good job of turning and facing the basket.
Meeks also grabbed eight rebounds, leading the way for either team. With his build Meeks has no problem with getting physical, but it was good to see how effective he could be as a distributor against a zone defense.
- SG Sindarius Thornwell (Team United)
Talk about an athletic slasher. Thornwell was able to get to the basket off the dribble on multiple occasions, and his ability to finish in traffic played an important role in United’s 2-0 day. He’s at his best in the transition game, and stated that he’s working on improving his perimeter shot this summer. With trips to the NBA Top 100, Kevin Durant and LeBron James camps on his schedule, the chance to do that work against some of the other top players in the country should make Thornwell an even better prospect.
- PG Travon Landry (Alabama Challenge)
Things didn’t go particularly well for the Challenge in their game against CP3, but Landry was one of their better performers on the defeat. Landry made solid decisions with the basketball and knocked down five of seven shots from the field. Had a tough go against Mac Irvin Fire in the evening session however.
- PF Jimmy Taylor (Alabama Challenge)
Already committed to Alabama, Taylor finished with 12 points and seven rebounds in Challenge’s loss to CP3. The 6-10 Taylor ran the floor well and was an active defender in the paint. Chai Baker (19 points, six rebounds) also stood out for Alabama Challenge.
- SG Matthew Madigan (CP3)
Madigan played hard on the defensive end of the floor for CP3, and when he got opportunities to take open shots he knocked them down. Madigan made four of five from beyond the arc in the morning session against Alabama Challenge, but was much quieter in their evening win over E1T1.
- PF Akoy Agau (All-Iowa Attack)
A tough EYBL season for All-Iowa (now 0-17) got even tougher in the second half of their loss to B-More Elite as Agau went down with an injury. In the first half of that game he was quiet offensively, but there really weren’t many options to help take some of the defensive attention away from him. Hard to think that Agau will play again this weekend with the injury.
- PF Bobby Portis (Arkansas Wings)
Like the aforementioned Jimmy Taylor, Portis is committed to an SEC school (Arkansas) and played well in defeat. A long-armed 6-9 forward, Portis has the build of a guy who can put on a few pounds and not have his game be affected negatively. He was able to face up effectively and showed the ability to knock down mid-range jumpers when needed. But the key for Portis is to make sure he doesn’t try to do too much offensively when out on the perimeter, because he got into a little trouble when over-dribbling.
- PF Jordan Bell and SF Roschon Prince (ICP)
Putting these two together since they ran into a very difficult match-up during the evening session: Julius Randle and the Texas Titans. Prince was given the assignment for much of the game, and while he worked very hard it was evident that this wasn’t the best defensive match-up for him (he also had to guard Matt Jones at times).
Offensively Prince didn’t hesitate to attack the basket, and if anything his willingness to mix things up stood out. Bell was saddled with early foul trouble, and while he’s a very good shot-blocker he’s raw offensively. Maybe he can show off a little more on that end of the floor with a better match-up.
- PF Julius Randle and PF Damian Jones (Texas Titans)
Randle and Jones both bounced back from disappointing performances in the Titans’ loss to E1T1 in the nightcap, finishing with 15 points and seven rebounds (Randle) and ten points and three blocks (Jones) respectively.
The one concern regarding Randle in the win over ICP: six turnovers. He’s immensely talented and when fully engaged is an absolute man-child. Jones put up a “ten trillion” in the E1T1 defeat, so it was good to see him bounce back with a solid performance. Jones was good as a weak-side defender and ran the floor well.
- SF Matt Jones (Texas Titans)
Jones, who’s already committed to Duke, played well for the Titans in both games on Saturday. Offensively it seemed as if he was quiet…and then you’d look up and see that he scored 18 points. Jones was efficient on that end of the floor against ICP, and was the primary defender on Roschon Prince for much of the game. Duke’s getting a good one in Jones.
- PF Marcus Lee (California Supreme)
Lee is raw offensively, but it’s the other end of the floor where he’s drawn raves all spring. Lee is a good shot-blocker with long arms, and he ran the floor well in Cali Supreme’s evening victory over NY Lightning. How much he progresses offensively will ultimately determine how high he can climb amongst the top big men in the 2013 class.
- PG Parker Jackson-Cartwright (California Supreme)
Jackson-Cartwright played well for Cali Supreme, and while some may point to his size (5-7) as a detriment he displayed good vision at the point. Not sure how much taller he gets but the 2014 prospect is obviously talented. The goal at this point has to be to continue to improve as a floor general, and there’s definitely room for growth in that area.
One thing that was noticeable on Saturday was the number of teams who used an attacking 1-3-1 zone on the defensive end of the floor. Being so used to teams playing 2-3 zones and daring the opposition to shoot, seeing an active zone defense proved to be far more entertaining. CP3 and Team United were two of the teams who used the zone to their advantage on Saturday, and with EYBL also using a shot clock maybe zones of this style become a bit more commonplace.
Sindarius Thornwell says that there isn’t a leader in the race for his services but did mention South Carolina and Memphis. What that means is difficult to tell, but while location isn’t a concern playing in a program that has a family atmosphere and plays an uptempo brand of basketball. From an academic standpoint, Thornwell mentioned sports management and broadcast journalism as academic interests.
Darren Williams mentioned the following six schools: Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Cincinnati, Virginia Tech, East Carolina and Gardner-Webb. Williams said that the schools were even at this time.
Kennedy Meeks is being pursued by just about the entire ACC at this point. Specific schools he mentioned included North Carolina, Pittsburgh, NC State, Syracuse and Miami in addition to Georgetown, Louisville, Notre Dame and West Virginia.
JaQuel Richmond said that the following schools are even right now: Oklahoma State, Virginia, Wake Forest, Charlotte, Tennessee and Georgetown. Richmond also mentioned recent phone conversations with Syracuse assistant Adrian Autry.
Troy Williams will most likely make his decision at the end of the summer. While North Carolina and Kentucky remain the top two, he’s still listening to Florida, Alabama, South Carolina and Georgetown. The decision will come down to which head coach Williams has the best relationship with.
John Davis has heard from a number of schools, including La Salle, Massachusetts, VCU, George Mason, Drexel, Towson, Delaware, Rider, Missouri State and Mount St. Mary’s. As for VCU, while Davis didn’t say he’s got a specific order he did say that the Rams’ move to the A-10 gave them a boost in his eyes.
Rondae Jefferson didn’t have a whole lot to say about the schools in hot pursuit of his services, but did mention that he’d likely have an idea of who’s on his list at the Peach Jam.
By Alex Schiffer
Austin Colbert, a 6-foot-8 forward who attends the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut. The New Jersey native plays AAU basketball with Team Final in the EYBL. Prior to the underclassman game at the 2nd annual Mary Kline Classic Colbert talked with NBE on his current recruiting situation.
At this point in time Colbert is thinking about cutting his list down, but hoping to see some additional offers before doing so.
“I’m currently looking to narrow down my list but it would be nice to pick up a few more offers,” he said.
Since the open evaluation periods of April are now past, Colbert has a clearer view of the schools willing to put more effort into his recruitment and is looking to visit one of the schools entering the picture of late.
“Temple is starting to get on my really hard and Baylor, Georgetown, Harvard, Seton Hall are on me mad tight,” he said. “Also Texas is looking at me. I plan on making a trip down to Austin pretty soon.”
One of the hottest names from the previous two weekends in the April open evaluation period in the Class of 2013 in NYC native Jermaine Lawrence, who is currently attending Pope John XXIII in Sparta (NJ). The 6-foot-9 PF has put a strong of impressive performances together with the New Rens AAU team and his recruitment has quickly taken off.
A couple Big East programs are among the new schools quickly entering the mix following his April performances.
Lawrence has no current favorites, but is looking into taking a couple visits in the near future.
Lawrence kept rolling on Saturday night, scoring a game-high 27 points in the underclassman contest of the Mary Kline Classic, earning one of the two MVP honors.
Nickens’ teammate at St. Pat’s DeAndre Bembry is also drawing plenty of recruiting interest at this time.
Bemnbry also mentioned Virginia Tech had been recruiting him hard as well. There are no favorites for Bembry yet, but he is starting to look into which school she would like to visit.
From a pure talent standpoint, Tyler Roberson has as much of a ceiling as anyone in the Class of 2013. The 6-foot-7 forward out of Roselle (NJ) catholic and the NJ Roadrunners AAU club certainly has the recruiting list to back that up as well.
Jaren Sina, the 6-foot-1 point guard out of Gill St. Bernard’s in New Jersey made the switch this spring to Team Final on the EYBL circuit and the added exposure paid off with a Big East offer this past week.
“Pittsburgh offered me last week after the Nike EYBL,” said Sina.
Sina, who is coached by his father Mergin Sina at Gill St. Bernard’s was once committed to Alabama. The Crimson Tide remain involved but have plenty of company in the competition for his services.
Ina ddition to the three coming at Sina the hardest, he mentioned three others schools specifically when asked where he might plans visits in the near future.
Sina produced 10 points and 14 assists in the all-star game contest Saturday night, sharing game MVP honors with Jermaine Lawrence.
By Brian Batko
The Hoop Group’s Pittsburgh Jam Fest came to a close Sunday with some very intense semifinals and championship games. Many of the usual suspects who had been playing well all weekend continued to do so on Sunday but one squad of 2014 players in particular stepped its game up an extra notch and NBE has the rundown.
Caleb Martin and Cody Martin (Team Loaded NC 16U, 2014, Davie) – Even more so than the Harrison brothers in the grade above them, these two 6’6” wings have extremely similar bodies and games. In fact, at this point in their development, they play almost exactly alike. They’re both fairly slender but appear to have the frame to really add strength and muscle. In leading Team Loaded (NC) to the 16U championship on Sunday, the two uber-talented North Carolina natives showed off a nice mix of skill and athleticism and played very well off of each other. Both are good passers that like to work in the high post and on the wing slashing to the basket. They also attack the glass and are active on defense. Their jump shots are decent right now but could certainly improve. In a competitive quarterfinal game against a solid Team Work (OH) squad in the morning on Sunday, Cody finished with 14 points, a handful of rebounds, and a couple of steals while Caleb put up 19 points including a couple of threes and several boards as well.
Also like the Harrisons, Caleb and Cody are 100 percent a package deal as far as their recruitment goes. Still early for the rising juniors, they already have offers from North Carolina State, Wake Forest, and Virginia Tech and are hearing from the likes of North Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Xavier, Clemson, Kansas, and Georgetown. Both said they can see themselves in the ACC but that they’d like to wait and take as much time as they can before making their decision.
This weekend starting Friday evening colleg coaches will hit the road for AAU events across the country. Stops in Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and areas far and wide will be popular destinations for Division 1-A head coaches and assistants as they are allowed to evaluate talent for the first time in the busy April AAU schedule in a few years. While the intensity of the action is likely to be ratcheted up a few nothches, CIA Bounce big man Isaiah Watkins is taking it all in stride.
The 6-foot-8 Watkins attends St. Benedict’sPrep in Newark (NJ) and performing in front of college coaches is a regular event for him and his Gray Bees teammates. It was one of the reasons why he chose to attend a school like St. Ben’s and play with a powerful AAU program like the Canadian CIA Bounce program, which participates in Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL).
Yet, Watkins is looking forward to showcasing his improvement as a player, but also has goals for himself to continue to impove against the top flight competition he will be facing.
By Brian Bosworth, National Scouting Analyst
The National Prep Showcase was back in full swing on Sunday with top teams like Brewster Academy, New Hampton Prep, and the Tilton School all in action. While the rosters of most prep schools in this event are dominated by seniors and post-graduate players it was a pair of underclassmen that stole the show on Sunday.
Co-Headliners of the Day:
Nerlens Noel (Tilton School 2013) – With college coaches such as John Calipari (Kentucky), Steve Lavin (St. John’s), and Ed Cooley (Providence) on hand to watch him play Noel put on quite a show Sunday night. Having already established himself as the premier defensive big man in America during the summer with BABC, Nerlens showcased an expanding offensive game that brings his upside to a new level. He played on the wing for much of the first half and repeatedly used a deadly right to left crossover to attack the rim and finish with his left hand. Despite being right handed he seems to prefer using his left to finish around the basket and did so with startling efficiency in this game. If Noel can continue to develop his offensive skills to complement his defensive brilliance he will give Jabari Parker a serious challenge for the spot of #1 overall player in the class of 2013.
By Raphielle Johnson
By the end of the last college basketball season it was best to simply expect the unexpected. The same could be said for this weekend in Las Vegas, which has produced an unexpected champion in the Kansas City 76ers. The 76ers won the Las Vegas Fab 48 by beating Team Breakdown (Florida) in Monday night’s title game.
While the stands weren’t filled to brim as they were last summer (Oakland Soldiers tend to bring out the crowds), there were a few college programs represented in the coaches area with 2013 wing Ishmail Wainright the primary focus.
Ben Howland (UCLA) and Steve Lavin (St. John’s) were both there to watch Wainwright, who considers Earl Watson (who has connections to both as he played at UCLA under Lavin) to be an older brother and mentor. Other programs represented include Western Illinois, George Mason, Kansas, Missouri, UC Irvine, South Florida, Cal Poly, Nebraska, UM-KC and Creighton.
By Matt Whitfield
The return to the summer basketball camp scene by Reebok has been well received. The competition and talent level is certainly solid at the Gallagher Athletic Center on the campus of Philadelphia University. NBE took in the action for the most part of the day Thursday and was able to touch base with many of the players to learn the latest on their recruitments. While the camp had a strong group of Mid-Major+ prospects, there was more than a fair share of players who will land at higher levels in college. Below is a rundown of who we caught up with yesterday.
Rysheed Jordan (Robert Vaux HS/Players Teaching Players)
There was a lot of hype centering Jordan entering the camp and many scouts, reporters and college coaches were anxious to get a look at him. He did not disappoint as the 6-foot-3, Class of 2013 point guard has all the look of a sure fire high major recruit. He has definitely noticed the increased attention of late.
“I think I’m blowing up,” said Jordan of the recent influx of recruiting attention. “I’m easing my way up.”
The summer time brings news daily on recruiting and also of high school players looking for new homes for the fall. Two players NBE plans to see quite a bit this summer have decided on new schools for the 2011-2012 school year.
Jason Boswell, a Class of 2013 forward out of New York City who will be on the AAU circuit this July with the Long Island Lightning program, has decided to leave St. Patrick’s of Elizabeth (NJ) and attend Trinity Catholic High School in Stamford (CT). At Trinity, Boswell will play for head coach Mike Walsh.
“Trinity Catholic has a strong academic program which offers great basketball opportunities,” Boswell said by text this morning. “My commute will be significantly reduced to approximately 30 minutes as oppsed to the two hours traveled each day to Elizabeth.”
The 6-foot-7, 182-pound rising junior told NBE just over a week ago that he has heard from Cincinnati, La Salle, Seton Hall, Rutgers, Miami, Xavier, Houston and Dayton shortly after the June 15th timeframe when college coaches were allowed to contact players in the Class of 2013. Boswell is looking forward to continuing his career on the basketball court at Trinity.
Tariq Carey, the Class of 2012 guard out of Newark (NJ) East Side High School, continues to fly under the radar as he heads into his final AAU season on the circuit. Playing for Gary Charles’ New York Panthers this summer could very well change that soon.
“I honestly feel he will finally get his just due this summer,” Troy Long told NBE’s Matt Whitfield late last week of Carey. “He has the grades and game of a Top 100 player, but everything happens for a reason. Once more people see him his stock will rise in my opinion.”
Long, an assistant coach at East Side High, handles the recruitment of Carey and other players in the Red Raiders’ program. He told NBE that Carey’s recruitment is holding steady, naming schools like Providence, Virginia, Notre Dame, UNC-Charlotte, Richmond and Rhode Island being active in the process with a few more schools from the Atlantic 10 also being involved. The previous staff at Penn State had invited Carey to their elite camp this summer and Long added that Richmond and Charlotte have also extended similar invitations.
“He just turned 17,” said Long. “He played great at Pitt[sburgh Jam Fest], he has upside and he’s proven he is on that level (Big East) and now he’s becoming more consistent…he’s excited about the upcoming live period.”
Before the live period NBE plans to get a good look at Carey at the upcoming Rumble in the Bronx. Last year at the Rumble Carey was regarded as one of the Top 10 players in the Class of 2012 NBE saw. Playing with the NJ Playaz last season, Carey showed a much-improved his all-around game as he hit several three-pointers, many of the knuckleball variety, which he struggled with in previous viewings. He also showed an ability to get into the lane and finish or distribute. Carey can score with contact at the rim. Defensively, he is very aggressive and is adept at racking up steals and starting fast breaks.
NBE looks forward to seeing Tariq Carey in action this summer. This under-the-radar recruit could be ready to plant himself firmly on the minds of high-major programs as they look for a do-everything guard in the Class of 2012.
Could Andre Drummond be on a college campus next fall? Possibility was not ruled out on Saturday
By Brian Bosworth
After the Bob Gibbons’ Tournament of Champions field was trimmed at the last minute, many teams were left scrambling for a new home for Memorial Day Weekend. Thankfully, the NERR Invitational sprung together quickly and some of the nations’ top amateur players had a venue to display their talents. Saturday’s action was chock full of future college stars as high profile programs Connecticut Basketball Club (CBC), NE Playaz, Mass Rivals, New Heights, Team Philly, and a host of others were in action. A few players proved themselves to be a cut above the rest and they are outlined below.
Andre Drummond (CBC 2012) – Drummond stands at 6’10” 275 pounds and he is the best high school basketball prospect in the country regardless of class. While often criticized for inconsistent play and a lack of dominance neither issue showed itself on this day. In an afternoon contest with Drive 4 Stardum Drummond had 20 points, 16 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks, and 7 rim shattering dunks. He showcased his full arsenal of skills and truly punished the opponent with his incredible force. Three of his monster dunks came on offensive rebound tip-ins but to simply call them tip-ins doesn’t do them justice. Drummond rises above everyone else on the floor in traffic with his hand easily above the box, grabs offensive boards, and hammers them down all in one fluid motion. It’s the kind of play that maybe 20 people on the planet could pull off and Drummond is an 18 year-old kid who just finished his Junior year of high school.
BY PAT STEVENS
HAMPTON, Va. – The first major national event of the travel hoops season took place this past weekend with the first session of Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball League getting underway in it’s annual spot of long-time coach Boo Williams’ backyard.
Several prep school players were in action with their 17-under division teams, as BABC went 5-0 with Tilton (N.H.) teammates Georges Niang, Nerlens Noel, Goodluck Okonoboh and Wayne Selden (who mostly played 15U where they reached the championship game).
The Playaz also went undefeated with its backcourt shared by Myles Davis (Notre Dame Prep) and Darrick Wood (NIA Prep).
Albany City Rocks featured New Hampton (N.H.) teammates Zach Auguste and Olivier Hanlan along with Ricardo Ledo (Notre Dame Prep, MA), who averaged just under 24 points per game for the weekend.
Other prep school players included Mike Tobey (Hotchkiss/NY Gauchos/Virginia commit) and Sam Cassell Jr. (Notre Dame Prep/Baltimore Elite).
We managed to catch a pair of games in between session of the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament while in town last weekend…
Tilton (NH) School forward Georges Niang is a flat-out producer on the court. The 6-foot-7, 235-pound forward has a knack for putting up numbers against any type of competition he faces. The Class of 2012 prospect was the leader in Tilton’s NEPSAC Class AA championship run, averaging over 26 points a game as the Rams captured their fourth straight final. Against a St. Mark’s team that featured elite Class of 2012 prospects frontline prospects Alex Murphy and Kaleb Tarczewski in the championship game, Niang shredded their defense for 23 points, shooting a perfect 11 of 11 from the field. In typical Niang fashion, he added 10 rebounds and 7 assists for good measure in the 72-57 victory at Endicott College last month.
The Tilton season came to an end in their next game, a thrilling 87-85 loss to Notre Dame Prep in the National Prep Championships. Niang continued his postseason dominance in that game, scoring 31 points. At one stretch, Niang scored 13 straight points for the Rams helping them erase a 10-point deficit and nearly steal the victory. His versatility was on display, knocking down a pair of three-pointers down the stretch helping the comeback.
This spring and summer Niang is playing with another high-profile program as he embarks on the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League with the Boston Amateur Basketball Club (BABC) on the AAU circuit, an experience he is greatly looking forward to.
Decatur (GA) F in the Class of 2012 will be running with Southern Kings this AAU season
Jarmal Reid has been on the radar screen of NBE since January of 2010 when Ray Mernagh introduced the 6-foot-6, 221-pound forward to our readers: Class of 2012 Intro: Jarmal Reid.
Now, following a state championship with Columbia High School out of Decatur (GA), Reid is ready to hit the spring and summer AAU scene with the Southern Kings program. This past weekend he got off to a solid start with a 17-point, 10-rebound performance against City Rocks in a tight loss to open the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League regular season at the Boo Williams event. Reid showed flashes of his potential that has college coaches looking forward to evaluating him this summer, scoring 15 points in another contest during the three-day event.
Reid told NBE over the weekend that Alabama, West Virginia, South Florida, Marquette, Georgia, Florida, Nebraska, UNC-Charlotte and VCU are schools he is hearing from that he is considering. At this stage, four schools stand out to him as leaders.
Reid feels the strength of his game is centered around his versatility.
“I would say my versatility [is the strength of my game] because I can play inside and out,” said Reid.
Reid is not looking to make a college decision in the near future, hoping to decide by the end of his senior season. In the meantime he will look forward to playing against the elite competition of the Nike EYBL and with the national schedule the Southern Kings will be up against on the AAU circuit.
Jarmal Reid continues to be a player to watch in the Class of 2012 and NBE will be certain to keep our eyes on him throughout the spring and summer ahead.