NBE Basketball Report
Illinois Recruiting

NIKE GLOBAL CHALLENGE: USA WEST EDGES USA SOUTH FOR TITLE

July 22, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz
WASHINGTON – The Nike Global Challenge came to a close on Saturday, with USA West winning 98-95 over USA South to take the crown.

NBE Sports was in the house to take in the action from three of the day’s four games. While there, we put together some observations of players in attendance, tracked what coaches were in the gym and talked to a few players for recruiting updates.

Due to his religious beliefs and practices, Abdul-Malik Abu is fasting from sunrise to sunset during the July Live Periods for Ramadan. Despite playing without eating or drinking, the 6-foot-8 power forward was productive and showed off a quality motor. A class of 2014 recruit from Kimball Union Academy (NH), Abu has a good build and is tough in the post. Abu, who was playing for Team Pan-Africa, also showed that he has some ability to step out and shoot the ball, even if that is not his forte.

Indiana-commit James Blackmon of Bishop Luers (IN) was easily one of the best shooters at the entire event. An elite marksman from beyond the arc, the 6-foot-2 shooting guard is lethal when left open. Blackmon, a class of 2014 prospect, can get hot in a hurry and is capable of putting on a show when he is in the groove, as he was on Saturday for Team USA Midwest.

Bonzie Colson of St. Andrew’s (RI) is an undersized power forward at 6-foot-5, but he can flat our produce. The class of 2014 recruit was pretty productive for Team USA East and displayed the ability to score down low. His thick build helps him make up for what he lacks in height and he can use his frame to his advantage.

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REEBOK BREAKOUT CLASSIC — DAY II

July 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

PHILADELPHIA – The Reebok Breakout Classic rolled along all day Thursday and NBE Sports had the opportunity to see 10 of the 12 teams in action on the day.

As was the case on Wednesday night, some lesser known players made noise and some top recruits also showed what they can do.

Future Louisville Cardinal Shaqquan Aaron showed why he is one of the best wings in the nation in the class of 2014. A 6-foot-8 small forward out of Rainier Beach (WA), Aaron is a high-level scorer who poured in 29 points in the morning game and kept playing well after that. Although thin, Aaron is very long, has a smooth game and is a quality athlete. He does a nice job in transition and is a tough player to keep out of the paint. Aaron even showed the ability to play some point guard.

Not many players in the class of 2015 are smoother on the court than Dwayne Bacon. A 6-foot-6 prospect who can play anywhere from the one to the three, Bacon has a really good frame and does a nice job of finishing at the rim, even in traffic. Bacon, who is headed to IMG Academy (FL), is a good athlete with quality body control who can knock down the midrange pull-up.

Jacobi Boykins of Lakewood (FL) is an impressive all-around offensive player. The 6-foot-5 class of 2014 shooting guard is a bit thin and needs to add some bulk, but he is a solid athlete with good bounce. Boykins is a quality shooter with a nice looking stroke who can also score at the rim some.
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ADIDAS INVITAIONAL NOTES – DAY ONE

July 11, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by N.D. Kendrick

Indianapolis, IN – The first July “live period” kicked off on Wednesday night and NBE Sports joined coaching staffs from numerous college programs in the Circle City to scout the prospects at the fifth annual Adidas Invitational.

This first night was highlighted by a star power match-up with Craig Victor of the New Orleans Elite going at Kevon Looney and his Milwaukee Running Rebels squad. In a sloppy contest, Victor willed his team to 60-50 win.

Standouts:

Rex Pflueger (Compton Magic 16s) – Pflueger understands how to play. He scores in a variety of ways, from three-point land, driving to the basket and getting to the free throw line by creating contact. He is a great rebounder and utilizes his court awareness to get in position for rebounds out of his area. His defense is not as advanced as his offensive game. Great frame.

Damontrae Jefferson (Milwaukee Running Rebels 17s) – Jefferson is a firecracker. He is extremely quick and makes great decisions. Despite his size he has a big heart (or mouth). He shoots the ball well, can shoot it from distance and gets the ball wherever he wants. He also defends, has quick hands and creates steals.

Ladamion Keys (New Orleans Elite 17s) – Keys is about a raw as they come with a hell of a ceiling. He is a very good rebounder and possesses nice instincts around the basket. He is capable of running the floor, but is not very fluid when doing so. He is a name to remember.

Mario Kegler (MBA Hoops 17s) – Didn’t get a great look at Kegler (2016), but in the limited viewing he was constantly putting pressure on his defender because he could get to the rim off the dribble with ease. Kegler can score in the lane with pure basketball moves. He has great touch and body control around the rim. Need a better look. Will update through the tournament.

Tyree Griffin (New Orleans Elite 17s) – Griffin has a pretty tight handle and is a creator off the dribble especially at end of clock situations where he can change speeds and directions with ease for scoring opportunities for himself or an open teammate. He is willing to battle. High motor kid.

Names to remember:

Elijah Mayes 2015 (Memphis Pure Magic)

Terrance Smith 2014 (Memphis Pure Magic)

Chase Jeter 2015 (Dream Vision)

Nnamdi Okongwu 2015 (Dream Vision)

Coaches in attendance:

John Groce (Illinois), Dave Rice (UNLV), Steve Donahue (Boston College), Thad Matta (Ohio State), Tom Izzo (Michigan State), Tim Miles (Nebraska), Tom Crean (Indiana), Bob Huggins (West Virginia), Steve Lavin (St. Johns), Marty Simmons (Evansville) Tommy Amaker (Harvard), Andy Enfield (USC), Sean Miller (Arizona), Mike Krzyzewsk (Duke), Rick Pitino (Louisville) and many more.

2013 NBPA TOP 100 HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL CAMP — FINAL RECRUITING NOTES

June 17, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Whitfield, Mid-Atlantic Recruiting Analyst

The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA)’s 20th Anniversary of the NBPA Top 100 High School Basketball Camp kicked off Wednesday at the University of Virginia’s John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville and concluded over the weekend. Media was allowed to begin attending sessions on Thursday and NBE was back on the road and in attendence.

The NBPA Top 100 High School Basketball Camp was created by the NBPA in 1994 to assist elite high school student-athletes in the development of their basketball and life skills. Throughout the last 20 years, the Camp has grown into one of the most highly touted and renowned camps of its kind and has seen hundreds of its participants go on to successful NBA careers. You can follow the camp on Twitter @Top100Camp and be sure to follow @NBESports for all of our updates as well.

To close our recruiting updates, NBE caught up with Craig Victor, Satchel Pierce, Khadeem Lattin, Abdul-Malik Abu, Brandone Francis, Skal Labissiere, Chinanu Onuaku, Kevon Looney, Trevon Blueitt and Trayvon Reed, which you can see below…

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2013 NBPA TOP 100 HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL CAMP — RECRUITING NOTES (PART I)

June 13, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Whitfield, Mid-Atlantic Recruiting Analyst

The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA)’s 20th Anniversary of the NBPA Top 100 High School Basketball Camp kicked off Wednesday at the University of Virginia’s John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville. Media was allowed to begin attending sessions on Thursday and NBE was back on the road and in attendence.

The NBPA Top 100 High School Basketball Camp was created by the NBPA in 1994 to assist elite high school student-athletes in the development of their basketball and life skills. Throughout the last 20 years, the Camp has grown into one of the most highly touted and renowned camps of its kind and has seen hundreds of its participants go on to successful NBA careers. You can follow the camp on Twitter @Top100Camp and be sure to follow @NBESports for all of our updates as well.

IN our first recruiting notebook we take a look at the latest from

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RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (12/20/2012): JABARI PARKER DECISION NEARING; DAKARI JOHNSON CUTS LIST TO THREE

December 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

There have not been many high-major commitments of late, but there has still been a fair amount of news in the high school hoops world lately. In addition, one of the nation’s top prospects is set to announce his choice today.

First off, Jabari Parker is set to announce his college choice today on ESPNU, as originally reported by Joe Henrickson of the Chicago Sun-Times. Parker is a 6-foot-8 small forward out of Simeon (IL) who is ranked No. 3 in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125. KSL.com’s Greg Wrubell quoted Jabari’s father, Sonny Parker, as saying, “I think it will probably be between Duke and Michigan State.”

Samford landed a commitment from Jordan Capps, per Scout.com’s Evan Daniels. Capps is a class of 2013 small forward prospect from Peachtree Ridge (GA) who has some solid size at 6-foot-6.

St. Peter’s dipped into the JuCo ranks for a 2013 commitment, according to Brad Winton of JuCoRecruiting.com. He reported that the Peacocks landed Tyler Gaskins, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Lawson State Community College (AL).

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RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (11/15/2012): ’15 KARL TOWNS UPSTAGES SIGNING PERIOD OPENING

November 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

It is rare that the biggest news to come out of signing week involves a player who cannot sign a Letter of Intent for another two years, but one could argue that is the case thus far. That is partially due to the lack of major commitments and partially due to the fact that the news from the sophomore class is pretty big.

Here is a look at some of the bigger stories of the week, some from yesterday, the first day of the early signing period, and some from the days leading up to it.

We start it with the aforementioned sophomore who has grabbed the headlines. In news that looks to have been first reported by Joseph Thompson of SEC Basketball Recruiting, Karl Towns, Jr. has decided to announce his college decision on December 4th. A 6-foot-10 power forward/center out of St. Joseph’s Metuchen (NJ), Towns is one of the best prospects in the nation regardless of class. He is ranked No. 3 in the NBE Sports Class of 2015 Post-July Top 25.

Towns has most of the nation’s elite programs coming after him and basically has his selection of schools. There has long been some chatter about Kentucky when it comes to Towns and the Wildcats could be the favorite here.

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RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (11/12/2012): COUNTDOWN TO SIGNING DAY IS ON

November 12, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

The early signing period is set to begin on Wednesday and that means class of 2013 recruits will finally be able to make their verbal commitments official.

Despite the approach of the signing period, the past few days have been fairly quiet on the recruiting front. However, there was one major commitment from an elite prospect.

Noah Vonleh of New Hampton (NH) committed to the Indiana Hoosiers on Saturday night, in news first reported by Scout.com’s Evan Daniels. Vonleh had been ranked No. 6 in the NBE Sports Class of 2014 Post-Summer Top 75 before reclassifying back to the 2013 class.

Now that he is in the senior class, Vonleh may well be amongst the top-10 players in the 2013 class and he is a huge addition for Tom Crean’s program. The 6-foot-8 power forward’s pledge to IU comes only a few weeks after he trimmed his list to six schools. The other finalists were Georgetown, Ohio State, North Carolina, Syracuse, and UConn.

Another player in the NBE Sports 2014 Top 75 also made his commitment recently. Scout.com’s Brian Snow broke the news that Melvin Swift, Jr. of Yates (TX) had popped to Xavier. The 6-foot-7 junior power forward checks in at No. 59 in the rankings and is a big pickup for the Musketeers.

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RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (10/26/2012): NEWS, NOTES & A DOCUMENTARY YOU SHOULD NOT MISS

October 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

Things have continued to remain mostly calm on the recruiting front over the past few days. There were not big-time commitments to report, but that does not mean we are bereft of news. In fact, a couple mid-major programs received some superb news from potential impact targets lately.

Before getting into the news that has happened since the weekend, I do want to touch on a pair of Sunday commitments that I accidently overlooked in Monday’s Recruiting Notebook.

First off, Missouri picked up its second 2013 frontcourt player in a week when Torren Jones of La Lumiere (IN) popped to the Tigers. The 6-foot-8 power forward is a rugged low post player with a strong frame. A native of Arizona, Jones is ranked No. 94 in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125. His pledge was first reported by Josh Paunil of National Recruiting Spotlight.

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RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (10/11/12) — COMMITMENT ROLL CONTINUES

October 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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by Alex Schwartz

Major commitments have continued to roll in over the past few days and there does not appear to be an end coming in the near future.

The biggest commitment to come down since Monday’s Recruiting Notebook was that of Karviar Shepherd. Not only is Shepherd a high-level prospect, but he has a chance to be somewhat a program changer at his future institution.

Shepherd, a 6-foot-9 center out of Prime Prep (TX), ended his recruitment by pledging to in-state TCU, according to ESPN.com’s Reggie Rankin. The Horned Frogs are entering their first year in a BCS conference and are also under a first year head coach. However, Trent Johnson now has himself a player to build around in the Big 12, as Shepherd is ranked No. 14 in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125.

Shepherd showed at that 2012 Adidas Invitational last July his ability to score with both hands, make great passes from the post and refined footwork that most college big men would be jealous of. Shepherd also protects the rim and rebounds both ends of the floor at an elite level. NBE’s National Recruiting Analyst also wrote that Shepherd has the potential to be a dominant low post scorer at the college level after watching him perform in Indianapolis to kick off the July evaluation periods.
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RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (10/8/12) — DECISIONS, DECISIONS, DECISIONS…

October 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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by Alex Schwartz

Andrew and Aaron Harrison, arguably the best set of twin brothers to ever come through the high school ranks, announced their intentions to attend Kentucky. Their decision came on ESPNU’s “Recruiting Nation” program on Thursday night.

Andrew, a 6-foot-5 point guard, and Aaron, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard, selected UK over Maryland and SMU. The Travis (TX) High School stars are both ranked among the top five players in the nation in the class of 2013.

The Harrison twins are the two highest ranked committed players in the senior class, checking in at No. 1 (Andrew) and No. 4 (Aaron) in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125. John Calipari looks to be on his way to potentially landing the best recruiting class in the nation for the fifth straight time.
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THE HOOP GROUP’S FUTURE ALL-AMERICA CAMP – WEDNESDAY RECAP

August 9, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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by Alex Schwartz

READING, Pa. — The Hoop Group Future All-American Camp came to a close on Wednesday and NBE Sports was back at Albright College. Yesterday’s action included the playoffs and the Super Soph All-Star Game. Throughout the course of the day there were several lesser known prospects who impressed. Additionally, awards were handed out, and the recipients are listed below. Also, find out here which point guard from the City of Brotherly Love shined on the final day of the camp.

TOP PERFORMER

Lamarr Kimble is a player who it is tough to not enjoy watching. A 5’11 point guard from Nemann-Goretti (PA), a Philadelphia powerhouse, Kimble has silky smooth game and is the consummate floor general. The best part of the 2015 prospect’s game is his ability to set up his teammates in positions to score as well as the fact that regularly looks to do that. Kimble has superb court vision and a very nice feel for the game. He is adept at making plays in transition and is faster than one would expect him to be. Kimble plays the game under control and always seems to know what he wants to do with the ball. Although much of his game is about facilitating for others, he is also quite a capable scorer. Kimble can connect from outside the 3-point line and his midrange pull-up jumper is quite good. All said, Kimble is a winning player who has a game well beyond his years.
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ORLANDO AAU REPORT — SUNDAY

July 30, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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by Alex Schwartz

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Sunday was the final day of the last Live Evaluation Period of July. While the turnout was not as high, there were still a number of Division I coaches in the gym until they had to leave a 5:00 p.m. NBE Sports took in much of the action on Sunday and all but one of the games we watched was from non-Gold Pool teams, allowing us to catch some sleepers. Find out below who shined in their last chance of the summer and also see who leads for a trio of 2013 prospects.

TOP PERFORMER

Nigel Hayes stood out as the easy pick for the top performer spot from Sunday’s action. A 6’7 power forward from Whitmer (OH), Hayes turned in a really nice showing for All-Ohio Red. Hayes has had a great summer and he continued his strong play on Sunday, demonstrating a vastly improved offensive skill set and better motor. Hayes has a terrific frame and is a strong player. He is a quality scorer who can connect on midrange jumpers and is also very comfortable with his back to the basket. Hayes even showed that he has the ability to step out and knock down a shot from beyond the 3-point line. He is a solid overall athlete and it is clear that Hayes is on the upswing as a player and a prospect.
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MARIAL SHAYOK KEEPS STOCK RISING WITH STRONG PLAY IN JULY

July 25, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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While many around the nation were unfamiliar with Canadian 2014 prospect Marial Shayok, NBE National Recruiting Analyst Brian Bosworth was ahead of the curve, having the 6-foot-6, 190-poung CIA Bounce wing ranked #33 in the NBE Class of 2014 Pre-July Live Period Top 40. The secret is out…Shayok is now one of the hottest propsects in the Class of 2014 and college coaches have just begun to put their time into his recruitment.

In the recent Peach Jam event, Shayok showed his talents as an elite wing athlete. To NBE, Shayak was most impressive grabbing defensive rebounds and starting the fast break himself by taking off with the dribble. He flies up and down the floor and has excellent length to finish over defenders at the rim.

Earlier in the summer at the Rumble in the Bronx it was clear the talent Shayok possesses. He scored the ball from all three levels with ease and may have had even more impact defensively in CIA Bounce’s press. His length and lateral foot speed make him a potentially elite defender as well as a potential go-to option on the offensive end.

While Shayok certainly provided some highlights on the recruiting trail this summer, the highlight for him was an experience where not too many were able to see him in action.

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2012 PEACH JAM REPORT — CHAMPIONSHIP SUNDAY

July 23, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

Championship Sunday in North Augusta capped an amazing 2012 Peach Jam by crowning champions in both the 16U and 17U divisions. The Texas Titans defeated the Southern Stampede in double overtime to win at the 16U level. A few hours later the Oakland Soldiers were crowned EYBL champions after defeating CIA Bounce 51-50 to capture the 17U title. In those games and the 17U semifinals before them, some players separated themselves from the competition. Here’s who stood out to NBE.

Top Performer of the Day:

Andrew Wiggins (CIA Bounce 2014) – While his team came up a point short of an EYBL title this day, this tournament, and the entire EYBL circuit have belonged to Andrew Wiggins. In the morning semifinal Wiggins looked passive and a non factor for much of the game until his team needed him down the stretch. He turned a tight game into a double digit lead in a matter of minutes by scoring at will in the game’s biggest moments. In the title game Wiggins’ stat line wasn’t his best of the week (7-22 shooting, 23 points) but his dominance was as evident as ever. The Soldiers had two future pros to throw at Wiggins defensively in Aaron Gordon and Stanley Johnson and frankly neither one stood a chance. He was too quick, too strong, too explosive, and too good for every elite defender that was thrown at him all week. Stanley Johnson was the best defender in this tournament and even he couldn’t handle Wiggins. While I’ve been on record since last year’s Peach Jam that Wiggins was the top prospect regardless of class, the 2012 Peach Jam erased that debate in everyone’s mind. Everyone else in America is looking up at Wiggins and the gap is rather substantial.
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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 NY2LA UNDER ARMOUR SUMMER JAM RECAP – PART I

July 19, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By N.D. Kendrick

Mequon, WI – The second July “live period” kicked off on Wednesday night and NBE Sports joined coaching staffs from numerous college programs at Homestead High School to scout the prospects at the NY2LA Under Armour Summer Jam.

This first day was highlighted by star power match-ups, with Emmanuel Mudiay’s Texas Select team bumping heads with Kevon Looney and his Milwaukee Running Rebels squad. The Harrison Twins (Andrew and Aaron) also faced a tough challenge against the Atlanta Celtics featuring Georgia Tech-bound Solomon Poole and Kansas-bound Brannen Greene.

TOP PERFORMER

Aaron Harrison (Houston Defenders 17s) – Often overshadowed by his brother Andrew, Aaron put on a shooting clinic on day one. He made three straight triples early on to set the tone and to essentially prove that he was the best shooter in the gym. Harrison finished with an easy 24 points to lead all scorers. He is strong and quick. He understands how to play. He can score in a variety of ways, from three-point land, driving to the basket and finishing with either hand, posting up a smaller defender or getting to the free throw line by creating contact. If Aaron tightens up his scoring moves and adds a mid-range dribble pull up, he will be that much more dangerous of an option.

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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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