NBE Basketball Report
Nebraska Recruiting

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.

RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (4/16/2013): COMMITMENTS CONTINUE AS LATE SIGNING PERIOD NEARS

April 16, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

Two of the top uncommitted players in the nation made their commitments while in Chicago for the McDonald’s All-American Game and numerous other 2013 prospects also pledged in the past several days.

Elite frontcourt prospect Aaron Gordon of Archbishop Mitty (CA) announced his intentions to attend Arizona for his college ball, per multiple reports. A 6-foot-8 power forward, Gordon is one of the top ranked players in America in the class of 2013. He selected the Wildcats over Kentucky, Oregon and Washington. Gordon is the second McDonald’s All-American in Arizona’s recruiting class, joining 6-foot-7 small forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson of Chester (PA).

Keith Frazier of Kimball (TX), the best available shooting guard in the nation, committed to SMU, per his Twitter account. The 6-foot-5 class of 2013 prospect is the first ever McDonald’s All-American for the Mustangs, according the game broadcast. Frazier was also considering Texas A&M and Texas Tech, according to Scout.com’s Evan Daniels.

The top available class of 2013 guard in the nation, Rysheed Jordan of Vaux (PA), took his name off the board and pledged to St. John’s, per multiple reports. Jordan is a 6-foot-3 point guard who selected the Red Storm over Temple and UCLA.

Chris Peak of Panther-Lair.com had the news that Jamel Artis of Notre Dame Prep (MA) committed to Pittsburgh. Artis is a 6-foot-7 combo forward and a fifth-year class of 2013 recruit.

Dominique Hawkins announced his commitment to Kentucky at a press conference at his school, per multiple reports. The 6-foot point guard from Madison Central (KY) is the eighth member of UK’s 2013 recruiting class, the second of whom is an in-state prospect.

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RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (3/1/2013): RIP JOSH LEVEL

March 1, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

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.

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ELITE ’14 GUARD D’ANGELO RUSSELL LIGHTS UP ROSELLE CATHOLIC; TALKS RECRUITING

January 4, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

ROSELLE, N.J. – D’Angelo Russell stole the show at the Roselle Catholic (NJ) Hoops for Troops Basketball Classic last night.

The 6-foot-4, 185-pound shooting finished with 21 points, including 17 in the second quarter. It was during that period that he connected on five 3-pointers during about a five minute span.

The No. 12 ranked player in the NBE Sports Class of 2014 Post-July Top 75 helped lead Montverde Academy (FL) to a 77-51 victory over the host, Roselle Catholic.

“I feel like I try to step up and make big-time plays for my teammates and for myself and I just felt like it was the opportunity to go,” Russell said of his second quarter outburst.

Asked how often he gets in a zone like that, Russell replied, “I try to as quick as I can. The atmosphere was great, so adapting to the atmosphere was just what I try to do, and that’s what happened.”

The elite Class of 2014 guard talked in a bit more detail about what playing in front of a big-time crowd means.

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D’ANGELO RUSSELL UPDATE: LIST LENGTHENS FOR ELITE ’14 SCORING GUARD

November 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

D’Angelo Russell has solidified his position as one of the lite prospects in the Class of 2014 at every stop on the summer and spring AAU trail and throughout a decorated high school and prep career. The current Montverde (FL) Academy standout completed the summer ranked #12 by NBE’s National Recruiting Analyst Brian Bosworth in the NBE Class of 2014 Post-July Top 75.

Russell has the complete skill package as a 6-foot-4+, 180-pound shooting guard. He can create off the bounce for himself and others. He is strong enough to get to the rim and finish through contact and he can hit the perimeter shot consistently out past the three-point arc. Russell is also not afraid to defend and will do so with effort consistently. While his goal is to win a national title with Montverde this season, he can’t help but look forward to his final year on the AAU circuit ahead where he will plans to either play with E1T1 out of Florida or All-Ohio Red closer to his home in Kentucky.
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ORLANDO AAU REPORT – FRIDAY

July 28, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Friday was a day at 11th Grade AAU Nationals where NBE Sports watched a number of games from outside the Gold pools. This allowed us to see some teams that might not be as nationally known and catch some players who might be flying under the radar a bit. However, we did check out some Gold games too and some of our top performers come from those squads too.

TOP PERFORMER

Trevin Joseph gets the nod as the top performer of the day on Friday, though several players could put together a nice case for the honor. Joseph is the second straight 2013 shooting guard from Georgia to get the nod, following Ryan Wilkins on Thursday. Joseph is a 6’3 rising senior from Stockbridge (GA) who runs with Gold Coast and is part of a deep, talented backcourt. Joseph showed off some major scoring ability in the night’s final game and it was rare to see him actually miss a shot. A strong player with a very good build, Joseph s a knockdown 3-point shooter and is lethal off the catch. He is a smooth player and is his stroke looks quite good. Joseph is also adept at getting to the basket and he finishes once there. Overall, he is a talented offensive player who could be a stud scorer at the next level.
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2012 NY2LA UNDER ARMOUR SUMMER JAM RECAP – PART III

July 21, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By N.D. Kendrick

Mequon, WI – Friday was filled with overtime games and wild action at the NY2LA Under Armour Summer Jam. NBE was on hand to witness some fantastic action and more stellar play. Provided is who stood out the most.

Top Performer of the Day

Derek Griffin (Houston Defenders 17s) – The Texas A&M football commit was the star amongst stars on Friday. Despite not putting up jaw-dropping numbers, Griffin was the definitely the most noticeable player. He had at least 5 highlight film dunks and raised his hand for an alley-oop on just about every possession. He may not every play a minute of college basketball but if he did ever decide to lace up his sneakers on the hardwood, he would be one of the more exciting forward prospects to play in some time. He is a shot blocking, rebound snagging specialist. He does not understand what he can do on the court and is offensive package is limited to lobs and putbacks. Despite his limited offensive arsenal, the kid is an amazing watch.
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2012 NY2LA UNDER ARMOUR SUMMER JAM RECAP – PART II

July 20, 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 near Milwaukee to scout the prospects at the NY2LA Under Armour Summer Jam. Here is a rundown from Thursday’s long day of action…

Top Performance

T.J. Haws, Nick Emery and Eric Mika (Utah Reign) – Just had to go with this trio because they play like they are one. T.J. Haws has a little flash and flare to his game and is great ball handler that can shoot from distance but focuses on driving to the hoop. Emery is lethal from anywhere in the gym. He is not limited to being a catch and shoot player, he can take you off the bounce. Mika may be on the verge of becoming a household name (More on Mika below). They all three will be making noise at BYU in a few years.
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2012 PEACH STATE SUMMER SHOWCASE REPORT – PART I

July 19, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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by Alex Schwartz

AIKEN, S.C. – The second Live Evaluation Period of July tipped off on Wednesday night and NBE Sports was in the building at USC Aiken for the Peach State Summer Showcase.

While the tournament might not get as much hype as Nike Peach Jam does, Peach State is also loaded with talented prospects. Several of those players stood out on opening night and NBE Sports caught up with a few guys as well.

TOP PERFORMER

John Egbunu might not be 7-foot like he is listed, but the future South Florida Bull is an impressive player nonetheless. The Class of 2013 center out of Eagle’s Landing (GA) is a rugged interior presence who simply gets things done around the cup. Egbunu turned in an impressive performance for Douglas Brothers Elite in a victory over Birmingham Ice Xpress and was extremely difficult to defend in the low post. He finishes well and does a great job of grabbing offensive rebounds and then putting the ball back in the cup for an easy deuce. Possessing strength and power, Egbunu is also capable of throwing down a big-time dunk, as he most certainly showed on Wednesday night.
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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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JOSH BROWN CONTINUES TO SEE EXPANDING RECRUITMENT

July 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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by Alex Schwartz

PHILADELPHIA – For about eight months it looked like the college future for Josh Brown was all set as the 6-foot-3 point guard was committed to the Temple Owls.

However, he reopened his recruitment last month and, as NBE Sports learned from talking to him at the Reebok Showdown Championship, he now has an extensive list of suitors.

In fact, Brown, who attends St. Anthony’s (NJ), has so many schools pursuing him now that he called over his Sports U coach, Eric Harrield, to help him remember them all.

According to Brown and his coach, the schools to extend offers are Read more

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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2012 LEBRON JAMES SKILLS ACADEMY RECAP – SUNDAY

July 9, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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Game play begins at camp

by Raphielle Johnson

The afternoon session of the LeBron James Skills Academy on Sunday brought about the beginning of game play at the event, with the campers splitting up into eight teams of approximately ten players each.

There were some injuries to account for, most notably 2013 forward Jermaine Lawrence spraining his ankle early in the camp and 2013 prospects Xavier Rathan-Mayes and Jarell Martin both having to deal with ankle injuries at some point in the day.

But despite those injuries there were some standouts on Sunday, with many looking better in game action than they did during the drills portion of the camp. One player who made an impact on Sunday was guard Shelton Mitchell, whose dunk over Kuran Iverson may be the play of the camp to this point.

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2012 RUMBLE IN THE BRONX RECAP (PART III)

June 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

The Rumble in the Bronx came to a close on Championship Sunday with winners being crowned in the 15U, 16U, and 17U divisions. The NJ Playaz took down the 15U crown, Team Scan the 16U, and Sports U was named 17U champions after a thrilling triple overtime win over arch rival NJ Playaz. I was camped out at John Jay College on Sunday which featured some early 16U playoff action followed by 17U semifinals and finals. While Sports U used a balanced attack en route to the championship, the Playaz had the day’s best performer in the losing effort.

Top Performance of the Day:

Shane Rector (NJ Playaz 2013) – As mentioned the Playaz lost a heartbreaker to Sports U in the championship game but Rector was a dominant force individually throughout the day on his team’s path to that game. His improvement over the past 12 months has been fun to watch and speaks to Rector’s tireless work ethic. A year ago at the Rumble I wrote about Shane after he scored 25 or so points without taking a shot outside of 4 feet. His game used to be all to the rim with little to no outside shot in his arsenal. Fast forward a year and the 3 point shot has become a major weapon for Rector as defenders can no longer go under the screen without being punished. He has also improved drastically as a floor general running a team and being a leader. No longer just an athletic combo guard, Rector has successfully made the transition to a full time point and his recruitment should soon reap the benefits.

NBE’s Alex Schwartz was able to catch up with Rector Friday night, along with Saturday’s Top Performer Dayshon Smith, to get the latest on the recruitment of two of the spring’s fastest rising guards, not only out of NYC, but in the nation: NYC Guards Shane Rector & Dayshon Smith See Recruitment Rise.
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SPIECE BILL HENLSEY MEMORIAL RUN-N-SLAM PLAYER EVALUATIONS

May 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By N.D. Kendrick, special to NBE Basketball Report

Midwest star power was on display this past weekend in Fort Wayne, Indiana where some of the top clubs from the middle of the country and a few from other locations took part in the Bill Hensley Memorial Run-n-Slam.

Quite possibly the attraction that brought in the most basketball junkies was a battle between Spiece Indy Heat, featuring Indiana-commit Trey Lyles, Purdue-bound Bryson Scott and JaQuan Lyle, facing Mac Irvin Fire, which was tabbed as the favorite to win the event.

Mac Irvin Fire got a quiet 20 point effort out of the Gatorade National Player of the Year Jabari Parker, and won by the score of 80-70. Both the Mac Irvin Fire and Spiece Indy Heat – arguably the two most star-studded rosters – failed to reach the championship games of their respective brackets.

The Derrick Walton (Michigan-commit) and Monte Morris led Michigan Mustangs emerged as the champions of the 17u tournament when the coaches of The Family decided to forfeit due to several players cramping up.

Run-n-Slam allows you to evaluate several prospects due to the format and way the massive gym is set up. The focus of the weekend was incoming juniors and seniors. Provided are several prospects (not in any particular order) that impressed over the weekend…
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KENDRICK NUNN TALKS RECRUITING

May 1, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

HAMPTON, Va. – Kendrick Nunn of Simeon (IL) High School is one of the top guard prospects in the class of 2013. The 6-foot-2, 180-pounder, who runs with Mean Streets on the AAU circuit, spoke with NBE Sports on Sunday at the Nike EYBL Session #2.

Nunn said that he holds scholarship offers from Texas A&M, Texas, Nebraska, Iowa State, Memphis, UCLA, Illinois, DePaul, Missouri, and others. In addition, he is garnering interest from Kansas.

The rising senior has no favorites at this point, but has taken visits to Ohio U., Illinois, Memphis, and Texas A&M. Nunn has no visits planned, but that does not mean he will not be taking any trips in the near future.
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THE HOOP GROUP’S PITTSBURGH JAMFEST: DAY TWO

April 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Batko

A full slate of games on Saturday at the Hoop Group Pittsburgh Jam Fest meant a lot more players in action, a lot more eye-opening performances, and a lot more recruiting updates. Below is a rundown of all the players from various classes that NBE caught up with on Saturday at the Jam Fest:

Andrew Harrison (Houston Defenders, 2013, Travis HS) – Regarded as a top five player in 2013, Harrison did nothing to prove otherwise on Saturday. The 6’5” point guard handled the rock, showed off his nasty crossover and great vision, and was able to get his shot off whenever and wherever he wanted. He and his twin brother Harrison listed a top four of Kentucky, Maryland, Villanova, and Baylor but said that doesn’t mean that another school can’t still get into the picture with them.

Aaron Harrison (Houston Defenders, 2013, Travis HS) – Not quite as quick and smooth as his brother, Aaron prefers to play off the ball, spotting up for threes and also attacking the rim. He and Andrew are 100 percent a package deal at the college level, according to them, and whichever school ultimately lands this dynamic duo better have plenty of minutes to go around in the backcourt.
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AREA CODES EASTER CLASSIC REVIEW

April 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Raphielle Johnson

This past weekend the sixth annual Easter Classic was played at multiple locations in Phoenix. It was a good opportunity to check out some of the better talents in the region, with teams from New Mexico and California also taking part.

And with some of the top prospects showing up it was a good opportunity to ask recruits an important question when it comes to basketball on the West Coast:

What’s wrong with the Pac-12?

The league’s been down for a couple of years now, and with 11 of the conference’s top 20 scorers from this past season moving on there will be a lot of pressure on some highly touted newcomers to pick things up (Arizona likely being the team many pick to win the conference next season).

2013 wing Payton Banks, who played at Orange Lutheran with Arizona signee Gabe York, feels that the conference will bounce back in 2012-13 and the Wildcats are a big reason why.

“[This year] was a bad year for the Pac-12, but this year will change a lot,” remarked Banks when I asked him the question.

2014 point guard Brian Beard and 2013 forward Chancey Hill both pointed to recruiting as the biggest problem for the conference, with Beard citing conference teams being outworked by the likes of Long Beach State and San Diego State while Hill said that the conference needs more diversity (geographically speaking) in recruiting.

Personally speaking, the recruiting issue is where the problem lies when it comes to the caliber of play in the Pac-12 in recent years. Lots of teams throughout the country have players leave school for the NBA after one or two seasons, making those recruits expected to spend three and four years on campus even more important.

Look at national champion Kentucky. While one could definitely argue that the Wildcats were talented enough to win with their youngsters this season, there’s no ignoring the role that senior Darius Miller played on that team. And from a recruiting standpoint there’s Kentucky and then everyone else she looking at who’s coming in annually.

Arizona and Indiana both welcome in outstanding classes this summer, but John Calipari and his staff do a good enough job to bring in a new team that can contend for a national title every year.

If you’re not able to do that you’d better be able to get a good mix onto campus, and that hasn’t happened for the Pac-12 outside of Arizona’s Elite Eight run in 2011. Can the conference come back? Sure it can, provided they win some important recruiting battles for the best talent on the West Coast.

But it’s also going to take the development of players who don’t fall into the “one and done” or two-year categories. That can’t be forgotten when discussing what the conference needs to do in order to return to the pinnacle of western basketball while also regaining national respect.

As for the action there were some high-level products on display, and below are updates on their recruitment along with other standouts this weekend.

G Payton Banks (2013)

Banks is a high-level wing who is on the radar of many of the top teams on the West Coast. A versatile guard with size, when Banks decides to attack the basket with authority he’s a tough player to deal with. That’s the key for him: being in attack mode consistently. Banks holds offers from Arizona State, Colorado, Penn State, USC, UTEP, Washington and Washington State.

G Brian Beard (2014)

The 2014 pass-first point guard was solid if not spectacular for the Compton Magic Black. Speaking with Beard on Saturday, he says that his goal this summer is to improve his perimeter shooting and thus become a bigger threat to opponents offensively. Recently the schools who have shown “medium-to-high” interest are Marquette, Oregon State and San Diego State with none having offered.

G Richaud Gittens (2013)

Gittens is one of three players on the Arizona Stars who stood out this past weekend, displaying some very good athleticism in the open floor. A left-hand dominant player right now, Gittens wants to improve his right this spring/summer. He’s looking for a bigger school that plays an up-tempo style of basketball, and currently has received interest from Colorado State, Drake, UCSB and Weber State. Obviously with his goal being to land at a larger institution this is going to be a big summer for him.

F Chauncey Hill (2013)

The Fairfax product had a good weekend in Phoenix, showing off a high-level motor and finishing ability above the rim. The key for Hill will be how he goes about expanding his offensive repertoire, something than can also be said for club teammate Jordan Bell (who played with ICP in a different event this week). Speaking with Hill, who said that he tries to model his game after Kenneth Faried, he’s looking to become more of a wing player skill-wise as he spends the majority of his time in the paint. Boasting a mohawk that’s dyed blonde on top, Hill has received interest from Colorado, Fresno State, Marquette, San Diego State and Washington but no offers as of yet.

G Jaron Hopkins (2013)

Hopkins is one of the best perimeter prospects on the West Coast; how he’s been unranked by multiple scouting sites is one mystery that’s difficult to explain. If Hopkins gets a step on his defender he’s going to the rim and he’s going with authority. He says he’s been attempting 500-600 jumpers a day in hopes of improving that aspect of his game. Hopkins currently holds offers from the likes of Boise State, Colorado, Colorado State, Pennsylvania, Penn State, San Francisco and Washington State, with interest from Harvard, Stanford and UCLA. Hopkins is aware of the coaching situation at Colorado State (Tim Miles moving on to Nebraska) but that’s something he’s left to his father, also noting that Miles has been in contact with his father since taking over at Nebraska.

G Dorian Pickens (2014)

Pickens is a smooth wing who was able to score in a variety of ways for the Arizona Stars. The recent recipient of an offer from Arizona State, Pickens knocked down perimeter jumpers while also showing off his mid-range game. He’ll need to get better at attacking the basket so opponents can’t play him too close, and he says he’ll also be working at becoming a better defender. He’s looking for a school with good academics that provides a family atmosphere while playing an up-tempo style of basketball. In addition to the ASU offer, Arizona, Boston College and Indiana have shown early interest. When asked if the high number of transfers at Arizona State (12 in three years) would affect how he viewed Herb Sendek’s program Pickens said no, stating that he’s just going to focus on how he meshes with the coaching staff.

F Pablo Rivas (2014)

Rivas is a 6-6 forward with very good athleticism as he’s also a wide receiver for his high school’s football team. And despite his wiry frame Rivas showed off some of the physicality gained from playing football, as he was more than willing to bang with opposing big men. Rivas runs the floor well and has room for growth from a skill standpoint; another summer spent working on his game could yield positive results when it comes to what he’ll be able to do offensively. Looking to major in engineering in college (mechanical and computer being the two disciplines he’s most interested in), Northern Colorado has shown some interest in Rivas. He did say that his “dream school” is Memphis, but this is going to be a big summer for him in terms of improving his skill set if he wants to draw the attention of the future Big East member.

F Paul Watson (2013)

Watson was solid but had a tough weekend due to the fact that he had to play center. To say the least the wing prospect who has received offers from high major programs is not a center. Watson’s a good scorer from multiple areas on the floor but for his sake hopefully they can get some size to help him out. But that doesn’t mean that Watson isn’t’ using this as an opportunity to add to his game, as he’s working on a turnaround jumper and a sweep-through move. Watson currently holds offers from Arizona State, Boise State, Fresno State, Oregon State and Texas Tech, and Arizona, Duke, New Mexico State, UNLV and USC have shown varying levels of interest.

Other Players of Note

G Bryce Alford (2013)

The New Mexico verbal commitment may be known by many for his famous lineage, but he’s a very good player in his own right. Alford played off the ball for much of the weekend, doing a good job of finding looks on the perimeter. Needs a little more work creating off the dribble but to be fair he didn’t man the point much for the Danny Granger Hurricanes.

G Malcolm Allen and G Marcus Allen (2013)

Twins from Las Vegas, these two played well this weekend alongside Jaron Hopkins and Paul Watson. Both are good athletes, with Malcolm showing a little better when it came to getting to the basket. Keep an eye on these two as the spring/summer rolls on, and that should be easy to do given the attention being heaped upon Hopkins and Watson from a recruiting standpoint.

G Sedrick Barefield (2015)

A member of the Compton Magic’s 2015 squad, Barefield is going to be one of the best guards in the country regardless of class by the time he’s a senior. Already ranked among the best guards in his class, Barefield is very good at finding quality looks. Good handle, good shooting form and a solid defender as well.

F Joe Boyd (2013)

The former New Mexico State verbal has bulked up some to match his 6-9 height, and he’s got the strength needed to bang inside. Still has to work on his mid-range jumper and free throw shooting, but he’ll be a good get for someone at the low to mid-major level with a solid spring/summer. At last check (a couple of months ago) New Mexico State remains high on his list, although depending on what happens with Marvin Menzies and the Colorado State opening maybe that changes.

F Kendall Lauderdale (2015)

He’s with Barefield on a Compton Magic 2015 team that recruiting fans are going to want to keep track of in the coming years. Already standing at 6-7, Lauderdale displayed a very good motor in the paint and good athleticism as well. Having his jersey ripped to the point where it looked like something Tarzan would wear didn’t slow him down either (they eventually gave him a new jersey. He’ll be one of the many high-major products on this roster with continued growth and development.

G Dikembe Martin (2016)

Martin can get to the basket off the dribble and while he’s got some work to do on his perimeter shot he was able to knock down a few jumpers as well. His best work may have come in the distribution area, where he set up fellow 2016 prospects Jace Rivera and Martin Tombe inside. This was as part of a Compton Magic 2016 class team that managed to beat a 17U squad on Saturday, and they’re only going to get better.

G Bubba Mears (2012)

Mears hasn’t been able to drum up enough interest scholarship-wise but the 5-9 point guard is a good athlete who also played football in high school. To describe Mears as a “bulldog” defensively would be more than accurate, as he helped lead the Tucson Heat seniors past the Compton Magic Black on Saturday afternoon. Offensively he did a good job of running the show, setting up teammates for quality looks while also using his quickness to get to the basket. Not sure if he goes D-1 due to the height, but he’d be a good late addition for a team in need of a point guard.

G Cullen Neal (2013)

Like teammate Bryce Alford, Neal’s the son of a coach (UNM assistant Craig Neal) who can also get the job done on the court. Neal, a Saint Mary’s verbal, was on the ball for most of the weekend for the Danny Granger Hurricanes and while his shot selection left something to be desired at times there’s no doubt that he can make plays. He’s got good size for a point guard, and he’ll be a very good addition when he steps onto the SMC campus next summer.

G Jeff Van Dyke (2013)

He was one of the good perimeter shooters on a tough Gamepoint 17U Black squad. Very good in catch and shoot situations this past weekend, Van Dyke was also able to create some good looks off of the dribble as well. High-major 2013 big Kameron Rooks didn’t play with them this weekend, which likely opened some things up for Gamepoint’s other 2013 prospects. 2012 wing Nathan Wright spent most of his time inside as a result.

F Arren Wells (2012)

While Alford and Neal are the headliners for the Danny Granger Hurricanes they’ve got some good 2012 big men who are still on the market with Wells being one of them. A good athlete who can finish above the rim, Wells had no problem getting physical inside. Not sure what level he ends up playing at as a college freshman, but with the first open evaluation period coming up in less than two weeks western teams in need of some late size should make it a priority to check in on the Hurricanes.

WITH THREE YEARS OF ELIGIBILITY LEFT, JUCO TRENCY JACKSON DRAWING PLENTY OF INTEREST

March 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

After spending the 2010-2011 school year at Southern Miss, battling NCAA eligibility and clearinghouse hurdles, Trency Jackson left the program to play for coach Steve Forbes and attend Northwest Florida State Junior College. The move has paid off as Jackson has played a key role helping the Raiders to a 29-1 record and state championship. Next up in the Nationals and Jackson could not say enough about his time at the school.

“The best part have been playing against top competition because the Panhandle [Conference] is like the top JUCO conference in the country,” Jackson told NBE on Sunday. “I’ve also loved playing with my teammates and coaching staff this year, one of the best.”

The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Jackson has been a complete team player for the Raiders. Despite modest statistics with around 11 points and 5 rebounds a game, Jackson made 1st Team All-Panhandle Conference this season. His strengths on the floor will likely be welcomed by any number of college teams recruiting him.
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KAZA KAJAMI-KEANE LOOKING FOR RIGHT FIT IN CLASS OF 2012

February 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Canadian point guard Kaza Kajami-Keane has made another move. With many of the schools in on his recruitment looking for backcourt help to finish their Class of 2012 recruiting, Keane has scrapped plans for a post-grad season and is now looking to sign this spring and help one of those schools find their solution to their 2012 recruiting.

“There was a lot of thinking that went into me going to college this up coming year, but the main ones were how I already have the right grades and right academic habits to go forth and go to college,” Kajami-Keane told NBE over the weekend, “so there wasn’t really a need academically to stay in high school. Also another reason was because a lot of schools that were recruiting me were really interested in getting in a [Class of] 2012 point guard, so I felt that I would jump at the situation when it arose.”

Kajami-Keane hopes to find that right situation because he feels the time is now to move on to college and take his game to that next level.
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