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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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RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (4/1/2013): RECRUITING TRAIL HEATING UP ONCE AGAIN

April 1, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

There has been a lot of news in the world of high school hoops in the past few weeks, including a few talented juniors making early commitments, an elite senior ending his recruitment and some high-profile players in setting announcement dates.

One of the best players in the nation, Julius Randle, declared his intentions to attend Kentucky. The 6-foot-9 power forward from Prestonwood Christian (TX) opted for the Wildcats over Florida, Kansas and Texas. Randle joins an absolutely loaded seven-man 2013 recruiting class for UK that many are calling the greatest group ever assembled.

Also, according to Jason Jordan of USA Today, Julius Randle has been added to the McDonald’s All-American game. He was initially ineligible since he missed more than half the season—he was injured—yet has been added anyway. Randle is one of six players in the game headed to Kentucky next year.

One-time Murray State commit Demarcus Croaker is now headed to Texas for his college ball, per Reggie Rankin. He also noted that the class of 2013 prospect selected Texas over Murray State this time around. Croaker is a 6-foot-3 shooting guard from Jones (FL).

Gavin Schilling of Findlay Prep (NV) became the first member of Michigan State’s 2013 recruiting class. The 6-foot-9 power forward tweeted his commitment to the Spartans. He selected MSU over Minnesota, UCLA and Villanova.

Rutgers landed a pledge from JuCo prospect Chris Griffin of Wabash Valley College (IL), according to Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com. Griffin is a 6-foot-7 small forward in the class of 2013.

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’14 BIG MAN ANDRE WALKER HAS PLENTY OF COLLEGE INTEREST

November 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Now that the Class of 2013 is able to sign their Letters of Intents to officialy close their recruitment, the Class of 2014 will move more toward the focus of coaches, fans and scouts. The recruitment of the big men in any class is usually the slowest to come into focus, however one talented big man in the Class of 2014 has already gathered a strong following of interested college programs.

6-foot-10, 210-pound Andre Walker caught the eye of NBE reporters a few times last summer on the AAU trail as the Bullis School (MD) prospect was on the circuit with the always talented DC Assault program. Now back in the home environment of his high school, plenty of schools have made contact to let him know they will be following his development.
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RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (10/4/2012) — HARRISON TWINS DECISION DUE TODAY

October 4, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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by Alex Schwartz

Quite possibly the best package deal in high school basketball history will have a destination today. Top-four ranked twin brothers Andrew and Aaron Harrison are set to announce their college intentions and will be choosing between Kentucky, Maryland and SMU.

The 6-foot-5 guards from Travis (TX) had long been working with a top five that also included Baylor and Villanova, but they have narrowed it down to a final trio. The general belief though, is that it is truly a two-horse race between Kentucky and Maryland.

UK is on a roll under John Calipari, as he is four for four in Lexington, Ky. in signing the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation. He has led Kentucky to two Final Fours and the Wildcats are the reigning national champion. UK has also churned out a plethora of first round picks under Cal and it is the winningest program in NCAA basketball history.
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2012 PEACH JAM REPORT – DAY II (PART C)

July 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

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

Top Performer of the Night:

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

July 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

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

Top Performer of the Afternoon:

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

July 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Post-Peach Jam announcement set for Charm City Pair

By Ron Bailey

Nike’s Peach Jam has become a milestone event on the grassroots circuit, given its status as that companies’ summertime championship of their sponsored Elite Youth Basketball League. Of course coaches from across the country attend, chasing some of the countries’ boys best high school basketball talent.

A pair of B’More guys are using it as yard marker, per se. In a sense the goal line.

“I’m going to decide after Peach Jam,” revealed Class of 2013 forward Jamel Artis at the recently concluded Nike Skills U Camp, of his announcement timetable. Still dripping sweat after a game, he noted 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 NIKE GLOBAL CHALLENGE — RECRUITING NOTES

July 14, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The Nike Global Challenge got underway on Friday at Episcopal High School in Alexandria (VA). It was the place to be of this first 5-day July evaluation period for Division 1-A basketball coaches as John Calipari, Rick Pitino, Jim Calhoun, Tom Izzo, Tom Crean, Jay Wright, Buzz Williams, Jamie Dixon, Oliver Purnell, Fran Dunphy, Billy Donovan, Frank Martin, Lorenzo Romar, Tubby Smith, Mark Gottfried, Scott Drew, Sean Miller, Mike Rice, Kevin Willard and more were on hand during the games NBE took in.

These coaches were on hand to watch some of the best players in the world at the youth level. There are eight teams total competing in the Nike Global Challenge with three from the United States (East, West & Midwest) and one each from Brazil, Canada, Lithuania, Puerto Rico and China.

Here are some recruiting updates from six of the US players we were able to catch up with on Friday…

Anchoring the middle for USA-East is Class of 2013, 6-foot-8 big man Beejay Anya out of DeMatha/Team Takeover DC. In the 109-70 USA win, Anya scored 12 points, grabbed 8 rebounds and blocked 4 shots in a productive 24 minutes of action. Matt Whitfield was able to spend some time getting an update on the latest in his recruitment, which many seem to believe there is one school that is clearly the one to beat for his services, but not so fast according to Anya.

“It’s not the case [that Indiana] is the favorite,” Anya told Matt Whitfield on Friday. “They’re a school I like and I’ll go out there [to visit].”

The links between Anya and Indiana are pretty strong. AAU teammate Stanford Robinson committed to the Hoosiers shortly after Tom Cream added Kenny Johnson to his staff as an assistant, hiring Johnson away from Towson. Prior to working at Towson, Johnson was a coach with Team Takeover DC working with both Robinson and Anya.

“No, I think he’ll do a good job there, but it won’t really affect me that much,” Anya said of Johnson’s presence on the IU staff influencing his decision.

Indiana is just one of the top programs Anya is currently considering.

Louisville, Kansas, Indiana, Syracuse, Maryland, Georgetown, Connecticut, Ohio State, Villanova, Pittsburgh, St. John’s, and the list goes on,” said Anya.
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A last minute replacement joining Anya on the USA-East squad was Austin Colbert, an athletic forward who chipped in 12 points (on 6-11 shooting) in 18 minutes of action.

Colbert, a New Jersey native, attended Hotchkiss (CT) School last season and there are some whispers that he could be headed back to the Garden State to finish up his high school career, possibly Gil St. Bernard’s, but no final decision has been made at this point. As for his recruitment, five schools have put themselves currently in the best position.

“I don’t have any officials planned yet,” Colbert told Matt Whitfield on Friday. “Even though I narrowed it down I’m still wide open. I’m still accepting offers and trying to get as many offers as I can.”

Currently he considered Florida, Baylor, Georgetown, Seton Hall and Texas as his top five with only the Longhorns yet to extend an offer at this point. Other schools are still trying to make their pitch, and it could pay off as Colbert admitted he is still willing to consider other schools.

Illinois, Virginia and Oklahoma have texted me as of late,” he said.

One could not help but notice Seton Hall, led by head coach Kevin Willard, looking very interested in Colbert’s work this afternoon.
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Kennedy Meeks had a strong few days last week at the Lebron James Skills Academy in Vegas, but the Team United big man struggled playing for USA-West in an 87-77 loss at the hands of USA-Midwest in his first Nike Global Challenge outing. Meeks finished with just 4 points and 5 rebounds in 20 minutes. His evening line (6 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists in 20 minutes) in a 98-69 in over Puerto Rico was much closer to the well-rounded game he showed in Sin City.

As for his recruitment, Meeks shared with NBE who is putting in the most effort with his recruitment of late.

Kentucky, Indiana, North Carolina, Georgetown, NC State [and] Louisville” was the answer when asked by Matt Whitfield who was recruiting him the hardest.

Meeks also shared that he would like to visit Indiana as one of his official visits in the fall.
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Kyle Washington, who was a teammate of Colbert’s this past season at Hotchkiss School, had a very impressive week last month at the NBPA Top 100 High School Camp on the campus of the University of Virginia. Between that camp and the Nike Global Challenge, Washington spent some time take a couple unofficial visits, including a trip to Notre Dame.

“It was a good visit,” Washington told NBE Friday. “I needed to go and see how I would fit into the community, how I’d fit into the program. It was a good visit overall. I know how Coach Brey feels about me, how Coach Solomon feels about me so it was good.”

The Minnesota native is playing things close to the vest these next few weeks, so he is holding off on naming schools that are on his list until after the live recruiting periods of July. He is enjoying the attention fromt he college coaches at his games.

“It feels great [to be watched by so many major coaches], but you just got to remain calm in what you do because that’s what they like you for. The schools are great. The fans are great, but in the end it’s just basketball.”

Washington is teaming up with Anya and Colbert for USA-East here at the Nike Global challenge and in their lopsided win over China he contributed 9 points while collecting a game-high 13 rebounds and also adding a game-best 5 assists in his 25 minutes of action.

While a list is not coming out quite yet, Washington did confirm that “Wisconsin is still recruiting me really hard.”
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Kameron Williams of Baltimore Elite was the leading scorer of the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League this spring and he brought his offense with him this week as well, getting off to a quick start with 20 points in 23 minutes in the win over China for USA-East.

As for his recruitment, Williams shared with Matt Whitfield that he is hoping to make an early fall decision, either in September or October, and admitted the ACC is his favorite conference. He mentioned schools such as Dayton, VCU, Virginia Tech, Miami, Providence, Rutgers, Florida State, Boston College, NC State and Marquette in the mix currently for his services.
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Class of 2014 wing Theo Pinson showed off his impressive scoring touch, putting 9 points on the board in just 15 minutes of action for USA-East against China.

The youngster mentioned Louisville, North Carolina, Duke, Baylor, Florida State, Alabama, Indiana, Wake Forest, NC State, Syracuse, Seton Hall, DePaul, Tennessee, and others involved in the early process of his recruitment.

Pinson wants to work on the consistency of his jump shot and also improve defensively and on the boards to make himself a complete basketball player. He hopes that will lead to an aggressive recruitment from his favorite school growing up.

“My favorite school when I was young was Duke,” he said. “They said they were going to come watch me, so we’ll see.”

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2012 REEBOK BREAKOUT CAMP REPORT

July 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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by Alex Schwartz

PHILADELPHIA – Reebok restarted its July camp last year after some time off and had some pretty nice talent on display. This year, though, the Reebok Breakout Challenge has gone to a whole new level and is absolutely filled with big-time talent from coast to coast.

NBE Sports was on hand the past two days and had the opportunity to see each and every team. Several usual suspects turned in impressive performances, while some lesser known players also made names for themselves.

TOP PERFORMER

Aaron Harrison of Travis (TX) is the best shooting guard prospect in the country and he played like it in Philly. The 6-foot-5, class of 2013 recruit has a terrific combination of skill and athleticism that makes him extremely difficult to contain when he is on his game. While at Reebok, he was absolutely fantastic and basically scored at will. Harrison showed off a lethal stroke from long range right from the get-go, nailing six 3-pointers in the first half of the very first game of camp on Wednesday evening. He has deep range so he cannot be sagged off of too much, but if you play him too tight he is more than capable of getting to the rack off the bounce. Harrison is also adept at drawing fouls around the rim, so even if he misses down low, there is a strong chance he will still get some points for his effort.

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ELITE 75 REVIEW – PART III (NY LIGHTNING TRIO PARTICIPATE)

July 3, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

While the Elite 75 is only for New England talent, three members of the NY Lightning who have been playing for high school teams in Connecticut received an invite. Kuran Iverson (2013 G/F), Jason Boswell (2013 G/F) and Dayshon Smith (2013 PG) all made the trip to Lowell and all three had impressive performances on the court during Friday’s camp.

Kuran Iverson – Iverson has been making strides all spring and continued his upward progression with another impressive day at Elite 75. I would expect high majors from all over who may have backed off on Iverson to take another look in July after his dominant spring. The NBA-level talent is undeniable in the 6-foot-8 forward who attends Northwest Catholic in Hartford (CT) and if he can follow up his spring with a consistent summer, he’ll be one major step closer to realizing his massive potential.
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KENDAL HARRIS LOOKING TO MAKE UP FOR LOST TIME

June 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Whitfield

Despite having good athleticism, work ethic and a brother who plays for the Miami Heat, Kendal Harris is one of the less talked about high major point guard prospects in the Class of 2013. Harris thinks that all might change soon due to a good NBA Top 100 Camp showing and being healthy this summer unlike the last and ready to play on the AAU circuit.

Harris’ brother Terrel Harris brother played for Oklahoma State in college and being from Texas not surprisingly Harris has a lot of the Big 12 schools on him, as well as others from coast to coast.

USC, Marquette, Missouri, Washington State, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Creighton, LSU, Virginia and TCU,” Harris mentioned as schools after him.
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NBPA TOP 100 HIGH SCHOOL CAMP NOTES (THURSDAY)

June 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Ron Bailey

The National Basketball Association Players Association Top 100 High School Basketball Camp commenced today, with over a hundred of the best high school players in the classes of 2013 and 2014 convening at the University of Virginia’s John Paul Jones arena. If you can’t get hyped for this, you don’t like hoops.

Following are notes from a jam-packed first full day of action at the camp…

Standout Performer – In a camp with as much talent as is present here, singling an individual best player is a difficult task; heck, doing so is so subjective anyway, if you polled 10 attendees, you might get close to 10 different answers.

Though statistically rising senior Dominic Woodson leads the camp in scoring with a 17 point per game average, Class of 2014 performer Kavon Looney made a lasting impression as he stood out. A 6-foot-8 forward out of Hamilton HS in Milwaukee (WI), Looney does a little bit of everything – he scored, rebounded and dropped assists, averaging 11 points, 2 dimes and 6.5 caroms over a pair of games.

When asked to describe his game, Looney simply said “I do whatever I need to, to win”.
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2012 RUMBLE IN THE BRONX RECAP (PART II)

June 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

The Rumble in the Bronx got back into swing on Saturday at gyms all over the greater NYC area. I had the opportunity to take in the action at both Baruch College in the morning and John Jay College in the evening. While younger players in the 2014 and 2015 classes stole the show for much of the day it was still a member of the 2013 class who gets top billing for Saturday.

Top Performance of the Day:

Dayshon Smith (NY Lightning 2013) – Affectionately called “Scooch” by just about everybody, Smith is an old school New York City point guard. He uses spins, hesitation moves, crossovers, and herky-jerky head fakes to constantly work his way into the paint and make plays. Once inside he’s equally likely to use a soft floater, explode towards the rim, or whip a pass out to a 3 point shooter at any and all angles. While his physical skills are impressive it’s the mental side of the game where Smith truly separates himself from the competition. He has a unique understanding of when to get others involved and when to look for his own offense. In the first half of a Saturday night victory Scooch ran the show and got everyone else the ball in spots where they could be successful. Then down the stretch of the second half with the outcome still in the balance he took matters into his own hands and seemed to score on every possession down the floor. This is not the first time I’ve seen Smith master the balance of keeping teammates happy for 3.5 quarters and then closing the game out himself in the final moments. It’s unusual for players at the high school level to already understand that just because they can get their own shot any time doesn’t always make it the right decision. Scooch is ahead of the game in this area and it’s a mindset that will continue to serve him well at the next level.
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NIKE EYBL – OAKLAND (SATURDAY RECAP)

May 27, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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.

Random Thought:

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.

Recruiting Notes:

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.

Theo Pinson has heard from a number of schools, including Ohio State, Indiana, Syracuse, NC State, Georgetown, Alabama, Wake Forest, Tennessee, Duke, Florida State, North Carolina and Marquette.

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.

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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LAS VEGAS AAU WEEKEND UPDATE: FLORIDA RAMS FLEX MUSCLES; RECRUITING UPDATES GALORE

April 24, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Raphielle Johnson

The first open weekend of the spring/summer meant action throughout the country, including Las Vegas with Sin City hosting three events. The biggest of the three was the adidas VIP Exclusive Run, which featured most of the nation’s best programs under the three stripes banner.

The program that stole the show this weekend at adidas was the Florida Rams, whose 16u and 17u teams both won championships. The 17 and under team is well-known by this point, as they’re led by one of the country’s top prospects in the 2013 class in Chris Walker.

A slender forward who can run the floor and finish with the best of them, Walker played well on both ends of the floor for much of the weekend and likely had one of the early frontrunners for dunk of the AAU season. But he had plenty of help as well, especially from Florida commit Kasey Hill.

The 2013 point guard ran the show for the Rams, displaying the ability to get to the basket off the bounce at will. Hill also did a good job of distributing the basketball, setting up Walker and Kansas commit Brannen Greene frequently.
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2012 NATIONAL PREP SCHOOL INVITATIONAL — TOP PERFORMERS

February 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

*********Follow NBE Sports on Twitter: http://twitter.com/NBESports*****

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

Now that the National Prep School Invitational has come to close and I’ve had a few days to process all the basketball I watched it’s time to rank the performances from the weekend. Below are player rankings by class based on this past weekend’s performance only. These are not an overall opinion on these players but rather a snapshot based on how they played at Rhode Island College over the weekend. The top spot in 2012 came down to the nation’s two best big men and is a decision I agonized over before finalizing it.

Be sure to check out our daily coverage from a great weekend of hoops at the 2012 National Prep School Invitational:
’12 NPSI – Day Four Report
’12 NPSI – Day Three Report
’12 NPSI – Day Two Report
’12 NPSI – Day One Report

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2012 NATIONAL PREP SCHOOL INVITATIONAL — DAY THREE

February 5, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

*********Follow NBE Sports on Twitter: http://twitter.com/NBESports*****

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

With most college programs having games of their own on Saturday fewer coaches were on hand at Rhode Island College to take in the action but that didn’t stop the players from putting on a show. The best game of the day and arguably the weekend thus far was between New Hampton Prep and Canarias Basketball Academy. Canarias got out to a lead using their incredible size and strength but New Hampton came storming back to force overtime. New Hampton had lost stud sophomore Noah Vonleh to five fouls towards the end of regulation and it caught up with them in the extra session as Canarias prevailed 82-77. Despite coming up five points short on the scoreboard New Hampton had the top individual performance of the day from a somewhat unlikely source.

Top Performer of the Day:

Olivier Hanlon (New Hampton 2012) – committed to Boston College – Of the 10-12 times I’ve seen Hanlon play both with New Hampton and on the summer circuit with Albany City Rocks today clearly stands out as his best overall performance. The 6’2” physical point guard carried his team on his back for the entire 2nd half and overtime session by scoring and creating for others. Hanlon is at his best in screen and roll sets where he turns the corner aggressively and attacks the lane. In those situations he scored with the floater, got all the way to the rim, drew fouls on Canarias’ bigs, and found open teammates on the perimeter. New Hampton ran the same high ball screen seemingly every time down in the 2nd half and Canarias never found an answer for Hanlon’s fearlessness turning the corner. He also showed off his 3 point stroke as he played off the ball at times and knocked them down in catch and shoot situations. Just as impressive as his offense is Hanlon’s intensity and ball pressure on the defensive end. He never takes a possession off on that end and got multiple steals with his quick footwork and great hands. Boston College fans should look forward to a bulldog at the point guard for the next four years.
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