Texas Tech Recruiting
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thaddeus Hall can score the basketball. Nobody would need to look any further than his second round of the PSAL Class AA playoffs performance last week. The 6-foot-5, 195-lb senior for Thomas Jefferson High School scored 34 first half points to lead his team to to an 86-76 win over Robeson. Hall finished with a career-high 39 points, including six three-pointers, in the contest. Like a true leader, Hall praised his teammates in the aftermath, although he still admitted the first half outburst has been the highlight of his year so far.
“My season is going great,” Hall told NBE. “[I] can’t believe how much the underclassmen [are] stepping up [and] playing this good. My highlight of the season is scoring 34 in the first half on Paul Roberson [last Wednesday].”
Hall followed up the 39-point explosion with 25 more in Sunday’s win over Wadleigh in the quarterfinals. The back-to-back performances has led to a scholarship offer that has really gotten his attention.
2011 ORLANDO AAU NOTEBOOK (PART 11): KEITH FRAZIER UPDATE; KASEY HILL; DOMINIC WOODSON; AARON HARRISON
By Alex Schwartz
KEITH FRAZIER IN AN ELITE TARGET IN ’13; PLANS LONG RECRUITMENT
Keith Frazier is one of the Class of 2013 elite prospects. The 6-foot-4 shooting guard out of Irving (TX) High School mentioned Georgia, Kentucky, Baylor, Texas, Houston, Marquette, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, North Carolina, Kansas and Memphis. He said each of those schools have offered except for UK and UNC.
On whether he has any favorites: “I like A&M a little bit, I like–actually, I like all of them I just named to be honest with you.”
Frazier, who said he will no longer be playing with Dream Vision and will just be with Houston Hoops, has visited Baylor, Texas and Kansas.
Although he has no visits planned, he did say of who he would like to visit, “I want to visit Georgia [and visit] Kansas some more. Who else do I wanna visit? Memphis, that’s all I can think of.”
By Matt Whitfield
On the last two days of the July live evaluation period some of the top AAU programs on the East Coast converged near the nation’s capitol for the Big Shots – DC Assault event. Many college coaches used the chance to get one last look at their top recruiting targets as well. Below are some of the recruiting updates NBE gathered during their time Sunday at the event…
Long Island Lightning forward Daniel Dingle continues to be a player many programs are keeping a close eye on. The 6-foot-6 combo forward out of St. Raymond’s in NYC also added a new scholarship offer recently.
“Right now my recruitment is going good,” Dingle said Sunday. “I just got a scholarship offer from Maryland. [As well as interest and offers from] Arizona, Temple, Dayton, Miami, Florida and Texas.
Dingle is starting to think about where he will visit in the coming month.
By Raphielle Johnson
The only thing better than the two best teams in an event playing in the title game is those teams putting forth a game for the ages. And that’s exactly what happened when the Mac Irvin Fire and New Jersey Playaz 17U teams met in Tuesday’s title game at the Desert Duel Memorial. Despite trailing by as many as 26 points early in the second half the Playaz found a way back, ultimately winning the game in overtime by the final score of 70-62.
Things most certainly didn’t look good for the Playaz at the start as Mac Irvin jumped them out of the gate thanks to the combination of solid offensive execution and the Playaz’s inability to make shots. The squad from Chicago had everything rolling, especially 2013 stud Jabari Parker who hit just about any shot imaginable in the first twenty minutes.
Steve Taylor (2012) was able to slash to the basket, DePaul commit Billy Garrett Jr. (2013) and Derrick Randolph (2012) made plays in the backcourt and Aaric Armstead (2012) was also a factor. A dunk just before the halftime buzzer made the score 43-20, and a Parker three in the first minute of the second half pushed the lead out to 26. To say the least things did not look good for the Playaz was an understatement.
By Alex Schwartz
It was a busy day in Orlando on Wednesday as the 17U AAU Super Showcase came to a close. The Houston Defenders earned the crown with an impressive 55-45 victory over BABC. Class of 2013 twins Aaron and Andrew Harrison led the Defenders as Aaron scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds, while Andrew finished with eight points and 10 assists. Earlier in the afternoon the Defenders got past Team Takeover, rallying from a halftime deficit to advance to the championship game. For their part, BABC survived a stiff challenge in the semis from Hoop Heavan Elite out of NJ to advance to the televised championship game.
Now the full focus will shift to the AAU National Championships. The 16U is in full swing and the 17U championships are also getting going in pool play as well. Still plenty of basketball left these next four days as the second July live evaluation period closes out.
Below we have some additional player evaluations and recruiting information from yesterday’s action with a heavy concentration on the Houston Defenders (Derrick Griffin), Team Takeover (Jerami Grant), BABC (Jaylen Brantley, Jake Layman, Goodluck Okonoboh) and more (Bobby Portis)…
By Alex Jesswein
Standout Seven: Top Players from the UA Summer Jam last week
Robert Carter–6-8 Power Forward–Atlanta Xpress: Although he was hobbled by an ankle injury, Atlanta Xpress Robert Carter really impressed us with his ‘old school’ approach. He won’t wow you with his athleticism or finesse, he just gets down to work in the block and is very adept at finishing with either hand. He did show an ability to step out and hit an open jumper but he will make his money doing the dirty work on the inside.
Chris Thomas–6-5 Guard–Colorado Hawks: Thomas is an extremely talented player. He reminds me of former Memphis guard Chris Douglas-Roberts because of his ability to play multiple positions. He seems to be very comfortable playing with the ball in his hand and because of his size and length should be able to defend multiple positions at the collegiate level.
It is becoming pretty clear that the Adidias Super 64 will be the place to be to start the final 10-day evaluation period of July. One player that wil lbe there and NBE is excited to get a look at is Jelon Hornbeak, a Class of 2012 guard out of Grace Prep in Arlington (TX). For much of the summer Hornbeak has been playing with Texas PRO but he will step out on the circuit this weekend with Family First in Las Vegas. He will not be doing it alone as his Grace Prep teammate and Baylor-commit Isaiah Austin will be along with him. Early highlights from the opening 10-day evaluation period in July for Hornbeak included connecting with his high school teammate in front of a plethora of college coaches and putting a beating on one of the top AAU programs at the NY2LA Sports Summer Jam in Milwaukee.
“Putting the mercy rule on Dream Vision,” said Hornbeak when asked of an early July highlights, “and throwing lobs to Isaiah and one game in Dallas I went 6 for 8 from three-point [range, making] five of them in a row.”
By Alex Jesswein
The UA Summer Jam Presented by NY2LA Sports was a rousing success this past week. A loaded field converged on Mequon (WI), just outside Milwaukee at Homestead High School. Talented players and teams from across the country competed over the course of July 12th through the conclusion of the first live evaluation period on July 15th. A who’s who of college coaches came through Homestead to take in the action and in the end it was the SYF Players taking the gold title led by Mitch McGary.
Below are a few more recruiting notes from the event as NBE got the opportunity to speak with McGary, Danuel House of Texas PRO and Ishmail Wainright of the KC 76ers for the latest on their recruitment….
Texas PRO Wing Danuel House has been a hot name on the recruiting scene this spring.
His ability to finish in traffic and knock down open shots has impressed coaches across the country.
By Brian Bosworth
After a lunch break for teams, college coaches, and scouts alike, the 17U tournament got back in swing on Tuesday evening with jaw dropping performances becoming commonplace.
Peach Jam 2nd Session Scoreboard:
Team Takeover 85, Athletes First 54
Oakland Soldiers 69, Texas Titans 51
Memphis YOMCA 71, City Rocks 62
BABC 79, Meanstreets 70
All-Ohio Red 73, Houston Hoops 69
Baltimore Elite 78, Boo Williams 71
NJ Playaz 72, California Supreme 60
CIA Bounce 55, All-Iowa Attack 53
Georgia Stars 78, Arkansas Wings 71
Indy Spiece 62, Louisiana Select 61
CP3 66, The Family 61
Mac Irvin Fire 60, Howard Pulley Panthers 53
Here are the highlights from some of the top performances NBE caught in action on Tuesday:
By Lauren Kirschman
The Lebron James Skills Academy took it up another notch on Thursday as college coaches were allowed to watch the action at the James A. Rhodes Arena on the University of Akron campus. After getting their feet wet with several workouts and the opportunity to play with and against King James himself in their first day and a half of the camp, now the players are playing for scholarships.
Right out of the gates the big name coaches arrived. By the time the first morning high school workout had finished names and faces we all know populated the viewing areas like Tom Izzo, Coach K, Jim Calhoun, Jim Boeheim, Billy Donovan, John Thompson III, Thad Matta, Bill Self, Matt Painter, Lorenzo Romar, Anthony Grant, Josh Pastner, Bruce Weber and many more with others planning to be here before the day is done.
By Ron Bailey
Nerlens Noel – 6’10”, 215 lb junior center, Tilton School (NH) – When discussing Noel’s game, defense is front and center. Just ask him.
“I think the strong part of my game is my defense, just anchoring the defense, trying to be as vocal as I can” he said between games at the recently concluded National Basketball Player’s Association Top 100 Camp in Charlottesville, VA. “Blocking shots, rebounding. Defense wins championships and that’s what I strive to do.”
And that’s what he did, rejecting shots at a prodigious rate. When he did not send them awry, he pressured shooters, thereby forcing them into difficult attempts and/or missing. Noel’s a fly swatter, one with long arms and the ability to get off the ground quickly.
While somewhat overshadowed both with his Grace Prep High School squad in Arlington (TX) and his Texas PRO AAU basketball team because of Isaiah Austin, the consensus top 5 player in the Class of 2012, Jelon Hornbeak is giving college recruiters a reason to continue to show up this summer to see Texas PRO in action. The 6-foot-4, almost 200-pound guard has long been considered a special offensive talent coming out of the Lonestar State. His recruitment is anticipated to be hot and heavy as well and the list of schools are impressive.
“Pitt, Oklahoma, Arizona, Providence, Marquette, Texas Tech, Oregon, Cal, Miami and West Virginia,” replied Hornbeak to a message asking what schools he was currently considering that are actively recruiting him. He is planning to visit a few schools in the coming months as well.
“Texas Tech sometime this month [and] Pitt hopefully in August,” said Hornbeak when asked of upcoming visits. “That’s all I know of [now].”
Hornbeak admits he is “pretty much open” in the recruiting process at this time. Always a player that excels offensively with the ball in his hands to create offense, either with a jumper off the dribble or attacking the rim, he is working this summer to broaden his game and improve on the little things.
“Improvements [in] the physical aspect of course,” said Hornbeak when asked what he will work on the most in the summer and prior to college, adding “ball-handling and spot up shooting. Before college I want to increase my range a little bit more, become more of a vocal leader and touch up on my on [mid-range] game.”
Hornbeak will continue to hit the road hard this summer with Texas PRO as well as Family First, a team made up of players from Grace Prep. He is looking forward to just playing basketball. He does not have any timeframe in mind on when he will decide on a college, just looking to play is what he told NBE this weekend.
“No timeframe as of now, said Hornbeak when asked when he might decide on a college. “I just want to be able to play.”
College recruiters certainly know that Jelon Hornbeak can play and they will be watching him this July. Expect the recruitment for this very capable scoring guard in the Class of 2012 to become very hot in the coming months.
By Brian Bosworth
The Rumble in the Bronx got underway Friday night with a slightly different feel than in years past. Fordham University has traditionally been the epicenter of the action for the boys tournament but this year the girls took over at Fordham and the boys tournament was spread out at different sites in the greater NYC area. The main site for the 17U bracket was Manhattan College and the action can be described in one word, hot. While the gym itself reached sauna-like conditions, the action on the floor didn’t disappoint. A host of high profile teams were in action including the Long Island Lightning, Connecticut Basketball Club, Albany City Rocks and the Metro Hawks but the New York Panthers were unquestionably a cut above the rest. In addition to being the most impressive unit on this steamy Friday night in the Bronx, the Panthers had the best individual performance of the evening as well.
Top Performer of the Day
Malik Nichols (New York Panthers 2012) – The former Hofstra commit as a member of the 2011 class confirmed after the game that he would be attending a yet to be determined prep school and re-classifying to 2012. Offensively, Nichols was literally perfect in this contest. He made all 10 shots he attempted totaling 22 points and scored every way imaginable. Nichols made 3 pointers off catch and shoot situations. He made a pull-up 16 foot jumper. He drove to the rim with both hands and finished. He finished in transition. He converted a tip-in on the offensive glass. Simply put, Nichols was unstoppable on the offensive end of the floor and led his Panthers club to a blowout victory. If he can string more performances like this together, Nichols should see his recruitment skyrocket when the July live period rolls around.
Last weekend many of the top teams on the AAU scene in the Mid-Atlantic region invaded Baltimore to participate in the Nike Baltimore Elite Invitational. Most of the 17U action took place at Annapolis Area Christian School and that is where NBE Basketball Report’s Matt Whitfield spent his time Friday night and much of the day on Saturday. Below are some of the key recruiting notes he was able to pick up on in his time at the event.
Mike Owona: 6-foot-9; Class of 2013; Baltimore Elite – College physique already and just finished his sophomore season at John Carroll in Bel Air (MD). The native of Cameroon has decent agility and athletic ability for a young big man, moving well for a player his size. Battles on the boards, but still has a very raw offensive game with little in low post moves to score with back to the basket. While Owona definitely needs to work on his basketball fundamentals, he definitely has a shot to play basketball at the high-major level in the future as he has only been playing the game for four years.
As for his recruiting, he told NBE he has interest from Oklahoma, Old Dominion, Virginia Tech, Xavier and Maryland.
Kameron Williams: 6-foot-2; Class of 2013; Baltimore Elite – Williams is an exciting scorer that starred in his sophomore season for Mount St. Joseph coach Pat Clatchey. He has continued to see his stock rise early this AAU season with some high scoring outbursts this spring. Williams told NBE over the weekend he is on the radar of progrms such as Providence, Miami, George Mason, VCU, Richmond and Maryland.