by Alex Schwartz
HAMPTON, Va. – The Hoop Group Southern Jam Fest got underway on Friday at the Boo Williams Sportsplex and NBE Sports was on hand to take in the action. Throughout the night, we saw several standout performances and got to speak with a few players at the event.
Anthony Barber: The 6’2 point guard out of Hampton (VA) was absolutely sensational for Boo Williams in a blowout victory over the Stafford Hoyas to open up the event. Barber did basically anything he wanted with the ball and was nearly unstoppable when it came to getting to the rim. He scored at the basket, hit open teammates for layups, knocked down 3-pointers, and displayed a nasty crossover. Barber, an elite prospect in the 2013 class, had the look of a top 10 player as he dominated the game from start to finish in a number of different ways.
TOP SLEEPER PERFORMER
Rockell Lee-Vaughn: A little-known 5’9 point guard out of Springarn (DC), Lee-Vaughn had a superb showing in Metroball DC’s victory over East Coast Fusion. The class of 2012 prospect is clearly undersized, but he has a strong frame and quality quickness that help him make up for it. He can really hit shots from beyond the 3-point line and is also adept at making pull-up jumpers. Lee-Vaughn is a tough kid who also has some major leaping ability.
By Brian Batko
The Hoop Group’s Pittsburgh Jam Fest came to a close Sunday with some very intense semifinals and championship games. Many of the usual suspects who had been playing well all weekend continued to do so on Sunday but one squad of 2014 players in particular stepped its game up an extra notch and NBE has the rundown.
Caleb Martin and Cody Martin (Team Loaded NC 16U, 2014, Davie) – Even more so than the Harrison brothers in the grade above them, these two 6’6” wings have extremely similar bodies and games. In fact, at this point in their development, they play almost exactly alike. They’re both fairly slender but appear to have the frame to really add strength and muscle. In leading Team Loaded (NC) to the 16U championship on Sunday, the two uber-talented North Carolina natives showed off a nice mix of skill and athleticism and played very well off of each other. Both are good passers that like to work in the high post and on the wing slashing to the basket. They also attack the glass and are active on defense. Their jump shots are decent right now but could certainly improve. In a competitive quarterfinal game against a solid Team Work (OH) squad in the morning on Sunday, Cody finished with 14 points, a handful of rebounds, and a couple of steals while Caleb put up 19 points including a couple of threes and several boards as well.
Also like the Harrisons, Caleb and Cody are 100 percent a package deal as far as their recruitment goes. Still early for the rising juniors, they already have offers from North Carolina State, Wake Forest, and Virginia Tech and are hearing from the likes of North Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Xavier, Clemson, Kansas, and Georgetown. Both said they can see themselves in the ACC but that they’d like to wait and take as much time as they can before making their decision.
By Alex Schwartz
MARYLAND OFFICIAL VISIT THE PLAN FOR ELIJAH MACON
If you are looking for a big man to rebound and defend in your Class of 2012 recruiting efforts, 6-foot-9 power forward Elijah Macon could be your man. Yes, he can also finish around the cup and is by no means a major weakness offensively, but his offensive skill set down low is still developing. However, what Macon does do quite well is rebound and defend, two things that are very important. A well built post player with a strong frame, Macon, for the most part, understands his strengths and weaknesses and does not force things. He plays solid interior defense and is an overall sound player who does a lot of the little things.
Miami, West Virginia, Iowa, South Florida, Cincinnati, Xavier, USC and Dayton were the offers listed by Macon this past weekend while playing in the AAU National Championships for the All-Ohio Red program in Orlando. He also mentioned Memphis, Maryland, Georgetown, Kansas and Florida, noting that he has more offers and interest.
By Raphielle Johnson
When a who’s who of the college coaching profession is on hand a show is expected. And 2013 prospect Jabari Parker provided that and then some in Mac Irvin Fire’s win over Worldwide Renegades in the evening session of the Las Vegas Fab 48 at Bishop Gorman. Parker showed off his vast array of skills in front of the likes of Dave Rose (BYU), Oliver Purnell (DePaul), Mike Krzyzewski (Duke), Bruce Weber (Illinois), Buzz Williams (Marquette) and Tom Izzo (Michigan State) among others.
Also playing well in the win for Mac Irvin were 2012 forward Steve Taylor and 2012 guards Aaric Armstead and Derrick Randolph. Taylor won’t be graded on the same level as Parker but make no mistake about it, the young man is skilled. Taylor showed off the ability to step out and attack the rim, doing a solid job of playing with contact and knocking down mid-range shots. Randolph, while he looks shorter than his listed height of 5’9”, is the kind of winning player that all successful teams tend to have.
Randolph was highly competitive at both ends of the floor, setting up teammates for easy baskets on quick drives to the basket and disrupting the Renegades defensively. Armstead may not have had the impact scoring-wise that some of the other players had, but he did the little things especially on the defensive end. And 2013 DePaul commit Billy Garrett Jr. proved to be a tough matchup due to his crafty handle and ability to knock down a variety of shots.
The live July evaluation period is right around the corner. Once again NBE will be out in full force during both 10-day recruiting periods, stretching from East to West and North and South to keep up with all the recruiting information. It is always a fun process to see what college coaches are out on the recruiting trail and who they are watching.
In the meantime, the phones of top prospects in the Class fo 2013 have been ringing off the hook as colleges are permitted to contact a recruit once a month on the phone or via email. June 15th was the first day contact was allowed and programs wasted little time reaching out to prospects.
“Santa Clara called me at 12:00 on the dot,” said Tyler Ennis. “Oregon State, Santa Clara and Iowa State all did.”
Ennis is a 6-foot-3, 178-pound guard who plays on the AAU spring and summer circuit with CIA Bounce out of Canada. He attended St. Benedict’s in Newark (NJ) last season and has had a busy early summer season with trips to LA for the Pangos Camp and to the University of Virginia campus for the recent NBA Top 100 Camp. His play has drawn very good reviews and it shows in the latest list of schools that have been in contact since the 15th.
By Ron Bailey
April 14, 2011 – This past weekend Big Shots teamed with DC Assault to put on a grassroots tourney in District Heights, Maryland. An estimated 100-plus teams spanning the 10-under through 17-under age groupings strapped on their shoes, taking the hardwood in battle. There were a number that played who are getting BIG EAST looks as future high-major recruits. Some of these players already have a reputation readers are aware off while others will be players to keep an eye on as they work to build up their names in the coming months on the AAU circuit.
First off, the well known….
One such guy, Nate Britt, is already highly recruited by conference schools, with Villanova, Georgetown and Seton Hall having all offered the 6-foot-2 sophomore (Class of 2013) who shoots with his left but can dribble with both hands. West Virginia and Rutgers join others that are interested, including Virginia, Duke, and Texas. Arizona and UCLA have also offered Nate, a guard that can drive, shoot and pass, along with think the game.
What does he think about the BIG EAST? “It’s the best conference in America right now” was Britt’s response. Nate was one of the best players in this tourney, making i95Ballerz.com’s first team all star unit.
His DC Assault teammate, 6-foot-4 Torian Graham was tagged second team, and is also in high demand from conference schools, identifying Georgetown as having offered, and West Virginia being interested. UCLA, Clemson, Boston College and Miami have also invited him to attend, while Florida, Kentucky, Florida State and Kansas and others may do so soon.
Graham is a high flyer, one that can also drain jumpers from long distance, and defend in open court/press situations. An up and down style would seemingly fit him just fine.
Major Canady was raised in ACC Country.
The 6-foot-3, 195 pound point guard prospect has long dreamed of suiting up and playing in the league he grew up watching in North Carolina. “I would really like to play in the ACC,” says Canady, “growing up in Carolina that’s all I saw.” Canady, if the interest he’s receiving — along with his athleticism and body — is any indication, will probably get that chance when the time comes for him to make a college decision.
This summer’s Grassroots circuit will go a long way towards Canady reaching that goal, with coaches from the ACC — not to mention the Big East, Big Ten and A-10 — all ready to be courtside to see if Canady can handle his business on the court at a projected high major level.
Wake Forest‘s staff is said to love him and most of the assistants on the Demon Deacon bench have already seen him play. Canady says that come July, head coach Jeff Bzdelik also plans to watch him play for the BSA U-16 squad (Canady will play with the 17′s at Bob Gibbons). In fact, Canady recently spent some quality time on the scenic campus of Wake Forest with his father and sister. And all of the Canady clan came away from the trip extremely impressed.