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Bucknell Recruiting

BIG SHOTS ALL-AMERICAN CAMP REPORT

July 19, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

HYATTSVILLE, Md. – The Big Shots All-American Camp at DeMatha Catholic High School features some talented players from all over the country.

NBE Sports was there to take in the action on Thursday and got to see eight of the 10 teams play as well as noticed quite a few college coaches in the gym.

Darian Bryant of St. John’s College HS (DC) may not have a true position, but is best suited as a small forward right now. Regardless of what spot he plays, the 6-foot-4 class of 2014 prospect brings great effort when he steps on the floor and is a strongly built player. Bryant attacks the cup well and runs the floor adeptly. He needs to show he can shoot it consistently, but he did knock down at least one 3-pointer in the game we saw.

Class of 2014 prospect Lloyd Burgess might be limited athletically, but he has a big frame, quality height and he plays pretty hard. The 6-foot-10 center from the Christ School (NC) works around the rim and can get some points down low.

Kiair Crouch, a class of 2014 recruit, is a pretty quick player who can get in the lane and attacks the rim adeptly off the dribble. The 5-foot-10 point guard from Columbia (GA) has a pretty solid build and also showed he can hit a pull-up 3-pointer in transition.

Trevor Dunbar of St. Ignatius (CA) is only 5-foot-9, but the class of 2014 prospect is a nice player. The point guard has a thick build that helps him make up for being undersized a bit. Additionally, he accelerated well and does a good job of getting into the lane.
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AVERY JOHNSON JR. READY TO MAKE HIS OWN MARK IN BASKETBALL

June 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Avery Johnson Jr. opened eyes this spring.

Avery Johnson Jr. opened eyes this spring.

By Matt Whitfield

Many kids that share the same last name or the same name as their famous successful NBA veteran dad have a good shot of getting a scholarship to D-1 school, whether the scholarship is deserved or not. Avery Johnson Jr. though has the skills to get the scholarship without his father’s name and he impressed at the NBA Top 100 Camp on Friday.

“It’s tough because everybody expects you already to be good like he was in college and expects you to go to the NBA, but I just try and stay humble and be me,” the younger Johnson told NBE on Friday. “He passed a lot. I can score, I’m a little bit better shooter. It’s just hard because everyone knows the name and they expect you to be good. Some people hate you because they think I’m only on the Texas Titans because of my dad and I’m only going to certain schools because of my dad.”
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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 II (MASS RIVALS & BABC EDITION)

July 2, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

Mass Rivals is another of New England’s dominant AAU programs that was well represented at the Elite 75. Kaleb Joseph (2014 PG), Dmitri Floras (2014 PG), Idris Taqqee (2014 SG), Tyonne Malone (2016 SF) and Josh Sharma (2015 F) all suited up and were joined by injured stars Noah Vonleh (2014 F, ankle) and Jeremy Miller (2015 F, concussion.) Both Vonleh and Miller told me they expect to be healthy and ready to go for the kickoff of the July live period at the Adidas Invitational in Indianapolis. Chris Baldwin (2015 F) was also invited to the event but stayed home to nurse a sore back.

Of the Mass Rivals guys in attendance Kaleb Joseph had the best day attacking the basket in early drills and getting everyone else involved once five-on-five action got going. He caught up with NBE before things started to discuss his expanding recruitment. Read more

HIGH ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS HOT ON TRAIL OF ANTHONY DALLIER

June 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Over the last several years much has been written on the shortcomings or pitfalls of the fly-by-night prep schools that seem to come out of the woodwork each year across the country. Some are termed diploma mills or accused of funneling their players to certain programs or conferences.

At the complete opposite spectrum of the schools that operate in the gray areas of the sport is Northfield Mount Hermon. If anything, the program could be accused of funneling its players to a certain conference…the Ivy League!

A tremendous mix of academics and athletics makes Northfield Mount Hermon special. In the last several years the program headed by John Carroll in Northfield (MA) has been a virtual factory of Ivy League basketball players. NMH is considered the best combination of academics and basketball in the United States and in the 2010–2011 season eight NMH alums were in the Ivy League, more than any other school in the nation. That number contines to rise with players like Evan Cummins, Joe Sharkey, Jvonte Brooks and Armani Cotton in recent years following the path and will continue to attract players to the program, like Anthony Dallier, who are looking for similar opportunities.
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THE HOOP GROUP’S PITTSBURGH JAMFEST: DAY THREE

April 23, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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.

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BUSINESS AS USUAL FOR ISAIAH WATKINS ON SPRING AAU TRAIL

April 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

This weekend starting Friday evening colleg coaches will hit the road for AAU events across the country. Stops in Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and areas far and wide will be popular destinations for Division 1-A head coaches and assistants as they are allowed to evaluate talent for the first time in the busy April AAU schedule in a few years. While the intensity of the action is likely to be ratcheted up a few nothches, CIA Bounce big man Isaiah Watkins is taking it all in stride.

The 6-foot-8 Watkins attends St. Benedict’sPrep in Newark (NJ) and performing in front of college coaches is a regular event for him and his Gray Bees teammates. It was one of the reasons why he chose to attend a school like St. Ben’s and play with a powerful AAU program like the Canadian CIA Bounce program, which participates in Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL).

Yet, Watkins is looking forward to showcasing his improvement as a player, but also has goals for himself to continue to impove against the top flight competition he will be facing.
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2012 NATIONAL PREP SCHOOL INVITATIONAL — DAY FOUR

February 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

The first three days of the National Prep School Invitational were dominated by Steven Adams and his Notre Dame Prep squad. The 2012 big man from New Zealand erased any concerns after his foul-plagued showing at the Hoop Hall Classic and cemented his status as one of 2012’s top players. On Sunday it was time for another 2012 big man to steal the show and make his case for the #1 overall ranking in the senior class. With the gym buzzing and filled to a capacity that it saw at no other time all weekend the Tilton School and REDA (Ontario) took the floor at 1:30 PM. Nerlens Noel jumped center for the Tilton School sporting his trademark bright pink Nikes and his high top fade and put on the best show of the weekend.

Top Performance of the Day:

Nerlens Noel (Tilton 2012) – This was Noel’s first national appearance since announcing his intentions to graduate this year as a member of the 2012 class early Thursday morning. Providence fans packed the gym to see him as they made the cut of his seven final schools along with Kentucky, Syracuse, Connecticut, Florida, Georgetown and North Carolina. Dominance doesn’t even begin to describe the defensive effort put forth by Noel as he tallied 10 blocks to go along with countless more altered shots. It reached a point where REDA coaches could be heard screaming at their players who even attempted to challenge the big man as a shot in the lane against Noel was basically a turnover. Perhaps the most telling statistic of his dominance was on the scoreboard. Noel played the majority of the game’s first 29 minutes at which point REDA had only scored 19 points. At that time Nerlens went to the bench in a blowout victory and in the remaining 11 minutes REDA was able to put up 29 points. His defensive prowess is certainly nothing new but Sunday’s was a particularly stunning performance even by his high standards. Offensively Noel looked better than ever and as crazy as it sounds was literally playing point guard for his Tilton team during the 2nd half. He brought the ball up the floor every time and got his team into their offense sometimes breaking his man down off the dribble and other times running a play for someone else. I’m not suggesting that Noel is making a drastic position change but it was an indicator of how far along his ball handling and passing skills have come in the last year. Once only a defensive standout, Noel’s offense is catching up seemingly by the day.
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CRC CLASSIC GAME RECAP – GAME OF THE DAY (MATER DEI – GILL ST. BERNARD’S)

January 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Ray Mernagh

Gill St. Bernard’s 76, Mater Dei 73 OT

There were supposed to be a lot of stars on the floor in this one.

Mater Dei was ranked #8 in the country coming into the game by whomever thinks they’re qualified to rank high school teams nationally (not really sure how it’s possible with the volume of teams etc but whatever) while Gill St. Bernard’s was kind of licking their wounds from a 2-2 trip to the City of Palms (which was so excellently covered by my guy Brian Bosworth).

Well, the biggest star in this game was a big man by the name of Dominic Hoffman who will soon become a nightmare for all the coaches in the Patriot League once he arrives at Bucknell in late summer. The game was the best of the day and it really wasn’t close — Mergen Sina from St. Bernard’s coached the hell out of his team and they responded by playing harder and smarter than Mater Dei and ultimately being rewarded with a much deserved W in overtime.

Dominic Hoffman 2012 6’7 Center (Bucknell)
Hoffman might be 6’7″ but he plays 6’10″. High energy player with a motor to match. Crashes offensive boards. Runs rim-to-rim. Blocks a lot of shots with his timing and long arms. Hits 18 footer. Has post moves and counter post moves that he uses to score consistently down low. Excellent in the two man game with either Jaren Sina or Alex Mitola all night. Would Not Let His Team Lose! Finished with 24 points, 13 rebounds and 5 blocks. Outstanding performance of the day (along with Kris Jenkins).

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CITY OF PALMS REPORT — DAY ONE

December 17, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

The City of Palms Classic got underway at Bishop Verot High School in Fort Myers, Florida on Friday afternoon. In its 39th year of existence the City of Palms is unquestionably the top high school holiday tournament in America bringing in top teams from coast to coast. This year is no different as headlining teams span the nation including Montverde Academy (FL), Bishop Gorman (NV), Mater Dei (CA), Arlington Grace Prep (TX), and Miller Grove (GA.) Plenty of top young talent showed off on Friday and the headliners are outlined below.

Top Performer of the Day:

Anthony Perez (Montverde Academy 2012) – signed with Mississippi – Perez has long been thought of as a very talented big man who could have a very high ceiling is his skills came together. After his performance tonight, it would appear they are starting to come together. At a slender 6’9” Perez did two things very well tonight; he made long distance shots and he attacked the offensive glass. Montverde ran him through stagger screens on offense to create perimeter looks and he knocked them down with regularity. He also got countless offensive rebounds by using his length and a non-stop motor that frustrated the opposition. Perez even hit a pair of midrange jumpers after shot faking the deep ball and using a couple dribbles to create space. He looked every bit the part of an impact player for Ole Miss down the road.
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2011 ORLANDO AAU NOTEBOOK (PART 9): BRANNEN GREENE, TYLER CAVANAUGH, LANDRY NNOKO & THEO PINSON

August 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Alex Schwartz

BRANNEN GREENE SETS LOUISVILLE VISIT; PLANNING OTHER TRIPS

Pushing 6-foot-7, Brannen Greene is a mismatch on the wing due to his height and refined skill set. The Monroe (GA) native is a solid athlete with a good build who can do quite a bit with the ball in his hands. Greene has a high basketball IQ and good court vision, allowing him to hit the open man in position to score. His handle is superb and he can get through the defense on the way to the rack. Greene finishes pretty well at the rim and is crafty down low against the big bodies. He has nice form on his jumper, though he has yet to become a truly consistent shooter from deep. Greene puts in effort at the defensive end and can cause problems on the perimeter due to his length.

Greene has seen his stock explode as much as anyone in the Class of 2013 this summer and he a school list to prove it. He said that he has offers from Louisville, Georgia Tech, Georgia, Alabama, Marquette, Florida State, Florida, Connecticut, Kansas, Ohio State, Memphis, South Carolina, the equivalent of such from Harvard as well as “a lot more.”
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HOOP GROUP ELITE TEAM CAMP RECRUITING UPDATES: PART I

July 9, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

With the Hoop Group’s Elite Camp Session I concluding on Friday evening, the action continued on the campus of Albright College in Reading (PA) on Saturday with the Elite Team Camp, also hosted by Hoop Group, tipping off. A break from the norm of camps and AAU competitions, this July live period event features high school teams going head to head in front of very interested college coaches. The games certainly have a different feel than the normal summer contests and an impressive field only increased the interest of scouts, media, coaches and fans to come by the Albright campus on this beautiful summer day.

Just perusing the names of the schools in the national bracket and you knew you were in for a treat. Traditional Philadelphia powers Neumann-Goretti and Roman Catholic are in the field as well as Friends Central, Westtown and Penn Wood from the eastern half of the Keystone State. Upstate New York was represented by Jamesville-Dewitt outside of Syracuse and Rochester’s Bishop Kearney High School. The DC-area came strong with Gonzaga, St. John’s, Bishop McNamara, Largo, Paul VI, Patterson and more. New Jersey powers St. Anthony’s and Hudson Catholic came to play and New York City had Xaverian and South Shore. That is just a fraction of the teams on hand…

Matt Whitfield spent most of the day in Reading and will have plenty to report on. Below are just a few of the recruiting updates he accrued on this busy Saturday of basketball action…
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RECRUITING NOTEBOOK: ELITE PROGRAMS REACHING OUT TO 2013 PROSPECTS

June 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

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.
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MORE SPRING FLING RECRUITING NOTES

April 3, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

As usual, the Spring Fling hosted by the NJ Playaz and Jimmy Salmons was a great event, bringing in most of the top teams of the Northeast to kick off the AAU season. Here are some more of the recruiting updates Matt Whitfield collected from his time down on the New Jersey shore this weekend…

Nate Britt, a left-handed point guard who attends Gonzaga High School in DC is already a well-known name on the DC Assault for a Class of 2013 prospect. Britt rattled off a school list that includes Villanova (offer), Georgetown (offer), Texas, Arizona (offer), Seton Hall (offer), Duke, Virginia, UCLA and Virginia Tech.

Britt has made unofficial visits to Duke, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Seton Hall.

“Definitely the Big East is my favorite conference because it’s close and that’s the best conference in the NCAA right now,” Britt told Matt Whitfield Saturday.
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Britt’s classmate at Gonzaga and DC Assault teammate Kris Jenkins is a bull inside. The 6-foot-5 power forward is a top rebounder and finisher in the paint among Class of 2013 prospects. Off the top of his head, Jenkins mentioned Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Boston College, Miami, Virginia Tech, Virginia and Georgetown as the schools recruiting him.

Jenkins has taken unofficial visits to Virginia Tech and Virginia.
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It seems as though Kyle Anderson has been with the NJ Playaz forever. The Class of 2012 G/F is starting his last AAU season and remains one of the most coveted recruits in the class. Anderson told Matt Whitfield on Saturday that Seton Hall, UCLA, Villanova, Georgetown, Arizona, Florida, Kentucky, Miami and Virginia Tech have offered while Duke and North Carolina have interest. On Friday night his Dad told NBE that Seton Hall is “recruiting (Kyle Jr.) the hardest.”

Expect this one to me one of the most covered recruiting stories if the year.
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Imhotep Charter in Philadelphia (PA) is home to Brandon Austin. The Class of 2013 prospect is running with Team Philly on the AAU circuit and is a player we expect to rise in profile nationally this summer. With his size (pushing 6’6) and smooth skill set, Austin can play all three perimeter positions and excels with the ball in his hands with great vision and delivery. It is no wonder that Villanova, Syracuse, Drexel, West Virginia, Rutgers and Pitt are some of the schools he could remember off the top of his head showing interest in him.
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The always productive Dom Hoffman was in action this weekend with Hoop Heavan. The 6-foot-7 junior (Class of 2012) out of Gil St. Bernards, where he eclipsed the 1,000-point mark this past January, told NBE Friday that Penn, Lafayette, Bucknell and Rider are the four schools he is considering right now. Hoffman has been to each school and would be a very good addition to any of those programs.




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