NBE Basketball Report
Colorado State Recruiting

ORLANDO AAU REPORT – WEDNESDAY

July 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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by Alex Schwartz

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — The third and final Live Evaluation Period of July got underway on Wednesday and NBE Sports was present at the ESPN Wide World of Sports for the 11th Grade AAU Nationals. Although due to the new July format there are not quite as many talented teams in action, there are still numerous quality squads in the event. There were several players who stood out on the first day of the tournament.

TOP PERFORMERS

Derrick Griffin is an absolutely elite level athlete with truly incredible leaping ability. A 6’6 power forward from Terry (TX), Griffin is a 2013 prospect who has committed to Texas A&M as a football player. A member of the Houston Defenders, Griffin put on an absolute show in the squad’s nationally televised game on Wednesday night. He as a great body, pretty good length and is both strong and powerful. He threw down a number of very impressive, crowd pleasing dunks and also swatted shots at the other end of the floor. Griffin rebounds the ball well and is an effective interior presence despite his relative lack of height. He is an exciting player to watch and he will have a nice career on the hardwood in the SEC if he plays both sports.
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2012 PEACH JAM REPORT – DAY IV (PART A)

July 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

17U teams concluded pool play on Saturday morning and many of the games had major playoff implications. Here’s who stood out on the courts NBE was camped out at.

Top Performance of the Morning:

James Young (The Family 2013) – With John Calipari, Bill Self, Tom Izzo, and a host of other high major coaches watching courtside, Young showed why he is such a coveted wing in the 2013 class. He finished with 34 points, 12 rebounds, and 7 assists remaining in constant attack mode throughout his team’s win. Young’s 19 free throw attempts are a perfect indication of how aggressive he played throughout not settling for jumpers but rather forcing the issue in the paint. At a well built 6’6” he has the ability to overpower other wing players at the high school level and to shoot over them from the perimeter. In addition to grinding his way into the paint all game Young also buried deep shots going 5-6 from behind the arc mostly off the dribble. He uses a tight crossover to create space and then rises over his defender to sink shots. A clear cut top 10 player in the 2013 class, Young has his choice of basically any college program in the country.
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2012 NY2LA UNDER ARMOUR SUMMER JAM RECAP – PART III

July 21, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By N.D. Kendrick

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

Top Performer of the Day

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

July 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Alex Schwartz

PHILADELPHIA – The first Live session of July came to an end yesterday evening, and NBE Sports was once again at Philadelphia University for the Reebok Showdown Series Championship. This time it was championship day of the event and it was Sports U that stole the show, beating the Jersey Shore Warriors, 82-74 in OT, to win the U16 division and then coming back to beat the Arkansas Hawks, 59-56, in the Showdown Division. Additionally, the NJ Cyclones knock off Team Nelson for the U17 crown.

TOP PERFORMER

DeAndre Bembry turned in a big-time performance in the championship game of the Showdown Division. The 6’6 combo forward from St. Patrick’s (NJ) was easily the contest’s top scorer, pouring in 24 points and was the only player on Sports U to finish in double-digits. Bembry, a class of 2013 prospect, is a superb slasher who makes his mark by getting to the rim off the bounce and finishing. He has a good body and is a big-time athlete. In the championship game he showed off some range, connecting on a 3-pointer at one point. Bembry rebounds the rock well, runs the floor well and simply produces.

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2012 ADIDAS INVITATIONAL – SATURDAY RECAP

July 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

Saturday in Indianapolis was all playoff action at the Adidas Invitational and with higher stakes came stronger performances. All three age groups (15U, 16U, 17U) were represented at the main gym and players from all ages and all places managed to stand out. Here’s a sampling of who impressed.

Top Performers of the Day:

Daniel Hamilton (Dream Vision 2014) – The younger of the pair of brothers on Dream Vision’s 17U squad, Daniel is two inches taller and significantly longer than his older brother. While Daniel’s set of tools on the offensive end is not quite as refined as Isaac, he does have the middle game down to a science. He’s best scoring on runners or floaters going in either direction often using the back board from unusual angles. Hamilton has range out to the 3-point line but is consistently more successful when he puts the ball on the floor and pressures the defense off the dribble. Added strength, improved ball handling skills, and better shot selection can spring board Hamilton’s game to the next level.

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AREA CODES EASTER CLASSIC REVIEW

April 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Raphielle Johnson

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

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

What’s wrong with the Pac-12?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

G Payton Banks (2013)

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

G Brian Beard (2014)

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

G Richaud Gittens (2013)

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

F Chauncey Hill (2013)

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

G Jaron Hopkins (2013)

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

G Dorian Pickens (2014)

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

F Pablo Rivas (2014)

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

F Paul Watson (2013)

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

Other Players of Note

G Bryce Alford (2013)

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

G Malcolm Allen and G Marcus Allen (2013)

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

G Sedrick Barefield (2015)

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

F Joe Boyd (2013)

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

F Kendall Lauderdale (2015)

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

G Dikembe Martin (2016)

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

G Bubba Mears (2012)

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

G Cullen Neal (2013)

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

G Jeff Van Dyke (2013)

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

F Arren Wells (2012)

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

SUMMER SHOOTOUT NOTEBOOK

August 15, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

By Alex Schwartz

ALLENTOWN, N.J. — Although the Summer Shootout is not necessarily well-known outside of New Jersey, the event is filled with quality teams and talented players on a yearly basis. The 2011 edition was no different, as NBE Basketball Report took in some of the action on Saturday and got to catch up with a handful of Big East recruits.

Isaiah Watkins, a 6-foot-8, 215-pound power forward, really saw his stock increase this summer. A class of 2013 prospect who hails from Toronto and is in his first year at St. Benedict’s (NJ), Watkins already lists a number of high-major offers.

Watkins said that Santa Clara, Missouri, Arkansas, Cincinnati and Virginia have all extended scholarship offers to him. In addition, he is hearing from Harvard, Ohio State, Georgetown, Michigan, Elon, Lafayette, Niagara, Villanova, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Temple, West Virginia, Kansas and more.
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REEBOK BREAKOUT CHALLENGE: THURSDAY RECRUITING ROUNDUP

July 8, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Whitfield

The return to the summer basketball camp scene by Reebok has been well received. The competition and talent level is certainly solid at the Gallagher Athletic Center on the campus of Philadelphia University. NBE took in the action for the most part of the day Thursday and was able to touch base with many of the players to learn the latest on their recruitments. While the camp had a strong group of Mid-Major+ prospects, there was more than a fair share of players who will land at higher levels in college. Below is a rundown of who we caught up with yesterday.

Rysheed Jordan (Robert Vaux HS/Players Teaching Players)

There was a lot of hype centering Jordan entering the camp and many scouts, reporters and college coaches were anxious to get a look at him. He did not disappoint as the 6-foot-3, Class of 2013 point guard has all the look of a sure fire high major recruit. He has definitely noticed the increased attention of late.

“I think I’m blowing up,” said Jordan of the recent influx of recruiting attention. “I’m easing my way up.”
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