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.
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.
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.
On Saturday, Matt Whitfield made the trip to Hyattsville (MD) and DeMatha High School for the 2011 National Hoops Festival event. The early season event is typically one of the favorite stops for NBE on the December schedule and this year did not disappoint with several powerhouse programs headlining the event with a very solid day of action on the court. Here is the scoreboard from Saturday’s contests:
–Bullis 62, Riverdale Baptist 59
–Episcopal 44, Benedictine 38
–Paul VI 65, West Charlotte 58
–Oak Hill 68, Grace Prep 59
–DeMatha 83, Jamesville-Dewitt 57
NBE was able to catch up with players such as Kennedy Meeks, Beejay Anya, Stanford Robinson, Jordan Mickey, RJ Curington, Emmanuel Mudiay and more. See below for the latest in recruiting updates form many of the top uncommitted players participating on Saturday…
By Alex Schwartz
READING, Pa. — Featuring over 60 high schools from seven different states, The Hoop Group Elite Team Camp drew numerous Division I coaches to Albright College. At least half of Big East was represented there Sunday, the second and final day of the camp.
Head coaches from both of New Jersey’s Big East programs, Rutgers and Seton Hall, were in attendance along with at least one assistant. NBE Basketball Report also spotted or was informed that assistants from Cincinnati, DePaul, Pittsburgh, St. John’s, Villanova and West Virginia were in Reading.
Amongst the attractions for the Big East schools were Kyle Anderson ’12, Nate Britt ’13, Reggie Cameron ’13, Hallice Cooke ’13, Will Ferguson ’13, Shep Garner ’14, Amile Jefferson ’12, Kris Jenkins ’13, Ja’Quan Newton ’14, Villanova-commit Daniel Ochefu ’12, Stanford Robinson ’13, Terrence Samuel ’13, Shamiek Sheppard ’13, Kavon Stewart ’13, Mike Young ’13, and more.
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.