NBE Basketball Report
Drexel Recruiting

LIVE IN AC – DAY II REPORT

July 26, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

GALLOWAY, N. J. – The first full day of July’s final Live Period took place yesterday and NBE Sports was back in South Jersey for Live In AC.

We had a chance to see several more teams in action as well as catch a few quality squads for the second day in a row.

Ernest Aflakpui had a nice outing for the We R 1 16s squad. The 6-foot-9 center out of Archbishop Carroll (PA) has a big body with a good overall build and he plays hard. Aflakpui, a class of 2015 prospect, runs the floor very well and looks to contest shots. He is not a great athlete, but can swat some shots.

Levan Alston of Team Final Blue 16s may well have been the best player of the day. The 6-foot-3 combo guard scored at will, dropping 30 points on Team Takeover in the semifinals. Alston has a nice feel for the game, gets in the lane and comes from a basketball family, as his dad played at Temple. The class of 2015 recruit does need to get a bit stronger, but he grabs defensive rebounds and also score in the paint, as he is comfortable with his back to the basket.

Princeton-commit Amir Bell has a chance to be a star in the Ivy League. A class of 2014 prospect from East Brunswick (NJ), Bell has nice size for a player who can play some point, at 6-foot-4. More of a combo guard, Bell does need to show he can shoot the ball consistently. He is a bit thin, but is a solid athlete who can defend multiple positions.
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LIVE IN AC – DAY I REPORT

July 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

GALLOWAY, N.J. – The third and final Live Period of July is underway and NBE Sports is back on the road.

On Wednesday, we took in the action at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey for the Live In AC event.

The way Abdul-Malik Abu has played this summer despite fasting for Ramadan is extremely impressive. The 6-foot-7 power forward has shown no signs of exhaustion and played quite well. A class of 2014 recruit, Abu is a powerful player with a good build who moves well on the hardwood. The Kimball Union Academy (NH) prospect can throw down some major one-handed dunks, is fairly active on defense and can be vocal at times on the court. The Expressions Elite standout has really improved as a player over the past year, and even the past couple months.

Eric Anderson of The Haverford School (PA) is a player who simply knows how to get the job done. A 6-foot-6 small forward who runs with the Jersey Shore Warriors, Anderson has a pretty solid build and can shoot the ball some. He works in the post well and is capable of sliding to the four if needed. Anderson, a class of 2014 prospect, plays hard and also showed the ability to provide a bit of assistance at the point guard position.
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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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2013 NBPA TOP 100 HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL CAMP — FINAL RECRUITING NOTES

June 17, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Whitfield, Mid-Atlantic Recruiting Analyst

The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA)’s 20th Anniversary of the NBPA Top 100 High School Basketball Camp kicked off Wednesday at the University of Virginia’s John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville and concluded over the weekend. Media was allowed to begin attending sessions on Thursday and NBE was back on the road and in attendence.

The NBPA Top 100 High School Basketball Camp was created by the NBPA in 1994 to assist elite high school student-athletes in the development of their basketball and life skills. Throughout the last 20 years, the Camp has grown into one of the most highly touted and renowned camps of its kind and has seen hundreds of its participants go on to successful NBA careers. You can follow the camp on Twitter @Top100Camp and be sure to follow @NBESports for all of our updates as well.

To close our recruiting updates, NBE caught up with Craig Victor, Satchel Pierce, Khadeem Lattin, Abdul-Malik Abu, Brandone Francis, Skal Labissiere, Chinanu Onuaku, Kevon Looney, Trevon Blueitt and Trayvon Reed, which you can see below…

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RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (11/12/2012): COUNTDOWN TO SIGNING DAY IS ON

November 12, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

The early signing period is set to begin on Wednesday and that means class of 2013 recruits will finally be able to make their verbal commitments official.

Despite the approach of the signing period, the past few days have been fairly quiet on the recruiting front. However, there was one major commitment from an elite prospect.

Noah Vonleh of New Hampton (NH) committed to the Indiana Hoosiers on Saturday night, in news first reported by Scout.com’s Evan Daniels. Vonleh had been ranked No. 6 in the NBE Sports Class of 2014 Post-Summer Top 75 before reclassifying back to the 2013 class.

Now that he is in the senior class, Vonleh may well be amongst the top-10 players in the 2013 class and he is a huge addition for Tom Crean’s program. The 6-foot-8 power forward’s pledge to IU comes only a few weeks after he trimmed his list to six schools. The other finalists were Georgetown, Ohio State, North Carolina, Syracuse, and UConn.

Another player in the NBE Sports 2014 Top 75 also made his commitment recently. Scout.com’s Brian Snow broke the news that Melvin Swift, Jr. of Yates (TX) had popped to Xavier. The 6-foot-7 junior power forward checks in at No. 59 in the rankings and is a big pickup for the Musketeers.

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ORLANDO AAU REPORT – SATURDAY

July 30, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Alex Schwartz

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Saturday was the final full day of the last Live period this month. Coaches will be back in the gym on Sunday, but must leave at 5:00 p.m. There were quite a few players who excelled on Saturday and it looked like one player had the Top Performer spot wrapped up–until one 2013 wing went bonkers from long range in the nightcap. Also, a trio of big men originally from Africa were quite impressive, two top-five players shined again and a top-100 prospect in 2013 listed a favorite.

TOP PERFORMER

Omar Prewitt needs to be in the discussion of the best shooter in the United States at the high school level. A 6’5 shooting guard out of Montgomery (KY) put on an absolute SHOW for The Ville in the final game of the night. In the first half alone, Prewitt had 22 points and knocked in six 3-pointers. The final stats sheet was swooped away before we could take a look at it, but one of The Ville coaches said Prewitt had 33 points and a D1 assistant told us he hd 34. He finished with eight or nine 3-pointers and was simply unstoppable off the catch. Prewitt is not just a one-dimensional shooter, though. He has a smooth game and is more than capable of knifing through a defense and getting to the rim. Prewitt handles the ball pretty well and he can block shots at the defensive end. His Saturday night performance was one of the best that this writer has seen all month.
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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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‘LIVE IN AC’ REPORT – DAY I

July 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

While “Live in AC” is only in its inaugural year that didn’t stop New Jersey Playaz director Jimmy Salmon from putting together quite an impressive field of talent. I’ll be camped out at the main Stockton College site throughout the tournament which features most of the 17U action with some of the younger guys sprinkled in. Here’s who caught my eye on Wednesday night.

Top Performance of the Day:

Rysheed Jordan (Philly Pride 2013) – An electric scoring combo guard, Jordan played in two games on Wednesday night and was the best player on the floor in both including a matchup with Team Final that featured a bunch of high major talent. While Jordan refers to himself as a combo guard it’s his ability at the point that stands out to me. He has unique athleticism for someone running the show and is able to use his physical advantages to explode past defenders and work his way into the paint. Jordan is best in the open floor when his physical tools can shine and his vision in high paced action also stands out. He has a great feel for the action in an up and down game and has a way of gliding through traffic and creating angles with his speed. In half court sets, Jordan punished defenders for playing off him by knocking down deep jumpers and then blew past them when they tried to press up on him. His decision making and knowledge of how to efficiently run a team still need work but Jordan’s physical tools already make him a high major priority.
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2012 PEACH JAM REPORT – DAY III (PART B)

July 21, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

Friday afternoon in North Augusta brought 16U pool play at the Peach Jam along with a quick stop at the Nike Invitational. Here’s who managed to standout while NBE was watching.

Top Performer of the Afternoon:

Obi Enechionyia (Team Takeover 2014) – At 6’8”, the athletic forward showed off both an inside and outside scoring package. He flashed major bounce around the rim with a few ferocious dunks along with swatting away countless attempts at his own basket. While his work in the paint alone would have made Enechionyia a very intriguing prospect, he was also able to step out and make jump shots past the college 3-point line. The combination of owning the paint and being able to draw big men away from the rim by spacing the floor make it easy to project Enechionyia at the high major level for his college future. He needs to continue refining his ball handling and overall skill package and frankly could end up playing on the wing if his skills improve quickly enough.
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2012 ADIDAS INVITATIONAL – FRIDAY RECAP

July 14, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

Friday at the Adidas Invitational brought pool play to a close and marked the start of playoff action. It also allowed a chance to view some of the tournaments younger talent as the 15U pools wrapped up at the main site I’ve been stationed at. Star performances became the norm with one Texas big man standing out as top dog on the day.

Top Performer of the Day:

Jordan Mickey (Urban DFW Elite 2013) – The 6’9” post player was unstoppable in an afternoon playoff victory dominating the paint from start to finish. Mickey has outstanding footwork on the block and can score over either shoulder with either hand. He uses spins, drop steps, and a host of other moves keeping the defense on its heels all the time with his wide array of options down low. Mickey also succeeded from the high post where his 15 foot jumper is deadly and he can use 1 dribble to attack the rim. Still a bit on the slender side, a college weight room will do wonders for Mickey’s development and he projects as a go to low post scoring option within his first couple years on a high major college campus.
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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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2012 LEBRON JAMES SKILLS ACADEMY RECAP – SATURDAY

July 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Contrast in communication sticks out

by Raphielle Johnson

The LeBron James Skills Academy, and other events like it, provide scouts and media with the opportunity to watch both collegiate and high school players work out in an instructional environment.

The final leg of Nike’s skills academy series, the LeBron camp features 24 college and 93 high school basketball players.

One area that has displayed a stark contrast between the two groups through two days has been on-court communication.

While the college players, be it in drills or in scrimmage situations, consistently communicate with each other the same can’t be said for the the high school stars.

This isn’t incredibly surprising, but if anything the need for instructors to consistently remind the high school players of the importance of on-court communication underlines a major difference between the two levels.

An action as simple as calling out a screen for a teammate may not seem like a big deal, and in many instances pure athletic skill trumps the intangibles when evaluating young talent.

But those “little things” can ultimately be the difference between simply having a shot at being a pro and being able to make an impact as one. This will be something to keep an eye on as the high school players begin scrimmage play on Sunday afternoon.

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ELITE 75 REVIEW – PART III (NY LIGHTNING TRIO PARTICIPATE)

July 3, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

While the Elite 75 is only for New England talent, three members of the NY Lightning who have been playing for high school teams in Connecticut received an invite. Kuran Iverson (2013 G/F), Jason Boswell (2013 G/F) and Dayshon Smith (2013 PG) all made the trip to Lowell and all three had impressive performances on the court during Friday’s camp.

Kuran Iverson – Iverson has been making strides all spring and continued his upward progression with another impressive day at Elite 75. I would expect high majors from all over who may have backed off on Iverson to take another look in July after his dominant spring. The NBA-level talent is undeniable in the 6-foot-8 forward who attends Northwest Catholic in Hartford (CT) and if he can follow up his spring with a consistent summer, he’ll be one major step closer to realizing his massive potential.
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JULY IS A BIG OPPORTUNITY FOR KAISON RANDOLPH & MARK WILLIAMS

June 29, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

On the college basketball recruiting trail July is a month unlike any other. Scholarships are earned at all levels of the sport during AAU tournaments and exposure camps as thousands of Division 1-A coaches hit the trail looking for the next generation of players for the programs they head or assist with. Stories of unknown players putting it together at the right time to earn a free college education are numerous. While at NBE Basketball Report we spend most of our time following the high-major world of recruiting, the real grind this month is at the mid-major and lower lever. Assistant coaches are scouring gyms across the country and when they find a player they like tucked away in some event nobody knows about, they hold their breath they do not have the big breakout at AAU Nationals or a bigger event later in the month.

The story of Jeremy Lamb, who was picked in the NBA Lottery portion of the 2012 NBA Draft last night, has been a story retold several times this week. Entering the Peach Jam in July 2009 Lamb was a coveted mid-major recruit. However a big week on a big stage in front of college coaches pushed his recruitment higher, much to the frustration of the mid-major assistants that had been working on him for months prior.

Who will be those stories this July? In just two weeks the stories will begin to be written once more. Two players hoping they find themselves as the main subjects are Kaison Randolph and Mark Williams. NBE caught up with each recently as they prepare to embark on the July recruiting period.

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CLASS OF 2014 INTRO: KYLE WILLIAMS

June 21, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

With college basketball coaches being able to be on the road this April for the first time in several years to evaluate prospects, recruiting at this stage this year seems to be well ahead for the rising senior class than in recent memory. Along with the head start in getting a look at their top 2013 targets, college coaches also had the opportunity to take a glance at 2014 and younger players this past April. That has meant a more meaningful June 15th date for the rising junior class as college coaches got a good look over a two weekend period at prospects and their early phone calls and texts to prospects were likely chosen from what they actuall saw.

One name that is new to many recruitniks that they should begin to learn in the Class of 2013 is Kyle Williams. College coaches definitely know the name and by judging from the list of school making early contact with the 6-foot-9, 225-pound big man out of Freeport (NY), his recruitment could blow up quickly.

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2012 RUMBLE IN THE BRONX RECAP (PART III)

June 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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.
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MAJOR CANADY HAS FOUR SCHOOLS STANDING OUT IN RECRUITMENT

May 31, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Major Canady, a powerful and quick point guard measuring 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, from Kiski Prep near Pittsburgh (originally from North Carolina) has had a very good start to the AAU circuit playing with the Ohio Basketball Club. NBE caught him in action with OBC at the Under Armour Pittsburgh Jam Fest hosted by the Hoop Group. Canady and his teammates reached the event’s championship game in the 17U division before falling to a very talented Sports U club.

With the success during the key April evaluation periods Canady has seen his recruitment begin to pick-up. He has a variety of schools on his trail, but the list has lengthened since college coaches were able to be on the road for two weekends in April. With a head start in getting a look at this intriguing point guard, you can expect many schools to be very anxious to see him in action once again this summer.
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NIKE EYBL – OAKLAND (SATURDAY RECAP)

May 27, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Raphielle Johnson, NBE West coast Editor/Recruiting Analyst

After one round of play on Friday night things got into full swing in Hayward with all teams playing two games on Saturday. There were many players who stood out, most notably a high-major talent from North Carolina. Below are some thoughts and recruiting updates from Saturday’s action.

- Player of the Day: Theo Pinson (CP3 All-Stars)

There were some very good performances on Saturday, but the way in which Pinson played for CP3 earned him this spot. Pinson’s an immensely talented player blessed with excellent athleticism, something he used to his benefit on both ends of the floor.

Offensively Pinson was able to get to the basket off the dribble at will, and he has to be considered as one of the top athletes in the 2014 class. Pinson showed off the ability to finish above the rim, and with some improvement to his perimeter shot he will become even more dangerous at that end of the floor.

On the defensive end Pinson was a major distraction in their win over Alabama Challenge, whether CP3 was playing man or going with their 1-3-1 zone. In the zone Pinson would play up top, and the combo of his quickness and wingspan made things difficult for the Challenge guards.

- Sleeper of the Day: John Davis (Team Final)

Davis played well in both games for Team Final on Saturday, with his effort standing out on both ends of the floor. He isn’t afraid of physical play inside, and he’s more likely to attack the basket than put up a perimeter shot.

Davis also played well on the defensive end of the floor, moving his feet well and working hard on the glass. He mentioned multiple Atlantic 10 and CAA schools in a post-game conversation (more on that info below), and that would be a good level for him with some work on his jumper.

More Player Observations:

- G/F Rondae Jefferson (Team Final)

Jefferson played better in Team Final’s afternoon win over Alabama Challenge, finishing with 15 points, six rebounds and three steals, than he did in the morning defeat at the hands of Team United. Jefferson’s a gifted player, and he’s played the point for lenghty stretches on Saturday, but a little more controlled aggression would help his game in a big way. That happened in the afternoon tilt, as he was more aggressive in looking to make plays.

- G Nigel Williams-Goss (California Supreme)

Not sure there’s a better defensive guard in the 2013 class than Williams-Goss, who will figure prominently in Findlay Prep’s plans next season as well. Williams-Goss also displayed his well-rounded skill set on the offensive end of the floor, but he really stood out defensively. Very good on the ball, he also displayed good awareness of what was going on when his man didn’t have the ball.

- PG Darren Williams (Team United)

Williams played well in Team United’s win over Team Final, accounting for eight points and an assist against Final’s long-armed defenders. Williams displayed good handle and made solid decisions with the basketball, even though he finished with just one assist.

- C Kennedy Meeks (Team United)

Meeks may have scored just four points in United’s win over Team Final but it’s easy to see why much of the ACC (among others) is after this 6-9 ½ big man. Meeks racked up seven assists with just one turnover, playing the high post against the Team Final zone and doing a very good job of turning and facing the basket.

Meeks also grabbed eight rebounds, leading the way for either team. With his build Meeks has no problem with getting physical, but it was good to see how effective he could be as a distributor against a zone defense.

- SG Sindarius Thornwell (Team United)

Talk about an athletic slasher. Thornwell was able to get to the basket off the dribble on multiple occasions, and his ability to finish in traffic played an important role in United’s 2-0 day. He’s at his best in the transition game, and stated that he’s working on improving his perimeter shot this summer. With trips to the NBA Top 100, Kevin Durant and LeBron James camps on his schedule, the chance to do that work against some of the other top players in the country should make Thornwell an even better prospect.

- PG Travon Landry (Alabama Challenge)

Things didn’t go particularly well for the Challenge in their game against CP3, but Landry was one of their better performers on the defeat. Landry made solid decisions with the basketball and knocked down five of seven shots from the field. Had a tough go against Mac Irvin Fire in the evening session however.

- PF Jimmy Taylor (Alabama Challenge)

Already committed to Alabama, Taylor finished with 12 points and seven rebounds in Challenge’s loss to CP3. The 6-10 Taylor ran the floor well and was an active defender in the paint. Chai Baker (19 points, six rebounds) also stood out for Alabama Challenge.

- SG Matthew Madigan (CP3)

Madigan played hard on the defensive end of the floor for CP3, and when he got opportunities to take open shots he knocked them down. Madigan made four of five from beyond the arc in the morning session against Alabama Challenge, but was much quieter in their evening win over E1T1.

- PF Akoy Agau (All-Iowa Attack)

A tough EYBL season for All-Iowa (now 0-17) got even tougher in the second half of their loss to B-More Elite as Agau went down with an injury. In the first half of that game he was quiet offensively, but there really weren’t many options to help take some of the defensive attention away from him. Hard to think that Agau will play again this weekend with the injury.

- PF Bobby Portis (Arkansas Wings)

Like the aforementioned Jimmy Taylor, Portis is committed to an SEC school (Arkansas) and played well in defeat. A long-armed 6-9 forward, Portis has the build of a guy who can put on a few pounds and not have his game be affected negatively. He was able to face up effectively and showed the ability to knock down mid-range jumpers when needed. But the key for Portis is to make sure he doesn’t try to do too much offensively when out on the perimeter, because he got into a little trouble when over-dribbling.

- PF Jordan Bell and SF Roschon Prince (ICP)

Putting these two together since they ran into a very difficult match-up during the evening session: Julius Randle and the Texas Titans. Prince was given the assignment for much of the game, and while he worked very hard it was evident that this wasn’t the best defensive match-up for him (he also had to guard Matt Jones at times).

Offensively Prince didn’t hesitate to attack the basket, and if anything his willingness to mix things up stood out. Bell was saddled with early foul trouble, and while he’s a very good shot-blocker he’s raw offensively. Maybe he can show off a little more on that end of the floor with a better match-up.

- PF Julius Randle and PF Damian Jones (Texas Titans)

Randle and Jones both bounced back from disappointing performances in the Titans’ loss to E1T1 in the nightcap, finishing with 15 points and seven rebounds (Randle) and ten points and three blocks (Jones) respectively.

The one concern regarding Randle in the win over ICP: six turnovers. He’s immensely talented and when fully engaged is an absolute man-child. Jones put up a “ten trillion” in the E1T1 defeat, so it was good to see him bounce back with a solid performance. Jones was good as a weak-side defender and ran the floor well.

- SF Matt Jones (Texas Titans)

Jones, who’s already committed to Duke, played well for the Titans in both games on Saturday. Offensively it seemed as if he was quiet…and then you’d look up and see that he scored 18 points. Jones was efficient on that end of the floor against ICP, and was the primary defender on Roschon Prince for much of the game. Duke’s getting a good one in Jones.

- PF Marcus Lee (California Supreme)

Lee is raw offensively, but it’s the other end of the floor where he’s drawn raves all spring. Lee is a good shot-blocker with long arms, and he ran the floor well in Cali Supreme’s evening victory over NY Lightning. How much he progresses offensively will ultimately determine how high he can climb amongst the top big men in the 2013 class.

- PG Parker Jackson-Cartwright (California Supreme)

Jackson-Cartwright played well for Cali Supreme, and while some may point to his size (5-7) as a detriment he displayed good vision at the point. Not sure how much taller he gets but the 2014 prospect is obviously talented. The goal at this point has to be to continue to improve as a floor general, and there’s definitely room for growth in that area.

Random Thought:

One thing that was noticeable on Saturday was the number of teams who used an attacking 1-3-1 zone on the defensive end of the floor. Being so used to teams playing 2-3 zones and daring the opposition to shoot, seeing an active zone defense proved to be far more entertaining. CP3 and Team United were two of the teams who used the zone to their advantage on Saturday, and with EYBL also using a shot clock maybe zones of this style become a bit more commonplace.

Recruiting Notes:

Sindarius Thornwell says that there isn’t a leader in the race for his services but did mention South Carolina and Memphis. What that means is difficult to tell, but while location isn’t a concern playing in a program that has a family atmosphere and plays an uptempo brand of basketball. From an academic standpoint, Thornwell mentioned sports management and broadcast journalism as academic interests.

Darren Williams mentioned the following six schools: Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Cincinnati, Virginia Tech, East Carolina and Gardner-Webb. Williams said that the schools were even at this time.

Kennedy Meeks is being pursued by just about the entire ACC at this point. Specific schools he mentioned included North Carolina, Pittsburgh, NC State, Syracuse and Miami in addition to Georgetown, Louisville, Notre Dame and West Virginia.

Theo Pinson has heard from a number of schools, including Ohio State, Indiana, Syracuse, NC State, Georgetown, Alabama, Wake Forest, Tennessee, Duke, Florida State, North Carolina and Marquette.

JaQuel Richmond said that the following schools are even right now: Oklahoma State, Virginia, Wake Forest, Charlotte, Tennessee and Georgetown. Richmond also mentioned recent phone conversations with Syracuse assistant Adrian Autry.

Troy Williams will most likely make his decision at the end of the summer. While North Carolina and Kentucky remain the top two, he’s still listening to Florida, Alabama, South Carolina and Georgetown. The decision will come down to which head coach Williams has the best relationship with.

John Davis has heard from a number of schools, including La Salle, Massachusetts, VCU, George Mason, Drexel, Towson, Delaware, Rider, Missouri State and Mount St. Mary’s. As for VCU, while Davis didn’t say he’s got a specific order he did say that the Rams’ move to the A-10 gave them a boost in his eyes.

Rondae Jefferson didn’t have a whole lot to say about the schools in hot pursuit of his services, but did mention that he’d likely have an idea of who’s on his list at the Peach Jam.

HOOP GROUP’S SOUTHERN JAM FEST: DAY TWO

May 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

HAMPTON, Va. – The Hoop Group Southern Jam Fest kept rolling along on Saturday and NBE Sports was in attendance for the whole day, taking in a number of impressive performances and talking to a handful of players.

TOP PERFORMER

Dwayne Morgan: A big-time player in the class of 2014, Morgan is a 6’7 small forward out of Baltimore City College HS (MD) who plays for UA Baltimore’s Finest U16 team. While he did not put up huge numbers in the scoring column against Garner Road- Davis—Morgan finished with 14 points—he made his presence felt in many aspects of the game. He is a stellar athlete with major length and that allows him to be a terrific defender. Morgan blocks shots, gets steals and grabs rebounds. He is also adept at picking up boards on the offensive end, leading to putback dunks and tip-ins. Morgan passes well and has a nice feel for the game. He has all the physical tools one could ask for and if he develops a consistent jumper he has a chance to be an incredible player.

TOP SLEEPER PERFORMER

Ruben Tucker: The biggest surprise NBE Sports has seen thus far at the Southern Jam Fest has been Tucker, a largely unknown 6’2 shooting guard out of Bladensburg (MD). Tucker led the charge as his Maryland Pistons squad knocked off Team Melo (NY) on Saturday morning. He poured in 34 points in the victory and connected on six 3-pointers. Tucker is a bit undersized and has an odd shooting form where he releases from the side, but he simply scores the basketball. He is a solid athlete with a strong frame who can get to the cup if needed in addition to hit long range shots. While he may not be a conventional player, Tucker is flat out productive and gets things done.

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RED-HOT KAMERON WILLIAMS PICKING UP INTEREST

April 28, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

HAMPTON, Va. — There were not many players from last weekend’s Nike EYBL Session #1 more impressive than Kameron Williams. A 6-foot-2, 170-pound shooting guard out of Mount St. Joseph (MD), Williams entered this weekend’s EYBL session in Virginia with a bit of a raised profile.

Although he did not have a huge game in a loss to Spiece on Friday night, Williams did knock down some 3-pointers, which is the forte of his game. After the contest, Williams took the time to speak with NBE Sports about his recruitment.
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