by Alex Schwartz
While the last week or so has not been crazy on the recruiting trail, it has certainly not been as slow as the holiday season. The rundown includes a few high-major programs adding 2013 commitments, a powerhouse getting a 2014 pledge, USA Basketball releasing some big news and more.
We begin with the 2014 pledge, which came from Joel Berry, the No. 20 prospect in the NBE Sports Class of 2014 Post-July Top 75. Berry, a 6-foot-1 point guard from Lake Highland Prep (FL), has popped for North Carolina, per Alex Kline of TheRecruitScoop.com. He is a major pickup for the Tar Heels and is the highest ranked committed player in the NBE Sports 2014 rankings.
Amida Brimah, a 6-foot-11 class of 2013 center committed to UConn, per Coast 2 Coast Hoops. Brimah attends Archbishop Carroll (FL), after transferring over from Monsignor Pace (FL). He is a bit under the radar and fairly raw, but has some definite upside and can really impact the game when he is in the groove.
Jerron Wilbut of St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy (WI) is off the board to Seton Hall, according to Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com. Wilbut is a 6-foot-3 class of 2013 shooting guard who is in a post-graduate year after attending Downers Grove South (IL).
Sticking with the news on ZagsBlog.com and the current BIG EAST, Rutgers picked up a commitment from South Kent (Conn.) point guard Shane Rector. The 6-foot-1 Rector is the first commit in the 2013 class for Mike Rice and the Scarlet Knights.
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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by Alex Schwartz
PHILADELPHIA – For about eight months it looked like the college future for Josh Brown was all set as the 6-foot-3 point guard was committed to the Temple Owls.
However, he reopened his recruitment last month and, as NBE Sports learned from talking to him at the Reebok Showdown Championship, he now has an extensive list of suitors.
In fact, Brown, who attends St. Anthony’s (NJ), has so many schools pursuing him now that he called over his Sports U coach, Eric Harrield, to help him remember them all.
According to Brown and his coach, the schools to extend offers are Read more
By Alex Schwartz
PHILADELPHIA – With the Reebok Breakout Challenge complete, the Reebok Showdown Series Championship took center stage on Saturday at Philadelphia University. Featuring numerous superb AAU teams from coast to coast up into Canada, there was talent all over the gym.
NBE Sports was on hand to take in the action, as well as speak with a few players about their recruitment.
Jarrel Marshall is not a huge name in recruiting circles and he is not a high-major prospect, but that does not detract from his performance in the first game of the day NBE Sports saw. A 6’6 combo forward for the NY Panthers, Marshall poured in a game-high 26 points in his team’s loss to M33M. Although Marshall, who is going to South Kent (CT) for a post-grad year, was unable to lead his team to a win, he certainly did all he could. He seems to have really improved his perimeter game and was consistently knocking down shots from mid to long range. Additionally, he can bang down low at both ends of the court and is a productive overall player.
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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.
By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst
The Adidas Invitational in Indianapolis brings together all the Adidas sponsored AAU teams from around the country and in doing so collects one of the largest pools of talent of any tournament all summer. It was on full display throughout the day Thursday with high major talent playing in front of college coaches. A selection of players was able to separate themselves from the pack led by a pair of teammates from the Memphis area.
Top Performers of the Day:
Leron Black (Team Thad 2014) – Black is a 6-foot-7 power forward who has a motor that runs nonstop. His energy wore down the opposition to the point that he was beating his man down the floor every single time. Team Thad’s offensive system is similar to that of the old Loyola Marymount teams of the late 80s and early 90s that routinely scored over 100 points on the college level. They run and run and run until they can’t run anymore and over time this style wears down the opponents. Black never wore down himself but rather got stronger as the game went on dunking on four consecutive possessions at one point in the second half. His energy and smile on the court are infectious as the whole team seemed to rally around him after he got going in the 2nd half. Black even showed a developing face up game beating taller opponents off the bounce on his way towards more dunks at the rim. On top of the big finishes, he’s also a fantastic rebounder both in and out of his area, particularly on the offensive end. Every college program in the country that plays and up tempo style should be banging down Black’s door begging him to become part of their family.
Clearing out the notebook from some recent updates we have gathered from players in the Class of 2013. We have updates below on Josh Brown, the Sports U/St. Anthony’s (NJ) point guard that recently de-committed from Temple, Terrence Samuel, a NYC point guard who has been hearing the most for a couple schools since June 15th and Sam Singer, a scoring guard out of Florida who has a long list of schools looking to track him this summer.
Read on below for the lastest on each…
JOSH BROWN COLLECTING OFFERS
When news circulated that Josh Brown was backing off his verbal commitment to Temple which he made last Fall, we knew it wouldn’t be long before his recruitment started to take off. Brown had been very impressive every time NBE saw him during the season at St. Anthony’s as well as on the spring AAU period with Sports U. When we caught up with Brown yesterday he shared with us the schools that have been in contact with him since his decommitment, which also coincided with the June 15th opening of the unlimited contact period.
By Matt Whitfield
The NBPA Top 100 High School Basketball Camp for 2012 came to a conclusion at the University of Virginia late Saturday afternoon. Many of the top players from the Classes of 2013 and 2014 converged on Charlottesville since Wednesday and, as always, the competition was top-notch.
Below are some additional recruiting notes from some of the players NBE Sports was able to talk with during the camp.
CLIFF ALEXANDER TAKING HIS TIME
Entering the camp one of the hottest names in the recruiting landscape had been Cliff Alexander, a Class of 2014 C/PF from Curie High School in Chicago. The 6-foot-9 Alexander recently had an impressive showing at the Pangos All-American camp and quickly solidified himself among the elite prospects in the class.
Alexander played well this week at UVA, averaging 9 points and 6.6 rebounds a game, the rebounding number was good for the third highest average of the entire camp of 110 players.
By Matt Whitfield
Throughout the day on Friday NBE Basketball Report caught up with many of the top players at the 2012 NBPA Top 100 High School Basketball Camp on the beautiful campus at Virginia University. Here are some of the recruiting notes gathered from conversations with the players.
Jermaine Lawrence Indicated a Top 3 School List
Jermaine Lawrence has had an impressive spring on the AAU trail and may people were excited to see him in action against other top players in the Class of 2013. Unfortunately Lawrence is out of action because of a wrist injury, but he expects to be back in action at full health by the time July rolls around.
Entering the camp there was some murmurs that Mike Rice and Rutgers had positioned themselves into the lead for his services. While Lawrence said that was not quite the case, Scarlet Knight fans should rest assured they are very much in the mix for the 6-foot-7 forward who attends Pope John XXIII.
It came to a surprise of many yesterday when word spread that Josh Brown had decided to re-open his recruitment and back off of the verbal commitment he gave to Temple last fall. Brown had told many in the last year, even before committing to the Owls that they were his dream school.
Brown is a 6-foot-3, 190-pound point guard that plays for legendary coach Bob Hurley at St. Anthony’s in Jersey (NJ) City. On the AAU trail he has been impressive with Sports U, leading the team to the Rumble in the Bronx championship last weekend over rivals the NJ Playaz. Here is what NBE National Recruiting Analyst Brian Bosworth had to say on Brown last weekend:
Every time I watch Brown play I’m more amazed that Temple was able to steal him away from the traditional Big East powers. He has been transitioning to the point over the past year after spending his youth on the wing and the process appears almost complete. A great decision maker and leader with elite athleticism to back it up, Brown is a top 50 player nationally that no one is talking about.
Andrew Chrabascz, a 6-foot-7 forward weighing 235 pounds out of Cushing Academy in Massachusetts, enters the summer AAU and camp season with plenty of eyes on him. Top mid-major programs galore have been recruiting Chrabascz and will hold their breath as he hits the AAU trail with powerful BABC for the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League championships at the Peach Jam and end of July events in Orlando (FL). High major programs continue to track the multi-faceted game of Chrabascz, who is a skilled power forward.
One thing is certain, Chrabascz will produce. He is almost like a Georges Niang-lite, whose production last year with BABC on the AAU trail pushed his recruitment from the mid-major range to a schoalrship to Iowa State with plenty of other programs in hot pursuit when he made his decision. On the Oakland leg of the EYBL regular season, Chrabascz showed he is continuing to work towards being an effective face-up 4, and his shooting out to 17 feet or so is worthy of such a position. He was also willing to go inside and mix it up, effectively working on the glass at both ends and also finishing in traffic.
Parker vs. Randle highlights day
By Raphielle Johnson
Nike saved the “best” for its final regular season session of Nike EYBL, with the top two players in the class of 2013 facing off on Sunday afternoon. Jabari Parker and Mac Irvin Fire went toe-to-toe with Julius Randle and the Texas Titans, but a furious second half rally for the Chicago-based team fell just short. Behind 23 points and 13 rebounds from Randle and Matt Jones adding 19 and eight rebounds, the Titans won 63-59 to move into a tie for third in Division C with Mac Irvin.
That was a big win for the Titans from a Peach Jam standpoint as well, as the result guaranteed them a berth in the 24-team tournament to be held in July. A loss would have dropped them into a three-way tie with CPE and E1T1 Elite, and while all three would most likely advance (four at-larges join the top five in each division) it’s better to simply take care of business yourself instead of relying on help.
Jones had the assignment of guarding Parker in the first half while Jackson Forbes helped out in the second, and the nation’s top-ranked player seemed to settle for perimeter jumpers a bit too much. But he did guard Randle on the other end in the first half, and to be frank both seemed to be pressing in the first 16 minutes. But Randle’s teammates, most notable Jones, came up big as they led by as many as 18 in the first half.
One of the top prospects in the Class of 2013 on the West Coast is Zach LaVine, a 6-foot-4, 165-pound guard attending Bothell (WA) High School. LaVine has brought comparisons to Steph Curry as a silky-smooth scorer with a slender frame. LaVine enjoyed the recent April evaluation period on the AAU trail where college coaches were out on the road.
“[It was] good to see the coaches out there,” LaVine told NBE. “I just hope they saw all the aspects of my game.”
Speed and scoring ability are always the immediate aspects that stand out with LaVine’s game. He is also a slick passer with a feel for setting up his teammates. There are also areas of his game the rising senior point guard continues to work at improving to prepare himself for the college game in the future, but most of his attention goes toward improving his frame.
“I’m trying to get stronger,” he said.
College coaches have long been aware of LaVine, especially in the Pac 12 conference, but his recruitment has gone national in the recent months. Missouri, Baylor and Texas have recently come into his recruitment and Louisville offered toward the end of the season. Those schools can be added to his long list of other offers that come from Arizona, Arizona State, Washington State, California , Colorado, Gonzaga, UCLA, USC, Utah and Washington. As has been the case for some time, one school on the West Coast continues to lead the pack for his services.
“UCLA is my favorite right now,” said LaVine.
LaVine is not quite ready to pull the trugger as he plans to play out the AAU season with Friends of Hoop out of Seattle and asses the situation at that time in regards to his recruitment.
“I think I’ll pick toward the end of AAU season and just comfortability level [will be the biggest factor],” he said of a decision timeframe and likely deciding factor in a school.
College coaches will be back on the road in July and at that time NBE hopes to catch Zach LaVine in action as well. Stay tuned here for any news on his recruitment as this talented Class of 2013 scoring point guard could be off the board by summer’s end. Will UCLA seal the deal? We shall find out!
By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst
The 2012 Hoophall Classic came to a close on Monday highlighted by four national games all broadcast live on national television. Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski and Kentucky front man John Calipari were front and center all day each flagged by two assistants. They were joined by a host of other coaches all trying to make an impression on the many uncommitted talents in action. While Shabazz Muhammad, Jabari Parker, Tony Parker, and others were the focus of these coaches, a senior guard who has already made his college decision stole the show and he receives top billing today.
Katin Reinhardt (Mater Dei 2012) – signed with UNLV – After watching Reinhardt for a week at the City of Palms in Florida last month I came away seriously underwhelmed. He struck me as a player that forced shots, was careless with the ball, and cared more about making the flashy play than the right play. After dropping 35 points on a Hoophall Classic record tying nine three-pointers it’s safe to say he has changed my mind. Reinhardt got in the flow early with an easy dunk and once he found a rhythm the shots just kept falling and falling. Equally adapt off the catch or the dribble he made shots from well beyond the college 3 point line and was able to get enough elevation on his shot to make them over defenders. Not exclusively a shooter (although it was clearly his calling card today) Reinhardt used a low, tight crossover to get in the lane and finished a pair of floaters over help defenders. He also showed passion and aggression on the defensive end forcing Uconn commit Omar Calhoun into a miserable 6-22 shooting day. For now I’m willing to label Reinhardt a streaky shooter that has the ability to single handedly take over a game when he’s on a hot streak. If he can string together consistent performances like today’s I’ll be forced to simply label him a great shooter.
By Alex Schwartz
It was a busy day in Orlando on Wednesday as the 17U AAU Super Showcase came to a close. The Houston Defenders earned the crown with an impressive 55-45 victory over BABC. Class of 2013 twins Aaron and Andrew Harrison led the Defenders as Aaron scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds, while Andrew finished with eight points and 10 assists. Earlier in the afternoon the Defenders got past Team Takeover, rallying from a halftime deficit to advance to the championship game. For their part, BABC survived a stiff challenge in the semis from Hoop Heavan Elite out of NJ to advance to the televised championship game.
Now the full focus will shift to the AAU National Championships. The 16U is in full swing and the 17U championships are also getting going in pool play as well. Still plenty of basketball left these next four days as the second July live evaluation period closes out.
Below we have some additional player evaluations and recruiting information from yesterday’s action with a heavy concentration on the Houston Defenders (Derrick Griffin), Team Takeover (Jerami Grant), BABC (Jaylen Brantley, Jake Layman, Goodluck Okonoboh) and more (Bobby Portis)…
By Alex Jesswein
The UA Summer Jam Presented by NY2LA Sports was a rousing success this past week. A loaded field converged on Mequon (WI), just outside Milwaukee at Homestead High School. Talented players and teams from across the country competed over the course of July 12th through the conclusion of the first live evaluation period on July 15th. A who’s who of college coaches came through Homestead to take in the action and in the end it was the SYF Players taking the gold title led by Mitch McGary.
Below are a few more recruiting notes from the event as NBE got the opportunity to speak with McGary, Danuel House of Texas PRO and Ishmail Wainright of the KC 76ers for the latest on their recruitment….
Texas PRO Wing Danuel House has been a hot name on the recruiting scene this spring.
His ability to finish in traffic and knock down open shots has impressed coaches across the country.
By Matt Whitfield
After spending Thursday in Philadelphia for the Reebok Breakout Challenge NBE headed to Reading (PA) and the campus of Albright College to take in some action at the Hoop Group’s Elite Camp Session One. The massive camp is always entertaining and well run for players at all levels. NBE will stay in Reading through the day taking in playoff and all-star game action. Tomorrow we will remain on the Albright College campus for the Hoop Group Elite team camp which will certainly draw an impressive crowd from the college coaching community.
Rutgers head coach Mike Rice was on the scene early on Friday morning, checking out the action by 9 AM. Below are some notes from the early action this morning. More to come throughout the day….
Lennard Freeman, a 6-foot-7 forward out of St. John’s College HS in Washington (DC) seemed to have the attention of the Rutgers head coach this morning. Freeman, who plays on the AAU circuit in the Team Takeover program, mentioned DePaul, Washington, South Florida, Penn, Northwestern and Albany. He has also taken an unofficial visit to NC State.
Transferring to Suffield Academy from Westminster Prep is Myles Marshall. The Class of 2013 prospect was a 2nd-team All-NEPSAC Class B selection last season at Westmnster. At this point he is hearing from Elon, Siena and Iowa.
Class of 2013 shooting guard Stanford Robinson of Paul VI High School is one of the top prospects coming into the Hoop Group Elite camp and his recruitment certainly backs that up.
“I got an offer from Miami, Rutgers and UMASS,” said Robinson. “Xavier has been calling as well as Georgetown, Virginia Tech, Maryland, and a lot of ACC and Big East schools. I got some calls from Syracuse as well.”
Calls from schools in the BIG EAST and other major conferences keep Robinson pushing towards his goals and making him feel like the hard work is beginning to pay off, motivating him to keep pushing.
“The calls from Syracuse makes me feel like I’m an elite player and I need to keep working so I can have more of these schools like Syracuse keep calling.
My goal is to play at an elite [basketball] school.”
Robinson has been to NC State on an unofficial visit and will hope to take a few more trips in August.
One of the players drawing the most attention this week in Reading is Geno Thorpe of Shaler High School near Pittsburgh (PA) and the NJ Playaz AAU program. Word spread on the internet that Thorpe could be making his college decision by September, but the 2013 recruit seemingly backed off that speculation this morning and gave the picture he is unsure of what he’s going to do regarding colleges.
When asked if he was going to make his decision in September. Thorpe responded, “Yeah, but I might reopen it.”
Thorpe mentioned he considers himself open at the moment.
“I’m just kind of open with everything,” he said.
There was speculation recently that Thorpe would be moving to New Jersey for his junior season, Blair Academy and Hudson Catholic being possible destinations, however a little more of an upgrades schedule will keep him at Shaler for now.
“I’m going to Shaler next year….they kind of upgraded the schedule a little bit.”
Currently the school list for Thorpe reads Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Wisconsin, Kansas State, Baylor and Gonzaga. His relationship with the Pitt staff has been documented, but he also has a strong relationship with the Rutgers head coach, who was watching him this morning, as he has known Mike Rice for several years.
“I went to the Robert Morris Camp in 7th grade and that’s how we met up,” said Thorpe.
Landen Lucas made the difficult decision to leave family and friends at Sunset HS in Portland (OR) for the basketball powerhouse Findlay College Prep in Henderson (NV). The 6-foot-9, 235-pound big man has often thought about being home, competing for titles with the friends he grew up with family close by, but now he will prepare for a spring AAU season with the Northwest Panthers program and the chance to show those home how far he has come.
“Im looking forward to showing people how much I really have improved this season,” Lucas told NBE yesterday on what he is looking forward to the most on the AAU scene.
Before AAU basketball for Lucas gets underway there is some unfinished business for him and his Findlay Prep teammates.
“Its been good so far,” Lucas said of his season with Findlay. “[I] Learned a lot this season and worked with my team to get through a lot of ups and downs. Highlight will be when we win this national championship at the end of the month.”