by Alex Schwartz
HACKENSACK, N.J. – Eight teams made their way to Hackensack (NJ) High School on Sunday for the New Year’s Jump-Off. The quartet of games featured only teams from the Garden State, but there was a great deal of talent on display, including a few players headed to high-major programs.
Reggie Cameron of Hudson Catholic is the easy choice of who turned in the day’s best performance. The 6-foot-8 small forward dropped 30 points and may well have had more if he shot more the fourth quarter had the game been close. Cameron, ranked No. 62 in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125, also grabbed 12 rebounds, distributed the ball well and made his presence felt on defense. A big-time shooter from long range, the future Georgetown Hoya really had his shot going in this game. He has such a smooth stroke and possesses the size to get it off over most defenders. Cameron also scored from midrange and at the rim. The senior even displayed the ability to play the point, which is something he has not really done before. He blocked shots, found open teammates for buckets and was the best low post player in the game, despite being a three man. Cameron led his team to a 70-53 victory over Pope John XXIII and put on in absolute show in his home city of Hackensack.
by Alex Schwartz
Signing week is now in the books, but a number of other 2013 players made their college commitments since our last Recruiting Notebook on Monday. Some popped before the signing period ended and some after it.
The best senior to come off the board in the past few days is Brandon Austin of Imhotep Charter (PA). Austin is a 6-foot-6 point guard/small forward and he is now a future Providence Friar, per his Twitter account.
A long, versatile player with an impressive skill set, Austin was at one point committed to Penn State. Ranked No. 47 in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125, Austin picked the Friars over Texas and UConn.
Manhattan got an incredibly huge coup in landing JUCO stud Chris Thomas of Chipola College (FL). The news was broken by Scout.com’s Evan Daniels. Thomas is a 6-foot-5 shooting guard who was at one point ranked amongst the top 10 players in high school in the class of 2012 before opting to take a unique route and enrolling at a junior college.
By Sherwyn Cooper
Rashad Richardson led his Kiski Cougars to a huge upset win over one of the nations premier basketball prep programs, Brewster Academy (Game High 29 points) on Saturday night. It was evident in the 6’5 swingman’s demeanor there was something he was out to prove. According to his coaches, Richardson informed them that a local recruiting report in Indiana had him as there #1 prospect until former Indiana signee Ron Patterson (Syracuse-Commit ) decided to take a prep year at Brewster Academy, pushing him to the #2 spot. While they insist there is no personal hard feelings between Patterson and Richardson, Rashad took the match up as chance to prove his worth.
After the biggest surprise performance at the National Prep Showcase, Richardson called his high school coaches Tuesday night and informed them both he and his father would like to reopen his recruitment. Richardson, a virtual unknown outside the state of Indiana, had verbally committed to IUPUI and had plan to sign his Letter of Intent on Monday after the prep showcase. Since decommitting Duquesne, Pittsburgh, Utah, Manhattan and Rutgers have expressed interest in Richardson with IUPUI still in the mix.
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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.
Team Final wing B.J. Johnson has had an impressive spring on the AAU circuit and the Lower Merion (PA) High School standout has continued his stellar play right into the summer. The 6-foot-7, 175-pounder put his talents on display this past weeked at the Nike Skills U camp at TC Williams High School in Alexandria (VA), impressing onlookers with his smooth scoring ability. Over the weekend, Johnson informed NBE Sports of a new offer that has been extended his way and some new high-major interest, both coming out of the BIG EAST conference.
“Yes that’s true,” replied Johnson when asked about the offer from Villanova. “I really like their program but I really wouldn’t say I have favorites yet. Syracuse recently reached out also.”
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.
by Alex Schwartz
ENGLEWOOD, N.J. – Shane Rector and Dayshon Smith are two of the top New York City natives in the class of 2013. Both point guards, Rector and Smith have different styles of play, but they each get the job done on the hardwood.
On Friday night, NBE Sports had the opportunity to catch up with both of the Big Apple floor generals while at City Sports for the first round of games in the 2012 Rumble in the Bronx.
Rector, who stands 6-foot-1 and attends St. Raymond’s (NY), listed scholarship offers from Providence and Hofstra. The Playaz Basketball Club standout also named Arizona, Iowa State, Georgetown, Pittsburgh, North Carolina State, Stanford, and UMass as programs involved in his recruitment.
Dayshon Smith has opened many eyes this summer. Eyes of fans, scouts and college coaches alike.
Right out of the gates this spring as one of the NJ Playaz Spring Fling Top Performers with the NY Lightning AAU program and through three sessions of play in the Nike EYBL, Smith has performed at a high level. His biggest strengths right now are his perimeter shot, tight handle, and the calm with which he plays. The best point guards know how to control pace and make opponents play their speed and that is something that Smith understands very well.
This is what NBE’s Brian Bosworth wrote about Smith on the final day of the Spring Fling:
Smith capped an outstanding weekend by making his best plays in the second half of the championship game. His Lightning came up short in overtime against the New Rens but Smith did everything he could to get the game into overtime. Two plays in particular stand out and deserve mention. Late in the second half Smith came down the lane after turning the corner from a high ball screen and dunked in the face of 6’8” jumping jack Kenton Facy. Then with 30 seconds remaining and his team trailing by three, Smith brought the ball up court and pulled up from behind the line tying the game and sending it to overtime. He had the guts to both take and make the biggest shots in the championship game and increased his stock in the process.
One of the hgihest stock risers in the Class of 2013 this spring has been B.J. Johnson of Team Final. The 6-foot-6, 170-pound G/F has excelled on the Nike EYBL circuit, putting back-to-back eye-opening weekends together when the EYBL kicked off and college coaches were in the stands.
“It was exciting to get to play in front of a lot of big time coaches,” Johnson told NBE Sports shortly after the April open evaluaiton periods. “I hope they saw what I do well on both the offensive and defensive side of the floor as well as how much effort I put into what I do.”
Through three EYBL sessions Team Final is sitting with an 8-6 ranking and in position to clinch a spot in the EYBL Championship round this July at the Peach Jam with a solid performance in Oakland (CA) this coming weekend.
For his part, Johnson is second on the team in scoring (9.8 ppg) and rebounding (4.8) trailing only Rondae Jefferson in both categories. That type of performance really got the attention of college coaches as he had schools such as Boston College, Rutgers and >Pittsburgh exppress new interest right away. BC followed up with a scholarship offer joining the likes of James Madison and Penn State in the days immediately following the Boo Williams EYBL event.
Johnson has always been high on the Big 5 radar for the local Philadelphia schools as he attends Lower Merion (PA) HS. St. Joseph’s, Temple and La Salle have been in the mix with him previously, as well as Boston University, and they all have company now as the scholarship offers continue to come in.
“New offers from Rutgers, Richmond, Duquesne, Manhattan and UMASS,” Johnson told NBE earlier today.
NBE will be on hand this weekend in Oakland (CA) as Raphielle Johnson will be reporting on the action. So stay tuned for more coverage on B.J. Johnson, Team Final and the Nike EYBL this weekend and through the summer
The July live evaluation period will be an important one for Brian Bernardi. The 6-foot-3, 180-pound guard out of Xaverian High School in New York City already has several solid mid-major programs putting scholarship offers on the table and it is expected schools from high-major conferences will also be tracking his progress this month during the two 10-day live periods.
The current school list for Bernardi is long and includes a variety of schools throughout the college basketball spectrum. Boston College, Xavier, Hofstra, Virginia, Fordham, Georgetown, Providence, St. John’s, Temple, Siena, Fairfield, SMU, Boston University , East Carolina, Marist, James Madison, Manhattan and Wagner were listed as the programs actively recruiting him.