NBE Basketball Report
Northeastern Recruiting

ORLANDO AAU REPORT – THURSDAY

July 27, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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by Alex Schwartz

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — The 2012 11th Grade AAU Nationals tournament continued rolling along yesterday, and NBE Sports was there yet again to take in the action. Check out our rundown of the day’s action below and see which Big East school’s head coach saw two of his commits turn in impressive performances. Also, learn which under-the-radar prospects impressed on the second day of the tournament.

TOP PERFORMER

Ryan Wilkins gets the nod as Thursday’s top performer over several worthy candidates, including one of his SEC-bound teammates. A 6’2 shooting guard out of Effingham County (GA), Wilkins is a smooth player in the backcourt whose game you almost have to love. A class of 2013 prospect who is now playing with the South Georgia Kings, Wilkins dropped in 20 points in the game we watched. He knocked down four shots from long range, but he is by no means just a long range marksman. Wilkins is quite capable of getting to the basket off the dribble and can utilize his quality crossover to help him do so. He possesses solid leaping ability and showed he will take a charge at the defensive end. Wilkins has just one scholarship offer at this point, but that needs to change. Low-major to mid-major programs should be all over Wilkins, who can flat out produce.

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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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ELITE 75 REVIEW – PART I (EXPRESSIONS ELITE VERSION)

July 1, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

The Elite 75 took place on the campus of Umass-Lowell on Friday afternoon bringing together the top talent New England has to offer. All of the area’s top AAU programs were represented including, but not limited t,o Expressions Elite, BABC, NE Playaz, Mass Rivals, CBC and the NY Lightning. I had the chance to catch up with players from all of those programs regarding their recruitment since the unlimited contact period started on June 15th. Starting with Expressions Elite, NBE Basketball will be profiling players from each of these six programs over the next few days.

Expressions Elite was well represented at this year’s Elite 75 led by arguably the top 2 performers at the entire event in Jared Terrell (2014 SG) and Abdul-Malik Abu (2014 PF). Both were dominant in early skill development as well as full court 5 on 5 game action. Before getting started on their stand out days, both stars caught up with NBE regarding their burgeoning recruitment.
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HIGH ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS HOT ON TRAIL OF ANTHONY DALLIER

June 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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.
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FLORIDA’S SHOWTIME BALLERS READY FOR SUMMER AAU SEASON

June 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Here is a preview of the Showtime Ballers, a team to keep an eye on this summer on the AAU trail…

July Schedule Highlights:
–Reebok Showdown Series (Philadelphia, PA) July 13-15
–Peach State Summer Showcase (Aiken, SC) July 18-22
–Fab 48 (Las Vegas, NV) July 25-29

Showtime Ballers 17U Roster

RASHAWN POWELL 6’1 PG (DR. PHILLIPS HS)
DEANDRE BURNETT 6’2 CG (CAROL CITY HIGH) – Committed to Miami
WADLY MOMPREMERE 6’9 SF (MIAMI SR HIGH)
FALLOU NDOYE (6’11 C) FAITH BAPTIST
KARLOS ODUM (6’5 WG) TENEROC
TYRIEFE BEARD (6’3 SG) DR. PHILLIPS HS
RASHAD THOMPKINS (6’10 F) MIAMI SR HIGH
JOSEPHUS BENJI BELL (6’3 SG) ELY BLANCHE HIGH
BILLYDEE WILLIAMS (6’6 WG) FAITH BAPTIST
TERRELL HUNTLEY (6’9 PF) GODBY HIGH SCHOOL

Showtime Ballers 16U Roster

KEON GRAY (6’8 F) BOCA CIEGA
NICK MARTIN (6’3 SG) LAKE BRANTLEY
CUYLER MOSLEY (6’3 CG) TIMBERCREEK
BRANDON MILLER (6’7 WG) CYPRESS CREEK
RODERICK DAVIS (6’7) WG BRANDON HIGH
DWAYNE BACON (6’6 PG) MCKEEL ACADEMY – 2015
JORDAN GASKINS (5’10 PG) RICKARDS HIGH SCHOOL – 2015
COREY SANDERS (6’3 CG) MCKEEL ACADEMY – 2015
DALTON COX (6’5 SF) GEORGE JENKINS
DEXTER GRAHAM (6’5 WG) OVIEDO HIGH SCHOOL
MALCOLM LAWS (CG) WINTER PARK HIGH
QUANDARIUS PATTERSON (6’5 WF) GODBY HIGH SCHOOL – 2015

Star Watch: RaShawn Powell
–”when the ball is in his hands, he can do whatever needs to be done on offense”

According to the Ballers staff, Powell holds offers from Central Florida, Memphis, Mississippi State, Penn State, Virginia Tech, Murray State, Illinois State, UMASS, Miami and Seton Hall. Schools such as Alabama, Florida State and Cincinnati are also heavily in the mix as well.

Hurricanes got a good one in Burnett: Deandre Burnett will bring another ball handler and scoring threat. The Miami-commit is a great scorer and can create his own opportunities in various ways.

Summer Breakout Candidate: Tyriefe Beard
–The Ballers staff identified Beard as a sleeper that coaches will definitely notice this summer who is not getting alot of attention right now.

Youngster on the Rise: Dwayne Bacon
–Big guard is a member of the Class of 2015 and already has Viginia Tech and Florida State offers.

Mompremier & Ndoye Seeing Increased Recruiting Attention: Class of 2013, 6’9+ F Wadly Mompremier is rapidly improving and his recruitment has rapidly increased this spring. The Ballers staff informs us that Old Dominion, Northeastern, Florida Atlantic, James Madison and Jacksonville have offered with interest coming from Akron, Cincinnati, Bowling Green, Florida Golf Coast and Alabama.

In the case of 6-foot-11 C Fallou Ndoye, his recruiting also picked up and he landed an ACC offer from Virginia Tech, which adds to the previous offers that he had already from Nevada, Florida Atlantic, Jacksonville and James Madison. Schools such as Cincinnati, Clemson, Mississippi, UCF, Miami, Akron, Memphis and Texas have shown interest and will likely keep an eye on him this July.





CLASS OF 2013 STOCK RISER: SAM SINGER

May 24, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Sam Singer, a 6-foot-4, 190-pound guard from Ransom Everglades High School near Miami (FL), has been turning heads on the AAU circuit all spring with Gold Coast AAU. Known most for his ability to score off the ball, NBE saw Singer on Day Two of the Hoop Group’s Pittsburgh Jam Fest where his ability to play on the ball helped spring an upset over Philly Pride in an exciting contest. Singer has very intriguing size for a back court prospect which he uses to get into the line and finish or draw many trips to the free throw line as well as a nice looking shooting stroke that is improving out past the three-point arc. What NBE saw from him in Pittsburgh was what he felt were his greatest strengths are as a player.

“I’m a true combo guard and my ability to make shots and create for others and basketball IQ are my strengths,” he said. “I’m working hard this offseason on my athleticism and defensively.”
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NIKE EYBL SESSION #2 – BOO WILLIAMS (DAY III)

May 1, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

The Boo Williams Invitational wrapped up on Sunday and with it concluded the second session of Nike’s EYBL circuit. Unlike the majority of AAU tournaments Sunday is not playoff day at Boo Williams but rather just continued EYBL regular season play as all 40 teams are competing for spots in July’s Peach Jam. Star performances showed up in droves just as they had on the first two days. Below are a sampling of the best showings NBE has the pleasure of viewing.

Top Performance of the Day:

Kameron Williams (Baltimore Elite 2013) – Despite being undersized for the shooting guard position at 6’2”, 170 pounds Williams is an elite scorer. His most dangerous weapon is the jump shot but labeling him as “just a shooter” is rather short sighted. Players who are strictly shooters rely on others to create open shots for them but Williams is more than capable of creating his own looks. He’s smart enough to know that at his size challenging the trees in the paint is a low percentage shot whereas his jump shot is very efficient. Williams makes deep three balls off the dribble or the catch but is most effective using 2-3 dribbles to create space and then burying midrange shots. In an afternoon comeback victory over King James Shooting Stars he put on a scoring clinic going for 30 points on 11-18 shooting including 5 triples. I honestly don’t recall him missing a shot in the entire second half as his Baltimore Elite squad made their furious comeback. Kam Williams is a scoring machine and not enough high major programs have looked past his lack of elite size to realize that yet.

Alex Schwartz caught up with Williams on Friday night as the Red Hot Williams is Picking Up Recruiting Interest and he proved once again this weekend that more high majors should be in pursuit.
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THE HOOP GROUP’S PITTSBURGH JAMFEST: DAY TWO

April 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Batko

A full slate of games on Saturday at the Hoop Group Pittsburgh Jam Fest meant a lot more players in action, a lot more eye-opening performances, and a lot more recruiting updates. Below is a rundown of all the players from various classes that NBE caught up with on Saturday at the Jam Fest:

Andrew Harrison (Houston Defenders, 2013, Travis HS) – Regarded as a top five player in 2013, Harrison did nothing to prove otherwise on Saturday. The 6’5” point guard handled the rock, showed off his nasty crossover and great vision, and was able to get his shot off whenever and wherever he wanted. He and his twin brother Harrison listed a top four of Kentucky, Maryland, Villanova, and Baylor but said that doesn’t mean that another school can’t still get into the picture with them.

Aaron Harrison (Houston Defenders, 2013, Travis HS) – Not quite as quick and smooth as his brother, Aaron prefers to play off the ball, spotting up for threes and also attacking the rim. He and Andrew are 100 percent a package deal at the college level, according to them, and whichever school ultimately lands this dynamic duo better have plenty of minutes to go around in the backcourt.
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NJ PLAYAZ SPRING FLING REPORT — PART II

April 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

After a small slate of games Thursday night the 2012 Spring Fling came back with a long, full day on Friday. Pool play wrapped up, playoffs began, and contenders were separated from pretenders. Here is a sampling of the incredible level of talent of hand.

Top Performance of the Day:

Kuran Iverson (NY Lightning 2013) – Iverson is a name that’s been on the recruiting front for a few years already and he’s developed a reputation as an elite talent who struggles with consistency and doesn’t always utilize his natural gifts. Today he was sensational. Name a high level play that can be made on a basketball court and Kuran Iverson made it today. He rebounded above the rim. He blocked multiple shots in the lane. He went coast to coast and dunked on a defender. He made 4-5 perfect no look passes. He beat defenders off the dribble and finished in the lane. He hammered down a couple ridiculous alley-oops. When Iverson plays with energy and effort as he did today, he is basically unstoppable. His perimeter shot is still inconsistent at best and he settles for it too often but when he’s in attack mode on both ends of the floor like today Iverson is special.
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2012 NATIONAL PREP SCHOOL INVITATIONAL — TOP PERFORMERS

February 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

Now that the National Prep School Invitational has come to close and I’ve had a few days to process all the basketball I watched it’s time to rank the performances from the weekend. Below are player rankings by class based on this past weekend’s performance only. These are not an overall opinion on these players but rather a snapshot based on how they played at Rhode Island College over the weekend. The top spot in 2012 came down to the nation’s two best big men and is a decision I agonized over before finalizing it.

Be sure to check out our daily coverage from a great weekend of hoops at the 2012 National Prep School Invitational:
’12 NPSI – Day Four Report
’12 NPSI – Day Three Report
’12 NPSI – Day Two Report
’12 NPSI – Day One Report

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2012 NATIONAL PREP SCHOOL INVITATIONAL — DAY THREE

February 5, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

With most college programs having games of their own on Saturday fewer coaches were on hand at Rhode Island College to take in the action but that didn’t stop the players from putting on a show. The best game of the day and arguably the weekend thus far was between New Hampton Prep and Canarias Basketball Academy. Canarias got out to a lead using their incredible size and strength but New Hampton came storming back to force overtime. New Hampton had lost stud sophomore Noah Vonleh to five fouls towards the end of regulation and it caught up with them in the extra session as Canarias prevailed 82-77. Despite coming up five points short on the scoreboard New Hampton had the top individual performance of the day from a somewhat unlikely source.

Top Performer of the Day:

Olivier Hanlon (New Hampton 2012) – committed to Boston College – Of the 10-12 times I’ve seen Hanlon play both with New Hampton and on the summer circuit with Albany City Rocks today clearly stands out as his best overall performance. The 6’2” physical point guard carried his team on his back for the entire 2nd half and overtime session by scoring and creating for others. Hanlon is at his best in screen and roll sets where he turns the corner aggressively and attacks the lane. In those situations he scored with the floater, got all the way to the rim, drew fouls on Canarias’ bigs, and found open teammates on the perimeter. New Hampton ran the same high ball screen seemingly every time down in the 2nd half and Canarias never found an answer for Hanlon’s fearlessness turning the corner. He also showed off his 3 point stroke as he played off the ball at times and knocked them down in catch and shoot situations. Just as impressive as his offense is Hanlon’s intensity and ball pressure on the defensive end. He never takes a possession off on that end and got multiple steals with his quick footwork and great hands. Boston College fans should look forward to a bulldog at the point guard for the next four years.
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2012 NATIONAL PREP SCHOOL INVITATIONAL — DAY TWO

February 4, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

The second day of the National Prep School Invitational featured nine games with tips starting bright and early at 9 AM. Things started off a bit slowly with the first couple of early morning games featuring sluggish, turnover prone play. Then at 1:30 PM everything changed when Notre Dame Prep took the floor against Canarias Basketball Academy. That’s when a 7 foot monster put his stamp on this tournament and in doing so earned top billing for the day from me.

Top Performer of the Day:

Steven Adams (Notre Dame Prep 2012) – committed to Pittsburgh – Adams was great in his team’s game on Thursday and nearly earned the top spot in my recap. He was noticeably better on Friday. Adams is a massive human being standing 7 foot, 240 pounds. Unlike most people his size though; he is an excellent athlete showing lateral quickness and powerful burst off the floor. Every time he got within five feet of the rim on Friday the back board was in jeopardy of being torn down. Adams dunks with such power whether he has time to set himself or has to go up quickly on an offensive rebound. The scary thing about the big kiwi is that he’s only scratching the surface of his massive potential. He still doesn’t understand the consistent aggression and energy that he can play with and the impact it will have on his game. Adams shows it in flashes and has incredible success every time he does but once a coach makes him realize that’s needed every play his impact will be off the charts. I don’t think I’m overstating it when I say that Steven Adams belongs in the discussion with the newly re-classified Nerlens Noel and Shabazz Muhammad for top player in the 2012 class.
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HOOPHALL CLASSIC 2012: SATURDAY RECAP

January 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

After two days filled with local contests and a sampling of girl’s games, the Hoophall Classic took to the national stage on the boys side Saturday. Traditional powers like Oak Hill Academy, Gonzaga College Prep, St. Patrick’s and DeMatha Catholic headlined the action at Blake Arena in Springfield. Many players improved their stock on Saturday but none more than an undersized big man from Gonzaga College Prep.

Top Performer:

Kris Jenkins (Gonzaga 2013) – Jenkins had a breakout performance on national TV a week ago at the Cancer Research Classic in Wheeling, West Virginia and backed it up today at the Hoophall Classic by dominating an individual matchup with Riverside’s Ricardo Gathers. Jenkins is 6’6” at best but still has great strength for the power forward position. This allows him to hold his own defensively while causing all kinds of problems for opponents on the offensive end. He did the majority of his damage on midrange jumpers but showed that his range extends to the 3 point line knocking down a pair of triples. Jenkins was productive from the opening tip until the final whistle not even allowing an errant Ricardo Gathers elbow to the face to slow him down. After scoring at will on top 10 sophomore Jahlil Okafor and top 30 senior Ricardo Gathers in the past week, it’s safe to say that Jenkins can contribute at the high major level.
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SHELDON JETER ADDS WISCONSIN OFFER

January 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Class of 2012 prospect from Pennsylvania looking closely at a trio of schools

Sheldon Jeter is a 6-foot-6+, 215-lb G/F who is playing his senior season for Beaver Falls High School and Coach Doug Biega. The Tigers have rebounded from a season-opening loss to win their last nine games, largerly thanks to the play of Jeter.

“The season has been going good, we’re 9-1,” Jeter told NBE earlier today. “The highlight so far is destroying Quaker Valley on their home court.”

Quaker Valley is the arch-rival of Beaver Falls, so the 32-point victory was especially sweet. The game was never in doubt and Jeter made sure, scoring 14 of his 33 points in the first quarter and he also finished with 17 rebounds, a dominating performance. He hopes more dominating performances in the future will allow him to accomplish his ultimate goal for the season.
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2011 NIKE EYBL PEACH JAM REPORT (FINAL REPORT)

July 15, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth

The single elimination playoffs got underway Thursday night at the Peach Jam with four quarterfinal match-ups. The run-and-gun acrobatic show of the Oakland Soldiers against Kyle “slow-mo” Anderson and his New Jersey Playaz Club was too much to pass up so that’s where I planted myself. “Slow-mo” gave a Herculean effort ending up just 1 rebound shy of a triple double but in the end the Soldiers athleticism was simply too much to overcome and they advanced to the semifinals. Players from both teams showcased their talents for the bevy of college coaches in attendance.

Dominic Artis (Oakland Soldiers/2012) – Artis is a short statured point guard who has been getting reviews this spring as potentially the best point that the West coast has to offer. His play in this game made it easy to see why. He drained deep three pointer after deep three pointer both of the catch and off the dribble finishing 6-9 from behind the arc. In addition Artis is quick and crafty with the ball constantly working his way into the paint and creating scoring chances for teammates. He served as the engine that made this high powered Soldiers offense go leading his team both vocally and with his play on the floor.

Kyle Anderson (Playaz Basketball Club/2012) – What more can be said about Kyle Anderson that hasn’t been said already? He was brilliant against every defender on the Soldiers roster. They threw bigger guys at him and he used his deadly crossover to get into the paint. They threw shorter, quicker defenders at him and he went down to the right block and went to work. It seemed like every player on the Oakland Soldiers got a chance at stopping Kyle Anderson and every one came away shaking their head. Scouts can critique Anderson’s foot speed all they want. He is a winning basketball player who with excel at any college he chooses thanks to his toughness, basketball IQ, and leadership.
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2011 NIKE EYBL PEACH JAM REPORT (PART IV)

July 14, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth

As Wednesday night rolled around in North Augusta, the haves started to separate themselves from the have nots. Plenty of players showcased their talents for the nation’s top coaches and tried to put their stamp of the week’s festivities. After a third viewing in two days, one thing became VERY clear on Wednesday night. Nerlens Noel is a stud and is making a strong case that he is the top player at this entire event.

Nerlens Noel (BABC/2013) – After flirting with a triple double in his morning game, Noel finished the job Wednesday night putting up 13 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 blocked shots against a very talented CIA Bounce front line. He is a human eraser at the rim and it doesn’t matter who is attacking him. Any shot taken within five feet against BABC belongs to Noel and as the game goes on opponents start taking wild attempts because they are scared of being embarrassed. He is the best defender in the country and proved it for a third time this week.

Prominent head coaches on hand to see Noel’s effort against CIA Bounce included Tom Izzo (Michigan State), Rick Barnes (Texas), Jim Calhoun (Connecticut), Jamie Dixon (Pittsburgh), Thad Matta (Ohio State), Jim Larranaga (Miami), Frank Haith (Missouri), Mike Anderson (Arkansas), Roy Williams (UNC), Jim Boeheim (Syracuse), and Mick Cronin (Cincinnati). The win kept BABC undefeated in the two days thus far. Memphis YOMCA and the Oakland Soldiers are also 4-0 after Wednesday night.

Wednesday’s Session 2 Scoreboard:
Georgia Stars 85, All-Ohio Red 68
Boo Williams 68, Indy Spiece 64
CP3 93, Cali Supreme 82
Mac Irvin Fire 82, All-Iowa Attack 78
Team Takeover 86, Houston Hoops 80
Oakland Soldiers 74, Baltimore Elite 70
Memphis YOMCA 63, NJ Playaz 47
BABC 58, CIA Bounce 55 (OT)
Arkansas Wings 65, Athletes First 62
Texas Titans 61, Louisiana Select 44
The Family 62, City Rocks 54
Howard Pulley 72, Meanstreets 67

Individual Stat Leaders:

Scoring Leaders:
Sulaimon,Rasheed………..23.3
Gathers,Ricardo…………20.0
Ashley,Brandon………….19.5
Parker,Jabari-B4…………..19.3
Smith-Rivera,D’Vauntes…….19.0
Anderson,Kyle…………..19.0
Zierdan,Isaiah………….19.0
Jones,Matthew…………..18.8
Barber,Anthony…………18.5
Goodwin,Archie………….18.0

Rebounding Leaders:
Gathers,Ricardo…………13.0
Poythress,Alex………….9.8
Parker,Tony…………….9.8
Johnson,Brice………….9.3
Parker,Jabari…………..9.3

Assist Leaders:
Rose,LJ………………..8.8
Purvis,Rodney…………..7.3
Anderson,Kyle…………..7.3
Robinson,James………….6.0
Clark,Stephen………….. 5.5

Shot Blocking Leaders:
Noel,Nerlens……………6.8
Johnson,Brice…………..4.8
Kingsley,Moses………….3.8
Morris,Shaquille………..2.5

More Player Evaluations:

Josh Fortune (Boo Williams/2012) – committed to Providence – Fortune had it working from deep in this game burying 3-4 from the behind the arc while getting great elevation on his shot and showing a smooth release. He has a well built 6’5” frame on the wing and doesn’t shy away from contact inside. Very aggressive with the ball in his hands, Fortune has a scorer’s mentality always thinking about putting the ball in the hole.

Buy Tickets to ANY event this summer at GREAT prices!

Justin Anderson (Boo Williams/2012) – committed to Virginia – Anderson’s numbers didn’t jump off the page but his physical impact on a high school basketball game is really something to watch. He blocked a shot at the rim despite being near the free throw line as his opponent was taking off. He covered the ground in a flash, exploded off the ground, and sent the shot into the third row. Offensively, Anderson worked out of the post a lot in this game where he was far too physical and aggressive for any defender Spiece threw at him. Anderson plays with a ton of emotion on the court and while his passion is inspiring he lets it get the best of him at times and loses his cool. When in control, he is a physical force who can impact the game on both ends.

D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera (Indy Spiece/2012) – Smith-Rivera is a power point guard in every sense standing 6’3” and 205 pounds. He has tight handle and uses a strong front shoulder to stop defenders from trying to pick his pocket. Smith-Rivera shot the ball very well on this night going 4-6 from behind the arc along with getting to the basket and finishing in the paint. In addition to his physical attributes Smith-Rivera controls the action both vocally and by example for this Spiece group and is the unquestioned leader for his team out on the court.

AJ Hammons (Indy Spiece/2012) – In a word, Hammons is huge. He stands at 7’0”, 260 pounds and actually looks to be in much better shape than when I last saw him in April. His activity on both back boards stood out in tonight’s contest as he racked up 13 rebounds. Players of his immense size have a tendency to get complacent and think their body will get rebounds for them. Hammons was quite the opposite attacking the ball both in and out of his area and then whipping outlet passes ahead to Smith-Rivera to start the break.

Georges Niang (BABC/2012) – committed to Iowa State – Production, production, production. Prospects are often evaluated on potential of what they could do down the road but a balance between production and potential is what coaches really want to see. Niang produces every time he steps onto the floor and tonight was no different. An undersized 4 man standing at 6’7”, Niang uses a wide frame and outstanding footwork to give defenders fits down low. He knows how to create contact and can finish from all kinds of angles with either hand. College coaches sitting courtside were shaking their heads at every Niang finish inside as it never seems possible but he always seems to finish. The Big East let a good one sneak away to Big 12 country.

Anthony Bennett (CIA Bounce/2012) – Bennett is a beast. He is every bit of the 6’8” 220 pounds he’s listed at and uses his strength to dominate the paint. He loves contact and has no problem finishing right through it inside. Not just a banger, Bennett also has a clean jump out past the three point line, can put the ball on the floor, and runs in transition like a wing player. He has exploded on the national scene this spring and it’s easy to see why with his combination of power and skill. Bennett is only scratching the surface of his huge potential and is already drawing comparisons to the likes of Larry Johnson and Carmelo Anthony.

Andrew Wiggins (CIA Bounce/2014) – If I didn’t know Wiggins was a member of the 2014 class, I would never believe it. He has an advanced game at such a young age and can score the ball in a variety of ways from the wing. Wiggins has three point range although he is streaky from out there but is at his best attacking the basket. An elite athlete, Wiggins might be the only player I’ve seen all week finish in the paint with Nerlens Noel standing in his way. He had multiple put back dunks in this game and makes it look so easy when he elevates over opponents and hammers one down. Wiggins is squarely in the discussion for the top overall player in the 2014 class and reminds me of a young Paul Pierce.

Tyus Jones (Howard Pulley Panthers/2014) – Another one of the youngest players in the tournament, Jones plays like a seasoned veteran. Standing at 6’0” and manning the point for Howard Pulley, Jones has the ball on a string as he weaves his way up and down the floor. He always seems to make the right decision and doesn’t force things that aren’t there. Not only a facilitator, Jones showed off an impressive floater in the lane and a consistent jump shot going 3-3 from long range. Although it’s very early, Jones appears to be one of the elite point guards in the class of 2014.

Isaiah Zierdan (Howard Pulley Panthers/2012) – The 6’2” guard can really shoot the ball. I would go as far as to say that he is the best long range shooter I’ve seen this week and there has certainly been stiff competition. He made six from behind the arc in this contest which is just another day at the office for the long range sniper.

College Coaches in Attendance:

Boo Williams vs. Indy Spiece – Head coaches Brad Stevens (Butler), Stan Heath (South Florida), John Thompson (Georgetown), Ed Cooley (Providence), Tom Izzo (Michigan State), and Paul Hewitt (George Mason) were all courtside joined by assistants from Indiana, UNC, and Xavier.

BABC vs. CIA Bounce – Prominent head coaches on hand included Tom Izzo (Michigan State), Rick Barnes (Texas), Jim Calhoun (Connecticut), Jamie Dixon (Pittsburgh), Thad Matta (Ohio State), Jim Larranaga (Miami), Frank Haith (Missouri), Mike Anderson (Arkansas), Roy Williams (UNC), Jim Boeheim (Syracuse), and Mick Cronin (Cincinnati) with assistants from Duke, Gonzaga, and Xavier joining them.

Mean Streets vs. Howard Pulley – Tom Izzo (Michigan State), Sean Miller (Arizona), Paul Hewitt (Georgia Tech), and Patrick Chambers (Penn State) were on hand along with assistants from Ohio State, Depaul, and Xavier.

Recruiting Updates:

Wayne Selden – Only a rising sophomore, Selden confirmed that he already has offers from Kentucky, West Virginia, Connecticut, Boston College, and Pittsburgh.

Jaylen Brantley – The rising junior told me that since June 15th he’s been hearing from Florida, DePaul, Boston College (offer), Northeastern, and Louisville (offer).




EYBL – BOO WILLIAMS: PREP SCHOOL PROSPECTS SHINE ON AAU TRAIL

April 14, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

BY PAT STEVENS

HAMPTON, Va. – The first major national event of the travel hoops season took place this past weekend with the first session of Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball League getting underway in it’s annual spot of long-time coach Boo Williams’ backyard.

Several prep school players were in action with their 17-under division teams, as BABC went 5-0 with Tilton (N.H.) teammates Georges Niang, Nerlens Noel, Goodluck Okonoboh and Wayne Selden (who mostly played 15U where they reached the championship game).

The Playaz also went undefeated with its backcourt shared by Myles Davis (Notre Dame Prep) and Darrick Wood (NIA Prep).

Albany City Rocks featured New Hampton (N.H.) teammates Zach Auguste and Olivier Hanlan along with Ricardo Ledo (Notre Dame Prep, MA), who averaged just under 24 points per game for the weekend.

Other prep school players included Mike Tobey (Hotchkiss/NY Gauchos/Virginia commit) and Sam Cassell Jr. (Notre Dame Prep/Baltimore Elite).

We managed to catch a pair of games in between session of the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament while in town last weekend…

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GEORGES NIANG CONTINUES TO PRODUCE AGAINST ALL COMPETITION; RECRUITMENT HEATING UP

April 13, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Tilton (NH) School forward Georges Niang is a flat-out producer on the court. The 6-foot-7, 235-pound forward has a knack for putting up numbers against any type of competition he faces. The Class of 2012 prospect was the leader in Tilton’s NEPSAC Class AA championship run, averaging over 26 points a game as the Rams captured their fourth straight final. Against a St. Mark’s team that featured elite Class of 2012 prospects frontline prospects Alex Murphy and Kaleb Tarczewski in the championship game, Niang shredded their defense for 23 points, shooting a perfect 11 of 11 from the field. In typical Niang fashion, he added 10 rebounds and 7 assists for good measure in the 72-57 victory at Endicott College last month.

The Tilton season came to an end in their next game, a thrilling 87-85 loss to Notre Dame Prep in the National Prep Championships. Niang continued his postseason dominance in that game, scoring 31 points. At one stretch, Niang scored 13 straight points for the Rams helping them erase a 10-point deficit and nearly steal the victory. His versatility was on display, knocking down a pair of three-pointers down the stretch helping the comeback.

This spring and summer Niang is playing with another high-profile program as he embarks on the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League with the Boston Amateur Basketball Club (BABC) on the AAU circuit, an experience he is greatly looking forward to.
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