San Diego State Recruiting
by Alex Schwartz
We only had one Recruiting Notebook last week, so there is a lot to get through in this one. Thus, we’re going to go with a bit more of a quick, rapid fire style this time.
First off, Baylor picked up a pledge from 6-foot-9 center Dominic Woodson of Huntington Prep (WV), according to Scout.com’s Evan Daniels. The big man is ranked No. 37 in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125 and is the second top-40 prospect to pop for Baylor in three weeks. Woodson’s other finalist was North Carolina State.
Earlier today Austin Nichols tweeted he had committed to Memphis. Nichols, ranked #75 in the NBE rankings, is another major in-state coup for Josh Pastner and the Tigers over in-state rival Tennessee.
LSU landed a big-time commitment from Jarrell Martin of Madison Prep Academy (LA), per Ben Love of Tiger Sports Digest. The 6-foot-8 power forward is ranked No. 66 in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125. He is the third player in the top 75 to pledge to LSU in this class.
ESPN.com’s Reggie Rankin had the news that Jajuan Johnson of Southwind (TN) had selected Marquette. The 6-foot-3 shooting guard is ranked No. 63 in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125 and joins two other top-75 ranked prospects in Marquette’s class. Johnson chose Marquette over Alabama and Miami.
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By Alex Schwartz
PHILADELPHIA – The first Live session of July came to an end yesterday evening, and NBE Sports was once again at Philadelphia University for the Reebok Showdown Series Championship. This time it was championship day of the event and it was Sports U that stole the show, beating the Jersey Shore Warriors, 82-74 in OT, to win the U16 division and then coming back to beat the Arkansas Hawks, 59-56, in the Showdown Division. Additionally, the NJ Cyclones knock off Team Nelson for the U17 crown.
DeAndre Bembry turned in a big-time performance in the championship game of the Showdown Division. The 6’6 combo forward from St. Patrick’s (NJ) was easily the contest’s top scorer, pouring in 24 points and was the only player on Sports U to finish in double-digits. Bembry, a class of 2013 prospect, is a superb slasher who makes his mark by getting to the rim off the bounce and finishing. He has a good body and is a big-time athlete. In the championship game he showed off some range, connecting on a 3-pointer at one point. Bembry rebounds the rock well, runs the floor well and simply produces.
By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst
Saturday in Indianapolis was all playoff action at the Adidas Invitational and with higher stakes came stronger performances. All three age groups (15U, 16U, 17U) were represented at the main gym and players from all ages and all places managed to stand out. Here’s a sampling of who impressed.
Top Performers of the Day:
Daniel Hamilton (Dream Vision 2014) – The younger of the pair of brothers on Dream Vision’s 17U squad, Daniel is two inches taller and significantly longer than his older brother. While Daniel’s set of tools on the offensive end is not quite as refined as Isaac, he does have the middle game down to a science. He’s best scoring on runners or floaters going in either direction often using the back board from unusual angles. Hamilton has range out to the 3-point line but is consistently more successful when he puts the ball on the floor and pressures the defense off the dribble. Added strength, improved ball handling skills, and better shot selection can spring board Hamilton’s game to the next level.
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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.
A glimpse at the future stars
by Raphielle Johnson
The final day of the LeBron James Skills Academy provided the first match-up of two of the best players in high school basketball in Julius Randle and Andrew Wiggins. While one also has to account for the likes of Jabari Parker and Andrew Harrison when discussing the top player regardless of class, Monday’s battle gave those in attendance the fodder needed to debate such an issue.
In a game that Wiggins’ Duke squad won by double digits it looked as if he had the edge in this particular debate. The thing for Wiggins is that the things he does on the floor come across as being effortless, and while he had moments this weekend when he wasn’t at his best there looks to be clear separation between he and the other elite players.
Randle had his moments as well and he’s able to play on the perimeter in addition to flourishing in the paint. But he can spend too much time on the perimeter, which takes away from his effectiveness. Those two stood out on paper, but a match-up of 2015 big men took center stage in the second half.
Josh Hart, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard out of Washington, DC’s Sidwell Friends School, has had a productive spring and word has spread. Playing with Team Takeover on the AAU trail it has come as no surprise that college coaches are hitting up regularly since the unlimited contact rule went into effect at midnight on June 15th. One school showed their strong interest in Hart by making sure they were the first school he heard from.
“After the rule change North Carolina State texted me first and that was at 12:01 AM,” hart told NBE Sports this evening.
Some of the players we have talked to the last couple days have been a little lukewarm on the new unlimited contact rule, wondering if it will become cumbersome as the months pass. Right now most players are out of school for the summer and the new rule adds excitement. Hart is one that is ready for the calls and texts to come and understands the way society is today that the constant contact is more of the norm.
By Ron Bailey
Last week, Class of 2014 point guard Parker Cartwright proved himself capable of getting into the lane and finding teammates or scoring himself, while also hitting the open shot. The (generously listed) 5-foot-11, barely 140 pound point guard was a mammoth performer during National Basketball Players Association Top 100 action, averaging 8 points a game and 2.8 assists, which was tied for the second best average in the camp.
What stood out to this observer was not Cartwright’s fearlessness – he’s a warrior – or quickness – can somebody say cat-like – but the guy’s intelligence. There are very few times Parker makes the wrong play or doesn’t clearly have mental command of a situation. Last week one strained to identify situations where he could be deemed ‘OOC’ (out of control).
We still have some stories on individual players from the recently completed NBPA Top 100 High School Basketball Camp to publish and get up on the site in the coming days, but also felt it is a good time to clear out the notebook with some tidbits collected over the weekend outside of the Top 100 camp…
COACHES CALLING DEVON HALL
Last week we published our Class of 2014 Intro: Devon Hall so readers could get a better idea of who Devon Hall is. The 6-foot-5, Class of 2014 point guard is a Virginia Beach (VA) native that attends Cape Henry Collegiate School and performed well on the Boo Williams AAU club in the 17U Nike Elite Youth Basketball League this spring. So it came as no surprise to hear that his number was punched in early and often into the phones of college coaches once the clock struck Midnight on June 15th and players in the Class of 2014 could be contacted by colleges.
Team Takeover DC is a team many people are very familiar with on the AAU circuit. Once again the team is loaded with top tier recruits that the cream of the crop in college basketball are after. However one player on the squad that might not be as well known as some of his teammates has certainly made a name for himself this spring on the NIKE EYBL tour. 6-foot-5, 200-pound wing Josh Hart has been the leading scorer for Team Takeover in EYBL action and likely their most consistent player. He also ranks second on the team in rebounding and gets his share of assists and steals as well. He has been a player that prides himself in being a glue guy and his role has been played well helping Team Takeover to a 12-8 EYBL record and another trip to the Peach Jam this July. It is one of the events Hart will be looking forward to as he continues to increase his national profile.
“I’m am looking forward to the Under Armour Grind Session in Atlanta, Kevin Durant Camp in Chicago and I am very excited for the Peach Jam in Georgia,” he said of the summer ahead.
Brandon Randolph is a 6-foot-2, 190-pound point guard who runs with Team Jennings on the AAU circuit and attends St. Bernard High School in Playa del Rey (CA) who has impressed college coaches with his play during the April evaluation period, leading one West Coast school to offer the Class of 2013 guard earlier this week.
Randolph is quick with the ball in his hands and has been aggressive goping to the basket. He is able to get into the lane and finish as he possesses solid strength for a guard. That strength also makes him a plus rebounder for a guard and he always plays with intensity. Randolph was hoping that college coaches took notice of his complete game during the April evaluation period, especially his ability to set up teammates.
“It was great so they can see me twice and not just once [in April],” he said o the open evaluaiton weekends. “I hope they saw my ability to pass [the basketball}."
Always known as a player that can score the ball it was important for Randolph to show the other aspects of his game, which he also continues to work to improve.
"I [work to] improve on my ball-handling everyday and try to keep my stamina up,” he said.
San Diego State has long been hot on the trail of Randolph, and were his first offer last fall. The Aztecs have company and the list of schools recruiting him will certainly continue to grow, aswill his offers, which increased by one this week.
“I got another from Pepperdine,” Randolph told NBE. He told NBE there are no current leaders and other schools involved include “SDSU, Arizona, UCLA, Texas A&M, Stanford and Washington for right now, but everything is open.”
Randolph expects to take his time in his recruiting, letting the AAU season and possibly the high school season play out before making a college decision.
“I’m probably looking at after high school season and just how I feel around the coaches and how much I really like the school,” he said of a time frame and the factors that will be most important in his decision.
In the meantime you can expect plenty of West Coast coaches to make their way out to see Brandon Randolph at St. Bernard and then again when the AAU circuit heats up in the summer. Randolph is a player that will likely see an uptick in his recruitment in the coming months while school slike San Diago State and Pepperdine hope their early offers hold off the major conference foes.
By Raphielle Johnson
The first open weekend of the spring/summer meant action throughout the country, including Las Vegas with Sin City hosting three events. The biggest of the three was the adidas VIP Exclusive Run, which featured most of the nation’s best programs under the three stripes banner.
The program that stole the show this weekend at adidas was the Florida Rams, whose 16u and 17u teams both won championships. The 17 and under team is well-known by this point, as they’re led by one of the country’s top prospects in the 2013 class in Chris Walker.
A slender forward who can run the floor and finish with the best of them, Walker played well on both ends of the floor for much of the weekend and likely had one of the early frontrunners for dunk of the AAU season. But he had plenty of help as well, especially from Florida commit Kasey Hill.
The 2013 point guard ran the show for the Rams, displaying the ability to get to the basket off the bounce at will. Hill also did a good job of distributing the basketball, setting up Walker and Kansas commit Brannen Greene frequently.
By Raphielle Johnson
This past weekend the sixth annual Easter Classic was played at multiple locations in Phoenix. It was a good opportunity to check out some of the better talents in the region, with teams from New Mexico and California also taking part.
And with some of the top prospects showing up it was a good opportunity to ask recruits an important question when it comes to basketball on the West Coast:
What’s wrong with the Pac-12?
The league’s been down for a couple of years now, and with 11 of the conference’s top 20 scorers from this past season moving on there will be a lot of pressure on some highly touted newcomers to pick things up (Arizona likely being the team many pick to win the conference next season).
2013 wing Payton Banks, who played at Orange Lutheran with Arizona signee Gabe York, feels that the conference will bounce back in 2012-13 and the Wildcats are a big reason why.
“[This year] was a bad year for the Pac-12, but this year will change a lot,” remarked Banks when I asked him the question.
2014 point guard Brian Beard and 2013 forward Chancey Hill both pointed to recruiting as the biggest problem for the conference, with Beard citing conference teams being outworked by the likes of Long Beach State and San Diego State while Hill said that the conference needs more diversity (geographically speaking) in recruiting.
Personally speaking, the recruiting issue is where the problem lies when it comes to the caliber of play in the Pac-12 in recent years. Lots of teams throughout the country have players leave school for the NBA after one or two seasons, making those recruits expected to spend three and four years on campus even more important.
Look at national champion Kentucky. While one could definitely argue that the Wildcats were talented enough to win with their youngsters this season, there’s no ignoring the role that senior Darius Miller played on that team. And from a recruiting standpoint there’s Kentucky and then everyone else she looking at who’s coming in annually.
Arizona and Indiana both welcome in outstanding classes this summer, but John Calipari and his staff do a good enough job to bring in a new team that can contend for a national title every year.
If you’re not able to do that you’d better be able to get a good mix onto campus, and that hasn’t happened for the Pac-12 outside of Arizona’s Elite Eight run in 2011. Can the conference come back? Sure it can, provided they win some important recruiting battles for the best talent on the West Coast.
But it’s also going to take the development of players who don’t fall into the “one and done” or two-year categories. That can’t be forgotten when discussing what the conference needs to do in order to return to the pinnacle of western basketball while also regaining national respect.
As for the action there were some high-level products on display, and below are updates on their recruitment along with other standouts this weekend.
G Payton Banks (2013)
Banks is a high-level wing who is on the radar of many of the top teams on the West Coast. A versatile guard with size, when Banks decides to attack the basket with authority he’s a tough player to deal with. That’s the key for him: being in attack mode consistently. Banks holds offers from Arizona State, Colorado, Penn State, USC, UTEP, Washington and Washington State.
G Brian Beard (2014)
The 2014 pass-first point guard was solid if not spectacular for the Compton Magic Black. Speaking with Beard on Saturday, he says that his goal this summer is to improve his perimeter shooting and thus become a bigger threat to opponents offensively. Recently the schools who have shown “medium-to-high” interest are Marquette, Oregon State and San Diego State with none having offered.
G Richaud Gittens (2013)
Gittens is one of three players on the Arizona Stars who stood out this past weekend, displaying some very good athleticism in the open floor. A left-hand dominant player right now, Gittens wants to improve his right this spring/summer. He’s looking for a bigger school that plays an up-tempo style of basketball, and currently has received interest from Colorado State, Drake, UCSB and Weber State. Obviously with his goal being to land at a larger institution this is going to be a big summer for him.
F Chauncey Hill (2013)
The Fairfax product had a good weekend in Phoenix, showing off a high-level motor and finishing ability above the rim. The key for Hill will be how he goes about expanding his offensive repertoire, something than can also be said for club teammate Jordan Bell (who played with ICP in a different event this week). Speaking with Hill, who said that he tries to model his game after Kenneth Faried, he’s looking to become more of a wing player skill-wise as he spends the majority of his time in the paint. Boasting a mohawk that’s dyed blonde on top, Hill has received interest from Colorado, Fresno State, Marquette, San Diego State and Washington but no offers as of yet.
G Jaron Hopkins (2013)
Hopkins is one of the best perimeter prospects on the West Coast; how he’s been unranked by multiple scouting sites is one mystery that’s difficult to explain. If Hopkins gets a step on his defender he’s going to the rim and he’s going with authority. He says he’s been attempting 500-600 jumpers a day in hopes of improving that aspect of his game. Hopkins currently holds offers from the likes of Boise State, Colorado, Colorado State, Pennsylvania, Penn State, San Francisco and Washington State, with interest from Harvard, Stanford and UCLA. Hopkins is aware of the coaching situation at Colorado State (Tim Miles moving on to Nebraska) but that’s something he’s left to his father, also noting that Miles has been in contact with his father since taking over at Nebraska.
G Dorian Pickens (2014)
Pickens is a smooth wing who was able to score in a variety of ways for the Arizona Stars. The recent recipient of an offer from Arizona State, Pickens knocked down perimeter jumpers while also showing off his mid-range game. He’ll need to get better at attacking the basket so opponents can’t play him too close, and he says he’ll also be working at becoming a better defender. He’s looking for a school with good academics that provides a family atmosphere while playing an up-tempo style of basketball. In addition to the ASU offer, Arizona, Boston College and Indiana have shown early interest. When asked if the high number of transfers at Arizona State (12 in three years) would affect how he viewed Herb Sendek’s program Pickens said no, stating that he’s just going to focus on how he meshes with the coaching staff.
F Pablo Rivas (2014)
Rivas is a 6-6 forward with very good athleticism as he’s also a wide receiver for his high school’s football team. And despite his wiry frame Rivas showed off some of the physicality gained from playing football, as he was more than willing to bang with opposing big men. Rivas runs the floor well and has room for growth from a skill standpoint; another summer spent working on his game could yield positive results when it comes to what he’ll be able to do offensively. Looking to major in engineering in college (mechanical and computer being the two disciplines he’s most interested in), Northern Colorado has shown some interest in Rivas. He did say that his “dream school” is Memphis, but this is going to be a big summer for him in terms of improving his skill set if he wants to draw the attention of the future Big East member.
F Paul Watson (2013)
Watson was solid but had a tough weekend due to the fact that he had to play center. To say the least the wing prospect who has received offers from high major programs is not a center. Watson’s a good scorer from multiple areas on the floor but for his sake hopefully they can get some size to help him out. But that doesn’t mean that Watson isn’t’ using this as an opportunity to add to his game, as he’s working on a turnaround jumper and a sweep-through move. Watson currently holds offers from Arizona State, Boise State, Fresno State, Oregon State and Texas Tech, and Arizona, Duke, New Mexico State, UNLV and USC have shown varying levels of interest.
Other Players of Note
G Bryce Alford (2013)
The New Mexico verbal commitment may be known by many for his famous lineage, but he’s a very good player in his own right. Alford played off the ball for much of the weekend, doing a good job of finding looks on the perimeter. Needs a little more work creating off the dribble but to be fair he didn’t man the point much for the Danny Granger Hurricanes.
G Malcolm Allen and G Marcus Allen (2013)
Twins from Las Vegas, these two played well this weekend alongside Jaron Hopkins and Paul Watson. Both are good athletes, with Malcolm showing a little better when it came to getting to the basket. Keep an eye on these two as the spring/summer rolls on, and that should be easy to do given the attention being heaped upon Hopkins and Watson from a recruiting standpoint.
G Sedrick Barefield (2015)
A member of the Compton Magic’s 2015 squad, Barefield is going to be one of the best guards in the country regardless of class by the time he’s a senior. Already ranked among the best guards in his class, Barefield is very good at finding quality looks. Good handle, good shooting form and a solid defender as well.
F Joe Boyd (2013)
The former New Mexico State verbal has bulked up some to match his 6-9 height, and he’s got the strength needed to bang inside. Still has to work on his mid-range jumper and free throw shooting, but he’ll be a good get for someone at the low to mid-major level with a solid spring/summer. At last check (a couple of months ago) New Mexico State remains high on his list, although depending on what happens with Marvin Menzies and the Colorado State opening maybe that changes.
F Kendall Lauderdale (2015)
He’s with Barefield on a Compton Magic 2015 team that recruiting fans are going to want to keep track of in the coming years. Already standing at 6-7, Lauderdale displayed a very good motor in the paint and good athleticism as well. Having his jersey ripped to the point where it looked like something Tarzan would wear didn’t slow him down either (they eventually gave him a new jersey. He’ll be one of the many high-major products on this roster with continued growth and development.
G Dikembe Martin (2016)
Martin can get to the basket off the dribble and while he’s got some work to do on his perimeter shot he was able to knock down a few jumpers as well. His best work may have come in the distribution area, where he set up fellow 2016 prospects Jace Rivera and Martin Tombe inside. This was as part of a Compton Magic 2016 class team that managed to beat a 17U squad on Saturday, and they’re only going to get better.
G Bubba Mears (2012)
Mears hasn’t been able to drum up enough interest scholarship-wise but the 5-9 point guard is a good athlete who also played football in high school. To describe Mears as a “bulldog” defensively would be more than accurate, as he helped lead the Tucson Heat seniors past the Compton Magic Black on Saturday afternoon. Offensively he did a good job of running the show, setting up teammates for quality looks while also using his quickness to get to the basket. Not sure if he goes D-1 due to the height, but he’d be a good late addition for a team in need of a point guard.
G Cullen Neal (2013)
Like teammate Bryce Alford, Neal’s the son of a coach (UNM assistant Craig Neal) who can also get the job done on the court. Neal, a Saint Mary’s verbal, was on the ball for most of the weekend for the Danny Granger Hurricanes and while his shot selection left something to be desired at times there’s no doubt that he can make plays. He’s got good size for a point guard, and he’ll be a very good addition when he steps onto the SMC campus next summer.
G Jeff Van Dyke (2013)
He was one of the good perimeter shooters on a tough Gamepoint 17U Black squad. Very good in catch and shoot situations this past weekend, Van Dyke was also able to create some good looks off of the dribble as well. High-major 2013 big Kameron Rooks didn’t play with them this weekend, which likely opened some things up for Gamepoint’s other 2013 prospects. 2012 wing Nathan Wright spent most of his time inside as a result.
F Arren Wells (2012)
While Alford and Neal are the headliners for the Danny Granger Hurricanes they’ve got some good 2012 big men who are still on the market with Wells being one of them. A good athlete who can finish above the rim, Wells had no problem getting physical inside. Not sure what level he ends up playing at as a college freshman, but with the first open evaluation period coming up in less than two weeks western teams in need of some late size should make it a priority to check in on the Hurricanes.
When NBE last saw Class of 2013 Josh Hart of Sidwell friends at the Jameer Nelson Philly.com Holiday Classic, the 6-foot-4, 200-lb guard had one of the day’s most impressive performances, leading his team to a win over Atlantic City (NJ). The smooth scorer continues to be a name that is overlooked for the most part nationally, but is definitely picking up plenty of college attention and expect that to continue when he hits the AAU trail this spring and summer.
“I will be playing with Team Takeover this summer and I am really looking forward to the competition in the EYBL this year,” Hart told NBE on Friday.
After helping Sidwell Friends to a league championship, which was the highlight of his season, his success will likely carry over to the AAU circuit and you can expect a lot of schools to be on his trail. He has recently added a new offer and some new interest from schools on the East Coast.
By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst
Now that the 2012 Hoophall Classic has come to a close and I’ve had a few days to process all the basketball I saw it’s time to compile player rankings from the weekend’s performances. Below you will see players ranked by class based solely on their performance from the Hoophall Classic. These rankings are not an opinion on players overall game or potential but rather on the way they performed in Springfield.
2012 Player Rankings:
1) Shabazz Muhammad (Bishop Gorman) – Muhammad only strengthened his place as the top overall player in the 2012 class for his efficient 37 point performance.
2) Kaleb Tarczewski (St Mark’s) – signed with Arizona – In an event loaded with top big men Tarczewski stood out as the top low post offensive option.
3) Katin Reinhardt (Mater Dei) – signed with UNLV – The future Runnin’ Rebel put on an offensive show knocking down nine 3 pointers en route to 35 points in a blowout victory.
4) Kyle Anderson (St Anthony) – signed with UCLA – Anderson’s fingerprints have been all over every one of St Anthony’s 44 consecutive victories and Monday was no different as he compiled 18 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, and 5 steals.
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.
Khan/Judah not the only prize fight in town
By Raphielle Johnson
While boxing fans enjoyed the battle between Amir Khan and Zab Judah over at Mandalay Bay, two of the top AAU teams on the West Coast did battle at Bishop Gorman in the Las Vegas Fab 48. Led by the interior tandem of 2012 Brandon Ashley and 2013 Aaron Gordon, the Oakland Soldiers withstood a late rally to beat Belmont Shore 85-80. Both showed off their vast array of skills, especially Gordon with a few thunderous dunks.
The game was also valuable to see what Belmont Shore big men Zena Edsomwan and Grant Jerrett could do against two of the best prep players regardless of class. Edsomwan isn’t the kind of player who’s going to dominate the basketball but rather do the little things on both ends of the floor needed to win. Jerrett had his moments as well but it proved to be a tale of two halves for the Arizona commit.
In the backcourt the battle was just as intense, with the likes of Dominic Artis and Jabari Bird taking on Ikenna Ireogbu and Katin Reinhardt for Belmont Shore. With regards to dribbling skills, Artis may not have an equal in the 2012 class (Kris Dunn is another to consider). Bird can do just about everything on the floor, and while the 2013 prospect needs to continue to improve as a shooter he’s shown the ability to knock down open shots.
By Lauren Kirschman
The first of two 10-day evaluation periods for the month of July come to a close today. One of the top annual events each year to close the period is the Hoop Group’s West Virginia Jam Fest, predominately help in the Morgantown (WV) area. With recent NCAA legislation preventing the games to be held on the WVU campus local high schools hosted contests as well as other sporting centers, including a local ice rink.
On day one of the event there was a large crowd of assistant coaches tracking down Amile Jefferson at University High School for an evening game and, as usual, the Team Final 16U club had their share of coaches on hand when they played. Below are some recruiting notes from the day’s action on Semaj Christon, Melvin Johnson, Rondae Jefferson, Dashawn Suber and more…
By Brian Bosworth
In the stands at Manhattan College on Saturday, spectators were consistently grumbling about who wasn’t in attendance for this years’ Rumble in the Bronx. Multiple high profile players chose not to make the trip to New York with their respective teams headlined by Andre Drummond and Kris Dunn of CBC, Omar Calhoun and Jason Boswell of the New York Gauchos, Kuran Iverson and Nkereuwem Okoro of the Long Island Lightning, Noah Vonleh of Mass Rivals, and Clyde Smith of New Heights. Despite missing all these future college stars, the tournament rolled on with plenty of guys stepping up in their absence. The top performances from Saturday at Manhattan College are documented below.
Ricardo Ledo (Expressions Elite 2012) – Ledo struggled mightily offensively throughout the majority of his teams’ early morning contest with the Riverside Hawks but showed down the stretch why he’s considered one of the nation’s best players. With his team trailing by 7 late in the second half, Ledo buried three consecutive NBA range 3 pointers each one deeper than the last to spark a 15-0 run and lead his team to victory. He is truly an elite scorer and only struggled today because he settled for the long ball too often. When Ledo is aggressive attacking the basket and takes 3 pointers in rhythm, he is completely unstoppable offensively.