Southern Illinois Recruiting
by Alex Schwartz
KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Friday was a day at 11th Grade AAU Nationals where NBE Sports watched a number of games from outside the Gold pools. This allowed us to see some teams that might not be as nationally known and catch some players who might be flying under the radar a bit. However, we did check out some Gold games too and some of our top performers come from those squads too.
Trevin Joseph gets the nod as the top performer of the day on Friday, though several players could put together a nice case for the honor. Joseph is the second straight 2013 shooting guard from Georgia to get the nod, following Ryan Wilkins on Thursday. Joseph is a 6’3 rising senior from Stockbridge (GA) who runs with Gold Coast and is part of a deep, talented backcourt. Joseph showed off some major scoring ability in the night’s final game and it was rare to see him actually miss a shot. A strong player with a very good build, Joseph s a knockdown 3-point shooter and is lethal off the catch. He is a smooth player and is his stroke looks quite good. Joseph is also adept at getting to the basket and he finishes once there. Overall, he is a talented offensive player who could be a stud scorer at the next level.
By Raphielle Johnson
By the end of the last college basketball season it was best to simply expect the unexpected. The same could be said for this weekend in Las Vegas, which has produced an unexpected champion in the Kansas City 76ers. The 76ers won the Las Vegas Fab 48 by beating Team Breakdown (Florida) in Monday night’s title game.
While the stands weren’t filled to brim as they were last summer (Oakland Soldiers tend to bring out the crowds), there were a few college programs represented in the coaches area with 2013 wing Ishmail Wainright the primary focus.
Ben Howland (UCLA) and Steve Lavin (St. John’s) were both there to watch Wainwright, who considers Earl Watson (who has connections to both as he played at UCLA under Lavin) to be an older brother and mentor. Other programs represented include Western Illinois, George Mason, Kansas, Missouri, UC Irvine, South Florida, Cal Poly, Nebraska, UM-KC and Creighton.
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.