by Alex Schwartz
First off, NBE Sports would like to say Happy Holidays to all of our readers. Hopefully you all enjoy the season!
As for the hoops, there was one big-time commitment that came down in the past week as well as a few other pieces of news.
Jabari Parker, ranked No. 3 in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125, committed to the Duke Blue Devils. Parker selected Duke over BYU, Florida, Michigan State, and Stanford. The 6-foot-8 small forward from Simeon (IL) is a huge pickup for Mike Krzyzewski and Co. and is the top ranked committed player in the nation not going to an SEC School.
Parker is the third member of Duke’s class in the top 45 of the NBE Sports rankings. He joins No. 29 Matt Jones of DeSoto (TX) and No. 41 Semi Ojeleye of Ottawa (KS).
Jevon Thomas of St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy (WI) committed to Kansas State, per ESPN.com’s Reggie Rankin. Thomas is a 5-foot-11 class of 2013 point guard from New York who is in a post-graduate year at SJNMA. He had originally committed to St. John’s, then decommitted and eventually pledged to Dayton. Instead of heading to Dayton, Thomas went to prep school and is now bound for KSU.
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.
by Alex Schwartz
Things have continued to remain mostly calm on the recruiting front over the past few days. There were not big-time commitments to report, but that does not mean we are bereft of news. In fact, a couple mid-major programs received some superb news from potential impact targets lately.
Before getting into the news that has happened since the weekend, I do want to touch on a pair of Sunday commitments that I accidently overlooked in Monday’s Recruiting Notebook.
First off, Missouri picked up its second 2013 frontcourt player in a week when Torren Jones of La Lumiere (IN) popped to the Tigers. The 6-foot-8 power forward is a rugged low post player with a strong frame. A native of Arizona, Jones is ranked No. 94 in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125. His pledge was first reported by Josh Paunil of National Recruiting Spotlight.
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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.
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!
Bob Huggins and his West Virginia Mountaineers are getting an early start on the 2011-2012 season with an overseas trip to Italy this coming week. With the trip the team is allowed to have 10 practice sessions to prepare for their upcoming games. Bob Huggins also used the time this weekend to bring in a key target of their 2012 recruiting efforts for an unofficial visit as Andrew White came to Morgantown to see things for himself.
“I took a visit to West Virginia the past two days,” White told NBE’s Matt Whitfield this afternoon. “It went real well.”
White had a great summer on the AAU circuit with Team Loaded and quickly became a top target of many programs.
By Matt Whitfield
Thanks to his recent performances at AAU events in Myrtle Beach and Milwaukee Andrew White has become one of the most hotly contested recruits in the Mid-Atlantic.
“A lot of schools have recruited me and they were somewhat serious, but in Myrtle Beach and Milwaukee I came out real sharp and my recruitment picked up real quick. I became a high target for some schools that got a good feeling [from my game],” said White.
White listed over a dozen high majors offers when NBE caught up with him on Sunday. White also stole the show as he had a plethora of college coaches watching him including West Virginia Head Coach Bob Huggins and assistant Larry Harrison.
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.
By Raphielle Johnson
On paper Sunday’s slate of games in both the adidas Super 64 and Las Vegas Fab 48 looked to be locks for the top teams. But many learned (once again) first-hand that games are played on the floor and not on some poster-sized sheet of paper in a gym lobby. The list of victims included the Oakland Soldiers, who dropped their first round playoff game to a Branch West Elite team that looked highly impressive in the first half against Play Hard Play Smart in the nightcap.
Also bounced from the Fab 48 were TP Elite and Team Loaded, both of whom fell victim to the Wisconsin Swing. Zak Showalter (2012) out of Germantown (WI), who scored 29 points in their 90-75 win over Team Loaded, can do a number of things on the floor from his guard position. He caught fire from deep but didn’t simply settle for those shots, also driving to the basket and setting up teammates for good looks as well. Ironically Showalter stated after the game that he’s working on becoming a better perimeter shooter, although he was referring to consistency as opposed to simply making the shot.
That matchup also featured a pair of excellent prospects in NC State commit Tyler Lewis (2012) and Andrew White (2012), who has many top programs after his services. When the ball was in Lewis’s hands things seemed to run smoother for Team Loaded, although the way in which Wisconsin Swing executed offensively it may have taken 100 points for Team Loaded to win the game.
By Alex Jesswein
Standout Seven: Top Players from the UA Summer Jam last week
Robert Carter–6-8 Power Forward–Atlanta Xpress: Although he was hobbled by an ankle injury, Atlanta Xpress Robert Carter really impressed us with his ‘old school’ approach. He won’t wow you with his athleticism or finesse, he just gets down to work in the block and is very adept at finishing with either hand. He did show an ability to step out and hit an open jumper but he will make his money doing the dirty work on the inside.
Chris Thomas–6-5 Guard–Colorado Hawks: Thomas is an extremely talented player. He reminds me of former Memphis guard Chris Douglas-Roberts because of his ability to play multiple positions. He seems to be very comfortable playing with the ball in his hand and because of his size and length should be able to defend multiple positions at the collegiate level.
By Alex Jesswein
With coaches from Louisville, North Carolina State, Richmond, Old Dominion and more on hand, Team Loaded’s Andrew White didn’t seem to mind.
The 6-foot-6 small forward scorched Team Jennings for 29 points including six three-pointers in a blowout win. White was also impressive in a 35-point outburst against KC Pray and Play in pool play.
White, who attends the Miller School in Charlottesville, VA., is quickly becoming a household name among high-major coaches in the rising senior class (2012).
According to White, he has offers from Oklahoma State, Tennessee, Richmond, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Miami (FL), Wake Forest, Providence, BYU, Utah and George Mason.
He has taken unofficial visits to Richmond, Virginia Tech, Old Dominion, North Carolina State and Wake Forest.
White is looking to narrow down his list and take some visits in August, once the summer AAU season is over.
When it comes down to it, White said he is looking for the school that has “the best mix of player development and team success” and a place where he can get a good education.
By Alex Jesswein
While many across the country have turned their attention to the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League Championship at the Peach Jam in North Augusta (SC), Antonio Curro and his crew at NY2LASports.com have assembled another strong field for the 2011 UA Summer Jam. Some of the biggest names in the 2012 Class are in Wisconsin for the event, including Shabazz Muhammad, Isaiah Austin, Mitch McGary, Perry Ellis and more. Top AAU programs like Dream Vision, Texas Pro, SYF Players, DC Assault, Playground Elite, Team Loaded, and more are competing in the event.
NBE will have much more on the event as it moves to completion on the 15th. For now here are some recruiting notes that NBE has been able to compile in the first two days of action:
Duane Wilson, Class of 2013 point guard with the Playground Elite AAU program, listed Marquette (offer), Minnesota, Memphis, Washington, Virginia, Missouri, DePaul, Wisconsin, Illinois, Miami (FL), Florida State, and Florida. He has visited Kentucky, DePaul and Missouri unofficially recently.
As he heads into his next season, Wilson said he wants to work on getting stronger, playing better defense and hitting shots off of the dribble.
by Alex Schwartz
RALEIGH, N.C. – The Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions continued to roll on, on Saturday as pool play finished up and the playoffs began. By the end of the day, just 16 total teams remained alive in either bracket from the three age groups.
During the course of the day there were a number of quality performances and a many talented players on display. As was the case on Friday night, NBE Basketball Report spoke with a few players for recruiting updates and also put together some player evaluations.
TJ Warren, a 6-foot-7 class of 2012 small forward out of Word of God Christian Academy (NC), was one of the day’s best players. The Garner Road star showed why he able to list off scholarship offers from Georgetown, Florida, Ohio State, North Carolina State, Miami, Arizona State and Kansas. Warren said that he has no favorites and that all of the schools are recruiting him equally hard.
So far Warren has only taken visits to Georgetown and North Carolina State. He will visit NC State again next Tuesday and also has three other trips visits on tap. Warren will head down to Florida in about three weeks, Georgetown from June 23-25 and will also be at Kansas’ elite camp.
by DOUG FERGUSON
Hanner Parea: F (Indiana Elite)/6-8/200
Committed to Indiana
There is nobody in the Class of 2012 who has the athletic gifts that Parrea does. He has fans holding their breath at what he will do next. It doesn’t show in his numbers at times however due to his lack of fundamentals. His is frequently outrebounded by more fundamentally sound opponents due to lack of boxing out.
Dejuan Marrero: F (Spiece Indy Heat)/6-5/220
School List: Indiana, Purdue, Illinois, Kentucky, Cincinnati, Marquette, Michigan, Minnesota
On the exact opposite end of the spectrum is Marrero who was possibly the best technically sound rebounder in the gym. He could stand to have a tad more touch around the basket which is where he should stay offensively.
Marcus Paige: G (All-Iowa Attack)/6-0/160
Committed to North Carolina
Can’t help but draw comparisons to current Tar Heel point man Kendall Marshall. Paige is a little more athletically gifted than Marshall while he is not quite as crafty with the ball.