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RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (11/26/2012): CLOSING OUT EARLY SIGNING PERIOD COMMITMENTS

November 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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.

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RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (11/19/2012): ROBERSON, ANYA, HAMILTON, MEEKS, MOSTELLA & MORE OFF THE ’13 BOARD

November 19, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

Friday was a huge day in the world of high school hoops. In a matter of about an hour on Friday evening, four of the top 50 players in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125 made their decisions.

The biggest coup of the bunch was UTEP landing Isaac Hamilton of St. John Bosco (CA). The 6-foot-5 shooting guard and younger brother of the Denver Nuggets’ Jordan Hamilton, Isaac has a chance to be an absolute star for the Miners.

Hamilton is ranked No. 7 in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125 and he picked UTEP over schools such as UCLA and UNLV, amongst others. He announced his decision live on ESPNU.

Once Indiana withdrew from BeeJay Anya’s recruitment, it was nearly a foregone conclusion that the 6-foot-8 center would pick North Carolina State. However, that does not make the addition of the DeMatha (MD) star any less significant for the Wolfpack.

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RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (11/5/2012): COMMITMENT FRENZY HEATS UP AS SIGNING PERIOD NEARS

November 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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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ORLANDO AAU REPORT – FRIDAY

July 28, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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.

TOP PERFORMER

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.
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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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2012 ADIDAS INVITATIONAL – SATURDAY RECAP

July 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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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REEBOK SHOWDOWN CHAMPIONSHIP RECAP – SATURDAY

July 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Alex Schwartz

PHILADELPHIA – With the Reebok Breakout Challenge complete, the Reebok Showdown Series Championship took center stage on Saturday at Philadelphia University. Featuring numerous superb AAU teams from coast to coast up into Canada, there was talent all over the gym.

NBE Sports was on hand to take in the action, as well as speak with a few players about their recruitment.

TOP PERFORMER

Jarrel Marshall is not a huge name in recruiting circles and he is not a high-major prospect, but that does not detract from his performance in the first game of the day NBE Sports saw. A 6’6 combo forward for the NY Panthers, Marshall poured in a game-high 26 points in his team’s loss to M33M. Although Marshall, who is going to South Kent (CT) for a post-grad year, was unable to lead his team to a win, he certainly did all he could. He seems to have really improved his perimeter game and was consistently knocking down shots from mid to long range. Additionally, he can bang down low at both ends of the court and is a productive overall player.

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2012 ADIDAS INVITATIONAL – FRIDAY RECAP

July 14, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

*********Follow NBE Sports on Twitter: http://twitter.com/NBESports*****

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.
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2012 ADIDAS INVITATIONAL – THURSDAY RECAP

July 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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.
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AREA CODES EASTER CLASSIC REVIEW

April 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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.

HOOPHALL CLASSIC 2012: WEEKEND’S TOP PERFORMERS

January 19, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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.
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HOOPHALL CLASSIC 2012: MONDAY RECAP

January 18, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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.

Top Performer:

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.
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2011 CITY OF PALMS REPORT — TOP PLAYER PERFORMANCES

December 23, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

Now that the 2011 City of Palms Classic has come to a close it’s time to put some measure on what I saw this week. Below are player rankings by class based on performances from this week alone. While they do impact my overall perception of these players, they are rankings strictly of what I saw in Florida this week.

Top 2012 Players:

1. Isaiah Austin (Grace Prep) – signed with Baylor – Austin was more committed to play inside on offense than he has been in the past and still rebounded and blocked shots at the highest level. He looked poised to challenge Shabazz Muhammad for top player in the class throughout the rest of the reason.

2. Shabazz Muhammad (Bishop Gorman) – It speaks to Muhammad’s talent that after a subpar week by his standards he still slots in at # 2. He was the most persistent scorer at the tournament, getting his points every way imaginable.

As for his recruitment, Muhammad told NBE on the opening day of the event that he has no timetable for a decision and sounds as though he’ll wait right up until the spring signing period to make his call. He listed an up-tempo style and a program that gets its players to the next level as the two most important factors in his decision making process. When the time comes Muhammad will be choosing from his final 6 of UCLA, Kansas, Duke, Kentucky, UNLV, and USC.
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CITY OF PALMS REPORT — DAY FOUR

December 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

Each day at the City of Palms Classic seems to be more intense than the last. Today started off slowly with a mostly empty gym but it slowly filled up as the night wore and the semifinal matchups approached. When it was time for the tip of Montverde Academy and Grace Prep in the 1st semifinal there wasn’t an empty seat in the building. Through a delay when a power outage sapped the scoreboard, constant breaks to wipe up an increasingly slippery court, and a wildly overheated Florida gym, high level basketball remained the focus. A select group of players stood a cut above the rest and they are outlined below.

Top Performance of the Day:

Julius Randle (Prestonwood Christian 2013) – In the final game of the night with a chance to play for the title on the line Randle was brilliant. He tallied 31 points and 15 rebounds on 12 of 18 shooting while facing consistent double and triple teams in the post. Randle’s game has evolved as his skills have developed and while he still makes his living down low he showed the ability tonight to lead the break and facilitate offense for others from the perimeter. His shooting range now extends to the college 3 point line and he can comfortably handle the ball enough to help his guards break the press. Offensively, Randle has very few holes in his game but on the other side of the ball he does still need work. He has a tendency to sulk after a turnover and then miss a defensive assignment because he hasn’t let the play go. While not uncommon for a young player, stars of Randle’s caliber are held to a higher standard. If cleared up, there is nothing standing in his way from overtaking Jabari Parker as 2013’s top prospect.
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MANY SCHOOLS STILL INVOLVED WITH ANDREW WHITE

September 13, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Playing this spring and summer with Team Loaded, Andrew White saw his recruitment explode with a series of strong performances on the AAU circuit. His recruitment has not slowed one bit as top college programs have already made their way to Charlottesville (VA) and the Miller School to visit the 6-foot-6, 205-pound small forward. More schools are expected this week as well.

“I have already received visits from Virginia Tech, NC State, West Virginia and Cincinnati,” White told NBE earlier this afternoon. “DePaul, UTEP, Kansas, Wake Forest and a couple others will visit me in the next couple weeks.”
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2011 ORLANDO AAU UPDATE (PART 6): HOUSTON DEFENDERS TAKE 17U SHOWCASE TITLE

July 28, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Alex Schwartz

It was a busy day in Orlando on Wednesday as the 17U AAU Super Showcase came to a close. The Houston Defenders earned the crown with an impressive 55-45 victory over BABC. Class of 2013 twins Aaron and Andrew Harrison led the Defenders as Aaron scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds, while Andrew finished with eight points and 10 assists. Earlier in the afternoon the Defenders got past Team Takeover, rallying from a halftime deficit to advance to the championship game. For their part, BABC survived a stiff challenge in the semis from Hoop Heavan Elite out of NJ to advance to the televised championship game.

Now the full focus will shift to the AAU National Championships. The 16U is in full swing and the 17U championships are also getting going in pool play as well. Still plenty of basketball left these next four days as the second July live evaluation period closes out.

Below we have some additional player evaluations and recruiting information from yesterday’s action with a heavy concentration on the Houston Defenders (Derrick Griffin), Team Takeover (Jerami Grant), BABC (Jaylen Brantley, Jake Layman, Goodluck Okonoboh) and more (Bobby Portis)…

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2011 ORLANDO AAU NOTEBOOK (PART 3): GARY HARRIS IMPRESSES; JERAMI GRANT UPDATE & AQUILLE CAR TALKS RECRUITING & MORE UPDATES

July 25, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Alex Schwartz

As things begin to head towards the climax in Las Vegas the action in Orlando continues to heat up. More and more of the nation’s attention will turn to the sunshine state in the recruiting world. NBE continues to be ahead of the game with continued coverage from the land of Mickey. On Sunday the 17U pool play got going with an impressive slate of games while the 16U Super Showcase playoff action got underway.

Here are some player evals and recruiting updates from Aquille Carr, Gary Harris, Kennedy Meeks, Jerami Grant, Marcus Hunt, Robert Carter and Sindarius Thornwell to highlight the action occurring in Orlando…

Aquille Carr listed offers from Syracuse, Memphis, Wake Forest, Seton Hall, St. John’s, Texas, LSU, Texas A&M, and Connecticut. His favorites at this point are Wake Forest, Syracuse and UConn.
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UA SUMMER JAM PRESENTED BY NY2LA SPORTS RECRUITING NOTES (PART II)

July 17, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Alex Jesswein

The UA Summer Jam Presented by NY2LA Sports was a rousing success this past week. A loaded field converged on Mequon (WI), just outside Milwaukee at Homestead High School. Talented players and teams from across the country competed over the course of July 12th through the conclusion of the first live evaluation period on July 15th. A who’s who of college coaches came through Homestead to take in the action and in the end it was the SYF Players taking the gold title led by Mitch McGary.

Below are a few more recruiting notes from the event as NBE got the opportunity to speak with McGary, Danuel House of Texas PRO and Ishmail Wainright of the KC 76ers for the latest on their recruitment….

Texas PRO Wing Danuel House has been a hot name on the recruiting scene this spring.

His ability to finish in traffic and knock down open shots has impressed coaches across the country.
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2011 NIKE EYBL PEACH JAM REPORT (PART V)

July 15, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth

Thursday marked the end of pool play at the Peach Jam and the last opportunity for teams to fight their way into the playoffs. For some teams who know they are going to be on the outside looking in it is the last opportunity to perform in front of college colleges this week. With the stakes raised the play became even more intense and some players will able to stand above the rest…

Brandon Ashley (Oakland Soldiers/2012) – Ashley has been having a monster work and continued that trend this morning. After dominating from the low block when I watched him on Tuesday night, Ashley showed off his face up game in this contest. He hit multiple 18 foot jumpers from the baseline and once he established that shot used a shot fake and a couple of dribbles to get to the rim. He was in attack mode throughout the game earning himself 12 trips to the free throw line and converting 9 of them. Ashley’s handle, while adequate, will need to get better as his game progresses. He can use 1 or 2 dribbles effectively but in the open floor sometimes becomes a bit wild if he has to put it down more than that.
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