NBE Basketball Report
Arizona State Recruiting

BIG SHOTS ALL-AMERICAN CAMP REPORT

July 19, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

HYATTSVILLE, Md. – The Big Shots All-American Camp at DeMatha Catholic High School features some talented players from all over the country.

NBE Sports was there to take in the action on Thursday and got to see eight of the 10 teams play as well as noticed quite a few college coaches in the gym.

Darian Bryant of St. John’s College HS (DC) may not have a true position, but is best suited as a small forward right now. Regardless of what spot he plays, the 6-foot-4 class of 2014 prospect brings great effort when he steps on the floor and is a strongly built player. Bryant attacks the cup well and runs the floor adeptly. He needs to show he can shoot it consistently, but he did knock down at least one 3-pointer in the game we saw.

Class of 2014 prospect Lloyd Burgess might be limited athletically, but he has a big frame, quality height and he plays pretty hard. The 6-foot-10 center from the Christ School (NC) works around the rim and can get some points down low.

Kiair Crouch, a class of 2014 recruit, is a pretty quick player who can get in the lane and attacks the rim adeptly off the dribble. The 5-foot-10 point guard from Columbia (GA) has a pretty solid build and also showed he can hit a pull-up 3-pointer in transition.

Trevor Dunbar of St. Ignatius (CA) is only 5-foot-9, but the class of 2014 prospect is a nice player. The point guard has a thick build that helps him make up for being undersized a bit. Additionally, he accelerated well and does a good job of getting into the lane.
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RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (12/20/2012): JABARI PARKER DECISION NEARING; DAKARI JOHNSON CUTS LIST TO THREE

December 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

There have not been many high-major commitments of late, but there has still been a fair amount of news in the high school hoops world lately. In addition, one of the nation’s top prospects is set to announce his choice today.

First off, Jabari Parker is set to announce his college choice today on ESPNU, as originally reported by Joe Henrickson of the Chicago Sun-Times. Parker is a 6-foot-8 small forward out of Simeon (IL) who is ranked No. 3 in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125. KSL.com’s Greg Wrubell quoted Jabari’s father, Sonny Parker, as saying, “I think it will probably be between Duke and Michigan State.”

Samford landed a commitment from Jordan Capps, per Scout.com’s Evan Daniels. Capps is a class of 2013 small forward prospect from Peachtree Ridge (GA) who has some solid size at 6-foot-6.

St. Peter’s dipped into the JuCo ranks for a 2013 commitment, according to Brad Winton of JuCoRecruiting.com. He reported that the Peacocks landed Tyler Gaskins, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Lawson State Community College (AL).

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2012 PEACH JAM REPORT — CHAMPIONSHIP SUNDAY

July 23, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

Championship Sunday in North Augusta capped an amazing 2012 Peach Jam by crowning champions in both the 16U and 17U divisions. The Texas Titans defeated the Southern Stampede in double overtime to win at the 16U level. A few hours later the Oakland Soldiers were crowned EYBL champions after defeating CIA Bounce 51-50 to capture the 17U title. In those games and the 17U semifinals before them, some players separated themselves from the competition. Here’s who stood out to NBE.

Top Performer of the Day:

Andrew Wiggins (CIA Bounce 2014) – While his team came up a point short of an EYBL title this day, this tournament, and the entire EYBL circuit have belonged to Andrew Wiggins. In the morning semifinal Wiggins looked passive and a non factor for much of the game until his team needed him down the stretch. He turned a tight game into a double digit lead in a matter of minutes by scoring at will in the game’s biggest moments. In the title game Wiggins’ stat line wasn’t his best of the week (7-22 shooting, 23 points) but his dominance was as evident as ever. The Soldiers had two future pros to throw at Wiggins defensively in Aaron Gordon and Stanley Johnson and frankly neither one stood a chance. He was too quick, too strong, too explosive, and too good for every elite defender that was thrown at him all week. Stanley Johnson was the best defender in this tournament and even he couldn’t handle Wiggins. While I’ve been on record since last year’s Peach Jam that Wiggins was the top prospect regardless of class, the 2012 Peach Jam erased that debate in everyone’s mind. Everyone else in America is looking up at Wiggins and the gap is rather substantial.
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2012 ADIDAS INVITATIONAL – FRIDAY RECAP

July 14, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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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.
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HOOP GROUP’S SOUTHERN JAM FEST: DAY TWO

May 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

HAMPTON, Va. – The Hoop Group Southern Jam Fest kept rolling along on Saturday and NBE Sports was in attendance for the whole day, taking in a number of impressive performances and talking to a handful of players.

TOP PERFORMER

Dwayne Morgan: A big-time player in the class of 2014, Morgan is a 6’7 small forward out of Baltimore City College HS (MD) who plays for UA Baltimore’s Finest U16 team. While he did not put up huge numbers in the scoring column against Garner Road- Davis—Morgan finished with 14 points—he made his presence felt in many aspects of the game. He is a stellar athlete with major length and that allows him to be a terrific defender. Morgan blocks shots, gets steals and grabs rebounds. He is also adept at picking up boards on the offensive end, leading to putback dunks and tip-ins. Morgan passes well and has a nice feel for the game. He has all the physical tools one could ask for and if he develops a consistent jumper he has a chance to be an incredible player.

TOP SLEEPER PERFORMER

Ruben Tucker: The biggest surprise NBE Sports has seen thus far at the Southern Jam Fest has been Tucker, a largely unknown 6’2 shooting guard out of Bladensburg (MD). Tucker led the charge as his Maryland Pistons squad knocked off Team Melo (NY) on Saturday morning. He poured in 34 points in the victory and connected on six 3-pointers. Tucker is a bit undersized and has an odd shooting form where he releases from the side, but he simply scores the basketball. He is a solid athlete with a strong frame who can get to the cup if needed in addition to hit long range shots. While he may not be a conventional player, Tucker is flat out productive and gets things done.

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HIGH SCORING ’13 G ZACH LAVINE HAS A FAVORITE

May 10, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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!

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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HOT WEEKEND FOR XAVIER RATHAN-MAYES IN EYBL TRANSLATES TO HOT RECRUIT

April 25, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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Xavier Rathan-Mayes of CIA Bounce put on an offensive show this past weekend in the opening leg of Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball League in Minneapolis (MN). The timing could not have been better as the NCAA reinstated the April open evaluation period and college coaches were in the building to see Rathan-Mayes fill it up all weekend.

All in all 40 NIKE affiliated AAU teams participated in the opening weekend and CIA Bounce was one of just six to finish the weekend with a 4-0 record. Rathan-Mayes finsihed the four games with an 18 points per game average, good enough to be tied for 7th in the league in scoring overall.

“It felt great to be able perform in front of the coaches, it’s an opportunity I’ve prepared for all my life since I was a small kid” Rathan-Mayes told NBE this morning, “[and it] felt great being out there with the guys winning games.”
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LAS VEGAS AAU WEEKEND UPDATE: FLORIDA RAMS FLEX MUSCLES; RECRUITING UPDATES GALORE

April 24, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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.
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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.

XAVIER RATHAN-MAYES SCORES BUCKETS & BIG TIME RECRUITING INTEREST

February 14, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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Huntington Prep shooting guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes continues to be one of the most highly recruited players in the Class of 2013. The native Canadian and member of the CIA Bounce AAU program from his native country has always been known as a big time scorer, and that has continued this season with Huntington, but Rathan-Mayes is working on developing his all-around guard skills this year.

“The part of my game I’ve been working on the most is probably being more explosive and transitioning to the point [guard position],” said Rathan-Mayes over the weekend. “[As for the team] we’re looking to win a national championship this year that is our only goal.”

After the season Rathan-Mayes is looking forward to hitting the EYBL circuit with CIA Bounce one last time.
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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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LAS VEGAS AAU DAY 3 NOTEBOOK: UPSETS & CLOSE CALLS DEFINE SUNDAY’S ACTION

July 25, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

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.
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CLASS OF 2013 Q&A: TYLER ENNIS CONTINUES TO BLOW UP

July 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

One of the most intriguing prospects in the Class of 2013 is Tyler Ennis out of St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark (NJ) and the CIA Bounce AAU program. The Canadian import has been having a tremendous spring and summer on the AAU and camp scene and his recruitment continues to skyrocket.

Ennis is a smooth scoring guard that can put points on the board. He continues to improve his floor game as a point guard and with a busy July travel schedule you can be certain college coaches will continue to be seen at his games. The attention from the coaches keeps Ennis grounded and working hard to his goals. He also updates readers on the latestr in his recruitment in the following Q&A with NBE Sports…

NBE Basketball Report (NBE): What is your current height and weight?

Tyler Ennis (TE): 6’3, 180
———————————-
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REEBOK BREAKOUT CHALLENGE: FINAL RECAP

July 10, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

PHILADELPHIA – The Reebok Breakout Challenge came to a close yesterday, and NBE Basketball Report was on hand to take in the event’s final five game sets and catch up with a few more players.

One of the top uncommitted 2012 players at the camp was Daniel Dingle, a 6-foot-6 power forward out of St. Raymond’s (NY). He listed offers from Auburn, Temple, Xavier, Arizona, and Rutgers to go along with interest from Florida, Miami, Texas, and others.

Dingle said he does not have any favorites, but did note that a few schools are coming at him the hardest.

“I’d probably say Auburn, Temple and Arizona, those are the three,” Dingle said. “And Florida, Florida too, coach Norm [Roberts].”

At this point Dingle has visited Auburn, Temple and Rutgers. He does not have any visits scheduled, but may is thinking of working out a trip to Arizona.
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JAVONTAE HAWKINS ON THE RISE AND ON THE MOVE

June 15, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Motivated by the shooting deaths of two older siblings, JaVontae Hawkins keeps his eyes on the prize in life

One of the more impressive players on the spring AAU circuit that has cemented his name among the top players in the Class of 2012 has been JaVontae Hawkins. The 6-foot-5, 202-lb shooting guard has turned in some very impressive performances with the Michigan Mustangs, officially breaking out in a big way back in April at the King James Shooting Stars event in Akron.

“This spring I just showed everyone that I can play against top talent and broke [out of] my shell by making athletic plays on both ends of the court and playing the shooting guard position at my best,” Hawkins told NBE earlier this week.

College coaches on the road in July will get a chance to see Hawkins at events such as the ScoutsFocus International Elite 80 Showcase July 10th and 11th in Greensboro (NC) and during AAU basketball’s Vegas week to close the live evaluation period. In the meantime Hawkins will continue to hone his skills for his moment to shine.
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RUMBLE IN THE BRONX REPORT – PART I

June 11, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth

The Rumble in the Bronx got underway Friday night with a slightly different feel than in years past. Fordham University has traditionally been the epicenter of the action for the boys tournament but this year the girls took over at Fordham and the boys tournament was spread out at different sites in the greater NYC area. The main site for the 17U bracket was Manhattan College and the action can be described in one word, hot. While the gym itself reached sauna-like conditions, the action on the floor didn’t disappoint. A host of high profile teams were in action including the Long Island Lightning, Connecticut Basketball Club, Albany City Rocks and the Metro Hawks but the New York Panthers were unquestionably a cut above the rest. In addition to being the most impressive unit on this steamy Friday night in the Bronx, the Panthers had the best individual performance of the evening as well.

Top Performer of the Day

Malik Nichols (New York Panthers 2012) – The former Hofstra commit as a member of the 2011 class confirmed after the game that he would be attending a yet to be determined prep school and re-classifying to 2012. Offensively, Nichols was literally perfect in this contest. He made all 10 shots he attempted totaling 22 points and scored every way imaginable. Nichols made 3 pointers off catch and shoot situations. He made a pull-up 16 foot jumper. He drove to the rim with both hands and finished. He finished in transition. He converted a tip-in on the offensive glass. Simply put, Nichols was unstoppable on the offensive end of the floor and led his Panthers club to a blowout victory. If he can string more performances like this together, Nichols should see his recruitment skyrocket when the July live period rolls around.

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2011 BOB GIBBONS TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS: DAY THREE

May 31, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

RALEIGH, N.C. – The 2011 Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions came to a close on Sunday with the three final game sets. When it was all said and done the top honors belonged to the Southern Phenoms, as the Mississippi-based squad won the U17 National bracket, defeating the South Florida Panthers by a score of 59-53.

In the U17 Select final, Garner Road knocked off Belmont Shore by three, 76-73, behind 39 points from 2012 wing TJ Warren (see our scouting report and recruiting update on Warren HERE in our TOC Day Two coverage). Garner Road also won the U16 National crown, overcoming the Long Island Lightning in the title tilt. At the U15 level, it was Team Loaded over Team United in the National bracket and BWSL defeating Ty Lawson Team Takeover for the Select championship.

Once again, NBE Basketball Report had the opportunity to speak with a few players and compile some scouting reports.

At this point, 6-foot-1 class of 2013 point guard Ikenna Iroegbu of Belmont Shore only has interest from programs in the Pac-12. However, with Iroegbn set to attend Oak Hill Academy (VA) next year, that is set to chance for the talented underclass floor general.

Although Iroegbu currently lists no scholarship offers, he is receiving interest from Arizona, UCLA, Cal, USC, Colorado, Oregon and Washington State. While USC and Cal are the line schools he has visited, Iroegbn has a different program atop his list.
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2011 BOB GIBBONS TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS: DAY TWO

May 29, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

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.
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ELITE 8 IN THE DESERT – SATURDAY RECAP

May 17, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Raphielle Johnson

This weekend some of the better teams out west took part in the Elite 8 in the Desert event, sponsored by Adidas. Below are some notes on some players seen on Saturday at the event, which took place at gyms throughout the Phoenix area (most elite bracket games were played at Copper Canyon HS in Glendale). It should also be noted that players such as Alex Caruso (Texas D-1 Ambassadors, 2012) and Tyler Ott (Utah Select, 2012) also played well according to other scouts in attendance. Following the scouting reports are a few links to other happenings on the grassroots scene this past weekend.

Gabe York: G (Compton Magic Elite, 2012)

What’s really left to be said about the rising senior that hasn’t already been said? York gets it done from just about anywhere on the floor, possessing a very good perimeter shot along with the ability to get to the rim and finish through contact. He also provided what may have been the “onions” shot of the day, knocking down a step-back three despite being guarded by two players to send their game against Arizona Red Shirts into overtime (the Magic went on to win in double overtime). His list is a who’s who in college basketball with Arizona, Kansas and Connecticut being two of the many suitors. Notre Dame and Marquette have also been trying to line up unofficial visits with the high-scoring guard.
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