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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 (4/1/2013): RECRUITING TRAIL HEATING UP ONCE AGAIN

April 1, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

There has been a lot of news in the world of high school hoops in the past few weeks, including a few talented juniors making early commitments, an elite senior ending his recruitment and some high-profile players in setting announcement dates.

One of the best players in the nation, Julius Randle, declared his intentions to attend Kentucky. The 6-foot-9 power forward from Prestonwood Christian (TX) opted for the Wildcats over Florida, Kansas and Texas. Randle joins an absolutely loaded seven-man 2013 recruiting class for UK that many are calling the greatest group ever assembled.

Also, according to Jason Jordan of USA Today, Julius Randle has been added to the McDonald’s All-American game. He was initially ineligible since he missed more than half the season—he was injured—yet has been added anyway. Randle is one of six players in the game headed to Kentucky next year.

One-time Murray State commit Demarcus Croaker is now headed to Texas for his college ball, per Reggie Rankin. He also noted that the class of 2013 prospect selected Texas over Murray State this time around. Croaker is a 6-foot-3 shooting guard from Jones (FL).

Gavin Schilling of Findlay Prep (NV) became the first member of Michigan State’s 2013 recruiting class. The 6-foot-9 power forward tweeted his commitment to the Spartans. He selected MSU over Minnesota, UCLA and Villanova.

Rutgers landed a pledge from JuCo prospect Chris Griffin of Wabash Valley College (IL), according to Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com. Griffin is a 6-foot-7 small forward in the class of 2013.

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RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (2/5/2013): CINCINNATI PICKS UP BIG COMMITMENT

February 5, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

Several high-major programs landed commitments in the past week, including a couple from the Big East. That includes a program from the Midwest coming into the New York metro area to land a top 25 recruit.

Jermaine Lawrence, a New York native who attends Pope John XXIII (NJ), popped to Cincinnati, per his Tumblr account. Lawrence, a 6-foot-9 power forward, is ranked No. 24 in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125.

Lawrence selected the Bearcats over St. John’s and UNLV. He is the fifth member of Cincinnati’s 2013 recruiting class and is a significant addition.

RJ Curington of Oak Hill Academy (VA) pledged to DePaul, according to Brian Snow of Scout.com. A 6-foot-5 shooting guard, Curington was among the better available players in the nation in the class of 2013 and is a nice late pickup for the Blue Demons.

Scout.com’s Josh Gershon had the news that Dion Wade of Findlay Prep (NV) came off the board to Auburn. A 6-foot-7 small forward, Wade is the second player from Findlay Prep in the class of 2013 to pick the Tigers. The other is Benas Griciunas, a 6-foot-10 power forward.

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RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (1/25/2013): BERRY GIVES TAR HEELS HEAD START ON ’14 CLASS & MORE RECRUIT NEWS

January 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

While the last week or so has not been crazy on the recruiting trail, it has certainly not been as slow as the holiday season. The rundown includes a few high-major programs adding 2013 commitments, a powerhouse getting a 2014 pledge, USA Basketball releasing some big news and more.

We begin with the 2014 pledge, which came from Joel Berry, the No. 20 prospect in the NBE Sports Class of 2014 Post-July Top 75. Berry, a 6-foot-1 point guard from Lake Highland Prep (FL), has popped for North Carolina, per Alex Kline of TheRecruitScoop.com. He is a major pickup for the Tar Heels and is the highest ranked committed player in the NBE Sports 2014 rankings.

Amida Brimah, a 6-foot-11 class of 2013 center committed to UConn, per Coast 2 Coast Hoops. Brimah attends Archbishop Carroll (FL), after transferring over from Monsignor Pace (FL). He is a bit under the radar and fairly raw, but has some definite upside and can really impact the game when he is in the groove.

Jerron Wilbut of St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy (WI) is off the board to Seton Hall, according to Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com. Wilbut is a 6-foot-3 class of 2013 shooting guard who is in a post-graduate year after attending Downers Grove South (IL).

Sticking with the news on ZagsBlog.com and the current BIG EAST, Rutgers picked up a commitment from South Kent (Conn.) point guard Shane Rector.  The 6-foot-1 Rector is the first commit in the 2013 class for Mike Rice and the Scarlet Knights.

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RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (11/15/2012): ’15 KARL TOWNS UPSTAGES SIGNING PERIOD OPENING

November 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

It is rare that the biggest news to come out of signing week involves a player who cannot sign a Letter of Intent for another two years, but one could argue that is the case thus far. That is partially due to the lack of major commitments and partially due to the fact that the news from the sophomore class is pretty big.

Here is a look at some of the bigger stories of the week, some from yesterday, the first day of the early signing period, and some from the days leading up to it.

We start it with the aforementioned sophomore who has grabbed the headlines. In news that looks to have been first reported by Joseph Thompson of SEC Basketball Recruiting, Karl Towns, Jr. has decided to announce his college decision on December 4th. A 6-foot-10 power forward/center out of St. Joseph’s Metuchen (NJ), Towns is one of the best prospects in the nation regardless of class. He is ranked No. 3 in the NBE Sports Class of 2015 Post-July Top 25.

Towns has most of the nation’s elite programs coming after him and basically has his selection of schools. There has long been some chatter about Kentucky when it comes to Towns and the Wildcats could be the favorite here.

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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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2012 PEACH JAM REPORT – DAY IV (PART A)

July 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

17U teams concluded pool play on Saturday morning and many of the games had major playoff implications. Here’s who stood out on the courts NBE was camped out at.

Top Performance of the Morning:

James Young (The Family 2013) – With John Calipari, Bill Self, Tom Izzo, and a host of other high major coaches watching courtside, Young showed why he is such a coveted wing in the 2013 class. He finished with 34 points, 12 rebounds, and 7 assists remaining in constant attack mode throughout his team’s win. Young’s 19 free throw attempts are a perfect indication of how aggressive he played throughout not settling for jumpers but rather forcing the issue in the paint. At a well built 6’6” he has the ability to overpower other wing players at the high school level and to shoot over them from the perimeter. In addition to grinding his way into the paint all game Young also buried deep shots going 5-6 from behind the arc mostly off the dribble. He uses a tight crossover to create space and then rises over his defender to sink shots. A clear cut top 10 player in the 2013 class, Young has his choice of basically any college program in the country.
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2012 PEACH JAM REPORT – DAY II (PART A)

July 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

After a fun sample of 16U action on Wednesday night, the 2012 Peach Jam kicked into full gear with 17U action taking center stage on Thursday morning. While plenty of players had standout performances, a trio of wings from the Oakland Soldiers squad separated themselves from the pack.

Top Performers of the Morning:

Aaron Gordon (Oakland Soldiers 2013) – After missing a large time of time this AAU season with a foot injury, Gordon seemed determined to erase any question marks about his health moving forward. He was better than ever before making plays from the wing that weren’t in his arsenal 12 months ago. Gordon flashed off the dribble skills that firmly project him as a SF going forward and make him an even more devastating player than I previously thought. In addition to his improved handle, Gordon remains the most electric finisher in high school basketball around the rim. He drew more than a few Blake Griffin comparisons after a series of ridiculous dunks in transition.
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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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2012 REEBOK BREAKOUT CAMP REPORT

July 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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by Alex Schwartz

PHILADELPHIA – Reebok restarted its July camp last year after some time off and had some pretty nice talent on display. This year, though, the Reebok Breakout Challenge has gone to a whole new level and is absolutely filled with big-time talent from coast to coast.

NBE Sports was on hand the past two days and had the opportunity to see each and every team. Several usual suspects turned in impressive performances, while some lesser known players also made names for themselves.

TOP PERFORMER

Aaron Harrison of Travis (TX) is the best shooting guard prospect in the country and he played like it in Philly. The 6-foot-5, class of 2013 recruit has a terrific combination of skill and athleticism that makes him extremely difficult to contain when he is on his game. While at Reebok, he was absolutely fantastic and basically scored at will. Harrison showed off a lethal stroke from long range right from the get-go, nailing six 3-pointers in the first half of the very first game of camp on Wednesday evening. He has deep range so he cannot be sagged off of too much, but if you play him too tight he is more than capable of getting to the rack off the bounce. Harrison is also adept at drawing fouls around the rim, so even if he misses down low, there is a strong chance he will still get some points for his effort.

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2012 HOOP GROUP ELITE CAMP – TUESDAY

July 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

Hoop Group Elite Session II kicked off a day before the live period and gave players from the Northeast and around the country a chance to showcase their skills in a high intensity camp setting. The collection of talent put together by the Hoop Group staff was impressive to say the least with high major talent all over the place. A select group of players managed to separate themselves from the pack led by a pair of scoring guards who dominated game play.

Top Performers of the Camp:

Shadell Millinghaus (Albany City Rocks 2013) – Millinghaus is a truck with the ball in his hands, flying up and down the court while defenders bounce off him on his forays to the rim. His combination of power and speed is unusual from the guard position and it allows him to overpower most opponents on the perimeter. He’s at his best grabbing defensive rebounds and starting the fast break himself by taking off with the ball. Millinghaus is just as likely to dunk on someone’s head at the rim as he is to make a crafty pass thru traffic to a teammate for an easy bucket. His advancement this spring and summer has been remarkable and has solidified his status as a top 50 player in the 2013 class, currently ranked #33 in the NBE Class of 2013 Pre-July Live Period Top 75.

Isaiah Whitehead (Juice All Stars 2014) – While Millinghaus dominated the afternoon slate of games, Whitehead was the top performer from the evening games. He was simply unguardable off the dribble getting to the basket whenever he pleased. Whitehead finished in every which way imaginable once he got into the paint to the point that it almost looked like he was inventing new acrobatic shots on the fly. While I would normally nitpick that he made shots around the rim more difficult than they had to be, Whitehead made all of them regardless of difficulty so it’s hard to question him. He also made jumpers well past the three-point line and rebounded at a high level for the guard position. My only concern is Whitehead’s tendency to float when he doesn’t have the ball. He will become an even more dominant scorer if he can learn to operate without the ball and create scoring chances that way. Whotehead checked in at #27 in the NBE Class of 2014 Pre-July Live Period Top 40.

Sleeper Performance of the Camp:

Shaquille Scott (BC Eagles 2013) – Scott was the first name to make a big impression at camp as he had everyone running around trying to find out who was wearing number 749. The 6’5” wing is explosive off the dribble and tries (usually successfully) to dunk everything in the paint. He didn’t flash much of a perimeter shot but honestly got past his man off the dribble so consistently that it wasn’t necessary. He will be a player I want to watch further both throughout July and next year at The Robinson School (NJ.)

Other Standouts:

Junior Etou (DC Assault 2013) – Etou is a combo forward in the process of transitioning from the power forward spot out to the wing. If Wednesday morning’s game action is any indication the transition is going quite well. Etou made jump shots out to 18 feet and showed an ability to beat his man off the dribble. He also dominated the back boards against bigger front line players and scored inside through contact without a problem. If his handle and overall perimeter skills catch up to his athleticism over the next year, high majors will be lined up to secure his services.

Marcus Derrickson (Team Takeover 2015) – The best long term prospect I saw at this event, Derrickson is a man among boys despite playing against older competition. The 6’7” combo forward toyed with defenders throughout game play on Tuesday looking his best as a facilitator from the post. Derrickson had the skill and strength to score at will from the block but chose to get teammates involved by using his vision from the post to find shots for others. He easily played to his national top 10 ranking and may even have room to move up as he is currently #8 in the NBE Class of 2015 Pre-July Live Period Top 15.

Jevon Thomas (Team Melo 2013) – Thomas is lightning quick from the point guard position and can carry a team for stretches when he gets hot from outside. That was the case on Tuesday as he buried four consecutive three-pointers in the 2nd half of a game with each one looking more ridiculous than the last. Shot selection and overall decision making from the point are areas where Thomas can improve but his athleticism and scoring ability are second to none for the position.

Kahron Ross (Arkansas Hawks 2014) – A slender point guard with a high basketball IQ, Ross stood out even though the camp setting doesn’t highlight his strengths. He’s not going to blow you away with above the rim finishes but Ross is a pinpoint passer who really makes others better. He found angles to create passes in transition that I couldn’t see until they happened and routinely got layups for his teammates.

Cassidy Ryan (CIA Bounce 2014) – The Canadian forward was an unknown to me entering play Tuesday but he is certainly on my radar now. The 6’7” physical specimen attacked hard off the dribble and was too strong for opponents at the rim. He has an excellent blend of power and athleticism for a kid his size which will serve him well as time progresses. I’ll need a more extended viewing to project an exact level for Ryan but he’s at least a mid-major player.

Josh Reaves (Team Takeover 2015) – A teammate of Derrickson’s at Paul VI, Reaves played well off the big man by making perimeter shots. The slender 6’4” lefty buried multiple 3-pointers by creating space after feeding Derrickson in the post and getting it back from his big man. I’d like to see more off the dribble in future viewings but Reaves is certainly a young name to keep an eye on.

Lamarr Kimble (Team Final 2015) – In camp settings everyone tends to look for their own offense so when a player like Kimble plays like a true point guard and sets everyone else up, it stands out. The 6’0” rising sophomore showed great poise and leadership, setting his team up in offensive sets. He was crafty in screen and roll sets and rewarded big men for running the floor.

Will Ferguson (Team Takeover 2013) – Ferguson is a super athletic combo guard who was deadly from midrange on Tuesday afternoon. He has a very quick first step which he used to create space and then elevated over defenders to get off jump shots from 12-18 feet. Ferguson can expand his game by learning to play at different speeds and facilitating for others a bit more.

Shavar Newkirk (Team Scan 2014) – The New York City point guard had a very strong day on Tuesday by repeatedly beating defenders off the dribble and making plays in the paint. He flashed a nice floater and the ability to pass in traffic once surrounded by big men in the lane. Added strength and more consistency on his 3-point shot could vault Newkirk up another level in his recruitment.

Recruiting Updates:

Shadell Millinghaus (Albany City Rocks 2013) – Millinghaus somehow remains under the radar despite a monster spring season. He has the most contact with Oregon, Penn State, La Salle and Iona while Tennessee, Mississippi and Cincinnati are also involved. The powerful guard can play just about anywhere and schools that figure that out quickly will have themselves a steal.

Isaiah Whitehead (Juice All Stars 2014) – One of the best scorers in the 2014 class, Whitehead has had the attention of high major schools for a few years already. He lists a pair of dream schools in Syracuse and Kentucky with the Orange having already offered. Whitehead listed head coach Jim Boeheim as his main recruiter from SU while assistant Orlando Antigua has been the lead for UK. In addition to these two at the top of his list, Whitehead also listed offers from Rutgers, Iowa, Iowa State and UCLA.

Junior Etou (DC Assault 2013) – Etou will be leaving Arlington Country Day (FL) next year and finish his high school career at Bishop O’Connell (VA.) The combo forward already has a host of high major schools after his services as he claimed offers from Cincinnati, Miami, Memphis, West Virginia, Temple, Kansas, Arizona and Maryland. He plans to take his time and sign in the spring of next year as he really hasn’t delved into the recruiting process all that much to this point. He’s looking for a school that can offer him a chance to play immediately and wants to be recruited as a SF as opposed to a PF.

Jevon Thomas (Team Melo 2013) – Thomas has moved on from his commitment to Dayton as they were looking for a guard in the 2012 class and both parties will be going in different directions for 2013. He is mulling interest from UNLV, Kansas State, Penn State, Oklahoma State and Seton Hall. Thomas is looking for an up and down system that allows him to show off his open court skills and says location doesn’t matter because he’s already been away from home for 2 years at high school so he’s adjusted to it.

Kahron Ross (Arkansas Hawks 2014) – The rising junior point guard has yet to receive his first scholarship offer but has high interest from some high major Southern schools. Arkansas, Arkansas State, Vanderbilt, Tennessee and Memphis have all been in contact since June 15th but none have pulled the trigger on an offer as of now.





2012 LEBRON JAMES SKILLS ACADEMY RECAP – SATURDAY

July 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Contrast in communication sticks out

by Raphielle Johnson

The LeBron James Skills Academy, and other events like it, provide scouts and media with the opportunity to watch both collegiate and high school players work out in an instructional environment.

The final leg of Nike’s skills academy series, the LeBron camp features 24 college and 93 high school basketball players.

One area that has displayed a stark contrast between the two groups through two days has been on-court communication.

While the college players, be it in drills or in scrimmage situations, consistently communicate with each other the same can’t be said for the the high school stars.

This isn’t incredibly surprising, but if anything the need for instructors to consistently remind the high school players of the importance of on-court communication underlines a major difference between the two levels.

An action as simple as calling out a screen for a teammate may not seem like a big deal, and in many instances pure athletic skill trumps the intangibles when evaluating young talent.

But those “little things” can ultimately be the difference between simply having a shot at being a pro and being able to make an impact as one. This will be something to keep an eye on as the high school players begin scrimmage play on Sunday afternoon.

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2012 RUMBLE IN THE BRONX RECAP (PART I)

June 10, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

The 2012 Rumble in the Bronx kicked off on Friday night spread out at a variety of venues around the greater NYC area. I had the pleasure of taking in the action at the Hooperstown complex in Mount Vernon, NY which featured some of the top 17U teams in the tournament including Sports U, City Rocks, The Rens, and The Gauchos. One player separated himself from the pack and made it clear that he was the top performer in attendance Friday.

Top Performance of the Night:

Shadell Millinghaus (Albany City Rocks 2013) – Millinghaus somehow remains under the radar despite a very productive spring on the Nike EYBL circuit. The 6’3” combo guard was at his best Friday night attacking the rim both in transition and off ball screens in the half court. A powerful force against high school competition Millinghaus plays the game like a strong safety in football. He’s low to the ground, powerful, and loves contact in the lane. While strength plays a major role in Millinghaus’ success it’s his explosive first step in either direction that separates him from other power guards. He has the quickness to match with the smaller guys and the strength to compete in the lane against bigs making him a nightmare matchup for any opponent. He did not flash a jump shot on Friday night but frankly didn’t need to as he didn’t find a defender who could stay in front of him. If Millinghaus continues his effective drive game and mixes in some perimeter shots, high major coaches and national scouts will be forced to take notice.

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NIKE EYBL – OAKLAND (SUNDAY RECAP)

May 28, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Parker vs. Randle highlights day

By Raphielle Johnson

Nike saved the “best” for its final regular season session of Nike EYBL, with the top two players in the class of 2013 facing off on Sunday afternoon. Jabari Parker and Mac Irvin Fire went toe-to-toe with Julius Randle and the Texas Titans, but a furious second half rally for the Chicago-based team fell just short. Behind 23 points and 13 rebounds from Randle and Matt Jones adding 19 and eight rebounds, the Titans won 63-59 to move into a tie for third in Division C with Mac Irvin.

That was a big win for the Titans from a Peach Jam standpoint as well, as the result guaranteed them a berth in the 24-team tournament to be held in July. A loss would have dropped them into a three-way tie with CPE and E1T1 Elite, and while all three would most likely advance (four at-larges join the top five in each division) it’s better to simply take care of business yourself instead of relying on help.

Jones had the assignment of guarding Parker in the first half while Jackson Forbes helped out in the second, and the nation’s top-ranked player seemed to settle for perimeter jumpers a bit too much. But he did guard Randle on the other end in the first half, and to be frank both seemed to be pressing in the first 16 minutes. But Randle’s teammates, most notable Jones, came up big as they led by as many as 18 in the first half.

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CHINONSO OBOKOH TURNING HEADS WITH CITY ROCKS ON EYBL CIRCUIT

May 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Chinonso Obokoh is still a new name to many fans who follow college basketball recruiting. However college coaches are becoming more and more familiar with Obokoh’s name and his game. The 6-foot-10, 217-pound big man plays his high school ball out of Rochester (NY) Bishop Kearney High School and had a successful two-weekend run on the EYBL circuit with Albany (NY) based City Rocks. It was an opportunity that Obokoh cherished to have the chance to perform in front of college coaches.

“It’s always extra nice to play in front of the coaches,” Obokoh told NBE Basketball Report. “I’m excited to play in that atmosphere. I just want them to recognize how hard I play and that I just want to win.”

Obokoh certainly showed college coaches what he is capable of. Over the two weekends of the EYBL during the April open evaluation period he deomstrated improved skill offensively along with a solid defensive presence and is one of the leaders in blocked shots in the EYBL. He enjoys playing in the City Rocks program because it is a definsive minded team that fits right into his own mentality.
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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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BUSINESS AS USUAL FOR ISAIAH WATKINS ON SPRING AAU TRAIL

April 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

This weekend starting Friday evening colleg coaches will hit the road for AAU events across the country. Stops in Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and areas far and wide will be popular destinations for Division 1-A head coaches and assistants as they are allowed to evaluate talent for the first time in the busy April AAU schedule in a few years. While the intensity of the action is likely to be ratcheted up a few nothches, CIA Bounce big man Isaiah Watkins is taking it all in stride.

The 6-foot-8 Watkins attends St. Benedict’sPrep in Newark (NJ) and performing in front of college coaches is a regular event for him and his Gray Bees teammates. It was one of the reasons why he chose to attend a school like St. Ben’s and play with a powerful AAU program like the Canadian CIA Bounce program, which participates in Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL).

Yet, Watkins is looking forward to showcasing his improvement as a player, but also has goals for himself to continue to impove against the top flight competition he will be facing.
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WITH HIGH SCHOOL CAREER COMPLETE, ANTHONY BENNETT WILL TURN ATTENTION TO RECRUITING

April 1, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The trend of high-end prospects in college basketball recruiting is to make their college decisions later and later in recent years. The Class of 2012 is taking that trend to new heights, so to speak, with as many as four of the top 10 players n the country still undecided as we move into April. One such prospect is Findlay Prep’s Anthony Bennett, a 6-foot-8 power forward and native of Brampton, Ontario.

Bennett, who ran on the summer AAU circuit with CIA Bounce, is an imposing force on the basketball court. He violently attacks the rim with strong finishes and his athletic ability is impressive for a player his size and strength. He has also shown the ability to hit from three-point range and his potential almost seems limitless at the power forward position at the college level. He continues to improve his skill level making him an even more dangerous offensive player.

This past weekend Bennett helped his Findlay Prep Pilots win the National High School Invitational in Bethesda, Md. with a thrilling 86-83 overtime win against Montverde. The Pilots trailed by as many as 18 points in the second half before rallying. Bennett, the tournament’s MVP, chipped in with 13 points and eight rebounds in the championship contest.
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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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