NBE Basketball Report
LSU Recruiting

REEBOK BREAKOUT CLASSIC — FINAL REPORT

July 15, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

PHILADELPHIA – The 2013 Reebok Breakout Classic came to an end on Friday and NBE Sports was in attendance yet again.

Each team played three games and we were able to see nine of them in action. The day was capped off by a fast-paced, high-scoring all-star game at night.

Chris Clover is a class of 2015 shooting guard from St. Joseph’s Prep (PA) who possesses a quality frame. The 6-foot-4 rising junior has a pretty nice looking stroke and can connect from beyond the arc.

Jeremiah Jefferson of Kennedale (TX) is player who finds ways to produce could have made a strong case for being in the all-star game. A 6-foot-2 scoring combo guard, Jefferson is a quality shooter who is capable of getting his points from all three levels.

The main thing that elite 2015 small forward Derrick Jones needs to do is add a consistent jump shot to his arsenal. The 6-foot-5 prospect from Archbishop Carroll (PA) did knock down a couple of 3-pointers on Friday, though. However, his calling card is still clearly his elite athleticism. Jones is tough to keep out of the paint, has good body control, uses the baseline well, and is a big-time dunker.

Trayvond Massenburg, a 6-foot-8 power forward from local Vaux (PA), is a player who is capable of scoring in the paint and also has the ability to step out and shoot it some. The class of 2014 prospect has a frame that should be able to add some muscle.

Emmanuel Mudiay was co-MVP of the all-star game and deservedly so. The 6-foot-5 point guard from Prime Prep (TX) got to the rim at will and was basically impossible to stop off the bounce. The class of 2014 recruit has superb body control at the rim and is a major athlete overall.

Future Maryland Terrapin Jared Nickens of the Westtown School (PA) has really broadened his offensive game over the past year. A 6-foot-6 class of 2014 prospect who can play shooting guard or small forward, Nickens has really improved his ability to score off the bounce. He possesses a nice shooting stroke, as noted in the Day I recap, and has a pretty smooth game.
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2013 NBPA TOP 100 HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL CAMP — FINAL RECRUITING NOTES

June 17, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Whitfield, Mid-Atlantic Recruiting Analyst

The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA)’s 20th Anniversary of the NBPA Top 100 High School Basketball Camp kicked off Wednesday at the University of Virginia’s John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville and concluded over the weekend. Media was allowed to begin attending sessions on Thursday and NBE was back on the road and in attendence.

The NBPA Top 100 High School Basketball Camp was created by the NBPA in 1994 to assist elite high school student-athletes in the development of their basketball and life skills. Throughout the last 20 years, the Camp has grown into one of the most highly touted and renowned camps of its kind and has seen hundreds of its participants go on to successful NBA careers. You can follow the camp on Twitter @Top100Camp and be sure to follow @NBESports for all of our updates as well.

To close our recruiting updates, NBE caught up with Craig Victor, Satchel Pierce, Khadeem Lattin, Abdul-Malik Abu, Brandone Francis, Skal Labissiere, Chinanu Onuaku, Kevon Looney, Trevon Blueitt and Trayvon Reed, which you can see below…

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AVERY JOHNSON JR. READY TO MAKE HIS OWN MARK IN BASKETBALL

June 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Avery Johnson Jr. opened eyes this spring.

Avery Johnson Jr. opened eyes this spring.

By Matt Whitfield

Many kids that share the same last name or the same name as their famous successful NBA veteran dad have a good shot of getting a scholarship to D-1 school, whether the scholarship is deserved or not. Avery Johnson Jr. though has the skills to get the scholarship without his father’s name and he impressed at the NBA Top 100 Camp on Friday.

“It’s tough because everybody expects you already to be good like he was in college and expects you to go to the NBA, but I just try and stay humble and be me,” the younger Johnson told NBE on Friday. “He passed a lot. I can score, I’m a little bit better shooter. It’s just hard because everyone knows the name and they expect you to be good. Some people hate you because they think I’m only on the Texas Titans because of my dad and I’m only going to certain schools because of my dad.”
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2013 NBPA TOP 100 HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL CAMP — RECRUITING NOTES (PART II)

June 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Whitfield, Mid-Atlantic Recruiting Analyst

The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA)’s 20th Anniversary of the NBPA Top 100 High School Basketball Camp kicked off Wednesday at the University of Virginia’s John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville. Media was allowed to begin attending sessions on Thursday and NBE was back on the road and in attendence.

The NBPA Top 100 High School Basketball Camp was created by the NBPA in 1994 to assist elite high school student-athletes in the development of their basketball and life skills. Throughout the last 20 years, the Camp has grown into one of the most highly touted and renowned camps of its kind and has seen hundreds of its participants go on to successful NBA careers. You can follow the camp on Twitter @Top100Camp and be sure to follow @NBESports for all of our updates as well.

In our first Top 100 Camp report yesterday we had recruiting updates on Stephen Zimmerman, Malachi Richardson, Leron Black, Myles Turner, Reid Travis and Devin Robinson. In our second edition, read on below for updates on Thon Maker, Jaquan Lyle, Ja’Quan Newton and MARYLAND-commit Romelo Trimble impressed in his effort…

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CLASS OF 2015 INTRO: TERRENCE PHILLIPS

December 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Whitfield

One of the more intriguing prospects at this past weekend’s National High School Hoops Festival at DeMatha High School was Oak Hill sophomore guard Terrence Phillips. Phillips is not yet a known commodity in the recruiting world, but expect that to change in the future as he is the half-brother of former Oak Hill standout and current Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings.

“I’m a little different from Brandon,” Phillips told NBE over the weekend. “I’m not much of a scorer. I do the little things. I know how to take charges, get the rebounds, and just do the little things out there.”

Only a sophomore and playing on one of the best teams in the nation, Phillips played sparingly in Saturday night’s loss to Paul VI (VA). However, when Phillips did play you could see his confident demeanor on the court. Phillips, who measures in at 5-foot-10 and 165 pounds, made crisp passes and looked very poised on the court.
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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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RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (10/8/12) — DECISIONS, DECISIONS, DECISIONS…

October 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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by Alex Schwartz

Andrew and Aaron Harrison, arguably the best set of twin brothers to ever come through the high school ranks, announced their intentions to attend Kentucky. Their decision came on ESPNU’s “Recruiting Nation” program on Thursday night.

Andrew, a 6-foot-5 point guard, and Aaron, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard, selected UK over Maryland and SMU. The Travis (TX) High School stars are both ranked among the top five players in the nation in the class of 2013.

The Harrison twins are the two highest ranked committed players in the senior class, checking in at No. 1 (Andrew) and No. 4 (Aaron) in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125. John Calipari looks to be on his way to potentially landing the best recruiting class in the nation for the fifth straight time.
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RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (10/4/2012) — HARRISON TWINS DECISION DUE TODAY

October 4, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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by Alex Schwartz

Quite possibly the best package deal in high school basketball history will have a destination today. Top-four ranked twin brothers Andrew and Aaron Harrison are set to announce their college intentions and will be choosing between Kentucky, Maryland and SMU.

The 6-foot-5 guards from Travis (TX) had long been working with a top five that also included Baylor and Villanova, but they have narrowed it down to a final trio. The general belief though, is that it is truly a two-horse race between Kentucky and Maryland.

UK is on a roll under John Calipari, as he is four for four in Lexington, Ky. in signing the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation. He has led Kentucky to two Final Fours and the Wildcats are the reigning national champion. UK has also churned out a plethora of first round picks under Cal and it is the winningest program in NCAA basketball history.
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ORLANDO AAU REPORT – SATURDAY

July 30, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Alex Schwartz

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Saturday was the final full day of the last Live period this month. Coaches will be back in the gym on Sunday, but must leave at 5:00 p.m. There were quite a few players who excelled on Saturday and it looked like one player had the Top Performer spot wrapped up–until one 2013 wing went bonkers from long range in the nightcap. Also, a trio of big men originally from Africa were quite impressive, two top-five players shined again and a top-100 prospect in 2013 listed a favorite.

TOP PERFORMER

Omar Prewitt needs to be in the discussion of the best shooter in the United States at the high school level. A 6’5 shooting guard out of Montgomery (KY) put on an absolute SHOW for The Ville in the final game of the night. In the first half alone, Prewitt had 22 points and knocked in six 3-pointers. The final stats sheet was swooped away before we could take a look at it, but one of The Ville coaches said Prewitt had 33 points and a D1 assistant told us he hd 34. He finished with eight or nine 3-pointers and was simply unstoppable off the catch. Prewitt is not just a one-dimensional shooter, though. He has a smooth game and is more than capable of knifing through a defense and getting to the rim. Prewitt handles the ball pretty well and he can block shots at the defensive end. His Saturday night performance was one of the best that this writer has seen all month.
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2012 NY2LA UNDER ARMOUR SUMMER JAM RECAP – PART II

July 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By N.D. Kendrick

Mequon, WI – The second July “live period” kicked off on Wednesday night and NBE Sports joined coaching staffs from numerous college programs at Homestead High School near Milwaukee to scout the prospects at the NY2LA Under Armour Summer Jam. Here is a rundown from Thursday’s long day of action…

Top Performance

T.J. Haws, Nick Emery and Eric Mika (Utah Reign) – Just had to go with this trio because they play like they are one. T.J. Haws has a little flash and flare to his game and is great ball handler that can shoot from distance but focuses on driving to the hoop. Emery is lethal from anywhere in the gym. He is not limited to being a catch and shoot player, he can take you off the bounce. Mika may be on the verge of becoming a household name (More on Mika below). They all three will be making noise at BYU in a few years.
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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 LEBRON JAMES SKILLS ACADEMY RECAP – SUNDAY

July 9, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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Game play begins at camp

by Raphielle Johnson

The afternoon session of the LeBron James Skills Academy on Sunday brought about the beginning of game play at the event, with the campers splitting up into eight teams of approximately ten players each.

There were some injuries to account for, most notably 2013 forward Jermaine Lawrence spraining his ankle early in the camp and 2013 prospects Xavier Rathan-Mayes and Jarell Martin both having to deal with ankle injuries at some point in the day.

But despite those injuries there were some standouts on Sunday, with many looking better in game action than they did during the drills portion of the camp. One player who made an impact on Sunday was guard Shelton Mitchell, whose dunk over Kuran Iverson may be the play of the camp to this point.

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NBPA TOP 100 HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL CAMP: RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (MIKE YOUNG & JARELL MARTIN)

June 19, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – By most accounts, Jarrell Martin and Mike Young were two of the most impressive players at the recent Pangos All-American Camp.

Both players also made their way to the University of Virginia last week to participate in the NBPA Top 100 High School Basketball Camp, where NBE Sports had the opportunity to talk recruiting with each of them.

Jarrell Martin, a 6-foot-8 power forward, has a list that is mostly comprised of schools south of the Mason-Dixon Line. That certainly makes sense, considering he goes to Madison Prep Academy in Baton Rouge, La.
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KENDAL HARRIS LOOKING TO MAKE UP FOR LOST TIME

June 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Whitfield

Despite having good athleticism, work ethic and a brother who plays for the Miami Heat, Kendal Harris is one of the less talked about high major point guard prospects in the Class of 2013. Harris thinks that all might change soon due to a good NBA Top 100 Camp showing and being healthy this summer unlike the last and ready to play on the AAU circuit.

Harris’ brother Terrel Harris brother played for Oklahoma State in college and being from Texas not surprisingly Harris has a lot of the Big 12 schools on him, as well as others from coast to coast.

USC, Marquette, Missouri, Washington State, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Creighton, LSU, Virginia and TCU,” Harris mentioned as schools after him.
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JORDAN MICKEY LOOKING TO MAKE COLLEGE COMMITMENT IN LATE JULY

June 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Jordan Mickey of Grace Prep in Arlington (TX) is one of the better frontcourt prospects in the nation in the class of 2013.

A 6-foot-7, 215-pound power forward, Mickey is a long and athletic player with some major upside. It is clear that colleges agree that the Texan is a talented prospect, as he is being looked at by schools across the country.

On Friday at the NBPA Top 100 High School Basketball Camp, Mickey said he holds scholarship offers from Louisville, Ohio State, West Virginia, Providence, Kansas, Texas, Florida State, Texas A&M, and Missouri. Additionally, he mentioned that he is receiving interest from Kentucky, Duke and North Carolina.
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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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Mernagh: Trent Johnson’s Still Hot…Despite Results

April 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Back when he took the LSU job four years ago, Trent Johnson’s career resembled that of a craps player on a hot streak.

Johnson had built Nevada into a decent situation — he went a pedestrian 79-74 there overall — but his last season was the culmination of that building process as the Wolfpack caught lightening and rode it all the way to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament. That last year saw the school from Reno post a 25-9 record that along with their March run, thrust their coach into the limelight. Johnson did what almost any coach does when the perfect situation happens and things just come together, he bounced for the better offer.

Johnson looked at his first four years in Reno, years that resulted in steady win increases of 9-to-10-to-17-to-18, looked at his star Kirk Snyder who had helped him churn out those 25 dubs about to be drafted into the NBA, and turned to his assistant Mark Fox and said “best of luck brother, I’m heading to Palo Alto!”

The players that Johnson left behind, Nick Fazekas and Marcelus Kemp plus the incoming Ramon Sessions, kept Nevada on top of the WAC for the next several years and Fox was able to eventually grab the job at Georgia because of their efforts. Johnson led the Cardinal to 3 NCAA berths in four years but the ride wasn’t without its bumps. Two of those tournament teams sported only 18 wins and went out in the first round of action, while his final Stanford squad reeled off 28 victories and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. Johnson then made what seemed like a really odd move to almost everyone, he left Stanford to go to LSU. The same LSU that had just fired a coach who was but two years removed from leading the Bayou Bengals to the Final Four.

Johnson’s first season was an immediate success as the Tigers went 27-8 and 13-3 in the SEC. His next two years were dreadful as LSU experienced back-to-back 11-20 seasons with a combined 5 SEC wins. This season saw some improvement as they went 18-14 and 7-9 in the league. After the season ended Johnson learned that his best front-court player was going to bolt for the NBA draft, a departure that would make next year’s Tigers extremely undersized. Then, just like that, things started looking up for Trent Johnson.

TCU lost a good coach in Jim Christian because he saw the writing on the wall. The Horned Frogs were improving but were also heading into the Big 12, and it was obvious they weren’t ponying up the resources needed to compete while Christian was still on the job (the man who had hired Christian was no longer in charge). It was just a matter of time before Christian would be getting his walking papers. Christian returned to his roots, and a better job, when he took over for John Groce at Ohio, reviving his career in the process.

With their Christian problem solved for them, TCU inquired with the usual names who wanted nothing to do with a difficult job no matter how much cash they were offering. That’s when Trent Johnson’s phone rang and TCU turned, ironically, to a coach who was arguably in a more precarious position than the one they just watched leave.

Trent Johnson went 58-59 in his four years at LSU and was 25-39 in the SEC.

He just accepted the job as head basketball coach at TCU and will be announced tomorrow.

For that he will be paid $2 million dollars a year.

As one coach so succinctly put it earlier today in a text to me — “It’s a crazy business, guy got his ass beat for the last three years, is on the verge of getting fired, and he gets a new job for two million a year!”

Trent Johnson just rolled another winner.

2012 NATIONAL PREP SCHOOL INVITATIONAL — DAY THREE

February 5, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

With most college programs having games of their own on Saturday fewer coaches were on hand at Rhode Island College to take in the action but that didn’t stop the players from putting on a show. The best game of the day and arguably the weekend thus far was between New Hampton Prep and Canarias Basketball Academy. Canarias got out to a lead using their incredible size and strength but New Hampton came storming back to force overtime. New Hampton had lost stud sophomore Noah Vonleh to five fouls towards the end of regulation and it caught up with them in the extra session as Canarias prevailed 82-77. Despite coming up five points short on the scoreboard New Hampton had the top individual performance of the day from a somewhat unlikely source.

Top Performer of the Day:

Olivier Hanlon (New Hampton 2012) – committed to Boston College – Of the 10-12 times I’ve seen Hanlon play both with New Hampton and on the summer circuit with Albany City Rocks today clearly stands out as his best overall performance. The 6’2” physical point guard carried his team on his back for the entire 2nd half and overtime session by scoring and creating for others. Hanlon is at his best in screen and roll sets where he turns the corner aggressively and attacks the lane. In those situations he scored with the floater, got all the way to the rim, drew fouls on Canarias’ bigs, and found open teammates on the perimeter. New Hampton ran the same high ball screen seemingly every time down in the 2nd half and Canarias never found an answer for Hanlon’s fearlessness turning the corner. He also showed off his 3 point stroke as he played off the ball at times and knocked them down in catch and shoot situations. Just as impressive as his offense is Hanlon’s intensity and ball pressure on the defensive end. He never takes a possession off on that end and got multiple steals with his quick footwork and great hands. Boston College fans should look forward to a bulldog at the point guard for the next four years.
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HOOPHALL CLASSIC 2012: SATURDAY RECAP

January 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

After two days filled with local contests and a sampling of girl’s games, the Hoophall Classic took to the national stage on the boys side Saturday. Traditional powers like Oak Hill Academy, Gonzaga College Prep, St. Patrick’s and DeMatha Catholic headlined the action at Blake Arena in Springfield. Many players improved their stock on Saturday but none more than an undersized big man from Gonzaga College Prep.

Top Performer:

Kris Jenkins (Gonzaga 2013) – Jenkins had a breakout performance on national TV a week ago at the Cancer Research Classic in Wheeling, West Virginia and backed it up today at the Hoophall Classic by dominating an individual matchup with Riverside’s Ricardo Gathers. Jenkins is 6’6” at best but still has great strength for the power forward position. This allows him to hold his own defensively while causing all kinds of problems for opponents on the offensive end. He did the majority of his damage on midrange jumpers but showed that his range extends to the 3 point line knocking down a pair of triples. Jenkins was productive from the opening tip until the final whistle not even allowing an errant Ricardo Gathers elbow to the face to slow him down. After scoring at will on top 10 sophomore Jahlil Okafor and top 30 senior Ricardo Gathers in the past week, it’s safe to say that Jenkins can contribute at the high major level.
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