NBE Basketball Report
Mississippi Recruiting

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 (10/18/2012): POST MADNESS COMMITMENT CRAZE

October 18, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

Last Friday was Midnight Madness, which is the first day that college basketball programs can hold official practices. Many schools, at all levels, use the weekend of Midnight Madness as a chance to host and impress either their top target(s) or a large number of prospects.

As always, there have been numerous high-major commitments rolling in since players began their Midnight Madness visits. Below is a rundown of many of the top players to pledge over the past week.

I was out of the country over the weekend, which is why there was no Recruiting Notebook on Monday. Additionally, due to my trip—it’s crazy how disconnected to the world I am without my phone or constant internet access—the news on these pledges can be attributed to the Scout.com Commitment Tracker.

The biggest news coming from the weekend involved—who else?—the University of Kentucky. For the third straight week, John Calipari has landed at least one top-15 prospect in the class of 2013. This time it was 6-foot-9 center Marcus Lee of Deer Valley (CA), who selected UK over Cal. He is ranked No. 13 in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125.

Also nabbing a pledge from a top-20 recruit this week was Kansas. The Jayhawks added to their backcourt haul by picking up Wayne Selden, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard out of the Tilton School (NH). He is ranked No. 18 in the  NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125.

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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 PEACH JAM REPORT – DAY II (PART C)

July 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

Thursday evening brought more 17U EYBL action to North Augusta with star players on every court in the facility. NBE had the chance to see its share of the action and here is who stood out to us.

Top Performer of the Night:

Moses Kingsley (Arkansas Wings 2013) – While already a well known name nationally, Kingsley outperformed his reputation in a victory over Cal Supreme. The 6’9” center was an absolute monster on the backboard and protecting the rim. Credited with 11 rebounds and 3 blocked shots, my eyes tell me that both of those numbers are a little bit low. In a game featuring highly touted big men like Marcus Lee, Torren Jones, and his teammate Bobby Portis, Kingsley was unquestionably the best big on the court. His defense has remained consistent but offensively is where he has really taken strides since the April live period. Kingsley was able to finish through contact, flashed good footwork on the block, and even showed a developing off the dribble game. If his offense is ever able to catch up to his prowess on the defensive end, Kingsley could challenge for top center in the 2013 class.
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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 – SUNDAY RECAP

July 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

Sunday in Indianapolis concluded a great week featuring all the premier Adidas sponsored teams in America. Champions were crowned with Eric Gordon All Stars (15U), Louisville Magic (16U), and Florida Elite (17U) taking home the hardware. Players from those clubs and others managed to shine on the brightest stage.

Top Performance of the Day:

Kasey Hill (Florida Elite 2013) – verbal to Florida – The week belonged to Kasey Hill and he capped it with a signature performance in a semifinal victory over Dream Vision. With most of his team looking sluggish, Hill took matters into his own hands erupting for 46 points in the best individual performance I’ve seen this year. Dream Vision tried every perimeter defender they had on the roster and Hill burned them all exploding by guys off the dribble, pulling up for 3-pointers, and grinding his way to the free throw line. As he had been all week, Hill was devastating in pick and roll sets where his greatly improved jump shot combined with his elite quickness make him an impossible cover. When defenders went under the screen, he buried the long ball and when they followed him over it he turned the corner and finished at the rim. Billy Donovan had a noticeable grin sitting court side because he knows that he has one of America’s best players coming to Gator country to run the show.
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2012 ADIDAS INVITATIONAL – THURSDAY RECAP

July 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

The Adidas Invitational in Indianapolis brings together all the Adidas sponsored AAU teams from around the country and in doing so collects one of the largest pools of talent of any tournament all summer. It was on full display throughout the day Thursday with high major talent playing in front of college coaches. A selection of players was able to separate themselves from the pack led by a pair of teammates from the Memphis area.

Top Performers of the Day:

Leron Black (Team Thad 2014) – Black is a 6-foot-7 power forward who has a motor that runs nonstop. His energy wore down the opposition to the point that he was beating his man down the floor every single time. Team Thad’s offensive system is similar to that of the old Loyola Marymount teams of the late 80s and early 90s that routinely scored over 100 points on the college level. They run and run and run until they can’t run anymore and over time this style wears down the opponents. Black never wore down himself but rather got stronger as the game went on dunking on four consecutive possessions at one point in the second half. His energy and smile on the court are infectious as the whole team seemed to rally around him after he got going in the 2nd half. Black even showed a developing face up game beating taller opponents off the bounce on his way towards more dunks at the rim. On top of the big finishes, he’s also a fantastic rebounder both in and out of his area, particularly on the offensive end. Every college program in the country that plays and up tempo style should be banging down Black’s door begging him to become part of their family.
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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 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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FLORIDA’S SHOWTIME BALLERS READY FOR SUMMER AAU SEASON

June 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Here is a preview of the Showtime Ballers, a team to keep an eye on this summer on the AAU trail…

July Schedule Highlights:
–Reebok Showdown Series (Philadelphia, PA) July 13-15
–Peach State Summer Showcase (Aiken, SC) July 18-22
–Fab 48 (Las Vegas, NV) July 25-29

Showtime Ballers 17U Roster

RASHAWN POWELL 6’1 PG (DR. PHILLIPS HS)
DEANDRE BURNETT 6’2 CG (CAROL CITY HIGH) – Committed to Miami
WADLY MOMPREMERE 6’9 SF (MIAMI SR HIGH)
FALLOU NDOYE (6’11 C) FAITH BAPTIST
KARLOS ODUM (6’5 WG) TENEROC
TYRIEFE BEARD (6’3 SG) DR. PHILLIPS HS
RASHAD THOMPKINS (6’10 F) MIAMI SR HIGH
JOSEPHUS BENJI BELL (6’3 SG) ELY BLANCHE HIGH
BILLYDEE WILLIAMS (6’6 WG) FAITH BAPTIST
TERRELL HUNTLEY (6’9 PF) GODBY HIGH SCHOOL

Showtime Ballers 16U Roster

KEON GRAY (6’8 F) BOCA CIEGA
NICK MARTIN (6’3 SG) LAKE BRANTLEY
CUYLER MOSLEY (6’3 CG) TIMBERCREEK
BRANDON MILLER (6’7 WG) CYPRESS CREEK
RODERICK DAVIS (6’7) WG BRANDON HIGH
DWAYNE BACON (6’6 PG) MCKEEL ACADEMY – 2015
JORDAN GASKINS (5’10 PG) RICKARDS HIGH SCHOOL – 2015
COREY SANDERS (6’3 CG) MCKEEL ACADEMY – 2015
DALTON COX (6’5 SF) GEORGE JENKINS
DEXTER GRAHAM (6’5 WG) OVIEDO HIGH SCHOOL
MALCOLM LAWS (CG) WINTER PARK HIGH
QUANDARIUS PATTERSON (6’5 WF) GODBY HIGH SCHOOL – 2015

Star Watch: RaShawn Powell
–”when the ball is in his hands, he can do whatever needs to be done on offense”

According to the Ballers staff, Powell holds offers from Central Florida, Memphis, Mississippi State, Penn State, Virginia Tech, Murray State, Illinois State, UMASS, Miami and Seton Hall. Schools such as Alabama, Florida State and Cincinnati are also heavily in the mix as well.

Hurricanes got a good one in Burnett: Deandre Burnett will bring another ball handler and scoring threat. The Miami-commit is a great scorer and can create his own opportunities in various ways.

Summer Breakout Candidate: Tyriefe Beard
–The Ballers staff identified Beard as a sleeper that coaches will definitely notice this summer who is not getting alot of attention right now.

Youngster on the Rise: Dwayne Bacon
–Big guard is a member of the Class of 2015 and already has Viginia Tech and Florida State offers.

Mompremier & Ndoye Seeing Increased Recruiting Attention: Class of 2013, 6’9+ F Wadly Mompremier is rapidly improving and his recruitment has rapidly increased this spring. The Ballers staff informs us that Old Dominion, Northeastern, Florida Atlantic, James Madison and Jacksonville have offered with interest coming from Akron, Cincinnati, Bowling Green, Florida Golf Coast and Alabama.

In the case of 6-foot-11 C Fallou Ndoye, his recruiting also picked up and he landed an ACC offer from Virginia Tech, which adds to the previous offers that he had already from Nevada, Florida Atlantic, Jacksonville and James Madison. Schools such as Cincinnati, Clemson, Mississippi, UCF, Miami, Akron, Memphis and Texas have shown interest and will likely keep an eye on him this July.





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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THE HOOP GROUP’S PITTSBURGH JAMFEST: DAY ONE

April 21, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Batko

The Hoop Group Jamfest rolled into Pittsburgh Friday night with several intriguing 1st and 2nd round games in the 17 and under and 16 and under divisions. Many of the games were blowouts, as the elite teams were mostly matched up with the lower level squads for the early rounds, but there were still some high level players in action on Friday. Teams like Sports U/Team Izod’s 16U, Atlanta Xpress 17U, and DC Assault Gold 17U are littered with Division 1 prospects who put forth impressive performances, albeit in limited action.

Karl Towns (Sports U 16U, 2015, St. Joseph Metuchen) – Only a freshman, Towns was easily the most talented player on the floor in Sports U’s 65-38 win over Blaze (WV), grabbing any rebound he wanted to and clogging the lane with his 6’10” frame. While not the most physically imposing Sports U big man – that would be 6’8” 2014 power forward Quadri Moore – Towns showed why he’s going to be one of the hottest names in the 2015 class. He’s still very thin at this point but his perimeter skills are awfully promising for such a young post player. Offensively, especially on the low block, Towns is still somewhat raw. He was forced into a travel after one catch in the post and failed to get position in the halfcourt a couple times. The rising sophomore also needs to get much stronger, as he was fouled multiple times by much smaller players and was unable to finish inside. The good news on that front, though, is that Towns is an excellent free throw shooter, going 6-6 at the line with great form. His free throw shooting ability translates to the outside, as well, where he has a nice stroke from beyond the arc. Towns, who finished with a double-double of 11 points and 12 rebounds, went 1-3 from downtown, hitting one from a few feet behind the line. Defensively, his natural gifts make him an intimidating shot blocker, but he also has very active hands and was able to get a steal or two in trapping situations. Despite his aggressiveness, Towns does a pretty good job of avoiding fouls, which is encouraging for a young prospect. Competing with and against players a year older than him – and in front of Jamie Dixon (Pitt), Bill Carmody (Northwestern), and a slew of other college coaches – Towns proved himself a (literally) big name in the class of 2015.
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2012 NATIONAL PREP SCHOOL INVITATIONAL — TOP PERFORMERS

February 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

Now that the National Prep School Invitational has come to close and I’ve had a few days to process all the basketball I watched it’s time to rank the performances from the weekend. Below are player rankings by class based on this past weekend’s performance only. These are not an overall opinion on these players but rather a snapshot based on how they played at Rhode Island College over the weekend. The top spot in 2012 came down to the nation’s two best big men and is a decision I agonized over before finalizing it.

Be sure to check out our daily coverage from a great weekend of hoops at the 2012 National Prep School Invitational:
’12 NPSI – Day Four Report
’12 NPSI – Day Three Report
’12 NPSI – Day Two Report
’12 NPSI – Day One Report

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2012 NATIONAL PREP SCHOOL INVITATIONAL — DAY ONE

February 3, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

The National Prep School Invitational kicked off Thursday morning at a new venue of Rhode Island College after a number of years at the University of Rhode Island. The shift was made due to new NCAA rules not allowing tournaments of this nature to take place in Division-I gyms but the always well run event didn’t miss a beat. Eight games filled the schedule on Thursday with the nation’s No. 1 team Brewster Academy facing off against St. John’s Northwest Military Academy in the headliner. Two players faced off head to head in that matchup and they share top billing today after fantastic performances.

Co-Headliners of the Day:

Jakarr Sampson (Brewster Academy 2012) – Sampson played as well as I’ve ever seen from him in Brewster’s victory this afternoon. He has always been potent using a couple dribbles to attack the rim and showcase his absurd athleticism. Today, Sampson punished defenders for playing off him by consistently knocking down mid range jumpers from 12-18 feet. When that shot is falling he becomes basically unguardable because combined with his driving ability leaves defenders to pick their poison. On top of all his impressive offense, Sampson was the catalyst for Brewster defensively playing the top of their full court press. His length and quickness caused turnover after turnover often leading to rim shaking dunks. Undefeated Brewster was frankly in a bit of trouble before going to the press and letting Sampson wreck havoc. He made it obvious why he is one of the most sought after uncommitted players remaining in the 2012 class.

Aaron Ross (St. John’s Northwest Military Academy 2012) – A onetime Arkansas commit, Ross played like one of the nation’s bet forwards against the loaded frontline of Brewster. He tallied 30 points and 9 rebounds by mixing 3 point shots (3-7) with hard drives to the basket. Ross has the quickness to take his man out on the perimeter but also the strength to go to work on the low block. This combination gave Brewster fits all day as they tried various defenders to slow down the big man. Only Jakarr Sampson had any success but even he gave up his share of hoops against Ross. Finding balance between inside and outside will always be important for Ross as he doesn’t want to hunt jumpers and ignore his physical advantages. He also needs to be more committed defensively and will have to define a roll on that end. He is a little bit between a 3 and a 4 right now but needs to be a 4 defensively in my mind. Regardless of position he’s a beast and showed that off today.

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MONTVERDE ACADEMY INVITATIONAL – SATURDAY REVIEW

January 30, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

MONTVERDE, Fla. – Three teams from the Northeast and a squad from Georgia joined four schools from Florida for the 2012 Montverde Academy Invitational Tournament this weekend. NBE Basketball Report was on hand Saturday for the final day of the event and took in four quality games.

In the seventh place game, Monsignor Pace (FL) defeated Leesburg (FL) by a score of 66-58. In the other consolation bracket game, Shiloh (GA) knocked off Imhotep Charter (PA) by two, 44-42, to claim fifth place.

Mount Vernon (NY) used a strong fourth quarter to take an 82-72 victory over Roman Catholic (PA) in the third place contest. Finally, Montverde Academy (FL) won the championship of its tournament with a 49-40 defeat of local foe Orlando Christian Prep (FL).

Top Performance of the Day:

Joshua Doughty (Mount Vernon 2013) – Doughty is not going to be a Division I basketball player, but this kid can definitely play college ball in a couple years. Doughty turned in the best performance of the day on Saturday and was the main reason Mount Vernon pulled off the comeback victory. The 5-foot-8 point guard scored 23 points in the victory, more than any other player scored all day. He had 21 points in the second half, including five 3-pointers in the third quarter alone. Overall, he connected on six shots from beyond the arc and displayed an intense, competitive nature.

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2011 CITY OF PALMS REPORT — TOP PLAYER PERFORMANCES

December 23, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

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

Top 2012 Players:

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

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

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

December 20, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

What a day at Bishop Verot High School in Fort Myers, Florida. We saw great games, great individual performances, and one great comeback. The nation’s consensus top player, Shabazz Muhammad, went off for 42 points in the final game of the night and that wasn’t even the most impressive showing of the day. Kentucky head coach John Calipari continued his borderline stalking of Nerlens Noel by planting himself underneath the baseline for much of the day which instantly ups the intensity in the gym. Enough setup, on to the recap of Monday’s action at the City of Palms Classic.

Top Performance of the Day:

Jordan Mickey (Arlington Grace Prep 2013) – Grace Prep trailed Mater Dei by 18 at the half after Mickey had spent the majority of the half on the bench with 2 fouls. He came out in the 2nd half and put on a clinic on the low block tallying 22 of his game high 29 points. Mickey scored all of his points by working for low post position and then powering through his defender and scoring over his left shoulder. He has great strength which he uses to setup his shots and then a soft touch to finish off plays. Grace Prep fed Mickey in the same spot time and again and he used the same moves over and over without being stopped. He does a great job of making a quick, decisive move after he catches it in the post so that a double team does not have time to arrive. Mickey’s monster 2nd half and overtime led Grace Prep all the way back from that 18 point halftime deficit and carried them into tomorrow’s semifinals. For a recruiting update on Mickey, see our report from Saturday: City of Palms Report — Day Two.
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CITY OF PALMS REPORT — DAY ONE

December 17, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

The City of Palms Classic got underway at Bishop Verot High School in Fort Myers, Florida on Friday afternoon. In its 39th year of existence the City of Palms is unquestionably the top high school holiday tournament in America bringing in top teams from coast to coast. This year is no different as headlining teams span the nation including Montverde Academy (FL), Bishop Gorman (NV), Mater Dei (CA), Arlington Grace Prep (TX), and Miller Grove (GA.) Plenty of top young talent showed off on Friday and the headliners are outlined below.

Top Performer of the Day:

Anthony Perez (Montverde Academy 2012) – signed with Mississippi – Perez has long been thought of as a very talented big man who could have a very high ceiling is his skills came together. After his performance tonight, it would appear they are starting to come together. At a slender 6’9” Perez did two things very well tonight; he made long distance shots and he attacked the offensive glass. Montverde ran him through stagger screens on offense to create perimeter looks and he knocked them down with regularity. He also got countless offensive rebounds by using his length and a non-stop motor that frustrated the opposition. Perez even hit a pair of midrange jumpers after shot faking the deep ball and using a couple dribbles to create space. He looked every bit the part of an impact player for Ole Miss down the road.
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EARLY SIGNING PERIOD CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS – SEC

November 16, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

It comes as no surprise that John Calipari and Kentucky are out in front of the pack once again as the early signing period comes to a close of their SEC rivals. Calipari is likely not done yet either as the Wildcats will one again challenge for the nation’s #1 class by the time the books are closed in the 2012 recruiting class. What might be a surprise, however, is who currently checks in at #2 in the SEC early recruiting rankings. Read on to see…

Top 5 SEC Recruiting Classes for 2012:

1) Kentucky
Commits – Alex Poythress (SF), Archie Goodwin (SG), Willie Cauley (C)
–The rest of the SEC must be getting used to this by now as John Calipari once against has the league’s top class and he’s not done yet.

Alex Poythress is part of UK's 2012 class that tops the SEC so far.

2) Auburn
Commits – Shaquille Johnson (SF), Jordan Price (SG), Jordan Granger (PF)
–Unlike Kentucky, Auburn does not normally reside among the conference’s top classes but Tony Barbee has locked up a good one led by wings Johnson and Price.

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