NBE Basketball Report
Vanderbilt Recruiting

LIVE IN AC – DAY II REPORT

July 26, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

GALLOWAY, N. J. – The first full day of July’s final Live Period took place yesterday and NBE Sports was back in South Jersey for Live In AC.

We had a chance to see several more teams in action as well as catch a few quality squads for the second day in a row.

Ernest Aflakpui had a nice outing for the We R 1 16s squad. The 6-foot-9 center out of Archbishop Carroll (PA) has a big body with a good overall build and he plays hard. Aflakpui, a class of 2015 prospect, runs the floor very well and looks to contest shots. He is not a great athlete, but can swat some shots.

Levan Alston of Team Final Blue 16s may well have been the best player of the day. The 6-foot-3 combo guard scored at will, dropping 30 points on Team Takeover in the semifinals. Alston has a nice feel for the game, gets in the lane and comes from a basketball family, as his dad played at Temple. The class of 2015 recruit does need to get a bit stronger, but he grabs defensive rebounds and also score in the paint, as he is comfortable with his back to the basket.

Princeton-commit Amir Bell has a chance to be a star in the Ivy League. A class of 2014 prospect from East Brunswick (NJ), Bell has nice size for a player who can play some point, at 6-foot-4. More of a combo guard, Bell does need to show he can shoot the ball consistently. He is a bit thin, but is a solid athlete who can defend multiple positions.
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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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WADE BALDWIN SEEING RECRUITING CONSISTENLY RISE WITH STRONG PLAY

July 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

PHILADELPHIA – Wade Baldwin of St. Joseph’s Metuchen (NJ) is one of the best players in the Garden State in the class of 2014.

A 6-foot-3 combo guard, Baldwin took the time to speak with NBE Sports about his recruitment while at the Reebok Breakout Classic.

Baldwin said that he holds offers from Virginia Tech, Rutgers, Seton Hall, and Minnesota.

The rising senior, who claims no favorites, listed USC, Stanford, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, Seton Hall, Rutgers, and Georgia Tech as the programs coming at him the hardest. He also mentioned that UConn is involved in his recruitment.

Asked if there are one or two schools pursuing him the most vigorously, Baldwin replied, “No, it’s pretty much all together [even], so they said expect an offer from them and all that. So, we’ll see.”

Baldwin said that a school’s location is “not at all” a factor for him in his recruitment, but talked about what he is looking for in a college.

“Just a player and coach relationship,” Baldwin began, “good campus life and somewhere that’s going to set me up for the following years.”

Although his relationship with coaches is vital to him, he said there is “no one in particular” with whom he has developed the strongest bond.

Baldwin said he has been on unofficial visits to Rutgers, Seton Hall, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia, adding, “that’s all I remember right now.”

He has yet to take any official trips, but plans to change that in the near future.

“I’m doing all the officials in August,” Baldwin said, adding that he does not have any scheduled.

Baldwin did say that he knows where he would like to visit unofficial, but would not reveal the names.

“That’s a secret right now,” Baldwin said.

With the first July Live Period just getting underway, Baldwin also talked about what his goals for the summer are.

“Just making my teammates better,” Baldwin said, “obviously picking up more looks for myself and improving in everything in my game.”

Baldwin said of the strongest points of his game, “I think [they are] attacking the basket and distributing the ball.”

As for his chief weakness, he did not want that to be known, saying, “I don’t want to give that out.”

RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (3/1/2013): RIP JOSH LEVEL

March 1, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

Before getting into the recruiting news, we want to send our condolences to the family and friends of Josh Level. A standout basketball player from North Carolina in the junior class, Level sadly passed away last week, far too young. The guys over at Ball is Life put together a nice “Josh Level Tribute Mix,” which can be found Here.

On the trail, one of the biggest pieces of news involved a star dual-sport athlete. Derrick Griffin of Terry (TX) committed to Miami for football, in news that looks to have been broken by Peter Ariz of Canesooks to have been broken by Peter Ariz of CanesInSight.com. The class of 2013 prospect, who has signed a Letter of Intent, is expected to play basketball at Miami as well.

Griffin, who checks in at 6-foot-6, is a wide receiver/tight end on the gridiron and a power forward on the hardwood. He had been committed to Texas A&M for a long time, but did not sign with the Aggies due to reported academic issues.

Tyrek Coger of Word of God Christian Academy (NC) tweeted that he pledged to Middle Tennessee State. Coger is a 6-foot-8 center in the class of 2013 and he is a former Missouri commit.

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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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DR. MLK ‘STOP THE VIOLENCE’ BASKETBALL CLASSIC RECAP

January 22, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

MIAMI – The 18th annual Dr. MLK “Stop the Violence” Basketball Classic took place at Miami Central (FL) High School over the past couple days. NBE Sports was in the gym for five of the games on Saturday to see some of the top teams and players from South Florida.

TOP PERFORMER

Wadley Mompremier of Miami Senior was the leading scorer in the five games NBE Sports saw, but that is not the only reason he garnered Top Performer honors. A 6-foot-9 power forward who has signed with Ohio University, Mompremier has made some impressive strides in his game since the summer. The class of 2013 prospect is still a bit raw, but the strides in his game are quite evident. He scored off some nice alley-oop plays and consistently used his height to his advantage. Mompremier has superb length to go along with a body that can still add some muscle. The future Bobcat rebounds the ball pretty well and can even grab some boards at the offensive end. Mompremier also displayed the ability to step out and knock down a shot from 3-point range with a pretty nice looking stroke. It was clear on Saturday that Mompremier has a chance to be a superb player down the road in the MAC and Ohio fans should be excited about this pickup.

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RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (1/14/2013): ACTION HEATING UP ON RECRUITING TRAIL

January 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

After a long swoon during the holiday season, things have picked back up in a hurry on the recruiting trail. One of the nation’s best big men made his pledge and several, as did a top-notch junior guard and several other players.

Dakari Johnson of Montverde Academy (FL) became yet another part of the star-studded Kentucky recruiting class. The 6-foot-10 class of 2013 center picked the Wildcats over Georgetown and Syracuse.

Johnson had been ranked No. 3 in the NBE Sports Class of 2014 Post-July Top 75, but he has since reclassified up to 2013. UK already has four additional top-15 commits in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125, as John Calipari is putting together his, if not the­ best class yet.

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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 STATE SUMMER SHOWCASE REPORT – PART I

July 19, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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by Alex Schwartz

AIKEN, S.C. – The second Live Evaluation Period of July tipped off on Wednesday night and NBE Sports was in the building at USC Aiken for the Peach State Summer Showcase.

While the tournament might not get as much hype as Nike Peach Jam does, Peach State is also loaded with talented prospects. Several of those players stood out on opening night and NBE Sports caught up with a few guys as well.

TOP PERFORMER

John Egbunu might not be 7-foot like he is listed, but the future South Florida Bull is an impressive player nonetheless. The Class of 2013 center out of Eagle’s Landing (GA) is a rugged interior presence who simply gets things done around the cup. Egbunu turned in an impressive performance for Douglas Brothers Elite in a victory over Birmingham Ice Xpress and was extremely difficult to defend in the low post. He finishes well and does a great job of grabbing offensive rebounds and then putting the ball back in the cup for an easy deuce. Possessing strength and power, Egbunu is also capable of throwing down a big-time dunk, as he most certainly showed on Wednesday night.
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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 – 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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2012 RUMBLE IN THE BRONX RECAP (PART II)

June 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

The Rumble in the Bronx got back into swing on Saturday at gyms all over the greater NYC area. I had the opportunity to take in the action at both Baruch College in the morning and John Jay College in the evening. While younger players in the 2014 and 2015 classes stole the show for much of the day it was still a member of the 2013 class who gets top billing for Saturday.

Top Performance of the Day:

Dayshon Smith (NY Lightning 2013) – Affectionately called “Scooch” by just about everybody, Smith is an old school New York City point guard. He uses spins, hesitation moves, crossovers, and herky-jerky head fakes to constantly work his way into the paint and make plays. Once inside he’s equally likely to use a soft floater, explode towards the rim, or whip a pass out to a 3 point shooter at any and all angles. While his physical skills are impressive it’s the mental side of the game where Smith truly separates himself from the competition. He has a unique understanding of when to get others involved and when to look for his own offense. In the first half of a Saturday night victory Scooch ran the show and got everyone else the ball in spots where they could be successful. Then down the stretch of the second half with the outcome still in the balance he took matters into his own hands and seemed to score on every possession down the floor. This is not the first time I’ve seen Smith master the balance of keeping teammates happy for 3.5 quarters and then closing the game out himself in the final moments. It’s unusual for players at the high school level to already understand that just because they can get their own shot any time doesn’t always make it the right decision. Scooch is ahead of the game in this area and it’s a mindset that will continue to serve him well at the next level.
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CLASS OF 2013 STOCK RISER: SAM SINGER

May 24, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Sam Singer, a 6-foot-4, 190-pound guard from Ransom Everglades High School near Miami (FL), has been turning heads on the AAU circuit all spring with Gold Coast AAU. Known most for his ability to score off the ball, NBE saw Singer on Day Two of the Hoop Group’s Pittsburgh Jam Fest where his ability to play on the ball helped spring an upset over Philly Pride in an exciting contest. Singer has very intriguing size for a back court prospect which he uses to get into the line and finish or draw many trips to the free throw line as well as a nice looking shooting stroke that is improving out past the three-point arc. What NBE saw from him in Pittsburgh was what he felt were his greatest strengths are as a player.

“I’m a true combo guard and my ability to make shots and create for others and basketball IQ are my strengths,” he said. “I’m working hard this offseason on my athleticism and defensively.”
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SPIECE BILL HENLSEY MEMORIAL RUN-N-SLAM PLAYER EVALUATIONS

May 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By N.D. Kendrick, special to NBE Basketball Report

Midwest star power was on display this past weekend in Fort Wayne, Indiana where some of the top clubs from the middle of the country and a few from other locations took part in the Bill Hensley Memorial Run-n-Slam.

Quite possibly the attraction that brought in the most basketball junkies was a battle between Spiece Indy Heat, featuring Indiana-commit Trey Lyles, Purdue-bound Bryson Scott and JaQuan Lyle, facing Mac Irvin Fire, which was tabbed as the favorite to win the event.

Mac Irvin Fire got a quiet 20 point effort out of the Gatorade National Player of the Year Jabari Parker, and won by the score of 80-70. Both the Mac Irvin Fire and Spiece Indy Heat – arguably the two most star-studded rosters – failed to reach the championship games of their respective brackets.

The Derrick Walton (Michigan-commit) and Monte Morris led Michigan Mustangs emerged as the champions of the 17u tournament when the coaches of The Family decided to forfeit due to several players cramping up.

Run-n-Slam allows you to evaluate several prospects due to the format and way the massive gym is set up. The focus of the weekend was incoming juniors and seniors. Provided are several prospects (not in any particular order) that impressed over the weekend…
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MARY KLINE CLASSIC RECRUITING NOTEBOOK

May 6, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Alex Schiffer

Austin Colbert, a 6-foot-8 forward who attends the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut. The New Jersey native plays AAU basketball with Team Final in the EYBL. Prior to the underclassman game at the 2nd annual Mary Kline Classic Colbert talked with NBE on his current recruiting situation.

“So far Florida, Baylor, Georgetown, Harvard, Seton Hall are all looking at me,” said Colbert.

At this point in time Colbert is thinking about cutting his list down, but hoping to see some additional offers before doing so.

“I’m currently looking to narrow down my list but it would be nice to pick up a few more offers,” he said.

Since the open evaluation periods of April are now past, Colbert has a clearer view of the schools willing to put more effort into his recruitment and is looking to visit one of the schools entering the picture of late.

Temple is starting to get on my really hard and Baylor, Georgetown, Harvard, Seton Hall are on me mad tight,” he said. “Also Texas is looking at me. I plan on making a trip down to Austin pretty soon.”
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One of the hottest names from the previous two weekends in the April open evaluation period in the Class of 2013 in NYC native Jermaine Lawrence, who is currently attending Pope John XXIII in Sparta (NJ). The 6-foot-9 PF has put a strong of impressive performances together with the New Rens AAU team and his recruitment has quickly taken off.

Cincinnati, Rutgers, St. John’s, UCLA [and] Florida are all looking at me, Miami as well,” said Lawrence.

A couple Big East programs are among the new schools quickly entering the mix following his April performances.

UConn and Villanova as well as Temple have all started with me recently.

Lawrence has no current favorites, but is looking into taking a couple visits in the near future.

“I have no favorites right now but I’m working on making a visit to Rutgers right now as well as Cincinnati,” he said.

Lawrence kept rolling on Saturday night, scoring a game-high 27 points in the underclassman contest of the Mary Kline Classic, earning one of the two MVP honors.
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Jared Nickens, a 6-foot-5 wing out of St. Patrick in Elizabeth (NJ) listed the schools currently recruiting him as VCU, Seton Hall, St. Joe’s, SMU, Georgetown, Charlotte and Mississippi State.

Mississippi State, Georgetown and Charlotte all recently started with me,” he said. “I have a visit to Georgetown June 16th. My current favorite is VCU.”
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Nickens’ teammate at St. Pat’s DeAndre Bembry is also drawing plenty of recruiting interest at this time.

Vanderbilt and Georgetown just showed interest in me,” said Bembry on Saturday night. “Villanova just offered me. UNC-Charlotte and Richmond as well as South Carolina are all giving me looks.”

Bemnbry also mentioned Virginia Tech had been recruiting him hard as well. There are no favorites for Bembry yet, but he is starting to look into which school she would like to visit.

“[I] should be making some arrangements for visits in a few weeks<' said Bembry. "I'm going to try and visit UCF, Georgetown and Villanova.”
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From a pure talent standpoint, Tyler Roberson has as much of a ceiling as anyone in the Class of 2013. The 6-foot-7 forward out of Roselle (NJ) catholic and the NJ Roadrunners AAU club certainly has the recruiting list to back that up as well.

Kansas, Rutgers, Seton Hall, South Carolina [and] Syracuse are all recruiting me,” said Roberson. “Everyone is coming at me really hard.”
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Jaren Sina, the 6-foot-1 point guard out of Gill St. Bernard’s in New Jersey made the switch this spring to Team Final on the EYBL circuit and the added exposure paid off with a Big East offer this past week.

Pittsburgh offered me last week after the Nike EYBL,” said Sina.

Sina, who is coached by his father Mergin Sina at Gill St. Bernard’s was once committed to Alabama. The Crimson Tide remain involved but have plenty of company in the competition for his services.

Northwestern, Pitt, Stanford, Rutgers, Cincinnati, Penn State, Alabama, Butler are all involved,” said Sina. Alabama and Northwestern as well as Penn State there all coming at me pretty hard.”

Ina ddition to the three coming at Sina the hardest, he mentioned three others schools specifically when asked where he might plans visits in the near future.

“I’m probably visiting Pitt, Michigan [and] maybe Villanova.”

Sina produced 10 points and 14 assists in the all-star game contest Saturday night, sharing game MVP honors with Jermaine Lawrence.

NIKE EYBL SESSION #2 – BOO WILLIAMS (DAY I)

April 28, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth

The Boo Williams tournament got underway on Friday night and with it the second session of Nike’s EYBL circuit. The amount of sheer talent in the gym was almost overwhelming as all eight courts were filled with future division 1 players all night long. Even in a field loaded with star power some players managed to separate themselves from the pack and here is sampling of Friday night’s best.

Top Performance of the Night:

Tahj Shamsid-Deen (Southern Stampede 2013) – Shamsid-Deen made a name for himself last weekend as the EYBL circuit kicked off in Minneapolis and continued his strong play Friday night. The 5’10” lefty point guard was deadly pulling up from midrange going in either direction. He used a quick first step to create space and then elevated over defenders to get off jump shots from 8-18 feet. While impressive scoring the ball for the majority of the game, Shamsid-Deen showed his true worth in the final moments with his team trailing by a point and 15 seconds on the clock. Southern Stampede ran an iso set for Shamsid-Deen and as he had done all game he got a step on his defender and pulled up from 10 feet. The ball slipped through the net giving Southern Stampede a one point lead and ultimately a victory. Both his desire to take the shot and ability to make it in that big spot spoke volumes about Shamsid-Deen’s leadership and accountability at the point guard spot.
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THE HOOP GROUP’S PITTSBURGH JAMFEST: DAY TWO

April 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Batko

A full slate of games on Saturday at the Hoop Group Pittsburgh Jam Fest meant a lot more players in action, a lot more eye-opening performances, and a lot more recruiting updates. Below is a rundown of all the players from various classes that NBE caught up with on Saturday at the Jam Fest:

Andrew Harrison (Houston Defenders, 2013, Travis HS) – Regarded as a top five player in 2013, Harrison did nothing to prove otherwise on Saturday. The 6’5” point guard handled the rock, showed off his nasty crossover and great vision, and was able to get his shot off whenever and wherever he wanted. He and his twin brother Harrison listed a top four of Kentucky, Maryland, Villanova, and Baylor but said that doesn’t mean that another school can’t still get into the picture with them.

Aaron Harrison (Houston Defenders, 2013, Travis HS) – Not quite as quick and smooth as his brother, Aaron prefers to play off the ball, spotting up for threes and also attacking the rim. He and Andrew are 100 percent a package deal at the college level, according to them, and whichever school ultimately lands this dynamic duo better have plenty of minutes to go around in the backcourt.
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JENKINS, BRITT HAVE GONZAGA POISED FOR WCAC PLAYOFF RUN

February 19, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Whitfield

Gonzaga Head Coach Steve Turner feels good about his team with the playoffs in the WCAC set to begin this week.

“I think we’re having a tremendous season. I’m excited where we are. I think what a lot of people don’t understand is we’re sitting at 24-4 and in 28 games I haven’t played one game with my whole arsenal.”

Nate Britt, Gonzaga’s star Class of 2013 point guard who is verbally committed to North Carolina is one of the players who has sat out some games due to an injury this season, however when he has played he has often been lights out.
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CITY OF PALMS – DAY FIVE

December 22, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

The 2011 City of Palms Classic came to a close on Wednesday night with a wild day of hoops culminating in an all Texas title game between Prestonwood Christian and Grace Prep. Local fans, scouts, and college coaches packed the gym to the rafters and created a high intensity atmosphere for these young players. Even legendary ESPN analyst Dick Vitale stopped by to enjoy the action offering a few words to the crowd before the championship game. Prestonwood Christian turned the final into a laugher prevailing 62-42 with stud junior forward Julius Randle taking home MVP honors. While Randle led the team throughout the week, it was a freshman who carried Prestonwood on his back tonight while the big man sat for much of the game in foul trouble.

Top Performance of the Day:

Mickey Mitchell (Prestonwood Christian 2015) – After viewing Mitchell for 4 games this week I feel very comfortable saying that he is in the running for top player nationally in the 2015 class. Offensively, Mitchell does a bit of everything as a 6’7” guard including making jumpers, exploding to the rim, making high level passes, and crashing the glass. While all this is very impressive, it was Mitchell’s defensive ability that left the biggest mark. Over the course of 3 days he defended 5 star wing Shabazz Muhammad, 4 star big man Ricardo Gathers, and 5 star point guard Emmanuel Mudiay. It speaks volumes that Prestonwood’s coaching staff chose to use their freshman as the defensive stopper against this wide array of players. As long as Mitchell continues to work hard (which is basically all he talked about in a post game interview) the sky is the limit.
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NEW SCHOOLS ADDED TO LONG LIST OF R.J. CURINGTON

October 18, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Class of 2013 wing prospect R.J. Curington continues to see his recruiting list get longer before it gets any shorter. The 6-foot-6, 195-pounder attends powerhouse Oak Hill Academy and his national profile is only expected to increase more this season.

With CIA Bounce on the AAU trail Curington has shown to be a dedicated player that understands what it takes to be great. A scoring guard that has some ability to handle the point spot, Curington can lead the break and tends to make good decisions on the fly. Curington has a steady jump shot from behind the three-point line. He rarely forces up shots and plays a unselfish game. He continues to work on his handle and eventually could end up playing a lot of the point position.

It is clear that he has received top notch instruction, which is to be expected coming out of the CIA Bounce program and playing for Coach Smith at Oak Hill. Curington is excited to get the season started at the prep powerhouse in Mouth of Wilson (VA).
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