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RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (10/22/2012): COMMITMENTS BEGIN TO SLOW

October 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

 

by Alex Schwartz

Commitments seem to have slowed down a bit over the past several days, but that does not mean we have been without any whatsoever.

In fact, while the total number may be smaller, a few superb seniors did take their names off the board since our last Recruiting Notebook. One Big 12 school landed a top-40 player, while a former Big 12 school also landed itself a top-40 player.

Jonathan Williams III was the top player to commit recently, and he is a huge pickup for the Missouri Tigers. A talented 6-foot-8 power forward, Williams is ranked No. 26 in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125. The Southwind (TN) star joins the long list of highly ranked 2013 prospects headed to SEC programs.

Baylor also picked up a major pledge, garnering a verbal commitment from Ishmail Wainright. The 6-foot-5 small forward was at one point briefly committed to Missouri, but then reopened his recruitment.

Wainright is a native of the Show Me State, but he transferred to Montrose Christian (MD) for his junior year and remains that for his final year of high school. He is ranked No. 32 in the NBE Sports 2013 Top 125. The news of his commitment was first reported by Alex Kline of TheRecruitScoop.com.

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RECRUITMENT COMING INTO FOCUS FOR ROMELO TRIMBLE

October 19, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Ron Bailey

As a Class of 2014 guard, Romelo Trimble is starting to seriously scrutinize possible future college homes, as they are he. Trimble, the 6-foot-3, 180-pound performer with DC Assault on the circuit and Bishop O’Connell in high school, is positioning himself to indeed by highly recruited.

Per Trimble, during a recent DC Assault workout, he established the list of colleges having offered a scholarship as “Maryland, Rutgers, Villanova, Miami, UNLV, George Mason, Cincinnati and Notre Dame.” He later added a number of schools, like Georgetown have expressed interest, but to date have not offered.

In terms of being recruited, Trimble values straight forwardness, saying “All schools have to be honest with me.” Also important are “going somewhere I’m going to get my chance to play,” as well as “Hopefully developing and get into the NBA.”
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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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FRESH OFF MARYLAND VISIT, DECISION NEARS FOR RODDY PETERS

October 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Ron Bailey

October 15, 2012 – Fresh off a Friday visit to University of Maryland, where he took in the Terp’s Midnight Madness celebration, on Sunday Roddy Peters shined some light on his recruitment status. His suitors need to take note, as then he noted a decision would likely be reached, “Probably in another two weeks”. A web rumor today, suggests Peters is planning on announcing his future college choice tonight. Anyway you cut it; things are coming to an end.

What about his visit to College Park for Midnight Madness, a celebration of everything Terp Hoops, one that is replicated all over the country by schools? (That day is the first a team can actually come together in a coaches supervised fashion).

“It went real good. The players were nice. The celebration was nice. The coaches were nice,” replied Peters, a Class of 2013 guard, one that attends Suitland HS (MD) and hit the circuit with DC Assault this year.
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STRONG 2015 CLASS IN DC AREA; BUT MARCUS DERRICKSON LEADS THE PACK

August 9, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Whitfield

It has been quite a summer for Marcus Derrickson with Team Takeover DC. Playing with his AAU team as one of the elite programs in the 15U ranks he showed himself to be an elite player in the class. The 6-foot-7, 230-pound forward scored inside and out and even in the camp setting against players one and two years older at the Hoop Group Elite camp in July, he showed to be the best long term prospect NBE saw at the event.

Derrickson is a man amongst boys, even playing against older competition. Time and time again through the summer he toyed with defenders and at times looking his best as a facilitator from the post. Derrickson has the skill and strength to score at will from the block and the basketball IQ 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 this summer 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.

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‘LIVE IN AC’ – FINAL REPORT

August 1, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

The inaugural “Live in AC” event came to close by crowning champions at the 15U, 16U and 17U levels last Friday afternoon. The youngster division was taken by Team Final (PA) after a championship game victory over the NJ Playaz. Team Takeover DC swept the two older divisions defeating Expressions Elite (MA) for the 16U crown and Sports U (NJ) for the 17U. Stars from all these programs and others stood out on the road to the title and here is our final report from the Nl Playaz hosted event in Atlantic City.

Top Performance of the Day:

Josh Hart (Team Takeover 2013) – Hart’s physicality and aggression from the wing fuel everything that Takeover wants to do. His constant motor and “whatever it takes to win” attitude are a perfect fit for the hardnosed program. Offensively Hart puts pressure on the opposition with straight line drives at the rim. He finishes with both hands and welcomes contact once in the paint. On the defensive side of the ball he often takes the challenge of the other team’s top scorer and has the ability to be a shut down type guy. Hart also rebounds extremely well for his position often starting the break after a defensive board.
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ORLANDO AAU REPORT — SUNDAY

July 30, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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by Alex Schwartz

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Sunday was the final day of the last Live Evaluation Period of July. While the turnout was not as high, there were still a number of Division I coaches in the gym until they had to leave a 5:00 p.m. NBE Sports took in much of the action on Sunday and all but one of the games we watched was from non-Gold Pool teams, allowing us to catch some sleepers. Find out below who shined in their last chance of the summer and also see who leads for a trio of 2013 prospects.

TOP PERFORMER

Nigel Hayes stood out as the easy pick for the top performer spot from Sunday’s action. A 6’7 power forward from Whitmer (OH), Hayes turned in a really nice showing for All-Ohio Red. Hayes has had a great summer and he continued his strong play on Sunday, demonstrating a vastly improved offensive skill set and better motor. Hayes has a terrific frame and is a strong player. He is a quality scorer who can connect on midrange jumpers and is also very comfortable with his back to the basket. Hayes even showed that he has the ability to step out and knock down a shot from beyond the 3-point line. He is a solid overall athlete and it is clear that Hayes is on the upswing as a player and a prospect.
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‘THE TAKEOVER’ 2012 NATIONAL INVITATIONAL RECRUITING NOTEBOOK

July 30, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Whitfield

Keith Stevens and his staff at Team Takeover DC welcomed a solid line-up to Bowie (MD) over the weekend to close up the July Live Evaluation period with some showcase games. The family of Team Takeover teams highlighted the field as well as We R One, Team United, Team Melo and others.

NBE Sports was on hand to see many of the top teams on Saturday morning into early in the afternoon and we have a full notebook on recruiting information below.

TEAM UNITED DUO IN HIGH DEMAND

Team United has had a good run this spring and summer on the AAU trail. Much of the credit belongs to their top two players, Kennedy Meeks and Sindarius Thornwell. NBE Sports had the opportunity to talk with both on Saturday morning.

Meeks is a 6-foot-9, big-bodied and very skilled post player. All throughout the live period he displayed a great face-up game and established himself as the best passing big man out of high-major prospects. As for his recruitment, Meeks mentiones schools such as Georgetown, Read more

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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‘LIVE IN AC’ REPORT — DAY II

July 28, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

Thursday at “Live in AC” featured a few big names playing up to their reputations but was mostly about under the radar guys getting a chance to shine. Here’s who caught NBE’s eye on the day.

Top Performance of the Day:

Abdul-Malik Abu (Expressions Elite 2014) – Abu is a big name in New England who deserves to be a big name on the national level. He was a physical force on the 16U level dominating the paint in both games I watched on Thursday. A strongly built 6’8” and 225 pounds, Abu can both post up and blow by defenders off the dribble. He loves contact once around the rim and finished while drawing fouls on multiple plays throughout the day. While Abu is a wide bodied post player, that doesn’t take away from his elite athleticism as both his first step off the dribble and explosion at the rim are of the highest level. He had some of the fiercest and most powerful dunks of the day both rising over defenders and finishing through them. Abu can play anywhere in the country at the college level and his recruitment is starting to show that.
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ORLANDO AAU REPORT – THURSDAY

July 27, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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by Alex Schwartz

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — The 2012 11th Grade AAU Nationals tournament continued rolling along yesterday, and NBE Sports was there yet again to take in the action. Check out our rundown of the day’s action below and see which Big East school’s head coach saw two of his commits turn in impressive performances. Also, learn which under-the-radar prospects impressed on the second day of the tournament.

TOP PERFORMER

Ryan Wilkins gets the nod as Thursday’s top performer over several worthy candidates, including one of his SEC-bound teammates. A 6’2 shooting guard out of Effingham County (GA), Wilkins is a smooth player in the backcourt whose game you almost have to love. A class of 2013 prospect who is now playing with the South Georgia Kings, Wilkins dropped in 20 points in the game we watched. He knocked down four shots from long range, but he is by no means just a long range marksman. Wilkins is quite capable of getting to the basket off the dribble and can utilize his quality crossover to help him do so. He possesses solid leaping ability and showed he will take a charge at the defensive end. Wilkins has just one scholarship offer at this point, but that needs to change. Low-major to mid-major programs should be all over Wilkins, who can flat out produce.

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THE BATTLE FOR PHILLY AT ‘LIVE IN AC’ – PHILLY PRIDE VS. TEAM FINAL HIGHLIGHTS

July 27, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

A special treat for NBE followers…Sherwyn Cooper of BallasTV.com (subscribe to his Youtube channel here) is in Atlantic City for the ‘Live in AC’ event this week and took some video of the action on Wednesday between Team Final and Philly Pride for NBE Sports. These teams are deep in Philly roots and Jimmy Salmons and his staff with the Playaz Basketball Club certainly gave fans and college coaches a treat with some tremendous pool play match-ups and the talent in this game did not disappoint.

In our Live in AC Report – Day I, Brian Bosworth wrote about the performances of Rysheed Jordan, Miles Overton and BJ Johnson, all featured in the video, along with Rondae Jefferson.

Enjoy the video and we also included the scouting reports provided by Brian and his recruiting updates on Rysheed Jordan and Miles Overton from Wednesday as well…
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‘LIVE IN AC’ REPORT – DAY I

July 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

While “Live in AC” is only in its inaugural year that didn’t stop New Jersey Playaz director Jimmy Salmon from putting together quite an impressive field of talent. I’ll be camped out at the main Stockton College site throughout the tournament which features most of the 17U action with some of the younger guys sprinkled in. Here’s who caught my eye on Wednesday night.

Top Performance of the Day:

Rysheed Jordan (Philly Pride 2013) – An electric scoring combo guard, Jordan played in two games on Wednesday night and was the best player on the floor in both including a matchup with Team Final that featured a bunch of high major talent. While Jordan refers to himself as a combo guard it’s his ability at the point that stands out to me. He has unique athleticism for someone running the show and is able to use his physical advantages to explode past defenders and work his way into the paint. Jordan is best in the open floor when his physical tools can shine and his vision in high paced action also stands out. He has a great feel for the action in an up and down game and has a way of gliding through traffic and creating angles with his speed. In half court sets, Jordan punished defenders for playing off him by knocking down deep jumpers and then blew past them when they tried to press up on him. His decision making and knowledge of how to efficiently run a team still need work but Jordan’s physical tools already make him a high major priority.
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PHIL BOOTH HAS SCHOOLS IN HOT PURSUIT AS ’14 G IMPRESSES IN JULY

July 25, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Phil Booth entered July already with a pretty big reputation and his game has been living up to that rep. As a member of the NBE Class of 2014 Pre-July Live Period Top 40 at #34, Booth solidified his position as one of the elite players nationally in the rising junior high school class with his play on the AAU circuit with Team Takeover DC.

The 6-foot-2 guard who attends Baltimore’s Mount St. Joseph High School has a reputation as a shot maker and while he certainly lived up to that at the recent Peach Jam on the Nike Elite Youth Basketball Circuit, NBE’s National Recruiting Analyst Brian Bosworth noted that Booth also showed a more complete game than what he has witnessed from him before. He played at the point for long stretches and did a great job of running offense and finding shots for others. If Booth can fully transition to the point his ceiling becomes quite a bit higher as his size and shot-making ability can seperate himself from other floor generals in the class.

His strong play has led to plenty of college attention and Booth was kind enough to participate in a Question and Answer session on his recruitment and how he feels about the new rule where college coaches, beginning back on June 15th, where allowed to be able to have unlimited contact with recruits via phone, text messaging or social media messaging. Read on below for the details…

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2012 NY2LA UNDER ARMOUR SUMMER JAM RECAP – PART IV

July 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By N.D. Kendrick

Mequon, WI – Pool play is a wrap at the Under Armour Summer Jam, bracket play stepped into full swing on Saturday morning with plenty of high level contests.

NBE was on hand to see who was looking to step their game up and help lead there team to championship day.

Top Performer of the Day

Matt Thomas (Wisconsin Playmakers 16s) – One of the better shooters in the 2013 class, the Iowa State commit put on a shooting clinic against the Atlanta Xpress. In a win, Thomas led all scorers with 27 points (9 triples). Not only is he a marksman from long distance, he can also rebound the ball well for a guard as well as push the break and make wise decisions.

Top Sleeper Performer

Michael Finke (Peoria Irish 16s) – Remember his name. Finke had one of the better showings of the week. Read more

NIKE ELITE INVITATIONAL 15U SEMIFINAL RECAP

July 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

While the Peach Jam took a long break during the afternoon on Saturday, 15U semifinal action at the Nike Elite Invitational more than filled the void. Elite talents both known and unknown had a chance to shine and here’s a sample of who impressed.

Top Performer of the Afternoon:

Thomas Bryant (Team Scan 2015) – Bryant is still far more prospect than player but his ceiling is enormous and all his incredible tools were on full display on Saturday. Growing rapidly and nearly 6-foot-10, the Rochester (NY) native who attends Bishop Kearney High School moves like a guard and possesses some guard skills on the offensive end. He is very comfortable shooting the ball out to 18 feet, and can handle and attack off the dribble. Bryant also backed his man down in the post but needs major work on his footwork when navigating on the block. Perhaps his most impressive offensive move came as a ball handler in a pick and roll when he turned the corner and dropped off a pretty bounce pass to his rolling teammate. Very few pros at Bryant’s size have that level of skill so for a 15 year old to flash it is borderline ridiculous. He also protects the rim and projects as an elite shot blocker but does need to become much more physical. Bryant can be bullied for position and doesn’t rebound as well as he should because of that but added strength and a better understanding of how to use that strength should clean that up.
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2012 PEACH JAM REPORT – DAY III (PART B)

July 21, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

Friday afternoon in North Augusta brought 16U pool play at the Peach Jam along with a quick stop at the Nike Invitational. Here’s who managed to standout while NBE was watching.

Top Performer of the Afternoon:

Obi Enechionyia (Team Takeover 2014) – At 6’8”, the athletic forward showed off both an inside and outside scoring package. He flashed major bounce around the rim with a few ferocious dunks along with swatting away countless attempts at his own basket. While his work in the paint alone would have made Enechionyia a very intriguing prospect, he was also able to step out and make jump shots past the college 3-point line. The combination of owning the paint and being able to draw big men away from the rim by spacing the floor make it easy to project Enechionyia at the high major level for his college future. He needs to continue refining his ball handling and overall skill package and frankly could end up playing on the wing if his skills improve quickly enough.
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2012 NY2LA UNDER ARMOUR SUMMER JAM RECAP – PART III

July 21, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By N.D. Kendrick

Mequon, WI – Friday was filled with overtime games and wild action at the NY2LA Under Armour Summer Jam. NBE was on hand to witness some fantastic action and more stellar play. Provided is who stood out the most.

Top Performer of the Day

Derek Griffin (Houston Defenders 17s) – The Texas A&M football commit was the star amongst stars on Friday. Despite not putting up jaw-dropping numbers, Griffin was the definitely the most noticeable player. He had at least 5 highlight film dunks and raised his hand for an alley-oop on just about every possession. He may not every play a minute of college basketball but if he did ever decide to lace up his sneakers on the hardwood, he would be one of the more exciting forward prospects to play in some time. He is a shot blocking, rebound snagging specialist. He does not understand what he can do on the court and is offensive package is limited to lobs and putbacks. Despite his limited offensive arsenal, the kid is an amazing watch.
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2012 PEACH JAM REPORT – DAY III (PART A)

July 21, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

With pool play in full swing, Friday at the Peach Jam featured high profile games with star power all over the place. The morning set of games was highlighted by a standout point guard who doesn’t always receive the recognition he deserves.

Top Performer of the Morning:

Rene Castro (BABC 2013) – BABC trailed by as many as 16 points in the second half of a morning game against Wisconsin Playground but Castro simply refused to lose. He showed incredible toughness in keeping his team together and attacking the rim relentlessly to fuel a comeback. While more effective off the dribble, Castro also made perimeter shots on his way to 10-14 shooting for 24 points. The numbers he put up and shots he made were impressive but it was the intangibles that stuck out to me. Castro’s ferocity and intensity only got stronger with his team behind and the entire BABC squad seemed inspired by their leader. He acknowledged after the game that with the team shorthanded here at Peach Jam (Wayne Selden and Goodluck Okonoboh didn’t make the trip) it was his responsibility to step up and be more of a scorer. Castro played that role brilliantly and showed the character and winning ways that are such strengths of his.
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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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