NBE Basketball Report
Marquette Recruiting

‘THE SHOWDOWN’ EVENT RECAP

July 16, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

PHILADELPHIA – While the Reebok Breakout Classic is in the rear view mirror at Philadelphia University, there is still more basketball being played there this week.

The Showdown made the school its primary home on Saturday and NBE Sports was there to take in the action.

Peyton Allen of Glenwood (IL) checks in at 6-foot-4, but the class of 2014 shooting guard has a sturdy frame and plays bigger than he truly is. Allen, who runs with the Southwestern Illinois Jets Orange, works hard around the rim, can grab rebounds and provides good effort on the court. He also has a solid looking shooting stroke.

Eric Anderson of the Haverford School (PA) and the Jersey Shore Warriors is a productive small forward who can score at the rim. The 6-foot-6 class of 2014 recruit has a sturdy frame and is crafty with the ball when in the paint.

Gerald Blount may not have ideal size right now for a power forward, but the 6-foot-5 class of 2014 prospect still makes an impact on defense. Blount, who attends St. Anthony’s (NJ) and plays for the Sports U 16s, has a good frame and does a nice job of blocking shots.

Traci Carter of the We R 1 16s and Life Center Academy (NJ) is a 6-foot point guard who does a good job of scoring at the rim. Carter, a class of 2015 prospect, is a bit thin, but does have a solid build overall. He is a good enough athlete who can get to the cup off the dribble.

Donte Divincenzo of the Team Final Black 16s is a skilled offensive player in the class of 2015. A 6-foot-3 combo guard out of the Salesianum School (DE), Divincenzo has a smooth game and rebounds the ball well at the defensive end, especially for his position. The rising junior has a solid frame and can connect from beyond the arc. Boston College, St. Joseph’s and Rhode Island have extended scholarship offers since the live period ended this past weekend to join La Salle and Delaware, who previously offered. Pittsburgh is also beginning to show interest as well.
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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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REEBOK BREAKOUT CLASSIC — DAY II

July 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

PHILADELPHIA – The Reebok Breakout Classic rolled along all day Thursday and NBE Sports had the opportunity to see 10 of the 12 teams in action on the day.

As was the case on Wednesday night, some lesser known players made noise and some top recruits also showed what they can do.

Future Louisville Cardinal Shaqquan Aaron showed why he is one of the best wings in the nation in the class of 2014. A 6-foot-8 small forward out of Rainier Beach (WA), Aaron is a high-level scorer who poured in 29 points in the morning game and kept playing well after that. Although thin, Aaron is very long, has a smooth game and is a quality athlete. He does a nice job in transition and is a tough player to keep out of the paint. Aaron even showed the ability to play some point guard.

Not many players in the class of 2015 are smoother on the court than Dwayne Bacon. A 6-foot-6 prospect who can play anywhere from the one to the three, Bacon has a really good frame and does a nice job of finishing at the rim, even in traffic. Bacon, who is headed to IMG Academy (FL), is a good athlete with quality body control who can knock down the midrange pull-up.

Jacobi Boykins of Lakewood (FL) is an impressive all-around offensive player. The 6-foot-5 class of 2014 shooting guard is a bit thin and needs to add some bulk, but he is a solid athlete with good bounce. Boykins is a quality shooter with a nice looking stroke who can also score at the rim some.
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2013 NBPA TOP 100 HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL CAMP — FINAL RECRUITING NOTES

June 17, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Whitfield, Mid-Atlantic Recruiting Analyst

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

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

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

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RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (11/5/2012): COMMITMENT FRENZY HEATS UP AS SIGNING PERIOD NEARS

November 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

We only had one Recruiting Notebook last week, so there is a lot to get through in this one. Thus, we’re going to go with a bit more of a quick, rapid fire style this time.

First off, Baylor picked up a pledge from 6-foot-9 center Dominic Woodson of Huntington Prep (WV), according to Scout.com’s Evan Daniels. The big man is ranked No. 37 in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125 and is the second top-40 prospect to pop for Baylor in three weeks. Woodson’s other finalist was North Carolina State.

 

Earlier today Austin Nichols tweeted he had committed to Memphis.   Nichols, ranked #75 in the NBE rankings, is another major in-state coup for Josh Pastner and the Tigers over in-state rival Tennessee.

LSU landed a big-time commitment from Jarrell Martin of Madison Prep Academy (LA), per Ben Love of Tiger Sports Digest. The 6-foot-8 power forward is ranked No. 66 in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125. He is the third player in the top 75 to pledge to LSU in this class.

ESPN.com’s Reggie Rankin had the news that Jajuan Johnson of Southwind (TN) had selected Marquette. The 6-foot-3 shooting guard is ranked No. 63 in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125 and joins two other top-75 ranked prospects in Marquette’s class. Johnson chose Marquette over Alabama and Miami.

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RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (10/22/2012): 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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CLASS OF 2013 POST-JULY TOP 125

August 14, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

With stops during the month of July at the Hoop Group Elite Camp, Adidas Invitational, Nike Peach Jam, Nike Invitational and Live in AC…NBE’s National Recruiting Analyst Brian Bosworth is ready to release his Class of 2013 National Top 125. The list has exanded from the Pre-July Period Top 75 and also includes a new #1 player in the class.

The Class of 2013 certainly flexed their muscles on the camp and AAU circuit all July. The class is widely regarded as one of the best in recent memory with a deep pool of talent, especially near the top.

Read on below to see the current rankings as we begin to prepare for the 2012-2013 prep and high school season which will be here before we know it!

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MERNAGH ON HOOPS: NOVA GETS O’LEARY’D PLUS MORE

August 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Villanova Gets O’Leary’d

Jay Wright was looking to capitalize by adding an assistant to his staff with strong connections to the power base of prospects currently entrenched in Keith Stevens’ Team Takeover grassroots powerhouse and the talent at Paul V HS in Virginia. It appeared as if Wright hit the daily double when he added Doug Martin to his staff last week. Martin has had a profile on the bench of each team for the last several years and is very close with players in the next 3-to-4 recruiting classes coming through both programs.

But shortly after adding Martin there was a discovery of some possible shenanigans on a resume he handed in, a resume claiming Martin played under the legendary UWGB coach Dick Bennett (who also had successful stints at Stevens Point, Wisconsin and Washington State to name a few). Turns out nobody at Green Bay has ever heard of Martin. It also turns out that Dick Bennett has never heard of, or coached, Doug Martin either. Villanova is looking into the situation — you think?!

This is a headache for Wright, one that he really doesn’t need. It’s also a headache that never should have happened. Jay Wright first call needed to be to Dick Bennett the minute he saw the resume (and if he didn’t see it that’s a whole other story because he should see every resume of any candidate he’s considering). Here’s how that scenario would have played out.

Wright: “Coach, How are you? It’s Jay Wright at Nova.”

Bennett: “Jay, how are you, what’s going on?”

Wright: “Just wanted to get your take on one of your old players at Green Bay that I’m thinking about hiring.”

Bennett: “Awesome, I’m surprised they haven’t reached out to me to call you though, who is it?”

Wright: “Doug Martin.”

Bennett: “Never heard of him Jay.”

Wright: “Thanks coach, sorry for wasting your time.”

Wright hangs up and then dials another number.

Wright: “Keith, you got another coach for me, Doug lied on his resume.”

Stevens: “What a Dumb #$$, yeah coach I’ll email you a list in an hour after I make sure they’re clean. Sorry about that.”

Wright: “Hey, stuff happens.”

Easy right?

I mean, the fact that this guy didn’t change his resume the second that Tony Freaking Bennett got hired at the University of Virginia a few years back tells you all you need to know. Didn’t he think eventually somebody would bring it up? It’s sad that a guy with a chance to move into a six-figure career, completely by-passing the levels that so many others have to go through, would throw it away because of a useless lie on a piece of paper.

Possible Marquette Violation No Big Deal

Marquette, just like 100′s of other programs, self-reported a possible NCAA violation. It would be no big deal except the release that the school put out failed to specify what kind of violation it was, which led to all kinds of posts and reports about an “NCAA Violation” being reported by Marquette . I have it on good authority that it was a secondary violation the likes of which get reported every day to the NCAA. It’s minor. So, no worries Marquette fans.

Tweet Tweet Tweet…EWWW

Tom Crean’s been thinking a lot about you lately…a whole lot.

By now I’m sure you’ve read about the tweet Crean sent out, allegedly meant for a recruit, that sounded rather creepy.

Step your tweet game up coach….because that last one ain’t right.

Crean also received some bad news when Trey Lyles reopened his recruitment after pledging to Indiana with his first words out of the womb.

My guess? Lyles eventually matriculates to Kentucky.

CBS Asked and Coaches Answered

CBSsports.com asked a bunch of coaches who they perceived to be college basketball’s biggest cheaters?

The runaway winners were John Calipari and Scott Drew. Of course each coach that answered did so with anonymity and CBS’ Gary Parrish was quick to point out that he didn’t want anyone saying “CBSsports.com says the biggest cheaters are” because they were just reporting what the coaches said.

I understand that…I think you understand that… but something tells me Cal and Drew will be plenty unhappy with CBSSPORTS.com

The funny thing is that almost every coach thinks anyone who beat him for a kid cheated — Cal and Drew have gotten a ton of highly coveted players. Tom Izzo recently talked about the fact that he’s lost players to other coaches who cheat but until a coach like Izzo wants to step up and say “coach x paid so and so 50k to get that kid” he should stop whining and also be careful. It’s crazy that most of us still seem to buy the whole (insert name of coach here) “is full of character and clean” compared to all the others propaganda. I’m sorry to break it to you but nobodies squeaky clean….nobody! Didn’t we learn anything from the recent Penn State scandal? Everybody is human…and humans tend to act in their own self-interest and justify it.

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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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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2012 PEACH JAM REPORT – DAY IV (PART A)

July 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

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

Top Performance of the Morning:

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

July 21, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

Friday night at the Peach Jam is a session I will never forget. It featured a game between CIA Bounce and the Texas Titans that will be talked about in recruiting circles a decade from now as the nation’s best player made it clear he has no equal in high school basketball.

Top Performer of the Night:

Andrew Wiggins (CIA Bounce 2014) – Wiggins didn’t just have the best performance of the night or the best performance of the tournament, but rather had arguably the best single performance I’ve ever seen in an AAU game. Matched up head to head with one of 2013’s best in Julius Randle, Wiggins ended any lingering debate over who is the top prospect regardless of class. He finished with 28 points and 13 rebounds but those numbers don’t even do justice to the greatness that he showed. Wiggins is the freakiest of freak athletes consistently making plays above the rim that leave scouts who have been doing this 20+ years with their jaws on the floor. His CIA team was down double digits at the half and Wiggins came out after intermission with a focus and determination to change that. It took about two minutes for the standing room only crowd to realize what was happening and they soon exploded with every play Wiggins made. He attacked Randle time and again finishing outrageous play after outrageous play. Words and numbers don’t even do justice to the greatness that Wiggins showed on Friday night as he just operates on a different level from everyone else on the court. I said it during the end of the game and I’ll stand by it here; I believe Andrew Wiggins will become the best player in the NBA before his playing career is over. He is an unstoppable offensive force.
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2012 NY2LA UNDER ARMOUR SUMMER JAM RECAP – PART I

July 19, 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 to scout the prospects at the NY2LA Under Armour Summer Jam.

This first day was highlighted by star power match-ups, with Emmanuel Mudiay’s Texas Select team bumping heads with Kevon Looney and his Milwaukee Running Rebels squad. The Harrison Twins (Andrew and Aaron) also faced a tough challenge against the Atlanta Celtics featuring Georgia Tech-bound Solomon Poole and Kansas-bound Brannen Greene.

TOP PERFORMER

Aaron Harrison (Houston Defenders 17s) – Often overshadowed by his brother Andrew, Aaron put on a shooting clinic on day one. He made three straight triples early on to set the tone and to essentially prove that he was the best shooter in the gym. Harrison finished with an easy 24 points to lead all scorers. He is strong and quick. He understands how to play. He can score in a variety of ways, from three-point land, driving to the basket and finishing with either hand, posting up a smaller defender or getting to the free throw line by creating contact. If Aaron tightens up his scoring moves and adds a mid-range dribble pull up, he will be that much more dangerous of an option.

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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 PEACH JAM REPORT — DAY I

July 19, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

While the 17U action for the EYBL crown will have to wait until Thursday, the 16U play kicked off Wednesday night. NBE was focused on Pool D for the night and had the chance to watch all four teams in the pool. The early game featured Southern Stampede defeating Each 1 Teach 1 while the night cap was a Texas Elite victory over The Family. A bunch of players managed to shine in the double dip led by a 2015 big man from Texas.

Top Performer of the Night:

Elijah Thomas (Texas Elite 2015) – In a head to head matchup with highly touted big man Diamond Stone, Thomas got the best of his friend who runs with The Family. He made a point to mention after the game that he was looking forward to the contest with Stone because he felt Stone had outplayed him earlier in the season at the Nike Elite 100 camp in St Louis. Thomas wanted another opportunity to prove that he was every bit the player and prospect that Stone is and did just that on Wednesday night. He’s an ambidextrous player who I legitimately thought was left handed for the entire first half until I watched him shoot his free throws right handed. Thomas is big, strong, and finishes everything in the paint with his left (off) hand. He welcomes and often initiates contact in the lane showing an ability to draw a foul and then finish anyway. Thomas can continue developing his game by expanding his range and furthering his set of moves on the low block but is already a very effective big man on strength alone.
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JULY EVALUATION PERIOD RECRUITING NOTEBOOK – PART I

July 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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The opening July evaluation period has come to a close, ending on Sunday, giving players, coaches and media a short little break to catch their breath before doing it all again this week. NBE Sports spent time at the Lebron James Skills Academy (prior to the official opening of the evaluation period), Reebok Breakout Challenge, Hoop Group Elite Session II, Adidas Invitational, Reebok Showdown Championship, Nike Global Challenge and Nike Skills U in the past week. Hopefully everyone has enjoyed our coverage and we have greatly enjoyed bringing you news and notes from all the action.

Next up this week will be the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League Championship at the Peach Jam. NBE will also be getting coverage of the Under Armour Summer Jam in Milwaukee (WI). In the meantime, here are some additional recruiting notes gathered by Matt Whitfield from his time bouncing back and forth between the Nike Global Challenge and Nike Skills U last weekend…

Kuran Iverson has had a fantastic spring and early summer, pushing his recruitment higher and higher as his stock has soared. Read more

2012 ADIDAS INVITATIONAL – SATURDAY RECAP

July 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

Saturday in Indianapolis was all playoff action at the Adidas Invitational and with higher stakes came stronger performances. All three age groups (15U, 16U, 17U) were represented at the main gym and players from all ages and all places managed to stand out. Here’s a sampling of who impressed.

Top Performers of the Day:

Daniel Hamilton (Dream Vision 2014) – The younger of the pair of brothers on Dream Vision’s 17U squad, Daniel is two inches taller and significantly longer than his older brother. While Daniel’s set of tools on the offensive end is not quite as refined as Isaac, he does have the middle game down to a science. He’s best scoring on runners or floaters going in either direction often using the back board from unusual angles. Hamilton has range out to the 3-point line but is consistently more successful when he puts the ball on the floor and pressures the defense off the dribble. Added strength, improved ball handling skills, and better shot selection can spring board Hamilton’s game to the next level.

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REEBOK SHOWDOWN CHAMPIONSHIP RECAP – SATURDAY

July 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Alex Schwartz

PHILADELPHIA – With the Reebok Breakout Challenge complete, the Reebok Showdown Series Championship took center stage on Saturday at Philadelphia University. Featuring numerous superb AAU teams from coast to coast up into Canada, there was talent all over the gym.

NBE Sports was on hand to take in the action, as well as speak with a few players about their recruitment.

TOP PERFORMER

Jarrel Marshall is not a huge name in recruiting circles and he is not a high-major prospect, but that does not detract from his performance in the first game of the day NBE Sports saw. A 6’6 combo forward for the NY Panthers, Marshall poured in a game-high 26 points in his team’s loss to M33M. Although Marshall, who is going to South Kent (CT) for a post-grad year, was unable to lead his team to a win, he certainly did all he could. He seems to have really improved his perimeter game and was consistently knocking down shots from mid to long range. Additionally, he can bang down low at both ends of the court and is a productive overall player.

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2012 ADIDAS INVITATIONAL – FRIDAY RECAP

July 14, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

Friday at the Adidas Invitational brought pool play to a close and marked the start of playoff action. It also allowed a chance to view some of the tournaments younger talent as the 15U pools wrapped up at the main site I’ve been stationed at. Star performances became the norm with one Texas big man standing out as top dog on the day.

Top Performer of the Day:

Jordan Mickey (Urban DFW Elite 2013) – The 6’9” post player was unstoppable in an afternoon playoff victory dominating the paint from start to finish. Mickey has outstanding footwork on the block and can score over either shoulder with either hand. He uses spins, drop steps, and a host of other moves keeping the defense on its heels all the time with his wide array of options down low. Mickey also succeeded from the high post where his 15 foot jumper is deadly and he can use 1 dribble to attack the rim. Still a bit on the slender side, a college weight room will do wonders for Mickey’s development and he projects as a go to low post scoring option within his first couple years on a high major college campus.
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2012 NIKE GLOBAL CHALLENGE — RECRUITING NOTES

July 14, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The Nike Global Challenge got underway on Friday at Episcopal High School in Alexandria (VA). It was the place to be of this first 5-day July evaluation period for Division 1-A basketball coaches as John Calipari, Rick Pitino, Jim Calhoun, Tom Izzo, Tom Crean, Jay Wright, Buzz Williams, Jamie Dixon, Oliver Purnell, Fran Dunphy, Billy Donovan, Frank Martin, Lorenzo Romar, Tubby Smith, Mark Gottfried, Scott Drew, Sean Miller, Mike Rice, Kevin Willard and more were on hand during the games NBE took in.

These coaches were on hand to watch some of the best players in the world at the youth level. There are eight teams total competing in the Nike Global Challenge with three from the United States (East, West & Midwest) and one each from Brazil, Canada, Lithuania, Puerto Rico and China.

Here are some recruiting updates from six of the US players we were able to catch up with on Friday…

Anchoring the middle for USA-East is Class of 2013, 6-foot-8 big man Beejay Anya out of DeMatha/Team Takeover DC. In the 109-70 USA win, Anya scored 12 points, grabbed 8 rebounds and blocked 4 shots in a productive 24 minutes of action. Matt Whitfield was able to spend some time getting an update on the latest in his recruitment, which many seem to believe there is one school that is clearly the one to beat for his services, but not so fast according to Anya.

“It’s not the case [that Indiana] is the favorite,” Anya told Matt Whitfield on Friday. “They’re a school I like and I’ll go out there [to visit].”

The links between Anya and Indiana are pretty strong. AAU teammate Stanford Robinson committed to the Hoosiers shortly after Tom Cream added Kenny Johnson to his staff as an assistant, hiring Johnson away from Towson. Prior to working at Towson, Johnson was a coach with Team Takeover DC working with both Robinson and Anya.

“No, I think he’ll do a good job there, but it won’t really affect me that much,” Anya said of Johnson’s presence on the IU staff influencing his decision.

Indiana is just one of the top programs Anya is currently considering.

Louisville, Kansas, Indiana, Syracuse, Maryland, Georgetown, Connecticut, Ohio State, Villanova, Pittsburgh, St. John’s, and the list goes on,” said Anya.
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A last minute replacement joining Anya on the USA-East squad was Austin Colbert, an athletic forward who chipped in 12 points (on 6-11 shooting) in 18 minutes of action.

Colbert, a New Jersey native, attended Hotchkiss (CT) School last season and there are some whispers that he could be headed back to the Garden State to finish up his high school career, possibly Gil St. Bernard’s, but no final decision has been made at this point. As for his recruitment, five schools have put themselves currently in the best position.

“I don’t have any officials planned yet,” Colbert told Matt Whitfield on Friday. “Even though I narrowed it down I’m still wide open. I’m still accepting offers and trying to get as many offers as I can.”

Currently he considered Florida, Baylor, Georgetown, Seton Hall and Texas as his top five with only the Longhorns yet to extend an offer at this point. Other schools are still trying to make their pitch, and it could pay off as Colbert admitted he is still willing to consider other schools.

Illinois, Virginia and Oklahoma have texted me as of late,” he said.

One could not help but notice Seton Hall, led by head coach Kevin Willard, looking very interested in Colbert’s work this afternoon.
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Kennedy Meeks had a strong few days last week at the Lebron James Skills Academy in Vegas, but the Team United big man struggled playing for USA-West in an 87-77 loss at the hands of USA-Midwest in his first Nike Global Challenge outing. Meeks finished with just 4 points and 5 rebounds in 20 minutes. His evening line (6 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists in 20 minutes) in a 98-69 in over Puerto Rico was much closer to the well-rounded game he showed in Sin City.

As for his recruitment, Meeks shared with NBE who is putting in the most effort with his recruitment of late.

Kentucky, Indiana, North Carolina, Georgetown, NC State [and] Louisville” was the answer when asked by Matt Whitfield who was recruiting him the hardest.

Meeks also shared that he would like to visit Indiana as one of his official visits in the fall.
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Kyle Washington, who was a teammate of Colbert’s this past season at Hotchkiss School, had a very impressive week last month at the NBPA Top 100 High School Camp on the campus of the University of Virginia. Between that camp and the Nike Global Challenge, Washington spent some time take a couple unofficial visits, including a trip to Notre Dame.

“It was a good visit,” Washington told NBE Friday. “I needed to go and see how I would fit into the community, how I’d fit into the program. It was a good visit overall. I know how Coach Brey feels about me, how Coach Solomon feels about me so it was good.”

The Minnesota native is playing things close to the vest these next few weeks, so he is holding off on naming schools that are on his list until after the live recruiting periods of July. He is enjoying the attention fromt he college coaches at his games.

“It feels great [to be watched by so many major coaches], but you just got to remain calm in what you do because that’s what they like you for. The schools are great. The fans are great, but in the end it’s just basketball.”

Washington is teaming up with Anya and Colbert for USA-East here at the Nike Global challenge and in their lopsided win over China he contributed 9 points while collecting a game-high 13 rebounds and also adding a game-best 5 assists in his 25 minutes of action.

While a list is not coming out quite yet, Washington did confirm that “Wisconsin is still recruiting me really hard.”
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Kameron Williams of Baltimore Elite was the leading scorer of the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League this spring and he brought his offense with him this week as well, getting off to a quick start with 20 points in 23 minutes in the win over China for USA-East.

As for his recruitment, Williams shared with Matt Whitfield that he is hoping to make an early fall decision, either in September or October, and admitted the ACC is his favorite conference. He mentioned schools such as Dayton, VCU, Virginia Tech, Miami, Providence, Rutgers, Florida State, Boston College, NC State and Marquette in the mix currently for his services.
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Class of 2014 wing Theo Pinson showed off his impressive scoring touch, putting 9 points on the board in just 15 minutes of action for USA-East against China.

The youngster mentioned Louisville, North Carolina, Duke, Baylor, Florida State, Alabama, Indiana, Wake Forest, NC State, Syracuse, Seton Hall, DePaul, Tennessee, and others involved in the early process of his recruitment.

Pinson wants to work on the consistency of his jump shot and also improve defensively and on the boards to make himself a complete basketball player. He hopes that will lead to an aggressive recruitment from his favorite school growing up.

“My favorite school when I was young was Duke,” he said. “They said they were going to come watch me, so we’ll see.”

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