NBE Basketball Report
Pittsburgh

ELITE 2015 PG ISAIAH BRISCOE TALKS SCHOOLS; PREP & COLLEGE

July 26, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

GALLOWAY, N.J. – Isaiah Briscoe has been considered one of the top players in America in the class of 2015 for quite some time now, and his offer list is evidence of that.

Speaking at Live In AC, Briscoe said he holds offers from Arizona, Florida, Seton Hall, Rutgers, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, DePaul, Miami, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio State, UCLA, Villanova, Syracuse, Florida State, Virginia, and others.

Briscoe listed Kentucky and Duke as two schools recruiting him that have yet to offer.

The class of 2015 prospect discussed what schools are coming at him the hardest right now.

Arizona, Florida’s coming at me pretty hard,” Briscoe said, “Syracuse of course, Seton Hall wants me to stay home, Pittsburgh.”

Briscoe also talked about just what it is that he is looking for in his future college program.

“I want to play my freshman year. I’m looking for somewhere I could play at least 25-plus minutes,” Briscoe said. “And I’m going to compete wherever I go, so I want the ball in my hands as a freshman and I just want the coach to trust me on the court and just believe that I could run a team.”

The 6-foot-3 point guard went on to discuss the visits he has taken thus far.

Arizona, I’ve visited to Arizona twice. I’ve visited Syracuse of course,” Briscoe said. “I’ve visited Virginia. I think I’m going to visit Florida in August, I don’t know yet.”

Brioscoe said he does not have any other trips planned besides the one to Florida.

As for his timetable for a commitment, Briscoe said, “I have to figure out what high school I’m going to first.”

After attending St. Benedict’s (NJ) his first two years of high school, Briscoe will be transferring next year.

Asked where things stand with where he is headed, Briscoe said, “I don’t know, I was going to go to Findlay [Prep], but something else happened.”

Of the Nevada powerhouse, Briscoe added, “They said they ran out of room or something like that.”

Briscoe said Our Savior New American (NY) and Pope John XXIII (NJ) are two of the schools he is considering. His father also noted that they will be taking a visit to Union Catholic (NJ) on Tuesday.

The rising junior also said that he will “most likely” take a visit out to Brewster Academy (NH).

Briscoe went on to shed some light on his high school decision.

“I kind of want to start my own path and just do my own thing instead of following a trend and doing what everybody else is doing,” Briscoe said.

The Garden State prospect feels he could accomplish that at a few different schools in the area.

“Any local school, I think that I would be starting my own path because all the ranked guys are going to go to Huntington [Prep in West Virginia or] Findlay and everywhere else,” Briscoe said. “So I think I can do something locally and maybe win a couple championships in my state.”

As for when he will have his choice made, Briscoe said, “Probably when I come back from Vegas, within three days from that I will know what school I’m going to.”

BIG SHOTS ALL-AMERICAN CAMP REPORT

July 19, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

HYATTSVILLE, Md. – The Big Shots All-American Camp at DeMatha Catholic High School features some talented players from all over the country.

NBE Sports was there to take in the action on Thursday and got to see eight of the 10 teams play as well as noticed quite a few college coaches in the gym.

Darian Bryant of St. John’s College HS (DC) may not have a true position, but is best suited as a small forward right now. Regardless of what spot he plays, the 6-foot-4 class of 2014 prospect brings great effort when he steps on the floor and is a strongly built player. Bryant attacks the cup well and runs the floor adeptly. He needs to show he can shoot it consistently, but he did knock down at least one 3-pointer in the game we saw.

Class of 2014 prospect Lloyd Burgess might be limited athletically, but he has a big frame, quality height and he plays pretty hard. The 6-foot-10 center from the Christ School (NC) works around the rim and can get some points down low.

Kiair Crouch, a class of 2014 recruit, is a pretty quick player who can get in the lane and attacks the rim adeptly off the dribble. The 5-foot-10 point guard from Columbia (GA) has a pretty solid build and also showed he can hit a pull-up 3-pointer in transition.

Trevor Dunbar of St. Ignatius (CA) is only 5-foot-9, but the class of 2014 prospect is a nice player. The point guard has a thick build that helps him make up for being undersized a bit. Additionally, he accelerated well and does a good job of getting into the lane.
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KALEB JOSEPH TALKS RECRUITING; NO FAVORITES YET…

July 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. – When Mass Rivals needed him on Wednesday at The Hoop Group Summer Classic East, Kaleb Joseph stepped up.

The class of 2014 point guard has a three-point play in the final 20 seconds of regulation and then a floater at the overtime buzzer to give his team a 57-55 win over House of Sports in the first round of the tournament.

After the game, Joseph took the time to discuss his recruitment, saying he has offers from “most of the ACC, a lot of the Big East schools, some Big Ten schools.”

Joseph has no favorites right now and while there had been some reports about him having a time five at one point, he says that was not the case.

A 6-foot-2 point guard from Cushing Academy (MA), Joseph said there are no schools in particular coming at him the hardest.

“All the schools that are recruiting me are coming at me real hard,” Joseph said. “All the coaches that are recruiting me are always at the games. The coaches are always the games, I see the head coaches here. I’m just, I’m happy.”

As for whether there is anyone he speaks to most often, Joseph remarked, “No, they’re all coming at me pretty hard.”

Joseph went on to discuss just what it is that he is trying to find when it comes to selecting a college.

“I’m just looking for a good fit. That’s big for me,” Joseph said. “I want a good relationship with the coaching staff and I want to win. I want player development. I want coaches who are going to push me to my limits and help me get where I want to be at the end of the day.”

One thing that will not be a consideration for Joseph is a school’s location.

“No sir, I just want the right fit for me,” Joseph said. “I’m not going to pass up on a good opportunity just because of location.”

The rising senior said that he has only had a chance to get out and visit some of the colleges in his area thus far.

“I’ve visited local schools, the ones that are right around my house, Boston College and Providence. I’ve been up to UConn,” Joseph said. “Those are the only schools, just because they’re right in my backyard.”

Asked if he has any trips planned, Joseph replied, “I’m going to worry about that after the AAU season.”

Joseph is also not thinking about a timetable at this point in time.

“I’m in no rush,” he said. “I’m just going to take it day by day. I’ll see after this AAU season where it all takes me.”

The talented floor general also spent some time discussing his game, starting with his chief fortes on the court.

“I’d say my leadership,” Joseph began, “getting into the lane, finishing around the basket, and my midrange game.”

Of his primary weakness, Joseph said, “I’d like to be more consistent every game. I think that’s more of a mental thing. I don’t want to take any plays off.”

Joseph also shared what his goal is for this summer and it is a lofty one.

“Prove I’m the best point guard in the country,” Joseph said. “I haven’t done that yet. This is my last AAU season . . . and I’m just ready to do it.”

‘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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CHINANU ONUAKU MAKING TOP SCHOOLS TAKE NOTICE THIS SUMMER

July 16, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

PHILADELPHIA – If Chinanu Onuaku’s last name rings a bell, well, it should.

The class of 2014 prospect is the younger brother of former Syracuse standout Arinze Onuaku.

However, the Riverdale Baptist (MD) prospect said that Syracuse is not involved in his recruitment.

As for who is recruiting him, Onuaku listed scholarship offers from Seton Hall, DePaul, Xavier, Virginia Tech, Cincinnati, Maryland, Kansas State, Rutgers, George Mason, Pittsburgh and Miami.

The 6-foot-10 center claims no favorites right now, but does know what he is looking for in a school.

“Good education,” Onuaku began, “good coaching staff, a winning program and that I’ll be able to play early.”

Location will not be a factor for Onuaku, who said that Xavier, DePaul and Seton Hall are coming at him the hardest. He noted that there is no coach in particular with whom he has the best relationship.

Thus far, Onuaku has been on unofficial visits to Maryland, Seton Hall and Georgetown. He has no other trips planned at this point.

As for his timetable for a commitment, Onuaku remarked, “Probably in the middle of the season or after the season.”

Onuaku also spent some time talking about his game and noted that he sees himself as either a power forward or a center.

Regarding his chief strength as a player, Onuaku said, “My defense, my blocking and my defensive rebounding.”

On the other hand, Onuaku said that he thinks his hook shot is likely the primary weakness he has on the court.

The rising senior also discussed his summer, beginning with his experience at the Reebok Breakout Classic.

“It’s been good, it’s been long,” Onuaku said on day two. “We’re tired right now, but we still got to play through it and get W’s.”

Onuaku, who wound up being named to the camp all-star game, shared his goals for the month.

“Just to get better in all aspects of the game and help my team, [DC Assault], win in tournaments,” Onuaku said.

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 (4/16/2013): COMMITMENTS CONTINUE AS LATE SIGNING PERIOD NEARS

April 16, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

Two of the top uncommitted players in the nation made their commitments while in Chicago for the McDonald’s All-American Game and numerous other 2013 prospects also pledged in the past several days.

Elite frontcourt prospect Aaron Gordon of Archbishop Mitty (CA) announced his intentions to attend Arizona for his college ball, per multiple reports. A 6-foot-8 power forward, Gordon is one of the top ranked players in America in the class of 2013. He selected the Wildcats over Kentucky, Oregon and Washington. Gordon is the second McDonald’s All-American in Arizona’s recruiting class, joining 6-foot-7 small forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson of Chester (PA).

Keith Frazier of Kimball (TX), the best available shooting guard in the nation, committed to SMU, per his Twitter account. The 6-foot-5 class of 2013 prospect is the first ever McDonald’s All-American for the Mustangs, according the game broadcast. Frazier was also considering Texas A&M and Texas Tech, according to Scout.com’s Evan Daniels.

The top available class of 2013 guard in the nation, Rysheed Jordan of Vaux (PA), took his name off the board and pledged to St. John’s, per multiple reports. Jordan is a 6-foot-3 point guard who selected the Red Storm over Temple and UCLA.

Chris Peak of Panther-Lair.com had the news that Jamel Artis of Notre Dame Prep (MA) committed to Pittsburgh. Artis is a 6-foot-7 combo forward and a fifth-year class of 2013 recruit.

Dominique Hawkins announced his commitment to Kentucky at a press conference at his school, per multiple reports. The 6-foot point guard from Madison Central (KY) is the eighth member of UK’s 2013 recruiting class, the second of whom is an in-state prospect.

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2014 PF QUADRI MOORE IS WIDE OPEN IN HIS RECRUITMENT

February 27, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Quadri Moore is a prime recruiting target for many current BIG EAST programs and his recruitment is expanding, much like his game. The 6-foot-8, 230-pound power forward out of Linden (NJ) High School is learning this season that simple is sometimes better as he faces more and more attention from the opponents who try to slow him down.

“I am starting to now improve on beating double teams and learning to make the easier plays and passes rather than flashy things,” Moore told NBE earlier today on what he is working on the most to improve this season.

When the spring and summer evaluation period rolls around again, you can expect many college coaches to come check out Moore and his talented Sports U teammates on the AAU trail. Moore is a veteran of the sights and sounds of the AAU circuit, so this year he is hoping to make his final season on the circuit counts in the wins and losses column.
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RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (2/5/2013): CINCINNATI PICKS UP BIG COMMITMENT

February 5, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

Several high-major programs landed commitments in the past week, including a couple from the Big East. That includes a program from the Midwest coming into the New York metro area to land a top 25 recruit.

Jermaine Lawrence, a New York native who attends Pope John XXIII (NJ), popped to Cincinnati, per his Tumblr account. Lawrence, a 6-foot-9 power forward, is ranked No. 24 in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125.

Lawrence selected the Bearcats over St. John’s and UNLV. He is the fifth member of Cincinnati’s 2013 recruiting class and is a significant addition.

RJ Curington of Oak Hill Academy (VA) pledged to DePaul, according to Brian Snow of Scout.com. A 6-foot-5 shooting guard, Curington was among the better available players in the nation in the class of 2013 and is a nice late pickup for the Blue Demons.

Scout.com’s Josh Gershon had the news that Dion Wade of Findlay Prep (NV) came off the board to Auburn. A 6-foot-7 small forward, Wade is the second player from Findlay Prep in the class of 2013 to pick the Tigers. The other is Benas Griciunas, a 6-foot-10 power forward.

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MERNAGH: PITT SHOWS IMPROVEMENT IN ROUT OVER NO. 19 GEORGETOWN

January 9, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Pitt needed to dominate somebody after their two straight losses to start Big East play– at home against Cincinnati and at Rutgers.

It was just icing on the cake that it was Georgetown on the road in basically a 30-point shellacking. Georgetown has problems, especially offensively. JT3 would probably be better served by isolating Otto Porter as much as possible and letting him try and go to work and create for himself and others from the mid-post area. But this blurb is about Pitt and what they need to do to build on this win and not fall back to where they were before this result (we’ll tackle the Hoyas and their issues at a later date).

It’s never been more evident that this Pittsburg team needs to play with pace as much as possible. James Robinson and Tray Woodall both make good decisions in transition and when they push the pace it tends to give athletic shooters like Durand Johnson (who needs to continue to see his minutes increase) and JJ Moore shots in rhythm off the secondary break or the chance to attack the rim on the hard, desperate closeouts those kind of situations create. Playing with pace also counters the areas where Pitt can struggle. Easy baskets are good for this team because in the half-court they often settle for late-clock contested three point attempts that lead to bad results.

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NEW YEAR’S JUMP-OFF EVENT RECAP

January 7, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

HACKENSACK, N.J. – Eight teams made their way to Hackensack (NJ) High School on Sunday for the New Year’s Jump-Off. The quartet of games featured only teams from the Garden State, but there was a great deal of talent on display, including a few players headed to high-major programs.

TOP PERFORMER

Reggie Cameron of Hudson Catholic is the easy choice of who turned in the day’s best performance. The 6-foot-8 small forward dropped 30 points and may well have had more if he shot more the fourth quarter had the game been close. Cameron, ranked No. 62 in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125, also grabbed 12 rebounds, distributed the ball well and made his presence felt on defense. A big-time shooter from long range, the future Georgetown Hoya really had his shot going in this game. He has such a smooth stroke and possesses the size to get it off over most defenders. Cameron also scored from midrange and at the rim. The senior even displayed the ability to play the point, which is something he has not really done before. He blocked shots, found open teammates for buckets and was the best low post player in the game, despite being a three man. Cameron led his team to a 70-53 victory over Pope John XXIII and put on in absolute show in his home city of Hackensack.

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RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (12/7/2012): TOWNS PICKS UK, CROAKER CHOOSES MURRAY STATE

December 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

Although not much happened in the high school hoops world in the past few days, there was one huge commitment that came down on Monday.

Karl Towns, Jr. of St. Joseph’s Metuchen (NJ) announced his commitment to Kentucky, as expected. According to Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com, Towns said that his final three were UK, Duke and Florida, with things really coming down to the Wildcats and Blue Devils.

The 6-foot-10 center played for Kentucky head coach John Calipari on the Dominican Republic National Team this summer. He is ranked as the No. 3 player in the NBE Sports Post-Summer Class of 2015 Top 25.

However, Towns will no longer be listed in the 2015 rankings. That is because in addition to committing, he also announced that he is moving to the class of 2014. The Garden State big man will remain highly ranked in the junior class.

We accidentally overlooked a big piece of news for Monday’s Recruiting Notebook. That would be Demarcus Croaker of Jones (FL) committing to the Murray State Racers. We first saw the news from Scout.com’s Evan Daniels.

The 6-foot-3 shooting guard is a major pickup for Steve Prohm and Co. Croaker is ranked as the No. 99 player in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125 and is one of the top players in the senior class not headed to a BCS conference school.

From the college ranks, Pitt’s John Johnson is transferring to Penn State, according to Richard Guillen, his former AAU coach with the Hunting Park Warriors. Johnson is a 6-foot-1 sophomore shooting guard from Philadelphia.

In other news, we have been looking over the athletic websites of all the BCS conference schools with 2013 commits to check for news releases on official signings. There are a few schools with verbal commits who have not released news on any signings. They are Boston College, Georgetown, Indiana, Seton Hall, South Carolina, and Texas Tech.

Of those, only two, Indiana and South Carolina, have more than one commit. Seton Hall’s lone commit, Aquille Carr, was not expected to sign in the early period.

In addition, there are some other schools who have released the news of some signings, but not all. Malcolm Allen (Stanford), Deng Deng (LSU), Derrick Griffin (Texas A&M), Xavier Rathan-Mayes (Florida State), Tyree and Tyrell Robinson (Oregon), and LJ Westbrook (Oregon State) are players whose schools have publicized signings of other commits, but not them. The Robinson twins and Griffin will probably sign with their schools’ football programs in February.

Note that just because no releases have been issued at some schools or that some names have not been mentioned does not automaticallt mean the players did not sign. There is also the possibility that there was just simply no release.

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The holidays are rapidly approaching, why not get that sports fan on your list something special. Order now for the 2013 Big East Tournament as it will an end of an era at Madison Square Garden this March. Below are links to buy tickets to any all sessions. Order early to secure the tickets to the special sports fan on your list or get yourself that special personalized gift!


RASHAD RICHARDSON & KISKI PREP TURN HEADS AT NATIONAL PREP SHOWCASE (VIDEO)

November 21, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Sherwyn Cooper

Rashad Richardson led his Kiski Cougars to a huge upset win over one of the nations premier basketball prep programs, Brewster Academy (Game High 29 points) on Saturday night. It was evident in the 6’5 swingman’s demeanor there was something he was out to prove. According to his coaches, Richardson informed them that a local recruiting report in Indiana had him as there #1 prospect until former Indiana signee Ron Patterson (Syracuse-Commit ) decided to take a prep year at Brewster Academy, pushing him to the #2 spot. While they insist there is no personal hard feelings between Patterson and Richardson, Rashad took the match up as chance to prove his worth.

After the biggest surprise performance at the National Prep Showcase, Richardson called his high school coaches Tuesday night and informed them both he and his father would like to reopen his recruitment. Richardson, a virtual unknown outside the state of Indiana, had verbally committed to IUPUI and had plan to sign his Letter of Intent on Monday after the prep showcase. Since decommitting Duquesne, Pittsburgh, Utah, Manhattan and Rutgers have expressed interest in Richardson with IUPUI still in the mix.

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’14 BIG MAN ANDRE WALKER HAS PLENTY OF COLLEGE INTEREST

November 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Now that the Class of 2013 is able to sign their Letters of Intents to officialy close their recruitment, the Class of 2014 will move more toward the focus of coaches, fans and scouts. The recruitment of the big men in any class is usually the slowest to come into focus, however one talented big man in the Class of 2014 has already gathered a strong following of interested college programs.

6-foot-10, 210-pound Andre Walker caught the eye of NBE reporters a few times last summer on the AAU trail as the Bullis School (MD) prospect was on the circuit with the always talented DC Assault program. Now back in the home environment of his high school, plenty of schools have made contact to let him know they will be following his development.
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NBE BIG EAST NOTEBOOK (11/16/2012): BUSY WEEKEND AHEAD FOR CONFERENCE TEAMS

November 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

BIG EAST teams extended the conference’s winning streak to 19 games Thursday before a buzzer-beater by Massachusetts against Providence brought an end to the run. Nonetheless, BIG EAST teams were 3-2 Thursday as St. John’s, Louisville and Villanova came away with wins.

The BIG EAST’s .871 winning percentage ranks as the second-best in Division I. The Pac-12 has a .920 winning percentage through Thursday to lead the nation.

—The Red Storm scored a road win against College of Charleston in the opening round of the Charleston Classic, sending St. John’s to a semifinal matchup against Murray State at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN3.

Guard D’Angelo Harrison led all scorers with 21 points in the win. Harrison has averaged 21.5 points in the first two games for St. John’s.

The Red Storm will face either Baylor or Colorado Sunday to conclude the Charleston Classic.
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NBE BIG EAST REPORT (11/15/2012): NOVEMBER TOURNAMENTS START IN EARNEST

November 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Georgetown scored a 68-59 win against Liberty Wednesday night, lifting the cumulative record of BIG EAST teams to 24-2 in the 2012-13 season. BIG EAST members have won 17 consecutive games. The BIG EAST’s .923 winning percentage is the best in Division I.

Forward Greg Whittington scored a career-high 18 points with nine rebounds to pace the Hoyas past Liberty as part of the Legends Classic. Georgetown heads to Brooklyn, N.Y., to face No. 13 UCLA Monday in the semfinal round of the Legends Classic at the Barclay’s Center. The Hoyas will face either No. 1 Indiana or Georgia Tuesday.

“With all due respect to Liberty, we got some games coming up, and we’re preparing for some teams that are a little bit better than them,” said junior forward Nate Lubick, who had 13 points and eight rebounds. “We use these games to find ourselves, to find what this team’s identity is going to be. … I don’t think our sense of urgency’s really been there.”

Mikael Hopkins added 13 points for Georgetown (2-0).

Forward Otto Porter — a preseason All-BIG EAST selection — did not play Wednesday night because of “symptoms indicative of a mild concussion,” head coach John Thompson III said in a statement.

The conference’s gaudy record could be tested Thursday as five BIG EAST teams are in action, including three teams that will play on the ESPN family of networks in early-season tournaments.

—St. John’s, which opened its season with a come-from behind win against Detroit Tuesday, faces a College of Charleston team that is a perennial contender in the Southern Conference. The game, which begins at 5 p.m. on ESPNU, is part of the Charleston Classic.

Freshman center Chris Obekpa had a school-record eight blocks to go with seven points and 11 rebounds in his collegiate debut Tuesday. D’Angelo Harrison had a team-high 22 points off the bench in the win.

St. John’s had 12 blocks and held Detroit to 34.6-percent shooting.

The Red Storm will play either Auburn or Murray State Friday in Charleston.

—Providence brings its 2-0 record to Bayamon, Puerto Rico, where the Friars will face Massachusetts — one of the favorites in the Atlantic-10 race — in the opening round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. The tip is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on ESPNU.

Forward Kadeem Batts scored a career-high 27 points as Providence cruised past neighboring Bryant Monday night.

Guard Vincent Council — a Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team choice — did not play against Bryant while recovering from a leg injury suffered in the season-opener and Council is out 4-5 Weeks With the Injury (CBS Sports). With heralded recruit Ricky Ledo ineligible to play this season and another star freshman Kris Dunn out until January after a preseason knee injury, the PC depth will be challenged. Bryce Cotton will be counted on heavily and he scored 24 points against Bryant. Cotton has played all 80 minutes thus far in the two games.

—Villanova also takes a 2-0 record into tournament play Thursday as the Wildcats meet Purdue in the 2K Sports Classic at Madison Square Garden. The game is slated for a 9:30 p.m. tip on ESPN2, following the opening game between Alabama and Oregon State. Jay Wright’s club will play one of those two on Friday.

Freshman guard Ryan Arcidiacono scored 25 points to lead Villanova past Marshall, 80-68, on Saturday night. James Bell added 19 points against the Thundering Herd.

The Boilermakers lost their opening game to Bucknell, but were without the services of Terone JOhnson who is recovering from a knee injury suffered in the offseason. Johnson did play 17 minutes in Purdue’s win over Hofstra and will be counted on to carry the scoring load this year as he rounds back into shape. At 9.2 points per game a season ago, Johnson is Matt Painter’s leading returning scorer.

—Louisville will welcome Samford at 7 p.m. to the Yum! Center on the BIG EAST Network as part of the Battle 4 Atlantis.

Russ Smith had a game-high 23 points to lead the Cardinals past Manhattan in the season-opener Friday. Guard Peyton Siva turned in his second career double-double with 10 points and 10 assists against the Jaspers, a 79-51 victory.

—For DePaul, Thursday’s game against Gardner-Webb is the first of four games in the Cancun Challenge. The Blue Demons also will play Austin Peay at home Saturday before heading to Cancun.

Brandon Young scored a game-high 20 points in the season-opening win against UC Riverside last Friday night. The game, won by the Blue Demons 91-59, was played
on campus at McGrath Arena. Cleveland Melvin added 16 points, seven rebounds and five steals.

THIS WEEK’S BIG EAST SCHEDULE:

Monday, November 12
Pittsburgh 86, Fordham 51
Providence 81, Bryant 49
Notre Dame 84, Monmouth 57
Seton Hall 78, Norfolk State 65
Rutgers 88, Sacred Heart 62

Tuesday, November 13
St. John’s 77, Detroit 74
Cincinnati 102, Mississippi Valley State 60
Connecticut 67, Vermont 49
Marquette 64, Southeastern Louisiana 53
Pittsburgh 78, Lehigh 53 1

Wednesday, November 14
Georgetown 68, Liberty 59

Thursday, November 15
St. John’s at College of Charleston 6 – ESPNU……………………. 5:00
Samford at Louisville – BEN……………………………………………. 7:00
Providence vs. Massachusetts 2 – ESPNU…………………………. 7:30
Gardner-Webb at DePaul……………………………………………… 8:30
Villanova vs. Purdue 3 – ESPN2……………………………………….. 9:30

Friday, November 16
Connecticut vs. Wake Forest 4……………………………………….. 6:30
Rutgers at Princeton…………………………………………………….. 7:00
Maryland-Eastern Shore at USF……………………………………… 7:30
Notre Dame vs. Saint Joseph’s 5 – TruTV…………………………… 9:30
Providence vs. North Carolina State/Penn State 2………………TBD
Alabama/Oregon State vs. Villanova 3 – ESPN2/ESPNU……….TBD
St. John’s vs. Auburn/Murray State 6 – ESPN3…………………….TBD

Saturday, November 17
Austin Peay at DePaul…………………………………………………… 2:00
Oakland at Pittsburgh – BEN………………………………………….. 7:00
Seton Hall vs. Washington 7 – ESPN3……………………………….. 7:30
Loyola (Chicago) at USF………………………………………………… 7:30
Connecticut vs. Iona/Quinnipiac 4…………………………………… TBD
Notre Dame vs. Florida State/Brigham Young 5 – TruTV……….TBD

Sunday, November 18
Wagner at Syracuse – BEN…………………………………………….. 1:00
North Carolina A&T at Cincinnati – BEN…………………………… 2:00
Western Michigan at USF – BEN…………………………………….. 3:00
Miami (Ohio) at Louisville – BEN…………………………………….. 4:00
Seton Hall vs. Ohio State/Rhode Island 7 – ESPN2/ESPN3…….TBD
Providence vs. TBD 2……………………………………………………… TBD
St. John’s vs. TBD 6………………………………………………………… TBD

–All times Eastern
–BEN – BIG EAST Network (check BigEast.org for local listings)

Game Key:
1 NIT Season Tip-Off
2 Puerto Rico Tip-Off, Bayamon, P.R.
3 2K Sports Classic, New York, N.Y.
4 Paradise Jam, St. Thomas, USVI
5 Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, Brooklyn, N.Y.
6 Charleston Classic, Charleston, S.C.
7 Hall of Fame Tipoff, Uncasville, Conn.

RECRUITING NOTES:
While many readers are very familiar with who is signing with the current BIG EAST schools, Larry Brown inked three players for his SMU program which will join the BIG EAST next season. Along with three impressive transfers sitting out this season (Markus Kennedy, Crandall Head & Nic Moore), SMU Gets a Crop of New Players Signed to Letters of Intent (Dallas News). The signees are:

Sterling Brown – G, 6-4, 190 – Chicago, Ill. (Proviso East)
Ben Moore – PF, 6-8, 185 – Bolingbrook, Ill. (Bolingbrook HS)
Yanick Moreira – C/PF, 6-11, 220 – Luanda, Angola (South Plains C.C.)

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The holidays are rapidly approaching, why not get that sports fan on your list something special. Order now for the 2013 Big East Tournament as it will an end of an era at Madison Square Garden this March. Below are links to buy tickets to any all sessions. Order early to secure the tickets to the special sports fan on your list or get yourself that special personalized gift!


NBE BIG EAST REPORT (11/14/2012): BIG EAST OFF TO STRONG EARLY START

November 14, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

BIG EAST teams went 5-0 Tuesday, giving the league a combined 23-2 record in the 2012-13 season. The .920 winning percentage is the best of any Division I conference thus far.

—Pittsburgh’s win Tuesaday night against 2012 NCAA Tournament participant Lehigh sends the Panthers to the championship round of the NIT Season Tip-Off at Madison Square Garden next week. The Panthers will face Michigan November 21st and will meet either Delaware or Kansas State November 23rd in New York.

Guard Tray Woodall became the third Pittsburgh player to lead the team in scoring in as many games with 23 points against Lehigh. Junior Talib Zanna added 20 points and freshman James Robinson was the defensive star as he limited Lehigh pre-season All-American guard C.J. McCollom to 17 points.

The Panthers face Oakland Saturday before heading to Madison Square Garden for the championship rounds of the NIT Season Tip-Off.
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NBE BIG EAST REPORT: WEEK #1 (11/9/2012)

November 9, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The curtain will rise on the 2012-2013 college basketball season today and for the BIG EAST conference it will also be the end of an era. With West Vitginia already leaving the conference for the Big 12 and Syracuse and Pittsburgh, who will be followed closely behind by Notre Dame, playing their last season before departing for the ACC, the BIG EAST as we have come to know and love will never be the same.

The conference will grow and survive with the additions next season of Memphis, Temple, Houston, Central Florida and SMU, but make no mistake about it, the dynamics of the tightnit conference have been changed forever.

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Mernagh: Mizzou Gets Wes Clark to Pop…With a Little Help From a New Addition

August 30, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Wes Clark became a top 100 guard the old fashioned way — through extremely hard work and an attention to detail when it came to honing his craft.

Defensively, Clark will sit down and get into his man like few other guards with his accolades.

The perimeter star comes from two highly successful programs out of the Detroit area — The Family is his Grassroots/AAU squad while Romulus High is the jersey he represented during his high school season (Terry Mills, Grant Long and John Long are three of many Romulus studs to light up scoreboards throughout the years).

Missouri had a pipeline back in the day with Michigan prep players, but a recent hire by head man Frank Haith may have reignited and brightened a path that’s been somewhat dim for a number of years. Wes Clark was on Missouri’s radar for sure, but when Haith hired Rick Carter as an assistant from Western Michigan on August 14th, the pursuit of Clark was taken to another level. Carter is a bulldog, a grinder in the classic basketball/gym rat/junkie sense.

Like so many assistants at the mid major level, all he ever needed or was looking for, was a chance at the highest level (no Rob Murphy, not the NBA, the SEC or any other high major league). But first he had to pay his dues and, as things always seem to go in the basketball world, also have a little luck with who he ran into along the way. The assistant got his start on the Michigan AAU scene with the Mustangs before moving on to Michigan State in a managerial role for Tom Izzo (I remember seeing him constantly around Izzo when I was writing a book back in the day). He parlayed that into an Operations job at Fairfield for a year before becoming an assistant in his second season in the MAAC under Ed Cooley. Carter left Fairfield after two years to study under veteran coach Steve Hawkins at Western Michigan. Hawkins is a guy who in recent years has had assistants hired away by the programs at Michigan, Iowa State, Alabama, NC State and now Missouri. And relationships definitely played a role in Carter’s break.

One of the friendships Carter developed while at Fairfield was with Tim Fuller. When Ryan Miller left Mizzou suddenly to take a huge promotion at Auburn about a month ago, I imagine Fuller was in Haith’s ear about Carter, and the prospects the 33-year-old assistant might be able to get the Tigers “in” with rather quickly. Carter is a hard worker in the scouting and coaching department as well, but he’s also known Romulus coach Nate Oats for 12 years, and that had to be a plus (not to mention the talent coming up in Michigan over the next few years).

I tweeted about Carter’s addition at Missouri on August 8th.

He was officially hired on August 14th.

Wes Clark committed to Missouri on August 29th.

Carter finally got his chance — in the SEC — and in his first turn at bat hit a monster rope off the center field wall.

Haith and company now have their heir apparent to Phil Pressey at point guard… thanks to a nice assist from their new addition.

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