NBE Basketball Report
St. John’s

KHADEEN CARRINGTON REMAINS OPEN; PLANS AUGUST VISIT TO CINCINNATI

July 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

WASHINGTON – The 2013 Nike Global Challenge featured just one native New Yorker who actually goes to high school in the Empire State: Khadeen Carrington.

NBE Sports caught up with the class of 2014 prospect on the final day of the event to talk about his recruitment and his game.

Carrington listed scholarship offers from Connecticut, St. John’s, Wake Forest, and Seton Hall. He said Virginia is another showing interest in him, as well as others he could not recall.

At this point in time, there are no schools standing out to Carrington.

“No, no favorites,” he said. “I’m just weighing my options right now, [I will] see what’s best for me.”

UConn and St. John’s are the only two schools Carrington said he has visited so far. He is looking to take a visit to Cincinnati next month, noting, “It’s planned already, I just got to confirm it with the coach.”

Carrington went on to share just what it is that he would like to find in the place he will call home after high school.

“I’m looking for great coaches,” Carrington said, “great people to be around, somewhere I could develop my game.”

The 6-foot-2 shooting guard also has a certain style of play that he would like to be a part of at the next level.

“Yeah, I like to go up and down,” Carrington said. “I like to play in the open court. That’s how I get most of my buckets.”

One thing that will not play much of a part of Carrington’s college selection is where a school is located.

“If somewhere far is the best situation for me, I’ll go,” Carrington said. “It’s not really a factor for me.”

Carrington went on to share whether he plans on creating a shorter list of schools at some point before he goes ahead and makes his college decision.

“Yeah, I’m going to cut my list down, Carrington said. “I plan on committing before the school season, probably get it out of the way.”

The rising senior would like to sign his paperwork in the early period and talked about why that is the case.

“So I could stay focused,” Carrington explained, “not have to worry about visiting schools, anything like that.”

Asked if there are any coaches he has developed the best relationships with so far, Carrington responded, “No, all the coaches I talk to right now, they’re pretty cool.”

There are a few schools in particular that Carrington has noticed following him the most on the circuit this month.

“In July, Cincinnati, Seton Hall has been there a lot, Wake Forest,” Carrington said. “That’s three that’s been watching me a lot.”

Carrington also spent some time discussing the type of player he is on the hardwood.

“Getting to the rim,” Carrington said of his primary strength. “I like to get out in the open court, get fouls, go to the foul line. I like to go up and down.”

As for the other side of spectrum said, “The weakest is having a consistent jump shot. I got to work on that in August, getting ready for the season.”

Carrington also shared what he is doing to improve his jumper.

“I take shots every day, take shots on the gun, shots off the dribble,” Carrington said. “That’s what I do.”

Finally, Carrington discussed what it meant to him to wear the red, white and blue of the United States at the Nike Global Challenge.

“It means a lot, a lot of great players wore the USA colors and I’m just another one,” Carrington said. “It’s a great opportunity.”

HOOP GROUP SUMMER CLASSIC EAST REPORT

July 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. – With one Live Period in the books, the second of the month got underway yesterday night. NBE Sports was in the house at the Competitive Edge Sports Complex for The Hoop Group Summer Classic East.

While there, we had the chance to see five games featuring teams from the Northeast and took down some notes on player performances as well as tracked what college coaches were in the gym.

Bryce Aiken checks in at just 5-foot-9, but the class of 2016 prospect is a player. Aiken, who runs with the Team Scan 16s, is pretty quick and can get to the cup off the dribble. He is a crafty player who is capable of shooting it from long range some. Aiken is reportedly transferring to The Patrick School (NJ) for his sophomore year.

Mike Auger of the Mass Rivals is someone who certainly looks the part of a player when he is on the hardwood. The 6-foot-6 forward has a great build and fairly long arms. Auger, a class of 2014 prospect, needs to work on polishing up his overall skill set.
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ADIDAS INVITAIONAL NOTES – DAY ONE

July 11, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by N.D. Kendrick

Indianapolis, IN – The first July “live period” kicked off on Wednesday night and NBE Sports joined coaching staffs from numerous college programs in the Circle City to scout the prospects at the fifth annual Adidas Invitational.

This first night was highlighted by a star power match-up with Craig Victor of the New Orleans Elite going at Kevon Looney and his Milwaukee Running Rebels squad. In a sloppy contest, Victor willed his team to 60-50 win.

Standouts:

Rex Pflueger (Compton Magic 16s) – Pflueger understands how to play. He scores in a variety of ways, from three-point land, driving to the basket and getting to the free throw line by creating contact. He is a great rebounder and utilizes his court awareness to get in position for rebounds out of his area. His defense is not as advanced as his offensive game. Great frame.

Damontrae Jefferson (Milwaukee Running Rebels 17s) – Jefferson is a firecracker. He is extremely quick and makes great decisions. Despite his size he has a big heart (or mouth). He shoots the ball well, can shoot it from distance and gets the ball wherever he wants. He also defends, has quick hands and creates steals.

Ladamion Keys (New Orleans Elite 17s) – Keys is about a raw as they come with a hell of a ceiling. He is a very good rebounder and possesses nice instincts around the basket. He is capable of running the floor, but is not very fluid when doing so. He is a name to remember.

Mario Kegler (MBA Hoops 17s) – Didn’t get a great look at Kegler (2016), but in the limited viewing he was constantly putting pressure on his defender because he could get to the rim off the dribble with ease. Kegler can score in the lane with pure basketball moves. He has great touch and body control around the rim. Need a better look. Will update through the tournament.

Tyree Griffin (New Orleans Elite 17s) – Griffin has a pretty tight handle and is a creator off the dribble especially at end of clock situations where he can change speeds and directions with ease for scoring opportunities for himself or an open teammate. He is willing to battle. High motor kid.

Names to remember:

Elijah Mayes 2015 (Memphis Pure Magic)

Terrance Smith 2014 (Memphis Pure Magic)

Chase Jeter 2015 (Dream Vision)

Nnamdi Okongwu 2015 (Dream Vision)

Coaches in attendance:

John Groce (Illinois), Dave Rice (UNLV), Steve Donahue (Boston College), Thad Matta (Ohio State), Tom Izzo (Michigan State), Tim Miles (Nebraska), Tom Crean (Indiana), Bob Huggins (West Virginia), Steve Lavin (St. Johns), Marty Simmons (Evansville) Tommy Amaker (Harvard), Andy Enfield (USC), Sean Miller (Arizona), Mike Krzyzewsk (Duke), Rick Pitino (Louisville) and many more.

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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RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (1/25/2013): BERRY GIVES TAR HEELS HEAD START ON ’14 CLASS & MORE RECRUIT NEWS

January 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

While the last week or so has not been crazy on the recruiting trail, it has certainly not been as slow as the holiday season. The rundown includes a few high-major programs adding 2013 commitments, a powerhouse getting a 2014 pledge, USA Basketball releasing some big news and more.

We begin with the 2014 pledge, which came from Joel Berry, the No. 20 prospect in the NBE Sports Class of 2014 Post-July Top 75. Berry, a 6-foot-1 point guard from Lake Highland Prep (FL), has popped for North Carolina, per Alex Kline of TheRecruitScoop.com. He is a major pickup for the Tar Heels and is the highest ranked committed player in the NBE Sports 2014 rankings.

Amida Brimah, a 6-foot-11 class of 2013 center committed to UConn, per Coast 2 Coast Hoops. Brimah attends Archbishop Carroll (FL), after transferring over from Monsignor Pace (FL). He is a bit under the radar and fairly raw, but has some definite upside and can really impact the game when he is in the groove.

Jerron Wilbut of St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy (WI) is off the board to Seton Hall, according to Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com. Wilbut is a 6-foot-3 class of 2013 shooting guard who is in a post-graduate year after attending Downers Grove South (IL).

Sticking with the news on ZagsBlog.com and the current BIG EAST, Rutgers picked up a commitment from South Kent (Conn.) point guard Shane Rector.  The 6-foot-1 Rector is the first commit in the 2013 class for Mike Rice and the Scarlet Knights.

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

January 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

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

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

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

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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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2012 VILLA CLASSIC RECAP

December 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

GLENSIDE, Pa. – Five teams from New York City, four from Philadelphia and one from New Jersey made their way to Arcadia University yesterday for the sixth annual VILLA Classic. Although most of the games ended with lopsided scores, there was still some nice talent on display.

TOP PERFORMER

There are several players who could stake claim to this honor, but we are going to go with Brandon Austin. The future Providence Friar was not amongst the players who dropped 20+ points, but he turned in the best all-around performance. The versatile senior from Imhotep Charter (PA) is capable of playing multiple positions, but, as he showed on Saturday, he is best suited at the point guard spot. Austin is capable of both scoring the ball himself—he finished with 18 points against Lincoln (NY)—and facilitating things for others. He runs the offense quite adeptly and is a superb defender. The 6-foot-6 Austin locked up and forced steals, but he was also able to block shots around the rim. His combination of size, skill and length allows him to impact the game in multiple ways. Additionally, the No. 47 ranked player in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Top 125 has a nice feel for the game.

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RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (12/3/2012): TOWNS DECISION COMING; OTHER NEWS TRICKLING IN ON RECRUITING FRONT

December 3, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

Things have been very quiet on the trail over the past week, with few major commitments. However, there were a few newsworthy items from the high school hoops world lately and they are detailed below.

First off, the Oklahoma High School Sports Express reported that Stevie Clark of Douglass (OK) had signed his Letter of Intent to attend Oklahoma State. Clark is a 5-foot-10 point guard and he is ranked as the No. 101 player in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125. He is the second talented guard to pledge to the Cowboys recently, joining 6-foot-2 shooting guard Detrick Mostella of La Lumiere (IN).

Jeff Tarpley of AggieYell.com had the news that Tony Trocha inked with Texas A&M. Trocha is a 6-foot-10 center from Colombia who attends Saint Thomas (TX). The long post player has some definite upside and Scout.com’s Evan Daniels reported that he may enroll in College Station this season.

Class of 2013 stud Julius Randle will be out for three months with a fractured right foot, per Jason Jordan of USA Today. Randle, a 6-foot-9 power forward from Prestonwood Christian (TX), is ranked No. 5 in the NBE Sports 2013 Top 125.

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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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RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (11/9/2012): ORANGE CONTINUE TO SIZZLE ON RECRUITING TRAIL AHEAD OF ACC MOVE

November 9, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

The two biggest high school hoops stories to come since our last Recruiting Notebook are both out of the class of 2014.

First off, Chris McCullough became just the second player in the top 25 of the NBE Sports Class of 2014 Post-July Top 75 to make a college decision. The 6-foot-9 power forward from Brewster Academy (NH) pledged to Syracuse, in news that looks to have been first reported by CuseNation.com.

McCullough is a native New Yorker and a high school teammate of recent 2013 Syracuse pledge Ron Patterson. McCullough is ranked No. 22 in the NBE Sports 2014 Top 75.

The Orange may not be done in 2014 as NBE’s 19th best player in the class, Isaiah Whitehead, has narrowed his list to 10, per ESPN, and the Orange remain one of the leaders.  The final 10 for the NYC guard are:  Syracuse, St. John’s, Rutgers, Kentucky, Louisville, Arizona, Maryland, Florida, Kansas and UCLA.

Dakari Johnson was the other 2014 stud to make news this week, except, well, Johnson is no longer a member of that class. Johnson has made the decision to reclassify to 2013, per Garrett Tucker of Future150.com.

The 6-foot-10 center from Montverde Academy (FL) was ranked No. 3 in the NBE Sports 2014 Top 75. He is the third top-20 player to reclassify from 2014 to 2013 in the past few months, following Andrew Wiggins, Noah Vonleh and Wayne Selden.

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RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (10/11/12) — COMMITMENT ROLL CONTINUES

October 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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by Alex Schwartz

Major commitments have continued to roll in over the past few days and there does not appear to be an end coming in the near future.

The biggest commitment to come down since Monday’s Recruiting Notebook was that of Karviar Shepherd. Not only is Shepherd a high-level prospect, but he has a chance to be somewhat a program changer at his future institution.

Shepherd, a 6-foot-9 center out of Prime Prep (TX), ended his recruitment by pledging to in-state TCU, according to ESPN.com’s Reggie Rankin. The Horned Frogs are entering their first year in a BCS conference and are also under a first year head coach. However, Trent Johnson now has himself a player to build around in the Big 12, as Shepherd is ranked No. 14 in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125.

Shepherd showed at that 2012 Adidas Invitational last July his ability to score with both hands, make great passes from the post and refined footwork that most college big men would be jealous of. Shepherd also protects the rim and rebounds both ends of the floor at an elite level. NBE’s National Recruiting Analyst also wrote that Shepherd has the potential to be a dominant low post scorer at the college level after watching him perform in Indianapolis to kick off the July evaluation periods.
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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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BROOKLYN DUO KHADEEM CARRINGTON & JONATHAN SEVERE

July 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Brooklynite got in good bump last week

By Ron Bailey

New York City has been central to the BIG EAST since its inception, producing the likes of Pearl Washington, Chris Mullins, Malik Sealy and Kemba Walker. That’s just a very brief snapshot of Big Apple guys that have played in the B-EAST. Currently there is a Brooklyn resident that could find his way into the league. He had a solid Nike Skills U camp.

Class of 2014 point guard Khadeem Carrington, a 6-foot-2, 175-pound guy originally from Brooklyn’s Flatbush section but now living in Canarsie, routinely demonstrated an ability to push the ball in traffic with good body lean, generally resulting a good pass delivery or solid finished. The lefty possesses craftiness and strength, which he uses well of the bounce.

His recruitment is in full swing. 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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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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