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.”
by Alex Schwartz
WASHINGTON – The Nike Global Challenge came to a close on Saturday, with USA West winning 98-95 over USA South to take the crown.
NBE Sports was in the house to take in the action from three of the day’s four games. While there, we put together some observations of players in attendance, tracked what coaches were in the gym and talked to a few players for recruiting updates.
Due to his religious beliefs and practices, Abdul-Malik Abu is fasting from sunrise to sunset during the July Live Periods for Ramadan. Despite playing without eating or drinking, the 6-foot-8 power forward was productive and showed off a quality motor. A class of 2014 recruit from Kimball Union Academy (NH), Abu has a good build and is tough in the post. Abu, who was playing for Team Pan-Africa, also showed that he has some ability to step out and shoot the ball, even if that is not his forte.
Indiana-commit James Blackmon of Bishop Luers (IN) was easily one of the best shooters at the entire event. An elite marksman from beyond the arc, the 6-foot-2 shooting guard is lethal when left open. Blackmon, a class of 2014 prospect, can get hot in a hurry and is capable of putting on a show when he is in the groove, as he was on Saturday for Team USA Midwest.
Bonzie Colson of St. Andrew’s (RI) is an undersized power forward at 6-foot-5, but he can flat our produce. The class of 2014 recruit was pretty productive for Team USA East and displayed the ability to score down low. His thick build helps him make up for what he lacks in height and he can use his frame to his advantage.
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.
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.
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.
by Alex Schwartz
PHILADELPHIA – Derrick Jones of Archbishop Carroll (PA) has established himself as an elite forward prospect in the nation’s crop of rising juniors.
A 6-foot-5 small forward with big-time athletic ability, Jones has offers from some top-level programs.
While at the Reebok Breakout Classic, Jones said he has been extended scholarship offers by Kentucky, Kansas, Syracuse, Villanova, Temple, Rutgers, St. Joe’s, Penn State, Kansas State, and Seton Hall.
Jones said that the offer from Kansas “came like two weeks ago” and the one from Kentucky came on around Wednesday.
The class of 2015 prospect talked about what it means to garner offers from those types of programs.
“It means a lot knowing now I can play at any type of level,” Jones said. “Just going up there, if I wanted to I could go to Kentucky or Kansas or Syracuse or a school like that.”
Jones said he does not think there are any schools recruiting him that have yet to offer and also noted that he has does not have any favorites.
As for what he is looking for in a school, Jones remarked, “A big fan base, a good coaching staff and a big facility.”
The lone visit that Jones said he has been on thus far was a trip to Temple about two months ago.
“It was great,” Jones said of the Temple visit, “just going out, seeing the campus and everything, talking to the coaches.”
Jones said he does not think he has any additional trips scheduled right now and also is without a timetable for a commitment.
The Keystone State prospect also spent some time talking about his game, beginning with his chief strength on the hardwood, which he said is “probably getting to the basket.”
As for his main weakness, he said, “Probably my jump shot,” and went on to talk about what he is doing to improve that.
“I’m in the gym up at St. Andrew’s [in Delaware] with a shooting machine,” Jones said.
Jones said that he compares his game to that of recent NBA Draft lottery pick Michael Carter-Williams and explained why.
“Because he’s lanky, he’s like 6’6, 6’7 and he can get to the basket,” Jones said.
The high flying wing also talked about his experience at the Reebok Breakout Classic.
“It’s great, just having to play against all the top players and some of the top players in the country,” Jones said, “just going out there and playing.”
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. 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.
In our first Top 100 Camp report yesterday we had recruiting updates on Stephen Zimmerman, Malachi Richardson, Leron Black, Myles Turner, Reid Travis and Devin Robinson. In our second edition, read on below for updates on Thon Maker, Jaquan Lyle, Ja’Quan Newton and MARYLAND-commit Romelo Trimble impressed in his effort…
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.
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.
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.
by Alex Schwartz
First off, NBE Sports would like to say Happy Holidays to all of our readers. Hopefully you all enjoy the season!
As for the hoops, there was one big-time commitment that came down in the past week as well as a few other pieces of news.
Jabari Parker, ranked No. 3 in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125, committed to the Duke Blue Devils. Parker selected Duke over BYU, Florida, Michigan State, and Stanford. The 6-foot-8 small forward from Simeon (IL) is a huge pickup for Mike Krzyzewski and Co. and is the top ranked committed player in the nation not going to an SEC School.
Parker is the third member of Duke’s class in the top 45 of the NBE Sports rankings. He joins No. 29 Matt Jones of DeSoto (TX) and No. 41 Semi Ojeleye of Ottawa (KS).
Jevon Thomas of St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy (WI) committed to Kansas State, per ESPN.com’s Reggie Rankin. Thomas is a 5-foot-11 class of 2013 point guard from New York who is in a post-graduate year at SJNMA. He had originally committed to St. John’s, then decommitted and eventually pledged to Dayton. Instead of heading to Dayton, Thomas went to prep school and is now bound for KSU.
by Alex Schwartz
There have not been many high-major commitments of late, but there has still been a fair amount of news in the high school hoops world lately. In addition, one of the nation’s top prospects is set to announce his choice today.
First off, Jabari Parker is set to announce his college choice today on ESPNU, as originally reported by Joe Henrickson of the Chicago Sun-Times. Parker is a 6-foot-8 small forward out of Simeon (IL) who is ranked No. 3 in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125. KSL.com’s Greg Wrubell quoted Jabari’s father, Sonny Parker, as saying, “I think it will probably be between Duke and Michigan State.”
Samford landed a commitment from Jordan Capps, per Scout.com’s Evan Daniels. Capps is a class of 2013 small forward prospect from Peachtree Ridge (GA) who has some solid size at 6-foot-6.
St. Peter’s dipped into the JuCo ranks for a 2013 commitment, according to Brad Winton of JuCoRecruiting.com. He reported that the Peacocks landed Tyler Gaskins, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Lawson State Community College (AL).
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.
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.
RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (11/19/2012): ROBERSON, ANYA, HAMILTON, MEEKS, MOSTELLA & MORE OFF THE ’13 BOARD
by Alex Schwartz
Friday was a huge day in the world of high school hoops. In a matter of about an hour on Friday evening, four of the top 50 players in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125 made their decisions.
The biggest coup of the bunch was UTEP landing Isaac Hamilton of St. John Bosco (CA). The 6-foot-5 shooting guard and younger brother of the Denver Nuggets’ Jordan Hamilton, Isaac has a chance to be an absolute star for the Miners.
Hamilton is ranked No. 7 in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125 and he picked UTEP over schools such as UCLA and UNLV, amongst others. He announced his decision live on ESPNU.
Once Indiana withdrew from BeeJay Anya’s recruitment, it was nearly a foregone conclusion that the 6-foot-8 center would pick North Carolina State. However, that does not make the addition of the DeMatha (MD) star any less significant for the Wolfpack.
by Alex Schwartz
The early signing period is set to begin on Wednesday and that means class of 2013 recruits will finally be able to make their verbal commitments official.
Despite the approach of the signing period, the past few days have been fairly quiet on the recruiting front. However, there was one major commitment from an elite prospect.
Noah Vonleh of New Hampton (NH) committed to the Indiana Hoosiers on Saturday night, in news first reported by Scout.com’s Evan Daniels. Vonleh had been ranked No. 6 in the NBE Sports Class of 2014 Post-Summer Top 75 before reclassifying back to the 2013 class.
Now that he is in the senior class, Vonleh may well be amongst the top-10 players in the 2013 class and he is a huge addition for Tom Crean’s program. The 6-foot-8 power forward’s pledge to IU comes only a few weeks after he trimmed his list to six schools. The other finalists were Georgetown, Ohio State, North Carolina, Syracuse, and UConn.
Another player in the NBE Sports 2014 Top 75 also made his commitment recently. Scout.com’s Brian Snow broke the news that Melvin Swift, Jr. of Yates (TX) had popped to Xavier. The 6-foot-7 junior power forward checks in at No. 59 in the rankings and is a big pickup for the Musketeers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
by Alex Schwartz
Last Friday was Midnight Madness, which is the first day that college basketball programs can hold official practices. Many schools, at all levels, use the weekend of Midnight Madness as a chance to host and impress either their top target(s) or a large number of prospects.
As always, there have been numerous high-major commitments rolling in since players began their Midnight Madness visits. Below is a rundown of many of the top players to pledge over the past week.
I was out of the country over the weekend, which is why there was no Recruiting Notebook on Monday. Additionally, due to my trip—it’s crazy how disconnected to the world I am without my phone or constant internet access—the news on these pledges can be attributed to the Scout.com Commitment Tracker.
The biggest news coming from the weekend involved—who else?—the University of Kentucky. For the third straight week, John Calipari has landed at least one top-15 prospect in the class of 2013. This time it was 6-foot-9 center Marcus Lee of Deer Valley (CA), who selected UK over Cal. He is ranked No. 13 in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125.
Also nabbing a pledge from a top-20 recruit this week was Kansas. The Jayhawks added to their backcourt haul by picking up Wayne Selden, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard out of the Tilton School (NH). He is ranked No. 18 in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125.
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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.
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.