NBE Basketball Report
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REEBOK BREAKOUT CLASSIC — DAY II

July 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

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

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

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

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

Jacobi Boykins of Lakewood (FL) is an impressive all-around offensive player. The 6-foot-5 class of 2014 shooting guard is a bit thin and needs to add some bulk, but he is a solid athlete with good bounce. Boykins is a quality shooter with a nice looking stroke who can also score at the rim some.
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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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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 (10/18/2012): POST MADNESS COMMITMENT CRAZE

October 18, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

Last Friday was Midnight Madness, which is the first day that college basketball programs can hold official practices. Many schools, at all levels, use the weekend of Midnight Madness as a chance to host and impress either their top target(s) or a large number of prospects.

As always, there have been numerous high-major commitments rolling in since players began their Midnight Madness visits. Below is a rundown of many of the top players to pledge over the past week.

I was out of the country over the weekend, which is why there was no Recruiting Notebook on Monday. Additionally, due to my trip—it’s crazy how disconnected to the world I am without my phone or constant internet access—the news on these pledges can be attributed to the Scout.com Commitment Tracker.

The biggest news coming from the weekend involved—who else?—the University of Kentucky. For the third straight week, John Calipari has landed at least one top-15 prospect in the class of 2013. This time it was 6-foot-9 center Marcus Lee of Deer Valley (CA), who selected UK over Cal. He is ranked No. 13 in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125.

Also nabbing a pledge from a top-20 recruit this week was Kansas. The Jayhawks added to their backcourt haul by picking up Wayne Selden, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard out of the Tilton School (NH). He is ranked No. 18 in the  NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125.

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RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (10/4/2012) — HARRISON TWINS DECISION DUE TODAY

October 4, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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by Alex Schwartz

Quite possibly the best package deal in high school basketball history will have a destination today. Top-four ranked twin brothers Andrew and Aaron Harrison are set to announce their college intentions and will be choosing between Kentucky, Maryland and SMU.

The 6-foot-5 guards from Travis (TX) had long been working with a top five that also included Baylor and Villanova, but they have narrowed it down to a final trio. The general belief though, is that it is truly a two-horse race between Kentucky and Maryland.

UK is on a roll under John Calipari, as he is four for four in Lexington, Ky. in signing the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation. He has led Kentucky to two Final Fours and the Wildcats are the reigning national champion. UK has also churned out a plethora of first round picks under Cal and it is the winningest program in NCAA basketball history.
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‘THE TAKEOVER’ 2012 NATIONAL INVITATIONAL RECRUITING NOTEBOOK

July 30, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Whitfield

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

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

TEAM UNITED DUO IN HIGH DEMAND

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

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

ORLANDO AAU REPORT – SATURDAY

July 30, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Alex Schwartz

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Saturday was the final full day of the last Live period this month. Coaches will be back in the gym on Sunday, but must leave at 5:00 p.m. There were quite a few players who excelled on Saturday and it looked like one player had the Top Performer spot wrapped up–until one 2013 wing went bonkers from long range in the nightcap. Also, a trio of big men originally from Africa were quite impressive, two top-five players shined again and a top-100 prospect in 2013 listed a favorite.

TOP PERFORMER

Omar Prewitt needs to be in the discussion of the best shooter in the United States at the high school level. A 6’5 shooting guard out of Montgomery (KY) put on an absolute SHOW for The Ville in the final game of the night. In the first half alone, Prewitt had 22 points and knocked in six 3-pointers. The final stats sheet was swooped away before we could take a look at it, but one of The Ville coaches said Prewitt had 33 points and a D1 assistant told us he hd 34. He finished with eight or nine 3-pointers and was simply unstoppable off the catch. Prewitt is not just a one-dimensional shooter, though. He has a smooth game and is more than capable of knifing through a defense and getting to the rim. Prewitt handles the ball pretty well and he can block shots at the defensive end. His Saturday night performance was one of the best that this writer has seen all month.
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ORLANDO AAU REPORT – FRIDAY

July 28, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Friday was a day at 11th Grade AAU Nationals where NBE Sports watched a number of games from outside the Gold pools. This allowed us to see some teams that might not be as nationally known and catch some players who might be flying under the radar a bit. However, we did check out some Gold games too and some of our top performers come from those squads too.

TOP PERFORMER

Trevin Joseph gets the nod as the top performer of the day on Friday, though several players could put together a nice case for the honor. Joseph is the second straight 2013 shooting guard from Georgia to get the nod, following Ryan Wilkins on Thursday. Joseph is a 6’3 rising senior from Stockbridge (GA) who runs with Gold Coast and is part of a deep, talented backcourt. Joseph showed off some major scoring ability in the night’s final game and it was rare to see him actually miss a shot. A strong player with a very good build, Joseph s a knockdown 3-point shooter and is lethal off the catch. He is a smooth player and is his stroke looks quite good. Joseph is also adept at getting to the basket and he finishes once there. Overall, he is a talented offensive player who could be a stud scorer at the next level.
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PHIL BOOTH HAS SCHOOLS IN HOT PURSUIT AS ’14 G IMPRESSES IN JULY

July 25, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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

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

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

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2012 PEACH JAM REPORT – DAY III (PART C)

July 21, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

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

Top Performer of the Night:

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

July 19, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By N.D. Kendrick

Mequon, WI – The second July “live period” kicked off on Wednesday night and NBE Sports joined coaching staffs from numerous college programs at Homestead High School to scout the prospects at the NY2LA Under Armour Summer Jam.

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

TOP PERFORMER

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

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2012 PEACH STATE SUMMER SHOWCASE REPORT – PART I

July 19, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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by Alex Schwartz

AIKEN, S.C. – The second Live Evaluation Period of July tipped off on Wednesday night and NBE Sports was in the building at USC Aiken for the Peach State Summer Showcase.

While the tournament might not get as much hype as Nike Peach Jam does, Peach State is also loaded with talented prospects. Several of those players stood out on opening night and NBE Sports caught up with a few guys as well.

TOP PERFORMER

John Egbunu might not be 7-foot like he is listed, but the future South Florida Bull is an impressive player nonetheless. The Class of 2013 center out of Eagle’s Landing (GA) is a rugged interior presence who simply gets things done around the cup. Egbunu turned in an impressive performance for Douglas Brothers Elite in a victory over Birmingham Ice Xpress and was extremely difficult to defend in the low post. He finishes well and does a great job of grabbing offensive rebounds and then putting the ball back in the cup for an easy deuce. Possessing strength and power, Egbunu is also capable of throwing down a big-time dunk, as he most certainly showed on Wednesday night.
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REEBOK SHOWDOWN CHAMPIONSHIP RECAP – SUNDAY

July 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Alex Schwartz

PHILADELPHIA – The first Live session of July came to an end yesterday evening, and NBE Sports was once again at Philadelphia University for the Reebok Showdown Series Championship. This time it was championship day of the event and it was Sports U that stole the show, beating the Jersey Shore Warriors, 82-74 in OT, to win the U16 division and then coming back to beat the Arkansas Hawks, 59-56, in the Showdown Division. Additionally, the NJ Cyclones knock off Team Nelson for the U17 crown.

TOP PERFORMER

DeAndre Bembry turned in a big-time performance in the championship game of the Showdown Division. The 6’6 combo forward from St. Patrick’s (NJ) was easily the contest’s top scorer, pouring in 24 points and was the only player on Sports U to finish in double-digits. Bembry, a class of 2013 prospect, is a superb slasher who makes his mark by getting to the rim off the bounce and finishing. He has a good body and is a big-time athlete. In the championship game he showed off some range, connecting on a 3-pointer at one point. Bembry rebounds the rock well, runs the floor well and simply produces.

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2012 NIKE SKILLS U – JAYLON TATE & GAVIN SCHILLING UPDATE

July 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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DePaul in hot pursuit of Skills U Chitown pair

By Ron Bailey

When Nike’s Skills U commenced two days ago, it was assumed many college coaches would descend upon Alexandria, VA’s T.C. Williams HS to scout players. That belief has proven true, as bench leaders from programs around the country have done just that.

Of course Big East coaches have been solidly represented. One guy stood out in attendance – DePaul head coach Oliver Purnell. He was one of only two B-EAST head coaches to show up Wednesday or Thursday (Stan Heath of South Florida attended Wednesday evening’s skills session). To his credit, Purnell, going into his third season at DePaul (23rd overall as a head coach), stayed pretty much the whole day Thursday.

Why? Two names: Jaylon Tate and Gavin Schilling, a pair of Windy City products.
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BIG EAST ANNOUNCES 2012-2013 MEN’S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE MATCHUPS

June 28, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Per Big East conference news release…

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The BIG EAST Conference has announced the league opponents and game sites for its men’s basketball teams for the 2012-13 season.

The conference schedule – which comprises 135 regular-season games – will once again yield some of the most-anticipated contests nationally in 2012-13. Nearly 80 percent of the regular-season league games (107 of 135) will include at least one team that reached the NCAA Championship last season. Thirty-seven games (27 percent) will be between two NCAA tournament teams from 2012.

Additionally, each of the 15 BIG EAST teams will play either nine or 10 of its 18 league games against NCAA tournament teams. Each team will face 10 opponents once and four opponents twice. All 135 regular-season conference games will again be televised, either by the ESPN family of networks or CBS Sports.

The decisions regarding repeat opponents are driven by fairness and competitive balance within the parameters of television selections and geographic rivalries. The full 2012-13 conference schedule will be announced at a later date.

2012-13 BIG EAST Men’s Basketball Schedule Breakdown
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2012 RUMBLE IN THE BRONX RECAP (PART III)

June 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

The Rumble in the Bronx came to a close on Championship Sunday with winners being crowned in the 15U, 16U, and 17U divisions. The NJ Playaz took down the 15U crown, Team Scan the 16U, and Sports U was named 17U champions after a thrilling triple overtime win over arch rival NJ Playaz. I was camped out at John Jay College on Sunday which featured some early 16U playoff action followed by 17U semifinals and finals. While Sports U used a balanced attack en route to the championship, the Playaz had the day’s best performer in the losing effort.

Top Performance of the Day:

Shane Rector (NJ Playaz 2013) – As mentioned the Playaz lost a heartbreaker to Sports U in the championship game but Rector was a dominant force individually throughout the day on his team’s path to that game. His improvement over the past 12 months has been fun to watch and speaks to Rector’s tireless work ethic. A year ago at the Rumble I wrote about Shane after he scored 25 or so points without taking a shot outside of 4 feet. His game used to be all to the rim with little to no outside shot in his arsenal. Fast forward a year and the 3 point shot has become a major weapon for Rector as defenders can no longer go under the screen without being punished. He has also improved drastically as a floor general running a team and being a leader. No longer just an athletic combo guard, Rector has successfully made the transition to a full time point and his recruitment should soon reap the benefits.

NBE’s Alex Schwartz was able to catch up with Rector Friday night, along with Saturday’s Top Performer Dayshon Smith, to get the latest on the recruitment of two of the spring’s fastest rising guards, not only out of NYC, but in the nation: NYC Guards Shane Rector & Dayshon Smith See Recruitment Rise.
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2012 RUMBLE IN THE BRONX RECAP (PART II)

June 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

The Rumble in the Bronx got back into swing on Saturday at gyms all over the greater NYC area. I had the opportunity to take in the action at both Baruch College in the morning and John Jay College in the evening. While younger players in the 2014 and 2015 classes stole the show for much of the day it was still a member of the 2013 class who gets top billing for Saturday.

Top Performance of the Day:

Dayshon Smith (NY Lightning 2013) – Affectionately called “Scooch” by just about everybody, Smith is an old school New York City point guard. He uses spins, hesitation moves, crossovers, and herky-jerky head fakes to constantly work his way into the paint and make plays. Once inside he’s equally likely to use a soft floater, explode towards the rim, or whip a pass out to a 3 point shooter at any and all angles. While his physical skills are impressive it’s the mental side of the game where Smith truly separates himself from the competition. He has a unique understanding of when to get others involved and when to look for his own offense. In the first half of a Saturday night victory Scooch ran the show and got everyone else the ball in spots where they could be successful. Then down the stretch of the second half with the outcome still in the balance he took matters into his own hands and seemed to score on every possession down the floor. This is not the first time I’ve seen Smith master the balance of keeping teammates happy for 3.5 quarters and then closing the game out himself in the final moments. It’s unusual for players at the high school level to already understand that just because they can get their own shot any time doesn’t always make it the right decision. Scooch is ahead of the game in this area and it’s a mindset that will continue to serve him well at the next level.
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