By James Blackburn

Game Scouted: Virginia Tech vs Northeastern (Charleston Classic)

Vasa Pusica, PG, 6-5, RS SR

Strengths

PG with good size who can handle it well with either hand. Pressure doesnt bother him at all. Terrific shooter off the catch and off the dribble- quick release. Shoots the 3 ball with great efficiency.

Cerebral player who understands the game, doesnt get rattled. Poised. High IQ guy. Pretty good in the low/mid post where he can score it and shoot it over double teams.

Good court vision, keeps head up at all times. Has good size that allows him to see over the defense. Unselfish- good passer. Makes right reads on PnR plays.

Can create his own offense and offense for others- good playmaker. Showed good ability to create his own shot off the dribble. Has a great crossover move.

Excellent touch on floater/ shooting. Good footwork.

Weaknesses

Underwhelming physically and athletically. This tends to hurt him more on the defensive end than offensively. Does struggle to finish in traffic. Length and athleticism give him trouble. Doesnt have elite speed to get by defenders. 

Overall

From Serbia where he is a member of the National Team. Was Northeastern’s top scorer last season and leads them in scoring so far this year with over 20 ppg. 

With his passport, he could play high level Europe right away. Will get some NBA interest and should be a PIT guy. 

Andrew Eudy

Game Scouted: Campbell vs UNCW

Campbell wins 97-93 in OT

Andrew Eudy, PF, 6’7″, 210 lbs, SR

Strengths 

Great shooting stroke- high release w/ great touch and rotation- has range out to 3 pt line- simple and pure stroke. Very good catch and shoot guy. Loves to pick and pop- gets feet set and on balance quickly. Was 5-6 from distance tonight. 

Capable scorer from both the perimeter with his 3 pt shooting and pick and pop ability and from the post. Is a patient scorer with his back to the basket– does a nice job of reading the defense and takes what the defense gives. Showed good footwork and ability to use either hand equally well. Good hook shot.

Good rebounder on both ends who boxes out. Solid shot blocker who influences shots he doesnt block.

Great out of the mid post area where he is patient and reads the floor- great passer. His touch passes are incredible. High basketball IQ. Great feel for the game! Crafty. Lets the game come to him doesnt force shots or his offense.

Moves well and is better athlete than given credit for. Showed he could hedge ball screens and retreat to man.

Weaknesses 

Not physically weak but could gain some more muscle mass as he is prone to giving up ground in the post to stronger players. Lacks the 1st step quickness to get by other 4’s on the perimeter.  How well can he create his own offense? 

Overall 

Andrew entered the game 3rd in school history in blocked shots. Super efficient player who can score inside and outside, defends, rebounds, and makes others better. He has the type of game that should translate well to Europe. Very few weaknesses as a player- overall fundamentally sound. 

 

basketball-generic

Game Scouted: High Point vs Winthrop

 

Winthrop Wins 82-70

 

Jahaad Proctor, G, 6’3”, 205 lbs, SO

 

Strengths

Plays with great pace and poise. Can play on or off the ball. Does a nice job of keeping defender on his hip and changing speeds off the ball screen. Crafty player.

Terrific in the midrange where he can shoot the floater or the pull-up. Consistent shooter from the perimeter.

Excellent playmaker. Can create his own offense and does a nice job of creating shots for others. Has good perimeter footwork.

Strong player who can take contact and uses his muscle to get to his spots and overpower smaller guards off the bounce. Uses his size to post up smaller guards.

Can finish at the rim- better finisher then he showed tonight. Can score the ball in various ways and attack from a variety of angles.

Defensively he showed good quickness and stays in front of the ball. Equally good on the defensive side of the ball as offensive side. Uses his length well on this end. Defends the ball baseline to baseline.  

 

Weaknesses

Lacks athleticism and quickness. Needs to improve his ability to finish with his left hand. Motor needs to be a little better.

A little above average 3 pt shooter- doesnt get much elevation on his shot and misses are inconsistent- something he can continue to improve and I believe he will.

 

Overall

Entered this game leading the team in assists per game at 3.4 and is tied for 1st in scoring at 16.6 ppg.

First season playing at High Point as he redshirted last year after transfering from Iona.

Has a great chance to be the Big South player of the Year either next year or as a senior. Future pro.

By James Blackburn

Game Scouted: Davidson vs Saint Josephs

Kellen Grady, 6’5”, 195 lbs, G, FR

Strengths –

Moves without the ball and makes smart cuts. Has a high motor and stays in attack mode.Runs the floor hard. Solid athlete with good size for the combo guard position.  

Handles the ball pretty well and does a nice job of keeping his dribble and probing till an opening appears. 

Gets to his spots and can knock down open 3’s. Gets good rotation on the ball.

Better passer than assist numbers would indicate.

Weaknesses –

Shot release is beside his head— needs to continue to improve 3 pt shot. Shot has a tendency to get flat. 

Dribble can get high and loose at times.

Outlook

Has been named Freshman of the Week in the A10 four times this season already and I can see him getting it at least once more before the end of the season. Entered this game vs St Josephs averaging 16.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, and 1.8 apg. Has a ton of confidence for a freshman and is in great physical shape. 

Grady is getting a lot of minutes as a freshman, something we dont see a lot at Davidson. Grady has a good chance to be an All-A10 performer multiple times before his career ends, and is a player pro teams need to monitor.

 


Game Scouted: Wake Forest vs Clemson

Clemson wins 75-67

Keyshawn Woods, G, 6’3”, R-JR

 

Stats

30 min, 5-12 FG, 1 steal, 13 points

 

Strengths

Smart defender who can guard several positions despite having below average athleticism or length. He stays active and aware off the ball and always knows where the ball and his man are at all times. Defends without fouling and stays in front of the ball.  

Quick first step and can get by initial defender. Has a good mid range game where he can shoot the pull up or finish with the floater. Showed a nice left drive and finish in the 2nd half today.

Consistent scorer who can score the ball in a variety of ways. Does a nice job of drawing contact on rim attacks and knocks down his FT’s.

Can create space for his own shot with solid footwork, jabs, and fakes. Solid ball handler. Can change directions off the bounce.

Good shooter from both the 3 pt line and from the midrange- has a quick release. Understands when to curl screens and when to fade.

 

Weaknesses

Lacks elite speed and athleticism. Struggles to finish over bigs on drives because of his lack of explosion.

Shot selection can be questionable at times which lowers his percentages.

Not a great playmaker.

Overvall

Entered this game 2nd on the team in scoring and is also shooting over 43% from 3 for the season.

Has been an impact player for the Deacs since transferring from UNC Charlotte after his freshman year. Has battled some injuries this year and is still not quite 100% If he can stay healthy and have a big summer I can see him as being a PIT guy and a G-League prospect.

By James Blackburn

Game Scouted: UAB @ UNC Charlotte

UAB wins 76-64

Chris Cokley, PF, 6’8″, SR

Stats

30 min, 10-12 FG, 6-8 FT, 12 rebounds, 1 steal, 26 points

Strengths – Man amongst boys. Very strong and aggressive player. Big time finisher inside the paint- very efficient. Muscles his way to the rim and can finish with contact. Has good hands. Showed the ability to score with his back to the basket and gets great inside and deep position on the block. Can score it with either hand, has good touch around the basket, and showed nice patience in the post. Pretty good passer out of the post and is a better passer then his assist numbers show. 

Can shoot the midrange out to about 17′ and has a high release and ball gets great rotation. Good FT shooter as well. 

Runs the floor and moves well for someone with so much muscle and size. Active with a high motor. 

Rebounds it on both ends and is strong with the ball. 

Weaknesses 

Height could be an issue down the road- did not look to be 6-8.  Not great putting the ball on the floor. Range is limited- doesnt shoot 3’s, but to his credit he doesnt shoot any. 

Overall

Entered this game vs UNC Charlotte averaging 18/9- leads team in both categories. Is a high tier European prospect and will get NBA interest. Does a good job of maximizing his strengths and hiding his weaknesses. Hard to find much to critique in his game as he is so well rounded- most of his weaknesses are there from an NBA prospect standpoint and trying to project him at that level. Will most likely be at the PIT and NBA Summer League. Game will translate well to pros with his strength, scoring ability on the block, and rebounding. 

 

Cherokee basketball

Cherokee HS basketball

By James Blackburn

I was able to catch some high school basketball on Friday night in Cherokee, NC for a 1A battle between Cherokee HS and Rosman HS. Cherokee was able to control tempo and lead throughout the game to ultimately get the 95-76 win. This despite it being the third game of the week for the Cherokee Braves.

There were numerous college prospects that I was able to see in this one and I would highly suggest D2/D3 coaches take the drive up the mountain to check out Cherokee HS this season.

 

Cherokee HS

Justus Day, SR, 6’2″, PG

Terrific athlete who can score in bunches. Struggled tonight overall but you can clearly see his talent. Very strong with the ball- can take contact and finish. Can create his own offense and has a deadly crossover dribble to create space. Physical defender who bumps cutters, blocks shots, and stays in front of the ball. Shot selection needs to improve. D2+/LM prospect who will most likely go the JUCO route.

 

Josiah Lossiah, JR, 5’9″, PG

Solid pass first PG who gets the ball up the floor very quickly either with the pass ahead or the bounce. Changes directions and speeds pretty well- crafty. Fluid scoring at the rim. Needs to continue to improve outside shot. Highlight maker with the ball in his hands. Understands how to enter the ball to the post. Great playmaker on both ends- quick hands. Endless energy in this one. D3+/D2- prospect- would be better if he were a bit bigger.

 

Sterling Santa Maria, SO, 6’4″, F

Undersized post to keep an eye on. Is a big/strong body who is efficient around the basket. Soft touch and has good hands. Got into with a few players tonight so needs to stay engaged and keep his cool but is a player to monitor. Finished with 20 points.

Rosman HS

Deland Thomas, SR, 6’4″, SF

Could make an argument that Thomas was the best prospect and certainly the best player tonight in this one. Great endurance- played entire and didnt have any let down even at the end, despite this being only his 3rd game back after injury. Is a tremendous outside shooter with a high and quick release. Has a good frame that will allow him to add more weight and muscle. Utilizes jab and ball fakes. Can attack in either direction in straight line drives. Needs to continue to improve ball handling. Fundamental/throw back player who has tremendous footwork. Skilled but average athletically. Mid to high level D2 player.

basketball-generic

Game Scouted: Richmond @ Wake Forest

Wake Forest wins 82-53

Doral Moore, C, 7’1″, JR

Stats

25 min, 6-7 FG, 3-6 FT, 8 reb, 4 blocks, 1 assist, 1 TO, 15 TP

Strengths

You can see a big improvement in all areas from the last two years to this year for Moore from his confidence level to his offense and everything in between.  Starting with his body and conditioning, Moore has added muscle and strength. This extra weight has allowed him to hold his post position, finish inside, and hold rebounding position. He has great length and athleticism and can really finish above the rim. He has solid hands and can catch alley-oop passes from multiple angles and distances. Solid rebounder who will get a couple of pro level/above the rim rebounds a game.

Offensively, Moore is showing much more confidence and it seems to be growing by the game. He has good touch around the rim and has a nice turn around jump shot which is becoming his go-to post move. He also has a nice sweeping right nook which is impossible to guard. Richmond actually sent a double a couple of times when he caught it with his back to the basket and he didnt turn it over and made the cross court pass to the open man. He keeps the ball high on offense rebounds and finishes inside. Moore gets the majority of his baskets in the PnR or with his back to the basket on post ups.

Defensively, Moore uses his length and size to disrupt in the paint and is a presence. Good shot blocker and has gotten better staying straight up and not fouling.

Weaknesses

Needs to continue to improve conditioning and his ability to run the floor- it has gotten better but could improve. Defensively he tends to be out of position too much. His lateral speed and ability to rotate across the lane is concerning especially when it comes to projecting him for the next level (Defending the screen and roll/ Defensive 3 seconds rule).

Overall

If he can make the same improvement level jump next summer as he did this summer then I see Moore being drafted. I would project him as an early to mid 2nd round pick at this stage depending on how much more he improves. Has the size, length, and athleticism that makes him attractive to the pro game. I see him being a backup 5 in the NBA where he can give some rim protection and finish efficiently.

By James Blackburn

Tournament

Charleston Classic All Tournament Team

By James Blackburn

For the 5th straight year I was able to head to down to beautiful Charleston, SC to cover the Charleston Classic college basketball tournament.  Although the field of talent was not quite as good as the past few years, there was still a number of pro prospects here and some teams to watch out for as the season progresses. Temple, from the American Conference, defeated Clemson (ACC) in the championship team. Temple has size, athleticism, and several pro prospects– dont be surprised to see this team having a real shot at playing in March at the end of the year.

Here is my All-Tournament Team as well as Honorable Mentions from this years tournament below.

*List was made based on tournament performance alone

 

DeSean Murray, F, 6’3”, JR, Auburn

Workhorse in every sense of the word. Plays extremely hard, battles for rebounds, and goes for loose balls. Best offensive rebounder here. The Presbyterian College transfer 3 pt shooting has improved still needs to continue to improve in this area. To his credit he knows his role and doesn’t play outside his capabilities. Plays much bigger than his height. Solid European prospect.

Trey Porter, F, 6’10”, JR, ODU

Was consistent throughout the tournament and played big inside for Old Dominion. Pretty good athlete who plays with a high motor. Has really improved over the years at ODU. Stronger than he looks. Can score with his back to the basket, but needs to continue to improve his left hand. Is a good European prospect because of his ability to score and rebound the ball. G-League teams should also track him.

Obi Enechionyia, F, 6’10”, SR, Temple

One of the top pro prospects here at the Charleston Classic. Stretch 4 who can really shoot the ball from deep. Solid rebounder who can also protect the rim a bit. Not a bad athlete. Needs to improve motor. Skilled. Should be considered for the P.I.T. this year. Will have a shot to land on an NBA team because of his size and ability to shoot the basketball.

Quinton Rose, G, 6’8”, SO, Temple

Versatile and athletic wing who reminds me of Daniel Hamilton, a 2-way player for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Handles the ball very well for his size and can get to the paint where he can shoot the midrange or make plays for others. Shifty. Has a chance to be a pretty good defender, just needs to be in consistent effort on this end. His 3 point shooting needs to become more consistent but he can hit the corner 3 at this point and shot it well from deep in game 2. A player that NBA teams need to watch if they haven’t seen him already.

Donte Grantham, F, 6’8”, SR, Clemson

Talented and athletic forward. Tweener between the 4 and the 3. His 3 pt shot looks better this year and more consistent. Can handle the ball pretty well and can defend multiple positions. Needs to stay aggressive this season as his team will be relying on him heavily.

Darrell Davis, G, 6’5”, SR, Dayton

Confident scoring point guard who led the team in scoring in this tournament. Has a quick first step and can shoot the 3 ball. Showed the ability to get to the rim where he can finish with either hand. Solid European prospect and could find himself receiving a PIT invite if he has a big year in the A-10.

Shelton Mitchell, G, 6’3”, JR, Clemson

Best pure PG in the tournament in my opinion. Terrific playmaker who gets easy shots for his teammates. His a minor hitch in his shot but showed he could knock down the midrange pull-up as well as the 3. Terrific ball handler who can create space for himself. Changes speeds well and is a poised. Very quick 1st step and can finish at the rim.  Moves his feet defensively. Has a shot to be a 2-way NBA player if not better.

 

 

Honorable Mention

Jordan Dartis, G, 6’3”, JR, Ohio

Good shooter who can score it off the bounce as well.

Gavin Block, G, 6’7”, JR, Ohio

High IQ stretch 4 who plays hard and rebounds.

Kostas Anteokunmpo, F, 6’10”, FR, Dayton

Versatile player with a high motor. Terrific defender. High upside because of length and athleticism.

Eli Pemberton, G, 6’5”, SO, Hofstra

Talented and smooth player who can score it all all 3 levels.

 

basketball-generic

By James Blackburn 

Final Score: 108-81 Davidson wins

I was able to catch my first Davidson game of the season last night to see them face off against visiting CAA foe UNC Wilmington. Each team has a star in their front-court. Peyton Alridge for Davidson and Devontae Cacok for Wilmington. Both players had big games statistically and will be relied on heavily this season for their respective clubs. Reports for both players are below. NBA scouts who have not had a chance to see either play yet should make it a priority to this season and both players are future pro’s at least at the high level European level.

On a side note, Davidson has a stud freshman guard in Kellan Grady. He has great size, is aggressive, and can finish in traffic. He will be talked about more as the season progresses.

Peyton Aldridge, F, SR, 6’8”, 225 lbs

Stats- 15-24 FG, 4-10 3pt, 5 reb, 2 assists, 37 points

Strengths

Showing off his inside /outside skill set right out of the gate by scoring on a post up and then a 18’ jumper. Takes his time scoring in the post and can score it over either shoulder. Can get space away from his defender with a nice fade away jumper.

Very reliable 3 pt set shooter. When he gets his feet set and shoots it, he shoots it as well as any big in the country. Cant give him an inch of space.

Very effective and efficient. Gets to his spots and scores it.

Runs the floor really hard and is an underrated athlete.

Weaknesses

Limited vertical athleticism. Needs to improve defensively. Lacks the strength still to be a solid interior defender. Opponents are able to get deep position on him too easily. Needs to become a better rebounder. Is not soft but needs to add some toughness.

Overview

Peyton had it rolling tonight and could of had 40 points, but one of his last 3’s got waived off because of a moving screen. Definite future pro and will be a Portsmouth invite for certain. He will have his chance for the NBA and depending on how he does in summer league he could possibly become a 2-way guy but I see him as being more of a high level European prospect. If he can add another 10 pounds of muscle and become a little bit better on the boards he has a chance.

Devontae Cacok, F, JR, 6’7”, 240 lbs

Stats- 9-15 FG, 17 reb, 2 assists, 1 block, 22 points

Strengths

Pro level body with good strength and athleticism.Terrific rebounder who boxes out and meets the ball at rim level. Love his motor and activity. Could make a living just with his rebounding ability. Best rebounder in the country for his size.

Showed he could score with back to basket. Has a right hook over his left shoulder and a good drop step move.

Great at catching lobs– finishes inside. Good hands.

Runs rim to rim. Holds his ground in the post and holds post position.

FT stroke didn’t look bad at all— good arc, could use more rotation. Solid at the line.

Did a pretty good job of recognizing the double teams and passing out of it. Underrated passer.

Weaknesses

Not comfortable on the perimeter on either end. Didn’t show ability to shoot outside the paint or put it on the floor and drive. To his credit he knows his limitations and sticks to what he does best which is play with energy and score in the post.

A bit limited offensively and still raw to some degree.

Overview

A player who loves the game and plays his role and does it as well as anyone in the country. G-League prospect who would be better off going over to Europe where he could play at a high level almost immediately. His rebounding, energy, and athleticism will translate to any level.