July is Live, And So Are We

Andrew Wiggins NBA draft 2014

By Marcus Shockley

It’s been a few days since I’ve posted anything and many readers have no doubt noticed that our article publishing schedule has become…well, at best I could call it ‘erratic’. But part of that is because Basketball Elite has slowly been shifting our focus and that trickles down to our publishing schedule.

But fear not! With the arrival of another July recruiting period I wanted to pop in and let everyone know some of the changes we are making and what you should be paying attention to, as well as offer some insight into the world of recruiting, sports business, and a bunch of other stuff if I can cram it in.

Last weekend I attended the Summer Grind Session AAU tournament organized by PhenomHoopReport.com, which was a last chance for several teams to get a last ‘tune up’ before the critical July live period.

We broadcast some of the games live over at NetCastSports.com and you can check out the replays of the games. Unfortunately, we did have a few audio issues during a couple of the games and I apologize for that. This week I’ve been working on switching out some of our audio connections from long TSR cords to XLR cords in an attempt to solve that.

However, a lot of people came out to see Team Charlotte, who won the Gold bracket championship, and deservedly so. I came away from the weekend with no doubt in my mind that they are a national level team this year and would be able to compete on the EYBL or Adidas circuits. RayJon Tucker (SF, 6’5, 2015) has gone from being an unknown player last Winter to the Top 100 rankings in the nation, and he’s definitely an elite athlete. However, it should be stated that Team Charlotte has more than Tucker; multiple guards such as Devin Cooper (PG, 6’1″, 2015) and Lysander Bracey (SG, 6’2″, 2015) give the team a balanced, high octane attack.

You can watch the full replay of the 17U Gold championship game between Team Charlotte and Wake County Basketball Association here:

I’ve seen Wake County Basketball Association (a.k.a. ‘WCBA’) multiple times over the past couple of years and I can say without question they are a very well coached team. Steve Sterret does an excellent job getting the guys to play as a unit and it pays off. Bobby Stenborg (F, 6’4″, 2015) is an undersized but gifted big man who makes excellent decisions with the ball playing from the SF or PF spot, and has a good agility. He and Rob Brown (PF/C, 6’8″, 2015) play off of each other masterfully and Brown always impresses me with his ability to play the high post. He likes to come out to the elbow, get the pass and then turn to either find a cutting teammate or shoot a midrange jumper of the defender cheats back. Of course, it matters that the guards see him flash in the high post and get him the ball, which is a common problem for many guards at the high school and AAU level.

This weekend’s tournament featured a ‘Gold’ bracket and a ‘Silver’ bracket, and as I stated earlier, Team Charlotte took home the Gold title. The 17U Silver bracket title came down to a match up that was a repeat from an AAU event we broadcast over the Memorial Day holiday, with UBA taking on Brand X.

Last time, Brand X took home the title and UBA was pretty much running on fumes for the game, having played four games back-to-back, and no doubt had revenge on their mind looking to get the win this time. Both of these teams match up well, neither have a ton of depth but both rely on versatile players who can take on different roles dependent on who is on the floor at any given time. Brand X has a bit more size, having added Will Gardner (C, 6’8, 2015) and already featuring Ricardo Bullock (PF/C, 6’7, 2016), but UBA has a couple of 6’6″ wings in Romeo Ferguson (SF, 6’6″, 2015) and DaQuan Lilly (SF, 6’6″, 2015). UBA also features a true point guard in Antonio Watson (PG, 6’1″, 2015), while Brand X has a couple of deadly sharpshooters in Clif Conley (SG, 6’1″, 2015) and Jack Costigan (SG, 6’2″, 2015)

UBA plays a patient, poised game and looks to capitalize on mistakes to score. Brand X plays tough nosed D led by power guard Josh Kamba (G, 6’2″, 2015) and execution is key when these two teams match up. You can watch the full replay of this game here:

I’ll probably post more thoughts on the players from this tournament in a couple of days, but head over to NetCastSports.com to watch some of the day’s action. You can also follow NetCastSports on Twitter to keep up with broadcast announcements and other news.

The Cleveland Cavaliers made Andrew Wiggins the #1 pick in the 2014 draft and I have to congratulate him on achieving a dream he’s worked towards for a long time. I was fortunate enough to be the color analyst for one of Andrew’s games at the EYBL Peach Jam a couple of years ago when his AAU team, CIA Bounce, took on the CP3 All-Stars in the final four game. Now we’re all set for another group of rising players to make their name on the EYBL circuit, as this year’s Peach Jam is only about a week away.

In the meantime, next up for me is I will be heading over to the Triad Pro-Am, a summer league where we will broadcast (hopefully) all of the action for this year’s league. Again, not to harp on this, but we broadcast all of this on NetCastSports.com so I hope you will check it out.

I have a lot more to share but that’s enough for now. More information coming soon on updates to the site, new content, schedule, open gyms, and so on.

See you in the gym!

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