Archive for the ‘ basketball recruiting ’ Category

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!

We decided to rebroadcast this game as it was arguably the best of the day. The winner of this game would advance to the title game, and it features several Division I basketball prospects going head-to-head, including Brandon Childress (PG, 6′, 2016) of Wesleyan and Devin Cooper (PG, 6’1″, 2015) of Ardrey Kell HS. Enjoy!

FULL ROSTERS TBA

Replay from the 2014 Southeast Summer Showcase, held June 15 in Winston-Salem, NC. For more information on the showcase, visit this link.

Rosters:

10 Cecil Moore
16 Michal Seals
17 Brandon Lewis
18 Jalen Sanders
20 Malon Herron
55 Devin Cooper (PG, 6’1″, 2015) Ardrey Kell HS (NC)
56 Ian Boyd (G/F, 6’3″, 2016) Apex HS (NC)
57 Brandon Childress (PG, 6′, 2016) Wesleyan (NC)
104 DaQuan Lilly (SF, 6’6″, 2015) Knightdale HS (NC)
109 Malik Constantine (SF, 6’4″, 2015) Olympic HS (NC)
115 John Brewer

For more reports/notes on the event, visit PhenomHoopReport.com

Southeast Summer Showcase 2014

By Charles Clark

Scout Charles Clark provides us with the first set of scout’s notes from the camp. We will be posting more over the next few days, and you should also check out the coverage on Phenom Hoop Report.

There was a lot of talent that stepped onto the Campus of Forsyth Country Day School on Sunday, June 15th, these are some of the players that really stood out to me.

Brandon Childress (Wesleyan Christian, Karolina Diamonds, Point Guard, 6’0, 2016) – Simply put, Brandon had one of the best showings out of any player at the showcase, he showed his beautiful shooting stroke throughout the entire camp. Although he provided the majority of the scoring for his team he also did a very good job of getting the ball to his post players in the right spots. What really impressed me about Brandon besides his outstanding scoring was how good of an IQ he has when using the Pick and roll. He knew when to pass, when to shoot and made the passes right on target for easy buckets. This was not my first time seeing him play but his performances On Sunday impressed me more than any other time I have seen him play.

Devin Cooper (Ardrey Kell H.S, Team Charlotte, PG/SG, 6’0, 2015) – As soon as the station drills started I went over and watched the Point Guard station where players had to: Run through an agility drill and then come off a screen and knock down a shot off the dribble. Out of all the players at the station Devin was one of the only players who went through the drill with ease. Two attributes really impressed me about Devin, first was his outstanding body control that he has when attacking the basket, it didn’t matter if he was fouled, undercut or anything else, he still finished plays. His ball handling skills were some of the best of any player at the showcase, and to top it off he has quickness mixed with a lot of moves in his arsenal that makes him a very tough player to guard. He Shot the ball with consistency, has nice form and lift on his shot, and knows how to always get squared up before he shoots. Lastly I must point out that he showed a lot of leadership for his squad, I loved how he decided to switch with one of his teammates on defense so that he could guard Brandon Childress.

Jahlil Rawley (Prominence Academy, 2016 Guard, 6’3) – Jahlil has a very smooth game, for a Point Guard he has good height and also has a nice long wingspan. He showed throughout the day that he can be a very unselfish player and that he is a talented passer. The ball handling of this young man was very impressive as well as the amount of defensive pressure he applied to the opposing teams guards. Even though he showed he scored the ball in various ways it seemed as if he decided to display more of an old school Point Guard game throughout the showcase, getting teammates involved first and looking for his shot later. Overall this young man has a very good feel for the game and has potential to be a very good player

Robert Colon (Northside H.S, Dream Team, Point Guard, 5’11, 2016)- Robert was a player at the showcase that I really feel helped his stock, he did not get much playing time for his high school this past season because of numerous Seniors that played the Guard positions. With that being said I can guarantee that he will definitely play a solid role for his squad next year as he showed many attributes that coaches’ at the high school and college level love. Robert showed very good ball handling skills but did not over dribble; he also displayed outstanding court vision, dropping beautiful passes to teammates. Robert is a very good shooter and knows how to score, he knocked down numerous perimeter shots and finished well in transition, also has a decent frame for a PG his age that he uses to embrace contact.

Josh Handy (North Rowan H.S, RoCo Elite, Shooting Guard/Small Forward, 6’4, 2016)- Josh had a very productive day scoring and rebounding , he is a player that has very good length and knows to use his wingspan to help him score. In both games I watched him play he was dominant when attacking the basket, and provided the majority of scoring for his team. From the start of these games he showed a very high motor and enthusiasm, it’s almost as if he simply loves to play the game while at the same time he wants to play hard every single possession. On defense Josh was solid, although his lateral quickness could use a little improvement; he was very solid guarding smaller players in the open court. This young man has potential to be a very good prospect and is also a player that helped his stock due to his performance at the showcase.

Ian Boyd (Apex H.S, CP3, Shooting Guard, 6’3, 2016) – Ian also had a productive day at the showcase; he displayed some smooth ball handling as well as a very nice shooting stroke. Ian did not have any issue getting his shot off and knocking it down with consistency but one attribute that really stood out to me about Ian was how unselfish of a player he is. He made sure that all his teammates got numerous touches in very good scoring positions even if he was having a hot shooting game. Last but not least I was impressed with the “old school toughness” that Ian has , he doesn’t mind contact and played through a lot of physical contact.

Jamaruis Hairston (Carson H.S, Carolina Phenoms, Small Forward, 6’2, 2018) – One of the younger players that attended the event, Jamaruis turned a lot of heads with how much energy he played with. Although he will still need to improve his perimeter shooting he knocked down shots from the elbow range and was very good finishing at the basket. Also brought very good defensive intensity, and was very active on the defensive glass for his team.

Daquan Lilly (Knightdale H.S, Forward, 6’6, 2015) – Daquan is an athletic player; for a player his height he is very comfortable handling the ball in the open court. He caught the ball and Finished inside the paint well, throughout the day that I watched him I didn’t see him drop too many passes. Seems to be a very good teammate and was awarded the Coaches Award for the showcase.

Malcolm Herron, (Jesse C Caron H.S, Team Fly, 2017, Point Guard 5’6) – Malcolm was another young player that showed some flashes of how good he can possibly be. Malcolm has very good ball handling skills and has nice quickness that he uses to try and keep his defender off balance. Throughout the day he handled the defensive pressure from older players very well and showed that he is a good passer, this young man knows how to get the ball up the floor in a hurry.

Xavier Smith, (Oak Hill Academy, 2015, Guard, 6’3) – Xavier is a nice Shooting Guard prospect, knocked down shots all day especially from midrange. He is a talented finisher that knows how to make whatever move that is necessary to finish after he leaves the ground. Xavier is the type of player that Point Guards love to play with because once you give him a lead pass to the basket he will find a way to score it.

Malik Constantine, (Olympic H.S, Team Charlotte, 2015, Forward, 6’4) – Malik was a rebounding machine throughout the event, when watching him play it seemed as if he has the attitude that every shot that is missed belongs to him. He also showed some athleticism with put back dunks and blocking/contesting shots in the paint on the defensive end of the court. Malik was also a very good teammate and took the attitude of doing whatever it takes to help his team get the win.

Charles Norman (Prominence Academy, Guard, 6’2)- Charles is a very athletic player and he displayed that throughout the showcase , what sets him apart from many other athletic players is that he uses his athleticism correctly in the flow of the game. On the offensive side he attacks the rim and uses his leaping ability to get his jump shot off over taller opponents. On the defensive side he showed quickness by coming up with numerous and deflections, but my favorite play of the day that he had was a chance down block that he came up with in one of the final games of the day.

Charles Clark scouts for multiple outlets including Basketball Elite and Phenom Hoop Report. For more scouting notes, follow Charles on Twitter, right now!

Thanks to Elite Mixtapes for coming out and putting together this mix. Follow them on Twitter!

Holding Up The Mirror


By Marcus Shockley

Change is hard.

It goes against our nature as humans to try and be objective about our flaws.

So each year when we get through our Southeast Summer Showcase, I really try to step back and assess what we did right, what we did wrong, and how we can make it better. This year’s event is coming up on June 15.

Quite frankly, it ain’t easy.

We work hard on our showcase. As in, hours, days, even nights. Talking. Meeting. Writing out schedules. Brainstorming. Moving players around on teams. Changing up the drills. Meeting with the coaches ahead of time. Going over details. Going over them again.


Gabe Devoe looks on during drills.
Sometimes, it means staying up until the wee hours packing up little things for the player packets or printing out the rosters ONE LAST TIME because we noticed some of the numbers were wrong on the last batch we printed.

Loading up all the equipment to head to the gym at 6 am, and going to bed at 2 am hoping 4 hours of sleep will be enough to fuel the day.

So when it’s all over, and we pack up the boxes, wipe up the Gatorade from the hallways and make sure no players have fallen asleep in the bathroom before we turn out the lights, we pretty much collapse into exhaustion and hope that at least one player, at least one, got a good look from a college that will eventually lead to a scholarship.

Last year, we had 8 seniors who eventually went to Division I schools. We had even more who eventually went Division II.

Our dunk champion, Carlee Clemons, landed at #2 on the ESPN top 10 the next day (we would have been #1 if not for the fact we were going against the NBA playoffs) and he eventually went on to compete in the national high school dunk contest on CBS. Really cool, especially when our previous dunk champion, VMI player Craig Hinton, also went to the nationals the year before.

Our All-Star game from 2013 boasted some awesome talent: Gabe Devoe, who committed to Clemson; Javis Howard, who landed at the Charleston Southern; Gary Clark, who decided on Cincinnati; Colton Bishop (Loyola Maryland) and several more. Just too many to name.

MaxPreps wrote that our event was one of the biggest in the country, and was the biggest on the East Coast for the weekend, with the West Coast going to Pangos All-American camp. Not too shabby.
Charis Fitzgerald Basketball Southeast Summer Showcase

Charis Fitzgerald, 2012 Camp MVP
So it’s not easy to step back and look at what we could do better. When you put in so much effort to eke out a few victories, looking for things you can improve feels like you’re focusing on what you did wrong, instead of what you did right. But in order to improve, that’s exactly what we have to do.

Like I said, it ain’t easy. BUT…if it was easy to put on a world class event, everyone would do it.

So here goes.

With all of the things I think we do RIGHT, and have done right, at our events in the past, there are things that haven’t been done as well as I would have liked.

We had issues with our jersey numbers the first year and our DVD reproduction last year. These are things that happen, you fix them and move on. You work out some kinks. You put in backup plans. You eliminate things that didn’t get executed well.

BUT…there is one thing that we’ve had at our first three events that actually went off really well…and yet, I wasn’t happy with it.

It’s a staple at many individual showcase events, and they all have the same problems.

The All-Star game.

I have NO issue with All-Star games in general. They’re terrific. But at an individual showcase? It just doesn’t work.

See, the first problem is that you are picking players based on a single day’s play. And you also have players who already come in with a reputation. If a player comes into your event, and he’s already holding multiple Division I offers, you will look like an awful scout if he doesn’t make your all-star roster. But then there are players who show up, play really well, and not enough coaches vote for them to make the All-Star.

Last year, as I was handed the final votes for the All-Star game, I cringed. I could see that every single player who made the game deserved to be there. And I could also see at least 6 players who didn’t make who also had an argument to be in that game. And I hated it. I hated the fact that we were basically telling those 6 or so players that they weren’t making the cut, even though I knew they were good enough.

Bear in mind, this goes against what would be the industry norm for a scout or basketball analyst to do. Very few will ever admit they are wrong even when they are wrong all of the time, and they will laugh about people who admit mistakes. But it takes no courage to do that. I can’t tell players to “do the right thing, not the easy thing” and then turn around and do the opposite. If I see something that we need to change, I have to try and change it.

I knew that what we doing wasn’t good enough, and I decided that this year, 2014, I would come up with a better way. I don’t care if other showcases still run an All-Star game, it’s not how I think it should be done. And I’m doing something different.

This year, we’re doing this: your team wins, you play in the title game. No All-Star game. A title game. So if your team goes 2-0, we go by point differential and the best teams play. If there is a tie, we have a quick playoff to decide the title game. So the TEAMS that play the best get to play for the title. We’ve had teams go undefeated every year and I expect this year will be no different. If a team plays well enough to go undefeated then that TEAM should get a chance at the title, don’t you think? That’s what competition is all about.

And this year, we’re broadcasting the title game on NetCast Sports Network. So if your team plays well all day, you won’t have to pack up early. You’ll play in the final game, on the full court, on the live broadcast, and on replay.

Want to get your shot? Sign up for the event at Events.BasketballElite.com.

You can follow Marcus Shockley on Twitter, even though he doesn’t always tweet about his flaws.

Southeast Summer Showcase Logo 2014

By Marcus Shockley

After years of watching high school basketball players struggle to get recruited for college, I set out to build something better. Last year we had our most successful year, with 8 of the seniors going on to Division I schools, many more heading to Division II and our dunk contest landed at #2 on ESPN for the weekend (we would have been number one, but we were up against the NBA Finals). The Southeast Summer Showcase is the only showcase I do all year, and my entire focus is making this event the best I possibly can make it. This year’s event is June 15, 2014 at Forsyth Country Day School in Lewisville, NC.

(Don’t want to read all the reasons why this event is awesome, and just want to sign up? Sure, you can go here: events.BasketballElite.com.

Here’s what we do:

- we bring in several Division I rated prospects so that the competition level is set high right away. This means that players who play well at the event are proving that they are also college prospects. Coaches love being able to see players they like and watch them play against solid competition to see if their instincts about the player are correct.

- all games at the event are filmed and DVD copies are available to all players and coaches.

- this year, the event is specifically during a DII ‘live’ period, and it’s on June 15, which is the first day that DII schools can contact sophomores. In other words, it’s the perfect time for players to have an ‘arrival party’ where coaches can see them play and contact them right away.

- Our guest speaker is Tim Ryerson of Student Athlete World. Tim is a former college basketball coach with experience at 5 different schools and a recruiting expert. He is currently who I consider to be the #1 recruiting expert in the country and he will be available all day after speaking to answer questions from parents and players.

- Our drills are elite level. We bring in drills from other top level events such as the Lebron camp, CP3 camp, NBA combine and USA basketball. These are drills that many high school players will never get the chance to participate in at the high school level, but we make them available to all attendees and really put them through the workouts.

- We not only have a camp MVP award, but we also have a ‘Coaches Award’ which is given out to the player who all of the camp coaches pick as their personal favorite. This award goes to players who do a lot of things that coaches love but may not get noticed.

- Our events are covered by multiple scouting services and past events have been covered by national media such as MaxPreps and Dime Magazine.

I’d like to invite any high school player from the classes of 2018, 2017, 2016 or 2015 to attend this year if they are serious about getting better on the court and getting recruited for college.

For more information, and to sign up, please visit events.BasketballElite.com.

Carlee Clemon’s dunk that landed him on ESPN’s Top 10:

Southeast Summer Showcase

Frank Howard basketball

Syracuse had a big day shuffling players yesterday after Jerami Grant declared for the NBA draft and Frank Howard committed to the Orange:

Howard, a high school junior, made a verbal commitment to the Orange during a television appearance on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic Monday night. He picked SU from a final list that included Maryland, Georgetown, Virginia, N.C. State and Ohio State.

Keep up with the latest basketball insight! Follow Basketball Elite on Twitter, right now.

PJ Dozier upward star basketball

Harry Giles (PF, 6’9″, 2016) and PJ Dozier (CG, 6’4″, 2015) are two of the top basketball recruits in the nation, with Dozier holding offers from North Carolina, Kansas (among many others) and Giles holding offers from Duke, UNC, Kentucky, Georgetown and pretty much everyone else.

But the recruiting world hasn’t seen them in a while; both had serious injuries that have kept them off of the court for some time. That will change this weekend, as both are participating in the Phenom Hoops Challenge with their respective AAU teams in Greensboro, NC.

While it’s just their first time back in uniform, with such sought-after recruits, there is a lot of interest in how their recovery has gone thus far and how they look on the court.

For fans of Kentucky, Duke, UNC, Kansas or any of the other far-flung schools that are actively recruiting the two players (among several other high profile recruits), many of the games on the final day of the event (Sunday) will be broadcast online at NetCastSports.com.

Full schedule of the day’s broadcast coming soon, and we’ll have more information about the broadcast times – the games being broadcast on Sunday are several of the playoff games for the 17U teams at the tournament, so the final matchups won’t be set until the teams finish pool play. But we’ll work to keep everyone updated. You can also follow @NetCastSports on Twitter for more updates.

Tacko Fall basketball

They say you can’t teach height, so players who are over 7′ tall already come with basketball skills most of us will never have. At 7’5″, Tacko Fall, a 2015 Center playing at Lutheran South Academy in Texas, comes in as the current tallest high school basketball player. With interest from Baylor, Texas Southern and Houston, he’s no doubt got a lot of colleges interested in any player who can touch the rim without leaving the floor.

Naturally, just being tall isn’t enough to make you a superstar, but it’s a really good starting point. As a general rule, big men develop their game later than other positions, so it’s often difficult to tell how good a player will be at Tacko’s size.

Want more basketball insights? You can follow Basketball Elite on twitter, right now!