Aidan Richard (Gaston Day, 6’10″, C) Long player who showed good patience in the post. Caught a big dunk off the backboard in the 2nd game of the day. Needs to get stronger with the ball, but has D1 potential.
Landon Yarbrough (North Lincoln, 6’3″, F) Strong undersized big who finishes in traffic. Willing to set screens and bang in the post. Physical and tough. More athletic than one would think. Solid rebounder who is a lefty. D3 schools should give him a look.
Cheikh Diallo (Cape Fear Christian, 6’4″, PG)
Hunter Dotson (Trinity Academy, 6’1″, G)Aggressive player who is a good slasher. Good use of the glass on bank shots. Loves contact and is strong. High motor. Needs to improve left hand and take better angles on the defensive end. Schools at both the D2/D3 level should watch him this season.
Justin Reid (Cardinal Gibbons, 6’4″, F) Athletic wing who has a good basketball IQ. Really played well here today. Underrated passer who can shoot the ball from the perimeter with consistency. Definitely a college prospect.
|Emmanuel Ugboh (Elite Prep, 6’10″, C) – Was one of the top players overall in attendance today and top big in my opinion. Solid big man who takes up space inside. Solid athlete who had numerous 2 hand rim-rattling finishes on the day. Can score with his back to the basket but needs to continue to improve in this area. Footwork is a little raw but he does a good job of keeping the ball high. Strong and solid build. Good rebounder on both ends. Influences shots on defense. Does a lot with 2 hands- finishes and rebounds w/ 2 hands. HM prospect who will only continue to improve.|
Ray Kowalski (Northside Christian, 6’3″, G) – Underrated athlete who can hit the set 3. Solid scorer. Needs to improve first step quickness and his left hand.
Quentin Jackson Jr (Carlisle School, 6’4″, G) Bouncy player who can catch and finish lobs. Can rebound the ball and push it transition. Good handle for size.
Malcolm Evans (Elite Prep, 6’7″, SF) Malcolm is an athletic player with a good wingspan. Is still raw in a few areas, but showed he can put the ball on floor for a dribble or two and finish above the rim. Needs to improve defensive intensity and shot selection. Showed good form on his jumper. Could develop into a MM+ prospect- has a high ceiling.
Josh Handy (North Rowan, 6’4″, G/F) Handy has a solid wingspan and is a good one on one scorer. One of the best looking one-dribble pull-ups I saw today.
Michael Melvin (Freedom Christian, 5’11″, PG) Unselfish player who runs the offense and controls tempo. True PG’s are tough to find, and Melvin is a PG who can play P/R and score the ball when needed as well. Did a good job of feeding the bigs on his team- unselfish. Schools at all three divisions should track.
Trejon Jacob (Millbrook HS, 6’4″, G) Long player who has the ability to handle the ball and made good decisions. Had a couple of nice bounce passes to the roll man coming off the ball screen. Has nice arc on his 3 ball and good footwork. Plays hard and understands the game.
Thank God Msughter
Thank God Msughter (Freedom Christian, 6’6″, F) Loved his game today. Explosive player who has a high motor and defends/blocks shots. Loves the spin move in the post. Rebounds and shows a ton of emotion on the court. D1 prospect.
Colin Molden (Apex, 6’0″, PG) Smart and poised player who is patient and waits for the ball screen before he puts the ball down. Excellent passer and ball handler. Best set 3 point shooter I saw today- great looking form. Does the little things- fundamental.
Eli Lake (Blythewood, 6’5″, F) Smooth and fluid. Good looking stroke from 3. Solid defender who uses his length.
David Caraher (Chapel Hill, 6’6″, SF) (Chapel Hill, 6’6″, SF) David was a top 3 performer on the day, regardless of position or class. He is an extremely versatile player who scores the ball, defends, and can handle the ball. Defends the ball well by moving his feet and he also had numerous blocks inside. Runs the floor and finishes in traffic with either hand. Unselfish player who understands the game. High basketball IQ. Good ball handler. Is a MM+ prospect in my eyes.
Kristopher Monroe (South Granville, 6’5″, F) Provided the best dunk of the day- a big poster in the afternoon segment.
Rashad Dixon (Southern Durham, 6’3″, G) Athletic slasher who moves well with-out the ball. Scrappy. Great frame. Needs to improve jump shot, has a little hitch in it.
Franklin Ugochukwu (Cape Fear Christian, 6’10″, C) Talks on the floor- most vocal player I saw/heard today. Big bodied player who rebounds. Unselfish. Needs to improve mobility and offensive skills, but is a college prospect.
DeVontae Shuler (Irmo, 6’2″, PG) Shuler is excellent in transition thanks his explosion and quickness. Athletic guard who can finish above the rim and also had a huge block off the backboard. Needs to improve shot selection some.
Morgan McKay (Christ School, 6’8″, C) Big man who showed good touch from midrange with a high release. Solid defender who can guard other bigs 1 on 1 in the post without the need to have guards or anyone double.
I had a chance to drop by the US Elite Hoops Showcase held at Gaston Day School last week and was able to see several solid prospects and catch up with a few players who I hadn’t seen in a few months. I recommend the events organized by US Elite Hoops and be sure to follow them on twitter @USELITEHOOPS so you can keep up with their future events.
Trevor Anderson (PG, 6’1″, 2015) Gaston Day School – Anderson is one of, if not the, fastest guard end-to-end with the ball in the state of NC, comparable only to Derek McKnight, another Gaston Day guard. Anderson is a strong, high motor player; one of the first things I noticed when watching him play a couple of years ago was his ability to play through contact. At last Spring’s NC Top 80, Anderson was one of only a handful of players who seemed to go harder and faster as the games wore on, while other players started feeling fatigue. The knock on Anderson is that coaches see him as a ‘score first’ guard, but he’s dedicating himself this year to work on every aspect of the point guard position; he knows he can score but he also understands he needs to get his team involved. I see Anderson as a definite Division I level guard who is under recruited at this point; he can break the press with the dribble, shoot from deep and already has the physical strength to play the college guard position. We’ll be broadcasting Gaston Day this season as they host powerful rival Northside Christian on January 16, so be sure to tune in to watch the matchups.
Michael Baez (G/F, 6’5, 2015) Charlotte United – Baez continues to show high-octane game and has an ability to take over any game he’s in. Quite frankly, Baez should be considered one of the top natural unsigned talents in the class; He has a high, quick, deep release that is extremely hard to defend; he can bring the ball up and slash to the hoop, with an array of quick moves to finish in traffic; he likes to play way, way above the rim and is an explosive dunker. The knock on Baez in the past has been his consistency, but in this event he got into the flow quickly and didn’t let up. As I’ve said before, when he’s locked in, he will flat-out light up the opposition. Baez continues to be one of my top sleepers for his class.
Chris Price (G, 6’3″, 2015) West Mecklenburg HS – Price is a versatile player who does a lot of things coaches like; most notably, he plays defense. Had at least 5 open court steals and has good length and foot speed to guard the 2 spot effectively. He also hit over 60% of the 3 pointers he shot while I was watching his games and had multiple assists. Good size and is now back 100% from an injury that had limited his play this past summer.
Aiden Richard (PF/C, 6’11”, 2015) Gaston Day School – Richard is a true big with excellent hands, nimble feet and an array of offensive post moves. It’s become a mantra that big men at every level would be more effective if they could just develop a go-to move and a counter-move. However, Richard has far more than two moves; during today’s event, he was pretty much impossible to guard as he got off shots in a dizzying array of deft moves. He also had several open court dunks off of alley-oops from breaking guards. Will need to add strength to move his game to college, and show consistent aggressive play, but he’s made huge strides in his game over the past year and he’s another player who I think coaches should be watching during the January 16 broadcast on NetCast Sports against Northside Christian.
Isaiah Lowe (PG, 5’11”, 2015) Kennedy Charter – Lowe is a guard who completely understands the game; he knows where he is supposed to be at all times. When the ball moves around the perimeter, he knows when to slide down into the deep corner or move out; he can run the team and plays eyes-up, and has the ability to break the press with the dribble. Passes players open in the half court and can push the ball on the break. Makes great decisions with the ball. Made several smart defensive plays where his angles and footwork made the difference.
CJ Miller (SF, 6’5″, 2015) Kennedy Charter – big time athlete with a great first step and explosive finisher. While many high flyers need the open court to show off their skills, Miller is extremely effective in the half court, and he can get explosive plays whether he’s slashing with the ball or moving without it. One of the best slashers I’ve seen in the half court this year, he has the ability to get a step on his man and finish so effortlessly and above the rim it’s hard for the big man to rotate over in time to defend him without fouling. He also knows that he doesn’t have to dunk everything to get the job done, but make no mistake, he’s a rim-rocker when he gets the chance.
Lucas Johnson (SF, 6’5, 2015) Kennedy Charter – great passer from the 3 spot, good size, excellent slasher. One of those rare players who have great ability to find teammates from the small forward position while also being a danger to slash and score at any time. Can shoot from deep as well, which makes defenders have to make tough choices on how to guard him.
Jordan Ruth (G/F, 6’5″, 2016) Comenius School – Ruth is another explosive above-the-rim player who has great strength and size for the wing spot. One thing I’ve liked about his game is he makes an impact all over the floor from the moment he steps into the game, whether it’s grabbing loose balls or finding open teammates with the pass. Definitely a versatile player who just ‘gets’ team basketball in a way that makes his team better. He can score, he can dunk, but he always looks for the best play for his team over his own highlight film. And the best part is, he gets his highlights anyway.
Cameron Holmes (G, 6’3″, 2016) Nations Ford HS – Excellent passer in the transition game; always seemed to make the right pass or play at full speed. Long guard who has good bounce and some upside. Quick first step and poise, definitely a player who looks like he could make big strides this year during the high school season.
Alex Van Dyke (SF/PF, 6’8″, 2015) Union Grove HS (WI) – Van Dyke has a great build and plays way above the rim – plays high school ball in Wisconsin but is looking to go to school in North Carolina. I love Van Dyke’s natural ability and his fluid game. He already has the look of a college small forward and has excellent size and athleticism. An inspiring person who was diagnosed with childhood cancer (leukemia acute lymphocytic), he beat the disease and made a full recovery and is now looking to make his mark on the court. I think the upside on Van Dyke is tremendous. Right now he is still working on being more proactive as opposed to reactionary, but there is so much natural ability to his game I can’t wait to see his progression. I’d really want to see him become really aggressive with the slash or shot when playing against bigger defenders because of his quickness and athleticism. I think he could be a real match up nightmare at the 3 in time. Definitely a player I want to see multiple times.
Ryder Mansfield (PF/C, 6’7″, 2015) Charlotte United – A hard working post player who doesn’t shy away from contact and showed a couple of nifty post moves. Good hands, seals in the post and defends. Runs the floor and makes himself a target for the guards, and boxes out for the rebound every time. Doesn’t get knocked off the blocks easily.
Josh Nork (G, 6′, 2016) York Prep – Hard nosed player with a high motor; good at finding space in transition and making himself a target. Had to play off of the ball due to the abundance of guards in the game but even slid down to the 3 when needed. Moves well without the ball and another solid player who understands how to play in the team concept.
Trevonte Diggs (G, 6’3″, 2015) Charlotte United – Diggs is a player I meant to add to my report from the CIBL fall league, and in this event I quickly remembered why. A high flying guard with great strength who can play with anybody in the state, Diggs gets the job done by moving without the ball, slashing with the dribble and can bring down the house with posterizing dunks when he gets a step on the defender. Plays above the rim and another under recruited player who should be getting looks; definitely has college athleticism but has a well rounded game on both ends. Really like how he plays off of the ball – so many guards need to have the ball in their hands to make something happen, but Diggs is a player who can make his impact even when cutting or setting picks.
Keeshon Phillips (PG, 5’9″, 2017) East Mecklenburg HS – A deft ballhandler with some flash, Phillips can work over a defense with the dribble or the pass. A crafty, elusive guard who rarely turns the ball over and has a rock solid handle.
Jonathon Paramoure (G, 5’10”, 2015) Charlotte United Christian Academy – Paramoure is a player who can scorch the deep shot and should be considered a combo guard at this point. He has good strength and speed and can create his own shot, whether with the dribble or moving without the ball.
Marcus Shockley is a member of the US Basketball Writers Association and scouts high school, college and pro players for multiple outlets. You can get latest scouting notes by following him on Twitter @M_Shockley
I had a chance to drop by the 2014 CIBL Fall League, being held at Providence High School in Charlotte, NC. Although there were 30+ players who were absent due to the Phenom 150 being held on the same day, there were still several players in attendance worth taking note of. The CIBL has been in operation for 3 years and the talent level is high; I am definitely going to add this league to my normal Fall League scouting rotation. For more information on the CIBL, follow CIBL on Twitter.
Notes from the day’s action:
Leito Holloway (G/F, 6’4″, 2015) Rocky River HS (NC) Quite frankly, Leito is a collegiate prospect that is under-recruited. Quick, versatile and explosive, Holloway is a player who understands the game and makes it look easy. Can get to the rim in traffic and several times I saw him push the ball on the break, beating smaller defenders down the court with the dribble – which is impressive. Great form, quickness and defensive hands. Good free throw shooter and gets to the line. Definitely a breakout player and one of the 2015 prospects in the state of NC that colleges should be actively scouting and getting involved with.
Chisom Obidike (C, 6’10”, 2017) Comenius School – A true big who runs the floor at full speed; still developing but a hard worker with some serious potential. Has size already but will be able to add muscle and with continued work on post moves, footwork and hands is definitely a player colleges should be actively tracking.
DeShawn Patterson (PG, 5’10”, 2016) Victory Christian – Sure handed guard with good speed and excellent passing vision; always plays eyes-up and loves to push the break. Finds cutting teammates and throws deft passes as he runs the offense, but also puts pressure on the the half court defense with the dribble drive.
Demetry Leake (G/F, 6’5″, 2015) Queens Grant – Leake has great form and a quick deep release, excellent size at the 2 guard spot and really makes an impact in the high octane transition game. Excellent bounce and length; a prospect I really liked from the first game and definitely will be scouting multiple times this season. Note: may reclass to 2016
Jordan Ruth (G/F, 6’5″, 2016) Comenius School – Explosive, strong wing who mixes it up and has a high motor. Takes contact and can score. Impact player. Another one to watch. Knows how to play in the ‘team’ concept very well. Looks to make the right play to win, but lets the offense come to him and still gets his buckets.
Mike Baez (G/F, 6’5″, 2015) Charlotte United Christian Academy – Big time athlete who has a fun, easy going personality but can absolutely light teams up when he locks in. High, fast release that’s hard to guard and plays above the rim – explosive, rim-rocking dunker. A lot of potential here, I would advise colleges not to sleep on this player; he’s got a great personality but he’s also the kind of player you don’t want to have to face when he’s focused in. I also think his personality is big and is a team leader; he should make the mental transition to college with ease, which is an overlooked part of the recruiting process; whatever college team he lands on will benefit from him being part of the team ‘family’ from day one.
Artur Labinowicz (SF, 6’4″, 2015) Butler HS – Labinowicz has impressive offensive awareness. An elite passer from the 3 spot, which is not common. Plays above the rim and has a deep shot, can play in the open court on or off the ball, but also cuts to get open in the halfcourt. Will need to add strength to be able to effectively transition his game to college, but that’s not unusual for high school ballers and he’s definitely a player with talent.
Tevin Heath (CG, 6’5″, 2016) Phillip O. Berry HS – Heath is a solid combo guard with great size for the position, makes things happen and really good looking shot release. Likes to get out in transition and has good understanding of spacing.
Jonathon Paramoure (G, 5’10”, 2015) Charlotte United Christian Academy – deadly deep shooter. Hit 4 of his first 6 deep shots and always looked deadly from outside. Works to get open when playing off of the ball and makes himself a target. The type of player who the defense tries to adjust to, and he still somehow finds a way to end up wide open at times by rubbing off defenders.
David Perry (CG, 5’10”) Queens Grant HS – Perry is a solid combo guard who showed a consistent ability to finish inside with contact, has great body control and is a high-octane, high-motor guard.
Matthew Morgan (CG, 6’2″, 2015) Cox Mill HS – Good slasher and can play on or off of the ball. Shot free throws well; showed a great overall game with versatility.
Tyler Rainford (CG, 6’1″, 2015) Butler HS – A strong combo guard who can play through physical contact. Excellent strength and presence.
Chaz Raye (PG, 6′, 2015) Providence Day School – Pitbull guard who likes to get into the teeth of the defense. Doesn’t back down and has good quicks and a solid handle.
Matthew Lee (F, 6’6″, 2015) Providence Day School – Can play the 3/4 even against taller players. Good strength and was able to hold his own several times against bigger posts, but also has the ability to play from the 3 spot.
Jimmie Sanders (Neuse Charter School, 5’6, Point Guard, 2017)- Jimmie is a very good pass first guard that can score when he needs too, quite frankly he was one of the few players his age at that Point Guard position that really showed that they know how to play properly. He constantly is talking to teammates and always has his head on a swivel looking for teammates that are moving, has a nice smooth shooting stroke and knocks down shots from outside with good consistency.
Gerald Vaughn III (Gray Academy, 5’6, Point Guard 2016) – Gerald is a High Motor/High energy type player; I loved how enthusiastic he was to play the game. Was very successful penetrating defense and kicking it out to teammates when I saw him play, as well as knocking down the outside shot when it came back to him. Personally would love to see use less dribbles to get where he wants to go but I can’t mention how impressed I was with how vocal of a teammate he was and the excitement he brought to the game.
Austen Greene (Voyager Academy, 5’9, Point Guard, 2016) – Austen has a nice smooth game, although he has a small frame he makes up for it with a good IQ. Can really shoot it from outside and moves very well without the ball, he also knows how to play the game without over dribbling.
Andrew Ejiofor (Ravenscroft, 5’11, Guard, 2016) – Andrew is a very strong player and had a fearless attitude on the court; I loved how aggressive he was getting to the paint and how well he absorbed contact. On the defensive end he put forth a lot of effort and came up with numerous hustle plays.
Blake Harris (Carlisle School, 6’3, Point Guard, 2017) – Was one of the best player at camp in my opinion, has good length and ball handling skills which he uses to keep defenders off balance. The attribute that stood out the most to me was his passing ability, although some passes were a little dangerous he definitely looks like he enjoys sharing the ball and has a gift of putting the ball right on target for teammates especially in transition.
Darriel Brown (Forsyth Country Day, 6’0, Point Guard, 2017) – Darriel is a very strong player; he got to the basket at will throughout camp and created opportunities for teammate by his ability to penetrate the defense. There were a lot of player that had strong bodies at camp but the difference is that Darriel knows how to use his physique properly to get to where he wants on the court.
Robert Colon (Northside HS (Jacksonville, 6’0, Guard, 2016)- Robert Started off the 1st half of his 1st game of camp pretty slow but once he settled down he showed what type of player he truly is. This young man can score in bunches in a blink of eye, in the 4th quarter he of his 1st game he scored 8 straight points on 3 consecutive possessions. Scoring is not all that he can do though; he has great court vision and is an outstanding passer. Robert also has good footwork and showed that on the defensive end, he is a under the radar prospect that is on track to have a breakout year this season.
Cameron Corey (Sun Valley HS, 6’1, Point Guard, 2015) – Cameron Has a Euro Style Point Guard flavor about his game; he has good length and looks to get teammates involved. He’s a very talented passer that has good vision and a good understanding of how the game is supposed to be played. No matter the circumstances he played the game at the pace that he was comfortable playing at and did not allow anything to speed him up. Good Teammate!
Osinachi Smart (New Garden Friends, 6’8, Forward/Center, 2016)- Osinachi was One of the more intriguing prospects that I saw at camp, he doesn’t say much on the court and has a very business like demeanor but understand how to play the game. What caught my attention first and foremost was his college ready body, he already the physique of a player that has spent plenty of time in the weight room on a college campus. Although he was matched up with taller player he used his strength and IQ to rebound the ball at a very high rate. The defensive end of the floor was where he really shined; there was not one single time that a shot went up that I did not see him find an opponent to set a hard box out on. On the offensive side of the floor he scored on put-back dunks and layups mostly as well as a few plays where he simply ‘‘ went into the chest of the defender’’ his play reminds me somewhat of Dejaun Blair when he was at Pitt , maybe undersized in the Post but makes up for it with strength.
Rob Whitfield (Wake Christian, 6’1, Guard, 2016)- The last time I saw Rob Whitfield was NC Top 80 Camp, he played decent but I wasn’t overly impressed. Well that definitely changed when I saw him at Phenom 150 Camp, He scored at will against just about any player that guarded him. He knocked down shots all day and showed that he knows how to finish in multiple ways when he gets to the basket. Has good length and Athleticism for a player his size and he used both of those attributes to get rebounds on both ends of the floor. Out of all the players at camp he had some of the best scoring performances of the day; simply put Rob Whitfield is a scoring machine.
Jalen Morgan (New Hope Christian, 6’4, Guard, 2018) – Jalen was one of the younger players at camp but I was very impressed with his talent level, his passing ability and natural feel for the game definitely caught my attention. Although his jumpshot could be more consistent he still impacted the game in so many ways by using his length to get to the basket or by forcing turnovers with very soli defense. Jalen has very good footwork and seems to take pride on the defensive end of the floor; I believe with continued progress he has a chance to be a very special player
Kendrick Baird (Jacksonville HS, 6’6, Forward, 2016) – Kendrick basically came into camp as an unknown player but turned numerous heads with his performance on Sunday. He gets up and down the floor very well and does the dirty work that gets overlooked. Kendrick contested and blocked shots, grabbed rebounds and was very active on the offensive glass and finished well when catching the ball in the paint.
Aaron Cash (North Raleigh Christian, 6’7, Forward, 2017) – Aaron was one of the most versatile player at camp that I saw; he looked very comfortable playing inside and knows how to finish around the basket. Aaron knows to use the rim to protect his shot from defenders using the reserving layup throughout camp. On the perimeter he was very efficient knocking down numerous catch and shoot threes, I would love to see to continue to improve his ball handing but overall has a very versatile player that has a chance to be really good.
Josh Helton (Kings Mountain H.S, 6’8, Forward/Center, 2017) – Josh had a very productive day at camp; he kept the game simple and finished well inside using his size to score easy points. His ability to rebound the ball was very impressive as he was able to provide his team with extra scoring opportunities by cleaning up the offensive glass. One attribute that I really liked about Josh was his unselfishness; he moved without the ball, set screens for teammates and didn’t force anything.
Walker Miller (Greensboro Day, 6’8, Forward/Center, 2016) – Walker has a very tall but slender frame; he’s still somewhat raw but definitely has potential to be a very good prospect with continued work and development. He has good hands and showed that can finish with the right and the left, once he adds more muscle to his frame he will be even tougher to stop inside the paint and will cause problems for defenders. On the defensive end he contested and blocked shots, did a good job of not leaving his feet before the shot is taken or before the offensive player leaves the ground.
Matt Kalaf (Neuse Christian Academy, 6’7, Wing, 2016) – Matt is an excellent Three point shooter, he shot a very high percentage from deep range especially when catching and shooting. Also was solid on the defensive end as well, he plays the game on his toes and reacted quickly to whatever was going at the end of the floor. Although I didn’t see him put the ball on the floor much I was very impressed with his overall performance. Matt has good size for a wing at the next level and is one to keep an eye on
Connor Funderburk (South Mecklenburg ,6’4, Shooting Guard, 2016)- Started off camp knocking down shots from all over the court , when he gets hot this young man can really shoot it.
Hugh Harvin (Indian Land HS, 5’5, Point Guard, 2016) – Fearless Guard that made some good plays for his squad, although he is small in stature he mixed it up inside with the big guys. Scored the ball well and knows how to run a team
Basketball Elite was able get out to the Phenom Hoops event in Greensboro to scout the Phenom 150 Showcase. Rick Lewis and Jamie Shaw did a great job once again of bringing in some of the areas top talent to play in front of scouts and numerous college coaches. Here are the players who stood out to me divided up by class.
John Brewer (Caldwell Academy, 6’4″, SF/PF)
John seems to improve every time I have seen him. Normally plays the undersized PF role but today played on the perimeter a decent bit and showcase the ability to put the ball on the floor and a nice euro step in transition. Draws contact at a high rate and is a good rebounder. Has a go-to spin turn around jumper move in the post. Solid inside/outside threat who D3 colleges should be on heavily.
Ben Ferguson (Southwest Guilford, 6’5″, SG/SF)
Ben was one of the few players today that I saw and heard communicating on the floor. Lights out 3 point shooter who has a low release but deep range. Crashed the offensive boards and has good size for his position. Needs to improve his lateral quickness but is a player who can play at the next level.
Jordan Harris (Caldwell Academy, 6’0″, G)
Jordan does a lot of the little things during the game that often go un-noticed. Strong slasher.
Ben Ferguson (Southwest Guilford, 6’5″, SG/SF)
Ben really played well today at the event and was one of the few players that I saw and heard communicating on the floor. Lights out 3 point shooter who has a low release but deep range. Crashes the offensive boards. Needs to improve his lateral quickness but is a player that will play at the next level.
Drew Cone (East Forsyth, 5’7″, PG)
Drew didn’t try to do too much today and was solid throughout the day. Was a floor general on the court and knocked down numerous 3 pointers. Drew has been receiving interest from multiple D3 and D2 schools as of late.
Samuel Arnold (Home School, 6’7″, F)
Sam did some good things today in the limited time I saw him play. He has good length and can shoot the ball well from deep.
Brenton Davis (Victory Christian, 6’3″, PG)
Brenton was unstoppable today in the game I saw. He plays with great poise and pace. Solid change of speed guard who can get to the paint at will and finish with contact. Excellent ball handler and on-ball defender. Goes off of 2 feet when he attacks the rim and has a crafty spin move. Tough guard who D2 schools should be all over.
Riley Jones (Lake Norman, 6’10”, C)
Riley showed the ability to get solid post position and good patience once he received the ball. Strong bodied player who has some good footwork not usually seen from a player his age. Needs to improve quickness and ability to create space with his moves.
Omar Petty (Kings Mountain, 6’4″, F)
Strong and decent athlete who is willing to play in the post. Rebounds the ball with 2 hands. Has potential.
Jalen Johnson (Wesleyan, 6’5″, SF)
Arguably the best athlete I saw today, Johnson had numerous above the rim finishes. His game is not limited to his athleticism however as he is a knockdown shooter from deep. The lefty plays both ends of the floor and showcased terrific timing to block shot after shot. Has good length and can handle the ball pretty well. Both mid major and a few high majors should be tracking.
Greyson Kelly (North Raleigh Christian, 6’2″, G)
Greyson plays the game as hard as anyone. He is consistent from both the 3 point line and from mid-range and attacks the rim hard. Aggressive and strong, Kelly is a player who should see some D2 interest come his way if he hasn’t already.
Ebuka Izunda (Victory Christian, 6’10”, C)
Izunda rebounded the ball well and had several terrific outlet passes. Looked solid around the basket keeping the ball high and and finishing with 2 hands. Better defensive player at this stage than on offense. Still needs to work on his hands and a go-to move but is projecting to be a MM+ player at this point.
Osinachi Smart (New Garden Friends, 6’8″, C)
Terrific rebounder who plays with a high motor and really hustles on both ends. A little raw offensively but can and will improve here. Works hard to post up and also sets ball screens. Has a team first attitude despite the fact he didn’t get the ball at lot. Had several big time 2 hand finishes above the rim and I thought he was one of the best bigs in attendance today.
Brendan Newton (Faith Christian School, 7’2″, C)
Standing 7′ plus Newton was the tallest player in attendance. He is long and lanky but has big upside. He keeps the ball high and runs the floor well. He did a good job of blocking or contesting a number of shots, but can’t disappear from the game. He will need to add strength and a go-to post move but is projecting as at least a MM player.
Douglas Elks (Ravenscroft, 6’3″, G)
Elks had a great showing today at camp. Has a good looking jump shot and showed he could play both on and off the ball. Unselfish passer and play-maker. Crashed the boards. Good basketball IQ.
Jordan Perkins (Greensboro Day, 5’11”, PG)
Tremendous ball handler who has the ball on a string. Over-dribbles at times but has a solid pull up game.
JP Moorman (Greensboro Day, 6’6″, G/F)
JP was one of the most versatile players I saw on the day and his play really impressed me. He did it all for his team and ran PG for most of the time on the floor. Solid court vision and is unselfish. Strong player who can finish inside. Defended and showed he could knock down open shots. Made some good reads and handled the ball well. One of the top five players I saw today and is going to have multiple college choices when its all said and done.
Blake Harris (Carlisle School, 6’3″, PG)
Plays at a great pace. Solid lead guard who made great reads and has good floor vision. One of if not the best PG I saw on the day. Solid rebounder who has good size and length for position. Stayed in front of the ball and hit some open shots. Made a few passes tough by trying to make the highlight but is a D1 guard.
Tripp Greene (Forsyth Country Day, 6’0″, G)
Tripp played well in the opening game today I saw. He is always solid and is unselfish on the floor. Lights out set shooter from deep. Can play either guard position.
Nick Brown (Caldwell Academy, 5’10”, PG)
Nick played very well in game 1 at the camp and hit numerous 3’s. High IQ player who will continue to improve as he gets stronger.
KJ Henry (Forsyth Country Day, 6’5″, F)
Versatile and athletic forward who can put the ball on the floor and face the basket. Multi-sport athlete who looked a little out of rhythm today, partly because he has been playing football heavily this season. Tough player who will has potential.
John Newman III (Greensboro Day, 6’4″, F)
Confident player who really gets after it. Solid shot blocker. Unselfish player who doesn’t play outside his limitations. Understands the game on both ends and can handle the ball. I liked his on-court attitude as well.
Blan Hodges (Alexander Central, 5’11”, G)
Blan knocked down set 3 after set 3 today and showed he was not afraid to mix it up with players who were older and bigger. Plays with good confidence.
For the last three years, the Triad High School All-Star games have featured some of the top players from the region (boys and girls), and has given some exposure to senior players who have just finished their high school career. The game is held in March, just after the high school season and playoffs have ended.
I can’t take credit for organizing the Triad All-Star games (which are very well-run), but I do submit nominees and have some vote on the players who should attend. I actually vote in more than one all-star game; I have some input into a couple of national all-star games as well. I don’t scout specifically for any game, but since I cover much of the Southeast it folds in well with the players I already am scouting, I support the Triad All-Star event as a way to celebrate the senior players; usually, I’ve been scouting the players in the game for 4 or 5 years already, so it’s great to see them playing their last, or one of their last, high school games as they head into their last semester before graduation and moving on to college.
For me, the All-Star games actually take place right in the ‘middle’ of the scouting year; which brings me to the point of today’s article, which is, from a insider’s perspective, what the yearlong basketball scouting schedule actually is. Basketball is, for me and others who cover/scout/coach the sport, a 365-days-a-year game. Right now the mainstream sports world is readying for baseball postseason action and is square in the middle of the opening month of NFL and college football, and I like those sports, but for me, I’m also watching basketball in gyms. There’s literally never a month where there’s no basketball to watch or cover, which is great if you love the sport but also somewhat unknown to most casual fans.
What I wanted to do today is provide a schedule for parents and players who are wondering how scouts find players, what time of year they scout certain venues, where they look, and what they might be looking for. I can’t speak for all scouts, but bear in mind we all do tend to scout in similar patterns, although the events may be different based on where the scout’s home base is. For me, the scouting ‘year’ actually starts in the fall, but since basketball is ‘year-round’, this is more just how I personally organize my time. Disclaimer: this is primarily just my high school scouting schedule, and doesn’t include college and pro games/combines.
In other words, if you are trying to get scouted, you should be aware of where the scouts are and how you can improve your chances. It actually isn’t enough to just play well in high school in most cases. You have to strategically work on your game, get in AAU reps, individual showcases and rest for the July period. It’s not easy for players; the goal for most players is, get on someone’s radar in early fall, play lights out during the high school year, get on more radars in March, April, May and June (while also improving) and hit July with enough interest that coaches, media and scouts show up and watch you play against top competition.
So with all of that in mind, let’s kick things off:
September-October: Fall Leagues, open gyms and individual showcases. Normally I scout high level fall leagues in Raleigh, Winston-Salem and Charlotte. This is where I usually first see players who I may scout during the high school season. If you want scouts to see you play, this is a good chance to get into someone’s notebook. Usually if a player looks good in fall league, I will be sure to watch that player if they are at an individual showcase like the Phenom 150 events.
Bear in mind that scouts are not just looking for finished products; we are looking for players who are still developing. Focus on using the fall leagues on getting better and work on your transition offense/defense for showcases. Players tend to think if they score 40 ppg in a showcase it will get them noticed, but as a scout I have to pay attention to rebounds, assists, turn overs, defense…everything. If you are playing in a fall league game and jacking up shots every time you touch the ball, I’m not really going to be impressed. Lebron James in high school? Yeah, I saw him. Chris Paul, Kyrie Irving, John Wall, Kobe Bryant, Anthony Davis, Demarcus Cousins, I saw all of them in high school. Andrew Wiggins? We at Basketball Elite were the first guys to actually interview him on camera, when he was a relative unknown. I’m not trying to impress anyone with this, I’m trying to explain why I’m really not amazed by watching a high school player come down the court with the ball, never look at any of his teammates and plow right into two defenders while the rest of the team just looks on.
Sometimes I won’t mention a player or write about them but I will jot their name down in my notes because I notice they run the offense well or play lock down defense; this is because if I see that player during the high school season and notice him, it won’t be the first time, and that matters. You can’t really scout a player in one game, or in one setting. You’re looking at building an accurate assessment of a player over time.
November-February: High school and private school games. I split my time between high school, college and semi-pro scouting during this time because it’s the most active time of the year with live games being played. I find players during this time but I also work to watch the players I found in the early fall, because I need to see them in organized high school games. It’s at this point that I consider the most valuable scouting; but in many cases I will add/drop players from my notes because I want to know what I am looking for in the AAU season. This is where I also solidify who I am going to vote for in the All-Star games. This time period is also the most difficult, scheduling-wise, because I get dozens of scouting requests each week and most high school games are all played at the same time, on the same days. So I have to choose games close to wherever I am on those days and where I think I can find players. If this sounds hard, it is. People always wonder why ‘no scouts or colleges ever come to our games’ and this is why. The reality is that if even if you can scout 3 games in a single week, which three games are you going to pick? One in Washington DC, one in Florida, and one in Kansas, on the off chance you might find a prospect? Not really possible or even reasonable. This is also why more scouts show up at holiday tournaments, because we can watch 5-6 games (which is 10-12 teams) in a single day. While high school games may be the most valuable for evaluation, they are also the most difficult to see. Inside note: this means that when a college coach shows up at a high school game, they are probably already recruiting someone in the game. They usually aren’t there to find players, although it happens sometimes.
March:High school playoffs, all-star games, individual showcases. By this time, I’m pretty familiar with most, or all of the players when I see them at high profile events like the NC Top 80. Last year, we also broadcast several of the games for the NC Top 80 online. There are also conflicts during this time because of the NCAA tournament games.
April-May: AAU games. Here I may find players but normally what I am looking for is seeing the players I watched during high school in different conditions; I also get a chance to see players from other regions that I may not have been able to watch during the high school season. If I watch an AAU tournament in Atlanta, I may see teams I am familiar with from NC taking on teams from Texas, Florida, or Gerogia and that gives me a wider scouting reach as well as being able to compare players I am more knowledgeable about going against national competition. This is also where I solidify who I want to watch during the July live period and it’s where I really start looking for players who may be under the radar and who I would like to attend my Southeast Summer Showcase, normally held in June.
June: Southeast Summer Showcase (which I organize), NBA Top 100 camp, and usually I hit a couple of elite camps like Wake Forest, Chris Paul’s elite guard camp or another one if I can find it. With the showcase, I normally like to bring in some solid talent, some players who college coaches know about but then I like to bring in as many under-the-radar players as I can, so that they can show if they can compete against the ‘name’ players. This has worked well and last year we had more college coaches in the building than ever before, and we have had a lot of Division I talent come through the event during our first four years of operation. Also, hitting up the elite camps usually gives me a chance to see national players from across the country.
July: AAU live period. This is the time where everyone thinks basketball recruiting happens, and a lot of it does happen, from the EYBL circuit (sponsored by Nike), to the Adidas tournaments, to hundreds of other tournaments crammed into about a three week period. This is where I see the most college coaches, the most national players and really get to see top national talent. I do find players in this time but normally this is just an extension of what I’ve already seen; I’m generally looking at match-ups between top players at this point, such as if I’ve seen a regional point guard from Virginia and I want to see how he does against nationally ranked guards on both ends of the floor. This is sort of when ‘everything comes together’ for players, coaches, media and scouts. It’s also incredibly exhausting for everybody.
August: Most scouts ease off in August and there is very little coverage…except for USA Basketball, which plays internationally. This year, the USA team played in the FIBA World Cup in Spain and was covered by our own James Blackburn.
And then it’s September, and we do it all over again.
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.
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
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.