Archive for the ‘ basketball scout ’ Category

Rabun Gap HS @ Charlotte Christian

By James Blackburn

James Blackburn was able to attend and scout Rabun Gap HS who made their way up from Georgia to take on Charlotte Christian on Friday night.

Game Notes

Both teams got off to a slow start early on, while Charlotte struggled to figure out Rabun Gap’s zone defense, and Rabun Gap struggling to hit outside shots. Charlotte led 7-4 after 1. The 2nd quarter was a little more up and down, as Charlotte was able to generate some offense behind senior PG Trey Phills (19 pts). Rabun Gap struggled to utilize their bigs and turned the ball over numerous times. Charlotte did a great job of staying patient until they could get the shot they wanted. At the half, Charlotte led 22-16.

Rabun Gap made adjustments at the half, and Senior F, Dusan Kovacevic (22 pts), took over. Rabun controlled the boards, hit FT’s, and defended the ball to pull away for the 51-37 lead.

I must say that both of these teams were well coached and there were numerous college prospects in this contest.

 

Scouting Reports

Charlotte Christian

Trey Phills, 6’2″, G, 2015

Trey is one of the best pure scorers I have seen this year. He came into the game averaging over 20 ppg. He can beat you with the jump shot and he can finish in traffic at the rim. He is quick and shifty and has a lethal first step. He can create his own shot, but showed unselfishness last night, getting his teammates involved and not forcing shots. He showed his athleticism in the first half with 3 dunks. He attacks the gaps and is a terrific ball handler. He needs to improve set shooting but is a D1 prospect.

Rabun Gap

Dusan Kovacevic, 6’10”, F, 2015

Dusan has a terrific feel for the game and did it all on the floor tonight. He can rebound the ball and push it ahead in transition. He plays at his pace and is never hurried or bothered by ball pressure. He struggled to his his jumper this game from the outside but was able to score with his back to the basket and off the dribble. He is a good FT shooter as well. He has solid court vision and is a good teammate. A player who HM schools need to be on.

Luka Majstorovic, 6’9″, F/C, 2015

Luka was hands down the best rebounder in this game. He controlled his area and did an excellent job of chinning and securing the ball after getting the board. He uses his big body well to score inside and showed nice touch from the FT line. He seals off inside the post and keeps the ball high. Fundamentally sound. Luka has already signed to play D2.

 

By Charles Clark

Well by now I’m sure that you have already heard about the Trinity vs. Village matchup Tuesday night, the environment was absolutely insane with fans being turned away at the door due to overcrowding inside. Fans sat on bleachers, chairs, stood in corners and some even sat on the floor just to see this matchup, As one coach mentioned to me ‘‘ this is what high school basketball is all about!!’’ The game was a great matchup with Village and Trinity going back and forth up until the 3rd quarter where Village would make a run to stretch the leads to 11 points, But Trinity would make a comeback and cut the lead to 4 at the end of the 3 rd quarter. In the 4th Quarter the two teams would go back and forth up until the final minute when Trinity would come up with multiple steals and Scores to take the win at Village Christian. It was very impressive to see the amount of talent that was on the floor, so with out further ado let’s take a look at some of the prospects that stood out to me:

Trinity Christian:

Zo Tyson, 6’9, 2015 Center (High Point Commit)- To see the progression that Zo has made over the past few years has to make you smile, this young man has worked hard and will be an asset to the High Point Program. Zo was very active on both ends of the floor, on the defensive end he challenged and blocked shots at high rate as well cleaning up the glass for rebounds. He’s one of those players that does the dirty work and the small things that may not get a ton of publicity but at the end of the night you love him if he’s on your squad. What may have impressed me most was how well he played on the offensive end, Zo has become comfortable playing with his back to the basket, he has used a short jump hook shot for a while now that goes in with regularity. Zo was also outstanding on the offensive glass getting rebounds and put back dunks for Trinity. However there was one move in particular that impressed me, in the 2nd half he was guarded on the baseline and looked as if he had no where to go, instead of forcing a bad pass he took one dribble and knocked a beautiful fade away jumper. Very impressive performance for this young man in the win for Trinity

Dennis Smith Jr. 6’2, 2016, Point Guard- As most people know, Dennis Smith Jr. has gone from being an unranked PG to being ranked the #1 PG in the class of 2016 by ESPN.com and numerous other scouting services. Smith has very good height for a PG and uses that height along with his IQ and outstanding athletic ability to help his team. Smith Struggled shooting the ball through three quarters but still made plays and passes that would help his team stay in the game and eventually take the lead. Smith has a very competitive nature, you can see that he absolutely hates losing and will do anything possible to help his squad win. The 4th quarter is when Smith really put his stamp on the game, he got to the paint time after time, finishing layups and drawing fouls to get to the line. Smith has the potential to be an outstanding player at the next level if he continues to progress, I would love to see Smith improve his shooting so that he’s knocking down the perimeter shot with consistency.

Cameron Campbell, 6’2, 2016, Guard- An impressive showing for this young man, he showed outstanding ball handling and decision making throughout the game. What impressed me the most was his perimeter shooting, although he didn’t knock down a high amount of threes you can tell that he absolutely is a shooter. Has good elevation on his shot and good form, knocked a huge three pointer in the 4th quarter to help Trinity gain more momentum
Joey Baker, 6’6, 8th Grade, Forward- The key word with Joey Baker is POTENTIAL; he’s only in 8th grade but is logging solid mins on a varsity squad that is a target for its opponents on a nightly basis. Although he didn’t have a big scoring night, he competes and It’s easy to see that he has a natural feel for the game and will be a player that coaches around the country will come to see in a few years if he continues to progress. Can already shoot it from outside and with added strength will be able to play inside the paint as well.

Village Christian:

Michael Hueitt Jr. 6’2, 2017, Guard- If you have known me the past few years then you know that I’ve been a believer of the young man Michael Hueitt Jr. He has the potential to be an even better player than he already is now if he continues to work and progress in a few areas. To make it plain and simple he’s is one of the best shooters in the state this year and is averaging close to 20 PPG.This young man brings a ton of intensity on a nightly basis and is a fan favorite, All Hueitt needs is just a small amount of space to get his shot off and he knocks it down on a regular basis. On Tuesday he showed that not only can he knock down the trey ball with regularity but also the midrange shot and even can throw it down when he gets in transition. One area that I would love to must see more from Hueitt is on the defensive end, he has a very long wingspan and can develop into a defensive specialist, If you haven’t added Michael Hueitt Jr.to your ‘Players to Watch’’ list , you definitely should because he’s worth the price of admission without a doubt. It also should be noted that Michael Hueitt Jr. was my ‘‘Hand Down, Man Down’’ award winner last season.

Kwinton Hinson 6’4, 2015, Wing- I saw Kwinton two years ago at the Eastern Regional Championship at Crown Arena, you could see that he was a talented player but was young and his body would still need some work. Well lets forward to Tuesday night, Kwinton has a college body already and was very impressive, especially in the first half. He knocked down shots from the Perimeter and Midrange as well as getting to the basket when he wanted; although he scored 16 Points I was more impressed with the 12 Rebounds that he pulled down. With his height and frame he’s definitely an asset to a program, he is the type of player that can pull down a rebound, push the ball the full length of the court and make a play. Kwinton has a very mature game but I would love to see him get him a little better handling the ball; however he definitely was impressive and looks like he will have an outstanding senior season.

David Strother 6’2, 2016 Guard- David played a solid game , he handled pressure very well throughout the night, This young man knows how to keep defenders guessing by using a variety of moves and fakes , especially when bringing the ball up the court. On the defensive end he read the opposition very well and came up with numerous steals, offensively he has a nice floater that he uses once he gets into the paint and his jump shot is improving as well. David is one of those players that may not jump out at you but he knows how the Point Guard position is supposed to be ran.

Juwuan Wright, 6’5, 2015, Forward- Village was definitely undersized in their matchup with Trinity so a big night from Juwuan was needed. Although he didn’t have his best night offensively, he was very active throughout the night, especially on the glass,
He finished the game with 10 Rebounds and 8 Points. One attribute that I def like about Juwuan is the intensity and enthusiasm he brings to his team on a nightly basis. No matter how big the opponent he’s def not backing down for anyone, is progressing on the offensive end and will be very dangerous if he’s add more midrange/perimeter shooting to his game.

Want more scouting notes and player details? Be sure to follow Charles Clark on Twitter @CHC3, right this second!

Mark Tollesfsen Basketball

By James Blackburn

Game Scouted: San Francisco vs Evansville (Gulf Coast Showcase)
Evansville wins 79-72
Box Score

Mark Tollefsen (F, 6’9″, JR)

Stats
11-21 FG , 9 reb, 3 assist, 1 steal, 2 TO’s, 23 TP

Strengths
Tremendously skilled lefty with good length and athleticism. Versatile SF with a high motor. Is active around the rim and sticks with his own misses- has a quick 2nd jump. Can put the ball on floor and score off the dribble in a variety of ways. Underrated passer who sees the floor very well and delivers passes on time and on target. Above average shooter who gets great arc on his shots and has soft touch. Terrific face up shooter. Good athlete who finished multiple lob plays above the rim.
Was willing to do whatever the team needed him to do. Can play on the wing and he can pick and roll or pick and pop.
High IQ player who has a great feel for the game.

Weaknesses
Needs to get stronger in both upper and lower body so he can keep his lines on drives. San Fransisco played a mix of zone and man on defense. Mark was average on this end. Didnt stay in stance and I question if he can stay in front of good SF’s. Is a tweener on the defensive end.
While Mark is a good shooter, he needs to continue to improve his range and consistency shooting the 3- better midrange shooter.
Good offensive rebounder because of activity but needs to improve on the defensive glass- struggles to hold ground when boxing out.

Overview
Mark was his teams best and most consistent player throughout the three days of the Gulf Coast Showcase tournament I was able to watch him in. The more you watch him play, you realize how valuable he is to his team. It was hard to keep him off the floor.

He has a player who has a lot of potential and while he is an average defender at this point, I could see him becoming a great defender because of length and athleticism. Still has another year left to improve and get stronger. I can see him becoming a player that could garner a Portsmouth Invite and possibly a summer league spot. At the very least his skills would be highly coveted by a European club. He could play for a 1st division in a mid-tier country or a 2nd division team in a top tier country (Turkey, Spain, Israel, etc). The D-League would also be an option for him too, but I think his skills would be more utilized in Europe.

NC Phenom 150 Basketball Showcase Session 2

By James Blackburn

I was able to scout session 2 of the NC Phenom Camp held once again at Proehlific Park in Greensboro, NC. Tons of talent was on display including numerous D1 prospects. Here are my scouting notes on some of the players who stood out today broken down by class.

2015


Aiden Richard Gaston Day NC

Aiden Richard
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)
Quick guard who showcased an excellent handle. Terrific crossover move he used repeatedly to get into the paint. Excellent runner. Needs to improve shooting consistency but showed he could create his own shot.

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.

2016


Emmanuel Ugboh ELite Prep NC

Emmanuel Ugboh
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.

Malcolm Evans Elite Prep NC

Malcolm Evans
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 Freedom Christian NC

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

David Caraher
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.

James Blackburn scouts players at the high school, college and pro level. For more scouting notes and insight, follow James on Twitter @jamesjunior21

US Elite Hoops Showcase 2014

By Marcus Shockley

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

Southeastern Challenge 2014

By James Blackburn

I had the opportunity to scout the SAG Sports Southeastern Challenge in Greensboro, NC over the weekend. The event was held at the Greensboro Sportsplex and attracted some of the top Prep Schools and Junior Colleges in the southeast. Multiple college coaches from D1, D2, and NAIA programs were there to scout the talent on hand. With over 30 teams in attendance and with 8 courts running at a time it was nearly impossible to see every team and player play. Here are some of the top players and prospects I had a chance to scout yesterday.

Brunswick Community College

Najee Pritchett (F, 6’3″, SO)
Strong and athletic player who plays with a high motor. Is a tremendous rebounder who throws on target outlet passes.

Eric Crawford (PG, 5’9″, FR)
Excellent ball handler who played the back up PG role for team. One of the quickest players baseline to baseline at the event. Solid playmaker who can score at the rim.

Kevin Rowell (F/C, 6’8″, SO)
A top 3 player in attendance in my opinion. Kid is MM+ with his combination of size, strength, and agility. Runs the floor very well and plays with a ton of energy. Brings in on both ends and defends inside and on the perimeter. Excellent back to the basket game with solid footwork. Utilizes the up and under move and pump fake well. Has a good feel for the game and is an underrated passer.

Cortel Busby (PG, 6’2″, SO)
Aggressive and strong guard who ran the team- tough. Can finish through contact. Solid help defender as well.

Taylor Buffkin (G, 6’2″, SO)
Athletic guard who is a good passer. Aggressive slasher.

Combine Academy

Jure Span (PG, 6’4″)
One of my favorite players I saw on the day and a top 5 player over all. Span who is from Slovenia, is as crafty as they come. Makes great decisions out of the P/R and was able to use solid change of pace dribbling to get to the basket. Lefty who can knock down the open perimeter jumper as well. Ball pressure doesn’t phase him and he always has his eyes up seeing the floor. Smooth PG who was the best passer at the event. Holds a couple of LM majors, but is a LM+/MM- player.

Jan Novak (G, 6’4″)
Jan, who also is from Slovenia, played solid all day. Does the little things that help the team win. Is athletic and guards people. Attacks the rim and plays hard. Would be a solid D2 player.

Billy Biyombo (F, 6’4″)
The younger brother of Charlotte Hornets forward Bismack Biyombo, Billy was all over the boards today. Plays with good energy and is a solid athlete.

Davidson County CC

Oshon West (G/F, 6’4″, SO)

Is a junkyard dog in the paint. Very strong player who doesnt really have a natural position but is a versatile player who plays bigger than he is. Rebounds the ball and is a solid inside/outside threat. Can hit the 3 when open, but needs to improve consistency. D2 and LM players should track him this season.

Faith Assembly Christian Academy

Jordan Riley (F, 6’7″, FR)

Big bodied forward who knows how to battle inside. Good rebounder who has potential.

Louisburg College

Raekwon Harney (PG, 5’11”, SO)

The D1 transfer did a great job of running the team and getting teammates involved. Tremendous ball handler and on-ball defender.

Keyshaun Williams (F, 6’7″, FR)

Williams is long and athletic and runs the floor well. Needs to get stronger with the ball but has good upside.

Jamarcus Hairston (F, 6’7″, FR)

Is a strong 4 man who is solid 12′ and in. Good rebounder who would be a good fit at some D2 programs.

Moravian Prep

Ricky Council II (G, 6’4″)

Arguably the most talented player in the gym, Council did it all today. He was on fire from beyond the arc and showcased deep range. Rebounded the ball and showed he was unselfish getting his teammates involved. Tremendous athlete who can finish above the rim with ease. HM player.

Isaac Thomas (F, 6’7″)

Mobile and fundamental big man who rebounds the ball on both ends and plays with 100% effort. Keeps the ball high after rebounds and showcased a nice hook shot. D2 should be all over him.

Pa Pa Ndiaye (C, 7’0″)

Long and mobile big man who is still raw but has potential. Had a big finish above the rim at the end of one game and showed glimpses of what he can become with some work.

Spartanburg Methodist College

Nate Motley (PG, 6’0″, SO)

Motely game stood out even amongst a loaded roster. He is super fast with the ball in his hands and can get to the rim at well. Has a tendency to get out of control at times. Competes and plays with a high motor. Has deep range on his shot and can score in bunches.

Jeremy Summers (F, 6’4″, SO)

Plays much bigger than 6’4″. Is long, scrappy, and athletic. Has a high motor and rebounds the ball with the best of them.

Warren Vinson (PG, 5’11”, FR)

Poised PG who can score with contact. Good shooter from 3. Showcased some nifty footwork on the break.

New Hope Christian Academy

Benjamin Pittman (PG, 5’11”, JR)

Pittman showcased his unbelievable speed and was at his best in transition. Super quick crossover dribble move. Really competes on the court.

Shooting 4 Greatness Academy

Chan William-Bey (G, 6’6″)

The super athletic wing from Hartford, CT was one of my favorite players to watch in the tournament. He is a solid defender who uses his wingspan to get deflections. Can handle the ball well and attacks the rim. Has good grades and schools at NAIA, D2, and D1 schools should monitor.

Thomasville Prep

Lukas Ganas (PG, 6’1″)

Absolutely loved his will to win and his competitiveness. Was the most vocal player in the gym today and was a leader on the floor. Floor general who is tough and looks to get others involved. Attacks the rim and defends the ball as good as anyone. Depending on what year he is in school, I would label him as a LM target.

By Marcus Shockley

The annual J.D. Lewis Fall League, based in Raleigh, NC, has become one of the best spots to scout high school players leading into the varsity season. Previous leagues have been loaded with players who went on to play at the college level. Organized by Dwayne West and Chris Myatt, players get a chance to work together for a short league season. I wasn’t able to attend earlier games in the season but I was able to catch the action on the final day of Session I, which included the playoffs and championship game. For those who are interested in participating in Session II, you can find information at this link.

There are quite a few players I noted during the games; here are some of the standouts for the day’s action.

Jamel McAllister (G/F, 6’7″, 2015) – Wake Forest HS (NC) A solid playmaker with athleticism, size and length. At 6’7″, McAllister does a lot of things to help his team win and has excellent on-court awareness. Talks on the floor and is a leader; wants to make things happen. Definitely a college prospect with excellent grades.

Emmett Tilley (PG, 6’1″, 2016) Northern Durham HS (NC) Tilley is a strong lead guard with excellent strength and handle. Plays through contact and has quite a bit of upside. Plays as a true floor general and has the physique for the college game.

Michael Okauru (SG, 6’3″, 2017) Explosive shooting guard who is a high octane scoring machine. Excellent at getting his hands on loose passes on defense and has deadly quickness. Averaged 33 ppg during this session of Fall League and was named the season MVP. Has a soft touch and gets to the rim with ease.

Akeem Tate (SG, 2016) Knightdale HS (NC) Tate came alive in the second half of the title game and nearly took over the game. Can score but also grabs rebounds and finds teammates in transition. Nice slashing wing player.

Ian Boyd (G, 6’3″, 2016) Apex HS (NC) Two-sport star who has great strength and body control. Plays above the rim and has a lot of power to his game but excellent agility. Showed an improved deep touch on the ball today.

Nick Johnson (PF, 6’7″, 2015) North Raleigh Christian Academy (NC) Johnson is probably one of the most under-the-radar big men in NC for the class of 2015. He has excellent strength and plays physically, runs the floor and can play both the 4 or 5 positions. Moves his feet well on defense, even on the perimeter. Ideally, he’d be a PF at the college level but mobile big men who can play multiple roles are valuable for colleges; In a world where so many people are looking for the next 7-foot shooting guard hype machine, players like Johnson who just work the post, run the floor, defend the paint and rebound can get overlooked. But every college coach needs players who will come in and make their team better while adding depth to the roster immediately and Johnson is one of those players.

Matt Kalaf (SF, 6’7″, 2016) Neuse Christian Academy (NC) Kalaf has excellent length and bounce from the perimeter; plays big and quick and has great hands – excellent rebounder from the wing. His size for position and versatility make him a solid collegiate prospect and he continues to improve. Has had a polished game for some time and now is rounding out his overall game and strength for the college level.

Leonard Johnson (G, 5’10”, 2016) Johnson is a really solid combo guard who can get buckets in a lot of ways; winner of the MVP of the title game, Johnson posted a stat line of 20 points, 5 rebounds and tossed a couple of assists. Really good at finding gaps in the defense and getting off shots; hits his free throws to get those crucial three-point plays, has a solid build and stays in front of his man on defense. A versatile guard who knows how to play the game and never looks out of control or rattled.

JaShaun Smith (G/F, 6’4″, 2016) Garner HS (NC) Smith has impressive potential and is a big time scorer; deadly, quick release from deep but can blow by the defenders in transition and plays above the rim. Definitely a player I will be scouting more and really want to see his upside.

DJ Myers (SG, 6’3″, 2017) Neuse Christian Academy (NC) Myers is a dynamic, rangy guard whose best asset now is his ability to change speed and slash from the wing. Sees the defense well and can find cutting players from the off guard position; has some ability to play the 2 or the 3.

Marcus Shockley scouts basketball for various outlets including Phenom Hoop Report and Basketball Elite. Click here to follow Marcus on Twitter, right now.

Triad Blue Chip Fall League

By Marcus Shockley

This season’s Triad Blue Chip Fall League is in it’s third year and is a great way for varsity and JV high school players to get some early season court time, and playing against solid competition. Here are my notes from the second week of action.

Peter Parkitny (PF, 6’10”, 2015) Calvary Baptist (NC) Parkitny recently arrived in the U.S. and shows a lot of promise playing as a stretch 4. He has a fluid attack and good timing off of the bounce; excellent court awareness and runs the floor at all times. Still adapting to the U.S. post game and will continue to improve as he adds strength and works on his overall post footwork. However, his game being more of a SF/PF now shows he has a lot of agility and potential. I expect colleges to get involved quickly with this new prospect.

Cecil Moore (PG, 5’10”, 2015) Calvary Baptist (NC) Moore continues to show excellent quickness on both ends of the floor, has added strength and has an excellent handle. Looking more for his shot now and has a good release on the perimeter.

Christian Adams (CG, 6’4″, 2015) Calvary Baptist (NC) Adams has great size for the guard spot and should be considered a versatile wing player; he can effectively run the offense and works hard defensively. Plays through contact and has a high motor.

Justin McCluney (CG, 5’10”, 2017) Ronald Reagan HS (NC) Quick first step and a high octane player with the ball in his hands. Puts a lot of pressure on the defense, showing craftiness with his ability to beat his defender off of the dribble and uses an array of moves to finish under the basket. Quick enough to defend top guards and will continue to improve with experience.

Cooper Larue (SG, 6’3″, 2017) Ronald Reagan HS (NC) Fluid wing with an explosive ability to get into the paint and a nice looking deep shot. Definitely has a step on most defenders.

John Kerr (C, 6’9″, 2017) East Forsyth HS (NC) Good footwork and hands from a pure post player. Already has good understanding of how to play the post and has some strength; he should become a force in the paint as he continues to add muscle. Likes to post up and play back to the basket. Hard worker.

Akai Pruitt (SF, 6’6″, 2016) RJ Reynolds HS (NC) Excellent length and size; definitely a wing player who has good poise in transition. Excellent timing, got several blocks and makes an impact on both ends.

Austin Rose (SG, 6’3″, 2015) West Forsyth HS (NC) Rose has an elite deep shot and is one of the purest shooters in the Southeast. His deep shot is textbook, square up and quick release. He showed athleticism on the break with a two handed dunk in transition.

John Brewer (PF, 6’4″, 2015) Caldwell Academy (NC) Brewer runs the floor hard and understands the game; he has good footwork and moves without the ball; Good hands and has an ability to get off shots, even against taller defenders.

CP3 Elite Guard Camp 2014

CP3 camps

By James Blackburn

I was fortunate to be able to scout the annual Chris Paul Elite Camp for the 5th straight year this year. Living in Winston-Salem, NC has its advantages, one of which is not having to travel far to catch the event, put on by Chris Paul and company. Some of the top high school and collegiate guards from around the country are invited to come in and compete against each other and also against Chris Paul himself. This year Chris brought in fellow pros Isaiah Thomas (Suns) and recently drafted Elfrid Payton (Magic). The coaching and the drills are top notch and are new to many of the players involved, especially those still in high school. I dedicated the majority of my time this year watching the college players (The HS and college players are divided up onto different courts). Below you will find my thoughts on some of the top performers and my ranking of the top 5.

Top 5
1. Nigel Williams- Goss (6’3”, 190 lbs, Sophomore, Washington)
2. Dez Wells (6’5”, 220 lbs, Senior, Maryland)
3. Keifer Sykes (6’0”, 170 lbs, Senior, Wis.- Greenbay)
4. Treveon Graham (6’5”, 215 lbs, Senior, VCU)
5. Marcus Paige (6’1”, 170 lbs, Junior, UNC)

Pierria Henry (6’2″, 195 lbs, Senior, UNC-Charlotte)
Looked smooth and confident throughout camp. Has one of the smoothest euro-steps in camp. Has a nice high release, but shot needs to get more consistent. Showed good energy in day 2. Terrific size for the PG position. Is never hurried or bothered by pressure defense.

Dez Wells (6’5″, 220 lbs, Senior, Maryland)
Has one of the best bodies/frames here. Handles the ball very well- dribbles the ball quickly and hard. Has a high and effortless stroke. Is not a great shooter (needs more consistency) but is one of the better shooters at this event. I dont see him having any trouble adjusting to the NBA 3 pt line. Used ball screens very well- liked his pace. Was probably the best player overall in day 2. Doing a great job guarding the ball- using strength/size. His team won the 4 on 4 full court drill 3 times in a row. Is a big time athlete who should have a big year this year in the ACC.

Will Cummings (6’2″, 185 lbs, Senior, Temple)
Really liked what I saw from Cummings all camp. Solid lead guard who handles the ball well. Blended in to a degree in day 1 but knows how to play. Did a nice job of going downhill and attacking basket. His team won 5 on 5 more than anyone. Knows how to win and compete. Scoring the ball well today in the games at the rim.

Traevon Jackson (6’2″, 208 lbs, Senior, Wisconsin)
Solid shooting lefty performed well in both drills and the games. Has a pro ready body. Has a little bit of a tendency to drop dribble the ball but can really score.

Marcus Paige (6’1″, 170 lbs, Junior, UNC)
It was really tough to spot any major weaknesses these past 2 days in Paige. Looking really smooth in 1 on 1 drills on both sides of the ball. Solid ball handler with either hand. Deceptively quick. Really utilizes footwork to get space. One of the better shooters here.

Ron Baker (6’4″, 215 lbs, Senior, Wichita State)
Good size for position- above average physically then most others in camp. Looked solid in ball handling drills. Needs to improve quickness but can score with contact.

D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera (6’3″, 218 lbs, Junior, Georgetown)
Liked his approach to the game. Is a leader, has a great frame for position, and is tough. Team won share of 5 on 5.

Codi Miller-McIntyre (6’2″, 200 lbs, Junior, Wake Forest)
Tremendous build- going through ball handling drills quickly and with good accuracy. Dribbling the ball hard. Tough to guard in 1 on 1 drills- very explosive. Liked his competitive spirit. Solid defensively. Quick 1st step. Codi was very close to making my top 5 list- should be the man this year for Wake Forest.

Kevin Pangos (6’1″, 185 lbs, Junior, Gonzaga)
Bounced back after a disappointing day 1. Had a renewed confidence in day 2 where he scored the ball and was able to win his share of games. One of the best 3 pt shooters here- quick release. Lacks some of the physicals needed at the next level, but has underrated quickness and was able to score today in some unusual ways/moves.

Rod Hall (6’1″, 205 lbs, Senior, Clemson)
Very strong build- could easily be a running back. Trying to go right through people here at camp and many times was successful. One of the better slashers here, but needs to improve his shooting.

Kasey Hill (6’1″, 177 lbs, Sophomore, Florida)
Athleticism is effortless. Quick first step. His shooting stroke is simple and doesn’t require much effort or energy. Can get to the painted area with the best of them.

Keifer Sykes (6’0″, 170 lbs, Senior, Wis.- Greenbay)
One of the quickest and most athletic guards here. Big time scorer who scored over 20 ppg a game last season. Loved his professionalism and the way he carried himself. Euro- Step looks solid. Solid pull-up game. Plays with eyes up. Best defender in camp in my mind- holds his ground, moves his feet, and fought over ball screens. Solid ball handler w/ either hand.

Fred VanVleet (6’0″, 190 lbs, Junior, Wichita State)
Had a solid showing both days. Scored at will in 1 on 1 drills in day 1. Impressed me on the defensive end too- active hands. Really competed no matter who he matched up against.

Nigel Williams-Gross (6’3″, 190 lbs, Sophomore, Washington)
From the start of camp till the last drill I saw him compete in, Nigel was my favorite player in camp. Liked his communication and the way he competed through the drills- went through everything like he had something to prove- looked really good. Was only player communicating through the drills. Looked great in partner passing drills. Was a leader in drills even though he is one of the younger players here. Has an excellent floater where he showed touch around the basket. Coachable and consistent player. Is shifty and has excellent size for being a true PG. Defended the ball well. Needs to improve 3 pt shot, but has a solid midrange.

Treveon Graham (6’5″, 215 lbs, Senior, VCU)
Biggest guard at camp. Asked the coaches questions which I liked. Has a slow release but was the best shooter in day 2 after struggling day 1. Is not a PG, but could be a solid 2 at the next level. Played well in live games, competitions, etc- used his size/strength to score and was knocking down open shots.

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!

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