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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Jordan Riley (F, 6’7″, FR)
Big bodied forward who knows how to battle inside. Good rebounder who has potential.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I was able to attend the Triad Blue Chip Basketball Fall League on Saturday, played at Summit School in Winston-Salem. Here are some of the top performers I saw in each game of the HS division.
Akia Pruitt,2016, F
I really like Akia game. He is active and long and is the best shot blocker in the league. He is athletic and has a quick 2nd jump. A terrific rebounder on both ends, Pruitt may lead the league in tip-ins. Runs the floor well. Pruitt needs to continue to add strength and work on his shooting. D2/LM schools should check him out this season.
Mike Hinton, 2015, F
Mike had a game high 20 points and was dominating all game inside the paint. Communicates on the floor and is not afraid to demand the ball in the post. A Tight end and Defensive end on the football team as well, Hinton is one of the strongest players in the league. Draws contact at a high rate but needs to improve finishing ability. I like his footwork and intangibles. D3 schools should show interest.
Samuel Bryant , 2015, C
Excellent basketball IQ and was not afraid to go to the middle of the floor against the zone where he excells as a high/low passer.Has good length. Needs to continue to develop a go-to move.
Kaavione Gaskin, 2015, G
Athletic and aggressive lefty who is crafty as well. I was really impressed with his play making ability today too.
Drew Cone, 2015, PG
Drew Cone was the best player on the floor today. He had a team-high 19 points and kept his team in it. You cant leave him open for any 3’s as he is a knock down shooter both with feet set and off the dribble. He is smart and doesnt use pick up his dribble until he has something.
John Brewer,2015, F
Brewer is a terrific rebounder who has the ability to push the ball up the court in transition after rebounding the ball. Has a solid drop step and is able to score with contact. Gets to the FT line at a high rate. Strong and tough. Is a leader on the floor and communicates. Is a player who can play at the next level.
Nic Brown, 2018, G
Quick guard who can get to paint. Solid on-ball defender. Has a solid runner in the paint.
Jordan Harris,2015, G
Strong slasher who can beat his man one on one. Defends and plays the passing lanes. Can score in transition and can play either guard position.
Christian Adams, G, 2015
Athletic slasher who can finish with contact in the paint. Terrific on-ball defender.
Cecil Moore, G, 2015
Cecil has really developed his 3 pt shooting and you cant leave him open anymore. Has an excellent double-crossover move.
Reagan defeated West Forsyth but I was only able to see the last few minutes of the game.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Once again, the Southeast Summer Showcase has come and gone, and thanks to all of the coaches, players, parents and media who attended and made it such a great event. We’ll have more evals & information posted soon.
For now, let’s start by congratulating the camp MVP, Devin Cooper (PG, 6’1″, 2015) of Ardrey Kell HS (NC). Devin impressed coaches and scouts all day with his court vision, handle and quickness. Devin pushes the ball and attacks, plus he has good body control. As of this writing Devin has most recently been contacted by Miami (OH), and has reported offers from Rider, Campbell, Radford and Abilene Christian. There’s little doubt he will continue to see more interest this July.
Follow Devin on Twitter @_DevGotTheJuice
The inaugural NC Top 80 was held on March 29, 2014 in Greensboro, NC and I wasn’t able to fully scout the event due to the fact that we were broadcasting six of the games live on NetCast Sports Network, but I still had quite a few notes and I’m putting up them here broken out by each game to try and make it as easy to review as possible. Today I’m posting my notes from Game Six. Note: This is the second game of the day for both teams that we broadcast, so my notes on those players are the same as previously published.
The second game we broadcast on the day was Team 2 vs. Team 7, with the following rosters:
|12||Justice Kithcart||2016||6’1″||Hillside HS|
|13||Spencer Wilson||2015||6’1″||Bishop McGuiness|
|37||Todd Smith||2017||6’3″||Flora McDonald|
|38||Chazz Surratt||2017||6’3″||East Lincoln HS|
|47||Ronshad Shabazz||2015||6’4″||Knightdale HS|
|53||CJ Bryce||2015||6’5″||N. Mecklenburg HS|
|65||Simeon Carter||2015||6’7″||West Charlotte HS|
|66||Xavier Hill-Mais||2015||6’7″||Page HS|
|80||Ebuka Izunda||2016||6’10”||Victory Christian|
|2||Trevor Anderson||2015||5’11”||Gaston Day|
|4||Chris Clemons||2015||5’9″||Millbrook HS|
|22||Jalen Burnett||2015||6’1″||S. Alamance|
|29||Quintin Jackson, Jr.||2016||6’2″||Word of God|
|43||Isaiah Vinson||2015||6’3″||South View HS|
|44||Trevor Willis||2016||6’3″||East Carteret|
|51||Jaylen Stowe||2015||6’4″||Hickory Ridge|
|62||Kishawn Pritchett||2015||6’6″||Lake Norman|
|76||Iran Bennett||2016||6’9″||Bull City Prep|
Spencer Wilson (PG, 6’1, 2015) crafty left-handed point guard who has a smooth release on his deep jumper. Beats players off of the dribble and effective floor general.
Justice Cithkart (G, 6’1, 2016) a guard who showed an active, athletic game all day. Has an ability to get buckets in transition and an effective slasher in the halfcourt. Really solid looking prospect.
Charles Norman (G, 6’2″, 2016) Athletic guard with excellent awareness and aggressive with the ball. Looks to push it inside and beat the defender before they can react.
Chazz Surratt (G, 6’3″, 2016) Pushes the ball constantly and is a high motor player. One of the guys who kept looking stronger as the day progressed, and other players tired. Active on both ends, strong physically.
Ronshad Shabazz (G, 6’4″, 2015) Excellent size as a guard and versatile, today playing at both the 2 and the 3 spot. Can create his own shot.
Simeon Carter (F, 6’7″, 2015) Good length and size, raw athlete who will continue to improve as he polishes his skill set. Was active on both the defensive end and cleaning up on the offensive end.
Ebuka Izunda (C, 6’10″, 2016) Excellent big man prospect with good athleticim, good rebounding timing and can play in the post on offense. Has some upside and definitely worth being on colleges’ radar.
Trevor Anderson (G, 5’11″, 2015) has good quickness and a solid physique. Ability to beat his man off of the dribble and is not afraid of contact in the paint. Can run the team but more scorer at this point. Excellent conditioning, was one of the players who looked stronger in the last game than the first; as other players tired, he was one of the few who were able to take advantage of better conditioning.
Chris Clemons (G, 5’9″, 2015) Clemons is an explosive player who will surprise teams by being able to dunk in traffic; however he has the ability to shoot from outside to keep his defender from playing him too loosely. Quick and can finish with contact. Combo guard.
David Reynolds (SF/PF, 6’6″, 2015) Reynolds had one of the more impressive overall days; it seemed at times as though he was on both ends of every play. Agile inside but plays facing the basket and is a 3/4 type player. Hit some outside shots and ran the break to be open for the guards when they were pushing the ball.
Luke Maye (PF, 6’8″, 2015) Maye’s calling card is an elite shot release; high and quick, giving him a sliver of daylight is still too much. On the break, he uses his release to finish at full speed before the defender can get to the shot. In the post, he absorbs contact and drills the mid range. Good rebounding timing.
Iran Bennett (C, 6’9″, 2016) True post player, a space-eater who can dunk on the move. Excellent hands and good footwork. A true back-to-the-basket big man who was a major matchup problem for the other centers.
Want to watch all of the game replays from the NC Top 80? Check them out on NetCast Sports
Marcus Shockley scouts high school basketball in the southeast and nationally. Want the latest scouting insight? Follow Marcus on Twitter, right now.