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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.

Day one game broadcast from the 2014 Triad Pro Am, featuring Salem Smiles versus Blue Chip Basketball Academy. This game features Wake Forest players Madison Jones, Devin Thomas and former UNC player Vassil Evtimov.

First day game broadcast from the 2014 Triad Pro Am, from Winston-Salem, NC. Features Wake Forest player Greg McClinton and former UNC player Vassil Evtimov.

Zach Price Missouri basketball jail mugshot

Zach Price, a junior forward who played this season with Missouri, has been dismissed from the men’s basketball program:

Price, a 6-foot-10 transfer from Louisville who sat out last season, was indefinitely suspended from the team April 3, the same day he was twice arrested on suspicion of domestic assault and assault.

It looks like the off-the-court issues surrounding Price were just too much for the University to accept or be involved with. It’s too be expected with the nature of the allegations against Price, which include stalking and ramming someone with his car.

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TJ Warren NC State NBA draft

By Marcus Shockley

Well, it’s official. T.J. Warren has declared for the NBA draft:

North Carolina State University sophomore forward T.J. Warren announced Tuesday that he will forgo his remaining college eligibility and enter the 2014 NBA Draft.

Warren, the ACC Player of the Year in 2013-14, averaged 24.9 points per game and shot 52.5 percent for the Wolfpack. He set school records for points in a single season (871) and games with 20 or more points in a season (31).

I remember watching T.J. as a high school junior and thinking that teams were sleeping on him and that his scoring ability reminded me a lot of Paul Pierce. By the time TJ was a senior, he’d gathered offers from several major schools, and decided on NC State. Just a few days before he announced his decision, he talked to me in this video interview about his current thinking.

T.J. will be a solid pro player. Scouts and coaches have been doubting his ability since he was in high school, but his ability to score has been proven repeatedly. The one nagging thing that he’ll have to work on at this point is his foul trouble. But that will come, in time.

Best of luck to T.J. at the pro level.

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ARLINGTON, TEXAS (USBWA) – The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has selected Creighton senior forward Doug McDermott as the winner of the 2013-14 Oscar Robertson Trophy, annually presented to the National Player of the Year. The announcement was made at a news conference today at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, site of the NCAA Men’s Final Four.

McDermott

McDermott will be officially presented the Oscar Robertson Trophy on Mon., April 14 at theDevon Energy College Basketball Awards gala at National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.

“It’s an unbelievable honor,” McDermott said. “I was not old enough to see Oscar play, but I always heard from my father and grandfather how great he was.”

The 6-8, 225-pounder from Ames Iowa, becomes the first USBWA national player of the year from Creighton and just the third from a Big East Conference school. Chris Mullin and Walter Berry, both from St. John’s, won back-to-back player of the year awards in 1985-86. The 2013-14 season marked Creighton’s first season in the Big East.

A three-time USBWA All-American and two-time USBWA District VI Player of the Year, McDermott was chosen as the national player of the year based on regular-season performance. He is just the 19th player to earn three-time All-America honors from the USBWA and the first since Tyler Hansbrough of North Carolina (2007-09)

The Big East Player of the Year finished a remarkable collegiate career with 3,150 points, fifth-most in NCAA history. He leads the nation in scoring (26.7) and shot 52.6 percent from the field, including 44.9 percent from three-point range, and 86.4 percent from the free-throw line. He also averaged 7.0 rebounds per game. Twice this season – and four times in his career – he was named the Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week by the USBWA. On March 8, in a 45-point performance against Providence on Senior Night, McDermott passed Oscar Robertson on the NCAA’s career scoring list and became just the eighth player to score 3,000 career points. Playing for his father, coach Greg McDermott, he scored 30-plus points in 13 of 35 games while averaging 33.7 minutes per game in a 28-7 season.

“He’s a naturally gifted player, and he got a lot of that from his dad. But he’s going to get better,” Oscar Robertson said. “What he did in college, he’s going to do more in the pros.”

Oscar Robertson TrophyThe Oscar Robertson Trophy is voted on by the entire membership of the association, which consists of more than 900 journalists. It is the nation’s oldest award and the only one named after a former player. The legendary Oscar Robertson was the USBWA’s first player of the year in 1959 and was the consensus national player of the year as a sophomore in 1958, the year before USBWA started giving its player of the year award. The USBWA renamed the award the Oscar Robertson Trophy in 1998.

Tickets and sponsorship information for the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards are available at collegebasketballawards.com or by contacting Scott Hill (405-749-1515, scott.hill@access-sports.net). The April 14 banquet will also honor Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall with the Henry Iba Award as the national coach of the year, Duke forward Jabari Parker with the Integris Wayman Tisdale Award as the national freshman of the year and Kansas coach Bill Self as the recipient of the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award.

The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. Today, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball. For more information on the USBWA and its award programs, contact executive director Joe Mitch at 314-795-6821.

Related links:
• Oscar Robertson Trophy
• Purchase tickets to the College Basketball Awards gala

John Brown High Point basketball

By James Blackburn

Game Scouted: VMI @ High Point
High Point wins 70-67
Box Score

John Brown (F, 6’8”,R-SO)

Stats
36 min, 12-18 FG, 3-4 FT, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 27 TP

Strengths
Incredible athlete who can finish above the rim with ease. Quick 2nd jump. Active player on both sides of the floor. Terrific scorer who can beat you off the bounce, post you up, and pick and pop. Good shooter out to about 18’ where he can hit consistently. Gets out on the break quickly and is great in transition. Finishes well around the rim. Has an excellent left hook that he is able to set him self up for in different ways. Highly efficient player in the post. Go to move is the turn around jumper over his right shoulder. Loves to post up on right block and go baseline. Showed a solid face up game where he can hit the 12’ short corner jumper or put in on the floor for a dribble and get to basket. Solid rebounder especially on both ends.

High motor defender who influences and blocks shots. Has solid length. Is a well conditioned player. Does a good job getting low and fronting the post and making it tough for post entries.

Weaknesses
Lefty who needs to improve his right hand, hesitates to use or attack in this direction. Attacks the rim out of control at times. FT shooting has improved from last year (at 75% this year), but could stand to continue to improve in this area. Good midrange shooter but never attempts 3’s, needs to improve range. Not a great passer. Dribble is a bit loose.

Is active on the defensive side of the ball but is undisciplined. Tends to reach and gamble too much. Vulnerable to be posted up deep inside needs to improve lower body strength.

Overview
After having an outstanding freshman year where he won the Big South Freshman of the Year award and was named 1st Team All-Conference, Brown has continued to improve in his sophomore campaign. Coming into tonight’s game, he was leading the Panthers in minutes per game (32), points per game (19.6), and blocks per game (1.7). Big game tonight as he went beyond his averages in minutes and in points.

It’s tough to criticize a player who plays as hard and has such a high motor as Brown does. His athleticism is unmatched at this level and he uses it to his advantage on both sides of the floor. Plays the PF position for this HPU team but will need to add weight to play that position at the next level. I could see him developing into an athletic 3, but he needs to improve his range and ball handling. Can he defend the 3 on the perimeter is the question as well. He was asked to defend the bigger DJ Covington tonight for VMI. Is a player that NBA should begin to monitor if they haven’t started to already.

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NCAA tournament 2014

ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – In an effort to better serve writers covering NCAA tournament games, the U.S. Basketball Writers Association is partnering with the NCAA and the Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) to provide liaisons assigned by APSE to assist media coordinators with media-related issues at NCAA men’s tournament sites.

The liaisons are all sports editors of dailies in cities where NCAA tournament games are played. They will serve in an advisory capacity at each tournament site, working with the media coordinators in the following areas:

1. Assisting with seat assignments that are within NCAA guidelines to ensure that a deserving entity doesn’t get overlooked. The USBWA recommends that full consideration is given to a publication/website that is committed to covering the sport or a team throughout the season. The liaisons are serving as consultants only. The NCAA makes the final call on all seat assignments.

2. Monitoring the postgame cooling-off periods after games to assure that time limits are adhered to.

3. Providing pool reporters when needed. The USBWA will continue to appoint pool reporters at each site, drawing primarily from officers, board members and past presidents. In the event a suitable USBWA member is not available, the APSE liaison would be asked to assign the pool reporter.

The USBWA worked with Dave Worlock, director of media coordination and statistics for the NCAA, and Gerry Ahern, vice president for content, USA Today Sports Media Group, to form the partnership.

“We received valuable input from APSE on some important issues over the past year,” said USBWA President Kirk Wessler, sports editor and columnist at the Peoria Journal Star. “APSE’s involvement with providing NCAA tournament site liaisons is a great example of how our three organizations can work together to help solve a common dilemma.”

Here are the sports editors who are serving as liaisons for the NCAA men’s tournament this year:

FIRST ROUND (March 18-19)
• Dayton: John Boyle, Dayton Daily News

SECOND-THIRD ROUNDS (March 20-23)
• Buffalo: Lisa Wilson, Buffalo News
• Milwaukee: Mike Davis, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
• Orlando: Roger Simmons, Orlando Sentinel
• Raleigh: Steve Ruinsky, Raleigh News and Observer
• San Antonio: Gary Newsom, San Antonio Express News
• San Diego: Todd Adams, UT-San Diego
• Spokane: Joe Palmquist, Spokane Spokesman-Review
• St. Louis: Roger Hensley, Cameron Hollway, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

REGIONALS (March 27-30)
• Memphis: David Williams, Memphis Commercial Appeal
• Anaheim: Todd Harmonson, Orange County Register
• New York: Jason Stallman, The New York Times
• Indianapolis: Ronnie Ramos, Indianapolis Star

Kyl Cain UNCG basketball

By James Blackburn

Game Scouted: Western Carolina @ UNCG
Western wins 82-77 (OT)

Box Score

Kyle Cain (F, 6’7”, JR)

Stats
38 min, 6-14 FG, 7-10 FT, 12 reb, 3 assist, 2 TO, 1 blk, 19 TP

Strengths
Cain is extremely active and has a high motor. His biggest strength as a player is his rebounding ability on both ends. He boxes out on the defensive glass and is constantly attacking the offensive boards. Led his team in rebounds tonight and leads team in rebounds per game (9) on the season.

Cain does a decent job of defending the ball in the post. He also showed today that he could hedge screens and recover. Gets in the right defensive position and seems to be aware on that end of the floor.

Offensively, Cain gets most of his points off of tip-ins and being a junk yard dog in the paint. Not afraid to play physical. He does have an excellent lefty baby hook shot that he usually scores off of several times a game out of post up plays. Does a good job of handling double teams. Is a lefty who can step out and hit the open perimeter shot usually from the top of the key being the trail man or from the short corner, 15’ and in. Can put the ball on the floor in straight line drives to his left and score.

Athletic player who can finish above the rim. Plays hard and sacrifices his body.

Weaknesses
Offensively, Cain is still a little raw. He needs to continue to improve his shooting mechanics and improve his range. Has a hitch in his shot and rotation has a side spin on it. He doesn’t run the floor very well and doesn’t have a long stride. Can put the ball on the floor once or twice but needs to improve ball handling and ability to change directions- dribble tends to get loose. Doesn’t look comfortable going to his right or finishing with his right. Struggles to create own shot or go by anyone on perimeter. Footwork needs improvement on perimeter.
Does fine defending in the post but struggled to defend 2/3’s this game- slow foot speed.

Overview
Transferred from Arizona State and has become the leader on this young Spartans team. Leading the team in points and rebounds on the year as he did tonight. Plays with emotion and energy. Did well from the FT tonight and he hit his last 6 shots in the end of regulation and in the OT period. Is poised for a big senior year. Would like to see him improve his ball handling, his jump shot, and develop the ability to use either hand, especially in the post.

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Tyrece Little basketball

By James Blackburn

Game Scouted: Queens @ Catawba
Queens wins 77-67

Tyrece Little (F, 6’8”, JR)

Stats
33 min, 4-12 FG, 6-7 FT, 9 reb, 3 assists, 5 TO, 9 blks, 2 steals, 14 TP

Strengths
Terrific shot blocker- one of the best I have seen all year. His ability to block shots and keep the ball in play is game changing- ignited several fast breaks because of a block. He can block both his mans shot and shots from the weak side. Has terrific timing and seems to always be in the right spot/position to block or alter shots. Stays on the ground until offensive player releases the ball. Is a able to block and influence shots without fouling- which is impressive for the number of shots he attempts to block. Had 7 blocks in the 1st half tonight and finished with 9 blocks and influenced tons of other shot attempts.

Solid overall post defender in general who showed he could play behind as well as front the post. Closes out on players with high hands. Jumps to the ball defensively and knows where his man and the ball are at all times. Excellent help defender. Rebounds the ball decently on both ends when he grabs the ball with 2 hands.

On the offensive side of the ball he showed some decent patience in the post and a high right hand hook shot. Solid athlete who had a couple of big 2 hand finishes in traffic. Had an impressive straight line drive from 15’ for the And1 play in 2nd half. At his best FT and in on offense. Not a great shooter from the perimeter but is an above average FT shooter- shooting over 69% on the year. Has a simple, yet effective stroke with good ball rotation.

Weaknesses
Defensively, there is not a lot to not like about Little. He does need to get stronger, particularly lower body. Allows his man to get too deep of post position on the block.

Still a little raw offensively. Needs to improve ball handling and ability to drive the basketball from the perimeter. Lost the ball several times in the post and needs to get stronger with it. Has a habit of drop dribbling the ball in the post. Loves to go over left shoulder- Can he finish with his left hand?

Needs to improve body language and not complain with the officials.

Overview
Averaging 15.1 ppg and 8.5 rpg on the season. Has school record for blocks in career in a single season and the career record as well. Set the school record this game for most blocks in a game too. Played well tonight, especially in the 1st half. Will be interesting to see how he improves on the offensive side of the ball between seasons. Has the potential to be a good player in Europe with his size and defensive skills. Plays the 4/5 at Catawba but will most likely be a PF primarily at the next level.

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