Archive for the ‘ high school basketball ’ Category

Game Preview: First Assembly at Gaston Day

Gaston Day Derek McKnight
Derek McKnight handles most of the point guard duties for Gaston Day

Date: January 27, 2015
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: Gaston Day School (Gastonia, NC)
Video Broadcast: NetCast Sports Network (LINK)

Preview: Conference leader First Assembly travels to Gaston Day School for a late season battle. While First Assembly boasts the best conference record, Gaston Day has only a single loss at home and a roster with multiple college prospects.

Players to watch

Gaston Day

Derek McKnight (PG, 6’2, 2015) – an elite crossover and an ability to beat the press with the dribble are two significant facets of McKnight’s game, but he also runs the offense effectively and finds open teammates in both the half court and on the break.

Aidan Richard (PF/C, 6’10”, 2015) – great hands and an array of post moves make Richard an offensive option in the post. Committed to Belmont Abbey, Richard can play either the center or power forward positions.

Trevor Anderson (PG, 6’1″, 2015) – strong bodied combo guard who can effectively play point but often slides to the off guard position as McKnight handles the PG duties. Anderson can shoot from deep and finish through contact; has a high motor and likes the transition game.

James Lewis (F/C, 6’8″, 2016) – Lewis has great hands and rebounding timing, patrols the lane and uses good footspeed to cover much of the baseline on both ends. Has been playing primarily at the center spot and has a bright future.

Adam Koziol (SG, 6’3″, 2015) – Koziol can pour in the points, and that’s primarily because he’s a deadly outside shooter with a great square up and release. Teams have to pay special attention to limit any open looks, but Koziol has been solid getting buckets this season.

Nate Hinton (SG, 6’4″, 2018) – Hinton adds a major spark of athleticism and awareness, a slashing player with a very bright future ahead of him. Excellent size and natural ability to work with and a good handle from the off guard or small forward spots.

First Assembly

Charles Minlend (G/F, 6’4″, 2015) – An athletic wing who can find soft spots in the defense, Minlend already boasts 12 Division I college offers and recently garnered interest from College of Charleston, Rutgers and Butler. Minlend leads the team in scoring and is an impact player.

Matt Wheet (G, 6’1″, 2015) – The second leading scorer on the team, averaging 16 points per game, Wheet provides an offensive option that gives Minland more room to operate.

Nico Payne (PF, 6’7″, 2016) – Post player who has started getting Division I college interest and should be a good matchup at the 4 spot against Gaston Day’s Aidan Richard.

Marcus Shockley has scouted high school, college and pro players for multiple outlets, and his work has appeared on major media publications including CBS Sports, EuroBasket and Slam. He also operates the Southeast Summer Showcase, which has been featured on ESPN. You can , right now.

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.

 

I-95 Pre-Christmas Basketball Tournament 2014

Michael Okauru

Michael Okauru showed a flair for scoring at the Phenom High School Jamboree

By James Blackburn

I was able to attend the Phenom Hoop High School Jamboree on Saturday held at Proehlific Park in Greensboro, NC. 24 high school teams from around the region attended the event which was well attended by college coaches of every division. I was able to see see just about every team during my time spent there and my reports on some of the top performers are below.

2015


Cecil Moore

(5’10”, Calvary Baptist)
Super quick guard who can get to paint. Defends the ball baseline to baseline. Needs to improve playmaking ability but is a solid guard.

Xavier Hill-Mais

(6’8″, Greensboro Page)

One of the strongest bigs in attendance today. Great post defender who protects rim without fouling. Tough nosed and physical.

Dusan Kovacevic

(6’10”, Rabun Gap)

Was the top player in attendance today in my opinion. Is a point forward and ran the PG position for most of the day. Is in great shape and played almost every minute in all 3 games and was the number one offensive weapon. Has a great feel for the game and is highly skilled. Reminds me of Joe Ingles who played for Team Australia this summer in the FIBA World Cup. Is vocal and a floor leader. Solid ball handler who can also knock down open 3’s. Unselfish. Is from Serbia and played for the Junior National team this past summer. Utilizes pump fakes and can score the ball when needed. Not afraid of contact. Needs to improve quickness and explosion. Already holds several D1 offers and is a HM player in my opinion.

Luka Majstorovic

(6’9″, Rabun Gap)

Back to the basket C who has great hands and footwork. Is great in the high post or on the block. Has a soft touch and showed off several post moves including a nice turn around. Solid defensive rebounder and made several terrific outlet passes. Reminds me of Kennedy Meeks in several ways. Very good passer. Strong and big bodied post who has lost weight since the summer. Not very athletic but moves well for his size. LM/MM schools should be recruiting him hard.

Christian Adams

(6’3″, Calvary Baptist)

The Coastal Carolina commit looked solid on both ends all day. Lefty wing with good size and has the ability to create for himself and others. Can score in multiple ways.

Kentrell Barkley

(6’6″, 2015)

The ECU commit was all over the floor today. Love his energy and his motor. Uses his athleticism to his advantage. Solid rebounder who can score above the rim.

Rob Brown

(6’8″, Millbrook HS)

Mobile big who has tremendous strength and good size. Has solid upside. Would be a steal for some D2 teams.

Marko Tomic

(6’8″, Freedom Academy)
Stretch 4 who has a terrific stroke from 3-pt line. Skilled player who can pass, dribble, and shoot. Unselfish player who has a great feel for the game. Is from Serbia. LM schools should be all over this kid.

Corey Hanes

(6’5″, Forsyth Country Day)

Hybrid forward who looks more explosive then the last time I saw him. Can score above the rim and create own offense from perimeter or in post. Needs to improve consistency, but any D2/LM schools still needing a 4 man, they should give him a look.

Peter Parkitny

(6’10”, Calvary Baptist)

Mobile big who can shoot the midrange with consistency. Shows solid effort and is mobile. Would be effective in the right system. Hasnt been the states long and I expect his recruitment to pick up soon. D2/LM prospect.

James Dickey

(6’9″, Word of God)

Best shot blocker I saw on the day. Uses his length, timing, and athleticism to alter and block shots. Runs the floor well. Unselfish player who has upside. Can hit the 3 and has good arc on his shot. Needs to add weight. Dickey has committed to UNCG.

Darius Moore

(5’10”, Greensboro Day)

Smooth and unselfish. One of the best pure PGs at the event. Poised floor general who is a terrific passer. Scoring ability has improved. Has a great feel for the game and has good creativity around the rim. Will be heading to PC to play.

Peter Agba

(6’6″, Greensboro Day)

Always will be a big fan of Agba game. Plays much bigger then 6’6″ because of a great frame and a never ending motor. Tremendous rebounder and finisher inside.

2016


Kevin Quinn

(6’4″, Virginia Episcopal)

Underrated player who does the little things to help a team win. Elite shooter who can also score at the rim. College prospect without a doubt.

Delante Jones

(6’5″, Virginia Episcopal)

Loved this kids game. Super bouncy wing who defends and makes plays on both ends. American University got a steal with this kid.

Sacha Killeya- Jones

(6’10”, Virginia Epsicopal)

One of the top bigs at the event today. Mobile and athletic. Can block shots and finish inside. Is receiving interest from multiple HM schools.

Justice Kithcart

(6’2″, Virginia Epsicopal)

Shifty, quick, and athletic PG who can score with contact and get to rim at will.

Greyson Kelley (6’0″, North Raleigh Christian)
Plays extremely hard. Gives 100% energy every play on both ends. Attacks the rim hard. D2 prospect.

Jay Huff

(6’10”, Voyager Academy)

Good shot blocking mobile big man. Great length. Needs to improve conditioning and strength. Can stretch the floor with a solid looking stroke out to 3 and a soft touch. MM prospect.

Casey Penland

(6’1″, High Point Christian)

Athletic guard who is smooth and attacks the rim hard. Can finish at rim in creative ways.

Lawrence Williams

(6’7″, New Hanover HS)

Bouncy and long player with potential.

Michael Steward

(6’5″, Asheville Christian Academy)

Showed good patience in the post and some solid back to basket moves. Has a soft shooting touch out to 15′. Needs to add some muscle but has potential.

Jordan Shepard

(6’2″, Asheville Christian Academy)

One of the top players on his team and one of the best guards I saw today. Ball pressure doesn’t effect him. Poised and patient PG. Smooth and athletic player who can create his own shot. D1 prospect.

2017


Michael Okauru

(6’4′, Ravenscroft HS)
Terrific playmaker with solid court vision especially in transition. Capable of getting to the paint. High energy player on the offensive ends. Capable of becoming a solid defender because of athleticism, but needs to be more consistent on this sid of the floor. Better on the ball defender at this point, lost his man more then once when his man didn’t have the ball. D1 prospect at the guard spot.

JP Moorman

(6’5″, Greensboro Day)

Can catch and finish on the run. Runs the floor well and defends.

Kameron Langley

(6’0″, Southwest Guilford HS)

Kameron was another PG who stood out to me today as someone who was able to use his speed in the open court and also get to the rim. Excellent in a high tempo system. Can finish with contact.

Todd Smith

(6’4″, 2017)

Terrific athlete who had several highlight finishes today. Good shot blocker for size.

Douglas Elks

(6’4″, Ravenscroft HS)

True PG who plays with poise. High IQ player who is unselfish and willing to make extra pass. Moves feet well on defense and makes team better while on floor. Is an underrated player in my opinion and is someone D1 schools should begin to track.

Kaleb Hunter

(6’3″, North Raleigh Christian)

Active lefty who is a good wing defender. Solid across the board.

2018


Drew Tazuma

(6’4″, Knightdale HS)

High energy player who impacts the game on both ends. Love his motor and his potential. Mobile and athletic.

James Blackburn is the Director of Scouting for Basketball Elite and Power to Win Sports. You can keep up with James on Twitter @JamesJunior21

By James Blackburn

Basketball Elite was able get out to the Phenom Hoops event in Greensboro to scout the Phenom 150 Showcase. Rick Lewis and Jamie Shaw did a great job once again of bringing in some of the areas top talent to play in front of scouts and numerous college coaches. Here are the players who stood out to me divided up by class.

2015

John Brewer (Caldwell Academy, 6’4″, SF/PF)

John seems to improve every time I have seen him. Normally plays the undersized PF role but today played on the perimeter a decent bit and showcase the ability to put the ball on the floor and a nice euro step in transition. Draws contact at a high rate and is a good rebounder. Has a go-to spin turn around jumper move in the post. Solid inside/outside threat who D3 colleges should be on heavily.

Ben Ferguson (Southwest Guilford, 6’5″, SG/SF)

Ben was one of the few players today that I saw and heard communicating on the floor. Lights out 3 point shooter who has a low release but deep range. Crashed the offensive boards and has good size for his position. Needs to improve his lateral quickness but is a player who can play at the next level.

Jordan Harris (Caldwell Academy, 6’0″, G)

Jordan does a lot of the little things during the game that often go un-noticed. Strong slasher.

Ben Ferguson (Southwest Guilford, 6’5″, SG/SF)

Ben really played well today at the event and was one of the few players that I saw and heard communicating on the floor. Lights out 3 point shooter who has a low release but deep range. Crashes the offensive boards. Needs to improve his lateral quickness but is a player that will play at the next level.

Drew Cone (East Forsyth, 5’7″, PG)

Drew didn’t try to do too much today and was solid throughout the day. Was a floor general on the court and knocked down numerous 3 pointers. Drew has been receiving interest from multiple D3 and D2 schools as of late.

Samuel Arnold (Home School, 6’7″, F)

Sam did some good things today in the limited time I saw him play. He has good length and can shoot the ball well from deep.

Brenton Davis (Victory Christian, 6’3″, PG)

Brenton was unstoppable today in the game I saw. He plays with great poise and pace. Solid change of speed guard who can get to the paint at will and finish with contact. Excellent ball handler and on-ball defender. Goes off of 2 feet when he attacks the rim and has a crafty spin move. Tough guard who D2 schools should be all over.

2016

Riley Jones (Lake Norman, 6’10”, C)

Riley showed the ability to get solid post position and good patience once he received the ball. Strong bodied player who has some good footwork not usually seen from a player his age. Needs to improve quickness and ability to create space with his moves.

Omar Petty (Kings Mountain, 6’4″, F)

Strong and decent athlete who is willing to play in the post. Rebounds the ball with 2 hands. Has potential.

Jalen Johnson (Wesleyan, 6’5″, SF)

Arguably the best athlete I saw today, Johnson had numerous above the rim finishes. His game is not limited to his athleticism however as he is a knockdown shooter from deep. The lefty plays both ends of the floor and showcased terrific timing to block shot after shot. Has good length and can handle the ball pretty well. Both mid major and a few high majors should be tracking.

Greyson Kelly (North Raleigh Christian, 6’2″, G)

Greyson plays the game as hard as anyone. He is consistent from both the 3 point line and from mid-range and attacks the rim hard. Aggressive and strong, Kelly is a player who should see some D2 interest come his way if he hasn’t already.

Ebuka Izunda (Victory Christian, 6’10”, C)

Izunda rebounded the ball well and had several terrific outlet passes. Looked solid around the basket keeping the ball high and and finishing with 2 hands. Better defensive player at this stage than on offense. Still needs to work on his hands and a go-to move but is projecting to be a MM+ player at this point.

Osinachi Smart (New Garden Friends, 6’8″, C)

Terrific rebounder who plays with a high motor and really hustles on both ends. A little raw offensively but can and will improve here. Works hard to post up and also sets ball screens. Has a team first attitude despite the fact he didn’t get the ball at lot. Had several big time 2 hand finishes above the rim and I thought he was one of the best bigs in attendance today.

2017

Brendan Newton (Faith Christian School, 7’2″, C)

Standing 7′ plus Newton was the tallest player in attendance. He is long and lanky but has big upside. He keeps the ball high and runs the floor well. He did a good job of blocking or contesting a number of shots, but can’t disappear from the game. He will need to add strength and a go-to post move but is projecting as at least a MM player.

Douglas Elks (Ravenscroft, 6’3″, G)

Elks had a great showing today at camp. Has a good looking jump shot and showed he could play both on and off the ball. Unselfish passer and play-maker. Crashed the boards. Good basketball IQ.

Jordan Perkins (Greensboro Day, 5’11”, PG)

Tremendous ball handler who has the ball on a string. Over-dribbles at times but has a solid pull up game.

JP Moorman (Greensboro Day, 6’6″, G/F)

JP was one of the most versatile players I saw on the day and his play really impressed me. He did it all for his team and ran PG for most of the time on the floor. Solid court vision and is unselfish. Strong player who can finish inside. Defended and showed he could knock down open shots. Made some good reads and handled the ball well. One of the top five players I saw today and is going to have multiple college choices when its all said and done.

Blake Harris (Carlisle School, 6’3″, PG)

Plays at a great pace. Solid lead guard who made great reads and has good floor vision. One of if not the best PG I saw on the day. Solid rebounder who has good size and length for position. Stayed in front of the ball and hit some open shots. Made a few passes tough by trying to make the highlight but is a D1 guard.

2018

Tripp Greene (Forsyth Country Day, 6’0″, G)

Tripp played well in the opening game today I saw. He is always solid and is unselfish on the floor. Lights out set shooter from deep. Can play either guard position.

Nick Brown (Caldwell Academy, 5’10”, PG)

Nick played very well in game 1 at the camp and hit numerous 3’s. High IQ player who will continue to improve as he gets stronger.

KJ Henry (Forsyth Country Day, 6’5″, F)

Versatile and athletic forward who can put the ball on the floor and face the basket. Multi-sport athlete who looked a little out of rhythm today, partly because he has been playing football heavily this season. Tough player who will has potential.

John Newman III (Greensboro Day, 6’4″, F)

Confident player who really gets after it. Solid shot blocker. Unselfish player who doesn’t play outside his limitations. Understands the game on both ends and can handle the ball. I liked his on-court attitude as well.

Blan Hodges (Alexander Central, 5’11”, G)

Blan knocked down set 3 after set 3 today and showed he was not afraid to mix it up with players who were older and bigger. Plays with good confidence.

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.

high school basketball scouting schedule

By Marcus Shockley

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.

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 Four. Note: This is the second game of the day in which we broadcast Team 8, so my notes on those players are the same as previously published.

UPDATE: #60 was listed as Shaun Kirk on the broadcast from the event roster, but was replaced at the last minute by James Dickey, 6’9″, 2015 from Word of God.

Game Four:

Full Event Roster

The fourth game we broadcast on the day was Team 6 vs. Team 8, with the following rosters:

Team 6
# Name Class Height School
1 Isaiah Blackmon 2015 5’11” West Charlotte HS
19 Michael Heuitt, Jr. 2017 6’1″ Village Christian
20 Demetrius Troy 2016 6’1″ Word of God
21 Jalen Harris 2016 6’1″ Greenfield
31 Kwe Parker 2016 6’2″ Trinity Christian
41 Akeem Tate 2016 6’3″ Green Hope
42 Telligence Johnson 2017 6’3″ Terry Sanford HS
42 Kylia Sykes 2016 6’5″ Trinity Christian
58 Rayjon Tucker 2015 6’5″ Northside Christian
71 Rob Brown 2015 6’8″ Millbrook HS
79 Hunter Seacat 2015 6’9″ Lake Norman HS


Team 8
# Name Class Height School
3 Alex Hunter 2017 5’8″ Leesville Rd
10 Jalen Sanders 2016 6′ North Rowan
23 Rob Whitfield 2016 6’1″ Wake Christian
32 Jaylen Fornes 2016 6’2″ Word of God
33 Greyson Kelley 2015 6’2″ Leesville Rd
34 Dennis Smith, Jr. 2016 6’2″ Trinity Christian
35 Ray Kowalski 2016 6’2″ Concord
45 Ian Boyd 2016 6’3″ Apex HS
60 James Dickey 2015 6’9″ Word of God
73 Lonzia Tyson 2015 6’8″ Trinity Christian
77 Isaiah Whaley 2016 6’9″ Ashbrook

Kylia Sykes (G/F, 6’5″, 2016) Athletic wing who showed a versatile game on the offensive end and an ability to play above the rim. Definitely a college prospect and one to keep an eye on.

Jalen Harris (G, 6′, 2016) Star point guard with explosive athleticism. One of the best point guards at the event and a serious collegiate prospect.

Kwe Parker (G, 6’1″, 2016) Explosive – as in elite – athlete above the rim but also showed an ability to spot up and knock down open threes today. One of the top athletes in attendance.

Rayjon Tucker (G/F, 6’5″, 2015) Easily one of the top players on the entire day. Absolutely lit up opposing teams at times- from windmill dunks to finishing in traffic, Tucker was another player who showed he was one of the top prospects in the Southeast and should be considered a national recruiting prospect. Elite athleticism, excellent build and college size for the perimeter. High motor.

Rob Brown (C, 6’8″, 2015) Good hands, runs the floor and gets involved in multiple ways. Cleans up a lot of misses around the basket and versatile in the post.

Greyson Kelley (PG, 6′, 2016) High motor guard who goes full blast all day. Can get buckets, works hard on defense.

Dennis Smith, Jr. (G, 6’2″, 2016) Explosive guard who gets a lot of notoriety for his athleticism on the offensive end, but played really hard on the defensive end as well. Can play on or off of the ball. Elite athlete at the guard spot.

James Dickey (SF/PF, 6’9″) Good length and versatile. Made a lot of the little plays – stealing a pass on the interior or grabbing a loose board for the putback. Was involved all day. Has some upside, raw athleticism.

Jalen Sanders (G, 6′, 2016) Physically strong combo guard who is at his best going at the bucket and using his strength to finish. Plays older than a sophomore.

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.

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 Three. Note: This is the second game of the day featuring Team 4, so my notes on some players are the same, as these notes are my overall take on their play during the day, not on a specific game.

Game Three:

Full Event Roster

The second game we broadcast on the day was Team 2 vs. Team 4, with the following rosters:

Team 2
# Name Class Height School
12 Justice Kithcart 2016 6’1″ Hillside HS
13 Spencer Wilson 2015 6’1″ Bishop McGuiness
14 Michael Okauru 2017 6’1″ Ravenscroft
27 Charles Norman 2016 6’2″ Prominence
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

Team 4

# Name Class Height School
5 Juan Munoz 2016 6′ Panther Creek
6 Darriel Brown 2017 6′ FCDS
7 Kenny Hairston 2015 6′ Davidson Day
18 Quayson Williams 2015 6’1″ Eastern Guilford
28 Emmett Tilley 2016 6’2″ Northern Durham
49 Charles Minlend, Jr. 2015 6’4″ First Assembly
54 Zach Cottrell 2016 6’5″ Hayesville HS
61 Peter Agba 2015 6’6″ Greensboro Day
69 Matt Kalaf 2016 6’7″ Nuese Christian
74 Papa N’Diaye 2016 6’9″ Quality Education

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.

Juan Munoz (PG, 6′, 2016) very quick guard with a deft dribble. All over the floor on both ends and held his own against several top players.

Matt Kalaf (SF, 6’7″, 2016) Great deep shooter with length. College coaches have to like what they see in Kalaf, who has the size to play the small forward spot at the collegiate level. He has a high, fluid release on his jump shot and his height gives him an ability to shoot right over smaller guards and forwards. He also has the range to scorch teams from outside. Moves without the ball to get shots but doesn’t just set up on the perimeter, also gets inside on defense and posts up at times when he sees the right match up.

Peter Agba (PF/C, 6’6″, 2015) Agba is a rebounding machine and a physical presence in the post. Although he is undersized for a collegiate center, he outrebounded many players today who had an inch or two on him. A beast inside, he relishes and plays through contact all day long.

Zach Cottrell (SF, 6’5″, 2016) Cottrell was active and played a lot of perimeter today, showing an ability to hit from deep and a willingness to play scrappy. Good passer and awareness.

Papa N’Diaye (PF/C, 6’9″, 2016) is one of the best post prospects in the Southeast right now. His natural skill set is his length, high shot release and fluid ability to score from the mid range. I’ve seen N’Diaye play multiple times and have always been impressed with his ability to play – and score – against other true big men. His go-to move is a turn around jumper but he has a college build and will be playing at the Division I level somewhere. Great hands, good footwork and can even finish a bit slashing on the move. N’Diaye should be considered a national prospect.

Darriel Brown (G, 6′, 2017) Showed an ability to drive the lane with the ball, kicking it out if the defense adjusted, but also an ability to spot up and get open for outside shots. Good in transition with the ball.

Emmett Tilley (PG, 6’2″, 2016) Tilley is another player who I’ve seen several times and is a solid college guard prospect. Showed his ability to get to the bucket and has a quick release on the drive that makes him hard to stop going at the basket. Can run the team but today showed his ability to play and move without the ball, but was still very much involved in the game.

Charles Minlend, Jr. (SG/SF, 6’4″, 2015) one of the top performers of the day and definitely had the scouts talking. Showed a versatile game and at times looked unstoppable. In on every play, has a natural ability to get buckets, but I want to be clear that although Minland is an effective SG/SF who can score the ball, he isn’t the type of player who just drives for his shot as soon as the ball touches his hands. He showed an ability and willingness to drive and kick to teammates or give up the ball in the half court when it made sense. Easily arrived on the scene as one of the top prospects in the state in the class of 2015.

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.

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 Two.

UPDATE: #60 was listed as Shaun Kirk on the broadcast from the event roster, but was replaced at the last minute by James Dickey, 6’9″, 2015 from Word of God.

Game Two:

Full Event Roster

The second game we broadcast on the day was Team 7 vs. Team 8, with the following rosters:


Team 7
# Name Class Height School
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
63 David Reynolds 2015 6’6″ Ravenscroft
72 Luke Maye 2015 6’8″ Hough
76 Iran Bennett 2016 6’9″ Bull City Prep


Team 8
# Name Class Height School
3 Alex Hunter 2017 5’8″ Leesville Rd
10 Jalen Sanders 2016 6′ North Rowan
23 Rob Whitfield 2016 6’1″ Wake Christian
32 Jaylen Fornes 2016 6’2″ Word of God
33 Greyson Kelley 2015 6’2″ Leesville Rd
34 Dennis Smith, Jr. 2016 6’2″ Trinity Christian
35 Ray Kowalski 2016 6’2″ Concord
45 Ian Boyd 2016 6’3″ Northside Christian
60 James Dickey 2015 6’9″ Word of God
73 Lonzia Tyson 2015 6’8″ Trinity Christian
77 Isaiah Whaley 2016 6’9″ Ashbrook

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.

Greyson Kelley (PG, 6′, 2016) High motor guard who goes full blast all day. Can get buckets, works hard on defense.

Dennis Smith, Jr. (G, 6’2″, 2016) Explosive guard who gets a lot of notoriety for his athleticism on the offensive end, but played really hard on the defensive end as well. Can play on or off of the ball. Elite athlete at the guard spot.

James Dickey (SF/PF, 6’9″) Good length and versatile. Made a lot of the little plays – stealing a pass on the interior or grabbing a loose board for the putback. Was involved all day. Has some upside, raw athleticism.

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.