Archive for the ‘ NCAA basketball ’ Category

Jordan Parks (North Carolina Central) basketball

Photo: STEPHEN M. KATZ/AP

By James Blackburn

Game Scouted: NC Central vs Delaware State

Box Score 

Jordan Parks (F, 6’7″, SR)

Stats

28 min, 2-5 FG, 9 rebounds, 1 block, 4 TP

Strengths

Good frame with excellent length- has a frame that should be able to add more muscle weight easily. Can put the ball on the floor in straight line drives.

Stays active on the offensive boards and gets a lot of his offense from putbacks.

Big time athlete who can really excite the crowd with above the rim plays.

Solid defensive player who can switch ball screens or hard hedge. Quick enough laterally to guard on the perimeter. Excellent rebounder overall who has had multiple double-digit rebounding games this season. Is active on the defensive end.

Is a highlight maker on both ends. Efficient player who can finish in the paint and doesnt need the basketball to impact the game in a positive manner. Good toughness.

Weaknesses

Is a bit limited offensively. Struggles to change directions off the bounce and must continue to improve jump shot. FT shooting needs to get more consistent.

Tweener player- not skilled enough to be a true 3 but still lacks the strength to battle stronger back to the basket 4’s.

Would like to see him be more aggressive on the offensive end.

Overview

Not the best performance for Parks tonight who didnt look 100% after taking a charge early on. To his credit he battled through the pain and was still able to grab 9 rebounds and also get the crowd excited after a big alley-oop finish. Is currently averaging 14 ppg, 7 rpg, and over a steal and block a game. He is an efficient player who doesnt need the ball to impact the game. Parks is a true team player who is a winner. He will be a player that European teams will like with his combination of athleticism, length, and rebounding abilities.

 

James Blackburn has scouted all levels of basketball, including high school, college and the pros, as well as international competitions such as the FIBA World Cup. Want more scouting notes from James? Follow him on Twitter @jamesjunior21, right now!

Kendall Gray (Delaware State) basketball

By James Blackburn

Game Scouted: Delaware State @ NC A & T

Delaware State wins 67-52

Box Score

Kendall Gray (C, 6’10”, SR)

Stats

34 min, 4-7 FG, 2-2 FT, 12 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 blocks, 1 TO, 10 TP

Strengths

Terrific shot blocker who controls the paint. Gets most of his blocks from the weak-side partly because of his athleticism but mainly because of his good timing. Stays down and creates a wall until offensive player goes into his shot then he jumps for the block.

Grabs rebounds with 2 hands and controls it. Rebounds in traffic and is strong with the ball. Talks and directs traffic on the back side of the zone. Showed he could close out on shooters and move his feet.

Capable of knocking down the midrange jumper from different areas including the elbow and corner. Has a soft touch and a good looking stroke. Good FT shooter for a big man. Underrated skill level- solid passing skills and is a good shooter for a big man 15′ and in.

Solid back to the basket game. Loves to go into slide dribble moves where he can spin move, right hook, or the up and under.

Unselfish player who will pass out of the double team and then repost. Doesnt complain even when a teammate misses him.

Weaknesses

Is a mobile big man, but doesnt run the floor extremely well, he doesn’t have long strides- is more of a shuffle.

Needs to be more aggressive offensively and demand the ball- allows himself to be fronted and taken away in the post too easily.

Overview

Is currently averaging a double-double to go along with 3 blocks per contest. Skilled bigs who can also block shots and rebound are not easy to find, and that what Gray does. He should receive an invite to the Portsmouth Invitational and with a solid showing could earn an invite to the NBA Summer League.

 

 

James Blackburn has scouted all levels of basketball, including high school, college and the pros, as well as international competitions such as the FIBA World Cup. Want more scouting notes from James? Follow him on Twitter @jamesjunior21, right now!

Game Recap: Wake Forest vs UNC

UNC Wake Forest

By: James Blackburn

Game Notes

 

North Carolina was able to get a key conference road win over Wake Forest 87-71 to move to 5-1 in league play. Wake Forest dropped to 9-10 overall and 1-5 in league play. The game notes and scouting reports of the top players are below.

 

Box Score

1st Half

  • Game started off sloppy for both teams with neither team able to establish any real momentum. Both teams struggled with TO’s in first 10 minutes or so.
  • Wake shot several quick and contested shots early on, which was uncharacteristic of them and this lead to some easy transition points for UNC.
  • Wake was able to stay in the game by really battling on the offensive glass and showing good energy.
  • Devin Thomas had a couple of scores near the middle of the 1st half that tied the game up a few times.
  • Wake was staying in it by winning the battle on the boards and forcing turnovers on defense.
  • Both of these teams are really struggling to shoot from the perimeter but because the pace is so fast, they are still able to score. Most of the points are coming from the FT line, offensive rebounds, and transition.
  • The half ends with a lay-up for UNC to put them up 40-34

 

2nd Half

  • Wake started off the 2nd half shooting perimeter jumpers and UNC started in by pounding the ball inside and getting easy points from Kennedy Meeks.
  • UNC played some 2-3 zone in both halves because of Wake shooting woes but had trouble rebounding from it, so reverted back to man.
  • Andre Washington is providing some good energy off the bench rebounding and blocking shots.
  • With 10:00 minutes left in the game, Wake is still struggling to make any shots from the perimeter. The crowd has grown quiet but Devin Thomas has shown a lot of energy on the boards.
  • Wake has been able to get some of UNC’s bigs into foul trouble and is trying to capitalize by making their FT’s (have made about 50% up to this point).
  • Every time Wake scores, UNC seems to answer- with around 6 minutes to go and UNC leading by 16 pts, some of the fans start to empty out.
  • Wake made a run with about 3 minutes to go and closed the deficit to 12 pts after a Madison Jones lay-up.
  • UNC gets the win over Wake, which is solid considering that Wake is dangerous at home. They had Duke and Louisville beat and has proven they can compete with anyone in the ACC at home.

 

Scouting Reports

 

Wake Forest

 

Devin Thomas, JR, 6’9″, 255 lbs

Stats: 4-8 FG, 4-7 FT, 12 reb, 12 pts, 31 minutes

Having trouble finishing and scoring over Kennedy Meeks early on and didnt show the willingness or ability to score with the right hand.

To give him credit he was still able to get points from his energy. Had a big dunk of an alley-oop and had an offensive board too.

Had trouble scoring with back to basket over Meeks, but was able to get points other ways. UNC couldnt keep him off the boards.

 

Codi Miller-McIntyre, JR, 6’3″, 205 lbs

Stats: 6-14 FG, 1-3 3 pt, 7-11 FT, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 20 pts, 31 minutes

Up and down play in the first half. Dangerous in transition with the basketball where he can finish with contact. Needs to improve 3 pt shooting. Makes some head scratching decisions and needs to improve PG decision making in general. Has been really aggressive lately which I like.

 

UNC

Justin Jackson, FR, 6’8″, 193 lbs

Stats: 6-8 FG, 1-2 3 pt, 4-6 FT, 3 rebounds, 2 steals, 17 pts, 34 minutes

Doing a great job of attacking the rim and drawing fouls. Needs to improve his ability to finish w/ contact and needs to add weight. I like his energy though on both ends. Has a lot of potential. Great length and athleticism- makes him  a solid defensive player.  Terrific in transition. Needs to improve shooting consistency and footwork to a degree.

 

Marcus Paige, JR, 6’1″, 175 lbs

Stats: 4-8 FG, 2-4 FT, 2-2 FT, 1 rebound, 8 assists, 3 steals, 12 points, 35 minutes

Can score in creative ways inside.

Made some poor decisions in transition early on and had slow start. Terrific ball handler who can break down his man off the dribble.

Super quick player who is smooth. Can turn the corner on P/R. Can hit the 3 coming off of staggered screens. Had several plays late that were impressive.

Was playing off the ball at times when Nate Britt was in the game.

 

JP Tokoto, JR, 6’6″, 200 lbs

Stats: 4-8 FG, 0-2 3 pt, 0-4 FT, 6 rebounds, 8 pts, 3 assists, 2 steals, 28 minutes

3 pt shot has hitch in it and needs to improve shooting in general. Showed some ability to create own shot this game with a nice change of direction dribble and spin move. Great motor.

Strong and athletic. Dangerous in transition where he is able to finish above the rim.

Makes plays defensively off the ball. Underrated passer who had several on target up-court passes. Good rebounder on both ends.

 

Kennedy Meeks, SO, 6’9″, 270 lbs

Stats: 8-11 FG, 8 rebounds, 1 blk, 16 pts, 22 minutes

Excellent hands- can catch anything. Showing better bounce in his step and energy. Tremendous rebounder on both ends. Showed some nice touch from 15′ and in. Runs the floor well. Foul prone.

ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has selected the Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer as its Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week for games ending the week of Sunday, Dec. 14. The USBWA’s weekly honor is presented by Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook.

Wiltjer

As the West Coast Conference Player of the Week, Wiltjer was nominated for the weekly award, which was chosen by a representative of the USBWA board of directors from a list of Division I conference players of the week. This is the sixth season that the USBWA has selected a national player of the week.

Wiltjer, a 6-10 junior from Portland, Ore., registered back-to-back 20-point games in a pair of wins over Pac-12 opponents. Last Wednesday, Wiltjer was 9-of-14 from the field and scored 21 points in an 81-66 win over Washington State. Then on Saturday, Wiltjer led the Zags to an 87-74 win at UCLA with a team-high 24 points on 9-of-13 shooting.

Overall in the two games, he was 18-for-27 (.667) from the field, 5-for-7 (.714) from behind the arc, and a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line. Against WSU he also had six rebounds, four assists, a block and a steal. Then at UCLA, he had four rebounds, an assist and a steal.

Since the 1958-59 season, the USBWA has named a National Player of the Year. In 1998, the award was named in honor of the University of Cincinnati Hall of Famer and two-time USBWA Player of the Year Oscar Robertson. It is the nation’s oldest award and the only one named after a former player.

Oscar Robertson TrophyAt the conclusion of the regular season, the USBWA will name finalists for the award, which is voted on by the entire membership. The winner of the Oscar Robertson Trophy will be presented by its namesake, Oscar Robertson, at theDevon Energy College Basketball Awards on April 14, 2015, at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. The Henry Iba Coach of the Year Award and the Integris Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award will also be presented at the gala to be held annually following the NCAA Men’s Final Four.

The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. With some 900 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball. It has selected an All-America team since the 1956-57 season. For more information on the USBWA and the Oscar Robertson Trophy, contact executive director Joe Mitch at 314-795-6821.

Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, the most comprehensive college basketball publication in the world, returns for its 34th season. Blue Ribbon – long-known as “The Bible of College Basketball” – gives its readers the most thorough, up-to-date and timely evaluations of every Division I team in the country. For more information about Blue Ribbon Yearbooks, visit blueribbonyearbookonline.com.

2014-15 Oscar Robertson National Players of the Week
Week of Dec. 7: Justin Anderson, Virginia (Atlantic Coast Conference)
Week of Dec. 14: Kyle Wiltjer, Gonazga (West Coast Conference)

Sleeper Report: Keon Moore (Winthrop)

Keon Moore basketball

By James Blackburn

Game Scouted: Winthrop vs Mars Hill
Winthrop wins 96-51
Box Score

Keon Moore

(SG, 6’5″, SR)


Stats
24 min, 6-11 FG, 0-4 3 pt, 5-6 FT, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, 17 TP

Strengths
Is a legit 6’5″ with solid length and has good arm strength w/ wide shoulders.
Is a smooth scorer. Showed he could score off the dribble and in a variety of ways inside the paint with floaters, runners, etc. Is as smooth of scorer as they come. Excellent finisher in the open court. Had a play in the open court where he finished around 3 defenders by going around the back and finishing with a finger roll lay-up. Has a smooth crossover dribble.

Solid on the defensive end. Uses length to guard and shields the ball and gets into the passing lanes. Makes plays and has active hands. Was able to grab rebounds and push ball in transition- kept head up and looked up court for teammates. Solid rebounder on the defensive end, doesnt crash the offensive glass much, as he is the one back as the other guard.

Came out early in this one passing the ball and getting teammates involved. Is an unselfish player who wont force a lot of shots. Underrated playmaking ability. Willing to make the extra pass on perimeter to get better shot.

Tremendous shooter who can hit 3’s with his feet set and can hit shots coming off of screens. Has a soft touch and can create his own shot. Release is the same every time and he gets solid arc on his shot. Follows his shot and he knows when and where he is going to miss, which isn’t much. Good FT shooter.

Weaknesses
Is a good defender, but the has the ability to be great on this end. Got caught on a few staggered screens and was beat the spot a few times, but other then that was solid.

Athleticism is good but not great and doesnt have the quickest feet. Since he lacks first step quickness I would like to see him change speeds better off the dribble.
How well can he finish with his left hand and attack to his left?

Excellent shooter but he has a low release. Decent ball handler but could continue to improve in this area.

Overview
Entered contest averaging 17.3 ppg while shooting 51% from the 3 and 46% from the field. The reason his shooting percentages are so high, are 1, he is a great shooter, and 2, he doesnt shoot bad shots. Knows his spots on the floor and has a high IQ.
Is a SG and played this position solely the entire game. Is one of the smoothest and most fluid players I have seen in a while. Everything comes so naturally to him.
Communicates on the floor and was a good teammate and leader. Has a humble approach to the game.
I can see Moore as a possible player of the year candidate in the Big South this year and could have an outside chance of getting a Portsmouth Invite. The D-League would be a good option for a player of his skills. He could definitely become a 3 and D guy and could also find a niche overseas as a pro.

James Blackburn has scouted all levels of basketball, including high school, college and the pros, as well as international competitions such as the FIBA World Cup. Want more scouting notes from James? Follow him on Twitter @jamesjunior21, right now!

ESPN basketball coaches Jay Bilas

College Basketball Analyst Jay Bilas Leads Conversation

ESPNU will televise The Experts: Coaching Legends on Thursday, Oct. 30, at 7:30 p.m. ET featuring Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, Louisville’s Rick Pitino and North Carolina’s Roy Williams. Hosted by ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas, the four Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame coaches will participate in candid discussion about college basketball in a half-hour special.

Among the topics expected to be discussed:

  • Their first job in college basketball
  • How the sport has changed over the years and how those changes have impacted their profession and the play on the court
  • Power conferences and autonomy
  • Compensating players

The Experts: Coaching Legends is part of ESPNU’s extensive ACC media day coverage. Today, ESPN’s dedicated college network will televise a three-hour ESPNU College Basketball Media Day Special (1 p.m.), and two editions of The Experts: ACC Coaches Roundtable (7 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.), which features conversations amongst the conference’s other 11 head coaches.  ESPNU College Basketball Media Day Special will also feature reports from Tim Welsh at the American media day in New York City

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.

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.

Chris Czerapowicz breaks down what he learned about basketball at Davidson that’s different than in Europe.

Frank Howard basketball

Syracuse had a big day shuffling players yesterday after Jerami Grant declared for the NBA draft and Frank Howard committed to the Orange:

Howard, a high school junior, made a verbal commitment to the Orange during a television appearance on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic Monday night. He picked SU from a final list that included Maryland, Georgetown, Virginia, N.C. State and Ohio State.

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