Archive for May, 2010

Ryan Rhoomes
Ryan Rhoomes, headed to prep school.

James Blackburn covered Day 2 of the Bob Gibbons 2010 TOC and here’s his scouting reports and interviews on several players from the 2010 class.

2010 Class

Chris Brown (F, 6’8″, 180)

TAAG Academy
Tampa, FL
AAU team- Georgia Ballers

Scouting Report
Good shooter- nice stroke, good footwork, can rebound the ball after defending a center, bring the ball up and knock down the 3.

College Interest
Mostly SEC schools, also Texas, Marshall, Miss. St., Marquette

Interview
His said his top choice right now is Marquette because he has family that lives in the area there. He is relatively new to the AAU scene- only 2nd year- but loves the tournaments so far. His assistant coach on the AAU team is the one that got him involved and has helped out a lot as far as his college recruiting goes. This summer before attending prep school- he is going to work on his consistency on his jumper.

Jeff Short (SG, 6’3″, 180)
John F. Kennedy HS
Bronx, NY
AAU team- NY Panthers

Scouting Report
Great Shooter, who can create his own shot. He can also put the ball on the floor and finish with creative moves around basket. Good vision.

College Interest
Fordham, St. Johns

Interview
Plans to go to prep school at either South Kent or Queen City Prep. Wants to stay in NYC for college. He is going to work on getting stronger and his ball handling this summer.

Ryan Rhoomes (C, 6’8″, 220)
Benjamin Cardozo HS
Jamaica
AAU team- NY Panthers

Scouting Report
Very strong/physical player, draws fouls well and hits his FT’s, good defense overall- Leon Powe type.

College Interest
Plans to head to prep school next year- Offers from St. Johns, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and Providence. Georgia Tech is also showing interest.

The Jump Manual

Jeff Capel NCAA violations

Recently, it became known that the NCAA was investigating the Oklahoma men’s basketball program over the involvement of two players and a cash payment from a financial advisor in Florida.

The players, Tiny Gallon and Willie Warren have both entered the 2010 draft, leaving the coaching staff waiting to see if the NCAA decides to hammer the program.

CBS writer Gregg Doyel sheds the harsh light of reality on the Oklahoma program, and it’s not pretty. The cold hard facts are that this is not the first violation for Oklahoma. The current coaching staff took over from Kelvin Sampson’s tenure already saddled with heavy sanctions:

“Former Oklahoma coach Kelvin Sampson makes a mockery of NCAA rules by teaming with his coaching staff to make almost 600 illegal recruiting phone calls. The OU compliance department lets it happen. Doesn’t have a clue what’s going on. ”

Doyel goes on to suggest that in cases like this, the NCAA by it’s own rules would be well within their expected options to place the ‘death penalty’ on Oklahoma basketball, which would mean no more basketball in Norman, at least for some time.

Doyel’s article raises an interesting point, which is that if Oklahoma basketball doesn’t deserve to get the death penalty, and, in a corollary example, USC also doesn’t, which program will?

It’s likely the NCAA has no intention of ever handing out the death penalty after placing the SMU football program under it in 1986, which decimated the program. The ‘death penalty’ option is now seen as a ‘nuclear option’, in that the SMU program, which was a college football juggernaut, did not return to a college bowl game in 2009.

However, it should be pointed out that SMU’s football program had no right to be allowed to compete by the NCAA rules, and since they were repeatedly caught breaking the rules, the idea that the NCAA somehow treated them unfairly is laughable.

They weren’t really a storied program, they were a program that cheated to win, many times, and they got caught.

USC’s football and basketball programs have already been caught multiple times, although not as many as SMU, but are more of an example of what the NCAA should be preventing, at least if they are going to continue to maintain that college athletes should not be paid.

The allegations against Oklahoma basketball are equally damning, but at this point, they are still just allegations. It remains to be seen how serious the NCAA is about keeping programs from breaking the rules. If the NCAA does not start really placing heavy disciplinary action on these types of violations, they are communicating to the rest of the programs that getting caught won’t be something to be afraid of.

The Jump Manual

The Boston Celtics were not supposed to be returning to the NBA Finals.

They were, according to the prevalent thinking among fans and media, supposed to be past their prime.

Old.

They were supposed to be beaten easily by Lebron and the Cleveland Cavaliers, or at least by the steamrolling juggernaut from the south, the Orlando Magic.

As the Celtics gathered at mid court to celebrate their return to the championship series, Boston fans cheered and NBA fans wondered: what happened?

How did the Celtics, supposedly a team of old, over the hill veterans who couldn’t win consistently in the regular season, suddenly look so amazingly good?

The answer lies in two parts, both equally important.

The first part is more due to the nature of the modern NBA, and how an experienced team approaches the regular season.

It’s no secret that the NBA season is far too long, with too many guaranteed contracts. As a result, teams like the Celtics, much like San Antonio has done in previous years, will pace themselves all season. The coaches rest their older players much more during the season, trading the meaningless wins and division leads for a spot in the playoffs, when it suddenly matters.

The NBA regular season is nearly a preseason, and the playoffs are the actual season. Players try a lot harder in the playoffs. Suddenly the lights come on, fans are tuned in and players want to win. And that’s why players like Lebron suddenly look less incredible and more like ‘just a pretty good player’. The NBA has loads of talented guys, and when playoff time arrives, the experienced players suddenly flip the switch and pour it on.

So the Celtics have experienced players in spades, mixed in with the energy of youth, with Rondo, Perkins and Big Baby Davis providing the athletic exuberance to fit in with the older players’ basketball smarts.

But the second big factor as to why the Celtics have been winning isn’t so obvious.

Sure, they’ve got Garnett back, but even though his intensity is great and he has a nasty mid range jumper, he’s not the raging athletic he once was. He’s not the only reason the Celtics are winning.

To find that out, you’ve got to look at a single, easily missed statistic.

For the last seventeen games in a row, no player has led in scoring back to back.

What does that mean?

It means the Celtics have a lot of weapons, and whoever you leave open is going to kill you. All they have to do is figure out where your team is weak.

This only works because the players understand it. With a lot of teams, the star player is going to get his shots no matter if he’s being triple teamed or not. And if a team has two star players but both are being held in check by the defense, the depth of most rosters is not enough to get points.

And so the Celtics have put aside egos, and ignored the silly rantings of the media. If Ray Allen torches an opponent one night, journalists will write about the lack of scoring from Paul Pierce or Garnett.

A few nights later, when Allen is being smothered and Pierce is lighting up the scoreboard, it’s Allen who the writers will blast.

But none of that matters, because winning is the thing, and for the Celtics, it’s working perfectly.

The Jump Manual

The annual Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions starts today in the Raleigh Triangle area of North Carolina, and as usual it’s loaded with top talent from well known AAU teams like the Atlanta Celtics, Team Melo and the Memphis Magic Elite.

We’ll have some coverage of the events and player interviews, but if you are headed down to the even be aware that there are a LOT of games, running at multiple locations, so check out the tournament schedule here.

Again, thanks to James Blackburn for his work scouting the 2010 Overseas Evaluation Camp. Here’s James player evaluations from the camp, which he not only covered for us, but also was a camp scout.

These players were some of the top performers of the camp and definitely improved their stock and their chances of playing overseas.

Julius Cheeks
PG, 6’2”, 185lbs., Mississippi Valley State U
Julius Cheeks profile

Good Floor general, good handle, creative with ball- can use both hands. Good shooter and good vision. He is stronger than he looks too. Sometimes over dribbles.

Giovonne Woods
G, 6’3”, 195lbs., Central Washington U
Giovonne Woods Profile

Has great footwork. Great shooter with 3pt. range- also displays good form. Plays good D without fouling- always has hand in shooters face. Has great vision and makes good, smart passes. Good rebounder as well. Very smart and rotated on Defense in games well. Was matched up with Cameron Stanley on Saturday and matched him shot for shot. One weakness is his size. Is vulnerable to being posted up by bigger 2G’s. He is athletic but needs to get stronger to keep guys from establishing position so close to basket. Hustles on both sides of the ball and does whatever it takes to win. One of the top 3 players at the camp in my opinion. He will be making money somewhere this coming season.

Seth Haake
G, 6’3”, 180 lbs., Bemidji U
Seth Haake profile

Does not pass the look test at all- but this kid can play with the best of them. Scored in bunches and let game come to him. Was always in the right place at the right time. Moves well off the ball. Good left hand. He is not fast or athletic but picks his spots to score. Plays good D and moves his feet despite the fact that he often gives up size and speed in his match up. Good shooter- though his shot was not falling in games- displays great form. Uses screens well. Very smart player- filled the open lane- he can handle the ball and finish on the break. He will surprise you. He also displayed good endurance- when most players were getting tired and winded after playing several games- Seth still had energy. Good solid player on both ends of the floor.

Freddy Little
SG, 5’11”, 180lbs., Miami Dade
Freddy Little profile

One of the quickest guys at the camp- very good handle- has the ball on a string. Good shooter who can also get the rim and finish.

Savoy Fraine
F, 6’8”, 210 lbs., Assumption College
Savoy Fraine profile

Very athletic- kind of like a Anthony Randolph type. LH who can finish with right as well with dunks. Displayed 3 pt. range in games. Good footwork. Needs to get stronger. Project guy- still has a lot to work on.

Daniel Johnson
SF, 6’5”, 190 lbs., Concord U
Daniel Johnson Profile

Tayshaun Prince type. Lefty with smooth jumper with 3 pt. range. Would rather take the ball to the hoop where he can finish with a dunk. Athletic with long arms. Smart player who is a good rebounder on both ends of the floor. Talked to one of his friends at the camp who plays for Virginia Univ. and he said that Daniel will come to open gyms at UVA in the summer and does more than hold his own.

Cameron Stanley
SF, 6’7”, 220lbs., Wake Forest Univ.
Cameron Stanley profile

Has definitely improved since his Wake days. Has gotten stronger and has increased his range. He is a smart player- will post up smaller defender and take bigger defender outside. Has developed a smooth jumper- set shooter who can also put it on the floor. He is a decent athlete as well. Needs to improve Defense a little.

Gerald January
PF, 6’7”. 200lbs., U of Montevallo
Gerald January profile

Good hustle player- undersized – but is very active on boards and on defense- boxes out his man on every possession. Needs to get stronger- has a raw offensive game- Ben Wallace type- but not as strong.

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James Blackburn covered the Overseas Evaluation Camp during the past weekend, and filed several reports regarding the players in attendance.

Here’s the first rundown of some of the players James interviewed, including a former UNC alum.


TarheelBlue.com

Marc Cambell (PG, 6’0”, 175lbs., UNC)

Marc Campbell profile

Mark did well in the ball handling and shooting drills. During the games he did a decent job of controlling the tempo of the game and his team. He has excellent court vision, but also has a problem of forcing passes and this leads to a lot of unforced turnovers. His shot was not falling during the games but he did enough to secure himself a spot during Day 2.

Mark had some interesting stories to share about himself and his days at UNC. He is actually from Italy and hopes to eventually play there, and he is currently working toward obtaining Italian citizenship.

He is going to attend a couple more exposure camps in Vegas this summer to improve his chances of playing professionally. He said the UNC coaching staff is putting together film for him to send to overseas teams. He enjoyed his 4 years at UNC where he won a national championship and “collected a ton of shoes”.

He said one of his favorite and most memorable experiences at UNC was the 100th anniversary weekend where he was able to play with Vince Carter and Antwain Jamison amongst other UNC alumni.

He also remembers Michael Jordan pulling right up through the Smith Center tunnel in a red Ferrari. (Editor’s note: It’s not clear if this is always where Michael Jordan parks at the Smith Center)

Desmond Blue ( C, 6’11”, 265 lbs., Lee University)
Desmond Blue profile

Desmond is big, strong, and physical.

He displayed good footwork and hands in the post workouts. He did a good job of throwing his weight around in the games and about brought the goal down on one dunk. He is athletic for his size and has a 10-12 ft. range on his jumper.

His main problem is his conditioning as he was easily winded from the up-temp style of the games.

Desmond says he plans on attending the Mike Hart camp in Vegas this summer, and is considering going to the IBL camp as well. The general consensus around camp was that Desmond could be a monster in the paint if he lost some more weight and got into better shape.

Brian Fisher (G, 6’3”, 185lbs., Winston-Salem State Univ.)

Brian Fisher profile

Brian only came to the camp on Saturday, so [James] did not get to see him as much as he would have liked.

He did watch him in his individual workout and Brian did well. He has deep range on his 3 ball and has good form on his jumper. He also displayed good footwork.

In his words, Brian is “trying to get across the water” after graduating from WSSU in June. He plans on attending a few other exposure clinics as well. He has been invited to ones in Myrtle Beach and in his home town Atlanta.

He is currently looking for an agent in addition to attending the exposure camps.

When asked about what he thought about Winston-Salem State going back to the CIAA and D-II NCAA, he was not pleased and thought they were taking a step back after being D-I the last 4 years.

He enjoyed his time at State and said it was worth playing the big schools such as Wake, Georgia Tech, and Oregon for the experience even though they did not win many games against the D-I competition. He said it made them better as a team and also liked the fact that it showed him what it takes to play at that level.

One of the main differences according to Brian was the basketball IQ.

Best of luck to each one of these guys in their endeavors of playing professionally.

The Jump Manual

Possibly one of the most underrated players in the draft is Patrick Patterson, a 6’8″ player who was all Kentucky could really depend on until a bevy of freshman came in to set the roster on fire. Here’s an interview from Jonathon Givoney of DraftExpress with Patterson at the NBA Combine in Chicago, one of several pro events happening this weekend:

Part two of the interview:

Terrence Jones to Kentucky

The scramble for 2010 big men is finally getting some resolution.

The latest big to pick a school is Terrence Jones, who first held a press conference and announced for Washington, then changed his mind and ultimately chose Kentucky.

Jones, a 6’8″ scorer who was also being wooed by Kansas and Oklahoma, stretched out his recruitment to the chagrin of coaches and fans of the respective schools. Jones joins an excellent recruiting class at Kentucky, which is coming in to replace the mass exodus of star players who took Kentucky deep into the NCAA tournament this season.

This also seems to indicate that UNC may be the leader for Kadeem Jack, another big man who is being recruited by Kentucky and UNC.

UNC Leads For Justin Knox

Two developments for UNC target Justin Knox seem to position him as a likely post player for the Tar Heels.

Justin Knox, a 6’9″ center who graduated in three years from Alabama, is transferring and eligible to play one more year. Since he’s already graduated, he will be able to play next season.

Knox’s original choice was to play at UAB, but the stipulations of his transfer prohibited the move. Despite an appeal, he won’t be able to attend UAB.

After Knox took a visit to UNC last weekend, he stated that he had offers from several schools, according to InsideCarolina:

After the visit, North Carolina has emerged as the leader for Knox’s services over Georgia Tech, South Alabama, Georgia State and Southern Miss. The Tuscaloosa, Ala. native has confirmed scholarship offers from all five schools.

Knox then went on to state that as of now, North Carolina is “leading the pack”.

The Tar Heels are hoping to bring in a couple of post players for next season to replace the sudden losses of David and Travis Wear, who decided to transfer following the 2009-10 season.

Tony Wroten’s Top 5

In the Twitter age, recruits now often communicate virtually, and Tony Wroten, the 6’4″ PG from the class of 2011, has decided to update recruiters and fans of his list of schools using the new platform:

Tony lists his top five (in Twitter-speak) as Kentucky, Washington, Connecticut, Villanova and Syracuse (in that order).

The Jump Manual