Archive for June, 2010

By Alex Kline

Desmond Hubert basketball

Photo Source: ESPN

Desmond Hubert exemplifies the meaning of a defensive presence. The 6-foot-9 big man frequently had double doubles during his high school games and even triple doubles at times. He blocks shots and is excellent on the boards. The improvement in his offensive game has paid off and turned him into a very notable player in the class of 2011. The rising senior is modest and is not trying to become a star. He takes the quiet path and does the dirty work at a small known school in New Jersey called New Egypt High School.

At New Egypt, Desmond has made the school known in the Garden State and has become a standout there. During the spring and summer, he runs with the New Jersey Playaz; one of the best squads in the country. Whether he rebounds and throws an outlet pass to Myles Davis ’11 who hits a three or throws down a thunderous dunk of his own, you cannot stop the athleticism of Hubert.

Colleges have taken notice, as well! He has a list compiled of “Pittsburgh, Villanova, Ohio State, UConn, Georgia Tech, Duke, North Carolina, Maryland and Wake Forest.” It is a safe bet that Hubert will most likely land in the Big East or ACC, but don’t rule out the Buckeyes. Despite no offers from Duke or North Carolina yet, Desmond is confident that a good summer will propel him to that possibility.

Recently, he took an unofficial visit to another Big East school. Hubert visited Georgetown unofficially and enjoyed it. They have been a school that is on and off the list. Think about it for a minute; Hubert is a defensive presence and would fit in a slower paced offense. Georgetown is a team that comes to mind as they run a Princeton style offense. Either way, Hubert acknowledges that he will have a top five sometime in August and Villanova, as well as Pittsburgh will be in it. He could certainly be a great replacement for Nova’s Taylor King who recently left the team. Desmond hopes to commit before the season is over.

Either way you look at it, Desmond Hubert’s a threat. He can do a lot and his potential is sky high. Give it a few years and his name will be a lottery pick in the NBA Draft. For now, he’ll just stick to rejecting opponents and their shots as he walks on with his swagger and his smile.

****
Hey, if you like this kind of basketball coverage, do yourself a favor and sign up for the BasketballElite.com newsletter, which is free for basketball lovers.

The Jump Manual

Thomas Gipson Alley Oop

Thomas Gibson (PF, 6’7″, 2011), who we recently featured in our ‘7 Questions With…’ feature, shows off his timing with an alley oop dunk at this year’s Pangos tournament on the West Coast:

It’s important to note that timing, especially for rebounding and shot blocking, is one key skill that translates to all levels of basketball.

Photos From NBPA Camp

Michael Gbinije
Michael Gbinije, photo ©2010 Andew Shurtleff

Andrew Shurtleff, freelance photographer whose portfolio can be viewed at andrewshurtleff.com, has pointed his gifted camera at the NBPA Camp and provided stunning action photos from the event. These photos are rights managed, so contact Andrew directly if you need to re-use them. Andrew’s ability to capture the effort in sports is readily on display in this gallery.

The Jump Manual

Last week we had a chance to speak with PJ Hairston, the UNC commit who was participating in the CP3 Elite guard skills camp. This week, ScoutsFocus sends us some video of PJ at the NBPA camp at Virginia.

The Jump Manual

By Marcus Shockley

The first thing that strikes you about Shawn Lester, a 6’3″ combo guard from the class of  2012, is his length.

Length at any position is valuable, and Lester uses it effectively. He’s also a quick guard with a solid ability to handle the ball, aggressive to the hoop with a consistent mid range floater when driving to the basket.

Shawn Lester

With offers from Virginia Tech, Clemson, and South Carolina, Lester has the ability to bring the ball up while also playing the shooting guard spot effectively. A calm player who is focused on his game.

Will need to scout him much further to see him on defense and in half court situations. One to watch in the class of 2012.

+ Length
+ Combo Guard
+ Quickness
+ Mid Range Floater
+ Ball Handling

By Alex Kline

Isaiah Austin
Image Source: NBADraft.net

He’s long and he’s tall. He is Isaiah Austin and just as his height has shot up, so has his recruitment. The seven footer is the tallest player the National Basketball Players Association Top 100 camp in Virginia this week. The 2012 big man is currently ranked in the top fifteen in his class and continues to improve.

Austin, a native of Texas, has basketball routes in his background. The big man’s uncle, Ike, played nine seasons in the NBA. His father played hoops overseas for over fifteen years. Hoops run in the family to put it in perspective.

Despite Austin being extremely skinny for his height, it shows no real effect on his game. He does agree that he must gain weight and muscle. “I need both. I need to gain weight but not lose any of my ability to move.”

At NBPA Top 100 camp, he was absorbing blows from defenders and exhibited excellent body control. “I think I played well,” stated Austin. “My last game was my best, but other than that I did what I had to do on the defensive end.” One writer wrote that the seven foot sophomore was blocking arm pits. Isaiah responded by saying, “That’s really funny!” Whether he blocks shots with arm pits or not, there is no doubt that his defensive game is a strong point of his.

Due to his size and skill, Isaiah’s recruitment is blowing up. Since the June 15th recruitment period started for the class of 2012, Austin is now up to offers from “Arizona, Georgetown, Iowa, Baylor, Houston, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Kentucky.” There might be more out there, however, Isaiah is getting a new phone and will not find out until later if he has more offers. Recruiting is not on his mind now; his abilities are. He does state that he is looking for “any school that will let me play.” He went on to say, “I want a school where I can be a leader both on and off the court.” With no intentions of dealing with his recruiting now, Austin will head to Baylor this week for team camp with his high school.

Isaiah has a lot going for him. He is seven-feet tall. He is great at basketball. One thing is missing in his life though. That is the sport of golf. Austin tried out for the varsity golf team at Grace Prep and was cut from the team after he went one shot over. Oh well! There is always next year. For now, he will stick with basketball.

Anthony Stitt (PG, 6’1″, 2011) is a fundamentally strong guard, with solid ball handling and shot release. He’s confident with the ball in his hands and has a solid understanding of the PG position, dribbles looking ahead and understands how to work the play and attack the defense. Definitely can run a half court offense.

He knows how to push the break or when to slow down the pace or push to the basket. Appears to be solid, poised player but not a burner. A DI prospect with a good maturity and is capable of running an offense. Has good form on his shots and layups, has a hard working attitude and is coachable. Probably a starter at PG by his sophomore or junior year if he finds the right fit at the collegiate level. Would excel at a mid major with today’s skill set, and continues to show improvement in his mid-range jump shot. He can use the mid range shot to keep faster defenders from playing him too closely and improving his effectiveness.

Stitt has offers from Cinncinati, Clemson, VCU, Richmond and ECU and will take all five visits before making a decision. The feedback he’s gotten from college coaches is that they want him to be able to consistently hit the mid range knock down jumper, and it appears he’s been working on this.

+ fundamentals
+ ball handling

We’ve Added SocialSpark

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Socialspark_small

We recently signed up for SocialSpark, the advertising platform that allows sponsors to have access to hundreds, if not thousands of bloggers and sites across the Internet. The reason for this is twofold.

First, because we are migrating to a regular publishing schedule of Monday, Wednesday and Friday, although we will still have additional posts and articles, especially when we cover live events and there’s so much basketball news to share. This move to a regular schedule means we have more room for relevant content, on occasion, on the weekends, and that’s where any special blogs or sponsorship posts will appear.

Second, because we are committed to growing our basketball coverage as a whole, and that means creating partnerships with advertisers when possible. This is no different than why their are commercials in NBA games or, frankly, why pro basketball players get such high salaries. They couldn’t play the game the way they do, on national television, without corporate partnerships. And, we are sure you understand, we are in the same position. We want to expand our coverage of top basketball, and in order to do that, we have to create strategic methods to accomplish that. That doesn’t mean we’re going to be pitching some kinds of unscrupulous nonsense, and it doesn’t mean we’re going to try and shove product placement into every page like some popcorn flick.

So, here’s the deal. We are only going to place relevant posts, ads or articles on the site from time to time, and we will still be creating as much, or more, solid basketball coverage than ever before. We think it’s a pretty fair trade.

If you want to know more about SocialSpark, check out their Code of Ethics.

Visit my sponsor: I Signed Up for SocialSpark!

By Marcus Shockley

Thomas Gipson is a beast.

Gipson (PF, 6’7″, 2011), is a power player with a penchant for hammering away in the post, one of those big men that attack the basket with a ferocity that can’t be taught, he works hard, runs the floor and has a massive wingspan. Definitely a player to watch from the state of Texas, Thomas obviously relishes the role of being willing to face the hard knocks needed to play inside.

Thomas joins us for our inaugural installment of ‘7 Questions’, where we can find out more about Mr. Gipson and his alter ego, ‘Beast’.

Thomas Gipson basketball

1. The first question (it always is): Which schools are you considering, what offers have you received or what colleges have been communicating with you?

School Interest Level
Baylor Medium
California Medium Offered
Florida International Medium Offered
Georgia State Medium Offered
Iowa Medium Offered
Kansas State Medium Offered
Marquette Medium
Oklahoma State Medium Offered
Southern Methodist Medium Offered
Texas A&M Medium
Tulane Medium Offered
West Virginia Medium Offered

Note: Since this interview, Thomas has committed to Kansas State.

2. Do you have a timetable for your college decision?

Thinking Spring 2011 right now. That way I can take time and take some official visits to schools in the fall (before basketball season starts). But you never know, if the right offer comes along…could sign today….(laughing)

3. What are the parts of your game that you feel are the strongest?

My post moves and rebounding. I’m really strong for my age. I weigh between 230-245lbs all the time. I been playing post a while and it is second nature to me. Me being strong helps. My wing span is over 7’ too. I usually make most of my free-throws too. People also don’t think that I can only play inside. I actually have a good jump shot.

4. What are the parts of your game you are currently working on?

I am working on my ball handling and it has come along really well. I played in a game on this past weekend and was able to play power forward because my AAU coach (Stacy) let’s me do it. Most coaches have always put me at post because I was the tallest kid on the team. Now going to college, I know I have to put in the work to show them that I can do that too.

5. Are any coaches giving you feedback on your game, and if so, what are they telling you they want to see?

My trainer (Coach Tim Mason) always tell me to let them see my versatility. So what they are wanting to see is my ability to play the power forward position and ball handle, face the basket, and shoot jumpers. So I let them see that I can do all those things. I am 6’7” and some coaches underestimate me. I have a 7’2 wingspan, so I let them see what I can do with that too.

6. Can you name a current or past player or a coach (at any level) that you may admire and why you admire them?

Amare Stoudemire – he’s a great player. Think he’s a beast like me. That’s what they call me. He’s a [player who] runs the floor, rebounds, he can shoot. He’s kinda quiet from what I can tell. He doesn’t show a whole lot of emotion but he can play. He does his thing no matter what. Just like me.

7. If you could tell people one thing about you that you wish they knew, what would it be?

a. When I was a kid, we lived on 19 acres, took care of 100 acres of land that had 75 cattle on it. I would ride on the tractor with my mom…You wouldn’t believe it!

b. I was on Sports Stars of Tomorrow with Pat Summerall.

The Jump Manual

By Alex Kline

Eric Gordon once dominated the ranks of high school hoops. Now he is in the NBA but his name lives on in grassroots basketball. Gordon and company assembled a team named after the Los Angeles Clipper and Indiana University standout. One player who stands out on the team is 6-foot-6 small forward Jeremy Hollowell. Hollowell, a part of the class of 2012, plays for the Eric Gordon U16 squad. Not only is he a big time player in the making, but he is extremely versatile, as well.

The forward describes his game by saying, “I can mix it up inside or outside, however my defender plays me.” Holloway went on to say, “I can post up and take people off the dribble.” In order to take his game to the next level, the rising junior says he “needs to work on getting quicker and stronger, as well as becoming more aggressive.” With a very competitive class, Jeremy is already standing out among the many.

Through his outstanding play and loads of potential, Holloway has attracted plenty of colleges’ attention. He already has offers from Ohio State, Indiana, Tennessee, Illinois, Xavier, Cincinnati, Iowa and Indiana State. With coaches being allowed to contact and officially offer sophomores, Jeremy believes that “Michigan, Florida and Louisville” will offer him in the near future. Despite being from Indiana, he insists he is keeping his recruitment open to everyone.

Hollowell has been loyal to all the schools interested in him and has visited most of them. The only ones he has not visited he will visit soon. “I am visiting Michigan next week and Louisville soon,” said Jeremy. But with the wing being so wide open, how will he make a decision on a school? “I’m looking for the style of play, the conference, the coach and how he lets his players play,” said Jeremy. With Hollowell stating that he will “make a decision when the time is right,” look for a decision to come at anytime.

Jeremy Hollowell is far from being a household name just yet. With hard work and effort, along with being humble, look out for Hollowell to become one of the best talents to come out of the state of Indiana in a while.