Archive for August, 2010

By Marcus Shockley

The Boost Mobile Elite 24 event is intended to showcase the best 24 high school basketball players in the country who are rising seniors, and it follow what has become the norm for high profile televised All-Star basketball events, there is little defense, little offensive flow and not much point in scouting the game beyond simply seeing a little taste of player’s talent and how they work in an open court running game.

To be honest, very few colleges are able to employ a frenetic open court style, so it limits the scouting even more. Defense is not encountered, so players who look like star slashers are getting way too much freedom.

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That being said, here are some thoughts from this year’s Boost Mobile Elite 24 event:

The big news of the day was the college announcement of Kyle Wiltjer, the 6’9″ PF and offensive weapon who committed to Kentucky for the Class of 2011. Wiltjer is a quick, sure handed PF who plays a finesse scoring game and relying on getting off quick hook shots to beat the defense in the post, and he approaches the big forward spot like a shooting guard. Wiltjer is not a power post player but definitely adds offense to a roster.

Austin Rivers (PG, 6’4″, 2011) had an overall solid game, despite being injured after leaping for a high pass. Rivers used his size to grab several rebounds and has a lengthy stride that is deceptively quick, as he uses a crossover at the perimeter to get to the basket repeatedly. Rivers is one of the deadliest slashing guards that has come along in some time. He can hit the outside shot, but his strength is in getting defenders on their heels and hitting a running floater, which is almost impossible to guard.

Quincy Miller (SF/PF, 6’9″, 2011) showed flashes of his game that make him look like a solid pro prospect, showing he is still an outside shooting threat and has quickness with the ball.

Jabari Brown (SG, 6’5″, 2011) continues to be my most underrated player of the 2011 class. While Wiltjer was getting most of the on-air discussion, Brown was putting the ball in the bucket and showing his ability to handle the ball even at 6’5″ and from the off-guard position. The only thing I’ve yet to scout Jabari for is his defense; I’ve read some reports that knock his rebounding, but I’m not sure how seriously I can take a scouting report that considers minimal rebounding from the SG position as an actual factor. Jabari recently eliminated several schools from his list.

Duece Bello (SG/SF, 6’3″, 2011), often linked with Quincy Miller, showed his ability to get up and down the court, slash and dunk in transition. Very explosive player who knows when to push the ball into overdrive and attack the basket.

Myck Kabongo (PG, 6’2″, 2011) was extremely active, getting involved and making a ton of positive plays. Kabongo has verbally committed to Texas. James McAdoo (PF, 6’8″, 2011), a UNC commit, looked like a solid inside forward, with a great high-arc baby hook and jumper. McAdoo looks physically ready for the college game.

Things did not work out as well during the first season as Gerald Henderson had hoped. Drafted in the first round by the Charlotte Bobcats, the former Duke Blue Devils star battled for playing time with established veterans, but by the end of the season found himself on the bench far more than he would have liked.

But, as they say, that was last year, and for Henderson, it was just ‘Year One’ of his pro career, and this summer, he set about working to find his way into the regular rotation. After a solid summer league showing, he seems ready for the challenge and aware of what he needs to do to succeed. In this interview, he talks about his work over the summer and his thoughts on his first year and where he wants to go next.

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By Alex Kline

Kuran Iverson may be related to former NBA All Star Allen Iverson but that doesn’t mean they are anything alike. While Allen stands at 6-feet tall, Kuran is a 6-foot-8 rising sophomore who may be one of the most versatile players out there. The young Iverson has bolted himself into chatter as one of the top three players in the nation in his class.Although his cousin, Allen, proved to be one of the top players in the nation at one point, Kuran could easily be the best in the Iverson family.
Kuran’s game is similar to that of New Jersey’s Kyle Anderson. Both are 6-foot-8 and can play the point guard position, as well as being on the wing. He can do it all as he block shots and rebounds very well for his age of the defensive side. Offensively, he is extremely versatile in that he can dribble like a point guard and distribute the ball like one, too. His shot is developing but he can get to the hole and make it happen. His defense is still picking up as it is considered to be a weaker point in his game.

Iverson knows the hard work will pay off through his recruitment. He has already seen this as he is being looked at by “Georgetown, UConn, Marquette, Rutgers, Florida, Florida State, Georgia Tech and USC.”

Iverson has two schools that really stand out to him in “Kentucky and Georgetown.” Kuran said, “Those two are probably my favorite schools because of all the success they have had.” Iverson says that his cousin Allen has no impact on him and Georgetown though. “Yeah Allen’s my cousin but we don’t really talk,” he said. “He talks with my family but doesn’t have an impact on me. I’m trying to be my own person.”

Amazingly, Kuran only started playing five years ago but his game is much more developed.

As of now, it looks like Kuran Iverson will be the next big thing. His name is starting to get out there and everyone is pressing full front to stop his run at becoming number one. You may not know his name yet, but Kuran Iverson is the next big thing.

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Gordon Hayward was a player who many basketball fans were unfamiliar with just one year ago, but a spectacular year at Butler and a stunning run to the NCAA championship game changed all of that. Despite playing in a foul heavy title game, Hayward’s talent was obvious and within a few days the the relative unknown became a top draft pick and landed with the Utah Jazz.

In this exclusive interview, Gordon talks about his first couple of NBA games this summer, and digs into his thoughts about the NCAA title game.

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Lance Stephenson, who we featured in an interview from his NBA summer league play, is back in the news, but not for his play on the court.

Just mere days after a wave of positive news about the high school phenom had hit the media, the new Indiana Pacers rookie was involved in a police incident.

The 19 year old player, who made the jump to the NBA after one year playing at the college level in Cincinnati, faces multiple charges in New York, where he resides.

Lance was charged with assault after he allegedly attacked his girlfriend, pushing her down a flight of stairs and hitting her on the head.

A judge released Stephenson, 19, without bail late Sunday night after his arrest on assault, menacing and harassment charges. Prosecutors had asked for $7,500 bail.

The Denver Post is reporting that the Denver Nuggets are attempting to learn from Cleveland’s struggles this summer to keep Lebron James and may be working on a way to part ways with their own star forward, Carmelo Anthony:

There is no way Denver can afford to lose the face of its franchise for nothing as a free agent.

This may be the first reaction as a backlash to Lebron’s move by team owners. After all, despite the massive salaries commanded by the players in the NBA, the teams are still the business properties of the owners and those owners are not interested in hiring players who are going to just empty the coffers. While Anthony, a likeable player who is in the prime of his career, would continue to be a solid linchpin for the Nuggets, there’s no denying that his trade value has also never been higher:

His 28-point career scoring average through seven professional seasons should attract keen interest in Anthony from a franchise looking for a star to sell tickets in the regular season or hit a big shot at the buzzer during the playoffs. Anthony’s contract situation figures to give him leverage in trade negotiations, because any team looking to add the 6-foot-8 forward would want to be assured of keeping his services long term.

This will be an interesting development to keep an eye on.

As a follow up to our player profile of A.J. Highsmith a few days ago, here’s some highlight footage of the sharpshooting off guard. One of the key things about A.J.’s game is his superb passing ability from the 2G spot or SF spot, which means players trying to close on his deadly outside shot often have to leave a player open, and he has a solid knack for finding that open player.

AJ Highsmith from RSManagement on Vimeo.

Daniel Orton was sort of an unknown commodity for Kentucky basketball fans this past season, with the massive influx of high profile talent that pushed out some of his playing time. Despite this, Orton decided to make the break for the NBA and the pro game.

Here’s some exclusive interview as Daniel talks about his approach to the game, and he shares some of the issues he has had to deal with being “overloaded” with too much coaching and information while trying to focus on his game.

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

Covering basketball across the country, in small gyms and large arenas, means we have to be on the move a lot, and we communicate with each other wherever we might be. This means we use our mobile phones a lot, and not just to talk with each other, but for connecting and updating online.

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A.J. Highsmith is a 6’4″ SG who just finished up his career at Appalachian State, and is ready to make the move into the pro game. With a sharpshooter’s mentality and an ability to create his own shot, he also has a solid passing ability to find open teammates. Here’s a profile video of A.J., talking about his game and what he’s working on during summer league games. Make sure to watch this in HD!

We will have more extended highlights of A.J. and follow his career as he makes the move from collegiate player to the pro game.

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