Archive for November, 2011

By Justin Byerly

Editor’s Note: Did you miss part one of this series? Go read it now. We’ll wait.

J.T. Miller Adidas Phenom 150 basketball
J.T. Miller shows off his explosiveness with a dunk at the Adidas Phenom 150

J.T. Miller 6’3 2012 Clinton HS (NC)
Miller averaged twenty three points per game last season at NCHSAA 2-A Clinton HS, and recorded over seventy-five dunks in his junior season. He had been recieving interest from coaches at UTEP, ECU, Virginia Tech, Miami, NC State, Oklahoma, Gerogia Tech, Wake Forest, UNC-Greensboro, UNC-Wilmington, American University, The Citadel, Western Carolina, and others before July 2011 according to his father Dwight Miller. In May 2011, JT suffered a knee injury at the Bob Gibbons Tournament. He is now back to one-hundred percent , and is starting to get interest back from coaches who may have backed off (because of the injury) including Virginia Tech, University of Miami, and VCU who have also recently watched Miller work out. Clinton HS is now coached by Levi Beckwith, the former coach at Word of God in Raleigh, NC.

Shannon Hale 6’8 215 2013 Christ School (NC)
The Science Hill (TN) transfer and Alabama commit Hale, is a very strong post player and gets plenty of rebounds. I saw him play in the Christ School Tip Off Tournament in Asheville (NC) against NCISAA power Greensboro Day (NC) which Hale scored twenty-two points. Hale showed above-average athlesticism and some speed as he gets up and down the court in a hurry for a big guy. He is ranked by many publications as a top seventy-five recruit for the 2013 class.

Madison Jones 6’1 170 2012 Ravenscroft HS (NC)
Jones has offers from American University, Seton Hall University, North Carolina Central University, East Carolina University and Georgia Southern University. Last season Jones along with Anton Gill (more on Gill later) led Ravensvroft to a 23-4 record. He is getting recruited the most by American University, Seton Hall University and East Carolina University.

Jordan Hanner 5’10 175 2012 Southwest Guilford HS (NC)
Hanner averaged 18.5 points per game last season as a junior and led the Cowboys to a 22-6 record. He informed me the only school really showing interest in him for basketball is Mount Olive. Southwest Guilford competes in the 4-A Piedmont Triad COnference.

Jarvis Haywood 6’3 195 2012 Harding HS (NC)
The former Winthrop commit has informed me that he is setting up visits to College of Charleston, Appalachian State University, and Hampton University. Haywood played last season at the now closed Waddell High School in Charlotte (NC) and averaged 22.2 points per game on a squad that finished 18-11. He has started the 2011-2012 season strong with a 23 point, 10 rebound and 7 assists against Hopewell HS Charlotte (NC) in a 25 point win. The 6’4 175lb guard is ranked as the 55th best shooting guard prospect in the country by ESPN.com.

Stavian Allen 6’7 2014 Word of God (NC)
The long and very athletic Allen, transferred to Word of God after playing at Cary High School and re-classified to the class of 2014. Allen shows great ball-handling skills for a player of his size and gets to the basket with ease. He informed me that he is getting the most interest from Bucknell right now along with UNC-Charlotte, West Virginia University and VCU are showing him a little interest and have been in contact with his AAU coach. He needs to add some muscle and weight but he is only a sophomore, so he has a few years.

Josh Newkirk 6’1 175 2013 Word of God (NC)
One of the quickest cross-overs you will see this year comes from Newkirk. Hailing from the same high school as current Washington Wizard John Wall and NC State star freshman CJ Leslie, Newkirk is ranked by ESPN.com as one of the top ten players in North Carolina in the class of 2013 and the 17th best overall point guard in the country. He let me know that he has offers from University of Arizona, Oklahoma State University, Indiana University, North Carolina State University, Appalachian State University and The University of Tennessee. Josh averaged close to 15 points, 8 assists and 3 rebounds a game last season as a sophomore. He also informed me that he is getting interest from Miami University and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, but has not been offered a scholarship yet by either school.

Jevon Patton 5’9 170 2013 Highland Tech (NC)
Smooth-shooting Jevon Patton averaged 17 points, nearly 6 assists and 6 rebounds a game last season for Highland Tech, leading them to a (17-9) record in the Piedmont 1-A/2-A conference. He is starting to gain some interest from College of Charleston, Clemson University, and The University of South Carolina. Patton’s father Jody is an assistant coach with Highland Tech and was a three-year all conference player at Coker (SC).

Trey Chapman 6’6 185 2013 Wesleyan Christian Academy (NC)
The Greensboro (NC) Day School transfer, Chapman is a long and very athletic wing for Kevin Gatlin’s WCA squad this year that also includes 6’4 Theo Pinson (one of the top prospects in 2014) and Florida State recruit 6’6 Montay Brandon. He informed me via text message that he has two Division One offers, from The University of Pennsylvania and Jacksonville (FL) University. He also mentioned that he is receiving “a little interest from Appalachian State University, Virginia Commonwealth University (2011 NCAA Final Four participant), Liberty University, Stanford University, and East Carolina University”.

Austin Dasent 6’1 185 2014 Olympic HS Charlotte (NC)
Dasent picked up his first offer a month ago from Mercer University, and is getting interest from Clemson University, The University of South Carolina, and The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He mentioned to Alex Kline of TheRecruitScoop.com that UNC-Charlotte and South Carolina are his very early top two.

Editor’s Note: Are you wondering why we missed some players? Go read part one now. Then come back and read parts 3,4 and 5 when we publish them.

By James Blackburn

Fayetteville Flight @ Carolina Cheetahs

Cheetahs win 113-107

Game Notes

• Game is very fast moving- Sloppy early- lots of turnovers and bad shots.
• The Flight has a lot of good shooters- but their guards are out of control.
• The Cheetahs are a good defensive team and are great in transition- team is athletic. They showed a full court press in the 1st half that gave the Flight a lot of problems.
• The Cheetahs are deep- 12 players played in the first half and practically all 12 contributed.
• The Cheetahs had an 18 point lead- but The Flight have clawed their way back after some quick shots and technical fouls from the Cheetahs end and the Flights ability to hit the 3.
• The Cheetahs are really struggling to defend the 3 in the 3rd quarter.
• Some of the Cheetahs best players are pulling disappearing acts when they are needed.
• The Cheetahs are starting to figure out the Flights zone in the 4th quarter.
• The Cheetahs are keeping the Flight in the game because of turnovers and trying to do too much on the offensive end-not enough help defense on the defensive end.
• The Flight are doing a much better job in the second half of clogging the lane and taking away easy looks for the Cheetahs.
• Norm Carter made some big plays at the end to lead the Cheetahs to the win.

Scouting Reports

Carolina Cheetahs

Damien Goodman (6’6”, SF, UNC-Pembroke)
3 TP, 1 assist, 3 rebounds
Smart player- knows how to play the game. Boxes out. Good defender- goes ball side on off ball screens. Draws fouls and gets to the line. Versatile- scorer, defender, and good passer. Played last season in Switzerland for the Boncurt Red. Has experience playing in Uruguay and has played in the ABA for the Georgia Grizzlies in the past.

Terrance Jones (6’7”, F, Livingstone College)
4 TP, 3 rebounds
Big man who knows how to throw his weight around. Has the ability to put the ball on the floor and get to rim. Needs to keep head in game- has lapses where he loses concentration and falls asleep. Skilled player who can score and rebound.
This will be the Jones 4th year playing in the ABA, has also played in the WBA.

Landon Quick (6’1”, PG, High Point University)
11 TP, 2 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals
Dictates the pace of the game-poised and in control. Quick hands. Good body control in air. Smart passer- throws good wrap around entry passes to post. Can break man down off dribble and get to rim where he can distribute or score. Knows when to attack basket in transition and knows when to pull the ball out and set up the offense. Advances the ball with the pass instead of the dribble.
Played last 2 seasons in Iceland

Chris Woods (6’6”, F, Pfeiffer University)
29 TP, 12 rebounds
Came in off the bench and made an immediate impact- scored in a variety of ways- finished at rim, good midrange set shooter. Led the break and scored with the foul. Loves to operate at mid post area- showed a variety of offensive post moves- nice hook shot with either hand. Very strong- gets to block- and holds his position. Can face up defender and go to work- has a good reverse pivot that clears out space- good FT shooter. Go to player offensively. Big time athlete- had a put back dunk in 1st half. Loves to go right and attack basket. Did a good job of leading the break- had a couple of passes that lead to layups. Good weak side rebounder on the defensive end. Made a huge 3 with 1:30 left in game to put Cheetahs up by 5- showing his shooting ability- shot looked a little flat and not much rotation- better player 15’ and in. Had 21 points at half time. Has previous professional experience in Germany. Player of the year at Pfeiffer.

Dupree Hall (6’8”, F, East Mississippi JC)
4 TP, 4 rebounds
High flyer- plays with a lot of energy. Active player- solid all around athlete. Runs the floor hard. Solid rebounder. Raw offensively- looks to be to much in a hurry when he gets ball in post. Needs to improve ability to finish through contact. Got caught out of possession on the defensive end several times.

Jeremy Clayton (6’8”, F, Appalachian State)
12 TP, 10 rebounds, 1 block
Played collegiately at Appalachian State. Athletic and mobile for size. Runs the floor. Solid defender and rebounder. Has professional experience in both Finland and Argentina.

By Marcus Shockley

Executive Director of the NBA Players’ Association Billy Hunter (C) speaks during a news conference in New York November 8, 2011. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid (UNITED STATES – Tags: BUSINESS SPORT BASKETBALL)

      

With the news breaking early Friday morning that the NBA lockout had essentially come to an end, several of the key aspects that the two sides had been battling over definitely seemed to have gotten resolved. However, one of the outstanding issues is the ‘one-and-done’ rule, which expired under the old CBA. Simply put, the rule was put in place to prevent players from jumping directly from high school right to the pros, stating that players must be at least 19 years old and one year removed from high school.

The NBA would like to see this rule expanded so that player would have to be two years removed from high school and at least 20 years of age. Many current players are opposed to this, but it’s difficult to say whether it will be enough of a sticking point to prevent the proposed deal being ratified. Where fans fall on this issue often depends on where their basketball allegiances lie; fans of NBA teams often come to the conclusion any player who can get drafted when he’s of legal working age should be able to do so. Fans of top college basketball programs, such as Kentucky, Duke, UNC and Kansas, have seen their top players leave after only one or two seasons in college, eroding their rosters, and they tend to feel ripped off by the business aspects of professional basketball. It doesn’t help when players who opt to leave early have lackluster pro careers, leaving many college fans to believe that some players leave too early for the big paychecks in the NBA.

It’s not a cut-and-dry issue, but let’s take a moment to unpack both the philosophical and business factors that weigh into this item.

First, there’s the aspect of being employable in the United States for young players. Major sports leagues have long had the ability to set an age limit for players who are drafted into their ranks, and even prior to the 2005 one-and-done rule being put in place, players still had to be at least 18 years old in order to be drafted. This also has some judicial backing, as Maurice Clarett found in his attempts to use the court system to force the NFL to allow him to be drafted. So, as it stands today, the NBA has a legal right to set its age limit as it sees is appropriate. The opposition to this comes from existing players, who actually don’t stand to benefit, and agents, who do stand to benefit. Existing players are actually helped by the age limit, as it allows veterans a better chance at staying in the league longer.

It’s also important to understand that the lifestyle of a professional athlete is a lot for adults to handle; despite the fact that they are, indeed, playing sport for large sums of money, it does not come without risks and potential for serious problems. Players are employees of teams, but unlike most employees, their salaries are widely publicized, as is their whereabouts and they are targets for many people who would like to get some of the perceived players’ wealth. The most famous of this is the groupies that follow professional sports teams, but there are many people who see the players as nothing more than millionaire marks, and many more who are simply willing to supply someone with means with anything for a price. Factor in that even players with four years of college are still exceptionally young adults and it’s no wonder so many professional athletes find themselves in trouble during their playing days and broke a few short years after their playing days are over.

This is not a cry for sympathy for professional athletes, merely pointing out that most adult players cannot handle money or the lifestyle for long, as is evidenced by the fact that 70% of NBA players are broke within 5 years of leaving the game, so including 16, 17 or 18 year olds in that equation simply increases the problems.

Secondly, there’s the problem of scouting so many players. Last year in my conversation with Ryan Blake, the NBA Director of Scouting, we talked about the realities of scouting high schoolers as well as college players for the pros and he was quite clear that the number of players that the league already has to scout is daunting, including college, D-League and overseas, and there are simply too many players to look at when you include the thousands of high school players every year. This is one of the primary problems the NBA wants to address, in that during the years where the NBA allowed high schoolers to enter the draft, the quality of league play declined dramatically, and ratings slumped.

The harsh reality is that even when high school players are eliminated from the mix, many teams don’t scout well and don’t draft well. But it’s more likely that they will get players who can play at the NBA level when they are only looking at players who are at least college-tested. David Stern knows that just because some of the NBA teams can’t figure out when not to draft a high school player, it should not bring down the quality and revenue of the entire league. The only way to prevent teams from making stupid mistakes on draft day is to not allow them too much leeway.

This is where it really starts to get into business strategy. A few years ago, the NBA was considered in real trouble in the sports marketing circles. ESPN radio talk show host Colin Cowherd stated that for a period of time he stopped discussing the NBA on his daily show simply because none of his listeners were engaged, and this was reflected across the sports media landscape. The NBA’s ratings, even for the Finals, were abysmal. Many players were drafted only to sit on the bench for a few years until their contracts expired. In order for the NBA to figure out how to fix their marketing problems, they went back to the one thing that had always worked for them in the past.

The NBA learned its current marketing strategy in the Jordan Era. Before Michael Jordan, the NBA marketed itself just as the NFL and college basketball do today; based around the teams. For example, fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers don’t stop rooting for the team when players leave; When Brett Favre was no longer a Green Bay Packer, not one Packer fan stopped rooting for the team in order to root for Favre’s new team.

But in the 80’s, a young star on a bad team showed the NBA how a player could generate revenue even when his team was atrocious. When Jordan first entered the NBA, some fans lamented the fact that Jordan would never contend for a title because the Bulls were so bad around him. Yet, he still sold tickets and sold product, ushering in the era of dazzling salary deals that we see today. Of course, Jordan did eventually get that team around him who could win a title or two (or six), but the NBA learned how to market individual players over team, and the modern era of NBA business was born. Now the NBA doesn’t market ‘Miami Heat versus the L.A. Lakers’, it’s ‘Lebron vs. Kobe’. While it merits some debate as to whether this is the best marketing strategy, since the NFL’s methods have steadily grown their revenue base to a size that dwarfs the NBA, as it stands today, that’s what works for pro basketball in the United States.

But that doesn’t work when the players entering the league are too raw to play and none of the fans have heard of them. The NBA still needs players who can make an impact in the NBA and who, ideally, have name recognition before they even enter the league. So for the NBA, the one-and-done rule has been an unmitigated success. John Wall was a star high school athlete, but he wasn’t the marketable household name he became until he had a stellar year at the University of Kentucky. John Wall went from one of the top players in the country in high school to a player that arrived on the NBA doorstep with a fan base, marketable personality and signature dance all ready for the NBA to put their own spin on. Add to this that John Wall had already played on a big stage against big time competition, making it that much more likely the NBA would be able to market around him. Would John Wall have been the number one pick in the NBA draft if he’d come straight out of high school? Possibly not. There were several big men in that same class who were considered more ‘ready’ NBA prospects, and guards already have the deck stacked against them. The NBA loves the idea that players can be filtered out through the crucible of the NCAA, which is more of an indicator of success than the D-League.

So while the one-and-done rule has allowed NBA teams to improve the quality of the product on the floor and get ratings headed back in the right direction, it stands to reason that getting players even more seasoned would eliminate the players who pit-stop in college but barely show what they are able to do before making the leap. Possibly the poster child for this is Brandan Wright, who exploded in his one year at the University of North Carolina before being drafted as the 8th overall pick in the 2007 draft. Wright looked like a future All-Star, thin but explosive and quick. Wright’s term at UNC was so short, that some Tar Heel fans said it was ‘hard to even remember he played here’, and Wright’s pro career quickly went south, as his slender frame suffered two major injuries that limited his playing time to almost nothing.

So getting players to put in at least a couple years somewhere (note that technically, this doesn’t have to mean college basketball) before the NBA gives them a look can only help filter out the players who won’t work at the pro level. No player is a guaranteed success, but if a player can perform for two solid years at a high major level in college, there’s a much better chance he’ll succeed in the NBA, and that means better basketball and more known players.

By James Blackburn

Paul Crosby basketball
Photo Credit: ESPN

Game Scouted: Miss. Valley vs. UNC

Stats
3-13 FG, 6 TP, 3 reb, 1 blk, 1 st
Box score

Strengths
Big body. strong, knows how to use body and throw weight around. Plays hard and hustles. Solid rebounder, who uses body to shield and box out opponent. Good footwork, especially in mid post area, where he loves to operate – loves to catch ball at 15’ range- reverse pivot and play- can jab step and shoot or he can use his versatility and go around defender. Very agile and mobile for size (close to 250 lbs). Good shooter, despite low shooting percentage this game. Has the ability to shoot the 3 and to create own shot. Even displayed a couple of step back 3’s, which are not in every PF’s arsenal at this level. Good form, rotation, and arc on shot- very soft touch. Good pick and pop guy. Good passer for big man. Above average defender with quick hands for a man of his size. Contests shots- had a nice block on Tyler Zeller in first few minutes of the game. Better on ball defender post defender than anything else. Big body that clogs up lane/space on defense.

Weaknesses
Foul prone – fouled out this game with several minutes remaining (Is averaging 4 fouls a game through the first 4 games this season- to his credit he had several calls against him that were questionable). Tries to do too much at times-tries to make passes/plays that are not there-TO prone- needs to improve shot selection. Plays under the rim- not very athletic. Got beat down the floor on more than one occasion by either Zeller or Henson. Needs to improve back to basket game- missed some easy shots- looked to be in a hurry in low post- did fine in mid post. Once he slowed down, he was OK.

Overview
Ranked #1 PF coming out of HS in Michigan, where he averaged 18ppg, 10 rpg, and 3 bpg at Holt HS. Originally signed to play at Toledo, but didn’t academically qualify. Went to Navarro JC- then had a brief stop at Binghamton, before landing at Miss. Valley.

Paul is a work horse at both ends of the floor- is very effective in high post area and is skilled enough to score on just about anyone from the 15-18’ area of the floor. I think the Tar Heels length with Zeller and Henson bothered Crosby a little- but he was able to play good defense by using strength to keep them from easy scores. More of a high post/perimeter player offensively and a low post/interior defender. Tweener b/c of size- Good enough rebounder and strong enough to play a 5- but because of height and length- not able to play 5 at next level. Has the ability to shoot the ball and spread the court as a 4, but is not athletic enough and too slow laterally to play and guard a 4. He is currently averaging 8 ppg and 4 rpg this season, but averaged 12 ppg and 7 rpg last season. He is a better player than his numbers show. Look for him to turn things on and improve his stats as the season progresses.

Has another year to improve game*. Not an NBA hopeful or even D-League for that matte r- but will definitely be earning a paycheck through basketball. His size and his ability to shoot the basketball will make him very appealing to European teams. A player to watch as he finishes his college career and then takes his talents across the water.

* Crosby is listed as a Senior on the Mississippi Valley roster, but may be a Junior. We are following up to clarify.

By Marcus Shockley

Members of the NBA players association look on as Executive Director of the National Basketball Players Association Billy Hunter (C) speaks during a news conference announcing the players rejection of the league’s latest offer on Monday and the process to begin disbanding the union in New York November 14, 2011. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT)

     

THE NBA LOCKOUT IS OVER.

The reports coming out late last night and early this morning are that the NBA owners and players have reached a tentative agreement. This means that while both sides have agreed in principle, the lawyers still have to iron out the details.

That’s expected to happen by December 9, which means training camp and free agency will begin on that day as long as everything goes smoothly. It also means a mad scramble for the players to get ready for a truncated season. It also means that most likely there will not be any exhibition games, but that the season will begin on Christmas, December 25.

The date was an important one for the NBA in that the Christmas games are the most watched for the NBA with the exception of the NBA Finals, and it would have meant a massive revenue loss for both sides. The current plan is to have a 66 game season.

Love basketball? Check out BasketballSportsNews.com, which lists all of the latest basketball headlines from around the world, updated to the minute.

By Marcus Shockley

Lamar Odom
Photo: ESPN
With the NBA still in lockouts and talks scheduled to resume today, there is growing interest in what’s been happening overseas. With Deron Williams finding success with Besiktas and J.R. Smith getting into a spat with his Chinese team, the stories that might normally be surfacing during the NBA season seem to be pouring in from across the water.
The latest is that Besiktas has also reached an agreement with Los Angeles Lakers forward Lamar Odom, which means he and Williams would suddenly be teamed up as early as next week. This also means that fans here in the United States might suddenly have a lot more interest, just to see how effective Williams and Odom are together.

It’s not clear if the Euroleague teams are hoping to gain market share into the United States or simply increase their local interest as high as possible during the lockout, but Besiktas is now presented with a potential game-changing opportunity. If they were able to also sign a big name, such as Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard or another player to play alongside Deron Williams and Lamar Odom, suddenly the interest (and ESPN coverage) would go through the roof. It wouldn’t simply be an experiment for a couple of NBA players, but a team that could rival several NBA franchises.

It should be noted that this won’t be easy; Kobe Bryant, Kevin Love and Brook Lopez all turned down offers from Besiktas thus far.

Staff Reports

There’s been a ton of stories coming out of the European and Asian leagues with NBA players having problems translating their games to their new league. But one player who is proving he can play anywhere is Deron Williams, who is blowing up just as he did when he landed in the NBA. Here’s highlights of his 50 point performance a few days ago:

Williams’ 50 against Göttingen came in much the way he’s been so effective in the NBA: using his change of speed effectively, crossover and a deadly pull up jumper that he can hit from anywhere, spotting up, on the move, or falling away.

By Justin Byerly


Photo Credit: 5in60.com

Allerik Freeman 6’4 210 Jr. Olympic HS Charlotte (NC)- Over 20 offers already, recently told me that UCLA has offered. Others include Arizona, Texas, Georgetown, NC State, Florida, Syracuse and Kansas. Freeman is the top ranked 2013 player in the state.

Kennedy Meeks 6’8 255 Jr. West Charlotte HS (NC)- Has offers from Florida, Georgia Tech, Maryland, NC State, Georgia, and Tennessee to name a few. Ranked by many as a top 20 player nationally.

Trey Mitchell 6’4 190 Jr. Olympic HS Charlotte (NC)- In a conversation with Trey yesterday he told me that Hampton, Memphis, East Carolina, and Appalachian are showing him the most interest.

Sindarius Thornwell 6’4 180 Jr. Lancaster HS (SC)- Comfirmed he has over 16 offers by phone today, the 2nd. Those include South Carolina, Tennessee, Clemson and Oregon State. Ranked by ESPN as the #1 recruit in the class of 2013 in South Carolina.

James Demery 6’4 170 So. The Oakfield School Greenville (NC)- High flying guard is getting interest from Kansas, Virginia Tech, NC State, South Carolina and East Carolina University. He is ranked by ESPN as the 12th best guard in 2014.

Christian Hairston 6’7 180 Jr. Greensboro Day (NC)- Confirmed to me via text message that Oklahoma State University has already offered and he is recieving high interest from Appalchain State. Should be a very talented Greensboro Day School this season.

Jalen White 6’1 175 Jr. Kennedy Charter HS Charlotte (NC)-Recieving interest from Appalachian State, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, The Citadel, Mercer University, College of Charleston and University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Will be taking a visit to Radford soon, he confirmed in a text earlier this week.

Julian Reed 5’11 155 So. Cleveland HS (NC)- Gaining interest from Elon and Radford he confirmed via text message. Julian averaged nearly 22 points a game last year as a freshman.

Timothy Bates 5’11 170 Jr. North Rowan HS (NC)- Showing interest from University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Winthrop University. Led North Rowan to the NCHSAA 1-A title last year.

Oshon West 6’2 178 Jr. North Rowan HS (NC)- Getting high interest from Wichita St and University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Averaged around 13 points a game last season.

Darren Black 5’10 155 Jr. Concord Senior HS (NC)- Darren comfirmed by text message early this week that Wake Forest University and the University of South Carolina are recruiting him the hardest right now. University of North Carolina at Charlotte is also involved.

Quinton Ray 6’0 165 Jr. Middle Creek HS (NC)- After a phone conversation with Quinton, he told me that Mercer University, Gardner-Webb University and North Carolina- Central are recruiting him the hardest right now. Also getting interest from Texas Pan-Am and Radford University.

Love basketball? Check out BasketballSportsNews.com, which lists all of the latest basketball headlines from around the world, updated to the minute.

Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant arrives for a news conference announcing the players rejection of the league’s latest offer on Monday and the process to begin disbandand the union in New York November 14, 2011. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

        

By Marcus Shockley

Julius Erving, a.k.a. “Dr. J” to those of us who remember his silky moves and ability to defy gravity on the way to the hoop, has managed to secure a nice bonus on some of his memorabilia, netting $3.5 million at a recent auction:

Southern California-based SCP Auctions reports more than 140 items from Julius Erving’s personal collection sold for a record $3.5 million. The auction ran from October until Sunday.
Among the highlights: His 1974 New Jersey Nets ABA championship ring sold for $460,471; 1983 Philadelphia 76ers championship rings sold for $244,240; 1983 All-Star game MVP trophy ($115,242); final game-worn jersey from May 3, 1987 ($88,826); and 1974-75 ABA MVP trophy ($173,10)

Meanwhile, as allegations of child abuse surfaced at Syracuse, the fallout has already begun. Isaiah Whitehead (SG, 6’2″, 2014) has dropped Syracuse from his recruiting list, and it isn’t coincidence, as his mother cited the recent stories as the reason for eliminating the Orange:

[...]in light of the investigation of Syracuse men’s basketball assistant coach Bernie Fine, the nationally ranked sophomore won’t be attending the school, his mother, Ericka Rambert, said. Fine has been accused of allegedly molesting two former ball boys, allegations that Fine and longtime Orange coach Jim Boeheim vehemently deny.

Some say that the offense run by D-III Grinell is designed to score as many points as possible while barely playing a whiff of defense, but even the 5-man substitution pattern makes it hard to account for Grinnell’s Griffin Lentsch, who scored 89 points in a win over Principia, breaking the D-III single game record:

Lentsch shot 27-for-55 from the floor, including 15-for-33 from 3-point range. He was 20-for-22 from the foul line. He played 36 minutes.

You might think launching 55 shots, including a whopping 33 from behind the three-point arc, makes Lentsch a ballhog. All I can think of is five guys on Principia in the huddle who are all thinking ‘whose man is that, anyway?’.

Unsurprisingly, the NBA players rejected the owner’s latest offer, leaving the NBA season in more doubt than ever.

Well, not to me. I predicted this over a year ago, but, ahem.

This has also led to a rash of new activity with foreign teams, as NBA players suddenly are trying to grab up the few remaining roster spots. The common misconception is that NBA players can simply get a contract with a team overseas, and normally it would be pretty easy if it wasn’t for the fact that they are competing with 400 other NBA players at the same time. The hard truth is that only a select few NBA players will get offers, such as Tyson Chandler, who was just offered by Zhejiang Guangsha in China.

Even more of a reality is that there are three things that have been apparent for some time:

Tyson Chandler

Photo Credit: Keith Allison

* The NBA players are not going to be able to continue to keep the business model they’ve grown accustomed to in place;

* The NBA player representation is not up to par;

* The NBA owners, this time around, are not the same addle-headed group that agreed to the last contract.

Younger fans may not be aware of this, but for many years, losing money while owning an NBA team was considered how business was done. Inexplicably for owners in other sports, teams in the NBA could be bought, lose money for several years, and then sold at a profit to the next billionaire.

Those days are over.

Back in November of 2010, I cited the fact that the last straw for the owners was the Summer of Lebron, and how it really riled the already angry ownership. It’s interesting how many people want to compare Lebron to Jordan (Lebron being merely the latest, actually), but Jordan has one major accomplishment in his career that gets overlooked by most. Before Jordan, players made really great money. After Jordan, players made gargantuan money.

Micheal Jordan revolutionized sports, not just basketball, in that everything we see in place today – the massive contract of A-Rod, the major endorsement deals of college players as soon as they get drafted – all started with Jordan.

After Jordan, players made significantly more. After Lebron, players (at least NBA players) will make significantly less. An interesting juxtaposition, although I doubt you’ll see it on SportsCenter.

Finally, several recruiting outlets are reporting that Anrio Adams (PG/SG, 6’3″, 2012) has qualified and has committed to Kansas, joining this year’s Jayhawk recruiting class.

Staff Reports

We’ve scouted William Walker a couple of times in the recent past (see the reports here and here), and we wanted to show more of the cerebral point guard who has an easy knack for scoring. We expect Williams to slowly become more known as people begin to realize how effective he can be on the court.

William Walker basketball Garner Road William Walker (PG, 5’11”, 2014)