Chad and Augusta Basketball have started up a show called Today’s Topic, which seeks to discuss various aspects of basketball and the sports world, particularly related to high schools, college and prep. In today’s show, the discussion is about exceptional student athletes, those players who give true meaning to the term ‘Student Athlete’.

Ja'Quan Newton
Photo: MaxPreps

By Daniel Benjamin

Here’s a list of some of the top prospects in Pennsylvania, for the Class of 2014.

Ja’Quan Newton (Neumann-Goretti HS, Philadelphia): The six-foot-two, 180-pound guard is an all-around player as he can score, shoot, handle the ball and make plays. Newton has a knack of getting to the rim and is a good finisher. He is more of a slashing scoring guard but also has the ability to play the point due to above average decision-making.

Newton has offers from Georgetown, Miami, Rutgers, St. Joseph’s, Syracuse, Temple and Villanova. He has also garnered interest from La Salle, Pittsburgh, Temple and Villanova.

Shep Garner (Roman Catholic HS, Philadelphia): The 6-2, 180-pound shooting guard can also play the point. Garner has a good feel for the game and possesses sound leadership skills. He gets into the lane with ease and will kick the ball out to the open man.

Garner has received offers from Arizona, Florida, La Salle, Maryland, Penn St., Rutgers, Temple and Texas. He has also drawn interest from Kansas, North Carolina, Villanova and Xavier.

Conrad Chambers (Chester High School, Chester): The 5-10, 160-pound point guard is silky smooth and has the ability to break down defenders in the open and half court. Chambers can consistently knock down perimeter shots and quickly change directions with the ball. Defensively, he moves his feet well and knows how to guard his position.

Chambers has received offers from Drexel, Iowa St., Providence, Rutgers, Seton Hall and Temple. He has also drawn interest from Connecticut, Miami (FL) and St. John’s.

Troy Harper (Neumann-Gorretti HS, Philadelphia): The 6-1, 165-pound point guard is crafty point guard with swagger. Harper is athletic and possesses a good feel for the game.

Harper has an offer from Niagara.

Isaiah Washington (Williamsport HS, Williamsport): The 6-3, 175-pound shooting guard is a wiry leaper and possesses a dangerous perimeter shooting stroke. Washington is quick off the dribble and likes penetrate in to the lane. He is also a good distributor and has a decent mid-range game.

Washington committed to Penn St. on April 1, 2012. He also had offers from George Mason, James Madison and Saint Joseph’s.

Muhammad Ali Abdur Rahkman (Allentown): The 6-4 combo guard left Allentown Central Catholic following his sophomore year with his destination unknown. Abdur-Rahkman possesses good size and has the ability to defend multiple positions. He can get to the rim, as well as drive and kick.

Abdur-Rahkman has offers from Delaware and Houston. He has also gotten interest from SMU,Temple, Xavier and Wisconsin.

Jeanlee Baez (Allentown Central Catholic HS, Allentown): The six-foot-six, 210-pound forward is a skilled high- post player with some hops. Baez attacks the rim aggressively and is an excellent passer from the high post. He is automatic from 15-feet and in.

Baez has drawn interest from St. Francis (NY), St. Francis (PA), St. Peter’s and UMBC.


Hey! Have you watched The Hoops Show yet? Keep up with all of the latest news with the #1 online show for AAU and high school basketball!

On this week’s episode of The Hoops Show, Corey Pegram breaks down Jabari Parker vs. Julius Randle, Aquille Carr news, J.D. Lewis Fall League clips and how to work the pick and roll correctly!

Dude Perfect has made a name for themselves – from YouTube to ESPN – for being the trick shot masters. Today they hit up Team USA to find out if they have some world class trick shots of their own.

JD Lewis Fall League 2012

Some notes from opening day for Session 1 of the J.D. Lewis Fall league. We will continue to scout the league, and just as we did last year, track the players in the league throughout the high school year.

Julius Barnes (2015, 5’8”, G, Garner Senior HS)

Leader of his team. Communicates and competes. Hit game winners in both games played today . Solid athlete who is at his best in transition- quick first step. Above average form on shot- high release. Changes speeds well. Size hurts him. Keeps his eyes up scanning the floor. Pure PG who can also put up big scoring numbers. Can create his own shot and shots for others. Highlight reel with the ball.

Sunny Piplani (SF/PF, 6’7″, 2016) Leesville Road HS

Long and has good hands and a great looking jump shot. Needs to add strength so he can bang in the post and use his size and agility to beat players on the blocks. Definitely has the potential to be a serious prospect depending on how much he works. Currently best suited to play the PF spot because of his ability to shoot from outside. Active and aggressively looks for his shot. Definitely a college prospect who will determine his own fate by how much work he puts in.

Zach Bruns (2013, 6’1”, SG, Havelock HS)

Lefty with a deadly set shot. Form is textbook. Knockdown shooter from 3 point line. Above average ball handler. Besides his shooting, most of the rest of his game is average. Smart. Needs to improve right hand. Plays hard on both ends.

Harvey Griffin (SF/PF, 6’5″, 2014)

Griffin is a brawny athlete – currently a ‘tweener’ who plays the PF but is working toward being a SF, he is a very good shot blocker and physical player. Does not back down from bigger players and can play a physical game but is agile and has a good touch. College prospect already because of his overall athleticism, strength and agility. Has some good upside.

Greyson Kelly (2015, 6’1”, F, Leesville Road HS)

Greyson has one of the highest motors I have ever seen. He never stops working. Very good rebounder on both ends of the floor. Had a double-double in game 1 with 17 and 10. Strong upper body. Runs the floor hard. Gets the bulk of his points from put backs and running the floor for easy lay-ups. Can hit the jump shot when left open- knocked down a few 3’s in game 2. Attacks the rim. Good defender with never ending energy. High endurance- can run for days. Fearless/relentless. Right now he plays the F position and is undersized- he must get quicker and improve ball handling. Could develop into a LM player. Plays AAU for Fab 5.

Daron Gipson (2013, 5’10”, PG, Neuse Christian Academy)

Solid all-around player. Can score almost at will, passes the ball well, solid ball handler, poised (doesn’t get rattled), team leader, good defender. A winner. You can tell he knows how to play the game. Does well in P/R situations. Can score in a variety of ways- floaters, lay-ups, and jump shots. Nice change of pace/speed dribble. Floor general. Patient. Takes care of the ball. Size hurts him to a degree. Extension of coach on the floor. Stronger then he looks. Doesn’t drop dribble- uses his dribbles wisely. High IQ. Does things with a purpose. Keeps his eyes up and sees the floor- good playmaker/passer- knows how to enter ball to post. Good body control. Has a chance at LM – size hurts him.

Pervis Louder (2014, 6’2”, G, Raleigh Enloe)

Versatile. Athletic. Explosive. Those are the 3 words to describe Pervis’s game. Terrific slasher. Played some PG in game 2 today- but is more comfortable at the 2 guard slot. Defends and plays hard. Unselfish. Athletic. High elevation on jump shot- needs to continue to work on consistency. Good build. College prospect.

William Walker (2014, 5’11”, G, Southeast Raleigh HS)

Excellent overall athlete who has underrated leaping ability. At his best in an up and down game. Plays bigger then 5’11”. Good body control. Fast with the ball in his hand. Tries to do to much with the ball at times and turns it over. Wants the ball in his hands and wants to make plays. Played much better in game 2 then game 1. Needs to play hard at both ends at all times- which I have seen him do. When he does this he looks like a LM prospect. Can hit the 3 as well as finish at the rim. Needs to improve left hand. After a bad 1st half in game 1, he came out and put up 20 points in the second half. Can finish with contact. Scoring guard who has potential to play at the D1 level.

Jalen Gaddy (SG, 6’3′, 2015) Neuse Christian Academy

Gaddy has made real strides in his overall athleticism – has a high motor and aggressively looks to score. Needs to continue to work on consistency and combo-guard skills, but his first step is solid and he’s raised his explosiveness considerably.

Grayson Owens (PG – height not recorded)

Undersized PG who has a deft handle and understanding of the game. Needs to continue to add strength and work on being able to finish, but good poise and control with the ball.

Nick Johnson (SF/PF, 6’5″, 2014)

Forward with a solid build and an ability to bang and play above the rim. Still working on overall post game and perimeter defense, but a nice athlete with some good upside. Definitely a college prospect and one to track.

Justin Reid (2015, 6’2”, G, Cardinal Gibbons HS)

High motor player who attacks the rim relentlessly. Draws fouls at high rate- shot over 10 FT’s in the first half of game 1 alone. Shoots over 70% from line. Vocal on the court. Not afraid to put up shots. Needs to improve ball handling- has a lot of work to do in this area. Must improve hands and rebounding as well. Shot looks OK- but needs to improve. Quick first step. Hustles and runs the floor hard. Can use either hand to finish at the basket. Still young but is a player D3 and D2 schools should monitor.

Roger Ray (PG, 5’10”, 2015) Upper Room Christian Academy

Solid point guard with a great build, elite handle and quicks. Flashy player who is all over the court – the kind of point guard who coaches want to have the ball. Finds open teammates, both in the half court and in full speed transition. Although he’s a pass-first ball-on-a-string type guard, he can score. Hit from outside and slashing in the one game he played today. Definitely a D1 prospect that colleges should be paying attention to. Will be one of the top PGs in his class in NC.

Austin Burnette (2015, 6’5”, SF, Cardinal Gibbons HS)

Has a very high upside. Has a great build- long- should be able to add a good amount of weight. Gym rat- has improved since the last time scouted. Needs to set harder ball screens. Highly skilled- soft touch. Can hit the midrange shot with consistency. Plays with low motor. Can handle the ball well for a player of his size/age. Disappears for stretches. Blocked a few shots today- but should of blocked a lot more with his size, length, and athleticism going against the smaller players he was going up against. Really needs to improve on defensive end. High IQ- knows the game. Has an offer from UNC-C already- LM-MM talent with a higher ceiling.

Taylor Layton (2016, 5’3”, G, Fuquay Varina HS)

Don’t let Taylor’s size fool you. This young ball player can go. Terrific on-ball defender with quick hands. Played the entire time in both games with zero rest/breaks. Can score in multiple ways. Shifty and quick. Playmaker- gets to the rim and creates for others. Flashy/highlight reel ball handler and passer. High motor. Has a quick release on jump shot- flicks the ball. Has a nice floater and quick first step. Threw several right on the money to teammates who were cutting backdoor. Over dribbles the ball. Should get rid of the ball a lot sooner then he does. Over penetrates and his size hurts him in this area- goes down in the trees and gets in trouble- but he is still young. Glances down at ball and doesn’t keep eyes entire time when dribbling. Very small- but he dominated in game 1 today despite size.

Jeremy Adams PF/C – height not recorded

Has a good mid range and release out to about 12′. An undersized post player at this point, but with continued work, he has some potential. Definitely a consistent finisher around the basket already.

Nick Forbes (PG/SG – height not recorded)

Has good size and is effective playing with or without the ball. Active player who looks to make himself a factor on both ends of the floor. Plays with his head up at all times.

Aquille Carr mugshot The Baltimore Sun reported on Saturday that Aquille Carr, has been arrested the night before and charged with assault:

Carr, 18, a 5-foot-6 point guard who was The Baltimore Sun’s two-time All-Metro Player of the Year, is accused of throwing his former girlfriend to the ground outside a Southeast Baltimore trade school and kicking and punching her, records show.

Carr is a dynamic point guard, considered to be one of the top recruits in the nation. While Carr has not been charged with any crime yet, he has started to show a pattern of behavior that might cause Seton Hall to consider revoking his scholarship, including attendance issues at his high school.

In this episode, we’re talking about why Rodney Purvis and Shabazz Muhammad aren’t playing with their college teams yet, as well as analysis of Tyus Jones and P.J. Dozier, plus a look ahead to the Phenom 150.

Gio Woods 2012

By James Blackburn

Basketball Elite prides itself in following and scouting all levels of basketball, not just HS or college basketball. We have been fortunate enough to be able to scout overseas combine events, NBA games, and NBA Summer Leagues in the past.

Giovonne (Gio) Woods was a player that James Blackburn first scouted 3 years ago in Raleigh, NC at the Overseas
Basketball Camp ( Gio was fresh out of college after a terrific career at Central Washington University and was looking to pave a way for himself playing professionally overseas. After playing a year in Spain, the 6’3” guard was back in the gym working out and ready for his next opportunity where ever that may be.
Gio attended the Overseas Basketball Camp again this July, which was held in Las Vegas and then went to the Courtside Camp in Vegas later the same week. He performed well at both events, which have yielded results. He signed with the Courtside agency and just landed a job in Austria, playing for the ECE Kapfenberg Bulls basketball club. ECE competes in the top division in Austria which is called the Austria-A Bundesliga.

“I look forward to meeting my new team in a different country”, says Woods. “It’s a new start and a blessing after being off for a year. I am looking forward to getting out there and competing and helping my team. I appreciate Basketball Elite keeping up with me and following me”.

We enjoy watching and following the careers of players and Gio has been one of our favorites. Seeing him go from college to playing professionally and now playing again after being off for a year is a testament to his dedication to the game and work ethic. We wish him well and will continue to track and document his career as it unfolds.