Archive for March, 2013

Can’t say we’re not excited for the guys – we’ve been scouting them for years and they’ve put in the work!

At showcase events, it’s not easy to make a full assessment of a player. The Phenom 150, organized by Rick Lewis of the Phenom Hoop Report, is one of the best organized individual showcase events in the country. Here are some of our notes from the Spring event.

Most notable players

Ricky Council (SG, 6’4″, 2014). Dynamic guard who can make a lot of good things happen in transition, Council has great court awareness and uses spacing to create mismatches on the break. Can score from outside or in the paint, plays hard and full speed. Agile. Quick hands. Has offers from Gardner-Webb and Radford.

Curtis Jones (SG, 6’3″, 2016) Surprise player of the camp. Best freshman of the camp. Excellent athlete who tremendous bounce. Has a low release on shot. High ceiling as player. Attacks the basket well. Already has several D1 schools in VA interested. High motor, explosive. Elite speed end-to-end.

Luke Maye (PF, 6’7″, 2015) Maye suffered a bruised knee in the previous day’s Carolina Challenge and wasn’t able to go for long at this event. In his few minutes he showed exactly why people are keeping an eye on him; he can score from anywhere with his shot – not just a deep range but mid range as well; and he’s not shy about using it. Can’t really complain about a great shooting big man who likes to get buckets. Also very strong already.

Greg Williams (PG, 6’4″, 2016) Solid prospect w/ length. Plays under control and can handle the ball. Has great size for a point guard but looks like he could become a wing with more size. Already has athleticism needed to be a college prospect.

Gabe Devoe (PG, 6’4″, 2014) Great size and a dynamic, stong guard, Devoe continues to show why he’s a player with Division I offers and a rising profile. Aggressive in transition, he also is effective in the half court and looks to score or find the right teammate with the pass. Always looking to attack and is a solid athlete. Plays solid defense and takes it seriously. Can defend smaller guards and shut them down.

Other standouts

Ashton Brown (SG, 6’3″, 2014) Great body control, crafty and slick, he finds ways to get off clean shots or pass to others for a better look. Great looking deep shot.

Zach Bruns (CG, 6’1″, 2013) Bruns is a pure deep shooter who will get buckets from the perimeter; can pull up on the move, in transition, or in the half court and his shot is always bottom-of-the-net pure. Showed and ability to find breaking players with the deep look ahead pass. More scoring guard than point at this point, but active, aware and high basketball IQ.

Daryl Myers (PG, 5’8″, 2016) Myers is a highlight-reel ballhandler who plays with a flash that is uncommon; coached in this event by NC State point guard Tyler Lewis, who was a flashy point guard in his own right, Myers is crafty and is a wizard with no-look passes. His size is what colleges are no doubt paying attention to, but he’s a lot of fun to watch and has a swagger to his game that frankly reminds of Brandon Jennings.

Taylor Hatfield & Austin Hatfield (G, 6′, 2014) – We always try to scout the Hatfields independently, but the positives in their games are consistent with both guys; Fundamentally sound, they are more combo guards than pure points. Both are excellent deep shooters and passers. Austin tends to play more PG, while Taylor often plays from the SG or SF spot effectively. Both players looked like they have improved and are used to playing against high level competition; both have learned to score inside against bigger players with acrobatic finishes.

Zane Waterman (PF, 6’7″, 2014) Waterman is a player who has improved across the board over the past year – tracking higher across all scouting reports, he’s arrived as a solid post prospect with a great first step from the four and a bit of a nasty streak; in other words, he can beat big men off of the dribble and likes to dunk on you. Strong and bangs in the paint, he has a high motor and plays hard.

Tyler Creammer (C, 6’10”, 2015) Creammer is a testament to how fast a post player can rise with hard work. The first thing about Creammer’s game is that he works hard on the court, every play, from the first tip to the final buzzer. Considering that Creammer had played six games in two days, including three at the Dave Telep Carolina Challenge, the fact that he never slowed down shows how much he wants to compete. Creammer is a back-to-the-basket pure post player who fights in the paint and will be a force as he continues to add muscle and refine his offensive post moves.

Cory Hanes (SF, 6’5″, 2015) Hanes is a very strong small forward who plays above the rim and likes to get out and run in transition. He’s completed the transition from an undersized post player to a true wing and Division I colleges should definitely be looking at him.

Colton Bishop (PG, 6’2″, 2014) Forsyth Country Day (NC) Lock-down defender who is a smooth and crafty/ scorer. Being a scoring PG who is unselfish and makes the other players better by giving them open shots. Excellent 3-point shooter. Holds Division I offers and gym rat mentality has produced results.

Larry Curry III (PG, 6’3″, 2014) – strong PG with good speed and athleticism. Showed an improved ability to hit the 3 today as well.

Will Tibbs (SF, 6’5″, 2014) Has good length and has become a solid wing with a good looking deep shot. Great form and high release.

Austin Collins (G, 6’2″, 2014) Solid all around guard with good awareness and good vision, knows how to find teammates and also knows where he is supposed to be on the floor.

Hakeem Coney (PG, 6’2″, 2014) True point guard with solid physique- already has the build of a college guard. Directs the offense- throws excellent wrap around passes. Leader on the floor. Tough nosed defender. Solid scorer. Competes on both ends. Low release on his jumper and he tends to reach a little too much.

Benjamin Bennett (SF, 6’4″, 2015) Solid athlete who has a lot of the basic tools needed, still a little raw offensively. Has good elevation on jump shot and needs to work on overall consistency, but overall one to keep an eye on. Runs floor really well and looks to get involved.

Ibrahima Diallo (C, 6’10”, 2014) Much stronger showing from the big man this time around, finishing inside consistently and really showing his mobility. Legitimate big man that colleges should be checking out.

Jaron Withers (G, 6’3″, 2014) Attacks the basket hard every time. Very aggressive lefty who is a big time athlete.

Chris Freeman (SG, 6’3″ 2016) Fluid player who can shoot from deep, passes very well and makes an impact in a lot of ways. Has a good handle at the off guard spot and good size/length. High release on his jump shot and can hit the 3 consistently.

Nathan Williams Jr (PF/C, 6’8″, 2015) – Good length- solid offensive rebounder- needs to improve defensive rebounding. Shot needs to get better- no rotation. Has good second bounce and definitely a player who colleges should be monitoring.

JuWuan Wright (SF, 6’4″, 2015) Good length- stood out on several plays and showed good activity. Good athlete.

Final notepad

DeSean Murray (G, 6’3″, 2014) Solid athleticism

Stephen Misenheimer (SG/SF, 6’4″, 2016) A player w/ length who has a nice shooting stroke.

Jeffrey McIlwain (C, 6’8″, 2015) Strong shouldered big who should be able to continue to become a serious post presence. Good rebounder with good hands.

Brandon Gulley (C, 6’7″, 2015) Has good size and plays back-to-the-basket, decent hands and rebounding timing – needs to be more aggressive and polish post game.

Johnathon Pickler (PG, 5’10”, 2015) Can hit the deep shot, knows where to be on the floor, finds teammates consistently with wrap around passes. Release is consistent but low.

Tristan Reese (PG, 5’11”, 2016) Fluid, good change of speed, has grown two inches since last seen and runs the offense eyes-ahead.

James Chavis (SF, 6’5″, 2013) Very good offensive rebounder. High motor- always cleaning up plays.

James Scott (PF, 6’6″, 2014) Finishes well inside.

Kwinton Hinton (SG/SF, 6’5″, 2015 ) Good explosiveness – gets in on a lot of plays on both ends.

Vaughn Johnson (CG, 6′, 2015) Good scorer, deep shooter, can hit mid range.

Ashley Williams (SF, 2014, 6’5″) long player w/ solid athleticism.

Hunter Seacat (PF/C, 6’8″, 2015) Good hands, size, most effective in halfcourt at this time. Needs to increase explosiveness and be more aggressive finishing over other post players. Can get shot off against other bigs but still working on finishing.

Camryn Fort (SG/SF, 6’4″, 2014) Good athlete, can get above the rim, showed a lot of different things worth taking notice of.

RJ Hunt (G, 6′, 2015) Good looking deep shot, consistent, high release.

Douglas Elks (SG, 6′, 2017) Although a middle schooler, showed ability to get to the bucket and good slashing ability against high school players.

Unique fan-based basketball film by filmmaker Jason Rem available On Demand

HOLLYWOOD, CA (March 13, 2013) – The highly-anticipated Duke-University of North Carolina basketball rivalry documentary has been released and is available On Demand. The 94-minute “Duke-Carolina: The Blue Blood Rivalry” is a unique look at “the greatest rivalry in sports,” by filmmaker Jason Rem and REM Entertainment in partnership with Greatest Fan Films. Rem uses a unique story-telling device to bring this incredible rivalry and its compelling stories to the public.

Guaranteed to collide on the hardwoods at least twice a year, the Duke-UNC history is unmatched. This historic ‘Blue Blood Rivalry’ has featured Mike Krzyzewski, the coach with the most wins in NCAA Division I basketball history, and Dean Smith, the fourth-winningest coach, as well as players Michael Jordan and Grant Hill, 33 Final Four appearances and nine NCAA Championship teams between them. Los Angeles Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak, a UNC alum, said: “There are only two games that matter, the North Carolina game at Duke and the Duke game at North Carolina.”

Unlike other Duke-Carolina documentaries, this film focuses on the communities and people who are deeply faithful and divided by their allegiance to one school or the other. Rem, an award-winning filmmaker who produced, directed and wrote the film, created a unique fan-based perspective, ticking-clock style and game-day theme to make viewers feel as if they are in Durham or Chapel Hill the day of the big game. “It was a challenge to tell such a rich and complicated story in a fun and compelling way, but along with a team of amazing individuals in Chapel Hill, Durham and Los Angeles, we were able to bring this fantastic story to life.”

The film captures the essence of the game-day experience from the perspective of basketball fans, players and coaches from each university. Viewers will enjoy never before seen interviews with hall of fame coaches Krzyzewski and Roy Williams, as well as current and former Duke and Carolina greats Phil Ford, Jay Bilas, Eric Montross, Chris Duhon, Antawn Jamison, Seth Curry, P.J. Hairston and many more. The film features interviews with notable basketball announcers such as Dick Vitale, Dan Schulman, Tim Brando and Erin Andrews as well as famous alumni like comedian Lewis Black (UNC) and recording artist Mike Posner (Duke). In all, Rem said they conducted more than 100 interviews to tell their story.

“Hassan Pinto and Greatest Fan Films added great value to the project, taking care do the funding and many of the critical production needs,” Rem said. “We were also lucky to have Sports Emmy winning editor Erik McMichael and executive producer Meleata Pinto on board. Hassan asked me to do a shoot for Art Chansky’s Duke-Carolina, The Blue Blood Rivalry eBook Series and I was inspired to create the film after that. With Greatest Fan’s connections to community, universities and athletic departments, along with Gil Fitts’ Pivot Point Media and Chansky’s deep knowledge of the games and contacts in the local area, we were off and running.”
Rem, a San Diego State graduate, has no allegiance to either school but he understood the importance of balance. “We made sure both universities were served properly,” he said. “And we treated both schools in the highest regard.” Most of the interviews in the documentary were shot around the two UNC-Duke game days in 2012. But even though the structure of the documentary is built around those games, Rem said there’s a timelessness to the story because participants shared memories from their favorite Duke-UNC games going back to the 1960s. “We wanted to make the audience feel like they were there on game day for any rivalry game that has happened,” Distributed by Image Entertainment, Duke-Carolina is available on cable On Demand on Time Warner, Comcast, Cox, Metrocast, RCN, Clearleap and other providers and on iTunes.

ABOUT REM ENTERTAINMENT
REM Entertainment, is managed by veteran producer and director, Jason Rem. Rem is an independent documentary filmmaker who has also produced programming for ESPN, Fox Sports, Versus, Sony, Nike and more. All of Rem’s series for ESPN and Fox Sports have been nominated for Sports Emmys and he is an award-winning independent documentary producer, director and writer. Rem has produced programming at the biggest sporting events in the world including the Olympics, Masters, World Series, Kentucky Derby and five Super Bowls. His most recent films have ranged from a touching look at the difficulties of Rett Syndrome to the famous Duke and North Carolina Universities’ basketball rivalry.

PRESS CONTACT: Noah Gold, Brian Robin, Staci Brener, Brener Zwikel & Associates, 818-462-5604, 5610, 5606

NCAA Bracket Preview – West

Kelly Olynyk

Gonzaga-(31-2, 16-0 WCC) – As usual, Head Coach Mark Few has the Zags playing great basketball as they head into March Madness. But this time, Coach Few has guided the sharp shooting team into a coveted #1 seed. Led by junior forward Kelly Olynyk (Kamloops BC), who averages 17.5 PPG and over 7 RPG, Coach Few and the Zags seemed poised to reach their first ever Final Four.

Southern U-(23-9, 15-3 SWAC) – Southern is going to the NCAA for the eighth time overall, and first since 2006. Less than two years ago, Roman Banks took over a program that finished last in the SWAC, was in the process of reducing scholarships, and had a one year ban from post season play for faulty academic progress. Today, he has his program entering the NCAA Tournament in what has to be considered a miraculous turnaround

Pittsburgh-(24-8, 12-6 Big East)- The Panther offense has been very efficient for most of the 2012-13 season. They are among the top 30 in field goal percentage and rank 7th in the country with over 16 assist per game. The one Achilles heel that Pitt may suffer from in the dance is the lack of a “Go to” guy. The lack of a big scorer may limit their travel along the road to the final four. Only two Panthers average double figure scoring, and neither player has an average above 12 PPG.

Wichita St – (26-8, 12-6 MVC) – Coach Gregg Marshall is making his ninth NCAA trip, seven coming with his former program at Winthrop. The Shockers last NCAA win came back in 2006, when it defeated Seton Hall and Tennessee. This will make Wichita State’s 10th overall appearance in the dance, and first back to back appearance since 1987. Coach Marshall’s team graduated five starters from last season, making this trip even more of a special trip for the program.

Wisconsin-(23-11, 12-6 Big Ten) – The Badgers showed everyone late in the season that they could play with anyone in the country. In the last 10 regular season games for Coach Ryan and the Badgers, Wisconsin defeated 4 teams that were nationally ranked #13 or better. The battle tested Badgers will be a tough out as they go searching for the programs third final four appearance and second National Title.

Ole Miss- (26-8, 12-6 SEC)- Ole Miss earned its way into the Dance by winning the SEC Conference Tournament. They found themselves battling a very talented Florida Gator team for the automatic bid and pulled out a 66-63 hard fought victory. This will be just the 7th appearance for the Ole Miss program in the NCAA, which made the sweet 16 in 2001. Junior guard Marshall Henderson (Hurst, TX) is a threat to score every time he touches the ball averaging 20.1 PPG.

Kansas St.- (27-7, 14-4 Big 12)- Kansas State is making its 34th postseason appearance, which includes 27 in the NCAA Tournament and seven in the Postseason NIT. This year’s bid extends its consecutive NCAA appearances to 4, which ties the school record. Seniors Jordan Henriquez(Port Chester NY), Martavious Irving (Fort Lauderdale, FL) and Rodney McGruder (Wash, DC), are just the second senior class to reach four consecutive NCAA Tournaments. They will try to keep their surging offense rolling and reach Atlanta for what would be the school’s 5th final four appearance.

Arizona-(25-7, 12-6 Pac-12)- The Wildcats go into their 30th NCAA appearance and will set out for Atlanta and what would be the program’s 5th final four. The Wildcats will be led by senior guard Mark Lyons (Schenectady, NY) who is averaging close to 15 PPG. Lyons is a transfer from Xavier. Arizona would fall to UCLA in the PAC 10 Tournament by just 2 points, and coach Sean Miller would voice his displeasure after the game. Miller was fined $25,ooo for his actions by the NCAA.

Belmont-(26-6, 14-2 OVC)- Belmont comes into its third consecutive NCAA tournament, and the schools 6th overall NCAA appearance still searching for its first tournament win. A high scoring offense that includes the nation’s 4th best shooting percentage should help their chances. The Bruins are led by senior guard Ian Clark (Memphis, TN) who averages 18.1 PPG. The Bruins don’t mind shooting the three as they take 39% of their shots from behind the arc, making nearly 40% of those.

New Mexico-(29-5, 13-3 MWC)- After winning a tough Mountain West Conference Championship, New Mexico was rewarded with a 3 seed in the NCAA West bracket. Coach Steve Alford has the Lobos ready to make a deep run into this year’s dance with two outstanding junior guards in Tony Snell (Riverside, CA) and Kendall Williams (Rancho Cucamonga, CA). Last season Alford would lose a hard fought game to Indiana in the third round of the NCAA.

Harvard-(19-9, 11-3 Ivy)- For the second straight season, and third time in program history, The Harvard Crimson basketball program will be a part of the NCAA tournament. Harvard will be led by combo guard/forward Wesley Saunders (Los Angeles, CA). Saunders is averaging 16.5 PPG and almost 5 RPG. Harvard will face New Mexico for the first time in school history.

Peyton Siva

N Carolina A&T – (19-16, 8-8 MEAC) For the first time in 18 years, the Aggies of North Carolina A&T will be dancing in the NCAA Tournament. After earning the no. 7 seed in the MEAC tournament with an 8-8 conference record, the Aggies would defeat Morgan ST in the championship game 57-54. The MEAC tournament champions are led by Senior Forward Adrian Powell (Conover NC) who averages 12.5 PPG and 5 RPG. The Aggies have made the dance 9 times but will be playing for their first ever NCAA Tournament victory Tuesday night.

Liberty (15-20, 6-10 Big South) After opening regular season play with an 0-8 record, the Flames would finish the year out winning 7 out of their last 10 games. Getting hot at just the right time, the Flames would become only the second 20-loss team in NCAA history to earn a bid to the Big Dance(Coppin St 2008). The Flames are led by junior guard John Caleb Sanders(Sugar Land TX) who averages 14.4 PPG and 4 RPG.

Middle Tennessee State (28-5, 19-1 Sun Belt) During the past two seasons, Head Coach Kermit Davis has a combined record of 56-12, including a Sun Belt Conference record this season of 19-1. Considering the fact that Davis inherited a program that just completed its third losing season out of the previous four years, he is perhaps one of the country’s most underrated coaches. Davis won the Sun Belt’s Coach of the Year Award for the second straight season, and third of his career. His Blue Raiders are loaded with talented guards who can score in bunches, and none more potent than senior guard and Rentz Georgia native Marcos Knight. Knight leads the Raiders offense with 12.5 PPG, and is one of the country’s most ferocious rebounders from the guard position with an average of 6 RPG. The Raiders also rely on a very deep bench which contributes to 42% of their offensive production. MT also has one of the country’s stingiest defenses allowing only 57.8 PPG. Guard Bruce Massey JR. (Germantown MD) was named the 2013 Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year. MT earned an At-large bid and the University’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in 24 years.

St. Marys- (27-6, 14-2 WCC)- The Gaels are no stranger to the Big Dance, making their third appearance in the last 4 years, which included a trip to the sweet 16 in 2010. They are led this season by senior guard Matthew Dellavedova (Maryborough, Australia) who helped his team rank 23rd in scoring by draining 80 threes and averaging 15.8 PPG. With Dellavedova’s 6.4 Assist per game, the Gaels have 4 players who average double digit scoring. The Gaels lost only 3 games in their final 22 appearances this season, all three were to Gonzaga. The Gaels were an At-Large bid according to most experts, and were pushed to the 11 seed play in game when Ole Miss defeated Florida in the SEC Championship.

Boise St- (21-10, 9-7 MWC)- After losing in the first round of their conference tournament, Boise State had to sweat it out as the committee was deciding on which bubbles to burst. But as the brackets were unveiled, the Broncos were rewarded with a NCAA Tournament at-large bid, the first in school history. The Broncos are led by two Sophmores in Forward Anthony Drmic (Endeavor Hills, Australia) who averages 17.3 PPG, and Guard Derrick Marks (Chicago, Ill) with 16.3 PPG and dishing out 4 APG.

La Salle- (21-9, 11-5 A 10)- One of five Atlantic 10 teams in the NCAA Tournament this year, the Catholic based Philadelphia school earned their first bid to the Dance since 1992.They play a very perimeter oriented style of basketball and rely heavily on the scoring of Senior guard and Philly native Ramon Galloway, who averages 17 PPG. With 6’11 post player Steve Zack injured, the Explores will need to be offensively efficient as ever as rebounding the basketball will now be an even greater task.

LIU-Brooklyn-(20-13, 12-6 NEC)- The Blackbirds of LIU captured their third consecutive NEC title as they defeated Mount Saint Marys 91-70. LIU has battled through adversity this season, losing their top performer in Julian Boyd (San Antonio TX) to a torn ACL. Senior forward Jamal Olasewere (Silver Spring , MD) rose to the occasion for his team as he has averaged 18.9 PPG. The Blackbirds also get outstanding play from their junior point guard Jason Brickman (San Antonio TX), who presently leads the nation with 8.5 APG

JMU- (20-14, 11-7 CAA)- It has been 19 long years for the men’s basketball program at JMU, but all that misery came to an end as the Dukes earned their first conference championship, and a berth into the NCAA Tournament by defeating Northeastern 70-57. The last time the Dukes went dancing it was former Maryland great Lefty Driesell residing as Head Coach. That year Lefty entered his team as a 14 seed, and his ball club would give Florida all they could handle with a 64-62 scare. Florida would eventually make its way to the final four.

Louisville- (29-5, 14-4 Big East) Louisville and head coach Rick Pitino earned the number 1 overall seed in this year’s NCAA Tournament. After capturing the Big East Tournament, Pitino now sets out to get his 7th final four appearance, and perhaps add another National Title to what is already a hall of fame resume. The Cardinals reflect Pitino’s up tempo offense and pressure defense about as well as any team he has coached. Junior guard Russ Smith (Brooklyn, NY) leads the Cardinals in scoring with 18.1 PPG and the play of Senior guard Peyton Siva (Seattle, Wash) has been outstanding. The Cardinals will try to capture the school’s third NCAA Championship, and first since the freshman sensation “Never Nervous” Pervis Ellison (Savannah GA) would help his team to a 3 point win over the Duke Blue Devils in 1986.

Colorado St- (25-8, 11-5 MWC) Back to back NCAA bids have the Mountain West Rams headed on the right path. This marks first-year Head Coach Larry Eustachy’s fifth appearance in the NCAA Championships. The Rams are one of the nation’s top rebounding programs as they are ranked fourth in the country. Leading the way is senior center Colton Iverson (Hankton SD) who averages close to a double double with 14 PPG and 9.8 RPG.

Missouri- (23-10, 11-7 SEC)- The Missouri Tigers come into this dance as the second best rebounding team in the country. Elon graduate and Head Coach Frank Haith leads Missouri into its school record fifth straight NCAA tournament appearance. Senior forward Lawrence Bowers (Memphis TN) leads the Tigers averaging 14 PPG and 6 RPG. Missouri’s roster includes 6 players who average double digit scoring and 4 players who average 5 RPG or better. Their first round match up should be a war among the glass as they face the number 4 rebounding team in the country Colorado State.

Oklahoma ST- (24-8, 13-5 Big 12) With one of the country’s best backcourts, Head Coach Travis Ford is all set to take the Cowboys back to the NCAA Tournament after a 2 year absence. Freshman guard Marcus Smart (Flower Mound TX) leads Oklahoma State average 15.1 PPG and 5.7 RPG. The 2010 berth into the dance was short lived as Georgia Tech defeated the Cowboys 64-59.

Oregon- (26-8, 12-6 Pac-12)- Many feel that Oregon was the one team that was greatly under-seated. After winning the Pac 10 Tournament, the Ducks were looking at a 6 or 7 seed according to most experts, but instead were seeded as a 12. The Ducks are led by E.J Singler (Medford OR), brother of former Duke star Kyle Singler, and a first-team All-Pac 12 pick, he’s just the 13th player in Oregon history to total more than 1,000 points and 500 rebounds. Singler averages 11.6 points and 4.9 rebounds a game. Head Coach Dana Altman is in his third season and has combined a record there of 71-36.

ST. Louis- (27-6, 13-3 A 10)- A very solid defensive team that makes you earn every basket. They play a style of basketball that tends to frustrate teams that are use to getting out in transision. Offensively, the Billikens can score from all 5 positions and run a high post offense that makes teams guard for a good basketball. He would be proud of his former student athletes and the patience on offense, along with the stifling defense that they have demonstrated this season.

New Mexico ST.- (24-10, 14-4 WAC)- The Aggies come in to the dance winning 18 of their last 20 games. It will mark the second consecutive year the Aggies have earned a NCAA berth, though their last Tournament win came 20 years ago defeating Nebraska in the NCAA first round. New Mexico St. is a great rebounding team that has a very big interior presence. They are also led in scoring by sophomore guard Daniel Mullings (Toronto ON) who averages 14 PPG. The Aggies are 10-21 overall in NCAA tournament play.

Memphis TN- (30-4, 16-0 C-USA)- After an undefeated season in Conference USA, the Memphis Tigers have lost one game out of their last 25, that being a 2 point loss to Xavier. Junior guard Joe Jackson (Memphis TN) leads the Tigers in scoring with 13.2 PPG. Memphis has gone dancing the last 7 of 8 seasons. A very athletic Memphis team and head coach Josh Pastner will await the winner of the 11th seeded play in game in the Midwest.

Michigan ST- (25-8, 13-5 Big Ten)- Tom Izzo enters his favorite time of the year seeking his 7th final four in just the past 13 seasons. He has guided his program to 15 straight NCAA appearances and his teams seem to always get better, and much tougher as the month of March begins to near. The Spartans displayed what they are capable of doing this regular season when they ran #4 Michigan out of their Gym, beating a very talented Michigan team by 23 and completely dominating the game. The Spartans are led this season by a tough group of players beginning with junior guard Keith Appling (Detroit MI). Appling is averaging 13.6 PPG and 3.5 APG. The junior forward Adreian Payne (Dayton OH) has rebounded the ball the way Tom Izzo expects and is averaging 7.5 RPG while scoring 10PPG.

Valparaiso- (26-7, 13-3 Horizon)- The Crusaders and Head Coach Bryce Drew earned an automatic bid to the NCAA by winning the Horizon Conference tournament. Valparaiso upended Wright State 62-54, giving the Crusaders its first invitation to the dance since 2004. Coach Drew’s club is very proficient on offense ranking 6th in the country with a shooting percentage of 48.9%. They will face a very tough challenge in the opening round facing Tom Izzo and the Spartans of Michigan State.

Creighton-(27-7, 13-5 MVC)-All-American Junior Forward Doug McDermott (Ames IA) leads his Jays into March Madness averaging 23.1 PPG while hitting the glass for 7.5 RPG. There is yet to be a spot on the floor that the talented 6’8 220lb junior cannot shoot from. The Jays also lead the country in field goal percentage, shooting an amazing 50.8% from the field. Creighton also ranks 5th nationally in assist with 17.5 per game.

Cincinnati- (22-11, 9-9 Big East)- The Bearcats have relied on good defense, along with rebounding the basketball to pull them through some offensive woes. There may not be two teams with more contrasting styles than when Creighton, who holds the nation’s best field goal percentage, squares off against Cincinnati, who is currently 304th in the same category. The Bearcats are battle tested and will rely on junior guard Sean Kilpatrick (Yonkers NY) to give them enough offense to “survive and advance”.

Duke-(27-5, 14-4 ACC)- With the sixth highest scoring offense in the country, the Duke Blue Devils enter the NCAA Tournament averaging over 78 PPG. For most of the season, Duke has had great production from big man Mason Plumlee (Warsaw IN) and sharp shooting guard Seth Curry (Charlotte NC). Both have provided Coach K major offensive production averaging 17 PPG. If Coach K has one concern, it has to be the inability to rebound the basketball. The Blue Devils were one and done in the ACC Tournament in which Maryland outrebounded the Devils by double digits. Even with a slight rebounding weakness, the Devils score in such spurts that they will be a threat to win it all, Seth Curry has looked as if he could not miss at times and when Coach K is on the sidelines, a final four seems to always be within reach.

Albany- (24-10, 9-7 Am. East)- Albany earned its first NCAA Tournament bid since 2007 by defeating the Vermont Catamounts in an exciting American East Championship game. Vermont had swept the regular season contest with the Great Danes, winning the first contest in a route 70-45. Albany would get two huge threes late from Senior guard Jacob Iati (York PA). Iati, who averages over 12 PPG, was a combined 1-17 shooting in the two previous contest. Albany faces Duke in what would be a monumental upset if they are victorious.

ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – Miami (Fla.)’s Jim Larrañaga is the 2012-13 recipient of the Henry Iba Coach of the Year Award, presented annually to the national coach of the year by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.

Larrañaga

Larrañaga will be recognized by the USBWA on Friday, April 5, at a 9:15 a.m. ET news conference in Atlanta in conjunction with the Final Four. The winner of the Oscar Robertson Trophy as the national player of the year will also be announced in Atlanta at that time.

Larrañaga will be formally presented with the Henry Iba Coach of the Year Award on Monday, April 15, at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards gala in Oklahoma City. The Oscar Robertson Trophy will also be presented that evening.

In his second season at Miami, Larrañaga, 63, has led the Hurricanes to a 27-6 record, including the school’s first Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season and tournament titles. The ‘Canes will make their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2008 as a No. 2 seed in the East Region.

The USBWA District IV Coach of the Year and the ACC Coach of the Year has guided the Hurricanes to a school-record 27 wins, including a 15-3 mark in ACC play. Miami opened conference play with 13 straight wins. Currently ranked 5th by the Associated Press, the Hurricanes have been ranked as high as No. 2 this season.

“Jim Larrañaga’s story should inspire us all. He gave hope to hundreds of so-called ‘mid-major’ schools by leading George Mason to the Final Four in 2006,” said USBWA President John Akers of Basketball Times. “Then, in just two seasons at Miami, he convinced a bunch of players who had known mostly disappointment to buy in for what has been a dream season. Truly inspirational.”

“Coach L definitely deserves this award because of his passion for the game of basketball and his dedication to the team and the University of Miami,” said Miami guard Shane Larkin. “He said he would take this program to the top, and in only year two, we are ACC champions.”

Including this season, Larrañaga now boasts a 517-353 (59.4 winning percentage) overall career record in 29 seasons as a college head coach. Prior to coming to Miami, Larrañaga was 273-164 in 14 seasons at George Mason, including 13 straight winning seasons, five NCAA Tournament appearances and the school’s memorable 2006 Final Four run.

The Henry Iba Award is named in honor of the legendary Oklahoma State coach who won 655 games and two national championships in 36 seasons in Stillwater. The award is voted on by all members of the USBWA at the conclusion of the regular season. The USBWA has presented a National Coach of the Year Award each year since the 1958-59 season.

Tickets and sponsorship information for the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards are available at collegebasketballawards.com or by contacting Scott Hill (405-749-1515, scott.hill@access-sports.net). The April 15 banquet will also honor Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart with the Integris Wayman Tisdale Award as the national freshman of the year and Michigan State coach Tom Izzo as the recipient of theWayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award.

The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. Today, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball. For more information on the USBWA and its award programs, contact executive director Joe Mitch at 314-795-6821.

Related link:
• Henry Iba Coach of the Year Award

It’s tough for us watching the high school playoffs and championship. We have relationships with so many players and coaches on both teams that while we enjoy every win, we still feel every loss.

The state title games this past Saturday were no exception. The above video is of the final second in regulation for the 4A game, between Broughton High School and Olympic High School. For Olympic, Trey Mitchell (SG/SF, 6’5″, 2013) attended last summer’s Basketball Elite Southeast Summer Showcase, and had a solid performance, making the all-star game. We watched B.J. Gladden (SF/PF, 6’5″, 2013) on the road with his AAU team, the CP3 All-Stars, on the road as they made the Nike EYBL final four in Augusta, GA last July. We scouted Jevon Patton (PG, 5’9″, 2013) last season as he was the engine that pushed Highland Tech in the playoffs. Deriece Parks, CJ Jackson, Dante Simmons and the rest of Olympic were in one of our first broadcasts of the year as they hosted a talented Davie County HS team in Charlotte.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball, we’ve watched Devonte Graham (PG, 6’1″, 2013) as a talented AAU player with Garner Road, and saw him compete with some of the most elite PGs in the nation at the CP3 Elite Guard camp. When App State landed him, we knew they’d gotten a steal. Cameron Gottfried and James Hemphill are both players who are scouts have seen multiple times and helped get Broughton to the title game.

So it’s not easy; it’s actually impossible to root for either team, and we feel as bad for the losers as we feel good for the winners.

And starting now, we’ll start looking ahead to next season and see which players we’ll be seeing in the 2014 title games.

Team Winston is poised for another strong AAU season this year, and here is the roster and schedule for the team:

March 30-31: Big Shots — Myrtle Beach, SC

April 11-12: D1 State Pool Play — Charlotte, NC
April 19-21: Double Pump Hoop Fest — Los Angeles , CA
April 27-29: Bob Gibbons (Tournament of Champions) — Suwanee, GA

May 3-5: D1 State Bracket Play — Raleigh, NC
May 17-19: Hoop Group (Southern Jam Fest) — Hampton, VA

July 10-14: Next Level Invitational — Mequon, WI
July 19-21: Hall of Fame National Invitational — Springfield, MA
July 23-29: D1 Nationals — Orlando, FL

PF/C Coye Simmomns 6’8 (WS Prep)
G/F Will Tibbs 6’5 (WS Prep)
PG Colton Bishop 6’1 (Forsyth Country Day)
G Hanif Bilal 6’3 (RJ Reynolds High)
G Larry Curry 6’3 (East Forsyth High)
F Brayden Masten 6’8 (High Point Christian Academy)
F Cory Hanes 6’5 (Forsyth Country Day)
C Carson Mounce 6’7 (Mt. Airy High)
PG Sadeeq Bello 5’7 (Westchester Country Day)
F Malik Wright 6’4 (High Point Christian Academy)

Brazil Hoop Tour 2013

Looking for a chance to travel and play basketball this summer? Check out the Brazil Hoop Tour, organized by Winston-Salem Prep coach Andre Gould. Traveling to a South American country to play ball? Sounds like heaven.

Be sure to check out the options for viewing this flyer at the top: you can zoom or open in another tab to get a better look.

Eris Winder
Eris Winder is a 2013 guard with great court vision – and is still on the board for 2013.

By James Kerti

This time of year, much of the recruiting discussion understandably shifts toward the destinations of the top unsigned prospects. Let’s take a break from that conversation.

Here are a few west coast players I’ve evaluated who aren’t being heavily recruited, but who can absolutely contribute at the Division I level.

PG 6-0 Eris Winder, Palo Verde HS, Las Vegas, NV: Crafty point guard with good fakes and change of speed/direction. Great court vision. Gets into the lane and can finish in a few ways. Pull-up game from the foul line in is a nice weapon. Potential mid- to high- major sleeper.

PG 6-0 Iseah Rodgers, Birmingham HS, Van Nuys, CA: Efficient point who can dish or finish inside. Averaged 14 and 6 this year. Capable outside shooter. Needs to be more consistent but has big scoring outbursts at times. Scrappy defender. Division I prospect.

CG 6-2 Elijah Smith, Foothill HS, Henderson, NV: Tough on-ball defender with athleticism and a good feel for the game. Strong rebounding guard with nice touch in the basket area. Son of UNLV great Robert Smith. Nice Division I prospect.

PF 6-6 Jamal Aytes, JSerra HS, San Juan Capistrano, CA: Wide body with good hands and feet. Not super bouncy but gets the most out of his body. Can hit the midrange jumper with consistency. Can play at the high-major level.

CG 6-4 Rashad Muhammad, Bishop Gorman HS, Las Vegas, NV: Versatile scoring guard who can shoot from outside or score off cuts to the basket. Can drive and score as well, especially from the wing or high ball screen. Shabazz’s younger brother can play at a high level.

James Kerti is National Scout & Managing Editor for PremierBall. Read more at PremierBall.com.