Archive for January, 2014

Mike Thorne Jr Charlotte Basketball

By James Blackburn

Game Scouted: Charlotte vs Tulsa

Charlotte wins 90-86 (OT)
Box Score

Mike Thorne (C, 6’11”, SO)

Stats
24 min, 5-7 FG, 3-11 FT, 11 reb, 13 TP

Strengths
Loves to go over his left shoulder in the post where he has a couple of go-to back to the basket moves. These include a reliable right hook and an up and under. Can score with contact inside. Did a good job tonight of passing out of the post to open shooters and cutters.
Has a soft touch and huge hands.
Does a decent job of protecting the rim. Good one on one post defender. Good core strength. Rebounding is probably his strongest skill set at this point where he does an excellent job on both ends. His combination of size and strength is tough for opponents to deal with.

Weaknesses
Poor left hand. Doesn’t run the floor extremely well.
Inconsistent from the FT line where he shoots a shade over 50% for the year. He shoots his FT’s with 1 hand and it’s a constant guess if its going in or not.

Overview
Is averaging 10 ppg and 7 rpg per game on the season. Is a redshirt Sophomore after sitting out his freshman year. One of the most impressive players on the floor tonight. Is having a good season, but has potential to get better over the next couple of years. I don’t see him having much NBA potential, but its hard to tell because 6’11” kids don’t grow on trees. Is a pro prospect for sure if he continues to stay injury free. Is a player worth tracking to see how high the level he plays will be.

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McDonald's All American Basketball Rosters 2014

Below are the rosters for the two teams, listing schools, the player’s hometown and the college they’ll be attending.

EAST ROSTER

PF Cliff Alexander (Curie HS, Chicago, Ill.) Kansas
SG James Blackmon Jr. (Marion HS, Marion, Ind.) Indiana
SF Justin Jackson (Homeschool Christian, Tomball, Texas) North Carolina
PG Tyus Jones (Apple Valley HS, Apple Valley, Minn.) Duke
PF Kevon Looney (Hamilton HS, Milwaukee, Wis.) UCLA
SF Theo Pinson (Wesleyan Christian, Greensboro, N.C.) North Carolina
SG D’Angelo Russell (Montverde Academy, Louisville, Ky.) Ohio State
C Karl Towns Jr. (St. Joseph HS, Metuchen, N.J.) Kentucky
PG Romelo Trimble (Bishop O’Connell HS, Upper Marlboro, Md.) Maryland
C Myles Turner (Trinity HS, Bedford, Texas) Undecided
SG Isaiah Whitehead (Abraham Lincoln HS, Brooklyn, N.Y.) Seton Hall
SF Justise Winslow (Saint John’s HS, Houston, Texas) Duke

WEST ROSTER

SG Grayson Allen (Providence HS, Jacksonville, Fla.) Duke
PG Joel Berry (Lake Highland Prep, Apopka, Fla.) North Carolina
SG Devin Booker (Moss Point HS, Moss Point, Miss.) Kentucky
SF Stanley Johnson (Mater Dei HS, Fullerton, Calif.) Arizona
PF Trey Lyles (Arsenal Tech, Indianapolis, Ind.) Kentucky
PG Emmanuel Mudiay (Prime Prep Academy, Dallas, Texas) SMU
C Jahlil Okafor (Whitney Young HS, Chicago, Ill.) Duke
SF Kelly Oubre (Findlay Prep, Richmond, Texas) Kansas
PF Reid Travis (De La Salle HS, Minneapolis, Minn.) Stanford
PG Tyler Ulis (Marian Catholic, Matteson, Ill.) Kentucky
SG Rashad Vaughn (Findlay Prep, Golden Valley, Minn.) Undecided
C Thomas Welsh (Loyola HS, Los Angeles, Calif.) UCLA

Chris Chiozza White Station basketball

By Marcus Shockley

Scouting notes from this late-season matchup between Memphis, Tennessee rivals White Station High School against Hamilton High School. Hamilton boasts two high major prospects while White Station is nationally ranked, and both teams are loaded with supporting talent as well.

Dedric Lawson (F, 6’8″, 2016) Hamilton HS – an elite prospect who brings offense in multiple ways. On the move, he has a knack for putting the ball on the floor and using his length to get by the defender. In the post, he likes to back his man down and shoot a very smooth hook shot. He also has a very solid ability to find open spots in the half court to knock down the mid range jumper. Defensively, he still needs consistency – was beaten off of the dribble too many times, but an elite national prospect who can play the 3 and 4 at a high major level and possibly beyond.

Chris Chiozza (PG, 5’10”, 2014) White Station – elite quickness and throws zip passes in the halfcourt. Flashy and can be spectacular in transition. Good shooting form but relies a bit too much on getting to the rim, and will need to develop a floater/mid range for the college game. Has a tendency to be too flashy at times and can make mistakes where a simple play would suffice. Elite passer in the high octane offense. Committed to Florida.

K.J. Lawson (SF, 6’7″, 2015) Hamilton – plays facing the basket and has a nice first step, and has the handle to play the college 3. Both Lawsons are adept at scoring in a variety of ways, but K.J. is more of a wing at this time. Aggressive scorer with a high, quick shot release. Draws a lot of fouls because he’s so hard to stop. Very fluid player. Committed to Memphis.

Leron Black (PF, 6’7″, 2014) White Station – Black is an explosive forward who likes to get both hands on the ball and explode over his defender. Strong bodied player who goes hard at the rim in both the halfcourt or in transition. Excellent hands but didn’t see a pure back to the basket game in this one. Decent timing. Definitely a high major player. Hit a set three pointer that looked good in the second half but mostly stays inside the arc. Committed to Illinois.

For more scouting/recruiting information, follow Marcus Shockley on Twitter.

ABA Summer Basketball League 2014

Jahlil Okafor basketball Whitney Young

By Marcus Shockley

Scouting notes from the 2014 Hoop Hall Classic in Springfield, MA, featuring Chicago based powerhouse Whitney Young taking on Oak Hill, coached by the legendary Steve Smith. Whitney Young is led by Jahlil Okafor, a Duke commit, while Oak Hill features Cody and Caleb Martin, who are committed to NC State.

Jahlil Okafor (C, 6’10”, 2014) Whitney Young – I always like seeing true centers and Okafor certainly falls into that category. He has a back-to-the-basket game and establishes position in the paint expertly. He has great – emphasis on great – hands and really solid footwork. Generally a below-the-rim style big man, similar to Jared Sullivan or Tyler Hansbrough, but a bit more explosive in transition and has quicker footspeed. Already has a good set of post moves in his repertoire and is extremely hard for high school players to defend. He still needs to improve on his ability to recognize and pass out of the double team, and some of his defensive habits will make him foul-prone. He had a couple of really powerful monster dunks on the move, but his real asset is getting the ball in the post with his back to the basket. Committed to Duke.

Trevor Manual (PF, 6’9″, 2015) Oak Hill – Manual was the player that I enjoyed seeing the most in this game; he is explosive, long, active, and has great timing. He needs to add strength but he blasts up and down the floor in transition and is a high motor, high flying athlete who has good hands and really has a lot of upside. Manual is the type of player that can excel at the pro level, and that’s his upside, but he will need to show some shooting touch to go with that elite athleticism and length. Really impressed with his play in this one. Has a really nice old school running hook that should be a go-to move. Wake Forest and Michigan State have both offered Manual, and I think he’s a really solid prospect.

Paul White (SF/PF, 6’9″, 2014) Whitney Young – White and Trevor Manual have similar builds and athleticism, but White is better at putting the ball on the floor and has much better shooting range. Has great length and a high, quick release, but was more effective when Okafor was in the game, which made White the secondary focus of the defense. However, he’s definitely a high major player who looks like he will cause serious problems for slow footed power forwards at the college level. Has a very consistent elbow jumper and he’s a good shooter. Committed to Georgetown.

Caleb Martin, Cody Martin (SG/SF, 6’6″, 2014) Oak Hill – every time I’ve seen the Martins play over the past few years, Caleb has played the 2 while Cody plays the 3, even though, like most basketball twins, their games are extremely similar. Both are deadly from outside, great shooters with high releases, and both are elite athletes who can play above the rim. Caleb’s handle is slightly better than Cody’s at this point, but both are able to put the ball on the floor and get to the rim. They had trouble finishing inside against Okafor and White, but they are getting to the rim with ease and better than they ever have. Both are committed to NC State.

B.J. Stith (SG/SF, 6’5″, 2014) Oak Hill – It’s hard not to compare Stith with his father, who played at Virginia, where B.J. is committed. Like his father, Stith is an active and dynamic guard/forward, but B.J. looks like he’s a better deep shooter than his father was at this point. Stith is explosive and will scorch teams from deep, but has the ability to get to the rim and finish in traffic. He’s also a very good passer from the off guard position.

Rodney Miller (C, 6’11”, 2016) Oak Hill – Miller only is used sparingly due to the available upperclassmen, but he looks like a solid center prospect with great length and pro size. Still somewhat raw in the post, but looks like a player with a lot of upside – as in pro upside. Definitely a player to pay attention to.

Miles Reynolds (PG, 6’1″, 2014) Whitney Young – Reynolds was not shooting well in this one, but he’s a solid lead guard with a good handle and runs the offense. Defensively, he was very active and showed a knack for getting his hands on loose balls. Had a fantastic defensive block on Caleb Martin, which is impressive, as Martin is an elite slasher with several inches on him. Committed to St. Louis.

Terrence Phillips (PG, 6′, 2015) Oak Hill – With Shelton Mitchell likely out for the season, the burden of running the offense has fallen to Phillips, a very fast guard with a sure handle. Phillips is a pass-first point guard who shows a lot of potential. He does need more experience running the offense but didn’t turn the ball over and showed good awareness in transition. He showed excellent poise several times in the game by slowing the game down when Whitney Young started a scoring run.

If you want more recruiting/scouting information like this, you can follow Marcus Shockley on Twitter.

Keith Gatling coach Wesleyan Christian NC basketball

By Marcus Shockley

Scouting notes from the 2014 Hoop Hall Classic in Springfield, MA, starting with Findlay Prep (NV) taking on Wesleyan Christian Academy (NC). Wesleyan stayed close until the second half, where turnovers and lack of defensive intensity allowed Findlay to open it up and pull away, winning 73-43. Wesleyan is missing two key players in JaQuel Richmond (PG, ’14, committed to Houston) and Harry Giles (PF, 6’8″, ’16) who are both out with injuries.

Theo Pinson (SG, 6’6″, 2014) Wesleyan – Theo continues to refine his game in ways that I think are being overlooked. It irritates me when I hear analysts call him a small forward – I see him as a prototype high major shooting guard. He can play the 2 or the 3, but at the college level, he’s going to see a lot more time at the 2 because of his ability to drive and shoot from deep, which brings up the other point about analysts’ comments regarding Pinson that I don’t understand. Many times I’ve heard he can’t shoot from deep; yet I’ve seen him blister teams from outside many times- he shoots in rhythm, with a high, quick release and he’s very accurate. The other knock I’ve heard on Pinson has been his defense; but I noted last season that he really committed himself to guarding on the perimeter. Pinson is not a point guard, although he did run the point for Wesleyan quite a bit in this game due to Richmond being out. But he is very effective at driving to the basket and either finishing in traffic or finding open teammates with the pass. Pinson also works hard at the mental game, he approaches the game as a teammate and doesn’t try to make plays that he shouldn’t. Pinson will see significant minutes at UNC.

Kelly Oubre (SF/PF, 6’7″, 2014) Findlay Prep – Listed as a small forward, but right now he’s more of a 3/4 hybrid. Explosive and active on the defensive end, Oubre guarded the perimeter well and had a couple of open court steals. Plays above the rim and has great awareness. Oubre is a good athlete and has a decent ability to drive. However, I would be concerned about how well he can guard or drive against collegiate small forwards. He will need to develop a mid range to shoot over quicker guards and forwards, and he is susceptible to the quick drive or step back jump shooters. That said, he’s definitely a high major player who will get a lot of minutes at Kansas and should continue to improve. Definitely an active, impact player. Excellent timing on blocks. Has a lot he could add to his game, in a positive way. Excellent free throw shooter. Oubre is committed to Kansas.

Derryck Thornton Jr. (PG, 6’1″, 2016) Findlay Prep – very quick, solid handle and a true point guard. Thornton is more effective in the transition game – has excellent vision on the break and good speed. Had trouble finishing inside – was able to beat his man off of the dribble but didn’t finish effectively until the fourth quarter. However, he didn’t turn the ball over and was solid as an on-ball defender.

Rashad Vaughn (SG, 6’6″, 2014) Findlay Prep – one of the few unsigned top prospects in the 2014 class, Vaughn is a great deep shooter who also can put the ball on the floor and drive. Has a collegiate build already and looks like he will make an impact adding points as soon as he arrives at the college level. Definitely has the size to cause matchup problems and has good poise to his game.

Dillon Brooks (SF, 6’6″, 2015) Findlay Prep – Brooks was a nice surprise, coming off of the bench and contributing several nice plays – hit from deep and finished above the rim with a massive dunk. Has a good build and can play some at the 4.

Michael Buckland (SG, 6’4″, 2016) Wesleyan – Buckland ran the point some as he and Pinson worked to make up for the loss of Richmond. A solid athlete, Buckland was a little overwhelmed at the point in this game due to playing out of position, but he has good athleticism and continues to show he is a Division I athlete. I feel strongly that Buckland is a player that Division I colleges should actively be recruiting.

Craig Victor (PF/C, 6’7″, 2014) Findlay Prep – A true big who has excellent strength and poise in the post. Even though he has the strength to finish with ease, he has a soft touch around the basket. Committed to Arizona.

Horace Spencer (PF, 6’8″, 2015) Findlay Prep – Excellent athlete with good timing. Had a couple of really nice blocks and has some upside. Decent hands and likes to get in and mix it up on putbacks, but had trouble finishing at times.

Donovan Gilmore (PF, 6’7″ , 2014) Wesleyan – Gilmore is one of the best athletes in any game he plays in, and I expect him to likely be in the upcoming Ball Is Life dunk contest at the Triad All-Star game in March. However, he had trouble getting his hands on the ball against the athletic big forwards of Findlay. He did have a nice looking pull up jumper, and I would like to see him develop a more active ability to get open for the mid range shot. With his explosiveness, if he could consistently show the ability to hit the mid range, he’d be able to use a pump fake and blow by the defender for the dunk.Had a couple of putbacks in this one. Committed to the College of Charleston.

Want to know more? You can follow Marcus Shockley on Twitter, right now.

Marcus Smart basketball

Oscar Robertson Trophy Midseason Watch List. Members of the association’s board of directors chose the players to be included on the list as contenders for the Oscar Robertson Trophy.

Oscar Robertson TrophyThe award is to be presented to the national player of the year by its namesake at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards on April 14 at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. The Henry Iba Coach of the Year Award and the Integris Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award will also be presented at the gala to be held annually the Monday following the NCAA Men’s Final Four.

Creighton’s Doug McDermott, a first-team USBWA All-American last season, headlines the list, while teammates from six different schools – Arizona, Duke, Kansas, Michigan State, Syracuse and Wichita State – are also lauded. Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart, the 2013 Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Year and a second-team USBWA All-American a season ago, is also featured. Overall, 10 conferences are represented, led by the Atlantic Coast Conference with five players and the Big 12 Conference with four.

A pair of Oscar Robertson National Players of the Week from this season are included: DeAndre Kane from Iowa State and McDermott. The watch list includes 12 seniors to go with one junior, four sophomores and six freshmen.

Following is the complete watch list:

2014 OSCAR ROBERTSON TROPHY MIDSEASON WATCH LIST
Pos. No. Player, School Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown
G 11 Keith Appling, Michigan State 6-1 185 Sr. Detroit, Mich.
F 41 Cameron Bairstow, New Mexico 6-9 250 Sr. Brisbane, Australia
F 11 Cleanthony Early, Wichita State 6-8 219 Sr. Middletown, N.Y.
C 21 Joel Embiid, Kansas 7-0 250 Fr. Yaounde, Cameroon
G 11 Tyler Ennis, Syracuse 6-2 180 Fr. Brampton, Ont.
F 5 C.J. Fair, Syracuse 6-8 215 Sr. Baltimore, Md.
F 11 Aaron Gordon, Arizona 6-9 225 Fr. San Jose, Calif.
G 14 Gary Harris, Michigan State 6-4 210 So. Fishers, Ind.
F 5 Rodney Hood, Duke 6-8 215 So. Meridian, Miss.
G 13 Nick Johnson, Arizona 6-3 200 Jr. Gilbert, Ariz.
G 50 DeAndre Kane, Iowa State 6-4 200 Sr. Pittsburgh, Pa.
F 3 Doug McDermott, Creighton 6-8 225 Sr. Ames, Iowa
G 13 Shabazz Napier, Connecticut 6-1 180 Sr. Roxbury, Mass.
F 1 Jabari Parker, Duke 6-8 235 Fr. Chicago, Ill.
G/F 21 Lamar Patterson, Pittsburgh 6-5 225 Sr. Lancaster, Pa.
F 24 Casey Prather, Florida 6-6 212 Sr. Jackson, Tenn.
F 30 Julius Randle, Kentucky 6-9 250 Fr. Dallas, Texas
G 33 Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State 6-4 220 So. Flower Mound, Texas
G 2 Russ Smith, Louisville 6-0 165 Sr. Brooklyn, N.Y.
G 2 Xavier Thames, San Diego State 6-3 195 Sr. Sacramento, Calif.
G 23 Fred Van Vleet, Wichita State 5-11 194 So. Rockford, Ill.
G 22 Andrew Wiggins, Kansas 6-8 200 Fr. Vaughan, Ont.
G 3 Chaz Williams, Massachusetts 5-9 175 Sr. Brooklyn, N.Y.
By conference: ACC (5); Big 12 (4); American Athletic (2); Big Ten (2); Missouri Valley (2); Mountain West (2); Pac-12 (2); SEC (2); Atlantic 10 (1); Big East (1).
By class: Seniors (12); Juniors (1); Sophomores (4); Freshmen (6)

While these standout players are the leading contenders to be named to the USBWA’s All-America Team and as finalists for the Oscar Robertson Trophy, all Division I players remain eligible for postseason honors from the USBWA. The association will announce its 2014 All-America Team in mid-March. At that time, finalists will also be chosen for the player of the year. Once finalists are announced, the entire USBWA membership will vote for the winner of the Oscar Robertson Trophy.

Tickets and sponsorship information for the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards are available atcollegebasketballawards.com or by contacting Scott Hill (405-749-1515, scott.hill@access-sports.net). The April 14 banquet will also honor Kansas coach Bill Self as the recipient of the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award.

Since the 1958-59 season, the USBWA has named a National Player of the Year. In 1998, the award was named in honor of the University of Cincinnati Hall of Famer and two-time USBWA Player of the Year Oscar Robertson. It is the nation’s oldest award and the only one named after a former player.

The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. With some 900 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball. It has selected an All-America team since the 1956-57 season. For more information on the USBWA and the Oscar Robertson Trophy, contact executive director Joe Mitch at 314-795-6821.

Related link:
• Oscar Robertson Trophy

Jabari Parker Duke basketball

ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has selected nine outstanding first-year players for its 2014 Integris Wayman Tisdale Award Midseason Watch List. Members of the association’s board of directors chose the players to be included on the list as contenders for the national freshman of the year award.

The award is to be presented to the national freshman of the year at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards on April 14 at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. The Oscar Robertson Trophy and the Henry Iba Coach of the Year Award will also be presented at the gala to be held annually the Monday following the NCAA Men’s Final Four.

Six of the nine players are also featured on the Oscar Robertson Trophy Midseason Watch List as candidates for national player of the year. Teammates from Kansas (Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins) and Kentucky (Julius Randle and James Young) highlight the list. LSU’s Jordan Mickey gives the Southeastern Conference three players to lead all conferences. The ACC and Big 12 each boast two players.

Syracuse’s Tyler Ennis, Arizona’s Aaron Gordon, Duke’s Jabari Parker and Indiana’s Noah Vonleh round out the list. Embiid, Ennis, Gordon, Parker, Randle and Wiggins were lauded yesterday among 23 players in the running for the Oscar Robertson Trophy.

Following is the complete watch list:

2014 WAYMAN TISDALE AWARD MIDSEASON WATCH LIST
Pos. No. Player, School Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown
C 21 Joel Embiid, Kansas 7-0 250 Fr. Yaounde, Cameroon
G 11 Tyler Ennis, Syracuse 6-2 180 Fr. Brampton, Ont.
F 11 Aaron Gordon, Arizona 6-9 225 Fr. San Jose, Calif.
F 25 Jordan Mickey, LSU 6-8 220 Fr. Dallas, Texas
F 1 Jabari Parker, Duke 6-8 235 Fr. Chicago, Ill.
F 30 Julius Randle, Kentucky 6-9 250 Fr. Dallas, Texas
F 1 Noah Vonleh, Indiana 6-10 240 Fr. Haverhill, Mass.
G 22 Andrew Wiggins, Kansas 6-8 200 Fr. Vaughan, Ont.
G 1 James Young, Kentucky 6-6 215 Fr. Rochester Hills, Mich.
By conference: SEC (3); ACC (2); Big 12 (2); Big Ten (1); Pac-12 (1).

The USBWA has chosen a national freshman of the year since the 1988-89 season when LSU’s Chris Jackson was the recipient. Last season, Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart became the third winner of the Wayman Tisdale Award. Other notable previous winners of the national freshman of the year award include Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Jason Kidd and Chris Webber.

This season, in a partnership with CBSSports.com and columnist Jeff Borzello, the USBWA has named a weekly Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week. Embiid, Young and Parker have all been selected as national freshmen of the week this season.

The Tisdale Award winner will receive a statuette designed by nationally-recognized sculptor Shan Gray. The April 14 banquet will also honor Kansas coach Bill Self as the recipient of the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award.

The late Wayman Tisdale was a three-time USBWA All-American at the University of Oklahoma. Following a stint on the 1984 U.S. Olympic basketball team, he played 12 seasons in the NBA before retiring in 1997 to focus on a blossoming jazz music career. In March 2007, he was diagnosed with cancer and, following a courageous and difficult battle that included the amputation of his right leg in 2008, he passed away in May 2009.

The Integris Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award is produced by Access Sports, an Oklahoma City-based 501(c)(3) not-for-profit foundation responsible for creating the Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award. Access Sports produces all events associated with the award, including the annual awards dinner. Proceeds from the activities affiliated with the award are used to support various worthy charitable causes, including providing opportunities for disadvantaged youth to participate in basketball leagues, clinics, and training throughout the state. In addition, Access Sports supports the Wayman L. Tisdale Foundation which helps fund prosthetics for those who cannot afford the cost on their own and may not be covered by insurance.

Tickets and sponsorship information for the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards are available atcollegebasketballawards.com or by contacting Scott Hill (405-749-1515, scott.hill@access-sports.net).

The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. With some 900 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball. It has selected an All-America team since the 1956-57 season. For more information on the USBWA and its award programs, contact executive director Joe Mitch at 314-795-6821.

Related link:
• Integris Wayman Tisdale Award

ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – Kansas’ Joel Embiid is the Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week for games ending the week of Jan. 19. Selden was selected by CBSSports.com’s Jeff Borzello, in partnership with the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.

Borzello’s popular weekly freshman watch column will continue to feature nation’s the top freshmen each week in addition to the national player of the week. Later in the season, the USBWA will release a midseason watch list before naming finalists for the award. This season marks the first time a weekly national freshman of the week will be selected and, each Tuesday through Feb. 25, a standout first-year player will be chosen for the honor.

Embiid, a 7-0 center from Yaounde, Cameroon, helped lead the Jayhawks to two conference wins over ranked opponents, averaging 14.5 points, 10.0 rebounds and 6.5 blocks. He is the second straight Kansas freshman – and third straight Big 12 player – to earn the USBWA’s weekly award, following teammate Wayne Selden Jr. and Kansas State’s Marcus Foster.

Embiid started the week with a dominant second half in a 77-70 win at Iowa State, going for 16 points, nine rebounds and five blocks. Up next was a showdown with Oklahoma State, widely considered Kansas’ biggest competition for the Big 12 title. He finished with 13 points, 11 rebounds and eight blocks, shooting 5-for-6 from the field in leading the Jayhawks to the 80-78 win.

Including last night’s win vs. Baylor, Embiid is now averaging 11.1 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game, while shooting 67.9 percent from the field this season.

The Integris Wayman Tisdale Award is to be presented to the national freshman of the year at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards on April 14, 2014, at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. The Oscar Robertson Trophy and the Henry Iba Coach of the Year Award will also be presented at the gala to be held annually the Monday following the NCAA Men’s Final Four.

The USBWA has chosen a national freshman of the year since the 1988-89 season when LSU’s Chris Jackson was the recipient. Last season, Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart became the third winner of the Wayman Tisdale Award. Other notable previous winners of the national freshman of the year award include Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Jason Kidd and Chris Webber.

The Tisdale Award winner will receive a statuette designed by nationally-recognized sculptor Shan Gray. The April 14 banquet will also honor the recipient of the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award.

The late Wayman Tisdale was a three-time USBWA All-American at the University of Oklahoma. Following a stint on the 1984 U.S. Olympic basketball team, he played 12 seasons in the NBA before retiring in 1997 to focus on a blossoming jazz music career. In March 2007, he was diagnosed with cancer and, following a courageous and difficult battle that included the amputation of his right leg in 2008, he passed away in May 2009.

The Integris Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award is produced by Access Sports, an Oklahoma City-based 501(c)(3) not-for-profit foundation responsible for creating the Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award. Access Sports produces all events associated with the award, including the annual awards dinner. Proceeds from the activities affiliated with the award are used to support various worthy charitable causes, including providing opportunities for disadvantaged youth to participate in basketball leagues, clinics, and training throughout the state. In addition, Access Sports supports the Wayman L. Tisdale Foundation which helps fund prosthetics for those who cannot afford the cost on their own and may not be covered by insurance.

Tickets and sponsorship information for the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards are available atcollegebasketballawards.com or by contacting Scott Hill (405-749-1515, scott.hill@access-sports.net).

The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. With more than 900 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball. It has selected an All-America team since the 1956-57 season. For more information on the USBWA and its award programs, contact executive director Joe Mitch at 314-795-6821.

Related links:
• Jeff Borzello’s Wayman Tisdale Award Watch (Jan. 21)
• Integris Wayman Tisdale Award

2013-14 Wayman Tisdale National Freshmen of the Week
• Week of Dec. 8: Chris Perry, USF (American Athletic Conference)
• Week of Dec. 15: Jordan Woodard, Oklahoma (Big 12 Conference)
• Week of Dec. 22: Jabari Parker, Duke (Atlantic Coast Conference)
• Week of Dec. 29: James Young, Kentucky (Southeastern Conference)
• Week of Jan. 5: Marcus Foster, Kansas State (Big 12 Conference)
• Week of Jan. 12: Wayne Selden, Kansas (Big 12 Conference)
• Week of Jan. 19: Joel Embiid, Kansas (Big 12 Conference)

Brandon Easter North Davidson Austin Rose West Forsyth basketball
Brandon Easter works in the post against Austin Rose of West Forsyth

By Marcus Shockley

Scouting notes from Tuesday’s contest between North Davidson and host West Forsyth. West Forsyth HS is Chris Paul’s alma mater, and I remember watching CP3 play in this gym – tonight the West players sported new CP3 Nikes in team colors, and as always, his old jersey hangs nearby during games. West won this one by a healthy margin, capitalizing on turnovers, 78-51.

Austin Rose (SG, 6’3″, 2015) West Forsyth HS – Rose played last season with Calvary Baptist and his calling card has always been his deep shot and quick release. Now, Rose is taller and has added muscle to become a prototype shooting guard with a textbook collegiate jumpshot. He aggressively looks for his shot and is deadly from deep.

Cameron Easter (G, 6’3″, 2016) North Davidson HS – Easter is definitely one to watch; he didn’t have a great outing overall, but he has great length and handle to play at the lead guard position and several years to grow. He will need to improve his defensive footwork on the dribble drive, but there’s a lot to like about his potential. I definitely think Easter has potential to be one of the top guards in the region if he continues to work.

Darian Slade (G, 6′, 2015) West Forsyth HS – Slade is a solid guard who can score in traffic and takes advantage of open court turnovers. Scored 19 points and really was one of the reasons that West was able to capitalize on mistakes made by North Davidson.

Brandon Easter (PF, 6’7″, 2014) North Davidson HS – Easter has a good release from deep and midrange, but couldn’t get the shots to fall tonight. An agile big, he still will need to get stronger to compete at the PF spot at the college level, but the potential is there. Footwork is above average and he has excellent hands. Definitely a PF prospect who can stretch the D with shooting. Needs to work on incorporating the pump fake more often – his ability to shoot gets the defender in the air and he could use it to his advantage.

Avery Jackson (F, 6’5″, 2015) West Forsyth HS – Jackson was the most impressive post player/big forward playing tonight – he showed excellent agility, great hands with a soft touch, and quickness in his footwork. Jackson has some good strength and colleges would probably see him as a guy they’d like to put between the 3 and 4 spot if possible. Will need to show an ability to drive consistently from the 3 but really liked his energy and he was an impact player.

Jalen Dalton (C, 6’6″, 2015) West Forsyth HS – Dalton comes off of the bench for Jackson and looks more like a pure post player – although at first glance he plays bigger than 6’6″. Still somewhat raw but colleges are always looking for bigs and Dalton has some potential. Had a couple of solid blocks and a good up and under move inside.

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