Archive for February, 2014

John Brown High Point basketball

By James Blackburn

Game Scouted: VMI @ High Point
High Point wins 70-67
Box Score

John Brown (F, 6’8”,R-SO)

Stats
36 min, 12-18 FG, 3-4 FT, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 27 TP

Strengths
Incredible athlete who can finish above the rim with ease. Quick 2nd jump. Active player on both sides of the floor. Terrific scorer who can beat you off the bounce, post you up, and pick and pop. Good shooter out to about 18’ where he can hit consistently. Gets out on the break quickly and is great in transition. Finishes well around the rim. Has an excellent left hook that he is able to set him self up for in different ways. Highly efficient player in the post. Go to move is the turn around jumper over his right shoulder. Loves to post up on right block and go baseline. Showed a solid face up game where he can hit the 12’ short corner jumper or put in on the floor for a dribble and get to basket. Solid rebounder especially on both ends.

High motor defender who influences and blocks shots. Has solid length. Is a well conditioned player. Does a good job getting low and fronting the post and making it tough for post entries.

Weaknesses
Lefty who needs to improve his right hand, hesitates to use or attack in this direction. Attacks the rim out of control at times. FT shooting has improved from last year (at 75% this year), but could stand to continue to improve in this area. Good midrange shooter but never attempts 3’s, needs to improve range. Not a great passer. Dribble is a bit loose.

Is active on the defensive side of the ball but is undisciplined. Tends to reach and gamble too much. Vulnerable to be posted up deep inside needs to improve lower body strength.

Overview
After having an outstanding freshman year where he won the Big South Freshman of the Year award and was named 1st Team All-Conference, Brown has continued to improve in his sophomore campaign. Coming into tonight’s game, he was leading the Panthers in minutes per game (32), points per game (19.6), and blocks per game (1.7). Big game tonight as he went beyond his averages in minutes and in points.

It’s tough to criticize a player who plays as hard and has such a high motor as Brown does. His athleticism is unmatched at this level and he uses it to his advantage on both sides of the floor. Plays the PF position for this HPU team but will need to add weight to play that position at the next level. I could see him developing into an athletic 3, but he needs to improve his range and ball handling. Can he defend the 3 on the perimeter is the question as well. He was asked to defend the bigger DJ Covington tonight for VMI. Is a player that NBA should begin to monitor if they haven’t started to already.

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ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has selected the Kentucky forward Julius Randleas its Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week for games ending the week of Sunday, Feb. 23. The USBWA’s weekly honor is presented by Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook and is announced exclusively on SiriusXM Radio’s “Inside College Basketball.”

Randle

As the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week, Randle was nominated for the weekly award, which was chosen by a representative of the USBWA board of directors from a list of Division I conference players of the week. Randle was also named the USBWA’s Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week.

Randle, a 6-9 freshman from Dallas, Texas, averaged 16.5 points and 14.0 rebounds in conference wins over Ole Miss and LSU. He began the week last Tuesday by notching his 14th double-double of the season with 25 points and 13 rebounds at Ole Miss. Randle shot 13-14 from the free-throw line and scored six of UK’s final 11 points to help preserve the 84-70 victory. On Saturday, he then helped lead the Cats in dramatic fashion at home in a 77-76 overtime win against LSU. He hit the game-winning put back with 3.9 seconds remaining in overtime en route to an eight-point, 15-rebound performance.

This is the fifth season that the USBWA has selected a national player of the week. The weekly Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week will be considered for the Oscar Robertson Trophy watch list, which will be released at mid-season.

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.

Oscar Robertson TrophyAt the conclusion of the regular season, the USBWA will name finalists for the award, which is voted on by the entire membership. The winner of the Oscar Robertson Trophy will be presented by its namesake, Oscar Robertson, at theDevon 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 Awardwill also be presented at the gala to be held annually the Monday following the NCAA Men’s Final Four.

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.

Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, the most comprehensive college basketball publication in the world, returns for its 33rd season, bigger and better in 2013-14. Blue Ribbon – long-known as “The Bible of College Basketball” – gives its readers the most thorough, up-to-date and timely evaluations of every Division I team in the country. For more information about Blue Ribbon Yearbooks, visit blueribbonyearbookonline.com.

2013-14 Oscar Robertson National Players of the Week
• Week of Dec. 8: Dustin Hogue, Iowa State (Big 12 Conference)
• Week of Dec. 15: Marcus Paige, North Carolina (Atlantic Coast Conference)
• Week of Dec. 22: Aaric Murray, Texas Southern (Southwestern Athletic Conference)
• Week of Dec. 29: DeAndre Kane, Iowa State (Big 12 Conference)
• Week of Jan. 5: Willis Hall, College of Charleston (Colonial Athletic Association)
• Week of Jan. 12: Doug McDermott, Creighton (Big East Conference)
• Week of Jan. 19: Naadir Tharpe, Kansas (Big 12 Conference)
• Week of Jan. 26: Nik Stauskas, Michigan (Big Ten Conference)
• Week of Feb. 2: Drew Crawford, Northwestern (Big Ten Conference)
• Week of Feb. 9: Melvin Ejim, Iowa State (Big 12 Conference)
• Week of Feb. 16: Doug McDermott, Creighton (Big East Conference)
• Week of Feb. 23: Julius Randle, Kentucky (Southeastern Conference)

Unsigned seniors who are looking for as many ways as possible to gain that last minute exposure to college coaches should check out the US Elite Hoops Unsigned Senior Showcase (www.elite-hoops.com) and follow them on Twitter @USELITEHOOPS for more information.

US Elite Hoops Unsigned Senior Showcase

NC Showcase Schedule 2014

NC Showcase Schedule 2014

NC Showcase 2014 AAU Schedule

Tevon Saddler

By James Blackburn

Game Scouted: Elon vs UNCG
Elon wins 81-68
Box Score

Tevon Saddler (G, 6’4”, FR)

Stats
26 min, 3-10 FG, 2-7 FT, 4 reb, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 blk, 8 TP

Strengths
Strong and athletic guard who is explosive and has a quick 2nd jump. At his best in transition where he is fast with the ball in his hands and can finish with contact in traffic. Jump shot has improved since the beginning of the season. His pull-up jumper is consistent and he also has a floater in his arsenal. Attacks the basket hard. Uses size to see over the defense and creates for others off the P/R. Can handle ball pressure, even from smaller guards, and is a solid drive and kick player. Good footwork on the perimeter.

Plays solid on the defensive end where he uses his size and wingspan to defend on the perimeter. Stays in front of his man consistently. Not a game changer on this end at this point, but doesn’t hurt you on this end either. Has potential to be a lock down defender as his career progresses. Solid rebounder on the defensive end.

Weaknesses
Not a pure PG at this point- more of a scoring combo. Tends to get out of control at times and is TO prone- is averaging 4 TO’s per game so far on the year. Needs to improve shooting range out to the 3-pt line. Saddler has only attempted 10 threes on the season and has hit on 10% of those. Defenses have the luxury to just go under the P/R at this point. Also needs to improve his FT shooting, especially with how often he gets to the line.

Overview
The freshman from Maryland is averaging 12.6 ppg, 4 rpg, and 3.1 apg on the season so far. Has shown good pose and control for the guard position thus far this year, especially for a freshman. Has a high ceiling for a player at his size for the PG position. Needs to continue to develop into a pure PG and improve 3-pt shooting ability.


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Sindarius Thornwell South Carolina basketball

ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – South Carolina’s Sindarius Thornwell is the Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week for games ending the week of Feb. 16. Thornwell 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.

Thornwell, a 6-5 guard from Lancaster, S.C., scored 41 points as the Gamecocks won back-to-back SEC games for the first time in three seasons. Against Vanderbilt last Thursday, he finished with 19 points, six rebounds and six assists in the 65-59 victory. Then over the weekend, he had 22 points, four rebounds and four assists in a 67-66 victory over Alabama, shooting 6-for-11 from the field and 9-for-10 from the free-throw line.

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 (Feb. 11)
• 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)
• Week of Jan. 26: Andrew Wiggins, Kansas (Big 12 Conference)
• Week of Feb. 2: Jordan Mickey, LSU (Southeastern Conference)
• Week of Feb. 9: Marcus Foster, Kansas State (Big 12 Conference)
• Week of Feb. 16: Sindarius Thornwell, South Carolina (Southeastern Conference)

Oak Hill basketball 2014

By James Blackburn

National powerhouse Oak Hill Academy visited New Hope Christian on Tuesday night. There was a good crowd on hand to take in the action, including multiple college coaches. Oak Hill controlled the game from the start and led by double-digits at the half. New Hope kept the game in reach in the third, but Oak Hill ultimately pulled out the victory 84-65 to get the road win. Oak Hill was led by Virginia commit B.J. Stith with 25 pts and NC State commit Caleb Martin with 18 pts. New Hope was led by senior guard Ryan Johnson with a game high 26 points. Here are some reports from a few of the standout players in the game.

New Hope Christian

Ryan Johnson (2014, SG, 6’5”)

Ryan was arguably the best shooter on the court tonight. He has range out to the college 3-pt line and has a smooth stroke. Has good length. Average athlete and quickness. Better playmaker and passer then give credit for. Solid feel for the game. Needs to improve ability to finish in traffic and his play on the defensive end. Still an unsigned SR who most LM schools should check out.

Oak Hill Academy

Caleb Martin (2014, G/F, 6’6”)

Terrific overall game tonight from Martin. He was all over the floor scoring, passing, defending, and rebounding. Versatile threat who showed an improved 1st step and good consistency from the 3-pt line. Can handle the ball and lead the break. High IQ player. Had multiple above the rim finishes tonight as well. NC State is a getting a good one.

B.J. Stith (2014, G, 6’5”)

Was Oak Hill’s best player tonight. High motor wing who rebounds the ball well for his size. Strong upper body and is a super athlete- explosive. Tremendous shooter who has a high release. Can shoot the midrange and the 3. Good defender who can defend several positions. Needs to continue to improve ball handling and ability to make plays out of P/R situations. Committed to UVA.

Terrence Phillips (2015, PG, 5’11”)

Pure PG who is equally effective in both the half-court and in transition. Good quickness and speed w/ the ball in the open court. Showed he could hit the open perimeter shot if the defender goes under the ball screen. Was able create for others and did a great job of playmaking. Excellent on-ball defender who moved his feet well. D1 caliber guard.

Rodney Miller (2016, C, 6’11”)

True back to the basket big who has a great upside. Good frame that will be able to add weight. Has a soft touch. Defends with out fouling and using size and length. Has a soft touch. Solid rebounder.

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ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has selected the Creighton forward Doug McDermott as its Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week for games ending the week of Sunday, Feb. 16. The USBWA’s weekly honor is presented by Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook and is announced exclusively on SiriusXM Radio’s “Inside College Basketball.”

McDermott

As the Big East Conference Player of the Week, McDermott was nominated for the weekly award, which was chosen by a representative of the USBWA board of directors from a list of Division I conference players of the week.

McDermott, a 6-8 senior from Ames, Iowa, averaged 32.5 points and 6.0 rebounds in a pair of wins last week to lead the Bluejays back into first place in the Big East. He shot 24-for-36 from the field (.667), 7-for-11 from three-point range (.636) and also was perfect in 10 free throw attempts (1.000).

McDermott’s week began last Thursday with 26 points and five rebounds in a 68-63 win at Butler. With Creighton trailing by two in the final minute, his three-pointer with 47.8 seconds left started a game-ending 7-0 run. He sank 11-of-19 shots from the field, including 3-of-5 shots from three-point range. On Sunday, McDermott tied a season-high with 39 points in a 101-80 thumping of No. 6 Villanova. He scored Creighton’s first 11 points and made 13-of-17 shots, including 4-for-6 from three-point range, and was also perfect on nine free throw. His three-pointer with 13:23 left moved him into 13th place on the NCAA all-time scoring list (2.863 points), passing Hall of Famer Larry Bird.

For the second time this season and the fourth time in his career, McDermott has been honored as the National Player of the Week by the USBWA. McDermott has earned the honor once in each of the previous two seasons (Week of Dec. 16, 2013, and week of Dec. 25, 2012) while Creighton was a member of the Missouri Valley Conference. This season, he previously earned the honor the week of Jan. 14.

This is the fifth season that the USBWA has selected a national player of the week. The weekly Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week will be considered for the Oscar Robertson Trophy watch list, which will be released at mid-season.

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.

Oscar Robertson TrophyAt the conclusion of the regular season, the USBWA will name finalists for the award, which is voted on by the entire membership. The winner of the Oscar Robertson Trophy will be presented by its namesake, Oscar Robertson, 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 Awardwill also be presented at the gala to be held annually the Monday following the NCAA Men’s Final Four.

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.

Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, the most comprehensive college basketball publication in the world, returns for its 33rd season, bigger and better in 2013-14. Blue Ribbon – long-known as “The Bible of College Basketball” – gives its readers the most thorough, up-to-date and timely evaluations of every Division I team in the country. For more information about Blue Ribbon Yearbooks, visit blueribbonyearbookonline.com.

2013-14 Oscar Robertson National Players of the Week
• Week of Dec. 8: Dustin Hogue, Iowa State (Big 12 Conference)
• Week of Dec. 15: Marcus Paige, North Carolina (Atlantic Coast Conference)
• Week of Dec. 22: Aaric Murray, Texas Southern (Southwestern Athletic Conference)
• Week of Dec. 29: DeAndre Kane, Iowa State (Big 12 Conference)
• Week of Jan. 5: Willis Hall, College of Charleston (Colonial Athletic Association)
• Week of Jan. 12: Doug McDermott, Creighton (Big East Conference)
• Week of Jan. 19: Naadir Tharpe, Kansas (Big 12 Conference)
• Week of Jan. 26: Nik Stauskas, Michigan (Big Ten Conference)
• Week of Feb. 2: Drew Crawford, Northwestern (Big Ten Conference)
• Week of Feb. 9: Melvin Ejim, Iowa State (Big 12 Conference)
• Week of Feb. 16: Doug McDermott, Creighton (Big East Conference)

NCAA tournament 2014

ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – In an effort to better serve writers covering NCAA tournament games, the U.S. Basketball Writers Association is partnering with the NCAA and the Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) to provide liaisons assigned by APSE to assist media coordinators with media-related issues at NCAA men’s tournament sites.

The liaisons are all sports editors of dailies in cities where NCAA tournament games are played. They will serve in an advisory capacity at each tournament site, working with the media coordinators in the following areas:

1. Assisting with seat assignments that are within NCAA guidelines to ensure that a deserving entity doesn’t get overlooked. The USBWA recommends that full consideration is given to a publication/website that is committed to covering the sport or a team throughout the season. The liaisons are serving as consultants only. The NCAA makes the final call on all seat assignments.

2. Monitoring the postgame cooling-off periods after games to assure that time limits are adhered to.

3. Providing pool reporters when needed. The USBWA will continue to appoint pool reporters at each site, drawing primarily from officers, board members and past presidents. In the event a suitable USBWA member is not available, the APSE liaison would be asked to assign the pool reporter.

The USBWA worked with Dave Worlock, director of media coordination and statistics for the NCAA, and Gerry Ahern, vice president for content, USA Today Sports Media Group, to form the partnership.

“We received valuable input from APSE on some important issues over the past year,” said USBWA President Kirk Wessler, sports editor and columnist at the Peoria Journal Star. “APSE’s involvement with providing NCAA tournament site liaisons is a great example of how our three organizations can work together to help solve a common dilemma.”

Here are the sports editors who are serving as liaisons for the NCAA men’s tournament this year:

FIRST ROUND (March 18-19)
• Dayton: John Boyle, Dayton Daily News

SECOND-THIRD ROUNDS (March 20-23)
• Buffalo: Lisa Wilson, Buffalo News
• Milwaukee: Mike Davis, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
• Orlando: Roger Simmons, Orlando Sentinel
• Raleigh: Steve Ruinsky, Raleigh News and Observer
• San Antonio: Gary Newsom, San Antonio Express News
• San Diego: Todd Adams, UT-San Diego
• Spokane: Joe Palmquist, Spokane Spokesman-Review
• St. Louis: Roger Hensley, Cameron Hollway, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

REGIONALS (March 27-30)
• Memphis: David Williams, Memphis Commercial Appeal
• Anaheim: Todd Harmonson, Orange County Register
• New York: Jason Stallman, The New York Times
• Indianapolis: Ronnie Ramos, Indianapolis Star

Kyl Cain UNCG basketball

By James Blackburn

Game Scouted: Western Carolina @ UNCG
Western wins 82-77 (OT)

Box Score

Kyle Cain (F, 6’7”, JR)

Stats
38 min, 6-14 FG, 7-10 FT, 12 reb, 3 assist, 2 TO, 1 blk, 19 TP

Strengths
Cain is extremely active and has a high motor. His biggest strength as a player is his rebounding ability on both ends. He boxes out on the defensive glass and is constantly attacking the offensive boards. Led his team in rebounds tonight and leads team in rebounds per game (9) on the season.

Cain does a decent job of defending the ball in the post. He also showed today that he could hedge screens and recover. Gets in the right defensive position and seems to be aware on that end of the floor.

Offensively, Cain gets most of his points off of tip-ins and being a junk yard dog in the paint. Not afraid to play physical. He does have an excellent lefty baby hook shot that he usually scores off of several times a game out of post up plays. Does a good job of handling double teams. Is a lefty who can step out and hit the open perimeter shot usually from the top of the key being the trail man or from the short corner, 15’ and in. Can put the ball on the floor in straight line drives to his left and score.

Athletic player who can finish above the rim. Plays hard and sacrifices his body.

Weaknesses
Offensively, Cain is still a little raw. He needs to continue to improve his shooting mechanics and improve his range. Has a hitch in his shot and rotation has a side spin on it. He doesn’t run the floor very well and doesn’t have a long stride. Can put the ball on the floor once or twice but needs to improve ball handling and ability to change directions- dribble tends to get loose. Doesn’t look comfortable going to his right or finishing with his right. Struggles to create own shot or go by anyone on perimeter. Footwork needs improvement on perimeter.
Does fine defending in the post but struggled to defend 2/3’s this game- slow foot speed.

Overview
Transferred from Arizona State and has become the leader on this young Spartans team. Leading the team in points and rebounds on the year as he did tonight. Plays with emotion and energy. Did well from the FT tonight and he hit his last 6 shots in the end of regulation and in the OT period. Is poised for a big senior year. Would like to see him improve his ball handling, his jump shot, and develop the ability to use either hand, especially in the post.

Want more scouting insights? You can get them by following James Blackburn on Twitter, right now!