Montverde Senior F Ben Simmons- (MVP) Simmons had a rather quiet showing during the first round game against Greensboro Day , but as the tournament went on he showed why he is considered the #1 prospect in the country. Ben can score the ball and rebounds it very well, but his most impressive trait was his passing ability and court vision. It was very impressive to see a player of his size make the passes that he made and although he had many opportunities to score the ball, he took on the facilitator role until his team needed him to score. He is a very versatile player at his height, can not only score inside but has a smooth shooting stroke from midrange and can handle the ball very well, will love to see him knock down the trey ball with more consistency. Headed to LSU
Oak Hill Senior PG Terrance Phillips- Terrance is more than just a Point Guard, he is a floor general that knows to lead a team and gives everything he has on the floor. He has very good vision and knows how to score it but always looks to get his teammate involved first, he is constantly communicating with his teammates and coaches. Terrance is what I would call a pesky defender , no matter what move you hit him with he recovers quickly to get back into the play. He takes charges, blocks shots, get steals, jumps over scorers tables and probably would sell concessions if you needed him too, Plain and simple this young man does a little bit of everything! Headed to Missouri next year
Wheeler H.S Senior F Jaylen Brown- Jaylen wasted no time getting going, once the game started he had already scored multiple buckets with a minute, this young man is a natural scorer and has the combo of height, strength and athleticism that causes serious problems for defenders. He can knock down the outside shot very efficiently but doesn’t choose to settle, instead he gets to the cup and forces defenses to back off of him which allows him to then go to his perimeter game. At one point his team was trailing by quite a few points but Brown continued to work and with the help of his squad would tie the game in the final moment but would eventually come up short. Brown finished with 29 points and 15 Rebounds in a close loss to Huntington Prep
Blanche Ely Senior G Laquincy Rideau- Laquincy had a very good showing in the 1st round of the tournament, although his team would eventually lose to Findlay Prep , he clearly showed his ability to play at the division 1 level. He has a very strong frame which allows him to embrace contact with no problem, and also is a very gifted ball handler that seems to know how to keep defenders guessing .Although he has gifted ball handling skills, he did not over dribble but instead looked to get into the paint and scorer regardless of who was defending. He didn’t have his best shooting day but he was very aggressive for his squad and displayed an attitude of fearlessness when playing against taller opponents. He is definitely a player that we look forward to seeing progress over the year since he will be playing in our state next year, While talking to Laquincy after the game, he informed that he had committed to Garner Webb University
Findlay Prep Senior G Allonzo Trier- Allonzo seems to play the game of basketball with a chip on his shoulder and does not back from any challenge, he loves to initiate contact on both ends of the floor and has a very smooth shooting stroke. Throughout the tournament he showed the ability to break down his defender and get to the basket and finish over the rim. At 6’5 he has good size for a combo guard at the next level and seems to be very comfortable running the PG spot when called upon. From watching his body language throughout the tournament , it seemed as if he was playing with an injury but he fought through it to help his squad as much as he could. There is no question about the talent of this young man and although it seems as if he somewhat of a strong demeanor when speaking to his teammates, he has the potential to be a very special player. Allonzo is headed to Arizona next year
Huntington Prep Senior F Thomas Bryant- Thomas is a versatile big man that can bang inside or step out and knock down perimeter shots, On the first day of the tournament he was absolutely dominant throughout the game and showed great leadership qualities with his squad. Thomas was very efficient from the perimeter knocking down numerous treys throughout the game and was a beast on the boards pulling 19 Rebounds in the first game. One attribute that I loved about Thomas more than anything else was his intensity and extremely high motor, it seems as if he truly loves to play the game and absolutely hates losing. On the final day of the event Thomas announced his decision that he will be attending Indiana next year
Wings Academy Senior PG Desure Buie- Desure was one of the better ball handlers that we saw throughout the tournament, he kept his defender guessing with a variety of different crossover and hesitation moves. Although he has somewhat of a slender frame, he plays fairly strong and does not get pushed around easily, with his crafty moves and crossovers Desure definitely was a player that the crowd loved and he was one of my favorites to watch as well! Is headed to Hofstra University next year
Greensboro Day Senior F/C Peter Agba- Peter is a player that we have seen quite a few times, even though his squad was playing on a big stage and against the #2 ranked team in the country, it was business as usual for Peter. He played with a very high motor and was solid inside scoring the ball as well as being very active on the glass, on the defensive end he gave it everything had and battled throughout the night. Is headed to Akron to play for the Zips next year
High Character Player Award: Findlay Prep F Justin Jackson- Justin is a young man that plays the game the right way, although he competes hard and is very talented he always shows high character. Although he has a very talented game and is a 2016 player that you have to love, I don’t believe that his basketball talent is even his best attribute. It doesn’t matter if he’s helping a teammate up off the ground or breaking up a scuffle, you always know that he is doing what right. He understand that for his squad to be successful the whole team has to be on one accord and happy, It was very refreshing to see a player of his talent caliber that has character that is just as impressive as his talent on the floor
Mr. Garbage Man Award: Montverde Senior F Noah Dickerson- Noah does all the things on the floor that go unnoticed to your average basketball fan and possibly even some basketball scouts. He has good height and a frame ,that clearly looks like he has spent sometime in the weightroom recently , to go along with a toughness that you don’t see everyday on the court. It was impressive to see how many: charges he took, loose balls that he dove for, jump balls that he forced , and even shots he altered by being in the right position at the right time. Noah is headed to Florida next year
Younger Players to keep an eye on:
Montverde Freshman E.J Montgomery- at 6’9 with a very long wingspan, this young man is one to keep an eye on for the future. He already seems to have a lot of confidence in his game and plays under control on the offensive end, reminds me a lot of Tayshaun Prince in his younger years.
Findlay Prep Sophomore P.J Washington- Has a very good combo of size,strength and athleticism at a young age. He’s not only 6’8 but he has a very nice frame to go with his height already and he does not mind mixing it up with the older guys inside. P.J may have had one of the best dunks of the tournament when he threw down a monster jam in the semifinals.
Greensboro Day Freshman Will Dillard- Will is an young man with very good athleticism and poise, he has a smooth game and a demeanor of calmness that is beyond his years. Although he didn’t have his best showing, you can clearly see the potential he has to be a very special player in the future.
Portsmouth, VA was once again for the 63rd year the home for the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, an annual tournament featuring the top collegiate seniors across the nation. NBA scouts, front office personnel, overseas clubs, and agents show up in huge numbers to evaluate the talent on hand. Below are my All-Tournament teams and my MVP selection based on my evaluations.
Darion Atkins, UVA, F, 6’8″, 234 lbs
Atkins led the PIT in scoring at 20 ppg and was 3rd in rebounding with 10.3 per contest. He was solid and consistent each of the 3 games and was the best post defender in attendance. Dont be surprised if Atkins is on a roster next NBA season.
G- DJ Newbill (Penn St, G, 6’4″, 210 lbs)
G- D’Angelo Harrison (St. Johns, G, 6’4″, 204 lbs)
F-Treveon Graham (VCU, F, 6’6″, 220 lbs)
F-Darion Atkins (Virginia, F, 6’8″, 24o lbs)
F-Cady Lalanne (UMASS, F, 6’10”, 250 lbs)
G- Tyler Kalinoski (Davidson, G, 6’4″, 180 lbs)
G- Chavaughn Lewis (Marist, G, 6’5″, 185 lbs)
F- JJ Avila (Colorado St, F, 6’7″, 246 lbs)
F-Richaun Holmes (Bowling Green, F, 6’8″, 232 lbs)
F- Marcus Thornton (Georgia, 6’8″, F, 235 lbs)
G- Pierria Henry (Charlotte, PG, 6’4″, 189 lbs)
G- Levi Randolph (Alabama, G, 6’5″, 208 lbs)
F- Darun Hilliard (Villanova, G, 6’6″, 215 lbs)
F-Royce O’Neale (Baylor, F, 6’6″, 215 lbs)
C-Matt Stainbrook (Xavier, C, 6’10”, 263 lbs)]]>
John Oliver continues to speak Truth to Power, and this time he’s got the NCAA and its’ massive marketing and branding of their flagship product while simultaneously not paying many of the employees that make the ratings and games possible.]]>
Once again, the NCAA men’s basketball champion will come from the ACC as the Duke Blue Devils defeated the Wisconsin Badgers 68-63 on Monday night. Tyus Jones was outstanding, and it should not be lost on basketball fans that Frank Kaminsky’s double-double in a losing effort was also spectacular. The senior Kaminsky shut down the much more heralded Jahlil Okafor for most of the night, but end the end it was Duke’s Jones who made the difference for Coach Mike Kryzewski, who landed his fifth national championship. Duke’s Greyson Allen also had a phenomenal effort to help pull Duke back into the game in the second half.
Tyus Jones, Greyson Allen and Frank Kaminsky were the standouts, but solid games were turned in from Bronson Koenig, Nigel Hayes, Quinn Cook and Justice Winslow.
Wisconsin’s Sam Dekkar, who has been an impact player throughout this year’s tournament, had a disappointing night, going 0-6 from beyond the three point line. Dekkar was able to get some points around the rim but overall was much less of a factor in the title game. Wisconsin guard Traevon Jackson was able to put pressure on the Duke defense with the dribble but had a poor shooting night, going 1-for-7 from the field and making a couple of costly decisions near midcourt.
Overall, Wisconsin controlled much of the game but had trouble keeping Greyson Allen and Tyus Jones from scoring in the second half. Kaminsky used his length to beat Okafor repeatedly on the inside for Wisconsin but once Duke was able to take a late lead, Wisconsin’s methodical offense worked against them and Duke was able to hold on for the win. Kaminsky will need to get stronger for the NBA but I expect him to have a lengthy career at the pro level. Okafor continues to show flashes of brilliance with great footwork around the basket and a soft touch.
The issue for Okafor for me is that even in AAU and high school, I’ve yet to see him dominate – or even have a decent showing against – another quality big man. This season he struggled in both games against Frank Kaminsky as well against the multiple bigs of North Carolina. This has to be taken into account, because the reverse is that Kaminsky played extremely well both times he faced Okafor and Kaminsky played extremely well against Karl Towns and Willie Cauley-Stein of Kentucky. The hope is that the difference between Kaminsky’s solid consistent showings and OKafor’s consistent disappearances is just experience, as ‘Frank the Tank’ is a senior and Okafor just a freshman. But Kaminsky’s play still should be noted, just as it should be noted that despite Tyus Jones’ size, he has now shown he can execute against the best college teams in the nation.
Jones and Kaminsky are not getting a ton of love from NBA scouts, while Okafor is. Some of this is because of the physical nature of the NBA and the style of play; Kaminsky will have to change the way he plays defense at the next level and it will require much more mobility than he had to use at Wisconsin. For Tyus Jones, physical strength at the guard position is a must-have. Jones was known in high school for being able to take a body blow on the drive, but still square up and finish. If he was to stay in college another couple of years, he would likely add the strength to show this at the college level as well. Would he be able to withstand the physical thumping he would take from the grown men in the NBA? That, effectively, is the million dollar question. While Okafor and even Justice Winslow are already strong enough to move to the NBA game, Jones and Kaminsky have some work to do.
Okafor carves up smaller post players with ease and had fantastic hands, but at some point he will have to show he can do it when faced with another player his size. The prevalent wisdom from NBA scouts and GMs is that he will get there in a few years, so he still should be considered the top prospect in this year’s NBA draft. It’s hard to argue with his agility and as a true center he is much lighter on his feet than most players at the position I’ve seen.
TAMPA, Fla. (USBWA) – University of Connecticut 6-4 junior forward Breanna Stewart joined five former women’s greats as a two-time winners of the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award as national player of the year named by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.
Debbie Corum, senior associate director of athletics for the Huskies, accepted the award for Stewart in the Amalie Arena as UConn, the two-time defending NCAA champion, prepared to meet Maryland in one of the national semifinal games Sunday night.
The award, first handed out in 1987-88 by the USBWA, began being named for former UCLA four-time All-American Ann Meyers Drysdale in 2012.
The other two-time winners were former Virginia star Dawn Staley (1991, ’92), who returned to the Women’s Final Four Sunday for the first time since her playing days as the coach of South Carolina, which was to meet Notre Dame in the other game; Tennessee’s Chamique Holdsclaw (1998, ’99) and Candace Parker (2007, ’08), UConn’s Maya Moore 2009, ’10), and Baylor’s Brittney Griner (2012, ’13).
UConn and Tennessee now each have had a pair of USBWA multiple winners of the award but Stewart could return next year for a record third honor when the Women’s Final Four is held in Indianapolis.
Tennessee’s Tamika Catchings (2000) also won the award while UConn has had Rebecca Lobo (1995), Sue Bird (2002), Diana Taurasi (2003), and Tina Charles (2010) as winners for an overall total of seven players and nine awards.
Stewart appears on the way to a postseason sweep, having won the Wade Trophy for the first time Saturday while repeating as the Associated Press women’s player. Still to be announced is the Naismith Trophy winner.
Since her last USBWA honor, Stewart was a member of the Gold Medal USA World Champion squad as the only collegian on a roster field with WNBA superstars.
Depending on the outcome here, Stewart, a native of North Syracuse, N.Y., also has a chance to become the first women’s player to win four straight NCAA Division I women’s national basketball titles.
Her coach Geno Auriemma, who has won the USBWA women’s coach honor a record four times, says his star post player is like a car that runs better than others of similar construction describing how Stewart rises to the occasion at key moments.
“She’s just wired differently,” Auriemma, who was the USA World Championship coach, said.
Following a pedestrian freshman season, Stewart carried the Huskies to the 2013 championship, winning most outstanding player honors, and then repeated the award last season.
This season, Stewart has averaged 17.6 points per game on a team loaded and balanced with superior talent – teammates Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Moriah Jefferson joined her as USBWA All-Americans – and also averaged 7.6 rebounds while blocking 96 shots and grabbing 57 steals.
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. For more information on the USBWA and its award programs, contact executive director Joe Mitch at 314-795-6821.
|ALL-TIME ANN MEYERS DRYSDALE AWARD WINNERS (USBWA PLAYER OF THE YEAR)|
|1988 Sue Wicks, Rutgers
1989 Clarissa Davis, Texas
1990 Jennifer Azzi, Stanford
1991 Dawn Staley, Virginia
1992 Dawn Staley, Virginia
1993 Sheryl Swoopes, Texas Tech
1994 Lisa Leslie, USC
1995 Rebecca Lobo, Connecticut
1996 Saudia Roundtree, Georgia
1997 Kate Starbird, Stanford
1998 Chamique Holdsclaw, Tennessee
1999 Chamique Holdsclaw, Tennessee
2000 Tamika Catchings, Tennessee
2001 Ruth Riley, Notre Dame
|2002 Sue Bird, Connecticut
2003 Diana Taurasi, Connecticut
2004 Alana Beard, Duke
2005 Seimone Augustus, LSU
2006 Ivory Latta, North Carolina
2007 Candace Parker, Tennessee
2008 Candace Parker, Tennessee
2009 Maya Moore, Connecticut
2010 Tina Charles, Connecticut
2011 Maya Moore, Connecticut
2012 Brittney Griner, Baylor
2013 Brittney Griner, Baylor
2014 Breanna Stewart, Connecticut
2015 Breanna Stewart, Connecticut
|The award was named in honor of Ann Meyers Drysdale in 2012|
NCAA President Mark Emmert joined Katz Korner on ESPNU, hosted by Andy Katz, to discuss Indiana’s “Religious Freedom Restoration” law.
Excerpts of the interview are provided below.
NCAA President Mark Emmert on Katz Korner:
On his interpretation of the law:
“I was deeply concerned about it, as were our members. The law itself has a lot of uncertainty and lacks clarity. But anything that could potentially allow for discrimination and works in a way that is inconsistent with our values for inclusion is something we are very very concerned about.”
On adjustments he would want legislatures to make to the law:
“I can’t speak to that; I am not a legislature or a lawyer. But I do know from my personal vantage point, we simply have to operate our events and conduct our affairs in an environment that reflects the core values of what higher education is about, what our university and college members care about. And that is an environment that celebrates diversity and provides for a very inclusive, supportive environment. Right now, we are not sure that we have that.”
On if the NCAA wants the law repealed or tweaked:
“Again, I am going to leave that up to legislatures. There is a lot debate going on in the state right now. I have say, what I have seen and what others have seen and heard over the past few days, hasn’t changed our level of concern. In many ways, it has just added more to the questions of what needs to occur here. It does clearly need to be addressed: whether that is a repeal or some language change that makes it self-evident there are not discriminatory practices that can be condoned under this model is a decision they have to make, but they need to deal with it.”
On his conversation with Governor Pence:
“I’ve spoken to him (Governor Pence), I’ve spoken to the speaker of the house, I’ve spoken to the mayor. In each of those opportunities, I’ve expressed the concerns that we have both as an employer here in Indiana, but more importantly as a representative of all 1,100 of our college and university members about any environment that doesn’t allow us to pursue our core val
ues, and that includes being very inclusive and very diverse. That’s something we hold near and dear and we’re going to make sure we can always do that. They’ve indicated their commitment to try to clarify that bill in the Speaker of the House’s words and the governor’s words. I and everyone else awaits that clarification. Right now we haven’t seen it. The mayor is being extremely supportive of the Association.”
On how much lobbying the NCAA did to prevent the law:
“We had expressed our displeasure with it and frankly I was really surprised it passed, that it was signed into law, especially as quickly as it occurred. There had been an anti-gay marriage law that was being debated last year, we opposed that and made sure everyone again understood that was inconsistent with the values of the NCAA. I thought, everybody thought, this would take a lot more deliberation than occurred. We were all surprised and disappointed that this moved rapidly though the legislature.”
On impact this law could have on NCAA-related events being held in the state:
“We, the NCAA have to sit down and say ‘all right, if this environment remains the way it is, what does that mean for us going forward?’ We hold lots and lots of events here, we’re going to have our national convention is here, our offices are here. We have to say, ‘what do we do if this law goes into effect in July, and what’s our relationship with the state of Indiana going to be?’”
On how much time they would need to move an event, such as the 2016 Women’s Final Four, outside of Indianapolis:
“We’d have to consider it and discuss it. It’s something that we would do very very deliberately and thoughtfully. Again, you don’t want to, because of a political activity, disrupt an event that’s been in the making for so long that will change the experience for those student athletes. But if we have to move events, we’ll do it, and we’ll do it in a way that provides student-athletes with everything they deserve and everything they’ve worked for, as well as the fans and their families and everyone else. But we can get that done in a way that works for everyone.”
On the real possibility that the NCAA could move its office and/or events outside of Indianapolis:
“We need to understand fully what the bill is and isn’t. The Governor and legislature have indicated that they are going to modify it or clarify it. Others in the legislature are calling for its appeal. Before we get that far down the road, we have to get a feel for what it really means. Having said that, we are very serious about our core values. We want to make sure we operate in an environment that is supportive of those values. So this is a serious issue for us.”
McDonald’s All American Game, DICK’S Sporting Goods High School Nationals, Nike Hoop Summit and Jordan Brand Classic All Feature ESPN 100 Players; Players in the espnW Hoop Girlz 100 Also Televised in McDonalds Game and DICK’S Nationals
ESPN will showcase the next generation of college basketball players in premier events between Monday, March 31, and Friday, April 17, as the 2014-15 high school basketball season concludes.
Each of the events — McDonald’s All American Game (April 1), DICK’S Sporting Goods High School Nationals (April 2-4), Nike Hoop Summit (April 11) and Jordan Brand Classic (April 17) — will all feature numerousESPN 100 players, including No. 1 overall Ben Simmons (Montverde. Fla.) who has signed with LSU. Many top recruits remain uncommitted — including six of the top 10 in the ESPN 100 — and will participate in at least one events. With that said, Arizona, Duke, Florida State, Illinois, Kentucky, LSU, Memphis, Michigan State, Ohio State, Oregon, Syracuse, Texas, Texas A&M, and Villanova, among other schools, will have signees also participating.
An NBA feel will surround the events, as the two all-star games will take place in NBA arenas – United Center in Chicago (McDonalds), and Barclays Center (Jordan Brand Classic) – while the Nike Hoop Summit will take place in the Moda Center in Portland and the DICK’s Nationals will conclude at Madison Square Garden.
Event Details and Television Coverage
o Girls and boys McDonald’s All Americans participate in a skills and three-point shooting competition. The boys will also participate in a slam dunk competition. The annual event is a prelude to the McDonald’s All American Game. More information can be found here:
o All 24 participants in the boys McDonald’s All American Game rank in the ESPN 100 led by No. 1 Simmons. Seven of the top 10 in ESPN 100 will play including No. 2 Jaylen Brown (SF) and No. 4 Malik Newman (SG), No. 6 Ivan Rabb (PF), No. 7 Diamond Stone (C), No. 8 Caleb Swanigan (C), and No. 10 Stephen Zimmerman (C), all who remain uncommitted. No. 9 Chase Jeter (C), who has signed with Duke, will also participate. Full roster here
o More than 20 espnW HoopGurlz Top 100 players will participate in the girls McDonald’s All American Game, led by No. 1 Katie Lou Samuelson and No. 2 Asia Durr, who have committed to Connecticut and Louisville respectively. Full roster here
o ESPNU will also televise the McDonald’s Boy’s Scrimmage on Tuesday, March 31, at 3 p.m. ET.
o For the girls game, Adam Amin and Brooke Weisbrod will be on the call, with Quint Kessenich reporting. For the boys, Amin will be joined alongside Jay Williams and Jalen Rose, with Kessenich also reporting.
o Returning to New York City, the DICK’S Sporting Goods High School Nationals features impressive fields in both the boys’ (eight teams) and girls’ (four teams) tournament. The boys’ tournament will feature six of the top seven teams in the USA Today High School Super 25 rankings, including No. 1 Oak Hill Academy (Va.) and No. 2 Montverde Academy, who won last year’s tournament. Additionally, 12 ESPN 100 players will participate in their final game with their high school team.
o The girls’ tournament will feature three ranked teams in the USA Today High School Girls Super 25, including No. 3 Dillard High School (Fla.) and No. 7 Miami Country Day (Fla.). No. 16 Gonzaga (Wash.) and South Shore (N.Y.) round out the field.
o Complete tournament information can be found here:
o Eight of the top 10, including five of the top six – Simmons, Brown, Skal Labissiere, Newman, and Rabb — in the ESPN 100 will participate in the annual international showcase game featuring many of the world’s leading basketball players age 19 years old or younger. Overall, more than a dozen ESPN 100 players will participate.
o The USA Basketball Junior National Select Team’s roster includes seniors who have signed at Arizona, Duke, Kentucky, and Villanova, while the World Select Team’s roster includes signees for LSU and Kentucky. Fourteen participating players have not committed to a college. More information: Click Here
o The final all-star game for high school seniors features each of the top six in the ESPN 100 and 26 top recruits all together.
o Participating players have signed with Arizona, Duke, Florida State, Illinois, Kentucky, LSU, Marquette, Memphis, Michigan State, Ohio State, Oregon, Syracuse, Texas, Texas A&M, and Villanova. Seven of the participating players remain uncommitted. More information: Click here
o ESPN3 will carry both the International (1:30 p.m.) and the Girls (3:30 p.m.) games this year
o ESPN recruiting director Paul Biancardi will be in-studio to evaluate the incoming freshmen class for top teams.
More details to be announced as date approaches
ESPN High School Basketball Programming Schedule (March 30 – April 21)
|Mon, March 30||8 p.m.||2015 McDonald’s All American Games, POWERADE Jam Fest||Chicago, Ill.||ESPN2|
|Tuesday, March 31||3 p.m.||2015 McDonald’s All American Scrimmage (boys)||Chicago, Ill.||ESPNU|
|Wed, April 1||Girls: 6:30 p.m.Boys: 9:30 p.m.||McDonald’s All-American Games||The United Center in Chicago, Ill.||Girls: ESPNUBoys: ESPN|
|Thurs, April 2 – Sat, April 4||Tournament Schedule||DICK’S Sporting Goods High School Nationals||Christ the King High School & Madison Square Garden in New York||ESPNU, ESPN2 & ESPN|
|Sat, April 11||3 p.m.||2015 Nike Hoop Summit||Moda Center in Portland, Ore.||ESPN2|
|Friday, April 17||1:30 p.m.||Jordan Brand Classic
|Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.||ESPN3|
|3:30 p.m.||Jordan Brand Classic
|Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.||ESPN3|
|8 p.m.||Jordan Brand Classic||Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.||ESPN2|
|Tues, April 21||6 p.m.||ESPNU Signing Day Special||ESPNU Studios||ESPNU|
The 2015 NC Top 80 was held in Greensboro, NC for the second straight year and featured many of the top prospects in North Carolina. Organized by Phenom Hoops, there are always solid performances and breakout players. We’ll have more coming from the event from our other scouts, and I was focused on our broadcasts from Court 1 so I couldn’t scout very much and wouldn’t want to attempt to offer any thoughts on players I didn’t get a good chance to see. However, I still caught a few players and here are my notes from the day:
Charles Norman (PG, 6’1″, 2016) Prominence Academy – After seeing Norman multiple times over the past three years, I think he may be one of the least talked about guards with elite quickness and athleticism in the region. He’s great both in transition and in the half court, and plays way above the rim. Solid ballhandler and passer and is just always darting all over the floor making things happen.
David Caraher (SF, 6’6″, 2016) Chapel Hill HS – committed to Butler, another player I’ve seen multiple times now and what always impresses me is his quick hands, quick release and his ability to find gaps in the defense. He can really get buckets in a hurry and has a solid handled from the wing, excellent lateral quickness and I think he really understands how to keep the defender on their heels by changing how he attacks on each play. Shot 50% from deep on the day and averaged 6+ rebounds per game.
Aaron Cash (SF, 6’5″, 2018) Word of God – Saw Cash last week at the Super 60 and more of the same this week, long, active on both ends and really hard to stay in front of in transition. Also showed some deep range this week and has an above the rim game.
Will Dillard (SG, 6’1″, 2018) Greensboro Day School – Dillard displayed a lot of length and athleticism, an ability to slash with the ball and had several monster putback dunks that brought the house down. Really like the upside of Dillard and is a very grounded individual. Definitely see him as a Division I guard with big possibilities.
Iran Bennett (C, 6’9″, 2016) Mt. Zion Academy – Continues to display those great hands with shot blocking and makes life in the paint tough. Has good footspeed and as I’ve written in the past will have to improve his physical conditioning at the next level but a true big man with a lot of strength in the post.
Brandon Childress (G, 6’0″, 2016) Wesleyan Christian Academy – Coming into the event, we already knew that the Wake Forest commit was a crafty ballhandler and deep shooter, and he displayed that deep touch again today. Really like his ability to create space to get off his shot and will add outside scoring from the PG or SG spots.
Jacob Skidmore (F, 6’8″, 2016) Kings Mountain HS – the slender Skidmore continues to show a more aggressive demeanor this Spring and today also displayed his ‘stretch 4′ shot, shooting very well from deep and has a high, long shot release that is just too tall for most defenders to block.
Mike Buckland(SG, 6’4″, 2016) Wesleyan Christian Academy – Buckland continues to be one of the more underrated athletic wings in the state, quick bounce and is a way-above-the-rim finisher. Has gotten stronger and definitely has the look of a college player.
Osinachi Smart (PF/C, 6’7″, 2016) New Garden Friends – Really just a beast inside, I was very familiar with his older brother Ikenna who now plays at Buffalo. Smart was a monster inside every time I saw him, just a lot of raw power and good hands. Good rebounding timing and plays bigger than his listed 6’7″.
Madison Cone (PG, 5’8″, 2017) East Forsyth HS – played very well in tandem with Brandon Childress in the backcourt, both players were able to play on and off the ball extremely well, driving and passing to whichever one of them was open. Cone has quick hands and grabbed several steals when opposing players attempted look-ahead passes. He also showed an ability to get to the rim and score even against a half court set. Very quick first step and keeps his defender backpeddling.
I’ll no doubt have more as I review video, of course!]]>
|The second annual NC Top 80 will beheld in Greensboro, NC on March 28, 2015 at Proehlific Park. This event brings in many of the top players in the state and there will be several highly sought after recruits in action, including Dennis Smith, Jr., Edrice “BAM” Adebayo and Jalen Harris.Here is everything you need to watch the games live on March 28, and they will also be available in replay. The games will be broadcast on NetCastSports.com and simultaneously on YouTube. Below are the match ups, times and links where you can watch the games. You can also follow NetCast Sports on Twitter @NetCastSports where the games and links will be announced as they are tipping off.If you want to watch these games or any of the other broadcasts or replays from NCSN, we recommend the Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player for less that $30.|
See the full camp roster by clicking here.
|Game One: 10:45 AM
Match Up: Team One vs. Team Two
|Game Two: 11:35 AM (approx)
Match Up: Team Five vs. Team Six
|Game Three: 12:25 PM (approx)
Match Up: Team One vs. Team Three
|Game Four: 1:15 PM (approx)
Match Up: Team Five vs. Team Seven
|Game Five: 2:30 PM (approx)
Match Up: Team One vs. Team Four
|Game Six: 3:20 PM (approx)
Match Up: Team Five vs. Team Eight
Today’s NCAA tournament games are going to be a blast – I mean, when are they not? Don’t lament about low scoring or blowouts; you haven’t seen boring until you watch a high school basketball game where one team runs stall ball right from the tip and the final score is 20-6.
Now, I’m not saying that a foul-and-free-throw fest is good basketball, but strong defense is often the hidden factor in a win or a loss, especially for those fabled buzzer-beater games that we all love so much. So let’s talk about D, shall we?
I don’t know if there really is an equal to football’s ‘shut down corner’ in basketball. I do know that there are a lot of defensive stars who nobody talks about. Great defense is ninjitsu; it is a hidden, deadly art. Media ignore incredible defensive performances because that often means the player being guarded is quiet most of the night. We focus on offense in basketball; it’s fun to watch and fun to play. Nobody worries about defense in street ball, why would any player? I never did. Maybe once by accident.
But as today’s games tip, let’s try and pay attention to where the ball isn’t. When a guard is ‘overdribbling’, let’s take a look at his teammates and see if anyone is actually open. When the ball swings around the perimeter, watch how many times the weak side falls too far away from their man. Kentucky is the favorite this year because of their athleticism and deep length inside. But is there a team that can lock down their guards? Yes. Several. And if…big IF…one team can keep Kentucky’s guards from feeding those post players, that’s trouble for UK.
Defense starts with ‘ball-you-man’ and ends with understanding the chess match of basketball. Great defenders have fantastic lateral speed but also know when not to crowd their man. Long arms are hard to shoot over but a big man with poor timing is just going to be swatting air and going for pump fakes. When the deep three falls as the horn goes off, and one team erupts in joy at a last second win, let’s take a moment to remember the missed defensive assignments that happened earlier to allow the score to be so close.
When you watch the NC Top 80 this weekend live on NetCast Sports (shameless plug), watch to see which players take defense seriously. If they take defense seriously in pickup ball with cameras watching, what do you think they will do when the games are for real?]]>