By James Blackburn

Basketball Elite was able get out to the Phenom Hoops event in Greensboro to scout the Phenom 150 Showcase. Rick Lewis and Jamie Shaw did a great job once again of bringing in some of the areas top talent to play in front of scouts and numerous college coaches. Here are the players who stood out to me divided up by class.

2015

John Brewer (Caldwell Academy, 6’4″, SF/PF)

John seems to improve every time I have seen him. Normally plays the undersized PF role but today played on the perimeter a decent bit and showcase the ability to put the ball on the floor and a nice euro step in transition. Draws contact at a high rate and is a good rebounder. Has a go-to spin turn around jumper move in the post. Solid inside/outside threat who D3 colleges should be on heavily.

Ben Ferguson (Southwest Guilford, 6’5″, SG/SF)

Ben was one of the few players today that I saw and heard communicating on the floor. Lights out 3 point shooter who has a low release but deep range. Crashed the offensive boards and has good size for his position. Needs to improve his lateral quickness but is a player who can play at the next level.

Jordan Harris (Caldwell Academy, 6’0″, G)

Jordan does a lot of the little things during the game that often go un-noticed. Strong slasher.

Ben Ferguson (Southwest Guilford, 6’5″, SG/SF)

Ben really played well today at the event and was one of the few players that I saw and heard communicating on the floor. Lights out 3 point shooter who has a low release but deep range. Crashes the offensive boards. Needs to improve his lateral quickness but is a player that will play at the next level.

Drew Cone (East Forsyth, 5’7″, PG)

Drew didn’t try to do too much today and was solid throughout the day. Was a floor general on the court and knocked down numerous 3 pointers. Drew has been receiving interest from multiple D3 and D2 schools as of late.

Samuel Arnold (Home School, 6’7″, F)

Sam did some good things today in the limited time I saw him play. He has good length and can shoot the ball well from deep.

Brenton Davis (Victory Christian, 6’3″, PG)

Brenton was unstoppable today in the game I saw. He plays with great poise and pace. Solid change of speed guard who can get to the paint at will and finish with contact. Excellent ball handler and on-ball defender. Goes off of 2 feet when he attacks the rim and has a crafty spin move. Tough guard who D2 schools should be all over.

2016

Riley Jones (Lake Norman, 6’10”, C)

Riley showed the ability to get solid post position and good patience once he received the ball. Strong bodied player who has some good footwork not usually seen from a player his age. Needs to improve quickness and ability to create space with his moves.

Omar Petty (Kings Mountain, 6’4″, F)

Strong and decent athlete who is willing to play in the post. Rebounds the ball with 2 hands. Has potential.

Jalen Johnson (Wesleyan, 6’5″, SF)

Arguably the best athlete I saw today, Johnson had numerous above the rim finishes. His game is not limited to his athleticism however as he is a knockdown shooter from deep. The lefty plays both ends of the floor and showcased terrific timing to block shot after shot. Has good length and can handle the ball pretty well. Both mid major and a few high majors should be tracking.

Greyson Kelly (North Raleigh Christian, 6’2″, G)

Greyson plays the game as hard as anyone. He is consistent from both the 3 point line and from mid-range and attacks the rim hard. Aggressive and strong, Kelly is a player who should see some D2 interest come his way if he hasn’t already.

Ebuka Izunda (Victory Christian, 6’10”, C)

Izunda rebounded the ball well and had several terrific outlet passes. Looked solid around the basket keeping the ball high and and finishing with 2 hands. Better defensive player at this stage than on offense. Still needs to work on his hands and a go-to move but is projecting to be a MM+ player at this point.

Osinachi Smart (New Garden Friends, 6’8″, C)

Terrific rebounder who plays with a high motor and really hustles on both ends. A little raw offensively but can and will improve here. Works hard to post up and also sets ball screens. Has a team first attitude despite the fact he didn’t get the ball at lot. Had several big time 2 hand finishes above the rim and I thought he was one of the best bigs in attendance today.

2017

Brendan Newton (Faith Christian School, 7’2″, C)

Standing 7′ plus Newton was the tallest player in attendance. He is long and lanky but has big upside. He keeps the ball high and runs the floor well. He did a good job of blocking or contesting a number of shots, but can’t disappear from the game. He will need to add strength and a go-to post move but is projecting as at least a MM player.

Douglas Elks (Ravenscroft, 6’3″, G)

Elks had a great showing today at camp. Has a good looking jump shot and showed he could play both on and off the ball. Unselfish passer and play-maker. Crashed the boards. Good basketball IQ.

Jordan Perkins (Greensboro Day, 5’11”, PG)

Tremendous ball handler who has the ball on a string. Over-dribbles at times but has a solid pull up game.

JP Moorman (Greensboro Day, 6’6″, G/F)

JP was one of the most versatile players I saw on the day and his play really impressed me. He did it all for his team and ran PG for most of the time on the floor. Solid court vision and is unselfish. Strong player who can finish inside. Defended and showed he could knock down open shots. Made some good reads and handled the ball well. One of the top five players I saw today and is going to have multiple college choices when its all said and done.

Blake Harris (Carlisle School, 6’3″, PG)

Plays at a great pace. Solid lead guard who made great reads and has good floor vision. One of if not the best PG I saw on the day. Solid rebounder who has good size and length for position. Stayed in front of the ball and hit some open shots. Made a few passes tough by trying to make the highlight but is a D1 guard.

2018

Tripp Greene (Forsyth Country Day, 6’0″, G)

Tripp played well in the opening game today I saw. He is always solid and is unselfish on the floor. Lights out set shooter from deep. Can play either guard position.

Nick Brown (Caldwell Academy, 5’10”, PG)

Nick played very well in game 1 at the camp and hit numerous 3’s. High IQ player who will continue to improve as he gets stronger.

KJ Henry (Forsyth Country Day, 6’5″, F)

Versatile and athletic forward who can put the ball on the floor and face the basket. Multi-sport athlete who looked a little out of rhythm today, partly because he has been playing football heavily this season. Tough player who will has potential.

John Newman III (Greensboro Day, 6’4″, F)

Confident player who really gets after it. Solid shot blocker. Unselfish player who doesn’t play outside his limitations. Understands the game on both ends and can handle the ball. I liked his on-court attitude as well.

Blan Hodges (Alexander Central, 5’11”, G)

Blan knocked down set 3 after set 3 today and showed he was not afraid to mix it up with players who were older and bigger. Plays with good confidence.

Triad Blue Chip Fall League

By James Blackburn

I was able to attend the Triad Blue Chip Basketball Fall League on Saturday, played at Summit School in Winston-Salem. Here are some of the top performers I saw in each game of the HS division.

Game 1

R.J. Reynolds HS defeats East Forsyth HS

Reynolds HS

Akia Pruitt,2016, F
I really like Akia game. He is active and long and is the best shot blocker in the league. He is athletic and has a quick 2nd jump. A terrific rebounder on both ends, Pruitt may lead the league in tip-ins. Runs the floor well. Pruitt needs to continue to add strength and work on his shooting. D2/LM schools should check him out this season.

Mike Hinton, 2015, F
Mike had a game high 20 points and was dominating all game inside the paint. Communicates on the floor and is not afraid to demand the ball in the post. A Tight end and Defensive end on the football team as well, Hinton is one of the strongest players in the league. Draws contact at a high rate but needs to improve finishing ability. I like his footwork and intangibles. D3 schools should show interest.

Samuel Bryant , 2015, C
Excellent basketball IQ and was not afraid to go to the middle of the floor against the zone where he excells as a high/low passer.Has good length. Needs to continue to develop a go-to move.

East Forsyth

Kaavione Gaskin, 2015, G
Athletic and aggressive lefty who is crafty as well. I was really impressed with his play making ability today too.

Drew Cone, 2015, PG
Drew Cone was the best player on the floor today. He had a team-high 19 points and kept his team in it. You cant leave him open for any 3’s as he is a knock down shooter both with feet set and off the dribble. He is smart and doesnt use pick up his dribble until he has something.

Calvary Baptist beats Caldwell Academy (OT)

Caldwell Academy

John Brewer,2015, F

Brewer is a terrific rebounder who has the ability to push the ball up the court in transition after rebounding the ball. Has a solid drop step and is able to score with contact. Gets to the FT line at a high rate. Strong and tough. Is a leader on the floor and communicates. Is a player who can play at the next level.

Nic Brown, 2018, G
Quick guard who can get to paint. Solid on-ball defender. Has a solid runner in the paint.

Jordan Harris,2015, G
Strong slasher who can beat his man one on one. Defends and plays the passing lanes. Can score in transition and can play either guard position.

Calvary Baptist

Christian Adams, G, 2015
Athletic slasher who can finish with contact in the paint. Terrific on-ball defender.

Cecil Moore, G, 2015
Cecil has really developed his 3 pt shooting and you cant leave him open anymore. Has an excellent double-crossover move.

Reagan defeated West Forsyth but I was only able to see the last few minutes of the game.

By Marcus Shockley

The annual J.D. Lewis Fall League, based in Raleigh, NC, has become one of the best spots to scout high school players leading into the varsity season. Previous leagues have been loaded with players who went on to play at the college level. Organized by Dwayne West and Chris Myatt, players get a chance to work together for a short league season. I wasn’t able to attend earlier games in the season but I was able to catch the action on the final day of Session I, which included the playoffs and championship game. For those who are interested in participating in Session II, you can find information at this link.

There are quite a few players I noted during the games; here are some of the standouts for the day’s action.

Jamel McAllister (G/F, 6’7″, 2015) – Wake Forest HS (NC) A solid playmaker with athleticism, size and length. At 6’7″, McAllister does a lot of things to help his team win and has excellent on-court awareness. Talks on the floor and is a leader; wants to make things happen. Definitely a college prospect with excellent grades.

Emmett Tilley (PG, 6’1″, 2016) Northern Durham HS (NC) Tilley is a strong lead guard with excellent strength and handle. Plays through contact and has quite a bit of upside. Plays as a true floor general and has the physique for the college game.

Michael Okauru (SG, 6’3″, 2017) Explosive shooting guard who is a high octane scoring machine. Excellent at getting his hands on loose passes on defense and has deadly quickness. Averaged 33 ppg during this session of Fall League and was named the season MVP. Has a soft touch and gets to the rim with ease.

Akeem Tate (SG, 2016) Knightdale HS (NC) Tate came alive in the second half of the title game and nearly took over the game. Can score but also grabs rebounds and finds teammates in transition. Nice slashing wing player.

Ian Boyd (G, 6’3″, 2016) Apex HS (NC) Two-sport star who has great strength and body control. Plays above the rim and has a lot of power to his game but excellent agility. Showed an improved deep touch on the ball today.

Nick Johnson (PF, 6’7″, 2015) North Raleigh Christian Academy (NC) Johnson is probably one of the most under-the-radar big men in NC for the class of 2015. He has excellent strength and plays physically, runs the floor and can play both the 4 or 5 positions. Moves his feet well on defense, even on the perimeter. Ideally, he’d be a PF at the college level but mobile big men who can play multiple roles are valuable for colleges; In a world where so many people are looking for the next 7-foot shooting guard hype machine, players like Johnson who just work the post, run the floor, defend the paint and rebound can get overlooked. But every college coach needs players who will come in and make their team better while adding depth to the roster immediately and Johnson is one of those players.

Matt Kalaf (SF, 6’7″, 2016) Neuse Christian Academy (NC) Kalaf has excellent length and bounce from the perimeter; plays big and quick and has great hands – excellent rebounder from the wing. His size for position and versatility make him a solid collegiate prospect and he continues to improve. Has had a polished game for some time and now is rounding out his overall game and strength for the college level.

Leonard Johnson (G, 5’10”, 2016) Johnson is a really solid combo guard who can get buckets in a lot of ways; winner of the MVP of the title game, Johnson posted a stat line of 20 points, 5 rebounds and tossed a couple of assists. Really good at finding gaps in the defense and getting off shots; hits his free throws to get those crucial three-point plays, has a solid build and stays in front of his man on defense. A versatile guard who knows how to play the game and never looks out of control or rattled.

JaShaun Smith (G/F, 6’4″, 2016) Garner HS (NC) Smith has impressive potential and is a big time scorer; deadly, quick release from deep but can blow by the defenders in transition and plays above the rim. Definitely a player I will be scouting more and really want to see his upside.

DJ Myers (SG, 6’3″, 2017) Neuse Christian Academy (NC) Myers is a dynamic, rangy guard whose best asset now is his ability to change speed and slash from the wing. Sees the defense well and can find cutting players from the off guard position; has some ability to play the 2 or the 3.

Marcus Shockley scouts basketball for various outlets including Phenom Hoop Report and Basketball Elite. Click here to follow Marcus on Twitter, right now.

high school basketball scouting schedule

By Marcus Shockley

For the last three years, the Triad High School All-Star games have featured some of the top players from the region (boys and girls), and has given some exposure to senior players who have just finished their high school career. The game is held in March, just after the high school season and playoffs have ended.

I can’t take credit for organizing the Triad All-Star games (which are very well-run), but I do submit nominees and have some vote on the players who should attend. I actually vote in more than one all-star game; I have some input into a couple of national all-star games as well. I don’t scout specifically for any game, but since I cover much of the Southeast it folds in well with the players I already am scouting, I support the Triad All-Star event as a way to celebrate the senior players; usually, I’ve been scouting the players in the game for 4 or 5 years already, so it’s great to see them playing their last, or one of their last, high school games as they head into their last semester before graduation and moving on to college.

For me, the All-Star games actually take place right in the ‘middle’ of the scouting year; which brings me to the point of today’s article, which is, from a insider’s perspective, what the yearlong basketball scouting schedule actually is. Basketball is, for me and others who cover/scout/coach the sport, a 365-days-a-year game. Right now the mainstream sports world is readying for baseball postseason action and is square in the middle of the opening month of NFL and college football, and I like those sports, but for me, I’m also watching basketball in gyms. There’s literally never a month where there’s no basketball to watch or cover, which is great if you love the sport but also somewhat unknown to most casual fans.

What I wanted to do today is provide a schedule for parents and players who are wondering how scouts find players, what time of year they scout certain venues, where they look, and what they might be looking for. I can’t speak for all scouts, but bear in mind we all do tend to scout in similar patterns, although the events may be different based on where the scout’s home base is. For me, the scouting ‘year’ actually starts in the fall, but since basketball is ‘year-round’, this is more just how I personally organize my time. Disclaimer: this is primarily just my high school scouting schedule, and doesn’t include college and pro games/combines.

In other words, if you are trying to get scouted, you should be aware of where the scouts are and how you can improve your chances. It actually isn’t enough to just play well in high school in most cases. You have to strategically work on your game, get in AAU reps, individual showcases and rest for the July period. It’s not easy for players; the goal for most players is, get on someone’s radar in early fall, play lights out during the high school year, get on more radars in March, April, May and June (while also improving) and hit July with enough interest that coaches, media and scouts show up and watch you play against top competition.

So with all of that in mind, let’s kick things off:

September-October: Fall Leagues, open gyms and individual showcases. Normally I scout high level fall leagues in Raleigh, Winston-Salem and Charlotte. This is where I usually first see players who I may scout during the high school season. If you want scouts to see you play, this is a good chance to get into someone’s notebook. Usually if a player looks good in fall league, I will be sure to watch that player if they are at an individual showcase like the Phenom 150 events.

Bear in mind that scouts are not just looking for finished products; we are looking for players who are still developing. Focus on using the fall leagues on getting better and work on your transition offense/defense for showcases. Players tend to think if they score 40 ppg in a showcase it will get them noticed, but as a scout I have to pay attention to rebounds, assists, turn overs, defense…everything. If you are playing in a fall league game and jacking up shots every time you touch the ball, I’m not really going to be impressed. Lebron James in high school? Yeah, I saw him. Chris Paul, Kyrie Irving, John Wall, Kobe Bryant, Anthony Davis, Demarcus Cousins, I saw all of them in high school. Andrew Wiggins? We at Basketball Elite were the first guys to actually interview him on camera, when he was a relative unknown. I’m not trying to impress anyone with this, I’m trying to explain why I’m really not amazed by watching a high school player come down the court with the ball, never look at any of his teammates and plow right into two defenders while the rest of the team just looks on.

Sometimes I won’t mention a player or write about them but I will jot their name down in my notes because I notice they run the offense well or play lock down defense; this is because if I see that player during the high school season and notice him, it won’t be the first time, and that matters. You can’t really scout a player in one game, or in one setting. You’re looking at building an accurate assessment of a player over time.

November-February: High school and private school games. I split my time between high school, college and semi-pro scouting during this time because it’s the most active time of the year with live games being played. I find players during this time but I also work to watch the players I found in the early fall, because I need to see them in organized high school games. It’s at this point that I consider the most valuable scouting; but in many cases I will add/drop players from my notes because I want to know what I am looking for in the AAU season. This is where I also solidify who I am going to vote for in the All-Star games. This time period is also the most difficult, scheduling-wise, because I get dozens of scouting requests each week and most high school games are all played at the same time, on the same days. So I have to choose games close to wherever I am on those days and where I think I can find players. If this sounds hard, it is. People always wonder why ‘no scouts or colleges ever come to our games’ and this is why. The reality is that if even if you can scout 3 games in a single week, which three games are you going to pick? One in Washington DC, one in Florida, and one in Kansas, on the off chance you might find a prospect? Not really possible or even reasonable. This is also why more scouts show up at holiday tournaments, because we can watch 5-6 games (which is 10-12 teams) in a single day. While high school games may be the most valuable for evaluation, they are also the most difficult to see. Inside note: this means that when a college coach shows up at a high school game, they are probably already recruiting someone in the game. They usually aren’t there to find players, although it happens sometimes.

March:High school playoffs, all-star games, individual showcases. By this time, I’m pretty familiar with most, or all of the players when I see them at high profile events like the NC Top 80. Last year, we also broadcast several of the games for the NC Top 80 online. There are also conflicts during this time because of the NCAA tournament games.

April-May: AAU games. Here I may find players but normally what I am looking for is seeing the players I watched during high school in different conditions; I also get a chance to see players from other regions that I may not have been able to watch during the high school season. If I watch an AAU tournament in Atlanta, I may see teams I am familiar with from NC taking on teams from Texas, Florida, or Gerogia and that gives me a wider scouting reach as well as being able to compare players I am more knowledgeable about going against national competition. This is also where I solidify who I want to watch during the July live period and it’s where I really start looking for players who may be under the radar and who I would like to attend my Southeast Summer Showcase, normally held in June.

June: Southeast Summer Showcase (which I organize), NBA Top 100 camp, and usually I hit a couple of elite camps like Wake Forest, Chris Paul’s elite guard camp or another one if I can find it. With the showcase, I normally like to bring in some solid talent, some players who college coaches know about but then I like to bring in as many under-the-radar players as I can, so that they can show if they can compete against the ‘name’ players. This has worked well and last year we had more college coaches in the building than ever before, and we have had a lot of Division I talent come through the event during our first four years of operation. Also, hitting up the elite camps usually gives me a chance to see national players from across the country.

July: AAU live period. This is the time where everyone thinks basketball recruiting happens, and a lot of it does happen, from the EYBL circuit (sponsored by Nike), to the Adidas tournaments, to hundreds of other tournaments crammed into about a three week period. This is where I see the most college coaches, the most national players and really get to see top national talent. I do find players in this time but normally this is just an extension of what I’ve already seen; I’m generally looking at match-ups between top players at this point, such as if I’ve seen a regional point guard from Virginia and I want to see how he does against nationally ranked guards on both ends of the floor. This is sort of when ‘everything comes together’ for players, coaches, media and scouts. It’s also incredibly exhausting for everybody.

August: Most scouts ease off in August and there is very little coverage…except for USA Basketball, which plays internationally. This year, the USA team played in the FIBA World Cup in Spain and was covered by our own James Blackburn.

And then it’s September, and we do it all over again.

Triad Blue Chip Fall League

By Marcus Shockley

This season’s Triad Blue Chip Fall League is in it’s third year and is a great way for varsity and JV high school players to get some early season court time, and playing against solid competition. Here are my notes from the second week of action.

Peter Parkitny (PF, 6’10”, 2015) Calvary Baptist (NC) Parkitny recently arrived in the U.S. and shows a lot of promise playing as a stretch 4. He has a fluid attack and good timing off of the bounce; excellent court awareness and runs the floor at all times. Still adapting to the U.S. post game and will continue to improve as he adds strength and works on his overall post footwork. However, his game being more of a SF/PF now shows he has a lot of agility and potential. I expect colleges to get involved quickly with this new prospect.

Cecil Moore (PG, 5’10”, 2015) Calvary Baptist (NC) Moore continues to show excellent quickness on both ends of the floor, has added strength and has an excellent handle. Looking more for his shot now and has a good release on the perimeter.

Christian Adams (CG, 6’4″, 2015) Calvary Baptist (NC) Adams has great size for the guard spot and should be considered a versatile wing player; he can effectively run the offense and works hard defensively. Plays through contact and has a high motor.

Justin McCluney (CG, 5’10”, 2017) Ronald Reagan HS (NC) Quick first step and a high octane player with the ball in his hands. Puts a lot of pressure on the defense, showing craftiness with his ability to beat his defender off of the dribble and uses an array of moves to finish under the basket. Quick enough to defend top guards and will continue to improve with experience.

Cooper Larue (SG, 6’3″, 2017) Ronald Reagan HS (NC) Fluid wing with an explosive ability to get into the paint and a nice looking deep shot. Definitely has a step on most defenders.

John Kerr (C, 6’9″, 2017) East Forsyth HS (NC) Good footwork and hands from a pure post player. Already has good understanding of how to play the post and has some strength; he should become a force in the paint as he continues to add muscle. Likes to post up and play back to the basket. Hard worker.

Akai Pruitt (SF, 6’6″, 2016) RJ Reynolds HS (NC) Excellent length and size; definitely a wing player who has good poise in transition. Excellent timing, got several blocks and makes an impact on both ends.

Austin Rose (SG, 6’3″, 2015) West Forsyth HS (NC) Rose has an elite deep shot and is one of the purest shooters in the Southeast. His deep shot is textbook, square up and quick release. He showed athleticism on the break with a two handed dunk in transition.

John Brewer (PF, 6’4″, 2015) Caldwell Academy (NC) Brewer runs the floor hard and understands the game; he has good footwork and moves without the ball; Good hands and has an ability to get off shots, even against taller defenders.

Trey Foster (6’0″, PG, 2015) has decided to go the Prep route this season and will be attending Bridgton Academy in Maine. Trey was a standout guard at powerhouse West Charlotte and had garnered attention from numerous college programs. Foster has numerous D1 offers but thought he could help his stock by prepping this season to develop his game and his body. The New England Prep League which Bridgton competes in has a reputation as being one of the top leagues in the country. Trey Foster PG basketball

We have scouted Trey numerous times at camps and West Charlotte games and have always been impressed with his ability to run a team. Trey is a pure PG who has an excellent mix of ball handling, play making, and ability to get to the rim. He has a high basketball IQ and makes excellent decisions out of the P/R.

Last year Trey averaged 17 points, 7 assists, and 3 rebounds per game to lead West Charlotte. College coaches who are looking for a poised true PG should make it a priority to check out Foster this season.

CP3 Elite Guard Camp 2014

CP3 camps

By James Blackburn

I was fortunate to be able to scout the annual Chris Paul Elite Camp for the 5th straight year this year. Living in Winston-Salem, NC has its advantages, one of which is not having to travel far to catch the event, put on by Chris Paul and company. Some of the top high school and collegiate guards from around the country are invited to come in and compete against each other and also against Chris Paul himself. This year Chris brought in fellow pros Isaiah Thomas (Suns) and recently drafted Elfrid Payton (Magic). The coaching and the drills are top notch and are new to many of the players involved, especially those still in high school. I dedicated the majority of my time this year watching the college players (The HS and college players are divided up onto different courts). Below you will find my thoughts on some of the top performers and my ranking of the top 5.

Top 5
1. Nigel Williams- Goss (6’3”, 190 lbs, Sophomore, Washington)
2. Dez Wells (6’5”, 220 lbs, Senior, Maryland)
3. Keifer Sykes (6’0”, 170 lbs, Senior, Wis.- Greenbay)
4. Treveon Graham (6’5”, 215 lbs, Senior, VCU)
5. Marcus Paige (6’1”, 170 lbs, Junior, UNC)

Pierria Henry (6’2″, 195 lbs, Senior, UNC-Charlotte)
Looked smooth and confident throughout camp. Has one of the smoothest euro-steps in camp. Has a nice high release, but shot needs to get more consistent. Showed good energy in day 2. Terrific size for the PG position. Is never hurried or bothered by pressure defense.

Dez Wells (6’5″, 220 lbs, Senior, Maryland)
Has one of the best bodies/frames here. Handles the ball very well- dribbles the ball quickly and hard. Has a high and effortless stroke. Is not a great shooter (needs more consistency) but is one of the better shooters at this event. I dont see him having any trouble adjusting to the NBA 3 pt line. Used ball screens very well- liked his pace. Was probably the best player overall in day 2. Doing a great job guarding the ball- using strength/size. His team won the 4 on 4 full court drill 3 times in a row. Is a big time athlete who should have a big year this year in the ACC.

Will Cummings (6’2″, 185 lbs, Senior, Temple)
Really liked what I saw from Cummings all camp. Solid lead guard who handles the ball well. Blended in to a degree in day 1 but knows how to play. Did a nice job of going downhill and attacking basket. His team won 5 on 5 more than anyone. Knows how to win and compete. Scoring the ball well today in the games at the rim.

Traevon Jackson (6’2″, 208 lbs, Senior, Wisconsin)
Solid shooting lefty performed well in both drills and the games. Has a pro ready body. Has a little bit of a tendency to drop dribble the ball but can really score.

Marcus Paige (6’1″, 170 lbs, Junior, UNC)
It was really tough to spot any major weaknesses these past 2 days in Paige. Looking really smooth in 1 on 1 drills on both sides of the ball. Solid ball handler with either hand. Deceptively quick. Really utilizes footwork to get space. One of the better shooters here.

Ron Baker (6’4″, 215 lbs, Senior, Wichita State)
Good size for position- above average physically then most others in camp. Looked solid in ball handling drills. Needs to improve quickness but can score with contact.

D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera (6’3″, 218 lbs, Junior, Georgetown)
Liked his approach to the game. Is a leader, has a great frame for position, and is tough. Team won share of 5 on 5.

Codi Miller-McIntyre (6’2″, 200 lbs, Junior, Wake Forest)
Tremendous build- going through ball handling drills quickly and with good accuracy. Dribbling the ball hard. Tough to guard in 1 on 1 drills- very explosive. Liked his competitive spirit. Solid defensively. Quick 1st step. Codi was very close to making my top 5 list- should be the man this year for Wake Forest.

Kevin Pangos (6’1″, 185 lbs, Junior, Gonzaga)
Bounced back after a disappointing day 1. Had a renewed confidence in day 2 where he scored the ball and was able to win his share of games. One of the best 3 pt shooters here- quick release. Lacks some of the physicals needed at the next level, but has underrated quickness and was able to score today in some unusual ways/moves.

Rod Hall (6’1″, 205 lbs, Senior, Clemson)
Very strong build- could easily be a running back. Trying to go right through people here at camp and many times was successful. One of the better slashers here, but needs to improve his shooting.

Kasey Hill (6’1″, 177 lbs, Sophomore, Florida)
Athleticism is effortless. Quick first step. His shooting stroke is simple and doesn’t require much effort or energy. Can get to the painted area with the best of them.

Keifer Sykes (6’0″, 170 lbs, Senior, Wis.- Greenbay)
One of the quickest and most athletic guards here. Big time scorer who scored over 20 ppg a game last season. Loved his professionalism and the way he carried himself. Euro- Step looks solid. Solid pull-up game. Plays with eyes up. Best defender in camp in my mind- holds his ground, moves his feet, and fought over ball screens. Solid ball handler w/ either hand.

Fred VanVleet (6’0″, 190 lbs, Junior, Wichita State)
Had a solid showing both days. Scored at will in 1 on 1 drills in day 1. Impressed me on the defensive end too- active hands. Really competed no matter who he matched up against.

Nigel Williams-Gross (6’3″, 190 lbs, Sophomore, Washington)
From the start of camp till the last drill I saw him compete in, Nigel was my favorite player in camp. Liked his communication and the way he competed through the drills- went through everything like he had something to prove- looked really good. Was only player communicating through the drills. Looked great in partner passing drills. Was a leader in drills even though he is one of the younger players here. Has an excellent floater where he showed touch around the basket. Coachable and consistent player. Is shifty and has excellent size for being a true PG. Defended the ball well. Needs to improve 3 pt shot, but has a solid midrange.

Treveon Graham (6’5″, 215 lbs, Senior, VCU)
Biggest guard at camp. Asked the coaches questions which I liked. Has a slow release but was the best shooter in day 2 after struggling day 1. Is not a PG, but could be a solid 2 at the next level. Played well in live games, competitions, etc- used his size/strength to score and was knocking down open shots.

Triad Pro Am Playoff Roundup

Triad Pro Am 2014
By James Blackburn

After being out of town for most of July, I was able to return to Winston in time to catch the last few nights of the Triad Pro Am league, held this year at the Gateway YWCA. The league features local college players and players from Wake Forest, Winston-Salem State, and Guilford College, as well as pros from the area. The notes below are some reports from the standouts during the playoffs.

Andre Washington (Wake Forest, 7’0″, C, JR)
Andre played as good as I have ever seen him play in any setting. Was matched up against pro player, Justin Manns and was able to more than hold his own. Looks better- new and improved- more confident- dunking hard and with authority. Playing w/ good energy. Protecting the rim and was getting solid post position. Washington was simply a beast in the paint all night. Needs to continue to improve balance but will have an impact this season at Wake playing like he did this week.

Lepreece Lynch (Lees-McRae, 6’4″, G, SO)
One of the better all around pure scores I saw. Not lacking any confidence when it comes to putting up shots. Rebounding well on both ends and follows his shot. Was able to get to middle of floor and making good kick outs to teammates.Takes some bad shots- but is always a threat to score.

Craig Hinton (VMI, 6’6″, F, SO)
Is stronger and playing with good energy on both ends. Very impressed with his improvement on the defensive end. Showed he could protect the paint and move his feet on the perimeter while staying in low defensive stance. Providing the highlights that he always does with his out of this world athleticism. Shot looked a bit flat early on- but hit a few outside jumpers and threes as well.

Justin Manns (Lebanon, 6’11”, C)
Upper body looks stronger then last year and is playing tough inside the paint. Showing some solid footwork and patience in the post. Had numerous blocks tonight from the weak side.

Codi Miller-McIntyre (Wake Forest, 6’3″, PG, JR)
Looked solid all night. Running the show- had numerous assists- sharing the ball and being unselfish. Was hitting his pull-up. Changing speeds better in the open floor. Just looked like he could do whatever he wanted on the floor at any point.

Robert Holcomb-Faye (Holland, 6’1″, PG)
Terrific lead guard. Plays the game as a pro should- is patient, takes care of the ball, and has terrific court vision. Is in good shape and can score when needed.

Trever Hyatt (Guilford, 6’3″, G, SO)
Possibly the best shooter in the league. Saw him back to back nights and was impressed both times. Great body language and doesn’t get rattled. Showed the ability to get to the rim and score as well over taller shot blockers.

WyKevin Bazemore (Winston-Salem State, 6’4″, G, SR)
One of the top 3 overall scores I saw. Terrific one on one player who can score from the perimeter and at the rim. Does a good job of drawing contact and getting to the line. Should have a huge season at Winston-Salem State this year.

Aaron Rountree III (Wake Forest, 6’8″, F, JR)
Love his motor and energy. Excellent in transition. Capable of leading the break. Has a quick 2nd jump which combined with his timing and athleticism, makes him one of the best shot blockers in the league. Needs to continue to improve ability to hit open shots. His team won the championship for the 2nd year in a row.

You can watch replays of the 2014 Triad Pro Am games here.

Full game replay from the 2014 Triad Pro Am in Winston-Salem, NC. Features Wake Forest players Codi Miller-McIntyre, Madison Jones and Andre Washington. Also features Guilford College players Alston Furr and Will Koppenhaver.

Day one game broadcast from the 2014 Triad Pro Am, featuring Salem Smiles versus Blue Chip Basketball Academy. This game features Wake Forest players Madison Jones, Devin Thomas and former UNC player Vassil Evtimov.