Fayetteville Flight

The Fayetteville Flight of the ABA have announced their 2014-15 roster. This year the Flight will be playing in the larger Crown Arena in Fayetteville, NC.

“We are so excited about the players we have signed to our team,” said Mike Dixon, Flight’s CEO. “I believe we have the makings of a championship squad. Coach Alonzo Lunsford has assembled an incredible group of young men who will impress fans on and off the court.”

The roster includes:
1. Bruce Brown – Hampton University
2. Billy McDade – Methodist University
3. Jeff Early – Southern Illinois State
4. McKinley Bethea – SW Oklahoma State
5. Frank Young – Elizabeth City State
6. Vincent Parnell – Marlboro High School/FIBA
7. Cornell Holmes – Brunswick Community College
8. Vincent Jones Jr. – South Robeson High
9. Jesse Mitchell – Fort Bragg
10. Will Mcrae – St. Pauls High School
11. David Early – Rockbridge County
12. Jason Norman – Bluefield State
13. Jade Belt – Frostburg College
14. Dane Williams – Trinity
15. Pat Lewis – Cape Fear CC
16. Brandon Andrews – Elizabeth City
17. Keith Isbell – Lakeview High School
18. Tremaine Roberts – Elizabeth City

For more information, visit www.fayettevilleflight.org.

Anta nets NBA China partnership

Anta Basketball Shoes NBA Partnership

Chinese sportswear company Anta has reached an agreement with the NBA to become an official marketing and merchandising partner of its NBA China division.

Under the wide-ranging deal, Anta will launch a line of co-branded NBA league and team footwear and accessories across its network of more than 2,000 Chinese stores and online retailers Tmall and JingDong.

Additionally, Anta will collaborate with NBA China at a number of official events designed to boost the profile of basketball in the country including NBA Nation, NBA All-Star Balloting, and the title-sponsored Anta Power Is Priceless Intramural League.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said: “The NBA and Anta share a common goal to grow the game of basketball and inspire a healthy, active lifestyle. This partnership will provide our fans in China with NBA branded footwear and accessories and more ways to connect with their favourite teams.”

More than 300 million people are said to play basketball in China, making it the most popular team sport in the country.

Anta Sports chairman and chief executive Ding Shizhong added: “This partnership will give us a chance to elevate our brand awareness and increase consumer confidence in the competitive athletic footwear market. We will also be able to fully utilise our extensive experience to accelerate the growth of basketball throughout China.”

Terms of the deal between Anta and the NBA were not disclosed.

ESPNU College Basketball Coverage

Five Specials; Live from American, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC Media Days; Three-Hour ACC and American Program

ESPNU will cover six college basketball conferences’ media days, over the course of two weeks and five specials, in advance of the upcoming 2014-15 season. ESPNU College Basketball Media Day Special programs will begin with four one-hour episodes (3 p.m. – 4 p.m. ET) around the Big 12 (October 15), Big Ten (October 16), SEC (October 22) and Pac-12 (October 23).  ESPNU College Basketball Media Day Special will expand to three hours (1 p.m. – 4 p.m.) when it hosts the ACC coaches and players at the ESPNU studios in Charlotte, N.C. and covers the American media day (October 29).

ESPN college basketball analysts will be on-location as the conferences hold their annual tip-off events, providing interviews and insight for each ESPNU College Basketball Media Day Special.  Fran Fraschilla and Miles Simon will travel to Kansas City (Big 12), Seth Greenberg and Jeff Goodman will be in Chicago (Big Ten), Roxy Bernstein and Corey Williams will report from San Francisco (Pac-12), and Tim Welsh will head to New York City (American).  Coverage from Charlotte (SEC) will include hosting men’s coaches and student-athletes from all 14 schools in-studio, with select content during ESPNU College Basketball Media Day Special and more expansive programming on SEC Network.

Andy Katz (Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12) and Brendan Fitzgerald (Big 12) will anchor the studio coverage.

The three-hour ESPNU College Basketball Media Day Special will include analysts Shane Battier, Jay Bilas, Greenberg and Jay Williams in-studio with Welsh reporting from the American media day.  Matt Schick, Cory Alexander and Dino Gaudio will also be in-studio.  Highlights include:

  • Deep Discussion: Bilas will hold a roundtable with ACC head coaches
  • Insight: Interviews with various head coaches
  • On the Court:  ACC student-athletes will join former players turned ESPN analysts Battier and Williams on the court
  • Coaches Clicker: ACC head coaches will watch and break down game film with Greenberg and Gaudio providing an insight into the X’s and O’s of the game
  • Live from New York City: Welsh provides reports and interviews from the American Conference media day

 

ESPNU College Basketball Media Day Special Plans:

Date Time (ET) Conference Special Conference and Commentators
Wed, Oct 15 3 p.m. ESPNU College Basketball Media Day Special (Big 12)  Studio: Brendan Fitzgerald & Dino Gaudio
From Kansas City:
 Fran Fraschilla & Miles Simon
Thu, Oct 16 3 p.m. ESPNU College Basketball Media Day Special (Big Ten)  Studio: Andy Katz & Dino Gaudio
From Chicago: Seth Greenberg & Jeff Goodman
Wed, Oct 22 3 p.m. ESPNU College Basketball Media Day Special (SEC)  Studio: Andy Katz & Dino Gaudio
From Charlotte: Jay Bilas, Sean Farnham, Darrin Horn & Kara Lawson
Thu, Oct 23 3 p.m. ESPNU College Basketball Media Day Special (Pac-12)  Studio: Andy Katz & Dino Gaudio
From San Francisco: Roxy Bernstein & Corey Williams
Wed, Oct 29 1 p.m. ESPNU College Basketball Media Day Special (ACC & American)  Studio:  Matt Schick, Dino Gaudio & Cory Alexander, along with Jay Bilas, Shane Battier, Seth Greenberg & Jay Williams
From New York City: Tim Welsh

 

John Calipari Press Conference

SEC Network, the 24/7 network devoted to the Southeastern Conference and operated by ESPN, will tipoff the men’s and women’s basketball season with coaches and players live from the network’s studios in Charlotte, N.C. on Tuesday, Oct. 21, and Wednesday, Oct. 22.

The network’s previews begin with every women’s head basketball coach and select student-athletes from all 14 SEC teams appearing in-studio on October 21 and coverage airing during SEC Now, 7-9 p.m. ET. The following day, every men’s head basketball coach and select student-athletes from each team will visit the studios. Coverage of the men’s visit will air on October 22 during SEC Now, 9-11 p.m. ESPNU will also cover the men’s coaches visit to the Charlotte studios during their ESPNU Media Days Special from 3-4 p.m.

This will mark the first time SEC basketball coaches have visited the SEC Network studios. Footage and interviews from two days will be used throughout the basketball season in addition to the previews and interviews airing in SEC Now. Highlights include:

· Coaches Roundtable: SEC coaches discuss the state of college basketball and the season ahead with analyst Jay Bilas (men’s roundtable) and Maria Taylor (women’s roundtable)
· Previews: coaches and select-student athletes sit down to discuss their upcoming season
· On the Court: SEC student-athletes join ESPN and SEC Network analysts on the basketball court to demonstrate technique
· Coaches Clicker: SEC head coaches break down game film, providing insight into the X’s and O’s of the game.

SEC Network will carry more than 70 women’s basketball games and 118 men’s games this season. The network will also nationally televise the First Rounds, Second Rounds and Quarterfinals of the SEC Men’s & Women’s Basketball Tournament.

The SEC Network
The Southeastern Conference and ESPN have signed a 20-year agreement through 2034 to create and operate a multiplatform network which will launch August 14, 2014. The new network and its accompanying digital platform will carry SEC content 24/7 including more than 1,000 events in its first year. The network will televise 45 SEC football games, more than 100 men’s basketball games, 60 women’s basketball games, 75 baseball games, and events from across the SEC’s 21 sports annually. Programming will also include in-depth commentary and analysis in studio shows, daily news and information, original content such as SEC Storied, spring football games, and more. AT&T U-verse® TV, Bright House Networks, Charter, Comcast Xfinity TV, Cox Communications, DIRECTV, DISH, Google Fiber, LUS Fiber, Mediacom, PTC Communications, Suddenlink, Time Warner Cable, Wilkes Telephone, and members of the NCTC, NRTC and NTTC and will carry the television network nationwide at launch. Hundreds of additional live events from various sports will be offered exclusively as SEC Network+ events on WatchESPN and SECNetwork.com through authenticated access from AT&T U-verse, Charter, Comcast, Cox, DISH, Google Fiber, Suddenlink, and members of the NCTC, NRTC and NTTC.

CIBL Fall League Notes

CIBL Fall League 2014

By Marcus Shockley

I had a chance to drop by the 2014 CIBL Fall League, being held at Providence High School in Charlotte, NC. Although there were 30+ players who were absent due to the Phenom 150 being held on the same day, there were still several players in attendance worth taking note of. The CIBL has been in operation for 3 years and the talent level is high; I am definitely going to add this league to my normal Fall League scouting rotation. For more information on the CIBL, follow CIBL on Twitter.

Notes from the day’s action:

Leito Holloway (G/F, 6’4″, 2015) Rocky River HS (NC) Quite frankly, Leito is a collegiate prospect that is under-recruited. Quick, versatile and explosive, Holloway is a player who understands the game and makes it look easy. Can get to the rim in traffic and several times I saw him push the ball on the break, beating smaller defenders down the court with the dribble – which is impressive. Great form, quickness and defensive hands. Good free throw shooter and gets to the line. Definitely a breakout player and one of the 2015 prospects in the state of NC that colleges should be actively scouting and getting involved with.

Chisom Obidike (C, 6’10”, 2017) Comenius School – A true big who runs the floor at full speed; still developing but a hard worker with some serious potential. Has size already but will be able to add muscle and with continued work on post moves, footwork and hands is definitely a player colleges should be actively tracking.

DeShawn Patterson (PG, 5’10”, 2016) Victory Christian – Sure handed guard with good speed and excellent passing vision; always plays eyes-up and loves to push the break. Finds cutting teammates and throws deft passes as he runs the offense, but also puts pressure on the the half court defense with the dribble drive.

Demetry Leake (G/F, 6’5″, 2015) Queens Grant – Leake has great form and a quick deep release, excellent size at the 2 guard spot and really makes an impact in the high octane transition game. Excellent bounce and length; a prospect I really liked from the first game and definitely will be scouting multiple times this season. Note: may reclass to 2016

Jordan Ruth (G/F, 6’5″, 2016) Comenius School – Explosive, strong wing who mixes it up and has a high motor. Takes contact and can score. Impact player. Another one to watch. Knows how to play in the ‘team’ concept very well. Looks to make the right play to win, but lets the offense come to him and still gets his buckets.

Mike Baez (G/F, 6’5″, 2015) Charlotte United Christian Academy – Big time athlete who has a fun, easy going personality but can absolutely light teams up when he locks in. High, fast release that’s hard to guard and plays above the rim – explosive, rim-rocking dunker. A lot of potential here, I would advise colleges not to sleep on this player; he’s got a great personality but he’s also the kind of player you don’t want to have to face when he’s focused in. I also think his personality is big and is a team leader; he should make the mental transition to college with ease, which is an overlooked part of the recruiting process; whatever college team he lands on will benefit from him being part of the team ‘family’ from day one.

Artur Labinowicz (SF, 6’4″, 2015) Butler HS – Labinowicz has impressive offensive awareness. An elite passer from the 3 spot, which is not common. Plays above the rim and has a deep shot, can play in the open court on or off the ball, but also cuts to get open in the halfcourt. Will need to add strength to be able to effectively transition his game to college, but that’s not unusual for high school ballers and he’s definitely a player with talent.

Tevin Heath (CG, 6’5″, 2016) Phillip O. Berry HS – Heath is a solid combo guard with great size for the position, makes things happen and really good looking shot release. Likes to get out in transition and has good understanding of spacing.

Jonathon Paramoure (G, 5’10”, 2015) Charlotte United Christian Academy – deadly deep shooter. Hit 4 of his first 6 deep shots and always looked deadly from outside. Works to get open when playing off of the ball and makes himself a target. The type of player who the defense tries to adjust to, and he still somehow finds a way to end up wide open at times by rubbing off defenders.

David Perry (CG, 5’10”) Queens Grant HS – Perry is a solid combo guard who showed a consistent ability to finish inside with contact, has great body control and is a high-octane, high-motor guard.

Matthew Morgan (CG, 6’2″, 2015) Cox Mill HS – Good slasher and can play on or off of the ball. Shot free throws well; showed a great overall game with versatility.

Tyler Rainford (CG, 6’1″, 2015) Butler HS – A strong combo guard who can play through physical contact. Excellent strength and presence.

Chaz Raye (PG, 6′, 2015) Providence Day School – Pitbull guard who likes to get into the teeth of the defense. Doesn’t back down and has good quicks and a solid handle.

Matthew Lee (F, 6’6″, 2015) Providence Day School – Can play the 3/4 even against taller players. Good strength and was able to hold his own several times against bigger posts, but also has the ability to play from the 3 spot.

Phenom 150 Session I
By Charles Clark

Jimmie Sanders (Neuse Charter School, 5’6, Point Guard, 2017)- Jimmie is a very good pass first guard that can score when he needs too, quite frankly he was one of the few players his age at that Point Guard position that really showed that they know how to play properly. He constantly is talking to teammates and always has his head on a swivel looking for teammates that are moving, has a nice smooth shooting stroke and knocks down shots from outside with good consistency.

Gerald Vaughn III (Gray Academy, 5’6, Point Guard 2016) – Gerald is a High Motor/High energy type player; I loved how enthusiastic he was to play the game. Was very successful penetrating defense and kicking it out to teammates when I saw him play, as well as knocking down the outside shot when it came back to him. Personally would love to see use less dribbles to get where he wants to go but I can’t mention how impressed I was with how vocal of a teammate he was and the excitement he brought to the game.

Austen Greene (Voyager Academy, 5’9, Point Guard, 2016) – Austen has a nice smooth game, although he has a small frame he makes up for it with a good IQ. Can really shoot it from outside and moves very well without the ball, he also knows how to play the game without over dribbling.

Andrew Ejiofor (Ravenscroft, 5’11, Guard, 2016) – Andrew is a very strong player and had a fearless attitude on the court; I loved how aggressive he was getting to the paint and how well he absorbed contact. On the defensive end he put forth a lot of effort and came up with numerous hustle plays.

Blake Harris (Carlisle School, 6’3, Point Guard, 2017) – Was one of the best player at camp in my opinion, has good length and ball handling skills which he uses to keep defenders off balance. The attribute that stood out the most to me was his passing ability, although some passes were a little dangerous he definitely looks like he enjoys sharing the ball and has a gift of putting the ball right on target for teammates especially in transition.

Darriel Brown (Forsyth Country Day, 6’0, Point Guard, 2017) – Darriel is a very strong player; he got to the basket at will throughout camp and created opportunities for teammate by his ability to penetrate the defense. There were a lot of player that had strong bodies at camp but the difference is that Darriel knows how to use his physique properly to get to where he wants on the court.

Robert Colon (Northside HS (Jacksonville, 6’0, Guard, 2016)- Robert Started off the 1st half of his 1st game of camp pretty slow but once he settled down he showed what type of player he truly is. This young man can score in bunches in a blink of eye, in the 4th quarter he of his 1st game he scored 8 straight points on 3 consecutive possessions. Scoring is not all that he can do though; he has great court vision and is an outstanding passer. Robert also has good footwork and showed that on the defensive end, he is a under the radar prospect that is on track to have a breakout year this season.

Cameron Corey (Sun Valley HS, 6’1, Point Guard, 2015) – Cameron Has a Euro Style Point Guard flavor about his game; he has good length and looks to get teammates involved. He’s a very talented passer that has good vision and a good understanding of how the game is supposed to be played. No matter the circumstances he played the game at the pace that he was comfortable playing at and did not allow anything to speed him up. Good Teammate!

Osinachi Smart (New Garden Friends, 6’8, Forward/Center, 2016)- Osinachi was One of the more intriguing prospects that I saw at camp, he doesn’t say much on the court and has a very business like demeanor but understand how to play the game. What caught my attention first and foremost was his college ready body, he already the physique of a player that has spent plenty of time in the weight room on a college campus. Although he was matched up with taller player he used his strength and IQ to rebound the ball at a very high rate. The defensive end of the floor was where he really shined; there was not one single time that a shot went up that I did not see him find an opponent to set a hard box out on. On the offensive side of the floor he scored on put-back dunks and layups mostly as well as a few plays where he simply ‘‘ went into the chest of the defender’’ his play reminds me somewhat of Dejaun Blair when he was at Pitt , maybe undersized in the Post but makes up for it with strength.

Rob Whitfield (Wake Christian, 6’1, Guard, 2016)- The last time I saw Rob Whitfield was NC Top 80 Camp, he played decent but I wasn’t overly impressed. Well that definitely changed when I saw him at Phenom 150 Camp, He scored at will against just about any player that guarded him. He knocked down shots all day and showed that he knows how to finish in multiple ways when he gets to the basket. Has good length and Athleticism for a player his size and he used both of those attributes to get rebounds on both ends of the floor. Out of all the players at camp he had some of the best scoring performances of the day; simply put Rob Whitfield is a scoring machine.

Jalen Morgan (New Hope Christian, 6’4, Guard, 2018) – Jalen was one of the younger players at camp but I was very impressed with his talent level, his passing ability and natural feel for the game definitely caught my attention. Although his jumpshot could be more consistent he still impacted the game in so many ways by using his length to get to the basket or by forcing turnovers with very soli defense. Jalen has very good footwork and seems to take pride on the defensive end of the floor; I believe with continued progress he has a chance to be a very special player

Kendrick Baird (Jacksonville HS, 6’6, Forward, 2016) – Kendrick basically came into camp as an unknown player but turned numerous heads with his performance on Sunday. He gets up and down the floor very well and does the dirty work that gets overlooked. Kendrick contested and blocked shots, grabbed rebounds and was very active on the offensive glass and finished well when catching the ball in the paint.

Aaron Cash (North Raleigh Christian, 6’7, Forward, 2017) – Aaron was one of the most versatile player at camp that I saw; he looked very comfortable playing inside and knows how to finish around the basket. Aaron knows to use the rim to protect his shot from defenders using the reserving layup throughout camp. On the perimeter he was very efficient knocking down numerous catch and shoot threes, I would love to see to continue to improve his ball handing but overall has a very versatile player that has a chance to be really good.

Josh Helton (Kings Mountain H.S, 6’8, Forward/Center, 2017) – Josh had a very productive day at camp; he kept the game simple and finished well inside using his size to score easy points. His ability to rebound the ball was very impressive as he was able to provide his team with extra scoring opportunities by cleaning up the offensive glass. One attribute that I really liked about Josh was his unselfishness; he moved without the ball, set screens for teammates and didn’t force anything.

Walker Miller (Greensboro Day, 6’8, Forward/Center, 2016) – Walker has a very tall but slender frame; he’s still somewhat raw but definitely has potential to be a very good prospect with continued work and development. He has good hands and showed that can finish with the right and the left, once he adds more muscle to his frame he will be even tougher to stop inside the paint and will cause problems for defenders. On the defensive end he contested and blocked shots, did a good job of not leaving his feet before the shot is taken or before the offensive player leaves the ground.

Matt Kalaf (Neuse Christian Academy, 6’7, Wing, 2016) – Matt is an excellent Three point shooter, he shot a very high percentage from deep range especially when catching and shooting. Also was solid on the defensive end as well, he plays the game on his toes and reacted quickly to whatever was going at the end of the floor. Although I didn’t see him put the ball on the floor much I was very impressed with his overall performance. Matt has good size for a wing at the next level and is one to keep an eye on

Connor Funderburk (South Mecklenburg ,6’4, Shooting Guard, 2016)- Started off camp knocking down shots from all over the court , when he gets hot this young man can really shoot it.

Hugh Harvin (Indian Land HS, 5’5, Point Guard, 2016) – Fearless Guard that made some good plays for his squad, although he is small in stature he mixed it up inside with the big guys. Scored the ball well and knows how to run a team

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.