Jahlil Okafor basketball Whitney Young

By Marcus Shockley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By James Blackburn, Marcus Shockley, Matt Wood

Although technically a home game for QEA, Wednesday’s match up in Winston-Salem, NC between Oak Hill and Quality Education Academy was a homecoming of sorts for Tyler Lewis, who played last season at Forsyth Country Day, just outside of the city limits. Lewis made a mark in last year’s Frank Spencer tournament, where he broke Chris Paul’s scoring record on the same floor as this game.

The last matchup between these two teams was decided by one point, but this year’s Oak Hill team jumped to an early lead and never looked back. After leading 21-5 at the end of the first quarter, they built too much cushion for QEA to overcome, ultimately winning 84-67.

Here’s some scouting reports and thoughts from the game:

Oak Hill

AJ Hammonds (7’0”, C, 2012)
Committed to Purdue


Tremendous shot blocker- not incredibly athletic, but has great timing. Had 9 blocks in game tonight- and kept most of the blocks in play. Good positioning on the defensive end- sees man and ball. Has the ability to control the game without scoring. Physically imposing. Good defensive rebounder- grabs the ball with 2 hands and keeps the ball high. Throws good outlet passes- several of which beyond half court. Did not get one ball stolen or a pass picked. Underrated passer. Did not show much offensively tonight- other than put backs and finishing off of dump downs (Note: Oak Hill runs the Dribble Drive offense, which puts the C opposite of the ball- he did not get many post up opportunities ball side) He did not take any jump shots in the game- but looked to have good touch and a high release in warm-ups.

Is in pretty good shape considering size- should continue to shed fat and add muscle. Still raw offensively- needs a go-to post move. Plays below the rim. Needs to improve P/R defense- comes out half-heartedly to shade and then gets back to man- this will not stop PG’s turning the corner at Purdue. Needs to play every play and stay active- looked disinterested at end of game to a degree- Oak Hill was winning the game handily. Slow lateral speed.

Great defensive player. Good attitude through out game. Told us he has developed a right hand hook shot. Will be a force on the defense end in college and beyond. Potential future pro.

Tyler Lewis (PG, 5’11”, 2012)
Sees the floor well- has eyes in the back of his head- can see the play before it happens. Makes the game easy for everyone. Sets the pace offensively. Changes speeds well- great P/R player. Looked a lot better defensively than when we last saw him in the Frank Spencer last year. Quick hands and stayed in front of his man better. Tremendous court sense/IQ. Pure PG. Wasn’t consistent from the free throw line but was getting put on the line several times as he had to push the ball up against two defenders at times, who could not stop his dribble without fouling. All in all, Lewis’s game was a really solid performance.

Note: We also saw Tyler at CP3 camp this past summer and he did hold his own against the top guards in the country. The knock on Tyler has been his size and his defense, but he may be showing people that he is putting in the work to be effective all-around. Committed to NC State.

Jordan Adams (SG/SF, 6’5″, 2012)
Knock down shooter from 3- needs to follow shot. Perfect form- quick release. Plays below rim- looked a little out of shape at this point (early) in the season. Great rebounder for size. Jordan has flashes of fluid play and will suddenly impact the game in multiple ways, but appears to drift at times. His outside shot is deadly and barely touches the net. Committed to UCLA.

D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera (SG, 6’3″, 2012)
A combo guard who has great body control and was hitting from outside and getting to the rim in transition. Hard nosed, tenacious player. Worked hard on defense to get around screens and tried to get in the passing lanes. Strong guard who looks ready for the physical play of D1. Looks like a combo guard but looks much more natural playing off of the ball. (Lewis looks like the only true point on Oak Hill based on this game’s rotation). Committed to Georgetown.

Darion Clark (SG/SF, 6’6″, 2012)
A physical player, strong, active. Has a D1 body/strength already and looks like a solid all-around player. Good rebounder for position.

Quality Education

James Ford(6’4”, G, 2012)
Good shooter, esp. from 3. Long and athletic- plays hard on both ends. Good defender. Had a putback dunk in the second half. One of the bright spots for QEA in this game, started off a little cold but soon started hitting everything. Can get above the rim with ease. Has interest from College of Charleston, St. Francis and Liberty but could be someone who gets a lot more interest this year.

Brandon Bolden (C, 6’11”, 2012)
Bolden played sparingly but looks like he has potential in the post, especially as he gets stronger. Really did not see enough from him tonight, especially when matched up against Hammons. Did not start in this game. Committed to Georgetown.

Oak Hill vs. Quality Education 2011