Isaiah Hicks, a UNC commit, shows some of the poise, athleticism and agility that makes him such a solid get for the Tar Heels.
Desmond Hubert has decided on where he will play his college basketball, and it will be for Roy Williams and the UNC Tar Heels. Hubert had been deciding between the Tar Heels and the Maryland Terrapins.
You can see our profile of Desmond from last summer when he was rising through the recruiting ranks.
Last week we had a chance to speak with PJ Hairston, the UNC commit who was participating in the CP3 Elite guard skills camp. This week, ScoutsFocus sends us some video of PJ at the NBPA camp at Virginia.
By Marcus Shockley
Although my focus at the CP3 guard camp was primarily to see the high school players, it’s hard not to pay attention when players like Harrison Barnes, Kyle Singler and Brandon Triche are also participating. In general, the college guys are bigger, stronger and work harder in all of the drills. This is to be expected after a year in the crucible of the college game.
As such, two things should be noted:
1) Kendall Marshall and Harrison Barnes were working out with the college players even though they technically haven’t played in college yet; however, both players has the look and work ethic of college players.
2) This is a skills camp, not a game. The players are working to improve, not show off their skills. It’s not open to the public, and it shouldn’t be. But that also means that players should be allowed to work on areas they need to improve on without being completely assessed based on that workout.
Watching Kendall Marshall play live again was a little different than what I’ve seen before in that I watched some drills, some one on one, and specifically, a couple of times going against Chris Paul.
I have heard a knock on Marshall as not being quick enough or having an ability to finish. I came to the conclusion after seeing him practice with USA basketball in the Northeast that because of his height and his ‘stand-up’ style of play, it’s deceptive. He moves his feet well on defense and is definitely an ‘eyes up’ dribbler. He absolutely has an ability to change speed with the ball that get him looks, is very fluid and is a excellent pass-first guard, however every time I’ve seen him, he can score. I think he needs more strength, because he sometimes has to rely on a fadeaway shot when his change in speed doesn’t get him an open shot at the rim.
In going one-on-one against Chris Paul, he moved his feet and cut Paul off, preventing Paul from scoring. Although the exchange was brief, I think the idea that he is slow is still a misconception. If he can defend effectively against possibly the best PG in the NBA, then he’s a serious player.
He’s a poised point guard with a ton of skills, great size and understands the game from a point guard’s perspective. He’s not a shooting guard or SF trying to move to PG, he’s definitely a 1 guard all of the way.
The camp did not give much outside shooting during the two workout sessions I attended, so I did not get much chance to review his shot.
By Marcus Shockley and James Blackburn
PJ Hairston (SG/SF, 6’6″, 2011) is one of several forwards who attended the Chris Paul Elite Guard camp in Winston-Salem in an attempt to improve their chances at playing multiple positions at the college or pro level.
PJ is the biggest of any of the high school players in attendance, so he has to use his size on occasion to make up ground on smaller players. During the second day of camp, he did surprisingly well in the ball handling drills, and he goes hard to the basket when slashing. He finished one drive with a left handed dunk.
Hairston has an NBA ready body, although he fades sometimes on his jumper, he has a good high floater. PJ says he hopes to improve his ball handling this weekend – he knows he is a big 2G but needs to improve his handles and take the ball the length of the court so he is ready when Coach Williams needs him to run PG.
He is working out with two days a week strictly focused on ball handling. He is going to be attending the NBA top 100 camp in the coming weeks.
He said he made the switch to Hargrave from Dudley because he feels Hargrave will better prepare him for the next level and the fact that they will have him eating right, which is something he feels is important. He also thinks the Boston Celtics will win the NBA Finals, but the series will go to seven games.
By Alex Kline
Image from ESPN
Brandon Ashley isn’t your typical sophomore in high school. Standing at 6-foot-8, this young, athletic man is developing his game for the next level. At Bishop O’Dowd in California, Ashley is striving at a very young age.
While playing with both Bishop O’Dowd, as well as his AAU team the Oakland Soldiers, Brandon is bound for a big summer. Slam.com ranks him as the seventh best prospect in the class of 2012. This summer he will attend events at the Nike Hoop Jamboree in St. Louis, Peach Jam and Las Vegas. Along with that, Ashley is on the US National team and will attend tryouts very soon.
While his game is still developing, Ashley competes with the ranks of big men in his class like Jamesville-Dewitt’s DaJuan Coleman and Andre Drummond of St. Thomas Moore. While Ashley has not received as much hype as he deserves he will get there soon. His game is progressing along the way. “My game is developing right now,” said the 6’8 Power Forward. “I have a pretty good inside game and am currently working on my outside game. I have a solid jumper and my handle is progressing.” It may be progressing but colleges are already taking note.
That being said, Ashley is drawing plenty of interest from different schools. West Coast schools have primarily noticed his abilities so far. “California, Washington, Arizona, UCLA and Stanford have offered me,” said the California native. “There are no early favorites right now. I am still open to all schools.” Ashley is taking the recruiting process slow and is in no hurry whatsoever. “I haven’t really visited any schools yet. I have been in Stanford and Cal’s gyms but that is about it so far.” Look for more offers to roll in this summer for Brandon.
On a final interesting note, North Carolina recently got in contact with Brandon and expressed some interest in him. “UNC will always be a great school but at the moment they aren’t any higher on my list than any other school,” stated Ashley.
From the looks of it, Brandon will take his recruitment slowly. He has a long way to go in developing his game to the next level but he is bound for greatness sometime soon. Check him out on the west coast sometime and for people on the east coast he will be at the Peach Jam ready to do work!
This story originally appeared on ACCBasketballRecruiting.com
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Here are the rosters for the McDonald’s All American 2010 high school basketball game:
Reggie Bullock (SG/SF, 6’6″, 2010) – Committed to North Carolina
Tobias Harris (PF, 6’9″, 2010) – Committed to Tennessee
Kyrie Irving (PG, 6’3″, 2010) – Committed to Duke
Joe Jackson (PG, 6’0″, 2010) – Committed to Memphis
Perry Jones III (C, 6’11”, 2010) – Committed to Baylor
Jelan Kendrick (SG, 6’7″, 2010) – Committed to Memphis
C.J. Leslie (SF, 6’9″, 2010) – Undecided (NC State, Kentucky)
Jayvaughn Pinkston (PF, 6’7″, 2010) – Committed to Villanova
Josh Selby (PG/SG, 6’3″, 2010) – Undecided (Kentucky, Kansas, Arizona, Connecticut)
Kendall Marshall (PG, 6’4″, 2010) – Committed to North Carolina
Jared Sullinger (C, 6’9″, 2010) – Committed to Ohio State
Deshaun Thomas (PF, 6’7″, 2010) – Committed to Ohio State
Keith Appling (PG/SG, 6’3″, 2010) – Committed to Michigan State
Harrison Barnes (SF, 6’8″, 2010) – Committed to North Carolina
Terrence Jones (SF/PF,6’9″, 2010) – Undecided (Kentucky, Washington, Oregon, UCLA, Oklahoma)
Cory Joseph (PG/SG, 6’3″, 2010) – Undecided (UNLV, Connecticut, Texas, Minnesota, Villanova)
Brandon Knight (SG, 6’4″, 2010) – Undecided (Miami, Kentucky, Florida, Connecticut, Kansas, Syracuse)
Doron Lamb (SG, 6’4″, 2010) – Undecided (Kentucky, West Virginia, Kansas, Arizona)
Ray McCallum (PG, 6’1″, 2010) – Undecided (Detroit, Florida, UCLA, Arizona)
Fab Melo (C, 7’0″, 2010) – Committed to Syracuse
Jereme Richmond (SF, 6’8″, 2010) – Committed to Illinois
Joshua Thomas (C, 6’10”, 2010) – Committed to UCLA
Tristan Thompson (PF, 6’10”, 2010) – Committed to Texas
Patric Young (PF, 6’9″, 2010) – Committed to Florida
With the John Wall recruiting hype over, and Lance Stephenson looking like he hopes somebody will pay him some money to play somewhere, we move on to the biggest names for 2010.
First, let’s talk about the top players who aren’t committed, and leading that pack is Harrison Barnes (SF, 6’6″, 2010), followed by Brandon Knight (PG, 6’3″, 2010), Josh Smith (C, 6’9″, 2010) and Kyrie Irving (PG, 6’1″, 2010).
Right now, Barnes is considered the top player and he just completed a visit to the campuses of Duke and UNC (which isn’t hard, considering they are only eight miles apart). He already has offers from both schools, as well as Kansas, Florida, Kentucky, Oklahoma and just about anywhere else he wants to play. Harrison Barnes is currently the number one player we’re tracking for 2010.
Barnes is a good outside shooter and has the size and handles to legitimately play the 2 in the pros if he continues to develop. He has a guard’s court vision and can slash as well, although he needs to be able to develop the ability to create his own shot and finish his slashing moves better. His first step is very, very quick and he uses it to get to the basket extremely well.
One thing I really like about Harrison’s game is his stroke. I would like to see him display a little more athleticism for a 6’6″ guy around the basket, because it could be an issue when he’s going against big 6’9″ guys in the paint every night in college. But I’m going to see a lot more of Barnes before then.
Here’s some video of Mr. Barnes: