Top Fives for April

April 30, 2008

College Hoop Blog has a poll of the top five players watched in April by several top scouts.

You should read the entire listing over there, but I created sort of a ‘cross reference’ of the most named prospects:

– Kenny Boynton 6’2″ G
– John Henson 6’10” PF (Commited to North Carolina)
– John Wall, 6’2″ PG
– Xavier Henry, 6’6″ SG

I did not see any players other than these listed more than once. One thing that jumps out at me is how much attention John Wall is getting, and why only one North Carolina school (Wall’s home state) has offered him (NC State). I think it is the heavy “power broker” influence that has been spotted in connection with Wall, the types of people that get their hooks in kids and get them to go pro early or go to certain schools. Wall is definitely talented to play anywhere in the ACC, including UNC and Duke, but no offers from them, and they are right down the road. They’ve seen him play. So they are actively NOT offering him.

At any rate, it is not my goal to get into speculation over where or why recruits are going, I’d rather focus on assessments of players, so I am going to be listing some in the near future. I’m also getting my list of targets I want to see in person.

Don’t forget to sign up for the 2008 ACC Basketball Recruiting Annual Report, by signing up for the email updates you will automatically get on the list for it when it is published. It’ll be free, despite the professional layout.

John Wall and Duke

April 27, 2008 is reporting that Duke is now watching John Wall and may get involved with him. However, I really doubt he’s going anywhere but Memphis.

Dominic Cheek says UNC commit is just a rumor

April 27, 2008

Rivals is reporting that Dominic Cheek(SG, 6’5”) is still wide open on his recruitment and the recent notion that he was close to signing with North Carolina was just a rumor. He also states that Kansas, Tennessee and Florida have gotten involved in his recruitment.
Kenny Boynton, more shooting guard than point
Jerry Meyer states that Duke target Kenny Boynton(6’2”, SG) is a shooting guard with a good handle, as opposed to a pure point guard. Jerry muses about Duke’s chances with one of the top high school players in the class of 2009.

Dexter Strickland to play in Beach Ball Classic

UNC commit Dexter Strickland (6’3”, 180) will be playing in the 2008 Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach, SC. The games will be played June 13-14 at Coastal Carolina’s Watson Stadium. I think I might try to go to that event.

Daniel Orton and Xavier Henry – OK in May

April 25, 2008

Maryland target Daniel Orton (6’9″, C) and phenom Xavier Henry (6’6″ SG/SF) will play in the Sooner Cage Classic on Oklahoma on May 2-4, with their AAU team Athletes First. Henry is being recruited by North Carolina but I have read in several places that UNC is below Kansas and Memphis on his list right now.

As for Orton, there’s been a lot of talk lately about whether he’ll stay in state or not, with Oklahoma State stepping up recruitment of him, but at this point it’s anybody’s guess. I don’t think Maryland is seriously in the running for him right now.

Georgia Tech Recruiting 2008

April 24, 2008

If you were coaching a college basketball team and you were only going to sign one player for the year, why not sign a Mickey D’s All American? Sounds like a good plan, and that’s exactly what Paul Hewitt has done in signing Iman Shumpert, a big guard who is probably going to see serious minutes immediately and may become an elite guard in the ACC. The thing is, will Shumpert stick around? Hewitt has suffered the same affliction as Rick Barnes of Texas, in that he loses his top recruits to the pros almost as soon as they arrive, and he doesn’t have a backstock of recruits like Duke or UNC.

It’s like starting over every year.

2008 ACC Basketball Recruiting Annual Report

By the way, I’m putting together a 2008 ACC college basketball recruiting yearbook to wrap up the 2008 class. It will have write ups on each team, the players who they have coming in for the 2008 class, and how I think they might fare in the ACC.

It’s a lot of work to put together, and I am working on getting some professional layout and graphics, but I am not planning on charging for it (even though I am sure I could). If you are interested in getting a copy, sign up for the email update list (over in the nav bar to your right) or you can click this link and sign up. I’m not going to just post this online where people can swipe it, but I am willing to give it out to people who are interested in ACC basketball recruiting. I’ll post more as I get it finalized.

Louisville leads for Doron Lamb

April 23, 2008

Doron Lamb

Doron Lamb (6’4″, SG, 2010) has emerged recently as a big time prospect and it look like, for now, he is leaning toward the Big East. In this interview, he states that Louisville is his leader, and that he apparently is considering Rutgers as well, and that Syracuse and Duke are pursuing him but have not offered:

NB: What colleges do you currently hold an offer from?
DL: I got an offer from Rutgers, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Georgetown, Louisville, St. John’s, Seton Hall, that’s it.

NB: [Which] schools [would you say] . . . are seriously recruiting you?
DL: Louisville, [that’s] the main one. Louisville and Rutgers, that’s the main ones.

NB: Are there any other ones that have not offered that are also heavily interested?
DL: Syracuse and Duke.

Kenny Boynton

Apparently Kenny Boynton(6’2″, combo guard) was able to really raise his stock over the weekend with his performance at the Real Deal on the Hill, getting rave reviews for his outside shooting and his scoring. Boynton has a reputation as a shooter and scorer who will take any shot, from anywhere, at any time. Duke is still in the mix for Boynton, as is Georgia Tech.

Notes from Pitt Jam

April 22, 2008

Duke commit Mason Plumlee(6’11”, PF, 2009) was in attendance at the Pitt Jam Fest this past weekend, along with ACC target John Wall (6′ 3″, combo G, 2009) and Dominic Cheek (6′ 6″, SG, 2009).

Plumlee is an interesting player, in that he runs the floor well, especially for a big man, but it’s a situation similar to UNC commit John Henson, they are big men that don’t have a lot of post power yet. In other words, they are slender kids, unlike Daniel Orton (6’9″, C, 2009), who already plays like a monster in the middle. However, Plumlee is already a good rebounder and moves well without the ball.

Lance Stephenson a package deal?

April 21, 2008

A lot of noise came out a few days ago about the possibility of Lance Stephenson (6’5″, SF), currently being pursued by North Carolina and Duke, being part of a ‘package deal’ with Renardo Sidney (6’9″, PF) to UCLA. This is because of the close friendship shared by the two on the AAU circuit. However, Jeff Eisenberg of the Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) called Stephenson’s coach to dispel the rumor:

Dwayne Morton, coach at famed Lincoln High in Brooklyn, confirmed that Stephenson and Sidney are good friends from the AAU circuit but cautioned that a package deal with the two of them is still a long shot.
“It has to be the right situation for Lance,” Morton said. “He’s not just going to go somewhere because of Renardo.”

Right now, my understanding is that neither UNC or Duke are really in the mix for Stephenson, and I don’t know of any ACC schools in the mix for Sidney. Both players are ranked in many recruiting services’ top five. Meanwhile, outside the ACC, Stephenson has stated he likes Memphis, Kansas, Indiana and Arkansas.

Speaking of Sidney, a good story that shows insight into the intense fervor that high school recruits are subject to involves two men who tried to ‘woo’ Sidney to another high school:

More than 10 high schools have expressed interest in Sidney, his father said. Sidney ruled out some because, he said, players on their teams told him they don’t always have to do their own work to get grades.

But the Sidney family listened to one recruitment pitch, even though it began surreptitiously. Two men showed up in Mississippi, telling Sidney they were reporters with a new magazine in California and that he was the subject of their cover story.

His mother immediately called Vaccaro; the elder Sidney met the men for lunch. Vaccaro said he believes the two men were trying to persuade Sidney to transfer to Compton’s Dominguez High, which is sponsored by Nike.

“It was scary,” the elder Sidney said. “That was definitely a Hollywood act. They told me two names, but I don’t know if that is their real name. They could have been posing for an agent. . . . So you just never know.”

Sidney said he and his family later visited California and the men gave them tickets on the floor for a Los Angeles Lakers-Minnesota Timberwolves game.

“They took us to the Lakers game; we went out to eat every day,” Sidney said. “We hung out, late nights and stuff. We had fun. They showed us a good time. They wanted me to come out here just to visit Dominguez and see if I would like it or whether I’d go to it. We stopped messing with them. I never thought about [Dominguez]. It was in the ghetto.”

Their recruitment pitch included a phone call that the men said was from Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant. When Sidney got on the phone, the man purported to be Bryant and told him he should stay humble and work hard. To this day, Sidney doesn’t know who he spoke to. Bryant could not be reached to comment.

Is it any wonder that kids get the idea to jump to the pros so quickly?

Real Deal Roundup

So the big stud of the Real Deal was apparently Kenny Boynton (6’2″, combo guard), and reports are also that Lance Stephenson also performed well. North Carolina signee John Henson (6’10” PF/C) had an up-and-down scoring output, but he really is a guy who looks like he could become a superstar.

I don’t think he’s quite there yet, but he sure looks like someone who could develop into an all-ACC player, and he looks like he still is adusting to being a ‘big man’. In that respect, Henson reminds me a little of Mike Dunleavy, a guy who never thought he’d be a forward and then had a massive growth spurt. Also at the Real Deal was UNC target Nolan Dennis (6’5″ SG). Dennis is being pursued by UNC heavily along with Memphis.

Derrick Favors

I keep hearing that Derrick Favors is likely to stay in the state of Georgia, and that would mean his recruiting would be between Georgia Tech and Georgia. I’m pretty sure North Carolina is out of the running, but that hasn’t stopped Duke from stepping up their recruitment of him.

Kenny Boynton at the Real Deal

April 21, 2008

ACC target Kenny Boynton was named the MVP of The Real Deal on the Hill, which took place in Arkansas this weekend. Boynton, a 6’2″ PG from Florida is reportedly very high on the Duke Blue Devils’ coveted list as well as Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami and Wake Forest.

Boynton has stated that he has no leader at this time.

Daniel Orton, lazy or just not challenged?

April 20, 2008

Maryland target Daniel Orton has gotten the ‘lazy’ tag, but he is a big body that entices a lot of top programs. In the last two tournaments, Orton showed that he can be a force when he puts his mind to it. It’s really tough to gauge how players like that develop in college, but a lot of times it can mean missed potential? I remember the knock on Major Wingate was taking plays off, and he did that at Tennessee, skipping out early.

A key point for players to get recruited and then have a successful career is consistency, consistency, consistency. This is one of the factors why so many programs are salivating over Derrick Favors, who is known for playing hard and consistent, regardless of the opponent.

Can you guys think of players who had the ‘lazy’ tag in high school that ended up looking great in college?