Derrick Favors is Consistent

April 19, 2008

The latest on Favors’ recruitment is officially that he is considering “all” schools, and spectators are commenting on his consistency as a player. Regarded by most as the top prospect of the 2009 class, Favors’ Atlanta Celtics pounded their first over matched opponent in the Real Deal at the Hill.

The Real Deal at the Hill tournament is played at the University of Arkansas (Fayetteville, AK), through Sunday (April 20), with only $8 all-day tickets. This is not some out of the way tournament for just Favors, there are several ACC recruits scheduled to play, including Kenny Boynton.

Arkansas is the center of the prep basketball universe this weekend with the Old School Super Regional going on in Conway, AK, with tickets only $10.

Jordan Classic on ESPN2

For those not traveling to Arkansas, you can catch some of the top prep stars from the Class of 2008 on ESPN2 tonight at 9pm in the Jordan Brand Classic. Good chance to see some guys who might be household names for ACC fans in the next couple of years.

ACC commits:

Al-Farouq Aminu, F (Wake Forest)
Ed Davis, PF (North Carolina)
Iman Shumpert, PG (Georgia Tech)
Tony Woods, PF (Wake Forest)

One guy who is not coming to the ACC and will probably be one-and-done is point guard phenom Brandon Jennings, but I still like to watch him play. He plays with the arrogant abandon of of someone who is one step quicker than everyone on the court.


Video: Dexter Strickland, Dominic Cheek, Kenny Boynton

April 19, 2008

Some more video of several players, including UNC commit Dexter Strickland and ACC targets Dominic Cheek, Lance Stephenson and Kenny Boynton can be found here.

These clips are pretty good, just highlight moves and some slow motion replays. Hard to tell from these clips, but Strickland’s follow through looks pretty good. He may have a little “sharp right turn” at the end of his shot, which could be a bit of a problem when he’s covered by bigger guards in the ACC (shots have to be a lot more accurate when you’re guarded by a guy two inches taller than you and every bit as fast), but whenever I’ve seen him, his shots are almost always in transition – his shot may not have any flaws, it could just be the momentum of the particular play.

Kenny Boynton has a nice running jumper, although on his three pointers I noticed a little tendency to “slingshot” a little bit. Of course, I’m more of the school that thinks consistency of shot may be more valuable than form. I do tend to notice little things about player’s shots. Boynton plays pretty much like a shooting guard, which at 6’2″ he can get by with in college. I think he might struggle initially if he had to handle the ball against pure point guards, but he can handle the ball well enough for a SG. He tends to carry the ball a little bit, which can turn into a full blown problem when facing a little guy with good hands. Boynton does seem to have nice body control, even in the lane. He can take a bit of contact, alter his shot and finish.


Kenny Boynton setting visits

April 18, 2008

Rivals is reporting that ACC recruit Kenny Boynton has started setting up his visits[Subscription Required].

ACC Schools recruiting Boynton include Duke, Miami, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech and Florida State, although I’ve heard that Duke is really gunning for him.
Boynton was also just named to the Florida first-team All-State.

I haven’t seen Boynton play in person yet, so I will have to either travel to an event he’s at, get him on film, or fly down to Florida next season.


Dominic Cheek on ACC Schools

April 17, 2008

New Jersey shooting guard Dominic Cheek talks about his recruiting in this interview at North Star Basketball. Cheek is actively being recruited by several schools in the ACC, but he has always been a fan of UNC:

NB: What are some of the schools?
DC: Villanova, Texas, Wake Forest, Seton Hall, Rutgers, Florida, Marquette, Kansas, it’s just . . . a lot of colleges.

NB: What are you looking for in a school?
DC: Great academics and a great coach that can get me to the next level.

NB: Is there a school that growing up you’ve always wanted to play for, that you always dreamed of playing for?
DC: Oh yeah, it was North Carolina, [that was] my school really, [while] growing up.

However, Cheek points out that he does not have a clear leader at this point.

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Video: UNC Recruit Dexter Strickland

April 16, 2008

Possibly the highest rated player to sign with any ACC school thus far is Dexter Strickland, a 6’3” combo guard who looks like he might fit in well with the fast paced style that Roy Williams likes to employ.

It is unclear if Strickland will play much point at UNC, and his lanky shooting style reminds me some of current Tar Heel Wayne Ellington, with a better handle. His movements are very fluid, not quite as slick as Spanish wonder kid Ricky Rubio, but cut from similar cloth. Strickland probably has better hops than Rubio, and both are deceptively fast, streaking down the court, lulling their opponents to sleep before slashing to the rim.

UCLA’s Package Deal?

BruinReportOnline is reporting that top recruit Lance Stephenson might be a package deal with Renardo Sidney. I have not heard of any ACC schools involved with Sidney, so if that’s true Stephenson might be out of the ACC mix as well.

Georgia saving room for Derrick Favors

Georgia has signed a shooting guard for the 2008 class, and many from the Bulldogs fanbase believe they are saving room for Derrick Favors.


Derrick Favors, Lighting It Up; John Wall to Memphis?

April 15, 2008

Derrick Favors continues to light it up, routinely putting up 20-20 games even as he plays against the top recruits in the nation. However, one key aspect about Favors is his attitude towards improvement and goal setting:

“I wanted the eighth-graders to do 50 pushups a night,” says [Favor’s coach] Reddick, who played professionally in Europe for 12 years. “Derrick came up to me and said, ‘Coach, how many do your guys do a night?’ When I told him 150-200, he said that’s how many he was going to start doing.”

Favors also does not intend to transfer schools, which sets him apart from other top recruits. Putting up 20-20 against top competition is excellent, but the key element that separates great players from merely good (or merely talented) is work ethic and an innate drive to improve themselves.

Naturally, Favors is the prize recruit this year by all of the major programs, and the ACC programs reportedly in the mix are Georgia Tech, Clemson, Duke, North Carolina, North Carolina State and Florida State.

Meanwhile, Jerry Myers muses about the possibility of Favors going to Duke. Jerry reports that NC State, Kentucky, Georgia Tech and Georgia are already high on Favor’s list.

Elsewhere, top PG John Wall from the Raliegh, NC area may be headed to Memphis. This is also being reported by here, along with Xavier Henry and Karron Johnson


Duke Pursuing Derrick Favors

April 14, 2008

Scout.com is reporting that Duke is now actively recruiting 6’9″ C Derrick Favors [membership required]. I wondered when Taylor King decided to transfer from Duke if it wasn’t somehow to allow Duke to recruit more bigs.

However, I wonder if Duke can even get into the mix now? Favors already had high profile schools after him.

Favors is currently considered the #1 prospect of the 2009 class by most recruiting services.


Video: Larry Drew

April 13, 2008

This is a pretty lengthy video of incoming UNC PG Larry Drew (Class of 2008).

Drew has been named as a 2008 McDonald’s All-American.


Video: Derrick Favors Interview

April 13, 2008

Everybody’s #1, 6’8″ PF/C Derrick Favors of the 2009 class is featured in this video interview. He comes across as a very grounded young man, mentioning his defense and rebounding more than anything else.

As of this writing, the ACC schools pursuing Favors are reportedly Duke, Clemson, Georgia Tech, North Carolina and North Carolina State.