Durand Scott Gets Closer to Decision; Boynton to Florida

October 30, 2008

The latest on Durand Scott (SG, 6’5″, 2009) is that he’s trimmed his list, and Miami is still in the mix, along with UConn and maybe Pitt. Scott had a long list of interested schools at one time but is making no bones about why some schools are no longer under consideration:

“All the other schools had something about them that I didn’t like, so that’s why they’re eliminated,” Scott said. “None of [the remaining] schools have things I don’t like.”

Meanwhile, Kenny Boynton (PG/SG, 6’2″, 2009) has made it official, he’s not coming to the ACC, he’s opting for Florida.

John Wall – Not Going to Kentucky?

October 22, 2008

The Raliegh News & Observer has an article about John Wall’s recent visit to NC State, and when asked the question that top recruits hear ad nauseum, ‘what’s your list of schools’, one school was noticeably absent :Kentucky. However, Wall said he enjoyed his visit to the Pack, but also mentioned a new name, Miami, as a possibility:

Wall said Sunday that Miami was pushing for a visit and that he was not sure he’d keep Kansas on his list after it took a commitment from 6-foot-2 Elijah Johnson of Las Vegas.

“I’m not sure where I am with Kansas right now,” he said.

Wall is considering N.C. State, Oregon, Baylor and Memphis, along with possibly either Miami or Kansas.

Report: Battle of the Blue Ridge

October 16, 2008

Special report today again from James Blackburn, who attended the Battle of the Blue Ridge in Lenoir, NC, which pits Oak Hill against Patterson School in a scrimmage…with many college coaches in attendance.

Game Notes: The game was the 4th annual “Battle of the Blue Ridge” scrimmage. The teams played two 20-minute halves with regular rules and stopped clock. The third 20-minute half was played with a running clock. The first half was won by Patterson 53-38, but Oak Hill bounced back and won the second game 50-46, with a game winning 3 by Bryon Allen #23 of Oak Hill. The coaches played mostly the backups in the last half. Patterson rebounds the ball really well, particularly on the offensive end.

Players to watch
Oak Hill

• Doron Lamb (JR. 6’4”, 185 lbs.) Doron is a solid player who does what he is asked and does everything well. He started off the game cold from the floor, but is a great shooter nonetheless, finding his rhythm in the second half. He has been offered by a number of schools including: Wake Forest, Memphis, Syracuse, St. Johns, and Pittsburgh. Duke is looking at him as well but has not offered yet.

• Keith “Tiny” Gallon (Sr. 6’9”. 320 lbs.) Tiny is a beast to put it mildly. He controls the paint by rebounding on both ends of the floor and contesting shots. He is very strong and uses his size and strength well. He has a limited offensive game, but rattles the rim on every dunk. He has a decent shot with a 15 foot shooting range. He passes and dribbles well for a big man. What I question most about Tiny is his attitude. He is very vocal which gets him into trouble sometimes. On a couple of plays he didn’t get a foul called and quit on the play. His conditioning is also a question mark. He plays well when is rested, but tires after about 5 minutes of up and down action. Despite these question marks, Tiny looks like a very intriguing prospect with limitless potential. Oklahoma, Miss. St., and Cal have expressed interest. Note from Marcus: Alex recently found out that Oklahoma is the leader for Gallon.

• Lamont Jones (Sr. 6’, 180 lbs.) Lamont was the best player on the floor for either team tonight. He is an explosive scorer, getting to the rim at will and possessing the ability to finish over taller players. He is extremely quick and can handle the ball with pressure on him. He also sees the floor well and had a nice behind the back pass for a lay-up in the second half. Lamont is a great shooter with good arc and elevation. Virginia Tech, UNCC, and Cincinnati are interested in this PG from NY.


• Vincent Council (GR. 6’1”, 160 lbs.) Vincent is very smart player and has great court sense. He is an excellent passer. He is a lockdown defender. Even though he did hit a 3-pointer, he needs to improve his shot and extend his range, showing hesitancy in shooting. He is being looked at by App State and UNC-G.

• Clarence Trent (GR. 6’8”, 225 lbs.) Clarence is a deadly shooter that creates match up problems with his size. He plays hard at all times and has a good attitude. He has committed to Washington.

• Hassan Whiteside (Sr. 6’11”, 187 lbs.) Hassan is very long and extremely athletic. He is a good rebounder, but has trouble finishing because of his size. He needs to get stronger and gain weight. He is a raw player and needs to improve in many areas, including his jump shot. Charlotte and Marshall are interested.

• Hunter McClintock (GR. 6’1”, 175 lbs.) Hunter is a player who could make a lot of noise down the road. He was the fastest player on the floor with the ball and can handle the ball great. He is a good passer and plays good defense. He is also a great athlete throwing the ball off the backboard and wind milling it in warm-ups. His size might scare some people away, but he plays hard. A number of schools are looking at the PG including: Wake Forest, Boston College, and App. State.

• David Nyarsuk (Jr. 7’1”, 220 lbs.) David is very long and athletic like his counterpart Hassan Whiteside. He is a good rebounder and tries to dunk everything, playing above the rim. He plays hard but looks a little clumsy at times. He is only a junior and has a couple years to improve. Wake Forest, Tenn., and Ohio State have noticed the center.

The NBA Lays Off

October 14, 2008

In anticipation of lower ticket sales, the NBA has announced that it is laying off 9% of it’s workforce.

Nine percent is such an exact number (“about 80 jobs”), it seems odd, but what’s more interesting is that the NBA is supposedly laying off people before they even know sales will be down. Businesses that lay people off as soon as they experience a bad quarter are poorly run ( and I know that includes a big chunk of the Fortune 500), but businesses that are run so poorly they have to lay off before they hit a financial bump?

It means either the NBA is run so poorly that they are nervous about folding in the face of any financial hardship and have no cash reserves OR…the NBA hasn’t been doing financially well for a while. I’m going to take a stab in the dark and say that over the past fifteen years, the NBA has stocked their rosters with early entries and high school players, suffering worse and worse ratings, declining revenues and now…one the eve of the possibility of lower ticket sales (which doesn’t include, ahem…the tv deal, which is the big revenue generator)…they are running to cut expenses.

I think the NBA is in trouble. It might be time for them to think about deeper changes than just having the players wear suits on the bench.

The Legend of ‘Ticky’

October 13, 2008

This story has been contributed by James Blackburn, who ran into the ABA and NBA legendary shooter Luther Burden, a.k.a., ‘Ticky’ at the gym last week:

You never know who you might run into during your regular daily routine. This past Monday, I found myself playing a simple game of HORSE with a basketball legend. After lifting weights and warming up on my own, I strolled over to the basket where I saw “Ticky” shooting. I asked him if he wanted to play HORSE, and he said he would. Three losses later, and after giving “Ticky” maybe 2 letters total on a day when I thought my shot was great; I had to ask who he was and where he played. My question quickly made me feel stupid, because Ticky had been a superstar.

Luther Burden was born in Florida in 1953, but grew up in New York. Ticky talks about growing up in the shadow of New York basketball legends, and how he played on the same courts with Dr. J and Connie Hawkins. He learned how to dribble at an early age, and could get to the lane at will only to be met by taller players. Ticky said he had to learn how to jump, so he developed a 42” vertical. Luther told me the next thing he learned how to do was to shoot. And learn how to shoot he did, becoming one of the greatest shooters this world has ever known.

Ticky took his game to the University of Utah after being a high school All-American. In Ticky’s three years at Utah, from 1972-1975, he scored 1,790 points, 5th best in University of Utah men’s basketball history. During his junior year as captain of the team, Ticky averaged 28.7 points, while shooting over 50% from the field as a guard. He also set a Western Athletic Conference record for field goals in a season with 359.
In 1974 Luther Burden represented the United States in the FIBA World Championship. He led the team to a bronze medal with a scoring average of 20.2 ppg over the course of 9 games. Luther still holds the record of the highest scoring average of any U.S. player in World Championship history.

Ticky elected to leave school after his junior year, drafted by the Virginia Squires of the American Basketball Association (ABA) and the New York Knicks of the NBA. Ticky played one year in the ABA and then left to play for the Knicks in the NBA. Ticky played for 3 years, having his career shortened by injuries.

Today Ticky lives in Winston-Salem, NC working with the young people on their basketball fundamentals. Ticky believes that there is a lack of fundamentals in today’s game, and he emphasizes this when he teaches kids the game. He has coached many players over the years, and deserves the credit for many of the stars that call Winston-Salem home, including past local stars and now NBA All-Stars, Chris Paul and Josh Howard. Luther “Ticky” Burden changed the game of basketball, leaving his mark on the game as one of the finest players to ever hit the hardwood.

Here’s some video of Ticky from the 1974 NIT:

Derrick Favors to visit NC State

October 12, 2008

Derrick Favors (PF, 6’9″, 2009), many scouts’ top player in the class of 2009, has long included NC State as a possible destination, even including them in his final list. Now Favors will take an official visit to the Wolfpack’s campus.

Despite stating many times that he would wait for his official decision until the spring, Favors is still removing teams from consideration:

The tentative timetable is for Favors to eliminate one school by the end of this week and another by the end of the following week

This still could come down to Georgia versus Georgia Tech in the spring, but the Pack has a good chance to convince Favors to continue to list them.

Kenny Boynton and the big game

October 11, 2008

Kenny Boynton (PG/SG, 6’2″, 2009), being heavily pursued by Duke and Georgia Tech, will have to be ready to play on bigger stages than ever before, more often than ever before, if he decides to come to the ACC, with a rabid fanbase and almost all games televised.

Boynton seems to be the type of player who would thrive in this environment, as evidenced in this story from the Miami Herald:

“I look forward to the big show,” said Boynton, who averaged a state-best 34.5 points as a Parade All-American a year ago. “I always want to put on a bigger performance so I could give fans their money’s worth and they could come back to watch me.”

John Henson and his sister

Meanwhile, UNC commit John Henson (SF, 6’10”, 2009) has relocated to the same state as Boynton, and ESPN has an article about Henson and his sister, Amber, who is also a solid basketball player, thinks that some of the attention she gets is because of her brother:

Amber says she doesn’t mind playing in her brother’s shadow. She thinks name recognition helped her.

“Now he’s doing his own thing and I am doing my own thing,” Amber said. “I kind of like it because his name’s out there and people [say] ‘That’s his sister; she must be good, too.’ Then I kind of get my shine.”

Maryland in in with 2009 big man

Oh, and Maryland is in the final two for big man Jordan Williams (PF, 6’10”, 2009), in competition with St. John’s.

Ryan Kelly Picks Duke

October 9, 2008

Duke basketball secured a big prize in the class of 2009 by getting a commitment from Ryan Kelly (PF, 6’10”, 2009).

Kelly made his announcement along with Jordan Hamilton (SF, 6’7″, 2009), who chose Texas, on ESPNU’s Recruiting Insider.

Kelly has a nice game, a great running jumper and a very fluid offensive prowess. He’s worked very hard and moved from a relative unknown into a player who player on the U-17 USA basketball roster over the summer and a highly sought after prospect. A big win for the Blue Devils.

As always, if you’re a college basketball fan who can’t get enough of this stuff, sign up for the email list.

Dominic Cheek Eliminates the ACC

October 9, 2008

Bad news for Deacon fans, who had been in the mix for Dominic Cheek (SG, 6’5″, 2009), a serious sharpshooter who hails from New Jersey. According to Adam Zagoria, Cheek has eliminated Wake Forest, UConn and Tennessee from his list, keeping Kansas, Memphis, Indiana, Villanova and Pittsburgh, Seton Hall and Rutgers.

More on Trae Golden

Adam has followed up our update on Trae Golden with one of his own, where he confirms offers from Wake Forest and Virginia Tech. Interestingly, he is not listing Georgia Tech or Clemson.

ACC Basketball Recruiting Roundup

October 7, 2008

Jamil Wilson (SF/PF, 6’7″, 2009) eliminates the ACC, and according to Scout.com, he’s cut his list to Oregon State, Marquette, Texas and Michigan State. Wilson had at one time listed Duke as a possible destination, but did not receive a reported offer and Duke is no longer an option. Thus, we’re no longer tracking Jamil as an ACC prospect.

Trae Golden

Trae Golden (PG/SG,6’1″,2010) the player who de-committed from Ohio State over the summer, seems to have completely fallen out of touch with the Buckeyes, but has Georgia Tech, Clemson, Wake Forest and now Virginia Tech following his recruitment. Kentucky has also been in the mix for Golden. North Carolina and Florida State have also been mentioned as possible options.

Clemson and Georgia Tech have reportedly already offered Golden, as has Kentucky.

Ryan Kelly

Rumors abound that Ryan Kelly (PF, 6’10”, 2009) will make a decision this week.

Elijah Johnson cuts list

Elijah Johnson (PG/SG,6’2″, 2009) is another player cutting his list and had eliminated the ACC some time ago, but we’re making it official as he’s trimming his list to Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma.

Derrick Favors, Derrick Favors

Has Derrick cut his list to five. His recent comments to Alex sure seem to indicate it:

Georgia Tech, Georgia, Memphis, North Carolina State, and Florida State

If you didn’t spot the missing school…it’s Kentucky. In fact, Favors tells Alex that reports of him considering Kentucky are inaccurate.

As always, if you’re a college basketball fan who can’t get enough of this stuff, sign up for the email list.