Scouting Report: Winston-Salem Prep

December 23, 2008

James Blackburn, who now will be working with the Charlotte Bobcats, (congratulations, James!), attended Winston-Salem Prep’s first round game of the annual Frank Spencer Classic tournament. The tournament starts on the home floors of the individual participating schools, and the winning games are playing the weekend of Christmas in the Lawrence Joel Coliseum of Winston-Salem, NC.

James scouted Winston-Salem Prep in a surprising loss to Carver High School, but James still got a chance to see several of Prep’s players in action:

Carver vs. Winston-Salem Prep

The first round of the Frank Spencer was played tonight as Carver defeated Prep 74-68 in Overtime. Down by 3 with 10 seconds left, Jacoby Corpening hit a 3 to tie the game. Carver outscored Prep 16-10 in the overtime period to move on in the Frank Spencer tournament. Prep heralds several players that college basketball fans should keep an eye on in the future.

#30- Jacoby Corpeining- Does everything well, leader on court, smart player, good shooter, loves to drive to the basket and finishes with contact, good free throw shooter, good intangibles. Finished with 21 pts and 4 assist.

#5- Justin Parhan- Best perimeter Defender on team- quick hands and quick feet- finished game with 4 steals and drew several charges, calm and patient under pressure, can shoot the basketball effectively.

#22- Krishawn Nobel- Steps out on screens well- good rebounder- has long arms which he uses to block shots and defend

#11- Corey Gant—Can light it up from 3 point land- creates his own shot well- has quick hands- finished with 3 steals.

Jamal McNeil- Good Shot blocker, despite standing about 6’4”, does so because of long arms, athletic, good defender- good hands- runs the court and rebounds on both ends- finished with 4 pts, 5 rbs, 2 blocks, and 3 steals


Big Games Help Basketball Recruiting

December 18, 2008

Adam Zagoria has a post about the Duke Xavier game and how it helps recruiting, and that’s why it was scheduled:

Both teams want to continue to draw on the rich talent pool in the New York/New Jersey area…

Xavier’s emergence this season as a power team (which they’ll get a chance to prove when they take on the Blue Devils) is due in part to their ability to recruit the NY/NJ region.

Meanwhile, Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, CA, tops the PrepNation.com poll:

1. Santa Ana, Calif., Mater Dei
2. Newark, N.J., St. Benedict’s
3. Mouth of Wilson, Va., Oak Hill
4. Elizabeth, N.J., St. Patrick
5. Los Angeles, Calif., Fairfax
6. Duncanville, Texas
7. Henderson, Nev., Findlay
8. Brooklyn, N.Y., Lincoln
9. Minnetonka, Minn., Hopkins
10. Rockville, Md., Montrose Christian

Of course, Mater Dei boasts Travis Wear (PF, 6’9″, 2009) and David Wear (PF, 6’9″, 2009), both of whom have committed to UNC, as well as Andy Brown (PF, 6’8″, 2009), a big man who has committed to Stanford.


Tyler Thornton Video & Tony Wroten

December 16, 2008

Tyler Thornton (PG/SG,6’2″, 2010), the Duke commit who will likely be coming in and run some point after Nolan Smith, is shown in this video accepting an All-Tournament Award. No basketball action in the video, though.

Tony Wroten ruled ineligible

Tony Wroten (SG, 6’4″, 2011), considered by some to be the #1 player in the 2011 class, has been ruled ineligible to play at his current high school:

“We’re fighting because it’s wrong what’s happening,” Wroten’s father, Tony Wroten Sr., said Monday. “We’re disputing what the district claims, and we’ll handle it in a legal manner.”

Wroten doesn’t seem likely to end up in the ACC but he’s still one of the premier players in the class and one to definitely keep an eye on.


The Flip Camera

December 15, 2008

This camera, is, apparently, pretty awesome and I am going to see if it works for sports video (a lot of less expensive video cameras do not do an acceptable job for the speed of a basketball game).


theFlip Ultra

After hearing so many people raving about this camera, I’m going to snag one and try it out at some basketball games soon. I first saw some video online that was shot in San Diego and I was actually stunned at the quality. Then I saw a couple more online videos shot with the Flip.

Then, the kicker: someone I knew had a flip and loved it. I really like the idea of this little camera I can take with me to basketball games and pickup games to get some quick video. Let me know if you have one and whether you like it / don’t like it.

I really want to get a slim camera like this because I don’t like lugging a full video camera everywhere (and some places it causes problems). I also like how it can download quickly right to the laptop, so I envision being able to shoot some hoops video in a gym or a game and pop it online in a minute or two. I might try it out at the Frank Spencer Classic if I can, which starts this week.

Taran Buie vs. Tobias Harris

Two potential ACC recruits battled it out over the weekend and here is a rundown of the match up between Tobias Harris (PF, 6’7″, 2010) and Taran Buie (PG/SG, 6’0″, 2010). Buie scored 24 points in the win, and is being recruited by Maryland and Georgia Tech (and just about everyone else in the ACC), while Harris is also being recruited by Maryland as well as Wake Forest.


ACC Basketball Recruiting Rundown, Dec 14

December 14, 2008

I’ve got a ton of information for you to wade through today, so let’s just get into it:

First, even though Dominic Cheek (SG, 6’5″, 2009) eliminated all the ACC schools from his list some time ago, he’s committed to Villanova…it would have been nice to see such a deep sharpshooter in the ACC.

Doron Lamb (SG, 6’4″, 2010) scored 27 points in a victory over Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago. Young’s leading scorer was Ahmad Starks (PG, 5’8″, 2010), who has already given a verbal to Oregon State. Lamont Jones (PG/SG, 6’0″, 2009) was the leading scorer for Oak Hill with 28 points and already has committed to Virginia Tech.

Justin Young has some notes on NC State commit Lorenzo Brown (SG, 6’4″, 2009):

…what a great player Lorenzo Brown is. The question mark surrounding the future N.C. State has always been his ability to take over in the home stretch.

TBO Sports has a write up on John Henson (SF, 6’10” , 2009), the UNC commit who will be an impact player for the Heels:

John Henson was just a regular high school student once. He was an above-average small forward entering high school, but between his sophomore and junior years at Round Rock High in Texas, Henson grew 6 inches.

Henson is also mentioned in this article, which talks about how when college coaches and scouts start watching a player, so do the NCAA investigators:

With stakes that high, the NCAA, which governs college sports, is increasingly wary of what colleges sometimes do to get those difference-making athletes. Getting the star might mean first taking care of his friend, family members, or those in the inner circle who simply have their hands out.

I run into these ‘handlers’ all the time when I scout teams. Sometimes they’re just guys who are really trying to help players, but often they are looking for a payout.

In the same article, we see whatever-happened-to Gus Gilchrist, who Maryland fans thought would be helping out in the paint at Maryland. Maybe Maryland wasn’t interested in ‘creating jobs’ for pals?

Today, for instance, 6-foot-10 center Gus Gilchrist will make his debut for the University of South Florida. He is a potential franchise player for the Bulls, who have mostly been overmatched in basketball since joining the Big East Conference. Shortly after Gilchrist entered USF’s program last summer, the Bulls created a job as a video and conditioning assistant for one of his closest friends.

This is, of course, why the number on point guard in the 2009 class, John Wall (PG, 6’4″, 2009) is already being watched, and why rumors abound.


Bank of America City of Palms Classic

December 11, 2008

Bank of America City of Palms Classic

Yesterday I posted some of the USA Today Top 25 high school boys’ basketball teams, and if you want to see several of the nationally ranked teams in the same tournament, then the Bank of America City of Palms Classic is for you.

Some of the teams coming are Lincoln (Lance Stepenscon), American Heritage (Kenny Boynton, Florida commit), Briarcrest (Leslie McDonald, North Carolina commit) , Duncanville HS, Word of God (John Wall), and a whole bunch of others.

American Heritage HS (Plantation, Florida), 19-9: Kenny Boynton, HoopScoop’s No. 2-rated senior, returns for an encore after his 61-point City of Palms game against Fort Myers Dunbar in 2007, and will be joined again by pint-sized point guard Ray Taylor.

Arlington Country Day (Jacksonville, Florida), 22-6: Apaches have won four consecutive state championships, and boast McDonald’s All-American hopeful 6-9 Wally Judge and national top-100 senior 6-4 Rodney McGruder (both committed to Kansas State), plus 6-4 Emari Bailey.

Briarcrest HS (Memphis, Tennessee), 22-12: Leslie McDonald, a 6-5 guard and HoopScoop’s 15th-rated senior (committed to North Carolina), teamed with fellow seniors 6-9 Johnny Williams and 6-2 Gregg Wooten to win state title.

Dunbar HS (Fort Myers, Florida), 21-8: Tigers reached 3A Final Four behind 6-4 junior David Paulk & sophomores Melvin German and Dontel Singleton. But the arrival of one of the state’s top five sophs, 5-11 Darius Perkins, from Miami Pace makes Dunbar even stronger.

Duncanville HS (Duncanville, Texas), 36-2: Led by 6-6 Shawn Williams (Texas), 6-5 Roger Franklin (Oklahoma State) and 6-foot Roger Dowell, all national top-100 seniors, and juniors 6-9 Perry Jones and 6-foot Jamison Sterns (both committed to Baylor), the Panthers are ranked No. 1 in the nation by ESPN.com and are 75-2 over the past two seasons.

Fayette County HS (Fayetteville, Georgia), 23-10: The Tigers rode 6-6 consensus top-25 senior Noel Johnson (25 ppg, 9 rpg), committed to USC, all the way to the Class 4A state title game and earned a City of Palms berth after an appearance in last year’s Sunshine Series.

Fort Myers HS (Fort Myers, Florida), 26-4: Green Wave won district and county titles and reached Class 5A regional semis. They will build around 6-11 senior Josh Nicholas, 6-4 senior John-Michael Hodge, 6-3 sophomore Evin Graham and 6-5 sophomore Matt Yance.

Lincoln HS (Brooklyn, New York), 28-4: The 6-5 Lance Stephenson, HoopScoop’s No. 1-rated senior and dubbed “Born Ready” by the Rucker Park regulars in New York City, has starred for three straight city champions. Can he and 6-8 senior James Padgett (Maryland) make it 4-for-4 for the Railsplitters?

Mater Dei HS (Santa Ana, California), 35-1: Monarchs could be nation’s preseason No. 1 team, led by 6-10 senior twin-tower brothers David & Travis Wear, who already have committed to North Carolina, and national top-30 juniors Tyler Lamb (UCLA) and Gary Franklin.

Olympia HS (Orlando, Florida), 24-3: Class 6A Titans won inaugural McDonald’s Tampa Hoops Classic and are the state’s consensus preseason No. 1 team, led by seniors Dexter Fields (committed to UAB), William Green (Western Kentucky), Jamel Marshall (Florida International) and Martell Blue.

Roman Catholic HS (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), 19-6: The Cahillites, upset in the Catholic playoffs after a 14-0 regular-season rampage through the Southern Division, boast 6-foot Malik Wayns (committed to Villanova), HoopScoop’s No. 11 senior, top junior 6-foot Rakeem Brookins and 6-7 senior Koron Reed.

St. Patrick HS (Elizabeth, New Jersey), 25-5: Kevin Boyle’s Celtics will make record eighth City of Palms appearance, powered by consensus top-10 senior 6-3 Dexter Strickland (committed to North Carolina), 6-8 senior Paris Bennett (George Mason), 6-1 junior Kyrie Irving (Villanova) and 6-7 Michael Gilchrist, HoopScoop’s No. 2-rated sophomore.

Westchester HS (Los Angeles, California), 28-5: The young Comets put their perfect 14-0 City of Palms record (tourney titles in 2000-01 and 2003) on the line, led by national top-25 junior 6-7 Dwayne Polee (committed to USC), 6-4 Kareem Jamar and 6-2 Jordin Mayes.

Wheeler HS (Marietta, Georgia), 30-3: Highly touted seniors 6-7 Ari Stewart (committed to Wake Forest), 6-8 Richard Howell (N.C. State) and 6-3 Tahj Tate fell one game shy of giving Coach Doug Lipscomb his fifth state title in 15 seasons, but are among four returning starters.

Winter Park HS (Winter Park, Florida), 28-2: The Wildcats won their first 21 games, led by national top-25 sophomore 6-3 Austin Rivers, son of Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers.

Word of God (Raleigh, North Carolina), 31-3: John Wall, a 6-3 point guard and Rivals’ No. 1 senior, teamed with 6-9 C.J. Leslie (committed to N.C. State), HoopScoop’s No. 20 junior, to lead the Holy Rams to a second-straight NCISAA Class 1A state title.

There are a ton of ACC commits in this year’s tournament, including Wake Forest’s Ari Stewart, UNC’s John Henson and NC State’s C.J. Leslie.


Top 25 USA Today – South

December 10, 2008

John Wall (PG,6’4″, 2009) had led Word of God to a number eight national ranking before their loss to Dudley (Greensboro, NC).

Here’s where the South region schools fall in place, according to USA Today:

1. Oak Hill, Mouth of Wilson, VA
2. Arlington Country Day, Jacksonville, FL
3. Leflore, Mobile, AL
4. Duncanville, Texas
5. Word of God Academy, Raleigh, NC
6. Wheeler, Marietta, GA
7. Christ School, Arden, NC
8. South Atlanta, Atlanta, GA
9. Callaway, Jackson, Miss.
10. Montverde Academy, Montverde, FL

Number one ranked team in the nation is still Lance Stephenson (SF, 6’6″, 2009) and Lincoln out of Brooklyn.