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 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.

Winston-Salem Prep Still Gunning for Title

December 9, 2008

A local team and coach who just puts together solid teams year after year is Winston-Salem Prep, last year’s winners of the North Carolina 1-A boys title. This year’s team is without their star center (he’s in Miami), but they still have a ton of talent, as I’ve written about before.

Here’s a nice read about the W-S Prep team, a bunch great players and great guys. I need to get some video of these guys posted soon. One of my favorite under the radar shooters, Justin Parham (PG/SG, 5’9″, 2009) plays for Winston-Salem Prep.

John Wall to play in Missouri

Tickets are on sale for the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions, to be held January 15-17 in at JQH Arena at Missouri State University. This tournament will feature Word of God Academy out of Raleigh, which means, yes John Wall (PG, 6’4″, 2009) and Duke commit Ryan Kelly(PF, 6’10”, 2009).

The Sad Story of Khalid Prince

December 8, 2008

It’s hard as a parent to think about losing your child, and my heart goes out to the family of Khalid Prince, a junior varsity point guard who played for Parkland High School in Winston-Salem, NC. Prince collapsed in the middle of a game last week after hitting a three pointer and was unresponsive while a teacher attempted CPR.

Unfortunately, over the weekend, Prince passed away. This is a sad event and one not normally associated with high school basketball.

No details have been released about Prince’s death, from possible causes or what exactly caused him to collapse. Fellow teammates have said that Prince felt he needed to “take a breather”, but no one could foresee this type of result. It’s a tragic day for the parents, the family, the school and the team.

Jamil Wilson Eliminates the ACC

December 6, 2008

After getting pounded by number one ranked college basketball team North Carolina last Wednesday, Michigan State might still be licking their wounds, but they got a bit of good news on a basketball recruit.

Jamil Wilson (SF/PF, 6’6″, 2009) has stated multiple times that he rates the Spartans highly, and this week he reduced his college list to four teams, and continues to list Michigan State, along with Marquette, Texas and Oregon.

I don’t think you can look at the brutal loss to the Tar Heels as a fair assessment of the Michigan State program, actually I think Tom Izzo has one of the most talented teams in years…but also much less experienced than the Heels were this year and without as much depth. I would not be surprised at all to see Michigan State win the Big Ten outright.

At any rate, Jamil’s announcement eliminates the ACC completely. I haven’t seen enough of Wilson to really assess him, but he seems to be more of a small forward than a power forward, although it’s obvious he can play both positions.

Georgia Tech Basketball Tickets

December 5, 2008

Georgia Tech Basketball Tickets

This year, Georgia Tech has been under the radar, and needs to combine the talent they have to see if they can overcome inexperience. The issue seems to always be the same for Paul Hewitt; he recruits a lot of big time talent only to see the players jump to the league before they even break a sweat. Georgia Tech still has the skills to make some noise, and they have even a little extra incentive this season, since the ACC Tournament will be in Atlanta.

Get Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket Tickets Here.

Of course, there are tons of great ACC match ups for Georgia Tech, but looking at the schedule, one game that stands out is a home game against in state rival Georgia, who everyone thinks is the main rival for top big man Derrick Favors (PF, 6’9″, 2009). Any doubt that Favors will be in attendance for that game? I think not.

Harrison Barnes Gets Big Looks

December 4, 2008

Being one of the best high school basketball players in the country is a progression, and when you are junior and you are a rising star, the scrutiny ramps up quickly as you head into your ‘rising senior AAU summer’.

Consider what’s going on with Harrison Barnes (SF, 6’6″,2010), who UNC and Duke are both recruiting (along with UCLA, Kansas, Kentucky and Florida), who recently had several big name coaches watching him play:

Kansas’ Bill Self, Stanford’s Johnny Dawkins and hometown hope Greg McDermott were in attendance. Barnes holds two dozen scholarship offers already.

Meanwhile, Justin Young has a nice writeup to help catch up on Derrick Favors and other Georgia related hoops.

Maryland Basketball Tickets

December 3, 2008

Maryland Basketball Tickets

Maryland fans are vocal and passionate, and they want to see their beloved Terrapins get back into the NCAA tournament this season. The schedule actually favors Maryland and the Maryland fans all the way into ACC play, with a ton of home games to polish their fundamentals with enough big match ups mixed in to keep working towards the tough ACC schedule.

Get Maryland Basketball Tickets Here

Some interesting games in the upcoming schedule include Charlotte, and of course, Duke, UNC and Georgia Tech. Maryland’s long home stretch from December 12 through January 10 seems like it was designed by Gary Williams to get the team ready for the Georgia Tech game in College Park.

Image original courtesy