Georgia Tech vs. NC State Recruiting

January 30, 2009

The state of Georgia has been and continues to be a primary source of basketball recruits for the ACC, and not just because of Georgia Tech. NC State and Yellow Jacket fans are already closely watching the ongoing game battles between Mfon Udofia (PG, 6’1″, 2009), who is committed to Georgia Tech, and Lorenzo Brown (SG, 6’4″, 2009), a NCSU commit:

I don’t know if Udofia starts right away at the point for Georgia Tech but I think he should. I agree with your comment about him at the point and Shumpert at the two. The Tech coaches tell me that won’t happen right away. One of the biggest issues with the Yellow Jackets is a collective lack of toughness on the team. The team needs a leader in the clubhouse and they need someone to push them to new heights. Udofia clearly does bring that element to the table.

As far as Udofia as the number two player in the state…he is right now. After his performance against Centennial and Lorenzo Brown, it is hard to argue against that. All of that being said, I think Brown has a higher upside, albeit not by much. If Brown can continue to fine tune his point guard skills, he is a better professional prospect. Udofiia’s work ethic and competitiveness will be hard to argue against. He reminds me of former Virginia star Sean Singletary in that regard.

This should develop into a nice ongoing conversation as these guys hit conference play.

John Wall: Leaning Away From ACC

January 29, 2009

So John Wall is leaning away from the ACC, according to LJWorld:

The country’s top high school senior prospect, John Wall, spoke to Jason Jordan of about his recruitment.

Wall, 6-foot-4 from Word of God Christian Academy in Raleigh, N.C., said he currently is “leaning toward Kansas and Memphis, not specifically in that order.”

He also has Baylor, North Carolina State, Oregon and Kentucky on his list.

“Those are the two coaches who I’ve had the best connection with so far because they’ve been in for in-home visits,” Wall said of Bill Self and John Calipari.

Wall told that Self told Wall he’d “have to work for everything.” Calipari compared Wall to NBA No. 1 draft pick Derrick Rose to indicate he’d have the ball in his hands a lot, which Wall said was “attractive.”

Wall told ESPN “probably” when asked if he was a likely one-year-and-done college player.

ACC Tournament Tickets 2009

January 25, 2009

ACC Tournament Tickets

The ACC Tournament is my favorite college basketball tournament, which is no suprise, considering I am such a big fan of the ACC. Now there’s an awesome way to find the cheapest prices on ACC tournament tickets.

This link shows all of the cheapest ACC Basketball Tournament tickets dynamically. It updates all of the time, searching all available tickets and listing the cheapest ones. It’s a fantastic way to keep up with the prices, which tend to go up as the tournament approaches.

This year the tournament is being held in Atlanta, GA, which should mean more fans can attend due to seating. The location of the ACC tournament is a bit of a bone of contention, with so much of the ACC focused on North Carolina. Teams outside the state of NC cry foul that Duke, NC State, UNC and Wake Forest can play so close to home, but the center of the ACC schools is squarely between Durham and Chapel Hill. This year, Georgia Tech fans will have the shortest trip to the tourney, but it’s closer for Florida State and Miami as well. Clemson fans are probably slightly closer to Atlanta than Chapel Hill.

Scouting Report: Watauga vs. East Burke

January 20, 2009

Scouting report from Justin Shockley:

On Tuesday January 13 two 4A conference rivals took the court in Boone, NC and featured some stellar play from both teams. Watauga came out on top with an 80-74 win at home.

Cody Shuffler– (SF, 6’6’’, 2009) Kept East Burke in the game with his solid post play. Shuffler has the height of a SF but has the overall body mass and strength of a PF. Very strong, powerful lower body. He was forced to play C or PF the entire game because the lack of interior size that East Burke possessed but still demonstrated his skill set well. On a night when Shuffler’s mid range shot was off, he still showed great touch around the basket as well as good form and lift on his jumpshot. Shuffler has a definitive go to move to get around defenders on the low block, spinning baseline on the right side several times to score. He showed good defensive presence by blocking or changing many shots in the paint. Shuffler was able to score 29 points even on an off shooting night to lead his team. To play his true position of SF Shuffler needs to improve his ability to guard on the perimeter as well as his ball handling.

Josh Debro– (SG, 6’4’’, 2010) A rangy, athletic defender for East Burke caused havoc for Watauga’s players all night. In a press defensive scheme Debro shined; usually playing the middle in the defensive setup and came up with four steals in the second half alone. Debro showed great recovery speed and covered the whole floor on defense coming up with several come from behind blocks and deflections. A great offensive rebounder coming from the weak side. Debro finished with 7 points, 5 steals, and 8 or 9 rebounds. Debro still has another year to improve his shooting ability but has some great potential as a shooting guard.

Jeff Newell– (PF, 6’6’’, 2009) was the driving force for Watauga. The undersized PF/C showcased that he may have the ability to play SF on the next level with his bevy of finesse post moves and overall range on his shot. At one point Newell hit back-to-back three pointers and a one dribble pull up from 15 feet to demonstrating his shooting touch. Has good timing on his jumps, which helps make up for his lack of size (weighs 185) on rebounding. Had some trouble guarding the much heftier Shuffler on the low block but did show good footwork and quick hands on defense. Newell is calm when handling the ball some on the perimeter but seems uncomfortable when forced to defend on the perimeter. Shot very well for the entire game and finished with 31 points. Needs to bulk up and work on perimeter defense.

SNY Invitational Announced

January 17, 2009

SNY Invitational Video

SNY, the television home of the New York Mets, Jets and BIG EAST Conference, today announced that the 2009 SNY Invitational presented by Time Warner Cable will tip off January 23-24 at 6pm and showcase four of the top ranked high school teams in New York. The teams include Jefferson, Mount Vernon, St. Raymond and Boys and Girls High School. All games will be broadcast live on SNY and feature SNY commentator Kevin Burkhardt calling all the action alongside SNY’s BIG EAST basketball analyst Tim Welsh. Brian Custer, host of the WheelHouse on SNY, will handle the sideline duties.

The SNY Invitational presented by Time Warner Cable was established in January 2008 with the goal of creating an annual high school basketball tournament that will be both a pillar of SNY’s involvement in the community, as well as New York’s elite high school basketball event. Throughout the two-day tournament, SNY will provide exposure to the schools and students by televising the games, as well as producing multiple vignettes and human interest pieces about the individual schools and their teams. In addition, SNY and Time Warner Cable’s NYC Region will make a donation totaling $20,000 to the participating schools.

“While the inaugural SNY Invitational exceeded our expectations, this year’s event is shaping up to be even more exciting as we aim to set a new benchmark for high school athletic events in New York,” said Steve Raab, President of SNY. “We’re honored to give back to these communities and showcase the participating high schools and their athletes.”

“Time Warner Cable has a long tradition of supporting educators and students. This includes free cable television and high speed online service to schools, scholarships and a number of initiatives offered throughout the year. This partnership with SNY is another example of how we encourage students to reach their full potential,” said Harriet Novet, Regional Vice President, Public Affairs for Time Warner Cable’s NYC Region. “We’re thrilled to once again support local high schools. Our customers can watch these games conveniently through local on demand Channel 1111,” added Novet.

In addition to stellar high school basketball, the SNY Invitational presented by Time Warner Cable will showcase prominent entertainment acts throughout the two-day event, such as E3 Dance Crew – a Hip-Hop dance crew that has competed in a plethora of competitions and is currently the 2008 Showtime at The Apollo dance champion, and Extreme Team, which combine the talents of gymnasts, tumblers and trampoline specialists known for their unique acrobatic slam-dunk performances. Other performances include Street Beats Group, a New York City-based dance and percussion troupe that combine the excitement and energy of off-Broadway hits like “Bring In Da Noise,” “Stomp” and “Blue Man Group” with their original, high-energy music and choreography. In addition, Acroback, a world class group of break dancers and tumblers will also perform at the event.

Fans in attendance will receive gift bags containing such valuable items as two New Jersey Nets tickets.
The 2009 SNY Invitational will take place at New York University’s Coles Sports Center in Manhattan. Time Warner Cable will serve as the presenting sponsor of the tournament. Other official sponsors of the event include the New York Daily News, McDonald’s, 2K Sports, Spalding, StubHub and New York’s 529 College Savings Program.

SNY and Time Warner Cable are providing fans a chance to win a new MacBook. To enter the SNY Invitational Sweepstakes, visit

SNY is available on Channel 26 and in high definition on channel 726 to Time Warner Cable NYC Region customers. Games will also be available on Channel 1111, Local Video On Demand, for Time Warner Cable customers in Manhattan, Staten Island, Queens, Brooklyn, Mt. Vernon and Bergen County, New Jersey.

For additional information on the SNY Invitational, or to purchase tickets, visit .

SNY Invitational TV Schedule on Friday, Jan. 23
Game 1: Friday, Jan. 23, 2009 at 6pm, SNY Jefferson High School vs. Mount Vernon
Game 2: Friday, Jan. 23, 2009 at 8pm, SNY St. Raymond vs. Boys and Girls High School

SNY Invitational TV Schedule on Saturday, Jan. 24
Game 1: Saturday, Jan. 24, 2009 at 6pm, SNY Consolation Game (TBD)
Game 2: Saturday, Jan. 24, 2009 at 8pm, SNY Championship Game (TBD)

SNY – which launched in 2006 – is the official television home of the New York Mets, Jets and the BIG EAST Conference. Featuring unparalleled access to the New York Mets with more than 120 live telecasts – all produced in HD – and other critically acclaimed Mets programming, SNY also delivers over 250 hours of year-round – exclusive – in-depth New York Jets content. As the official TV home of the BIG EAST Conference, SNY will air more than 125 BIG EAST football and basketball games, as well as other BIG EAST programming. As New York’s leader in local sports coverage, SNY delivers the most comprehensive sports access to all of the Tri-State area’s professional and collegiate sports teams through five nightly sports and entertainment programs broadcast in state-of-the-art HD from the network’s street-level studio in the heart of Manhattan. SNY’s programming roster also includes classic sports programming, original entertainment shows and exclusive interview and magazine programs. Founded by Sterling Entertainment Enterprises, Time Warner and Comcast, SNY is available to viewers throughout New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and northeastern Pennsylvania, and nationally on DIRECTV, Dish Network and AT&T U-Verse. For additional details on the network, visit .

Time Warner Cable’s New York City Region serves over 1.4 million customers in four NYC boroughs (Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island and western Brooklyn), Mt. Vernon, Hudson Valley (Orange, Sullivan, Ulster Counties and parts of Dutchess, Greene and Delaware Counties) and Bergen and Hudson Counties, New Jersey. Visit

Time Warner Cable is the second-largest cable operator in the U.S., with technologically advanced, well-clustered systems located mainly in five geographic areas — New York State (including New York City), the Carolinas, Ohio, southern California (including Los Angeles) and Texas. As of September 30, 2008, Time Warner Cable served approximately 14.7 million customers who subscribed to one or more of its video, high speed data and voice services, representing approximately 34.2 million revenue generating units.

Derrick Favors picks Georgia Tech

January 14, 2009

One of the top high school prospects in the nation for the class of 2009, if not the top prospect, is big man Derrick Favors (PF, 6’9″, 2009), a player who everybody wanted, not the least of which Georgia Tech, NC State and Florida State. All signs seemed to point to Favors staying in state for what might be a one-and-done college career, and now he’s chosen the Yellow Jackets as his college destination.

Tobias Harris’ Blog

January 10, 2009

You might be following the recruitment of Tobias Harris (PF, 6’7″, 2010), one of the ACC’s top recruits, and you might have see our recent Q&A with Harris and heard that a few ACC teams are still in the mix for him.

Syracuse is another school interested in Harris, and one of the most interesting aspects of his high school basketball career is his blogging on, which means that the Orangemen definitely are keeping up with his career, and with his recent injury, he’s blogging about being sidelined and missing games:

The next morning i got MRI results stating that the ligaments in my ankle were torn. It was devestating news for me. But everything happens for a reason and what doesnt kill you makes you stronger. The doctor said I’ll probably miss six to eight weeks.

Tyler Thornton Video

January 6, 2009

Tyler Thornton (PG/SG, 6’2″, 2010) might be a guard but he does know how to post up two bigger players as evidenced by this video clip, in which he goes to the hoop and gets the bucket and the foul.

Thornton is a Duke Blue Devil basketball commitment and can handle the ball, slashing to the rim as seen in this video. I think Thornton will fit in well with the Duke style of play and should work his way into significant minutes.

Tobias Harris Q & A

January 3, 2009

Special thanks to C.J. Watson of GrassRootsBallin’ and Premo Hoops recruiting for providing this interview with ACC target Tobias Harris (PF, 6’7″, 2010)

Tobias Harris Q&A
Contibuted By: C.J. Watson
Premo Hoops Recruiting

PHR: What schools have offered you a scholarship?
TH: Arizona, Baylor, UConn, Florida State, Indiana, Louisville, Marquette, Maryland, Miami, Rutgers, St. John’s, Syracuse, Texas, Virginia, Wake Forest, WVU, Xavier, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Michigan, Notre Dame, Providence, USC and Georgetown.

PHR: What schools do you have on your list?
TH: I have a top 11 as of right now but this list could definitely change. Louisville, Marquette, UConn, Maryland, Virginia, Syracuse, Wake Forest, Rutgers, Georgetown, WVU and USC.

PHR: What are some of the deciding factors for you when picking a school?
TH: The coaching staff and academics along with me feeling comfortable with the area.

PHR: Can you talk a little bit about the recent school visits you have taken and things you liked about each one?
TH: I went to Louisville and really liked the program they have and coach Pitino is a great guy. They play in a tough conference so that is a plus also. Maryland, Virginia and Georgetown were all great schools with great coaching staffs and atmosphere as well.

PHR: How was your summer on the AAU circuit?
TH: My summer went well I thought I played well at the events and really impressed many people.

PHR: How was your experience at the RBK All-American camp?
TH: The RBK camp was probably one of my best experiences this summer. I thought I played really well in a camp where everyone is an elite player.

PHR: What parts of your game did you focus on improving the most this summer?
TH: My defense and speed.

PHR: What do you feel are the strengths to your game?
TH: My versatility and shooting along with finding ways to score.

PHR: What do you feel are the weakest parts in your game?
TH: I don’t call out a true weakness; I just call it something to improve on the most which is my defense which I am working on.

PHR: What were some of the deciding factors on you transferring to a new high school?
TH: I wanted to play better competition and to be pushed to the limit.

PHR: What goals have you set for your junior season?
TH: I want to win a state championship.

PHR: Who are the biggest role models in your life?
TH: My father and George Gervin.

PHR: If you’re not playing ball what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
TH: As weird as it sounds I love to sleep it’s like a hobby for me.