Kadeem Jack Talks Recruiting, UNC, Kentucky & Miami

May 16, 2010

A shout out to ScoutsFocus.com for sending us this interview with Kadeem Jack, the 6’9″ post player that has suddenly shown up on several teams’ radar due to the lack of post players still remaining in the 2010 class.

Most notably, Kadeem talks about UNC and his recent options there. He mentions the specific coaches that he’s talked to at UNC and Kentucky, as well as his feelings regarding the schools that were recruiting him previously, which include Miami and Arizona:

Kadeem Jack update

Kadeem Jack Video

Kadeem certainly is giving the fans of the schools he’s considering a lot of great reasons to like him. He talks about trying to do intangible things like working hard, putting full effort on the court, and getting better. With so many top schools interested in him, it’s great to see that he’s grounded and comes across as a young man who understands how to put his best foot forward at all times.


Two Top Recruits May Not Play at UNC

May 15, 2010

It’s no secret that the North Carolina Tar Heels need post players.

Given the scramble for remaining 2010 post players that has erupted over the past few weeks, any option of a viable big man will be something the UNC staff will consider. While names like Kadeem Jack (C, 6’9″, 2010) have suddenly become common to UNC fans, two players that UNC wanted to consider will not be available.

Bill Cole of the Winston-Salem Journal reports that Marcus Thornton, a 6’7″ power forward who originally committed to Clemson, and Kevin Noreen, a 6’11’ PF/C who committed to Boston College, both signed national letters of intent Last November with their original ACC commitments. In both cases, coaching changes are the reason the players were granted a release. The ACC has compliance issues with players who transfer from or are committed to ACC schools, going to another ACC school.

UNC has contacted the high school coaches of both players.

The rule is that transfers from one ACC school to another will lose a full year of eligibility. That means that if either player chose to play at UNC, they’d have to sit out a year, but going to any non-ACC school would mean they could play right away and keep their four years of eligibility.

This also affects Georgia Tech and Virginia, both of whom have extended scholarship offers to Thornton.

ACC schools can appeal the ruling, but in recent cases, the ACC hasn’t allowed a deviation regardless of whether the player has actually played for the school or not.


Austin Rivers Loves Duke, But…

May 8, 2010

So Austin Rivers (PG, 6’4″, 2011), who has officially opened his recruitment back up and immediately mentioned Duke as a possible destination, has now visited Duke. No, that’s not so much news, but what is novel in the age of Twitter and blogging is that Austin has blogged about his visit to Duke on DimeMag.com:

That was really cool to see everything there. It was a major event! Just the history and the campus and seeing all my boys down there was really fun. I was actually feeling a little under the weather that night of the banquet, but there was so much going on that it didn’t stop me from having a good time.

What’s even more interesting is that Dime Magazine chose to give this story the headline “AUSTIN RIVERS H.S. HOOP DIARY: VISITING (AND LOVING) DUKE”. The meme that’s been repeated is that Austin loves Duke so much that he’s already a lock for Coach K, but nothing in the story indicates that. In fact, Austin states that his visit to Duke was extremely brief, and a more accurate representation of his visit would seem that he will need more information.

Austin goes on to give a timetable for his final decision:

My goal is to have a decision around August. I want to have it done before my high school season for sure, but I’m shooting for August. That looks doable right now.

This entire process could mirror the C.J. Leslie saga, where the hometown player commits to the local team early, then de-commits, then finally, after considering other options, goes with his first choice.

The reasons for Austin, or any player to go somewhere other than their original choice is either that they did not realize all of the options they might have or something could have changed with the original choice. For example, a coaching change. However, in many cases, the reasons that a player committed early are the same reasons available later.

Austin also states he will visit North Carolina soon.


North Carolina is Recruiting Austin Rivers

March 26, 2010

It seems that it is official, despite what Austin Rivers (PG/SG, 6’4″, 2011) says about being committed to Florida, he isn’t. After saying he was still committed to the Gators, he started entertaining discussions with the Duke Blue Devils and even took an unofficial visit to Durham. While it isn’t clear if Rivers is just looking around, or if there are real problems in Gainesville that might be giving him pause, one thing is for sure: Austin Rivers is not really committed to Florida, and he might end up somewhere else.

Now that has come to fruition as the news that the North Carolina Tar Heels are also in the mix for Rivers, and he told Scout.com that he was listening. UNC has already lined up to see Rivers play and Rivers seems ready to add them to his ‘list’, which is an odd discussion for someone to have if they are committed.

This recruitment is now back in full swing it seems, with the old rivalry between the Heels and the Devils right on the front lines.

Rivers, a slight-of-build player from Florida, has really started to come into his own as possibly the top SG of the 2011 class. The son of Doc Rivers, he’s developed into a very prolific big guard.

Austin Rivers video:


Kyrie Irving picks Duke; Update on Harrison Barnes

October 22, 2009

Kyrie Irving (6’1″, PG/SG, 2010) has officially committed to Duke, giving Coach K another guard to run the offense and adds a great passer to the Blue Devils. This recruit was needed by the Devils and many in Durham will be breathing easier with him in the fold.

Harrison Barnes (SF, 6′ 7″, 2010) is now officially a much watched ACC recruit, with his top three reportedly UNC, Duke and Kansas. While the Iowa high school star has taken an official visit to UNC and Oklahoma, he’s also taken one to Kansas among several ‘unofficial’ visits. So the question is, where would Barnes fit in the best? There’s no doubt that this battle for Barnes is heating up.


ACC Players in the Draft; UNC Offers McAdoo

June 26, 2009

A quick rundown of ACC players taken in the NBA draft last night:

First Round

#12, Charlotte – Gerald Henderson , Duke
#13, Indiana – Tyler Hansbrough, UNC
#16, Chicago – James Johnson, Wake Forest
#18, Minnesota – Ty Lawson, UNC (traded to Denver)
#19, Atlanta – Jeff Teague, Wake Forest
#28, Minnesota – Wayne Ellington, UNC
#29, New York – Toney Douglas, Florida State

Second Round

#46, Phoenix – Danny Green, UNC
#51, San Antonio – Jack McClinton, Miami

Some initial head scratches in the overall draft, such as why Jack McClinton wasn’t drafted higher or why the Bobcats took a guard when when they need post players so badly.

James McAdoo offered by UNC

James McAdoo (PF, 6’8″, 2011) now has another offer from an ACC school, and it’s a big one. The UNC Tar Heels have offered McAdoo according to Scout.com, and this offer is added to the existing ones he has from Virginia, Clemson, Kentucky and Florida. McAdoo is one of the top ranked recruits for 2011 and has several big schools after him. He’s also strongly considering Duke at this time.

McAdoo is a strong player with good patience and timing. That timing allows him to be both a shot blocker and a scorer when combined with his solid 10 foot floater and ability to wade through traffic to get through the hoop. Definitely a big time prospect.

Here’s some video of McAdoo:


Noel Johnson Commits to ACC; NBA Draft Notes

June 25, 2009

Last summer we tracked Noel Johnson (6’6″, SF, 2009) as an ACC recruit, but despite looking at several ACC schools, Johnson ultimately committed to Tim Floyd and USC. However, Tim Floyd was found to be guilty of recruiting violations and is now no longer the head coach of the Trojans.

Johnson decided to withdraw his commitment from USC and now has decided on Clemson, giving Oliver Purnell some talent on the wing to help replace K.C. Rivers and Terrence Ogelsby.

Sean May, Raymond Felton & J.J. Redick

A quick note on some former ACC stars, if you watched the NBA Finals a few days ago you know that J.J. Redick has played well but seems to be underutilized by the Magic. However, it is apparent that he’s going to stay in the NBA for now, and I expect the Magic to try and trade JJ and Rafer Alston during the draft.

Meanwhile, two former UNC stars from the Tar Heels’ 2005 national championship team are seeing their careers continue in different directions. The Charlotte Bobcats have decided not to make a qualifying offer to Sean May, which would make him a restricted free agent. At the same time, Charlotte has made a qualifying offer to Raymond Felton. A qualifying offer is just a starting point, which means that the player can look at other teams but the Charlotte has the first right to match the offer in order to keep the player.

I’m not surprised with Felton, one of the few bright spots for the Bobcats and one of the more underrated starting point guards in the NBA. The Bobcats have never been a serious playoff contender and thus, no one on the Bobcats gets much publicity, not even Gerald Wallace or Emeka Okafor.

With Sean May, it’s all about injury. He’s been injured or dealing with chronic pain for nearly his entire stint in the pros. In three seasons he’s been unable to play even one season’s worth of games. The reality is that the Bobcats still might sign Sean, but the team can’t keep money tied up at the PF spot when they are so thin there. I believe that the move not to offer May is a sign that they want to see what they can get in the draft.

NBA Draft

Ah, the NBA draft. One of the most annoying things about the NBA is how much they promote personalities over teams, and it often starts right here on draft day. This year the perennial losing L.A. Clippers are sitting on the number one draft pick, and everyone expects them to take Blake Griffin, a monster PF who should be an impact player. I like Griffin’s game, which involves basically leaping from the half court line and dunking on anyone who gets in his path. The only concern I would have is that when UNC thumped his Oklahoma Sooners in the NCAA tournament, he seemed to have a hard time handling the double team and doesn’t seem to have much mid range game. Still, the NBA is about man-to-man and he is an athletic freak.

I see a lot of mock drafts picking UConn’s Hasheem Thabeet as the number 2 pick, and I’ve got to say I see that as a huge mistake. I’d take Ricky Rubio, Brandon Jennings, James Johnson or Stephen Curry over Thabeet. I think Thabeet is the most overrated player in this year’s draft.

Most underrated player going into the draft? Possibly Tyler Hansbrough. It’s fashionable to hate Hansbrough and claim he’ll be a joke in the pros. Throw all the college awards out the window, because they mean nothing to the NBA, but in Hansbrough, I see a better version of Glenn “Big Baby” Davis or Corliss Williamson. He has developed a better shot than either of those players but he will need to be more of a rebounder in the pros. Charlotte worked out Hansbrough, Gerald Henderson, Steph Curry, K.C. Rivers and Ben McCauley over the past couple of weeks. Charlotte’s roster move with Sean May could make room for Hansbrough at the 13th pick. Most drafts have Tyler going late first round, but it’s probably going to depend on the Bobcats. There aren’t many PF players to pick from this year, and the ‘Cats will have to decide if they want to take the best player available (which could be Brandon Jennings) or draft for need.