10 Basketball Recruiting Faces of the Future

November 30, 2008

Slam Online has a list of 10 Faces of the Future, and it’s probably a familiar list to anyone who follows college basketball recruiting, especially ACC basketball recruiting.

Topping the list is one the prizes of the 2010 class is Harrison Barnes (SF, 6’6″, 2010), a player who is being recruited by Duke and UNC, along with hometown Iowa State, Kansas, UCLA and Florida. Barnes is obviously one of the top players of the class.

Barnes has a very polished offensive game, smooth and always under control. He can handle the ball, shoot outside and slash to the rim. He’s not a burner or speedster, he’s definitely a very gifted small forward.

Top Freshman, Etc.

November 29, 2008

Although we pretty much stick to high school recruiting, it’s hard to ignore talking about the ACC now that the season has started. I noticed this post from the Bernie Ball blog, where he lays out his picks for the upcoming college basketball season, and he names the following players as his all-freshman team:

-Willie Warren, Oklahoma
-Samardo Samuels, Louisville
-Greg Monroe, Georgetown
-Tyreke Evans, Memphis
-Jrue Holliday, UCLA

This is a good group but I might knock off one of these guys in favor of Al-Farouq Aminu, when it’s all said and done. This list looks like it was created after watching only the first five games of the season and without actually being familiar with these players from their high school days. I’d be interested how this all ends up at the end of the season. Of course, that’s not to take anything away from these guys, and lists are just lists, nothing really meaningful.

Wake Forest’s Prospects

Over the summer, whenever I was asked which team in the ACC was going to surprise people, I answered, ‘Wake Forest’. I said that UNC would be the team to beat (that’s not hard to predict), Duke would be significantly better but still might struggle with post play down the stretch, and Wake Forest and Clemson would make some NCAA noise. So now the season has kicked off and I’m waiting to see how right or wrong I was. UNC has absolutely beaten the living daylights out of everyone they’ve played, even Kentucky and #8 Notre Dame, while Duke has looked really good against really weak teams. That’s not a knock; all of the ACC teams make a habit of playing as many ‘tune up’ games as possible, with one or two actual games in the mix, before going into the brutal ACC play. It’s not uncommon for teams to have stellar records before starting ACC play.

Some early thoughts so far? Boston College might really be in for a rough season, Maryland already looks completely inconsistent, UNC and Duke look like they are ready for the NCAA tournament already and Wake is playing well, despite being so young. Jury’s still out on Miami.

Durand Scott Picks Miami

November 21, 2008

Big win for Miami’s basketball recruiting efforts as Durand Scott (SG/SF, 6’4″,2009) has decided to play his college basketball in the sun of Coral Gables. Scott is a player who thrives in the pressure of big games and should get his chance to show off his skills in the ACC.

Scott fits in well with the chip-on-their-shoulder attitude that Miami basketball has adopted in order to survive in the ACC. He will need to work on his handle in order to become a true SG, right now he’s got more of a small forward’s game.

However, he is a skilled addition to the Miami roster next season and Frank Haith continues to bring up the level of Miami basketball.

Kelly and Plumlee Sign With Duke

November 19, 2008

Even though it’s not as common for basketball recruits to back out of their commitments as high school football players, coaches still breathe a little easier once their prized recruits actually turn in their letter of intent.

Duke got two of it’s commits when two big men, Ryan Kelly (6’10”, PF, 2009) and Mason Plumlee (6’11”,PF, 2009), signed the LOI’s and Duke was able to officially announce them as future Blue Devils.

Duke fans are hoping that the lack of inside play will be helped by the additions of Kelly and Plumlee next season.

Meanwhile, UNC Asheville got a commit from Jaron Lane (SF, 6’4″, 2009), from Greenville, NC.

Michael Snaer to Announce on ESPNU

November 14, 2008

Despite many reports claiming that Snaer(SG/SF, 6’5″, 2009) might wait until Spring to make his final collegiate decision, the basketball recruiting world apparently won’t have to wait that long after all.

Snaer may announce as early as today (November 14) , and word is that Florida State is in good shape with him. However, only time will tell, and as I’ve said before, Snaer has been meticulous in visiting and assessing each school on his list (which ALL recruits should do).

Snaer has several options and should be a player who gets minutes wherever he goes, and should be a stable presence on any team. Now we’ll just sit back and see what happens, or rather, those of us ACC fans will be sitting back watching the season get going and keep one eye on recruiting.

Five Burning Questions for Terps

November 7, 2008

The incoming freshmen at Maryland have a lot to take in for their first season and a lot to prove. Maryland hasn’t had the success they want over the past few years, and last year’s recruiting woes aren’t likely to help.

This brings us to the Five Burning Questions for the Terrapin Men’s Basketball Team, which brings up some things that Maryland fans might not enjoy. For one, Steve Goins apparently hasn’t gotten physically ready to play big minutes (read: ‘project’?):

…the only player they were able to fetch for a frontcourt replacement was freshman Steve Goins, who is not yet developed enough to play big minutes at an ACC level.

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.

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.

Matt Vogrich commits to Michigan

October 6, 2008

Yesterday we wrote about the basketball recruiting status of Matt Vogrich (SG, 6’4″, 2009), who at that time was down to no more than three schools he was considering. Today, he’s only considering one as he’s decided to play basketball for Michigan, and it seems the ACC schools that had shown interest were always on the outside looking in:

The 6-foot-4, 185-pound shooting guard chose Michigan over Notre Dame and Stanford. Vogrich’s mother, Mary, said her son had long been interested in attending a Big Ten university because she and his father, Bob, both graduated from Big Ten schools: Mary from Wisconsin and Bob from Illinois.