Report: Battle of the Blue Ridge

October 16, 2008

Special report today again from James Blackburn, who attended the Battle of the Blue Ridge in Lenoir, NC, which pits Oak Hill against Patterson School in a scrimmage…with many college coaches in attendance.

Game Notes: The game was the 4th annual “Battle of the Blue Ridge” scrimmage. The teams played two 20-minute halves with regular rules and stopped clock. The third 20-minute half was played with a running clock. The first half was won by Patterson 53-38, but Oak Hill bounced back and won the second game 50-46, with a game winning 3 by Bryon Allen #23 of Oak Hill. The coaches played mostly the backups in the last half. Patterson rebounds the ball really well, particularly on the offensive end.

Players to watch
Oak Hill

• Doron Lamb (JR. 6’4”, 185 lbs.) Doron is a solid player who does what he is asked and does everything well. He started off the game cold from the floor, but is a great shooter nonetheless, finding his rhythm in the second half. He has been offered by a number of schools including: Wake Forest, Memphis, Syracuse, St. Johns, and Pittsburgh. Duke is looking at him as well but has not offered yet.

• Keith “Tiny” Gallon (Sr. 6’9”. 320 lbs.) Tiny is a beast to put it mildly. He controls the paint by rebounding on both ends of the floor and contesting shots. He is very strong and uses his size and strength well. He has a limited offensive game, but rattles the rim on every dunk. He has a decent shot with a 15 foot shooting range. He passes and dribbles well for a big man. What I question most about Tiny is his attitude. He is very vocal which gets him into trouble sometimes. On a couple of plays he didn’t get a foul called and quit on the play. His conditioning is also a question mark. He plays well when is rested, but tires after about 5 minutes of up and down action. Despite these question marks, Tiny looks like a very intriguing prospect with limitless potential. Oklahoma, Miss. St., and Cal have expressed interest. Note from Marcus: Alex recently found out that Oklahoma is the leader for Gallon.

• Lamont Jones (Sr. 6’, 180 lbs.) Lamont was the best player on the floor for either team tonight. He is an explosive scorer, getting to the rim at will and possessing the ability to finish over taller players. He is extremely quick and can handle the ball with pressure on him. He also sees the floor well and had a nice behind the back pass for a lay-up in the second half. Lamont is a great shooter with good arc and elevation. Virginia Tech, UNCC, and Cincinnati are interested in this PG from NY.

Patterson

• Vincent Council (GR. 6’1”, 160 lbs.) Vincent is very smart player and has great court sense. He is an excellent passer. He is a lockdown defender. Even though he did hit a 3-pointer, he needs to improve his shot and extend his range, showing hesitancy in shooting. He is being looked at by App State and UNC-G.

• Clarence Trent (GR. 6’8”, 225 lbs.) Clarence is a deadly shooter that creates match up problems with his size. He plays hard at all times and has a good attitude. He has committed to Washington.

• Hassan Whiteside (Sr. 6’11”, 187 lbs.) Hassan is very long and extremely athletic. He is a good rebounder, but has trouble finishing because of his size. He needs to get stronger and gain weight. He is a raw player and needs to improve in many areas, including his jump shot. Charlotte and Marshall are interested.

• Hunter McClintock (GR. 6’1”, 175 lbs.) Hunter is a player who could make a lot of noise down the road. He was the fastest player on the floor with the ball and can handle the ball great. He is a good passer and plays good defense. He is also a great athlete throwing the ball off the backboard and wind milling it in warm-ups. His size might scare some people away, but he plays hard. A number of schools are looking at the PG including: Wake Forest, Boston College, and App. State.

• David Nyarsuk (Jr. 7’1”, 220 lbs.) David is very long and athletic like his counterpart Hassan Whiteside. He is a good rebounder and tries to dunk everything, playing above the rim. He plays hard but looks a little clumsy at times. He is only a junior and has a couple years to improve. Wake Forest, Tenn., and Ohio State have noticed the center.


Dominic Cheek Eliminates the ACC

October 9, 2008

Bad news for Deacon fans, who had been in the mix for Dominic Cheek (SG, 6’5″, 2009), a serious sharpshooter who hails from New Jersey. According to Adam Zagoria, Cheek has eliminated Wake Forest, UConn and Tennessee from his list, keeping Kansas, Memphis, Indiana, Villanova and Pittsburgh, Seton Hall and Rutgers.

More on Trae Golden

Adam has followed up our update on Trae Golden with one of his own, where he confirms offers from Wake Forest and Virginia Tech. Interestingly, he is not listing Georgia Tech or Clemson.


Matt Vogrich close to committing?

October 5, 2008

Matt Vogrich (SG,6’3″,2009), who has offers from Wake Forest and Miami, apparently has a short list of Michigan, Notre Dame and Stanford, according to the Illinois Prep Bullseye:

Vogrich, meanwhile, is completing an official visit to Michigan this weekend and will choose soon between them, Notre Dame or Stanford.

Looks like the ACC is on the outside looking in for Vogrich, who admittedly has focused his interest elsewhere.

Harrison Barnes

Harrison Barnes (SF, 6’6″, 2010), who has interest from…well, everybody in the world of basketball recruiting, will be visiting Late Night at Kansas, along with ACC target Dominic Cheek (SG, 6’5″, 2009). Barnes also reportedly has an official visit at Duke lined up.


The New Basketball Recruiting Blog

October 1, 2008

We come across so much basketball recruiting information that it’s sometimes hard not to talk about players and events not related the ACC. Rather than try to create a blog for each conference, we have launched the Basketball Recruiting blog, which is plain-jane in name and hopefully stuffed with basketball recruiting content. Today we discuss top point guard John Wall’s basketball recruiting status, and share a little video to boot.

What’s that, you say? John Wall info belongs on the ACC recruiting blog, since he lives in NC and list the Wolfpack? Sure, but we’ve written about Wall a lot already, and readers of the new blog are also interested in Mr. Wall. However, we still have some ACC basketball recruiting news to pass out, so here we go:

Talib Zanna goes to the Big East

Talib Zanna (C, 6’9″, 2009) seemed like a Pitt lean for a while, but a few people hoped Virginia or Virginia Tech might convince him otherwise. Alas, it was not to be and he’ll be playing for the Panthers in the Fall of 2009.

Wake Forest visiting Cheek

With the on-campus visits getting most of the press these days, we kind of forget the old standby of the in-home visit. Lest we forget that Wake Forest is in the mix for sharpshooter Dominic Cheek’s services, Adam Zagoria mentions that Wake will be visiting Cheek on Wednesday.

Harrison Barnes

The next great recruiting battle is answering to the name Harrison Barnes (SF, 6’6″, 2010), who holds a ton of offers, including Duke, UCLA and Kansas and UNC’s Coach Roy Williams has watched Barnes play.

Derrick Favors

So Derrick Favors (PF, 6’9″, 2009) has cut his list to six, and now he’s just returned from a visit to Georgia Tech, and it sounds good for the Yellow Jackets:

“Georgia Tech, of course, is right here in the city, and that’s always a great thing. It would allow people around here, such as his family and his friends, the opportunity to see him play in person. And Georgia Tech has a great tradition of putting players in the NBA on a regular basis …”

Tech has been thought to be a leader for Favors, despite claims to the contrary, and Tech would love to have the big time power forward.

Michael Snaer

Finally, Michael Snaer talks basketball recruiting in this interview, in which he discusses his visits:

You took official visits to Missouri and Florida State prior to coming to MU. How would you compare and contrast the three visits, and what you saw on each? The whole recruiting process, it’s like they’re all saying the same things, so it’s the little things that you’ve got to bring out. And one of the real good things that attracted me to Marquette is that they just play hard. How tough they are and how hard they work.

Florida State and Missouri are bigger schools and have football teams. Basketball at Marquette, meanwhile, is the biggest show on campus. How much does the thought of being ‘the’ show at MU appeal to you? It feels good, but it really doesn’t matter to me because at the end of the day you’ve still got to win games. Either way, it doesn’t really matter to me. I’m still going to play as hard as I can, no matter what.

I really have appreciated how Snaer has handled his recruitment. He has pretty much taken his visits as planned, and seems to be doing his best to really evaluate each school. It’s only one of the biggest decisions of his life, after all.

Melvin Tabb

Even though we dropped Talib Zanna as an ACC target when he committed to Pitt, we’re adding Melvin Tabb (PF, 6’8″, 2009) to the tracking list, with an offer from Clemson and a recent visit to NC State. He’s actually been contacted by a few other ACC schools as well.


Ari Stewart picks Wake Forest

September 21, 2008

After narrowing his choices to Wake Forest and Oregon, Ari Stewart (SF, 6’7″, 2009) has decided on the Demon Deacons, joining C.J. Harris in the class of 2009. I think that if Wake was able to keep some of their big time players around for a couple more years, they would be a real powerhouse, but that’s a tall order.

As always, if you’re a college basketball fan who can’t get enough of this stuff, sign up for the email list.


ACC Basketball Recruiting Roundup, Volume 3

September 2, 2008

So, a lull in the action for the ACC over the past couple of weeks as several other conferences got some commitments, and now we’re right back into the fray.

Dominic Cheek at Rucker

Here’s some highlight video from Rucker Park of Dominic Cheek; the ragged basketball of this game isn’t something to brag about, but enjoy the clip:

Josh Smith gets interest from UNC

Duke has been recruiting big man Josh Smith(PF/C, 6’9″, 2010) for some time, battling west coast programs UCLA, Washington and Arizona, and some think UCLA is the current team to beat. Smith has a long list of potential colleges, including all of the aforementioned programs plus Georgetown, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Gonzaga, Syracuse,Texas, UConn and Tennessee.

Well, add UNC to that list, according to Scout:

At this point, UNC’s interest seems to be in the beginning stages and the Tar Heels are just starting to form a relationship with the talented big man.

In a time where so many players of his height who come out of high school wanting to play the small forward spot, 2010’s Josh Smith is all big man, a shot blocker, presence and lane scorer, although in limited action I’ve seen him play mostly below the rim, getting timing rebounds and garbage buckets. Fans should not confuse him with the former high school phenom of the same height and same name who now resides in the NBA as a human catapult, although as a pure big man it will be interesting to see how the new high school phenom (Josh Smith 2.0?) develops.

Brandon Knight

A player who looked surprisingly good in a bad game at Rucker Park was Brandon Knight (PG/SG, 6’3″, 2010), AAU teammate of Kenny Boynton(PG/SG, 6’2″ ,2009) and fellow Duke target. Alex has an interview with Mr. Knight, where he talks about his playing time for Team Breakdown, and where he reveals that he has offers from Wake Forest and Miami (scoop!):

NB: Who do you already have offers from?
BK: [There are] a [few] schools, I’m not sure, I’m thinking of Wake Forest, Miami, . . . Syracuse maybe. . . . That’s a [few]. I’m not sure; I don’t really talk to them like that. My dad really does the talking for me.

Brandon also talks about the possibility of going to college with Boynton.

Scott, Harris make visits to U of L

Durand Scott (SG,6’4″, 2009) and Tobias Harris (PF,6’8″, 2010) continue to make the rounds on their recruiting visits, with both visiting during the Louisville – Kentucky football game

As always, if you’re a college basketball fan who can’t get enough of this stuff, sign up for the email list.


Cody Shuffler Gets More Looks

August 29, 2008

We mentioned Cody Shuffler (SF/PF, 6’7″, 2009), a player with interest from NC State a few weeks ago, and now it seems Shuffler also has interest from Virginia Tech as well. A bevy of schools are recruiting Shuffler, including Davidson, Cornell, and West Virginia.

Shuffler apparently is high on Davidson’s list, and it would not be surprising to see him end up there.

The same article mentions that Mike Grace (PG, 6’0″, 2009), a high school teammate of Wake Forest commit C.J. Harris (SG,6’3″,2009) has received an offer from Penn.

Meanwhile, Tobias Harris (PF, 6’8″, 2010) recently visited Virginia with his family to see what the school has to offer:

“Coach Leitao and his coaching staff broke down Virginia’s offense and defense on film. Tobias had the opportunity to watch the team practice while coach Leitao was able to show how effective his offense works when done correctly. Coach Leitao stressed the importance of strong team, individual defense and positions on defense.

Harris reportedly also visited Maryland and Georgetown as well.


John Henson relocates; More on Kyrie Irving;

August 18, 2008

John Henson (SF, 6’10”, 2009), the Tar Heel commit who wowed coaches and scouts over the summer, will not be playing his high school ball in Texas this season. When the school semester starts next week, he’ll be at Sickles High School in Tampa, FL.

Kyrie Irving

So, we brought up ACC target Kryie Irving (PG, 6’2″, 2010) in a recent post, and how the entire Big East is well aware of him, but now several ACC schools have started getting interested as well. Alex has an outstanding interview with Irving, in which he outlines where his recruitment stands, which includes Wake Forest as one of the schools pursuing him the most at the moment. An interesting note, as we stated before he is a teammate of UNC commit Dexter Strickland, and if he were to commit to another ACC school, he’d find himself seeing Strickland on the court quite a bit after their high school careers are over.

Boston College: MIA?

Just what, exactly, is going on with Boston College basketball recruiting? It’s gotten very quiet in New England, and very little news of interested prospects. With only a few reported offers out:

Taran Buie, SG, 2010
Jason Morris, SG, 2010
Travis McKie, SF, 2010

for the next two classes, and with a lot of graduations, either Al Skinner has faith in the talent he’s already got or there are a lot of kids he’s looking at that are under the national radar.

With that in mind, maybe we can guess at a couple of players they might be looking at, like Toso Adebamowo (SG/SF, 6’5″, 2009), a solid scorer with a perfect stroke and a great defender, who plays his ball at Marianapolis Prep in Thompson, CT. Marionapolis Prep is a Class ‘B’ school, in comparison to Brewster Academy or Worcester Academy, which are Class ‘A’ schools. Adebamowo has seemed to be a guy with flashes of promise.

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UConn Makes a push for Cheek

August 6, 2008

Dominic Cheek (SG, 6’5″, 2009) has a lot of colleges who would love to have him, including Wake Forest. The latest team to get their crack at the New Jersey prospect is UConn, who are still in the mix for Cheek. Cheek attended the elite camp at UConn this week, along with other top players on the Huskies’ radar such as Daniel Orton (C, 6’10”, 2009). A typical way for schools to recruit is by having their NBA alumni drop by, and UConn did exactly that:

Monday morning at Gampel Pavilion, the second and final day of Jim Calhoun’s Connecticut Elite camp. As about two dozen of the top recruits in the country milled about, one of the gym’s side doors swung open and in walked Rudy Gay.

“The minute he walked in the door,” UConn assistant coach Andre LaFleur noted, “one of the kids was saying, ‘I can’t believe he’s standing right there.’”

Gay, who averaged 20.1 ppg for the Memphis Grizzlies last year and, perhaps just as notably, provided ESPN regular fodder with posterizing dunks, went on to run in a bunch of scrimmages with most of the players. He missed a few 3-pointers (some of them badly), but also threw down some rafter-shaking dunks.

I’m not sure if Cheek would be that impressed with an NBA player at a camp, after already seeing and playing with them dozens of times already. But the point is that UConn very much would like to add the deep range shooter to their roster, and they are pursuing him as hard as they can.

Cheek and several other ACC targets, including Derrick Favors (PF, 6’10”, 2009) will next play at the Adidas Nations Global Basketball Experience in Dallas. Also note that the article in the link states Cheek is 6’7″, but I haven’t confirmed that. The last measurement I’d seen from a reasonably reliable source was 6’6″, and we’d previously listed him at that height; Scout and Rivals still have him at 6’5″, and so does USA Basketball, where he played a couple of weeks ago, so we’re inclined to think that’s his actual height. It’s very common for player’s heights to magically creep up, a 5’10” player suddenly starts getting listed at 6’0″, then 6’1″…then you see the player in person and he’s 5’9″ in sneakers. So until I get a chance to walk up to Dominic with a tape measure, I’m going to assume that he’s still a 6’5″ shooting guard, which is still a great size for a shooter.


Tony Chenault commits to Wake Forest

August 5, 2008

Well, just a few days ago we posted some great video of Tony Chenault (PG/SG, 6’2″, 2010) and today he’s the newest Wake Forest commit:

Tony Chenault broke some hometown hearts today when he announced his intentions to play basketball at Wake Forest.
Chenault, a 6-2, 170-pound guard, will be a junior this season at Neumann-Goretti High School in Philadelphia and plans to arrive at Wake Forest in time for the 2010-11 season.

This is a very good player who we will see a lot of in the ACC. A big time scorer and a versatile combo guard.

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