Luke Cothron No Longer Committed to NC State

March 18, 2010

So one player that everyone thought had made his college choice has changed his mind. Luke Cothron (PF, 6’8″, 2010) a post player who can shoot from outside, had committed to NC State back in October of 2009. But now he says he’s no longer committed to the Wolfpack, in a move that took everyone, even his high school coach, by surprise.

It’s unclear why Colthon decided to re-open his recruitment or which teams he might now be considering. NC State seemed like a good fit for Colthon, but with such a big decision, it’s understandable if players sometimes rethink their plans.

Colthon is a post player but will need to add interior scoring and work on his paint game in order to be effective for the Pack, but his size and shooting ability are certainly attractive.

Here’s some video of Luke Cothron from the Boo Williams:


Duke Basketball Lands Carrick Felix, First Ever Juco

March 17, 2010

In a sign that the early NBA defections have really hit even the biggest programs, Duke has gotten a commitment from Junior College player Carrick Felix (SF, 6’6″, RS Freshman). It also could be a telltale sign that coach Mike Krzyzewski thinks he might need to account for players who could leave early. Felix is the fourth recruit the Blue Devils have lined up for next season.

And, of course, a little Carrick Felix video:

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ACC Recruits in the McDonald’s All American Game 2010

March 16, 2010

McDonald's All American 2010

With the release of the 2010 McDonald’s All American rosters come the usual bevy of future ACC players who are honored by this annual showcase game. Here’s a rundown of the four Mickey D’s players who have already committed to the ACC.

North Carolina has three players who will be suiting up, including Reggie Bullock (SG/SF, 6′6″, 2010), Kendall Marshall (PG, 6′4″, 2010) and Harrison Barnes (SF, 6′8″, 2010). Barnes may be the top prize in the 2010 class, and it may be tough to keep him in Chapel Hill longer than one season.

Duke will be represented by Kyrie Irving (PG, 6′3″, 2010), another player who is special enough that the term ‘one and done’ may apply. A fast player who can handle the ball incredibly well on the break, Duke fans are already salivating at the prospect of his running the team.

Of the remaining undecideds, only C.J. Leslie (SF, 6′9″, 2010) is thought to be considering an ACC school, down to either hometown NC State or Kentucky. Brandon Knight (SG, 6′4″, 2010) had been considering his own hometown school of Miami but eliminated them recently.

Although most fans only see the players who make the final roster, there are a lot of players who are nominated but don’t make the final selection. You can view all of the nominated players here.

The game will take place on March 31, 2010 at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio. ESPN will televise the boys’ game at 8:00 pm EST, with the girls’ game being shown earlier on ESPNU at 5:30 pm EST.

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Brandon Knight Still Wide Open

March 15, 2010

The biggest prize still on the board for 2010 is probably Brandon Knight (PG/SG, 6’3″, 2010) , who is still considering Miami, Florida, Kansas, Syracuse, Kentucky and Connecticut. Knight is a fierce scorer who can put up big numbers and cause problems for the defense, a sure fire big time scoring machine. However, he plays much more like a shooting guard than a point guard, so he still needs to improve his PG skills.

Of the six schools on his list, Knight has visited five, including Kentucky, Miami, Connecticut, Kansas and Florida. It’s hard to say where Knight will fit in best, but it does seem that his chances to play early will be better if he can play the point depending on where he goes. I’m sure Miami would love to be able to play Knight at the point with Durand Scott at the 2, and Kentucky could either move Bledsoe to the 1 (assuming John Wall goes league after this season) and put Knight at the 2 or vice versa. Florida could be interesting, with Boynton playing point and Knight at SG, especially because they played AAU together with that exact strategy.

If Kemba Walker is still at UConn running the point, you could see Knight getting time at the SG spot there as well. At Syracuse he’d probably have to help shore up the loss of Andy Rautins at SG. Xavier Henry could leave for the NBA after this season at Kansas, creating SG playing time there, although the current Kansas PG, Sherron Collins, is a senior and definitely gone for next season. So even though long term it will help Knight to be able to play the point (6’3″ shooting guards often have a tough time landing in the pros), there are several possible scenarios where he could get some big minutes off the ball right from day one.

For me, Knight moving to PG might be a mistake considering how effective he is at off guard. He reminds me somewhat of Dexter Strickland, a player who is incredibly dynamic at the SG spot but could be limited when running the point. Of course, with a player of his talents, it all remains to be seen.

Here’s some recent video of Brandon, much of which at point:

Here’s some video of Knight showing off his stupifying scoring abilities and near-impossible-to-guard quicks:

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Look Ahead: 2011 ACC Basketball Recruiting

March 14, 2010

With the 2010 class getting finalized over the next couple of months, we turn our attention to the 2011 classes for ACC teams. UNC has the top rated recruit that has committed to an ACC team with James McAdoo (PF, 6’8″, 2011), a big forward that plays in the paint, rebounds well and runs the floor. UNC is also competing for Adonis Thomas (SF, 6’6″, 2011).

Wake Forest, Duke, NC State and Miami are all recruiting Quincy Miller (PF, 6’8″, 2011), and I should have some new video of Miller soon.

Duke’s landing of Michael Gbinije (SF, 6’6″, 2011) just a couple of days ago has started their 2011 class with a solid wing.

UNC and Miami are both in the mix for Norvele Pelle (PF, 6’8″, 2011), and UNC has gotten a commit from P.J. Hairston (SG, 6’5″, 2011), who attended the same high school as current Tar Heel Will Graves and former UNC big man Brendan Haywood.

Virginia Tech has a top player already on board with C.J. Barksdale (PF, 6’7″, 2011) who picked the Hokies over Maryland, Virginia, Alabama, Wake Forest and Florida.

Wake Forest, Charlotte, Clemson, UNC and Virginia Tech have all shown interest in Marquis Rankin (PG, 6’0″, 2011), who plays high school ball in Charlotte, NC.

NC State is still recruiting LaQuinton Ross (SF, 6’7″, 2011), a player we’ve been following for some time, while Clemson and Florida State are looking at Kentavious Caldwell (SG, 6’4″, 2011).

UNC, Duke and Virginia are all trying to land the third Plumlee big man in Marshall Plumlee (C, 7’0″, 2011) and I’m not sure if Duke has the inside track. Virginia and Virginia Tech are also recruiting Nick Johnson (PG, 6’4″, 2011) out of Findlay Prep.

Duke, North Carolina and Maryland have all been keeping up with Quinn Cook (PG, 5’11”, 2011) from Dematha although only Maryland has offered so far. Cook is the type of player who will be focused on running the offense, pushing into the defense and kicking to an open big.

North Carolina and Virginia have been paying attention to Angelo Chol (C, 6’8″, 2011), player from San Diego, CA, a state where UNC head coach Roy Williams has landed several players, most recently the Wear twins.

Virginia Tech has a commitment from C.J. Barksdale (PF, 6’7″, 2011), beating out Maryland, Virginia, Alabama, Wake Forest and Florida.

We’ll do more player scouting on these and other 2011 athletes in the months to come, and of course we’ll start looking into the 2012 class as well.

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Notes From The ACC Tournament

March 13, 2010

The ACC Tournament, along with the Big East Tournament, are the two most publicized and popular college basketball tournaments played after the season is over. Almost all college basketball tournaments have lost a bit of luster since the NCAA tournament has expanded, and it’s no longer a requirement to win your conference tournament in order to get a bid to the Big Dance. The result has been lower fan interest and lower ticket sales to a tournament that used to sell out right away.

Now, the larger, um…’BCS’ conference tournaments are important for teams who want to prove their seeding, or get off the bubble. Sometimes a ‘bubble’ team can blow their NCAA bid with a bad tournament showing. This year, Wake Forest and Georgia Tech went into the ACC Tournament hoping to get off of the bubble.

Watching Georgia Tech play live shows two things: one, Georgia Tech has some very talented players and a lot of size. Two, Georgia Tech is not using that talent nearly as much as they should. However, after scraping by UNC in the first round, Georgia Tech played better to beat Maryland (after blowing a 19 point lead) and advance to play NC State today in the semis.

However, NC State has come alive. As I sat and watched them outplay Clemson on day one, they had a large showing of fans rooting them against Clemson’s full court press. NC State suddenly looks like a team that understands their roles and understands Sidney Lowe’s offense. Not sure what has caused the sudden improvement, but the players are cutting well, moving the ball and passing the ball in the post at the right times. Horner is very active, moving in the paint to the perimeter, and really altering the defense. If any team has managed to show it really cares about winning the tournament, it’s NC State.

Duke played consistently and wasn’t challenged by Virginia, but even though I think Duke is the best in the ACC this season and I think they’ve already locked up a number one NCAA seed, I just don’t see them beating the top teams from the Big East. It’s unfortunate, but I just don’t think the ACC has the talent this year to match up. Maybe next year with Duke getting Irving and UNC getting Harrison Barnes, Reggie Bullock and Kendall Marshall, but this year it remains to be seen. However, in the ACC, I expect Duke to win the tourney unless Georgia Tech suddenly figures out they have four or five NBA players on their roster (Sorry, Tech. But you know it’s true).

Finally, there’s Wake Forest. Wake probably blew their NCAA bid with their late season collapse and loss in the ACC tournament. It’s not official, but Wake just seemed to run out of steam down the stretch of the season.

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Michael Gbinije Commits To Duke (with Video)

March 12, 2010

Duke has landed Michael Gbinije (SG/SF, 6’6″, 2011), out of Richmond, VA. Gbinije is a fluid player with some offensive flash, a forward who can handle the ball well enough to get to the hoop and plays well in the open court. He can also shoot from outside the perimeter, which makes defenders vulnerable to his ability to put the ball on the floor and slash to the hoop.

Duke and UNC were both competing for Gbinijie, but he has said in the past that UNC was already heavy with players at his position. In the end, he decided to play his college ball for the Blue Devils.

Here’s some video of Gbinije:

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