Top Ten 2009 ACC High School Basketball Targets

May 2, 2008

These are my current top ten players who have either been contacted by an ACC school, offered a scholarship by an ACC school or committed to an ACC school. The ACC schools that are in the mix are in parenthesis next to the player’s name. This does not mean that ACC schools lead for these players OR that the order of listings is indication of a leader among the schools.

1. Derrick Favors, 6’9” C (Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, North Carolina State)

2. Xavier Henry, 6’6” SG (North Carolina)

3. Kenny Boynton, 6’2” SG (Duke, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Miami)

4. John Wall, 6’3”, PG (Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami, North Carolina, NC State, Virginia)

5. Dominic Cheek, 6’6” SG (North Carolina, Miami)

6. Daniel Orton, 6’9” C (Maryland, Wake Forest)

7. Dexter Strickland, 6’3” SG (Committed to North Carolina)

8. Jordan Hamilton, 6’7” SF (North Carolina State)

9. John Henson, 6’10” PF (Committed to North Carolina)

10. DeShawn Painter, 6’9” PF (Clemson, Florida State, NC State, Virginia)

A notable exception here is Lance Stephenson (6’5” SF), who is #2 on many rankings and is often tagged as being a UNC target. I am pretty much of the opinion that UNC is not actively recruiting Stephenson, so until I see or hear otherwise (send me a link if you’ve got something), I am dropping him from my list of ACC targets. This moves Xavier Henry (who I think is leaning towards Memphis and Kansas over UNC) into my #2 spot, and introduces target DeShawn Painter into the top 10.

I also am not adding DeShonte Riley (6’10” C) to the mix even though he’s listed Boston College as a possible school. I kind of like DeShawn Painter a little more at this point.

These rankings may change as I get to see more of these guys, either in person or on video.

UPDATE, 7/1/208:After I posted this back in May, 2008, there have been a lot of changes and commitments. So if you want to keep up when the player DB comes online, click here.


Video: Daniel Orton

May 2, 2008

A great video of Maryland target big man Daniel Orton (6’9″ C) shows some of his post moves:


Lance Stephenson a package deal?

April 21, 2008

A lot of noise came out a few days ago about the possibility of Lance Stephenson (6’5″, SF), currently being pursued by North Carolina and Duke, being part of a ‘package deal’ with Renardo Sidney (6’9″, PF) to UCLA. This is because of the close friendship shared by the two on the AAU circuit. However, Jeff Eisenberg of the Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) called Stephenson’s coach to dispel the rumor:

Dwayne Morton, coach at famed Lincoln High in Brooklyn, confirmed that Stephenson and Sidney are good friends from the AAU circuit but cautioned that a package deal with the two of them is still a long shot.
“It has to be the right situation for Lance,” Morton said. “He’s not just going to go somewhere because of Renardo.”

Right now, my understanding is that neither UNC or Duke are really in the mix for Stephenson, and I don’t know of any ACC schools in the mix for Sidney. Both players are ranked in many recruiting services’ top five. Meanwhile, outside the ACC, Stephenson has stated he likes Memphis, Kansas, Indiana and Arkansas.

Speaking of Sidney, a good story that shows insight into the intense fervor that high school recruits are subject to involves two men who tried to ‘woo’ Sidney to another high school:

More than 10 high schools have expressed interest in Sidney, his father said. Sidney ruled out some because, he said, players on their teams told him they don’t always have to do their own work to get grades.

But the Sidney family listened to one recruitment pitch, even though it began surreptitiously. Two men showed up in Mississippi, telling Sidney they were reporters with a new magazine in California and that he was the subject of their cover story.

His mother immediately called Vaccaro; the elder Sidney met the men for lunch. Vaccaro said he believes the two men were trying to persuade Sidney to transfer to Compton’s Dominguez High, which is sponsored by Nike.

“It was scary,” the elder Sidney said. “That was definitely a Hollywood act. They told me two names, but I don’t know if that is their real name. They could have been posing for an agent. . . . So you just never know.”

Sidney said he and his family later visited California and the men gave them tickets on the floor for a Los Angeles Lakers-Minnesota Timberwolves game.

“They took us to the Lakers game; we went out to eat every day,” Sidney said. “We hung out, late nights and stuff. We had fun. They showed us a good time. They wanted me to come out here just to visit Dominguez and see if I would like it or whether I’d go to it. We stopped messing with them. I never thought about [Dominguez]. It was in the ghetto.”

Their recruitment pitch included a phone call that the men said was from Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant. When Sidney got on the phone, the man purported to be Bryant and told him he should stay humble and work hard. To this day, Sidney doesn’t know who he spoke to. Bryant could not be reached to comment.

Is it any wonder that kids get the idea to jump to the pros so quickly?

Real Deal Roundup

So the big stud of the Real Deal was apparently Kenny Boynton (6’2″, combo guard), and reports are also that Lance Stephenson also performed well. North Carolina signee John Henson (6’10” PF/C) had an up-and-down scoring output, but he really is a guy who looks like he could become a superstar.

I don’t think he’s quite there yet, but he sure looks like someone who could develop into an all-ACC player, and he looks like he still is adusting to being a ‘big man’. In that respect, Henson reminds me a little of Mike Dunleavy, a guy who never thought he’d be a forward and then had a massive growth spurt. Also at the Real Deal was UNC target Nolan Dennis (6’5″ SG). Dennis is being pursued by UNC heavily along with Memphis.

Derrick Favors

I keep hearing that Derrick Favors is likely to stay in the state of Georgia, and that would mean his recruiting would be between Georgia Tech and Georgia. I’m pretty sure North Carolina is out of the running, but that hasn’t stopped Duke from stepping up their recruitment of him.


Kenny Boynton setting visits

April 18, 2008

Rivals is reporting that ACC recruit Kenny Boynton has started setting up his visits[Subscription Required].

ACC Schools recruiting Boynton include Duke, Miami, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech and Florida State, although I’ve heard that Duke is really gunning for him.
Boynton was also just named to the Florida first-team All-State.

I haven’t seen Boynton play in person yet, so I will have to either travel to an event he’s at, get him on film, or fly down to Florida next season.


Video: UNC Recruit Dexter Strickland

April 16, 2008

Possibly the highest rated player to sign with any ACC school thus far is Dexter Strickland, a 6’3” combo guard who looks like he might fit in well with the fast paced style that Roy Williams likes to employ.

It is unclear if Strickland will play much point at UNC, and his lanky shooting style reminds me some of current Tar Heel Wayne Ellington, with a better handle. His movements are very fluid, not quite as slick as Spanish wonder kid Ricky Rubio, but cut from similar cloth. Strickland probably has better hops than Rubio, and both are deceptively fast, streaking down the court, lulling their opponents to sleep before slashing to the rim.

UCLA’s Package Deal?

BruinReportOnline is reporting that top recruit Lance Stephenson might be a package deal with Renardo Sidney. I have not heard of any ACC schools involved with Sidney, so if that’s true Stephenson might be out of the ACC mix as well.

Georgia saving room for Derrick Favors

Georgia has signed a shooting guard for the 2008 class, and many from the Bulldogs fanbase believe they are saving room for Derrick Favors.


Derrick Favors, Lighting It Up; John Wall to Memphis?

April 15, 2008

Derrick Favors continues to light it up, routinely putting up 20-20 games even as he plays against the top recruits in the nation. However, one key aspect about Favors is his attitude towards improvement and goal setting:

“I wanted the eighth-graders to do 50 pushups a night,” says [Favor’s coach] Reddick, who played professionally in Europe for 12 years. “Derrick came up to me and said, ‘Coach, how many do your guys do a night?’ When I told him 150-200, he said that’s how many he was going to start doing.”

Favors also does not intend to transfer schools, which sets him apart from other top recruits. Putting up 20-20 against top competition is excellent, but the key element that separates great players from merely good (or merely talented) is work ethic and an innate drive to improve themselves.

Naturally, Favors is the prize recruit this year by all of the major programs, and the ACC programs reportedly in the mix are Georgia Tech, Clemson, Duke, North Carolina, North Carolina State and Florida State.

Meanwhile, Jerry Myers muses about the possibility of Favors going to Duke. Jerry reports that NC State, Kentucky, Georgia Tech and Georgia are already high on Favor’s list.

Elsewhere, top PG John Wall from the Raliegh, NC area may be headed to Memphis. This is also being reported by here, along with Xavier Henry and Karron Johnson