Ranking The Point Guards of 2010

April 19, 2010

It’s not the practice of ACCBasketballRecruiting.com to ‘rank’ players, because we try to evaluate players based on long term prospects and not so much on their rank within their graduating high school class. There are several reasons for this; first, because there are a lot of ranking services around and our rankings would not be much different in the top players. Secondly, because ranking players between classes makes an unbalanced comparison between classes. Would the number one point guard in 2010 be as good as John Wall of 2009? It’s not really a fair comparison.

That said, we will take a few moments to talk about the top point guards in the 2010 class, and only the position within this class.

This year’s best point guard is probably Kyrie Irving (PG, 6’1″, 2010), a Duke commitment and a speedy ballhandler who can push the ball extremely well in transition. In all of the all-star games this season, Irving has shown he can play on the biggest stages and has had solid outings every time. Now, almost every scouting service out there has Brandon Knight (PG/SG, 6’3″, 2010) as the top point guard in the country, but we don’t agree with that. The reason is not Knight’s ability, which he has loads, it’s the fact that Knight looks too much like a streaky shooting guard. Can he play the PG in college? Yes, he can. He’s a solid ballhandler and passer. But we’ve yet to see that one distinct difference between an off guard running point and a true point, which is, actually running the offense and knowing where players are going to be before they arrive at the spot. Irving has it. Ty Lawson, Chris Paul, John Wall and Raymond Felton all had it. The thinking is that Knight will need to use his athletic talents at slashing to the hoop and develop his point guard skills so he can move to the NBA, but only time will tell if he’s able to do it.

Just behind Irving is Cory Joseph (PG, 6’3″, 2010), an as-of-yet uncommitted player from Nevada who plays the point with intensity and presence. Although he’s behind several other players on most lists, our opinion is that he’s solid and the second best in 2010 right now.

Probably next after Joseph is a tough call between Josh Selby (PG, 6’2, 2010) who just committed to Kansas, and Kendall Marshall (PG, 6’3″, 2010), a North Carolina commit. Selby is a little too much combo guard right now but is tough and can get to the hoop, while Marshall is a pure PG who should flourish in the UNC system.

We’d put Brandon Knight next and then Joe Jackson (PG, 5’11”, 2010), a Memphis-bound player with gifted offensive moves but who will need to prove they can defend effectively at the collegiate level.

The next four to round out the top ten would be Ray McCallum (PG, 6’1″, 2010), an extremely solid PG who will play for his father at Detroit, Ryan Harrow (PG, 5’11’, 2010), headed to NC State, Phil Pressey (PG, 5’10”, 2010) and Ian Miller (PG, 6’2″, 2010), a Florida State commit.


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:


ACC Recruiting: Round Up, March 25, 2010

March 25, 2010

Lorenzo Brown (PG/SG, 6’4″ , 2010), one of the two solid guards coming in for the Wolfpack, continues to communicate with current players as they made a small run in the NIT. Brown was encouraging his future teammates with text messages, a sure sign that he’s already mentally on the roster.

Video of Lorenzo Brown:

Tyler Adams (C, 6’8″, 2010) now has an offer from the Duke Blue Devils. He was already being recruited by Clemson, Alabama and Memphis, but with Duke in the picture, he now says Duke is his leader.

C.J. Leslie (SF, 6’9″, 2010), down to the NC State Wolfpack and the Kentucky Wildcats, has a nice write up on HoopDoctors, although there’s no new information regarding his recruitment.

Austin River
(PG/SG, 6’4″, 2010) is still considering Duke as well, even though he says he’s committed to the Florida Gators.

Papa Samba Ndao
(SF, 6’8″, 2010), a commitment for the Boston College Eagles, not only has the best name for a 2010 recruit but also adds size for the Eagles on the wing. Look for Ndao to help shore up BC’s graduation losses.


Brandon Knight Creates New Duke Recruiting Battle

March 24, 2010

Brandon Knight (PG/SG, 6’3″, 2010) is no longer considered an ACC prospect, having eliminated the Miami Hurricanes a couple of weeks ago, but that doesn’t mean he can’t affect the ACC in terms of recruiting.

The Florida Gators, one of Knight’s final schools, have pulled themselves out of the running and are no longer recruiting the star shooter, which means that even more signs are pointing towards Brandon ending up playing for the Kentucky Wildcats, although all bets are off.

But. it also means that Florida can focus more energy on Austin Rivers (PG/SG, 6’4″, 2010), a player who originally committed to the Florida Gators but has since visited Duke and says they are in the running. Don’t believe Rivers when he says he’s committed to the Gators; Duke is definitely in the mix and now that Florida is pulling off of Knight, expect the full court press from the Gators to finalize Rivers’ decision.

The Jump Manual


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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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.

The Jump Manual


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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Duke Recruiting: Kyrie Irving (plus Video)

March 11, 2010

Duke’s big name in the 2010 class is combo guard Kyrie Irving (PG/SG, 6’2″, 2010) out of St. Patrick HS in Elizabeth, NJ. Irving will likely have to play PG quickly and excels in the transition game, pushing the break at a high octane clip. He can handle the ball at an elite level, even on the break and can score effectively from the PG spot.

Irving has the type of speed that sometimes makes his teammates look like they are moving in slow motion, with open court spin moves, crossovers and behind the back dribbles at full speed without ever losing control. He will need to get stronger to really handle the physical play in the ACC, but his passing is extremely adept and he will definitely be racking up assists at Duke. Irving can finish around the rim better than most point guards, and he’s not the type of PG that a defender can play off of, since he’s dangerous offensively. He also has the hops and the hang time to dunk on the break.

Irving’s passes are crisp, accurate and quick on the break; Big men who run the floor well will get the ball in the right place or in an alley oop.

The areas for Kyrie’s game to improve are that I’ve not seen if he can effectively hit mid range shots, his need to get stronger, and I haven’t seen enough perimeter shooting to know how solid his outside shot actually is. That comes with a caveat; I’ve seen Irving swish long, collegiate length threes several times, but rarely when he’s being guarded the way he’ll be guarded in the ACC. So that just remains to be seen.

Most people have only seen the slow-mo special effects mix tape for Irving, so here’s some great in-game video:

More, Irving is #4 in these clips:

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ACC Basketball Recruiting Roundup March 10

March 10, 2010

One day before the ACC Tournament begins, let’s take a quick trip around the league to see what the latest recruiting news has to offer.

Clemson

Kendall Williams (SG, 6’2″, 2010) has chosen to play at New Mexico, picking the Lobos over Clemson despite Clemson’s best efforts to land him. Clemson has already gotten a commitment from Marcus Thornton (SF, 6’7″, 2010) for the class but is still looking to land Juco forward Ricardo Ratcliff (PF, 6’9″, 2010). Ratcliff is also considering Arkansas, Missouri and Alabama.

Virginia

Virginia has already pulled a large class for 2010 and is still looking to bring in more. With James Johnson (C, 6’8″, 2010) anchoring the class that includes K.T. Harrell (SG, 6’3″, 2010), Will Regan (C, 6’8″, 2010), Joe Harris (SG, 6’5″, 2010), Billy Baron (PG, 6’1″, 2010) and Akil Mitchell (PF, 6’7″, 2010), the Cavaliers will be looking to bring in a major new look next season. 2011 is still wide open for the Cavs.

Wake Forest

Wake Forest is in the top three for Tyler Olander (PF, 6’9″, 2010), who is also being pursued by Virginia but doesn’t list them as a favorite. Wake’s main competition for Olander is UConn (he’s from Storrs, CT) and Florida. Wake already has commits from Carson Derosiers (C, 6’11”, 2010), Travis McKie (SF, 6’6″, 2010), J.T. Terrell (SG, 6’3″, 2010), Melvin Tabb (PF, 6’8″, 2010) and Tony Chennault (PG, 6’1″, 2010).

North Carolina

This year’s North Carolina team has had to deal with unexpected losses on the court and the whispers about talented recruits coming in next year. Without a doubt, UNC is loading up on guards and wings with possible one-and-done superstar Harrison Barnes (SF, 6’6″, 2010), along with Reggie Bullock (SG, 6’6″, 2010) and Kendall Marshall (PG, 6’3″, 2010). These players will have to shore up a depleted back court and try to get the ball in to the UNC big men.

Duke

The pride of the 2010 class for the Blue Devils is Kyrie Irving (PG, 6’2″, 2010), who also might be gone after one year. Duke also landed Josh Hairston (PF, 6’8″, 2010) and Tyler Thornton (PG, 6’2″, 2010), both solid players who should see court time quickly.

Maryland

Maryland missed on Tobias Harris but landed Mychal Parker (SF, 6’6″, 2010) , Terrell Stoglin (SG, 6’0″, 2010) and Ashton Pankey(PF, 6’8″, 2010). Pe-Shon Howard (PG, 6’2″, 2010) is also in the class but it’s unlikely he’ll be able to step in and replace Vasquez’ output by himself. Maryland also has a commitment from Hankur Palsson (SF, 6’6″, 2010).

We’ll cover more of the ACC next, and work in our coverage of the first round of the ACC Tournament (in person).

The Jump Manual


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: