Scouting Report:Watauga vs. West Caldwell

December 31, 2008

Today’s scouting report is from Justin Shockley, who scouted Tuesday’s match up between Watauga and West Caldwell.

Scouting Report

Local rivals faced off in Boone on Tuesday in a non-conference match-up. The game was a defensive struggle throughout, aided by poor shooting from both teams; however, some players were still able to showcase some of their skills. Watauga came away with the victory in this low scoring affair, 52-49 in overtime.

Kendall Jones (PG, 5’8”, 2011) for West Caldwell has great poise for an underclassman, with a quick first step and good left hand. Vastly improved shooting ability from last season and has a fluid release. While Jones is a pure PG, he has the ability to score by driving in or hitting the jumper and scored 37 points in an earlier contest this season. Court vision is decent but sometimes inconsistent and he settles for jumpers too often at times. Jones finished with 15 points in this game to go along with 6 assists. Overall, there is plenty of potential with this young player.

Yeaster Lewis (SF, 6’4”, 2009) was forced to play out of position for most of the game due to West’s lack of size in the middle, but slashed in for rebounds in the paint all game. Plays good help defense and attacks the glass on both ends. Has a strong, athletic build and makes quick moves when facing up. Lewis finished with 11 points on the night. Lewis needs to improve ball handling skills and interior passing.

Jeff Newell (PF/C 6’6”, 2009) played in the post for Watauga. Newell scored 22 for the Pioneers and showed a knack for getting the ball in a good position to score. Lacks size for his overall skill set of a PF/C but did show good touch out to about 12 feet and soft hands. Several good finesse post moves and good offensive rebounding ability. Was easily pushed around at times because he only weighs about 185.


Top 25 USA Today – South

December 10, 2008

John Wall (PG,6’4″, 2009) had led Word of God to a number eight national ranking before their loss to Dudley (Greensboro, NC).

Here’s where the South region schools fall in place, according to USA Today:

1. Oak Hill, Mouth of Wilson, VA
2. Arlington Country Day, Jacksonville, FL
3. Leflore, Mobile, AL
4. Duncanville, Texas
5. Word of God Academy, Raleigh, NC
6. Wheeler, Marietta, GA
7. Christ School, Arden, NC
8. South Atlanta, Atlanta, GA
9. Callaway, Jackson, Miss.
10. Montverde Academy, Montverde, FL

Number one ranked team in the nation is still Lance Stephenson (SF, 6’6″, 2009) and Lincoln out of Brooklyn.


Boo Williams’ McAdoo Swings Through the ACC

September 23, 2008

James McAdoo (PF, 6’8″, 2011) is big time, already on the big schools’ radar as a sophomore. UCLA and Florida have made no secret that they want the prolific big man, already extending offers according to Scout.

However, this weekend, McAdoo visited the campuses of UNC and Duke (not a bad idea OR difficult given the mere eight mile distance between the two) and will swing through Wake Forest this weekend. Business as usual for Wake, who by some reports was planning to host Noel Johnson (SF, 6’7″, 2009) and got a commitment from Ari Stewart last weekend. Johnson committed to USC, which had seemed to be where he was leaning. I would speculate that Johnson felt getting playing time at Wake might have been difficult with Al Farouq-Aminu and Ari Stewart, if Farouq-Aminu stays for more than one year. He also considered Georgia Tech, but recent moves led him to conclude that USC was the best fit for him.

At any rate, McAdoo, a player from Norfolk, Virginia, seems to really like Duke and UNC, although he does not have offers from them yet. He was on the Chapel Hill campus as was 2010 UNC commit Kendall Marshall.

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


Michael Snaer waits, and Boost Mobile Elite 24 on ESPN

August 21, 2008

Florida State target Michael Snaer (SG/SF, 6’5″, 2009) was originally intending to announce his college destination in the middle of August, but now has decided to wait until a few more visits. UCLA is still in the mix for Snaer despite reports that it was down to Missouri and FSU.

Boost Mobile Elite 24 on ESPN2

UNC commit Dexter Strickland (SG, 6’3″, 2009) and several ACC targets will be participating in the Boost Mobile Elite 24 event, which will be at fabled Rucker Park.

You can catch the action Live on ESPNU at 8 p.m. EDT, Friday August 22
*Re-air on ESPN2 late night Monday, August 25 at midnight EDT.

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


Updates on Maryland’s Class of 2008

August 3, 2008

To say that Maryland’s incoming recruiting class is somewhat different than what Terp fans expected a few months ago would be an understatement. A true assessment here is that Gary Williams is hearing some unhappy rumblings, the team never won as much as expected last season and a lot of the players who helped in Maryland’s biggest win of the season – a win over UNC in Chapel Hill – are gone.

To put it bluntly, Gary needs to get a team together that will remind people why he’s a hall of fame coach before people start wondering how the heck he won a national title. And to be fair to the Maryland fans, Gary’s performance after his national title run hasn’t been anything like the way his teams played before their championship.

So here’s the latest on the incoming class:

Sean Mosley, a solid and reliable shooting guard, has been cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse to play ball.

Steve Goins, a much needed big man and a late season commit, has been admitted to Maryland, despite conflicting reports that he might not have even picked a college.

Jin Soo Kim, a class of 2009 SF, will almost definitely be able to reclassify as a Class of 2008 player and there is a good chance he’ll be playing for Maryland this season.


Dominic Cheek; More ACC targets

July 28, 2008

Dominic Cheek (SG, 6’6″, 2009) is a known player who’s been playing basketball with the U-18 USA Basketball team, and is being recruited heavily by Wake Forest, among many other schools, including Villanova. At one time, it was thought that the sharp shooter would be playing for UNC, but that never materialized, and now Cheek’s recruitment is being watched by fans of several powerhouse schools.

The story of Cheek includes legendary Bob Hurley, coach of fabled St. Anthony High School in New Jersey, and that involved a level of discipline that will help Cheek make it to the next level:

In signing on to play for Bob Hurley’s basketball program four years ago, Dominic Cheek agreed to shave his braids and that no tattoos would appear on his skin. On weekends, the 6-foot-6, 195-pound swingman would have to phone the white-haired disciplinarian from his family’s landline phone by 9 p.m. Much would be sacrificed, but the shooting form — that lock-and-load release — would make him a star.

Cheek has the size of an NBA shooting guard, at 6’6″, and his deep range and scoring ability should give him a legitimate shot at playing pro ball in the future.

Meyers Leonard

Big man Meyers Leonard (PF/C, 6’11”, 2010) is a name that college recruiting fans will start hearing a lot about, as he’s started garnering interest from a lot of big schools. He already has offers from Indiana and Purdue, and he’s getting interest from Kentucky, UNC, Duke, UCLA, Illinois and Texas. We are adding him to our ACC targets list and will continue to track his recruitment.

Ari Stewart

Wake fans are well aware of Ari Stewart (SF, 6’7″, 2009), a player who they are recruiting and have an excellent shot of landing. Although Stewart has offers from Clemson and UNC, he does not seem to be considering those schools as highly as Wake.

Reco McCarter

Southeastern North Carolina has been a hotbed of ACC talent lately, and the latest is Goldsboro’s Reco McCarter (SF, 6’6″, 2010) has made it clear that Wake Forest is the team to beat right now. We’re adding Reco to our ACC targets list as well.

Nik Garcia

Dominic Cheek isn’t the only 6’6″ shooting guard considering Wake Forest. Nik Garcia (SG, 6’6″, 2009), is strongly considering the Deacons as well as the Miami Hurricanes.


Tony Chenault video; Lance Stephenson rumors

July 24, 2008

Some video of Tony Chenault (PG, 6’1″, 2010), a Wake Forest recruit:

Chenault has Wake on his list of options and seems to like the Deacons at this point.

The Lance Stephenson Saga: St. John’s Edition

At one time, way back in the day, hearing that a top recruit was considering St. John’s was just another day in college basketball. Now, it seems unlikely, so when a story….er, rumor…surfaced that Lance Stephenson, a player who already has as many detractors as fans, was suddenly thinking of playing closer to home, people started wondering what was up. It seems the story, expounded and debunked by Adam Zagoria, was that a position would be given to Lance’s high school coach if he played for St. John’s.

Lance Stephenson Dime Magazine

The saga of Lance Stephenson has officially put Lance into the category of ‘more packaging than player’ as a high schooler. A few weeks ago, Lance made news when he was cut from the USA basketball U-18 roster. When Brandon Jennings decided to try his luck playing in Italy instead of Arizona, people immediately started talking about Lance doing the same. Bear in mind that almost none of these things which have gotten so much attention were Lance playing well, or even at all in the case of the USA Basketball roster.

FOX Sports’ Jeff Goodman has been a critic of Stephenson in the past and wrote this about Lance’s recruitment:

How about the fact that Kansas’ Bill Self was the only high-major coach in the gym watching Stephenson.

That’s right. Self and his good buddy, Norm Roberts of St. John’s, are basically the only ones actively recruiting Stephenson.

In short, Lance has become famous in the recruiting world for being famous. He’s a very good player, but he’s not – at this point in his career – even the best player in the class of 2009. This is not to say he doesn’t have promise and star potential, but at this point, the media machine around Lance is more interested in “Lance the Personality” instead of “Lance the Basketball Player”. Here is the blunt truth: right now, the NBA isn’t any higher on the Lance Stephenson Show than Bob McKillop was. In other words, Lance needs to play a lot stronger to secure a place in the first round. Right now, we are not talking lottery. We are talking maybe first round. This isn’t to bring Lance down, but it’s time to stop talking about Lance going the Brandon Jennings route until Lance proves himself a lot more.

John Henson

While Lance has been getting press for things other than basketball, UNC commit John Henson (SF, 6’10”, 2009) has been getting press for playing the game well. Here is an interview with the future Tar Heel, in which he expounds on his game and why he chose UNC:

What do you contribute your high level of play and improved stock to?
“I think it’s just a combination of my hard work and being in the right situation to perform and show my skills against the best players.”

Right now it seems like there are three players in the running for the #1 ranking: Henson, Favors and John Wall. Of course, there is still a year left before the final rankings (which are worth about 8 cents American) are published, but Henson has not just played well, he’s been absolutely phenomenal, against Renardo Sidney (PF, 6’9″, 2009) and Derrick Favors(PF, 6’10”, 2009). The most interesting thing about Henson is that even though he’s playing against the best power forwards in the country, he’s most likely a wing in the NBA.

Ryan Harrow, suddenly popular

Think the phone stops ringing when a player commits? Not always, especially when that player is a relative unknown and hasn’t signed a LOI. Ryan Harrow was contacted by several schools after he committed to the NC State Wolfpack:

“I’m going to State,” he said. “That’s my school.”

Since his commitment to State, several schools, including Clemson, Florida, Tennessee, have called.

“But I’m going to State,” he said. “I like Coach [Sidney] Lowe and the atmosphere there a lot.

In high school football, players commit and de-commit all the time, which makes the recruiting process almost silly by comparison to basketball. But with more de-commitments happening in the b-ball world, it’s small wonder that players keep listening to offers even after they make their decision. Although players can change their minds until they sign their LOI, players committing early cause problems for colleges, who take the scholarships off the board once they get a player’s verbal agreement. Maryland coach Gary Williams would have rather spent his scholarships elsewhere rather than have a player hold onto it for months and then bail to another school. There probably needs to be limits as to how early a player can commit, and most college coaches agree.

Ra’Sean Dickey to leave Georgia Tech

Some news that slightly affects recruiting for Georgia Tech: fresh on the heels of getting the commit from Mfon Udofia, fifth year senior Ra’Sean Dickey has decided to leave school and pursue his pro career overseas. I remember watching Dickey play in rural Marlboro county, SC, at a time when he was being looked at by schools like UNC, not far from where Charlotte Bobcats PG Raymond Felton played high school ball. Ra’Sean’s potential took a detour due to injuries, so hopefully he can find success playing pro ball elsewhere.