High School Basketball Playoffs and the ACC

March 3, 2009

As high school playoffs kick off around the country, we turn our attention to the players who have committed or many end up in the ACC.

John Wall and Word of God have already lost the NCISSA 1A title game, after getting downed by United Faith as Ian Miller hit a 40-footer at the buzzer. This was only moments after Wall dribbled off of his foot and out of bounds:

Falcons senior Blake Smith hit a tying 3-point shot from the corner with 14.3 seconds left. Wall dribbled off his foot trying to take a championship-winning attempt.

Meanwhile, in Georgia, Walton is shaking up the AAAAA tournament after knocking out no.1 ranked McEachern last week. Next up, Walton will take on Norcross, the three-time defending champion. What’s important about all of this to ACC fans is that Walton has Ryan Harrow(PG, 6’0″,2010) , who is headed to NC State, and Glen Rice Jr. (SG, 6’4″, 2009), headed to Georgia Tech. Norcross has Taariq Muhammad (PG, 6’2″, 2009), who at one time was listing Wake Forest, but hasn’t mentioned them recently but still lists Virginia as a possibility.


Jordan Brand Classic Rosters

February 17, 2009

The biggest high school all-star game of the year is the McDonald’s All-American game, but the Jordan Brand Classic might be the second in line and rising fast. The rosters for this year’s teams have been announced and there’s quite a bit of future ACC to see.

Jordan Brand, a division of Nike, Inc., announced today during a special ESPNU Selection Show that the top-five ranked ESPNU 100 players – Xavier Henry (Oklahoma City, OK/Memphis), Derrick Favors (Atlanta, GA/Georgia Tech), John Henson (Tampa, FL/North Carolina), DeMarcus Cousins (Mobile, AL/Undecided) and Renardo Sidney (Los Angeles, CA/Undecided) – will headline the nation’s best 20 high school senior basketball players at the 2009 Jordan Brand Classic, presented by Foot Locker, at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, April 18 at 8:00 p.m. EST. This year’s event will once again be televised nationally live on ESPN2.

The Jordan Brand Classic will also continue to include a regional game, showcasing the top prep players from the New York City metropolitan area in a City vs. Suburbs showdown. In its second year of the event, an International game will tip-off the tripleheader by featuring 16 of the top 17-and-under players from around the world. A portion of the proceeds benefit the New York City-based charity, The Children’s Aid Society.

In addition to Henry, Favors, Henson, Cousins and Sidney, the event will also include Kenny Boynton (Plantation, FL/Florida), Avery Bradley (Henderson, NV/Texas), Dominic Cheek (Jersey City, NJ/Villanova), Abdul Gaddy (Tacoma, WA/Washington), Keith Gallon (Mouth of Wilson, VA/Oklahoma), Jordan Hamilton (Compton, CA/Texas), Lamont Jones (Mouth of Wilson, VA/Virginia Tech), Wally Judge (Jacksonville, FL/Kansas State), Tommy Mason-Griffin (Houston, TX/Oklahoma), Alex Oriakhi (Tilton, NH/UConn), Daniel Orton (Oklahoma City, OK/Kentucky), Mason Plumlee (Arden, NC/Duke), Durand Scott
(New York, NY/Miami-FL), John Wall (Raleigh, NC/Undecided) and Royce White (Minnetonka, MN/Minnesota).


SNY Invitational Announced

January 17, 2009

SNY Invitational Video

SNY, the television home of the New York Mets, Jets and BIG EAST Conference, today announced that the 2009 SNY Invitational presented by Time Warner Cable will tip off January 23-24 at 6pm and showcase four of the top ranked high school teams in New York. The teams include Jefferson, Mount Vernon, St. Raymond and Boys and Girls High School. All games will be broadcast live on SNY and feature SNY commentator Kevin Burkhardt calling all the action alongside SNY’s BIG EAST basketball analyst Tim Welsh. Brian Custer, host of the WheelHouse on SNY, will handle the sideline duties.

The SNY Invitational presented by Time Warner Cable was established in January 2008 with the goal of creating an annual high school basketball tournament that will be both a pillar of SNY’s involvement in the community, as well as New York’s elite high school basketball event. Throughout the two-day tournament, SNY will provide exposure to the schools and students by televising the games, as well as producing multiple vignettes and human interest pieces about the individual schools and their teams. In addition, SNY and Time Warner Cable’s NYC Region will make a donation totaling $20,000 to the participating schools.

“While the inaugural SNY Invitational exceeded our expectations, this year’s event is shaping up to be even more exciting as we aim to set a new benchmark for high school athletic events in New York,” said Steve Raab, President of SNY. “We’re honored to give back to these communities and showcase the participating high schools and their athletes.”

“Time Warner Cable has a long tradition of supporting educators and students. This includes free cable television and high speed online service to schools, scholarships and a number of initiatives offered throughout the year. This partnership with SNY is another example of how we encourage students to reach their full potential,” said Harriet Novet, Regional Vice President, Public Affairs for Time Warner Cable’s NYC Region. “We’re thrilled to once again support local high schools. Our customers can watch these games conveniently through local on demand Channel 1111,” added Novet.

In addition to stellar high school basketball, the SNY Invitational presented by Time Warner Cable will showcase prominent entertainment acts throughout the two-day event, such as E3 Dance Crew – a Hip-Hop dance crew that has competed in a plethora of competitions and is currently the 2008 Showtime at The Apollo dance champion, and Extreme Team, which combine the talents of gymnasts, tumblers and trampoline specialists known for their unique acrobatic slam-dunk performances. Other performances include Street Beats Group, a New York City-based dance and percussion troupe that combine the excitement and energy of off-Broadway hits like “Bring In Da Noise,” “Stomp” and “Blue Man Group” with their original, high-energy music and choreography. In addition, Acroback, a world class group of break dancers and tumblers will also perform at the event.

Fans in attendance will receive gift bags containing such valuable items as two New Jersey Nets tickets.
The 2009 SNY Invitational will take place at New York University’s Coles Sports Center in Manhattan. Time Warner Cable will serve as the presenting sponsor of the tournament. Other official sponsors of the event include the New York Daily News, McDonald’s, 2K Sports, Spalding, StubHub and New York’s 529 College Savings Program.

SNY and Time Warner Cable are providing fans a chance to win a new MacBook. To enter the SNY Invitational Sweepstakes, visit http://www.sny.tv/fan_zone/sweepstakes/invitational/form.jsp

SNY is available on Channel 26 and in high definition on channel 726 to Time Warner Cable NYC Region customers. Games will also be available on Channel 1111, Local Video On Demand, for Time Warner Cable customers in Manhattan, Staten Island, Queens, Brooklyn, Mt. Vernon and Bergen County, New Jersey.

For additional information on the SNY Invitational, or to purchase tickets, visit http://www.snyinvitational.com .

SNY Invitational TV Schedule on Friday, Jan. 23
Game 1: Friday, Jan. 23, 2009 at 6pm, SNY Jefferson High School vs. Mount Vernon
Game 2: Friday, Jan. 23, 2009 at 8pm, SNY St. Raymond vs. Boys and Girls High School

SNY Invitational TV Schedule on Saturday, Jan. 24
Game 1: Saturday, Jan. 24, 2009 at 6pm, SNY Consolation Game (TBD)
Game 2: Saturday, Jan. 24, 2009 at 8pm, SNY Championship Game (TBD)

SNY – which launched in 2006 – is the official television home of the New York Mets, Jets and the BIG EAST Conference. Featuring unparalleled access to the New York Mets with more than 120 live telecasts – all produced in HD – and other critically acclaimed Mets programming, SNY also delivers over 250 hours of year-round – exclusive – in-depth New York Jets content. As the official TV home of the BIG EAST Conference, SNY will air more than 125 BIG EAST football and basketball games, as well as other BIG EAST programming. As New York’s leader in local sports coverage, SNY delivers the most comprehensive sports access to all of the Tri-State area’s professional and collegiate sports teams through five nightly sports and entertainment programs broadcast in state-of-the-art HD from the network’s street-level studio in the heart of Manhattan. SNY’s programming roster also includes classic sports programming, original entertainment shows and exclusive interview and magazine programs. Founded by Sterling Entertainment Enterprises, Time Warner and Comcast, SNY is available to viewers throughout New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and northeastern Pennsylvania, and nationally on DIRECTV, Dish Network and AT&T U-Verse. For additional details on the network, visit http://www.sny.tv .

Time Warner Cable’s New York City Region serves over 1.4 million customers in four NYC boroughs (Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island and western Brooklyn), Mt. Vernon, Hudson Valley (Orange, Sullivan, Ulster Counties and parts of Dutchess, Greene and Delaware Counties) and Bergen and Hudson Counties, New Jersey. Visit timewarnercable.com/nynj

Time Warner Cable is the second-largest cable operator in the U.S., with technologically advanced, well-clustered systems located mainly in five geographic areas — New York State (including New York City), the Carolinas, Ohio, southern California (including Los Angeles) and Texas. As of September 30, 2008, Time Warner Cable served approximately 14.7 million customers who subscribed to one or more of its video, high speed data and voice services, representing approximately 34.2 million revenue generating units.


More Scouting From The Frank Spencer Classic

December 28, 2008

Frank Spencer Classic

Thanks again to James Blackburn for turning in these scouting reports for Saturday’s action of the Frank Spencer Classic prep basketball action in Winston-Salem, NC.

The championship games are Monday.

Scouting Report: Mt. Tabor vs. Ashe

Mt. Tabor proved to be too much for Ashe to handle defeating Ashe 64- 50 to advance to the championship game Monday night versus West Forsyth.

In my opinion this game featured the best guard and the post player in the Frank Spencer Classic in C.J. Harris (PG/SG, 6’3″, 2009) for Mt. Tabor and Tommy Spagnolo (PF/C, 6’7″, 2009) for Ashe. Mt. Tabor used an effective 2-3 zone with Harris and Josh Hicks at the perimeter disrupting Ashe County’s offense. This game featured several D-I commits.

C.J. Harris – Mt. Tabor (committed to Wake Forest) – C.J. had another great game, scoring 25 points and dishing out a few nice assist. He is smart, active on defense, and has the prettiest jumper in the tournament. He took whatever the defense gave him. If his defender played up on him he would drive around him and often finish with the foul. If his defender played off on him, he would hit the jumper, either from the 3-point line or the midrange.

Josh Hicks – Mt. Tabor (reportedly uncommitted) – smart player, plays on both ends of the court. Well rounded offensive game. Finished with 8 points.

Tommy Spagnolo– Ashe (committed to Radford) – Tommy struggled offensively this game and played limited minutes due to foul trouble. Tommy still played solid defense, blocking several shots and altering others, and rebounded the ball well on the defensive end. He has good form on his jumper. Tommy has a tendency to go towards the baseline when operating in the post and this sometimes gets him in trouble because he gets trapped. He again attracted double teams and is smart enough to know when to turn away from the double team and shoot or find the open man on a pass. Tommy finished with 6 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 blocks.

Tatum Lemly – Ashe- (SG, 6’0″, 2009) Tatum is very active on the offensive and defensive ends of the court. His offensive game is not the prettiest, but it is effective. He can score the ball in numerous ways from shooting the 3 to taking the ball to the basket strong. Needs to improve ball handling skills. Tatum finished with 18 points.

Scouting Report: West Forsyth vs. Reynolds

West Forsyth defeated Reynolds in the first game of the nightcap 67-58 to earn a berth in the Frank Spencer championship game on Monday night. The teams were tied at half time at 28 apiece, but the second half belonged to West. Reynolds hurt themselves by giving up too many offensive rebounds and turning the ball over in the second half. Several players are getting D-I attention for both teams.

Allan Jones –West Forsyth (SF/PF, 6’5″, 2009) – Can take it to the basket strong, athletic, good shot blocker, solid post moves, needs to improve jumper and ball handling skills. Allan finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds while being guarded by another D-I post player in Will Carpenter most of the game. Elon, Gardner Webb, and several D-II schools have expressed interest.

Ricky Brown – West Forsyth (SG, 6’3″, 2011) – Ricky is a great shooter and is active on the glass and defense. Ricky is a kid that you should keep an eye on; he has potential being only a sophomore. He finished with 10 points and 4 rebounds.

Will Carpenter – Reynolds (SF/PF, 6’6″, 2009) – Will is a good strong defender that can block shots and moves his feet well. He is good shooter for his size with 3-point range. He finished with 17 points. Schools that have taken a notice of Will are Lenoir Ryne, Air Force, and Winthrop.

Kendall Wicks – Reynolds (SG, 6’1″, 2010) – Great shooter who gets good elevation on his jump shot. He can shoot 3’s and midrange jumpers and possess the ability to create his own shot. He has a quick first step which he uses to get to the basket and finish. He needs to improve decision making and ball handling skills. Has potential. He finished with 17 points. Wright State, Elon, and UNCW have looked at him.

Photo Credit: Winston-Salem Journal, Bruce Chapman
Original Photo Link


Bank of America City of Palms Classic

December 11, 2008

Bank of America City of Palms Classic

Yesterday I posted some of the USA Today Top 25 high school boys’ basketball teams, and if you want to see several of the nationally ranked teams in the same tournament, then the Bank of America City of Palms Classic is for you.

Some of the teams coming are Lincoln (Lance Stepenscon), American Heritage (Kenny Boynton, Florida commit), Briarcrest (Leslie McDonald, North Carolina commit) , Duncanville HS, Word of God (John Wall), and a whole bunch of others.

American Heritage HS (Plantation, Florida), 19-9: Kenny Boynton, HoopScoop’s No. 2-rated senior, returns for an encore after his 61-point City of Palms game against Fort Myers Dunbar in 2007, and will be joined again by pint-sized point guard Ray Taylor.

Arlington Country Day (Jacksonville, Florida), 22-6: Apaches have won four consecutive state championships, and boast McDonald’s All-American hopeful 6-9 Wally Judge and national top-100 senior 6-4 Rodney McGruder (both committed to Kansas State), plus 6-4 Emari Bailey.

Briarcrest HS (Memphis, Tennessee), 22-12: Leslie McDonald, a 6-5 guard and HoopScoop’s 15th-rated senior (committed to North Carolina), teamed with fellow seniors 6-9 Johnny Williams and 6-2 Gregg Wooten to win state title.

Dunbar HS (Fort Myers, Florida), 21-8: Tigers reached 3A Final Four behind 6-4 junior David Paulk & sophomores Melvin German and Dontel Singleton. But the arrival of one of the state’s top five sophs, 5-11 Darius Perkins, from Miami Pace makes Dunbar even stronger.

Duncanville HS (Duncanville, Texas), 36-2: Led by 6-6 Shawn Williams (Texas), 6-5 Roger Franklin (Oklahoma State) and 6-foot Roger Dowell, all national top-100 seniors, and juniors 6-9 Perry Jones and 6-foot Jamison Sterns (both committed to Baylor), the Panthers are ranked No. 1 in the nation by ESPN.com and are 75-2 over the past two seasons.

Fayette County HS (Fayetteville, Georgia), 23-10: The Tigers rode 6-6 consensus top-25 senior Noel Johnson (25 ppg, 9 rpg), committed to USC, all the way to the Class 4A state title game and earned a City of Palms berth after an appearance in last year’s Sunshine Series.

Fort Myers HS (Fort Myers, Florida), 26-4: Green Wave won district and county titles and reached Class 5A regional semis. They will build around 6-11 senior Josh Nicholas, 6-4 senior John-Michael Hodge, 6-3 sophomore Evin Graham and 6-5 sophomore Matt Yance.

Lincoln HS (Brooklyn, New York), 28-4: The 6-5 Lance Stephenson, HoopScoop’s No. 1-rated senior and dubbed “Born Ready” by the Rucker Park regulars in New York City, has starred for three straight city champions. Can he and 6-8 senior James Padgett (Maryland) make it 4-for-4 for the Railsplitters?

Mater Dei HS (Santa Ana, California), 35-1: Monarchs could be nation’s preseason No. 1 team, led by 6-10 senior twin-tower brothers David & Travis Wear, who already have committed to North Carolina, and national top-30 juniors Tyler Lamb (UCLA) and Gary Franklin.

Olympia HS (Orlando, Florida), 24-3: Class 6A Titans won inaugural McDonald’s Tampa Hoops Classic and are the state’s consensus preseason No. 1 team, led by seniors Dexter Fields (committed to UAB), William Green (Western Kentucky), Jamel Marshall (Florida International) and Martell Blue.

Roman Catholic HS (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), 19-6: The Cahillites, upset in the Catholic playoffs after a 14-0 regular-season rampage through the Southern Division, boast 6-foot Malik Wayns (committed to Villanova), HoopScoop’s No. 11 senior, top junior 6-foot Rakeem Brookins and 6-7 senior Koron Reed.

St. Patrick HS (Elizabeth, New Jersey), 25-5: Kevin Boyle’s Celtics will make record eighth City of Palms appearance, powered by consensus top-10 senior 6-3 Dexter Strickland (committed to North Carolina), 6-8 senior Paris Bennett (George Mason), 6-1 junior Kyrie Irving (Villanova) and 6-7 Michael Gilchrist, HoopScoop’s No. 2-rated sophomore.

Westchester HS (Los Angeles, California), 28-5: The young Comets put their perfect 14-0 City of Palms record (tourney titles in 2000-01 and 2003) on the line, led by national top-25 junior 6-7 Dwayne Polee (committed to USC), 6-4 Kareem Jamar and 6-2 Jordin Mayes.

Wheeler HS (Marietta, Georgia), 30-3: Highly touted seniors 6-7 Ari Stewart (committed to Wake Forest), 6-8 Richard Howell (N.C. State) and 6-3 Tahj Tate fell one game shy of giving Coach Doug Lipscomb his fifth state title in 15 seasons, but are among four returning starters.

Winter Park HS (Winter Park, Florida), 28-2: The Wildcats won their first 21 games, led by national top-25 sophomore 6-3 Austin Rivers, son of Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers.

Word of God (Raleigh, North Carolina), 31-3: John Wall, a 6-3 point guard and Rivals’ No. 1 senior, teamed with 6-9 C.J. Leslie (committed to N.C. State), HoopScoop’s No. 20 junior, to lead the Holy Rams to a second-straight NCISAA Class 1A state title.

There are a ton of ACC commits in this year’s tournament, including Wake Forest’s Ari Stewart, UNC’s John Henson and NC State’s C.J. Leslie.


Winston-Salem Prep Still Gunning for Title

December 9, 2008

A local team and coach who just puts together solid teams year after year is Winston-Salem Prep, last year’s winners of the North Carolina 1-A boys title. This year’s team is without their star center (he’s in Miami), but they still have a ton of talent, as I’ve written about before.

Here’s a nice read about the W-S Prep team, a bunch great players and great guys. I need to get some video of these guys posted soon. One of my favorite under the radar shooters, Justin Parham (PG/SG, 5’9″, 2009) plays for Winston-Salem Prep.

John Wall to play in Missouri

Tickets are on sale for the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions, to be held January 15-17 in at JQH Arena at Missouri State University. This tournament will feature Word of God Academy out of Raleigh, which means, yes John Wall (PG, 6’4″, 2009) and Duke commit Ryan Kelly(PF, 6’10”, 2009).


Durand Scott Basketball Recruiting Update

September 25, 2008

Durand Scott (SG/SF, 6’5″, 2009), a player who you might have seen recently playing in Rucker Park has a list of eight schools, including some ACC colleges.

Alex recently interviewed Scott, who confirmed his list of eight, including a ‘mystery’ school:

“UCLA, Tennessee, UConn, Memphis, Virginia, Miami, . . . Xavier [and] . . . [Pause] I can’t remember the last one . . .”

Shortly after this interview, Scott cut his list to five, eliminating Virginia and Xavier, but keeping Pitt (which Alex correctly guessed as the mystery school).

So, Scott’s current list still includes Miami.

More on Derrick Favors

I also wanted to follow up on a story we recently shared about Derrick Favors (PF, 6’9″, 2009), where the Atlanta Journal-Consitution reported that Favors was listing six schools. Favors was not actually quoted as saying that he had eliminated anyone, but it is important to note that Connecticut was also listed. Many services have UConn as completely out of it, so for now it seems like a bit more mystery.