Weekend Basketball – Frank Spencer Classic

December 24, 2008

This weekend is the conclusion of the Frank Spencer tournament in Winston-Salem, which includes Mount Tabor High School, whose star players are C.J. Harris (PG/SG, 6’2″, 2009), a Wake Forest commit, and Mike Grace (PG, 6’0″, 2009), who has committed to Yale, and along with Josh Hicks (SG, 6’2″, 2009), are the defending Spencer Champs and are still the team to beat this year.

Here’s a preview write up on the tournament:

“We have finally got some time to practice without preparing for a game,” Muse said. “We have had three of the hardest practices of the year – the day after the Page game and Monday and Tuesday of this week. We worked on our fundamentals – shooting, passing, dribbling and footwork as well as a great deal of conditioning to be ready to play on a college size court.

Meanwhile, at the City of Palms Classic title was won in a UNC basketball recruit studded affair, with Travis and David Wear (PF,6’9″,2009) going against UNC commit Dexter Strickland (PG/SG, 6’3″, 2009) and St. Patrick. Mater Dei is ranked #1 in the country in some polls. In other City of Palms action, future Tar Heel John Henson scored a triple double with 22 points, 12 rebound and 10 blocks. I’ve always been very, very impressed with Henson’s game and think he’s got an NBA paycheck in his future, as long as he can build his frame up to withstand the contact. Playing in the ACC will help.


ACC Basketball Recruiting Rundown, Dec 14

December 14, 2008

I’ve got a ton of information for you to wade through today, so let’s just get into it:

First, even though Dominic Cheek (SG, 6’5″, 2009) eliminated all the ACC schools from his list some time ago, he’s committed to Villanova…it would have been nice to see such a deep sharpshooter in the ACC.

Doron Lamb (SG, 6’4″, 2010) scored 27 points in a victory over Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago. Young’s leading scorer was Ahmad Starks (PG, 5’8″, 2010), who has already given a verbal to Oregon State. Lamont Jones (PG/SG, 6’0″, 2009) was the leading scorer for Oak Hill with 28 points and already has committed to Virginia Tech.

Justin Young has some notes on NC State commit Lorenzo Brown (SG, 6’4″, 2009):

…what a great player Lorenzo Brown is. The question mark surrounding the future N.C. State has always been his ability to take over in the home stretch.

TBO Sports has a write up on John Henson (SF, 6’10” , 2009), the UNC commit who will be an impact player for the Heels:

John Henson was just a regular high school student once. He was an above-average small forward entering high school, but between his sophomore and junior years at Round Rock High in Texas, Henson grew 6 inches.

Henson is also mentioned in this article, which talks about how when college coaches and scouts start watching a player, so do the NCAA investigators:

With stakes that high, the NCAA, which governs college sports, is increasingly wary of what colleges sometimes do to get those difference-making athletes. Getting the star might mean first taking care of his friend, family members, or those in the inner circle who simply have their hands out.

I run into these ‘handlers’ all the time when I scout teams. Sometimes they’re just guys who are really trying to help players, but often they are looking for a payout.

In the same article, we see whatever-happened-to Gus Gilchrist, who Maryland fans thought would be helping out in the paint at Maryland. Maybe Maryland wasn’t interested in ‘creating jobs’ for pals?

Today, for instance, 6-foot-10 center Gus Gilchrist will make his debut for the University of South Florida. He is a potential franchise player for the Bulls, who have mostly been overmatched in basketball since joining the Big East Conference. Shortly after Gilchrist entered USF’s program last summer, the Bulls created a job as a video and conditioning assistant for one of his closest friends.

This is, of course, why the number on point guard in the 2009 class, John Wall (PG, 6’4″, 2009) is already being watched, and why rumors abound.


Basketball Recruiting Roundup 11/27/2008

November 27, 2008

Some minor notes today… Jamil Wilson (SF, 6’7″, 2009), the slashing player who was at one time listing Duke as a possibility seems to have completely moved away from the Blue Devils and is leaning more towards Michigan State, Texas, Oregon or Marquette. We are moving our tracking of Wilson over to our Basketball Recruiting blog, where we discuss national players.

Wilson is not expected to decide on a school until March, but he has said he was impressed with his visit to Michigan State and it seems that if he was to decide before then, possibly the Spartans would be the team he’d go with.

John Henson Makes An Impact

If you are a high school basketball coach, hearing that a 6’10” player suddenly transferred to your school is great news. When that player is UNC recruiting commitment John Henson (SF, 6’10”, 2009), a player who has a great shot at being a first round NBA pick, it’s the surprise of a career.

John Henson arrived at Florida’s Sickles High School and made an impact before he’d even played a game or attended a practice, putting the high school into the national recruiting scene. He continues to bring good fortune to the school, and should make them a serious contender for the state title. Yeah, he’s that good.

ACC fans who root against Carolina are not going to like the lineup next season of Davis, Zeller and Henson – three players who will likely all end up in the NBA.


John Henson Basketball Video

November 3, 2008

The 2009 phenom SF John Henson (SF, 6’10”, 2009) is a player who I’ve said is a wing who woke up one day and had big man height. Henson is a good shooter, and not ‘big man’ range only. He’s a player who can light it up from the outside.

The difference that Henson brings is that unlike some guys with size who can play SG (Kobe Bryant, Mike Dunleavy), Henson has big man blocking skills. Being able to block a ton of shots as a big man has as much to do with timing as it does height.

Sure, being 6’10” makes it easier to block shots, but there are tons of big men who aren’t really shot blockers at all.

Here’s some video of Henson:


Kenny Boynton and the big game

October 11, 2008

Kenny Boynton (PG/SG, 6’2″, 2009), being heavily pursued by Duke and Georgia Tech, will have to be ready to play on bigger stages than ever before, more often than ever before, if he decides to come to the ACC, with a rabid fanbase and almost all games televised.

Boynton seems to be the type of player who would thrive in this environment, as evidenced in this story from the Miami Herald:

“I look forward to the big show,” said Boynton, who averaged a state-best 34.5 points as a Parade All-American a year ago. “I always want to put on a bigger performance so I could give fans their money’s worth and they could come back to watch me.”

John Henson and his sister

Meanwhile, UNC commit John Henson (SF, 6’10”, 2009) has relocated to the same state as Boynton, and ESPN has an article about Henson and his sister, Amber, who is also a solid basketball player, thinks that some of the attention she gets is because of her brother:

Amber says she doesn’t mind playing in her brother’s shadow. She thinks name recognition helped her.

“Now he’s doing his own thing and I am doing my own thing,” Amber said. “I kind of like it because his name’s out there and people [say] ‘That’s his sister; she must be good, too.’ Then I kind of get my shine.”

Maryland in in with 2009 big man

Oh, and Maryland is in the final two for big man Jordan Williams (PF, 6’10”, 2009), in competition with St. John’s.


John Henson talks about his change in schools

September 12, 2008

Recently, John Henson (SF, 6’10”, 2009), a UNC commit and rising superstar, relocated to the Tampa area to play basketball for Sickles High School, bringing his big time game and a level of notoriety to the school.

In this interview with Henson by Tampa Bay Online, he talks about the move and what it’s been like going from a 6’4″ guard to a 6’10” big time prospect in such a short time:

When you grew 6 inches in 18 months, what was that experience like?

It was tough, because when I first shot up, my knees were hurting, I couldn’t run and it hurt to jump. It was tough, but once my body adjusted, my knees stopped hurting and my feet stopped hurting. My game improved so much after everything settled in.

One of the reasons I think Henson will be playing the wing at UNC is because he’s got guard skills, and not just ‘big man’ guard skills, but actual guard skills.


John Henson already a ‘local’

August 21, 2008

When a five star, big time ACC commit moves to your city, you can immediately claim him as a ‘local’ ball player to add to your city’s sports history. This is the case as Tampa embraces UNC commit John Henson (SF, 6’10”, 2009) as one of their own, already comparing him to ‘past local legends’ mere days after his arrival.

Scroll to the end and you’ll see some Henson video from the GBOA South in Atlanta a few weeks back. One thing I notice with Henson is his similarity to Rasheed Wallace on his alley oop dunks. Not to put to much pressure on him, or anything.