Kadeem Jack Dunks

May 20, 2010

Kadeem Jack, the 6’9″ post player from the class of 2010 has gone from being a player who was sort of off the radar to being front in center over the past few weeks, as chronicled here.

Thanks again to ScoutsFocus, who provided a nice interview a few days ago with Jack and his thoughts regarding UNC, Kentucky, Miami and Arizona and where he might end up.

Now ScoutsFocus has an updated post with new Kadeem Jack video, and this time he’s sneaking in and dunking over McDonald’s All American Jayvaughn Pinkston:

Kadeem Jack Dunk

While the clip is short, it shows the one thing that I love when I watch a big man play at any level: timing. Timing can’t be taught, and timing is the basis for so many important skills: rebounding, shot blocking, putbacks and catches on the run. Now, this small clip doesn’t automatically put Jack into Dennis Rodman territory, but it’s a nice little slice of what I’ve seen from him before.


Plumlee, Wear play well in Argentina

July 16, 2008

I haven’t mentioned the U-18 USA Basketball team results, but there are several ACC targets who made the roster and are playing in the FIBA Americas U18 Championship right now in Argentina. Mentioned in the blurb below from the Winston-Salem Journal, Duke commit Mason Plumlee (PF, 6’11”, 2009) continues to look good and UNC commit Travis Wear has gotten in on the action:

The USA Basketball men’s U 18 National Team (2-0) took control early and ran away with a 115-51 victory over the Bahamas (0-2) yesterday afternoon at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Formosa, Argentina. For the second game in a row, Travis Wear, who has committed to North Carolina, scored 15 points to lead the USA.

The U.S. took the lead 1:30 into the game; all 12 players scored. Mason Plumlee of Arden scored 14 points and had 14 rebounds.

In its tournament opener Monday, the United States defeated Venezuela 82-73. Wear led the U.S. with 15 points and seven rebounds, and Raleigh Ravenscroft’s Ryan Kelly added 12 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.

Ryan Kelly (PF, 6’10”, 2009) is a guy who several ACC teams are competing for as well, but what is really intriguing is that in addition to UNC, NC State and Wake Forest, Kelly lists Davidson. Davidson’s coach Bob McKillop is coaching the U-18 team right now and certainly is getting a lot of time with Kelly. The other point is that although Davidson has been a competitive program under McKillop, getting more big recruits will keep them in the national scene.

The Al Woods Show

I had a blast talking with Al Woods during his show yesterday, and I appreciate him having me on. We talked about the site, Brandon Jennings, and several other things basketball-related. If you want to hear the show, click the link below and listen to the show for July 15, 2008. I am on in the first segment.


Austin Rivers’ List Includes UNC

July 1, 2008

You might have last seen Austin Rivers (PG, 6’3″, 2011) standing on the sideline with his dad as the Boston Celtics mercilessly pounded the Los Angeles Lakers and walked away with championship banner number seventeen. The slender Rivers seemed to calmly take it all in as his dad tried to maintain some semblance of order amid the chaos.

But now it’s time to turn some of the spotlight on the younger Rivers, whose brother is already playing D1 ball. Alex asks him about his game and his college options in this interview with Rivers, who gives a breakdown of who’s offered and who he’s considering:

NB: What schools are you currently considering?
AR: Florida, right now. . . . University of Florida, that’s most likely.

NB: Is that your dream school?
AR: It’s one of them. I’ve always liked them and Texas, and North Carolina, and Kansas. Those are the . . . four right there.

NB: Who do currently have an offer from?
AR: Florida, [Central Florida], and . . . I’m going to try to go visit Memphis, Kansas, and Texas.

Of course, a lot of players list UNC and Kansas, but time will tell.

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ACC Basketball Recruiting Roundup, 6/17/2008

June 17, 2008

So lots of stuff to get into…

Emmanuel Negedu, Memphis dunkasaurus session

Emmanuel Negedu (6’7″, PF, 2008 ) is expected to make his decision this week. So far the quietest visits were Tennesee and Georgia Tech, but lots of writers chimed in on his Indiana and Memphis visits. The consensus from the outside looking in has been that Indiana did not impress him as much as they wanted but the Memphis visit went well. One highlight of the Tiger visit was Negedu showing off his dunkability:

After the practice was over, Negedu stepped on the court and demonstrated his jumping ability. I had heard a rumor that he could stand underneath the basket, jump up and touch his forehead on the rim. While I did not see him do this, I can say that I think it is very possible. Negedu, while wearing flip flops, showed off a variety of windmill and backwards dunks.

Okay, flip-flops? I am equally impressed and worried that he would slip and fall, probably tearing his ACL in a season ending collapse. I seriously hope the ‘flip-flops’ weren’t those flimsy shower slippers and maybe something with a buckle? I mean, windmill dunks in flip-flops…who are you, Evel Knievel? (for all you kids out there, Mr. Kneival was a daredevil motorscylist from way back in the day…)

Meanwhile, Adam Zagoria has spoken to Negedu’s prep schoool coach, who plays it close to the vest…but this should all be over this week.

John Henson and the national team

So it turns out John Henson (6’10”, SF/PF, 2009, UNC) wasn’t snubbed for the US basketball U-18 team:

One of the fastest-rising prospects in recent years, Henson was asked to compete for a spot on the national team but didn’t want to miss Nike’s LeBron James Skills Academy in Akron from July 5-9.

So Henson just decided to go a different way, NOT USA Basketball ignoring him.


image courtesy Scout.com

Doron Lamb’s ‘dream school’

Meanwhile, it looked like Doron Lamb (6’4″,SG,2010) a Duke, Maryland and Georgia Tech target, was favoring Louisville, but now he says there is no leader although Syracuse is his ‘dream school’. Looks like it will be tough to get him away from the Big East. Maybe, if that that’s true, Maryland has the best shot?

Dante Taylor

Our boy Alex Schwartz is the man when it comes to talking to some of the best prospects in the East. Check out this awesome interview with offensive stud Dante Taylor (6’8″, PF, 2009), who is a Maryland target. Although it seems like he’s gettin’ a lot of Big East love, Maryland needs an inside scorer in the worst way.


UNC Basketball Recruit John Henson Interview

June 7, 2008

Rivals.com has an interview with John Henson (6’10”, SF/PF, 2009), who has already committed to the North Carolina Tar Heels. In this interview Henson talks about his recent meteoric rise in the national rankings and being compared to former UNC one and done phenom Brandon Wright:

“I think it’s great to be compared to a guy like him, and I believe my game is similar in many aspects but it also differs because I like to play
outsidea lot more than Wright. That’s definitely the main thing that I do more so than him, playing more on the perimeter.”

Comparisons between Wright and Henson are only accurate in that both are slender post players coming in highly touted. Wright was a phenomenal inside scorer, while Henson has the handle and agility to play the small forward. Henson can shoot from deep and slash like a guard.

I still think Henson is going to play the SF spot in the pros and probably will at UNC.


UNC Recruiting Notes, 2009; Doron Lamb to Oak Hill?

May 14, 2008

UNC is going after shooting guards heavily for 2009, offering Xavier Henry (6’6”), Dominic Cheek (6’6”), Leslie McDonald (6’4”), and Nolan Dennis (6’5”). This is all in addition to already signing Dexter Strickland (6’3”). It’s obvious that UNC feels they will need to load up at that position, especially with two big men coming from the Class of 2008 and three more bigs already committed for 2009. UNC will be loaded with high caliber big men. With PG Larry Drew coming in to back up Bobby Frasor next season, and Class of 2010 PG Kendall Marshall already inked, UNC is already loaded with incoming firepower, but one shooting guard from the 2009 class would make them incredibly deep. Coach Roy Williams loves to push the ball, and having a deep team makes that strategy very effective.

Given this, I just don’t see UNC going after John Wall (PG, 6’3”), even though he’s a superstar talent and probably will go quickly to the NBA. Wall still lists North Carolina, but the aura around Wall is that he’s going to be one-and-done, and UNC is already pretty set at PG without taking him. At this point, it seems (from the outside looking in) like Wall is more interested in the Heels than they are with him, but who knows? Duke hasn’t offered either, and I said this before, but when the #1 PG in the country plays in Raleigh and neither Duke or UNC have officially extended an offer, it means there is more that meets the eye, if you know what I mean.

I still think Wall looks like he’s Memphis bound, but that’s just trying to read the tea leaves. Wall is an explosive player who can really push the ball, and he would definitely be able to play in the frenetic style that UNC plays, but it may be just the situation around Wall that is keeping him from playing in Chapel Hill or Durham. That said, NC State has offered Wall as well, so if he wanted to stay close to home and play in the ACC, there is opportunity.

Oh, one last thing, Class of 2010 guard Doron Lamb(6’4”, SG) , current target of Maryland and Georgia Tech, is rumored to be considering playing for Oak Hill next season.


Class Rankings and UNC Targets

May 6, 2008

With some players at UNC “testing the waters” about going pro, and with the bevy of big men that UNC is bringing in for 2008 and 2009, CarolinaBBall points out that the Tar Heels are almost exclusively recruiting wings at this point.

2008 Recruiting Class Rankings

Zagsblog has posted the list of top 2008 Recruiting Classes rankings as defined by Hoop Scoop. The only ACC school to make the list is Florida State at #9.

John Wall & Daniel Orton

NewsOK.com (Oklahoma) is reporting that new OSU head coach Travis Ford is actively recruiting Daniel Orton (6’9″, C) and John Wall (6’3″,PG), two ACC prospects.


Video: Dexter Strickland, Dominic Cheek, Kenny Boynton

April 19, 2008

Some more video of several players, including UNC commit Dexter Strickland and ACC targets Dominic Cheek, Lance Stephenson and Kenny Boynton can be found here.

These clips are pretty good, just highlight moves and some slow motion replays. Hard to tell from these clips, but Strickland’s follow through looks pretty good. He may have a little “sharp right turn” at the end of his shot, which could be a bit of a problem when he’s covered by bigger guards in the ACC (shots have to be a lot more accurate when you’re guarded by a guy two inches taller than you and every bit as fast), but whenever I’ve seen him, his shots are almost always in transition – his shot may not have any flaws, it could just be the momentum of the particular play.

Kenny Boynton has a nice running jumper, although on his three pointers I noticed a little tendency to “slingshot” a little bit. Of course, I’m more of the school that thinks consistency of shot may be more valuable than form. I do tend to notice little things about player’s shots. Boynton plays pretty much like a shooting guard, which at 6’2″ he can get by with in college. I think he might struggle initially if he had to handle the ball against pure point guards, but he can handle the ball well enough for a SG. He tends to carry the ball a little bit, which can turn into a full blown problem when facing a little guy with good hands. Boynton does seem to have nice body control, even in the lane. He can take a bit of contact, alter his shot and finish.


Dominic Cheek on ACC Schools

April 17, 2008

New Jersey shooting guard Dominic Cheek talks about his recruiting in this interview at North Star Basketball. Cheek is actively being recruited by several schools in the ACC, but he has always been a fan of UNC:

NB: What are some of the schools?
DC: Villanova, Texas, Wake Forest, Seton Hall, Rutgers, Florida, Marquette, Kansas, it’s just . . . a lot of colleges.

NB: What are you looking for in a school?
DC: Great academics and a great coach that can get me to the next level.

NB: Is there a school that growing up you’ve always wanted to play for, that you always dreamed of playing for?
DC: Oh yeah, it was North Carolina, [that was] my school really, [while] growing up.

However, Cheek points out that he does not have a clear leader at this point.

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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