Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Report from Clemson University Team Camp


North Paulding Men's Basketball returned to Clemson University for their annual pilgrimage into ACC country, helping prepare for the 2013-14 campaign.

Coach Ryan Dyer reported that the 'Pack went 6-4 against high level competition - posting victories against high schools from Henderson, SC, Flowery, TX, Maryland Heights, MO, Gulf Coast, FL, Johns Creek, GA, and Pikeville, TN.

Everyone contributed and got better from the summer competition.  Two players had excellent camp performances:  Dylan Autherieth Averaged 18 PPG with Quincy Jackson contributing 15 PPG.  The Pack will now play 20 games in 2 weeks to help prepare for the upcoming season!

By Steve Rodriguez

Monday, June 24, 2013

Rivals ranks top performers at NBPA Top 100 Camp

In our final look at the NBPA Top 100 Camp, we take a look at some players at camp who either helped right the ship, such as Shaqquan Aaron, or were pleasant surprises, such as Angel Delgado.
SF Shaqquan Aaron, Seattle (Wa.) Rainier Beach
Playing with Rotary Select in Nike's EYBL, Aaron shot under 40 percent from the field overall and under 30 percent from 3-point land. A tall and smooth wing, Aaron stopped settling for jumpers after a slow first game and became an off the dribble playmaker. The strength coaches at Louisville will obviously want to work with him but he looks real good when he's playing an all-around game like he did in Charlottesville.

PF Leron Black, Memphis (Tenn.) White Station
Like Aaron, Black had been inconsistent. He was mostly up at NBPA Camp, where he once again looked to be more of an activity guy. His jump shot may not be textbook, but it was going in and he's getting to be pretty consistent with it from mid-range. It was a good camp for him.

Paschal Chukwu, Fairfield (Conn.) Prep
Heading into NBPA, we didn't know a lot about the four-star 7-footer. He is skinny and gets pushed around some, but we learned that he will fight back and has some game. Chukwu runs the floor, blocks or alters shots and has reasonable touch around the rim.

PF Chance Comanche, Los Angeles (Calif.) View Park (2015)
Few outside of the West Coast had gotten a chance to see Comanche and he impressed. His listed 6-foot-11 size seems a bit on the generous side but he has offensive skill and plenty of potential. He's a lock to make it into the revised 2015 rankings before July's live period.

PF Angel Delgado, Troy (N.Y.) Redemption
A beastly 6-foot-8 rebounder, Delgado plays a physical brand of basketball. He can score in transition, has a nice jump hook and really competes. Once way off the radar, he's established himself as a high-major prospect and likely four-star prospect in 2014.

SG Tadric Jackson, Tift (Ga.) County
Not that many people really talked about him during camp, but the 6-foot-2 Jackson was solid at NBPA. He's strong and athletic in the open court and plays with confidence. Jackson is built for contact and when he's making jumpers like he did at camp, he can be a dangerous scorer.

SG/PG Robert Johnson, Richmond (Va.) Benedictine
After a hot start to the spring, Johnson cooled down the last couple of sessions of the EYBL. He really picked it up during camp and was easily one of the biggest surprises.

SF Derrick Jones, Radnor (Pa.) Archbishop Carroll (2015)
Headed into camp, Jones was already well-regarded and a legitimate top-40 player in the class of 2015. The high-flying wing needs another bump from that level and he might even make his way to five-star status. His size (6-foot-6), tremendous athleticism, great first step, plus and a jumper that has to be respected, make him a very high-level prospect.

SG/PG Romelo Trimble, Arlington (Va.) Bishop O'Connell
Trimble may end up being more of a 2/1 combo guard in college than a point guard. He can run the point and well, but his ability to shoot from deep makes him a valuable secondary ball-handler. He is also a tough/physical defender.

PF Craig Victor, New Orleans (La.) St. Augustine
Victor wasn't really a surprise and he didn't really need to help his stock at all. But, he just missed inclusion on the top 10 performers list and it was important to get him some type of recognition. The high-end four-star has embraced playing with physicality and supplements his ability to score around the rim with a good-looking jumper from mid-range.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Once more unto the breach....

The NBA Finals have placed before us some rather compelling storylines.

1.  The Coronation.  Although still not Michael, Lebron "King" James will be well on his way to joining His Airness on the Mt. Rushmore of NBA basketball with a series victory over the Spurs, and ending the Spurs dynasty as a relic of the first decade of the new millennium.

Or, will we see....

2.  The Dynasty Confirmed.  If the Spurs pull the series out, with a  diminished Parker, and a useless Ginobli, then we will have to confirm them as one of the great all-time teams.  5 championship, 15 years, and defeating the heir apparent in Lebron.

And looking to the future....

3.  Wade / Bosh 2013-14.  Wade silenced some of his critics with his best performance in years.  Bosh was better.  But will we see the Big 3 in its current make up next year.  Wade will be back, but it is clear father time is taking its toll.  Bosh's contract is up - a series loss and most likely he will be dismissed for young, more physical talent.  All of which will forgotten should the Heat prevail.

The Heat were dead-to-rites a few nights ago, and now the series pendulum has swung back in their favor.  Quite frankly, I have never seen a series quite like it, with such huge changes of fortune.    Bottom line - for Lebron to be considered ONE of the greats, he will need to carry his team, once more, to the podium and receive the Larry O'Brien trophy.

National U-16 is the new "Dream Team"

Remember when the Dream Team was routing and thoroughly embarrassing opponents by ridiculous scorelines? The pre-“Wow, the rest of the world can play basketball, huh?” days? Well, those have long since been shown the door by the likes of Dirk Nowitzki and Manu Ginobili, but flashes of that dominance still rears its ugly head once in awhile. It did at the senior during the London Olympics when Carmelo Anthony and crew routed Nigeria 156-73.

On Tuesday, that dominance popped up at the U-16 level, with Team USA rolling to a 130-31 opening victory in the FIBA Americas Championship against Mexico.
In case you’re wondering, 99 points is a larger margin of victory than the original Dream Team or any U.S. senior national team has ever compiled. That it came against Mexico, a country far more familiar an organized in basketball competition than the likes of Nigeria (that 86-point margin of victory is the largest for the U.S. at the senior level), is a second strong indication of just how good this U-16 team is.
So are the three FIBA U-16 America's records that the U.S. team's rout produced on Tuesday, with the team tying the mark for most points in a game and setting new marks for most field goals made (56) and rebounds (69).
The team's win on Wednesday did come by 99 points, but it was still an impressive one. The U.S. knocked off Argentina, potentially the second-best team in the tournament, by a score of 96-72. That 24-point edge could have been even more as well, as the Americans took their foot off the gas in the third period and let Argentina close a 22-point lead to 17 before the U.S. pushed it back out to blowout proportions again.
Of course, after the impromptu dunk off that Prep Rally brought you earlier this week from this U-16 team’s practice we already knew that this team is chock full of ridiculous athletes. Now we know it’s absolutely crammed to the brim with slicing and dicing scorers, too. As noted by MaxPreps, seven different Americans finished the rout in double figures, with both Ivan Rabb and Harry Giles (remember him?) finishing with double-doubles.
Diamond Stone, a powerful and multidimensional 6-foot-9 big man, led the U.S. with 20 points and 8 rebounds.
The current USA U-16 national team may be as dominant as the Dream Team — USA BasketballThe current USA U-16 national team may be as dominant as the Dream Team — USA Basketball
"I was very pleased with the team's effort," USA head coach Don Showalter told MaxPreps of the win. "There are three things that we try to instill in our players. The first is unselfishness, the second is to play smart and the third is to play aggressively. I thought we accomplished those three things today."
With a 99-point win, it would be some chore for Showalter not to be happy with the way his team performed.

Whether the young, talented Americans can keep up their ridiculous scoring clip remains to be seen. The U.S. will continue play at the FIBA Americas Championship in Uruguay, and have matchups with the Bahamas and then the advancing squads from the other round robin bracket -- Canada and either Chile or Puerto Rico -- still to come.
If they keep rolling to 10-0 starts and 68-16 halftime edges, it doesn’t matter who the Americans line up against. They’ll steamroll them all, just like their more famous forebears did in Barcelona.
Want more on the best stories in high school sports? Visit RivalsHigh or connect with Prep Rally on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Nike ELITE 100 Camp Report from St. Louis

ST. LOUIS -- Over the weekend, the 2013 edition of Nike's Elite 100 camp wrapped up on the campus of Saint Louis University. Composed of the nation's top rising juniors and sophomores, the Elite 100 is a camp designed for evaluation rather than exposure. Many top players burst onto the scene each summer at the Elite 100. In this installment of camp coverage, we take a look at some of the standout big men from the class of 2015 who were in attendance.
Evan Boudreaux: In an ideal world, you could take every other player and point him in the direction of Boudreaux and tell him that's how you do it. What we mean is that he is skilled, he takes what is given to him, and he competes within a team concept. He's a rugged kid who is most successful playing from five to 15 feet, and he has a feel for scoring the rock.

Myles Carter plays bigger than his 6-foot-7 frame.
Myles Carter: With his 7-foot-2 wingspan and willingness to play with an edge around the rim, Carter plays a lot bigger than his 6-foot-7 and 210-pound size. The Chicago native got himself into trouble trying to put the ball on the floor or shoot jumpers beyond 12 feet. But mostly he played like a man on the glass, he ran the floor and he did what you would like an enforcer to do around the basket.
Shawntrez Davis: Since we got our first look at him in April, Davis has been coming on strong. Lean and quick, Davis is speedy from one end to the other. He can play pogo stick basketball around the rim. His instincts on the glass are good, and his jumper is solid when he's not forcing deep shots outside his range. He isn't all the way there, but he's improving quickly and his upside remains strong.
Tyler Davis: From this point last year until now, the 6-foot-9 center from Texas has to be one of the most improved players. It isn't just what he has done with his game but what he has done to trim excess pounds and get into better shape. He's still 274 pounds, but he shows good feet and soft touch. He probably had the best hands of any big man in camp, and he didn't suffer from a case of the dropsies like so many others.
Noah Dickerson: He's a space-eating big man from Georgia who is tough on the glass, and it's hard not to see some of Maryland sophomore-to-be Charles Mitchell in Dickerson's game. One of the few big men in camp who regularly caught post feeds and secured rebounds without trouble, Dickerson also makes effective use of the glass and is a crafty scorer for a primarily under-the-rim guy. The tools to be a four-star prospect are there.
Aaron Falzon: Talk about a tale of two camps for the 6-foot-7 power forward. For the first half of camp, it was as if there was a force field surrounding the paint as he tossed up lazy, deep jumpers. Finally, his camp coach corrected his tendency to fall back and kick a leg out on his shot and ordered him to mix it up. Suddenly Falzon was all over the glass, getting easy baskets, and then his jumper started falling. He might be too reliant on his 3-pointer, but there's zero question that he can shoot it with accuracy.

Tyler Lydon looks like someone who will gain high-major attention.
Tyler Lydon: A fluid 6-foot-8 four man who can run the floor and has touch, Lydon lacks physical strength and has to add bulk to his 181-pound frame. Though he lacks bulk, he competes for rebounds, he will stick his nose in a scrum, and he takes contact well. He's tracking as a guy whom high majors will watch closely.
Trevor Manuel: The No. 42 player in 2015, Manuel is a lengthy and athletic 6-foot-9 big man who has plenty of athleticism. He isn't just bouncy; he is quick laterally, and he gets off the floor for second and third jumps with speed. He lacks strength and a go-to post move, and he has to work on his footwork and holding position.
Luis Santos: So Santos may be only 6-foot-6. Not a problem, given his 7-foot wingspan, solid 245-pound frame, athleticism and fierce nature around the rim. Not many in camp played with as much physicality or were as dedicated to getting on the glass. He threw up a few questionable jumpers, but his work around the hoop and willingness to mix it up earn him a pass. Few players in camp were as fun to watch.
Raymond Spalding: With Spalding, the key is to think long-term potential. He's 6-foot-9 with a 7-foot-1 wingspan, he runs the floor, he's fairly bouncy, and he plays hard. His impact is mostly with a blocked shot here or there and some garbage baskets, but with added confidence and strength he could develop into a solid high-major prospect.

Saturday, June 8, 2013


The 2013 Elite Futures Showcase was the first-of-its-kind player evaluation for elementary age ballers from north metro Atlanta.  The top ten best players in the area competed for 3 hours in a grueling training and evaluation session with the Kennesaw Elite coaching staff.  Here are a few notables in no particular order from the June 1st event:

JALAN JOHNSON - Winner best all around.  High-level point guard who can dish, defend and score.

JACK DABBELT - Guard in power forward's body.  Winner of shooting contest and one-on-one contest.

Jackson Greer - Tremendous upside with never say die attitude on any given play.  Definitely a scorer.

Cooper Holbrook - Excellent on-ball defender with high level court vision.  Like Greer, certainly capable of major scoring performances.

Sean O'Brien - Tough as nails and willing to mix it up with anyone.

Mehki Stevens - Great power forward with a knack for getting his hands on the ball.  Great open court defender.

CJ Wallace - Another Guard in a power forward's body.  Can do it all, and will need too next spring!

Jackson Miller - Big time low post moves and a legitimate big.  You can tell he has a love for basketball.

Bryan Newton - Excellent defender with a motor that never stops.

Jonathan Rodriguez - highly skilled ball handler and excellent shooter.

Congratulations to the Cobb, Cherokee and Paulding players who certainly confirmed their claim as North Metro's BEST elementary players.  See everyone in the winter for rec ball, and then spring AAU travel basketball!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Rivals #42 Josh Perkins heads to prep school to increase high school competition

Make no mistake, one of the top performers of the spring has been Josh Perkins. And despite all the compliments, he hasn't stopped working on his game as he sorts through the recruiting process.
The rising senior from Denver -- who ranks No. 42 in the Rivals150 -- has been outstanding with his summer team, the Colorado Miners, and established himself as one of the top floor generals in the country. However, the 6-foot-2 point guard hadn't really gotten a chance to showcase himself to a national audience.
Over the weekend, Perkins got that chance at the Pangos All-American Camp. He played well and held his own against just about everybody, including the nation's top rising senior point guard, Emmanuel Mudiay.
Josh Perkins checked out UCLA, but is getting interest from a host of new schools.
"It's always going to be a good game between Emmanuel and I," said Perkins. "He's in my eyes the best point guard in the nation and I just have to step my game up every time that we're on the court together.
"He's a great point guard and gets his teammates involved. He's way more physical than I am, but I think I'm right there hand and hand with him. He just has that strength and plays against better people on a daily basis."
That desire to play against better competition on a daily basis means that Perkins will be on the move for his senior season.
After attending Regis Jesuit in the Denver area, he'll head to powerhouse Huntington (W.Va.) Prep for his final year of high school.
Head coach Rob Fulford will no doubt enjoy Perkins' high-level ability to create for others while also generating offense. The national schedule and competition in practice should help Perkins as he works to get stronger and add more burst off the dribble.
Because of his play this spring, Perkins has put himself in a position to move further up the rankings. He says that rankings don't matter, but watching him play you can see the edge and chip on his shoulder.
That edge along, with his skill, has caused schools from all over the country to lob interest his way. He's not in any rush to make a decision -- he says that he and his family will narrow things in August -- but while in Los Angeles he checked out UCLA and mentioned the Bruins among three teams that have been hitting him the hardest. He also says that a few new programs have called.
"UCLA, USC and Gonzaga," said Perkins when asked who is recruiting him the hardest. "Then I got recent calls from Syracuse, UConn and Kentucky."

Reblog from by Eric Bossi

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Legacy defining? Only in defeat

I've written in this blog about Lebron James as not the equal to Michael Jordan.  That remains my position.  However, the Heat, and Lebron, deserve credit for disposing of the Pacers in game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, and reminding all of us that when they choose to play hard and together, the Heat remain the best team in the NBA.

Finals predictions?

Email me your thoughts and we will post them accordingly.  My prediction is Heat in six.  LeBron will be motivated to avenge the 2007 loss while playing for the Cavs.  Splitter and Duncan are not as physical as Hibbert and West (although perhaps more skilled).  The Spurs are also not as long as the Pacers, and do not squeeze the passing lanes like Indiana was able to accomplish.  Bosh is playing for a contract, and Wade's pride will force him to perform in at least 2 or 3 of the games in the series.  For all of those reasons, it is simply the Heat's time. 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Johnson puts on dominating performance

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Day two of the Pangos All-American camp was an entertaining one. Five-star Stanley Johnson brought the day's activities to a close with a dominant performance on a day when some more off-the-radar guys such as Terry Larrier and Thomas Welsh emerged.
Johnson closes Saturday in style
For the most part, the highest-ranked players at the Pangos All-American camp have been playing up to their rankings. On Saturday, though, nobody was playing at a higher level than five-star wing Johnson. The 6-foot-6 rising senior at Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei ended things in style with a dominating performance.

Stanley Johnson combined physical play with skill.

In the past, Johnson's play has drawn comparisons to Ron Artest. That comparison holds true in terms of willingness to play physically, toughness and superior strength versus high schoolers. But Johnson also plays the game with a level of skill that Artest didn't have as a 17-year-old. He handles the ball well, gets to the rim and is a good shooter from deep. His all-around game is strong, and he will be moving up the rankings. Book him for the national top 10, and Johnson may even push for the top five.
As we detailed this week, Johnson is considering Arizona, Duke, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Oregon, UCLA and USC.
Larrier and Welsh make most of opportunity
Every year the Pangos camp produces a few breakout performers, and 6-foot-7 wing Larrier and 7-foot center Welsh are in that category for the 2013 camp.
Long, wiry and skilled off the dribble, Larrier has made the transformation from face-up four who can stretch a defense to legitimate small forward. He sets up shots easily off of the dribble, he likes pull-up jumpers, and he is a fluid athlete and finisher around the rim. Inconsistency and lack of strength have been bugaboos for him, but he's made significant strides in those areas. He has earned his spot in the next Rivals150 for the class of 2014, and it's just a matter of how high he enters the rankings.
Like Larrier, Welsh has made significant strides with his game in the last year. The product of Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola isn't a high-flying athlete, and he is not a speed burner. However, he has tremendous hands and soft touch, and he plays tough on both ends of the floor. There aren't a lot of reliable low post scorers who have moves to counter the defense, and Welsh does. He is making a strong push for the rankings.
California, Santa Clara, USC, Arizona State, Portland, Gonzaga, Saint Louis and San Francisco are among his early offers. He had an offer from the previous UCLA staff, and he says that Steve Alford and his staff have reached out as well.
Kodi Justice is committed to Arizona State.
Arizona class of 2014 is strong
The class of rising seniors in Arizona has been looking like a strong one for a while now. At Pangos, it has proved it. A solid group of players from the desert has done its thing in Long Beach, and Connor MacDougall, Casey Benson, Kodi Justice, Andre Adams and Michael Humphrey have had nice moments during the first two days of camp.
Unranked and committed to Arizona State, MacDougall has been impressive. He's lean but strong at 6-foot-8, and he plays tough around the rim. His skill is good, and his will to fight for rebounds is strong. Also committed to Arizona State is Justice. A wing shooter with good size, Justice has knocked down open looks and showed to be a good passer as well.
Since bursting onto the scene in the last year, Adams has been progressing nicely. He's added bulk to his 6-foot-8 frame, and he remains a high-level shot-blocking threat. He's also a good athlete who has scored the ball well when it has found its way inside to him. Benson is a skilled southpaw who can shoot and handle, and he plays with plenty of toughness.
Finally, Humphrey has been a pleasant surprise at camp. A 6-foot-9 high school quarterback, he's a long and wiry power forward. He lacks strength, but he is athletic around the rim, runs the floor well and has shown good anticipation on the glass. Humphrey said he has yet to get his first offer (that will change in July) but has heard from several Ivy League schools, Utah State, Arizona State, Rice and Tulsa.
Final Saturday notes and news
Dwayne Morgan is a five-star prospect in the national top 15, and Daniel Hamilton is working his way into that territory. Saturday afternoon, the two went head-to-head and showed high-level game. Committed to UNLV, Morgan has put on an admirable Pangos performance considering that his right hand is extremely swollen from injury. You would never have known he was hurt, though, as he was finishing, making tough shots off the dribble and playing high-level defense. The Connecticut-bound Hamilton can play defense on the perimeter as well, and he is a big two guard at 6-foot-6. He is an advanced playmaker and scorer, and he doesn't take plays off on either end of the floor. Watching Morgan and Hamilton compete against each other was a treat.
Stephen Zimmerman is ranked No. 2 in the class of 2015.
Make no mistake about it, Stephen Zimmerman's spot at No. 2 in the class of 2015 is safe. The lean and lanky big man was again playing a game that features skill, coordination and improved athleticism. He had a series on which he chased down a dunk attempt for a big block and then on the other end of the floor he took the ball to the rim off the dribble for an emphatic slam during a wing clearout/isolation. There just aren't a lot of 6-foot-11 rising juniors capable of that.
Go ahead and pencil in Marquese Chriss for the 2015 rankings in four-star territory. The 6-foot-7 forward is a big-time athlete who plays above the rim and commands respect in tight quarters. He's been a beast on the glass, he looks to have touch on medium-range jumpers, and he is one of the camp's breakout performers.
He is raw, but there is plenty to like about four-star wing Ray Smith. The 6-foot-6 class of 2015 prospect from Las Vegas has all the physical tools in the world with his athleticism and long arms, and he plays hard. He is a high-level transition finisher, he rebounds well, and he will be a good enough shooter that people will have to respect him. Smith listed early offers from UNLV, San Diego State and Northern Arizona, while Washington and Oregon have started to show interest. Smith said he's trying to set up an unofficial visit to check on the Huskies.
Not surprisingly, the class of 2016 continues to look strong, and a few of those rising sophomores have emerged at Pangos. One who has been impressive is Californian Trevor Stanback. A 6-foot-9 center who is still growing, Stanback runs the floor well and is a high-level defensive presence. He has been one of the most aggressive and consistent guys blocking and contesting shots, and he will be a player down the road. USC, UNLV and UConn have offered, while Stanford, Washington and Ohio State have been in to see him.
Four-star big man Jaylen Johnson continues to have a nice spring. The 6-foot-9 power forward can run the floor, and he's active on the glass. The offense will come along, but his activity in the lane will make coaches smile. Oregon, Michigan State, Arizona State, Arizona, Iowa, Miami, Florida State, Central Michigan and Cincinnati are among those involved.
Power forward Craig Victor continues to focus on playing on the interior to success. Victor has been a solid scoring and rebounding threat around the rim, and he is playing hard. He's starting to add strength to his previously lean frame, and the ability to play with power has been beneficial.
A 6-foot-8 rising senior power forward, Omar Sherman has had a nice run in Long Beach. A big and strong kid, he effectively uses his bulk and strength around the basket while having the touch to step out and make shots. He's steadily improving, and he is a bubble high-major recruit.
Rivals150 wing Wade Baldwin was good in the afternoon session. The rangy two guard was making jumpers, but where he impressed most was in his driving to the rim and playmaking in transition.
2015 four-star Antonio Blakeney got off to a slow start on Friday night. Saturday, though, that changed as he got hot from deep and started making jumpers from all over. The 6-foot-3 shooting guard is a crafty scorer who never lacks confidence and has a playing style that falls somewhere between former Missouri star Marcus Denmon and Kentucky's Doron Lamb.

Reprint from author Eric Bossi