Saturday, July 27, 2013


Day Two at the EMS highlighted some of the best middle school basketball in all of Georgia for this travel season, some of the highlights:

*  Kennesaw Elite 13U let a huge second half lead slip away and fell to the Active Elite 50-45. 

*  National EYBL powerhouse Georgia Stars defeated the Eddie Lee Wilkins-led Future Stars 91-82, in the highest scoring 7th grade game of the summer!

*  Active Elite pushed the Georgia Mohawks to the final possession, before falling 49-48!

*  Ernest Ifill's 6th grade power TRU Elite held off a furious rally by the KE Orange, holding on for a 39-37 victory.  Tyrese Crawford had a look at the basket in the final second, but it came off the back rim.

*  KE Blue produced their first number one seed coming out of pool play with a shockingly easy rout of KE Orange 64-51.

Tomorrow is bracket play as the first annual Beef O' Brady's Elite Metro Showcase @ North Paulding High School comes to a close.  See everyone there!

Friday, July 26, 2013


Kennesaw Elite 13U gives up a 10-point second half lead to fall to GA Future Stars 34-33 on a shot with 4.8 seconds left!  GA Stars knocked off the Fairview Kings 53-37 as the official EMS gets under way.

On a weekend when  most basketball programs are either in Orlando for nationals, or taking a break from travel ball, the 1st Annual Beef O' Brady's Elite Metro Showcase at North Paulding High School.

Some of the top talent in the greater Atlanta area 13U age group will be playing in the event, including the #14 ranked Georgia Mohawks and our very own 15th ranked Kennesaw Elite 13U squad.

In the 12U bracket, Kennesaw Elite ORANGE (#11 State Ranking, #7 Elite Power Poll) will be trying to finish with the highest ranking in program history, while KE Blue (#13 Elite Power Poll) will be looking to finish with their first trophy of the summer.  They will be up against very good competition in the GA Hurricanes, and multiple travel tournament winner TRU Elite.

For game times check out:

More game scores throughout the weekend.

Monday, July 22, 2013


Ernesto Ifill is a man with a plan.  If you know the man by day, you can find him as the Management Officer of one the leading law firms in the Atlanta area.  But if you know him by his basketball coaching responsibilities, then you know he has been at the pinnacle of AAU basketball in Atlanta for over 10 years.

We recently sat down with Coach Ifill, President and Head Coach of the TRU Elite AAU program, and partner in the "Tournaments R Us"  AAU tournament hosting service.

Coach Ifill - you head up TRU Elite AAU, what does the "TRU" stand for?

How long have you been involved in youth sports, particularly AAU basketball?

What was your basketball experience before like the rest of us we had to get a day job?

What is your day job, does it allow to do the AAU basketball as much as you would like?

How has TRU Elite performed this summer?

How did you get started in the summer basketball circuit?
EI:  We started by always hosting Cobb County tournaments for the Rec Leagues and then we took it up to another level.    We are USA Junior Basketball’s Southern Regional youth basketball tournament directors based out of Atlanta and we host exclusive youth basketball tournaments in and around surrounding cities. We strive to be the most cost friendly youth basketball tournament hosting organization in the area. We have top notch facilities, certified officials, and group discounts to various hotels/attractions that surround our city.  I am proud of our organization and how it has served the youth in our basketball community!

Couldn't have said it better, Coach!


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Travel Basektball and AAU updates from around the country

REDONDO BEACH, Calif. -- It may seem incongruous, but halfway through the July evaluation period, two of the most underrated prospects in the West's 2014 class are teammates at one of the most prominent Los Angeles-area high schools.
Tavrion Dawson, a 6-foot-7 power forward, and Ron Freeman, a 6-foot-5 small forward, helped to propel Gardena Serra to its second consecutive CIF-SS regional championship this year but somehow remained inconspicuous to college recruiters.
Ron Freeman is starting to get serious looks from a couple of Pac-12 schools and others.
Until now.
During Dawson's Earl Watson Pangos Elite team's comfortable Friday night win over Salt Lake Metro Black at the Double Pump Best of Summer, one Pac-12 head coach was overheard asking, "Who is No. 30?"
Dawson had offers from only Loyola Marymount and Montana State entering July, but he has built upon that list with Cal-Davis, Cal Poly and Rhode Island following suit and more are certain to come. Probably a lot more.
[ Arizona State, Washington and USC are closely tracking Dawson, and then there's that coach who couldn't stop asking about him Friday. He's probably interested as well.
"I think I picked it up a lot from the spring," said Dawson, who scored on driving dunks, midrange pull-up jumpers and catch-and-shoot 3-pointers. He also rebounded and defended with aplomb. "My handle is better, I'm getting to the rack, making some plays, doing a good job and making a name for myself.
"Everybody I talk to, they say that it's crazy I haven't been getting more attention. But it's starting to happen. It's been a long process. I've been working hard, so it feels like it's paying off now."
Freeman, too, is seeing his stock soar in the July pressure cooker. He went on a tear in the first evaluation period playing for Superior Prospects, and he played a major role in the team's win over an ultra-athletic Louisiana Future on Friday.
Grand Canyon, Northern Arizona and Utah State extended scholarship offers before the first evaluation period ended. Numerous others, including Arizona State, Cal State Fullerton, New Mexico, Oregon State and San Diego State, are taking a serious look.
"Pretty much my shooting has improved," said Freeman, who is young for his class, having turned 17 last month. "I've been shooting it pretty good, on a high confidence level. That's really helped my overall game, and now I'm just trying to keep it going."

Hemsley turns it up
Jeremy Hemsley would tense up. Or his shot would be off. Or his legs wouldn't bounce like they usually do. Or the 6-foot-3, 165-pound shooting guard just wouldn't play well.
Whatever the case, when the lights turned on, Hemsley felt like he turned down.
But last weekend, at the Double Pump Summer Tip-Off, the Superior Athletes guard went off. He scored, he dunked, he dashed and he passed. And he did it all in front of college coaches and media members.
His dominant weekend yielded offers from Arizona State, USC and Colorado, in addition to the San Diego State, New Mexico, Connecticut and Boston College offers he already had.
"I think I just showed the doubters that I'm a kid who can play," Hemsley said. "I think the coaches noticed that, so I think that's why I got more offers last week."
This weekend, at another Pumps event -- the Double Pump Best of Summer -- Hemsley was back at it. While his outside shot wasn't falling as much as he would have liked, he showed high-level athleticism, exceptional quickness, bounce around the rim and a good feel for the game.
This time, he did it front of head coaches as well. UNM's Craig "Noodles" Neal was there for most of it, while Colorado's Tad Boyle was there, too. Assistants from SDSU, Boston College and others were watching intently, too, clearly making Hemsley a priority.
"I just think I haven't taken advantage of when I have the opportunity to show people that I can play," Hemsley said. "I haven't really shown my talent, but last week and this week I think I did a good job of showing people that I can play."
Simon no longer lost in crowd
Led by Tyler Dorsey, Marcus LoVett, Aaron Holiday, Sedrick Barefield, Rex Pflueger and Kendall Small, California is chock full of top 100 guards in the 2015 class.
Justin Simon converted three steals into dunks in a half.
Justin Simon wants to make it clear there should be enough room for at least one more.
Simon, a 6-foot-4 utility guard, has been enormously impressive the last two days while playing for Gamepoint Red 16, including in a 40-point win Friday in which he had three dunks that followed steals in a single half.
"I've kind of got a chip on my shoulder," Simon said. "I'm not really an attention guy, but I've got to keep stepping up and playing like this every day. The word is getting out, and I'm going to get everybody's best game."
Irvine, San Jose State, San Diego and Santa Clara comprised Simon's offer sheet before the July period, and New Mexico offered after watching him last week.
The onslaught hasn't started yet, however, as Kansas State, Miami, Notre Dame, Oregon, Penn State, USC, Villanova and Washington have been in touch in the last week in some form or fashion.
Simon, who transferred to Temecula Valley after playing two seasons at Corona Roosevelt, is a plus athlete with a terrific basketball body and extremely long arms. He can defend four positions and play at any perimeter spot on offense, and he can even run a team.
Magee making his case
Louisiana Future's AAU squad drew a big-time crowd of SEC schools Friday, and one of the biggest reasons was 6-foot-4 PG Dominic McGee.
The big point guard showed serious vision, as well as outstanding athleticism, and he helped hold down Hemsley as much as possible in their first meeting of the day. Later in the afternoon, Magee had another great outing, proving the crowd of SEC schools gathering to watch him was no fluke.
Magee said he's nowhere close to picking a program he'll play for next year -- mostly because his offer sheet is growing by the day.
"I couldn't tell you right now, to be honest," Magee said when asked about favorites.
He said five schools were standing out the most in terms of their aggressive recruiting efforts: Alabama, LSU, Oklahoma State, Memphis and Minnesota.
He'll make his first official visit next month, although he doesn't know where yet. He said he's not sure when a college decision will come.
Friday tip-ins
Four-star 2015 forward Marquese Chriss landed an offer from Washington after his games Friday. He already boasted offers from Boise State and Northern Arizona.
Aubrey Dawkins will reclassify to 2014.
Six-foot-10 2016 forward Trevor Stanback said he has been receiving much more interest from Washington and Arizona lately. The center holds offers from UNLV, UConn and USC in his early recruitment.
Stanback's 2015 point guard teammate Michael Oguine flashed athleticism that could land him on the Pac-12 radar. For now, the 6-foot-1 PG is mostly hearing from Brown, Harvard, Northern Arizona, Pennsylvania and Santa Clara.
Pump and Run Elite forwards Jack Williams and Max Hoetzel landed offers this week. Williams added the University of San Francisco and Long Beach State, while Hoetzel landed Utah and Utah State.
Louisiana Future 6-foot-8 power forward James Thompson benefited from a trip west to play in the Double Pump Best of the Best Tournament in the form of a scholarship offer from one of the region's most prominent programs, Arizona, on Friday. The three-star 2014 prospect is trending well, with Kansas State, LSU, Memphis, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M having extended offers.
Roman Davis, a 6-foot-6 hybrid forward at Los Angeles Winward and the No. 63 prospect in the 2015 class, picked up his first high-major offer from Arizona State this week.
Aubrey Dawkins, the son of Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins, is planning to reclassify to 2014 with a postgraduate year at New Hampton Prep in New Hampshire after graduating from Palo Alto High. A 6-foot-5 shooting guard, Dawkins is plenty athletic to generate a lot of interest after somehow flying under the radar in the last year despite suggesting he was a full qualifier.

Monday, July 8, 2013

NEW 12U SUPER ELITE 2013 POWER POLL is released!


as of 7/5/13

1.            RC Bulldogs

2.            Albany Elite Tigers 

3.            ELW Future Stars Orange

4.            Georgia warriors

5.            AOC Thunder

6.            Atlanta Bulls 

7.            Kennesaw Elite Orange

8.            Atlanta Metro Ballers

9.            TNBC Gold

10.          Fayette Force

11.          Georgia Stars

12.          All GA

13.          Kennesaw Elite BLUE

14.          God's Property Thunder

15.          Skillset Vipers

16.          Georgia Elite Ballers

17.          Atlanta Hoop Starz

18.          Triple Threat All Stars

19.          Coastal Crew Rebels 

20.          Rome Magic

21.          Georgia Red Storm

22.          South GA Kings

23.          Georgia Go Hard 

24.          N. Ga. Irish

25.          Georgia Heat


Updates from the LeBron James Nike Skills Academy

LAS VEGAS- Day two of Nike's LeBron James Skills Academy was an all day affair that featured skill work in the morning and then each team playing two rounds of games during the latter part of the day. A few things became readily apparent: Five-star Cliff Alexander is the most dominant big man in attendance, Rashad Vaughn is asserting himself as the top shooting guard in the class of 2014, and Devin Robinson may not have gotten a big enough boost in the rankings when he skyrocketed into the top 25 of the 2014 Rivals150.

Devin Robinson made a big jump in the Rivals150, but it may not have been big enough.
Robinson oozes ability and potential
During the spring and early summer, 6-foot-8 small forward Devin Robinson out of Christchurch (Va.) High was the talk of the grassroots circuit. He made a meteoric rise from No. 106 to No. 24 in the 2014 Rivals150 and the way things look he might not be done climbing.
At the recent NBPA Top 100 Camp the five-star swingman showed flashes of what he's capable of. At LeBron, he's gotten used to playing against lots of high level competition and has looked really comfortable and at times dominant.
Long and lanky, Robinson is armed with a smooth jumper that he can make with ease from deep, and he's a very fluid athlete. Around the rim he's been quite explosive and has started to show what he's capable of doing off the dribble.
Not surprisingly, he's been one of the hottest targets in the country. His most recent offer was a draft-night tender from Indiana, and the Hoosiers join the likes of Auburn, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Rutgers, USC, VCU, Virginia Tech, among others.
Rather than chop things down before the three July open periods, Robinson says that he's keeping things open and see who else jumps in before he cuts things down in August. He also knows that he has to back up the hype that he's generated, and he's not interested in others building their reputations at his expense.
"I have to play hard every game," Robinson told "Everybody knows who I am now, and they are trying to come after me. I don't want to be the come-up guy where everybody gets an offer off me. I gotta come to play every game."
For Robinson, it's been all about staying in the gym, and he's not satisfied with how far he's come as he looks to tighten up every aspect of his game.
"The biggest thing is I've been getting to the gym every day," said Robinson. "I've been in the weight room every day trying to get stronger, bigger and faster. I think I need to work on my ball handling and being more of a guard instead of setting picks and popping ... more off the dribble stuff."
Alexander and Vaughn have Alpha mentality
Both Cliff Alexander and Rashad Vaughn were profiled earlier in the day on Sunday; but their work in the afternoon and evening sessions demands that they get a little more run for their play.

Rashad Vaughn is backing up his talk of more efficient play.
We'll start with Alexander. A beastly 6-foot-9 power forward from Chicago (Ill.) Curie, the No. 4 player in the class of 2014 has been easily the most dominant low-post player and arguably the top player in camp. It isn't just that he's been fantastic either; it's how he's gone about things.
Alexander has long been known as a supremely physical player who is going to try and dunk everything, and he's definitely still doing that. But he's improved his body and is showing off more game. Jump hooks are coming more often, and he's looking real comfortable on short jumpers. He dominates the glass and really understands how to seal his man and hold position while presenting a good target for guards' passes.
While Alexander has looked like a future NBA player on the interior, Vaughn has looked like one on the wing.
The Minneapolis product was stroking jumpers from deep, finishing at the rim and as always hitting the glass extremely well for his position. No other shooting guard in the class can score as well as Vaughn can from all three levels, and it is quite apparent that his talk about working to take smarter, more efficient shots isn't just talk, because the proof is in his much more efficient play at LeBron.
He does have a bit of a tender ankle and ran out of steam a little during the latter part of his late night game, but Vaughn has the goods. Within the next week, Vaughn should also have his destination for his senior season picked out.
More Sunday notes from LeBron
During the first game of the day recent Oklahoma State commit Austin Grandstaff matched up with Vaughn, and it didn't go so well for him. The 6-foot-5 four-star from the class of 2015 came back in impressive fashion during the night session. At one point, by our count, Grandstaff had hit seven three pointers (number six may have been a two, couldn't see referee signal) three pointers in a row, and he was spacing the floor. The Texan is definitely a competitor.
North Carolina-bound Justin Jackson continues to be steady. There's not much point in mentioning his mid-range game because it has been covered inside and out. He had a great first game and then an up-and-down second game; laterally quick wings can give him some trouble.
> There isn't a faster point guard in the class of 2014 than Lourawls Nairn. A four-star prospect who is pushing the national top sixty, the floor general from Bel Aire (Kan.) Sunrise Christian puts a lot of pressure on defenders with his ability to attack off the dribble. Relax for a second, and he blows by you. Nairn is also a good defender and looks like a leader. Lots of coaches will be watching him with MoKan Elite during July, and he can certainly push the tempo.
Picking up right where he left off during the second half of the NBPA Top 100 Camp, Shaqquan Aaron had a nice day. The 6-foot-8 Louisville bound wing initially earned notoriety as a jump shooter but has at times relied on his shooting too much. With his ability to handle and create off the dribble, Aaron is at his best probing defenses via the bounce and then using his jumper to keep them off balance.
One of the more ferocious rebounders to come across the summer circuit in a few years, Angel Delgado will win fans during July because of his rebounding. On a few occasions, even though people didn't see him get the rebound, they knew Delgado had snatched it because of how loudly he slaps the ball when he grabs it. He is also pretty good attacking the rim off of one or two strong dribbles from between 12 and 15 feet.
Class of 2015 four-star Malachi Richardson has worked his way into high end four-star status and the national top 25 in his class because of his shooting and size. When Richardson plays with an edge and attacks off the dribble, his ability to finish through contact gets him buckets in the lane and puts defenders on their heels.
Class of 2014 wing Terry Larrier played to his top 40 status. He could still be a little more aggressive at times, but with his size, fluidity and ability to shoot the ball off the catch or dribble, Larrier is an easy high-major player.
Finally, we've begun to notice that 6-foot-8 wing Dwayne Morgan rises to the challenge. Because of his size and toughness, he can still play some power forward, and he had to do that against Alexander. Alexander still got his on offense, but Morgan made him work hard for his hoops despite giving up a lot of weight. On the offensive end, Morgan was hitting jumpers again and did a very nice job of pulling Alexander out of his defensive comfort zone around the rim and making him guard in space.

By Eric Bossi.  Reprint from

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Breakdown of top players as AAU season winds down!

MIDDLETOWN, Del. -- Heading into the most important month of the year for young basketball players -- July -- recruits prepared on the court at the WE R1 Summer Classic. Here's a recap of the top performers at the event.

Ben Bentil led the field at the WE R1 Summer Classic.
2014 power forward Ben Bentil of WE R1 (DE) - After not getting much attention this spring, Bentil will be back playing on the Under Armour circuit, and at Reebok Breakout Camp this July after a strong performance at NBPA Top 100 camp. His game remains the same, and his ranking dropped due to his spring. Now at No. 74, he has some room to make up and a chip on his back. The four-star recruit is hearing from Georgetown, UCLA, Kansas State, Notre Dame and Marquette the most. With Mikal Bridges to Villanova, that likely takes them out of contention for Bentil, who is still not set on a school just yet, but could be ready once the July Live Period ends.

2014 forward Emmanuel Omogbo of Force One (MD) - At the moment, Omogbo is committed to Robert Morris, but has not officially signed with them after deciding to take a postgrad year instead of going into Andy Toole's class of 2013. He will attend Kiski Prep (PA) with the intentions of working on his game in order to become a small forward as opposed to being a power forward at 6-foot-7. This, however, does not mean he is officially set on the NEC school for now as he will see what happens this summer and in the fall.

2014 small forward Kyle Kuzma of Rise Academy (PA) - What a difference a year makes for Kuzma, who is now playing very similar to UCLA rising sophomore Kyle Anderson. A wing prospect who can play on and off the ball, Kuzma has gotten much stronger and quicker on the court, and is no longer relying on his outside shot. Kuzma's recruitment has benefited and boosted from low and mid-major attention to high-majors calling on him. Seton Hall, Penn State, Texas A&M, VCU, Rhode Island and Florida State have offered with Florida, UConn and others inquiring. He also has a little Kyle Wiltjer in his game with his elite size and skill set. Kuzma has visited Penn State, Seton Hall, West Virginia and Rhode Island, but believes the Pirates and Nittany Lions are putting in the most work recruiting him. A decision will come sometime in late August or early September.

2016 combo guard Jagan Mosely of New Jersey Playaz - Rarely is a freshman presented the opportunity to play major minutes, nonetheless start, at St. Anthony (NJ) under coach Bob Hurley. Mosely was an exception, and for good reason. With a ridiculously strong upper body, a good shot, and an ability to handle the ball, Mosely is going to be a pretty good guard going forward. He already has plenty of experience against older competition, and knows how to play defense. It is still very early but Virginia, Houston and Seton Hall have inquired, among others. His older brother, Cheddi Mosely, makes his college choice in the fall. His future school will certainly recruit the younger Mosely.

Paul Rowley holds 12 offers at the moment.
2014 wing Paul Rowley of Virginia Elite (VA) - A shooter with length, handle, passing ability and a little elusiveness, Rowley showed why he is a heavily coveted high-academic recruit. He is versatile, as well, and can guard most positions on the court. Rowley holds offers from Harvard, Yale, Bucknell, Lafayette, William & Mary, George Mason, Mount St. Mary's, St. Francis (NY), Brown, Dartmouth, Cornell and Loyola (MD). The Crimson, Colonials and Bison are standing out to the wing prospect, who has visited most of the schools on his list. He will play through the fall, see if any other schools come into play and decide in the fall.

2014 power forward Jose Campo of Philly Pride (PA) - A Columbian import who has been in the country for one year, Campo plays at Arlington Country Day (FL), and could end up having a breakout summer at 6-foot-10. A long, lanky prospect who moves well, he is still raw and full of potential but will be one the mystery men on the summer circuit. Already fielding interest from UCF, Arizona, La Salle, UConn and Kentucky, it will be interesting to see who winds up offering him in July.

2015 point guard Traci Carter of WE R1 (DE) - Far from a finished product, Carter has a chance to be very good because of his explosiveness and passing ability. His size still hurts him a bit, but Carter is fearless in getting to the rim and drawing some contact. His style of play is somewhat similar to St. John's incoming freshman Rysheed Jordan because of the way he accelerates the offense with the ball in his hands and looks to score or get his teammates in position to score. Carter, who transferred from Roman Catholic (PA) to Life Center Academy (NJ), holds offers from Pittsburgh, DePaul, La Salle, Villanova, St. Joseph's, Iowa, Penn State, Temple and Georgetown. The Blue Demons and Wildcats are pursuing him the hardest at the point. Carter will have to learn to work with other guards around him and not settle for jumpers heading into a pivotal junior year.

Recruiting Rundown

2014 Philly Ballhawks (PA) small forward Basil Thompson is being targeted the hardest by Quinnipiac, Niagara, LIU, Wagner, Hofstra and Florida Atlantic; all of whom stand out. He visited Hofstra last week and will visit Quinnipiac this coming week.

2016 WE R1 (DE) power forward Sedee Keita has a long way to go but will soon attract many suitors. The first school who will recruit him hard will be VCU, who hired what would have been his prep school coach, Jesse Bopp, to be their director of operations. Keita will attend Vermont Academy in the fall and has the size, skills of a guard, and athleticism to be very good.

2016 Philly Pride (PA) forward DeAndre Hunter has a lot of similarities to Syracuse incoming freshman Tyler Roberson and could be very good. Still raw, the locals of Villanova, Temple, La Salle, St. Joseph's are looking at him, along with St. John's. Look for many more to begin recruiting him this summer as he steps onto a national stage.

For the latest in college basketball recruiting, head to for the latest details and notes on offers, visits, commitments and more. To contact Alex Kline, you can reach him by email at or on Twitter at TheRecruitScoop.