Saturday, August 31, 2013

Mudiay de-commits from Kentucky, heads to SMU!

When SMU administrators announced Larry Brown as their head coach in the spring of 2012, eyebrows rose. Brown had a Hall of Fame pedigree, but could he keep some of Dallas' big-time talent at home and rebuild the Mustangs program? Saturday offered more proof that he's still got it.
Playing in the Under Armour Elite 24, Emmanuel Mudiay the nation's No. 3 player in the class of 2014, announced that he will play for Brown in college.
Emmanuel Mudiay is the No. 3-ranked prospect in the class of 2014.
A 6-foot-4 point guard and hometown product from Dallas (Texas) Prime Prep, Mudiay initially indicated he would visit all five of his finalists. However, after several recent trips to the SMU campus he decided that visits to Baylor, Kansas, Kentucky and Oklahoma State were unnecessary.
"It's been a long process, and I was ready to get it over with," Mudiay told "That's where my heart was at, and I'm real excited about it."
After hauling in a top 15 recruiting class that included Dallas-bred shooting guard Keith Frazier in 2013, Brown and his staff are off to a great start in 2014 with Mudiay in the fold.
One of the more athletic players in the country regardless of position, Mudiay blends speed, vision, physicality and a versatile game. He is a floor general who gets to the rim at will, scores off the dribble and is one of the premier defenders at his position.
The experience of his future head coach played a big part in Mudiay's decision, but he's not expecting Brown to make big changes to his game. There will certainly be adjustments, but the freedom to make plays will be there.
"I'm just going to try and play my game and do what I can do to help the team win," Mudiay said. "Whatever Coach needs me to do, I'm going to do my part. You know, doing what I'm doing now and getting my teammates better. Playing in attack mode and not really changing who I am."
Mudiay is SMU's first commitment from the class of 2014, and there is little doubt that the Mustangs will try to use him to their advantage on the recruiting trail, especially when it comes to chasing after players such as the nation's No. 6 prospect -- and another Dallas-area product -- power forward Myles Turner.
For his part, Mudiay is satisfied with the pieces that will be in place when he arrives on campus and he trusts that his coaches will add more talent. Now, he's focused on adding strength so that he's ready to play up to the level of his immense potential.
"During this offseason I've been getting stronger, so I'm definitely going to keep working on that so I can play at the highest level," Mudiay said. "They are grown men who can be 22 or 23 years old and I'm going to be 18, so I've just got to be ready."
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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Duke on tap for at least TWO College Gameday appearances

DURHAM, N.C. -- Led by Hall of Fame head coach Mike Krzyzewski, the Duke men's basketball team has been selected for a pair of ESPN College GameDay appearances this season as announced by ESPN Tuesday. The Blue Devils face Syracuse on Feb. 1 with the GameDay crew on hand and then host the event on March 8 prior to its season finale against North Carolina.

 Entering its 10th season, ESPN’s College GameDay Covered by State Farm – the eight-week Saturday morning and evening college basketball program originating from the site of ESPN’s Saturday Primetime Presented by DIRECTV telecast – begins Saturday, Jan. 18 with a special split-site show. The first hour begins at 10 a.m. ET on ESPNU, continuing at 11 a.m. on ESPN with a one-hour evening edition leading into the Saturday Primetime game-of-the-week on ESPN.

Duke has appeared on ESPN College GameDay nine times, including the 2005 ACC Tournament semifinals, while hosting the festivities in 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012. The Blue Devils are 4-5 overall with a 3-2 mark in their last five College GameDay appearances.

The ACC is the only conference with two games featured among the slate of nine Saturday contests, which begins Jan. 18 and runs through March 8.

“Over the past ten years, College GameDay and the Saturday Primetime series have become a weekly showcase of the best the sport has to offer and this year’s schedule promises to deliver a collection of the biggest and best games from across the country,” said Nick Dawson, Senior Director, Programming & Acquisitions. “There is no sport with more passionate fans than college basketball and there is no more passionate setting than a Saturday on-campus with GameDay and Saturday Primetime on-site.”

Super Bowl Week
College GameDay’s visit to Syracuse on February 1 is in conjunction with NBA games in the state of N.Y. during Super Bowl week and will lead into the Miami Heat at the New York Knicks NBA game at 8:30 p.m. that day. Super Bowl XLVIII is scheduled to be held on Sunday, Feb. 2, at MetLife Stadium at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, N.J.
HostsFor the 10th year, Rece Davis will serve as host for College GameDay. He will be joined by analysts Jay Bilas, Digger Phelps and Jalen Rose to preview all the day’s action and discuss the biggest storylines in college basketball. 

Additional highlights•Fifteen schools, including nine of the top 10, on the Saturday Primetime schedule are top 25 picks in writer Jason King’s preseason top 25 poll: No. 1 Kentucky, No. 2 Louisville, No. 3 Michigan State, No. 4 Arizona, No. 5 Kansas, No. 6 Duke, No. 7 Florida, No. 9 Syracuse, No. 10 Michigan, No. 11 Oklahoma State, No. 12 North Carolina, No. 15 Memphis, No. 18 Gonzaga, No. 21 Connecticut and No. 23 UCLA.

•Kentucky will host for the second-straight year and for a record-tying fifth time at Rupp Arena when it plays SEC opponent Florida on Feb. 15.

•Duke will make two GameDay appearances and host at Cameron Indoor Stadium for a record-tying fifth time prior to its ACC matchup against North Carolina on March 8.

•Syracuse will face Duke for the first time as ACC opponents in the primetime game on Feb. 1.

•A special 30-minute College GameDay will be live from the third-installment of the State Farm Champions Classic on Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 7 p.m. – prior to the Michigan State vs. Kentucky (7:30 p.m.) and Kansas vs. Duke (9:30 p.m.).
WatchESPNAll telecasts will be available through WatchESPN, accessible online at, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app, through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members and on Apple TV to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider.

ESPN College GameDay ScheduleDate - Site - Tip Time - Game
Jan. 18 - Philadelphia, Pa. - Noon - Temple vs. LaSalle
              Storrs, Conn. - 9:00 p.m. - Louisville at Connecticut
Jan. 25 - East Lansing, Mich. - 7:00 p.m. - Michigan at Michigan State
Feb. 1 - Syracuse, N.Y. - 6:30 p.m. - Duke at Syracuse
Feb. 8 - Memphis, Tenn. - 9:00 p.m. - Gonzaga at Memphis
Feb. 15 - Lexington, Ky. - 9:00 p.m. - Florida at Kentucky
Feb. 22* - Boulder, Colo. - 9:00 p.m. - Arizona at Colorado
   or          Palo Alto, Calif. - 9:00 p.m. - UCLA at Stanford
March 1 - Stillwater, Okla. - 9:00 p.m. - Kansas at Oklahoma State
March 8 - Durham, N.C. - 9:00 p.m. - North Carolina at Duke

*Site for Feb. 22 will be announced closer to the game; game not selected will air at 6 p.m. on ESPN or ESPN2

Duke's ESPN College GameDay ResultsFeb. 12, 2005 - at Maryland - L, 99-92
**March 12, 2005 - vs. N.C. State - W, 76-69
March 4, 2006 - North Carolina - L, 83-76
March 8, 2008 - North Carolina - L, 76-68
Jan. 23, 2010 - at Clemson - W, 60-47
March 6, 2010 - North Carolina - W, 82-50
Feb. 26, 2011 - at Virginia Tech - L, 64-60
March 3, 2012 - North Carolina - L, 88-70
March 9, 2013 - at North Carolina - W, 69-53

Five-Star Bragg makes most of 2nd love

Given how natural he looks on the basketball floor, one would assume five-star junior Carlton Bragg has played the game his entire life. As it turns out, basketball wasn't his first love.
A 6-foot-8 forward at Cleveland (Ohio) Villa Angela St. Joseph, the nation's No. 12 player in the class of 2015 grew up throwing fastballs and curves. Through hard work, though, he has developed on the basketball court.

Carlton Bragg said he is not in a hurry to make an early decision.
"My game has been developing," Bragg told "I wasn't really into basketball earlier. It was baseball, really. I was a pitcher. I've had to get in the gym and work."
Even if basketball wasn't his first love, Bragg obviously excels at hoops. He is a big-time athlete, he runs the floor, and he has gone from a guy who gets from rim to rim for dunks and blocked shots to a guy who can step out, shoot jumpers and handle the ball.
"Things have gone really well for me," Bragg said. "I've picked up a lot of offers and got my name out there and showed people my skill.
"I'm trying to work my way to a three or a long, combo four. I'm trying to do a style like Kevin Durant. I like his style of play. I'm really working on my dribbling and getting stronger."
Bragg has racked up offers from Indiana, Ohio State, Illinois, West Virginia, UCLA and Texas, while others including Kentucky, Duke and Louisville have been looking to get more involved.
Bragg says there is no rush to narrow things or move toward an early decision. He wants to take unofficial visits during the fall, and he hopes to have them on the calendar soon.
"I'm in no rush right now," he said of making a decision. "I'm trying to visit as many schools as possible, and I will be determining some to visit in the fall real soon."

By Eric Bossi, Rivals reprint

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Sophomore Thornton focused on improving his game

Given that he's not begun his sophomore year of high school, there is still a lot of time for Derryck Thornton to improve.
That's exactly what the 6-foot-1 point guard at Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep is trying to do.
"My focus right now is getting better," Thornton told "I'm getting ready for my sophomore year at Findlay Prep and looking to have fun next year."
Derryck Thornton wants to improve his decision-making as a point guard.
A native of the Los Angeles area, Thornton played his freshman year at Sierra Canyon High School before transferring to Findlay. As a playmaker who can get into the lane off the dribble, the lure of playing with other high-level prospects was enticing.
"I just want to get better as a full player," Thornton said. "Playing with some of the best people in the country is big and Findlay provides that, so it will help a lot."
While he can break defenders down off the dribble, create in the lane and be a dangerous scorer, Thornton -- like many young point guards -- can also be a bit wild. Settling down and making better decisions are at the top of the list when it comes to areas of his game he's looking to improve.
"I'm trying to make everything efficient," Thornton said. "Not as many dribbles, and every time down making the right play. I'm just trying to clean up my game.
"I'm trying to get that feel a little bit better. I need to know when to shoot or when to pass. I think that comes with playing more, and it will help my game out a lot when I get it even."
Despite having three years of high school left, Thornton has racked up scholarship offers from the likes of Arizona, Connecticut, Florida State, New Mexico, UTEP, USC and "most of the rest of the Pac-12 but UCLA and Arizona State".
While he could pick a high-level school and end his recruitment right now, Thornton is in no rush. He wants to be a teenager and enjoy the experience while he keeps his focus locked in on improvement.
"I think a little further down the road I'll think about it more," Thornton said. "I'm still just enjoying the process. I'm cool with what my dad tells me about what's going on and the coaches calling, but I'm just focused on getting better right now." 
Reprint from Eric Bossi,

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Four Star Gurads withdraw commitments, re-open recruiting process

For the second time in a few weeks a high end four-star talent in the class of 2014 has opened up his recruitment.

Four-star James Blackmon opened up his recruitment on Thursday.
After No. 31 Quentin Snider backed off of his pledge to Louisville a week and a half ago, No. 33 James Blackmon opened his recruitment up on Thursday.

A verbal commitment to Indiana since before he had even played a high school game, the 6-foot-3 shooting guard told Jeff Rabjohns of that he wanted a chance to look around.

"I just thought about it a couple days ago," Blackmon told "Since I've been committed for so long, since before my freshman basketball season, I've never seen anything else. I just want to put it up against something else and see where that takes me."

Perhaps the premier jump shooter in the class of 2014, Blackmon will certainly be a hot commodity. He hasn't listed any programs of interest yet but he's sure to be the recipient of plenty of interest over the next few days as school rush in to see if they have a chance.

Like Snider did with Louisville at the time of his decommitment, Blackmon maintains that he still loves Indiana and that they are still his favorite program. However, it isn't often that a player backs away from a long standing commitment and then ends up back at his original school.

Stay tuned for more on Blackmon as he begins to list new interest and set up visits. His plan is still to sign in the Fall and his recruitment will have to move along quickly in order for that to happen.
Reprint from, by Eric Bossi


The final Top 25 of AAU rankings have been released in our very own GEORGIA SUPER ELITE POWER POLL.  Here are our final rankings:

1.            RC Bulldogs

2.            Albany Elite Tigers 

3.            ELW Future Stars

4.            Kennesaw Elite ORANGE

5.            Georgia Warriors

6.            TRU Elite

7.            AOC Thunder

8.            Kennesaw Elite BLUE

9.           Atlanta Bulls 

10.          Atlanta Metro Ballers

11.         TNBC Gold

12.         Fayette Force

13.          Georgia Stars

14.          All GA

15.         God's Property Thunder

16.         Skillset Vipers

17.         Georgia Elite Ballers

18.         Atlanta Hoop Starz

19.         Triple Threat All Stars

20.         Coastal Crew Rebels 

21.         Rome Magic

22.         Georgia Red Storm

23.         South GA Kings

24.          Georgia Go Hard 

25.          N. Ga. Irish

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Beef's EMS @ North Paulding HS Wraps with big-time championship performances!

National-power Georgia Stars of the NIKE Elite Youth Basketball League defeated the Georgia Mohawks 55-54 in the 7th grade final, in what most considered the most compelling basketball game played in Georgia this summer!  No one led by more than 5 with 15 lead changes.

The 6th grade final saw an upset in the making as host KE BLUE took a 16-5 lead over AAU power TRU Elite.  But then the bottom fell-out, as TRU Elite made 14 3's in the remaining 3 quarters, including 7 straight in the second quarter, to pull away for a 64-45 victory.

Congrats to all of the participants in a GREAT summer basketball tournament.  A special thanks goes out to North Paulding Head Coach Ryan Dyer, Tournament Director Kip Dyer, North Paulding varsity basketball players who volunteered, and Beef O' Brady's as our title sponsor.  Anyone not mentioned please accept our special thanks for everyone who was helping out!

By:  Steve Rodriguez