Tag:Boo Williams
Posted on: April 13, 2011 10:32 am
Edited on: April 24, 2011 2:35 pm
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Two Oklahomans raise stock at Boo Williams

Posted by Jeff Borzello

HAMPTON, Va. – They don’t have top-25 talent and won’t contend for the Peach Jam title in July, but Athletes First featured several breakout players at Boo Williams.

There’s no headliner on the team, but that could change in the coming months, as multiple players on Gary Vick’s team helped their cause in Hampton last weekend.

Juwan Parker, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Booker T. Washington (Okla.), is a lights-out shooter who can really heat up from distance. He has a very good stroke and good range on his jumper.

In terms of recruiting, Parker has taken a visit to Oklahoma State, and is also receiving interest from Baylor, Clemson, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Texas A&M.

Parker wasn’t the only 2013 prospect from Athletes First to improve his stock at the EYBL.

Recruiting

Jordan Woodard, a 6-foot-1 guard from Edmond Memorial (Okla.), got off to a great start in the first two games of the event and continued to impress the entire weekend.

He can finish at the rim and also knock down perimeter shots. Woodard plays the passing lanes well defensively and is excellent at leading the break going the other way.

Right now, Oklahoma is the only school with heavy interest in Woodard, but expect that to change very soon.

“I did pretty good, better than I expected,” Woodard said. “I think I helped myself a lot.”

Posted on: April 12, 2011 6:03 pm
Edited on: April 24, 2011 2:36 pm
 

Notebook: Calhoun separates himself as scorer

Posted by Jeff Borzello

HAMPTON, Va. – He’s not overly explosive or extremely quick, but Omar Calhoun has cemented himself as one of the best pure scorers in the country.

Calhoun, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Christ the King (N.Y.), has deep range on his outside shots and is lethal on pull-up jumpers from inside the arc. He can also beat defenders and finish at the rim.

Over the weekend at the Boo Williams EYBL event, Calhoun averaged 29.4 points in five games, including a 38-point performance against All Ohio Red.

In terms of recruiting, Calhoun currently lists offers from West Virginia, Virginia, Villanova, Pittsburgh, Connecticut, St. John’s, Rutgers and Vanderbilt, with interest from North Carolina and Kentucky.

“I visited UNC, it was nice,” he said. “I’ve also been to Pittsburgh, Villanova, Connecticut and Seton Hall.”

Calhoun plans to trim his list after the July live period.

Several schools courting Marcus Hunt

With Tony Parker and Alex Poythress dominating the paint for the Georgia Stars, Marcus Hunt gets plenty of opportunities to impress on the perimeter.

Clearly, Hunt is intriguing to many schools.

Over the weekend, the 6-foot-6 swingman from North Clayton (Ga.) listed Florida State, Nebraska, Alabama, Miami (Fl.), UTEP, Louisville, Missouri, Florida and Georgia as schools currently tracking him. Hunt also has an offer from Georgia Tech.

Hunt is a very good offensive player who can score from the perimeter and around the rim, and his strength and size make him a tough match-up.

Recruiting

Nunn and Tate lead loaded Meanstreets 16s

It’s not often that an AAU program 16s squad is better than its 17s, but that might be the case with Meanstreets this season.

There’s no Anthony Davis on the 17s team, or even a Phil Greene. However, the 16s boast several high-major prospects, led by guards Kendrick Nunn and Jaylon Tate.

Nunn is a high-level guard who can create his own shot and get to the basket against most defenders. The lefty from Simeon (Ill.) finishes in traffic and also draws fouls. Over the weekend, he listed Memphis, Alabama, Saint Louis, Ohio, Pittsburgh and Arizona as schools on him early.

Tate, a 6-foot-2 De La Salle (Ill.) product, had several nice offensive plays at the Boo Williams EYBL event, knocking down perimeter shots and also driving baseline for finishes at the rim. Tate picked up an offer from Northwestern in March, while also receiving interest from Marquette, Xavier, Florida and a host of Big Ten schools. 

Photo: Nypost.com

Posted on: April 12, 2011 3:35 pm
Edited on: April 24, 2011 2:37 pm
 

Torren Jones shows flashes of potential

Posted by Jeff Borzello

HAMPTON, Va. – All it took was one play.

Torren Jones struggled during the early stages of the Nike EYBL Hampton event this past weekend, but he would soon show why he is considered a top-100 prospect in the class of 2013.

Against Team Takeover, the Basha (Ariz.) forward had one of the top plays of the entire event. He blocked a shot at one end, then ran the floor and finished a tremendous alley-oop at the other end.

After watching that, it’s easy to see what is so attractive about Jones. The 6-foot-7 forward has a great build and is very long and athletic. He can score around the rim and has the potential to dominate the glass. Jones is still a little raw when it comes to post moves, but he has time to improve.

“I’m always working hard,” Jones said.

Recruiting

Several colleges have taken notice, with Arizona, UCLA, USC, Oregon and UNLV on his list right now.

Although it’s still early in his recruitment, Jones said he wants to visits Arizona, UCLA and USC.

Expect more schools to enter the picture as his play with California Supreme increases.

Posted on: April 12, 2011 1:41 pm
Edited on: April 24, 2011 2:37 pm
 

Former UCF commit taking time with new decision

Posted by Jeff Borzello

HAMPTON, Va. – When Shawn Smith committed to Central Florida in January, the general thinking was that the Conference-USA school picked up a major coup.

That excitement quickly soured, as Smith decommitted from the Knights about six weeks later, in early March.

“When I went there, I fell in love with the school,” Smith said over the weekend at the Nike EYBl Hampton. “The campus was like, whoa.”

Clearly, those feelings didn’t last – Smith had a change of heart after thinking about his decision.

“I decommitted because I was thinking about the conference,” he said. “I didn’t think we could make the NCAA tournament.”

Now, the 6-foot-4 Smith has a host of high-major schools expressing interest, and he plans on taking his time before making a final decision.

Recruiting

Smith claimed offers from Cincinnati, Florida State, West Virginia, Kansas State, Mississippi and South Carolina, with interest coming from Louisville. Florida was in the mix, but the Gators picked up commitments from two guards and have since backed off.

Smith, who plays at Providence School (Fla.) and runs with Nike Team Florida on the AAU circuit, said Florida State and Cincinnati are coming at him the hardest.

“I have no favorites,” he said. “I’m going to decide at the end of the summer.”

Posted on: April 12, 2011 1:11 pm
Edited on: April 24, 2011 2:38 pm
 

Davon Reed, Rondae Jefferson taking on new roles

Posted by Jeff Borzello

HAMPTON, Va. – A season ago, Team Final was loaded with some of the top seniors in the country. Michael Gilchrist, Rakeem Christmas and a host of other highly-ranked 2011 players led Final to the Nike EYBL semifinals.

This year, the roster consists entirely of 2013 and 2014 players, with not one rising high school senior in sight.

While Austin Colbert is the headliner, two of the better ones this weekend were Rondae Jefferson and Davon Reed.

Jefferson is the younger brother of Temple sophomore Rahlir Jefferson, a very good player in his own right. Rondae is an effective lefty who is active around the basket but did struggle to finish at times. The 6-foot-5 wing has a good build and can shoot it from the perimeter.

Right now, the Chester (Pa.) product’s list includes the entire Big Five – Temple, Saint Joseph’s, La Salle, Penn and Villanova – as well as Rutgers, Pittsburgh and Kentucky.

Recruiting

Reed, a 6-foot-5 guard, is a long and athletic scorer who can really light it up from the perimeter. He has a very good stroke from behind the arc and is capable of getting his shot off under duress. Reed also had a couple of nice buckets around the rim.

Reed, who plays his high school ball at Princeton Day School (N.J.), listed St. John’s, La Salle, Rutgers, West Virginia, Seton Hall, VCU, Cincinnati, Providence and Florida.

“We’re playing against the best of the best,” Reed said over the weekend at the Nike EYBL Hampton.

For Team Final, being competitive against the field now requires leaning on rising juniors as opposed to tested veterans. 

Posted on: April 12, 2011 11:34 am
Edited on: April 24, 2011 2:38 pm
 

Shaq Goodwin stakes claim for top-10 ranking

Posted by Jeff Borzello

HAMPTON, Va. – Shaq Goodwin was as surprised as anyone at his meteoric rise in the class of 2012 rankings.

“I really don’t know what happened,” Goodwin said over the weekend at Nike EYBL Hampton. “I was ranked 40, and then all of sudden I’m No. 13. I was like, wow.”

Goodwin, a 6-foot-8 forward from Southwest Dekalb (Ga.) who ran with Memphis YOMCA this weekend, has made himself a clear candidate for a top-10 spot. He is a long and athletic combo forward that runs the floor and finishes in transition. Goodwin is an unbelievable passer for someone his size, and he can also post up players around the rim.

He said the talent has always been there – the publicity hasn’t.

“I started playing with good players,” Goodwin said. “And I think people started noticing me.”

Recruiting

As far as recruiting, Goodwin has a clear top four: UCLA, Memphis, Miami (Fl.) and Georgia.

Despite the fact Miami doesn’t have a head coach, he said the Hurricanes would be among the finalists regardless of who they hire.

“It doesn’t matter,” Goodwin said.

He also plans on taking an unofficial visit to UCLA in June.

Based on his recent play, there is little doubt Goodwin will be ranked among the elite players in the class by the time he makes a college commitment.  

Posted on: April 11, 2011 10:39 pm
Edited on: April 24, 2011 2:40 pm
 

Top performers at EYBL Hampton

Posted by Jeff Borzello

HAMPTON, Va. – Although the AAU circuit started three weeks ago, the NIKE Elite Youth Basketball League event in Hampton this past weekend is recognized as the official start to the travel team season. With 40 of the best 17s teams gathered in one place, as well as top teams on the 16s and 15s levels, there were hundreds of future Division I players in attendance at Boo Williams. From Friday to Sunday, though, several players consistently stood out from the rest of the pack.

Kyle Anderson, 2012, Playaz: Despite his supposed weaknesses, Anderson continues to separate himself as one of the top players in the class. He simply has unbelievable feel for the game, using a variety of crafty floaters and finishes in the lane to score. Anderson doesn’t rely on explosiveness or quickness to get baskets, but the point-forward from St. Anthony (N.J.) knows how to make plays. He is a very good rebounder and showed some athleticism on a couple of impressive blocks.

Anthony Bennett, 2012, CIA Bounce: Bennett impresses nearly every time out, but the problem has been his ability to stay healthy. He is seemingly injured for every big event. Bennett was certainly not injured for Boo Williams this weekend. He took his game to a new level this weekend, scoring in a variety of ways and demonstrating his ability to be a match-up problem for most opponents. Bennett hustles defensively and loves to run the floor.

Rodney Purvis, 2012, CP3 All-Stars: Purvis opened the EYBL with a big-time performance against Team Takeover, and never looked back from there. He was consistently impressive offensively, dominating whichever opponent attempted to defend him. Purvis is explosive at that end of the floor, with the ability to blow by defenders and finish at the rim, or knock down perimeter shots. He is fantastic in transition and can also find teammates for open shots.

Shaq Goodwin, 2012, Memphis YOMCA: When the 2012 rankings are updated, Goodwin is a lock to be in the top 20, if not higher. His ceiling is as high as anyone in the class, due to his 6-foot-8 size and versatile skill set. Goodwin is a tremendous passer for someone his height, and his length makes him very difficult to defend around the basket. He runs the floor with the best of them and crashes the offensive boards. Defensively, he can block shots and control the glass.

Omar Calhoun, 2012, NY Gauchos: He’s not as athletically impressive as some of the other top players in the class, but Calhoun can score with anyone in the country. His mid-range jump shot is deadly and he has the ability to create his shot off the dribble. Calhoun has a solid build for a 6-foot-5 wing, and he uses his strength to score at the rim. He has very deep range from behind the arc and is nearly impossible to contain when he gets hot from three.

Recruiting

Ricardo Ledo, 2012, Albany City Rocks: Not playing with his usual Expressions AAU team, Ledo still managed to showcase his all-around offensive game and demonstrate why he is one of the top-three perimeter players in the class. He was knocking down perimeter shots over defenders; getting to the rim at will and finishing with both hands; and hitting difficult step-back jumpers and other mid-range shots. Ledo changes directions quickly, and is effective with ball fakes.

Alex Poythress, 2012, Georgia Stars: Poythress continues to rise up the charts. He is long and athletic, and can score in a variety of ways. In the half-court, he can post up defenders and score around the basket. Poythress improved his face-up game and his ability off the dribble, driving to the rim and finishing in traffic. He also added an outside jumper to his repertoire. Going into the weekend, Poythress had a reputation as a very good rebounder; that didn’t change one bit.

Nerlens Noel, 2013, BABC: Noel staked his claim to the No. 1 spot in the class of 2013 this past weekend. Offensively, he is still raw and has plenty of room to develop. However, he had a nice jump hook that was effective and he ran the floor well, finishing in transition. What separates Noel from most players is his defense. His length, timing and athleticism make him the best shot-blocker in the class. Noel isn’t muscular or physically imposing, but his ability to block or deter shots makes him intimidating.

D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, 2012, Spiece Indy Heat: Smith-Rivera isn’t a pure point guard, but his scoring ability ranks among the best backcourt players in the country. When he gets it going, Smith-Rivera is difficult to stop. He has deep range on his jump shot, knocking down 3-pointers with consistency. He is quicker than one might think, while his strength and build enable him to finish over bigger players in the paint. Smith-Rivera works off screens effectively and is smart with the ball.

Arnaud Adala-Moto, 2012, Team Takeover: Adala-Moto has been impressive in the past, but this weekend was different. He showed that he is a clear-cut high-major recruit, showing abilities at both ends of the floor that will make him attractive to college coaches. Adala-Moto has lost weight in the past year, looking quicker and more athletic. He is no longer an undersized forward; he can knock down perimeter shots and is a legitimate wing. Adala-Moto runs the floor extremely well and finishes in transition.

Also Impressive:

Andrew Wiggins, 2014, CIA Bounce: Separated himself as the top prospect in the class of 2014. Wiggins has a versatile skill set and is still developing.

Wayne Selden, 2014, BABC: Physically dominant, Selden simply owned the 15s division. He is extremely strong and is impossible to stop when driving to the rim.

Matthew Jones, 2013, Texas Titans: Overshadowed by Julius Randle, Jones knocked down perimeter jumpers with consistency and can also get to the basket.

Aaron Gordon, 2013, Oakland Soldiers: Gordon is simply too active and aggressive offensively for most opponents. He runs the floor and can also post up.

Photo: Highschoolhoop.com

Posted on: April 9, 2011 7:07 pm
Edited on: April 24, 2011 2:42 pm
 

Ledo has a new list of schools

Posted by Jeff Borzello

HAMPTON, Va. – It’s hard to keep a constant eye on Ricardo Ledo these days.

Ledo, a 6-foot-6 guard and one of the top players in the class of 2012, attended two high schools this past season and also switched AAU teams from last season. He started at South Kent Prep (Conn.) and ended at Notre Dame Prep (Mass.), while also switching from Expressions to the Albany City Rocks for the NIKE Elite Youth Basketball League.

No matter what team he suits up for, though, Ledo has been putting on a show.

On Saturday at the EYBL, Ledo demonstrated his full arsenal offensively, knocking down outside shots and also getting to the rim at will against defenders. He knows how to get defenders off-balance and is not afraid to rise up over opponents. Ledo’s length, size and skill set make him a match-up nightmare for most teams.

As for recruiting, since he decommitted from Providence in late January, Ledo has been hearing from a number of schools.

He listed Texas, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Providence, Connecticut, UCLA and West Virginia as his main suitors, later adding Louisville and Virginia Tech to the group.

“I just wanted to see the rest of my options,” Ledo said as to why he decommitted from the Friars.

With a new staff settling in at Providence, the Friars are back in consideration.

“[Ed Cooley] is from Providence, so my family knows him,” Ledo said. “But in the end, they’re looking for the best situation for me.”

After making an early commitment on Christmas Day this past year, Ledo is planning on being patient with the process this time around.

“I’m looking for somewhere I can play, where I will earn it,” he said. “I also want to win, I want to get to the tournament.”

 
 
 
 
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