Posted on: April 9, 2011 11:51 am
Edited on: April 24, 2011 2:42 pm

Notebook: Five-star big man advances process

Posted by Jeff Borzello

HAMPTON, Va. – In a 2012 class loaded with quality post players, Miller Grove (Ga.) big man Tony Parker stands out.

Parker is a dynamite offensive player, capable of beating defenders on the low block with a variety of post moves or facing up from the elbow and knocking down mid-range jumpers.

Although he is not ready to make a college decision, Parker’s recruiting is heating up.

“Duke is coming at me very hard right now,” he said. “Duke and Georgetown are coming at me the hardest.”

North Carolina, Georgia, Georgia Tech and Florida are also in the mix for his services.

Some scouts were souring on Parker a season ago, but the 6-foot-8 space eater has lost weight and is looking more effective at both ends.

“I’m getting in better shape and I’m playing hard,” he said.

Texas Titans more than Randle

Although Julius Randle gets most of the publicity on the Team Texas Titans, coach Scott Pospichal has another 2013 star in the fold.

Matthew Jones, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from DeSoto (Tex.), impressed onlookers Friday with his shooting stroke and ability to score from behind the arc. Jones was aggressive offensively and made things happen against CIA Bounce (Canada).

“It’s sort of overwhelming at first,” Jones said of the Boo Williams event in general. “But I like it. It helps me get better.”

Six schools currently comprise Jones’ list: Kansas, Texas, Washington, Missouri, Oklahoma and Baylor.

Canadian native impressive in Hampton

Canada continues to make an impact on AAU basketball in the United States.

CIA Bounce is a newcomer into the Elite Youth Basketball League, yet boast at least nine potential high-major prospects. In their first game on Friday, they absolutely dominated the Texas Titans and the No. 1 player in 2013, Julius Randle.

One of the more unheralded players on the team is Naz Long, a 6-foot-3 guard who suits up for Findlay Prep (Nev.) during the high school season.

At this point, the five colleges standing out to Long are Marquette, UNLV, Virginia, New Mexico and LSU.

“I’m taking my time,” he said.

Posted on: April 9, 2011 11:46 am
Edited on: April 24, 2011 2:43 pm

Washington, New Mexico lead for Gordon

Posted by Jeff Borzello

HAMPTON, Va. – Aaron Gordon is never the focal point on the AAU circuit.

Last July, Gordon was injured for most of the NIKE Peach Jam and the Las Vegas events. Now, he is overshadowed by 2012 top-10 prospect Brandon Ashley and a host of high-major talents on the Oakland Soldiers.

Nevertheless, Gordon has managed to cement himself as a top-15 player in the class of 2013. He went for 18 points and 12 rebounds against the Arkansas Wings on Friday at the Boo Williams Elite Youth Basketball League.

Gordon is extremely aggressive offensively, attacking the offensive glass on nearly every possession. He is always looking to drive to the rim, whether catching it in transition and finishing or dunking on an opponent off an offensive rebound.

On one highlight-reel play, the Archbishop Mitty (Calif.) led the fast break before crossing over a defender and then finishing with a two-handed dunk.

Looking at his lineage, though, Gordon’s talents shouldn’t come as much of a surprise: he is the younger brother of New Mexico standout Drew Gordon.

Another not-so-surprising tidbit – New Mexico is one of two schools standing out for the younger Gordon right now.

“I like how they get up and down,” Gordon said.

The other favorite on Gordon’s list is Washington. “[Lorenzo] Romar’s my boy,” he said of the Huskies’ head coach.

Arizona and Kansas are two of the other schools under consideration by Gordon at this point.

Posted on: April 9, 2011 9:03 am
Edited on: April 24, 2011 2:43 pm

Two schools stand out for Bird

Posted by Jeff Borzello

HAMPTON, Va. – Facing top-25 recruit Archie Goodwin on the opening night of the Boo Williams Elite Youth Basketball League event, Oakland Soldiers swingman Jabari Bird wasn’t backing down.

“It was real fun, I like playing against good competition,” Bird said. “It was normal basketball for me though.”

Bird was one of the most impressive players on Friday, scoring in a variety of ways on the offensive end and making life difficult for Goodwin defensively.

Bird was effective with his floater, using it in transition and along the baseline in a half-court setting. The 6-foot-4 2013 prospect runs the floor well and catches and finishes well in traffic. He scored with contact and also knocked down mid-range jumpers and fadeaways.

The Salesian (Calif.) product was ruled ineligible in late January because of pre-enrollment contact with another player, but that didn’t slow his recruitment.

Bird’s school list currently consists of Arizona, California, Washington, Florida International, Oregon and Washington State.

Two Pac-12 schools – Arizona and Washington – are standing out.

“Their system is the main thing,” Bird said.

Bird has taken an unofficial visit to California, but it is still early in the process.

“I want to visit all the schools on my list,” he said.

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