Tag:Chris Thomas
Posted on: November 23, 2011 11:27 am
Edited on: November 23, 2011 11:27 am
 

Schools pursue foreign import William Howard

INTERESTED TEAMS:



By
Jeff Borzello

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – There always one or two sleepers that emerge at the National Prep Showcase, especially with the increasing foreign influence on some of the prep teams.

New Hope Academy (Md.) had a distinct international flavor, with players from Puerto Rico, Kosovo, Canada and France on the roster.

The best prospect on the squad is William Howard, a France native who created a buzz with his play in Europe. NBA types have known about Howard for a while, and college coaches are beginning to get acquainted with the 6-foot-8 forward.

He’s a 2012 prospect but will not sign until the spring.

“He still has to take the SATs and, even though he’s in prep school, he’s still young,” coach Chris Chaney said. “He just turned 18.”

Howard really made an impact over the weekend, going for 19 points and 11 rebounds in an easy win on Friday night. He followed that up with 30 points in a high-scoring loss to Notre Dame Prep (Mass.).

He has a good frame and strong legs, but is also long and athletic. He can rebound effectively and knows how to score in different ways.

“He’s a good player,” Chaney said. “He played better.”

In terms of recruiting, Washington, Providence, Rhode Island and Maryland have all shown interest in Howard.

One Pac-12 school stands out, though. “We’re leaning Washington,” Chaney said.

Other notes: Top-three 2013 prospect Nerlens Noel said he plans to visit Florida when down for the City of Palms Classic . . . Junior big man Dominic Woodson listed Michigan, Michigan State and Connecticut . . . South Kent Prep (Conn.) coach Kelvin Jefferson said Xavier and Seton Hall have contacted him about Chris Thomas . . . Dominican Republic native Nehemias Morillo is new to Notre Dame Prep (Mass.), but Ole Miss and Iowa State are already showing interest . . . Notre Dame Prep coach Ryan Hurd listed Maryland, TCU, Oregon State, Washington and Texas Tech for Sam Cassell Jr. . . . 2014 guard Jared Terrell has offers from Rutgers, Miami (Fl.), Boston College, Cincinnati and Providence. He also likes Connecticut. 

Posted on: July 26, 2011 2:07 pm
Edited on: July 27, 2011 11:36 am
 

Las Vegas Wrapup: Top Performers, Notables


By Jeff Borzello

LAS VEGAS – For five days, Las Vegas went from being the gathering place for various vices to the epicenter of AAU basketball (during the day, at least). With the Adidas Super 64 and the Fab 48, the majority of the best players and teams in the country descended on the desert for two of the summer’s best tournaments. The individual match-ups that took place at the Super 64 were unparalleled, while the Fab 48 featured plenty of top talent as well.

At the Super 64, the final four consisted of Indiana Elite, Dream Vision, Utah Pump N Run and Texas Assault. Behind the play of Jordan Loveridge, Utah Pump N Run defeated the Atlanta Celtics, Compton Magic and Michigan Mustangs in the tournament. EBC Elite made a run to the Elite Eight with upsets over Family First and DC Assault, while the Nor Cal Pharaohs also made a surprising run.

The Fab 48 was marred somewhat by two brawls, but the Cinderella stories by Wisconsin Swing and Team Breakdown to reach the Final Four were fun to watch. In the end, though, Ishmail Wainright and the KC 76ers rolled to the championship, dispatching of anyone in their path. The favorites heading into the event included the Oakland Soldiers, Belmont Shore, NJ Playaz and Mac Irvin Fire – all three were gone by the final eight, with the Soldiers and Playaz getting shocked in the playoff opener.

Top Performers

More on Recruiting

Ishmail Wainright, 2013, KC 76ers: Arguably the most impressive overall performer of the week, Wainright led his team to a surprising Fab 48 title. The muscular junior has always been a great defender and energy guy, but he carried the 76ers offensively, including getting the upper hand on Jabari Parker in a head-to-head battle.

Shabazz Muhammad, 2012, Dream Vision: Muhammad had his slow games, but overall, he again showed why he is the best player in the class. He carried Dream Vision to the title game, getting baskets in a variety of ways. Simply unstoppable when going to the rim.

Andre Drummond, 2012, Connecticut Basketball Club: When Drummond is motivated or goes against another top player, he is outstanding. He beat Kaleb Tarczewski head-to-head, adding to his hit list amongst the top big men in the country.

Javan Felix, 2012, New Orleans Elite: With the point guard class down this year, the demand for someone like Felix becomes much higher – especially when he plays like he did this week. He was knocking down shots off screens and was also getting to the rim.

Chris McCullough, 2014, Team Scan 15s: Although many people got their first glimpse of McCullough this week, he is certainly a top-10 player in his class. He is long and athletic, and has a ceiling that is simply through the roof. Raw for now, but his name will be heard for a long time.

Brandon Ashley, 2012, Oakland Soldiers: Ashley has consistently been one of the most impressive players this summer, and this week was no different. He scored around the rim, ran the floor and showed a willingness to handle the ball and knockdown face-up jumpers.

Kaleb Tarczewski, 2012, New England Playaz: Didn’t get the upper hand against Andre Drummond, but he played well the rest of the week. Most of his points come on dunks or layups around the rim, but his defense, work ethic and rebounding ability bode well.

Buddy Hield, 2012, Kansas Pray and Play Players: Overshadowed slightly by Perry Ellis, Hield was the one that shined throughout the week. Hield is a big-time offensive player that can knock down shots from behind the arc or drive the lane and finish in impressive fashion.

Denzel Valentine, 2012, Michigan Mustangs: He wasn’t that impressive at the NBPA Top 100 camp in June, but Valentine has looked good in the two Adidas events in July. He knows how to handle the ball in traffic and uses his body exceptionally well when driving the lane.

Marcus Smart, 2012, Texas Assault: Smart consistently put the Assault on his back at both ends of the floor, and his energy and nonstop motor permeated the rest of the team en route to the semifinals. Smart is an outstanding defender who has steadily improved his shooting and ball-handling 

Other Notables:

Indiana Elite made a run to the Final Four, but no one in particular stood out overall. D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera had his moments, while Jeremy Hollowell was also solid . . . Kuran Iverson is supremely talented, but his lack of interest on defense make some question his work ethic . . . With Drummond on the inside, Kris Dunn was able to make plays in transition and on the perimeter . . . For Belmont Shore, Katin Reinhardt continued to improve his point guard ability, while Grant Jerrett showed his versatile offensive game . . . New York guard Isaiah Whitehead knows how to make tough shots, plain and simple . . . Joe Rahon, the younger brother of San Diego State guard James Rahon, continues to impress. He can hit shots and run a team . . . Going up against Drummond, Coreontae DeBerry held his own defensively . . . Nate Britt again looked good, initiating offense and showing great body control in the lane . . . Kentucky native Taylor Barnette is fun to watch when his shot is falling; his range is unparalleled . . . Got my first glances at Grant Verhoeven and Christian Wood. Verhoeven is a very good defender and scores in the lane, while Wood needs room to grow but is certainly talented . . . One coach told me Chris Walker reminds him of a young Antonio McDyess . . . Charles Mitchell doesn’t have ideal size for a big man, but his hands and length make up for it . . . Mitchell's teammate, Chris Bolden, showed off an improved driving game to go with his knockdown shooting . . . 2013 forward Jordan Bell had 17 blocks in one game. That’s ridiculous . . . The attacking ability of Montay Brandon is impressive; if he gets a jumper, look out . . . One of the breakout players of the event was Jordan Loveridge, who led the Utah Pump N Run team to the semifinals – he knows how to score . . . Double Pump Elite’s Tyrone Wallace is quickly rising up the point guard ranks – he is 6-foot-4 and long . . . Texas shooter Phil Forte simply doesn’t miss . . . Team Breakdown didn’t have too many studs, but guard Brandon Channer used his strength and finishing ability to provide a boost . . . Slightly overshadowed by Chris Thomas’ antics, but Colorado commit Wesley Gordon is a big man who moves well without the ball and can finish . . . Sanjay Lumpkin is a tough matchup for guards at 6-foot-6, and also held his own against forward Gavin Thurman.

Photos: Kansas City Star (Wainwright), 247 Sports (Felix), Utah Pump N Run (Loveridge)

Posted on: July 8, 2011 11:36 am
Edited on: July 8, 2011 12:09 pm
 

Adidas Invitational: Day Two Notebook



By Jeff Borzello

INDIANAPOLIS -- It’s not often a five-star recruit is scared of going against someone -- and then admits it.

In Chris Thomas’ case, though, the big-time scorer from Colorado wanted no part of Kaleb Tarczewski and the rest of the New England Playaz big men.

“They were too big,” Thomas said. “I played against the big guy (Tarczewski) in Adidas Nations, and he had some mean blocks. Every time I went up, I thought I was going to get blocked or get hurt.”

Thomas, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard who will attend La Jolla Prep (Calif.) next year, is still one of the most unstoppable scorers in the country. He is long and athletic, and his first step and explosiveness are on another level. Thomas has deep range on his jumper and is a very good passer when he gets others involved.

At the Adidas Invitational, Thomas was fairly inconsistent, scoring 35 in one game and then disappearing for stretches.

“I’ve been off and on,” he said. “One game I play good, next one is bad.”

Thomas is not far along in the recruiting process, but he listed Kentucky, Memphis, Colorado, Arizona, Tennessee, Xavier and Texas.

Three schools are standing out for the No. 7 prospect in 2013: Kentucky, Arizona and Xavier.

“For Arizona, they have good people there, good coaches,” Thomas said. “Xavier, I like the talent they have. And Kentucky, I like [John] Calipari and their style of play.”

Thomas said he plans on making a decision at the end of his junior year in high school.

“I want to go to a place where I can have fun,” he said. “I want to get my degree and go to the NBA.”

Top Performers

Shabazz Muhammad, 2012, Dream Vision: Hate to keep bringing him up, but Muhammad lit up for the second day in a row. Going head-to-head against Andre Drummond, Muhammad easily won the battle, scoring 29 and getting the win.

Kaleb Tarczewski, 2012, New England Playaz: Tarczewski is a man among boys at times down low. He runs the floor well and catches everything thrown to him in transition. He finishes well around the basket.

Bronson Koenig, 2013, Wisconsin Playground Warriors: It didn’t take long for Koenig to make his presence known against the Las Vegas Prospects. He knocked down two long 3-pointers off the dribble and also found teammates for points. 

Kasey Hill, 2013, Florida Rams Black: Hill is a big-time scoring point guard at this stage. He changes directions well and is very shifty with the ball. His crossover and ball-handling create separation and make his shots tough to guard.

Jarrell Martin, 2013, Brandon Bass Elite: Martin is well on his way to being a big-time forward in his class. He is very long and runs the floor well. He can score from the perimeter and attacks the offensive glass with aggressiveness.

Phil Nolan, 2012, Devin Harris Super Stars: Although he struggled during certain stretches, Nolan is a tough matchup. He can shoot consistently from the perimeter and runs the floor like a gazelle. He’s 6-foot-9, and his length makes him a solid defender and rebounder.

Other Notables: Even though Tarczewski got most of the pub, John Papale was outstanding for the New England Playaz. He is a knockdown outside shooter . . . Double Pump Elite has two tall point guards in Nigel Williams-Goss and Tyrone Wallace that can see over the defense and make plays . . . Ricardo Gathers was quiet at times, but when he decided to go down low and dominate, he was difficult to stop . . . A name to remember could be Landry Nnoko. He is long, strong and athletic, and is still getting accustomed to playing the game . . . Standing next to Andre Drummond might make it difficult to get noticed, but Sean Obi knows how to carve out space and make plays at the rim . . . Wannah Bail has great physical attributes; he just needs to refine his offensive game and he could be dominant . . . Team D-Rose could have a sleeper in Trevor Thompson, a 6-foot-10 big man who can score with his back to the basket.

Posted on: July 7, 2011 1:45 am
Edited on: July 7, 2011 3:21 pm
 

Adidas Invitational: Day One Notebook

By Jeff Borzello

INDIANAPOLIS – After Nate Britt’s outstanding NBPA Top 100 camp performance in Virginia two weeks ago, buzz started to spread about Britt as the top point guard prospect in the class.

After Tuesday, Andrew Harrison took the title back in impressive fashion.

“You saw the game,” Harrison said afterwards. “Of course I [think I’m better].”

Harrison, a 6-foot-5 rising junior from Travis (Tex.), has the size and vision to be a future pro. He has very good handle and can get to the rim at will. Defensively, he gave Britt problems with his length and lateral quickness.

With fellow stars Aaron Harrison, Shaq Cleare and Derrick Griffin all fouling out, Harrison put the team on his back in the second half.

“I’m used to it,” he said. “I like it, and I’m glad we pulled out the win.”

Harrison, ranked No. 5 by CBSSports.com/MaxPreps, listed Maryland, Kansas, Kentucky, Baylor, Arizona, Texas, Texas A&M and North Carolina.

“I don’t want to be one and done like everybody else,” Harrison said. “I’m looking to go to a family atmosphere and just be able to play.”

Keith Frazier lights it up from deep

While Shabazz Muhammad was filling it up on one wing for Dream Vision, newly-acquired Keith Frazier was holding his own on the other side.

Frazier, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Irving (Tex.), is one of the better shooters in the class of 2013. He has a great stroke and deep range on his jumper, and his length makes his shot nearly impossible to contest.

Although he was a new member to Dream Vision, Frazier made a seamless transition.

“I’m trying to do what I can, just to fit in,” he said. “I just want to play within the other players.”

The No. 16-ranked player by CBSSports.com/MaxPreps listed Arizona, Houston, Kentucky, Marquette, Georgia, Baylor and Texas.

“I want a school that gets out and runs, and plays hard,” Frazier said. “And one that lets me shoot.”

Top Performers

Shabazz Muhammad, 2012, Dream Vision: The new No. 1 player in the country made his case for the top spot on Tuesday. The lefty scorer dropped 40 points in a comeback win over Team Indiana Elite, and was consistently unstoppable in transition.

Twymond Howard, 2012, MSM4L: After a subpar NBPA Top 100 camp, the two-sport star was knocking down tough shots all night. Howard finished with 42 points in an overtime loss, driving to the rim and also making 3-point shots with efficiency.

Shaq Goodwin, 2012, Atlanta Celtics: Goodwin didn’t always finish consistently on Tuesday, but he got to the free-throw line better than anyone in the event. He finishes through contact and doesn’t shy away from physicality.

Patrick Ingram, 2012, Eric Gordon Central Stars: One of the more surprising players on the first day with Ingram. He was nearly unstoppable when driving to his right, and he consistently finished against bigger players at the rim.

Kris Dunn, 2012, Connecticut Basketball Club: Against the Atlanta Celtics, Dunn was absolutely dominant. No defender could stay in front of him, as Dunn consistently penetrated past his man and got to the rim with ease.

Craig Victor, 2014, New Orleans Elite: Although he’s young, Victor had a terrific performance in the opening battle. He knows how to score with his back to the basket and he runs the floor extremely well for a young big man.

Other Notables: Of all the Florida Rams big guys, Staphon Blair might be the least-known, but he played the best on Tuesday. He’s an absolute beast down low with a non-stop motor . . . Derrick Griffin might be the best dunker in the country. He will finish anything in his area . . . Kaleb Tarczewski played well in stretches, running the floor and finishing around the rim. He needs to stay out of foul trouble, though . . . Fresh off his commitment to Texas Tech, Jordan Goodman was more active and aggressive than in the past, proving to be a tough match-up . . . Nate Britt had his moments where he was unstoppable, but he was outplayed by the Harrison twins. Still, when his jumper is falling, he’s very difficult to contain . . . If he ever learns how to harness his athleticism, Javonte Hawkins is going to be a big-time offensive player. He’s so explosive when going to the rim . . . Gabe York can simply get off his shot whenever he wants, whether it is off the dribble or from deep-range . . . Apparently Chris Thomas had an outstanding second game, but he was thrown out of the first one after receiving two technicals in the first nine minutes.

Photos: MaxPreps 

 
 
 
 
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