Tag:July Recruiting Period
Posted on: July 28, 2009 1:19 am

I'm honored to have inspired a GIF

I'm not sure if it's appropriate or classy.

But it's funny!

So click this link and checkout The Sporting Blog's take on my column about the prospect who has been offered a scholarship by Saint Louis despite the fact that he's still facing two felony charges for his role as the would-be getaway driver in a bank robbery. Nice GIF. Much appreciated.
Posted on: July 27, 2009 1:43 am

Memphis Magic Elite win adidas Super 64

The Memphis Magic Elite won the adidas Super 64 on Sunday.

They beat the New England Playaz in the title game.

The Memphis team consists of multiple high-major prospects -- most notably Joe Jackson (ranked 17th in the Class of 2010), Tarik Black (ranked 57th in the Class of 2010) and Adonis Thomas (ranked 15th in the Class of 2011). Another is Chris Crawford, who is unranked nationally. But Crawford won the adidas Super 64 with a floater at the buzzer, and he'll now watch as offers from area schools come rolling in thanks to a strong effort in Las Vegas.

As for Jackson, he only enhanced his status with his play.

The 5-foot-11 point guard showed a unique ability to get to the rim and run a team en route to taking MVP honors, and he won multiple games with clutch plays down the stretch. The reward should be a rise in his national ranking heading into his senior year at White Station High. In fact, I won't be surprised if Jackson is ultimately considered the best true point guard in the nation not named Brandon Knight.
Posted on: July 26, 2009 2:56 am

That awesome team from Canada freaking lost

LAS VEGAS -- Clearly, I jinxed them.

That's the only explanation for Grassroots Canada's 70-69 loss to New Heights NYC in the Sweet 16 of the adidas Super 64 tournament at Rancho High here in Las Vegas. Jayvaughn Pinkston led New Heights NYC with 19 points. It was an effort that will prevent Grassroots Canada from repeating as champions of the adidas Super 64, and I hope you didn't pay too much attention to that column I wrote Friday.

Anyway, the Elite Eight is now set.

If you care, the matchups are:
  • New Heights NYC vs. Minnesota Pump N Run
  • New England Playaz vs. Compton Magic Black
  • DC Assault Gold vs. Nashville Celtics
  • Memphis Magic Elite vs. Atlanta Celtics J-Smoove
The Elite Eight, Final Four and Championship Game will take place Sunday.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: July 24, 2009 1:04 am
Edited on: July 24, 2009 1:06 am

Coach K and Izzo watching the younger kids

LAS VEGAS -- I broke away from the 17-and-under events late Thursday to go see some younger prospects.

Mike Krzyzewski and Tom Izzo apparently had the same idea -- because both were at the Tarkanian Basketball Academy evaluating Class of 2011 prospects while the majority of other high-major coaches remained focused on the Class of 2010 at various facilities around town. To put this into context, you must understand that nearly every relevant 17-and-under game here in Las Vegas is attended by five or more college head coaches, and in some cases there could be 10 or 15 watching the same court. But at this 16-and-under event on this night there were four games simultaneously being played under the same roof, and the only head coaches I saw in the building were two of the biggest names in the sport.

Their presence created quite a buzz.

Krzyzewski was watching a team from Indiana led by Class of 2011 standouts Cody Zeller and Marshall Plumlee, and if those names sound familiar, they should. Zeller is the younger brother of Luke Zeller (played at Notre Dame) and Tyler Zeller (plays at North Carolina); Plumlee is the younger brother of Miles and Mason Plumlee, both of whom play at Duke. As for Izzo, he was sitting in the front row with assistant Mark Montgomery watching a team from Michigan featuring Trey McDonald, a 6-foot-9 forward in the Class of 2011.

It should be noted that Duke and Michigan State both already have three commitments from the Class of 2010.

In other words, Krzyzewski and Izzo can afford to look ahead.
Posted on: July 22, 2009 3:25 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2009 3:28 pm

Selby's decommitment is the talk of Vegas, so far

LAS VEGAS -- Whether I was at the Villa 7 Consortium at the Venetian on Tuesday night or a gym around town this morning, pretty much all any coach wants to talk about is Josh Selby's decommitment from Tennessee and the circumstances surrounding it. As I reported Sunday , Selby ended a 10-month commitment to the Vols this weekend -- less than two weeks after attending the Nike-funded LeBron James Skills Academy and King City Classic, where his mother told me she met with basketball powerbroker William Wesley .

As you probably know, Wesley -- more commonly referred to as "Worldwide Wes" or "Fresh Wes" or simply "Wes" -- has long been unofficially tied to Nike Basketball and certain prospects, most notably Dajuan Wagner, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans, all of whom played for John Calipari at Memphis.

Now Calipari is at Kentucky.

And industry sources believe UK is the new leader for Selby.

And, well, you know.

"That kid was committed to Tennessee for almost a year, then he goes to a Nike event, the mom talks with Wes, the kid decommits from an 'Adidas' school, and now he's looking at Kentucky," said one high-major coach, noting the timeline of the developments as well as UT's apparel contract with Adidas. "Come on, man. That's messed up. I mean, that's just messed up."

It's funny.

Bruce Pearl has spent his four years at Tennessee rubbing a good portion of the coaching community the wrong way, and yet across the board people appear sympathetic toward him and the rest of UT 's staff in light of Selby's decommitment. Regardless of what's real and what isn't, seemingly everybody in the coaching profession believes Wesley influenced Selby's decision, and Selby's mother publicly acknowledging she met with Wesley before her son decommitted has only enhanced that perception.

Either way, it's the talk of Vegas, I assure you.

And it'll be interesting to see which coaches are at El Dorado High today at 5:20 p.m. ET when Selby plays his opening game with the Baltimore Assault in the Adidas Super 64. I'm unfamiliar with the Assault's roster and the team they're playing (Team Credo). But one college coach told me Selby will be the only high-major prospect on the court, meaning any high-major coach in the building will be in the building to see Selby.

I'll let you know what I see when I see it.
Posted on: July 21, 2009 9:42 am
Edited on: July 21, 2009 9:48 am

On the road for a busy week

I'm traveling to Las Vegas today for the restart of the July recruiting period.

There are four big tournaments this week (at various sites around the area) featuring nearly every relevant high school prospect ... except for the best two from the Class of 2010. As I reported last week, Harrison Barnes (ranked No. 1 by Scout.com and No. 2 by Rivals.com) is skipping Las Vegas to rest for next month's Nike Global Challenge. Meantime, Brandon Knight (ranked No. 1 by Rivals.com and No. 2 by Scout.com) is out because of a broken bone in his foot suffered last week at the Nike Peach Jam tournament.

So no, it's not perfect.

But Las Vegas is still the place to be this week.

  • On Tuesday , the annual Villa 7 Consortium -- an invitation-only event designed to help some of the nation's best assistants network and share ideas with athletic directors, head coaches and each other -- is at the Venetian Hotel and Casino. Only 50 assistants were invited. Among the head coaches scheduled to speak are John Calipari (Kentucky), Lon Kruger (UNLV), Dana Altman (Creighton), Ken McDonald (Western Kentucky), Gene Cross (Toledo), Mark Phelps (Drake), Shaka Smart (VCU) and Matt Matheny (Elon). Meanwhile, the GBOA (Grassroots Basketball of America) is presenting Sonny Vaccaro with its Grassroots Pioneer Award. That ceremony is at the Palms Resort and Casino.
  • On Wednesday , four major summer tournaments tip-off as college coaches begin a 10-day period of evaluation. The four tournaments are the Adidas Super 64, the Reebok Summer Championships, the Main Event and the Center Stage. Practically every college head coach and assistant will make an appearance at one time or another. Those who don't will be in Orlando for various AAU events. Many will be in Las Vegas and Orlando at different times.
  • On Thursday , USA Basketball begins a three-day minicamp at Valley High School featuring 23 of the NBA's best young talents. Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose and Blake Griffin are among those scheduled to participate. The minicamp will conclude Saturday night with an intrasquad game at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: July 16, 2009 1:47 am
Edited on: July 16, 2009 1:49 am

Sullinger leads All Ohio Red to Peach Jam title

All Ohio Red won the Nike Peach Jam with a 62-53 victory over Team Final late Wednesday.

Class of 2010 star Jared Sullinger -- the subject of a recent column -- got 19 points and 21 rebounds in the win.

Class of 2011 star Michael Gilchrist  -- the subject of a recent column -- got 19 points and seven rebounds in the loss.

Posted on: July 15, 2009 3:02 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2009 3:05 pm

Just as I thought ...

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- As expected , it'll be All Ohio Red vs. Team Final in tonight's Nike Peach Jam title game.

Meanwhile, I'm headed home.

Flying out of Atlanta.

And it appears most of the college coaches are too, because the only high-major head coaches at this morning's semifinals were Florida's Billy Donovan, Alabama's Anthony Grant and USC's Kevin O'Neil. Nearly everybody else is already off the road because today is the last day of the first evaluation period in July, and only a handful of prospects are still competing in an event.

The second evaluation period begins next Wednesday and runs through July 31.

The major events of the second period are in Las Vegas and Orlando.

I'll be in Las Vegas on Tuesday night.

But till then, I'll be home.
Category: NCAAB
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