Rabun Gap HS @ Charlotte Christian

By James Blackburn

James Blackburn was able to attend and scout Rabun Gap HS who made their way up from Georgia to take on Charlotte Christian on Friday night.

Game Notes

Both teams got off to a slow start early on, while Charlotte struggled to figure out Rabun Gap’s zone defense, and Rabun Gap struggling to hit outside shots. Charlotte led 7-4 after 1. The 2nd quarter was a little more up and down, as Charlotte was able to generate some offense behind senior PG Trey Phills (19 pts). Rabun Gap struggled to utilize their bigs and turned the ball over numerous times. Charlotte did a great job of staying patient until they could get the shot they wanted. At the half, Charlotte led 22-16.

Rabun Gap made adjustments at the half, and Senior F, Dusan Kovacevic (22 pts), took over. Rabun controlled the boards, hit FT’s, and defended the ball to pull away for the 51-37 lead.

I must say that both of these teams were well coached and there were numerous college prospects in this contest.

 

Scouting Reports

Charlotte Christian

Trey Phills, 6’2″, G, 2015

Trey is one of the best pure scorers I have seen this year. He came into the game averaging over 20 ppg. He can beat you with the jump shot and he can finish in traffic at the rim. He is quick and shifty and has a lethal first step. He can create his own shot, but showed unselfishness last night, getting his teammates involved and not forcing shots. He showed his athleticism in the first half with 3 dunks. He attacks the gaps and is a terrific ball handler. He needs to improve set shooting but is a D1 prospect.

Rabun Gap

Dusan Kovacevic, 6’10”, F, 2015

Dusan has a terrific feel for the game and did it all on the floor tonight. He can rebound the ball and push it ahead in transition. He plays at his pace and is never hurried or bothered by ball pressure. He struggled to his his jumper this game from the outside but was able to score with his back to the basket and off the dribble. He is a good FT shooter as well. He has solid court vision and is a good teammate. A player who HM schools need to be on.

Luka Majstorovic, 6’9″, F/C, 2015

Luka was hands down the best rebounder in this game. He controlled his area and did an excellent job of chinning and securing the ball after getting the board. He uses his big body well to score inside and showed nice touch from the FT line. He seals off inside the post and keeps the ball high. Fundamentally sound. Luka has already signed to play D2.

 

ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has selected the Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer as its Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week for games ending the week of Sunday, Dec. 14. The USBWA’s weekly honor is presented by Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook.

Wiltjer

As the West Coast Conference Player of the Week, Wiltjer was nominated for the weekly award, which was chosen by a representative of the USBWA board of directors from a list of Division I conference players of the week. This is the sixth season that the USBWA has selected a national player of the week.

Wiltjer, a 6-10 junior from Portland, Ore., registered back-to-back 20-point games in a pair of wins over Pac-12 opponents. Last Wednesday, Wiltjer was 9-of-14 from the field and scored 21 points in an 81-66 win over Washington State. Then on Saturday, Wiltjer led the Zags to an 87-74 win at UCLA with a team-high 24 points on 9-of-13 shooting.

Overall in the two games, he was 18-for-27 (.667) from the field, 5-for-7 (.714) from behind the arc, and a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line. Against WSU he also had six rebounds, four assists, a block and a steal. Then at UCLA, he had four rebounds, an assist and a steal.

Since the 1958-59 season, the USBWA has named a National Player of the Year. In 1998, the award was named in honor of the University of Cincinnati Hall of Famer and two-time USBWA Player of the Year Oscar Robertson. It is the nation’s oldest award and the only one named after a former player.

Oscar Robertson TrophyAt the conclusion of the regular season, the USBWA will name finalists for the award, which is voted on by the entire membership. The winner of the Oscar Robertson Trophy will be presented by its namesake, Oscar Robertson, at theDevon Energy College Basketball Awards on April 14, 2015, at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. The Henry Iba Coach of the Year Award and the Integris Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award will also be presented at the gala to be held annually following the NCAA Men’s Final Four.

The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. With some 900 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball. It has selected an All-America team since the 1956-57 season. For more information on the USBWA and the Oscar Robertson Trophy, contact executive director Joe Mitch at 314-795-6821.

Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, the most comprehensive college basketball publication in the world, returns for its 34th season. Blue Ribbon – long-known as “The Bible of College Basketball” – gives its readers the most thorough, up-to-date and timely evaluations of every Division I team in the country. For more information about Blue Ribbon Yearbooks, visit blueribbonyearbookonline.com.

2014-15 Oscar Robertson National Players of the Week
Week of Dec. 7: Justin Anderson, Virginia (Atlantic Coast Conference)
Week of Dec. 14: Kyle Wiltjer, Gonazga (West Coast Conference)

Sleeper Report: Keon Moore (Winthrop)

Keon Moore basketball

By James Blackburn

Game Scouted: Winthrop vs Mars Hill
Winthrop wins 96-51
Box Score

Keon Moore

(SG, 6’5″, SR)


Stats
24 min, 6-11 FG, 0-4 3 pt, 5-6 FT, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, 17 TP

Strengths
Is a legit 6’5″ with solid length and has good arm strength w/ wide shoulders.
Is a smooth scorer. Showed he could score off the dribble and in a variety of ways inside the paint with floaters, runners, etc. Is as smooth of scorer as they come. Excellent finisher in the open court. Had a play in the open court where he finished around 3 defenders by going around the back and finishing with a finger roll lay-up. Has a smooth crossover dribble.

Solid on the defensive end. Uses length to guard and shields the ball and gets into the passing lanes. Makes plays and has active hands. Was able to grab rebounds and push ball in transition- kept head up and looked up court for teammates. Solid rebounder on the defensive end, doesnt crash the offensive glass much, as he is the one back as the other guard.

Came out early in this one passing the ball and getting teammates involved. Is an unselfish player who wont force a lot of shots. Underrated playmaking ability. Willing to make the extra pass on perimeter to get better shot.

Tremendous shooter who can hit 3’s with his feet set and can hit shots coming off of screens. Has a soft touch and can create his own shot. Release is the same every time and he gets solid arc on his shot. Follows his shot and he knows when and where he is going to miss, which isn’t much. Good FT shooter.

Weaknesses
Is a good defender, but the has the ability to be great on this end. Got caught on a few staggered screens and was beat the spot a few times, but other then that was solid.

Athleticism is good but not great and doesnt have the quickest feet. Since he lacks first step quickness I would like to see him change speeds better off the dribble.
How well can he finish with his left hand and attack to his left?

Excellent shooter but he has a low release. Decent ball handler but could continue to improve in this area.

Overview
Entered contest averaging 17.3 ppg while shooting 51% from the 3 and 46% from the field. The reason his shooting percentages are so high, are 1, he is a great shooter, and 2, he doesnt shoot bad shots. Knows his spots on the floor and has a high IQ.
Is a SG and played this position solely the entire game. Is one of the smoothest and most fluid players I have seen in a while. Everything comes so naturally to him.
Communicates on the floor and was a good teammate and leader. Has a humble approach to the game.
I can see Moore as a possible player of the year candidate in the Big South this year and could have an outside chance of getting a Portsmouth Invite. The D-League would be a good option for a player of his skills. He could definitely become a 3 and D guy and could also find a niche overseas as a pro.

James Blackburn has scouted all levels of basketball, including high school, college and the pros, as well as international competitions such as the FIBA World Cup. Want more scouting notes from James? Follow him on Twitter @jamesjunior21, right now!

By Charles Clark

Well by now I’m sure that you have already heard about the Trinity vs. Village matchup Tuesday night, the environment was absolutely insane with fans being turned away at the door due to overcrowding inside. Fans sat on bleachers, chairs, stood in corners and some even sat on the floor just to see this matchup, As one coach mentioned to me ‘‘ this is what high school basketball is all about!!’’ The game was a great matchup with Village and Trinity going back and forth up until the 3rd quarter where Village would make a run to stretch the leads to 11 points, But Trinity would make a comeback and cut the lead to 4 at the end of the 3 rd quarter. In the 4th Quarter the two teams would go back and forth up until the final minute when Trinity would come up with multiple steals and Scores to take the win at Village Christian. It was very impressive to see the amount of talent that was on the floor, so with out further ado let’s take a look at some of the prospects that stood out to me:

Trinity Christian:

Zo Tyson, 6’9, 2015 Center (High Point Commit)- To see the progression that Zo has made over the past few years has to make you smile, this young man has worked hard and will be an asset to the High Point Program. Zo was very active on both ends of the floor, on the defensive end he challenged and blocked shots at high rate as well cleaning up the glass for rebounds. He’s one of those players that does the dirty work and the small things that may not get a ton of publicity but at the end of the night you love him if he’s on your squad. What may have impressed me most was how well he played on the offensive end, Zo has become comfortable playing with his back to the basket, he has used a short jump hook shot for a while now that goes in with regularity. Zo was also outstanding on the offensive glass getting rebounds and put back dunks for Trinity. However there was one move in particular that impressed me, in the 2nd half he was guarded on the baseline and looked as if he had no where to go, instead of forcing a bad pass he took one dribble and knocked a beautiful fade away jumper. Very impressive performance for this young man in the win for Trinity

Dennis Smith Jr. 6’2, 2016, Point Guard- As most people know, Dennis Smith Jr. has gone from being an unranked PG to being ranked the #1 PG in the class of 2016 by ESPN.com and numerous other scouting services. Smith has very good height for a PG and uses that height along with his IQ and outstanding athletic ability to help his team. Smith Struggled shooting the ball through three quarters but still made plays and passes that would help his team stay in the game and eventually take the lead. Smith has a very competitive nature, you can see that he absolutely hates losing and will do anything possible to help his squad win. The 4th quarter is when Smith really put his stamp on the game, he got to the paint time after time, finishing layups and drawing fouls to get to the line. Smith has the potential to be an outstanding player at the next level if he continues to progress, I would love to see Smith improve his shooting so that he’s knocking down the perimeter shot with consistency.

Cameron Campbell, 6’2, 2016, Guard- An impressive showing for this young man, he showed outstanding ball handling and decision making throughout the game. What impressed me the most was his perimeter shooting, although he didn’t knock down a high amount of threes you can tell that he absolutely is a shooter. Has good elevation on his shot and good form, knocked a huge three pointer in the 4th quarter to help Trinity gain more momentum
Joey Baker, 6’6, 8th Grade, Forward- The key word with Joey Baker is POTENTIAL; he’s only in 8th grade but is logging solid mins on a varsity squad that is a target for its opponents on a nightly basis. Although he didn’t have a big scoring night, he competes and It’s easy to see that he has a natural feel for the game and will be a player that coaches around the country will come to see in a few years if he continues to progress. Can already shoot it from outside and with added strength will be able to play inside the paint as well.

Village Christian:

Michael Hueitt Jr. 6’2, 2017, Guard- If you have known me the past few years then you know that I’ve been a believer of the young man Michael Hueitt Jr. He has the potential to be an even better player than he already is now if he continues to work and progress in a few areas. To make it plain and simple he’s is one of the best shooters in the state this year and is averaging close to 20 PPG.This young man brings a ton of intensity on a nightly basis and is a fan favorite, All Hueitt needs is just a small amount of space to get his shot off and he knocks it down on a regular basis. On Tuesday he showed that not only can he knock down the trey ball with regularity but also the midrange shot and even can throw it down when he gets in transition. One area that I would love to must see more from Hueitt is on the defensive end, he has a very long wingspan and can develop into a defensive specialist, If you haven’t added Michael Hueitt Jr.to your ‘Players to Watch’’ list , you definitely should because he’s worth the price of admission without a doubt. It also should be noted that Michael Hueitt Jr. was my ‘‘Hand Down, Man Down’’ award winner last season.

Kwinton Hinson 6’4, 2015, Wing- I saw Kwinton two years ago at the Eastern Regional Championship at Crown Arena, you could see that he was a talented player but was young and his body would still need some work. Well lets forward to Tuesday night, Kwinton has a college body already and was very impressive, especially in the first half. He knocked down shots from the Perimeter and Midrange as well as getting to the basket when he wanted; although he scored 16 Points I was more impressed with the 12 Rebounds that he pulled down. With his height and frame he’s definitely an asset to a program, he is the type of player that can pull down a rebound, push the ball the full length of the court and make a play. Kwinton has a very mature game but I would love to see him get him a little better handling the ball; however he definitely was impressive and looks like he will have an outstanding senior season.

David Strother 6’2, 2016 Guard- David played a solid game , he handled pressure very well throughout the night, This young man knows how to keep defenders guessing by using a variety of moves and fakes , especially when bringing the ball up the court. On the defensive end he read the opposition very well and came up with numerous steals, offensively he has a nice floater that he uses once he gets into the paint and his jump shot is improving as well. David is one of those players that may not jump out at you but he knows how the Point Guard position is supposed to be ran.

Juwuan Wright, 6’5, 2015, Forward- Village was definitely undersized in their matchup with Trinity so a big night from Juwuan was needed. Although he didn’t have his best night offensively, he was very active throughout the night, especially on the glass,
He finished the game with 10 Rebounds and 8 Points. One attribute that I def like about Juwuan is the intensity and enthusiasm he brings to his team on a nightly basis. No matter how big the opponent he’s def not backing down for anyone, is progressing on the offensive end and will be very dangerous if he’s add more midrange/perimeter shooting to his game.

Want more scouting notes and player details? Be sure to follow Charles Clark on Twitter @CHC3, right this second!

Mark Tollesfsen Basketball

By James Blackburn

Game Scouted: San Francisco vs Evansville (Gulf Coast Showcase)
Evansville wins 79-72
Box Score

Mark Tollefsen (F, 6’9″, JR)

Stats
11-21 FG , 9 reb, 3 assist, 1 steal, 2 TO’s, 23 TP

Strengths
Tremendously skilled lefty with good length and athleticism. Versatile SF with a high motor. Is active around the rim and sticks with his own misses- has a quick 2nd jump. Can put the ball on floor and score off the dribble in a variety of ways. Underrated passer who sees the floor very well and delivers passes on time and on target. Above average shooter who gets great arc on his shots and has soft touch. Terrific face up shooter. Good athlete who finished multiple lob plays above the rim.
Was willing to do whatever the team needed him to do. Can play on the wing and he can pick and roll or pick and pop.
High IQ player who has a great feel for the game.

Weaknesses
Needs to get stronger in both upper and lower body so he can keep his lines on drives. San Fransisco played a mix of zone and man on defense. Mark was average on this end. Didnt stay in stance and I question if he can stay in front of good SF’s. Is a tweener on the defensive end.
While Mark is a good shooter, he needs to continue to improve his range and consistency shooting the 3- better midrange shooter.
Good offensive rebounder because of activity but needs to improve on the defensive glass- struggles to hold ground when boxing out.

Overview
Mark was his teams best and most consistent player throughout the three days of the Gulf Coast Showcase tournament I was able to watch him in. The more you watch him play, you realize how valuable he is to his team. It was hard to keep him off the floor.

He has a player who has a lot of potential and while he is an average defender at this point, I could see him becoming a great defender because of length and athleticism. Still has another year left to improve and get stronger. I can see him becoming a player that could garner a Portsmouth Invite and possibly a summer league spot. At the very least his skills would be highly coveted by a European club. He could play for a 1st division in a mid-tier country or a 2nd division team in a top tier country (Turkey, Spain, Israel, etc). The D-League would also be an option for him too, but I think his skills would be more utilized in Europe.

I-95 Pre-Christmas Basketball Tournament 2014

Phenom Hoop High School Jamboree

Michael Okauru

Michael Okauru showed a flair for scoring at the Phenom High School Jamboree

By James Blackburn

I was able to attend the Phenom Hoop High School Jamboree on Saturday held at Proehlific Park in Greensboro, NC. 24 high school teams from around the region attended the event which was well attended by college coaches of every division. I was able to see see just about every team during my time spent there and my reports on some of the top performers are below.

2015


Cecil Moore

(5’10”, Calvary Baptist)
Super quick guard who can get to paint. Defends the ball baseline to baseline. Needs to improve playmaking ability but is a solid guard.

Xavier Hill-Mais

(6’8″, Greensboro Page)

One of the strongest bigs in attendance today. Great post defender who protects rim without fouling. Tough nosed and physical.

Dusan Kovacevic

(6’10”, Rabun Gap)

Was the top player in attendance today in my opinion. Is a point forward and ran the PG position for most of the day. Is in great shape and played almost every minute in all 3 games and was the number one offensive weapon. Has a great feel for the game and is highly skilled. Reminds me of Joe Ingles who played for Team Australia this summer in the FIBA World Cup. Is vocal and a floor leader. Solid ball handler who can also knock down open 3’s. Unselfish. Is from Serbia and played for the Junior National team this past summer. Utilizes pump fakes and can score the ball when needed. Not afraid of contact. Needs to improve quickness and explosion. Already holds several D1 offers and is a HM player in my opinion.

Luka Majstorovic

(6’9″, Rabun Gap)

Back to the basket C who has great hands and footwork. Is great in the high post or on the block. Has a soft touch and showed off several post moves including a nice turn around. Solid defensive rebounder and made several terrific outlet passes. Reminds me of Kennedy Meeks in several ways. Very good passer. Strong and big bodied post who has lost weight since the summer. Not very athletic but moves well for his size. LM/MM schools should be recruiting him hard.

Christian Adams

(6’3″, Calvary Baptist)

The Coastal Carolina commit looked solid on both ends all day. Lefty wing with good size and has the ability to create for himself and others. Can score in multiple ways.

Kentrell Barkley

(6’6″, 2015)

The ECU commit was all over the floor today. Love his energy and his motor. Uses his athleticism to his advantage. Solid rebounder who can score above the rim.

Rob Brown

(6’8″, Millbrook HS)

Mobile big who has tremendous strength and good size. Has solid upside. Would be a steal for some D2 teams.

Marko Tomic

(6’8″, Freedom Academy)
Stretch 4 who has a terrific stroke from 3-pt line. Skilled player who can pass, dribble, and shoot. Unselfish player who has a great feel for the game. Is from Serbia. LM schools should be all over this kid.

Corey Hanes

(6’5″, Forsyth Country Day)

Hybrid forward who looks more explosive then the last time I saw him. Can score above the rim and create own offense from perimeter or in post. Needs to improve consistency, but any D2/LM schools still needing a 4 man, they should give him a look.

Peter Parkitny

(6’10”, Calvary Baptist)

Mobile big who can shoot the midrange with consistency. Shows solid effort and is mobile. Would be effective in the right system. Hasnt been the states long and I expect his recruitment to pick up soon. D2/LM prospect.

James Dickey

(6’9″, Word of God)

Best shot blocker I saw on the day. Uses his length, timing, and athleticism to alter and block shots. Runs the floor well. Unselfish player who has upside. Can hit the 3 and has good arc on his shot. Needs to add weight. Dickey has committed to UNCG.

Darius Moore

(5’10”, Greensboro Day)

Smooth and unselfish. One of the best pure PGs at the event. Poised floor general who is a terrific passer. Scoring ability has improved. Has a great feel for the game and has good creativity around the rim. Will be heading to PC to play.

Peter Agba

(6’6″, Greensboro Day)

Always will be a big fan of Agba game. Plays much bigger then 6’6″ because of a great frame and a never ending motor. Tremendous rebounder and finisher inside.

2016


Kevin Quinn

(6’4″, Virginia Episcopal)

Underrated player who does the little things to help a team win. Elite shooter who can also score at the rim. College prospect without a doubt.

Delante Jones

(6’5″, Virginia Episcopal)

Loved this kids game. Super bouncy wing who defends and makes plays on both ends. American University got a steal with this kid.

Sacha Killeya- Jones

(6’10”, Virginia Epsicopal)

One of the top bigs at the event today. Mobile and athletic. Can block shots and finish inside. Is receiving interest from multiple HM schools.

Justice Kithcart

(6’2″, Virginia Epsicopal)

Shifty, quick, and athletic PG who can score with contact and get to rim at will.

Greyson Kelley (6’0″, North Raleigh Christian)
Plays extremely hard. Gives 100% energy every play on both ends. Attacks the rim hard. D2 prospect.

Jay Huff

(6’10”, Voyager Academy)

Good shot blocking mobile big man. Great length. Needs to improve conditioning and strength. Can stretch the floor with a solid looking stroke out to 3 and a soft touch. MM prospect.

Casey Penland

(6’1″, High Point Christian)

Athletic guard who is smooth and attacks the rim hard. Can finish at rim in creative ways.

Lawrence Williams

(6’7″, New Hanover HS)

Bouncy and long player with potential.

Michael Steward

(6’5″, Asheville Christian Academy)

Showed good patience in the post and some solid back to basket moves. Has a soft shooting touch out to 15′. Needs to add some muscle but has potential.

Jordan Shepard

(6’2″, Asheville Christian Academy)

One of the top players on his team and one of the best guards I saw today. Ball pressure doesn’t effect him. Poised and patient PG. Smooth and athletic player who can create his own shot. D1 prospect.

2017


Michael Okauru

(6’4′, Ravenscroft HS)
Terrific playmaker with solid court vision especially in transition. Capable of getting to the paint. High energy player on the offensive ends. Capable of becoming a solid defender because of athleticism, but needs to be more consistent on this sid of the floor. Better on the ball defender at this point, lost his man more then once when his man didn’t have the ball. D1 prospect at the guard spot.

JP Moorman

(6’5″, Greensboro Day)

Can catch and finish on the run. Runs the floor well and defends.

Kameron Langley

(6’0″, Southwest Guilford HS)

Kameron was another PG who stood out to me today as someone who was able to use his speed in the open court and also get to the rim. Excellent in a high tempo system. Can finish with contact.

Todd Smith

(6’4″, 2017)

Terrific athlete who had several highlight finishes today. Good shot blocker for size.

Douglas Elks

(6’4″, Ravenscroft HS)

True PG who plays with poise. High IQ player who is unselfish and willing to make extra pass. Moves feet well on defense and makes team better while on floor. Is an underrated player in my opinion and is someone D1 schools should begin to track.

Kaleb Hunter

(6’3″, North Raleigh Christian)

Active lefty who is a good wing defender. Solid across the board.

2018


Drew Tazuma

(6’4″, Knightdale HS)

High energy player who impacts the game on both ends. Love his motor and his potential. Mobile and athletic.

James Blackburn is the Director of Scouting for Basketball Elite and Power to Win Sports. You can keep up with James on Twitter @JamesJunior21

ESPN basketball coaches Jay Bilas

College Basketball Analyst Jay Bilas Leads Conversation

ESPNU will televise The Experts: Coaching Legends on Thursday, Oct. 30, at 7:30 p.m. ET featuring Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, Louisville’s Rick Pitino and North Carolina’s Roy Williams. Hosted by ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas, the four Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame coaches will participate in candid discussion about college basketball in a half-hour special.

Among the topics expected to be discussed:

  • Their first job in college basketball
  • How the sport has changed over the years and how those changes have impacted their profession and the play on the court
  • Power conferences and autonomy
  • Compensating players

The Experts: Coaching Legends is part of ESPNU’s extensive ACC media day coverage. Today, ESPN’s dedicated college network will televise a three-hour ESPNU College Basketball Media Day Special (1 p.m.), and two editions of The Experts: ACC Coaches Roundtable (7 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.), which features conversations amongst the conference’s other 11 head coaches.  ESPNU College Basketball Media Day Special will also feature reports from Tim Welsh at the American media day in New York City

NC Phenom 150 Basketball Showcase Session 2

By James Blackburn

I was able to scout session 2 of the NC Phenom Camp held once again at Proehlific Park in Greensboro, NC. Tons of talent was on display including numerous D1 prospects. Here are my scouting notes on some of the players who stood out today broken down by class.

2015


Aiden Richard Gaston Day NC

Aiden Richard
Aidan Richard (Gaston Day, 6’10″, C) Long player who showed good patience in the post. Caught a big dunk off the backboard in the 2nd game of the day. Needs to get stronger with the ball, but has D1 potential.

Landon Yarbrough (North Lincoln, 6’3″, F) Strong undersized big who finishes in traffic. Willing to set screens and bang in the post. Physical and tough. More athletic than one would think. Solid rebounder who is a lefty. D3 schools should give him a look.

Cheikh Diallo (Cape Fear Christian, 6’4″, PG)
Quick guard who showcased an excellent handle. Terrific crossover move he used repeatedly to get into the paint. Excellent runner. Needs to improve shooting consistency but showed he could create his own shot.

Hunter Dotson (Trinity Academy, 6’1″, G)Aggressive player who is a good slasher. Good use of the glass on bank shots. Loves contact and is strong. High motor. Needs to improve left hand and take better angles on the defensive end. Schools at both the D2/D3 level should watch him this season.

Justin Reid (Cardinal Gibbons, 6’4″, F) Athletic wing who has a good basketball IQ. Really played well here today. Underrated passer who can shoot the ball from the perimeter with consistency. Definitely a college prospect.

2016


Emmanuel Ugboh ELite Prep NC

Emmanuel Ugboh
Emmanuel Ugboh (Elite Prep, 6’10″, C) – Was one of the top players overall in attendance today and top big in my opinion. Solid big man who takes up space inside. Solid athlete who had numerous 2 hand rim-rattling finishes on the day.  Can score with his back to the basket but needs to continue to improve in this area. Footwork is a little raw but he does a good job of keeping the ball high. Strong and solid build. Good rebounder on both ends. Influences shots on defense.  Does a lot with 2 hands- finishes and rebounds w/ 2 hands. HM prospect who will only continue to improve.
Ray Kowalski (Northside Christian, 6’3″, G) – Underrated athlete who can hit the set 3. Solid scorer.  Needs to improve first step quickness and his left hand.

Quentin Jackson Jr (Carlisle School, 6’4″, G) Bouncy player who can catch and finish lobs. Can rebound the ball and push it transition. Good handle for size.

Malcolm Evans (Elite Prep, 6’7″, SF) Malcolm is an athletic player with a good wingspan. Is still raw in a few areas, but showed he can put the ball on floor for a dribble or two and finish above the rim. Needs to improve defensive intensity and shot selection. Showed good form on his jumper. Could develop into a MM+ prospect- has a high ceiling.

Josh Handy (North Rowan, 6’4″, G/F) Handy has a solid wingspan and is a good one on one scorer. One of the best looking one-dribble pull-ups I saw today.

Malcolm Evans Elite Prep NC

Malcolm Evans
Michael Melvin (Freedom Christian, 5’11″, PG) Unselfish player who runs the offense and controls tempo. True PG’s are tough to find, and Melvin is a PG who can play P/R and score the ball when needed as well. Did a good job of feeding the bigs on his team- unselfish. Schools at all three divisions should track.

Trejon Jacob (Millbrook HS, 6’4″, G) Long player who has the ability to handle the ball and made good decisions. Had a couple of nice bounce passes to the roll man coming off the ball screen. Has nice arc on his 3 ball and good footwork.  Plays hard and understands the game.

Thank God Msughter Freedom Christian NC

Thank God Msughter
Thank God Msughter (Freedom Christian, 6’6″, F) Loved his game today. Explosive player who has a high motor and defends/blocks shots. Loves the spin move in the post. Rebounds and shows a ton of emotion on the court. D1 prospect.

Colin Molden (Apex, 6’0″, PG) Smart and poised player who is patient and waits for the ball screen before he puts the ball down. Excellent passer and ball handler. Best set 3 point shooter I saw today- great looking form. Does the little things- fundamental.

Eli Lake (Blythewood, 6’5″, F) Smooth and fluid. Good looking stroke from 3. Solid defender who uses his length.

David Caraher

David Caraher
David Caraher (Chapel Hill, 6’6″, SF) (Chapel Hill, 6’6″, SF) David was a top 3 performer on the day, regardless of position or class. He is an extremely versatile player who scores the ball, defends, and can handle the ball. Defends the ball well by moving his feet and he also had numerous blocks inside. Runs the floor and finishes in traffic with either hand. Unselfish player who understands the game. High basketball IQ. Good ball handler. Is a MM+ prospect in my eyes.

Kristopher Monroe (South Granville, 6’5″, F) Provided the best dunk of the day- a big poster in the afternoon segment.

Rashad Dixon (Southern Durham, 6’3″, G) Athletic slasher who moves well with-out the ball. Scrappy. Great frame. Needs to improve jump shot, has a little hitch in it.

Franklin Ugochukwu (Cape Fear Christian, 6’10″, C) Talks on the floor- most vocal player I saw/heard today. Big bodied player who rebounds. Unselfish. Needs to improve mobility and offensive skills, but is a college prospect.

DeVontae Shuler (Irmo, 6’2″, PG) Shuler is excellent in transition thanks his explosion and quickness. Athletic guard who can finish above the rim and also had a huge block off the backboard. Needs to improve shot selection some.

Morgan McKay (Christ School, 6’8″, C) Big man who showed good touch from midrange with a high release. Solid defender who can guard other bigs 1 on 1 in the post without the need to have guards or anyone double.

James Blackburn scouts players at the high school, college and pro level. For more scouting notes and insight, follow James on Twitter @jamesjunior21

US Elite Hoops Showcase 2014

By Marcus Shockley

I had a chance to drop by the US Elite Hoops Showcase held at Gaston Day School last week and was able to see several solid prospects and catch up with a few players who I hadn’t seen in a few months. I recommend the events organized by US Elite Hoops and be sure to follow them on twitter @USELITEHOOPS so you can keep up with their future events.

Trevor Anderson (PG, 6’1″, 2015) Gaston Day School – Anderson is one of, if not the, fastest guard end-to-end with the ball in the state of NC, comparable only to Derek McKnight, another Gaston Day guard. Anderson is a strong, high motor player; one of the first things I noticed when watching him play a couple of years ago was his ability to play through contact. At last Spring’s NC Top 80, Anderson was one of only a handful of players who seemed to go harder and faster as the games wore on, while other players started feeling fatigue. The knock on Anderson is that coaches see him as a ‘score first’ guard, but he’s dedicating himself this year to work on every aspect of the point guard position; he knows he can score but he also understands he needs to get his team involved. I see Anderson as a definite Division I level guard who is under recruited at this point; he can break the press with the dribble, shoot from deep and already has the physical strength to play the college guard position. We’ll be broadcasting Gaston Day this season as they host powerful rival Northside Christian on January 16, so be sure to tune in to watch the matchups.

Michael Baez (G/F, 6’5, 2015) Charlotte United – Baez continues to show high-octane game and has an ability to take over any game he’s in. Quite frankly, Baez should be considered one of the top natural unsigned talents in the class; He has a high, quick, deep release that is extremely hard to defend; he can bring the ball up and slash to the hoop, with an array of quick moves to finish in traffic; he likes to play way, way above the rim and is an explosive dunker. The knock on Baez in the past has been his consistency, but in this event he got into the flow quickly and didn’t let up. As I’ve said before, when he’s locked in, he will flat-out light up the opposition. Baez continues to be one of my top sleepers for his class.

Chris Price (G, 6’3″, 2015) West Mecklenburg HS – Price is a versatile player who does a lot of things coaches like; most notably, he plays defense. Had at least 5 open court steals and has good length and foot speed to guard the 2 spot effectively. He also hit over 60% of the 3 pointers he shot while I was watching his games and had multiple assists. Good size and is now back 100% from an injury that had limited his play this past summer.

Aiden Richard (PF/C, 6’11”, 2015) Gaston Day School – Richard is a true big with excellent hands, nimble feet and an array of offensive post moves. It’s become a mantra that big men at every level would be more effective if they could just develop a go-to move and a counter-move. However, Richard has far more than two moves; during today’s event, he was pretty much impossible to guard as he got off shots in a dizzying array of deft moves. He also had several open court dunks off of alley-oops from breaking guards. Will need to add strength to move his game to college, and show consistent aggressive play, but he’s made huge strides in his game over the past year and he’s another player who I think coaches should be watching during the January 16 broadcast on NetCast Sports against Northside Christian.

Isaiah Lowe (PG, 5’11”, 2015) Kennedy Charter – Lowe is a guard who completely understands the game; he knows where he is supposed to be at all times. When the ball moves around the perimeter, he knows when to slide down into the deep corner or move out; he can run the team and plays eyes-up, and has the ability to break the press with the dribble. Passes players open in the half court and can push the ball on the break. Makes great decisions with the ball. Made several smart defensive plays where his angles and footwork made the difference.

CJ Miller (SF, 6’5″, 2015) Kennedy Charter – big time athlete with a great first step and explosive finisher. While many high flyers need the open court to show off their skills, Miller is extremely effective in the half court, and he can get explosive plays whether he’s slashing with the ball or moving without it. One of the best slashers I’ve seen in the half court this year, he has the ability to get a step on his man and finish so effortlessly and above the rim it’s hard for the big man to rotate over in time to defend him without fouling. He also knows that he doesn’t have to dunk everything to get the job done, but make no mistake, he’s a rim-rocker when he gets the chance.

Lucas Johnson (SF, 6’5, 2015) Kennedy Charter – great passer from the 3 spot, good size, excellent slasher. One of those rare players who have great ability to find teammates from the small forward position while also being a danger to slash and score at any time. Can shoot from deep as well, which makes defenders have to make tough choices on how to guard him.

Jordan Ruth (G/F, 6’5″, 2016) Comenius School – Ruth is another explosive above-the-rim player who has great strength and size for the wing spot. One thing I’ve liked about his game is he makes an impact all over the floor from the moment he steps into the game, whether it’s grabbing loose balls or finding open teammates with the pass. Definitely a versatile player who just ‘gets’ team basketball in a way that makes his team better. He can score, he can dunk, but he always looks for the best play for his team over his own highlight film. And the best part is, he gets his highlights anyway.

Cameron Holmes (G, 6’3″, 2016) Nations Ford HS – Excellent passer in the transition game; always seemed to make the right pass or play at full speed. Long guard who has good bounce and some upside. Quick first step and poise, definitely a player who looks like he could make big strides this year during the high school season.

Alex Van Dyke (SF/PF, 6’8″, 2015) Union Grove HS (WI) – Van Dyke has a great build and plays way above the rim – plays high school ball in Wisconsin but is looking to go to school in North Carolina. I love Van Dyke’s natural ability and his fluid game. He already has the look of a college small forward and has excellent size and athleticism. An inspiring person who was diagnosed with childhood cancer (leukemia acute lymphocytic), he beat the disease and made a full recovery and is now looking to make his mark on the court. I think the upside on Van Dyke is tremendous. Right now he is still working on being more proactive as opposed to reactionary, but there is so much natural ability to his game I can’t wait to see his progression. I’d really want to see him become really aggressive with the slash or shot when playing against bigger defenders because of his quickness and athleticism. I think he could be a real match up nightmare at the 3 in time. Definitely a player I want to see multiple times.

Ryder Mansfield (PF/C, 6’7″, 2015) Charlotte United – A hard working post player who doesn’t shy away from contact and showed a couple of nifty post moves. Good hands, seals in the post and defends. Runs the floor and makes himself a target for the guards, and boxes out for the rebound every time. Doesn’t get knocked off the blocks easily.

Josh Nork (G, 6′, 2016) York Prep – Hard nosed player with a high motor; good at finding space in transition and making himself a target. Had to play off of the ball due to the abundance of guards in the game but even slid down to the 3 when needed. Moves well without the ball and another solid player who understands how to play in the team concept.

Trevonte Diggs (G, 6’3″, 2015) Charlotte United – Diggs is a player I meant to add to my report from the CIBL fall league, and in this event I quickly remembered why. A high flying guard with great strength who can play with anybody in the state, Diggs gets the job done by moving without the ball, slashing with the dribble and can bring down the house with posterizing dunks when he gets a step on the defender. Plays above the rim and another under recruited player who should be getting looks; definitely has college athleticism but has a well rounded game on both ends. Really like how he plays off of the ball – so many guards need to have the ball in their hands to make something happen, but Diggs is a player who can make his impact even when cutting or setting picks.

Keeshon Phillips (PG, 5’9″, 2017) East Mecklenburg HS – A deft ballhandler with some flash, Phillips can work over a defense with the dribble or the pass. A crafty, elusive guard who rarely turns the ball over and has a rock solid handle.

Jonathon Paramoure (G, 5’10”, 2015) Charlotte United Christian Academy – Paramoure is a player who can scorch the deep shot and should be considered a combo guard at this point. He has good strength and speed and can create his own shot, whether with the dribble or moving without the ball.

Marcus Shockley is a member of the US Basketball Writers Association and scouts high school, college and pro players for multiple outlets. You can get latest scouting notes by following him on Twitter @M_Shockley