Monday, March 30, 2009

Icebreaker tips off AAU action

AIKEN, S.C. -- Mother Nature must be a basketball fan. With rain cancelling a number of outdoor activities over the weekend, things moved on smoothly at the fifth annual Icebreaker Invitational. Director Dameon Key brought in a number of talented teams. The National Hoops Report spent a good part of the weekend


Stacey Poole, Jr., Jacksonville Lee Bulls (pictured above) – The Sunshine State kids made a long trip to the Icebreaker but it was worth it because the team brought home the 17 and under trophy. Poole was one of the main reasons why, too. The 6-5 wing scored at the rim whenever he wanted an no one had a way to slow him or stop him when he attacked the basket. Poole was confident in his ability to put points on the board. The next four months are important for him as a number of schools have the talented junior high on the recruiting board in 2010.

Patrick Young, Jacksonville Lee Bulls – The future Florida Gator played very well en route to the championship title. He looks bigger and stronger, too. Now pushing the 6-10 mark, Young is a chiseled post player that works on full throttle of energy and hustle. He’s better than Al Horford at the same stage. Young’s motor, hustle and strength will be a welcomed addition in Gainesville next fall.

Shannon Scott, Southern Kings Gold – With Mfon Udofia now finished with his high school hoops career in Georgia, there is a new player atop of the point guard position. Scott is the top dog at the position in the Peach State now. The 6-1 sophomore knows how to run a team, defend and score. He gets to the basket about as good as any guard in his class nationally. Overall, his play was great from start to finish at the Icebreaker.

Tony Parker, Southern Kings Gold – Get used to seeing Parker’s name in the Star Power section. The 6-8 center is one of the most skilled big men in the Southeast. He has an array of moves. He uses his size to his advantage. He knows how to score with his back to the basket. He can make the tough shots on defenders. His hands are tremendous. Did we mention he’s just a freshman?

Dai-Jon Parker, Southern Kings Gold – Think Jerel McNeal. Parker can pump in the points in a hurry and his perimeter game is a fine weapon in his offensive arsenal. What gets lost in the shuffle sometimes is his passing ability. The 6-3 sophomore can really see the floor and he finds teammates with ease. Leave him open and Parker will burn you from deep or beat you with the dribble to the rim.

Chris Coleman, Team Georgia Elite – The big man did just about anything he wanted to do in Aiken. The class of 2011 forward from New England via Mt. Zion (N.C.) scored at will around the basket and made everything look all too easy in the paint. He has good hands, rebounds well and converts the buckets that big men should convert around the cup. The 6-9 center has a game that will translate well to the Big East. The question is whether or not he has a motor that translates, too.

JerShon Cobb, Atlanta Xpress – If April were live to college coaches, there is a good chance a number of head coaches from high-majors and championship caliber mid-major schools will be on the sidelines to get a good look at the 6-4 guard. He’s a do-everything player that grows on you the more and more you watch him. Cobb keeps the turnovers low and positives plays high. An improved jump shot will be the difference maker for him.

Jacquez Rozier, Southern Kings Red – No one played harder than the 6-5 sophomore all weekend in Aiken. He was battered and bruised half the time but still gave maximum effort each game out regardless of the score. His hustle fueled his scoring and rebounding, two things he did plenty of at the tournament. What position he plays in college is a question that still doesn’t have a clear answer. But the question about how he approaches the game is answered quickly. Rozier will carve out a place for himself on a college roster because of that.


Rod Rucker, Team Truth – Rebounding the basketball is what the 6-5 wing does best. He scores most of his points at the rim and he isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty inside the paint either. After a huge junior year at Elbert County (Ga.) High School, Rucker could break out this summer.

Josh Council, Carolina Celtics – Mid-level schools will want to take a good look at the 6-2 guard. He can shoot, he can handle, he can pass and he has the intangibles of a guard that can help a team win basketball games.

Gerald Williams, Jr., Team Georgia Elite – Playing with Georgia Tech bound wing Glen Rice and N.C. State commitment Ryan Harrow this year helped Williams quite a bit. He saw what it takes to be a player that can make it to the big time. Out on his own, the 6-1 combo guard does not lack for confidence and he challenged teams with his aggressiveness and crafty play. A good student, Williams could have some nice options in August if he continues the upswing.

Zach Bradley, North Clayton – The lefty junior was like a boxer that found a soft spot on his opponent. He just kept pounding away with the dribble drive and scored at the basket time and time again. The 6-foot guard was on pure attack mode the game we watched him and liked his aggressiveness throughout the tournament.


The Carolina Celtics may not have the star power the team is used to having but the team has a load of kids that can shoot the ball, make great cuts and screens and everyone seems to be unselfish. The team’s ability to knock down shots helped the team make it to the final four of the tournament.

Miami locked up 2012 center Ismail’a Dauda of Team Georgia Elite 15U a month ago and the commitment could prove to be a wise one on the Hurricanes part. The likely 7-footer is similar to Florida State center Solomon Alabi. Dauda moves well for his size, runs the floor, blocks shots and is a good passer.

Keep an eye out for Willie Clayton, a 6-7 forward from Team Georgia Elite 15U. The Thomasville (Ga.) High School product was the player of the year in his region and it is easy to see why he’s generating a buzz in South Georgia. The freshman is well-built and plays hard. He rebounds well and possesses a nice bounce to his game.

Justin Boyd, a 6-2 guard for the Coastal Crew Rebels, showed some toughness and grit against the Jacksonville Lee Bulls. The junior scored tough baskets and always made correct plays when it mattered.

The USC Aiken Convocation Center is a big time facility for Division II basketball. The Pacers have a big time, national program. Just down the road at Augusta State, the Peach Belt Conference power is no pushover either. Basketball is big on the banks of the Savannah River folks!

Busy weekend in Georgia

Patrick Young (pictured) anchored the frontline for the Jacksonville Lee Bulls title run at the Icebreaker Invitational over the weekend. The Georgia Stars to the 17 and under title at the Columbus Riverfest as well.

The National Hoops Report will have more coverage from both events throughout the week.

Monday, March 16, 2009

2009 Mock draft: seventh round

Seventh round

Eric Bossi, EBoss Hoops

37. Maalik Wayns, PG, Philadelphia (Pa.) Roman Catholic

“He might shoot a little too much for my druthers, but he's tough and a great value at this point. Should add toughness to any squad.”

Patrick Stanwood, HoopScoop

38. Tyler Honeycutt, SF, Sylmar (Calif.)

“Emerging wing with nice length.”

Brian Snow,

39. Rashanti Harris, C, Patterson (N.C.) Patterson School

“Harris is versatile enough where he is able to play the power forward and the center positions. Also his desire to play hard and being active on the glass makes him one of the best interior players in the country.”

Jerry Meyer,

40. Jamal Coombs-McDaniel, SF, Tilton (N.H.) Tilton School

“In need of a wing player with size, Jamal Coombs-McDaniel is a nice 7th round pick up. He can defend and rebound and is progressing very nicely as an offensive player.”

Rob Harrington, Prep Stars

41. Nolan Dennis, SG, North Richland Hills (Texas) Richland

“Dennis was very impressive during the season and possesses the kind of mid-range scoring ability off the dribble to become a consistent points manufacturer.”

Justin Young, National Hoops Report

42. Ari Stewart, SF, Marietta (Ga.) Wheeler

“Stewart is an athletic freak at the small forward position. He’s at his best in transition and he’s really improved his midrange shooting. He’ll be a match-up problem every time he steps on the floor.”

Friday, March 13, 2009

2009 Mock draft: sixth round

Sixth round

Justin Young, National Hoops Report

31. Royce White, SF, Hopkins (Minn.)

“I wanted to balance out my team with an athletic and aggressive wing to interchange with Solomon Hill. White is a perfect fit. He can rebound inside but also be a threat on the wing.”

Rob Harrington, Prep Stars

32. Jamil Wilson, SF, Racine (Wisc.) Horlick

“Wilson has been up and down on the travel circuit, but as a talent he could become an impact player on both ends. I like that he has the quickness for the wing and the size to perhaps contribute at the four in an emergency.”

Jerry Meyer,

33. Reginald Buckner, SF/PF, Memphis (Tenn.) Manassas

“I need a small forward with versatility and athleticism with this pick and Reginald Buckner is the man for that role. He is a legitimate interior defender who also has the quickness to defend on the perimeter. Offensively, although not a deep shooter, Buckner is quite skilled with the ball.”

Brian Snow,

34. Dexter Strickland, PG/SG, Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick

“Strickland is a very athletic combo guard who can really score and knows how to get to the rim with the best of them.”

Patrick Stanwood, HoopScoop

35. Noel Johnson, SF, Fayetteville (Ga.) Fayette County

“Noel Johnson is a long and skilled shooter with nice size for his position.”

Eric Bossi, EBoss Hoops

36. Elijah Johnson, PG, Las Vegas (Nev.) Cheyenne

“While he has a tendency to turn it on and off, it's hard to pass up Johnson here. Wildly athletic and quick, he's also dangerous as a shooter and can easily play the one or the two.”

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

2009 Mock draft: fifth round

Fifth round

Eric Bossi, EBoss Hoops
25. Lorenzo Brown, PG/SG, Roswell (Ga.) Centennial

"He's not really a point guard, but he can play it in a pinch. Pairing him with Snaer gives a pair of versatile, athletic, ball handling wings."

Patrick Stanwood, HoopScoop

26. Wally Judge, PF, Jacksonville (Fla.) Arlington Country Day

“An above average athlete who can guard a variety of positions on the defensive end of the court. A solid scorer and rebounder who can contest shots and take bigger defenders off the dribble. Major upside because of his length and willingness to play with intensity.”

Brian Snow,

27. Mason Plumlee, Arden (N.C.) Christ School

“Plumlee is a skilled power forward who can easily play next to Favors on the frontline. With his high skill level it will open things up down low, and also allow Stephenson and Hamilton open shots and driving lanes.”

Jerry Meyer,

28. Eric Bledsoe, PG, Birmingham (Ala.) Parker

As with Jenkins and the shooting guards, Bledsoe is just outside the range of elite point. Physical, competitive and underrated, Bledsoe is an unbelievable value pick at this point.

Rob Harrington, Prep Stars

29. Tommy Mason-Griffin, PG, Houston (Texas) Madison

“He's a strong, durable lead guard who showed tremendous improvement from his junior to his senior year, and he also has proved to be a gamer.”

Justin Young, National Hoops Report

30. Solomon Hill, SF, Los Angeles (Calif.) Fairfax

“I really needed to get a wing that could do everything but also be content with not having to score 20 a game. Hill is that guy. He’s a perfect high-level glue guy that can handle, pass, defend and rebound. He’s the perfect compliment to the other guys on my team.”

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

2009 Mock draft: Round four

Fourth round

Justin Young, National Hoops Report
19. Daniel Orton, C, Oklahoma City (Okla.) Bishop McGuinness (pictured above)

“Like point guards, centers are a rare breed in the 2009 class. So I wanted to make sure my team has a huge presence inside. And you don’t get much bigger than Orton. The injuries and ho-hum work ethic will be two of the major concerns that come with him though. I’ll take those question marks. Orton has an enormous amount of talent.”

Rob Harrington, Prep Stars
20. Keith Gallon, PF, Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill

“Gallon ranks among the 15 best talents in the senior class, the only question being whether he'll get and keep himself in shape. His play this season was encouraging, and I believe he'll provide a constant scoring threat on the interior.”

Jerry Meyer,
21. John Jenkins, SG, Gallatin (Tenn.) Station Camp

“Once you get past the elite shooting guards, there is no better shooting guard than John Jenkins. He is the best shooter in the country and at the rate that his game is developing he very well might end up in the elite category of shooting guards.”

Brian Snow,
22. Mfon Udofia, PG, Lithonia (Ga.) Miller Grove

“Point guards are very hard to find. Udofia is one of the best in the nation on the defensive end, and he knows how to run a team.”

Patrick Stanwood, HoopScoop
23. Aaric Murray, C, Concordeville (Pa.) Glen Mills

“Murray has a large amount of upside. Long, strong and already an elite shot blocker, Murray is a major steal for LaSalle.”

Eric Bossi, EBoss Hoops
24. Thomas Robinson, PF, Wolfeboro (N.H.) Brewster Academy

“Without a top flight shooter or point guard around at this point, I want to grab an athletic interior rebounder/defender. Few are better than Robinson in this regard.”

Sunday, March 8, 2009

2009 Mock draft: Round three

Third round

Eric Bossi, EBoss Hoops
13. Michael Snaer, SG, Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde (pictured above)

"The wings in this class are pretty weak so I take Snaer because he can play at both the two and the three on offense. I love that he can create his own offense (great mid-range game) and he's also a top notch defender.

Patrick Stanwood, HoopScoop
14. Ryan Kelly, PF, Raleigh (N.C.) Ravenscroft School

“Though he has a reputation for being an overly finesse player, Kelly has established himself as one of the top PF's in the senior class. In addition to his hardwood prowess, one could argue that he is the most book smart top 25 player in the last five years.”

Brian Snow,
15. Jordan Hamilton, SF, Los Angeles (Calif.) Dominguez

“Hamilton and Stephenson are two of the best scorers in the country, and could complement each other very well.”

Jerry Meyer,
16. Milton Jennings, PF, Summerville (S.C.) Pinewood Prep

“Don't know that I can even play Jennings with my first two picks, but I want to make sure I get a four man who can stretch the defense with range and no one in this class is better at that than Jennings.”

Rob Harrington, Prep Stars
17. Alex Oriakhi, PF, Tilton (N.H.) Tilton School

“Oriakhi brings toughness and provides a primary rebounder, defensive stopper and fine outlet passer to start the break. He's also a proven competitor and enjoys a physical challenge.”

Justin Young, National Hoops Report
18. Dante Taylor, PF, Fort Washington (Md.) National Christian

“It didn’t get any easier than this. Taylor makes perfect sense at this spot because I need a low-post scorer and tough guy down in the paint. He has star potential written all over him and brings a toughness to the game.”

Friday, March 6, 2009

2009 Mock draft: Round two

The .com National Recruiting Analyst mock draft continues on to the second round. We snake back in reverse order of the first round.

Second round

Justin Young, National Hoops Report
7. Abdul Gaddy, PG, Tacoma (Wash.) Bellarmine Prep, Washington (Pictured above)

“Point guards are hard to come by in 2009 and locking up the best pure floor general in the class is an easy decision. He and Boynton together make for the scariest backcourt in the country.”

Rob Harrington, Prep Stars
8. Xavier Henry, SG, Oklahoma City (Okla.) Putnam City

“Steady, strong, smart, and a very dangerous three-point shooter."

Jerry Meyer,
9. Mouphtaou Yarou, PF, Rockville (Md.) Montrose Christian

“Yarou has as good a motor as any big man in the class. His ability to guard the four or the five makes him a perfect compliment to Cousins.”

Brian Snow,
10. Lance Stephenson, SG, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Lincoln

“Sure there are questions about Lance at times, but when it comes to natural talent very few are better in the country.”

Patrick Stanwood, HoopScoop
11. Dominic Cheek, SG, Newark (N.J.) St. Benedict’s

“On offense, Cheek has established himself as one of the most efficient two/threes in the country.”

Eric Bossi, EBoss Hoops
12. Renardo Sidney, PF, Los Angeles (Calif.) Fairfax

"I think there will always be question about Sidney's desire and weight, but with the 12th pick he's too talented to pass up. In shape and even remotely inspired, he rebounds, scores with skill and combines with Henson to make one dangerous duo on the interior.”

Round One

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

2009 Mock draft: Round one

Ever wonder what goes on in the mind of a .com recruiting analyst?

The National Hoops Report gathered up a half dozen of the nation’s top high school basketball recruiting analysts to find out. Our panel of six analysts will draft their own 10-man team for the class of 2009.

Our panelists include:

Eric Bossi, EBoss Hoops
Patrick Stanwood, HoopScoop
Brian Snow,
Jerry Meyer,
Rob Harrington, Prep Stars
Justin Young, National Hoops Report

First round:

Eric Bossi, EBoss Hoops
1. John Henson, PF, Tampa (Fla.) Sickles, North Carolina (pictured above, ESPN Rise)

“At first, I really thought about taking John Wall because this class is so thin on point guards and I liked my odds of picking up a big guy later. But, at the end of the day I think Henson's versatility and upside are too big to pass up.”

Patrick Stanwood, HoopScoop
2. John Wall, PG, Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God, uncommitted

“Wall possesses the athleticism to take over a game at will. Usain Bolt with a basketball.”

Brian Snow,
3. Derrick Favors, C/PF, South Atlanta (Ga.), Georgia Tech

“Favors is the premier interior defender in the nation, and is able to domiante the game on both ends of the floor with his improving offensive game.”

Jerry Meyer,
4. DeMarcus Cousins, PF, Mobile (Ala.) LeFlore, Undecided

"DeMarcus Cousins has the size and offensive skill set you can build a team around and run an offense through."

Rob Harrington, Prep Stars
5. Avery Bradley, SG, Henderson (Nev.) Findlay, Texas

"With the possible exception of Kenny Boynton, Bradley offers the best combination of offense and defense in the class. I'm taking Bradley over Boynton because he's an inch taller and more explosive, so in the future I think he'll be more effective attacking the rim off the dribble.”

Justin Young, National Hoops Report
6. Kenny Boynton, SG, Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage, Florida

“Simple pick for me here. He’s the most explosive scorer in the class. I’ve seen him get the look in his eye deep into tough situations and absolutely take over.”