- The National Prep School Invitational was last weekend at Rhode Island College. It was unfortunate timing for PC to hit the road as this is always a great event with elite talent and many PC targets played. The PC staff did make it on Sunday after returning home from Chicago and they reportedly watched Brewster Academy (Devonte Graham ’14, Donovan Mitchell ’15, Jarred Reuter ’15) take on Vermont Academy (Christian Vital ’16). For a great recap of the event, here is FriarBasketball.com’s article from Monday. This is a great recap with highlights by Cox Sports.
- Here’s a great highlight tape of Jalen Adams via @CoreyPorterTV:
- Here are two articles on Devonte Graham- ESPN Insider – Best basketball prospects still on the board – “The best available class of 2014 point guard remains in limbo until May”
- I’ll continue to beat the drum for Tarin Smith (2014). This team needs guards and they will undoubtedly take at least 2 more for 2014. I think Smith is the exact kind of guy that would fit in at PC. He just keeps getting better and seems like a very high character kid. He is #1 in his class academically at St. Anthony and has drawn praise from his legendary coach, Bob Hurley. This is also a great read from the Hudson Reporter on Smith.
“He hasn’t committed early,” Hurley said. “Coaches are still coming to see him. More people are getting involved, with more phone calls. That could lead to a lack of concentration, but Tarin is handling it as well as a 17-year-old kid can.”
Smith understands that he’s a late bloomer in the recruiting process.
“I think this is the first time I’ve had a chance to show my ability,” Smith said. “I think I always had the tools to do it. I just needed the chance to be a leader on the court. I knew I had to score more this year, so I worked hard on it. I had to test myself to see where I am at for the next level. It all comes with the territory.”
Smith has already been accepted by such prestigious Ivy League schools as Harvard, Princeton, and Penn.
But he’s also being recruited by Boston College, Duquesne, Rhode Island (where Hurley’s son Dan is the head coach), Providence, Delaware, Creighton, Fordham and St. Louis.
“I received about 20 offers over the summer,” said the 6-foot-2 Smith. “My parents put that in me that the student in student/athlete comes first. That hard work has paid off. In basketball, I’m a late bloomer, because I had to play behind such great players as Myles Mack [Rutgers], Kyle Anderson [UCLA], and Josh Brown [Temple]. I’m getting my chance now. It’s all coming full circle.”
Smith has not decided on his college choice just yet. There are games left to play this season.
“But it’s definitely flattering that these colleges have given me offers,” Smith said. “It can be a little distracting when the coaches call, but I’m definitely honored to have the schools call me.”
“He’s one of the best unsigned point guards left in the country,” Hurley said. “With the games he’s had, he’s become more attractive. He’s physically filled out late. He’s a lot more physically stronger. He’s noticeably improved as a player. He gets to spots, then raise up and get his shot off. He also gets to the basket strong for his size and jumps very well for his size.”Added Hurley, “We’ve worked hard on his shooting mechanics. He used to put the ball over his head, but he’s now become a much better shooter and can attack the basket with both hands.”Hurley has asked a lot of Smith – and now the Hall of Fame coach is asking a little bit more.“We need him to be more vocal in the game, on the bench with his teammates,” Hurley said. “We need him to be more vocal in practice. We have to keep perspective of what we can expect from the kid, but there are still 12 or 13 things he can get better at. There’s still a lot more that can come out. I haven’t asked this much of a kid in a very long time, maybe a decade or more. We’re playing a lot more sophomores this year than we have in the past. Some days, there is too much on his plate, with everything going on. But he’s handling it pretty well.”Hurley said that he presented Smith with his mid-way season report card with things he needs to work on.“Right off the bat, I saw him do things that were on the report card,” Hurley said. “He just keeps improving.”
- Video interview with 2014 signee Paschal Chukwu via WFSB 3 CT
- Nice blurb about 2014 signee Jalen Lindsey from The Herald-Dispatch:
Jalen Lindsey scored 16 with a pair of eye-opening dunks — one in transition over Faith Baptist’s James Wanjara and another when he skied above the rim following a missed 3-pointer.
The difference for Lindsey has been on the other end of the court where his role has been solidified as the team’s top defender.
“Throughout the first semester, we didn’t establish a role for him,” Fulford said. “We’ve been putting him on the other team’s best player, starting with Emmanuel Mudiay, and he’s been a lockdown defender. Now, he’s just playing and that confidence has helped his offensive game.”
- Jalen Adams (2015) received an offer from Kansas this week after they watched him play at the Hoophall Classic in Springfield. In a recent Scout.com article, Adams said of the offer “I love it and [I’m] pumped that they are recruiting me and I want to get up there and check it out.” When asked which schools were recruiting him the hardest, Adams listed Uconn, Minnesota, Kansas and Creighton. It seems pretty clear PC is putting all their 2015 eggs in the Donovan Mitchell basket at the moment.
- Another 2014 guard recruit, Kadeem Smithen, and his team won the 43rd Teacher’s Life Silverfox Invitational over the weekend. The Canadian led his team in scoring in the final and was named to the First Team All-Star for the tournament. You can read about the 24 team tournament and Smithen’s performance here and here.
Kadeem Smithen was once again their leader in scoring with 19 and created much of the offense for his team. His production, tight handle and series of offensive moves makes him the craftiest player in the tournament and a First Team All-Star.
For most possessions, Smithen was guarded by an intense and active D’wan Williams. Williams did a good job staying in front of Smithen until he started getting caught in screens or being forced to switch. Smithen’s ability to create off the dribble gave Thornlea a chance at sticking around.
- JaQuan Lyle (2014) took his official visit to Oregon last weekend and enjoyed it. Ed Cooley and Bob Simon traveled to Evansville, IN to meet with Lyle’s mom and grandma and then went down to Huntington, WV to take in Huntington Prep’s game against Carlisle. Just before the game, Lyle’s mom told SNY.tv that they plan on visiting Providence in March on an official visit. The tentative dates are March 3rd or 4th as Lyle’s mom works weekends.
“We plan on making a visit to Providence on March 3rd or 4th,” Lumeca Garrett told SNY.tv. “I work on the weekends so we’re trying to make some visits during the week if we can.”
She said Cooley and Simon were the first coaches to visit her in Evansville since the 6-foot-5 Lyle decommitted from Louisville and that she was impressed by that.
“Yes, it does [make] a big impression,” Garrett said.
Cooley and Simon were also planning to watch Lyle play Wednesday night at Huntington (W.V.) Prep.
“I like the program, I like the way he talks about the program, what he can do on and off the court with my son,” she said of Cooley.