Effective 12:00am on Saturday the recruiting calendar shifts back to a quiet period. The quiet period will last until July 5th when the rest of July turns into a dead period except for the 3 weekends designated as evaluation periods for the coaches to attend AAU events. For more information on the recruiting calendar click here.
With the Nike EYBL finishing up Session #4 in Minneapolis last weekend, that marks the end of the “regular season” portion of the EYBL. Of the 16 teams that advanced to the “finals”, a bevy of Providence recruits made it to the Peach Jam which will be played July 16th-20th. This weekend is a bit quiet on the AAU circuit. The most notable events this weekend are the Pangos All-American Camp and the Mary Kline Classic. The Pangos All-American Camp is held in Long Beach, CA and is an invitation only camp and the last Friars to attend are Kris Dunn and incoming freshman Jalen Lindsey. The official roster is not out but PC targets that attended last year are Braxton Blackwell, Kaiser Gates, Isaiah Briscoe, Malik Beasley, Antonio Blakeney and Alex Illikainen. I would guess there will be more PC targets in attendance this year as Ed Cooley and his staff are involved with a ton of highly ranked players for 2015 and 2016. This year’s Top 50 and Top 25 Games will be televised live on CBS Sports Network on Sunday June 1st from Long Beach City College with the Top 50 game being at 3pm and the Top 25 game at 4:15pm.
The other notable event this weekend is the Mary Kline Classic which will be played Saturday. The MKC is now in it’s 4th year and is played in honor of “The Recruit Scoop”, Alex Kline’s mother, Mary, who passed away from cancer. This event has raised $55,000 for cancer research in the first 3 years and is a fantastic cause. This year’s game will be played at West Orange High School in West Orange, NJ at 6pm. There will be many notable names playing but notable Friar names that will be there are Ben Bentil playing in the Senior game and PC recruits Rawle Atkins, Cheick Diallo, Unique McLean and Donovan Mitchell who will all be playing in the Underclassmen game. In addition to the Senior and Underclassmen games, there will be a dunk contest and three point shooting contest. All 4 events of the MKC will be streamed live at www.thesfbn.com with limited time On Demand viewing also available after the live events end.
With the stunning departure of Josh Fortune last Friday, the Friars search for guards for 2014 has become more critical than it already was. PC now has 3 open scholarships for the 2014-15 season though other news that came down on Thursday was that 2014 graduate Ted Bancroft is in the process of applying for “medical redshirt” waiver to get a year of eligibility back from his freshman season in which he broke his leg.
That might bring the available scholarship count down to 2. There was an update on Niagara transfer, Antoine Mason by CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein and then that was refuted by Adam Zagoria and then Mason directly himself but Rothstein is sticking with his sources and did not retract or change his news that Mason’s list is down to 3.
If that list is accurate, I have to like PC’s chances considering Auburn has brought in a few guards this offseason already and BC would not be able to provide the exposure and chance to win that it appears is critical to Mason’s decision to leave Niagara to help his NBA chances.
After everyone was saying Providence would not get involved with Kansas transfer Naadir Tharpe, that tune changed quickly after the Fortune transfer news came out. Here is a tweet from CBS Sports’ Jeff Borzello:
If that’s true, then PC may have decided that their appetite for risk has increased with their extremely thin backcourt for next season and they may be willing to deal with any negative PR relating to Tharpe’s lewd photo that was posted online in April and also the fact that there is no guarantee he will get a waiver to play right away. The Europe option may serve as an out for PC if Tharpe comes to Friartown but ends up not getting the waiver. I’m not sure Ed Cooley is looking to have Tharpe come in and be a practice player for a year with a loaded 2015 recruiting glass of guards in the works nor do I think Tharpe has any interest in being on the scout team.
One other potential 2014 guard recruit is Tramaine Isabell who told ShowMeMizzou.com that he is considering Auburn, Missouri and Providence with plans to visit all 3 after the dead period ends tonight.
- No offers to report this week but UndercoverFriar tweeted on Monday that PC has interest in Georgia guard Armel Potter.https://twitter.com/undercoverfriar/status/470696412179873792He committed to Florida Atlantic in October 2013 and decommitted in April 2014. After watching a few highlight tapes it appears Potter is more of a scoring guard than a point guard. I’ll try to get some more info on if he may have pulled a mini-Devonte Graham and played his way to interest from higher level schools or if PC is just really reaching to fill spots. He never signed a National Letter of Intent. He was named second team All-State in Class AAAAA.
- Kevin Farrahar and Craig Leighton from FriarBasketball.com released their 4th edition of their feature, “Elite 8 Recruiting Rankings”on Thursday.
- The Nike EYBL Session #4 in Minneapolis saw a few notable PC targets have big weekends. Here are some comments on PC recruits from various writers:
Scout.com’s Brian Snow Saturday of EYBL:
CLASS OF 2015
Cheick Diallo, C, Team Scan – There aren’t many kids in the country that have Diallo’s combination of athleticism and motor. In a morning loss he was absolutely dominant completely controlling the paint and changing numerous shots. Also on offense he showed some signs of improvement with a few nice post moves as well as making a few nice catches on the run for easy buckets. He is still a liability at times, specifically from the foul line, but there is a ton to work with here and he gets the most out of all of his physical gifts.
Scout.com’s Brian Snow Sunday of EYBL:
CLASS OF 2015
Cheick Diallo, C, Team Scan – Diallo was absolutely dominant in an afternoon win. Always a beast on the glass and on the defensive end of the floor, Diallo also had things working on offense. He scored 20 points and did it on more than just dunks. Diallo was scoring in the mid-range and also finishing off the dribble. Add in his 20 rebounds, and it was a dominant showing in which Diallo showed every single thing he is capable of on a basketball court.
Antonio Blakeney, SG, Each 1 Teach 1 – One of the most explosive scorers in the class, Blakeney had it working fairly well in an afternoon showdown. Blakeney started off by going to the rim, and then used his lift and quick release to get going from deep. He does need to continue to refine his shot selection, but there is no doubt he can get buckets in a hurry, and Blakeney is willing to accept any challenge.
Isaiah Briscoe, SG, NJ Playaz – Going against Blakeney was Briscoe, and after early foul trouble he really settled in to have an excellent game. Briscoe can really shoot it, but he is also excellent at using his strength and going to the rim. While he is not close to being a point guard, he does have decent feel, and made a few nice passes for easy jumpers to shooters. Add in that he is super competitive and Briscoe is one of the more talented scorers in the class.
IlliniPlaybook.com’s Scott Burgess on 2015 SG Jalen Coleman:
He had one of the signature performances at the final stop of the Nike EYBL circuit in Minnesota on Sunday. Coleman was phenomenal against Playground Elite in the afternoon contest. The 6’4” guard was in a zone and hardly missed a shot all game.
He started with an alley-oop then followed up by burying a deep three. His jumper was falling from everywhere, especially his pull-up threes. The 2015 prospect displayed a slick handle through traffic, getting to the basket with ease.
Coleman finished with 32 points on 12-14 shooting from the field. Coleman was efficient, and the continued development of the La Lumiere star was incredibly impressive to everyone in the gym. He followed that performance later in the day by dropping 25 points in a victory over Team Penny.
HoopsIntel’s Corey Evans Saturday of EYBL:
2015 E1T1 forward Alex Owens plans on making a commitment in the coming month.
If Alex Owens plans on committing in the coming month I have to believe it will be to LSU or Florida.
HoopsIntel’s Corey Evans Sunday of EYBL:
Most Dominating Performance: Jalen Coleman/All-Ohio Red 2015
There doesn’t seem to be many off games for Mr. Coleman and in a morning session game against Playground Elite, the Indianapolis native went bonkers where he missed just one field goal attempt and hung 30 large ones on the board. He wasn’t done yet though as about nine hours later, Coleman drilled a step-back 3 with four seconds remaining to knock of Team Takeover by one. The La Lumiere product could be the most unheralded top tier prospect nationally, if there is such a thing. He is a model of consistency in every game that he plays in, never gets sped up, and plays with a presence to him on the floor that exudes over to the rest of his squad.
Jalen Coleman plans to return home this week, talk over his college choices with his parents, and attempt to trim down his list of schools.
- ESPN’s Reggie Rankin gave out some superlatives from the EYBL Session #4 and a few PC recruits made the cut:
Best motor: Cheick Diallo
Diallo is a super-long, athletic power forward who never stops playing and competing on both ends of the floor. He rebounds at rim level with both hands and finishes with power above the rim. He runs the floor consistently and blocks and contests shots on and away from the ball. Diallo covers the court with his length, effort and athletic ability. He is just a treat to watch play. Diallo has offers from Kansas, St. John’s, Kentucky, Pittsburgh, Iowa State, Baylor, Connecticut and some others.
Best knack to score:
Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Georgia Tech, North Carolina State, UCLA and Indiana — among others — have offered Coleman, a shooting guard who can score in a variety of ways. Dribble pullup jumpers, 3s off the catch or on the move, and crafty finishes in the lane are all in his scoring repertoire.
Most powerful scorer: Isaiah Briscoe
Briscoe is an attacking guard with a grown man’s strength. He breaks tackles in the lane and finishes with either hand on the break or when making a play in the half-court set. He can help at the point, but scoring is on his mind. And he does that extremely well.
- D1Circuit’s Alex Kinsky gave his recap from EYBL #4. These PC recruits made his cut:
1. Jalen Coleman | All Ohio Red: 32 points (12-13 FG, 5-6 3PT), 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals vs. Playground Elite
Coleman was simply sensational against Playground, turning in a near-perfect shooting day in what resulted in a session MVP honor. The junior has come on extremely strong late in the season and will be one of the top scorers in North Augusta come July.
These two have been on our list after each session, mainly because they’re spectacular. Trier is the top scorer in the EYBL, and Briscoe is the most complete statistically. If you have the pleasure of watching the two compete, you are in for a treat – and will quickly notice that they are on another level.
Given their record, the Stars didn’t have much to play for. That didn’t stop their scoring-machine Malik Beasley from going off. In four games, Beasley was the only reason the Stars remained competitive. He scored 125 total points, putting up averages of 31.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 1.3 assists. Not sure any other player raised their stock more than Beasley during the EYBL regular season, it was a pleasure to watch his scoring talents live.
Best Big Men:
There’s no one else in the EYBL that can produce real-live thunder from a single dunk. But what’s even more impressive about Diallo, which showed this weekend, is how good he is at creating space with his body positioning. He’s really learning to play the position, which spells danger for the rest of the forwards and centers out there.
- 2015 PF/C Trevor Manuel runs with The Family on the AAU circuit with fellow PC recruits Eric Davis and Miles Bridges. He spoke with PackPride.com this week:
“Arguably, Manuel’s most impressive quality is a pair of sure hands and a soft shooting touch from the perimeter,” wrote Scout.com Recruiting Analyst Rob Harrington. “He’s a finesse big man with the skill level to succeed in that role, despite the fact that defensively he projects as a center.
“He’s a good passer, baseline jump shooter and an unselfish competitor. He isn’t a great athlete and can become more physical, but his long-term promise is evident.”
Manuel says he is hearing from several programs.
“Right now it’s Michigan, Michigan State, Eastern Michigan, NC State, Providence, Wake Forest, Boston College, and Oregon,” he said. “I’m going to learn more about all of them as I go on.”
“I’m just waiting to see who else comes in contact, and I’ll go from there,” he said. “I’d like to make a decision by the start of my school year. I’ll start setting up my visits real soon so I can have them taken by my school year.”
- 2015 Justin Robinson told IlliniPlaybook.com’s Scott Burgess that the schools most involved in his recruitment at this point are“Virginia Tech, Providence, Illinois, Louisville, UMass, Penn State, Old Dominion, Radford, Maryland, George Washington.” On what he sees as his strength: “I believe my strength is being a floor general on the court,” Robinson said. “Pretty much get my teammates around me better no matter what I have to do. Score, play defense, or rebound. Anything it takes to get my team better I do.” On when he will make a decision: “Probably by next fall,” he said. “After Peach Jam we are going to see how things go and see if I can cut down my list.” Robinson also did a Twitter interview with All-Met Elite. To read that, click here.
Here is an EYBL mixtape of Cheick Diallo:
Here is an EYBL mixtape of Antonio Blakeney from Minneapolis:
Here is an EYBL mixtape of Eric Davis from Minneapolis:
- The Adidas Gauntlet #3 in Florida also had a good amount of PC targets. Here are some mentions from various sources:
Class of 2015
Bennie Boatwright, PF, Gamepoint Elite — This face-up forward wields a dangerous jump shot that rings true to 23 feet. He’s confident and very comfortable with his role in the offense, angling for shots in halfcourt and on the break. In addition to a high-arching jumper, he also is a fine passer who surprises defenders charging at him to contest his threes. Boatwright is nearly all finesse, mind you, yet he’s also not quick enough laterally to defend opposing wings. He’ll need to get stronger and to rebound more consistently, but offensively he’s ready to step and contribute to the school of his choice.
Bennie Boatwright, PF, Gamepoint: One of the elite shooters in the 2015 class, Boatwright is a kid who just needs a second to get his shot off with his quick release and if he has a clean look at the hoop, it’s often three easy points for his team. He also has shown pretty good vision and done a nice job finding cutters at this event. Boatwright has become better at rebounding his area as well.
Bennie Boatwright, PF, Gamepoint: There aren’t many recruits in the 2015 class that can shoot the ball like Boatwright can. In fact, the 6-foot-8 forward is an elite shooter. He has deep range on his shot and consistently shoots an impressive percentage from behind the three-point arc. Against the Ohio Basketball Club, Boatwright hit five of his seven three-point attempts on his way to a game-high 23 points. He also added seven rebounds in Gamepoint’s win over OBC.
Class of 2016
Kobi Simmons, PG, Atlanta Celtics: There’s been a lot of talk about Simmons this spring and he certainly backed it up on Saturday. A 6-foot-5 guard, Simmons has the ability to play the point guard position or shooting guard position at a high-level. He’s effective with the ball in his hands, as he’s a strong handler and very good passer. But he’s also a tremendous scorer that can create his own shot from mid-range or knock down deep three-pointers. His upside is tremendous and he seems to show improvement every time out.
Kobi Simmons is already regarded as a five-star recruit and is ranked among the top 20 players in the 2016 class, but if his play on Saturday was any inclination, he’s due a bump next time rankings are updated.
Up against a talented Stackhouse Elite squad on Saturday, Simmons, a 6-foot-5 long, lean guard, dismantled their defense going for 27 points on 10-for-18 shooting, including a trio of three-pointers.
Simmons began the game with mid-range pull-ups and strong moves to the rim. As the game wore, he made plays in transition, consistently finished off plays at the rim and worked in long-range jump shots.
Long term there’s a lot to like about the Alpharetta (Ga.) St. Francis standout. Simmons is versatile and capable of playing either guard position. He’s effective with the ball in his hands, as he’s a talented passer that sees the floor well, but he’s also clearly an equipped scorer from all three levels.
Simmons has an especially quick first step and is a tricky ball handler. Once by defenders, Simmons uses his elite body control and impressive finishing ability to complete plays at the basket.
With the spring Simmons’ has put together, it’s time to start discussing him in the conversation for top point guard in the 2016 class.
— Evan Daniels
Rawle Alkins, SF, NY Rens: In a lot of ways, Alkins personifies the toughness that you’ve come to expect from kids out of New York. He’s about 6-foot-6, has a strong frame with wide shoulders and is physical on both ends of the court. He’ll block a shot, take the ball the other way and make defenders fly off him on the way to the hoop. While he’s tough, he’s also skilled and uses his smooth stroke to knock down jumpers. He’s right-handed but has no problem finishing left. Alkins is a lot of fun to watch.
TideSports.com’s Russ Wood gave a recap of the Adidas Gaunlet. He mentioned one 2017 PC recruit who is playing up with the big boys:
One of Sharma’s Mass Rivals teammates is an emerging class of 2017 point guard Makai Ashton-Langford. Make no mistake — Ashton-Langford is a point guard, not a converted shooting guard. He makes good decisions with the ball, has good court vision and is a good passer — including on the move.
“I’m good at getting into the lane and dishing out to three-point shooters,” he said. “I have to tighten up my handle more and improve my shot.”
The 6-foot-1, 165-pound rising sophomore also needs to get stronger, something he said his teammates are in his ear about.
“Playing up in age helps me a lot, playing against more developed kids than me,” he said. “They’re always telling me I have to get in the weight room and get a little bigger to compete and get in the paint with these guys.”
Ashton-Langford listed offers from Rhode Island, Providence and Boston College.
- 2016 SF Braxton Blackwell got some positive press of his own this weekend. Scout.com’s Rob Harrington wrote a piece on Blackwell. Here are some highlights:
Blackwell’s skill was obvious. He’s a sure-handed handler and passer — including on the move — on the wing, and at 6-6 that’s no small feat. He’s entirely comfortable with the ball in his hands, not a big man masquerading as a perimeter performer.
I think his ultimate projection, wherever coaches decide to slot him in the lineup, will be a power perimeter player with jump shooting range (based on form) and the strength to post up smaller defenders.
In terms of intangibles, Blackwell plays an intelligent game that’s under control. He likely never will become a mix tape dynamo because that’s not his style, but he’s a talented, steady prospect who will continue to exist in high-major space
Click here to watch a highlight tape of Blackwell.
- CoxSportsOnline.com did more player profiles this week. To check out Donovan Mitchell’s, click here.
- CoxSportsOnline.com had Adam Finkelstein on hand for the Super 16 Showcase over the weekend. Check out the story and some video.
- A few PC targets made the All Tournament teams in New London last weekend:
First Team All Tournament
Dupree McBrayer, New Heights – His breakout spring continues as the smooth southpaw scoring guard led New Heights to their second championship of the spring. He’s catapulted his recruitment to the high-major level in recent months with the likes of Minnesota, Pittsburgh, and Seton Hall now coming on strong. Check out his highlights from this weekend here care of Next Best Basketball.
Mamadou Diarra, NYC Jayhawks – The rising junior big man made his New England debut midway through the recent season for Putnam Science Academy, but he officially announced his arrival this weekend. Strong and bouncy around the rim, Diarra was a force on both ends, blocking shots, crashing the glass and finishing plays.
Second Team All Tournament
Steve Enoch, High Rise Team Up – He averaged 17 points per game on the weekend and converted 8 of his 12 attempts from the three-point line while shooting over 60% from the field. He also rebounded well and was a defensive presence in the paint. In other words, he’s starting to put it all together more frequently and showing why so many high-majors are now recruiting him.
GothamHoops.com’s Ray Anczelowicz gave his list of top performers from the Super 16 Showcase last weekend:
Dupree McBrayer, New Heights 17U – The Patrick School (NJ) 2014: Upon leading The Patrick School (NJ) to a Union County Title in 2013-14, McBrayer (pictured above) has carried his stellar play into the AAU season. The savvy 6-4 point guard was instrumental in New Heights’s 17U championship win at the Super 16. The south-paw play-maker displayed an excellent feel for the game; finding open teammates and scoring in various fashions. McBrayer proved capable of finishing around the rim with contact while showing comfortability shooting off the dribble from 15-19 feet. The Queens, NY native showcased a deceptive handle, one that consistently kept defenders on their heels. McBrayer’s leadership on the court was evident as well. He would be the first to help pick up a teammate after a hard-fought play left their body on the hardwood floor, a characteristic that will bode well on the next level. McBrayer is being heavily recruited by Seton Hall, Minnesota and Pittsburgh, among others, and will attended a year of prep.
Mamadou Diarra, NYC Jayhawks 17U – Putnam Science (CT) 2016: Diarra came into the Super 16 Showcase with a rising recruitment, recently reeling in offers from Division I programs Norfolk State and Quinnipiac. The 6-8 forward made an impact for the Jayhawks due to his athletic ability and terrific instincts. The Queens, NY product finished above the rim with ease, including a thunderous two-hand slam in traffic in a playoff win vs. Team Philly. Diarra’s precise timing resulted in a bevy of blocked shots on the defensive end. The junior’s size and mobility spells trouble for opponents on the floor.
Here’s a bonus video of a non-PC recruit with the double alley oop dunk last weekend:
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