The NCAA’s early signing period ended Wednesday and, once again, Kentucky and coach John Calipari were the big winners.
Calipari landed the consensus No. 1 overall recruiting class for the fourth straight year – and he’s not done yet.
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The NCAA’s early signing period ended Wednesday and, once again, Kentucky and coach John Calipari were the big winners.
Calipari landed the consensus No. 1 overall recruiting class for the fourth straight year – and he’s not done yet.
College coaches are crisscrossing the country visiting with the top stars in the high school Class of 2013 in hopes of persuading them to choose their schools.
In Texas, after Kentucky coach John Calipari showed 6-foot-9 forward Julius Randle his 2012 NCAA championship ring, North Carolina coach Roy Williams one-upped Cal.
Or should we say, 29-upped him.
Williams brought a case of 30 rings to his home visit with Randle, including Michael Jordan’s 1992 Chicago Bulls championship ring.
“He said Jordan gave it to him to show his players what they could achieve with hard work and determination,” Randle told USA Today. “I was just shocked. I couldn’t believe I was holding Jordan’s ring.”
Asked if Jordan’s ring was better than Calipari’s, Randle said, “Come on now. It’s Jordan. No comparison.”
Here are the Sheridan Hoops Top 20 prospects in the Class of 2013 and where they stand with their college lists or commitments.
1. Andrew Wiggins, 6-8, SF, Huntington Prep (Huntington, W.V.)
Wiggins is still deciding whether or not to reclassify to 2013 from 2014. Considered the top overall high school player regardless of class, he is being pursued most heavily by Kentucky and Florida State, his parents’ alma mater (he is the son of former NBA player Mitchell Wiggins). If the Canadian sensation does move to 2013, it will have a profound impact on the 2014 NBA Draft, as I covered in this story on ZAGSBLOG. He will visit Kentucky for Big Blue Madness Oct. 12.
2. Jabari Parker, 6-8, SF, Simeon (Chicago)
The Sports Illustrated cover boy has cut his list of prospective schools to BYU, Duke, Florida, Michigan State and Stanford, with Duke and Michigan State considered the favorites. Expected to commit in the fall. At the end of his junior season he was named national boys’ basketball Gatorade Player of the Year. He was the ESPN HS National Player of the Year for his class and an Illinois High School Association (IHSA) state champion as a freshman, sophomore and junior.
3. Julius Randle, 6-9 PF, Prestonwood Christian (Plano, TX)
Randle hosted nearly 10 schools for home visits and is considering a Who’s Who of colleges, including Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina, Duke, Florida, Baylor and N.C. State. He will announce in the spring. Some college coaches hoped to lure Randle to their school by speaking negatively about other programs. Some coaches said that Duke and North Carolina didn’t properly develop players, while others said Kentucky had too many highly talented players. “It’s crazy,” Randle told SI.com. “But I have a mind of my own. Every school has pros and cons and the same school that’s dissing a certain school isn’t talking about their cons. I look at it as the coaches just hating.”
4. Andrew Harrison, 6-4 PG, Travis (Richmond, TX)
He and his twin brother, Aaron, chose Kentucky over Maryland. As I first reported on ZagsBlog, the twins have a different opinion than their father on where they should go to college, a Division 1 source said on condition of anonymity. “The boys want to go to Kentucky, the dad wants them to go to Maryland,” the source said. “The dad’s from there. He and [Maryland coach] Mark Turgeon have known each other a long time since Mark’s days at Texas A&M. But the boys want to go to Kentucky.”
5. Aaron Harrison, 6-4 SG, Travis (Richmond, TX)
The Division 1 source who correctly predicted that the Harrisons wanted to play at Kentucky said Andrew and Aaron are reaching out to Julius Randle and James Young to have them join them in Lexington. If Calipari also gets Wiggins, he might have his best recruiting class ever — which is saying something.
6. Aaron Gordon, 6-8 SF, Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, CA)
Blake Griffin clone is considering Washington, Arizona, Kentucky, Kansas and Oregon and will announce in the spring. Why the Blake Griffin comparison? Because he is a sick dunker. Sick.
7. Noah Vonleh, 6-9 SF, New Hampton School (New Hampton, NH)
Just reclassified from 2014 and is considering Duke, Louisville, Boston College, Indiana, North Carolina and Ohio State, among others. Reclassifying is a trend that had been gaining popularity since 2010. The movement has its roots in New England where many of the nation’s elite prep school and postgraduate programs reside. The guy who did it last year was Nerlens Noel, who I profiled here in an earlier post for SheridanHoops.
8. Kasey Hill, 6-1 PG, Montverde Academy (Montverde, FL)
Committed to Florida. In this fantastic profile piece by Joe Williams of the Orlando Sentinel, we learn that Hill’s father is in prison and his mother is rarely around. He lives with the family of Loyola (New Orleans) sophomore Kyle Simmons. ”It was rough, but there are a lot of people in the world who have it rougher,” said Hill. “Everybody has their problems. I have come out of it stronger.” Committed as a junior after attending Florida’s win over Yale in late December. Hill tweeted, “I am a GATOR!!!!”
9. Chris Walker, 6-10 PF, Holmes County (Bonifay, FL)
Another member of Billy Donovan’s fantastic recruiting class, he also has committed to Florida. ”In Indianapolis [for a travel-ball tournament], when I saw the way me and [Hill] played, I saw the bigger picture with us possibly competing for a national title,” Walker told ESPN.com. Walker chose UF over Louisville and Kansas.
10. James Young, 6-6 SG, Rochester (Rochester, MI)
Considering Kentucky, Kansas, Syracuse and Michigan State. Made an unofficial visit last weekend to Kentucky. He is considering is considering taking an official visit there Oct. 12 for Big Blue Madness. “That is the date that we’re looking at,” Sean Mahone, Young’s Godfather, told me Monday. “We haven’t committed to it but that’s the date that I know we were asked.”He is consider
“Yes, we are taking an unofficial visit,” his godfather, Sean Mahone, told me Thursday night by phone. “We haven’t taken any visits whatsoever,” Mahone said. “Over the past week and a half we’ve had an opportunity to go through the home visit process. The other schools were here, which gave us an opportunity to get to know those programs and coaching staffs much better. Now it’s time to take the next step and get on campus and see firsthand what the schools have to offer, and this is that first step. And because of the proxmiity of Kentucky, this is a great opportunity for us to take advantage and go visit Kentucky.”
College basketball teams across the nation begin practice in about three weeks, and the season will be here before you know it — just like the NBA.
The major news organizations will be publishing their polls soon enough, but we are getting a jump on them because schools are in session, “informal” practices are already ongoing and a whole new crop of “one and done” players have already discovered that dorm food is never, ever an option.
So without further ado, here is the SheridanHoops Preseason Top 25 for the 2012-13 season.
1. LOUISVILLE (30-10 last season)
Key losses: Kyle Kuric, Chris Smith, Jared Swopshire
Key returnees: Chane Behanan, Wayne Blackshear, Gorgui Dieng, Mike Marra, Peyton Siva, Russ Smith
Key newcomers: Luke Hancock (George Mason transfer), Montrezl Harrell
The skinny: The Cardinals return virtually everyone from last year’s Final Four team, and coach Rick Pitino is expecting big things from newcomer Hancock off the wing.
2. INDIANA (27-9)
Key losses: Verdell Jones, Tom Pritchard, Matt Roth
Key returnees: Maurice Creek, Jordan Hulls, Victor Oladipo, Will Sheehey, Christian Watford, Cody Zeller
Key newcomers: Yogi Ferrell, Jeremy Hollowell, Hanner Perea
The skinny: Coach Tom Crean has Indiana back near the top thanks to the return of Zeller, a likely lottery pick had he chosen to leave, and the introduction of a stellar recruiting class.
3. KENTUCKY (38-2, national champs)
Key losses: Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Terrence Jones, Doron Lamb, Darius Miller, Eloy Vargas
Key returnees: Kyle Wiltjer
Key newcomers: Willie Cauley-Stein, Archie Goodwin, Ryan Harrow (N.C. State transfer), Julius Mays (Wright State transfer), Nerlens Noel, Alex Poythress
The skinny: A year after winning it all, Coach John Calipari probably doesn’t have as much talent as he had a year ago. He will have to blend transfers Mays and Harrow in with the talented freshmen, led by shot-blocking sensation Noel and athletic scorer Goodwin.
4. MICHIGAN STATE (29-8)
Key losses: Draymond Green, Austin Thornton, Brandon Wood
Key returnees: Keith Appling, Russell Byrd, Branden Dawson, Derrick Nix, Adreian Payne, Travis Trice.
Key newcomers: Matt Costello, Gary Harris, Kenny Kaminski (will redshirt), Denzel Valentine.
The skinny: Tom Izzo’s club suffered a blow recently when the 6-7 Kaminski, a freshman forward, was lost for the season due to a torn labrum. The Spartans will have the 6-6 Dawson back from a torn ACL in time for the start of the season. Costello, Harris and Valentine all figure to play key roles.
5. SYRACUSE (34-3)
Key losses: Scoop Jardine, Kris Joseph, Fab Melo, Dion Waiters
Key returnees: Michael Carter-Williams, Rakeem Christmas, C.J. Fair, Baye Keita, James Southerland, Brandon Triche
Key newcomers: DaJuan Coleman, Jerami Grant
The skinny: Could this be Jim Boeheim’s last year coaching the Orange? It could be if he elects not to move with his team to the ACC in 2013. Regardless, expect much bigger roles this year for Carter-Williams, a scoring sensation, and Fair, a candidate for Big East Preseason Player of the Year honors.
6. UCLA (19-13)
Key losses: Jerime Anderson, Lazeric Jones
Key returnees: Tyler Lamb, Norman Powell, Josh Smith, Anthony Stover, David Wear, Travis Wear
Key newcomers: Jordan Adams, Kyle Anderson, Larry Drew II (North Carolina transfer), Shabazz Muhammad, Tony Parker
The skinny: Muhammad is currently being investigated by the NCAA and his fate remains unclear. If he misses only a few games and can then get on the court, he should be one of the most explosive wings in college hoops. If his penalty is longer, UCLA will be missing a key piece and embattled coach Ben Howland could suffer as a result.
7. KANSAS (32-7)
Key losses: Thomas Robinson, Tyshawn Taylor
Key returnees: Elijah Johnson, Travis Releford, Jeff Withey
Key newcomers: Anrio Adams, Perry Ellis, Ben McLemore, Zach Peters, Jamari Traylor, Andrew White
The skinny: The Jayhawks lost two huge pieces off their NCAA runner-up team in Robinson and Taylor, but at Kansas they just re-load. Big things are expected from Johnson, Releford and Withey, as well as athletic wings Adams and White. Ellis is a highly acclaimed freshman forward.
8. SAN DIEGO STATE (26-8)
Key losses: Garrett Green, Tim Shelton
Key returnees: Jamaal Franklin, LaBradford Franlin, James Rahon, DeShawn Stephens, Chase Tapley, Xavier Thames
Key newcomers: James Johnson (Virginia transfer; mid-year); Dwayne Polee (St. John’s transfer), J.J. O’Brien (Utah transfer), Winston Shepard, Matt Shrigley, Skylar Spencer
The skinny: The Aztecs return their top four scorers in Jamaal Franklin, Tapley, Thames and Rahon, who combined to put up more than 52 points a game last season. Coach Steve Fisher must integrate a slew of transfers and newcomers into an established team.
9. DUKE (27-7)
Key losses: Miles Plumlee, Austin Rivers
Key returnees: Quinn Cook, Seth Curry, Andre Dawkins, Josh Hairston, Ryan Kelly, Mason Plumlee, Tyler Thornton
Key additions: Amile Jefferson, Alex Murphy, Marshall Plumlee, Rasheed Sulaimon
The skinny: The Blue Devils may actually benefit without having Rivers’ dominating the ball as much anymore. Cook has a year of experience under his belt at the point, and Murphy and Jefferson provide some added elements down low.
10. NORTH CAROLINA (32-6)
Key losses: Harrison Barnes, John Henson, Kendall Marshall, Tyler Zeller
Key returnees: Reggie Bullock, P.J. Hairston, James Michael McAdoo, Leslie McDonald, Dexter Strickland
Key newcomers: Joel James, Brice Johnson, Marcus Paige, J.P. Tokoto
The skinny: Roy Williams recently had a tumor removed from his right kidney and hopefully he is OK to coach the season. The Heels lost four starters to the NBA but now it’s time for Bullock, McAdoo, Hairston and a healthy McDonald to shine.
11. FLORIDA (26-11)
Key losses: Bradley Beal, Erving Walker
Key returnees: Kenny Boynton, Eric Murphy, Mike Rosario, Patric Young, Scottie Wilbekin, Will Yeguete
Key newcomers: Dillon Graham, Michael Frazier, Braxton Ogbueze
The skinny: If Rosario can rediscover the vast depth of talent he possesses, he and Boynton could be a lethal combination as shooters on the wings. Young figures to be one of the best big men in the SEC, and the Gators have depth down low with Murphy, Yeguete and Casey Prather.
12. CINCINNATI (26-11)
Key losses: Dion Dixon, Yancy Gates
Key returnees: Ge’Lawn Guyn, Justin Jackson, Sean Kilpatrick, JaQuon Parker, Jermaine Sanders, Cashmere Wright
Key newcomers: David Nyarsuk, Titus Rubles, Shaq Thomas
The skinny: Once again, Cincinnati will be in the mix for the Big East title. The Bearcats return a slew of experience and talent led by Kilpatrick, Parker and Wright. At 7-1, Nyarsuk is the tallest player in program history.
13. OHIO STATE (31-8)
Key losses: William Buford, Jared Sullinger
Key returnees: Aaron Craft, Evan Ravenel, LaQuinton Ross, Shannon Scott, Lenzelle Smith, Deshaun Thomas, Sam Thompson, Amir Williams
Key newcomers: None
The skinny: With Buford and Sullinger gone, this team will revolve around Craft at the point and Thomas on the wing. Head coach Thad Matta said this week that Thomas is down to 268 pounds and is more agile and must rebound better.
14. BAYLOR (30-8)
Key losses: Quincy Acy, Perry Jones III, Quincy Miller
Key returnees: Deuce Bello, Gary Franklin, Brady Heslip, J’Mison Morgan, Pierre Jackson, Cory Jefferson
Key newcomers: Isaiah Austin, Rico Gathers, L.J. Rose
The skinny: The Bears lost three NBA frontcourt players in Acy, Miller and Jones III, but they return their entire backcourt. They return one of the nation’s top point guards in Jackson, the potential Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year. They also return Heslip at the two and Bello and Franklin and Rose. Up front, they return the 6-10 Jefferson while adding elite-level bigs in the 7-1 Austin and the 6-8 Gathers.
15. MARQUETTE (27-8)
Key losses: Jae Crowder, Darius Johnson-Odom
Key returnees: Juan Anderson, Vander Blue, Junior Cadougan, Davante Gardner, Todd Mayo, Chris Otule, Jamil Wilson
Key newcomers: Trent Lockett (Arizona State transfer), Steve Taylor, Jr.
The skinny: Coach Buzz Williams dealt with injuries to Gardner and Otule last year, but expects both to be fully healthy year this year. Lockett averaged 13.0 points and 5.8 rebounds last year at Arizona State and should make up for some of the scoring Crowder and DJO took with them to the NBA. (Logo is intentional-CS)
16. Wisconsin (26-10)
Key losses: Jordan Taylor, Rob Wilson
Key returnees: Jared Berggren, Mike Bruesewitz, Ben Brust, Ryan Evans, John Gasser, Frank Kaminsky
Key newcomers: Zach Bohannon (Air Force transfer) Sam Dekker, George Marshall, Zak Showalter
The skinny: Taylor is gone from the team that gave Syracuse all it could handle in the Sweet 16, but Coach Bo Ryan always has his teams in the mix. Gasser and Brust should form an experienced backcourt, and Dekker, a Wisconsin schoolboy legend, can be one of the top frosh in the Big Ten.
17. ARIZONA (23-12)
Key losses: Kyle Fogg, Jesse Perry, Josiah Turner
Key returnees: Angelo Chol, Solomon Hill, Nick Johnson, Jordin Mayes, Kevin Parrom
Key newcomers: Brandon Ashley, Grant Jerrett, Mark Lyons (Xavier transfer), Kaleb Tarczewski, Gabe York
The skinny: You would think things would be calmer around the Arizona program now that Turner has taken his antics elsewhere. Lyons, a former two guard, will run the point, and Parrom and Mayes are both healthy after injuries. The four frosh bring a lot of size and talent.
18. MICHIGAN (24-10)
Key losses: Stu Douglass, Zack Novak, Evan Smotrycz
Key returnees: Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway, Jr., Jon Horford, Jordan Morgan, Matt Vogrich
Key newcomers: Mitch McGary, Glenn “Tre” Robinson, Nick Stauskas
The skinny: Burke told The Detroit Free Press he believes his team is “national championship contenders.” While we’re not so sure about that, Burke and Hardaway Jr. should be among the best backcourts in the nation, and if McGary lives up to the huge expectations surrounding him, he will be a force in the Big Ten.
19. MEMPHIS (26-9)
Key losses: Will Barton, Wesley Witherspoon
Key returnees: Antonio Barton, Tarik Black, Chris Crawford, Ferrakohn Hall, Joe Jackson, Stan Simpson, Adonis Thomas, Hippolyte Tsafack
Key newcomers: Shaq Goodwin, Geron Johnson, Damien Wilson
The skinny: The Tigers get set to play their final year in Conference USA before jumping to the Big East in 2013. Josh Pastner’s club features a bulked-up Thomas, now listed at 252 pounds, on the wing, but Pastner told the Commercial Appeal he’s not worried. “I think he looks good,” Pastner told the paper. “He’s gonna be just fine.”
20. UNLV (26-9)
Key losses: Oscar Bellfield, Brice Massamba, Chace Stanback, Kendall Wallace
Key returnees: Justin Hawkins, Carlos Lopez, Anthony Marshall, Mike Moser, Reggie Smith, Quintrell Thomas
Key newcomers: Anthony Bennett, Khem Birch (Pitt transfer; mid-year), Daquan Cook, Savon Goodman, Bryce Dejean-Jones (USC transfer), Demetris Morant, Katin Reinhardt
The skinny: Did any team in America have a better offseason than the Rebels? They added Bennett, Birch, Goodman, Cook, Morant and Reinhardt to a team that already includes Moser. Now coach Dave Rice must put all the pieces together and make it work.
21. N.C. STATE (24-13)
Key losses: Alex Johnson, Deshawn Painter, C.J. Williams
Key returnees: Lorenzo Brown, Richard Howell, C.J. Leslie, Scott Wood
Key newcomers: Tyler Lewis, Rodney Purvis, T.J. Warren
The skinny: Leslie’s decision to forego the NBA Draft and return to campus automatically makes the Wolfpack an elite team. Brown and Wood should be one of the top backcourts in the land, and coach Mark Gottfried has added three McDonald’s All-Americans as freshmen.
22. MINNESOTA (23-15)
Key losses: Ralph Sampson III
Key returnees: Joe Collins, Andre Hollins, Austin Hollins, Trevor Mbakwe, Maurice Walker, Julian Welch, Rodney Williams
Key newcomers: Charles Buggs, Wally Ellenson
The skinny: Tubby Smith’s team returns its top five scorers in Mbakwe, Williams, Welch and the Hollins’. Mbakwe’s return was a huge boost after he averaged 14.0 points and 9.1 boards last season.
23. CREIGHTON (29-6)
Key losses: Antoine Young
Key returnees: Gregory Echenique, Grant Gibbs, Doug McDermott, Jahenns Manigat, Ethan Wragge
Key newcomers: Geoffrey Groselle, Nevin Johnson, Andre Yates, Isaiah Zierden
The skinny: McDermott and Echenique should be one of the top frontcourts in the nation, while Manigat and Wragge provide shooting from the perimeter.
24. VCU (29-7)
Key losses: Bradford Burgess
Key returnees: Rob Brandenberg, Troy Daniels, Treveon Graham, D.J. Haley, Juvonte Reddic, Darius Theus, Briante Weber
Key newcomers: Mohamed Alie-Cox, Jordan Burgess, Melvin Johnson, Justin Tuoyo
The skinny: The Rams enter the A-10 with a pedigree of having reached a Final Four in 2011. Theus will run the point with Graham and Daniels as shooters. Jordan Burgess replaces his big brother, Bradford.
25. MIAMI (20-13)
Key losses: DeQuan Jones, Malcolm Grant
Key returnees: Garrius Adams, Rion Brown, Reggie Johnson, Shane Larkin, Trey McKinney-Jones, Durand Scott
Key newcomers: Bishop Daniels, Tonye Jekiri
The skinny: Coach Jim Larranaga lost out on landing scoring guard Melvin Johnson, but the Hurricanes have a nice backcourt combination in Larkin and Scott. Kadji and Johnson form a tough combination at the power forward and center spots.
Five to watch: Gonzaga, St. Louis, Kansas State, Texas, Missouri.
So are hundreds of college basketball coaches and more than a dozen NBA scouts, who converged this weekend on the Nike Global Challenge to evaluate tomorrow’s stars.
Here’s a look at some key storylines from the three-day event held at lovely Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Va. and the not-as-lovely D.C. Armory.
CAL’S BEEN BUSY: After coaching the Dominican Republic within one win of an Olympic berth before Thursday’s loss to Team USA in Las Vegas, Kentucky coach John Calipari was at the event Friday and Saturday to watch several Kentucky targets, including 2013 shooting guard James Young of Troy, Mich., and 2014 Canadian wing Andrew Wiggins (pictured), who may or may not reclassify to 2013. Calipari also tripped up to the Reebok Breakout Challenge in Philadelphia on Friday night to watch the Harrison twins, Andrew and Aaron, two of the top players in 2013. If Kentucky ends up landing all four of these players – and especially if the 6-7 Wiggins reclassifies to 2013 and picks Kentucky – look out, because those are some very bad boys.
COACH K GETTING “COOLER” WITH RECRUITS: As I pointed out in this story, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim were just about the only major coaches not in attendance because they were busy coaching Team USA. Yet that hasn’t stopped Coach K from staying in touch via text with top recruits such as 6-8 California forward Marcus Lee, who says Coach K is getting “cooler” because of his association with LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant.
WHO’S WHO OF COACHES: When Wiggins, Indiana commit Trey Lyles and Canada played the USA East team in a thriller Saturday at Episcopal, virtually every major college coach in the land was packed inside the gym: Calipari, Bill Self of Kansas, Tom Izzo of Michigan State, Roy Williams of North Carolina, Tom Crean of Indiana, Jim Calhoun of Connecticut, Sean Miller of Arizona, Ben Howland of UCLA, Anthony Grant of Alabama, John Groce of Illinois, Jamie Dixon of Pittsburgh, Buzz Williams of Marquette, Dana Altman of Oregon, Mike Rice of Rutgers, Kevin Willard of Seton Hall and many, many more.
CANADA RISING: Young was named U.S. MVP after going off for 29 points, including 5-of-10 from the arc, as Team USA Midwest won the championship Sunday with a 100-86 victory over Canada at the D.C. Armory. Wiggins had 24 points and seven rebounds in a losing effort, but it’s clear that Canada will be a force to be reckoned with going forward. The Canadians went 3-1 at the event, with victories over a tough USA East team, Brazil and China. In an exclusive interview Saturday, Wiggins told me he likes the idea of a U-23 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and said Canada could compete for a gold medal. “We can win it all,” said Wiggins, who would be 21 in 2016.
TOP 5 AMERICAN PLAYERS:
1. James Young, 6-6 SG, 2013, Troy (MI): Young went off for 23 of his game-high 29 points in the championship win over Canada, when he made 5-of-10 3-pointers. He averaged 18.5 points for the event. Schools he’s considering: Kentucky, Kansas, Ohio State, Michigan State. NBA scout quote: “Talented, great in the open floor, good at making plays for other people. He’s a big guard. I think he’s got a real chance because he can play in an up-tempo system, can get in the lane, I think he knows what he wants to do with the ball. He’s got to become a better shooter, but he can get in the lane and make plays. He’s good.”
2. Troy Williams, 6-6 SF, 2013, Oak Hill Academy (VA): A high-flying athletic freak, Williams became an instant YouTube sensation at the event when he dunked on a Chinese player. You can see the dunk here. Although his USA East squad lost to Canada and Brazil, it finished strong with a win over Lithuania in the fifth-place game in which Williams scored 14 points. He averaged 19.8 points for the tournament. He is considering attending school at either Louisville or Alabama with his best friend, point guard Anthony “Cat” Barber, which you can read more about here. Schools he’s considering: Kentucky, North Carolina, Louisville, Alabama, Georgetown, South Carolina, Arkansas. NBA scout quote: ”With Wiggins, probably arguably the second-best athlete here. Great up-and-down. Reminds me of Shawn Marion. Great athlete, great in transition. Needs to work on his shooting. Good individual defender. Great at attacking the rim, tremendous athlete.’
3. Marcus Lee, 6-8 PF, 2013, Antioch (CA) Deer Valley: The best interior player at the event, Lee impressed coaches right out of the gate with his hustle and energy for USA West, which finished third. He led the camp with 3.0 blocks per game and averaged 8.8 rebounds. Schools he’s considering: Cal, Washington, Duke, North Carolina Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville. NBA scout quote: ”Best interior player here. Great feel for the game. Needs to get stronger. I’d like to see him be a little more assertive from 15 feet, take that jump shot. He definitely changes everything around the rim. Great passer, great feel.”
4. Nick King, 6-7 SF, 2013, Memphis (TN) East: A hard-charging athletic lefthanded wing, King came up big in the final against Canada, scoring 23 points on 9-of-16 shooting and adding 10 rebounds for USA Midwest. He averaged 18.3 points and 8.8 rebounds over the weekend. Schools he’s considering: Memphis, Texas, Vanderbilt, Tennessee.
5. Theo Pinson, 6-5 SF, 2014, Greensboro (NC) Wesleyan Christian: Playing for USA East, Pinson came up big down the stretch against Lithuania in the fifth-place game and finished with 14 points and eight rebounds. He averaged 15.0 points and 7.3 boards for the event. An athletic wing, he can create his own shot, get into the lane and score through contact. Schools he’s considering: Indiana, Louisville, Georgetown, Duke, North Carolina, Syracuse, Florida State, Florida, Tennessee, Baylor, Wake Forest
Ten to watch: Rondae Jefferson, Nigel Williams Goss (committed to Washington), Kyle Washington, Bobby Portis (committed to Arkansas), Sindarious Thornwell, Wes Clark, Anthony “Cat” Barber, Kuran Iverson, Beejay Anya, Wayne Selden
TOP 5 INTERNATIONAL PLAYERS:
1. Andrew Wiggins, 6-7 SF, 2014, Huntington (WV) Prep : The top overall prospect at the event, Wiggins hails from Canada. He is a future NBA lottery pick in either 2014 or 2015 , depending on whether he reclassifies to 2013 from 2014. Wiggins averaged 19.7 points and 7.0 rebounds but did not play particularly well in the final, when he went 10-for-21 for 23 points as Canada lost to USA Midwest. Schools he’s considering: Kentucky, Florida State, North Carolina, Duke, Syracuse. NBA scout quote: “He’s the best player here, obviously. Got the best pro potential. Athlete, can score in a number of ways, quick off his feet. Showed a little post-up game, but he’s got the most upside of anybody here and it’s not even close.”
2. Trey Lyles, 6-8 PF, 2014, Indianapolis Arsenal Tech: Born to American parents in Canada, Lyles was awesome in his first game, going for 27 points and 11 boards in a win over Brazil. He never quite measured up to that performance again but was impressive overall, averaging 21.0 points and 9.0 rebounds. Schools: Committed to Indiana. NBA scout quote: “Nice player, athlete, mobile, strong, skilled. Can put it on the floor, can play inside and out.”
3. Gao Shang, 6-7 SG/SF: A native of China and the most prolific scorer at the tournament, Gao averaged 27.3 points while shooting 17 of 40 (43 percent) from the arc. Other than a 10-point outing against Canada, he scored 35, 35 and 29 in three games. NBA scout quote: “Best shooter here without a doubt. Has an ability to put it on the floor, but every teams tried to stop him. But the guy can absolutely shoot the ball and shoot the ball all over the court.”
4. Tyler Ennis, 6-3 PG, 2013, St. Benedict’s Prep (NJ): Another Canada resident, Ennis was the best point guard at the camp along with Cat Barber, although Nigel Williams-Goss and Wes Clark also played well. Ennis is a smart, heady, prototypical point guard who looks to set up his teammates but can also score when needed. He averaged 11.3 points and 3.8 rebounds. Schools he’s considering: Syracuse, Louisville, Illiinois. NBA scout quote: “Tough kid, combo guard. Can get in the lane, makes plays for others. Got a great pace to the game. Hopefully, as he develops he can become even more of a point guard.”
5. Lucas Dias Silva, 6-9, F: Brazil’s best prospect, Dias Silva averaged 10.3 points and 7.8 rebounds for a team that lost the third-place game to USA West. NBA scout quote: “Skilled big man, has the abilty to go inside and out.”
Four to watch: Derek Reese (Puerto Rico), Justas Tamulis (Lithuania), Deryk Evandro Ramos (Brazil), Xavier Rathan-Mayes (Canada) .
Photo courtesy of Position Sports
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