Freshmen and sophomores dominated in Colorado Springs last week during the USA U-16 developmental team training camp while the best point guard in the Class of 2011 hit a buzzer beater to win a fiercely competitive interstate all-star game. A few top ten stars in the Class of 2012 also announced new lists, new visits and new favorites as Jim Calhoun and the Connecticut Huskies continued their dominance on the recruiting trail. An article on the fastest rising junior in the country was another must-read as we take you into this edition of Who’s Got Next?
What They’re Saying
Junior Kaleb Tarczewski (#6) on his Kansas visit: “It was really good, I really like it there. This trip was really for my mom. She hadn’t been there yet and I wanted her to see it.”
Sophomore standout Allerik Freeman on some schools on his list: “Florida is a great program with a great staff. NC State is on the right tracking trying to get back to the national spotlight. Georgetown has a rich tradition, and great staff with a nice offense. Tennessee is a place where my game fits in great.”
Omar Calhoun, Sr., on his son, junior Omar Calhoun, Jr., committing to Connecticut: “After spending time with [head] coach [Jim] Calhoun and the rest of the coaching staff, we felt it was a place we needed to be. He believes he fits well… coach Calhoun has had a tremendous amount of success with NYC guards.”
Junior Ricardo Ledo (#9) on what’s factoring in on his decision: “I want to go somewhere I can win. Playing time is also important.”
Junior Rodney Purvis (#7) on his Missouri visit: “It was great and fun. The visit was not what I expected!”
Junior Archie Goodwin (#19) on Kentucky head coach John Calipari: “He’s just a great person. He helps people excel and fulfill their dreams.”
Junior Jordan Price on his commitment to Auburn: “I just felt like it was the best fit for me and my family. It’s not too far away from my home so family and friends can come watch.”
Class of 2012 center Landen Lucas on his Kansas visit: “Loved it! [Assistant] coach [Danny] Manning stood out because of how well he develops bigs and gets them to the next level.”
Don Showalter on players who stood out at the USA U-16 Developmental Team tryouts: “[Class of 2013 Watch List power forwards Jabari] Parker and [Aaron] Gordon really stood out, they are really, really good players. They are going to be the best players in the tournament, no question. We started there and built around them.”
Senior Norvel Pelle on why he committed to St. John’s: “I wanted to get the best of both worlds. It’s a perfect opportunity with their new class of freshman and being in New York. I have a good relationship with the whole coaching staff and we try to connect on a daily basis. They’re all down to earth and chill.”
What We Learned
USA U-16 Developmental Team Announced. The United States U-16 Developmental Team was announced a couple of days ago and was headlined by Class of 2013 Watch List power forwards Aaron Gordon, Jabari Parker, Malik Price-Martin and Johnathan Williams, III. Other notable players include Class of 2014 standouts shooting guard Theo Pinson, small forward Stanley Johnson and power forward Jahlil Okafor. The team was selected by head coach Don Showalter (Mid-Prairie High School, IA) and assistant coaches Rich Gray (St. Louis Eagles, AAU, MO) and Mike Jones (head coach, DeMatha High School, MD) after training camp in Colorado Springs earlier in the week (to see who Showalter claimed were the standouts, check out the “What They’re Saying” section above). The United States team was assigned to Group B which includes Argentina, Brazil and a team who is as yet undetermined. The 2011 FIBA Americas U-16 Championship will take place June 21-25 in Cancun, Mexico, and will have the USA squad face off against Brazil June 21 and Argentina June 22. The top three finishers in the Americas Championship will qualify for the 2012 FIBA U-17 World Championship, scheduled for June 29-July 12 in Lithuania. The United States has dominated recently posting an undefeated record and winning gold medals at the 2010 FIBA U-17 World Championship and 2009 FIBA Americas U-16 Championship. This 12-man roster (six freshmen, six sophomores) is loaded with talent and will likely play as well if not better than their predecessors which includes Class of 2011 stars shooting guard Brad Beal (#5 — Florida), small forward Michael Gilchrist (#3 — Kentucky) and power forward James McAdoo (#4 — North Carolina).
Omar Calhoun, Jr., Chooses Connecticut. Just a few days after prized Class of 2011 small forward DeAndre Daniels committed to Connecticut, Class of 2012 shooting guard Omar Calhoun, Jr., chose the Huskies as well (to see why he committed, check out the “What They’re Saying” section above). Calhoun verbaled to Connecticut just a day after he trimmed his list to nine schools and picked the Huskies over North Carolina, Kentucky, Pittsburgh, Villanova, West Virginia, Seton Hall, Maryland and Georgetown. He is head coach Jim Calhoun’s first commit in the Class of 2012 but Calhoun is targeting other impact players including center Andre Drummond (#1), power forward Jarnell Stokes (#17) and small forward Devonta Pollard (#40), among others. Young Calhoun (no relation) is a big-time scorer who can get the ball in the bucket in a variety of ways whether it’s through knocking down a three-pointer, hitting a mid-range jumper or slashing to the basket. He is a very good athletes who finishes around the rim well and creates space for himself to get an open shot opportunity. However, he can become stronger and develop better passing abilities as that will greatly help him at the next level when he draws attention and potential double-teams.
Five Guys Who Have Helped Their Stock. I took a look at five Class of 2012 prospects who have helped their stock this summer which included point guard Kris Dunn, shooting guard Alex Caruso, small forward Justin Anderson (#45 — Virginia) and power forwards Anthony Bennett and Mitch McGary. Three of them — Dunn, Caruso and Bennett — had great performances last week at the Pangos All-American camp which solidified Dunn and Bennett’s presence as a couple of the summer’s top performers and gave Caruso a huge stage on which to break out. In fact, Caruso played so well at last week’s camp that Dave Telep, a senior basketball recruiting analyst for ESPN.com, immediately sent out an invitation to him for this week’s NBPA Top 100 Camp. As for the other two guys — Anderson and McGary — although they didn’t get a chance to star at Pangos, they have impressed the rest of the summer specifically at the Nike EYBL for Anderson and the Under Armour Best of the Best for McGary. Anderson has shown improved range and shot selection while McGary has developed face-up and turn-around jumpers to complement his interior game. As for the recruitment of each, Anderson is the lone commit (Virginia) while McGary recently took a visit to Maryland, Bennett said that Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Connecticut, West Virginia and Florida are recruiting him the hardest, Caruso admitted a bias towards Texas A&M (where his dad works) and Dunn’s list is wide open.
Georgia Tech Misses Out On One, Maybe Another. Class of 2012 shooting guard Jordan Price committed to Auburn this week over Georgia, Georgia Tech, Memphis and Miami. Class of 2012 center Kaleb Tarczewski (#6) also expressed heavy interest in three schools — Arizona, Kansas and North Carolina — with the Yellow Jackets not being one of them. In the past few days alone, it looks as though Georgia Tech head coach Brian Gregory lost out on a couple of his top priorities in hopes of starting out his first full year on the recruiting trail strong. Gregory is taking over a Yellow Jacket team that finished 13-18 last season and 5-11 in the Atlantic Coast Conference as they missed out on the NCAA tournament again. Georgia Tech wasn’t even able to finish in the top 200 in points per game last year or in the top 300 in field goal percentage and they lost their top scorer in shooting guard Iman Shumpert to the NBA Draft. Both Price and Tarczewski are able scorers who would have significantly helped the Yellow Jackets in practically every phase of the game as Gregory tries to start off his career at Georgia Tech on the right foot. Although previous head coach Paul Hewitt was able to land Class of 2011 power forward Julian Royal, that is Georgia Tech’s lone prospect so it looks as though Gregory will have a tough road ahead of him in his first few years as the Yellow Jackets’ head man.
Video of the Week
Take a look at Class of 2011 point guard Marquis Teague‘s (#6 — Kentucky) game-winning shot this past week.
Marquis Teague, Kentucky, Point Guard — Although Teague’s performance for the Indiana All-Stars was riddled with turnovers and included a technical foul, he came up huge in Indiana’s victory over the Kentucky All-Stars Friday night in the Kentucky vs. Indiana 2011 All-Star Classic as he finished with 18 points and five assists and a game-winning mid-range jumper with less than a second left. Teague’s jumper lifted Indiana to a 105-103 win and Teague displayed impressive explosiveness in getting to the rim as well as very good slashing skills. He did a great job of consistently getting in the lane and came up clutch for his team when it was most important and showed off his mid-range game as he knocked down the jumper in the closing seconds.
Ricardo Ledo, Undecided, Shooting Guard — Ledo was simply terrific on the offensive end at the Rumble in the Bronx event this weekend in New York since his jumper was so deadly. He consistently knocked down shots from long range and scored at will at various times throughout the games. Although he could have down a better job at creating separation between him and his defender, he was tremendous in hitting highly-contested jump shots and showed the ability to score in the mid-range game as well as slashing to the basket. He said this weekend that Kentucky, Syracuse, Providence and Connecticut are the four currently standing out but that Texas, Florida, Arizona and Maryland are also heavily involved (to see the factors in his decision, check out the “What They’re Saying” section).
Branden Dawson, Michigan State, Small Forward — The Spartan commit played very well in both Friday’s and Saturday’s All-Star games between Kentucky and Indiana as he had a combined 40 points and 17 rebounds between the two events. He showed why he is one of the best wing rebounders in the country as he used his size and strength to out-muscle his opponents and he did a great job in transition. He was also very good in slashing to the basket as he consistently got into the lane where he finished well above and around the rim. Dawson was a versatile defender as well as he proved capable of guarding multiple perimeter positions and used his athleticism well to stay in front of his opponents.
Cody Zeller, Indiana, Power Forward — Zeller was productive and efficient in the Indiana All-Stars’ 94-82 victory over the Kentucky All-Stars Saturday as he recorded 26 points and 15 rebounds. He shot 8-11 from the field and was 10-11 from the free throw line which made it very difficult for his opponents to stop him since he wasn’t missing a shot — whether it was a free throw, hook shot or mid-range jumper. He also ran the floor well and displayed good hands and feet whenever he went to work whether it was in the interior or out on the perimeter. Zeller played an all-around great game and even had a few assists and steals in the second half that helped put the Kentucky All-Stars away for good.
Blaise Mbargorba, Undecided, Center — Mbargorba has phenomenal size and length and is surprisingly quick when he runs the floor. He has impressive hands and his footwork his developing nicely as he uses a couple of different scoring moves in the post. I like his aggressiveness when he plays and he displays good touch on his shots around the basket. He also has the potential to be a dangerous threat on the defensive end as he could easily develop into a spectacular shot-blocker and rebounder. Mbargorba has offers from Temple, Vanderbilt, Rutgers and Fairfield and has received interest from the likes of Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Georgetown and Boston College among others.
Kendrick Nunn, Point Guard, Sophomore — Nunn was able to get into the lane whenever he wanted to at the USA U-16 Developmental Team training camp where he was very dangerous since he has a beautiful mid-range jumper as well as the ability to make a dump off pass to a big man. He also showed good explosiveness and made plays at both guard positions since he could start and finish plays. Nunn has received a lot of interest from a lot of different schools which includes but is not limited to Memphis, Missouri, Arizona, Florida State and Syracuse.
Allerik Freeman, Shooting Guard, Sophomore — Freeman was the clear standout at the Nike Elite 100 and showed very good ball-handling skills, a high basketball-IQ and good range on his perimeter jump shot. He also has good strength which makes him dangerous in the lane and has the ability to create space for himself well which enables him to be a great scorer. Before he blew up this weekend, he held offers from Baylor, Miami (FL), Oklahoma, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Xavier. However, since the camp, he has already picked up four more offers from Florida, North Carolina State, Georgetown and Tennessee (to see what he said about each of these schools check out the “What They’re Saying” section).
Wayne Selden, Small Forward, Freshman — Selden is a wing player with good size, strength and power. He is a great rebounder for his position because of those attributes and is nearly unstoppable in transition because of his physical gifts. Selden is an elite prospect in the Class of 2014 and can both score off the dribble or on the three-point shot. He did a terrific job at the Nike Elite 100 and displayed good range on his shot as well. He is currently getting looks from elite schools across the country including Kentucky, Connecticut and Pittsburgh.
Jabari Parker, Power Forward, Sophomore — Parker will be one of the leaders for the United States U-16 Developmental Team and performed well during training camp recently. He’s starting to turn more into a small forward than a power forward because of his developing perimeter skills but his interior game is still very good. He can do a plethora of things well from creating scoring opportunities for teammates to scoring both inside and out to being a presence on the defensive end. Parker can go to any school in the country that he wants to and some schools that are receiving consideration from him include Duke, Washington, Illinois, Kansas and Michigan State.