Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
The Kings were impressed with Tyreke Evans willingness to discuss the shooting in Nov. 2007 in which he drove a sport utility vehicle that his cousin, Jamar Evans, shot and killed another man, Marcus Reason, from the passenger seat of the car.
Tyreke Evans testified he didn't know his cousin had a gun and was never charged with a crime.
Tyreke Evans said he didn't want to appear to be hiding anything so he discussed the incident with every team he met with starting with the pre-draft camp in Chicago last month.
"I started off telling them about me," Evans said Friday after his introductory press conference. "I told them what happened in that situation and they respected that. They knew I wasn't the type of guy to get into things like that. Like I said it was the wrong place, wrong time. It's something I learned from and I'm moving on from it.
Evans hadn't addressed the issue with local media before the draft. It came back to the forefront after Jamar Evans was sentenced to nine to 20 years in prison for third-degree murder and weapons charges from the incident.
Time to sell Tyreke
After today's press conference Tyreke Evans saw a preview of what will be a 25-foot billboard with Evans in his No. 13 Kings jersey with him promising to "Reke Havoc" this coming season.
Evans is the soft-spoken type. He didn't appear overly excited by the advertising campaign, but he understands his No. 13 jersey will be prominent as the Kings begin trying to lure many of the fans that stopped coming to Arco Arena back.
If the Kings wanted to take the road to easy marketing, they would have selected Ricky Rubio.
Rubio, who comes with a country (Spain) behind him, Olympic highlights and YouTube clips galore showing off his fancy passing.
"Absolutely it entered our mind," said Kings co-owner Gavin Maloof said of marketing Rubio. "But at the end of the day winning's going to sell more tickets."
Friday, June 26, 2009
BY DAVID CASSILO email@example.com
After spectacular high school and college basketball careers, Danny Green and A.J. Price already were well known across Long Island. Now they'll have a chance to make a name for themselves in the NBA.
The Cavaliers selected Green in the second round with the 46th pick last night. He will help strengthen a Cleveland bench that was the team's weakness at times during the playoffs. Price was taken 52nd by the Pacers. Indiana was unhappy with its point guard situation.
Green graduated in 2005 from St. Mary's High School, where in his final season he was named Newsday's Nassau Player of the Year. The former McDonald's All-American was 74-5 in his three years at St. Mary's.
At North Carolina, Green played shooting guard and forward for the Tar Heels and won a national championship this past season. During his four years in Chapel Hill, he was part of two Final Four teams. He leaves the school with the most games played in North Carolina history.
Three of Green's teammates (Ty Lawson, Tyler Hansbrough and Wayne Ellington) were selected in the first round of the draft.
Price, a point guard, was a part of two state titles and three Long Island championships while at Amityville High School. He is a two-time Newsday Suffolk Player of the Year and averaged 28.5 points and eight rebounds in his senior season.
As second-round picks, Green and Price will get non-guaranteed contracts, which means they still need to make their new teams.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
CLEVELAND -- LeBron and Shaq: Two of the NBA's biggest stars are now teammates.
The Cleveland Cavaliers completed a blockbuster trade Thursday, bringing superstar center Shaquille O'Neal from the Phoenix Suns to join current MVP LeBron James.
The Cavaliers hope they are creating a basketball duo with the drawing power of Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar -- or even Shaq and Kobe Bryant.
Each of those pairs won multiple NBA titles. The Cavs would settle for their first.
The Cavs are sending center Ben Wallace and swingman Sasha Pavlovic to the Suns, along with a second-round pick in the 2010 draft and $500,000 in cash, one of the people close to the deal said.
O'Neal has won four championships during his 17-year career -- three as member of the Los Angeles Lakers with Bryant and one in Miami with Dwyane Wade -- and will now try to get yet another with James, the league's reigning MVP, who is only missing a title ring from his personal resume.
The trade is a gamble for the Cavs. They are hoping that the 37-year-old O'Neal, who is past his prime and has one year and $21 million left on his contract, can be the missing piece that helps James deliver his first championship to a city that has waited since 1964 for one of its major sports teams to win it all.
For sheer star power, the O'Neal-James tandem rivals any on the sports landscape today. And if it works, and lasts, the pairing may one day belong in the same company as some of the all-time combinations like Maris-Mantle, Koufax-Drysdale or Montana-Rice. But it could also be a one-year gambit.
Cavaliers general manager Danny Ferry and Suns GM Steve Kerr have been discussing the deal for months and finally reached a preliminary agreement early Thursday morning. The teams had to get league approval before the swap could be announced. They made the trade official in the afternoon.
James could have used Shaq during this year's playoffs. The Cavaliers' frontcourt of Wallace, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Anderson Varejao couldn't contain Orlando center Dwight Howard, and Cleveland and lost in the Eastern Conference finals -- a devastating blow for a team that won 66 games in the regular season and coasted through the first two rounds without losing a game.
O'Neal is coming off an All-Star season with the Suns -- averaging 17.8 points and 8.4 rebounds in 75 games -- but doesn't move as well as he once did and slowed Phoenix's high-powered offense. Still, the 7-foot-1, 325-pounder is large enough to take on a player like Howard by himself.
The Cavaliers' urgency to win a title is greater than ever with James entering his final season before he can opt out of his contract. The 24-year-old came up short this season and stormed off the floor following Game 6 in Orlando without shaking hands with any of the Magic players, including Howard, his U.S. Olympic teammate.
Cleveland can offer James an extension this summer, but there's no guarantee the Akron native, who has always maintained he wants to stay in his home state, will sign it.
Bringing in O'Neal may soothe James' concerns that the Cavs wouldn't be able to get him enough help to make a run at numerous titles. Ferry still wants to re-sign Varejao this summer and may look to add another perimeter player through a trade or free agency.
The trade gives the Suns financial flexibility in the future. All told, they will save $10 million.
The 34-year-old Wallace, who after the season said he may retire, is in the final year of a $14 million deal and the Suns plan to buy out Pavlovic, who has $1.5 million of his $4.95 million contract guaranteed.
Phoenix owner Robert Sarver, whose banking and real estate interests have suffered greatly in the economic downturn, said earlier this month he didn't mind paying a luxury tax for a good team. But Phoenix failed to make the playoffs, and the Suns are in the midst of what amounts to a rebuilding effort and now will be under the luxury tax threshold.
The Suns won one playoff game in O'Neal's season and a half, and this spring they failed to qualify for the postseason for the first time since 2004. Soon after the season ended, speculation began to grow that the club was looking to deal O'Neal while his trade value was still high.
The Suns might not be finished with big trades. All-Star Amare Stoudemire, who can opt out of his contract, also is being mentioned prominently in potential deals.
The plan was for Tyreke Evans to go through just an individual workout Friday afternoon with the Timberwolves.
Instead, the Memphis freshman joined five other first-round point guard prospects in a star-studded morning session.
"I just wanted to let people know that I'm not running from nobody," Evans said. "I'm willing to work hard against the top people in the draft."
A prime candidate to go to the Wolves with the sixth overall selection in Thursday's NBA draft, Evans and UCLA's Jrue Holiday were the highest-rated prospects in a group that also included Syracuse's Jonny Flynn, Brandon Jennings of Italy, North Carolina's Ty Lawson and Wake Forest's Jeff Teague.
Depending on teams' preferences, those players could go anywhere from No. 4 through No. 16, which is what made this workout so compelling.
"This is by far the best workout I've been in," Flynn said. "Every player out there is a top pick. We had the top point guards in college basketball all out there at one time. That really brings the best out of you."
At 6 feet 6, Evans had at least a 3-inch height advantage on his fellow guards, and opinions are mixed on what position he is best suited for in the NBA.
Evans said it makes no difference to him.
"I'm a player," he said. "I get that question asked a lot. What am I, a point guard or a shooting guard? Either position, I'll do the job at it."
David Kahn, the Wolves' president of basketball operations, said Evans had the same answer for him when they went to dinner Thursday night.
The fact that Evans was willing to take part in a group workout also said something about him.
"It tells me that he's a competitive kid," Kahn said.
Evans' decision also impressed his fellow guards, who know it is commonplace for top prospects, on the advice of their agents, to decline such workouts so close to the draft.
"You see that all the time," Flynn said. "You look at a guy like Tyreke Evans. Why would he come in here and work out when he's slated to go so high? But I think if you're confident in your abilities, you're willing to go up against anybody."
To-do list: Of the players who haven't been in for workouts, Kahn said he didn't know if the Wolves will get to see Davidson guard Stephen Curry again before the draft and doesn't know if they need to.
Kahn said the Wolves are working to get a look at top prospects such as Connecticut center Hasheem Thabeet, point guard Ricky Rubio of Spain and Arizona State guard James Harden, if they move up in the first round, but that nothing has been set up.
Southern California guard/forward DeMar DeRozan, who was supposed to work out today, will be in Monday.
Back for more: Friday's was the second Wolves workout for Teague, who had the first ended early because of a sprained knee ligament.
"Much better," he said of this workout. "I actually get to walk out."
The Hartford Courant
NEW YORK — - The first time Hasheem Thabeet set foot in America about five years ago, he was reluctant to trust the man in Los Angeles International Airport holding a sign that simply read, "Hasheem."
Thabeet, a basketball newbie but a can't-miss prospect for his size and athleticism, had left his native Tanzania, his family and everything familiar to embark on a journey that crosses another major checkpoint tonight in New York.
Very early in the NBA draft at the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden, commissioner David Stern will call Thabeet's name, and the final segment of a ride across two continents and some growing pains at UConn to the top of the basketball world would have begun.
"For me, it was tough to adjust to the culture, the food, the lifestyle," the 7-foot-3 center said. "I had to work hard, adjust and overcome a lot of challenges. Truthfully, I just have to [keep doing] that and work hard."
Thabeet played soccer as a boy. Not long after picking up basketball, there were high school stints in California and Texas. In three years at UConn, he became a two-time national defensive player of the year and Big East co-player of the year as a junior. He expected to get little or no sleep Wednesday night in anticipation of the draft, though he insists he'll be happy however it unfolds beginning at 7 p.m.
That's 2 a.m. in Tanzania. The nation, Thabeet said, is abuzz and a popular bar in his hometown of Dar Es Salaam plans to stay open late to televise the draft. Thabeet, who along with 14 other prospects met with the media at the Westin Hotel in Times Square Wednesday, will be joined tonight by his mother Rukia Manka, his younger brother Akbar and a few cousins.
Thabeet is the likely selection of the Memphis Grizzlies with the second pick, after the Clippers take Oklahoma's Blake Griffin with the first. He would join Emeka Okafor (2004) as the only UConn players selected that high, and he would be the program's 11th lottery pick. Jeff Adrien and A.J. Price of UConn also could be selected anywhere from late in the first round to not at all.
The Grizzlies also like guard Ricky Rubio of Spain and will consider trading the No.2 pick. As always, eleventh-hour decisions could make for some surprises before or just after the draft. Like Thabeet, who is much more ready defensively than offensively, Rubio has had aspects of his game questioned.
"I don't think about what people say about me, only my objective," Rubio said. "I have my own dreams, and I don't listen to people who say 'You're going to be on top' or 'You're all hype.' We're going to see what I can do on the court."
There is one certainty: Griffin is considered the prize in a relatively weak class and will be taken by the Clippers. After that, "I'd take Hasheem Thabeet," Griffin said.
Much was made of Thabeet canceling a workout with the Grizzlies Monday, a decision that led some to speculate that he didn't want to play in Memphis. Not so, Thabeet said Wednesday.
"When I left UConn is when my visa expired," he said. "So I had a meeting that Monday morning in New York. They told me if I don't make that meeting, I could get deported. So I had to do whatever was possible. It had nothing to do with me not liking Memphis. I've been to Memphis. I like it. They have Rudy [Gay] and O.J. [Mayo] good guys."
Thabeet, who is nursing a sore left shoulder, added, "I'm excited wherever I end up going. It's an opportunity for me to play ball and for people to see what kind of person I am."
Riches await Thabeet, a contract of about $12 million over three years were he to be selected second. Like Dikembe Mutombo and Emeka Okafor before him, Thabeet said he is committed to charity work in Africa now that he is set to cash in on his growth as a player.
"People always criticize my offense," said Thabeet, who averaged 13.6 points, 10.8 rebounds and 4.3 blocks last season .
Thabeet has been working out in Los Angeles with trainers who have stressed a balance and a broader base. He's been working primarily on offense. Defense comes naturally, though one of his biggest adjustments might be getting used to the NBA's defensive three-second rule, which will force Thabeet to challenge offensive players out of the paint.
But Thabeet is confident he can contribute immediately in the NBA after flirting with a departure from UConn after his freshman and sophomore seasons.
"To jump right in without three years of college basketball would have been tougher," he said. "Not like now."
If guard is a lottery pick today, Europe (not college) could become the new stage for young talent
By Michael Marot, The Associated Press
Brandon Jennings is under the microscope - and not just by scouts looking for flaws in his game.
If the point guard isn't taken among the top 15 picks in today's NBA draft, the critics who questioned his decision to skip college and play professionally in Europe will be validated.
If he is a lottery pick today, well, Europe could become the new stage for America's young talent.
"If I go in the top five, I think you'll see more kids go to Europe," Jennings said last week after working out in Indianapolis.
Clearly, Jennings believes he's good enough to warrant a top 10 selection. He has worked out for seven teams, five of whom select fourth through eighth.
There are indications a new trend is taking root among America's top prep basketball stars.
Jennings initially signed with Arizona before heading to Europe and now highly touted Jeremy Tyler plans to skip his final high school season in San Diego to play in Europe, too.
Why? Before 2006, the NBA could draft players straight out of high school. Now American-born players must wait until they are 19 and a year out of high school.
NBA officials have increasingly looked overseas for players, too.
So if Jennings is a top 10 pick, European money could quickly become a viable option for American players, though most still choose to attend college. The NCAA isn't overly concerned.
"We are talking about a very, very small group of people
(skipping college) right now," spokesman Erik Christianson said.
"Young people have choices today and those choices may include a nontraditional path. They have to make that decision individually."
But, as Jennings and others are proving, the choices are expanding.
Bryce Harper, a 16-year-old baseball player from Nevada, intends to forgo his final two years of high school and has enrolled in a community college so he can become eligible for the Major League draft early. Maurice Clarett, the former Ohio State football player, won, then lost his court challenge against the NFL's draft age requirement.
Now there's Jennings, whose NBA future is no sure thing.
Since returning home for pre-draft workouts, the 6-foot-2 guard who grew up in Southern California has heard plenty of questions about why his scoring plummeted last season.
As a senior at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia, Jennings averaged nearly 33 points. In Europe, he averaged just 7.6 points in 16 Euroleague games and 5.5 points in 27 Italian league games, raising questions about his shooting skills.
While scouts want to know which Jennings they'll be getting, he contends he learned more in Europe than he would have on campus.
"The difference is I was playing against men," he said. "I think I'm more prepared and ready than I was last year. I'm more mature and now I don't just run around all the time like I used to.
Unlike the high school entrants of previous years, Jennings also may be better prepared to make the jump.
He already has endured the rigorous road trips, the hectic schedule and learned the responsibilities that come with a big contract. He's competed against veterans and adapted to the mental challenges of playing below his own expectations. All of it, Jennings believes, gives him an advantage.
"A lot of things I learned came off the court," he said. "I could step in and run a team."
By Bruce Pascoe
Arizona Daily Star
Arizona has added a fourth player to its still-evolving 2009 recruiting class, with guard Lamont "Momo" Jones of New York saying today he has committed to the Wildcats.
Jones, who visited both Florida and Arizona after he was released from his USC letter-of-intent in the wake of coach Tim Floyd's resignation, said he was impressed with his visit to Tucson and new UA coach Sean Miller.
Sean Miller is a great coach," Jones said. "I watched him at Xavier and sat down with him and listened to him talk, and we believe this is the best place for us."
Jones, a Top 75 combo guard who spent last season at Virginia's Oak Hill Academy, is from the Bronx. He is a close friend of incoming UA freshman Kevin Parrom as well as the godson of UA assistant coach Book Richardson, who was a childhood friend of Jones' now-deceased father.
The Wildcats could also add a fifth player, California wing Derrick Williams, another ex-USC commit who says he will visit UA this weekend. Williams was scheduled to visit Memphis today.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Danny Green was in the airport. Again.
This time, the airport was in Cleveland. Next stop was Memphis, the site of his final NBA tryout.
Today, he works out for the Grizzlies – marking the end of a very long process
“It'll be number 13,” he said. “It's been a lot of fun, but it's tiring, as well. So I'm ready to just get home and relax and wait for the draft to take place.”
Since graduating from North Carolina on May 10, Green has been on the move – living in airports between two-day stints in tryout cities.
After a month and a half of medical checkups, interviews with general managers – not to mention hours of competitive basketball to showcase his skills – Green's fate will be decided in Thursday's draft.
It's been a whirlwind few months, following his senior season at North Carolina that saw him become both a starter for the first time and a national champion.
Green averaged 13.1 points and 4.7 rebounds shot 47 percent from the field. He also ended his college career as the only player in ACC history with more than 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 250 assists, 150 3-pointers, 150 blocks and 150 steals.
Most draft boards project him as an early-to middle second-round pick, but Green readily admits he has no idea what will happen.
“Nope. I have no clue yet,” he said. “The range is far, and it's wide. The draft is wide open this year.”
It's been very different than last year when he participated in only four NBA workouts before returning to North Carolina.
“A lot more traveling, and a lot more workouts. But also a lot more help with the feedback, with my agent and everything,” he said.
“It's been a longer process, but last year definitely helped me out with the experience. … I'm more comfortable with the situation.”
Green said he's gotten good feedback from the teams, particularly regarding his personality tests and interviews.
It's no surprise to Danny Green Sr. that his son is doing well in the interviews.
“You're not always going to have the best workouts, just because one moment you're in Cleveland, the next minute he could be in Memphis,” said Green Sr., who talks to his son every day. “But he's told me that his interviews all go well.”
Those interviews often take up the time of what would be “off-days” for Green. Those days also consists of medical checkups and practicing.
The next day brings an early morning workout with the team.
Then it starts again with an evening flight to the next city.
Green's route to Memphis went through Los Angeles first, with Cleveland coming after that.
But his laundry list of sites visited is much longer than that, and includes Charlotte, Chicago, Portland and New Jersey, the closest to his hometown in New York.
After his trip to Memphis, Green will return home Tuesday, then stay in New York to relax for a few days and watch the draft there.
“I don't know, I was thinking about watching it by myself,” he said. “Just sit in front of the TV, watch it by myself. I don't know.
“But I feel like, it's going to be a lot of fun, but it's going to be a lot of different reactions.”
Green Sr. is of planning a big party for Danny, with an invitation list that includes all his teammates, high school coaches and North Carolina coach Roy Williams.
By then, Green will be drafted.
“I'm sure it's going to be joyous – probably overwhelming,” said his dad
NY DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER
Donnie Walsh has three days to put together a package that will allow the Knicks to trade up in the NBA draft and select Spanish guard Ricky Rubio, the player the club has targeted for months.
There have been reports that Rubio, because of his $6 million buyout with his European team, could fall to the Knicks at No. 8. Walsh did not rule out that scenario, saying Monday that Rubio and UConn center Hasheem Thabeet could both drop.
"I'm not confident that they will be in the top four," Walsh said from the Knicks' training facility in Greenburgh. "They could. It's possible. I'm not saying it's going to happen."
Rubio's agent Dan Fegan has told Memphis and Oklahoma City, second and third overall, respectively, not to select his client. However, those teams have the right to draft Rubio with the intention of including him in a deal.
If the Knicks were to trade for Rubio, they likely would deal their first-round pick and at least one player, perhaps Wilson Chandler. The Knicks could also trade free agents-to-be David Lee and/or Nate Robinson.
"Of course we've had conversations (about trading up)," Walsh said. "But I don't know if we're going to be able to do that."
Rubio, Davidson's Stephen Curry and UCLA freshman Jrue Holiday appear to be the three players who most interest the Knicks. Curry figures to be selected anywhere between No. 4 and 7. That probably explains why Holiday was back in New York yesterday for his second workout with the club.
"They must be interested in me," Holiday said.
Walsh, the president of basketball operations, says the Knicks are open to drafting any position but it would appear that point guard is their top priority. Chris Duhon struggled over the second half of the season and it's 50-50 whether Robinson will be re-signed.
Rubio is not regarded as a strong defensive player but possesses exceptional skills and has All-Star potential.
While coach Mike D'Antoni saw plenty of Rubio as part of Spain's national team while he was an assistant for the U.S. at the Beijing Olympics, Walsh has never seen Rubio play in person - though he reminded reporters, "I've watched a lot of film on him. A lot."
Sunday, June 21, 2009
By Jody Demling • firstname.lastname@example.org
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Doron Lamb was among the high school basketball prospects next in line to take over as the megastar in New York City.
But after two years at Bishop Loughlin in Brooklyn, the 6-foot-5 Lamb left the Big Apple last fall and enrolled at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia. He shunned the bright lights and intense media attention to try to improve his skills.
Lamb said it was "one of the toughest decisions" of his life, but a year later he's flourishing and is ranked No.20 nationally by Scout.com in the Class of 2010.
"I had to do what was best for me," Lamb said. "I had to make the best decision for myself. It's been great for me."
A high-scoring shooting guard, Lamb is participating in this week's NBA Players Association Top 100 Camp at the University of Virginia.
Lamb, who could have been spoken of in the same breath as New York City guards Stephon Marbury, Sebastian Telfair and Lance Stephenson, now has another major decision to make.
While Lamb said he's still "wide open" in the recruiting process, he has become one of the University of Kentucky's top priorities. He said a lot of other schools have expressed interest, and Louisville was looking at him last summer.
Lamb and the analysts expect the interest to pick up even more in July.
"His offensive package is much more advanced since he went to Oak Hill," Scout.com national analyst Evan Daniels said. "He was already able to shoot the ball, but he has turned into one of the prolific scorers in the country."
Lamb said the move to Virginia helped him get there.
In New York, Lamb said he had to take the train to school, and there wasn't always enough time for extra practice. At Oak Hill, his life is school and hoops.
"I would get home late and then have to work out," Lamb said. "Oak Hill is so different because there's nowhere to go. We're always working on our game. I think I am a much, much, much better player and way stronger than I was. I feel like I have really improved and helped my game."
But what about the lost hype? Telfair and Stephenson had documentaries made about their lives, and Lamb certainly would have been the center of attention had he stayed in New York.
But Lamb has to share the spotlight at Oak Hill, which is one of the best prep school teams in the country and is loaded with NCAA Division I talent.
"I really don't worry about the attention," he said. "I just try to go out and work hard and have fun. If I get any attention, that's fine."
As far as being recruited, Lamb said he's "trying to take things slow." But he said he's taken a liking to UK since John Calipari took over as coach.
The old staff hadn't shown much interest in Lamb.
"I have a good relationship with (assistant) coach (Orlando) Antigua and (Rod) Strickland," Lamb said. "Coach Calipari called me, and we talked a long time. He's a good guy; they'll be in my final five for sure.
"They make pros, and that's what I want to be."
Jody Demling can be reached at (502) 582-7176.
Duke, UNC commits friends . for now
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Duke and North Carolina fans won't have the Gerald Henderson-Wayne Ellington matchup anymore, but the next version is coming.
Blue Devils commit Josh Hairston (pictured) and
Tar Heels commit Reggie Bullock have spent the past four days playing together at the NBA Players Association Top 100 Camp. They've been executing the pick-and-roll with ease and developing a friendship they expect to take to college after graduating in 2010.
A bond they expect to stretch a bit the first time North Carolina and Duke face off and they're wearing different jerseys. Hairston is a 6-foot-8, 215-pound power forward, and Bullock is a 6-7, 195-pound shooting guard.
Chances are, these two are going to collide a few times in the future.
"Hopefully we can keep this (good will) going while we're on the same team," Hairston said Saturday after the two helped the Jazz upset the undefeated Pistons in the first round of the camp's playoffs. "Because for the next four years, it's not going to be that pretty."
This is the first time the two have played together after observing each other from afar. Hairston is from Courtland High School in Fredericksburg, Va., and Bullock plays for Kinston.
Bullock committed to the Tar Heels after the summer of his sophomore year, and Scout.com has him ranked second among shooting guards in the 2010 class. He's spent a lot of time this past week hanging out with a fellow North Carolina commit, 6-4 point guard Kendall Marshall.
Duke has plenty of commits here as well, and Hairston is considered the eighth best power forward in the country. Tyler Thornton, a 6-2 point guard, is here along with 6-5 shooting guard Andre Dawkins for the Blue Devils, and Hairston and Bullock have brought the whole group together during lunch and dinner breaks.
"We're all joking with each other, but it's getting to be a family since we're all going to be in the same town and chilling with each other when we go to college," Bullock said.
One off-the-court competition that's heating up between the two parties is over Harrison Barnes. Considered the top recruit in the nation, Barnes is visiting Chapel Hill this coming week after visiting Duke twice this past year.
Both Hairston and Bullock said their respective parties have made pitches to Barnes this past week. But they're not bugging him too much.
The 6-foot-6, 190-pound Barnes has scholarship offers from 11 different schools, including Florida, Kentucky, Kansas and UCLA. They know the Ames, Iowa, native could end up at any of those institutions.
Wake commit shines in win
Travis McKie is on his way to Wake Forest next year, and he showed why with a game-high 15 points in a 79-73 victory against the spirited Jazz last night. The 6-foot-7, 195-pound small forward from nearby Richmond, Va., had a nice dunk off a pass from West Virginia commit Noah Cottrill to quash the Jazz's comeback. The victory pushed the Pistons to 4-0 and the top seed in the playoffs.
The Rockets are also 4-0 and had an easier time in their final game. They ran out to a 22-4 start to take an easy 72-51 victory against the Spurs. Casey Prather, who's being recruited by Virginia and Miami, scored 17 points to lead the Rockets' balanced attack. Terrence Jones, who has drawn some interest from North Carolina and Maryland, had 14 points.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Written By: Ray Anczelowicz
www.GothamHoops.com For RealScout.net
The guards are leading the way while the clock winds down toward the 2009 NBA Draft. As big man Blake Griffin is the 2009 Potential #1 pick. This year’s Draft Class is lacking depth in size. I expect numerous trades to be made including, big name stars from around the league.
Players from all over the world are headlining this year’s draft, as 18year old point guard Ricky Rubio (Spain), is one of the most talked about and hyped up athletes for this draft.
Former Oak Hill Academy star Brandon Jennings, who moved to Italy to play professionally for a single season, has only been showcasing his skills in private workouts for an array of NBA teams.
Stephen Curry from Davidson, North Carolina’s Ty Lawson, Johnny Flynn of Syracuse and the guards from UCLA, Darren Collison and Jrue Holiday are the other point guards who are expecting to hear their names be announced early on in the draft.
The Los Angeles Clippers, who hold the #1 pick in the draft a.k.a Oklahoma stud Blake Griffin have not worked out any other players but the former Sooner.
The 2009 National Champion North Carolina Tar Heels have three players who are expected to be drafted along with Lawson. Shooting guard Wayne Ellington, wing Danny Green and power forward Tyler Hansbrough are anxiously waiting till June 25th, 2009.
One-and-done players Tyreke Evans (Memphis) and DeMarr Derozan (USC) have impressed numerous teams with their great athleticism and ability to score in a hurry. Both players are over sized guards, with Evans being a 6’5” point guard and Derozan a 6’7” shooting guard.
The 2009 NBA Draft doesn’t have standout names but does include depth in the backcourt. Players from across the world will be drafted on June 25th. Who will be the top 13 picks of the draft? Here are my predictions for how the night will start out for the future NBA All-Star hopefuls.
1. L.A. Clippers- Blake Griffin (Oklahoma)
A great athlete who will work well with PG Baron Davis.
2. Memphis Grizzles- Ricky Rubio (Spain)
Rubio, O.J. Mayo and Rudy Gay…future is looking pretty good in Memphis
3. OKC Thunder- Hasheem Thabeet (Uconn)
The Thunder have enough scoring to keep them in games but need defensive toughness to win them
4. SAC Kings- Brandon Jennings (Italy)
A skilled point guard will give the Kings a well-needed burst of energy and flash
5. Washington Wizards- Tyreke Evans (Memphis)
A combo guard who will improve his game while playing with All-Stars Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler
6. Minnesota Wolves- DeMar Derozan (USC)
The Wolves need a great athlete who can put the ball in the hoop…welcome to Minnesota Mr. Derozan
7. Golden State Warriors- Earl Clark (Louisville)
Don Nelson is a sucker for athletic small forwards and loves the game Earl Clark provides
8. New York Knicks- Stephen Curry (Davidson)
Curry’s game works the best with D’Antoni’s system and Curry loves playing in the Garden
9. Toronto Raptors- James Harden (Arizona State)
A great pick for the Raptors this low. Harden will cause defenders to take their eyes off of Bosh for a second
10. Milwaukee Bucks- Jeff Teague (Wake Forest)
A surprise pick for the Bucks will lead to them to great success for the upcoming season
11. New Jersey Nets- Jrue Holiday (UCLA)
The quick, flashy point guard will give Devin Harris a rest and load-up the Nets scoreboard
12. Charlotte Bobcats- Gerald Henderson (Duke)
One of the most, if not the most athletic player in the draft will be extremely beneficial playing under Larry Brown
13. Indiana Pacers- Ty Lawson (North Carolina)
An aging Jamal Tinsley and an improving Danny Granger are great signs for Lawson
DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITERS
Lincoln HS basketball star Lance Stephenson is slowly running out of options.
Maryland is no longer recruiting the Coney Island standout, a source close to Terrapins coach Gary Williams has confirmed. Lincoln HS coach Dwayne Morton says "Memphis has been calling" and remains interested. Arizona and playing in Europe also remain options.
As of Wednesday night, Lance Stephenson Sr. had no knowledge that Maryland has stopped recruiting his son.
"As far as we know Maryland is still an option," the father said.
But if Maryland is out of the picture, the elder Stephenson vows that everything will be OK. "There are 20,00 schools out there. That's just one," he said.
The Maryland source says the return of guard Greivis Vasquez for his senior year is not a factor in Maryland's decision-making nor are concerns about Stephenson's sexual assault case stemming from an incident on Oct. 3.
Instead, the decision is said to be more over Stephenson's amateur status and compliance with the NCAA.
There have been rumors of NCAA violations surrounding Stephenson's "Born Ready" reality television series. Eyebrows have also been raised over an alleged relationship between the family and Under Armour athletic underwear. Lance Stephenson Sr. dismisses both.
"There is no compliance issues," he said. "Lance will be good. The people from 'Born Ready' did the documentary in compliance with the NCAA."
Just two weeks ago, the elder Stephenson praised Williams and his coaching staff at Maryland.
Meanwhile, Lance Stephenson and Lincoln teammate Darwin Ellis are scheduled to appear in Brooklyn Criminal Court on June 29 to face a sexual assault hearing after being charged with groping a 17-year-old girl last October.
Stephenson's attorney, Alberto Ebanks, has said that the case could be dismissed or a plea bargain could be reached before the court date. Stephenson is the only player on ESPN's Top 100 list of national recruits who hasn't picked a college.
Brandon Jennings, who is projected to be a first-round pick in next week's NBA draft after playing one full season in Europe, believes Stephenson should follow his lead by skipping college and playing overseas. After working out for the Knicks on Monday, Jennings said he thinks Europe would humble Stephenson.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
The Hoop Group Pre-Summer Showcase comes to Fairleigh Dickinson University this weekend. The Pre-Summer Showcase is an exposure and instructional event to help you get ready for the month of July, which is now more important than ever in the recruiting process.
The event will help to get players in front of Division 2 and 3 college coaches as well as The National Recruiting Report, one of the top scouting services in the country (over 300 colleges subscribe). We will be gathering each player's summer schedule at these events and passing that important info to college coaches before the Live Period begins. This will ensure that college coaches will know where each player will be and where they can see them play. It will help get each player's name out there before July starts and put you way ahead of the game.
Why go into July hoping that college coaches will come see you? Why not make sure they know where you will be?
Also, the skill component to the Pre-Summer Showcase will be unmatched. We will have our normal station work each morning, but also add position specific work and other drills throughout the day. Your skills need to be at their highest level when July begins - that weekend is a great way to "sharpen the saw" and make sure you are ready.
Each event is limited to 80 players to ensure maximum exposure and the best skill development. Don't delay! Make sure you reserve your spot soon!
Don't miss out on the our Pre-Summer Showcases
June 20-21 at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ
June 27-28 at Boston University in Boston, MA
June 27-28 at Hoop Magic in Chantilly, VA
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — If the Kings manage to draft Ricky Rubio, they must be prepared for the Spanish point guard to have a target on him.
When a player reportedly won’t work out for teams and still is rated No. 1 at his position, other prospects take notice.
Though many point guards available in the 2009 NBA draft might be tired of hearing about Rubio’s exploits, no one has called out Rubio like point guard Brandon Jennings. Jennings, a 19-year-old American, starred at Dominguez High School in Compton, Calif., and Oak Hill Academy in Virginia. He played professionally in Italy this past season rather than attend college and is considered a lottery pick.
After a competitive predraft workout for the Kings that also featured Syracuse’s Jonny Flynn and UCLA’s Jrue Holiday, Jennings said he and many other point guard prospects are as good or better than Rubio.
"Well, put it like this — if he was in a workout with me, Jonny Flynn, Jrue Holiday, Ty Lawson, Stephen Curry, he wouldn’t probably be at the top," Jennings said.
Flynn could only laugh as Jennings tore into Rubio. But most pundits have rated Rubio the top point guard for some time. That doesn’t sit well with Jennings, who played against Rubio once last season.
"When I played him, he had zero points, two assists and two turnovers," Jennings said. "So you tell me how that went for him."
According to the Euro league box score, Rubio actually had three assists and three turnovers in 8 minutes, 34 seconds. Rubio reportedly still was bothered by a wrist injury suffered during the Olympics. Jennings played 22:54 and finished with 12 points and two assists.
"I can shoot the ball better than he can," Jennings said. "The only time I’ve seen him do something is when he’ll have a home run pass or something like that. I think the dude is all hype. I can’t even (lie)."
Jennings, 6-foot-1 and 170 pounds, said he is a pass-first point guard with an improving jump shot. He said he could step in with the Kings and push the offensive tempo.
The competition during the portion of the workout open to the media was as competitive as any held previously by the Kings.
Jennings showed off his speed and quickness. So did the 20-year-old Flynn (6-0, 186), who dunked with relative ease during a drill. It was Holiday’s second workout for the Kings.
"When you’ve got three of the best guards in the draft, you’re automatically going to go hard," Flynn said. "We’re all fighting for that top (point guard) spot, and it just brings out the best to go against guys like (Jennings) and Jrue."
If Rubio doesn’t work out for the Kings, there’s no way to know how he’d respond to the challenge Flynn, Jennings and Holiday faced Friday.
"I can’t wait to play him in the (NBA) Summer League," Jennings said.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
USC continues to suffer the fallout of the investigation into possible NCAA violations and coach Tim Floyd's subsequent resignation.
The Trojans' recruiting class, once viewed as one of the best in the country, is down to one.
Lamont Jones of Oak Hill (Va.) Academy has been released from his national letter of intent, USC announced Thursday night. Fellow recruit Derrick Williams of La Mirada (Calif.) High also asked for his release, The Los Angeles Times reported. USC wouldn't confirm Williams' departure.
The Trojans already gave Noel Johnson, of Georgia, his release.
Evan Smith, of Calabasas (Calif.) High, is the lone recruit remaining for 2009-10.
Johnson's release was conditional and he will not be allowed to go to another Pac-10 school, a source told ESPN.com. It's unclear if Jones or Williams have had the same condition placed on their release.
One-time recruit Solomon Hill got out of his verbal commitment and went to Arizona. Renardo Sidney, who also committed out of Fairfax (Calif.) High, went to Mississippi State.
The Trojans lost four players -- freshman DeMar DeRozan, juniors Daniel Hackett and Taj Gibson and senior Marcus Johnson -- to the NBA draft.
USC has nine returning players on scholarship. Senior guard Dwight Lewis, who averaged a team-high 14.4 points a game, and North Carolina transfer Alex Stepheson are among them.
Point guard Gary Franklin Jr., of Mater Dei (Calif.) High, has committed for 2010. A source told ESPN.com he may also back out.
USC (22-13, 9-9 Pac-10) won the Pac-10 tournament last March. The Trojans reached the second-round of the NCAA tournament with a win over Boston College but lost to No. 2 seed Michigan State in the second round in Minneapolis.
Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com.
Picture Courtesy of espn.com
The Sports Network
Junior forward Tyler Smith has decided to withdraw his name from the NBA Draft and return for his senior season at Tennessee.
"It's been a great past few weeks trying out for the NBA," Smith said at news conference held at UT's Pratt Pavilion on Thursday. "But after talking with my family, coaches and teammates, I've decided to return for my senior year. I think we have a great chance to have something special next year with my teammates. They have been working extremely hard. I learned how to be a professional and what it takes to be at that level."
Smith led the Volunteers in scoring (17.4 ppg), assists (3.4 apg) and free- throw percentage (.766) while starting all 34 contests this past year, helping the program to a second straight NCAA Tournament berth where they dropped a first-round nailbiter to Oklahoma State.
"I continue to be impressed by Tyler," Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl said. "He had a number of impressive workouts. He did what he said when he wanted to see what was out there and it became apparent that the first round was not locked up. This was a good process for Tyler."
The Vols ended with a 21-10 regular-season record and went 10-6 in league play before falling to Mississippi State in the Southeastern Conference championship game.
In his two seasons at Tennessee, the 6-foot-7 Smith has never missed a game and has averaged 15.4 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game, garnering back-to-back first team All-SEC honors in the process.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
It has been a quiet spring for Mike Poole as he has made the switch over from the NY Panthers to the Raising Champions on the AAU circuit. So far, his only major event has been the Pittsburgh Jam Fest, so the St. Benedict’s of Newark (NJ) small forward is looking forward to getting on the court this weekend at Fordham University.
“For me [the] Rumble is a great chance to show New York I haven’t fell off a bit and that I’m even better then when I left NY,” said Poole.
When NBE saw Poole in early April, he was showcasing his talent at the Hoop Group Elite Top 100 of New York on the St. John’s campus. He is looking forward to the Rumble in the Bronx as a “place to prove myself” and a good showing against the top competition could spur Poole for a big summer.
Playing at St. Benedict’s has its advantages and Poole has been seen in many high profile events on the high school scene the last year. Of late, three colleges have been showing the most attention on the recruiting front and Poole is feeling them as well.
“New schools such as Kansas State, Flordia International and Providence are all new and they really like me,” Poole told NBE when asked if any new inquiries from colleges have been made. “The three new schools really stand out and are my top three as of now.”
The Rumble in the Bronx is the ultimate proving ground. Mike Poole will be looking to make a statement to those watching in the stands and matching up with him on the court this weekend, so, if your stopping by at Fordham University this weekend, check him out and the Raising Champions in action!
Click Link below for updated schedule
COURTS 1-6 are all at FORDHAM UNIVERSITY on Southern Blvd. Bronx, NY 10458
COURTS 7-9 are all at MANHATTAN COLLEGE
COURTS 10-12 are all at IONA COLLEGE
COURTS 13-14 are at HOOPERSTOWN in Mount Vernon
Contact #'s for Site Directors
Chris Oden 973-713-8444
Tony McIntosh 646-515-2112
Debbie Lovelady 518-701-6697
Ralph Tucker 518-316-1052
Don Reinhardt 518-428-1458
Joe Armenio 914-667 3865
Bernett Marion 518-423-6928
Tim Floyd might be done talking for the foreseeable future. A statement issued to his hometown-area paper in Jackson, Miss., possibly served as his farewell speech to college basketball.
But there are countless questions that need to be answered to understand the full scope of the complete unraveling of the Trojans basketball program since USC lost to Michigan State in the NCAA tournament's second round in Minneapolis in March.
On Tuesday night, ESPN.com reached out to a variety of sources throughout the NBA and college basketball who were close to Floyd. The consensus was that recent actions by Floyd showed a move was imminent after allegations that he paid money to a man who steered O.J. Mayo to the Trojans.
- By making the decision to resign, did Floyd get a negotiated settlement from USC? If he had stayed on and been fired before an NCAA hearing, he might have been able to be compensated much in the same way former Ohio State coach Jim O'Brien was when he wasn't given his due process based on the wording in his contract.
- Floyd is out as USC coach despite the fact that none of the allegations against him have turned into charges by the NCAA. Why did he choose to quit instead of stand up and face any possible charges?
- How much will the NCAA look at Floyd as a sacrificial lamb in the wake of a major investigation that involves football and basketball? Was this move pushed by USC so that when it's in front of the committee on infractions it can show that it took corrective action to avoid a charge of lack of institutional control?
- Why was USC so willing to grant signee Noel Johnson his release from his national letter of intent without a fight? Floyd and athletic director Mike Garrett didn't make an attempt to hold Johnson to his letter. A number of sources were stunned that USC didn't balk at releasing Johnson's NLI.
- How much was USC's decision to release Renardo Sidney from his commitment a sign to the NCAA that the Trojans wouldn't take on any more potential high-risk recruits?
- Why did Marcus Johnson -- who had just earned back his sixth year of eligibility through a rare waiver -- suddenly change his mind and stay in the NBA draft? USC was quick to make public that Johnson had won his appeal but days later was silent when Johnson opted to make himself available for the draft, though he's not likely to be selected.
- DeMar DeRozan was a likely lottery pick, and it was no surprise that he would leave after one season with the Trojans. But why did Daniel Hackett, whose father Rudy is the USC strength and conditioning coach, not even hesitate before skipping out on his senior season? Hackett has an Italian passport and can play in Italy, but he's not likely to get selected later this month in the NBA draft.
- Floyd flew to Tucson to meet with Arizona athletic director Jim Livengood and president Robert Shelton. Livengood has since said that he didn't offer the job to Floyd and the meeting was just an exploratory interview. Livengood said the interview took place in Tucson because it was more convenient for the president. But coaches don't normally fly into the city of the school searching for a coach if they are trying to keep their candidacy clandestine. Why did Floyd go to Tucson if he wasn't serious about taking the job? Why did Floyd withdraw from the search? What did Floyd and/or Arizona know at the time about the NCAA or a federal investigation?
- Will Garrett be the one making the call on the next hire? Will an elite coach want to touch USC without knowing if the Trojans will get hammered by the NCAA and while the feds are still looking into the case?
- What are USC's options for a head coach? The Trojans could go with an interim like current assistant Phil Johnson, who was a head coach at San Jose State.
They could make a play for someone like Pitt's Jamie Dixon. But through sources, Dixon has said he's not interested in making a move. He is currently vacationing in Hawaii and will be heading to Colorado Springs and then New Zealand for the next four weeks as head coach of the FIBA U-19 USA team.
The consensus is that USC would have to look at a coach who is above reproach from the NCAA. But established coaches who don't have to rebuild aren't likely to take over at USC in June or July amid swirling allegations. Even coaches who would seemingly take a gamble, like Saint Mary's Randy Bennett, aren't terribly excited about USC based on its current status, according to a source.
Oregon State's Craig Robinson is a popular name to move within the Pac-10, just like Tony Bennett was at Washington State before he made the move to Virginia. But the fear of the unknown, with the possibility of sanctions, makes this a tough call for anyone in a secure situation. Whether Garrett, or whoever makes the hire, considers former Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie, former Sacramento Kings coach Reggie Theus, former Texas Tech coach Bob Knight, Virginia Tech's Seth Greenberg or Long Beach State's Dan Monson is still up for debate.
One thing is certain: Landing Mayo didn't get Tim Floyd an NCAA tournament win, but rather the wrath of the enforcement staff. And it looks like it ultimately cost Floyd his job.
Andy Katz is a senior writer for ESPN.com.
Villanova junior Scottie Reynolds is returning to school for his final season.
A one-time Big East Rookie of the Year, Reynolds sealed the Wildcats' spot in the Final Four with his falling-down floater against Pittsburgh. He averaged 15.2 points per game this season.
"The best decision for me is to return to Villanova for my senior year," Reynolds said in a statement released by the school. "I'd like to thank everyone who put their time into helping me get better during these NBA workouts. I especially want to thank my teammates and coaches here for all of their support. I felt like I learned a great deal from this process.
"I'm blessed to be in the situation I am in. I'm happy to be back at Villanova."
Reynolds, who worked out for seven different teams, told The Philadelphia Inquirer last week that he was happy with the feedback he was receiving and was confident that he could play in the NBA.
Underclassmen have until June 15 to withdraw their name from consideration for the NBA draft.
"Scottie took a very mature and intelligent approach to this process," Villanova coach Jay Wright said in the statement. "He prepared himself thoroughly for each workout and absorbed everything he could from them. This was a tremendous learning experience for him and now he is focused on becoming a great senior leader in our program. He has great respect for the tradition here and I know he'll embrace this role."
Information from ESPN.com's Dana O'Neil was used in this report
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
Unlike most of you hoops junkies, getting up at 6am in the summer to watch the Redeem Team destroy the world, in Beijing China 2008 Olympics wasn't my flow.
Besides the common knowledge NBA Players playing for their respective countries (Yao Ming, Pau Gasol, and others), who did I really want to watch play? I though maybe if Gilbert Arenas and Paul Pierce were natives of China, it would've been worth the while to watch a 6am game, but I can wait on watching Carlos Arroyo.
Why bring this up? Hey, I spent this morning looking around the web seeing what's going on, and I came across something that said "Rick Rubio isn't sure if he will come to he nba this season."
Now, like I said Rick Rubio didn't really bring any images of anything to my mind. I mean, other then a slam magazine cover and some people saying he's the next jason kidd (I prefer chris paul), why even care? Well I got into my international databases and got the youtube flowing. Reading two nice articles and checking the videos, either I'm a idiot of I'm not understanding why he isn't being talked about as the #1 pick in the NBA Draft?
Rubio may end up being the #2-4 picks in the nba draft, just based upon him flinching on actually coming to the nba this season. "Point Guards are born not made", is a common phrase people like to say. Great Point guards find the open man in a variety of ways.. behind the back, between the legs, underhand over hand, eyes closed..these guys are the elite of the elite. Plus, he wins games and can do it without the flash. You gotta love rubio, plays the game the right way and entertains.
Rick Rubio isnt Jason "White Chocolate" Williams, or any of these other tricky pg, who's tricks work once in a blue. Check his highlights, and don't be bias, the kids flat out special. Oh yeah, he's 18yrs old.lol
Friday, June 5, 2009
Here are some of todays hottest links, click below and catch up on some things you may have missed in this busy early june.
Pictured: John Wall
Johnson and Nuez headed to Arizona?
NCAA seeks documents from family of basketball recruit Renardo Sidney
Wall must complete community service
Picture Courtesy of slamonline.com
Thursday, June 4, 2009
6'6 2010 Prospect Mike Poole will be scheduling college offical visits for the fall. Poole's projected a combo guard at the next level. His recruitment has been off the charts playing for St. Benedict's Prep (Newark NJ).Poole has offers from various confrences including the Big East, NEC, Colonial, SEC, Pac-10 and others.
Poole will be taking an unofficial to Providence College (Big East) in the next few weeks.
6'2 PG Blaise Ffrench (Holy Cross HS) & 6'7 PF Patrick Hazel (Bayside HS/Blair Academy NJ), both have chosen different colleges. Ffrench, a Holy Cross HS 2007/08 star that played alongside McDonalds All-American, ACC Rookie of the Year Sylven Landesberg, picked Utep (Conference USA) after a great senior season. After not receiving a good amount of playing time and wanting to come closer to the city. French picked D1- St. Peters College.
Hazel who played the last two seasons at Marquette University, noticed that he wasn't going to be getting that much playing time and picked Boston University to finish out his remaining two years of elgibiltiy.
Area Team Camps/ Rumble in the Bronx
Hofstra University (June 5/6) and St. Johns University Team Camp (June 8/9) are on tap for the next week. All of the area top teams including Lincoln, Rice, Christ the King, Jefferson, Cardozo, and on the schedule, some in both camps, some in one.
Harkless Picks Camp
Speaking of Camps Real Scout.net #2 ranked 2011 Prospect Maurice Harkless had a excellent Spring playing on the Long Island Lightning Dingle, and Juice All-Stars squads.
The 6'7 small forward told me of his plans to attend Hoop Group Elite Camp July 5-8 and July 28-31.
Harkless was invited to Reebok All-American Camp and Nike Hoop Jamboree in St. Louis Missouri, but picked Hoop Group Elite camp which he feels will give him maximum exposure.
Hoop Group Elite Camp is the nations #1 exposure camp. Almost 1000 college coaches attended the 2008 camps and over 500 players received scholarships in 2008.
Check the website www.hoopgroup.com
Monday, June 1, 2009
Providence Journal Sports Writer
It only takes one.
That, in a nutshell, is the adage that both Jimmy Baron and Weyinmi Efejuku are putting stock in over the next month as they try to work themselves onto the radar screens of teams leading up to the NBA Draft.
Both Baron and Efejuku have signed with agents and are working out with other elite college players as they look to improve their skills and shine in workout sessions with pro teams. Right now, neither player is popping up on the numerous mock drafts, but they both hold out hope that will change leading up to the draft day on June 25.
“I believe it’s possible,” said Efejuku, the leading scorer (15.7 ppg) at Providence College in 2009. “Getting into the draft or playing for a (NBA) team in a summer league as a free agent is my primary focus.”
Efejuku graduated from PC on May 18 and is spending a few days with his mother at her home in Atlanta. He has signed with an agent, Merle Scott of United Worldwide Sports, and will travel to Chicago next week to train at the ATTACK Athletics Training Center. That’s the gym where the NBA is running its pre-draft camp this week.
Neither Efejuku or Baron was among the 52 players invited to the NBA’s official combine. Unlike previous years, those players will not play 5-on-5 games. Instead they’ll be measured and weighed and be available for interviews or private workouts, somewhat similar to the NFL’s...