NBA Las Vegas Summer League Primer
The Nets got their first injury scare of the week when Tyshawn Taylor sprained his right ankle late in the second quarter of their 92-76 loss to the Rockets Thursday.
“Yeah, I just came down on somebody’s foot and rolled it a little,” Taylor said while wearing a walking boot after finishing with 15 points and seven assists. “It swelled up a little bit. That’s kind of what [the boot] is for, to keep the swelling down and keep it compressed.”
Taylor fell to the ground awkwardly after converting a layup late in the half, and immediately limped off – under his own power – with Nets trainer Tim Walsh. But after briefly exiting the gym to get his ankle re-taped, Taylor returned and played the rest of the second half.
“Yeah, it hurt a lot when I first came up, and as soon as I got to the training room and I took my shoe off it was swollen already,” he said. “They taped it, put some ice on it and I finished the game, but it’s pretty sore right now.”
Because of the boot on his ankle, Taylor was asked if it was safe to say he won’t play in Friday afternoon’s finale against Philadelphia, to which he immediately responded, “No, it’s not safe to say that,” and said he’d play it by ear to see how he felt.
Nets coach Jason Kidd, however, seemed to expect to see Taylor on the floor.
“You never want anybody to get hurt, especially this time during the summer when everyone’s getting better,” Kidd said. “I’m happy he didn’t get hurt. It’s a sprained ankle … we expect him to be a little sore tomorrow, but he’s a tough kid.”
Former Kansas University basketball combo guard Josh Selby will play for the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2013 Las Vegas Summer League, Friday through July 22.
The 6-foot-2 Selby was co-MVP (with Portland’s Damian Lillard) in Vegas last summer as a member of the Memphis Grizzlies. His performance didn’t translate to success during the NBA regular season. He played sparingly in 10 games for Memphis before being traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he was cut without playing in a game.
Selby, a second-round pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, did average 17 points a game for three NBADL teams in 2012-13.
“We have a pretty good group of guys,” Selby told ESPN Los Angeles, referring to a Lakers roster that includes Chris Douglas-Roberts and Robert Sacre. “We have a great coaching staff (led by Laker assistant Dan D’Antoni) that’s willing to teach you the game. I think this is an opportunity for me to showcase my talents and better myself.”
…The NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday renounced their rights to former KU guard Xavier Henry. Henry, 22, who was selected 12th overall by Memphis in the 2010 NBA Draft, averaged 3.9 points in 50 games for New Orleans last season. He’s free to sign with any team or head overseas to continue his career.
…The Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday officially announced the acquisition of former KU forward Thomas Robinson from the Houston Rockets for the NBA rights to Kostas Papnikolaou and Marko Todorovic plus two future second round draft picks.
Robinson, 22, averaged 4.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 15.1 minutes in 70 games with Sacramento (51 games) and Houston (19 games) his rookie season.
“Thomas is a dynamic young big man with tremendous upside,” Blazers’ general manager Neil Olshey said of the No. 5 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. “He is an elite athlete and brings a unique set of physical tools to our roster. He has the potential to be one of the best young power forwards in the league and his development will be a priority for us.”
“It’s a great feeling to be wanted,” said Robinson, shipped to the Blazers in a June 30 trade with the Houston Rockets. The Rockets had acquired Robinson in a deal with Sacramento in February. Sacramento initially made Robinson the No. 5 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.
“I’ve been in this league a year, and being tossed around can mess with confidence. It can mess with everything, so to hear somebody actually tell me they want me on their team is a great feeling,” Robinson added at the media session.
…“I think coming into the league, I wanted to prove I deserve to be here, prove I’m a worthy player in the league,” Robinson said. “As far as being moved around twice already, it’s a business. As a rookie, I learned that pretty quick. You can’t take it personal. I’m excited to get a chance with the Portland Trail Blazers. I’m going to make the best of it.”
Robinson will be playing for the Blazers in the Las Vegas summer league, which runs today through July 22.
“I think I still have a lot more upside to my game. I don’t think I even came close to being a finished product,” Robinson said of Year No. 1 in the pros.
…In a new format, the 22-team Vegas summer league will crown a champion for the first time this year. Former KU players Ben McLemore (Sacramento), Elijah Johnson (L.A. Clippers), Travis Releford (Denver) and Josh Selby (L.A. Lakers) also will be playing in the league. For a full summer league schedule, go http://on.nba.com/12I1L3L
Denver Q&A with Travis Releford
Paul Pierce resents the idea that he's almost done: "Who says it's the end of my career? I plan on playing 10 more years, dude." (via @TMZ)
Big 12/College News
Marshall Henderson has been suspended indefinitely by Ole Miss for a violation of team rules, the school announced Wednesday. As CBSSports.com first reported, the suspension is related to failed drug tests that has Henderson's future with the SEC school legitimately in jeopardy, according to a source. A separate source added that a stint in a rehabilitation facility is a possibility.
The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Henderson was pulled over in Oxford, Miss., on May 4 with what appeared to be small amounts of cocaine and marijuana in his car, according to a police report. Because the amounts were so small, Henderson was not charged with drug possession. He was only cited for no proof of liability insurance.
"Since the season ended we have talked a lot about Marshall taking a greater leadership role with our team," Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said in a statement. "With that comes greater responsibility, and he must do a better job of living up to the high standard we expect from him and he desires from himself."
…Ole Miss football player Denzel Nkemdiche posted a video on Instagram late Wednesday that featured Henderson addressing the news. Asked for his thoughts on the day, Henderson appeared to say, "Sadness, ho." Then he smiled into the camera. The video was taken down about 40 minutes after it was posted.
University of North Carolina president Bubba Cunningham issued a statement Wednesday morning regarding the saga surrounding Tar Heels forward P.J. Hairston.
Hairston was stopped in Durham, N.C., on June 5 and subsequently arrested along with two other men and charged with marijuana possession. Hairston was driving a 2013 GMC Yukon that was reportedly rented by a man named Haydn "Fats" Thomas. Thomas has been connected to another rental Hairston was driving and stopped for a speeding citation in May.
A gun allegedly was found outside of the Yukon on the June 5 arrest, along with ammunition. No one has claimed ownership of the gun and no charges have been brought related to its possession.
"The athletic department compliance staff and I are fully aware of recent media accounts related to our men's basketball team," Cunningham said. "We take these matters very seriously and are looking into these reports and the inferences they contain with all due diligence. It is my practice not to comment on the individuals involved or the details surrounding these reports until we have sufficient understanding of the facts involved. We are still gathering information, learning information from other sources, and we will not comment until we have a strong grasp of each individual situation. Where the facts show mistakes in judgment and/or actions, Coach (Roy) Williams will take and I will support the appropriate disciplinary measures."
Former Missouri guard Kim English is looking for his next NBA team. The Detroit Pistons waived their 2012 second-round draft pick today after English’s cold shooting week at the Orlando Pro Summer League.
English averaged 6.3 points in four games in Orlando, shooting just 23.6 percent from the field and 17.6 percent from 3-point range. English turned the ball over eight times and had just two assists in Detroit’s four games.
St Louis PD
Memphis is expected to be a top-15 team nationally next season, and the Tigers received some more good news on Monday afternoon.
Incoming freshman Kuran Iverson has been cleared academically and will be a full qualifier, sources confirmed to CBSSports.com.
The story was first reported by the Commercial Appeal.
There were concerns whether Iverson, a 6-foot-9 small forward from Fishburne Military Academy (Va.), would be cleared to play. Classmate Rashawn “Pookie” Powell is also waiting to hear on his academic status, and sources said that his eligibility is still up in the air.
But wait! Is there hope on the horizon? At this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo (or E3, or the biggest and most influential gaming conference in the world) EA Sports executive Sean O'Brien refused to say "no" when asked whether there could one day be another college hoops video game:
"It's something always on our radar," O'Brien said. "I actually used to work on [NCAA Basketball] a number of years ago, so it's something personally I'm quite passionate about. I think there's a great fan base for it. ... "We're in the college football business - we've been in the college basketball business in the past - who knows. I mean, at this point, though, it's kind of hard to say."
So you're telling me there's a chance. Actually, no. There's no chance.
The fact that O'Brien didn't say "no" immediately could be read as a positive sign, I suppose, but it's obvious EA Sports doesn't have anything remotely concrete in the pipeline.
But the real issue lies neither with the publisher nor the market. Even if EA Sports wanted to make an NCAA basketball game again, and even if there was a market for the game (both of which are doubtful), there's is zero chance an NCAA basketball game gets made anytime soon for one simple reason: Ed O'Bannon. The massive lawsuit that could one day implode the NCAA's entire foundation actually began because O'Bannon saw his likeness being used in one of the games' classic teams modes and wondered why he hadn't received some compensation for the use.
Most of the focus of the O'Bannon analysis has been on what the case means for the NCAA, but EA Sports was an initial co-defendant in the suit, and O'Bannon's lawyers even submitted screen shots of former Georgetown center Roy Hibbert -- excuse me, "Georgetown Center No. 55" -- from one "NCAA March Madness" edition as evidence that the game was blatantly copying current players' likenesses. Similar arguments extend to the college football title, but at least those players wear helmets. In "NCAA March Madness," the relative likeness was as naked as basketball players themselves.
So, no, unless EA Sports and the NCAA decide to do something completely counterproductive and brazen for the sake of a game that very few people actually played -- and even fewer people enjoyed -- in the first place, there will not be another college basketball game anytime soon. Probably ever. Long live "FIFA 13."
For a basketball-driven conference, the number 10 is perfect.
That lineup allows for a true round-robin schedule of 18 league games. As nonconference games are tough to find, more conference games are a must.
Alignment started at the top, but the trickle-down to the lower level of Division I has actually streamlined a number of conferences for the 2013-14 season that seems to be met with a sense of starting anew -- for the better.
…What's next in realignment? The James Madison question will need to be answered. Will the Big East stop at 10 or feel it must be at 12 to satisfy its television partner's (FOX) need for more inventory?
But the Big East is still trying to get off the ground for the fall, and new commissioner Val Ackerman hasn't shown any early signs of expanding. Still, the A-10 would be the prime plucking area if the Big East were to take on two more. The American could always look to take UMass -- a candidate before Tulsa was chosen -- which would be from the A-10, too.
The Big 12, which is pleasantly pleased to be at 10, will need to assess how the new college football playoff affects it with no championship game, since every other major conference will have one. And of course BYU football still needs to decide whether it wants to stay independent.
Oh, and UTEP would love to be in the Mountain West instead of CUSA, according to industry sources.
All of these moves would likely affect conferences below.
"Realignment has always been a trickle-down," said Elgin. "There is movement every year. I don't think for a minute that there's not going to be more movement from this point forward. Where and when it happens at the highest level remains to be seen."
With the exception of some press releases on his website and a few lines dissing Scott Boras on his new album, Jay-Z hasn’t said too much publicly about his recent endeavors into the sports management business. The rapper/mogul shed a little bit more light on why he launched Roc Nation Sports during an interview with New York City radio station Power 105.1 Thursday, insisting that one of his main objectives is to make sure his athlete clients get a fair shake in the business.
“For the most part, I’m going to do more for the athlete than they’re going to do for me, like, at the end of the day,” Jay-Z said. ” But I do this because it’s an extension of the bigger goal. The bigger goal is for all artists to get their just due. Not to get half-assed agents or people who rob them, or people who don’t care about their finances. They don’t even care about them. That’s why those guys go broke in four years.”
In a USA TODAY Sports feature in May, Boras. who previously represented Roc Nation Sports’ first client, Robinson Cano, didn’t mince words about what he thought of Jay-Z’s entrance into the business.
“To suggest that somebody is going to walk off the street and say, ‘I am a fan, I enjoy sports, so I can do this,’ is no different than somebody watching the Discovery channel and saying, ‘I’m a fan of medicine, I like surgery, so I’ll start operating on people,’” Boras told USA TODAY Sports. “This is a profession. It’s a different environment. If you’re not singularly committed to this game, it’s a very ugly song.”
Jay-Z responded to that line of thinking on air Thursday.
“They have that thing, that belief that they can only do one thing. We don’t have that. We’re not inflicted with that disease,” he said. “I can walk and chew gum. It’s insane to even say that. ‘What does he know about sports?’ Everything. More than you.”
2013-14 Early-season events schedule
7/11/13, 3:18 PM
Head coaches that saw Myles Turner today: Bill Self, Scott Cross, Trent Johnson, Rick Barnes.
Tyus Jones remembers the first time that he ever played against Jahlil Okafor. They were at the AAU Nationals in Orlando, Fla. They were in third grade.
"He was a tree," Jones said of Okafor. "Biggest kid in the tournament by far."
So, not much has changed over the past nine years. Okafor is still almost always the biggest kid in the tournament. He's a 6-foot-10, 260-pound post player who is awesome at basketball. Jones is awesome, too, by the way. And the two of them continue to insist they're going to do something rare, possibly something that's never been done before.
They swear they're going to pick the same college.
Probably on the same day.
And, if they do, one school will get the consensus top-two prospects in the Class of 2014 -- Okafor is ranked No. 1 while Jones is ranked No. 2 -- as a package deal consisting of unrelated recruits from different states, which, far as I can tell, has never happened.
…Baylor, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State and Ohio State are the six schools that both Okafor and Jones are considering, which is among the reasons why Baylor's Scott Drew, Kentucky's John Calipari and Michigan State's Tom Izzo -- as well as assistants from the other three schools -- were all courtside here at the Riverview Park Activities Center on Thursday watching. The two friends -- Okafor a center from Chicago, Jones a point guard from suburban Minneapolis -- have already scheduled an official visit to Baylor for late August, and Jones said they'll likely coordinate their other four official visits to ensure they see the same places at the same time before making a final college decision, most likely sometime in the fall and before November's national signing period.
There was a standing room only crowd on hand when the CP3 All-Stars faced off against the Howard Pulley team in Thursday night's early game at the Peach Jam. The anticipation was that North Carolina-bound guard Theo Pinson might match up with Duke target Tyus Jones.
That line of thought turned out to be right.
Pinson, a 6-foot-6 rising senior from Greensboro, led his CP3 All-Star team to a 90-73 rout, scoring 22 points and showing off his athleticism with three blocks and six rebounds.
"He's extremely athletic," Jones said. "He has a quick first step. He has a quick vertical, too. He's able to come down and go right back up. He's a crazy athlete and he can knock down open shots. He's the complete package."
Jones did not disappoint either, scoring 20 points and notching nine assists.
"He's just so crafty," Pinson said. "You never know. He's a great passer, a great finisher. . You can't take the ball from him so that's why I didn't reach at all. You can't gamble."
And to make the show even better, the two ended up guarding each other for long stretches.
Jones, a 6-2 point guard from Apple Valley, Minn., showed off his court vision by whipping perfectly placed passes to teammates. Meanwhile, Pinson's quickness led to several easy baskets and made him a disruptive force on the defensive end.
The two met earlier this season with Jones scoring 38 points in a game in which Pinson rarely matched up with him. Pinson said the last outing served as motivation.
"Last game, he gave us 38, so I was like, 'I'm going to take the initiative initially myself and just play some D,' " Pinson said. "I knew Tyus coming in that he was going to be tough. I had it already in my head to lock down on the defensive end and let my teammates go off on the offensive end. Luckily, I got behind the defense a couple times and got some easy buckets."
Pinson committed to UNC this spring. Jones is one of the biggest prizes left among the players in the Class of 2014 who have yet to announce their plans. Duke is considered to be among the frontrunners.
…Jahlil Okafor, a Duke target, had 14 points and 13 rebounds for Mac Irvin Fire in a 60-57 loss to Boo Williams
Between games of the Nike EYBL Finals at the Peach Jam, Jones said the percent chance they end up at the same school is “up in the 90s.” Okafor put it at “the 90 percent range.”
If it happens — and the players have six common schools on their final lists — there’s also a near-100 percent chance the team that gets them will be a national contender.
“That’d be scary,” said five-star Chicago power forward Cliff Alexander, Okafor’s teammate on the Mac Irvin Fire club. “They’d have a chance to win a national championship.”
…“There’s different parts to each school that (one) might like more than the other person, just because he’s a big man and I’m a point guard,” Jones said. “But there’s not any schools that I don’t like that he likes or that he doesn’t like and I like. … It’s been a pretty smooth process.”
The two have mentioned five-star Houston wing Justise Winslow as a potential third member of their package deal.
Chicago big man Jahlil Okafor said Thursday that the trip to Baylor at the end of August — with top point guard Tyus Jones — is the only official visit on his schedule.
Okafor narrowed his list to eight schools earlier this spring. UK joins Baylor, Arizona, Michigan State, Ohio State, Kansas, Illinois and Duke as the programs under consideration.
The 6-foot-11 center said he's hoping to take all five official visits and see all eight schools on his list before making his final decision, which he would like to make sooner rather than later.
"I don't want to hold it out and wait until the end," Okafor said. "I'm looking to sign sometime in the fall. That's the plan, but we'll see."
Kentucky, Baylor and Kansas are the only three campuses he's never visited.
…Chicago big man Cliff Alexander caused quite a stir last week when he said that neither Kentucky nor Michigan State would get one of his five official visits.
Alexander, who is ranked by ESPN as the No. 2 overall prospect in the class of 2014, will take officials to Arizona, Kansas, Memphis and Louisville. He said he didn't need to take one to UK or Michigan State because he has already visited those campuses.
Many observers pointed out that Alexander has also already visited Kansas, yet the Jayhawks will receive one of his officials. Alexander clarified that Thursday, saying that his parents accompanied him on his trips to UK and Michigan State but did not go on his unofficial visit to Kansas in June.
"I want to get down there and show my parents," Alexander said.
He made it clear that UK and Michigan State are still high on his list. When asked if either school had dropped a notch in recent weeks, Alexander said, "Not at all" four times before adding: "I still love them. They're still recruiting me hard."
The other schools on his list include Indiana, Illinois, DePaul and Baylor.
Alexander visited UK for Big Blue Madness in October 2012.
He will visit Arizona in September, Kansas on Oct. 4 and Memphis on Oct. 18. He has not yet scheduled a date for the trip to Louisville and said he hasn't thought much about the fifth official visit.
A college decision didn't sound imminent.
"I'm not committing any time soon," Alexander said. "I don't know when I will commit."
Kansas is also a consideration, especially since Bill Self’s program has sent a number of big men like the Morris twins and Jeff Withey to the NBA.
“Yeah, that really does, how they get big guys to the league,” he said.
He recently took an unofficial there but wants his parents to see the campus on an official.
“I have a lot of interest in Kansas and I want to get down there and show my parents,” he said.
“I built a great relationship with Coach Self and the coaching staff. Great campus, great dorms.”
After winning a gold medal with Jahlil Okafor in Prague, Justise Winslow is still considering joining the Chicago big man and point guard Tyus Jones in a three-man package deal.
If that were to happen, the 6-foot-6 Winslow out of Houston St. John’s believes some school would be getting a special situation.
“I think one, none of us are selfish and two, we’re just high-level guys that want to win and we’re not at the same position,” Winslow said after going for 12 points and four rebounds in the Houston Hoops’ 56-51 loss to Team Scan Thursday night at the Peach Jam.
“So you got a have a true point guard, an athletic wing, a dominant big man down low. With those three guys you can really build a team around them. Get a shooter and then a four or something, I think just our ability to compete and win just allows just to be able to play together rand we have played together before.”
Kelly Oubre played in front of some pretty elite company in his first game at the Peach Jam Thursday morning.
John Calipari and Kenny Payne of Kentucky, Larry Brown of SMU, Roy Williams of North Carolina, Kevin Ollie of UConn and coaches from Kansas, Duke and Louisville were among those watching as the 6-foot-7 Oubre went for 20 points, six rebounds and four assists as Houston Hoops overcame a 40-point outing from Malik Newman to beat the Jackson Tigers, 80-67.
“I was just trying to do everything that I could to help my team win,” said Oubre, who will play at Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep next season. “If that meant getting rebounds, getting to the basket, making shots, that’s what I was trying to do.”
…Kansas assistant Norm Roberts also sat courtside and Oubre is interested in visiting for Late Night in the Phog Oct. 4.
“Kansas, they are definitely going to be there in my top [list],” he said. “I love the offense of Coach [Bill] Self.”
Oubre also mentioned North Carolina, UCLA and Florida as schools he’s considering.
“I’m going to cut my list down after Peach Jam,” he said. “Everything is going to be set after that. I’m going to cut it to about five or six.”
On Thursday evening, ESPN.com’s Jeff Goodman broke the news that Jordan Mickey, an LSU signee, and Karviar Shepherd, a TCU signee, were ruled non-qualifiers by the NCAA, meaning that they will be unable to play this season.
Mickey and Shepherd both played at Deion Sanders’ charter school, Prime Prep, in Dallas, TX.
“We haven’t heard anything yet from the NCAA,” Ray Forsett, Prime Prep’s head coach, told NBCSports.com. “We’re holding out hope that they’ll make the right decision for the kids involved.”
The reason why Mickey and Shepherd were ruled ineligible is unclear to Forsett. Prime Prep was approved as a “Regular Instructional Open Enrollment Charter” by the Texas Education Agency and the State Board of Education. The NCAA visited the school in January to do an initial review, according to Forsett. On January 8th, Prime Prep posted a release on their website which announced that the school had “successfully completed all preliminary steps necessary for NCAA membership” and that as a result, “all prospective student athletes are eligible for individual review through the NCAA initial eligibility process”. You can see the list of NCAA approved core courses that Prime Prep offers here.
...The bigger concern for the school is where they go from here if Goodman’s report proves to be correct. If Shepherd and Mickey are, in fact, non-qualifiers as a result of their time at Prime Prep, what does that mean for the future of Emmanuel Mudiay, a top five recruit in the Class of 2014, and Elijah Thomas, a top 10 recruit in the Class of 2015.
“After I finish playing here, I’m going to go to the school and see what’s up. I’ll take it from there,” he told NBCSports.com. “I’m going to call Deion himself. I’m definitely going to talk to him. We’re close enough that we can talk about anything.”
EYBLthecircuit VIDEOS: Nike Peach Jam 2013
It was the first flight of U17 games to start off the day, and Malik Newman - an underclassmen playing up a level - stole the show with the best scoring performance of the tournament. As he shot the ball a lot, the 2015 Jackson Tigers (MS) guard went for 40 points against a tough Houston Hoops (TX) team.
Newman showed that he is one of the, if not the best, pure scorers in the nation, regardless of class. His decision making on shots is improving, and his ability to draw contact and convert at the free throw line was clear as he hit 12 of 16 free throws. His handle continues to get better, and with ideal size at 6-foot-5 it is clear why he is the No. 1 player in the latest Rivals150 for the class of 2015.
Newman went for 25 points in the nightcap.
He rattled off a quick list of Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, Mississippi State, Florida State and Arkansas as those who have recruited him hard to this point. A few weeks into the June contact period, the three major programs in North Carolina, Kentucky and Kansas offered.
…2014 Houston Hoops (TX) small forward Kelly Oubre has been one of the top stock risers of the summer. Coming into June with the label of being a shooter, Oubre has changed up his game and is becoming an athletic slasher with great size. Schools are noticing as Kentucky is the latest school to offer him. Kansas, Louisville, North Carolina, UCLA, Florida, SMU, UConn are the other main schools involved for the future Findlay Prep (NV) senior. "Kansas, they're definitely going to be there in my top list." he told Rivals.com. For now, his plan is to cut his list down to five or six schools following their run in Peach Jam. This will lead to ideas on visits going forward.
2016 Oakland Soliders (CA) power forward Ivan Rabb and his team struggled out of the game, but the defensive stud used his intense experience with the U16 Team USA team to improve his game and learn by playing the best. His motor, rebounding ability and success in the pick and pop have been noted. As he is wanted by most schools around, the California native holds offers from over 40 schools and hopes to cut his list to about 20 schools following the Nike Global Challenge next week. While it isn't to serious of a cut, Rabb will now focus on the schools where he feels he fits and who want him. California, Arizona, Duke, North Carolina, NC State, Texas, Kansas, UConn, Georgetown and Louisville have been doing their job at keeping in touch, however, it is the Jayhawks, Golden Bears, Wildcats, Hoyas and Tar Heels who he has really felt a connection with by phone since the June contact period.
…2015 Team Texas Elite power forward Elijah Thomas continues to get bigger and better. While he needs to drop weight, his athleticism, speed, ability to score and defensive presence are still top notch. With over 20 scholarship offers, Thomas feels that he has the best relationships with coaches at Ohio State, Kansas, Minnesota, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Indiana and Duke. "These coaches stand out to me because they call every day and make it personal," Thomas told Rivals.com. "They don't talk that much about basketball. It's not just business; they like to have fun. I like coaches who joke around."
Rivals: Nike Peach Jam Day 3
Rivals: Nike Peach Jam Day 2
Rivals: Nike Peach Jam Day 1
Somewhat surprisingly, things haven't started getting crazy for class of 2015 five-star Derrick Jones. A big-time left-handed athlete with a dangerous stroke from deep, the Radnor (Pa.) Archbishop Carroll product isn't yet a finished product. But the flashes he shows are pretty impressive.
Jones loves to use a shot fake and then makes use of a long and quick first step to get to the rim in a hurry. If a defender challenges him, odds are Jones will come out on top, and he did exactly that on Thursday with one monstrous slam. His ball handling still needs some fine tuning, but it's helpful that he is a threat as a jump shooter.
Still, things haven't gotten too crazy just yet for him on the recruiting front.
"I've gotten a couple of phone calls but it hasn't really been crazy," Jones said. "I feel pretty good about the level of interest though."
According to Jones he's hearing from St. Joseph's, Villanova, Penn State, Syracuse, Kentucky, Kansas, Kansas State and Maryland, among others. Jones said that he garnered an offer from Kentucky on Wednesday night but when asked how the offer was delivered he said that he read on twitter that he had been offered and that the offer had not been delivered by a Kentucky staff member, so we'll hold off on confirming that offer just yet.
Rivals: Reebok Breakout Recap
Jones said that the offer from Kansas “came like two weeks ago” and the one from Kentucky came on around Wednesday.
The class of 2015 prospect talked about what it means to garner offers from those types of programs.
“It means a lot knowing now I can play at any type of level,” Jones said. “Just going up there, if I wanted to I could go to Kentucky or Kansas or Syracuse or a school like that.”
Jones said he does not think there are any schools recruiting him that have yet to offer and also noted that he has does not have any favorites.
As for what he is looking for in a school, Jones remarked, “A big fan base, a good coaching staff and a big facility.”
The lone visit that Jones said he has been on thus far was a trip to Temple about two months ago.
“It was great,” Jones said of the Temple visit, “just going out, seeing the campus and everything, talking to the coaches.”
Jones said he does not think he has any additional trips scheduled right now and also is without a timetable for a commitment.
Reebok Breakout Top Matchups
Emmanuel Mudiay (Arlington, Texas/Prime Prep) vs.
Rashad Vaughn (Golden Valley, Minn./Findlay Prep)
The opening set of games pitted arguably the top two prospects in the field against each other. The individual matchup was a little anti-climactic as Mudiay got the better of Vaughn in leading his team to a lopsided victory. Vaughn, the nation’s No. 1 SG, was a little out of his element having to be both his team's primary playmaker and ballhandler, whereas Mudiay was 100 percent comfortable running the show for his squad, operating in the open floor and navigating ball screens in order to create scoring opportunities for teammates.
Purest Point Guard
Josh Perkins (Aurora, Colo./Huntington Prep)
2014, PG, 6-3, 185
Status: Considering Kentucky, Kansas, UCLA, Baylor, Minnesota and UConn, among others.
In a field full of talented point guard, Perkins stood out as the purest of the group. His poise with the ball in his hands was off the charts, and he was in complete control of the game while keeping the defenders mystified. While his pass-first mentality and impeccable court vision were certainly his calling cards, he mixed in enough individual offense – highlighted by a smooth step-back and the ability to get into the lane off of ball screens.
ESPN Insider ($)
Rivals: LBJ Camp - What we learned (Alexander, Vaughn, Stanley Johnson)
Reebok Classic Breakout
When: July 9-12
Why it’s important: About 120 players from different talent levels make the cut for this event to show they can cut it at the collegiate level in front of hundreds of coaches.
What makes it unique: This event has a tryout system consisting of drills, stations and 5-on-5 games held throughout the spring at eight cities across the country. A number of up-and-comers -- namely John Wall -- have been discovered here, and current ranked stars get a chance to separate themselves from their peers.
Players to watch: PG Emmanuel Mudiay, SG Rashad Vaughn, Jordan McLaughlin and SF Dwayne Morgan.
EYBL Finals at the Nike Peach Jam
When: July 10-14
Where: North Augusta, S.C.
Why it’s important: The 24 best teams from the EYBL regular season advance to the finals for the right to play for the Peach Jam title.
What makes it unique: In addition to the Top 24 EYBL 17U teams 16 Nike Sweet 16U Invitational Tournament teams will compete as well that features high major prospects from the classes of 2015 and 2016.
Players to watch: 2014 stars C Jahlil Okafor, PF Cliff Alexander, PG Tyus Jones and PF Trey Lyles; 2015 recruits PF Ivan Rabb, SG Malik Newman and Cheick Diallo; and 2016 centers Thon Maker and Skal Labissiere, to name a few.
adidas Invitational Classic
When: July 10-14
Why it’s important: The adidas Invitational Classic kicks off the live period, which gives prospects a chance to make an early, positive impression on college coaches of all levels.
What makes it unique: Super Pools, which means the best teams play against other top teams right from the onset. Also it is important to note that 410 college coaches attended this event last summer.
Players to watch: PG/SG Brandone Francis, PF Trey Lyles and SG James Blackmon Jr.
Under Armour NY2LA Sports Summer Jam
When: July 17-21
Where: Mequon, Wisc.
Why it’s important: Combine high-quality exposure and elite talent from coast-to-coast in a competitive arena and you have the UA Summer Jam.
What makes it unique: This event is unique because it allows players and travel programs of all levels to compete in an elite and exclusive tournament to maximize their exposure to hundreds of college coaches.
PF/SF Kevon Looney, PF/C Myles Turner and PG Dominique Collier.
adidas Super 64
When: July 24-28
Where: Las Vegas
Why it’s important: We head back to Vegas for the final major July event as college coaches get a chance to make final evaluations at the end of the live period. It also allows coaches an opportunity to confirm what they saw at the two weeks earlier at the adidas Invitational.
What makes it unique: The field may be the largest coaches will see this month with close to 450-500 teams from various age groups and playing levels. Also, adidas welcomes players and teams from other shoe brand companies to make the talent base the best it can possibly be.
Players to watch: SG Jalen Coleman and PF
AAU Super Showcase and National Championship
When: July 24-29
Where: Orlando, Fla.
Why it’s important: More than 1,000 college coaches pack the first-class facilities at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports to take in some of the best AAU talent in the country.
What makes it unique: The nation’s premier AAU squad compete for a national championship after qualifying by winning their respective districts, meaning these teams truly have to earn the right to play at this event.
Players to watch: PG Tyus Jones, PG Joel Berry and PF Chris McCullough.
Las Vegas Fab 48
When: July 25-28
Where: Las Vegas
Why it’s important: The talent pool is extremely deep and attracts more than 1000 college coaches, providing prospects a packed arena to showcase their talents.
What makes it unique: There are over 300 reported teams participating with teams from all over the country and a spattering of international squads.
Players to watch: PG Jordan McLaughlin, SG/PG Tyler Dorsey and SG Daniel Hamilton.
Hal Pastner Bigfoot Hoops Las Vegas Classic
When: July 24-28
Where: Las Vegas
Why it’s important: Arguably the largest event of the month, the Las Vegas Classic draws 450 teams from America, New Zealand, Australia and Mexico to name a few.
What makes it unique: The sheer number of talented prospects from a wide range of ages essentially turns this setting into a buffet for college coaches to evaluate and for players to earn college scholarships.
Players to watch: C Jahlil Okafor, PF Ivan Rabb and SF Kameron Chatman
ESPN Insider ($)
The Metro Sports / KC Prep Invitational, presented by 810 Varsity, will be held at Okun Fieldhouse in Shawnee on July 25-28, 2013.
2013 Spring/Summer AAU & Camp Schedule
My KU Alumni games, 2011-12 Border War, Legends of the Phog, KC Prep Invitational, & Jayhawk Invitational Videos, Late Night in the Phog, and more now on YouTube