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Tag:2013
Posted on: July 21, 2011 10:24 am
Edited on: July 21, 2011 10:47 am
 

Jabari Parker: The next Oscar Robertson?



By Jeff Borzello

Some people compare Jabari Parker to Paul Pierce because of his versatile offensive game.

Parker, though, is aiming a little bit higher for his NBA comparison. As in, the only player in NBA history to average a triple-double for a single season: Oscar Robertson.

“He played all positions,” Parker said. “He was way before his time.”

If Parker was anything less than the best prospect in the high-school game, regardless of class, that comparison might seem completely ridiculous. But given the way the 6-foot-8 Simeon (Ill.) junior has redefined his body and his game over the past year, he has future NBA All-Star written all over him.

Parker is an outstanding offensive player with the ability to knock down mid-range jumpers with ease, get to the basket and finish or post up around the rim. He can handle the ball effectively and is an excellent passer for his position.

“A lot of people say I have an old school game,” Parker said. “My body, I’m slimmed down, I can move much better.”

More on Recruiting

Nowadays, the players near the top of the rankings are outstanding athletes with explosiveness to spare. Parker is more contained, relying on a wide range of skills to be productive.

Going against the high-flyers of the 2012 and 2013 classes doesn’t faze Parker, though.

“It prepares me for college,” he said. “Some players might be more athletic than me, so I have to work harder.”

The son of former NBA player Sonny Parker will be the subject of one of the most hotly contested recruiting battles in the country, but for now he has a top five: Kansas, Washington, Duke, Illinois and Michigan State.

What endears the Jayhawks to Parker is their success.

“I’m looking to win, and they always go to the tournament,” he said.

The relationship between Washington coach Lorenzo Romar and the Parker family has the Huskies squarely in the mix.

“It started way before I played basketball; my dad played with Lorenzo,” he said.

Moreover, Parker said his brother might get a job on the staff at Washington -- but that wouldn’t affect his choice. “Not really,” Parker said. “He said it’s my decision.”

For the other three schools, Parker said the main thing that sticks out is the coaching.

Duke: “I like Coach K -- he’s a very good guy.”

Illinois: “I like Bruce [Weber] and Jerrence [Howard]. They’re good people.”

Michigan State: “Tom Izzo is one of the top coaches ever.”

While Parker has had the same top five since the spring, he said he is not limiting his recruitment to that quintet. Ohio State, Florida and BYU are among the other schools looking to break through into his favorites.

“Other schools can get on the list,” Parker said. “It’s just all the websites asked about my top five.”

As the top-rated player in his class, Parker has the luxury of going through his recruitment at his own pace. He could get it over with soon, or he could wait it out.

Considering how unselfish his game on the court is, it should come as no surprise that one of his reasons for waiting doesn’t revolve around him. 

“I want my teammates to get looked at,” Parker said. “I’m going to take my time, not rush the process.”

Oscar Robertson would be proud.

Photo: ESPN.com

Posted on: July 13, 2011 3:43 pm
Edited on: July 13, 2011 4:04 pm
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Posted on: June 7, 2011 12:22 pm
 

Bronson Koenig dealing with recruiting attention

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Posted by Jeff Borzello

RALEIGH, N.C. – Not many high school sophomores receive scholarship offers from Kansas, North Carolina and Wisconsin. The ones that do are usually very confident in their abilities to deal with the attention.

Bronson Koenig, though, admits he is struggling with the additional pressures brought on by the early offers from big-name schools.

“I mean, I’m handling it,” Koenig said last week at the Tournament of Champions, minutes from UNC’s Chapel Hill campus. “I’m not very good at it yet. But I’m trying to get better.”

Koenig, a 6-foot-2 point guard from Aquinas (Wisc.), is also looking to get better with his game. Right now, Koenig has the ability to play both guard positions, but is best attribute is his 3-point shooting ability. He has tremendous range and a very nice stroke on his jumper. While Koenig isn’t explosive or extremely quick, he has good ball-handling ability and the swagger to run a team.

“I try to bring leadership and distributing the basketball,” he said. “And score when they need me to score.”

While schools like Virginia are also coming after Koenig, the three he is focused on are Wisconsin, North Carolina and Kansas. The Badgers offered him last June, but he really made headlines when North Carolina offered him in February.

Roy Williams is notorious for waiting until a prospect’s junior year to offer players, but the Tar Heels had been highly-interested in Koenig since watching him nail multiple 3-pointers last summer alongside North Carolina-commit J.P. Tokoto on the Wisconsin Playground Warriors. 

“I don’t know how to explain it, but it felt really good,” Koenig said of the early offer.

Kansas joined the fray last month after Koenig and the rest of his AAU team went to Lawrence, Kan. for the Jayhawk Invitational.

The three schools are clearly in front for Koenig, but neither of the three stands out in particular at this point.

“They’re all recruiting me the hardest,” he said. “I like them all the same. I feel comfortable, I like the coaching staffs. I want to go to a program that can go to the NCAA national championship – because I just like to win.”

Clearly, all three schools have very good histories and traditions, but Koenig discussed the specifics of each school that appealed to him.

With North Carolina, Koenig seemed to like everything about the Tar Heels.

“Just the program in general, with McDonald’s All-Americans,” he said. “The coaches, the facilities.”

The hometown Badgers have the local angle.

“I just felt comfortable there,” Koenig said. “Some guys are from Playground [his AAU team].”

Kansas is the most recent to enter his top three, but the Jayhawks are squarely in the mix.

“Me and my parents got to sit down with coach Self,” Koenig said. “I like how he plays ball.”

The comparisons have already begun for Koenig. While he likens himself to former Wisconsin guard Devin Harris, the most common one is Kirk Hinrich, who played under Williams at Kansas.

Not surprisingly, the comparison stems from Williams, who showed tape of Hinrich to Koenig when he checked out the Tar Heels’ campus.

“I see myself as more of a point guard,” Koenig said. “At Wisconsin, they wanted me as a point guard, but Roy Williams said I can play the point guard, 2-guard or 3-guard.”

By the time he is ready to make a college decision, Koenig will undoubtedly be able to handle either guard position – and better deal with the pressures that come from being a big-time recruit.

Photos: Lacrosse Tribune

Posted on: June 6, 2011 9:58 am
 

2013 big Kennedy Meeks with plenty of interest

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Posted by Jeff Borzello

RALEIGH, N.C. – He may go by “Baby,” but Kennedy Meeks is a grown man on the basketball court.

Meeks is listed at 6-foot-8 and 260 lbs., and dwarfs most opponents that try to defend him in the paint. He has great hands and knows how to finish at the rim with post moves and a soft touch. Meeks can pass out of a double team, and is also a very solid rebounder. The West Charlotte (N.C.) product is improving all facets of his game.

One of the top centers in the class of 2013, Meeks is receiving tons of college interest.

“Everybody in the ACC besides Duke and Georgia Tech,” Meeks said. “Also, Georgetown, Louisville and North Florida.”

North Florida? “North Florida.”

Meeks said his favorites are Georgetown and Maryland, and he wants to check out the campuses of Maryland and Miami (Fl.) at some point in July.

The exceptional campaigns by Georgetown’s Greg Monroe and Maryland’s Jordan Williams over the last two seasons are part of the reason Meeks is drawn to those two programs – they utilize their post players.

“They feed the big man,” he said. “I want to go to a place where they use their big man.”

Despite his nickname, Meeks certainly fits the profile.

Photo: Charlotte Observer
Posted on: June 3, 2011 8:38 am
 

Kuran Iverson stays out of the spotlight



Posted by Jeff Borzello

RALEIGH, N.C. – For such a highly-ranked player, Kuran Iverson gets very little coverage on a consistent basis.

It could be attributed to his lack of appearances on the AAU circuit, the fact he plays for a small school in Connecticut, or simply because you don’t know where and when he will show up.

For example, it was rumored he would play with the Long Island Lightning at the Tournament of Champions. On Friday, he wasn’t there. After a flight delay, Iverson appeared on Saturday to help lead the Lightning to the U-16 championship game.

“I haven’t played ball in awhile,” Iverson said.

The 6-foot-8 small forward from Northwest Catholic (Conn.) has sat out most of the spring period to focus on academics. Now, Iverson said his grades are in good shape.

Also in good shape is Iverson’s game. The rising junior is an absolute matchup nightmare due to his size and skillset. He can handle the ball well and is able to knock down perimeter jumpers. Moreover, he is versatile enough to play around the rim and make passes over the defense. Iverson still seems to be growing, which could hamper his ability to run the floor. With that said, his potential might be as high as anyone in the class of 2013.

The younger cousin of former NBA star Allen Iverson will have his pick when it comes to colleges.

For now, Pittsburgh, Connecticut, Kentucky, Syracuse, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech and North Carolina are in the mix.

Although he doesn’t seem anywhere close to a decision, Iverson likes North Carolina and Connecticut.

While on Tobacco Road, Iverson took a trip to Chapel Hill. “I like the team, everybody played hard,” he said of the Tar Heels.

The national champion Huskies are his home state team, but location has nothing to do with why they are high on his list. “I just like Kemba,” Iverson said.

Iverson also mentioned that he wants to visit St. John’s.

With his combination of size, skill and athleticism, Iverson is guaranteed to make an impact at the next level.

If colleges can find him, of course.

Photo: Hartford Courant 

Posted on: June 2, 2011 11:53 am
Edited on: June 2, 2011 12:26 pm
 

Recruiting Notebook: Sam Mader finds way to shine

Posted by Jeff Borzello

RALEIGH, N.C. – For Sam Mader, there are positives and negatives to being on a team with North Carolina-commit J.P. Tokoto, Wisconsin-bound Sam Dekker and 2013 stud Bronson Koenig.

“I do feel like I get overshadowed,” Mader said. “But it’s a team game, and they’re great players. I still feel like I get looks, because people are coming to games. It doesn’t affect me.”

Mader, a 6-foot-9 power forward from Appleton East (Wisc.), made his presence known over the weekend at the Tournament of Champions. He is a good high- and low-post big man, with the ability to pass to teammates from the free-throw line or make plays around the rim with his back to the basket. Mader has good hands and makes himself available with good positioning.

Several high-majors – like Minnesota, Northwestern, Oregon State and Stanford – have shown interest in Mader in the past, but he mentioned five schools last Friday.

UW-Milwaukee and UW-Green Bay have offered him, while Ball State and Drake are showing plenty of interest. Mader wants to take a visit to Northern Illinois.

“I want to make a decision in August,” he said.

Jordan Scott taking his time

One of the more underrated teams at the Tournament of Champions last weekend was the Colorado Chaos. Despite having two high-major commits in Josh Scott (Colorado) and Kaileb Rodriguez (California), not many people knew about this team.

A player who made people take notice was Jordan Scott. A 6-foot-5 forward, Scott knows how to finish around the rim and plays well in transition. He is also a very good defender and can guard multiple positions.

For now, the Lewis-Palmer (Colo.) product is hearing from Colorado, Air Force, Denver and Arizona.

“I want to make a decision during my senior season,” the 2013 prospect said. “I’m taking my time.”

Terrell Rogers follows in father’s footsteps

Despite standing just 5-foot-4, Shawnta Rogers terrorized the Atlantic-10 for three years in the late 90s, averaging 20.7 points in his final season at George Washington.

Now, he has a son who is looking to continue that reputation.

Terrell Rogers, a 5-foot-8 guard from Indiana Land (S.C.), impressed with his scoring ability at the Tournament of Champions. He is supremely quick with the ball and has an ability to get into the lane and finish against bigger players. Rogers adjusts his body well to avoid getting blocked.

The rising senior said he is hearing from Clemson, Boston College, Virginia Tech, Florida Atlantic, Florida State, Providence and Charleston.

“Not yet,” Rogers said when asked about a decision. “At the end of the summer.

Posted on: June 2, 2011 9:52 am
Edited on: June 2, 2011 12:26 pm
 

Solomon Poole continues to make adjustments

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Posted by Jeff Borzello

RALEIGH, N.C. – Because of a flight delay, the Dwight Howard Warriors did not arrive at Ravenscroft School (N.C.) until nearly 10 p.m. last Friday at the Tournament of Champions. Despite the late tip time, there were still plenty of media and scouts in attendance, with many staying to watch Solomon Poole, one of the top-25 players in the class of 2013.

As the game went on, and Poole continued to miss outside shots, people began to question his ranking. With the clock winding down, though, Poole reminded everyone why he is so highly touted.

Down one to the Charlotte Nets, Poole put up a stepback jumper that splashed through the net as time expired. That one play demonstrated his quickness, strength and scoring ability, and how tough he is to stop when it all comes together.

It might have been enough to make people forget his early struggles.

“I just focused,” Poole said of the way he bounced back. “I knew I had to keep going. I knew my teammates would pick me up.”

Poole, a 6-foot-1 combo guard from Terry Parker (Fla.), is the younger brother of Kentucky’s Stacey Poole and the son of former Florida standout Stacey Poole Sr. The basketball bloodlines are hard to miss when gauging Poole’s natural talent. He is a big-time scorer who finishes tremendously well in traffic and controls his body effectively in the lane. Poole can beat his man off the dribble and is strong enough to pull-up in the mid-range against defenders. While inconsistent from 3-point range, Poole does have range behind the arc.

Because of his size, though, Poole might have to play the one at the next level, and he knows it.

“I need to work on my pace,” he said. “I need to work on changing speeds.”

A long list of schools are courting the talented sophomore. Poole and his AAU coach, Antwain Tennell, rattled off offers from local schools Central Florida and South Florida, as well as Georgia Tech and South Carolina. Providence, North Carolina, Arizona, Memphis, Florida and Oklahoma State are all showing interest. 

Decision time is a long way away for Poole, but he knows what he’s looking for in a school.

“First, academics. You can’t get anywhere without that,” Poole said. “And a coach that makes you better. I want him to tell me what I’m doing wrong.”

Based on the way he makes adjustments during the game, though, it seems Poole is getting by just fine on his own.

Posted on: May 31, 2011 3:39 pm
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