Seven Sweet Scoops: USA Basketball Developmental Camp, Ivan Rabb Receives East Coast Visitors and More…Posted by Sean Moran on October 11th, 2013
Seven Sweet Scoops is a weekly column by Sean Moran, the RTC recruiting guru. Once a week he will bring you seven notes from the high-stakes world of college basketball recruiting. We also encourage you to check out his contributions at The Intentional Foul, dedicated to recruiting coverage and analysis. You can also follow Sean at his Twitter account @Seanmohoops for up-to-date news from the high school and college hoops scene. If you have any suggestions as to areas we are missing or different things you would like to see, please let us know at email@example.com.
1. USA Basketball Men’s Developmental Camp
This past weekend Colorado Springs played host to the most competitive event of the year for high school athletes. At the U.S Olympic Training Center the top players in the 2014, 2015, and 2016 classes gathered for four sessions of instruction, drills, and scrimmages covering a two-day period. Twelve players from the class of 2014 made the trip in preparation for the 2014 USA U18 National Team, while 34 players from the classes of 2015 and 2016 arrived with hopes of playing in the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championships. All the players competed against each other in individual drills, controlled scrimmages, and full-court, 10-minute games. More highlights from each class below.
2. Malik Newman Update
The five-star guard from Jackson, Mississippi, is currently out due to a swollen right hand which he suffered while going for an alley-oop in practice last week. Despite the recent setback, Newman noted that the past month was a whirlwind with college coaches making the trip to see him play. Newman noted that Kentucky, Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi State, N.C. State, Alabama, and Kansas were some of the schools that stopped by. While the college attention has been fierce, Newman is focused on winning his third Mississippi state championship. “We’re just trying to figure each other out,” Newman noted about his new teammates. “I’m working on everything, but mainly the transition to point guard.”
3. USA Basketball Camp: 2014 Focus
A long-rumored package deal between the number one center in the country in Jahlil Okafor and the number one point guard in the country in Tyus Jones is looking more and more like a lock. Okafor told Scout.com that he is 99.9% certain the two would play together next year while Jones also said that he is 99% sure. Okafor trimmed his list down to Baylor, Duke, Kansas, and Kentucky while Jones only lists Baylor, Duke, and Kansas. During the USA camp Okafor dominated his younger opponents in the Saturday morning post drills but suffered an ankle injury an hour into the camp which forced him to sit out. Meanwhile, Jones impressed all viewers with his ball-handling and passing skills in the drill sessions. He also controlled the scrimmages and got into the paint at will. When the Saturday night session ended, Jones was on the phone for an extended period of time; Okafor waited around until he hung up so that the pair could leave the gym together. It’s more than safe to say that these two will be running the pick and roll with each other on the same college campus a year from now.
Two Findlay Prep wings were also among the top scorers on the first day of camp. Five-star small forward and recent Kansas commitment Kelly Oubre was on fire from the three-point line in the early session while five-star guard Rashad Vaughn scored at will in the night session. Oubre has deep range on his jump shot and a quick release that allows him to shoot from any part of the floor. Vaughn showed off his multi-faceted game by blowing by Tyus Jones on consecutive possessions and also hitting a number of floaters and jump shots.
4. USA Basketball Camp: 2015 Focus
Thomas Bryant, a 6’9” power forward from Huntington (WV) Prep made his presence felt early and often Saturday morning with several forceful dunks and moves in the post. The five-star forward recently transferred from Bishop Kearney in upstate New York. Bryant noted that his improvement since transferring was noticeable. He was far and away the most aggressive player on the court at all times and tried to destroy the rim any chance he got inside. While he attacked the basket with great aggressiveness, he also was a force on the defensive end too, whether it was blocking shots in the paint or creating havoc in the full-court press.
Diamond Stone is one of the top big men in the class of 2015 and had a chance to test his skills against the best of the best in Jahlil Okafor and Myles Turner in one-on-one post drills to start the camp. Stone initially struggled with Okafor’s strength and Turner’s length, but after a few possessions he started to display his skill set. Stone showcased an ability to finish with both hands in the paint to go along with several different moves inside. Right now Stone is getting heavy interest from his two in-state schools in Wisconsin and Milwaukee along with a plethora of other high-majors.
5. USA Basketball Camp: 2016 Focus
Two five-star guards in the class of 2016 stood out over the weekend and they were Jayson Tatum and Seventh Woods. Tatum is a 6’5” guard who likes to be compared to Michael Carter-Williams. With the ball in his hand Tatum is effective off the pick and roll and can either score on drives to the basket or create easy buckets for teammates. Tatum struggled shooting the ball on Day 1, but he knocked in several jump shots and threes on Day 2. While Tatum impressed with his grace, Woods impressed with his athletic ability. Standing at 6’1”, Woods was easily the best leaper in camp. He skied for dunks in the scrimmages and finished with acrobatic lay-ups in heavy traffic several times. Over the spring and summer, Woods’ jump shot was the main weakness in his game, but it looks like he has made a point to work on that area. Over the four sessions Woods knocked in several deep threes and showcased better form on his jump shot. Right now Woods has been tight-lipped about his recruitment, but it’s safe to assume that all of the top programs have interest in he and Tatum.
6. Rashad Vaughn Adds One More Official Visit
Findlay Prep (NV) five-star shooting guard Rashad Vaughn set up his third official visit this past week. Vaughn, the No. 11 overall ranked prospect from the class of 2014, will travel down the road to UNLV in late November to take in a game against Illinois at the Thomas & Mack Center. While UNLV is just down the street from Findlay Prep, an official visit will allow Vaughn’s family to travel from Minnesota to take in the sights and sounds of Las Vegas. Over the summer Vaughn made the decision to transfer from his local high school, Robbinsdale Cooper, in order to improve his practice competition and face a national schedule. Vaughn has visits set for both Baylor and Iowa State which will occur on October 18 and November 17, respectively. Previously, UNC was scheduled to receive an official visit from Vaughn and his family on September 27, but this visit was cancelled. Vaughn has indicated that he plans to visit Chapel Hill during the basketball season but whether this occurs is another question. Other schools in the mix for a visit from Vaughn are Kansas, Minnesota, and Arizona.
7. Ivan Rabb Receives East Coast Visitors
Ivan Rabb, a 6’9” power forward from the class of 2015 received visits from both the UNC and Duke coaching staffs this week. Coach K and the Duke staff visited Bishop O’Dowd High School for its open gym in Oakland, California, on October 9. Roy Williams and the UNC staff mixed in a Rabb visit the day before, also making a stop in Las Vegas to see Bishop Gorman juniors Stephen Zimmerman and Chase Jeter this past Wednesday. In addition to Duke and UNC, Rabb said that USC, UCLA, Arizona, Cal, Georgetown, Kentucky, and N.C. State have all stopped by for his open gym sessions. Right now he is getting ready for his junior season and won’t be taking any Midnight Madness trips, but he will most likely take unofficial visits to the various California universities this year. Last year Rabb averaged 22 points and 13 rebounds for Bishop O’Dowd as a sophomore and is looking forward to trying to win a California state championship in his junior year.