Friday, June 20, 2014

Come On Down - The Price is Right!

When a team has 5 Division I players on it; as a scouting service you pay very close attention to that team.  When a team defeats that team in a championship caliber game; you must immediately investigate the matter.  Our investigation has revealed a national gem; and further investigation has determined that this gem will not step foot into high school for another year as a member of the 2019 class.  Marvin Price out of Baltimore, Md. and a member of the up and coming club program Team Melo (yes Carmelo Anthony for those wondering) as well as a star in the nations top regional summer league, The PYBL, has changed his entire trajectory with his inclusion in the 2019 class.  A left-handed 6-6 wing forward Price is dominant inside and out; possessing a silky smooth handle Price simply cannot be guarded by any big in space and with his excellent footwork and ball skills smaller guards don’t have a chance in the post.  Price has a weight barring framing that translates up one to two levels already; combine that with a motor that doesn’t stop and you have the basics of player that will be sought after by top High School and Colleges alike. 

An explosive scorer with a legit long range jumper beyond the arc out to 22ft. To be considered the best at the scoring forward position one cannot get ready to score the basketball one must be ready to score the basketball. Price possesses that mindset and the requisite skillset which in turn puts tremendous pressure on defenses.  He rebounds his position and others for that matter and can guard a small quick guard or a long powerful big.  Many question the purpose of reclassification, but in a case where you find yourself to be a top 15 nationally after such a move; it frankly and honestly makes sense; Price and his family just moved himself into the top 2% of players in the country in his class.  We are talking next level scorer, next level finisher, and a definite future star. 

Somehow Price has crossed paths with the head of USA National Select; Coach Francis this can only mean bad things for the entire country – when contacted for comment on Price, Francis advised that “Price is a game changer, possesses star qualities, and the way that he carries himself on the floor and with teammates is advanced beyond his years.  Marvin knows he could take over a game at any time; but finds way to involve his teammates but still he affects the game in multiple ways and in multiple categories. He’s a dream come true for any coach he plays for; one of the most coachable players I’ve seen”  With commendation from Francis and from our own analysis made from our recent visit to the MIT where again Prices’ team defeated a top notch DC Premier squad; you can officially put Prices' name on the map as a top national prospect, this is name you will be hearing from in the future.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

NYBL Its Easy to Play the Tough Guy 'Till Juwan Gary Shows Up

Mark our words; it will be a matter of time before college coaches will be in attendance at NYBL Basketball games.  Besides being the best League in the country, they have the number one player and a majority of the top 20 players in each class, as well as the top teams as delineated by the national power ranking AND the USA National Select Team has committed already to registering a team for the 2015 season in the 2021 class at least.   The aforementioned reason would most certainly be enough to attract college coaches who want to get an early start on recruiting and gain a specific knowledge of the players – but the real reason is as old as the game itself; no matter how good of a coach you are; Duke, Kentucky, UCLA, or Texas no coach in America has figured out how to coach height.

The NYBL 2019 class boast and put on display the top bigs in the nation – 6’10 Balso Koprovica, 6’9 Nobel Days, 6’8 Joe Jones, or 6’6 Chandler Lawson take your pick; and know that size translates to the next level.  With that being said, we want to make sure Juwan Gary doesn’t get lost in translation.

Juwan Gary 6’6, strong, athletic, and has a refined offensive games – is the best pure post scorer in the NYBL.  In the last session along Gary dropped 30, 23, & 22 and he has been putting in work like this all season long.  There may have been some who received more press; but there were none he dropped more buckets.   A neophyte to stardom Gary has the ability to rebound in a crowd, fill the lane, catch the ball and finish against any one the country.  In the half court he can fill the basket from the paint to the perimeter, and defensively he is able to play the passing lane for a steal and just as easily block a centers shot.  Juwan Gary is a very complete player and has a pro-style frame that can easily be further refined to make him one of the toughest covers in his age group; as if it were easy now.  

With so much talent nationally, and with so much in the NYBL currently and with more coming in 2015 Juwan Gary remains a name you must know and a player you must watch.  The NYBL is a proving ground for the best and Gary is proving it.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

NYBL & P2: Open Letter To Wendall Moore & Family

Dear Wendell Moore & Family:

Our thoughts and prayers go out to CP3 All Star’s basketball player Wendell Moore for a speedy and complete recovery, considering the high profile nature of his injury, we are optimistic that he is receiving the best of care available. Neither injury nor poverty should ever dim the dreams of a student-athlete pursuing a college scholarship long term or a national championship short term, particularly when their performance has enriched the lives of their competitors, their hometown, their club team, the NYBL, our scouting service and anyone who has known Wendell or the Moore family.  

To Wendell specifically; you have many more basketball games to play – many more of your dreams to make come true.  We know you love this sport and in the short-term there may be frustration, anger, and a misunderstanding of why this has occurred – especially at this time.  In life men are not given situations that they cannot handle and understanding is not always readily available for things that happen to us.  When one door closes another opens and you will be better for getting through this circumstance.  You may be the one to help another get through this same circumstance, this may result in a teammate developing the confidence to make it to the next level and get their education – maybe someone was about to give up on playing and now because of you finds a reasons to keep fighting; because they see you are.  

We know you are a young man; but one that many already see as a role model and you wear those shoes well.  As you recover find the good in this process, know that you have the support of thousands of well-wisher and that we are pulling for you, your family, and your teammates.
In the sport of basketball you will make many more baskets; have many more wins and hopefully far less losses; nevertheless these are all part of the sport.  As well, life is a similar story there will many opportunities, wins, and again hopefully far less loses – but remember the testament of a man isn’t how they stand/respond in good times rather how they respond/get up after being knocked down.  At P2 we have a hand outreached to help you get back up; that’s IF you need it at all.  

You are a special player, but an even better young man who we know has the strength and intestinal fortitude to not only do this, but to do many great things in your life and future, the majority will not involve basketball as all - you are bigger than this game!

Keep your head up and your heart open ~ we are all behind you and can’t wait to see you out on that court again doing what you do best and that is being the best!

Keep Scoring!

Prolific Performance Basketball - CF

USA National Select Dream Team III - 2020: A Team That Will Never be Forgotten!

USA National Select - Dream Team III - 2014 Run For the Throne Champions, Ft. Wayne, Indiana      

Like all the USA National Select teams; Dream Team III was constructed of players of major consequence throughout the nation.  On their way to their 11th consecutive championship National Select may have set the new standard for even themselves; the collection of players on this team are unparalleled – nowhere on any youth level has there been an overall collection of talent that compares to this group.  Inside of the program that has 3 of the best youth teams in basketball history Dream Team III 2020 would need a U-haul truck to move all of their accolades. Shemar Morrow is the current and unquestioned #1 player in the country at 2020, Jordan Toles the current #3, could make a valid argument for the #2 spot after a spectacular spring and start to summer, Zion Harmon (#1 2021) who less than a week ago averaged 40ppg against the top 2020 teams in the country in the NYBL.  Jaden Springer (#2 2021) hasn’t lost in months, everywhere he has gone on both the 2021 & 2020 level he is producing double doubles and contributing in 4 to 5 categories in epic fashion.  All of the aforementioned players need to simply be googled and each possesses an entire media and video library of their individual accomplishments.

“For them to be on the court together, for them to break-bread together, for them to get to spend time with each other as friends - transcends the game basketball; they have a new found respect for each other and relationships and memories that will develop for decades to come” stated National Selects’ Head Coach, Coach Francis.  “They respect each other as people and not just competitors; they sat together, they walked around together, they won together.  What this program is doing for kids throughout the country was exemplified this weekend; if the best of the best are willing to sacrifice for each other and to play together for each other; everyone has to do it – these kids are not just the best in the country, they are examples to parents and other players as to what is right in the world and in this game.  They are all a blessing in so many way; some of which no of us realize at this point.”
Combined with the players above where Montez McNeil, 6’5 post who less than 30 days ago turned 12 years old is a seek and destroy defender who brings so much and energy and talent to the floor that his upside is literally scary.  Namari Burnett, who played with National Select for the first time immediately, proved that he belonged not only on the team – but also in the conversation as one of the top players in the class.  Devin Hightower, starter for one of the nation’s best, Oakland Soldiers brought his game and toughness – he has a refuse to lose attitude and is like a player coach on the floor.  Ketaan “Keewee” Wyatt, as the consummate point guard was like a kid in the candy store with all this talent at his disposal proved he sees and plays the game at a continuously high level. Chance Mott, a bruising 6’3 post joined this group and gave them some great minutes as a banger and positively contributed to the team’s championship run.

Dream Team III; opened the weekend with a victory over Team Teague 51-37 and followed that win  They closed out the evening against the top players Indiana had to offer; as Team Teague and The Gym Rats organization sponsored an All-Star group from Indiana to compete against the National Select Group.  National Select controlled the game from the onset, though Indiana made a few runs, they never truly challenged.  National Select turned it on when needed against the best Indiana had to offer but cruised to the win 57-44.  Coach Francis said after the game “I wish more states did this when we came, New York has, Carolina has, and now Indiana –I am looking to assist coaches throughout the country put together a circuit National Select can come and play on nationwide against the best these states have to offer;  maybe even something regional – we bring the very best with us so we want to play the best available.”
with a multi-dunk, multi-alleyopp affair as they out-classed, over matched, and dominated Team Swat 64-24.

On Sunday National Select defeated Team Glory from DC and met Team Teague who battled its way back to the finals in the Championship – Teague actually lead for portions of the 1st half after a slow start from National Select, but they quickly righted the ship and sealed the deal with a 56-44 victory in the championship.  “Another tournament another title, that’s what we come to do ~ it’s about the kids being on the national stage and being showcased the wins are simply a result of that goal.  When they play for each other and share the ball, they look great…they become unstoppable.” Coach Francis concluded.

During this trip National Select also competed in the 2019 class, going .500 in pool play; while playing 2 of the nation’s top 10 teams.

There were many realizations from this weekend here are some of them:

Shemar Morrow (CA):  By acclamation, Shemar Morrow is the greatest basketball player in his class. He is a phenomenal athlete with a unique combination of fundamental soundness, grace, speed, power, artistry, improvisational ability and an unquenchable competitive desire, Morrow is redefining the standard by which future players at this juncture will be judged.  Much has been written and all is well deserved, he is one of the few players at the middle school level where pro considerations can even be mentioned.  His package contains all the necessary skill sets at a high level, mid-range, trey ball, pull-up, finishing ability – he is playing above the rim already.  What is required now is a script regiment of refinement, lateral defensive movement the ability to sit down out front and in space.  The building and adding of strength to what is already a basketball frame – in short he is ready for professional type training including diet and all necessary reps.  His time is now.

Jordan Toles (MD): One of the nation true marquee players Jordan Toles is a  "Human Highlight Film"; he continuously shows viewers a plethora of spectacular individual plays – those watching closely will notice a change in the frame of Toles and its not a good change for opponents; he is getting stronger and already one of the best athletes in this class; he is running faster and jumping higher – dunking is now second nature in the 6th grade.  But please do not get it confused, Toles isn’t an athlete playing basketball he is a basketball player who is a phenomenal athlete.  The improvement to his pace and change of speeds and IQ/court presence is what is truly turning him into a dynamic star.  Each year Toles has added a significant skill set addition and speaking with people in the know that conversation will continue; could the country picture Toles as a Westbrook like lead guard?  Well they may be seeing that sooner than later; this is not good for the rest of the country but very well may have college coaches paying attention within the next 12 to 18 months.

Zion Harmon (DC): Zion Harmon is pound for pound one of the nation’s top player his only peers appear at the top of each class – why because at this juncture he is playing and competing with the same effectiveness at all these levels.  So many articles have been written about Harmon’s skill set but that is driven by what makes him tick.  Zion is the grittiest performer to play the position, a feisty competitor who offers no quarter and expects none in return. Harmon possesses the skill and determination to take over a game at will; look closely and you will always see Harmon smiling in his photo’s, that sunny smile is belied by an inner toughness that has made him what he is, one of the most respected and most feared players in the country.  This weekend Harmon shot the ball less than we have ever seen, making sure the players around him were happy and involved, this only further proves that Harmon and Point Guard go together like cereal and milk and if asked to score for you, well let’s just say, he’s got that covered.

Jaden Springer (NC): One of the game's  top perimeter  players, Jaden is becoming known for his high-flying yet seemingly effortless swoops to the basket, a picturesque  spin move and being a relentless competitor on the court.  There is no one who plays harder than Springer; the more you see him and the better the competition the more you get out of him.  One of the sweetest, respectful, and humble kids you will ever meet off the court he is the exact opposite on the court.  He is the player you want to go to battle with, the player you know what you are going to get from.  Such a consistent scorer; he rarely takes a bad shot – he shoots an out the world percentage and takes what the defense gives him and/or he just takes…offensive boards, transitions penetration, he is what you call a game changer.  His work and his effectiveness on the levels he operates on is very clear as his improvement on those levels and his level of play versus higher level comp.  He plays his best against the best and when it means the most.  This is a skill that cannot be taught and a player who is not your typical normal player; Springer is going someplace bigger with this game and with a bunch of size in his future it begin with a “N” and end with an “A”.

Montez McNeil (MD): Known for his strong shot-blocking skills and power game; his energy and toughness are uncontainable.   He is like a horse in the starting gate he just wants to play, run, and bang.  Yet, he still a baby in every sense as it relates to learning the game.  How many elite players, shoot how many NBA players actually turn on every play and look for a man to put a body on?  5 McNeil’s on a team would win a lot of games, they could when a lot of wars too!  What is funny is the Montez could go and grab the ball off the rim without this on occasion – understand this ceiling on this player?  His growth is staggering and is being seen in short periods of time and in large burst; everyone knows that TRUE bigs, not the ones that are bigs and will become pg later,  come on a little later and McNeil is that big.  One of the best back to basket players in the class he is still very raw but has all the intangibles, skill, size, and work ethic to be great.  He will be one of the best, mom 6’2 and dad 6’6, him 6’5 at 12 any questions? We didn’t think so – put him on your list now in pen.

Namari Burnett (IL):  Why hasn’t the world heard of this player before now?  Burnett is a smooth as silk shooting guard. He has a sweet stroke with range to 22 feet. A combination guard that can run the point guard position. Burnett plays under control and makes good decisions. He has solid strength and can make shots, breakdown defenses off the dribble and off the catch.  Namari also boast a very high basketball IQ knowing when to push and when to pull; he thinks the game just as well as he plays it.  We also like his floater/mid-range package and ability to finish in the lane and the 5 to 15 foot area outside of it.  Off the catch and shoot, and outside the three-point stripe Burnett has one a picture perfect release point and shoots it high, this is a shot that can be refined and will not require much adjustment at the next level, with your ideal basketball frame Burnett is “built” for success – only one thing of note for Burnett, he has takeover the game ability but is such a team player this killer aspect must be developed; this may be why he has been under the radar for some, but it’s NOT ability it’s attitude. When he takes on that assassin attitude the sky is the limit for Burnett.  

Devin Hightower (CA):  Get to know this kid and you will find he is very special; he isn’t your typical point as many have said, he is actually more of a scoring 2-guard, a Anthony Peeler –type where his catch and shoot must be utilized, along with his defensive toughness and prowess.  He exhibits a very quick release and interior scoring package that when feature make his very effective especially in tight spaces.  He will float and penetrate off the catch in transition opposed to being your traditional lane filler; as a catch, pump, and go player he makes a living and name in this fashion.  We also believe with his size, strength and skill set Hightower can serve as a defensive stopper on the perimeter giving him even more value as he has a desire to contribute there too.  Once he become a proficient finisher in the lane and combines that with a mature lead guard game he will be very difficult to contain on all 94-feet of the court.

Ketaan “Keewee” Wyatt (OH):  A pure point guard who displays quickness and speed in the open   His handle cannot be questioned, and he developing a firmer understanding of how to use that handles and the different passing angles to kill opponents with scoring a single point.  Players  who can impact a game is this way are truly special and do not come around every day – becoming a more aggressive and consistent scorer combine with some increased size and strength to be more a physical problem; which would be combined with is speed/quickness problems he already possess will make him very attractive as him level increases.  We like his knock down shooting ability and we can see the catch and shoot and ability to get into the lane on penetration.  The Two S’s which is coming will get him there and to his most effective spots where Wyatt will hurt you of you let him.  Excitement personified and the son of a coach ~his best days are his next days don’t take your eyes off this star.
floor. Wyatt thrives in a fast tempo game but is known for his leadership the game stops. He understands his role is to set up the offense and settle down his team when the pace of the game is not favorable.

Chance Mott (OH):  Mott is skilled young forward with the potential to develop into a mismatch four-man; Chance has good hands and good feet. He is a solid athlete that can make plays within the paint and make a difference on the board. Mott does an excellent job of laying down the law in the lane. He goes up strong for rebounds and gets his elbows extended. He's the kind of center who takes pride in owning his realm and usually does; not a prolific scorer he is able to get the ball off glass and finish as well he is effective when catching – he understands the space on the post and always gives maximum effort; you can see his love for the game and the budding of some very good skills.  Watch this player; great size already his best days will be forthcoming without question. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

NYBL: Jason Harris, Paris Dawson, & WCA - They are the Champions

John Stockton to Karl Malone used to be the standard by which point guard/power forward combinations were judged.  In today's game Chris Paul and Blake Griffin might come to mind. With an influx of athleticism to the youth game and the development of the scoring point guards, the game is changing. We are no longer in the  day of dominant big man who sets up shop on the low block and thrive with the offense revolving around them. While those players still have success in spots, the more wide-open, free-wheeling, fast-breaking offense is taking the game by storm.  

The youth super combo of Dawson & Harris – no not the law firm; Paris Dawson and Jason Harris the 2020 the best guard/forward combo in the country.  Each stars for the NYBL champion West Coast All-Stars which is made up of players from California and Arizona.  The West Coast All Star have fought for media attention from their west coast counter parts the Oakland Soldiers; but in recent weeks and months WCA has earned the NOLA 60 title, the NYBL Championship which was once by a very significant margin, and were a sessions attendance from going undefeated in the regular season in the NYBL.

The West Coast All-Stars dominated their competition all weekend long; their only close game was against the aforementioned Oakland Soldiers; a one point victory – where the team and their stars stepped up in a big way.  Dawson was a consistent problem in this game scoring both in the half court and in transition. Harris who has added a perimeter shot made a couple of 3’s and of course dominated the paint and the boards on one leg as he toughed it out for the sake of the team.  In the Championship game Dawson scored 15-points in the first quarter to help create a deficit that was insurmountable for their opponent, the Leesburg Basketball Club.  For the rest of the game Dawson focused on setting up and involving his teammates – in a game he easily could have scored 25 to 30 points easy it was more important to him to see his teammates have success.  Championship game MVP Jason Harris, who finished with 17points 12 rebounds and 5 blocks, again played in pain and was a one man show on the entire.  

With the performances of these stars over the course of a tough NYBL season, national tournaments, and the NYBL playoffs they each have increased their stock and value nationally-as well the WCA now must be considered the top team in the country at the age group or a minimum be in the discussion.  They are efficient, they play hard and at the end of the day they beat whoever is put in front of them, and they do it defensively, with effort, and by playing together – WCA are joy to watch, they are a special group and one to be reckoned with.

How good is WCA? Very, how good is Dawson & Harris? Lets explore.

Jason Harris: Harris is an extra-long forward that is extremely athletic, mobile and skilled for his size and age. He runs the floor with long strides and catches and finishes on the move extremely well. Harris hunts block shots like a trained assassin and what he doesn't actually block he changes, affecting the game in a multitude of way. He finishes above the rim already and dominates the paint like a true big man should.  His post-up game against a set defense is developing as he can score with either hand as well he shows a nice stroke from the outside.  There may not be a better rebounder in the class and what his teammates and onlookers love is the fact that he plays hard every possession. 


Paris Dawson:  Dawson’s length (long arms) is impressive and he's becoming more and more explosive. His passing has some Jason Kidd written all over it and he'll rebound and score from all three levels. He can deliver full court passes, passes in small spaces, and he reads the court and plays 2 to 3 movements ahead.  Even with being such a great passer his best attribute is putting the ball in the basket on slashes, floaters, and pull ups. He also has the potential to be a great defender and he doesn’t take a play off.
It’s clear that these are special players, it’s clear that WAC is a special team, and it’s clear that in the best youth league in America not a special team, they are champions.