2014 Phenom Hoop Challenge Day 3 Recap

The final day of the Phenom Hoop Challenge kicked off bright and early with one of the most hyped matchups of the event. The Karolina Diamonds and Showtime Ballers squared off in a game that had no shortage of cameras, as well as no shortage of excitement. Corey Sanders hit a lay-up at the buzzer to give Showtime the win, en route to a championship game run.

An outstanding weekend of hoops ended with the following championship games:
15U: CP3 All-Stars
16U: CP3 All-Stars
17U: West Virginia Wildcats

Here are a few of the players who stood out:

Lavar Batts, 6’1, PG, CP3 All-Stars 15U, 2017- Right there in the conversation for best freshman in the state with JJ Smith, Batts showed that he could carry over his dominance at the highest level of AAU. Previously playing with the local Carrabus Stars, He made the move over to the EYBL squad and fit in immediately. The freshman controlled the tempo of the game, got in the lane at will, and was simply special converting with either hand.

Karl Gamble, 6’9, PF, Upward Stars, 2015- An incredibly skilled big man, Gamble was one of the bigger surprises at PHC. He was deadly attacking from the elbows, used his length to bother opponents, and showed great coordination on the blocks. With interest from many SoCon teams, it’s a near certainty that mid-major and high-major programs will be showing interest after the live period.

Quate McKinzie, 6’6, PF, CP3 All-Stars 16U- A physical specimen, McKinzie did the bulk of his damage in the paint, yet also showed that he had some skill on the perimeter. He was nearly impossible to stop around the rim, attacked the basket strong from the wing, and even busted out a sly euro-step in transition. This super long forward could go a number of ways, but could easily convert into a power wing by the time it is all said and done.

Michael Buckland, 6’5, SG, CP3 All-Stars 16U- A player who we’ve been watching since he was playing varsity in the 8th grade, Buckland has made some serious strides in his game. The sister of UNC redshirt freshman Megan Buckland redshirt freshman Megan Buckland showed that he’s not the only serious baller in his family. He showed off a silky smooth jumper, finished through contact at the rim, and showed off some really nice court vision for a wing. With Theo Pinson graduating, there will be plenty of opportunity for Buckland to truly shine next year for Wesleyan alongside Harry Giles.

Jordan Whitfield, 6’0, PG, Team United 15U- With his entire squad playing up at the 16U level, Whitfield showed that he had no problem playing with some of the region’s elite players a year up. He showed off surprising athleticism, a nice floater, and was able to keep Team United in the game. Another player who has been playing varsity hoops since his 8th grade year, Whitfield appears to be following his brother’s footsteps to the division one level.

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CP3 All-Stars and Karolina Diamonds square off at Phenom Hoop Challenge

For the class of 2016, the Karolina Diamonds and CP3 All-Stars boast the top talent that the state of North Carolina has to offer. While Diamonds coach Kevin Graves has always played the Diamonds up in the 17-U bracket, there has certainly been an unspoken rivalry between the two programs. The loss of Dennis Smith Jr. certainly hurt Graves’ squad, but he still offers a unit that blends size, athleticism, and skill. On the other hand, CP3 has ascended to become the state’s top program over the past few years and offer the most talent on paper, despite the loss of 6’10 man-child Harry Giles.

It was a matchup of teams with far different backgrounds. The Diamonds have held their core in tact for years now, while CP3 has a new cast that ranges from four different states. From the tip, it was clear that chemistry was in the favor of the Diamonds and as the game went on, that became more evident. Ultimately, while they didn’t have as much in the talent department, it was the Diamonds who were able to pull away with a 75-62 victory.

Here are a few of the players who stood out:

Ty Graves, 6’0, PG, Karolina Diamonds, 2016- The heady floor general from Greensboro Page was simply outstanding in his matchup with Alterique Gilbert, scoring 16 points. He made tough jumpers off of the dribble, found the open man in transition, and controlled the tempo of the game against the bigger CP3 squad. While Ty receives the bulk of his attention locally at this point, expect that to change as the spring goes on.

Alterique Gilbert, 5’11, PG, CP3 All-Stars, 2016- One of the nation’s truly elite sophomore point guards, Alterque Gilbert brought his full arsenal to Greensboro. The shifty playmaker got to the rim at will, hit deep three pointers, and put great pressure on the rock on the defensive end. Gilbert is already a hot commodity amongst ACC programs, with Florida State and Georgia Tech already putting offers on the table.

Greg Williams, 6’5, SG/SF, CP3 All-Stars, 2016- A Houston native, Williams made the move to Virginia at Genesis Prep and hasn’t looked back. He was tough to stop attacking the rim, showed off above average vision for a wing, and a smooth jumper to go with it. This big time athlete turned a lot of heads throughout the season at Genesis and will continue to do so with CP3.

Lonzia Tyson, 6’8, PF/C, Karolina Diamonds, 2015- The most athletic big man in the game didn’t showcase his full talents, but made a significant impact on the game. Tyson used his size and athleticism to impose a presence defensively, was active on the glass, and finished drop-offs around the rim on his way to 10 points. He keeps getting better in the skill department each time we see him and it will be scary if this trend continues.

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Clint Capela & Nikola Jokic lead way in 3rd Hoop Summit Scrimmage

Nikola Jokic had a big time performance on the heels of his 20 point, 9 board performance on Wednesday, the Serbian scorer dropped 17 points shooting 7 of 9 from the field. Clint Capela had his best scrimmage of the week with 12 points on 6 of 9 shooting. Capela’s athleticism allows him to score over and around his defenders. Emmanuel Mudiay ran the pick and roll to perfection in this scrimmage with Nikola Jokic and could have easily finished with ten plus assists if all of his passes were converted.

The World Select Team was split into two groups for a 28 minute scrimmage (7 minute quarters, running clock). Below are stats from the game which was won by a score of 44-41 by the black team led by Jokic.

White Team – Damien Inglis, Gao Shang, Karl Towns, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, Clint Capela, and Brandone Francis.
Black Team – Nikola Jokic, James Metecan Birsen, Emmanuel Mudiay, Trey Lyles, and Jamal Murray.

Nikola Jokic – 17 PTS, 7-9 FGs, 2-2 3FGs, 3 rebs, 3 assists, 3 steals, 1-4 FTs, 1 TO
Clint Capela – 12 PTS, 6-9 FGs, 1 reb, 1 block
Trey Lyles – 11 PTS, 5-8 FGs, 0-1 3FGs, 2 rebs, 1 block, 2 TOs
Gao Shang – 9 PTS, 3-4 FGs, 1 reb, 3-3 FTs, 2 TOs
James Metecan Birsen – 8 PTS, 4-5 FGs, 2 rebs, 1 assist
Emmanuel Mudiay – 6 PTS, 3-9 FGs, 0-2 3FGs, 1 rebs, 5 assists, 1 steal, 2 TOs
Karl Towns – 6 PTS, 2-6 FGs, 0-1 3FGs, 5 rebs, 2-2 FTs, 1 TO
Damien Inglis – 6 PTS, 2-7 FGs, 0-2 3FGs, 3 rebs, 2 blocks, 1 assist, 2 steals, 2 TOs
Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk – 5 PTS, 2-5 FGs, 1-4 3FGs, 2 rebs, 3 assists
Brandone Francis – 4 PTS, 1-3 FGs, 0-1 3FGs, 1 reb, 2 assists, 2-2 FTs, 2 TOs
Jamal Murray – 2 PTS, 0-3 FGs, 0-2 3FGs, 5 rebs, 2 assists, 2-2 FTs

Scoring by quarter
White Team – 6 10 11 14
Black Team – 10 10 16 8

Stay tuned for results from Thursday’s World Select Team Scrimmage coming soon.

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Kelly Oubre posters PAC-12 player at Nike Hoop Summit practice

Findlay Prep’s Kelly Oubrehas long been one of the more athletic wings in the class of 2014 and at the Nike Hoop Summit, he showed it off to NBA scouts. The Findlay Prep product came flying down the right wing and dunked on a 6’8 PAC-12 player. With Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid off to the NBA, Oubre has the chance to be KU’s most exciting player for the ’14-15 campaign.

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Karl Towns with dunk of the week at Nike Hoop Summit

Karl Towns has never been known as a high flyer, but on Thursday’s Nike Hoop Summit practice, showed off how much he has improved athletically. The Kentucky recruit came flying down the lane in transition, finishing with what may have perhaps been the best dunk of his career over a fellow 7-footer, who shall remain nameless.

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Nikola Jokic dominates 2nd World Select Team Scrimmage

Nikola Jokic made his presence felt on the second day of World Select Team practice. The Nike Hoop Summit has long been known as a springboard for international players with scouts from every NBA team in attendance. On Tuesday the 6’11 forward from Serbia had a great showing in front of those very scouts as he put on a shooting display going 4-4 from three point range en route to a 20 point, 9 board performance.

The World Select Team was split into two groups for a 28 minute scrimmage (7 minute quarters, running clock). Below are stats from the game which was won by a score of 41-35 by the white team led by Jokic.

White Team – Nikola Jokic, Clint Capela, Brandone Francis, James Metecan Birsen, and Jamal Murray.
Black Team – Karl Towns, Emmanuel Mudiay, Trey Lyles, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, Gao Shang, and Damien Inglis.

Nikola Jokic – 20 PTS, 8-11 FGs, 4-4 3FGs, 9 rebs, 1 assist, 0-2 FTs, 2 TOs
Karl Towns – 13 PTS, 5-6 FGs, 2 rebs, 1 block, 2 steals, 3-4 FTs, 1 TO
Emmanuel Mudiay – 9 PTS, 4-8 FGs, 1-4 3FGs, 2 rebs, 4 assists, 2 steals, 1 TO
Damien Inglis – 8 PTS, 4-10 FGs, 0-3 3FGs, 3 rebs, 1 assist, 1 TO
Clint Capela – 7 PTS, 3-6 FGs, 7 rebs, 3 assists, 2 blocks, 1-2 FTs, 2 TOs
Jamal Murray – 6 PTS, 2-5 FGs, 2-3 3FGs, 2 rebs, 3 assists, 1 steal, 2 TOs
Brandone Francis – 5 PTS, 2-6 FGs, 1-1 3FGs, 2 rebs, 3 assists, 1 steal, 2 TOs
Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk – 3 PTS, 1-2 FGs, 1-2 3FGs, 1 reb, 1 steal
James Metecan Birsen – 3 PTS, 1-5 FGs, 1-3 3FGs, 2 rebs, 1 assist
Trey Lyles – 2 PTS, 1-7 FGs, 0-2 3FGs, 3 rebs, 4 assists, 2 blocks, 1 TO
Gao Shang – 0 PTS, 0-2 FGs, 0-1 3FGs, 1 TO

Scoring by quarter
White Team – 9 14 10 8
Black Team – 8 6 13 8

Stay tuned for results from Wednesday’s World Select Team Scrimmage coming soon.

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NBA Draft prospect Clint Capela shows off athleticism at Nike Hoop Summit

We’ve been watching Clint Capela for years now at Adidas Nations and having seen him extensively for the third time in the last three years, can attest to the substantial growth that he’s made. Developing from prospect into player, Capela showed off his explosive athleticism at the 2014 Nike Hoop Summit practices with his bouncy leaping ability, exhibited by this dunk that he caught in today’s practice.

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Tyler Ulis is Kentucky’s next floor general

Tyler Ulis has long been one of the more productive point guards in the class, but the major questions that centered around him revolved almost exclusively to his height. Dating back to his days in Lima, Ohio when he ran with Mike Duncan’s Ohio Basketball Club, Ulis was always right there amongst the top of his class and four years later, he finds himself there again.

Running with MeanStreets for his last few years on the AAU circuit, Tyler showed a constant path of development. While he grew, he still only found himself at 5-foot-9, but found ways to score on anyone. He learned how to use angles, create space with crafty dribble moves, and finish over the top of the defense. What makes Ulis even more impressive is that his high IQ allows him to know when to shoot it and when to give it up. On the defensive end, Ulis is a hawk on the ball and uses his quick hands to create a number of steals and/or deflections.

While many are already deeming this 18-year old a four year player for the Big Blue Nation, based on his track record, don’t be surprised if he proves everyone wrong yet again.

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7-footer Thomas Welsh shows off massive improvement at McDonald’s All-American Game

7-footer Thomas Welsh has come along a lot in the last year, but we weren’t able to see him since last summer. In what will be his final his school event, he showed the considerable improvement that took him from unranked 18 months ago to consensus top-50 prospect.

For a true 7-footer, Welsh showed off outstanding touch to mid-range on his jumper. He has the chance to be deadly shooting the ball from the high post and was great keeping the ball high once he got it around the rim. Defensively, Welsh used his massive height to hold his own as a shot-blocker, walling up in order to alter even more shots than he rejected.

Naturally, Welsh will need to continue to get stronger if he hopes to maximize his impact for the Bruins. Given Steve Alford’s outstanding track record for getting the most out of his players, this developing big man will have all of the resources that he needs to maximize himself in Westwood.

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2014 Nike Hoop Summit Day One – World Select Team Practice

The 2014 Hoop Summit kicked off today in Portland, Oregon at the Trailblazers practice facility. The World Select Team had their first practice in front of a throng of NBA scouts. Coach Roy Rana had the team running from the second practice started with a 5 on 5 full court, no dribble scrimmage. The World Select Team ran through offensive sets, did individual skill work, and ended the day with a ten minute scrimmage.

Here is a quick look at the World Select Team scrimmage that was broken down into two five minute halves. The score was restarted after each quarter. The teams were as follows:

White Team – Trey Lyles, Nikola Jokic, Brandone Francis, James Metecan Birsen, and Jamal Murray.
Black Team – Karl Towns, Emmanuel Mudiay, Clint Capela, Gao Shang, and Damien Inglis.

Although the score went back to 0-0 after each half the Black Team won the scrimmage 20-11 when the totals from each half were added together. Below are stats from the quick scrimmage.

Karl Towns – 9 PTS, 4-5 FGs, 1-1 3FGs, 4 rebs
Trey Lyles – 5 PTS, 2-4 FGs, 1-1 3FGs, 1 reb
Clint Capela – 4 PTS, 2-3 FGs, 1 steal
Emmanuel Mudiay – 4 PTS, 2-3 FGs, 0-1 3FGs, 1 reb, 1 assist, 2 steals
James Metecan Birsen – 4 PTS, 2-3 FGs, 1 steal
Damien Inglis – 3 PTS, 1-4 FGs, 1-2 3FGs, 3 assists, 1 steal
Jamal Murray – 2 PTS, 1-3 FGs, 0-2, 1 steal
Nikola Jokic – 0 PTS, 0-0 FGs, 2 rebs, 1 block
Gao Shang – 0 PTS, 0-0 FGs, 2 rebs
Brandone Francis – 0 PTS, 0-1 FGs

Once again this was a ten minute scrimmage on the first day of practice. Just a quick look at what’s to come in the 2014 Nike Hoop Summit.

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