Tuesday, April 14, 2009

2009 BOO WILLIAMS NIKE INVITATIONAL : Recap


This past weekend we packed up the truck with our cameras and our notepads and headed up to Hampton, Va to catch one of the most respected stops on the AAU Circuit and report back to you. We were excited to meet and film some of the Pack's recruits as well as get looks at future targets and the nations top players. We picked up our media passes and were surprised when we were given a giant packet of rosters in a cool looking Nike basketball folder. (Thanks Boo Williams!) These roster packs were selling to the public and other coaches for $100, so we were very thankful and it made our experience less stressful.

The event was held at the Boo Williams Sportsplex, which let me tell you, is something to be seen. This place is amazing and I was told that this was the very first tournament held there. The place is huge and has two different wings, each housing 4 courts. They had a store selling basketball gear and a full menu snack bar that came in handy. This place was definitely the cream of the crop when it comes to an AAU Tournament hosting site, and we advise that, if possible, you take a trip to see this next spring. (Va. Beach is close...which can be a good excuse for the Mrs.)

Now to what you really want to hear about...the players. Here is a quick run down of who we saw and what we thought.

CJ Leslie: A 2010 recruit, Leslie was a late arrival in the first game, but was definitely present the rest of the tournament as he was hard to miss with his jaw dropping athleticism. We got a good bit of video on Leslie and put together a highlight reel for you to enjoy. He played much different at this tournament. It was D-One's first game without John Wall in years, which seemed to make CJ take on more of a leadership role. He was vocal as he encouraged his team to play harder when they lapsed, he was physical and active for very long stretches, which was a very encouraging site to see since many questioned his work ethic and his passion. We talked to a lot of people and the word we were recieving was that NC State is still a very big player, if not the team to beat, in his recruitment. It seems as if Leslie and fellow 2010 recruit Luke Cothron are friends as they spent a bit of time together talking and echanged high-fives on numerous occasions. Leslie played with D-One for this tournament because his AAU team, the Lake Norman Wizards, didn't have the funds to come to this one. The team struggled to find an identity and was never in rythem as they were beat down pretty thoughrouly in all 3 of their contests. Clifton was not in attendence, he was in Portland with John Wall at the Nike Hoops Summit.

Luke Cothron: Big Luke Cothron (a 2010 recruit) was really the guy we came to see. It wasn't that we werent' excited to watch Leslie, because we were. It's just that there is just no information on Cothron who just so happens to be a 5-Star Center being recruited by NC State, who desperately is in need of a talented big man. Luke got to play with the Boo Williams Team which, we were told, is an honor in itslef. Cothron started and played nearly every minute of every game. We filmed 3 of these games and put together Highlight Reel Vol.1 and Highlight Reel Vol. 2 of Cothron, and will be soon bringing out his reel from his 3rd game, which was a thriller. He was teamed up with UNC commit Kendall Marshall, Duke commit Andre Dawkins, and James McAdoo, a rising junior who is looking at UNC, Duke and Florida amongst others (all of whom we'll get into later). As for Luke Cothron, he did not dissapoint. Although not much of a high riser, Luke possesses the length and height needed to become dominant in the ACC. Watch the videos and you'll see that he has an unquenchable hunger for rebounds...the guy is relentless on the boards. He also had a knack for scoring with his soft touch good footwork. He has a calm demeener on the court, yet he is very active and always fighting to get position. All we could think about is how good a duo him and Leslie would be. Two completely different players that would fit together perfectly. Luke will need to put on some bulk, but you can certainly see why Cothron has racked up the offers that he has. We got to talk with him for a bit and he was very polite and down to earth. He mentioned that the recruitment process has been fun and that actually Sidney Lowe had stopped by his gym a few weeks ago. He also said he really likes NC State and would at this point call them one of his leaders.

Deuce Bello: We already explained to you all of the problems D-One faced at this tournament. Bello (2011 recruit) took his lumps as well. Deuce is a human highlight reel and you can see one of his monster throwdowns following a Leslie miss (on the Leslie video linked above). Aside from the highlight though, Bello struggled to get it going. His shot looked unrefined and he just was unable to dominate these players the way he's used to doing during his school season. Bello is finding out that he is going to need to fine tune his jumper, or grow a few inches before he can be mentioned in the nations elite. The real problem however, was the fact that D-One really didn't have any set plays. To thier defense, it was their first tournament and had only practiced twice coming in, but aside from JT Terrell (Wake commit) and C.J. Leslie, D-One was very stagnant. Let's put this in perspective though. Bello is only a rising Junior and still has 2 years to really develop, and we're sure he will. The kid has some major hops.

Bishop Daniels: Before we start here, let's just say that Bishop Daniels is only a rising junior (2011). That explains a lot of what we saw at the Boo from Bishop. He seemed timid and unsure of himself out there which was the polor opposite of the way he played when we watched him at the Carolina Challenge. He was over shadowed by JT Terrell, who ran point for D-One and really gave Bishop no chance to get things going. We got some video of Bishop (and Bello) but we'll wait for better performances before putting anything out for them. If you want to see them in action check out the video we got from the Carolina Challenge in Cary. Bishops game is still raw and he'll need to get more consistent with his jumpshot before he can utterly dominate a game, but his athleticism is so obvious that you have to pay attention. He's 6'2, but the kid tries to rise and flush on some of these 6'8 trees in the paint.

Rodney Hood: 2011 Recruit, Hood is a 6'6 shooting guard from Mississippi. He is claming an offer from NC State so we decided to go check him out. Rodney is a pretty big kid for his age, and has some good legth to him. The problem was, you could see that he was a bit intimidated. The older guys on his team were much more assertive and looking for their shots, while Rodney was letting the game come to him. He had a nice looking stroke, an athletic build and some basketball IQ, but numerous times he tried to do too much and got into trouble. He was not a real stand out player at the Boo from what we saw, but again, he's only a rising Junior with 2 years left to develop. He's already holding offers from Florida, Georgia Tech and apperently NC State. We have a little video on him but not enough to put together more than 15 seconds or so of highlights, so we'll wait until we see him again to put something out. A 6'6 athlete with a stroke and high IQ is definitely someone you offer this early, we'll continue to watch Hood develop.

Tobias Harris: Harris, a 2010 prospect, was at the Boo and so we wanted to see what he was all about. Tobias is a big, big kid. He's 6'7 and probably 215 or so. We had never seen him so we expected to see a back to the basket type player. Instead, we saw a kid that was pretty athletic and was more comfortable facing up to attack. He moved well on the court and was surprisingly fast. He could be a very intriguing prospect in the coming years. He had a nice looking, soft jumper and great hands. He wasn't dominate in the game we saw, but he looked like at some point he would be. He was smart with the ball and was really a team player (although his team was pretty bad).

**Other Top Players**
Aside from the Pack recruits we got to see some pretty elite talent up at the Boo. The guys that impressed us the most were James McAdoo (son of Bob McAdoo) who is a rising Junior that could compete in college today. The kid is built like a man, and has some serious athleticsim to go along with solid footwork, great touch, and high basketball IQ. He, in my opinion, is the best player in his class (2011).

Duke commit Andre Dawkins (2010) was also pretty impressive. He's already built for college ball and he has another full year to develop. His jumper is textbook and his range is infinate. I hate to admit it, but I loved his game. He played so hard and attack the rim with his strength and athleticism. He fits the Duke mold perfectly and will certainly be a star there.

Marquis Teague, the brother of Jeff Teague (Wake Forest) was another guy that was living with some monster talent. The 2011 recruit is an exact replica of his brother and it showed throughout the tournament. He could defend, score, ignite his teammates, and had the highlight of the whole weekend when he rose and hammered on the face of one of the Boo Williams big men....folks it was extremely violent, and by that I mean it may have been one of the best dunks I've seen live...ever. (Yes we have video and yes we will upload it on YouTube and link you to it soon enough)

We also saw Mike Gilchirst (#1 player in 2011) and Kendall Marshall (2010 UNC commit) and both were pretty good. Gilchirst is the brother of John (from Maryland) and is a big guard that moves very well and already is built to play at a high major, but I think McAdoo is a better prospect,personally. Marshall has UNC written all over him, sporting tarheel blue wristband, and playing with a slight air about him that screamed UNC. He was smart, had outstanding leadership abilities and was always looking to find the open man.

Overall it was a great experience and we were glad we could get some Luke Cothron video to you since the NC State fans have been starved from Cothron vids for far too long. We hope you enjoy!

comments

6 Responses to "2009 BOO WILLIAMS NIKE INVITATIONAL : Recap"
  1. RVAPACK said...
    April 14, 2009 at 1:05 PM

    C - Smith, Cothron
    PF - Leslie, Howell, Davis
    SF - Wood, Williams, Thomas
    SG - Brown, Mays
    PG - Harrow, Gonzalez

    That is a competing basketball team that I can only dream of. Sidney Lowes blue print is on the table and clear to see, and in my opinion is only a year and two players away from being force in the ACC. Lets pray Leslie sees the amazing ryan Harrow, an improved NC State team next year and commits back to the pack and drags cothron with him.... thats the work to be done, the rest will fall into place!!

  2. PackPhanatic79 said...
    April 14, 2009 at 1:41 PM

    gread read WPH. As a State alum I'd like to say that i'm loving the site and i really appreciate you guys going up there to cover it for us.

    i'm a member at scout and thats about to change because i was very excited about this tournament and they did not even attend nor do they have any new video from it.

    i appreciate what you guys are doing and i certainly feel that it is helping the program by giving the fanbase and the recruits the chance to see our program in a positive light. you are doing more than you think! keep it up!

    and check your donations ; )

    ps. did you hear any thing about the wall sitation up there at the boo williams?

  3. Wolfpack Hoops said...
    April 14, 2009 at 2:12 PM

    packphanatic79,
    Thank you so much for the compliments and for the donation. That really helps since most everything we do is out of our own pocket. Donations help us out a great deal! We honestly didn't hear anything new about Wall up at the Boo. We talked to a few people that might be "in the know" with the situation but they pretty much said the same things that's been said.
    Again, thanks so much for the support and we're so glad so many of you are sticking with us throughout the off-season. We have another Luke Cothron video on the way tonight and so much more to catch you up on this week!

  4. WolfCop said...
    April 14, 2009 at 6:34 PM

    Thanks WPH. This is an exciting time for NC State basketball. I see rapid improvement coming in the next 1-2 years.

  5. BleedRed said...
    April 14, 2009 at 6:59 PM

    Thanks WPH! This site always brightens my day.

  6. morpheus647 said...
    April 14, 2009 at 7:30 PM

    RVAPACK,
    That line-up looks amazing. Good shooters, point guards that can drive and pass, as well as shoot, and big guys down low with great footwork and and who are hungry for rebounds.

 

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