2017 Fall Top 100 Recap | Weekend 2

2017 Top 100 Recap

Philly . Metro . Metro Academic . Richmond

 

Supreme Cook

 Supreme is a long armed, athletic forward who improves every time we see him play.  He was one of the hardest playing guys all camp, and it allows him to score easy baskets in transition and on put backs.  Expect Supreme to have a big high school season with East Orange.

Omer Poleg

 Omer a smooth point guard who controlled the game.  His ability to hit shots from deep with a quick trigger opens up the floor for the rest of his game.  He is also shifty putting the ball on the floor for easy layups when people pressed up to take away his jump shot.

Nate Patterson

Nate is a strong framed guard who has a good handle.  He was in range as soon as he came in the gym, with over 15 made threes during the two events.  College coaches will be all over a player who can shoot it like him and defend multiple positions.

Carter Wilde

Carter was one of the strongest players in the gym this weekend.  His ability to use his frame to separate himself from defenders both in the lane and to rise up for jump shots.  His well rounded offensive game will make him a tough outing for whoever has to guard him this season.

Devin Cooper

Devin was one of the most well rounded players in the gym Saturday. He has the makeup and skill set of a true point guard. Recruitment for Devin should take a big jump this HS season as Devins skill set will be on full display.

Kyle Koob

Kyle has put in serious time and work in the weightroom over the past few months and his game as reflected just that. Kyle played through contact the entire day on his way to an outstanding showing. Kyle’s ability to play a physical brand of basketball on both ends of the floor will be something to keep an eye on moving forward.

Kyle Cardaci

As one of the best shooters on the Jersey Shore, Kyle has the ability to stretch the floor the second he checks into a game. As a shoot first player Kyle made his impact felt early as he started and ended the event off with a flurry of made shots. Look for Kyle to add more parts to develop his offensive skill set this upcoming season.

Raymundo Pastor 

Raymundo made plays around the rim and showed his extended shooting range as he hit shorts from a distance. A high level offensive package paired with a high motor will make Raymundo a very recruitable player moving forward.

  Dow Dunton 

Dow was one of the most talked about players in the gym at the Richmond Top 100. At 6’7 he has great length, to go along with a great skill set. Dow showed college athleticism, an ability to convert in transition and was a constant threat in the half court. He has a knack of rebounding the ball off a miss. Dow will have an immediate impact in college because he is a versatile defender with great IQ.

  Eric Rustin

The first thing you notice about Eric is his SIZE! Standing at 7’0, Rustin has an immediate impact on the game. He uses that length to bother shots at the rim, rebound out of his area, and finish in the paint. He is fairly fluid for a player of that size, and he needs to continue to add muscle to become a dominant low post presence. With a good touch around the basket and natural size like that, he is an extremely intriguing college prospect who showed great productivity in Richmond.

 

 

Trust The Process: The Beginnning

There’s always moments in time where you remember exactly where you were, who you were with and what you were doing that just stick in your head.

For myself, and many other crazed 76ers fans, that day was June 27, 2013. The day The Process truly began.

I was sitting on media row at an empty Bollman Center, prepping for a month of clinics and tournaments and showcases with Hoop Group with a live feed of the Draft blasting on another tab of my laptop.

There wasn’t much reason to pay attention to the top of the draft in terms of rooting interest, with the Sixers picking 11th in what was ultimately on the weaker end of draft classes. It wasn’t until Twitter started going crazy with rumors and the usual #WojBombs that I started to pay attention.

Jrue Holiday, who had been tagged as the future of the franchise under the previous regime, along with Evan Turner, was off to New Orleans. Nerlens Noel, the No. 6 pick in that draft, plus an extra pick, was on his way to Philadelphia.

When the trade was signed and sealed, I initially wasn’t a fan; At the time, Jrue was coming off his best season (career highs with 17.7 PPG and eight APG) and Noel wasn’t scheduled to play the next season after that gruesome ACL tear. Months after the Draft playing NBA2K with my college roommate he cried (jokingly, I think) when the crowd started the “MVP” chant for Holiday.

But the more time passed and the more I thought about it, it was clear that was the only way to go. What General Manager Sam Hinkie and the Sixers were selling wasn’t the status quo, it wasn’t the idea that the seventh- or eighth-seed and a small chance at an upset in the first round was good enough. What the Sixers front office was selling was something that hadn’t been there since Allen Iverson was dropping 30 points a night. Hope.

June 27, 2013 – The Day Hope Came to Philly

In order to truly compete, a team needed a star and that wouldn’t happen picking in the 10-18 range. Sure there were attempts to get a star to lead the team (Elton Brand in 2008, Andrew Bynum in 2012) but it never truly prospered. The only way to truly build, in the beginning of the Superstar Era, was the draft. 

And even in the aftermath of the Hinkie era and the beginning of the Colangelo era, that hope has exploded into what is basically a nationwide phenomenon.

Just take a look at the handful of preseason games: Joel Embiid is proving he can be a generational player when healthy and an even better s*** talker on Twitter. Ben Simmons, despite his broken shot, has at least three or four plays a game that remind you why he had such lofty expectations coming out of LSU.

Robert Covington, one of the biggest diamond-in-the-rough finds, has blossomed into an elite wing defender and a capable 3-point shooter. Dario Saric and TJ McConnell are bordering on folk hero status and JJ Redick gives them the shooting that has been sorely missing for the past few seasons.

Sure the 76ers are coming off a year where they won just 28 games, the most since The Process began in 2013, and have yet to prove they can compete on a nightly basis. But if Embiid stays healthy, Simmons somehow finds his shot and Markelle Fultz’s shoulder/abhorrent shooting stroke gets fixed, is it really hard to imagine the Sixers gunning for the fifth seed in a talent-depleted East?

The Process has handed Philly three budding stars, will Sam Hinkie’s vision finally come to fruition soon?

This is the type of hope that Hinkie and Co. built their regime on during his three-year tenure. And it’s been incredible to see just how that hope has changed a city deprived of a true winner. The go-to Philadelphia chant when a team is losing (which has happened plenty the last few years) of “E-A-G-L-E-S” has now been replaced by chants of “Trust the Process.” Embiid gave himself “The Process” nickname, an incredibly appropriate moniker given his injury-prone time in the NBA. Hell, even #RaisetheCat has become a national thing (Good work @GipperGrove).

It’s that hope that makes this team intriguing to follow, because of that Process. No team has gone to his length, something that people only thought happens in NBA2K GM Mode, in an attempt to rise to the top. And it’s a refreshing take in a league that has, in recent years, only had a handful of competitive teams vying for the championship.

It’s a Different Feel

I’ve gotten my hopes up throughout the years between the Eagles’ consecutive trips (and mostly failures) in the NFC Championship game, the rise and even faster fall of the Phillies between 2007 and 2013 (we’ll always have 2008) and a Flyers organization that gave Philadelphia a glimmer of hope in 2010.

It’s certainly an unfamiliar time (especially considering the last few years) in Philadelphia sports. The Eagles and Flyers have found early-season success while the Phillies are in the early stages of their own Process with some players already showing their ability late in the regular season. 

The Sixers had long been the organization, between Iverson’s departure in 2007 to the beginning of the Hinkie era in 2013, that drew the least interest among the main four professional teams. There’s plenty of pieces that still have to fall in place for the Sixers to get back into a competitive state. But make no mistake, the pieces are there. The only thing the fans can do now is something they’ve been saying for the past three years: Trust the Process.

Andrew Koob is a former Hoop Group Digital Media Member and a native of Warrington, Pa. He currently is a high school sports writer for NJ.com and the Star-Ledger. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewKoob.

Braxton Beverly Ruling A Bad Look For NCAA

Late last week, NC State freshman Braxton Beverly was ruled ineligible for the 17-18 season. For those unaware, Beverly’s story is a bit unique. A three-star recruit out of high school, Beverly initially committed to Thad Matta and Ohio State. When Matta resigned, Beverly requested a release from his scholarship, to which the University obliged. Beverly then transferred to NC State.

The above story isn’t that unique. A player commits to a head coach, coach leaves, player seeks another opportunity. It’s part of why the transfer rate is so high right now in college basketball. Seeing as Beverly never played any games for Ohio State, one would think he would be immediately eligible for this season. There was just one problem, in the eyes the NCAA, Beverly had started taken classes at OSU. According to the NCAA, Beverly became an undergraduate student at Ohio State when he started attending classes. Had he never stepped foot inside a classroom, he would be immediately eligible to play this season for NC State.

The ruling in this particular case sheds a bad light on the NCAA. It in essence is punishing an 18-year-old student-athlete for taking classes earlier than necessary. With said transfer rate growing each year, it’s easy to say Beverly should sit for leaving Ohio State. However, how you can you fault a player when the coach he committed to leaves in the middle of the summer?

Good recruiting is about building relationships with players. A player commits to a program largely in part because of the trust a coaching staff builds with them beforehand. Beverly had a bond with Matta that drew him to Ohio State, and then Matta left. Beverly never had one official practice with Ohio State, let alone a game, but because he took initiative to enroll in classes early, he cannot play for his new team.

Braxton Beverly was drawn to OSU in large part to his relationship with Thad Matta. When Matta unexpectedly leaves, why should Beverly suffer?

What Happened To STUDENT-Athletes?

High school and college players are often told countless times that they are students before they are athletes. This situation was an athlete getting to campus early to take classes and get extra work outs in. With this case now setting precedent, why would any player put their academics before athletics now? Why take summer classes if it could affect your eligibility when something unexpected happens?

Beverly and his family were hoping that Matta’s support would help make his transfer case an exception. They hoped the NCAA would sympathize for an 18-year-old who finds himself in a rare situation. To no avail however, because the NCAA was stone cold in rejecting the plea. Beverly will be allowed to practice with the team, but it appears his first game action will not come for another year. And the NCAA looks bad for it.

Potential Player Of The Year Candidates

College basketball is less than a month away. Excitement is beginning to grow as practice intensifies and opening season tip-off tournaments are on the horizon. With that, let’s look at five guys who could be talked about as National Player of the Year Candidates.

Miles Bridges – Michigan State

Bridges is considered the favorite by many to win NPOY after a somewhat surprising return for his sophomore season. Bridges put up a complete stat line last year for the Spartans. He averaged 16 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists and 1.5 blocks a game during his freshman campaign. That is crazy. With the arrival of Jaren Jackson, and a more experienced Michigan State team, Bridges might not have the same stat line this year, but he will undoubtedly be the straw that stirs the drink for Tom Izzo.

Jalen Brunson – Villanova

Brunson is my favorite to win National Player of the Year now that he is the focal point of Villanova’s offense. Brunson’s game expanded last year despite being overshadowed by Josh Hart. However, Brunson still led the team in scoring multiple times last season. He seemed to shine brightest against the top competition in the Big East, scoring 20+ points in games versus Butler (twice), Seton Hall and Creighton. Expect more scoring output from Brunson this season, and a better assist/turnover ratio in his junior year.

Michael Porter Jr – Missouri

Porter is an interesting candidate because he is sure to put up the numbers and is also an expected top two draft pick in next year’s draft. The question mark will be Missouri’s record. Players in years past like Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz did not receive as much attention due to their team’s performance. Missouri’s record will better indicate if Porter is closer to Anthony Davis/Kevin Durant or Simmons/Fultz.

Allonzo Trier – Arizona

Trier should be a NPOY candidate with a full junior season under his belt. He was limited to just 18 games due to a suspension in the beginning of the season. Trier showed his best self when Sean Miller inserted him back into the starting line up, averaging just shy of 19 points per game in Arizona’s last 10 regular season games. DeAndre Ayton will receive a lot of publicity as a future lottery pick, but expect Trier to be the centerpiece of the Wildcat’s success.

Devonte’ Graham – Kansas

Kansas has a history of seeing seniors take giant leaps in production. Perry Ellis did it, so did Frank Mason. Expect Devonte’ Graham to be the next in line. Graham averaged 13 points and 4 assists per game last season playing a “third wheel” to Mason and Josh Jackson. Though his percentage was down, Graham was good for over 2.5 three-pointers a contest last year for KU. With Mason and Jackson gone, I expect Graham’s numbers to blow up as the senior leader of Bill Self’s squad.

Honorable Mentions:

Marvin Bagley/Grayson Allen – Each player should have strong seasons for Duke, but they will both take production away from each other in terms of NPOY recognition

Joel Berry – A lot of pieces depart from UNC’s National Championship team. Berry is the key returner who will be enemy number one on every opposing team’s scouting report.

Angel Delgado – Delgado is good for a double-double every time he’s on the court. The Pirates should have a strong year thanks to a great senior nucleus, and Delgado should lead the country in double-doubles. 

The Border War is Back…Kind Of

The Border War is back, sort of. It was announced today that Kansas and Missouri will play in an exhibition game on October 22nd at the Sprint Center. All money raised by the game will go towards supporting hurricane relief efforts. Many college basketball junkies know the rivalry that exists between the Jayhawks and Tigers. While this game’s first priority is to raise money, it will also give fans a taste of one of the best rivalries in college sports.

Kansas and Missouri first played each other on the hardwood back in 1907, but the Border War dates back even further. KU has the advantage, with a record of 172-96 against Mizzou. It’s been six years since the two programs have met however, due to Missouri moving out of the Big 12 Conference. For those that can remember, the last meeting between the two programs was epic. Kansas stormed back from a 19 point deficit at Phog Allen to top Missouri in overtime, 87-86. The outcome resulted in championship caliber celebrations and agony by each side. The win also gave Kansas their 8th straight conference championship.

“Playing Missouri does mean something. It means something to me.” -Kansas Coach, Bill Self

This exhibition game will not have the same allure as previous match-ups. The game does not count towards anyone’s record, and the goal is to raise money and not get anyone hurt before the real season begins. However, it’s tough to peg this as just another exhibition game. You have Kansas and their 13 straight Big 12 Championships. You have Missouri and their talented group of freshman, led by potential #1 pick Michael Porter Jr. And let’s not forget the rivalry and hatred that exists between the two states. Exhibition game or not, this game means something. The Sprint Center will be packed; it will be rowdy. Both fan bases will want a win whether it reflects on record or not.

There is everything to love about this game, and nothing to hate. Pre-Season All-Americans, a rich and storied rivalry, and above all, it’s for a great cause. College basketball may not tip off for another month, but we’re going to get an early look at two teams who have high expectations attached with them for this season. If all goes well, maybe we will see a non-conference, home and home develop out of this. Here’s to hoping.