McDonald’s All-American & Future Oregon Duck Louis King talks to HG Insider on his journey through high school & more

McDonald’s All American and future Oregon Duck Louis King is one of the premier prospects in the class of 2018. The Hudson Catholic (N.J.) prospect can do just about it all on the floor and still has plenty of room to take his game to another level. King spoke to Hoop Group Insider on his journey to where he is today.

Q: You just transferred into Hudson Catholic, go back to that time, you still have a lot to prove, you have many aspirations, what your mind at that time?

A: “My mindset at that time period when I got to Hudson Catholic coming into my junior year was to make a statement so I just got bigger, stayed in the gym a lot and went crazy,” he said.

Q: What did you have to do behind the scenes to make a statement?

A: “There were a lot of people doubting by saying, ‘I couldn’t be anything’,” he said. “I had to stay in the gym and use everything as motivation.”

Q: You were already a national name beforehand, but you still had to prove it for another summer. Was that something that you had in mind going into your final AAU season?

A: “Most definitely, I wanted to prove that I was one of the top players in the country for people to see my talents and see what I was really capable of,” he said.

Q: What was it like to make the McDonald’s All-American Game?

A: “Since I was a kid I always dreamed of being a McDonald’s All American,” he said. “It was just a dream come true when I got nominated and after I got nominated I had to be thankful. It was all God’s doing.”

Q: How much hard work went into getting where you are today?

A: “I was nonstop in the gym,” he said. “Every day after or before school I was either weightlifting or getting a thousand shots up a day.”

Q: The next step after high school is Oregon. What are you looking forward to with such an impressive recruiting class going in?

A: “We have nine talented players on the roster right now so we still have spots to fill,” he said. “We are talented enough to win a national championship so as we develop and get more recruits we can make some noise next year.”

Q: Back track to when you made your decision for Oregon before your high school season. When looking back, what were some of things that were key factors?

A: “Just the nonstop calling every day and the love and respect they showed,” he said. “On the visit after I felt like I was at home. I have a huge role on the team and they told me what to do when I got there. I really like that situation.”

Q: If somebody that hadn’t seen Louis King play how would you describe yourself on the floor?

A: “I would say I’m a tall, athletic guard who can do everything one through five,” he said.

Q: What is one thing so far in your career that you are proud of?

A: “I would say how the motor in the gym I have is nonstop,” he said. “I’m willing to do anything for basketball.”

Oregon Owns the Top Recruiting Class in 2018….For Now

Dana Altman’s latest recruiting class could have him cutting down nets again very soon

 

Duke, Kansas, Kentucky….Oregon? Three of these teams usually have the top recruiting classes in the country every year. One does not. However, as of right now it is the Oregon Ducks who hold the number one recruiting class in the Class of 2018, according to ESPN. Thanks to the recent commitment of Bol Bol, Oregon now has four players ranked in the Top 60 on ESPN.

It’s not as if Dana Altman has never landed a top recruit. His last three classes have had players in ESPN’s Top 100. He landed Troy Brown Jr, an ultra talented wing out of Las Vegas, who was ranked 15th in his class. And now Altman has done his best work yet. In what was an already strong recruiting class, Altman and his staff landed Bol Bol, son of former NBA player Manute Bol. Like his Dad, Bol is hard to miss at 7’2. He has a 7’8 wingspan and has a rare ability to step away from the basket. ESPN has him ranked the number four player in the country and 247 Sports has him third.

Bol joins Louis King (21), Will Richardson (38) and Miles Norris (58) in Oregon’s 2018 recruiting class. Pending who leaves at the end of the year, the Ducks look to be loaded and balanced for the 2018 season. The Ducks lost 88% of their scoring from last year’s extremely balanced Final Four team. While this year’s team relies heavily on Brown, fellow freshman Victor Bailey and sophomore Payton Pritchard, it looks like Altman’s team will regain that balance in the 2018-19 season.

Oregon may not finish atop the recruiting rankings come spring time. There are a lot of dominoes to fall still in the 2018 class. Duke, Kentucky and the other recruiting powerhouses are far from done. Meanwhile, with the dark cloud surrounding Arizona and USC, Oregon is sending a message to the Pac-12 Conference. Dana Altman can recruit with the best of them, and his work speaks for itself.

Pooleys Picks – Top Northeast Backcourts

Pooley Picks

Top Northeast Backcourts: Maine to Washington, DC

Qualifications: Backcourts are the back bone of high school basketball teams.  In this weeks installment of Pooley’s Picks we dive into the Top Northeast Backcourts, Maine to DC.  Qualifications are simple: The be one of the Top Northeast Backcourts you have to be a team projected to win a lot of games with at least a top-notch point guard and shooting guard.  Wings will be considered especially if they share a load of perimeter scoring or ball handling. Depth will be considered, but no where near as much as the starters, who usually play a large majority of minutes in HS games.  This list is for high schools only (Friends/MAPL league schools will qualify).

Top Northeast Backcourts are in no particular order. Please enjoy the second installment of Pooley’s Picks.

 

Gonzaga (Washington, DC): Gonzaga has a rich history of great basketball teams and competes in the best high school league in the country.  This years backcourt may be one of the best ever for the Purple Eagles.  Featuring two elite scoring point guards, Gonzaga will be tough to guard and to score against.  Chris Lykes, a 2017 Miami commit, and Prentiss Hubb, a 2018 top ten PG in the country, will run the show and lead a strong backcourt supporting cast.  Also look for Myles Dread, Eddie ScottAnwar Gill, and fan favorite Mike Myers to have standout seasons.  Hard to find a deeper, tougher, and more well-rounded than the Purple Eagles in 2016-2017.

Quote: “They have a great ability to play off of each other, but more importantly they understand how to let the other take the lead…If one is having a great scoring night, the other is always able to have a great facilitating night.” – Steve Turner, Head Coach Gonzaga College High School

Report Card

Ball Handling A Scoring B+ Shooting A- Passing A- Athleticism B-
Defense A- Rebounding B- Experience A Depth A+ Bball IQ A

 

 

Hudson Catholic (Jersey City, NJ): Hudson Catholic has one of the Top Northeast Backcourts on talent alone.  Add that to the fact that their guards are extremely well coached while still given the freedom to make plays and you have a great combination.  Lead by the big three of Jahvon Quinerly, Luther Muhammad, and Louis King this team will press, drive, and shoot their way to being a top team in NJ.  Complimented by star senior Tyheem Burno look for Hudson Catholic to play four guards at times.

Quote: “Hudson Catholic has a lot of Experience going into 2016-17.  Considering the teams these guards have played in the last two years, and the balance between Quinerly’s distribution and shooting, and Muhammad’s athleticism, defense, and raw scoring…I don’t see many backcourts in the northeast being better than them.” – Pat Lawless, NCAA Certified Scout MADE Hoops

Report Card

Ball Handling A Scoring A- Shooting B+ Passing B+ Athleticism B
Defense A Rebounding B Experience A- Depth B Bball IQ B+

 

 

Patrick School (Hillside, NJ): Coaches Mike Rice and Chris Chavannes have their own three-headed monster in the backcourt this season.  The pre-season #1 team in New Jersey may also have the most balanced backcourt in the country.  Lead by an extremely underrated PG in Jordan Walker, a lights-out shooter in Jamir Harris, and a physically gifted downhill guard in Marcus McClary, the Patrick School will never be outgunned at guard.  Al-Amir Dawes will bring energy, skill, and scoring in bunches off the bench to supplement an already electric bunch.

Quote: “We’re excited about the backcourt we have this year.  Many have experience at the national level and they’re all tough kids who love to win. I like my guys matched up against anyone.” -Mike Rice, Head Coach Patrick School

Report Card

Ball Handling B Scoring B+ Shooting A- Passing B+ Athleticism B+
Defense A Rebounding B+ Experience A Depth B- Bball IQ A-

 

 

 John Carroll (Bel Air, MD): John Carroll boasts perhaps the best Point Guard in the country in Immanuel Quickley.  Complimenting him is the up-and-coming Montez Mathis.  Between the two they give you everything you need in the backcourt.  When your looking among the top Northeast backcourts something from each team on this list has to separate them from the pack and with these two its length.  Opposing teams will have a really rough time getting past these two.  Add to the mix Junior Farquhar and this team is going to be fun to watch.

Quote: “John Carroll is not only fun to watch, but they can teach you something about how to play.  All there guards are creative, aggressive, and determined.  Lead by Quickley, I would be shocked if this team doesn’t have a huge edge at the guard position in just about every game. – Zack Curran, Director of Marketing Hoop Group

Report Card

Ball Handling B+ Scoring A- Shooting B- Passing B+ Athleticism A
Defense A- Rebounding B+ Experience B+ Depth C+ Bball IQ A-

Paul VI (Hyattsville, MD): Paul VI may have the most balanced backcourt in the country.  With Pitt commit Aaron Thompson running the show, long-athletic Brandon Slater hitting triples and slashing, and Anthony Harris doing a little bit of everything, this backcourt will be a nightmare to defend.  Adding to the depth is highly-touted freshman Jeremy Roach.

Quote: “…as skilled and fast as we are on the perimeter, the most impressive thing about this group is how quickly the ball moved and how willing they are to defend.” – Glenn Farello, Head Coach Paul VI.

Report Card

Ball Handling A Scoring A- Shooting A Passing A Athleticism B+
Defense A- Rebounding B+ Experience A- Depth B+ Bball IQ A

 

 

Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia, PA): Imhotep is known for is pressure defense and tough hard nosed guards.  2016-2017 is no different for the Panthers as they boast two of the top guards in PA.  David Beatty and Darron Russell can do it all, and with help from Bernard Lightsey.  Also look for Chereef Knox (forward who’s developed into a big wing) and Donte Scott to be key contributors as well.

Quote: “We feel we have a very good backcourt.  Dave, Daron, and Bernard…Expect a lot from them on both sides of the court.  When they play well, we feel good about our chances to win.” – Andre Noble, Head Coach Imhotep Charter

Report Card

Ball Handling A Scoring A- Shooting A Passing B+ Athleticism B+
Defense A Rebounding A- Experience A- Depth B Bball IQ B+

Westtown (West Chester, PA): The top two hear are already household names.  Both with size, scoring, distributing, and shooting there are very few guards anywhere that can compare with Randolph and Reddish.  As long as these two bring it every night and stay out of foul trouble, Westtown will have an edge at guard.  Noah Collier, an athletic and talented freshman will start for the Moose. For depth, Coach Berger will look to two freshman to give him valuable minutes: Seyon Kpaan and TJ Berger.

Quote: “Our backcourt of Cam Reddish and Brandon Randolph is not only super talented, but also really together.  Anytime you have two future pros in the backcourt, it’s a pretty special thing.” – Seth Berger, Head Coach Westtown

Report Card

Ball Handling B+ Scoring  A+ Shooting A Passing B+ Athleticism A
Defense  A- Rebounding A Experience A- Depth C+ Bball IQ A-

Blair (Blairstown, NJ): Everyone knows the top two guards at Blair: Anthony Mack and Matt Turner.  Perhaps a new-comer may propel this group into the best guards in the country, keep an eye on Junub Char Chuol.  Chuol has a lot of upside and some buzz around him.  The two known guards Mack and Turner, compliment each other nicely: Turner a strong tough slasher and Mack having one of the best jumpers in the country.

Quote: “Two guards with excellent size, college ready right now.  Both guards can score the ball, get to the rim, defend, rebound and shoot with range.  Blair backcourt would be a difficult matchup for any team in the country.” – Jay Gomes, Publisher NJHoops.com

Report Card

Ball Handling B- Scoring B+ Shooting A Passing B+ Athleticism A-
Defense  A- Rebounding A Experience A Depth B- Bball IQ A-

Neumann Goretti (Philadelphia, PA): Lead by simply the best pure Point Guard in the country, Neumann Goretti is a top Northeast Backcourt for sure.  First, when your leader is also your most talented player, any team is in a good spot.  Second, when your team has a history of being well disciplined and making the extra pass you’re nearly unstoppable.  Finally, look for young guard Christian Ings to have a breakout season.

Quote: “Neumann’s backcourt may not have as many names as some of the other teams.  However, when you have the right name everything just falls into place.  Quade Green will lead the tough guard play of Neumann all year long, he’s so good alone, he makes any group tremendous.  Neumann compliments Quade enough to be in the mix.” – Steve Keller, Owner National Recruiting Report

Report Card

Ball Handling A Scoring B+ Shooting B+ Passing A+ Athleticism A-
Defense  A- Rebounding B Experience A- Depth C+ Bball IQ A

 

Bishop Louglin (Brooklyn, NY): Markquis Nowell certainly leads the charge here, but this NYC school has guards all over the place.  A team that could legitimately play four guards at once watch Loughlin live off of transition, penetration, and three-point shooting this season.  Watch out for Keith Williams lighting up the scoreboard, guards Tyrese Gaffney and Jordan Thomas all over the floor, and wing Adrien Nunez drilling big shots.

Quote: “Bishop Loughlin’s backcourt duo is one of the best on the east coast. Junior PG Markquis Nowell is a high level playmake and class of 2017 Cincy commit Keith Williams has shown he can score in a variety of ways and dominate the game. These two will be a big reason why the Lions receive national attention this year.” – Pat Lawless, NCAA Certified Scout MADE Hoops

Report Card

Ball Handling A Scoring A- Shooting B+ Passing B+ Athleticism A-
Defense  A- Rebounding B+ Experience A- Depth A Bball IQ A-

New York City Guards Aren’t Dead By a Long Shot:

I keep hearing this talk about how NYC guards aren’t what they used to be.  I’m starting to think that’s silly.  They may not have more than one team on this list, but that’s because the talent of one city is spread a bunch.  Christ the King’s Tyson Walker and Jose Alverado are studs.  St. Ray’s has one of the best guards in Isaiah Washington (complimented by Dallas Watson and Omar Silverio). Saquan Singleton (Scanlon) and young Posh Alexander (Our Savior Lutheran) are two more.  Finally, you get to Molloy and WOW: Cole Anthony and Khalid Moore!  I know this list may not reflect it from a team backcourt… but if you’re looking for guards, New York City is still one of the first stops you have to make.

 

Other Notes:

Special thanks as always to Steve Keller and the National Recruiting Report, certainly he is the star of the show.  Also, thanks to the coaches who helped with some information and quotes on there teams.  Thanks to Jay Gomes of NJ Hoops and Zack Curran here at HG.  Finally, a big thanks to Pat Lawless for some information and breakdown.  Follow all the guys above on their twitters (linked above) and follow me HERE.

 

HG alumni ranked in 2018 ESPN top 60

2018 ESPN top 60

Eighteen Hoop Group alumni players were listed in the recent 2018 ESPN top 60 recruits list.

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The following is a list of Hoop Group alumni, by ranking, info and scouting reports.

2018 ESPN top 60

#4 Nazreon Reid, PF
6-8, 215 lbs
Asbury Park, N.J.
Roselle Catholic High

Nazreon Reid, a 6-8, 215-pound power forward hailing from Asbury Park, N.J., ranks No. 4 on the 2018 ESPN top 60 list while he dominates the east. The Roselle Catholic High forward is No. 1 in New Jersey and No. 1 in the eastern region. Nazreon Reid has exceptional ball handling for a player his size, and his natural talent shows. He has 15 schools interested.


#5 Cameron Reddish, SF
6-7, 190 lbs
Norristown, Pa.
Westtown School

No. 5-ranked Cameron Reddish is the best in his position, according to the 2018 ESPN top 60 recent rankings. Cameron Reddish is No. 1 in Pennsylvania and No. 2 in the region, so it’s no wonder he has eight schools on his tail. Scouting reports say Cameron Reddish’s talents have been undeniable from day one and he can create big mismatch problems as a utility guy.


#6 Silvio De Sousa, PF
6-8, 220 lbs
Montverde, Fla.
Montverde Academy

The 2018 ESPN top 60 listed Silvio De Sousa at No. 6 in the nation, and he is turning heads in the south. Hailing from Montverde, Fla., the power forward from Montverde Academy utilizes his power and athleticism to drive the ball. Silvio De Sousa has two early offers.


#12 Keldon Johnson, SF
6-4, 175 lbs
South Hill, Va.
Park View High School


(Credit Big Time Highlights)

Keldon Johnson is at the top of the 2018 class in Virginia. The No. 12-ranked small forward is peaking the interest of 10 schools so far. An exceptional scorer, Keldon Johnson thrives in the lane.


#18 Jalen Smith, PF
6-8, 195 lbs
Baltimore, Md.
Mount St. Joseph High School


(Credit Next Best Basketball)

Jalen Smith combines natural ability, size and athleticism. The power forward out of Baltimore, Md., is at the top of his class in the state. The future is bright for the Mount St. Joseph High School sophomore.


#19 Immanuel Quickley, PG
6-3, 180 lbs
Bel Air, Md.
The John Carroll School

Knowledge of the game and great instincts earned Immanuel Quickley the No. 19 spot on the latest ESPN top 60 list. The point guard out of the John Carroll School is second in the state of Maryland.


#27 Louis King, SF
6-7, 190 lbs
Roselle, N.J.
Pope John XXIII High School

No. 27-ranked forward from Roselle, N.J. has already drawn attention from seven schools. Louis King grew four inches in the last two years, and his potential is through the roof.


#28 Jahvon Quinerly, PG
5-10, 160 lbs
Jersey City, N.J.
Hudson Catholic High School

Hudson Catholic High point guard Jahvon Quinerly has great instincts and is highly skilled in his class.


#29 Brandon Slater, SF
6-5, 180 lbs
Fairview, Va.
Paul VI High School

Five schools are eyeing this small forward out of Fairview, Va. Paul VI High’s Brandon Slater is dangerous on both sides of the court and is ranked No. 2 in the state.


#30 Isaiah Mucius, SF
6-7, 190 lbs
Saint James, Md.
St. James School

St. James School’s Isaiah Mucius is starting to grow into himself as a 6-7, 190-pound small forward. Isaiah Mucius is No. 3 in the state.


#32 Jalen Carey, PG
6-2, 170 lbs
Montclair, N.J.
Immaculate Conception High School

Scouting reports say No. 32-ranked Jalen Carey is a talented playmaker. The Immaculate Conception High guard is No. 4 in New Jersey.


#34 Jaedon LeDee, SF
6-7, 215 lbs
Houston, Texas
Kinkaid School

No. 34-ranked Jaedon LeDee has 18 southern schools eyeing the small forward out of Houston, Texas. An unselfish player, the 6-7, 2015-pound player at Kinkaid School can really make scoring plays.


#42 Dane Goodwin, SG
6-3, 175 lbs
Columbus, Ohio
Upper Arlington High School

No. 42 Dane Goodwin has the foreseeable future laid out for him. The 6-3, 175-pound shooting guard committed to Ohio State in 2014. The son of a college coach, his basketball IQ is through the roof.


#43 David McCormack, C
6-9, 280 lbs
Norfolk, Va.
Norfolk Academy

At 6-9 and 280 pounds, Norfolk Academy center David McCormack has four schools already eyeing the prize. He’s big … He’s strong, and he’s unstoppable in the paint.


#44 Kiyon Boyd, SF
6-5, 195 lbs
Washington, D.C.
Howard D. Woodson High School

Small forward Kiyon Boyd is developing nicely at Howard D. Woodson High in Washington D.C. Coming in at the No. 44 spot, his eagerness and work ethics will make him hard to pass up on.


#47 Robby Carmody, SG
6-4, 185 lbs
Mars, Pa.
Mars Area High School

No. 47-ranked Robby Carmody is starting to peak interest.


#52 A.J. Reeves, SG
6-4, 195 lbs
Chestnut Hill, Mass.
Brimmer & May

No. 52 in the nation but No. 1 in Massachusetts, A.J. Reeves, shooting guard at Brimmer & May, is starting to develop into his 6-4 body. He has size advantage on the court.


#60 Rasir Bolton, PG
5-10
Burlington, N.J.
Life Center Academy

Rasir Bolton hails from Burlington, N.J. The Life Center Academy guard is No. 5 in the state.


Marvin Bagley, a 6-9, 220-pound power forward from Sierra Canyon High was No. 1 in the nation. Earning the No. 2 and No. 3 spots respectively were Romeo Langford, a 6-5, 185-pound guard for Langford of New Albany Senior High and Jordan Brown, a 6-9, 210-pound center from Roseville, Calif.

See the full list of ESPN’s 60.