The holiday season is upon us and arriving with it are numerous high school basketball tournaments including the Iolani Classic in Hawaii, the City of Palms Classic in Florida, and the Chick fil A Classic in South Carolina. In this edition of High School Hoops, Blue Devil Nation keeps you updated on all the tournament action by providing links galore to game recaps, box scores and video clips. [private]
At the Iolani Classic, in Honolulu, Quinn Cook was named the tournament Most Valuable Player as Oak Hill won the tournament with a 4-0 record. He scored 22 points and dished out five assists as Oak Hill defeated Montverde 58-44 in the championship game. Here is a link to another championship game recap.
Cook led Oak Hill over Moanalua 108-33 with a 17 points 16 assists double-double performance in opening round action. Here is a video clip of the game action.
The City of Palms Classic in Ft. Myers, Florida provided plenty of action for Duke commits and recruiting targets. Austin Rivers, Marshall Plumlee, Shabazz Muhammad, Alex Murphy and Kaleb Tarczewski were all in action at this tournament. Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski and Associate head Coach Chris Collins were present in Florida checking out the prospects.
Austin Rivers headed into this prestigious tournament looking to earn a championship as Winter Park’s previous best finish was 3rd Place. However, it wasn’t to be as Winter Park finished in 4th Place after losing to Milton, 63-62, in the semifinals, and to Mater Dei, 84-66, in the 3rd Place game.
Rivers was named to the All Tournament team after scoring 28, 42, 25 and 28 points in four games for an average of 30.75 points per game. Winter Park defeated Riverside Academy, 75-63, in the opening round and Dwyer, 76-64, in the quarterfinals.
Christ School won two games and lost two games in the tournament. Marshall Plumlee recorded 11 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks double-double in a 77-62 victory over Christ The King. In a 59-54 loss to Mater Dei, Plumlee scored nine points, while he scored five points, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked six shots in a 73-61 win over Whitney Young. In their fourth tournament game, an 86-77 loss to Dwyer, Plumlee scored 12 points.
Plumlee also won the tournament dunk contest. Here is a video clip of his performance.
Shabazz Muhammad and Bishop Gorman HS played three games at the City of Palms winning once and losing twice. Muhammad scored 19 points as Bishop Gorman defeated North Port 62-48 in their opening game. Bishop Gorman lost to Dwyer, 72-63, and to Riverside Academy, 59-51. Muhammad scored 31 and 29 points, respectively, in those two losses.
St. Mark’s played two games in the Signature Series division of the City of Palms tournament. They dropped their first game, 65-41, to Academy of New Church. Kaleb Tarczewski scored 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds, while Alex Murphy was held to four points. Murphy was whistled for four personal fouls so his playing time was limited to 22 minutes. In the second game, St. Mark’s defeated Westchester Country Day, 81-36. Murphy scored 18 points and Tarczewski added 13. St. Mark’s outscored Westchester 51-10 in the second half.
At the Chick fil A Classic in Blythewood, South Carolina, Benedictine struggled to a 4th Place finish in the Classic I Bracket. Benedictine went 1-2 at the tournament with Mike Gbinije scoring 18, 22 and 21 points in the three games.
In the opening round (quarterfinals), Benedictine defeated Charlotte Christian 53-41. In the semifinals, United Faith defeated Benedictine 71-61, and in the 3rd Place game, Benedictine lost to Norcross 54-43.
Moving on from the tournament action to some general links, here is a report from last week on St. Mark's teammates, and Duke recruiting targets, Alex Murphy and Kaleb Tarczewski. Scroll down to the middle of the article to find the germane verbiage.
Here is a nice article from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Coach Krzyzewski's visit to observe Tony Parker, while the Las Vegas Sun has a similar article on Coach Roy Williams' watching Shabazz Muhammad.
The Chicago Tribune weighs in with this article on 2013 prospect Jabari Parker. Parker had a nine points, five rebounds, two blocks and two steals stat line as Simeon routed Lew Wallace 85-38 on Thursday night. [/private]
With just two games left in December, the Duke Men's Basketball staff will be hitting the road to check out their main targets in Holiday Tournaments. Coach K and company will start by viewing [private] Tony Parker tomorrow. You might want to check out our recent interview with the big man and rest assured we'll follow up with him as the season progresses.
Duke will then take in Michael Gbinije's game where they'll check on their verbals progress to date. Part of the staff will check out Marshall Plumlee at Glaxo later in the month but the first view of him will come during the City of Palms Tournament in Fort Meyers, Florida and that event is loaded. Two of the Blue Devils main targets are Shabazz Muhammad and Alex Murphy and both play in the event as does Austin Rivers.
"The Dogg" Nate James will head to Washington, D.C. to see Rasheed Sulaimon and Coach K is likely to go as well in that he wants to see more of the guard in person.
Duke will be looking at some other names as well and we'll share them once we've confirmed the dates. Duke will likely add some guards to the watch list as well, but they are in no way worried with Rodney Purvis choosing Louisville. Like I said before, a lot of names will crop up in due time. Duke feels as if they are in good shape with Muhammad, Murphy and Sulaimon and they'll work to get closer with Parker. [/private]
It's time for this week's Monday Musings piece where we think out loud and ponder the happenings around Duke Athletics. This week we talk Kyrie Irving, the December schedule, and recruiting on the Duke Basketball front, Cutcliffe being on the road, a big game for the women's hoops team and we bring you the Duke Cheerleader of the Week.
Will maintaining motivation be a problem for Duke?
Duke just finished a stretch of games that included wins over Marquette, Kansas State, Oregon, Michigan State and Butler leaving us to question if the Blue Devils can keep up their intensity during the easiest stretch of the season. In December, players are hard at work in school and on the verge of the Holidays where many will go home for few days. It is not unusual for focus to drift but the thinking here is that Duke has too many players wanting to show their stuff and that should prevent too many let downs. Duke will take on Bradley and St. Louis this week followed by a nine day break before another home contest with Elon and the team will then take another nine day break before travelling just down the road to face UNC-Greensboro. Face it, Duke will win all of those contests easily and that will push their record to 12-0. The reason for my confidence is as mentioned that players on the bench will want to show their stuff. Duke will see to it that certain players get untracked and Krzyzewski's challenge will be to see his team improve before they enter ACC play in that 13 of their next 14 games will be against conference foes.
Kyrie Irving was never a secret but ...
If the ACC media was to vote today for Rookie of the Year, do you think UNC's Harrison Barnes would still outdistance Irving by a 46-9 vote? I saw the Irving train coming after following the New Jersey native on the AAU trail seeing him play a good 20 or so times. The youngster is capable of taking over games and he showed that in a game against Michigan State and bounced back with another 20 plus scoring effort versus Butler on Saturday. What you have yet to see is when he starts dishing dimes [assists] like they were going out of style and a few double-doubles are ahead. Irving is as advertised and I can happily say that comes as no surprise to me. And this just in -- Kyrie just won his third ACC Rookie of the Week honor of the young season.
The Duke staff will remain busy during the Holiday's
There are some on the staff who stay up until just before dawn breaks watching film on the opposition. I know this after being in close proximity of the situation for most of my life. I also know that they'll be out in force during several December high school basketball tournaments one of which is the State Farm City of Palms event in Fort Meyers, Florida. Check out this cast of characters which as BDN Premium members know that a lot of Duke's key targets are on hand. The Class of 2010 No. 1 includes, Michael Gilchrist, St. Patrick; No. 2 Austin Rivers, Winter Park; No. 3 Adonis Thomas, Melrose; No. 8 James McAdoo, Norfolk Christian; No. 23 Shannon Scott, Milton; No. 27 Julian Royal, Milton; No. 58 Dai-Jon Parker, Milton; No. 75 Marshall Plumlee, Christ School; No. 87 . While the Class of 2012 adds No. 4 Shabazz Muhammad, Bishop Gorman; No. 5 Ricardo Gathers, Riverside Academy; No. 38 Xavier Johnson, Mater Dei; No. 45 Omar Calhoun, Christ the King; No. 47 Evan Nolte, Milton; No. 71 Rosco Allen, Bishop Gorman. You can discuss the various tournaments and find out more on recruiting information with BDN Premium members by joining and supporting Blue Devil Nation.
Football coaches on the recruiting trail as well
Duke Football is making its list and checking it twice in December but the recruiting efforts started in November where the staff was out the Monday following the last game. Duke Coach David Cutliffe will have his own players for the first time next season and he is looking to make some key offers in the foreseeable future. BDN will keep you up to date on the latest on the football front..
The Duke Women face Texas A & M on Wednesday
The Duke Women are flying a bit under the radar now and that's a shame for they deserve more coverage on the Duke front. Duke faces an early season test when they take on Texas A & M tonight in Cameron Indoor Stadium this Monday evening.
And speaking of under the radar
Duke handed out yet another commemorative to fans with Coach K's 800th win being saluted during the Michigan State game. His milestones are so many that it barely gives Duke fans a chance to catch their breath and reflect on his success as he continues to move towards being the winningest collegiate coach of all time.
Shabazz Muhammad has quickly become one of the top prospects in the nation in the class of 2012. Armed with a great shooting touch to go with his strong insid game, it’s no wonder why he’s drawing so much attention from every major college basketball program. BDN caught up with the immensely talented junior to get his thoughts on the recent Elite 24 event and the recruiting process/
BDN: Can you tell us how your summer has gone so far?
SM: My summers been going really well, we played a lot of good teams in summer ball and I think I did a really great job, and now it’s back to high school season.
BDN: This is your [private] first Elite 24 game, is there anything you want to show off to the fans?
SM: Yea it’s exciting but I know I’m the young guy here so I’m gonna try and get these other guys involved that aren’t going to be back in this game. I’m just here for those guys and I’m gonna get them involved and have fun out there.
BDN: Now earlier in the summer you had a chance to check out the USA Basketball training camp in Vegas. Can you talk about that for us?
SM: It was a great experience watching those pro guys, they really work their butts off. They just play hard day in and day out, and I see why those guys are where they are at now.
BDN: Yeah, for sure. You’ve now won back to back state titles at Bishop Gorman and now you’re going to go for the Lakers three-peat. Can you talk about what that process is like to go about trying to do that?
SM: Yeah, the mindset is just getting it in in practice every day and working hard in practice. I know the teams are going to be practicing hard to try and get after us so we gotta respond and practice hard and get ready for the season.
BDN: So your brother Rashad is now going to be playing with you. Can you talk about the experience of being able to play with him and share that chemistry?
SM: Yea definitely it’s going to be great. He played JV last year and we’re moving him up to varsity this year so he should do really well and he’s really filling out
BDN: Can we get a quick scouting report on him?
SM: About 6’4, really long. He brings the ball up and he can really shoot the ball, and he’s a havoc for the little guards who try to guard him because he can post them up or take them on the wing.
BDN: Do you guys play a lot of one on one together? How does that go?
SM: (smiling) Yea yea yea I do play one on one with him, he still can’t get there quite yet but he’s doing good.
Rivals writer interjects: Ask him if his school is better than Findlay prep?
BDN: Is Gorman better than Findlay?
SM: Ummmm we’re gonna play them, so hopefully we can beat them. I think this is gonna be the closest year that we’ve played them.
BDN: Good luck with that. Your father played for USC so he knows the process, does he help you a lot with your decision?
SM: Yea he’s a big help, I mean he’s been through this process before, going to these colleges and visiting them, so I just ask him all about that and he responds and helps me out a lot thinking about the colleges.
BDN: You’ve had a really great summer so far averaging around 30ppg. Can you talk about the coaches that have seen you out there?
SM: Yea they just say good job and to keep it up and that I’m really improving. I try to improve every year and keep showing those skills, and it’s really paying off.
BDN: Any coaches in specific?
SM: Yea Duke and Coach K, he’s been really impressed. Coach Williams was impressed and Coach Calipari was impressed. Those coaches have been calling and saying that.
Rivals writer interjects again: He got 55pts in Vegas this year.
SM: smiles and laughs
BDN: Do you have any trips coming up for the upcoming college season?
SM: Yes for Midnight Madness I’ll be at North Carolina.
BDN: While in North Carolina any chance to take a trip 8 miles down the road?
SM: (smiling) I dunno, I might we’ll see, but it’s definitely going to be exciting.
VENICE BEACH - From the concrete jungle of New York to the sunny beaches of L.A, the Boost Mobile Elite 24 concluded the summers AAU schedule with an All-Star game in Venice Beach. While we didn’t have Billy Hoyle and Sidney Deane running the courts, we did have the top 24 high school prospects in the nation.
The event kicked off Wednesday with a Midnight Run at the Hanger Athletic Xchange, also known as the HAX. Starring in the game were the elite high school prospects along with some of the youngest talent the NBA has to offer. Reigning Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans teamed up with DeMar DeRozan, Brandon Jennings, Bobby Brown and recent #1 draft pick John Wall to take on the youngsters. While the game was full of crossovers and fadeaways, one in particular has gotten fans across the internet buzzing. Austin Rivers, the 6’4 guard from Winter Park High School in Florida, crossed up recent #1 draft pick John Wall and took it straight to the basket for a lay in. Regardless of the big play, the pros dominated most of the games they played in.
The second day of the event offered a training and combine session followed by a scrimmage. Conducting the training session was current Denver Nuggets strength and conditioning coach, Steve Hess. Now, if you’ve never met the guy, all you need to know is he is one of the most intense people you will have ever met. While most players struggled with the core exercises, one particularly stood out, 2011 point guard Myck Kabongo. Ending the combine session was Brandon Jennings discussing his struggles to get to where he is, as well as reminding the players to keep an open mind when it comes to signing a shoe deal. While no one completely dominated the scrimmage, there were a few standout players. 2012 prospect Shabazz Muhammad did show off some of his strong inside moves. The talented wing-forward grabbed multiple rebounds inside showing off his strength, which lead to easy put backs. The other standout was 2011 Findlay Prep point guard Myck Kabongo. Myck displayed his advanced dribbling skills and excellent court vision often making passes you wouldn’t think possible.
The third day offered the skills and dunk competition. 2011 guard Brad Beal of Chaminade College Prep School in St. Louis, Missouri, won the skills competition over Oak Hill point guard Quinn Cook. The dunk competition featured 8 contestants including Deuce Bello, Jahii Carson, Amir Garrett, Nick Johnson, LeBryan Nash, Norman Powell, Gabe York and Stephen Maxwell. Deuce Bello edged out local prospect Stephen Maxwell in the finals, although his most impressive dunk was in the second round when he teamed up with fellow Westchester Day player, Quincy Miller. Quincy, seated under the net, bounced the ball and Bello completed a full windmill over Miller to bring the Venice Beach crowd to their feet.
Concluding the Boost Mobile Elite 24 event was the All-Star game on Saturday. Clear and sunny skies offered the perfect weather for an outdoor basketball game. While the crowd on Friday was much more laid-back, Saturday’s crowd created a much better atmosphere. There was a certain buzz in the air throughout the game. The game offered a typical All-Star feel, big dunks and little to no defense, except in the final minute. Kyle Wiltjer, who committed to Kentucky at halftime, was the games leading scorer with 20. In the end, The Raymond Lewis East Squad beat The Marques Jackson West squad 131-128.
Stay tuned for more interviews with Duke recruiting targets which will be feature this week in BDN Premium, your inside source for on the spot coverage Duke Athletics.
Andrew Slater's in depth [2000 word] interview with Shabazz Muhammad is the type of offering which makes BDN Premium your choice for Duke Basketball Recruiting information. His reports continue on our message board where I am sending back info from the Peach Jam as it happens. There is one day left on our trial offer, so take advantage of it and see the BDN difference for yourself
Shabazz Muhammad is a 6-5 rising junior who was born in California. Muhammad has yet to win Nevada state titles in each of his two years of high school basketball at Bishop Gorman. The first-team All-State wing averaged nearly twenty points and ten rebounds per game during this past season. The gregarious and competitive Muhammad was the first player in the class of 2012 to receive a scholarship offer for basketball from Duke University. His parents were both high-caliber athletes as well. His mother, Faye, is in Long Beach State's Hall of Fame for her contributions in both track as well as basketball and his engaging father, Ron Holmes, played the wing at the University of Southern California for Coach Stan Morrison in the early 1980s and currently helps to coach Shabazz and his younger brother, Rashad, for their respective DreamVision AAU teams. At the recent Adidas Invitational, in which he averaged more than thirty points per game, Shabazz graciously spoke with Blue Devil Nation about a multitude of topics, including the advantages of being both left-handed and genetically blessed, his sister Asia's burgeoning tennis career, and fellow Duke recruit, Alex Murphy.
Let's start with the most basic question. What schools are coming after you hardest right now?
Pretty much a lot of schools on my list are coming after me. Texas, Kansas, USC, UCLA, Louisville, Duke, and some I didn't name, but I'm just looking to play hard, play with a purpose, and I know pretty much all of these schools are looking at how I play.
There were plenty of coaches out there today.
Yeah, and so I'm going to go out there and try to perform.
Do you have a timeframe for when you'd like to decide by? I don't know yet, but I'm going to try to get some more visits in. I think it'll be this upcoming year, my junior year, though. [private]
What is going to separate the schools for you? Probably not the location. It's a good thing that I've been traveling all over the world and all over the states so that we can get to go around to the different places. I'm just looking for an up-tempo offense, the coaches, and the style of play.
So, location is definitely not a factor for you.
Oh, no, I'm just looking for their style of play and whatever university fits me.
What about some other things?
I think the style of play will be very important and the relationship i have with the coach. I like when a coach is really talking to me. I like it when they are really talking to me on the phone. That's really what it will come down to.
Who do you try to model your game after?
I really tried to look a lot at Kobe this year in the NBA. I watched his mid-range game and the pivots he does. I tried to watch him throughout the playoffs against better competition and in the Championships too. I tried to watch his one or two dribble pull-up this year and that's what I've been trying to work on this summer.
Well, you hit one near the baseline using that move in this game.
Yeah, thanks, I've just been working on that stuff for the past few months because I know in college I'm going to have to play the one, the two or the three
Do you have a preference in terms of a position?
Well, I like to play the two because I like to handle the ball, you know, grab rebounds and start the breaks. Wherever my coach puts me at, I'll do whatever he needs me to do.
I only have seen you with your summer teams, but you have been able to have a very effective inside game by using your strength, particularly your upper body strength, against threes and twos.
Oh, yeah, well, I think I'm pretty big for my position and so I try to use that to my team's advantage against these smaller players.
I saw your brother, Rashad, a couple of weeks ago at the Pangos Camp. He's got a completely different game and body type than you. Oh, yeah, totally.
He's a good spot-up shooter for his age. Well, we're trying to get him to play the one and..
Now, he said he was a better outside shooter than you.
Oh, no way (laughs hard)
I didn't put that one down, but I'll make a mental note.
(Laughs hard) I'd kill him.
Alright, we'll move on. Who will you be seeking guidance from most before you do decide? My dad absolutely..he's on the coaching staff
Sure, sure. An ex-USC player Yes, absolutely, he's an ex-USC player and he just tells me what to do out there. He tells me to go play hard and do the best you can do out there.
Anyone else? My mom too
The former track star at Long Beach
Yeah, absolutely, you did your research (laughs) Who's the best player that you've faced so far?
When I was with Adidas Nations, I faced a lot of good guys.
Internationally or.. No, mostly from our country. Really, all the top guys from our country so I just tried to go after them.
What are your strengths and weaknesses at this point? My strengths are going inside, rebounding, ball-handling, and one or two dribble pull-ups. I think I have some weaknesses. I mean I think I had some weaknesses, but I've been really working on them. It's getting to the point where I really don't have any.
Oh, really. So, we're dealing with a confident player here.
Yeah, yeah (laughs hard)
What are your goals for this summer as well as the upcoming season? You guys have won back-to-back state titles. Yeah, my goals for both teams are to simply win as many games as possible. On the high school level, we have a nice schedule, including some ESPN games. So, I'm definitely looking forward to those games and winning those.
What are your expectations? Really big expectations
Oh, and who are those teams that you're going to be playing on ESPN?
I know we play St. Pat's and then we go to City of Palms and we play a few national teams there I know. Obviously, you guys travel quite a bit now during the summer, but, during the downtime, what do you work on in terms of preparation or skill development? What do you work on these days? I work with my dad at the gym and
At Bishop Gorman or.. Sometimes at Gorman, but also at Impact Basketball with Joe Abunassar. Yeah, I work out with him. I think that's been really good. I mean the strength and conditioning stuff has been really good. I think I've really improved by going there.
That was one thing that Rashad said that you guys regularly worked out against each other for two to three hours a day. That's got to help both of you drive each other. Oh, yeah, definitely. It helps us both out.
What's your go-to move? My go-to move is probably either my two dribble pull-up or my spin move. My spin move is probably it, but I also like to see what my opponents weaknesses are and try to attack them.
Can you talk about your visit to Duke?
It was really nice. I saw Coach K out there and so I really tried to be on my game today, but I'd like to go back to Duke and visit it again and see the campus. I was there for the game against North Carolina and it was really wild and had a great atmosphere.
What about the offer, when it came down? It was exciting to get an offer from them. I look forward to going back there and talking to Coach K.
What was your impression of him? Just a smart guy. Wise. He's worked with Kobe and LeBron, and all of those guys and that's the kind of coach that I'd like to be around.
I heard that you were going to try to watch those guys practice and play when Team USA practices out in Las Vegas. Oh, yeah, I'm definitely going to be there. I'm going to try to go and steal some moves from Kobe (laughs hard).
Do you feel like you have a bit of a target on your back right now, between the various offers and rankings? Oh, absolutely. I've got to continue to be a gym rat, go after it, and stay in the gym.
Academically, are you doing all right too? Oh, yeah, I've earned a 3.0 or a 3.1 so far.
What advantages do you think you have as a left-hander? Do you think it's an advantage? Oh, yeah, the first play of the game the guy goes up and doesn't realize I'm a lefty and it helps me to block shots or surprise defenders a lot too. You can always get an easy steal just off of being a lefty (laughs).
Since I asked him for one about you, can you give the audience a scouting report on Rashad?
He's a one, but versatile. He's a really skinny guy that hopefully he can put some weight on.
Would you like to play with him? Oh, yeah, absolutely. I was on varsity this year and he was on JV. We're looking to push it up the court this year.
Between you two guys and Rosco Allen, Gorman should be very tough to beat in Nevada.
Yeah, we should be.
How's your sister, Asia, doing? I know she turned pro a few years ago and came out of the Agassi Academy. Oh, she's doing good. She was home schooled and then skipped college and went to the Tour. She's been really traveling and trying to get after it.
It's so hard to break through on the pro circuit.
Oh, yeah, yeah, it is, but she's trying. She's watching Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova and all of them. (laughs) She's never at home. So hopefully she can get up here soon.
Is she playing well still? Oh, yeah, we're just looking for her to break out of that shell and hopefully get up there.
Do you ever play tennis or did your dad?
Oh, I tried, but I have no shot (laughs hard).
You guys have both been a part of that Adidas Nations. How about playing with or against the other guy they've offered in that class, Alex Murphy?
Oh, yeah, that's my boy, Alex.
He played relatively well against Quincy Miller's team this morning. Oh, really. Yeah, I played with him at Adidas Nations.
Can you a scouting report on Alex? Oh, okay, I mean he's 6'8." He can shoot and handle the ball. He's very dangerous. He's the real deal.
Getting back to your family for a second. Can you talk about your father and also the impact of having such quality athleticism on both sides of your family? I think it really helps. I mean they used to call him "Dr. Sky" back in the day (laughs) and my mom, being a track star, probably helped our speed too.
The complete opposite from my parents. What would you like the audience to walk away knowing about you?
That I'm a good person and humble.
Except with no weaknesses. (laughs) Yeah, well, that I always try to stay humble, go in the gym, and work at it. I love to work at it.
Well, it looks like it's paid off for you. Thanks, Shabazz.
Thank you. No problem at all. [/private]