Category Archives: Recruiting

Recruiting Notes – USA Basketball Mini-Camp for 2015 & 2016 classes [Oct/12]

Earlier this month, LateNightHoops.com attended the USA Basketball Men’s Development National Team mini-camp at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. There, 44 of the country’s top players from the 2015 and 2016 high school classes were on hand to be introduced to USA Basketball and to be evaluated by the staff, who was led by head coach Don Showalter (Iowa City HS/Iowa City, IA). Coach Showalter has led the USA Developmental National Team to four straight gold medals as head coach from 2009-2012.

If you have questions or comments, including inquiries about other players that attended the camp but are not included in this article, please send us a message via our Contact Us page.

TWIN CITIES & SURROUNDING AREA TALENT
Henry Ellenson
(Rice Lake, WI)
6’9”, 250 | Rice Lake HS | Class of 2015

October 2012 Notes
You may hear Ellenson called a center by some, but that’s selling him short. Physically he looks the part and he can certainly battle on the blocks, but his skill and athletic ability sets him far apart from other kids his size.

Henry is an excellent shooter with plenty of range well past the three-point line, but has also worked on developing his game on the blocks. Over the next few years he should be able to continue adding to his arsenal of offensive weapons, which is a scary thought for teams trying to defend him.

His strength and quickness are not areas of concern, but there is opportunity for him to be elite if these areas progress nicely over the next few years. In college, there is no reason Ellenson can’t be a 3/4 switchable type who can score at multiple levels and defend multiple positions.

Now, at this point in time you wouldn’t have him dribbling the ball all the way up the court on a 3-on-1 fast break, but there’s not a lot I’d give him a red light on doing.

At a minimum, he’s a very good college prospect. With hard work, I can see Henry winding up as a top 10 player in the 2015 class.

Other potential factors such as good coaches, supportive family and older brothers who also play basketball (the oldest brother, Wally, is a freshman at Minnesota and will be able to share his D1 experience and Henry’s father played college ball for Marquette and Wisconsin) all seem to favor the likelihood of success for Henry Ellenson. He’s legit and the sky is the limit.

Amir Coffey (New Hope, MN)
6’3”, 160 | Hopkins HS | 2016

Amir Coffey
2016 Amir Coffey

October 2012 Notes

The first thing that stands out about Amir is his length and how well he uses it. With the ball, he’s able to create passing lanes and make plays that others can’t. On defense, his instincts combined with long arms result in frequent steals and deflections.

He’s a good scorer, but with more consistency and aggressiveness he could become excellent.

Coffey can play off the ball or at point and his ball handling, passing and feel for the game is especially propitious considering he’ll likely wind up standing a solid 6’7”.

I’m very high on the future prospects for Amir and can see him at the college level as a versatile wing and distinguished defender.   Similar to Ellenson, Coffey’s family (father Richard played for the Gophers and his older sisters are excellent basketball players) and other factors should help him along the way.

With Amir now being just a freshman at Minnesota high school basketball powerhouse Hopkins and there being a special class of 2014 in Minnesota, it may be a little while before the masses recognize how good Coffey can be. Nonetheless, we here at LNH are sold and look forward to watching his progression over the next several years.

USA Basketball U16 Mini-camp, Selected October 2012 Notes – Public Version

Diamond Stone (Milwaukee, WI)
6’10”, 252 | Dominican HS | 2015

Stone can be as good as he wants to be. The big man controls space inside, but it’s his hands and seemingly delicate touch when shooting that are most impressive. Elite prospect. Likeable demeanor and court presence, he’s going to be a lot of fun to watch. Great voice too – post-playing career as an on-air talent awaits Mr. Stone.

Guys I Want With Me in a Brawl – Horace Spencer (State: PA/Height: 6’8”/Weight: 210/Class: 2015) and Andrew Fleming (TN/6’4”/185/2015).

Spencer had me worried about his safety – unquestionably willing to sacrifice his body to make a big play. It often looks as if his life depends on denying the opposition’s shot. He’s absolutely a full tilt player with good length. Offensively he’ll clean up the glass and put it back, but has a lot of room for improvement with the ball. However, Spencer’s ability to run the floor, block shots and rebound, as well as his borderline-crazy effort earns his game a ton of respect.

Coming off the bench for M33M this summer, we saw Andrew Fleming at several tournaments across the country providing a spark for his team. Sometimes it was relentless defense or a hustle play to save a ball heading out of bounds. Other times it was a deep three or an aggressive drive the bucket where he was able to absorb contact and finish.

Fleming is a good shooter, big time worker and fearless. In Colorado, we saw more of the same – tireless effort from a very competitive kid.

Jaw Dropper Harry Giles (NC/6’8”/205/2016)

Giles is no longer a slim, wiry young kid. It appears he’ll be able to add a lot of strength by the time he reaches college.  Very athletic, runs the floor well and is everywhere on the court. Would think it may be difficult to get him out of ACC country, but schools should sure try. He’s excellent at this point, but I believe he’ll be ridiculously good in a few years. I’m sold.

Who is That?! – Malik Monk (AR/6’3”/170/2016)

Monk was not a guy I was there to see, but his play dictated that I had to watch him. Time and time again he impressed when finishing at the rim, pulling up for jumpers and passing. His athleticism really stood out on certain plays – had several “woah, he just did that?” moments.

Wise Beyond His YearsJosh Langford (AL/6’5”/200/2016)

Strong all-around player who made smart decisions throughout the weekend. I think he projects more as a 2/3, but I really liked what he did when making decisions with the ball in his hand. Will be interesting to see if he continues to hold an edge in court IQ as time goes on, but right now looks like a guy who you’d want as your team captain.  Tough, strong and smart kid.

Other Selected quick comments:

  • Charles Matthews (IL/6’4”170/2015) – Matthews is 6’4” and a long combo guard who looked great scoring off the dribble. Worked with the point guards at USA basketball mini-camp and has the potential to be a dangerous point guard. May wind up as a wing, but if he becomes a good defender and continues developing his lead guard skills, he could be spectacular. Lots of possibilities for Matthews.
  • Simeon’s “next up” include D.J. Williams (IL/6’7”/186/2015) and Benjamin Coupet (IL/6’6”/180/2016). Both are long wings that can run and score in transition. Two to keep a close on eye.
  • Ivan Rabb (CA/6’8”/191/2015) is legit. Super active and a ton of fun to watch. It’s also obvious he’s having a lot of fun while on the court. Could wind up in conversation of top 5 in his class.
  • The camp’s youngest player Seventh Woods (SC/6’1”/168/2016) is unquestionably a superior athlete. Explosive. Has work to do if he’s going to play point in college, but at a minimum he’ll be one of the most athletic players in his class regardless of position. Head-shaking highlight-maker.
  • Eric Davis (MI/6’3”/161/2015) played a lot of point guard over the weekend, but he’s a combo guard that is always looking to score.  His shot wasn’t consistently dropping this weekend, but he showed no fear in taking the ball to the rim against an impressive collection of lengthy wings and big men who were there to challenge him on defense.  Quite animated and competitive. Lots of Big Ten interest.
  • Josh Jackson (MI/6’6”/175/2016) passes the eye test with his length and athleticism. Sunday morning during a four-on-four fastbreak/transition drill he fired up the entire gym with an impressive two-way display.  First on offense, he drove the lane and slammed home a contested dunk.  Quickly, his team had to turn their attention to defense.   Jackson turned on the jets for a sprint down the length of the floor and leaped high off the ground to block a dunk attempt from behind, drawing cheers from all of the players and setting the tone for the session.Not sold on his jumper, but he was effective slashing to the bucket this weekend.  Length and quickness allows him to come up with blocks, steals and boards in bunches.  Loads of realizable potential; future impact Big Ten player?
Sharing Options:
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

Edina’s Graham Woodward to Big Ten

Graham Woodward
Woodward scores a bucket at the adidas Super 64 (photo credit: adidas)

Minnesota Pump N Run and Edina (MN) high school point guard Graham Woodward has committed to Penn State. The 2013 floor general would have attracted more early attention from high majors if he were taller, but eventually many schools decided they couldn’t help but take interest in the under-six-foot guard after a strong summer.

LateNightHoops was in Las Vegas in July and witnessed an impressive run to the final four of the adidas Super 64 by Woodward’s Minnesota Pump N Run 17U squad. 2014 F Reid Travis is the more well known name on that team (and rightfully so), but in several games during the tournament it was clearly Woodward who led the way.

Woodward is a true point guard who combines a solid all around game and a strong court IQ with a incredible effort and grit. Capable passer and scorer, his game continues to develop.  He’s small, but has skills and smarts.  There is no doubt that the effort will be there.

Penn State will graduate do-it-all point guard Tim Frazier after the 2012-13 season, but the Nittany Lions expects to sign both Woodward and combo guard Geno Thorpe next month during the early signing period.

PSU sophomore forward Ross Travis, who was recently included in an article about Minnesota players ready to make a mark in D1 basketball this year, played against Woodward in high school.  During the 2010-11 season, Travis and his Chaska team beat Edina twice, including a 82-51 victory to end Edina’s season in the sectional playoffs.  Travis scored 28 in that contest and 25 in the teams’ previous match up.

Graham Woodward highlights from HardwoodElite.com:

Sharing Options:
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

2014 Josh Perkins

2014 Josh Perkins
6’2″ Point Guard

8/24/13: Committed to Gonzaga.

LNH Notes: Aggressive, high-level of confidence and attitude on the court. May not mesh well with some programs (don’t really see him as a Minnesota type of guy) as compared to others (UCLA, for example) but would probably enjoy UCLA for example. The “right fit” will be especially important here. Excellent passer who demonstrates skill and creativity; fierce competitor; wants the ball in his hands.
+ Has played high school ball in Colorado and travel team competition with the Colorado Miners
+ Father is the coach of his Colorado Miners 17U team
+ Plans to attend Huntington Prep (W.Va.) for the 2013-14 school year
+ June 2013 rankings: 24, 18, 28 (average 23.3) per ESPN/Scout/Rivals. We believe the average ranking of ~23 is just about right.
+ Has said he will announce his decision on August 25, 2013 and there is much talk of he and Rashad Vaughn going to college together. We wouldn’t bank on either of those two things coming to fruition.
+ LNH has seen in person.

ESPN / Scout / Rivals

Sharing Options:
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

2014 Sandy Cohen

2014 Sandy Cohen
6’5″ Guard

LNH Notes: Long, slim guard with a versatile skill set. Could help at point guard, but we view him as more of a wing who can handle and pass the ball in college. Defensively he should be able to cover a variety of assignments. Solid player in a lot of areas.
+ Nike EYBL: Played for Wisconsin Playground Elite with Rashad Vaughn
+ June 2013 rankings: 70, 90 , 93 (average = 84.3) per ESPN/Scout/Rivals. We think a borderline top 100 ranking is reasonable.
+ Rose to fame with a big weekend in EYBL, highlighted by a heavily watched Howard Pulley vs Playground Elite game in which Cohen scored a season-high 24 points.
+ LNH has seen in person.

ESPN / Scout / Rivals

Sharing Options:
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

2014 Tyus Jones

2014 Tyus Jones
6’1 PG

LNH Notes: Gifted passer and all around basketball player who makes everyone around him better. Smart, skilled and tough player. Although he’s received praise for years and is held in extremely high regard, Tyus may prove to be even better than many realize. Exceptional talent. Legit.

+ Nike EYBL: Plays for Howard Pulley.
+ 2013 EYBL regular season: Averaged 22.8 ppg, 62.6% eFG%, 88.8% FT, 56.6 FTRate, 2.8:1 assist to turnover ratio, 2.7 spg.
+ June 2013 rankings: 3, 2, 2 (average = 2.3) per ESPN/Scout/Rivals. 
+ Rose to fame with a big weekend in EYBL, highlighted by a heavily watched Howard Pulley vs Playground Elite game in which Cohen scored a season-high 24 points.
+ Has starred in the USA Basketball program. Expresses strong interest to attend college with USA Basketball teammate and 2014 center Jahlil Okafor.
+ LNH has seen in person.

ESPN / Scout / Rivals
6/12/13 – ESPN: Tyus Jones – life of a big time recruit
6/1/13 – Gophers have a recruiting advantage over Duke, others
5/13/13 – Tyus Jones Not Being Very Nice
3/31/13 –Tyus Jones Named 2012-13 Minnesota Gatorade POY 

Sharing Options:
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

2014 J.P. Macura

2014 J.P. Macura
6’5″ Wing

LNH Notes: J.P. is a dangerous threat from outside and has tremendous range on his shot. However, somewhat similar to what we saw with Josh Oglesby (current Iowa guard; Iowa Barnstormers travel team; high school class of 2011), he also uses his size and aggressiveness on offense. Is Macura a “shooter”? Yes. However, J.P. isn’t just a 3-point specialist who stands at the arc waiting to shoot. He’ll get grimy and physical and it’s that aggressiveness combined with shooting skill that we especially like.

+ Travel team: D1 Minnesota
+ High school: Lakeville North (Minn.)
+ June 2013 rankings: NR, 89, 126 per ESPN/Scout/Rivals.
+ LNH has seen in person.

ESPN / Scout / Rivals
7/11/13 – LNH: JP Macura Spotlight

Sharing Options:
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

2015 Malachi Richardson

2015 Malachi Richardson
6’6″ Wing

LNH Notes: Skilled wing with great size. Very good outside shooter with ability to improve on the attack. New Jersey kid who can be a star on the court, but is an unselfish player with a priority of helping his team win games. Malachi is a highly talented player, but we also really like what we’ve seen in terms of how he conducts himself on and off the court.

+ Nike EYBL: Played for Team Final alongside Gopher 2014 target Ja’Quan Newton.
+ June 2013 rankings: 11, 19, 19 (average = 16.3) per ESPN/Scout/Rivals. We see him as a legit top 20 talent.
+ LNH has seen in person.

ESPN / Scout / Rivals
7/16/13: Inside The Hall: Richardson Shines at Peach Jam
5/28/13: Inside The Hall – Healthy Richardson Putting Up Big Numbers in the EYBL 

Sharing Options:
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

2014 Ja’Quan Newton

2014 Ja’Quan Newton
6’2″ Combo Guard

Committed to Miami (Fla.).

LNH Notes: More of a slashing 2-guard look at this point, but PG / combo in college is likely. Aggressive & talented attacker; outside shooting hasn’t been strong.
+ June 2013 – Teamed with 2014 Reid Travis during NBPA Top 100 camp to win the championship
+ June 2013 rankings: 67, 54, 41 (average = 54) per ESPN/Scout/Rivals. Expect that average to improve moderately.
+ July 2013 – Newton helped Team Final into Nike EYBL Peach Jam final four before losing to CP3.
+ Philly kid; has interest in playing with Isaiah Whitehead in college.
+ LNH has seen in person.

ESPN / Scout / Rivals

Sharing Options:
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail