Tag Archives: 2013 recruiting

Player / Recruiting Notes – Las Vegas 2013

Late Night Hoops was in Las Vegas for the final evaluation period of the summer. Below are select comments on just a handful of the many players we saw. We have noted Minnesota and Marquette interest for certain players in the comments below.

Jamal Aytes 2013
6’6” F | Dream Vision

In an early Thursday game against Mass Rivals (Kaleb Joseph, Goodluck Okonoboh), Aytes, an unsigned 2013 player, looked like the older player on the floor. He scored inside with strength and facing up from 10-15 feet out; Aytes was rebounding everything in and outside of his area.
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Gophers’ Recruiting: Louisville Transfer Zach Price

Price defends Plumlee
Zach Price battles Duke’s Mason Plumlee

June 23, 2013
Gophers’ Recruiting: Louisville Transfer Zach Price

“Price has the potential to create a nice late-career success story.”

Rising junior Zach Price announced he’d be leaving Louisville earlier this month. This week Price visited Purdue and canceled a trip to Butler. The 6’10”, 250 center might visit Missouri and Minnesota next.
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Gophers Recruiting: Another 2013 PF Graduate Student Hits the Market

May 24, 2013
Gophers Recruiting: Another 2013 PF Graduate Student Hits the Market

There’s yet another player the Minnesota Golden Gophers could consider adding to help their front line in 2013-14. As has been expected, DePaul today formally announced that they had granted permission for Donnavan Kirk to look elsewhere and added that Kirk will graduate from DePaul this summer.
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Recruiting: Teammate of Gophers’ McNeil Back on Market

May 20, 2013
Recruiting: Top 100 Teammate of Gophers’ McNeil Back on Market

2013 big man Dominic Woodson (#83 RSCI) is looking for a new school after deciding against attending Baylor. The Bears will return 7’1″ center Isaiah Austin (13.0p, 8.3r per game in 2012-13) and 6’9″ forward Cory Jefferson (13.3p, 8.0r).

Woodson spent the 2011-12 school year at Vermont Academy where he played with Minnesota Gophers’ incoming guard Daquein McNeil. Dominic is a native of Louisville, Ky. although he left the area in middle school.

During the 2011-12 season, Louisville and the Pitinos were quite involved with Dominic’s recruitment.
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Recruiting: 2014 Brandone Francis

April 21, 2013
Recruiting: 2014 Brandon Francis

Brandone FrancisThe Minnesota Golden Gophers are among the growing list of schools showing significant interest in 2014 guard Brandone Francis (you’ll also see his name frequently spelled Brandon). Francis is a strong 6’5″ guard from the Dominican Republic and is capable of playing several positions.

We project his best position being a strong off guard in college. He’s also a talented passer and good enough with the ball that he could play some point, depending on the school and situation. In addition, Francis is big and strong enough to play as a third guard/small forward. Defensively, he should be able to guard several positions as well. Nice basketball IQ.
More on Brandon Francis…

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Recruiting: 2013 Luke Kornet

April 19, 2013
Recruiting: 2013 Luke Kornet

Update: (April 30, 2013) Luke has committed to Vanderbilt.

We’ll have many more thoughts from this weekend’s AAU tournaments after things wrap up, but one guy you may want to catch this weekend before it’s too late is Luke Kornet. Some program is going to get themselves a really nice spring recruit.

Kornet is an unsigned 6’10”, 205 pound forward from the 2013 class.  He’s playing with Texas Select 
in the Twin Cities this weekend at the NY2LA Sports Extravaganza. There’s been a lot of talk and interest in Luke’s teammate 2014 center Myles Turner and rightfully so, but Kornet was great again tonight after a strong performance last weekend.

He’s from a basketball family (including dad Frank who played at Vanderbilt and two years for the Milwaukee Bucks; also was Luke’s high school coach this season), but hit his final growth spurt late. Although Luke has quickly shot up to 6’10” and put on some weight (still a long way to go), the perimeter game is still in tact. He’s continued to run the floor well and is a dangerous three-point shooter.

Tonight in a 10-point win over Kevon Looney and the Milwaukee Rebels, Kornet delivered 15 points and 8 rebounds. His shot from behind the arc was working well and the stretch 4 scored a couple of times around the paint, including one that he got off over the outstretched arms of Looney.

We like Kornet’s pedigree, his background, size and skill. He’s a nice looking player right now as 3-point threat, but there is good upside if he continues to expand his game and add strength.

Texas Select next plays at 12:40pm CT Saturday on Hopkins high school Court 3 against Mid-Kansas.

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Recruiting: 2013 Daquein McNeil to Minnesota

April 16, 2013
Recruiting: 2013 Daquein McNeil [Minnesota]
[April 17, 2013 Update – 8:52 AM – McNeil has committed to play for the Gophers]

[April 24, 2013 Update {Fact Check} – the University of Minnesota issued this release on April 23. Minor nits, but (a) the U says McNeil signed an NLI but he is unable to do so if he had signed one with FIU – he likely signed financial aid papers; (b) the U says at the time he committed to FIU he had offers from  Louisville, Oklahoma, Richmond, Rutgers, VCU, UAB and Washington. We believe his offers at that time were limited to Richmond, UAB, St. Bonaventure and Rhode Island]

Former Norfolk State head coach Anthony Evans was formally announced as Florida International’s replacement for Richard Pitino today. Evans and FIU will have to do without the services of 2013 guard Daquein McNeil who has requested a release from his NLI with the school.

In the very near future we should know if McNeil will join Pitino at Minnesota for the 2013-14 season.

McNeil is a 6’3″ guard who is aggressive scoring the ball and should be able to defend multiple positions. A bit of a streaky shooter, “Day Day” is from Baltimore but went to Vermont Academy for the last three years. This season he was named to the NEPSAC All-Class AA Second Team.

Going back two and three years ago the high major interest in McNeil was substantial and he was being tracked by the likes of Marquette and Louisville. Over time the interest fell and when he committed to FIU last fall (his only official visit) we believe all of his other offers were from mid-majors such as Richmond and Rhode Island.

Nonetheless, Pitino’s preferred style of play appears to fit McNeil quite well and he was a guy that looked like a potential steal for FIU.

Daquein played AAU with Balitmore Elite and he enjoyed a solid season in the EYBL last summer. Alongside a legit deep threat in Kameron Williams (a 2013 Ohio State commit who went 58/121 3FG for 47.9% in regular season EYBL games… keep an eye out for him in Columbus), McNeil averaged 12.4 points in 24.5 minutes during the regular season. He is also a capable rebounder who grabbed 4.8 boards per game.

We’re not sure how well or consistently McNeil will be able to shoot from the perimeter, but he’s a player capable of creating his own offense. How efficiently he’ll be able to score is up for debate, but between his nose for the net and aggressiveness on the court there is a good amount of potential with this young man.

Below are selected EYBL regular season stats from 2012-13 for Daquein McNeil.

Mins Points Rebs Ast TO Stl
Averages 24.5 12.4 4.8 2.1 1.9 1.3
eFG% 2FG% 3FG% FT%
Shooting 45.8% 46.3% 27.3% 56.3%

 Notes: 3FGA/M: 6/22; FTA/M: 54/96; OR-DR: 27-68.

Other Suggested Reading: Q&A: Richard Pitino’s Contract with Minnesota from April 16, 2013.
From GopherHole.com: Extensive Q&A: Vermont Academy HC on Daquein McNeil, by Chris Monter

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Recruiting: What Could Tarik Black Bring to Minnesota?

April 14, 2013
Recruiting: What Could Tarik Black Bring to Minnesota?

Memphis junior Tarik Black elected to play for his home town Tigers, but he’s no stranger to the Midwest. In high school, Black made a couple of trips to Milwaukee and in the fall 2009 it appeared that he may be a Marquette lean before ultimately committing to Memphis.

After three years with Memphis, Black is on the move for his final year of eligibility. If he’s accepted into a graduate program at his new school he should be immediately eligible to play. [Note: In an interesting Educational Column published on April 11, 2013, the NCAA clarified that a student-athlete need not receive a baccalaureate degree in order to be eligible under the graduate student one-time transfer exception.]

Minnesota’s chances seem at least fair even though numerous schools have expressed interest in obtaining Black’s services for the 2013-14 season. If Tarik places a high value on the opportunity to be a difference maker and play big minutes, Richard Pitino’s team should receive consideration.

Minnesota needs help at power forward. The Gophers return three starting guards but lose their senior forwards Trevor Mbakwe and Rodney Williams. There are many possibilities, but not many better than Tarik Black.

Betting on Black: A Closer Look at Tarik Black:

  • Ranked #59 in the 2010 RSCI
  • Played AAU with Memphis Magic. Gopher junior-to-be Dre Hollins joined the Magic after his junior year, thus missing Black by one year. However, the two shared several teammates.
  • Despite walking out of a practice in November, he’s regarded by many as a good leader and we believe that to be a fair assessment.
  • Was a starter before the walk out, but came off the bench for the remainder of the year.
  • Dealt with a groin injury in late December / early January and missed three games.

Selected Basic Statistics by Year:

Season Min / Game Points / Game Rebounds / Game
Junior 20.8 8.1 4.8
Sophomore 25.6 10.7 4.9
Freshman 22.6 9.1 5.0

Black has been inconsistent and hasn’t realized his full potential on the court. A change in scenery may prove good for him.

At a minimum he would provide the Gophers with physicality. With the loss of Mbakwe there isn’t much to speak of when it comes to physical interior players currently in the program. In addition to providing a 6’9″, 260 pound presence inside, there are many matches when comparing areas of need in 2013-14 and the abilities of Black.Shop for 2013 Louisville Cardinals National Champions gear at FansEdge!

2-point field goal shooting
The Gophers didn’t shoot the ball well in 2012-13. Tarik isn’t a guy with incredible post moves or much range, but he can deliver the ball to the bottom of the net with great efficiency when at the rim. See the video at the end of this article to see him (almost – he was called for a charge- good call?) finishing against the Gophers.

Minnesota – 2012-13 2FGM 2FGA 2FG%
Mbakwe & Williams 238 438 54.3%
All others 393 854 46.0%
Team totals 631 1,292 48.8%

Gophers other than Mbakwe & Williams shot just 46.0% 2FG. Other forwards and centers – Eliason, Walker, Osenieks and Ingram – combined to shoot just 44.4% 2FG in 2012-13.

Tarik Black’s career 2FG% is an impressive 60.0% (that’s also his eFG% as he does not shoot 3-pointers). His mark of 68.9% eFG in 2011-12 was the NCAA’s second best (of players averaging 24 mpg or more).

The best thing about the Gophers’ offense this season was their work on the offensive glass. Mbakwe (~16%) was excellent and Williams (9.4%) was solid, but their three starting guards combined may have a ceiling of only 16% combined (less than 14% this season).

Maurice Walker can create second chances and Eliason is tall, but the Gophers need help here.

Tarik posted an OR% of more than 14% as a freshman and was just over 10% in each of the past two season. He’s not likely to reach Mbakwe-like levels, but it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect  11-13% out of him if he played with Minnesota next season.

Mbakwe’s defensive rebounding (24%) will also be missed and won’t be replaced by any individual. However, more time for Eliason (20%) will help. In addition, the replacement minutes for Williams (11%) should produce better results.

After averaging approximately 11.5% DR in his first two seasons, Black posted a 16.0% DR% this year. Still, he was inconsistent and we believe there is upside even to this figure.

Free throw rate
Andre Hollins is the only returning regular who got to the line a good amount last season. Overall, Minnesota did a nice job of earning free throw attempts but that was in large part due to Mbakwe and Williams.

Black can help soften the impact of losing the seniors. He drew 5.2 fouls per 40 minutes last year and enjoys mixing it up down low. His free throw percentage of 44.8% was miserable, but don’t sweat it too much. We believe he’s closer to being a 60% free throw shooter. Sixty percent might sound low, but on two attempts that still gets you a desirable 1.2 points per possession.

There are reasonable questions to have on Tarik Black. How well can he rebound? Will he foul out 10 minutes into every game (6.3 fouls called / 40 minutes as a junior)? Can he be a great shot blocker (~6.5% block% in first two years dropped to ~3% as a junior)? There’s upside to both his offensive and defensive game – can he realize it at Minnesota?

Tarik Black isn’t a surefire savior. Nonetheless, we believe bringing him in would be a no-brainer for Minnesota if he was open to it. His skills, leadership abilities and experience combined with new scenery (but some familiar faces) might be the recipe for heightened success as a senior. At a minimum, you’ve got one tough young man on your roster at a position of need.

In the video below Tarik comes off a pick, receives the pass and jams it home.. (all for naught as Minnesota’s Andre Ingram takes the charge, but an impressive display by Black).

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Memphis Tigers Nike Royal Replica Basketball Jersey

Memphis Tigers Nike Royal Replica Basketball Jersey

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