NCB On The Trail: Baylor Bears

Minneapolis Nike EYBL recap 

May, 25, 2014
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The fourth session of the Nike EYBL gave teams one more opportunity to add league wins and earn the right to participate in the Peach Jam that will crown a champion in July.

Check out some of the many terrific prospect performances we witnessed this weekend at the EYBL:

ESPN 60 guard Allonzo Trier made Nike EYBL history last weekend, becoming the first player to ever record 30 or more points in each game of a single session.

While the feat has never been accomplished before on the Nike circuit, ironically, Adidas had someone accomplish the very same thing on the same weekend when fellow ESPN 60 guard Jalen Adams finished with 30 or more points in all four of his games.

While Trier and Adams are similar in that they are two of the nation's best scoring guards in the 2015 class, they’re unique in the way they look to attack the defense.


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ESPN 60 shooting guard King McClure ended his recruitment Tuesday by committing to the Baylor Bears. McClure was also being seriously recruited by Arkansas, Kansas, UCLA and SMU.


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Recruit and return: Baylor 

March, 27, 2014
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In order to return to the NCAA tournament, a team needs contributions from both returning players and incoming recruits. Here's a look at Baylor and its chances of dancing again in 2015.

Quick reference
2013-14 roster
2014 recruiting

Possible 2014-15 starting five:

G: Kenny Chery
G: Royce O'Neale
F: Taurean Prince
F: Rico Gathers
C: Isaiah Austin


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Biancardi's Breakdown: Rashad Vaughn 

December, 9, 2013
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Shooting guard Rashad Vaughn (Golden Valley, Minn./Findlay College Prep), the No. 17 player in the ESPN 100, is being hotly pursued by several programs. The 6-foot-6, 200-pound prospect already has made two official visits (to Iowa State and UNLV) and recently set up a visit to North Carolina for Feb. 15, when the Tar Heels play Pittsburgh. For his final two visits, he is likely to choose among Arizona, Baylor, Kansas, Kentucky and Minnesota.

Let's break down the game of one of the top shooting guards in the country:


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Paths to the top recruiting class 

October, 24, 2013
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We’ve been talking a lot about class rankings in recent weeks. North Carolina and Ohio State have both been in the lead at various points this year while strong finishes from Duke, Kentucky, Kansas and even Baylor could put them all in contention for the top spot before it’s all said and done.

With that in mind, we took a speculative look at those six programs, breaking down what they would likely need to get to the top of the mountain.

Duke
Probability of finishing on top: 45 percent

ESPN 100 SG Grayson Allen might be the only prospect currently in Mike Krzyzewski’s incoming recruiting class, but the Blue Devils have as many top prospects left on the board as anyone. They’ll host Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones this weekend, along with Justise Winslow, leading to speculation that they could be on the verge of a massive package deal. They also remain in the mix for Myles Turner, Kevon Looney and Reid Travis. If they land Okafor and Jones, they’ll have a good chance of finishing in front. If they can add Winslow, Looney or Travis, their chances will be even better. If they could ever put Okafor, Turner and Jones in the same group, the rest of the class would be gravy. Suddenly we’d be talking about one of the best recruiting classes ever.


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Possible domino effect for top four 

October, 18, 2013
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Jahlil Okafor, Tyus JonesESPN, Icon SMIThe decisions of Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones -- who might be a tandem in college -- will have a likely ripple effect among other top prospects.
Many times in recruiting, one player's choices directly affects another. Players and coaches all have a plan when they start the recruiting process, but that plan can quickly change. Let's take a look at a few possible scenarios that could take place among the top four prospects in the ESPN 100. The only thing I base this on is my experience of a college coach and knowledge of how quickly things can change.

Let's have a little fun with these possible recruiting domino effects:

For Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones: I believe that Kansas and Duke are the major players here. Both are visiting Kansas this weekend and Duke next weekend, along with Justise Winslow, who will be on the trip to Durham only. Okafor and Jones could go to Kansas and Duke together. They also could play together at Baylor, another place they have already visited together. But that would be the biggest stretch of the three schools.

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#AskCoachB: What's the 'plan'?

October, 9, 2013
10/09/13
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Want to ask ESPN RecruitingNation national recruiting director Paul Biancardi a question about basketball recruiting? Tweet it to @PaulBiancardi using the hashtag #AskCoachB.



I see you are watching Recruiting Nation because you made reference to the "plan", which is how I describe the Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones recruiting situation. There are only three schools who can land Okafor and Jones and they are Baylor, Duke and Kansas, with Duke and Kansas being the favorites. Yes, whoever land this duo would have the best shot at being No. 1 in the class rankings.

Let's look at Kansas first: Today's commitment of ESPN’s No. 10 prospect Kelly Oubre to Kansas puts the Jayhawks in a viable position to land the nation's best class. If they do get Okafor and Jones it would then give the Jayhawks three top-10 players, including the No. 1 player in Okafor. Cliff Alexander was in attendance for “Late Night in the Phog” with Oubre, and the Jayhawks are also pursuing Myles Turner, Rashad Vaughn and JaQuan Lyle. Landing Okafor, Jones and one more of the prospects above would make Kansas No. 1.

As for the Duke Blue Devils, they already have No. 24 Grayson Allen, a sharpshooter from distance who plays with defensive toughness. If they land Okafor and Jones with Justise Winslow, it could make this group the nation's best. All three are visiting Duke on Oct. 25. Kevon Looney and Reid Travis are also still available, and both have shown great interest in Duke.

If Okafor and Jones shock the world and go to Baylor it could make things very interesting as far as the No. 1 class is concerned.

Kentucky is still in play for Okafor and many other top players such as Turner, Stanley Johnson, Winslow, James Blackmon Jr. and Devin Booker. I don't know if the Wildcats will have the No. 1 class when the smoke clears, but I do know it will be another stellar class for John Calipari.

Of course we have to crunch the numbers and use some analytics to determine our class rankings. When the musical chairs of recruiting stops and we actually see who goes where, then we can determine a winner.

USA developmental team camp recap 

October, 6, 2013
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The USA Basketball Developmental National Team minicamp featured some of the nation's best high school talent representing the classes of 2014, 2015 and 2016. Head coach Don Showalter and his staff put the players through numerous intense and competitive drills, controlled scrimmages and game situations in this four-workout, two-day minicamp.

Note: ESPN 100 No. 1 overall player Jahlil Okafor didn't play on Day 1 after rolling his ankle during a one-on-one in the post drill.

Here are a few players who were impressive this weekend from the ESPN 100, 60 and 25 rankings.

ESPN 100 Standouts

Best Motor
Myles Turner (Bedford, Texas/Trinity)
C, 6-foot-11, 225 pounds
Considering: Kansas, Ohio State, Texas, Duke, Arizona, Kentucky, Louisville, Oklahoma State

Turner's talent and shot blocking is well-documented, but his consistent motor also makes the big fella special. Regardless of the outcome of the possession, Turner never stops playing. He runs, jumps and competes at a high level, which makes him stand out.


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Biancardi's Breakdown: Riley LaChance 

September, 16, 2013
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When we first spotted him in the spring, ESPN 100 Riley LaChance's offers were from all mid-major programs. By way of strong performances with his Ray Allen select AAU team in the summer, LaChance's recruiting has skyrocketed to all of the power-six conferences. LaChance has taken official visits to Vanderbilt, and Creighton and plans to visit Baylor, Iowa and Minnesota soon.

Let’s break down his game and see what he does best and where he still needs to improve.

Athletic ability


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Notes: Cartwright could be double value 

September, 6, 2013
9/06/13
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This time of the year, there's always something brewing. From campus visits to the value of Stanford's newest pledge, we've dumped out the notebook into a nice, tidy column to catch you up.

Cartwright's value could be two-fold


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Weekly Commitment Roundup

September, 6, 2013
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American Athletic Conference
Louisville
Jaylen Johnson | PF | Ypsilanti, Mich./Ypsilanti
HT: 6-9 WT: 210
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 15
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 62

Big Ten Conference
Illinois
Leron Black | PF | Memphis, Tenn./White Station
HT: 6-7 WT: 215
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 6
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 36

Big 12
Baylor
Mark Vital | SF | Lake Charles, La./Washington-Marion
HT: 6-4 WT 215
Class of 2016
Positional Rank: NA

West Virginia
Jevon Carter | SG | Maywood, Ill./Proviso East
HT: 6-2 WT: 180
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 3

Big East
Marquette
Phillip Flory | SG | Wisconsin Rapids, Wis./Wisconsin Rapids
HT: 6-3
Class of 2017
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Conference USA
East Carolina
Lance Tejada | PG | Hollywood, Fla./Blanche Ely
HT: 6-1 WT: 175
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 22
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 96

Glenn Bryant | SF | Marietta, Ga./Kell
HT: 6-6 WT: 180
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Southern Miss
Willie Carmichael | PF | Apopka, Fla./Wekiva
HT: 6-7 WT: 195
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 2

ACC
Virginia
Isaiah Wilkins | SF | Norcross, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian
HT: 6-7 WT: 185
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 2

Wake Forest
Isaac Haas | C | Piedmont, Ala./Hokes Bluff
HT: 7-1 WT: 275
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 18
Stars: 4

Pac-12
UCLA
Trevon Bluiett | SF | Indianapolis/Park Tudor
HT: 6-5 WT: 205
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 10
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 41

Utah
Kyle Kuzma | SF | Burton, Mich./Rise Academy
HT: 6-8 WT: 200
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 27
Stars: 4

Isaiah Wright | PG | Boise, Idaho/Borah
HT: 6-2 WT: 175
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 2

Stanford
Robert Cartwright | PG | Pasadena, Calif./Flintridge Prep
HT: 6-2 WT: 165
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 34
Stars: 3

SEC
Auburn
Sam Logwood | SF | Indianapolis/La Lumiere
HT: 6-7 WT: 205
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 20
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 78

Jack Purchase | PF | Melbourne, Australia/Carey Baptist Grammar
HT: 6-10 WT: 200
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Vanderbilt
Wade Baldwin | PG | Hillsborough, N.J./St. Joseph
HT: 6-2 WT: 180
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 29
Stars: 4

South Carolina
TeMarcus Blanton | SG | Locust Grove, Ga./Luella
HT: 6-4 WT: 185
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 37
Stars: 3

Atlantic 10
Virginia Commonwealth
Justin Tillman | PF | Redford, Mich./Pershing
HT: 6-8 WT: 175
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 29
Stars: 4

George Washington
Paul Jorgensen | PG | Ramsey, N.J./Don Bosco
HT: 6-3 WT: 185
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 45
Stars: 3

Horizon League
Illinois-Chicago
Tai Odiase | C | Chicago/Homewood-Flossmoor
HT: 6-9 WT: 195
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 2

Ivy League
Pennsylvania
Mike Auger | PF | Hopkinton, Mass./New Hampton
HT: 6-6 WT: 205
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 2

Cornell
Jordan Abdur-Ra'oof | SF | Rockville, Md./Gonzaga College
HT: 6-7 WT: 200
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 2

Yale
Eric Anderson | PF | West Chester, Pa./The Haverford School
HT: 6-6 WT: 200
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 2

Sun Belt
Georgia State
Jeff Thomas | SG | Norwalk, Ohio/Norwalk
HT: 6-5 WT: 185
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Jordan Session | SF | McDonough, Ga./Eagles Landing
HT: 6-9 WT: 190
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Colonial Athletic Association
College of Charleston
Evan Bailey | SG | Massillon, Ohio/Jackson
HT: 6-6 WT: 185
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 3

Atlantic Sun
Mercer
Jestin Lewis | SG | Richmond, Va./Wallace State C.C.
HT: 6-2 WT: 170
Class of 2014
JUCO

Jacksonville
Tim Bond | SG | Baltimore/City College H.S.
HT: 6-4
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

MAC
Buffalo
Mory Diane | SG | Detroit/Country Day
HT: 6-3 WT: 170
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 2

WAC
Cal State Bakersfield
Sadiq Inuwa | PF | Houston/La Lumiere
HT: 6-7 WT: 200
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Top 10: Signing ESPN 100 players 

September, 4, 2013
9/04/13
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Sometimes you have to see it to believe it. Since John Calipari took over at Kentucky we’ve steadily sung the praises of the Wildcats and their recruits. Well, it turns out there was a good reason for the high praise. Kentucky exports prospects to the NBA and imports elite high school players at a rate higher than any of its peers.

The following is a list of programs that signed the most ESPN 100 players from 2009-2013. I know, it’s Telep’s Top 10, but we had some ties. Here’s a snapshot of where the talent goes in our country:

Kentucky (23 ESPN 100 recruits): What did you expect? When there’s a revolving door of lottery picks it’s only natural to replace talent with talent. Because of its ability to put elite talent in the NBA, UK has plenty of openings each year. UK has had four of the last five No. 1 recruiting classes and that's not an accident.

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Baylor adds fast-rising SF Mark Vital

September, 4, 2013
9/04/13
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The Baylor Bears are on the board in the class of 2016 with SF Mark Vital (Lake Charles, LA/Washington-Marion). The on-the-cuff ESPN25 player chose the Bears over a combination of early interest and offers from Ohio State, Arizona, LSU and Tulane among others.

"I unofficially visited Baylor about three weeks ago. It is a great Christian school with great academics and a family atmosphere. I love Coach Scott Drew's personality. He is a really cool dude.” Vital said.

The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Vital is a very athletic small forward that is a highlight waiting to happen on the break. He finishes lobs in traffic and power dunks on all clear paths to the rim. Vital is a powerful straight line driver that can finish through contact or draws the foul and is a huge problem on the offensive glass. He is a pretty good mid-range shooter off the catch as well. Vital already has a college-ready body and tremendous upside.

Vital was terrific in June at the Super Soph Camp in Atlanta and has a bright future with the talent and ability to contribute right away when he arrives in Waco in a few years.

The Bears have made a huge statement with this early pledge because Vital was a hot recruiting target for many high major programs heading into the upcoming high school season.

Notebook: Football lures key visitors 

August, 30, 2013
8/30/13
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Each week, Dave Telep empties his notebook and tosses everything he’s got into one file. We call it, hold your breath … Notebook. Where’s the No. 1 package in high school basketball this weekend? What are the champs up to? Read on.

The national champions are going big this weekend. Big as in big men on campus. During the spring and summer, the red carpet was rolled out for Rick Pitino. This weekend, it’s his turn to roll it out for a pair of prospects.

Louisville’s top interior target, for a long time, has been former Indiana pledge Trey Lyles. The big man makes his return visit, this time officially, alongside center Chinanu Onuaku, brother of former Syracuse big man Arinze.

If you’re recruiting against the Cardinals, you’ve got a heightened sense of awareness here. The Cardinals football team is talented, the environment will be live, and the Cardinals are armed with that national title hardware. They had players selected in both rounds of the NBA draft in June.

Big package hits the road
The Baylor Bears have the most to gain this weekend. The proposed package deal of Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor hits the visit trail for the first time this month and they’ll do it together. The Bears have the nation’s top overall player and No. 1 point guard on campus. How’d they do it? Jared Nuness, a Baylor staffer, is related to Jones and that helped. The competition is stiff and there’s virtually no chance for a commitment this weekend, as the pair will take other visits.

A&M is visit weekend to keep an eye on
Will he or won’t he? If it meant landing a few recruits would Johnny Manziel sign an autograph for a couple of key targets? We’ll find out in a few weeks when the Alabama Crimson Tide roll into College Station to play the Aggies. As one might imagine, weekends of this magnitude bring out a host of players who want to take visits.

Sometimes we forget what it means to host players on a weekend like this one in mid-September. I’ve always been on the school of thought that you can do a better job with a lesser number of targets. Others want as many kids on campus for the experience. For the time being, it seems Texas A&M is going quality over quantity.

Point guard Alex Robinson is on the visit docket. He’ll be accompanied by center Elbert Robinson. The other main Aggies target is Justise Winslow, but we haven’t heard his visit list yet and he’s also expected to announce another round of cuts in the near future.

Gamecocks kick off the season with a prospect party
Frank Martin wasn’t messing on Thursday night. His South Carolina Gamecocks hosted North Carolina in the border battle. Why not invite some N.C. kids to the Palmetto State for an evening? Why not invite the best player in North Carolina?

Sophomore Harry Giles, the best prospect in the Class of 2016, headlined a serious pack of prospects. Forward TeMarcus Blanton, Dante Buford, guards P.J. Dozer, Marcus Stroman and sophomore Seventh Woods were on campus. You’d have to go back to the days when Bobby Cremins and George Felton took official visits to have a better collection of players than that.

Speaking of Buford, he’ll knock out his five official visits in consecutive weekends beginning Sept. 4. First up is Oklahoma, followed by Miami, Oklahoma State, Southern Cal and South Carolina.

Enfield called Johnson on Day One
The moment you get your head coaching job, there’s a precious window to pick up the phone and share the news. Southern Cal coach Andy Enfield did just that, from the office of his athletic director, once he was named coach. Enfield called senior Stanley Johnson. Enfield then hired Tony Bland and Jason Hart as assistants, two guys Johnson knows well. However, it’s Arizona’s Sean Miller and Kentucky’s John Calipari with whom Johnson said he has the best relationships.

Johnson discussed the trend of kids from his high school, Mater Dei, transferring in college. All he could say was it won’t happen to him. “I will not be a transfer.”

Bouncing around

  • From the “we didn’t see this coming” files. Small forward Boubacar Moungoro, a high school senior out of Florida, signed with a Spanish pro team on Thursday. In July, he was slow to produce a list. Now we know why.

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