NCB On The Trail: Virginia Tech Hokies

Roundtable: Analyzing the early signing period 

November, 12, 2014

College basketball's early signing period begins Wednesday, and while 78 of the ESPN 100's prospects have committed to schools across the country, it's time to put pen to paper. Our RecruitingNation analysts break down what they expect to see before the signing window closes on Nov. 19.

ESPN 100: Biggest risers 

April, 9, 2014

The finish line was already in site in February when we last updated our ESPN 100 rankings. After watching many of these prospects for the better part of the past four years, the evaluation process was no longer about learning new things as much as it was monitoring recent developments.

As a result, our most recent and final version of the 2014 ESPN 100 bears a resemblance to its predecessor, except for a select few prospects who seized their opportunity to make one lasting impression.

With that in mind, here are the players whose stock rose the most in the final ESPN 100 of the 2014 class.

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What we learned from the HSNT 

April, 7, 2014

NEW YORK -- The Dick's Sporting Goods High School National Tournament crowned a champion on Saturday at Madison Square Garden with a familiar name as Montverde Academy (Fla.) won its second straight title, this time 71-62 over Oak Hill Academy (Va.). Over the six-year history of this prestigious event, this was the deepest field of teams and the highest level of talent from top to bottom. Montverde came in ranked as the No. 1 high school team in the country and should walk away in that top spot when the polls are finalized.

As the final high school team event of the 2013-14 season, let's take a look at five things we learned from this year's tournament:

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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.

@Trealo_G: @PaulBiancardi what u think about Brandon Jennings younger brother Terrance Phillips as a prospect I think he a mid-major PG #askcoachB

Currently a junior, Terrence Phillips was inserted into the starting line up this season when Shelton Mitchell went down with an injury.

Phillips led his team to a No. 6 seed in the Dick's Sporting Goods High School National Tournament. I like Phillips' quickness in the open floor and his ability to drive and kick in the half court. He needs to become better at scoring, especially at making open 3-pointers.

Right now his recruiting interest is coming more from the mid-majors. He lives in Atlanta, and Georgia State has been on him hard. Virginia Tech was interested before its recent coaching change. At this point he is a mid-major point guard with the ability to play high-major basketball if the jump shot and decision-making improve. He does bring energy, which coaches love.

Roundtable: Identifying 2014's sleepers 

March, 4, 2014

As the 2014 class winds down its final season of high school basketball, the ESPN 100 has been analyzed in virtually every way possible. We’ve broken down the top prospects, picked out the best fits, projected both the immediate impact players, and even forecast those who are likely to show the most improvement over their college careers.

But now we are giving each member of the RecruitingNation team one last chance to go on record with a prospect they believe in, a sleeper they expect to be better than most are projecting, whether it's right away or over time.

Here’s a look at who the experts have their eyes on:

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Cancer Research Classic recap 

January, 6, 2014
WHEELING, West Va. -- The Cancer Research Classic is known as the nation’s premier Catholic high school event and includes very successful programs and highly-ranked prospects.

[+] EnlargeEmmanuel Mudiay
Kelly Kline/Under ArmourPG Emmanuel Mudiay had two impressive showings at the Cancer Research Classic.
Players from all over the country came in with big reputations, and they did not disappoint. The nation's No. 1 player Jahlil Okafor, No. 5 Emmanuel Mudiay and No. 12 D'Angelo Russell all shined bright. Under the direction of Doc Merrick, this event continues to grow and is recognized as a main attraction after the new year.

Best Point Guard
Emmanuel Mudiay (Dallas, Texas/Prime Prep)
2014, PG, 6'4", 195
Signed with SMU

Mudiay is known for his ability to take over games when he is plugged in. He was on in both of his performances at the CRC. He had 25 in a loss to Wheeler and 16 -- with a nice floor game -- in a loss to Whitney Young. It was a tough weekend, but Mudiay showed why he is rated as one of the top-5 talents in the 2014 class.

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USA developmental team camp recap 

October, 6, 2013
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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PG Jahmel Taylor commits to UW 

January, 22, 2013
According to multiple sources, Washington landed a verbal commitment from senior point guard Jahmel Taylor (Los Angeles/Pacific Hills) on Monday night.

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Terps land four-star PG Romelo Trimble 

December, 13, 2012
Class of 2014 point guard Romelo Trimble (Arlington, Va./Bishop O'Connell) ended his recruitment on Thursday morning with a verbal commitment to Maryland, The Washington Post reported.

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Donte Clark heads Hokies class

November, 15, 2012
First-year Virginia Tech head coach James Johnson announced his 2013 signing class on Thursday.

Leading the way is ESPN 100 SF Donte Clark (Charlotte, N.C./Hargrave Military).

"Donte is a good combo guard," Johnson said. "We look to play him at both the point and the off guard spot. He's a long, athletic guard who can score the basketball. He can make plays for himself and for others. With our style of basketball, a running, fast-paced style of basketball, he has a chance to be a really good player. He also has a chance to be a very good defender."

Also signing with the Hokies were C Trevor Thompson (Indianapolis/St. John's NW Military), Ben Emelogu (Grand Prairie, Texas/South Grand Prairie) and C Maurice Kirby (San Tan Valley, Ariz./Basha).

"We addressed a lot of different areas with this recruiting class," according to Johnson. "I'm extremely excited about these young men and know that they will be able to help us right away."

Brandon Randolph commits to Xavier 

November, 14, 2012
Xavier head coach Chris Mack landed a verbal commitment from PG Brandon Randolph (Inglewood, Calif./Inglewood) on Wednesday, according to multiple sources.

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Mississippi State lands C Fallou Ndoye 

November, 13, 2012
PM ET has confirmed that 6-foot-11 center Fallou Ndoye (Henderson, Nev./Findlay College Prep) verbally committed to Mississippi State on Tuesday.

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Virginia Tech adds Texas SG 

October, 13, 2012
Shooting guard Ben Emelogu (Grand Prairie, Texas/South Grand Prairie) gave a verbal commitment to Virginia Tech on Saturday, has confirmed.

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C Maurice Kirby pledges to Hokies 

October, 11, 2012
Big man Maurice Kirby (San Tan Valley, Ariz./Basha) gave a verbal commitment to Virginia Tech on Thursday, according to

The 6-foot-8 Kirby originally committed to Arizona State as a sophomore in 2010. He also held offers from Northern Arizona, Brown and Loyola Chicago.

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Juco forward commits to UAB 

October, 3, 2012
Alabama-Birmingham landed a verbal commitment from junior college power forward C.J. Washington (Augusta, Ga./Tallahassee C.C.) earlier this week, according to

Washington made his decision while on an official visit last weekend.

"I liked everything about UAB," Washington told the paper. "The coaches, the school, the players, the community, it's a family-oriented place. I like how the coach was with the players and I like the style of play."

Auburn, Colorado State, Rhode Island and Virginia Tech were also involved. Washington joins PG Dayshawn Watkins (Little Rock, Ark./North Little Rock) and PG Denzel Watts (Flint, Mich./Carman-Ainsworth) in the Blazers' 2013 class.

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