NCB On The Trail: Angel Delgado

Playing the comparison game 

February, 20, 2014

It's a constant topic of conversation: Which player does this prospect remind us of?

Well, given that the current college basketball season has been dominated by freshmen, we took a look at Jeff Goodman’s latest ranking of college freshmen and played the comparison game.

Duke’s Jabari Parker reminds us of Duke signee Jahlil Okafor.
Although they obviously don’t play the same position or have the same style, the similarities are there, and not just the superficial ones such as their hometown of Chicago or college destination. Although Parker does his work primarily from the perimeter and Okafor on the block, Okafor has that same level of maturity that will allow him to adjust to offensive structure just as quickly as Parker has. Furthermore, Okafor likely will take over for Parker and become the immediate focal point of the way Duke plays in the half court. The Blue Devils have tailored what they do offensively to Parker this season, and they’re likely to do the same for Okafor next season.

2014 ESPN 100: 10 things to know 

January, 30, 2014

Here are 10 things to know about the updated 2014 ESPN 100 player rankings.

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Seton Hall welcomes four-man class

November, 16, 2013
Seton Hall basketball coach Kevin Willard announced the signing of four student-athletes -- including two ESPN 100 prospects -- to letters of intent on Friday.

Leading the way for the Pirates are ESPN 100 shooting guard Isaiah Whitehead (Brooklyn, N.Y./Lincoln) and ESPN 100 power forward Angel Delgado (Bronx, N.Y./Huntington Prep), along with three-star shooting guard Khadeen Carrington (Brooklyn, N.Y./Bishop Loughlin) and three-star small forward Ismael Sanogo (Newark, N.J./East Side).

"We are excited to officially welcome Isaiah, Angel, Khadeen and Ismael to the Seton Hall basketball family," Willard said. "The future for Pirate basketball looks bright with this talented group headed to South Orange next season. This class has an opportunity to elevate Seton Hall basketball to new heights and leave their mark on this program."


#AskCoachB: College-ready prospects

September, 27, 2013
Want to ask ESPN RecruitingNation national recruiting director Paul Biancardi a question about basketball recruiting? Tweet it to @PaulBiancardi using the hashtag #AskCoachB.

When you ask "college ready," I am going to combine that into hysical readiness, skills and an understanding of the game. Also, let's look outside the top 25 to gain a broader perspective.

Here are five who come to mind:

Abdul-Malik Abu (NC State) and Angel Delgado (Seton Hall) are physically ready as they own bodies that can withstand the contact of the game, especially in the painted area. Two outstanding rebounders, and that is a skill that translates well as a player moves up in levels. They keep their bodies in great shape, so the speed of the game shouldn't affect them while being battle-tested on a national level in the paint.

Utah commit Brekkott Chapman is a highly skilled small forward who combines his triple-threat game with an understanding of floor balance and spacing. He competes with poise and displays a savvy for functioning with teammates, which is vital for team chemistry.

Tyler Ulis, the future Kentucky point guard, might be small in size but he is large with toughness and skill. Ulis has a great understanding of his position and the skills to thrive right away.

Keep an eye on Leron Black, who is going to Illinois. He understands the meaning of hard work and will be ready when he steps on campus. He hardly ever disappears as he uses his grown man's body, a solid skill set and great hands to be creative and contribute right away in the painted area.
Khadeem Carrington (Brooklyn, N.Y./Bishop Loughlin) made a verbal commitment to Seton Hall on Thursday night, one week after taking an unofficial visit to the school.

Carrington becomes the second product of the New York Lightning to commit to the Pirates so far this year, joining ESPN 100 PF Angel Delgado (Dominican Republic/Huntington Prep).

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Biancardi's Breakdown: Power forwards 

September, 2, 2013
The power forward position has traditionally been a player with a combination of size and strength who can score in the paint. Specifically, the “four man” plays in the high post facing the basket or in low post with his back to the basket scoring, passing and using his dribble.

Since the inception of the 3-point shot, some forwards have utilized the line by becoming “stretch forwards.” Some forwards handle the ball extremely well for their size and have even become point forwards.

In today’s game, it’s hard to box some players into a specific position because the game is being coached differently. Coaches from the NBA level down to the high school game are reconstructing the power forward position into a hybrid spot and taking advantage of mismatches on the offensive end of the floor. They can adapt by playing faster or more zone if the matchup is not in their favor from a defensive perspective.

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Weekly commitment roundup

August, 23, 2013
Big Ten conference
Ohio State
Mickey Mitchell SF Plano, Texas/Plano West
HT: 6-foot-6 WT: 210 pounds
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: 31
Stars: 4
ESPN 60: 31

Big East conference
Seton Hall
Angel Delgado PF Troy, N.Y./Huntington Prep
HT: 6-8 WT: 215
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 16
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 63

Pac-12 conference
Craig Victor PF New Orleans/Findlay Prep)
HT: 6-8 WT: 205
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 5
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 31

Kaleb Joseph PG Nashua, N.H./Cushing Academy
HT: 6-3 WT: 165
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 10
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 51

Trayvon Reed C Snellville, Ga./Shiloh
HT: 7-1 WT: 210
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 9
ESPN 100: 84

JaKeenan Gant PF Springfield, Ga./Effingham County
HT: 6-8 WT: 210
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 7
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 37

C.J. Turman C Madison, Ga./Morgan County
HT: 6-9 WT: 215
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 15
Stars: 4

Brandon Austin SF Montgomery, Ala./Carver
HT: 6-5 WT: 180
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: 14
Stars: 4

Big West conference
UC-Santa Barbara
Justin Burks SF Las Vegas/Arbor View
HT: 6-5 WT: 180
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 2

Rashann London SG Philadelphia/Roman Catholic
HT: 6-2 WT: 180
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Ivy League
Mike LeBlanc SF Dover, N.H./New Hampton School
HT: 6-6 WT: 185
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Farleigh Dickinson
Devin Eke PF Scotch Plains, N.J./Union Catholic
HT: 6-6
Class of 2014
Position Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

America East
Justin McFadden SG Ardmore, Pa./Lower Merion
HT: 6-5 WT: 200
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Brandon Hatton SG Covington, Ky./Dixie Heights
HT: 6-2
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Cam Ward SG Marshall, Wisc./Marshall
HT: 6-2 WT: 155
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Top 10 player accolades from July 

August, 21, 2013
The worst time to write a column about what you saw in July is right after July. The month needs to marinate on your mind so one can process what we just lived. So, nearly three weeks out from the month that was, I sat down to recall a few of the top players of July.

In the spirit of Telep's top 10, we give 10 categories and a plethora of players of influence from the most important month on the circuit.

1. Best motor big/guard: We’ll entertain motions to rename this the inaugural “Reid Travis” award and therefore hand out the overall best motor title to ... forward Reid Travis. Pac-12 aficionados close your eyes and picture the second coming of Jon Brockman, because that’s whom Travis reminds me of most. On the guard side of the ledger for the best motor, Lourawls Nairn impressed me from start to finish. There was a noticeable chip on his shoulder and he went hard at LeBron and continued through Peach Jam. The guy has no off button.

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It was an incredibly busy weekend of action on the recruiting front, not just because of the series of high-major commitments, but also because of trimmed lists, scheduled visits, and scholarship offers, all of which have the potential to create multiple ripples on the pending domino effect.

Commitment Catch-Up

• ESPN 100 PF Craig Victor (New Orleans, La./Findlay Prep) commits to Arizona: The 31st-ranked prospect and 5th best PF in the country announced on Saturday he was heading to Arizona, giving coach Sean Miller his third high level combination forward in as many years.

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ESPN 100 power forward Angel Delgado (Troy, N.Y./Huntington Prep) committed to Seton Hall on Friday night over a combination of offers and interest from Florida State, Fordham, Kentucky, Virginia and others.

This is a major pickup for Seton Hall head coach Kevin Willard because it not only lands him the nation’s No. 63 overall player in the Class of 2014 but also because Delgado is one of the best rebounding power forwards in the country regardless of class.

Why did Delgado pick Seton Hall and what will he bring to the Pirates? Let's break it down.

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Top 10 lessons learned in July 

July, 31, 2013

To understand what just happened in college basketball recruiting, let me use a golf analogy. In golf majors, Saturdays set the players up for the final round and determine the pairings for the homestretch.

In college basketball, the month of July is like that Saturday of a golf major. Coaches fly coast to coast, some to evaluate and others simply to babysit prospects. It’s a grueling 15 days on the road -- separated into three different five-day open evaluation periods -- and even the seasoned veterans will tell you that. Technology has made it easier to keep track of the recruits, but travel is travel, and so much time in different cities is rough on the bodies of the players and coaches.

Still, July remains the single most important month on the recruiting calendar. It sets the tone for in-home and official visits. It helps set up the final round and determines the pairings for the homestretch.

For the better part of July 6-28, I was on the road. Every day was something new and an opportunity to gather intelligence on players and pay attention to the world of college basketball recruiting. If you didn’t learn something daily, you weren’t doing your job.

Here are 10 key things I learned this month on the recruiting trail, from package deals to the loaded 2016 class and everything in between.

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Top 10 things from the first half of July 

July, 17, 2013

The first half of a July on the recruiting trail was more of a sprint than anything else. July 6-14 was a convergence of talent and time zones. From Las Vegas to North Augusta, S.C., to Indianapolis, I felt like I was in a new city daily with waves of players being tossed at me.

After having a chance to get my bearings, here are 10 things that stood out from the cross-country travel assignment. This entails info not only from the Nike Peach Jam and adidas Invitational during the first open evaluation period (July 10-14) but also from the LeBron James Skills Academy (July 6-8) before the live period began. The second half of July includes two more open eval periods July 17-21 and 24-28.

1. White was on the verge of elevating his game

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Bluiett, Newton score big at Peach Jam 

July, 13, 2013
Editor's note: This is the latest entry in Dave Telep's July Road Trip blog. Throughout the month, Dave will check in each day he's on the road while covering some of the biggest basketball recruiting events in the country. He'll let you know where he is, offer some highlights of the day and give a quick look at what's next.

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- All of a sudden it was raining buckets in Gym 4 on Friday morning at the Nike Peach Jam. ESPN 100 small forward Trevon Bluiett caught fire and kept pulling. Ja'Quan Newton put his head down and made for the rim. Both guys hung big numbers in wins.

Here are some nuggets from Friday’s early action at the Peach Jam -- including where Butler stands with Bluiett after Brad Stevens’ departure -- before I had to hop a plane to Indianapolis for the adidas Invitational this weekend.

Trevon Bluiett
Dave Telep/ESPNESPN 100 SF Trevon Bluiett put on a show Friday morning at the Peach Jam with a 41-point explosion.
Bluiett pours in 41 points!

A few minutes into Friday morning’s game, Spiece Indy Heat star forward Trey Lyles pulled up injured; he didn’t return. ESPN 100 shooting guard James Blackmon Jr. didn’t even play due to injury.

Regardless, the boys from Indiana were all good. Bluiett put on a show, going for 41 points against Team Penny.

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Top 10 takeaways from the LeBron camp 

July, 10, 2013
Editor's note: This is the latest entry in Dave Telep's July Road Trip blog. Throughout the month, Dave will check in each day he's on the road while covering some of the biggest basketball recruiting events in the country. He'll let you know where he's at, offer some highlights of the day and give a quick look at what's next.

SOMEWHERE BETWEEN LAS VEGAS AND CHARLOTTE -- For three days earlier this week, the king’s court was the Cashman Center in old Las Vegas. There, LeBron James hosted 80 of the top high school basketball prospects in the country, each of whom one day aspires to either be in LeBron’s court or on it.

The obvious narrative that emerged from the 2013 LeBron James Skills Academy was the paint dominance of No. 2 rising senior Cliff Alexander (Chicago/Curie). As grassroots lore goes, this was a tame event with a singular dominating big man.

However, when dozens of the nation’s cream of the crop gather in one spot, there are always stories to tell and observations to be made. Here are my top 10 takeaways from this year’s LeBron camp.

[+] EnlargeCliff Alexander
AP Photo/Damen Jackson via Triple Play New MediaNo. 2 recruit Cliff Alexander was the star of stars at the 2013 LeBron camp.
1. Alexander stated his case

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LeBron camp: What we learned 

July, 10, 2013

LAS VEGAS -- The LeBron James Skills Academy annually serves as one of the nation’s top camps for elite high school basketball prospects, and this year was no different. Everyone involved in the camp had praise for this group of young men, including ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas, who served as a skill instructor at the camp.

“They were really a good bunch of kids to coach,” Bilas said. “They were receptive to being coached, and that is so important in their development. As far as their ability goes, there were no outright stars but many who could develop into stars someday.”

After three days of camp that included both skill work and game action, here are five things we learned from the 2013 LeBron James Skills Academy.

1. The strength of the 2014 class

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