NCB On The Trail: Austin Grandstaff

HOUSTON -- The 13th Annual "Spring Ice Breaker" is one of the elite events that kick off the spring travel teams season. Presented by RCS Sports under the direction of Houston high school basketball guru Jim Hicks, it also included a few select high school teams and an unsigned senior showcase as well. Great talent from Texas and Louisiana highlighted this annual event that has continued to expand each year.

Best point guards

Jordan Hunter
Class of 2015, PG, 5-foot-11, 160 pounds
Travel team: Houston Hoops
Committed to New Mexico
Hunter is a strong, tough, true point guard who competes on both ends of the floor. He is an excellent finisher on the break for his size and displays excellent touch and body control while executing acrobatic finishes. He can hit the open 3 when set and the rhythm dribble pull-up in addition to running the show and delivering the ball as needed.


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#AskCoachB: Duke chasing ESPN 60 SG?

February, 24, 2014
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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.
ESPN 60 member Austin Grandstaff (Rockwall, Texas/Rockwall) is having a breakout junior season. His shooting talent is at a high level, as he not only makes spot-up long-range jumpers but 3-point shots off the dribble. He is becoming hard to guard in ball screens because he can attack the big man, step behind the screen and nail the jumper or hit the open man. When the game goes at a fast tempo, he will spot up and make you pay for not finding him fast enough.

Florida has inquired recently, and he will take a unofficial to Gainesville, Fla., in the next few weeks for either the LSU or Kentucky game.

Since he reopened his recruitment from Oklahoma State, schools such as Ohio State (offer), Oklahoma, Iowa State (offer), Notre Dame, Nebraska, Michigan, Alabama, SMU, Virginia, Texas, Texas A&M, Oregon, Creighton and Georgetown (offer) have inquired or offered.

Yes, Duke is showing interest, too, and has been in contact. Grandstaff’s dad, Wes, said the Blue Devils will be out to see the youth in the spring.

Roundtable: Looking ahead to 2014 

December, 31, 2013
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As we close the door on 2013 and look forward to the year to come, there are a variety of things to look forward to in college basketball recruiting.

The potentially intriguing storylines and trends are perhaps best reflected in our team of Recruiting Nation experts, who seem to have their eyes set on something different heading into the new year.

Paul Biancardi: In the 2014 class, the point guard position is strong at the very top, but there is not a lot of depth or promise after some of the elite players.


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ESPN 100 prospects star at Peach Jam 

July, 12, 2013
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video 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.

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- Thirty minutes before the start of the second session at the Nike Peach Jam on Thursday, the rains came. And it rained. And rained harder. And kept raining and then rained some more. A torrential downpour gave the event a new perspective.

Watching assistant coaches sprint to the gym so they wouldn’t be late to a game was kind of fun. Without any scholarships to give out, the best seat in the house for me was in the car until there was a letup in the downpour.

Sandwiched around the rain, however, there was some great action on the court and a who's who of big-time college coaches on hand to watch. Here are some nuggets from the first official day of the Nike EYBL finals at the Peach Jam.

[+] EnlargePaul White
Dave Telep/ESPN ESPN 100 PF Paul White put on a show in front of coaches from Florida, Memphis, Wisconsin, UConn, Michigan State and Illinois.
White turns in one of his best days of the summer

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Top 10 takeaways from the LeBron camp 

July, 10, 2013
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video 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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Top players from LeBron camp Day 2 

July, 8, 2013
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LAS VEGAS -- The intensity was good for most of the competition on Sunday at the LeBron James Skills Academy, as the players utilized the concepts learned in drill work and applied them to the start of games. As with most competitive camp situations, the better-conditioned athletes and battle-tested players stood out.

Here’s a look at nine players who separated themselves with their performances on Day 2.

Justin Jackson (Tomball, Texas/HCYA)
2014, SF, 6-7, 185
Committed to North Carolina


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Alexander dominates Day 2 at LeBron 

July, 8, 2013
7/08/13
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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.

LAS VEGAS -- Everyone was assembling. The stage was set for No. 10 rising senior Myles Turner (Euless, Texas/Trinity) to take on No. 2 Cliff Alexander (Chicago/Curie). Unfortunately, the much-anticipated matchup didn’t happen after a leg injury for Turner put this titanic tilt on ice.

Still, a long Day 2 at the LeBron James Skills Academy on Sunday and the first day of games allowed ample time to evaluate and gather intel on many premier players. Here are some nuggets from Day 2.

[+] EnlargeCliff Alexander
AP Photo/Damen Jackson via Triple Play New MediaDay 2 at the LeBron camp belonged to No. 2 recruit Cliff Alexander, who dominated both games he played.
No Myles, but plenty of Alexander

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What do Dion Wiley, Jared Nickens, Silas Melson and Austin Grandstaff all have in common?

First, they’re all top prospects who came off the board in recent weeks, and second, they’re all excellent 3-point shooters who help space the floor on offense.

These four commitments are representative of a recruiting trend that has been gaining momentum for several years now and stems from the decline of quality long-range shooters in the college game.

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ESPN 60 shooting guard Austin Grandstaff (Rockwall, Texas/Rockwall) pledged to Oklahoma State Sunday night, giving the Cowboys their first commitment in the 2015 class.

But what does the move mean for Travis Ford and his team’s future? Let’s break down what Grandstaff, the nation’s No. 52 rising junior and an extremely skilled offensive player, will bring to Stillwater.

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ESPN 60 SG picks Oklahoma State 

June, 23, 2013
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His name is Austin, but his game is going to Stillwater. On Sunday night, ESPN 60 shooting guard Austin Grandstaff (Rockwall, Texas/Rockwall) committed to Oklahoma State.

Grandstaff, who is ranked the No. 52 overall prospect in the Class of 2015, is the Cowboys’ first commitment in the class.

A noted perimeter threat, Grandstaff was impressed by how the Cowboys deploy players like him from the shooting guard position.

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Hoops: 2015 teammates enjoy Alabama visit 

August, 19, 2012
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- It’s never too early to start developing relationships in recruiting, and the University of Alabama hosted two top basketball prospects for the class of 2015 over the weekend, as Rockwall, Texas, teammates Austin Grandstaff and Elijah Thomas visited Tuscaloosa for the Crimson Tide’s skills camp.

“It was good,” Thomas said. “We saw a lot of activities and what not, met a lot of people. We played video games in the hotel room, went swimming and just chilled. We had a good visit. It was fun.”

Thomas, a 6-foot-8 five-star, ranked No. 7 nationally in 2015, was surprised with how much he enjoyed the visit to UA.

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