NCB On The Trail: Corey Sanders

LAS VEGAS -- The first night of the evaluation period landed us at Bishop Gorman High School for the Las Vegas Fab 48, and there was a plethora of talent on hand. While Dwayne Bacon was converting buckets at all three levels, super sophomore DeAndre Ayton displayed glimpses of his immense talent at both ends.

Best Player

Brandon Sampson
2015, SG, 6-foot-5, 170 pounds
AAU Team: Louisiana Elite
LSU was three-deep (coaches) while Sampson showed off his repertoire. The willowy shooting guard facilitated the offense on occasion, but he was at his best creating space with the dribble and launching jump shots from the mid-range to the 3-point line. He still needs to get stronger for the next level, but his shooting skills and bouncy nature make him one of the elite 2-guards in the country.

Five 2015 classes off to fast starts 

June, 3, 2014
Jun 3
11:37
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As we turn our attention to the Class of 2015 and the newly released ESPN 100, here’s a look at five college basketball programs that have a head start on the 2015 recruiting trail:


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The ESPN 60 has officially grown into the ESPN 100 for the Class of 2015, and there are plenty of intriguing storylines among the top rising seniors in the country:

[+] EnlargeIvan Rabb
Chris Williams/Icon SMIIvan Rabb maintained his tenuous hold on the No. 1 spot in the 2015 class.
1. Top spot still up for grabs. Ivan Rabb has retained his spot as the top-ranked prospect in the Class of 2015, but make no mistake about it: This remains a very tight race that will continue to play out for the next 12 months. Rabb’s versatility and efficiency during the Elite Youth Basketball League regular season, in addition to his vast physical upside, were enough for him to retain his title. But he has plenty of competition. Ben Simmons has been coming on as strong in recent months as any prospect in the class, as he is now turning potential into production on a much more consistent basis. In a class full of scoring guards, Malik Newman stands out as the most talented of them all, and very likely the best pure scorer in the ESPN 100. Diamond Stone has had an equally dominant spring in the Under Armour Association, playing his way into the top four and asserting his claim as a contender in the race for the No. 1 spot.

2. Oh, Henry. No player has made a more dramatic jump up the rankings than Henry Ellenson, who went all the way from No. 47 to No. 5 in the ESPN 100. Ellenson averaged 18 points and 9 rebounds per game for Playground Elite during the EYBL season, showing a versatile and unique game for a 6-foot-9 power forward, all while continuing to raise his level of his production with each passing week. He can shoot the ball from the 3-point line but is also a threat to put the ball on the floor. He is perhaps most effective when he’s able to get out and run in transition.

3. Other risers. Ellenson is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to players whose stock is rising. Jaylen Brown had a terrific spring on the adidas Gauntlet circuit and played his way into the top 10. Chase Jeter jumped more than 20 spots to land at No. 13, while Michigan State-bound big man Deyonta Davis moved up 30 spots to No. 18. Other spring stock risers include Justin Simon, who went from 45 to 23; Jalen Adams, 46 to 33; and Jalen Coleman, who hopped 24 spots to land at No. 34 in the ESPN 100.

4. Announcing his arrival. Previously a member of the 2016 class, Caleb Swanigan is making his debut in the 2015 rankings at No. 17 after announcing his reclassification last month. The wide-bodied 6-9 big man has nimble feet for a player of his size and an even bigger presence on the backboards. He led the entire EYBL in rebounding this season and was equally dominant cleaning the glass on both ends. His recruitment has also heated up, with Arizona and Kansas joining a long list of scholarship offers that already included Michigan State, Indiana, Purdue and many others.

5. More notable newcomers. While Swanigan might be the most notable of the new prospects in the ESPN 100, he’s far from the only one. In a class in desperate need of point guards, Corey Sanders has helped to fill a major void. He was unranked in the last ESPN 60 but now makes his ESPN 100 debut ranked No. 31 in the class. Former UConn commit Prince Ali is another prospect who was on the outside looking in the last time we updated rankings, but he has more than proved himself in recent months. Tres Tinkle, Admon Gilder and De'Jounte Murray make their debuts in the top half of the ESPN 100.

[+] EnlargeJessie Govan
Bart Young/USA BasketballGeorgetown commit Jessie Govan is trending back up the ESPN 100.
6. Down but not out. As some prospects go up the rankings, others must go down, but sometimes that’s just the spark of motivation they need to reassert themselves in the coming months. Jessie Govan and Terance Mann are examples of prospects who slipped out of the rankings at one point in time but are now trending back in the right direction. At No. 23, Tyler Dorsey is a prospect who could make another climb up the ESPN 100 before all is said and done, while the same can be said for P.J. Dozier, Charles Matthews, Doral Moore and K.J. Lawson.

7. Big and getting bigger. The 2015 class was already well known for the amount of size and frontcourt depth, but that has become an even bigger (no pun intended) trend in these most recent rankings. In fact, 11 of the top 15 ranked players in the class come at either the center or power forward positions, making this far and away the most frontcourt-dominated class we’ve seen in recent memory.

8. Plenty of positional size. Size is a characteristic of this class, not just among the frontcourt positions, but across each of the five positions on the floor. Even the perimeter players atop the class have terrific size relative to their spot on the floor. Jaylen Brown is no slouch of a wing at 6-5, while Brandon Ingram’s 6-8 frame is ideal. Malachi Richardson has equally imposing size at the shooting guard position at 6-6. Conversely, we don’t see a player 6 feet or under until Kendall Small (ditto on the no pun intended) checks in at No. 60.

9. Scoring guards. While the big men dominate the top of the rankings, many of the best guards in the class all seem to come from a similar prototype. They handle the ball more than natural 2-guards and yet are more focused on their individual offense than pure point guards. Instead, guys such as Newman, Antonio Blakeney, Allonzo Trier and Isaiah Briscoe can be best described as scoring guards -- guards who act as the primary playmakers for their respective teams but look for their own offense first and foremost before passing as a result of forcing the defense to collapse or rotate.

10. On the cusp. The final spots in the ESPN 100 are always some of the most debatable, essentially because there are so many prospects who can make a legitimate claim on the top 100 status. That was particularly true this year, when proven players such as Bryant Crawford and Rex Pflueger were left just on the outside looking in, along with other deserving prospects such as Joseph Toye, Matt Ryan, Chimezie Metu, Marcus Derrickson and several others.
HOUSTON -- The Under Armour Invitational brings local travel teams together to compete under one roof and create an event loaded with high school talent from around the country.

Let's take a look at a few of the impressive performances that we witnessed.

Best true scoring point guard


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Scout's take: Henriquez to UCF 

September, 29, 2013
9/29/13
11:31
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ESPN 100 shooting guard Adonys Henriquez (Orlando, Fla./Orlando Christian Prep) made a verbal commitment to Central Florida this weekend, marking the fourth player to commit to head coach Donnie Jones in the last two weeks.

The hot streak for UCF began with ESPN 60 power forward Alex Owens (Orlando, Fla./Oak Ridge) on Sept. 17, grew a day later with junior point guard Corey Sanders (Lakeland, Fla./IMG Academy), continued to gain momentum late last week with 2015 power forward Chad Brown (Deltona, Fla./Deltona) and was punctuated by Henriquez's decision on Sunday morning.

Why he committed: Henriquez was previously committed to Miami and continued to make staying close to home a priority during his second time through the process. He picked UCF over Butler, Vanderbilt, Minnesota and Creighton.


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Weekly Commitment Roundup

September, 20, 2013
9/20/13
9:27
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SEC
Kentucky
Tyler Ulis PG Matteson, Ill./Marian Catholic
HT: 5-9 WT: 150
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 8
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 38

Vanderbilt
Matthew Fisher-Davis SG Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Christian
HT: 6-5 WT: 175
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 28
Stars: 4

Texas A&M
Alex Robinson PG Arlington, Texas/Timberview
HT: 6-1 WT: 170
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 20
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 89

Big Ten
Purdue
Vincent Edwards SF Middletown, Ohio/Middletown
HT: 6-7 WT: 200
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 22
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 80

Big East
Georgetown
Paul White PF Chicago/Whitney Young
HT: 6-8 WT: 185
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 14
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 57

Seton Hall
Isaiah Whitehead SG Brooklyn, N.Y./Lincoln
HT: 6-4 WT: 195
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 10
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 35

ACC
Florida State
Josh Gray PG Houston/Odessa College (Juco)
HT: 6-1 WT: 175
Class of 2014

Virginia Tech
T.J. Lang SF Mobile, Ala./McGill-Toolen Catholic
HT: 6-7 WT: 195
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Virginia
Jack Salt C Auckland, New Zealand/Westlake
HT: 6-10
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Wake Forest
Rondale Watson SG Lewisburg, W.Va./Greenbrier East
HT: 6-3
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

American Athletic
Cincinnati
Quadri Moore C Linden, N.J./Linden
HT: 6-8 WT: 225
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 8
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 83

Gary Clark PF Clayton, N.C./Clayton
HT: 6-7 WT: 215
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 26
Stars: 4

Central Florida
Alex Owens PF Orlando, Fla./Oak Ridge
HT: 6-8 WT: 230
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: 9
Stars: 4
ESPN 60: 44

Corey Sanders PG Lakeland, Fla./IMG Academy
HT: 6-1 WT: 185
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 3

Atlantic 10
Virginia Commonwealth
Terry Larrier SF Bronx, N.Y./The Phelps School
HT: 6-7 WT: 200
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 15
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 59

Richmond
Paul Friendshuh PF New Prague, Minn./New Prague
HT: 6-9 WT: 205
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Conference USA
Tulsa
Mitch Wilbekin PG Gainesville, Fla./The Rock School
HT: 6-1 WT: 160
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 2

UTEP
Trey Touchet SG Lafayette, La./St. Thomas More
HT: 6-2 WT: 175
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Middle Tennessee State
DeVante Jones SG Chicago/Southwest Tennessee C.C. (Juco)
HT: 5-11
Class of 2014

Mountain West
Boise State
David Wacker C Converse, Texas/Judson
HT: 6-9 WT: 235
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Air Force
Jacob Van PG Mansfield, Texas/Lake Ridge
HT: 6-2
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Southern Conference
Davidson
Rusty Reigel SG Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Latin
HT: 6-2 WT: 190
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 2

Western Carolina
Alex Hicks PF Phenix City, Ala./Glenwood School
HT: 6-8 WT: 195
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

NEC
Mount St. Mary's
Troy Henderson SF Charlotte, N.C./Gaston Day School
HT: 6-6 WT: 175
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

St. Francis (Pa.)
Basil Thompson SF Philadelphia/Imhotep Institute
HT: 6-6 WT: 175
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 2

Sacred Heart
Cane Broome PG East Hartford, Conn./St. Thomas More
HT: 6-0 WT: 160
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 2

MAC
Western Michigan
Drake Lamont C Plantation, Fla./American Heritage
HT: 6-9 WT: 200
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 39
Stars: 3

Ball State
Sean Sellers SF Greensburg, Ind./Greensburg
HT: 6-6 WT: 175
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 2

Big South
Liberty
A.C. Reid SF Spring Branch, Texas/Smithson Valley
HT: 6-5 WT: 190
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

UNC-Asheville
Kevin Vannatta SG Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington
HT: 6-2
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Big Sky
Montana State
Ghassan Nehme SG Colorado Springs, Colo./Cheyenne Mountain
HT: 6-3 WT: 174
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Weber State
Hayden Hunter PG North Richland Hills, Texas/Richland
HT: 5-11
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Idaho State
Geno Luzcando PG Mount Pleasant, Utah/Wasatch Academy
HT: 6-3
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

America East
UMass-Lowell
Josh Gantz PF Grove City, Ohio/Bishop Ready
HT: 6-6 WT 185
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Dontavious Smith PF Springhill, La./North Webster
HT: 6-8
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Binghamton
John Schurman SG Manlius, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius
HT: 6-5
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Missouri Valley
Bradley
Donte Thomas SF South Holland, Ill./Thornwood
HT: 6-6
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Northern Iowa
Luke McDonnell PF Dubuque, Iowa/Dubuque Senior
HT: 6-8 WT: 200
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

OVC
Murray State
JayQuan McCloud PG North Chicago, Ill./North Chicago Community
HT: 6-4 WT: 180
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Tennessee-Martin
Chris Clark SG Columbia, Mo./Hickman
HT: 6-3 WT: 175
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

SIU-Edwardsville
C.J. Carr PG Rock Island, Ill./Rock Island
HT: 5-6 WT: 145
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Horizon League
Oakland
Alek Frascone PG Washington Township, Mich./Eisenhower
HT: 6-0 WT: 150
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Summit League
South Dakota State
Mike Daum PF Kimball, Neb./Kimball
HT: 6-9
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Atlantic Sun
Florida Gulf Coast
Eric Moeller C St. Louis/Central Florida C.C. (Juco)
HT: 6-11 WT: 200
Class of 2014

Mercer
Demetre Rivers PF Goose Creek, S.C./Stratford
HT: 6-6
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Ivy League
Princeton
Alec Brennan PF Weston, Mass./Milton Academy
HT: 6-10 WT: 225
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 35
Stars: 3

Brown
Patrick Triplett PG St. Louis/Bayless Senior
HT: 6-4 WT: 200
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

WCC
Pepperdine
Nate Gehring C Waukee, Iowa/Waukee
HT: 6-10 WT: 220
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 44
Stars: 3

MAAC
Quinnipiac
Ayron Hutton SG Virginia Beach, Va./Cape Henry
HT: 6-3
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

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