NCB On The Trail: Harry Giles

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Now that the Blue Devils have secured a commitment from ESPN 60 shooting guard Luke Kennard, their focus in the 2015 class will be on landing some size to blend in with their strong perimeter talent.

Jahlil Okafor could certainly be on his way to the NBA draft after next season, and that would just leave Amile Jefferson and Marshall Plumlee in the post for Duke.

Besides Chase Jeter, other top 2015 frontcourt targets include ESPN 60 No. 1 recruit Ivan Rabb, Diamond Stone and Skal Labissiere.

That group of players possesses the size, rebounding, shot blocking and scoring Duke needs inside.

The Blue Devils are also still in the running for ESPN 100 center Myles Turner, the No. 2 prospect in the 2014 class. Turner will make his college decision sometime in the late signing period this spring.

And as we look down the road at the Class of 2016, Duke's priorities are in-state prospect Harry Giles and Jayson Tatum from Missouri.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski and his staff are landing some of the nation's premier talent in hopes of keeping Duke in contention in the powerful ACC.

#AskCoachB: Sweet '16

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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.

From @BrotherQC on Twitter: @PaulBiancardi How high are you on the 2016 class of talent? Looks promising so far. #AskcoachB

I am extremely high on the Class of 2016. They are years away from maturity and development, but this group has some stars-in-the-making who are starting to blossom.

Thon Maker (Martinsville, Va./Carlisle School), ranked No. 1 in the ESPN 25 for the sophomore class, is a shot blocker who is unique as a 7-footer with tremendous skill-to-size ratio. No. 2 Josh Jackson (Southfield, Mich./Consortium College Prep) could be the best player in the state of Michigan already. No. 4 Jayson Tatum (St. Louis/Chaminade College Prep) is picking up traction as not only an elite player in his class, but in the high school game.

When No. 3 Harry Giles (Winston-Salem, N.C./Wesleyan Christian) returns from a knee injury, he will be in the conversation for the No. 1 spot, which he held at one time.

Another name to keep an eye on is No. 6 V.J. King (Akron, Ohio/St. Vincent-St. Mary), who has very good ball skills. No. 5 Dedric Lawson (Memphis, Tenn./Hamilton) has a smooth stroke and great size as a scorer.

At similar points, the Class of 2016 is stronger at the top than the 2014 and 2015 classes.
Want to ask ESPN RecruitingNation national recruiting director Paul Biancardi a question about basketball recruiting? Tweet it to @PaulBiancardi using the hashtag #AskCoachB.
Giles is the No. 3 player in ESPN 25 in the Class of 2016. Giles tore his ACL, MCL and meniscus last June while playing for USA Basketball in Uruguay.

When I spoke with him in January at the Hoop Hall Classic, he said his rehab is coming along nicely.

For him to get back on the court, it will come in stages. He has been doing some straight line movements and plenty of work in the pool and on the bike. Along with that is some light stationary shooting and then shooting and ball-handling with movement.

He is optimistic he will be on the court when spring comes around and can play at full speed and compete. He will play his AAU basketball for @CP3 (Chris Paul).

“Rehab is going well,” Giles said. “I started doing light floaters last week and jump hooks a little bit. I should start jogging soon. I’m around 10 degrees from my full range of motion.”
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The updated ESPN 25 for the Class of 2016 is again led by center Thon Maker (Martinsville, Va./Carlisle School), who is the top prospect. Three prospects have joined the rankings: Center Udoka Azubuike (Jacksonville, Fla./Potters House Christian), point guard Derryck Thornton (Chatsworth, Calif./Findlay Prep) and small forward T.J. Leaf (El Cajon, Calif./Foothills Christian), and many of the returning players have continued to improve their games which ultimately makes the 2016 class better as a whole.

Here are 10 things to know about the prospects in the Class of 2016:


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2016 PF Giles talks rehab, recruiting 

November, 26, 2013
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Harry Giles (Winston-Salem, N.C./Wesleyan Christian Academy), the No. 3 prospect in the 2016 ESPN 25, remains in good spirits following a June injury while playing for USA Basketball’s U16 team in Uruguay that will sideline him this season.

Giles tore his ACL, MCL and meniscus.

“Rehab is going well,” Giles said. “I started doing light floaters last week and jump hooks a little bit. I should start jogging soon. I’m around 10 degrees from my full range of motion.”

With rehab on schedule and the range of motion in his knee returning with each passing week, the big decision facing Giles and his family will be when he returns to the court.


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Five names to know in ESPN 25 

September, 24, 2013
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The Class of 2016 has a real chance to be one of the best classes in the last decade because of the sheer number of high-impact prospects. There are players in this group who are game-changers now and who have barely scratched the surface of their potential. Here's a look at five members of the latest ESPN 25 who performed well against older competition this summer.

Thon Maker (Carlisle School/Martinsville, Va.)

Maker has a chance to be really special because of his rare combination of enormous height (7-feet), length and advanced skill. He handles the ball and shoots it with finesse, and on the other end, he rebounds above the crowd and blocks shots at an elite level. Maker has a Kevin Garnett-like body and better skills at the same stage but his heart and toughness are yet to be determined. How his body fills out and how he continues to approach the game will determine how far he goes. He played on the 17-and-under EYBL circuit and performed extremely well.


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Ten things to know about 2016 ESPN 25 

September, 24, 2013
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The Class of 2016 is led by the super-talented trio of C Thon Maker, SF Josh Jackson and PF Harry Giles, giving this group an opportunity to be versatile and deep at a variety of positions.

Here are 10 things to know about the ESPN 25 Class of 2016, a small number of prospects who possess big-time potential.

1. Serious upside
The Class of 2016 first and foremost could be better than the Classes of 2014 and 2015. The early report card is tremendous not only for the top 25, but from reports coming in from around the country about players who have yet to be evaluated and added to the rankings when they are extended to 60 then 100. The overall talent and depth and the number of potential NBA players could be the difference.


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Elite 24 player breakdowns

August, 22, 2013
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Chris McCulloughDustin Snipes/Icon SMISyracuse forward commit Chris McCullough is looking to put his athleticism and skillset on display this weekend at the Under Armour Elite 24 in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Breakdowns of the key prospect competing at Under Armour Elite 24 showcase. The 2013 Under Armour Elite 24 will be held at the Tobacco Warehouse in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Friday and Saturday. The game airs live on ESPNU at 7 p.m. ET Saturday, while the Slam Dunk Contest and Skills Competition will air Friday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPNU.

2014

Tyus Jones
Point Guard
Apple Valley, Minn./Apple Valley
6-foot-2, 180 pounds
College: Undeclared

Jones is a true point guard that pushes the pace, runs his team and makes great decisions off the ball screen in addition to being an excellent finisher for his size. He has an an all-business approach and is a winner.

NBA Comparisons: Tony Parker/Ray McCallum/John Stockton

Emmanuel Mudiay
Point Guard
Dallas/Prime Prep
6-5, 198
College: Undeclared

Mudiay is a scoring point guard with great size and athletic ability that plays in full-attack mode and can also facilitate. He can take over the game offensively at times and is great at making plays at end-of-clock situations.

NBA Comparison: Tyreke Evans

Chris McCullough
Power Forward
Bronx, N.Y./Brewster Academy
6-9, 210
College: Syracuse

McCullough is a extra-long athletic forward that excels on the break and finishes above the rim on all clear paths. He rebounds and blocks shots to go along with being a capable multiple-position lockdown defender as well with great upside.

NBA Comparison: Taj Gibson

Justin Jackson
Small Forward
Tomball, Texas/Homeschool Christian Youth Association
6-8, 190
College: North Carolina

Jackson is a long and lean wing with a great feel for the game and a sweet shooting stroke and floater that is money from deep in the lane and along the baseline. Capable of scoring big numbers with a scoring package that extends to the arc.

NBA Comparisons: Jeremy Lamb/Tayshaun Prince/Reggie Miller

Myles Turner
Center
Bedford, Texas/Euless Trinity
6-11, 225
College: Undeclared

Turner is a post that is long with a great motor. He has an advanced face-up game with range to the arc. He can also put it on the floor and pass with accuracy in addition to being an elite shot blocker with off-the-charts upside.

NBA Comparisons: Anthony Davis/LaMarcus Aldridge/ Tim Duncan/Theo Ratliff

Rashad Vaughn
Shooting Guard
Golden Valley, Minn./Findlay Prep
6-6, 206
College: Undeclared

Vaughn is an attacking wing that excels on the break and can make scoring plays off the bounce in a variety of ways He is a tough matchup at the shooting guard position because he has range out to the arc and is relentless at attempting to make high-level scoring plays.

NBA Comparisons: Jamal Crawford/Jerry Stackhouse

(Read full post)

Top 10 lessons learned in July 

July, 31, 2013
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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
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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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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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Notebook: Arizona strong with Victor 

June, 21, 2013
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This week’s Friday notebook includes why Arizona is in good shape with ESPN 100 power forward Craig Victor, where No. 1 point guard Tyus Jones will be visiting, who’s heavily after ESPN 100 guard Isaiah Whitehead, what impact the injury to No. 1 rising sophomore Harry Giles will have on his recruitment and much more.

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We’re back with another edition of the #AskCoachB Twitter mailbag. Once again, ESPN National Recruiting Director Paul Biancardi is on hand to answer fans' questions regarding the recently released ESPN player rankings, and other recruiting inquiries.

In this week’s mailbag, we tackle the hotly contested decision to move Cliff Alexander ahead of Tyus Jones, behind top senior recruit Jahlil Okafor in the top three; break down Ohio State’s current four-man class; and discuss UNLV recruit Dwayne Morgan’s drop in the ESPN 100. You can have your recruiting questions answered by Biancardi on Twitter at any time using the hashtag, but only the best questions make this blog.

Now on to your questions.



I love their quartet of committed players because they’re different but all high-level prospects. Keita Bates-Diop has a prototypical small forward body along with great shooting ability, touch and range. And when he’s not facing the basket, he can post you up and get buckets in the low and midpost.

D'Angelo Russell is a finesse scoring guard who can slide over to the point because of his ability to facilitate, utilizing his hoops acumen and vision. He’s already a good 3-point shooter and can get to the rim with ease, but he needs to work on his middle game to complete his game. Jae’Sean Tate is a physically imposing player for his size (6-foot-5, 190 pounds) and is a relentless rebounder and terrific finisher. He’s probably the most physical perimeter player we’ve seen this spring/summer. David Bell, a big man with a lot of upside, rounds out the Buckeyes’ 2014 class.


Karl Towns has extraordinary touch and range as a shooter and he’s an above-average passer -- all that at 7-feet tall. Like most big guys, who often blossom later in their careers, he’ll need extra time to develop. Right now he stands out on offense when facing the basket, but his low-post game is evolving. Towns will have to get his body in optimum physical condition for him to maximize his potential.

As for his future, guys with his combination of size and skill usually don’t stay in college very long. He’ll be at Kentucky in the near future, where he should significantly impact the game whenever he’s on the floor. The only question is, will he impact contests on a consistent basis, or just when he feels like it?

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No. 1 soph Giles suffers serious knee injury

June, 19, 2013
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Harry Giles, the nation's top-ranked rising sophomore, suffered a serious knee injury last week in Uruguay while playing for USA Basketball’s U16 squad. Upon returning from the FIBA America's World Championships, Giles had an MRI and received devastating news: The 15-year old phenom had torn his ACL, MCL and meniscus. Surgery, possibly within the next month, is on the horizon.

[+] EnlargeHarry Giles
Kelly Kline/Under ArmourHarry Giles, the No. 1 player in the ESPN 25, could miss the upcoming season with a knee injury.
Giles thinks he suffered the potential sophomore season-ending injury during the team’s second game against Argentina. "I was on the fast break and I felt someone on the right try to take the ball. Then from behind, [I] got pushed [and got] hit on the outside of my knee,” Giles said.

Giles had been USA's starting power forward before the collision and the team went on to win the FIBA America's championship without him. “But there was a noticeable downtick in the energy of the guys,” according to a source at the event.

Giles is one of the elite prospects -- if not the best overall -- in all of high school basketball. As a freshman, he teamed with North Carolina pledge and No. 13 recruit Theo Pinson to produce a state championship at Wesleyan Christian, a school just outside of Winston Salem, N.C. He averaged 13.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.0 steals on the season and drew the attention of head coaches at Duke, North Carolina and Kentucky.

In a nutshell, this is one of the top young basketball players on the planet in his age group. He's a special prospect because of his ability, his makeup and his ceiling for improvement. When an injury of this magnitude happens, it typically takes the player out for the better part of a season. Giles is ranked as the top player in his class, which by the way, could be one of the top groups in recent memory. The approach on our end in evaluating him will be patience as he should be given the proper time to recover and rehab. As much as he's a high school star and future collegian, the reality is this is a young man with a long-term future in the game of basketball. Expect decisions to be made with the proper perspective and he’ll be allowed to take as much time as needed to return.

5 things to know about the 2016 class 

June, 14, 2013
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The new player rankings are out, and that means the 2016 class of rising sophomores enters our rankings for the first time with our debut of the 2016 ESPN 25. It’s still extremely early for this group, but here are five things you need to know about the Class of 2016.

1. Giles is a generational talent

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