NCB On The Trail: Harry Giles

Harry Giles -- the No. 2 player in the 2016 ESPN 60 -- has cut his list to eight, and I spoke with him last night about his choices.

The recruiting process was beginning to get overwhelming for Giles, who is back from an ACL and MCL tear he suffered in 2013.

“My season is about to end, and I wanted to get this out of the way. The recruiting was getting crazy," he said. "I still will have to cut this list again before my senior year.”

He had some hard decisions to make along the way.

"The two hardest schools to cut were NC State and Baylor," Giles said.

While he was injured, schools such as Duke, Kentucky and North Carolina still continued to recruit him hard, and it paid off for those programs.

Here is what he had to say about his choices:

Duke
"I went to Countdown to Cameron Crazies, and it was a crazy atmosphere. Coach K is amazing, and he coached the USA team, and he has coached players with my type of versatility (Jabari Parker, Rodney Hood, Justise Winslow). I like how Coach K changes the system up to his players, and Duke is close to home."

video
The player rankings in all three high school classes (ESPN 100, 60 and 25) have been updated. We base our rankings on the four Ps: Performance, production potential and projection, among many other factors. First we analyze and evaluate a prospect's individual performance, his production level now and possibly at the collegiate level, his potential in the college game, and where he could land on a possible professional draft board.

The player rankings also affect a school's class rankings, which have also been updated. Since our last update in September, some of our evaluations have changed or been confirmed. We are midway through the high school season in our rankings and there's still time for more movement, as this is a fluid process.

Here are five things to know about the new rankings.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Five observations: Cancer Research Classic 

January, 5, 2015
Jan 5
10:30
AM ET
WHEELING, W. Va. -- Here's what we saw at the Cancer Research Classic, a tournament featuring some of the nation's best Catholic high schools.

1. Ben Simmons (No. 1 in ESPN 100) did his best to put to rest any debate of who is the best player in the 2015 class. This past Friday Mr. Simmons put together the "perfect" game, scoring 26 points and not missing a single shot or free throw. He went 11-for-11 from the field, 2-of-2 from 3 and 2-of-2 from the free throw line. He added five rebounds and six assists for good measure. Simmons is pretty much a man among boys at this point. If he can consistently knock down the perimeter jump shot, he completes the puzzle at the high school level.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Five observations: City of Palms Classic 

December, 23, 2014
12/23/14
9:00
AM ET
FORT MYERS, Fla. --- The 42nd Culligan City of Palms Classic High School Basketball Tournament brought some of the nation's top talent and teams to Southwest Florida for six days of action at Bishop Verot High School.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

HIGH POINT, N.C. -- The anticipation leading up to Tuesday night’s season opener for Wesleyan Christian was evident with a packed gym nearly a half about before tipoff. The reason was simple, it was the first game in a Wesleyan Christian uniform since February of 2013 for ESPN60 No. 3 Harry Giles.

While Giles returned to the AAU circuit in late spring and summer following surgery to repair ACL and MCL injuries sustained in early June of 2013, Tuesday night was a special night filled with emotion for the budding star.

“It was time to get back in that [Wesleyan Christian] uniform,” Giles said. “It was exciting to get back in that uniform, I had fun and it was great to get a win. I had nerves, I was ready to play and I wanted to win. I just had mixed emotions before the game,”

Giles, playing with a brace on his left knee, came out with the mindset of making sure everyone of his teammates got in the flow of the game against a New Hope team that opened in a 1-3-1 zone and switched defenses throughout the game.

After missing his first two field goal attempts in the opening four minutes, but converting two free throws, the 16-year-old junior that doesn’t turn 17 until April scored his first basket in a high school game since his freshman season in emphatic fashion with an offensive rebound and dunk.



After scoring eight points and grabbing nearly as many rebounds in the first half, Giles flashed his all-around game in the third quarter assisting on several made baskets, including a rebound, push and pass on the break for a dunk during a run that extended Wesleyan Christian’s lead to double digits.

Last weekend, Kentucky had about 90 NBA scouts on its campus for a practice that was televised on ESPNU -- yet this weekend will feature an even bigger event for the Wildcats.

Friday brings Big Blue Madness to Lexington, where the Kentucky faithful will pack Rupp Arena for their first look at the 2014-15 edition of the Wildcats, the likely preseason No. 1 team in the country. More important, it is also the biggest recruiting weekend of the year for John Calipari and Kentucky. Seven five-star prospects from the classes of 2015 and 2016 are expected on campus this weekend, in addition to four-star commit Charles Matthews.

Calipari and his staff haven’t tried to downplay the event to the prospective recruits, either.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

NEW YORK -- The Under Armour Elite 24 game is loaded with ESPN Recruiting Nation ranked players from the classes of 2015, 2016 and 2017 and can be seen at 7 p.m. ET Saturday on ESPNU live from Pier 2 of Brooklyn Bridge Park. Let's take a look at five matchups that we are most excited to see.

POINT GUARDS

ESPN 100 No. 62 Jawun Evans 6-foot, 180 (Dallas, Texas/Justin F. Kimball) vs. ESPN 60 No. 9 Dennis Smith Jr. 6-1, 173 (Fayetteville, N.C./Trinity Christian School): In this all-important lead guard matchup, it will exciting to see who will run their team, push the ball and set the tone. Evans -- a great finisher for his size -- has blinding speed and quickness and can get teammates involved. Smith beats defenders off the bounce with ease and is a playmaker for himself or teammates. He is a highlight finisher on the break who can simply put the defense on its heels and create help situations all over the offensive end of the floor.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

If you’ve noticed a sudden rush of recruiting information for 2016 prospects in the last few days, it's no coincidence.

Sunday was the first day that college coaches were permitted to contact prospects in the rising junior class, and for some prospects that literally meant the phone rang when the clock struck midnight.

Often times, those conversations are followed by some sort of offer. Here’s a look at some of the latest news for the Class of 2016:


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

video
With the field expanding from 25 to 60 as the sophomores become juniors, here are 10 things to know about the prospects in the new ESPN 60 for the Class of 2016:

1. Jayson Tatum continues to make his move upward. The talented and skilled 6-foot-7 small forward has great feel and is a high-level playmaker with size and basketball intelligence. The St. Louis Chaminade College Prep standout made another slight jump within the top five, going from No. 4 to No. 3.

2. The rim-protecting dominance of center Udoka Azubuike has continued. A strong and physical low-post presence, the Jacksonville (Fla.) Potter's House Christian standout rebounds, finishes and blocks shots with power and has been rewarded by moving inside the top 10 at No. 6.

[+] EnlargeTerrance Ferguson
Kelly KlineTerrance Ferguson of Prime Prep Academy is a standout shooter in the ESPN 60.
3. There are some big-time wing scorers in the Class of 2016. These bucket-getters attack defenders and are difficult to deal with when they have the ball in their hands. Shooting guards Malik Monk and Josh Langford, small forwards Mario Kegler and V.J. King and SG Tyus Battle lead the top 20 players.

4. Shooting guard Terrance Ferguson has the sweetest shooting stroke in the top 10. Ferguson has a high release and excellent follow-through. He loves the corner jumper from behind the arc and shoots over smaller defenders as if they are invisible.

5. Combination forward Miles Bridges and point guard Dennis Smith are fresh faces in the top 10 because of their consistent production. A few dominant performances this spring on the travel circuit clearly separated them from their peers.

6. Point guard Jaylen Fisher has special court vision. The Arlington (Tenn.) Bolton standout puts the ball on time and on target and attacks the defense with his ability to penetrate. Fisher not only finds the open man but also delivers the ball in position to score on the catch.

7. Harry Giles made his debut this spring after suffering a knee injury that required surgery. The 6-9 Giles, from Winston-Salem (N.C.) Wesleyan Christian, is still rounding into form, but we did see flashes of his game before the injury from this talented power forward. He has all the tools to be a special player with terrific upside.

8. There's a lot of variety and versatility in the 2016 class. Many players can play and excel at two positions, both in the post and on the perimeter. A few examples are Bridges, Omari Spellman, Amir Coffey, Vance Jackson and Kobi Jordan-Simmons.

9. With only 10 true point guards in the ESPN 60, it is definitely a situation of quality over quantity. These point guards may be small in numbers, but all are very good players who will lead and make winning plays for their team. Newcomer Smith leads the way. Lonzo Ball, De'Aaron Fox, Trent Forrest, Derryck Thornton, Devearl Ramsey, Payton Pritchard, Xavier Simpson, Cassius Winston and Howard Washington all have had standout springs.

10. In comparison, the 2016 ESPN 60 will be better than the 2015 ESPN 60.

EYBL Session III recap 

May, 19, 2014
5/19/14
10:30
AM ET
HAMPTON, Va. -- The third installment of the 2014 Nike EYBL came to the Boo Williams Sports Complex this weekend. Here’s a look at some of the major storylines:


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider


The Class of 2015 is in its early stages of development as new prospects are being recognized weekly and more established prospects are working to keep their reputations intact. May is a time to evaluate and analyze the nation's best. We will update our rankings in June after we get a thorough evaluation and find the emerging talent in this class.

With six months to go before the early signing period here is an early preview of the Class of 2015:


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

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

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

March, 4, 2014
3/04/14
12:30
PM ET
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.

#AskCoachB: How is Giles progressing?

February, 10, 2014
2/10/14
12:30
PM ET
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.”

10 things to know about the 2016 class 

January, 28, 2014
1/28/14
9:30
AM ET

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:


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

SPONSORED HEADLINES