NCB On The Trail: Javon Bess

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Shooting guard Javon Bess, who is heading to Michigan State, is a sleeper and should have a very good freshman season. Michigan State is losing point guard Keith Appling, and on Monday, shooting guard Gary Harris declared for the NBA draft. Bess will now have a chance to work his way into the rotation and be a factor next season.

Bess plays on the wing and possesses point-forward abilities, as he is long, athletic and constantly making plays with his high motor. Bess can be productive not only in statistical areas but also in other facets of the game that don't show up in the box score. He's a great teammate, he brings energy to the game, gives energy to his teammates and handles the ball against pressure in the full court.

When it comes to scoring, I like the way he attacks the rim, finishes and makes shots when he has time to set his feet. Versatility is what makes him special, as he is also a good passer who finds an open teammate quickly and unselfishly from the wing spot. He brings a many talents to the offensive end and probably could be equally effective on defense, where he shows good lateral quickness with long arms and nice anticipation in the passing lanes.

As his skills improve, he will contribute even more. Tom Izzo and his staff have a long and extremely successful history of winning -- and player development.

Recruit and return: Michigan State 

March, 30, 2014
To return to the NCAA tournament, a team needs contributions from both returning players and incoming recruits. Here's a look at Michigan State and its chances of dancing again in 2015.

Quick references:
2013-14 roster
2014 recruiting

Possible 2014-15 starting five:
G: Travis Trice
G: Gary Harris
F: Branden Dawson
F: Denzel Valentine
C: Matt Costello

ESPN 100: The players who just missed 

January, 30, 2014
Here are 12 players who our scouting staff discussed in great detail as we assembled our updated ESPN 100 rankings. These players have played well and have had some outstanding performances but just missed the cut.

Kobe Eubanks
SG, 6-foot-5, 185 pounds
Centereach, N.Y./Our Savior
Recruiting Interest:
George Mason, Missouri State, Pittsburgh, South Florida, Central Florida

Eubanks has very good size for a wing. He is a terrific athlete, an excellent all-around scorer that also makes his presence known as a perimeter rebounder. He has played well this fall and winter, which earned him Top 100 consideration.

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Flyin' to the Hoop Invitational recap 

January, 21, 2014
DAYTON, Ohio -- The Good Samaritan Flyin' to the Hoop Invitational is a four-day basketball showcase held annually over the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. It matched great local and in-state talent with highly ranked teams and players from across the country.

Here are a few players who stood out in this high-level and very competitive environment.

Most Explosive Wing

Kelly Oubre (Richmond, Texas/Las Vegas Findlay Prep)
2014, SF, 6-foot-7, 190 pounds
Signed: Kansas
Oubre is what a major college wing is supposed to look and play like. The No. 10 overall player in the ESPN 100 finished above the rim with flair. His explosiveness and ability to finish in heavy traffic was terrific. He draws fouls when he attacks the painted area and knocks down the deep 3, especially from the corners, with ease. Oubre will need to continue to develop his mid-range game and work to be a better on-ball defender, of which he is very capable. Overall, Oubre is a big-time wing who will find a way to contribute immediately next season for the Jayhawks.

Best Variety of Shots

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Ohio's best come together in Columbus 

October, 28, 2013
Every fall the state of Ohio sends most of its elite players to Columbus, Ohio, for the All Ohio Battle of the Cities. The event has all of the major cities put together teams in each age group (8th grade through 12th grade) and come to the capital of the state to play to see which city is the king of basketball. Every year the event is competitive. It is one of the best events of the fall in the Midwest. Here are some of the best Division-I prospects who were in attendance.


Seth Towns (Columbus, Ohio/Northland)
2016, SF/PF, 6-7, 190
Towns is a skilled combo forward whose game is moving more and more to the perimeter. He has a solid handle for his size and is a good face-up shooter (though his release is a little low). He is already a priority for Big Ten schools.

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Best uncommitted outside of ESPN 100 

October, 15, 2013
It’s getting to be that time of year when commitments are coming at rapidly increasing rates and college programs are quickly moving on to Plan B and Plan C if they haven’t gotten who they were hoping for in the 2014 class.

A quick look inside the ESPN 100 reveals that only 26 players remain on the board, but in virtually all of those cases the players aren’t necessarily open to new suitors as much as they are deciding between a select few programs.

But there is plenty of talent outside of the ESPN 100. And several of those players could help a high-major program in search of impact talent for next season.

So we asked our RecruitingNation experts one simple question:

Who is the best uncommitted prospect not in the ESPN 100?

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