NCB On The Trail: Malachi Richardson

Roundtable: Must-get prospects for 2015 

February, 25, 2014
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With the vast majority of the top prospects in the ESPN 100 now off the board, the focus of the recruiting world is now rapidly shifting to the 2015 class where programs from all levels of college basketball are looking to position themselves for a successful recruiting cycle.

Some are already ahead of the curve. LSU landed a huge early score in Ben Simmons (Melbourne, Australia/Montverde Academy), Arizona has its next big-time guard in Tyler Dorsey (Los Angeles/St. John Bosco) and Syracuse has a pair of ESPN 60 products in Malachi Richardson (Hamilton, N.J./Trenton Catholic) and Tyler Lydon (Pine Plains, N.Y./New Hampton).

Memphis, Michigan State, Marquette, and Illinois have early commitments from ESPN 60 products as well, while the Fighting Illini are joined by Connecticut, Washington, Villanova, New Mexico, Rutgers, and Mississippi State in already having two verbal commitments.

With the 2015 dominoes beginning to align, we asked our team of Recruiting Nation experts to pinpoint which programs have already established their top priority, or “must-have recruit,” in the coming year.


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2015 guard Donte DiVincenzo (Wilmington, Del./Salesianum) made a verbal commitment to Villanova on Friday, giving Wildcats coach Jay Wright the news in person while his high school team was on the Philadelphia campus to watch practice.


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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.



The Orangemen have done an excellent job at targeting underclassmen. The recently landed ESPN No. 12 Malachi Richardson (Hamilton, N.J./Trenton Catholic Academy) is an outstanding shooter with excellent size and incredible overall polish for a young prospect. Also committed is power forward Tyler Lydon (Pine Plains, N.Y. /New Hampton School).

ESPN No. 19 small forward Derrick Jones (Philadelphia/Archbishop Carroll High School) is a dynamic athlete and finisher who plays at the rim. They are also heavily involved and in the final six schools for Donte DiVincenzo (Wilmington, Del./Salesianum School) He is an AAU teammate of Richardson and they both play for Team Final.

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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Scout's take: Richardson fits well 

December, 13, 2013
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ESPN 60 Malachi Richardson (Hamilton, N.J./Trenton Catholic Academy) ended his recruitment this afternoon by selecting Syracuse over finalist Villanova, Indiana, Connecticut, Arizona and Rutgers.


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#AskCoachB: Favorites for Richardson

December, 12, 2013
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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.



@Akaiser, thank you for making your first tweet to ESPN Recruiting Nation! Malachi Richardson is ranked No. 12 in the Class of 2015, and the 6-foot-5 shooting guard recently cut his list to six schools: Syracuse, Villanova, Rutgers, Arizona, Indiana and UConn.

Nova is involved because of the early effort and relationship coach Jay Wright made with Richardson in his freshman year. He's been on the Villanova campus several times and it's close to home. He recently visited Syracuse for their game against Indiana.

The school that lands this big=time shooter with offensive polish will be getting a bona fide 3-point shooter who strokes it with confidence. Richardson can pass and play defense, too, as he is not afraid to take a charge. I have seen him with his AAU club Team Final, which has had many outstanding Division I players and some high major stars such as Dion Waiters, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, just a few players coached by Rob Brown.

I believe it will come down to Nova and Syracuse for Richardson.

Starting 5: Top PGs left on the board 

August, 27, 2013
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Each week, Starting 5 takes you on a tour of the recruiting landscape. It delves into topics, recruiting trends and stories. This edition focuses on the pressure of drawing out your commitment, the Elite 24, Indiana's busy weekend, the five best uncommitted point guards and No. 1 sophomore Harry Giles.

1. The stress of the decision


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When the July evaluation period ended five days ago, the recruiting news was just getting started.

The biggest news of the week in the Northeast region centered around the commitment of Phil Booth to Villanova, planned visits for Isaiah Whitehead, and trimmed lists from both Kaleb Joseph and Ja'Quan Newton. But the news on those ESPN 100 guards was really just the tip of the iceberg because there have been plenty of other commitments, offers and scheduled visits coming across the wires.

Here’s a look at a plethora of basketball recruiting news and notes from the Northeast:

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Jones, Travis win gold at Super Showcase 

July, 29, 2013
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ORLANDO, Fla. -- We witnessed an abundance of talent throughout this past week at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex between the AAU Nationals and Super Showcase.

The action culminated on Sunday as ESPN 100 recruits Tyus Jones and Reid Travis led Howard Pulley to a 79-72 win over a loaded Each 1 Teach 1 squad in the championship game of the Gold Super Showcase.

Here’s a closer look at some of the top performers from Sunday’s action at the Super Showcase and Nationals, including Jones, Travis, and ESPN 60 prospects Malachi Richardson and Terance Mann.

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Best of the 2013 Nike Peach Jam 

July, 15, 2013
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NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- The Nike Peach Jam, which took place this past Thursday through Sunday, is widely considered the No. 1 high school hoops event of the summer. It pits the best Nike-sponsored travel teams against each other in a winner-take-all tournament format. There are 40 travel teams that compete throughout the spring in the Nike EYBL (Elite Youth Basketball League) and the 24 squads with the best records make the Peach Jam, which serves as the EYBL “playoffs.”

This year’s Peach Jam once again showcased an incredible amount of high-level talent and only fueled the debate over the No. 1 player in the Class of 2014 between AAU teammates Jahlil Okafor and Cliff Alexander. Here’s a look at the best performances, including the top prospects in the 2014, 2015 and 2016 classes, the guys who played the hardest, the biggest sleepers and more.

Best in 2014


Jahlil Okafor
AP Photo/Damen Jackson via Triple Play New MediaDuke commit Jahlil Okafor is out to show once and for all that he is the nation's top prospect.
Jahlil Okafor (Chicago/Whitney Young)
2014, C, 6-11, 275
Travel Team: Mac Irvin Fire

The reigning No. 1 player in the 2014 class did nothing to take away from that ranking at the Peach Jam. He was dominant at times and averaged almost 17 points and 10 rebounds per game for the tournament. The big fella takes control of the paint offensively and is a future one-and-done player.

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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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Alexander dominates Day 2 at LeBron 

July, 8, 2013
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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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