NCB On The Trail: Malik Monk

LeBron James Skills Academy recap: Day 2 

July, 11, 2014
Jul 11
9:30
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Ivan Rabb, the No. 1 player in the ESPN 100, has had his moments at this camp. However, Ben Simmons is making a strong push for that spot as he has been clearly the best player after a couple of sessions. There is no player in the country who combines skill, savvy and athleticism like Simmons.

Most explosive

Malik Monk
2016, SG, 6-foot-3, 180 pounds

The NBPA top 100 dream team 

June, 23, 2014
Jun 23
10:00
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After watching over 100 prospects at the NBPA top 100 camp during a four-day period, I thought who would I want to coach if I had one practice before playing one game.

I am making my decisions based on their performances and stats from the camp courtesy of Statva.com, along with prior evaluations from the high school year and the spring evaluation period.

Assembling this team wasn't just about sheer talent. It was more about the prospects’ skill level, productivity, and how well they know their roles and are able to blend their talent into a team concept. The roster below has everything I would want and need to win a game.

Here is the starting lineup, sixth man, and bench:

Starting lineup


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NBPA Top 100 camp wrap 

June, 22, 2014
Jun 22
9:50
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- The NBPA Top 100 camp always displays some of the best collections of talent in the summer.

The most impressive part of this event was the fact that the players played hard and competed from start to finish. Here are some players who stood out.

Best point guards

Perry Dozier (Columbia, South Carolina/Spring Valley)
PG/SG, 2015, 6-foot-4, 185 pounds


Perry is a rare combo guard. Many players who are designated as combo guards are generally not a point guard or a shooting guard. Dozier is actually both, as he can play either guard spot with equal efficiency. He was much more productive and assertive than I had seen in the past, and he showed the ability to run a team. Dozier averaged just over 8 points per game for the camp, but he showcased the ability of a top-20 player in the class.


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At this time last week, Arizona had two early verbal commitments in the Class of 2015 and two graduating seniors whose scholarships would need to be filled.

The Wildcats' work seemed to be done early. Except it wasn’t. Not even close.

Last weekend, ESPN 100 guard Tyler Dorsey decommitted from the Wildcats in a move that many had come to expect.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- The NBPA Top 100 Camp got underway today at John Paul Jones Arena on the University of Virginia campus. The energy, effort and intensity on day 1 was terrific. There was a brief practice for the teams to get organized before the start of the games.

Here are a few of the many standout performances from day 1.

Best Players

Ben Simmons


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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.

Minneapolis Nike EYBL recap 

May, 25, 2014
May 25
3:08
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The fourth session of the Nike EYBL gave teams one more opportunity to add league wins and earn the right to participate in the Peach Jam that will crown a champion in July.

Check out some of the many terrific prospect performances we witnessed this weekend at the EYBL:


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Nike EYBL awards 

April, 28, 2014
Apr 28
4:00
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The first session of the Nike EYBL unveiled a plethora of talent that will be showing up on college campuses in the near future. Ivan Rabb is ranked as the No. 1 player in the 2015 class, but if this weekend showed us anything, that ranking is anything but solidified going forward. LSU commit Ben Simmons exhibited his vast skill set throughout the weekend and is coming on strong, and this is just the Nike side of the story.

Best Prospect

Ben Simmons
2015, PF, 6-foot-9, 220 pounds
Status: Committed to LSU
Simmons has that prototypical Division I frame with length and upside. His skill set is perimeter-oriented and quite polished. He can face up and dissect the defense with his passing or drain the 3-point shot. His motor fluctuates and it would be ideal to see him impact the game in the paint more at both ends going forward.


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Real Deal in the Rock's top performers 

April, 21, 2014
Apr 21
10:12
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Little Rock, Ark. -- The Real Deal in the Rock is in its 10th year as one of the top spring events in the country, bringing some of the nation’s top teams to the Deep South. Here are some of the players who stood out:

Best Surprise
Admon Gilder
6-3, 180, 2015, SG

Gilder is a supreme scorer. He consistently found ways to put the ball in the basket all weekend, culminating with a 28-point performance in the championship game. Gilder is a good shooter who can create off the bounce. He should be a high priority for Big 12 and SEC schools.


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Ten things to know about 2016 ESPN 25 

September, 24, 2013
9/24/13
11:22
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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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Best of the Orlando AAU events 

July, 30, 2013
7/30/13
10:53
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ORLANDO, Fla. -- College coaches swarmed the courts of ESPN's Wide World of Sports complex and surrounding areas last week for the AAU Nationals and Super Showcase. Over the course of five days, more than 1,000 coaches got to evaluate prospects of all levels as some of the nation’s best AAU teams descended on Central Florida after qualifying by winning their respective districts.

Here’s a look at a multitude of players who impressed in Orlando, including ESPN 100 difference-makers, prospects with the most untapped potential and recruits with the brightest futures.

ESPN 100 Program Difference-makers


Tyus Jones (Apple Valley, Minn./Apple Valley)
2014, PG, 6-1, 170
AAU: Howard Pulley
Offers:
Baylor, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State, Minnesota and Ohio State
Jones' court vision, passing and decision-making are just a few reasons he’s special. The way he makes plays off the screen and roll is beyond his years. He also knocks down open shots and makes free throws when the game is on the line.

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Elite recruits and sleepers star in Orlando 

July, 27, 2013
7/27/13
8:53
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ORLANDO, Fla. -- The action has been fast and furious at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, as the AAU Super Showcase is heading into the Sweet 16 and elite rounds while the AAU Nationals are just warming up.

On Friday at the Super Showcase and Nationals, a good mixture of elite prospects, rising stars and sleepers continued to stand out, including ESPN 100 prospects Kelly Oubre, Jae'Sean Tate and Devin Robinson, ESPN 60 recruit Skal Labissiere and ESPN 25 phenom Malik Monk.

Here were some of the top performers from Friday in Orlando.

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LAS VEGAS -- The second day of the LeBron James Skills Academy on Sunday was a bit of a downer as No. 10 recruit Myles Turner (tweaked hamstring) was held out of action prior to his much anticipated encounter with Cliff Alexander. However, many other prospects exhibited the type of skill necessary to stand out at the event, led by the most complete scoring guard in the country in No. 11 prospect Rashad Vaughn.

Here are some superlatives from Day 2.

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Top players from LeBron camp Day 1 

July, 7, 2013
7/07/13
11:39
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LAS VEGAS -- Day 1 is in the books at the LeBron James Skills Academy. Saturday was a combination of skill development, competitive drill work and some five-on-five action.

Here’s a look at five players -- two rising seniors, one rising junior and two rising sophomores -- who were especially impressive on Day 1 among the many great prospects at the camp.

Rashad Vaughn (Minneapolis/Robbinsdale Cooper)
2014, SG, 6-foot-6, 200


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5 things to know about the 2016 class 

June, 14, 2013
6/14/13
9:58
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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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