NCB On The Trail: Paul White

Nike Extravaganza recap 

February, 3, 2014
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The 19th annual Nike Extravaganza was quite possibly the best collection of talent in its tenure. When you have Duke-bound Jahlil Okafor (Chicago/Whitney Young) going head-to-head with Arizona-bound Stanley Johnson (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei), that is about as good as it gets. Add in USC-bound Jordan McLaughlin (Etiwanda, Calif./Etiwanda) putting the St. John Bosco defense on skates and recent ESPN 100 entree Elijah Stewart (Los Angeles/Westchester) scorching the nets, it further solidifies the claim that the event was loaded.

A load in the paint

Jahlil Okafor (Chicago/Whitney Young)
2014, C, 6-foot-10, 270 pounds
Status: Signed with Duke
Okafor didn't get many touches because of Mater Dei's collapsing zone. Once teammate and Saint Louis signee Miles Stewart started draining 3s, it opened up some breathing room for him to operate. He gathered most of his stats on offensive rebounds and utilizing those magnetic hands he possesses. At this level, he can dominate with his length, strength, and post skills. However, Okafor has limited lift and he struggled at times corralling rebounds despite having a significant size advantage.


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2014 ESPN 100: 10 things to know 

January, 30, 2014
Jan 30
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Here are 10 things to know about the updated 2014 ESPN 100 player rankings.


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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- The third and final day of national competition at the Spalding Hoophall Classic brought a fitting end to what was another first class event from the Basketball Hall of Fame and Springfield College. Here’s a look at the top performers during Monday’s five-game slate:


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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.



Yes, Paul White is playing better and at a higher level than his ranking, but I ask you to please look at not only his ranking but his grade and evaluation. Many folks get caught up with just the ranking portion, and understandably so, but in our system we give them a grade that tells you the level that they can best play at and an evaluation that describes in detail his strengths and weaknesses.

I agree that he can be a difficult matchup because he has the skill level and athletic ability of a small forward with the height to play some as a face-up forward who can pull a bigger defender away from the basket. Offensively White is usually a problem for the opposition and defensively he could defend multiple positions from a point guard to a power forward.

Recently in the Cancer Research Classic, he took on the challenge of guarding Emmanuel Mudiay, who is No. 5 in the ESPN 100 and the top point guard. He took that assignment when the game was on the line and did a very good job of not allowing Mudiay into the paint. When White is dialed in and focused, it’s easy to see his talent and basketball IQ. The Georgetown Hoyas have a versatile prospect coming.

Cancer Research Classic recap 

January, 6, 2014
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WHEELING, West Va. -- The Cancer Research Classic is known as the nation’s premier Catholic high school event and includes very successful programs and highly-ranked prospects.

[+] EnlargeEmmanuel Mudiay
Kelly Kline/Under ArmourPG Emmanuel Mudiay had two impressive showings at the Cancer Research Classic.
Players from all over the country came in with big reputations, and they did not disappoint. The nation's No. 1 player Jahlil Okafor, No. 5 Emmanuel Mudiay and No. 12 D'Angelo Russell all shined bright. Under the direction of Doc Merrick, this event continues to grow and is recognized as a main attraction after the new year.

Best Point Guard
Emmanuel Mudiay (Dallas, Texas/Prime Prep)
2014, PG, 6'4", 195
Signed with SMU

Mudiay is known for his ability to take over games when he is plugged in. He was on in both of his performances at the CRC. He had 25 in a loss to Wheeler and 16 -- with a nice floor game -- in a loss to Whitney Young. It was a tough weekend, but Mudiay showed why he is rated as one of the top-5 talents in the 2014 class.


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#AskCoachB: Interchangeable Hoyas

December, 13, 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.

Playing for John Thompson III at Georgetown, both Isaac Copeland (Raleigh, N.C./Brewster Academy) and Paul White (Chicago/Whitney Young) will fit nicely together.

Copeland is more of a skilled, stretch four man with terrific mobility and length. He can stroke the 3 and score close to the rim. Meanwhile, if you watched White's performance Thursday on ESPN2 against Apple Valley, you could easily see the array of skills he brings to the game. The ability to score shoot, pass, rebound and handle the ball allows him to play small forward or power forward.

Both bring excellent positional size, length, and versatility to the court. Each still has plenty of upside to tap into as they mature, and they need to learn how to utilize their athletic frames to play defense. They both could influence the game on defense if they get serious in their approach.

They will easily be able to coexist on the floor as interchangeable parts to the Georgetown system, which is heavily based on skill, finesse and exploring mismatches on the floor.

Weekly Commitment Roundup

September, 20, 2013
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SEC
Kentucky
Tyler Ulis PG Matteson, Ill./Marian Catholic
HT: 5-9 WT: 150
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 8
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 38

Vanderbilt
Matthew Fisher-Davis SG Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Christian
HT: 6-5 WT: 175
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 28
Stars: 4

Texas A&M
Alex Robinson PG Arlington, Texas/Timberview
HT: 6-1 WT: 170
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 20
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 89

Big Ten
Purdue
Vincent Edwards SF Middletown, Ohio/Middletown
HT: 6-7 WT: 200
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 22
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 80

Big East
Georgetown
Paul White PF Chicago/Whitney Young
HT: 6-8 WT: 185
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 14
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 57

Seton Hall
Isaiah Whitehead SG Brooklyn, N.Y./Lincoln
HT: 6-4 WT: 195
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 10
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 35

ACC
Florida State
Josh Gray PG Houston/Odessa College (Juco)
HT: 6-1 WT: 175
Class of 2014

Virginia Tech
T.J. Lang SF Mobile, Ala./McGill-Toolen Catholic
HT: 6-7 WT: 195
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Virginia
Jack Salt C Auckland, New Zealand/Westlake
HT: 6-10
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Wake Forest
Rondale Watson SG Lewisburg, W.Va./Greenbrier East
HT: 6-3
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

American Athletic
Cincinnati
Quadri Moore C Linden, N.J./Linden
HT: 6-8 WT: 225
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 8
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 83

Gary Clark PF Clayton, N.C./Clayton
HT: 6-7 WT: 215
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 26
Stars: 4

Central Florida
Alex Owens PF Orlando, Fla./Oak Ridge
HT: 6-8 WT: 230
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: 9
Stars: 4
ESPN 60: 44

Corey Sanders PG Lakeland, Fla./IMG Academy
HT: 6-1 WT: 185
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 3

Atlantic 10
Virginia Commonwealth
Terry Larrier SF Bronx, N.Y./The Phelps School
HT: 6-7 WT: 200
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 15
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 59

Richmond
Paul Friendshuh PF New Prague, Minn./New Prague
HT: 6-9 WT: 205
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Conference USA
Tulsa
Mitch Wilbekin PG Gainesville, Fla./The Rock School
HT: 6-1 WT: 160
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 2

UTEP
Trey Touchet SG Lafayette, La./St. Thomas More
HT: 6-2 WT: 175
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Middle Tennessee State
DeVante Jones SG Chicago/Southwest Tennessee C.C. (Juco)
HT: 5-11
Class of 2014

Mountain West
Boise State
David Wacker C Converse, Texas/Judson
HT: 6-9 WT: 235
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Air Force
Jacob Van PG Mansfield, Texas/Lake Ridge
HT: 6-2
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Southern Conference
Davidson
Rusty Reigel SG Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Latin
HT: 6-2 WT: 190
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 2

Western Carolina
Alex Hicks PF Phenix City, Ala./Glenwood School
HT: 6-8 WT: 195
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

NEC
Mount St. Mary's
Troy Henderson SF Charlotte, N.C./Gaston Day School
HT: 6-6 WT: 175
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

St. Francis (Pa.)
Basil Thompson SF Philadelphia/Imhotep Institute
HT: 6-6 WT: 175
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 2

Sacred Heart
Cane Broome PG East Hartford, Conn./St. Thomas More
HT: 6-0 WT: 160
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 2

MAC
Western Michigan
Drake Lamont C Plantation, Fla./American Heritage
HT: 6-9 WT: 200
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 39
Stars: 3

Ball State
Sean Sellers SF Greensburg, Ind./Greensburg
HT: 6-6 WT: 175
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 2

Big South
Liberty
A.C. Reid SF Spring Branch, Texas/Smithson Valley
HT: 6-5 WT: 190
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

UNC-Asheville
Kevin Vannatta SG Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington
HT: 6-2
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Big Sky
Montana State
Ghassan Nehme SG Colorado Springs, Colo./Cheyenne Mountain
HT: 6-3 WT: 174
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Weber State
Hayden Hunter PG North Richland Hills, Texas/Richland
HT: 5-11
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Idaho State
Geno Luzcando PG Mount Pleasant, Utah/Wasatch Academy
HT: 6-3
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

America East
UMass-Lowell
Josh Gantz PF Grove City, Ohio/Bishop Ready
HT: 6-6 WT 185
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Dontavious Smith PF Springhill, La./North Webster
HT: 6-8
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Binghamton
John Schurman SG Manlius, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius
HT: 6-5
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Missouri Valley
Bradley
Donte Thomas SF South Holland, Ill./Thornwood
HT: 6-6
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Northern Iowa
Luke McDonnell PF Dubuque, Iowa/Dubuque Senior
HT: 6-8 WT: 200
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

OVC
Murray State
JayQuan McCloud PG North Chicago, Ill./North Chicago Community
HT: 6-4 WT: 180
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Tennessee-Martin
Chris Clark SG Columbia, Mo./Hickman
HT: 6-3 WT: 175
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

SIU-Edwardsville
C.J. Carr PG Rock Island, Ill./Rock Island
HT: 5-6 WT: 145
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Horizon League
Oakland
Alek Frascone PG Washington Township, Mich./Eisenhower
HT: 6-0 WT: 150
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Summit League
South Dakota State
Mike Daum PF Kimball, Neb./Kimball
HT: 6-9
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Atlantic Sun
Florida Gulf Coast
Eric Moeller C St. Louis/Central Florida C.C. (Juco)
HT: 6-11 WT: 200
Class of 2014

Mercer
Demetre Rivers PF Goose Creek, S.C./Stratford
HT: 6-6
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Ivy League
Princeton
Alec Brennan PF Weston, Mass./Milton Academy
HT: 6-10 WT: 225
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 35
Stars: 3

Brown
Patrick Triplett PG St. Louis/Bayless Senior
HT: 6-4 WT: 200
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

WCC
Pepperdine
Nate Gehring C Waukee, Iowa/Waukee
HT: 6-10 WT: 220
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 44
Stars: 3

MAAC
Quinnipiac
Ayron Hutton SG Virginia Beach, Va./Cape Henry
HT: 6-3
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Starting 5: No one-and-done this time 

September, 17, 2013
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This week's Starting 5 delves into Kentucky's newest point guard, the reasoning behind banning college coaches from non-scholastic workouts and wraps up the weekend that was.

UK, Ulis make long-term decisions
There's a process that happens each year: Kentucky looks for a new point guard. For John Calipari, the revolving door at the point began at Memphis and transitioned to Lexington. Calipari has targeted super-human No. 1 draft picks (Derrick Rose and John Wall) and plenty who proved to be human and went merely in the first round. Either way, the coach has been recruiting one-and-doners for more than a half decade.

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ESPN 100 PF White picks Georgetown 

September, 15, 2013
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ESPN 100 power forward Paul White (Chicago/Whitney Young) ended his recruitment on Sunday, committing to Georgetown while on an official visit. He picked the Hoyas over finalist Miami (Fla.), where he visited last weekend, along with Arizona, Connecticut, Minnesota and hometown DePaul.

The four-star White is a great get for Georgetown coach John Thompson III. A talented and skilled forward ranked No. 57 overall, he fits the Hoyas' style on both ends of the floor.

Why did he pick Georgetown and what will he bring to the Hoyas? Let's break it down.


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Notes: Cartwright could be double value 

September, 6, 2013
9/06/13
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This time of the year, there's always something brewing. From campus visits to the value of Stanford's newest pledge, we've dumped out the notebook into a nice, tidy column to catch you up.

Cartwright's value could be two-fold


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Starting 5: Point guard debate 

August, 20, 2013
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Editor's note: Every week in "Starting 5," we'll roll out five stories, themes and nuggets from the basketball recruiting world to set the table with the stories that need to be told and give you a leg up on the watercooler conversations around the office.

This week we look at three point guards using different lenses, what plans KU has for Late Night in the Phog, the recruiting revivals at UConn and Minnesota plus reduced lists from bigs Paul White and Makinde London.


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It was an incredibly busy weekend of action on the recruiting front, not just because of the series of high-major commitments, but also because of trimmed lists, scheduled visits, and scholarship offers, all of which have the potential to create multiple ripples on the pending domino effect.

Commitment Catch-Up

• ESPN 100 PF Craig Victor (New Orleans, La./Findlay Prep) commits to Arizona: The 31st-ranked prospect and 5th best PF in the country announced on Saturday he was heading to Arizona, giving coach Sean Miller his third high level combination forward in as many years.


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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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The first July evaluation period has come and gone, but not before a number of elite prospects made their mark on the court at events like the Nike Peach Jam, adidas Invitational and the LeBron James Skills Academy.

We brought back national recruiting director Paul Biancardi’s #AskCoachB mailbag to answer any questions you may have on the busy month and which recruits and classes are making waves. As a reminder, you can always get Paul’s take on any prospect or find about new recruiting activity anytime on Twitter using the hashtag.

In this week’s mailbag, Paul examines UNC’s possibilities for landing an elite shooting guard in its 2014 class, what Ohio State should add to its second-ranked recruiting class, Ed Cooley turning Providence into a serious player in recruiting and whether Justise Winslow and Florida recruit Brandone Francis are in line for a bump in ranking in the next ESPN 100.

So let’s get rolling with your questions.





He comes home with a gold medal from Prague, and I heard he was a very valuable member of that U-19 team. His ability to pass, defend, handle the ball, combined with his basketball acumen impact without needing to score makes him special. At times, he can even bring the ball up the floor with a point guard’s mentality. He’s part of a small group of guys outside the top 10 who have a strong chance at cracking the top 10 in our next rankings.

On his status in the proposed package deal of Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor, I think Winslow would like for it to happen. But after going overseas and playing this summer, he’ll see his decision and future should be more about a school that fits his needs rather than trying to fit his needs with someone else’s. I’m sure all three are trying to make it happen, but the longer it goes the less of a possibility it will happen.





Providence has been a legit team in recruiting from the moment Ed Cooley got hired. That’s how he won at Fairfield and he did a tremendous job evaluating talent as an assistant at Boston College. Now as the leader at Providence, he’s not only doing a great job evaluating talent, he’s bringing those top guys in. When you look at Ricky Ledo (No. 21 in 2012), Kris Dunn (No. 23 in 2012) and Brandon Austin (No. 56 in 2013), that’s three big players he signed, and then add a commit from current ESPN 100 SF Jalen Lindsey, and you can see how big of an impact he’s had in a short time. Providence recruiting was instantly upgraded with his hire and the Friars are in great hands going forward.





I will say I love the Buckeyes class right now as it boasts skill, versatility and two guys who can flat out score in Keita Bates-Diop and D’Angelo Russell. With that said, it’s obvious they still need to add some size to the frontcourt despite earning a pledge from three-star center David Bell.

I can’t say who they will land but some of their biggest targets on their board are top-10 recruits Jahlil Okafor and Myles Turner. Now the Buckeyes are in the running to win the Okafor and Jones sweepstakes, but if they miss out, Turner would be a great consolation prize. Other potential targets are forwards Leron Black and Paul White and center Elbert Robinson, all of whom would be great gets for the No. 2-ranked team in the ESPN Class Rankings.




I see them finishing out the July and August event season and then taking some official visits together in the fall. I would say the earliest we can expect a decision is the early signing period (mid-November). They still need to take some official visits and sort things out before making a pledge.




The Tar Heels are looking for someone who can score and shoot with range. Someone like No. 11 senior prospect Rashad Vaughn would fit that bill. He’s the most dynamic scoring guard in the class and he does it from all three levels: Behind the line, inside the arc and driving to the basket. This guy has a knack for putting the ball in the basket, he just needs to cut down on his attempts and become more efficient. If Vaughn is out the mix, the Heels may go after Georgia scorer Ahmed Hill, the No. 33 overall player and eighth-rated 2-guard.




He’s an intriguing prospect who has had a good summer. I saw him play well at adidas and at the LeBron camp and he had a strong showing at NBA camp. He has a strong body and the ability to score on the perimeter and in the paint or post up to get buckets down low. I like his skill level and IQ and his body. When you factor all those things, he has a chance to move up depending on how strong he finishes the summer. Right now he’s at 34, but he has the ability to crack the top 25.




When most coaches recruit, they think about finding the right fit and need in a prospect. When you talk about fit and need, it usually revolves around a player’s offense, skill level, size at the position and basketball IQ. Some coaches will look at defensive attributes depending on their scheme, but in large part coaches recruit more for offense, IQ and athleticism because they can teach defense later in the process. It’s harder to teach a guy to be more skilled or athletic than it is to teach defense.

I look at scouting through a similar lense when evaluating players for the ESPN 100 rankings. You look for attributes and qualities that will make a good offensive player a strong defender, whether it’s his ability to rebound, stay in front of guys or take charges. For big guys, I have put an emphasis on how they defend ball screens, cover the low post and hedge out as well as skills and IQ.


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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