NCB On The Trail: Romelo Trimble

#AskCoachB: Making a point

March, 19, 2014
Mar 19
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Romelo Trimble is headed to Maryland, and the staff there is grooming him to be a point guard. Right now, Trimble is a combo guard, which means he can run a team and get baskets at any time. He plays for a great high school coach at Bishop O'Connell in Joe Wootten, who has taught him the balance of putting up big scoring numbers and distributing to his teammates. Trimble must pay attention to making good decisions if he truly wants to be a point guard.

James Blackmon Jr. has been a shooting guard his whole life and he is one of the best in the country. I think he should stay as a shooting guard who can handle the ball on screens and push the ball on fast breaks. He is a good passer, but he is a great shooter. He should be the best 3-point shooter on Indiana's roster next season.

Robert Johnson is currently a combo guard because he plays equally well both on and off the ball. Johnson can process the game and still look for his offense. He's a good passer with a dribble-drive game, and I like the way he defends opposing point guards. Johnson could gradually play some possessions at the point for Indiana because he is a solid decision-maker.

Tadric Jackson is headed to play for Brian Gregory at Georgia Tech. Jackson has super speed and wants the ball in his hands. At times he is a one-man fast break. His DNA is to score, but he also possesses great vision. He gets into the lane at will to create for himself or find his teammates. Jackson is a dangerous scoring point guard.

There are no pure point guards in that group, but those are definitely some extremely gifted guards.

McDonald's game matchups to watch 

January, 29, 2014
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The McDonald's All American Game is annually the nation's most prestigious high school basketball all-star event. The rosters have been announced for the Class of 2014, and this year's game will once again be played at the United Center in Chicago and will air live on ESPN on April 2.

Here's a deeper look at five exciting matchups we'll see in the 2014 contest.

1. The battle of the giants
Jahlil Okafor (West) vs. Myles Turner (East)

Elite 24 lives up to its name

August, 23, 2013
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Emmanuel MudiayKelly Kline/Under ArmourThe Under Armour Elite 24 has always had top-level talent and this weekend's edition is no different, as ESPN 100 No. 5 player Emmanuel Mudiay is part of star-studded cast.
BROOKLYN, NY -- The 8th annual Under Armour Elite 24 game and dunk/skills competition will feature some of the nation's most outstanding basketball prospects. Previous games included top prep players such as Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers), Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves), Kemba Walker (Charlotte Bobcats), Brandon Jennings (Detroit Pistons), Jrue Holiday (New Orleans Pelicans) and Lance Stephenson (Indiana Pacers) participated in this famed event.

This two-day event will take place at the Tobacco Warehouse in Brooklyn Bridge Park under The Brooklyn Bridge.

Catch all the action live on ESPNU, with the Dunk and Skills competition Friday at 7pm ET and the Elite 24 game Saturday at 7 p.m. ET.

5 Reasons to watch

1. Stars will be shining bright

The Elite 24 has been known for its star power, and this year's roster is stronger than ever. From top to bottom this game has the best players in the country regardless of class and position. This game has an abundance of gifted prospects, which is going to make it exciting and entertaining to witness as the best high school players go head to head.

The Elite 24 has 13 of the top 25 players in the 2014 ESPN 100 and 5 of the top 10, led by ESPN No. 3 Tyus Jones, No. 5 Emmanuel Mudiay and No. 7 Chris McCullough (Syracuse). The game also has a bevy of underclassman phenoms such as 2015 ESPN 60 prospects No. 1 Ivan Rabb, No. 2 Malik Newman and No. 7 Stephen Zimmermann, along with 2016 ESPN 25 No. 2 Thon Maker.

2. It's all about the matchups

Point guard: Jones vs. Mudiay
Jones is a pure point guard who has tremendous vision and makes great decisions. He is outstanding in handing out the assist in transition or when the game slows down. Mudiay brings outstanding size and athletic ability along with excellent penetration and passing skills. They're not only two of the best players in their respective positions, but two of the best in the nation.

Shooting guards: Rashad Vaughn vs. D'Angelo Russell
All-star games are about scoring points and these two guys do it as well as anyone in the 2014 class. Vaughn is always on the attack and can score with a long jumper or a finish at the rim. Russell is smooth and under control, always ready to launch his deadly long-range jumper. They are two of the best at creating their own shot when there is no offensive flow.

Small forwards: Kelly Oubre vs. Justin Jackson
Teammates for the AAU Houston Hoops, the battle between these two will be electrifying, as both are high-level scorers with great length, athletic ability and skill. Oubre is a dynamic finisher and will mix in some jumpers. Jackson is perhaps the best scoring small forward in the class, possessing touch and instinct from anywhere on the floor. Can Oubre contain Jackson's lethal mid-range jumper?

Power forwards Myles Turner and Zimmermann are two of the best frontcourt players in the country. Turner might be the best shot blocker in his the 2014 class and Zimmermann has tremendous skill for his age.

3. The college game looks better than ever

When this roster of players enters the college game it will bring with it excitement, skill, superior athletic ability and plenty of potential to the college game.

All of the players participating in this year's event are being recruited at the highest level. Turner is the hottest prospect in the nation and Jones being pursued by the likes of Baylor, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State, and Ohio State. Some have already made their pledges, with Jackson, Joel Berry and Theo Pinson committed to North Carolina, Romelo Trimble and Dion Wiley pledging with Maryland, Chris Chiozza headed to Florida, McCullough at Syracuse and Russell to Ohio State. For the ones not committed yet their lists have been trimmed down, with college coaches and their fanbases will be closely watching.

The college game will continue to be extremely healthy. This list of prospects will influence and impact their future schools as well as the landscape of college basketball.

4. History lesson

This event has had numerous players go on and be successful in the NBA. When looking at the numbers, 37 Elite 24 players have become first-round NBA draft picks, with 23 ending up in the lottery, over the past eight years.

Three have become no. 1 overall picks: 2011 alum Anthony Bennett, 2009 participant Kyrie Irving and 2008 prospect John Wall. This year participants should add to that impressive list in the near future.

5. Last event of the summer

It seems as if the summer basketball circuit flies by each year, with so many players making a mark by competing and traveling around the country. As the summer season comes to an end, the Elite 24 gives players, college coaches, fans, and postseason all-star game voting members one last opportunity to view some of the best players in the nation on a national stage until their high school seasons begin. Many of the senior prospects will be candidates for postseason accolades and as the fall rolls around, so this makes the Elite 24 a special game.

Elite 24 player breakdowns

August, 22, 2013
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Chris McCulloughDustin Snipes/Icon SMISyracuse forward commit Chris McCullough is looking to put his athleticism and skillset on display this weekend at the Under Armour Elite 24 in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Breakdowns of the key prospect competing at Under Armour Elite 24 showcase. The 2013 Under Armour Elite 24 will be held at the Tobacco Warehouse in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Friday and Saturday. The game airs live on ESPNU at 7 p.m. ET Saturday, while the Slam Dunk Contest and Skills Competition will air Friday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPNU.

2014

Tyus Jones
Point Guard
Apple Valley, Minn./Apple Valley
6-foot-2, 180 pounds
College: Undeclared

Jones is a true point guard that pushes the pace, runs his team and makes great decisions off the ball screen in addition to being an excellent finisher for his size. He has an an all-business approach and is a winner.

NBA Comparisons: Tony Parker/Ray McCallum/John Stockton

Emmanuel Mudiay
Point Guard
Dallas/Prime Prep
6-5, 198
College: Undeclared

Mudiay is a scoring point guard with great size and athletic ability that plays in full-attack mode and can also facilitate. He can take over the game offensively at times and is great at making plays at end-of-clock situations.

NBA Comparison: Tyreke Evans

Chris McCullough
Power Forward
Bronx, N.Y./Brewster Academy
6-9, 210
College: Syracuse

McCullough is a extra-long athletic forward that excels on the break and finishes above the rim on all clear paths. He rebounds and blocks shots to go along with being a capable multiple-position lockdown defender as well with great upside.

NBA Comparison: Taj Gibson

Justin Jackson
Small Forward
Tomball, Texas/Homeschool Christian Youth Association
6-8, 190
College: North Carolina

Jackson is a long and lean wing with a great feel for the game and a sweet shooting stroke and floater that is money from deep in the lane and along the baseline. Capable of scoring big numbers with a scoring package that extends to the arc.

NBA Comparisons: Jeremy Lamb/Tayshaun Prince/Reggie Miller

Myles Turner
Center
Bedford, Texas/Euless Trinity
6-11, 225
College: Undeclared

Turner is a post that is long with a great motor. He has an advanced face-up game with range to the arc. He can also put it on the floor and pass with accuracy in addition to being an elite shot blocker with off-the-charts upside.

NBA Comparisons: Anthony Davis/LaMarcus Aldridge/ Tim Duncan/Theo Ratliff

Rashad Vaughn
Shooting Guard
Golden Valley, Minn./Findlay Prep
6-6, 206
College: Undeclared

Vaughn is an attacking wing that excels on the break and can make scoring plays off the bounce in a variety of ways He is a tough matchup at the shooting guard position because he has range out to the arc and is relentless at attempting to make high-level scoring plays.

NBA Comparisons: Jamal Crawford/Jerry Stackhouse

(Read full post)

Top 10 player accolades from July 

August, 21, 2013
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The worst time to write a column about what you saw in July is right after July. The month needs to marinate on your mind so one can process what we just lived. So, nearly three weeks out from the month that was, I sat down to recall a few of the top players of July.

In the spirit of Telep's top 10, we give 10 categories and a plethora of players of influence from the most important month on the circuit.

1. Best motor big/guard: We’ll entertain motions to rename this the inaugural “Reid Travis” award and therefore hand out the overall best motor title to ... forward Reid Travis. Pac-12 aficionados close your eyes and picture the second coming of Jon Brockman, because that’s whom Travis reminds me of most. On the guard side of the ledger for the best motor, Lourawls Nairn impressed me from start to finish. There was a noticeable chip on his shoulder and he went hard at LeBron and continued through Peach Jam. The guy has no off button.


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The shooting guard position is the spot that teams count on for scoring and to take over when the squad needs to make a run. So much skill and practice goes into becoming a player that teammates and coaches can count on to score points.

Besides the physical tools, confidence may be as vital as any skill for a great shooting guard. Does he have the makeup to take and make game-winning shots? Does he possess the self-confidence to shoot another open shot after missing consecutive attempts? Will he make the big free throw to close out a game?

Below are five keys that are vital to being an elite shooting guard, with a look at which prospects from the Class of 2014 best demonstrate each of those traits.

[+] EnlargeRashad Vaughn
Courtesy of Kelly Kline/Under ArmourRashad Vaughn is the No. 1-ranked shooting guard in the ESPN 100.

1. Create their own shot


Why it’s important: The ability to create a shot in transition, half-court sets or on a broken play separates the elite shooting guards from their peers. The best 2-guards are ideally players who can score in as many ways as possible from all three locations on the floor: behind the 3-point arc, the midrange area and in the paint. Producing points from the foul line is also a significant part of the total package. Every great team needs a player with the gift to create scoring opportunities for himself or others at any point during the game.

Who does it best:
Rashad Vaughn: Vaughn has a natural knack for putting the ball in the basket, and he does so with a high skill level, confidence and a soft touch. He can change gears in a moment’s notice, get his shot off in traffic and make difficult shots as he produces points on the move, off the bounce or from a stationary position. As his volume of shots lessens and his shooting percentage increases, he will stand out even more. With his combination of deep range on his jumper and creative pull-ups, drives and finishes, Vaughn is one of the most lethal scorers in the nation. And when he does have a passing opportunity, he can see it and make the pass.

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The best performers of July 

August, 2, 2013
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In basketball recruiting, the July recruiting period is a chance for college coaches to zero in on their top targets. And for us here at RecruitingNation, it is likewise a chance to attend July’s biggest events and watch the nation’s top players.

To wrap up the hottest evaluation time of the year, let’s hand out some superlatives to the biggest standouts from the entire month of July.

Biggest difference-maker: Jahlil Okafor
When you play with and against older, more experienced competition and win a gold medal while being named to the all-tournament team, you make a massive difference. Okafor represented USA Basketball at the U19 World Championships in Prague at the beginning of the month and was one of only two high school prospects on the team (Justise Winslow was the other). Okafor impacts every game because you have to have a plan and then a back-up plan to stop him or at least contain him. He operates in the low post better than anyone in the 2014 class as he works for deep position and knows how to move his feet to gain an advantage. He can score with a jump hook or drop step, and he can and will also throw it back out of the post and reestablish himself for better position. If he’s on your team, the offense should go through him as much as possible.

[+] EnlargeMyles Turner
Courtesy of Kelly Kline/Under ArmourNo. 10 recruit Myles Turner continues to raise his stock and has almost every major program in the country after him.
Hottest prospect: Myles Turner

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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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LAS VEGAS -- The fifth and final day at the elite AAU events in Las Vegas on Sunday had a little bit of everything.

It began with a lights-out shooting performance from ESPN 100 point guard Riley LaChance (Brookfield, Wis./Brookfield Central), followed by a spectacular scoring outburst by ESPN 60 shooting guard Tyler Dorsey (Los Angeles/St. John Bosco).

As the day wore on, ESPN 100 Maryland commit Romelo Trimble (Arlington, Va./Bishop O’Connell) found his shooting groove while 2015 shooting guard Jeffrey McClendon (Pasadena, Calif./Pasadena) proved that playing lockdown defense can garner attention as well.

Finally, the last game of the day was a tilt between two of the more highly acclaimed 2016 ESPN 25 prospects in Deadrick Lawson (Memphis, Tenn./Hamilton) and Joe Hampton (Hyattsville, Md./DeMatha), with Lawson leading his Team Penny to the U15 championship over Hampton's DC Assault squad.

Here’s a closer look at some of the best performances from Day 5 at the Las Vegas Classic and Las Vegas Fab 48.

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ESPN 100 guards cap strong July in Vegas 

July, 29, 2013
7/29/13
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Editor's note: This is the final entry in Dave Telep's July Road Trip blog. Throughout the month, Dave checked in each day he was on the road while covering some of the biggest basketball recruiting events in the country, from Las Vegas to South Carolina to Indianapolis to Georgia to Orlando and back to Vegas to close things out.

LAS VEGAS -- That's it? It's over? When the July recruiting period ends, there's no parade and no season-ending party -- only a slew of dreary players, coaches and scouts who are all too happy to pack up and head home.

For me, the month started in Las Vegas at the LeBron James Skills Academy and ended here as well with a trio of elite Vegas AAU events over the weekend. For the last entry in my July road trip blog, here’s a look at the storylines that stood out on Sunday in Las Vegas, including items on ESPN 100 guards Romelo Trimble and Isaiah Whitehead, the search for big men and some recruiting news and notes.

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MILWAUKEE -- The Under Armour Summer Jam presented by NY2LA Sports was one of the must-see July events for college coaches. More than 900 college coaches from all over the country made the trek to Milwaukee for last year’s event and the arena was packed just as packed this time around, as coaches piled in to get a firsthand look at the elite talent.

The event -- in its fifth year and organized by Antonio Curro -- attracted elite travel teams from across the country that competed in pool play and a single-elimination tournament with each squad guaranteed to take the court four times.

This year’s event had significant star power, especially in the frontcourt with top-10 seniors Cliff Alexander (No. 2), Karl Towns Jr. (No. 6), Kevon Looney (No. 9) and Myles Turner (No. 10) facing off in high-level matchups with few -- if any -- empty seats in the gym.

Here’s a breakdown of how the elite bigs and others top prospects performed during the five-day event.

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MILWAUKEE -- Maryland-bound 2014 shooting guard Romelo Trimble (Arlington, Va./Bishop O'Connell) has had the hot hand for DC Assault this entire week at the Under Armour Summer Jam presented by NY2LA Sports.

[+] EnlargeRomelo Trimble
Kelly Kline/Under ArmourMaryland-bound 2014 guard Romelo Trimble is a powerful backcourt player with a sweet shooting stroke.
Trimble, the No. 45 prospect in the ESPN 100, has been all business and has played with off-the-charts confidence. He has not only been consistent but has also made big shots when his team has needed a basket.

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PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia University gym was alive Wednesday evening as the Reebok Breakout Classic opened to a wave of big-name college coaches, including John Calipari, John Thompson III, Larry Brown, Mike Brey, Jay Wright, Scott Drew, Kevin Ollie and Steve Alford.

Once the clock struck 5 p.m. and the doors opened to release a jammed lobby full of coaches, a full set of games highlighted Reebok's most recent successful national camp. Among the players who put on their best effort in front of the litany of elite coaches was Class of 2014 top-25 recruits Emmanuel Mudiay, Rashad Vaughn and Josh Perkins along with surging three-star PF Malik Price-Martin.

Here’s a look at Day 1 of the event.

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Best of the UA Undeniable Camp 

July, 5, 2013
7/05/13
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INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- Under Armour continued its "Grind" session circuit this week at Inglewood High School and the talent on display was high level. The Undeniable Camp introduced the players to a variety of skill-development drills, as well as some freelance scrimmaging.

Whether it was 2014 guard Isaiah Whitehead (Brooklyn, N.Y./Lincoln) blitzing the ball up court or 2016 guard Derryck Thornton (Henderson, Nev./Findlay Prep) putting defenders on their heels, several of the nation's elite rose to the top at the Under Armour Undeniable Camp, including a pair of 2014 Maryland commits.

However, the most perplexing aspect of the camp was the lack of urgency -- whether it was in a particular drill or scrimmage -- from many of the prospects in attendance. These camps should be a privilege for these players, and assertiveness should not be an afterthought.

Here were some of the top performers from the camp.

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Four-star SG Nickens picks Terps

June, 16, 2013
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Class of 2014 shooting guard Jared Nickens (Monmouth Junction, N.J./Westtown School) ended his recruitment on Sunday with a verbal pledge to Maryland, sources confirmed to ESPN.com.

The four-star prospect chose the Terps over offers from Dayton, Miami (Fla.), Providence, Seton Hall, Temple and Wake Forest. He joins a Maryland class that is ranked No. 3 in RecruitingNation's 2014 recruiting class rankings and features ESPN 100 players Dion Wiley (Oxon Hill, Md./Potomac) and Romelo Trimble (Arlington, Va./Bishop O'Connell).

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