NCB On The Trail: Trayvon Reed

Editor's note: This post was updated to reflect Trayvon Reed's commitment to Auburn on Thursday.

Bruce Pearl's return from a three-year show-clause penalty, coupled with three high-profile commitments, made Auburn the talk of college basketball recruiting this week.

Heading into last weekend, Auburn didn't have a commitment to its name in the 2015 class. By the time it was over, the Tigers had landed a pair of ESPN 100 forwards and another junior college prospect, turning Pearl's return into a celebration.

Pearl always intended to make a splash Sunday, strategically planning his first elite camp for his first full day of active duty and even hosting Horace Spencer, one of his top priorities in the 2015 recruiting class, for an unofficial visit at the stroke of midnight.

College basketball’s incoming freshman class features some elite rim protectors. They are the guys who are able to patrol the paint on defense and turn away a wide variety of would-be scorers. Here are the best shot-blockers in the class and one name to know in 2015:

1. Myles Turner, Texas
He went on national television and announced he was going to “hook em.” Well, he might have also meant he was going to “block em.” Arguably the best shot-blocker in the rising freshman class, Turner will provide an immediate boost to Texas’ defense with his ability to turn away shots at the rim. What’s going to be interesting is to see how Rick Barnes elects to use Turner in combination with returning center Cameron Ridley, not to mention last season’s starting power forward Jonathan Holmes. The trio is likely to see plenty of time on the floor together next season, which could mean more of a 2-3 zone from the Longhorns. That allows both Turner to anchor himself to the front of the rim when he plays in the middle, as well as show his mobility in challenging shots on the perimeter from the wing position.


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Maryland returns nearly its entire roster, so the Terps have every position covered. What they don't have, however, is a shot blocker. Maryland's leading returning shot blockers are small forward Dez Wells and Jake Layman, who both average less than one block per game. That is exactly what 7-foot-1 Trayvon Reed, the No. 68 overall prospect in the ESPN 100 and the No. 8 center, brings.

Reed could be an X-factor next season. He provides the one element Maryland doesn't have coming back and that you need to win titles.

Roundtable: 2014 defensive standouts 

March, 11, 2014
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There are a lot of different ways to win in college basketball, but one of the few staples of virtually all good teams is a commitment to defense.

Ironically, good individual defenders never seem to get the credit they deserve, and that can even be true with the recruiting process. Standouts on offense are not only easier to recognize, they’re also easier to quantify with basic statistics. There’s also a popular sentiment among college coaches that they can teach a player to defend if they have the proper physical tools.

The reality though is that college-ready defenders are perhaps even harder to find than college-ready scorers or playmakers, which should in turn make them that much more valuable. With that in mind, we went back to our team of RecruitingNation experts and asked them to pinpoint the defensive game-changers in this year’s ESPN 100:


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2014 ESPN 100: 10 things to know 

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


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Notebook: Rising PG likes Cardinal 

August, 23, 2013
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This week’s notebook is a sprint. We go coast to coast with the recruitment of Robert Cartwright and show you which prospect has a special affinity for Florida -- the state, not just the school.

Cartwright settles on favorite
If July was the month Robert Cartwright went from West Coast wonder to more of a national presence, then August wasn’t too bad either as he made good on a late invite to Chris Paul’s Point Guard Academy.

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Weekly commitment roundup

August, 23, 2013
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Big Ten conference
Ohio State
Mickey Mitchell SF Plano, Texas/Plano West
HT: 6-foot-6 WT: 210 pounds
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: 31
Stars: 4
ESPN 60: 31

Big East conference
Seton Hall
Angel Delgado PF Troy, N.Y./Huntington Prep
HT: 6-8 WT: 215
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 16
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 63

Pac-12 conference
Arizona
Craig Victor PF New Orleans/Findlay Prep)
HT: 6-8 WT: 205
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 5
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 31

ACC
Syracuse
Kaleb Joseph PG Nashua, N.H./Cushing Academy
HT: 6-3 WT: 165
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 10
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 51

Maryland
Trayvon Reed C Snellville, Ga./Shiloh
HT: 7-1 WT: 210
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 9
ESPN 100: 84

SEC
Missouri
JaKeenan Gant PF Springfield, Ga./Effingham County
HT: 6-8 WT: 210
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 7
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 37

Tennessee
C.J. Turman C Madison, Ga./Morgan County
HT: 6-9 WT: 215
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: 15
Stars: 4

Alabama
Brandon Austin SF Montgomery, Ala./Carver
HT: 6-5 WT: 180
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: 14
Stars: 4

Big West conference
UC-Santa Barbara
Justin Burks SF Las Vegas/Arbor View
HT: 6-5 WT: 180
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 2

CAA
Drexel
Rashann London SG Philadelphia/Roman Catholic
HT: 6-2 WT: 180
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Ivy League
Princeton
Mike LeBlanc SF Dover, N.H./New Hampton School
HT: 6-6 WT: 185
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

NEC
Farleigh Dickinson
Devin Eke PF Scotch Plains, N.J./Union Catholic
HT: 6-6
Class of 2014
Position Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

America East
Binghamton
Justin McFadden SG Ardmore, Pa./Lower Merion
HT: 6-5 WT: 200
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Vermont
Brandon Hatton SG Covington, Ky./Dixie Heights
HT: 6-2
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Cam Ward SG Marshall, Wisc./Marshall
HT: 6-2 WT: 155
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending
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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What we learned from Orlando AAU 

July, 31, 2013
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ORLANDO, Fla. -- For five days in Orlando last week at the AAU Nationals and Super Showcase, a wide array of elite prospects, sleeper recruits and surprise players had an opportunity to shine. The play was excellent and the lessons learned were plentiful.

With so much talent at various levels on display, here are five things we learned from the 2013 AAU Nationals and Super Showcase.

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Stars live up to hype at Super Showcase 

July, 26, 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 is, offer some highlights of the day and give a quick look at what's next.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- It was a quick stay in Disney for me this week. Basically, I was in town to help broadcast a pair of AAU Super Showcase games on ESPNU and then pick off a few guys during pool play of the AAU Nationals whom I needed to see.

Mission accomplished.

So here are my final thoughts from the Super Showcase.

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ESPN 100 prospects star at Peach Jam 

July, 12, 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.

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- Thirty minutes before the start of the second session at the Nike Peach Jam on Thursday, the rains came. And it rained. And rained harder. And kept raining and then rained some more. A torrential downpour gave the event a new perspective.

Watching assistant coaches sprint to the gym so they wouldn’t be late to a game was kind of fun. Without any scholarships to give out, the best seat in the house for me was in the car until there was a letup in the downpour.

Sandwiched around the rain, however, there was some great action on the court and a who's who of big-time college coaches on hand to watch. Here are some nuggets from the first official day of the Nike EYBL finals at the Peach Jam.

[+] EnlargePaul White
Dave Telep/ESPN ESPN 100 PF Paul White put on a show in front of coaches from Florida, Memphis, Wisconsin, UConn, Michigan State and Illinois.
White turns in one of his best days of the summer

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Top-10 talents shine at Nike Academy 

June, 27, 2013
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UNION, N.J. -- Kean University was host to Nike's Big Man Skills Academy and Point Guard Skills Academy from Monday through Wednesday of this week. A total of 39 elite high school players (16 big men and 23 guards) were in action along with counterparts from the college game, who served as the counselors for the event.

With some of the nation’s top prospects in attendance -- including top-10 talents like Emmanuel Mudiay, Malik Newman and Myles Turner -- here’s a look at who impressed as the best of the best.

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