Saturday, June 19, 2010

Hairston makes point at top 100 camp

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - P.J. Hairston, the shooting guard from Greensboro who's committed to North Carolina, came to the NBA Players Association's top 100 camp to make a point.

He wanted to make a case for himself as a McDonald's All-American in 2011. Even though many of the top players in the class are absent while working out for the USA Basketball, Hairston has succeeded.

After two days of games, Hairston is the camp's scoring leader at 16.8 points per game.

"All my shots are basically coming from taking it to the rack," said Hairston, who's been working to improve his driving ability. "Basically all my points are coming from that. And then once I get that, that's when the 3-point shot comes, and it's really hard to stop me.

"It's basically the biggest camp of the summer and it really shows McDonald's All-American that I deserve to be there."

Hairston is one of many players of local interest among the top scorers at the camp. Michael Gbinije, the forward who's committed to Duke, is tied for fifth on the camp scoring list at 13.8 points per game.

Cody Zeller, the brother of North Carolina center Tyler Zeller who's being recruited by the Tar Heels and Wake Forest, is averaging 12.5 points. Deuce Bello of High Point's Westchester Academy (12.0), Raleigh Upper Room Class of 2013 standout Rodney Purvis (11.5), Charlotte Christian's Anthony Gill (10.5), Davidson Day's Bernard Sullivan (10.0) and N.C. State commitment Joseph Uchebo of Raleigh Word of God (10.0) all are in the top 25 on the camp scoring list.

Sullivan, a 6-foot-7 combo forward who said he's wide open in his consideration of possible colleges, has seen his stock improve in a productive summer. In the past, injuries have prevented him from making much of an impact in summer basketball.

"Being in the top 100, me playing well, that's going to raise my stock," Sullivan said. "People are finally getting to see me at the highest level. . . .being with all these NBA players and learning from them is just a remarkable experience."

Ken Tysiac

Friday, June 18, 2010

Q&A with Jerry Stackhouse

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Former North Carolina and longtime NBA guard Jerry Stackhouse is participating in the coaching development program at the NBA Players Association camp:

Q: What are you doing here in terms of trying to get involved in coaching?
A: I'm looking into the next phase of my career, trying to see if coaching is maybe something I want to do. I've obviously been playing for the last 30 years. I feel like I have a real knowledge of basketball. I',m just trying to transition that from playing to trying to help kids improve and obviously try to win games at the same time. It's been a great experience. I've learned so much in two days from Brendan Suhr, a guy who has 40 years of basketball under his belt. He's teaching us here what it takes to be an assistant coach.
I think a head coach is more like a CEO that kind of runs everything. The assistant coach is the guy who takes some of the burden off of him, and we're learning to do that. At the same time it's an opportunity to rub elbows with some of these young kids who are going to be the future of college basketball as well as the future of our league. So this is exciting to be able to share with them. I think they're like sponges right now. They just want to soak up everything that they can and hopefully with the experiences and things I've done over the last 15 years as a pro, I can share that with them and help them.

Q: What do you try to tell them?
A: How hard it is. You don't want to discourage them, but it takes a work ethic. And everybody's talented. Everybody here can jump up and dunk a basketball and have an unbelievable body. And it's going to be even more so when you get to the next level in college. Everybody that you see is going to be at this camp. How are you going to separate yourself? The only way you can separate yourself is by coming in and working on your game, taking everything you can from here. You've got professional, NBA players that their least amount of years is eight years. You've got eight or more years of experience here. So use these guys, use us to try to learn as much as you can to get to the level that you're trying to attain, and I think they're doing that. Every time I turn around I have somebody trying to take me one on one or beat me one on one, but that's part of it. At the same stage I was doing the same thing, because that's the only way you can test yourself, by going against better players. And I'm glad they still consider me a better player.

Q: Did you go to a camp like this coming up through the ranks?
A: I went to Nike camp. Nike camp had the top players in the country. They used to do it up in Indiana, and it was a great experience. I came out of the camp the No. 1 or No. 2 player in a lot of publications, and it gave me a lot of confidence. I felt like you had the top talent in the country, and some of the top publications and basketball gurus were saying you were the top player out of that, you just ride that momentum and ride that confidence. You had to look at it, whether you were No. 1, I was fortunate to be considered in the top five in anybody's. You've got to use it as motivation. If you're 30th, you say, 'Hey, I'm top 30 in the country.' You use all of this stuff for confidence. Basketball is always about confidence. There’s nothing like seeing the ball go through the hoop, and when you can come to places like that and see kids from all across the country and show that you have the ability and skills to compete with them, then I really have a chance, and all I have to do is continue to stay on the right course and continue to get better. And you can have a chance to really put on an NBA uniform some day.

Q: What's it like for you to be able to give back to these kids who are hoping to be where you're at some day?
A: It feels good, but at the same time getting out of the player's shoe and jumping into the coach's shoe is totally different. We had a workshop today where we kind of went over the scouting report. I've taken the walk throughs and scouting reports for granted for 20 years. And now that I had to do one today, I realize how hard it is to remember the play and know where everybody has to be. But it was a great experience. Once I did it, I felt like I could do it again. Those are the things you just don't realize until you start doing it.

Q: You've got a future Carolina guy on your team, P.J. Hairston. What do you think of him as a player, and do y'all do some Carolina talk?
A: He's so talented. And things come a little easy for him. That's where he has to make sure that he still puts in that work ethic and keeps up that effort and desire. He’s at the point right now where even at a top 100 camp, he stands out. So you can't get complacent. You've got to think that there are probably 20 kids who aren't here who are at USA Basketball, so he has to have a mind set that even though I'm doing really well at this camp, 20 of the best in the country aren't here so I've got to still improve, and I've got to get better than them.
And hopefully he'll take on that. But I love the fact that he's a North Carolina kid. And the other kid, Deuce [Bello], from High Point, I'm excited that even some of the young kids, the rising sophomores, the kid from Upper Room, North Carolina's on the map, and we're going to try to stay there.

Q: What's it like for you being back in ACC country in Charlottesville? I know you never got a chance to play in this venue here.
A: It's really nice. We played at the other building. It's great. This is the only other place I visited was UVa, that I took an official visit to. And I almost came here. But I wnet down to visit North Carolina, and I couldn't tell Dean Smith no. So that's why I went to North Carolina.

Ken Tysiac

Thursday, June 17, 2010

UNC target Stokes stands out

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Jarnell Stokes stood out among the big men at the NBAPA Top 100 camp on Thursday morning for both his immense size and his skill set.

Of the 96 players in the camp, most are all arms and legs but Stokes, who's going into his junior year of high school, is built like an NFL tight end.

At 6-8, 240 pounds and with size 20 shoes, he's big for a 26-year-old, let alone a 16-year-old.
He was dominant for the Rockets in a 100-75 win over the Jazz on Thursday morning, scoring 11 points and just out-muscling his competition.

"I'm just trying to get my name out there," said Stokes, who's rated by ESPN as the sixth-best prospect in the class of 2012.

Stokes, who's from Memphis, said North Carolina, Maryland and Florida State called him Wednesday. He's also being pursued by Memphis, among other schools.

He made himself an instant message-board hero at UNC, and the opposite everywhere else, when he was asked if one school was his favorite.

"Everybody loves North Carolina, but the reality is they're all even," Stokes said.

J.P. Giglio

Bello impressed with Wolfpack's class

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Deuce Bello, a combo guard from Greensboro, has N.C. State on his list of college choices with three other ACC teams, Cleveland State and Baylor.

Bello, who's attending the NBA Players Association Top 100 Camp, said the addition of freshmen Ryan Harrow, C.J. Leslie and Lorenzo Brown helps the Wolfpack's chances.

"That helps them a lot," said Bello, who's ranked No. 91 in the class of 2011. "Especially Ryan Harrow and C.J. Leslie, that's a great combo right there."

Bello scored 10 points for the Jazz in the first game on Thursday morning in a 100-75 loss to the Rockets.

Bello teamed with ACC targets Tyler Lewis (Wake Forest, N.C. State, Virginia), Cody Zeller (Wake Forest, UNC) and Adjehi Baru (Maryland, Virginia Tech) and showed a surprising ability to create shots for others.

At 6-3, Bello has a skinny frame and long arms. He's more of a scoring guard than a point guard but he's working on his passing, he said.

"I was trying to get everyone involved," Bello said.

Bello said he has already visited Clemson and plans to visit Maryland, Miami, Baylor, Cleveland State and N.C. State.

The Wolfpack, which has four scholarships available for the class of 2011, has offered him a scholarship, he said.

One potential factor in Bello's college choice, he calls Brian Clifton his "mentor." Clifton, a club team coach, also helped former Raleigh prep star John Wall in his recruiting process.

J.P. Giglio

Lewis unlikely to choose Hokies

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Virginia Tech offered Tyler Lewis a scholarship when the Statesville guard was in eighth grade. Lewis doesn't think he'll end playing college basketball for the Hokies, though.

"They picked up Marquis Rankin," said Lewis, who's one of the top point guards in the class of 2012. "He's a point guard in the class of 2011, so they really don't need one in the class of 2012."

Lewis didn't rule out playing his college ball in the ACC or Virginia.

"I like coach [Tony] Bennett a lot," Lewis said. "He's a good guy."

UVa is late-comer to the Lewis party. The 5-11 pass-first point guard lists Charlotte, N.C. State and Wake Forest as possible choices.

"It's too early," said Lewis, who finished his sophomore season at Forsyth Country Day.
Lewis said he plans on making a decision next June, after he sees which coaches have shown the most interest at AAU tournaments and his high school games.

"Whoever comes out to my games will be the one that's most interested," Lewis said.

Lewis scored 13 points for the Jazz in a 100-75 loss to the Rockets on Thursday morning at the NBAPA Top 100 camp.

Ken Tysiac

Heels' Williams first to call Tokoto

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - North Carolina's Roy Williams didn't wait long to call J.P. Tokoto.
Just one minute after NCAA rules allowed coaches to call Class of 2012 prospects for the first time on Tuesday, Williams was on the phone with Tokoto, a 6-foot-6 wing from Monomonee Falls, Wis.

Williams offered Tokoto a scholarship. By the end of the day, coaches from Arizona, Florida, Maryland, Miami and Texas also had called to offer scholarships.

"It's definitely flattering to hear from all these coaches," Tokoto said Thursday at the NBA Players Association Top 100 camp at the University of Virginia.

Tokoto had spoken with Williams before Tuesday, but he said that was only during phone calls initiated by Tokoto, in accordance with NCAA rules. Tokoto said he has been impressed with how Williams inquires about his family and academics rather than just basketball.

"North Carolina itself, it's just a very historical school," Tokoto said. "Being shown interest even as a sophomore, it's just amazing. I didn't take it in until I got the actual offer, and I was just like, 'Wow.' "

Duke offered Tokoto a scholarship even earlier, after he attended the Blue Devils' elite camp last summer.

Tokoto hasn't narrowed his list of prospective schools, and said he doesn't want to show any favorites at this point. And despite all the interest he is getting, he said his parents are keeping him grounded.

"I can never get a big head," Tokoto said. "It's not that I would. I'm staying humble and hungry. Once you're not humble and hungry, you're not going to be a good basketball player."

Ken Tysiac

Big start for Sullivan at NBA top 100 camp

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - It didn't take long for Huntersville's Bernard Sullivan to make a big impression at the NBA Players Association's top 100 camp Thursday morning.

A few minutes into his opening game at the camp, Sullivan swished a left-handed 3-pointer from a few feet left of the top of the key. Sullivan, who's 6-foot-7 and 210 pounds, added a nifty up-and-under move for a basket from the lane.

"Nice move," somebody shouted from the bench.

Sullivan joins North Carolinians Dezmine Wells, Tyler Lewis, Dezmine Wells, Marquis Rankin, Anthony Gill, P.J. Hairston and Deuce Bello on the camp roster. Westchester Academy forward Quincy Miller is a late scratch because he is participating in a USA Basketball event, but Raleigh's Rodney Purvis and Bishop Daniels have been added to the camp to replace some of the players who can't make the camp because of that event.

N.C. State commitment Joseph Uchebo and Duke commitments Michael Gbinije and Tyler Adams also are competing. For more on the camp, stay tuned to this blog.

Ken Tysiac

Monday, June 14, 2010

N.C. State recruit enrolls at Word of God

Raleigh's Word of God Christian Academy, which has produced two of the best high school basketball players in the country during the last two seasons, is expected to have N.C. State basketball recruit Joseph Uchebo on its roster next season.

The 6-foot-9, 240-pound center has enrolled at Word of God, the alma mater of John Wall, last year's top-ranked high school player in the country, and C.J. Leslie, a McDonald's all-American and an N.C. State recruit.

When Uchebo committed to State he was listed as a member of the Class of 2012, but he might be able to graduate next year.

"We have to assess his transcript and see which courses he has passed," said Dr. Frank Summerfield, the founder of the Word of God school and church in Raleigh. "We need to find out which courses he still needs. Just looking over his transcript, it would appear at first glance that he is at least a junior, perhaps a senior.

"We will examine his transcripts and together we will decide what is best for Joseph."

Uchebo played at Oak Ridge (N.C.) Military Academy last year and at Durham Mount Zion the year before. He is from Lagos, Nigeria and is playing for the CP3 All-Stars this summer.

Summerfield said he has not selected a coach to succeed Erasta Hatchett, who coached at the school one season after succeeding Levi Beckwith.

"We've not moved on that yet," Summerfield said. "We are taking our time.

"The decision is being spiritually driven. We would like to have someone who is a part of the church. We want someone who is going to be with us for years to come."

The church, which is 17 years old, currently has about 2,500 members.

-- Tim Stevens, (Raleigh) News & Observer

Friday, June 4, 2010

Rock Hill's Clowney ranked top recruit in country

The phone in Bobby Carroll's office at South Pointe High has been ringing off the hook.

Nearly every coach at a major college has called to extend their congratulations of the latest news involving Carroll's football team.

Carroll coaches the No. 1 football player in the country, not just at his position and not just in South Carolina. Stallions defensive end Jadeveon Clowney has been chosen by three football recruiting services as the nation's best player in all of the 50 states.

"I'm happy to know football people feel I'm the number one player in the nation," Clowney said. "It's a big thing... really big. But I'm about team first and these honors bring recognition to South Pointe.

"When college coaches come here, they see we have a lot of good players that deserve a chance. No matter what is said about my abilities, you can't win without a team attitude. It takes all of us to be successful."

Clowney is at the top of the lists released by, and ESPN. Renowned high school analyst Tom Lemming, who ranked the top 100 players for, has Clowney at No. 2 in the nation.

"You wouldn't believe all of the calls," Carroll said. "Nearly every big-time coach in the country in interested in signing him and he has a stack of offers unlike any I've seen. I've coached five players now in the NFL and none were recruited as heavily as Clowney."

Clowney, who is 6-feet-6, 245 pounds, has listed South Carolina, North Carolina and Alabama as his top three schools, but that could change. South Carolina is most mentioned by observers not because of anything Clowney has said but because former South Pointe Stallions Stephon Gilmore and DeVonte Holloman play there.

According to Jim Baxter, who runs, South Carolina's branch of, no S.C. player has ever been ranked No. 1 nationally.

-- Barry Byers, Rock Hill Herald

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

McAdoo's decision 'not 100 percent' yet

James McAdoo's coach at Norfolk (Va.) Christian Academy, Michael Allen, shed a bit more light Wednesday on the possibility of early enrollment for McAdoo at North Carolina.

McAdoo is a 6-foot-8 power forward scheduled to graduate in 2011 who has committed to North Carolina. On Tuesday, McAdoo's father, Ronnie, said James is considering graduating early and joining the Tar Heels for the 2010-11 season but declined further comment.

"It's not 100 percent that he is leaving, and it's not 100 percent he's staying," Allen said. "It's just something they're praying about and contemplating and trying to work things out and see where the Lord is leading them."

Allen said the McAdoos haven't told him much yet, other than saying they're considering an early graduation that would require passing summer school classes.

"I know he has two main credit courses he would have to take this summer in summer school," Allen said. "They're exploring some options on how he could possibly do that to get his degree early."

McAdoo won't turn 18 until Jan. 4. He has never "reclassified" in school, so graduating early would put him a year ahead of his class, Allen said.

Getting McAdoo early would improve North Carolina's depth at forward after twins David and Travis Wear unexpectedly transferred to UCLA last month. The Wears' departure had left the Tar Heels with only Tyler Zeller and John Henson on scholarship in the frontcourt.

But Alabama junior Justin Knox, who's 6-foot-9, has announced plans to graduate from the university after this summer and enroll at North Carolina to play his final season of college eligibility for the Tar Heels in 2010-11 under the NCAA's graduate student transfer waiver.

McAdoo would give North Carolina another big body and a highly regarded prospect who seems destined for a future in the NBA. He is rated as the No. 5 prospect overall in the Class of 2011 by

Whether he will need to be ranked with a new class soon is a question the family hasn't answered yet.

"It is an option," Allen said. "They're praying about it. And that's really about all we know."

Ken Tysiac

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

McAdoo may enroll early at UNC

James McAdoo, a 6-foot-8 power forward who's currently scheduled to graduate from high school in 2011, is considering enrolling a year early at North Carolina.

"It's something he's considering, and that's about as far as I'll go with it," said Ronnie McAdoo, the player's father. "It's something he's considering, but I don't want to get into any details about it."

McAdoo, who's considered one of the top five players in his class regardless of position, committed to North Carolina in September.

If he graduates from high school and enrolls early, he will be 17 years old when he enters North Carolina. He will turn 18 on Jan. 4 and could be the second player from Virginia in two years to take summer school classes in order to graduate a year early and attend a Triangle ACC school and play men's basketball.

A year ago, Andre Dawkins graduated early from Atlantic Shores Christian Academy in Chesapeake, Va., to enroll at Duke and help the Blue Devils win the NCAA title. He played a reserve role at shooting guard, helping decrease the impact of Duke's loss of Gerald Henderson after his junior season to the NBA draft and Elliot Williams to a transfer.

Like Duke last year, North Carolina is facing unexpected personnel losses. Tar Heel forwards David and Travis Wear surprised coach Roy Williams last month when they decided to transfer; they've since committed to UCLA.

That had left North Carolina with just two true post players on scholarship in Tyler Zeller and John Henson. But the Tar Heels added help in 6-foot-9 Justin Knox, who decided to graduate early from Alabama and enroll as a grad student at North Carolina for the one year of eligibility he has remaining.

Ken Tysiac

Where Duke, UNC, Pack stand in 2011 recruiting

Duke and North Carolina don't have McDonald's All-America-caliber big men locked up, but do have commitments from some high-powered prospects.

N.C. State has a commitment from a big guy in Joseph Uchebo who may be better than any post player the Blue Devils or Tar Heels get in the Class of 2011. With the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions concluded, here's a look at how the 2011 basketball recruiting class is shaping up for the three Triangle ACC schools:

Duke: Michael Gbinije, a 6-foot-6 shooter from Richmond, gives the Blue Devils an excellent forward prospect who will reduce the impact of losing Kyle Singler after his senior season.

The Blue Devils also have a commitment from 6-8 Brandon Adams of Brandon, Miss., who has a big body at 250 pounds but isn't a top-50 prospect because he's not a highly skilled scorer - yet. If Duke doesn't get Quincy Miller, a 6-8 power forward from Westchester Academy in High Point, it might not end up with a big-time post scorer in this class.

Duke's most pressing issue at this point is to lock up 6-4 scoring guard Austin Rivers of Winter Park, Fla. He's rated as one of the top five players in the class, and the Blue Devils appear to be in excellent shape with him.

North Carolina: The Tar Heels are in good shape at a couple positions.

They have an excellent inside-outside forward prospect committed in 6-8 James McAdoo of Norfolk, Va. P.J. Hairston, a 6-5 wing from Greensboro, puts North Carolina in great shape at that position when you consider that Harrison Barnes (who may only stay one season) and Reggie Bullock are in the 2010 class.

With Kendall Marshall coming in to play point guard in 2010, point guard isn't a big need in 2011. But the low post is, especially because Alabama transfer Justin Knox has just one year of eligibility remaining.

Will the Tar Heels offer Cody Zeller or Marshall Plumlee? Is there another big target out there who hasn't materialized yet? Roy Williams always seems to find answers in recruiting, and it will be interesting to see what he comes up with.

N.C. State: It's impossible to overstate the value of 6-9 Joseph Uchebo, the Oak Ridge Military big man who's reclassifying from 2012 into 2011 and has committed to N.C. State.

At the Tournament of Champions, Uchebo demonstrated remarkable ball handling ability and a toughness that may make him one of the top big men in his class. Along with Richard Howell, he should make the Wolfpack strong up front in 2011-12 and 2012-13 even if C.J. Leslie does only stay one season.

Uchebo is all N.C. State has committed at the moment in 2011, but the Wolfpack's needs aren't as great because its 2010 class (Leslie, Lorenzo Brown, Ryan Harrow) is so strong.

Getting Jerome Seagers or Quinn Cook out of the Washington, D.C., area would improve N.C. State's depth at point guard. The Wolfpack also could use a scoring forward like Gbinije or McAdoo, but doesn't appear likely to get one of that caliber.

Still, with Uchebo emerging as a high quality big man, N.C. State is in good shape at a key position.

Ken Tysiac