The Life of a Freelance Basketball Scout

Game 2 of the Season

November 12 – Manhattan @ UMBC

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 Once again it was raining on my trip to a game. Annapolis and now in Catonsville or Baltimore County. UMBC is only 20 minutes from my house so it’s not bad, even while driving an old ’94 Ford F-150.

 UMBC has really stepped its game up this past year and no I’m not talking about being the only #16 seed to ever defeat a #1 in NCAA tournament history. I am talking about their facility, the UMBC Event Center. It opened last year when they were crushed by Vermont late in the season. They of course got their revenge with a Jairus Lyles buzzer beater in Vermont to send the Retrievers to the NCAA tourney. More specifically though I am referring to the pregame spread. It was a taco/fajita/salad bar. It was solid, catered food. Now this doesn’t seem like much to some people in the media, but as far as I know there other gym did not have a spread….. Now I could be wrong, but my only experience out of the three years I have attended games there was meandering my way to a small crowded media room the size of the break room at a small paper company (yes, picture the break room from Scranton’s finest Dunder Mifflin). When I arrived there was an empty container of cookies. All of UMBC’s media staff had already consumed them, and yes famous UMBC Twitter guy was one of them…….

 So needless to say they have come a long way! The media staff does a great job there for sure. In the old gym as well as the new. Shoutout to Mr. Steve Levy.

 As for the game it was a one sided affair. UMBC handled Manhattan for majority of the game, with a final of 75-52. UMBC was shooting lights out from three. They were 13-29. Its very difficult to beat any team that makes 13 three’s. Coach Steve Masiello and the Jaspers didn’t have a chance to match the firepower of Coach Ryan Odom and the Retrievers. These are two really solid head coaches too. I wonder how long Odom will stick around. His coaching style and teams style of play will be very intriguing for many high major universities.

 For UMBC the star player of the game was, K.J. Jackson. Jackson, a JUCO transfer from Texas, struggled to run the offense early and played tentative. The 6’2 180 lb. point guard started playing with more decisiveness and conviction and quickly turned the game around. He finished with 20 points, 7 assists and 7 rebounds. Jackson is a tough player to stop when driving from the perimeter and he see’s the floor pretty well. He made 4-7 from three and was not taking shots out of the offense. Jackson is going to be one of the guards to watch in the America East Conference.

The other two veterans for UMBC that played well as expected were Arkel Lamar and Joe Sherburne. Lamar, a 6’5 235lb. junior guard/forward, may be the most important player on the squad. Lamar is a knockdown three-point shooter and has the ability to pull up or drive to the rack. Lamar has expanded his overall game. He see’s the floor better than years past and he also seems to be taking more of a leadership role on the floor. Lamar finished with 15 points. Joe Sherburne, a 6’6 220lb. senior shooting guard, provided his steady play. He played well in the high post and at the foul line. Sherburne’s calming presence is what holds this team together. The sharpshooter finished with 13 points, 4 assists and 5 rebounds.

For Manhattan it was not pretty on offense. They lacked continuity and a purpose most of the time. Freshman Elijah Buchanan lead the way with 10 points. Senior guard Thomas Capuano chipped in 9 points and senior guard/forward Samson Usilo had 7 points and 7 rebounds. This team is going to struggle to score. They seemed to be lacking a playmaking point guard and they are a very young team. Masiello will have some work to do.

 Fan of the game goes to the random UMBC fan that was yelling at all of Manhattan’s players by name and telling them they suck and they all need shape-ups. Very entertaining sir.

 UMBC had a decent crowd there. I guess the interest garnered from the NCAA tourney upset over #1 seeded Virginia is starting to generate some more profit.

 

 

The Life of a Freelance Basketball Scout

November 9 – Veteran’s Classic @ Navy

 Getting to the game was fun….. It was raining the whole way down Ritchie Highway as me, my Pops, Mr. Ken and Ms. Jen were conversing about basketball and other things. When we came to the split off of Ritchie to go left towards the Bay Bridge and towards the Naval Academy base or to go right towards downtown Annapolis, we didn’t realize we had to get over to the left until the traffic was too bad and the rain, so we were forced right. No worries we thought….. It should only add 10 minutes tops right? Wrong! (insert Donald Trump debate gif)

 This made us go the back way through downtown Annapolis which is annoying with a bunch of weird traffic patterns, one way streets and of course a traffic circle; because, no trip is complete while making wrong turns without a traffic circle. So we eventually get to one of the entrances of the base and enter. The entrance is literally located on a back street past some cobblestone area near the docks in Annapolis. Crazy old school town. But whatever we made it…… We thought……

 The naval base is super confusing and its dark due to day light savings time kicking in the weekend before. Its only 5 ish mind you. Wichita State vs Providence tip is at 6. We have plenty of time. Heh. Not so fast. Lets get turned around in the base and get blocked off by construction and get caught to where there is only one-way roads. Sounds good to me. Its around 5:15 or so after getting turned around multiple times, we find this other road that is a back-road that leads us in between a few buildings next to a few dumpsters and back to where we entered the base. The Naval officer that gave us directions when we entered gave us very fast and convoluted directions. Thanks, we appreciated it. So we turned back around and saw a few extremely poor lit signs that zig-zagged us through campus and to the parking deck next to the arena. We had finally made it. It was roughly 5:30. Doesn’t sound to bad does it? It sucked. Only a 30 minute detour, but hey at least I wasn’t driving. Thanks Mr. Ken!

 P.S. if anyone ever tries to invade the Naval Academy Base, hah good luck you’ll have no clue where you’re going. And did I mention we even had a map…..

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First game Wichita State vs Providence

 Wichita 83 – Providence 80

Other than the amazing human that was the Providence fan behind us, the best two players on the floor were Alpha Diallo of Providence and Markis McDuffie from Wichita State. Diallo is a point forward. Solid pro-ready frame. He could develop into a big lead guard. He has the vision and is a good catch and shoot player from 3. He plays tough defense on and off ball. On the other hand Markis McDuffie was the other NBA prospect. McDuffie has a slender build with good length and will need to get stronger. He struggled to shoot from three and mid range early on. He then caught fire later finishing with 32 points. McDuffie has a solid catch and shoot 3, although he has somewhat of a hitch in his shot. He is a plus athlete and can drive the ball to the basket as well. He is a plus defender that is very active.

 Side note about the Providence fan. He loved using the word “Bloody”. “Get the bloody ball!” Get the Bloody board!”. Classic New England accent as well. He also tried to explain to his significant other that Providence is playing an NBA style defense…… They were playing zone the whole time…… So yeah….. Very informed basketball guy.

 Second game Maryland vs Navy

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Maryland 78 – Navy 57

So in this game Navy hung tough for about 32 minutes until Maryland pulled away for the comfortable win. The intriguing players for Maryland were the two big men. Bruno Fernando and Jalen “Sticks” Smith. Both NBA draft prospects had the size advantage but struggled to get involved with the slow pace Navy played with. Bruno has an NBA frame and some offensive skills, yet he never seems to showcase his mid range jumper. His best skill is his rebounding. Smith was in foul trouble in the second half and never checked back in after like the 10 minute mark. Smith alters and blocks shots. He also has 3 point range on the catch and shoot. He is a modern 4, but will need to fill out to be a 5. Time will tell but he will probably be a one and done. Anthony Cowan led the way with 24 points, scoring many on late breakaways to blow the game open. He will be looked on for leadership for this young team. Darryl Morsell was the one that really changed the momentum of the game. He forced the ball inside with his driving ability instead of settling for outside shots like his other teammates. Morsell is a physical energetic player, this game fit him perfectly against a smaller physical mid major squad.

 For Navy John Carter Jr. played well chipping in all the categories. No not that John Carter….. He garnered 8 rebounds as a 6’4 freshman against a much bigger Maryland team. Hasan Abdullah did what he normally does playing extremely tough on ball defense and be a steady point guard. George Kiernan struggled to get involved. He was overmatched all night but will be relied on heavily in the Patriot League. Overall Navy just could not score to keep pace.

 Shout out to the Navy fan behind us that was crackling like a rooster all game and saying that Maryland’s team was not disciplined after a technical foul. You gave our heads a piercing ring each time and for that we say thank you.

 Oh yeah when we left the game, we left the base in the matter of 60 seconds, crossed a bridge and were home in the matter of 30 minutes. Better than getting lost in the base for over a half hour alone. Also you can’t park at the academy unless you’re driver has a DOD government card if you don’t. Something like that. Anyways good times to be had going to a game there.

Senior Pro Prospects and Portsmouth Reports 2017-2018

PITThe 2017-2018 college basketball has finished. We have completed 112 scouting reports for college seniors from Division 1,2,3 and NAIA. We also have a recap of the Portsmouth Invitational. This includes a report about all 64 players that were in attendance.

The fee’s are as follows. They are all in US dollars.

75$ for the senior scouting reports

75$ for the Portsmouth reports

125$ for all of the reports

If you’re interested a link to my PayPal is included. Or we can use Venmo or the Cash app.  Please send me an email to thewall24hrs@yahoo.com to confirm and get more info from each other.

 

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Final List of Top Pro Prospects in Maryland and DC 2017-2018

Final List of Top Pro Prospects in Maryland and DC 2017-2018

This is the final list for the top prospects in Maryland and the Washington D.C. area for the college season of 2017-2018.

Many things happened since the last time I did a list in January. Maryland faltered towards the end of their season. Georgetown continue its up and down play. Towson completely imploded. George Mason was up and down Navy had its moments as well. Mount St. Mary’s had a disappointing end as well. Overall there was only one team that got stronger. Of course that was UMBC. UMBC won the America East and went on its way to beat Virginia in the NCAA tournament as the first 16 seed to ever beat a 1 seed.

Remember these rankings slightly favor upperclassmen. With all this said here are the final rankings.

  1. Bruno Fernando
  2. Kevin Huerter
  3. Justin Jackson
  4. Jessie Govan
  5. Jairus Lyles
  6. Marcus Derrickson
  7. Yuta Watanabe
  8. Tiwian Kendley
  9. Zane Martin
  10. Mike Morsell
  11. Anthony Cowan
  12. Michal Cekovsky
  13. Junior Robinson
  14. Shawn Anderson
  15. R.J. Cole
  16. Sa’eed Nelson
  17. Otis Livingston II
  18. K.J. Maura
  19. Andre Walker
  20. Patrick Steeves

Others in consideration: Phillip Carr, Charles Williams, Jonathan Mulmore, Deshaun Morman, Justin Gorham, Darryl Morsell, Cam Gregory, Arkel Lamar, Joe Sherburne, Jaire Grayer

 

Prospects on teams

Howard – R.J. Cole and Charles Williams

George Mason – Otis Livingston II, Jaire Grayer, Goanar Mar

Georgetown – Jessie Govan, Marcus Derrickson, Jonathan Mulmore

Navy – Shawn Anderson, Bryce Dulin, Hasan Abdullah and Tom Lacey

American – Sa’eed Nelson, Larry Motuzis

Towson – Zane Martin, Mike Morsell, Brian Starr, Deshaun Morman, Justin Gorham, Eddie Keith

Maryland – Kevin Huerter, Bruno Fernando, Justin Jackson, Michal Cekovsky, Darryl Morsell, Anthony Cowan, Dion Wiley, Jared Nickens, Ivan Bender, Joshua Tomaic

Loyola MD – Andre Walker, Cam Gregory, James Fives, Andrew Kostecka, Chuck Champion, Isaiah Hart

Mount St. Mary’s – Junior Robinson, Chris Wray and Jonah Antonio

George Washington – Yuta Watanabe, Jair Bolden, Arnaldo Toro, Patrick Steeves, Terry Nolan Jr.

Morgan State – Tiwian Kendley, Phillip Carr, Martez Cameron, LaPri McCray-Pace, Stanley Davis

UMBC – Jairus Lyles, Arkel Lamar, K.J. Maura, Joe Sherburne, Jourdan Grant

Maryland Eastern Shore – Logan McIntosh

Coppin State – Karonn Davis

 

Top 20 Pro Prospects In Maryland and DC

Top 20 Pro Prospects In Maryland and DC

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This list is in order of higher rated pro prospect. I value seniors or upperclassmen more so, but still include players that are very productive as underclassmen.

I have finally had a chance to see everyone on this list. Thus the fluctuation of the first one that was out.

  1. Bruno Fernando
  2. Kevin Huerter
  3. Justin Jackson
  4. Jessie Govan
  5. Jairus Lyles
  6. Anthony Cowan
  7. Michal Cekovsky
  8. Tiwian Kendley
  9. Zane Martin
  10. Yuta Watanabe
  11. Marcus Derrickson
  12. Mike Morsell
  13. Jair Bolden
  14. Andre Walker
  15. Shawn Anderson
  16. R.J. Cole
  17. Junior Robinson
  18. Sa’eed Nelson
  19. Otis Livingston II
  20. Patrick Steeves

On the rise: Tiwian Kendley, Otis Livingston II, Anthony Cowan, Marcus Derrickson, Andre Walker

On the decline: Darryl Morsell, Sa’eed Nelson, Shawn Anderson, Justin Jackson

Others in consideration: Charles Williams, Jonathan Mulmore, Hasan Abdullah, Deshaun Morman, Justin Gorham, Darryl Morsell, Jared Nickens, Ivan Bender, Cam Gregory, Chuck Champion, Martez Cameron, Arkel Lamar, Joe Sherburne, Joshua Tomaic, Phillip Carr, Jaire Grayer, Goanar Mar

Howard – R.J. Cole and Charles Williams

George Mason – Otis Livingston II, Jaire Grayer, Goanar Mar

Georgetown – Jessie Govan, Marcus Derrickson, Jonathan Mulmore

Navy – Shawn Anderson, Bryce Dulin, Hasan Abdullah and Tom Lacey

American – Sa’eed Nelson, Larry Motuzis

Towson – Zane Martin, Mike Morsell, Brian Starr, Deshaun Morman, Justin Gorham, Eddie Keith

Maryland – Huerter, Fernando, Jackson, Cekovsky, Morsell, Cowan, Wiley, Nickens, Bender, Tomaic

Loyola MD – Andre Walker, Cam Gregory, James Fives, Andrew Kostecka, Chuck Champion, Isaiah Hart

Mount St. Mary’s – Junior Robinson and Jonah Antonio

George Washington – Yuta Watanabe, Jair Bolden, Arnaldo Toro, Patrick Steeves, Terry Nolan Jr.

Morgan State – Tiwian Kendley, Phillip Carr, Martez Cameron, LaPri McCray-Pace, Stanley Davis

UMBC – Jairus Lyles, Arkel Lamar, K.J. Maura, Joe Sherburne, Jourdan Grant

Maryland Eastern Shore –

Coppin State –

The Top 20 Pro Prospects in Maryland and Washington D.C.

The Top 20 Pro Prospects in Maryland and Washington D.C.

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Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

 

The following is my first list of the top 20 D1 prospects in MD/DC. This list will change every so often the more I get to see different schools and players. Schools I still need to see more from are George Mason, Morgan State, Mount St. Mary’s, Maryland Eastern Shore and Coppin State. This list is as current as January 2, 2018.

Here we go…..

  1. Justin Jackson
  2. Bruno Fernando
  3. Kevin Huerter
  4. Jairus Lyles
  5. Jessie Govan
  6. Darryl Morsell
  7. Anthony Cowan
  8. Michal Cekovsky
  9. Zane Martin
  10. Yuta Watanabe
  11. Mike Morsell
  12. Shawn Anderson
  13. Jair Bolden
  14. Sa’eed Nelson
  15. Marcus Derrickson
  16. R.J. Cole
  17. Junior Robinson
  18. Andre Walker
  19. Tiwian Kendley
  20. Patrick Steeves

 

Others in consideration: Charles Williams, Jonathan Mulmore, Hasan Abdullah, Deshaun Morman, Justin Gorham, Jared Nickens, Ivan Bender, Cam Gregory, Chuck Champion, Martez Cameron, Arkel Lamar, Joe Sherburne, Joshua Tomaic, Phillip Carr, Otis Livingston II, Jaire Grayer, Goanar Mar

Here is a breakdown of prospects looked at per school

 

Howard – R.J. Cole and Charles Williams

 

George Mason – Otis Livingston II, Jaire Grayer, Goanar Mar

 

Georgetown – Jessie Govan, Marcus Derrickson, Jonathan Mulmore

 

Navy – Shawn Anderson, Bryce Dulin, Hasan Abdullah and Tom Lacey

 

American – Sa’eed Nelson, Larry Motuzis

 

Towson – Zane Martin, Mike Morsell, Brian Starr, Deshaun Morman, Justin Gorham, Eddie Keith

 

Maryland – Huerter, Fernando, Jackson, Cekovsky, Morsell, Cowan, Wiley, Nickens, Bender, Tomaic

 

Loyola MD – Andre Walker, Cam Gregory, James Fives, Andrew Kostecka, Chuck Champion, Isaiah Hart

 

Mount St. Mary’s – Junior Robinson and Jonah Antonio

 

George Washington – Yuta Watanabe, Jair Bolden, Arnaldo Toro, Patrick Steeves, Terry Nolan Jr.

 

Morgan State – Tiwian Kendley, Phillip Carr, Martez Cameron, LaPri McCray-Pace, Stanley Davis

 

UMBC – Jairus Lyles, Arkel Lamar, K.J. Maura, Joe Sherburne, Jourdan Grant

 

Maryland Eastern Shore –

Coppin State –

 

As I said before this list will change periodically. This is what I have right now. Stay tuned for updates on prospects in the Maryland/DC area.

 

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Haas and Mathias Fuel Boilermakers to Win over Terps

Haas and Mathias Fuel Boilermakers to Win over Terps

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College Park, MD – Seniors Isaac Haas and Dakota Mathias combined for 41 points, as Pudue (7-2, 1-0) opened up Big Ten play with an impressive win at Maryland (6-3, 0-1), 80-75. Mathias (6’4 200 Senior Shooting Guard) shined in the first half scoring 18 of his 20 points, while shooting a perfect seven for seven from the field, including four three-pointers. In the second half the giant Isaac Haas (7’2 290 Senior Center) took over. Haas had several key baskets in the paint and was just too much for Maryland to overcome late. Maryland did have a shot to tie with 14 second left, but Jared Nickens’ shot was just short to tie the game at 78.

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P.J. Thompson (5’10 185 Senior Point Guard) then closed the game with two free throws. Amazingly Purdue received zero points from its bench in the game. With that said their senior laden lineup was more than enough.

 

Purdue proved to be the more experienced and better overall team tonight. Every time Maryland cut the lead Purdue would answer back with a run. That is a sign of composure and veteran leadership. Mathias showed his overall skills tonight. In the first half he showed his ability to score from deep. In the second half he was not a factor in scoring the ball, but he made sure to set his teammates up since Maryland was all over him. Mathias would use pump fakes to get defenders closing out on him to fly by and then he would penetrate and kick out to open shooters. He also showed his ability to defend. He was matched up on Kevin Huerter a lot and really limited his attempts and looks at the basket.

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Although Huerter had a solid night Mathias was right there on him. Mathias finished with 20 points, four three-pointers, five rebounds and nine assists. The other large factor was Isaac Haas. When Haas received the ball in the post it was game over. His massive size and strength allowed him to get great position all night. He has a very dependable right hand hook and has surprisingly soft touch for a man his size. At one point Haas even made a turn around fade away jumper from about twelve feet. Haas is so large that it is tough for him to stay out of foul trouble at times. He managed to do so tonight only having two fouls and registering four blocked shots. Haas finished with 21 points, on 10 of 13 shooting, with five rebounds and four blocks.

 

The other starters for Purdue that contributed were NBA prospects Carsen Edwards (6’1 200 Sophomore Point Guard) and Vince Edwards (6’8 225 Senior Small Forward). Carsen is Purdue’s lightning rod on offense. He can get hot and fill it up in a hurry. He has a smooth jumper and a very quick release that allows him to get his shot off over bigger defenders. Carsen finished with 18 points and six rebounds. Vince is a solid overall player. He plays with a high basketball IQ on both ends of the floor. He can drive the lane or even step out and make an open three. On defense he has the versatility to guard players in the back court or the front court. Vince finished with ten points, eleven rebounds and four assists.

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The other lone starter P.J. Thompson had eleven points and four rebounds.

 

For Maryland Anthony Cowan (6’0 170 Sophomore Point Guard) and Kevin Huerter (6’7 190 Sophomore Shooting Guard) did all they could to keep Maryland within striking distance. Cowan has continued to do his part to lead the young Terps from the point guard position. Cowan hit several big three’s including a four point play late in the game to draw closer, eventually letting Maryland have a shot to tie late. Cowan had 20 points, six rebounds, five assists, two steals and zero turnovers. Huerter impacted the game on both ends. He plays tough defense and has become more aggressive on the offensive end recently. Huerter is starting to develop into a leader for the young Terps and it shows with his confidence recently. He finished with 19 points, five rebounds and two assists.

 

Two players that really struggled in the game were NBA prospect Justin Jackson (6’7 225 Sophomore Forward) and Darryl Morsell (6’4 205 Freshman Shooting Guard). Jackson has struggled with his three-point shot all season. He seems to be pressing. He is either too passive or he forces the issue. With the passers he has on his team he will continue to get open looks and should eventually break out of his slump. While Jackson is struggling on offense he still makes an impact on defense as well as rebounding. He finished with five points, on 1 of 8 shooting, eight rebounds and four assists. Morsell had his worst shooting night of his young career. Purdue coach Matt Painter said in the post game press conference they were ok with slacking off some on the perimeter on Morsell to help in other places. This worked out just fine as he shot 3 of 16 on the night and 0 of 4 from three. Morsell had plenty of open looks, but also forced the issue in the lane quite often. These decisions led to blocks or ill-advised shots to end possessions. Morsell finished with nine points and three rebounds.

 

Highly touted big man Bruno Fernando had twelve points and seven rebounds. He struggled defending big man Isaac Haas at times, giving him too deep of position.

 

Next in Line

For Pudue – Home vs Northwestern Sunday

For Maryland – At Illinois Sunday