The Life of a Freelance Basketball Scout – Game 4

The Life of a Freelance Basketball Scout – Game 4

American vs UMBC

Sam Iorio game winner against UMBC

The Life of a Freelance Basketball Scout – Game 4 

November 24 – American @ UMBC

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The next day after my trip to College park to see Marshall vs Maryland, I made the short trip to see American University vs UMBC. UMBC was coming off a successful trip to the Bahamas, where they went 2-1. They had wins over High Point and Air Force. There loss was against South Dakota. UMBC was 4-2 on the season. American was 2-1 on the season, with wins over George Mason and New Hampshire. Their only loss was to Northwestern.

This game was a back and forth affair. UMBC led most of the way but faltered to execute on defense down the stretch. Sa’eed Nelson, the quick and craft point guard for American consistently shredded the defense. He got to the rim at will and also found his teammates regularly. He found teammate Sam Iorio for the eventual game winning 3, with under 2 seconds left.

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Nelson is a problem at the college level. If he can hit the three consistently, he will have a shot in the NBA G-League and for sure a legit chance to be a solid pro overseas. The junior point guard had 18 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Iorio does a little bit of everything for the Eagles. He is the leading rebounder on the team and provides a 3 point threat, as well as playing solid defense. He had 11 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Stacy Beckton Jr. had a solid game also. He chipped in 14 points and 4 three-pointers.

For UMBC it was a disappointing finish. They had the game in hand, but let American score 46 points in the second half. Max Curran had a nice game. The slender built junior, had 20 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks and a highlight dunk over Marvin Bragg. Sometimes the skinny tall guys can extend and yam over the broader shoulder fellas.

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This dunk is a different one. This is actually the game tying one late in the second half.

Senior Joe Sherburne did his normal thing contributing a steady presence on offense and defense. He could still be more aggressive at times though. He had 11 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals. Arkel Lamar also was not as aggressive as he may need to be. Junior point guard K.J. Jackson filled the stat sheet with 6 points, 5 rebounds, 9 assists and 6 steals. Problem is he shot only 1-10 from the field. Brandon Horvath the other slender man on the team(see what I did there?), who also yams on people from time to time, had 14 points and 8 rebounds.

Overall the issue was UMBC could not stop the penetration from Nelson. He carved them up and American passed the ball very well in the second half. They could be more of a factor in the Patriot league than people originally thought.

Food for thought – UMBC had breakfast food in the media room. I chose to pass. I ate a muffin and had some water….. Very basic I know…… But I did get carryout Indian food for dinner from Tandoori Kabob in Pasadena. Spicy ginger chicken with garlic naan. Well worth the price.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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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