The Life of a Freelance Basketball Scout

The Life of a Freelance Basketball Scout – Game 6 & 7

The Charm City College Classic
Morgan State vs Towson
Loyola Chicago vs Maryland
#charmcityclassic #theyoungveteran

The Life of a Freelance Basketball Scout – Game 6 & 7

 

December 8 – The Charm City College Classic

 

Morgan State vs Towson & Loyola Chicago vs Maryland

Being a forward thinker I asked my wife to drop me off and pick me up from this event in downtown Baltimore at the Royal Farms Arena or The Chicken Box, as some people say. Pretty self explanatory there….. The arena is shaped like a box and Royal Farms sells chicken (you’re welcome to all the slower thinkers out there). I did not want to deal with parking in the city and paying anything either. The other option was to take the light rail from Glen Burnie to Baltimore. It doesn’t cost much, but it’s a process to park there and load and wait and do it all again to leave, then get back in my vehicle to drive home. It’s much easier when you have capable loved ones willing to help out (thanks Kell, Winnie and Junior).

So the even was extremely well run by Charm City Charities. Checkout charmcitycharities.org   They are a non-profit organization that looks to help the local youth by providing academic support, athletic training, overall wellness and mentorship.

I see this event really growing in the next few years. Maybe they can get a two-day tournament out of it. Maybe a whole weekend. Get 8 local teams, not including Maryland, because I doubt they would agree. A lot of the local teams play each-other anyway so why not do it all in one weekend and make some magic happen for the city of Baltimore. One of these days Maryland could have a showcase game at like 8 p.m. vs a Virginia, Villanova, West Virginia or someone who is somewhat local to draw a good crowd. 

Shout out to BJ Smith, who is the starting shooting guard for the DMV Warriors of the ABA. This is the local pro team in Maryland that I scout for. BJ is an entrepreneur. He has his own clothing line, does tattoos, wellness and health products etc. He was volunteering with Charm City Charities to help organize and contribute to the event. His website is beyondthebasicbrand.com

It was also good to meet local media and college basketball fanatic Stephen Hiegel. He is a good guy and just started his website last season. His website is JustCollegeBasketball.com

 

IMG_3122The first game was Morgan State vs Towson. Two pretty contrasting styles of play. Towson is very methodical and a bit clunky at times on offense. That seems to be there identity recently. They are a very physical team, but lack in playmaking ability for teammates. Morgan State is a smaller, yet feisty team. They play around 10-12 guys, with 8 of those getting pretty significant minutes. Coach Todd Bozeman will not hesitate to chew one of his guys out and yank him out of the game real quick.

Towson played a decent first half. They attacked the basket well and got to the foul line. They controlled the tempo and flow of the game. The second half was a different story. Morgan employed a full court press and that gave Towson fits. They couldn’t handle it. Towson has lacked point guard depth the past few years. Tobias Howard had 6 turnovers of his own and he is the Tigers only true point guard. Morgan did a great job pressuring the ball. This was led by senior, point-guard Martez Cameron. Cameron is the engine for Morgan. He keeps things flowing and under control. They like to play fast and he is the one steady veteran presence to make sure the chaos is organized. Cameron had 14 points on the day, but his presence was felt more than just that. Freshman guard Sherwyn Devonish-Prince Jr. led both teams with 19 points. Prince is a scorer. That’s what he does and that’s all he looks to do. He can pass a little but he is not developed in that area yet. For Towson junior shooting guard Brian Fobbs was the brightest spot. He is a cold-blooded scorer. He is a big-bodied physical guard that can bully his way to the basket or step out and hit the three. Fobbs will fare very well in the Colonial Athletic Association for Towson.

The second game was Maryland vs the Fighting Sister Jean’s or Loyola Chicago. This game was pretty competitive until Maryland pulled away late into the second half. The defense was key for Maryland they held Loyola to just 41 points. Clayton Custer and Marques Townes were held to 9 points a piece. Big man Cameron Krutwig had 12 points and 8 rebounds. Custer the leader of the Ramblers was out of sync the whole game. He never really got it going and Cowan did a solid job defending him. Townes struggled shooting the ball and only found success when he drove to the basket, which is his best skill. He probably thought twice before doing so against Maryland’s size. The Terps had 13 blocks on the day and forced 19 turnovers….. so, that explains the rough day for Loyola right there. Krutwig had some success but overall missed some easy ones and seemed bothered by Bruno Fernando’s intensity on the defensive end. Despite 5 turnovers for Cowan he forced the pace in the second half and ended the game with 17 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists. Maryland was in control majority of the game. There never was much of a threat of a run on Loyola’s side. Maryland was playing very good defense and Loyola was struggling to make any type of shots.

 There was one interesting point in the second half. It was after a timeout during an inbounds set for Maryland. Cowan found himself a wide-open three pointer right in front of Loyola’s bench. He ended up missing the shot, but I’ll be darned if it didn’t look like wild-man, Loyola coach Porter Moser almost caressed Cowan or whispered sweet nothings into his ear as he shot. Moser was so close to him it was wild! Refs were telling Moser to stay behind the coaches line all game and he would oblige while sweet-talking back to them. He is a coach oozing of passion for the game. He has put his time in before the success of last season. It was much deserved. He has no one but the good Lord and Sister Jean to thank for that.

  

SIDE NOTE – My toilet flooded recently. We had to get a plumbing company to come out. Well guess what….. It happened again Tuesday night, while I was on the toilet. You’re welcome for the visual.

This was after I had the stomach flu all day Monday. Mind you this was after eating almost a whole family size bag of crab chips with my son Junior, some popcorn (this popcorn is a special mix… spray butter, salt and vinegar chips and cayenne pepper sprinkled on), eating 6 chicken wings that were dry rub garlic parmesan (these were fresh then frozen then un-frozen and sat in the fridge for a few more days), while also having a few big cups of whiskey and coke and watching Home Alone 2……. It was the perfect storm. There were a lot of regrettable decisions made in that eating session.

It was no joke. I couldn’t get out of bed until around noon on Tuesday. I had to call out of work for 2 days.

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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UNCW Handles Towson On The Road

UNCW Handles Towson On The Road

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Towson, MD – In a battle of preseason conference pick #1 UNCW and #2 Towson, the visiting Seahawks prevailed 76-67. UNCW used a big second half to pull away from Towson by scoring 44 points and going 7 of 15 from three. The Seahawks fast paced style of play and pressure defense forced 19 Towson turnovers, including 13 in the first half. UNCW is a guard heavy team that relies heavily on the three point shot and it really spread the Towson defense out. Towson, which is normally a solid defensive minded team, struggled to get stops late in the second half and it led to their demise.

Leading the way for UNCW was senior point guard Denzel Ingram (6’0 175). Ingram struggled in the first half going just 1 of 8 from the field with just three points. The second half was a different story. Ingram went 5 of 10, including 4 of 7 from three. Ingram showed an ability to make the three off the catch and shoot or just pulling up. He can get hot in a hurry and score in bunches. Ingram is more of a true point guard than a scoring guard. He runs the offense well, and his vision is in full display when he attacks the lane and kicks it out to open shooters. Ingram finished the game with 22 points, six assists and two steals.

Another big contributor was forward Devontae Cacok (6’7 240). Cacok is a workhorse on both ends. He gives relentless effort in the paint and he is forced to play center due to the Seahawks lack of height. Cacok has a knack for finding soft spots near the basket against the zone. He scored several baskets on wide open layups. Cacok also uses his athleticism and motor to run the floor and beat the opposing team down the court for easy buckets. He also plays solid man to man defense. His versatility allows UNCW to play a full court press using him in the front or the back. Cacok finished the game with 17 points, eight rebounds and four blocks.

Two other solid contributors for UNCW were senior guard Ambrose Mosley (6’2 185) and sophomore guard C.J. Bryce (6’5 185). Mosley scored all 15 of his points in the second half, going 3 of 6 from three. Bryce tallied eleven points, eight rebounds, five assists and two steals.

To say Towson struggled on offense would be an understatement. The Tigers could not get comfortable on offense and made a lot of simple mistakes, resulting in empty possessions. One player who had a very productive day was senior forward John Davis (6’5 235). Davis used his size and strength to bully smaller players on the block. He really took advantage of UNCW’s lack of height. Without Davis Towson would have been run off the floor. The crafty left finished several and one’s and was a factor on the offensive and defensive glass. Davis finished with 18 points, on 8 of 10 shooting, 14 rebounds and three assists.

Towson did not receive as much production as expected out of both preseason all conference picks senior forward William Adala Moto (6’7 245) and junior shooting guard Mike Morsell (6’5 215). Moto, a preseason first team selection, only scored six points, on 1 of 10 shooting and had five rebounds in 21 minutes. Morsell chipped in 13 points, but had seven costly simple turnovers, including three travels. Towson did not get as much from their stars as expected and Davis could not do enough to pull them through. From here on out things will get tough for Towson, as their next three conference games are on the road. UNCW will try and continue to show why they are the preseason favorite and defending conference champion. If the play their style of ball they will be tough to beat, using their quick guards to their advantage.

 

Up next for Towson is @ James Madison on Monday

Up next for UNCW is home against Elon on Monday

Balance Is Key For Towson

Towson Defeats Fairleigh Dickinson 90-87

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Balance Is Key For Towson

 

Towson, MD – Towson withstood a late last minute charge to close out Fairleigh Dickinson 90-87. This was a battle of runs throughout the game by both teams. Towson relied heavily on attacking the lane and playing their physical style of ball. FDU just did not have an answer. Their lack of size and physicality is Towson’s strength, and Towson took advantage. Towson had five players score in double figures, and out rebounded FDU 44 to 29. They also had 52 points in the paint, to only 28 by FDU. Towson also failed to make a three pointer in the game going 0-7. There were 84 total free throws in this game. We see yet again the officials are calling things close.

 

For FDU they got off to a solid start in the first half and took a 44 to 36 lead into the half. Junior wing Earl Potts Jr. (6’6 205) got off to a hot start in front of his hometown fans. Potts who is from nearby Spalding High School, the school that produced Rudy Gay, made three first half three-pointers. Potts who was the most improved player of the Northeast Conference last season had eleven points at the half. The second half was a different story. Potts struggled to get involved in the offense, and seemed reluctant to attack too much due to his backcourt teammates who were carrying the load. Potts finished with 13 points and six rebounds.

Starting shooting guard Darian Anderson (6’1 182) proved why he was the Knights leading scorer at 17 ppg. Anderson was quiet early on, but caught fire late in the first half hitting three late three-pointers. Anderson finished with four in the first half and had 16 points. Anderson has no filter when it comes to shooting three-pointers. It seems like he is more comfortable taking shots with players in his face. Anderson was super aggressive throughout and scored on several floaters in the lane. He finished with 33 points, six three-pointers, four assists and four rebounds.

Point guard Stephan Jiggetts (6’1 195) also had a solid game. Jiggetts used his body and physical style of play to get into the lane often. He initiates a lot of contact and also has the ability to find the open man. Jiggetts plays under control and provides a good contrast to fellow guard Anderson. Jiggetts finished with 25 points, 12-15 from the free throw line and had eight assists.

 

Towson like much of the year provided a scoring balance throughout its lineup. The Tigers had six players with nine points or over. Deshaun Morman (6’3 195) had nine points, Alex Thomas (6’9 250) eleven points, Eddie Keith (6’5 220) 13 points, William Adala Moto (6’7 225) 14 points, Mike Morsell (6’5 215) 18 points and John Davis (6’5 235) had 18 points. That is a very tough matchup for any team to game plan for. When you have players that can chip in close to ten points on any given night that gives you a huge advantage.

Mike Morsell used his savvy play to earn most of his points at the free throw line. Morsell drew constant fouls when getting defenders in the air or off balance and drawing contact. Morsell played an unselfish game and impacted it a little differently than normal. Mike came into the game averaging 18 ppg. and did just that and added six rebounds and five assists.

The other big impact player for Towson was senior wing player John Davis. Davis forces his way into the lane often. He can finish with contact and provides consistent effort on the boards. Davis provides a tricky mismatch when he is in the game. He has the strength of a forward but the height of a guard. He can post up smaller guards, or take post players off the dribble. He has a versatile skill set on offense. Davis finished with 18 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks.

 

This was a big win for Towson who had to battle back several times and withstand a late charge to pull out the victory. It was also encouraging for FDU, who now has Potts back looking closer to full strength after returning from injury. Both teams should do well in their respective conferences this season.

 

Up next for FDU is Wednesday @ Rutgers

Up next for Towson is Saturday @ UMBC

 

Towson Dismantles Stony Brook

Towson Dismantles Stony Brook

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Towson, Md – Towson (3-2) used a huge 30-0 run to separate themselves from winless Stony Brook (0-4) for a final of 88-63. This game was a part of the Barclays Center Classic but it was played at Towson. Mike Morsell led the way for the Tigers with 21 points, while his teammate Deshaun Morman had 18.

 

The Seawolves of Stony Brook got off to a good start early in the first half leading 26-18. Towson then turned up the pressure and went on a massive 32-2 run to take a 50-28 lead into half. Early on for Stony Brook junior forward Akwasi Yeboah (6’6 230) showed his versatile skill set helping his squad jump out to an early lead. Akwasi scored ten of Stony Brook’s first 16 points. He made two three’s and drove to the basket with ease early. The unfortunate part about this is that is all the points Akwasi scored in the entire game. Akwasi finished with ten points and one rebound.

Leading scorer Tyrell Sturdivant (6’7 224) struggled to find any rhythm throughout the game on offense. He came into the game averaging 15 ppg. and 9 rpg., but missed several close range hook shots and putbacks. Stony Brook will not be able to afford having Sturdivant struggle on offense if they want to remain competitive throughout the year. He is their only post presence. One that is trying to help fill the void left by current NBA D-Leaguer Jameel Warney, who the team’s all-time leader in points, rebounds, blocks and games played.

Also contributing was senior point guard Lucas Woodhouse (6’3 180). Woodhouse finished with nine points, two assists and three steals.

 

For Towson much like last year balance was the key to getting the win. The Tigers had five players score in double figures. Leading the way was Mike Morsell (6’5 215). Morsell showed the ability to pull up from three with fluidity, while also being able to put the ball on the floor and get to the basket. Morsell is becoming a better all-around scorer this year and he is now displaying better consistency from deep as well. Morsell finished with 21 points, 9 of 13 from the field and 3 of 5 from three. He also chipped in three rebounds. Deshaun Morman (6’3 195) had a breakout game in his first home contest of his Towson career. Morman, the Cincinnati transfer, was a playmaker on both ends of the floor. Morman used his defensive prowess very well when Towson started pressing Stony Brook mid-way through the first half. This allowed Morman to create turnovers and get out on the break where he excels in the open floor. Morman scored on several breakaways and was attacking the lane at will. Deshaun was rewarded with ten free throws, converting seven of them. Morman had 18 points, four rebounds and four steals.

The other three players for Towson that finished in double figures were William Adala Moto (6’7 225) eleven points, seven rebounds and three assists; Alex Thomas (6’9 250) 12 points and five rebounds; John Davis (6’5 235) 13 points, ten rebounds and two steals.

 

This game was a part of a campus tournament Towson is hosting as part of the Barclays Center Classic. With Maryland, Boston College, Richmond and Kansas State playing in Brooklyn; Towson is hosting a four team tournament with Hampton, Stony Brook and Robert Morris.

 

Up next for Stony Brook is Hampton on Saturday at 5:00.

Up next for Towson is Robert Morris on Saturday at 7:30.