College Basketball Watch List

Posted on November 18, 2013. Filed under: Basketball, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

We are watching….

As basketball tipped last week, we have compiled our “WATCH-LIST,” which consist of players from our coverage area here in Illinois, as well as national players we have gotten to know over the years on the circuit. During the season, we will be updating this blog every week as the season goes on until championship Monday in April 2014.

So be sure to bookmark this article, and come back each and every Monday morning for our weekly recap.

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Andrew Wiggins, F, Kansas Jayhawks 

Jabari Parker, F, Duke Blue Devils 

Aaron Gordon, F, Arizona Wildcats 

Noah Vonleh, F, Indiana Hoosiers 

Kendrick Nunn, G, Illinois Illini

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Julius Randle, F, Kentucky Wildcats 

James Young, G, Kentucky Wildcats 

Andrew Harrison, G, Kentucky Wildcats 

Aaron Harrison, G, Kentucky Wildcats 

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Top College Basketball Teams 2013-14

Posted on November 18, 2013. Filed under: Basketball, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Our Top Teams…

November 2013

Another exciting college basketball season is underway! This should be an incredible season because there are a number of legitimate contenders. You will see some great matchups early in the year, including Michigan State-Kentucky and Kansas-Duke in Chicago early – November 12. That’s four of my top five teams squaring off in one night!

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1. Kentucky
John Calipari has reloaded big time. He has the top recruiting class in America by far, and this group should be special. Think about it — the Harrison twins (Aaron and Andrew), Julius Randle, Dakari Johnson, James Young, Marcus Lee —  WOW! Then add in veterans like Jarrod Polson, Alex Poythress and Willie Cauley-Stein to help the youngsters learn the ropes, and Big Blue Nation will be smiling.

2. MichiganState
Having Adreian Payne up front, plus a healthy Gary Harris, Keith Appling and Branden Dawson, is enough to believe the Spartans are legit contenders to cut down the nets in April. The Big Ten favorites will be cohesive and deep. Tom Izzo is a master motivator at tournament time and his team should make a deep run in 2014.

3. Louisville
Russ Smith’s decision to return to school gives Rick Pitino an even better chance of going back-to-back. Chane Behanan will be even tougher on the glass. Luke Hancock is more confident after being named Most Outstanding Player in the Final Four. I can’t wait to watch Louisville and Kentucky go at it in late December, and don’t forget about Chicago’s very-own Wayne Blackshear.

4. Duke
Mike Krzyzewski will have a more athletic team that will run, baby, run! Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood are newcomers to watch. Expect more from Quinn Cook and Rasheed Sulaimon. The return of Andre Dawkins will provide long-range shooting help.

5. Kansas
The Jayhawks moved up because of one name — Andrew Wiggins. There will be excitement for Rock, Chalk, Jayhawk with the diaper dandy leading the way at the Phog. I expect Perry Ellis to develop into a valuable performer.

For the rest of our list, click here.

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2013 McDonald’s All-American Game

Posted on April 7, 2013. Filed under: Basketball, Boys High School Basketball, Girls High School Basketball, High School Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Girls and Boys… East meets West for braggin rights!!!

April 3, 2013

mcdonalds2013

Playing in the 36th annual McDonald’s HS All American Game (McDAAG) is almost a golden ticket to super-stardom on the collegiate or professional level. Since 1977, legendary players like Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, and more have all gotten their initial national exposure from playing in the McDonald’s Game.

PoweradeJAMFEST

There is no such thing as a sure thing in sports, but that hardly has us putting down our crystal balls in the form of amateur tournaments and all-star exhibitions. The McDAAG is no different, and has always been a chance to see the special young stars of today and daydreaming of where they will land just a few years from now.

The McDAAG is always about looking into the future, to see what these kids will do when they become men. In the case of Taya Reimer and Jabari Parker, Players of the Year, it’s safe to say that it will be all good things.

Indiana standout Taya Reimer, and Four-time Illinois state champion Jabari Parker hold up their McDonald's All American jerseys accompanied by Joe Wootten, left, the son of Morgan Wootten, and Douglas Freeland, right, Director of McDonalds All American Games after being picked as the national prep basketball players of the year Monday, March 18, 2013, in Chicago. The award, named for legendary Maryland high school coach Morgan Wootten, is awarded annually to the top male and female McDonald's All-American players. (caption provided by AP)

Indiana standout Taya Reimer, and Four-time Illinois state champion Jabari Parker hold up their McDonald’s All American jerseys accompanied by Joe Wootten, left, the son of Morgan Wootten, and Douglas Freeland, right, Director of McDonalds All American Games after being picked as the national prep basketball players of the year Monday, March 18, 2013, in Chicago. The award, named for legendary Maryland high school coach Morgan Wootten, is awarded annually to the top male and female McDonald’s All-American players. (caption provided by AP)[/caption]

GIRLS: West 74, East 55

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Final high school game…. what a way to end this chapter, and prepare for the next…. Senior guard Linnae Harper stood in the middle of a huddle of McDonald’s Americans at the United Center and initiated the celebratory cry.

“Whose side? West Side!” as the West defeated the East 92-64 in the girls McDonald’s All-American game.

Harper, a Kentucky-recruit, did a lot for the players visiting Chicago, including giving a tour of the city and recommending places to eat, but on Wednesday night, she pushed the pace of the game and helped her team snag a big victory adding eight points, five assists, three rebounds and two steals.

“Usually when I start the games, my first goal is to get a steal,” Harper said. “That brings intensity and energy to the game, and eventually that affected the team. We were just on a roll.”

At the half, the West led 45-35 and didn’t relinquish the comfortable lead. Harper directed a 7-0 second-half spurt in which she had a steal, two assists and a long jumper.

Also at halftime, Harper was given a different award, the Jack Daly Sportsmanship award, which she shared with Erica McCall and Kelsey Plum. It was a tribute, she said, to her desire to make sure her teammates enjoyed her city.

“I’m going around and showing them the best of Chicago because I would hope if I went to their state, they would give me the best of where they live at,” Harper said. “It’s all about giving back.”

“She did a great job coming out, anticipating, getting steals and buckets for us,” said West coach Anthony Smith, of Bolingbrook. “That’s the type of kid and player she is. It was great to see.”

Tennessee recruit, Mercedes Russell (Springfield, OR), was named the game’s MVP after finishing with 16 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks for the West.

North Carolina recruit Diamond DeShields led the East with 15 points and five rebounds, while Harper’s future Kentucky teammate, Makayla Epps, added 13 points.

High School Player of the Year Notre Dame recruits Taya Reimer (2 points, 3 blocks) and Lindsay Allen (4 points, 6 rebounds) teamed up for the losing side with Northwestern recruit Nia Coffey (2 points, 6 rebounds).

“I could have done a lot better personally, but it’s really not about individual stuff,” Allen said. “It’s playing together, having fun.”

NOTABLE PERFORMERS: West — Tyler Scaife, 15 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists; Jordan Reynolds, 10 points, 11 rebounds. East — Diamond DeShields, 15 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals; Makayla Epps, 13 points.

Harper’s, now famous pre-game meal of the chicken skin mixed with ranch and french dressing, continues to help her basketball performances now for the Lady Wildcats.

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BOYS: West 110, East 99 Game

Talk about a stellar high school basketball career for Duke-recruit, Jabari Parker, from Chicago Simeon. And on Wednesday night, helped his All-American Squad (West), to a 110-99 victory over the East in front of his base-fans in Chicago at the United Center.

“It was the best experience so far,” Parker said. “Getting a chance to play in front of a lot of family. I saw a lot of my coaches out there, having Coach Mike coach me. A lot of people don’t know I was about to go to Mount Carmel if I didn’t go to Simeon.”

Matched against the number 1 ranked, undecided player, Andrew Wiggins, Parker immediately made his presence felt defensively. He had two quick blocked shots, including Wiggins’ first attempt from the perimeter. He managed to stay in front of Wiggins more often than not, but did commit five fouls in the process.

“It went pretty good,” Parker said. “He is super athletic so I had to over-commit on the drive, but he can shoot so it was kind of difficult. He is a great player.”

Parker didn’t have a problem getting his shot off on the other end, but getting the ball to drop was another matter. He was 4-for-13 shooting from the field and 2 of 2 from the line. Wiggins, on the other hand, was 6 of 10 and 7 of 8 for 19 points.

“Going against Jabari is the best going against the best,” Wiggins said. “I look forward to doing it in the future.”

Parker was asked if the evening was bittersweet because it was his final high school game. Parker replied “I think I have another game,” Parker said. “It is on the D.L. (down low) right now. It will surprise a lot of people.”

Parker finished with 10 points, eight rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocked shots.

Arizona-bound forward Aaron Gordon, California’s Mr. Basketball, had 24 points and eight rebounds to claim MVP honors.

Attendance: 15,818 at the United Center.

FUN NOTE: Record number of fans who attended the 2011 game at the United Center in Chicago. Last year’s attendance, also at the United Center, was 16,308. The attendance for the 2013 game was 15,818.

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Another successful McDonald’s All-American event and this clearly means the future of college hoops is in good hands!

JABARI PARKER CAREER

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2010 National Freshman of the Year (ESPN HS)
2011 National Sophomore of the Year (ESPN HS)
2012 National Junior of the Year (ESPN HS & MaxPreps.com )
2011 USA Basketball’s Male Athlete of the Year
2012 National Player of the Year (Gatorade)
2012 Statewide Player of the Year (Gatorade, Illinois Mr. Basketball)
2012 First team All-American (ESPN HS, SLAM, USA Today)
2013 All-American (Jordan, McD’s)
2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 IHSA state champion
2013 National Player of the Year (McD’s/Wootten)
2013 Statewide Player of the Year (Gatorade, Illinois Mr. Basketball)

****McDONALD’S ALL-AMERICAN GAME****

RonaldMcDonald

The McDonald’s All-American Game consist of the top players, each team plays a single exhibition game after the conclusion of the high-school basketball season, in an East vs. West format. As part of the annual event, boys also compete in a slam dunk contest, a three-point shooting competition, and an overall timed skills competition. The girls compete in the three-point shooting competition and the overall-skills competition. The boys’ game has been contested annually since 1978, and the girls game has been played each year since it was added in 2002.

The McDonald’s All-American designation began in 1977 with the selection of the inaugural team. That year, the All-Americans played in an all-star game against a group of high school stars from the Washington, D.C. area. The following year, the McDonald’s game format of East vs. West was begun with a boys contest. In 2002, with the addition of a girls contest, the current girl-game / boy-game doubleheader format began.

The McDonald’s All-American Team is the best-known of the American high-school basketball All-American teams. Having the designation of McDonald’s All-American instantly brands a player as one of the top high-school players in the United States or Canada.

The teams are sponsored by McDonald’s, the fast-food chain. Proceeds from the annual games go to local Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) and their Ronald McDonald House programs.

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2013 McDonald’s American Game Preview

Posted on April 3, 2013. Filed under: Basketball, Boys High School Basketball, Girls High School Basketball, High School Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Best of the best on one court…

April 2, 2013


mcdonalds2013

The 36th annual McDonald’s All-American games activities kicked off Sunday with the players’ visit to the new Ronald McDonald House in Streeterville, where boys and girls players spent time with families.

This is definitely an event I’ve been mentally preparing myself for almost as if it were the opening tip of the NBA playoffs due to the level of players selected on one floor in the house Michael built at United Center.

Things get started with Chicago’s lovable son, Jabari Park, Player of the Year from Simeon, who just completed a 4-peat in the Illinois High School Association Title run. Mr. Parker is being recognized as one of the best out of Chicago since Derrick Rose, Ben Wilson, Tim Hardaway and Mark Aguirre.

Then you have what is now being called the “new Fab Five…” Kentucky Wildcats recruits. Coach John Calipari has six of the 25 players selected to participate on the boys roster will be playing ball for him in Kentucky this fall. No college has drawn this many McDonald’s All-Americans in a single class.

Kentucky-bound McDonald’s All-Americans in the ESPN rankings also include No. 3 Julius Randle, No. 5 Andrew Harrison, No. 6 James Young of Rochester (Mich.), No. 7 Aaron Harrison, No. 11 Dakari Johnson of Montverde (Fla.), and No. 18 Marcus Lee of Deer Valley (Calif.).

“It’s our way to start off our season for next year,” said Kentucky recruit Julius Randle, of Prestonwood Christian in Texas. “It’s good to hang out with everybody and get a good feel for each other, just have fun while we’re doing this.”

Randle, a 6-foot-9 forward ranked the No. 3 recruit in the country by ESPN, had planned for a couple of weeks to make his college announcement on March 20. The day before he committed, Kentucky suffered a shocking 59-57 loss to Robert Morris in the NIT, ending a season in which it lost star Nerlens Noel to an ACL tear en route to a 21-12 record.

MEDIA DAY COVER
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Randle’s announcement — spurred by his desire to win a national championship, he said — immediately turned the page and sparked debate about whether the Wildcats’ recruiting class could be considered the best in history.

“If you go by paper and rankings, maybe you can say (it’s the best class), but we haven’t done anything yet,” Randle said. “We have to prove ourselves.”

The recruits learned that watching Kentucky this season.

“They had a good amount of talent on their team. I guess they just couldn’t put it together at the right times,” Andrew Harrison said. “I feel like the team this year lacked a little bit of leadership. Coach (Calipari) told me he’s depending on me to bring that, so I’m definitely going to try to do that.”

McDonald’s All-American Andrew Wiggins, a 6-8 forward from Huntington Prep (W.Va.) and the nation’s top recruit, said Sunday he will decide by mid-May between Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina and Florida State.

Click below to read recap….

PoweradeJAMFEST

Despite the neverending comparisons to Lebron James and Kevin Durant (for his quiet, yet relentless approach), Wiggins’ game is unique to only him, with his own true deficiency being he gets “bored” at times playing kids his own age, according to his high school coach Rob Fulford. Those not yet willing to sip the kool-aid on Wiggins should take a gander at this highlight mixtape.

While the game Wednesday night won’t make or break Wiggins, Parker, Randle or any high school senior suited up, calling the All-American Game a “stepping stone” is short-changing the power of the moment. Stages like this can and have accelerated the process of morphing phenoms into stars, and stars into walking, breathing brands.

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Other McDonald’s All-Amercan Game Notes:

The rosters for the 2013 boys and girls McDonald’s All-American game can be found at http://www.mcdonaldsallamerican.com/aag/en/gamescenter/2013-Team.html.

The games will be played on April 3, in Chicago (Ill.) at the house Michael Jordan built (United Center), with the girls’ game starting at 6 p.m. CDT on ESPNU and boys’ game beginning at 8:30 p.m on ESPN.

– The selection of Taya Reimer to this year’s game made McDonald’s All-American history as she became half of the first father-daughter duo to be selected to the game. Her father, Ben Davis, was selected to the game in 1991.

– Duke and North Carolina each have three recruits playing in this year’s game while four other schools teams also have multiple selections. The other four teams with multiple selections are Notre Dame, Stanford, Kentucky and Tennessee.

– Kaela Davis, the number two-rated prospect by ESPN Hoopgurlz, missed a good chunk of her high school season to get treated for Meniere’s disease. Davis has battled the disease, which is an inner-ear disorder characterized by hearing loss and vertigo, since she was 11. Davis is expected to play in the McDonald’s game as well as for Georgia Tech next season.

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2013 McDonald All-American Jam FEST

Posted on April 3, 2013. Filed under: Basketball, Basketball, Boys High School Basketball, Girls High School Basketball, High School Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Best of the Best showcasing their personal skills

April 1, 2013

mcdonalds2013PoweradeJAMFEST

Everyone loves sports… more specific, there’s nothing better than sports at its purest at the “amateur” level. And Monday, the top high school girls and boys showcased their skills in the 2013 McDonald’s All-American Game Powerade Jam Fest.

This “fest” included players skills, the 3-point contest, and of course, the Dunk contest. There was a star-studded panel of judges in the gym as well including Stephen A. Smith, Bo Jackson, local broadcaster, Valerie Warner, R&B Trevor Jackson, and more.  See the entire list at http://www.mcdepk.com/2013allamericangames/media/Jam_Fest_Judges_Release_032813.pdf 

The biggest dunk of the night belonged to Wiggins, who pulled off an eye-opening, between-the-legs reverse 360 dunk that sent legendary athlete and contest judge Bo Jackson—yes, that Bo Jackson—jumping out of his seat and bowing down.

And this years’ edition lived up to ALL of the hype as the boys elevated styles of dunks that brought the fans to their feet a couple of times, and several girls nailed the long-ball with pure confidence.

Winners of the 2013 McDonald’s All-American Games JAMFEST (left to right): Nigel Williams-Goss, Kaela Davis, Chris Walker, Jessica Washington, and Demetrius Jackson from Chicago, April 1, 2013. (AP Photo/John Smierciak)

No. 1 recruit Andrew Wiggins threw down a perfect 10, but it was 6’9″ Florida Gators commit Chris Walker who stole the show and took home the hardware.

Jabari Parker and Aaron Gordon also threw down impressive dunks.

Andrew Wiggins Throws Down Inhuman Jam(caption provided by kentuckysportsradio.com)

Andrew Wiggins Throws Down Inhuman Jam
(caption provided by kentuckysportsradio.com)

Wanna see Wiggins throw it down? Here’s video evidence -> http://t.co/eE1wQVG3X4

If you’re not impressed with those slams, you probably didn’t watch closely enough.

Click here to see ALL of the results from JamFest.

****McDONALD’S ALL-AMERICAN GAME****

RonaldMcDonald

The McDonald’s All-American Game consist of the top players, each team plays a single exhibition game after the conclusion of the high-school basketball season, in an East vs. West format. As part of the annual event, boys also compete in a slam dunk contest, a three-point shooting competition, and an overall timed skills competition. The girls compete in the three-point shooting competition and the overall-skills competition. The boys’ game has been contested annually since 1978, and the girls game has been played each year since it was added in 2002.

The McDonald’s All-American designation began in 1977 with the selection of the inaugural team. That year, the All-Americans played in an all-star game against a group of high school stars from the Washington, D.C. area. The following year, the McDonald’s game format of East vs. West was begun with a boys contest. In 2002, with the addition of a girls contest, the current girl-game / boy-game doubleheader format began.

The McDonald’s All-American Team is the best-known of the American high-school basketball All-American teams. Having the designation of McDonald’s All-American instantly brands a player as one of the top high-school players in the United States or Canada.

The teams are sponsored by McDonald’s, the fast-food chain. Proceeds from the annual games go to local Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) and their Ronald McDonald House programs.

statefarm1

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Be sure to bookmark our site, as well as follow us on Social Networks below…

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www.AmateurSports365.com
info@ASNN365.com

             

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