Wednesday, November 30, 2011

JABARI PARKER: Emerging from the Shadow of Derrick Rose!!!

Jabari Parker & Derrick Rose: 2007

Written By: Michael O'Brien

The comparisons to Derrick Rose began the first time Jabari Parker walked onto the court in a Simeon uniform nearly two years ago. And they aren’t about to stop, so it’s probably time to check and see how Chicago’s current phenom stacks up next to Rose, who is clearly the most popular player in recent history to move from the city to the NBA.
Rose won two state titles in his three years of varsity basketball. Simeon coach Bob Hambric didn’t allow freshmen on varsity, so Rose had to make do freshman year with leading the Simeon sophs to a city title. Rose also led Simeon to city titles in his junior and senior seasons, and the Wolverines went 120-12 in Rose’s three seasons.
Parker doesn’t have a city title yet, but he already has two state titles and a legitimate shot at getting four. He’s likely to eclipse Rose in that category, but there is no question that Parker’s teams have been more talented (in large part thanks to the aura surrounding the Simeon program that Rose and coach Robert Smith have created). It’s also much easier to win a state championship in the current four-class system than it was in the old two-class system that Rose played under.
Parker and Rose share two distinct qualities: a sort of natural hunger to win, and a tendency toward humbleness, although Parker has never seemed as embarrassed or uncomfortable with the attention directed toward him as Rose did early in his high school career.
Jabari is coming into his own a little bit, becoming more vocal,” Simeon coach Robert Smith said. “Which is good, he’s growing up. The pressure doesn’t bother him, which is like Derrick. That’s something that was always huge when Derrick was here. I didn’t know how he could handle so much pressure at that young of an age. They both have done it. I think it has a lot to do with their homes and their upbringing.’’
Parker is dealing with even more pressure than Rose did. Rose was practically an unknown on the national scene until after his sophomore year and didn’t start getting major national attention until after the club basketball season before his senior year
For Parker, it seemed to start as soon as he began high school.
“All the internet video and social media stuff was really just starting when Derrick was here,” Smith said. “Now we have guys at gyms that are putting video up right away online. If we had that type of social media Derrick might have been the No. 1 player in the country when he was here. Jabari has definitely had a lot more publicity and things going on over his first two years than Derrick had.”
During his high school career, Rose never received enough credit for his work ethic. His Olympic-level athleticism made it seem that everything came easily to him. That wasn’t the case, and it’s his work ethic that has helped separate him from other talented guards in the NBA.
It’s a trait shared by Parker.
“Jabari has the work ethic,” Smith said. “How he values and appreciates basketball is very similar to Derrick. They appreciate the game and go at the game totally different than a regular kid. That is something huge. Jabari wants to be great at it. When you have a kid that wants to be great they put out their full effort at it, like a doctor or a brain surgeon wants to the best. Jabari wants to be the best basketball player ever.”
Parker is one of the rare players I’ve talked to over the years that regularly references past players and games and seems to know his hoops history.  Jabari has an old soul,” Smith said. “He researches things and wants to know who was the best, how can I be the best, what do I have to do to be the best. That’s a great quality to have. Some of these other guys that are real good don’t know. He knows all the kids in the country that are good. He researches them, how they are doing, how they are playing.”
Like Rose, Parker has a strong family helping him deal with all the publicity and college coaches swirling around him. His father, former NBA player Sonny Parker, and his mother Lola, have handled most of the recruiting calls. Everything goes through them.
“There is a lot of pressure on me,” Parker said. “There is a lot of hype, a lot of people in Chicago that care about high school basketball and recognize me. A lot of people trying to get to me. I’m sure I can expect that to keep up until I get to college. I still want to stay with my inner circle so I don’t get off track.”
Parker’s high school resume is likely to best Rose’s. However there is one thing he doesn’t have yet: that signifying moment where he rises up and announces his presence as an all-time great. Rose had three: the back-to-back dunks against Washington in the city championship at the United Center, the game-winning shot in overtime to give Simeon the state championship against Peoria Richwoods and the dismantling of Oak Hill, the top-ranked team in the country.  But Parker has two years remaining at Simeon to grab moments like that for himself.
“I still haven’t reached the peak of my high school career,” Parker said. “I haven’t had the one moment that people stop and say ‘Oh wow,’ with people immediately recognizing that it will take me to the next level. Let’s hope one happens this year.”  Click for Original Article.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

KEVIN FRANCESCHI: The White Mamba!!!


Written by: Prospect-Central

KEVIN FRANCESCHI pg / 6'4'' 170 / France / Class of 2013
Who is Kevin "White Mamba" Franceschi???  I wish I had the answer, but I don't.  There is very little known about this crafty 6-foot 4-inch point guard. What I do know about Franceschi is he is from Argenteuil, France and goes to high school at Lycee St. John Perse.  You can follow Kevin Franceschi on Facebook @ Kevin Franceschi. This is where the information on Franceschi ends however and the speculation begins.  Even though he is in the class of 2013, Franceschi actually has been listed in the class of 2012 & 2014 as well.  While it's unclear exactly how old Franceschi is, one thing for certain is he knows how to play the game of basketball. Take a look for yourself.  Here is the "White Mamba" in action!!! 

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Harrison Twins: Aaron & Andrew....Double Trouble!!!

Aaron & Andrew Harrison: Class of 2013

Written By: Joseph Santoliquito

It was their 20-by-25-foot cement combat zone, their own private concrete Cameron Indoor Stadium where the brotherly wars took place. No one ever won one of those things — and they'd play all hours into the night if the final buzzer didn't come when darkness fell or dad would call them to come inside. 

Andrew Harrison
Aaron Harrison and Andrew Harrison lived on their driveway court. It was their little crucible where they would test each other beyond limits no one else could. It didn't matter the time of day or what day it was: Andrew and Aaron would go at each other harder than anyone else could.

If you see one, you see the other. The junior twins from Fort Bend Travis (Richmond, Texas) are inseparable. They're also among the best players in the nation: Andrew, a 6-foot-5, 205-pound point guard, is ranked No. 4 nationally by MaxPreps, while twin bother Aaron, a 6-foot-5, 210-pound shooting guard who's a minute older than Andrew, is rated No. 7 overall.

They also wouldn't be where they are without each other, and they'll be the first to admit it. 

The prodding and playful cajoling that the twins direct at one another comes with an edge that says, "I expect more from you." It's something that started on the family's court in the Harrisons' last house in a cul-de-sac that their father, Aaron Sr., put up.

See them on the court pointing, that's rarely targeting at opposing players — it's usually aimed at their sibling. Because they demand more, they've come to expect it. It goes way back to when they couldn't get enough of those driveway battles.

"I don't think anyone ever won a game," Andrew recalled, with a slight laugh. "Neither one of us like to lose at all, especially to each other. Either it got dark or our father would tell us to come inside. We would keep score sometimes, but it really was all about not wanting to hear each other's mouth the next day. It's more intense between us, and I think that's helped us. I kind of expect perfection out of Aaron and I let him know when I think he's doing something wrong."

It goes both ways.

Aaron Harrison
"I really enjoy playing with my brother," Aaron said. "But I do expect a lot out of him; we expect a lot out of each other. Andrew is a point guard, I expect no turnovers from him and to be smart with the ball. Sometimes he tends to pass a little too much and sometimes I'll need to attack a little more. Andrew will tell me not to get too jump shot happy, keep attacking and stay focused. But we make each other better. Some of that came from those games we'd play at home. I'd say our toughness came from there."

The twins have started their junior season extremely well, leading Fort Bend Travis over Yates (Houston), 77-69, before more than 4,000 fans at the Merrell Center on Nov. 14. Aaron scored a game-high 21 for the Tigers, while Andrew ran a great floor game and chipped in with 20.

The game further confirmed all the attention the Harrisons are receiving. Maryland, Texas, Kentucky, Baylor and Villanova are highly involved, and Duke has become more serious. The Harrisons plan to soon visit Villanova, which is 90 minutes away from where Aaron Sr. grew up in East Baltimore, Md., and where the twins' grandparents still live. Whichever school they choose, Aaron and Andrew are also coming as a twin package, and have played on the same team since they first began playing organized basketball.

If there is another glaring reason why Aaron and Andrew are yes-sir, no-sir young men, all anyone needs to do is look at their father, Aaron Sr., who owns his own car lot, The Driver's Edge. Aaron Sr. makes sure his sons are grounded — very grounded. While many of the nation's top recruits get ingratiated with the spoils of their status every summer, you may find Andrew and Aaron toiling at dad's lot, washing and vacuuming cars.

It all stems from the work ethic instilled into Aaron Sr.

"It's the way I was raised, I came up knowing the ethic of hard work and dedication and my sons are learning the same way," Aaron Sr. said. "Just because you're a junior in high school and gifted in basketball, that doesn't mean you don't do chores. I can't comprehend that. We never had that conversation about the NBA, and until about five or six months ago, we had our first serious conversation about college. But if they're not playing in a tournament during the summer on Saturdays, they're washing cars in my lot. They vacuum and sweep around.

Aaron & Andrew Harrison
"My boys were raised to be humble. Fortunately, Aaron and Andrew haven't had a day in their lives when they wanted for anything. I see the pressure placed on these kids in these summer leagues. There were kids that I saw for the first time that the kids were the ones who were the adults and the ones in charge, and the parents were the ones acting like the children and letting their children talk to them any way they wanted. That's not happening here. My sons know about respect. It's important that they get an education. A lot of these families put all their eggs in the basketball basket. I really didn't want to believe that, but I guess they do. That won't happen with my sons."

Last year, Fort Bend Travis reached the Texas Class 5A Regional III championship, where the Tigers lost to Hightower, 55-47, despite 15 points from Andrew. But there was one unfortunate situation that marred the Tigers' trip to the regional final, an ugly scuffle that took place before a game on Feb. 15 against Fort Bend Austin between Aaron and Andrew with a teammate who had been angry at Aaron for not passing him the ball more. The teammate uttered an expletive, then walked up and pushed Aaron before the Austin game. Seeing this, Andrew jumped in to defend his brother, and the melee was blared all over the local news in Houston.

But after talking to both Aaron and Andrew, the regrettable occurrence doesn't seem fit their character.

"Sure, on the court, we go at it and we do play tough and hard," Aaron admitted. "I regret what happened and that's not me. I tried to apologize. I really regret it a lot. But it was one of those things that got way blown up a lot, more than it should have been. Me and brother aren't that way. That's not really who we are."

No, they're two of the nation's best juniors whose talents and skills were forged on a small patch of cement where some of the best games no one ever saw were waged. That didn't matter to Aaron and Andrew Harrison. They saw the progress, and can thank themselves for where they are. Original Article.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

TIME to VOTE!!! Who Will Win the 2011 Heisman Trophy???

The Heisman Trophy

Click NAMES for stats
MATT BARKLEY QB / 6'2'' 220 / Newport Beach, CA / USC / JR

ROBERT GRIFFIN III QB / 6'2'' 220 / Copperas Cove, TX / Baylor / JR

TRENT RICHARDSON RB / 5'11'' 225 / Pensacola, FL / Alabama / JR

ANDREW LUCK QB / 6'4'' 235 / Houston, TX / Stanford / JR

TYRANN MATHIEU CB / 5'9'' 175 / New Orleans, LA / LSU / SO

CASE KEENUM QB / 6'2'' 210 / Abilene, TX / Houston / SR

MONTEE BALL RB / 5'11'' 210 / Wentzville, MO / Wisconsin / JR

* NO Limit on Voting

Saturday, November 26, 2011

WIGGINS vs NOEL...LIVE!!! #4 Huntington Prep vs #3 The Tilton School



The 6th Annual State Farms Tournament of Champions is one of the top Thanksgiving high school basketball events in the nation and always features some of the best teams and players from across the country.  This year has been no different.  The two best teams in the tournament this year have been the #3 & #4 teams in the nation: The Tilton School and Huntington Prep.  The Tilton School is led by the #3 player in the class of 2013 Nerlens Noel and Huntington Prep is of course led by the #1 player in the class of 2014 Andrew Wiggins.  The two teams will square off on November 26, 2011 from Washington Community High School in Washington, IL.  While this is the first time these two elite players will play against each won't be the last.  Andrew Wiggins & Nerlens Noel seem to be on a one way path to the NBA and more than likely will have many more battles as their basketball careers unfold.  Before they can ball against each other in the pros though, they have to play against each other in high school...and that's what their about to do.  So...get ready to watch #4 Huntington Prep (WV) vs #3 The Tilton School (NH) and the first ever meeting between Andrew Wiggins & Nerlens Noel!!!  

NERLENS NOEL LIVE!!! The Tilton School vs Sunrise Christian Academy

Nerlens Noel: Class of 2013

Written by: Prospect-Central

The 6th Annual State Farms Tournament of Champions is considered the #1 Thanksgiving high school basketball event in the nation and has always featured some of the top ranked teams and players throughout the country.  This year is no different.  One of the top teams in the event this year is national power house The Tilton School.  The Tilton School is currently the #3 ranked team in the nation and they are led by the #3 player in the class of 2013 Nerlens Noel.  Nerlens Noel is considered by many to not only be the best defensive player in the nation regardless of class, but possibly the best defensive player at the high school level since Greg Oden. There is no question that Nerlens Noel is a future NBA player and potentially a lottery selection.  I currently have Noel in the 2014 NBA Mock Draft Lottery...but let's not get ahead of ourselves.  For the time being, Nerlens Noel is a junior in high school and is playing for one of the best teams in the nation.  Along side Noel are three outstanding players in Georges Niang (2012), Goodluck Okonoboh (2013) and the #8 player in the class of 2014 Wayne Selden Jr.  This game between The Tilton School (NH) and Sunrise Christian Academy (KS) actually took place yesterday on November 25, 2011 so technically it's not live.  Nerlens Noel will definitely be playing in the NBA in the future...but for the time being...let's watch this future star play in high school.

Friday, November 25, 2011

ANDREW WIGGINS LIVE!!! Huntington Prep vs Trent Internationale

Andrew Wiggins: Class of 2014

Written by: Prospect-Central

The 6th Annual State Farms Tournament of Champions is considered the #1 Thanksgiving high school basketball event in the nation and has always featured some of the top ranked teams and players throughout the country.  This year is no different.  One of the top teams in the event this year is national powerhouse Huntington Prep.  Huntington Prep of course is led by the #1 player in the class of 2014 Andrew Wiggins.  Wiggins is considered by many to not only be a "lock" for the NBA, but a "lock" for a lottery selection as well.  While the future for Andrew Wiggins has NBA written all over it, he's not there yet.  Wiggins is only a sophomore in high school.  Basketball fans will have to wait a couple more years before they can see this Canadian sensation playing professionally.  Since you can't watch Wiggins play in the NBA yet, how about you watch him play in high school...LIVE...and judge for yourself if he deserves the hype or not.  On November 25, 2011 Andrew Wiggins and Huntington Prep (WV) will play Trent Internationale (TX) from Washington Community High School in Wasgington, IL.  One can only speculate on the type of player Andrew Wiggins will be in the future, by watching him play in the present.  Now is your opportunity to watch a future star in the making.  As the saying goes..."We are all Witness!!!"

Monday, November 21, 2011

TIME to VOTE!!! Top 3 Future NBA Player's in High School per Position

Class of 2012-2014

Written by: Prospect-Central

Anyone who follows basketball always feels like they can predict the next future star.  I am sure there are many times have you said to yourself, "I KNEW that dude was gonna be a baller in the NBA!!!"  Predicting the future success of basketball player's at times can be quite easy.  For example, who didn't think Shaquille O'neal would be a dominating force coming out of high school and college??? Other times however, it can be quite difficult.  It's definitely not an exact science to say the least. Now is your chance to put your "general manager skills" to the test and predict the next future stars for each position to come out of the high school ranks.

There are fifteen players to choose from for each position from the sophomore, junior and senior classes.  These players are the best at their position and were assembled from the current rankings of Espn, Rivals, Scout, Max Preps and Prospect-Central. Some of these player's will probably never play in the NBA, while others will go onto have solid careers and possibly become stars.  Now is your opportunity to predict the future.  You can vote for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd best player's at each position, that you feel will be the most successful in the NBA. Since player's games change, just like opinions, you are able to vote once a day. These polls will close sometime in the distant future.  At the bottom of this page, you can click on the other positions to vote for.  Let the prognostication begin!!! *The positions of some players may change as they get older and certain players might be removed or added to the polls depending on how well they progress during the up coming years.

Updated: 11/21/11
Names are in NO specific order
KASEY HILL / 6'1'' 170 / Eustis, FL / Undeclared / C/O 2013

KRIS DUNN / 6'3'' 180 / New London, CT / Providence / C/O 2012

TYUS JONES / 6'0'' 170 / Apple Valley, MN / Undeclared / C/O 2014

YOGI FERELL / 5'11'' 160 / Greenfield, IN / Indiana / C/O 2012

NATE BRITT / 6'1'' 165 / Washington, DC / Undeclared / C/O 2013

KYLE ANDERSON / 6'7'' 210 / Fairview, NJ / UCLA / C/O 2012

EMMANUEL MUDIAY / 6'3'' 175 / Arlington, TX / Undeclared / C/O 2014

MARCUS PAIGE / 6'1'' 160 / Marion, IA / UNC / C/O/ 2012

ANTHONY BARBER / 6'2'' 165 / Hampton, VA / Undeclared / C/O 2013

RYAN ARCIDIACONO / 6'4'' 185 / Langhorne, PAVillanova / C/O 2012

ANDREW HARRISON / 6'5'' 205 / Houston, TX / Undeclared / C/O 2013

DOMINIC ARTIS / 5'11'' 170 / Richmond, CA / Oregon / C/O 2012

AQUILLE CARR / 5'7'' 150 / Baltimore, MD / Undeclared / C/O 2013

BRAXTON OGBUEZE / 6'1'' 185 / Charlotte, NC / Florida / C/O 2012

D'VAUNTES SMITH-RIVERA / 6'3'' 215 / Indianapolis, IN / Georgetown / C/O 2012

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