Sunday, April 29, 2012

JOSH GRAY: 2nd Chance to Make a 1st Impression!!!

JOSH GRAY: Class of 2012

Written by: Prospect-Central

Who's Josh Gray???  Chances are he's probably one of the best high school point guards you never heard of.  That's not to say his game doesn't warrant the attention, but after enduring a number of hardships throughout his life, it appears he may have simply fell through the cracks.

While being rated as a Top 20 point guard in the Class of 2012 by ESPN & Rivals is nothing to scoff about, one can't help but think how much higher he'd be ranked if it wasn't for a couple poor decisions. Regardless of his past however, Josh Gray's future seems very bright.

Entering into his senior year, Gray verbally committed to Mississippi State and in November actually signed a LOI to play with the Bulldogs.  After head coach Rick Stansbury retired last month however, Gray was allowed out of his LOI and thus opened up his commitment somewhat late in the game.  As of right now, he appears to be very close to signing with Texas Tech.

This past season playing for Wheatley High (Houston, TX), Gray averaged 23.8 ppg, 5.9 apg, 3.3 rpg & 2.9 spg, proving that he was indeed one of the best point guards in the country. Whatever college he finally ends up attending, Josh Gray will certainly have a 2nd chance to make a 1st impression!!! *Below is a video of Josh Gray's story & some highlights from his senior season.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Seventh Woods: 8th Grader Cutting Down the Trees in HS Basketball!!!

SEVENTH WOODS: Class of 2016

Written by: Prospect-Central

While there are Seven Wonders of the World today, it appears the native of South Carolina...Seventh Woods...has his eyes on becoming the Eighth! The 6-foot 2-inch Woods has been an established name in middle school basketball for a while, and is now beginning to show the high school ranks his skills as well.

If high school basketball was a forest, then 8th grader Seventh Woods would be right at home. This past season playing varsity ball for the Hammond Skyhawks (Columbia, SC), Seventh led the team in scoring, assists, steals & blocks. He averaged 14.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 3.3 apg, 4.5 spg & 1.4 bpg. To say he had a nice year, would be a severe understatement.

Woods has flourished on the AAU circuit as well. He's been a terrorizing force with the 17U SC Ravens, and this spring he's also rolling with the Karolina Diamonds. He's also been invited to the Fab Frosh All-American Camp this summer. With his strength, intelligence, ball handling, vision, work ethic, jump shot, and athleticism...Seventh Woods...Just might become the "Seventh Deadly Sin" of high school basketball!!! * Seventh Woods Video Playlist.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Prospect-Central's Final 2012 NFL Mock Draft!!!


Written by: Prospect-Central

It's been a looooooong wait, but the day is finally here, the 2012 NFL Draft!!!  Like all Draft's before it, there will sure to be a number of teams jockeying for position with trades, which will obviously alter the way the draft plays out.  With that being said, Prospect-Central has given its best shot to predict the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft.  If every journey begins with a single step, then today is that step for the select few who have shown they belong in the National Football League.  Three days, seven rounds, two-hundred and fifty-three picks, until collegiate athletes...become paid professionals!!! 2012 NFL Mock Draft Database. * Below is a video of an NFL Draft Remix by DJ Steve Porter followed by Prospect-Central's 2012 First Round NFL Mock Draft.

(1) Andrew Luck QB / 6'4'' 235 / Stanford / Jr.
      Actual Pick: ANDREW LUCK QB
(2) Robert Griffin III QB / 6'2'' 220 / Baylor / Jr.  
      Actual Pick: ROBERT GRIFFIN III QB
(3) Trent Richardson RB / 5'11'' 244 / Alabama / Jr.
      Actual Pick: TRENT RICHARDSON RB
(4) Matt Kalil OT / 6'7'' 295 / USC / Jr.
      Actual Pick: MATT KALIL OT
(5) Morris Claiborne CB / 6'0'' 185 / LSU / Jr.
      Actual Pick: JUSTIN BLACKMON WR * Jacksonville Jaguars Traded for Pick
(6) Justin Blackmon WR / 6'1'' 205 / Oklahoma State / Jr.
      Actual Pick: MORRIS CLAIBORNE CB * Dallas Cowboys Traded for Pick
(7) Fletcher Cox DT / 6'4'' 295 / Mississippi State / Jr.
      Actual Pick: MARK BARRON SS * Tampa Bay Buccaneers Traded for Pick
(8) Ryan Tannehill QB / 6'4'' 220 / Texas A&M / Sr.
      Actual Pick: RYAN TANNEHILL QB
(9) Luke Kuechly ILB / 6'3'' 225 / Boston College / Jr.
      Actual Pick: LUKE KUECHLY ILB
(10) Mark Barron SS / 6'2'' 210 / Alabama / Sr.
        Actual Pick: STEPHON GILMORE CB
(11) David DeCastro OG / 6'5'' 310 / Stanford / Jr.
        Actual Pick: DONTARI POE DT
(12) Melvin Ingram DE / 6'2'' 275 / South Carolina / Sr.
        Actual Pick: FLETCHER COX DT * Philadelphia Eagles Traded for Pick
(13) Michael Floyd WR  / 6'3'' 228 / Notre Dame / Sr.
        Actual Pick: MICHAEL FLOYD WR
(14) Michael Brockers DT / 6'6'' 305 / LSU / (R) So.
        Actual Pick: MICHAEL BROCKERS DT * St. Louis Rams Traded for Pick
(15) Stephon Gilmore CB / 6'1'' 195 / South Carolina / Jr.
        Actual Pick: BRUCE IRVIN DE/OLB * Seattle Seahawks Traded for Pick
(16) Quinton Coples DE / 6'6'' 282 / North Carolina / Sr.
        Actual Pick: QUINTON COPLES DE
(17) Dre Kirkpatrick CB / 6'3'' 190 / Alabama / Jr.
        Actual Pick: DRE KIRKPATRICK CB
(18) Cordy Glenn  OG / 6'5'' 350 / Georgia / Sr.
        Actual Pick: MELVIN INGRAM DE
(19) Whitney Mercilus DE / 6'4'' 265 / Illinois / Jr.
        Actual Pick: SHEA McCLELLIN DE
(20) Stephen Hill WR / 6'5'' 205 / Georgia Tech / Jr.
        Actual Pick: KENDALL WRIGHT WR
(21) Chandler Jones DE / 6'5'' 260 / Illinois / Sr.
        Actual Pick: CHANDLER JONES DE * New England Patriots Traded for Pick 
(22) Brandon Weeden QB / 6'4'' 220 / Oklahoma State / Sr.
        Actual Pick: BRANDON WEEDEN QB
(23) Riley Reiff OT / 6'6'' 300 / Iowa / Jr.
        Actual Pick: RILEY REIFF OT
(24) Dont'a Hightower ILB / 6'4'' 260 / Alabama / Jr.
        Actual Pick: DAVID DeCASTRO OG
(25) Dontari Poe DT / 6'5'' 350 / Memphis / Jr.
        Actual Pick: DONT'A HIGHTOWER ILB * New England Patriots Traded for Pick
(26) Kendall Wright WR / 5'10'' 190 / Baylor / Sr.
        Actual Pick: WHITNEY MERCILUS DE
(27) Shea McClellin DE / 6'3'' 260 / Boise State / Sr.
        Actual Pick: KEVIN ZEITLER OG * Cincinnati Bengals Traded for Pick
(28) Nick Perry DE / 6'3'' 250 / USC / Jr.
        Actual Pick: NICK PERRY DE
(29) Courtney Upshaw DE/OLB / 6'2'' 265 / Alabama / Sr.
        Actual Pick: HARRISON SMITH SS * Minnesota Vikings Traded for Pick
(30) Kevin Zeitler OG / 6'4'' 315 / OG / Wisconsin / Sr.
        Actual Pick: A.J. JENKINS WR
(31) Harrison Smith SS / 6'3'' 215 / Notre Dame / Sr.
        Actual Pick: DOUG MARTIN RB * Tampa Bay Buccaneers Traded for Pick
(32) David Wilson RB / 5'10'' 205 / Virginia Tech / Jr.
        Actual Pick: DAVID WILSON RB


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

GABE YORK: Senior Season Mix!!!

GABE YORK: Class of 2012

Written by: Prospect-Central

Without a doubt, one of the most exciting baller's in high school this year was none other than the electrifying Gabe York!!!  The 6-foot-2 Arizona commit was a scoring machine this past season, playing for one of the best teams in the country Orange Lutheran (Orange, CA).  York averaged 24.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 2.7 apg & 2.3 spg as a senior and should provide instant offense for the Wildcats this up-coming season.

Even though Gabe York is a tremendous basketball talent and is one of the better scoring guards in the country, he does have some deficiencies.  While he's extremely athletic, he's also very undersized for a shooting guard.  At just 6-foot-2, Gabe York will need to work on distributing the basketball, as he will probably play a decent amount of time at the point guard position for Sean Miller and the Arizona Wildcats.

Whether Gabe York can adjust his game to the collegiate level or not is yet to be determined, but he clearly has the skills to make his presence felt as a freshman.  So with that being said, I would like to officially welcome you to York City!!!
* Below is a highlight video from BallisLife of Gabe York's senior season with Orange Lutheran.  



Written by Prospect-Central

What can be said about seventeen-year-old Andrew Wiggins that hasn't already been said before???  Nothing!!!  While he's considered by many to be one of the best players in high school regardless of class, in my personal opinion, there's no baller in the country that has as much potential as the phenom from north of the border.

This past weekend at the first session of the 2012 Nike EYBL, Andrew Wiggins skills were on full display as he helped his AAU team CIA Bounce to a 4-0 record.  He was one of the leading scorers in the event with 17.0 ppg and showed everyone in attendance that he was indeed one of the most athletic players in the country.  Wiggins and CIA Bounce will play at the last session of the event in Oakland, California on May 25th-28th before eventually playing in the finals of the EYBL at the Nike Peach Jam on July 18th-21st.

Andrew Wiggins was easily one of the best players in high school this past season.  He had an incredible sophomore year for Huntington Prep (Huntington, WV), leading the team to a 24-2 record while averaging 25.0 ppg, 13.0 rpg, 2.3 apg, 4.0 bpg & 1.3 spg.  Earlier this month at the 2012 Nike Hoop Summit, Andrew Wiggins proved once again that the spotlight is never too big.  As the youngest player in the event, he led the World Select team in scoring with 20 points and helped them to a stunning upset over the USA squad 84-75.

There's no doubt that the Canadian sensation will one day play in the NBA.  The only question is, how high will he be drafted???  In my opinion, as of right now, Andrew Wiggins is the front-runner for the #1 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft!!! * Below are statistics of Andrew Wiggins from the first 4 sessions of the 2012 Nike EYBL followed by videos from BallisLife & HoopMixTape of him playing in the event.
STATS: CIA Bounce vs Team Final / CIA Bounce vs Team Takeover / CIA Bounce vs Bluff City / CIA Bounce vs King James
CIA Bounce vs Mokan Elite / CIA Bounce vs Albany City Rocks / CIA Bounce vs Jackson Tigers / CIA Bounce vs NJ Playaz
CIA Bounce vs Indy Speice / CIA Bounce vs Iowa Attack / CIA Bounce vs Tennessee Travelers / CIA Bounce vs Oak Soldiers CIA Bounce vs Mean Streets / CIA Bounce vs Boo Williams / CIA Bounce vs Southern Stampede / CIA Bounce vs Baltimore Elite / CIA Bounce v Hoops

Monday, April 23, 2012

DERRICK GRIFFIN: The 50/50 Club!!!

DERRICK GRIFFIN: Class of 2013

Written by: Matt Malatesta & Prospect-Central

Derrick Griffin on the verge of a monster throw down!!!
There are many exclusive clubs in the world today. One of my personal favorites, Jay-Z's 40/40 Club. While this is indeed a high-end establishment frequently visited by many celebrities, anyone can get in, as its doors are open for all those willing to pay the high price of admission.  There's only one Club in the world today, so exclusive that not even Hova himself could get an invite...The 50/50 Club!!!

What is The 50/50 Club???  Why don't you ask 6-foot-7, 220 pound Derrick Griffin!!! Depending on what high school recruiting site you look at, you can find the Texas A & M commit ranked in the Top 50 in not only football, but basketball as well.  This is an incredible accomplishment that very few high school athletes have ever had the honor of achieving.  If Griffin can remain academically eligible, look for him to make an immediate impact on the court as well as the gridiron for the Aggies come 2013.

As of right now, Griffin appears to be a better prospect in football rather than basketball, but don't get it twisted, he still can hoop.  He's ranked in the Top 50 by Rivals & Scout and had an outstanding junior season playing for the Terry Rangers (Rosenberg, TX).  His athleticism alone helped him put up some big numbers for one of the best teams in Texas.  Griffin averaged 18.6 ppg, 10.8 rbg, 4.5 bpg & 1.9 spg for Terry High School and should put up similar numbers during his senior year.

Griffin has also been playing very well on the AAU circuit this spring for the 17U Houston Hoops squad.  This past weekend at the first session of the 2012 Nike EYBL, he averaged 11.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg & 4.0 blk bpg, while helping the Texas based team to a 4-0 record.  Griffin and the Houston Hoops next event is this up-coming weekend in Hampton, VA, at the second session of the Nike EYBL.

Derrick Griffin emulating Thomas "Hollywood" Henderson
On the football field, Derrick Griffin is considered one of the best wide receivers in the country.  He's ranked in the Top 30 from the Class of 2013 by Espn, Rivals, Scout & 247Sports and seems to be just scratching the surface as far as the type of player he can become.  Over the past two seasons at Terry High, Griffin has combined for 64 receptions, 1,004 yards & 20 touchdowns and should continue to play at a high level next year as a senior.

Derrick Griffin has said that if he had to choose, he would probably lean towards a career in basketball rather than football.  Ultimately that might depend on how much more he can grow.  As of right now he doesn't have the size to play Power Forward in the NBA and his perimeter skills need to catch up to his strength and athleticism.  Be that as it may, he has a legitimate shot to play either sport professionally and while he may be too young to "Pop A Bottle Full of Bub"...Derrick definitely up in "Da 50/50 Club!!!" * Below is a basketball highlight video from BallisLife of Derrick Griffin's junior season, an article from VYPE Magazine in September of 2011 detailing his life, a basketball video from GigEm247 of him playing AAU ball for the Houston Defenders last year, a football video from 247SportsStudio of his junior season and then a news story video featuring him from October of 2011.

Derrick Griffin is uncomfortable in the spotlight, but he’s the most prolific athlete in the city of Houston and possibly the nation. He has a smile that lights up a room, but rarely flashes it around strangers. The 6-foot-7 Griffin has had a transient childhood that may make him feel alone sometimes, but has dozens of adults looking out for his well-being.

Derrick Griffin says "Welcome to the gun show!!!"
Griffin is an NFL prospect with an NBA body. He was offered a scholarship as a freshman in high school by former USC football coach Pete Carroll, while having to tell Duke’s Coach K that he wanted to play both sports in college. Griffin is not rich, but has more frequent-flier airline miles than his entire junior class.

Derrick Griffin’s parents are not in the picture, but lives with his Great Grandmother Ozel “Aya” Grunwald who knows how to Twitter and has a Facebook (lol). She says that he eats all the time, but he’s always hungry.

Great Grandma knows best. Derrick Griffin is ranked No. 19 by in football for the Class of 2013 and is a Top 50 basketball player in the nation, but he is still hungry. That is what sets him apart.

Terry High School football coach Tim Teykl is as authentic as they come. He has coached at the college level for years, has developed dozens of NFL athletes and has a tremendous balance of firmness and love for his players. He’s been at Terry for 22 seasons, his wife Brenda is the school registrar and he’s one of several father figures in Griffin’s life.

“I’ve coached thousands of kids in my time and I don’t say this easily, but Derrick is in a class by himself” Teykl said. “Everyone thinks he’s a tight end because of his height, but his speed, size and length makes him a receiver. I'd like to see the Houston Texans' cornerbacks cover this guy. He's that good."

Griffin's football coach is not the only one to give him rave reviews.  Ahmard Vital of said, "His skills on the football field are phenomenal.  He's dominant on the edge and is a mismatch against most defensive backs, mainly due to his size. On top of that, his vertical ability is off the charts, which makes him unstoppable in the red zone. Combine that with strength, ball awareness and big, dependable hands, and you have the total package at wide receiver.”

Derrick Griffin wearing Jerry Rice's number 80
While Derrick Griffin's life may seem like easy street, anything could be further from the truth. If it wasn't for his great grandmother "Aya",there's no telling what may have happened to the Texas A & M commit. Aya is the undisputed matriarch of her family and at any time there may be three to 13 family members living with her. She started caring for Derrick at the age of nine, when his mother was sent to prison on drug charges.

“I’ve seen Derrick grow so much as a person over the past few years,” she said. “He’s never given me any problems and I remember him beating all his cousins in basketball in the front yard at an early age. He would cry when he would lose. He’s always been a winner. I’ve done the best that I can with him and his siblings."

Griffin brings his football persona to the basketball court, which has paid dividends for his Houston Defenders AAU coach Aaron Harrison and high school coach Michael Jackson.

“He just dominates the game with his athleticism,” Jackson said. “He’s 6-foot-7, he has a seven-foot wing-span, his vertical jump is off the charts and he’s unselfish. He’s a coach’s dream – a superstar who doesn’t big-time anyone. What’s scary is that he has gotten so much better over the summer with his footwork and body-control.”

Not only did Griffin enjoy a tremendous amount of success as a high school sophomore, he was also a member of the nation’s No. 1 AAU team – the 17U Houston Defenders.

“I’ve known Derrick since he was young, playing with my boys Andrew and Aaron,” Defenders coach Aaron Harrison said. “I’ve always treated him like a son, which is tough as they become teenagers. I’m not their buddy.  I have a spot in my heart for Derrick because I know where he’s come from. He’s had to learn to do everything for himself. I know what he’s done to try and make himself a better person and I’m tremendously proud of him for that."

Derrick Griffin straight up embarrassing a dude!!!
Coach Harrison also had some high praise about Griffin as a basketball player.  He went onto say, “On the court, he imposes his will on the game. I’ve seen a lot of basketball players in my time and he’s as good an athlete that I’ve ever seen in my life. (Los Angeles Clipper) Blake Griffin jumped over a car to win the NBA Slam Dunk Contest. I guarantee you Derrick Griffin could do that."

Even though he's a star athlete, Derrick Griffin is painfully shy around strangers.  Inside his inner circle however, he’s a thoughtful friend with a good sense of humor and a big smile. He has his own ideas of what he wants to do with his God-Given talent, but he’s also a junior in high school, who hasn’t much time to be a kid.

Derrick Griffin has the skills to play both basketball & football at the next level and that's exactly what he plans to do.  
“I really want to play both sports in college,” he said. “That’s my goal and I just want that opportunity. I love both of them equally. Its football right now and basketball has just faded away, but by the spring it will be basketball again.”  So, it appears in little more than a year from now, Texas A & M might just have it's very own version of the most popular two-sport athlete of all-time, Bo Jackson!!! Original Article.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

TYUS JONES: Hometown Hero of the 2012 Nike EYBL 1st Session!!!

TYUS JONES: Howard Pulley Panthers

Written by: Jason Hickman & Prospect-Central

If Tyus Jones was walking down a street in Minneapolis, MN with anyone of the Minnesota Timberwolves not named Love, Rubio or Beasley by his side...I'm pretty sure he would be recognized before they would.  While I'm only slightly exaggerating, make no mistake about it, Tyus Jones is a bona fide "Rock Star" in the land of 10,000 lakes!!!

The first session of the 2012 Nike EYBL is being held in Minneapolis, MN this weekend and the good people from Minnesota have come out by the thousands to watch one of their own tear up the competition.  I even thought I saw Khalid El-Amin & Kris Humphries chillin' on the bleachers (lol). To no ones surprise however, Tyus Jones has more than lived up to the hype.

Through the first four games of the tournament, Tyus has averaged 18.0 points, 5.9 assists & 2.0 steals, all while helping the Howard Pulley Panthers to a 3-1 record thus far in the event. He and the Panthers won their last game today against the NJ Playaz Club 75-65, officially ending their first session of the Nike EYBL. The second session will take place in Hampton, VA next week from the 27th-29th.

Tyus Jones may not be as popular as the Minnesota icon Prince, but for people who live and die Minnesota hoops, he's the second coming of Kevin McHale, albeit nine-inches shorter. There have only been 41 people from the great state of Minnesota to play in the NBA.  After Royce White is drafted in this years NBA Draft and if Trevor Mbakwe & Rodney Williams are drafted in 2013 as expected, there's not a doubt in my mind that Tyus Jones will be the 45th!!! * Below are statistics of Tyus Jones & the Howard Pulley Panthers from the 2012 Nike EYBL, a highlight video of him playing AAU ball for Howard Pulley at the 2012 Nike EYBL, an article from Max Preps talking about his performance at the 2012 Nike EYBL and then three highlight videos from his sophomore year at Apple Valley High School.
STATS: Howard Pulley vs Georgia Stars / Howard Pulley vs. Albany City / Howard Pulley vs. Jackson Tigers / Howard Pulley vs. NJ Playaz 

EAGAN, Minn. – CBS affiliate WCCO in Minneapolis billed Nike's Elite Youth Basketball League event this weekend as "the most talent-filled tournament this state has ever seen."

Tyus Jones
The locals have responded by filling what little seating is available at the High Performance Academy to see elite prospects like Jabari Parker, Aaron Gordon and Julius Randle.

But nobody is drawing traffic to the facility quite like hometown hero Tyus Jones. His appearances with the Howard Pulley Panthers have looked like a scene from Rucker Park, with onlookers crammed three-deep on the baseline and tucked into every vantage point available. All that's missing is fans running out on the court after a big dunk.

"It's great to have a lot of fans come out and support us and see what this tournament is about," Jones said. "It's just fun playing in front of a lot of people. There is usually more people around our court than the other courts so we just try to stay focused and not let it get to us."

It certainly hasn't got to the rising junior at nearby Appley Valley.  Through three games, the 6-foot-1, 170-pound point guard is averaging 18.0 points, 5.3 assists and 2.6 steals, leading the Panthers to a 2-1 record. Jones has turned the ball over a total of five times in those outings.

It's nothing new for those familiar with Jones' career. He's coming off a sophomore campaign where he averaged over 28 points and eight assists per game and was a landslide pick as the state's Player of the Year. He's a three-time All-State selection going back to his eighth grade year when he played varsity basketball at Apple Valley.

Tyus Jones
Jones was one of just two sophomores selected to's All-American Team earlier this month. He seems equipped to handle the pressure of the spotlight, which will undoubtedly intensify as his career progresses.

"My family raised me to make sure I am humble and grounded and not getting big-headed," Jones said. "I stay motivated because I want to get to that next level, Division I basketball."

"He has a great family structure," Howard Pulley Panthers coach Antwan Harris Sr. said. "The pressure comes from within, from trying to be great and working to be great. He works hard every single day. There is no external pressure greater than what he gives himself."

Part of that family structure includes brother Jadee, who played college basketball at Furman and Minnesota State-Mankato.  (Tyus also has a younger brother in the Class of 2018, Tre Jones who's got a lil game as well.)

"My older brother Jadee, he is my trainer, he puts me through workouts and everything like that," Jones said. "He's been through the recruiting process so he knows exactly what it's like. I've been able to talk to him about everything."

Tyus Jones
Jones says his recruitment is very much open at this point, although Duke, Michigan State, Ohio State and Minnesota appear to be at the forefront. Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski, Michigan State's Tom Izzo, Minnesota's Tubby Smith and assistants from Ohio State have all checked in to see him this weekend.

"I haven't really made a list," Jones said. "All the schools that have offered I'm open to."

Could all the hometown love push him toward Minnesota?

"I'm defeinitely considering Minnesota," Jones said. "A lot goes into making your college choice. The education, the classes will go into it. There is a lot of stuff that goes into it."

His local following will have one more opportunity to see him in EYBL action with the Howard Pulley Panthers on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. against the Playaz from New Jersey. Original Article.