Just a Minute: July 8

8 Jul

By Justin Young
National Hoops Report

Day two of the July evaluation period is in the books and the under the radar guys are emerging, the head coaches are in Akron, a power broker pulls a bold move and one hard-working assistant coach was given a not-so-nice gift for a July birthday present.

WON THE DAY

I really like the concept of the Reebok Breakout camp. Understand something about this camp for a moment. Reebok isn’t in the grassroots game anymore. They don’t sponsor any teams. They are jumping back into the game from the ground floor. The reason why the camp is happening is because of John Wall.

Wall, who signed a five-year contract with Reebok when he entered the NBA, approached the shoe company about hosting a camp to help players like him – in the shadows and wanting a chance to shine on the national stage.

Players at the event share the same kind of motivation. While the next John Wall probably isn’t in attendance, there are a number of players that have gone from the mid-major list to the high-major list because of the camp.

Eric Bossi of Rivals.com had an interesting conversation with Langston Morris-Walker of California about the camp.

“Somebody like me, I need things like this. I needed this. Playing with a strong team like the Soldiers I’m in the shadows of a lot of five-star guys at times.”

Bossi continued:

On the recruiting front, Morris-Walker says that he’s still open but some schools are starting establish themselves as favorites. Colorado, Utah, San Francisco, Boston College and UTEP have already offered and he feels like hometown Cal is on the verge of dropping an offer as well.

More than anything, Morris-Walker has been able to gain some momentum that he hopes will propel him to a strong July and more options.

ALL EYES ON US

Shabazz Muhammad and Andre Drummond, the top two players in the class of 2012, faced off against each other at the adidas Invitational on Thursday. An army of coaches were there to see the game, too.

From Brian Snow of Scout.com:

Head coaches from Kentucky, UCLA, West Virginia, Kansas State, USC, Washington State, Boston College, and Virginia were in the gym for Shabazz Muhammad and Andre Drummond. Also assistants from Gonzaga, Duke, Kansas, Miami, Texas A&M, Notre Dame, Washington, Oregon, Stanford, Arizona, Oklahoma, Pittsburgh, Wake Forest, Marquette, and North Carolina were in the gym.

HEAD COACHES CONVENTION

The LeBron James Skills Academy was the place to be for head coaches on Thursday. According to Evan Daniels of Scout.com, these guys were posted up at the University of Akron.

Jim Boeheim, Jim Calhoun, John Calipari, Rick Pitino, Roy Williams, Mike Krzyzewski, Billy Donovan, Darrin Horn, Seth Greenberg, Mike Brey, Brad Brownell, Oliver Purnell, Tom Izzo, Bill Self, Buzz Williams, Leonard Hamilton, Mark Turgeon, Brian Gregory, Tony Bennett, Jim Larranaga, Mark Gottfried, Jamie Dixon, Bruce Weber, Tom Crean, Fran McCaffery, Isaiah Thomas, Gary Waters, Scott Drew, Frank Haith, Travis Ford, Rick Barnes, Jim Christian, Tubby Smith, Thad Matta, Matt Painter, Sean Miller, Mike Montgomery, Ben Howland, Lorenzo Romar, Anthony Grant, Tony Barbee, Dana Altman, Mark Fox, Trent Johnson, Cuonzo Martin and Kevin Stallings.

DUNK OF THE DAY

I’m a big Anthony Bennett fan. So is the army of handheld video camera guys at grassroots events. The Canadian threw down an impressive reverse dunk at the LeBron James Skills Academy. You have to see this.

NO, HE DIDN’T

I’m fascinated by the Gary Parrish/Jeff Goodman blog on the road with Tom Izzo of Michigan State and Ryan Marks of Texas Pan-American. It is a reality show in words. Fascinating reads every time out.

It is fascinating because only in grassroots basketball can you find stories that are just too good to be true.

Try this one on for size.

Parrish witnessed an experience with the famous Worldwide Wes.

(The NCAA) can’t quite figure out what to do with William Wesley — the man more commonly known as “Worldwide Wes” who basically has the run of the place. Wesley is a longtime and well-documented power-broker who is now a certified agent.

I was standing with two NCAA officials earlier tonight, just talking and catching up when we were suddenly interrupted by a young man who tapped one of the NCAA officials on the shoulder.

“Excuse me,” the young man said. “Wes wanted me to tell you hello.”

That’s the hoops equivalent of a horse head in bed. Isn’t it?

SOCIAL MEDIA MESSAGE OF THE DAY

That’s College of Charleston assistant coach Andrew Wilson on Facebook. Nothing quite says Happy Birthday quite like bleacher butt, a speeding ticket and a 14-hour day in a gym full of teenagers.

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