ITH reader Robert was in attendance for Bloomington South’s 73-64 win over Bloomington North on Friday night and sent along the following on Bloomington North sophomore Ray McCallum Jr:
Although I’m more familiar with northern Indiana high school basketball, as I played for and live in Plymouth while I’m not in school at IU, I am not too familiar with the playing style and strengths and weaknesses of southern teams such as Bloomington North and Bloomington South. However, I am aware of the program J.R. Holmes has built over the years at Bloomington South and the struggles Bloomington North has had recently.
The Panthers of Bloomington South had control of the ball at tip-off and controlled much of the game throughout tonight’s match-up. Though Ray McCallum Jr., senior Javan Walker and freshman Darwin Davis helped give Bloomington North optimism at times, the depth of Bloomington South showed, as I believe four players ended the night with at least 10 points a piece. It didn’t help much that Bloomington North had a bit of trouble when they had the ball in their hands, as they had problems with turnovers in the first half.
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Indianapolis Lawrence North is off to a 7-1 start and a big part of their success is 6’9″ sophomore Dominique Ferguson.
Ferguson is one of the top 10 sophomores in the country according to Scout.com and Inside the Hall caught up with him to get an update on his play this season.
“I’m the sixth man, off the bench, but I’m one of the leading scorers. I really don’t care about coming off the bench right now because everybody starting over me are upperclassmen,” Ferguson said.
“I’ve been working on my outside game a lot, but I’ve been playing on the inside a lot because that’s where I score all of my points because everybody’s smaller than me. After practice, I work on my jump shot.”
The only loss for the Wildcats was at then No. 1 Marion, but Ferguson said his team has bounced back after the 71-63 loss to the Giants.
“We didn’t execute things right, but we’ve come back after that and done pretty well,” Ferguson said.
Besides his outside shot, he’s also putting an emphasis on becoming a better defender.
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Reggie Bullock, who received an Indiana offer back in September, has been nothing short of outstanding the past two weeks for his Kinston (NC) team. Last week, Kinston participated in the City of Palms Classic in Fort Myers, Florida and they’re playing in the Glaxo Smith Kline Holiday Invitational in Raleigh, North Carolina this week.
Bullock has moved to a five-star prospect on Scout.com for the class of 2010 and is getting rave reviews. Here’s what a couple of scouts are saying about Bullock and his play over the past two weeks:
Van Coleman, CSTV:
Reggie Bullock 6-foot-6 WF (2010) Kinston (N.C.) – This skilled wing talent can really handle the rock, pop jumper off the dribble or finish at the rim. As he matures, look for his stock to rise. High majors should be monitoring his development.
Justin Young, Rivals.com:
Bullock can shoot or get to the foul line or knock down a midrange jumper. Offensively, he’s content with being a set up guy as well as being the primary ball-handler for his team. He’s putting the pieces together and developing into a terrific young ball player. Bullock said Ohio State, Wake Forest, Indiana and North Carolina are strong with him early on the process.
It’s still very early in the recruitment process for Bullock, but there are a couple of encouraging things to remember: 1. Indiana was the first school to offer a scholarship and 2. He’s mentioning the Hoosiers prominently when asked for his list of schools. He’s definitely one to keep an eye on in the 2010 class. I hope to have an update on another Indiana target in the 2010 class, Dominique Ferguson of Lawrence North, in the next couple of days.
Despite the fact that he’s currently suspended from his prep school and has yet to log a minute for the Hoosiers, 2008 prized recruit Devin Ebanks is already popping up on NBA mock drafts for 2009. NBAdraft.net, arguably the most prominent mock draft site anywhere on the Web, ranks Ebanks No. 11 in their early predictions for 2009.
Ebanks is ranked considerably higher than Greg Monroe, the No. 1 player in the class according to Rivals.com as well as Samardo Samuels, another top five player in the 2008 class. I spoke with one of the authors of NBAdraft.net, Aran Smith, to get his take on Ebanks and how he’s viewed as a prospect at the next level:
It may be going out on a limb having him that high, but I really like Ebanks as a prospect and see him as one of the top prospects in his class in long-term potential. Ebanks isn’t listed as high as Samuels and Monroe on most recruiting lists, but in terms of NBA potential, in my opinion he has more than those guys. With tremendous athletic ability, he’s got a great deal of untapped potential and fits a position much better than Monroe as a prototype small forward. While Monroe is very skilled, he must get stronger to play inside and doesn’t have the foot speed that Ebanks has on the perimeter.
I’m not ready to call it yet since there’s a long way to go, but we could be looking at another case of one-and-done with Mr. Ebanks. It’ll be interesting to see if he returns to the court for St. Thomas More Prep after the Christmas break.
Matt Roth turned in another stellar effort Tuesday night and inched closer to the Illinois state record for three-pointers made as Washington beat Normal Community, 81-42.
Roth scored 34 points (including eight three-pointers) and his team moved to 8-0 in the process. He now has 354 three-pointers in his career and looks to be a lock to get the 18 additional treys needed to break the record.
Normal Community coach Dave Witzig offered the following comments on Roth to the Peoria Journal Star:
“We didn’t want him to have any easy shots, but if he got his 20 to 24 points, he couldn’t beat us by himself. His 34 points is the most any individual has scored against us in my nine years here. We wanted to make sure his teammates didn’t get offensive put backs, but they did. It started out as the Matt Roth show and then spread to the entire team. Matt Roth is everything as advertised. “
While Devin Ebanks is the stud of the 2008 class, both Roth and Tom Pritchard have showed over the past couple of weeks that they deserve headlines as well. A couple of recruiting analysts have told me that Roth is underrated on the national level and is a steal for the Hoosiers. Nothing against Kyle Kuric, but I think the Hoosiers made the right call in pursuing Roth over Kuric. He’ll be a solid four-year player that will give Indiana a shooter that can knock down contested shots on a consistent basis.
Here is the latest on Indiana’s four signees in the 2008 class – Devin Ebanks, Matt Roth, Tom Pritchard and Terrell Holloway – as well as 2009 commitment Derek Elston.
Devin Ebanks: St. Thomas More Prep is 6-2 on the season. Ebanks had 27 in a 71-63 loss to Massanutten back on November 16. Ebanks also had 25 points in a 85-70 win over Lee Academy in the New England Prep Showcase back on November 17. St. Thomas More returns to action on Wednesday opposite South Kent school at home.
Matt Roth: Roth led Washington to a 83-54 win on Saturday night with 24 points. Roth’s layup started a 14-0 run in that game to give Washington a 45-31 halftime lead. Washington plays again on December 11 at University and hosts Dunlap on December 14.
Tom Pritchard: Pritchard impressed a lot of Indiana fans with 23 points, 14 rebounds and five blocked shots as St. Edwards beat Campbell Hall 78-73 last Thursday on ESPN2. Pritchard followed that up with 10 points on Friday as St. Edwards beat Western Reserve Academy 58-38. St. Edwards will take on St. Vincent-St. Mary on Friday at home. St. Vincent-St. Mary is the former high school of NBA star LeBron James.
Terrell Holloway: Holloway is playing for Harmony Community school in Cincinnati and told Mike Pegram of Peegs.com that he’s averaging 13 points and 10 assists per game for his 7-1 team.
Derek Elston: The Tipton Blue Devils are 6-0 and beat Rensselear Central on Saturday night behind 21 points from Elston. Elston shot 7 of 16 in the game, including 6 of 6 from the free throw line. Tipton is ranked No. 4 in Class 2-A. Tipton plays at Westfield, a Class 4-A school on Friday before taking a three week hiatus.
We haven’t talked about Bud Mackey in quite a while and for good reason: He was found at school with crack-cocaine in his shoe.
The former Scott County (KY) star who was the MVP of the 2007 Kentucky state tournament has moved to Atlanta and will play for Redan High School.
The story goes that former Duke player Roshown McLeod called Mackey and asked if he’d like to move in with him. Mackey accepted that invitation according to the Georgetown News-Graphic.
“(McLeod) called me and asked if I wanted to come out here and live with him,” Mackey said. “McLeod is a mentor. He guides us in making decisions.”
McLeod is the owner of a company called Next Level Players Development.
As far as how Mackey is allowed to pack his bags and move away in the middle of the legal woes he is facing, your guess is as good as mine. I’ve heard rumblings over the past month that a deal would be worked out that would keep Mackey out of prison and he would end up at Cincinnati. Mackey told the Georgetown News-Graphic that Cincinnati is his leader and offered the following about Indiana.
Mackey said Indiana head coach Kelvin Sampson, who previously offered him a scholarship, wants him to attend a junior college before coming to IU, but the guard said he wasn’t interested in that route.
“I don’t want to do that,” Mackey said.
Mackey remains free on $10,000 bond, and no date was set Thursday for the grand jury to hear his case.
“Once all of this is over it will be a great success story,” Mackey said.