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First NCAA evaluation period wrap-up, SoCal-style

LAGUNA NIGUEL, Ca. – Each of the three major “evaluation events” held in Southern California offered college coaches and hoopaholics-alike plenty to admire during the NCAA’s first July “evaluation” period that began last Wednesday at 5 p.m. and wrapped up at the same time four days later.

Here are some highlights on each:

*West Coast Elite 100 All-Star Camp (at Pomona-Pitzer College in Claremont): There were 300-plus players in attendance, from coast to coast, with action climaxing with five all-star games on Sunday, for the players from the classes of 2018, ’17 and ’16, as well as Top 40 and Top 20 contests (for those chosen best in class, regardless of classification).

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Busy Sunday for grassroots hoops in SoCal

ALL OVER SOCAL, Ca. – The last day of the NCAA’s first July evaluation will be a busy one, indeed, in Southern California.

Three events, The Asics Double Pump Summer Tip-Off (in Anaheim’s American Sports Centers), the Pangos Summer Sweet 16 (in Norwalk’s Cerritos College) and the West Coast Elite/Under-Armour Elite 100 (Pomona-Pitzer College in Claremont), conclude Sunday.

Highlighting the Pumps’ event will be the 17’s Open Division semifinals and championship game.

The semifinals tip at 10:10 a.m., with the Double Pump Elite squad taking on the Southern California All-Stars/Red on Court B-1 and The Big Ballers VXT Black facing New York-based Black Mambas on Court B-2.

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Jump shooters Griffin, Reichle are All-West standouts

NORWALK, Ca. – The two-day Full-Court Press All-West (presented by Pangos) offered up a nice mixture of the best of four classes of high school players in Southern California.

And there was a hefty spattering of non-SoCal-based prospects at Cerritos Community College, as well.

The last major “summer event”, prior to the first NCAA July valuation period (Wednesday-July 12) wrapped up Saturday afternoon with Top 50 and Top 25 all-star games.

Six-foot-five Omaje Smith (El Cajon, CA/Foothills Christian) made a strong case that he should have been selected to the Top 25 game while leading the “White” squad to an 82-59 victory over the “Black” team in the Top 50 game.

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My picks for “Best of the Best” at Nike BB Academy

SANTA MONICA, Ca. – Even the most casual of basketball fans would immediately recognize the names of the “headliners” at the Nike Basketball Academy that wrapped up Monday night.

After all, I’m sure all of you have heard of fellows like LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Anthony Davis, Paul George, DeMarcus Cousins and DeAndre Jordan, right?

The first three, of course, are three of the four preeminent “faces” of the Nike Basketball “brand” – the fourth, of course, being Michael Jordan, who has his Nike “brand” as those who worship at the Church of “Jordan Brand” will say a quick “amen!” to.

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Nike BB Academy is a college AA “preview” of sorts

SANTA MONICA, Ca. – This is certain:

The Nike Basketball Academy is providing an up-close-and-personal look at a lot of likely 2015-16 preseason college All-Americans.

After Sunday’s second full day of workouts, drills and scrimmages, it remained apparent that it’s going to be difficult to find a better point guard on the college level than Kris Dunn, who will be a junior at Providence in the coming season.

Dunn – from the perspective of the camp coaches as well as the NBA scouts and general managers watching from court-side seating – was clearly the top individual standout on both Saturday and Sunday.

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College & prep standouts at Nike Basketball Academy

SANTA MONICA, Ca. – Day II of the first-ever Nike Basketball Academy is a wrap after Saturday night’s action.

Camp staffers, current and former NBA players, NBA scouts (including some general managers and scouting directors) and an assortment of Internet recruiting analysts got their first looks at the 53 current high school players and 26 college players in the event that is an offshoot of the camp formerly known as the “LeBron James Skills Academy”.

Full disclaimer: I’m one of the individuals invited to help “evaluate” the athletes for Nike’s grassroots wing during the competition that concludes Monday night.

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Some cool match-ups set for hot Fairfax gym

LOS ANGELES – The third day of the 29th Nike Fairfax High Summer Tournament is on tap Wednesday, with a schedule highlighted by some potentially compelling team and individual match-ups.

In fact, it could serve as a “preview” of sorts to the 2016 CIF Southern Section Open Division playoff bracket.

Consolation games will be played at 1:30 p.m. (L.A. Brentwood vs. El Segundo) and 3 (L.A. Loyola vs. Pasadena Maranatha).

After that things could get really interesting.

Set for 4:30 is a clash between Santa Ana Mater Dei and Santa Monica (it’s actually first-round game; the other teams are already into the second round of play).

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Trevon Duval leads Cavs to NBPA Top 100 title

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Cavaliers were 2-4 in the “regular season” of the 22nd National Basketball Players Association Top 100 Camp that was held in the University of Virginia’s John Paul Jones Arena.

But the team turned things around in dandy fashion during the playoffs to come away with the team championship, knocking off the Rockets, 78-75, in the title game Saturday night.

The Cavaliers, coached by NBA veterans Mike James and Trevor Booker and high school coach Derrick Taylor (Taft High in Woodland Hills, CA), went into the playoffs needing to edge and 2-4 team, the Bulls, in order to get into the bracket as the No.

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Temple Gibbs among Friday NBPA Top 100 standouts

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Friday proved quite a day for Coach Reggie Evans and his Hawks team that is competing in the 22nd National Basketball Players Association Top 100 Camp in the University of Virginia’s John Paul Jones Arena.

And it was an especially sweet day for the Hawks’ Temple Gibbs.

Like the other current and former NBA players coaching in this event, the 35 year-old Evans – a 13-year power forward who is currently a member of the Sacramento Kings – aspires to coach on the college or NBA level eventually.

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“Bam Bam” NBPA Top 100 presence felt immediately

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – His debut at the 2015 National Basketball Players Association Top 100 Camp may have been delayed for 24 hours.

But for the guy increasingly being known “Bam Bam”, there was little hesitation in his dropping a metaphorical hammer on his opposition in the University of Virginia’s John Paul Jones Arena Thursday.

The 6-foot-9 Edrice Adebayo (Pinetown, NC, Northside) is a consensus as one of the very best “power forward-types” in the Class of 2016.

And Adebayo gave a complete demonstration as to why that is the case during his two games with the “Grizzlies” during Day II of competition of the 22nd version of camp.

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Meet Frank
Frank Burlison

Frank Burlison is a well-regarded basketball writer who was inducted into the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Hall of Fame in 2005. His opinions on the potential of high school and college players are widely respected and sought by college coaches and NBA scouts, personnel directors and general managers from coast to coast. Oh, yes – he can offer plenty of thoughts on movies, television and pop music. Yes, he can rank those, too. Hint: He’s a big The Godfather, Larry Sanders, The Wire and The Beatles loyalist.

To learn more about Frank's scouting services, click here.

Endorsements

“I’ve known Frank since he was a student at Long Beach State and no writer ever worked harder at studying and understanding basketball. When I was coaching I always put more stock into what he said about (high school) players than anyone I knew. As far as I’m concerned, he’s the best there is at evaluating the potential of basketball players.”
Lute Olson, Hall of Fame and NCAA Championship Winning Coach

"I have known Frank for 15 years and there is no one outside of those in the Clippers' organization that I trust more than Frank when it comes to player evaluations."
Neil Olshey, Los Angeles Clippers' Vice President of Basketball Operations

“Frank Burlison has always been a proponent of my talent and, even more so, of my potential – far before it was evident to most. Even as a smaller and determined player who was being overlooked by most high-major colleges and national scouting services, Frank always served as a friendly voice who got me into the door to most events to help me prove my talents.”
Russell Westbrook, the No. 4 overall selection in the 2008 NBA Draft out of UCLA and an all-star guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder

To see what other people in basketball are saying about Frank, click here.