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NIU Hoops Recruits for 2022-23
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Big Red Offline
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NIU Hoops Recruits for 2022-23
I had some free time today so I decided to jump into this. It took the better part of the day and I just put a few finishing touches on it. Anyway, Coach Burno is WAY harder to follow with recruiting. I kinda got spoiled with Montgomery because he simply didn't recruit. He'd target a few guys and hopefully get them. If he didn't, he'd scramble at the end but there was typically only as many offers on the table as he had slots to fill.

I always looked at other teams and was shocked to see how many offers they had out there (and all they way down to sophomores in HS!!!). So, of course, Coach Burno comes in and runs this program like a D-I coach is supposed to and starts making a ton of offers. Anyway, I decided to focus only on guys who could be on the team next year (I may start to tackle the younger guys but there' so little information on them, it's really difficult). I'm going to make this into multiple posts (after this one). Last year, with my transfers database (which I'll get on at a much later date), I realized this board was cutting it off because the post was too long. I didn't bother with fixing it but I'm going to try to avoid it from happening this year. So...on to the recruiting grounds for the 2022-23 season.
(This post was last modified: 01-11-2022 11:22 PM by Big Red.)
01-11-2022 11:14 PM
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Post: #2
RE: NIU Hoops Recruits for 2022-23
The JUCO Players:

Dantwan Grimes - 6’2” - PG - JUCO Freshman - 2* recruit from Kilgore College (Kilgore, TX) - Grimes attended PHS Academy which is a prep school geared towards athletes getting into D-I programs. Grimes’ hometown is Ocala, FL. Last season at Kilgore, Grimes played in 23 games (19 starts) averaging 12.2 ppg and 28.7 minutes shooting 42.1% from the field (40 of 108 3PT - 37%) and 68.4% FT (39 of 57). He’s a muscular kid who looks to have filled out quite a bit in the past year. Strong shoulders and looks close to being a finished product (physically). He looks to be a decent PG but may fit better as a SG. He’s got a decently quick pull up from 3PT and looks most comfortable shooting anywhere outside of the lane. He doesn’t attack the basket but has a quick step back fadeaway shot that gets separation from defenders. I could see him being anything from a spare part to a floor leader. It’s hard to tell as these kinds of players have to emerge. Grimes has received additional offers from Tulsa, Eastern Michigan, South Florida, Wichita State, Drake, Florida A&M, North Texas, Coastal Carolina, UIC, Utah Valley, Bryant, Weber State, FIU, Morgan State, NJIT, Jacksonville, St. Bonaventure, UMBC, and Robert Morris.

David Coit - 5’11” - COMMITTED - PG - JUCO Freshman - 2* recruit from Atlantic Cape CC (Hamilton, NJ) - Coit is from Princeton, NJ and attended Scotland Campus Sports (prep school in Scotland, PA) before joining ACCC. Stats and info, as well as video, is hard to come by for Coit. In his senior season at Princeton Day School, he averaged 19.6 points. He’s a smallish, kinda skinny armed kid (from pictures I’ve seen) but he looks quick….(I know…outstanding scouting here Big Red…). Anyway, with not much to go on, I’ll make no other assumptions. Coit received additional offers from NJIT and North Carolina A&T.

Skylar Robinson - 6’8” - PF - JUCO Sophomore - 2* recruit from Chabot College (Hayward, CA) - Robinson is from San Roman, CA and attended Dublin HS. My first impression of Robinson isn’t all that complimentary. He’s tall and long and is pretty athletic but he doesn’t overly impress me as a PF. Then I started thinking a little differently as I saw him handle the ball, pass and shoot from the outside. See, I just didn’t see much jumping ability and being on the thinner side, I didn’t see a usefulness on the inside. But then I started to think about Anthony Crump and thought…okay…I really don’t like Crump…but could this kid be a better version of Crump I could start to like? Maybe? He’s got the makeup of a tall and lanky SF/SG who can probably handle the ball if he had to . Those guys can create mismatches and can be useful if they’re good enough. As a freshman at Chabot, Robinson played in 29 games (9 starts) and averaged 6.3 ppg and 17.4 minutes shooting 41.8% from the field (30.9% 3PT - 17 of 55) and 62.3% FT (33 of 55…which isn’t great). In addition to NIU, Robinson has received no other offers (again…not the best sign but it’s also early for a JUCO sophomore).

Kieves “Deuce” Turner - JUCO Freshman - 6’2” - SG - 2* recruit from South Plains College (JUCO - Levelland, TX) - Malvern Prep School (Malvern, PA) - born in Coatesville, PA - Deuce started his career at Bucknell where he played in 11 games (1 start) and averaged 8.3 ppg and 19.9 minutes but transferred out and apparently was able to call last year a red shirt because he’s listed as a freshman at South Plains College. At SPC, Turner has played in 28 games (23 starts) averaging 18.5 ppg and 23.1 minutes shooting 44.2% from the field (38.2% 3PT - 71 of 186) and 89.4% FT (144 of 161). He’s not that big but is strongly built. He can go to the basket if need be but his bread and butter is on the perimeter. He’s got a compact shot and can dial it up from a really long distance stretching the defense out well beyond the arc. Otherwise, it’s hard to tell much. He’s getting a lot of attention, I will say that. In addition to his offer from NIU, Turner has additional offers on the table from IUPUI, UTRGV, McNeese, and Tarleton. Obviously, playing JUCO in Texas is going to get some Lone Star State attention, but now he’s getting it up north as well. The offers from NIU, IUPUI, UTRGV, and McNees all came in today (3/15/22).

Drake Allen - JUCO Freshman - 6’4” - SG - 2* recruit from Snow College (Ephriam, UT) - Westlake HS (Saratoga Springs, UT) - born in Eagle Mountain, UT - Allen is getting a lot of attention right now. He’s played 1 season at Snow and has played in 33 games (all starts) averaging 30.2 minutes and 12.9 ppg/2.21 steals/4.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists shooting 53.8% from the field (28.6% 3PT - 24 of 84) and 62.9% FT (73 of 116). When I watch him, the word “clever” comes to mind. I bet he’s a pain in the ass to play against. He’s not that big and not overly fast. He is quick and is a good jumper though. He just seems like a guy who would annoy the other team. I didn’t see video of him diving on the floor but I bet that’s part of what you get with him. He had a lot of Tyler Cochran things about him with his steals (sneaking up behind guys and poking the ball away…stuff like that). His outside shot is average and he doesn’t light it up from outside but he can make a shot from there. His instincts tell him to go to the basket. It appears he makes about 99% of his points from about 1 foot from the basket. He’s clever in getting around defenders (ie, he doesn’t blow them away as much as he just tricks them…which may very well not play at the D-1 level). Again, he’s a good jumper and can easily dunk the ball (he does it a lot…) but his size concerns me. At least he’s kinda tall for a guard. To play more inside, he’d definitely have to put on bulk. In addition to NIU, Allen has offers on the table from IUPUI, Radford, FIU, SIUe, Bowling Green, Southern Indiana, Western Illinois, Southern Utah, Northern Arizona, and NJIT. The offers from NIU, IUPUI, Radford and FIU all came in today (3/15/22) and the offers from SIUe, Bowling Green, Southern Indiana, and Western Illinois came in yesterday (3/14/22). So, interest in him has heated up real quick.
(This post was last modified: 03-15-2022 08:20 PM by Big Red.)
01-11-2022 11:16 PM
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Post: #3
RE: NIU Hoops Recruits for 2022-23
JUCO Continued:

Anthony Roy - 6’3” - SG - JUCO Freshman - 2* recruit from Wenatchee Valley College (Wenatchee, WA) - Roy is from Oakland, CA and attended Dublin HS (same HS as Robinson). Roy started his career at San Francisco where he played 8 games as a freshman and then transferred to Wenatchee Valley. As a freshman at WVCC, Roy has played in 10 games (7 starts) and is averaging 25 ppg and 27.6 minutes shooting 60% from the field (44.6% 3PT - 29 of 65) and 71.9% FT (41 of 57). Ok, first about San Francisco. Sure, it’s a mid-major. But when you play in the same conference as Gonzaga you either accept your fate or you up your game. For the past decade or so, the 2nd tier teams in the WCC have been BYU and Saint Mary’s. Well, in the past couple of years, San Francisco has entered into the conversation for next best in the WCC. In other words, if San Francisco is recruiting you, you can play. They aren’t missing on guys right now. And Anthony Roy was a San Francisco recruit. Now…Roy. He’s exciting. If this guy is in the gym, he’s in range. Hell, if he’s in the parking lot, he’s in range. Roy can make a shot from anywhere on the court. Period…full stop. He’s that good of a shooter. And he’ll take advantage of a defense and go to the rim on occasion as well. He’s a pure shooting guard through and through. I’m going to be real honest here and if Burno can get this guy, he will have something special with Roy and Powell on the floor at the same time. They will make the Huskies better. A tidbit: After the first week of games, Roy was named conference player of the week. Wenatchee Valley had gone 3-0 and Roy had games where he put up 23, 24, and 42 points to lead the Raiders. He also had two double doubles with 10 assists in each. And he is currently pulling down 7.3 rebounds per game and contributing 4.3 assists. With that said, I expect Burno to have his work cut out for him to land this guy but….BUT…he did just make the offer to him on Monday (1/10/22) so you have to believe he’s got a strong relationship building with him. And he doesn’t have a ton of offers on the table currently so maybe Burno can get him committed soon. Coming out of HS, Roy received offers from Cal State East Bay (D-II, Hayward, CA) and CSU Fullerton. After a year at San Francisco, he got an offer from Utah Valley. And now he has the offer from NIU which is his first offer since September.

Deshawndre Washington - 6’7” - SG - 2* recruit from Northwest Florida State (Niceville, FL) - Washington is from Chicago and attended Morgan Park HS. He started his career at Robert Morris but transferred to NWFS after his freshman season. He is now in his 2nd season at NWFS and has played in 20 games with 20 starts (that seems high but it’s what his stat sheet says for this year). He’s averaging 10.2 ppg and 28.1 minutes shooting 47.4% from the field (35% 3PT - 7 of 20) and 70.8% FT (51 of 72). He’s also pulling down 9.4 rebounds/game. Washington is a tall guard/forward who runs the floor well and finishes at the rim strong. He’s got a good outside shot too making him difficult to guard. He’s an intriguing player and, from what I’ve read, had really raised his stock by going to JUCO. Coming out of HS, Washington received offers from Detroit Mercy and UT Martin. Currently, he has a ton of offers. In addition to NIU, Washington has additional offers from UIC, Chicago State, South Carolina, Boise State, Missouri, Stetson, Alabama, Mississippi Valley State, Arizona State, DePaul, UTEP, Oregon and West Virginia. Since Burno made his offer, Washington has gotten offers from Stetson (which is the outlier), UIC and Chicago State. So, 3 of his last 4 offers are from Chicago area schools and it makes me wonder. Most of those power conference offers were made at a time when he could have enrolled in those schools for this season. But he didn’t. And now he’s getting offers, almost exclusively from Chicago area schools. I’m wondering if he just wants to be a bigger fish in a smaller pond close to home? If so, I think Coach Burno can convince him over those other two schools. Although, I’m quite surprised he hasn’t picked up an offer from Western Illinois. I fully expected to see them on the list.
(This post was last modified: 01-12-2022 08:59 AM by Big Red.)
01-11-2022 11:17 PM
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RE: NIU Hoops Recruits for 2022-23
JUCO Continued:

Quincy McGriff - 6’6” - SG - JUCO Freshman - 2* recruit from Salt Lake CC (SLC, Utah) - McGriff is from Los Angeles, CA and attended Santa Monica HS (Santa Monica, CA). Currently, Salt Lake CC is undefeated (18-0) and in those games, McGriff has played in all 18 games with 11 starts averaging 13.6 ppg and 21.7 minutes shooting 44% from the field (39.5% 3PT - 45 of 114) and 82.1% FT (32 of 39). My first impression of him is he’s a taller and less jacked version of Tyler Cochran. Honestly, he’s got better skills than Cochran but Cochran makes up for any limitations with a relentless, never quit motor and that is something that is immeasurable. So, it’s not a fair comparison but I made it anyway. Also, his stats kind of enhance what I see on video. Like it gives what I see some validity. He could develop quite well and he shoots better than I expected (its often hard to tell from a “highlight” package) but the numbers tell a story and I like the story. In addition to his offer from NIU, McGriff has received additional offers from UTSA, Iona, Oral Roberts, UIC, Cal Poly, Texas A&M, Portland, Cleveland State, and FIU.

Zarique Nutter - COMMITTED - 6’5” - SG - JUCO Freshman - 2* recruit from Clarendon College - Nutter is from Newark, NJ and attended The Patrick School (a prep school in Hillside, NJ). Okay, here’s where things look odd. Nutter transferred to Saint Peter’s but was dismissed from the team early in December for reasons unreported. On the same day as Nutter’s dismissal from the team, Saint Peter’s also suspended KC Ndefo, who is one of their better players. So, is he still an actual option for NIU? I’m guessing he might not be as Coach Burno has seemingly been targeting high character guys to the program and Nutter has some baggage. Again, I have no idea what that “baggage” might be and that’s neither a pro nor a con, but it doesn’t look to be complimentary. I guess I’ll just leave it at that. Before transferring to Saint Peter’s, Nutter had additional offers from Tarleton State and Robert Morris.

Bryant Selebangue - 6’9” - PF - JUCO Freshman - 2* recruit from Florida SouthWestern State College (Ft. Myers, FL) - Selebangue is from Montreal, Quebec and attended RISE Prep at TRC Academy (Brantford, ON). Okay. At the JUCO level, this guy is a handful. He’s big and athletic. He’s built like a really tall version of an NFL wide receiver. He can run and jump. Can he shoot? I don’t know. But he can finish. At FSWS, he’s played in 15 games and is averaging 14.1 ppg shooting 65.9% from the field (0% 3PT - I’m not sure if he’s even taken any) and 68.3% FT. It’s a small sample of games but it shows he can score and he does it exclusively in the paint. He’s also grabbing 10 rebounds per game. I have no clue why this guy isn’t already on a D-I roster. Probably coming from Canada has limited his exposure. But this is a big dude who can be a prominent force on the inside. The only pause I have is he doesn’t have any other offers on the table other than NIU. North Carolina A&T had interest back when he was in high school, but nothing more. This guy is either a complete mirage or a total hidden gem.

Da’Sean Nelson - 6’8” - PF - JUCO Freshman - 2* recruit from Kilgore College (Kilgore, TX) - Nelson is from Toledo, OH and attended Robert S. Rogers HS. He attends the same CC as Dantwan Grimes. Nelson is another inside presence although he’s quite different from Selebangue. He’s much thinner and leaner but is an explosive athlete. He’s fast and seems to have a little outside game, although that seems to be more opportunistic than planned. He slashes and goes to the rim well and when he gets there, he finishes with authority. Long arms and long legs. If I had to pick just one, I’d pick Selebangue because of his size (which I’m probably over-valuing) but there’s no reason not to have both and with Myrick on the team, Coach could have a really athletic front line that has good height. Not great, but good. In addition to the offer from NIU, Nelson has received offers from Drexel, DePaul, SMU, Eastern Michigan, Stony Brook, Kent State, FIU, Cincinnati, Bryant, and Texas A&M.
(This post was last modified: 03-02-2022 10:44 PM by Big Red.)
01-11-2022 11:18 PM
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Post: #5
RE: NIU Hoops Recruits for 2022-23
JUCO Continued:

Doctor Bradley - 6’8” - PF - JUCO Freshman - 2* recruit from Salt Lake CC (SLC, Utah)...its pretty clear Coach has a couple of favorite contacts at both Salt Lake and Kilgore. Bradley is from Gardena, CA and attended Junipero Serra HS (San Mateo, CA). Bradley actually started his career at CSU Fullerton before transferring to Salt Lake. At CSU-F, Bradley red shirted his first year and then played in 13 games averaging 5.3 ppg and 12 minutes shooting 50% from the field and 57.7% FT (15 of 26). I’m honestly not sure what I think of Bradley. He strikes me as a guy who fancies himself a guard but probably can’t play that spot at the D-I level. He’s good enough to do it in JUCO but he’s going to have to figure out some new tricks for the move up. He’s definitely athletic but he’s thin and ideally would put on muscle. He could turn into something or he could be a 6 minute guy who no one really notices. Aside from NIU, Bradley has received offers from Tulsa, Stetson, Nicholls, UC Riverside, FAU, Norfolk State, Wichita State, and Coastal Carolina.

Yazid Powell - Buffalo - 6’4” - PG - JUCO Sophomore - 2* recruit from Harcum Ccllege (Bryn Mawr, PA) - Powell was born in Philadelphia, PA and he attended Olympus Prep Academy in Monroe Township, NJ. Powell has already committed a LOI to NIU so he should be in the fold and playing substantial minutes next season for the Huskies. Powell is apparently a huge Kobe Bryant fan and, as a tribute to the star the day after he perished in a helicopter accident, Powell scored 81 points where he intentionally airballed his final free throw to match Bryant’s career best NBA game. At Harcum, Powell had a great freshman season. So far, his sophomore numbers have been down a little but still are respectable. This season, Powell has played 10 games with 9 starts (last year he started 17 out of 17 games) and is averaing 13.9 ppg and 25.1 minutes (last season it was 17.4 ppg and 24.1 minutes). He is shooting 51.1% from the field (37.5% 3PT - 9 of 24) and 71.7% from the line (38 of 53). Last season he shot 53.8% from the field (27.5% 3PT - 11 of 40) and 74.3% FT (75 of 101). To be honest, his numbers are quite similar so I don’t think there’s anything to be concerned about. He also gets 5.1 rebounds per game (last year 7.1). Powell is a really interesting player. He’s about 6’4” (maybe 6’3”) and is kind of thickly built in a strong way though. He’s not overly impressive but you come impressed when you watch him play. I think he’s a leader. He’s basically the guy we all knew in high school who didn’t look like a star athlete but he was the guy you grew up with who was just always better than everyone else. He’s the guy who doesn’t look like he should run the point…but runs the point…and does it really well and when the game is on the line…you want him running the point. He’s clever and aware. He sees things that other players miss. He’s got a good outside shot and he’s a good passer. He plays good defense and will surprise you with rebounds you don’t think he should get. He’s basically an overachiever who I think can be an overachiever at the D-I level. Coming out of HS, Powell received offers from Millersville (D-II, Millersville, PA), Southern New Hampshire (D-II, Manchester, NH), East Stroudsburg (D-II, East Stroudsburg, PA), Chestnut Hill (D-II, Philadelphia, PA), and Lincoln University (D-II, Oxford, PA). While at Harcum, in addition to the offer he accepted from NIU, Powell received additional offers from Mississippi Valley State, Coastal Carolina, Rider, Central Connecticut, Morgan State, Jacksonville, UMBC, FIU, Weber State, New Mexico State, North Carolina A&T, Saint Peter’s, Southern Miss, and Cal Poly.

Jerome Palm - JUCO Sophomore - 6’10” - PF - 2* recruit from O.S.G Echnaton (born in Almere, Netherlands) - Hillsborogh CC (Hillsborogh County, Florida) - Palm started his college career at Daytona State College (JUCO) and plays this year at Hillsborogh CC. This year for the Hawks, Palm has played in 22 games (7 starts) averaging 15.1 minutes and 8.9 ppg shooting 53% from the field (28.6% 3PT - 2 of 7) and 59.4% FT (19 of 32). To be honest, when I watched his videos, I was resigned to us getting him. He’s huge. He’s built like an NBA player. Big, super strong, and looks like a grown man. He’s athletic, runs the floor well, and can bully the opposition inside. I figured if Burno is wanting to put up some wins next year, he’s got the guards to do it, he needs muscle inside and this guy provides it. But then I looked at the numbers and my opinion started to change. Now granted, he could have had injury concerns keeping him out of the lineup. But only 7 starts so far is concerning. Also, his shooting away from the rim is troublesome. Sure, he can step back and hit a 3 from time to time…and that’s all fine and dandy. But his FT shooting this year is barely above Crump-level. I checked his numbers at Daytona SC and they are better…but not much. Coming from The Netherlands, I kind of wonder how finished this guy is and if there’s more here than is apparent. Yeah, he’s huge and athletic. But is he at all reliable? Really, if Burno could improve his FT up to about 70%, he’d probably be a pretty good guy to have in the MAC, which doesn’t really have a ton of guys like this (and when someone does…it matters). Also, we (at this point in the game) only have 1 or maybe 2 more scholarships available. A guy like this...maybe they could get as a walk-on. I just like some other guys better than this guy, but then again…maybe those guys are leaning hard in another direction and Burno knows that.
(This post was last modified: 04-04-2022 10:09 PM by Big Red.)
01-11-2022 11:19 PM
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Post: #6
RE: NIU Hoops Recruits for 2022-23
HS Seniors:

Jason Drake - 6’2” - PG - HS Senior - 2* recruit from Ferndale HS (Ferndale, MI - born in Detroit) - Drake has good size as a HS point guard as he strikes me as the kind of kid who probably also plays football. He’s strong and taller than the players who match up against him at the point. Sometimes that doesn’t translate into D-I since he may be just physically taking advantage of smaller competition. He’s got a nice shot from the outside but I would say his strength is in driving to the basket to make things happen. It looks like he is creative and athletic enough to finish around bigger players but also has enough awareness to pass to open teammates but I don’t get the impression that this is a strong skill of his. In addition to NIU, Drake has received additional offers from Eastern Michigan, Bowling Green, Kent State, Western Michigan and Toledo…yup. Basically the entire West Division of the MAC with a couple others from the East for good measure. Apparently this kid is destined to never leave the Great Lakes Region.

Jaylen Drane - 6’1” - PG - HS Senior - 2* recruit from Simeon HS (Chicago) - Most of the video on Drane is from middle school so I’m not going to waste my time with it. He’s a skinny dude who looks way taller than he is because his arms are so long and skinny. Maybe this means he’s still going to grow (probably not). I’d love to see him play. My friend has seen him live and says, “He’s pretty good”. So, take that for what it’s worth. In addition to NIU, Drane has received offers from Radford, Nebraska, Milwaukee, Western Illinois, Siena, and Chicago State (but that was from when he was an 8th grader….CSU…always thinking outside of the box).

Keon Thompson - 6’1” - PG - HS Senior - 2* recruit from Hargrave Military Academy (Chatam, VA - born in Merrillville, IN where he attended Merrillville HS) - Thompson is really intriguing. He’s not big but he’s filled out fine. But where he gets your attention is his explosiveness. Everything he does is immediate. He starts immediate and he stops immediate. He is quick to pull up what looks like a really nice outside jumper but then he goes to the basket and he simply explodes toward the rim. I wonder if his height is holding him back because it looks like a mid-major to get a real steal in Thompson. In addition to NIU, Thompson has received offers from Purdue Fort Wayne, Mount St. Mary’s, FGCU, Akron, Robert Morris, Indiana State, Drake, Cleveland State, Ball State, New Orleans, Miami and Valparaiso.

Taku Youngblood - COMMITTED - 6’1” - PG - HS Senior - 2* recruit from St. Thomas More (Montville, CT - born in Japan) - Youngblood is kind of interesting in that I think he’s a good basketball player. He’s not big and I don’t think he’s a PG. He passes well, he shoots really well and seems to have a pretty good basketball IQ. I just think he’s better suited as a SG and I don’t know if he’s got the size to pull it off. Nothing, other than his jump shot, stands out to me. But his jumper is really good and pure. In addition to NIU, Youngblood has not received any additional offers.

Yanic Konan Niederhäuser - COMMITTED - HS Senior - 6’9” - PF - 2* recruit from Ehingen Uprising (a team in German but born in Fräshels, Switzerland) - Ok…where to start. This kid is tall and lanky. I’ve seen him listed at 6’10” but he’s got big hair so maybe they aren’t sure. He seems athletic. Anytime I see a kid from Europe, I assume he started out playing soccer and that really helps with footwork. Nevertheless, he looks to move really well for as tall as he is. He’s not an explosive player or jumper. He doesn’t play all that physical but he’s aggressive. He’s got a decent enough shot from the perimeter to keep defenders honest, imo. He’s also playing for the Swiss U18 squad. The first video I watched was from FIBA and some U18 tournament. He looked dominant but he was also like 6 inches taller than almost anyone on the floor. In other words, there was almost nothing to gain from the video. Now, the second video I watched, I liked him more. I think the team he plays for a team in the NBBL which is the “highest German basketball league for players under 19”. The team he’s listed as playing for (Ehingen Uprising) isn’t in that league but is in ProA, which is a 2nd division team. I’ve also seen him listed as playing for Uprising SmartBall and I think that’s the team he’s playing for in the NBBL video, but I can’t find evidence that team even exists, let alone is part of that league. Anyway…he looks better in this video as the competition looks a little better and it highlights certain attributes (ie, inside scoring, outsides scoring, rebounding, steals, etc). He appears to be active away from the ball and have good instincts. He’s aggressive (as I said earlier) and finds his way going toward the basket. He can dribble the ball comfortably in the open court and, like I said, step behind the line and knock down a 3.

Man…this kid is intriguing and is the 3rd in a row that Burno has made an offer to from Europe (depending on what part of Russia is in Europe). I’m betting he’s raw but he’s athletic and tall and you can’t teach that. He does have one other offer on the table from Bryant which he got back in August. So, he’s not gotten a ton of attention but, not playing for an academy here in the states probably hampers that a little for a 2* kind of guy. I’d also like to point out that Burno seems to be targeting post players. Palm, Panov and now Niederhäuser (the three Europeans).

Armandas Plintauskas - COMMITTED - HS Senior (19 years old) - 6’3” - PG - BC Nevėžis (Lietuvos krepšino lyga (LKL) aka, Lithuanian Basketball League) - Okay, this one just popped up but apparently it happened back on the 25th (March). Plintauskas is a big, strong and broad shouldered PG who seems to like going to the basket. At least, that’s my impression. He seems to have a pretty good mid-range shot from the elbow and might even be pretty decent from the arc, I’m just having trouble 1) finding statistical proof of it and 2) I have literally no idea what the level of competition he’s playing against. The best stats for him I can come up with from the LKL is pretty slim playing time. His most recent highlight video (I think) is from some league called the RKL. Okay…I think I’ve got it figured out. The RKL is the 3rd tier league in Lithuania and the LKL is the top tier. This doesn’t help me understand how much he’s played in either league, but at least I have a slight idea of who he’s playing against. Anyway, this guy is strong and athletic. He jumps well, dribbles well and shoots fine. He’s got an odd jump shot that always looks like a fadeaway no matter where he’s shooting from…but it seems pure and repeatable so who am I to judge. It’s just odd. I guess it also demonstrates some upper body strength but again… As of right now, NIU is the only school to make an offer to Plintauskas but this is the 3rd (if I’m not mistaken) European that Burno has signed this year and about the 5th or 6th he’s made an offer to. Does this strategy pay off in the long run is something that will be interesting to witness. On one hand, we all know that European basketball players have become common in the NBA and we see more and more in NCAA. They just don’t seem to be as common in the MAC. So, maybe Burno is way ahead of the curve? Only time will tell.
(This post was last modified: 03-30-2022 10:58 PM by Big Red.)
01-11-2022 11:20 PM
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Big Red Offline
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Post: #7
RE: NIU Hoops Recruits for 2022-23
HS Seniors Continued:

Derrick Claxton - 6’6” - SG - HS Senior - 2* recruit from Inderkum HS (Sacramento, CA) - Claxton has good size for a guard and could provide matchup issues for some defenders at 6’6”. He’s long and fairly athletic. He seems like an all-around type of player who does everything pretty well but nothing stood out to me as stellar. In addition to NIU, Claxton has received an offer from UC Riverside.

Mohamed Toure - 6’6” - SF - HS Senior - 2* recruit from The Hun School of Princeton (Princeton, NJ - born in Silver Springs, MD) - Toure is a very interesting dude. I can’t really tell if he’s actually 6’6” or just kinda looks it because he’s all arms and legs. The word that comes to mind when I watch him is “wiley”. He’s sort of all over the place but under control at the same time…or he’s so athletic that he can cover up the messiness of himself. He’s an explosive jumper and plays good defense challenging and blocking shots at the perimeter. He’s a perfect swingman/SF type of guy. And the type of attention he’s getting makes me think he’s really good in the classroom as well (something I’ve noticed about the guys Burno has already brought in from HS). In addition to NIU, Toure has received offers from St. Francis (PA), Navy, and Army.

Takai Emerson-Hardy - 6’7” - PF - HS Senior - 2* recruit from Vanden HS (Fairfield, CA) - Emerson-Hardy (I’ve also seen it as just Hardy) is a big, strong kid who has the frame to get even stronger. If he does (and I think he will), he could be a real strong presence inside. I don’t see him getting any taller, his bone structure tells me he’s done growing, but his frame would allow for more mass. He’s decent inside and can take the ball from the perimeter to the lane and either pass or find a shot. He doesn’t appear to be much of a threat from the outside so that may hamper his style a bit but if he gets stronger, he could force his way inside as a post. In addition to NIU, Hardy has received additional offers from San Jose State, UC Davis, Washington State, Montana State, Montana, Cal Poly, Cleveland State, Sacramento State, and Northern Arizona.

Xavier Amos - LOI with NIU - 6’8” - PF - HS Senior - 2* recruit from Whitney Young HS (Chicago) - Obviously, Amos already committed to NIU. Unfortunately, there still isn’t much in the way of video on him. From personal accounts I’ve heard, he’s good. He’s big and strong and athletic and apparently came into his own last season as a junior. He’s considered the highest ranked NIU recruit since Abdel Nader. Coach Burno beat out other offers for Amos from Mount St. Mary’s, Loyola, Kent State, Indiana State, CSU Fullerton, UNC-Wilmington, and UIC.

Mamborou Mara - HS Senior - 6’7” - SF - Royal Crown Academic School (Toronto, ON - born in Conarky, Guinea) - Ok…here’s the type of offer that gets me to thinking. First of all, this kid could be a legend at NIU or he could completely fizzle out. I literally have no clue. His story (of what I can get by peeking around the edges of a paywall, is pretty remarkable. As noted, he’s from Guinea but fled the country during a coup and left his entire family (parents and 5 siblings) behind to play basketball in Toronto at Royal Crown. His dad had one piece of advice for him…be humble. Now…finding video of him is challenging. I’ve not yet found any from him playing at Royal Crown, but I have found one highlight package of him playing for his native country in the U18 Africa Tournament where he averaged 19.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.3 steals and 1.5 blocks. How many games? I’m not sure. Also, when I watch the video, he’s just bullying his opponents. He’s ridiculously athletic (he doesn’t look 6’7” to me on the video but the quality is terrible, it’s a year old and I have no idea how tall the other guys are…also, the video looks kind of compressed because there’s a guy who literally looks like he’s 5 feet tall…so there’s a lot of things…but everything else I’ve seen, including an article in the Toronto Star…says he’s 6’7”). He can fly and he just overpowers everyone on the court. He looks like a young Michael Jordan (and I say that knowing full well how that comes off) but again, I’m sure the talent in the U18 Africa Tournament is not good so, grains of salt and all. So, yeah, the outlook for this guy is a mystery. The Toronto Star says he’s getting attention from D-I schools but NIU is the only offer he’s received. I’m interested to see some other offers come in if for no other reason than to get some kind of gage on how coaches value him. But…until then…we’ll just have to wait and see and with NIU realistically only having 1 or 2 remaining scholarships available at this point, it’ll be interesting to see where Coach Burno focuses on the final additions.

Victor Panov - 6’7” (I’ve also seen 6”8” recently) - PF - HS Senior - 2* recruit from DME Academy (Daytona Beach, FL - born in Russia) - It’s hard to find much video of Panov at all. What I did find was mostly on Twitter but a lot of it is just repeated/retweeted stuff saying the same thing over and over. What I can say is Panov is strongly built and all of the articles I could find said he plays a physical game inside and runs the floor well and can step back and hit a 3. In a recent game against Rock Hoops (which, apparently is a good team but I have no idea) Panov scored 25 points (3 threes) to lead DME in the close loss.

I don’t know a ton about him but DME (and anything affiliated with them or buying into the program) is really promoting Panov as a hidden gem that is flying under the radar of D-1 coaches. Obviously, grain of salt and all. But there are some recent articles popping up about him (although most are just regurgitated from one article). This offer from NIU is Panov’s first D-1 offer. It’ll be interesting to see if others start to pop up with the social media push from DME.
(This post was last modified: 02-07-2022 01:56 PM by Big Red.)
01-11-2022 11:21 PM
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pantone1935 Offline
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RE: NIU Hoops Recruits for 2022-23
Thanks Big Red. Keep it up.

GO HUSKIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
01-12-2022 06:46 AM
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Big Redd Offline
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RE: NIU Hoops Recruits for 2022-23
Wow, what details! I like Jaylen Drane's game. Smooth scorer. Saw him live at the Pontiac tournament a few weeks ago against good talent in New Trier and Curie. Drane was all-tournament first team and led Simeon on a huge comeback against New Trier and championship over Curie.

Drane also played really well last night against Kenwood from what I've seen on Twitter. Anyone who's following high school hoops this year knows Kenwood/Simeon has top tier talent and will be right there behind Glenbard West for a state title run. If we land him he's coming in as one of those guys that's used to playing against the best, even nationally. Small but mighty fish big pond guy.
(This post was last modified: 01-12-2022 11:21 AM by Big Redd.)
01-12-2022 11:20 AM
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Big Red Offline
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Post: #10
RE: NIU Hoops Recruits for 2022-23
(01-12-2022 11:20 AM)Big Redd Wrote:  Wow, what details! I like Jaylen Drane's game. Smooth scorer. Saw him live at the Pontiac tournament a few weeks ago against good talent in New Trier and Curie. Drane was all-tournament first team and led Simeon on a huge comeback against New Trier and championship over Curie.

Drane also played really well last night against Kenwood from what I've seen on Twitter. Anyone who's following high school hoops this year knows Kenwood/Simeon has top tier talent and will be right there behind Glenbard West for a state title run. If we land him he's coming in as one of those guys that's used to playing against the best, even nationally. Small but mighty fish big pond guy.

That's great info. Thanks for sharing.

Yeah, my buddy is pretty connected to Chicago hoops but he also coaches so he doesn't get to see as many games as he used to but he did have vaguely good things to say about Drane but I think he refrained from being too positive because he hadn't seen him enough.

Anyway, thanks again for sharing some insight.
01-12-2022 12:11 PM
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Big Red Offline
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RE: NIU Hoops Recruits for 2022-23
(01-12-2022 11:20 AM)Big Redd Wrote:  Wow, what details! I like Jaylen Drane's game. Smooth scorer. Saw him live at the Pontiac tournament a few weeks ago against good talent in New Trier and Curie. Drane was all-tournament first team and led Simeon on a huge comeback against New Trier and championship over Curie.

Drane also played really well last night against Kenwood from what I've seen on Twitter. Anyone who's following high school hoops this year knows Kenwood/Simeon has top tier talent and will be right there behind Glenbard West for a state title run. If we land him he's coming in as one of those guys that's used to playing against the best, even nationally. Small but mighty fish big pond guy.

One other thing.

There are two future recruits on the board who have me intrigued and they both play for St. Rita. Kaiden Space is a quite small (5'10" if he's lucky...) junior guard and James Brown is a 6'8" sophomore and both are getting a lot of attention that I've seen.

Wondering if you've seen them play and what your thoughts are. My buddy was real high on Space but didn't recall ever seeing Brown.
01-12-2022 12:14 PM
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RE: NIU Hoops Recruits for 2022-23
(01-12-2022 12:14 PM)Big Red Wrote:  
(01-12-2022 11:20 AM)Big Redd Wrote:  Wow, what details! I like Jaylen Drane's game. Smooth scorer. Saw him live at the Pontiac tournament a few weeks ago against good talent in New Trier and Curie. Drane was all-tournament first team and led Simeon on a huge comeback against New Trier and championship over Curie.

Drane also played really well last night against Kenwood from what I've seen on Twitter. Anyone who's following high school hoops this year knows Kenwood/Simeon has top tier talent and will be right there behind Glenbard West for a state title run. If we land him he's coming in as one of those guys that's used to playing against the best, even nationally. Small but mighty fish big pond guy.

One other thing.

There are two future recruits on the board who have me intrigued and they both play for St. Rita. Kaiden Space is a quite small (5'10" if he's lucky...) junior guard and James Brown is a 6'8" sophomore and both are getting a lot of attention that I've seen.

Wondering if you've seen them play and what your thoughts are. My buddy was real high on Space but didn't recall ever seeing Brown.

Mugsy Bogues was shorter, just saying.
01-12-2022 12:31 PM
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RE: NIU Hoops Recruits for 2022-23
Big Red,

Thanks for the great research and write up. I hardly follow hoops but your posts are so informative that it creates interest for me. Keep up the good work!
01-12-2022 01:07 PM
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RE: NIU Hoops Recruits for 2022-23
(01-12-2022 12:31 PM)NIUAlum90 Wrote:  
(01-12-2022 12:14 PM)Big Red Wrote:  
(01-12-2022 11:20 AM)Big Redd Wrote:  Wow, what details! I like Jaylen Drane's game. Smooth scorer. Saw him live at the Pontiac tournament a few weeks ago against good talent in New Trier and Curie. Drane was all-tournament first team and led Simeon on a huge comeback against New Trier and championship over Curie.

Drane also played really well last night against Kenwood from what I've seen on Twitter. Anyone who's following high school hoops this year knows Kenwood/Simeon has top tier talent and will be right there behind Glenbard West for a state title run. If we land him he's coming in as one of those guys that's used to playing against the best, even nationally. Small but mighty fish big pond guy.

One other thing.

There are two future recruits on the board who have me intrigued and they both play for St. Rita. Kaiden Space is a quite small (5'10" if he's lucky...) junior guard and James Brown is a 6'8" sophomore and both are getting a lot of attention that I've seen.

Wondering if you've seen them play and what your thoughts are. My buddy was real high on Space but didn't recall ever seeing Brown.

Mugsy Bogues was shorter, just saying.

Nate Robinson!
01-12-2022 01:11 PM
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Big Red Offline
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RE: NIU Hoops Recruits for 2022-23
(01-12-2022 12:31 PM)NIUAlum90 Wrote:  
(01-12-2022 12:14 PM)Big Red Wrote:  
(01-12-2022 11:20 AM)Big Redd Wrote:  Wow, what details! I like Jaylen Drane's game. Smooth scorer. Saw him live at the Pontiac tournament a few weeks ago against good talent in New Trier and Curie. Drane was all-tournament first team and led Simeon on a huge comeback against New Trier and championship over Curie.

Drane also played really well last night against Kenwood from what I've seen on Twitter. Anyone who's following high school hoops this year knows Kenwood/Simeon has top tier talent and will be right there behind Glenbard West for a state title run. If we land him he's coming in as one of those guys that's used to playing against the best, even nationally. Small but mighty fish big pond guy.

One other thing.

There are two future recruits on the board who have me intrigued and they both play for St. Rita. Kaiden Space is a quite small (5'10" if he's lucky...) junior guard and James Brown is a 6'8" sophomore and both are getting a lot of attention that I've seen.

Wondering if you've seen them play and what your thoughts are. My buddy was real high on Space but didn't recall ever seeing Brown.

Mugsy Bogues was shorter, just saying.

Correct. And the NBA is legendary for having tons guys who are shorter than 6 foot.
01-12-2022 01:18 PM
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klake87 Offline
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RE: NIU Hoops Recruits for 2022-23
Big Ted, could you add favorite foods, color, music etc. I think analysis lacks detail
01-12-2022 02:20 PM
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RE: NIU Hoops Recruits for 2022-23
(01-12-2022 01:18 PM)Big Red Wrote:  
(01-12-2022 12:31 PM)NIUAlum90 Wrote:  
(01-12-2022 12:14 PM)Big Red Wrote:  
(01-12-2022 11:20 AM)Big Redd Wrote:  Wow, what details! I like Jaylen Drane's game. Smooth scorer. Saw him live at the Pontiac tournament a few weeks ago against good talent in New Trier and Curie. Drane was all-tournament first team and led Simeon on a huge comeback against New Trier and championship over Curie.

Drane also played really well last night against Kenwood from what I've seen on Twitter. Anyone who's following high school hoops this year knows Kenwood/Simeon has top tier talent and will be right there behind Glenbard West for a state title run. If we land him he's coming in as one of those guys that's used to playing against the best, even nationally. Small but mighty fish big pond guy.

One other thing.

There are two future recruits on the board who have me intrigued and they both play for St. Rita. Kaiden Space is a quite small (5'10" if he's lucky...) junior guard and James Brown is a 6'8" sophomore and both are getting a lot of attention that I've seen.

Wondering if you've seen them play and what your thoughts are. My buddy was real high on Space but didn't recall ever seeing Brown.

Mugsy Bogues was shorter, just saying.

Correct. And the NBA is legendary for having tons guys who are shorter than 6 foot.

Nate "Tiny" Archibold!

Led the league in scoring AND ASSISTS!!!!!!

How about that!!!!!???

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kOtrkLF...hanieCheng

Today's players should learn -- (See also Pistol Pete Maravich as a guy that could score AND dish out assists! )
01-12-2022 02:33 PM
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RE: NIU Hoops Recruits for 2022-23
(01-12-2022 11:20 AM)Big Redd Wrote:  Wow, what details! I like Jaylen Drane's game. Smooth scorer. Saw him live at the Pontiac tournament a few weeks ago against good talent in New Trier and Curie. Drane was all-tournament first team and led Simeon on a huge comeback against New Trier and championship over Curie.

Drane also played really well last night against Kenwood from what I've seen on Twitter. Anyone who's following high school hoops this year knows Kenwood/Simeon has top tier talent and will be right there behind Glenbard West for a state title run. If we land him he's coming in as one of those guys that's used to playing against the best, even nationally. Small but mighty fish big pond guy.

Pontiac. Man, I love going down to the tournament. Jaylen Drane would be an outstanding get, but, he is drawing a lot of attention now.
01-12-2022 02:40 PM
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RE: NIU Hoops Recruits for 2022-23
Thanks for the insights Big Red!
01-13-2022 07:26 AM
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RE: NIU Hoops Recruits for 2022-23
Big Red- love to get your take on Minnesota transfer Martice Mitchell who is coming in (I hope) for next year.
01-13-2022 09:09 AM
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