High-SchoolBoys-Basketball: Brewster Academy

Brewster sweeps Tilton; Oak Hill makes history

February, 23, 2012
2/23/12
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Wayne SeldenLori Young/ESPNHSWayne Selden is Tilton's best guard, but the Rams aren't sure when he'll return from his sprained ankle injury.
Aaron Thomas scored 19 points and Jakarr Sampson added 11 points and 14 rebounds to help Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.) escape with a 60-56 win over Tilton (N.H.) on Feb. 20.

With the win, the Bobcats (28-0) completed the regular season sweep (3-0) of rival Tilton (25-6).

Georges Niang did all he could to keep the Rams close, scoring 32 points and grabbing eight rebounds, but he didn’t get much help. Nerlens Noel got held to just eight points in the loss.

Still, Noel, the top ranked player in the ESPNU 100, can sense that there will be a chance for payback in the coming weeks.

“I think we’ll play them again,” Noel said. “They’re a great team and we’re a great team. I think we’ll see them again in the tournament championship.”

If they do face Brewster again, it likely will be without sophomore shooting guard Wayne Selden, who severely sprained his ankle during practice three weeks ago.

Selden has yet to return and is currently on crutches with a walking boot.

“I don’t know when I’ll be back,” said Selden, who is ranked No. 6 in the ESPNU 25. “Hopefully soon.”

Warriors make history

With its 73-51 win over Flora Macdonald (Red Springs, N.C.) on Feb. 18, Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) broke a school record for wins in a season with 41. After knocking off Shenandoah Valley Christian (Stephens City, Va.) on Feb. 21, the Warriors are now 42-0.

The Warriors, the top ranked team in the POWERADE FAB 50, have posted 40 wins three times (2006, 2007 and 2009). The 2006 and 2007 unit lost its final game while the 2007 unit finished No. 1 in the FAB 50.

“It feels amazing to be 42-0,” said Warriors’ point guard Tyler Lewis, a McDonald’s All-American who is committed to North Carolina State. “It feels great to break records especially at Oak Hill. We’ve made history and hopefully we can win another championship. We’ve worked so hard to get to this point. Now we’re hoping we can achieve our goal by getting a ring.”

Oak Hill has two regular-season games left before heading to China where they will play nine games against international competition.

NBPA Camp Has New Personnel Director

Former NBA player and coach John Lucas II is the new director of player personnel for the National Basketball Players Association's Top 100 camp.

A three-time All-American at the University of Maryland, Lucas was the No. 1 pick of the 1976 NBA Draft and played in the league for 14 years. He's also been the head coach of three NBA teams and has experience executing summer camps for high school and middle school-aged players.

He will be responsible for securing players for the 19th annual camp, a key summer evaluation stop held June 13-17 at the University of Virginia.

Lucas takes over the player personnel role previously held by Dave Telep, the senior basketball recruiting analyst for ESPN.com. Telep was in that role for three years after taking over for Bob Gibbons of All-Star Sports.

Brewster too much for Tilton

January, 15, 2012
1/15/12
10:22
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – In what was easily the most heated, lively and intense matchup thus far in the Spalding Hoophall Classic, Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.) got 23 points from Aaron Thomas and Jakarr Sampson added 13 points and seven rebounds to help the Bobcats sneak away with a 57-53 win over Tilton (Tilton, N.H.) Sunday in Springfield, Mass.

It’s the second time the Bobcats have beaten the Rams this year. The first was an 84-78 overtime win on Dec. 10.

Read about Brewster’s big win over Tilton at the Hoophall here.

Tilton eager to avenge Brewster loss

January, 14, 2012
1/14/12
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Wayne Selden can anticipate that it’s coming, and he’s prepared to be proactive in order to explain.

“You wanna talk about the loss to Brewster Academy?” he asked. “Maaan, that was a crazy game.”

Wayne Selden
Lori Young/ESPNHSWayne Selden said Tilton's transition game gives it the best chance to beat Brewster.
Selden goes on to list the reasons Tilton (N.H.) fell in overtime, 84-78, at Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.) on Dec. 11. He reels off everything from the calls not going the Rams’ way to the fact that they were missing shooting guard Dominique Bull, a senior who has signed with Missouri.

Then there’s that whole conspiracy theory about the Rams actually winning at the end of regulation per the stat sheet. Selden said he was told by a scorekeeper that Tilton should have actually won by one after the fourth quarter.

Home cooking?

“I know it sounds like a lot of excuses,” said Selden, a sophomore shooting guard who is ranked No. 10 in the ESPNU 25. “But that really added to why we didn’t win. I admit, though, we still should’ve won the game. I cannot wait to play them again. I want to play them right now. Let’s go to the gym now.”

He won’t have to wait long.

Round 2 of the bitter, intense rivalry will commence at the Spalding Hoophall Classic on Sunday at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN.

“We definitely don’t make excuses, but that game was, let’s just say, different,” said Tilton center Nerlens Noel, a junior who is ranked No. 2 in the ESPNU 60. “I think being on a neutral court, the outcome will be a lot different. Either way, it will be very intense.”

Brewster Academy senior swingman T.J. Warren lit Tilton up for 32 points in the overtime win, and over the last month he’s heard all of the excuses that the Tilton players gave for the loss. But Warren anticipates more of the same.

“It will be another intense game with a lot of trash talking I’m sure,” said Warren, an NC State signee who is ranked No. 23 in the ESPNU 100. “I know both teams will give their best shot. The only difference this time is we want to beat them by 30. That’s just our mindset.”

The Bobcats weren’t far from that in the first meeting, leading by as many as 22 points in the first half before the Rams staged a furious comeback to force overtime. That’s all the proof Noel needed to convince himself that Tilton could come away with the win Sunday.

Noel and Selden have yet to win against Brewster in their two years at Tilton.

“We turned it on when we needed to, but then I fouled out before the end of the fourth quarter,” Noel said. “I know the game would’ve gone different had I not fouled out. I can’t remember fouling out of a game in forever, but I fouled out there. But like I said, we’ll just have to leave no doubt about who’s better this time. It’s what a rivalry is all about.”

Brewster Academy coach Jason Smith downplays the whole idea of a rivalry with Tilton, pointing out that New Hampton Prep (N.H.) is the Bobcats' true rival.

“That’s not to knock Tilton, but it’s just another game for us,” Smith said. “We’ve been fortunate enough to be ranked No. 1 all year among polls that include five-year prep schools. Tilton is obviously a great team, but we look at it as an opportunity to prove that we’re the top team in the country.”

Selden and Noel have the same goal, and the fact that they could potentially do it on national TV “is just the icing on the cake.”

“We couldn’t have asked for a better scenario,” Selden said. “This game is something that I have been so ready for after the last one. No more talking after this one. We’ll let the whole country decide who’s better.”

Jason Jordan is the basketball editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at jason.x.jordan.-ND@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @JayJayESPN.

Final sales pitches for McGary

November, 2, 2011
11/02/11
1:43
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Related Link: McGary Blog: Ready To Decide

As the country waits to hear Mitch McGary announce where he’s decided to play college ball, recruits who are committed to his final three schools – Michigan, Duke and Florida – have decided to take one last stab at selling McGary on their future schools.

Makes sense since McGary told ESPNHS that, contrary to popular belief, he’s still undecided.

Here are the sales pitches:
Rasheed
Scott Kurtz/ESPNHSDuke recruit Rasheed Sulaimon thinks the Blue Devils are a no-brainer for Mitch McGary.
“Join the Evil Empire.”
Rasheed Sulaimon
, Strake Jesuit (Houston), 2012, SG
Committed to: Duke
“Mitch, you definitely need to be a Blue Devil because you're absolutely a Duke player. You fit into our style really well and with the guys we’ll have coming in we’ll be able to accomplish some really big things. I think we can win a national championship our freshman year with all of the talent that we’ll have on the team and compete for multiple titles after that. Also, Mitch, it doesn’t get better than playing for Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski). He’s the USA Basketball coach and he’s linked to every great basketball player in the NBA. Plus he’s about to be the all-time winningest coach in college basketball history. Who else can say that? Why wouldn’t you want to play for the best coach and the best program? Plus, the social life at Duke is great. We’ve got the most dedicated fans in the world. What are you waiting for?”

“Bring the Wolverines back to the Fab Five days.”
Glenn Robinson III
, Lake Central (St. John, Ind.), 2012, SF
Committed to: Michigan
“Mitch, please come to Michigan man. We’ve been playing together for years in AAU and we’ve combined to do big things on that level. I know we’ll only continue it in college. We’ll have a top five recruiting class and we’ll bring Michigan back to the Fab Five days. We’ll change the whole program around and bring them back to national title contenders if you come. Plus, Michigan is one of the most fun campuses in the country. All of the students are so supportive of the basketball program. All of the students know everything about you. You’ll get so much more attention here. We’ve got a great academic reputation, of course, and we’ve got some of the best looking girls in the country. Everything that you want and need is here at Michigan.”

“No-brainer to be a Gator.”
Braxton Ogbueze
, United Faith Christian Academy (Charlotte, N.C.), 2012, PG
Committed to: Florida
“Mitch, Florida is where you need to be because it’s a great fit for you. Coach (Billy) Donovan is the best coach that you can possibly be coached by. He knows how to work his guards and big men together perfectly and there’s no better place than Florida. Think about it, millions of people come to Florida every year for vacation so why wouldn’t you want to spend your college career here? It would be a smart decision to come here because you’ll get better and you’ll win and you’ll be in a great location around great people. Then you’ve got the great weather and the young ladies here are beautiful. Second to none.”

Jason Jordan is the basketball editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at jason.x.jordan.-ND@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @JayJayESPN

Mitch's Memos: D-Day looms

November, 2, 2011
11/02/11
1:42
AM ET
Mitch McGaryKelly Kline/ESPNHSESPNHS Student Blogger: Mitch McGary
Mitch McGary | Senior | Forward | Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.)

Mitch McGary is the top-ranked power forward in the ESPNU 100. Headed into his senior season at Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.), McGary has narrowed his list of colleges to Duke, Florida and Michigan. McGary has agreed to give ESPNHS exclusive access by chronicling his thoughts on everything from his recruitment to pop culture in a blog.

McGary Blog 1 | McGary Blog 2 | McGary Blog 3 | McGary Blog 4 | Recruits Give McGary A Final Sales Pitch

What’s up world, it’s your boy Mitch aka White Thunder, and I’m back, as promised, with a new blog entry before my big decision tomorrow on ESPNU.

First, before I even get to that, I’ve got to say that we had our first practice tonight and things went really well. I think we’ll have another great season. We’re ranked as the No. 1 prep school in the country in the preseason and I think we’ll have a chance to live up to that after seeing how hard the guys were going at today’s practice.

I want to let you guys in on exactly what I’m thinking right now as I get ready to decide and, honestly, right now I’m thinking about my final three schools -- Florida, Michigan and Duke -- and I’m weighing out the pros and cons on each of them.

First, you’ve got Florida.

I really like the coaching staff there. Billy Donovan and John Pelphrey have done a great job recruiting me, and I know that I’d be successful there just looking at their track record of putting big men in the NBA. Guys like Joakim Noah, David Lee, Al Horford ...

I think playing in that system would be great for me because Coach Donovan is known to let his big men get the ball on a rebound and take it coast-to-coast. I know that I would really thrive in that offense.

One con is that I didn’t get a feeling of comfort there. I know that I would be comfortable there over time, but that’s something that I’ve been thinking about.

Next up, you’ve got Michigan.
Mitch McGary
Kelly Kline/ESPNHSMitch McGary continues to weigh his options.

What I really like about Michigan is its coaching staff, especially Bacari Alexander. He’s probably one of the most underrated coaches in the country. He really knows what he’s doing with the big men.

I just like that I can trust the coaches there, and I actually like that they’re not on the biggest stage yet. That gives me the opportunity to go there and make a huge impact from day one.

A con for Michigan is that the Big Ten has a reputation for being a slow-paced conference with slow big men who don’t really get out and run the floor at all. That’s not the way that I want to play, so I’ve definitely got to take that into consideration. I know that if I went there it would help change the perceptions a lot.

Then you’ve got Duke.

I just loved everything about Duke when I went on my visit. They’re coached by the legendary Mike Krzyzewski, who I’ve developed a great relationship with and have a great deal of respect for. He’s about, to me, the winningest coach in college history, and no one else can say that.

I really liked the whole staff there and I really bonded with the players during my visit, too. Those guys are my boys. I really like their style of play, too. It’s an NBA offense, so that’s definitely attractive.

The con for Duke would be the perception that all their big men do is set screens and rebound and that they don’t get a lot of touches.

However, I know that if I went there I’d change that up because they mapped out how they want to use me and involve me in the offense, which is appealing.

So you can see how stressful this decision is on me with all of the things that I’m thinking about even as I do this blog. It’s been really stressful on my parents, too. They don’t really know how to deal with all of the coaches calling them, and all of their friends constantly asking where their son is going gets to be a lot at times.

But I’m lucky to have my parents there for me at all times. I love my parents to death and I really thank them for always being there for me. That means a lot to me. I don’t take it for granted.

I haven’t heard from any coaches lately. They have let me have my time to think things out after I talked to all three about a week and a half ago.

Honestly, all three of these schools are the right choice. I can’t lose with any of these programs, which is what makes this decision so tough.

I don’t know where I’m heading at this point and obviously there are a lot of analysts out there that are saying I do, but it’s not true.

Hopefully I’ll figure it out within the next 24 hours.

As you guys know I always give a music review in my blogs and I didn’t do one last time so I wanted to give you guys a heads up about one of my favorite artists coming out in a couple weeks. Drake is dropping his album “Take Care” and it’s definitely going to be one that you’re gonna want to buy.

Also, Wale’s new album came out today and I’m actually about to go download that right now so I’ll let you know how that is next time. Then you’ve got Mac Miller coming out with an album next week, too.

So there are definitely a lot of great albums coming out that I’ll be reviewing soon.

OK guys, that’s all I’ve got for now. I want to give a shoutout to all of my fans who have continued to support me. I really appreciate that more than you guys know.

Thanks everyone.

Don't forget to follow McGary on Twitter: @MitchMcGary33

Mitch's Memos: Eyeing a decision

October, 27, 2011
10/27/11
1:43
AM ET
Mitch McGaryKelly Kline/ESPNHSESPNHS Student Blogger: Mitch McGary
Mitch McGary | Senior | Forward | Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.)

Mitch McGary is the top-ranked power forward in the ESPNU 100. Headed into his senior season at Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.), McGary, has narrowed his list of colleges to Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, Florida, Maryland and Michigan. McGary has agreed to give ESPNHS exclusive access by chronicling his thoughts on everything from his recruitment to pop culture in a blog.

McGary Blog 1 | McGary Blog 2 | McGary Blog 3

What’s up world!

It’s your boy big Mitch again checking in with my latest blog entry.

I really appreciate all you guys’ support reading my blog and hitting me up on Twitter throughout this whole process. To be honest, it’s been really stressful and, at times, it’s been hard on my family.

That’s why, a few weeks ago, I just shut everything down when I went home and didn’t do anything but hang out with my girlfriend and friends and family and just laid low. It was really good to just get that time to myself. It was much needed.

Now I’m back at Brewster and I’m feeling really good about school and the up-and-coming season. We start practice officially next Tuesday and our first game is on November 7. So I’m really excited about that.

I know my boy T.J. Warren is deciding on his college next week so that will be good for him. I know people thought that he and I could go to North Carolina together, but they just got a commitment from Brice Johnson on Wednesday so I don’t know if they have any scholarships left for me or T.J.

I haven’t talked to UNC lately so I don’t know. They’re still on my list though.

I would assume, and I really don’t know for sure, that T.J. would like to go to one of those schools that are close to his home in N.C. That’s just my guess. He would play well in anyone’s offense because he’s a scorer for sure so he can’t go wrong.

Mitch McGary
Kelly Kline/ESPNHSMitch McGary continues to weigh his options.

As for my recruitment, I’ve got some big news for you guys. T.J.’s not the only one committing next week.

I’m planning to make my commitment next week sometime too.

I can honestly say that right now I don’t know where I’m going so anything you read that says I do isn’t true. I already talked to my man Jason Jordan from ESPNHS and let him know that I want to do another blog before I make my announcement just to get all of my thoughts out and clear my mind so I can make the best decision possible.

At this point, I’m focusing on Florida, Duke and Michigan.

I love Maryland, but I just don’t think that it’s the best fit for me and I’m still looking at North Carolina, but, like I said, I don’t really know what’s going on with their scholarship situation after their latest commitments.

Obviously, I’ve got some great options, but this next week I’ll really be doing a lot of thinking about what the perfect situation for me will be.

Well, I know I’ve given you all a lot in this blog so I’m going to end it here.

Don’t forget you’ll hear from me again next week in my blog before I make my commitment so check back for that.

Take care everyone.

Don't forget to follow McGary on Twitter: @MitchMcGary33

Mitch's Memos: Options overload

October, 3, 2011
10/03/11
1:57
AM ET
Mitch McGaryKelly Kline/ESPNHSESPNHS Student Blogger: Mitch McGary
Mitch McGary | Senior | Forward | Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.)

Mitch McGary is the top-ranked power forward in the ESPNU 100. Headed into his senior season at Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.), McGary, has narrowed his list of colleges to Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, Florida, Maryland and Michigan. McGary has agreed to give ESPNHS exclusive access by chronicling his thoughts on everything from his recruitment to pop culture in a blog.

McGary Blog 1 | McGary Blog 2

What’s up, world! It’s your boy, Mitch a.k.a. “White Chocolate” a.k.a. “White Thunder.”

First, before I start I just want everyone to know that everything in this blog is 100 percent me. No one writes for me or speaks for me. People come up with the craziest rumors sometimes.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I started school about two weeks ago and so far everything’s going really well. I’ve got a pretty tough schedule, but I’m getting really good help from my teachers. They break it down really well so I’m learning a lot.

I’m so excited about the up-and-coming season because we are gonna be loaded. We’ve got Semaj Christon and Jaylen Reyonlds, and I think both of those guys are gonna have big years. Both are committed to Xavier and, trust me, Xavier got great pickups there. Then we’ve got one of my best friends Jakarr Sampson back with us. He recently de-committed from St. John’s, but he’s definitely gonna help us out a lot this year.

We’ve also got T.J. Warren, and I think he and I will be a deadly duo once we get our chemistry down pat. We’ve never played together and so it takes a little time to get on the same page, but it’s definitely gonna happen. Once our team gets on one accord we’ll definitely be ready to challenge for a national championship.

The last time I wrote, I’d gone on visits to Michigan, North Carolina and Duke.

I haven’t been on any visits since then.

I know there are a lot of rumors out there that I’ve already committed to certain schools, but I can honestly tell you guys that I don’t know where I want to go. I have not committed anywhere so that’s just not true.

I have had a lot of the schools on my list come to the school to see me.

Duke has been up here the most. I really like what Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski) has been talking to me about. He’s about to be the all-time winningest coach in NCAA history and that’s just really impressive to me. That’s something that stays on my mind. After Duke, Michigan has been here to see me the second most and I know that Michigan will be good too. They’re in the rebuilding stage and Coach (John) Beilein is another guy I really respect and like. They’re moving up in the rankings too.

Mitch McGary
Kelly Kline/ESPNHSMitch McGary continues to weigh his options.

Maryland has probably visited me the third most and I really like their program and think they’re headed in the right direction. Also, Coach (Billy) Donovan was up here a couple weeks ago and he’s done a really good job showing me what he’s done in the last few years developing talent. I really like what he’s been saying.

North Carolina has been up here too. They just got a commitment from Joel James, which will be a great situation for him. I want to definitely give Joel a shoutout.

As far as more visits, I don’t think I’ll be making any. I’m not gonna go to Kentucky’s Midnight Madness, I feel like I have all the information that I need to start to think about a decision. Within the next month I hope to have a decision made.

This decision will be really hard to say the least. I’m gonna let you guys in on a few things I’ll be thinking about throughout the process.

To start off, Duke has a lot to offer. They’ve got the Plumlees there, but Miles is a senior and Mason has a really good chance at going pro after this season. Then they’ve got their younger brother Marshall, who is very, very tall and skilled. I think I could go in there and make a great duo with Marshall and we could make a lot of noise together. I love that Duke likes to get out in transition and run too. That’s a big plus.

Then you’ve got Michigan. I look at who they’ve got coming in and I know they’re in a rebuilding situation, but I know that’s a situation where I could really come in and make a strong footprint. I feel like I could really help them and have a strong season there as a freshman. I like the Big Ten because it’s known for having blue-collar type players, but the pace tends to be a little slower. I love to go to work in the paint, but I like to get out and run more so with Michigan that’s something that I’ll have to really look at.

Then North Carolina has some great guys coming in with Marcus Paige and J.P. Tokoto and now Joel James. People think that me and T.J. have some sort of package deal going on for North Carolina, but that’s not true at all. I do think about playing with T.J. in college and of course we’re both considering North Carolina so I guess that’s where it comes from. I will say this though, I’ve definitely thought about it.

Carolina likes for their big men to get out in transition and run the floor, which is what I want to do.

With Maryland, I love that they fed the post a lot last year with Jordan Williams. They also get out in transition. Same with Florida, they play a really fast tempo.

So as you all can see, this won’t be an easy decision. I do know that whenever I commit I’m gonna be one of those guys that recruits for the school I pick. I definitely won’t force the school on guys I’ll just brag about it a lot.

OK, so you know it’s time for my music review and I’ve got to tell you all that Jay-Z and Kanye’s album “Watch the Throne” is definitely something that you’ve got to have on your play lists.

I just love the way they incorporate other artists like the song “Otis.” It gives you that old school mixed in with today’s music. I think that’s pretty dope.

Of course it’s Jay and Kanye so the lyrics are crazy too. I think that this one will go down as an all-time classic just because it’s a quality album and it’s by those two rap heavyweights.

The other album I want to tell you all about is J. Cole’s “Cole World: The Sideline Story.” I just got it recently, but that album is great. It’s one of those albums that you can just let play through and you don’t have to skip any songs on it.

J. Cole is a deep rapper and he raps about real life situations that most of us can relate to on some level. He’s a great lyricist too. That’s a definite buy so go pick that one up too.

OK, guys well as always I truly appreciate you taking the time to read my blog. As I said, I’m taking this time to talk things over with my family and weigh out what the best decision for me will be. You've got people out there saying I've decided and there's a leader and that's NOT true.

I want to shoutout all of my fans on Twitter. I appreciate you all cheering me on and sending me messages. That means a lot to me.

Take care everyone and check back soon for my next entry.

Don't forget to follow McGary on Twitter: @MitchMcGary33

Offseason Offerings: Mitch McGary

September, 27, 2011
9/27/11
11:35
PM ET
With the offseason in full effect, ballers around the country have begun what is widely regarded as one of the most grueling grind modes of the year as they prepare for the up-and-coming season.

Every week we’ll profile one of the top players in the country and have them dish on one of their most unorthodox training methods and explain why it’s been so beneficial.

Next up?

Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.) forward Mitch McGary.

The Drill: Exploding speed dunks
McGary
Kelly Kline/ESPNHSMitch McGary said explosion is one of the keys to being effective in the paint.
The Rundown: “What I do is place two balls on the block and when the clock starts I have to bend down and grab one ball and dunk it. Then I grab the next ball and dunk it.

All the while I have two people rebounding for me and placing the balls back on the block. I get 30 seconds to see how many dunks I can do and then I bump it up to a minute. I get about 18 dunks in 30 seconds, but I try to improve each time.”

The benefit: “This drill is great for explosion and power. At my position it’s crucial to be able to be quick off of your feet and go up strong. That means you’ve got to have strong legs and this drill will give you that. It’s one of the best drills that I do.”

Jason Jordan is the basketball editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at jason.x.jordan.-ND@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @JayJayESPN

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