July 12, 2014

Atlanta: Hudson puts on a show

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ATLANTA -- For the third straight day, Rivals.com took in action at two different events in the metro Atlanta area. We started the day at the Battle of the Best presented by My Lineage of Champions where a four-star prospect showed out and finished the day back at the Elite 32 where there were several standout performances.


In one of the more impressive performances of the day, the Southern Stampede put a thumping on the Tennessee Chosen Few. The Stampede, coached by Pat Harper, ran their offensive sets flawlessly from start to finish, scoring 50 in the first half coming just short of 100 for the game.

A huge chunk of the Stampede's scoring came from their starting backcourt, Ty Hudson and Jared Harper. Hudson, who had head coaches from Clemson and Virginia Tech eyeing him along with assistants from several other high-majors, led the way with 30 points. More importantly for Hudson, he proved to the coaches in attendance he could knock down shots from 3-point range. If he can continue to make those shots and combine that with his ability to attack the rim with his big, strong body, he has a chance to become a very good player at the high-major level.

Harper doesn't get the national recognition that Hudson gets, but he's more than capable of lighting up the scoreboard. The 5-foot-7 guard finished with a very loud 28 points, 20 of which came in the first half. Being so short, most of his points usually come from 3-point range and they did tonight too, but he showed some craftiness scoring off the dribble using a floater in the paint and going high off the glass. According to his father, Richmond, Old Dominion and Kennesaw State have offered with interest coming in from Georgia State, Kansas State, Clemson, Brown and Penn.

Perhaps the biggest surprise so far this recruiting period for the Stampede is the play of power forward Derek Ogbeide. The 6-foot-9 Canada native entered the week as somebody that college coaches couldn't wait to get a look at, and many of them have come away liking what they see. With great strength and athleticism, Ogbeide has great hands, a motor that's always running and a developing offensive game. He's been a double-double machine this week and also swats a few shots every game. Just this week, he's added offers from Memphis, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt joining a list that already included Houston, Tulane, Kennesaw State and Murray State. With a large contingent of high-major coaches on hand for his Thursday night game, expect that list to continue to grow.


With Mark Fox, Brad Brownell and Shaka Smart on hand to see him play in a morning game, Carolina Wolves wing Tevin Mack wasted no time showing everybody in attendance why those coaches were there. From the opening tip until buzzer sounded at the end of the game, the four-star prospect scored and did so in a variety of ways.

In the past, Mack scored most of his points playing off the ball in catch-and-shoot situations. With top teammate Seventh Woods out due to an injury, Mack had the ball in his hands for most of the game and had to create his own offense. While he is not the most athletic player around, Mack makes up for it by changing speeds and using angles to get his shots off. With range out to 23 feet, his ability to score in at all three levels makes him a tough matchup for defenders.

Clemson, Georgia and VCU made statements to Mack today by sending the head coach to watch him and they are the three schools mentioned the most in regards to his recruitment. He says California and Cincinnati are the most recent schools to begin recruiting him.


This time of year can be really stressful for all college coaches, but it can be unbearable for mid-major coaches hoping their top targets heading into July don't play their way into earning high-major offers. For several mid-major programs in the southeast, that just might be happening with Alabama Challenge guard Dazon Ingram.

The 6-foot-5 combo guard put on a very impressive performance in a Friday afternoon game against Hoop Dreams (Ky.). He's got terrific size and athleticism for a guard and gets to the rim at will where he can rise above defenders for some pretty flashy dunks. The biggest question mark surrounding his game coming into this week was whether he could make shots. While he's not going to be mistaken for Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry any time soon, he did connect on some jump shots showing that he's making progress in that department.

Offers are in from Houston, Western Kentucky, Louisiana Tech, UAB and Wichita State. Ingram says N.C. State, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Alabama and Georgia are showing interest.


Team Charlotte shooting guard Ray Kowalski had a great game on Friday morning in a lopsided win over the Southern Kings. He came off the bench and scored 15 points and didn't take too long to do it. Only a 2016 prospect, he certainly made an impression on the college coaches in attendance with his ability to shoot the ball from deep.

Team Speights forward Sajon Ford showed some high-major potential in a Friday morning matchup with the Carolina Wolves. The 6-foot-8 Florida native opened the game by knocking down back to back 3-pointers. Clemson, Georgia and Tennessee are some of the schools monitoring his progress.

Ford's teammate Mark Matthews had a strong showing on Friday morning as well. The 6-foot-6 wing shoots the ball at a very high level and finishes very well around the rim despite not being an overwhelming athlete.

Hoops Dreams 16U shooting guard Eli Wright is one of the better athletes in Atlanta this weekend. He'll need to continue to develop his overall skill-set, but he's a very intriguing prospect. Indiana has already offered the 2016 guard.


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