basketball Edit

LIVE: Bossi's Blog from second live period Saturday

Coaches take in Saturday's action
Coaches take in Saturday's action

EMERSON, Ga. – Who are college basketball's top coaches watching during the Second live period in the Atlanta area? Which players are taking off? National Basketball Analyst Eric Bossi is live from the Adidas Gauntlet and the On the Radar Hoops Sweet Sixteen with his Saturday blog.

MORE: Bossi's Saturday takeaways | Evans' Saturday takeaways | No. 1 Jalen Green talks recruiting and NBA

RANKINGS: 2018 Rivals150 | 2019 Rivals150 | 2020 Rivals150 | 2018 Team | 2018 Position



Penny Hardaway was among the crowd watching Game Elite and Team Faith
Penny Hardaway was among the crowd watching Game Elite and Team Faith

When Game Elite and Team Faith took the floor, there was no shortage of star power. The coaching crowd followed.

Game Elite features five-star Kentucky bound point guard Ashton Hagans while Team Faith counters with five-star 2020 wing Greg Brown.

Brown has good help with players like 2019 twins Jordan Turner and Jalyn Turner while Hagans has great help in the form of Rivals150 wings Elias King and Josh Nickelberry, four-star combo forward Jaylin Williams and Rivals150 forward Kobe Brown plus potential Rivals150 big man Issa Muhammad. That supporting cast for Hagans made a huge different.

I've watched Hagans twice this weekend and both teams he's elected not to shoot much, if at all. The future John Calipari point guard did rack up 11 assists (after 10 last night) and was content to let his teammates do their thing. For Team Faith, Brown played way above the rim while Jordan Turner got hot and made a bunch of threes late to keep things close.

Maybe most impressive was the coaching crowd drawn by the group. Included among those watching were Memphis (Penny Hardaway), Georgia Tech (Josh Pastner), Texas A&M (Billy Kennedy), UTEP (Rodney Terry), Texas, Baylor, Auburn, LSU, Ohio State, Seton Hall, Purdue, Wake Forest, Kentucky, Cincinnati, Georgia, Oregon State, North Carolina, West Virginia, Michigan, Northwestern, Clemson, UT San Antonio, Minnesota, Marquette, Missouri and Ole Miss among others.


Marjon Beauchamp
Marjon Beauchamp

Despite being ranked in 2020's top 25, shooting guard Marjon Beauchamp from Seattle doesn't yet have a big national profile. His time is coming. Soon.

All arms and legs and pushing 6-foot-6, Beauchamp is a smooth ball handling, quick and athletic wing with a jump shot that will be a weapon as he adds strength. Playing with Team Bradley Northwest Panthers, he stands out as a player with huge upside.

Not surprisingly, Washington has offered and so has Arizona. Montana, Cal Poly, Marquette, Eastern Washington, Seattle and Florida State have stepped up as well.

Washington, Arizona, Washington State, Oregon State, Cal (Wyking Jones) and more were among those watching on Saturday and the expectation is that things will start to pick up for him soon.


Jamon Kemp
Jamon Kemp

Usually, children of former professional stars suffer from too much exposure. For class of 2019 shooting guard Jamon Kemp, it's the opposite.

The son of former NBA star Shawn Kemp, the 6-foot-4 shooting guard for the Team Bradley Northwest Panthers appears to be one of the more under recruited players in the country.

Not surprisingly Kemp is a big time athlete, but he's also turned into a solid ball handler, good open jump shooter and he has the tools to be a high level defender. So far, Montana is his lone offer and he's gotten some Pac 12 interest from Oregon State, Washington State, Oregon and more to go along with Pepperdine and Gonzaga.

Kemp is too good to not pick up more scholarships and did draw coaches like Pepperdine's Lorenzo Romar, UTEP's Rodney Terry, and assistants from many West Coast schools.


Jalen Wilson
Jalen Wilson

Top 40 forward Jalen Wilson isn't saying that he's down to five schools and he isn't ready to shut things down, but he did say on Saturday at the Adidas Gauntlet that five programs appear to be prioritizing him.

The skilled forward said that Baylor, Kansas, Marquette, Michigan and North Carolina have been putting in the most work. Not surprisingly, all five of those programs were on hand to watch him with YGC36 on Saturday afternoon.

During the winter Wilson tripped to Kansas and he recently hosted Baylor, Marquette and Michigan for in home visits. Up next for Wilson is a visit to Michigan on the weekend of May 11th.


D1 Minnesota and Exum Elite play in front of a crowd
D1 Minnesota and Exum Elite play in front of a crowd

Believe it or not, one of the most talent laden games of the day has taken place between D1 Minnesota and Utah based Exum Elite.

D1 Minnesota features five-star forward Matthew Hurt, Iowa bound four-star Patrick McCaffery, Rivals150 guard Tyrell Terry and fast rising big man Zeke Nnaji. On the other side Exum Elite counters with Rivals150 prospects Isaac Johnson, Rylan Jones (Utah commit) and Matt Van Komen.

Not surprisingly the game has brought out a huge group of coaches and head coaches. Among those represented by head coaches are Virginia Tech, Iowa State, Kansas, Minnesota, Xavier and Boston College while Michigan, Butler, Northern Iowa, Iowa, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Stanford, Kentucky, Memphis, Northwestern, UCLA and more were on hand.

The headliner Hurt (Kansas, Minnesota and UNC) was certainly good hitting jumpers and playing strong around the basket to finish with 19 points for D1. However, stealing the show have been Exum's Rylan Jones and D1's Nnaji.

A clever point guard, Jones has shot the cover off the ball nailing one three after another. He's fearless, can play fast and was incredible in a 33 points, six rebound and four assist outing while leading Exum Elite to a win.

On the other side, Nnaji is in the process of totally taking off as a prospect. He's hit a growth spurt to push 6-foot-9 and is now hitting threes, blocking shots and playing above the rim in traffic when needed. Nnaji who entered the spring with offers from Minnesota, Creighton and Nebraska has picked up recent offers from Xavier and Baylor and will make a major push for the next Rivals150. Additionally Ole Miss, Butler, Kansas, Ohio State and Oregon have shown interest.

Nnaji plans to visit Minnesota on May 10th and will follow that up with trips to Xavier, Baylor and Butler. Don't look for him to formalize a list until after the summer.


Josiah James
Josiah James

A five-star prospect in the class of 2019, Josiah James of TMP drew a huge crowd of coaches on Saturday morning. The 6-foot-6 point guard made the trip to the On the Radar Hoops Sweet Sixteen worth their time.

A southpaw with length, athleticism and a tremendous feel for the game, James isn’t a big wing pretending to be a point guard. He’s a point guard all the way and loves to whip sharp one handed passes with either his natural left or off right hand. He drives to the rim, he has a mid range game and he hits enough deep jumpers to keep defenders honest. Watching him, I'm reminded a bit of Lonzo Ball because of his size and vision.

James – whose father Kurt James played at Michigan State in the early 80’s – said that he took unofficial visits to South Carolina and Clemson during the season. They’ve both offered as have Florida State, Florida, Tennessee and Stanford while Duke and Michigan State have become more involved and are watching closely.

James said that he plans to visit Florida State, Florida, Tennessee and Stanford between the end of the spring and fall.


Omar Payne
Omar Payne

One of the top big men in the Southeast, Omar Payne of CP25 had several schools watching him on Saturday. Among the crowd were head coaches from USF and Iowa State along with assistants from Ohio State, TCU, UConn, N.C. State and many more.

A 6-foot-9 four-star power forward who is active on the glass, Payne currently carries offers from Tennessee, Wake Forest, Florida (where he took an unofficial visit during the season) Florida State, USF, Pittsburgh, Miami and Georgia.

He said at the Adidas Gauntlet that he remains open but did say four schools seem to be making him a priority.

“I feel like Florida, Florida State, Wake Forest and Georgia are really prioritizing me,” Payne told “They make me feel like I’m one of their main priorities with the attention they are giving.”

Payne says he won’t decide until at least the end of the summer and said he would like to use all five of his official visits. When asked if the four who are prioritizing him are assured visits, Payne wouldn’t commit to that and said he’s trying to stay open but they are in good shape depending on how things unfold the rest of the summer.


Diante Smith
Diante Smith

One of the hottest names coming out of the first April live period was 6-foot-7 small forward Diante Smith. He’s not cooling off anytime soon.

Playing with Showtime Hoops, Smith looked every bit the part of a high major wing prospect and somebody who needs serious consideration for the next Rivals150. He’s got size, he’s athletic, he hit jumpers and he showed a ton of heart on the defensive end.

Recently his recruiting has gone through the roof as Iowa State, Kansas State, Virginia Tech, South Florida and Dayton have now all offered. He’s been on campus at both Florida and Florida State and has additional interest from Georgia Tech, Cincinnati, Alabama and Georgia.

Smith said that he plans to visit Dayton later on this spring. On Saturday he was watched by every school on his list including head coaches from Virginia Tech, Florida State, Georgia Tech and Cincinnati.


Austin Harvell
Austin Harvell

When it comes to building a reputation and upgrading a recruitment, the April live periods can be extremely important. 2020 small forward Austin Harvell of the Nike Elite Stars is taking full advantage of things.

So far, the 6-foot-6 sophomore from Alabama has an offer from North Alabama. That won’t be his lone offer much longer. Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Kansas State and Murray State have all jumped in and based on his play at the On the Radar Hoops Sweet Sixteen, he’s capable of playing at any of those programs.

Standing 6-foot-6 with an ideal basketball body, Harvell is athletic and wields a dangerous jump shot and he’s efficient in everything he does. When he handles the ball he does so with purpose and does the little things like defending and rebounding as well.

“I want to improve on my ball handling a bit,” said Harvell who also carries a 3.8 GPA. “I’m also working on not forcing up any bad shots and being sure that I’m playing both ends.