Vermont Academy (Vt.) 2016 G Bruce Brown. (Photo: Tom Reifsnyder)
The fifth-annual Mary Kline Classic hit the court at West Orange HS on Saturday evening, bringing in a few dozen of the nation’s top prep ballplayers to showcase their talents and help raise money for the National Brain Tumor Society and brain tumor research at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.
Here’s a recruiting notebook featuring several underclassmen prospects who took part in the charity all-star event, which raised over $43,000 this year, bringing its five-year total to north of $135,000:
Tyree visits Monmouth, plans next step
It may seem early, but Breein Tyree is ready to look ahead and figure out where he will be a year and a half from now.
Coming off his junior year at St. Joseph's-Metuchen, which he described “as a whole, a success,” Tyree looked back on it with mixed emotions.
“We didn’t get as far as we wanted to in States, but [my year] was a success with recruiting and it was a big learning experience.”
The 6-foot-2 point guard out of Somerset, N.J. was excited to be playing in the Mary Kline Classic with some of the top players from around the nation.
“It was a great experience, playing with such high talent like these guys on my team,” he said after he scored 16 points in the underclassmen game. “It’s for a great cause and I was honored to be a part of this whole thing.”
But with the Classic now over, Tyree is looking towards the future. He recently took an unofficial visit to Monmouth, and has plans to visit Southern Cal on June 20, before taking a visit to Kansas State in the fall.
“It [Monmouth] was my first visit that I did, so I went down there to feel things out,” Tyree said. “It’s a really nice school, in a really nice area and I enjoyed my time there.”
With offers from USC, Iowa State, Kansas State, and Northwestern, and interest from Xavier, Maryland, Rutgers, DePaul, and Southern Florida, Tyree has taken the time to figure out what he is looking for in the next place that he’s going to call home.
“I’m looking to be real close with the coaching staff, real close with the guys, good living conditions on campus, good culture at the school, [a] high academic school and the rest is gravy,” he said.
As the recruiting process picks up in the next couple months, Tyree’s main priority is to stay focused on getting better leading into his senior season. As for when he will make his final decision on a school, he said that it will happen “probably before my high school season.” --Anna Pitingolo
Brown excited for St. John’s visit
Bruce Brown is already thinking two steps ahead.
While most kids his age are primarily focused on preparing for their senior year of high school or deciding where they’ll go to college, the 6-foot-4 Wakefield, Mass. native acknowledged he’s got his sights set on the NBA.
On Sunday, Brown will visit St. John’s University’s campus in Queens, N.Y., where he will meet newly-appointed head coach Chris Mullin, who’s a St. John’s alum and an NBA legend.
“I can’t wait. I hope the campus is nice,” Brown said after scoring 24 points in the underclassmen game at the fifth annual Mary Kline Classic. “I can’t wait to meet Chris Mullin. [He’s a former] NBA player, and he said he can get me to the next level.”
Before the era of one-and-done’s, choosing a college was a decision that often affected the next four years of a player’s life. These days, many elite high school players are looking for the fastest possible route to the professional ranks, and Brown seems to fall into that category.
The explosive, 205-pound combo guard from Vermont Academy has a multitude of high-major offers, and mentions St. John’s, Texas, Michigan, Indiana and Arizona (interest) as the schools he’s hearing from the most right now.
Of that group, Brown mentions Michigan, in addition to St. John’s, as a school he’s highly interested in “because most of their guards go to the NBA.”
Brown makes it clear where his priorities lie. He wants to play in the NBA, and he’ll do whatever it takes to get there.
Right now, Brown is a shoot first, pass second kind of player. But that’s not to say he’s selfish. The majority of his shots come on strong drives within the rhythm of the offense, and his skills as a playmaker are more than adequate.
At 6-4, he knows he’ll be much more marketable at the ‘one’ than as a shooting guard, and he’s working hard this summer to make that transition.
“I’m working on becoming more of a point guard, make my teammates better, and be a two-sided player; play defense and offense.” --Tom Reifsnyder
Lykes getting ready for junior season
Chris Lykes knows exactly what he wants as he heads into his junior season, and it involves a repeat.
“We ended up winning the championship [this year], so I’m just looking forward to doing the same thing next year,” Lykes said.
As Lykes (pictured above) vies for that second title with Gonzaga High School (D.C.), he’ll be busy balancing offers and recruiting trips, both of which have already started for the 5-foot-7 point guard.
Lykes currently has offers from Old Dominion, Siena, Hofstra, George Mason, George Washington, Dayton and Richmond. The Washington, D.C. native also has interest from Virginia, Maryland, Xavier and Vanderbilt, among others.
He recently took an unofficial visit to GW, which he said he liked “not only for its basketball but its academics as well.”
And as Lykes prepares to make his decision by the end of his junior year or the beginning of his senior year, his top desires for a school are simple: academics and championships.
“Gonzaga is an academic first school, so I’m looking forward to keep doing my schoolwork, and looking forward to keep winning championships.” --Anna Pitingolo
Mosely not rushing into college decision
If there’s anything Jagan Mosely learned from his brother, it’s to take his time on one of the bigger decisions he’ll make in his lifetime.
Cheddi Mosely, who graduated from the the same St. Anthony High School that Jagan currently stars at back in 2014, just finished his freshman year at Boston University
“I learned to take as long as you want, because it’s your recruitment and it only happens once,” Jagan said.
Though he said he’s still “wide open” in his recruitment, he mentioned Xavier, Harvard, Boston University and Northwestern as the four schools who have offered who are coming at him the hardest; he also said that Stanford and Louisville had been in touch.
Other schools that have offered the 6-foot-3, 205-pound guard include Rhode Island, Georgia Tech, Davidson, Rice, Pitt, Southern Methodist, Seton Hall and more, including most of the Ivy League.
He cited “playing style, relationship with the coaches and players, and location,” as the three most important factors, and though the opportunity to reunite with his brother is certainly an option, that doesn’t seem to be playing a role in his decision.
“It’s my recruitment, so I’m just going to worry about what’s best for me,” he said.
This summer, Mosely has averaged 11.7 ppg on Nike’s EYBL circuit, playing with Jimmy Salmon and the NJ Playaz. He mostly plays point for the Playaz alongside Trenton Catholic shooting guards Myles Powell and Sterling Gibbs, another Mary Kline Classic participant; the two combined for 29 points in the underclassman game in a losing effort.
He said he’s still working on his point guard skills and that teams have been recruiting him to play both backcourt positions; his biggest area of improvement is still likely his jump shot, as he’s only made 25 percent of his 3-point attempts this summer.
He expects to start taking visits in June and July before the Playaz compete in the EYBL championships, the Peach Jam, in North Augusta (Ga.) from July 8-12, but doesn’t have anything set yet.
--Huntington Prep (W.Va.) 2016 G Curtis Jones took home MVP honors for Team Inspiration in the underclassman game, dropping 30 points in a losing effort, hitting four 3-pointers as part of his game-high effort. The 6-3 guard, who plays with Boo Williams (Va.) on the EYBL circuit, listed offers from Georgetown, Maryland, Indiana, Missouri, NC State, West Virginia, among others, and said he’s also been talking to Florida and Miami. The native of Richmond, Va., said the idea of staying in the D.C./Virginia area certainly appeals to him, but he’s open to going elsewhere; expect him to cut his list down in August before taking official visits, but he doesn’t have any specific plans beyond that.
--22 Feet Academy (S.C.) 2016 Sedee Keita scored just four points, but made a strong effort on the glass and the defensive end for Team Inspiration, which lost to Team Bravery, in the underclassmen game. The 6-foot-9, 225-pound center from Middleton, D.E. lists LSU, Kansas, Xavier and Mississippi State as the schools he’s hearing from the most right now. Kansas and LSU are interest-only at the moment, but Xavier and Mississippi State have offered, in addition to schools like Syracuse, Villanova, Iowa State and Memphis. Keita, who plays with Delaware-based WeR1 on the AAU circuit, notes that playing with the high-major backcourt of Quade Green (Neumann-Goretti, Pa.) and Trevon Duval (St. Benedicts, N.J.) has helped his game and recruitment flourish from the easy opportunities they create for him on offense. WeR1 (9-3) is currently ranked first overall in the Under Armour Association’s “Hungry” division.
Photo credit: Tom Reifsnyder/City of Basketball Love