Thursday hoops recruiting insider

Thursday hoops recruiting insider


Thursday hoops recruiting insider


SUWANEE, Ga. – Brad Brownell, Steve Smith and Richie Riley all stopped by North Gwinnett High School on Wednesday to check out some of Clemson’s top 2016 targets.

The final leg of the adidas Uprising Gauntlet Series is being played at four different high schools in Gwinnett County.

TheClemsonInsider checked out the scene at North Gwinnett, which serves as the host site of the invite-only tournament.

Riley was in the crowd coaches to see the Atlanta Celtics tip-off against the New England Playaz. He watched combo guard Kamar Baldwin score seven points and grab seven rebounds in the Celtics’ 61-54 win.

Clemson, Ole Miss and Butler are among the favorites for Baldwin, a three-star from Winder-Apalachee (Ga.). The 6-2, 175-pound lefty played off the ball, deferring to five-star Kobi Simmons, who attracted some of the nation’s best coaches to the gym.

Duke-Mike Krzyzewski, Texas-Shaka Smart, Ole Miss-Andy Kennedy, Notre Dame-Mike Brey, Pittsburgh-Jamie Dixon, Creighton-Greg McDermott, Davidson-Bob McKillop, Iowa-Fran McCaffery, UConn-Kevin Ollie, N.C. State-Mark Gottfried, Vanderbilt-Kevin Stallings and VCU’s Will Wade visited the gym.

Many of those coaches left at halftime to catch the start of Team Loaded-VA and Mass Rivals, which featured several notable prospects, including four-star power forward Javin Delaurier, who owns an offer from the Tigers.

Riley stayed in the gym to watch Baldwin, who plays a little taller than his height. He’s an active defender and rebounder with a good looking jump shot that he really elevates on before releasing. Baldwin’s jumper looks a bit like Jordan Roper’s. In comparison, Baldwin is taller/stronger, but isn’t quite as athletic/bouncy.

Baldwin and Riley keep a steady line of communication. Clemson has had him on campus twice and the Tigers are in line to score an official visit this fall. He’s already scheduled August visits to Butler and Ole Miss, neither of which have had him on campus.

Delaurier’s offer list is pretty impressive: Florida, Louisville, Notre Dame, UNC, Texas and Vanderbilt. Clemson pulled the trigger earlier this spring. Brownell and Mike Winiecki keep in touch with the four-star, who attends high school in Charlottesville, Va.

Ranked by the 247Sports Composite as the No. 10 power forward in the class of 2016, Delaurier spoke highly of the Clemson assistants and was impressed by the effort Brownell put into the visit he and Winiecki made earlier this year.

Delaurier is certainly among the best prospects at the event, scoring 16 and pulling down eight rebounds Loaded’s opener. Perhaps the most impressive performer of the day was Arizona commitment T.J. Leaf. The five-star power forward had 27 and 10 in Compton Magic’s 75-49 win over Upwards Stars.

Also playing for the Magic was five-star point guard Jaylen Hands and four-star power forward Jalen Hill, both of whom are committed to UCLA.

The Stars featured four-star small De'Riante Jenkins and four-star power forward Jordan Bruner. The two Clemson targets were watched by Brownell and Smith.

Jenkins (Orlando-West Oaks) was clearly the best player for the Stars. Though box score was incomplete, he provided a majority of the team’s offense, creating off the dribble and attacking the basket with relative ease in the second half. On the offensive end, Jenkins looked to be at his best getting to the rim and he finished well with both hands. He’s a much better player than a few years ago when he attended Brownell’s elite camp.

The plan, Jenkins said after the game, is to get even better. While Clemson has been in the mix since day one, they’ll probably have to fend off some stiff competition. Indiana has offered and continues to push. Texas is expressing interest and could be close to offering.

Jenkins will narrow his options at the end of the month. Clemson is expected to make the cut. Bruner will take the same wait-and-see approach. Right now, he has nine offers, including Georgia, UCF, Yale and Tulsa.

Clemson has had him on campus four times. Bruner, who’s listed at 6-7, is a slightly under-sized power forward with a nice face-up game. One might classify him a stretch-4.

Bruner didn’t start for the Stars, as he continues to come back from a torn meniscus, which caused him to miss almost his entire junior year at Spring Valley High School in Columbia. At this point, physically, he’s a work in progress, but the tools are there.



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