High-SchoolBoys-Basketball: kris jenkins

Summer Schooled: D.C. Assault

June, 14, 2012
6/14/12
10:55
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Nate BrittKelly KlineD.C. Assault is in good hands with Nate Britt running the show at the point.
Each week this summer leading up to the AAU National Championships in Orlando in July, ESPNHS will profile one of the nation's top AAU teams and tell you why you should be paying attention.

Team: D.C. Assault
Location: Washington, D.C.
Coach: Eddie Jordan

What you need to know about D.C. Assault:

If you ever get out to a D.C. Assault practice, make sure to keep an eye out for the front entrance.

Frequent visitors and program alums Michael Beasley, Nolan Smith, Quinn Cook, Keith Bogans or Tyler Thornton could come strolling through the gym for an impromptu pick-up game with the current members -- you know, just to make sure the young guns are ready to rep the squad the right way.

“They school us on how to be a great team,” says forward Kris Jenkins, the No. 46 player in the ESPN 100. “We are on the outside looking in and they are where we want to eventually be.”

Since its inception, Assault has landed nine of its ballers in the McDonald’s All-American Game and spawned the career of a multitude of collegiate and NBA stars. The program’s stellar player development puts Assault in exclusive company nationally, as does its new head coach, Eddie Jordan. The former Washington Wizards coach, who recorded more than 250 wins in the Association, is in his first year at the helm of the Under Amour-sponsored squad and is hoping to orchestrate a championship campaign with the loaded U-17 Gold squad. He has quickly instilled an NBA-like work ethic in his players with a strong emphasis on defense.

“Our identity is to really get after you,” says Jordan. “All of our guys defend. We like to run out and play in the open floor.

“We don’t take haphazard shots; we are very selective. We’re very cerebral and share the ball. You help your teammates first and then help yourself.”

Jordan inherited an extremely talented roster, with ESPN 100 members Nate Britt and Jenkins as the main headliners. Add in microwave scorer Nigel Johnson, post bruiser Junior Etou and versatile wing Ahmad Fields, and Jordan features a destructive lineup likely to spark barbershop discussions on where it ranks amongst Assault’s all-time great squads.

“It’s really about the way we choose our team,” says Jordan. “(Co-founder) Curtis Malone and his staff chose the right kind of people. They’re good players but they’re also good people.”

Jordan guided Assault to the title at the Real Deal in the Rock in Arkansas, taking down a Houston Defenders team that features a pair of top-10 guards in highly touted twins Andrew and Aaron Harrison in the finals. Assault also advanced to the final four in two other tourneys, giving Jordan high hopes for the upcoming July schedule.

“It hurts when they lose, because they want to be the best,” says Jordan.

Key Players:

Nate Britt: Britt has the makeup of an elite point guard, displaying a knack for penetrating defenses to score or to create easy looks for teammates. The UNC commit is rated the No. 22 player (No. 3 PG) in the ESPN 100 and has proved to be a valuable leader playing at Gonzaga the past two years. Britt, a smooth stroking lefty and a flytrap defender, qualified for the USA Men's U18 national team earlier this week.

Kris Jenkins: The 6-foot-6 Jenkins is an undersized power forward for Gonzaga during the high school season, but he will play the 3 in Jordan’s offense. He is a versatile inside-outside threat and has the tools (perimeter shooting and ability to attack the cup) to excel in the 1-3 pick-and-roll sets along with Britt.

Nigel Johnson: This dynamic, Virginia-bred guard turned heads in February when he dropped a double-nickel during a regular season contest. “He’s just an assassin, and he reminds me of Gilbert Arenas,” says Jordan.

Junior Etou: A rugged, defensive-minded post, the 6-foot-7, 210-pound Etou provides the squad with toughness on the interior and a strong presence on the boards. He holds offers from Kansas State, Maryland and West Virginia, among others.

Key Dates:

Under Armour Summer Jam in Milwaukee, Wisc. on July 18-22
Fab 48 in Las Vegas, Nev. On July 26-29

Player Breakdown:

We caught up with Jenkins to get his take on what he feels year’s squad can accomplish and how it can maintain the club’s rich pedigree.

“This is a team that’s going to play hard and give all we got and hopefully win a national tournament,” says Jenkins. “If we don’t win, we need to walk away with our heads high and know the ball just didn’t bounce our way.

“It would mean a lot (to win a national title) and go down in history as a D.C. team that won a national championship. It’s something this team is always working toward.”

Famous Alums:

Beasley (Minnesota Timberwolves forward)
Bogans (Chicago Bulls NBA guard)
Smith (Portland Trailblazers guard)
NaVorro Bowman (San Francisco 49ers LB)

Players predict where Muhammad, Noel will go

April, 9, 2012
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Shabazz Muhammad knows that, on the surface, it seems glamorous to have the option of picking between heavyweights like Duke, UCLA, Kentucky, UNLV and Kansas.

Still, he’s quick to point out the flip side.

“The stress,” said Muhammad, a senior swingman at Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) who is ranked No. 2 in the ESPNU 100. “It definitely isn’t as fun as people think. It’s all you think about. It’s a tough decision.”

Nerlens Noel can attest to that.

As the top-ranked player in the ESPNU 100, Noel said it only makes it harder “when you really can’t go wrong wherever you decide to go.”

Both Noel and Muhammad will make their decisions live on Recruiting Nation's Signing Day Special Show at 7:30 p.m. ET April 11 on ESPNU.

“People don’t understand how tough this is,” said Noel, a senior center at Tilton (N.H.) who will choose between Georgetown, Kentucky and Syracuse. “It’s the toughest decision I’ve ever had to make. Everyone thinks they know where we’re going.”

Especially their peers.

We caught up with a bunch of players from around the country and had them weigh in on where they think the top two seniors in the country will land.

Matt Jones
DeSoto (DeSoto, Texas), 2013, SG
Committed to: Duke
Noel’s headed to …
“Kentucky. I played with him last weekend at a tournament and you should’ve seen him watching Louisville play against Kentucky. It was like he could envision himself there.”
Muhammad’s headed to …
“Duke. He sees that he could come in and have the same impact that Austin Rivers did.”

Jabari Parker
Simeon (Chicago), 2013, SF
Undecided
Noel’s headed to …
“Boston College. [Laughs] Just kidding, Georgetown.”
Muhammad’s headed to …
“UC Santa Barbara. [Laughs] Just kidding, UCLA.”

Mitch McGary
Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.), 2012, F
Signed to: Michigan
Noel’s headed to …
“Kentucky. Great recruiting class coming in and they just won the national title so that’s got to appeal to him.”
Muhammad’s headed to …
“Kentucky. Same reasons as Nerlens.”

Isaiah Lewis
Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.), 2013, SG
Undecided
Noel’s headed to …
“Kentucky. He’s a one-and-done type and that’s where you go for that.”
Muhammad’s headed to …
“UCLA. I think he and Kyle Anderson are gonna do work.”

Rasheed Sulaimon
Strake Jesuit (Houston), 2012, SG
Signed to: Duke
Noel’s headed to …
“Kentucky. He’s the second coming of Anthony Davis. He’s tall with very long arms that he uses to impact the game on the defensive end and rebound.”
Muhammad’s headed to …
“Duke. I really believe that Shabazz is gonna join me next year because he’s a competitor and wants to win. Coach K is the ultimate competitor and does great with guards like Shabazz. I believe we can do a lot of damage right away.”

Rodney Purvis
Upper Room Christian Academy (Raleigh, N.C.), 2012, SG
Signed to: N.C. State
Noel’s headed to …
“Kentucky. That’s just my gut.”
Muhammad’s headed to …
“Kentucky. That’s just my gut feeling on him too.”

L.J. Rose
Westbury Christian (Houston), 2012, PG
Signed to: Baylor
Noel’s headed to …
“Kentucky. He’s gonna be compared to Anthony Davis and have that type of impact.”
Muhammad’s headed to …
“Kentucky. They’re just coming off a national title run and Rupp Arena will definitely be rocking next year with him there.”

Chris Walker
Holmes County (Bonifay, Fla.), 2013, F
Undecided
Noel’s headed to …
“Kentucky. He saw what Coach Cal did for Anthony Davis and he’ll feel like he can do the same for him. He’ll be one-and-done just like him.”
Muhammad’s headed to …
“UCLA. It’s the perfect fit with it being close to home and then he’ll have a great guard like Kyle Anderson there with him.”

Kris Jenkins
Gonzaga College (Washington, D.C.), 2013, F
Undecided
Noel’s headed to …
“Georgetown. That’s where all the big men go to develop.”
Muhammad’s headed to …
“Kentucky. He thinks Coach Cal can help him reach his goal of the NBA faster.”

Brannen Greene
Mary Persons (Monroe, Ga.), 2013, SG
Committed to: Kansas
Noel’s headed to …
“Kentucky. He sees the impact that Anthony Davis had this year and probably wants to do the same.”
Muhammad’s headed to …
“Kentucky. I think he wants to be one-and-done and he sees Kentucky as the perfect school for that.”

Wayne Selden
Tilton (N.H.), 2014, SG
Undecided
Noel’s headed to …
“Kentucky. He’d fit right in and replace Anthony Davis.”
Muhammad’s headed to …
“UCLA. I think he and Kyle Anderson would be a force in the Pac-12.”

Jahlil Okafor
Whitney Young (Chicago), 2014, F
Undecided
Noel’s headed to …
“Kentucky. He’ll replace Anthony Davis.”
Muhammad’s headed to …
“UCLA. He’ll team up with Kyle Anderson.”

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.

Players reflect on season regrets

March, 5, 2012
3/05/12
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Call him greedy, unsatisfied or, perhaps, unfulfilled. But even after a season of averaging 31 points per game, dominating countless times on ESPN and capping it all off with a state title, Shabazz Muhammad has a regret or two about the season as a whole.

[+] EnlargeT.J. Warren
Dave TelepT.J. Warren said he wouldn't change a thing about his one-loss season at Brewster.
“There’s always something you could’ve done better,” said Muhammad, a senior swingman who is ranked No. 2 in the ESPNU 100.

Plenty of players shared Muhammad’s sentiments when we asked them what, if anything, would they have changed about this past season.

Shabazz Muhammad
Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas), 2012, SF
Undecided

The thing I would’ve changed this season…
“That’s hard because I feel like I did pretty well this season with a lot of stuff. But I guess one of the things that I probably would take back is the game against Findlay Prep [Henderson, Nev.]. I want to get one more shot at them.”

Brannen Greene
Mary Persons (Monroe, Ga.), 2013, SG
Committed to: Kansas

The thing I would’ve changed this season…
“I would’ve let [my teammates] know I had all the confidence in the world in them and see where that would’ve gotten us. We had too many players with low self-esteem when it came to the court. I think that may have translated to game production.”

Wayne Selden
Tilton (Tilton, N.H.), 2014, SG
Undecided

The thing I would’ve changed this season…
“I would’ve worked harder. Being hurt now and being out for the rest of the high school season, I wish I would’ve worked harder. I had those days of practice where I didn’t go as hard and I just took my health for granted. I was fully capable of going hard all the time but I slacked some days. Overall, I just wish I would’ve put forth more effort in the weight room and in practice. But when I get back healthy there’s no doubt that I’m gonna go harder than ever.”

T.J. Warren
Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.), 2012, SF
Signed to: North Carolina State

The thing I would’ve changed this season…
“Nothing. Looking back, Brewster has developed me into a better player and an even better person. This is the best team I have ever played with. I feel like we could’ve beaten some D-I colleges. And it’s gonna be fun working toward this national title.”

Nerlens Noel
Tilton (Tilton, N.H.), 2012, C
Undecided

The thing I would’ve changed this season…
“I definitely would’ve hit more of my free throws against Brewster at the Hoophall. I think that made the difference in us losing that game.”

Kris Jenkins
Gonzaga College (Washington, D.C.), 2013, PF
Undecided

The thing I would’ve changed this season…
“I would’ve changed that last foul call in the semifinals against DeMatha. I fouled out on that one and I feel like we would’ve had a better chance to win the game if I was in there.”

Isaiah Lewis
Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.), 2013, SG
Undecided

The thing I would’ve changed this season…
“Is definitely getting more rest when we’re on the road at big tournaments. That lack of sleep definitely had an impact on the way I played. I’d get a lot more sleep.”

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.

Huntington Prep (Huntington, W.V.) senior forward Elijah Macon will always be grateful for his mom setting him up with his first true love: Basketball.

A die-hard Shaquille O' Neal fan, Renai Payne would tune into the Lake Show whenever the Lakers played on national television and often, little Elijah would park himself on the couch with her to ingest all the action. He quickly grew a fondness for the sport, taking a liking to Kobe Bryant's hunger for success and propensity for clutch plays.

"He was more of my generation than Michael Jordan was," says Macon of Bryant. "I just watched him hit buzzer-beaters and win all those championships. That was my generation of basketball, and he was my idol. That was in middle school, when I really started to love the game of basketball."

Now rated the No. 42 player in the ESPNU 100, Macon's love has intensified significantly over the years — to the point that he now can't live without the sphere.

"I love it. It's gotten me noticed as one of the top players in the country," Macon says.

So what does an elite hoop prospect do on Valentine's Day for the game he loves? Bouquet of flowers? Box of chocolate?

Nah. More basketball, duh.

"If I was to get a Valentine's Day gift for basketball, I'd take it out to eat then to see Kobe play," laughs Macon.

Macon isn't the only hoop recruit looking to profess his love today. We caught up with several of the nation's top players to see why they love this game.

Read More »

Ballers dish on moves they love the most

February, 14, 2012
2/14/12
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Rodney Purvis didn’t hesitate at all when asked what he loved most about Valentine’s Day.

“It’s my birthday,” said Purvis, a senior shooting guard at Upper Room Christian Academy. “So those two combined are always fun.”

It wasn’t as easy for Purvis when he had to name what basketball move he loved the most.

“That’s tough,” Purvis said.

Makes sense with the wide array of dazzling juke moves in his offensive arsenal.

Nerlens Noel
Lori Young/ESPNHSNerlens Noel said his under-the-legs crossover move allows him to dunk on defenders easier.
Here’s what Purvis and other elite players settled on as the one move they love to burn the defense with.

Kris Jenkins
Gonzaga College (Washington, D.C.), 2013, PF
College: Undecided
The move that I love the most is…
“The one-dribble pull-up. I love that move because the shot always feels so good when it leaves my hands after I do that. That is the move that typically works for me.”

L.J. Rose
Westbury Christian (Houston), 2012, PG
College: Baylor
The move that I love the most is…
“Either the spin move or the hesitation move because it keeps the defender on his heels and it keeps him guessing.”

Rasheed Sulaimon
Strake Jesuit (Houston), 2012, SG
College: Duke
The move that I love the most is…
“The hesitation pull-up jump shot. I picked it up from watching Tracy McGrady. I love this move because, basically, it’s never failed me. You can create space between you and your defender or rise over them and shoot. Another reason is because it’s got so many counters so you really can’t guard it. But I’ll stop talking now because I can’t be giving out all my counters.”

Rodney Purvis
Upper Room Christian Academy (Raleigh, N.C.), 2012, SG
College: N.C. State
The move that I love the most is…
“The basic right to left crossover because it allows me to get enough space to pull-up. I may have to use that one on Valentine’s Day.”

Nerlens Noel
Tilton School (Tilton, N.H.), 2012, C
College: Undecided
The move that I love the most is…
“My under-the-legs crossover because it creates a lot of space to get to the rim so I can put someone in a body bag with a dunk.”

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.

Fans' Choice POY: Nationwide support

February, 13, 2012
2/13/12
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We're just a few weeks away from crowning the first ESPNHS Fans' Choice Player of the Year. The final four candidates have made their pitches for the honor during the past few months on the campaign trail, voting in the second round ends Feb. 21 and final-round voting will begin Feb. 23.

To change things up a bit, we asked several of the nation's top ballers who they are endorsing in this election. Check out the video below to see who top 100 recruits like Ricardo Gathers, Grant Jerrett, Kyle Anderson and Katin Reinhardt are throwing their support behind.

DeMatha routs Gonzaga in rematch

February, 10, 2012
2/10/12
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When pressed about the keys to DeMatha Catholic’s (Hyattsville, Md.) rematch with Gonzaga College (Washington, D.C.), Stags point guard James Robinson offered one reason why he thought DeMatha would avenge its early-season loss to the Eagles.

“We’ve just got a lot of talent,” Robinson said. “Too many weapons."

Too many indeed.

Jerami Grant and BeeJay Anya dominated the paint, combining for 33 points, while Jairus Lyles was stellar in the backcourt with 15 points to help the Stags, ranked No. 29 in the POWERADE FAB 50, leave little doubt about who runs the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference with a 76-47 win over No. 14 Gonzaga Friday night at DeMatha in a game that was nationally televised on ESPN2.

The win avenged a two-point loss to the Eagles on Jan. 21.

Nate Britt led Gonzaga with 21 points.

Fueled by a raucous crowd, the Stags stormed out of the gate early with a 9-2 run. But Gonzaga responded and Britt capped off a late first-quarter 8-0 run with a 3-pointer from the right wing to give the Eagles their first lead of the game, 13-12.

Lyles reignited the Stags’ transition game midway through the second quarter, throwing down a hard breakaway slam and following that up with an easy layup to give the Stags a 28-21 lead.

When the Eagles answered with a 6-2 run, Lyles heaved a halfcourt buzzer-beater to give DeMatha a 33-27 lead at the half.

The Stags kept the momentum rolling, opening the third quarter with a 7-0 run to extend its lead to 40-27. Then with 4:33 left in the third quarter, Robinson got ejected when he picked up his second technical foul after hitting Gonzaga guard Charles Glover in the back with the ball. Robinson’s first tech came in the first half after swatting Eagles’ guard Tavon Blackmon’s shot out of bounds and mouthing off about it.

It helped the Stags that the Eagles scored their first points of the second half – when Anya goaltended Britt’s layup – at the 1:59 mark of the third quarter.

The Stags did an exceptional job down the stretch of exposing mismatches to continue the rout. The Stags also held Kris Jenkins, the Eagles’ leading scorer, to just three points in the second half and 12 total.

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.

Jenkins' size doesn't stop his dominance

February, 10, 2012
2/10/12
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It’s not that Kris Jenkins is wearing the proverbial chip on his shoulder or chalking naysayers up as haters. It’s just that after consistently dominating everyone he’s matched up against, Jenkins truly doesn’t get people who can’t get over the fact he really doesn’t have a set position.

“People always say I’m too small to play in the paint or I’m too slow to play on the perimeter,” said Jenkins, a junior combo forward at Gonzaga College High School (Washington, D.C.). “Honestly, now I’m to the point where I don’t really care. It’s more like, ‘I don’t really understand that, but OK.’ I just have to make a believer out of people with how I play.”

Next lesson starts Friday (7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2) when Jenkins leads the Purple Eagles, ranked No. 14 in the POWERADE FAB 50, against Washington Catholic Athletic Conference rival DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.), ranked No. 29.

“I use it as motivation when people doubt me,” Jenkins said. “It’s crazy because they look at my size [6-foot-5, 250 pounds] and base it off that.”

Kris Jenkins
Courtesy of Steve Turner/GonzagaGonzaga (Washington, D.C.) junior forward Kris Jenkins stepped up for the Eagles when junior guard Nate Britt was out with an injury.
Still, even the most spirited skeptics have to admit that the 20 points and eight rebounds per game Jenkins is posting -- while sharing shots with the No. 2 point guard in the ESPNU 60, junior Nate Britt -- is quite a feat in the brutal WCAC.

“No doubt,” said Britt, the Eagles’ floor general who is committed to North Carolina. “Kris gives it to whoever we play against.”

Oftentimes that means players with a substantial height advantage. But Britt contends the taller players bear the greater disadvantage when they face Jenkins.

Why?

“Kris has some of the best footwork of any player I’ve ever seen in any sport,” Britt said. “It allows him to get past pretty much anyone. And he’s just got a great feel for the game, so he can hurt you in so many ways. His size doesn’t hold him back at all.”

In fact, Jenkins’ size is the thing that indirectly makes him so effective, according to Dave Telep, ESPN senior national recruiting analyst.

“The questions about his size and his ability just fuels his competitive edge and it makes him go harder,” Telep said. “It’s like a built-in motivator that’s never going to go away. If Kris woke up tomorrow and he was 6-foot-9, I don’t know if he’d be as good a player.”

DeMatha point guard James Robinson doesn’t even want to think about a giant-sized Jenkins. The undersized version gave the Stags all sorts of problems on Jan. 21, when Jenkins scored 27 points to help Gonzaga escape with a 76-74 win.

“We don’t really read too much into how tall Kris is. He can play,” said Robinson, a senior who has signed with Pittsburgh. “He’s tough because he can step out and hit the 3 or use his body in the lane. He goes hard.”

That motor has some of the country’s top colleges -- Clemson, Georgetown, Ohio State, Louisville, Villanova, Rutgers, La Salle, George Mason, George Washington, Xavier and Miami -- in hot pursuit.

“At the end of the day, the people who matter know what I’m capable of,” Jenkins said. “My mindset is to prove to everyone that I’m just a basketball player. I’m the guy who does whatever he has to for his team to win. The doubters? I just take the high road and smile at them.”

And that makes him feel even taller.

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.

Players of the Week, Jan. 18, 2012

January, 18, 2012
1/18/12
1:34
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Here are this week's high school boys’ basketball Players of the Week. One player is chosen from each region of the country. No player will be chosen more than once during a season.

(After games of Monday, Jan. 16)

EAST

Kris Jenkins, Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.)
The 6-foot-6, 250-pound junior forward has been on a tear the last couple of weeks for the unbeaten, FAB 50-ranked Eagles. Last week, he had back-to-back 30-point games, including 30 points and 11 rebounds in a 77-65 victory over then-FAB 50 No. 50 Riverside Academy (Reserve, La.) in the Spalding Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass. Earlier he scored a career-high 34 points in a 78-61 victory over St. Mary's Ryken (Leonardtown, Md.). The previous week, he was named game MVP after scoring 21 points in a 54-44 win over Whitney Young (Chicago) at the Cancer Research Classic in Wheeling, W. Va.

SOUTHEAST

Devin Booker, Moss Point (Miss.)
The 15-year-old sophomore guard is becoming the rage of Mississippi after moving in from Grandville, Mich. He poured in 54 points in a game last week to lead Moss Point past Northeast Jones (Laurel, Miss.). Then on Monday, he connected for a game-winning 3-point shot at the horn in a 67-66 triumph against Murrah (Jackson, Miss.) at the MLK Classic. Devin, who also had 27 points in a loss last week to Pascagoula (Miss.) and has made a half-court buzzer-beating shot this season, is the son of former University of Missouri standout Melvin Booker. The older Booker, who played two years in the NBA, has retired from playing professionally in Europe.

MIDWEST

Martez Walker, Pershing (Detroit)
The 6-foot-5 junior shooting guard helped the unbeaten Doughboys into the FAB 50 rankings with two wins last week, including an 81-80 win over previously unbeaten, and FAB 50-ranked defending Class B state champion Sexton (Lansing, Mich.). Walker scored 24 points in the showdown after scoring 31 points the previous night in an 87-74 victory over Detroit Public League rival Crockett Tech (Detroit). Walker waxed hot with 23 points in the first half.

MIDLANDS

Ricky Seals-Jones, Sealy (Texas)
Get ready for the hype machine surrounding this 6-foot-6, 220-pound football-basketball standout. Just a junior, Seals-Jones gets onto this week’s national honor roll by scoring 42 points with 12 rebounds and five assists in Sealy’s 76-59 win last week over Tomball (Texas). He also improved his scoring average to 31.3 per game to go along with 13.9 rebounds. But football still may be Ricky’s best sport. He’s regarded as one of the top tight end/wide receiver prospects in Texas and has offers already for next year from LSU, Notre Dame, Baylor, Texas Tech and others. Sealy is the hometown of NFL Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson, who also happens to be Ricky’s uncle.

WEST

Dewayne Russell, Peoria (Ariz.)
A 5-foot-11 senior guard headed to USC, Russell had the strange phenomenon of playing the same team two nights in a row and almost having exactly the same totals. First, Russell had 36 points with eight rebounds and four assists in a 67-52 victory over Apollo (Glendale, Ariz.). The next night against the same team, he had 34 points with five steals and three assists in a 67-57 win. Russell, who is a four-year starter, is averaging 28.9 points per game with 5.6 assists.

Players adjust to shot clock at Hoophall

January, 14, 2012
1/14/12
11:33
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- As dominant and versatile as Grant Jerrett is on the court, the one thing you’d never mistake him for is a 3-point marksman.

Yet on Saturday at the Spalding Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass., Jerrett, a senior forward at La Verne Lutheran (La Verne, Calif.), found himself in situations where he was forced to hoist treys and long jump shots.

Why?

“I had to get used to that shot clock they had,” said Jerrett, an Arizona signee who is ranked No. 9 in the ESPNU 100. “There was a five-second difference between the one in California and the one here, and that may not sound like a lot, but it was really messing with us.”

Jerrett’s sentiments were echoed by nearly every team at the Hoophall Classic that had to either adjust to the different shot clock time or get used to having a time limit on the offensive end altogether.

“It was definitely something that we had trouble with,” St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.) junior forward DeAndre Bembry said. “We tried to simulate it in practice before we got here, but it’s a lot different when you’re in the game. We’re not used to that in New Jersey at all.”

Bembry and the Celtics aren’t alone.

As it stands, only eight states and Washington, D.C., have a shot clock rule.

California, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Washington and the Washington (D.C.) Catholic Athletic Conference all have shot clocks of 35 seconds. Massachusetts’ shot clock is 30 seconds, as is Maryland’s, which is currently only used for girls’ basketball.

“I think a shot clock in the high school game needs to be universal with a universal time,” ESPN director of recruiting Paul Biancardi said. “There’s just so much benefit to having it. When you’re down with three minutes to go, it's hard to come back without one. High school is the only level that I know of in the world that doesn’t have a shot clock. Ask any of these kids and they’ll tell you that they want to play with the shot clock.”

Nate Britt certainly does.

He figures playing with the shot clock is only benefiting him as he gears up for the next level.

“As a point guard, it’s really important that you know how to manage the clock properly,” said Britt, a junior at Gonzaga College (Washington, D.C.) who is committed to North Carolina. “I love that I’m able to play with the shot clock every night. I could definitely tell the guys here at Hoophall who weren’t used to it. I’d be playing defense and look up at the clock and see four seconds left and smile.”

Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas) forward Julius Randle said that even though he and his team weren’t used to the shot clock coming into the Hoophall Classic, it didn’t affect them because of the way they play.

“We don’t hold the ball on offense,” said Randle, a junior who is ranked No. 3 in the ESPNU 60. “We get it out in transition and score quick. I noticed it, but I don’t think it had a big impact on us. It’s all about adjusting in this game anyway.”

That was Gonzaga junior forward Kris Jenkins’ view as well. He said teams that found themselves launching prayers with just seconds left on the shot clock had more to do with attention to detail.

“There are so many things that you have to adjust to in the game of basketball,” said Jenkins. “This is just another example of that. When you figure it out, the shot clock can really help you in lots of different ways. I definitely think that every state should have the rule in place.”

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.

Jenkins, No. 9 Gonzaga roll past Riverside

January, 14, 2012
1/14/12
6:28
PM ET
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Kris Jenkins is used to being the little big man who’s got to contend with the human skyscrapers night in and night out.

At 6-foot-5, Jenkins, a junior forward at Gonzaga College (Washington, D.C.), isn’t going to win a jump ball or fly over his defender for a monster slam, but by the end of the game he finds different ways to outplay his man.

“I’m just really confident in my abilities on the court,” Jenkins said. “I think the game through and I find weaknesses that I’m able to expose. That’s worked for me my whole career.”

It worked again Saturday.

Jenkins scored 30 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead the Eagles, ranked No. 9 in the POWERADE FAB 50, past No. 50 Riverside (Reserve, La.) 77-65 at the Spalding Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass.

Nate Britt chipped in with 16 points and Ricardo Gathers led Riverside with 22 points and eight rebounds.

“It’s another great win for our team,” said Britt, a junior point guard who is committed to North Carolina. “We just came out and forced the tempo and the best part was we finished even stronger than we started.”

Jenkins got going early, scoring 17 points and grabbing seven rebounds in the first half to give the Eagles a 36-29 lead at the half.

The Eagles shot 66 percent in the second half and forced 12 turnovers to secure the comfortable win over the Runnin’ Rebels.

Britt said that three years ago when the Eagles won the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference they went in to conference play undefeated.

“It’s just like our scenario this season,” Britt said. “I really feel like wins like these over great competition gives us the confidence we need to make it happen this year.”

Added Jenkins: “We really believe that this is the year that we win it. This win just builds us as a team.”

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.

Gonzaga College rolls past Whitney Young

January, 8, 2012
1/08/12
12:33
AM ET


WHEELING, W.Va. -- Things couldn’t get any worse for Nate Britt.

Here his Gonzaga College High School (Washington, D.C.) team was lucky to be down three to Whitney Young (Chicago) at the half and Britt had contributed just one steal and one foul.

“It was my worst first half of the year I’d say,” said Britt, a junior point guard who is committed to North Carolina and ranked No. 15 in the ESPNU 60. “I knew we needed to pick it up, but I just couldn’t get it going. I’ve been in a slump the last few games. We were gonna need someone else to step up.”

Enter Kris Jenkins.

The junior forward used his quickness and relentless motor to dominate Whitney Young’s frontcourt to the tune of 21 points and seven rebounds to help Gonzaga (10-0), ranked No. 11 in the POWERADE FAB 50, roll past the Dolphins (6-4) 54-44 Saturday night at the Cancer Research Classic in Wheeling, W.Va.

Jordan Abdur-Ra’oof chipped in with 10 points for Gonzaga, and Jahlil Okafor, who is ranked No. 3 in the ESPNU 25, led Whitney Young with 16 points and eight rebounds.

“I definitely noticed that we needed a boost,” said Jenkins, who was named Most Valuable Player. “They were a lot bigger than me, but I felt like I could beat them with my first step and that worked for me. That was a tough win, but we found a way to get it done.”

The Dolphins jumped on Gonzaga early by pumping the ball inside to Okafor, who overpowered the Eagles' front court scoring 10 points in the first half to give the Dolphins a slim 32-29 lead at the half.

Gonzaga couldn’t get anything going offensively in the first half. They shot just 34 percent from the floor and went 1-of-8 from the 3-point line.

The lone bright spot was Jenkins whose 16 first half points kept them within striking distance.

“We couldn’t hit anything,” Britt said. “We’re usually a lot better shooting the ball so I don’t know what was going on there. Jahlil was killing us in the first half so what we really talked about was turning it up defensively in the second half. We felt like that’s where we’d have the best chance to win.”

By the end of the third quarter, Gonzaga’s intense defensive pressure had caused Whitney Young to commit 18 turnovers. The Eagles only had three.

Midway through the fourth quarter they’d turned those giveaways into a 19-6 run, a deficit the Dolphins couldn’t recover from.

“We know that Whitney Young is a great team and Jahlil is a great player,” Jenkins said. “And they play a tough schedule so we knew that their record didn’t mean anything at all. We are really happy to come away with the win. It’s huge for our program and to do it on national TV was really special.”

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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