What's on tap? The 2008 Spring Scouting Calendar

What's on tap? The 2008 Spring Scouting Calendar
Feb 22, 2008, 11:06 pm
-Vilagarcía Basket Cup, March 19th-22nd, Vilagarcia, Spain- An U-20 tournament, organized by Unicaja Malaga scout Alberto Blanco, featuring some of the top junior clubs in Spain, and also abroad. The presence of teams like Zalgiris, Real Madrid and Barcelona, amongst others, makes this an intriguing event.

Participating Teams:

Real Madrid, AXA FC Barcelona, Unicaja Málaga, CAI Zaragoza, BC Khimki, Mega Aqua Monta, Zalgiris Kaunas, Selección Galega Xove.

- Albert Schweitzer Turnier 2008, March 22nd-29th, Mannheim, Germany- A very prestigious event, in its 50th Anniversary, and now held every two years, brings together 16 national teams from around the world in the 1990 and 91 age groups. This is where Yi Jianlian burst onto the radar screen four years ago, or where Dirk Nowitzki got his first start back in 1996. Serbia will unfortunately not be participating this year due to the overlap in dates with the Nike Tournament in Belgrade. DraftExpress will be in attendance.

The participating teams:

New Zealand
South Africa

AST Official Website

-McDonald’s All-American Game, March 26th, Milwaukee, Wisconsin- The Grandaddy of High School All-Star games (in its 31st edition) once again kicks off the Spring circuit for us, this time in Milwaukee. The 24 best high school players (as decided by a national panel) will be brought together for a few days of practices, scrimmages, a 3-point contest and a dunk contest leading up to the main event on the 26th, which will be broadcasted live on ESPN at 9:30 PM EST. DraftExpress will be in attendance for the third straight year.

The rosters were named just this past week:

East Team:

Al-Farouq Aminu, F (6-9, 215) Norcross, Ga. -- Wake Forest

William Buford, G (6-5, 185) Toledo, Ohio/ Libbey -- Ohio State

Ed Davis, F (6-9, 215) Richmond, Va./Benedictine -- North Carolina

Tyreke Evans, G (6-5, 217) Aston, Pa./American Christian -- Undecided

JaMychal Green, C/F (6-9, 230) Montgomery, Ala./ St. Jude -- Alabama

Sylven Landesberg, G (6-6, 205) Flushing, N.Y./ Holy Cross -- Virginia

Mike Rosario, G (6-3, 180) Jersey City, N.J./ St. Anthony -- Rutgers

Samardo Samuels, F (6-9, 245) Newark, N.J./ St. Benedict's -- Louisville

Chris Singleton, F (6-9, 225) Dunwoody, Ga. -- Florida State

Kemba Walker, G (6-0, 180) New York/Rice -- Connecticut

Elliot Williams, G (6-4, 175) Collierville, Tenn./ St. George's -- Duke

Tyler Zeller, C (7-0, 220) Washington, Ind. -- North Carolina

Head Coach: Woody Jackson, Marion, Ala./Francis Marion

West Team:

Luke Babbitt, F (6-9, 225) Reno, Nev./Galena -- Nevada

Demar DeRozan, F (6-6, 210) Compton, Calif. -- Southern California

Larry Drew, G (6-1, 170) Woodland Hills, Calif./ Taft -- North Carolina

Michael Dunigan, C (6-10, 250) Chicago/Farragut -- Oregon

Jrue Holiday, G (6-4, 195) N. Hollywood, Calif./Campbell Hall -- UCLA

Scotty Hopson, F (6-6, 200) Hopkinsville, Ky./University Hgts. -- Undecided

Brandon Jennings, G (6-2,170) Mouth of Wilson, Va./Oak Hill -- Arizona

Malcolm Lee, G (6-5,190) Riverside, Calif./J.W. North -- UCLA

Greg Monroe, F (6-10, 235) Harvey, La./ Helen Cox -- Georgetown

B.J. Mullens, C (7-1, 260) Canal Winchester, Ohio -- Ohio State

Iman Shumpert, G (6-4 , 200) Oak Park, Ill./Oak Park & River Forest -- Georgia Tech

Willie Warren, G (6-5 200) Ft. Worth, Texas/North Crowley -- Oklahoma

Co-Head Coach:Tom Diener, Milwaukee/Harold S. Vincent
Co-Head Coach:Jim Gosz, Milwaukee/Rufus King

-Nike International Junior Classification Tournament, March 28th-30, Belgrade, Serbia- A brand new event, hosted by the city of Belgrade, featuring some of the strongest junior teams in Europe in the 1990 or later age groups. The two finalists from the event will be invited to the Euroleague Final Four in Madrid to participate in the Junior tournament (detailed below).

The participating teams:

Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul
Montepaschi Siena
Union Olimpija Ljubljana
Partizan Igokea Belgrade
Prokom Trefl Sopot
Lietuvos Rytas
FMP Zeleznik
Red Star Belgrade
KK Bosna
Benetton Basket Tamoil (Treviso)
BC Khimki Moscow Region
BC Hemofarm Stada

Official Press Release

-NCAA Final Four, April 5th-7th, San Antonio, Texas- This event doesn’t need any introduction of course. It will again be a hotspot for the movers and shakers of the basketball industry to rub noses with hundreds of college coaches from every conference, division and team in America, often at the NABC Convention held starting on April 3rd. Of particular interest to us is the NABC All-Star Game, held on April 4th, which is essentially an all-star game of NCAA seniors, and is well attended by NBA personnel. Last year’s game featured a number of players who went on to get drafted, including Aaron Brooks, Carl Landry, Adam Haluska, and D.J. Strawberry. DraftExpress will likely be in attendance for the second straight year.

- Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (PIT), April 9th-12th, Portsmouth, Virginia- An institution in itself, going into its 56th edition, PIT is an unofficial NBA pre-draft camp, conducted for (64) seniors only, and organized by the fine people of the City of Portsmouth. PIT marks the beginning of the pre-draft process for most basketball people, and is heavily attended by every NBA team, most General Managers, hundreds of scouts and executives, as well as representatives of many of the top teams in Europe, and nearly every certified NBA agent. It’s an extremely unique experience due to the intimate nature of the high school gym in which it’s held, combined with the sheer volume of faces from every spectrum of the basketball industry. Every year a couple of players emerge from the tournament to get drafted (sometimes even in the first round), while others end up making the league through training camp. Look for most of the top 75 players on our senior rankings to land an invite and participate at the tournament.

DraftExpress will be in attendance for the fourth straight year.

-Nike Hoop Summit, April 12th, Portland, Oregon- An annual event pitting the top high school seniors in America (under the USA Basketball umbrella) against a World Select Team comprised of the world’s top players 19-years-old or younger. The event will be preceded by a few days of practices and scrimmages, which will be of great interest to the many NBA personnel that decide to attend (although unlike us, they can only watch the International players practice). This year’s Hoop Summit will be in Portland (last year in Memphis), and will again overlap with the dates of the Portsmouth Invitational. Every year seemingly a previously unknown international player emerges at this event and rides the momentum generated all the way to the first round of the NBA draft in late June. Two years ago it was Saer Sene. Last year it was Petteri Koponen. Who will it be this year? We’ve unofficially heard rumors of players like Nicolas Batum and Alexis Ajinca returning to participate at this event, while big men such as Serge Ibaka, John Reik and Giorgi Shermadini could find their way over as well…

The game will be held on April 12th at 4 PM EST, and will be broadcasted nationally by FSN.

DraftExpress will be in attendance for the third straight year.

Nike Hoop Summit Official Website

- Jordan Brand Classic, April 19th, New York City- Nike’s own high school all-star game has a roster that rivals the McDonald’s All-American game for the first time ever, with 17 of the same players participating in both games. Nike also wisely selected the very worthy Devin Ebanks, as well as two players who are currently injured in Delvon Roe and Drew Gordon. In addition to the game itself, the event also gives us a chance to watch the players practice and scrimmage against each other in the days leading up to the actual game. The Jordan Brand Classic will also continue to include a regional game, showcasing the top prep players from the New York City metropolitan area in a City vs. Suburbs showdown. New to the event this year will be an international game featuring 16 of the top 17-and-under players from Europe, Asia and Africa.

Full Roster:

Al-Farouq Aminu (Norcross, GA/Wake Forest)

William Buford (Toledo, OH/Ohio State)

Ed Davis (Richmond, VA/UNC)

Demar DeRozan (Compton, CA/Southern Cal)

Michael Dunigan (Chicago, IL/Oregon)

Devin Ebanks (Oakdale, CT/Indiana)

Tyreke Evans (Aston, PA/Undecided)

Drew Gordon (San Jose, CA/UCLA)

JaMychal Green (Montgomery, AL/Alabama)

Jrue Holiday (N. Hollywood, CA/UCLA)

Scotty Hopson (Hopkinsville, KY/Undecided)

Brandon Jennings (Mouth of Wilson, VA/Arizona)

Malcolm Lee (Riverside, CA/UCLA)

Greg Monroe (Harvey, LA/Georgetown)

B.J. Mullens (Canal Winchester, OH/Ohio State)

Delvon Roe (Lakewood, OH/Michigan State)

Samardo Samuels (Newark, NJ/Louisville)

Iman Shumpert (Oak Park, IL/Georgia Tech)

Kemba Walker (New York, NY/Connecticut)

Willie Warren (North Crowley, TX/Oklahoma)

Tony Woods (Rome, GA/Wake Forest)

Regarding the international game, Nike’s press release informs us that in conjunction with this year’s Jordan Brand Classic, it will once again host basketball camps to identify the top basketball talent in the world. In February and March, 96 of the best young basketball players from all over Eastern and Western Europe will train and compete to earn a spot in the International game at this April’s Jordan Brand Classic. Only the twelve best 15-16 year olds will join the Brand in New York, along with the two best players each from Africa and Asia Pacific.

Jordan Brand Classic Camp Schedule:
Saturday, Feb. 23-24 Vilnius, Lithuania
Tuesday, Feb. 26-27 Rome, Italy
Saturday, March 1-2 Athens, Greece

DraftExpress will be in attendance for the third straight year.

-Adidas Derby Classic, April 19th, Louisville, Kentucky- No rosters for this high school all-star game yet, but there seemingly should be a great opportunity to snatch up virtually any player Adidas wants outside of the top 25 players in America, since there is so much overlap between McDonald’s and the Jordan Classic, and Sonny Vaccaro’s Roundball Classic will not be happening this year. This could still end up being a very intriguing event.

-Collegiate Basketball Invitational, April 24-26, Wadsworth, Ohio- A showcase for the finest 60 senior men's basketball players from all of NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and NAIA, held for the second straight year. An all-star game will be televised on ESPNU at 8 p.m. (ET), on Saturday, April 26.

- Victor Rho Basket Junior Tournament, April 26th-May 1st, Rho, Italy- The 25th edition of the Victor Rho Basket Junior Tournament will take place from April 26th-May 1st outside of Milan, Italy, and will once again feature a strong collection of European and American based talent in the U-18 age group.

In addition to European youth basketball powerhouses like FMP Belgrade, Real Madrid, Partizan Belgrade, Olimpija Ljubljana and KK Split, Victor Rho will also showcase three teams from the States as well in BABC Boston, Team Ohio and Indiana Elite.

Some of the top American prospects include potential McDonald’s All-American B.J. Mullens (Ohio State), Tyler Zeller (North Carolina) and William Buford (Ohio State) as well as top 2009 prospects Alex Oriakhi (UConn) and Stephan Van Treese, amongst others. A few of the more intriguing European players include Dejan Musli, Nikola Mirotic, Nikola Vukasovic, Mario Delas and Andrija Milutinovic. The event is recognized by the NBA as an official youth tournament. DraftExpress is tentatively planning on attending.

DraftExpress will likely be in attendance.

-Euroleague Final Four, May 2nd-4th, Madrid, Spain- This event is intriguing not just because of the opportunity to see the top four teams in Europe, but also because of the Nike International Junior Tournament that runs parallel to the event, featuring eight of the strongest junior teams in Europe in the 1990 or later age groups.

DraftExpress will be in attendance for the third straight year.

- NBA Draft Early-Entry Deadline, April 27th, 11:59 PM- The list won’t likely be circulated until May 1st.

-NBA Draft Lottery, May 20th, Secaucus, New Jersey

-NBA Pre-Draft Camp, May 27th- June 3rd, Orlando, Florida- This date has not been announced officially yet by the NBA, so please don’t make any final plans until it is. After shopping around a bit, briefly considering returning the event to Chicago and even reportedly looking at Phoenix as a potential host, the NBA decided to continue to embrace the cozy confines and ESPN friendly Milk House in Kissimmee, Florida. We are assuming that this means a status quo in regards to the rules put in place last year revolving around NBA private workouts not being allowed until somewhere around June 5th.

Rosters will likely be announced the day before the event kicks off (if past years are any indications), and invites will be handed out in the few weeks leading up to the camp.

DraftExpress is planning on being in attendance for the fifth straight year.

-RBK Treviso Eurocamp, June 7th-10th- - Treviso, Italy

DraftExpress will be in attendance for the fifth straight year.

-June 16th, NBA Draft Early-Entry Pull-out Deadline

-June 26th- NBA Draft, MSG Theater- New York City

DraftExpress will be in attendance for the fifth straight year.

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