Lions247 was on hand this past weekend as the Washington, D.C. area played host to two major high school hoops tournaments, the Gonzaga DC Classic and the National High School Hoops Festival. Penn State had a good presence at the events, as both head coach Patrick Chambers and assistant Keith Urgo took in games over the weekend. We’re going to give you a rundown of who was under the watchful eye of the Nittany Lions’ coaching staff.
Moore averaged 13 points a game this weekend at the Gonzaga DC Classic.
Julian Moore: 6-foot-9, 220-pound C, Germantown (Pa.) High School
Breakdown: The 2013 Penn State signee averaged 13 points a game over the three-game Gonzaga DC Classic and showed off his developing skill set. The 6-foot-9 big man busts it up and down the court every time possession changes and is routinely the first one at the opposite end of the court despite where he started. Moore showed nice touch from the foul line, knocking down a number of clutch free throws, but still needs to work on his post game. He’ll need time in the weight room, but he’s got the attitude and work ethic Chambers is looking for.
Shep Garner: 6-foot-1, 170-pound SG, Roman Catholic (Pa.) High School
Breakdown: A prototypical two-guard who plays with an edge. When Garner is on he can really go. Garner averaged 14.6 points per game throughout the weekend, getting a wide array of shots to fall.
In the final game against Archbishop Malloy (NY), Roman was down two with 3.9 seconds left on the clock. Garner got the ball off a missed free throw and dribbled up the court without getting a shot off. He could have pulled up at the top of the key for a long two and beat the buzzer, but apparently the Philly product didn’t know how much time was left. It is an instance where, if that specific situation had never arisen before, one could see how it was mishandled - the junior has to use it as a learning experience, though.
Recruiting Rundown: Ranked No. 100 in the 247Composite, Garner has a host of offers to choose from, including those from Florida, Memphis, Villanova, Xavier, Miami, St. Joseph’s and Penn State, among others. Visiting Penn State earlier this year for a football game, Garner enjoyed his trip to Penn State, but it doesn’t look like he’ll be making a decision any time soon.
VCU head coach Shaka Smart watched Campbell on Saturday.
“Penn State was nice. It was a cool environment (as) they played Navy,” said Garner. “Coach Urgo has been recruiting me. He’s real cool; that’s my guy.”
Tre Campbell: 6-foot-2, 165-pound guard, St. John’s College (DC) High School
Breakdown: Campbell is more of a scoring point guard, someone who has the ball in his hands on every possession. He didn’t seem to leave the floor once during the 84-69 loss to Potomac (Md.) on Saturday at the National HS Hoops Festival. The 6-foot-2 guard scored 13 points and dished out a number of assists, competing all game. The knock on Campbell’s game is that he isn’t as aggressive as he could be, and that was evident at times this weekend, though the DC product is aware it is an area he needs to improve in.
Recruiting Rundown: VCU head coach Shaka Smart was on hand to personally watch Campbell on Saturday, a visitor he acknowledged after the game. The Rams have offered, along with Penn State and St. Joseph’s, and he’s getting looks from Miami and Georgetown as well.
“Coach Urgo is saying this is my chance to have a breakout year,” said Campbell, who will have a Penn State coach at his game on Tuesday. “All the coaches have been telling me to perform on the court this year.”
Bryant Crawford: 6-foot-2, 170-pound PG, Gonzaga (DC) College High School
Breakdown: Crawford put in one of the more complete performances of the weekend on Friday night, scoring 11 points, dishing at least six no-look assists, and pinning three opposing shots against the glass. The do-it-all sophomore ran the point for the Purple Eagles on Friday before a hand injury kept him out the rest of the weekend. At his height and weight, Crawford fits the part of a prototypical point guard, and will be one of the more highly touted players in the 2015 class.
Crawford had a great performance on Friday before injuring his hand.
Recruiting Rundown: Already, Crawford holds offers from Indiana, Georgetown, UConn, Rutgers and Penn State, having taken visits to Bloomington and State College this fall.
“Penn State – the football game was really packed. I liked their noise too and their fan support,” said Crawford.
Traci Carter: 5-foot-11, 140-pound PG, Roman Catholic (Pa.) High School.
Breakdown: Playing the role of a true point guard for Roman, Carter showed his ability, hustle and youth all throughout the weekend. Off the dribble, the 5-foot-11 guard can blow by most defenders and get to the bucket. He’s rarely seen going half-speed, but therein lies part of the problem. As a guard, Carter needs to learn when to turn it down a notch and settle things - multiple times over the weekend he drove into three defenders or lost the ball by pushing it too fast. The talent is there; he now needs seasoning, which will only come with game experience.
Recruiting Rundown: Visiting State College with Garner earlier this year, Carter holds an offer from the Nittany Lions, in addition to offers “from basically every Philly school.” He’s still very early on in the process and is more focused on his play on the court than recruiting at the moment.
Sam Miller: 6-foot-7, 215-pound PF, Gonzaga College (DC) High School
Breakdown: As a sophomore Miller only saw a handful of minutes this weekend, but made the most of them when he was on the court. The versatile 6-foot-7 sophomore has an inside-out game which was on display in both games he saw time in. He’s very raw in terms of where he’s at right now, but Miller nailed a three and had some nice drives.
Recruiting Rundown: Holding two offers from American University and Penn State, Miller has been getting looks and generating interest from a good number of schools who are stopping by to see Crawford.
“The Penn State visit was really awesome,” said Miller on Friday. “I have never been on anything like that before. It was really cool seeing the big campus atmosphere was.
“All of the coaches really like what they’re hearing from my coaches and liked what they’ve seen from me in the open gym.”