Welcome to our new post. In The Zone will be a weekly post that covers the high school, college, and NBA landscapes. We will look back at the week in hoops as well as look to the future to see what big games and news that are waiting for us.
In-Depth profiles on NBA Rookies, as well as high school and college stars will be included during our In The Zone posts. Stat Leaders for the NBA and college ranks will be provided. We will thoroughly cover the hot news as well as the unknown and hidden gems that are scattered all around the basketball landscape. If you are looking for hot basketball news, our weekly In The Zone post is where it will be at.
We will be providing up to date Stat leaders throughout the NBA. Also included is a profile of one of the most talented and youngest teams in the NBA. The Philadelphia 76ers have been playing very good basketball under head coach Brett Brown. The 76ers will be pushing to make the playoffs this year. Whatever happens, the future looks very bright in Philly.
JAMES HARDEN: 31.7
GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO: 29.6
LEBRON JAMES: 28.2
ANDRE DRUMMOND: 15.3
DEANDRE JORDAN: 14.2
DEMARCUS COUSINS 12.6
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: 9.9
JAMES HARDEN: 9.7
LEBRON JAMES: 8.6
THE FUTURE IS NOW IN PHILLY
Former general manager Sam Hinkie had a term that he coined “Trust the Process”. Hinkie tore down the roster he was handed with and valued draft picks like they were gold. While he was fired 2 years ago, “Trust the Process” is alive and well in the city of Brotherly Love. at 13-10, the Sixers are likely to make the playoffs for the first time in a long time and are stocked with young and prodigious talent. Center Joel Embiid has stayed healthy and has proven to be one of the top 5 centers in the NBA. Ben Simmons, after missing the entire 2016 season season due to injury, has taken the NBA world by storm. The 6’10 point guard might just be the next big thing in basketball. He is averaging 18pts, 9.3reb, and 7.7ast per game. The key for both Embiid and Simmons is health. They have not gotten bit by the injury bug so far.
JJ Reddick has been a great acquisition. It remains to be seen if 2017 number 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz joins the team and plays this year. He is battling a shoulder injury. No matter what happens this season, it is all about the future.With young talent like Embiid, Simmons, Fultz, Dario Saric, and Robert Covington, nobody is going to want to face this team in the coming years. It looks like “Trust the Process” is coming to fruition.
The college basketball season seems like it is flying by as it is already the 5th week of the season. With non-conference play nearing conclusion and conference play right around the bend, we have a better look at which teams are performing well and who are disappointing. We will take a look into one of the most disappointing teams during the first month of the season. Also included is a profile of a freshman from UNLV who is making the entire college basketball community to take notice.
For this weeks national top 25 rankings, CLICK HERE
TRAE YOUNG: 28.7
MATT SCOTT: 25.8
FEMI OLUJUBI: 25.1
DEVONTAE COOK: 13.0
JORDAN MURPHY: 12.8
JAMES THOMSON IV: 12.3
ERICK NEAL: 10.3
THE REAL McCOY
Marvin Bagley III of Duke is the most known freshman in the country and has been splendid for Duke so far in the early going of the season. However, one freshman on the west coast is putting up mind-boggling numbers for a very much improved UNLV team.
Big-Man Brandon McCoy has played so well that all of college basketball has taken notice. The center for for UNLV was a 5-star recruit and perhaps the most highly touted prospect to sign with the school in years. The projected first round pick whenever he decides to comes out is averaging 20pts, 11.2reb, and 0.6ast per game. The 7’1″ center is part of a revamped roster and has the Running Rebels thinking NCAA tournament this year. Watch him if you ever have the opportunity.
As the High School season has started for some states, the majority start in 2 weeks. High School basketball has exploded in notoriety withing the past 5-10 years. Today we will be listing the preseason national top 10 rankings, which are from MaxPreps.com. Also included is a profile on the Vanderbilt Commodores recruiting class for 2019. Head Coach Bryce Drew went out on the recruiting trail and shocked many people by landing 2 players considered 5-star recruits.
PRE-SEASON NATIONAL TOP 10 RANKINGS
MEMPHIS EAST (TN)
OAK HILL ACADEMY (VA)
HUDSON CATHOLIC (NJ)
IMG ACADEMY (FL)
CYPRESS FALLS (TX)
MOUNTAIN BROOK (AL)
BRYCE DREW IS IN THE ZONE ON THE RECRUITING TRAIL
Any college basketball fan will tel you that winning consistently at Vanderbilt tough. Kevin Stallings did pretty well before he left to take the head job at Pittsburgh two years ago. Known as one of the most prestigious academic institutions in America, landing blue chip high school talent has always been a problem. That has all changed within the past month.
Drew led the Commodores to the NCAA tournament before bowing out in the first round. The momentum of making the Big Dance carried over to recruiting. In the past few weeks, Drew has gained commitments from 2 of the top 15 players in the class of 2018.
LANDING BIG-TIME TALENT
Canada has become a hot-bed for high school basketball talent. Simi Shittu, a 6’9″ power forward had offers from virtually every big-time university. Instead of going to a bigger name school, he chose Vanderbilt. The 11th ranked player in the country according to ESPN, Shittu is extremely gifted with a ready made college body and displays versatility on the court. He is an excellent passer for his size and can handle the ball. He is close to unstoppable at scoring the ball at the high school level. The Ontario native will walk onto the Vanderbilt campus next season and will be an immediate starter. Shittu has the ability to be a one and done college player.
The second 5-star recruit headed to Vanderbilt is point guard Darius Garland. The 6th ranked player by ESPN, will be handed the keys to the team during day 1 of practice. The 6’2″ lead guard can do it all on the floor. He has a pretty jump-shot with a real quick release. He will make everyone on the Commodores team better.
While the 2017-18 season has started off slow for Vandy the future looks very bright. Bringing in 2 players the caliber of Shittu and Garland has the teams fan-base ecstatic. Bryce Drew has been In The Zone on the recruiting trail. The teams in the SEC conference are taking notice. It looks like the Vanderbilt Commodores are going to be a team that nobody will want to play in 2018-19.
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