The NCAA Basketball Academy West Region features 320 high school players from 16 states across six days in Phoenix, Arizona.
Session II had six players from Nebraska in it: 2020 Millard North forward Max Murrell, 2020 Omaha Westside guard Jadin Booth, 2020 Bellevue West forward John Shanklin, 2020 Omaha South forward Rashawn McNeal-Lee, 2021 Lincoln North Star guard Kwat Abdelkarim and 2021 Lincoln Southeast guard Ajantae Hogan.
Here are World-Herald prep recruiting specialist Mike Sautter's notes from day one of session II of the event.
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» Murrell drew a lot of attention from Division I coaches throughout the day and even more so during his first game of the weekend Friday evening. He didn’t disappoint those who came to watch him play. He won the tip, and on his team’s first possession of the game, he scored on a two-handed tip dunk. The next offensive possession, he drilled a 3-pointer from the wing. His ability to score is uncanny. Murrell, 6-foot-9, can take would-be defenders off the dribble to score at the rim, has a nice catch-and-shoot, face-up jump shot and is more than capable of scoring from distance. On the defensive end he tipped passes, blocked shots and rebounded out of his area. It is only a matter of time before he enters national recruiting rankings as a top-100 player.
» After being banged up most of the summer, Booth looked healthy. He was making shots in skill work and games. He showed he can be put into new situations and adjust on the fly, which is a sign of his high basketball IQ. Booth is a known 3-point shooter, but his ability to score and create for others was on display as well.
» Shanklin returned to the court in July after missing most of June with a broken bone in his wrist. Shanklin showed his bounce and ability to process information quickly during the drill portion of the day. He has a soft touch around the rim and is more than capable of stretching the defense to beyond the 3-point line.
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» McNeal-Lee had a solid day. He showed he can stretch the floor to 15 feet or more and isn’t scared to bang with taller and thicker post players on the defensive end. He always plays with tremendous energy and effort, and that was no different Friday. He will give you everything he’s got on both ends of the floor.
» Abdelkarim is intriguing. He has certainly added good weight to his longer frame. He might not be the team's leading scorer, but he has a consistent 3-point shot and has a knack for scoring around the rim. He just understands how to play the game and is rarely out of position to make plays on both ends of the floor.
» Hogan came into the weekend with a tweaked hamstring, and I didn’t get a full chance to see him throughout the day. What I did see in the drill portion of the morning was his ability to burst to the basket and score. He also knocked down some 3-pointers in drills.
» There were plenty of college coaches in attendance throughout the day.
Creighton is one of the schools to offer Murrell. CU coach Greg McDermott was in attendance on Friday night, along with Stanford coach Jerod Haase and Kansas State’s Bruce Weber. Weber watched Murrell run in-bounds plays earlier in the day. Princeton may be recruiting Murrell the hardest. Tigers assistant coach Skye Ettin was at every session of Murrell’s throughout the day. UNO’s Derrin Hansen was the first coach in the gym and made a point to watch Mavs commit Jadin Booth at every station he had throughout the day. Hansen also watched the other Nebraskans and potential targets from South Dakota, Colorado and Wyoming.
» Three prospects not from Nebraska who had impressive showings were Graham Ike, Carson Basham and Bradley Ezewiro. Ike (6-foot-10, 245 pounds) is a teammate of Booth and Murrell for the weekend. The 2020 post player from Overland High School (Aurora, Colo.) recently received an offer from Akron, and his offer list includes Saint Louis, UMass, Rider, Northern Colorado and Air Force. Basham, a 6-foot-10 post player in the 2021 class, is from Phoenix’s Sunnyslope High and has received 10 offers since June. TCU, Washington State and San Francisco are a few on his offer list. Ezewiro, a three-star prospect according to 247Sports composite, is a 6-foot-8 post player from Torrance, California’s Bishop Montgomery High. Ezewiro’s offer list includes LSU, Cal State Fullerton, Cal Poly and Montana.
Photos: Division I basketball and football recruits in Nebraska for the 2020 class
These are the basketball and football players from Nebraska in the 2020 class who have at least one Division I scholarship offer. Did we miss anyone? Let us know by sending an email to email@example.com