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April 28, 2014

Nike EYBL: Record day for Monk

RANKINGS: Class of 2014 - 2015 - 2016

The first session of the Nike EYBL concluded on Sunday with a record-setting performance. Calss of 2016 five-star guard Malik Monk put an exclamation mark on the final day of the Sacramento session with one of the best performances in Nike EYBL history.

Monk set a new EYBL single-game record by scoring 59 points in the Arkansas Wings' 98-91 loss to All-Ohio. Monk lit up the scoreboard with remarkable efficiency, hitting 15 of 26 shots from the field (including 10 of 16 from three-point range) and 19 of 23 from the free throw line. The Bentonville, Ark., standout also added nine rebounds.

"My coach told me to come in ready to play, so I had to do that," Monk said. "But my teammates set me up for the most part for all the points. It was my teammates that set me up."

Monk said that he scored 43 points in a high school game, but he doesn't recall scoring this many points before.

Not surprisingly, though he's only a sophomore, Monk has already drawn plenty of recruiting interest. He has offers from Florida, Arkansas, Kansas, Connecticut, Baylor, Memphis, Indiana and SMU.

Monk doesn't have any leaders and hasn't taken any visits. He doesn't have any trips currently scheduled.

Currently ranked as the No. 12 player in the 2016 class by Rivals.com, Monk said that schools are recruiting him to play the two-guard.

McClure nearing a decision

Four-star Texas Titans combo guard King McClure is just days away from announcing his college commitment.

"The plan for me is to announce where I'm going to school next week," McClure said. "Tuesday, probably."

McClure said that he might make his announcement in a press conference at his school. Otherwise, he'll post his choice to Instagram and let fans know his decision through social media.

The No. 37 player in the 2015 class has narrowed his list to Arkansas, SMU, Kansas, UCLA and Baylor. He briefly discussed each of his finalists.

"Kansas, coach Bill Self, it's one of the greatest programs in the country."

"UCLA, coach Steve Alford, as soon as he got there made an instant impact."

"Baylor, Coach [Scott] Drew, has a guard system."

"Arkansas, (they're) good with guards and have an up-and-down (style of) play."

"SMU, Larry Brown, what can you say. It's Larry Brown. He's one of the greatest coaches to ever coach basketball."

What will be the deciding factor in McClure's recruitment?

"Whichever school can get me better and help me (achieve) my dreams," McClure said. "My ultimate goal is to make it to the NBA. Whatever school can put me in the right position to make it to the NBA is the school I'll go to."

Though he doesn't have the basketball recruiting profile of McClure, fellow Texas Titan guard Soso Jamabo is also receiving loads of college attention. Jamabo is one of the top running backs in the nation and a four-star football prospect.

"I know for sure I want to play football, but if basketball comes along pretty well, then that definitely would be a good option," Jamabo said.

Jamabo mentioned Oklahoma and Baylor as two programs that have spoken to him about playing both sports, though "not too many" of the schools recruiting him have.

Michigan State a factor for Spiece Indy Heat duo

Michigan State already has a commitment from four-star Spiece Indy Heat forward Deyonta Davis, and the Spartans are in the mix for Davis' teammate, five-star 2016 center Caleb Swanigan. Swanigan said that Michigan State, Indiana and Pittsburgh are among the schools recruiting him the hardest.

Davis, however, isn't pushing Swanigan to join him at Michigan State.

"Not really," Swanigan said. "He knows I'm going to choose wherever I want to play. He's not putting any pressure on me on where I need to go."

Swanigan said that he doesn't currently have any favorites. He hasn't taken any recent trips and doesn't have any visits planned. He listed winning tradition and familiarity with the coaching staff/comfort level with a program as the most important factors in his recruitment. School size, however, won't play into his choice.

As for Davis' recruitment, he said that the major appeal of Michigan State was the program's proximity to home.

"It was close to home and all my family can come and watch," Davis said.

Davis said that all schools aside from Michigan State have ceased contact with him since he committed to the Spartans.

The four-star forward said that he's most looking forward to the opportunity to "be coached by one of the greatest coaches" when he arrives in East Lansing.

Both Davis and Swanigan impressed in a 53-52 win over the St. Louis Eagles. Swanigan in particular was impossible for the Eagles to handle in the post, showing off a variety of offensive moves to score in the interior. He ended up with a game-high 19 points.

Davis wasn't as involved offensively but threw down one of the highlight dunks of the tournament and finished with a double-double (11 points and 11 rebounds).

Florida commit, 2016 five-star lead Nike Team Florida

Class of 2016 five-star big man Udoka Azubuike dunked, rebounded, defended and blocked shots in Nike Team Florida's 72-71 victory over Mac Irvin Fire on Sunday morning.

Though his offensive game is still very raw -- he didn't score outside of the paint or from the free throw line in the win and scored only eight points -- Azubuike already looks to have a college-ready body and is extremely powerful in the interior. On one memorably play, Azubuike was guarded by a defender in the post, spun over his left shoulder and threw down a massive dunk like it was nothing.

Oh, and Azubuike is only 14-years-old and has been playing basketball for just a few seasons.

On the recruiting side, Azubuike is still very early in the process. He's received interest from Florida and Florida State but is still a ways away from a decision.

If he does decide on the Gators, he'll join one of his AAU teammates, three-star forward Kevarrius Hayes. Hayes committed to Florida last June and remains a solid commit to the Gators.

"Initially, I pretty much knew of Florida before, but I think (my decision to commit) happened when I moved in with my coach because he's a Florida alum so he kind of talked about Florida a lot and talked me up," Hayes sad. "So he had connections. And so I've come to love Florida. I really do like the way they run a fast-paced kind of a game. They like to move fast. It's great. I really do love the way they do things there and they say that they love me and the way I run the floor. So they say I'd be a great piece to their puzzle."

Hayes added that he stays in touch with Florida assistants John Pelphrey and Matt McCall the most.

The Suwanee High School standout said that he's not sure if other schools have continued to contact him since he's been committed because, well, he's just not that interested in other programs.

"After I got Florida, which is the one I wanted, I kind of just stopped paying attention to all that stuff," Hayes said.



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