Prep School Basketball: Shit Makes Sense (sometimes)

Prep School Basketball: Shit Makes Sense (sometimes)

Been getting a lot of questions from parents and players about Prep Schools… Have some friends that recently placed their kids in prep programs… This burst of interest in Prep basketball was expected. With the dramatic shift in the scholarship market, 17, 18 and 19 year old students face tough choices. For many, Prep School basketball is a rational move… Shit makes sense…

Think about this…

For the first time in history, every men’s and women’s college basketball team in America could theoretically field the exact same team again for the 2021-2022 season. This season will not be applied to the student-athlete’s eligibility clock.

The 2020-21 season is a free year as far as eligibility is concerned. This rule change is having an enormous impact on the scholarship market.

Walk through the basic numbers…

Let’s say there are 350 Division 1 basketball programs. Each program has 13 basketball scholarships. There are roughly 4,550 scholarships. Every year around 1,000 or so D1 scholarships become available.

Not this year… Everyone playing college sports can theoretically come back next year. The extent to which player take advantage of this rule change directly impacts the number of available basketball scholarships.

Somewhere less than 100% of the student-athletes will choose to stay. Some guys will just want to get on with their lives. Coaches may not want all of their players to return. For illustrative purposes, let’s say half or 50% choose to play another year of college basketball. The number of available scholarships decreases to a mere 500 or so. If 30% choose to stay the number of available scholarships decrease to 700.

The recruitment process can get even more complex and daunting for high school prospects and their parents.

College coaches fully realize that any player currently participating in NCAA basketball could conceivably play on their team next season. Players can transfer one time and play immediately without sitting out a year in residence.

This is pure free agency.

These conditions have never existed before. College coaches have adapted their recruitment strategies in light of the relaxed transfer constraints. Plainly stated, college transfers are preferred over high school prospects in most situations. Real rap…

So much so that once vaccines are widely available, one can envision some college coaches literally recruiting in the hand shake line after the games…

As of right now, many college coaches are not even considering high school players.

The market shift is forcing an increased number of high school players and their families to consider “Prep Schools” or accept slots in D2, D3 or NAIA programs.

One thing for sure in college basketball, levels matter. As they say, “it’s levels to this shit.” This statement definitely applies to college hoops. Players and parents want to play at the highest level. They want to play D1 hoops.

Rather than abandoning hopes of playing D1 basketball, more and more prospects are going the Prep School route.

With far-reaching regulatory changes enacted by the NCAA, this route will appeal to an increasing number of prospects.

There’s a lot of variation in Prep School Programs. There are some really excellent programs and there are some really bad ones. This is a largely unregulated area.

Buyer beware…

Prep schools have been around for a long time. Since the early 1900’s, the term “prep school” has been associated with predominantly white, private, elite institutions that have highly competitive admission criteria and high tuition fees, catering to students in the 8th – 12th grade range. Many of the elite prep schools are located in New England. These schools charge tuition ($20,000 to 70,000). Some prep schools are affiliated with a particular religious denomination. Independent preparatory schools are not governed by a religious organization, and students are usually not required to receive instruction in one particular religion. Graduates of these schools typically enter highly competitive colleges such as those in the Ivy League. Many of these prep schools have fine basketball programs.

Then… on the other end of the spectrum, there are basketball clubs that label themselves as “Prep schools.” These are programs where the emphasis is solely on basketball. Some of these programs play 60-70 games per season. In the past, schools like this were able to provide miraculous academic recoveries for students in a short amount of time. However, the NCAA began to argue that they did so with “little-to-no instruction.”

Eventually, the NCAA created a list of Prep Schools whose transcripts are no longer be accepted because of what they described as questionable academic credentials.

Parents MUST verify that any academic work completed under the auspices of the Prep School will be accepted by the NCAA.

Ask the Head Coach and/or Director of the Prep School for the School’s NCAA High School Code or CEEB/ACT Code. With either code you can search for a high school’s list of NCAA courses with this link.

If you don’t know the school’s NCAA High School Code or six-digit CEEB/ACT Code, you may search by city/state and high school name.

If… Academic concerns are part of the equation, parents MUST verify that the classes will be accepted.

Here’s the interesting thing though… More than likely, there will be a significant increase in the number of NCAA eligible kids that just want to play Prep School basketball. For many, this makes perfect sense. They don’t have D1 offers and they want to get better and earn a D1 scholarship. The NCAA clock does not start while a kid is in Prep School. Kids can play a full schedule of games, practice everyday, get stronger and further develop skill sets.

Kids that are NCAA eligible, can take up to 6 credit hours per semester at a Community College. A qualified Prep student could enter college with 18-24 credit hours under his belt.

Most importantly, by playing at the Prep level a kid’s NCAA eligibility clock does not begin.

If a kid is NCAA eligible, he could focus entirely on basketball, strength, conditioning and nutrition. Good prep school programs are strong in these areas.

Some reputable prep programs in the mid-Atlantic region include, Mt. Zion Prep (MD), Rocktop Academy (PA), Covenant Prep (NJ) and Olympus Prep (NJ). All of these programs play strong national Prep school schedules.

Rod Harrison, Founder, Mt. Zion Prep

Mt. Zion Prep Sports Academy is located in Lanham, Maryland. n 2011, Founded in 2011, by Rodrick Harrison and Brian Scott. Mt. Zion Prep has emerged as one of the premiere Prep Programs in the Nation. Mt. Zion is an independent prep program that competes on a national level. Mt. Zion has competed in the National Prep Showcase as well as the National Prep School Invitational. Obi Toppin, the 8th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft Lottery is a Mt. Zion alum.

Sam Rines, Founder, Rocktop Academy

Founded by Sam Rines, Rocktop Academy is located in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA and directly across from the largest shopping mall in the United States. It is the only prep school partnered with the fastest growing recruiting service in the country,’s With more than 100 universities within a 50 mile radius of Philadelphia and many more throughout the northeast, Rocktop Academy is ideally located. Los Angeles Laker forward Kyle Kuzma in a Rocktop Alum.

Ian Turnbill, Founder, Covenant College Prep

Founded by Ian Turnbill, Covenant College Prep is located in Belmar, New Jersey. Turnbill has built a respected basketball academy with a college level training program. He emphasizes three core components:
1) Strength and conditioning training, measurably improving on court performance; 2) On court college level skill development, and; 3) Comprehensive meal program to enhance training. Temple freshman Nick Jourdain is a Covenant Prep alum.

Rob Lawton, Olympus Prep Head Coach

Founded by Todd Beamon and Rich Marcucci, Olympus Prep is located in West Berlin, New Jersey. Marcucci has decades of experience running Prep Programs. He has worked with some of the best college and professional players to come out the Greater Philadelphia region. Eugene Teague (Seton Hall/Europe), Marcus and Markeiff Morris (Kansas/NBA) played in Marcucci’s program. Olympus has a modern, safe basketball facility and produces highly skilled, and disciplined players.

Players and parents have to do their research. Before anything, players have to realistically assess their value in today’s basketball scholarship market. Are you likely to attract a D1 offer? Please keep in mind, there are fewer available D1 scholarships… Additionally, high school kids are competing with more 21, 22 and 23 year old student-athletes for this smaller number of scholarships.

Players and parents then have to try to realistically project value after a year of serious training. If the player is committed he can improve and demonstrate improvement while playing at any of the prep programs listed above. Division 1 coaches regularly recruit players from these prep programs.

But, if a player is bullshittin’ his situation will not change.

In some cases… Maybe most cases…

Kids will be better off accepting one of the D2, D3 or NAIA offers on the table. In the grand scheme of things, the objective is to leverage basketball ability for access to higher education. A D2 or NAIA scholarship accomplishes this goal. For outstanding students, D3 programs offer outstanding merit-based financial aid packages. If you are a D1 player, it will become evident and you will be able to transfer and play immediately without sitting out a year.

It’s a new era…

Get in Front of College Coaches. Get Your NCP Scouting Report Today!

We are currently experiencing a health crisis unlike anything we have ever seen before. Virtually all colleges and high schools across the nation have shut down and eliminated all direct instruction and shifted to online delivery of educational services.  As a result, athletic competition at both the collegiate and scholastic levels has come to a screeching halt. No NCAA tournaments or state HS championships for winter sports like basketball. Moreover, and perhaps more importantly, the recruiting process has been drastically altered.  Many rising high school seniors, unsigned seniors and 5th year prep prospects find themselves in the worst imaginable situation.

Thousands of boys and girls across the nation were expecting to play in AAU/grassroots Live Period events in front of college coaches in April. They were prepared to take unofficial visits to campuses far and wide in hopes of landing coveted athletic scholarships. They expected to see scores of college coaches coming through “open gyms” to evaluate them and their teammates. None of this is happening. For the first time ever, the college recruitment process has been drastically altered midstream by external and unforeseen forces.

Alliya Butts Poster-1 2

It has to be tough for kids to see their peers accepting scholarships and committing to play in college. Well-known and established Division 1 prospects that have been on the radar screen for a while continue to receive offers, calls and texts. College coaches are even conducting virtual unofficial and in-home visits for the top prospects on their lists.

Trayvon Reed Poster-1

But, what about the late bloomers? What about the kids that were depending on the April “Live Periods” and “High School Live Periods” to demonstrate what they could do?

For years, Black Cager Sports Media has facilitated communication between elite basketball prospects and Division 1 college coaches. We have entered into an agreement with National College Preps (NCP) to distribute NCP 2K Men’s Basketball Scouting Reports to Men’s and Women’s College Coaching staff across the country.


NCP 2K Scouting Report
The NCP 2K Scouting report puts student-athletes and parents in the driver’s seat. They have full access to the information that is in their recruiting profile. Additionally, The NCP 2K Scouting Report allows them the freedom to share their report with the schools of their choosing with the NCP branding that captures the attention of college coaches.

Over the past seven years, Black Cager Sports Media has established solid relationships with college basketball coaches across the country. Black Cager Sports Media will contact and forward your NCP 2K Scouting Report to five (5) colleges recommended by NCP proprietary software program.



Delgreco Wilson

800.424.6753, ext. 702




Interview With Delgreco K. Wilson, Newly Appointed National Director of Basketball Scouting

Delgreco K. Wilson recently joined National College Preps (NCP) as the National Director of Basketball Scouting. We sat down with Mr. Wilson to discuss his thoughts as he begins his work with NCP.


NCP: You’ve had a scouting service and recruiting platform for over 5 years and it’s been very well received, why did you decide to join the NCP team?

DKW: I think it was primarily because I’ve had some success that I’ve decided to join NCP. Over the years, I’ve worked with young men like Jameer Nelson (Chester HS/St. Joseph’s/NBA), Dionte Christmas (Lutheran Prep/Temple/NBA), Samme Givens (ANC/Drexel/FIBA), Delonte West (Elanor Roosevelt/St. Joseph’s/NBA), Markeiff Morris (Prep Charter/Kansas/NBA), Marcus Morris (Prep Charter/Kansas/NBA), Dion Waiters (Life Center Academy/Syracuse/NBA), Derick Jones (Archbishop Carroll/UNLV/NBA), Savon Goodman (Constitution HS/Arizon St/FIBA), Austin Tilghman (Archbishop Carroll/Monmouth/FIBA), Langston Galloway (Christian Life Academy/St. Joseph’s/NBA) and Charlie Brown (George Washington HS/St. Joseph’s/NBA) as they transitioned from high school to college. In addition to those Philadelphia area kids, I’ve built strong relationships with Omhar Carter (Mississippi Basketball Association) in Mississippi, Ron Bailey in Washington, DC (HoyaReport), Tony Chiles in New York City (Bishop Loughlin), Jimmy Salmon and Marcus Toney-El in North Jersey (Immaculate Conception/NJ Playaz) as well as Rod Harrison (Mt. Zion Prep), Julian Brown (Team Melo) and Nick Myles (St. Frances Academy) in Baltimore, Maryland.

The simple truth is Black Cager Scouting Service was a small boutique firm and it really only focused on a select group of male elite mid to high major Men’s Basketball prospects. I want to serve far more student-athletes than was possible through Black Cager Scouting Service.


Delgreco K. Wilson and Traci Carter, Hartford University Senior PG

NCP: What was it about NCP that led you to join forces with them?

DKW: First and foremost, it was the leadership team. Greg Hood and Christian Lockhart have done an excellent job establishing NCP as the pre-eminent Black-owned college recruiting platform in America. These brothers are Clemson alums. Greg was running back for the Tigers. They have worked hard to position NCP as one of the top football recruiting platforms in the country. NCP’s reputation is outstanding among SEC, Big 10, ACC and other D1 football programs. Moreover and more importantly, they have developed and refined an outstanding computer-based scouting system. Their state of the art software will allow me to quickly share more information on more student-athletes than I ever could have through the Black Cager Scouting Service. Whereas, I have had to limit the number of prospects I could scout in the past, that is no longer the case.

In fact, I really look forward to working with low Division 1, Division 2, Division 3 and NAIA programs to match them up with qualified prospects. Additionally, we are really excited to give the girls as much attention as we give the boys.


Delgreco K. Wilson and JaQuan Newton, University of Miami alum

NCP: You’ve never worked with the girls?

DKW: Yes, I have… But it’s always been limited. Again, as a boutique firm, I kinda focused on elite players. For example, a few of my favorite girls were Ashley Rosario (nee Louge), Alliya Butts, Nelli Perry, Aja Ellison and Tamyra “Mookie” Laws. Ashley Rosario was named Most Valuable Player for the Saint Joseph’s University Women’s Basketball team in 2010. She was one of the top post players in the Atlantic 10 and Philadelphia Big 5 during her career. Alliya Butts finished her career at Temple with 1,936 points, 420 assists, 292 threes, and 280 steals. She ranks second all-time at Temple in points. Alliya owns the all-time career records for threes and steals. She finished her career ranked fourth in assists. Alliya is the only player in Temple women’s basketball to be named All-Conference four times and is just the second player in Temple history to be named to four All-Big 5 teams. Nelly Perry scored over 1,000 points over a career that started at Clemson and ended at South Carolina. Nelly finished high school career with 2,091 points to become her school’s all-time leading scorer and the 24th player in South Jersey to score 2,000 points.

Aja Ellison played 3 seasons at Maryland and finished her collegiate career at Texas A&M where she set season career-highs for minutes played, points, rebounds, assists and field goal percentage. Tamyra is one my favorites. She a gritty tough girl from “Norf” Philly. A 5’8” guard her toughness was on full display when while playing for Frederick (Md.) Community College, pulled down 42 rebounds in a game against Howard CC. That season she averaged 21.9 points and 18.8 rebounds per game. She would finish her college career at Immaculata.

So yes… I’ve worked with girls, but not enough of them. There are so many girls that need the push that a good scouting service can provide.


Delgreco K. Wilson and Tazir Cantey, ’21 D1 Prospect from Lindewold HS (NJ)

NCP: Can you name a few girls that college coaches should be paying attention to right now?

DKW: Because (South Carolina Women’s Head Coach) Dawn Staley is a good friend of mine, I always make mental notes when I see girls that can play at the highest level. I make sure to pass the names off to Dawn whenever we talk. A few of the high level girls I have noticed recently are Hannah Hidalgo a freshman guard from Paul VI HS (NJ), Cire Worley a freshman guard from Abington HS (PA), Ava Sciolla a sophomore guard from Pennsbury HS (PA) and Destiney McPhaul a junior guard from West Catholic Prep HS (PA). These girls are all destined to play Division 1 basketball. If we can work with the families to give them the exposure and push that gets them where they want to be, my objectives will be more than satisfied.


Delgreco K. Wilson and Malik Hines, McNeese State (LA) Alum

NCP: When can we expect to see you out and about representing NCP?

DKW: I told Greg and Christian, I’m gonna start right away. While we deal with this horrific coronavirus situation, I can’t go watch live basketball. But, I am developing the NCP basketball prospect database. I am taking calls from college coaches, high school players and parents. We are reviewing films. We are making referrals and establishing connections.

More than ever before, I’ve been in touch with my friends that coach at the small college level. These guys are always looking for good players and they work at some strong programs. I stay in touch with guys like Gerald Holmes, Bloomfield College, Dan Burke, Wilmington University, Tim McDonald, Cabrini University, Damien Blair, West Chester University, Alfred Johnson, Elizabeth City University, Brian Gorman, Becker College (MA) and Jim Rullo, Neumann University. More than ever before, I’ll be able to help them identify good small college players.

NCP: We are excited to have come aboard our team and we look forward to helping a lot of kids transition from high school to college.

DKW: We will be the number 1 and the dominant Basketball Recruiting Service in the mid-Atlantic region by this time next year.


Delgreco K. Wilson and Dimencio Vaughn, Rider University, Junior Forward