December 24, 2012

Holiday Invitational preview

Raleigh will once again be the center of the college basketball recruiting landscape when some of the nation's elite prep prospects congregate at Broughton High School in the heart of the North Carolina state capital for the 30th annual Holiday Invitational.

The Tournament features 2013 prospects: NC State signee Hampton (Va.) point guard Anthony Barber, North Carolina signee Oxford (NC) J.F. Webb power forward Isaiah Hicks, Duke signee DeSoto (Texas) Matt Jones, Pittsburgh signee Raleigh (NC) Word of God point guard Josh Newkirk and Indiana signee Haverhill (NH) New Hampton Prep power forward Noah Vonleh.

It is also stockpiled with 2014 talent: Crozet (Va.) Miller School power forward Isaac Copeland, Waxhaw (NC) Cuthbertson point guard Shelton Mitchell and Kentucky commitment Metuchen (NJ) St. Joseph's center Karl Towns.

Copeland, who is rated as a four-star recruit by, claims scholarship offers from Appalachian State, Boston College, Buffalo, East Carolina, Fairfield, NC State, St. Joseph's, UNC-Charlotte, Virginia, West Virginia, Western Kentucky and Winthrop.

The 6-foot-9 and 205-pound junior is also receiving interest from Florida State, Georgetown, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio State.

UNC head coach Roy Williams watched Copeland 23 points versus Florida McDonald Academy Thursday, Dec. 21 at the Chick-Fil-A Classic at Richland Northeast High School in Columbia, SC.

In a recent interview with Tar Heel Illustrated Copeland said Florida State, Georgetown, UNC, Duke, and Kansas State are recruiting him the hardest. He added those are the schools he most interested in.

"Simply just the fact that I have the best relationships with their coaching staffs and I had great visits there," Copeland said to Tar Heel Illustrated.
Mitchell, who is rated as a four-star recruit by, claims scholarship offers from Memphis, Mississippi State, Missouri, South Carolina, UNC-Charlotte and Wake Forest.
The 6-foot-3 and 170-pound junior is also receiving interest from Clemson, Illinois, Marquette, NC State, North Carolina, Oregon State, Virginia Commonwealth and Washington.
Mitchell told Tar Heel Illustrated in October he has built the strongest relationships with Wake head coach Jeff Bzdelik and Demon Deacon assistant Jeff Battle in regard to his recruitment.
Wake has had its sights set on Mitchell since his sophomore year.
Games to watch …

Holly Springs versus St. Joseph's Wednesday, Dec. 26 at 5:40 PM EST

Big man Karl Towns headlines this meeting.

Webb versus Clinton Wednesday, Dec. 26 at 7:20 PM EST

It will likely be difficult to find a seat for every game Isaiah Hicks' games in this tournament, so come early.

Word of God versus Apex Wednesday, Dec. 26 at 9:00 PM EST

Josh Newkirk will be challenged by T.J. Evans and T.J. Wells.

Miller versus High Point Christian Thursday, Dec. 27 at 4:00 PM EST

The versatile combo forward Isaac Copeland will be a load for a competitive High Point Christian team.

Kinston versus DeSoto Thursday, Dec. 27 at 5:40 PM EST

This is a great opportunity to see future Blue Devil sharpshooter Matt Jones against Kinston, one of the elite North Carolina programs.

Greenfield versus New Hampton Thursday, Dec. 27 at 7:20 PM EST

Noah Vonleh is one of the nation's top power forwards should be a difficult assignment for Greenfield.

Cuthbertson versus Hampton Thursday, Dec. 27 at 9:00 PM EST

The point guard matchup between Anthony Barber and Shelton Mitchell highlight this game.

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