Chasing gold and the return to Division A

Chasing the Gold… Tournament review after Day 5

4 teams will enter stage two of the competition with a perfect 4-0 record. But none of them had it easy.

  Slovenia were pushed to the final minutes of their game against Ireland, Clare Melia was in fine form for the Irish amassing 25 points. Slovenia finally found a player who could slow her down when Sofric checked into the game with 5 minutes to go. The experience of Friskovec and Kroselj showed down the stretch and Slovenia will benefit from two days rest.

  Sweden also didn’t have it all their own way, Denmark nearly proved to be the thorn in their side. The game was tied 51-51 with 3 minutes to go but Lundquist and Uhrstrom came up with big 3 pointers and clutch FT’s to give my pre-tournament favorites a perfect record.

 Poland needed the fantastic performance of Makurat to get passed the Greek onslaught, in a very physical game the 2000 born PG was in fine form ending with a Triple double double 13 pts, 12 rebs 11 assists.


Group D was in my opinion the most competitive with only the host nation looking unlikely to secure a single win. Bizarrely on paper they have the best result against Belarus who hold a perfect record. However I was at the game and the coach removed his starters after the first two minutes so the result is not a reflection on the other teams in Group D Lithuania could make noise in the top 8 

I think there will be some great games in the coming days, best wishes to all players and coaches I wish I could be there but for me it’s off to Porto for Division A 


11 Post players you must recruit in the 2016 Class 

Having seen a glimpse of some of the post players available to recruit in the US in the 2016 and 2017 class it would be remiss of me not to highlight those playing in Europe that are equal and superior to the US based Prospects.

Before delving into the following prospects and their particular strengths, some general observations.

The post players in Europe have size! Most of the kids here playing in the post are about 6’3 – 6’4, the kids who play as a forward are often at least 6’2 as well However there all have skill!

I would say at least of half of the kids who play inside are equally comfortable taking a 3 pointer, whilst that might not suit your coaching philosophy it’s a clear indication that these players are being developed as basketball players before they are being specialized into post players, they can all pass and dribble on the break, pass out of the post as well as step out and be effective on a high ball screen action. I am normally reserved in my player assessments however on my return from the USJN’s I was inclined to give every post player on my report and extra star! If they had been playing in the US AAU tournaments they would have been turning heads.

So a range of players to look at from finesse to athletes to beast on the block… the smorgasbord is open! This is not a complete list some players prefer to keep their intentions quiet for now …

On the Block

Whilst not limited to scoring with power moves around the basket these kids can bang inside ! 

The Athletes

With size and agility these players are capable of show stopping blocks and taking rebounds off the rim 


Like a little more Kevin McHale to your post game … These kids are long and skilled 


Subcribers check out full details here –




Summer is just beginning …

As NCAA coaches you find your self fixed inside the gym observing games 9am-9pm for the next few days and then with a sigh of relief you will head back home, to meetings, preseason work outs for the lucky few a summer tour, but in truth the month of August is a wind down for many – Well My fun is just getting started! I will be in DC at the USJN’s to observe games and get some valuable facetime with coaches (especially my current subscribers) but after that i am hitting the scouting trail in earnest! from July 29th- Aug 23rd.

I have already taken in a number of tournaments and gotten a glimpse at some new young talent but nothing beats the European Championships.  Both the u18 & u16’s have an A and B division tournament.  First stop for me is Bucharest to observe 20 National teams play for promotion from Div B at the u18 Championships, After 5 days of observing games I leave to Celje in Slovenia on the 4th August to observe the 16 Division A teams fight for the European Championship in the final 5 days of the tournament play.

FIBA locations 2015

Next up is always the exciting look at the u16’s tournament many of these players will be 2018’s and younger.  First I will be in Macedonia for a week, and will watch 5 days of action between 20 National teams of the B division.  After this a trip back to Porto where the Division A European Champions will be crowned in front of thousands of fans.

Two years ago I enjoyed talking with coaches at the games, when you see me let me know which players you are looking at and I will give you an indication of the talent back in Europe you may want to consider recruiting.  Thinking back to one game in DC where an ncaa coach pointed out their current top target at the PG position, I shook my head and said I promise you, you need to recruit a kid from England called Jay-Ann; she has just finished as the MAC conference freshman of the year.  There is no question that the talent in Europe is quality and in some instances program changing, you just need to know where to look and how to start the recruiting process.

I am in DC for just the first two days and fly back to London on the night of the 23rd.  Please don’t hesitate to say hi, or arrange a meeting court side to make sure we don’t miss each other.  Maybe you are already recruiting a player from Europe and just want a second opinion.  DM me on twitter or email

See you in DC!


The List of players I will be highlighting this week whilst I visit America …


I am Checking out the top American players at the prestigious USJN Tournament in Washington DC this week, but why is a European scout watching whose hot in America ? 

Quite simply I am checking out your competition for scholarship offers. There are several high profile tournaments happening this week in the second of the NCAA observation periods. In Washington DC the USJN tournament will feature over 300 teams and hundreds of college coaches will be evaluating the players to determine their recruiting targets for the 2017 class and onwards. 

I like to watch the games and talk with the NCAA coaches to alert them to which players in Europe are equally good if not better than the players they are watching ! The games are fast and furious and very physical and to be honest the coaches often tell me how they much prefer to watch the European Championships.  However due to NCAA regulations no college coaches are allowed to visit this summers u18 or u16 Tournaments. 

They rely on my evaluation of talent and use the Blue Star Europe report to contact players and watch film of you that I send to the coaches.  As normal I will be at both the A and B U18 & U16 European Championships scouting players this August.

So will I be dropping your name to coaches this week…. Is your name on my list? Not unless you have completed this form. Just 60 seconds could earn you a $250,000 Scholarship offer

Don’t miss out. Remember the Blue Star Europe report is free to players. I know some companies charge you money to help you find a scholarship that’s fine and its your choice, if you have paid already doesn’t mean you can’t contact me as well! 

Mike Flynn who runs this tournament travels extensively across the globe to watch the game. He will be heading over to Russia for the u19’s and he will be joining me in Porto this summer 



FIBA u19 World Championship

Let the games begin!!


The action has started and all games can be viewed live

Subscribers check for Rosters and details on players open to be recruited.

Of course several players are familiar to NCAA coaches however you can get a good look at the incoming Freshman listed below and the early 2016 commits from Australia.


Belgium #10 Eline Maesschalck Drexel

Netherlands #5 Laura Cornelius Miami #14 Emese Hof Miami

Serbia #11 Jovanna Nogic Providence #13 Juca Vojinovic Duquesne

Spain #4 Lai Raventos Charlotte #5 Maite Cazorla Oregon #8 Angela Salvadores Duke #13 Maria Conde Florida State


Australia #7 Alex Sharp Wake Forrest #Madeline Dennis Dayton






England u18’s at home against Netherlands 

Both England & Netherlands have faced recent losses to top quality opposition, Hungary u18’s & Australia u19’s respectively so last nights match at Oaklands College gave both teams further insight to their standing as they head into the u18 European Championships. 

Netherlands started the game without the inside presence of Janis Ndiba and Mirte Scheper who are both helping the Orange Angels with their u20 campaign. Injuries to Steggink and Denise left them venerable inside and the final stats proved England out scored the Orange angels in the paint and had a healthy total rebound margin. 

It was the visitors who got out to a great start with some full court pressure forcing a few England turnovers and Coach Lee Ryan had an early time out as his side were down 7-0. An effective time out and it was soon a nip and tuck affair for the duration of the game. 

Laura Westerik was always on hand to create scores for herself and she ended the game with 18 pts as normal hitting 100% of her FT’s.   Joint top scorer for the Netherlands was Myrte Den Heeten but the team will need a greater contribution form the bench if they are to challenge England this morning.  Asa Kanatbeen exited the game early with an ankle strain let’s see if she will play a part today. 

England u18’s showed a balanced scoring effort both both outside and in. 10 players registered a score with the impressive 2017 Savannah Wilkson  top scoring on her way to a double double from 29 mins of action. Georgia Gayle remained a constant threat from outside hitting 4 of England’s long range efforts. 

Coach Lee Ryan was able to utilise various players at the guard spot.  Gabby Nikitinaite continues to pick out passes that wow the crowd as the team continue their preparations I think the assist ratio will continue to rise. Impressive on the boards was Mel George who snagged 9 in just 17 minutes of action great to see a player have a passion in her role. England kept great floor spacing on offence and minimal shot clock forced efforts shows that the offence is in good shape. Minimal scores in transition yesterday could be a target for today’s contest that tips at 13.00 at Oaklands college.  See you in the gym ! 


End school 2020, 2021, 2022 find out why American coaches want to know about you NOW, NOT in two years!

One of the most difficult things I have to do is to explain to players from Europe why NCAA coaches want to start the recruitment process so early, Well maybe these are some of things you have not considered before.

The NCAA changed the rule recently and this means that NCAA coaches can now offer official visits to players beforetheir senior year.  You get 5 visits where the school will pay for your trip (and a parent) to visit the campus and meet all the staff and players.  So now many American players who end school in 2019 have already taken an official visit and given their ‘verbal’ commitment to the university.  So some programs have already completed recruiting for the 2019 class. Here are the ranking for programs that have already got commitments so far – 2019 recruiting rankings by NCAA school

Imagine you are a college coach, making good money to coach Basketball, all you need to do is keep winning to get a bigger bonus and not get sacked!, but every team needs talented players… If you were a college coach what would you be doing right now? Exactly you would be hunting down the next best player to make sure your team keeps winning!

NCAA coaches wathcing

NCAA coaches can only contact you regularly from September 1st (of your Junior year/ Last two years of school) BUT they can watch film of you play and listen to scouts like me evaluate your game.  Some NCAA programs may only have two scholarships left in the 2020 class and they may already be close to getting a final decision from a USA based player so now they just need that one player to complete the 2020 class – That could be you; but if you are not on a scouting report how will they know about you!? Duh!!

NCAA coaches can not watch games in August so they will not be at this years u16 or u18 European Championship games. BUT they will all be at the major AAU tournaments in America like the USJN’s where hundreds of team play hoping to catch the eye of the recruiters.

USJN court

I have attended these tournaments where a player catches the interest and before you know it there are dozens of coaches all watching the same game, and planning on how they are going to start recruiting that player.  I will be honest, I sometimes watch many of these games in disbelief thinking to myself and how many players I know back in Europe are soo much better – but if you have not agreed for me to add your details to the Blue Star Europe report ( by filling this in then I am not going to tell anybody about you!

Many of the players who are on the Blue Star Europe report from last year in the 2018 class will be able to tell you of the coaches who have written to them and some have had the coaches travel to Europe to meet with them and watch them play already.  As soon as they have taken the SAT or ACT and proved their are going to be academically eligible they can start taking those official visits.

If you end school in 2020, 2021 or even 2022 you are the player I am most interested in – My report is free to players.  So the cost to you is about 60 seconds of your time completing the player registration page ( and that does not mean I am the only person you who can help you, the more the better) If you have any questions then please ask or get your parents or coach to write to me

Hope to see you in the gym soon!

Dan Bowmaker AKA Mr Blue Star Europe

ps if you end school in 2019 then contact me immediately if you are hoping to get a scholarship offer