Tuesday, July 22, 2014

More on some of the JC talents

Do keep in mind that rosters aren't set as yet for the community college basketball teams so some of these comments/opinions may be meaningless come the first actual game. Of course, there is also the possibility they are currently invalid too.  ;)

* Diablo Valley College looks to have more depth this coming season plus the freshman twins in the middle (Rico Nuno and Damion Banford). An offensive bonus is Nuno's playmaking/passing ability inside and outside the paint.

* At what level does DeAnza's 5-foot-9 Nate Vieira land after this season? He has the quicks and ballhandling ability to go DI but will he show the necessary shooting consistency necessary? Plus, being three inches shy of six-feet means the physicality at the top level could be a problem. It will be fascinating to see how this plays out.

* Can Monterey Peninsula College provide enough outside shooting threats to keep defenses honest in covering 6-foot-6 Stephen Dorsey? The potential is looks promising.

* Delta's Jordan Belasco didn't play in the Nor Cal JUCO Summer Jamboree because he was back in St. Louis at the Jerry Mullens national event. He led the state in assists during the 2013-14 season but is the level of athleticism required to make plays and defend present for DI?

* College of the Redwoods won't be big and therefore rebounding is a question but sharpshooting Johnny Shelton returns (14.5 points per game on 49%, 51& and 89% shooting) and Fortuna High point Justin Claus has come aboard.

* CCSF is very inexperienced and not all that big (thus far) so here's predicting Gabe Bealer averaging a double-double.

* Really want to see what Dalvin Guy can add to the mix for Santa Rosa Junior College. Defensive and rebounding contributions from him would be a big boost to the Bear Cubs.

It;s also worth noting that landing in DI is not the end all/be all. Fulfilling college experiences on and off the court can happen throughout the country. The references above to DI are simply a curiosity on my part.

Three WJU Warriors honored for academic prowess

A trio of northern California-connected student-athletes at William Jessup University have been honored for their respective academic efforts:

William Jessup University men's basketball players Keith Bruder, Sean Fenner, Tim Oswald ... were named to the 2013-14 NABC Honors Court.

Bruder, a native of Pleasant Hill, CA, graduated with a History degree in May, while maintains g a 3.59GPA. This is his second time on the NABC Honors Court.  He twice earned Daktronics/NAIA Scholar-Athlete honors over the past two seasons.

Fenner, a native of Stockton, CA, is a Psychology major who maintains a 3.34 GPA.

Oswald, a native of Mariposa, CA, graduated with a Business Administration degree May, while maintaining a 3.2 GPA. This was his second time on the NABC Honors Court.

NorCal numbers out of the LV Summer League

Here are the stats of various northern-California connected talents who just finished play in the Las Vegas Summer League:

* Josh Akognon - 5.7 points, 33% shooting, 15.7 minutes per game

Will Cherry - 12.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 52% shooting, 25.2 minutes per game

Jared Cunningham - 6.8 points, 1.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 41% shooting, 12.2 minutes per game

Matthew Dellavedova - 11.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 43% shooting, 32 minutes per game

* Kiwi Gardner - 4.0 points, 9 minutes per game

* Drew Gordon - 6.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, 47% shooting, 20.3 minutes per game

Stephen Holt - 8.6 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 45% shooting, 23.8 minutes per game

Orlando Johnson - 10.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 37% shooting, 21.5 minutes per game

Tyler Johnson - 12.1 points. 3.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 55% overall shooting., 24.2 minutes per game

* Brendan Lane - 3.4 points, 2.2 rebounds, 12.2 minutes per game

* Mickey McConnell - 7.6 points, 2.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 38% shooting, 29.7 minutes per game

* James Nunnally - 13.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 56% shooting, 24.2 minutes per game

Rabb & Chriss trying out

Scott Phillips writes about Ivan Rabb and Marquese Chriss competing for a spot on the USA U17 World Championship team. A few of the top bluechippers will miss some of the tournament play in Las Vegas because of these tryouts.

Davis with another guard offer

Verbal Commits with another: "Cal Poly and UC Davis offered 2015 Allen (TX) G Olin Carter."

The young man is out of is a 6-foot-1 shooting guard. Here is a photo.

Davis with another 2015 guard offer

UC Davis has offered another 2015 backcourter -- @ Verbal Commits: "2015 Shadow Mountain (AZ) G Craig Randall II has received an offer from UC Davis."

Randall, a 6-foot-2 lefty, just arrived in Arizona from Ohio -- this article has the details. He already has multiple offers.

Below is some video:

It's a prep forward offered by Davis

Corey Evans tweeted: "UC Davis has offered 2015 NW Xpress forward Drew Eubanks."

Out of Oregon and also a pitcher in baseball, he measures in at 6-foot-9. Here's a short article on the young man who is generating more and more offers.

Milstead with another offer

A tweet from EYBL Circuit: "Oakland Soldiers G Damari Milstead (@DamariMilstead) picks up an offer from Hawaii."

He'll need more than two hands to count his offers before all is done.

Schwartz elevated to Associate Head Coach

Former Sonoma State player Michael Schwartz (1994-1996) is now the Associate Head Coach at Fresno State.

Chris getting UW fans excited

Percy Allen/Seattle Times covers the recent play of Marquese Chriss.

Rabb @ Peach Jam

The Intentional Foul on Ivan Rabb's play at the Peach Jam event:
Oakland Soldiers big man Ivan Rabb is considered the No. 1 recruit in 2015 by ESPN. In my mind, Rabb reminds me of a young Chris Bosh before he turned into a spot up jump shooter in the NBA. Rabb had a strong EYBL season but due to some sub-par guard play struggled at times during the Peach Jam. He still averaged 13.6 points in bracket play, but only scored 4 points on 2-7 shooting in the quarterfinals.

Feedback on the So Cal JUCO Shootout

Signal The Light Basketball covers the first day of the So Cal JUCO Shootout event.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Blending new with the old -- life at the community college level

Basketball is all about embracing and adjusting to change. Each time down the court, each time on the court, even each practice, variance rules. In the element of coaching, adjustment is  the middle name in the community college realm.

That's because roster turnover is a unique given at the junior college level. Players annually move on or out, newcomers enter the fray and redshirts plus grayshirts get to officially step on the court -- all in generally larger numbers than any other hoops situation.

What was a strategic strength last season may or may not be replicable due to personnel turnover. Big may have been replaced by not so much. Quickness by ordinariness. Skill strengths and experience by lesser levels.

So having certain offensive proclivities or defensive approaches may require yearly modifications.

Let's look at Coach James Giacomazzi and his current Cosumnes River College squad. To zero in, his post Jaycob Velasco-AJ Bridges-TJ Williams era Hawks. That's minus a bevy of points, rebounds and knowing what to do in this-or-that critical situation.

Now it's:

* Trenton Anthony G 5-10 165 Fr.

* Semir Cahtarevic F 6-8 200 So.

* Elijah Calloway G 6-2 170 Fr.

* Kenneth Daye G 6-1 175 Fr.

* Demoriaye Hart-Spikes G 5-11 210 Fr.

* Joshua Johnson G 5-10 160 Fr.

* Daiveon Leverett F 6-9 195 RFr.

* Mitchell Love G 6-2 190 So.

* Donald Mims F 6-11 180 GFr.

* Phil Morgan G 6-4 190 Fr.

* Tyquan Neal F 6-6 215 Fr.

* Daylon Potts G 6-5 190 Fr.

* Phil Randles G 5-11 185 So.

* David Straughter F 6-5 210 So.

* Will White G 6-2 175 Fr.

Out of 15 players, four are sophomores.

"Ideally, you want seven freshman and seven sophomores and the younger guys then become the sophomores," Giacomazzi said. "Every year you would only have to replace the seven departing players and you don't have to teach the entire team. "

He added, "it's the most ever freshman coming into summer training camp."

That's one of the reasons fans won't be seeing CRC in any events this summer.

"Semir is back in Bosnia and we have so many freshman. There are so many concepts for the guys to learn and transitions to make. Our emphasis is on getting better."

One such element is versatility. Greater understanding too.

"Each player is responsible for learning the offense for all five positions," Gizcomazzi explained. "Teaching them the offense from all the positions helps in knowing what teammates are going to do. It also allows us to be flexible."

What will also be fascinating for CRC is who will emerge as a leader or leaders among the players.

"Let's see who has the 'I'll take care of it' responsibility, steps up and take ownership. Plus, some [players] are better communicators than others."

Referring to past players, Giacomazzi offered, "AJ [Bridges] made it easy and that's ideal. Tony Gill was a leader on and off the floor."

Regarding the bigs, it's also a way different group now.

"We've had JJ Mina, Ryan Salmonson, Tony Gill and Jaycob Velasco."

Now it's Daiveon Leverett and Donald Mims who check in at 6-foot-9, 195 and 6-foot-11, 180 respectively.

So the pick-and-pop aspect of CRC's offense and the pass in with one or two dribbles for a shot won't be witnessed nearly so much.

"We'll roll-and-replace and [also] try and catch and shoot near the basket."

But what will stay the same is "we're one of the few who play two forwards, consistent with the DI level."

Giacomazzi's current athletic bigs will allow some different wrinkles defensively.

"We'll have some shotblocking and maybe gamble more on the perimeter but we want to make sure we don't get lazy there because 'I got so-and-so back  there.'"

As for adding some weight to his defensive kingpins, Giacomazzi said "it's a challenge. A lot of it is biology. Donald Mims eats more than anyone on the team."

"Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes" is something David Bowie once sang about. He didn't have CRC in mind or any other community college basketball programs but the sentiment certainly applies. 

Two games reports from Friday's JUCO Jamboree

Here's Dave Rogahn with a pair of mini writeups from SJCC and Sierra College games in Friday's So Cal JUCO Jamboree:

San Jose 61, Mt. San Jacinto 40:

Maurice Joiner scored 15 points, Stevinaire Young scored 12 and Josue Salaam added 11 as San Jose City raced past Mt. San Jacinto for an unexpectedly easy 21-point win Saturday evening.

San Jose eased out to a 16-9 lead in the first few minutes, but expanded the margin to a startling 14 points after a 3-pointer by Salaam and three straight 2-point free throws by Joiner made it 29-15. The lead was 33-17 at the half, and SJCC led easily the rest of the way.

Joiner led all scorers with his 15 points, which included 4 2-point free throws. Young had 12 points and 6 rebounds, and Salaam had 11 points and 6 rebounds. 6-foot-9 Akil Douglas had 8 points and 6 rebounds.


Sierra 45, Antelope Valley 27:

Isaiah Pineiro scored 21 points and grabbed 9 rebounds, Devin Moss scored 14 points and the Sierra defense did the rest as the Wolverines cruised to a shockingly easy victory over highly-regarded Antelope Valley on the main court.

Sierra entered 2013-14 with high expectation but stumbled to a dismal 11-17 record, but showed it will be much more formidable this time around by winning its first three games of the shootout by an average of about 20 points each over AVC, Santa Monica and a strong independent team known as The Revolution.

In this one, Moss made back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers to stake Sierra to a 20-8 lead midway through the first half, and the Wolverines led by double digits the rest of the way. It was 29-17 at the half, and Sierra led handily the rest of the way.

Pineiro was outstanding for Sierra, making 9 of 15 shots from the floor for his game-high 21 points. Moss was 4-for-6 from the floor, all three-pointers, for his 14 points. Antonio Lewis had points, 4 rebounds and a game-high 4 assists.

Coach Bob Walsh in divisional differences in recruiting

Coach Bob Walsh writes about the differences in recruiting between Divisions I, II and III. A snippet:
...At the D2 level you are deciding who a scholarship player is and who isn’t. At the lower levels of D1, you are deciding who is a Division I player and who isn’t. There generally isn’t as much consensus, and there is a very fine line between a good D2 player and a good D1 player.  That makes your ability to evaluate very important. At the lower levels you are less likely to get someone who just steers a player your way because of a relationship. If a kid can play at a higher level he’s likely going to play at that level. It’s evaluating those kids to find the ones that you know can play at your level, or who the higher level schools might miss on, that really makes a difference. The emphasis is more on evaluations than it is on relationships...