Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Utah St. 80, New Mexico 72

In Logan last night, Utah State turned back New Mexico 80-72 as senior guard Chris Smith paced the Aggies with 19 points. He also distributed four assists.

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CCSF still #1

It's CCSF, Feather River, Cabrillo, Contra Costa and Fresno as the top five in this week's Signal The Light Basketball Nor Cal team rankings.

RDuncan honored


"Chico State junior Robert Duncan was selected the California Collegiate Athletic Association Men's Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Feb. 1-7.

The Granite Bay product averaged 14.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, four assists, and two blocks per game to help the Wildcats to a pair of home victories against Cal State East Bay and Cal State Monterey Bay.

Friday in a 64-56 win over the Pioneers, Duncan piled up 10 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal. 

The following night against the Otters Duncan was dominant down the stretch as he led Chico in erasing a 12-point deficit in the final 11 minutes of regulation. He finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds for his third double-double in his last nine contests, while also totaling five assists and two blocks.

Overall, Duncan shot 50 percent (12-for-24) from the floor, including two from three-point range and was perfect from the free throw line."

From Monday: Whittier 85, UC Santa Cruz 74

On Monday, UC Santa Cruz fell to host Whittier College 85-74 despite getting an 18 point, 17 rebound double-double from 6-foot-6 freshman Will (Casa Grande High) Crain as well as 14 points apiece from Jared Ponce and Ben (Aptos High) Dorfman. The latter hit 4-8 trey attempts.

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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Meet Chris Bene

The name Chris Bene could easily be mistaken as one of the earlier top finishers on "The X Factor" but that would be the wrong platform and skills set. Try a talented basketball player formerly of Sequoia High and now a freshman at Cañada College. He may not be nationally known yet but if effort, focus and understanding, combined with excellent athletic ability, are the pathways to excellence, then the 6-foot-7 Bene is on his way.

"Chris is learning how to play tougher, more aggressive everyday," offered Cañada Coach Mike Reynoso. "He is skilled, but I have told him many times how good he can be will depend on toughness."

To date, Bene is averaging 9.2 points and 5.2 rebounds while shooting 48%, 41% and 65% shooting respectively with the Colts. This after being a first-team all-Peninsula Athletic League honoree in both his junior and senior seasons.

Bene chose Cañada for three reasons -- "they had a great season last year, it was a good fit for me and close to home, and I knew I could develop here."

Actually make that four. "I was a four in high school and now I'm a three because I can make more of an impact at guard. I've always been athletic and we're working on my ballhandling and shooting to craft my skills to fit at the college level." Reynoso, who is known for his skill/player development, explained, "Chris has come a long way this season. When he first got here, and throughout about  half of season, he did not know what it took to play at this level. Once the half way point hit, it started to click. He has been more consistent of late.

According to Bene, "I can do a little bit of everything and I'm learning how to be consistent from game-to-game. I need to work on my defense because I want to defend the best [opposing] player because, to make the jump, coaches look at defense more than anything else. My high school coach [Fine Lauese] stressed defense because you won't play if you can't defend."

Regarding leadership, he offered, "I'm not the most vocal person, but watch my attitude on the court."

There's no doubt he gets it. "It's a matter of translating from practice into the game. Your minutes will be taken if you don't show up every day."

A big and a point hitting The Hilltop

Alex Kline/February 8: "San Francisco is hosting 2017 New Hampton (NH) teammate Walker Miller & Kristers Zoriks on campus today."

Here's a Corey Evans-written November feature on Miller. A teammate of Don commit Jimbo Lull, the 6-foot-10 Miller possesses an inside/outside skills set.

Zorik is a 6-foot-2 point. July 2015: "He plays the game with poise and an excellent pace, moves the ball and creates baskets for his teammates. He has a solid mid-range shot and can also make a three but is less consistent from distance."

Weston Ranch still #1

Thomas Lawrence with his current prep team rankings for in and around the San Joaquin.

SJSU offers 2017 Southland guard

Josh Gershon: "2017 Northridge (Calif.) Heritage Christian SG Juhwan Harris-Dyson picked up an offer from San Jose State."

He's 6-foot-3, 180 pounds.

A July 2015 feature.

A March 2015 video:

Prep2Prep's Top 25 team rankings

There's an interesting first five of teams in Nate Smith's Prep2Prep NCS Basketball Top 25:

1 - De La Salle
2 - Salesian
3 - Moreau Catholic
4 - Freedom
5 - Monte Vista ...

Making strong first season impressions

Remarkably, Pomona Pitzer is being led this year by a pair of freshman -- Daniel Rosenbaum who is averaging 18.1 points per game, closely followed by Corbin Koch's 17.0.
The 6-foot-4 Rosenbaum hails from Los Altos High.

 The 6-foot-2 Koch's alma mater is Sacred Heart Prep.

Mareno's second season

6-foot-5 sophomore Matt (Redwood High) Mareno is averaging 11.1 points, 6.0 boards and 1.2 assists in 10 games thus far for Post University (CT).

Saturday: Colorado School of Mines 88, Chadron State 73

6-foot-5 junior Gokul (Cupertino High) Natesan's team-best 21 points and six assists aided the Colorado School of Mines 88-73 victory over Chadron State on Saturday.

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Featuring Jalen McFerren

Gabriella Bermudez/The Orion features sophomore guard Jalen (Castro Valley High) McFerren who is already making noise as an underclassman.

Harrison honored

"PacWest Conference
Jase Harrison (Academy of Art)
G, So., Palmdale, Calif./Northfield Mount Hermon

Harrison fueled a defensive effort that led Academy of Art to a 66-58 win over Holy Names. He tied the ArtU program record with six steals, as the Urban Knights set a team record with 19 steals in the game. Harrison also had team-highs of 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Harrison is third in the PacWest in steals per game (2.0 spg)."

But does the NCAA care?

"NCAA's busted justice system needs a 'near-death' penalty" -- Mike DeCourcey/Sporting News