Friday, June 24, 2016

Out for the weekend

Back on Monday. Someone local or regional: please make some basketball news.

The NBA Draft

Welcome to the NBA Marquese Chriss. Drafted by his hometown team and then traded. Cold.

Jaylen Brown goes #3 when the 'conventional wisdom" was that he was dropping.

So much of the pre-draft chatter is guessing combined with mis-direction from the anonymously sourced 'experts'

"A record 14 international players were selected in the first round, a NBA record." -- Chad Ford

"I'm amazed at how many of the players drafted last night have a "suspect" or "inconsistent" outside shot." -- Paul Brogan

"NBA draft winners and losers: Thunder make big move" -- Michael Lee

"2016 NBA Draft Grades: How each team finished up on draft night" -- Sam Vecenie

"NBA Draft 2016 pick-by-pick results, analysis, trades, breakdowns" -- Mike DeCourcey

"The Misuse Of Probability In The Second Round Of The NBA Draft
Finding a diamond in the rough of the second round is immensely difficult, but to call it random is misguided" -- Matt Korman

Payton, Wiltjer and Taylor to Houston

Chris Haynes: "Houston Rockets will sign undrafted free agent Gary Payton II to three-year deal, league sources inform."

Jonathan Feigen: "In addition to Gary Payton II, Rockets have deals with Gonzaga F Kyle Wiltjer and Texas g Isaiah Taylor. All 3-yr deals, with team options."

Idehen iffy

"Idehen signs with Western Kentucky, but NCAA eligibility remains in question" -- James Burns

Let's hope his transcripts clear the NCAA.

SHC has a new coach

"MacKay new Sacred Heart Cathedral basketball coach" -- John Murphy

An addition to the Thunderbird program

Matthew Williams: "I've decided to commit to Merritt CC in Oakland ,Ca. Everyone's path is different, this is mine. I'll make the best of it."

Originally out of Baton Rouge, the 6-foot-7 Williams was at Reno International Prep this season.

West Coast Elite preliminary rosters July 8-10 Pomona-Pitzer

The West Coast Elite preliminary rosters are up and those with northern California connections are:

* Damari Milstead, Moreau Catholic 2017
* Ira Lee, Prolific Prep 2017
* Aidan Green, Tokay High 2017
* Shemar Morrow, Sacramento Country Day 2020
* Hunter Clarke, Campolindo 2020
* Devin Askew, Sacramento County Day 2020
* Ben Baker, Berkeley High, 2018
* Noah Hernandez, Ripon 2020
* Brian Askew, Sacramento Country Day 2018
* Noah Rakestraw, Granada, 2018
* Jesse Marlow, Acalanes 2017
* Matthew Willis, Whitney 2018
* Kris Bortz, Monte Vista 2019

A Travis Friar update

Top Flight Elite AAU: "Everyone needs to be on notice for July @travis_friar is legit!!!! LINK

Multiple tools and nowhere near his ceiling. Mitty is going to be tough yet again.

A Jack Wilson update

Gerry Freitas: "Moreau Catholic Tourney: 2018 big Jack Wilson of San Mateo Serra very impressive. Body much improved, solid post up game. Mid worth higher look."

Thursday, June 23, 2016

West Campus High's remarkable season

One program's achievement which has not received the acclamation it deserves this past season is that of the West Campus High team headed by Coach Fred Wilson.

But first, why the dearth of positive publicity? Yes, other programs have been more consistently successful up in the valley so maybe that's the reason but it's a feeble excuse because West Campus made news in 2015-16. Big news.

Prior to the start of the season, there was no one predicting a 29-6 Warrior finish, probably not a 10-2 Golden Empire League record nor concluding just one game short of playing for the California state championship.

Here's Wilson on his crew: "the pre-season was rough and going into league it was more about us learning to play the right way. It was a tug of war, playing against each other. We were winning but weren't good enough to win the state championship. The turning point was the game against Marysville (a February 8 61-60 road victory). We showed the necessary toughness and won at the buzzer. It was playing for each other rather than playing for a scholarship."

Here are the prominent elements of the West Campus hoops schedule: yes, the Warriors lost twice in league play to Golden Empire champion Capital Christian but that included coming up short 78-77 in double overtime. They also fell to Central Catholic of Modesto by one, 47-46, in the section D-IV title game. The final game was a 58-56 loss to Palma when the Chieftains went on a 14-0 rally in the last four minutes to take the victory and earn the right to face off with Harvard-Westlake out of southern California. Obviously, each of those pairings were winnable.

Also consider in their last six contests, the Warriors bopped Liberty Ranch 88-69, fell to Central Catholic when a last second shot didn't hit the mark and handled Corning High 59-36. Then it was edging St. Patrick-St. Vincent 52-51, topping Half Moon Bay 47-39, followed by the season-ending loss to Palma.

The proverbial Four Horsemen for Wilson were 6-foot-6 Isaiah Bates who averaged 11.2 points, 8.0 rebounds plus 3.0 blocks, 6-foot-5 Jeryn Lucas at 13.9 points, 6-foot-4 Monty Khela who produced 13.8 points as well as 4.1 rebounds and 5-foot-10 Darian Davis with 11.5 points and 3.5 assists per game. Wilson called Davis "our bulldog and the heart and soul of our team."

Of the quintet, Bates was set to take his over-the-top athletic ability to state champion City College of San Francisco but a recent injury has sidelined him for the time being. A large contingent of national JCs pursued him until his commitment. Lucas is moving on to play at Humboldt State and Khela signed with Colorado School of Mines. The latter also sports a 4.1 grade point average. Davis will be going the community college route and signing late.

2018 prospect Nate Karren is also deserving of a detailing here. Now standing 6-foot-9, his inside-outside game is intriguing with Stanford and Northern Arizona actively recruiting him.

Wilson stressed, "we're an academically focused program andbecause of that, a lot of our guys not only get athletic but also academic scholarships. We have connections to so many college coaches."

Best of all, the West Campus success ultimately became a full-fledged team effort which made this season all the more satisfying. In Wilson's West Campus tenure, his teams have posted 9-17, 16-13, 13-14, 19-11 and 29-6 records. What will 2016-17 bring?

Brown to Beantown

"Celtics formed a bond with Jaylen Brown" -- Gary Washburn

Celtics take Jaylen Brown with #3 pick..." -- Adam Kurkjian

Chriss to the Valley of the Sun

"Pleasant Grove’s Marquese Chriss calls Phoenix Suns ‘a great fit’" -- Joe Davidson/Andy Furillo

"Suns trade for Kings pick to take Marquese Chriss" -- Paul Coro

Wallace is drafted

Cal's Tyrone Wallace goes to Utah with the final pick of the second round.

It may be better being a free agent than a second-rounder

Those with northern California connections not drafted on Thursday:

* Emmanuel Malou
* Gary Payton II
* Isaiah Taylor

Perry makes it official

Marcelas H. Perry: "Holy Names University 18"

Perry is a 5-foot-9 sophomore guard at American River College who graduated from Capital Christian High. He averaged 22.4 points, 4.7 boards and 3.4 assists per game this season.