Friday, March 27, 2015

It's not Kone alone

Darren Sabedra notes that Ben Kone has quite the running mate, one Sebastian Much.

Junior Longrus working it academically

Congratulation to Junior Longrus.

Following are the 2014-15 Pac-12 Conference Men's Basketball All-Academic teams, announced today by Commissioner Larry Scott. To be eligible for selection to the academic team, a student-athlete must have a minimum 3.0 overall grade-point average and be either a starter or significant contributor.

Second Team
Junior Longrus, WSU JR 3.30 Management & Operations

Getting to know Ivan Rabb

Mitch Stephens fleshes out Ivan Rabb, the individual, not the basketball player. What a refreshing look.

Meet Mitchell Love

The Beatles once sang "all you need is love." These lyrics, which were also the song title, weren't the musical background accompanying a Mitchell Love recruiting promo but the sentiment certainly applies. That's because the 6-foot-2 sophomore guard for Cosumnes River College (CRC) earned the Most Valuable Player award in the Big 8 Conference this season as well as First Team All State honors.

With Love running the show, CRC posted a 12-2 league record, went 23-8 overall with a 9-1 in the last 10 games. In 33.5 minutes per outing, he provided 13.4 points, 4.0 assists and 3.4 rebounds plus the willingness to handle the ball as the clock ticked down.

About his desire to be front and center, Love explained, "I've always been the one who spoke up. Leadership is one of my best skills." Add to that "playing one-on-one, I can get any shot I want whether it be on a pick-and-roll or isolations. Also being able to create for others."

Along the way, two surprises took place. "I just wanted to win league. I hadn't given being MVP or all state any thought. I wasn’t having a good season until we played Sac City at Sac City. After that game, something clicked and I just started playing at the MVP level."

Love also cites his basketball IQ as a primary asset. "I grew up watching basketball with my Uncle Larry. You see certain situations and realize what to do. He always talks to me about how the little things matter. And just making every possession count."

But it wasn't a situation of walking right in and taking control. After Burbank High, he attended St. Ignatios Prep School in South Carolina for a year. Upon returning, Love enrolled at CRC.

"It was a winning team, close to home and my best friend David [Straughter] was going to play there. I thought that we could come and make things happen right away."

He averaged 6.5 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists that season. "I didn't play a lot, I was going to have to come along because there were guys ahead of me. I knew I had to gain my coaches trust."

Two particular basketball moments stand out the most for Love. "At Sierra this year, we were losing at halftime. I played miserably. I was a negative on the court, like playing 5-on-4. They were denying me from the tip and it was annoying me. I told my team at halftime, 'I'm going to step up. I’m going to score 20 and we are going to win.’ Nobody believed me. They looked at me like I was crazy." He finished with 20 points and seven assists. "I understood what I did in the first half and I needed to switch that."

The other cherished memory is from high school. "One of my friends, Emmanuel Pope was saying he was going to dunk on somebody in a high school summer league game. Near the end of the game, he made a steal at halfcourt and started dribbling slow towards the basket. There was a dude with him. It was like Emmanuel was baiting him. Emmanuel jumped from the third line and dunked. He stepped over him [the opponent] and looked over at me. It is one of the most unexpected dunks I've ever seen and still fresh in my mind."

Love's life goal is to become an electrician and his college major will reflect that desire.

As for recruiting, "I'm a California guy but I'll go anywhere. Texas, Florida, New York, Idaho, Wyoming, it all depends on the school."

Expect him to bring a spark to whichever four-year college he selects.

First incoming talent for CRC

CRC athletics notes that an incoming talent for the Hawks, a 6-foot guard out of the San Diego area, has been honored as the Player of the Year in the Grossmont Valley League.

The best ever in the Bay -- preps edition

Vic Tafur details the top 10 players in Bay Area high school hoops history. This is sure to engender some squabbling.

Mims to Mullen event

From CRC athletics: "#CRCbasketball announces Donald Mims accepts invitation to attend @jerrydmullen Top 100 JC Camp in St. Louis, the premier JC camp in nation."

A very deserving young man.

Kone carrying the Monarchs

John Murphy features Archbishop Mitty's Ben Kone who has donned a Superman cape of late.

Capital Christian feature

Joe Davidson writes about this season's Capital Christian squad whose roster has quite the unique makeup.

Benton sez BOD & Mitty will nab state championships

Doug Benton predicts a Bishop O'Dowd victory and an Archbishop Mitty win this fast-approaching weekend.

Katz & McKinney honored

Sacramento State Coach Brian Katz and senior Mikh McKinney have both been regionally honored for their 2014-15 seasons.

Straughter commits

Via CRC athletics: "#CRCbasketball forward David Straughter verbally commits to Bellevue(NE)."

Out of Burbank High, the 6-foot-5 sophomore averaged 13 points plus eight boards this season for the Hawks.

The Bellevue roster has five northern California talents for the 2014-15 season. The team finished 2806 overall, 11-3 in conference and made it to the national NAIA tournament.

Lew best in big games

Will Reisman provides some much-deserved press to University High's Brandon Lew.

It appears Menlo College is seeking a new basketball coach

Congrats to Jon Surface. Menlo College is a member of the California Pacific Conference. Not seeing the head coach position listed under Employment Opportunities but Hoop Dirt has this.

From Menlo College athletics:

"Menlo College Director of Athletics Keith Spataro has announced Jon Surface as the head of the department's Club Sports, Intramural and Recreation division which is set to roll out for the 2015-16 academic year. Surface, who headed the men's basketball program for the previous five seasons, has been promoted to the newly created position of Assistant Athletics Director – Club Sports, Intramural and Recreation effective immediately.

"Jon has been an integral part of our department during his tenure at Menlo College. Our goal in adding club and intramural sports and an increased recreation division is to galvanize the student body to athletics and expand current offerings in a non-varsity setting. Jon's skills and qualities combined with his understanding of athletics in general and Menlo College as a whole make him a great fit to pioneer this new initiative," said Menlo College Director of Athletics Keith Spataro.

During his five years at the helm of the men's basketball program, Surface led the team to a conference title in 2010-11 and saw his teams qualify for the postseason Cal Pac tournament in five consecutive seasons. Additionally, Surface coached three Cal Pac Players of the Year, one Defender of the Year, one Freshman of the Year, one Newcomer of the Year and 15 All-Conference performers.

"I'm looking forward to joining the athletic administration team and helping to create the Club Sports, Intramural and Recreation programs on campus," said Surface. "This position is new and exciting and these programs stand to provide current and future students with a number of great opportunities."

Menlo College's new department of Club Sports, Intramurals and Recreation will feature a wide-array of student-run opportunities on campus ranging from external facing club sports to internal intramural competitions. Furthermore, current recreational offerings stand to expand to create a far-reaching athletic experience of varying skill and commitment levels for all students at the Atherton campus."

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Meet Troy Anderson

A glue guy isn't the right description for San Joaquin Delta College's (SJDC) Troy Anderson. He is that because he will proficiently do whatever it takes for his team to succeed but he is quite the rebounder, defender and also someone who can score.

The 6-foot-5 Anderson averaged 16.0 points and 12.9 rebounds -- a double-double game in, game out -- as well as 3.1 shotblocks and 2.4 steals a contest in the 2014-15 Mustang season which earned him deserved membership on the All State team.

Yet when asked why he chose SJDC out of Armijo High, the answer was, to say the least, surprising. "They were the only junior college trying to recruit me." Yet Anderson was an all-league player as a senior, a double digit scorer and obviously a prime time athlete. But not to truncate his response, he also explained,"SJDC was real serious about academics and I fit in with the coach [Rick Ressa]. He is strict which is what I liked."

Anderson understands what achieving success takes, both on and off the court. He knew he wanted to be ready after two years so he went with a program that held the student-athlete description in high regard. With basketball, "I've improved so much. I put in the time and my coaches put in the time."

Ask him what he sees as his best basketball skill and, rather than offering an element based on his highlight statistics, Anderson said, "My basketball intelligence. I see the bigger picture on the court." How did he develop that? "I've been playing since I was four. I'm versatile. You can use me down low or coming off a screen and catching the ball at the foul line for a dribble-drive."

Probably the best take about his sense of self is this: "I bring defense and rebounds. I don't ever expect to score a lot."

His father played football, a wide receiver in particular. "My Dad was a football player but he knows about basketball. He was my AAU coach."

A query regarding what he sees as his best basketball moment highlights his forthrightness. "It was last December 21, a home game against City College of San Francisco." One in which he enjoyed 26 points and 20 rebounds in the 69-65 victory but he prefaced his answer with "I had a couple of bad games before that."

Looking to major in the business and marketing area, Anderson will be making the decision on his next destination in the month of April. The winning suitor will be landing a very well grounded high flier.