Monday, August 31, 2009

An update on Greg Allen

Eureka High's Greg Allen signed a letter-of-intent with Creighton in May and all looked set for the young man to head to Nebraska.

Apparently, academic concerns have popped up and Allen is now at Navarro Junior College in Corsicana, Texas.

We don't know if Allen was 'placed' in the Lone Star State by the Creighton coaching staff and therefore remains connected to the BlueJay program or if the choice of a new basketball home was made solely by Allen.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Here is an inspirational story

You can't top this story. Whenever we feel life isn't fair or our problems are insurmountable, re-read the following:
A year after stroke in jamboree football game, Christian Bauerle, 17, hopes to play for Soquel High's basketball team
Jim Seimas
Santa Cruz Sentinel

A year ago, Soquel High's Christian Bauerle suffered a stroke on the football field that left him fighting for his life.

It's been a remarkable recovery for the newly turned 17-year-old, who was left temporarily paralyzed last August.

Bauerle -- described by Knights coaches as the best athlete in the junior class before the stroke -- has not only learned to walk, talk and eat again, he's swimming, running and catching and throwing balls. He has been assured roster spots on both the Knights' football and basketball teams -- his inspirational story of rehabilitation ensured that...
Go here for the remainder.

Dom Artis with his initial diary

Saleisna's Dom Artis has agreed to do a diary this school year for the Northstar Basketball blog site. Here's the beginning of first entry:
Dominic Artis Player Diary Entry #1
Dominic Artis '12 of Salesian (CA) is not the most intimidating player, standing just 5'7, but the point guard helped lead his school to a state title last year. He recently sent me his first player diary entry, and he chose to go the route of an overview of his day. Here it is:

Mr. Avis gave us so much homework today it was ridiculous. We had a workout after school at 3:00. Before I walked in the housed I checked the mail and saw I got a couple letters...
Go here for the remainder.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

This took place in Portland

A coach/trainer up in Oregon turned out to be a sexual predator. There's many lessons to draw from this article but the primary one seems to be that direct evidence will fail to change minds in some situations because parents will not re-focus from their dreams.
Howard Avery's conviction is a lesson in parenting
John Canzano
The Oregonian
August 22, 2009

I am thinking the prison might have a basketball team in the exercise yard, and if it does, Howard Avery will soon be at it again, molding lives, making promises and shaping careers.

Maybe, too, the supporters who funded Avery's Triple Threat basketball operation will cry out for loyalty again, and carpool each other's children to the edge of the yard, so they can press their tiny faces against the fence and soak up whatever wisdom the registered sex offender might have left.

Either that, or the ignorant parents among us can finally start protecting their kids.

Avery was convicted last week on five counts of felony sex abuse. A judge found a brave victim credible and ruled Avery lured the 17-year old girl he coached to a home where he forced himself upon her. He will be sentenced on Thursday...
Go here for the remainder.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Some very solid recruiting advice

Came across this site, which features a pair of articles offering recruiting advice:
Recruiting – A Sweet Dream or Your biggest Nightmare? Part 1
Coach Toon

Creating the right recruiting fit is a two-way street. Whether the recruiting road ends in a dream or a nightmare is the responsibility of the recruiter and the recruit! Preparation is key to a happy ending. It is imperative for the prospective student-athlete and the college coach to do their homework.

If you are the coach of a prospective student-athlete, help them get properly prepared for one of the most impactful decisions they will ever make – where to go to college. Have them start with what I call “The Grid”. The grid is a chart of all the things the athlete deems are important in their decision vs the schools they are considering. Sample criteria the athlete may consider include the following:
Go here for the remainder.

Here is Part Two.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Will Brew versus Ty Lawson

UC Santa Barbara played eventual national champion North Carolina in The Thunderdome on November 21, 2008. The Gauchos did lose by 17 but then again Michigan State lost in the NCAA championship game to the Tar Heels by 15.

In the photo above, Will Brew is driving against Ty Lawson, who was the 18th selection in the 2009 NBA draft.

Collectors versus Instructors

Came across the following Brian McCormick article and it raised some very good points. Summer is the time to get better and winning can be a by-product of this, albeit not a critical one. Focus on continuous improvement and surround yourself with those committed to such a philosophy.
Club Basketball: Gatherers vs Teachers

While in Las Vegas, I met with some AAU coaches who called the programs who recruit to fill their needs “gatherers.” In the recent online arguments about AAU vs high school basketball, the true argument has centered on gatherers vs. teachers. The perception, especially on the high school side, is that high school coaches are teachers and ALL AAU/club coaches are gatherers.

The perception, of course, is untrue. There are gatherers coaching at high school programs and teachers coaching AAU or club basketball. Therefore, the question is not AAU or high school, but how to influence more teaching and less gathering...
Go here for the remainder.

Eli Holman is back on the court

It's good to see that Eli Holman is back on the basketball court, playing for Detroit after his transfer from Indiana. He's now listed as 6-foot-9, 250 pounds.
Day 4: Keeling, Holman Pace Titans To Second Straight Win In Spain

Led by Xavier Keeling's 21 points and Eli Holman's 20, the Detroit Titans notched their second consecutive win of the exhibition tour in Spain, 97-48 over Girona on Saturday.

Holman was also dynamic on the boards, pulling down 12 rebounds, while also blocking eight shots.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Dave Douglas to Oakland High

We wish the best of health to Dave Douglas' father and a great senior seasons to Douglas himself:
St. Liz’s Douglas transfers to Oakland High
Jimmy Durkin
Contra Costa Times
August 20, 2009

Former St. Elizabeth High star Dave Douglas III has transferred and will play his senior season at Oakland.

Douglas’ father, Dave Jr., was hospitalized earlier this year and said he was later diagnosed with diabetes. The associated costs put a strain on the family budget...
Go here for the remainder.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Interesting article about the Las Vegas tournaments and recruiting

The following covers some players, teams and basketball figures up in Washington but it provides a good sense of what the last week in July is like in Vegas. The story is long but informative.
Summer Basketball: Hoops in the City of the Stars
Chuck Stark
Kitsap Sun
August 15, 2009

LAS VEGAS — In this city, you never know who or what you might see, so a bunch of tall kids bouncing basketballs in the lobbies of extravagant hotels and casinos might have seemed a bit strange, but gamblers studying their cards at nearby blackjack tables or rolling dice at a crap table didn’t take notice as they dribbled by.

Take a walk on the famed strip, where people called “hooker hawkers” routinely bombard tourists with handouts advertising “hot babes,” and odds are you’d also bump into some of the hottest young high school-aged basketball players in the country — maybe even the next LeBron or Kobe.

This city that never sleeps is the center of the summer basketball universe. It’s where more than 10,000 players and 900 teams — including Bremerton-based Total Package, which brought two squads — attended four summer youth tournaments. The Reebok Summer Championships (once called the Big Time Tournament), the adidas Super 64 Tournament, the VisionSports Main Event (it used to be called the Nike Main Event), and the StarVision Sports Center Stage are all staged over the last week of July. Although Total Package was sequestered in a semi-out-of-the-way motel, you’re never too far from the glitz and all those big billboards advertising the Blue Man Group, and shows featuring the likes of Beyonce and magician Criss Angel.

You needed to be a magician of sorts, especially if you were one of the 1,000 college coaches in town, to navigate your way to one of the 46 gyms the used around Las Vegas. And these college head coaches and assistants — representing 300-plus NCAA Division I schools as well as DII, DIII and the NAIA — weren’t here to bake in the 110-degree heat; they were here to evaluate the mother lode of hoops talent that migrates to the Nevada desert every July...
Go here for the remainder.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Another negative recruiting article

It's important to highlight that there are also many respectable club team coaches who take advising their players with the best interests of the kids in mind as well as parents who perform admirably in that role.

The dark side will always be there and it's important to document such but it's just as necessary to offer features on parents/coaches, advisers, et al who selflessly give of themselves throughout the coaching and recruiting processes.
Actions of Third Parties Can Muddy Basketball Recruiting Waters
Steve Yanda and Eric Prisbell
Washington Post
August 18, 2009

In wooing high school prospects to join their programs, college basketball coaches seek to convince players that they can provide the best place to continue their athletic and academic development. Doing so requires building relationships and trust with players, their parents and often a high school or summer league coach.

Increasingly over the past two decades, however, college coaches have lamented the proliferation of additional participants in the recruiting process. These third parties -- who collectively fall under such labels as "handlers," "middlemen" or "advisers" -- latch on to prospects at young ages and then attempt to broker access to the players in exchange for benefits from college coaches or their schools.

Previously a factor for only the most elite high school prospects, third-party recruiting is becoming much more widespread. LuAnn Humphrey, the NCAA's associate director of enforcement who oversees the organization's basketball focus group, said one of her sector's biggest concerns is that the presence of third-party handlers is trickling down to less-heralded recruits.

Several prominent figures in the summer basketball circuit noted a rise in the population of small-time handlers in recent years...
Go here for the remainder.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Rivals, Scout and prospect rankings

Here's a pair of articles that delve into recruiting rankings by Rivals, Scout and others. They are a good, informative read.
National player rating (Part 1)
August 13, 2009

Hi folks this is another one of those posts that I got carried away with. It started with a question that was posed over on Egriz, that as I started to write a response to, I thought it would actually make a good topic. Once it became a topic for my blog it took on a life of its own, as a lot of my posts can. It was meant to be one post, but I am not sure it is all that digestible in one post I am going to make it a two parter, this first post deals with how one gets in a recruiting data base like at scouts or Rivals. The second part will deal more with the ratings the sites give them. It is not a perfect separation, but I hope it works.

One of the more common questions that come up after a player signs or commits to a program is; “what is his rating by the internet recruiting sites”. A lot of weight is commonly given to, what these experts think of a player. Often times even more weight than that of a programs own coach. Here is something to remember though, if one of these experts is wrong about players he will still most likely keep his job if a coach is wrong about his player evaluation he loses his job, and he/she most likely would not have gotten the job in the first place...
Go here for the remainder.

National player rating (Part 2)
August 14, 2009

This is the second part of my series on the internet recruiting site player data bases. The first part dealt with how one gets in a recruiting data bases on the national sites. This second part will deal with the ratings the sites give the players in their data bases..

How often are rating updated?

If you are a top 100 prospect, quite often, as many be 6-8 times a year. If you are a 0-3 Star prospect not very often if at all. A couple examples...
Go here for the remainder.

Kelly Kaigler at Imperial Valley College

Former Oak Grove basketballer Kelly Kaigler sat out last season at Foothill College and now is attending Imperial Valley College. The 6-foot-2 Kaigler wants to focus on academics and basketball minus any distractions and heck, the town of Imperial serves that purpose.

Robby Rowland makes the most of the opportunity

Robby Rowland plays for the Bay Area Hoosiers but is also quite the pitcher. He was recently featured in an ESPN article for his baseball exploits:
Second time's a charm for Rowland
Ronnie Flores
August 10, 2009

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Each year, Area Code offers more than 220 talented baseball players the opportunity to be evaluated by major league scouts.

The scouts who choose the final rosters for the eight Area Code teams evaluated more than 1,800 players. The Chicago White Sox, for example, saw 497 try out.

"What one group of eyes sees, is not what another sees," said one American League Area Scout. "That's what makes this industry so fun. There are many roads traveled to Long Beach."

Robby Rowland, a 6-foot-5, 205-pound right-handed pitcher from Cloverdale (Calif.), attended the Milwaukee Brewers tryout but did not get "the call" to inform him he made the team. But he did receive a call from Colorado Rockies area scout Gary Wilson who said that the Oakland Athletics team needed another arm. Rowland gladly jumped on board with the team representing the Southeastern states...
Go here for the remainder.

The Armstead Brothers

Here's a great article about two kids and their wonderful family:
They're clowns, these two
Joe Davidson
Sacramento Bee
August 16, 2009

Arik and Armond Armstead are towering pillars who can ransack an opposing team with focus and ferocity.

The brothers can also turn their nice family home in Elk Grove into a shambles within minutes. They like to engage in blocking techniques right there in the living room, one trying to prevent the other from getting a clear path to the fridge for a snack.

Armond is a warm and gregarious 6-foot-5, 295-pound sophomore starting defensive end for a USC program that covets another national championship. He is 20 years old, and every bit a man in shoulder pads.

Arik is 15. He is a 6-5, 245-pound baby-faced sophomore two-way lineman who plays for a Pleasant Grove High School program that has emerged as a regional power. For these two, it's about family, faith, football and frolic...
Go here for the remainder.

Friday, August 14, 2009

We still recall Ricky Berry playing at Live Oak High in Gilroy

A sad, sad story but we also remember the joy he brought to many fans during his high school, college and professional playing.
Puzzlement, grief remain
Joe Davidson
Sacramento Bee
August 14, 2009

Some days there are reminders that bring it back. Ricky Berry, in clear focus.

The warmth. The skills. The potential. And, of course, the sudden end. A man with an impulsive thought and a gun.

The Ricky Berry suicide was a tragedy that still resonates all these years later.

"Every time I do a basketball camp, I think of him," said Harold Pressley, who lost his Kings teammate and close friend 20 years ago today.

"This camp now? Ricky would have loved all these smiles. I still feel him today, and I still can't understand why he's not here."

Jeff Logan can't shake it, either. He was Berry's closest friend. Berry was the godfather of Logan's daughter.

"Time," Logan said from Los Angeles this week, "gives you perspective."
Go here for the remainder.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Gary Payton to be honored

Like with our earlier Leon Powe entry, here's another article featuring an Oakland born and bred basketballer:
Gary Payton to be Inducted into Oregon Sports Hall of Fame
August 11, 2009

Former Oregon State men's basketball standout Gary Payton is one of seven inductees into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame, Mike Rose, executive director of the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, announced on Tuesday. Payton and the rest of the Class of 2009 will be inducted in a ceremony on Tuesday, Sept. 29, at the Multnomah Athletic Club.

"Gary (Payton) is one of the faces of Oregon State basketball and it is great to hear he's been selected for this tremendous honor," Oregon State head men's basketball coach Craig Robinson said. "He is one of the all-time greats in our sport and we could not be happier for him as he enters the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame."
Go here for the remainder.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Here's a great story on basketball recruiting

You'' get a chuckle out of this but it's also informative:

Players Pay a Price for Recruiting Packets
Stephen Danley
New York Times
August 10, 2009

Pete Thamel’s story got it right. Roster packets at summer camps, giving the personal details of prospective student athletes, are exorbitantly priced. But portraying the coaches as the victims? Yes, those poor college coaches; having to pay others who are trying to earn a buck off of young talented athletes. Aren’t these the coaches who make their living off the athletic successes of those same 18-22 year-old athletes just a couple of years later? While playing at Penn, I had more than one assistant pull me aside and tell me I had to get my act together; that if we didn’t win an Ivy League title, he would lose his job and not be able to feed his family.

These packets primarily affect the athletes. It’s their information being sold so everyone else can make a pretty penny. Recruitment is a circus, but not always because of the scandals, free shoes, and wanna-be agents that we hear about. Your average recruit, with no N.B.A. future, isn’t trying to hide secret cash payments; he’s trying to balance offers from lower-tier Division I programs. Being recruited is more about figuring out if the letters you get from schools indicate interest — normally they don’t — and trying to keep assistant coaches from making friends with your mom when they call. That’s a classic, though embarrassing, recruiting tactic...
Go here for the remainder.

Leon Powe to Cleveland?

We came across an item indicating former Boston Celtic Leon Powe is headed to Cleveland, pending passage of his physical. We're sending good wishes for his recovery.

Here's a link to one story.

Here's another.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

No Elite Camps for Duke until now

Even Duke (CoachK) now feels it is necessary to join in with the others. Does this tell us that the allure of Durham has lessened for many of the blue chip prospects? Regardless, this is an interesting development.
Duke to host first ‘elite' camp
Robbi Pickeral
Charlotte Observer
August 01, 2009

Duke has had trouble sealing the deal with top recruits the past several seasons. It hopes to do better by holding its first “elite” camp this month.

The two-day event is a new-but-scrutinized tool for Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski, who until now has avoided hosting the on-campus sweat-fests that usually include the top two dozen or so invited prospects a program is recruiting.

The camps are a legal way to get prospects on campus for unofficial visits. But as reported by last summer, they also allow for several loopholes to NCAA rules – such as paying prospects' influential AAU coaches to work at the event and allowing surprisingly low camp tuition.

A team spokesman said that Duke, which is charging $100 for overnight campers, will not be using AAU coaches at its High-Performance Basketball Camp Aug. 22-23. He also said that all other aspects of the camp, including the cost of rooms and meals, were cleared through the school's compliance office. The Blue Devil coaches were recruiting out of town last week. Questions for the coaches e-mailed to the team spokesman were not answered...
Go here for the remainder.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Stephon Marbury article with much larger implications

The writer of this compelling piece is amazingly still an undergraduate in college. Portions of his NBA analysis may or may not be accurate but we want to read more from him. Ultimately, this article should be on the must-read list for every aspiring basketballer.
Requiem for a Shooter
How did Steph get to where he is now?
John Krolik
August 2, 2009

I know, I know. Does the world really need another Stephon Marbury article? In the week and change since Stephon’s bizarre foray into the depths of Web 2.0, there’s not much we haven’t heard people say about Marbury. He’s desperate for attention. He’s having a nervous breakdown. He’s trying to make a difference. He’s found himself. He’s on the cutting edge of direct connection to the fans. He’s everything that’s wrong with new media. He’s just nuts.

But here’s the question that begs to be answered above all others: How did all of this happen? It was only two years ago that Marbury was a max-money starting point guard for the New York Knicks. How did end up spending most of his waking hours talking into a webcam, baring his soul to any of the increasingly few people willing to listen? It’s likely nobody really knows the answer to that question, including Marbury himself. But a look into Marbury’s journey to this point reveals reasons to believe that the factors behind Marbury’s fall from grace are more complex than they appear at first blush.

Stephon Marbury, at 32, is younger than both of the starting point guards in last year’s NBA Finals. Twenty-one of those 32 years have been spent in the national spotlight, as he was named the world’s best sixth grader by Hoop Scoop magazine at age 11. The first article published about him that received major circulation was written for Harper’s when he was 14 years old, a freshman at Coney Island’s Lincoln High School. The article would later be extended into Darcey Frey’s The Last Shot, for my money the best basketball book ever written...
Go here for the remainder.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Want to shoot the ball better?

In the Santa Cruz area, a shot doctor resides. He tends to those whose arms, elbows, wrists and feet need aiding and abetting when lofting the ball towards the rim.

His name is Tom Curtiss, the longtime boys basketball coach of yesteryear at Soquel High and now a member of the West Valley Basketball Club coaching staff.

Here's a link to his site on which various clinics are coming up this week.

Here's a feature we did back in late 2008 on Chase Curtiss, Tom's son who turned out to be quite the shooter.

Freddie Tagaloa gets offered

Yes, Freddie Tagaloa just recived his first offer of a college scholarship. But not in the sport you think.
Sophomore Tagaloa receives early offer
Greg Biggins
July 31, 2009

Although he has yet to take a varsity snap, rising sophomore Freddie Tagaloa (Richmond, Calif./Salesian) has already picked up his first scholarship offer and has a chance to develop in to a national recruit in two years...
Go here for the remainder.