Friday, December 31, 2010

ESPN's Joel Francisco on some top Bay Area talents

Joel Francisco of ESPN is looking at some Bay Area talents in action this week here and here:

Jabari Brown (Oakland, Calif./Oakland)
2011, SG, 6-foot-5, 190 pounds)
Brown tossed in 31-points, mostly from deep range, and his shot selection was efficient. He is a terrific catch-and-shoot type and his touch is feathery. He has an improved step-back jump shot off the dribble, but overall his perimeter game (ball handling) needs to improve for the next level.
Richard Longruss (Oakland, Calif./Bishop O'Dowd)
2012, WF, 6-6, 200
Teammate Brandon Ashley gets most of the notoriety, and rightly so, but Longruss was O'Dowd's best player on this day. He is a basketball player in every sense of the word at both ends of the floor. His length is impressive and he's a terrific all-around defender. Offensively, he is an outstanding rebounder and he can play inside and out. The potential is there for the high-majors to get involved.

Brandon Ashley
2012, PF, 6-8, 215
After a subpar first half in terms of effort (struggled to finish with contact) and production, Ashley dominated the second half as he led his team to a semifinal battle against an outstanding Long Beach Poly squad. Ashley utilized his length and soft hands to convert numerous baskets in the paint area. Defensively, he had a number of high-level blocks where he was able to keep the ball in play to get spark his team's transition game. Overall, Ashley has an immense upside but his fundamentals (brings the ball down) and skill-set (limited post moves) need to improve immensely for him to maintain his lofty national ranking.

Friday links

Cañada College romped over Columbia as Ron Agostini reports -- Peter Pappageorge scored 22 points.


Head here to catch up on the latest in Las Positas College hoops.


Howard Senzell of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat is again on the latest involving Analy and Montgomery down in a San Diego tourney.

Cardinal Newman topped Acalanes to win the Sonoma County Classic. Howard Senzell has the details.

Bonta Hill covered the SI victory over Burlingame.

Here are the Bay Area News Group -- East Bay Male Athletes of the Week.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

More game reports and scores

Here's a great Sac Bee feature on Bob Jones/Cordova High by Bill Paterson.


Howard Senzel is all over what the Sonoma County boys basketball teams are up to.


Modesto Christian lost in the Holiday Hoops Classic -- Brian VanderBeek has that scoop and more.


Bonta Hill covers SI's wins over Oakland Tech and Mission at the Leo LaRocca Sand Dune Classic.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

High school scores from Tuesday

Here's a handful of scores from Tuesday night:

Laguna Creek 63, Center 61 (OT)

Laguna Creek: Cornelius 19, Carbin 16

Center: Haysburg 16, Smith 14, Taubodo 12


Franklin 69, Vintage 51

Franklin: C. Iroegbu 15, D. Johnson 12, T. Johnson 10
Vintage: Douglas 12, Boddie 11, Herbert 10


Sacramento 68, PRICE (LA) 55
Sacramento: Turner 33, Kinny 12, Garrett 6

Price: Booker 16, Green 12


Bishop O'Dowd 76, Franklin-Seattle 50

Richard Longrus a double-double of 15 points and 15 rebounds

Here's Jimmy Durkin with a nice compilation.

Chabot hosting a tourney

Chabot is hosting a basketball tournament -- probably the last since conference play will begin soon -- so head on over to catch some action.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sonoma County hoops + the Modesto Christian tourney

Howard Senzell of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat keeps us up to date on Sonoma County teams and their participation in various tournaments. Casa Grande, Montgomery and Analy all were successful and Max Fuji totaled 36 points to lead the latter.


The Modesto Bee's Brian VanderBeek is covering host Modesto Christian's tournament and the host team won easily last night.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Photos of Josh Akognon playing in China

Here are a trio of photos featuring former Casagrande High and Cal State Fullerton star Josh Akognon playing in China, In the first, he is defending against Stephon Marbury, the second has the pair side by side and the third photo is Josh again defending versus Marbury. He scored 28 points to Marbury's nine.

A great story and a grand gesture

Hey, Ken McDonald just set himself quite apart from other college basketball coaches. Read on and be prepared to be amazed:
WKU fans get apology and check from McDonald
Rick Bozich
December 23, 2010

Wednesday night was not the first time this season that Western Kentucky basketball coach Ken McDonald was less than thrilled with the results delivered by his basketball team.

On Dec. 1, WKU visited Vanderbilt — and lost by 20 to the Commodores. The Hilltoppers were sloppy with the basketball. They were outscored 35-17 in the first half. They turned the ball over 21 times. And they made only 4 of 20 three-point shots.

McDonald was not pleased with the performance of his team — and said so in a letter that he sent to about 20 WKU fans who traveled to Nashville and sat in the team seats behind the WKU bench. McDonald also calculated the mileage costs involved for the fans who drove from Bowling Green to Nashville for the game and wrote personal checks for $60 to each of those fans, WKU senior associate athletic director Todd Stewart said on Thursday.

Stewart said several fans have already returned the checks and to his knowledge none has cashed one.  "Several even sent notes saying that teams can have bad games and no check was necessary," Stewart said...
The entire article is here but the above paragraphs are the salient parts.

The Modesto Christian basketball tournament

The Modesto Bee's Brian VanderBeek previews this week's Modesto Christian tourney

Shooting aid equipment

Check out the techy shooting improvement equipment talked about in this article. Sometimes, all the aid in the world isn't enough if the 'student' doesn't continually do his or her 'homework' until it's become truly ingrained.

The Bee on Sacto area games this week

Bill Paterson/Sacramento Bee is back with who is on the court this week in the Sacramento area -- head here.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League preview

Ryan Moses/Santa Cruz Sentinel previews the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic league which features  Northern Arizona-bound Colin Gruber (Harbor High), Nick Grieves of Aptos High and Zen Maki of Santa Cruz High.

Writeups and box scores for a number of regional junior colleges

DR follows California junior college basketball like no other -- he is in a class by himself. Based in southern California, he makes a couple of trips up north during the season to check out various teams he isn't able to often view.

Go here to his site to enjoy the game writeups and box scores featuring Ohlone and Siskiyous, Alameda and Foothill, Diablo Valley and Canyons, Santa Rosa and Yuba, Hartnell and Feather River, plus Los Medanos and Shasta.

Brendan Lane coming on at UCLA

UCLA's Lane bouncing back after tough year
Max Rosenblum
Special to the Sacramento Bee
December 25, 2010

One of John Wooden's 15 pillars of success reads, "Stay the course. When thwarted try again; harder; smarter. Persevere relentlessly."

UCLA has had a lot of greats walk through Pauley Pavilion. Even in that esteemed company, the late, great Wizard of Westwood would have seen Rocklin's Brendan Lane holding his own and sticking to his motto.

Lane, a 6-foot-9 sophomore and 2009 graduate of Rocklin High, decided to play basketball at UCLA because of the school's history and winning tradition. With the goal of becoming a better basketball player, Lane chose to become a Bruin over most other Pac-10 schools.

Shortly into Lane's collegiate career, however, a culmination of ankle sprains led to ligament damage. An ensuing surgery on his left ankle brought his freshman season to a halt. The injury was tough on Lane, but it was the rehabilitation process that proved to be the hardest part...
 Go here for the remainder.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Comprehensive coverage on Sonoma County prep hoops

Howard Senzell does it again with a lengthy feature on upcoming games and matchups for high school teams in the Sonoma County area -- head here.

Friday, December 24, 2010

More scores and box highlights

More scores and mini-boxes:

Jesuit 79

Uu 22
Okugo 15
Pressley 11

Sacred Heart Cathedral 74

Fox 17
Johns 14
Pratt 12


Scattini Tournament Championship 

Palma 46

Allen 6 4-7 18
Tardieu 2 4-7 10

St. Mary's 43

Andoh 5 3-5 13
Taylor 3 3-5 10
Baral 3 0-0 6


Castro Valley 53

Bobbitt 4 6-8 16
Anderson 4 4-6 14
Read 5 2-2 12

McClymonds 39

Bell 4 1-5 11
Robinson 3 0-0 8
Otis 2 2-2 6


Salesian 91

Tagaloa 6 1-7 13
Mize 5 0-0 10
Bird 5 0-0 10
Artis 3 0-0 6

Inderkum-Sacramento 58

White 5 0-1 12
Horraola 4 0-0 12

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Max Fuji does it again

Max Fuji again led his Analy High team to victory, this time against rival Newman -- head here.

Michael Lizarraga makes the New York Times

Here's an informative and feel good feature on former northern California and current Cal State Northridge basketballer Michael Lizarraga -- head here.

A Greg Allen update

Greg Allen came out of Eureka High a couple of years ago, drew some definite D-1 interest but ended up playing at Navarro College in Texas. He is in his sophomore season.

Creighton was in the running during his senior high school season and the BlueJays are apparently re-recruiting Allen, who sports a 3.4 grade point average.

Allen is averaging a team-leading 12.4 points a game on 41% overall shooting, 44% from three and  87% from the foul line.

More on Will Cherry

On a night where his shooting from the floor was off, Will Cherry still compiled a number of impressive stats. In a 71-57 win over host Cal State Fullerton, he scored 18 points in 39 minutes (4-13 from the floor, 0-5 on threes, 10-10 at the foul line) alongside seven rebounds, five assists and a pair of steals.

The Draft Express site looks at Orlando Johnson

Ex-Palma High star Orlando Johnson is enjoying a nice career at UC Santa Barbara and the Draft Express site takes a look at his NBA potential:
Matt Kamalsky
Draft Express

Orlando Johnson, 6'5, Junior, Shooting Guard, UC Santa Barbara
18.7 Points, 6.3 Rebounds, 2.7 Assists, 2.8 Turnovers, 1 Steal, 48% FG, 43% 3P, 81% FT

The returning Big West Player of the Year Award winner, Orlando Johnson has continued to build on his strong play from last season. After spending his freshman year setting first-year records for scoring and rebounding at Loyola Marymount, the transfer made an immediate impact for the Gauchos as a redshirt sophomore. A great scorer at the mid-major level, Johnson has put up some tremendous individual performances this season including a 35-point outburst against Fresno State and a 15-rebound double-double in an upset win over UNLV. While Johnson will need to continue to play at a high-level to create some draft buzz, he's an incredibly diligent worker and one of the most interesting small-school players on the West Coast...
Go here for the remainder (scroll down).

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

This is interesting

Here's a fascinating Yuba College game report from the Appeal-Democrat -- not too many coaches will say what Doug Cornelius offered.

BOD crushes Berkeley

Jimmy Durkins provides the details on Bishop O'Dowd's 67-35 crushing of Berkeley High. Richard Longrus posted a double-double.

Robert Duncan leads Granite Bay

The Sac Bee's Bill Patterson has a brief article on Granite Bay's Robert Duncan carrying his team during the Mission Prep Christmas Classic tournament -- head here.

Woodcreek thriving, Sheldon humbled, Sac High wins, Polee stars

Bill Paterson of the Sacramento Bee has a full load of scores and notes in his ptrep column today -- head here.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

8 northern California junior college teams in top 20

City College of San Francisco currently ranks as the top team in the state, garnering 375 points and 15 first place votes.


1     San Francisco (N) (15-1) 375 (15)    
2     Antelope Valley (S) (9-2) 334 (10)    
3     Saddleback (S) (12-2) 292 (1)    
4     Citrus (S) (12-1) 271 (1)    
5     Fresno (N) (13-2) 257 (1)    
6     Mt. San Antonio (S) (11-3) 245 (2)    
7     Southwestern (S) (12-1) 242 (2)    
8     Diablo Valley (N) (10-2) 234 (0)    
9     Mt. San Jacinto (S) (10-3) 225 (0)    
10   Irvine Valley (S) (12-3) 211 (0)    
11   Ohlone (N) (9-5) 208 (0)    
12   Santa Rosa (N) (10-4) 199 (0)    
13   Yuba (N) (11-5) 186 (0)    
14   Chabot (N) (9-3) 182 (0)    
15   Sequoias (N) (11-5) 179 (0)    
16   Los Angeles Trade Tech (9-5) 172 (0)        
17   Canada (N) (9-1) 166 (0)    
18   San Jose City (N) (7-5) 166 (0)    
19   Ventura (S) (10-4) 161 (0)         
       Cosumnes River (N) (9-5) 161 (0)    

Terra Linda's Michael Best is named POW

We're a bit late on this but here's an honor awarded to Terra Linda's big man Michael Best. His destination next year is also revealed.

An update on Robert Sandoval

One of our favorite players is former Bay Area Hoosier Robert Sandoval. He signed with Azuza Pacific and here are his freshman numbers to date in 19 minutes of play per game:

* 7.2 ppg.

* shooting 46% overall, 9-22 on threes

* a surprising 11-19 from the foul line

* 40 assists to 24 turnovers

* a second-on-the-team 20 steals

* 2.1 rebounds a game

James Nunnally earns second Big West POW honor

Junior James Nunnally was named Big West Player of the Week for the second time this season after leading UCSB to a win at 22nd-ranked UNLV last week.

Nunnally scored a game-high 23 points and had seven rebounds in the win over the Rebels. He made 7-of-12 shots overall, 3-of-6 from three-point range and all six of his free throws. Nunnally made the six free throws in the second half with four coming in the waning seconds. 

"James was outstanding and that was a big win for us," said UCSB head coach Bob Williams. "He is very deserving of the award." 

On Saturday at 7th-ranked San Diego State, the native of Stockton, Calif., had 15 points and three rebounds. 

Nunnally previously earned Big West Player of the Week honors after leading the Gauchos to wins over Loyola Marymount and Santa Clara. Against LMU he had a career-high 29 points and three days later he had a career-high 34 against Santa Clara.

Monday, December 20, 2010

CCSF tops Delta to win tourney -- De'End Parker named MVP

CCSF tops Mustangs in final
Mark Godi
Stockton Record Correspondent
December 20, 2010

Marcus Beaird will get his second chance in just 10 days.

Beaird and the Delta College men's basketball team lost 76-66 to City College of San Francisco, the top-ranked team in the state, in the championship game of the 44th Delta Holiday Tournament on Sunday at Joe Blanchard Gym...
Go here for the remainder.

Kobe calls out the state of amateur basketball

Kobe isn't happy with the state of play:
Trip home stirs Bryant’s nostalgia
Adrian Wojnarowski
Yahoo! Sports
December 16, 2010

On the Los Angeles Lakers’ preseason trip to Barcelona, Kobe Bryant(notes) watched the young kids with a basketball and marveled over the differences in the development of too many players in the States.

“Every single one, it seemed – the 8-year-old, the 9-year-olds – go left and they go right,” Bryant told Yahoo! Sports recently. “The older ones shoot the jump hook with the left, and they shoot the jump hook with the right. You’ve got bigger kids who can shoot from the outside, who can handle the ball and play. A lot of young players that look like [Pau] Gasol, who are just so skilled.

“And now, you’ve got kids here in the States, 20 years old, who can’t do those things. Damn, you’ve got max players who can’t do that...”
Go here for the remainder.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Junior college scores from the Delta Holiday tourney

Mark Godi in the Stockton Record has scores and highlights from Saturday's games in the 44th Delta Holiday tournament. Sierra's Casey Arent scored 41 points in one game -- head here.

The outcomes and highlights for Friday can be found here.

Drew Gordon back playing

Drew Gordon took to the court at The Pit against Citadel and inadvertently performed some scientific experiments involving altitude. In 20 minutes, he scored 11 points (3-7 from the floor, 5-6 at the foul Line) and grabbed three rebounds for New Mexico -- go here.

A bevy of high school and junior college scores


Salesian 87, Clovis East 80


Artis 9 3-6 24
Bird 8 2-2 18
Leonard 4 3-4 11
Dunn 3 4-6 10
Tagaloa 2 4-7 8

Clovis East

K. Bailey 7 14-15 30
Cook 7 0-0 20
Whitfield 3 2-2 9


Las Lomas 66, Northgate 64

Butler 7 6-10 20
Jean 2 7-11 12
Lacour 4 1-2 11

Las Lomas 

Duffy 13 4-5 33
Stafford 6 0-0 16


Serra 58, Woodside 35


Caruso 9-2-20
McGrath 4-3-11
Pacheco 5-1-11


Ennis 7-1-15


Diablo Valley 67, Monterey Peninsula 51

Diablo Valley
Estrada 6 5-6 20
Goins 5 6-6 17

Monterey Peninsula

Stanley 4 5-8 15 
Philp 4 3-4 13
Spencer 3 6-6 13


Las Positas  79, Gavilan 48

Las Positas

Thomas 8 2-5 19 
Abad 6 0-0 14 

Speaks 5 0-0 10
Galindo 4 0-0 9


Los Medanos 65, Shasta 60

Los Medanos

Grant 3 10-11 19
Hanspard 6 2-5 14
Johnson 4 4-4 14


Loustale 9 2-5 20
Blaser 6 0-0 15


Los Medanos 93, Mendocino 91

Douglas 9 1-2 19
Hanspard 11 2-2 24


Dubose 14 5-5 37
Cummings 7 2-4 21
Jackson 9 0-0 18

Ohlone tops DVC, Chabot clobbers Modesto,

Ohlone and Chabot both nab victories, the latter in a rout -- check it out here.

Oakland High, BOD win

Jabari Brown and T.J. Taylor led Oakland High over over San Leandro while it was Brandon Ashley and Richard Longrus doing the same for Bishop O'Dowd versus McClymonds -- Tony Gonzales reports.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The best junior college talents in northern California?

Here's a stab at the top basketballers in northern California junior college play this season:

* Casey Arent, center

21.8 ppg., 11.3 rpg.

He can write his college future if he nails the grades.

* Julian Welch, guard

20.2 ppg.

Not a lot of three-pointers made but he creates and is always at the foul line

* Peter Pappageorge

20.4 ppg.

Some doubt his body and athletic ability in the D-1 ranks but Canada is 9-0 and nobody can stop him from scoring

* Collin Chiverton

19.1 ppg.

Just get it/keep it together personally and that will flow over on to the court -- he's a remarkable talent

* Jonathan Williams

14.5 ppg.

Strong and athletic, he'll be a solid and complementary guy at the next level

Okay, who are we missing and, just as importantly, why should your nomination be here?

Brad Duggan honored

Former CCSF coach and longtime San Francisco basketball figure Brad Duggan is honored in early November.

TaShawn Mabry injured

TaShawn Mabry is out of North Carolina but the freshman was playing a key role in the performance of Coach Paul Brogan's Modesto Junior College team:
The Modesto Bee the newspaper of Modesto California reported in their Tuesday addition that TaShawn Mabry former Rocky Mount High and All State basketball performer tore his Achilles heel over the weekend and had successful surgery on Monday to repair the injury. His injury will make him miss the rest of his freshman year At Modesto Junior College.

Mabrey after signing with Rhode Island last summer transferred to MJC before classes started this fall and has had a really nice beginning to his college career until the injury. The injury occurred while simply running down the court...

Hey, Chico State is 7-1

From the Chico Enterprise Record:
Chico State men reach 7-1 for first time since 1942

Rashad Parker led the Chico State men's basketball team with 13 points in a 69-40 nonconference victory Saturday night at Acker Gym over Pacific Union College, a 1,500-student NAIA school from Angwin.

Damario Sims added nine points and four assists for the Wildcats, who are 7-1 for the first time since 1942.

Jason Conrad and Chris Sharp chipped in eight points apiece for Chico State, which led the Pioneers (1-7) at halftime 41-16.

Robert Duncan is starring

At the Mission Prep Christmas Classic down in Santa Maria, Granite Bay's Robert Duncan scored 25 points as the Grizzlies ran away with the game early as his squad dropped Pasadena 55-39.

Here's an article about an earlier tournament where Duncan earned MVP honors.

We believe he is still unsigned.

The Castro Valley - Oakland High boxscore

Here you go -- CV hosted the Thursday night game:

Castro Valley (75): Roderick Bobbitt 30, Juan Anderson 20, Chris Read 7, Dawson Johnson 6, Alex Foster 4, Andrew Thompson 4, Warren Wright 4

Oakland (68): Jabari Brown 23, Dominique Taplin 13, TJ Taylor 12, Jamil Brown 12,  Jalen Headspeth 4, Tyrell Murray 4.

Jimmy Durkin's game report can be found here.

Benecia High basketball

Jose San Mateo in the Times-Herald offers insight into this season's new team and coach at Benecia High. Promise is on the horizon.

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Tom Izzo interview worth reading

We're going pretty far afield here but a few parts in a Tom Izzo interview conducted by Steve Greenberg seemed justifiably worthy of highlighting. It's not about X's and O's but rather relationships and getting his players to reach their potential and goals. We found it fascinating.
SN: A theory: Your teams often peak late because you push harder and longer with players and teams than many coaches do. You get mad at them—and they at you—but you don’t give up on them. You seem to thrive on continuing to push. Agree?

TI: I do. And I can see where people see the (negative) side because I’m never really happy. The truth of it is I’ve always looked at it like I have a job to do. I have people who come here thinking they’re NBA players. I have expectations that we’re going to graduate our guys. Those two things are very hard to do—and then win championships. Those are three very hard things, and there’s going to be roadkill along the way; it’s not going to be roses. I just ask guys what they want to do, but once they tell me what they want to do, then I look at it like it’s my obligation to hold them to that goal—not to my goals but to their goals. What I don’t think people get to see about me is the time I spend with a player. If you ask me what is my strongest suit, that’s what it is. I think it’s my responsibility to a player to push him harder than he probably thinks he can be pushed … (but) I don’t give up on people. Morris Peterson is the biggest reason. He was my hardest one to get through to. He taught me probably as much as anybody I coached because it was a struggle early and we got along like cat and mouse. It was early in my career, my first year, and he pushed me to the hilt. But it worked out. And now he calls me when we lose. He comes back (to visit). Every Mother’s Day, he calls my wife. That is what I coach for. That blows the championships away.
SN: Has Kalin Lucas—your most decorated current player—been especially challenging to coach? 
TI: Kalin is really a competitive kid; he’s tough. He’s got to continue to work on his people skills and leadership skills (to) get where he wants to go. The kid wants to be a pro, and he’s (6-1). Go count how many there are of them. You’d better be pretty special. You’d better be more than just (2008-09) player of the year in the Big Ten. You have to continue to be a better teammate, be a better leader, because he’s quiet. Some people will say, “That’s just his personality.” I get a kick out of those people. When a parent sends a kid to college, they want you to make him a better person, make him a better student. If he’s not a very good dribbler, make him a better dribbler. If he’s not strong enough, change his body. If his jump shot is broke, fix his jump shot. But if his personality is broke, leave it alone? That doesn’t make any sense to me. Don’t tell me you want to be a pro—don’t tell me you want to lead a team to a national championship—if your personality is going to stay the same. Just go back and look at the personalities that have won championships. Shane Battier. (Juan) Dixon from Maryland. Cleaves. Khalid El-Amin. Recently, you look at (Duke’s Jon) Scheyer, constantly talking, grabbing people. I went and watched the Wizards practice. John Wall was unbelievable, and I don’t say one word about his play. That guy, on the first day of practice, was calling out positions—where centers were supposed to go on a play, where forwards were going—as he’s coming down the court. Unbelievable people skills. Not afraid to hear his own voice. Knowledge of the game. (Those are) things Kalin has to improve on.
SN: How have young people changed from 1983 to 1995 to 2010? 

TI: Everybody talks about the kids changing. I say the grown-ups have changed. We either tolerate more or we put them in (bad) positions. We wonder why they don’t communicate as well, but we put them behind the computer (and) tell them they can put anything on there and nobody has to know who it came from, or we can text them and nobody has to know where it came from. We don’t hold them accountable, and yet we wonder why they’re not as accountable. The world gets a little more fat and sassy, and everybody wants more for their kids than they had, including me. But if I had to pick one word that I don’t think kids do as well now as they did going back in years, it’s the word respect. And the second would be accountability. But what have we taught? I have found that, for the most part, the kids will do their part if you’re willing to spend the time and you convince a guy why he has to do something—and sometimes you’re changing 18 years. But, for the most part, kids want to do the right thing. It’s just that sometimes we’re not showing them the right way.

A fascinating article about mid-major (or even lower) recruiting

It's not northern California directly-related but read on if you wish to gain some degree of insight on the college basketball recruiting process:
Recruiting an emotional, physical roller coaster for UNCW coaches
Brian Mull
Star News
December 4, 2010

On a steamy morning in mid-July, UNC-Wilmington men's basketball coach Buzz Peterson and his staff met in the office of assistant Jamie Kachmarik.

Like practically every other Division I coach in the country, the four men entrusted with rescuing the Seahawks from CAA oblivion had spent the 10 previous days on the road. They sat on hard bleachers in hot gyms for up to 14 hours a day evaluating high school seniors-to-be playing in games that often deteriorated into rec-center pickup ball, sans skins.

Unlike 95 percent of their peers though, the new UNCW staff had to restock more than half its roster. They entered the July recruiting period with a lone verbal commitment and a half-dozen scholarships to hand out.

The Seahawks' coaches were in need of every essential – skill, speed, guards, big men.

Peterson and assistants Kachmarik and Matt McMahon arrived at UNCW in April from Southern Conference member Appalachian State. However, players of a higher talent level would be required to return the Seahawks to elite status in the CAA. The Southern had an average RPI of 19.6 (out of 31 Division I conferences) over the past five seasons. The CAA had an average RPI of 12.4 in that same period and three member programs won an NCAA tournament game.

The coaches were already evaluating potential Seahawks through a specific lens. They sought fundamentally sound, skilled players possessing a high basketball IQ, 3-point shooters, prospects with wide wingspans and the versatility to play multiple positions. All of these qualities must be inside a coachable package that includes high character and sound academics.

This was non-negotiable...
Go here for the remainder.

The Cal Hi Sports basketball stat stars

Cal Hi Sports has posted its state star as of 12/16 and here are the northern California prepsters listed:

* Mike Davis, Kelseyville (Kelseyville, Calif.)
He was the one in shining armor for the Knights, after connecting for 32 points in a 76-48 victory over Lower Lake. 

* Max Fuji, Analy (Sebastopol, Calif.)

The speedy 5-foot-9 sharpshooting guard had 24 points in a 52-46 victory over host Drake of San Anselmo at the 45th Annual Carl “Red” Brown tourney, then came back to solidify the tournament’s MVP, with 31 points in a 69-54 title-game victory over Kennedy of Fremont. 

* Aaron Gordon, Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.)

He showed some spark last year as a freshman, but the sophomore 6-foot-7, 200-pound little brother of Drew Gordon is the new Monarch force down low in a 5-1 start, and he showed it in a 79-70 victory over San Leandro in Mitty’s South Bay Classic, finishing with a game-high 22 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks.

* Colin Gruber, Harbor (Santa Cruz, Calif.)
The 6-foot-3 senior had three huge double-doubles in three Pirates’ wins last week. In a 64-41 win over North Salinas, he dropped in 29 points with 15 rebounds, seven steals and five blocks. Two nights later in a 53-49 victory over Watsonville, he dropped in 29 again with 10 rebounds, four steals, four blocks and three assists. Against Scotts Valley, Gruber grubbed up 36 points, 10 rebounds, four steals and four blocks. The next night in the Dad’s Club tourney title game, he had 20 points seven rebound and four assists, but his team fell 61-53 to Salinas.

* Tajai Johnson, Vallejo (Vallejo, Calif.)

The junior guard led the Apaches past Vintage of Napa 80-68 in the title game of the Wine Valley Classic. He scored 36 points and also had 11 rebounds and seven assists. Johnson is averaging more than 26 ppg.

* Matt Mareno, Redwood (Larkspur, Calif.)

This 6-foot-5 junior is making a name for himself. Last week, he tossed in 41 points with seven rebounds but the defending NCS Division II champion Giants lost 77-73 to Pittsburg. Two weeks ago,  in a 57-44 win over Dougherty Valley of San Ramon, Mareno had 31 points.

* Brandon Wilhite, Woodside Priory (Portola Valley, Calif.)

After going for 30 points and 10 rebounds in a 49-30 win over St. Lawrence of Santa Clara last Saturday, the small school star came back Monday night to duplicate the effort in a 65-55 win over Mid-Peninsula of Menlo Park.

Frank Rogers leading Salinas High

6-foot-8 Frank Rogers has morphed into a go-to guy this season for Salinas High.

Here's a John Devine/Monterey Herald article story on Rogers and the team.

Nice feature on the history of Alisal (Salinas) basketball

George Watkins of the Salinas Californian offers a nice feature article on Alisal basketball history, moving from the 1970s to today.

Nunnally and Johnson team up to top UNLV

What a win and paced by two northern California players.

UC Santa Barbara went to Vegas and beat #22 UNLV 68-62 for a solid signature victory. Weston Ranch star James Nunnally scored 23 points and grabbed seven boards while Palma's Orlando Johnson scored just 12 but grabbed 15 boards.

Each is averaging over 20 points per game.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Jeremy Russotti's Solano County basketball training event

Here's a not-to-miss major opportunity for basketball players of all ages and their parents -- an event offering the chance to learn how to practice skill development and play the right way, meaning reaching your potential:

Come by for a free day of 1% CLUB Basketball training December 19, at Solano Community College. There is no need to register but call (707) 849-1212 or contact via email: if you need more information.

Here is the age group breakdown and the corresponding training time for the event:

K-2: 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.                     
3rd - 5th:  1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.
6th - 8th: 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
8th - High School: 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

This event will feature Jeremy Russotti and John Nagle as the lead trainers.

Jeremy is well known nationally and internationally as a top tier basketball skills trainer.
John is currently the Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Solano Community College (SCC).

Also, 1% CLUB Basketball will be offering these free events around nine areas throughout northern California. Check out future free 1% CLUB Basketball Clinics here.

Josh Akognon does it again

Wow, he did it again.

Former Casa Grande High and Fullerton State star Josh Akognon scored 35 points last night in pushing his Dongguang Leopards' team (Chinese Basketball League) record to 2-0. He shot 13-19 (7-11 on 3-pointers) and beat Yao Ming's Sharks team.

He has won head-to-head matchups with Stefon Marbury's and Ricky Davis'/Jerome Moiso's teams respectively. 

In his first game in China, Josh had 28 points on 9-16 overall shooting, 7 assists and 2 TOs in only 29 minutes of play.

Rob Jones making the transition

Former Riordan High baller Rob Jones must have really put in the time during his redshirt season in 2009-2010 at St. Mary's because he has certainly made the transition to incorporating a face-the-basket element into his game -- the latest is 6-9 from three-point range against UC Riverside.

Bill Paterson covers Sac area hoops

Bill Paterson of the Sacramento Bee offers an informative summary of this past weekend of hoops involving Sacto area teams and players -- Josiah Turner, Robert Garrett, Erik Kinney, Robert Duncan, Darius Graham and more are covered -- head here.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Jerry Brown to redshirt/Wendell McKines undecided

Per Fresno State's Steve Cleveland on his radio show this week, Jerry (Sacred Heart) Brown will redshirt this season.

Plus, here's a link to the latest on New Mexico State's Wendell (Richmond) McKines.

Sterling Smith earns MVP honors

Chico High's Sterling Smith again proved to be too much:
Chico wins tournament title over host Pleasant Valley
Nick Wilson
Chico Enterprise Record

In the end, it was Chico High's triple-pronged attack — Sterling Smith, Kurt Kitayama and Jesse Holmes — that pushed the Panthers past Pleasant Valley in a 73-66 overtime victory in the title game of the 45th annual Pleasant Valley Invitational on Saturday night at Varley Gym.

For Chico (6-0), the championship was the team's second in two weeks, the other coming at the Bella Vista Bronco Classic in Fair Oaks...
Go here for the remainder. 

Capturing the whimsy but also the sadness

A middle school elite camp? Is there no shame? Answer: never has been.

And no, we will not provide a link to the event.

What's stopping someone from holding an embryo camp? Or maybe the Fetus 150?

More material for George Dohrmann but we imagine he is done with this subject.
How early is too early to scout hoops stars?
Victor Contreras
Sacramento Bee
December 14, 2010

How early is too early to scout hoops stars?

Rather than wait until his senior year in high school, my son announced Monday morning over a bowl of Apple Jacks that he's verbally committing himself to play college basketball at USF.

After one season at USF, he'll enter the NBA draft...
Go here for the remainder.

Drew Gordon soon to be eligible

Former Archbishop Mitty star and ex-UCLA frontcourter Drew Gordon is close to completing his year sit-out as required by the NCAA:
Gordon's First Game Dec. 19    
Mark Smith
Albuquerque Journal 
November 27, 2101

If good things come to those who wait, Drew Gordon should have a heck of a holiday season.

The University of New Mexico men's basketball center, who hasn't played in a game for a year, will have to sit out two more days - and one more game - than he expected.

UNM's Dawn Martinez, assistant athletics director for compliance, said Gordon will not be eligible until Dec. 19, when the Lobos play host to The Citadel...
Go here for the remainder. 

SanFranPreps selects Brenden Glapion as POW

Washington's Brenden Glapion is the choice as Player of the Week by SanFranPreps -- go here.

Monday, December 13, 2010

SHC wins Vacaville tourney

Tim Roe of The Reporter (Vacaville) reports on Sacred Heart Cathedral winning the Gene "Honk" Williams Memorial tournament on Saturday night. Taylor Johns was dominant.

A writeup on the Palma - Archbishop Mitty game

Here you go:
A TALL ORDER: Palma holds its own, but falls to nationally ranked Mitty
John Devine
Monterey Herald
His jersey unraveling out of his shorts, Noah Allen looked spent.

"I'm a little winded,'' the talented Palma sophomore said. "It's going to take a couple of weeks to get my legs under me.''

Of course, matching up against a Top 50 sophomore in the nation will push you to your limits as well.

In fact, facing a nationally ranked team Tuesday provided Palma with a better understanding of where it is at this point after falling 67-54 to Mitty...
Go here for the remainder.

Franklin top host Arcata to win tourney title

Neil Tarpey of the Times Standard provides his game report.

Here is the all tourney team:

Chukwuemeak Iroegbu, Franklin, Most Valuable Player
Shikabe Aziz, Franklin
Tom Witzel, Arcata
Brandon Pomrehn, Arcata
Justin Thayer, Eureka
Parker Farris, McKinleyville
Brady Shaha, Fortuna
Matt Lococo, Piner
Eric Vidal, Red Bluff
Garrett Greeenshaw, Anderson

A post from Lakeshow's Joe Fuca

Here's a note from Joe Fuca, coach of the Lakeshow basketball club team, containing updates on his players:

"From time to time, I will send out a note to update the Lakeshow family on several topics. I have been using Facebook for the boys to update them primarily on college players and their successes because it is very easy to link an article to the Lakeshow Facebook page and 100% of them in college use Facebook.

If you ever want to see the actual article from the web sites on the college guys, just log onto the Lakeshow group site on Facebook.

Below is a quick look at some early season very impressive successes from the guys at the varsity level. We have already won 5 MVP awards for local high school tourneys in the first two weeks of the season. Most of these highlights come from our local newspaper or MaxPreps. If your son has done something really good and you are playing out of town, please shoot me a note so I can include that in our next update. I usually do this every three weeks during the season.

High School B-Ball has officially launched:
Kevin Stafford – Las Lomas, 2011 – Kevin is killing it by scoring 40 points in one game and 22 points last night in leading Las Lomas to a 4-1 record already.

James Davis – Arroyo High, 2011 (signed with Northern Colorado) – James was voted MVP of the Stonebarger Tourney by scoring 18 points and getting 7 rebounds to lead Arroyo to a tourney win. That’s right Arroyo!!!!! Key steal to win the game late in the 4th qtr.

Matt Butler - Northgate, 2011 - had a awesome year on the grid iron and jumped right into hoops by leading his team in scoring and rebounding. Northgate beat Deer Valley last week and Matt had 21 points ad 10 rebounds

Jordan Guisti – SRV, 2011 - is off to a blazing start by being voted MVP of the Riordan Tourney after leading San Ramon to the Championship. Jordan scored 20 points per game in the three games for that tourney. Jordan and Mark have SRV at a 5-0 start.

Brandon White – Liberty, 2013 - voted one of the players of the week this week by the Times – Brandon scored 20 and 26 in Liberty wins in the Pebble Beach tourney.

Chris Read – Castro Valley, 2011 - is rolling fast by scoring over 15 points per game in the opening 5 games of CVs wins. CV will be ranked very high after posting an early 5-0 record.

Ryan Hyrn – Cal High, 2012 - has started strong for Cal in leading his team to a 2-2 record but scoring over 15 points per game as well.

Trevean Duffy – Las Lomas, 2011 - has also started strong and is scoring over 20 points per game for Las Lomas

Mark Tollefsen – SRV – named to all tourney team at the Riordan Tourney, and scored 24 points the other night in a win over Heritage and picked up MVP honors at the John May Classic to lead SRV to a 6-0 record.

BJ Smith - Rodriguez, 2011- is rolling averaging 15 pts per game and 10 rebounds. Rodriguez is out to a 3-1 start

Ben Freeland – Montgomery High, 2011  -has his team off to a 5-0 start and they won their hosted tourney earlier in the month. I can't see any stats on max preps Ben….you better be leading the team in rebounding.

Ryan Swain – Buchanon High in Fresno, 2013 - Scored 5 points in an OT loss to De La Salle – Ex Lakeshow Coach Eric Swain led his team to a very respectful showing in a hostile visitors gym.

Mikey Harris – Monte Vista, 2011 - Scored a game high 11 points to lead Montevista to a victory over Heritage.

Tyler Charrette – Berean Christian, 2012 - Tyler is starting to get it rolling after a long football season he scored 28 points last night to lead Berean to a tourney championship at Cloverdale. Tyler was voted MVP of the tourney.

Michael Crawley – Antioch, 2011 - Led his team in rebounding and scoring in most games. Antioch is off to a slow start at 3-3 but they will compete as the season gets deeper.

Anders Haas – Bishop O’Dowd, 2011 - Scored 18 points and had 6  assists in a big win for Bishop over Loyola of Los Angeles.

Patrick Conroy – Marin Catholic, 2013 - Scoring 10 points per game to get his team off to a good start at 3-1 record. He scored 22 points in their first game.

Michael Daily – College Park, 2012 - Mike is leading his team in scoring and has CP off to a 3-1 start. Mike has made 14 3 pointers in 4 games already.

Raymond Bowles – Modesto Christian, 2013 – Ray got MVP of the Turlock tournament while leading his Modesto team to the Championship and a 3-0 start.
I would have to say that is a lot of High School talent for the last two weeks. That list above is just  the start of our amazing group of boys.  I Look forward to adding more guys in the next update."

Sierra's Casey Arent has turned it around

We love these types of articles:
Del Oro grad is Sierra's center of attention
Cecil Conley, Sports Editor
Placerville Herald

Casey Arent is aware of what is at stake when he stays home instead of going out with his buddies. The 2008 Del Oro High School graduate’s social life will have to suffer for the time being.

His future in basketball is far more important. The 6-foot-10 center is being recruited by universities such as Cal, Washington State and Colorado. A scholarship is easily within his reach.

All the Sierra College sophomore has to do now is become eligible to transfer. He is taking 19 units this semester and will do so again during the spring in hopes of making his dream a reality...
Go here for the remainder.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Josh Akognon starring in China

Former Casa Grande High and Fullerton State star Josh Akognon is playing for the Dongguang Leopards of the Chinese Basketball League and enjoying his first couple of games.
First, Josh out-played Stephon Marbury and most recently put up 28 points against a team featuring former NBA-er Ricky Davis (Charlotte, Miami, Cleveland, Boston). His line for the game: 9-16 overall shooting, seven assists, two turnovers in 29 minutes on the court. Davis totaled 21 points.

The head coach for the Leopards is Brian Goorjian, known for his tremendous success in Australia.

Greg Allen nabs POW honors

Former Eureka High backcourter Greg Allen was honored as the regional player of the week in his Texas junior college conference:
Navarro's Allen named Region XIV Player of the Week
Charles Richards
The Corsicana Daily Sun Wed 

December 8, 2010

Greg Allen of Navarro [College] averaged 20 points for the Bulldogs last week and has been named the Region XIV men's basketball Player of the Week for the week ending Sunday, Dec. 5.

Allen scored 18 points in Navarro's 63-57 victory over Tyler and 23 points in the Bulldogs' 84-79 victory over Paris, improving the Bulldogs' conference record to  2-1.

Allen shot 8-of-16 from 3-point range in the two games.

"The coaches just told me to shoot the ball with confidence," said Allen after his team's win over Tyler, in which he made six 3-pointers. "In the first half, I didn't shoot the ball that well, and in the second half I just went out and shot the ball with no conscience. I started hitting shots and it worked well for me."

The status of Fresno State's Jerry Brown

Former Sacred Heart star Jerry Brown -- now a sophomore at Fresno State -- has been injured all this season and apparently a determination will be made soon on whether he will redshirt or not in 2010-2011. We're not sure about the specific ailment.

Gridley tourney final results -- team and player honors

From the official site:

Salesian High School of Richmond

Sacramento High School

Jesuit High School of Carmichael

Luther Burbank High School of Sacramento

Newark Memorial High School

St. Francis High School of Mountain View

El Cerrito High School

Gridley High School

All Tournament Team Members:

#1 Casey Norris Newark Memorial
#12 Parker Uu Jesuit
#5 Kendall Andrews Newark Memorial
#32 Brian Glodowski Jesuit
#11 Jabri Jenkins El Cerrito
#1 Josiah Turner Sacramento
#23 Jabari Bird Salesian
#21 Erik Kinney Sacramento

Outstanding Player:

#5 Dominic Artis Salesian High School

High Points Scorer:

#23 Jabari Bird Salesian High School with 56 points

Victoria Sun writes about Ramon Eaton and Darius Nelson

Recruiting realities change outlook for Darius Nelson and Ramon Eaton
Northern California duo entered high school hoping to play together in college, but the recruiting process altered their perspectives

Victoria Sun

Born just two days apart, Sheldon (Sacramento, Calif.) duo Darius Nelson and Ramon Eaton have always felt more like brothers than cousins.

“Twin brothers,” Nelson, a 6-foot-5 scorer, clarifies.

At the end of seventh grade, their bond grew stronger when they began living under the same roof...
Go here for the remainder.

Phil Barber reports on the Montgomery win over San Marin

Phil Barber/Santa Rosa Press-Democrat offers an article on Montgomery winning the Rose City tourney behind MVP Ben Freeland.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

San Marin tops Cardinal 67-55

Bobby Sharp totaled 34 points but it wasn't enough -- Howard Senzell has the details for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

Findlay versus Westwind -- the battle of the preps

Two powerhouse prep squads met last night, with some Bay Area talents mentioned.

From Anthony Ray, Arizona Preps (Rivals sub required):
"...Westwind Prep did not get much help from a few of their key members of the team, as 5-foot-9 senior point guard Kiwi Gardner would pick up four quick fouls as a result of his out of control play on the basketball floor. 6-foot-9 senior post Keanu Post was a non-factor on both ends of the floor, as the game seemed to move too fast for him.

6-foot-6 prep forward George Matthews (University of Utah signee) and 6-foot-6 prep forward John Green (UC-Santa Barbara signee) did their part in the loss, going for 16 and 17 points respectfully. Both players fought hard whilenot much was going right for their team..."

Scores from the Sac Bee

Here are a bunch of scores courtesy of the Sacramento Bee:

Gridley Invitational


Sacramento11 21 29 18 – 79

Burbank13 13 18 17 – 61

S–Turner 22, Cameron 6, Shelton 8, Boyd 15, Chapel 2, Kinney 18, Jarrett 8. B–Long 12, Davis 5, Love 18, Hill 4, West 12, Stone 8, Straughter 2


Inderkum21 16 15 11 – 63

Rocklin22 18 16 17 – 73

I-Ward 6, House 5, White 13, Royal 4, Jones 6, Pickett 4, Davis 2, Honrada 3, Snell 4, Soderberg 16. R-Peterson 22, Bridge 2, Bullard 11, Tran 2, Moss 6, Jones 22, Valverde 2, Madak 4, Smith 2.

Santa Monica Tournament


Sheldon13 18 19 10 – 60

Lincoln18 14 17 21 – 70

S–Nelson 18, Williams 9, Thomas 12, Eaton 13, Simmons 3, Hampton 3, Iese 2. L–Tyrel. Robinson 4, Byrd 6, Smith 8, Simpson 8, Powell 22, Cobb 1, Tyree. Robinson 21.

De La Salle wins tourney

Nick Bender at the Inside Bay Area site has the details on De La Salle.s taking the Chris Vontoure Classic over Buchanan.

New site for San Francisco high school sports

It's not new new but we've been remiss in not noting Jeremy Balan's San Fran Preps site. In these days of less and less high school coverage, it's good to have this one.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Demetrius Lee update

 (Demetrius is #1 on the far right)

Demetrius Lee headed to Cowboy Country -- Casper College in Wyoming -- after finishing up at St. Mary's High. Here's the latest on his season:

* 6.6 points per game

* 86% (19-22) from the foul line

* 31% (29-82) overall from the floor

* 23% (11-48) from long distance

* 2.0 rebounds, 1.o assists and 1.0 steals per contest

Mitch Stephens on Brandon Ashley and BOD

LINK NOW CORRECTED: Mitch Stephens offers the latest on Brandon Ashley's status and how Bishop O'Dowd is playing -- go here.

Yuba College continues its winning ways

Coach Doug Cornelius wasn't satisfied with the performance but his Yuba squad still topped Delta.

Rancho Cotate (David) tops Windsor (Goliath

The small guys, so to speak, won out as Howard Senzell reports for the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Chase Tapley versus Cal

We thought it would be much closer being in Berkeley but San Diego State once again solidified it's spot as the top West Coast hoops team by beating Cal 77-57.

Sac's Chase Tapley's line: seven boards (led the team), six points, three assists, zero TOs, three steals

Is Cal doing as expected or is labeling the Bears a disappointment so far being fair?

A Khion Sankey update

After leading Newark Memorial High to the state title game, Khion Sankey took his talents to Wyoming -- Sheridan College to be specific.

So how is he doing?

In 10 games to date-- his team in undefeated and ranked 15th nationally -- Sankey is averaging 5.7 points on 51% shooting (20-39) and 5.2 rebounds a game.  

Tollefsen and Guisti powering SRV

Ken Silman/Danville Patch covers the latest on the San Ramon Valley High duo of Jordan Guisti and Mark Tollefsen -- go here. Are we going to be talking about co-MVPs?

MacKenzie Moore out of eligibility

Mitch Stephens has the news that MacKenzie Moore/College Park High has exhausted his eligibility and will not be playing this season -- go here.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Damon Powell released

Former Mack star Damon Powell was recently released by Halifax:
"...On Wednesday, the franchise waived ... 6’6, 215 pound Forward Damon Powell. “Powell needs to be part of a team where he’ll see a lot of playing time, and we couldn’t offer those kind of minutes to him this year,” said Head Coach Les Berry..."
Don't know what is next for Damon.

Chabot basketball gets some good press

Coach Denny Aye and his Chabot College squad receive coverage from Matt Schwab in the Oakland Tribune.

Rose City Basketball Tournament begins tomorrow

Stuart Wesonga of San Marin receives some major play in this Press Democrat article on the Rose City tourney which starts on Thursday -- go here.

Will Cherry continues to make noise

Former Mack star backcourter Will Cherry just nabbed his second Big Sky Conference Player of the Week honor of the season and also led Montana to a win over UCLA. Check it out here.

After the victory in Los Angeles, Cherry offered some quotes:
* "We weren't star struck by Pauley Pavilion."

* "Yesterday in practice Coach told us, 'You know the Bruins, they're not unbeatable.'"

* "We could see it in their eyes after stop after stop, layup after layup, foul after foul. It looked like they were ready to give up."

* "All in all, they were trying to come together, but once we were getting stops and making shots, we could see it in there faces, they were ready to break. That just told us: keep our foot on their necks."

A Wendell McKines/New Mexico State update

Jason Groves of the Las Cruces Sun-News has an update on the sidelined Wendell (Richmond High) McKines
"Was informed that after meeting with his doctor, Wendell McKines will not be able to practice for at least 2-3 weeks. He's still rehabbing the broken foot he suffered on the first weekend of practice and is still walking in a boot."

Jeremy Russotti/Sacramento Valley's Finest

Here is Jeremy Russotti once again with another of his training events. Get to one of these especially if you are a guard or wing, Jeremy's specialty training areas.

Sacramento Valley's Finest Player Evaluations
December 7, 2010

October 2 and 3 marked the 3rd Annual Sac Valley Finest Showcase Event. Once again it was a huge success with approximately 125 players in attendance from the Central Valley.

The drills sessions were impressive and each guy worked very hard, was attentive, and reaped the knowledge the training staff had to offer. Evaluation games followed the drills sessions and below is a write-up of the top players from the event.

Sac Valley Finest Notable Players

# Demetri Dartis - 2011 - 6'4 Guard - McClatchy HS

Has a great body for a wing player at the next level. Big, strong and very quick first step to go along with his improved skill level. His shot has gotten tremendously better from last year, but still needs to work on his mechanics. If he can continue to develop and put in the time in the gym he can play at the next level in college.

# Thomas Fitzgerald - 2014 - 6'7 Forward - Pleasant Grove HS

A young freshman, Thomas had a good start to the camp before he got hurt. He has size and length and obviously is still maturing. His skill set is pretty solid; he has great potential and showed very well in the skill training sessions. He was coordinated and athletic and needs to keep working so he can play both inside and outside. Thomas has a bright future if he continues to work.

# Austin Johnson - 2011 - 6'6 Forward - Amador HS

Austin is very long and uses his length to his advantage. His footwork has improved a ton from the previous year, and he now is finishing around the rim better too. He still needs to work on his outside shot but if he can improve that throughout the year he has the ability to be a really good player for Amador this year.

# Jimmy Keating - 2012 - 5'11 PG - Foothill HS

Jimmy is a very tough-nosed get after it type of player. He used his quickness to either get by players or his savvy to get them up in the air and draw a foul. He shot it very well from three during the weekend, and also was a solid distributor when getting into the lane. Look for him to have a big year at Foothill.

# Jerrell Green - 2011 - 6'6 Forward - Bear Creek HS

Jerrell is a big body post player who has some good bounce in his legs. He is a strong kid who has gotten better at finishing around the rim this year. He still needs to work on his passing out of the post, but that will come with more experience and playing time. For him to continue to get better he needs to keep playing against better competition at the post spots.

# Mitesh Patel - 2012 - 5'9 Combo - Christian Brothers HS

Mitesh was very good throughout the weekend.  He had a very high IQ for the game and shot the basketball really well.  He played both the 1 and the 2 and really shot the ball well from 3. Mitesh had a great feel for the game and had a great passion for the game. He did not look imposing but simply made play after play and his play stood out.

# Ota Okung Dowa - 2011 - 6'3 Wing - Monterey Trail HS

Ota might have been the best athlete at the camp. He has a college body and played extremely hard. He was a great finisher and when aggressive was nearly impossible to stop. He possesses great lateral bounce and was extremely aggressive to the basket.  If he continues to work on his outside shot he will be a good player at the next level.  Big time rebounder from his wing position and can really defend.  His on ball perimeter defense caused a lot of players problems when he guarded them.

# Andre Beard Jr. - 2012 - 6'4 Wing - Weston Ranch HS

Andre continues to show improvement in his game. He has a big strong body and when he is aggressive is very hard to guard.  Andre attacks the basket very well and finishes pretty well. Andre needs to continue to work on his mid range game so he will be harder to guard. When Andre wants to, he really rebounds well for his position. Andre has to play with a lot of energy on both ends and under control and he will be really hard to contain. He possesses great size and strength and had a great weekend.

# Andre Jones 2011 - 6'3 Wing - Rocklin HS

Andre has a personality to go with his game. He plays with relentless energy and simply makes plays on both ends of the floor. His all around game continues to get better and better. Andre finishes at the rim and is very hard to guard. He has a solid handle and when he shoots it consistently he will be extremely hard to guard. Andre is long and has great size for his position. He's very coachable and picks up things extremely quickly.  Andre was simply outstanding over the 2 days and one of the better players at the camp. He is going to have a  huge year this upcoming season and should be one of the better players in the Sacramento area.

# Kyle Peterson 2011 - 6'1 Combo - Rocklin HS

Kyle had a great showing over the weekend and simply made play after play. He simply possesses the best skill in basketball which is the ability to shoot the basketball. Kyle knocked down 3's and has a great mid range game. He handled the ball and made plays. Kyle and Andre will be compliments to each other this year at Rocklin and should be one of the better guard tandems in the Sacramento area. Kyle also is relentless in trying to make plays whether it be for himself or his teammates and he's always in attack mode.

# Xaiver Manske 2012 6-3 Wing/SF McNair High School

Xavier is an undersized small forward who has a great knack for the ball. He's very intense in and around the basket and finishes well. He was possibly the hardest working kid in the gym this weekend. Xavier has decent ball handling skills but needs to work hard on his right hand before going on to the next level. He also can spend some time working on his midrange game, as he lacks a solid jump shot. If he can continue to work on those areas, he will help a team at the next level.

# Blake Williams 2012 6-2 PG Kennedy HS

Blake had a strong showing at this year's event. He is strong and physical, but with a smooth game as well. He is also one of the more athletic guards you will find in SAC. He can defend, play his position well, but like most guards, needs to improve his outside shot. He should be one of the stronger junior point guards in the SAC area this year.

# Quinn Ryan 2015 6-4 SF (8th Grader)

We usually don't let 8th graders into our events but Quinn's future high school coach begged us and said Quinn wouldn't disappoint. And after his showing, he definitely showed enough to warrant future recognition. Quinn is 6-4, has guard skills, and only in the 8th grade. He shows a lot of potential but of course it is very difficult to gauge the potential of an 8th grader. With that said, he has the biggest advantage of any other player from the event, in that he was exposed to the high competition level and understands that his skill level will determine his future success.

# Kyron Gumbs-Cooper 2012 6-0 2G Valley HS

Like all Valley High school players, Kyron is super tough and competitive. Kyron loves the game and seemed to always have a smile on his face. He is super bouncy, loves to defend, and can get to the basket. The other Valley guys fit this mold as well, but Kyron stood out just a little more to deserve recognition.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Here's Mitch Stephens with the Crusader Classic outcomes

Go here for Mitch Stephens' recap of the Crusader Classic, including the most valuable player and all tourney selections.

Former Ripon High star Justin Graham named WAC POW

San Jose State’s Justin Graham has been named the Verizon Western Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Nov. 29-Dec. 5. The honor marks the first career WAC Player of the Week award for Graham.

Graham, a senior guard from Ripon, Calif. (Ripon HS), led San Jose State with a pair of back-to-back 20-plus point performances for the first time in his career as the Spartans split a pair of road games last week. Graham posted 20 points with a career-high 11 rebounds, five assists and three steals in a 72-63 loss at UTSA. He extended his streak of made three-point baskets to six with a 2-for-2 performance in the game. Graham led the Spartans with 21 points, a team-high five assists and four steals, plus six rebounds in 37 minutes of play in an 85-70 road win at UC Irvine.

On the week, Graham averaged a team-high 20.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 3.5 steals per game. He shot 50 percent (14-of-28) from the field and 60 percent (3-of-5) from three-point range.

Former Weston Ranch star James Nunnally named Big West POW

From UC Santa Barbara athletics:

 UC Santa Barbara guard/forward James Nunnally was named Big West Player of the Week after topping his career-high in scoring twice and leading the Gauchos to wins over Loyola Marymount and Santa Clara.

Nunnally made 11-of-14 shots overall and 4-of-5 from three-point range to score a career-high 29 points in UCSB's 77-67 win over Loyola Marymount on Dec. 1. In the win over the Lions, the junior from Stockton, Calif., also had six rebounds and four assists in 35 minutes of action.

The career-high for points that Nunnally set in the win over Loyola Marymount lasted for all of three days. On Saturday, Dec. 4, he poured in 34 points in the Gauchos' 80-69 win at Santa Clara. Nunnally made 8-of-11 field goals, including 4-of-6 from three-point territory, and 14-of-16 free throws. He also had five rebounds, two assists and three steals in the victory over the Broncos.

Nunnally's performance in the Gauchos' first road win of the year was particularly important because the team's other leading scorer, Orlando Johnson, was in foul trouble and limited to 23 minutes overall and four in the first half.

In the two games combined, Nunnally averaged 31.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.5 steals per game. He made 19-of-25 shots from the field, 76.0%, 8-of-11 from three-point range, 72.7%, and 17-of-19 from the free throw line, 89.5%.

"James was really special last week," said UCSB head coach Bob Williams. "In both games he was a difference-maker and he is going very well right now."

On the season, Nunnally is now leading the Gauchos at 21.9 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. He is shooting 51.1% overall, 36.6% from three-point range and 89.8% from the free throw line. He ranks first in the Big West in scoring and 14th in the nation.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Merrit College basketball update

6-foot-4, 205 freshman Tyler Idowu, out of Rodriguez High,  is pacing Merritt College this basketball season so far. He has posted games of 26/15, 20/10, 11/8, 8/10 and 12/10.

Go here to check out and follow the Merritt basketball season.

Three players highlighting the Sierra College season so far

Three talents -- a tall plus a pair measuring 6-foot-2l -- are pacing the Sierra College basketball season to date:

* 6-foot-10 Casey Arent @ 23.5 points and 13.5 rebounds a game -- both figures leading the state

* Brian Johnson @ 16.5 points a contest and fifth in the state in long distance shooting

* Darrell Johnson @ second in the state in assists per game

The latest on MPC , Cabrillo and Las Positas hoops

Monterey Peninsula College took third place in its tournament with a win over Hartnell.


Hosting the tournament, Cabrillo College first took down Porterville and but then fell to undefeated (8-0) Cañada as Peter Pappageorge took most valuable player honors.


Las Positas beat Delta Saturday night.

Castro Valley romps

Tony Gonzalez of the Oakland Tribune writes about the latest feats from Roderick Bobbitt and Juan Anderson.

A Desmond Simmons update

Here's Jim Basnight at his Washington hoops blog on former Salesian star Desmond Simmons:  
"...Freshman Desmond Simmons, who is red-shirting this year, is not wasting away on the bench. According to his tweet on Thursday the combo forward, who will be a freshman next year, is up to "220 lbs today". This is great news for UW fans, as Washington will need to continue to build it's front court.

Having Simmons big enough to handle bigger guys defensively and to navigate to interior where he tends to play is going to help Washington tremendously..."

Saturday, December 4, 2010

An Eli Holman update

Former Richmond High star Eli Holman is doing quite well at Detroit. He is averaging a double-double of 15.0 points and 11.6 rebounds a game, both tops on the Titans and the latter a league best. The junior is also shooting 64% from the field.

Holman was named Horizon league Player of the Week on November 29.

More prep scores

Mitch Stephens has more prep scores from last night -- San Ramon Valley and Burlingame were winners while St. Mary's again fell, this time to Castlemont -- head here.

Brandon Ashley with a knee injury

It doesn't appear to be season-threatening but Adam Gorney of Rivals is reporting (Rivals sub is required) that Bishop O'Dowd's Brandon Ashley at least tweaked a knee in a recent game. It doesn't appear to be tear of anything but official results aren't in as yet.

Prep scores from Friday night

We noticed that Franklin High beat Granite Bay 74-68 last night and that Chico's Sterling Smith put in 30 points in a 69-57 win over Antelope.

Im the Father Barry Classic in Sacramento, St. Ignatius topped Colorado-Regis 60-57 behind Johnny Mrlik's 22 points, plus 18 from Stephen Domingo. The game was tied after three quarters.

Jesuit won over Loyola (Los Angeles) 82-78 paced by Akachi Okugo's 25 points and 18 from Parker Uu.

Archbishop Mitty was 16 points better than Bishop O'Dowd at 66-50. Aaron Gordon scored 15 points for the winners while Richard Longrus paced BOD with 13.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Joel Francisco on the recent Nor Cal Tipoff

ESPN's Joel Francisco offers some player evaluations -- agree or disagree with some of 'em -- from the recent Nor Cal Tipoff:
Juan Anderson's versatility impressive
Joel Francisco
ESPN Recruiting
November 28, 2010

The 4th Annual Nor Cal Tip Off Classic, orchestrated by Nor Cal hoops guru Gerry Freitas, possessed a nice combination of elite-level talents like ESPNU 100 prospect Jabari Brown (Oakland, Calif./Oakland) and quality depth (approximately 30 Division I prospects)

Although Brown had a somewhat pedestrian outing due to the smothering defense of Newark Memorial, other less-heralded prospects like Marquette-bound Juan Anderson (Castro Valley, Calif./Castro Valley) and unsigned sleeper Andre McPhail (Antioch, Calif./Deer Valley) put together outstanding all-around performances...
Go here for the remainder.

Khufu Najee to San Jose State

Here's an article in the Diablo Valley College student newspaper about Khufu Najee's signing in early November with San Jose State University basketball.
Najee gets full ride to SJSU
First-year guard signs letter of intent to play at San Jose
Gerardo Recinos
December 1, 2010

Basketball players are athletes with speed and strength, and Khufu Najee possesses both. 

Najee, a 6 foot-3 inch tall guard, now playing for the Vikings, was this season's first DVC basketball player to sign his letter of intent to play college ball at San Jose State University next year on a full-ride athletic scholarship.

Najee, 18, a freshman, played only a handful of games at DVC before signing his letter...
Go here for the remainder.

Santa Rosa JC beats Redwood

Former Analy High basketballer Kevin Aronis helped spark a victory in Santa Rosa Junior College's h0ome opener.

Chico Averbuck's Basketball Academy

If you're in the area or region, here's a basketball academy to check out
Chico Averbuck’s basketball academy accepting registrations
Bob Padecky
Santa Rosa Press Democrat
December 3, 2010

The idea is a sound one, the one advanced by Chico Averbuck, the 1985 graduate of El Molino who has gone to become the director of international scouting for the Cleveland Cavaliers and the West Coast for that NBA team.

Averbuck will hold a 31-week basketball academy beginning in January, an eight-month program that does much more than teach kids how to dribble with both hands.

“It teaches life lessons,” Averbuck said. “And it is not a camp, where you come for three or four days and that’s it...”
Go here for the remainder.

Remember Justin Standley?

After graduating from McClymonds High, backcourter Justin Standley headed to New Mexico State but then decided he needed practice and playing time so he transferred to Western Nebraska. He redshirted last season but is the starting point in 2010-2011.

In eight games this far this season, the freshman is averaging 11.2 points a game on 37% overall, 38% from three and 78% at the foul line shooting. He is passing for 3.5 assists and nabbing 3.8 rebounds a contest.

He scored 24 points in a recent close loss to national power College of Southern Idaho.

Standley is listed at 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Rob Jones leads St. Mary's but Gaels fall to San Diego State

Getting into the proper St. Mary's modus operandi, Rob Jones scored 17 points, including going 5-10 from three-point range, in a 69-55 road loss to San Diego State.

For the season, Jones leads the Gaels with a 13.5 points per game average and is second on the team in rebounding at 5.8 a contest.

He is shooting 45% overall, 30% on his trey attempts which number third on Randy Bennett's squad.