Sunday, July 31, 2011

On the catchup with Alex Freeman

Received a note from Alex Freeman -- do follow to his Twitter account here -- about Wendell McKines owning the SF Pro-Am league totaling 45 points/31 boards.

Here's another tweet from Alex.

Recounting the adidas 64 and Fab 48

It was enjoyable to go off the grid if such an expression is appropriate in talking about visiting Las Vegas. The latter is where artificial is a way of being and a town that features so much female and (yes) male cleavage that we fully expected to come across a bra and bro shop side by side on The Strip.

So here's a three dot version of sorts recounting what was witnessed and experienced (and remembered). For the provincial, there's not a lot of Nor Cal material below as we spent time at the Jam On It tourney located at The Hilton. It featured the Seaside Select 16 squad led by one Matthew McCarthy, among others.

The coaches were out and about as usual. John Calipari, Billy Donovan, Ben Howland, Eric Reveno and their many brethren were seen adorned in their various school logos. Roy Williams crossed our path, along with his entourage, coming out of the Hilton one early evening. He was sporting a pink polo shirt and yes, we do have to question his ability to recognize talent when it passes by. Ahem.

Seeking a respite from the Bishop Gorman High gyms that resembled a rush hour Tokyo subway car, we located a frozen yogurt establishment that appeared as if an oasis. Five minutes later, Isaiah Thomas and his Florida International staff came in to do the same. No, we cannot report on what flavors and topping he ordered thereby losing any chance of ever working for TMZ.

One quick comparison: adidas 64 was headquartered at Rancho High and the main gym contests featured a PA announcer, three referees (all the Adidas games had a trio of refs) pulled out bleachers for the fans, plus music during lulls in the action.

But a boo to the Adidas folks for pulling out of the pre-tourney Tip Off Challenge where the matchups were loaded. For example,  Dream Vision had been scheduled to play the Oakland Soldiers and that was but one example.

Loved the Team Loaded squad as well as Hoopaholics but unfortunately they never were matched up with each other.

Former Fresno State assistant Senque Carey was coaching the Bay Area Hoyas.

Team Future featured  Jalil (Berkeley High) Eppenger and Sterling (Chico High) Smith and both are listed as being at Stoneridge Prep in southern California.

Andre (Deer Valley) McPhail played on Team Superstar 17 and is listed as being at Westwind Prep in Arizona -- ditto for Quincy Smith.

Our focus was on a number of national players on teams located out of our viewing area. Here are one game snapshots (the objects described in the following may be better or worse than witnessed):

Dream Vision (a pair of viewings)

Robert Upshaw
- has lost a lot of weight and still had no physical matchup, he'll go Pac-12 and reminded us of Sean Rooks (the former Arizona big).

Shabazz Muhammed - he was close to gangbusters one game but disappeared the next (a ligament problem in his foot and then an ankle sprain slowed him)

Winston Shephard - wasn't sure if he had a dribble-driver component after one game but showed that plus three-point range and explosion in the paint during game two

Joe Rahon - definitely can shoot, even on the move and can run an offense if a coach is not looking for a dribble-drive creator at the point

Team 94

McKenzie Moore
2011 - which Pac-12 team will offer him a scholarship? Or is Providence going to nab another Bay Area soon-to-be star?

Mac Irvin Fire (Chicago)

Jabari Parker
2013 - he shot 5-12 overall, 7-8 from the foul line in the one game we saw, highlights included catching a pass, eluding two defenders near the top of the key and dunking plus tipping a pass, followed by a couple of dribbles and another dunk -- he wasn't dominant, just very productive

Worldwide Renegades  (Georgia)

Micheal Hall 6-foot-10 2012 and Charles Mitchell 6-foot-8 2013 will never get out of SEC territory

Philly's Finest

Amile Jefferson
6-foot-8 2012 is thin but strong and can ballhandle and kick plus shoot -- whoever lands him gets a very talented and versatile player -- he led Philly's Finest to a 68-66 win over Kyle Anderson and the Playaz

Playaz Basketball Club

Kyle Anderson
6-foot-8 2012 is old skewl, he passes well from his high perch viewpoint but would have great vision as a six-footer, he displays a hesitation with shot on dribble-drives and releases on his fadeaway as the defender is returning to earth -- at the end of game, he missed a free throw, later missed an in-key turnaround jumper with seven seconds left, then rebounded a missed free throw with 6.3 seconds but lost ball coming down the court -- still, he was fun to watch and in command on the court


Andre Drummond
6-foot-10 is a prototype big -- long arms, agile, quick, unselfish, great vision, can rebound outside of his area, did try to dribble too much bringing the ball up the court, can dunk when you think he is too far away from the basket -- he's a one and done if he even plays college ball. Heading into Vegas, Shabazz was the fave of my nephew Matty but it was all Drummond as we departed

Compton Magic

Aaric Armstead
  6-foot-8 260 - a bruiser who likes to lower his shoulder and bulldoze to the basket but he also displays a faceup jumper, will be play basketball?

Gabe York 6-foot-2 - nailed a verrrrry long 3, grabbed two lob passes he turned into dunks and also buried some floaters, loved his game and wondered why he isn't featured more in the offense?

Utah Pump-N-Run

Jordan Loveridge
6-foot-7 - could play PF in the WAC and the West Coast Conference but possibly not the Mountain West Conference and probably not the Pac-12, showed dribble-drive skills, was a good distance shooter and played very unselfishly

Marcel Davis 6-foot-2  (Utah State) - he didn't appear as a creator and didn't really show his shot but he looked comfortable running the offense and getting the ball to the right people at the right time

David Collette 6-foot-11 (Utah State) - he blocked some shots and even hit a trey but obviously needs to add a great deal of strength and weight, he could be something down the line if he changes his body

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The re-emergence of Aalim Moor III

 Aalim Moor III contemplating his future
photo credit: M.E. Lampkin Media Services, LLC

Guards Adrian Oliver and Justin Graham have departed San Jose State University after each was on the court for 35 minutes a game during their respective tenures, Therefore, backcourt playing time is available to be earned by Spartan junior Aalim Moor III.

In that context --  called upon to enter 17 games last season for 61 minutes of playing time, producing 5-10 from the floor and eights assists to a single turnover -- some would have soured on college hoops and folded by now.

Not Moor.

He has chosen to dig deeper.

Leaving nothing to chance, he is demanding more of himself.

This display of perseverance and ultimately self-confidence boils down to a personal re-routing in order to achieve his goals.

One day found him on the beach in Alameda but not necessarily enjoying the sights. It was dragging his trainer Marqus Coleman to and fro on the sand via work-out bands strapped to the body. And did we mention this was during a rain storm with water coursing out of the sky making everything -- the sand, the equipment, the participants -- heavier. The next workout location was all those steep stairs at Lake Merritt. Another time found him whizzing around the Merritt College track as the temperature hovered in the 90s.

These efforts took place week in and week out, with predetermined goals and times to achieve.

Working on basketball skills training followed ninety-minute sessions of either efforts on the beach or at the track. The days were capped with evening weight training sessions.

Here's the actual compilation of numbers for Moor this summer:

* Rope reps - 14,300
* Shots in the gym - 3,492
* Sprinted - 14.5 miles
* Jogged - 9.3 miles
* Lifted hundreds of pounds of weights daily

Upon returning to Spartan workouts this summer, after finishing up the month-long training with Coleman and Anthony Eggleton, Moor just completed a mile run with the top time on the team of 5:56, bettering his previous best of 6:13.

So let's pose some questions:

Q - AO and JG are gone -- your thoughts on what they brought to the  court and team and your connection to each?
AM: Leadership above all! They were unequivocally our leaders and I think having to replace that will be a bigger challenge than their production on the court. I look up to both as sort of big brothers and appreciate all the advice they give me...even now.

AO and I have been talking a lot throughout his whole process of NBA workouts. He has really given me great advice and sound pointers on how I should approach going into next year.

Q - Your playing time has been minimal so far yet your demeanor  during games is one of bringing positivity (congratulatory words and actions) to your teammates. How have you maintained this attitude?
AM: By trying to understand that even though I'm not on the court, I can still have a real impact on the game by being vocal and sharing my view of what I see going on out there. Also patience is something that has helped me greatly.
Q - You devised a plan for yourself and your game this summer -- tell readers why and what it consists of?
AM: My motivation this summer was to re-capture my confidence and swagger about my game. Considering that I haven't really played as much in the past two years as I did in the previous four, I felt it was important to go back there in my mind, in order to go forward now in real time.
My plan was a very basic two-step approach:
1- Basketball skill work; work on every aspect of my game. And refine and improve on each piece.
2- Strength and Conditioning; "GET IN THE BEST SHAPE HUMANLY POSSIBLE!"

I'm ready!

 a moment of relaxation for Moor
photo credit: M.E. Lampkin Media Services, LLC  

Q - With your routine, what do you tell yourself in order to keep grinding away when fatigue is yelling at you to stop?
AM: I ask myself, Do you really want this? Are you even really a hooper? I think of everything anyone has said to me or about me that was demeaning and I push through all the pain and get it done. That's my drives me! 
Q - There is no returning starter at the point for San Jose State  University -- who fills the spot?
AM: Who ever wants it. And "I WANT IT!"

Q - Why Marqus Coleman and Anthony Eggleton as your workout trainers? What does each bring?

AM: I've known Marcus for 14 years and I'm 20 now to put it in perspective. He would always tell me he wanted to work with me, so I decided this year was the year and I'm glad I made that move. He has helped me to change my whole mind set and approach to the game and to life.

Coach Ant and I have a long history. He has worked with me before and literally pushed me over the hump to become a D1 athlete. I owe him more than I can count! 

Q - Recalling yourself as a freshman at SJSU as compared to the  present -- who are you know, what is different for you and why?

AM: I'm a lot more mature! I have responsibilities now that I did not have before. I have an apartment, with bills. I'm beginning my major classes and understand what college is really about. Where as a freshman, I was wide-eyed and a bit wild, just looking to have fun.

Q - Two years into college and working towards a degree in communications, what academic advice can you offer to high school seniors soon to make that transition?

AM: Make sure you have your priorities in order! Parties and all that will always be there. Take care of school first!!

Q - Any idea if you want to down the road go into coaching basketball at some level? Yes or no, can you explain why.

AM: It's possible. I think I have a lot more information to gain, but I would love an opportunity to give back and help younger generations be successful.

Q - Jason Kidd won an NBA championship this season -- can you tell  readers about your connections with him?

AM: We both grew up in Oakland. J. Kidd and I went to the same elementary school (St. Paschal Baylon) in Oakland. I think the biggest connection to him that I have is our style of play. I always admired his game. He has always been a pass first point guard, looking to set the table for other guys. He's always been a player I've looked up to and emulated.

Q - You met new Golden State Warrior Coach Mark Jackson years ago at a Double Pump Camp where you were one of the top campers. What was your impression of him and do you recall what he passed on to you?

AM: Mark Jackson was and is a great man and he is a great pickup for the Warriors as a Head Coach. My Dad introduced me to him after a game I was playing. He watched me play and complimented me on my game and told me that "in order to get where I want, hard work isn't enough you have to really believe in yourself and your ability". I never forgot that!

Q - You work in the summers for the Golden State Warriors -- what are your duties and how many years have you been doing this?

AM: I'm a coach at the camps. I help the kids work on the basics of the game and try to pass on what knowledge I have on to them, it's a lot of fun. I've been working the camps for about three years now. I really enjoy working with the Warriors. They are a first class organization and do a lot for our community. I'll keep coming back each year if they'll have me.

Aalim also added this: "Shout out to Kelvin Potts (KP) who I am working out with now for my ball handling and overall PG skills. I've known him all my life and I'm glad to have him as someone I work out with also."

 Moor surrounded by Coleman (l) and Eggleton (r)
photo credit: M.E. Lampkin Media Services, LLC

Telegraph Avenue-based Anthony "Ant" Eggleton, of Ant's Mind and Body, is a longtime resident of the East Bay, an Oakland Fremont High graduate and a trainer extraordinaire who does things differently than most folks in his field. It's not that he is looking to be a contrarian at all -- it's because he views training for gain to be a holistic effort, a congruency of mind and body.

Eggleton's plans of action include working on body mechanics to achieve multiple goals and results: greater balance and flexibility, quicker reactions to stimuli, improved strength and lateral movement quickness, plus quicker and more controlled directional changes.

That is the usual.

What's not is this: "We also work to turn on the centers of will," with the intent of leading to higher level performance, greater mental enhancement and quicker physical rejuvenation.

San Jose State Spartan Aalim Moor has long utilized this dual Eggleton approach but his time was limited since beginning college at SJSU.

Not this summer as the two have teamed up once again.

"I've known Aalim since the sixth grade and the work he has put in is paying dividends," Eggleton offered. "His athleticism has improved by leaps and bounds."

As evidence, Moor just completed a mile run with the top time on the team of 5:56, bettering his previous best of 6:13.

As Eggleton put it, look for the same name to be on the roster but it will be a different Moor on the floor this season: "I think fans will be more than pleasantly surprised," no pun intended.

Eggleton continued, "Aalim had a different focus [than before]. He has always been driven but it was a bit more now, going to a different level.

There were other differences, too.

"He has gone from a kid to an impressive young man, evolving emotionally and physically," Eggleton added. "We were able to train more aggressively and physically. His mind and body were really into it."

Moor celebrating beating Coleman on his fifth time up a training hill
photo credit: M.E. Lampkin Media Services, LLC

Marqus Coleman runs the Coleman Elite Boot Camp and worked out Moor this summer. Here's a Q-and-A with Coleman:

Q - Why are you in the profession you have chosen?

MC: I have always had a passion for teaching the game of basketball. I was taught from a young age to play the game the right way and I want to pass that on. I started my first coaching job as a 10th grader in high school and I think my passion grew from that point on.

Q - What is your core training philosophy?

MC: My training philosophy is broken up into four parts:

1. To begin with, my goal is to teach the athlete how to work out. Most athletes work out on their own, but either they don't have a good work ethic, or they don't know how to push their workouts to the next level consistently, each time they step on the floor.

2. My idea is to get the athlete in complete shape, for the duration of their play. In other words, I believe an athlete should be able to stay fresh from start to finish, offense and defense. Being able to compete for that amount of time, without having to clutter your mind with thoughts of fatigue and wanted rest, allows you space to strengthen and master your mental game. Most athletes struggle with this, and can only consistently play their best, 40-60% of the game.

3. Predicated on my Philosophy of: 2-6-2

I believe in teaching basketball skills 2 seconds at a time. Ideally the moves you make on the basketball court only happen in a 2 to 3 second time period. The 6 represents the 6 inches your base or the lower half of your body can be effective in your moves on the floor. If your feet are more than 6 inches from your body you become ineffective as a basketball player, losing your strength and balance. Finally, the the second 2 represents the 2 feet of space created from the first tow points. If you can be successful in making a move in 2 seconds and explosive in 6 inches of space, you can create 2 feet of space, giving you room to pass or score with vision.

4. The final piece to my philosophy consists of three things: I want to emphasize the athletes explosiveness, speed and agility and consistency. If a player can accomplish these three key factors to the game, they can be unstoppable. Confidence will be sparked as well.

Q - If it does, how does your training differ from that of others?

MC: I think I differ from others in my thought about my athletes. I am the trainer, which means I work for the athlete, not the other way around. I structure the training around the athlete and make sure he or she always feels they are better than they were the day before. I would often remind people that as a player its about you, this is your choice to do this and I am not forcing you to do this. However if this is what you want to do then we have to make progress together because I am only as good as you. My training principles are simple, yet the workout is unorthodox. I do the training that everyone talks about doing, but never does. I use the gym to refine skill sets and perfect what the athlete already knows. One major difference is that I always teach in pressure situations, its more realistic and forces the athlete to think.

Q - Are there any client names from the past or present you can share?

MC: I don't believe that the success of the athlete is mine to claim. At the end of the day, the athletes are the ones working, I instruct. Over the years I've worked with many successful athletes primarily in NorCal, but also across the country. To me it does not matter what your name is, I don't affiliate with names. When it's time to work, we work regardless of who you are.

Q - What can you share regarding your experience working as a trainer and basketball skills instructor for the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA Developmental League?

MC: Working with the Jam has been a great opportunity for me for the last 2 years and anticipation of my 3rd year in a few weeks. Coach [Will] Voight has been a great mentor and professional in allowing me to work with some of the great players trying to get to that next level. The environment is fast paced, you have to be a clear in your teaching and mistakes are not high in the workouts because these guys take the game serious at that level. I must say that I have learned a lot from Coach Voight over these last few years, but most of all he really cares. This is the part of the professional level that you may think doesn't exist but he has taught me patience with players and the importance of treating every opportunity as an interview.

Q - How did working with Aalim come about?

MC: Since he was six years old, Aalim and I have always had a close relationship. I have supported him through his years of growing and always gave my input when I had the chance. I always wanted to train him as he got into his high school years because I felt like he didn't know the potential he really had. He is a guy that would give up his game for others to shine but I felt he needed to be something different this time. He needed something this summer that will force him to face his self and to build his image of self to himself. He called me on the phone and he said, I need a quicker, first step, explosiveness and work on my shot. My response was an immediate yes I can get that done. We decided from day one the work is about him, this process is about him, everyday he wanted to be better than yesterday.

Q - Please describe what it was like working with Aalim?

MC: I greatly enjoy working with athletes who carry enthusiasm the way Aalim does. Aalim is eager and hungry to learn and get better, he is his own biggest critic, and during training tunes in with me. Our workouts were filled with communication and understanding, without the need for words. Aalim is an example of an athlete striving for success and putting in the work to get there.

Q - Can you offer any projections regarding Aalim next year at San Jose State University?

MC: Aalim's impressive work ethic will put him on another level this year, making him a "never before seen Aalim". I believe he will be an impact player and an excellent leader. If Aalim is given an opportunity to start, I believe he will be able to maintain that spot and it will be hard to take it from him.

Recruiting classes

We (usually) all get worked up over this class or that class of recruits signed by our favorite team. Getting caught up in the moment is understandable.

The flip side in this is portrayed in one of the latest posts at the must-visit-daily-even-in-the-off-season Rush The Court site:
We’re quite certain that if UCLA head coach Ben Howland could get a do-over on his 2008 recruiting class that was rated #1 in the nation, he’d take it in a heartbeat. Jrue Holiday had one lackluster season before he was 1-and-done; Drew Gordon fell out with Howland and eventually transferred to New Mexico; J’mison Morgan never produced and landed at Baylor; Malcolm Lee played three semi-effective seasons before bailing to the NBA Draft without a guarantee. That left Jerime Anderson as the lone survivor going into his senior season in Westwood. A role player in the backcourt who similarly never lived up to his prep on-court hype, he was recently arrested on campus for stealing another student’s Macbook Pro. A tracking device within the computer led police to Anderson, who was immediately suspended from the team and will miss at least the Bruins’ opener against Loyola Marymount on November 11. If this allegation turns out to be true, we wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the final nail in the coffin of the illustrious UCLA Class of 2008. Wow.
Also, Gonzaga recently had another transfer that erased its entire 2008 recruiting class. Coach Mark Few has endured seven transfers in the past two seasons.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A note on Montgomery's Ben Freeland

Got this from the Hoopville site:

Notes From Hoop Mountain Super Week II – July 7, 2011
A few future Suffield Academy players were among those who competed, including newcomers ... and Ben Freeland (6’10 Sr. C, Santa Rosa (CA) Suffield Academy) ... while Freeland has a decent frame to carry more weight as his body matures and could be a presence inside...
Go here for Suffield Academy information and background.

Bob Gottlieb on his team's win over the Oakland Soldiers

It's not news anymore but if there is such a thing as a basketball quake, this was it:

From Frank Burlison: "Bob Gottlieb's team in upset of summer, 70-54 over oakland soldiers"

Here is a video of the matchup -- the game begins just after the seven minute mark so fast forward it.

Gottlieb posted this at the So Cal Hoops Mens Message Forum:
It was a heck of a tournament. There were numerous divisions within the Las Vegas Fab 48, but the top division was the Invitational Division. This included 48 of the top teams in the USA, by invitation only.

Branch West Elite opened its Invitation Pool Schedule, with a very difficult and challenging three games. There were no easy games whatsoever.

Our first game was against the Las Vegas Lakers which included 6'9" Roscoe Allen and 6'8" Ben Carter both of Bishop Gorman H.S. Both are being recruited hi major at the Pac 12 level.

Early on we trailed 9-0 before we tightened things up. Using a stunting man to man defense, we fought our way back in the game, led at the half, and then coasted to a 25 pt win.

Second game we trailed an excellent Team Jones from Seattle, and we trailed 19-4 before we settled in to come back and win going away, by close to 30 pts. Again, a stunting, pressing, trapping defense got us back into the game.

In our 3rd game of pool play, against a talented and vey coached Wisconsin Swing team, we again fell behind 18-4 before we woke up and fought our way back to lead at the half by three points. Again the stunting defense came through for us. However, we seemed to tire in the second half and had a hard time scoring and lost by 16 pts.

The next day, the first day of "Bracket Court Play" we found ourselves playing the #1 seeded Drew Gooden Oakland Soldiers. They had won the Fab 48 a year ago, and were the #1 ranked team in California this year and #3 in the USA.

With an overflow of college coaches in attendance, it was a superb game overall with not more than 3 or 4 points separating the teams throughout.

With Oakland having athletes up front that are likely to be NBA Lottery candidates after one year in college, we went to a softer, help oriented defense. We fronted the posts. If the ball went in, we double them down low.

We played soft on the perimeter, took away the baseline, and kept our offside and help defense in tight to eliminate the driving seams.

In essence we wanted to force them to beat us from outside.
They are a great team. But every great team can be beat on a given night. Their perimeter players were equally athletic and impressive, but not consistent outside shooters. Furthermore, we emphasized, blocking out and bring our guards back to rebound.

We also emphasized all three of our perimeter players being back as soon as we shot the ball, to take away their fast break.

With 6 minutes left we had a five pt lead and got fouled and one of their players expressed his displeasure at the call, and was slapped with a technical foul.

We made 3/4 free throws and got the ball, and that seemed to change things dramatically. We began to spread the court which forced them to foul and we normally have a very god free throw shooting team and we hit every free throw down the stretch.

Once they were playing catch up, they began to shoot long jumpers, which only sealed their fate, and was responsible for the large margin 70-54 at the end.

They are a superb team, loaded with big time hi majors, but on that day, in that game, we did manage to beat them. It was our second signature win. Beating Belmont Shores badly last week in Dinos' Cream of the Crop was equally satisfying. Had them by 18 in the middle of the second half.
Whereas the win over the Oakland Soldiers has to be one of our sweetest AAU wins, it still is a distant second to when Branch West beat UCLA in a college exhibition game 92-67 (Steve Lavin) played at Pauley Pavilion, in 2003
Our top six players are all being recruited at the NCAA D1 level, several of them will likely have over 50 offers each.

After beating the Soldiers, we beat a very good Play Hard Play Smart team from Sacramento by over 20. The game was over at 11:30 pm .

It made it very difficult to play your best the next morning at 11:30 am. Not only that, we had to play the Wisconsin Swing, who had already beaten us by 16 points in pool play.

We teach our kids that if you play great team defense that you always have a chance to win. We did play tremendous defense and held Wisconsin Swing to just 45 pts. However, where normally, we are a tremendous perimeter shooting team, we could not buy an outside jumper, the whole game, but still had a very good shot to win.

Ended up Wisconsin Swing 45 Branch West Elite 44 in OT.

It was a terrific weekend and I could not be prouder of a great group of kids.

A Mike Bryson update

Neal Nieves offered this on PHPS's Mike Bryson:
2012 Mike Bryson PHPS - Bryson didn’t play so well in the first game I watched, but the second game he came out and went to work. Continuing his play from the all West camp Bryson showed again that he belongs in the discussion of an elite wing on the west coast. Bryson can handle the ball well, shot it and get the basket and finish.

Stephen Domingo injured

Dave Telep reports on an injury to Stephen Domingo.

Josiah Turner is eligible

Reports about the academic eligibility status of Josiah Turner have turned out to be much ado about nothing. Check out this Jeff Goodman tweet.

Brandon Ashley announces his finalists

Brandon Ashley clues us in on his college finalists, per Mitch Stephens.

Georgia Tech? Jabari Brown has GT on his list too. Plus, no Washington? What's up about that?

Dom Artis to be a Bruin

Mitch Stephens reports on Dominic Artis' decision to go with Ben Howland and UCLA.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I'm back

Just got back from Las Vegas and being off the grid so to speak for a week and there is so much to catch up on. I'll do my best to be as timely as possible but realistically it may take until the weekend to wade through everything I missed on-line and noted in person.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sorry for the interruption

We are headed to Las Vegas for the various prep and junior college events taking place so we're on hiatus for about a week.

Four Nor Cal prospects highlighted by Joel Francisco

ESPN's Joel Francisco highlights the best of who he saw at Double Pump and Three Stripes and here are his northern California listings:
Breakout players

Dakari Allen (Sacramento, Calif./Sheldon)
2013, SF, 6-5, 175 pounds

Allen continues to demonstrate why he is considered one of the elite prospects out west for his class. The lengthy wing type is an excellent defender and his offense is beginning to blossom. He did an admirable job on York, as Allen's length altered many of York's attempts. Offensively, Allen's triple-threat game and first step to the basket have evolved tremendously since the spring.

Mike Bryson (Sacramento, Calif./Foothill)
2012, SG/SF, 6-5, 180 pounds

Bryson is somewhat of a diamond in the rough at this stage. He has ideal size for the 3 at the next level and he has one of the smoothest strokes. Whether it's launching a 3 in transition or knocking down a midrange shot coming off of a screen, he is pretty potent. In addition, he has become more than just a shooter, as his defensive presence has picked up since the spring and he's playing with much more of an edge to him than ever before.
David Andoh, a 6-6 SF/PF out of St. Mary's High School in Berkeley, Calif., put together a solid effort at the Fullcourt Press Cream of the Crop. He has a potent midrange jump shot and a very quick first step. He has a tendency to force the issue, but he always plays hard at both ends. Colorado, Arizona State, UTEP, Drake and Detroit have shown the most interest. 
D'Erryl Williams, a 6-3 junior out of Sheldon High School in Sacramento, is starting to look more comfortable running his team than he did in the spring. The chiseled lefty has very long arms and has a strong burst at the rim. In addition, he is one of the better on-ball defenders we've seen this spring and summer

There's JUCO action this week in Las Vegas too

Brad Winton previews the JUCO all star event -- the All-American JUCO Showcase -- he is working with this week in Las Vegas. So there will be plenty of prep action but also junior college talent to see.

Check out the rosters here. Just noticed that former Newark Memorial High star Khion Sankey will be playing.

We like these kinds of features

It's always enjoyable to read these types of pieces -- a young baller who was unknown nationally but not any longer. It's not Bay Area-related but still worth a look.

A very informative Mckenzie Moore article

Brian Flinn has quite the informative feature on Mckenzie Moore.

St. Mary's lacks a scholarship to offer so the young man may do a prep year but it seems some high major is going to get very, very lucky.

Monday, July 18, 2011

D.J. Seeley and Kwame Vaughn receive some press

Jeff Goodman writes about Cal State Fullerton's chances in the upcoming Big West Conference race, specifically mentioning northern Californians D.J. Seeley and Kwame Vaughn.

A trio of Brandon Ashley links for you

Here is Brandon Ashley assessing fellow top recruit Kyle Anderson after their respective teams matched up in the Peach Jam tourney.

Also, longtime basketball talent evaluator Tom Konchalski estimates that Ashley will be a McDonald's AA.

Plus, Bobby Bancroft at National Hoops Report writes about and interviews BA.

Some press for Khiari Swift

Check out Mel Grussing's latest article on Antelope Valley College's four frosh 'bigs' as Khiari Swift (out of Arroyo High in San Lorenzo) is featured in print and photos.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Recruiting communication

Came across a firm that assists coaching staffs in recruiting communications -- here's the article. There must be another section talking about phone calls and texting.

A Jabari Bird update

Matt Prehm recently tweeted this:
"2013 SF Jabari Bird tells me AZ, Cal, UW are his top three in no particular order. Says he's visited Cal and is going to visit AZ/UW in fall"

Saturday, July 16, 2011

National love for Mckenzie Moore and Devereaux Manley

Brian Flinn of National Hoops Report writes about Mckenzie Moore and Devereaux Manley:
"Mckenzie Moore (2011) Team 94 - The Moore party continued today as the 6ʼ7 point guard came out and proved that yesterday wasnʼt a fluke, He got the rim whenever he wanted today and drew a lot of fouls. One mid major coach told me he had him listed as a high major point guard and couldnʼt believe that he wasnʼt drawing more attention"
"Devereaux Manley (2011) Team 94 - Another uncommitted player from Team 94 who has been turning heads this weekend. He can get into the lane with ease and shot the three ball extremely well again today. At 6ʼ4 for a point guard he has the ideal size for the position. He needs to work on his defense a bit but thereʼs no reason that this kid should not have a scholarship offer"

A Shawn Springs update

ESPN's Joel Francisco offers this on Shawn Springs of Play Hard Play Smart:
Shawn Smith ((Sacramento/ Bridgton Academy)
2012, PF, 6-6, 215 pounds
Smith is going the prep school route due to academics, but he is a beast. He plays with reckless abandon and never appears to tire out. He attacks the rim with a vengeance and is a terrific interior scorer. He needs to improve his overall decision making (plays too fast), but every program at the mid-major level could use a junk yard dog like Smith.

A pair of description of Aaron Gordon and Brandon Ashley

Jeff Borzello comments after viewing Aaron Gordon at peach Jam:
"Aaron Gordon, 2013, Oakland Soldiers: Gordon’s skill set and athleticism are nearly unparalleled in the high school game. He is a 6-7 forward who runs the floor like a guard, finishes with authority at the rim and can also play well in a half-court setting"
Jeff Goodman tweeted this:
"Was blown away by progress in Brandon Ashley's (Easy_Bo) & his game in past year. Has become a true combo forward, Derrick Williams-esque"

A Lakeshow basketball and Mike Best update

The latest from Joe Fuca and the Lakeshow basketball organization:

Mike Best has received three offers so far in this open session: UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine, and Boston University.

The Lakeshow is 8-0 in its first 8 games in the July period. Semi-final tomorrow against Arizona Pump n Run (our note: the latter is the team that ended up winning the Three Stripes tourney).

Friday, July 15, 2011

Another Dom Artis feature

Sam Laird offers a lengthy sort of compilation feature on Dominic Artis.

"Mom, you're embarrassing me"

Yikes. When Mom comes out of the stands and substitutes someone for you, well......we're speechless too.

A Mike Bryson update

Neal Nieves offered up a pair of tweets on Mike Bryson (PHPS and Foothill High):
"2012 Mike Bryson (PHPS) is playing at a high major level for this tourney. I'm sure the PAC 10 schools will come calling"
"2012 Guard Mike Bryson (PHPS) tells me his dream schools are UCLA and Cal. Would love to be recruited by both"

A Merritt College basketball update

From Merritt College Coach Keenan McMiller comes this update:

As far as us, we performed well to start the summer at the Nor Cal showcase -- going 4-0 and defeating Sierra, Skyline, Delta and Modesto. 
Glyndelle Poole 6-foot-8 260 and Tyler Idowu 6-foot-4 played well inside, scoring and getting and-one baskets, Jordan Fusslier attacked the basket scoring inside and shot well from the 3-point line. Eric Nelson 6-foot-7 played solid defensively and Marcos Castrillo 6-foot-6 made clutch 3-point baskets and grabbed timely rebounds helping our success. 
Who brings everyone together is our freshman point guard Joshua Amey -- no one was able to stay in front of him -- he made plays consistently every game and is a tenacious defender and steady leader. Josh doesn't back down from anyone.
Next test is So Cal showcase at the end of July at Azusa Pacific University.

BABC versus Oakland Soldiers @ Peach Jam

Jeff Borzello just tweeted this:
"BABC just steamrolling teams right now...up 52-28 on Oakland Soldiers. Noel has to have like, eight blocks or so"
Is it going to be comeback time?

Here's Paul Biancardi on both teams:
The BABC team from Boston is one of the toughest and best defensive teams in the EYBL. It has lost only one game during the regular season and one game in pool play during the Peach Jam. BABC is lead offensively by 5-foot-10 2013 PG Jaylen Brantley (Springfield, Mass./Wilbraham & Monson) and 6-7 2012 PF Georges Niang (Methuen, Mass./The Tilton School), who is committed to Iowa State. SF Jake Layman (Wrentham, Mass./King Philip Regional) is also a good outside shooter and zone-buster.

Defensively, the backbone of the team is 6-10 2013 C/PF Nerlens Noel (Everett, Mass./The Tilton School), who is one of the best shot-blockers in the country. SG Dominique Bull (Worcester, Mass./The Tilton School), 2013 SG/PG defensive whiz Rene Castro (Milton, Mass./Beaver Country Day) and 2014 stud SG/SF Wayne Selden (Boston/The Tilton School) are slashers offensively and solid perimeter defenders.

BABC is a tough team to beat as it forces its opponent to the basket and into the waiting arms of Noel. Offensively, everyone works the ball for the best shot, generally going inside to Niang or outside to Brantley.
Oakland Soldiers

The Oakland Soldiers are perhaps the deepest and most talented team remaining in the tournament, led by PF Brandon Ashley (Dublin, Calif./Bishop O'Dowd), PG Dominic Artis (Vallejo, Calif./Salesian), 2013 SG Jabari Bird (Richmond, Calif./Salesian) and 2013 Aaron Gordon (San Jose, Calif./Mitty). Ashley and Artis make it happen when the game is on the line. Ashley is a skilled power forward with a great face-up game who loves the ball in crucial situations and can hurt his opponent inside or out. He is also a good shot-blocker and rebounder. Artis, who can knock it down from the perimeter, runs the team and is the go-to guy with the clock winding down. The Soldiers can come at their opponent in waves, going on some great scoring runs. Also, look for Bird to make things happen in transition and on the offensive glass, while drawing the toughest perimeter defensive assignment.
UPDATE: BABC defeated the Soldiers 78-66

Mckenzie Moore lauded

Brian Flinn at National Hoops Report includes Mckenzie Moore as one of the standouts at the West Virginia JamFest.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Play Hard Play Smart wins another

PHPS just took down Belmont Shores, according to this Neal Nieves tweet, who also comments on some of the PHPS talents here and here.

Another Brandon Ashley interview

It's getting repetitive, especially so for the players, but here's another Brandon Ashley video/print interview. What more can be said than was offered yesterday or the day before?

Matt Norlander and Justin Young on runners

Matt Norlander covers the subjects of runners and he isn't describing singlet-clad athletes with impressive short or long distance times.

Justin Young riffs off Norlander's piece.

Indiana hires Brian Shaw

Oakland native Brian Shaw has been hired as an associate head coach with the Indiana Pacers.

Updates on Arik Armstead, Dakarai Allen and David Andoh

Neal Nieves has posted a report with very interesting things to say about Arik Armstead and Dakarai Allen. Plus, he added this:
2012 Arik Armstead, word in the gym was that Armstead may be looking to play basketball at the next level and would even consider opening up his recruitment if a school made his recruitment about basketball.
Nieves also noted that Fresno State has offered David Andoh

A feature on Seaside's Finest

Seaside's Finest, featuring three teams, is repping the Monterey County area in club team basketball and John Devine offers a feature:
SEASIDE'S FINEST: Local AAU basketball teams ready for national tournament in Vegas
John Devine
Monterey Herald

Kyle Hieb knows he has teammates who might've taken to the streets or looked for trouble had an alternative not been created.

"It's my opinion, but a lot of these kids might be doing the wrong things without basketball,'' Hieb said.

Instead, 48 teenagers from as far as Soledad are having a summer to remember on the hardwood.

Seaside's Finest inaugural season as an AAU traveling basketball club has three age group teams that will play for national titles in Las Vegas on July 21...
Go here for the remainder.

You can go home again -- ask Gus Argenal

Gus is one of the good guys so congratulations on his new position.
Former Aggie Gus Argenal Named Assistant Coach
Argenal returns to his alma mater after three seasons at nearby Chico State
July 13, 2011

Former UC Davis player Gus Argenal has rejoined the Aggie men's basketball program as an assistant coach, completing head coach Jim Les' staff for the upcoming 2011-12 season.

Argenal returns to his alma mater after three seasons at nearby Chico State where he was instrumental in all areas of the Wildcats' program, focusing on strength and conditioning, recruiting and perimeter player development. He will be involved in all areas of the Aggies program.

"Gus is a rising star in coaching circles," said Les. "His energy, enthusiasm, and work ethic are limitless. It is easy to see why he had success as a UC Davis player and why he is considered by many in Northern California as the region's best recruiter."

Argenal has gained valuable experience in his young career including serving as a graduate assistant coach at Arizona State in 2004-05 and at the University of Texas-San Antonio from 2006-08. He was previously an assistant coach for UC Davis for the 2005-06 season.

Argenal established himself as one of the Aggies' all-time best point guards during his playing career from 1999-2004. He's seventh all-time with 274 assists and tied a school record with 13 at UC San Diego during his senior season.

Argenal graduated from UC Davis in 2004 with his bachelor's degree in history and earned his master's degree in education from Arizona State in 2005.

He and is wife Hannah (Turner), a former player with the Aggie women's team, have a son, Bo. The couple is expecting another son in August.

Argenal's announcement completes Les' staff for the upcoming season. Chris Davis, most recently with the Providence College in the Big East Conference, and veteran Aggie Kevin Nosek, were previously announced as assistant coaches for UC Davis' program.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Washington Post feature on Alan Stein

Here is a Washington Post feature on Alan Stein, who is teaming up with Jeremy Russotti for an event in Oakland come September.

More on Dom Artis

Adam Zagoria, in print and video, features Dominic Artis:

More on Brandon Ashley

Dave Telep on Brandon Ashley at Peach Jam:
"Determined to make Julius Randle (Dallas/ Prestonwood) beat them, Ashley and his crew of bigs and wings ganged up on Randle in the post. Randle walked into an ambush at the rim and Ashley was responsible for a good portion of the ruckus. At the rim, he challenged shots and his length is hard to counter. Offensively, he dropped hooks and finished plays. He's been on top of his game the entire summer and a bucket over Prince Ibeh (Garland, Texas/Naaman Forest) capped a super opening day"

Mark Peinado on College of the Sequoias hoops

Mark Peinado offers an article on the play of College of the Sequoias in a tournament this past weekend plus a few of the names on the 2011 roster.

Getting real with Matt Norlander

Matt Norlander checks in with one of the best (and most honest) reports on what's it's like to attend a basketball tourney, even a high level event. His take on the coaches is spot on.

Josh Gershon on Dakarai Allen

Here's Josh Gershon after the Fullcourt Press All-West Camp on Tuesday:
Dakarai Allen, SG: The extremely long wing continues to impress with his physical ability. Getting to the basket is very easy for him and he does an excellent job in transition, either getting to the basket or finding the open teammate. His shot is a bit inconsistent but should be fine with repetition and coaching. The ceiling for Allen is very high; with hard work he could really take his game to the next level by next year.

Washington State, Arizona State, Oregon State, USC and Gonzaga were amongst the schools who watched Dakarai Allen's first game.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Aaron Gordon favoring the Emerald City

Underlining a direction we posted about earlier in another tweet, Rahsaan Gethers tweets:
"Spoke with Aaron Gordon. Says Washington has a slight lead over Arizona at this point. Really likes coach Romar"

National tweet love for Brandon Ashley

Dave Telep loving Brandon Ashley via tweet:
"Brandon Ashley impressed me as much as any 2012 big this summer. He's really come to compete. Also helps to have Aaron Gordon"

A tweet about Dom Artis

Dave Telep also tweeted this earlier today:
"UCLA enters month of July as the clubhouse leader for point guard Dominic Artis"

A note from Jeremy Russotti

Hello coaches,

I wanted to let you know of an opportunity you may be interested in. My business partner Alan Stein is coming in town to run a Showcase Event with me on September 17 in Oakland.

He just let me know he is willing to do a private clinic on Friday or Sunday for a high school/aau coach.

Alan travels the world, representing NIKE as its official body conditioning trainer. Alan trained Kevin Durant and Grevais Vasquez through high school, as well as players like Kobe, Lebron, Steph Curry, etc. I let him know I would email the below information about his fundraiser clinics. Enjoy!

  Jerry Russotti


From Alan Stein:

Thanks for your interest in hosting one of my events. Here is a quick overview:

I run a standard 3 hour, on-court workout for boys/girls ages 12+. The workout addresses warm-up, dynamic flexibility, core strength, plyometrics, and quickness/agility/reaction drills.

My fee is $1,500 per 3 hour clinic (some folks do multiple clinics in a day) plus applicable travel expenses (flight, hotel, etc.).

The host is responsible for the facility, minor equipment (1 basketball and 1 tennis ball per player) and the marketing & registration. I will create a PDF flyer (attached) for you to use and will promote through my social media. The host keeps ALL profits. I want you to make great money!!

Most hosts have chosen to charge $75/player. The average clinic has drawn 40-50 kids (although several have been closer to 70-80). If you can tap into one or two AAU programs and one or two High Schools – you should have no problem getting enough kids.

Coaches are more than welcome to watch and take notes. It is up to the host whether or not to charge them a fee (many have chosen to charge $25/coach).

If you get 50 kids (@ $75/each) and 10 coaches (@$25 each) you will gross $4,000.  After my fee and travel and various other expenses, you can expect to make $1,500-$2,000.  I have had a few hosts make $3,000-S4,000+.

My goal is to make this an unforgettable experience for everyone involved!

As always, solidifying dates are on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis.

Thanks! I look forward to hearing  back from you.

  Alan Stein

Dakari Allen gets a Pac-12 offer

Josh Gerson has tweeted that Sacto's Dakari Allen, a 2013 prospect, is reporting a Pac-12 offer.

The Soldiers just took down Boo Williams

The Soldiers just handled -- 87-78 -- another very talented team in taking down Boo Williams at the Peach Jam event.

Here's the box -- check out the lines for Dominic Artis (zero TOs) and Brandon Ashley.

More on Stephen Domingo

Paul Biancardi and John Stovall offer this on Stephen Domingo after the recent Adidas Invitational:
Stephen Domingo (San Francisco/ St. Ignatius)
2013, SF/SG, 6-5, 185 pounds

Domingo is a shooter who can score off the dribble or off penetration. He has some versatility and may be more accurately called a scorer who can shoot. He has range on his jumper beyond 22 feet and a solid basketball body, but is a little thin. He played on the USA basketball squad and is more than just a specialist. Domingo is one of the better prospects in the 2013 class.

Monday, July 11, 2011

This makes sense but as is often said, it's early

Saw this JimmyA tweet and, of course, found it intriguing:
"But Romar is in the lead for Jabari Parker and Aaron Gordon he gets those two and that's a #1 class"
Don't know who the poster is but he apparently lives in Seattle

More attention and a bigtime offer to Dom Artis

Jeff Borzello has fallen in love with the play of Dominic Artis -- here is his latest ode to the Bay Area talent.

More talent assessments from the LeBron James Skills Academy

Justin Young's anonymous coach is writing more about what he witnessed at the LeBron James Skills Academy. Here are the latest Bay Area entries:
* Brandon Ashley (2012) - I thought he was really good around the basket. He was just tough around the basket. Relentless.

* Aaron Gordon (2013) – He is just so relentless at the basket. Always on attack.

As for the top 2012 talents, two from Nor Cal were listed:
* Brandon Ashley, PF

* Dominic Artis, PG

The top 2013 talents had one name we all know:
* Aaron Gordon, PF

Leon Powe Basketball Camps

Harold Abend writes about some summer camps Leon Powe and Lou Richie are hosting in early August at Dream Courts in Hayward.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

More on Ikenna Iroegbu

Alex Schwartz offers this on Ikenna Iroegbu who just participated in the Reebok Breakout Challenge:
"California native Ikenna Iroegbu, a 6-foot-1 class of 2013 point guard who is headed to Oak Hill Academy (VA), has seen his recruitment pickup of late. At the end of May he had no offers, but has since picked up ones from Arizona, USC, Colorado and Oklahoma State..."
Hit the link above for the remainder (it's in a full length feature also describing other players).

One tidbit: Iroegbu said that his brother’s presence in Pullman will have “a little bit” of an impact on him, but that he will do what he feels is best for him.

This sums it up

From a Neil Nieves tweet that says a lot in a few words:
"Kid to a ref after he gets with a travel - 'I move so fast it looks like a Travel'"

Here's an interesting take from a veteran coach:

Agree or disagree, this is something to think about:
AAU coach laments July 'cattle show'
Ex-Pitino assistant says recruiting overshadows game
Jerry Tipton/Herald-Leader Staff Writer
July 10, 2011

Kaleb Tarczewski, a 7-footer from Southborough, Mass., had to decline interview requests at the Adidas Invitational in Indianapolis last week. "My coach doesn't want us doing interviews," he said.

So, reporters approached the AAU coach, John Carroll, to explain this unusual policy.

"I don't want to sound like a jerk," Carroll said before motioning toward a player from the opposing team talking to a reporter courtside after the game.

"His team lost by 30 and he's talking to reporters? He should go back to the hotel and think about how to get better..."
Go here for the remainder.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The 2011 Foothill JUCO Summer Slam

The two-day 2011 Foothill JUCO Summer Slam is in the books and a big thank you goes out to Foothill Coach Shanan Rosenberg for hosting the annual event.
Here's our notes:

If an ultimate gym rat award was being issued, Merritt Coach Keenan McMiller would be the hands down winner. His squad wasn't even participating in the tourney yet he was there the longest of anyone.

Monterey Peninsula College's Andrew Young, at 6-foot-8 or so, was the biggest surprise. Coach Blake Spiering has a force in the middle and opponents are going to pay a price.

Below are the participating teams and some of their new players (the latter is always one the most interesting aspects of attending this event):

American River College

Daniel Smith, Center High

Cañada College 

Brandon Willhite, Woodside Priory

Zayn Kirkendoll, Valley Christian

FYI, Matt Stanley, who assisted Shanan Rosenberg at Foothill, is the new coach at Cañada.

Columbia College

didn't recognize the new names

Contra Costa College

Justin Pollard, St. Mary's (Berkeley)

Kenontae Ramsey, De Anza High

De Anza College

Denzel Copeland, Santa Teresa High

Diablo Valley College

Bobby Syvanthong, El Cerrito High

Andrew Gardner, Freedom High

Andre McPhail, Deer Valley High

Justice Thomas, Fremont (Oakland)

DVC was missing Brian Goins, who has to be one of the favorites for State Player of the Year, and 6-foot-8 Rafael Carter as both were at a JUCO all-star events back in the Midwest. The Vikings still looked very good as Bobby Syvanthong played well, really focusing on spreading the ball around to his teammates.

Foothill College

Sohn Nijor, Leigh High

Momir Gataric, Homestead High

Foothill also nabs the grade point average crown, with nobody on the roster below 3.0.

Fresno City College

DeAndre Medlock, Clovis West (by way of UC Davis) At 6-foot-9, he'll have many suitors simply based on size alone -- his choice to play in the FCC system is a curious one.

Las Positas College

didn't recognize the new names

Modesto Junior College

Ernie Pimental, Manteca High (Kiwi Gardner's former running mate)

Anthony Pratt, Modesto Christian

Monterey Peninsula College

Andrew Young, Monterey High

Jonny Parker, Valley Christian

Leandrew Banks, Wilcox High '07 (his last name was Chapman then) At 6-foot-9 and a freshman, he is a nice change of pace in the middle when Young needs a rest.

Ohlone College

Mikhael McKinney, Washington High (Fremont)

Chris Read, Castro Valley High

Andy Mitchell, Moreau Catholic High

San Jose City College

Muktar Abdi, Willow Glen

Santa Rosa Junior College

Connor Gillet, La Mirada High

College of the Sequoias

didn't recognize the new names

Shasta College 

James Williams, Enterprise High

Sierra College 

Nik Milani, Woodcreek High 

Jamie Ball, San Juan High (a grayshirt freshman last season) 

Julian Ball, San Juan High (a grayshirt freshman last season)

Solano College 

Mike McKinney, Fairfield High

Yuba College 

Trev Abraham, Sac High (by way of Rice University)

Cody Kale, Rocklin High (by way of CSU Bakersfield)

Joe Slocum, Vallejo High 

Vic West, Burbank High 

Rob Long, Burbank High

Jacob Courage, Lincoln High 

Yev Dyachenko, River City High

Yuba is going to be very, very tough again despite a handful of departing players heading to the D-1 ranks. The 49er motto continues to be reload, not rebuild. Abraham's recruitment will be fascinating to watch.

Yes, the Center For Disease Control has issued an warning about a major outbreak of bleacher butt, particularly in the Los Altos Hills area. But such a condition isn't anything new and here's predicting that a similar pronouncement emerges from the Las Vegas area later this month. It's a malady well worth it considering the enjoyment and knowledge derived from watching basketball.

Major national love for Dominic Artis

Justin Young at his National Hoops Report site talked with an anonymous camp coach from the LeBron James Skills Academy and this was offered about a certain northern California point:
"Dominic Artis (2012) – I thought he was the second best point guard that I saw (behind Purvis). He created for others, for himself and shot the ball really well. He defends really well, too. Total package, this kid."
The excerpt above is taken from this article.

Eight players -- all from the JC ranks

This isn't necessarily strictly Nor Cal related but what an unusual recruiting season for Coach Bob Thomason at Pacific -- five seniors graduate, four others transfer and he brings in eight junior college newcomers. Here is Jagdip Dhillon's article on the exodus and the influx.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Catch the Bay Area Hoop Review

Steve R. Waterhouse previews today's and tomorrow's Bay Area Hoop Review, an event run by Gerry Freitas so you know it will be a good one.

A bit more on Ikenna Iroegbu

Eric Bossi offers an update om Ikenna Iroegbu:
"For the second day in a row, the 2013 four-star proved to be one of the fastest and most elusive floor generals in attendance. A full throttle point guard, he's gotten to the rim at will and has had little trouble making plays for others. Now, the key for Iroegbu is to settle down a little, keep his head up and make sure he converts on the frequent free throws"

Some national attention for Langston Morris-Walker

Eric Bossi gives Berkeley High and Oakland Soldier Langston Morris-Walker some love (this link looks like a freebie).

An Aaron Gordon feature

Jeff Faraudo offers a nice writeup on Archbishop Mitty and Oakland Soldier Aaron Gordon who we are still saying is the best in his class.

Yuba College is reloading once again

Andy Arrenquin catches us up on the comings-and-goings in Coach Doug Cornelius' Yuba College basketball program. More reload, not rebuild.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Is there something in the air?

First Johnny Dawkins, now Kerry Keating -- see what 24 wins in the tough West Coast Conference will do for a coach

Dave Telep with a tweet on Aaron Gordon

Courtesy of a Dave Telep tweet:
"Aaron Gordon is an athletic contortionist. Finishing isn't a problem and he lives at the rim"

Kris Weems takes a big jump

Keith Peters reports that Kris Weems, the former Stanford player now in the prep and club team coaching ranks, is moving on at the end of the month, heading to the Big Show.

Dominique Lee invited to a national junior college camp

From the Casper College Thunderbird site:
"The most popular exposure camps for junior college athletes will have a T-Bird flavor this summer. Jerry Mullen hosts Mullen’s JuCo Top 100 Camp and Mullen’s JC Showcase. Both the camp and showcase take place in July and are by invitation only. Every Division I school who recruits junior college basketball will be represented in St. Louis. This year ... Dominique Lee will be playing in the camp."
From Mullens' site:
"The top Junior College camp in the country is moving to a new location.  For the past 20 years, Jerry Mullen has hosted his Junior College camp in July at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK.This year, the camp is on the move to Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO (just outside of St. Louis).
The Top 100 JuCo Camp is an invite only exposure event that features the top 100 Junior College players from around the country.  The event will take place July 9-10, 2011"

Do you root for a have or a have not?

Rush The Court offers a take on the deepening divide between the haves who want more and the have nots who hope to hang on (sound familiar?).

Keep repeating "Butler, Butler, Butler" as a mantra -- a have not but one shot away from being the national champion a year ago.

Did anyone see this coming?

Stanford Coach Johnny Dawkins receives a two year extension -- Matt Norlander writes about the addition.

An Ikenna Iroegbu update

Caught this from Eric Bossi of Rivals (a sub is required) wh is out at the various July tournaments:
Ikenna Iroegbu, PG- A four-star prospect from the class of 2013, the Californian is extremely quick with the ball and puts pressure on defenders to stop his dribble penetration. While he gets into the lane when he wants and will make plays, Iroegbu is also out of control at times and needs to be sure that he has a plan in mind when he gets into the lane. As he settles down and improves his jumper, he's got the talent to move up in the rising junior class.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Dominique Lee joining brother Demetrius Lee

Former St. Mary's High star Dominique Lee has departed from Utah due to the coaching change there and is joining brother Demetrius Lee for a season at Casper College in Wyoming.

From the Casper College basketball Facebook page:
University of Utah Transfer Dominique Lee Joins the Thunderbirds and his Twin Brother
Casper College Basketball
May 23, 2011

Joel Davidson and staff announce the signing of University of Utah transfer, Dominique Lee, to the Casper College Thunderbird program on Monday.  Dominique will join a familiar face in Casper as his twin brother, Demetrius Lee, played his freshman year for Coach Davidson and will be returning for his sophomore season.  Last season at Utah, Dominique red-shirted and practiced with Utah, so he will technically be coming in as a freshman for the T-Birds next season...
Go here for the remainder.

Here's an article from the Casper Tribune.

Scott Phillips is on fire

Twitter fire that is. He's at one of the tourneys -- check out a few of Phillips' recent tweets:
"The NCAA needs a compliance person at the local Chipotle"
"People cheering on media row makes me sick"
"Love it when AAU coaches don't allow interviews with players. Makes my job so much easier"
Bookmark him.

An interview with Brandon Ashley

Point Guard U offers an interview -- video and transcript -- with Brandon Ashley (the pairing isn't as incongruent as you might think as PGU covers Arizona hoops) from during the latter's time at the recent Amare Stoudemire Skills Academy

Eric Hampford on the Oakland Soldiers

Eric Hampford writes about the Oakland Soldiers and attaches it to the video work of the Bay Area's Travis Farris.

Advice for ballers

Justin Young reaches back for an always timely litany of advice for basketballers. Every day is a job interview so what does your résumé look like?

If it's July, it must be recruiting time

ESPN's Dana O'Neill writes about the July recruiting period -- the good, the bad and the hellishness.

A brief Stephen Domingo note

Here's Scout's Brian Snow tweeting about Stephen Domingo in a tourney this week:
"John Thompson III is only HM head coach for Stephen Domingo this a.m.... Dream Vision going against Houston Select"
Along with Domingo's recent unofficial to Georgetown, this makes it seem like the Hoya coaching staff is verrrry interested.

Familiar names at the LeBron James Skills Academy

Noticeable names and numbers on the roster for the LeBron James Skills Academy:

* Dominic Artis 6-foot-1, 167, 6-foot-1 wingspan

* Brandon Ashley, 6-foot-7, 191, 6-foot-8 wingspan

* Aaron Gordon, 6-foot-8, 207, 6-foot-11 wingspan

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Look at me works the other way too

Justin Young offers a very informative column today about the July recruiting period and this photo accompanies his piece:

Do Mike Montgomery, Mark Few, Ben Howland and some of the others really have to wear shirts sporting the name of their respective colleges? Aren't they well known enough for the recruits they are looking at/pursuing to know them by sight?

It seems demeaning in some fashion.

Yes, it's different for many of the other schools but certain high major coaches shouldn't feel such attire is necessary.

Granted, this is a very minor point but a curious one.

Best basketball books

Justin Young has a post up offering his recommendation on 10 basketball books to read this summer -- we've read four of them. One omission on the list is George Dohrmann's recent classic "Play Their Hearts Out" which will provide a better understanding of high level club team system than any other tome.

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Foothill JC Summer Jam is fast approaching

Start making plans because the Foothill JC Summer Jam hosted by Coach Shanan Rosenberg is not all that far away -- July 8-9 in Los Altos Hills.

It's an NCAA certified event, meaning colleges coaches will certainly be there, and a series of matchups between many of the best junior college teams in northern California.

It should also be the first opportunity to see 7-foot-1, 240 pound Thamos Thodos playing for Foothill.

B.J. Smith to become a Seawolf

Mike Corpos of the Daily Republic offers the details of Rodriguez High's BJ Smith signing with Sonoma State.

The scoop on Josh Akognon

Catch the latest on former Casa Grande High and Cal State Fullerton star Josh Akognon courtesy of Bob Padecky's feature.

Allen Huddleston to Fresno State

Former Merced High star Allen Huddleston departed from Pacific at the end of the season and has chosen his new home:
Fresno 'a really good fit' for Merced High's Huddleston
Sean Lynch
Merced Sun-Star
July 3, 2011

Allen Huddleston never expected so many people to care.

When Merced High's all-time leading scorer announced he'd be transferring from the University of the Pacific at the beginning of April, his only concern was what would be best for his future.

Little did he know how many people would have an opinion on which school would best fit his criteria. College basketball fans are some of the most passionate sports enthusiasts in the country, and once the rumors started flying about which way Huddleston was leaning, the sophomore guard was bombarded with opinions and questions.

"It was definitely a different experience," Huddleston said. "I didn't know that that many fans and people even knew who I was, much less cared where I went to school...
Go here for the remainder.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Bill Paterson on two Sacto area bouncebacks

The Sac Bee's Bill Paterson has an article up on transfers -- specifically a pair of former area prepsters -- offering the latest on the two. Some wise words are offered in the piece.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Stephen Domingo in D.C.

From yesterday, Alex Kline/Recruit Scoop tweeted this:
"2013 forward Stephen Domingo of California took an unofficial visit to Georgetown today"

DA to FP

Phil Jensen is covering the Dom Artis transfer to Findlay Prep.

Hameed Ali lands a ride

I thank Di McFadden for sending along this item -- congrats to former Oakland Rebel Hameed Ali for his accomplishment.

Men's Basketball Signs Hameed Ali
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Sports Information

CORPUS CHRISTI - The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi men's basketball program has signed Hameed Ali (San Leandro, Calif./San Leandro) to a National Letter of Intent, head coach Willis Wilson announced today. Ali, a 6-foot-3 combo guard, becomes the seventh signee for the Islanders heading into the 2011-12 season.

"Hameed is an outstanding athlete, but above all else his basketball IQ is what makes him a potential impact player for the Islanders," Wilson said. "While we have a number of guards returning, we still needed to add to our depth at the point, and with his maturity, I believe Hameed will push for playing time right out of the gate."

In his final season for the Pirates, he helped the team to a 16-12 overall record and a 10-6 mark in conference play. He averaged 20 points and 5 rebounds, and also dished out 5 assists and averaged 1.6 steals and 1.5 blocks. He was an all-league honoree and also picked up Honorable Mention All-East Bay recognition.

As a junior, Ali averaged 11 points, six assists, three rebounds and two steals while leading San Leandro to a 17-10 record on the year. He shot 48 percent from the field and 75 percent from the free throw line. He was also ranked as one of the top 10 point guards on the West Coast by Greg Hicks of
Here is video of Ali courtesy of HoopsBayArea.

Friday, July 1, 2011

The NCAA keeps tinkering

Alan Scher Zagier of the Associated Press looks at summer hoops, particularly the July evaluation period and possible NCAA changes. It's a good and interesting read.

Kiwi on ESPN

ESPN's Diamond Leung makes note of Kiwi Gardner's Summer Pro-Am outburst, of course, using Travis Ferris' video.

Aaron Gordon best in his class?

National basketball writer Justin Young tweeted this earlier:
"How many people said Aaron Gordon for No. 1? He's got my vote on limited collected data"
We are in the same camp, not out of west coast bias but simply based on the fact that there is very little Gordon can't do on the court, the level at which he produces and his being a 2013 prospect at that. Admittedly, we haven't witnessed most of the other candidates so that is a weakness in our argument.