Friday, September 30, 2011

More on Eli Holman

Here's more on Eli Holman's situation in Detroit.

One thing we will go to out grave trying to correct is an incident mis-reported when Holman met with Indiana Coach Tom Crean and asked to be released from his letter-of-intent.

It's the 'threw a potted plant' situation.

From a 5/2/2008 USA TODAY story is the truth:
IU Police Department Capt. Jerry Minger confirmed that his department was called to the Assembly Hall lobby at 3:40 p.m. Thursday and told Holman had thrown a potted plant.

"It was first reported that he threw a potted plant, and later the secretary said he knocked it off as he was leaving," Minger said.

"He was upset and our officers arrived and talked with him," Minger said. "Within about a minute, athletic director Rick Greenspan arrived and began talking to the subject and he calmed down, and they went into an office and spoke. They talked for about an hour, and there were no other problems after that."

Minger said no arrest was made because "it didn't involve a threat and no one felt like there were any hazards or harm that was going to come from the subject."
Google the parties involved and most reports -- say 95% -- still have Holman playing football with the plant. Maybe it is not all that big of a difference but facts are facts.

The reaction by the Indiana basketball folks is also overwrought as Coach Crean is embellishing.

Let's just hope that the media report the facts here and not turn this into another Al Gore inventing the internet fable that too many still believe today to the political detriment of Gore.

Bottomline, we wish the injured party well and that justice be done. That's an easy call.

Meet Paul Titchener

With apologies to Lord Tennyson, is it better to have gone D-1 and matched a lumberjack's splinters than never to have reached those so-called vaunted ranks at all?

The standard is 'go D-1 or go home' yet the reality is very successful college basketball careers, but more importantly educations, can be enjoyed at schools far from the ESPN limelight.

Paul Titchener wants to play college basketball regardless of the level and may just decide to enter the coaching ranks after that. Level doesn't matter to him, opportunity does.

A 2012 player now at Burlingame High, the 6-foot-7 Titchener's life is basketball centric. Asked if he had a passion for the sport, he replied," I'd say so. It's been part of my life since the second grade. I'm always out playing or thinking about it."

His college plans will be determined by his physical maturity. "I've made no decision about a level. It depends on where my body is at next year. If I'm mature enough, I'll try and go to a four year school. If not, I'll be looking at a JC."

In an honest portrayal, one not offered by many about their trajectory from freshman to upperclassmen on the court, Titchener said, "As a freshman, I really struggled. It was really bad. Then I had a growth spurt and now I'm much more confident."

He assesses his best skills as "my post moves, like up-and-unders, what I call old man moves. I think I can shoot better than a lot of guys."

As for coaching, Titchener mentioned a pair of names that stand out for him despite the dramatic disparity in the approaches of the twosome. "I read Bob Knight's biography and although I probably wouldn't like all the yelling, I was impressed by the ways he got his teams prepared and motivated."

The other favorite?

"Phil Jackson is interesting because of how he gets his players comfortable in their roles."

Another influence is Titchener's father, who played at Clark University in Massachusetts after not playing in high school and who also coached his son as an assistant on the junior varsity team.

Plus, the younger Titchener believes he has characteristics attuned to the coaching ranks, offering "I get plays well and I'm sort of a [team] leader."

Also, a current NBA player, one riding a crest of popularity since the Dallas Mavericks won the championship, has an interesting association with Titchener: "When I was younger, guys would see my shooting and yell 'Dirk, Dirk [Nowitski]" but it got old quick."

As for his best basketball moment to date, Titchener offered, "When I was on the JV team, we were playing Menlo Atherton at the Oracle Arena. We were winning but they caught up and tied the game. On the last play, I got fouled dribbling, hit the first and intentionally missed the second and we won the game. It was exciting playing there."

Titchener has an interest in history, particularly U.S. history and also writing but isn't sure about what he will major in come college.

But that matter is still a season or more away.

First comes the fast approaching season. Alongside that is the recruiting process. About the latter, Holy Names University, an NAIA school in Oakland looking to move into the D-2 ranks, has officially requested a visit from Titchener. Holy Names Coach Omar Sanchez, an alumnus of the school, heads the Master Coaching Program there. The Hawks have nine Californians on the 2011012 roster.

Here is Titchener's 2011 summer highlights.

Here is Titchener's junior high highlights.


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A Cushing Academy (Treaven Duffy, Chris Mullin) preview

Former Bay Area high schoolers Treavan Duffy and Chris Mullin are included in a Cushing Academy (Maine) preview:
"The “non-Maine contingent” in the class of 2012 begins with Treaven Duffy, a six-foot-two guard from California and the son of NBA agent Bill Duffy, who will be expected to make a big impact this season"
"Newcomers in the class of 2013 include Chris Mullin Jr. (yes that Chris Mullin) and Bernard Mokum, two talented perimeter players who will be expected to provide a spark off the Penguin’s bench this year"

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Aaron Gordon drawing some coaches

Cameron Schott is tweetin' about interest/visitors to Aaron Gordon and Archbishop Mitty.

Philippe Doherty is tweetin' away

Philippe Doherty has two new tweets up here and here about a pair of Bay Area prospects and college interest.

Let's hope this isn't true

The University of Detroit student newspaper is reporting that Eli Holman's leave from the basketball team is related to an altercation.

A Ben Freeland update

The latest post at the New England Recruiting Report  says: "... Lafayette and Maine offering Ben Freeland according to head coach Jeff Depelteau."

The former Montgomery High big is spending a season at Suffield Academy in Connecticut.

Meet Alex Fertig

Some say that basketball is running and jumping. Sure, those are obvious elements but often left out of the equation -- and the visual memory of fans -- is that you need to know where to go and when, plus how and when to alternate from established patterns. This cerebral portion of the game gets lost in the flash and buzz of a power dunk or an ankle-breaking dribble-drive, thus ignoring the fact that the opportunity for such maneuvers are slight in number during any game while every single play requires intelligent split-second decision-making in order to be successful. So let's tell you the story of Buchanan (Fresno) High's Alex Fertig.

The demonstration of physical skills generate the oohs and aahs but it's smarts that win matchups. However, spring and summer prep basketball -- where often it's every player for himself -- is a recruiting period where college coaches are looking for standout players who produce memorable plays. The tortoise and hare fable isn't quite the right analogy to employ but coaches, due to limited viewing opportunities, are hunting for hares.

Now the 6-foot-3, 195 pound Fertig is neither tortoise nor hare. He's what those who can appreciate such call a "player," aka someone who produces. He's a sharpshooter but when that aspect is off, he'll contribute with ballhandling, passing, defending and performing as the proverbial coach on the floor. Asked his best basketball skills, Fertig said, "knowing how to play the game. Everybody has always told me my basketball IQ is pretty high."

He's the son of Jack Fertig, a longtime college coach who currently teaches math at Buchanan. But his game is not the result of simple osmosis. "Yes, I've been at college practices and used to watch [former Fresno Staters and NBA veterans] Chris Herren, Melvin Ely, Rafer Alston and Courtney Alexander." Plus, the younger Fertig also matched up against some of his father's friends not that long ago. "I'd play with my Dad's friends who aren't as fast as they used to be but they know how to play, like using curls and backdoor cuts."

Hoops has simply been a lifelong love for Fertig. "I've always liked basketball -- it's always been my major passion. Even when I was in kindergarten, when others were playing baseball or soccer, I'd find a hoop to shoot at and someone to play with. Basketball is just something in me."

Academically, Fertig sports a 3.65 grade point average and a 1020 SAT score (English & Math). He took the test a couple of days after hernia surgery and while on pain medication and is planning on re-taking it because he believes he can produce a higher score.

On his Organized Chaos travel basketball club, Fertig was surrounded by better talent and a great big man in Central Valley Christian's Grant Verhoeven. At Buchanan High, he's the leading scorer and rebounder (this year he'll become the career leader in both categories for Buchanan).  "But," as he explained, "I try and do the same things."

Fertig has a goal of winning a Valley championship. "I just like winning. One game up at De La Salle [always one of the top Bay Area squads] last season , I scored 32 points (16 in the first quarter) but we lost in overtime. People were saying I did good but in reality we still lost. I'd rather score 18 with some rebounds, assists and steals and win than score a bunch and lose."

Asked about the growth he has seen in himself since his first year of high school, Fertig said, "My freshman year, I would stand in the corner and wait for someone to kick a pass out to me. I wasn't as physically developed and couldn't finish at the rim like now. I see things on the court I couldn't see then -- I have more assets."

Assets that should bring many a smile to the college coach who lands him.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Coach Doherty on Marcus Lee, Elliott Pitts & Salesian High

Bookmark/Follow Coach Doherty, that's an order.

Here he is with a Marcus Lee update:
"Head Coach Russell Turner from UC Irvine was at Deer Valley HS on Monday night offering 6'9 Forward Marcus Lee - Class of 2013"
"Head Coach Russell Turner of UC Irvine and Assistant Ali Ton were at De La Salle HS CA on Monday am looking at 2013 6'5 Combo Elliott Pitts"
"Johnny Dawkins of Stanford and Ali Ton of UC Irvine were at Salesian HS in CA on Tuesday afternoon taking a look at their loaded 2013 Class"

The 2011-12 Monterey Peninsula College Lobos

The Monterey Peninsula College Lobos finished 15-13, 7-5 in the CCSF, San Jose City College, Ohlone, Chabot, Foothill.and Cabrillo College loaded Coast Conference last season and Julian Demalleville (Sacramento State) , Ryan Stanley (Sonoma State), Alex Brandon, Mitch Philp, Quinczy Spencer et al have departed to four-year colleges.

So Coach Blake Spiering sports an almost new set of players as 10 of his 15 talents are freshman. But weep not for him as his roster includes the sophomore court firm of Young and Perryman and that translates into Andrew Young and Shayne Perryman.

Young measures out at 6-foot-9 and 235 pounds and therefore is receiving attention from numerous teams populating the West Coast, Big West and Big Sky Conferences. He matured late as he came out of Monterey High at 6-foot-6 and 210. Here's Spiering on his post: "He's a real special kid, a great teammate who runs and jumps well and can score inside as well as hit the open man and cutters with passes. He could be one of the top post players in California."

Young also sports a 3.9 grade point average so some lucky coach is going to receive a total package.

Witnessing him at the Foothill Summer Slam in July, he displayed an impressive skills and body combination.

Perryman checks in at 6-foot-6 and 205 pounds. The Player of the Year two seasons ago in the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League, he is a multi-dimensional marksman. "Shayne can dribble and shoot, catch and shoot, has a high release and had three separate games this summer with seven treys apiece." Spiering said. "He will go by bigger guards and shoot over smaller ones. Plus, he's also going to be my free throw guy on technicals this season."

Perryman also performs just as well in the classroom, possessing a 3.8 grade point average.

Spiering said that both are on track and taking the right classes necessary to transfer.

Plus, there is 6-foot-2 sophomore starting point Conor Byrne out of Arcata High who will run the show. Spiering describes Byrne as "hard-nosed, a great shooter and someone who can handle it in transition and in half court." Byrne also excels academically as his 3.9 grade point average demonstrates. He was his high school Athlete of the Year and an All-County selection as a senior.

Also at Spiering's disposal are freshman Donovan Salvant. The former three time All League Seaside High guard is described by Spiering as the best player coming out of the Monterey/Pacific Grove area.

Plus, ex-Santa Cruz High point Zen Maki, a First Team All Santa Cruz County Athletic League performer last season has moved south and joined the Lobos.

Here's the MPC roster:

Thor Anderson, 5-foot-10, freshman
Jai Bransford, 6-foot-2, freshman
Conor Byrne, 6-foot-1, sophomore
Niccolo Bongioanni, 6-foot-4, sophomore
Josh Caldwell, 6-foot-7, sophomore (redshirting this season)
Alex Chaidez, 6-foot-2, freshman
Deandre Henderson, 6-foot-1, freshman
Zen Maki, 6-foot-2, freshman
Justin Moody, 6-foot-4, freshman
Brandon Moore, 6-foot-1, sophomore
Adam Myren, 6-foot-4, freshman
Jonny Parker, 6-foot-4, freshman
Shayne Perryman, 6-foot-6, sophomore
Donovan Salvant, 6-foot-3, freshman
Kyle Sosa, 6-foot-2, freshman
Eric Swift, 6-foot-3, freshman
Jarred White, 6-foot-2, freshman (redshirting this season)

Warped loyalty in college basketball

Gary Parrish writes about how loyalty has 'paid off' for a couple of former Tennessee assistants.

Tell the truth and you are a rat and destined to never be hired again. Just what kind of values are being demonstrated here? And by 'leaders' of young men and women?

Those all hot and bothered by the 'don't snitch' atmosphere in certain parts of society need to broaden their horizons because it's alive and 'well' on campuses throughout this country as well as Wall Street, government and elsewhere.

A note on Aaron Hendricks

Former Del Oro backcourter Aaron Hendricks headed to the East Coast last year for a prep school. Here's mention of him in a New Hampton writeup:
"... Further continuity will be provided by the return of three more 2012 products from last year’s roster in ... six-foot-one guard Aaron Hendricks ... Hendricks is a skilled guard who knows how to play and can make shots from three-point territory..." 

Another Orlando Johnson note

From ESPN's Diamond Leung on the Big West Conference MVP:
"Long Beach State's Casper Ware and UC Santa Barbara's Orlando Johnson will battle it out in the Big West, and given that both seniors have won the award before, it should be an interesting race. Johnson (21.1 ppg) is the nation's second-leading returning scorer and looking to play in his third straight NCAA tournament after withdrawing his name from the NBA draft. Ware is the reigning player of the year who was also named the conference's top defender. His 49ers have been denied a trip to the NCAA tournament by UCSB in each of the last two seasons."

A Richard Longrus update

Cameron Schott (do bookmark him) offers the latest on Richard Longrus:
"Bishop O' Dowd F Richard Longrus is scheduled to visit Utah, Washington State, and Colorado during the month of October"

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Notice of Marcus Lee in the Midwest

At Under Armour 's Grind Session event in Chicago over the weekend, notice was taken of Marcus Lee:
Marcus Lee 6’8” 190, PF/SF, Antioch, CA, Deer Valley 2013 – Lee was a late addition to the camp and showed a tremendous upside. He is long and rangy athlete who runs the floor like a deer. He shows good timing in the shot blocking department and is a high-level passer for a kid his size. He is more of a face up 4 right now and needs to add bulk to his slender frame in order to bang and use his length down low. He also needs to be more aggressive and look for his offense more as he often plays too unselfish. He currently has offers from VCU, St. Mary’s and San Diego St., and is being monitored by Stanford, Fresno St., and Loyola Marymount. He has high major upside but needs time to develop. I expect his recruitment to pick up over the next few months.

Nice article on Kyle Luckett

ESPN's Diamond Leung caught up with the new of Chabot College's Kyle Luckett signing overseas. It's good to see this turn of events receiving national notice.

Eli Holman on a leave of absence

Detroit has announced that for Richmond High star  Eli Holman is stepping away from basketball for the immediate future. Here's hoping his absence is a short one and that matters gets resolved quickly.

More on Robert Upshaw

Fresno area big Robert Upshaw is receiving a visit from the Arizona folks.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Stephen Domingo with a good observation about Harvard hoops

Here's Alex Kline/The Recruit Scoop quoting Stephen Domingo after his weekend visit to Harvard:
“The visit was great,” said Stephen Domingo, a 2013 6-foot-6 small forward from St. Ignatius in California, who made a cross-country trip to check out the school. “I made a real good connection with the team and staff. They have high-major players who made the decision to go mid-major instead. It was a big time weekend.”
Former Branson star Oliver McNally was Domingo's official host.

Will Cherry, defender

Jon @ his Big Sky Basketball Blog asks if Will Cherry will earn Defensive Player of the Year honors this coming season.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

An offer to Stephen Domingo

Per Alex Kline/The Recruit Scoop:
"Harvard officially offered ... Stephen Domingo ...'

Tajai Johnson and Grant Verhoeven visiting

UC Riverside is hosting Vallejo High guard Tajai Johnson this weekend while forward Grant Verhoeven of Central Valley Christian (Fresno) is up in Moraga at St. Mary's.

UC Davis lands a Utah high schooler

"The Spectrum has learned that 6-foot-5 Desert Hills forward Tyler Ott has verbally committed to play basketball at the University of California, Davis.

"I’m actually glad that the stress of answering the phone calls is gone," Ott said. "(Now) I can focus on Desert Hills and doing great things with Desert Hills this year."

Ott made an official visit to the school this weekend, and his AAU coach Dwain Schallenberger said the visit went well, which prompted Ott to give his commitment to head coach Jim Les.

"He’s going to have a chance to play there," Schallenberger said. "I couldn’t be more at peace. Everything about it felt great."

Added Ott: "At the end of the day, I felt like I was (their) No. 1 recruit."

Pepperdine, Weber State, Southern Utah and Dixie State were the other schools in the hunt for Ott's commitment."
Here is a description of the young man: " a versatile player that can play at the 2 or 3 spot with excellent range out to the three-point line.  Ott has good handles and can find the open man with an above average basketball IQ. Like most prospects, he needs to hit the weight room..."
Here's a six minute video of Ott.

Here is his Twitter account for you Aggie fans.

More on David Andoh

Here's Eric Bossi of Rivals on former Bay Area talent David Andoh who is at the IMG Academy in Florida:
"David Andoh, PF - A senior from California who is at IMG, the 6-foot-7 Andoh is a lean, ball-handling four-man. His preference is to take guys off the dribble and he was active all day long on the glass"

More on Desmond Simmons

Here Jim Basnight's most recent item on former Salesian High star Desmond Simmons, now a redshirt frosh at Washington:
"After watching the Washington team in it's entirety, along with former Dawg Spencer Hawes and a couple of confirmed and aspiring walk-ons, on Friday I came away with a pretty good idea as to the raw make-up of the 2011-12 team. I voiced my thoughts at much greater length at on Monday for our subscribers, but I'll give you a thumbnail on the subject. To summarize what I saw on Friday, the big revelations were sophomore guard C.J. Wilcox and frosh post Desmond Simmons. 'Dez” I’ve seen before recently, but he even surpassed that impression"

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The NorCal Finest 100

The NorCal Finest event took place last Saturday at El Cerrito High with trainers Jeremy Russotti and Alan Stein demonstrating their respective basketball and strength/conditioning drills and dispensing advice.

What we decided to do this time around was interview a trio of player participants in order to get their takeaway from the gathering since that was the primary purpose.

David Ahern, a 6-foot backcourter from Marin Catholic has previously experience training with Russotti. His description: "We began with a warmup from Coach Stein, then did 90 minutes of basketball skill work followed by 60 minutes of core and strength training."

After lunch, it was matchups involving the participants.

What did Ahern like best? "Because of my training with Jeremy, the skills training was a review for me.  I liked the tips Alan Stein offered about strength training and recovery and diet. Having the chance to go to him and ask questions was nice."

He added, "the talent level was higher than usual at these kind of events." Ahern also credited Russotti for making a good effort to 'get the guys to play the right way" in the afternoon portion.

Grant Vermeer is a 6-foot-1 guard at Bellarmine Prep, a member of the West Catholic Athletic League (ECAL).  Having no previous exposure to the offerings of Russotti and Stein, all was a new experience for him. "Everyone was focused and paying attention,: he said, "and every single drill by the coaches were things I hadn't seen before. Both Alan and Jeremy were great, like the way to do pushups (Stein) and always work on dribbling with one ball, not two (Russotti). I'm incorporating what we were taught into my training.

Vermeer added (about the p.m. portion), "It was fun to play with the great players and watch them succeed."

He concluded with "I want to thank the sponsors of the event. It allowed me to work with two of the best trainers in the world."

St. Ignatius' Stephen Domingo has also trained with Russotti. His succinct take: "Going through the drills with NBA level staff helps build a solid foundation. I learned balance techniques and how to do weight training without the need for a weight room."

Stein, new to the Bay Area athletes, reflected on his participation and offered: "The NorCal’s Finest Top 100 Clinic was an amazing event! It gave the area’s top prospects a firsthand look at the type of training they need to do to take their games to the next level. Both the skill workout and the strength and  conditioning workout were intense, focused, and purposeful.  The players definitely left their comfort zones!”

He added, “Kids today play too many games as is. What made the NorCal’s Finest Top 100 Clinic special was the emphasis on proper training ­ both from the skill standpoint and the strength & conditioning standpoint.  Players learned how to workout, ­ a concept that most high school players don’t get exposed to.”

Stein offers a weekly blog, plus a YouTube channel and a Twitter account for those wanting further inspiration and information.

Let's finish with Russotti's observations: "I am very happy with the turnout for our first event. We had a ton of talent and potential in the gym. The gym definitely had a buzz during the workout and skill sessions and the kids were engaged. Alan Stein brought it and really brought his creative wisdom and credibility to the Bay Area. "

Russotti went on to say "We don't want this event to be labeled a showcase event since that is not the true focus. These kids do not need anymore exposure. We want to expose the players on how professional athletes train, their mindsets, and how you have to take advantage of the opportunities they have in front of them."

"I think every year we will reflect and find ways to improve the event. I think we will add more skill training to the event, while making changes to the games format. The games definitely can become more competitive.  The top kids need to learn how to always compete and give their fullest effort on both sides of the floor. I firmly believe that if we can get our top players to learn this mindset, we will be producing bona fide NBA caliber players year in and year out. I truly believe that!"

A Stephen Domingo update

Alex Kline/The Recruit Scoop tweets that SI's Stephen Domingo is at Harrrrrvard this weekend.

Kyle Luckett headed across the pond

From the Chabot College basketball site:

Chabot College's Kyle Luckett signs pro contract in Europe!  
Congratulations to 7'0" center Kyle Luckett for signing a pro contract to play in Europe. Kyle finished his sophomore season at Chabot College last year and is already in Hungary gearing up for the season.
Kyle originally put his name in for the NBA Draft out of high school, but was not selected due to not having played organized basketball in high school and being extremely raw offensively. 
He fell off the map before landing at Chabot for the last two seasons where he improved drastically, and finished last year averaging 12 points, 10 rebounds and 4.3 blocks per game for the 20-9 Chabot Gladiators who were ranked top 10 in the state.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Motivation, intensity, toughness

Piggybacking on the earlier Spencer Butterfield post:

Coach Malecki, 
September 23, 2011

After watching some local recruiting efforts lately, I think back to a young man I coached at South Gate HS, in the late 90's. Ronald Johnson, was a two-sport star for us in football and basketball. Ronald played JV as a frosh, and was a three year starter for the Varsity basketball team. We played in the Southeastern League with Bell, Huntington Park, Garfield, Roosevelt, Jordan, Jefferson, Locke and Fremont. Ronald played center for us at 6'3.

Our head coach, Tony Loza, now at LA Harbor, called dave b at rockfish and begged him to have Ronald on his teams. Even when Ronald was in football he played for Rockfish on the weekends. He worked out with his brothers at the gyms almost every night. To say he became pretty good was an understatement.

Ronald was all city for two years, all league for three years, and all state his senior year (jason kapono's year). This kid could rebound, handle it, defend it, score it. He avg about 25 per game and 11 rebs. This after being double and triple teamed throughout the years.


Then our good friend, Chris Madigan, who was at CSLA, he came over with Coach Yanai from Dominguez Hills that year, watched Ronald and was AMAZED no one was recruiting him. Ronald's grades were not stellar, but he always passed classes. Did that scare away schools?

I used to hear coaches say, he doesn't do this or that. Not a good enough athelete, etc. All we ever saw was a fierce competitor.

Coach Yanai came to a workout and offered Ronald that day. The only other school interested was Cerritos College. Ronald was a four year starter at Cal State LA. He was a three year all conference players, D2 All American and the ALL TIME LEADING SCORER in CCAA Division 2 history.

The moral is hard to measure heart. It is hard to project how much someone wants something...we are all looking for "ready made players" and making something takes time and lots of work. I've always felt that toughness, work ethic and character far outway lazy athleticism, and entitlement.

So get into the gym, work on your free throws, shoot 100's of shots per day and you might be the next Ronald Johnson. I never have watched a player one time and made a final decision on them. Watching their travel team, hs team and at practice were mandatory before we made a decision. The final straw was were they tough and would they work hard!

Life and Basketball aren't always fair.

Coach Malecki

p.s. I appreciate any feedback.

Yuba College's Spencer Butterfield

Spencer Butterfield.

The name sounds like he could be an Agatha Christie English mystery detective but in reality we are talking about a sophomore basketball player at Yuba College.

Not that the latter comes close to fully describing him. He's more like an MMA participant on the basketball court, willing to sacrifice his body over a loose ball on the floor or a defensive charge to be taken. Butterfield may not out-leap or out-quick opponents but his team will own a higher number of digits on the scoreboard after 40 minutes.

We'll even go this far: there should be a Pac-12 coach (are you reading this in Pullman, Corvallis, Salt Lake City, Boulder or even Los Angeles?) who can comprehend the value added by having Butterfield on his team.

You would be getting a mix of points, rebounds and assists but, more importantly, a mindset -- a take-no-prisoners physicality -- that would inspire the other team members in the trifecta categories of sharing, sacrifice and effort.

We hope to do a full-length article on the young man as basketball season approaches.

Will Cherry, points producer

Guess who is the top returning scorer in the Big Sky Conference?

Hope you guessed Will (McClymonds High) Cherry.

He and Weber State's Damian (Oakland High) Lillard should have quite the battle this fast approaching season.

Meet George Johnson

George Johnson is at a new school this year and the 2013 basketball prospect is settling in and getting acquainted with his new teammates and Coach Pat Cruikshank. Here's a Q-and-A with him:

Q - Where will you be playing this season?

GJ - I will be playing at Heritage High School (Brentwood, CA). I transferred from De La Salle.

Q - What was the reason(s) for the transfer and how does your new team look for the 2011-2012 season?

GJ - I transferred because of the distance DLS was away from Brentwood as well as the tuition costs were a little too high for my parents. Our team looks pretty good. We’ve got some size and we’re a pretty close group.  But the league has some tough teams in it with Freedom and Deer Valley. We’ll compete though.

Q - What position will you be playing?

GJ - Point Guard

Q - Did you work on anything specifically this summer?

GJ - I’ve been lifting weights and shooting a lot of shots. I’ve also been trying to put a lot of focus on strengthening my legs. My knees have been hurting the last few months from growing. Just trying to get as strong as possible.

Q – What do you see as your on-court strengths?

GJ - I think my ability to shoot the ball, see the floor as well as ball handling are my strengths. My defense has gotten better but still need to improve that, and continue to get stronger.

Q – How are you doing academically?

GJ - I’m doing decent academically.  Around a 3.0. I’m struggling in Chemistry though.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Gary Williams to the Lone Star State

Wisdom is knowing what you can control while putting yourself in the best of positions. Gary Williams understands the former and has made an important decision concerning the latter. He's currently in the Lone Star State polishing his trade, with a eye cast on his future.

The 6-foot-6, 215-pound Williams enjoyed solid junior and senior years at Castlemont High, putting up impressive numbers in the scoring, rebounding and passing departments. He averaged just under 24 points per game in his last season and also received accolades at the Double Pump Camp last July at Cal State Dominguez.

But in the critical time period where identities are established, Williams was abroad. Yes, between his junior and senior years, the Knights were on a tour of Germany -- an unusual undertaking for a high school team. As Williams put it, "It probably hurt me a bit [in terms of recruiting] but it was a great experience."

He then did the circuit this past summer with Lakeshow and received interest from a number of mid-majors but nothing quite to Williams' satisfaction. He felt missing the previous June/July tournament action hindered his recognition.

So the decision was made to facilitate greater visibility for himself.

Williams has headed off to Rowlett, Texas (a suburb of Dallas) for a post grad term at ABCD Prep.

The ABCD schedule includes games against Findlay Prep (where he'll match up with Brandon Ashley and Dominic Artis) as well as various junior colleges and other prep schools. In fact, ABCD will be traveling to California, Florida, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Utah for matchups and such should get many more new sets of eyes on him.


"I chose to go the post grad route because I felt I was underexposed," Williams explained. "I went with ABCD because  of Coach [Glendon] Alexander. He was a McDonald's All-American and played at Arkansas and Oklahoma State." There are also three other Golden State players on the team, all from southern California.

"We work out twice a day and I want to get bigger, faster and stronger and keep my three-point shooting solid." he added.

His college prerequisites include a school offering a sports broadcasting major and a basketball playing style featuring creativity. Geographical location is unimportant. Possessing a 3.2 grade point average and NCAA Clearinghouse okay, Williams will be adding to his academics by taking some courses for college credit while at ABCD.

The former Castlemont senior class president brings jumpshooting and take-it-to-the-hoop athletic talent to the court. He just needs a broader audience.

Here are some summer 2011 highlights of Williams.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Kyle Hypes update

 photo courtesy of Dennis Lee

Rumor is that former Foothill College and St. Francis High guard Kyle Hypes is walking on at Santa Clara. His Facebook page confirms his enrollment at SC.

An Elliot Pitts evaluation

From Branch West's Bob Gottlieb (patriarch of the Gottlieb basketball family) who utilized Elliot Pitts in a southern California tourney while Pitts was visiting UCLA:
"Elliot Pitts 6'5" wing from Concord De LaSalle H.S. in Northern California was a welcome addition. Highly athletic, he showed himself to be a stopper defensively. Did a particularly nice job on highly regarded Roshon Prince 6'5" hi major 2013 from Long Beach Poly. Elliot is a slasher who can shoot. Has great speed and jumps exceptionally well. Both mom who is 6'1" and dad who is 6'4", played basketball at Northwood College in Michigan (D2) and I would not be surprised to see him grow a few more inches. if he does, the sky is the limit. Already has several Pac 12 offers, and took an unofficial visit to UCLA with his parents, while he was down here"

Julian Welch doing it at Minnesota

Jon Rothstein's tweet has former Yuba College backcourter Julian Welch in Mineesota's starting five:
"Early prediction on Minnesota starting five Maverick Ahanmisi, Julian Welch, Rodney Williams, Trevor Mbakwe, Ralph Sampson III"

Quincy Smith and Andre McPhail turn up

Quincy Smith and Andre McPhail, both out of Deer Valley High, are part of Gary Trousdale's new La Jolla Prep squad. Each is listed in the 2012 class.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Harris to go from 49er to Aggie

 photo courtesy of Brian Drake/Appeal Democrat

It was a lot of little things that added up to a big one recently when Yuba College frontcourter Sean Harris offered a commitment to Coach Stew Morrill and Utah State.

Speaking with Yuba Coach Doug Cornelius recently provided the opportunity to learn more about both Harris and the background of his decision.

Harris was the team MVP as a senior at Rocklin High. At 6-foot-6 and 200 pounds, he averaged 16.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.6 steals and blocked two shots a game. 

He then moved over to Yuba College and put up 14.9 points and 11.7 rebounds a contest in the 2007-08 season in which Yuba went 32-4. "He was the MVP for us too," Cornelius said.

Then it was almost UC Santa Barbara for him, but Harris signed a letter-of-intent with Coach Jim Les and Bradley of the Missouri Valley Conference after sorting through multiple D-1 offers. He would have three years of eligibility remaining.

At that point, it was a period of time off for Harris to prepare for his LDS mission in San Pedro, Honduras scheduled to begin in August 2009.

While he was on his mission, Les (now the head coach at UC Davis) was let go at Bradley in early March 2011 and Harris eventually asked for and received his BU release.

He returned to the United States in early July 2011 as a college basketball free agent so to speak. It was then decided that a second season at Yuba was the best route to take.

Here's Cornelius on his 6-foot-8 sophomore: "Sean had offers from Utah State, UC Santa Barbara and Idaho, with UC Davis and BYU really interested. He went to Utah State and fell in love with it. He thought it was a great social fit. They showed him love and he is a very loyal kid. Sean came back and said, 'Coach, I'm done.'"

It didn't even take witnessing a game in The Spectrum, Wild Bill and all, to win Harris over.

What's fascinating is that BYU was Harris' dream school, plus his mother went there. But even without the Jimmer, the Cougar roster has three freshman -- one at 6-foot-8, two at 6-foot-10, also a 6-foot-9 sophomore, a 6-foot-8 junior plus a 6-foot-9 junior. Such played a factor in Harris' decision to go with Aggieville.

Cornelius continued, "Sean hasn't played in three years but is an extremely hardworking kid with a high motor. I call him a skilled four, someone skilled and strong who really runs the court. He has put on 15-20 pounds of muscle and is going to be a really hard matchup but first he needs to get his legs back.

As always, Yuba will be in the fight for a state championship in the upcoming season with Harris as a key component.

They know Marcus Lee back in Virginia

Per this Philippe Doherty tweet, VCU was in the house at Deer Valley High.

Describing Kyle Anderson

After watching Kyle Anderson (UCLA's new star recruit) in Vegas this summer and trying to describe him and his game, nothing we said or posted really captured his essence.

Today, we stumbled across the best characterization:
“From the neck on up, he’s the best high school player in America, irrespective of class, right now,” longtime New York recruiting expert Tom Konchalski said.
'Nuff said.

Pair up Anderson and Dominic Artis and you have a backcourt (although Anderson may 'officially' be positioned at the 3 spot) that will delight the other three players on the court a la keep those hands up and eye on the ball because it's coming to you, somehow, some way from somewhere.

Two new NorCal names on the Cal State Fullerton roster

A pair of northern California talents have popped up on the Cal State Fullerton roster. Besides Kwame Vaughn, D.J. Seeley and Jordan Knox, former El Cerrito High guard Alex Harris is redshirting this season as a sophomore for Coach Bob Burton after playing as a frosh at Northeastern. Plus, ex-Modesto area wing Sammy Yeager, a senior, is also redshirting 2011-12 as a Titan, having transferred from Texas Christian.

More on Mckenzie Moore

Mckenzie Moore is at City College of San Francisco this season but mapping out his destination for the following year.

This Pat Harty-written article dated August 12 is mostly all about Iowa's pursuit of Moore but don't count St. Mary's out.

McNally a senior at Harvard

Sometimes talents who migrate to the East Coast for college become forgotten by northern California fans. So with pleasure we want to note that Oliver McNally, the former Branson star, is now a senior for Coach Tommy Amaker at Harvard (plus, ex-Valley Christian sharpshooter Max Hooper is a freshman for the Crimson).

Last season, McNally started all 30 games and was a co-captain of the team. He scored 10 points per game, shooting 46% overall and 93% from the foul line.

Some prognosticators have Harvard projected in the Top 25 this season.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Jonathan Williams noted

Jon Rothstein recently tweeted:
"Love Wagner two skilled 4's - Orlando Parker + Jon Williams. Williams is a lefty point forward type - will play some face up 4"
That's Jonathan Williams out of City College of San Francisco and Kennedy High in Richmond.

Tim Harris lands at Concordia

Tim Harris struggled through two injury-riddled years at St. Mary's and now Diamond Leung is tweeting that the former Valley Christian star has a new home -- Concordia in southern CA.

Ken Ammann is the head coach of the Eagles who are coming off a #2 national finish based on a 32-4 record, a conference championship, a conference tournament championship and an NAIA National Championships Quarterfinal finish.

Jordan Giusti at St. Mary's

Former San Ramon Valley High and Lakeshow point Jordan Giusti has made the roster at St. Mary's.

He joins senior Rob Jones, senior Beau Levesque, redshirt freshman Brad Waldow and junior Tim Williams as Gaels from the northern California region.

Robert Upshaw visited by Rick Pitino

Jody Demling reports that Robert Upshaw was impressed that Rick Pitino came out from Louisville for a home visit.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The young man with a plan: Grant (Boo) Vermeer

Like many others, 2013 Bellarmine backcourter Grant (Boo) Vermeer has ambitious ideas for after college, accordingly so for someone garnering the attention of schools like Harvard, MIT, Cal Tech and the like. But despite his relative youth, he could already be making a living just by advising his fellow high school student-athletes on a game plan for garnering an athletic scholarship.

Vermeer's approach is one of preparation and execution on and off the court  and it is already paying personal dividends. To borrow an on-court phrase, he's got game in the department of making-yourself-known-to-recruiters.

With the assistance of Tim Burke of Live Recruit Academic, he built a recruiting web page. Vermeer, who carries a 4.0+ grade point average, then mapped out a spring and summer raise-your-recognition strategy, writing letters and sending them out to colleges that have captured HIS interest.

Those included such academic heavyweights as MIT, Amherst and Williams back on the east coast. Plus, he attended a summer basketball camp at Harvard where he was noticed by the Harvard Assistant Coach Yanni Hufnagel who stays in touch. Vermeer has also enjoyed communications with Yale, Bucknell, Tulane, Army, USF, USD, Catholic, Rice and others.

He has enjoyed informative unofficial visits at MIT, Amherst, Cal Tech, Occidental and Pomona College and this public relations go-around will have an emphasis on Bay Area schools.

So who is Vermeer and what are his particulars?

His early hoops interest was sparked by his father and also his older brother Kyle. The latter played basketball at Bellarmine (and is now attending Stanford) and turned down an offer to play at MIT in order to attend Stanford where he plays on the Club Basketball level.

Vermeer explained, "I love the team aspect of basketball , the sense of family away from family, being like brothers. Plus, the constant uptempo with something always happening. It's always intense unlike football where there are 30 seconds between plays."

Speaking of the gridiron, Vermeer was a quarterback on the Bellarmine varsity. "I got pulled up to the varsity during my sophomore season." His playing time included major minutes in the Bells' loss to Palo Alto in the Central Coast CIF playoffs.

But basketball has won out.

"Football was great, I loved it a ton," Vermeer offered, "but I've grown up loving basketball and want to play it in college."

So now his focus in on the court.

He played on Coach Scot Alexander's High Intensity basketball club until Alexander moved over this season to the girls side of the equation in order to coach his daughter Cymia, a freshman at East Side Prep.

It was recommended that Vermeer join up with the D’Angelo Zamora’s Oakland Kings. The Kings are coached by Darnell McCulloch who grew up in Oakland and played college ball in the mid-1970s for Jerry Tarkanian when the latter ran the Fresno State program.

How did that work out?

Coming into the spring and summer as primarily a catch-and-shoot long distance marksman, Vermeer shot well while developing his dribble-drive prowess. He and teammate JoJo Zamora (Serra High) earned Co-Most Valuable Player Honors in an Easter tournament in Las Vegas in which the Kings won their division. One Vermeer highlight was a contest in which he buried seven treys.

So now it's back to Bellarmine and Coach Patrick Schneider's program. The Bells went 16-12, 8-7 last season in the very competitive West Catholic Athletic League and Vermeer is thinking positively. "We're going to be young with five or six juniors will be playing a lot of minutes but I like to think optimistically." He noted that fellow guard Blair Mendy will be someone to watch. But so will Vermeer who sank 40% of his three-point attempts last season and led the team in scoring many games as a sophomore starter.

Another aspect of his young life that connects to his familial sense on the court is that the Vermeer family have been foster parents to seven children throughout the years. "I love helping out with the kids," he said. "In fact, three came over for breakfast on Sunday and we were able to catch up."

Yes, don't be surprised if a Grant Vermeer LLC entity sometime in the future. It's likely to have something to do with kids and college recruiting but you can bet it will be consummately actualized.

Here is a just-under-six-minute video of Vermeer in the 2010 season.

Colin Gruber lauded

Colin (Harbor High - Santa Cruz) Gruber receives some ink/pixels in this Northern Arizona basketball writeup by Jon at his Big Sky Basketball site.

Some Elliot Pitts love from the Southland

Here's a recent Joel Francisco/ESPN tweet:
"Liking 2013 wing Elliot Pitts (Concord De La Salle)...the more I see him. Good ball skills and knows how to play...jump shot on the come"

Not NorCal related but...

Flash!!!! The Big East Conference will hereby now be known as The Smaller East Conference.

Remember when the Big East was top dog and ESPN's soul mate?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sac State highlighted

John (Fairfield High) Dickson and Jackson (Buchanan High, Clovis) Carbajal received kudos in Jon's post on Sacramento State Hornet basketball at his Big Sky Basketball blog.

A tweet from Philippe Doherty

From Philippe Doherty's Twitter account:
"Elliott Pitts 6'6 PG 2013 De la Salle HS (CA) + Noah Allen 6'5 2G Palma HS (CA) will be at UCLA - Texas game Sat. At Rose Bowl with UCLA MBB"
Do bookmark him

Lots of NorCal talent on the UC Davis roster

UC Davis' basketball roster is out and here's the guys from northern CA:

*John Adenrele

* Mike Kurtz

* Paolo Mancasola

* Eddie Miller

* Josh Ritchart

* Ryan Silva

* Ryan Sypkens

Friday, September 16, 2011

Shot Science Basketball with Tom Curtiss

Winter Basketball Lessons

Coach Tom is offering his regular basketball training and development lessons this winter in preparation for the upcoming season. These lessons are tailored to each individual student and can cover topics ranging from shooting to offensive skills and beyond! Head here.

Contact Coach Tom Curtiss
(831) 332-0508


Tom Curtiss was the Soquel High basketball coach for years and now he does training in the Santa Cruz County area. The Shot Science Basketball site also has videos and downloads to help you upgrade your skills set.

Recruiting visit canned responses

"Yes, the town, the coaches, the conference, the facilities, the players. I loved them all!”

What's not to love during a recruiting visit?  It's like first date behavior. Everything looks good, smells good, tastes good, feels good.

Well, sometimes the weather doesn't cooperate.

The process is as unreal as suitorship can be.

Plus, it's obligatory to be complimentary (at least in the media) regardless of what the elements were really like.

When's the last (first) time someone came back from tripping and said "the town was ugly, the coaches patronizing, the conference shaky, the facilities looked like a barn with two hoops, the players were clique-ish. I hated them all. Bleep them."

Come to think of it, one of the blue chippers -- I'm thinking of you Shabazz Muhammad or Kyle Anderson -- ought to do just that while maintaining a straight face. It would probably take down Twitter or cause the entire 'net to collapse.

Actually, the after-visit responses which so often appear in video and print are good training for young ballers. It's what their (future/present?) agents would coach them to say once in the pros.

Well, maybe not if were talking Charles Barkley.

Some local/regional visitors this weekend

Cal has Fresno area forward Grant Verhoeven coming in on a visit.

St. Mary's will be hosting San Diego area backcourter Joe Rahon.

UC Davis is welcoming Vallejo guard Tajai Johnson. He has also tripped to UC Riverside and Sacramento State recently.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Brian Hamilton's reports on his Sacramento 50 Elite events

Brian Hamilton, coach of the Play Hard Play Smart basketball club, operates a series of off-season, on-going basketball events up in the Sacramento area. Here are his 50 Elite reports:

50 Elite Write Up, Week #1 (8/27/2011)

The 3rd Annual 50 Elite begin this past Saturday at American River College and is being held September 10th, September 17th, and September 24th. A good group of talented kids, young and old, showed up and competed.  

While there was a bevy of talented kids present, in Week 1’s write up we will highlight just some of the players who performed well. 

Erik Kinney – Sacramento HS, 2012, 6’3” SG – Kinney is a strong-bodied guard, who gets to the basket with ease, and can finish at the rim. His ability to hit the mid range shot also opens up his driving lanes. He also rebounds the ball extremely well and defends at a high level.

David Straughter – Burbank HS, 2013, 6’5” F – David has a good motor; he was active on both ends, rebounding and playing solid defense.

Damion Trujillo – Cordova HS, 2012, 5’9” PG – Is a physical PG who can knock down the long-range shot as well as finish with contact at the basket. He hit several long-range 3’s and was able to beat guys to the basket.

Derrick West – Kennedy HS, 2012, 6’2” SG – Crafty wing with good mid range game. He showed he could score in a variety of ways.

Nick Lewis – Del Oro HS, 2012, 6’6” F – One of Day 1’s best performers.  Has good range and moves well without the ball to get his shot.

Kahlil Foster – Consumnes Oaks, 2012, 6’5” F – Slasher who does a little bit of everything. Did a nice job of getting to the glass and filling the lanes.

Leroy Abraham – Natomas HS, 2012, 6’3” SG – Smooth slasher who can score the ball. His ability to get to the rim opens up his pull-up jump shot.

Caleb King – Antelope HS, 2012, 5’10” PG – A heady PG with a high basketball IQ. Knows how to run a team and always seems to make the right play.

Scott Sanchez – Oak Ridge HS, 2012, 6’6” F – Scott has a good understanding of the game and a decent shot with good quickness around the paint.

Ryan Manning – Sheldon HS, 2013, 6’6” F – Athletic Forward with tremendous upside. Showed nice form and range on his shot, and rebounds the ball very well.

Mitchell Aaron – Burbank HS, 2012, 6’2” CG – Fast PG who plays extremely hard on every possession. Can get to the basket and hit the mid range pull up.

Jay Stone – Burbank HS, 2012, 6’1” PG – One of the strongest guards in attendance. Very solid body with good athleticism.  Stone was able to attack the gaps and make plays for his himself as well as teammates.

Cedric Thomas – Lindhurst HS, 2013, 6’3” Wing – At his best in transition, where he makes athletic plays. Was able to finish with explosive dunks high above the rim.

Deshawn Parsons – Grant HS, 2013, 6’6” Wing – A long, lanky wing who has a ton of potential. Displayed nice form on his outside shot, and showed the ability to beat players off the dribble and finish with dunks.

Matt Donlan – Capitol Christian HS, 2012, 6’6” SG – One of Day 1’s top shooters. He knocked down long-range 3’s, and he used shot fakes well to beat his man for pull-up jumpers. Also can jump out the gym.

Chris Swartz-Edminstin – Sac Waldorf, 2012, 6’3” CG – The Sacramento area's leading scorer last season.  A deep threat whot can handle and makes plays for other people.

David Shelton – Cal Prep, 2014, 6’2” SG – Young strong guard who does a little of everything

Cameron Oliver – Grant HS, 2014, 6’7” SF – One of the young guys who displayed a good skill set, and is long and athletic.

Brady Anderson
– Jesuit HS, 2014, 6’8” F – Anderson showed a good feel for the game especially for his size. Has good footwork and moves really well. Knocked down open shots and finished around the rim.

Jeremee Churchhill – Grant HS, 2014, 6’2” CG – A good looking 2014 prospect. His first step and strength allows him to beat his man to the lane. A tough defender and a good rebounder.


50 Elite Write Up, Week #2 (9/10/2011)

Week 2 of the 50 Elite was a really enjoyable day, complete with a lot of known and unknown talent. The 50 Elite is a great way to catch a glimpse of some of the top talent in Sacramento and the surrounding areas all in one gym. It featured five really competitive games and this week's write up will highlight the players who performed well.

Top Performers:

Mike Bryson – Foothill HS, 2012, 6’4” CG – Mike started out the game getting everybody involved and doing all the little things that help teams win. As the game went on, he began to take over -- at one point he scored 16 straight points for his team. He hit long-range 3’s and also finished at the rim with a couple of nice dunks. Has scholarship offers from several D-1 schools.

Bryce Scott – Oak Ridge HS, 2012, 6’2” SG – Bryce had a good solid Week 2 in the 50 Elite. He showed why he is considered one of the area's best shooters. He was able to knock down jumpers and finish strong around the basket.  e has excellent form on his shot, and really solid footwork.

Ryan Edwards – Kennedy HS, 2012, 6’6” F – A strong forward who powered his way to the basket. Rebounded the ball extremely well on both ends of the floor. 

Theo Johnson – Franklin HS, 2012, 6’6” F – An explosive forward, who attacked the rim with authority. Ran the floor well and was able to get a lot of things done in transition.

Justin Heidrick – Arcata HS, 2012, 6’4” SF – A good solid player who did a lot of things well. Does all the intangible things that all players do not like to do. Defended well and played hard at all times.

Blake Williams – Kennedy HS, 2012, 6’2” SG – Blake may have had one of the best performances of the day. He was able to knock down jumpers from all mid and long range. He also was able to get to the basket off the dribble and finish in traffic.

Miguel French – Lindhurst HS, 2012, 6’5” F – A long athletic guy who can get a lot done. French was able to score in a variety of ways. He is very fast in the open court.

Matt Donlan – Capitol Christian, 2013, 6’6” SG – One of the best-unknown players in our area.  Matt was able to hit the jumper and finish above the rim. 

Darrin Johnson – Franklin HS, 2013, 6’4” SG – DJ played well, a really good shooting guard who is able to score in a variety of ways. Very athletic, with a good skill set. A top prospect in the 2013 class.

Dakarai Allen – Sheldon HS, 2013, 6’5” SG – Allen is one of the top 2013 prospects on the West Coast. A good all-around player who loves to play defense, he had a solid  game finishing with 20 points. A player who is getting better each time he steps on the court. 

Anthony Williams – Foothill HS, 2013, 5’10” CG  – Week 2 was a good week for Anthony. He scored 30 points and did it in a lot of different ways, hitting several nice pull-ups and turn-around jumpers.

D’Erryl Williams – Sheldon HS, 2013, 6’3” CG – One of the strongest combo guards and also one of the best players in Northern California. Has a feel for the game that is rare for a HS player. A very productive player.

Isaiah Jones – Center HS, 2013, 6’9” PF – Potential, potential, potential.  Isaiah is an intriguing prospect who seems to have a decent feel for the game and does some things around the block that most bigs have trouble doing. With continued work, could be a college prospect.

Cole Nordquist – Pleasant Grove HS, 2013, 6’4” SF – Strong, solid player who did a little bit of everything. Really good feel for the game.

Aaron Johnson – Encina Prep, 2013, 6’1” CG – One of the fastest players in Week 2. Aaron was able to use his speed to blow by defenders in the open court as well as the half court. One of the surprise players of Week 2.

Jaylen Hicks – Sheldon HS, 2013, 6’2” CG – Hicks played well in his first time out in the 50 Elite. He was able to get to the basket and finish with contact. A really long guard who plays the game the right way.

Daveion Laverett – Weston Ranch HS, 2014, 6’8” F – A forward who can play on the wing or in the post. Finished the game with 28 points, with four 3-point shots and a nice windmill dunk. Big time potential.

Malik Pope – Burbank HS, 2014, 6’5” F – A long wiry wing who displayed a lot of potential. Ran the floor like a gazelle and showed a good skill set for a player his size.

Terence White – Inderkum HS, 2014, 6’1” CG – White is arguably the best 2014 player in The Sacramento Area. Can score in a lot of different ways and competes on every possession.

Marcelas Perry – Capitol Christian, 2014, 5’7” PG – A small PG who knows how to run a team and create his own shot. A shifty guard who can use either hand in traffic, he is also a good on-ball defender.

Diamond Leung on Mater Dei transfers

ESPN's Diamond Leung serves up a lengthy article on the barrage of transfers by Mater Dei alumni.

An interesting point: how many transferred to Mater Dei before transferring from their original college choice?

Bill Walton is a must follow on Twitter

Bill Walton is quite the wit with these zingers. Warning to those easily insulted as some political jokes follow:

    "Twitter is now available in five new languages. Unfortunately for Rick Perry & Michele Bachmann, "Insane Rambling" is not one of them"


    'When asked about his steamy 1987 rendezvous with potential Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, Glen Rice simply replied "Drill Baby, Drill"!"


    "Sarah Palin had an intimate relationship with Glen Rice in the 80s. Rice tried to resist but he was never one to stop anyone from scoring"


    "Ron Paul is harnessing the soul of Leonidas the Spartan King! Meanwhile Newt Gingrich evidently harnesses the calories of the Burger King"


    "Today is 9,10,11! Or in LeBron's case, how many rings the Heat will never win"


    "Roger Goodell will fine any player wearing unauthorized 9-11 tribute gear on Sunday. Hopefully Goodell uses the money to buy himself a soul"

Wanna see Desmond Simmons in red high heels?

And it's all for a very good cause -- go here.

A Stephen Domingo update

With our daily Alex Kline/The Recruit Scoop tweet post:
"Harvard coach Tommy Amaker watched 2013 St. Ignatius (CA) SF Stephen Domingo this morning. Domingo will visit Harvard in two weeks"
Here's Coach Philippe Doherty tweeting to Domingo:
"Harvard could change your life. It's a 40 year Life investment that could open more doors than any place in the world. Keep work"
99% of high school basketball prospects at the level of Domingo cannot understand what Doherty means -- just not enough life experience.

A T.J. Taylor Santa Barbara photo

UC Santa Barbara closed out its Canada trip with a victory and the Gaucho athletics department has posted the game writeup plus a photo of freshman guard  T.J. Taylor (Oakland High).

Jared Cunningham highlighted

Diamond Leung/ESPN offers a feature on Oregon State's Jared Cunningham, who receives this accolade from Coach Craig Robinson:
"He has the experience, ability, and drive to be the best player in the Pac-12"

A Frank Otis feature

Jon/Big Sky Basketball Blog serves up a feature on Frank Otis who will hbe back on the court this season with Weber State.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Stanford's Robbie Lemons

He's a year away from really contributing but continued skill and body work by former Sacramento area top scorer Robbie Lemons should lead to minutes on the court at Stanford.

As a freshman, the 6-foot-3 Lemons saw 37 minutes of action, nine against Butler when Coach Johnny Dawkins' squad lost at Butler.

Yuba College's Sean Harris to Utah State

Per Tony Jones/Salt Lake Tribune, Utah State has landed a junior college verbal: 6-foot-8 Sean Harris (on the left in the above photo) out of Coach Doug Cornelius' ultra-successful Yuba College program.

By the way, Cornelius had five all-conference players last season including one that moved on to Minnesota and another who landed at Idaho.

Here's a note from when Harris signed a letter-of-intent with Coach Jim Les and Bradley in 2010.

Here's a July 2011 post all about Harris returning to the court from his LDS mission.

Transfer-itis or no?

Is transfer-itis wreaking havoc within the ranks of northern California prep basketball?

By my count, ten student-athletes are currently headed elsewhere, which typically means go east young man:

David Andoh - IMG Academy (FL)

Brandon Ashley - Findlay Prep (NV)

Dominic Artis - Findlay Prep (NV)

Glenn Baral - Salisbury Prep School (CT)

Treaven Duffy - Cushing Academy (MA), post high school

Ben Freeland - Suffield Academy (CT), post high school

Aaron Hendricks - New Hampton (NH)

Ikenna Iroegbu - Oak Hill Acadmey  (VA)

Chris Mullin - Cushing Academy (MA)

Gary Williams - ABCD (TX)

Well, a total of 10 in the context of how many teenagers participate in high school hoops in northern California does not constitute a flood of expatriates. It's the same even if the measurement pool is reduced to the total of NorCal basketball players heading to college on some sort of a scholarship.

So how can these transfers fall into the category of being a problem or a plague?

Looking at a different angle of this subject, let's assess (or speculate) the reasons for the departures.

Such as:

* wanting to both practice daily and play against stronger competition
* wishing for a higher level of publicity
* needing stronger academic assistance and/or discipline
* getting away from distracting or negative influences
* seeking a 'better' college scholarship offer
* desiring to have another year, sometimes two, of skill and body development

Regarding criticism of such moves, it's simply up to the individual and his family and the business of nobody else. We will never know all the factors considered/prompting such a move and again, it need not be territory of our concern.Telling someone not in any way a relation to us nor seeking our 'advice' about what he should do with his life is an overreach at minimum.

College basketball is a business. Club ball obviously entails elements of such. Faultfinding someone who believes playing and attending high school elsewhere will be a plus for the next level is similar to disparaging a young man for not choosing the college you graduated from and worship. We can put ourselves into the shoes of others but more often than not there is no fit, making understanding next to impossible. 

A Jabari Brown note

Ron Bellamy/Register-Guard notes Jabari Brown's (and others) numbers while the Ducks were in The Land of Gelato:
"Freshman guard Jabari Brown led the Ducks with 15.4 points per game, the only Oregon scorer in double figures, though defenses paid him close attention the last two games, both losses, when he struggled from the field and wound up yet another Duck on the negative end of the assist-turnover ratio, with four-to-14."

A feature on Jared Cunningham

Jim Basnight writes about Jared Cunningham, with a little Langston Morris-Walker thrown in.

Kendall Smith receiving PAC-12 attention

Cameron Schott recently tweeted this:
"Washington State talked with 2013 Deer Valley PG Kendall Smith today"

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

More on Robert Upshaw

Alex Kline/The Recruit Scoop offers the latest on Robert Upshaw:
"Kansas State has an in-home visit with Robert Upshaw, a 2012 center out of San Joaquin (CA), today. He has one with Oklahoma St next"

Revisiting George Johnson and G-VisionSports

Here's a note from George Johnson/G-Vision Sports on the new business venture he has established. His intent is to offer custom athletic profile web sites for male and female athletes in all sports:
As a former high school basketball player graduating in 1990 from Mt. Diablo High School, I remember what I had to do to get recruited. Back then, we didn’t have all the AAU teams and tournament options that the kids have now. We didn’t have the internet either.

For me, basically my club team coach wrote me a basic form letter and told me to send it out to the coaches and schools of interest to me. So I took the letter and put together a few games on a VHS tape and send it out to several schools. Many schools just sent back basic form letters but a good handful were really interested.

I eventually went to Oregon Tech (NAIA school, Klamath Falls , OR ) on a basketball scholarship to play for Hall of Fame Coach Dan Miles. The second year I got homesick, transferred and finished playing at Cal State Hayward but the point is I learned how to market myself.
And it worked.

A few years later, I graduated with a Marketing degree from Cal State Hayward.

Today, with the internet, YouTube, all the AAU teams and so many tournaments, it would seem to be easier than it was 20 years ago to get seen. But instead, it’s just way more competitive than ever before with so many athletes and events.

Using the same basic sales techniques as before, along with more advanced technology including desktop publishing, web design, and experience from both playing and coaching, I’ve started G-Vision Sports.

My aim is to help high school athletes and their parents with the process of earning a scholarship. If you’re 6-foot-6 then you may not have to market yourself, but if you’re smaller, there’s a lot more competition.

You can visit G-VisionSports for a basic breakdown of the marketing concept that I’m promoting.

These websites can be used to store your child's athletic career photos, internet articles, YouTube videos, honors, academic scores, as well as high school program and AAU team information (schedules, current coach phone #’s, mailing address, etc.). It’s a good idea for several different reasons.

1. A site can be used to assist with college recruitment -- a portal that you can provide to potential coaches so they can go to see your entire athletic profile, in one simple location. This can be a very useful resource to allow additional visibility -- a good marketing tool.

2. It's a great way to archive your son’s or daughter's entire athletic career -- a professionalized “ONLINE SCRAPBOOK”, so friends, family and the athlete himself or herself can always keep up, or look back on personal accomplishments.

3. Each year as the player gets more photos, articles, accomplishments (all league, all tournament, etc.) or new video footage, just add it to the site.  It is creating an organized library so your memories are arranged and safe.

    Prices are reasonable and service is excellent. Website domain names can be personalized to the athlete himself or herself and the overall design theme can be personalized towards a high school or AAU team, making it an attractive option. We can tailor it for all sports, boys and girls!
Kevin McCarthy: The one absolute in recruiting but also just in gaining recognition is accessibility. A number of times, I have become interested in following a high school player in order to determine if a full-length article is warranted only to find the information on Player X is miniscule to non-existent. Locating contact information sometimes is even a more difficult task, especially during spring and summer when club basketball play is happening but it's not clear who is playing for what team. I don't have any financial interest in George Johnson's venture but I urge prospects to take a good look at the benefits. Make sure you control your future.

This speaks for itself

Coach Todd Malecki
SoCalHoops Men's Forum
September 12, 2011:

“Too much of anything, isn’t always a good thing” What’s going on in Basketball lately?

Burnout or Over Playing

The last four years I’ve witnessed a growing trend in our sport, the overwork and burning out of players.

I go to many games and practices in the course of the year at all levels of basketball (from hs to pro), over 164 the last two years. There are times that it seems to me everyone is comatose. Not playing with passion or sense of urgency. Most of all it looks like kids (and coaches) are not having fun.

The college coaches are being measured more and more by wins/losses and not by athletes graduating and becoming good citizens. That used to be the measuring stick, now very few seems to care. It’s frustrating to see freshman kids transfer because they haven’t played a lot there freshman year. Heck it’s college basketball, unless you are really good it’s hard for anyone to play a lot that first year. Once a rule existed that said, “you couldn’t play varsity your freshman year.”

I think the combination of year round training and specialization in one sport is proving to be far more damaging than originally anticipated. There have been some D-1 signees that are quitting to just be students.

Is basketball still a sport or is it a job for 18 year olds?

It has always had a magic feeling to me and I truly love the sport. That’s why I don’t understand some players of today. If you love to play something so much, you never play it by yourself, or on your own?

Parent Involvement and Coaches/Fundraisers are Over Extended

The criticism and parental involvement of coaches at all levels is a SILENT TEAM KILLER. The fact that a parent has access to internet, travel teams and individual training doesn’t make them an expert.

I remember Coach Pete Newell (at the big man’s camp, 5 year attendee) at a lobby bar meeting asked myself and two other coaches, our opinions on parent involvement (must have been 2003 in Vegas). He couldn’t believe how much it was happening. He stated, “it was going to hurt society, more than just basketball”. A true guru was right!

Back to my point about overplaying and burnout in basketball. I think the last two years since the CIF changed the association has changed the rule it has been great for the high school coaches. But at what point is too much, too much. Since I do go to a lot of campuses, and know many coaches, I am always listening and watching them. I think most coaches look exhausted and overworked. I wish there would be more opportunities for them to see some of the travel stuff and see what happens on that end too. The riff between HS and Club is still big. That needs to get fixed. Something can be said about re charging your batteries.

Since you now need to be a major fundraiser most coaches see the X and O part of the game as great fun, especially practices, or at least I do. Making a player better I think is still makes me the happiest. Did any of you sign up to be a major fund raiser/coach? With the passage of the ACLU’s “no player” must pay to play, is the State of California going to fund athletics? If not, I see many high school coaches quitting and high schools not funding sports at all in the future. I see many high school coaches are now running travel teams and leagues at their schools. Nothing wrong with that, but there used to be rules on dealing or talking with 7th and 8th graders, potential players at your school. I see that abused more now than ever. It’s more of an integrity issue to me. Now someone can coach a kid for five to six years or even more. Again, it seems few people are monitoring the kids.

Players having to decide what sport(s) to play in high school

I am hearing many kids state, I am going to try this sport and that sport. I hear them say, “Oh, maybe just one since it’s too hard to play two anymore. This from an 8th grader. How do we know what sport he is going to be good in? Why can’t he play multiple sports anymore? I know that most kids are only going to play high school sports. I am super competitive and want to win whenever I coach. I understand many coaches are the same way. But since I haven’t coached in high school for awhile it seems to me that many are putting personal successes and winning above teaching and educating. It’s not their fault, it’s administrators and parents putting unrealistic expectations on them and the kids. Some of the best times I have had coaching is a team at South Gate HS that went .500 for the year, but I felt we got “every drop” out of the boys. I think the number of kids that are going to play some sort of college basketball is below 1%. So after all the hype 99% of kids are done after high school.

The Entitlement in Basketball/Summer stuff

Watching a sport show the other night the topic was tennis. They talked about training methods in foreign countries. One former tennis star, John McEnroe said, “I went to the high school I was supposed to go to, I played different sports, I lived at home with my family. It helped me become a better player and for me made each junior match important to me." The show talked to staff at training facilities in Spain. The Spanish trainer said, "We put heart monitors on our players and they go to 65-85% on average in the course of practicing. He stated when some American players came to train there heart rates were 40-65% on average." Is this a trend in our sport? Are we just being out worked. Watching the FIBA championships, the Europeans don’t look soft to me, they look fundamentally exceptional. How many coaches think their players are coasting? Is it the year round play or sense of entitlement that some believe is in basketball. I believe it is we have gotten soft. I am guilty of this too. If I work them as hard as I know they need, than they might quit. Finally, I just said, “screw that”. If your not tough and don’t want to work hard then I don’t want you. I slept like a champ after that. Heck, I knew in school if I didn’t work super hard in the class (well not so much there, but in hoops), that I would get beat out or wouldn’t play. We had teammates that didn’t play at all, but were loyal and were part of something bigger than all of us….a team. So tired of the primadonna’s and the ratings in basketball. Throw it out and let’s get back to teaching fundamentals and toughness.

At the summer events in July I was exhausted, not only dealing with college coaches, but trying to do to much in a short time. My team was good, but talk about exhausted. We were spent. Many players are judged on one game in the summer. Some are receiving scholarships on one great performance. I know of one player that had 1 point in an all star game and averaged 4 points a game in high school and got a full D1 ride. It was based on one great Las Vegas performance against a horrible/younger team. WOW, is what many coaches said. Often good players have a sub- par game and drop off the radar. That puts a lot of pressure on a 17 year old. I think it’s way to much pressure! Many colleges are unable to take a kid out to lunch, talk, get to know them and build a relationship with a prospective player. I don’t have the answers but I hear the colleges complain all the time. The summer is important, the spring too. I hope the NCAA, AAU and High Schools can figure a way to maximize exposure and minimize over exposure and harm.

In closing, I know I ranted but I love this game. I would like to see the architects, founders and stewards of the game help it get through some of the things that are hurting it. Although, I appreciate your opinion, it is in fact your opinion. You have the right to write something. Just give it the same thought and respect that this game deserves. I would appreciate and respect your input.


Todd Malecki