Thursday, May 31, 2012

One 8 and two 10s the latest for Lillard

Sam Amick has Damian Lillard pegged to the #8 slot (Toronto).

Jonathan Givony writes that it's Lillard at the 10 spot (New Orleans) as does Tom Ziller.

NWG pursuing Gordon and Lee

Mark Knight @ HuskyHaul recently tweeted this: "Nigel Williams-Goss specifically mentions Aaron Gordon, Isaac Hamilton, and Marcus Lee as guys he is going to go after for UW. ALL BIG TIME"

It's a bit different when it's a point doing this. Let's see how it plays out.

Dom Artis also ASTI-ing

Dominic Artis is but the latest working out with the Advanced Sports training Institite (ASTI) folks. He'll be ready to quack big time come September.

More on Dame

Gery Woelfel writes about the Milwaukee Bucks and Damian Lillard.

The latest on the SF Rebels

The SF Rebels continued to impress as they went to the Final Four at the Memorial Day Classic.

The Rebs went 2 and 1 in pool play, defeating High Intensity and Greenline and losing to the Colorado Chaos team the next morning by eight points.

Bracket play began and the Rebels beat the Bulls by 12 points, then went on to meet the same Colorado Chaos team and topped them by 15 points.

Monday morning, the Rebels met Play Hard Play Smart in the Elite 8 game and won by 10 points. Then came the Lake Show Black in the Final Four and the Rebels lost a tough decision 65 to 60, ending their chances of going to the championship game.

The Rebels finished the confidence building tournament 5-2 heading to the ever-so-important July period.

Coach Nate Ford stated, “I don’t have the tallest teams or the most talented. But we do play tough defense and play team ball. We will sneak up on a lot of people."

The remaining Rebels schedule includes: 3 Stripes July 11 to 15 in Anaheim, Big Foot Hoops July 18 to 22 and then the Adidas 64 July 25 to 29.

Here's Coach Ford's take on the latest play of some of his guys:

* Geru Mabrey Riordan 2013
Geru controlled the tempo with his speed. He takes defenders off the dribble and makes sound decisions.
*Antione Porter Mission 2013
Shot the three ball with consistency throughout the tourney, went 6 for 6 down the stretch from the foul line.                                                                               
* Herman Pratt Sacred Heart Cathedral 2013
Herman was everywhere on the court as his defense frustrated opponents and he also rebounded very well for his size.                                         

* Gione Edwards Mission 2012
Had his best tournament of the year as he led the Rebels in scoring and rebounding.     
* Wayne Englestad Heritage High 2012
Wayne took guys on the block and had some nice moves around the basket.He also knocked down some very deep 3s.                                                                         

* Michael Smith El Camino 2013
Michael had the best all-around performance for the Rebels as he scored in a variety of ways -- outside and inside. He also made sound decisions in putting the ball in the hands of our hot players.

UC Davis goes back to Utah

UC Davis landed a wing (Tyler Ott) out of the Beehive State is this recruiting go-around and now has offered a 6-foot-1 Utah prep backcourter -- per Joey Natale: "2013 Utah Pump N Run Guard Stephan Holm was just offered by UC-Davis"

Holm photo courtesy of Utah Pump-N-Run

McKines back home and working out

Here's Wendell McKines, back from New Mexico State and now a college grad, recently working out at the Advanced Sports Training Institute (ASTI):

Could Lillard hear his name at #6?

The Bleacher Report's David Daniels has Damian Lillard going #6 in his NBA mock draft.

Alex Kline on the destination of three NorCal talents

Alex Kline/The Recruit Scoop, when asked about the chances of Jabari Bird, Marcus Lee and Elliot Pitts heading to Cal, wrote: "I'd be shocked. Don't see Lee or Bird ending up at Cal. They have a shot with Pitts."

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Burton departing from Fullerton

Cal State Fullerton Coach Bob Burton has announced he is stepping down. For many years, Burton was at West Valley College and also assisted at Fresno State before heading the Titan program

Jeff Goodman broke the news.

Northern Californians Kwame Vaughn, D.J. Seeley, Jordan Knox and Sammy Yeager will be Titan seniors next season in the OC, Alex Harris a sophomore.

Community college basketball -- sending players on

A little known aspect about recruiting is the role community college coaches play in sending on their players to the four-year level.

The execution of such and the manner of preference covers the spectrum as some coaches seek to control all aspects of the process, acting as the sole conduit to which D-1, D-2 and NAIA four-year coaches can make contact in order to speak about and with prospects of interest. Programs deemed not a fit or unworthy if you will -- for whatever reason or reasons -- are shut out and thus eliminated from the process

Others coaches reside at the opposite end and welcome any and all interest, distributing information to all possible suitors, offering advice to their players if welcomed and allowing their prospects full reign in making a decision.

Some coaches also reach out for their players, generating interest within their circles of coaching contacts as well as pointing out possibilities when contacted by coaching friends.

Still others reside at various points within the get-thee-to-the-next-level mosaic.

Right or wrong, the key measurement by which community college coaches are judged by recruits is getting kids to that next level. Being local, having a winning program, with strong academic resources available are all attractive but someone with the reputation for getting his players 'shipped is the gold standard in his landing the talent in the first place.

Here's Merritt Coach Keenan McMiller speaking on this subject:

"Traditionally, it's better to go through the coaches," he explained, "because we know the specifics on attitude, work in the classroom, talent level and how the guys carry themselves."

Of course, McMiller has assembled his own style.

"I'll give feedback, objective information to the coaches and to the kids. But II won't say [to the kids] where to go. That's their decision."

He added, "I try and get them to evaluate 'do you want to pick a program because of the prestige or how you would fit into that environment, style and coaching?'"

McMiller also does some prep work with his players in what really is a business transaction despite its sports wrapping.

"It's important to prepare the kids to ask questions in the interview visit about playing time, who else is at that position and academic support. It's about learning how to interview. You want to be politically correct, pokerface but with some personality."

What McMiller also does is "make sure all the local coaches come up and build a relationship with the kids."

There's another aspect of the coach-player-coach relationship that McMiller explained, one players and fans may not know.

"Coaches also call and ask about players other than those on your team. We also get calls from coaches we don't know but who are seeking talent or an opinion."

That's something to keep in mind as certain on-court behavior may or may not be beneficial to a player's future regardless of the uniform being worn.

The Fab Five

Russotti and Doherty at Pangos

Jeremy Russotti will be the the 2012 Skills Director and Phil Doherty the Skills Co-Director at the upcoming Pangos All-American Event in Los Angeles.

"I am very excited to be chosen to take part in an event for the Top 100 players in the country," Russotti said. "I am going to try put as much of my blue print of functional training as I can in the two days I have on the floor."

There's Jordan the player and Jordan the executive

You would think what made Michael Jordan arguably the greatest player even in basketball -- talk about a debate that is fun but unquantifiable -- would carry over to his management roles. But his extreme dedication, willingness to put in the time necessary to succeed and inner drive to win when he stepped foot on the court hasn't carried over to his stints as general manager, owner and the like. There are obviously different skills sets involved but it's like Jordan hasn't taken his off-the-court roles as a challenge to be seriously faced. Henry Abbott writes about this subject.

All about club team recruiting

Brian Snow digs deep into AAU (or really club team) basketball and the top level players, coaches and other assorted players in the recruiting equation.

Malik Pope exploding

Via PremiereBall, Sacramento's Malik Pope already has the suitors putting in bids: "UNLV, ASU, Boise St, Gonzaga, Colorado, Washington & Baylor have offered 2014 6'7 F Malik Pope. (CA)"

Press for Wendell McKines

Marcus Thompson writes about Big Wen and the Golden State Warriors.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Northern CA being repped

In the ESPN 100 2013 class, five NorCal players are listed:

#04 - Aaron Gordon
#11 - Jabari Bird
#26 - Marcus Lee
#44 - Stephen Domingo
#72 - Elliott Pitts

It really isn't a stretch to also say that each has strong NBA potential if the work effort continues.

Death, taxes ... and Drew Gordon

Tim Keeney (hit the link and scroll down a bit) is guaranteeing that Drew Gordon is money in the bank, or at least this year's version of Kenneth Faried.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Damian Lillard, ASTI and the NBA

In preparation for his upcoming NBA hands-on job interviews, below are two episodes of Damian Lillard working out in an undisclosed location with the Advanced Sports Training Institute (ASTI) professionals.

Good work and congratulations to Anthony Eggleton, Aalim Moor II, Eric Merrida and all the ASTI folks for what they are providing to the community.

Just think: three years ago, Dame headed off to Ogden, Utah and Weber State. Now, he's back repping Oakland, the Bay Area and northern California as an NBA l-o-t-t-e-r-y talent.

"We are so proud of Damian -- he's the epitome of the ASTI movement, an incredibly hardworker, well-raised and well spoken," Moor offered.

Below is the earlier installment:

Parker heads north

Salesian's Jeffrey Parker has cast his lot with Western Washington University, the current D-II national champions.

Belton to Cal Maritime

Haybaler backcourter Jordan Belton has signed to play with Coach Bryan Rooney and the Cal Maritime Keelhaulers next season.

Jared Cunningham working out locally

Here is Jared Cunningham chatting after working out last week with the Golden State Warriors.

The latest on Damian Lillard

Here is Damian Lillard talking with ESPN's Chad Ford about the NBA draft.

John Adams is a Lehigh graduate

John Adams has graduated from Lehigh University with a degree in psychology plus Big Dance appearances as a senior which included taking down the Dookies 75-70.

Here he is after that game: "Lehigh forward John Adams said it was a matter of believing in each other. We saw on the selection show we had Duke and we thought we could match up very well against them, Adams said. We all believed it and we showed it on the floor. Everybody bought into that idea that we could beat them. The rest is history."

More on Marcus Lee

AK Murthy writes about Marcus Lee: "Lee, who has seen his stock rise in recent months, showed why scouts expect him to be a force down the line. A rangy forward with good length, Lee runs the court like a deer and shows great timing on offensive putbacks and defensive challenges. With his combination of size, speed, and athleticism, Lee could be a very effective player in an uptempo style of play. His defensive prowess and mobility at the 4 are reminiscent of Kenyon Martin circa 2000.

What's holding Lee from being one of the elite prospects in his class are a lack of offensive ability and physical strength. These issues aren't cause for much concern, though, as most players his age similarly need strength and very few of his peers have go-to post moves. With the right conditioning and weight training program Lee could fill out nicely over the next few years, and if he develops his offensive game, he could break through to the upper echelon of the 2013 class."

We don't want to see a wasted collegiate freshman season for Lee so here's hoping the weight and strength come sooner than later. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

An update on the Lees

Dominique Lee and Demetrius Lee are both at Casper Community College in Wyoming. Dom had his season interrupted by injury and Demetrius redshirted the year -- both will be sophomores in the upcoming go-around. Here they are reading to elementary school students in Casper:

Dominique Lee

Demetrius Lee

Marcus Lee continuing to impress

Add Jason Scheer to the burgeoning group of MLee acolytes: "If Marcus Lee continues to develop his offensive game he is a top ten type of player"

So which direction will Ted Leland go?

Bob Highfill writes about the head coaching position for Pacific -- what's needed and Tiger AD Ted Leland's history in choosing such.

The court firm of Russotti & Muhammad

Here's video of Jeremy Russotti recently working out Shabazz Muhammad:

Malik Pope gaining national attention

Eric Bossi: "Malik Pope may be a five star prospect when its all said and done. 2014 wing with size and skill"

Darin Johnson with a new address

From NorCalPreps: "Transfer news: Franklin-Elk Grove guard Darin Johnson has transferred to Sheldon. He is playing with PHPS Elite this summer"

Ivan Rabb collecting compliments

Josh Gershon: "Ivan Rabb followed up a nice left-handed finish with a two-handed block. Next time down tosses in a floater. Love his upside"


Joel Francisco: "Like the upside of 2015 Ivan Rabb (Oakland/Bishop O'Dowd)...growing....long...bouncy....ambidextrous finisher"

More thumbs up for Domingo

From Chad Groth: "Stephen Domingo is scoring at will, good elevation on his jumper. Verbaled to Gorgetown last week, the 2013 6'7 SF for Dream Vision..."

Saturday, May 26, 2012

License To Lillard

Sidelinestoriez goes all Damian Lillard and rightfully so.

Dave Granucci running the COM program

Dave Allen reports that former CCSF and San Jose State University frontcourter Dave Granucci is now the interim head coach at the College of Marin.

More praise for Bob Thomason

ESPN's Andy Katz serves up a feature on Pacific Coach Bob Thomason. Here's hoping Ron Verlin moves 18 inches over after this season.

Garry Hill-Thomas and the Nevada Wolverines

Chris Gabel writes about the Nevada CC Wolverines, headed by Garry Hill-Thomas, who play in a number of Bay Area tournaments and also feature three northern California talents.

Isaiah Taylor touted

Backcourter Isaiah Taylor, formerly at St. Mary's, received praise from Frank Burlison for his play in EYBL action on Friday night.

Justin Stanley moves on

Former McClymonds backcourter Justin Stanley, who played at San Bernardino Valley College this past season, has signed with Coach Greg Kamanasky and Cal Poly Pomona. Standley scored 10.4 points per game this past season, alongside 81 assists and 39 steals.

CPP won the D-II national championship in 2010 and went 19-8 overall, 15-7 in California Collegiate Athletic Association play this go-around. His signing means he'll be back in northern California to play against Chico State, Humboldt State, Sonoma State, San Francisco State, Cal State East Bay and Cal State Stanislaus.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Lee keeps on a roll

Josh Gershon is falling in love with Marcus Lee: "Terrific first half for Marcus Lee. He's blocking shots, showing a handle on the break and has made some really good passes"

Cal Supreme is going up against Mac Irvin Fire at the EYBL tourney. The latter just won 77-65.

More flattering press for Malik Pope

A recent Hoopniks tweet: "Team Superstar (CA) 16s have a pair of forwards that are good. 6'7 Malik Pope can run, handle and is active ..."

Tiffin to the Silverswords

Per Jack Pollon, UC Davis transfer forward Alex Tiffin is heading to the island, Chaminade in particular.

More on Drew Gordon

Rusty Simmons offers up another Drew Gordon piece, DG being a Bay Area media fave of late. Yes, it would help if Gordon was a couple of inches taller but that obviously isn't going to happen. Still, there's a spot for him in The Big Show.

A Marcus Lee update

Jeff Rabjohns (a Rivals sub is required) provides an update on Marcus Lee. He hits Cal on Monday, UCLA June 2 and San Diego State June 3.

This weekend's Memorial Day Classic

Steve Hu @ NorCalPreps offers an informative writeup on the Bay Area Memorial Day Classic.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The road less taken

Eamonn Brennan writes about the diverging paths of Drew Gordon and Reeves Nelson.

More Lillard and Gordon draft projections

Van Coleman's (actually Shawn Powell's) NBA draft projections have Damian Lillard going as a first-rounder to the Dallas Mavericks and Drew Gordon being a Toronto Raptors' round two selection.

Juan Anderson injured

Former Castro Valley star Juan Anderson, now at Marquette, just underwent shoulder surgery.

Colin Pfaff promoted

Colin Pfaff, formerly the head coach at West Valley College, is moving up from Director of Basketball Operations at Portland to assistant coach. He played his prep ball at Paradise High.

Medlock heads to the Aloha State

Fresno City College big DeAndre Medlock will now be playing for Coach Ken Wagner and BYU-Hawaii next season.

The 6-foot-10 Medlock averaged 9.4 points per game this past season on 67% shooting, along with 194 rebounds and 33 blocked shots.

The Seasiders, based in Laie on the island of Oahu, finished 17-10 overall, 14-4 in Pacific West Conference play last season.

Other members of the league are Dixie State, Grand Canyon, Dominican, California Baptist, Chaminade, Notre Dame de Namur, Hawaii Pacific, Hawaii Hilo and Academy of Art University.

Merritt's Eric Nelson gets an invite

Merritt Coach Keenan McMiller reports that 6-foot-8 forward Eric Nelson, formerly at El Cerrito High, has been invited to participate in the Jerry Mullen's Top 100 JUCO Camp which takes place in St. Louis come July.

As a freshman, Nelson blocked 92 shots and grabbed 230 rebounds in 29 games. He scored 5.1 points a contest, shooting 51% from the floor and 76% at the foul line.

Here's video of Coach McMiller talking about the Thunderbirds' 2011-12 season:

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Brandon Cole nabs a scholarship

Matt O'Donnell fills readers in on Brandon Cole's college choice.

Marty James covers the same territory on the former Vallejo High and Napa Valley College talent.

More honors for Will Cherry

Will Cherry garners a couple of team awards at Montana.

UW site wants Gordon and Lee as Huskies

The Husky Haul folks write about, among others, Aaron Gordon and Marcus Lee.

Nelson going to court to challenge SI article

Reeves Nelson in fighting back, in court, against George Dohrmann.

The official Ahern-to-Portland news

Portland officially announces that Marin Catholic's David Ahern is becoming a Pilot. The article also features a very good photo of Ahern.

The path of Drew Gordon

Mark Emmons writes about the journey Drew Gordon has traveled at both UCLA and New Mexico as the power forward prepares for the NBA draft.

Four NorCals in draft camp

Four northern California talents are among the invitees to the NBA Chicago draft camp to be held June 6-8:

* Jared Cunningham

* Drew Gordon

* Orlando Johnson

* Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard in DIME

Damian Lillard receives NBA draft feature treatment in DIME, per Lucas Shapiro.

The USF Dons 2012-13 roster

Think big. Go big. How about play big?

That's what Coach Rex Walters will need to see come November as the current USF Don 2012-13 roster features 6-foot-9 freshman Matt Christiansen, 6-foot-9 redshirt frosh Mark (San Ramon Valley High) Tollefsen and 6-foot-9 sophomore JC transfer Frank (Salinas High, Cabrillo College) Rogers as masters of the middle.

Neither Tollefsen nor Rogers yet have the bulk to belly up with the opposing beasts so Christiansen will definitely need to be ready.

Why Mr. Blackwell, why?

Not NorCal related but ...

Whenever life has you a bit down, try reading this story from ESPN's Wright Thompson. There are trials and tribulations and then there are T-R-I-A-L-S and T-R-I-B-U-L-A-T-I-O-N-S. What a great work of journalism.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Kareem Nitoto honored

UC Riverside senior point Kareem Nitoto has received a pair of in-team honors.

Sac State nabs another recruit

Sacramento State and Coach Brian Katz have announced the signing of IL JC forward Joey Quigley.

Rob Jones and the gridiron

Mark Emmons talked more with Rob Jones about going the football route.

More on Domingo's announcement

Mitch Stephens has much more on the Stephen Domingo-to-Georgetown commit.

Going in-depth on Bob Thomason's retirement

Here and here are much more on Coach Bob Thomason's retirement announcement.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Coach T to retire

Pacific Coach Bob Thomason has announced his retirement after one more go-around in the Big West Conference. This is the way to end it, allowing opposing teams to honor/acknowledge his accomplishments over two decades plus.

Associate Head Coach Ron Verlin is the heir apparent.

The latest on the Bay Area Blue Devils

Here's the latest from Bay Area Blue Devils Coach Ed Hawkins:

Both the Blue Devils Blue & White played in the City Championship at City College this weekend.

The Blue Devils White went 1-2, losing to Greenline in the first game, then defeating the Nor Cal Warriors 17 #2 team on Saturday evening. The White then lost in the consolation quarter finals game to the Modesto Pirates.

The Blue Devils 17 Blue went 2-2 over the weekend, losing to Soldiers 16 in game one and then bouncing back in the evening game to defeat the West Valley Basketball Club.

The Blue defeated the Road Runners in the consolation quarter finals and then lost to Modesto Pirates in the consolation semi finals.

Next weekend both teams will be playing in the Memorial Day Tournament hosted by Joe Fuca (Lakeshow) and Gerry Freitas at the new sports complex in Martinez.

Domingo to be a Hoya

The big news is Stephen Domingo giving the thumbs up to Georgetown.

Jeremy Balan has the details.

A tweet from Dave Telep: "Eight kids from Domingo's St. Ignatius HS are going to Georgetown this year. Domingo arrives in fall of 2013"

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Orlando Johnson at Nets NBA draft workout

The Draft Express folks have been tweetin' away on  Orlando Johnson who is participating in the Net's NBA draft workout this weekend:

working backwards ...
* Good workout for Orlando Johnson as well. Great frame/wingspan stands out on 1st glance, but also showed a versatile skill-set.

* Orlando Johnson measured just 6-3 without shoes, but he's got a freakish 6-11 wingspan to compensate. Also best vert today.

It's a Damian Lillard draft

Roy Burton interviews Damian Lillard.

More praise for Damian Lillard

Sam Amick has Damian Lillard as a "safe bet" in the upcoming NBA draft: "With all due respect to Eastern Washington product and current Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey, the Big Sky Conference isn't exactly known for pumping out NBA talent. Lillard is the latest exception, having proved to be one of the nation's best scorers (24.5 points on 46.7 percent shooting). More important for him, he's atop the short list of quality point guards in this draft and could find his way into the top 10 as a result. Lillard is a score-first point guard who can shoot and penetrate, his athleticism is underrated and he's shown good playmaking skills."

An NBA scout on Drew Gordon

From Adam Zagoria's most recent column, quoting a scout at the Nets NBA draft workout: “Gordon is a tough customer. He rebounds, bangs and scores in close"

Friday, May 18, 2012

Sonoma State has three in the fold

As posted earlier, Sonoma State has landed Analy High big Nathan Molony-Benjamin. Michael Coit has an article covering all three of the Sea Wolves' recruits.

The Dons being visited by a 2014 prospect

For those with good long term memories, Joey Natale has tweeted: "2014 Utah Pump N Run Dalton Nixon is scheduled to visit San Francisco on May 27th"

Here's some background on the 6-foot-7 forward.

Four NorCals in NBA draft

Yannis Koutroupis @ Hoopsworld projects a number of northern California talents going in the two rounds of the up[coming NBA draft:

* #10 Damian Lillard

* #40 Drew Gordon

* #44 Orlando Johnson

* #48 Jared Cunningham

Kendall Smith nabs an offer

Joey Natale is tweeting: "2013 point guard Kendall Smith of Team Lax (CA) just picked up his first scholarship offer from San Jose State"

Floreal lands initial offer

Cameron Schott is tweeting: "2013 Palo Alto W EJ Floreal received his first basketball offer today from Cal State Bakersfield"

A trio of NorCal talents in Scout's Top 100

Scout's Evan Daniels is out with the Top 100 national rankings:
"...No. 4 is Aaron Gordon. An athletic combo forward, Gordon reportedly averaged nearly 23 points and 13 rebounds a game while leading Archbishop Mitty to their second straight Division II State Championship.

Over the past year Gordon’s offense has improved. While he’s a terrific scorer in transition and can score on the block, he’s also quite effective facing the rim and attacking defenders."
Deer Valley's Marcus Lee and De La Salle's Elliott Pitts are newcomers to the list.

William Jessup welcomes six basketball newcomers

Coach Aaron Muhic will have a half a dozen new players come the 2012-13 season as the California Pacific Conference member Warriors went 6-6 last season, 12-17 overall.

* Justin Downer, out of the Washington JC ranks

* Alston Downer, out of New York City and Columbia College

* Tim Oswald, out of Santa Rosa Junior College

* Ryan Farris, out of Utah and Las Vegas

* Brenton Muldrow, out of southern California

* Conner Placial, out of southern California

Big time happenings in Santa Rosa

There is no off-season in any sport, especially basketball. That is, if you want to get better and not get left behind. Come this weekend, a prime yet remarkable example of just this will take place.

On Saturday, a prominent Sports Illustrated senior writer is going to descend on Santa Rosa, specifically Jeremy Russotti's training venue where the latter will be working out Shabazz Muhammad, the top prospect in the country and former Casa Grande High star now international baller Josh Akognon.

 That pairing in itself speak volumes but it's what attracted the attention of this country's top sports magazine.

Muhammad is headed to UCLA in September. Life is set for him. A year, maybe two with the Bruins and then it's off to fame and fortune in the NBA. But the young man and his father know -- that being the key that sets them apart from so many others -- that a transformation of his game is necessary in order to secure that bright future. The physical abilities, edgy toughness and maximum effort are already present. But just as important is that the hunger to get better, the willingness to learn and the desire to be challenged and not protected are also the keys to Muhammad's future success.

As Russotti put it, "People may think I am crazy to say this, but Shabazz is far from a finished product and has very little offensive technique to start with." He continued, "But playing hard and training hard, you cannot force that. And Shabazz has that once in a lifetime innate drive to be the best." 
For Akognon, he's enjoyed well-paying stints in China, averaging 29 points per game and 27 points per game in the last two seasons overseas.  He's doing well financially and understands that there are many ways to the NBA. Nobody outworks him and it's been that way for years under Russotti's tutelage.  Says Russotti, "Akognon is a rare player that has trained at the highest level for like eight years straight and has never thought twice about deviating away from his goals. He doesn't talk, he's very humble, and has a workman approach to his craft. It is almost deja vu training both Shabazz and Josh together. It's scary how similar these guys are in personality and intrinsic motivation."

Simply put, Akognon and Muhammad are basketball kin, joined at the heart and head in terms of doing what is necessary to keep advancing.

How this all began is Russotti received an invite to work out Muhammad's Bishop Gorman High team -- that's where the paths of Russotti and Muhammad initially crossed. Then it was Russotti doing the same with Dream Vision, Muhammad's spring and summer club basketball squad.

The elder Muhammad eventually said to Russotti, "I don't know what you're doing with my son but in just a few weekends he looks like a two-guard."

Russotti was impressed by what he saw: "Shabazz doesn't talk, he trains, he works, he wants results. If you have seen him play, Shabazz usually gets what he goes after."

Eventually, it became four weekends of workouts with Shabazz, so far.

At some point, Muhammad saw footage of Akognon's play and was intrigued by how a 6-foot guard was so effective.

Simply put, Russotti acknowledged, "nobody beats Josh one-on-one consistently, nobody. Josh can make the best players humble really quickly when mano a mano."

Now the pair are training together and, prompted by Jeremy Lin's uber emergence this season, SI wants to do a feature on how a star talent is making his way to The Big Show plus how a lesser recognized talent is carving out his own path to donning an NBA uniform.

As Russotti describes it, "Josh's story is very Disney-like, and Shabazz is the vehicle that is allowing people to see how phenomenal this journey has been for all of us."

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Utah big stays in-state

Per KCSG TV, Salt Lake Community College big Jay Cheesman has decided to go with Southern Utah University over Rhode Island, San Francisco and San Jose State University. The 6-foot-11, 250-pounder averaged 7.9 points and 5.5 rebounds per game this past season. But do keep in mind it's impossible to verify whose offer still stood plus what was an expressed 'we want you' versus interest.

The Bay Area Memorial Day Classic

Bill Paterson has a blurb on Gerry Freitas' upcoming Bay Area Memorial Day Classic, always a topnotch event. It's being held in Martinez this year.

Trevon Abraham to ...

Haven't located it anywhere else on the 'net but DRinCA is listing former Sacramento High point Trevon Abraham as heading to Adams State in Colorado. The Grizzlies are coming off a 19-9 overall season, 15-7 in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play.

Also on the Adams State roster are former San Leandro High/San Jose City College backcourter Shaheed Young, Marcus Thompson from Center High/American River JC and James Lake, ex of Fairfield High and Delta College.

Johnson officially an Aggie

Here's the official UC Davis announcement on the signing of former USF backcourter Avery Johnson.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Dons are after Perrantes

According to Alex Kline/The Recruit Scoop (a Rivals sub is required), USF is working 2013 SoCal point London Perrantes hard, as are a number of other suitors. Coach Rex Walters has offered, as has Randy Bennett of St. Mary's.

A Kevin Aronis interview

Former Analy High and current Santa Rosa Junior College guard Kevin Aronis is interviewed by Jason Groves, the New Mexico State beat reporter for the Las Cruces Sun-News.

Watch for Orlando Johnson

Michael Scotto interviews UC Santa Barbara's Orlando Johnson, a talent who has been undervalued since the point of his initial college recruitment. Now it's up to the GMs in the NBA to get it right.

Some pub for Thomas Wallace

Josh Paunil offers up a very good feature on McNair High's Thomas Wallace, the 2013 backcourter who is playing this spring and summer with the Oakland Soldiers.

Meet the 2012 707's Finest

The 707's Finest basketball organization is directed by Cary Noble and features four teams, the 17s Elite, the 16s Elite, the 15s and the 14s.

As explained by Coach Leon Williams, the purpose of the organization is to teach the game so that players can learn the fundamentals and possibly get on to college.

Here's the 2012 17s Elite roster (with commentary supplied by Williams):

* Jordan Callier, 6-foot-5, wing, Vanden High, 2013

Long and lanky, he's a great shotblocker and rebounder and can run like a deer

* Anthony Gonzales, 6-foot-1, forward, Vacaville High, 2013

He isn't very fast but he's smart and reads, reacts and anticipates very well

* Matt Hayes, 6-foot-1, guard, Pleasant Grove High, 2013

Matt is a very good three-point shooter who has point guard abilities and plays solid perimeter defense

* Spencer Hollie, 6-foot-6, forward, Dublin High, 2013

A basketball/football player, who is really mobile and has quick feet and great hands

* Jamaal Johnson, 6-foot-3, forward, Oakland Tech, 2013

A defensive guru who can guard a big or someone his size, he really moves his feet, is very fast and runs the floor well, getting a lot of layups as a result

* Dylan Kavanagh, 6-foot-4, shooting guard/forward, Piedmont High, 2013

Strokes it really well and has missed some games but will be ready for July

* Cameron Moses, 5-foot-11, guard, Dublin High, 2013

A great kid who is more of a scoring guard, he can handle the ball and is pretty good on man-to-man defense, we would like him to facilitate more

* Lejon Sewell, 6-foot, combo guard, Will C. Wood High, 2013

A combo guard who handles it well and can attack the basket, he shoots the three well when open

* Leon Williams V, 6-foot-2, point, Vanden High, 2013

A floor general and facilitator who plays very unselfishly, he can shoot accurately from mid-range, is one of our best foul shooters, is great man-to-man defensively, and willingly sacrifices his body taking charges and hitting the floor for a loose ball

* Gary Wilson, 6-foot-4, forward, Rodriguez High, 2013

Shows a great mid-range jumper and is someone who can rebound and block shots

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Jeremy Russotti training certification

Jeremy Russotti has designed a training certification curriculum and lined up Ben Howland (UCLA), Jim Cleamons (Former LA Lakers/Chicago Bulls Assistant Coach) and Russell Turner (UC Irvine/Former Warriors Assistant Coach) as speakers for a three-day, all-inclusive cost event July 16-18 at The Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas.  This is not your typical coaching clinic where you hear coaching stories or all X's and O's. 

As Russotti describes it "This is for a coach or assistant coach of a junior high, high school, AAU, college or professional basketball team. Plus, it is equally beneficial for aspiring trainers looking to expand their business."

The idea is to "teach every component necessary to design, implement and properly supervise a comprehensive, functional, year-round basketball specific skill-training program." 

Additionally, top trainers will have the opportunity to join Jeremy Russotti's Official Training Team in their respective areas.

Go here to access additional background, speaker biographies, the schedule of events and price options.

A new injury prevention technology -- Jeremy Russotti and the ZZ Sports Group

Shabazz Muhammad being tested in Santa Rosa

Jeremy Russotti and his Green Room Training Program is now also working with the Zig Zieglar and the ZZ Sports Group which offers 3D motion technology that identifies the positives and negatives of any body movement. 

The end result is an exercise program designed to prevent injuries, as well as dictate the appropriate training, instruction, or rehabilitation. Ziglar has tested some of the top athletes in the world today, including Shaquille O'Neil, Ryan Howard, Tiger Woods, Jennie Finch, Bruce Jenner, Anquan Boldin, etc.

The photo above is Shabazz Muhammad, the #1 recruit in the nation and a recent UCLA signee, being tested and, according to Russotti, "It gave us amazing data about his imbalances in his muscles and joints. Hopefully we can use that data to realign his muscles' flexibility and strength in order to prevent injuries. With the recent surge in ACL tears, the ZZ Sports Group feels it has a lot of the answers as to why they occur and how they can be prevented."

This Saturday, the ZZ group will be back in town testing Josh Akognon, Jackie Gamelos (Minnesota Lynx), and others.

Nujic to the Aggies

UC Davis has made the official announcement of the signing of Igor Nujic.

Caballero no longer with CSUMB

According to the Cal State Monterey Bay 2012 spring roster, former San Jose State center Oliver Caballero is no longer with the team. He spent last season in limbo awaiting an eligibility ruling.

Sad and disturbing news

Former Modesto Christian guard Michael Porter who later played at Kentucky has been arrested on sex charges.

Gordon, Holman and Johnson in NBA Draft Combine

Per Adam Zagoria, Drew Gordon, Eli Holman and Orlando Johnson are participating in the annual NBA draft Combine on May 19 and 20.

Another offer for Marcus Lee

It keeps on coming on for Marcus Lee -- per Alex Kline/The Recruit Scoop: "Oregon offered 2013 Cali Supreme (CA) PF Marcus Lee last night"

Monday, May 14, 2012

College transfers -- a bane or just a reality to accept?

Dan Wolken digs into the reasons surrounding the plethora of transfers in college basketball.

It's important to remember that each transfer needs to be looked at individually in order to determine the reason, IF that can even be determined. Painting with a broad brush is easy and convenient but there is usually plenty of blame to go around -- so specificity is the key.

What the new open division means

Mark Tennis delves into the ramifications of the new open division addition to California prep basketball ranks.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Goins heading south

Diablo Valley College star backcourter Brian Goins will be playing next at Concordia College in Irvine. Concordia just won the NAIA national championship and is coached by former Stanford guard Kenny Ammann.

A Mckenzie Moore update

UTEP athletics offers an update on former College Park High and CCSF backcourter Mckenzie Moore, who will take the court in December for Coach Tim Floyd and the Miners.

More on Darin Johnson's recruitment

Caught this tweet: "Cal State Bakersfield has offered 2013 combo guard Darin Johnson"

He stands 6-foot-4 and plays at Franklin High.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Kobe, Joe and Pam -- not NorCal realted but...

Chris Ballard is back in Sports Illustrated with a superb read all about the Bryants -- Kobe and Joe (of course) but don't forget Pam.

It's Damian Lillard at #8

Jason McIntyre has Damian Lillard going eighth in his latest mock NBA draft.

Theo Johnson makes it official

Here's the official announcement of Franklin High's Theo Johnson heading to the College of Charleston.

Idaho State lands an FCC backcourter

A Premier Ball tweet: Idaho St. signs Shoreline native 6'3 G Tomas Sanchez Co-MVP of CVC, 1st Team All State for Fresno City College (CA) per

SanFran offers a 2013 SoCal cornerman

From Alex Kline/The Recruit Scoop: "2013 Double Pump (CA) PF Tanner Lancona has landed an offer from San Francisco, his AAU coach said"

Here's some video of the long-armed 6-foot-7, 220 pound prospect. 

Here is his Twitter account.

Jones to Monte Vista

From the Bay Area News Group folks: "Nick Jones, who led Castro Valley to two Hayward Area Athletic League titles in five years and an NCS Division I championship in 2011, has been named the new coach at Monte Vista, his alma mater. Mustangs athletic director Craig Bergman made the announcement Thursday. Jones replaces Bill Powers, who resigned as varsity coach in April to become an assistant with the Diablo Valley College men's basketball team. Jones graduated from Monte Vista in 1998 and was the program's junior varsity coach from 2003-2007."

Friday, May 11, 2012

A look at Chico State basketball

Coach Greg Clink and Chico State won the CCAA tournament championship this past season, finishing 25-8 overall, 16-6 in conference play. The Wildcats are loaded with northern California talent and here they are plus their respective accomplishments in 2011-12:

* Nate Appel F 6-8 Fr. De La Salle HS -- 1.2 points

* Jordan Barton F 6-6 Fr. Bishop O'Dowd HS -- 4.8 points and 2.8 rebounds
* Amir Carraway F 6-5 So. Franklin HS -- 10.8 points and 5.0 rebounds

* Jason Conrad C 7-0 Jr. Gilroy HS -- 5.2 points and 3.7 rebounds

* Jay Flores G 6-0 Sr. Jesuit High/Sonoma State -- 9.5 points and 3.7 rebounds, plus leading the team with 140 assists and 49 steals

* Sam Hicks C 6-9 So. Liberty Christian High/Boise State -- 2.8 points and 1.3 rebounds

* Jake Lovisolo G 6-2 Jr. Del Oro HS -- 0.5 points

* Chris Magalotti C 6-10 Fr. St. Mary's HS -- redshirted

* Connor McGrath G 6-0 Fr. Serra HS -- redshirted

* Rashad Parker G 6-0 So. Castro Valley HS -- 1.8 points   

* Mike Rosaroso G 5-8 Fr. Franklin HS -- 0.8 points
* Jordan Semple F 6-6 Fr. Arcata HS -- 7.8 points and 6.1 rebounds plus a team-leading 30 blocked shots

* Damario Sims G 6-0 Jr. McClymonds HS -- 11.2 points and 3.1 rebounds plus 85 assists

A Max Hooper update

Here's the RedStormReport commenting on new signee Max Hooper:
Max Hooper • G/F • 6-6 • 210 • So.-Tr. • Carmel Valley, Calif. (Brewster Acad. (N.H.)/Harvard)

"Max is a high-percentage 3-point shooter with the size and skill to playmake over the top of defenses. A relentless worker, he seemingly lives in the gym, refining his shot and developing his overall game," said [Steve] Lavin. "He has played in winning programs his entire career, from Mater Dei to Brewster Academy and Harvard this past season. Max's ability to stretch defenses with his shot will be an asset to our offensive scheme."

Hooper, who played in two games as a part of Harvard's 19-man NCAA Tournament roster in 2011-12, will not be able to participate in St. John's games until the 2013-14 season due to NCAA Division I transfer rules. He will be able to participate in all Red Storm practices and team activities upon enrollment.

Hooper earned varsity letters in basketball at Brewster Academy (2010-11, Wolfeboro, N.H.), Mater Dei High School (2009-10, Santa Ana, Calif.) and Valley Christian High School (2006-09, San Jose, Calif.). While at Brewster during his postgraduate year in 2010-11, he averaged 10.0 ppg on a squad that saw Hooper and seven teammates move on to NCAA Division I programs. Hooper helped Brewster and coach Jason Smith's squad to a 31-3 record that season and appearances in both the NEPSAC semifinals and national prep school championship semifinals.

"Max is a tireless worker and elite level shooter. I'm excited for him to have this opportunity at a top program, such as St. John's," said Smith.

While in high school, he was an all-state honoree in four seasons. As a senior at Mater Dei in 2009-10, he was an All-Trinity League and All-California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) selection. Hooper keyed Mater Dei to a 26-game win streak and established the highest single-season 3-point shooting percentage in school history by drilling 49.5 percent of his attempts from long range in his final season. Playing his senior year for Gary McKnight, Hooper completed his four-year high school career with 313 3-pointers. As a junior in 2008-09 at Valley Christian, Hooper was tabbed to the West Catholic Athletic League (WCAL) team and was named to the San Jose Mercury News all-area team. He was also a three-time recipient of the Scholar-Athlete Award.

Dominican University's 2012 recruiting class

 From Dave Albee, Associate Director of Public Relations:
Christopher Schwartz-Edmisten, a senior out of Waldorf High School in Fair Oaks who led California prep boys’ basketball in scoring with a 34.1 points per game average last season, has signed a national letter of intent with Dominican University of California, Penguins’ men’s basketball coach Booker T. Harris announced today.

Joining Schwartz-Edmisten at Dominican are two other Sacramento-area products; versatile 6-foot-6 forward Kevin John (K.J.) Logue of Bella Vista High School and Matt Hayes, the all-time leading scorer at Yuba City High School.

“We are very excited to have these young men join the program,” Harris said.  “They all have come from winning programs, are great students from great families and will be great representatives on campus and in the community.  They also will help in creating a competitive program with quality shooters and rebounding as we continue to try and build our NCAA Division II program here at DU.”

The Penguins, with Harris in his first season as their head coach, won eight of their final 11 games last season to finish in fourth place in the 10-team Pacific West Conference after being tabbed by league coaches in preseason to finish last. In preseason, Dominican played two close games against Western Washington, which went on to win the NCAA Div. II national championship.

Schwartz-Edmisten led the Waves to a 26-5 record and the Central Valley League championship last season. The 6-foot-3 shooting guard wound up fifth in the nation in scoring. He scored 40 or more points 11 times, topped by a 51-point effort versus Woodland Christian on Jan. 13 when he attempted the same number of foul shots (23) as he did field goals. The Waves’ co-captain was named Second Team All-State in Division V in helping Waldorf advance to the playoffs for the 25th time in the last 26 years.

Hayes, a 6-2 combo guard, had a double-double in the final 27 games last season for the Honkers, the Tri-County League champions for a fifth straight year. He shot 50 percent from 3-point range and tallied 30 or more points eight times, including 72 points in back-to-back games on consecutive days last December. Hayes, a two-time Tri-County League Most Valuable Player, averaged 23.4 points, 12.4 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.1 steals per game. He scored 34 points in an upset over Del Campo in the opening round of the CIF Div. II playoffs.

Logue, an athletic 6-6 forward, led the 26-6 Broncos to the Capitol Valley Conference title. The two-time league MVP averaged 15.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.2 steals a game, topped by a 29-point, 12-rebound performance against El Dorado on Dec. 15. He averaged 26 points and 11 rebounds in a three-game stretch last December. He also is a standout high jumper in high school.

Fair is fair

From one of Andy Katz' latest posts: "The National Association of Basketball Coaches board of directors met with NCAA president Mark Emmert on Thursday in Indianapolis and, according to at least one source in the room, there is support to close up a few transfer loopholes. The coaches and Emmert discussed making any player who wants to transfer sit out a year, even if he or she has graduated and is seeking a waiver to play immediately at a school that has a graduate program that isn’t available at the current school. The discussion also turned to the waiver that allows a player to play immediately if a relative is ill. That, too, would be closed. The consensus among the coaches is that if anyone transfers, he should sit out a year, even if that means a sixth year in college. The coaches also wanted some sort of universal language on transfer restrictions, maybe even an NCAA rule that forbids transferring within a conference. Conferences and schools create their own policies on restricting transfer"

Somehow the part about coaches sitting out a season when they change jobs failed to make it to the agenda.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

An Aaron Gordon update

From Ray Hacke and Glenn Reeves: Archbishop Mitty junior basketball standout Aaron Gordon had a CT scan done May 1 on the big toe of his left foot, after which it was determined that surgery would not be necessary. Instead, Gordon will rest the foot for 4-6 weeks and then be re-evaluated. Pain in that toe was an ongoing issue for Gordon during the 2011-12 season, a condition he played through in leading Mitty to a state title and earning state player of the year honors. "He's going crazy, not being able to do anything," Mitty coach Tim Kennedy said. "He's dying to get back."

Coach Brian Katz and recruiting

* The genesis for this post was talking with a basketball recruit who truly appreciated the approach taken by the Sacramento State coaching staff, both before and after he made his decision to attend school elsewhere.

Basketball recruiting is just another big business regardless of whatever gloss and glitter the NCAA and the television networks apply when presenting college roundball. It's a scenario where fantasies are spun, dreamscapes sown, photogenic mirages portrayed and coming on hard and strong are utilized in order to achieve The Sell. But the flip side is oases are present in this sometimes harsh and always demanding and competitive landscape and one such happens to be located on the campus of Sacramento State, specifically the basketball offices of Coach Brian Katz and his assistants.

Now Katz is too modest to claim anything special about his recruiting modus operandi and it is a very basic approach: treat recruiting targets like you would want to be treated.

As he explained, "it's not like we have cornered the market on recruiting. We do what works for us."

He never forgets that "it's a very, very difficult decision that most adults would struggle with, yet it is made by kids. We do not let it become personal. A kid is doing what he thinks is best -- we get that and respect that. We're not in the business of changing minds.  If I have to twist a kid’s arm to change his mind, how good will he be for us if his heart is not in it?

Rather than snarling "this is the only place you can be successful" to a recruit, it's "I think you can be successful at all these schools but more successful here at Sacramento State and here is why.”    

What about those put-on-the-spot moments when a coach presses a recruit and says "you have to decide now"?

“We really don’t really like to do that. We think any decision made under pressure has a great chance of being wrong.

But if the answer back is 'I like your place but I really want to take another visit or two," such isn't necessarily a make-or-break moment in Hornets recruiting. "It doesn't mean you have to pull your offer off the table. The kid isn't ready yet but that doesn't mean he is dropping you or you're dropping him."

"A kid may like us but not love us," Katz continued, "but we don't get mad if a kid isn't enamored with us. That's okay. Now all of a sudden [because of that] he's supposed to be a bad kid?  However, we do communicate with the kid how our time frame is progressing.  Sometimes you are forced to draw a line in the sand, but we don’t do it as a general practice.  We try to avoid drop-dead dates if at all possible.” 

When a recruit does say no thanks, the response from Katz is: "we wish you the best and hope you play great. If there is ever anything that we can do for you, let us know. We hope you have 29 great games and are highly successful. But honestly, we hope you play horrible against us, and that usually brings a laugh."

Katz is also frank about player assessment, a very critical aspect of his craft. "We don't have all the answers. If our assessment is that a kid is pretty good, sometimes we're right and sometimes not."

Some of that is because "it's hard to evaluate the heart and brain. You think you know that and you try and know that."

But human biases, filters and the like all obviously provide a personal skew.

Katz believes that player appraisal is more important than recruiting as success in recruiting over-estimated talent or irregular pieces of the puzzle can quickly lead to a polishing up of a resume.. "It all starts with player evaluation and player evaluations are misunderstood because a good fit for one coach may not be for another. There's style of play to consider, personality, is this kid good fit, is he high maintenance? We've made our share of mistakes."

There is also the component of surety as judging an Anthony Davis or a John Wall is one thing, divining mid-major talent another wholly subjective matter.

And with Katz, it's "if I see a kid 99 times, I want to see him 100 times."

But there is always the exception.

"Take Dylan Garrity (193 assists as a Hornet freshman, +two per game over his nearest Big Sky Conference competitor and seventh in the nation this past season): "I saw him play one quarter [during high school] and I decided I would call him the next day and offer. My assistants said 'you never do that' but his skills components were off the charts. His leadership, his being unflappable, never getting off his game  -- the composure thing is a big deal. Dylan turned out to be a difference maker, a program changer."

But with a taste of humility, Katz offered, "You have to get lucky but also work hard."

His recruiting is summarized in this philosophy: "Be upfront and communicate in an honest way. If it was my son, I would want it to be handled like that. Don't let it be personal and you'll have a lot less anxiety."

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Elk Grove Matt Hayes

This Matt Hayes, as opposed to the senior at Yuba City High, is a 6-foot-1, 170 pound Pleasant Grove High junior who is now playing for 707's Finest this spring and summer.

Leon Williams, his 707's coach, offered an up-to-date assessment on Hayes: "Matt's one of the better shooters in northern California and definitely one of my better players. He knows how to score but isn't overly selfish. I've known him since the fifth grade and he's very polite and respectful and a great teammate. He's good at helping defensively and team defense but we want him to keep his focus more."

Members of the Delta River League, Pleasant Grove is coming off a 24-7 overall record, 6-4 in league. Yes, all-around contributor Cody Demps is moving over to Sacramento State and thus leaving a big hole but a trio of seniors-to-be, Hayes included, are set to step up:

* Hayes, who contributed 11 points a game

* Malik Thames at 15.5 points per game

* Cole Nordquist with 12.9 points a contest

Highlights of the Eagles' season included beating Franklin 63-54 February 24 in the semifinals of the Division I playoffs, before falling to Jesuit by just two on February 29, 64-62. A 64-57 takedown of Castlemont on March 8 was another to remember before losing to De La Salle 54-40 to conclude the season.

Asked to name something about himself that the public isn't aware about him, Hayes responded with: "people don't know that I'm a born leader." Pleasant Grove will be needing that expressed on the court next season.

Hayes is looking to major in mathematics come college and is wide open as to preferences.

The 2012 Nevada CC Wolverines

The Nevada Wolverines are headed by Garry-Hill Thomas, the former Bishop O'Dowd, Oakland Soldier and Nevada Wolf Pack star guard who also played for the Reno Bighorns. The team participates in a number of Bay Area tournaments.

Below is video of the Wolverines:

Three northern California/Bay Area prospects are team members:

* George Johnson, 5-foot-10, Heritage High, 2013
Nevada Wolverines Elite 17U

Very skilled and athletic point guard who runs the show. He is a strong ball handler and passer who distributes the ball well and shoots accurately from three-point range. His floor vision is solid and he is a tenacious on ball defender. Call him a pass first point guard with the ability to break down any defender and get his own shot off. He is at his best in transition and playing in a fast paced offensive style. Is the #35th ranked player in 2013 by NorCalPreps

 * Jamir Andrews, 6-foot-2, Dublin High, 2013
Nevada Wolverines Elite 17U

Andrews is a big guard and a natural scorer who can create his own shot. His range extends beyond the regular three-point line (24 feet) and he can shoot off the catch or dribble but also get to the basket and finish. He is deadly from the arc with space and his feet set. His ball handling is quick and he has the ability to get anywhere on the floor he wants to go. Andrews is the most underrated guard in the Bay Area and should easily be among the players on the 2013 Top 40 list. Just received his first D-1 offer from Northern Arizona over the last couple of weeks.

* Pierre Carter, 6-foot-4, Heritage High, 2013
Nevada Wolverines Elite 17U

A lengthy and skilled guard who can play the 1, 2, or 3. He shoots the ball well, defends and plays very smart. He was an All-BVAL quarterback for Heritage this past season on the football field. Pierre has emerged on the AAU scene this spring and turned the heads of many college coaches. A combo guard who is comfortable playing the point or shooting guard positions, he is a pass-first guard with great vision and the ability to read defenses. He uses his length well to guard the top players on the other teams. He can create for himself, driving to the basket, shooting the pull up or shooting off the catch and is comfortable in transition from both guard positions.

The other Wolverines are Silver State prepsters:

* Hunter Myers, 6-foot-7,Douglas High, 2013

* EJ Poulson, 6-foot-9, Galena High, 2013

* Brian Smith, 6-foot-9, Spanish Springs High, 2012

* Rafe King, 6-foot-3, Carson High, 2013

* John Carlson, 6-foot-7, Damonte High, 2013

* James Herrick, 6-foot-10, Douglas High, 2014

NorCal participants in Pangos

From Dinos Trigonis, here are the Nor Cal talents who participated in his recent Pangos Spring event:

* Derry’l Williams 6’3” 2013 Sheldon (Sacramento CA) MVP
Strong and physical off-guard was a central catalyst on PHPS Elite’s winning 17u Invite squad and was a consistent force on both ends of the floor to earn tourney MVP honors

* Dakarai Allen 6’5” 2013 Sheldon (Sacramento CA)
Slithering swingman is a long and hawking defender that is drawing Pac-12 interest

* Noah Allen 6’6” 2013 Palma (Pacific Grove CA)
Shooter with size played with purpose here

* Jamir Andrews 6’3” 2013 Dublin (Livermore CA) 
Aggressive combo-guard is a harassing defender and is always in “attack-mode” on the offensive end

* Ikenna Iroegbu 6’2” 2013 Oak Hill (Mouth of Wilson VA)
Quick and athletic PG showed here that he is ready to have a big spring and summer. Sacramento native had 23 points/6 assists versus eventual champ PHPS in the 17u championship semi-finals.

* Darrin Johnson 6’4” 2013 Franklin (Elk Grove CA)
Excellent defender runs floor well in transition

* Theo Johnson 6’6” 2012 Franklin (Elk Grove CA)
Undersized PF has real ability to take bigger defenders off the dribble

* Gokul Natesan 6’4” 2012 Cupertino (Cupertino CA)
Tremendous student also has excellent accuracy from the 3-point line

* Cole Nordquist 6’4” 2013 Pleasant Grove (Sacramento CA)
Wing plays with great energy and has excellent intangibles

* Elliott Pitts 6’5” 2013 De la Salle (Concord CA)
One of the most underrated wings in the nation is quickly losing that “sleeper” tag based on his play here.

* Malik Pope 6’8” 2014 Burbank (Sacramento CA)
One of the biggest revelations of this event, Pope is an intriguing prospect with a size/skill combination that is sure to attract herds of HM college coaches

* Leo Smith 5’9” 2013 Oakland Tech (Oakland CA)
Quick point guard can create for teammates

* Eric Duncan 6’1” 2013 McNair (Stockton CA)
Combo-guard can finish in traffic

A Sonoma State University recruiting update

Besides the recent signing by Sonoma State University of Richmond High guard Isaiah Brown and the earlier inking of Michael Avery, a backcourter out of southern California, the Seawolves have also landed 6-foot-8 Nathan Malony-Benjamin of Analy High. He was a First Team All Sonoma County league honoree this season.

Loved his favorite saying at the Analy basketball site: "Favorite saying: “If you don’t have acid reflux after practice, you didn’t go hard enough”

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

UC Davis lands a transfer

Coach Jim Les and his UC Davis staff have struck again, this time signing 6-foot-8, 225 pound Igor "Iggy" Nujic.

The Perth, Australia native is currently a sophomore at Texas San Antonio but will be transferring to Aggieland when the school year concludes.

So why the Sacramento Valley for Nujic?

"The place I'm at now is a commuter school and being on the Davis campus had a totally different feel. It's also a different climate. The California air was nice and crisp when I visited. I also liked what Coach Les is trying to do and the facilities are great and the academics bigtime."

Asked what Aggie fans will see from him after he redshirts the 2012-13 season, Nujic said, "I'm not a freak athlete but very skilled and smart. Shooting is probably my best asset. I'm definitely a faceup guy who can handle the ball and is good mentally on the court. I'm not looking for statistics but betterment, being part of a winning team."  

In 32 Roadrunner games this season, which included five starts, he posted averages of 5.8 points and 2.7 rebounds, shooting 42%, 36% and 76% respectively. Nujic was on the court for 18+ minutes each night.

What's most intriguing is his 14 points per game average in the last five games of the season, an obvious indicator of his game coming together.

He is currently majoring in business but looking to switch over to computer science. Nujic's 3.18 grade point average this year made him a Southland Conference All-Academic honoree.

A product of the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), it's a scholarship institution where the nation's elite players come together to train and represent Australia.

6-foot-9 junior-to-be Josh Ritchart and 6-foot-7 sophomore-to-be JT Adenrele return to the Aggie frontcourt this coming season plus junior college signees 6-foot-10 Spencer Clayton and 6-foot-8 Clint Bozner will both be juniors in in 2012-13.

Now, make room for Nujic.

Russotti, Muhammad & Akognon

SI is going to do a feature on Jeremy Russotti, Shabazz Muhammad and Josh Akognon -- "Sports illustrated editor just confirmed interview 4 story with myself, @phenom15balla and J. Akgonon for end summer story May 19th. Pumped!"

Folks, it's happening in Windsor.

Gaels add a JC backcourter

Credit this to Brad Winton as St. Mary's has signed a SoCal community college backcourter: "James Walker (6-3/G/2012), of Citrus College (CA), has signed with St. Mary's (CA)"

Walker played his freshman season at Utah State and then transferred to Citrus. He was named the Co-MVP of the California community college ranks this year.

He averaged 19.1 points per game in 2011-12, shooting 46% overall, 35% from long distance and 83% at the foul line.

More on Stephen Domingo

Mark Knight serves up a feature on Stephen Domingo.

Looking at Aggie hoops

Bruce Gallaudet writes about UC Davis basketball, last season and those to come.

CIF tourney changes

Richard Estrada writes about the changes by the CIF in its state tournament, this as a result of privatization of sorts.

More on Matt Donlan's signing

South Dakota State University officially announces the signing of Capital Christian's Matt Donlan.

Darin Johnson has an official suitor

Per Cameron Schott, SJSU has endorsed a NorCal prospect: "2013 Franklin G Darin Johnson was offered by San Jose State yesterday"

Johnson's team went 22-6 this season with him averaging 16.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. he was an All Delta Valley Conference First Team selection.