Friday, August 31, 2012

More on the late Pat Tillman

Great story about former Leland High star Pat Tillman, his widow and a new book -- head here. If still alive, Tillmann would be the first to say he wasn't a perfect person by any stretch of the imagination, but he was a damn fine human being who lived his values to the fullest.

Another black eye for college athletics

Joe Davidson has the details of a lawsuit against USC and others but it's important to keep in mind that a judgment has not been issued, just a court filing.

Prep news

New high school basketball items from Bill Paterson:
• There could be as few as six teams and as many as eight teams for the new CIF NorCal and SoCal Open Division girls and boys basketball playoffs. "I think it will create new blood and, hopefully, bring more people to the (playoff) table," Saco said.
• Two-person crews will officiate all section boys and girls basketball playoff games, including games played at neutral sites.
• If a team wins at least 15 power-rated games and does not qualify for the postseason by the power rating system, that team will be added to the tournament.

Read more here: http://blogs.sacbee.com/preps/archives/2012/08/transfers-open.html#storylink=cpy

St. Mary's recruiting gets noticed

Kellon Hasselstab provides some national press for St. Mary's burgeoning 2013 recruiting class.

Musselman to the college ranks?

Bill Musselman (a former or current Bay Area resident, not sure which applies) apparently is in play as an assistant to Arizona State Coach Herb Sendek.

CBSSports features the Dons basketballin' in Mexico

Jeff Borzello takes a look at the USF trip to Cancun, a traipse that proved quite handy for a team with a lot of newcomers and roles to be worked out.

Sheets returns to where he played

Jon Sheets was quite the three-point basket and assist producer during his playing time at Maine and now he is back there as an assistant coach. He played his prep ball at Nevada Union High and also for Coach Doug Cornelius at Yuba College. Sheets was assisting the women's team at Simpson College before his latest move.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Check out the NorCal players @ Dominican

Just noted all the NorCal talents on Coach Booker Harris' Dominican University squad:

* Dominic Cerruti, freshman - Mendocino High

* Matt Hayes, freshman - Yuba City High

* Connor Haysbert, junior - Center High

* KJ Logue, freshman - Bella Vista High

* Jacob Noisat, senior - Elsie Allen High

* Jarred Pengel, senior 0- St. Vincent High

* Karl Reyes, junior - Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep

* Christopher Schwartz-Edmisten, freshman - Sacramento Waldorf

* Dominique Taplin, sophomore - Oakland High

Not Nor Cal related but an informative read

There's a great deal to think about in this "Without Probable Cause" piece on Dez Wells' expulsion from Xavier. None of live in in a void -- outside, seemingly unconnected events, can and often do have an effect on others.

UC Davis hoopin' it up overseas

Check out the latest from the court as UC Davis plays its way through Italy.


A state without a club basketball team

It's true, it's a lot of work to nab a college basketball scholarship. As they say, your mileage may vary. But whenever it all seems like too much, read this article.

You reeeaaalllly have to want it if you're a high schooler in Wyoming, a state without a club basketball team.Yes, you read that right.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Looking for a profile

It's something found in every category of life which requires a choice to be made. Some call it an archetype -- the preferential features desired in a mate, a car, a television and, yes, even a basketball recruit. It's the assortment of elements that induce the sale.

In their wildest dreams, college coaches desire prospects who are tall, lean, can jump out of gym and run like a greyhound. Add to that is either the ability to put the ball in the cylinder with ease or sweep the boards like picking fruit from a backyard tree.

But there are so very few available players who match or come close to such a description and those have an array of multiple top level basketball programs to choose from.

At the mid-level and lower rungs, coaches typically engage for kids whose summary of skills or athletic abilities is missing preferred elements. However, the desire for and the quest in landing the closest to the prototype talent remains in place.

Oakland Rebel Coach Shawn Hadnot has a term not about the search for the 'Jesus Shuttleworths' but what comprises the checklist and how it is employed. He calls it a profile and believes the rigidity with which it is cast about and applied is baffling.

Here's Hadnot riffing on the subject:

"Colleges coaches look for a profile, like what men seek in a woman. It's 'I want someone who looks like this' regardless of the intelligence, personality and well-roundedness demonstrated ... the tweeners, the late bloomers [of body] who are solid fundamentally with a great basketball IQ but who are perceived as more complementary talents, get shunned ... I've literally seen coaches walking by a player during a game while on their way to see someone who better fits the profile ... There are guys [in northern California] getting interest from coaches in Texas and elsewhere who can't get a look from colleges here ... Damian Lillard didn't fit the profile for many schools in Northern California and look what happened to him ... he could always score although no Bay Area school recruited him heavily ... heart, motor and the attitude required to get better are harder for coaches to determine ... some kids get on the map early in high school and receive plenty interest but then don’t get any better -- yet continue to receive plenty of press while the key question is this: will there be continued improvement on their game?

It seems not necessarily a matter of blowing up the prototype and starting anew but more an expansion of the mindset of the seeker ... I have seen many kids with notoriety, highly-ranked and placed on teams with other players of their caliber, and they lose. Does the “profile” coaches use have a place for a player who just does the necessary things to win? ... some players have charismatic personalities which fosters team chemistry and creates winning. On the other hand, I have seen great players who meet the “profile” tear apart teams or transfer after one year ... like someone who consistently gets better as opposed to a guy busting out for a game or maybe two but then feels he doesn’t need to continue to improve. However, he never stops receiving the looks from coaches because he was rated high on the various national scouting publications. A kid who will play tough throughout his career versus someone shining for a spectacular moment or two -- who brings greater value? ... just look at the NCAA tournament as many mid-majors schools such as Ohio University have late bloomers with great hoops pedigrees and beat the teams with “profile” players every year.

A lot of coaches spend time at tournaments chasing this or that player and never get him while someone in their backyard doesn’t even get acknowledged -- yet if the local player goes to another D-I program but then decides to transfer, he may then get interest from the same school that originally had no interest in him ... many players in Northern California players have begun to leave the area to reclassify or attend post graduate schools in order to receive college interest. This approach will be interesting to watch over the next five years. 

Bob Thomason on the Tigers' time in France

Jagdip Dhillon quotes Pacific Coach Bob Thomason on the Tigers trip to France, with former Santa Rosa Junior College guard Sama Taku and frontcourter Tony Gill, ex-of Consumnes River College, coming in for praise.

CBSSports/Matt Norlander has also posted a review of Pacific's sojourn

Darius Graham - viva Italia

Former Sacramento High backcourter Darius Graham is touring Italy with UC Davis and has penned a post on his travels so far.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tim Marrion returns

2003 St. Francis High (Mountain View) graduate Tim Marrion is back home.

Of course, at different times during his life that has meant getting his mail in Nottingham, England, Melbourne, Australia, Pullman, Washington and San Jose but we're talking the latter address as he is the new 'old' assistant basketball coach at San Jose State University.

We recently had the opportunity to pose some questions to him, so here goes:

Q - What will be your duties and goals with San Jose State University?
  
TM - My responsibilities at SJSU will be a mixed bag. In addition to the basics of an assistant coach (recruiting, on-floor coaching, opponent scouting), something I'm most looking forward to is working with Coach Nessman specifically on our team's offense. I am excited about this responsibility especially as it allows me to really focus on one side of the basketball in regards to opponent scouts and even during drillwork in practice. Working with Coach [Ken] Bone and Coach [Jeff] Hironaka [while at Washington State], two coaches with outstanding offensive minds, I'm looking forward to using some of the knowledge I gained in my three years working at Washington State to help push the program forward here at SJSU.

It may be a bit premature to talk about specific goals that I have here at SJSU but I do have a few general goals. My number one goal is to help push the needle forward in any way possible and do my part daily to turn SJSU into a consistent threat for postseason basketball. From the limited viewings of the team that I've seen, I'm really excited about the potential that the group of players that the staff has brought in has. There is a significant increase in the amount of physical talent in the program and I'm looking forward to working with all of the guys.

Q - You were born in England and also lived in Australia before coming to the U.S. Were you involved in playing hoops as a youngster? If so, why basketball? How did basketball get into your blood when the national sports of both countries aren't played on a court?

TM - You've done your research! I was fortunate as a child to experience living in a few different countries and cultures. This experience opened me up to a mix of different things. It was in Australia around the age of seven that I first started playing basketball. My dad was my coach and like many children, I wanted to be exactly like him. We would go to NBL (Australian professional league) games together and I would constantly be watching everything basketball both in-person and on television. Although I still follow soccer ("football" in England) and Australian rules football, I can't imagine coaching either of those sports.

Q - How did you graduate in three years (with a degree in sports management) from Washington State when most students take five or so years? That's quite an achievement.

TM -  I chose to accelerate my undergraduate education while at Washington State, to the confusion of many of friends, because I genuinely enjoyed the challenge academically. I was fortunate to know what path I wanted to go down before I entered college so this allowed me to really map out classes and courseloads to set myself up to complete my degree a bit ahead of schedule. A college degree is something that I hold with a lot of pride and I hope to be able to continue to instill the importance of academics and working towards earning a college degree into all of the student-athletes that I'm fortunate enough to work with.

 Q - You were an assistant coach at San Jose State University at 22 -- which has to be a first. Did you ever imagine working in such a position at that age?

TM - I was extremely fortunate to have a year under my belt as an assistant coach when I was 22. I am somebody with a lot of self-confidence and did think I was capable of handling the rigors that come with being an assistant coach at that age. I learned a tremendous amount as there really is not much substitute for on the job training. It's one of those situations where I always think what if I could go back then with the knowledge & experience that I have now. I was very thankful for the opportunity and even more grateful to return to SJSU to finish off what I started a few years ago. 
  
Q - ESPN's Dana O'Neill recently wrote an article about the evolution of assistant coaches from primarily earning bona fides as a recruiter to now needing a much more well-rounded skill set. Your take?

TM - I would agree with Dana's assessment of assistant coaches in college basketball today. There has always been a demand on assistants to have connections within recruiting as players are the lifeline of the program - they are the ones that go out there and actually decide the outcome of the games. With that being said, there is more demand in today's world of college basketball for assistant coaches to now do something with the players that have been recruited into each respective program. There's now more of an emphasis of having well-rounded assistant coaches who are able to develop players into reaching their basketball potential.

I think every successful coaching staff is set up where each coach brings a unique set of skills to the program to help it succeed. You've got staffs with a certain coach or two who is known for recruiting, others may be known for game planning, and so forth. When it comes to hiring a head coach, I think an athletic director is going to look for somebody who embodies multiple characteristics of a successful assistant coach. This is where the importance of working on your perceived weaknesses as a coach to help you become a better well-rounded assistant comes into play, in regards to making yourself a viable candidate for head coach openings if that's what you aspire to do.


Q - Are you familiar with Villa 7, the annual summer get-together for assistant coaches across the nation? Is it something on your schedule for next summer?

TM - I am familiar with Villa 7. It's definitely a prestigious event for assistant coaches and something I would absolutely love to be one day invited to. The caliber of assistant coaches that have attended the past few years is extremely impressive, as is the number of assistant coaches who have attended Villa 7 and soon after been hired as head coaches (Anthony Grant, Dave Rice, Shaka Smart, just to name a few). It looks like a tremendous opportunity for assistant coaches who aspire to be head coaches to not only network but improve their interview skills.

Q - Can we expect a San Jose State University - Washington State basketball matchup in the not too distant future?
  
TM - Funny you should ask this as right before I accepted this position at SJSU, I was responsible for scheduling at WSU and spoke with Coach Nessman a couple of times about the potential of a home-home series between the two schools. It ended up not working out but talks were definitely in progress.

The Rivals rankings and who reps northern California

Rivals has Julius Randle in the lead in its Top 150 rankings, with Aaron Gordon in the #5 slot. Sorry, should have warned you -- hope nobody fell out of their chair reading this.

As Jason Scheer tweeted: "If somebody could help me out and explain why Julius Randle is better than Aaron Gordon I would appreciate it"

Also, do keep in mind something Dave Telep just tweeted: "Aaron Gordon does not turn 17 until next month"

By the way, Marcus Lee now comes in at #15 and at #20 is Jabari Bird. Ikenna Iroegbu holds the #100 spot, Dakarai Allen has #105 to himself, #117 is Elliott Pitts and Darin Johnson closes out the Nor Cal representation at #123.
Per Robert Kuwada, 6-foot-3 Kennedy High backcourter Blake Williams is a walk-on member of this season's Fresno State basketball team. Williams was an all-league Metro Conference selection last season up Sacramento way.

A 24 second college shot clock?

Hey, the game is fast enough as is and just how many college teams have professionals to prepare for the NBA? Eamonn Brennan is off-base, Myron Medcalf right on about installing a 24 second shot clock in college hoops.

Didn't know this

Are there any colleges requiring student-athletes to submit their social media usernames and passwords?

Someone either believes this is happening or wishes to prevent it and rightly so -- head here.

Rule changes and recruiting

Jeff Borzello checks in with a "Rule changes meant to speed recruiting are helping do the opposite" article.

The Rising Coaches Elite conference

James Kerti attended the Rising Coaches Elite conference held in Las Vegas late last month, an event designed to help assistants move up in the ranks. Check out his writeup.

Santa Clara offers a Seattle wing

Kevin Cacabelos is out with his Top 25 prepsters in Seattle and Santa Clara Coach Kerry Keating has extended an offer to one of the talents:
4. Tre'Shaun Lexing (Sr.)- Lincoln, F, 6'6": Lexing is not the type of player who is going to take over games by himself, but his length and athleticism project him as an effective player at the next level. He shows solid ability to get to the rim and finish in transition, but will need to improve his shooting touch. Offers: Cal Poly, Colorado, Gonzaga, Oregon, Oregon State, Santa Clara, Washington State

Monday, August 27, 2012

Raymond Bowles & Kendall Smith recruiting updates

Doug Benton's NorCalPreps article (a Rivals sub is required and well worth it) about Sunday's Nor Cal Clash event, which pitted the top 2013 talents against those in of 2014, contained these recruiting items:

* Raymond Bowles -- 6-foot-5, wing, Modesto Christian/Lakeshow (2013): offers from UC Irvine and Pacific

* Kendall Smith -- 6-foot-3, point, Deer Valley/Oakland Soldiers: is hitting San Jose State University on an unofficial trip followed by officials with Louisiana State and Long Beach State.

The upcoming Bay Area Competition Clinic

BAY AREA COMPETITION CLINIC
AN EVALUATION EVENT FOR 4-YEAR AND JUNIOR COLLEGE COACHES

Date: Saturday, September 8, 2012

Time: 12 noon to 7:00 pm

Location: Nor Cal Courts, 360 Ferry St., Martinez

Participants: High school players from Northern California and other areas

For more information contact: Gerry Freitas at (408) 998-1327 or via email: gerryfreitas@hotmail.com

Jettisoning official visits

Mike CeCourcey writes that the next step for the NCAA is to ban unofficial visits.

Damian Lillard and NBA Rookie of the Year

From Beckley Mason/TrueHoop: "ESPN's David Thorpe previews three Rookie of the Year candidates (Insider) and says this about my pick for the award, Damian Lillard: "If he gets the green light to make plays, like John Wall, Westbrook, Rose and Kyrie Irving, then undoubtedly we'll see a great number of stellar scoring and passing nights from Lillard. Next to a post presence like LaMarcus Aldridge and veterans like Nicolas Batum and Wes Matthews, Lillard will be able to generate offense through his teammates more than most rookies will be given the chance to. This means his chances at scoring more efficiently are strong. He has the potential to average 16 points and six assists per game with a steal or so thrown in there, too."

Southwick to lead the Broncos

Quarterback Joe Southwick, who also played a little basketball at San Ramon Valley High, has been named the starting QB at Boise State.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

It's the 'youngsters' in the Nor Cal Clash

Direct from Gerry Freitas:

Juniors upset Seniors 131-128 in Nor Cal Clash

If there is such a thing as an upset in all star game, this one would be classified as such, as the class of 2014 edged the class of 2013 by a score of 131-128 Sunday afternoon in the fourth annual Nor Cal Clash at Contra Costa College in San Pablo.

Archbishop Mitty's all-everything star, senior Aaron Gordon, fresh off an MVP performance at the Boost Mobile Elite 24 in Southern California on Saturday, lead all scorers with 41 points (along with 14 rebounds) and was selected player of the game.

The juniors (2014) were behind 74-64 at halftime after being down by as much as 20 points in the first half after a scoring onslaught by Gordon (with 24) and Salesian's Jabari Bird (with 19). The seniors (2013) increased the lead to 105-91 by the end of the third quarter and things did not look good for the younger class who did not have the lead at all in the first three periods.

But the class of 2014 had a furious rally in the fourth quarter, scoring 40 points to the class of 2013's 23. Jalen Canty of St. Patrick-St. Vincent had 8 fourth-quarter points to lead the lead the way. St. Joseph-Notre Dame's Temidayo Yussuf scored on a short floater with 1:55 to give 2013 its' first lead of the game at 126-125 and they would never trail again. Murshid Randle of Central High in Fresno (who had 6 fourth quarter points) sealed the victory with 1 of 2 free throws with 3.7 seconds remaining.

The series is now tied at 2-2 all time.

Scoring Totals:

2014 (Juniors): 

Cameron Oliver 19
Elliott Smith 19
Murshid Randle 19
Jalen Canty 16
Derrick Clayton 15
Trevor Dunbar 12
Temidayo Yussuf 10
Shon Briggs 10
Joey Frenchwood 8
Joey Goodreault 3
Malik Pope 0

2013 (Seniors): 

Aaron Gordon 41
Jabari Bird 27
Darin Johnson 19
Noah Allen 10
Rae Jackson 10
Raymond Bowles 7
Kendall Smith 6
Dakarai Allen 6
D'Erryl Williams 2

Here comes Osayande

Yes, he primarily played on the junior varsity team as a sophomore -- averaging 13.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.4 blocked shots a game -- before being called up to the varsity near the end of the season. But in the big picture, it's the promise he shows, displayed in flashes, and creating the sense that he could become someone special on the court

6-foot-7 2014 Team Sage and Franklin High frontcourt prospect Benson Osayande is definitely one to watch even as a relative unknown entering his junior year.

It's what he brings to and displays on the court that creates such a label. An excellent athlete who flies up and down the court, he closes out well.

Osayande concurs. Asked his best talent, he offered "driving to the basket and finishing in the paint."

But as Team Sage Founder and Coach Wornel Simpson puts it: "Although Benson says his best quality is offensively going to the basket, when he's really going on the defensive side, his rebounding and shot blocking are game-changers. He's a quick jumper and is capable of blocking multiple shots back to back-to-back and I've seen it!"
Osayande is currently on the thin side at 190 pounds and his skills set is still being burnished but his long arms, seven-foot wing span and high motor creates major level projections in the minds of college evaluators.

 Simpson believes there is no ceiling: "Benson will be in the Pac-12 before it's all over."

Speaking about the activity level of his star player, Simpson added, "He has a tendency to go too fast. However, Benson is very coachable and adheres to correction positively."

Further understanding of when to do what and where will come with greater time and experience.

But Simpson already knows this: "Benson will be a focal point at Franklin [High] this year," a school which loses Theo Johnson to graduation and with Darin Johnson transferring to Sheldon High.

Osayande believes he is ready to show more.

"It's a matter of confidence," he offered, indicating his growth from his frosh season to now. "I definitely feel like I've improved from when I was a freshman and can impact the game in a positive way."

Introduced to basketball as a six-year-old by his father, it was his alliance with Team Sage that aided his improvement.

"I joined when I was in the eighth grade," Osayande explained. He and Simpson crossed paths, a chemistry developed and the teaming up has proven beneficial to all.

Being with Team Sage also offers the opportunity for Osayande to perform as other than a post player as Simpson desires that all his players handle and pass the ball regardless of height or bulk.

In the academic portion of the equation, Osayande is already aces, owning a 3.5 grade point average.

Making the Big Show

Someone has probably done this already, that being taking a decade or so of the high school talents making the Parade, McDonald's, et al All-American teams and checking to see how that correlates to playing in the NBA.

In August, 2011, Jeff Goodman wrote about the 2002 Mickey D AA squad and in it you'll come across some names requiring digging deep to remember as in how did this person get named?

It's an interesting read even if ultimately nothing can be divined of it due to the small sampling.

Sonoma State Basketball Coaches Clinic on September 30

The Sonoma State University Men's Basketball program invites all coaches, men and women, to attend the first SSU Basketball Coaches Clinic.

The event will take place on Sunday, September 30th at the Wolves' Den on the campus of Sonoma State University. The clinic begins at 9:00 am.

The event is open to all coaches, from middle school and AAU to college, and will include on-the-court demonstrations and teachings by SSU head coach Pat Fuscaldo and members of the SSU basketball team, plus special guest speakers: Mike Montgomery (Cal), Bob Williams (UC Santa Barbara), and Bill Grier (University of San Diego). All speakers will include on-the-court demonstrations. Each speaker will focus on a specific aspect of the game as they discuss topics such as set plays and special situations, motion offense nd breakdown drills, and match-up zone defense.

Schedule of Events:

8:00 AM:  Registration begins/Coffee & Donuts
9:00 AM:  Pat Fuscaldo (Head Coach, Sonoma State) - Competitive Practice Drills
10:00 AM:  Bill Grier (Head Coach, University of San Diego) - Motion Offense and Breaking it Down
11:00 AM:  Bob Williams (Head Coach, UC Santa Barbara) - Match Up Zone Defense
12:00 PM:  Lunch Provided
12:30 PM:  Mike Montgomery (Head Coach, Cal) - Set Plays and Special Situations
1:30 PM:  Coaches Forum - All Presenters

Cost:

* Pay and Register on or before September 15th: $55
* Pay and Register after September 15th: $65

Includes:

* Morning Coffee & Donuts
* Afternoon Lunch
* SSU Basketball T-Shirt

To register, go here and click on Special Events

Prep transfers

Clay Kallam penned an article all about high school transfers.

UC Davis checking out a Lone Star Stater

Coast2CoastHoops has posted about a 6-foot Texas backcourter and UC Davis is doing diligence: "'13 Hebron (TX) PG Ridge Shipley has an offer from Texas St & interest from Texas A&M, Rice, UCSB, UC-Davis, Wofford & Brown"

C2C also linked to a video of Shipley:


Interesting but incomplete

College Hoopedia offers a rant about the various AA lists and players missed by college recruiters -- it's not a multi-year scientific analysis in the players that CH lists as overblown and the overlooked talents are not surefire NBA bets nor were they high school superstars.

So call the piece interesting but not necessarily complete.

Spot on

Amen to the Minnesota Fury club team folks: "The more I coach, the less I get caught up on talent and the more I just wanted to coach high character/hard working kids"

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Jeremy Russotti's Skill Training U Trainer Certification Program

Jeremy Russotti's Skill Training U Trainer Certification Program has announced its next big event, October 6-7 in Oakland, CA.

The event will be held at Holy Names University, for coaches, trainers, players, and dedicated parents. It is a two-day event, with 14 hours of court specific instruction.

This is Russotti's premiere event, where attendee's receive his 28+ page Syllabus with every drill for every facet of individual training that he provides in his distinguished Green Room Training Program.  For those who have his four Millennium Series DVDs, only around 35% makes up his 28+ page syllabus. Therefore, the majority of his teachings (65%) is for this special exclusive event.

Russotti explained, "at first I was hesitant to run this event and share with others what I have been studying and building for the past 11 years. However, after my Vegas event, I saw how appreciative the coaches were and how we have completely changed their philosophy on how they run their practices. That far outweighed taking my curriculum to my grave."

He will also be adding former NBA player and current D-I Coach Rex Walters (University of San Francisco) for shooting instruction, and one of the top Strength and Conditioning Coaches John Murray (former Golden State Warriors Strength & Conditioning Coach).

To visit his new website with video footage and testimonials from the first Las Vegas event, please go here.  

There are only 35 spots for this October program and 18+ verbal commitments have already been received. This training will no doubt sell out. However, Russotti is planning events all around the country this spring and next summer, in Memphis, Indiana, Orlando and Las Vegas.  

Visit this link which will take you to the Training Certification Program schedule and PDF Flyer kit.

FOR PLAYERS:  Russotti is offering four spots to high school age players (must be varsity level talent) to train and learn during the event.  For players, it is basically the most elite, jam-packed basketball camp they will ever attend. To register email Jeremy ASAP for a spot -- info@skilltrainingu.com -- The cost is $400. Russotti said, "this is a great opportunity for players to learn everything they need to know about Skill Training, and as well the biomechanics for each movement. Since I do not train many high school kids personally, this is the best opportunity to get a ton of information and court time in a weekend."

At his first event in Vegas, the attendees ranged from NBA Head Coaches, Professional Overseas Coaches, SEC Assistants, National Juco, D-II Assistants, high school and AAU Coaches. It was the ultimate networking and social event as well.

For more information, contact Jeremy at (707) 849-1212, or via email info@skilltrainingu.com

Again to register, go here.


Bird/Gordon

Adam Zagoria with the 'latest' on Bird/Gordon: "Bird lists Cal and Washington as his top two options and Gordon has said Washington is his top choice, followed by Arizona and Kentucky."

It seems like everything that could be asked of and said by the two young men has been in print and on video. How 'bout a media moratorium until each makes his decision, yep, us included? Give them a respite.

Another nugget from Jeff Linder

Jeff Linder speaking truth: "There is more problem solving done this week by JUCO coaches than the Pentagon does in a year."

Spot on again with Jay Bilas

Jay Bilas with another zinger: "Big 12 Commish Bowlsby on NCAA 5th year grad transfer rule: ''To me, it has the taste of a hired gun.'' Rather, an "unpaid, educated gun."

Not Nor-Cal related but...

Jerry Colangelo describes the process -- fascinating insights included -- of selecting Coach K as the Team USA Olympic basketball coach in this Jeffrey Cohn article.Why something happened is often more interesting than what took place.

A photo of AG & JB

Kelly Kline offers an off-the-court photo of Aaron Gordon and Jabari Bird at the Elite 24 event.

Marcus Lee at the Elite 24

Kelly Kline photographs Marcus Lee at the Elite 24 event.

Rookie of the Year to Lillard?

Ethan Sherwood Strauss believes Damian Lillard is a solid choice for NBA Rookie of the Year.

Friday, August 24, 2012

It's Izzo on top

Tom Izzo wins a bit more than a quarter of the vote in the latest CBSSports poll in the 'What coach would you choose to run your program?' category.

Just an observation: let's put any of the Top 10 finishers in the poll on a WAC team and see what transpires.

Nor Cal talent still highlighting Gaucho team

It's a new season for UC Santa Barbara basketball, one minus Orlando Johnson and James Nunnally, but T.J. Taylor, John Green, Nate Garth and Michael Bryson are ready to help.

Three Bay Area talents on Elite 24 teams

In Adam Zagoria's article, the Bay Area is repped on the Elite 24 rosters with Aaron Gordon and Marcus Lee on one squad and Jabari Bird on the opposing team.

Nelson coming on

A feature on Eric Nelson right around the time of the Olympics is synchronicity at its finest as there are so very few who can move and jump as well as the 6-foot-7 Merritt College sophomore.

Nelson has always shown superb athletic ability, establishing that fact back in his days at El Cerrito High.

After averaging 5.1 points a game as a Thunderbird frosh on 51% and 76% shooting, corralling 230 rebounds and swatting away 92 shots in 29 games, he's expanding his game.

"I still play defense -- it's my best skill." he acknowledged. "It gets my whole team pumped and is a momentum changer. But I'm better as a scorer and passer and also a leader" as the Thunderbirds head into the new season come November.

Evident of his impact during games, Nelson was invited to participate in the Jerry Mullen Top 100 JUCO Camp in St. Louis  last month. "We played three games a day and I think  I played well." That provided national exposure for Nelson and one school Coppin State in Maryland, has already offered. The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference member signed former Chico High star Sterling Smith in April so the ties to California are there for the Eagles coaching staff.

Asked who has been his biggest basketball influence, Nelson replied, "Kevin Durant. "I watched him from when he was at Texas. He's slim and long, the same body type as me. I think if he can do it, so can I."

Academically, there is no concern as Nelson was a qualifier coming out of high school and maintains a 3.3 grade point average. His graduation date will be

Why the emphasis on the classroom?

"Academics can take you further than basketball," he explained. "You can't put all your eggs in one basket."

Nelson is looking to major in business accounting at the next level.

Influences as time goes by

As a player finishes high school, enters college and then lands in the Big Show, we often forget the many people who had a hand in influencing the individual, both on and off the court.

The Triple Threat Academy folks reminisce about four such individuals.

More on Josiah Turner

Bill Paterson adds more on the Josiah Turner move to Hungary.

Here's Wendell Maxey on Turner.

Nor Cal Clash video highlights

Since the Nor Cal Clash is just about on us -- August 26, 2:30 p.m., Contra Costa College --  below are some video highights of previous action and competitors.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Coach Greg Clink's Crunch Time Playbook: Great Ways To Score With Limited Time

If you're counting on Christian Laettner versus Kentucky circa 1992 mojo when a few seconds remain on the clock and your team needs a score, well, you might as well also try a sprinkling of pixie dust combined with prayer.

Although it may seem like most time-running-down efforts are a mano-a-mano battle, which is often true if LeBron or Kobe are repping your uniform, but a more orchestrated team effort is required in college and high school ball.

So for those wanting some planning and ideas, Chico State Coach Greg Clink is out with an instructional video on "great ways to score with limited time" formally titled "Crunch Time Playbook: Inbound Plays."

It features designed player movement -- screening, spacing, cutting and timing -- close to the basket, a bit further away, from mid court and from underneath your opponent's basket, all depending on game circumstances. Viewers will see whiteboard diagrams and then actual court demonstrations shown with different camera angles.

Here's the formal description: "Every coach needs to know how to great shots and open looks with limited time on the clock, and this DVD is an encyclopedia of those actions that can make or break a season or a game. Greg Clink of Chico State University offers great ways to get multiple opportunities from a variety of places on the court - whether you need a 2 or a 3 point play. With over 16 scoring actions from a sideline out of bounds plays, almost 10 from baseline inbounds situations, 5 full court plays and a handful of special actions involving free throws and advancing the ball for a timeout, this a 'must have' addition to your arsenal of plays. Complete with whiteboard diagrams and player demonstrations, this offering shows why Coach Clink is a rising coaching star in the college ranks. Running Time: 45 Minutes."

Go here to purchase the video.

Two prospects offered by the Broncos

Coach Kerry Keating/Santa Clara has extended a pair of offers:
Blue Zertuche: "...Brandon Parrish (Urban DFW) from Arlington Seguin has acquired nine offers. Rice, TCU, Iowa, Colorado State, Richmond, Colorado, Vanderbilt, Marquette and Santa Clara have all offered and are in the running for official visits..."
Parrish is a 6-foot-5 small forward out of Texas described as a "wing has good size, can shoot and is a good athlete who plays on both ends."

and

Frank Woodford: "...'[Tim] Kempton currently holds offers from Northern Arizona, Idaho, Idaho State, Air Force, Weber State, Houston Baptist, Rice and Santa Clara. The power forward also says that San Diego and Lehigh are some of the schools recruiting him the hardest..."
He's 6-foot-8 and 210, the son of former Notre Dame and NBA big of the same name. One description: "Kempton is a terrific spot-up shooter who can knock down shots within 17-feet all over the court. His release is high and he possesses a soft touch. In addition, he has become much stronger in the upper body since the spring."

A Rivals sub is required to access both features.

A big out of Australia heading to Moraga

Ben Enos details that St. Mary's has landed a frontcourt Aussie import despite the young man's father playing for Hawaii.

Ferrari now a Crusader

Nathan Mollat writes (it will take a bit of scrolling down) that Burlingame backcourter Frankie Ferrari is now repping a San Francisco school.

More on Stephen Lumpkin

Benjamin Miraski offers more on Stephen Lumpkin's return to college basketball.

The roles people play

Good point from the Rush The Court folks:
Sigh… While on the subject of the shamelessness of some of the questions in this Critical Coaches series, would it be too much to ask the CBSSports.com gentlemen — all of whom are good and capable dudes — to follow up with some of the hundreds of coaching contacts they have and do the proper journalistic legwork to prove (or disprove) these perceptions? If Shabazz Muhammad’s recruitment is perceived to be the dirtiest in the last 10 years of college basketball (or Anthony Davis’… or John Wall’s… or Kyle Anderson’s… you get the point), how about spending some of that energy nailing the people responsible; or, alternatively, clearing those mentioned from that perception? It all just feels a bit too US Weekly, which as John Clay suggests, is fine if that’s what the site wants to be — but unlike most college basketball portals, that group has the resources, the time, and quite clearly the contacts to find out where the bodies are buried. Instead of pure sensationalism, how about digging up a few bones here and there along the way?
But do keep in mind that, right or wrong, it's a different role the CBSSports staffers play. The assets are there to dig deeper but these individuals are not investigative reporters a la Yahoo's Charles Robinson or SI's Pete Thamel. Starting to pry would result in less 'information' being fed to them and they don't want that to occur.

Two updates on AG

Two tweets from Joe Davis on Aaron Gordon:
Aaron Gordon's mother Shelly told us that all schools are equal right now. Plans to have home visits but "No timetable for decision" 
and
Shelly also debunked the rumor that her son Aaron Gordon will take a Colorado visit next weekend. 

Jourdan heads to Virginia

Brad Winton tweeted: "Jarred Jourdan of Las Positas College (CA) has signed with Liberty as part of their 2012 class. He will have 3 yrs to play"

The 6-foot-5 Jourdan is out of James Logan High and averaged 16 points per game last season for the Hawks, 71% from the foul line in 136 attempts.

Here's a four-minute video featuring Jourdan in action last season:


Educating the rookies

Henry Abbott has a fascinating piece up titled "Rookies, in transition" about the talents in this year's draft and the 'education' they are receiving about life in the NBA off the court.

Antonio Davis, the longtime but now retired NBA player and former McClymonds High star, is prominently featured. He now works in the NBPA's player programs department.

Glenn Logan riffs on Abbott's article.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

UC Davis heading overseas

UC Davis is off on a 10-day trip to France and Italy.

A look at Santa Clara this season

Zack Farmer looks at the 20120-13 version of the Santa Clara Broncos.

Turner to Hungary

Rob Dauster writes about Josiah Turner's decision to play-for-pay in Hungary.

It all happens on September 29

Coach Lorenzo Romar will be praying for a fantastically blue sky, golden orbed day on September 29 as Aaron Gordon and Jabari Bird will be tripping to the Emerald City.

If it's always sunny in Philadelphia, why not Seattle?

When a dynamic duo isn't or is

SLAM quotes Jabari Bird as possibly being a package deal, but not really, with Aaron Gordon.

A rogue fan

Check out this "rogue fan" for the University of Georgia. How did the fan get the young man's phone number?

Noting a change in high schools

Missed this earlier -- it was posted June 20. MaxPreps has compiled a list of basketball players switching high schools and Darin Johnson is on it, moving from Franklin High to Sheldon High.

But keep in mind that also on the page is Malik Pope heading to Capital Christian and that was discounted a couple of days ago.

The upcoming Nor Cal Clash -- note the change in time

The fourth annual Nor Cal Clash is coming up on August 26 at 2:30 p.m. (DO NOTE THE TIME CHANGE) at Contra Costa College.

As usual, it's the youngsters versus their elders -- Northern California's 2014 elite matching up with those in the 2013 class.

It will also be Tim Kennedy of Division II state champion Archbishop Mitty matching wits with Lechet Phillips of Deer Valley High, whose team was a Division I Nor Cal quarter-finalist.

A game and player report on the event will be done by the Hoop Review scouting service in addition to websites NorCal Preps and California Preps as well as other other media outlets.

Here are the rosters:

Class of 2013 - Coach: Lechet Phillips (Deer Valley)

Dakarai Allen 6’4” Sheldon (Sacramento)
Noah Allen 6’6” Palma (Salinas)
Jabari Bird 6’5” Salesian (Richmond)
Raymond Bowles 6’5” Modesto Christian (Modesto)
Aaron Gordon 6’8” Archbishop Mitty (San Jose)
Rae Jackson 6’3” El Cerrito
Darin Johnson 6’4” Sheldon (Sacramento)
Daiveon Leverett 6’7” Weston Ranch (Stockton)
Kendall Smith 6’2” Deer Valley (Antioch)
TJ Wallace 6’3” Modesto Christian (Modesto)
D’Erryl Williams 6’2” Sheldon (Sacramento)

Class of 2014 - Coach Tim Kennedy (Archbishop Mitty)

Shon Briggs 6’6” Heritage (Brentwood)
Jalen Canty 6’6” St. Patrick-St. Vincent (Vallejo)
Derrick Clayton 6’5” Castro Valley
Trevor Dunbar 5’8” St. Ignatius (San Francisco)
Joey Frenchwood 6’0” Newark Memorial (Newark)
Joey Goodreault 6’3” Miramonte (Orinda)
Cameron Oliver 6’8” Grant (Sacramento)
Malik Pope 6’7” Capital Christian (Sacramento)
Murshid Randle 6’3” Central (Fresno)
Elliott Smith 6’5” Freedom (Oakley)
Temidayo Yussuf 6’5” St. Joseph-Notre Dame (Alameda)

Santa Clara to get a visit from an Illinois backcourter

Jared Brownridge, a 2013 6-foot-3 guard out of the Land of Lincoln, will be visiting Santa Clara on September 13. His rep is as a strong outside shooter.

A description from NY2LA Sports: "Brownridge doesn't need much space to get a shot off and proved that Friday with a three-point barrage, accumulating 24 points. Brownridge is a great catch and shoot player, but can also get shots off quickly off screens and in transition. Brownridge has the body control and poise to shoot accurately under pressure with no hesitation."

This tourney looks interesting

From Dinos Trigonis: "Tarkanian Classic (Dec 19-22 @ Gorman HS/Las Vegas) will include Gorman, Mater Dei, Sacramento Sheldon, Bishop O'Dowd, Compton, Fairfax (LA)"

An Ikenna Iroegbu update

Ikenna Iroegbu may be at Oak Hill in Virginia but he isn't forgotten in the west as various reports indicate offers from USC, Arizona State, Oregon State and Colorado as well as Nebraska, Missouri and Oklahoma State fro his services. He has unofficially visited UCLA, USC, Cal and Stanford. Will he decide to return to California?

"Transferring is an epidemic"

It's an interesting topic but it's also curious that movement of coaches is a no-show in CBSSports' all about transfers feature in which coaches are polled. It's mentioned but not in the context of any sort of an issue.

Not to highlight anyone or any school but simply to demonstrate: the Western Washington coach just took a job at Washington. Realistically, his now previous roster signed on to play for him. That won't be happening but what are those young men to do at this late date?

What's good for the goose is good for the gander. If restrictions are deemed necessary, something we are not in agreement with for anyone, then they should be applied equally.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Welcome to Team Sage


We have been remiss. Sure, there are quite a number of competitive club basketball teams up in and around Sacramento but underclassmen laden Team Sage (Scholar Athletes Globally Emerging) deserves specific coverage despite the 2012 spring and summer playing season being in the rear view mirror.

Wornel Simpson founded the program which will be entering year four come spring. His background: "a University of California-Davis graduate, he has recently been named one of California’s leading forward thinkers and visionaries by California Forward. He has coached and played in professional, developmental, adult and AAU competitions and is certified by the National High School Federation having completed the Fundamentals of Coaching and the California State Component."

So why is there a Team Sage?

Simpson explained, "Because children are our future. Team Sage is committed to improving the lives of California's children. We encourage our student-athletes to be creative, explore original ideas and have a willingness and confidence to try things out and make mistakes and try again. All of this can be accomplished through lessons learned on the basketball court supplemented by Team Sage's educational initiatives."

Here's the program's mission statement: "to create an educational experience embodying the principles of sound mind and sound body, by incorporating academic and social accountability with organized sports." 

The backers utilize a wholistic approach towards the youth members, focusing on academic achievement (maintaining a 3.3 grade point average is a must or mandatory, free-of-charge, tutoring becomes part of the training equation) and social accountability.

"Team Sage's vision," Simpson offered, "is to build the capacity of prepared, accountable student-athletes who will graduate from four-year, accredited universities, and go on to be pillars in the community, as well as role models who will reach back and lift others up through their efforts. If this happens, mission accomplished." 

Off the court, Team Sage members are provided with support that has nothing to do with basketball but everything to do with providing knowledge and therefore opportunity: "peer counseling, peer mentoring, and peer tutoring sessions, along with free Educational Workshops focusing on a variety of topics such as obesity prevention and reduction; health nutrition; relationships; HIV/AIDS awareness; athletes and the law; arts and culture; etiquette and pragmatism. Learning about nutrition at our educational seminars also help. The kids are cognizant of what and when they put in their bodies."

From Simpson, here are the goals underpinning Team Sage: "We want to see our players win on the basketball court and in life. I believe an at-risk child becomes an at-risk adult. Team SAGE strives to incorporate the very definition of the term ‘sage’ into the daily lives of our scholar-athletes. We want to see them become wise, astute, educated, and insightful and practice good judgment. That’s what we strive for both on and off the court.”

So how did this all begin?

"Team Sage began focused on three eighth-grade teams," Simpson said. "In addition to a 100% high school graduation rate, we also set as a goal for all of our kids to be UC-eligible upon graduation from high school. In order to be UC eligible, you pretty much have to start off high school in the 9th grade taking the right courses. That's why we have so many (approximately 43) playing high school basketball right now. That first year, those three teams spent a lot of time preparing academically for their freshman year in high school. Our next 8th grade class the following year after the initial three teams were the Nor Cal Pharoahs-Sage coached by Don Roberson. We didn't have an eighth grade team this past year, however we have a fifth grade team and by the time the older teams have graduated and are out of the way, we'll have another crop ready for their high school years."

Simpson is also willing to go against the grain if it benefits the kids. As he explained, "I brought in skill development trainer Kelvin (KP) Potts to work with my team for 10 consecutive Tuesdays for two hours each session. We also did 4-6 sessions with him year before last. Team Sage also works out at Kidd's Sports Gym in Oak Park with trainer Charles Kidd. There, the kids get strength training, weight lifting, agility and jumping drills, Saturday morning boot camps, going to Paradise Beach and running in sand and uphill. So, basically, our kids are preparing themselves for the rigors of collegiate basketball prematurely. I have also brought in coaches like Lester Diaz from the Renegades and Don Roberson from the Pharoahs to work on certain things with my kids. It makes it difficult when we rarely have to play their teams, but it's in the best interest of the kids to give them outside instruction as well as coaching from our three coaches on Team Sage-Truth."

Here are the members of the top Team Sage squad from this spring/summer (class standing is for the coming season). Descriptions provided by Coach Simpson:

* Mo Britten - 6-foot-3, wing, junior, Del Campo HS

"Mo is versatile, has long arms and can effectively play four positions"

* Jalen Davis - 6-foot-3, wing, River City HS

" Jalen is long, lean and has become extremely aggressive defensively."

* Forrest Johnson - 5-foot-9, guard, junior, Bradshaw Christian HS

"Forrest is dependable and digs in defensively."

* Cameron Graham - 6-foot-4, wing, junior, Sacramento High

"Cameron is a streaky 3-point shooter who presents challenges defensively out top."

* Benson Osayande - 6-foot-7, post, junior, Franklin HS

"Benson is our presence in the middle and on the wing. Great athleticism and motor."

* Jamaryion Simmons - 6-foot-4 1/2, wing, junior, Independent Study

"Jamaryion is big, athletic and very skillful, our enforcer."

* Kellen Simpson - 6-foot-1, point, junior, Sacramento High

"Kellen and Terence are the best defensive guard tandem in Nor Cal. Kellen is totally unselfish and the consummate point guard, needs to shoot more."

* Brandon Thompson - 6-foot-4, wing, junior, Christian Brothers HS

"Brandon is long, athletic and very quick. He rebounds, shoots mid-range and 3's effectively and is a force defensively out front."

* Terrence White - 6-foot-1, guard, junior, Inderkum HS

"Terrence is super athletic and is capable of taking games over offensively."

A Dom Taplin update

Word is that former UC Riverside backcourter/Bay Area Hoosier/Oakland High Dominique Taplin will be at and on the court for Dominican University and Coach Booker Harris this year and season.

Presenting Ivan Rabb

He's young but looks at the talent and promise:


A Khiari Swift update

Mel Grussing reports that for Arroyo High player Khiari Swift is sidelined for now.

The Gaels are on a Colorado prep guard

The Colorado Chaos club team has a backcourter of interest to St. Mary's: "Carlton Hurst (6'3" SG Aurora Central HS) official visit weekends: Colorado State (Sept 7th) Saint Mary's (Sept 14th) and Wyoming (Sept 21st)"

Hoopniks and Malik Pope

Hoopnik's 2014 rankings are out with Malik Pope coming in at #34. He's the only Nor Cal prospect listed.

A question goes out to all who do this -- how do you accurately rank 100 kids situated throughout close to every state of the country? What would be helpful, whether it be Hoopniks, Rivals, Scout, et al, is to list how many times a player is/must be viewed before a ranking is issued.

The latest on Marcus Lee

Adam Zagoria offers more on Marcus Lee.

Gary Williams to the Midwest

Gary Williams Signs With Nation’s Top JUCO
Anthony Ray


Westwind Prep 6-foot-5, 225-pound prep guard Gary Williams has signed a national letter of intent with one of the nation's premier junior college programs.

This week, Williams decided to sign with one of the nation’s elite junior college basketball programs – signing a national letter of intent with Indian Hills Junior College in Iowa. Indian Hills JC head coach Barrett Peery attended several of Williams’ games this summer and reeled in the ultra-talented guard prospect.

Still looking to get cleared by the NCAA’s Clearinghouse very late, Williams had planned to accept one of the many division-I offers that he had received over the summer, but now plans to attend Indian Hills JC for one year in an attempt to raise his recruiting stock.

Williams will look to play the point guard position for Indian Hills this season – a team that is already being heralded as the nation’s top program for the 2012-2013 season.

While playing for the Arizona Magic Elite 17U coached by Kenny Mullins, Williams was an instrumental force for the team, and ranked among the hottest unsigned prospects in the West throughout the summer. 

As a result of Williams’ play this summer, the talented and gifted bigger guard prospect reeled in serious division-I interest from numerous college programs, including Marquette, Oregon State, Texas San Antonio, New Mexico and Portland State.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Kobe & Steve

Henry Abbott has a tremendous piece on how the contrasting behavior by Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen towards teammates just may be emulated by Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash and work just as well.

Not Nor Cal-related but...

Pete Thamel's latest article is an eye-opener -- may Jonathan Hargett find the equilibrium necessary for a more constructive life from here on out.

Plus, there was this anecdote.

A Santa Clara recruiting target

Blake Schulte (a Rivals sub is required) serves up the latest on 6-foot-6 high-flying Soma Edo, a 2013 Texas prepster who includes Santa Clara as one of his options.

A Gary Payton II update

From Adam DeSautels: "Best of luck to former Westwind G Gary Payton II as he continues his journey @ Salt Lake CC. Expect great things from him!"

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Marcus Lee's trips

Adam Zagoria has the August, September and October dates and destinations of Marcus Lee's college visits.

Jabari Bird has a plan

"My goal is to do it within two years," he said. "If it takes longer, so be it. Whenever I'm good enough"  -- Jabari Bird talking about the NBA once he's entered college during an August 16 interview (a Rivals sub is required) with Justin Rowland.

Jim Les' birthday

Congrats to Jim Les who entered the world on this day in 1963, per the Baller's Almanac.

Bob Williams interviewed

Jon Teitel interviews and salutes UC Santa Barbara Coach Bob Williams, who played at Aptos High (Santa Cruz County) and coached at UC Davis, Menlo College, Cabrillo College and elsewhere as this feature recalls.

NorCal talents on his roster for the upcoming season are Mike Bryson, Nate Garth, John Green, Shawn Moore and T.J. Taylor.

A Frankie Ferrari update

From Steve Hu: " Can you update Burlingame's profile. He informed me that Denver and St. Mary's have initiated contact with him"

Kyle Odister checks in

Former Rio Americano backcourter Kyle Odister writes about his involvement with Cal Poly basketball.

Pope with LC

Per the Elk Grove Citizen, Malik Pope is back for the new school year where he started.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Gordon heads to Europe

Van Tate has the details on the next basketball step for Drew Gordon.

Remember Nick Vanos?

Paul Coro writes about the passing of Nick Vanos, the former Santa Clara University and Hillsdale High big who died 25 years ago in an airplane crash.

Recalling Kenny Sears

For those with long memories, Bloguin makes mention of today being the birthday of Kenny Sears, the pride of Watsonville, CA: "Sears would go on to star at Santa Clara, and he holds the distinction of being the first ever basketball player to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated."

Ken Sears, Basketball, Santa Clara Broncos

Bird has four September sojourns

Percy Allen offers the dates and destination of Jabari Bird's four September trips.

Plus, he has a bit on Aaron Gordon.

A Malik Thames upcoming visit

Todd Wickham/SoCal Recruit Spot tweets on Malik Thames: "'13 guard Malik Thames reports official visit to UCSB planned 4 September. Thames wraps HS career this season at Elk Grove (Ca)"

A look at Randy Bennett's guys

Zack Farmer offers his take on the 2012-13 St. Mary's Gaels.

The Tigers nab another win

Pacific wins again. Two new additions, former Santa Rosa Junior College guard Sama Taku scored 19 points and newcomer Consumnes River College frontcourter Tony Gill added 13. Taku scored 14 points in the preceding game. Seeing the new recruits contributing heavily bodes well for Tiger hoops.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pacific by 10

Pacific nabbed a win in the latest series of games for the Tigers in France.

The Dons finish up in Mexico

The USF trip to Cancun is complete -- here's the latest game report.

Andrew Daou remembered

Andrew Daou was a solid basketball player but, more importantly, a very good person. His loss is still felt.

Porter indicted

Former Modesto Christian guard Michael Porter's sex abuse case moves along in Kentucky.

A scouting report on Matthew Dellavedova

Ed Isaacson looks at the 2013 NBA draft and p-layers with something to prove. St. Mary's backcourter Matthew Dellavedova is among them"
Dellavedova is coming off a summer spent with the Australian Olympic squad, where he started every game and helped lead them to the Quarterfinals.  Dellavedova has done a solid job at both guard positions for the Gaels over the past three seasons.  He controls the tempo for the team and keeps the offense moving smoothly.  He is very good making plays off the pick and roll, and he uses his dribble well to get into the defense.  He goes strong to the rim and can find ways to finish against bigger defenders.  Dellavedova is a good perimeter shooter, though his shot selection can still improve.  On the defensive side, Dellavedova is a good off-ball defender, playing passing lanes well and helping when needed.

What he needs to show this season: As noted above, Dellavedova is a good shooter, but he doesn’t necessarily take good shots.  His range is limited, and he will need to show that he can hit consistently beyond the college three-point line.  While he makes good decisions off the pick and roll, he needs to make sure he gets the ball out quickly when he has an opening.  Defensively, he doesn’t have great foot speed or lateral movement, and he is susceptible to being beat off the dribble.

The latest on Darin Johnson

From Scott Sommer: "Darin Johnson tells me that his final 7 schools are San Diego State, Oregon, Washington, Texas A&M, USC, Marquette and Oregon St" 

Alex Kline added this: "With that being said, Darin Johnson will also have in-home visits with UCLA & Washington State despite those schools not making his final 7"

The Dame story

Kevin Eastman lauds Damian Lillard.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Looking forward to Lakeshow 2012


The 2012 Lakeshow Pump N Run rosters has also produced a bountiful crop of college players. Another hearty congratulations goes out to Coach Joe Fuca and his staff.

* David Ahern – Marin Catholic High: Portland University

* Tyler Charette, Berean Christian High: Sacramento State football defensive back

* Jonny Crosthwaite - Northgate High: Chapman University


 * JJ Crum – Bishop O'Dowd: Holy Names University

 * Drew Dickey – St Francis High: UC Santa Barbara

* Alex Fertig – Buchanan High: Cal State Monterey Bay

* Tyler Fidelbus – Las Lomas High: Chapman University redshirt year

 * Israel Hakim – Palo Alto High: Praire View Texas A&M

 * McKayle Harnell - Livermore High: Westwind Prep School, AZ

 * Kendall Jackson - Bishop O'Dowd: Suffield Prep School, CT

* Connor Jean – Northgate High: Diablo Valley College

* Lawrence Otis - McClymonds High: City College of San Francisco

* Ryan Swain - Buchanan High: Fresno City College, State JC champs last year

* Matt Mareno – Redwood High: Cushing Prep School, MA

* Cole McConnell - Sacred Heart Prep: New Hampton Prep School, NH

* Casey Norris – Newark Memorial High: Ohlone Junior College

* Jeffrey Parker - Salesian High: Western Washington, the NCAA D-II champion

* Taylor Thompson – Sonora High: Cal State Stanislaus

* Abu Trotter – St Francis High: De Anza College


* Tom Witzel – Arcata High: Humboldt State

Cheating coaches and Abar Rouse

Mike DeCourcy admonishes so much of the participation in the recent CBSSports 'cheating coaches' survey and the 'most overrated coach' one too. However, the "most underrated coach' and 'most coveted player' entries receive his stamp of approval.

But what is missing near the end of his 'cheating coaches' piece is a discussion of the omerta among coaches, the one and only Golden Rule of the College Coaching Fraternity against turning in a fellow coach, something that prevails above all else, regardless of deed.

See the Dave Bliss story for the ultimate in revulsion -- here's a portion via Wikipedia:
On August 16, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that Bliss told players to lie to investigators by indicating that Patrick Dennehy had paid for his tuition by dealing drugs. These conversations were taped on microcassette by assistant coach Abar Rouse from July 30 to August 1. On the tapes, Bliss was heard instructing players to fabricate the story of Dennehy being a drug dealer to the University's investigative committee and also said that talking to the McLennan County, Texas Sheriff's Department would give him the opportunity to "practice" his story. The tapes also showed that Bliss and his staff knew that Dennehy had been threatened by two of their teammates when they publicly denied such knowledge.
Rouse taped the conversations after Bliss threatened to fire him if he did not go along with the scheme.[8]
The revelations shocked the school and the college basketball community. However, despite the potential allegations of extortion, obstruction of justice and witness tampering, no criminal charges were filed against Bliss.
After Baylor, Rouse worked as a graduate assistant coach at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. He left the position in October 2007. Rouse has not had another basketball job since leaving Midwestern State University, and has said that he "has been blackballed, labeled a snitch and a turncoat" for taping Bliss' statements.[9] Despite the near-universal revulsion at Bliss' actions, many leading members of the college basketball coaching fraternity considered Rouse's recordings a serious breach of trust (for example, Mike Krzyzewski said that if he ever found out one of his assistants had been secretly taping him, "there's no way he would be on my staff"[9]). Rouse sued his attorney in 2005 for releasing the tapes, claiming that it breached the attorney–client privilege; the suit is still pending.[9]} Rouse's attorney claims she did not know how the tapes got transcribed, but the journalist who published them said he got it from her.[9] Jeff Ray, the Midwestern coach who hired Rouse, commented: "I'm right in the middle of it, don't get me wrong. But sometimes the things you see are pretty disgusting. Why is there this black cloud hanging over him? He did nothing wrong. To me, this is all a testimony to the sad state of affairs of our profession."

The shell of ESPN

Awful Announcing posted a pair of so spot-on tweets on the self-inflicted demise of ESPN and specifically SportsCenter:
The ESPN I once knew covered news. The SportsCenter I grew up with showed highlights. It was funny, it was relevant, it was interesting.
and
I don't want ESPN to be obliterated. I don't want the ESPN empire to fall. I want them to be better. I want them to serve fans better. 
It's an unintentional Saturday Night Live skit performance on display now by the self-professed sports leader.

Wise words from Will Bynum

Not Nor-Cal related but universally applicable -- congrats to Will Bynum for both giving back and moving beyond training on the court.

SportsFocus holding a Bay Area camp

Sunday, September 2
Oakland, CA 

Please take a few minutes to read about our showcases so you can decide if they might benefit some of your kids who have the potential to play college basketball at some level (kids who have attended our past showcases have been recruited by everyone from Kentucky and UNC all the way to Juco & D3).

Here is our promo video for the fall tour.

Top Plays from our June All American camp. 

Check out our Fall Showcase schedule. The events  are open for grades 9 to post grad as well as exceptional middle schoolers.

If you decide to forward this email to your kids, they can register or get more info here.

Password needed to register: SFCA2012CO

We pride ourselves on providing MAXIMUM EXPOSURE to our showcase attendees, and we have the TRACK RECORD to back it up:

 * We film all games, and we have had over 7.5 million online video views on from our showcase footage alone with 20+ million total views from our videos!

*  We also had a ESPN Sportscenter #1 Top Play this past July.

*  We have had 10 Yahoo! front page stories in the past year, plus countless stories and videos featured on Yahoo! sports.

*   In addition to Yahoo!, scouting services such as Rivals, Scout, ESPN, SLAM Magazine, Phenom Hoop Report, Texas Boys Basketball, & many others have covered our events & featured articles promoting the top players from our showcases.

 * 6 McDonald's All-Americans have come from our showcases in the recent years, with other attendees currently attending schools such as Kentucky (Ryan Harrow), North Carolina (Reggie Bullock and PJ Hairston), Louisville (Montrezl Harrell and Kevin Ware), Baylor (Quincy Miller and Deuce Bello) plus many more and literally countless recruits to smaller D1 schools as well as D2, NAIA, JuCo, and D3.

 * Our showcases have also served as a springboard for many younger players who are currently highly ranked such as Andrew Wiggins (#1 Player in High School), Tyus Jones (#1 Point Guard in High School), Chris Walker (Top 5, 2013), Isaiah Briscoe (#1 PG, 2015), Damon Harge (#1 Player in 2018), Kobi Jordan Stephens-Simmons (#1 PG,  2016), and many more.

* Games will be live-streamed online for free and sent out to every D1, D2, D3, NAIA and JuCo coach in the nation.

* Potential to earn an invite (based on our evaluation of your performance) to the Scouts Focus All-American Camp next June in Charlottesville, VA parallel to the NBAPA Top 100 Camp. Invites go out May 1, 2013.

* Option to purchase a personal event mixtape to be posted on YouTube with a nice beat. Can combine footage from multiple showcases to make it longer. Go here for examples.

* Top Players (based on our evaluation) will be written up online and emailed directly to nearly every college coach in the nation. Those who purchase the mixtape will get a personal evaluation, which guarantees evaluation will be sent out to all the colleges.

* We will invite all D2, D3, NAIA, and JuCo coaches within a 10 hour drive of the event.

* The first 120 players to complete registration will be accepted.

* Our Scouting Service is NCAA approved and goes out to every college coach in the USA no matter the division or level.

* Choose the interest-free bill me later option on the Paypal checkout page to pay later. (Online-only)

Registration can be done immediately. Mail-in registration must be postmarked within 10 days of the showcase in order to be accepted. Register via fax, email attachment or call/text 281-896-8638 to pay over the phone (9 a.m. to 4 p.n. Monday through Saturday).

We hope to have you in attendance. Please keep in mind that all of our showcases fill up very quickly and the best way to reserve a spot is to register immediately. Event fee is $110 and that includes a T-shirt, 3 games, all full game footage sent to every D1, D2, D3, and JuCo program in the country and live-streamed online for everybody to watch free.

Coach, thanks very much for your time.  If you choose to help us get this information to your kids, we will do our very best to help them reach the next level.

In Hoops,

Joe Davis, elite80@scoutsfocus.com Director of ScoutsFocus

Camp brochure

To register

Cancellation insurance