Tuesday, December 31, 2013

High School Roundup

 * Bob Padecky writes his goodby from the Press-Democrat and, class act that he is, it's about other people, those he encountered during his sportswriting tenure. He will certainly be missed.

* Monte Vista High defeated Archbishop Mitty 66-59 to win the Modesto Christian Holiday Hoops Classic and MV's Spencer Rust was named the tournament MVP.

* Brian VanderBeek is all over the the other matchups in the Modesto Christian Holiday Hoops Classic.

* Bill Paterson has some details on El Cerrito's 57-53 victory over Sacramento High.

* Ditto on Capital Christian's loss to Jackson High (Washington).

The JC game for today (Tuesday)

* Hartnell College - Simpson JV

JC scores from Monday

* Chabot College 76 - Cosumnes River College 64 boxscore

Chabot's Leo Smith posted a line of 19 points, five rebounds and five assists. CRC's Jaycob Velasco went for 15 points (4-6 from long distance) and six boards.


* Fresno City College 81 - San Jose City College 76 double overtime boxscore

The Jags Bobby Gray had 31 points (plus nine boards, five assists and five steals) which was nearly matched by Chris Ashanti's 26 for the Rams. Andre Russell produced a 28/10 double-double for SJCC.

From the Fresno Bee:
Richie Tesmer scored five of his 11 points in the second overtime -- converting a 3-pointer and a layup -- to help lift state No. 2 Fresno City College to an 81-76 victory against San Jose City in the championship of the Allan Hancock College Bulldog Classic men's basketball tournament Monday.

Tournament MVP Dejon Burdeaux made four free throws down the stretch to cap the scoring for the Rams (16-1), who captured their fourth tournament title of the season and the Bulldog Classic crown for the seventh time in its 49-year history.

There were 14 ties and 23 lead changes in a game that saw all-tournament pick Chris Ashanti score 17 of his 26 points in the second half for the Rams.

Burdeaux finished with 10 points. He had 32 points, 14 assists, 15 rebounds and seven steals in the tournament.

Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/12/30/3691135/jc-mens-hoops-fresno-city-beats.html#storylink=cpy

* San Joaquin Delta College 87 - College of Alameda 72

COA's Aris Morton posted a 30-point/10-rebound double-double in the loss.


* Cabrillo College 49 - Foothill College 48

From the Cabrillo College basketball site:
The Cabrillo College Men's Basketball Team earned a hard fought win on the road vs. Foothill College tonight. The win ended a 3 game losing streak for Cabrillo, and gave them a little momentum heading into their final pre-season contest against Modesto Junior College on Saturday (Jan 4th) night in Modesto.

Foothill and Cabrillo traded leads throughout the game with neither team leading by more then 5 points at any time in the contest. Cabrillo took a 27-26 lead into the break, Foothill would score on their opening possession to regain the lead and hold the lead for a large portion on the 2nd half before Allen Wilcher put back an offensive rebound to give Cabrillo a lead it would never again relinquish. With Cabrillo leading 49-48, Foothill guard Kyle Toth missed a deep 3, their put back opportunity missed after the horn sounded and Cabrillo escaped with the win. Wilcher would lead Cabrillo with 14 points, Warren Jackson added 10 and Jake Harrell chipped in 9. The win improves Cabrillo to 8-6 on the season Foothill drops to 7-7.

Diablo Valley College 76 - Skyline College 64

From the DVC Men's Basketball Facebook page:
DVC outscored Skyline 43-21 in the 2nd half to turn a 10 point deficit at the break into a 12 point win (76-64), and improve to 12-2 during the 2013-2014 campaign. It was a balanced effort, as four players scored in double figures for the Vikings. A.B. had 14, while Eric, Jermaine, and Justin each had 12. DVC shot 20-28 at the line made 25 total field goals. The Vikings will start Big 8 Conference play 1 week from today against a good Cosumnes River team; the Hawks are 12-4 this season.

* Butte College 72 - Lane College 63

From the ChicoER:
Arthur Caldwell scored 28 points and the Butte College men's basketball team defeated Lane of Oregon 72-63 Monday at the Siskiyous Exchange tournament in Weed.
Caldwell was named to the all-tournament team for the Roadrunners (9-7), who went 3-0 in the three-day, round-robin event.

Jud Sailsbery added 16 points with four 3-pointers for Butte, and Jamaal Davis scored 12 with three 3s. 

* Sierra College 89 - Lassen College 72


* Las Positas College 79 - Simpson JV 64


* Umpqua College 71 - Siskiyous College 68

A Noah Springwater note

Columbia took down Colgate 76-72 last night -- here's the opening of the game report via Columbia athletics:
Trailing by seven with just over two minutes remaining, Columbia stormed back to force not one, but two overtimes, to claim a thrilling 76-70 victory at Colgate on Monday night to wrap up 2013. The Lions (8-6) picked up their first road win of the season and first overtime victory since a Mar. 6, 2004 triumph over Yale, which also took two extra sessions. Junior Noah Springwater came off the bench to help key the rally, playing relentless defense on the Raiders’ (6-5) top scorer Austin Tillotson which changed the complexion of the game. With Springwater denying Tillotson, Colgate struggled to run its offense and Maodo Lo came up with a steal and score to start the Lions last push...
The junior guard out of University High played 15 minutes.

Thames featured

Eamonn Brennan gives San Diego State hoops -- Xavier Thames in particular -- some much-deserved national limelight.

Simmons back on the court

Desmond Simmons is back from injury and playing for Washington. He went for 11/1 Sunday against Hartford.
...The Huskies were hoping to get Desmond Simmons 20 minutes of action Sunday, but he played 14. He had a rather quiet game until the final minute when he collected his only rebound with 11 seconds left. He also capped the scoring with free throws. Simmons was 7 for 8 at the line and 2 of 2 from the field. He had a season-high 11 points in his third game...

SO downs WJU

Matt Horrocks reports that host William Jessup University lost to #2 nationally ranked Southern Oregon 70-58 Monday evening. Warrior Corey Clement's line: 22 points, 10 rebounds, four blocked shots.

St. Mary's over Pacific

The Gaels righted the proverbial ship versus host Pacific 88-80 last night. Beau Levesque went for a very well-rounded 15 points, eight boards and five assists while Brad Waldow was right behind with 14/8. Coach Eran Ganot's (subbing for Randy Bennett) guys went 13-26 from long distance and garnered 18 assists on 27 baskets.

Stetson by two over Lipscomb

Lipscomb University was Khion (Newark Memorial High) Sankey-powered last night though the Bisons fell 65-63 to host Stetson. The senior guard led his squad with 14 points (3-6 from long distance) plus eight rebounds (five on the offensive boards). For the Hatters, freshman backcourter Glenn (St. Mary's High) Baral scored six points on a pair of treys.

Davis falls

UC Davis fell to visiting Furman last night 75-65 with Ryan Sypkens going for 15 points (5-9 from long distance and Darius Graham contributing 11 points plus five assists.

Lane aids in Wave win

Brendan Lane provided 11 points, six rebounds and three blocked shots in Pepperdine's 80-74 homecourt takedown of BYU on Monday night.

Monday, December 30, 2013

This week's Massey rankings

The Massey California community college team rankings are out for the week with CCSF on top, FCC fifth, Ohlone ninth and DVC tenth -- Mel Grussing has it all here.

Meet Alec Kobre

Whether you subtitle it Guard U or the Backcourt Institute of Basketball, Coach Craig McMillan's Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) Bear Cubs program annually produces players typically ranging from 5-foot-11 to 6-foot-4 who move on to the next levels.

Try Sama Taku, Kevin Aronis and Bobby Sharp just to name a few recent alumni who are currently playing at Pacific, New Mexico State and Portland respectively. Plus, Lorenzo McCloud finished up at Pacific last year.

So does anyone wish to bet against Alec Kobre following those footsteps?

For some background, the 6-foot 3 sophomore out of Montgomery High is currently averaging 17.3 points per game while shooting 49% overall, 53% from three-point range (55-103) and 95% at the foul line. At the recent Kris Kringle tournament hosted by SRJC, Kobre connected on 17-23 shots from long distance.

Here'd Coach McMillan on his sharpshooter: "Alec stepped up to the challenge and is playing a bigger role for us [this season]. He redshirted for a year (look at all the guards who preceded him), he's tough-minded and has become an even better shooter."

Besides producing points, that challenge also included providing greater influence.

Asked his best skills, Kobre answered with "definitely shooting and trying to provide leadership. I'm one of the more experienced guys." He was the team captain as a senior at Montgomery so it's not a completely new role.

Flipping that question over, he offered "my defense and ballhandling" as areas he's spending the most time on improving.

He holds Ned Averbuck, a Sonoma County basketball trainer and longtime educator, as his biggest basketball influence. It's been a while since the two have worked together but Averbuck was prominent during Kobre's high school years. He also credited McMillan, longtime Montgomery High Coach Tom Fitchie and Bryan Long, who has coached at Santa Rosa Junior College and now assists at Montgomery, as instrumental in his development.

It was a no brainer that Kobre would head to SRJC of all community college because "I grew up going to practices there and I knew Coach McMillan as well as the guys before me."

As a true freshman, Kobre redshirted -- "I didn't like it at the time but we had a really good team and I got a lot stronger, adding,"it was impressive to see how hard Max Fuji and Bobby Sharp were playing."

Grades are no issue even with the higher grade point average required of community college transfers by the NCAA.

Kobre holds a specific memory as his best basketball moment.

"It was winning the NCS championship as a senior," in which Montgomery bested Las Lomas High 58-51 in a game that was played at Santa Rosa Junior College.

Now, Kobre is trying to do the same as a Bear Cub member of the Big Eight Conference.

JC games for today (Monday)

* Chabot College - Cosumnes River College

* Diablo Valley College - Skyline College

* Cabrillo College - Foothill College

* Lassen College - Sierra College

* Butte College - Lane College

* San Joaquin Delta College - College of Alameda

* Las Positas College - Simpson JV

* Siskiyous College - Umpqua College

JC scores from Sunday

* Cosumnes River College 83 - Las Positas College 67 boxscore

Sophomore center Jaycob Velasco posted a 25 point/17 rebound double-double for the Hawks.

CRC athletics game reports.


* Fresno City College 69 - Bakersfield College 59 boxscore

Ram sophomore Chris Ashanti served up a 25/12 double-double.

From the Fresno Bee:
Fresno City College posted a 69-59 men's basketball win against Bakersfield at the Allan Hancock Tournament semifinals thanks in part to a 13-0 run over an eight-minute span Sunday in Santa Maria.

Chris Ashanti had a game-high 25 points and 12 rebounds for the state ranked No. 2 Rams. James O'Neal tied the score at 53-53 with 7:46 left on a layup that opened the Rams' scoring tear.

Fresno City (15-1) will play defending champion San Jose (9-5) today in a matchup of the tournament's past two champs.

From Chabot Men's Basketball:
Chabot wins a close one tonight against Sierra College, 74-72! Great team effort! Chabot is now 12-3 on the season. On the offensive end it was very balanced as everyone contributed. Cortez Barrett (12), Paris Davis (11), Andrew Rice (10), Greg Brown (10), Adrian Crump (9), Leo Smith (7), Ray Baldwin (5), Rodney Owens (4), Khalil James (4) & Noel Briones (2)

Chabot faces off with Cosumnes River Monday evening at 5pm for the Championship of the Chabot Holiday Tournament!

Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/12/29/3689617/fresno-city-mens-basketballteam.html#stoink=
++++++* Chabot College 74 Sier
+++++++++* Butte College 76 - Sacramento City College 63
Butte College 76 - Sacramento City College 63

From the ChicoER:
Arthur Caldwell scored a game-high 25 points and the Butte College men's basketball team defeated Sacramento City 76-63 Sunday at the Siskiyous Exchange tournament in Weed.

Jud Sailsbery added 17 points with four 3-pointers for the Roadrunners (8-7), who jumped out to an early 16-6 lead and held a 44-21 advantage at halftime.

Jamaal Davis and Nicolas Petruk each scored 11 points for Butte, which plays Lane of Oregon at 1 p.m. today as the three-day tourney concludes.

* San Jose City College 84 - Rio Hondo College 81 boxscore

Jaguar guard Bobby Gray led with 25 points.

* Diablo Valley College 99 - Shasta College 59

* Mendocino College 71 - Umpqua College 61

* Lassen College 69 - Simpson JV 54

* Siskiyous College 93 - Lane College 82

* Ismail Ali had 10 points plus six assists in Antelope Valley College's 71-69 victory over College of the Canyons.

Moore still suspended

From UTEP and Coach Tim Floyd:
The Miners played without leading scorer McKenzie Moore and Jalen Ragland, who are suspended indefinitely for what Floyd termed a violation of team rules.

"I don't know how long it will last," he said. "I'm learning more information as I sit here. It's very disheartening. I certainly hope they come out on the positive end of what's going on. Unfortunately I'm not able to talk about it right now. Eventually everything does come out and will come out, but right now I have been asked not to say anything. Right now they're not with our team and I told them I'll have more to say to them on Tuesday. It's unfortunate and that's kind of where it is."

A Terry Stotts interview

Here's an interesting feature on Portland Trailblazer Coach Terry Stotts, who must possess the lowest ego maintenance of all the NBA coaches.

A snippet:
“In college, you know, it’s more of a coaches’ game. You recruit to a system, and players come and go. You know an Izzo team, you know a Krzyzewski team, you know a Bob Knight team. I think it’s very difficult to have that in the NBA. You’ve had it with [Gregg] Popovich, you’ve had it with [Pat] Riley, you’ve had it with [Jerry] Sloan … but I think those are the exceptions. If a coach can put his imprint on the team, that says to me that you’re coaching the team in the way that fits them. … When players get to this level, I think you can tweak their game, but you’re not going to overhaul their game. They got to the league for a reason, they have a certain skill set. They have, already, a talent level and strengths you need to accentuate, and they can build on that.”

Scott more than doing his part at Lafayette

6-foot-3 sophomore backcourter Bryce (Oakridge High) Scott is putting up 16.7 points a matchup while shooting 45%, 38% and 94% respectively. He is also corralling 4.1 rebounds per contest and has started all 10 games for the Leopards.

Lee aiding the cause at NC

In nine games with Northern Colorado, Dominique (St. Mary's High) Lee is averaging 8.3 points on 16 minutes a night of court time while shooting 62%, 50% and 60%. The 6-foot-4 Lee is also grabbing 3.4 boards a game.

Smith producing as a sophomore

Coppin State sophomore Sterling (Chico High) Smith is second on his team in scoring at 12.3 points per game while shooting 46%, 42% and 69% respectively. He is also nabbing 3.7 rebounds each time out and leads the Eagles with 20 steals (11 games).

Kurtz doing well down south

For the season, his junior one at Biola, Mike Kurtz is averaging 10.8 points plus 6.5 rebounds an outing, shooting 57% and 73%. The former Woodcreek High and UC Davis big leads his team with 32 blocked shots in 13 games.

The Top 25 of most hyped prospects

Andrew Somuah/DIME profiles the most hyped basketball prospects of all time, most who didn't live up to their coronations.

But what's missing from the piece is pointing out that the hype came from others and not these particular individuals. So did most these guys fall short or did the scouts and rating analysts get it wrong?

How has Steve Fisher done it?

It's simply amazing what Coach Steve Fisher plus, his staff and players, have achieved at San Diego State. It would be fascinating to read what was said by pundits (publicly) and fellow coaches (privately) about the move back then, surely along the lines of 'it's a coach killer position' and such.

Here's two snippets from a recent article:
...It’s more than dame fortune. Branch Rickey said luck is the residue of design, and that’s true, but in the case of Fisher, it’s been more than luck. It’s been hard work. Even he admits that, while expecting to succeed when he took the job, he never could have envisioned what’s happened to the program since he arrived...
...When you think about what the program was when he took over — it was close to being the worst in the country, if not the worst, and there was more basketball apathy on campus than there were students — he has turned San Diego’s attitude toward his sport inside-out...
Fisher and also Randy Bennett at St. Mary's -- there are two books yet to be written that would be great reads regarding how they achieved what they have done.

The Hornets by two over the Highlanders

In a game that went down to the last seconds and shots, host Sacramento State topped UC Riverside 69-67 on Sunday. Former Ohlone College backcourter Mikh McKinney led the Hornets with 15 points (8-8 from the foul line) as he and backcourt mate Dylan Garrity earned 20 free throw attempts (making 18). For the Highlanders, frontcourter Lucas Devenney totaled eight points and eight rebounds in 19 minutes of play.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

JC matchups for Sunday

* Cosumnes River College - Las Positas College

* Diablo Valley College - Shasta College

* Chabot College - Sierra College

* Mendocino College - Umpqua College

* Lassen College - Simpson JV

* Sacramento City College - Butte College

* Fresno City College - Bakersfield College

* College of the Siskiyous - Lane College

High school roundup (games from Saturday)

* Via Andrew Matheson: "Kaijae Yee-Stephens w/33 points, named all-tourney team at Sand Dune Classic after Santa Cruz beat Mission 82-65"

*Also from Andrew Matheson: "Cole Welle (24 pts, 15 reb) earns double-double, MVP as Aptos def. Mission San Jose of Fremont 53-42 in Steinbach Classic final" Earlier, the 6-foot-7 Welle scored 37 points alongside 17 rebounds as Aptos beat Alisal 79-57.

* The Vallejo Times-Herald: "The St. Patrick-St. Vincent High School boys basketball team claimed the championship at the Monte Vista tournament on Saturday with a 64-52 win over Monte Vista. Jordan Hickman had 15 points and six boards and Jose Flores added 12 points and nine boards for the Bruins (8-1)."

* Crespi over Marin Catholic.

* Grant tops Drake.

* Marin Academy bests Huntington Park.

* Tim Menicutch features Brandon High's Taylor Walton.

* The MIJ offers capsule looks at each Marin County boys basketball squad.

* Matthew Kimel reports on Del Campo's title game win over Placer High. DC's Vasilije Saraba warned MVP honors.

* Kirk Barron details River Valley High's getting by Marysville despite 26 points, eight rebounds and seven assists by the latter's Danny Lewis.

* Jack Sheedy was on press row for SI's defeat of Canby.

* Thomas Lawrence profiles Chico High guard Clayton Welch's MVP performance in a win over Foothill.

* Bill Paterson is all over the bevy of Sacramento area teams who captured tournament titles last night. He also covers Capital Christian's big win down in Palm Springs.

* Brian VanderBeek has the scoop on Archbishop Mitty's win over host Modesto Christian High.

JC scores from Saturday

* Las Positas College 64 - Sierra College 63

From the Las Positas Men's Basketball site:
Davis Kimble and Jayson Rose came up big on opposite ends of the floor Saturday, lifting LPC to a 64-63 victory over Sierra in the Chabot Classic in Hayward.

In the final 2 minutes, Kimble hit a three-pointer, made a nifty assist, and sank a foul shot before putting the Hawks ahead to stay by converting a three-point play with 25.5 seconds remaining. 

Rose set up Kimble's game-winning play by making a steal with 37 seconds left and LPC trailing 63-61. Then after Kimble gave the Hawks the lead, Rose and teammate Uche Okpalaugo smothered Sierra inside, forcing an errant shot at the buzzer and enabling LPC (7-5) to emerge victoriously... Hit this link to read more.

* Cosumnes River College 81 - Lassen College 72 boxscore

AJ Bridges led CRC with 18 points plus six assists.


* Chabot College 109 - Simpson JV 64

Via Chabot Men's Basketball:
Chabot opens up their Holiday Tournament with a big 109-64 victory over Simpson! Well balanced scoring with all players getting in the book. Leo Smith led the way on the offensive end with 18 pts & 11 assists, followed by Paris Davis with 16, Rodney Owens with 14, Cortez Barret with 13 & Ray Baldwin with 9. Other scorers, Andrew Rice (8), Khalil James (6), Adrian Crump (5), Davon Stewart (5), Noel Briones (5), Greg Brown (3), James Potts (3), Jalen Rodgers (2) & Damien Coleman (2), Tomorrows games is vs. a very good Sierra College team @ 5pm. Sierra is the only team to beat the #1 team in Northern California this season. Come early & rowdy!

* Fresno City College 60 - Cuesta College 53 boxscore


* San Jose City College 70 - El Camino College 61 boxscore

The Jaguars' Bobby Gray exploded for 29 points. Coach Percy Carr's squad was out-shot 50% to 40% but had just eight turnovers to 21 for El Camino.


* City College of San Francisco 78 - Cabrillo College 55

From Cabrillo College Men's Basketball site:
After a strong 1st half performance by Cabrillo where they trailed 33-32 to CCSF the 2nd half saw Cabrillo struggle to connect on open looks. San Francisco used a 19-3 run to pull away and eventually earn a 78-55 victory over the Seahawks. The loss drops Cabrillo to 7-6 on the year with a quick turnaround game vs. Foothill College on the road Monday Night.

* Butte College 63 - Umpqua College 52

From the ChicoER:  
"Arthur Caldwell scored 20 points and pulled in 11 rebounds for his 14th double-double in a row as the Butte men's basketball team beat Umpqua 63-52 in the Siskiyous Classic tournament on Saturday."

* Siskiyous College 74 - Mendocino College 63

* Shasta College 64 - Skyline College 62

* Sacramento City College 100 - Lane College 72 

Jon Sheets back here scouting

Via Yuba Men's Basketball (click on the link for the Jon Sheets/Doug Cornelius photo):
Best thing about coaching by far is seeing your former players becoming productive members of society!!! Meet Jon Sheets a former all state guard for Yuba college from Nevada Union HS...pretty sure he is the only athlete from Sacramento area to be named an Optimist All-star in 3 different sports! Went on to play D1 basketball at Maine University and is currently on the fast track as a D1 assistant coach at Maine as well...even better person!!!! Great to watch some local high school hoops with him tonight!!

Lutes going AF

Via Jesuit High's 6-foot-7 Lake Lutes: "Happy to say I'm committed to play basketball at Air Force! Excited to be a Falcon next year"

Air Force is a member of the Mountain West Conference.

Butterfield with another all-around effort

Utah State hosted San Diego Christian and won as expected by the score of 84-53. Spencer Butterfield earned an 11 point/13 rebound double-double alongside five assists.

It's Utah with 124 points

Utah routed visiting St. Katherine 124-51 last night with Delon Wright enjoying 17 rebounds, six points plus six assists.

The Bulldogs double up on Merced

Fresno State manhandled UC Merced 104-43 with former Windsor High big Tanner Giddings providing a 13/10 double-double. Tyler Johnson enjoyed a solid game with 14 points, seven boards and six assists.

Davis goes for a D/D

UC Irvine fell 74-61 to Arizona State in Tempe on Saturday despite Will Davis posting a 14/10 double-double for the Anteaters.

Lane contributes in Wave win

Brendan Lane scored 18 points on 8-10 shooting as host Pepperdine downed San Diego 75-64 on Saturday.

USF shoots 60%, win over Portland

In overtime, USF took down host Portland 87-81 on Saturday with Mark Tollefsen totaling 22 points (9-11 shooting), five rebounds and a trio of assists for the Dons. For the Pilots, Bobby Sharp scored 13 points (4-6 from long distance).

Brown major factor in win over NC State

Missouri went into ACC territory and handled North Carolina State 68-64 yesterday with Jabari Brown providing 17 points, second in scoring for the Tigers on the night.

Cunningham paces Bakersfield to victory

From the Bakersfield Californian:
Jared Cunningham had a game-high 25 points and 10 assists to lead the Bakersfield Jam to a 115-93 victory over the Santa Cruz Warriors in Saturday's NBA D-League play at the Dignity Health Events Center.

Damion James had 22 points and 10 rebounds and Ike Diogu added 17 points and 14 rebounds for Bakersfield, which led 62-47 at the half. James Nunnally scored 19 for the Jam.

Press for Delon Wright

Tony Jones offers a lengthy feature on former CCSF star Delon Wright, who is tearing it up for Utah.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Chriss to check out Washington

From West Coast Hoops: "Pleasant Grove 2015 Marquese Chriss will officially visit Univ. Washington on the Weekend of Jan 10th"

Coach Romar had got to again landing some difference makers and Chriss would be a good start.

JC games for Saturday (today)

* Las Positas College - Sierra College

* Cosumnes River College - Lassen College

* Skyline College - Shasta College

* Chabot College - Simpson JV

* Fresno City College - Cuesta College

* San Jose City College - El Camino College

* Sacramento City College - Lane College

* Cabrillo College - City College of San Francisco

* Butte College - Umpqua College

* Mendocino College - Siskiyous College

Taplin playing big role at Dominican

Junior Dominique Taplin has come into his own this season at Dominican University, putting up these numbers: 14.5 points and 6.2 rebounds each night, with 54%, 38% and 67% shooting accuracy. The 6-foot former Oakland High talent averaged 7.7 points plus 3.4 rebounds an outing last season.

Baker performing well

For the season with the Alaska Nanooks, former Diablo Valley College transfer Ronnie Baker is averaging a team-leading 17.6 points per contest while shooting 50%, 47% and 80% respectively. He is also grabbing 2.6 rebounds a game.

Akognon goes for 54

Josh Akognon had 54 points and 2 assists as Qingdao (his team in China) lost 123-113. He shot 9-17 from three-point range and 11-11 from the foul line. 54 poinst matches his career high abroad.

O'Reilly picks up an offer

From Campolindo guard Matt O'Reilly: "offered a scholarship by oakland university"

Situated in Rochester, Michigan, Oakland is a member of the Horizon league.

Eric Bossi on Frayer & Milstead

Eric Bossi comments after his viewing of Moreau Catholic's Oscar Frayer and Damari Milstead:
The theme of the day seemed to be blowouts wherever we stopped. Too bad that was the case when we checked in on Hayward (Calif.) Moreau Catholic. Loaded with young players, Moreau features a roster made up entirely of 2016 and 2017 players. The top dog is four-star sophomore Oscar Frayer who currently ranks No. 23 in the class of 2016. A long, lanky and athletic 6-foot-5 wing, Frayer has all of the physical markers and is an explosive leaper and finisher around the rim. However, in a game such as Thursday's where he could finish at will around the rim, there was no chance to see if he has the skill to be a long-term two guard or if he needs to stretch out a bit into the frame of an elite small forward. He's for sure a legit high-major prospect, though.

The other Moreau Catholic player who really piqued our interest was freshman point guard Damari Milstead. A solid six-footer who we got to see some during the summer, he plays with an attack mentality. Milstead got into the lane whenever he wanted and did a good job of mixing his finishing with dropping the ball off to teammates for easy buckets. How good is he? Time will tell, and Thursday's opponent didn't offer much resistance; but we've seen enough to know that he's a guy who needs to be monitored out on the West Coast.
The theme of the day seemed to be blowouts wherever we stopped. Too bad that was the case when we checked in on Hayward (Calif.) Moreau Catholic. Loaded with young players, Moreau features a roster made up entirely of 2016 and 2017 players. The top dog is four-star sophomore Oscar Frayer who currently ranks No. 23 in the class of 2016. A long, lanky and athletic 6-foot-5 wing, Frayer has all of the physical markers and is an explosive leaper and finisher around the rim. However, in a game such as Thursday's where he could finish at will around the rim, there was no chance to see if he has the skill to be a long-term two guard or if he needs to stretch out a bit into the frame of an elite small forward. He's for sure a legit high-major prospect, though.
The other Moreau Catholic player who really piqued our interest was freshman point guard Damari Milstead. A solid six-footer who we got to see some during the summer, he plays with an attack mentality. Milstead got into the lane whenever he wanted and did a good job of mixing his finishing with dropping the ball off to teammates for easy buckets. How good is he? Time will tell, and Thursday's opponent didn't offer much resistance; but we've seen enough to know that he's a guy who needs to be monitored out on the West Coast.
- See more at: http://recruitscoop.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1591264#sthash.uLAOOJYD.dpuf

Eric Bossi on D.J. Wilson

Here's Eric Bossi after viewing D.J. Wilson:
Rivals.com didn't focus as much on Wilson, even though the plan originally called for watching much more of his game. A 6-foot-8 combo forward who ranks No. 135 nationally, Wilson is finally completely healthy and is showing a level of athleticism to which he has never come close in the past. He sprinted the floor for dunks and was blocking shots and grabbing rebounds above the rim.

Unfortunately (from an evaluation standpoint), he and his Capital Christian teammates blew out their opponents, so it was tough to judge just how much more athletic he really is. Wilson already has a very good jump shot and versatility on the offensive end. If he can be as athletic and active as he looked on Thursday against better competition, he is a threat to make a move in the rankings.
Rivals.com didn't focus as much on Wilson, even though the plan originally called for watching much more of his game. A 6-foot-8 combo forward who ranks No. 135 nationally, Wilson is finally completely healthy and is showing a level of athleticism to which he has never come close in the past. He sprinted the floor for dunks and was blocking shots and grabbing rebounds above the rim.
Unfortunately (from an evaluation standpoint), he and his Capital Christian teammates blew out their opponents, so it was tough to judge just how much more athletic he really is. Wilson already has a very good jump shot and versatility on the offensive end. If he can be as athletic and active as he looked on Thursday against better competition, he is a threat to make a move in the rankings.
- See more at: http://recruitscoop.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1591264#sthash.uLAOOJYD.dpuf
Rivals.com didn't focus as much on Wilson, even though the plan originally called for watching much more of his game. A 6-foot-8 combo forward who ranks No. 135 nationally, Wilson is finally completely healthy and is showing a level of athleticism to which he has never come close in the past. He sprinted the floor for dunks and was blocking shots and grabbing rebounds above the rim.
Unfortunately (from an evaluation standpoint), he and his Capital Christian teammates blew out their opponents, so it was tough to judge just how much more athletic he really is. Wilson already has a very good jump shot and versatility on the offensive end. If he can be as athletic and active as he looked on Thursday against better competition, he is a threat to make a move in the rankings.
- See more at: http://recruitscoop.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1591264#sthash.uLAOOJYD.dpuf

A Gabe Vincent feature

Richard Estrada shines the spotlight on Gaucho-bound Gabe Vincent who is achieving both on the floor and in the classroom at St. Mary's High in Stockton.

More press for Kiwi

Keith Schlosser features the play of Santa Cruz Warrior Kiwi Gardner.

Cards lose to Burlingame, then Branson

Santa Cruz High fell Thursday 58-45 to Burlingame High despite the efforts of the usual Cardinal twosome: sophomore Kaijae Yee-Stephens scored 20 and junior teammate Kiree Hutchings contributed 13.

Then, Santa Cruz faced Branson on Friday and fell by 14. From the Marin IJ:
Branson 68, Santa Cruz 54

The difference: The Bulls (9-2) cruised to a comfortable 17-point lead at halftime (38-21), but had to withstand a strong second-half charge by Santa Cruz at the Sand Dune Classic at St. Ignatius High in San Francisco. Branson had its lead cut to 42-40 in the third quarter, as Kaijae Yee-Stephens (28 points, six 3s) and the Cardinals (5-5) fought back. However, a 21-point fourth helped seal the game for the Bulls. Taylor Walton was the catalyst all game, consistently finishing around the rim to record 24 points and grabbing 10 boards.

Sam Diego State 118, St. Katherine 35

Yes, you read that right. In a game that had absolutely zero reason for being played, host San Diego State blitzed St. Katherine 118-35 last night. In 21 minutes, Xavier Thames totaled 10 points, four assists, three steals and a trio of rebounds. Dakarai Allen scored six points, alongside three assists, three steals and a pair of rebounds in 14 minutes of play.

St. Katherine is located in San Diego and is in its initial season of playing basketball. This was offered in the AP game report: ""Well I can thank God nobody got decapitated," St. Katherine College coach Scott Mitchell said.

Plus: ""Well, I'm a competitor and I want my guys to be competitive," Mitchell said. "As a little kid you want to go to Disneyland. As a grown-up basketball player living in San Diego, you want to play the Aztecs."

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/12/27/6031267/no-20-sdsu-routs-st-katherine.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/12/27/6031267/no-20-sdsu-routs-st-katherine.html#storylink=cpy

Friday, December 27, 2013

Looking at choices made

Two former Bay Area preps cast their respective lots with Pac-12 teams a couple of years ago -- so how are they doing?

* Junior (Bishop O'Dowd High) Longrus has enjoyed two starts this season at Washington State and is playing 17.5 minutes per game. He is scoring 3.2 points an outing alongside 3.7 rebounds (18 of his 37 rebounds are from the offensive end). Longrus is shooting 50% and 2-6 from the foul line (zero long distance attempts. Last season, he averaged 10.2 minutes, 1 point and 2 rebounds while shooting .412 from the field. He is planning on majoring in Business.

* Langston Morris-Walker went with Oregon State. To date in the 2013-14 season, he is averaging 1.8 points in 2.2 minutes per contest. His shooting numbers are sharp if minimal: 4-5, 2-3 and 1-1. As a freshman, he went for 1.8 points, 0.8 rebounds, 0.2 assists and 0.2 steals in 9.7 minutes a game. He is majoring in Human Development and Family Science.


So Longrus is emerging in his second year and it will be interesting to watch his development as an upperclassman.

Morris-Walker is struggling right now but also with two more seasons ahead of him.

But rather than slice and dice/splatter and scatter as is the custom on too many message boards, it's important to acknowledge that multiple other factors can be significant before someone screams 'looks like a transfer is coming up' or anyone is written off as a dud.

What if a student-athlete happens to really like the school he is at? Or has a fine relationship with the coaching staff despite minimal court time? In Morris-Walker's bio, he details his reasons for heading to Corvallis: "Chose Oregon State because “the high character people, my teammates that I will play with, the small college town and Coach Robinson as a role model and mentor.”

How about looking at who is ahead in the rotation and seeing if that player or players be completing their athletic eligibility after this season, therefore opening up playing time?

Plus, some players have a slower development process.

The bottomline is there is so much as fans that we don't know and don't care about not knowing before offering our obviously superlative insights and opinions. But that doesn't stop us.

Anyone coming out of college with a degree is a winner, period.

Pecos playing well

Travis Pecos, a 6-foot-3 junior out of De La Salle High, is averaging 11.0 points per game so far this season at Northwest Christian University, shooting 50%, 31% and 89% respectively. He is tops on the team in steals with 22, is grabbing 4.2 rebounds an outing and has a 29-10 assist-to-turnover ratio. NCU is located in Eugene, Oregon.

The Drake handles Marin Academy

Tim Menicutch was present at Drake High's 79-57 win over Marin Academy at the Don Bambauer Holiday Classic. Kyle Roach went for 32 points and eight rebounds for MA.

Brooks out at McClymonds

John Murphy has the scoop regarding Brandon Brooks no longer coaching boys basketball at McClymonds High.

Modesto Christian Holiday Hoop Classic game reports

Brian VanderBeek provides multi-game coverage of the Modesto Christian Holiday Hoop Classic.

Raven & Montgomery

(photo courtesy of PD Preps)

Can Montgomery High's Alec Raven continue with his scoring outbursts? Howard Senzell has the latest as the Vikings are down in Santa Maria for a bigtime tournament.

Looking at the WCAL

Jack Sheedy/Preps By The Bay previews the West Catholic Athletic Conference.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Young honored as PoW

Former Monterey Peninsula College frontcourter Andrew Young has been named the California Collegiate Athletic Association Player of the Week.

Catching up on Shawn Smith

Shawn (McClatchy High) Smith transferred from CCSF to Marshall after last season so how is he doing so far?

8.1 points plus 3.9 rebounds in 19.4 minutes a game on 44%, 32% and 73% shooting

Zitani makes it three in a row

With a tip o' the hat to Diablo Valley College Men's Basketball, Daniel Zitani is causing thought that the Northwest Conference Student-Athlete of the Week honors simply be named after him.

Doug Wiggins -- woeful to hopeful

Here's a lengthy and fascinating article on former Connecticut phenom Doug Wiggins who was living an all too familiar story. Let's hope he has discovered what he needs to be successful from here on out, regardless of any basketball participation.

DePonte was on the fence about coming back

Bill Paterson offers the scoop that Pleasant Grove Coach John DePonte almost didn't return to the coaching box this season.

CCAA PoW honors are almost all NorCal

Northern California-connected talents are owning the California Collegiate Athletic Association Player of the Week honors as it's all Nor Cal other than the third week. Check it out:
CCAA Men's Basketball Player of the Week

Nov. 8-10: Gabe Kindred (Cal State East Bay)
Nov. 11-17: Marcus Bell (Cal State Stanislaus)
Nov. 18-24: Drew Dyer (UC San Diego)
Nov. 25-Dec. 1: Giordano Estrada (Chico State)
Dec. 2-8: James Tillman (Cal State L.A.)
Dec. 9-15: Rashad Parker (Chico State)
Dec. 16-22:  Andrew Young (Cal State San Bernardino)

Press for Ivan Rabb

At Nor Cal Preps, Eric Bossi lauds the recent play of Bishop O'Dowd's Ivan Rabb.

Kyle Gouveia meets backboard and wins

Calaveras High's Kyle Gouveia went all Chocolate Thunder on the rim and backboard on Monday as Jeremy Malamed reports.

Gaels lose third straight

St. Mary's Coach Randy Bennett is one of the few who have traveled to Hawaii and departed vowing never to return, this after the Gaels fell for the third straight time on the trip, 65-63 to George Mason. Brad Waldow went for 10 points (5-5 shooting) and three rebounds, hindered by foul trouble which limited him to 17 minutes.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Taking Wednesday off

All my energy will be going into unwrapping presents. Have a great Christmas!

The Rooney Way

Cal Maritime Coach Bryan Rooney is too modest to call it such but there is a Rooney Way, one certainly aided and abetted by his assistant coaches and players and it's proving to be highly successful up in Vallejo.

It doesn't involve any voodoo or secret chants -- just intelligence, understanding and hard-working effort by all involved with a visible dedication to a 'we-all-win-when-the-team-wins philosophy.

First some background.

Rooney owns a master's degree in Education from Dominican University. A Stockton native, his college athletics participation was multi-sport:

* a year of football at St. Mary's College.
* two years at San Joaquin Delta College - named team captain and all conference
* two years at Dominican University - named team captain and all conference

He began in the coaching ranks by assisting at Dominican University, San Francisco State and Claremont McKenna.

Now in his seventh year at Cal Maritime, Rooney entered the 2013-14 season with a 120-80 record, boosted by the Keelhaulers going a magnificent 25-7 last year. In 2011-12, Rooney's crew advanced all the way to the NAIA National Tournament, then repeated that feat in 2012-13.

So why such is this California Pacific Conference institution such a continued basketball success?

It's a multi-part answer.

"We want guys who are basketball players, not guys who play basketball. They need to truly love playing," Rooney explained. "They need to have mental and physical toughness, love to compete and won't back down. This is a culture of competition."

He means it in a well-rounded way.

"It's finals week here now, so that can mean getting to class on three hours sleep and still loving to practice and work out."

And how does he and his staff determine such individuals?

"We talk to a whole host of people, from teachers, to counselors, to coaches. That's important in order to get the whole picture. Seeing a player one time doesn't provide the entire package."

Rooney also has a different philosophy in that he views it as critical to educate prospects about what attending Cal Maritime will involve while also detailing the benefits. Some coaches employ smoke-and-mirrors in attempting to convince Recruit A to sign on but "we want them to know what committing to our school and program means."

Citing the need for mutually beneficial harmony, he said, "It can't be great for the program and just okay for the player or vice versa. That won't work. Both parties need to be ‘All In.’"

When recruiting prospects arrive, "we tell them this needs to be a very big information gathering process for you, that this isn't a four-year decision but a lifetime one."

Rooney continued, "we want our players interacting with recruits. They can talk with Jaquai Wiley about being an International Business major or Erik Hanson about mechanical engineering. They talk to our career center about the unbelievable employment opportunity a Cal Maritime degree affords them. If we have a guy [visiting] on campus for four hours, the first two and a half won't be about basketball. But we will also explain to them exactly where we see them on our basketball team, about the brotherhood that develops and the degree of [mutual] accountability. We go into '15 years down the line, will you be able to look back and see coming to Cal Maritime as one of the best decisions of your life?' The decision to be a Keelhauler is about so much more than basketball. The benefits are endless."

About taking chances with recruits, Rooney has a different take.

"We believe in the direction we're going and have a passion, an investment in a common goal. and I love what I do. I look forward to coming to work every day. How many people have a job they love and also love the people they work with? It makes it a whole lot of fun."

But he is quick to explain, "I have many limitations and one is that I am not a very good coach of ‘bad guys.’ So our solution is we do not recruit them. "

So how does he and his staff go about building team cohesiveness?

"Everyone in our program has a role, we define it and no role is less or more significant than anybody else's. When starting point guard Jaquai Wiley got banged up in practice, we called upon backup point guard Patrick Dungo and he responded in a very tough game against #2 ranked Southern Oregon. It was his turn and he was ready to go." Dungo scored 11 points (3-3 from long distance) and passed for two assists in the 93-92 road loss.

The Keelhaulers are also known for always producing a strong defensive effort.

"Defending is one of our core tenets, it's non-negotiable," Rooney offered. "An individual may not be a great defender but can be part of a unit that defends well, five guys doing the job."

There's that working together element again along with individual competitiveness.

Some will say that Rooney should move on to larger landscapes and the coach has a ready response to that: "We've had three championship teams and been to two national tournaments. Our goal is to make the big time where we are. Maximize where we are, the here and now."


2014 March Madness Shootout by Team Select

Directors & Coaches,

I know many of you prepare your schedules months ahead of time, so I want to make you aware of this event well ahead of time. This year the 5th Annual "March Madness Shootout" will be held at the RCEC in Rancho Cordova (Sacramento area).

"March Madness Shootout" by "Team Select" / "Events by Select" has become one of the most sought-after stops on the club circuit (this event has experienced tremendous growth over the past few years). In an attempt to bring back the original "VIBE" of the event, we needed to bring it back "All Under One Roof."

Networking with JOI (JamOnIt) & the RCEC (Rancho Cordova Events Center); FITS THE MOLD PERFECTLY!  8 full length hardwood courts, very clean & well ran (a perfect venue for an event of this sort).

2014 "March Madness Shootout" Will Feature: Great Facility / Great Refs / Great Competition / Great Awards / 14min "Stopped Clock" / Media Coverage (HS teams only) / Barbers on site / Hospitality / "Championship Sunday" Drum-Line / DJ Spinsation / etc. (everything expected from "Events by Select")

- ORGANIZATIONS ALREADY COMMITTED: Team Select / Lady Select / JamOnIt / SF Rebels / Oakland Rebels / Saints / Team Elite / APT / AllOut Blaze / etc.

- 2014 5th Annual "March Madness Shootout" BE SURE TO SAVE THE DATE!!!
- March 14-16, 2014 (Friday games will be played in the evening only)
- "Championship Sunday" (all courts will be HOT on Sunday afternoon w/drum-line in attendance)
- @ RCEC (Rancho Cordova Event Center) / 2561 Mercantile Drive / Rancho Cordova, CA / 95742 / http://www.ranchocordovaeventscenter.com/ 
- Hosted by: "Team Select" / "Events by Select" www.TeamSelectBasketball.com
- Host Hotel: Fairfield Inn & Suites / www.RanchoCordova-SacramentoHotel.com (special room rates TBA)
- Host Lounge: Cordova Restaurant & Casino / www.CordovaCasino.com (special happy hour & FREE play info TBA)
- Check-in required (additional info to follow)
- Media Coverage provided (write-ups, footage & evaluation sheets) for HS teams only (Sat & Sun only). MixTapes also available!
- 2014 "March Madness Shootout" will be sanctioned by the AAU.  All participants (players & coaches) must carry a current AAU membership on them at all times (coaches must also carry proof of age for all participating players).

- Past Participants: - O Rebels   - Modesto SNJ  - FF Ballers  - O Soldiers  - Next Play  - SF Rebels  - Pro City  - D1 All Stars  - All Star Predators  - Yellow Jackets  - Dreamers   - Lions  - Bay Area Phenoms  - Vallejo Hustlers  - Fairfield Warriors  - Benicia Blue Devils   - NorCal Warriors  - Allout Sports  - Allout Blaze  - Spirit Got Game  - East Bay Celtics   - Classic Basketball  - NBBA - ECBGC Hoyas  - APT Sports  - Bay Area Magic  - Kool Kids   - NC Express  - Delta Express  - Hoop Club USA  - Bumfrog Sports  - Hayward Tarheels   - SF Bulldogs  - West Coast All Stars  - MHT Wolverines  - East Bay Bearcats  - Bay Area Wolverines  - North Coast Finest  - 1team 1dream  - Above & Beyond  - SABC  - DC Spartans - Hoyas - East Bay Soldiers - Lady Select - Lafayette Lightning - Brentwood Ballers  - Stockton Mustangs  - SF Rimwrekas  - Hercules Hornets  - Cal Fury  - Cobras   - Ca Ballaz  - Girls Zone  - Wildcats  - Tracy Storm  - Warrior Elite  - East Bay Hawks   - Stanco  - Brisbane Warriors  - NorCal Outlawz  - Bay City  - Team Elite  - Stockton Knights  - The 1's  - Beast Up Hoops  - ASA  - Team Elite  - Foothill Stars  - Hornets Black  - Vallejo All-Net  - Roadrunners  - Game Stoppers  - Warrior Elite  - Saratoga Falcons  - Berkeley Hhawks  - Saratoga Express  - Blythes Basketball  - Modesto Warriors  - Santa Rosa Hawks  - Oakland PAL  - Mid-Town Heat  - Tri-City Thunder  - SV Titans  - San Jose Falcons  - Delta Runnin Rebels  - Team Xover  - etc.

60+ SPOTS ALREADY GONE!  DON'T WAIT TO RESERVE YOUR ENTRY!  Contact me with any questions you may have.


 Ruben Garcia
(925) 367-3912

Some JC team numbers to date

It's close to being REALLY SERIOUS time, what with conference play right around the corner so what surprises have taken place team-wise up to now?

* Did any forsee Los Medanos College, despite some solid backcourt returnees, being 9-2 at this point? Try 42% three-point team shooting.  

* Merritt is also at a remarkable 42% on trey attempts and an en fuego 49% overall.

*  Santa Rosa Junior College is 6-6 (but look at who the Beat Cubs have played) with a 45% connection rate on 304 attempted treys but also a very solid 244 free throw tries.

* Fresno City College's 13-1 is yet again the sum being greater than the parts, which is a coach's dream.

* Ohlone being 14-1 -- the Renegades play their game regardless of what opponents try and one suspects even their trainer is a good shooter.

* Skyline is a remarkable 8-2 with strong sophomore play

* In fact, the seven member Coast North entity has just one team with a losing record.

* College of the Redwoods' 10-5 record is quite the achievement since the roster is made up of Redwood-ians and that usually means minimal size.

* Lassen stands 12-7, this after losing its big man.

* Cosumnes River College's 347 free throw attempts is an astounding number.

* Diablo Valley College manages just 8.7 turnovers a game despite the racehorse basketball of today.

* Ditto Chabot College for posting but 6.8 turnovers an outing.

Coach Bob Walsh with another fine column

Coach Bob Walsh offers another post, this one on finding leadership.

Praise for Sheldon

Ladell Hill Jr. is mighty impressed by the play of Sheldon High.

This week's Massey Poll

Mel Grussing has posted the latest Massey Poll -- CCSF is first with Ohlone College and Fresno City College in the Top 10.

Sims endures

Embele Awipi writes about the situation of former Monte Vista Christian and Monterey Peninsula College player Jonathan Sims, who had his four-year college close down but now has a new educational and hoops home.

The latest on Marcus Lee

Jerry Tipton writes about the status of Kentucky's Marcus Lee.

Gardner aids in another SCW victory

Kiwi Gardner is featured (in photos and print) in this Embele Awipi article on the latest Santa Cruz Warrior win in which Gardner scored 18 points.

The Gaels go down again

Host Hawaii and St. Mary's battled down the stretch until the Rainbow Warriors emerged 76-74 victors last night. Brad Waldow posted a 17 point (8-10 shooting), six rebound, three assist, three blocked shots line with teammate Beau Levesque scoring 14 points on 6-9 shooting.

Missed this from Saturday

New Mexico State had an easy time Saturday against Northern New Mexico 97-47 with former Santa Rosa JC guard Kevin Aronis starting for the victors and totaling 18 points with his 6-10 shooting from three-point range.

Pressley honored as WCC PoW

Jesuit High graduate and Portland sophomore backcourter Bryce Pressley has been named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Cal State East Bay Coach Gus Argenal on establishing culture

Any new coach wants to put his imprint on what is now his basketball program. Sure, there is the hiring of assistant coaches, the signing of new talents, the finalization of a roster and schedule and connecting with boosters. That's the side of coaching the public can view, at least the outcomes if not the processes.

Then there is the internal process of turning around a program -- the creation of a culture of success -- and some would say it is the more difficult yet most critical element of all. Call it 12 becoming one, synchronicity, becoming a team, the whole becoming greater than the sum of the parts.

Yet virtually every student-athlete arrives wanting to start, play major minutes and be the focus of the offense. How does a coaching staff develop the necessary individual buy-in even when all is not necessarily what the players imagined.

Gus Argenal was hired as head coach at Cal State East Bay in late May. The mission given to him: develop the Pioneer basketball program into California Collegiate Athletic Association perennial contender.

His background:

* a B.A. in history at UC Davis

* a Master's in education from Arizona State

* a playing career first as a member of the vaunted De La Salle program and then UC Davis, with a penchant for passes leading to points and taking the ball away from opponents

* a coaching career beginning as a graduate assistant at Arizona State, then as an assistant coach at UC Davis, followed by basketball operations coordinator at Texas San Antonio, Chico State assistant coach, assistant coach at UC Davis again and being an assistant at Rice University before accepting the position in Hayward.

 We recently had the opportunity to do a Q-and-A with him.

Q: What specifically is the program/team culture you and your staff are developing at Cal State East Bay?

GA: Our culture is based around high appreciation and low entitlement. Our team has great pride in the university and understands the opportunity they have to represent the Bay Area, their local community, and family. We want student-athletes that are excited about graduating, being special players, and embracing the social experience they can have at CSU East Bay. We feel that the Pioneer brotherhood and family built here is a product of working hard, having great energy daily, and competing at a championship level. Our culture is about relationships- lifelong relationships that transcend sports.

Q: Obviously, there is no off-the-shelf product that you can sprinkle about and instantly have what you desire in the way of tone, beliefs and customs, so what does a new coach do say in his first week in order to begin establishing the culture he desires?

GA: From day one our focus has been to instill a worker mentality. We focus on our academics, practice hard, and lift weights with passion. I want our student athletes to take pride in the amount of sacrifice they have made to be great. 


Q: What constitutes the on-going process? How does this get reinforced?

GA: We talk about expecting to win everyday. Thats in practice, shoot around, and games. The most important parts of this are centered around a focus on believing, having passion, and playing hard for your teammates. The most important and often forgotten aspect is that each individual is enjoying the journey and having fun.

Q: “The Butler Way” is defined as:

* Humility – Those who humble themselves will be exalted;
* Passion – Do not be lukewarm, commit to excellence;
* Unity – Do not divide our house, team first;
* Servanthood – Make teammates better, lead by giving; and
* Thankfulness – Learn from every circumstance

What's the Cal State East Bay Way?

GA: On the Basketball Floor:

ATTACK: We want our team to be attacking on both ends of the floor. Pushing the ball in transition and pressuring on defense. A relentless assault on the opposition. This approach is what makes people successful. Take a challenge and make it an opportunity.

AGGRESSIVE: I want their to be an edge to our team that separates us. We constantly talk about having a mindset that you will not be denied. This should be the way we play all night and the way we go about living our lives. Nothing comes easy so you have to follow your dreams and goals with courage.

CONFIDENT: I want our players to play free. The hardest thing to do is to play well when you are cautious. I want our players to know that I believe in them and want them to make plays.

Constants everyday:

COMMUNICATION: I believe in positive, honest, and transparent conversations. I  constantly meet with our team members and staff to ensure quality understanding of roles, strategy, and togetherness.

TRUST: Our belief in each other will be forged by followthrough.

ACCOUNTABILITY: The expectations of each member of the Pioneer Basketball team is clearly laid out. The student-athletes expect a high level of achievement from themselves and their teammates.    

Q: Does recruiting only a certain type of prospect (one that exhibits the various traits you want to have on your team) play a role in all this? Or is there some wiggle room for bringing in prospects who will need to undergo some degree of change in expectations/actions but not any sort of complete transformation?

GA: We recruit student athletes that represent our vision for Pioneer Basketball. We believe that forcing a fit will only hurt the program. A future Pioneer has to have the proper grades, play with passion and defend, have great character, and fit what we need in the program at that time. Just taking a great talent does not lead to success. They have to share the core of what we think is important to win.

Q: Can a group of individuals play cohesively as a team on the court if, off the court, each one is leaving after a game in the proverbial 12 separate cabs?

GA: I believe that the special teams have a level of friendship that makes a brotherhood. They love their teammates and treat them with great respect. A team that is divided off the floor will never be special and has no chance of being a real winner. 

Thank you Coach Argenal.

DRinCA on the WVC - MJC battle

Here's DRinCA on the West Valley College - Modesto Junior College Saturday showdown.

DRinCA covering the DVC - Ohlone game

Here's DRinCA with a full game report and boxscore of Saturday's Diablo Valley College - Ohlone College matchup.

Burlison on the MD - BOD matchup

Frank Burlison writes about the Matei Dei - Bishop O'Dowd matchup that took place this weekend. A snippet:
In a game that could prove to have been played by the best northern (via Oakland’s Bishop O’Dowd) and southern (Santa Ana’s Mater Dei) California have to offer this season, Coach Gary McKnight’s Mater Dei Monarchs were able to win their second Tarkanian Classic title by win of the 63-59 decision over Coach Lou Richie’s Dragons.

But it took a four-minute overtime, another terrific performance by two-time event Most Valuable Player Stanley Johnson (25 points and eight rebounds), a no-call on what appeared to be a foul by Johnson on the Dragons’ Paris Austin as he tried to score on a drive near the end of regulation, and a big defensive effort by the Monarchs’ Rex Pflueger for the team from Orange County to improve to 10-0.

The biggest – literally and figuratively – obstacle to the Monarchs continuing the season unblemished was the presence of the 6-9 Ivan Rabb...
Head here for the remainder (it takes scrolling down a bit).

Preps By The Bay team rankings

Preps By The Bay serves up the rankings of its Top 25 teams.

BP on the WCAL

Bay Preps takes a look at what the WCAL teams have been up to so far.

JC scores from Sunday

* Contra Costa College 75 - Ventura College 64

Via Contra Costa College Men's Basketball: "The Comets won the consolation bracket of the College Of Sequoias Tournament, defeating Ventura College 75-64. After falling down by 10 early the Comets battled back with strong defense and a balanced attack. All-tournament selection G Davion Mize led the Comets with 26 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists. C Daris Workman controlled the paint, collecting 12 rebounds to go along with his 12 points, and G Ladra Befford added 12 points and 2 assists. The Comets finish the preseason 6-6 and will open up conference play January 4th against Yuba College... GO COMETS!!!"


* Reedley College 63 - San Joaquin Delta College 58 boxscore

For SJDC, guards Alex Simmons scored 15 points and Nicolus Guzman was right behind with 14.

Dave Campbell game reports.


* Cuesta College 79 - Butte College 72

From the ChicoER:
Arthur Caldwell scored a game-high 27 points Sunday for the Butte College men's basketball team, but the Roadrunners fell to Cuesta College 79-72 in overtime in the third-place game at the Delta Classic in Stockton.

Jamaal Davis added 16 points for Butte (6-7), and Justin Gavard scored nine for the Roadrunners, who lost their third overtime game this season.

Butte led 28-27 at halftime and was ahead 49-40 in the second half, but the Cougars closed to within 69-66 before hitting a tying 3-pointer with 8 seconds left in regulation.

* City College of San Francisco 103 - Sierra College 79

UCSC athletics features James Townsend

6-foot-4 junior James (Sacramento High) Townsend is featured in this UCSC athletics article. The Slug basketball player is going to change the world he grew up in.

Whither Matt Mareno?

Noticed that Matt Mareno is no longer listed on the roster at Assumption. He played a prep year back east at Cushing Academy after finishing at Redwood High.

Copeland at Texas A&M International

Former De Anza College and Santa Teresa High point Denzel Copeland is at Texas A&M International (here is his signing article from back in May) but it looks like he is redshirting in this season.

Meet Juwan Anderson

Mid Major Hoops Report has posted an interview with 2015 Bishop O'Dowd backcourter Juwan Anderson. It's interesting that he'll be playing with the Las Vegas Knicks this spring and summer.

When did St. Mary's center Brad Waldow don that red cape?

Has anyone not noticed Brad Waldow's production and proficiency thus far this season?

Try 17.6 points plus 7.3 rebounds per 27 minutes a contest, shooting 63% and 61% respectively, a 22/5 assist-to-turnover ratio and 18 blocked shots in nine games.

First Patty, then Matthew, now Brad.

The Gators handle the Seawolves

San Francisco State went up into Sonoma State territory on Sunday and emerged with an 83-62 victory. Senior Nefi (Skyline High) Perdomo paced the Gators with 26 points (8-9 overall shooting, 5-6 from long distance) while teammate Udun Osakue contributed 18. SFSU shot 52% as a team. For the Seawolves, Sterling (Christian Brothers High) Arterberry finished with 16 points.

The Tarkanian Classic: All Tourney Team 2013

Note the three Bay Area players:
Tarkanian Classic: All Tourney Team 2013

2013 Platinum Division –
LaVette Parker from Mater Dei
MJ Cage from Mater Dei
Stanley Johnson from Mater Dei
Paris Austin from Bishop O Dowd
Juwan Anderson From Bishop O Dowd
Ivan Rabb from Bishop O Dowd

Noah Robotham from Bishop Gorman HS
Chris Terry of El Camino Real HS
Ian Fox from Redondo Union HS
Dorian Pickens from Pinnacle HS
Sam Merrill from Bountiful HS

Slugs fall by nine

On Saturday, the UCSC Banana Slugs fell to host Chapman 80-71, with James (Sacramento High) Townsend providing 18 points plus seven rebounds while teammate Ilan (Summerfield Waldorf) Zur scored 14.

The Hunt family & Drake High

It's Hunt time again at Drake High as Ed Yevelev reports that junior Jesse Hunt has stepped forward into the family tradition.

Lee's 17 not enough

Up in Cowboy Country, Wyoming took down Northern Colorado yesterday despite 17 points (7-12 shooting), three boards and three steals in 20 minutes of court time from Dominique Lee.

The Gaels fall

Over in Hawaii, St. Mary's fell to South Carolina 78-71 despite 20 points/five rebounds from Brad Waldow plus 15/8 from Beau Levesque.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Some prep scores/reports from last night

* Tim Menicutch reports that Kyle Roach's 37 point still wasn't enough for Marin Academy to top Branson.

* Bill Paterson has the details of Corona Centennial's 69-66 win over Capital Christian plus other matchups up in Sacramento.

* Javonne McClellan was the centerpiece of Pleasant Valley's win over Paradise as Jeff Larson/Nicki Silva write.

* The Cole Welle-led Aptos High squad won the Bob Hagen Memorial tourney held at Gilroy High this weekend.

*The MIJ offers up the scoop on Moreau Catholic High's 77-61 victory over Marin Catholic.

* BANG Sports provides what you need to know about College Park High's 56-54 win over Newark Memorial. Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group offers a series of photos from the pairing.