Monday, September 30, 2013

October 19-20 Jeremy Russotti training


I want to invite you to our next LOCAL Skill Training U Event coming October 19-20 at Dixon High School in Dixon, CA.

This should be a jam-packed event since the Davis/NorcalWildcats have signed up 20 coaches, the Bay Area Renegades are adding seven more from the last event, the NVBA is adding six and the Bulldawgs Basketball Club four.

We will have the NorCal Wildcats doing demonstrations (have at least six D1 Prospects), but may open up a few spots for outsiders to sign up if you have kids that want to do demonstrations. We will cap the coaches sign ups at 50.

Sign up here.

We also now have our event ON DEMAND at  The benefit of that option is you can sit at home to view our event, while being able to rewind/fast forward at your convenience.

Here's the full flyer.

Jeremy Russotti
(707) 849-1212

Two Nor Cal talents playing in the Land of Enchantment

Jason Groves offer a pre-season writeup on New Mexico State, a team with a pair of northern California connections:
"...[Kevin] Aronis shot 34 percent from 3-point range last year after transferring from Santa Rosa Junior College. Aronis showed the ability to come in cold off the bench and hit big shots, highlighted by a 3-for-5 performance from 3-point range in a home victory over UTEP last year.

[Remi] Barry brings the Aggies an offensive player at the power-forward position. He's been to slow to fulfill high expectations since joining the program two years ago, although did show signs of growth as a sophomore...

October 6 Sonoma State Coaches Clinic

From Sonoma State Associate Head Coach Rich Shayewitz: "Sonoma State Coaches Clinic - October 6, 2013: Speakers: Randy Bennett, Rex Walters, Greg Kamansky, John Peterson"

The schedule of events

8:00 AM:   Registration begins/Coffee & Donuts

9:00 AM:   John Peterson (Head Coach, Ohlone College) - Fast Break Offense

10:00 AM: Greg Kamansky (Head Coach, Cal Poly Pomona) - Match Up Zone Defense

11:00 AM: Rex Walters (Head Coach, Univ. of San Francisco) - TBA

12:00 PM: Lunch Provided

12:30 PM: Randy Bennett (Head Coach, Saint Mary's) - Using the Ball Screen & Practice Shooting Drills

1:30 PM:  Coaches Forum - All Presenters

Think you might learn some basketball wisdom by attending?

Go here to sign up.

Adam Morrison 2.0

Jim Meehan introduces readers to the latest on Adam Morrison. Yes, he's no longer in the NBA but he has already made more money playing basketball than you and I will earn in our lifetime. Best of all, he is trying to better himself away from the court and that is to be saluted.

A pair of Nor Cal players at Concordia

Two Bay Area talents dot Coach Ken Amman's Concordia University (Irvine) roster:

* Tim Harris (St. Mary's/Valley Christian High) is a senior after earning All-Golden State Athletic Conference and NAIA All-American Honorable Mention honors last season.

* Stephen Grosey transferred in from Foothill College (previously Serra High) and is listed as a sophomore.

Couch on leave

Long Beach State Assistant Head Coach Vic Couch has gone out on leave for medical reasons. He assisted earlier at Santa Clara and also at Kennedy High in Fremont.

2013 Nor Cal Tip Off Classic

The seventh annual Nor Cal Tip Off Classic will be held Saturday November 30, 2013 at Newark Memorial High School in Newark.

The event is designed to promote/showcase Northern California basketball to college coaches, media/scouts and the general public.

There will be seven games on the day beginning at 11:00 am. (The schedule is enclosed.) High profile programs such as Newark Memorial of Newark, Modesto Christian, Moreau Catholic of Hayward, St. Mary’s of Stockton and Monte Vista of Danville will be featured. The event will culminate with the marquee matchup at 8:30 pm between Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland and Bullard of Fresno.

O’Dowd is lead by 6-foot-9 Junior forward Ivan Rabb who is ranked #3 nationally in the 2015 class by ESPN. Other elite prospects include 6-foot-6 Sophomore wing Oscar Frayer and 6-foot-2 Freshman guard Dimari Milstead of Moreau Catholic and 6’-foot-2Sophomore guard Christian Ellis of Modesto Christian.

Approximately thirty Division I prospects will be playing in the event. There is currently one student-athlete that has committed to a Division I school that will be participating: 6-foot-3 senior Gabe Vincent of St. Mary’s Stockton has committed to UC Santa Barbara. (Updates on commitments will be included in future releases.)

Seniors of note include:

* 6’6 Elliott Smith of Freedom
* 6’5 Shon Briggs of Heritage
* 6’6 Damien Banford of Newark Memorial
* 6’1 Joey Frenchwood of Newark Memorial
* 6’8 Matthew Thomas of Newark Memorial
* 5’9 Jalen McFarren of Castro Valley
* 6’4 Calvin Young of Bullard
* 6’0 Mason Washington of Modesto Christian
* 5’11 Demoriaye Hart-Spikes of Fairfield
* 6’2 Jamaliah Brown of Oakland
* 6’3 Sebastian Flores of Bishop O’Dowd
* 6’3 Trevor John of Monte Vista
* 6’9 Spencer Rust of Monte Vista
* 6’3 Gabe Vincent of St. Mary’s Stockton.

Prominent Juniors are:

*  6’3 Austin Armstead of Bullard
* 6’6 Anthony Townes of Modesto Christian
* 6’7 Leandro Amador of Modesto Christian
* 6’1 Jeff Wu of Modesto Christian
* 6’6 Kevin Hamlet of Modesto Christian
* 6’0 Gionni Brown of Oakland
* 6’6 Kendall McIntosh of Freedom
* 6’9 Ivan Rabb of Bishop O’Dowd
* 6’7 Isaiah Thomas of Bishop O’Dowd
* 5’10 Paris Austin of Bishop O’Dowd
* 6’6 Kevin Crosno of College Park
* 6’6 Lance Coleman of St. Mary’s Stockton
* 5’9 Devin Williams of St. Mary’s Stockton
* 6’2 Kendrick Jackson of Granite Bay.

Highly Regarded sophomores are:

* 6’6 Oscar Frayer of Moreau Catholic
* 5’11 Armond Simmons of Moreau Catholic
* 6’2 Brandon Lawrence of Moreau Catholic
* 6’2 Christian Ellis of Modesto Christian.

Freshman to watch are:

* 6’2 Dimari Milstead of Moreau Catholic
* 6’4 Dvan Molden of Moreau Catholic
* 5’8 Nick Lombard of College Park.

For further information/media credentials contact event director Gerry Freitas at 408-998-1327 or via email:


7th Annual Nor Cal Tip Off Classic Schedule

Saturday November 30, 2013 at Newark Memorial High School

Game 1:    11:00 AM  Fairfield vs. Castro Valley

Game 2:    12:30 PM  College Park (Pleasant Hill) vs. St. Mary’s (Stockton)

Game 3:    2:15 PM    Heritage (Brentwood) vs. Oakland

Game 4:    3:45 PM    Freedom (Oakley) vs. Granite Bay

Game 5:    5:30 PM    Moreau (Hayward) vs. Monte Vista (Danville)

Game 6:    7:00 PM    Newark Memorial (Newark) vs.  Modesto Christian

Game 7:     8:30 PM   Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) vs. Bullard (Fresno)

Looking at the trio of Nor Cal-ers with the Aztecs

Mark Ziegler serves up questions and possible anaswers regarding this season's San Diego State squad. As for scoring:
...Xavier Thames is one source, certainly. He averaged 10.1 and 9.5 points in his two seasons since transferring from Washington State, and that was as a pass-first point guard. He has the most consistent perimeter stroke on the team (35.6 percent on 3s last season) and will have ample opportunity to get to the rim off ball screens, working more as a primary scoring option than a facilitator...
...[Dakarai] Allen and [D'Erryl] Williams could crack the top eight well with a solid preseason showing. The coaches say Allen might be ahead of where Franklin was as a freshman, and Williams is good enough defensively to get minutes as a backup point....

Lawrence makes some noise

Ronnie Flores highlights a Nor Cal entry in this weekend's Pangos Frosh-Soph camp:
Brandon Lawrence (Moreau Catholic, Hayward, Calif.) 6-1 2016 PG
One of the many talented young prospects on a Moreau Catholic team that should be one Northern California’s best this season. Lawrence is deceptively athletic and smooth with the ball. In fact, he’s a bit too lackadaisical with the ball at times and it would serve him better if he played with consistent fire. Lawrence covers ground on his crossover and has an excellent pull up jumper that he can execute at full speed. He also is a good passer in the half court or when pushing it up court. Moreau’s top 2016 prospect (SF Oscar Frayer) was not in attendance.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

An Elite 50 report

Blue Collar Hoops in its report of the Elite 50 up in Sacramento offers a couple of 2018 names to track.

Two Nor Cal college transfers at Fresno Pacific

Fresno Pacific Coach Chris Wright has added 10 new talents to his Sunbird program and two are former Nor Cal college DI level players:
* Jackson Carbajal – 6-4 Senior, Guard (Sacramento State)

After spending three seasons at NCAA Division I Sacramento State, the Buchanan High School product returns home for his senior season. He broke into the starting lineup as a sophomore at Sacramento State, averaging 11.1 points, 3.1 rebounds and 21.4 minutes per game while shooting 47.5% (77-162) from the field and 35.8% (24-67) from the three-point line. He finished second on the team in scoring and had double figures in each of the team's final six games, as well as nine of the last 10 games of the season. His career-high of 24 points came against San Jose State in an ESPN BracketBusters game. Last season as a junior he played in 11 minutes per game as a key contributor off the bench for the Hornets.

While at Buchanan, Carbajal played all four years on the varsity squad and would finish as the school's all-time leading scorer with 1,535 career points. A two-time first team all-conference selection, he was named the Tri-River Athletic Conference MVP and first team all-metro by the Fresno Bee as a senior.

Coach Wright says: "Jackson is a guy that can really shoot the basketball, and possesses an ability to really get out in transition and get easy buckets. He also has an outstanding basketball IQ and will bring a high level of toughness and leadership to our program. I truly believe that Jackson will have a special senior season here at FPU. We're thrilled to be able to get a local student-athlete that is the caliber person, player and student that Jackson is."

* Anthony Dixon – 6-5 Junior, Forward (West Valley College)

Dixon comes to FPU from West Valley College in the Bay Area where he averaged 20 points and 11 rebounds per game as a sophomore, earning first team all-coast conference honors. Prior to West Valley, he played at NCAA Division I San Jose State where he appeared in 21 games as a freshman. Originally from Chicago, Dixon prepped at Hyde Park Academy.

Coach Wright says: "Anthony is a talent that can do a lot of special things on the basketball court. He is an explosive athlete that can really score off the bounce and by getting to the rim. He will be tremendous in transition and our style of play. We also think he is a great defender that can effectively guard anyone in our league."

Santa Clara basketball reviewed and previewed

Matthew Snyder looks at Santa Clara hoops.

Walton to the Aggies

Josh Gershon tweeted: "U.C. Davis landed a commitment from 2014 Elyria (Ohio) wing Isaiah Walton, per a source"

Here's some video on the 6-foot-3 backcopurter:

Bill Dodge honored

Julie Jag reports that former Santa Cruz High Coach Bill Dodge, who mentored the baseball and basketball teams, was honored Saturday by a nice turnout at Dodge Field. He recently entered the California Baseball Coaches' Association's Hall of Fame. If there is such a basketball entity, he belongs there too.

Here's some video from earlier this year:

Nunnally goes with the Suns

Keith Schlosser reports the James Nunnally will be with Phoenix for pre-season camp. An excerpt:
"...One of the D-League's deadliest shooters from long range last season, the 23 year old is a reliable option to help his team spread the floor, and prides himself on being a lockdown defender..."

The Tigers take to the court

Jagdip Dhillon recounts Pacific's initial practice.

The Broncos get another commit

Verbal Commits tweeted: "2014 Colville (WA) F Matt Hubbard has committed to Santa Clara"

It came down to Pacific and SC.

Here's a March 2013 feature which includes a list of his suitors at that point and neither the Stockton-ites nor the guys on El Camino Real are listed. The vagaries of recruiting.

It's the entourage

Via Steve Finamore: "There's no difference in players today and from the 70's and 80's. The only difference is the people around them." -Bill Parcells"

Who makes up tour surround sound?

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Four Nor Cal-ers at Cal State San Marcos

Coach Jim Saia has a quartet of northern California-connected talents, all seniors, on his 2013-14 Cal State University San Marcos squad:

* Adam Eakles F Sr. 6-8 220 Woodland HS/University of Pacific

* Bobby Macias G Sr. 5-11 155 Thousand Oaks HS/Foothill College

* Tyree Murray G Sr. 5-11 190 Deer Valley HS/Los Medanos CC

* De'End Parker G Sr. 6-6 Lincoln HS / University of San Francisco

The Cougars finished 23-7 last season, making it to the NAIA tournament.

More from Coach Bob Walsh

Coach Bob Walsh writes about "The Built-In Excuse"

Pope actually down south

Hey, Malik Pope says he's at San Diego State -- not Spokane: "Just landed in San Diego. 🍦🍟🌼 beautiful place"

Thames talking Aztec basketball

Xavier Thames meets the media:

Galloway in Aggieville

Josh Gershon reports: "2014 Richmond (Calif.) Salesian/NorCal Wildcats post Jonathan Galloway is unofficially visiting U.C. Davis today"

A benefit of tripping to Ogden (at least in the NBA off-season)

Caught this tweet from a So Cal prep recruit: "Met today at Weber"

A big year for the Anteaters?

It's unanimous: UC Irvine will win the Big West Conference. In the summary, both Will Davis and Chris McNealy receive prominent mention.

Jordan Giusti with some very nice press

Matthew Snyder talked with St. Mary's Jordan Giusti and produced a very solid background piece plus a long Q-and-A.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Meet Lon Rork

New Las Positas Coach Lon Rork has a strong basketball and academic lineage and his plan is to emphasize both those elements as be begins to put his imprint on the 2013-14 Hawks. He's taking over the position held by the late Tony Costello.

Beginning in South Lake Tahoe as a hoops teammate of former California and Kansas guard Jerod Hasse and coached by Tom Orlich (now at Clovis West High), Rork had the academics to enter prestigious Occidental College. He played basketball and also tennis.

Following school, Rork utilized his biology degree and worked in Santa Cruz.

He also enjoyed a taste (or actually a full buffet) of coaching as he took on the tasks of heading the University of Dallas men's and women's tennis and cross country teams while assisting in basketball.

But it was hoops that won out.

Coaching was still the study of life and living organisms but with a different perspective.

The payoff for Rork? ""I love being around the game and working with student-athletes."

In 2002, he became the director of basketball operations at St, Mary's under second-year coach Randy Bennett. The Gaels won nine games the previous season but since then have become a nationally known program.

Then Rork became a physical education lecturer at UC Berkeley and, soon after, joined Coach Steve Coccimiglio's staff at Diablo Valley College. He worked his way up to Associate Head Coach.
Asked for most prominent mentors, Rork offered Tom Orlich and recalled a humorous anecdote. "I told him 'there is a chance I might want to be a coach' and he replied 'Don't do that, you're too smart.'"

He added, "Randy Bennett, for his attention to detail and the structure he put in place and Steve Coccimiglio, who is the best junior college coach in California and does things the right way with the emphasis on helping student-athletes matriculate to four year schools."

Rork also added "Jerod Haase, who is a great friend and the head coach at Alabama Birmingham."

So he's moving over that so-called 18 inches where the spotlight and focus is now all on him. His getting hired earlier this month is unusual timing considering play begins in November.

Rork's initial tasks and philosophy?

"First, I have to learn about the players but everything will be built on defense -- half-court man-to-man."

Off the court, "there will be a focus on academics in order for guys to move on."

Rork is at a level he feels most comfortable and relishes the opportunity: "at a junior college, you can have such a positive impact."

It's Rork time in Livermore.

Who's tripping this weekend

A shout out to Alex Kine (a Rivals sub is required) for compiling his list of weekend visits. The Nor Cal connections:

* Malik Pope is hitting Gonzaga (think he meant D. J. Wilson)

* D.J. Wilson is at Michigan

* St. Mary's has JC point Lester Medford coming to campus.

* The Broncos of Santa Clara are hosting Evan Wardlow & Matt Hubbard

The Trigonis brand

This link is directed to college coaches -- Patrick Goldstein writes about southern California AAU/club team honcho Dinos Trigonis.

College coaches hitting Yuba College

More from Yuba College hoops: "Yuba College Men's Basketball was happy to host Coach Riley from CSU Stanislaus as well as Mountain West Conference Head Coaches David Carter from University of Nevada Reno and Dave Rice from UNLV! It always feels good to get coaches in the gym this time of the year...!!!!"

AG with a national pre-season honor

SNY’s Preseason All-America Teams offer an interesting Nor Cal component but leave an unanswered question:

F Aaron Gordon, Arizona
That's impressive, a national second teamer as a freshman.

But then there's this:

F Andrew Wiggins, Kansas

F Julius Randle, Kentucky

C Joel Embiid, Kansas

G Andrew Harrison, Kentucky

G Wayne Selden, Kansas

F Jabari Parker, Duke

F Aaron Gordon, Arizona...
Now, Andrew Wiggins is on the PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA FIRST TEAM and Julius Randle joins Gordon on the PREASEASON ALL-AMERICA SECOND TEAM.   

But how can Joel Embiid, Andrew Harrison and Wayne Selden be ALL FRESHMAN FIRST TEAM members unlike Gordon, yet not part of any of the three PREASEASON ALL-AMERICA TEAMS, like Gordon?

Are we misinterpreting something?

BOD's Anderson counts three real suitors

Lamar Bigby tweeted: "2015 G Juwan Anderson has received an offer from Pacific. His 3rd offer NAU, & Portland have also offered"

Witzel drawing a regional look

Derrick Jones tweeted: "Sacramento St. was on hand at DVC practice today to see 6'7" soph F Tom Witzel"

The Butterfield & Harris coiffures

Forget the unis, check out the hair stylin' of former Yuba College talents Spencer Butterfield and Sean Harris, both now seniors at Utah State, a member of the Mountain West Conference.

Bob Thomason's career at Pacific, plus a recruiting tidbit

nojnotslar provides a link to Sheri Grimes' look at former Pacific Coach Bob Thomason's time in Stockton.

Plus, nojnotslar has also uncovered a new Tiger offer -- this one is to a Texas JC guard.

What you need for a DI scholarship

NCAA DI eligibility qualifications for 2016-ers and beyond can be found here.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Townes with offer #2

From MC Basketball: "Anthony Townes picked up his second offer today from San Jose State. Congratulations Anthony!"

Townes is a 6-foot-5 2015 prospect at Modesto Christian High. He also has an offer from Pacific.

The Tigers getting in early

Via Alex Kline: "Pacific has offered 2015 guard Juwan Anderson of Bishop O'Dowd (CA), per his coach"

"Linsanity" showing in Cupertino

The documentary "Linsanity" is having its premier October 4 in Cupertino.

Former Viking Carter injured

Former Diablo Valley College frontcourter Raphael Carter is out this season at Oakland University due to injury.

How Len Bias got to the Celtics

Kirk Minihane covers how the late Len Bias got to be drafted by the Boston Celtics. All the other aspects of Bias' overdose and death have been thoroughly detailed but this is a new angle.  What's especially intriguing is that at least one other scout knew that Bias had a drug problem and steered his team away from the Maryland star.

Two ex-Ohlone players at West Georgia

At the University of West Georgia, members of the Gulf South Conference, two Nor Cal talents reside on the 2014-14 roster:

* Lavon Gray, 6-foot-5, Ohlone College and Bellarmine College Prep, is doing a graduate year as he sat out last season due to injury. Congratulations to him for already earning his B.A.

* Frederik Boehn, 6-foot-7, Ohlone College, is a sophomore this season.

Davis getting a visit from a Lone Star State forward

From Blue Zertuche/Texas Hoops (a Rivals sub is required):
From out west, 6-foot-9, Daniel Amigo from El Paso Coronado will visit UC-Davis October 11-13. Texas St. and Idaho St. visited Amigo last week. He currently holds offers from Idaho St. and UT Pan Am. Other official visits may be scheduled in October. Amigo is leaning toward signing in the early period.

Flores offering advice for young ballers

Ronnie Flores has a very informative article up on how players can contribute even when their respective skills sets are in the development stage.

Rabb hosting some big names

Ben Roberts notes John Calipari's visit to Bishop O'Dowd to connect with Ivan Rabb.

There are a number of prominent coaches coming through the Oakland Airport this week to make their pitch.

Pacific checking out Edmonds

Derrick Jones tweeted: "Ron Verlin (UOP head coach) was in today to see 6'4" frosh guard Jermaine Edmonds (qualifier)"

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Meet William Jessup Head Coach Lance Von Vogt

Rocklin-based William Jessup University (WJU) is looking to become a more prominent higher education entity and one way to achieve such status is by making a splash in athletics as success in collegiate sports produces greater media exposure and also more applicants to a school.

The Warriors, owners of the 2013 California Pacific Conference championship, are transitioning to the Golden State Athletic Conference come the 2014-15 season and now Lance Von Vogt has been hired as the new head coach for men's basketball.

A Daytona Beach native, Von Vogt was last at Peninsula College in Washington where he posted a 65-25 record over three seasons winning the Northwest Athletic Association Championship in his first season. Four years as the lead assistant coach at Arizona Western in Yuma preceded that. He also assisted at DI Eastern Kentucky of the Ohio Valley Conference and, prior to that, led the program at Oxford College of Emory University in Georgia to two region championships and a top ten National Junior College ranking.

After working as a graduate assistant at Georgia Tech under Paul Hewitt. His initial full time coaching experience came as the Director of Basketball Operations under the legendary former Maryland Coach Lefty Driesell when the latter was heading the Georgia State program. Then Von Vogt was elevated into an assistant coach slot.

His academic bonafides: first, a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communications from the University of South Florida and then a Master's Degree in Sports Administration from Georgia State.

Yet, "I never had any intention of getting into coaching" was Von Vogt's response to a query about why coaching for him.

That's because he was a basketball fanatic, a participant who made a habit of playing on a daily basis.

"Growing up, I'd spend two to three hours a night playing."

Until a succession of three knee injuries while playing college basketball ended any dream of making a name for himself on the court.

As Von Vogt described it: "I couldn't compete like I was used to doing."

But why basketball for him?

"it's the ultimate team sport and it's a complete sport. Everyone plays offense and defense with the idea of beating your man offensively and stopping your man defensively. You're doing different things on multiple possessions, screening, dribbling, passing, shooting, rebounding -- there are so many facets. It's a sport that allows individuals to express themselves but has a team concept so it's a great blend of the two."

With competitive hoops in the rear view mirror, he turned to the business side of sports and became the Director of Merchandising for both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Tampa Bay Rays. When the seasons overlapped, he found himself doing double-duty, working 18-hour days. The money was good.

"I'd drive home, come back and do it all over again."

Hard work was nothing new to him, not after helping his father do drywall during the summers.

But something was missing.

He had been offered a graduate assistant position interview at Georgia Tech earlier but declined. But now he reached back out and, with fortuitous timing, he found out the person who had originally been hired was moving on.

"Call it being in the right place at the right time."

His last game with the Buccaneers was late December and Von Vogt began anew in Atlanta on January 3.

From January 1999 to July 2000, he handled summer camps, fund-raising and men's basketball marketing as a Yellow Jacket staffer. A grand total of $6,000 was his financial compensation.

With the help of a friend, he ended up receiving a phone call from then Georgia State Coach Lefty Driesell. They talked and then conversed some more and soon Von Vogt joined Driesell's staff. A highlight during this tenure was the Panthers going 29-5 in 2001, losing to, yes, Maryland, in the round of 32. This after an opening victory over Wisconsin. Von Vogt had doubled his pay from his graduate assistant days, living the high life on a $12k salary.

But it was a calling.

He discovered "I found I was passionate about impacting the lives of young people. I think God shaped me to accept coaching as my calling."

Then he continued to move throughout the coaching ranks until landing his latest position at WJU.

About his current endeavor, he offered, "I couldn't be more excited about the vision of the university. The plan is to grow the right way and with a commitment to athletics. There's great chemistry and Warren Arena opened up a year ago."

He added, "We want to make an impact and compete for the conference championship and at the national level. We're not interested in being good for one year -- we want to build a model program."  
In doing that, Von Vogt has brought in a number of new prospects, this despite taking the job on July 1.

There's Caleb Richey, Anthony Edwards, Noah Everly, Sean Fenner, Guillermo Nunez, Mike Meserole, Saajid Polite and Corey Clements having declared their Warriors allegiance.

Richey is a 5-foot-10 prep point out of southern California, Edwards stands 6-foot-5 and was an all league wing at New Albany High in Indiana, Everly just finished up at San Marin High, Fenner is a St. Mary's High and San Joaquin Delta College graduate, Nunez comes from a very successful Sierra High program, Meserole is a high-scoring guard from Liberty Ranch High, Polite (Grant High) is returning home after a year at the University of Sioux Falls and Clements followed Von Vogt down from Peninsula College.

Three all league talents have graduated -- Keenan Prince (Marysville High), Jordan Wilson (Whitney High and Marquis Robinson (Natomas High) -- with Sterling Shells (Galt High) returning for his senior year.

Let the Von Vogt era begin

Dear Abby - "I can't get a scholarship offer to where I want to go..."

Via Eric Bossi: "Just asked a coach for an eval on a kid I know he had seen "He had weed socks on at a live event." First time I've gotten that report."

Yikes. Where was the parent(s)? The coach? The kid's common sense?

Nevada checking out Diablo Valley College

A Derrick Jones tweet: "Good to see David Carter head coach at Nevada at DVC hoop practice today"


From Jeff Goodman: "I usually wait to play the comparison game until the season is going, but my favorite one for Aaron Gordon? Kawhi Leonard"

Hard to put it into words but that comp just doesn't feel right. Gordon has the potential to be at a higher level -- we'll see how that plays out -- which in absolutely no knock on Leonard.

A Rex Walters Q-and-A

USF athletics has posted a very informative print interview with Coach Rex Walters.

Lumpkins gone Dutch

Via the Bay Area News group (BANG): "Stephen Lumpkins, Aris Leeuwarden basketball: Lumpkins, a 6-foot-9 center/forward from Serra who played collegiately at American University and pitched for parts of two seasons in the Kansas City Royals organization, is playing for Aris Leeuwarden in the Dutch Basketball League."

The Broncos extend to a 2015 Texas frontcourter

Alex Kline reports: "Santa Clara & TCU have offered 2015 Woodrow Wilson (TX) forward Hassan Thomas."

Thomas stands 6-foot-7 and 200 pounds and Kline wrote this about him in June: "As his shot selection needed some refinement throughout the camp, Thomas did a good job of being aggressive for rebounds, getting tip-ins and slashing. His mid-range jumper off of one or two dribbles is quick, but can be efficient..."

Prediction: the Dragons will win

Earl Allen Jr. breaks the news: "Its official! Feb 1 at Sacramento high! Bishop Odowd vs Sac Hi! Ivan Rabb and crew coming to town! Don't miss it!"

Definitely click on the link as a photo will appear that says it all.

October 6 Sonoma State Coaches Clinic

From Sonoma State Associate Head Coach Rich Shayewitz: "Sonoma State Coaches Clinic - October 6, 2013: Speakers: Randy Bennett, Rex Walters, Greg Kamansky, John Peterson"

The schedule of events

8:00 AM:   Registration begins/Coffee & Donuts

9:00 AM:   John Peterson (Head Coach, Ohlone College) - Fast Break Offense

10:00 AM: Greg Kamansky (Head Coach, Cal Poly Pomona) - Match Up Zone Defense

11:00 AM: Rex Walters (Head Coach, Univ. of San Francisco) - TBA

12:00 PM: Lunch Provided

12:30 PM: Randy Bennett (Head Coach, Saint Mary's) - Using the Ball Screen & Practice Shooting Drills

1:30 PM:  Coaches Forum - All Presenters

Think you might learn some basketball wisdom by attending?

Go here to sign up.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Splash Brothers Fantasy Basketball Clinic

Yet another Warriors Basketball Camp is in the books with Aalim Moor III aiding Steph Curry and Klay Thompson in their efforts at the downtown Oakland practice facility this past weekend. This one was special due to the hometown location and because former NBA players Dell Curry and Mychal Thompson took to the court alongside their their sons and participated in the shooting drills.

(Moor poses with Splash Brothers Steph Curry, Clay Thompson and camp counselors)

Newly signed Warrior Andre Iguodala and teammate Kent Bazemore also made appearances, participating in running some drills at the camp. Iguodola also brought his young son who joined in the fun with the other campers. It was truly a Warriors Family Affair. 

(Andre Iguodala and Kent Bazemore)

Here are the Fearsome Foursome:

 (l to r - Mychal and Klay Thompson, Steph and Dell Curry)

During a break in the action, Moor received a personal congratulations from Golden State owner Joe Lacob for his efforts in making the clinic a success. "I was both surprised and honored by Mr. Lacob's comments," Moor said.

The Chronicle's Al Saracevic covered the entire event.

Below is Steph Curry playing P.I.G. against his father -- guess who emerged victorious? Hint: age before youth.

Basketball and life truths

Offering this is Los Angeles Lakers trainer Gary Vitti: "If we get on the court and are fragmented as a team, it doesn’t make a difference that you worked that hard,” Vitti said. “You have to have a head coach and have guys buy into what he’s doing. We have to come together as a team, believe in each other and trust each other.”

This applies to any team sporting endeavor as well as so much of life in general.

Transition D is effort and organization, not talent

Charlotte Bobcats Coach Steve Clifford has a must:
Q: What on a basketball court is non-negotiable?

A: “Transition defense. There are numerous areas we have to improve if we want a better record. But the thing about transition defense is all it takes is effort and organization. It’s not a talent area. You run back every time because it puts you in a better position to defend, or you don’t. It’s as simple as that. That’s something we have to take pride in.”

Dunn and Montana

Montana athletics serves up a basketball pre-season prospectus.

The loss:
"...[Will] Cherry was a three-time first team all-league pick, and was twice named the Big Sky's defensive player of the year. He is Montana's all-time leader with 104 career starts and 265 career steals, and is seventh in school history with 1,484 points..." 
The gain:
"... We are very excited about what Mario Dunn is going to bring to our point guard position...."
From Big Sky Basketball:
"...Mario Dunn should see minutes right away, and Montana coaches except that within four or five games, he will be ready to contribute consistently..."

Depersonalizing criticism

Coach Bob Walsh is back today with a "Depersonalize Criticism" column.

John gets a regional offer

From AJ John: "Just received my 4th scholarship offer from UC Davis"

The 6-foot-7, 215 Maria Carrillo High talent also holds offers from Cal Poly, Colgate and Pepperdine.

The latest on Ishmail Ali

Mel Grussing is, as always, all over Antelope Valley College basketball and his latest is about eight freshman guards vying for roster spots at the point this season. The Nor Cal connection is a talent out of San Leandro High:
Ishmail Ali, 6’0”, 170, Rocket fast, great court vision, solid shooter, intense defensive player and excellent ball handle
The complete article is here.

The Gaels hosting a JC guard

From Brad Winton: "Lester Medford (6-0/PG/2014) of Indian Hills CC will take an official visit to St. Mary's this weekend" 

Stephen Holt and James Walker depart the Gael backcourt after this season so reinforcements will be needed.

The encore from Mike Bryson

From UC Santa Barbara athletics: "[Michael] Bryson averaged 8.4 points and 3.5 rebounds per game overall and 9.3 points per game in league play. He was selected to the All-Big West Tournament Team after scoring a career-high 29 points and making a career-high seven three-point baskets in a league tourney game against Pacific."

It's great to see a freshman's numbers per game go up as the season progresses. What will 2013-14 bring?

Is Chriss maintaining a sign-in book?

Josh Gershon posted: "Sacramento State, U.C. Irvine and Portland State are watching 2015 Elk Grove (Calif.) Pleasant Grove forward Marquese Chriss today"

A big Noooooooooo to sideline reporters in basketball

Nabbed this excerpt from here:
If you were running a sports network, would you employ sideline reporters? Why or why not?
Jessica Danielle, sports writer and blogger at Absolutely. Although I don't expect much from sideline reporters, during the Seahawks-Niners game on Sept. 15, [NBC's] Michelle Tafoya showed the value of having a skilled reporter provide context for the game, in addition to injury and general broadcast updates. I'd probably also look to have sideline reporters handle more of the pre-recorded interviews currently conducted by guys like Bob Costas.
Reeta Hubbard, Founder/creator of Absolutely! As a woman whose dream is to be a respected voice of the NFL, I've always viewed sideline reporting as one of the introductory platforms to have a voice in sports broadcasting. Taking that away would take away one less opportunity for women, even in a small role. Another thing I believe that keeps sideline reporting relevant is fantasy football. Folks want to know the skinny on their starting players and sideline reporting gives folks the updates they are looking for. Fantasy football is way too popular to be ignored.
John Koblin, Deadspin writer: Yes, but only when absolutely necessary, i.e. the exact opposite of how Fox used Erin Andrews two weeks ago where we got report after report about absolutely nothing. In fact, I'd just hire an insanely good reporter. The less telegenic the better! I'd hire someone who's tenaciously good at getting scoops. If there's a player coming off the field all woozy, I'd want a sideline reporter in everyone's face asking questions. If there's a Super Bowl blackout, I want that reporter chasing down every suit in the stadium to find out what's happening.
Steve Lepore, SB Nation, NHL and media writer: Yeah. They wouldn't be required to appear every week or do the awkward "I spoke to coach a few minutes ago" hit, but the Super Bowl blackout showed us that you need somebody working down there who can relay special information to the viewers.
 Robert Littal, founder: I think they are useless. It isn't anything personal against them, but at this point sideline reporters are more for comic relief than getting anything useful. It is more about how uncomfortable their interviews are than actual relevant information.
John Ourand, Sports Business Daily media writer: Absolutely. A good sideline reporter enhances any telecast. The best ones report — get good information and conduct intelligent interviews.
Jimmy Traina, writer and creator of's Hot Clicks: I'd employ a person to report on news -- injury updates, insight into what's taking place on a team's sidelines/bench and weather issues. During the lightning delay in the Ravens-Broncos season opener, Michelle Tafoya showed you someone in this role who can bring you information. However, the one thing I'd ban sideline reporters from doing is interviewing coaches before a game, before halftime and after halftime. These exchanges are completely useless. "Coach, what do you have to do differently in the second half?" "Not turn the ball over." "Thanks, Coach. Joe, back to you." Riveting stuff.
Matt Yoder, Awful Announcing, managing editor: Yes. We're only talking something like two percent of the entire game broadcast. Injury updates from the sidelines alone are worth that kind of limited airtime in this age of fantasy football and the importance of individual players to fans.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Ambrosini on his play this summer

Fortuna High's Nate Ambrosini enjoyed quite the interesting summer. The 6-foot-4 backcourter went to battle with his Play Hard Play Smart Elite teammates in the spring but July required a change in uniform. Undeterred, he joined forces with the Nor Cal Wildcats Elite and garnered attention for the impression he made on the court.

Here's Ambrosini in his own words:

"This summer I was busy playing AAU basketball with the NorCal Wildcats ELITE. Our team played in the top divisions in three tournaments in July, winning the Platinum division in Las Vegas’ Big Foot Tournament. 

I began the year playing on PHPS Elite (Sacramento) coached by Jason Jennings for the spring season and we played really well as a team, beating some top teams in northern and southern California. Our team was poised to play in three big tournaments in July but, just days before we were going to play, our team couldn't make the trips, so Jason called me and promised me that he would find another elite team for me to play on. Two days before the first tournament, he called and told me he found the perfect fit for me -- the Nor Cal Wildcats Elite team, coached by Phillipe Doherty and George Sousa Jr. He said “pack your bags and go to San Francisco…you play in two days.”

Naturally, I was really nervous going from a well-established team that I was comfortable with and being one of the main scoring options to a new team that was already established and played all spring together -- and them not knowing me and me not knowing them. I definitely didn’t know what to expect. I was just happy that Jason was able to find a team for me and that I would be playing on another high caliber elite team participating in showcase tournaments in July.

I was extremely greatful and I told myself that I would accept any role that they had for me. I knew it would be difficult for me, going from being one of the main focuses on offense to going to a new team where the coaches and players really didn't know my skills/game. Wherever they needed me…defense, offense, or whatever, I told myself that I was going to play hard, give a 100%, enjoy the experience and just be content that I was able to hook up with another elite team on such a short notice.

Our first tournament was in San Francisco and I felt like I fit right in with the team. The players and coaches made me feel welcome and it was a pretty smooth transition, even though I never played with them before and them not knowing my game and me not knowing theirs. A few coaches and parents even came up to me and congratulated me on how well I was able to step right in and that the team didn’t miss a beat.

Here's Gerry Freitas, respected scout, on my play in the July “Nor-Cal Summer Tip-Off” in San Francisco:
"G Nate Ambrosini of Fortuna HS 2014 (Nor Cal Wildcats 17 Elite)
-Tough nut who plays hard every possession, nice lift and go move, strong and can finish through contact, good vision and passer. Attracted a lot of attention from college coaches."
Our next tournament was in Los Angeles, where we faced some strong competition and did well. Our team attracted a lot of attention from the college coaches that were in attendance.

Nor Cal Preps had a post up about how the Wildcats played at the “Best of Summer Tournament” in Los Angeles and it begins talking about me:
"The first name to mention in this category is Nate Ambrosini. Ambrosini is an under the radar shooting guard out of Fortuna, California that showed off more than just a sweet stroke from deep. He defended, contested shots in the paint, mixed things up on the boards on defense and offensively, showed off an advanced mid-lane floater with either hand. He also found himself getting a few quality looks at the rim. Assistant coach Philippe Doherty said that he has a 4.4 GPA and is being recruiting by high academic schools like Denver, Columbia, other Ivy League and Patriot League schools."

Our final tournament for the summer was in Las Vegas, playing in the Platinum division of the BigFoot Tournament. Our team started off slow in pool play, loosing some close games. After pool play, all the teams were placed in bracket play. Our team played really well, winning five close and hard-fought games in a row to win the Platinum division.

Overall, I really enjoyed my experience with the Nor Cal Wildcats Elite. We had a very talented group of players and great, dedicated coaches that really cared about us. We all played well together and played unselfish as a team, not worried about who was scoring…we all just wanted to win and that’s exactly what we did…WIN! I was really appreciative of the team and coaches for giving me the opportunity to join such a strong and talented, established team on such a short notice." 

Here's Sousa on Ambrosini: "As Nate said, it was truly a last minute thing.  Jason Jennings, a good friend of mine, called to tell me about Nate two days before we played in San Francisco in July. Jason told me he would be a tremendous complement to our team.  And was right! Our team was very young last summer (four freshman, two sophomores and a junior). We are very talented and athletic, but lacked an experienced, all-around player with a high basketball IQ that comes from experience. Nate fit the bill perfectly."

He added, "Nate is able to play multiple positions, is very strong, and able to defend multiple positions. He can get to the rim, as well as knock shots.  Most importantly, he plays hard all the time, and is a very good decision maker. Nate is the type of player college coaches would love to have on their team; very good student, hard worker, dependable, and truly a coach on the floor. Nate played as if he was with us all year and was an integral part of us winning the Big Foot Open Division Platinum Level championship. He was a true joy to coach and set a great example for our younger guys."

 Doherty was just as impressed.

"Nate fit in perfectly with our young guys this past summer. He has a very high basketball IQ and can really defend. Nate is an athletic two guard who is strong and left-handed, which gives him an advantage. He can play in many different systems and will do well in college because he is tough, athletic, smart, coachable, and can do a lot of things on the floor. Nate was a pleasure to coach, a great addition to our group and helped us win the Big Foot Platinum 17U championship."

Elite player training by Russotti and Doherty

Are you an elite player? Need training before the season?

Jeremy Russotti (1% CLUB Basketball) and Philippe Doherty will be spearheading two unique classes for NorCal players. The training clinics will be five consecutive SATURDAYS, starting October 5 through November 2. The clinics will be held in Napa. The two classes will be for above-average players grades 9th-12th, followed by another class for 6th-9th grade players.

*** The 9th-12 grade class only has a few spots available at this time. The class will include some of the top players in NorCal, therefore will be a very high competitive atmosphere. 

Here's Jeremy Russottim thr pffering: "This will be a great opportunity for some of the better players in NorCal. Phil and I are excited to work together in bringing some phenomenal training before the season begins. There are some really good players enrolled, therefore, we are trying to keep the environment to be for above average, very motivated players for these sessions."

For more info or to enroll visit Training Napa or email

Coach Wash back with more

Bob Walsh is back with an excellent "Chemistry and Culture" piece.

Shaw running the show

Aaron J. Lopez writes about Oakland native Brian Shaw entering his first season as an NBA head coach.

Pacific's October 13 basketball camp

Pacific is holding a basketball camp and is getting Bob Thomason back on the court.

Anyone remember Scotty Stirling from his days with the Warriors? Great guy.

More on Yussuf heading to The Beach

John Murphy offers more about Temidayo Yussuf's commitment to Long Beach State.

The Seawolves on bended knee with McAndrews

Cameron Schott tweeted: "2014 Archbishop Mitty PG Matt McAndrews receives his first offer from Alaska-Anchorage after taking an official visit this past weekend"

Galloway checking out Missoula

Via Josh Gershon: "2014 Richmond (Calif.) Salesian/NorCal Wildcats post Jonathan Galloway officially visited Montana this past weekend."

With the number of colleges in CA and the need for bigs, will he be allowed to go abroad?

But people forget that Montana basketball consistently gets to the Big Dance and Will Cherry just might be singing the praises of Big Sky hoops.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Second-round draftees forsaking minors here to play abroad

Jake Fischer offers an very interesting "Draft and Stash" feature.

Oliver is back

An Earl Allen Jr. tweet: "Cameron Oliver is one of best unsigned 2014's in California. Clearly back from his injury of a year ago! Plays above the rim."

This is great news.

Who is going to land the young man? Who stayed true while he was sidelined?

Asking the metrics guys: what's a formula for ranking college coaches?

David Fox/Yardbarker has created one of those impossible-to-quantify rankings of the top 50 DI coaches, with at least a couple of curiosities based on a cursory glance.

Boston College's Steve Donahue has an overall 192-190 record yet earns the 48th spot. Virginia's Tony Bennett, #33, is 32-34 in the ACC tenure.

St. Mary's Randy Bennett comes in at #45 with this analysis: "Saint Mary’s has become a regular challenger to Gonzaga in the WCC, finally breaking the Bulldogs’ stranglehold on the league with a regular season and a conference tournament title in 2012. This is a remarkable feat for a program that went 2-27 the year before Bennett arrived in 2001-02. Bennett has rebuilt the program thanks to an unorthodox pipeline to Australia that has brought point guards like Patty Mills and Matthew Dellavedova to Moraga. The Gaels have averaged 26.8 wins the last six seasons."

Yes, space is limited in such a piece but that just grazes the surface of how Bennett has accomplished the Gael makeover. The most compelling coverage would be how Bennett created and developed an actual sustained program.
Saint Mary’s has become a regular challenger to Gonzaga in the WCC, finally breaking the Bulldogs’ stranglehold on the league with a regular season and a conference tournament title in 2012. This is a remarkable feat for a program that went 2-27 the year before Bennett arrived in 2001-02. Bennett has rebuilt the program thanks to an unorthodox pipeline to Australia that has brought point guards like Patty Mills and Matthew Dellavedova to Moraga. The Gaels have averaged 26.8 wins the last six seasons. - See more at:

Bossier coaching at UC Santa Cruz

Did not know this until recently: former Santa Rosa High and Santa Rosa Junior College player Kyle Bossier is on the coaching staff at UC Santa Cruz.

Praise for Saraba

Earl Allen Jr. tweeted: "Del Campo's Vasilije Saraba is a player of the year candidate! He is much improved since end of season! Gets buckets at will! Fifty elite!"

Saraba stands 6-foot-4 and averaged 19.4 points per game last season.

Artis & Oregon

Scott Gleeson/USA TODAY places Oregon at #36 in his countdown of the Big Dance field. His words about one Dom Artis: "...Artis (8.5 ppg, 3.2 apg). Oregon wasn't the same team without Artis when he suffered a foot injury. The Ducks started the Pac-12 6-0 before buckling and going 5-4 without their point guard..." 

Remember when Artis was headed to UCLA? That reversal sure got him out of the prolonged Ben Howland mess and into a better situation.

There's Dick Vitale the person and Dick Vitale the analyst

Never have been a fan of Dick Vitale's announcing (it's generally too loud and so often fails to inform) but Greg Doyel went way overboard a while ago on DickieV so kudos to Doyel for realizing and admitting his beyond shabby treatment of a great basketball ambassador.

Hazziez getting noticed

Another Earl Allen Jr. tweet: "Foothill of Sacramento has a nice hidden gem in 6'7 Maalik Hazziez, dunks everything around the rim and runs the floor very well."

During late July in Vegas, the 2014-er received this analysis: "Hazziez is a raw talent but showed some really promising aspects to his game inside and in transition. He rebounded the basketball hard and kept plays alive with his length by getting tips etc. Hazziez ran the floor really well and showed good control catching on the fly and making plays around the hoop, including an awesome two-handed slam midway through the game that demonstrated his aggressiveness in traffic."
Hazziez is a raw talent but showed some really promising aspects to his game inside and in transition. He rebounded the basketball hard and kept plays alive with his length by getting tips etc. Hazziez ran the floor really well and showed good control catching on the fly and making plays around the hoop, including an awesome two-handed slam midway through the game that demonstrated his aggressiveness in traffic. - See more at:
Hazziez is a raw talent but showed some really promising aspects to his game inside and in transition. He rebounded the basketball hard and kept plays alive with his length by getting tips etc. Hazziez ran the floor really well and showed good control catching on the fly and making plays around the hoop, including an awesome two-handed slam midway through the game that demonstrated his aggressiveness in traffic. - See more at:

A bit more on AG

For those tracking such, Bruce Pascoe just post that Aaron Gordon put up a 43 inch running start max vertical jump and 34.5 inches in the no step vertical jump.

Plus, in Athlon's basketball predictions: "Aaron Gordon was named to its all-Pac-12 second team ...  Gordon was also named the Pac-12’s newcomer of the year."

A headache now becomes a migraine later

From NCAA Recruiting Tips: "PARENTS: YES, u can be reason your child is dropped by a school. If you’re a headache during recruiting, you’ll be a headache for 4 years!"

That chorus you hear in the background consists of NCAA coaches singing "Amen."

Saturday, September 21, 2013

A West Valley College basketball update

Coach Scott Eitelgeorge had four sophomores on his 19-11, 9-3 West Valley College team last season and each has moved on to a four-year college.

* 5-foot-10 Chris Murry (Kennedy High - Fremont) who averaged 16.1 points a game, including 40% accuracy on 182 three-point attempts, is headed to Willam Jessup University up in Rocklin come January

* 6-foot-5 D'vaughn Mann (Kennedy High - Fremont) who averaged 18 points and just under 10 rebounds a contest as a sophomore is also headed to William Jessup University in January.

Both will redshirt and be on the court next season. The Warriors, winners of last season's California Pacific Conference championship, have a new head coach in Lance Von Vogt and are looking to make a splash as they move in 2014-15 to the Golden State Athletic Conference.

* 5-foot-9 Damon Jones (Skyline High - Oakland) is at Paul Quinn College in Dallas, Texas. He scored 6.6 points an outing in 2012-13.

* 6-foot-4 Chris Atchinson (Del Mar High - San Jose) is on academic scholarship at UC Davis after totaling 6.5 points a night for the Vikings.

Musselman on recruiting

Joe Davidson talked with Arizona State Associate Head Coach Eric Musselman about the world of recruiting.

Fox and Bealer updates, plus more

John Murphy is all over CCSF basketball with updates on Josh Fox (although he is still rehabilitating his knee so his return date is unspecified) and the landing spot for Gabe Bealer is revealed. Plus some DI offers have already been extended.

A little love for some Nor Cal ballers

Ronnie Flores and Harold Abend look at some under-publicized Golden State basketball talents including Paris Austin, Armani Collins, Trevor Dunbar, AJ John and Jordan Roberson.

Rabb with a bluegrass offer

Per Alex Kline, Kentucky finally did the deed: "Kentucky has offered 2015 Bishop O'Dowd (CA) PF Ivan Rabb"

Tapley to South America

Via Earl Allen Jr.: "Shout out to our guy Chase Tapley! Going to play ball in Uruguay! Dragonshoops!"

Yussuf to The Beach

 (photo courtesy of David Steutel)

Cameron Schott posted: "2014 St. Joseph Notre Dame F Temidayo Yussuf has committed to Long Beach State, he tweeted"

49er Coach Dan Monson has five frontcourters on his 2013-14 roster, all upperclassmen.

Wilson hitting NYC

Capital Christian and Team Superstar frontcourter D.J. Wilson is tripping to Columbia this weekend. Can former St. Mary's Associate Head Coach Kyle Smith work some Ivy League magic?

Friday, September 20, 2013

The cautionary tale of Korleone Young

Jonathan Abrams tells the remarkable tale of Korleone Young, who turned away those he most needed and went with those facilitating his downward spiral.

No apprenticeship, if such were even available, would have worked for Young because he wouldn't have utilized it. Ron Allen couldn't compete in making any difference because that would have called for hard work, discipline and sacrifice, which Young wasn't ready to undertake. Call this too much of a broad stroke but everyone else in Young's life was a user, from the corporate guys with the shoe companies to his so-called coaches to his agents. And, despite his youth, Young also needs to own what happened.

The key element is that he can still turn matters around and achieve some degree of satisfaction about his life. There's a lot of living yet to do so let's hope he embraces that opportunity and decides to help others in a positive manner.

An Eric Musselman interview

Matthew Snyder provides an extremely informative Q-and-A with Eric Musselman, the associate head coach of the Arizona State.

The adding value section needs to be read, re-read and memorized by everyone but it's all good.

A Ron Verlin interview

Matthew Snyder serves up a Q-and-A with Pacific Head Coach Ron Verlin.

A basketball getting better timeline

Via Jeremy Russotti: "It takes 2 weeks to get in decent enough shape to play BBall game. Takes 2+ years to be able to improve skills to get that next level"

Nor Cal prepsters & national player rankings

Ronnie Flores writes about national player rankings and offers these Nor Cal-related items:
...[Oscar] Frayer, who played 17U ball this summer for the Oakland Soldiers, just missed making the Cal-Hi Sports all-state freshman team last season, but is rapidly developing into a national recruit. He’s ranked No. 23 by, No. 25 by He’s not ranked by or and the Hoop Scoop has not yet updated its Class of 2016 rankings...
Malik Pope (Laguna Creek, Elk Grove): No. 17 (, No. 26 (, No. 27 (, No. 30 (, No. 44 (Hoop Scoop)
Ivan Rabb (Bishop O’Dowd): No. 1 (, No. 3 (, No. 4 (Hoop Scoop,, No. 6 (
Marquese Chriss (Pleasant Grove, Elk Grove): No. 62 (, No. 77 (

Tripping this weekend

Cameron Schott offers the weekend destinations of a trio of the Nor Cal contingent:
Weekend visits: Mitty PG Matt McAndrews (Alaska-Anchorage) Riordan PG Jiday Ugbaja (Sacramento State) Monte Vista SG Trevor John (Air Force)

UCSC basketball offering a free basketball camp

Slug Hoops will be hosting a free basketball camp Sunday, October 6, 2013 from 3:00 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the UC Santa Cruz West Field House.

The two-hour camp is open to boys and girls ages 8-18. Skills developed will be age appropriate, divided into categories and we will teach the functional movements of basketball and the games most critical fundamentals.

The camp will be conducted by Kyle Bossier, Assistant Men's Basketball Coach at UC Santa Cruz, noted for his skill-training experience with players from the NBA down to youth AAU.

Slug Hoops will also offer a weekly Skill Training basketball class this fall, which will teach a deeper understanding of the principles covered in the free basketball camp. Cost is $125 for six weeks of classes.

To register for the Slug Hoops free basketball camp or enroll in Slug Hoops fall skill training class, visit slugbasketballcamps  or contact Kyle Bossier at

Two new ways to follow Yuba College basketball

Yuba College basketball has a new Facebook page -- to get a sense of the information being posted, here's one item posted September 17:
"In the last week Yuba College Men's Basketball has enjoyed hosting Division 1 programs such as Grand Canyon, St Mary's, University of Nevada Reno, Utah State and today a visit from the "Runnin Rebels" of UNLV! Rumors of UC Davis head coach Jim Les in later this week. Glad to see the new group working hard and getting exposure to some of the best programs in the country!!!"
There is also a Yuba College basketball Twitter account.

So fans now have two new ways to stay on top of 49er hoops.

A Malik Pope update

The latest from Malik Pope: "Surgery number 2 finished. Thanks for the prayers Twitter. It means everything"

Roberson getting looks

A Lester Diaz tweet: "2015 6'5 guard Jordan Roberson @ Cordova HS. U.Portland, Sacramento State and Utah State were recently in gym."

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The after high school hole

Unlike apprenticeships and such in various trades which can result in a very solid living for an individual, there really isn't anything dimilar for those who desire to continue playing after high school basketball and have the required degree of promise but don't meet four-year college academic requirements or aren't interested in furthering academic participation.

The push for some time now is for all seniors to go on to higher education (how about those costs lately?) because it's been quantified that college graduates as a whole earn more money over a lifetime and generally qualify for a higher percentage of jobs.

There's nothing wrong with that direction.

But why no basketball apprenticeships, if you will?

Sure, there is the option to go overseas and attempt to ply the trade plus various below-the-NBA level leagues here at home with rosters to fill but very, very few 17 or 18-year-olds are physically and mentally mature enough, let alone appropriately skilled, to succeed on that that path.

What's missing is a non-collegiate opportunity.

Now to answer the question posed, this is because there's no money to be made, no benefit to anyone setting up such.

The NBA certainly has no interest as it would be a hefty expenditure minus any guaranteed end of the rainbow pot of gold.

The AAU deals with talents prior to and through the summer after high school graduation but no further.

So a void remains.

Now abroad there appears to be various organizations in different countries dedicated to sports player development during high school and beyond, minus any academic requirements. Why is it happening there and not here?

Then there is also the stigmatization in this country directed to those young basketball talents who are not academically inclined, as if they are somehow inferior beings. Epithets along the lines of 'not being smart enough' or 'too lazy to work hard' are bantered about when there objectively is nothing wrong with a desire to focus on the pursuit of professional basketball employment. Plenty of high school baseball talents do just that, with a very high percentage falling short.

Granted, the odds are long for most and some realistically have zero chance of ever achieving the dream but it is also because the necessary infrastructure is absent in basketball. 

We don't look askance at those who slog or dog it through history and English literature because they see themselves as plumbers, electricians and the like. So why hoopsters?

Louis Barbash offers a very informative take, with a solid collection of background and history too.

October 6 Sonoma State Coaches Clinic

From Sonoma State Associate Head Coach Rich Shayewitz: "Sonoma State Coaches Clinic - October 6, 2013: Speakers: Randy Bennett, Rex Walters, Greg Kamansky, John Peterson"

The schedule of events

8:00 AM:   Registration begins/Coffee & Donuts

9:00 AM:   John Peterson (Head Coach, Ohlone College) - Fast Break Offense

10:00 AM: Greg Kamansky (Head Coach, Cal Poly Pomona) - Match Up Zone Defense

11:00 AM: Rex Walters (Head Coach, Univ. of San Francisco) - TBA

12:00 PM: Lunch Provided

12:30 PM: Randy Bennett (Head Coach, Saint Mary's) - Using the Ball Screen & Practice Shooting Drills

1:30 PM:  Coaches Forum - All Presenters

Think you might learn some basketball wisdom by attending?

Go here to sign up.