Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Anderson gets Roadrunner offer

Coach Depelteau (@ Suffield Academy, CT) tweeted: "New PG added an offer from Cal St-Bakersfield. Also has offers from N. AZ, Portland, Pacific, FL A&M. Interest from Cal & others."

That's Juwan Anderson, formerly of Bishop O'Dowd.

Martin names two to coaching staff

Cal Head Coach Cuonzo Martin has announced two additions to his staff, with more to come later.

More on Frenchwood's UH offer

Joey Frenchwood via Brian McInnis:
...The first is Newark Memorial High (Bay Area, Calif.) senior point guard Joey Frenchwood. The 6-foot-1 Frenchwood picked up his first Division I offer on Sunday from Hawaii, he said in a phone interview Tuesday. He said he plans to take a visit to the islands before deciding — but UH's odds seem good here, as his other interest is from Montana State.

"I'm liking Hawaii a real lot right now. ... It feels really good (getting that first offer)," Frenchwood said. "I know I want to take a visit for sure. If I like it a lot, I'm sure I might commit. (I want to visit) as soon as possible, honestly."

"(My approach is) whatever I need to do to win. I can score, I can facilitate. I'm a pretty good defender, I'd like to say. Whatever my team needs me to do to win, I'll do it.

"It was a good year. It was a little up and down. We started off strong, then we had a drought where we dropped seven games straight. Then we picked it up, ended up winning 20 straight and going to the (open division) state tournament. We lost in the first round. But it was a real good year. I was happy how we ended...

Sims not gone long from basketball

Lorenzo Harris/Nor Cal Preps has posted that former Chico State guard Demario Sims is going to be the boys basketball coach at McClymonds High, his high school alma mater.

Collins with a Big Sky offer

Via Josh Gershon: "2015 DreamVision SG Armani Collins picked up an offer from Weber State."

Collins is a 6-foot-4 shooting guard.

Here's an interview from back in February.

The CalHiSports 2014 All State honorees

Here are the northern California CalHiSports 2014 All State honorees:

State Junior Player of the Year:

Ivan Rabb (Bishop O’Dowd)

First Team Juniors:

G – Paris Austin (Bishop O’Dowd, Oakland) 5-10
F – Marquese Chriss (Pleasant Grove, Elk Grove) 6-8
C – Ivan Rabb (Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 6-10

Second Team Juniors:

G – Tyrell Alcorn (El Cerrito) 6-0
F – L.J. Reed (Cosumnes Oaks, Sacramento) 6-3
F – Anthony Townes (Modesto Christian) 6-6

First Team Sophomores:

G – Christian Ellis (Modesto Christian) 6-1
G – Jordan Ford (Folsom) 6-0
F – Oscar Frayer (Moreau Catholic, Hayward) 6-6
C – Ben Kone (Archbishop Mitty, San Jose) 6-8
G – Kaijae Yee-Stephens (Santa Cruz) 6-2
C – Solomon Young (Sacramento) 6-7

First Team Freshman:

G – Damari Milstead (Moreau Catholic, Hayward) 5-11

Kennedy introduces himself

From Nor Cal Preps: "56 coaches at the NorCal Spring Showcase this weekend. Real impressed with Pittsburg 2014 W DJ Kennedy."

Kennedy will be attending Merritt College.

Team Select/San Francisco Rebel tourney in mid-May


3rd Annual "WarmUp to Reno" / May 17-18

- 9u 10u 11u 12u boys in SF
- 13u 14u 15u JV Var boys in Brentwood
- Also, 5th & 8th girls in Brentwood

- Great Comp / Great Facilities / Great Price / Quality Referees / Quality Awards

- 1 team $275
- multiple team discounts available

Committed Organizations:
- SF Rebels / Team Select / CV Hornets / Olympic Club / Team Elite / Esface / Pro City / top flight elite / Manteca heat / sf bulldogs / Hoyas / game stoppers / 1t1d / above and beyond / Oakland rebels / metro mirage / ncp / 5a athletes / bay area wolverines / rbc / etc.

Contact Ruben Garcia regarding entries: (925) 367-3912

More from the Sacto EYBL stop

From Brandon Tatera/California Preps:
"...El Cerrito's Tyrell Alcorn and Salesian's Bernard Ward are two of the least heralded players on the Soldiers' roster but they saved them against Cal Supreme, as each made huge plays. Alcorn's on-ball defense and passing ability, Ward's exceptional outside shooting should make each targets at the Mountain West and West Coast Conference level with, among others, San Jose State assistant coach Chris Brazelton and San Francisco/Portland head coaches Rex Walters and Eric Reveno courtside..."

Ali to play another at AVC

With his initial year of junior college basketball complete, Ismail Ali has decided to return for his sophomore season at Antelope Valley College.

A Paris Austin update

George Nguyen writes of Paris Austin's recent play and also offers video.

Verbal Commits tweeted: "2015 Bishop O'Dowd (CA) G Paris Austin has received an offer from Florida State"

Two Leigh talents moving on

From Leigh Basketball: "Congrats to senior Jared Williams on committing to continue his academic career at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo!"

The 6-foot-6 Williams was the Co-MVP in the Blossom Valley Athletic League/Mount Hamilton Division. He was the Prep2Prep CCS Player of the Year and All CCS First Team in Boys Basketball by The Mercury News.

One more: "Congratulations to senior Jackson Pelligrini on his decision to attend Boston College next year."

Pelligrini was a 6-foot guard on the Leigh squad.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Kaplansky in charge at Gavilan

You're an athletic director and you need a new leader for one of your programs which has stumbled for some time. It makes perfect sense to go to the heart of your community and bring in a local, well-respected coach with a proven track record.

That's what Gavilan College has done with the hiring of David Kaplansky as the new men's basketball coach. Kaplansky played at San Benito High, alternately coached the boys and girls teams there and won two CCS championships during his tenure.

So why the switch to Gavilan? One critical reason is area pride.

"It's our neighborhood community college," Kaplansky replied.

And yes, he knows what is ahead.

"It's going to be a big challenge and take time but fans will see a scrappy, effort-based team. We'll build first from here and try to add size and high skill sets."

In a way, Kaplansky is returning to his roots.

"I played at San Benito High for Coach John Becerra, graduating in 1994. Then I spent two years playing at Grossmont College in San Diego and transferred to San Diego State. My first year there I was a walk-on with the basketball team but on full scholarship my senior year." That concluding season was 1998-99.

Here's talk of him in an article at the time in the San Diego State student newspaper: "Dave's (Kaplansky) our spark," SDSU senior forward Kevin Betts said. "He gives it all he's got when he gets in the game and gets us going."

Here's Kaplansky himself in that same piece: ""I'm trying to do anything I can for this team; I know I'm not going to score a lot of points, so I go out and play tough defense..."I'm not the most athletic player out on the court, so I have to do it with hard work."

During all his time in college, Kaplansky worked a lot of summer basketball camps, especially those of then Stanford Coach Mike Montgomery. Exposure to that atmosphere "sold me on coaching."

He's been in the educational field in Hollister for 15 years and is currently teaching physical education at Spring Grove Elementary School. Kaplansky will remain in that job.

As for coaching bonafides, they include leading the boys basketball program at San Benito from 1999 to 2005. Kaplansky then switched over to the girls side for four seasons, winning CCS championships in both 2008 and 2009. He returned to coaching the boys in 2010.

So what will Kaplansky's Rams be displaying come next November?

Try "ball pressure and a physical type of defense."

Yes, it's a hefty undertaking but opponents will now find that matching up against Gavilan is going to be a more difficult task.

Elite Training Camp - 1% CLUB Basketball May 16-18

1% CLUB Basketball is announcing its "Elite Training Camp" in Napa May 16-18. The event will be for the serious, more motivated player that is looking for the edge they need for their big AAU off-season or Memorial Day Qualifiers. We also will have separated boys and girls classes, in order to specialize the instruction. Below is a link that will go straight to the sign up page and schedule. Our last event in Napa sold out six days before the kick-off date, therefore, it is always recommended to sign up online or call to secure a spot: (707) 849-1212.  You can also sign up for certain days only as well.

Napa Elite Training Camp

Who:  1% CLUB Basketball Services (Going on 12 years of training camps/clinics)

Where: Grace Church Gym (3765 Solano Avenue Napa, CA) & Harvest Middle School (2449 Old Sonoma Road Napa, CA).

When:  May 16-18 (Friday - Sunday)

Costs:   $125 for our Girl's 6th-12th grade class. $199 for our Boy's 4th-8th class and our High School Class.

Can register online or cash at front door (Please no checks if possible).

Director: All drills will be run and conducted by professional skill trainers Jeremy Russotti, Philippe Doherty, and Steiv Boyd

Time: Friday (Grace Church Gym):
* Boys 4th - 8th: 3:30p.m. -5:00 p.m.
* Boys High School: 5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
* Girls 6th-12th: No Class

Saturday (Harvest Middle):
* Boys 4th - 8th: noon - 3:00 p.m. 
* Boys High School: 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
* Girls 6th-12th: 10:00 a.m.- noon

Grades: Boys 4th - 8th Grade Class: Boys High School Class: Girls 6th-12th Grade

Contact: Jeremy Russotti (707) 849-1212

Equipment: Bring your own basketball (if possible labeled with your name)

*This event will be for the first 30 kids in each class that sign up. This is not a traditional skills camp and will include the top training techniques and drills that 1% CLUB provides to its most elite clients. Top high school players that attend will get an invite to sign up for Russotti's "Green Room Training Program" in the summer for one week.

Also, 1% CLUB Basketball will have a week-long training camp in NorCal in July.
Email to get on mailing list. This will be a Monday-Friday camp. Location is TBA and date will be in early July.

The 7th Annual City All Star Game coming up -- May 2 @CCSF

We are less than a week away for the 7th Annual City All Star Game (May 2 at City College of San Francisco). This will be a fun way for seniors to end their high school career and to bring the San Francisco basketball community together. It is also important because the game is in memory of Coach Mike Gragnani who was the Lincoln Head Coach and sadly passed away during the 2010-11 season.

You will just need to show-up at least 30 to 45 minutes prior to your game time. The Girls will play at 5:30 p.m. and the Boys at approximately 7:00 p.m. We will provide a t-shirt uniform that you can keep as a thank you for participating. You will need to bring your own shorts, shoes and game. We will select an MVP of each game and provide an award.

We will be having a three-point shooting contest for both the Girls and Boys -- each participant will get one minute to make as many three-pointers as they can with two balls and a rebounder. The first round of the Girls contest will be before the Girls game at 5:00 and the Final round will be after the Girls Game. If you want to participate just show up by 5:00. Both rounds of the Boys 3-point contest will be after the Boys Game. There will be a trophy for the winners

We will also have a Slam Dunk Contest before the Boys Game. We will let the Boys teams warm-up in lay-up lines and then anyone who wants to participate will be given 30 seconds to score a dunk which will then be scored. We typically have three rounds. There will be a trophy for the winner.

Note, we do not charge you anything to participate in this event, but we do charge $5 for admission which is used to off-set our costs. We typically break even but if there is a surplus it goes to our non-profit, Bay Area Warriors. Please spread the word to your family, friends and teammates so we can get a supportive crowd.

We have divided the All Stars into Red and White Teams. We keep players from the same schools together.  but we reserve the right to make last minute adjustments, if necessary, to balance the rosters. Note I have been able to reach almost all of the invitees but please make sure your fellow HS teammates get the word just in case I have not been able to reach them.

If you have questions, feel free to contact me.

Randy Bessolo
University HS and Bay Area Warriors
415 418 4568

Boys Red Team - Coached by Matt Jackson of Lincoln HS

* Seth Snoddy - Lincoln
* Da'vion Telfor - Lincoln
* Kylan Jones - Lincoln
* Tyree Marzetta - Lincoln
* Evan Louie - Lowell
* Sam Pollard - Lowell
* Isaac Armstrong - Galileo
* Abai Asmelash - Galileo
* Jack Gale - University
* David Allen - Lick-Wilmerding
* Kaneem Thorton - Lick-Wilmerding
* Jiday Ugbaja - Riordan
* Chiefy Ugbaja - Riordan
* Zach Masoli - Riordan
* Robert Valencia - Riordan
* Justice Skolnik - Bay
* Nik Inalsingh - Bay

Boys White Team - Coached by Dezebee Miles of Marshall HS

* Jason Smith - Marshall
* Mizell Parker - Marshall
* Ibraheem Muhammed - Marshall
* Lamar Anderson - Balboa
* James Woods - Balboa
* Armond Caradine - Mission
* Khristian Chiles - Wallenberg
* Malcom Bell - Washington
* Ricky Lee Johnson - Washington
* Harrison Golding - Urban
* Alex Seutin - International
* Elliott Beilin - International
* Deondre Otis - Sacred Heart Cathedral
* Liam O'Reilly - Sacred Heart Cathedral
* Trevor Dunbar - St. Ignatius
* Jaren Yang - St. Ignatius
* Julian Marcu - St. Ignatius
* Tristan Wentworth - St. Ignatius

Girls Red Team - Coached by Charlene Murphy of International HS

* Natalie Kelly - International
* Dannielle Palmer - International
* Kassie Encinas - International
* Veronica Henry - Burton
* Alyssa DelaCruz - Burton
* Annie Zhao - Burton
* Cassidy Chan - Galileo
* Sarah Lim - Galileo
* Kim Fung - Galileo
* Jane Marie Gunn - Galileo
* Nancy Yu - Marshall
* Tracy Yu - Marshall
* Kayla Symanovich - University
* Gabby Chua - University
* Kim Tom - St. Ignatius
* Quinci Mann - St. Ignatius
* Paige Marquez - St. Ignatius

Girls White Team - Coached by Nate Lundy of Lick-Wilmerding HS

* Aki Shurelds - Lick-Wilmerding
* Toby Harris - Lick Wilmerding
* Kelly Wong - Lowell
* Kelly Eshima - Lowell
* Mandy Che - Lowell
* Triana Anderson - Lowell
* Mari Kuwano - Washington
* Amy Luong - Washington
* Yvonne Faasavalu - Balboa
* Ezra DeAsis - Lincoln
* Cheray Piper - Lincoln
* Alyssa Wu - Lincoln
* Jaime Hum-Nishikado - Convent
* Nicole Segura - Mercy
* GeAnna Summers-Luaulu - SHCP
* Kai'ree Howard - SHCP
* Cassandra Friedrich - SHCP
* Angela Dailey - SHCP

Polee to Adams State

From Yuba College Men's Basketball: "Another Yuba basketball player-Darrell Polee Jr has signed his full ride scholarship to play next year at Adams State University in Alamosa, Colorado
Congrats Darrell!!!!!"

A.B. Najee season highlights

From Diablo Valley College Assistant Coach Derrick Jones on 6-foot-3 sophomore A.B. Najee: "D2/D3/NAIA Coaches!! Top notch guard, 3.3gpa, good scorer and defender!"

Najee shot 47%, 33% and 77% respectively this season alongside 8.4 points and 2.4 assists per game.

Hawaii offers Frenchwood

Via the Oakland Rebels: "2014 Joey Frenchwood picks up offer from University of Hawaii# Oakland Rebels adidas gauntlet"

Frenchwood is a 6-foot-1 point out of Newark Memorial High.

UC Davis continues issuing offers

UC Davis has extended another offer -- Via Verbal Commits: "2015 Orange Lutheran (CA) G Rogers Printup has received an offer from UC Davis."

Printup is 6-foot 4, 195.

Here's a February 2014 background article.

Here's a minute and a half video interview.

Dawkins goes with Michigan

From Matthew Schwade: "6-4 New Hampton wing Aubrey Dawkins has committed to Michigan, he confirmed to . Picked the Wolverines over the Flyers"

A JC frontcourter to the Hilltop

USF has added a beefy junior college power forward -- Montray Clemons -- in the search to alleviate losing Cole Dickerson's production.

Zimmerman displaying refreshing honesty

Stephen Zimmerman on his play up in Sacramento this past weekend: "No excuses, I played like crap. It's on me!"

Good for him to pull no punches (sorry for the cross sports metaphor) especially at his young age.

Monday, April 28, 2014

McMiller in charge of men's basketball at Merritt

An individual doesn't just wake up one morning, decide coaching a community college men's basketball program is the ticket and begin rearranging furniture in the athletic department on this or that campus.

It may or may not require the proverbial blood, sweat and tears but a certain sustained effort is necessary alongside some helping hands. A desire to help others and a pay it forward thankfulness isn't mandatory but hopefully present.

Meet Oakland born and bred Keenan McMiller who is now the point man for Merritt College men's basketball, officially succeeding the retiring Maurice Compton.

As the Associate Head Coach for the past five years, McMiller has reinvigorated the Thunderbird program.


* 5 winning seasons

* 3 state playoff berths

* 1 state final four, the first for the Thunderbirds since 1955

* 29 players total including four this year on scholarships

* an 80% graduation rate

But how did he get there?

McMiller switched back and forth between public and private entities at both the elementary and high school levels. Thus began the need to get along with fellow students of all varieties.

Early on, his mother provided a cultural calibration. "She had me focused on art and music -- not sports."

But as they are wont to do, athletic endeavors crept in and a sense of self was discovered.

"When I played baseball, it came easy for me and I found out I was super competitive." McMiller was a pitcher, third baseman and leftfielder.

"I also liked football and I taught myself basketball."

It was the latter that prevailed.

Roundball proved irresistible because "the cool kids were playing it. There was something about it," McMiller remembered.

"In sixth grade, I was one of the tallest kids so I played a lot of post and learned early." It was a time of bigs such as Akeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing and Derrick Coleman showing skill and versatility in the NBA.

"I picked things up watching the game like how to play fundamentally," adding with a laugh, "But I didn't always exhibit that."

Another admittance: "talent wasn't a problem -- I learned composure."

Finishing 12th grade at California High in San Ramon, McMiller recalled, "It was a predominately white school but sports connected people of all sorts."

Earning a basketball scholarship was a possibility as Loyola Marymount and other DI universities were interested.

"But I wasn't mature," McMiller explained. "My grade point average was pretty good but I didn't take the SAT."

His coach at the time wanted him to attend Santa Rosa Junior College but Chabot College and the late Tony Costello won out. It should be noted that the Gladiators made the playoffs that year.

McMiller then transferred to Merritt for his sophomore season, playing on a team that reached the Elite Eight.

After those two years, programs such as Utah State, South Dakota and Chaminade became involved.

However, family issues "made me feel I needed to be close to home."

So he headed to San Francisco State.

It was there that a divergence of sorts took place.

On the court, "It was kind of disappointing because mediocre results were accepted and hard work didn't really matter," McMiller said. "My high school and junior college teams were in the playoffs -- that's what I was used to."

Plus, away from basketball was an immersion into a different world.

"San Francisco State is a great school -- I learned a lot. But I didn't really hang out with athletes but rather with students from places like Mexico, Europe and South America."

Then one day, McMiller attended a job fair over at Merritt and found that the YMCA was looking for camp counselors. He seized the opportunity, got hired and "people liked how I handled kids." That led to his becoming a Youth Sports Director and McMiller then began putting on basketball clinics.

Just before graduation, St. Paul's Episcopal School in Oakland brought him in as a intern teacher in math and science as well as an afterschool counselor and his initial endeavor as a basketball coach.

"Those kids just worked so hard." His team finished 11-2 and then 10-4 in two years.

By that second year, "people were recruiting me to work elsewhere and I was thinking I need to consider coaching."

Through some contacts he developed, McMiller then landed a position coaching the Encinal High girls basketball team.

But all was not well -- "We were horrible our first year."

However Encinal offered some favorable components.

"We had open enrollment so any eighth grader could come plus Tagalog (the second language in the Philippines) was offered as a language course." That helped but, as usual, McMiller always went out of his way to introduce himself to a bevy of individuals.

"I built a lot of relationships."

One of those was with the now late Oscar Jimenez who ran the Mission Recreation Center Rebels team in San Francisco and had a number of players move on to attend Sacred Heart Cathedral.

"Oscar told me to come to a tournament and take a look at one girl in particular. She was DI all the way but needed help academically and with maturity. She transferred from Sacred Heart [to Encinal] and we went to Nor Cal that year and made the playoffs the next four years."

His coaching reputation was flourishing.

Eventually, some high school coaching friends of McMiller's got word of an opening.

"They said 'the Merritt job is going to open and you're an alumnus so go for it.' I met with Coach Compton and he hired me." That was in 2008.

What the Thunderbird program got was someone with a particular personal philosophy, one he finds that resonates:

"I want my players to have a great experience working hard. It's important to be consistent with kids as once you set a precedent you set a standard for how you do things. I find having consistent expectations allows players to buy in. But keep the message fresh because you never know when it will connect with them."

Mc Miller concluded, "I feel blessed from God to be able to work hard at something I enjoy, which is helping people. That drives me, helping other people get where they can be successful."

The blessedness should be of a reciprocal nature because of the success Merritt basketball has enjoyed since McMiller came aboard.

Yet he's just getting started.

Kiwi's season highlights

Below is a four minute video offering Kiwi Gardner's season highlights with the Santa Cruz Warriors -- want to see what's next for him:

EYBL prospect ranking after Sacramento

Ronnie Flores/StudentSportsBasketball serves up some players rankings after viewing this weekend's EYBL action in Sacramento:

* 2. Ivan Rabb

* 6-foot-9 Australian Ben Simmons, an LSU commit, is in the top spot.

Keep in mind that Rabb has two other bigs he is sharing time with so his numbers won't be off the charts.

This does make one want to see Simmons in action thoug -- he must be something special.

Gaels land BC transfer

From Jeff Goodman: "Boston College transfer Joe Rahon told ESPN he will transfer to Saint Mary's. Good addition for the Gaels"

The 6-foot-2 Rahon shot 40%, 35% and 74% respectively last season with 103 assists versus 57 turnovers. He will have to sit out a season

Here is our earlier post which contains more statistics.

Plus, Tanner Krebs will be in Moraga by that time.

Jackson to Tennessee Tech

From Alex Kline/The Recruit Scoop: "JUCO big man Charles (Grant High) Jackson has committed to and signed with Tennessee Tech, per a source"

Jackson was at College of Southern Idaho this past season and Lassen College as a frosh. TT is a member of the Ohio Valley Conference.

The Sunday Soldiers

In EYBL play Sunday, the Soldiers topped California Supreme (out of southern California) 77-71 with Ivan Rabb posting a double-double of 22 points plus 10 boards. Bernard Ward shot 4-6 from three-point range to total 12 points.

UC Davis offers two 2015-ers

Via Verbal Commits: "2015 La Costa Canyon (CA) F Travis Fuller has received an offer from UC Davis."

 At 6-foot-7, he was a First Team All League honoree (San Diego area) this past season and is playing with the California Supreme this spring and summer.

Below is a March 2014 highlight video:

From Josh Gershon: "2015 Gamepoint Elite SF Brady Twombly picked up an offer from UC Davis"

He stands 6-foot-5 and again is out of the San Diego area @ La Costa High. Loyola Marymount has offered. Twombly is playing with Gamepoint this spring and summer.

Below is a March 2014 video:

Blackwell gets offered

Via Verbal Commits: "2015 Woodcreek (CA) G Noah Blackwell has received an offer from Long Beach State."

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Toth will be riding with the Mustangs

In just the last few years, 6-foot-1 sharpshooter Kyle Toth has morphed from a Monarch into a Black Knight and then became an Owl. Now his latest transformation will have him as a Mustang, of Cal Poly vintage, as he has signed on with Coach Joe Callero's Big West Conference team.

After attending the United States Military Academy Prep School in 2001-12, the former Archbishop Mitty guard then played one year at Army and what a season that was as the Black Knights finished above .500 -- 16-15 -- for the first time in close to 30 years.

At West Point, Toth started 25 games and averaged 25 minutes plus 8.2 points per contest, powered by 37% shooting from long distance. Close to two thirds of his made baskets were treys and he was honored as a Patriot League All Rookie Team selection.

But the siren call of family was irresistible and Toth returned home, enrolling at Foothill College for his sophomore season. There he averaged 15.0 points per game for the Owls, shooting 44%, 41% and 88% respectively, plus 3.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists an outing for Coach Matt Stanley. Foothill completed the season 15-13 overall, 7-5 in the Coast-North Conference.

He selected Foothill last year because "it's one of the better academic JUCOs in the area and a lot of  players I know go there."

So why the Mustang mania?

"I watched them (Cal Poly) practice at Stanford and it looked like a good fit for me. Plus, Coach Callero and [Associate Head] Coach Paul Fortier are good guys."

Continuing on, he said, "my criteria were playing DI basketball and attending a good school. Cal Poly has the academics and a good track record."

He is measuring majoring either in economics or business administration.

Asked what he'll bring to the Cal Poly team, Toth modestly replied, "defensive effort, focus and working hard all the time in practice and games."

He noted his best basketball skills as "my shooting ability" along with "finding my role on the team and playing it to the best of my ability. I'm a complementary player."

As to his biggest basketball influence, Toth said, "By far, my older brother (who played at UC Davis). He's four years older and toughened me up, teaching me to be physical. In hindsight, it was a blessing."

His best basketball moment came as a junior in a matchup with Fairfield High as the Monarchs won 43-41 in the state tournament. "It was at home in front of our fans and I hit the game-winning shot."

Cal Poly won the Big West Conference tournament this year, advancing to the Big Dance. Toth wants to be part of the group that hopefully will replicate that magic.

The real you appears when matters aren't going your way

Slade decides on Sonoma

Lorrie Reyes writes about College of the Redwoods talent James Slade deciding to go with Sonoma State basketball. It's definitely worth noting Slade's marvelous shooting percentages: 56% overall and 49% from beyond the arc.

Young back playing

Playing for Dream Vision yesterday, Solomon (Sacramento High) Young produced eight points (4-5 shooting) and six boards in 24 minutes of play. It's good to have him back on the court.

Paris (Bishop O'Dowd) Austin finished with six points plus four assists also in 24 minutes for DV.

Ojanen moving to SJSU

Now it's Tyler Ojanen who will be joining Coach Dave Wojcik's staff at San Jose State University and that is a good move. It brings in someone with excellent California contacts since he was last assisting Gus Argenal at Cal State East Bay and worked under Randy Bennett prior to that.

Here's an article on Ojanen from September of last year.

Briggs receives Northridge offer

Via Verbal Commits: "2015 River City (CA) F Justin Briggs has received an offer from Cal State Northridge"

Briggs measures out at 6-foot-8, 215 pounds.

At the 2013 Nor Cal Summer Tipoff, Gerry Freitas offered this evaluation: "Below the rim post up player, good post moves with dribble, good foot work, rebounds in his area."

Latest on Marquese Chriss

Eric Bossi on Marquese (Pleasant Grove High) Chriss who is with Team (Under Armour) Superstar currently playing in Dallas tournament:
"For instance Washington stole one getting Marquese Chriss early. He is much better than his current No. 76 ranking."
Chriss has good size (at least 6-8), is bouncy, high volume rebounder and good mid range shooter. Bounced back big after bad Friday night.

The Soldiers yesterday in Sacramento

From PoP: "Oakland Soldier guards struggling to find identity in 1st match up Vs. Mokan. There's zero thought process"

Send out an SOS for Derryck Thornton.

Ivan Rabb's line in that 60-54 loss: 17 points and eight boards against the Overland Park, Kansas-based opponent. The Soldiers shot 17-42 overall and Mokan got up 16 more shots.

Then it was a 55-45 Soldier victory over the CP3 (North Carolina) All Stars with Rabb totaling 11 points on 5-5 shooting, six boards and two assists and Stephen Zimmerman with 10 points, five rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots. Bernard (Salesian High) Ward shot 4-8, including 2-4 from long distance.

A must read

This isn't a new article (it's from 2013) but what a riveting read by Lindsay Brauner, who should be working at ESPN or SI. It's about the life of Tierra Rogers and should be required reading for anyone bemoaning their particular station in life.

Who to believe?

Does it have to be one or another is true? Maybe a mixture of both.

Chuck Landon details what his sources say went on in the Marshall head coach job search.

Doug Smock then writes an article in which all is refuted.

The biggest unanswered question is why in the world would Mike D'Antoni ever head to Marshall? Yes, he's connected there (an alumnus) but after NBA stints in Denver, Phoenix New York and Los Angeles just how does Huntington, West Virginia work over Manhattan Beach, CA, even if Kobe is badmouthing you?

By the way, Shawn Smith, formerly of McClatchy High and CCSF, will be a senior at Marshall next season.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

A toast to Beau Levesque

Simon Tryzna features the play of departing Beau Levesque -- St. Mary's is going to miss his sparkplug efforts. He came a long way from his De La Salle/Greenline days.

Jose San Mateo moving on

Via Thomas Gase: "Sad to see Jose San Mateo leave the Times-Herald but I know our loss will be Chico's gain. Wrote a lot of good stories here"

Hopefully, it's to the Chico Enterprise Record and continued sports coverage.

It must be spring basketball time

Via Kevin Kuwik: "We only get one weekend of this stuff but I am complete... A fan just assaulted a ref during a free throw"

The starting five for the Soldiers who are playing this weekend in Sacto

Ronnie Flores noted: "Starting for the soldiers is big zimm, chemezie metu, ivan rabb, max hazzard & rex p vs. Mokan elite"

Patton honored

(photo courtesy of Hime Romer/Manteca Bulletin)

Jonamar Jacinto writes that Sierra High's Joshua Patton is the Manteca Bulletin's 2013-14 All-Area MVP.

Kobre to growl with the Tigers

Per Josh Horton, Santa Rosa Junior College guard Alec Kobre has committed to Pacific and Coach Ron Verlin. The 6-foot-3 backcourter shot 44%, 45% and 88% respectively last season.

Coach Craig McMillan's assembly line of guards rolls on. In this particular case, Sama Taku is graduating from Pacific and now Kobre is moving in.

Here's an earlier article on Kobre.

The Aggies get a big

Via Josh Gershon: "UC Davis has landed a commitment from Salt Lake Community College sophomore post Neal Monson, per a source."

Monson is a 6-foot-11, 220 former Utah prepster who just finished his freshman season at SLCC. In 32 games and starts, at just under 30 minutes an outing, he averaged 14.4 points and 8.4 reboudns, shooting 62% overall and 67% from the foul line. Monson blocked 36 shots.

Monson originally signed with Utah, went on his LDS mission and, according to one report, was told there would be no room at the inn on his return, hence his move to SLCC.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Edmonds going Grizzly

When a team loses its most productive player, a dip is inevitable unless a replacement talent is brought aboard. Montana has done just that with the signing of Jermaine Edmonds Jr. out of Diablo Valley College (DVC).

As a freshman coming out of Salesian High, the 6-foot-5 Edmonds Jr. got right to work, totaling 14.5 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game on 47%, 40% 71% shooting respectively. He was the primary creator on the DVC offense and earned All League honors as Coach Steve Coccimiglio's squad finished 20-9 overall, 8-6 in the very tough Big 8 Conference.

The Griz are graduating 6-foot-5 Kareem Jamar who put up 18.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game in his final year. Now Edmonds Jr. isn't looking to be Jamar II -- much more Edmonds I -- but it is he who will be tasked with filling the void.

But there is no added pressure about this situation or any aspect of basketball as Edmonds Jr. views critical situations in games "as just another moment."

In a press release after the signing, Montana Coach Wayne Tinkle offered his take: "He (Edmonds Jr.) can play the one, two, or the three...He can really handle the ball; he can shoot it; he can drive and finish; and he's a really good passer..."

So why the move to Big Sky Country?

"When I visited, I really like the guys, the coaches and the campus," Edmond Jr. answered. "Chemistry is a big thing to me and I could see it was there."

Plus, he will be rejoining former Salesian teammate, point Mario Dunn -- "that will be a good plus" -- who enjoyed a very solid initial Griz season. Edmonds Jr. and Dunn were critical members of the Pride team that finished 34-2 in 2012, winning the California State Division IV championship. Winning that title is Edmonds Jr's' favorite basketball moment to date.

Asked what he will bring to his new team, Edmonds Jr. replied, "I have a pretty good basketball IQ and I know the game well. I can score and see the floor to get open shots for teammates." He is proud of how he has worked to improve his jumpshot.

Edmonds Jr. is planning on majoring in Communications with the idea of going into coaching once his playing days have subsided. "I like the game of basketball and would miss not being around it."

He cites "my Dad and my uncles" as his biggest basketball influences because he learned by watching them play and by them coaching him.

Will Cherry began the proverbial Missoula pipeline. Dunn continued it. Now, Edmonds Jr. is the latest member of the harvest repping the Bay Area.

Interesting hires

Two assistant coaches (Omar Lowery & Jack Kennedy) departed Coach Dave Wojcik's staff after the 2013-14 season concluded, both in their first year at San Jose State University.

Now, they been replaced by the former St. Louis University director of basketball operations Mike Lepore and Ed Boyce, who coached some ago at Boise State  and, before that, in the prep ranks.

Lepore doesn't appear to have any northern or southern California recruiting connections and Boyce hasn't been directly involved with college hoops for some time.

DI c-h-a-n-g-e-s coming

Rob Dauster reports on the Big Five in college hoops flexing their collective muscle.

Brian Bennett covers the same territory.

Gataric lands in Big Sky Country

West Valley College Coach Scott Eitelgeorge reports that WVC sophomore Momir Gataric has accepted a scholarship from Montana State-Billings, a DII school competing in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. The Yellowjackets ares losing two of their top three scorers so Gataric's marksmanship will be put to quick use.
Montana State University Billings Men's Basketball head coach Jamie Stevens, has announced the signing of his first recruit for the 2014-15 season, Momir Gataric from West Valley College.

After playing one season at West Valley, Gataric was named to the California Community College Athletic Association All-Conference team. He was ranked 15th in scoring in the conference, leading West Valley in scoring with an average of 19.2 points per game.

The 6-5, 200 pound wing also averaged 6.6 rebounds per game, shot 49.9 percent from the floor including 32.9 percent from three point range.

Born in Sarajevo Bosnia, Gataric grew up in Sunnyvale California and lettered three years playing varsity high school basketball. He was named league MVP twice, first in his sophomore year and second in his junior year. During his junior year he averaged 22.3 points per game. In his senior season, Momir averaged 22.1 points per game and was named to the first team All-League squad as well as being named Senior of the year.

The sun of Ljubomir and Dimoslavka Gataric, Momir will transfer to MSUB as a junior. His planed major is Health and Human Performance. He carries a 3.5 GPA and was named to the Dean's List at West Valley.

Gataric on choosing MSUB: "I chose MSUB because on my trip the coaches and players made the visit very comfortable and easy. I can see myself living here for two years."

Coach Stevens on Gataric: "We feel like Momir is a great fit for what we need right now in our program. Statistically, he had a great sophomore season. He plays to his strengths, rebounds very well for his size and is an above average shooter. He is also really solid in the classroom and our staff and players just really liked him as a person when he visited Billings. I look forward to having Momir at MSUB over the next two seasons."

Meet the Bay Area Warriors

Here's Bay Area Warrior Coach Randy Bessolo:
We will be at the NorCal Spring Showcase hosted by Gerry Freitas in Sacramento this weekend. The event is NCAA sanctioned and our schedule is as follows:

* Saturday at El Camino HS (4300 El Camino Ave, Sacramento, CA 95821)
2:30 vs. Nevada Wolves
5:30 vs. Fastbreak

* Sunday at Mesa Verde HS (7501 Carriage Drive, Citrus Heights, CA 95621)
12:30 vs. NC Warriors
2:30 vs. Lakeshow Black

Our roster includes the following prospects:

2014 Unsigned Seniors:

* Chiefy Ugbaja, Riordan, 6-foot-4, super athletic, 2x first team All-WCAL, 2X NorCal Finalist, his cousin Jiday recently signed with Sac State

* Deondre Otis, Sacred Heart Cathedral, 6-foot point guard, first team All-WCAL, great driver, passer and defender, smart and quick

* Keith Hunter, Oakland HS, 6-foot-2 scoring guard, good athlete and shooter

* Belil Coleman, Skyline HS, 5-foot-10 point guard, can score and distribute

* Ibraheem Muhammed, Marshall HS, 6-foot-4 forward, good athlete

* Josh Tesmarfarian, Oakland HS, 6-foot-1 guard, good skills and smarts

2015 Juniors:

* Jemiel King, Lincoln HS, 6-foot-2 guard, great slasher and defender

* Tarrez Blaylock, Lincoln HS, 6-foot-2 guard, strong slasher, shooter and defender

* Naod Sebhatlieb, University, 6-foot-5 post, good thickness, agility and skills

* Sam Esser, Balboa HS, 5-foot-11, great shooter with NBA range, can create own shot

* Micah Bessolo, Valley Christian HS, 6-foot-4 forward, good strength

* Hunter Patterson, Salesian HS, 5-foot-10 point guard, great skills and quickness

2016 Sophomores:

*Henry Feinberg, Branson HS, 6-foot-4 guard, great skills and good athleticism, competes hard

* Eric Galindo, Riordan HS, 5-foot-10 point guard, great skills, good shooter too

Get your shooting woes prescription here

Bill Barnwell writes about "The Shot Doctor" for the San Antonio Spurs.

I say the Gordon family should bring in Chip Engelland.

What Rick Reilly has learned

Rick Reilly on universal truths -- a sample:

* The best stories aren't on the cover. They're the kid at the end of the bench, the fan who snuck into the game, the coach who shouldn't be alive. They're the ones that are hardest to find, and hardest to forget.

* You can write all the inspirational messages you want on your kid's school lunch bag. Nothing beats genetics.

* Your kid won't remember the score of a single game he played. He'll only remember the time he laughed so hard in the dugout that Capri Sun came out of his nose. Relax.

Holmes leaving The Hilltop

Steve Kroner reports that USF guard Avry Holmes is departing apparently to seek larger and greener pastures. He played the most minutes of any of the Dons last season and also finished second in assists. Holmes is out of Salem, Oregon -- hey, there's a team in Corvallis looking for talent but the likelihood of it having the same coach after next year doesn't look good.

Coach Bob Walsh on branding

Coach Bob Walsh writes about branding.

Separated at birth, decades apart

Doesn't new St. Mary's 2015 commit Tanner Krebs look at least a bit like former Indiana Hoosier  basketball wunderkind Damon Bailey? You decide.



Kreisberg to Northwestern

Teddy Greenstein reports that 6-foot-10 Jeremiah (Head-Royce School) Kreisberg is transferring from Yale to Northwestern. He is graduating from the former and using his final year of eligibility at the latter.

In Kreisberg's bio at Yale athletics, it very impressively reads:
Off the CourtAnalyst, Global Industrials Group at Barclays Investment Bank, New York, NY and built graphs, models, research profiles, and industry trend pages for 12 potential acquisition targets with average deal size of $500 M, contributed financial analysis recommending delayed sale for an auto manufacturing sell-side M&A deal resulting in expected savings of $200 M and completed valuation and modeling for pitch books and deals (summer 2013)…Program Coordinator for Yale Office of Sustainability and audited dining hall waste of residential college, determined that students using dining trays had twice as much food waste, presented data to Yale Dining Services, led to implementation of “trayless” dining halls, analyzed residential trash areas, recommended conservation practices for students and faculty, resulted in application of single stream recycling and an estimated 20% increase in recycling and spearheaded marketing campaign of strategically placed signs reminding students of simple energy saving tips (2011–2012)…Head of Finance and Research for Project Bright, an organization that trains students to design and install solar systems for campus

Thursday, April 24, 2014

St. Mary's adds a good one

Tweeted from Aus BBall Prospects: "Aussie PG Tanner Krebs () has committed to Saint Mary's College"

This addition from Tasmania (although he was born in Florida) is what is really needed in Moraga but he is a 2015 commit. Krebs is a 6-foot-4 guard with excellent shooting ability, especially from long range. His father Dan currently coaches basketball and played professionally earlier, including a stint in Iceland, after attending Utica College.

From a December 2013 article:
With a newly acquired AIS scholarship, Krebs is looking to prove why he was only 1 of 2 U19 men selected for this honor. He has quietly impressed at the AJC (16.1 ppg, 4.5 rpg) and was a standout performer for the Australian U19 side at the FIBA Oceania Pacific Championships with 10.2 ppg.

In this land of opportunity...

Eric Crawford lays out a convincing case that prep basketball players rightfully should have the option open to their fellow high school athletic brethren. It just makes sense. But it doesn't make dollars and cents to the NBA.

Is there something about New Jersey?

The mother of a former Rutgers basketball player is awaiting an apology to her son. Might as well be waiting for Godot.

In a situation that seems like an on-going bad Saturday Night Live skit, the current Rutgers AD demonstrates she possesses the 'tinnest' of ears and the 'clayest' of feet. Read here and here.

As Garden State born-and-bred John Gorka opens one of his songs: "I'm from New Jersey, I don't expect too much..."

Checking out McArthur & Brown of the SC Broncos

Max Graves looks at Santa Clara's departing seniors, including John McArthur and Jerry Brown.

Season highlights for Cortez Barrett

Via Chabot Men's Basketball comes the video season highlights of 6-foot-3 sophomore Cortez Barrett (click on the link opening this post and then click on the link provided by Chabot basketball to get a full screen view). He averaged 10.9 points and 4.3 rebounds last season, shooting 56%, 50% and 74% respectively.

Chabot's Brown tripping

From Chabot Men's Basketball:
Congrats to Greg Brown who took his visit to Arizona Christian University today. ACU was ranked #17 in the nation last season at the NAIA I level.
The 5-foot-10 Brown  averaged 11.0 points and 2.4 assists last season, shooting 46%, 41% and 79% respectively.

BSB writes about next season's Sac State squad

Big Sky Basketball has Sacramento State finishing second in its very early Big Sky Conference preview:
2. Sacramento State
The Hornets get my vote for second based on the strength of their backcourt, which was arguably the best in the conference last season, and will be the best this season. Both Dylan Garrity and Mikh McKinney are superb ballhandlers, scorers, and passers. Garrity may be the elite shooter in the Big Sky, while McKinney is excellent at breaking down a defense, getting into the lane, and getting to the line. The key will be frontcourt production. They have a nice recruiting class, but they can't count too much on those guys this season. Zach Mills is a nice player, and he will produce. The key will be Eric Stuteville, who came on strong at the end of his freshman season. If he can develop into a double digit scorer (and he has that talent level), the Hornets should have the best offense in the Big Sky.

SF State with another frontcourter

Reported on this earlier : "West Ranch’s 6-foot-10 senior center Ryne Williams has committed to San Francisco St., a Div. II program."

He'll be joining Yuba College's Floyd Wormley as frontcourt replacements for the Gators.

The Dons with a Big East/JC transfer

Josh Horton writes about Coach Rex Walters and USF landing another DePaul frontcourt transfer.

CRC's Velasco signs

Cosumnes River College frontcourter Jaycob Velasco has signed with the University of Mary, a DII school located in Bismarck, North Dakota. UM is a member of the Northern Sun Conference.

Velasco averaged 16.1 points and 9.5 rebounds a game last season, shooting 53%, 40% and 82% respectively. He was a Big 8 Conference All League selection this season.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Gaels after a foreign forward

Via Verbal Commits: "New Mexico and Saint Mary's have offered 2014 Impact Basketball (NV) F Tohi Smith-Milner."

He's out of New Zealand. From a 2012 article:
At 6’ 9” he is big enough to be a threat to down low, but what made him stand out from the other big men came in his ability to handle the ball, even leading the fast break on occasion. Along with this he showed the ability to shoot the outside jumper, displaying good range.

He appeared unfazed by pressure situations, drawing a foul from beyond the three-point line in the final second of the championship game, before heading to the line to drain the winning basket. 

Milner-Smith also played in the New Zealand National League with the championship-winning Auckland Pirates, while also being invited to the New Zealand national team trials.

It’s hard to believe he’s only 16, and as the equivalent of an American high school junior this year, he’s only going to get better.

He was a key member of the New Zealand high school national champion Rosmini in 2011, a team which is the hot favourite to repeat.

Notice a common theme throughout this? The kid certainly knows how to win championships.

Ohlone's Mitchell to Sonoma State

From the Moreau Catholic Boys Basketball Facebook site comes this: "Congrats to Moreau Catholic basketball Alum Andy Mitchell for signing his national letter of intent to Sonoma State University! His hard work and dedication on the court and in the classroom has paid off!"

Wanna sign with Kansas State?

From the Kansas City Star:
K-State’s student-athlete handbook states that the school denies most transfer requests, except for circumstances “which place an undue burden on the student-athlete.”
So there's no escaping Manhattan without paying heavily, even if the coach you signed to play for gets fired.

Think twice before signing on that NLOI dotted line. Go for a financial aid agreement instead.

Read more here:

Domingo gets Cal offer

A PoP tweet: "Cal Berkeley offered 6'7 SG Stephen Domingo (San Francisco, Ca)" 

Domingo and Cuonzo Martin would be an interesting match. In college, the latter was known for his shooting range and his intense work defensively.

FYI: two out of the Volunteers top three scorers this past season were 6-foot-6 guards. Their very interesting number -- one attempted 225 treys and went to the foul line 212 times, the other 100 and 87.

One more Davion Berry look

Sam Meyerkopf @ Euroleague Aventures looks at some of the talent that was on display this weekend at the Portsmouth Invitational. Including:
Davion Berry, SG, Weber State

Berry was a favorite of mine heading into PIT and he didn’t disappoint. Playing with great intensity, Berry was really deadly in transition. He can facilitate the fast break with his creative driving and passing ability but is also great running the wings. Often seen streaking to the basket to make for an easy passing target or running to the corner to get set up for a three point shot.

Berry is a combo guard who you’d probably put a more traditional point guard next to for steady ball handling reasons. He’s a playmaker who’s almost always in attack mode and can sometimes force the action. But with the great pace he plays at if Berry can get a little stronger and learn to play at different speeds he could be a very exciting pro player.

McKines' grand experiment

Wendell McKines catches up followers on his move to the backcourt.

The Aggies make it official on Fox

UC Davis athletics officially announces the signing of Josh Fox.

Check out the doings of some CCSF mens's basketball alumni

Mario Gomez/CCSF Men's Basketball has put together a video highlighting a number of Ram Alumni:

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Kaplansky the new coach at Gavilan

San Benito High Coach David Kaplansky is the new men's basketball coach at Gavilan College. He was the Coach of the Year in the Monterey Bay League in 2012-13 and has a long playing and coaching history in the area..

More on Damian Lillard

Alex Kennedy goes past and present with and on Damian Lillard.

Both putting a program into the national limelight and being the face of it is an achievement very, very few manage usually because big talents are drawn to the limelight, with proven winners always on television.

A question: Lillard put up excellent numbers in high school so how was his potential completely missed in the Bay Area? Or was it a matter of not knowing if he was a point or a two? Why not just sign players and then figure out how to deploy them?

Andoh goes with Liberty

Barry Hayes tweeted: "6'7" forward David Andoh (Montreal, QC), from Merritt College in California, has committed to the Liberty Flames"

Liberty University is a member of the Big South Conference.

The Roadrunners reach out to Anderson

Via Verbal Commits: "2015 Las Vegas Knicks (NV) G Juwan Anderson has received an offer from Cal State Bakersfield."

Romar on Simmons transferring

Percy Allen's Q-and-A with Washington Coach Lorenzo Romar included:
...(Did Desmond Simmons leaving surprise you?) “I would say this and I’ll stick with this, nothing surprises me when kids decided to leave anymore. There were 544 transfers last year. And I just keep reading every day there’s 2-3 and sometimes five a day that are transferring. I imagine the final count will be more than 544. It has become a culture that kids transfer. So none of them surprise me.”

(Even though you said you weren’t surprise Simmons left, it still seems puzzling because he was starting. He was part of the culture and he had minutes to improve. So what were his reasons?) “I wonder if we would have had more successful seasons, if he still would have made that decision. I don’t know. But when you’re not doing as well, a lot of times it’s disappointing for a lot of people. When he first came here, he came into a situation where we are in the NCAA tournament his red shirt year. He didn’t get to experience that. Then he wanted a bigger role. He felt like there were things that he could that maybe he wasn’t able to do while he was here. And if he were to go somewhere else, he may get those opportunities...”

Martinez leaving VC

Via John Murphy: "Marcus Martinez has resigned as the Valley Christian-San Jose basketball coach, Warriors athletic director Eric Scharrenberg said today."

Rabb with double honors

CalHiSports honors Ivan Rabb as its Junior and Division III Player of The Year:
Juniors & Division III
Ivan Rabb (Bishop O’Dowd, Oakland)

Considered by some as not only the top junior in California but in the nation, Rabb was the go-to player on a Dragons’ team that reached the CIF State Open Division championship game. Rabb averaged more than 25 points along with 16 rebounds and five blocks per game, he has received offers from schools like Connecticut, Duke, Kansas and Kentucky with coaches like North Carolina’s Roy Williams coming to Oakland to see him. He already has been named the San Francisco Chronicle’s All-Metro Player of the Year and was last season’s state sophomore of the year.

Three years ago, O’Dowd also had a player who was the State Junior of the Year and Division III State Player of the Year in center Brandon Ashley. He later transferred to Findlay Prep of Nevada for his senior season and played last season at Arizona. Of course, we’d love it if Ivan stays home because he could go down as one of the better players NorCal has produced in a generation.

Yussef honored

CalHiSports honors Temidayo Yussef as its Division V Player of the Year:
CIF Division V
Temidayo Yussuf (St. Joseph Notre Dame, Alameda)

Leading the Pilots to a CIF Division V title, he scored 21 points and grabbed 16 rebounds during their state finals win over Renaissance Academy of La Canada. For the season, this physical and experienced forward averaged 18 points and 16 rebounds per game.

 Had it not been for a lengthy buzzer beater last season, it also would have been the second state title in a row for the Pilots, who also won the state title back in 2011. Yussuf contributed to that team in 2011 and improved each season of his career.

In a play that became a viral hit earlier this season, the 6-foot-7 post player grabbed a rebound off a missed free throw and tossed it the length of the court for a basket to send a game against El Cerrito into overtime.

Yussuf, the second St. Joe player in four years to win this honor (joining Brendan Keane of 2011), will join our Division IV Player of the Year Justin Bibbins at Long Beach State next season. Also joining the 49ers’ program is all-state candidate Deontae North from Corona Centennial.

Sama Taku's senior season

Josh Horton reviews former Santa Rosa Junior College guard  Sama Taku's contributions to Pacific's successful season:
Out of all the Tigers leaving Stockton next season, Taku might be the player Pacific misses the most due to his versatility.

The former Santa Rosa Junior College player averaged 11.1 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.2 assists during his senior season at Pacific, which was third, third and second on the team in the respective categories. Taku was extremely productive in a number of different facets of the game at the shooting guard position, making him a valuable member of the starting lineup. However, consistency was a big issue with Taku, especially in the middle of the season. Freshman T.J. Wallace got the start over Taku three games this season as a result, even after Taku started in every single game as a junior.

You can go home again

John Murphy reports that Bill Powers is the new AD at Monte Vista High.

It looks like DeCuire, Gottlieb and Montgomery are out

From Jeff Faraudo: "Mike Montgomery's staff appears not to have a role going forward at Cal. Cuonzo Martin will start with his own assistants."

Not even Travis DeCuire? But then again, it would be strange to be supervising someone who also pursued the job you got and had support from a number of your now players.

Mahoney to SJSU

Serra point Danny Mahoney isn't going far, 30 minutes or so down Highway 280, as John Murphy reports.

Here's Mahoney's tweet.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Milstead honored

Jason Hickman on the MaxPreps 2013-14 Boys Basketball Freshman All-American Team:

Damari Milstead, Moreau Catholic (Hayward, Calif.)
6-1 | 165 | Guard
Photo by Keith Owens
P.J. Washington, Prime Prep

Top eight scorers for 27-win Mariners were freshmen or sophomores, led by Milstead's 15.5 points per game. Added 3.4 assists and 3.3 steals per outing.

The basketball world wants in on the mystery

Alex Kennedy: "How the hell did Damian Lillard end up at Weber State?"

Jamie Shaw: "2 star Damien Lillard: "I wasn't even recruited out of high school, I had to go to a small school to get noticed""

The latest on Aubrey Dawkins

Via Alex Kline: "Michigan has offered 2014 New Hampton (NH) wing Aubrey Dawkins during his official visit this weekend"


From Pete Hutchins: "After visiting Michigan this past weekend 2014 wing Aubrey Dawkins will visit Dayton starting tomorrow"

No West Coast schools involved? 

Fortenberry not at Logan

John Murphy tweeted: "Chris Fortenberry confirmed today he is no longer coaching Logan basketball team. The Colts went 13-14 this past season, 10-4 in league"

The WCC next season

Here's a very early look at next year's West Coast Conference -- Zags still far ahead of everyone else. St. Mary's and Pacific will be very interesting to watch.

Make the community a part of your team

Coach Bob Walsh's latest is Championship Culture: Run a Transparent Program.

Go hard or go home

Ronnie Flores offers advice to the youngsters playing this spring and summer.

Frank Vogel profiled

Candace Buckner takes a look at Indiana Pacer Coach Frank Vogel, who 'shouldn't' be where he currently is at but that's been said about him since the mid-1990s. What an inspirational read.

NCAA does good

John Infante details "NCAA expands definition of scholastic teams." Findlay Prep and others are receiving an early Christmas present.

Money, power and control

For some, the headline above replaces worshiping the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost with a trio of imitations. Rick Bouch writes "Only One Reason NBA Is Considering New Age Limit" -- we give three.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Wormley to the Gators

A latecomer to the world of basketball, Floyd Wormley has just achieved a major accomplishment: getting his college education paid for due to his signing with California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) member San Francisco State University (SFSU).

The 6-foot-7 Yuba College frontcourter, who earned First Team All Bay Valley Conference honors after the 49ers won another conference title and finished 21-6 overall, decided to cast his lot with Coach Paul Trevor.


"Because they showed the most interest in me and I liked my visit there."

The bonus is that his decision will now allow multiple opportunities for his family and friends to catch him on the court since the Gators face off annually with Chico State, Cal State Stanislaus, Sonoma State, Cal State East Bay and Humboldt State.

For someone who began playing organized basketball as a high school junior, the surge to a hoops scholarship is all the more remarkable.

Wormley was a football player but added to his sports repertoire with basketball mid-way through his attendance at Highlands High. "I had a growth spurt in the summer after my sophomore year."

But even then his continued participation was no sure thing. There were no plans to further his efforts in college -- "initially I wasn't going to play after high school."

But Wormley's AAU coach at the time "told me to go to Yuba."

That may not have been million dollar advice but reckoning $60,000 or so as the value of such counsel now seems accurate.

Trevor and the Gators finished this season 14-12 overall, with a 12-10 upper division CCAA finish, but a large nucleus is departing including seniors Max Fodor, Nefi Perdomo, Calvin Otiono, Brandon Tatum, Will Overton and Bennie Rhodes. That's six of the top seven scorers and rebounders.

Wormley has been advised "I'll be playing anywhere from the three to the five." He is looking to major in psychology.

Asked what he will bring to his new squad, Wormley said, :Heart and hustle. I have some experience so I'll want to help out my teammates."

He sees his greatest basketball influence being his best friend in high school and fellow basketball player, Eddie Litvinov, actually the top talent on the team then. "He got into a car accident and couldn't walk or talk," Wormley said. "Now he's slowly coming back and I use this for motivation. He would die for such an opportunity."

A query about his best basketball moment was answered with "beating San Francisco City College on their homecourt. With 30 seconds left, I tried to throw the ball off the leg of my opponent but he grabbed it. I then stole it back." Yuba won that game 81-78 back on November 9, the only regular season loss for the Rams.

Yes, it's a little less than two miles distance between San Francisco City College and San Francisco State but it might as well be a million. Wormley understands his popularity won't be extending to Phelan Avenue.

Comfort zone, get thee behind me

Alan Stein writes about comfort zones and the goal of  learning "how to be comfortable being uncomfortable."

"When The Game Stands Tall"

"When the Game Stands Tall" is an upcoming sports drama film. The film, which stars Jim Caviezel as Coach Bob Ladouceur, Laura Dern as Bev Ladouceur, Michael Chiklis as assistant coach Terry Eidson and Alexander Ludwig as running back Chris Ryan, is about the record-setting 151-game 1992–2003 high school football winning streak by De La Salle High School of Concord, California.

The film is an adaptation of the 2003 book of the same name by Neil Hayes, published by North Atlantic Books. De La Salle head coach Bob Ladouceur retired in January 2013 after winning his last Open Division state championship in December 2012.

Kyle Bonagura recently wrote about the film.

The release date looks to be late August of this year.

The NBA draft: who makes it, who doesn't and why

Eric Weiss details "The Thin Line Between “Busts” and “Steals.”

A snippet:
...From our research, draft day “busts” tend to be colder, more impulsive, less disciplined, less rule-bound, over-analytical, and quicker to seek change than their “Steal” counterparts. Simply put, “Busts” are much more geared for doing things their way than they are designed to be accountable to group standards.

Draft day “Steals” put more stock in building relationships, are more accountable to authority, set higher personal standards for themselves, and tend to rely on established structure and well-practiced routines to get them to the top. They are process-oriented thinkers who seek their opportunities through patience and persistence instead of trying to force their agenda on others.

But, it's more complicated than that...

Coach Bob Walsh on "Dislike"

Coach Bob Walsh's latest is titled "Dislike" in which he employs a passage from Pat Summit's book about two talented Tennessee teammates who didn't particularly care for one another.

Looking at what Nick Johnson offers

Yes, you can be the Pac-12 Most Valuable Player yet not all that attractive as an NBA prospect. Nick Johnson's game is broken down by the Draft Express folks. Gotta think an NBA team will want Johnson for what he can do on the court and for being a good guy as a teammate.

A Lloyd Daniels doc

Not a knock, just an observation: Lloyd Daniels in college, other than to play basketball, is like Jerry Tarkanian coaching  in the NBA (or me in Mensa, if you prefer). But we all can be eternally thankful for not having to endure Daniels' childhood and for Tark winning that harassment lawsuit against the NCAA.

Anyway, enough with the moralizing -- here's both an article about a filmaker needing money to complete a Daniels documentary plus a terrific 1992 Esquire article on Tarkanian and Daniels.

Another NCAA change proposal

Raphielle Johnson looks at a change proposed by the NCAA to eliminate fifth-year transfers from playing immediately. One positive that could come out of this is student-athletes having the opportunity to earn an advanced degree via six years of eligibility. But the change seems to be connected to power and control most of all.

Lescault named AA

Point Loma University's Hayden Lescault has been honored as a First Team NCCAA All-American.

The 6-foot-5 junior out of Vista Del Lago High averaged 16.6 points plus 3.5 rebounds a game, shooting 52%, 39% and 72% respectively. He led his team with both 113 assists and 51 steals.

Berry's play praised

The Draft Express (scroll down a bit) serve up an analysis of Davion Berry's play in the recent Portsmouth Invitational Tournament.

Nelson earns classroom honor

Zach Nelson, a 6-foot-7 redshirt freshman at Utah Valley University, was selected to the Winter Academic All-WAC team. A Yuba City High graduate, he also averaged 10.5 points and 6.3 rebounds a contest this season, shooting 52%, 30% and 62% respectively. His 109 assists and 32 blocked shots placed him second on his squad in both categories.