Saturday, May 31, 2014

The new talents at the Nor Cal members of the CCAA, Part II

Added three names to the following:


Jordan Balser - Colfax High
Alex Manu - Aragon High
Jack Pasquini - DeAnza College
Juawnn Springfield - Yakima Valley
Marquise Tolson - Pasadena College
Marcus Norman - Canada College
Cody Kale - Humboldt State
Patrick Marr - De La Salle High


Christian Bayne - Stockdale High


Keith Datu - Santa Maria High
Marvin Timothy - Franklin High
Jalen McFerren - Castro Valley High
Nate Ambrosini - Fortuna High


Mwelu Mataya - Long Beach CC
Tyras Rattler - Sheldon High
Calvin Young - Bullard High
Malik Morgan - Oregon HS
Justin Everett - Clovis High
Adam Lacey - Manhattan College


Sebastian Flores - Bishop O'Dowd
Ryne Williams - West Ranch High
added: Floyd Wormley - Yuba College


Andy Mitchell - Chabot College
added: James Slade - College of the Redwoods
added: Mitchell Hash - College of the Redwoods

To take or not to take Paul George?

Poch de la Rosa provides a comprehensive look at Indiana's Paul George, who was anything but dominant in his short time at Fresno State but kept working to realize his personal potential.

Paris Davis @ Pangos

Mark Harris observing the action at the Pangos camp:
"Paris Austin putting on a Pick and Roll Show out here."
First time watching Paris Austin....nice "Wiggle" to his game, holds the ball a little too long at times, but he is

Catching up with Armon Johnson

Oakland-connected Armon Johnson is plying his trade abroad as Chris Murray reports.

Hadnot back in NorCal

6-foot-8 James Hadnot is back in California and will play for Yuba College in the 2014-15 season. The former Sacramento High frontcourter played at Ranger College in Texas this past season but an illness interrupted his season.

Brendan Lane getting NBA looks

From Marty Wilson: "Busy week for w/workouts for June 2nd & June 4th. His talent and can be useful 4 an team."

Another prep coaching change

Again from John Murphy: "Branham is hiring hoops coach says AD Landon Jacobs who adds Madison Butts has new role in math dept.; will focus on that."

Here's how to apply.

Cody Wilcox to WJU

 (Wilcox in a high school photo)

Via Jeff Bussell, Sports Information Director at William Jessup University in Rocklin:
William Jessup University men's basketball coach Lance Von Vogt announced his first signing to the 2014 recruiting class with the addition of Cody Wilcox.

"Cody is a terrific sign for us for all the right reasons; high character, academics, and athletic ability," stated Coach Von Vogt. "He addresses our biggest need for next year which is size, but the great thing is he is much more than just size. He can play and will only get better as he develops. Cody's best basketball is in front of him and he will represent our University in a great way. We couldn't be happier to have him as a Warrior!"

Wilcox, a 6'7 forward/center, transfers to the Warriors from Sierra College. The Grass Valley native averaged 5.5 points and 6.5 rebounds in 28 games for the Wolverines.  In the classroom, Wilcox carried a 3.83 GPA.  He will have three years of eligibility for the Warriors.

In high school, Wilcox starred at Nevada Union High School.  He earned Sierra Foothill League second team honors in his senior season.

"I picked WJU because of the rising potential of the basketball program and the school.  It allows me the opportunity to grow as a basketball player and a person. I also chose WJU because I really respected Coach Von Vogt and know he will be a great man to coach me for this part of my career and life."

The Warriors will open up the season at home on November 6th against Northwest Christian University. The 2014-15 season will mark the Warriors first year in the Golden State Athletic Conference.

Burlison on the Pangos Friday action

Frank Burlison reports on who caught his eye last night at the Pangos event:
...and [Noah] Blackwell – two of the better jump shooters in California – struggled in that regard Friday night.

[Paris] Austin – a starter for the Dragons’ club lost to Santa Ana Mater Dei in the California State Open Division title game in March – looks like he may have put on about 10 pounds or so of solid muscle.

And it appears to have helped his game as he penetrated well against any contact or pressure, hit a couple of 3s and generally got the ball where it needed to go, although he committed four turnovers – pretty much all of them the result of getting caught in the air while attempting to pass...

PAustin & Chriss @ Pangos

From Joel Francisco: "Standouts: Paris Austin (improved PG), Malik Milton (scorer), 2016 Vance Jackson (shooter), Marquese Chriss (raw/monster athlete)"

Gordon versus Parker

Mike Schmitz compares Aaron Gordon and  Jabari Parker in this four minute video which utilizes their matchup this season.

Friday, May 30, 2014

DeCuire to Montana

Per Jon Rothstein, former Cal Assistant Coach Travis DeCuire is the new head man at Montana.

More on Scott Fisher heading to Ohlone

From Brian McInnis/Honolulu Advertiser:
"...Assistant coach Scott Fisher has accepted the head coaching job at Ohlone College in Fremont, Calif., his hometown. 

Fisher, a UC Santa Barbara alumnus and a hall of famer as a player and coach in Australian basketball, joined Gib Arnold's staff in 2010 as director of operations then was promoted to full assistant after a season. He handled team academics and oversaw the team's big men.

"(A head job) means everything in terms of being a basketball coach," Fisher said. "I feel that I still have a lot to offer as a teacher on the court. I think this is the best opportunity for me to use my talents..."
Fisher is a graduate of Mission San Jose High.

Bay Area Memorial Day Classic participant analysis

Gerry Freitas has his player analyses posted on the participants in last weekend's Bay Area Memorial Day Classic.

A taste:
6'6" PF Rico Nuno of Half Moon Bay HS 2014 (Coastside Elite)
MVP of the Elite Division who lead his to the tournament championship. Seems to find ways to get things done without looking the part. Average athlete (at best), passes it well, moves ok without the ball, dribble operates well on the block and has an ok drop step move, can shoot it ok with 3 point range, solid rebounder. Has a high IQ and makes those around him better.

New boys basketball coach at San Benito

John Devine tweeted: "San Benito has hired 1983 graduate Michael Baumgartner as its new boys basketball coach."

Naas back at Saratoga

John Murphy tweeted: "Trevor Naas returning as Saratoga HS basketball coach after a one-year hiatus, said Falcons' AD Tim Lugo."

New boys hoops leader at San Mateo High

John Murphy has the scoop on San Mateo High's new boys basketball coach.

Below is his bio from being an assistant with the CCSF women's basketball team:
Marvin Lui is in his 3rd year as assistant coach at CCSF. Prior to joining the Rams, Lui was the head coach of Burlingame High School’s varsity girls team for four years, head coach of San Francisco University High School’s varsity girls team for three years, and assistant coach of the varsity boys basketball team at Dos Pueblos High School for five years. Liu's responsibilities include opponent scouting, recruiting and monitoring study hall.

Short departing Stockton

Jagdip Dhillon breaks the news on swingman Aaron Short's graduation/transfer from Pacific.

The Gaels are back per this writer

Simon Tryzna writes that St. Mary's has reloaded for the 2014-15 season but, from here, it's still hard to envision consistently outstanding backcourt play a la McConnell and/or Dellavedova for the Gaels.

A recruiting checklist

George Selleck provides more than a laundry list of questions for prospectsto answer while in the midst of the recruiting process.

Know yourself and control what you can.

Pro Scout School, July, Las Vegas

Pete Philo's Pro Scout School is offering an immersion into learning what it takes to enter the mysterious world of NBA scouting, player personnel and basketball operations.

Stats for the trio of Nor Cal-based Dream Vision players

Here are the stats for the threesome of northern California-connected talents playing for the Dream Vision team:

* Paris Austin: 10.1 points in 27 minutes a game, team-leading 20 steals, 67 assists/44 turnovers, shooting 40%, 34% and 89% respectively

* Solomon Young: 8.6 points plus 5.1 rebounds in 23 minutes a game, shooting 55%, 44% and 60%

* Armani Collins: 4.1 points in 11 minutes a game, shooting 42%, 44% and 75% respectively

A Cal hoops note

Interesting tweet from Jon Rothstein: "Would expect Cal to use Tyrone Wallace at PF next season in an effort to put its best players in the floor. Bears loaded with quality wings."

Oliver still deciding

Cameron Oliver remains undecided about Oregon State:
Oliver hasn't responded to several interview requests. Manderson (a 6-10 prep senior out of Florida who also committed to Craig Robinson) said he talked with Oliver recently and the Sacramento power forward hasn't requested a release from his NLI. He added that Oliver is also taking the wait-and-see approach.

Since the late signing period has passed, Manderson and Oliver would need to sign a financial aid agreement should they choose to land with another program.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Ohlone makes the call

Former Hawaii assistant coach Scott Fisher is the new Ohlone College coach. He's originally from Australia and played his college ball as a frontcourter at UC Santa Barbara.

1% CLUB Basketball Summer Weekly Training Program

1% CLUB Basketball will be offering its best program yet to the Napa Valley area. It will include 3x a week training for players that are serious about improving their game, while having competitive fun with players their age. The class will be broken down into fundamental skill development, shooting instruction, as well as open gym scrimmages. 

 1% CLUB Basketball recognizes the importance of a training program and how it determines a player's future successes. In order to maximize the potential of as player, there needs to be continual, progressive, overload training. Therefore, we will be offering two training sessions throughout the summer, committing to our clients development. Spots are limited so sign up now.

There is no microwave in basketball development! Improvement takes time and hard work! Trust 1% CLUB Basketball in completely changing the game of attendees with a complete summer training program that has aided some of the top players in the country at all levels of play.

Training Session #1:  June 10th-July 5th;  3x a week: Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays
Training Session #2:  July 15th-August 9th;  3x a week: Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays

Ages:  For grades 6th-High School

Time: Tuesdays & Thursdays: 1pm-2:30pm.   Saturdays: 10-11:30am.

Classes:  Tuesdays & Thursdays will include functional skill development drills; IQ Training; 1 on 1; 2 on 2; 3 on 3 competitions. Saturdays will include shooting drills for the first part, followed by 5 on 5 open gym run.

*We will cancel the July 5th Saturday (4th of July weekend) and add a Friday somewhere during the previous three weeks (TBA). 

Early Registration Costs: $360 for the 12 sessions if registered online by June 6th ($28 per session). The fee includes V-Bands (wrist weights) that we will be utilizing for the sessions ($22.50 value). $400 if registered on or after June 7th.  Both sessions can be purchased for $700.  Spots are limited so sign up now.

*Daily Drop-ins: will be permitted if space provides. Please contact Jeremy Russotti to check availability.  Drop in rate is $40 per session.

Notes: Please bring your own basketball and water bottle. Once you receive V-Bands, players will be expected to bring in their bag for each session.

More info: call Jeremy Russotti (707) 849-1212, or via email at

McPhail to the Lone Star State

From a tip, former Deer Valley High frontcourter Andre McPhail, who played a year at Buffalo and spent last season at Saddleback College in southern California, is headed to Sam Houston State. The Bearkats are members of the Southland Conference. At 6-foot-7, he averaged 9.6 points plus 5.6 rebounds in 2013-14, shooting 53% from the floor.

The 2014-15 Merritt College Thunderbirds

Now November may display some differences on the roster but here's the group of guys Merritt College Coach Keenan McMiller will be leading into summer play. In his initial season at the helm of the Thunderbirds, McMiller has what looks to be a brand new crew save for one holdover. His player analysis below is in quotation marks.

* Rodney Pope, 6-foot-0, point, freshman (Freedom High), Most Valuable Player of the Bay Valley Athletic League -- "had a offer from CSU Monterey Bay and other junior colleges recruiting him were: Fresno City and Antelope Valley. With strength and leadership development will be a legitimate DI point guard."

* Leo Smith, 5-foot-9, point, sophomore (Oakland Tech, Chabot College), former Most Valuable Player of the Oakland Athletic League, Honorable Mention All State and First team All Conference for Chabot, averaged 11.2 points and 4.0 assists last season, shooting 47%, 47% and 80% respectively, invited to the July Jerry Mullens showcase in St. Louis -- " Leo is a legitimate DI level point guard with aspirations of playing professional abroad. We will improve Leo's strength and speed up his shooting release."

* Denzel Bellott, 6-foot-2, shooting guard, sophomore (McClymonds High),  invited to the July Jerry Mullens showcase in St. Louis, averaged 11.0 points and 4.2 rebounds, shooting 46%, 47% and 64% respectively last season for Merritt -- "Denzel is one of the best shooters on the west coast and his high level work ethic and attitude make him a great pickup for mid-to-low major DI programs. The best of Denzel is yet to come and I look forward to coaching him this season."

* Karim Helali, 5-foot-10, shooting guard, freshman -- "from Africa but a U.S. citizen, he can shoot and he's tough."

* DJ Kennedy, 6-foot-4, shooting guard/wing, freshman (Pittsburgh High), Bay Valley Athletic League First Team selection -- "a DI guy, high motor, one of the best passers at 6-foot-4, can get in the lane and finish with contact, can defend full court."

* Jemelle Corbino, 6-foot-4, wing, sophomore (Castlemont High, Trinidad State CO transfer -- "a three and a four, he rebounds and can hit the spot up three, a former All Oakland Athletic League player."

* Gerry Cooper, 6-foot-4, wing, sophomore (Manteca High) -- "played prep ball with Kiwi Gardner, long and lanky, super athletic, is active and can pressure the ball 94 feet."

* Randy Bell, 6-foot-5, 210, frontcourter, freshman (Pittsburg High) -- "a qualifier out of high school, he's tough with a good motor, will do the dirty work and defend, a second team all leaguer."

Tra'von King, 6-foot-5, 225, frontcourter, sophomore -- "powerful with a high motor, he finishes strong and goes hard, can guard 94 feet, was at City College of San Francisco a while back , from New York."

* Matthew Thomas, 6-foot-9, 210, frontcourter, freshman (Newark Memorial High), Mission Valley Athletic League First Team pick -- "has been well coached at Newark Memorial High School by coach Craig Ashmore and with physical maturity, weight training and speed work, Matthew will play big role in what we do. I believe he will become a mid-to-high major Division 1 player. He can run the floor, shoot with both hands, doesn't turn 18 until July and doesn't realize how high a level of potential he has."

McMiller offered, " We have great balance, four legitimate shooters, guys willing to play down low and two MVPs at the point guard position. We'll take our lumps in pre-season but overall our skill level at every position has improved."

He continued, "We will head to Los Angeles this summer (July) to play in the So Cal JC Showcase at Cerritos College, the site of the Junior College State Championships. "

Two East Bay-connected coaches in the running at Montana

Bob Meseroll offers up four names as replacements for Wayne Tinkle at Montana and Travis DeCuire is among them as well as Jono Metzger-Jones, who also has East Bay ties.

Sonoma State has a visitor

From Brian McInnis:
...current UH walk-on guard Jack Hackman confirmed Wednesday that he's leaving the program in pursuit of a scholarship situation affording him more playing time. In fact, he was taking a visit to Division II Sonoma State at the time of a phone call on Wednesday...

...Hackman, of Portland, Ore., is leaning toward a West Coast situation. He's also been in discussion with Dominican (if it sounds familiar, that's because it's in the PacWest Conference)...
Hackman stands 6-foot-4. is aces as a student and his best skill appears to be long distance shooting.

Webster to The Master's College

SCVNews reports that Jason Webster has signed to play at The Master's College in 2014-15. The St. Patrick-St. Vincent High guard will be attending his father's alma mater which is located in southern California.

Who will be hot or not in next season's WCC?

Josh Horton identifies his 2014-15 choices as risers, middlers and decliners among the team members of the West Coast Conference.

More on AG

David Murphy takes a whack at the reasons for and against the Lakers selecting Aaron Gordon at #7.

Let's offer this: do it unless a point (Exum or Smart) is there for the taking.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The new talents at the Nor Cal members of the CCAA

Jordan Balser - Colfax High
Alex Manu - Aragon High
Jack Pasquini - DeAnza College
Juawnn Springfield - Yakima Valley
Marquise Tolson - Pasadena College
Marcus Norman - Canada College
Cody Kale - Humboldt State
Patrick Marr - De La Salle High

Christian Bayne - Stockdale High

Keith Datu - Santa Maria High
Marvin Timothy - Franklin High

Jalen McFerren - Castro Valley High
Nate Ambrosini - Fortuna High

Mwelu Mataya - Long Beach CC
Tyras Rattler - Sheldon High
Calvin Young - Bullard High
Malik Morgan - Oregon HS
Justin Everett - Clovis High
Adam Lacey - Manhattan College

Sebastian Flores - Bishop O'Dowd
Ryne Williams - West Ranch High 

added: Floyd Wormley - Yuba College

Andy Mitchell - Chabot College 

added: James Slade - College of the Redwoods
added: Mitchell Hash - College of the Redwoods

Who is missing?

Difficult coaching positions

Myron Medcalf's take on coaching jobs that have major obstacles could be quadrupled. But including UNLV? Really. Try WSU.  Even Arizona State which will always be Avis in the Grand Canyon State.

Coach Bob Walsh's latest

Coach Bob Walsh on "Communication."

The epidemic that isn't

Marc Isenberg presents an oldie of his on that so-called transfer epidemic.

Here's a companion piece.

Never heard it put this way before

Johnny Hernandez: "2014 Spring AAU Season is over. But, 2014 Summer AAU Free Agency has already begun. Yes, SCA 17U is all ears. We have 2 Spots to fill!"

Andrew Young with a pro offer

Former Monterey Peninsula College big Andrew Young tweeted: "First official job offer! Yee! League-A in southern France. Can I put professional in my Instagram bio now or na?

The south of France doesn't appear to be a difficult landing spot.

An XThames update

From Marc J. Spears on Tuesday: "SDSU G Xavier Thames worked out for Heat today & has workouts scheduled with Bucks, Bulls, Celtics, Hornets, NY, Jazz, Mavs, Wolves, Pacers."

The Nor Cal talents on Team Superstar

Dave Roghan/California Preps opens his subscription-required article with:
Matt O'Reilly (Campolindo) scored 13 points, Austin Armstead (Bullard) scored 12 and Marquese Chriss (Pleasant Grove) filled the stat sheet for Team Superstar in a 61-49 win over the Oklahoma Magic to clinch the B Pool championship at the Magic Memorial Festival Sunday afternoon.
Chriss put on a show with 9 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 blocks and 2 steals, though he also had a technical foul and 5 turnovers. 
Noah Blackwell finished with nine assists and three steals although he shot 3-12.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Video of AG's workout

Below is some video from Aaron Gordon's recent workout down in southern California:

Spot on

Sad but too often true.

Cal Maritime Coach Bryan Rooney tweeted: "Convinced that AAU teams I'm watching today have only been watching Thunder offense and have missed when Spurs have the ball."

Knowing what having a program means

The Gaels basketball braintrust gets it (while too many don't -- you are either a f-a-m-i-l-y or you aren't):

Some of the biggest names in Saint Mary’s athletics history are scheduled to return to campus this summer for a special event to celebrate a more than a decade as the state’s winningest NCAA Division I men’s basketball program.

On Sunday, June 29 at 6 p.m., Saint Mary’s will host the Gaels Basketball All-Star Classic.  The game will be preceded by a special alumni game that includes former SMC players from across several decades. The All-Star Classic will feature current professional players from the most recent era of Gaels basketball. Former Saint Mary’s stars Patrick Mills, Matthew Dellavedova, Omar Samhan, Mickey McConnell, Daniel Kickert, E.J. Rowland, Diamon Simpson , Rob Jones, Ian O’Leary and Stephen Holt are among the players who have committed to participate in the Gael Basketball All-Star Classic.

Tickets are available for $5 through (link should be active Thursday), at the SMC Athletic Ticket Office during business hours or at the door. Youth 12 and under receive free admission. In addition, SMC season ticket holders who have placed their deposit or fully renewed their seats for the upcoming season will receive complimentary admission.

Complete rosters, player participation information and other details will be released throughout the weeks leading up to the event.

 “Our program has developed such strong ties between players, coaches, alumni and the community that we wanted to find a way to continue to strengthen those relationships,” said head coach Randy Bennett. “With so many players currently on professional teams throughout the world, it has been impossible to get everyone back on campus during the season.  A number of former players indicated their schedules would allow them to make it back this summer and they wanted to be a part of something special. What better showcase of our program than through these special alumni and all-star games.”

Over the past 13 seasons, Saint Mary’s has won 72 percent of its games, won two West Coast Conference regular-season titles and earned eight postseason appearances. The Gaels’ winning percentage during the decade is the best among Division I institutions in the state of California.

Since head coach Randy Bennett’s arrival at Saint Mary’s prior to the 2001-02 season, 14 different players have earned 28 all-WCC honors, while McConnell and Dellavedova were named the league’s Player of the Year. Kickert, Simpson and Dellavedova are among just five SMC players ever to receive all-WCC honors three times.

A total of 18 former SMC standouts played professionally this past/current season. Dellavedova and Mills played in the NBA for Cleveland and San Antonio, respectively, while McConnell was the final player released in the preseason by the Dallas Mavericks and played for the club’s D-League affiliate.

Kickert, Rowland, Simpson, Jones and O’Leary played with teams in the highest divisions of various European leagues, while four recent graduates participated in Australia’s National Basketball League.

Young's impressive suitors

Via Brian Flinn: "2016 F Solomon Young claims offers from Washington, USC, New Mexico, LMU, and Sac St., Interest from UCLA, and Cal."

Banford goes with DVC

 Banford photo courtesy of Sean Culligan

Thanks to a tip -- from the Diablo Valley College Men's Basketball Facebook page: "DVC Hoops would like to welcome Newark Memorial big man Damien Banford to the program."

Banford's Hudl page has him at 6-foot-5 and 280 pounds.  

Austin collecting offers

From Brian Flinn: "2015 Dreamvision PG Paris Austin claims offers from FSU, Pacific, and LMU. Interest from Wake Forest, Creighton, UT, Tulsa, Utah St., UCSB."

Some recent video:


The Bay Area Memorial Day Classic winners and honorees

From Gerry Freitas, below are the  outcomes and honorees from the various divisions of his Bay Area Memorial Day Classic:
Elite Division
Coastside 49, BTI 46
MVP- Rico Nuno of Coastside

Varsity Division:
E-Time 58, Roadrunners 54 (Overtime)
MVP- Cole Taira of E-Time

A & B 16u Above 55, XOver 15u 41

Roadrunners 15u 61, Team Select 15u Garcia 54

Junior High:
NBH 8th grade 65, Team Select 13u Garcia 59

Snyder heading to the Rockies

Ponderosa High big Chris Snyder has signed a letter-of-intent with Regis University in Denver. The DII Jesuit school is a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.

The 6-foot-9 Snyder immediately becomes the tallest player on the roster of the Rangers.

An Ivan Rabb projection

Interesting tweet from Neal Nieves: "Ivan Rabb could carve out a Marcus Camby type career."

Senque Carey & Hawaii?

From Hoop Dirt:
"A bunch of things going on at the University of Hawaii. First, I have now heard from two sources that DBO Chris McMillian is in the mix to join Jared Phay’s new staff at the College of Southern Idaho as an assistant. McMillian has been at UH for the past four seasons in various administrative roles. He played collegiately at Wyoming. I have also heard that current Hawaii assistant Scott Fisher will not be returning. He has also been at UH for the past four years – two as the DBO, two as an assistant. Before coming to Hawaii, Fisher spent almost 20 years as a player and coach in Australia’s National Basketball League. Word on the street is that former Loyola Marymount assistant Senque Carey is the front runner to replace Fisher. In addition to his time at LMU, Carey has also worked at Fresno State and Portland State..."

Like McArthur, Lowhorn returns

Dons Central has the news of Dior Lowhorn's return to the Philippine Basketball Association.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Enjoy this one

This work is extremely informative: "Ryen Russillo’s NBA Draft Confidential: Real Scouts on Wiggins, Randle, Embiid, and Parker"

Guidance versus leadership

The good news is that Coach Bob Walsh is continuing with his posting even after landing a new position (head coach @ Maine). Here he writes about guidance versus leadership.

Godfrey with 17 for the Rebels

Game Elite topped the Oakland Rebels this morning 58-46 in the Orlando Adidas Gauntlet. Marquis Godfrey provided 17 points plus seven boards for the East Bay crew.

A letter from the Pac-12 presidents

The Pac-12 will never singularly implement this item in its proposal:
7. Address the "one and done" phenomenon in men's basketball. If the National Basketball Association and its Players Association are unable to agree on raising the age limit for players, consider restoring the freshman ineligibility rule in men's basketball.
Would Aaron Gordon had even considered Arizona if such a rule was in effect?

A Popovich feature

Billy Witz offers a feature on Gregg Popovich's unusual coaching background, which includes being a home loan away from remaining in the DIII ranks.

A Solomon Young update

From Friday's play in the Orlando Adidas Gauntlet: 23 points and 12 rebounds (five offensive) in 28 minutes from Dream Vision's Solomon Young, including 10-15 shooting, in 76-73 victory over Michigan Mustangs.

From Russ Wood:
Dream Vision forward Solomon Young is physically strong and aggressively attempts to block shots. He has good footwork and covers a lot of ground on defense. Offensively he can score at the rim, on turnaround jump shots or on three-pointers off the catch. At 6-foot-7 he's a bit of a tweener, but his excellent motor and above average athleticism could make up for that.

Team Superstar update

From Dave Rogahn: "Team Superstar 61 Oklahoma Magic 49. Matt O'Reilly 13 pts Austin Armstead 12 pts Marquese Chriss 9 pts 13 rebs 4 blks"

Bilas on recruiting

The "recruiting" portions of Jay Bilas' book "Toughness" as presented by Charlie Adams.

Soldiers at 1-2 in Minneapolis

In Sunday EYBL play, the Oakland Soldiers finished 1-2:

Beating the Southern Stampede (GA) 71-67 with Ivan Rabb just missing a double-doubler with 16 points and nine boards. Jordan Ford filled the stat sheets via 10 points, six assists and five rebounds.

But later the Houston Hoops took a 72-53 win, leading 46-31 after the first 20 minutes. Rabb totaled 15 and seven.

Finally, it was an 81-76 defeat at the hands of the Mac Irvin Fire. Rabb went for 19 and eight, Ford scored 14 points and Bernard Ward contributed 13.

Francisco's take on Chriss

Joel Francisco on one of Sacto;s finest: "Washington commit Marquese Chriss treats his mouth piece like chewing gum...Monster bounce, but is raw and needs to be much more assertive."

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Soldiers win second Saturday matchup

In game two on Saturday, the Oakland Soldiers took a 67-65 triumph over Team Penny. Backcourter Jordan Ford went for 15 points (7-11 from long distance) plus four assists while Ivan Rabb enjoyed 11 points, right boards and five assists in 27 minutes.

Dream Vision nab a victory

In Dream Vision's 75-53 victory over D1 Minnesota in the Adidas Gauntlet on Saturday, Paris Davis posted a team-leading five assists in 24 minutes, Solomon Young enjoyed six boards plus five points in 26 minutes and Armani Collins made it a point-a-minute with 10 points in 10 sixty-second counts. Davis and Young were starters.

Bob Williams on his recruit Gabe Vincent

From a writeup on UC Santa Barbara's recruiting class:
Also adding to the team’s depth at guard is 6’2” combo guard Gabe Vincent out of Stockton, CA. Vincent attended St. Mary’s High School and played at the highest level of AAU basketball in the state for the Oakland Soldiers.

“He’s a very well-rounded complete guard that doesn’t really have a weakness, particularly out of high school,” Coach Williams said. “He does everything well. He’s a very good defender, very good rebounder, very good shooter and passer. He really has an extremely well balanced game.” Vincent is expected to contribute right away as a shooting guard, but has the skill set to play both the point guard and shooting guard positions.

“Vincent and Smith will play right away. They’re both very ready physically to contribute. They’re strong, they’re tough, they defend,” Coach Williams said. “They’re not going to be intimidated, neither one of them, and they’re both going to be really good additions.”

Good for Alex Pribble

From a Spokesman-Review article about the promoting of the Eastern Washington operations guy to assistant coach:
...[Coach Jim] Hayford’s other assistants, Shantay Legans and Alex Pribble, were promoted with the recent changes, but specific responsibilities are to be determined...

Kendrick Jackson getting noticed

A tweet: "I haven't seen a more smooth perimeter player today than Kendrick Jackson. Knows where he wants to go and gets there with minimum effort."

He's a 6-foot-3 senior-to-be out of Wheatland High (in Wyoming) and the son of former NBA-er Bobby Jackson. Jackson attended Granite Bay High during his time in California.

Here's a February 2014 feature.

Forbes Occidental-bound

Marcus Forbes of Ponderosa High in Shingle Springs is headed to Occidental University in southern California. He's a 6-foot-0 guard with a 3.73 grade point average and an SAT score of 1760.

Here's video from his senior season:

A Noah Blackwell update

Via Ballers Bridge: "Noah Blackwell told us that his top three schools are Maryland, Oregon State and SDSU."

Robert Swift revisited

Jayson Jenks writes about the fall of former Bakersfield area big Robert Swift, a sad tale of too much, too soon. But he is just 28 so the opportunity for living a fulfilling life remains.

AG's Santa Monica workout

Eric Pincus writes about Aaron Gordon's workout yesterday down in southern California.

Don't understand the Zach LaVine situation. Yes, he's a workout wonder but is he a productive basketball player? He's very young -- so there is time for development -- but the gamble here seems to be about consistency. How many games was he a factor in this season for UCLA?

BOD backcourter Anderson with offers

Via Ballers Bridge: "2015 Las Vegas Knicks PG Juwan Anderson holds offers from Pacific, Florida A&M, Portland, Cal St Bakerfield, NAU"

Paris Austin with some positive press

From Josh Gershon today: "Good game from 2015 DreamVision PG Paris Austin. Unselfish player who always does a nice job creating for others. Continues to progress."

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Soldiers win opener

In opening game play in the latest EYBL tournament, the Oakland Soldiers topped Nike Team Florida 65-58. As for the northern California talents, Ivan Rabb posted an eight point, nine rebound, two block shots line in 22 minutes of play.

Waldow is a Gael grad

Brad Waldow tweeted a couple of graduation photos: "But first... Let me take a selfie. Thank you for everything" He redshitrted back in 2010-11.

Joshua Patton noted

Via  the Twitter: "Sierra 2015 PF/C Joshua Patton is playing well at CCSF. Very good frame, nice hands and runs the floor well."

Safin interviewed

Josh Horton talked with Rocklin High's Vinnie Safin, a 2015 guard prospect who is generating solid interest from recruiters.

Humboldt adds a big

Via Compton Magic: "6-10 Adam Lacey Manhattan transfer has committed to Humboldt State. Look for to make an immediate impact over there"

Lacey is out of San Diego, weighs 230 and played in but four games for the Jaspers in 2013-14. Don't know if he can regain his sophomore year of eligibility.

Aaron Gordon's workout day

Aaron Gordon is having a workout day down in Santa Monica:

Growth spurt for Sean Harris

A photo from Yuba Mens Hoops -- Hey, Sean Harris is now a 7-footer!!! --

Eric Duncan back in northern California

Coach K has the scoop on where former Weston Ranch High point Eric Duncan will be hooping in the 2013-14 season.

Chriss & Blackwell highlights

Marquese Chriss and Noah Blackwell highlights are among those featured in this video of recent Team Superstar play:

Thomas generating some press

Josh Gershon is liking what he sees: "Good to see 2015 Oakland Rebels center Isaiah Thomas in action again. Good size, frame and length. He has great feet and is mobile." 

Thomas should be back on the floor with Bishop O'Dowd this coming season.

Friday, May 23, 2014

A bit belated: Fortier honored

Thank you to Anonymous for sending this along -- "Fortier to be Inducted into San Francisco Prep Hall of Fame"

Basketball coaching openings

John Murphy reports on coaching openings at Christopher High and Los Gatos High.

Giddings departing Fresno

Per Robert Kuwada, former Windsor High big Tanner Giddings is leaving the Fresno State men's basketball team. He just finished his sophomore season.

Two names absent from UC Davis roster

At the Aggie Sports Talk Message Board, movielover has noted that two names are missing from the UC Davis men's basketball roster, including Clint Bozner.

Hadzisehovic moving way north

Ohlone College's 6-foot-8 Almir Hadzisehovic has signed to play next season at Alaska Fairbanks.

Hale transferring to Warner Pacific

5-foot-10 former El Camino High backcourter Maurice Hale was at William Penn (Iowa) University this season but is transferring to Warner Pacific College in Portland. WPC is an NAIA member of the Cascade Collegiate Conference.

A bit more on XThames

The Los Angeles Clippers brought in a bevy of draft prospects this week and Mike Schmitz has the details, including one northern California talent:
* Xavier Thames, , 6 points, 2 assists, 2 steals, 3-for-10 FGs, 0-for-3 3FGs
The San Diego State guard struggled adjusting to the NBA line with his flat jump shot, which is surprising after how well he shot the ball at the NBA Combine last week. He did, however, prove capable in the mid-range and dropped in a floater or two. Thames struggled to get by his man consistently due to his underwhelming first step, forcing him to settle for contested jump shots. Thames is likely a better player than he was able to show here.

“Michael Jordan: The Life”

Roland Lazenby has a new book out -- “Michael Jordan: The Life”  -- one that especially looks into the psyche of His Airness. It runs 708 pages so not much could be missing personally and professionally.

Frank Knight Summer Basketball Camps

Moreau High Coach Frank Knight is hosting his annual summer camps from mid-June to early July for boys and girls in grades 3-9.

Here's the signup page.

The WCC -- the Zags just let other members play in it

Terrence Payne takes a very early look at next season's West Coast Conference -- Gonzaga will play the role of 'who's your Daddy' in 2014-15.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Brown noted as a potential second-rounder

Jon Rothstein lists Jabari Brown as a potential second round sleeper regrading the NBA draft:
Jabari Brown, Missouri: Brown is a shot-maker. The 6-5 wing didn't win a great deal during his college career but he made shots. Brown sank 80 three-pointers last season, shooting 41 percent from that range. Brown also shot 46.7 percent from the field, an impressive number considering he was known primarily as a jump shooter.

Gordon at the five spot

SI's Chris Mannix has Aaron Gordon in the #4 slot for the upcoming NBA draft:
5. Jazz -- Aaron Gordon, F, Arizona freshman, 6-9, 220
Julius Randle is the best player on the board, but the Jazz are set at power forward after signing Derrick Favors to a four-year, $48 contract extension last October. Gordon is a tweener with a mediocre jump shot, but he is a superior athlete and a strong defender and rebounder. With one of the league's youngest cores, Utah can be patient while Gordon develops.

Iroegbu heading to Spuds State (CSI)

Uchenna Iroegbu will be attending school and playing basketball at College of Southern Idaho -- LINK

He's a 6-foot backcourter out of Capital Christian High.

Donlan moves on to Iowa JC

Matt Donlan came out of Capital Christian High and redshirted his first year at South Dakota State. In 2013-14, he played but seven minutes so now he has transferred to Iowa Western Community College.

Malgesini connects with Claremont - Mudd - Scripps

6-foot-3 Los Altos High wing Joey Malgesini is headed to Claremont - Mudd - Scripps in southern California. He averaged 18 points per game in 2013-14 and was named the Co-Most Valuable Player of the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League DeAnza Division..

Oliver and Oregon State

So does the hiring of Wayne Tinkle at Oregon State keep Cameron (Grant High) Oliver's allegiance?

Here's a snippet:
On Wednesday he tweeted recruits Gary Payton II and Chi Baker would honor their letters of intent and join the team for the coming season.

"They're on board, more excited than ever," he said.

He's also been in contact with incoming freshmen Cameron Oliver and Isaiah Manderson, and Maryland senior transfer Nick Faust, each of whom signed expecting they'd be coached by Robinson.

"We're making ground with the others," he said. "I think we'll be able to announce some good news in the next day or two."

Cal State Stanislaus signs Bayne

Zach Ewing reports: "Stockdale's Christian Bayne, another first-team All-Area hoops player, has signed with Cal State Stanislaus."

Bayne is a 6-foot-2, 160-pound prep point out of the Bakersfield area 

One description: "another PG with good size at least 6'2, high IQ, good shooter and very good vision, he should play somewhere in D2 minimum at next level"

Some recent video:

Rahn hired at Pacific Union

Pacific Union has hired Greg Rahn as its men's basketball coach. He's out of Napa High and Napa Valley College.

Flores with behavioral do's and don'ts

Ronnie Flores has some solid advice for all the segments involved with spring and summer prep basketball. But is anyone listening or think it applies to them?

"The Beautiful Game"

Any hoops fan who can't appreciate how the San Antonio Spurs play is either fatally ill with homer-itis or just doesn't understand the intrinsic beauty and purity of this kind of basketball. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Cones goes with the Lumberjacks

Drew Cones was sidelined by a foot injury in the midst of a solid freshman season at Los Medanos College. Some would have surrendered to pity because of the missed opportunity but the 5-foot-10 backcourter dug in and came back even stronger.

Try to the tune of 18.0 points, 3.9 assists and 3.3 rebounds a night in 2013-14 while shooting a smoking 49% overall, 49% from beyond the arc and 84% at the foul line. His production earned him a spot on the Bay Valley All Conference squad.

That output has earned him a scholarship to Humboldt State University (HSU), a member of the California Collegiate Athletic Association.

Why the choice of the Lumberjacks?

"They were the first to contact me and called all the time," Cones recalled. "It felt like a family when I visited -- I was treated like a family member."

What HSU fans will be witnessing from him is "always a positive, team first attitude. I'll play any role coach wants me to."

Of course, that's in addition to his basketball skills set. The top three scorers on Coach Steve Kinder's squad return but none reached 40% in long distance shooting accuracy. 

At Humboldt, he will be majoring in kinesiology with the plan of entering sports therapy. But coaching is also something he would like to do so as "to give back to youth."

While at Antioch High, Cones described himself as "a pass-first player" but one who also worked hard on his shooting. "I put in a lot of reps," something he still does to this day. He also captained the team.

Cones' best moment on the court to date comes from his prep days: "as a junior in the league championship game, we were down by four with two minutes to go and I hit two threes and a layup to help us win."

Like with many, he participated in more than one sport growing up. Early on, it was hoops and football -- "but I had more fun and drive at basketball" -- so the gridiron lost out.

Idolizing Chris Paul while growing up, Cones cites his father as his biggest basketball influence-- "definitely my Dad." He also remembers being inspired from watching tapes of his father play in high school.

He wished to thank John Woolery, his sophomore and junior seasons Antioch High coach, because "he helped change my whole game as a player and made me focus more on fundamentals." Plus, "Coach Derek Domenichelli and the Los Medanos College basketball team for believing in me ."

But foremost for Cones is his offering "I would not be the person I've grown to be without the support of God, family and friends through everything."

Perseverance in the face of adversity has paid off once again.

PHPS 17U win weekend tourney

It was the Play Hard Play Smart Renegades 17U winning the High School Platinum Division in the 2014 Third Annual Warmup to Reno tournament put on by the San Francisco Rebels and Team Select this past weekend.

A pair of college coaching articles

First, Myron Medcalf writes about what it might take to get some of the biggest names in college basketball coaching to move on.

Then Dana O'Neill takes on when the timing right for a coach to make a move.

Draft Express has Gordon at #10

The latest from Draft Express:
With their second lottery pick, Philadelphia can afford to take a swing on a high upside player. Aaron Gordon is arguably the best athlete in this draft class, and would fit in very well into the up-tempo style of play Brett Brown has implemented. His scoring deficiencies might look a little more glaring next to a similarly limited shooter like Michael Carter-Williams, but Philadelphia is in talent-acquisition mode right now and can't really afford to be all that picky if a talent like Gordon falls to them here.

Humboldt State adds a frontcourter

Via Dave Rogahn: "JC BB signing: Mwelu Mataya, PF/C from Long Beach CC and Redondo Union HS, signs to Humboldt State in Eureka."

Mataya stand 6-foot-6 and weighs 190 pounds. He averaged 7.1 rebounds plus 4.4 points a game last season with 52 blocked shots in 29 games.

Chabot lands a backcourt transfer

From Cameron Schott: "6-2 SG Yasin Omar will play at Chabot College next season. He played HS ball in Minnesota and redshirted at Iowa Central"

A bit more on Aaron Gordon

Chris Mannix talked recently with Aaron Gordon:
The 6-foot-9 Gordon, who averaged 12.4 points and eight rebounds as a freshman, went seventh in's first Mock Draft. He shot only 42.2 percent from the free throw line and made 16 three-pointers in 45 attempts. Your perimeter game is your biggest weakness. Are you overhauling your jump shot?

Gordon: "I overhauled my free throws. I didn't have a consistent free throw shot. I had a consistent jump shot. I had about three different ones before; now I have one. But my free throws were disconnected from my jumper. I would get to the peak of my shot, and then shoot it. What I've done is connected my three, my pull-up, my 17-footer and my free throw. They are all the same shot, and it feels great. Everything feels smoother." What position do you see yourself playing?

Gordon: "I see myself as a forward. I see myself as a basketball player. Obviously, you have to play a position in the NBA, but I'm going to do a little bit of everything. Post up, hit jumpers, go by people. I'm going to do it all. I'm confident that I can play both the three and four."
Is my naivete showing? Put his refined shooting on display in order to have the chance to move up in the draft because it's hard to see Gordon dropping if he didn't show improvement.

However, Seth Greenburg tweeted this: "Why would an agent of one of the top prospects in the NBA draft have his player play in the combine. Control the conversation."

Durant & Kukoc

Liked this insight from Chris Ballard, via John E. Hoover: "A subtly perfect sentence in ideal context: "(Durant) is the Toni Kukoc we were promised, delivered two decades later."

"The basketball blame game: It's time to stop"

Kim English on "hot potato blamers and "loose ball blamers" in his article "The basketball blame game: It's time to stop."

A Lakeshow update

From Coach Joe Fuca: "We were in Los Angeles this past weekend playing at the Pump Showcase and beat the Double Pump Elite 64-61 in the big showcase game.

Chris (Campolindo) Hansen had 17 points and 12 rebounds with Jesse (Drake) Hunt totaling 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Chris Hansen

Jesse Hunt

Our 2015s are 15-4 for the spring playing everyone's best teams."

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Knight will be a Bengal

Can you morph from a Thunderbird to a Bengal? The answer is yes if you happen to be Merritt College sophomore guard Anthony Knight. He is headed to Pocatello to attend Idaho State University (ISU) and play for Coach Bill Evans.

Out of El Camino High, Knight crossed the bay after his senior year to attend Merritt. So how did that work out for him?

Try 16.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.4 steals per game while shooting 51% overall, 49% from beyond the arc and 66% at the foul line as a sophomore.

Why Idaho State which is a member of the Big Sky Conference?

"They showed the most interest in me," Knight explained, adding that the Bengals were relative newcomers in his recruitment. Indications are he will be utilized as a combo guard.

And what will the folks in Pocatello be witnessing from him?

"My leadership on and off the court and setting the tone on defense. They also need players who can put the ball in the hoop and get to the rim." Knight averaged a team-leading 6.3 free throw attempts a contest for the Thunderbirds in 2013-14.

It looks like he will be redshirting and completing academic requirements this coming season. Bengal backcourters Tomas Sanchez and Andre Hatchett are graduating from ISU, meaning the second and third leading scorers on the team depart as well as the top two in assists -- so there will be a major need at guard.

Knight is looking at majoring in business -- "maybe accounting."

Asked what he see as changes in himself and his game since his time at El Caminto, Knight said, "I've matured and become more confident. In high school, I played out of position as a three."

When he arrived in the Oakland hills, he was positioned as a point and he then began working "trying to get it right. I've learned I'm good enough to play there."

What's fascinating is that Knight first tried football at the behest of his mother. "I was timid and small and the contact wasn't for me." So he began hitting open gyms, playing basketball for fun. Then a cousin, one on an AAU team, introduced him to competitive, organized hoops and "I kept developing my skills."

To the degree where he earned the opportunity to earn a paid-for college education.

Life at the NBA Combine

Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey offering a fave q-and-a example from talking with prospects at the NBA Combine:
Will sign off with best answer of all time that I tweeted last year as well: Can you pass a drug test? "Today?!?"

Zamora heading to Yuba

From Yuba Mens Hoops: "Yuba basketball welcomes Jojo Zamora to the 49er family!!!! Instantly becomes one of top frosh in California!"

He's a 6-foot-2 guard who was at Impact Academy this past year.

Zamora was named the All Mission Valley Athletic League Most Valuable Player in 2013.

Welle looking north and south

John Murphy reports that 6-foot-7 Aptos High two-sports star (basketball and volleyball) Cole Welle is looking at California and UC Santa Barbara as a walk-on.

Bennett at Utah State

Former Pinewood High guard John Bennett is now listed as a freshman walk-on with the 2014-15 of Utah State men's basketball team.

Max Preps has him as a Pinewood senior in the 2011-12 season -- not sure about the missing two years.

It looks like he also played baseball and quarterbacked in football during high school.

More on the San Ramon Valley High situation

Phil Jensen has received a statement from Frank Borghi, who first accepted the offer to become the new boys basketball coach at San Ramon Valley High but then declined because of a backlash from some in the community.

Austin with another offer

Via Verbal Commits: "2015 Bishop O'Dowd (CA) G Paris Austin has received an offer from Tulsa."

Here's a forgettable but quirky fact: Frank Haith has moved over Tulsa from Missouri and all three of his assistants have at various times been DI head coaches. Not many staffs like that.

Smith heading southeast

Verbal Commits tweeted: "2014 Freedom (CA) F Elliott Smith has committed to Florida International."

FIU is located in Miami, a member Conference USA and coming off a 7-9, 15-16 season.

Rabb making the rounds

From Alex Kline: "After visiting UNC this afternoon, 2015 Oakland Soldiers (CA) PF Ivan Rabb visited Duke today. He will visit Georgetown on Tuesday."

Please, let's not see any feature articles quoting Rabb as enjoying his visits. Not enjoying a visit or visits, now that's article-worthy.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Blackwell & Chriss lead Team Superstar

In this weekend's Under Armour Association event, Team Superstar bested Grassroots Indiana 66-65 on Sunday as Marquese Chriss finished with 17 points and 17 rebounds and Noah Blackwell led with 30 points.

Malik Thames' performance this season

In 30 starts and games this season at Central Arizona College, 6-foot-1 freshman Malik (Pleasant Grove High) Thames averaged 13.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.9 rebounds. He shot 46% overall, 37% from long distance and 79% from the foul line.

Remember Robert Whaley?

Here's a followup on Robert Whaley who was the Next Big Thing a while back, stumbled badly but says he has found his calling at age 32.

Tinkle takes OSU position

From John Canzano: "Wayne Tinkle will be announced as the men's basketball coach at Oregon State on Monday"

Tinkle interviewed a couple of years back when Fresno State was seeking a new coach so he's been looking for some time now to make a move out of Montana where he has headed the program for eight seasons. Will it turn out to be a package deal as his son 6-foot-7 Tres is a 2015 Pac-12 level talent ?

Also, does Mario Dunn stay at Montana and does Jermaine Edmonds Jr.arrive?

Mr. Omar is located

Lost Letterman provides a "Where Are They Now?" article featuring Omar Samhan.

Still think he will eventually be a prime target to replace the personality of Charles Barkley when the latter decides it's been long enough behind the mike.

Soldiers goes 1-1 on Sunday

Ivan Rabb's 14 points and 12 boards (all in 21 minutes) paced the Oakland Soldiers to an 80-59 victory over the Georgia Stars in an EYBL matchup, the second of the day.

Earlier, the Soldiers fell to Playground Elite 58-54.

Cones goes with Humboldt State

From a coaching source: Drew Cones, a sophomore at Los Medanos College, is moving on to Humboldt State, a member of the California Collegiate Athletic Association. That means he'll be back in the Bay Area when the Lumberjacks plays San Francisco State, Cal State East Bay, Sonoma State and the like.

The 5-foot-10 sophomore out of Antioch High averaged 18.0 points this past season, shooting 49%, 49% and 84% respectively. Cones also posted 3.9 assists and 3.3 rebounds a contest.

DVC adds two talents

From Diablo Valley College Men's Basketball:
"DVC hoops would like to welcome Rico Nuno of Half Moon Bay and Siaan Rojas of Concord to the Viking family"
The 6-foot-6, 250 Nuno was named MVP of the All-Peninsula Athletic League-North for his performance this past season.

Rojas checks in at 6-foot-5, 170. His evaluation form the 2014 Nor Cal Spring Showcase: "Long and active, good off the dribble, ok shooter from 15’, good scorer around the basket."

Here is some video from his junior year:

Sad news about Warren Jackson

Cabrillo College Basketball just updated the status of Warren Jackson:
A big big thumbs up to Warren Jackson. Warren started for the Seahawks two years ago and was injured early in the season. He spent the rest of the season on the bench watching games. This last year, he was MVP of the Coast Conference South. During a workout recently, he tore his ACL and will be out. We can only salute this Valiant and talented young man who will return to his home town of Detroit. All the best Warren!!!
Jackson was named the Most Valuable Player in the Coast Conference South this past season as well as being a First Team All State honoree.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Soldiers fall in today's opener

Playground Elite topped the Oakland Soldiers 58-54 today in the first of two Sunday matchups. Ivan Rabb provided 16 points and 11 rebounds in the losing cause.

Calling the WCC

Sorry St. Mary's and USF but with USC's Byron Wesley transferring to Gonzaga, Mark Few's guys should have no competition for the top spot in the West Coast Conference. But that's why the games are played.

Play at the City Championship Seventh Annual Elite 17U and 16U Boys' Basketball Tournament

Caught some of the play Saturday at the City Championship Seventh Annual Elite 17U and 16U Boys' Basketball Tournament held at City College of San Francisco. In a visit of a few hours, here's who generated interest:

* Trevor Dunbar was running with the Nor Cal Warriors and was easily the best passing, penetrate-and-kick guy out there. He sees the floor well and puts the ball in the hands of teammates where they can do damage.

* Stanley Watson of the Nor Cal Warriors was a new name. A 2014 prospect out of Fremont High, he stands 6-foot-9 but needs to add strength to his slim frame and reps in working on skills sets. Looks like a prime prospect for a couple of seasons of development at a community college.

* 6-foot-4 Hyram Miskin of Seaside Select, San Benito High and the 2014 class displayed consistent sharpshooting skills. A First Team Monterey Bay Gabilan honoree, it's not difficult to see him performing a role on a community college basketball team if he wishes to continue playing.

* Jordan Bramlett of the West Valley Basketball Club and King's Academy is a 2015 talent at the point. He displayed solid ballhandling skills and the ability to get his own shot.

* 6-foot-5 Jamaryion Simmons is going to be one to watch at College of Marin. He needs to drop some pounds and get toned up but his bulk and strength plays well at the offensive end.

Overall, still way too much over-penetrating took place, with wild shot attempts or efforts that would be rejected against opponents of larger size levels. Did see one jump stop though!!!

A Jabari Brown interview

Here's Jabari Brown being interviewed at the NBA Combine:

Bossi and Gershon on Chriss

Via Eric Bossi: "Marquese Chriss. 2015 PF committed to Washington is so close to turning into a big time prospect. Size, fluidity can make a jumper."

He then added:  "Key with Chriss is shaking off a negative play and moving to the next one. Can't let one bad play turn into three of them."

On the flip side, Josh Gershon tweeted: "2015 PF commit Marquese Chriss of Team Superstar is a ridiculous leaper. Explodes off floor in hurry. Very good rebounder too."

Graham grabbing honors hardware

Talk about being bestowed with honors -- per EuroBasket, Justin Graham has been named the Finals Most Valuable Player, the Player of the Year, the Import of the Year, and the Guard of the Year playing for Inter Bratislava in the Slovakian League. He played at Ripon High and then San Jose State University before heading overseas.

CCSF's Dunk-fest

Mario Gomez has produced a City College of San Francisco Dunk-apalooza video:

Blackwell generating positives

Via Josh Gershon: "2015 Team Superstar PG Noah Blackwell has definitely improved. Making good decisions with ball and getting to basket. Physically gifted."

Chabot Basketball Skills Clinics

Chabot Basketball is holding youth clinics in June and July featuring Coach Denny Aye and his coaching staff:

* Session 1 Dates: June 16th - 20th

Times: Block A 9am - 11:30am $125

Times: Block B 11:30am - 2pm $125

Discount attend Both Blocks A & B $200

* Session 2 Dates: June 23rd - 27th

Times: Block A 9am - 11:30am $125

Times: Block B 11:30am - 2pm $125

Discount attend Both Blocks A & B $200

* Session 3 Dates: July 7th - 11th

Times: Block A 9am - 11:30am $125

Times: Block B 11:30am - 2pm $125

Discount attend Both Blocks A & B $200

* Session 4 Dates: July 14th - 18th

Times: Block A 9am - 11:30am $125

Times: Block B 11:30am - 2pm $125

Discount attend Both Blocks A & B $200

Head here for more information and to register.

The Soldiers win a pair

It was an 83-51 drubbing of The Challenge to open EYBL Saturday play for the Oakland Soldiers as Ivan Rabb posted a 22-point, 12-rebound double-double..

Then the Soldiers downed All Ohio Red 69-53 as Jordan Ford finished with 19 points on 8-11 overall shooting, 3-4 from beyond the arc. Stephen Zimmerman finished with a 13 point, 11 rebound double-double. Ivan Rabb played just 19 minutes.

Giacomazzi not going anywhere

A tweet from Cosumnes River College Coach James Giacomazzi: "Contrary to rumor, I'll be the coach at CRC this season and for years to come. Negative recruiting only lasts for so long and eventually starts working against you."

One reporter has it down to three for Oregon State

Kerry Eggers/Portland Tribune, writes that three finalists are in the running for the OSU opening: Mike Hopkins, Travis DeCuire and Wayne Tinkle.


* Why would Jim Boeheim's longtime assistant see OSU as desirous?

* Why would Wayne Tinkle want to take on such a bigtime rebuilding job in need of both talent and facilities while always to be Avis to Oregon's Hertz in the state?

Don Meyer has passed

Legendary basketball coach Don Meyer has died. Yes, he is the all-time leader in wins but, just as important if not more so, he was an extremely generous mentor.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Short postings today

Gotta head out the door and get to The City for a basketball tournament. Sorry for the abbreviated postings today.

Meet Galuega Toailoa

One of the joys of prep sports is viewing young talent currently situated in the category of Ones To Watch. Count Salesian High football and basketball participant Galuega Toailoa, who also plays hoops for the West Valley Basketball Club (WVBC), as a resident. But he'll more than likely be stationed at a different level based on what he is displaying this spring and summer.

At 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds, Toailoa is a running back and outside linebacker on the gridiron and a frontcourter/backcourter in the gym, depending on where he is needed.

About the latter, he has no hesitation in answering a query regarding his top hoops assets -- "My best skill is defense. I've been working on defending ever since I started playing. But I'm also developing my driving to the basket, shooting and scoring."

With Salesian, he is asked to play a heavy of sorts. "I actually play the post or power forward, wherever they need me. I'm a team player, doing whatever is best for us to win."   

Salesian Coach Bill Mellis offered, "Galuega is a very versatile player for us, as he can play the perimeter or the post. He is quick enough to play defense at his natural guard/forward position, but he is strong enough to guard a post player, which is something we asked him to do for us last year.Off the court, Galuega is a very popular person. He gets along with everyone and his teachers all like him a lot. His parents have done a great job of developing an all-around respectful young man."

Mellis finished with, "He is in good hands this summer with the West Valley Basketball Club. We have had players in the past who have had good success with that program and we know that Coach Bramlett and Coach Grigsby do an excellent job of developing their players."

Toailoa's participation with WVBC has him positioned at the point and shooting guard positions. Toailoa modestly offers, "I'm beginning to be successful [as a backcourter]." He was a latecomer of sorts to hoops -- "I picked it up late, starting in the sixth grade. He understand that he would be a point at the next level due to his height.   

Here is WVBC Founder and Coach Bob Bramlett: "'You can coach kids to be tougher, but you can not necessarily make them “tough' or as Bill Parcells said, 'if they didn’t bite when they were puppies, then they won’t bite as dogs' G bites for sure. He is naturally tough, thrives on contact and forces his opponent to man up. His upside is huge, depending on his attention to the details of the game. Being a two-sport star is not an impediment at all to his development because he works at it March 1st to March 1st."

However, Toailoa is also still working out with the Salesian football team with the current goals of "getting stronger and leading." As he put it, "football is a part of my life. My Dad played in college and my brother in high school." His cousin is former Salesian lineman Freddie Tagaloa, who was at California but has now transferred to Arizona and Toailoa cites all three as influences. A running back and outside linebacker, he averaged two sacks a game defensively and racked up six sacks in the championship semi-final contest.

There was also a third sport for a while.

"I played baseball up until last year and I think I was pretty good at it," he recalled. His activity on the diamond began way back when as a kindergartner.

Toailoa is on target academically but it took some adjustment. "I struggled at the beginning of my freshman year when I moved from a public school to Salesian. But I get a lot more one-on-one with teachers now and they seem to really care for you."

Although just a junior-to-be, Toailoa has seemingly zeroed in on a college major. "It will be graphic design because drawing is a big hobby of mine."

With recruiting, "I want to go out of state. That gives more time to focus on academics and sports and it would help me grow up faster."

Regarding the prospects for his Salesian athletic participation next season, "we'll definitely a strong team  in basketball even though we have Jonathan Galloway and one other player leaving." Sharpshooting Bernard Ward will be a senior and Nakota Sherard-Creer a junior for the Pride. In football, "we won the NCS and pretty much have the whole team back so we should be pretty good."