Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Hamilton Chang update

There are often multiple roads to travel in order to accomplish individual goals. Some are easy, others more difficult; with paths sometimes suggested, and others garnered from experience. Count Hamilton Chang's interest in both basketball and mechanical engineering as longstanding accompaniments in his life, yet the route he took forward with each was one less traveled.

The Pre-Cal Maritime Days

“[Besides basketball] I did club swimming, and that could have been my sport," the 6-foot-5 Chang recalled. "Robert Robinson, my high school basketball coach (at Notre Dame High in Riverside) told me that very few athletes can play two sports and be good at them. You can do both and be kind of good, or you can work at one and be really good! I enjoyed playing basketball much more, so I went with that." The result? Chang's teams won three consecutive league championships, and he averaged 13 points and eight rebounds per game as a senior in the 2008-2009 season.

Then, college beckoned and a choice needed to be made. While already committed to UC Riverside in summer of 2009, Chang still remembers the setting of this crucial moment. "I was at an IHOP restaurant with my parents and siblings." His mother and father said, "We don't want you to go to UC Riverside because it's too close to home. Why don't you try going to City College of San Francisco, and why don't you try playing basketball there?"

It was more a strong hint, than simply a question. The cornerstone for the suggestion was that Chang's uncles had attended CCSF back in the day and later transferred to UC Berkeley.

At the time, Chang's thinking was, "If it doesn't work out, at least I tried my best. I never wanted to be one to think 'what if' I had done that?"

So CCSF it was.

While a Ram, "I definitely was not a leader in stats but led by example -- being on time, doing the work in the court and in the classroom, handling my business," Chang explained. "I thought I was getting great benefits with playing the sport I love and earning priority registration for classes."

Then, there was the state championship won by the Rams in 2011, another finishing on top for Chang but at a higher level.

The Choice of a Four-Year School

Frank about his awareness of Cal Maritime (CM), Chang admitted, "I didn't know it existed until spring break 2011." Then Assisstant Head Coach Mike Warrington (on the men's side -- he is now the head women's coach at CM) "called me and asked if I would like to check out the school and play basketball for them. My aunt took me there and I found out they had my mechanical engineering major and about a near 90% job hire rate within three months of graduation. I saw it as a chance to really invest in my future life."

Chang ended up playing quite a bit for Coach Bryan Rooney and "that made it very enjoyable."

His two years as a Keelhauler resulted in a 46-17 overall record, a pair of California Pacific Conference tournament championships and a trip to the Sweet Sixteen as a senior in 2013 -- yet another period of success.

Here's Rooney: “Hamilton is a winner in every sense of the word. On the floor, he was a two-year starter on two national tournament teams. He was obviously a high achiever in the classroom and this commitment has helped lead to a tremendous future. I was always equally impressed at how much pride he took in becoming the most effective leader he could be. We had numerous conversations in his two years and none of these conversations focused on his playing time or shot attempts. Rather, they focused on how he could help his teammates and our team as a whole reach our potential. Simply put, Hamilton Chang is a special person.”

In his last year at Cal Maritime, Chang was named an Academic All-American and the California Pacific Conference Men's Scholar Athlete of the Year while sporting a 3.63 grade point average. Again not pulling any punches, he said, "I really worked hard for that award." This was not an easy feat for a mechanical engineering major.

Regarding his academic direction, Chang offered, "I'm not sure where the interest sprouted from. An uncle on my Mom's side retired as an electrical engineer. Another uncle is a mechanical engineer and worked for places like HP, Apple and Sonos. I just enjoy mechanical engineering  -- you can never learn enough. It's how the world works and I love the challenge."

Hamilton today

Now, he is working for General Dynamics NASSCO, a shipbuilding and repair contractor for commercial customers and the U.S. Navy, in San Diego. His occupation is in one of the Professional Development Programs which involves rotations into all the departments that contribute into the building of a ship.

As for basketball, "I dreamt briefly of the NBA but I didn't really see that type of lifestyle for myself. I play for some teams in San Diego and guys tell me I should try Taiwan and China but my job and family are more secure for me."

Looking at his accomplishments on and off the court, Chang is aware of his success in basketball and life but modestly offered, "I do the most I can the best I can, and that seems to work out pretty good."

High-flying Adrian Crump

Chabot Men's Basketball has posted an exquisitely timed photo -- hit the link.

Yuba finishes 3-1

Yuba Mens Hoops tweeted: "Good having PAC-12 in the Yuba house today! Expecting more! 3-1 at CCSF and we played way below ability. Next 2-3 years will be really fun!"

The roster at Prolific Prep

Head here for the Prolific Prep roster.

Blackwell to The Beach

Noah Blackwell owns the day (and maybe the week): "Never Thought Any Of This Would Be Possible... I Give All Glory To God...🙏 I Have Decided To Commit To Long Beach State."

With a number of Pac-12 offers, another from Maryland (if still active) and also New Mexico, St. Mary's and Fresno State, Blackwell chose a spot where he will play a lot right away. Smart.

With Temidayo Yussef already in the fold, Long Beach Coach Dan Monson and his staff are nabbing northern California talent. Let's see if next year brings another player moving south.

Lillard ready for new season

At the risk of sounding like TMZ but minus the 'Newsflash!!!!! - We Have The Video!!!!,' Damian Lillard has made some dietary changes.

He also has altered his workout routine. All to get better prepared for the long haul of the NBA season and playoffs.

DGordon not camping with the 76ers

Actually, Drew Gordon is not on the 76ers training camp roster.

Don't know the why of this change.

Smith at the two for UNLV

Mike Grimala is out with his latest UNLV starting lineup projection and Kendall Smith has a starting spot:
SG — Kendall Smith, sophomoreIn previous roster projections, Seagears was slotted into this spot, providing another plus shooter in the backcourt. But now that he’s redshirting, Smith looks like the most natural fit next to Doolin due to his ball handling and scoring chops. He’s not the outside shooting threat that Seagears is (Smith made seven 3-pointers last year; Seagears hit 37), but he can score in favorable matchups, and he gained a ton of experience at both backcourt positions last year. His ability to back up at point guard will come in handy in the wake of Cook’s injury.

Lassen finishes 3-1

Lassen College looked ready for the season to begin as Coach Devin Aye's Cougars posted an impressive 3-1 record in the Chabot College Showcase on Friday and Saturday.

Itemizing each pairing:

* Lassen College 77 - Diablo Valley College 58 (this was a surprising point differential)

* Lassen College 82 -  Merritt College 80 (this was a proverbial barnburner, going back and forth)

* Lassen College 59 - Allan Hancock College 62 OT (another heated one and it familial with (Devin) Aye versus (Tyson) Aye)

* Lassen College 65 - Ohlone College 59 (new Coach Scott Fisher's squad has a couple of foreign player holdovers from John Peterson's last team)

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Nor Cal Fall JUCO Jamboree

First comes the prism of these assessments: not all the Nor Cal Fall JUCO Jamboree participating teams were witnessed, some seen once, others twice. The games were much more serious than those in July but a lot of experimenting still took place and playing time allotments remain to be worked out.

* Didn't necessarily see any run-the-table powerhouses present on Saturday in San Francisco...

* Missed Santa Rosa's Parker Farris as he was out with a foot injury, really want to see him in Coach Craig McMillan's offensive schemes...

* DeAnza point Nate Vieira would post a lot more assists if his teammates were a tad more accurate with their shot attempts, Vieira does some things with the ball that can't be taught but he needs a more efficient shooting motion and to go straight with on his shot, not sideways or backwards, in order to increase his accuracy...

* Yuba forward Barry Obalue maneuvers for a lot of close-in looks on his dribble-drives but he needs to finish stronger...

* Vasilje Saraba, just out of El Campo High and beginning at Yuba, displayed both shooting and passing abilities, he's definitely not just a catch-and-shoot guy and looked like the most promising 49er on Saturday...

* Former Bellarmine guard Blair Mendy is back from walking on at Loyola Marymount and playing at City College of San Francisco...

* Fresno City College has four talents from northern California on the roster: Liam O'Reilly (Sacred Heart Cathedral), James O'Neal (Freedom High), Dejon Burdeaux (San Leandro High) and Nick Hilton (Jesuit High). Not sure of the three-point shooting prowess of the overall Ram squad, at least on Saturday...

* In a very interesting strategy, San Jose City College full court pressed Fresno City College in their matchup, Jaguar Coach Percy Carr has some uber athletes...

* San Joaquin Delta Coach Rich Ressa doesn't have much size on hand -- two freshman at 6-foot-6 is it -- but his guys scrap and challenge, accomplishing more than seemingly possible...

* 6-foot-10 Donald Mims of Consumnes River College is going to reject a lot of leather this season...

* Don't foul (good luck with that) Monterey Peninsula College inside forward Stephen Dorsey because he showed excellent form and accuracy on his free throws

* MPC backcourters Devin Koeplin and Deondre Otis played well simultaneously on the court in major minutes on Saturday...

* Butte frontcourter Arthur Caldwell showed a solid free throw line area jumper in addition to his inside play...

* CCSF sophomore Gabe Bealer displayed accuracy with his outside shot which should aid his dribble-drive game...

Merritt finishes 3-1

(Denzel Bellot)

(Leo Smith)

The best community college game of the weekend came on Friday night at the Chabot JUCO Fall Showcase with Merritt College topping the Gladiators 72-65 in front of a fervent packed house. The Thunderbird backcourt of Denzel Bellot and Leo Smith finished with 28 and 26 points respectively. The former's total was powered by four treys plus going 8-10 from the foul line while the latter nailed five three-pointers.

Merritt finished 3-1 in the event, also besting Ohlone College 63-57 and Skyline College 61-58 while falling 82-80 to Lassen College.

Thunderbird Coach Keenan McMiller offered, "We kept our composure -- the guys are learning and we're coming along."

The iPractice Builder Coaching Clinic, October 10-11

The first annual iPractice Builder Coaching Clinic will be held Friday and Saturday October 10-11 at San Francisco City College. An impressive lineup of speakers has been arranged. The schedule is as follows:

Friday October 11:

6:00-7:15 pm - Lindsay Gottlieb, University of California (Women): "Individual and Team Offensive Drills"

7:15-8:30 pm - Sean Miller, University of Arizona: "Arizona Offensive Basketball"

8:30-9:45 pm - Mark Few, Gonzaga University: "Gonzaga University Ball Screen Offense"

Saturday October 12:

9:30-10:45 am - Rex Walters, University of San Francisco:"Attacking Zone Defense"

10:45 am - Dana Altman, University of Oregon: "Full and Half Court Pressure Defense"

12:00-1:15 pm - Mike Dunlap, Loyola Marymount University: "Preparing For a Great Practice"

2:00-3:15 pm - Cuonzo Martin, University of California:"Offensive Drills To Develop Motion Offense"

3:15-4:30 pm - Johnny Dawkins, Stanford University:"Zone Offense"

4:30-5:45 pm - Randy Bennett, St. Mary's College:"Transition Offense and Defense"

Cost: $175 for 4 people for direct payment ($190 for paypal)
Cost: $125 for 2 people for direct payment ($140 for paypal)
Cost: $75 for 1 person for direct payment ($90 for paypal)

The clinic is open to coaches at all levels (grade school, high school, AAU, junior college) and both genders.

For more information/flyer call Gerry Freitas at 408-998-1327 or email: gerryfreitas@hotmail.com

Sierra goes 3-1 at Nor Cal JUCO Jamboree

From Sierra College Assistant Coach Brandon Cole: "Sierra College men's basketball goes 3-1 at the SF juco showcase. Lots of good things to build on!"

The Broncos nab a Texas big

Santa Clara has received a 'big" verbal from 6-foot-9, 230 Tony Lewis, a prep out of Texas -- "Well guys God is good!!!! I will be attending University of Santa Clara."

From Joshua E. Parrott: "6-9 C Tony Lewis of Central Catholic (TX) HS tweeted he's committed to Santa Clara. #29 in @TexasHoopsGASO 2015 rankings. All-state as JR."

One description: "Making the most of his time in front of recruiters was 210 Jayhawk (San Antonio) Tony Lewis. He quickly showed that he is one of the most improved players over the recent months and he has a really good feel for the game under the basket. The 6-foot-9 Lewis has a good understanding of how to gain position in the middle of the paint and pin his man where they can’t get around him. He has soft hands and nice footwork, but he also showed that he can consistently hit the 15-footer. To TexasHoops’ surprise, Lewis got the ball several times in the high post area and squared his body to hit the shot. Now, he is a below the rim player, but that shouldn’t matter much when he has size and a good head on his shoulders..."

The October 4 Modesto Junior College Elite Combine

Below are the details for the October 4 Modesto Junior College Elite Combine:

*Develop Your Skills and Expand Your Game

*See where you stack up against Nor Cal’s Best

*Vertical Testing

*Wing Span Testing

*Speed Testing

* Grades 6th-8th will be from 8:30 am-10:30 am                   
* Grades 9th-12th will be from 10:30 am-1:00 pm

 * Cost is only $25 Prior to September 24th.

 * After September 24th the price will be $35.

 Register online here.

 Questions or concerns contact:

Jordan Jones
Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach

ARC finishes 3-1

Via ARC Assistant Coach Bill Benford: "ARC goes 3-1 this weekend in our jamboree beating Napa, Solano and Columbia while losing a close one to West Hills."

Sonoma State looking at Hightower

From Napa Valley College Basketball: "Great to have SSU in practice last week to watch soph Naaman Hightower! Good to see hard work paying off!"

The 6-foot-6 Hightower prepped at Vanden High.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Nelson in Texas

At the NJCAA site, former Sheldon High star Darius Nelson is listed as having signed with Odessa College in Texas. It's a community college in the Lone Star State and actually the city of "Friday Night Lights" football fame.

Blackwell on the road

Noah Blackwell tweeted: "Long Beach State Visit Was Dope 😁👌 Now Time For Fresno State."

The Bulldogs just landed a very promising prep power forward out of Las Vegas.


Via Alex Kennedy: "Cavaliers road games will cost you way more than any other NBA team this year: $411.77 on average. Next highest ticket (Lakers) is $280.44."

Saving your pennies up won't cut it -- going without food for a couple of weeks might be necessary.

Holt with the Cavaliers

From David Pick: "Rookie guard Stephen Holt is headed to Cleveland on camp deal with Cavs, according to source."

Earlier from Pick, it was ""Rookie guard Stephen Holt, I'm told, will terminate pact with Ludwigsburg. He's fielding Euro-interest."

Ramon Eaton?

Former Sheldon High big Ramon Eaton appeared on North Carolina Central 2013-14 roster but never played. This season, he is absent from the Eagles roster. Any idea of his whereabouts?

Milstead with another offer

A tweet via Josh Gershon: "2017 Hayward (Calif.) Moreau Catholic PG Damari Milstead has picked up an offer from #Wazzu."

Prolific Prep guard to Lehigh

Josh Gershon tweeted: "2015 Napa (Calif.) Prolific Prep CG Kyle Leufroy has committed to #Lehigh, he tells http://Scout.com."

Later, Gershon added "Huge pickup for #Lehigh in Kyle Leufroy. Versatile guard can play on and off ball. Scorer from all three levels that can really pass too."

The latest look at Marcus Lee

Below is Josh Riddell/Draft Express with an up-to-date analysis of Marcus Lee:

Coming into the University of Kentucky as the 16th ranked recruit by the RSCI, Marcus Lee had trouble finding minutes in an extremely crowded Wildcat frontcourt, stuck behind Julius Randle, Willie Cauley-Stein and Dakari Johnson. Lee averaged just 6.5 minutes per game last season and saw action in only 25 of 40 total games, an extremely rare occurrence for a player as highly regarded as he was coming out of high school. Taking advantage of an injury to Cauley-Stein, Lee had his best game in the NCAA tournament against Michigan, where he scored ten points and grabbed eight rebounds in fifteen minutes, and will look to build on that momentum to carve out his spot in the rotation this season.

Lee has very good size for a big man prospect, measured at 6'10”, with a solid 7'2” wingspan. However, he needs to add strength to his frame, as he weighed in at 199 pounds two years ago at the Amare Stoudemire Camp and is now listed as being 220 pounds on Kentucky's website, which is still relatively light. It looks like he added some nice bulk to his frame on Kentucky's recent preseason tour in the Bahamas, particularly in the upper body, but he still has plenty of room to continue to add to his frame. He is a great athlete, moving up and down the floor well for a big man while playing above the rim on the offensive end. Once he adds some strength, which he should be able to as he matures physically in the next few years, he will have ample tools to compete in the NBA.

In his limited minutes, Lee didn't show a great deal of offensive skill, as the overwhelming majority of his touches came off cuts, offensive rebounds and by running the floor in transition. He has great potential to do these things at pretty much any level, as his ability to sprint the court, make quick screen and rolls, and get off the ground in the blink of an eye for explosive finishes from a standstill off two feet are coveted commodities in professional basketball. He has good hands, great quickness, and the type of springy vertical leap you'd expect to find in an ex-volleyball player...

Here's the link for the full monty.

Friday, September 26, 2014

No posting Saturday

There will be no posting Saturday due to an early morning drive up to City College San Francisco for the JUCO Jamboree.

Meet Cheo White

Cheo White is in his first year as an assistant with Las Positas Coach Lon Rork but brings plenty of multi-level basketball playing and coaching experience to the position.

He prepped under longtime Coach Craig Ashmore for three years at perennial East Bay power Newark Memorial High, a program where toughness is a prerequisite for getting on the floor.

After a redshirt season in 2001-02 as a freshman at Hampton University in Virginia, White transferred to Gary Cain-helmed Cerritos College in southern California. The Falcons won conference with White being named Second Team All Conference based on his 8.2 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game production. "Now that I am coaching, he is a mentor for me," White explained.

Then it was two years (2003-2005) at San Jose State University, playing for Coach Phil Johnson who currently is part of Tim Floyd's staff at UTEP. Johnson also earlier worked for Floyd at USC and with the Chicago Bulls of the NBA. "He was tough but fair, playing no favorites," White recalled. "He was an NBA guy and dealt with us that way." While there, White also reunited with former Newark Memorial teammate Marquin Chandler, who enjoyed a productive Spartan career.

Last season, White began working as a women's team graduate assistant coach at DII Cal State Dominguez Hills, a team headed by former Stanford standout Molly Goodenbour. The Toros won the conference tournament and, for the first time ever, played in the West Regional of the national tournament.

With a daughter in Sunnyvale, White was always planning on returning to the area. So when he reached out to Diablo Valley Coach Steve Coccimiglio, who knew of an opening at Las Positas, White pursued it.

"He [Coach Rork] allowed me do skill work with the team this summer and was impressed with my ability to build relationships with players. So he hired me and it's been great working with Lon this year."

Now, his primary assignments are working with the bigs and recruiting. "It's a very good situation for me and I'm building my craft. Lon has been great."

White continued, "It's a good environment to be in being at one of the better looking junior colleges. Facilities play a huge role [in recruiting] and our weight room looks like DI."

He wasn't one of those youngsters with constantly-fixed stars in his eyes. "I never thought the NBA would be me and I like the skill training aspect of assistant coaching as well as the Xs-and-Os," White said. Currently a physical education teacher at a school in San Mateo, he added, "It's teaching the game, impacting kids and giving back."

As for the 2015-15 Hawks, White offered, "We're laying a foundation but still under the radar."

McKayle Harnell, out of Livermore High, will be one of the Las Positas stalwarts. White offered this assessment: "he has a great body at 6-foot-3, 215 and is a natural two with catch-and-shoot ability."

As for 6-foot-3 Spaniard Marti Fonolla, "he's been here a month and is just getting comfortable. He just turned 18 and schools already know about him.

6-8 sophomore forward Lyle Hexom will redshirt this season. Out of Nebraska, Hexom, according to White, "has a skills set to play inside and outside. He'll be a gamechanger for us and play on the perimeter at the next level."

Looking down the road, White sees a couple of possibilities as 'an opportunity to coach at the DI level would be difficult to turn down. But the idea of building a successful high school program like Newark Memorial is appealing to me."

Abdur-Rahim parts ways with the Kings

Jason Jones reports that former Cal great Shareef Abdur-Rahim is no longer in the front office of the Sacramento Kings.

Cartwright heading the Mexico National Team

Bill Cartwright has been named the head coach of the Mexico National Team.

Blackwell with hometown press

Ike Dodson/Roseville Press-Tribune features hometown talent Noah Blackwell and offers a cute opener to his article.

DGordon with the 76ers

Drew Gordon has an invite to the camp of the Philadelphia 76ers. Now we need them to match up in the pre-season with Orlando.

Zimmerman at power forward

Mike Grimala covers the recruitment thinking of 7-foot Stephen Zimmerman, who sees himself as a power forward in college.

So should he look to be paired with a center who doesn't look for many touches on offense (because having two bigs with each enjoying 15 shots a game doesn't leave a lot of other attempts for the other three teammates)? Two shooting bigs would also probably require a point uninterested in many looks. Interesting.

California and student-athlete academics

From Jeff Faraudo about officials at California looking to change academic entry standards and support for student-athletes:

"In response to recent historically poor graduation rates by Cal's football and men's basketball teams, the Chancellor's Task Force on Athletics and Academics submitted its report Friday, with recommendations that range from possible revisions to the athletic admissions policy to better integration of athletes into the campus culture.

Chancellor Nicholas Dirks is expected to endorse many of the more than 50 recommendations made by the 20-member panel that spent eight months trying to assure that Cal athletes have "a meaningful academic experience."

Dirks, interim athletic director Michael Williams and other campus leaders scheduled a media briefing for late Friday morning where details of the recommendations would be provided.

The task force reported that the eight sports teams with the lowest Graduation Success Rates from 2003 to 2010 often featured student-athletes whose SAT scores and high-school grade-point averages projected difficulties competing in the classroom at Cal..."

Visits: official and unofficial

Andrew Numec breaks down the parameters of official and unofficial visits in college recruiting.

Pacific offers a SoCal big

Via Verbal Commits: "2015 Cantwell-Sacred Heart (CA) F Balsa Dragovic has received an offer from Pacific."

He measures 6-foot-10, 210 pounds and is originally out of Serbia.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

St. Mary's getting a Neufeld visit

From Corey Evans: "2015 Sunrise Christian big Matt Neufeld will take officials nxt month to St. Mary's, Clemson, & St. Louis. Colorado also likely."

Neufeld is 6-foot-11, 210 and out of British Colombia.

Here's a mid-April feature.

Utah and Delon Wright

Scott Gleason has Utah at #31 in his 2014 pre-season prognostication. Here's what he writes about Delon Wright:
"...Wright (15.5 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 4.8 apg) is a legitimate Pac-12 Player of the Year candidate after putting the NBA draft on hold. He's highly versatile on offense, scoring with athletic moves and a strong pull-up jumper. But it's his defense that gets overlooked. Wright led the Pac-12 in steals (2.5 spg) last season..."

Foster teaming up with Kidd

Missed this from the end of July: Greg Foster has moved over to Jason Kidd's Milwaukee Bucks staff.

A Brandon Ashley update

Bruce Pascoe reports that Coach Sean Miller believes Brandon Ashley is playing like he never was injured. Just bang bodies more and the NBA suitors will be falling all over each other.

The 2014 Fresno City Men's Basketball Coaching Clinic

Greetings Coaches,

The 2014 Fresno City Men's Basketball Coaching Clinic will be happening again next month. Our clinic this year will be on taking your team from "Good to Great." We will emphasize our Championship Culture, Values, and Toughness. The date will be Saturday, October 18th. We will have an hour and forty five minute on court session, then a forty five minute elite weight lifting session, followed by questions and lunch. If coaches want to bring a player with them it will be an additional $15, and team prices can be discussed. Let me know if you have anymore questions. Hope to see you there.

* Registration at 11:30 a.m.
* On the court noon to 1:30 p.m.
* Weight room 1:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.
* Lunch/Question and answer 2:20 - afternoon
* $40 per coach/$35 for additional on your staff if check received by Friday, October 10
* $20 for each additional player
* $45 after Friday October 10
* $50 at the door

*** Make checks payable to Fresno City Men’s Basketball
*** Mail to Fresno City College c/o Men’s Basketball 1101 E. University Ave. Fresno, CA 93741

Thomas Ammon
Fresno City College
Head Assistant Men's Basketball
(530) 209-0987

Moreau Catholic Winter Classic in December

The Moreau Catholic Winter Classic will take place on Saturday December 20th at California State University East Bay Gymnasium. Below is the game schedule for the 3rd Annual Winter Classic 2014.

* 12:00 Moreau Catholic vs. St. Pats St. Vince (Girls)

* 1:30 St. Francis vs. Clayton Valley Charter 

* 3:00 James Logan vs. Stellar Prep

*4:30 St. Pats/St. Vince vs. Bishop Manouge (Reno)

* 6:00 Mitty vs. El Cerrito

* 7:30 Moreau Catholic vs Modesto Christian

If you have any questions feel free to contact me either by email or phone.

Frank Knight
Head Mens Basketball Coach
Social Science Teacher

Gonzalez will be a Gael

2015 point Stefan Gonzalez has given a verbal to St. Mary's -- here's the link.

Robert D. Robinson tweeted: "Common opinion was he'd follow AAU teammate Tres Tinkle to Oregon St. St Mary's moved in late & did a great job recruiting."

Here's our post from earlier this week.

Nuno & Carraway bringing in visitors

From DVC Assistant Coach Derrick Jones comes a pair of tweets:

"Loyola Marymount at DVC practice today to see Frosh Forwards Rico Nuno (qualifier) and Jacques Carraway."


"University of Pacific head coach Ron Verlin at DVC practice viewing Freshmen Forwards Rico Nuno (qualifier) and Jacques Carraway."

More on Henry Cornelious to Idaho

29 days ago, former Berkeley High player Henry Cornelious tweeted: "After talking with family n coaches, I will be playing at the University of Idaho for the next 4 yrs."

He isn't appearing on the official roster as yet but Idaho athletics is infamous for taking its time with any announcements.

Don't say we never cover basketball couture

"Givenchy‘s graphic-heavy T-shirt program continues unabated with the release of this basketball-printed cotton tee.,,"

Access to a store and $895 will make it your own.

The JUCO Fall Showcase pairings for Friday

Chabot Men's Basketball has posted the schedule for Friday's JUCO Fall Showcase matchups.

The Tigers want Ratinho

A Nor Cal Preps tweet: "2016 De La Salle W Jordan Ratinho has been offered by Pacific. The 6-foot-4 prospect made great strides this spring/summer."

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Meet Jared Ponce

Jared Ponce of UC Santa Cruz is one of triplets on the Banana Slugs (there's also Matthew and Tyler) so it's seems pre-ordained that the leading scorer on the team also be the top three-point distance shotmaker.

Averaging 12.3 points per contest, the 6-foot-2 junior buried just under two treys a night last season. In the coolness of January and February, Ponce went en fuego in a series of games that had him averaging 18.3 points a contest, including 29 against Pomona-Pitzer and 24 versus Occidental. He also totaled 19 points matched up with the Keelhaulers of Cal Maritime, always a tough defensive opponent.

So how did Ponce make it to the most beautiful campus on the west coast?

Back at Ayala High in Chino Hills (San Bernardino County), Ponce was a four-year starter and a two-year captain. He was also aces in the classroom, earning the Male Scholar Athlete award at Ayala as well as the Top Scholar Athlete in the San Gabriel Valley.

With interest from some members of the SCIAC (Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference), schools with a strong academic emphasis, Ponce visited UC Santa Cruz and that cemented his choice.

"I fell in love with the beach and the environment plus it was far enough away but not too far."

On their own, his brothers also selected to attend and play basketball at UCSC. "Each of us made an individual choice but being together pushes us to get better."

His selections of best basketball moments are "as a [high school] senior playing together with my brothers on the court" and "my first college basketball game because most kids don't move on and play."

Over the summer, the sociology major "hit the weightroom and put on the pounds" and he's looking forward to the fast approaching season as third-year Coach Ron DuBois has added 11 new players to the roster.

Now an upperclassmen, he worked at Open Gym Premier (whose vision is to be the hub of Orange County basketball) this past summer in training and coaching and "they are interested in me a lot." But he's hoping to remain in Santa Cruz with the goal of "giving back to kids."

But first comes two more seasons of hopefully lighting up the scoreboard at the Kaiser Permanente Arena in downtown Santa Cruz.

Patrick Springer not coaching this season

Dave Rogahn caught this: "MSJC basketball coach steps down." LINK

Prolific Prep frontcourter getting Harvard interest

Corey Evans wrote: "16 Prolific Prep (CA) big Algevon Eichelberger has \picked up interest from Harvard & has been invited to their midnight madness."

Romar eyeing two at Sac High

Via Josh Gershon: "#UW's Lorenzo Romar will watch 2016 Sac HS SG Christian Terrell (http://foxs.pt/ZdsPNF) & PF Solomon Young (http://foxs.pt/Y43i89) today."

Just thinking: will how successful Darin Johnson becomes in Seattle be a positive/negative or not a factor for Terrell?

Rabb and Brown selected

From "Fifty-Three Players Set To Participate In 2014 USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team October 4-5 Mini-Camp" comes the news that Ivan Rabb is one of the selections with Woodcreek High freshman big Jordan Brown the other.

Jerry Brown's first diary post

On Facebook, San Francisco Bay Area Pro-Am has picked up on the initial diary installment of Jerry Brown, who played at Santa Clara and Fresno State and, prior to college, Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep. He's playing professionally in France.

A few prep transfers

Ronnie Flores/CalHiSports has compiled a SoCal-centriclist of high school basketball transfers within the Golden State. It includes a trio of northern California-connected players:

* Leandro Amador, 6-8 PF, Modesto Christian to (Cathedral) Los Angeles

* Kyle Leufroy, 6-1 PG, St. Francis (La Canada) to Prolific Prep (Napa)

* Carlos Johnson, 6-4 PF, Shadow Mountain (Phoenix, Ariz.) to El Cerrito

Saddleback big drawing Nor Cal interest

Per Brad Winton: "Portland was in today to see Connor Clifford (7'0/C/2015) of Saddleback. Northridge, San Fran, Portland, St Mary's, Pacific + more involved."

Clifford redshirted as a sophomore at UC Irvine and then transferred after playing as a freshman. He is 7-foot, 260 pounds but he was situated behind a 7-foot-6 starter and a backup measuring 7-foot-2. The 7-foot-6 and 7-foot-2 bigs remain plus there are also three 6-foot-10 players on the current Anteater roster, including Mike (Terra Linda High) Best and Jonathan (Salesian High) Galloway.

Brown to camp with the Lakers

Jabari Brown is going to camp with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Nor Cal-ers playing abroad

The Basketballworm site offers a solid listing of U.S. basketball players plying their trade abroad, including:

* Stephen Holt, St. Mary's: GERMANY (MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg)

Amir Carraway, Chico St-NCAA II: GERMANY (SC Rasta Vechta)

Xavier Thames, San Diego St: SPAIN (Cajasol Sevilla)

Beau Levesque, Saint Mary's: SPAIN (UFA Oviedo)

Spencer Butterfield, Utah State: Spain (Club Melilla)

Tim Thomas, Pacific: SPAIN (Agustinos Eras Leo)

Jerry Brown, Santa Clara: FRANCE (Gries Oberhoffen)

Nate Garth, UCSB: ICELAND (Breidablik)

Davion Berry, Weber St: ITALY (PMS Torino)

Sean Park, CSU Chico-NCAA II: UK (Worcester Wolves)

Matt Hodgson, St. Mary's: AUSTRALIA (Frankston Blues)

Ryan Sypkens, UC Davis:  COLOMBIA (Aguilas de Tunja)

Three new assistants at CSUEB

Steve Connolly writes that Cal State East Bay Coach Gus Argenal has added three assistants, all with northern California connections, to his Pioneer coaching staff.

Roy Williams - get thee to Oakland

North Carolina needs to do a home visit and then Ivan Rabb will make his choices for visits.

Rabedeaux was an Aggie backcourter

Didn't know the late Jason Rabedeaux starred as a guard for UC Davis.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Wilt - the best ever athlete

If we put aside our biases then it's not that hard to agree that Wilt Chamberlain is the greatest athlete of all time. Here he is as a 17-year-old:

American River College Jamboree

American River College and Coach Mark Giorgi are hosting the ARC Jamboree on September 27 and 28. Play on Saturday begins at 9:00 a.m. while Sunday ball commences at 10:00 a.m.

The teams involved:

* American River College
* College of the Sequoias
* Columbia College
* Contra Costa College
* Foothill College
* Las Positas College
* Los Medanos College
* Mendocino College
* Napa Valley College
* Sacramento City College
* Shasta College
* Solano College
* West Hills College

Team Select Fall Classic

White Large

Proudly Presents:

2nd Annual "FALL CLASSIC " YouthBasketball Tournament
This event will be highly diverse; as we already have commitments from teams from all 4 major regions of Northern California (Bay Area/Sacramento/TheValley/ San Jose).

Organizations Already Committed:
Team Select / SF Rebels / Vision / BA Mambas / Team Elite / Ripon Warriors / Crusaders / CenCal Swoosh / Sac SAL / Vipers / Jam Squad / Rucker Rec / Next Level / IHM / Port City / etc.

We will also have a 5th grade girls bracket.

Saturday & Sunday / September 27-28 2014
Certified EMT on site

NB Courts / 6474 Patterson Pass Road (Ste E) / Livermore CA 94550

Format (3 game minimum):
Pool Play / Round Robin (Depending on number of teams per bracket)

Age Groups: (Boys 8u-17u) (Girls 5th Grade)
Age groups will be based on the new school year

8u-14u (1st place medals)
15u-17u (write-up sent to multiple media outlets)

$225 per team (multiple team discounts / 3 or more teams)

Online Registration:

No more mail in registration

Ruben Garcia / 925) 367-3912/ rwgarcia_rwgarcia@yahoo.com
Team Select Basketball

The October 4 Modesto Junior College Elite Combine

Below are the details for the October 4 Modesto Junior College Elite Combine:

*Develop Your Skills and Expand Your Game

*See where you stack up against Nor Cal’s Best

*Vertical Testing

*Wing Span Testing

*Speed Testing

* Grades 6th-8th will be from 8:30 am-10:30 am                  
* Grades 9th-12th will be from 10:30 am-1:00 pm

 * Cost is only $25 Prior to September 24th.

 * After September 24th the price will be $35.

 Register online here.

 Questions or concerns contact:

Jordan Jones
Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach

The new academic requirements

From Coach Alvin Brooks III: "If the new rules were in place, 43.1% of Men's Bball players who enrolled in 2009-10 wouldn't have met…instagram.com/p/tP20vgG3hC/"

The high numbers are obviously inflated because there was a different academic requirement to meet back then but it still sounds ominous. It will be fascinating to witness how the higher qualifications play out.

Wanting it

Clint Parks tweeted: "As a coach/mentor you can never want it for the kid more then he wants it that's one of the hardest things to accept for me."

Amen. As fans, too many of us see a player and think 'if he only added this or that to his game and got better' -- thinking the needed improvement (and therefore a scholarship) was in reach while simultaneously having no idea if the kid has any motivation in working harder. It must kill coaches who witness this lack of drive up close and personal.

Lillard's game analyzed

Jared Wright breaks down Damian Lillard's game, both looking backwards and projecting the future.

Spartans offer a Mizzou prep guard

Via Verbal Commits: "2016 Christian Brothers (MO) G Christian Willis has received an offer from San Jose State."

He's 6-foot-2, 190 pounds and his team won the Division 5 state championship last March, with Willis totaling 13 points.

Indiana State and Belmont are currently showing interest.

Chris Cobb interviewed

The Missoulian offers a Q-and-A with Montana Assistant Coach Chris Cobb, formerly of Chico State.

Another member of the Chabot roster revealed

Chabot Men's Basketball continues its roster rollout with sophomore Noel Briones out of Mt. Eden High.

Monday, September 22, 2014

The 2014-15 Merritt College Thunderbirds

Merritt College Coach Keenan McMiller, assisted by Jamaal Cannon, Maurice Compton and Jason Gant, is ready to roll out this season's Thunderbirds. "We will have a bigger inside presence than last year, the IQ and willingness to be coached is there and it's going to be hard to score on us," McMiller offered. "I want to defensively take teams out of what they do."

He added, "These guys aren't compartmentalized to doing just one thing -- they can shoot, defend, rebound and pass. The skill level is the best I've had here, the passing is the best ever and our guard quickness is the best. Our goal is to build a better foundation each day."

The Merritt roster:

(commentary provided by Coach McMiller)

* Denzel Bellot, sophomore, 6-foot-2, McClymonds High, Oakland, CA

("a tough and coachable DI combo guard and one of the team leaders, he is a quality shooter who can finish with contact and he rebounds and passes well  -- Denzel also has a mid-range game and makes clutch threes and he'll guard top players") 

* Jovante Carleton, freshman, 6-foot-4, El Cerrito High, San Pablo, CA

( "a swing guy with good size, he is very coachable and is willing to defend the best guy on the court. is improving as a shooter")

* Jamelle Corbino, sophomore, 6-foot-4, Castlemont High, Oakland, CA

("a tough, undersized four who can shoot it and he rebounds like a madman -- Jamelle is smart, a great kid, a solid student and he'll be the perfect NAIA guy")

* Dejante Kennedy, freshman, 6-foot-4, Pittsburg High, Pittsburg, CA

("extremely talented, he can play multiple positions and is a tremendous defender and passer -- nagging injuries have prevented him from getting up to speed in conditioning and confidence but he is developing his mid-range and three-point range")

* Travon King, sophomore, 6-foot-6, Teaneck High, Brooklyn, NY

("he is going to score posting up and in the open court, Travon is at the DI level athletically with his explosiveness and power"

* Dannon Lemon, freshman, 6-foot-7, McClymonds High, Oakland, CA

("a tough defender and rebounder with an intimidating presence, he has a good motor, knows how to play and is always around the ball")

* Mike McAllister, freshman, 6-foot, Oswego East High, Chicago, IL

("the brother of Ryan Boatright, the starting point at Connecticut, Mie's tough, cat quick and can defend plus he's a solid outside shooter)

* Rodney Pope, freshman, 6-foot, Freedom High, Oakley, CA

("has a great feel for the game and is learning how to be a high-level point guard, he really shoots well and can get to the rim")

* Oliver Roger, freshman, 6-foot-6, Kinshasa High, Paris, France

("a former soccer player who is very raw but he's tough and will rebound, he was raised in Paris and has family in the Congo")

* Leo Smith, sophomore, 5-foot-9, Oakland Tech High, Oakland, CA

(" Leo's definitely a DI guy as a scoring point, he'll have to shoot at a higher percentage level but he does other things that effect the game like creating help so his teammates can get some wide open threes -- he's just a hungry kid who  brings intensity, a high IQ and a work ethic and he's someone who can defend bigger guys")

* Anthony Tabor, sophomore, 6-foot-3, Antioch High, Antioch, CA

("another glue guy who can play the two, three and four, he accepts his role but is very competitive, he's working on improving his skill level")

* Mike Turner, sophomore, 5-foot-9, Hercules High, Compton, CA

("he provides high energy and is an intense defender and competitor")

* Deshawn Verdell, freshman, 6-foot-9, South Gwinnet High, Atlanta, GA

("a developmental guy who needs to better his skills and athleticism but he runs well and can block shots -- he'll continue to get better as his skill and strength and athleticism improves, DeShawn has a solid motor and a high ceiling.")

LPC Assistant Cheo White on the Hawks this coming season

Former Newark Memorial High and San Jose State University guard Cheo White is a first-year assistant coach at Las Positas College under Coach Lon Rork, He reports:

"We are improving at Las Positas College and will be participating in the JC showcase at American River College in Sacramento September 27-28. The Las Positas players to watch include 6-foot-3 wing frosh McKayle Harnell, 6-foot-1 sophomore guard Rashad Brackeen and 6-3 freshman guard Marti Fonolla from Spain. Fonolla could be a potential mid-major DI recruit.

We also have another new assistant coach on second-year coach Lon Rork's staff in Marty Levinson. Levinson was a former head coach at one of the top national JCs in Nebraska last year, Central Community College [he also has coached at Pacific, West Valley College and San Jose City College]. We have also added 6-foot-8 sophomore forward Lyle Hexom from Northeast CC in Nebraska. Hexom is a mid-major recruit hearing from schools such as the University of Houston and Nevada. He will redshirt this year for academic reasons and I project that he will be the top JC player in northern California next season. He has the skill set of a wing, shoots NBA range three, and is athletic enough for high major DI ball." 

The Gaels have offered Austin

SCOUT also lists Bishop O'Dowd's Paris Austin with an offer from St. Mary's.

Smith at a JC in Pennsylvania

On August 23, former Freedom High talent Elliott Smith signed a letter-of-intent with Harcum College which is located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. This instead of Florida International University, at least for this season.

Harcum won 32 games last season and advanced to the NJCAA Final Four in Hutchinson, Kansas.

Life after basketball

Austin Swift (on the left) is on the new things after playing on a Santa Cruz High team that won a state championship, then going off to take to the court at Montana before coming back to the Golden State and becoming a member of the Cal Poly Pomona squad that won a national championship. In that March 2010 national tournament, Swift was named the most valuable player. The young man leads success.

This is pretty remarkable -- Sac State basketball aces in the classroom

Late in catching this:

"The Sacramento State men's basketball program posted its highest grade point average in school history during the 2014 spring semester, finishing with a cumulative mark of 3.092.

Of the 14 players on Sacramento State's roster during the 2013-14 season, nine finished with a spring term grade point average above a 3.0.

In addition, the men's basketball program's 3.092 gpa was the fifth best mark among all of Sacramento State's intercollegiate programs, and was the top mark among the men's sports.

For the entire 2013-14 academic year, the team finished with a 3.043 gpa (after posting a 2.986 in the fall), and now as an overall mark of 2.887.

Under the guidance of head coach Brian Katz, the program has seen a steady rise in the team's grade point average. In fact, the team had just a 2.241 gpa during the 2010 fall semester, and that mark has been on the rise ever since.

Moreover, Katz's players graduate at a high rate. Academically, of the 18 Hornets that have expired their eligibility under Katz, 16 have graduated..."

Brandon Ashley skill analysis

Derek Bodner/Draft Express on Brandon Ashley, one of the more intriguing prospects for the 2015 NBA draft even as a junior:

"Brandon Ashley came into Arizona ranked by recruiting services as the 15th best prospect in his high school, something he hasn't been able to quite live up to.

To this point, Ashley has been a key contributor on two very good, and very deep, Arizona teams that have gone a combined 60-13. The 6'8" power forward did see a bigger role last season, as his playing time increased to 27.7 minutes per game, up from 20.5 his freshman season. His offensive output increased as well, as he scored 17.1 points per 40 minutes pace adjusted, an increase from the 14.3 he scored the previous season, while maintaining a high level of efficiency, with a 59.4% true shooting percentage.

Still, Ashley's overall contributions might be considered disappointing to some, as he hasn't been quite as productive much as his talent level would indicate. Whether that was because of Arizona's depth, the passive nature that Ashley displayed at times, or the necessity for further refinement in his skill level, it will be interesting to see how Ashley responds to the changing dynamics of an Arizona team that lost major contributors in Nick Johnson and Aaron Gordon to the NBA draft.

As we noted in previous write-ups, a very big part of Ashley's game is based on on his perimeter jump shot, at times too much of his game, perhaps. That is still the case, as jump shots made up an even bigger portion of Ashley's half-court shot distribution, up to 32.1% of his half-court attempts, an increase from 27.9% during his freshman season, according to Synergy Sports Technology. On the positive side, Ashley was far more consistent and effective shooting the ball from the perimeter last year than he had previously been. Ashley made progress extending his range out to the collegiate three point line, seeing his attempts increase from only 3 total during his freshman season to 29 attempts (in 22 games) last season, connecting on an encouraging 37.9% of those. Beyond that, his mid-range game was automatic last year, connecting on an incredible 63.2% of those attempts, generating 1.263 points per possession in those situations, which would be in the top percentile of college basketball..."

LINK to the remainder.

Blue Collar Preps showcase event in Sacramento

Earl Allen and Fred Wilson, basketball stalwarts up Sacramento way, are putting on a showcase event September 27.

"There is an invite list we are still accepting players for the event. If you know someone that should be on that list or you are a player not on the list and would like to attend, phone 916-718-9989 or email:

Earl Allen earlallen@bluecollarpreps.com
Fred Wilson fredwilson@bluecollarpreps.com

NCAA D2/NAIA/JUCO coaches will be in attendance. This will be wonderful opportunity to showcase your skill level in front of college coaches from all over the region. Blue Collar Preps will also send scouting reports from the event to all colleges in attendance of the combine. Schools confirming to the event include Chico State, Dominican, Simpson College, Notre Dame de Namur, William Jessup and Fresno Pacific and more.

The details: Saturday, Sept 27 - Class of 2015 & 2016 - $30.00
Register: Blue Collar Preps

11:00 a.m. -  noon Registration & Check In
Noon - 2:00 p.m. Drills & Evaluation Begins
Address: 2315 34th St – Sacramento, CA 95817
Phone: 916-718-9989
Email: Earl Allen earlallen@bluecollarpreps.com
Fred Wilson fredwilson@bluecollarpreps.com"