Monday, March 31, 2014

Contra Costa College's new backcourt

Thanks to Merritt College Coach Keenan McMiller, the word is that 6-foot-2 ex-Vallejo High and UC Riverside backcourter Tajai Johnson is at Contra Costa College and will be playing next season.

With Larry (Vallejo High) Wickett back plus Bobby (El Cerrito High/Diablo Valley College) Syvanthong returning to the court along with Dawson (Castro Valley High/DeAnza College) Johnson, CCC Coach Miguel Johnson has a loaded Comet backcourt.

Cam Oliver tripping to OSU

From the Compton Magic: "6-8!Cameron Oliver takes official visit to Oregon State. one of the top unsigned SR's in America"

Sure seems like a coaching change is inevitable up in Corvallis, likely after next season, so will that be a factor in Oliver's decision?.

Jabari Brown's father is ill

Our best wishes go out to David Brown, Jabari's father. Does Jabari declare for the NBA this year?

Monty is retiring

From Jeff Goodman: "Cal coach Mike Montgomery is retiring, sources told ESPN"

Got your new coach right here: Eric Musselman

A Michael Lizarraga update

Michael Lizarraga spent the 2013-14 season with Soles de Mexicali of the LNBP, Mexico's top league, in a reserve role. He averaged 8.2 minutes of play and 2.7 points per game.

Lizzarraga is deaf, having graduated from the Fremont-based California School For the Deaf and then Cal State Northridge. In his senior season, he averaged 5.9 points and 4.2 rebounds per game, shooting 52% overall for the Matadors.

Stopping Stanley Johnson

Hey, if you're reading this expecting some secret way to slow down Mater Dei's Stanley Johnson, have I got a bridge for you.

There is no way short of sending something like three guys at him -- call it the triangle defense --if slowing down Johnson is the desire. But Coach Lou Ritchie didn't have that option at his disposal because of some other good shooters on the Orange County squad plus 6-foot-9 Michael Cage Jr. in the paint.

What further complicated matters is Richie had no one on his roster who could come anywhere close to physically approaching Johnson's combination pf size, quickness and mobility as the 6-foot-7 star would simply speed past his defender when pressed in the backcourt or on the outside with the ball.

Granted, Ivan Rabb could match up but what a hole that would have put in BOD's defense and all of a sudden asking Rabb to play outside his comfort zone is simply a non-starter.

Following the dream off a cliff

The dream blinds so many, including adults.

Championship Culture: Have A Vision

Coach Bob Walsh is back -- his latest: "Championship Culture: Have A Vision."

It begins:
Building a championship culture starts with a long-term vision. When you take over a program you should have an idea of who you want to be. What is your program going to be about? What do you want people to think about when they see your team play? Great programs that achieve consistent success have an identity, and you want to start with an identity for your program. When you think of North Carolina you think of a high-powered fast break attack. Michigan State and you think of toughness and physical play. Louisville and you think of relentless defensive pressure. The first question you should ask about your program is what do you want the identity of your team to be?

Analytics

In "The Graduate," the Dustin Hoffman character is offered advice on where to direct his future:
Mr. McGuire: I just want to say one word to you. Just one word.
Benjamin: Yes, sir.
Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?
Benjamin: Yes, I am.
Mr. McGuire: Plastics.
Today, it's analytics, even in basketball.

Head here.

The future of Mike Montgomery

So is Mike Montgomery going to retire?

If so, he moves in? An assistant from elsewhere or another head coach? This will be interesting but remains an IF.

Lee comes on to aid Kentucky victory

Kentucky got past Michigan 75-72 yesterday with the assistance from an unlikely source: former Deer Valley big Marcus Lee. The freshman totaled a remarkable 10 points, eight boards (seven offensively) and two blocked shots in 15 minutes of play.

It was an offensive showdown with the Bluegrass staters shooting 53% overall, 64% on 11 trey attempts. The Wolverines were at 47% and 39% (7-18) respectively.

The All-Northern Secontion selections

Joseph Shufelberger covers the All-Northern Section Basketball Team honorees, which includes:

FIRST TEAM

* Kaelan Crisosto, Enterprise High (also the MVP)

* Michael Shoemaker, Corning High

* Brett Cloney, Foothill High

* Mason Phillips, Shasta High

* Joseph Lynch, Liberty Christian High

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Stephens on MD's victory over BOD

Mitch Stephens focuses on the Mater Dei win over Bishop O'Dowd.

NCP on Saturday's championship matchups

Nor Cal Preps is all over the games of yesterday and also offers some talent evaluations..

Arizona falls

In a pairing that required overtime to decide the winner, Wisconsin edged Arizona 64-63 last night.  Coach Sean Miller's crew fell a game short of making it to the Final Four.

Aaron Gordon finished with 18 rebounds, eight points, two assists and a pair of blocked shots for the Wildcats. In seven minutes, Elliott Pitts totaled three points and two boards.

+++++

In watching this game, what came to mind is that most basketball fans would say that the Badgers are oh so well-coached by Bo Ryan what with few turnovers, four to five to six to seven passes even before looking for a shot, superb unselfishness, et al, including winning games.

Who could or would sincerely disagree?

But missing from that thought process is that Arizona is also well-coached and not simply a group of better athletes who out-run and out-jump opponents.

The Wildcats were well-versed in the strengths, weaknesses and tendencies of Wisconsin. But what works against against this notion is that some of the guys from Tucson can create offensively on their own, do so and also provide highlight tape moments. However, Miller's crew also ran plays and set up isolations to their benefit. Their selflessness was also quite visible.

Just remember that athletic ability can sometimes obscure portions of reality.

Now an argument can rightfully be made that Ryan, unlike some others in this profession -- like any trade -- gets the very last ounce of production inherent in his players who, as oxymoron-sounding as it seems, have a greater potency individually because the group plays so well together as a five-as-one collective. Sometimes that is enough, sometimes it isn't.

*** With all this talk about Wisconsin's pure  fundamentals, how would it play if 6-foot-1 Jordan Mayes' easy tip-in on the offensive boards -- where was the block out? --with 58 seconds left had somehow provided the difference?

+++++

In the comment, a question was posed about the chances of Arizona winning if Brandon Ashley was healthy and still on the court. We, of course, will never know but Ashley is much more mobile and could follow Frank Kaminsky outside much more effectively than Kaleb Tarczewski did but would also be a lesser defender inside. With Ashley available, Gordon and Tarczewski would not have played 39 and 32 minutes respectively but Rondae Hollis Jefferson (10 points, four rebounds, two blocked shots) also would not have been on the court for 31 minutes and thus his contribution lessened.

Two other items: T.J. McConnell shot 2-10 overall (plus two assists and the same number of TOs) and Nick Johnson 6-17. Not clutch.

Burbank's Coates make his call

From Sierra College Assistant Coach Brandon Cole: "Congratulations to my boy on his commitment to Southwest Tennessee. Hard work pays off!"

Southwest is a community college in Memphis.

Akognon in the zone

Here's Josh Akognon, of the Delaware NBA Developmental Team, making it look effortless:

UC Santa Cruz expanding athletics budget

Jim Seimas reports that Division III UCSC is providing $800k to Slug intercollegiate athletics.

The article begins (and do note the opening word):
Sluggish for decades to support its athletics department, UC Santa Cruz announced Friday that it will more than triple funding for its NCAA Division III intercollegiate sports programs for up to three years.

The plan, effective this spring, calls for an increase to coaching salaries, the addition of health benefits for coaches, improved team travel options and the addition of two new athletic trainers, giving the Slugs a total of four.

The news comes less than two months after a Sentinel report revealed long-running shortcomings within the department compared to other four-year schools at the D-III level across the nation. The majority of UCSC's coaches, some of the lowest paid in the U.S., receive between $10,000-20,000 a year with no benefits. Many work multiple jobs to make ends meet...
Click here for the remainder.

This should give Men's Basketball Coach Ron DuBois' program a boost.

Press for AG

Bill Oram writes about Scottie Griffin, er, Aaron Gordon.

Frayer with a Pac-12 offer

From Frank Knight: "Moreau Catholic's '16 W Oscar Frayer was officially offered by Cal Berkeley after state championship loss today."

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Mater Dei prevails

In the most anticipated matchup of the entire Friday/Saturday series, Mater Dei bested Bishop O'Dowd 61-51 tonight. Junior backcourter Paris Austin finished with 23 points for the Dragons. Ivan Rabb had 12 points and 16 rebounds but was jammed all night by multiple defenders who prevented clean entry passes much more often than not.

Stephanie Hammon game reports.

Eric Sondheimer game reports.

Folsom falls to St. John Bosco

It was a battle throughout -- 28-24 in favor of the northern California representatives at halftime -- but St. John Bosco prevailed over Folsom High tonight 63-54. Sophomore Jordan Ford led Folsom with 20 points.

Joe Davidson game reports.

Randall Benton has game photos.

Bishop Montgomery over MC

Bishop Montgomery was simply too much today, downing Moreau Catholic High 85-44 for the Division IV state championship. It was 36-19 at halftime.

Via Mitch Stephens, here's a great quote from straight-shooting Frank Knight: "Moreau coach Frank Knight, his team losing 53-28, had no other words in timeout: "Now it's just a matter of pride."

It certainly has to hurt but let's see what the MC freshman and sophomores take from this. Learning experience opportunities can be extremely valuable if used as such.

Phil Jensen game reports.

Pat O'Rourke game reports.

Steve Galluzo game reports.

Mitch Stephens' opening article covers the game.

Folsom versus St. John Bosco

Joe Davidson goes deep on the Folsom High - St. John Bosco matchup for today at 4:00 p.m.

Simmons leaving Washington

Percy Allen reports that Desmond Simmons is graduating this year from Washington and seeking to use his remaining year of eligibility playing elsewhere.

Wonderful Craig McMillan article from Bob Padecky

Bob Padecky shows why he shouldn't have retired -- his article on Santa Rosa Junior College Coach Craig McMillan is insightful, a brilliant piece on the human, not just the coach.

NCP titles games coverage

Nor Cal Preps provides coverage of the state championship games involving Monte Vista High, St. Joseph Notre Dame and Drake High.

Paris Davis' season highlights

Go here for video of Paris Davis' 2013-14 season highlights at Ohlone College.

A Chris Snyder update

Ponderosa High's Chris Snyder is currently on an official visit to Regis University, a Jesuit college located in Denver. The coach there, Lonnie Porter, holds the Colorado state record for most victories as a college basketball coach in Colorado history with 505 wins plus the basketball team owns  a 95 percent graduation rate among its players.

The two tallest players currently on the Regis roster stand 6-foot-7 and both are seniors so it appears there will be playing time available to be earned.

There is another northern California player on the roster as 6-foot-5 Kyle King, out of Cardinal Newman High, is a freshman on the squad.

Regis is a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.

A 6-foot-9 frontcourter, Snyder sports a 4.0 grade point average and is also soon to be heading out to St. Mary's of Texas (San Antonio) on another official recruiting visit.

Best Tweet of the Week

Mitch Stephens earns the honor: "Nick Jones looks like he recently attended the Frank Allocco school of foot stomping."

Remember Bill Cartwitght at Elk Grove?

Joe Davidson writes of the multiple effects Bill Cartwright had on state high school basketball, and beyond.

More on Chico State hoops

Travis Souders digs into the past in Chico State basketball but much more on the present and especially the future as the Wildcats' marvelous season has concluded.

How quickly we are to condemn

This whole situation is fascinating.

Read this first.

The read this.

The young man deserves a public apology.

Maybe this isn't news...

The 2014 adidas Grassroots teams includes the Oakland Rebels. Besides Las Vegas in late July, the Rebels will also participate in tournaments in Dallas, Indianapolis and Orlando. There will be an adidas Nations Global final event held in Los Angeles right after Vegas.

Dream Vision, out of Las Vegas, is also one of the teams involved and will have some northern California talents on its 2014 spring/summer roster.

Coach Bob Walsh on stepping up to challenges

Coach Bob Walsh writes about what he is looking for in a recruit, specifically one who welcomes a challenge.

Ferrari honored

Prep2Prep has selected Burlingame High's Frankie Ferrari as it's CCS Senior of the Year.

Rabb and Johnson next in line

Joe Davidson looks at Bishop O'Dowd's Ivan Rabb and Mater Dei's Stanley Johnson readying to join the pantheon of talents who went on from state title games to fame and fortune.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Monte Vista takes state

Monte Vista High came out en fuego, particularly Trevor John with cinco first quarter treys, and the end result was a 66-55 victory over Centennial and a state championship trophy.

Stephanie Hammon game reports.

Mitch Stephens game reports.

The MV team posing post game.

MV Coach Nick Jones with the championship trophy.

Division V St. Joseph Notre Dame does it again

St. Joseph Notre Dame Coach Don Lippi is going to have to remodel his house in order to create room for the paraphernalia from yet another state championship -- count this one as #5 -- as his guys put an end to Renaissance today 57-32. Temidayo Yussef had a double-double at halftime with 10 points and 11 rebounds. He finished with 21/16.

Phil Jensen game reports.

Erik Boal game reports.

Pat O'Rourke game reports.

Yussef and Lippi talked in the post-game press conference.

Anda Chu has game photos.

Drake falls in state championship game

Chaminade's quickness plus Michael Oguine's steady and creative scoring proved too much for Drake High and the Pirates fell earlier today 71-51. Jesse Hunt finished with 16 points plus 13 boards.

Ed Yevelev/The Marin Independent Journal game reports.

Erik Boal/The Daily News game reports.

Pirate fans were out in full force.

The Keelhaulers finish #17 nationally

From the California Pacific Conference:
Adding an exclamation point to a record-setting season, Cal Maritime men's basketball team finished the 2013-14 season ranked No. 17 in the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball Coaches' Postseason Top 25 Poll, the highest ranking any California Pacific Conference team has earned in the final poll.

The Keelhaulers, who finished the season with a school-best 27-6 record, were voted into the Top 25 the entire season, the loftiest ranking coming at the conclusion of the regular season when the coaches put CMA at No. 14.  No other Cal Pac men's team has reached the top twenty in the nation at the conclusion of the season.

Stephens makes the calls

Mitch Stephens looks at each boys basketball matchup, the top players, other pertinent items and predicts the winners. He has but one Nor Cal team winning.

Moreau Catholic emerges

Jimmy Durkin writes about Moreau Catholic's early arrival and even gets a tidbit in on Coach Frank Knight's playing days.

Also, from a Joe Davidson piece:
Moreau Catholic, the last team to beat Folsom this season, is in the Division IV boys final. Moreau coach Frank Knight had one of the most spirited efforts in state title-game history. Playing for Fremont against Mater Dei in the 1995 D-I final, Knight scored 31 points, including a 30-footer at the buzzer to send it into overtime. He scored 17 points in the fourth quarter to help Fremont erase a 15-point deficit, but Mater Dei won 71-67.

Knight went on to star at Saint Mary’s College, and he ran into Mater Dei’s McKnight several years ago, with McKnight telling him, “Man, I don’t want to see you again. Every time I see you, my heart beats extra fast.”

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/03/27/6275260/high-school-basketball-notes-24.html#storylink=cpy

BOD taking that big step

Dominic Drury writes about Bishop O'Dowd boys basketball getting back to state title level status.

Televison for the Friday and Saturday state prep championship games

From Darren Sabedra:

FRIDAY

COMCAST SPORTSNET BAY AREA
10 a.m. GIRLS DIVISION V CHAMPIONSHIP: La Jolla Country Day (20-11) vs. Pinewood (29-3)
Broadcast team: Play-by-Play: Steve Quis, Analyst: Mary Murphy & Sideline: Rosalyn Gold-Onwude

COMCAST SPORTSNET CALIFORNIA
12 p.m. BOYS DIVISION V CHAMPIONSHIP: Renaissance Academy (24-7) vs. St. Joseph Notre Dame (30-5)
Broadcast team: Play-by-Play: Steve Quis, Analyst: Jon Crispin & Sideline: Rosalyn Gold-Onwude

2 p.m. GIRLS DIVISION III CHAMPIONSHIP: Santa Barbara (30-5) vs. Modesto Christian (26-8)
Broadcast team: Play-by-Play: Steve Quis, Analyst: Mary Murphy & Sideline: Rosalyn Gold-Onwude

4 p.m. BOYS DIVISION III CHAMPIONSHIP: Sir Francis Drake (25-7) vs. Chaminade (26-0)
Broadcast team: Play-by-Play: Barry Tompkins, Analyst: Jon Crispin & Sideline: Kelli Tennant

COMCAST SPORTSNET PLUS
6 p.m. GIRLS DIVISION I CHAMPIONSHIP: Canyon Springs (24-6) vs. Pleasant Grove (24-9)
Broadcast team: Play-by-Play: Barry Tompkins, Analyst: Mary Murphy & Sideline: Kelli Tennant

8 p.m. BOYS DIVISION I CHAMPIONSHIP: Centennial (29-3) vs. Monte Vista (31-1)
Broadcast team: Play-by-Play: Barry Tompkins, Analyst: Jon Crispin & Sideline: Kelli Tennant

NOTE: The Oakland A’s-San Francisco Giants game will air on Comcast SportsNet California and the Girls and Boys Division I Championships will air live on Comcast SportsNet Plus.

SATURDAY

COMCAST SPORTSNET BAY AREA
10 a.m. GIRLS DIVISION IV CHAMPIONSHIP: Sierra Canyon (26-4) vs. Justin-Siena (29-6)
Broadcast team: Play-by-Play: Steve Quis, Analyst: Mary Murphy & Sideline: Rosalyn Gold-Onwude

COMCAST SPORTSNET PLUS
12 p.m. BOYS DIVISION IV CHAMPIONSHIP: Bishop Montgomery (27-6) vs. Moreau Catholic (27-6)
Broadcast team: Play-by-Play: Steve Quis, Analyst: Jon Crispin & Sideline: Rosalyn Gold-Onwude

2 p.m. GIRLS DIVISION II CHAMPIONSHIP: Chaminade (28-4) vs. Archbishop Mitty (20-11)
Broadcast team: Play-by-Play: Steve Quis, Analyst: Mary Murphy & Sideline: Rosalyn Gold-Onwude

NOTE: The San Jose Sharks-Colorado Avalanche game will air on Comcast SportsNet California; the San Jose SaberCats-Pittsburgh Power game will air on Comcast SportsNet Plus; and the Boys Division IV and Girls Division II Championships will air live on Comcast SportsNet Plus.

COMCAST SPORTSNET CALIFORNIA
4 p.m. BOYS DIVISION II CHAMPIONSHIP: St. John Bosco (22-4) vs. Folsom (32-2)
Broadcast team: Play-by-Play: Barry Tompkins, Analyst: Jon Crispin & Sideline: Kelli Tennant

COMCAST SPORTSNET BAY AREA
6 p.m. GIRLS OPEN DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP: Long Beach Poly (26-3) vs. Salesian (30-6)
Broadcast team: Play-by-Play: Barry Tompkins, Analyst: Mary Murphy & Sideline: Kelli Tennant

8 p.m. BOYS OPEN DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP: Bishop O’Dowd (28-4) vs. Mater Dei (34-0)
Broadcast team: Play-by-Play: Barry Tompkins, Analyst: Drew Schiller & Sideline: Kelli Tennant

McConnell with the Wolverines

Yes, he didn't play much this season but people are forgetting that Cole McConnell, out of Sacred Heart Prep, is a member of the Michigan basketball team that won the Big Ten championship and is working its way through the Big Dance, playing Tennessee tonight. He's a 6-foot-5 freshman.

2013-2014 HS Season In Review.-- FCP Fall Showcase and All- Frosh/ Soph Camp

Below is a 36 minute video titled Hoops Factory TV Presents Full Court Press Fall Events.



The description:

This is our new series 2013-2014 HS Season In Review.

FCP Fall Showcase and All-Frosh/Soph Camp

Hoops Factory TV was granted unfettered access to The Full Court Press Fall Showcase and All Frosh/Soph camp in September and October of last year.

The Fall Showcase was held on a sweltering day in Bellflower, CA at St. John Bosco High School and featured of some of the best basketball talent in the state in all classes including Rex Pflueger, Sedrick Barefield, Michael Cage Jr., Kendall Small and consensus top 5 player Stanley Johnson.

The All Frosh/Soph camp was a two-day affair hosted at Cerritos College in Norwalk, CA and included a bevy of young talent including the state's top rated player in the class of 2016, Lonzo Ball. The All Frosh/Soph camp also featured the sons of two former NBA players, Julian Payton and Charles O'Bannon Jr.

Both events were attended by a slew of media including Frank Burlison, Ron Flores, Gerry Frietas, Joel Francisco and the All Frosh/Soph camp was Co-Directed by Compton Magic Founder Etop Udo-Ema.

Hoops Factory was able to procure exclusive interviews with some of the events top prospects including the overall #1 player in California, Stanley Johnson. The episode also includes interviews with two class of 2015 players, in ESPNU's top 15, Rex Pflueger and Sedrick Barefield who discuss their goals for the upcoming year and goals for the future.

At the All Frosh/Soph Camp, we caught up with Class of 2016 standout Lonzo Ball and National Champion with the 1995 UCLA Bruins, Charles O'Bannon, who discussed the state of college athletics today and his viewpoint on paying college athletes. Compton Magic's Etop Udo-Ema educated viewers on the roots of one of the top AAU programs in the nation, highlighted the truckload of talent that has come through his pipeline and was excelling at the Division 1 level.

Cal-Hi/Student Sports' Ron Flores rounds out the episode discussing everything from the current state of grassroots basketball. Event coordinator and FCP and Pangos founder Dinos Trigonis provides a truly insightful and one of a kind perspective on topics ranging from his own success to the overall state of the grassroots industry.

Stay tuned as HFTV releases content on "2013-2014 HS Season In Review"

Hutchings honored by P2P

The Prep2Prep CCS Junior of the Year is Kiree Hutchings of Santa Cruz High.

Chris Evans named PoY

George Watkins details the Salinas Californian 2014 All County Team, with Seaside High's Chris Evans named Player of the Year.

The others honored:

* Aaron Borum - Alvarez
* Jordan Graves - North Monterey County
* Chrystian Harrigan - Gonzales
* Hugo Huerta - Alisal
* Luke Lowell - Pacific Grove
* Peter Lucas - Palma
* Jesus Salinas - Alisal
* Austin Shake - Monterey
* Ronnie Turner - Seaside

Palma High's Paul Alioto was named Coach of the Year.

Tajai Johnson?

Anyone know what Tajai Johnson is up to nowadays? After Vallejo High, he played his freshman season at UC Riverside in 2012-13 but then departed.

It looked like he was set to attend Clark College, a member of the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges in Vancouver, Washington but he doesn't appear on the 2013-14 Clark men's basketball roster.

The six best ever California prep basketball players

In a MaxPreps piece, Joe Davidson names his top six California high school basketball players of all time. Northern California gets two of his choices, plus you'll see a Norman Rockwell-like photo of Bill Walton (which is worth the clicking on the link all by itself).

Drake cersus Chaminade today

Derek Arild go back into Drake basketball history to set up today's showdown with Chaminade for the Division III state championship. A great Marina Little photo accompanies the feature.

Ed Yevelev offers more.

BayPreps on BOD versus MC

Bay Preps' Pat O'Rourke previews the Open Division matchup featuring Bishop O'Dowd and Mater Dei and includes audio interviews with Coach Lou Richie and also Coach Gary McKnight.

BayPreps on Moreau versus Montgomery

Bay Preps' Pat O'Rourke previews the Moreau Catholic High - Bishop Montgomery pairing, with an audio interview featuring MCH Coach Frank Knight.

Williams goes with the Gators

San Francisco State Coach Paul Trevor has landed Ryne Williams, a 6-foot-10, 220 pound player out of West Ranch High, which is in Valencia in southern California.

One of his tweets: "Can't wait to become a Gator, and live in SF/the Bay Area"

Caught this description:
Ryne Williams, 2014 C, West Ranch: Williams is a 6’10” post player who, according to onlookers, has come a long way over the past few years. The baby-faced player has some decent post moves, but thrives in the mid-range where he knocks down shot after shot. On defense, he doesn’t block a ton of shots, but alters many shots just because of his size. The obvious area that needs to improve with Williams is his strength and conditioning, as he struggles to make it up the floor for long stretches and struggles against stronger post players with lower centers of gravity. At this stage, Williams is a project, but one with a lot of upside. A college willing to redshirt him a year and bring him along slowly may see good returns by year 3 and 4. 

The life of an NCAA referee

Here's an informative look at Deldre Carr, an NCAA official, regarding his background, entry into refereeing, his workouts, etc.

That was some game!

It was a matchup that really could have gone either way but Arizona seized the opportunity last night and defeated San Diego State 70-64. The Aztecs led 32-28 after the first 20 minutes.

Aaron Gordon was efficient with 15 points (7-9 shooting), six rebounds, two assists and a pair of blocked shots. Oh yes, there was that alley-oop dunk, too. Elliott Pitts got in for four minutes and finished with three points.

Xavier Thames led all scorers with 25 points, this despite being the focal point of the Wildcat defensive efforts all night.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The best in-game coach, and more via Ken Pomeroy

Remember when Steve Fisher was at Michigan and had the 'rep' of just rolling the ball out there and letting his Fab Five do their thing? Read Ken Pomeroy's "Who's the best in-game coach?"

Loved this element which is flat out reality: "...It’s certainly conceivable that a guy who goes 10-20 in the Sun Belt is a great end-game coach but just doesn’t have the players to execute his brilliant strategy or even get the team in position to be in a close game very often..."

Previewing MV versus Centennial

Bay Preps' Pat O'Rourke serves up a Monte Vista High - Centennial High championship game preview, along with an audio interview of MV Coach Nick Jones.

Witzel returning to Humboldt

Danny Penza reports on Diablo Valley College frontcourter Tom Witzel coming back to the Humboldt State basketball program, Thomas Wolfe be damned.

Verduin being lauded for his play

Ed Yevelev highlights the contributions of Drake High's Jasper Verduin, who elevated the Pirates past Archbishop Riordan last Saturday.

St. Joseph Notre Dame - Renaissance Academy

Bay Preps' Pat O'Rourke previews the Division V St. Joseph Notre Dame - Renaissance Academy championship game pairing, including audio interviews with the two coaches.

Drake versus Chaminade

BayPreps' Pat O'Rourke previews the Chaminade - Drake Division III championship matchup, including audio interviews from the two coaches.

MC's Knight, Frayer and Milstead interviewed

Jimmy Durkin offers video interviews with Moreau Catholic High Coach Frank Knight, plus Oscar Frayer and Damario Milstead also get some camera time.

Devenney on Senior Night

Here's Lucas (Piner High) Devenny, surrounded by his parents and UC Riverside Coach Dennis Cutts on Senior Night:




Bobbitt honored

Roderick Bobbitt has been selected as a Second Team member of the All-Region 11 basketball team. Congrats to him.

Hooper departing St. John's

Per Raphielle Johnson, St. John's guard Max Hooper, who played at Valley Christian High, is leaving St. John's.

Here's the tweet referenced in Johnson's article:
Brewster alum has requested & received his release from St. John's. However, he is GRADUATING in May- 2 yrs eligibility left.
Talk about academic achievements as he is listed as a sophomore on the Red Storm roster. He played one year at Harvard and then redshirted last season.

Lemons & Longrus honored

Congratulations go out to the following northern California-connected  student-athletes for their academic achievements:
PAC-12 ALL-ACADEMIC - MEN’S BASKETBALL

First Team Yr. GPA Major

Robbie Lemons, Stanford Sr. 3.65 Economics


Second Team Yr. GPA Major

Junior Longrus, WSU, So. 3.22 Undeclared

Coates checking out a Volunteer State JC

Nifae Leolao Jr. tweeted: "Everyone wish Safe Travels as he flies off to Memphis today to visit Southwest Tennessee 🏀✈️! We are Proud of You!"

Coates is a 5-foot-6 point out of Burbank High.

Below is apparently what greeted him at his hotel room:

BYU Hawaii shutting down athletics

Per Aaron Morton/Brandon Judd, BYU-Hawaii is exiting competitive collegiate athletics in three years time. There are no northern California-connected basketball players currently on the roster of the Seasiders who are member of the Pacific West Conference.

Chico State's best season comes to a close

Chico State earned a spot into the Elite 8 of DII but fell tonight 85-70 to South Carolina-Aiken. It was 38-33 at half time. Junior Jordan Semple posted a 22 point, 15 rebound double-double for the Wildcats.

Travis Souders live-tweeted the game.

Souders game reports (a shout out goes to the ChicoER for sending him to Indiana to cover the game).

Bird does it again but Cal falls

California fell 67-65 to SMU in Dallas last night in an NIT matchup despite getting 20 points from freshman Jabari Bird. He shot 8-13 overall, 3-6 from beyond the arc. Bird totaled 19 in the previous game versus Arkansas so it's looking like he found his offensive groove -- let's see how it carries over to next season.

Pacific is rolling

In a CIT quarterfinal pairing, host Pacific handled San Diego 75-60 Wednesday night with Tiger senior frontcourter Tony Gill posting an 18 point, 11 rebound double-double. The next game is April 1.

Fresno wins 71-64

Fresno State bested visiting Old Dominion 71-64 last evening to reach the championship round of the CIT. Bulldog senior guard Tyler Johnson finished with a 13 point, seven board, two assists, two steal line for the night.

It's Sienna on Monday night down in the San Joaquin.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Stephen Domingo update of sorts

Heard on this Jim Basnight podcast (two of the people participating in it, who seem well-connected, offered the information) that Stephen Domingo has extended feelers about transferring to Washington.

The 6-foot-6 Domingo played three years at St. Ignatius before abruptly heading to Georgetown. As a sophomore this season, he participated in 19 of a possible 33 games, playing 85 minutes total. 

SJND - Central Catholic game photos

Roger Chen/Prep2Prep serves up 20 game photos from the St. Joseph Notre Dame victory over Central Catholic High.

Chico State's Elite 8 game tonight

Here's a plethora of photos featuring Chico State basketball back in Evansville, Indiana prior to tonight's Elite Eight tournament game. Travis Reid has more, including details on how to access game coverage. Travis Souders of the ChicoER is on site and will live-tweet the contest.

Doug Benton at Bay Preps on the championship games

On Bay Preps, Doug Benton audio previews the outcomes of Friday's and Satuday's matchups.

Cal State Stanislaus wanting more

Brian VanderBeek details how Cal State Stanislaus wants to use this season's success as a springboard.

CalHiSports divines the winners

The CalHiSports crew offers their choices for winner and losers of the Friday and Saturday matchups. They envision but two championship trophies heading to northern California.

Stephens on the top trait of each Nor Cal team

Mitch Stephens profiles the overriding strength of each NorCal squad as Friday's and Saturday's contests approach.

Meet Chaminade High

Here's a very solid look at Chaminade High, Drake High's Friday opponent.

Ambrosini honored

Fortuna High's Nate Ambrosini is honored as the Times-Standard Most Valuable Player. He's Chico State bound.

This is fascinating

From Joey Johnston's article on South Florida's search -- now make that a new search -- for a head basketball coach:
"...USF paid Eastman & Beaudine to find candidates for the men's basketball position. The same firm was paid $100,000 by USF in the search for a new AD, which resulted in [Mark] Harlan, formerly the associate athletic director at UCLA.

According to a document obtained by The Tampa Tribune through a public-records request, the firm's initial $30,000 invoice to USF for the men's basketball search was dated March 12. That was the day of USF's 72-68 loss against Rutgers in the AAC tournament — or two days before Heath was told of his firing by USF assistant athletic director Barry Clements.

Although Cynthia Visot, chief of staff for USF's Board of Trustees, signed the invoice for school president Judy Genshaft on March 18, it appears the school was looking for a new men's basketball coach while Heath was still employed.

“You can't be surprised by anything in this business,'' said Heath, who received a contract extension from then-AD Doug Woolard in July 2012, but was fired with four years remaining on his contract and is due a $1.5 million buyout payment by USF. “It's irrelevant. When a new AD comes in, you expect changes, especially if you aren't winning games...''

Bobbitt visiting the islands

Per Brad Winton: "Roderick Bobbitt (6-3/G/2014) of Indian Hills CC will take an official visit to Hawaii on the weekend of April 11."

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Audio of Kevin Aronis' trey that tied the game

Here's New Mexico State announcer Jack Nixon making the call on Kevin Aronis' last-second three-pointer that sent the Aggies into overtime versus San Diego State on March 20. The Aztecs, a #4 seed, pulled out the victory over NMSU, a #13 seed.

The reasoning behind Delon Wright's decision

Tony Jones fleshes out what was behind former CCSF star Delon Wright's decision to come back for his senior season at Utah.

Couch retiring

Long Beach State Assistant Coach Vic Couch, who worked at Santa Clara and Kennedy High in Fremont, is retiring due to illness.

Berry selected as PoY

The Big Sky basketball site (not the official league one) chooses Davion Berry as Player of the Year and offers the reasons why.

Sac State with another pickup

Via Doug Benton: "Mason Stuteville stays local. Good pick-up for Sacramento State after landing Riordan's Jiday Ugbaja"

Davis offers two

Verbal Commits noted two new offers:
2015 Folsom (CA) F Colin Russell has received an offer from UC Davis

and

2016 Folsom (CA) G Jordan Ford has received an offer from UC Davis.

Don't challenge the Hunts 3-on-3

Mitch Stephens profiles Drake High's Jesse Hunt and the entire basketball-playing Hunt family.

The public - private school conundrum

Joe Davidson details the issue of public schools going up against private schools, utilizing Folsom High as an example.

'New' prospects for Cal State East Bay

This isn't a new article -- it's dated November 19 of last year -- but it's important to remember that Cal State East Bay and Coach Gus Argenal already have four new talents coming in for next season.

Also, Skyline College center Brandon Berkovatz is entering the Pioneer fold.

It can't just be coincidence

First Matt Hayes and his Pleasant Grove High team win the Division One state championship versus Santa Monica 73-57 March 22, 2013 and then he and his Santa Rosa Junior College crew nab the community college state championship over San Bernardino Valley College 73-67 on this March 16. Talk about being on a roll.

Good read on Craig Robinson

Joel Anderson goes long and in-depth on Oregon State Coach Craig Robinson. Very insightful.

So are teams with the most highest ranked prep players in the Sweet 16?

Brian Snow digs into past high school player rankings vis-a-vis which college teams of those players are in the Sweet 16.

So does Dayton try to win or lose?

From Pete Hutchins: "Stanford meets Dayton in Sweet 16. Good story as Dayton has offered G Aubrey Dawkins, Johnny's son"

NHS is New Hampton School in New Hampshire.

Malik Huff honored

Malik Huff of Drake High is the MIJ's Prep Player of the Week.

Johnson leads Bulldogs to victory

Down in the San Joaquin last night, Fresno State bested Princeton 72-56 in a CBI quarterfinal matchup. Tyler Johnson went for 23 points, eight boards, four assists and two steals for the Bulldogs.

The Bears down the Razorbacks

California met up with Arkansas in Berkeley last night in what just might have been Jabari Bird's breakout game. The freshman wing totaled 19 points (7-8 overall shooting) plus right rebounds in a 75-64 NIT second round victory.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Chico State going for DII title

Chico State gets back on the court Wednesday versus South Carolina-Aiken in a Division II national semifinal matchup.

Travis Souders offers more.

Kone honored

Prep 2 Prep has selected Archbishop Mitty's Ben Kone as its Central Coast Section Sophomore of the Year.

State title games on TV

Bay Preps reports that all the state title games being played on Friday and Saturday will be televised by Comcast.

Season over for the Gaels

Host Minnesota ended St. Mary's season yesterday 63-55 in the NIT after the Gaels held a 26-22 half time lead and began the game on a 14-0 run. Brad Waldow played just 19 minutes, producing three points and a pair of rebounds. 

Club team talent comings-and-goings

The roster of the top Oakland Soldiers squad will thus far contain:

* Ivan Rabb - no description needed

* Stephen Zimmerman - the 7-foot-1 2015 Las Vegas wunderkind

* Chimezie Metu - a 6-foot-9 junior out of Lawndale High in SoCal

* Rex Pflueger - a 6-foot-5 2015 shooting guard out of Mater Dei

* Derryck Thornton Jr. - a 6-foot-2 2016 backcourter formerly of southern California and now at Findlay Prep.

* Max Hazzard - a 5-foot-11 2015 backcourter out of Loyola High

* Ira Lee - a 6-8 2017 prospect out of Sierra Canyon High down south

This talent influx indicates a dramatic increase in the level of seriousness for the Soldiers this coming season. Would a name change a la the Cali Soldiers be appropriate?

+++++++

Out of Sacramento:

First, Malik Pope headed south last year and now Marquese Chriss and Noah Blackwell are doing the same, hooking up with Team Superstar out of Visalia.

Plus, Sacramento High's Christian Terrell is now with Dream Vision out of Los Angeles.

Christian Terrell profiled

MidMajorHoops serves up a print Q-and-A with 2016 Sacramento High backcourter Christian Terrell.

Catching up on Bobby Sharp and Bryce Pressley

The Portland Pilots season has ended so it's time to check out the production Coach Eric Reveno received from his two talents with northern California connections:

Bobby Sharp, 6-foot-2 junior guard

* 20 minutes a game, five starts in 31 contests
* 7.9 points per outing, game high 27 points versus BYU
* shooting 38%, 39% and 68% respectively
* 155 of his 210 shot attempts were from beyond the arc
* 36/19 assist-to-turnover ratio

Bryce Pressley, 6-foot-4 sophomore guard

* just under 29 minutes a game, 29 starts in 31 contests
* 8.7 points per outing, game high 25 points versus Princeton
* 46%, 46% and 77% shooting respectively
* 102/41 assist-to-turnover ratio

The seasons for Nor Cal-ers Desmond Simmons and Darin Johnson

Desmond Simmons started 10 of the 22 games he participated in for Washington this season, averaging 21 minutes, 5.2 points and 4.6 rebounds per contest. He shot 44%, 22% and 76% respectively.

Freshman guard Darin Johnson had no starts in 31 games this season, averaging 16 minutes and 5.9 points per contest. He shot 36%, 24% and 78% respectively with an 18/32 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Catching up on Michael Bryson

Guard Michael Bryson just completed his sophomore season for UC Santa Barbara. His production:

* 29 games, 29 starts, 29 minutes per contest
* 11.5 points each night
* 47%, 42%, 76% shooting respectively
* 4.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists an outing

Additionally, guard TJ Taylor redshirted this season for UCSB due to injury.

Wing John Green finally shed his foot problem and got back on the court in early February. He totaled 33 minutes of play and averaged 4.7 points a contest. However, he fractured his wrist and didn't play after that. Will the basketball gods give this young man a break?

Checking in on Shawn Smith

6-foot-6 Shawn Smith just finished his junior season at Marshall University (which is now looking for a new men's basketball coach) and the former McClatchy High and City College of San Francisco frontcourter produced the following numbers:

* 22 minutes a game, 33 contests and 15 starts

* 7.6 points and 4.1 rebounds an outing

* 43%, 28%, 64% shooting respectively

* 12 blocked shots, 18 steals

Checking in on Quincy Smith

Quincy Smith headed off to Hawaii after a successful season at City College of San Francisco -- being an all league and all state selection -- and he also received multiple kudos at Deer Valley High prior to playing for the Rams.

So as a UH 6-foot sophomore in 2013-14, Smith posted these numbers:

* 31 games, 17 minutes an outing

* 4.9 points per contest on 41%, 31% and 63% shooting respectively

* an 84-43 assist-to-turnover ratio, his assist total being second best on the team

* 26 steals which placed him third on the Rainbow Warriors

Smith was bothered by lingering back pain this season and also a toe injury.

Interesting take after Stanford topped Kansas

A Mark Whicker tweet: "This is why "coaching reputations" are such drivel. Not an "expert" (or coach) in the country would have given Dawkins an edge over Self."

Some then misinterpreted so Whicker posted: "I wasn't knocking Self, just the concept that somebody wins because of the reputation of the coach"

Guess Dawkins' seat isn't so warm as many were projecting.

Givens heading to Texas

From CCSF Basketball: "Congrats to freshman guard Gemeny Givens on commiting to Saint Mary's University of Texas (San Antonio)" 

 It's a DII program.

Givens is a 5-foot-11 freshman guard out the Impact Academy and St. Joseph Notre Dame.

Russell Turner and Wake Forest

A Jeff Borzello tweet: "Name that came up in conversation for Wake Forest: UC-Irvine's Russell Turner. Was an assistant at Wake Forest from 1994-2000. Too green?"

It's pitiful to write this but would Turner create enough buzz (win the press conference) as Demon Deacon fans have been extremely disgruntled for the past two seasons? But what is completely unknown and most important here: is there any interest on Wake Forest's part or Turner's?

Arizona romps

Arizona blitzed Gonzaga 84-61 yesterday -- the Zags rarely got a decent look at the basket -- as Aaron Gordon finished with 18 points (8-10 shooting), six rebounds, six assists and four steals.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A blast from the past

Here's Sports Illustrated's Sean Gregory and Alexander Wolff with "The Game That Saved March Madness."

Below the headline is this subhead: "Princeton’s near-upset of Georgetown in a 1989 first-round game made sure Cinderella would always get invited to the ball"

Delon Wright returning

Tony Jones tweeted: "Can confirm delon wright tweet. Utah guard will return to the utes for his senior season on the hill"

Utah Coach LarryK just experienced Christmas in March.

CalHiSports on Saturday's games

CalHiSports serves up reports on each of yesterday's games -- head here.

Nor Cal Preps all over yesterday's games

Nor Cal Preps has it covered:

* Doug Benton has the details on the Drake High, Moreau Catholic High and St. Joseph Notre Dame victories.

* Eli-Sean Smith does likewise on the Bishop O'Dowd, Monte Vista High and Folsom High triumphs.

Cal State San Marcos falls

In the NAIA national tournament, it required overtime but Emmanuel (Mo.) proved to be five points better than Cal State San Marcos, 94-89. 

Bobby Macias finished with 25 points for San Marcos, shooting 8-12 from beyond the arc.

Cougar athletics game reports.

boxscore

The Aztecs move on

30 points from senior guard Xavier Thames propelled San Diego State to a 63-44 second round victory yesterday over upstart North Dakota State. He was also credited for five assists. The Bison could manage but a paltry 23 points and then 21 points each half.

From Brad Edgerton: "Xavier Thames scored or assisted on 71%(!) of SDSU's points. His 30 points were one short of a career high."

Jeff Eisenberg game reports.

The Aztecs are now in the Sweet 16 versus either Arizona or Gonzaga.

The Wolverines over Texas

Michigan turned back Texas 79-65 yesterday in the second round of the Big Dance. For the Longhorns, freshman guard Isaiah Taylor went for 22 points, going 6-6 at the foul line and 8-22 overall. He also provided five assists and two boards.

Pacific rolls TAMCC

Pacific had no trouble with Texas A&M Corpus Christi last night in the CIT. The final score was 89-60.

For Pacific, guard Sama Taka provided a team-leading 15 points plus six rebounds and five assists while fellow senior Tony Gill contributed 14 points, seven assists and six boards. 

Hameed Ali completed the night for the visitors with eight points, three assists, two boards and two steals.

Oregon ousted by Wisconsin

It wasn't quite the tortoise and the hare but close enough as the speedy Ducks moved out to a 49-37 halftime lead only to eventually succumb to more-methodical Wisconsin 85-77. The Big Ten squad moves on to the Sweet 16.

Dom Artis finished his sophomore season with three rebounds, two points and one assist in seven minutes of play.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Dragons succeed over Cap Christian

Bishop O'Dowd and Capital Christian got a bit close in the second half (it was 41-25 BOD at halftime) but, really, it was the Dragons in charge most of the way and finally winning 70-60. But major kudos go out to both teams for competing hard until the end.

CC's D.J. Wilson finished with 29 points while the Dragons were paced by Ivan Rabb's 26 points, 12 boards, six blocked shots and numerous dunks.

Matt Schwab game reports.

Joe Davidson game reports.

Brian Baer offers game photos.

Coach Lou Richie's guys take on Mater Dei and Stanley Johnson next for the state Open Division title.

Drake by five over Riordan

Archbishop Riordan squared off with Drake High tonight -- The City versus Marvelous Marin -- and it was the latter prevailing 54-49 and thus winning the NorCal Division III championship.

Ed Yevelev game reports.

Bonta Hill game reports.

It's Drake taking on Chaminade for the Division III state championship.

Monte Vista 59, Freedom 51 OT

Freedom High's Elliott Smith, with 19 points plus 14 rebounds and some remarkable shots, made sure Monte Vista High had to work especially hard for the victory but the Mustangs did just that in winning 59-51 today.

Matt Schwab game reports.

Ray Chavez offers game photos.

It's Monte Vista against Centennial for the Division I state championship.

Moreau 61-52 over Salesian

In a battle of prayer and hoops power between the Congregation of Holy Cross and that of St. John Bosco, it was Moreau Catholic by nine versus Salesian High 61-52 today.

Winning Coach Frank Knight credited his off-the-bench guys -- "Our sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth guys won this game today" -- for securing the victory in making the Mariners are the NorCal Division IV champions.

It will now be Moreau versus Bishop Montgomery for the state title.

Damin Esper game reports.

The San Francisco Chronicle game reports.

Folsom gives the blues

Folsom High handled Consumnes Oaks High 68-51 today, #22 in a row for the Bulldogs.

Joe Davidson game reports.

Randall Benton offers 21 game photos.

Davidson also tweeted: "Folsom guard @jordan_ford_ is the most composed/smooth/calculating hoops sophomore I've seen since Brian Hamilton of McClatchy in 1991"

St. John Bosco is next for Folsom in a matchup for the NorCal Division II state championship.


Oops, they (SJND) did it again




Hey why not just hand the Nor Cal Division V championship trophy to St. Joseph Notre Dame and just forego all the games?

Yes, SJND defeated Central Catholic High 54-42 today, making it four appearances in the finals in a row for Coach Don Lippi's crew. Temidayo Yussef's 16 points and 19 rebounds paced the Pilots.

Brian VanderBeek game reports.

Damin Esper game reports.

More press for Aronis

Peter Fournier highlights the play of Kevin Aronis, the former Analy High and Santa Rosa Junior College guard, who is now at New Mexico State. Aronis' trey sent the Aggies into overtime against San Diego State on Thursday.

Today's the day in Nor Cal prep basketball

* Mitch Stephens previews today's matchups.

* Bonta Hill previews the Archbishop Riordan - Drake High pairing.

* Ed Yevelev also previews the Drake High - Archbishop Riordan showdown.

* Joe Davidson serves up a series of notes and items surrounding today's games.

* The Sacramento Bee is live-blogging today's games.

* The Mercury News is also liveblogging today's games.

An intriguing article

Nicole Auerbach covers the subject of trust between college basketball players and their coaches and the chasm appears greater than expected. Of course, there are multiple variables involved.

What was posed: "...When responding to the survey statement "My coaches can be trusted," 53% of Division I men's basketball players said they agreed or strongly agreed. Players were polled between January and May 2012..."

It would be fascinating if it was broken down school-by-school.

A big club team change

From Stephen Zimmerman Jr., a 7-footer out of Las Vegas and considered one if not the very best in the 2015 class: "I will be playing with the for my final AAU season" 

Ivan Rabb wasn't enough in the middle?

A good suitcase full of cash

Here's a story of G-O-O-D happening after a club team coach infuses money he acquired in an unusual manner into a program he runs. The suitcase full of cash is a classic reference.

Recalling Bill Musselman

Mark Remme look back at the effect the late Bill Musselman had on some of his Minnesota Timberwolves assistants and players, who provide quotes and anecdotes about their takeaways thanks to Musselman's influence.

How to better the presenatation of the college game

Jon Wilner checks in with some suggestions on how to improve college basketball. Yes, about that scintillating mid-November matchup with Northwest Southeast Institute of Peace and Technology...

Ford's a comer

Joe Davidson features Folsom High's Jordan Ford, a sophomore backcourter who arguably has come on this season more than any other northern California prep player at any level.

Arizona handles Weber State

Weber State ran into the Arizona buzzsaw last night but made a game of it before falling 68-59. Aaron Gordon enjoyed 16 points, eight boards, five blocked shots and three assists. Davion Berry finished out his Weber Wildcat basketball career with 24 points in an unusual shooting line of 24 points on 5-20 overall accuracy, 4-8 from beyond the arc and 10-10 at the foul line. Coach Sean Miller's crew led 32-20 at half time.

Cal State San Marcos wins again

Cal State San Marcos won again yesterday, this time defeating Cukver-Stockton (Mo.) 92-91 in a classic nailbiter.

De'End Parker led with both 20 points (9-13 shooting) and seven boards, Adam Eakles enjoyed eight and six plus Bobby Macias contributed eight points.

The Cougars are now in the Final Eight and will face Emmanuel (Mo.) this morning.

When Steve Fisher has had enough...

Generally mild speaking San Diego State Coach Steve Fisher calls BS on the NCAA, and rightly so.

Here's a version from another site.

New Mexico State Associate Athletic Director Steve Macy also jumped into the fray.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Is there an off season?

There are no games remaining on the schedules for any of the state's community colleges but does that mean it's now a steady diet of tee times and fun in the sun until next November for the coaches?

Hardly.

Try:

* staying on top of the existing student-athletes to finish strong academically

* getting many of those same players to four-year destinations (DI, DII, NAIA)

* generating and landing new prospects for next season

* putting together individual and teams plans for the summer -- court workouts, weightlifting and participation in summer events

* working on existing donors to re-up their contributions and locating new benefactors

"This is the transition part," according to Merritt College Coach Keenan McMiller, who, like so many, has players coming and going. "You have to focus on taking care of the kids this year while at the same time preparing for next season."

Regarding the Thunderbirds of 2014-14 for McMiller, it's soon-to-be a process of "getting kids to apply, having assessment tests taken and visiting with academic counselors."

After that, enrollment into summer classes takes place.

So focused has McMiller been on the immediate tasks at hand that he chose not to attend the recent community college coach get-together held at last weekend's Final Four event.

As he explained, "is it important to fraternize? Absolutely. But I really need to get my program better. I have to focus on what's most important."

Another aspect McMiller touched on in a recent conversation is the determination by a player regarding staying local, staying in-state or heading to a national junior college.

"It does make sense to leave if it's a kid who needs to get away from the area because of certain influences. But a national junior college [coach] may see a guy once and like him but does he really know the kid? National JCs need you to play right away."

What mystifies McMiller even more is a prospect heading elsewhere when he wants to return and play near or close to home.

"If you want to play [at the four-year level] on the West Coast, it makes much more sense to play at a junior college on the West Coast."

But sometimes sense is unfortunately not necessarily a factor highly considered.

All in all, community college coaches have a greater roster turnover than those at four-year institutions and are without the benefit of a three or four person cadre of compensated assistants. Maybe the job announcements should detail such positions as 24/7/365.

Marshall's Jason Smith honored

Mitch Stephens posts the AAA/SFS honorees as Jason Smith of Marshall High was selected the Most Valuable Player.

Background on Capital Christian roundball

Bill Paterson goes in depth about Capital Christian High hoops, especially the Cougar backcourt.

Garrett Fitch leaves California High basketball

John Murphy tweeted: "Garrett Fitch has resigned as the basketball coach at California High, said athletic director Arley Hill on Friday morning."

Knight & Mellis talking about their matchup

Bay Preps present audio of Coach Frank Knight and Coach Bill Mellis talking about their coming Moreau Catholic - Salesian Saturday pairing.

More Nor Cal Hoops discussion

On Bay Preps, Doug Benton talks Nor Cal basketball finals.

Duke falling short

From Eric Prisbell: "In the last three years, Duke has been knocked out by No. 15 Lehigh and No. 14 Mercer..."

Hmmmmm. If it was any other coach there would be calls for his head on a platter. Will the CBS basketball talking heads go anywhere near this?

Unexpected teams in the NorCal finals

Mitch Stephens reviews the various Saturday matchups and offers up squads he labels as surprises.

Bay Area Big Dancers

Mitch Stephens details the players participating in the Big Dance who have Bay Area connections.

Yee-Stephens & Walters named co-MVPs

Andrew Matheson details the basketball honorees of the Santa Cruz County Athletic League, including co-MVPs sophomore Kaijae Yee-Stephens and senior Stu Walters.

Two Nor Cal-ers on the State Stat Stars of the Week list

Baesball season is creeping in but a couple of northern California basketball talents earned a spot on the Cal-Hi Sports State Stat Stars of the Week:
Jesse Hunt (Drake, San Anselmo)
A junior making a name for himself, Jesse picked a great time to have a career-high 38 points to go with 10 rebounds since it came when the Pirates upset defending NorCal champion Sacred Heart Cathedral of San Francisco 69-62 in the NorCal Division III playoffs. Jesse is the son of 1982 Drake standout Dan Hunt, who was part of the school’s legendary 34-0 squad. His father also enjoyed a pro basketball career in Australia.


Matt McAndrews (Archbishop Mitty, San Jose)
Leading the offense with 32 points, McAndrews and the Monarchs defeated El Cerrito 67-58 in the opening round of the CIF NorCal Open Division playoffs.

Stephens on Drake versus Riordan

Mitch Stephens focuses in on the upcoming Riordan High - Drake High matchup, with a few tidbits on other schools near the end. As a bonus, a sartorial recommendation is also offered by Riordan Coach Rich Buckner.

Congrats to Corey Clement

From William Jessup University athletics:
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced the 2013-14 Division II Men's Basketball All-America teams. William Jessup University junior forward Corey Clement earned All-American Honorable Mention Honors.

After transferring from Peninsula College, Clement made an immediate impact for the Warriors. The Las Vegas native averaged 18.3 points and 9.1 rebounds. He recorded 12 double-doubles this season. His season high came against California State-East Bay as he logged 30 points and 19 rebounds. 

Clement, the California Pacific Conference Newcomer of the Year, set or tied seven school records. With a field goal percentage of 60.3%, Clement passed Cole Orick's record setting season of shooting 60.2% in 2003-04 season. His 18.3 points a game were second only to Ben Selvage who averaged 22 points a game in 2002-03.
 There's, more, including a photo, here.

Checking in on David Andoh

Cameron Schott/Nor Cal Preps takes a look at former St. Mary's High and current Merritt College Thunderbird sophomore David Andoh.

Texas over Arizona State

In the Big Dance, Texas got past Arizona State 87-85 last night on a last second shot with Freshman Longhorn guard Isaiah Taylor providing 11 points, six assists and three rebounds.

San Diego State over New Mexico State

It took an overtime period to determine the winner and that was San Diego State 73-69 over New Mexico State last night as the Aztecs continue on wearing their Big Dancin' shoes.

Xavier Thames didn't shoot all that well, except 10-12 from the foul line, but concluded with 23 points. He was also credited with five assists and three steals.

For the Land of Enchantment guys, Kevin Aronis finished with 12 points, five boards and a pair of assists. His trey very late in the game tied the score in regulation and forced the overtime.

Bobbitt sidelined

Indian Hills College won again yesterday in the nation junior college playoffs but Roderick Bobbitt, the second-leading scorer on the Warriors, didn't play. He's sidelined due to a broken arm. IHC is now in the semifinals.

Cal State San Marcos opens with a victory

On Wednesday, Cal State San Marcos defeated Oklahoma Baptist 88-81 in the NAIA national tournament in Kansas City as De'End (USF) Parker led the victors with 20 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Teammates Adam (Woodland High/Pacific) Eakles, Bobby Foothill College) Macias and Tyree (Deer Valley High) Murray finished with 11 points plus seven boards, 14 points plus five assists and six points respectively.

Here's the game report.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Ali aids Texas A&M CC success

In Greeley last night as part of the CIT, Texas A&M Corpus Christi downed Northern Colorado 82-71.

Hameed Ali contributed 10 points plus four assists for the victors while Dominque Lee 11 points and four rebounds for the hosts.

Two openings at SJSU

According to Hoop Dirt: "From an excellent source…San Jose State assistants Omar Lowery and Jack Kennedy have resigned. They had both just completed their first seasons on Dave Wojcik’s staff. Lowery had come to SJSU from Cal Poly, and Kennedy from the University of San Francisco. No word yet on possible replacements."

Get those résumés polished.

More kudos for Coach Porter

Joe Cortez writes about the retiring Gary Porter who created quite the legacy at Modesto Christian High.

Bird shows in Cal win over UVU

Host Cal got by Utah Valley University 77-64 last night in an NIT matchup. In 24 minutes as a starter, Jabari Bird scored 11 points and passed for three assists.

Parker featured

Kathleen Gier profiles De'End Parker of Cal State San Marcos as the national JC tournament opens in Hutchinson, Kansas.

Gill makes Pacific a winner

In a CIT pairing, Tony Gill's rebound and last-second shot kept Pacific's season alive in a 69-67 triumph over Grand Canyon. Gill, who also paced his squad with seven rebounds, and Sama Taku led the Verlin-ites with 15 points apiece. For the Lopes, sophomore point Akachi Okugo produced seven assists, five boards and three points.

From Tiger athletics:
"...In the first four minutes of the second half, the Antelopes pushed the lead to 44-29 with 16:20 remaining in the game. The Tigers then evened it up at 49-49 with 9:39 after a 20-5 run..."