Friday, October 31, 2014

Taylor the go-to backcourter for the Longhorns

In this Scott Gleeson/USA TODAY preview of #7 Texas. Isaiah Taylor receives very complimentary press:

...Isaiah Taylor should be even more seasoned and explosive as a sophomore guard...

...Taylor (12.7 ppg, 4.0 apg) emerged as one of the best guards in the Big 12 last season, and Barnes believes there's another gear. The 6-1 sophomore had a handful of big games for the Longhorns, including a Jan. 25 win against Baylor where he had 27 points.

The NBA D-League draft

The 2014 NBA D-League draft is taking place today and six northern California talents are eligible:

* D.J. Seeley

* Sammy Yeager

* Chris McNealy

* Ryan Sypkens

* Aaron Mollet

* Marcus Bell

The Massey JUCO team rankings

Mel Grussing has posted the Massey JUCO pre-season team rankings and seven northern California squads appear. City College of San Francisco is #1.

STLB on the Coast Conference North.

Signal The Light Basketball previews the Coast Conference North which looks to be a fascinating battle for playoff spots in 2014-15.

Prolific Prep's Webisode #1

Here's (also posted below) eight plus minutes of video featuring various Prolific Prep talents playing last weekend in the Jump Man Classic. They went 4-0 against mostly teams featuring many opponents in their fifth year of prep competition. The Prolific guys are looking very unselfish as you'll see.

Here's the PP roster and respective numbers which helps in viewing the video:

Matt O'Reilly 6'3" 195lbs SG Senior (2015) Moraga, California

Kyle Leufroy 6'3 185lbs PG Senior (2015) Pasadena, California

Nick Lombardi 5'9" 145lbs PG Soph (2017 Pleasant Hill, California

10 Micah Elan 6'4" 165lbs PG Junior (2016) San Francisco, California

11 Josh Jackson 6'8" 190lbs SG/SF Junior (2016) Detroit, Michigan

12 Algevon Eichelberger 6'7" 225lbs PF Junior (2016) Saginaw, Michigan

14 Mamoudou Diarra 6'9" 195lbs SF/PF Soph (2017) Bamako, Mali

15 Baidi Kamagate 6'5" 195lbs SG Junior (2016) Conakry, Guinea

23 Amadou Sou 6'8" 210lbs C Frosh (2018) Bamako, Mali

24 Sasha French 6'10" 215lbs C Senior (2015) Napa, California

33 Ryan Stewart 6'9" 210lbs PF Senior (2015) Benicia, California
 
34 Marko Filipovity 6'8" 200lbs SF Senior (2015) Kaposvar, Hungary

Bealer's choice looking better and better

A while back, City College of San Francisco's Gabe Bealer announced he was accepting a scholarship offer from Utah. Now since the Utes are members of the Pac-12, Bealer's choice is looking really smart:.

From Gordon Monson:

...And the [Pac-12] league presidents "reaffirmed" their commitment for athletes’ stipends to cover the full costs of attendance...

All their scholarships will be guaranteed for four years. They cannot be canceled or reduced as long as the athletes remain in good standing. That means it will be more problematic for a coach to run off players. Coaches still control an athlete’s playing time, which is a significant hammer, but if that athlete is settled in at the university and wants to remain, his education will be paid for, according to the terms of the original scholarship. Pulling that scholarship for unfounded reasons is not an option...

...If an athlete in good standing leaves a university, having completed half the requirements for a degree, he or she can return to the school later and receive financial aid to complete that degree.

And if an athlete is injured during his or her college career, medical expenses will be covered not only at the time of the injury, but also for up to four years after the student leaves school...

The Top 26 out of the West Coast Super Showcase

Mid Major Hoops Reports offer hoopswhisperer's Top 26 prospects from this past weekend's West Coast Super Showcase.

Waldow's #100

Brad Waldow comes in at #100 in ESPN's rankings of the top 100 talents in college basketball.
"The 6-foot-9 center is a bit undersized, but he continues to overachieve. He's the Gaels' leading returning scorer (15.1 points per game) and rebounder (7.5 a night) and finished in the top 10 in the West Coast Conference in both categories last season."

Taylor at #69

In ESPN's ranking of the top 100 talents in college hoops, Isaiah Taylor of Texas owns the 69th spot:
"Taylor took on a huge chunk of Texas' offensive responsibilities as a freshman, and performed admirably in doing so. Now, with all five starters back and top recruits in tow, Taylor's efficiency may still be the key for Rick Barnes' team."

2NDaNNUAL Thanksgiving classic

"Events by Select" in conjunction with "Saints Basketball" brings you the: 

2NDaNNUAL Thanksgiving classic
WHERE EVERYONE MOVES ON TO BRACKET PLAY
WITH A CHANCE TO WIN IT ALL!!!

Date: Saturday & Sunday, November 22-23, 2014
Location: NB Courts/6474 Patterson Pass Road (Suite E)/Livermore CA 94550
Age Groups: 9u-14u/Boys & Girls
Format: Pool Play on Saturday/Bracket Play on Sunday (everyone moves on to bracket play) (3 GAME MINIMUM WITH A CHANCE AT 4TH & 5TH GAME)
Awards: 1st place trophies/2nd place medals
Price: $250 per team

Quality Service/Quality Venue/Quality Competition/Quality Referees/Quality Awards

Contact:
Ruben Garcia/925) 367-3912/rwgarcia_rwgarcia@yahoo.com
Phil Williams/408) 593-5879/ad@trinsports.com

Coach K previewing the Nor Cal JUCOs

Coach K is back and thus far has posted his pre-season top five junior college teams in northern California for this coming season. He's offering team previews, rosters and schedules.

Wooldridge resigns

Former UC Riverside Coach Jim Wooldridge, who vacated his spot to become the interim athletic director for the Highlanders and then had the interim removed from his title, has now resigned. Here's the link.

Ashley channeling Tony Bennett

Brandon Ashley has left his heart in San Francisco despite time in Dublin, Tucson and elsewhere.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Gaels miss on Neufeld

Eric Bossi: "SLU has landed a quality big man in @sunrisehoops big man Matt Neufeld who is from Canada. 6-10, big frame, touch & very good passer."

First, Jordan Dallas went with Weber State and now this -- St. Mary's search for a young big goes on.

More press for Delon Wright

Jon Rothstein tweeted: "Utah's Delon Wright could be this season's DeAndre Kane. A slightly off-the-radar player who emerges as a national name by early January."

Rothstein also posted this: "Krystkowiak on Delon Wright "He's a much better practice player this year than he was last year."

White tripping to Davis

Mel Grussing reports that Antelope Valley College guard Lawrence White will be on campus at UC Davis this weekend.

The word from Justin Dentmon

Former Washington player Juston Dentmon says don't chase that NBA dream, that it's a mirage to most borderline prospects and to head overseas.

Las Positas College 2014-15

Lon Rork enters his second season as the head coach of the Las Positas College Hawks. He also has two new assistant coaches in Cheo White and Marty Levinson. Below is the LPC 2014-15 roster from the CCCAA site:

* Rashad Brackeen sophomore guard 6-foot-0 CaƱada College/Franklin High

* Aaron Costello freshman guard 6-foot-0 Livermore High

* Brandon Eboigbodin freshman forward 6-foot-3 Chico High

* Marti Fonolla freshman guard 6-foot-3 Spain

* Donovan Grant freshman forward 6-foot-4 Liberty High

Tyler Hall freshman guard

McKayle Harnell freshman guard 6-foot-3 Livermore High

* Darius Limbrick freshman guard 6-foot-3 San Leandro High

* Taylor McNeill freshman forward 6-foot-6 Granada High

* Nick Merrill freshman forward 6-foot-4 Livermore High

Cameron Moses freshman guard 6-foot-0 Dublin High

* Jayson Rose sophomore forward 6-foot-4 Irvington High

Giordi V'soske freshman guard 6-foot-0 Dublin High

American River College 2014-15

American River College Coach Mark Giorgi has an interesting 2014-15 roster this season. There are two returnees from last year (Nazariy Yakimchuk and Kei'shaun Sinclair), plus another coming back after a year's absence (Jarvis Watkins) and also a familiar name from some time ago (Eugene Crockett):

* David Armstrong freshman guard 6-foot-2 WY???

Jericho Avery freshman forward 6-foot-5 Laguna Creek High

* Chris Cavalin freshman forward 6-foot-6 Cardinal Newman High

* Eugene Crockett sophomore center 6-foot-9 Sacramento High

* Maalik Hazziez freshman forward 6-foot-7 Foothill High

* Austin Loba freshman forward

* Troy Owens freshman guard 6-foot-1 Cordova High

* Chris Mullin freshman forward LMU/Cushing Academy

* Marcelas Perry freshman guard 5-foot-8 Capital Christian High

* John Polezhako freshman forward 6-foot-5 San Juan High

* Tyrone Potts freshman guard 6-foot-4 Foothill High

* Richard Reed freshman guard 5-foot-9 Cosumnes Oaks High

* Kei'shaun Sinclair sophomore guard 6-foot-2 Antelope High

* Jarvis Watkins sophomore guard 6-foot-2 Antelope High
* Nazariy Yakimchuk sophomore forward 6-foot-5 Rancho Cordova High

William Jessup University 2014-15

Coach Lance Von Vogt enters his second season at William Jessup University with a roster that's loaded with northern California talents who are highlighted below:

* Justin Downer SR W 6-2 185 North Bend, WA Skagit Valley CC

Noah Everly FR W 6-4 205 Novato, CA San Marin High School

Sean Fenner SR F 6-5 210 Stockton, CA San Joaquin Delta College

* Desmond Floyd JR C 6-6 240 Gilbert, AZ Mid-Continent University

Rob Frank SR F 6-6 200 Sacramento, CA Simpson University

Tyler Jennings FR G 6-0 170 Sacramento, CA Capital Christian HS

Elijah Lewis JR W 5-11 170 Atlanta, GA San Joaquin Delta College

* Anthony Morton JR F 6-6 220 Los Angeles, CA Los Angeles Pierce College

* Brenton Muldrow JR G 5-11 170 Riverside, CA Martin Luther King High School

* Chris Murry JR G 5-11 175 Fremont, CA West Valley JC

Guillermo Nunez SO W 6-1 175 Manteca, CA Sierra High School

* Brian Simmons JR F 6-5 220 Sacramento, CA  San Diego Christian College

* Djuan Smith JR W 6-3 200 Little Rock, AR Peninsula College

* Matt Thompson SR W 5-11 193 San Jose, CA Lincoln HS (San Jose)

Cody Wilcox  JR C 6-8 260 Grass Valley, CA Sierra College

2014-15 REDSHIRTS

* Corey Clement JR W 6-4 200 Las Vegas, NV Peninsula College

Austin Hampton FR F 6-8 190 Sacramento, CA Center HS

* Jack Meadows FR F 6-5 195 Brisbane AUS Brisbane Grammer School, Australia

Kelton Newman SO W 6-3 200 Elk Grove, CA Franklin High School

The 2014-15 Contra Costa College Comets

Contra Costa College Coach Miguel Johnson has released his 2014-15 roster at the CCCAA site and this much is sure: three guards -- Dawson Johnson, Tajai Johnson and Larry Wickett will be forces on the court this season for the Comets. Plus, Brown is Johnson's favorite color and calling out the name Johnson during practice is going to lead to confusion. We still haven't fully identified some of the players while the northern California talents are highlighted:

* Isaac Brown freshman forward

* Jordan Brown 6-foot-3 sophomore guard Lamar Community College Colorado

* Tajai Brown 6-foot-0 freshman guard Victor Valley High, Victorville, CA

* Byron Buckley 6-foot-0 freshman guard Encinal High

* Darwin Goff 6-foot-9 freshman forward Colorado

* Lowell Hall sophomore forward

* Dawson Johnson 5-foot-9 sophomore guard Castro Valley High/DeAnza College

* Justin Johnson 6-foot-3 sophomore forward Diablo Valley College/El Cerrito High

* Tajai Johnson 6-foot-1 sophomore guard Vallejo High (didn't play much as a frosh at UC Riverside)

* Pekelo McKenzie 5-foot-8 freshman guard El Cerrito High

* Jabraile Newkirk 6-foot-1 freshman guard North Carolina

* DeAndre Russell freshman forward

* Phillip Secrease 6-foot-3 sophomore forward Pinole Valley High

* Larry Wickett 6-foot-5 sophomore guard Vallejo High (sat out last season)

Pride and circumstance

From Sierra College Assistant Coach Brandon Cole: "Athletes always tweet "I'm proud to say I've committed to..." But they never say "I'm proud to say I'm transferring to..." I wonder why..."

Travis Wear, NBA player

"Travis Wear, now 24 yrs old, avg'd 7.2 pts, 3.4 rebs, hit 11 3s last yr. No NBA Combine, no Portsmouth. Now a pro. Didn't see that one comin," Jonathan Wasserman.

It would be crickets if he asked for anyone who made this prediction to come forward. So now the question to be answered is why/how did this happen?

Andrews and Thomas at Sheridan

In this writeup on the Sheridan College Generals:

...Jamir Andrews is the only returner who averaged double figures last year, and as Sheridan’s biggest threat from the outside, he’s going to get his shots...

...Andrews and returner Kyi Thomas will be solid at guard for Sheridan...

Andrews is supposed to sign with Bowling Green come November.

Another Sac State preview

Mike McGough/The State Hornet previews the 2014-15 Sacramento State Hornets.

Chabot introduces Kellen Sweetwyne

Via Chabot Men's Basketball: "Today we would like to introduce Gladiator Nation to: Kellen Sweetwyne 6'3 220 G/F Hayward High Kellen is a transfer from Las Positas College where he averaged 8 pts and 7 rebs as a freshman. Kellen is a high IQ basketball player who can play multiple positions. His size and skill set will cause match-up problems on a nightly basis to the opposition. Kellen is also a big time student with a 3.5 gpa. During the Fall Showcase Kellen got the attention of numerous scouts and 4 year coaches with his toughness and basketball IQ. We look to Kellen to be a key contributor this season!"

AG gets Sirius

From Bruce Pascoe: "Aaron Gordon has agreed to host a weekly radio show on SiriusXM satellite radio that will spotlight his rookie season with the Orlando Magic.

SiriusXM's "Year One" show will debut Thursday at 3 p.m. on its SiriusXM NBA Radio channel and air weekly throughout the season.

"Hosting my own SiriusXM show is an honor and something that makes my first NBA season even more special.” Gordon said in a news release. “This year will be full of a lot of firsts and I can’t wait to give the fans a behind-the-scenes look at my new world both on and off the court. I have some pretty high goals set for myself and my team this year and I’m excited to take the listeners along for the ride.”

Musselman on the bayou

Ben Love writes of Eric Musselman's life in Baton Rouge as a new addition to the Louisiana State coaching staff.

A snippet:
"...Musselman, who’s coming off a two-year stint as an assistant at Arizona State, was brought to Baton Rouge with the hopes his experience at the highest level of basketball would rub off on LSU, particularly in the form of in-game and late-game coaching strategies..."

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Anderson with another suitor

Via Jeff Depelteau: "Canisius College has reached out regarding Juwan Anderson '15 (Oakland, CA)"

Julius Thomas, basketball player

Remember when Julius Thomas was playing on the basketball court? Miles Wray profiles the Denver Bronco tight end.

From his Portland State roundball bio: "Lettered four times in basketball for the Vikings, leading them to their first two NCAA Tournament appearances in school history (2008, ‘09) and finishing as the program’s all-time leader in games played (121), career wins (78) and field goal percentage (.663)"

Out of Tokay High, Thomas averaged 10.8 points, 5.9 rebounds, and shot a school-record .671 from the field in his final season in the Rose City.

Hillard one to watch on The Hilltop

Mark Kramer designates USF's Corey Hillard as an X Factor.

Pope saluted once more

Ryan Posner writes: "Malik Pope may be the best SDSU athlete since Kawhi Leonard"

AG's initial game

In his very first NBA regular season game, Aaron Gordon played 28 minutes off the bench for Orlando, scoring 11 points (5-8 shooting, 1-2 from three-point range) and with three rebounds, three turnovers, a steal and a blocked shot.

STLB on the 2014-15 Coast Conference South

Signal The Light Basketball previews the Coast Conference South.

Corey Hawkins and the NBA draft

Ed Isaacson on Corey Hawkins -- what he does well now and what he still needs to do:

Corey Hawkins, California-Davis, Guard, 6’3, 195
(2013-14, 33.8 mpg) 18.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.5 spg
44.4 FG%, 75.7 FT%, 32.2 3FG%, 55.6 TS%, 49.4 eFG%
28.7 USG%, 21.0 AST%, 2.6 STL%

After a great sophomore season after transferring from Arizona State, Hawkins, the son of former NBA player Hersey, saw a drop in some of his offensive numbers as he faced defenses intent on stopping him. Hawkins is very skilled on the offensive end, capable of facilitating the offense or playing off the ball.  He is an above-average ballhandler, capable of using both hands well, and a growing set of advanced dribbles to help keep the defender off-balance. Hawkins likes to use screens to set up his jumper, as well as to get into the lane. Once he is in the lane, Hawkins can hit the floater/short jumper or weave his way through the defense to get to the basket, where he can finish with either hand. Hawkins has a great feel for the game on the offensive end, at times making scoring opportunities look effortless. He has also improved his ability to hit the open man when he draws help defenders. Hawkins has good range on his jumper, with a high, quick release. He also can be effective in transition both as the ballhandler and running the wings. On defense, Hawkins does a good job positioning both on and off the ball, and while not exceptionally quick, he moves his feet well and can navigate through screens.

What he needs to show this season:  There is little doubt that Hawkins is skilled as an offensive player, but there are some areas where he can make some improvements. As mentioned, he likes to use screens to get into the lane, but once he gets into the defense, he can find himself stuck. Hawkins needs to learn to make reads off the screens quicker, as well as working to come off of them tighter. Also, I would like to see Hawkins move better without the ball, instead of being content to get passes deep behind the 3-point line. Hawkins can improve his shot selection, as he tended to force more shots last season. On defense, Hawkins could put in a better effort, especially on the ball, where he can be seen at times playing with his arms at his sides. He has a very good understanding of the game, and he has the offensive skill set to play high level professional basketball.

Current NBA-ers with Bay Area, northern California ties

As highlighted earlier, Jared Cunningham is a Los Angeles Clipper.

Aaron Gordon is Magic-ing in Orlando.

Damian Lillard Trailblazing in PDX.

Former Cal guard Jorge Gutierrez made the Brooklyn Nets squad.

Matthew Dellavedova is a Cleveland Cavalier. (hey, maybe God is a Gael ;-)

Greg Smith is with the Dallas Mavericks. (did he play a high school season in the Bay Area, or not?) 

Jeremy Lin and the Los Angeles Lakers are paired up.

Patty Mills, due to injury, is on the inactive list with the Spurs.

Chuck Hayes keeps plugging along as a Toronto Raptor.

Drew Gooden is Wizarding in Washington.

Johnson out in Spain

Orlando Johnson is departing Spain:
"Orlando Johnson’s experience with Laboral Kutxa is over. The American guard has been informed already that he is on his way out of the Basque team. Johnson, who has also NBA experiences, is averaging 4.8 points and 1.6 rebounds per game with Baskonia."
But then there is this:

"...Former Indiana Pacers shooting guard Orlando Johnson, sources say, is also on his way toward terminating his Spanish agreement..."

Here's the full story on multiple player departures from the team as interference has created a mess of the team.

It hammertime for Gib Arnold

UH Coach Gib Arnold and one assistant have been removed from their positions. The school is hoping this action will lessen any forthcoming NCAA penalties.

East Palo Alto native Senque Carey remains as an assistant but has to be wondering about his future once a new head coach is hired.

New Ohlone College Coach Scott Fisher, who assisted at Hawaii for four years, likely saw this coming and made his move.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Why does this not come as a surprise?

Former Los Angeles City College Coach Mike Miller has been "arrested on suspicion of sexual battery and illegally filming young men in the bathroom of his home."

Here is one earlier mess.

Then there was this.

In court, Miller testified he couldn't identify who it was that robbed him.

And you think your life has drama.

McPhail at Cal State Los Angeles

Andre McPhail F 6-7 235 Jr. Antioch/DeerValley HS/Saddleback College is the sole northern California talent on the Cal State Los Angeles roster this season.

While at Saddleback, he "earned second-team All-Orange Empire Conference honors after averaging nearly 10 points and six rebounds per game as a sophomore. Appeared in 29 games with 24 starts. Shot 52.9 percent from the field."

Yussef needed in the middle

A note from a Long Beach State fan after watching a 49ers intrasquad scrimmage:
"...Temidayo [Yussef] will be in the rotation out of necessity. He's strong and battles, but is not particularly athletic..."
His LB St. bio: "A MaxPreps.com third team all-state selection, one of the Top 15 listed in the state over all divisions ... The Cal Hi Sports Division V Player of the Year ... Named to the San Francisco Chronicle All-Metro first team, and the Contra Costa Times All-East Bay First-Team ... Led the St. Joseph Notre Dame Pilots to back-to-back CIF State Championship appearances ... Put up 20 points and 19 rebounds as a junior in the championship game, and followed with another dominant double-double with 21 points and 16 rebounds in a 57-32 Division V victory ... Averaged 18 points and 16 rebounds per game as a senior..."  

Cal Maritime a heavy favorite in CPC

CAL PAC MEN'S COACHES PRESEASON POLL
Cal Maritime—33 points (4 first place votes)Simpson University—31 points (2)La Sierra—22 pointsMenlo—20 pointsPacific Union—14 pointsUC Merced—6 points

STL Basketball's Golden Valley Conference preview

Signal The Light Basketball is back with a Golden Valley Conference preview and has Butte College winning league again.

Sophomore McGlaston working to be Utah State leader

Steve Luhm wrote:

McGlaston a leader now

JoJo McGlaston didn’t play much last year as a freshman, but that’s about to change.

The 6-foot-3 guard from Dublin, California averaged 2.3 points in only eight minutes a game as a freshman. But McGlaston scored six points and handed out two assists in the Blue-White game.

"We have a lot of work to do," he said afterward. "But at least we know we can get better."

One of only four returning players from last year, McGlaston’s biggest goal doesn’t involve scoring or piling up assists.

"I have to come out and lead by example," he said. "That’s up to me and the other veterans."

Morrill walked past just as McGlaston was talking to reporters about providing leadership.

"You have no choice," the Aggie coach told him.

It's called adjusting

Jonathan Wasserman on why some European prospects make it and some don't. Most of this seems applicable beyond the talent across the pond.

Gaels miss on So Cal prep center

Per Josh Gershon, "2015 Long Beach (Calif.) Poly center Jordan Dallas has committed to #WeberState, per a source."

Dallas tripped to Ogden this weekend. St. Mary's was very interested in Dallas and offered the prepster. Does this mean landing Matt Neufeld is a Gael must?

Cunningham makes the Clippers

Jared Cunningham is a member of the Los Angeles Clippers season-opening roster. Congrats to him.

The WCC coaches submit their ballots

Below are the official West Coast Conference team finish and all-league polls:

2014-15 WCC Preseason Men's Basketball Coaches Poll

Team (First Place Vote) Pts.
1. Gonzaga (9) 81
2. BYU (1) 69
3. Saint Mary's  62
4. San Francisco 59
5. San Diego 47
6. Portland 45
7. Pepperdine 29
7. Santa Clara 29
9. Loyola Marymount 19
10. Pacific 10

2014-15 All-WCC Preseason Men's Basketball Team

* Jared Brownridge Santa Clara So. G
* Kyle Collinsworth BYU Jr. G
* Stacy Davis Pepperdine Jr. F
* Johnny Dee San Diego Sr. G
* Tyler Haws BYU Sr. G
* Przemek Karnowski Gonzaga Jr. C
* Kevin Pangos Gonzaga Sr. G
* Kruize Pinkins San Francisco Sr. F
* Thomas van der Mars Portland Sr. C
* Brad Waldow Saint Mary's Sr. C

Rabb at Kentucky Monday night's televised scrimmage

From Ben Roberts:

Five-star power forward Ivan Rabb sat in the first row of the Rupp Arena stands — directly behind the Blue team bench — for UK’s annual Blue-White Scrimmage on Monday night.

Rabb — a 6-foot-10 prospect from Oakland, Calif. — was still in Lexington on his official visit, the first of his recruitment. He will take an official visit to Kansas on Nov. 7. He has not yet planned official trips to the other three schools on his list: Arizona, California and UCLA...

Pac-12 becoming more student-athlete friendly

This is serious:
The Pac-12 passed sweeping changes for athletes in all of the conference's sports Monday, guaranteeing four-year scholarships, improving health care benefits and liberalizing transfer rules...
Hit this link for the remainder.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Meet Devin Koeplin

Most everyone is familiar with the meaning of the phrase two-for-one and word two-fer so let's get inventive and bring three-fer into the vocabulary. The reason? Because of Monterey Peninsula College (MPC) sophomore guard Devin Koeplin being a skilled leader on the court, excelling in the classroom and representing the Lobo basketball program well off campus.

Asked to name his top talent, Koeplin offered, "my best basketball skill is leadership, being a point and running the team. It's something I've been doing since high school or even younger. It kind of comes naturally. I've always tried to lead by example and be a good person and that translates to the court."

He continued, "there is the verbal part and it takes knowing guys and what they can handle. Some can be yelled at and other need to be taken off to the side to talk."

Academically, Koeplin sports a 3.9 grade point average, the only less-than-an-perfect class outcome being a B in Music Appreciation. Referring to that particular class, he offered, "it's harder than you think."    

Koeplin also gave a shout-out to MPC TRiO Learning Center Coordinator Kacey Giammanco for being a great asset to studnets. "She is really a big help."

He is planning on majoring in business -- "I'd like to work in the basketball world and my dream job would be with the Golden State Warriors."

Regarding his biggest basketball biggest influences. Koeplin cited four. "My Dad has always been there for me. We'd go over my games and have really honest conversations. My Mom (the CFO of Bayside Solutions) and I talk about leadership and it's crazy how similar our situations are. Tom Costello who was my coach at Dublin High and my youth CYO coach James Pitts (father of Arizona's Elliott Pitts) who was a huge influence on my basketball career. He made me tough and really stressed defensive fundamentals."

Responding to a best basketball moment query, Koeplin said, "I would say my senior year in high school when we won league for the first time in 40 years and made a playoff run playing in the Nor Cal championship game." Dublin fell 93-90 to College Park High.

He went with MPC post high school  because "I didn't want to stay at home, I really wanted to get a college experience. I called Coach Blake [Spiering] and when I did I could tell he wanted me."

Here's Spiering on his sophomore point: "Devin is a great leader, a team captain and floor leader (Koeplin also captained his high school squad) Dublin). He's a phenomenal guy who has an unbelievable work ethic and tenacity. He plays with a chip on his shoulder but a good chip. I think he's the whole package and part of the reason we have such great chemistry this year."

Spiering continued, "he's one of the best shooters I've ever had and a very good defender. People don't credit him for how fast and well-rounded he is."

With the new season rapidly approaching, Koeplin offered "I really like this team's chemistry -- it's fun to play with them. There's Mitch Wood on the pick-and-pop, Stephen Dorsey on the pick-and-roll, Will Burkett is a knockdown shooter and  Deondre Otis is a great ballhandler who takes some pressure off me."

Now there are those at the next level who instantly judge yes or no utilizing the eye test in measuring prospects. The 5-foot-9 Koeplin may not ace any visual analysis but "don't write me off. I can do anything a 6-foot-2 guard can do." He averaged 8.6 points on 41%, 41% and 78% shooting last season alongside 4.1 assists per game and has a much stronger frontcourt to work with in 2014-15. Koeplin has also started strong this season with impressive showings in both summer Juco Jamborees at Skyline College  and at City College of San Francisco.

Top talents at the West Coast Super Showcase

Ronnie Flores offers his Top 20 list from this weekend's West Coast Super Showcase. He opens with:
1 Bryson Williams 2016 6-8 SF Roosevelt High Fresno
2 Colin Slater Jr. 2016 6-0 PG Immanuel High  Reedley
3 Tydus Verhoeven 2017 6-8 SG Manteca High Manteca
4 Kenneth Wooten 2016 6-8 SF Manteca High Manteca
5 Jeron Bowers 2015 6-2 PG Hoover High  Fresno
6 Phillip Fayne 2015 6-7 PF Franklin High Elk Grove

BSB is liking the Hornets

Big Sky Basketball takes a look at the 2014-15 Sacramento State Hornets.

Roberts shows well

From Josh Gershon back on October 21: "Roseville (Calif.) Woodcreek should have a good team this season and 2017 forward Jordan Roberts will be one of the reasons for that. The 6-foot-6 forward used his size to score around the basket."

This was at the PhaseOneHoops Top 40 Showcase in Las Vegas.

A truncated ESPN description: "Roberts is a long and gifted wing-type that can score from all three levels. He has solid ball skills, an unselfish feel for the game, as well as a knack to score. He can slash his way to the rim for the conversion and he has excellent body control..."

It looks like Roberts attended high school earlier in Bakersfield.

Briggs get attention

Joey Velasquez offered: "6'10" P Justin Briggs River City HS dominant post inside, good footwork, finishes through contact."

This from the Super Showcase held in Clovis over the weekend.

Anderson gets offered

Las Vegas Knicks tweeted: "2015 6"0 PG Juwan Anderson @wanny_ton Suffield Prep has been offered by Fairfield."

Fairfield is in Connecticut which is also the state where Suffield Prep is located.

A solid read on Gregg Popovich during his high school days

Gotta read any article on Gregg Popovich that offers this ending:
After the jersey retirement ceremony, Beckham says a still-grinning Popovich thanked her then added: “I can't believe you retired my jersey. I sucked.”

Bobbitt shines in UH intrasquad scrimmage

Hawaii scrimmaged on Saturday -- here are the notes involving Bay Area talents.

Via Dayton Morinaga:

Another standout was junior point guard Roderick Bobbitt, who finished with 20 points on 6-for-11 shooting, three assists, two rebounds and two steals. He was also the only player to be on the winning squad for all three periods.

“It was tough for me at first to get most of the plays down and everything, but now I’m getting more comfortable,” Bobbitt said. “I’m learning things better, so it’s been positive.”

and

"...junior point guard Quincy Smith is still resting a sore back..."

Via Brian McInnis:

UH coach Gib Arnold spoke highly of the efforts of both primary point guards in action, Roderick Bobbitt and Niko Filipovich.

“I thought we were a lot cleaner (from the previous week),” Arnold said. “Less turnovers. We ran our stuff a lot better, offensively. Defensively, I thought we got after it. We zoned a little bit this time. We’ve been working on our point zone, and so we threw that out there and I thought it looked at times really good. So we got better. We got better this week, for sure.”

Three Nor Cal-ers at ACU

A trio of northern California basketball players will be wearing the uniform of Arizona Christian University this winter. The Firestorm are members of the Golden State Athletic Conference which also includes William Jessup University so there will be at least one trip to the Sacramento area by ACU so that family and friends can see these guys in action.

* Bobby Gray G 6-1 160 Jr. Houston, TX/Nimitz High School/San Jose City College

* Matt Cesca F 6-6 200 Sr. San Bruno, CA/Capuchino High School/Academy of Art University

* Gavin Bartlett G 5-11 155 Fr. Granite Bay, CA/Cornerstone Christian High School

Brown: Europe or DLeague?

Posted by Haight Street Hardwood: "Interesting to see where Oakland's Jabari Brown ends up, his game fits well in Europe, but at this point the DLeague is more likely."

Fayne noticed

From Joey Velasquez: "6'7" 2015 Phil Fayne sleeper prospect at the forward position very tough in the post on both sides of the ball."

The Franklin High talent was at the West Coast Super Showcase held this weekend in Clovis.

St. Mary's versus St. Louis for Neufeld

Ben Weixlmann has this scoop: "2015 big man Matt Neufeld tells me he's deciding between #SLU and St. Mary's. Decision likely next week."

Which one has God more on their side, the Gaels or the Billikens?

Here's a background post on Neufeld posted here in late September.

Letter for Mr. Gorbachev

Have you ever heard of a college coach writing a letter to the head of a foreign country as part of the recruiting process?

Luke Winn tells the story.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Probably it for today

The next five posts are probably it for Sunday -- have to get up early to catch a practice over the hill. Back Monday.

Five Nor Cal players at AP

A quintet of northern California talents are members of the 2014-15 Azuza Pacific men's basketball team. They are:

* Robert Sandoval 6-foot Senior Guard 12.1 ppg., 109 assists (Clovis East High/Bay Area Hoosiers)

* LyDell Cardwell 6-foot-2 Junior Guard 5.8 ppg. (Mid-Peninsula High)

* Connor Peterson 6-foot-1 Freshman Guard (Archbishop Mitty High)

* Kevin Stafford 6-foot-3 Senior Guard 5.9 ppg. (Las Lomas High)

* Will Ward 6-foot-5 Sophomore Forward redshirted last season (Sierra High)

UC Merced 2014-15

Coach John Sykes has released his 2014-15 UC Merced roster and among the Bobcats are quite the number of northern California talents, which are highlighted:

Mitch Flores SR G 5-9 165 Stockton, CA/St. Mary's High School

* Kevin Ellsworth SR F 6-4 195 Clovis, CA/Buchanan High School

* Christian Chapman FR G 5-9 160 Hayward, CA/Impact Academy of Arts & Technology

* Joshua Kimble FR  G 6-2 170 Richmond, CA/Pinole Valley High School

* Yosief Ghebresilasie SO G 6-1 165 Fontana, CA/A.B. Miller High School

* Jason Tabor JR G 5-9 150 Santa Clarita, CA/Golden Valley High School

* Dusty Nunes SO G 6-2 165 Merced, CA/Golden Valley High School

* George Olumba SR F 6-3 210 Bakersfield, CA/Independence High School

* Michael Pierick JR G 6-0 165 San Diego, CA/Rancho Bernardo High School

* Ryan Edwards JR F 6-6 215 Sacramento, CA/John F. Kennedy High School

Kenny Veliz SO G 6-0 170 Riverbank, CA/Riverbank High School

* Daniel Pugh SO F 6-2 195 Grand Terrace, CA/Colton High School

James Reed SR G 6-1 195 Vacaville, CA/Vacaville High School

Jared Bliss FR G 5-10 170 Atwater, CA/Buhach Colony High School

* RS Salvador Dela Cruz FR G 6-0 180 Denair, CA/Denair High School

* RS Drew Orr SO F 6-2 180 Cameron Park, CA/East Nicolaus High School

A Grant Vermeer update

Let's see what former Bellarmine Prep guard Grant Vermeer can rustle up for his second season at Navy. He earned a spot on the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll for his classroom efforts while averaging 2.8 points and 1.3 rebounds in 9.6 minutes per game last season.

76ers drop Gordon

Drew Gordon tweeted: "Just got cut by the Sixers... Sad news but keeps the chip on my shoulder .. Still have something to prove."

Lakers waive Brown

The Los Angeles Lakers have gotten down to the maximum roster of 15 by letting Jabari Brown go. He'll surely be playing again soon.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Ohlone College 2014-15

Coach Scott Fisher, a Fremont native, is new to the Ohlone College program, having come over from the University of Hawaii. Fisher also has very strong connections to Australia so his roster has already become a landing spot for Aussie prospects. Here are his 2014-15 guys via the CCCAA site with northern California-connected talents highlighted:

* Harrison Bandagaila freshman forward

* Mike Bethea 6-foot-5 sophomore forward New York

* Dani Busto 6-foot-8 sophomore center Harcum College, PA/Spain

* Javier De La Blanca 6-foot-6 sophomore forward Spain

* Marcus Holmquist-Pollock 6-foot-4 freshman forward Australia

* Jason Failla 6-foot-4 freshman forward Newark Memorial High

* Taylor Meekor 6-foot-2 freshman guard Foothill College/Willow Glen High
* Kamar Reese 6-foot-0 freshman guard Dougherty Valley High

* Devon Rowland 6-foot-0 sophomore forward West Valley College/Newark Memorial High

* Guru Sanghera 6-foot-4 sophomore forward Evergreen Valley High

* Ryo Tawatari  5-foot-11 sophomore guard Japan

* Elliot Warren 6-foot-5 freshman forward Tasmania

* Jesse Wilesmith 5-foot-11 freshman guard Australia (here's a link to a blog where Wilesmith is contributing a diary)

Chabot College 2014-15

Chabot College Coach Denny Aye is returning with a mix of familiar names and newcomers on his roster for the 2014-15 season. The Gladiators made it all the way to the Final Four last year so let's see what the current season will bring. Each northern California-connected player is highlighted:

* Raymond Baldwin sophomore guard/forward 6-foot-5 (10.8 ppg., 8.5 rpg. last season) Maryland

* Noel Briones sophomore guard 5-foot-11 Mt. Eden High

* Joseph Calub sophomore guard 5-foot-8 Fisher College/Moreau Catholic High

* Adrian Crump sophomore forward 6-foot-7 Texas

* Byron Davis freshman guard Texas

* Jadarius Davis sophomore forward 6-foot-8 Angelina College, TX

* Decarlos Frank sophomore guard 6-foot-1 Angelina College, TX

* Shane Haley sophomore forward 6-foot-3 California High

* Rae Jackson freshman guard 6-foot-2 El Cerrito High

* Khalil James sophomore guard 5-foot-8 Sacred Heart Cathedral High

* Austin Medeiros freshman guard 6-foot-1 Livermore High

* Yasin Omar freshman guard 6-foot-2 Minnesota

* Chris Patterson sophomore forward 6-foot-6 Merritt College

* Terrence Simon sophomore guard 6-foot-2 Florida

* Davon Stewart sophomore guard 5-foot-7 San Lorenzo High

* Kellen Sweetwyne  sophomore forward 6-foot-2 Las Positas College/Hayward High

* Shanquel Watson freshman forward 6-foot-7 North Carolina

Three Bay Area talents on NCU roster

Three Bay Area talents -- make that former De La Salle players -- are on the roster of Northwest Christian University (Eugene, OR) this season. They are:

* Travis Pacos 6-foot-3 senior G/F

* Nick Sullivan 6-foot-1 junior G

* Remi White 6-foot-1 sophomore guard

The NCU program is headed by Luke Jackson, the former Oregon guard who played five seasons in the NBA.

Rabb news

Ivan Rabb is living large in Lexington this weekend and Jeff Faraudo reports the Bishop O'Dowd big is down to five schools, from seven.

Conrad in uniform

Click on this link for a photo plus some print on Jason (Gilroy High/Chico State) Conrad joining the Moncton Miracles.

Terrell hitting Spokane

Via Josh Gershon: "2016 Sacramento (Calif.) SG Christian Terrell will unofficially visit #Gonzaga tomorrow."

Bright point for the Gaels

Aaron Bright comes in at #4 in the Mark Kramer rankings of West Coast Conference points for the 2014-15 season.

El Cerrito's Carlos Johnson being watched

The LoboLair tweeted: "New Mexico now expressing interest in 2016 @WITNESS_THIS23 big time athlete from @soldiersAAU"

Huh? How could this be?

From D1 Circuit comes this remarkable bit of trivia: "Interesting stat: The Milwaukee Bucks are going to have more teenagers on their opening day roster than Marquette."

This could make spring and summer verrrry interesting

From Coast2CoastPreps:

"Yesterday at the national convention for AAU in Fort Lauderdale, a 60% – 40% vote was passed and AAU has voted to change their rules for age eligibility. The 7u-14u divisions will now change nationally.

If you are wanting to play in divisions next year you must meet these rules:

14u – Turn 15 after September 1, 2015
13u – Turn 14 after September 1, 2015
12u – Turn 13 after September 1, 2015
11u – Turn 12 after September 1, 2015
10u – Turn 11 after September 1, 2015
9u – Turn 10 after September 1, 2015
8u – Turn 9 after September 1, 2015
7u – Turn 8 after September 1, 2015"

Hit this link for the remainder.

WCC's picks for All-WCC

Mark Kramer has issued his All-West Coast Conference player predictions and Brad Waldow of St. Mary's is listed as is USF's Kruize Pinkins and Jared Brownridge of Santa Clara.

More on Brandon Ashley

Bruce Pascoe:

"Anybody else think Brandon Ashley looked a little tentative during the Red-Blue Game, his first public appearance since injuring his foot on Feb. 1?

He did, too.

“Definitely, there were times” of tentativeness, Ashley said Thursday, during lunchtime interviews at Pac-12 media day Thursday. “It takes time to develop that same confidence in your foot again after being off it so long.”

But the Red-Blue Game was nearly a week ago, and Ashley said he’s already feeling more confident on it now. And confidence, he said, is the main thing, having been medically cleared to practice fully for about two months now.

“It’s pretty much all mental at this point,” Ashley said. “It’s all mental.”

Will Cherry cut

"The Raptors have officially waived Will Cherry and Jordan Hamilton, the team announced. These moves reduce Toronto’s preseason roster count to 15 players, which is the league’s regular season limit. Both players had their deals partially guaranteed for $25K,.." 

Ali lauded

Mel Grussing pulls no punches: "Ismail Ali is the best JUCO point guard in California...."

The former San Leandro High prepster went south to test his mettle and it looks like he made a very good choice.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Also, Safin to Chico State

Cameron Schott tweeted: "A pair of 2015 NorCal guards committed yesterday. Modesto Christian PG Jeff Wu is headed to Sac St. and Rocklin SG Vinnie Safin to Chico St."

Going by memory (dangerous to do at my age), Safin is the first DII commit this go-around.

Your choice

So if you are Sean Miller at Arizona, which big do you prefer to sign to conclude your 2015 class -- Caleb Swanigan, Stephen Zimmerman or Ivan Rabb?

Thanks to Point Guard U:

6-foot-9 Caleb Swanigan
A true under the basket and above the rim player, 2015 post Caleb Swanigan is a cerebral menace on both the offensive and defensive end combining elite low-post footwork with a vertical defensive game few players can rival.... Reels in rebounds on either side of the glass, positions himself like he has concrete in his shoes and works feverishly to supplant potential board thieves.... Grown man's body, plays like he is bigger and taller than his competition but allows opposing post players to outwork his motor.... At 265 lbs he has trouble with his conditioning as he has never had time to fully grow into his body.... Will benefit greatly from a college conditioning program.... Nowhere near athletic as he should be, working on building some of the excess fat on his body into muscle will provide strides in his physical acumen.... Swanigan has it all in terms of a low-post prospect, size, skill and the physical wherewithal to dominate opposing centers and forwards but he will need to improve his physical conditioning to log more significant minutes against high level competition in 2015.
7-foot Stephen Zimmerman
The best shooting post player in his class, Zimmerman is one of the most unique 2015 prospects..... Excellent touch and a feathery jumpshot make his offensive game quite advanced for his age...... Has a reliable midrange shot and can even hit from the three point line..... Has good timing as a shot blocker, doesn't leave his feet too early..... Plays within the team concept and rarely tries to do too much, appears to be a high IQ player who takes to coaching well..... For a 7 footer, has great quickness..... Can be stiff/mechanical at times, but has appeared more fluid as he continues to develop physically..... Added lower body strength will do wonders for his inside game..... Zim's shooting ability is what sets him apart from other prospects, his range will pose major problems at the college level as long as he can defend more physical players in the post.
6-foot-11 Ivan Rabb
Rabb is one of the truly special players of the 2015 class. A mobile post player, Rabb is an elite shot-blocker and has great defensive instincts..... His offensive game has improved drastically over the last year or so, making him possibly the best overall player in the 2015 class..... Plays with intensity and fire...... Has added significant muscle to his lanky frame, allowing him to be a stronger inside presence..... Is a springy jumper, making him a shot blocking threat as well as a dunking machine, loves to use his athleticism down low to score off dunks..... Has shown the ability to face up, though his handle and decision making with the ball are still improving..... Needs to work on reliable post moves, as do all HS level post players..... Has great length, but narrow shoulders limit his frame..... In a rigorous S&C program Rabb will become a physical specimen...... Overall Rabb is the best post player and possibly the best player in his class, and has been improving at a dramatic rate since his sophomore year, giving him one of the highest ceilings in the country.
+++++++

Having zero insight into the minds of these players, their parents and assorted others, Swanigan seems like the perfect Michigan State guy (Tom Izzo is recruiting him). There's no doubt he is an in-the-paint talent and playing in Lansing will both get him in shape and rev up his motor...or else.

Zimmerman and Rabb playing on the court together did neither any favor, even though the former can be a menace from outside. Of late, Zimmerman's motor was being lauded but it wasn't always that way during the summer. The most serious goal for him is getting stronger and wider so that he can match up defensively with the most physical of opponents at the next levels. It certainly appears he is a one-and-done (ready is a valid question without a solid weight gain) and the guess here is Arizona. This would allow family to see him play in person plus Zimmerman possesses certain plus talents lacking in the other bigs on the Tucson roster.

With Rabb, there certainly is a well-developed pathway from the Bay Area to Tucson but the gut says that isn't going to be a favorable factor in Rabb's decisionmaking. He is going to carve out his own road and go the bluegrass way, thereby instantly becoming a member of state royalty. For one season.

Disclaimer: all predictions get to looking better and better the later it is at night.

Alford includes Allen

"UCLA Coach Steve] Alford plans to keep the up-tempo attack with Powell, Bryce Alford, Isaac Hamilton and Noah Allen," per Percy Allen.

Glad to see that last name included.

The long arm of mothers

Percy Allen captured this on Pac-12 Media Day:
Best questions today: Brandon Ashley's mom asks her son: 'Are you taking your vitamins?" and "Are you ready to go this season?"
From Bruce Pascoe comes more:

Last question on the podium interviews went to Lashiem Clark, who just happens to be Ashley’s mother.

“I’m Brandon Ashley’s mom, and my question is, are you taking your vitamins?” she said. “The second question is, are you ready to go for this season.”

Clark said afterward she was prodded into asking the question, presumably to shake up the sometimes-dry podium interviews, and her son answered wisely.

“Definitely make it a key part of my everyday regimen to make sure I take my vitamins, to make sure my bones are strong and everything like that,” Ashley said. “Definitely trying to remain healthy.”

To shoot well, or not to shoot...

Dr. T.J. Allan offers this article: "3 Cues for Better Basketball Shooting"

Bird progressing at Cal

Percy Allen tweeted: "When asked who's playing well in practice, [Cuonzo] Martin praises Jabari Bird who is "coming out of his comfort zone" and playing better defense."