Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Brown with 22

Laker Jabari Brown enjoyed a big game last night versus Philadelphia with 22 points in a 113-111 overtime victory. He shot 7-10 overall, 3-4 from beyond the arc and 5-5 at the foul line.

Smith transferring

Via Jeff Borzello: "Coppin State transfer Sterling Smith (13.9 ppg) has offers from Nevada and New Mexico State, per a source. Eligible immediately."

The 6-foot-4 guard averaged 13.9 points, and 4.9 rebounds, shooting 47%, 42% and 77% respectively. His 44 steals were best on the team.

Humboldt adds a frontcourter

From Superior Athletes: "2015, 6'8, Pf, Los Alamitos HS, Jack Kaub has officially committed to Humboldt State tonite."

His MaxPreps numbers list him at 200 pounds with a 13.4 point and 8.7 rebound averages as a senior.

A February 2014 analysis: "Hustler, plays his role well, knows how to position himself in the paint, good footwork, needs to work on face up game."

Irony abounds

From Phil Beckner: "WOW! @Dame_Lillard had NO CHANCE of being a "Mcdonalds All American"...6 years later the "Mcdonalds All Americans" will be wearing HIS shoe!"

Kudos to Rick Barnes

Coach Bob Walsh on Rick Barnes:

"Hard not to have a ton of respect for Rick Barnes.  When told by his AD he needed to fire his staff or he would be fired, Barnes refused to get rid of his guys.

“I couldn’t do that. That would be me saying this is about me. I’ve been carried by a lot of people here. We’re in this together.”

Barnes went to 16 NCAA Tournaments in 17 years at Texas. Think about that. Maybe the person who sets the expectations should be fired."

More from ESPN:

"...Barnes confirmed Patterson told him a few days ago he had to fire members of his coaching staff or be fired himself. That ultimatum was leaked to the media Thursday, publicly turning up the pressure on Barnes and his assistants. Barnes blamed the leaks on the athletic department but didn't name any individuals behind them...


...Barnes said his staff offered to quit but he refused to let them."

Coaches in all sports preach loyalty as job one. The talk is always that 'we are one, a family.' However, actions can be quite different, especially when hundreds of thousands of dollars can be at stake as assistants are fully expected to fall on their swords. A tip o' the hat for Rick Barnes for walking the talk.

Make that Rick Barnes, now the new head coach at Tennessee. Hey, the orange bath towels and hand towels at the Barnes home in Austin will also work in Knoxville, as apparently will his assistants.

Pierce on undefeated Kentucky

Charles Pierce, with his eye on an undefeated Kentucky, shares his thoughts. Another excellent example of kinetic writing.

Titus reigns

Mark Titus is as good as usual with his latest article.

Another honor for Wright

The Associated Press has named Delon Wright an All-America Second Team honoree.

The MCAL: MVP and honorees

From the Marin Independent Journal:

MCAL Player of Year: Jesse Hunt, Drake

First team: Charlie Duysen, Marin Catholic; Calvin Geraci, San Marin; Malik Huff, Drake; Will Breck, Redwood; Joey Calcaterra, Marin Catholic

Second team: Dane Wells, Drake; Yoav Pantilat, Tam; Henry Feinberg, Branson; Colton Wirth, San Marin; Frankie Calcaterra, Marin Catholic

Honorable mention: LaRon Bullock, Redwood; Beau Keeve, Terra Linda; Jack Elias, Tam; Connor Jackett, Branson; Aidan Willard, Justin-Siena; Brandon DeBarros, Novato

ARC's comeback season

Matthew Pierson looks back over the recent American River College season, a program moving from 3-23 last year to 15-11 this one.

Being recruited isn't all rainbows and sweet talk

Being recruited and going through that process sounds like ego-boosting fun. Not always as Joe Davidson details.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Cañada back at it

On March 13, Cañada College fell 75-68 in overtime to eventual state champion Saddleback College in the opening round of the CCCAA Final Four. It took a 30-foot three-pointer with 0.4 seconds remaining for Saddleback to send the contest into that extra period.

But rather than mope around cursing the basketball gods, the Colts have other plans.

"We took a few days off, re-collected and got back at it," Coach Mike Reynoso explained. "The only way to get over it is to get back out there. That's just who I am." Now the expectations are for Cañada to annually be in the running to win state.

However, the tale that has yet to be told is how a program which finished 5-22 a year earlier vaulted into participating in a state championship playoff alongside three other competitors?

Reynoso knows the hows and whys.

"We had right guys at 5-22. We built a foundation, we competed, playing with toughness and grit. We never gave up on each other and learned to be a tough team playing together. They didn't accept failure. They played the right way, as a team sharing the ball. What we lacked was in terms of the talent aspect."

That evolved with the development of certain talents already on the roster and the additions of others.

"From day one, it was we can do something here if we play together with a collective effort and agreement. We needed to play for each other. If we're successful, guys are going to get recognition. They did a great job of learning our offensive and defensive philosophy of being one unit offensively and defensively. It was a collective effort."

Reynoso cited Rhondell Goodwin as a prime example.

"He was our best player, the [northern California] MVP and he came off the bench. Rhondell didn't whine, he unselfishly did what was best for the team. After five minutes of play, he comes in and we're looking at going up. They're [the opposing team) looking at a dropoff."

Riffing further on Goodwin, Reynoso offered, "he is so versatile with a unique set of skills. He played the 1-5 positions for us. But he wasn't a DI prospect as a freshman. He fought through two ACL injuries and came back very diligently working on his craft." Rohndell averaged 17.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 2014-15, shooting 53%, 37% and 82%.

Yet the season wasn't without it's slips -- "we had some guys with injuries and our confidence turned into cockiness."

There was a 72-70 loss to Skyline in late January. In early-to-mid February, Cañada fell 82-77 to Las Positas, 68-67 versus Chabot and 80-77 against CCSF in consecutive losses.

The Colts dug deeper, righted themselves, and four successive wins soon followed -- against Foothill, Diablo Valley, San Jose City and Marin -- until the matchup with Saddleback. "I'm really proud of how we came back," Reynoso noted.

Getting and maintaining buy-in are critical and landing "the right guys, high character guys, is a big part of it. You have to preach who you are, what you believe in and show that. Kids see through a lot and can tell if its the basis of who you are and what you believe."

"We pride ourselves at playing defense like it's done at the DI level and teach how to read defenses coming off screens [offensively] and how to take a good shot," Reynoso said. The feedback received thus far is "we don't have to teach your guys because they're not just athletes."  

So has making the Final Four generated a boost in program interest?

"There are definitely more calls from people who want to play for us. We want guys from winning program who play the right way. But we don't sell the Final Four -- we sell relationships. The interest in our four sophomores sells itself. We're sending them off to play at the next level and get their education paid for, emphasizing choosing a good academic institution and a program that keeps skill development going. We don't make promises -- it's listen to our philosophy, do what we ask you to do on the court and in the classroom and you'll be successful."

The Cañada basketball credo might best be summed up as "represent yourself well, your family well and your team well."

St. Mary's signee honored

Stefan Gonzales, a St. Mary's signee, has been honored as the 2015 Idaho Statesman Player of the Year.

Here is more on the backcourter.

Poorsina to Play Hard Play Smart

From Lester Diaz: "PHPS would like to welcome Arash Poorsina from St Ignatius to the Family."

He's 6-foot-8 2016 prospect.

Mullin to St. John's

Per John Rothstein, Chris Mullin is the next St. John's coach if he wants the position.

A bit of NBA draft news

Here are some current if not specific NBA draft player projections of northern California-connected collegians, courtesy of Draft Express:

* Utah's Delon Wright 20-40

* Cal's Tyrone Wallace 25-50

* San Diego Sate's Malik Pope 25-50

* Texas' Isaiah Taylor 40-undrafted

* Kentucky's Marcus Lee 40-undrafted

* Arizona's Brandon Ashley 50-undrafted

* Cal's Jabari Bird 50-undrafted

* St. Mary's Brad Waldow undrafted

Townes honored

Anthony Townes of Modesto Christian High is the Modesto Bee's Boys Player of the Year.

The 2015 Modesto Bee all-Stanislaus District boys’ basketball team

Here are the members of the 2015 Modesto Bee all-Stanislaus District boys’ basketball team.

The All Monterey County Boys Basketball Team

Tommy Wright details the All Monterey County Boys Basketball Team and also offers a focus on Most Valuable Player Wyatt Maker.

The latest from Titus

Mark Titus shares his mailbag, dated March 26.

Insight from Shaka Smart

Arete Hoops talked with VCU Coach Shaka Smart. There's much to learn from him.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Smith with coverage on all three boys games

Eli-Sean Smith/Nor Cal Preps has game reports on each of the three matchups yesterday involving northern California boys teams.

Williams with two more offers

Gary Williams Jr., who just finished his sophomore season at Indian Hills College, was just offered by Nevada and UAB.

Wisconsin 85, Arizona 78

Wisconsin topped Arizona yesterday 85-78 ending the Big Dance run of the Wildcats. Brandon Ashley shot 5-8 overall, 7-7 from the foul line and finished with 17 points plus four rebounds. Now comes decision time for him: head to the NBA or play as a senior.

BOD 65, Mater Dei 64

The Dragons kept falling behind, with comebacks in both regulation and overtime at times seemingly out of reach. But to those of little faith, Bishop O'Dowd roared one final time and knocked off Mater Dei 65-64 in Berkeley Saturday night to win the Open Division boys basketball championship. Ivan Rabb nailed the game winning free throw and Paris Austin just wouldn't take defeat for an answer, finishing with 21 points, seven rebounds plus eight assists. He scored 18 points in the fourth quarter.

Mitch Stephens game reports as does Eric Sondheimer and also Stephanie Hammon.

Here's Rabb at the foul line:

La Mirada 71, Mitty 70 double OT

It was La Mirada edging Archbishop Mitty 71-70 yesterday in double overtime to win the Division II boys basketball state championship.

With Ben Kone and Sebastian Much returning, the Monarchs very well may be back playing in this game next season.

Eric Sondheimer game reports as does Darren Sabedra.

Doug Duran offers seven game photos.

Crespi 47, Cap Christian 44

In another typical down to the wire finish of this weekend, Crespi High turned back Capital Christian High 47-44 to win the Division IV boys basketball state championship.

Joe Davidson game reports as does John Murphy.

Randall Benton provides a photo gallery.

Holding the games at Haas worked

Mitch Stephens and Joe Davidson both report that holding the state title games at Haas Pavilion is receiving official kudos.

Handy and Hawaii

Brian McInnis reports that Phil Handy has interest in the open head coach position at Hawaii.

Brandon Bracy & Team Rampage

Former Vallejo High and Solano Community College basketball star Brandon Bracy has launched a new AAU team out of the Solano County area. The name of the team is "Team Rampage" which features high school juniors and seniors from all over the Bay Area.

Two years ago, Bracy had signed a partial scholarship to Pacifica College in Southern California but, due to financial reasons, his season was cut short. Now Bracy attends Cal State East Bay and has started an AAU team that has created a lot of local buzz.

Team Rampage plans to attend all of the NCAA certified events in the Bay Area, plus Double Pump in Anaheim, and Big Foot Hoops in Las Vegas.

He will also host Try-Outs for the club on April 14 and April 16, at Vallejo High School from 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. For more information, contact him at Brandondemetrusbracy@yahoo.com

Khalil James highlight video

From Chabot Men's Basketball:

"Khalil James sophomore highlight video: LINK

Starting PG for two seasons which included a Final Four run in 2013-14. True PG, as quick and athletic as they come, big time defender who brings toughness every night. Great student who will graduate this semester with his AA degree. Currently looking for a transfer school. 

Contact Coach Dion for more info 504-782-5922"

Alec Fetzer academically honored

"The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced its annual 2014-15 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete award recipients on Monday. Through his excellence in the classroom, the California Maritime Academy's Alec Fetzer has earned the honor. Fetzer, a junior guard from Saint Helena, is an International Business major who has flourished in the classroom as he has also been named to Cal Maritime's President's List on several occasions during his three years on campus. Alec was also a valuable member on the floor serving as the team's sixth man. He shot nearly 40% from three point range for the season including an impressive 56% from distance during conference play. Alec helped the Keelhaulers to their fourth consecutive conference championship and fourth straight trip to the NAIA National Tournament.

In order to be nominated by an institution's head coach or sports information director, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status.

"We are extremely proud of Alec for earning this great accomplishment. His work ethic and passion to succeed are inspiring and he represents the very best of collegiate athletics. He has a very bright future ahead of him and I am thrilled we have the opportunity to have him in our program for one more year," commented Head Coach Bryan Rooney. 

This marks the second consecutive year that Cal Maritime has had a student-athlete recognized as an Academic  All American. Erik Hanson and Jaquai Wiley earned the honor for the 2013-14 season."

Justin-Sienna readying to turn the corner

Marty James reports that Justin-Sienna Coach Mike Boles has a foundation in place for the Braves basketball program.

Tim Kennedy's coaching style

Excellent Darren Sabedra look at Mitty Coach Tim Kennedy.

Here's a Kennedy feature from back in 2011 when he took over the Mitty job.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Eli-Sean Smith on all three Friday boys games

Eli-Sean Smith/Nor Cal Preps offers game reports on each of the boys basketball state championship games from Friday.

San Ramon Valley 79, Chino Hills 71 double overtime

The play of five can better the star power of one (even if that individual is very, very good) as indicated in San Ramon Valley High's 79-71 Friday victory over Chino Hills for the Division I state championship.

Matt Schwab game reports as does Eric Sondheimer.

Damien 70, Campolindo 57

Facing just too much speed, athletic ability and skill did in Campolindo High for the Division III state championship, 70-57, Friday in Berkeley.

Stephanie Hammon and Eric Sondheimer game report.

Sierra Canyon 80, University 55

Too big and too athletic were the primary issues as Sierra Canyon handled University High Friday 80-55 to win the Division V state championship.

John Murphy plus Eric Sondheimer game report.

PGU sez Rabb will be a Bear

Point Guard U tweeted: "PGU Sources: Ivan Rabb will end up at Cal," causing the BOD star bashing to begin in and around Tucson. Of course.

Artis in College Station

Brad Winton tweeted: "Dominic Artis (sitting at Diablo Valley CC) will visit Texas A&M this weekend."

Ali checking out the Land of Famous Potatoes

Mel Grussing reports that former San Leandro High point Ismail Ali will soon be tripping to Idaho. He just completed his sophomore season at Antelope Valley College.

The 2015 All Monterey County Boys Basketball Team

John Devine presents video featuring the 2015 All Monterey County Boys Basketball Team.

Duke 63, Utah 57

Utah gave it a go but a particular matchup problem and the inability to get enough good looks proved too difficult to overcome as Duke turned back the Utes on Friday 63-57. Delon Wright tallied 10 points, six boards and three steals in the losing cause.

Box

Northern Arizona 74, Kent St. 73

In a CIT matchup, Northern Arizona and Kent State went to overtime before the former grabbed a 74-73 win. Closing out his season, Dev Manley finished with 25 points, powered by 6-14 accuracy from three-point range.

Box

Lots of choices for the Colts' seniors

Cañada College Coach Mike Reynoso talks about the numerous college options for his quartet of players moving on to four-year colleges.

McCuire lauded

Former Cal associate head coach Travis DeCuire, now running the show at Montana, receives some laudatory coverage in this article.

A change in playoff teams placements

The southern CIF is proposing team placements based on ability rather than enrollment size.

Charles Pierce with a few words on the Big Dance

Whenever Charles Pierce writes about the Big Dance, just read it.

Building a basketball algorithm

Meet Michigan State's secret weapon -- the KPI.

Friday, March 27, 2015

It's not Kone alone

Darren Sabedra notes that Ben Kone has quite the running mate, one Sebastian Much.

Junior Longrus working it academically

Congratulation to Junior Longrus.

Following are the 2014-15 Pac-12 Conference Men's Basketball All-Academic teams, announced today by Commissioner Larry Scott. To be eligible for selection to the academic team, a student-athlete must have a minimum 3.0 overall grade-point average and be either a starter or significant contributor.

Second Team
Junior Longrus, WSU JR 3.30 Management & Operations

Getting to know Ivan Rabb

Mitch Stephens fleshes out Ivan Rabb, the individual, not the basketball player. What a refreshing look.

Meet Mitchell Love

The Beatles once sang "all you need is love." These lyrics, which were also the song title, weren't the musical background accompanying a Mitchell Love recruiting promo but the sentiment certainly applies. That's because the 6-foot-2 sophomore guard for Cosumnes River College (CRC) earned the Most Valuable Player award in the Big 8 Conference this season as well as First Team All State honors.

With Love running the show, CRC posted a 12-2 league record, went 23-8 overall with a 9-1 in the last 10 games. In 33.5 minutes per outing, he provided 13.4 points, 4.0 assists and 3.4 rebounds plus the willingness to handle the ball as the clock ticked down.

About his desire to be front and center, Love explained, "I've always been the one who spoke up. Leadership is one of my best skills." Add to that "playing one-on-one, I can get any shot I want whether it be on a pick-and-roll or isolations. Also being able to create for others."

Along the way, two surprises took place. "I just wanted to win league. I hadn't given being MVP or all state any thought. I wasn’t having a good season until we played Sac City at Sac City. After that game, something clicked and I just started playing at the MVP level."

Love also cites his basketball IQ as a primary asset. "I grew up watching basketball with my Uncle Larry. You see certain situations and realize what to do. He always talks to me about how the little things matter. And just making every possession count."

But it wasn't a situation of walking right in and taking control. After Burbank High, he attended St. Ignatios Prep School in South Carolina for a year. Upon returning, Love enrolled at CRC.

"It was a winning team, close to home and my best friend David [Straughter] was going to play there. I thought that we could come and make things happen right away."

He averaged 6.5 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists that season. "I didn't play a lot, I was going to have to come along because there were guys ahead of me. I knew I had to gain my coaches trust."

Two particular basketball moments stand out the most for Love. "At Sierra this year, we were losing at halftime. I played miserably. I was a negative on the court, like playing 5-on-4. They were denying me from the tip and it was annoying me. I told my team at halftime, 'I'm going to step up. I’m going to score 20 and we are going to win.’ Nobody believed me. They looked at me like I was crazy." He finished with 20 points and seven assists. "I understood what I did in the first half and I needed to switch that."

The other cherished memory is from high school. "One of my friends, Emmanuel Pope was saying he was going to dunk on somebody in a high school summer league game. Near the end of the game, he made a steal at halfcourt and started dribbling slow towards the basket. There was a dude with him. It was like Emmanuel was baiting him. Emmanuel jumped from the third line and dunked. He stepped over him [the opponent] and looked over at me. It is one of the most unexpected dunks I've ever seen and still fresh in my mind."

Love's life goal is to become an electrician and his college major will reflect that desire.

As for recruiting, "I'm a California guy but I'll go anywhere. Texas, Florida, New York, Idaho, Wyoming, it all depends on the school."

Expect him to bring a spark to whichever four-year college he selects.

First incoming talent for CRC

CRC athletics notes that an incoming talent for the Hawks, a 6-foot guard out of the San Diego area, has been honored as the Player of the Year in the Grossmont Valley League.

The best ever in the Bay -- preps edition

Vic Tafur details the top 10 players in Bay Area high school hoops history. This is sure to engender some squabbling.

Mims to Mullen event

From CRC athletics: "#CRCbasketball announces Donald Mims accepts invitation to attend @jerrydmullen Top 100 JC Camp in St. Louis, the premier JC camp in nation."

A very deserving young man.

Kone carrying the Monarchs

John Murphy features Archbishop Mitty's Ben Kone who has donned a Superman cape of late.

Capital Christian feature

Joe Davidson writes about this season's Capital Christian squad whose roster has quite the unique makeup.

Benton sez BOD & Mitty will nab state championships

Doug Benton predicts a Bishop O'Dowd victory and an Archbishop Mitty win this fast-approaching weekend.

Katz & McKinney honored

Sacramento State Coach Brian Katz and senior Mikh McKinney have both been regionally honored for their 2014-15 seasons.

Straughter commits

Via CRC athletics: "#CRCbasketball forward David Straughter verbally commits to Bellevue(NE)."

Out of Burbank High, the 6-foot-5 sophomore averaged 13 points plus eight boards this season for the Hawks.

The Bellevue roster has five northern California talents for the 2014-15 season. The team finished 2806 overall, 11-3 in conference and made it to the national NAIA tournament.


Lew best in big games

Will Reisman provides some much-deserved press to University High's Brandon Lew.

It appears Menlo College is seeking a new basketball coach

Congrats to Jon Surface. Menlo College is a member of the California Pacific Conference. Not seeing the head coach position listed under Employment Opportunities but Hoop Dirt has this.

From Menlo College athletics:

"Menlo College Director of Athletics Keith Spataro has announced Jon Surface as the head of the department's Club Sports, Intramural and Recreation division which is set to roll out for the 2015-16 academic year. Surface, who headed the men's basketball program for the previous five seasons, has been promoted to the newly created position of Assistant Athletics Director – Club Sports, Intramural and Recreation effective immediately.

"Jon has been an integral part of our department during his tenure at Menlo College. Our goal in adding club and intramural sports and an increased recreation division is to galvanize the student body to athletics and expand current offerings in a non-varsity setting. Jon's skills and qualities combined with his understanding of athletics in general and Menlo College as a whole make him a great fit to pioneer this new initiative," said Menlo College Director of Athletics Keith Spataro.

During his five years at the helm of the men's basketball program, Surface led the team to a conference title in 2010-11 and saw his teams qualify for the postseason Cal Pac tournament in five consecutive seasons. Additionally, Surface coached three Cal Pac Players of the Year, one Defender of the Year, one Freshman of the Year, one Newcomer of the Year and 15 All-Conference performers.

"I'm looking forward to joining the athletic administration team and helping to create the Club Sports, Intramural and Recreation programs on campus," said Surface. "This position is new and exciting and these programs stand to provide current and future students with a number of great opportunities."

Menlo College's new department of Club Sports, Intramurals and Recreation will feature a wide-array of student-run opportunities on campus ranging from external facing club sports to internal intramural competitions. Furthermore, current recreational offerings stand to expand to create a far-reaching athletic experience of varying skill and commitment levels for all students at the Atherton campus."

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Meet Troy Anderson

A glue guy isn't the right description for San Joaquin Delta College's (SJDC) Troy Anderson. He is that because he will proficiently do whatever it takes for his team to succeed but he is quite the rebounder, defender and also someone who can score.

The 6-foot-5 Anderson averaged 16.0 points and 12.9 rebounds -- a double-double game in, game out -- as well as 3.1 shotblocks and 2.4 steals a contest in the 2014-15 Mustang season which earned him deserved membership on the All State team.

Yet when asked why he chose SJDC out of Armijo High, the answer was, to say the least, surprising. "They were the only junior college trying to recruit me." Yet Anderson was an all-league player as a senior, a double digit scorer and obviously a prime time athlete. But not to truncate his response, he also explained,"SJDC was real serious about academics and I fit in with the coach [Rick Ressa]. He is strict which is what I liked."

Anderson understands what achieving success takes, both on and off the court. He knew he wanted to be ready after two years so he went with a program that held the student-athlete description in high regard. With basketball, "I've improved so much. I put in the time and my coaches put in the time."

Ask him what he sees as his best basketball skill and, rather than offering an element based on his highlight statistics, Anderson said, "My basketball intelligence. I see the bigger picture on the court." How did he develop that? "I've been playing since I was four. I'm versatile. You can use me down low or coming off a screen and catching the ball at the foul line for a dribble-drive."

Probably the best take about his sense of self is this: "I bring defense and rebounds. I don't ever expect to score a lot."

His father played football, a wide receiver in particular. "My Dad was a football player but he knows about basketball. He was my AAU coach."

A query regarding what he sees as his best basketball moment highlights his forthrightness. "It was last December 21, a home game against City College of San Francisco." One in which he enjoyed 26 points and 20 rebounds in the 69-65 victory but he prefaced his answer with "I had a couple of bad games before that."

Looking to major in the business and marketing area, Anderson will be making the decision on his next destination in the month of April. The winning suitor will be landing a very well grounded high flier.

Frenchwood a free agent

Parker Gabriel reports on the roster-reducing moves at Montana State, including the letting go of freshman Joey Frenchwood.

That element:

"...Frenchwood appeared in 24 games for the Bobcats and started the final nine conference games. He averaged 11.8 minutes and 2.4 points per game.

The Oakland, California, native averaged just five minutes over MSU’s first nine conference games, including two in which he didn’t play. Inserted into the starting lineup Feb. 5 against Idaho, he then averaged nearly 17 minutes over the remaining nine. In that span, he averaged 3.5 points, hit 11 of 23 3-pointers and decreased his turnover rate..."

Brian Botteen and the SRVH season

Matt Schwab reports on the job San Ramon Valley High Coach Brian Botteen is doing in his initial season as head varsity coach.

This Phil Jensen article from May 2014 details Botteen almost wasn't going to be in that position.

Here's more.

Stephens filling the void

Mitch Stephens fills the void until Friday's and Saturday's games with a number of behind-the-scenes notes and he also conducted a media poll of who will win on the boys side -- hint: just two Nor Cal teams.

Basketball recruits considering California

Jeff Faraudo posts some info on California Coach Cuonzo Martin's recruiting targets and the status on each.

Calipari the next time he's an NBA coach

Ian O'Connor serves up a fascinating article on John Calipari, with the takeaway being that Calipari won't feel as insecure as he did in his first NBA coaching stint and, therefore, his behavior won't be so childish.


More on the Musselman hire

Chris Murray: "Musselman said one of the reasons he likes Nevada is because of his ties to Sacramento & the Bay Area and how that will help in recruiting."

Kudos about Musselman compiled by Nevada athletics.

Bobbitt impressive this season

Dayton Morinaga looks back on Hawaii's season and Roderick Bobbitt certainly stands out:

* Junior point guard Roderick Bobbitt had 100 steals to establish a new single-season record. The previous record of 84 was set by All-America guard Tom Henderson during the 1972-73 season.

* Bobbitt recorded a single-game UH record of 10 steals in a victory over Hawai’i-Hilo on November 19, topping the previous mark or nine set by Tony Webster during the 1982-83 season.

* Bobbitt also had 12 points and 10 assists to go along with the 10 steals in the win over UH-Hilo, making him just the second player in UH history to record a triple-double. The only other one was Reggie Carter in 1975.

* Bobbitt led the team with 187 assists – an average of 5.3 per game. The 187 assists for a season is the sixth-best in UH history. Anthony Carter holds the season record for assists with 212 in 1997-98

The kind of story very few can write

Alexander Wolff digs into Patty Mills, Gregg Popovich, Spurs basketball, Australian history and more. Be thankful for such comprehensive and informative takes.

The Big Dance backs up talent but also exposes problem areas

Andrew Sharp takes an interesting look at certain players who have made a name for themselves, not all necessarily positively, in the Big Dance thus far.

A bit more about the San Diego opening

From Mark Ziegler: "Other people to keep an eye on at USD are Columbia coach Kyle Smith (an asst at USD for 8 years in '90s) and CSU San Marcos' Jim Saia."

The transfer "epidemic"

Mark Isenberg from back in 2013 on the so-called transfer epidemic.

The conundrum of college and professional sports

Yes, Robert Upshaw was dismissed from the team by Washington Coach Lorenzo Romar some time back. This after suspensions and ultimately a departure from Fresno State. ESPN is describing both situations as drug-related.

But...

Below are tweets from Jonathan Givony/Draft Express:

"There were serious concerns about Robert Upshaw's background and off-court history even before he was dismissed by Washington today."

and

"Thing is, long and mobile 7-footers who block shots and aren't clueless offensively don't grow on trees. Robert Upsaw is one talented dude."

and

"People won't like hearing this so soon after being dismissed, but someone will draft Robert Upshaw, maybe really high still. Up to him really."

Not many NBA draft eligibles can do what Upshaw does on the court. Even if he can't be counted on, someone in an NBA front office will certainly bite.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Musselman to Nevada

Welcome Coach Eric Musselman to the Mountain West Conference, Nevada in particular. Chris Murray offers the details.

Lookin' at San Diego State -- Allen and Williams in particular

San Diego State has concluded its season, successful yet not going as far as they wished in the Big Dance. The Aztecs were carried by defense, simply lacking creators and shooters. The need for a point to step up is critical.

Now what do Dakarai Allen and D'Erryl Williams decide to do? Both will be entering their junior seasons of eligibility.

Their 2014-15 production:

* Dakarai Allen: 396 minutes, 2.6 points, 1.7 rebounds, 41% overall shooting, 67% from the foul line, 2-10 from beyond the arc, 19 steals

* D'Erryl Williams: 129 minutes, 8-14 overall shooting, 2-3 from long range,1-2 at the charity stripe

Their respective strengths are not on offense, which is what the Aztecs primarily need. Having Malik Pope ready from the get-go will be a major offensive plus but additional firepower is needed as returning center Skylar Spencer is a non-factor regarding point production.

Freshman Kevin Zabo was supposed to help at the point but that didn't happen. Fellow frosh guard Trey Kell was better defensively than on offense which surprised many. 6-foot-6 sophomore Matt Shrigley, supposedly another solid shooter, was inconsistent all season. All will be back and in the mix.

6-foot-3 SoCal prep shooting guard Jeremy Helmsley is arriving for his his first season and he also has been praised for his defensive effort. Plus, a 6-foot-5 2016 guard from Washington has already give a verbal.

Granted, elements such as what you have as a major, your circle of existing friends, being a part of a very successful basketball program and more can all lend to both Allen and Williams wishing to remain as Aztecs.

We should know soon.

Jim Saia, ex-Drake High and College of Marin player

From Hoop Dirt: "Word on the street is that the top two choices, Musselman (an alum), and former Cavs and Lakers head coach Mike Brown (also an alum), have both politely passed on this one. I have heard that USD is now using Carr for their search, and have begun to identify candidates. One name that has started to emerge here is Cal State San Marcos head coach Jim Saia. The former USC and UCLA assistant has also been the head coach at Fresno Pacific."

-- Always love to see a lower level coach receive consideration. Cal State San Marcos just finished its season with a 30-4 record, having reached the NAIA National Quarterfinals. Last year, it was a 32-2 record.

Saia's official bio:

"Jim Saia completed his third year as the Cal State San Marcos head men’s basketball coach in 2013-14, his 25th season coaching basketball. Saia became the school’s first-ever head coach on May 25, 2010, tasked with building a program from scratch in his third stint as head coach on the four-year college level.

The 2013-14 squad will be one for the record books. The Cougars went 32-2 overall, spent seven straight weeks at No. 1 and at one point won 23 consecutive games. CSUSM advanced to the NAIA quarterfinals before falling to eventual national runner-up Emmanuel (Ga.). De'End Parker became the program's first-ever first team All-American while Malcolm Lemmons was named to the honorable mention squad.

The Cougars played exhibitions against NCAA Division I stalwarts UCLA and San Diego State, in addition to Nevada and CSU Bakersfield. Saia had four players named to the All-Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) First Team and Jose Rivera became the program's second All-American. CSUSM finished the year fourth in NAIA DI in field goal percentage (.493), assists per game (17.667) and assist/turnover ration (1.366); fifth in 3-point field goal percentage (.390); seventh in scoring margin (+14.6); ninth in steals (320) and total assists (530); and 10th in scoring offense per game (83.23) and steals per game (10.667).

Known as a skilled recruiter and offensive mastermind, Saia came to CSUSM with 14 years of coaching experience on the NCAA Division I level, including a seven-year tenure as the top assistant coach at UCLA and one year at the University of Southern California. Saia has helped over 15 players onto rosters of NBA teams, including veterans Baron Davis, Earl Watson, Jason Kapono, Nick Young and Matt Barnes.

Saia hit the ground running after inheriting a program that existed solely on paper. He attracted a crop of NCAA Division I and junior college standouts to join him at San Marcos, and immediately scheduled three exhibitions against NCAA DI programs. The CSUSM men’s basketball program’s first-ever game would be an exhibition against San Diego State at Viejas Arena, with the Aztecs coming off an appearance in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen and a 2010-11 season in which they were ranked as high as No. 4 in the Associated Press Top 25. The Cougars also faced UNLV and BYU.

Prior to arriving at CSUSM, Saia spent three seasons as head coach at Fresno Pacific University (2007-10), where he led the Sunbirds to a 70-29 overall record, two appearances in the NAIA National Tournament, and a Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) title in 2008-09 with a school-record 26 victories. Two of his Sunbird players were named NAIA All-Americans and Saia earned 2009 GSAC Coach of the Year honors.

Prior to coming to Fresno Pacific, Saia spent the 2004-05 season at the University of Southern California. Originally an assistant coach, Saia was named interim head coach when Henry Bibby was dismissed four games into the season. The Trojans would finish 10-15 that season, but Saia played a vital role in the development of eventual NBA talents Nick Young and Gabe Pruitt. USC advanced to the Sweet 16 two years later, and Young and Pruitt were drafted by the Washington Wizards and Boston Celtics, respectively.

Saia came to USC after seven years (1997-2003) as an assistant coach at UCLA, where he helped the Bruins advance to the Elite Eight (1997) and make five Sweet 16 appearances (1998-2002). UCLA won 20 or more games in each of his first six years there.

He was the offensive coordinator from 2000-2002, helping direct one of most potent offenses in the Pac-10. UCLA led the conference in field goal percentage (48.0%) in 2000 and was second in three-point percentage (37.1%). In 2001, the Bruins were second in three-point percentage (35.5%) and third in scoring (79.5). In 2002, UCLA was second in both field goal (47.2%) and three-point (39.0%) percentage.

In his three years as coordinator, UCLA posted its most prolific three-point totals ever, making a school record 223 in 2002, 205 in 2000 and 190 in 2001. The 2002 Bruin team also posted the second-highest single game field goal percentage mark in school history when it shot 72.9% against South Carolina.

Saia's Bruin coaching successes carried over into recruiting, where his talents assisted UCLA in landing the nation's No. 1 (2001, 1998) and No. 2 (1997) ranked recruiting classes. Saia coached 10 Bruins who went on to the NBA, including Davis, Watson, Kapono, Dan Gadzuric, and Jerome Moiso.

Before coming to Westwood, Saia was the head coach at Columbia College, a junior college in Sonora, Calif., from 1994-96. During his two-year head coaching career at Columbia, he ­­led the Claim Jumpers to a 61-10 (87.0) overall record, two Central Valley Conference (CVC) championships and he earned two CVC Coach of the Year honors. In 1996, Columbia advanced to the Final Eight in California junior college play and ended the season ranked No. 3 with a 30-5 overall record. Saia’s ’95 club was rated No. 7 in the State and finished with an overall record of 31-5. His two-year conference mark was 25-3. Every sophomore on Saia’s Columbia teams graduated or pursued their education at a four-year college. When Saia took over the Columbia program in 1994, the Claim Jumpers had no returning starters and he only had six weeks to recruit a team. His 1994-95 squad, picked for last place in the coaches’ preseason poll, finished with a 31-5 overall record.

Prior to his head coaching stint at Columbia, Saia, was an assistant coach at the Div. I level for Gary Colson at Fresno State (1990-94, earning a Master’s degree) in the Big West and Western Athletic Conferences, Tates Locke at Indiana State (1989-90) in the Missouri Valley Conference and Lou Campanelli at California (1988-89) in the Pac-10. During his years at Fresno State, the Bulldogs were 21-11 overall and advanced to the NIT in 1994; in 1991, FSU was runner-up in the Big West Tournament. While at Cal in 1989, the Golden Bears were 20-13 overall and also played in the NIT.

In 1994, Saia was head coach of the Athletes In Action USA team and in 1993 he coached AIA’s Div. I summer tour squad.

A respected clinician, Saia was director of the Fresno State Camp from 1990-94 and has toured the country lecturing at clinics about individual offensive and defensive skills.

As a player, Saia’s basketball career began at Sir Francis Drake High in San Anselmo, Calif. During Saia’s junior and senior seasons in 1981 and ’82, Sir Francis Drake was 65-1 overall and won two California state championships. From 1982-84, he played at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and helped lead the Mustangs to a 20-win season. Saia spent the 1984-85 college season at College of Marin in Kentfield, Calif., leading the Mariners to the state tournament and earning all-conference honors. He concluded his college career at Chapman University. From 1985-87 at Chapman, Saia earned Best Defensive Player and Coaches Awards."

A bit different writing about Steve Nash

Brett Koremenos writes about elements of Steve Nash, the person and basketball player, not usually covered. Such as:

"...While it’s an extreme misconception to label Nash an average athlete — his hand-eye coordination, body control, and short-area quickness also constitute great athleticism — he certainly wasn’t an explosive jumper, filling up SportsCenter with gravity-defying feats. Players who can bound across the court, leap to unbelievable heights, or power through crowds of opponents can often find success at any level without technical refinement. Despite his underappreciated physical gifts, Nash couldn’t, so he had no other choice but to become technically perfect..."

The Pope

Matt Calkins offers "The Great Malik Pope Dilemma." Not much new here though.

Pope would play very, very little in the NBA next season but that has to be reckoned with the possibility of yet another leg injury setback possibility if he remains a collegian. In a perfect world, he plays next season at San Diego State and remains healthy. His draft ranking would be much higher, surely at the lottery level despite the inexperience.

Devin Koeplin, MPC

Coming out of Dublin High two years ago, Devin Koeplin made his way to Monterey Peninsula College. The 5-foot-9 sophomore point compiled these numbers in conference play this season:

* 14 points a game
* 3 assists a game
* 2 rebounds a game
*shooting 47% overall, 48% from long distance and 85% at the foul line

Some highlights:

The HS state championship game schedules for Friday & Saturday

Here are the matchups again for the divisional state championship games taking place Friday and Saturday at UC Berkeley:

FRIDAY

D-V boys: Sierra Canyon vs. University, noon

D-III boys: Damien vs. Campolindo, 4 p.m.

D-I boys: Chino Hills vs. San Ramon Valley, 8 p.m.

SATURDAY

D-IV boys: Crespi vs Capital Christian, noon

D-II boys: La Mirada vs Archbishop Mitty, 4 p.m.

Open boys: Mater Dei vs Bishop O’Dowd, 8 p.m.

Tony Allen, star defender

Per Jared Zwerling, here's how Tony Allen changed into becoming a plus defensive player in the NBA. There is a lot to be gleaned by younger players here.

Alex Harris

Alex (El Cerrito High) Harris has completed his basketball eligibility at Cal State Fullerton after originally playing at Northeastern. He led the Titans in three categories for 2014-15: 15.8 points, 98 assists and 41 steals as well as grabbing a second-on-the-squad 4.0 record per contest. He shot 42%, 29% and 67% respectively.

"...With 1,196 points he became the school's No. 12 Div. I scorer. In three seasons, he also worked his way into the Titans' Top Ten in career free throws attempted and made, 3-point field goals attempted and made, steals and minutes played..."

Bryce Scott

6-foot-4 guard Bryce (Oak Ridge High) Scott averaged 8.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and owned a 77/39 assist-to-turnover ratio this season, his junior one, for Lafayette. He shot 43%, 40% (125 of his 214 shots were trey attempts) and 77% respectively and finished second on his team with 32 steals. The Leopards concluded the season with a 20-12 mark overall, losing to Villanova in the opening round of the Big Dance.

A look at the Tarheels

Sports Illustrated's S.I. Price digs into the sports/education malaise with "How did Carolina lose its way? A UNC grad returns to campus to find out"

Westmont falls in championship game

Westmont College fell 71-53 to Dalton State last night in the NAIA championship game held in Kansas City. Freshman forward David (San Ramon Valley High) Gunn totaled eight points plus four boards in just over 14 minutes for the guys from Montecito.

The night before, Westmont tangled with Hope International and emerged with a 70-60 semi-finals victory. For HI, freshman forward Liam (Drake High) Hunt provided six points and five rebounds in 16 minutes.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Ferrari departing

Former Burlingame High point Frankie Ferrari may have left his heart in San Francisco but he's transferring from USF with three years of eligibility remaining. He was always enjoyable to watch with the ball is in his hands and hopefully will get on the court much more at wherever his new address will be.

USF offers Nate Renfro

AZ Power Ball tweeted: "Az POWER 2015 @nate_renfro has received an offer from University of San Francisco."

Renfro is a 6-foot-8, 160 power forward who began high school as a 5-foot-9 point. Here's an article on that.

In mid-summer 2014, he gave a verbal to Grand Canyon University.

This report offers more on the change.

Kent St. 69, Texas A&M Corpus Christi 65

In a CIT matchup Monday evening, Kent State prevailed 69-65 over Texas A&M Corpus Christi. Dev Manley contributed 17 points plus four rebounds and two steals towards the victory. The Golden Flashes were down 34-29 at the half.

Box

Aubrey Dawkins' freshman season

6-foot-6 freshman Aubrey (Palo Alto) Dawkins sure made the most of a series of injuries to others at Michigan this season, averaging 7.0 points and 2.1 rebounds a game. He shot 48%, 44% and 88% respectively, pretty remarkable accuracy for a newcomer to the college ranks. His scoring high was 31 points against Rutgers

So will Stanford and Michigan meet sometime in the next three seasons?

Justin Yeargin

6-foot-1 guard Justin (Diablo Valley College/Bishop O'Dowd) Yeargin has completed his junior season at Mars Hills (North Carolina), averaging 10.8 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists while shooting 36%, 30% and 66% respectively. Mars Hills College is a DII member of the South Atlantic Conference.

Travis Pacos

For Northwest Christian University, senior Travis (De La Salle) Pacos averaged 10.3 points and 3.4 rebounds, with a team best 56 steals and a 61/20 assist-to-turnover ratio. He shot 56%, 50% and 77% overall.

He was an Honorable Mention­ Cascade Collegiate Conference honoree and became NCU's sixth player on record to cross the 1,000 ­point plateau for his career. Pacos ended with 1,024 points in 120 career games and finished the season ranked second in the conference in three-­point shooting, hitting on 50% from beyond the arc. Ranked eighth in the conference for overall shooting percentage (56.0), he was also third in steals, averaging two steals per game. Pacos became NCU's all ­time steals leader early in the season and finished with 176 career swipes.

Pacos is a business administration major, sports a 3.54 GPA and was just named a Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athlete. In order to earn NAIA Scholar-Athlete honors a student-athlete must be a junior or senior and needs to maintain at least a 3.5 GPA.

Joey Rodriguez

6-foot Joey Rodriguez tallied 10.5 points per game this year for Hawaii Hilo on 43%, 43% and 61% shooting. He also put up 2.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists per contest. After scoring 24 points against Holy Names College, he closed out the schedule with a season high 27 versus Dominican. A senior, he prepped at Casa Grande High followed by two years at College of Marin.

Jaycob Velasco

6-foot-7 Jaycob (Pleasant Valley High) Velasco moved on from Cosumnes River College to the University Of Mary (Bismarck, North Dakota) this year and averaged 11.3 points plus 3.0 rebounds. He shot 46%, 37% and 81% overall.

He looks like he just came in off the oil fields or is it more of a lumberjack appearance?

Mikey Eggleton

As a redshirt freshman, 5-foot-11 Mikey (College Park High) Eggleston led Menlo College in scoring this season with 11.2 points per game. He shot 45%, 32% and 72% overall. Eggleston also paced the Oaks in assists with 74.

Named the Cal Pac Freshman of the year, he also earned Second Team All Conference honors.

"What's It's Like To Be A Teenager In The NBA?"

Alex Kennedy writes about "What's It Like To Be A Teenager. In The NBA?" His Aaron Gordon section begins:

Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon strutted into the locker room, bobbing his head to music coming from his headphones and donning his game face. He sat down in front of his locker and was clearly trying to focus on that evening’s game, which was set to tip off in less than an hour. There was game film of that night’s opponent playing on a big screen television in the middle of the locker room and he watched intently, while continuing to listen to his music. Gordon just turned 19 years old in September, but he carries himself like a professional.

However, one small detail made it very hard to take Gordon seriously. He was wearing a bright pink backpack with an enormous picture of Barbie on it. As serious and in the zone as he was, it’s pretty hard for anyone other than an elementary school girl to look cool while wearing that backpack.

This is the life of an NBA rookie. Early in the season, Gordon had to wear his Barbie backpack everywhere – to hotels, on the plane, in the locker room – otherwise he would be in trouble with the team’s veterans. Elfrid Payton had to do the same with a pink Minnie Mouse backpack and Devyn Marble had to sport a purple Frozen bag featuring Anna and Elsa. Channing Frye, a nine-year NBA veteran, was the one who came up with the idea and enforced it. Gordon actually had it easy compared to some first-year players, considering when Frye was on the Phoenix Suns he made rookie Earl Clark wear a large banana costume out in public...

Hit the link and scroll down to the ninth paragraph for the Gordon part.

Gerry Freitas events for the next few months

Here's the rollout:

*indicates NCAA sanctioned event.

*April 24-26Nor Cal Spring Showcase at Jamtown, Oakland

May 23-25Bay Area Memorial Day Classic at various sites

*July 9-10Nor Cal Junior College Jamboree at Skyline College

*July 11-12Nor Cal Summer Tip Off at San Francisco City College

August 30California Clash All Star Game at site TBA

September 12Bay Area Competition Clinic at Nor Cal Courts, Martinez

If there is to be a basketball Mt. Rushmore...

There is one (at least) glaring absence in this "Five Faces For Mt. Rushmore" article: Don Haskins. For very obvious reasons. Granted, 1965-66 UTEP didn't finish with an unbeaten record (which is the focus) but... LINK

Mark Titus survived the opening weekend of the the NCAA tourney

Mark Titus has limited himself to 20 observations from the Big Dance. It begins:

"1. There’s no going back from a three-TV setup for the first weekend.

I’m embarrassed to say this was the first year I’ve set up multiple TVs to watch the NCAA tournament. I’ve gone with a multiple-screen approach before, which is to say I’ve streamed games on my laptop and iPad while sitting in front of a TV. But until this year, I’d never been able to get three TVs going at once. The stars finally aligned Thursday morning, when I set up three big screens in my basement, waited for the games to start, and … WHOA. I don’t know how I lived so long without experiencing this. There’s a massive difference between multiple screens and multiple TVs. The first setup takes work. It was impossible to position the laptop, iPad, and TV so that I could devote equal attention to all the games. I had to sit on the edge of my seat and shuffle devices around as games became more or less interesting. But with three TVs right next to each other, I could just kick back in my recliner and shove pizza and basketball into my face for 12 straight hours every day. It was every bit as amazing as it sounds, and I’m sure it’s exactly what Walter Ncaa had in mind when he created March Madness..."

Yes, Mark Titus is single, as if you didn't know that.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Elliott Smith back to FIU?

Elliott (Freedom High) Smith's freshman year at Harcum College (Pennsylvania) ended with his playing in 32 games, averaging 28 minutes and producing 13.9 points plus 7.1 rebounds a contest. Smith shot 48%, 28% and 68% respectively. Harcum concluded the season with a 28-4 record.

From this February 2015 article, it looks like he is headed back to Florida International: "Another starter, Elliott Smith, from Pittsburg, Calif., had committed to Florida International when the NCAA clearinghouse ruled he had to take the ACT again. By the time he could, it was September, Kelly said. He was cleared to play after the new score was posted but it was too late, so he'll go to FIU next year..."

Duke 68, Sam Diego St. 49

Duke jumped out to a 37-24 halftime lead and carried on to finish with a 68-49 victory over San Diego State on Sunday. Malik Pope tallied six points (a pair of treys) and two rebounds in 17 minutes. The Aztecs sent the Dookies to the foul line just twice but also allowed Coach K's crew to shoot 55%.

Box

Dev Manley honored

Dev (Castlemont High) Manley just finished his final season with Kent State, averaging 13.1 points (second on his team) and 2.8 rebounds per game (up from 9.7 and 1.8 as a junior). He shot 40%, 39% and 79% respectively.

Manley was named Second Team All Mid-American Conference for his production.

"Manley was one of three Golden Flashes to play in all 31 games and made 25 starts. He averaged 13.6 points per game and made a Kent State single-season record 101 three-point field goals, which ranks ninth in the country, while also shooting 40.6 percent from beyond the three-point arc to rank in the top 40 nationally. Manley helped the Flashes stay in the title race when Hall was sidelined for five games at the beginning of February by averaging 18.8 points per game over that span and made the go-ahead three-point shot in the final minute of a must-win game at Bowling Green last week.

"Devareaux has turned himself from a player who played 98 minutes as a freshman to one of the top 10 players in this league," Senderoff said. "It's a tremendous accomplishment for him and really shows what hard work and dedication can do."

Thompson honored

Out of Sonora High, 6-foot-9 sophomore Tayler Thompson has earned First Team All Western State Conference honors for his play at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo. He averaged 11.5 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocked shots this season. Thompson played in two games for Cal State Stanislaus in 2012-13 and was awarded a medical redshirt as a result.

Andre Miller honored

Andrew (Serra High) Miller just completed his sophomore season at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria. The 6-foot-2 guard averaged 8.5 points plus 5.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.0 steals per outing in 2014-15. He shot 37%, 39% and 78% respectively and was a First Team All Western States Conference North honoree.

KLove honored

Whitworth's Kenny (Cardinal Newman High) Love has been named an All-American.

From Whitworth athletics:

"Whitworth sophomore Kenny Love has been named as a third team All-American by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).

Love, the 2015 Northwest Conference Player of the Year, is one of only three sophomores listed on the 24-player squad.

Love moved into Whitworth's starting lineup as the Northwest Conference schedule got underway. In 16 league contests he averaged 14.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. He made 46% of his three-pointers and 85% of his free throws. He put up a career-high 26 points in a win over Linfield on January 9th and followed that up with 25 points in a win over Pacific on January 15th. 

He stepped up his game in the post-season, directing Whitworth's NWC semifinal win over Willamette with a career-high eight assists. He then scored 20 points in the NWC tournament final against Lewis & Clark. In two NCAA Division III tournament games in Atlanta he averaged 11.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists."

More on Pope

Mark Ziegler tweets:

"Great tactical move by Fisher: Take out big, put in Pope, play pick and pop with Pope, forcing Okafor to guard someone. Result: 2 Pope 3s."

"Add a true penetrating point guard to that equation, and SDSU becomes a really hard team to guard with Malik Pope setting the ball screen."

"Winston Shepard noncommittal about next year, but Malik Pope says 'my mindset' is to return. Zabo says he'll be back."

Specifically:

"...Freshman Malik Pope, mentioned in some NBA mock drafts as a possible first-round pick this June, said he’ll consult Fisher, AAU coach LeRohn Dodson, his uncle and his mother before making a decision. But he also added this:

“My mindset right now is to come back...”

Hayden Lescault honored

6-foot-5 guard Hayden (Vista Del Lago High) Lescault has completed his basketball eligibility at Point Loma. He led in three categories this season: 12.0 points, 112 assists and and 54 steals while also grabbing 4.2 rebounds an outing, which was third on his squad. His shooting accuracy: 46%, 32% and 79% respectively.

He earned First Team All PacWest honors last season and this year.

Parker honored

Western Washington's Jeffrey (Salesian High) Parker finished the Vikings season as the leading scorer (15.9 points) and third in rebounding (4.8 boards). He shot 51% overall, 43% from long range and 65% from the foul line. Parker was a Second Team All Great Northwest Athletic Conference honoree.

Read honored

Chris (Castro Valley High) Read has completed his basketball eligibility at Cal State Stanislaus. As a senior, he averaged 13.0 points plus 3.5 rebounds a contest this season, shooting 46%, 36% and 72% respectively. An All-CCAA second team and Newcomer of the Year selection at the conclusion of the 2013-14 season, he earned First Team California Collegiate Athletic Association honors in 2014-15..

University High's remarkable feat

From a Harold Abend piece: "For University it was its fourth Northern Regional Division V title in six appearances. The Red Devils will be trying to win a first CIF Division V state championship after coming up short in their first three tries. The San Francisco boys will be a huge underdog as their opponent will be Maxpreps and Cal-Hi Sports state No. 6 ranked Sierra Canyon-Chatsworth..."

Earning four appearances is pretty damn remarkable. A salute to Coach Bessolo and all the players involved.

Not Nor Cal related but...

Chris Murray has a column up about the legacy of David Carter and the opening is a must read:

"Wolf Pack basketball coach David Carter was fired this week after 16 seasons with the program, including the last six as the team's head coach. To some, his legacy will be that of ending the unprecedented success Nevada started in the early 2000s and extended nearly a decade. To me, his legacy is this: Carter is one of the finest human beings I've ever met, which is rare in an occupation rife with egomaniacs. Carter treated everybody the same. He never changed who he was when he became a head coach. He never treated people poorly. Who Carter was as a person will stick with me far longer than his win-loss record, which, for the record, was 98-97 overall with one WAC championship, two NIT appearances and four losing seasons in six seasons as Nevada's coach..."

That's the most important measure of any human being.

Is college basketball on life support?

Brian Phillips offers yet another look at what's ailing college hoops, or as Jay Bilas is descriptively quoted "organized wrestling."

Sunday, March 22, 2015

NCP on each Nor Cal championship matchup

Doug Benton/Eli-Sean Smith offer game reports on each contest, both boys and girls, from last night.

Stephens & Abend with boys basketball game reports

Mitch Stephens/Harold Abend offers capsule game reports on all the boys basketball games from Saturday.

University High 65, Brookside Christian 50

Powered by Mattie Mrlik's 27 point outburst, University High ran past Brookside Christian High 65-50 in the second half Saturday thereby earning the Nor Cal Division V championship. It's Sierra Canyon High and University battling Friday at noon at UC Berkeley for the state crown.

Thomas Lawrence game reports.

Cap Christian 60, St. Mary's 47

Capital Christian was too much for St. Mary's High yesterday winning 60-47 to earn the Nor Cal Division IV championship. Next it's Crespi High for the state championship Saturday noon at UC Berkeley.

Joe Davidson game reports as does Ray Hacke.

Archbishop Mitty 54, Sacramento 40

Talk about timing being everything -- Archbishop Mitty took no prisoners in downing Sacramento High 54-40 on Saturday for the Nor Cal Division II championship. It was a team effort throughout but especially so in the breakaway fourth quarter. Individually for Mitty, Ben Kone was big as usual and it was also too much (Sebastian) Much. 8:00 p.m. Saturday at UC Berkeley comes the matchup with La Mirada High for the state championship.

Darren Sabedra game reports as does Joe Davidson plus Ryan Silapan.

Bishop O'Dowd 56, Modesto Christian 47

It was a jewel of a battle as Bishop O'Dowd emerged the 56-47 victor against Modesto Christian High on Saturday evening. Open Division Nor Cal champion BOD will now face Mater Dei again for the state championship 8:00 p.m. Saturday at UC Berkeley.

Phil Jensen game reports as does Brian VanderBeek.

Joe Cortez highlights and features Anthony Townes.


San Ramon Valley 49, Woodcreek High 45

San Ramon Valley High turned back Woodcreek High 49-45 to win the Nor Cal Division I state championship on Saturday. This despite WH freshman Jordan Brown going for an 18-rebound, 15-point double-double. Now it's Chino Hills High versus SRV Friday 8:00 p.m. at UC Berkeley for the state crown.

Joe Davidson game reports as does Phil Jensen.

Campolindo 50, Drake 44

It was too much Chris Hansen in the second half as Campolindo High bested Drake High 50-44 on Saturday to capture the Nor Cal Division III championship. Campo now faces Damien High Friday 4:00 p.m. at UC Berkeley for the state championship.

Danny Schmidt game reports.

NAU 78, Sacramento St. 73

Despite 18 points apiece from Dylan Garrity and Mikh McKinney plus Cody Demps' 16, Sacramento State fell 78-73 to Northern Arizona last night. Eric Stuteville added 11 points and six boards.

The Hornets led 33-30 at the half as it was a strong last 15 minutes for NAU that turned the tide.

Bill Paterson game reports.

Box

Utah 75, Georgetown 64

It went back-and-forth for some time before Utah emerged and nabbed a 75-64 victory over Georgetown in Portland on Saturday. Delon Wright enjoyed an 8-10 night at the foul line to finish with 12 points. To that, he added five assists and five boards.

23-32 at the foul line for the Utes cast a gigantic shadow over GT's 7-9. Coach Larry Krystkowiaks' guys also shot 58% overall.

Box

Arizona 73, Ohio St. 58

With a big second half, Arizona bopped Ohio State 73-58 last night in Portland to advance in the Big Dance. Zebra trouble limited Brandon Ashley to 19 minutes and he finished with seven points before fouling out. Elliott Pitts tallied five.

Now, it's Xavier on Thursday.

Box

The NCAA doesn't care about college basketball fans

Brian Lutz reminds basketball fans that the NCAA, in its ever-persistent greed, almost ruined the Big Dance.

What wins championships

Paolo Uggetti's latest article is "Defense Does NOT Win Championships" with the subtitle of "Being able to defend is important, but BALANCE is what differentiates good NCAA Tournament teams from championship ones."

Brown with another week

"The Los Angeles Lakers have signed guard Jabari Brown to a second 10-day contract, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Brown, originally signed to a 10-day contract on March 10, appeared in four games for the Lakers, averaging 7.0 points, 1.3 rebounds, and 1.0 steals in 20.0 minutes per game.

Prior to joining the Lakers, Brown was a member of the Lakers NBA Development League affiliate, the Los Angeles D-Fenders, where he led the D-League in scoring at 24.4 points per game to go along with 4.1 rebounds, and 2.2 assists in 39 games (25 starts). A 2015 NBA D-League All-Star, Brown tallied two of the highest single-game scoring outputs in the D-League this season, finishing with 50 points on January 10th at Sioux Falls and 48 points on February 28th versus Bakersfield.

The 6’4” rookie out of Missouri averaged 19.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in his final collegiate season in 2013-14 before declaring himself eligible for the 2014 NBA Draft. An Oakland, Calif. native, Brown was in training camp with the Lakers prior to this season before being waived on October 25."