Friday, October 30, 2015

Initial games for Dame, Delly, Cunningham and Gordon

On Wednesday night in the National Basketball Association:

Damian Lillard concluded with 21 points, 11 assists, five boards in just under 36 minutes. He shot 8-21, 1-7, 4-4 in a 112-94 defeat of New Orleans.

+++++

Matthew Dellavedova scored 12 points in 18 minutes, shooting 5-9 overall, 2-4 from long distance. He also passed out three assists.

Teammate Jared Cunningham also totaled 12 points, shooting 4-5, 1-1 and 2-3 in 15 minutes

It was Cleveland over Memphis 106-76.

+++++

In 17 minutes for Orlando, Aaron Gordon finished with 12 points plus seven boards (4,3). He shot 4-8, 0-2 and 4-6 respectively in an 88-87 loss to Washington.

"Back to Branson"

Thomas Gase previews the Cal Maritime Keelhaulers  -- so dominant they have won league the past four years. Call it the Bay Area's undiscovered but excellent basketball program.

The Dons land a future big

Tim Fuller tweeted: "Very excited to announce my commitment to play basketball at the University of San Francisco!!! #GoDons #TheCity"

A post from early in October on the 6-foot-9 big who will take his LDS mission before appearing on The Hilltop.

Great feature on Simon Enciso

"Simon Enciso’s biggest competitor is himself"

The Terra Nova High, Skyline College and Notre Dame de Namur backcourter is starting strong.

The new kids on the block

Kobe Bryant - D'Angelo Russell, Kevin Garnett - Karl-Anthony Towns and Dwyane Wade - Justise Winslow -- it's not necessarily a passing of the torches but more teacher - student relationships.

Opening poll of Nor Cal JC squads

Signal The Light Basketball has posted its pre-season rankings of the top 15 northern California JC teams.

Brown nationally ranked`

According to Raphielle Johnson, Bear freshman Jaylen Brown is the third best on the wing in the nation. Better catch him early because it sure sounds like he won't be receiving his mail in Berkeley all that long.

Two 'quarterbacks' from Nor Cal at CS San Marcos

There are two point guards out of Northern California on the Cal State San Marcos roster:

Link - Akachi Okugo

Link - Devin Koeplin

They'll be playing for Coach Jim Saia, who prepped at Drake High and also played at College of Marin.

Three other sites for California JC basketball coverage

Signal The Light Basketball

NorCal Prep & Juco Basketball

CCCAA

The St. Hope Elite Hoop Classic

Here's the link to the St. Hope Elite Hoop Classic taking place on December 19-23 in Sacramento. The teams involved and the brackets are now available.

The Prep2Prep Tipoff Classic

Sierra Canyon vs. Moreau Catholic highlights 9th annual Prep2PrepTip Off Classic.

The ninth annual Prep2Prep Tip-Off Classic will be held Saturday November 28, 2015 at Newark Memorial High School in Newark.

The event is designed to promote/showcase Northern California basketball to college coaches, media/scouts and the general public. 

There will be seven games on the day beginning at 11:00 a.m. High-profile programs such as Newark Memorial, Modesto Christian, Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland), St. Mary’s (Albany) and Folsom will be featured. The event will culminate with the marquee matchup at 8:30 p.m. between national powers Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) and Moreau Catholic (Hayward).

Sierra Canyon is led by four elite level prospects: 2017 standouts forward Cody Riley, guard Remy Martin and forward Ira Lee in addition to 2016 point guard Devearl Ramsey. Moreau Catholic features high-level stars 2016 wing Oscar Frayer and 2017 point guard Damari Milstead.

Other elite prospects include 6-8 2017 forward Richard Polanco of Army-Navy Academy and 6-9 2018 combo postman Jordan Brown of Woodcreek who is ranked #4 nationally in his class by ESPN.

Four 2015 Northern California regional finalist teams are participating in the event: Bishop O’ Dowd, Modesto Christian, Woodcreek and St. Mary’s.

2015 state championship teams in the event are Bishop O’Dowd (open) and Sierra Canyon (Division V).

Players currently committed to Division I four-year schools that are participating in the event (all 2016): Jordan Ford of Folsom to St. Mary's, Colin Slater of Immanuel to Tulane, Kenneth Wooten of Manteca to Nevada, Oscar Frayer of Moreau Catholic to California.

For further information, media credentials or sponsorship opportunity information contact Event Director Gerry Freitas at gerryfreitas@hotmail.com or Prep2Prep Vice President of Business Development, Ruben Camacho at rcamacho@prep2prep.com. 

9th Annual Prep2Prep Tip Off Classic Schedule
Saturday November 28, 2015 at Newark Memorial High School

Game 1: 11:00 AM St. Mary’s (Albany) vs. Manteca
Game 2: 12:30 PM Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland) vs. Dublin
Game 3: 2:15 PM Immanuel (Reedley) vs. Weston Ranch (Stockton)
Game 4: 3:45 PM Sheldon (Sacramento) vs. Army-Navy (Carlsbad)
Game 5: 5:30 PM Modesto Christian vs. Folsom
Game 6: 7:00 PM  Newark Memorial (Newark) vs. Woodcreek (Roseville) 

The 2015-16 Cal State East Bay Pioneers


Cal State East Bay Coach Gus Argenal has released his 2015-16 Pioneer roster and it's loaded with northern California related/connected talents:

Ryan Okwudibonye F 6-8 Sr. 250 Huntington Beach Sacramento State

* Marquise Tolson F 6-5 Jr. 180 East Palo Alto Pasadena City College

* Jordan Balser G 6-4 Fr. 190 Auburn Colfax HS

* Alex Carmon G 6-3 Sr. 215 Long Beach Academy of Art

* Marcus Norman G 6-1 Sr. 175 Lewisville, TX Abilene Christian Univ.

* Jalen Richard G 6-4 Jr. 190 San Tan Valley, AZ Santa Clara Univ.

* Tre Mauldin G 6-1 Sr. 185 Lancaster Lancaster HS

* Alex Manu G 6-1 So. 170 San Mateo Aragon HS

Pierre Carter G 6-5 Jr. 215 Brentwood College of Marin

* Paramvir Singh G 6-3 Jr. 185 Hayward Newark Memorial HS

* Patrick Marr F 6-7 So. 220 Clayton De La Salle HS

* Jack Pasquini F 6-8 Sr. 230 Scotts Valley De Anza College

* Robert Garrett C 7-0 Sr. 270 Vallejo Santa Clara Univ.

* Jacob Hohl C 6-10 Jr. 235 Livermore Las Positas College

+++++

* RS Druce Asah G 6-3 Fr. 185 Tracy Tracy HS
* RS Drew Bender G 6-5 Jr. 195 Phoenix, AZ  Northern Colorado
* RS Micah Dunhour F 6-6 Sr. 190 Honolulu, Notre Dame de Namur
* RS Kyle Frakes C 6-10 Jr. 230 Thousand Oaks Thousand Oaks HS
* RS Jelani Mitchell G 6-6 Jr. 180 Pasadena Riverside City College
* RS Ja-Mont Wilson F 6-7 Fr. 210 Fresno Edison HS

The 2015-15 Merritt College Thunderbirds

Merritt College Coach Keenan McMiller has released his 2015-16 roster and its an entirely new set of talents. They are:

* Karim Helali Fr SG 5-foot-10 Tunisia

* Ian Luellan Fr SG 6-foot-3 Inderkum High, Sacramento

* Tyrell Alcorn, Fr PG 6-foot-2 El Cerrito High, Oakland

* Omari Brown Fr PG 6-foot Sacred Heart Cathedral High, San Francisco

* Malik Thompson Fr SF 6-foot-5 Deer Valley High, Antioch

* A.J. Benson Fr SF 6-foot-4 Pacific Hills High, Los Angeles

* Oliver Davis Fr SG 6-foot-3 Valley Christian High, San Jose

*Kenyon Williams Fr SG 6-foot-3 Brookside Christian High, Stockton

* Matthew Thomas Fr C 6-foot-10 Newark Memorial High, Newark

* Ben Albright Fr SF 6-foot-5 Arcata High, Arcata

* Zach Christian Fr C 6-foot-9 Lynwood High, Los Angeles

* Lamont Banks Fr F 6-foot-5 St. Joseph Notre Dame High, Alameda

* Andrew Pearson Fr F 6-foot-5 Berkeley High, Oakland

* Lewis Hayes Fr F 6-foot-6 Chavez High, Stockton

When you're a talent on the cusp of being an NBA player...

"This is what it's like to get waived in training camp" features three players familiar with trying to make the Big Show.

Getting a player ready for the draft

"How an agent prepares a prospect for the NBA draft"

This is from 2013 but certainly still applicable. It features Adam Pensack of the Bay Area-based Pensack Sports Management.

PremierBall events on November 7

PremierBall is hosting two events on November 7, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for middle school boys and then 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. for high school boys at De Anza High in El Sobrante.

Wallace is Cal's leader

More recognition for Tyrone Wallace. Coming back for his senior season is likely to prove to be a very smart decision.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Re-introducing Zack Gonzales

The Blues Brothers -- Elwood and Jake -- were on a mission: "It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark... and we're wearing sunglasses." Well, Modesto Junior College (MJC) guard Zack Gonzales is also on a personal undertaking but minus the road trip. His quest is becoming the best player he can be, leading his band of fellow Pirates and giving his hometown of Riverbank, California a reason to be proud.

The 6-foot-2, 210 sophomore guard hasn't enjoyed the easiest of paths in his two decades of life thus far but he has always risen to the challenge rather than succumbing to deadend temptations.

Gonzales' basketball journey began early, with just brief excursions into football and track. "I was the waterboy in first grade for Riverbank High." That exposure got him hooked, resulting in, "I would play for hours, even bringing a light outside to keep shooting."

After entering high school, a life-altering event took place. "Due to family circumstances, my high school basketball coach took me in and gave me guidance to the right path." That was Riverbank's Jeff Jennings.

"I was asked to lead the team as a sophomore," said the eventual three-year varsity player. Gonzales also paced the Bruins in points and rebounds each season. "I was always a really good shooter. Coach Jennings preached defense and I wasn't good at that initially." Now he prides himself in his defensive effect.

Gonzales also lauds his uncle plus an NBA player from the Modesto area as hoops influences. "My uncle (Chris Gonzales) played at Westmont College (where he was an NAIA All American) and then in China, Canada and Mexico. He would never let me beat him. Working out with Chuck Hayes was really helpful." Hayes is a 6-foot-5 center out of Modesto Christian High who has thrived professionally for 10 years aided by his intelligence, a willingness to do the dirty work necessary to be successful and playing his role.

Two years ago, Gonzales averaged 13.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists while shooting 45%, 38% and 72% respectively for MJC Coach Paul Brogan. Then came a strategic decision. "I redshirted although I could have played but I wasn't sure I could complete the classes I needed to transfer with D1 eligibility."

 So he stepped away from the action if showing up at 6 a.m. to work out with MJC assistant coaches qualifies as such. "I didn't take any days off. Also, Mike Montes at Jaboca Fitness and Brett Butler at The Performance Lab helped me gain weight and become a better athlete in the off-season." Gonzales now checks in at 210 pounds, up from the 185 he weighed as a freshman.

How he sees the play on the court has also changed. "The game has slowed down for me and I can see what will happen three plays ahead. It's like chess, it's a mind game."

Propelling Gonzales is "I have a high level of confidence and I want to be great. My drive comes from my family's situation with drugs and alcohol. I want a different future, to break that cycle." There is also another important element spurring his effort. "Being from Riverbank, I've seen people's faces when their [local] teams lose. I want them to have someone and a team to be proud of."

He cites two basketball moments as among his most cherished. "One was scoring the gamewinner at Delta in my freshman year. It was a three at the buzzer." The other? "In high school, I was playing a team that had a special ed kid on it and I let him score on me. Some things are bigger than basketball."

Gonzales is being looked at as a combo guard at the four-year level and he'll be majoring in communications because, "I can teach, coach, do whatever I want with that degree."

"Everyday I'm learning how to become a better leader and the more I work the better I become." This young man will be a tremendous addition on and off the court for his coach, team and school at the next level.

New head coach at College of Marin

From Chabot Men's Basketball:

"This is a bittersweet post, I had to tell Chabot goodbye today. Its been my home for the last 3 years. I Marshall Collins received a Head Coaching Job today from the College of Marin. Having to talk to my Chabot players today was one of the HARDEST things I done in my life. I can truly say this years team was my favorite team since I started coaching. (100%) I'm going to miss each and everyone of you. I know I will be watching you in the State Playoffs. I feel like I'm leaving my family. Want to thank Denny Aye for what he did for me when i came to Chabot 3 years ago. It meant a lot, saved my career. Dion Aye - Primerica Regional Vice President and Dickerson yall will be missed."

From Chabot Athletics and DreamHoops:

"Coach Collins enters his third season at Chabot College after spending 6 seasons at Los Medanos College and 1 at College Alameda, 1 of those years at LMC was spend as the head coach. Coach Collins known as one of the top recruiters in Northern California, and will assist Coach Aye with, on-the-floor coach, practice planning, recruiting and the day to day operations of the basketball team. In Marshall's seasons at LMC, he helped them to a top 5 Ranking in the North and 8th is the State, back to back League MVPs and All State players, four 20-plus win seasons. Four top 10 offense teams and over 20 4-year scholarships for his players throughout the years. In 2008-09 Marshall Collins helped put together a team that lead to the most wins in Los Medanos College history (25-8). Marshall played his high school basketball at Oakland Tech where he was an All-league player in 2 sports (basketball and Baseball). He attended Long Beach State before transferring to Long Beach City College. While at LBCC as a player, Marshall went 50-18 in two years. Marshall ended has college career at Park University, He also played semi-pro basketball for 2 seasons.

Marshall is also a coach on one of the most successful AAU program in the world. This past year he coached the Soldiers 16U Nike Elite Team which included some of the top players in the country."

George Johnson, release 2.0

The George Johnson who came out of Heritage High in 2013 isn't the same player ready for the season to begin at College of Marin. Cueing up David Bowie's hit song "Ch-ch-ch-changes," Johnson's game, mindset and body are now much different due to his fastidious work.

"I've improved my IQ," the 6-foot Johnson explained. "The game has kind of slowed down for me and I'm more aware of everything happening on the court. I'm also more intense and aggressive because players in junior college are hungry."

About his skills upgrade, he offered, "I've sharpened my passing and worked a lot on my shooting, the pullup jumper and three-pointer."

Plus, he has been running on the track -- "I want to play the whole game without getting tired" -- as well as lifting, doing squats and the benchpress.

Add in another difference: "Last year, I was in the two guard role but I'll be a point guard this season." In 29 games with 27 starts, Johnson averaged 9.5 points, 2.5 assists and 2.4 rebounds an outing in 2014-15 while shooting 47%, 38% and 71% respectively. He totaled 72 assists versus 42 turnovers.

He is also now the team leader. "Definitely, I hold myself accountable. If anything goes wrong and something needs to be said, then I need to step up and put it right." With sophomores Pierre Carter (now at Cal State East Bay), Brandon Kenilvort (now at St. Martin's University), Neal Chavez (now at Alaska Fairbanks) and Miller Blake such wasn't possible a year ago.

Regarding recruiting, Johnson has been hearing from Portland State and Tuskegee University.

With both his scoring and assist totals guaranteed to rise this season plus the step up into a leadership role, look for more suitors once the season gets going.

Musselman's large staff

Chris Murray reports on Nevada Coach Eric Musselman's 10-person staff. What really jumps out is how the Wolf Pack's latest recruit was so impressed by the work of Musselman's analytics guy. That's quite the recruiting bonus. Bay area basketball fans will recall Joey Fuca and Gabe Kindred playing ball -- both are now on the staff at Nevada.

A Q-and-A with Amadi Udenyi

From Pepperdine athletics comes a Q-and-A with former De La Salle guard Amadi Udenyi:

MEN'S BASKETBALL Q&A: AMADI UDENYI
Sarah Barge 
October 27, 2015 

Near the end of last season, junior guard Amadi Udenyi ruptured his Achilles tendon and was out the last seven games. The previous season, he tore his meniscus and missed a third of his freshman year. While many players would get discouraged by this series of major injuries, Udenyi remained determined to get better so he could rejoin his team as fast as possible. After surprising everyone by being cleared earlier this month, he talked about what his recovery process was like, how it feels to be back on the court and his anticipation for the coming season.

Q: What was your reaction when the Achilles' injury first occurred?

A: I was in disbelief because my freshman year at the beginning of the season I tore my meniscus, which put me out for 10 games. This was another big injury and I couldn't believe that it happened again. But after that I changed my mindset and just tried to get my team focused on finishing the season strong. I got a chance to look at things from a coach's perspective. I could see what they wanted us to do and then helped translate the message to my teammates. Sometimes kids don't want to listen to their coaches, so coming from another player it can be easier for them to understand.

Q: How long did the doctor say your recovery would be?

A: They said six to nine months.

Q: Did you have to get surgery?

A: Yes, I did. If I didn't have surgery it would have taken a full year to recover.

Q: After surgery, what was the rehabilitation process like?

A: Pretty much for the first month it was just getting rest because I had to let the stitches and everything heal. I had the boot on for a month and a half, so once I got it off I was told to walk around campus just to get used to walking again. Our campus is actually great for rehabilitation because of all the hills and stairs. I had to walk to class and never take the shuttle. After that, I had to work on strengthening my calves because I lost pretty much all of my muscle.

Q: How long did it take before you felt comfortable being back out on the court?

A: I'd say about five months before I felt comfortable jogging up and down the court. Mid-August to early September is when I started doing basketball drills again. I was cleared to play in early October.

Q: Were people surprised by how quickly you were able to resume playing?

A: Yes, they definitely were surprised. My coaches didn't actually expect me to be back until January or so. When it first happened, my mom told my coach, "He's a fast healer; he'll probably be back in September." And I was back playing in September and cleared soon after. My coaches were very surprised.  

Q: How have the coaches handled bringing you back into the game?

A: Even now that I'm cleared, they are still easing me into everything. During practice I'll probably do three out of the five reps.  

Q: How does it feel to be back out there with your teammates?

A: I'm so happy. It's hard hearing you'll be out six to nine months and can't play basketball for that long. Knowing how big of a year this one was, I wanted to get back as soon as possible because I knew how good we could be. And now that I'm back on the court I'm ecstatic to get the season started.

Q: What are your expectations for this year?

A: For myself, I don't want to have any drop-offs. I don't want this injury to affect how productive I am. I want to continue to develop and improve as I would if I hadn't gotten this injury. My expectations include continuing to be a leader on the team and helping us get victories. Our team goal is to win the WCC this year. We are projected third, but ever since my freshman year we have always finished ahead of what we were expected to.  

The 2015-16 Cosumnes River College Hawks

Coach Devin Aye's initial Cosumnes River College team is exclusively a group of newcomers except one, Will White, plus primarily locals:

* Michael Murphy FR 5’7” 140 Sacramento, CA/Valley HS

* Kenny Doss SO 6’1” 215 Chicago, IL/TF South HS

* Johann Tate Jr. FR 5’10” 175 Elk Grove, CA/Pleasant Grove HS

* Leondre Lintz FR 5’9” 155 Sacramento, CA/Monterey Trail HS

* Diante’ Noel FR 5’8” 160 Lafayette, LA/Acadiana HS

* Victor Wariso FR 5’11” 175 Sacramento, CA/Monterey Trail HS

* Michael Briscoe FR 5’10” 160 Sacramento, CA/River City HS

* Trevor Hooper FR 6’1” 175 Fresno, CA/Washington Union HS

* Gor Mikayelyan FR 5’11” 190 Sacramento, CA/Cordova HS

* Will White SO 6’3” 185 Roseville, CA/Roseville HS

* Isaiah Simon FR 6’7” 195 Sacramento, CA/Florin HS

* Phil Morgan FR 6’4” 185 Sacramento, CA/ Natomas HS

* Gerard Andrus FR 6’5” 185 Lafayette, LA/North Side HS

* Bakari Bradford FR 6’9” 210 Elk Grove, CA/Laguna Creek HS

* Lejae Thompson FR 6’10” 195 Sacramento, CA/Valley HS

The 2015-16 College of the Redwoods Corsairs


College of the Redwoods Coach Justin Mora has a smallish squad in 2015-16 but it's loaded with locals plus guards and wings who can match up with most opponents. Keep watch on freshman Will Ingersoll who played well during the summer.

* Charlie Moon Guard SO 6‐0 175 Hoopa/Hoopa
* Tule O’Rourke Guard FR 6‐1 165 Hoopa/Hoopa
* Justin Claus Guard FR 6‐0 190 Fortuna/Rio Dell
* Rishod Abraham Guard FR 6‐2 160 Rodriguez/Fairfield
* Deandre Winston Forward SO 6‐4 180 McClatchy/Sacramento
* Cristian Alatorre Guard FR 6‐2 185 South Fork/Miranda
* Devon Sanchez Forward FR 6‐3 185 Grant/Sacramento  
* Loris Hervey Forward SO 6‐3 175 Fort Vancouver/Portland
* Christian Reyes Guard FR 5‐9 165 Crater/Central Point
* Will Ingersoll Guard FR 6‐3 200 McKinleyville/McKinleyville
* David Treas Forward FR 6‐4 215 Orinda Academy/Richmond
* Trueman Lamb Forward FR 6‐7 205 Eureka/ Eureka

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 
* RS Brett Domenighini Mitchell/ Mitchell
* RS Jamal Easterling Benecia/ Fairfield
* RS Makhi Hamor Ferndale/ Ferndale

Not so good news out of Stockton

"The NCAA is investigating, among other things, allegations of academic misconduct committed by former assistant Joe Ford within Pacific's men's basketball program, a source has told CBS Sports..."

CCCAA pre-season predictions from the coaches

Plenty of grist for the mill below with probably no fans happy except for those of Saddleback.

From the CCCAA site courtesy of Robert Schmidt:

215-16 Preseason Men's Basketball Poll

1 Saddleback
2 San Francisco
3 San Bernardino
4 Antelope Valley
5 Fresno
6 Yuba
7 Mt. San Jacinto
8 Marin
9 Mt. San Antonio
10 Cosumnes River
11 Merritt
12 Chabot
13 Cerritos
14 Chaffey
15 Diablo Valley
16 East Los Angeles
17 Citrus
18 San Jose City
19 Canada
20 Southwestern

North
1 San Francisco
2 Fresno
3 Yuba
4 Marin
5 Cosumnes River
6 Merritt
7 Chabot
8 Diablo Valley
9 San Jose City
10 Canada
tie Butte
12 Cabrillo
13 Sequoias
14 Foothill
15 Sierra

Berkeley now a must visit for NBA scouts

"NBA Scouts Flocking to California for Brown, Raab, Wallace"

Coates & Ginns making noise

Jalen (Yuba College) Coates and Cruz (College of Alameda) Ginns Jr. are already getting some pub for their play at Montana Tech LINK

Upcoming games for Prolific Prep

"Prolific Prep's first home game is November 4 at Napa Valley College against Elite Education Prep (Los Angeles). Game time is 8:00 p.m. The next home game is November 18, at Napa Valley College vs. Reno International Prep. Come watch some of the best players in the country battle locally in NorCal."

Prolific Prep then heads to Ames, Iowa Nov 7-8 to play in the Cornfield Classic against National Powers 22-feet Academy and Sunrise Christian. Click here for Prolific Prep Schedule. All games will be streamlined over the internet in HD.

Here's the Prolific Prep roster headed by Josh Jackson, a 2016 national player of the year contender.

Prolific Prep Facebook page

Prolific Prep Twitter page

Prolific Prep site

The NBA and player injuries

Here's an intriguing article about NBA player injuries, the prevention of such and how much more effort is taking place to study the causes and effects.

Heat's Tyler Johnson's strengths and weaknesses

Tyler Johnson, guard
by Jim Rassol/Orlando Sun Sentinel

Ht: 6-4. Age: Turns 24 on May 7. 2015-16 salary status: Has $845,000 partially-guaranteed salary, on second year of two-year contract. Roster role: Johnson has spent most of training camp at point guard, which would indicate the Heat exploring possibilities in case Mario Chalmers is dealt in a tax-saving move. Johnson, however, is not a pure playmaker, best when utilized alongside a facilitator, possibly to benefit if used in the second unit alongside Josh McRoberts and Justise Winslow. Johnson is one of the few Heat guards capable of consistently defending full court.

The latest on Big Wen

Wendell McKines will be balling in South Korea next.

Brown dropped by Lakers

Jabari Brown didn't make the final cut by the Lakers. Below are three links providing background:

Link

Link

Link

The WCC team and player predictions

T.J. Wallace is the sole northern California talent receiving pre-season accolades with Jared Brownridge and Tim Derksen playing for northern California-based teams.

The West Coast Conference

Team 

1. Gonzaga
2. BYU
3. Pepperdine
4. Saint Mary’s
5. Portland
6. Santa Clara
7. Pacific
7. San Francisco
9. San Diego
10. Loyola Marymount

2015-16 All-WCC Preseason Men’s Basketball Team

Jared Brownridge Santa Clara Jr. G

Kyle Collinsworth BYU Sr. G

Stacy Davis Pepperdine Sr. F

Tim Derksen San Francisco Sr. G

Chase Fischer BYU Sr. G

Przemek Karnowski Gonzaga Sr. C

Domantas Sabonis Gonzaga So. F

T.J. Wallace Pacific Jr. G

Kyle Wiltjer Gonzaga Sr. F

Alec Wintering Portland Sr. G

Manning blowin' 'em away

Joe Davidson tweeted: "Matt Manning of Sheldon HS named MVP pitcher of Perfect Game World Series in Florida - 7 IP, 14K, hit 95 mph." 

Not sure if he'll get past the MLB draft in order to attend college.

Monday, October 26, 2015

CCSF's Dew likes Tinksville

A visit this weekend to Corvallis has resulted in a quick commitment  -- "Keondre Dew commits to @OregonStateMBB."

Andrew Nemec's report.

That's a league stepup in moving from Tulsa of the American Athletic Conference to the present day Pac-12.

The Gaels nab a big

Olgan Ulac tweeted: "2016 Australian centre Jock Perry has committed to Saint Mary's, per a source. He chose SMC over Grand Canyon University."

Here's a 2014 feature on the 7-foot-1, 240 young man.

An undated analysis: "Perry has faced some serious medical conditions the past year and has had to take some time away from basketball. He is a high level prospect because he is simply enormous. He is still developing his touch around the rim and his feel for the game, but he appears to have the desire to work on his unpolished skills. He will be a very interesting prospect if he can remain healthy."

Cunningham and the Cavs

Jacob Rosen provides an inclusive feature on new Cavalier Jared Cunningham.

Olgun Ulac on AIS favoring St. Mary's

A couple of Tweets from Olgun Ulac, one in particular:

"Jock Perry's commitment to Saint Mary's means they'll have 7 Australians on their roster next season."

and

"I, for one, don't think the Saint Mary's/Australia pipeline is a good thing. These kids are manipulated into choosing the Gaels. Not healthy."

The second one is loaded and deserves a full explanation and not just a maximum of 140 characters. The following are two excerpts from the 'conversation' following that second tweet:

"Olgun Uluc ‏@OlgunUluc  Oct 24
@phillipshoops The AIS coaches lead them toward SMC, often bad mouth other programs. Not a fan of what they're doing over there, at all."

and

"Olgun Uluc ‏@OlgunUluc  Oct 24
@nathan_brookes It's a bit of both. And it's not that they're funding the AIS, it's more subtle. Coaches leading the kids toward SMC."

Hayes no longer a Clipper

Chuck Hayes has been cut by the LA Clippers. Will he now join a coaching staff maybe in and around Modesto?

Here's a long feature on Hayes from last January.

A Paris Austin sighting

From coverage of a Boise State intra-squad scrimmage: "...Those new faces delivered, while also showing those familiar ones like Hutchison may have taken another step forward. Freshman point guard Paris Austin was 3-for-3 from the field for eight points, adding four assists to one turnover..."

and

"...With quite a few ballhandlers sidelined, [Boise Coach Leon] Rice said “the silver lining of having ‘Tigo and Mikey out right now, is Paris is getting a lot of reps and he’s really improved.”

“I wish they were still in, but it’s an opportunity for me and I just want to take advantage of it,” Austin said. “I feel like I did good, wish I could’ve got my teammates the ball a little more ... I’m fitting well, I don’t have too big of a role, but it’s just enough for me...”

Bealer and the Utes

This appears in Andrew Murawa's preview of the Utah Utes: "...Then there’s Gabe Bealer, another JuCo transfer, who coincidentally hails from the same junior college (City College of San Francisco) that Delon Wright came from. Bealer is not a point guard – more of a wing – but if [Brandon] Taylor slides over to the point, he could become a part of the starting lineup as well..."
San Francisco State Coach Paul Trevor has stockpiled quite the number of northern California-connected talents on his 2015-16 Gator roster:

* Warren Jackson 6-0 180 G So. Detroit, MI  Cabrillo College

* Justice Howard 6-5 180 F Sr. Athens, GA San Diego City College

Andre Jones 6-3 160 G  Sr. Rocklin, CA Rocklin HS

* Coley Apsay 6-2 180 G Jr. Canyon Country, CA College of the Canyons

Nick Calcaterra 6-2 160 G Jr. Novato, CA Marin Catholic HS

* Gabe Martins 6-5 190 F Jr. Sao Paulo, Brazil Foothill College

Israel Hakim 6-1 180 G Jr. Palo Alto, CA Canada College

* Brantley Bynum 6-5 190 F Jr. Visalia, CA College of Sequoias

* Derrick Brown 6-5 195 F Jr. Bakersfield, CA Bakersfield HS

Chiefy Ugbaja 6-3 195 G/F So. San Francisco, CA Archbishop Riordan HS
* Floyd Wormley 6-6 205 F/C Sr. Sacramento, CA Yuba College

Treaven Duffy 6-2 185 G Jr. Walnut Creek, CA Saint Mary's College

* Jon McMurry 6-5 205 F Sr. Ventura, CA Ventura College

* Damien Rance 6-7 220  F Fr. Melbourne, Australia

* Ryne Williams 6-11 220 C Rf Castaic, CA West Ranch HS

The 2015-16 Chico State Wildcats

The roster for Coach Greg Clink's Chico State Wildcats is up and its heavily laden with northern California talent:

* Trevor Priest G 6-6 190 Jr. San Jose Santa Teresa HS  Management

* Robert Duncan G 6-3 185 Jr. Granite Bay Air Force Academy Prep School

* Joseph Lynch G 5-11 180 Fr. Redding  Liberty Christian HS

* Jalen McFerren G 5-10 160 So. Oakland Castro Valley HS

* Marvin Timothy F 6-9 240 Fr. Elk Grove Franklin HS

* Tanner Giddings F 6-10 220 Sr. Windsor Fresno State

* Nate Ambrosini G 6-4 195 Fr. Fortuna Fortuna HS

* Tyler Harris G 6-4 190 So. Bakersfield Bakersfield Christian HS

* Christopher Magalotti C 6-10 250 Sr. Stockton St. Mary's HS

* Jesse Holmes G 6-2 195 Fr. Chico Air Force Academy Prep School

* Keith Datu F 6-7 210 Fr. Santa Maria St. Joseph HS

* Corey Silverstrom G 6-5 190 So. Fresno Bullard HS

* Drew Kitchens G/F 6-4 200 Sr. Carlsbad La Costa Canyon HS

* Vinnie Safin G 6-4 190 Fr. Rocklin Rocklin HS

* Isaiah Ellis F 6-8 220 So. Antelope Antelope HS

* Justin Briggs C 6-9 235  Fr. West Sacramento River City HS `

10 photos from Chico State's Red-and-White Scrimmage

10 photos from Chico State's intra-squad scrimmage

Bobbitt & Smith in Hawaii's scrimmage

From Saturday's Green and White scrimmage for Hawaii:

* Roderick Bobbitt 15 points, 1 rebound, 6-8 FGs, 3-4 3-point FGs

and

* Quincy Smith 9 points, 5 rebounds, 4-11 FGs

Ashley dropped by Mavs

Brandon Ashley has been waived by the Dallas Maverick so it will be the D-League (Texas Legends) or overseas fro the former Arizona forward.

He earlier signed a partially guaranteed multi-year deal.

Brook & Robin Lopez

The Lopez brothers don't march to the beat of a different drummer -- call it free form jazz that heads them in their various directions.

Tweets from the Super Showcase

Joey Velasquez with just some of a bevy of his tweets after the Super Showcase at Jamtown:

"6'6" Tydus Verhoeven (Manteca HS) stretching game 2 perimeter consistently, attacks rim when he wants, his ceiling is high @supershowcaseCA"

and

"6'8" Daj Dhanoa (Mission San Jose 2016) scholar athlete, stretches to perimeter, high motor, finishes at rim @supershowcaseCA"

and

"6'6" Jase Wickliffe (Wilcox HS) strong body Guard, athletic finishes at rim, slasher off ball, very aggressive at the rim @supershowcaseCA"

plus

"D1/2s need to jump on this athletic beast in 2016 Jase Wickliffe of Santa Clara, Calif."

STLB on the Coast Conference North

Signal The Light Basketball previews the Coast Conference North.

It seems like CCSF could field a separate second squad that would be competitive in league play.

Enciso makes a statement

From San Francisco Bay Area Pro Am comes this link on guard Simon Enciso who in playing professionally in the Philippines. He balled for Terra Nova High, Skyline College and Notre Dame de Namur before turning pro.

Participants in Santa Cruz Warriors tryout

Some Bay Area talents took part in a recent Santa Cruz Warriors try-out held in Oakland. They are:

* Dior Lowhorn - Berkeley High, Texas Tech, USF

* Chris McNealy - San Ramon Valley High, UC Irvine

* De'End Parker - Lincoln High, CCSF, UCLA, USF, Cal State San Marcos

* Chris Head - St. Mary's High, Hampton University

* Tyree Murray - Deer Valley High, Los Medanos College, Texas A&M International, Cal State San Marcos

Team Rampage wins again

"The Team Rampage 14 and Under Team won their second tournament in a row, this time playing up in the JV Division at Contra Costa College. Players, Antheus Oatman, Patrick Nickerson, Matthew Clinton, Roman Maydayag, Daniel Fagan, Hakeem Musawwir, Amahri Cooper, Jhaylon Martinez, Rayshon Martinez, and Sabeer Bedi, participated in the tournament. Antheus Oatman won MVP honors this week, while Roman Madayag won MVP Honors last week."

Kevin Warren generating interest

Via Ballers Bridge: "Chico State, Western Oregon & UC Riverside have been in contact with @kev_skinny lately. Available shooter!"

Coach Bob Walsh on total buy-in

Coach Bob Walsh on "Total Buy-In" -

An excerpt: "If one of your players screws up and you make your whole team run, are they mad at you for making them run?  Or are they mad at him for making them lose? Think about that. The best teams are bought in at a high level, and you can see it when you watch them. It’s a long-term project, and one that takes daily effort. When your team is mad at their teammate, and not mad at you, for making them run, you are starting to achieve the right level of buy-in."

Friday, October 23, 2015

Here's the ultimate in pre-season predictions

Not every coach has posted his roster, a single minute of any game has yet to be played and so many talents have yet to be witnessed on the court (kinda gives you confidence) but here's a take on who will be in the running to earn a spot on the All State North team come March.

In alphabetical order:

* Jalen Canty, City College of San Francisco
* Crisshawn Clark, Canada College
* Isaac Clark, Monterey Peninsula College
* Justin Claus, College of the Redwoods
* Trevor Dunbar, City College of San Francisco
* Akil Douglas, San Jose City College
* Frankie Ferrari, Canada College
* Zack Gonzales, Modesto Junior College
* Emmanuel Malou, Yuba College
* Vasilje Saraba, Yuba College
* Josh Sykes, Fresno City College
* Bobby Syvanthong, Contra Costa College
* Anthony Williams, Sierra College
* Jojo Zamora, Yuba College

So who was missed?

Who shouldn't be here?

Chatter:

Can three players from Yuba make it? It seems that the 49ers will have to go long into the state tournament for that to happen.

Fair or unfair, it seems that plus talents from losing teams do not get backing for statewide honors.

If Crisshawn Clark doesn't play this season, it will mean more shots but less assists for Frankie Ferrari.

The Oakland Legends Classic

The Oakland Legends Classic will take place on December 22 - 23 and the matchups include four Chicago high school teams:

They are:

Tuesday December 22 @ Oakland High School

* Oakland Envision Academy v Oakland Castlemont 6:30 p.m.

* University High v Oakland High School 8:00 p.m.

Wednesday December 23 @ Haas Pavilion

* Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) vs. Fremont (Oakland), 10:30 a.m.

* St. Joseph (Alameda) vs. Oakland Tech, 12 noon

* Skyline (Oakland) vs. Von Steuben (Chicago), 3:30 p.m.

* McClymonds (Oakland) vs. Curie (Chicago), 5:oo p.m.

* Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) vs. Whitney Young (Chicago), 7:00 p.m.

* Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) vs. Simeon (Chicago), 8:30 p.m.

Cal Maritime the favorite

Cal Maritime has once again been selected as the pre-season favorite to take the crown in the California Pacific Conference. A number of northern California-connected talents are mentioned especially in the Keelhauler, Simpson U. and Pacific Union previews.

Pope & Allen big for the Aztecs

A couple of Jon Rothstein tweets:

"Early prediction on San Diego State starting five: Jeremy Hemsley, Trey Kell, Malik Pope, Winston Shepard, Skylar Spencer."

and

"San Diego State needs mileage early out of Dakari Allen in reserve. Going to get an opportunity to play minutes in place of Matt Shrigley."

Breakout scorers with Nor Cal addresses/connections

In a Sports Illustrated article by Dan Hanner and Luke Winn on breakout scorers this college season, five of the talents play in northern California or have roots here:

#6 Dane Pineau, St. Mary's (No one can replace Brad Waldow, but Pineau made 67% of his twos last season and was as strong defensive rebounder. He has the skills to at least replace part of Waldow's production.)

#31 Alec Kobre, Pacific (Kobre was Pacific's most efficient player last year due to his ability to score while minimizing turnovers.)

#37 Malik Pope, San Diego State (The injury to Aztecs wing Matt Shrigley makes Pope's ability to make jump shots all the more critical to SDSU's offense.)

#47 Devin Watson, USF (Watson made significant contributions (22% assist rate, 2.6% steal rate) as a freshman point guard. Expect his shooting to improve as a sophomore.)

#49 Ike Iroegbu, Washington State (With a 26% assist rate and solid jump shot, Iroegbu is Washington State's most efficient returning guard. With DaVonte Lacy graduating, look for him to take on an even larger role in the offense.)

The 2015-16 UC Davis Aggies previewed

Bruce Gallaudet writes about this season's UC Davis squad. One disturbing note:

"...(J.T. Adenrele, a key ingredient last year and in the 2012-13 season, again is injured — a different knee from the last ACL. Hurt in a summer pick-up game, Adenrele is working through his options for the second time in three seasons...)

STLB previews the Central Valley Conference

Signal The Light Basketball looks at the Central Valley Conference in 2015-16.

Can anyone even challenge Fresno City College?

Can the College of the Sequoias backcourters handle the pressure from the Rams?

Columbia is another darkhorse and a team that should finish stronger as a team than on opening night.

Looking at Tyrone Wallace

Raphielle Johnson digs into the play of Cal's Tyrone Wallace.

Bealer's play in Utah's scrimmage

Utah held an intra-squad scrimmage Wednesday night and the northern California item is Gabe Bealer's output. From the Uah athletics coverage article:

"Gabe Bealer scored five points and led the team on the boards with three rebounds..." This was in the first half.

"Bealer led the Red team in the second half with seven points..."

Dunn vital for the Griz

Montana men's basketball provides a team preview -- here is the northern California-related note:

[Mario] Dunn returns as one of the Grizzlies' top defenders last year, with a team-high 59 steals, but will miss the first few weeks of the season as he recovers from off-season wrist surgery.

"Mario Dunn can defend 1-3. Even though he's not the biggest guy on the floor, he's got the biggest heart of all the perimeter players that we're going to see. He'll allow us to compete in a lot of areas," adds [Coach Travis] DeCuire.

Fascinating interview with Gregg Popovich

Jon Finkel provides quite the insightful interview with Gregg Popovich.

Loved this part:

"...When there’s a guy who talks about himself all day long, you start to get the sense that he doesn’t listen real well. If you’re interviewing him and before you ever get anything out of your mouth he’s speaking, you know he hasn’t really evaluated what you’ve said. For those people, we think, Has this person gotten over himself? If he has then he’s going to accept parameters. He’s going to accept the role; he’s going to accept one night when he doesn’t play much. I think it tells me a lot..."

Now this in no way demeans Popovich and his achievements -- nothing could achieve that and it's certainly not the intention here. However, there are quite the number of "Popoviches" throughout the coaching ranks, well-rounded individuals who instruct on and off the court and positively impact the lives of so many. They are just under the radar of most national news outlets and therefore unknown to those outside their orbit.

From The World Is Wrong & I'm Right Department

"Why Jimmer Fredette has been such a big bust in the NBA"

An excerpt: "...Jimmer thinks everybody is stupid," said an NBA assistant who worked with Fredette. "He thinks everybody needs to come and just turn over their offense and let him shoot it anytime he wants. That's not how the league works..."

Even MJ and Kobe made adjustments early on in their careers because they had to -- when you keep doing the same thing and the end result repeats itself, well...


Shooting revolution in the NBA

"The NBA’s Next Shooting Revolution Has Already Been Televised" -- Kirk Goildsberry

Zak Boisvert offers his take.

Chriss not missing time

Percy Allen devotes a nice feature to Washington's Marquese Chriss, who will participate in the scrimmage against St. Mary's on Saturday in Moraga. The rumor is his teammates have taken to calling him Lefty...

Oliver and Anderson noted

The Nevada Wolf Pack players voted among themselves for various best talents of their teammates and here are the northern California items of interest:

* Question: Who is the team’s best dunker?

Answer: Cam Oliver 12; Kaileb Rodriguez 1

In short: This one was unanimous as every player on the team except for Oliver, who wasn’t allowed to vote for himself, picked the true freshman forward. Despite tearing his ACL in high school, Oliver is “a crazy athlete,” according to his teammates. AJ West even said Oliver, who originally committed to Oregon State out of high school, is already better than 95 percent of the players he’s gone against in the Mountain West. Expect a lot of minutes (and dunks) from Oliver this year. He’ll be starting soon enough.

and

* Question: Who is the team’s smartest player?

Answer: Lindsey Drew 3; Marqueze Coleman 3; Juwan Anderson 3; Lucas Stivrins 2; Marcus Marshall 1; Elijah Foster 1

In short: No surprise here as the team’s three point guards all tied for first. Coleman, Drew and Anderson, a walk-on, will all play point guard this year.

and

* Question: Who is the team’s best athlete?

Answer: D.J. Fenner 5; Cameron Oliver 4; Tyron Criswell 4

Projected honorees in the GNAC

The head coaches in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) have offered their pre-season choices for all league honors and three Bay Area-connected talents are included:

 *Jeffrey Parker Western Washington F 6-6 Jr. Salesian High Richmond, CA
.
* Momir Gataric Montana State Billings G/F 6-5 Sr. Homestead High Sunnyvale, CA

* Joe Slocum Alaska G 6-3 Sr. Vallejo High San Francisco, CA

Gataric played at West Valley College and Slocum with City College of San Francisco.

Plus Alaska's Almir Hadzisehovic, out of Serbia, is on the list. He played at Ohlone College

Watch for Anand Hundal

A pair of Rothstein tweets

Two tweets from Jon Rothstein:

"Early prediction on UC Irvine's starting five: Luke Nelson, Alex Young, Dominique Dunning, Mike Best, Mamadou Ndiaye."

and

"The sleeper in UC Irvine's program? RS freshman Jonathan Galloway. Should log big minutes as a backup PF. Has All-Big West potential."

Serious illness being only a speedbump

A Cal State Monterey Bay freshman has endured a frightening diagnosis, harrowing treatment and a year on the sidelines but now he's back immersed in basketball.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Granucci out at COM

From four sources comes word that David Granucci has resigned as the head coach at College of Marin due to violations in multiple areas.

From Coach Granucci: "Contrary to rumors I have resigned from College of Marin due to personal reasons. I enjoyed my time there and wish the school and program success as we both move forward."

The Cañada College Colts in 2015-16

Cañada College basketball is coming off a remarkable 2014-15 24-7 finish alongside a Final Four appearance. Unexpected? Probably to most but not to Coach Mike Reynoso and his players.

Now a quartet of heavy-minutes players has moved on to four-year schools but a few sophomores who experienced the exhilarating ride of last season are back and eager for more. They are being joined by a bevy of freshman plus a D1 transfer.

So what will Reynoso and the Colts do for an encore since there won't be any 'sneaking up' on opponents? That question is obviously unanswerable at this point except for soothsayers and clairvoyants but the core elements of the Cañada hoops philosophy, plus preparation and effort have expectations remaining high.

"Each team has its own identity, with personalities and attitudes," Reynoso explained. "I try to get our guys to understand that past success has nothing to do with the current status. This team is not trying to be like last year's team, they have to define their own path and who they are as a team. Success determines how many coaches come to watch and coaches want guys from winning programs."

About not resting on any laurels, "intensity starts at the top and trickles down. I pride myself and our staff on that. I'm just an intense individual anyway."

So who does Reynoso bring in and what does he and his staff do with the raw material?

"Another part of success is having guys who have a motor, a competitive edge. I want guys who have fight in them. We can teach better skills, but you can't teach heart. Our Cañada program is dedicated to making guys better players - not just accepting that they will mature and be bigger and older and hope they will make it at the next level. I make sure our guys are prepared for the next level. We spend roughly 45 minutes every practice working on skills."

A key element is Reynoso's reward system, if you will. "Do your role and it will be increasing." A major component of this at Cañada is that, "I'm a proponent of versatility. Our bigs can handle the ball and our guards can post up. We take advantage of mismatches, our guys need to have an IQ."

Regarding his relationships with his players, "I treat every kid differently because each guy is in need of something different. Some guys have had a rough upbringings, and other guys come from affluent families. It's our job as coaches to bridge that gap and help all of these young men out. One of the things we do is take a team trip to find out about each other. It's to create a family and we take it very seriously. We'll bond as a team and with each other."

As the season opener fast approaches, Reynoso offered, "talent-wise we're there. We have a long way to go though, our freshman have to get tougher and used to the speed, and we need to learn how to be mentally tough as well."

He also preaches a different than what some might expect viewpoint: "our goal is reaching the potential of what we can do, not a goal of a state championship."

Reynoso closed with, "at the end of the day it's about getting an education paid for."

At the junior college level, so often it's not necessarily getting the players but developing them and then moving them on.

Coach Paul Brogan's 2015-16 Modesto Junior College Pirates

When heading a basketball program, at any level, becomes more diaper changer and truant officer than actual coach and teacher, the enjoyment for all dissipates.

That's why Modesto Junior College Coach Paul Brogan made a change a year ago, altering his program's culture and recruiting .

"I want high character kids who care about academics," he explained. "It was my fault that I let the culture crumble so I fixed it. It doesn't take more than one guy [to disrupt a team]. Some coaches can do it, they are great with troubled kids but not me anymore."

While the Pirates finished with a 6-20 overall record in 2014-15, there were plenty of plusses. "Last year was one of the easiest years because the players did what was asked of them and played to the best of their ability. It was a positive atmosphere and the type of team I used to have. We continued to improve the whole season and beat DVC to end the year." That was a 70-67 victory in front of the Modesto fans.

"It's a lot more fun when I only have to worry about scoring points and stopping teams."

This season's version of the Pirates contains multiple strong additions.

"We have three very good guards in Zack GonzalesMason Washington and Brennan Pope." Gonzales redshirted last season after scoring 13.9 points per game two years ago for Brogan while Washington was a baseball redshirt at San Joaquin Delta last season. The former weighs 210 pounds, the latter 200. Pope is a transfer from Cal State Stanislaus and scales up at 195.

According to Brogan, "you have to have 'man guards' to be successful, guys who are strong and athletic and can compete physically. Zack had a great freshman year -- the way he shoots is his strength and Mason is a good athlete who is also going to play baseball here."

Joe Hamilton and Mike Hatfield will round out the starting five with freshmen Kevin Howland-Wolaridge and Brandon Moss in the rotation.

The 2015-16 MJC roster:

* Ravon Alexander G 5-11 180 Frosh Lincoln High/Stockton

Kevin Howland-Wolaridge G 6-4 175 Frosh Bullard High/Fresno

Zack Gonzales G 6-2 210 Soph Riverbank High/Riverbank

Donovan Galloway G 5-11 160 Frosh Beyer High/Modesto

Mason Washington G 6-0 200 Frosh Modesto Christian High/Modesto

Chris Salazar F 6-2 190 Soph Johansen High/Modesto

Elijah Tuando G 6-1 155 Frosh West High/Tracy

Joe Hamilton F 6-6 215 Soph Central Catholic High/Modesto

Blake Houser F 6-4 205 Soph Downey High/Modesto

Brennan Pope G 6-2 195 Soph Davis High/Modesto

Brandon Moss F 6-5 205 Frosh  Bear Creek High/Stockton

Mike Hatfield F 6-7 225 Frosh Manteca High/Manteca

Kiwi to Saudi Arabia

Kiwi Gardner has reached his next station in basketball. Still believe there will be a spot for him somewhere in one of the better European leagues -- it's a step-by-step process.

Cañada's Clark calls it

Crisshawn Clark tweeted: "I have officially committed to University of Pittsburgh."

Background.

So it sounds like he will redshirt this season in order to have the most eligibility at Pitt.

Jamie Dixon likes strong and tough players and Clark fills that bill.

The 2015-16 Las Positas College Hawks

From Las Positas College athletics:

"So, just how excited is James Giacomazzi about the upcoming 2015-16 season?

"I'm overly excited," said Giacomazzi, LPC's new men's basketball coach. "I have to downshift myself at times."

With 6 players returning from last year's 16-win playoff team -- including honorable-mention all-conference selection McKayle Harnell -- and an influx of new talent, Giacomazzi has plenty to be excited about.

And his Hawks will show what that excitement is about Nov. 2 when they open the season with a 7 p.m. home game against the Simpson College JV team.

Although Giacomazzi is eager for the season to begin, he is also preaching patience. Along with two new assistant coaches, Jordan Whittenburg and Jonathan James, the head coach realizes that implementing a new system with new players will take some time.

"We have a great group of guys," said Giacomazzi, the head coach at Cosumnes River the previous 11 seasons. "Not only are they learning a new system, but we're also asking more than what they can already do. We have to go through our struggles, but when we do that and get past it, we'll be really good."

One area of concern is the lack of size on LPC's roster. The Hawks have only 1 player taller than 6-5.

"Teams will be bigger than us, probably," the coach said. "But I think we're athletic, strong, and quick enough to compensate. We'll just have to tweak our philosophy so our size becomes a benefit. We'll create mismatches."

The Hawks have also been hit a bit by injuries during the preseason. LPC participated in two jamborees -- the SoCal Juco Fall Jamboree in Norwalk and the ARC Juco Shootout in Sacramento -- and came away with groin injuries to Harnell and freshman Guard Kameron Johnson from Granada High. Sophomore forward Brandon Eboigbodin emerged with an injured ankle.

But Giacomazzi said all 3 players should be ready for the season-opener. Three days after that game against Simpson JV, the Hawks host the annual Tony Costello Tip-Off Classic on Nov. 5-7.

The rest of the nonconference season is highlighted by tournaments at Mendocino, Diablo Valley, and Skyline. After the Tip-Off Classic, LPC plays only 2 home games, Nov. 17 against Monterey Peninsula and Dec. 22 against West Valley, before the Coast Conference North Division season begins Jan. 6

Like any new coach building a program, Giacomazzi would love to see his team improve every day.

"What do they say? 'Rome was not built in a day,' " he said. "We're trying to get to Rome, but it might take a little time."
+++++++

* Aaron Berry G FR 6-2 185 Brentwood/Heritage * Brandon Eboigbodin F SO 6-5 190 Redding/Shasta * Etienne Ettlinger G FR 6-0 175 Romanshorn, Switzerland/St. John's (B.C.) * McKayle Harnell F SO 6-4 210 Livermore/Livermore * Keith Hunter G FR 6-3 180 Oakland/Oakland * Kameron Johnson G FR 6-2 185 Livermore/Granada * Darius Limbrick G SO 6-3 180 San Leandro/San Leandro * Teran Massengill F FR 6-4 205 Bellflower/Pioneer * Nick Merrill F SO 6-5 200 Livermore/Livermore * Cameron Moses G SO 6-0 185 San Leandro/Dublin * Shaun Rodgers F FR 6-7 240 Antioch/Deer Valley * Ellis Salahuddin G FR 5-10 170 Inglewood/Westchester 
* Giordi V'Soske G SO 6-1 180 Dublin/Dublin * Spencer Wood F FR 6-4 200 San Ramon/California * Nilo Yuson G FR 6-0 175 Lathrop/Lathrop

The 2015-16 Sonoma State Seawolves

Coach Pat Fuscaldo's Sonoma State University roster is up and, as usual, it's chock full of northern California talents:

* Armani Nicolis G 6-5 180 So. Los Angeles, CA Culver City HS

Andy Mitchell G 6-3 192 Sr. Hayward, CA Moreau Catholic HS/Ohlone JC

* Khalid Johnson G 5-10 160 Jr. Palo Alto, CA St. Francis HS

* Brandon Tillis G 5-11 160 Fr. Santa Monica, CA Crossroads HS

* Ronnie Harris G 6-3 175 Jr. Aliso Viejo, CA Aliso Niguel HS/Irvine Valley College

* Jimmy Golden G 6-4 195 Jr. La Habra, CA Sonora HS/Irvine Valley College

* Topher Taylor G 5-10 175 Jr. Lake Almanor, CA Chester HS

* Michael Avery G 6-4 220 Sr. Westlake Village, CA Crespi Carmelite HS

* Mason Phillips G 6-3 190 So. Redding, CA Shasta HS

* Jabri Jenkins G 6-3 182 Sr. El Sobrante, CA El Cerrito HS

* David Ahern G 6-0 175 Sr. Novato, CA Marin Catholic HS/Portland

* James Slade F 6-3 235 Sr. Scotia, CA Ferndale HS/College of the Redwoods

* Naaman Hightower C 6-8 235 Jr. Fairfield, CA Vanden HS/Napa Valley College

* James Davis G 6-0 170 Sr. San Lorenzo, CA Arroyo HS/Northern Colorado

* Luke Cochran C 6-10 250 Sr. Loomis, CA Del Oro HS/Santa Rosa JC

* Nathan Molony-Benjamin F/C 6-9 225 Jr. Sebastopol, CA Analy HS

Drilling down on San Joaquin Delta

Sabrena Hernandez, who has transferred to Sacramento State, still provides a look at Coach Rich Ressa's 2015-16 San Joaquin Delta College squad.

A bonus: we learn the four-year whereabouts of guard Dwayne Lee.

STLB previews the Big 8 Conference

Signal The Light Basketball has posted its Big Eight Conference preview.

This race appears wide open, with so many newcomers plus returnees who will need to step into the spotlight.

Ionescu going quackin'

Jonathan Hawthorne reports that Miramonte High guard Eddy Ionescu will be walking on at Oregon next season.

Intriguing item from Jalen Canty

He tweeted: "Got to @SFCityBasketball weighing 275, now I'm 244..."

That's a seriousness four year coaches want to see.

Mitty minus Much

Gerry Freitas broke the news of Sebastian Much's move back to southern California.

More:

Darren Sabredra.

John Murphy.

USF in the running for a big

6-foot-10 Frank Ryder tweeted: "I would like to thank every school that has recruited me. With that being said here is my top 3 in no order!"

It's USF, LMU and San Diego.

Originally out of Colorado, here's some background on Ryder.

Here's the latest.

Booker commits

Nor Cal Preps posted: "Weston Ranch post Anthony Booker has committed to Cal State Monterey Bay. He is a transfer from Chavez."

A call for Pitino's departure

John Clay in (yes) the LEXINGTON Herald-Leader writes that it's time for Rick Pitino to depart from Louisville.

One is missing a crucial element of humaneness if any joy is generated by these troubles even though Pitino will land on his feet, either in the pros or the NBA. What seems missing in all this though is that his 'distance' from his program isn't necessarily an anomaly -- a number of head coaches don't necessarily have a finger on the so-called pulse of what is taking place within their organizations.

Still want to know who produced the money for these extracurricular events.
West Coast Super Showcase

West Coast High School Super Showcase
2015 FALL SUPER SHOWCASE Presented by CaliforniaPreps.com
Sunday, October 25th, 2015
Grades: TOP athletes currently enrolled in
High School 2019, 2018, 2017, & 2016
(Class of 2020 - invite only)
Check-In: 8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
Fee: $125 per Athlete
Limited to 120 Top High School Players

REGISTER NOW

Location:
JAMTOWN
31 4th St, Oakland, CA 94607
Phone:(510) 286-9982

Super Showcase Schedule (subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances)
Sunday, October 25th, 2015
8:00am - 9:30am Player Check in - Jersey Check In - Team Assignments
9:30am - 10:00am Skill Instruction Stations - Warm Up
10:00am - 1:00pm Game Session 1
1:00pm - 5:00pm Game Session 2
5:00pm - 5:15pm End of Showcase Group Photo

*NO OUTSIDE BASKETBALLS WILL BE ALLOWED INTO GYM!
Central and Northern California's #1 post-season unsigned high school exposure event provides all participating players an opportunity to demonstrate their skills to all the NCAA Division II, III, NAIA and JUCO coaches, scouts and media invited to attend. A special report will be sent out to college coaches all across the country.

Play Top Central and Northern California Competition.
Get Evaluated by the West Coast's and the Nation's Top Scouts Like Ronnie Flores (ESPNhs.com/CalHiSports) Frank Burlison (Burlison on Basketball), Dave Keefer (California Preps), Johnny Hernandez (Ball is life), and Gerry Freitas (Hoops Review).
Each Player Plays in two (2) Showcase Games (each player plays at least half of game).
Player/Game Stats Provided by California Preps.
All Players Included in Special Super Showcase Report sent out to college coaches.
Everyone Receives a Super Showcase Uniform Top (Bring shoes and shorts).

To Accept This Invitation Register ASAP or for More Info Call:
Ladell Hill (Recruiting Director) 1.909.260.3542

Casa Grande names new boys basketball coach

Casa Grande High didn't have to go far in finding a new boys basketball coach.

Looking at James Harden

So when is his beard going to labeled "the Harden Look" and rocked by 20 somethings? Just being facetious as Pablo Torre profiles the Houston Rockets' main man.

DeAndre Stallings recruitment

Via Columbia College Men's Basketball: "DeAndre Stallings receiving interest from multiple Big West programs."

A 6-foot-7 backcourter can create some serious mismatches.

One more Curry feature

Abe Schwadron adds to the lore of Stephen Curry. It's important to understand that sleights to Curry produced the resolve to prove others wrong and himself right. But it wasn't just being mad followed by jacking up shots in an attempt to get back at his naysayers. Count unlimited hours of focused effort plus attention to detail. As you'll read, Curry remains on the lookout for additions to his repertoire.

Student Athlete Camp report

Here are some mostly down-the-road prospects written up after participation in a recent Student Athlete Camp event.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Wyatt Maker offered

Out of Palma High and with Seaside's Finest, 6-foot-8 Wyatt Maker has been offered by Coach Gus Argenal:

"Had a GREAT time at CSUEB on my official visit"

and

"Excited to announce that I have received a scholarship offer from Cal State East Bay!"

COM video

Here's video of College of Marin in action at the recent Nor Cal JUCO Showcase held at City College of San Francisco (love that the players are identified here):

Tollefsen starts big

Mark Tollefsen totaled 13 points plus eight boards and won the dunk contest in Arizona's Red-Blue event on Saturday. He shot 5-5 overall, 1-1 from three-point range and 2-2 at the foul line. The senior also enjoyed four assists in 24 minutes.

Here's what put him on top:

The 2015-16 Lassen College Cougars


New Lassen College Coach Will Boardman has his 2015-16 roster ready for play:

* Bruno Castillo 6-foot-1 freshman Reseda, CA

* Kahyree Fisher 6-foot-1 170 freshman Reno, NV

* Devon Givins 6-foot-2 175 freshman Fresno, CA

* David Grayson 6-foot-4 200 freshman Savannah, GA

* Ryan Jeep 6-foot-5 230 sophomore Steamboat Springs, CO

* Micah Porter 6-foot-1 170 freshman San Diego, CA

* Stedman Saunders 6-foot-2 170 freshman Elk Grove, CA

* Camareon Smith 6-foot 170 freshman York College

* Danny Spinuzza 6-foot-1 177 freshman Chicago, IL

* Caleb Wood 6-foot-4 170 sophomore Reno

Martin at LSU Shreveport

Former Cañada College frontcourter Manny Martin is at LSU Shreveport this season where he'll be playing for Coach Kyle Blankenship. LSUS is a member of the Red River Athletic Conference, a combine of 12 NAIA schools situated throughout the states of Louisiana, Texas and New Mexico.

Martin earned First Team All Conference honors last season after averaging 11.4 points plus 9.5 rebounds.

Orlando Johnson's life detailed

Mark Anderson/Monterey County Weekly offers an uplifting article about all the facets of Orlando Johnson's upbringing and life.

STLB on the Bay Valley Conference

Signal The Light Basketball has posted its 2015-16 Bay Valley Conference preview.

Pertinent thoughts:

Marin Coach David Granucci has four stalwarts returning. That aids the quality of sleep at night.

This season's Merritt team is the epitome of community college coaching with an entire brand new squad. No more offering condolences when a D1 coach is crying about losing three or four of his talents.

Yuba has two guys already committed to D1 programs with the probability of another and the possibility of a fourth. James Hadnot in the middle is a much-needed piece defensively and on the boards.

Coach Miguel Johnson at Contra Costa has just one returnee but a solid trio in Larry Wickett, Bobby Syvanthong and Deonte Smith.

Napa Valley looks to facing a difficult task in trying to equal last season's finish.

Mendocino point Paul Steliga will lead the conference in assists.

Los Medanos may not equal its 2014-15 record.

Solano has a chance to be better.

A short video interview with Ismail (San Leandro High) Ali

A top o' the hat to Mel Grussing for this:

UC Davis with a 2016 forward commit

Mikey Henn tweeted: "It's official... I'm an Aggie! @UCDavisAggies."

Out of Washington state, he stands 6-foot-8.

From a June tournament: "Mikey Henn (2016) FOH Team LaVine – Big body 4 that uses his strength on both ends of the floor. His high IQ makes him a great rebounder both offensively and defensively. Has a good looking jump shot and can step out to 15′."