Last Updated: February 20, 2015
Guess which young Knicks has regressed, you might be surprised
Burke grad Rufer shows energy off bench for Lafayette
Burke grad Rufer shows energy off bench for Lafayette
Even three years into his college basketball career, John S. Burke Catholic standout Zach Rufer doesn’t mind being bypassed for starting assignments and actually prefers his role as Lafayette’s first person off the bench.
Rivera commits to Patriot League School
September 29, 2014
Rivera commits to Patriot League School
Upstate guard gains momentum
Upstate guard gains momentum
6'5" guard Lonnie Rivera (Don Bosco Prep, NJ '15) got it all started this summer by having a great showing playing with the Puerto Rican National Team.
Rivera, who really broke out and became a coveted Division 1 recruit after his fine summer, said on Sunday that he has recently taken a pair of visits the prior two weekends and came away impressed with what he saw at each school.
"I have visited Marist and Manhattan the past couple weeks," Rivera stated. "Both were great. I enjoyed my time at both getting to know more about the schools and the coaching staffs."
While he has taken just two visits so far, an official visit is planned coming up for the talented wingman.
"I am going down to take an official visit to American on September 27th," Rivera said.
That is the only official he has planned as of right now. Rivera did say that Appalachian State will most likely be getting an official visit sometime in November, but the exact date right now has not been worked out.
Other schools that he says are in the running include Campbell, Elon, Lafayette, and LIU Brooklyn, but he adds that he doesn't have finalists or favorites at this point.
"No I don't have leaders or a select few I'm looking at. I want to make sure I visit the schools and get a feel about them first to make sure they have what I am looking for," Rivera explained.
What he is looking for he says in a college is a bond with the coaching staff and players, a good academic environment, a nice location, good athletic facilities, and a smaller campus size.
There is no set date for Rivera to decide either, with that being determined by ultimately how long the process to visit each school takes. He would like to have a decision he says by sometime during the H.S. season, but he says once the high school season does begin, that his focus goes squarely to leading Don Bosco to a state championship.
"I expect us to do very well this season. We are a senior based team and I believe we have the potential to win a county championship, and really contend for a state title."
Early talks transition to NBA life
Cleanthony Early: I’m ready to be Carmelo’s backup
Knicks sign Cleanthony Early
NY Small Forward Picks Up 5ive Offers
July 18, 2014
NY Small Forward Picks Up 5ive Offers
The experience of playing with the Puerto Rican National Team was almost something Rivera didn't get to have. He actually had no idea about the team until he was approached by someone who saw him play and noticed his last name. He was told about a tryout and made the team, and got to experience something he could never have dreamed about.
"The atmosphere was amazing, it was a great experience to play with and against some of the top Puerto Rican players, and if feel it's helped me grow as a player." Rivera said.
He came back just in time to shine for the B.C. Eagles at the Basketbull Summer Championships this weekend in Springfield, Massachusetts, and Eagles head coach Bobby Rahn explained how crazy the timing for him to suit up here was for Rivera.
"He got back from Puerto Rico on Friday, we picked him up, and drove up here to Massachusetts to play, there was no break," Rahn said.
That he was able to shine the way he did with so little rest makes his play even more impressive, and that could be a part of the reason he is becoming a bit of a hot commodity for college coaches, with Rahn saying that Rivera has landed 5 offers recently.
"NJIT, Columbia, Cornell, Colgate, and Winthrop have all offered Lonnie," Rahn said.
Rivera added that he has visited both NJIT and Columbia, and hopes to schedule a trip to Winthrop for August if possible. He would like to decide he said before his season at Don Bosco starts up, but says if he has to wait 'til afterwards, he is fine with that as well.
The fact that Rivera is not just a 3 now, and that he has become a much better shooter with an ability to handle the ball as well has really transitioned him from a good player, to a great player, and Rahn sees in Rivera a prospect with a high upside and one who is just about to take off.
"He has a great shot, but it's that ability to put the ball on the floor now, along with his strong work in the classroom that I believe is going to take him to another gear."
As of Sunday, July 20th 2014, Lonnie Rivera has added offers from American and Lafayette.
Basketbull Showcase Top Performers
July 12, 2014
by: Mike Libert
SPRINGFIELD, MA - Friday at the Basketbull Summer Championships saw a day full of showcase games.
Dupree McBrayer, 6'4" PG, New Heights 17's (The Patrick School, NJ '14) - Quite possibly the best overall player on Friday as with his vastly improved jumper, he has become a complete guard whose playmaking ability, along with his perimeter shot, make him a guard who beat his defenders in a variety of ways on the day. Comfortable getting out on transition and leading the break, he showed added range, and was consistent on his release, and scored from just about anywhere. A couple of behind the back passes showed his high level court vision and ball control. A difference maker on both ends of the floor on Friday.
Mamadou Diarra, 6'8" PF, NYC Jayhawks 17's (Putnam Science Academy, CT '16) - Strong, yet in control of every aspect of his game, Diarra was a force on the inside on Friday displaying great footwork in the paint, along with a physicality to punish defenders inside and finish against contact at the rim. Moved well defensively in the Jayhawks zone, sliding as a help defender well, along with getting his hands on shots and showing an impressive motor that never stopped.
Dyaire Holt, 6'0" PG, Albany City Rocks 16's (Troy '16) - While others on his team may get more attention, the most consistent player on Friday was Holt who showed an extra gear when attacking the basket, along with a great pull up jumper when in transition to keep defenses from laying back on him too much. Pushed the tempo well and was key on helping City Rocks pull away for a dominant win. One of the quicker playmaking guards who ran the point extremely well, limiting his mistakes while making everyone on the court better with his ability to see the court well and find the open man in transition and in the half court.
Ty Jerome, 6'3" PG, New Heights 16's (Iona Prep '16) - Was a deadly shooter early on his teams runaway victory. Knocked down 3 first half threes to set the tempo that you need to press up on him, but in the 2nd half it was his ability to use the defenses collapsing on him to his advantage as he took it inside, and found the open man more often than not when he got into the lane. Was smart and heady in his decision making, controlling the game both offensively and defensively, while showing that he can be an elite level shooter.
Jordan Roland, 6'2" SG/PG, Syracuse Select 17's (Westhill '15) - Played primarily off the ball this season at Westhill, but he is showing more and more that he can play the one, and is comfortable playing on the ball. His decision making is significantly improved from where it was even in April, seeing the floor better off the dribble, and scoring better off the dribble as well proving to be more than a catch and shoot guy, instead focused in becoming a complete guard whose size won't be held against him. Still was a lights out shooter on Friday connecting on 4 threes as he continues to shine as an underrated combo guard with a wide variety of skills.
Ryan Preston, 6'7" PF, Brooklyn Rens 17's (South Shore '15) - Really was emphatic finishing on the inside, throwing down a pair of dunks that rattled the gym. His back to three basket skills have rapidly improved, proving to be more than a face up 4 who could hurt you with his footwork and ability to put the ball on the floor. Still has wing skills as well as proved by his ability to connect from deep, hitting a pair of threes, but it's his ability to block shots, rise high above the rim, and run the floor as good as anyone his size, that stands out, and continued to stand out on Friday.
Lonnie Rivera, 6'5" SF, BC Eagles 17's (Don Bosco Prep, NJ '15) - In great shape, Rivera was great on the wing, catching and shooting off screens while also proving he could put the ball on the floor and score off the dribble. Has a good wingspan and can showed he could play any of the 1, 2, or 3 spots on the floor. Was a team player who didn't force shots, and made sure when the help defense came over to him to find cutting teammates or get the ball in the post, and then moving to free himself again. A complete wing who defended solidly as well, he flies a bit under the radar but played the role of a very solid prospect.
Carl Balthazar, 6'8" PF, Long Island Lightning-Mark 17's (Benjamin Cardozo '14) - Balthazar isn't a Division 1 prospect like the rest of the players on this list, but he may have been the best defensive player on the day. Had well over 10 blocks as he times his jumps so well, especially when opponents think they are out in transition, his motor never stops and he rose high to swat shot after shot. As good a leaping ability as anyone, he changed the game considerably with his ability to alter every shot that went up. Offensively he was raw, but his hands and footwork were solid, and while prep school is still an option, he could easily be a Division 2 player with high upside if his offensive skills click in.
Basketbull Summer Championship July Live Period
BasketBull Summer Championships Recap
July 14, 2014
Over 110 teams and 150 college coaches descended on the birthplace of basketball for the first weekend of the NCAA Live period. What transpired was some of the best basketball that has been played on the AAU circuit this spring with upsets, heartbreak, and players making a name for themselves. This tournament has been a launching pad for players in the past and this year followed suit. Pat Connaughton of the Middlesex Magic went from a Division II scholarship player to receiving offers from Notre Dame, California and many other high-majors in 2012. I'm not sure we saw that same jump this weekend, but we definitely saw a number of players earn scholarships, many at higher levels, along the way. Let's take a look at the results of the weekend.
17u Division Results
Co-Champs - Mass Rivals and City Rocks 2016s
Runner-Up - Maine MAC and BABC 2016s
16u Division Results
Champs - Middlesex Magic (MA)
Runner-Up - New Heights (NY) 2017s
15u Division Results
Champs - Team Scan (NY)
Runner-Up - Albany City Rocks (NY)
July 12, 2014
The first game of the day on court 1 was Syracuse Select vs Bluejays Elite (OLSH). From the tip off, 5'9" Senior point guard Boyd took it to the basket and was fouled 10 seconds into the game. Thats the hardnose play-style he showed throughout the contest, but 6'2" Senior shooting guard Roland showed his smooth shooting stroke and true atheletisism to put down an alley-oop with 2 hands. Once he got going, the bigs #44 Walser and #22 Reynolds ran both paints. The OLSH front court was outsized and that lead to the 75-57 defeat to Syracuse Select.
In the 10:00 AM slot, the B.C. Eagles faced Lone Wolf on court 2. The 6'5" Senior small forward Rivera was fighting to the basket, dishing when possible and scoring when needed. He has a stature similar to Giannis Antetekempo's (Bucks) with good defense to compliment the long frame. Senior point guard Darnell Edge brought the ball up and set the tempo for most of the game, findng their knock down shooter Senior forward Paton Gibbs. The Lone Wolf squad seemed to be out of it with 6 minutes to spare being down by 10. Their Senior point guard #33 kept his course feeding his shifty Senior shooting guard Shungu and 3-point specialist Senior guard Ross to go on a 17-0 run. Junior power forward Delorenzo anchoring his team to shut out the Eagles offensive attack. The Lone Wolf won 49-48.
3's rained today on court 3 with the match up between Game Point and Syraucse Select. Game Point lead by Senior shooting (and I mean shooting) guard Soffer with 7 3's of his own and their nifty Senior point guard Monroe. Monroe hit back the back 3's on opposite wings and every aspect of his game resembles Kirk Hinrich, even down the the glasses. 'Cuse wasn't going down without a fight though, their Senior shooting guard Roland beat everyone with his quick first step and finishing proficently. It ended up not being enough in the 78-68 loss to Game Point.
During the 2:00 PM slots, two power teams Maine and The City faced off, Maine being the underdog. The City has the highly recruited and watched Senior combo guard Mitchell who has incredible leaping abilities and a great corner 3-ball, but the life of the team is Junior point guard Novogratz. He is a floor general with superb vision and communication skills. It was all trumped by Maine's all-round play-style on offense. The main contributers were Senior point guard Savage, with his great on-ball defense, pushing the ball north to south and stepping into open 3's, and Senior wing Bouchard who was scoring from all over the court, a strong finisher and actually finished with game with a free throw to put his team ahead by 1 with 2.7 seconds remaining. 59-58 in the underdog victory over The City.
Jordan Roland 6'2" SG Syracuse Select: Excellent player, can do it all
Dalton Soffer 6'5" SG GamePoint: Shooter with college range
Darrick Boyd 5'9" PG Bluejays Elite (OLSH): Tough defender that plays with the same agression on the offensive side. He will turn you over, but you can't return the favor.
Lonnie Rivera 6'5" SF B.C. Eagles: Great scorer that creates attention and he uses that against the defense to find open teammates.
Donovan Mitchell 6'3" The City: Attacks the basket at will and can shoot, defenders haven't figured out how to guard him yet, he follows his shots as well.
Wolfgang "Wolf" Novogratz 6'2" The City: The team player in this tournament, great communication, praises teammates makes and misses, and a hard working defender
Isaiah McLeod 6'1" Middlesex Magic: (Giordano) and Middlesex Magic (Crotty/Boyle) he played PG in back to back games on court 1 with 2 different teams, with high energy and confidence.
Kyle Bouchard 6'5" Maine Athletic Club: Strong player that can handle the ball and score from all over. Came very clutch for his team by making 1 of 2 free throws with 2.7 seconds to go.
Cleanthony Early headlines Knicks summer league roster
Coaches say newest Knick Cleanthony Early is perfect fit for Phil Jackson's offense
Coaches say newest Knick Cleanthony Early is perfect fit for Phil Jackson's offense
Whether it was knocking down 3-pointers on pick-and-pop possessions or throwing touch passes from the high post, Early excelled in the areas of the game Jackson prizes.
Blessing’ for Cleanthony Early to fall out of 1st round to Knicks
With Phil’s first pick, Knicks grab Wichita State’s Cleanthony Early
Knicks select Cleanthony Early in Second Round with 34th Pick
Three Metro Area Players Get Drafted
Three Metro Area Players Get Drafted
It would be one of the deepest NBA drafts in years with Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid taking numbers one through three of the 60 slots available on Thursday night.
Kyle Anderson - The St. Anthony HS star, who frequented NY's iS8/Nike Tournament with the Playaz Club AAU team, would go on to UCLA and help lead his team into the NCAA Tournament. One of the best passers in the draft, Anderson is a point guard trapped in a small forward's body. Better categorized as a Point forward, Anderson was picked up #30 in the first round by the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs. The knock on Anderson is his un-athleticism but he more than makes up for it with his high I.Q. and floor generalship which should be a great fit for the team oriented Spurs. Anderson will join fellow Metro area player in Danny Green.
Cleanthony Early - NY Knicks president Phil Jackson pulled a Zen like move by trading with Dallas to acquire two draft picks. He used his 34th pick on Early from Middletown, NY. Early attended Pine Bush HS and played AAU basketball with the B.C. Eagles. He went to Wichita State and made an immediate impact for the Shockers, averaging 13.9 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. He was named first team All-Missouri Valley Conference and the MVC Newcomer of the Year. In the post-season, Early led the team to the 2013 Final Four in Atlanta. Early dropped in the draft probably due to Wichita State's Cinderella team label and is a steal for the Knicks.
Russ Smith - Smith was born in New York City, played for the NY Gauchos AAU team and went to Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens, N.Y. and played basketball for head coach Jack Curran. He led the New York City Catholic league (CHSAA) in scoring as a junior averaging 24.5 points a game and as a senior averaging 29.6 points. Smith attended Louisville and after a slow start led the Cardinals to the national championship over Michigan. Known as a scorer, Smith remained at Louisville an additional year increase his stock by displaying his point guard skills. Smith will at least get the chance to continue his quest to prove that he is a more than capable NBA point guard. He was drafted #47 by the Philadelphia 76ers and then traded to the New Orleans Pelicans.
Undrafted Metro Area Players :
@AdamZagoria: The Knicks may lose one Anthony but gained another on Draft Night
The last time the Knicks had two Wichita State Shockers on their roster, they won an NBA championship.
Cleanthony Early Drafted by New York Knicks
From unheralded recruit to college superstar to NBA 2-round pick, Cleanthony Early's journey to professional basketball has been anything but typical. The Knicks selected Early with the 34th pick in the 2014 NBA draft, capping the former Wichita State standout's unlikely rise.
A two-year starter at Wichita State, Early finished with career averages of 15.1 points and 5.7 rebounds while emerging as one of the nation's toughest defenders. The Shockers were the nation's first undefeated team heading into the NCAA tournament since UNLV two decades prior, though they lost to national runner-up Kentucky in the round of 32.
Early, 23, played two years of community college basketball prior to heading to Wichita. He was the two-time NJCAA National Player of the Year winner.
As a senior and one of the oldest players in the class, there is a fundamental misconception that Early is an instantly translatable NBA player. Seniors like Adreian Payne and Doug McDermott are largely seen as safe, lower-ceiling players because teams have so much tape to study.
While Early matches both players in age, he decidedly lacks that same polish. His tape shows a player still learning the ins-and-outs of the game—most notably on the offensive end.
Early is a non-elite shooter who could become a spacing hog at the next level if he's unable to fix his inconsistent shot. At the NBA combine in Chicago, he ranked among the worst shooters who participated in drills. His release has a bit of a hitch, at times leading to an inconsistent rotation and misses on what should be easy attempts. Though he improved to a 34.8 percent three-point shooter overall in two years at Wichita State, NBA teams are going to ignore him until he starts knocking them down consistently.
Mostly a power forward in college, Early will transition to a swing role professionally. He measured only 6'7" in shoes at the combine and weighs just 209 pounds. There could be times when the Knicks move him to the 4 as part of small-ball lineups, but those situations should be rare. Early has fine lateral quickness and top-end speed, and he plays with a relentless tenacity fostered by Shockers coach Gregg Marshall.
"Very versatile," Early told reporters of his game. "I've got a high motor and I want it. I'm hungry. There's nothing but free lunch out here so I'm going to eat. I guess I'm bigger and I'm taller butKevin Durant is a big guy."
Early, like all rookies, will have to get better at understanding team-defense concepts. Wichita State's ultra-aggressiveness would play right into NBA teams' hands. Being aggressive is fine; being wildly aggressive and sloppy with rotations is a one-way ticket to death by way of the corner three. Early needs to be more careful about the chances he takes, especially when it comes to gambling for steals.
Ball-handling is also an issue. Early can't create for himself off the dribble at this point, as evidenced by his struggles in Chicago. He'll need to be a more stationary part of an NBA offense at first, which is an issue because of his inconsistent shot.
There is a very solid rotation player resting within Early; he is just much further away than your typical 23-year-old and won't have as long to develop as a typical player. Aaron Gordon is raw, but he's also more than four years Early's junior.
It will be interesting to see how New York utilizes Early as a rookie. It's possible that he can develop enough consistency from the corner and harness his good aggression on defense to become an instant-impact bench guy. But it's more likely that Early spends most of his rookie campaign moving back and forth between the D-League and the big club.
This is certainly a huge pick for Phil Jackson. While Carmelo Anthony's future remains uncertain, Knicks fans have to be thrilled with landing Early this late in the draft.
Nike Rumble in the Bronx - HOS (Sat)
ARDSLEY, NY -The Rumble in the Bronx continued on Saturday with a games taking place at numerous venues in and around New York City.
One of the top local NY teams of Saturday proved to be The City. Even though they were limited to having just 5 players, they seemed to be firing on all cylinders as they eased past the NJ Panthers early in the day. They struggled a bit more against Stamford Peace of Connecticut, but Elijah Davis (IMG Academy, FL '15) was a scoring machine, pouring in 19 in the opening half, and scoring a couple big buckets late. Wolfgang Novogratz (Poly Prep '16) was the consummate floor general late creating and getting into driving lanes to finish. He also knocked down 4 FT's late to help push The City to a 9 point win.
Their last game was not what they expected though. Facing an 0-2 Dallas Hoyas team from Texas, fatigue seemed to wear The City down. Davis, who again had a strong opening 16 minutes, didn't have the same lift on his jumpers late, and Novogratz struggled to finish in the lane like he did earlier. <b(St. Anthony's, NJ '15) at 6'8" did a solid job on the glass and on putbacks to close the deficit late, but it wasn't enough as the Hoyas pulled out the 50-45 win.
The City still advanced to the Gold Playoffs though winning out in a tiebreaker that sent them on and they made the most of their second chance.
It was a back and forth contest that could've gone either way, but a big drive with under 2 minutes to go put The City up for good, and he and Davis combined for 51 points as The City moves onto Sunday's quarterfinals with a 74-70 victory.
One of the bigger shocks of the day and tournament came from Pool A where on Friday night, the B.C. Eagles shocked the Juice All-Stars with Rashond Salnave (Cardozo '16) and Travis Atson (Christ the King '15) on a three pointer with 2.2 to go to claim the 48-47 upset win. Juice cruised in two wins over Open Season and Douglas Brothers of Georgia on Saturday, and to advance, the Eagles were going to need to match them.
They had Open Season to start the morning and though they fell behind 11-2 to start the game, Paton Gibbs (Saugerties '15) came up big late in the first half as B.C. closed the half on a 14-2 run to take a 6 point lead. Eric McCollum (Newburgh Free Academy '14) used his size on the inside to control the paint in the 2nd half, and Isaiah Strickland (Brooklyn Collegiate '15) was solid from the perimeter and they closed out the game late for a comfortable win.
The 2nd game of the day for B.C. was much more challenging, with the team comprised of mainly Section 9 players struggling from the perimeter, and Douglas Brothers were able to find space to shoot, grabbing a 12 point lead in the first half, and maintaining that lead for much of the 2nd half as well. It was 43-34 Douglas Brothers with 5:10 to go when B.C. for the 3rd time in 3 games, made a run.
Gibbs had 31 points in his 2 games on Saturday as the 6'4" wing continues to prove to be an underrated offensive weapon in pushing B.C. to the pool victory and a Gold Bracket playoff berth.
The Eagles moved over to Mott Haven for their playoff game where it proved to be the end of the road for them as they ended up falling to the NY Gauchos in the Bronx to end their tournament.
No other 17u local New York team advanced into the Gold Bracket, but a couple more looked very good and will advance into the Silver Bracket where the 2nd place pool teams will go.
The Juice All-Stars may not have achieved their goal of going deep into the Gold playoffs, but they did have a good Saturday with Atson scoring 26 while grabbing 14 rebounds early in the morning to beat Open Season. They then cruised over Douglas Brothers from Georgia by 22, and while the Silver Bracket wasn't what the team was hoping for when the tournament started, they are making the best of it, with Salnave leading the way as they took down Starting 5ive of Texas at Mott Haven H.S. on Saturday night. They look to keep it going on Sunday when they get the NJ Roadrunners in the Silver quarterfinals.
The New York Falcons lost to the Iowa Barnstormers in a game that was pretty tight until the last 8 minutes of the game, and went 2-0 otherwise routing both Albany City Rocks (Oshea) and the Connecticut Playmakers. Troy McLaughlin (Old Tappan, NJ '14) was a potent scorer taking it to the rim using his quickness at 6'3" to get by defenders and finish going in, while Connor McGuinness (Clarkstown South '15) was a lethal threat from deep connecting on 9 threes in the teams two wins to propel them on. They fell through to the Roadrunners in a right one by 7, with McGuinness leading the way with 22 in the loss.
City Rocks (Oshea) won't advance either, but they had big 6'4" point guard Kevin Huerter (Shenendehowa '16) who showed good burst and court vision against tough defenses, while Clifton Tracey (Utica-Proctor '15) once again thrived from behind the arc, and with his 6'6" size, definitely stood out.
It was a truly compelling and interesting day with great action all day on all four courts. House of Sports will host all the playoff games on Sunday on the 15u, 16u, and 17u Divisions, so Ardsley, NY is truly the place to be for good basketball Sunday. Here are the quarterfinal matchups in the 17u Gold Bracket on Sunday to whet your appetite for what is to come.
Nike Rumble in the Bronx 17U Top Players
RITB 17U Top Local Players
The 17U division of last week's Rumble in the Bronx provided some excellent performances by local players this past weekend.
Wolfgang Novogratz, 6'2" PG, The City (Poly Prep '16)- You can't deny the major impact that Novogratz had in The City's run to the Gold Bracket semifinals. He seemed much more confident from the perimeter, pulling up and hitting numerous jumpers off the dribble, rising high and having good arc on his release. He was one of the best floor generals in attacking the rim and finishing as well. Had the game winner in the quarterfinals over House of Sports when he hit a contested runner at the buzzer, showing to be clutch. Steady with the ball, kept his turnovers down, and just an overall fantastic weekend.
Salim Green, 6'1" SG, House of Sports (Rye Country Day '15)- Green was HOS's top three point shooter of the weekend, and their top perimeter player. He handles the ball adequately, but doesn't get many opportunities to beat defenders off the dribble as he primarily played off the ball and was a catch and shoot player who did move well without the ball, and got himself in the positions needed to score. A solid perimeter defender as well who had good lateral quickness.
Travis Atson, 6'6" PF/SF, Juice All-Stars (Christ the King '15)- Atson did just about everything all weekend for Juice, helping them to the Silver Bracket title. He was the team's leading scorer on the weekend, and while he is one of the bigger players size wise on the team, he showed versatility on the offensive end of the floor. He scored on putbacks on the inside, but he also had no problems putting the ball on the floor and throwing it down hard going to the basket, and he ran the floor extremely well in transition to really beat bigger defenders time and time again. Fantastic play from start to finish this weekend, it's the growth of his versatile that kept shining this weekend.
Lavar Harewood, 6'3" SG, Sports U (Brooks School, MA '15)- The Brooklyn native and former Bishop Loughlin guard, Harewood was as physical a guard as you would find this weekend. He handles the ball especially well for his size, and he is an attacker, unafraid of contact, and uses the fact that defenses didn't want to help against a talented Sports U frontline to his advantage. A slasher who scored in double digits in 2 of 3 games on Championship Sunday, he's come a long way from where his game was when at Loughlin.
Elijah Davis, 6'4" SG, The City (IMG Academy, FL '15)- Just a flat out scorer, the former Abraham Lincoln guard from Brooklyn may have been the top overall scorer this weekend in the 17u Division as he averaged 25 points per game on Sunday alone against top playoff competition. Davis always had strength on the perimeter with a good well developed physical body, but his perimeter jumper has massively improved, as he was able to have the ball in his hands, show much quicker feet, and create his own space to 15 feet and score. He drove the rim and was strong as well, and he was a solid rebounder for someone his size in helping The City advance to the Gold semifinals.
Rashond Salnave, 6'2" SG/PG, Juice-All Stars (Cardozo '16)- Salnave admitted that he didn't feel that he had a solid weekend, but that's truly just because his expectations for himself are very high. He kept showing improvement with the ball in his hands, and is gaining more of a mentality to find the open man when he does cut inside and defenses close out on him. He pushed tempo quite a bit, helping Juice win the Silver title, while also making the team one of the higher scoring outfits in the tournament. His long range shot wasn't on for much of the weekend, but his consistent rhythm and quick release show his huge upside going forward.
Nukoy Singleton, 5'11" PG, NY Gauchos (Mt. St. Michael '15)- Played both the 1 and 2 spots this weekend, and thrived offensively in the open floor. He had seemingly no problems getting free of double teams who tried to pressure him in the backcourt, and his court vision once out in the open was very solid. His team got down in a big way, by as many as 19, in the Gold quarterfinals, but Singleton was able to create defensive pressure in the backcourt, pick off a number of steals, and find his way to the rim, scoring 9 points in the last 3:30 of the game. The Gauchos still came up short, but Singleton proved he could play at a high level.
Ramel Powers, 6'2" SG, Positive Direction (Campus Magnet '15)- His team went just 1-2 and didn't advance to Sunday's playoffs, but give Powers credit for being one of the best flat out scorers of the day. He scored 27 points against Crossover, the team that ended up winning the pool, and thrived going at defenders, showing excellent athleticism and a good ability to finish. He has good handle too and played the 1 for a good stretch of the game for Positive Direction, and while he hasn't seen a ton of court time for Campus Magnet, he is another under the radar Queens player who could shine and be a name to watch the rest of the summer.
Jonathan Nwankwo, 6'9" PF, House of Sports (Victory Prep, FL '15)- The big man finished when he was able to get touches in the paint against The City, but there opponents played a defense that seemed to try and shot down interior passes, and make it tough on him to get his hands on the ball. He was fronted with help coming from behind, and it gave hi. Little space to operate. He still managed to score 11 points in the game, mainly because of improved footwork, and a tireless work ethic. He was a dominant space eater in pool play where he seemed near unstoppable as he continues to grow on the offensive side of the floor.
Clifton Tracey, 6'5" SF, Albany City Rocks-Oshea (Utica-Proctor '15)- Tracey was a surprise performer at the Gym Rat Challenge a few weeks back, and he continued his impressive play this time at the Rumble. His team didn't advance to the playoffs, but he had 13 threes in 3 games, including 5 in his team's final game where he scored 21 points. His size gives him the advantage to shoot over defenders, and he has a high release, though it was very quick out of his hands. He runs the floor well, and though thin, maintains good positioning defensively with good footwork. Added strength definitely will help his game, but he really has proved to be a solid player to watch over the past month.
Paton Gibbs, 6'4" SF, B.C. Eagles (Saugerties '15)- Gibbs, who went down with a serious head injury in late April after falling hard on his head in a game is now back on the floor and at 100%. He seems more known for his midrange game, which tends to be a lost art at times in games these days, but his ability to catch, go with one dribble, and then pull up for the jumper was impressive. Made a living on Saturday scoring from 12-15 feet, and did stretch out and show even deeper range from time to time. Unfazed by his injury, he was in there defensively mixing it up, and proving to be a top rebounder and defender inside for his team.
Paton Gibbs (Right) Picture by Mike Libert
BC Eagles 16u 2014 King of the Mountain Champions
BC Eagles 16u went 5-0 in Winning the King of the Mountain Tournament in Albany
BC Eagles 17u gets knocked out in Final 4 by eventually Tournament Champions SHEN Basketball
BC Eagles 16u wins Hall of Fame Basketbull Championship
Gotham Hoops Draft Preview: Cleanthony Early
Draft Profile: Cleanthony Early
June 24, 2014
We first talked with Cleanthony in February of last season during the beginning of Wichita State’s magical two-year run when Early was just beginning to emerge as a star. Preseason, we named Early one of our players to watch and one of the most NBA-ready mid-major players. We have always been high on Early, even when he was flying under most people’s radar.
Yet, with that being said, no one expected Early to explode onto the national scene and become one of college basketball’s most complete, most dominant players. But that is exactly what Early accomplished this past season, averaging 16.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, and nearly 1 assist, 1 block, and 1 steal per game. The Wichita State star also is extremely efficient, scoring 1.11 points per possession. Early is one of those rare superstars that regularly posts huge statistical performances but is the epitome of a humble, team player.
"There is a recipe for success. It’s not about 2-on-2 or 1-on-1, it's about everyone on the court doing their part to succeed. It is about caring about setting screens, running the pick-and-roll, playing defense, and rebounding. It's about everything. Basketball is a team game. That's why so many people think San Antonio was playing such beautiful basketball during the finals, because they understand what it takes to succeed as a team," states Early.
Besides Wichita State’s supreme ability to work within the team concept, Early also notes that the team essentially had a perfect storm of talent and work ethic. For Early, this work ethic and passion is the fuel for his success.
"There are some things that you just can't teach. At Wichita State, a lot of our success was because we were willing to do some things that others would not do. You can’t teach someone hustle or heart. It’s hard to make someone want to go after every loose ball. But that’s what we did. It is that type of heart and energy that has made me successful,” describes Early.
Before stepping on the court for Wichita State, Early was a two-time National Junior College Player of the Year for Sullivan County Junior College (NY). Early became a highly coveted asset and was recruited by 16 programs including Pitt, Memphis, Baylor, San Diego State, Missouri, Georgetown, and St. John's. Ultimately, Wichita State was the best fit.
Now, Early is preparing to take his game to the next level.
"I have been working on everything, trying to improve every part of my game. That's what being a basketball player involves. You can't just settle, you have to always keep working. No one is going to tell you how many hours it takes to succeed. No one is going to tell you how long you need to be in the gym, that's on you. You have to be willing to put in the time. You have to be willing to out-work everyone. So, for me, that's what I try to do. I want to improve everything, shooting, passing, rebounding, defense, ball-handling… Everything," states Early.
Early continues, “Right now, it’s all about being a professional. I wake up and start training at 9 and my last session doesn’t end until 6. There is no more school. I am just focused on being a basketball player and working hard. That’s what it takes, that’s what professionals do.”
During individual workouts, Early hopes teams saw his versatility on the court. Furthermore, Early wanted to prove he can be successful at the small forward position.
“My team workouts were great. I enjoyed having the opportunity to work out for so many great organizations and I thought I performed well. I just want teams to know that I can play the 3. I played a lot of 4 in college because of the mismatch problems, but I have no trouble playing small forward. The bottom line is I am a basketball player. No matter where I am on the court I’m going to find a way to help the team. That’s what I did at Wichita State playing the 4, but just because I had to do that sometimes in college, I just want teams to know that there is no question I play the 3,” states Early.
With leading the Shockers to a Final Four appearance in 2013 and a perfect 34-0 regular season in 2014, Early is certainly no stranger to media attention. Early also had one of the most impressive NCAA Tournament performances of the year, posting 31 points and 7 rebounds on 12 of 17 shooting. So, for a mid-major player who skyrockets to popularity, do you embrace or ignore the media attention?
"It's a little bit of both, you know. You want to embrace your success and it is great when your team succeeds and receives attention. But at the same time, you have to ignore all of that. You just have to focus on the job that you have to do. You can't worry about what everyone else says. You just have to stay focused,” notes Early.
Early’s drive and pinpoint focus have been crucial to his journey from relative obscurity to emerging superstar. Versatility and success on the court; professionalism and work ethic of the court… Early is the whole package.
“I would just tell [NBA teams] that I have what you want in a player. Obviously, basketball-wise there are things you can always improve, but I feel like I have the intangibles that teams are looking for. I’m going to play hard all of the time, all game, every game. I’m going to do whatever needs to be done to help the team. I’m going to hustle. I have a lot of heart and I’m always going to fight to win,” states Early.
As Early gathers with family and friends this Thursday to watch the draft, America will also be watching and waiting for one of the most hard-working, complete players in the country to have his name called to see which team will be lucky enough to have him wear the team colors.
Be sure to follow us on Twitter and check our site for more updates on Early’s journey
2014 NBA Combine Results
The picture of Andrew Wiggins soaring to what looks like incredible heights during a workout in California has become the talk of the NBA.
Now, we have the numbers behind the picture.
According to Chad Ford of ESPN, Wiggins jumped a whopping 44-inches in the photo, giving him a higher vertical leap than any player at the NBA Combine in Chicago.
It isn't known if Wiggins hit 44-inches from a standstill or with a running jump, but either way, his 44-inch jump was the highest of the weekend.
By comparison, here the other vertical leap measurements from this weekend:
Maximum vertical leap (running start):
Standing Vertical Leap:
Follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks
Cleanthony Early Draft Combine Interview
2014 NBA Draft Combine Interview
How High Will Cleanthony Early Go in the 2014 NBA Draft?
Seniors at NBA combine hoping to prove they have room left to grow
Hall of Fame New England Championships
April 29, 2014
The 6th annual Hall of Fame New England Championships came to a close this past weekend in the heart of Connecticut with the 11th grade playing at Wesleyan University and Plainville High School and most other age groups playing in Hartford. Over 75 college coaches from all levels came to the 2-day event including Marquette, Seton Hall, Iona, Binghampton, Monmouth, New Hampshire, Columbia and more.
Players that stood out:
Michael Coffey, BC Eagles – The lefty shooter/scorer had double digits each game and probably averaged about 16 a game over 3 games where the Eagles went 2-1 losing by 10 to a very talented F.O.E.
Paton Gibbs, BC Eagles- smooth stroke and the ability to score in different ways. Whether attacking the rim of spotting up he is a threat and he really stepped up on the defensive end of the floor as well.
Anthony Salmon, BC Eagles – Leading scorer in game against eventual champ, MBR. Handles the ball well and ran the team solid this weekend.
Jordan Bryan, BC Eagles – Had some monster dunks this weekend. Super athlete that plays both ends of the court well.
Malique Vaval, BC Eagles – Very good ball-handler that also showed the ability to score. Does a good job at running the team this weekend – just needs more consistency.
NBA Draft 2014: Best Value Picks for Late First Round
NBA Draft 2014: Best Value Picks for Late First RoundBy Scott Polacek ,
Apr 10, 2014
David J. Phillip
While college basketball fans often put a significant amount of stock into postseason performances from players, NBA front offices are more interested in the entire body of work and the ceiling of certain prospects.
Who will be the better NBA player?
Who will be the better NBA player?
That’s why players like Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker, who both struggled in the Big Dance and saw their teams eliminated earlier than expected, are still going to be taken before Shabazz Napier or any of the other national champion Connecticut stars.
Still, there will be a tremendous amount of value available to teams near the end of the first round in the 2014 draft.
With that in mind, let’s look at some of the best value picks that playoff teams can make after the Parkers, Wiggins, Joel Embiids and Julius Randles of the world are off the board come draft day.
Cleanthony Early, Wichita State
Those who didn’t regularly tune in to watch Cleanthony Early and the Wichita State Shockers dominate the Missouri Valley Conference during the regular season got a taste of just how talented Early can be when his team lost to Kentucky in the round of 32.
Early finished with 31 points, seven rebounds, one steal, one block and eviscerated every defender and future NBA player that the Wildcats threw his way.
Early’s overall skill set is enticing to NBA teams because he is physical enough at 6’8” to play down low and quick enough to use as a small forward. Throw in the fact that he can shoot from behind the three-point line, mid-range and on the low block, and Early’s ceiling on the offensive end will attract plenty of attention.
On the defensive side, Early has quick hands to match with his length and athleticism.
However, when looking forward to project Early’s role in the Association, questions arise on that side of the ball.
Whether he can handle himself against the larger NBA power forwards or more athletic small forwards remains to be seen. He may need to improve his overall strength to bang bodies with the best bigs in the world at the next level, but that could cost him some of his lateral quickness that will be necessary to play small forward.
Which spot Early is used in will ultimately be a function of where he is drafted.
Shabazz Napier, Connecticut
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Clearly, Napier helped his draft stock by leading his Connecticut Huskies to the national title.
He dominated the tournament on both ends of the floor and combined with Ryan Boatright to stifle some of the best backcourts in the country, including those of Florida and Kentucky. One person Napier impressed along the way was LeBron James, who thinks he should be the first point guard taken on draft day:
However, Napier’s draft stock consists of much more than just his incredible postseason performances.
He shot better than 40 percent from behind the three-point line this year, averaged nearly six rebounds a game from the point guard spot and tallied nearly two steals a night. Throw in the five assists and 18 points, and you have yourself an absolute superstar who can stuff the stat sheet on any given night.
He will do just that for whichever team takes a chance on him in the late first round.
K.J. McDaniels, Clemson
K.J. McDaniels may not be the household name that Napier is, but he certainly left an impression on SMU coach Larry Brown, who compared the Clemson star to some notable NBA names, via Aaron Brenner of The Post and Courier:
Brown spent many years on the sidelines as an NBA coach, so for him to offer that kind of praise should turn some heads.
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
McDaniels averaged 17.1 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.8 blocks and 1.1 steals a game this year for the Tigers. It was the 2.8 blocks a game, though, that really stood out, especially for someone who checks in at 6’6” tall.
He is an absolute force on the defensive side of the ball, which will appeal to teams like the Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers who value that type of production and will likely be picking late in the first round. McDaniels is an impressive athlete who can jump out of the gym, which is how he is able to tally those blocks and rebounds nearly every night.
He isn’t the best outside shooter (30 percent from downtown this year), but he gets to the rim as well as almost anyone in college basketball.
Look for a team to bolster both its offense and defense by selecting McDaniels.
Cleanthony Early's improved draft stock
Cleanthony Early's improved draft stock
March, 25, 2014
By Nick Borges | ESPN.com
Following Wichita's States loss to Kentucky on Sunday, ESPN.com's Chad Ford tweeted: "Cleanthony Early and Ron Baker both really helped their NBA Draft stock here."
Ford ranked Early as the No. 22 best prospect on his Top 100 Big Board prior to the start of the NCAA Tournament and when it's updated the small forward will probably be higher.
ESPN's Jay Bilas is also impressed with how Early played in the two games.
Jay BilasEarly among best performers of the first weekend
"Players usually don't get accolades after a loss, but Early was the best player in the first weekend of play. In two games, the versatile, stretch big averaged 27.0 points and 7.0 rebounds while hitting 21-of-32 field goal attempts, including 7-of-14 from three-point range. Early hit big shot after big shot, ran the floor and defended at a high level. For anyone that doubted whether Wichita State had any pros, the Shockers did. Early is an NBA player, and was magnificent in the tournament."
8 Prospects Who Raised Their NBA Draft Stock In The NCAA Tournament
March is over–isn’t that hard to believe? Not many people would have guessed that the University of Connecticut would be the team ripping down the nets when all was said and done. I mean, I had them losing in the second round to St. Joe’s–but they kept coming back and proving why we should never doubt a program as prestigious as UConn in the tournament.
Over the course of the tournament, there was a certain group of players that made statements about their draft position, making it clear why they deserve to be high picks in the 2014 NBA Draft. No Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins, who bowed out early in the tournament with unimpressive performances. This is a group of players that took advantage of the bright lights and enormous stage of the NCAA tournament. These are the players that showed the grit and hustle and proved why the world deserves to know their names.
Players like Cleanthony Early, Shabazz Napier and Elfrid Payton were catapulted onto the national stage by tearing apart the tournament. Early and Payton are from mid-major conferences, which proves how much uncovered talent there is outside of the powerhouse schools. It doesn’t matter who you play, if you have the talent and determination to win, anything is possible. That was never more evident than Shabazz Napier leading his UConn squad to a national championship–something that only insane UConn fans could’ve imagined before the tournament began.
Here are eight players who raised their NBA Draft stock during the NCAA tournament.
*** *** ***
Early went off for 23 points and seven boards on 9-of-15 shooting from the field and 3-of-8 from deep in an opening-round victory against Cal Poly. The Shockers would move on to face Kentucky and everyone knows the outcome of that game. Even though the Shockers were shocked by Kentucky, Cleanthony Early give the world a performance that would have NBA fans around the world screaming his name.
Against a very physical and brute Kentucky team, Early went off for 31 points and seven rebounds. Early shot 12-of-17 from the floor, which is a remarkable 71 percent. This includes hitting 4-of-6 shots from deep for 67 percent and 3-of-3 from the foul line. Cleanthony Early gave fans and NBA GMs a performance to remember and a reason to hear his name called early in the 2014 NBA Draft.
James Young averaged 12.1 points and 5.0 boards in the tournament, shooting 43 percent from the floor and 43 percent from deep. His improved shooting from deep was something fans had been waiting for. The 6-6 guard shot 3-of-5 from deep in the third round against Wichita State and 3-of-4 in the Elite 8 vs. Michigan.
Perhaps the most striking part about James Young’s performance in the tournament was his increased play as the stakes were raised. In the Final Four against Wisconsin (a one-point victory for UK), Young scored 17 points, grabbed five rebounds and dished two assists, while also picking up two steals. Young hit 5-of-11 from the floor, 1-of-2 from deep and 6-of-7 from the charity stripe. In the National Championship Game, Young scored 20 points on 5-of-13 shooting (making two shots from deep) and hit eight of nine free throws.
The aptness to perform bigger as the stage gets bigger and the lights get brighter is something that can’t be taught. When the microscope was beamed on Young and his Wildcats, they performed. With his size and shooting ability, Young already has a lot of things NBA GMs are looking for. Hitting 43 percent of his attempts from deep in the tournament is another reason his stock increased. James Young had a lot to prove in the NCAA tournament after his team barely made it into the tournament field, and he proved quite a few things to a lot of people. That’s a reason his name will be called early on draft night.
BC EAGLES 2014 AAU SEASON INFORMATION
TRYOUT INFORMATION: Updated - Monday, March 17th 2014, 2:30pm
13u Coach Frank Memoli - Please check u13-Memoli tab for team roster and practice schedule.
14u Coach Ken Stam - Stay tuned for updates and Coach Stam will be in contact w/the players.
14u Coach Dan Luedke - check team tab u14-Luedke for team roster and practice schedule.
14u Coach Bill Garneau - Coach will contact you
15u Coach Matt Lawrence - Check team tab u15-Lawrence for team roster and practice schedule.
15u Coach Bill Aussenheimer or another coach will call/text or email all players
16u/17u Coach Jack LaRegina - Check team tab u16-LaRegina for team roster and practice schedule.
15u/16u/17u Elite tryouts are over and coach will call all team members.
Attention LADY EAGLES
Announcing Lady Eagles Middle School Tryout for all girls in 5th through 8th grades on Thursday, MARCH 20TH FROM 5:30-7PM @ Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 205 Wawayanda Avenue, Middletown. Doors open at 5:15pm.
The way the registration process works is you can download and print the forms from this website. Go to Online Forms. Once they are completed you can mail them with a check for $25.00 (Non-refundable) to the following address. This is the mandatory registration fee!
B.C. Eagles A.A.U. - 9 Boyd Road, Monroe, NY 10950
If you do not pre-register, that means register before the day of the tryout, then you will have to pay $35.00 at the tryout. No Exceptions!
We will call all the participants as we get closer to a tryout date. As of right now we do not know when the tryouts will be.
Please email us with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tourneys top risers and fallers
NBA Draft 2014: Predicting Biggest Potential Steals of This Year's Class
By Mike Chiari ,
Mar 25, 2014
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
As the end of the NCAA tournament approaches and the NBA draft comes into focus, much of the hype is surrounding sensational freshmen such as Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Julius Randle and Joel Embiid.
While all of them promise to be early selections if they decide to declare and all of them have the potential to be great at the next level, this could be one of the deepest drafts in recent memory. Because of that, there is definitely value to be had late in the first round and even into the second.
Here is a look at three potential draftees who will exceed expectations and outperform that draft status once they become NBA players.
Adreian Payne (Michigan State)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
As the Michigan State Spartans continue to pursue a national championship, senior forward Adreian Payne continues to impress. The 6'10" forward has been a key player for the Spartans since his sophomore season, but he has taken huge steps forward as a player this year. Payne set a career high with nearly 17 points per game while adding seven rebounds and one block per contest as well.
Payne is a big-time factor in the paint, but his true value relates to his ability to step out and hit jumpers. Payne is pure from inside the arc, and he has improved his three-point stroke significantly as well. Payne has made nearly 44 percent of his attempts from downtown, which should make him an intriguing and dangerous NBA player.
On top of that, Payne manages to raise his level of play in big situations. That was on full display in the NCAA tournament's round of 64 as he dropped 41 points on Delaware. According to ESPN's Chad Ford, that put him in position to potentially get into the lottery pick conversation.
With that said, Payne's name hasn't come up much in that regard due to the amount of talent among the underclassmen. Payne is already 23 years old, and while that means he is mature, some teams may look at his age as a negative.
Payne is a polished and NBA-ready prospect, though, and teams will certainly regret passing on him.
Cleanthony Early (Wichita State)
Payne still has an opportunity to improve his draft stock should he play well throughout a lengthy Michigan State tournament run, but Wichita State's Cleanthony Early no longer has that luxury. The Shockers were ousted in the round of 32 by Kentucky, but Early didn't go down without a fight.
He was spectacular in scoring 31 points on 4-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc, but it still wasn't enough to push the Shockers into the Sweet 16. Early's career ended on a bittersweet note with his team suffering a disappointing defeat, but he may have improved his draft stock in the process. As pointed out by SNY's Adam Zagoria, Early is currently viewed as a borderline first-round selection:
All Early did in his two years at Wichita State was make big plays. He helped the Shockers surprisingly reach the Final Four in 2013, and his individual level of play got even better in 2014. Early averaged over 16 points and nearly six rebounds per game along with almost two trifectas per contest as well.
Early has great size at 6'8", and although he could benefit from filling out his frame a little bit more, the fact that he can shoot the ball so well should make him an immediate threat in the NBA. He may not possess the athletic ability that many of the prospective top picks do, but he is the type of player who simply finds ways to produce. There is no reason to believe that will change in the NBA.
Javon McCrea (Buffalo)
While Payne and Early figure to be steals in the latter part of the first round, University at Buffalo forward Javon McCrea is a guy who seemingly isn't even on most radars as a second-rounder. McCrea never led the Bulls to a MAC title or earned an NCAA tournament berth in his four collegiate seasons, but he was a dominant force to say the least.
McCrea won the MAC Player of the Year Award for the 2013-14 season as he put up 18.5 points, a shade under 10 rebounds and better than two assists and blocks per contest. Few players in the nation were more versatile and efficient in all aspects than McCrea. In fact, ESPN.com ranked him as seventh in Player Efficiency Rating ahead of highly-touted players such as Parker, Embiid and a host of others.
Which player will be the biggest steal of the 2014 NBA draft?
Which player will be the biggest steal of the 2014 NBA draft?
Opposing coaches marveled at McCrea's ability, including Western Michigan head coach Steve Hawkins, who raved about the powerful forward ahead of the Broncos' NCAA tournament meeting with Syracuse, according to Jeff DiVeronica of the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.
"He's just a beast, an absolute beast, one of my favorite players, a big, strong physical kid and he just loves to play basketball. You could tell," Hawkins said. "I'm glad we don't have to play him again."
The biggest knocks on McCrea are his size and his shot. McCrea is a load at 250 pounds, but some scouts may believe that he is too small to play power forward in the NBA at 6'7". Also, moving him to small forward could prove problematic since his shooting stroke is still a work in progress.
With that said, McCrea compares favorably to Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap, who was knocked for his size when he entered the NBA. Millsap has thrived, though, and McCrea can as well provided he continues to improve as a shooter.
Early is right on time
As the Fabulous Freshmen of the Class of 2017 continue to dominate NBA Draft talk, there might just be a Dark Horse steadily quickening his pace as we turn for the finish line of June 26th.
On Sunday, A Wichita State team with something to prove lost to a sizzling Kentucky team that, thanks to a little dose of Calipari Magic, or perhaps of MJ’s Secret Stuff, seems to be coming together at just the right time. But the Shockers can take solace in one thing: the performance of Cleanthony Early came under some of the brightest lights in college basketball.
As ball after ball left a scorching hand, I’m not sure any of which touched rim, Early was simply money. With a swagger that resembled the Mamba himself, immense passion and effortless poise, this kid was more than just The Answer to Wichita State’s problems; he was The Solution.
And his solution was buckets:
He shot twelve for seventeen (strong shooter? Check) in a deadly close game (Clutch? Lil’ bit) while shooting 3 for 3 from the line and grabbing seven boards (fundamentals? Solid) against some of the most highly ranked recruits in the country: a win for Mid-Majors everywhere. That’s not to mention a couple additions to the highlight reel, at the hapless expense of Mr. Willie Cauley-Stein.
All this came in a season where he shot 48.6% from the field, 37.5% from behind the arc, and 84.4% from the line, averaging 16.4 points per game alongside 5.9 rebounds in what was a measly 27.4 minutes per game compared to other college stars. The game against Kentucky was only Early’s 14th game in which he played over 30 minutes this year, compared to Jabari Parker’s twenty-one.
If the 6’ 8’ Senior put up thirty-one against an iron-strong Kentucky team, playing big minutes in a competitive game, imagine the numbers he could have averaged if he hadn’t been subject to the various blowouts that were a part of Wichita State’s immaculate regular season?
If that were so, Parker wouldn’t be the first name to come to mind when someone heard the words “number one pick.”
The only thing Wichita did wrong was take the ball out of Early’s hands down the stretch, dousing what had been a blazing shooting performance and ultimately extinguishing the Shocker’s fiery streak, bringing their season to a taunting 35-1.
Jubilation became pain; hope, despair. This didn’t feel like a conclusion, it felt like a termination, and along with it Mid-Major fell back into the darkness.
But from it might emerge one of the best players of this year’s draft class: Cleanthony Early.
The 5 Best Wichita State Shockers Since 2000
By Carl Lamarre
I’m shocked, to say the least. I never thought the Shockers would reach the apex of college basketball and go undefeated. They thrashed each opponent on their way to 34 wins. Then again, can you really be shocked? Coach Gregg Marshall drew out the blueprint. His team epitomizes the new hip-hop adage “started from the bottom” as their spry play has ESPN commentators gushing over their dream season.
Since his tenure began, Marshall took his team to two NIT tournaments–winning one in 2011–and back-to-back-to-back NCAA tournaments in 2012, 2013 and now 2014, with a Final Four appearance last year. Now Marshall and his team are craving bigger dreams. They’re craving an NCAA title. With the reputations of mid-major teams constantly sullied because of their lack of competition, Wichita State has emerged as the lone warrior among all.
Here are their five best players since 2000.
*** *** ***
5. Sean Ogirri
Despite leaving the team for his final season to play for Wyoming, his heroics in the ’05-06 tourney won’t be forgotten by Shocker nation.
4. Paul Miller
But it would be his senior year where he burst onto the national forefront. Serving as the engine to the Shockers in their rapid fire run to the Sweet Sixteen, he averaged 13 points and seven rebounds, shooting over 51 percent from the field. His play earned him MVC Player of the Year and an All American honorable mention.
3. Toure’ Murry
By helping his team win the NIT championship in 2011 and being a spark plug during their run in the tourney in 2012, he proved how his hustle and heart could outshine talent on a national stage.
2. Cleanthony Early
This year, he thrived under the bright lights and lifted his averages of 14 and five to 16 and six while also earning another MVC First Team placement in route to his Shockers undefeated season.
1. Fred VanVleet
The All-Conference First Teamer and the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year has already etched himself among Shocker greats. Another run to the Final Four can have him in the best ever conversation for his program.
What do you think?
Early turns in another NCAA masterpiece
Wichita State’s undefeated season ends in 78-76 loss to Kentucky Wichita State fans experience unfamiliar feeling of defeat Wichita State assistant Chris Jans takes Bowling Green job VanVleet foul trouble puts Kentucky on attack Wichita State players talk of learning from only loss Randle powers Kentucky to second-half comeback Shocker report (March 23) Bob Lutz: Wichita State gets national eye for Kentucky matchup Bigger, athletic Kentucky presents challenge for No. 2 Wichita State NCAA Gameday Live: Follow KU, Wichita State tournament games Read a transcript of The Eagle's Bob Lutz morning chat with Kentucky.com's John Clay Order Wichita State commemorative poster pages
NCAA men's tournament: Wichita State's historic season ends too early
Pine Bush grad Cleanthony Early scored 31 points for Wichita State in a loss vs. Kentucky on Sunday.
ST. LOUIS — Wichita State's season came to a conclusion long before even Kentucky coach John Calipari thought it deserved, at the hands of his Wildcats in a thrilling NCAA tournament game.
Yet in the immediate aftermath of the loss on Sunday, two things became clear: The Shockers had put together a season to remember and they're poised to do it again.
After making the Final Four a year ago, they became the first team to start 35-0. They won their first Missouri Valley tournament title since 1987. They went toe-to-toe with the mighty Wildcats, a team stocked with NBA talent, until the final buzzer finally sounded.
Wichita State Basketball: Cleanthony Early’s Draft Stock Soars Despite Loss
March 23, 2014 6:25 pm EDT by
The big names coming into the NCAA tournament were very well known. Names like Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle and Doug McDermott were the headliners. All of these names are expected to be great players at the next level, but after today there is one name people will start talking about a lot: Cleanthony Early.
The Wichita State senior played marvelous in defeat. The Shockers saw their season end, but Anthony might have just secured his spot in the NBA. In defeat he had 31 points on 12-for-17 shooting. He also shot 4-for-6 from three and had the dunk of the tournament so far.
In an age where every high draft pick is 19 or 20, it is refreshing to see a player who has stuck it out in college get some recognition. And believe me that recognition is coming for Early. If you were watching this you could just see something about him. He had a look in his eye and a desire to have the ball in his hands.
Early is not the prospect that Joel Embiid is; he doesn’t have the raw athleticism that Wiggins possesses, and he doesn’t have the brute strength that Randle and Parker have. But he is pretty darn close to having all those things with those players.
Early will be drafted come late June — make no mistake about it. Where is he going to get drafted? Well, after this expect his name to climb a lot on draft big boards. Anthony is a star and his draft stock is finally going to reflect that.
Wichita State's Cleanthony Early threw down one of the tournament's best dunks over Kentucky's Willi
Though Kentucky would end up pulling out a close 78-76 win to end Wichita State's undefeated dream season, Shockers forward Cleanthony Early wowed fans with what was arguably the best dunk of the tournament so far.
With the Shockers up six late in the first half, point guard Fred VanVleet picked the pocket of Kentucky standout freshman Aaron Harrison. As VanVleet took the ball back in the other direction on a fast break, he had forward Ron Baker streaking down the left side, but Van Vleet had his sights set on the 6-foot-8, 220-pound Early.
VanVleet hit Early in stride with a perfect bounce pass and Early skied for a forceful slam over Kentucky’s Willie Cauley-Stein, plus the foul.
Watch the whole thing here:
Early then completed the old-fashioned three-point play to give the Shockers a nine-point lead.
Fortunately for Kentucky, James Young hit a tough three on the other end on the next possession to keep his team within striking distance. It should be a close one the rest of the way
Kentucky comes of age against Shockers
MBB: Shockers End Season With 78-76 Loss to Kentucky
Courtesy: Wichita State
MBB: Shockers End Season With 78-76 Loss to Kentucky
ST. LOUIS - Cleanthony Early and Ron Baker combined to score 51 points but it was not enough for the Shockers to advance to the Sweet 16 as Kentucky upended Wichita State 78-76 in the third round of the NCAA tournament. Andrew and Aaron Harrison led the Wildcats with 20 points and 19 points, respectively. Julius Randle posted a double-double for Kentucky with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Wichita State ends the season 35-1, the best record in Shocker basketball history. Early's 31 points ties the third best scoring performance in a single game of an NCAA tournament in Wichita State history.
Aaron and Andrew Harrison combined to score the first seven Kentucky points, but the Shockers had an answer for every Wildcat basket early on as Chadrack Lufile scored back-to-back buckets to give Wichita State a 7-6 lead before the first media timeout. Baker hit a trey from the corner to start the scoring for Wichita State and Lufile came off the bench and scored four quick points to give Wichita State the early lead.
Early popped a three-pointer for a 10-8 Wichita State lead but Kentucky answered with back-to-back threes from Aaron Harrison and James Young to take a 14-10 lead. Baker quickly stopped the Kentucky 6-0 run with a driving layup and free throw to cut the Wildcat lead down to one at 14-13.
Andrew Harrison drained a three from long distance after two Kentucky offensive rebounds to get the Wildcat lead back to up to four at 19-15, but Wichita State went on a 7-0 run that gave the Shockers a 22-19 lead and forced Kentucky to use a timeout. Tekele Cotton scored five consecutive points and Fred VanVleet picked Andrew Harrison's pocket and dished it off to Darius Carter for a breakaway dunk that ignited the Shocker crowd inside the Scottrade Center.
After a running jumper by Kentucky's Young, VanVleet hit a jumper, and Early and Baker finished two driving lay ups to give Wichita State a 30-23 lead with 5:14 to play in the first half.
Kentucky answered with four unanswered points, including a dunk from Willie Cauley-Stein that cut the Shocker lead to five, 32-27.
The Shocker faithful rose to their feet once again towards the end of the first half.
VanVleet came up with his second steal of the game and delivered a perfect bounce pass to a cutting Early as Early finished with a thunderous dunk and added a free throw after being fouled on the play.
The old fashioned three-point play gave Wichita State a nine point lead in the first half before Young connected on his second trey of the game as the shot clock expired to get the Wildcats back within six at 37-31.
Early led all scorers at the half with 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting. Young led Kentucky with eight points, including 2-of-3 from beyond-the-arc. Both teams shot 54.2 percent (13-of-24) from the field. The Shockers were 3-for-8 from long distance, while the Wildcats were 4-for-10.
Wichita State scored the first three points of the second half on an Early three-pointer, but Kentucky went on a 9-0 run in a span of 2:15 seconds to close the gap to 40-39. Julius Randle finished a one handed put back dunk, Aaron Harrison added a three-pointer from the left wing, and Randle grabbed his own miss and laid it back in with a foul that added a free throw.
Alex Poythress gave Kentucky its first lead of the second half with a transition layup but Baker quickly regained the lead for Wichita State with and-one lay up that gave Wichita State a 43-41 edge with 16:15 remaining in regulation.
Aaron Harrison hit his third three-pointer of the game that put Kentucky on top 48-46 and Cauley-Stein gave the Wildcats a four point lead with an alley oop dunk from Andrew Harrison.
Carter hit one of two free throws and Early drained a 17-foot jumper to cut the Kentucky lead to 50-49, but Randle answered with a driving up and under layup and added a free throw to get the lead back to four at 53-49.
Nick Wiggins brought the Shockers back to within one after a trey from the corner, while Lufile and Early gave the Shockers a three-point lead at the 8:54 mark of the second half. Lufile powered up for an easy lay in and Early made back-to-back transition lay ups for a 58-55 Wichita State advantage.
Kentucky tied the game once again at 60-60 when Aaron Harrison banked in a three-pointer, but Baker took a handoff and nailed a step back three-point jumper for a 63-60 lead with 6:27 remaining.
The Wildcats converted on the other end with another layup to get within 63-62 on an Andrew Harrison layup.
Early, a senior from Middletown, N.Y. hit a three from straight away and then hit another three from the corner right in front of Shocker bench for a 69-64 Shocker advantage with 4:36 remaining in the second half.
Kentucky used a 6-0 run to regain the lead at 70-69. Four of those points came from free throws by Aaron and Andrew Harrison.
Early hit a jumper for a 71-70 Wichita State lead. Young followed Early's jumper and gave Kentucky a 73-71 lead with a three from the right wing with 1:41 to play in the game.
Two free throws by Andrew Harrison put Kentucky up 75-71 with 42 seconds to play before Baker banked in a three-pointer from the left wing that cut the Kentucky lead to 75-74 with 29 second remaining.
The Shockers were forced to foul and sent the freshman Randle to the line. Randle sank both free throws for a 77-74 Kentucky advantage. Baker's three-point attempt to tie the game with 10 seconds left was short, but Early grabbed the rebound and was fouled. Early drained both free throws to get Wichita State within one again at 77-76.
Baker fouled Andrew Harrison with seven seconds left and a one point Kentucky lead. Harrison made made the first free throw but missed the second and the Shockers had possession, down 78-76 with 3.2 seconds left on the clock.
Head coach Gregg Marshall called timeout to draw up a last second play and a chance for Wichita State to force overtime or win the game with a three.
VanVleet went for the win with an attempt from straight away three but the ball bounced off the rim and into Kentucky's possession. Wichita State ended its season with a 78-76 loss in the third round of the NCAA tournament.
Wichita State Basketball: Cleanthony Early Can Lead Shockers To Victory
Wichita State Basketball: Cleanthony Early Can Lead Shockers To Victory
When the lights are the brightest and the games are tightest, there is no player more valuable than a team’s best player. As the NCAA tournament heats up, Wichita State will need its most talented player to rise to occasion if the Shockers are to survive an extremely difficult Midwest Region.
The question needs to be asked: who is the Shockers’ best player? Fred Van Vleet is the team’s field general and playmaker. Ron Baker is the team’s sharpshooter and is a great utility guy. Tekele Cotton is the team’s most dominant defender. That said, senior Cleanthony Early is Wichita State’s best and most talented player.
The 6-foot-8 New York native has great size for a small forward and also possesses guard skills. He has made almost 60 3-pointers on the year and averages 36 percent from the arc. Astonishingly, Early has an incredible handle for a man his size and is able to use his length to get around defenders. He is truly a special college player, which is why he’ll be an NBA draft pick in a few months.
Early’s teammates make WSU a tough and competitive team, but he is why they can win the entire tourney. The senior averages less than 16 points per contest, but he can explode into a scoring frenzy at any time. He has a knack for getting to the line, and he is money from the charity stripe where he shoots 84 percent.
This is Early’s opportunity to will his team to victory like Carmelo Anthony did with Syracuse and as Kemba Walker did with Connecticut in 2011. Although this year’s draft is loaded with top-heavy talent, the middle-to-lower half of the first round will be his for the taking with a strong showing in the national tournament.
Cleanthony Early scores 23 points as Wichita State rolls over Cal Poly
Cleanthony Early scores 23 points as Wichita State rolls over Cal Poly
ST. LOUIS - The NCAA Selection committee made the road to the title as difficult as possible for undefeated Wichita State by loading the Midwest region with quality opponents. But the top-seeded Shockers caught one break when Cal Poly, a bottom-feeder in the Big West Conference, miraculously played its way into the NCAA Tournament with a losing record.
The Shockers ran up a 19-point first-half lead and coasted to a 64-37 victory in their second-round opener while resting many of their key players in the second half Friday night at Scottrade Center. The rout gave Wichita State a 35-0 record, breaking a tie with the 1991 UNLV team for the best start in NCAA history.
"Going 35-0 means a lot to the program," said senior Nick Wiggins, older brother of Kansas star Andrew Wiggins. "It shows how far the program has come, and we're not done yet."
Cal Poly (14-20), which was led by Maliik Love's nine points, scored the opening basket and trailed only 6-5 just under five minutes into the game. But Cleanthony Early scored nine points in a 17-0 Wichita run, and it was all downhill from there for the Mustangs, who were held to 20.7 percent shooting.
"Once we started playing Wichita State basketball, playing angry," Wiggins added, "they couldn't stop us."
WSU advanced to the third round against the winner of Friday night's late game matching eighth-seeded Kentucky, the preseason No. 1 choice in the polls, against ninth-seeded Kansas State. That figured to be a knockdown, drag-out battle, so, the Shockers should come into Sunday's third-round game as the fresh team.
Leading scorer Early totaled 19 of his 23 points in the first half and made only a couple of cameo appearances in the second half while playing 19 minutes. Guard Tekele Cotton was scoreless but in just 19 minutes, and his backcourt partners Fred Van Vleet (four points, 28 minutes) and Ron Baker (seven points, 27 minutes) also were not extended.
The Shockers were also coming into the game off a 12-day layoff since winning the Missouri Valley Tournament in the same building.
"With the extra time off, we got our bodies back and a little rest," Cotton said. "Those two weeks were well-needed."
Cleanthony Early's shock factor
Tobey living boyhood dream
Monroe kid is a big cog in Virginia attack
Mike Tobey grew up in a house that celebrated March Madness almost like a holiday.
Leading up to the NCAA men's basketball tournament, there was a buzz as the close-knit family gathered together in their Monroe home to watch all of the games.
As for the latest round of Tobey Family March Madness memories, well, it doesn't get much more exciting than this. Mike Tobey will be front and center again, but with a much more different vantage point, wearing a jersey for the University of Virginia — the top seed in the East Region of the NCAA tournament.
"Growing up, the NCAA was always the biggest thing," said Tobey, a 6-foot-11 sophomore forward/center. "Especially the first-round games because they were so many. They all were good and I'd be up late. I always thought about playing in the tournament myself as a kid. This is a dream come true. That's what it is, a dream come true."
And not only for Tobey. He and his family were loyal Duke fans, Tobey even went to the Blue Devils' basketball camp on campus every summer. However, the family's allegiance changed — rather quickly — when Tobey verbally committed to Virginia in January 2011.
Tobey's father, Ken, seemed giddy talking on the phone about Virginia's 72-63 win over Duke in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game last Sunday in Greensboro, N.C. It marked the Cavaliers' first ACC title since 1976.
"This is it, this is what you dream about," Ken Tobey said. "We have been watching the tournament since our kids were little babies. Once Mike was going to Virginia, we put all of our Duke stuff aside. We drank the Virginia Kool-Aid, we were all in. To beat Duke, it doesn't get any better than that. My phone is blowing up about Mike. It's really amazing."
At 9:15 p.m. Friday, Ken Tobey and his wife, Kathleen, expect to be in Raleigh, N.C., when Virginia (28-6) plays No. 16 Coastal Carolina in a NCAA tournament second-round game. It marks the first time since 1983, when Ralph Sampson led the Cavaliers, that Virginia has been a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
"It's extremely exciting how we have played in the second half," said Mike Tobey, who has started 25 games, averaging 6.5 and 3.8 rebounds. "It's been phenomenal and we look forward to going on a deep run in the tournament. For us, the No. 1 seed is just a number. This is just another game. We're just going to go out and do what we do, play our defense and be competitive."
Virginia, which has won 16 of 17 games, has frustrated opponents with its frenetic and physical defense. The Cavaliers rank first in the nation in scoring defense (55.3 points per game) and have held 21 straight opponents under 50 percent from the field. Tobey, long and wiry, is a formidable part of the machine.
He came to Virginia specifically for this moment, playing in the NCAA tournament. The Cavaliers qualified for the NIT last year, losing to Iowa in the quarterfinals. That isn't March Madness. Coastal Carolina on Friday certainly is.
Tobey hopes its part of a special run — one he grew up dreaming about as a basketball-crazed kid.
"Everyone on this team wants to win a national championship and we think it's a reasonable goal," Tobey said. "Just based on our defense, we think we can do it. We have the best defense in the country, we are tenacious and get stops. If we continue to frustrate teams with our defense, we can do it."
mike tobey fileHometown: Monroe
School: University of Virginia
Stats: In 34 games, including 25 starts, Tobey is averaging 6.5 points and 3.8 rebounds in 18.2 minutes.
As a freshman: Tobey averaged 6.8 points and 2.9 rebounds in 30 games, starting two.
You should know: Tobey helped the U.S. Under-19 men's team to the gold medal at the FIBA World Championships last summer in Prague, Czech Republic. ... Before Virginia, Tobey played for prep power Blair Academy, N.J., averaging 21 points and seven rebounds as a senior. Tobey began his high school career at Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey, N.J., playing two years there before transferring to Hotchkiss School (Conn.) Prep. He left Hotchkiss for Blair for one season (2011-12) to be closer to home and face better competition. ... Tobey verbally committed to Virginia in January 2011. Along with Virginia, Pittsburgh, Northwestern, Miami (Fla.), Xavier, Siena and Maryland also offered Tobey full scholarships before his junior year in high school. Stanford, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Boston College, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech were also interested in him/ ... Tobey's sister, Liz, is a star volleyball player at Monroe-Woodbury. A junior, Liz Tobey helped the Crusaders to their first Section 9 title since 2000 this fall, and was named a Varsity845 first-team all-star.
For Wichita State's Cleanthony Early, a long road from Bronx to perfection
Pine Bush grad Early feeling no pressure
Look for Louisville to go back-to-back
Wichita State jockeying for undefeated season — and respect
Midnight has yet to strike for Cinderella. Last March’s magical Final Four run, in fact, may just be the start of Wichita State’s fairy-tale story.
The Shockers enter the regular season’s homestretch as one of two undefeated teams left in college basketball — Syracuse is the other — with a series of gritty comebacks and impressive performances lining their résumé.
“I think one really runs hand in hand with the other. The 25-0 start is a derivative of what we accomplished in that run last year,” Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall said in a phone interview. “We’ve been playing one-and-done basketball for a while. Now that we got this streak going, you lose and the streak’s done. It’s kind of been that way for a while. Our guys have thrived in that type of environment.”
Fourth-ranked Wichita State is emblematic of the gutsy, blue-collar city in Kansas it represents. Marshall spent nine years at Winthrop, reaching the NCAA Tournament six times, and the members of his staff did their time in the junior college ranks.
The team’s star, Cleanthony Early, went from a Division III JUCO to landing on the Wooden Award Watch List. Small forward Ron Baker paid his way for a redshirt freshman year at Wichita State, after his only two scholarship offers in high school were from South Dakota State and Arkansas-Little Rock. Shooting guard Tekele Cotton was lightly recruited.
“We haven’t had the peachiest road to get here,” said the multi-faceted Early, a 6-foot-8 NBA prospect who grew up in The Bronx and hails from Middletown. “We’ve seen struggle, we’re not in the worst position in the world. People are going through far worse situations. We’re really blessed to be in that position, playing a game that we love. This is everything I lived for. This is what I asked for. This is what I dreamed of. That’s our attitude, and that shows.”
The Shockers hear the talk of an undefeated season everywhere — on social media, on campus, in talking to reporters. It’s impossible to ignore, particularly now that they have entered the final stretch of the season. Just six Missouri Valley Conference games stand between Wichita State matching the 2003-04 St. Joseph’s team, the last to finish off a regular season with a perfect record. The players talk about it among themselves, but it is far from a rallying cry.
“We hear about it and we think about it, but we don’t try to let it consume our minds,” Early said. “We’re happy to be here, and we’re hungry and humble at the same time. We’re having fun with it.”
Marshall said: “We talk about winning the next game. We’ve talked about that now 25 times so far this year.”
Marshall is quick to point out Wichita State wasn’t healthy last year, one reason it entered the NCAA Tournament last year as a 9-seed and lost six games in the conference. Baker missed most of the season, returning from a stress fracture in his right foot in March, while several others missed a handful of games.
Among the Shockers impressive wins are victories over SEC foes Tennessee and Alabama, a win over bubble team BYU, and a road victory over No. 13 St. Louis, the class of the rugged Atlantic 10. St. Louis head coach Jim Crews was impressed by Wichita State’s versatility, its ability to score in a variety of ways and defend on the perimeter as well as in the paint.
“I think their greatness is their balance. They don’t beat themselves,” said Crews, whose team has won 16 straight games since the Dec. 1 meeting with the Shockers. Early is the Shockers’ leading scorer, at 16.3 points per game, but four others average at least eight points per game.
There is debate regarding where Wichita State should be seeded in the tournament if it does run the table. ESPN analyst Jeff Goodman tweeted the Shockers shouldn’t be a No. 1 seed, and many question their level of competition, having played just one ranked opponent. Furthermore, the Missouri Valley Conference was weakened by this season’s defection of Creighton to the Big East.
CBS Sports Network analyst Steve Lappas said knowledgeable basketball minds believe the Shockers are as good as anyone in the nation. He pointed to their defensive prowess (holding teams to 39 percent shooting), rebounding acumen (a plus-8.4 margin) and the frequency with which they get to the free-throw line (26 times per game).
Crews said “they would do extremely well” in any conference in the country.
“They can win a national title,” Lappas said.
Early and his teammates enjoyed the hoopla from their memorable Final Four run a year ago, but once the summer came around, they began to focus on this season, wanting to create new memories.
“I don’t think we’re trying to forget about last year. We’re trying to leave last year where it’s at, and at the same time, do what we’re trying to do this year,” Early said. “Now … we still have so much of the season left to capture and take advantage of.
“It can be better. We have a chance to make it even more special, and that’s awesome to be able to talk about.”
Wichita State wins Missouri Valley title
Wichita State wins Missouri Valley title
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ST. LOUIS -- Wichita State's still perfect. And proudly awaiting a No. 1 seed.
After the nation's only unbeaten made another put-away run in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament title game, guard Fred VanVleet fired back at doubters who cast aspersions on a schedule ranked 113th in the nation.
"You can debate what you want to debate. Facts are facts, truth is truth," VanVleet, the conference player of the year, said after the second-ranked Shockers beat Indiana State 83-69 on Sunday to go to 34-0. "We're not into debating how good or great we are or how bad somebody else.
"That's for barber shop talk and coffee table arguments. We're not into that stuff. If they feel that way, it's on them. And nobody that's arguing about it is on the selection committee."
Players wore championship T-shirts that proclaimed Wichita State the winner on the front but on the back had a bracket with Indiana State winning.
"They'll get us the right ones eventually," guard Ron Baker said.
Over the last two days of the tournament, coach Gregg Marshall predicted a return trip to St. Louis, for the second and third rounds of the Midwest Regional.
"We know the routine, we know the hotel. There won't be any ooh, aah moments," Marshall said. "It will be just business as usual."
VanVleet scored 22 points including several key baskets late and the Shockers got their typical strong ensemble effort.
"Every one of them's a handful," Indiana State guard Jake Odum said. "We were right there but they're unbeaten for a reason. They stayed composed, they hit tough shots, they earned it."
Tekele Cotton added 20 points -- with four 3-pointers -- and Baker had 14 points for the Shockers (34-0), who got tested in the second half before putting the title game out of reach with a 13-0 run capped by two 3-pointers from VanVleet that put them up by 18 points with 5:38 to go.
"I didn't have enough timeouts to stop the runs, but that's what they do," Indiana State coach Greg Lansing said. "That's why they're undefeated. That's why they're hoisting the trophy."
Wichita State matched the NCAA record for victories to start the season by UNLV in 1990-91 with its third straight convincing tournament win after going 18-0 in the conference regular season. The Shockers won their first conference tournament since 1987.
"We're not flawless," Marshall said. "Our record is flawless. We've got great players. They've taken us on an unbelievable ride to this point."
Manny Arop and Justin Gant had 18 points apiece for second-seeded Indiana State (23-10), which has one of the closer calls against Wichita State with a seven-point loss at home in early February. Arop totaled 12 points the first two tourney games.
"Hopefully we'll get into the NIT," Odum said. "We'll see if we can make a splash there."
The Shockers had runs of 17-0 and 24-0 while beating Missouri State by 25 points in the semifinals.
Wichita State's last nine victories have all been by double digits. The Shockers have won 12 of 14 in the Indiana State series.
"They do not have weaknesses," Lansing said. "If anybody could see one, I'd like to hear it."
VanVleet scored 13 points in the final 6 minutes and was named to the all-tournament team along Cleanthony Early and Cotton, who was voted the tourney MVP. Odum also made the team along with Evansville's D.J. Balentine, who scored 61 points in two games.
The only way the Valley could get two teams in the NCAA tournament was if Wichita State lost. The Shockers earned the conference's automatic bid after going to the Final Four as a No. 9 seed and Valley tourney runner-up last March.
Wichita State got some early breathing room with an 11-0 run for a 23-11 lead not long past the mid-point of the first half, and led by at least nine points the rest of the half while taking a 39-29 halftime lead. Darius Carter led the way off the bench with nine points and five rebounds in 9 minutes.
VanVleet hit a layup and Baker had a three-point play in the opening minute of the second half to open a 15-point gap, then Wichita State went cold missing eight straight shots while Indiana State scored nine straight points to shave the deficit to six. Indiana crawled back within five points twice, the last time on two free throws by Jake Odum with 10:20 that made make it 55-50.
Indiana State cut the gap to eight points with about 3 minutes left but VanVleet hit a 3-pointer and made two layups the rest of the way.
What fuels Wichita State? Your hate, college basketball
What fuels Wichita State? Your hate, college basketball
ST. LOUIS – The Missouri Valley Conference extended a wonderful Arch Madness parting gift to the undefeated Wichita State Shockers on Sunday afternoon.
Seconds after they finished beating Indiana State 83-69, the players were handed T-shirts commemorating their Missouri Valley tournament championship. The shirts had a bracket on the back that said the Sycamores actually won the thing. Nobody noticed until the Shockers were wearing them.
One league’s gaffe is another man’s gold.
For a program that relishes bathing in the icy water of disrespect, this was perfect. Total domination of the conference ends with a printing mistake that denies the Shockers their first Valley tourney title in 27 years. The players were proudly cloaked in insult as they cut down the nets in the Scottrade Center.
“Hey, hey!” a gleeful Gregg Marshall said upon seeing the shirts. “Someone get a picture of this.”
They got pictures. And they will keep the shirts, too. The conference eventually will send a shipment with the correct bracket on the back, but these may remain the Shockers’ favorite souvenir from this three-day tour de force.
“We won,” point guard Fred Van Vleet said. “[The Sycamores] don’t get to wear the shirts today.”
As motivated masochists, the Shockers will wear the hairshirts of external doubt from now through Selection Sunday and into NCAA tournament play – which almost assuredly will begin in this same arena on March 21. From now until then they will hear an increasing chorus of criticism aimed at the Wichita State schedule (ranked 131st by Ken Pomeroy) and conference (ranked 11th). The power-conference snobs will be out in force, railing against the No. 1 NCAA seed that is assuredly heading Wichita’s way (many of them already are, and a high percentage of those hail from Lawrence, Kan.). Others will wonder whether the ensuing 12-day layoff without a game will leave the Shockers flat and rusty (didn’t happen last year). And, yeah, there is at least one guy who thinks that being the first undefeated team to enter the NCAAs since UNLV in 1991 is a potentially problematic burden.
All of it will be music to their rabbit ears, which detect slights the way Tiger Woods hears camera clicks during his backswing.
Marshall was asked Sunday whether he had a message for the skeptics who will be prowling Bracketville. Marshall said he did not. But then he doubled back a couple minutes later.
"I want to get back to you," he said to the reporter who asked the question. "I might have an answer. I’m going to go with [Wichita State center] Chadrack Lufile’s tweet about two weeks ago: ‘Wolves do not fret over the opinions of sheep.’ "
Then Gregg Marshall flashed a wolfishly predatory stare from the podium.
Thus the Shockers embark on their NCAA tourney journey as the most highly-regarded and highly-scrutinized team from outside the power-five conferences since Memphis in 2008. Gonzaga was a No. 1 seed last year but didn’t grab the nation’s imagination the way Wichita State has – and for good reason, as it turned out. The Shockers eliminated the Zags in the round of 32, on their way to a surprise Final Four as a No. 9 seed.
There will be no hiding behind a low seed this time around. No sneaking up on anyone. Marshall’s team will be the national talking point from now until they lose.
If they lose.
It will take a really good team playing really well to beat the Shockers. What they lack in résumé sizzle they make up for in eyeball-test substance. They perfectly embody the play-hard-smart-together ethos of great teams, and they augment those qualities with plenty of talent. There may be a couple of teams with better players than Wichita State, but the list is short – and the teams on it don’t always maximize their talent the way the Shockers do.
“They’re the best team in the country,” said Indiana State senior Jake Odum.
The Shockers are blessed with four go-to guys. On a day when their most prolific 3-point shooter, guard Ron Baker, went 0-for-6 outside the arc, the rest of the team went 9-for-16. That continued a torrid shooting weekend, with Wichita State making 28 3-pointers in 63 attempts (44.4 percent).
The two shooting stars Sunday were Tekele Cotton and Van Vleet, each of whom was 4-for-6 from 3-point range. Cotton was the tournament's Most Outstanding Player and forward Cleanthony Early is the team’s best talent, but it is Van Vleet who is the most indispensible Shocker.
He scored 16 of Wichita State’s next 33 points, nailing four 3-pointers and driving for a pair of baskets. Content to be a facilitator when the situation calls for it, the sophomore is perfectly capable of taking over when needed.
“I had opportunities all game that I was passing up because I didn’t want to be overly aggressive and force the issue,” Van Vleet said. “But coming down the stretch, I just was a little bit more aggressive and took advantage of some opportunities I had.”
The opportunities for the Shockers grow larger from this point forward. And the noise surrounding this team will grow louder.
They are chasing immortality, the first 40-0 season ever. But they are also being chased by a horde of doubters who will be waiting to fire told-ya-so arrows at them if they fall short.
For a team with a perfect record and a permanent chip on the shoulder, those doubters are as welcome as the erroneous Arch Madness T-shirts they wore while cutting down the nets Sunday
Early made most of two years at Wichita State
Early made most of two years at Wichita State
Cleanthony Early will leave Wichita State just like he entered — shooting, scoring, never hesitating. Junior-college transfers can waste half their career if they’re not confident.
Wichita State’s top juco transfer scorers
F Cleanthony Early (2012-14), Sullivan County (N.Y.) — 69 games 1,015 points, 14.7 per game
Wichita State finishes perfect regular season with 83-69 win over Indiana State
Early helps Wichita State stay perfect
February, 6, 2014
By Myron Medcalf | ESPN.com
The streak. The unblemished campaign. The possibility of perfection.
The idea that 24-0, still-playing-angry Wichita State will finish the 2013-14 regular season without a loss becomes less incredulous by the day.
A snowstorm created travel problems for the fourth-ranked Shockers, who didn’t reach Terre Haute until Wednesday morning. But it didn’t seem to impact the team during its 65-58 win at Indiana State.
It wasn’t easy, though. Per ESPN Stats & Information data, Wichita State lost the rebounding battle for only the second time this season, and its nine forced turnovers was its second-lowest tally of the year.
Indiana State's Manny Arop hit a deep jumper at the buzzer before the break, when Wichita State had just a one-point lead despite maintaining a nine-point advantage earlier in the half.
In the second half, Ron Baker helped Wichita State quiet Arop, who had 13 points in the first half and just three points after halftime. With 10 minutes to play, the Shockers had a comfortable double-digit lead, but the Sycamores didn’t break.
AP Photo/AJ MastCleanthony Early showed again Wednesday that he's Wichita State's rock and its ace in the hole as the Shockers prep for another tournament run.
Chadrack Lufile made four of six free throws in the final 43 seconds. Game: over. Spotless record: preserved.
Ken Pomeroy gives Wichita State a 78 percent chance of defeating Northern Iowa on the road on Saturday. He gives the Shockers more than a 90 percent shot at defeating their final six Missouri Valley opponents after that. Even if that happens, the Shockers will still endure criticism.
Until its postseason journey begins, Wichita State will be scrutinized. If the Shockers lose in conference play, the naysayers will call them frauds. If the Shockers enter the postseason without a loss, those same people will put an asterisk next to their noteworthy accomplishment.
Not that the Shockers worry about negative opinions regarding their accomplishments thus far -- they weren’t exactly favored to make the Final Four last season after finishing second to Creighton in the MVC -- but that’s not something that they’ll overcome until the NCAA tournament arrives.
But they have Early now. And if he’s on the floor, Wichita State can play with anyone.
He scored 15 points in the second half Wednesday night. In a contentious game that included a quiet outing by the typically sound Fred VanVleet (2-for-5 shooting, two turnovers, six points) and foul trouble for Baker (eight points), Early gave the Shockers a much-needed boost.
The Shockers can finish the regular season with a perfect record. And they can make a return trip to the Final Four because Early can guide them there. But not by himself.
Baker, VanVleet, Tekele Cotton (14 points), Early and a fleet of capable reserves are all valuable to this program. But Early can be a closer when the Shockers need one, whether they’re playing MVC competition in the coming weeks or high majors in the Big Dance.
Early had 24 points, 10 rebounds and a block against eventual national champion Louisville in the Final Four last season. He was an honorable mention on the Associated Press preseason All-American squad this year. He has the highest offensive rating in the MVC (114.9) among players who’ve participated in a minimum of 25 percent of their team’s possessions, per Ken Pomeroy data.
Early is capable of doing what he did on Wednesday against top-25 teams. He has already proven that.
That’s significant in this polarizing discussion about Wichita State, a team that’s clearly equipped with individual playmakers who aren’t simply products of Gregg Marshall's system. You don’t tussle with Louisville and dismiss Pittsburgh, Gonzaga, La Salle and Ohio State because you’re lucky or just abiding by a system.
You do it because you have the athletes to compete at that level.
Early and his teammates can play with anyone. He’s more than a great tale -- he arrived in Wichita after a stint at a low-level junior college. He’s the next-level competitor who will lift the Shockers in the tough matchups they’ll encounter the rest of the way.
If you don’t believe in Wichita State’s defense (ninth in adjusted defensive efficiency, per Ken Pomeroy data) ...
If you don’t believe the Shockers have faced adequate competition (won at Atlantic 10-leading Saint Louis) ...
If you don’t believe VanVleet will maintain his poise against elite guards (he entered Wednesday’s game ranked third nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio) ...
Then believe this: Early would be a star on any level, in any league, against any opponent. And the players around him anchor a squad that can clearly compete with the best.
Don’t believe it?
Let’s see how you feel when Early & Co. end up in your favorite team’s region on Selection Sunday. Maybe you’ll change your mind.
Wichita State basketball team on Sports Illustrated regional cover
The Wichita Eagle
The Wichita State Shockers are cover models again.
The men’s basketball team, which heads into Wednesday’s game against Loyola with a 27-0 record, is on one of two regional Sports Illustrated covers this week, with the headline “Go Ahead, Try to Jinx Us.”
The photo of Cleanthony Early, Tekele Cotton, Fred VanVleet, Ron Baker and Chadrack Lufile was taken last week in Wichita. It accompanies a story by Thomas Lake. Duke’s Jabari Parker is on the cover of the other regional edition.
The Shockers were on one of three regional covers in April, 2013 after they reached the Final Four.
In 2006, WSU was on a regional cover when the Shockers advanced to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16.
Wichita State with zero to lose
SLAM ONLINE: Grind Hard - Cleanthony Early
Cleanthony Early plays with a toughness that defines the unbeaten Wichita State Shockers.
by Leigh Klein / @leighalanklein
It is the mantra of former Wichita State head coach Gene Smithson and continued on by current Shockers head coach Gregg Marshall. Mental toughness and extra effort defines this Shockers team. It also defines one of their players, Cleanthony Early.
Through an unconventional recruitment, the death of a brother and a hurricane, Early landed in the Midwest as one of the leaders of his team and a player with NBA potential.
His basketball journey started in Middletown, NY, after his mother Sandra Glover opted to raise Cle away from New York City. It was his big brother Jamel who first introduced basketball to Cleanthony, and while there was some rec ball in the city, it was baseball that was his first passion. It wasn’t until the move to Middletown that he started to be more interested in basketball.
The development continued at Pine Bush (NY) High School where Early starred and averaged 20 points per game for the Bushmen as a senior. It was during that season that he turned the corner regarding his ability.
“I felt that I would have opportunities through basketball, I had a good senior season and a real good game against Newburgh Free Academy that took the state champion, Rice High School to the buzzer,” Early told SLAM.
Opportunities to play college basketball were hindered by his grades—by his senior year he was still in his evolution “from knucklehead to being a regular kid.”
It was his senior year, when Bobby Rahn, Burke Catholic assistant, first saw Cleanthony when the Eagles played at Pine Bush.
“It was within the first 15 seconds of the game and this long athletic kid gets a technical. People had told us about him, they called him ‘uncoachable’ but I saw it differently, he was so passionate, every play meant the world to him,” Rahn said.
“Later that year I was scouting and I met him up in Newburgh. He was there because the local Division III school, Mt. St. Mary’s of Newburgh, was one of the only schools showing him interest. I found him to be very personable, with a firm handshake and eye contact and offered him a spot with our AAU team, the BC Eagles. We have the Newburgh starting five, Cleanthony and some other local guys and we are playing down that June in New York City at the Rumble in the Bronx and Cleanthony, who had now grew to 6-6, 6-7, outplays two high-major post prospects as we lost in double overtime. His confidence grew from there.
“The next month we are in Springfield at a live tournament with college coaches circled around the Mass Mutual Center and he opens the game with energy, a thunderous one hand dunk, next possession—a block and then next trip down he hits a three-pointer. All the coaches start flipping the pages in the book and the look they had was, ‘Who’s that kid?’ I knew then, his dream of playing Division I was possible.”
One math credit short of qualifying, Cleanthony worked out for Division II programs Mercy and Dominican. Ultimately, looking to pursue his dream of playing Division I, Rahn introduced the idea of going to prep school.
Early and a fellow AAU teammate journeyed to Mt. Zion Christian Academy in Durham, NC, where he averaged 24 points per game.
“It seemed like a good idea, I was just thinking about working hard and improving, the school inspired me in a different way,” Early said. “It balanced me and connected me spiritually. It gave me guidance and affected my approach in a positive way.”
This spiritual foundation was needed to map through what happened next for Early and his family.
That summer, life would never be the same as his brother Jamel drowned in Schoharie Creek. Jamel was not only a big brother he also was a father figure; a man 14 years old with a family of his own.
“The loss of my brother propelled me to want to do more for my family. It motivated me. I kept working hard,” Early said. “I felt there was a lot on my shoulders both with basketball and as a person. It was time to stay focused and take advantage of my ability. I was now the man of the house and people were going to look at my example.”
Cleanthony was still in need of junior college and with many options, he decided what would be best is to stay close to home, enrolling in Sullivan County Junior College, a DIII junior college. Very few Division III junior college players get an opportunity to play NCAA Division I, nonetheless he had faith that it would happen.
“I learned from people who made mistakes and took the positives out of everything. Each year I got closer to my dream with the support of great people in my corner,” he said.
Former Sullivan County head coach Kevin DeVantier knew he had something special in Early.
“He has contagious passion and energy for the game. What separates him from the rest is his desire to compete and win every situation. It didn’t matter if it was a two-on-two drill, a rebounding drill in practice, he would refuse to let his team lose,” DeVantier said. “When others would tighten up, Cle would come through with a clutch block or basket. The bigger the game, the better he would play.”
The two-time NJCAA Division III Player of the Year had several of high-major offers including the likes of Baylor, San Diego State, Alabama, Missouri and Washington State. Fate would have him on a visit at Wichita State when Hurricane Irene struck New York and stranded him in Kansas for three additional days. After five days, he left convinced that Wichita State was the program for him.
“Last season, I had an early inkling that we can be something special from playing pickup before the season even started. [That feeling] continued to knock me in the face whenever we survived adversity…next man up,” Early said.
Final Four good? “We felt prepared for Pitt, people didn’t believe in us but we took pride to ‘Shock the World.’All of the sudden we are in the Final Four, two more wins and we meet the President. It was bittersweet.”
The Shockers leader in scoring and rebounding, he prides himself in being able to defend bigger players. He models his game after Kawhi Leonard and prior to this year was named a pre-season Wooden Award top-50 selection.
Scouts worry about what position he would play on the next level. Can he create off the dribble? What about his left hand and his lower body strength? There is no question about his resolve.
“The NBA has crossed my mind but I’m patient,” Early said. “If I continue to get better, if I continue to grind, I have faith it will happen.”
Leigh Klein was formerly on staff at Texas and Rhode Island and is a popular guest on radio. He now ownsFive-Star Basketball Camps, the nation’s top basketball camp where the likes of Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Patrick Ewing all learned and got better. He contributes now to SLAMonline and their coverage of college basketball and the NBA Draft. Klein can be followed at @LeighAlanKlein
Early Named MVC Player of the Week 1/27/14
MBB: Early Named MVC Player of the Week
WICHITA, Kan. -- Cleanthony Early was named the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week, it was announced today.
The senior averaged 21.0 points and 8.5 rebounds in Wichita State's two wins last week, shooting 62.5 percent (15-24) from the field, 69.2 percent (9-13) from the arc and 75 percent (3-4) from the line.
At Illinois State he had 23 points and 10 rebounds, and at Drake he had 19 points and seven boards to go with two assists.
Early Named to Midseason Top-25 Wooden Award
MBB: Early Named to Midseason Top-25 Wooden Award
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Senior Forward Cleanthony Early has been named to the Midseason Top-25 for the John R. Wooden Award today, the Los Angeles Athletic Club announced today on ESPN’s SportsCenter and ESPN.com. ESPNU will follow up at 6pm EST/5pm CST with a half-hour show focusing on the candidates.
Chosen by the Wooden Award Advisory Board, the list is comprised of 25 student-athletes who are the front-runners for the sport’s most prestigious individual honor based on their play so far this season.
Early is not just the only Shocker, but is also the only member of the Missouri Valley Conference to make the Midseason Top-25.
Last season, Early helped the Shockers to the 2013 Final Four while becoming a 1st-team All-MVC selection and earning the MVC Newcomer of the Year award. Heading into this season, he was named the MVC Preseason Player of the year for the 2013-14 season and was named to the Associated Press' 2013-14 preseason All-America team as an honorable mention selection.
Early has started every game for the Shockers, helping lead them to a 19-0 record and currently a No. 5 ranking in the nation. He averages 15.3 points per game and grabs 6.6 rebounds per game.
About the John. R Wooden Award:
Created in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award is the most prestigious individual honor in college basketball. It is bestowed upon the nation’s best player at an institution of higher education who has proven to his or her university that he or she is making progress toward graduation and maintaining a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA.
Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird (’79), Michael Jordan (’84), Tim Duncan (’97), Candace Parker (’07 and ’08), Kevin Durant (’09) and Maya Moore of Connecticut (’09 and ‘11). Michigan’s Trey Burke won the 2013 Wooden Award presented by Wendy’s.
The Wooden Award All American Team, consisting of the nation’s top 10 players, will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament.
Nothing about Wichita State's Cleanthony Early is conventional
'We could shock the nation'
Nothing about Wichita State's Cleanthony Early is conventional
Originally Published: January 22, 2014By Andy Katz | ESPN The Magazine
2013 - 2014 NCAA Recruiting Calendar
NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Recruiting Calendar August 1, 2013 through July 31, 2014
The recruiting calendar allows high school basketball players to sign National Letters of Intent twice during the year. Other dates to watch out for in 2013-14'.
2013-2014 NCAA Division One Men's Basketball Recruiting Calendar
Men's College Basketball Recruiting Calendar for 2013-14
Calendar runs 08-01-13 through 07-31-14. Reference the definitions if needed.
08-01-13 thru 09-08-13 Quiet Period
09-09-13 thru 03-31-14 Recruiting Period *with the following exceptions
*11-11-13 thru 11-14-13 *Dead Period
*12-24-13 thru 12-26-13 *Dead Period
04-01-14 thru 07-05-14 Quiet Period *with the following exceptions
*04-03-14 thru 04-10-14(noon) *Dead Period
*04-10-14(noon) thru 04-23-14 *Recruiting Period **except for (i) below
(i) 04-14-14 thru 04-17-14 (i) *Dead Period
04-24-14 thru 07-05-14 Quiet Period *with the following exceptions
*04-25-14 thru 04-27-14 *Evaluation Period (certified events only)
*05-22-14 thru 05-30-14 *Dead Period **except for (i) below
(i)TBD (NBA Pre Draft) (i)*Evaluation Period
07-06-14 thru 07-31-14 Dead Period *with the following exceptions
*07-09-14(5 p.m.) thru 07-13-14 (5 p.m.) *Evaluation Period
*07-16-14 (5 p.m.) thru 07-20-14 (5 p.m.) *Evaluation Period
*07-23-14 (5 p.m.) thru 07-27-14 (5 p.m.) *Evaluation Period
Men's College Basketball Recruiting Rules:
As a Sophomore in high school:
NCAA Changes Eligibility Requirments
September 14, 2012
Junior college players show process works
By Myron Medcalf | ESPN.com
Baylor point guard Kenny Chery worried about his future.
He had solid grades and a proven work ethic. He was a strong competitor who had left his family in Montreal to pursue Division I basketball opportunities.
After he finished high school in Washington, D.C., and the time arrived for the Canadian prospect to apply for colleges, however, he encountered a challenge that his 3.2 GPA could not help him overcome.
The NCAA Clearinghouse refused to grant Chery eligibility to play at the next level. The Canadian classes on his transcript, some of which weren't deemed adequate, complicated his journey.
"Some classes back home, they don't use them here as core credits," Chery said. "For example, history. We don't learn the same history."
Cooper Neill/Getty ImagesKenny Chery had to a travel a longer road to get to Baylor. "But it worked out pretty well," he said.
So he had to take a detour to State Fair Community College in Sedalia, Mo.
It's unfair to stereotype an entire pool of talent, yet the "junior college" tag often elicits skepticism within the college basketball community. But that perception might be changing, especially for coaches seeking mature players who can fill key holes on their rosters.
"I just knew that I had to do what I had do to get here," said Wichita State's Darius Carter, who attended Vincennes University in Vincennes, Ind., before joining the Shockers. "I wasn't really worried about how I'd be labeled. I just wanted to stand out as one of those guys that's not a 'juco guy,' one of those types of people."
There are many examples of athletes who have succeeded after junior college. Players such as Steve Francis, Jimmy Butler, Avery Johnson, Ben Wallace and Dennis Rodman were all juco products before successful NBA runs.
This season, Wichita State's Cleanthony Early, Ole Miss' Marshall Henderson, Memphis' Geron Johnson, Louisville's Chris Jones and Chery have all played significant roles for their respective programs. But there are far more casualties than stars who have entered Division I basketball from the junior college circuit in recent years.
And even some of the players who have made it have had to battle a negative perception about athletes who come from those ranks. Concerns about prospects' academic aptitude, athletic ability and character have been obstacles for players in Chery's position.
"I didn't want people to think, he didn't qualify [out of high school] because he got bad grades," Chery said. "At first, I was really worried."
There are definitely some juco players who are not playing high-major basketball because of academic issues or other "red flags." There are others who were good kids who just needed junior college to prepare them for the transition to Division I basketball. In that regard, junior college is not always a last chance for bad seeds. It's also a haven for players who can boost a program on and off the court from the moment they arrive.
And coaches recognize that.
"With Kenny, we're like there's nothing he can't do," said Baylor coach Scott Drew, who relied on junior college transfer Pierre Jackson last season. "He's got the midrange, the 3, the floater. [He] can finish at the rim, can defend, good student, good leader, diligent. No red flags."
When Larry Brown coached Kansas in the 1980s, he stayed away from junior college players. He didn't think it was fair to sign them and potentially reduce playing time for the players who had spent two or three years in his program.
He's changed his stance since returning to college basketball at SMU, although new academic requirements make it tougher to add junior college players today than it was 30 years ago.
"I love junior college kids, personally, because they're hungry," Brown said. "There's great coaching on the junior college level."
Mustangs big man Yanick Moreira drew interest from Division I schools after participating in the 2010 Nike Hoop Summit. The Angola native, however, had plenty to learn off the court too. He had to adjust to the American academic system.
There was another potential hindrance when Moreira and his family decided that some time at South Plains College in Levelland, Texas, would be best for his basketball and scholastic career.
He didn't know the language.
"I think it was because of my English because I had to learn how to speak English," Moreira said. "Actually, I had a couple of Division I offers [out of high school], but that wasn't good enough for me. Me and my family, we decided, if I went to junior college, it would be great and open up other opportunities for me."
For others, academic problems are their main barriers.
Cooper Neill/Getty ImagesYanick Moreira didn't go to junior college before SMU because he had character or academic problems. He just needed time to better learn the language.
There is definitely a group of junior college prospects who warrant scrutiny because they struggled in the classroom in high school.
Iowa State's Dustin Hogue admits that he failed to meet the academic bar. But the Big 12's No. 2 rebounder doesn't regret the experience. He matured at Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa. He studied the game and evolved into a better player and a more disciplined student.
He's not sure he would have possessed those tools had he played Division I basketball after high school.
"It helped me polish my game more," he said. "I just became more focused. My coaches were on top of me."
Mining the field is not easy, though. The uneven competition among junior colleges results in deceptive stat sheets for players who can't make the same impact at the next level. So the analysis of a potential juco prospect, both on and off the floor, is an exhaustive undertaking.
"There's no doubt," Fred Hoiberg said. "That's not just junior college kids. That's everybody. That's high school kids. That's obviously transfers. You have to do as much work on them as possible to see if there are some things, to see if they won't fit in your program. We've had great luck with our junior college players."
The Iowa State coach has found some of the gems among junior colleges. Last year, Tyrus McGee, a junior college transfer, earned the Big 12's sixth man honor. Hogue is averaging 12.2 points and 9.1 rebounds per game for him this season.
"I think you just have to do as many evaluations on a kid as you can, put the whole package together and see if they fit in your system," Hoiberg said.
That pursuit of certain junior college standouts can lead to products like Chery, a guard who has the Big 12's highest assist rate, per Ken Pomeroy.
"I thought it was a little setback," Chery said. "I didn't really like junior college at first. I was like, 'Oh, why am I here? I should be at a Division I school right now.' But it worked out pretty well."
Who is the next mid-major star?
August, 30, 2013
By Jeff Goodman | ESPN.com
Mike Carter/USA TODAY SportsElfrid Payton could emerge as a star this season.No one could have predicted Damian Lillard being chosen sixth overall in the NBA draft prior to the start of his final season at Weber State. When C.J. McCollum entered Lehigh as a freshman, he wasn’t considered an overseas prospect, never mind someone who would be selected in the NBA lottery. Gordon Hayward was a mid-major guy who came out of virtually nowhere to be selected ninth in the draft a few years ago, and Paul George was hardly a household name when he was taken 10th out of Fresno in 2010.
Who will be this year’s Lillard or McCollum? We’re not sure there is one, but here are 20 or so candidates (below in alphabetical order) that A) you should keep an eye on this college basketball season and B) have the potential to come out of nowhere to become an NBA prospect.
We obviously aren’t including the high-profile leagues (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC, Big East, American, Mountain West) and decided not to include anyone from the A-10 or WCC, either. But I will make one exception. I’m going to allow a pair from Utah State on the list, since the Aggies are a legit mid-major and enter their first season in the Mountain West.
Adjehi Baru, 6-foot-9, 230, PF, Soph., College of Charleston Cougars -- The native of the Ivory Coast is big, athletic and can rebound at a high level. Imagine a poor man’s Kenneth Faried. He averaged 9.8 points and 8.3 rebounds last season and his skill level should continue to improve.
Jerrelle Benimon, 6-8, 245, PF, Sr., Towson Tigers -- The Georgetown transfer is the best player in the CAA. He’s 6-foot-8, big and strong and more skilled than most realized. He can obviously score in the paint and rebound (11.2 RPG), but he also shot 41 percent from beyond the arc and averaged 2.5 assists per game. The questions from NBA folks will involve his size and ability to shoot it consistently.
Sim Bhullar, 7-5, 355, C, Soph., New Mexico State Aggies -- He’s mammoth. There just aren’t guys around like the big Canadian, and not only does that make him fun to watch, but it’ll give him a chance to make an NBA roster. He averaged 10.1 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.4 blocks as a freshman and was the WAC Freshman of the Year.
Taylor Braun, 6-7, 205, SG, Sr., North Dakota State Bison -- He is long, athletic and can score in a variety of ways. He shot 44 percent from beyond the arc, but he’s also able to create off the dribble. Scouts are aware of him from when he played well against Nate Wolters last season in the Summit League tourney.
Alec Brown, 7-1, 235, C, Sr., Green Bay Phoenix -- He’s been on the NBA’s radar for a couple years, but hasn’t yet taken the next step, especially in terms of physicality and toughness. He’d be more of a pick-and-pop guy at the next level unless he puts on weight and gets stronger to handle post players in the NBA.
John Brown, 6-7, 200, F, Soph., High Point Panthers -- He’s coming off a broken foot, but I saw the 6-7 athlete prior to last season. He’s ultra-athletic and wound up averaging 16.4 points and 6.1 rebounds in his first season of college ball.
Kyle Casey, 6-7, 230, SF, Sr., Harvard Crimson -- He didn’t play last season, but the Massachusetts native is a strong and athletic wing who is on the radar for several NBA teams. He shot it well two seasons ago, making 35 percent of his 3s while averaging 11.4 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.
Allan Chaney, 6-9, 235, PF, Sr., High Point Panthers -- Obviously, the heart issue that kept him off the court for nearly three seasons will impact his chances at the next level. However, Chaney has the combination of size and skill to be under consideration by the NBA folks.
Torrey Craig, 6-6, 215, SF, Sr., USC Upstate Spartans -- He’s long, athletic and can create his own shot. He's a terrific rebounder for his position and also able to shoot well enough. He averaged 17.2 points and 6.9 rebounds for the Spartans last season.
Cleanthony Early, 6-8, 215, F, Sr., Wichita State Shockers -- He’ll need to improve his handle and his left hand, but he’s long, athletic, can really score and isn’t afraid of the moment (just watch the tape of the Shockers' Final Four loss to Louisville).
Corey Hawkins, 6-3, 195, SG, Jr., UC Davis Aggies -- The son of former NBA scorer Hersey Hawkins can also fill it up. The younger Hawkins isn’t as athletic as Hersey, but he can shoot it from deep, is strong enough to get into the lane and finish and ended his first season at UC Davis averaging 20.3 points while shooting 40 percent from deep.
Damion Lee, 6-6, 195, SG, Jr., Drexel Dragons -- There are those who question his toughness, but Lee has what the NBA wants -- length and the ability to shoot the ball. He put up 17.1 points and 5.1 rebounds last season, but he needs to improve his handle.
Walt Lemon Jr., 6-3, 180, PG, Sr., Bradley Braves -- A Chicago native who is a terrific athlete and plays extremely hard, Lemon needs to work on his decision-making and also his perimeter shot, but he’s got the physical tools to be on NBA draft boards.
Preston Medlin, 6-4, 185, PG, Sr., Utah State Aggies -- He is a point guard with good size who can really, really shoot the ball. He was averaging 16.3 PPG prior to suffering a season-ending broken wrist 16 games into the season.
Jake Odum, 6-6, 170, PG, Sr., Indiana State Sycamores -- He’s got some Matthew Dellavedova in him. Odum is extremely tough, can really run a team and can make shots from the perimeter. The questions will involve his athleticism and ability to guard at the next level. Averaged 13.6 points, 4.6 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game for the Sycamores.
Elfrid Payton, 6-3, 170, PG, Jr., Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns -- He made the U-19 team this past summer and more than held his own. He’s sort of a poor man’s Rajon Rondo, extremely athletic and fast, but he needs to develop a solid perimeter shot, work on his decision-making and also get stronger.
Kendrick Perry, 6-0, 175, PG, Sr., Youngstown State Penguins -- He’s extremely quick, and can score at all three levels -- from deep, midrange and also in the lane. He still needs to continue to get stronger, but he averaged 17.1 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists last season and has a bit of Norris Cole in his game.
Elijah Pittman, 6-8, 220, F, Sr., Marshall Thundering Herd -- Think of a poor man’s Paul George. He’s a big, skilled and athletic wing who can shoot it from deep. He’ll need to work on his decision-making and also become a better rebounder for someone his size.
Augustine Rubit, 6-7, 230, PF, Sr., South Alabama Jaguars -- He’s a skilled forward who can score in the post and also step out and make shots from the perimeter. He’s also a proven high-level rebounder. If he were two inches taller, he’d be a lock. He’ll still have a chance to make an NBA team.
Jarred Shaw, 6-10, 235, PF, Sr., Utah State Aggies -- Shaw is a skilled and fairly athletic big man who transferred in from Oklahoma State and made significant improvement over the course of last season. He has good size and can step out and make shots. Averaged 14.2 points and 8.4 rebounds per game for Stew Morrill last season.
Tyler Stone, 6-8, 230, PF, Sr., Southeast Missouri State Redhawks -- He’s an athletic, face-up forward who plays with a motor and can really score. The question will be his size and his ability to make shots from the NBA 3-point line. He averaged 15.5 points and 7.8 rebounds last season for the Redhawks, but he shot just 24 percent from beyond the arc.
Pine Bush grad Early isn't content with perfect record
Early, Wichita State are on a roll
With each Wichita State win this season, there has been more attention, hype and fanfare, which means one thing — Cleanthony Early is in his element.
Early seemingly plays his best in the spotlight, feeding off the bright lights and big stage, and this has been some show. With Early reprising his role as Wichita State's poster boy, a part he first played in last season's NCAA tournament, the Shockers have opened the season with 19 straight wins.
At 19-0, fifth-ranked Wichita State has tied the 1962-63 Cincinnati team for second-best start by a Missouri Valley team. Indiana State, led by Larry Bird, didn't lose until the 1979 national championship game. Only two other teams in the country are undefeated this season — No. 1 Arizona and No. 2 Syracuse, which are both 18-0.
Wichita State goes for its 20th consecutive win at Illinois State in an MVC game on Wednesday.
"A lot of people in Wichita are going crazy," said Early, a Pine Bush graduate and former SUNY Sullivan star. "A lot of people in the country are going crazy. We try not to pay attention and just play basketball. But we knew how good we were coming in, we knew how much we wanted it. We just had to go out there and go get it. We go out there every night like we want it, you know?"
Last season, Early and the Shockers, of course, shocked the nation — reaching the Final Four for the first time since the 1965 season. The Shockers defeated No. 1 Gonzaga and second-seeded Ohio State on the way to Atlanta. In a 72-68 loss to Louisville, the top seed, Early battled to keep Wichita State in the game.
He finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds against the eventual national champion. Early, a 6-foot-8 forward, and Wichita State set a school record for wins (30) and became the first MVC team to reach the Final Four since Bird and Indiana State in 1979.
With plenty of talent returning, Wichita State was supposed to be good this year. But this good? After the Shockers defeated Indiana State 68-48 on Saturday, Sycamores coach Greg Lansing told reporters that this Wichita State team is better than the one that went to the Final Four, and could run the table and win a national championship.
Before the season, there was already hype surrounding Early, a senior. He was named the MVC's preseason player of the year in October by a panel of league sports information directors, media and coaches. Several NBA scouts have visited Wichita State to watch Early, and Shockers coach Gregg Marshall told the Times Herald-Record before the season that he thinks Early could be a first-round NBA draft pick in June.
Faced with big-time expectations, he's never flinched. He leads Wichita State in scoring with 15.3 points per game and continues to develop his explosive game.
"Not everybody knew about Cleanthony last season," said Norfolk State assistant coach Kevin DeVantier, who coached Early at SUNY Sullivan. "What's impressive is that everyone knows him this year, he's the guy to stop on the scouting report. The brighter the lights get, the better he gets. Nothing phases him."
Not even Wichita State's 19-game winning streak. If the Shockers keep winning, it will bring only more attention, hype, fanfare and, no doubt, more pressure.
Not a problem.
Cleanthony Early can handle that, too.
"We're playing basketball," Early said. "This is the regular season. Pressure? You know what I mean? It's not like we are in the tournament. It's conference play. We're pretty sure we can play with anyone."
Mike Tobey takes step forward in Virginia’s beating of N.C. State
Less than two weeks ago Tony Bennett’s Virginia Cavaliers took their worst beating of the season, losing 87-52 at Tennessee with many wondering if Virginia had what it took to turn things around and be the ACC contender they were expected to be. Since that result: three wins, all by double digits, with their latest conquest being a 76-45 win at N.C. State.
One reason for the margin was Virginia’s defending of T.J. Warren, who they limited to just four points on 1-for-9 shooting. The Cavaliers were also solid offensively despite shooting 3-for-13 from deep, with three starters finishing in double figures and the other two scoring eight points apiece.
Joe Harris scored 16 points on the evening, and since leaving the Florida State win early in the first half due to injury the senior’s averaged 13.5 points per game and has been a more efficient player on that end of the floor. Against Tennessee Harris, a first team All-ACC selection last season, shot 2-for-9 from the field and turned the ball over three times with the Volunteers doing all they could to limit his quality touches.
Saturday’s win marks the second consecutive game in which Harris has shot 50% from the field, and while the shot attempts may not be all that high (4-for-8 in both games) he’s still an offensive threat that opponents have to be mindful of. But even with Harris’ two-game stretch, his play on Saturday may not be the most important development to take from Saturday’s blowout win. That would be the play of sophomore center Mike Tobey.
After averaging 6.8 points and 2.9 rebounds per game as a freshman and making the United States Under-19 team that won a gold medal at the U-19 World Championships this past summer, Tobey was pegged as a possible breakout player in the ACC by more than a few pundits. With Tobey up to 7.1 points and 4.7 rebounds per game it can be argued that he hasn’t reached that status just yet. But against N.C. State’s talented (but young, with the exception of Jordan Vandenberg) front court Tobey tallied 16 points on 6-for-11 shooting and seven rebounds.
Tobey’s afternoon comes on the heels of a two-game stretch in which he accounted for a total of six points and six rebounds, with the 6-foot-10 big man going scoreless at Florida State. Tobey’s now reached double figures in scoring in five games this season, so the ability to be an impact player offensively is there. The next step for Tobey, beginning with Monday’s game against a Duke team that is lacking in the post, is to do so on a consistent basis.
That would certainly help the Cavaliers in their quest to make a run at the ACC title, because Joe Harris and Akil Mitchell can always use some help carrying the load.
Early and the Shockers improve to 13-0 with 80-71 win over Davidson
MSG Varsity Hudson Valley Top 30 High School Players
The boys basketball season in the Hudson Valley is right around the corner and 2013-14 is shaping up to be one loaded with talent.
MSG Varsity boys basketball expert Kevin Devaney Jr. attempted to rank the Top 30 players in the region, which consists of Section 1, Section 9 and local CHSAA and private schools.
(Also coming soon: The Top 15 Rising Stars of the Hudson Valley)
HUDSON VALLEY TOP 30 RANKINGS
21. MICHAEL COFFEY, BURKE CATHOLIC
Grade: Senior Position: Guard Height: 6-1
Scouting report: By the end of the season, we could be talking about Coffey as a Top 10 player in the region. He enters the season among the best pure shooters in the Hudson Valley, averaging 11.5 points per game off the bench, and will look to carry the momentum of a stellar effort in the Class A state final four into this season. Coffey had 15 of 19 points in the fourth quarter of the state quarters, 13 of his 21 points in the second half of the state semis and then 19 in the title game.
7. JACK DWYER, BURKE CATHOLIC
Grade: Senior Position: Point guard Height: 5-10
Scouting report: As far as ball-handlers go, you might not find any better in the region than Dwyer. He’s deceptively quick and incredibly strong for a player his size, making it almost impossible to press the Eagles when he’s on the floor. Dwyer is a quality shooter who’ll likely need to score more on an undersized but deep Burke squad.
4. AARON RAY, MIDDLETOWN
Grade: Junior Position: Wing Height: 6-2
- See more at: http://www.msgvarsity.com/hudson-valley/hudson-valley-hoop-rankings-top-10-1.1544538#sthash.zkjSAZYf.dpuf
Mt Zion vs. Word of God NC
Jason Porter Scouts: Mt Zion V Word of God
Last night I was out at Mt Zion in Durham to see their varsity take on a very talented Word of God team. The JV game had been very fun to watch with great back and forth action, threes falling from everywhere, and fast breaks where plentiful. I just knew that the varsity game would hold more of the same for us.
Word Of God looked ready to deliver on that promise early by jumping out of the gate with 8 quick points but that was not to last. After that initial burst to start the game, Mt Zion started to take the air out of the ball and made WOG work for all they got. After 1 the score was 14-9 and the slow down was in full effect.
Mt Zion got a five quick points to start the 2nd quarter to get the game to within 2 and from that point up until the last 2 minutes or so of the game, there was really no separation of note between the 2 teams. Jaylen Fornes led all scorers with 8 at half for WOG while Travis Cook set the pace for Mt Zion with 7.
We got more of the same to start the 2nd half, slow, methodical basketball from Mt Zion. I will be honest in saying that it made for some boring ball to watch at times but what may be boring to the fans was actually really smart coaching from the Mt Zion staff. Mt Zion really can not run with WOG for a full game and the way they made the game slow down gave them the best chance to win. The problem with this approach though showed up late in the 4th quarter when WOG was able to ice the game away.
High School hoops, like most hops is all about runs and who gets hot when. WOG was able to get a 5 point lead with under 2 to go in the game and Mt Zion was not able to speed the pace up in order to really mount a comeback. Add that to the fact that they were in the bonus and that WOG had Mr Automatic from the line (Alex Moore) in the game and getting the free throws and you get a final that looks more one-sided than what the game really was. WOG walks out with a 53-43 win in this one. Player notes are as follows:
Early leads Shockers past Alabama
MBB: Early Leads Shockers to 72-67 Win over Alabama
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Cleanthony Early had a season-high 26 points and was a perfect 11-for-11 from the charity stripe as No. 11/9 Wichita State executed down the stretch to beat Alabama 72-67 and improve to 11-0 on the season.
Both Fred VanVleet and Tekele Cotton chipped in 11 points, while Darius Carter scored nine points and pulled down seven rebounds off the bench for Wichita State in the win. The Shockers shot 44 percent (22-50) from the field and made 25-of-27 free throws during the contest.
Wichita State jumped out to a 16-6 lead early in the first half that was highlighted by five straight points from VanVleet. VanVleet drained a three-pointer from the top of the key and followed it up with a layup off of an Alabama turnover.
Alabama took advantage of a four minute Wichita State shooting drought and cut the Shocker lead to 26-24 after a Retin Obasohan three-pointer and would tie the game at 26-26 on a Trevor Releford driving lay-up that capped a 12-4 Crimson Tide run.
Evan Wessel's offensive rebound and put back gave the Shockers a slim 29-26 lead with 2:07 to go in the first half but two Alabama threes by Releford and Rodney Cooper gave the Crimson Tide their first lead of the game at 32-31.
Tekele Cotton made two free throws in the final minute of the first half to give Wichita State a 33-32 lead at intermission.
The Shockers shot 45 percent (10-22) from the field and made 12-of-13 free throws in the first half, while the Crimson Tide shot 47.6 percent (10-21) from the field and 40 percent (4-10) from behind the arc.
Cleanthony Early scored the first five points of the second half and gave the Shockers a 38-32 advantage. Ron Baker found a cutting Early and Early threw down a base line jam to open up the second half, and followed the dunk with a corner three to increase the Shocker lead to six points.
Alabama cut the lead to 40-38 after a Cooper lay-up, but an old-fashioned three-point play by Darius Carter put Wichita State back up by five, 45-40 at the 12:43 mark of the second half. The Crimson Tide would take its first lead of the second half at 52-51 after back-to-back threes from Releford, but Baker connected on hist first three-pointer of the game that tied the game at 56-56.
Baker found Early again in transition for an easy dunk that put the Shockers up 62-59 with just under three minutes to play in the game. Early followed the dunk with a three-point play after a made jump shot and a free throw, but Cooper hit a three-pointer to cut the Wichita State lead to 65-64 with two minutes left in regulation.
VanVleet hit a running jumper and Carter had a crucial offensive put back as Wichita State made enough plays down the stretch to escape with a 72-67 win.
The Shockers are next in action on Sunday, Dec. 22 when they take on North Carolina Central at 7 p.m. inside Charles Koch Arena.
Keystone's Jesse Longmire D3hoops.com
November 23, 2013
Hoopsville Classic: Splitsville
By Rob Knox
The Giants unleashed a furious assault on the basket that yielded a 73-64 victory over the University of La Verne in the Hoopsville Classic Saturday afternoon at Stevenson University. It was La Verne's first loss of the year.
It was a much different strategy for Keystone than the one it used against Trinity in a loss on Friday. In that game, the Giants hoisted 45 three-pointers. Against La Verne, the Giants attempted 12 three-pointers. Instead of trying to shoot from distance, Keystone went hard to the rack. In ending a two-game losing streak, the Giants attempted more foul shots (42) than field goals (40) in earning the wire-to-wire victory.
Robinson and James Freshman Duo Making Big Contributions For Monmouth
Prep Phenom Hoop Report
Mt Zion Varsity V Carlisle School
December 3, 2013 by
Whatever gym 7′ 2016 F Thon Maker walks into is sure to create some buzz. Thon’s Carlisle School, fresh off a huge victory over Huntington Prep, brought their winning ways to Mt Zion to play their Varsity team. Carlisle School has only dropped one game this season, that was to Oak Hill (who they play again next).
From the get go this game’s pace was slowed down. Carlisle decided to pack into a zone and Mt Zion decided to take time off the clock. At half time the the score was 21-15. The Mt Zion Varsity wings did a good job getting into the lane and finishing. An attack led by 6’4 senior wing Britton Reed and his 8 first half points. 6’3 junior wing Travis Cook also had 6.
The second half was a different story, the game opened up a bit and Carlisle School gained the lead for good. Kick starting the charge was the interior play of 6’5 senior forward Kevin Cuesta and Maker. Cuesta had 9 second half points and Maker 11. 6’6 junior wing Kaleb Johnson had 5 rebounds and 6 steals in the second half, getting Carlisle School in transition for easy buckets.
Mt Zion Varsity utilized very quick and active hands in the lane. The first half would not allow Carlisle School to attack the basket. Once the second half came around and they began passing instead of attacking, things worked out better.
Carlisle School won the game 46-41 behind 16 points and 9 rebounds from Thon Maker. Kevin Cuesta and Malcolm Ndiaye had 9 points each and Kaleb Johnson had 5 points 8 rebounds and 8 steals. For Mt Zion Varsity Britton Reed finished with 14 points and Travis Cook finished with 12 points.
Thon Maker – The size to skill set is tantalizing. Shows perimeter skill, but was most effictive when he get in the post and used his length. Needs strength, but no denying big time skill.
Kaleb Johnson – Couldn’t get shot going, but found ways to affect the game regardless. Defends on and off the ball at a high level and a good rebounder for position.
Britton Reed – Fearlessly attacked the basket and was able to finish consistently and draw contact. Defended with a motor and made his free throws.
Travis Cook – Came off the bench to provide a spark to the team. Attacked the basket hard and finished craftily at the rim. Quick and active hands in the lane.
Draft Express NBA Draft Prospect Profile: Cleanthony Early
Top NBA Prospects in the Non-BCS Conferences, Part Two: (#6-10)
After being one of the top rated junior college players while at Division three Sullivan County Community College, forward Cleanthony Early made an immediate impact at Wichita State, culminating in an unexpected run to the final four that Early featured prominently in.
Wichita St.'s Cleanthony Early carries added motivation into Sweet 16
Justin Robinson soars for the Monmouth Hawks in loss to St. John's
November 23, 2013
NEW YORK (AP) -- Friday night marked 23 years almost to the day since St. John's last included Monmouth on its schedule. November 23, 1990 to be exact.
Judging from the surprising performance Monmouth turned in at Carnesecca Arena Friday, St. John's may want to wait another 23 years before seeing the Hawks again.
Early Named AP Preseason All-America 2013-2014
MBB: Early Named AP Preseason All-America
WICHITA, Kan. -- Wichita State's Cleanthony Early was named to the Associated Press' 2013-14 preseason All-America team as an honorable mention selection, it was announced today.
Early, a 6-foot-8 senior forward from Middletown, N.Y., is the first such honoree for the Shockers. The AP Preseason All-America Team was first announced for the 1986-87 season.
The honorees are below with school, height, year and votes from a 65-member national media panel (key 2012-13 statistics in parentheses):
Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State, 6-4, sophomore, 65 votes (15.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 4,2 apg, 3.0 spg)
Doug McDermott, Creighton, 6-8, senior, 63 (23.2 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 54.8 fg pct, 49.0 3-pt pct)
Russ Smith, Louisville, 6-0, senior, 52 (18.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.9 apg, 80.4 ft fg pct)
Andrew Wiggins, Kansas, 6-8, freshman, 42 (HS: 23.4 ppg, 11.2 rpg, 4.3 apg, 58.0 fg pct)
Mitch McGary, Michigan, 6-10, sophmore, 34 (7.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 59.8 fg pct)
Others receiving votes (alphabetical):
Isaiah Austin, Arizona State; Jahii Carson, Arizona State; Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky; Aaron Craft, Ohio State;Cleanthony Early, Wichita State; C.J. Fair, Syracuse; Aaron Gordon, Arizona; Gary Harris, Michigan State; Joe Harris, Virginia; Rodney Hood, Duke; Roy Devyn Marble, Iowa; James Michael McAdoo, North Carolina; Jabari Parker, Duke; Adreian Payne, Michigan State; Julius Randle, Kentucky; James Young, Kentucky
Early Named to Preseason Top-50 Wooden Award
Early Named to Preseason Top-50 Wooden Award
Published: Nov 12, 2013, 2:58:00 PM EST
Updated: Nov 12, 2013, 3:25:00 PM EST
Senior Forward Cleanthony Early has been named to the Preseason Top 50 for the John R. Wooden Award today on ESPN.com. Chosen by a preseason poll of national college basketball experts, the list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who are the early front-runners for the sport’s most prestigious honor.
The Middletown, N.Y. native helped the Shockers to the 2013 Final Four and represents Wichita State and the Missouri Valley Conference on the list. Early was a 1st-team all-MVC selection last year and the MVC Newcomer of the Year. He was tabbed the MVC Preseason Player of the Year for 2013-14.
Early has started two games for the Shockers and is averaging 16 points and six rebounds to start the 2013-14 season.
About the John R. Wooden Award:
Created in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award is the most prestigious individual honor in college basketball. It is bestowed upon the nation’s best player at an institution of higher education who has proven to his or her university that he or she is making progress toward graduation and maintaining a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA.
November 12th, 2013 4:52 pm
The 50-player preseason watch list for the John R. Wooden Award was released on Tuesday afternoon. To the surprise of no one, with freshmen allowed on the list for the first time, the young guys are well-represented.
Kansas (Andrew Wiggins, Wayne Selden Jr. Joel Embiid), Kentucky (Andrew Harrison, Julius Randle, James Young) each got three first-year players on the initial list, while Arizona (Aaron Gordon) Duke (Jabari Parker) and Indiana (Noah Vonleh) each got one.
A upperclassmen-heavy list, the non-freshman contingent is headlined by Creighton senior forward Doug McDermott, who 23.2 points and 7.7 rebounds last season, the Bluejays’ final one as a member of of the Missouri Valley Conference. McDermott, who will play this season as a walk-on after Grant Gibbs was granted a sixth year of eligibility, was named Big East Preseason Player of the Year last month.
The entire Wooden Award preseason watch list is below.
Players listed alphabetically
Photo: Associated Press
Hoop Group Top 100 – Event Recap
October 6th, 2013
New England Recruiting Report
B.C. Eagles Prove to be top dog in the areas best summer league
B.C. Eagles win there 2nd straight Rock Summer League Championship!
Second year in a row B.C. Face off against Coach Fodor however this year was a BC vs. BC Final!
BC Eagles-LaFrance - 78 vs BC Eagles-Fodor - 59
BC Eagles-LaFrance (Junior Champions) BC Eagles-Fodor (Junior Runners-up)
Hasahn French takes home the MVP and Jordan Bryan had a huge playoff and championship run as well.
BC Eagles Fodor was led by sharpshootervBrian Piccone who also had to step up and run some point guard in the absence of Tim Rybacki who was out with an ankle injury. Nate Samuels and Brian "B-Mac" McDonough had great playoffs runs too for the well coached BC Eagles-Fodor team.
Hasahn French, Ishmael Chisolm and Ruben Jimenez were three of the returning players from last years team. Also in picture are Marques Vaval and Anthony Salmon who were key pieces of last years team that won the chip. Those two along with Travis Cook(pictured) and Tuka Nugent(not pictured) served as Asst Coaches for this years summer league team.
Manhattan Elite Camp: Evals & Offers
August 26th, 2013
RIVERDALE, NY - On Sunday, over forty-five of the top 2014 - 2018 players in the metropolitan area assembled at Manhattan College for their elite camp.
CLASS OF 2014
The superior and primary players in the senior class were the already committed to the Jaspers. Samson Usilo and 6'8" Sam Akilo, both from Nazareth HS, and 6'8" Calvin Crawford (St. Thomas More/BC Eagles) all showed why Jaspers Head Coach Steve Masiello pulled the trigger and made the effort to acquire such talent.
CLASS OF 2015
Desure Buie (Wings Academy) - Coming off a stellar summer and multiple offers, Buie's point guard skills earned him an offer from the Jaspers early on. The junior showed his floor generalship as well as his abilty to score. While still on the thin side, Buie has been working on bulking up and it's beginning to show.
Rickey McGill & 6'5" Kai Mitchell (Spring Valley HS) - Both players from the Westchester school played well recently in the Ball by the Beach Tournament and continued with impressive performances at the Elite camp. Both players earned offers from the Jaspers on Sunday.
Juwan Gooden (Milton HS (MA)) - An uber fast guard, Gooden rose to the top of the food chain as the 6'2" junior got to the rim at will. While he had some hiccups finishing, Gooden is definitely player to watch.
Jonathan Nwankwo (Monsignor Scanlon) - As his skill set continues to progress, the 6'9" big has become a player to watch. Showing the eagarness and ability to run the floor and bang at both ends of the court, Nwankwo already holds an offer from Manhattan amongst others. The junior made his mark on the camp early but unfornunately had to leave early as well.
Cheyenne Nettleton (Brooklyn Collegiate) - The 5'10" point guard caught the eye of Jaspers coaches by surprise. Displaying good basketball IQ and a nice balance between passing and scoring, Nettleton's assist to turnover ratio put the junior in the forefront on Sunday.
Joel Wincowski (Lake George HS) - The 6'2" junior, who led his team to a Class C state championship with 33 points, lived up to the hype as he shot his way into the coaches favor by knocking it down from the perimeter consistently.
Jonathan Middleton (Holy Spirit HS (NJ)) - - The 6'3" junior was solid finisher at the rim. A relentless and powerful guard, Middleton who plays for Team Final during the summer is a player to watch as his game develops and diversifies.
Players of Note: Jashiya Smith (6'0"/John S. Burke HS/BC Eagles), Mike Jurzyzewki (6'4"/ Masters School/BC Eagles), Marlon Adams (6'3"/Middletown HS/BC Eagles)
- See more at: http://nychoops.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1540801#sthash.TuZztNOe.dpuf
NERR Elite 75 - Frosh Recap I
September 18th, 2013
Paul Lazdowski & Derek Marchione
Summer Jam Fest: Day 1 Notebook - City of Love Basketball
Josh Verlin (@jmverlin)
The Hoop Group’s biggest tournament of the July live periods got underway on Friday afternoon, with hundreds of teams in multiple age brackets taking the courts at various locations in and around the city. I was at Philly U and Penn Charter, taking in the early rounds of the 17U main bracket. Here’s a notebook of several players, from the D-I to D-III level, that impressed:
Calvin Crawford (2014/St. Thomas More/B.C. Eagles)
At 6-8 and 185 pounds, Crawford is a skilled combo forward with a nice jumper and decent bounce, though he definitely has to add some weight to his frame. That’s one reason he’s attending St. Thomas More this year for prep school before attending Manhattan College next fall.
“I heard a lot of good things about coach (Jere) Quinn, how he can help your game and help you get bigger and ready for the next level,” Crawford told CoBL; he’ll be focusing on “just getting stronger, getting my handle better and focusing on defense a lot” in his prep year.
Crawford was one of three New York-area players to commit to Manhattan on Wednesday, joining Samson Usilo and Samson Akilo, both from Nazareth HS. He picked the Jaspers over offers from Towson, Vermont, Binghamton and LIU-Brooklyn.
“Just Steve Masiello and their whole tradition there and they recruited me really hard,” Crawford said about why he chose Manhattan. “They got two other commitments from Riverside so I said ‘why not?"
LIVE IN AC: DAY 1 NOTEBOOK - City of Love Basketball
LIVE IN AC: DAY 1 NOTEBOOK
Posted on July 25, 2013 by jmverlin
The final week of the 2013 July live period is also the final week of the 2013 AAU season. Elevate Hoops’ Live in A.C., the last major area event, tipped off on Wednesday with a number of high-profile 17U teams matching up in showcase games before bracket play starts Thursday morning.
Eric Carter (2014/Jackson Memorial/Raritan Roundballers)
One player clearly enjoying his final week of AAU ball, Carter left his usual Team Final program to join the Raritan Roundballers this week mostly for a chance to play with Matt Farrell.
“We knew each other kinda from the Shore Conference, being some of the better players in the league,” Carter said. “And then we just kind of hooked up over the summer and we’re pretty good friends now, it’s cool to play with him.”
Back in June, Carter had a long list of offers that included Drexel, Delaware, Fairfield, Vermont, New Hampshire, Binghamton, Florida Atlantic, St. Peter’s, Buffalo and Rider; he’s now added scholarships from High Point, Towson, Monmouth and Northeastern (who he said will offer upon his visiting the campus).
After this week, he plans on cutting his list to “about eight” schools, with a few planned official vists.
“I’m planning definitely Fairfield and I want to visit Florida Atlantic so I’ll take an official down there,” he said. “I want to take a couple unofficials to some schools too and then after that I’ll start my officials whenever I possibly can and hopefully get my commitment done towards the end of September.”
Those unofficial visits will include “definitely Northeastern, Towson, Quinnipiac and probably a few others–Vermont, maybe.”
Satchel Pierce (2014/Kiski Area HS/Team Adidas)
The biggest body on the courts at Atlantic City High School on Wednesday night belonged to Pierce. A 7-foot, 250-pound center, Pierce certainly has the size to play at the highest levels of college basketball.
He told CoBL he has offers from “Kansas State, Texas Tech, James Madison, Drexel, Cleveland State, Miami (Ohio), Kent State, Florida International, Duquesne, and more,” with Texas Tech offering after the last week of the live period and Kansas State coming aboard in June. He cited interest from Michigan, Notre Dame, Indiana, Pitt and Penn State.
Pierce’s biggest asset, aside from the obvious, is his passing ability; he made several nice outlet passes and had a few nice high-low looks in the post. He’s working on his endurance and his body, saying “I didn’t really lose a lot of pounds, I lost a lot of fat and turned it into muscle.”
At Kiski, Pierce was teammates with incoming Drexel freshman Major Canady, a 6-3 combo guard who seems likely to take over at point from rising senior Frantz Massenat next year. The two helped lead Kiski to its best season ever, reaching the finals of the state’s independent school tournament.
“Me and (Major) have got a real good relationship, coming from when we played on Ohio Basketball Club last year together, we hit it off real well together,” Pierce said. “And (at) Kiski it just started getting better.”
Justin McFadden (2014/Lower Merion/Jersey Shore Warriors)
Not usually thought of as a scorer, McFadden has been a consistent double-digit scoring threat over the last few weeks for Jersey Shore. It’s a trait he’s certainly going to have to continue at Lower Merion, which needs players like McFadden and Jule Brown to step up with seniors B.J. Johnson (Syracuse), Yohanny Dalembert (James Madison) and Raheem Hall (prep school) moving on.
“We’re just going to go out there, we have to work hard to make up for what we lost but we have a group of guys who are willing to work that hard,” McFadden told CoBL.
A high-academic prospect, the 6-5, 200-pound wing is hearing from Columbia, Penn, Yale and Colgate. McFadden had earned his minutes for his defense, energy and rebounding, but lately he’s been putting the ball in the basket more often as well. His skill set is certainly coming along, helped by his attending a John Lucas skills camp out in Oklahoma last month.
“It just helped me build my skills up so I can be comfortable handling the ball,” he said. “It was more than ball-ghandling, it taught us about the whole entire game, how to handle tempo and deeper things like that. Helped me meet a lot of new people as well.”
While he’s playing well with the Warriors in the AAU world, his summer isn’t purely limited to sports.
“I’m actually doing a sports business program at Penn,” he said. “It’s just professors in the sports business field come in and speak to us, so we learn a lot about the industry.”
Jackson Donahue (2014/Northfield Mt. Hermon/RI Hawks)
This is a big week for every rising senior, especially those who might not be rising seniors. Donahue has one offer, from Vermont; if that number doesn’t increase by the time the live period ends, he might not stay a 2014 prospect for long.
“What’s circling around which a lot of people don’t know,” he told CoBL, “is that if I don’t make a decision, I think the decision might be I will reclassify. Because I’m going to be a 2014 going into Northfield but I can still change that and I might, if necessary, go to 2015.”
A 6-foot, 165-pound combo guard, Donahue can be described in one word–shooter. He dropped 21 points in a win on Wednesday night, hitting four from 3-point territory. He’s not purely one-dimensional, however; he’s got a good handle and has the ability to run his team’s offense, though he’s clearly at his best coming off screens with range out to the NBA 3-point line.
Donahue’s older brother, Sam, took a similar route at NMH, doing a postgraduate year before accepting a preferred walk-on spot at Boston College with a chance to earn a future scholarship. Right now, Jackson Donahue said Quinnipiac, Yale and Brown among others, were looking at him, but that option of taking an extra year is looking better and better.
“I didn’t think it was going to be necessary,” he said. “Coach (John) Carroll thought it would be good for me, but we just weren’t sure at this point; but now looking back on what my brother has accomplished in his two years and how he’s grown as a player, I’m really starting to think that can expand what I can do on the court.”
–A rising junior playing up with the 17Us, Kason Harrell (Hempfield Area/Team Adidas) is a solid-bodied guard with a nice skill set. The 6-3, 190-pound combo guard scored 11 points in Team Adidas’ loss to the B.C. Eagles, hitting a 3-pointer, a midrange jumper and a floater as part of his outing. So far, Harrell said he has no offers and only has gotten some interest from Liberty, but based on the way he played on Wednesday night he certainly should start getting looks this school year.
–Todd Hughes (2014/Sanford/WE R1) had another solid showing with ; With a few days remaining in his final live period, he’s got one offer from Wagner, and he said he’s hearing from Florida Atlantic, Northeastern, Northwestern and Fairfield.
–Final note of the night goes to an intriguing forward from New York. Eric McCollum (2015/Newburgh Free Academy/B.C. Eagles) just moved up from the Newburg Zion Lions, and the 6-7, 195-pounder is certainly raw but was an active body around the boards. A two-sport athlete, he said he’s “used to the contact” and was perfectly comfortable banging around in the paint. If he continues to work on his skill set and develops a jump shot, he could be a late-blooming mid-major type player by next summer.
Former Quinnipiac basketball star Justin Rutty signs new contract
Valley Central's Crawford commits to Division I Manhattan
After another year of developing and working on his game, Valley Central center Calvin Crawford planned on making his college decision while at prep school this coming winter.
The plan has changed, however, and Crawford has verbally committed to play at Division I Manhattan College on a full athletic scholarship, starting in the 2014-15 season.
This year, he will attend St. Thomas More School in Oakdale, Conn.
"I just decided to do it," said Crawford, a 6-foot-7 Varsity845 first-team all-star who averaged 23 points and nine rebounds for Valley Central last season. "I just thought that Manhattan was the best fit for me. It's also a big stress reliever for me."
When Crawford chose St. Moore in May, he had full scholarship offers from Vermont, Binghamton University and Long Island University. Loyola (Md.), Towson State and Manhattan later made offers to Crawford, who said he also visited Marist. Like Marist, Manhattan plays in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
Crawford said he first stood out to Manhattan coach Steve Masiello playing at a tournament in Massachusetts in April with his AAU team, the BC Eagles. Manhattan went 14-18, including 9-9 in the MAAC, last season.
"I like coach Masiello," Crawford said. "He is young and he is aggressive. I definitely think this was the right decision for me."
BasketBull Summer Chip 17U Evals
July 18, 2013
BasketBull Summer Chip 17U Evals
BasketBull 17u Summer Championships concluded Sunday evening with USAD of Connecticut knocking off the Juice All-Stars and the Westchester Hawks to take home the title.
With many Division 1 and 2 coaches watching throughout the weekend, players stepped up and showed off high level skill sets in trying to prove they could play for the coaches watching. Here are player evaluations from some of the top talents on display in Ardsley this past weekend.
Isaiah Whitehead, 6'4" SG, Juice All-Stars (Abraham Lincoln '14)- Listing him as a shooting guard, but for much of the weekend he was in control running the point. He ran it well too, making solid entry passes when needing too, but he just seemed more comfortable making plays with the ball in his hands. He would really show off his lead guard skills by beating defenders and pulling up for jumpers that proved his 5 star status. Was an incredibly tough on ball defender too, really shining in that end in the quarters against the RI Hawks 16 team, getting his hands into passing lanes and finishing beautifully in transition,
Samson Usilo, 6'4" SF, Riverside Hawks (Nazareth '14)- Usilo really showed his athletic ability to rise above defenders and get up for dunks Friday night, but on Saturday and Sunday the most intriguing thing Usilo showed was an improved jump shot. He has always been athletically gifted, and a very good defender, but his perimeter shot was inconsistent and a bit slow, but he has good a more consistent motion going now, and less arc, which seems to have helped his shot as he was as good with his shot this weekend as he has been, which makes him an even better mid major D1 prospect.
Rickey McGill, 6'1" PG, House of Sports Elite (Spring Valley '15)- An electric point guard who made a big statement in his team's first two games on Saturday by using a quick first step, and getting around screens to hit floaters in the lane, showing good IQ by not running into waiting big men to take the charge. He is a righty who has a strong left, and didn't have any issue going left when forced to. He also looked good in the Friday evening game against the Rhode Island Hawks, and playing up in the 17u division really is helping McGill develop and get well deserved exposure.
NY/Metro Area Recruiting Updates
July 20, 2013
There were a lot of interesting developments to come out of last weekend's Basketbull Summer Championships in Ardsley, NY.
Basketbull Summer Championships 2013
Over 95 high school teams will be battling in Westchester county in front of Division I, II and III college coaches. We have already heard from schools in many major conferences and expect a great turnout of scouts at the event.
All teams will play a showcase or exhibtion-style game on Friday night and bracket play will commence in the AM for all age groups.
Some teams to keep an eye on this weekend in the 17u:
BC Eagles - Bobby Rahn has a really solid cast that always seems to quietly make runs in the bracket. 6'7 Calvin Crawford is a formidable recruit and add in Jack Dwyer at the point and 6'4 Travis Cook on the wing and you have a talented group.
BasketBull Summer Championships MVP and All-Tournament team
July 17, 2013 New England Hoop News Staff
The BasketBull Summer Championships wrapped up Sunday withUnited Sons and Daughters (USAD) capturing the 17u crown over the Westchester Hawks. The star of the championship game, Isaac Vann, who scored 33 points, was named the Most Valuable Player for the Summer Championships.
The 6-foot-4 Bunnell High School star scored 17 points in the quarterfinals and helped USAD advancce to the finals in a semifinal win over Juice All-Stars (N.Y.) led by top-25 recruit Isaiah Whitehead (Lincoln High/Brooklyn, N.Y.).
The Summer Championships MVP currently holds an offer fromSacred Heart among interest from more than a dozen Division I programs
Vann is also a member of the All-Tournament team, joining the following:
Bobby Ahearn, F, Metro Boston
Kyle Bouchard, G, Maine Athletic Club
AJ Brodeur, F, Rhode Island Hawks
Willem Brandwjik, F, Metro Boston
Schadrac Casimir, G, USAD
Paschal Chukwu, C, Connecticut Basketball Club
Calvin Crawford, F, B.C. Eagles (N.Y.)
Jahman Delancey, G, USAD
Samuel Dignba, F, Westchester Hawks (N.Y.)
Levy Gillespie, G, Connecticut Basketball Club
Tanner Hyland, G, Maine Athletic Club
Patch Kehoe, G/F, CT Gold
Jafar Kinsey, G, Metro Boston
John McCarthy, G/F, Middlesex Magic
Tyreik McCauley, F, Blackstone Valley Chaos
Duby Maduegbunam, F, Boston Warriors
Brendan O'Shea, G, Lone Wolf
Jayvon Pitts-Young, G, MBNation
Tim Preston, G, Rhode Island Hawks
Ryan Roach, G, South Shore Wolfpack
Isaiah Robinson, F, Middlesex Magic
Ian Sistare, G, Rhode Island Hawks
Malcolm Smith, G, Rhode Island Hawks
Jalen Terry, G/F, Westchester Hawks (N.Y.)
Brandon Wheeler, F, USAD
Thomas Whipple, G, CT Northstars
Former Quinnipiac Basketball Standout Justin Rutty Signs with Boulazac
June 18, 2013
HAMDEN, Conn. – Fresh off one of the most distinguished seasons in the history of Switzerland's top professional basketball division, former Quinnipiac University standout Justin Rutty has agreed to join the Boulazac Basket Dordogne franchise in France for the 2013-14 season.
The Newburgh, N.Y. native excelled in Switzerland last year and was contacted by Boulazac at season's end. Boulazac is one of 16 teams in the Pro National Basketball League A, the first-tier men's professional league in France. Boulazac welcomes Rutty with open arms after missing out on the playoffs this past season. Terms of the contract were undisclosed.
"On behalf of the entire Quinnipiac Men's Basketball program, we are all very excited about Justin Rutty signing a new contract with Boulazac in Paris," said head coach Tom Moore. "After earning MVP honors in Switzerland a year ago, this is the next logical step in his professional career. Justin is happy and excited about this latest challenge and our staff, current players, and his former teammates are all very proud of him."
In the 2012-13 season with BBC Nyon, Rutty was the Swiss LNA's third-leading scorer as the 6-foot-7 power forward averaged 20.8 points per game. He also tallied 11.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 steals per outing and was named All-Swiss LNA Import Player of the Year at the end of the season. On November 3, 2012, Rutty broke his single-game personal career scoring record with 33 points in home win against BBC Boncourt. Later in the season on January 19, 2013, Rutty broke his personal career single-game record in rebounds with 21 boards against Benetton Fribourg Olympic - eight of which came on the offensive end. He added 23 points to complete a stellar all-around night.
Rutty, who still sits alone at the top as the Northeast Conference and Quinnipiac All-Time Leader in rebounds (1,032), led the Swiss League in rebounding, points and evaluation. Rutty started his pro career in Uruguay during the 2011-12 season where he played for Aguada. He compiled 13.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game in the LUB. A Hard-working, active scorer and rebounder at the power forward position, he has continued to improve his ball-handling skills and fitness to run court like a small forward.
Last year's Boulazac roster featured five players hailing from the United States. Among those names are Tyler Smith from the University of Tennessee and Darryl Monroe of George Mason. The 2013-14 season will begin in October and run through the month of May.
Please refer to the Official Website of Quinnipiac Athletics, www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com, for the latest news and events pertaining to the men's basketball program. When finalized, the 2013-14 Men's Basketball Schedule will be available for download at www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com for all mobile devices, including iPhones and iPads, as well as all desktop computers.
Middletown wing is Cookin
July 2, 2013
Westchester guard shows his game
One of the more under the radar prospects locally is Middletown HS 6'4" rising senior guard Travis Cook.
It's been a very nice spring so far with Cook showing off a versatile all around game with the B.C. Eagles and in various team camps. He has shown excellent range from the perimeter, while also showing an excellent first step in getting to the basket. His versatility is something that Cook feels helps him stand out.
"I consider myself an all around player who can do lots of things on the court to help my teams. Anything I can do to get the win is what I'm willing to do," Cook said.
His progress on the court has helping him draw quite a bit of Division 1 interest. While he hasn't gotten that first offer yet, Cook says he is hearing a lot from Manhattan, Iona, LIU-Brooklyn, Wagner, Canisius, Brown, and Bucknell. While the offer hasn't come yet, that is something that Cook hopes to change soon.
July is a big month and I'm really hoping playing in some big events will help me get the offer, but if it doesn't happen that's ok. It will just motivate me to keep working and push myself even harder.
With that attitude and desire to be the best, expect Cook to be a big name to follow in the weeks and months to come.
Pine Bush, Sullivan grad Early hopes to impress NBA scouts
Kingston’s Robinson verbally commits to Monmouth
UVa's Mike Tobey picked for U.S. U19 World Championship team
UVa's Mike Tobey picked for U.S. U19 World Championship team
The rising sophomore will join UVa coach Tony Bennett on the team's trip to the Czech Republic.
Associated Press | File February
Virginia’s Mike Tobey, who averaged 6.8 points as a freshman for the Cavaliers, joins coach Tony Bennett in the U19 World Championships.
Associated Press | File March
N.C. State’s C.J. Leslie (center) drives between Virginia’s Evan Nolte (right) and Mike Tobey (left) in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament.
Doug Doughty | 981-3129
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Virginia men’s basketball coach Tony Bennett, already headed to the Czech Republic as an assistant coach for the U19 World Championship, was pleased to learn that he will have some Cavalier company.
Bennett will be joined by Mike Tobey, who averaged 6.8 points for Virginia as a freshman this past season.
Bennett said that Tobey, who measured 7 feet in shoes during tryouts in Colorado Springs, Colo., is the tallest player on the team.
The roster includes rising sophomores Rasheed Sulaimon of Duke and Louisville’s Montrezl Harrell; an incoming freshman, Arizona-bound Aaron Gordon, who was the MVP of the McDonald’s All-America team; as well as the No. 1-rated college prospect for 2014, Jahlil Okafor.
Not making the cut were a pair of Tobey’s fellow 2012-2013 ACC freshmen, Robert Carter of Georgia Tech and Wake Forest’s Devin Thomas.
Bennett and VCU coach Shaka Smart will assist head coach Billy Donovan .
“I tried to be very careful because I’ve been in this selection process before,” Bennett said. “I tried to be Switzerland ... neutral.
“Billy Donovan made a joke. He said, ‘This tournament ought to be played in Switzerland because that’s how you’ve been.’ Deep down inside, I wanted [Tobey] because I knew how good it would be for him, but there’s so many people on the selection committee.”
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim was involved in the process, along with Matt Painter of Purdue and Lorenzo Romar of Washington.
“Everybody’s there,” said Bennett, referencing Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, coach of the 2012 Olympic team, “so there’s a lot of eyes watching [the trials] and a lot of experience in what this team will need overseas.
“I probably shared a couple of things but I really wanted to stay out of it. I think that’s wise when you’re coaching a team and there’s a potential player [from your team], unless it’s a clear-cut choice.”
The U.S. team will be headed abroad shortly, with the U19 championships taking place in Prague from June 24-July 6.
It will be the second trip to Europe in less than a year for Tobey, who took part in an exhibition series last summer that took the Cavaliers to The Netherlands, Belgium and France.
The rest of Virginia’s team already has assembled in Charlottesville for conditioning and limited drills allowed by the NCAA.
“What I like about this is, they’ll get back the start of July,” said Bennett, who has another player, rising senior Joe Harris, headed to Colorado Springs for World University Games tryouts June 24-30.
The World University Games will be held from July 7-16 in Kazan, Russia.
“It’s not like, ‘Gosh, we’re going right into school,’ ” Bennett said. “There’s a bigger break. That’s why as a coach, I’ve always tried to take these foreign tours in June if possible.”
Tobey played some of his best basketball during the last month of the 2012-2013 season, most notably when he scored the tying basket in regulation and the winning basket in overtime in a 61-58 victory over Maryland on March 10.
“It’s hard to say how much he’ll play,” said Bennett, noting that Tobey is up to 245 pounds. “He’s stronger and he’s worked very hard to improve his game.
“He was solid in the tryouts. No one just dominates in these things. You look for flashes and there were flashes when Mike showed his touch, his passing. Hopefully, he’ll show more good stuff in the practices and when he gets out there.”
Cleanthony Early ready to showcase talents at Durant camp
If Kevin Durant is up for a game of HORSE, or something more challenging, so is Cleanthony Early.
“I’ll play him one-on-one, definitely,” Early said. “I would definitely want to do that.”
Who wouldn’t? Early, Wichita State’s senior forward, leaves Friday for Durant’s Nike Skills Academy in Washington, D.C. His goal is to improve his skills and boost his reputation with NBA scouts.
The top players from this weekend’s Durant camp are invited to the LeBron James Skills Academy in July in Las Vegas. Early’s junior season at WSU, helped by a 24-point, 10-rebound game in the Final Four, thrust him into NBA view.
“I want him to show his skills and perform at a high level, so that he can improve his draft stock and visibility going into this year,” WSU coach Gregg Marshall said. “This is about him being a more well-known and highly sought-after player a year from now.”
Rosters for the Durant camp will be announced Friday. Early said Tyler Harris of Providence will attend and Creighton’s Doug McDermott is considering participating for a second year. Media reports list Michigan’s Glenn Robinson III as another college invitee. The players will work out once Friday and twice on Saturday and Sunday.
“I’m there for my teammates and it’s a way to get Wichita State out there, just by having a representative,” Early said.
Early (6-foot-8) averaged 13.9 points and 5.4 rebounds last season, shooting 45.5 percent from the floor and 31.8 percent from three-point range. Much like McDermott after his sophomore season, Early wants to round out his offensive game by improving his dribbling and ability to drive and score. Defense is another area where increased concentration and practice can help.
“With defense, it’s staying low and getting stronger in my legs to where I’m comfortable in certain positions for a long period of time,” he said. “It’s all about endurance and being used to it and doing it like it’s second nature.”
Early chose the Nike camp over a chance to try out in Colorado Springs for the World University Games. He decided eight days of tryouts, plus a trip to Russia in July, didn’t mesh with his goals for the Shockers. The time commitment for the Nike camps is significantly less.
“I didn’t think it would be a good fit for me to go all the way out there and miss almost a month of trying to get together with the new guys and build that chemistry,” he said. “I know how important that is to spend that quality time with the guys.”
Early, Jean train for success
Kingston’s Robinson verbally commits to Monmouth
Calvin Crawford gearing up for NEPSAC Class AAA with St. Thomas More
May 29, 2013 Terrence Payne
Calvin Crawford is getting familiar with New England this summer after playing at the Hall of Fame New England Championships, Providence Jam Fest and Hall of Fame Spring Classic over the past few months with the B.C. Eagles (N.Y.).
The 6-foot-8 forward will make New England his permanent address this fall when he enrolls at St. Thomas More for a post graduate season following his senior season at Valley Central High School where he averaged 23 points and nine rebounds per game.
The reason behind going prep was to build on his slender frame and increase his recruitment.
"This year will help me get bigger and stronger," Crawford told New England Hoop News. "When I heard about Coach (Jere) Quinn and how he is at St. Thomas More, I knew he would help me get ready for the next level."
Crawford enters St. Thomas More holding offers from schools like Quinnipiac, LIU-Brooklyn Canisius and Binghamton. He also has received interest from Fairfield, Niagara and James Madison. This past season Quinn sent players to six different Division I programs.
Crawford mentioned the competition he faced last year was pretty good, but understands that it is another level when he joins NEPSAC Class AAA next year. He'll have to get ready for a stacked Brewster Academy frontcourt headlined by Syracuse commit Chris McCullough, as well as New Hampton's Tory Miller and Northfield Mount Hermon's Josh Sharma.
"Well it starts now by working now through the whole summer," Crawford said. "When I get to St. Thomas More, I'm just going to play hard anytime I get the opportunity to play in front of coaches.
"Eat a lot. Work out a lot. Work hard at practice and just take advantage of all the opportunities I have in front of me."
St. Thomas More finished with a 28-4 regular season record this past season, losing to Brewster in the NEPSAC Class AAA final.
Follow Terrence on Twitter: @terrence_payne
2013 GymRat Challenge All Tournament Selections
Jack Dwyer (5-10 point guard) BC Eagles/Burke Catholic H.S.: High IQ point guard who does a great job of running a team’s offense. Capable of penetrating the seams against opponents. Prototypical point guard with terrific court vision. Finds openings in a defense and delivers perfect passes to teammates in scoring position. Showed both a perimeter shot and a floater, but prefers to give up the ball. Keeps low with dribble, impossible to get ball away from him. Low Ivies, academic D-III’s showing interest.
Kena Gilmour (6-4 forward) BC Eagles-LaFrance/New Paltz H.S.: Long, lanky athlete with good size and a smooth left-handed three-point stroke. Runs the floor well and attacks the rim effectively. Gets off the floor well for rebounds. Had a few nice blocks here. Shows lots of potential and improving skills.
16U Honorable Mention
Aaron Ray (6-2 forward) BC Eagles-LaFrance
Ro Hamilton (5-9 guard) B.C. Eagles/Middletown H.S.: Great passer from the point-guard position. Sees floor extremely well, particularly in transition, and delivers the ball to open teammates. Constantly moving with or without the ball. Really understands the game. Solid defender, who has active hands in the passing lanes to get deflections/steals.
13U Division --- Honorable Mention
Evan Roberts (6-1 center) BC Eagles
WSU's Cleanthony Early invited to Kevin Durant Nike Camp and USA Basketball Team
Wichita State Wichita State’s Early drawing plenty of attention
Published Saturday, May 11, 2013, at 6:50 p.m.
Updated Sunday, May 12, 2013, at 8:11 a.m.
Cleanthony Early’s performances in the NCAA Tournament are earning him a chance to play high-profile summer basketball.
He is considering invitations from the Nike Skills Academy, hosted by NBA star Kevin Durant, and from USA Basketball to try out for the World University Games.
“Two great opportunities,” Early said. “I’ve got to weigh the options.”
Early is leaning toward the Durant option, because it requires less time away from summer classes. While the idea of traveling to Russia in July for the World University Games is appealing, the disruption to his academics is not. Tryouts for the 12-man team are June 24-July 1 in Colorado Springs. The games are played July 7-16 in Kazan.
“I would have to switch my major,” he said. “I would have to take all my classes online. With school, (the Nike camp) is less of an issue.”
The Nike Skills Academy for is June 28-30 in Washington, D.C. Durant works with college forwards while Deron Williams (guards) and Amare Stoudemire (big men) lend their names to similar camps. In July, the top players from those camps are invited to the LeBron James Skills Academy in Las Vegas. Creighton’s Doug McDermott and Illinois State’s Jackie Carmichael participated last summer.
Early’s professional potential moved in and out of focus during the season. His games against Iowa (25 points, nine rebounds) and Southern Illinois (39 points) made the NBA look realistic. Losses at Northern Iowa and Southern Illinois, in which fouls and poor shooting plagued him, showed he had work to do.
Then came the NCAA Tournament, and Early seized the moment to lock himself into the NBA picture. His double-double (24 points, 10 rebounds) in the national semifinal loss to Louisville made sure of that. Any scout who watched him soar for offensive rebounds to keep the Shockers in the game had to be intrigued by Early’s athletic ability and aggressiveness.
Predictably, Early heard from agents who wanted him to consider leaving school and applying for the NBA Draft. He decided another year of work at WSU offered the best return on his potential. Early needs to improve his ball-handling to add more driving to his game. Better shot selection could improve his 31.8-percent shooting from behind the arc. He needs to play better defense, avoiding silly fouls and mental lapses.
“Of course you think about it, but you’ve just got to ultimately make a decision on whatever you think is best for you,” he said.
Basketbull Hall of Fame Classic
It was a busy weekend of basketball in Massachusetts, and Saturday saw action in two main events a long way from each other. First, we checked in on the Hall of Fame Spring Classic in Amherst, then headed to the Massachusetts AAU Final Four in Foxboro.
One team that won a pair of games early in Amherst was the BC Eagles, who have a couple of notable wing prospects. Calvin Crawford (6’8″ Sr. SF, Montgomery (NY) Valley Central HS) appears to have the higher ceiling, and he looked better here than in limited viewing last month as he had transition finishes and stickbacks. Teammate Travis Cook (6’4″ Jr. SF, Middletown (NY) High) is a baby physically with some length, which he used to poke the ball away a couple of times. While slight, he’s athletic and is worth keeping an eye on.
B.C. at 2013 Providence JamFest w/Hoop Group and Under Armor
Providence Jam Fest: Saturday’s 25 Top Performers
By May 12, 2013|
On Day One of the Providence Hoop Group Jam Fest, several breakthrough performances highlighted the action. From current seniors hoping to fine tune their game and make one more impression on potential schools for the coming season, to rising seniors and juniors who, if they haven’t started receiving collegiate interest, will surely begin to receive that interest in the near future.
While these players listed below where not the only ones who garnered attention, here is a list of the top 25 performers from the first day of action in Providence.
Jack Dwyer | 5-10 | Burke Catholic High School (N.Y.) | 2014
Michael Coffey| 6-1 | Burke Catholic High School (N.Y.) | 2014
Providence Jam Fest: Day Two Standouts
By May 12, 2013|
The 2013 Providence Hoop Group Jam Fest concluded today, several breakthrough performances highlighted the action. From current seniors hoping to fine tune their game and make one more impression on potential schools for the coming season, to rising seniors and juniors who, if they haven’t started receiving collegiate interest, will surely begin to receive that interest in the near future.
While these players listed below where not the only ones who garnered attention, here is a list of the top 20 performers from the 2nd day of action in Providence.
Calvin Crawford| 6-8 | St. Thomas More (Conn.) | 2014
Coffey, Crawford and Dwyer all made All-Tournament team as the 17u B.C. Eagles advanced to the Elite 8.
16u B.C. Eagles went 2-1 on the weekend.
14U B.C. Eagles advanced the furthest out of all the B.C. Teams advancing to the Championship before losing by 3 points in the final!
B.C. Eagles Soar
May 9, 2013
B.C. Eagle players get offers & commitments
Most recently, one of their alumni made a national splash on the college level as Cleanthony Early led Wichita State to the NCAA final four and was selected to the 2012-14 second team all American. Other B.C. Eagles have also made a splash on the recruiting scene.
NYCHoops.net caught with B.C. Eagles head coach Bobby Rahn who updated us on the progress of some of his key players.
Robinson chooses Monmouth!
MONMOUTH ADDS GUARD
May 9, 2013
Early named 2013-2014 Pre-Season All American
Cleanthony Early headlines the 2013-2014 All American Second Team
Cleanthony Early, Wichita State: Trying to reframe Wichita State's Final Four run as predictable would be disingenuous. It wasn't. The Shockers lost five starters last summer. They were a No. 9 seed. They finished 5-5 in their final 10 regular-season games, including a couple of truly ugly losses. Predicting them to get past the various heavyweights in their region -- Gonzaga, Ohio State, New Mexico, Wisconsin -- required a quadruple order of onions.
Having said that, Wichita State was not VCU 2011. The Shockers spent much of the season ranked in the top 25 in both the human polls and the efficiency rankings, and -- and this is the point here -- they always had the kind of physical, athletic talent that made them a high-major wolf in a mid-major sheep's clothing. Case in point: Early. He probably could have played at any number of high-major programs coming out of high school, but he had personal issues to deal with -- he was a "knucklehead" in his high school class, as he put it after the Shockers' Sweet 16 win over La Salle, and the death of his brother played a role in his choice to stay close to his mother at DIII Sullivan County Community College in New York. Now that Early -- one of the most dominant players on the floor in the tournament, an inside-out threat with NBA athleticism and skill -- has put all that behind him, it's fair to expect a big senior season in Wichita.
SNY's Preseason All-American Teams 2013-2014
May 4th, 2013 11:02 am
Now that we know Who’s In and Who’s Out of the NBA Draft, it’s time to look ahead to the 2013-14 college basketball season.
Here’s a look at the SNY Preseason All-America teams as compiled by Adam Zagoria and SNY Big East analyst Tarik Turner.
PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA FIRST TEAM
F Doug McDermott, Sr., Creighton
F Andrew Wiggins, Fr., Undecided
C Mitch McGary, So., Michigan
G Russ Smith, Sr., Louisville
G Marcus Smart, So., Oklahoma State
PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA SECOND TEAM
F Cleanthony Early, Sr., Wichita State
F Julius Randle, Fr., Kentucky
F Adreian Payne, Sr., Michigan State
G Gary Harris, So., Michigan State
G Aaron Craft, Sr., Ohio State
PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA THIRD TEAM
F C.J. Fair, Sr., Syracuse
F Chane Behannan, Jr., Louisville
C Willie Cauley-Stein, So., Kentucky
G Andrew Harrison, Fr., Kentucky
G Rodney Hood, So., Duke
Hall of Fame Championships at Wesleyan College - "LIVE" Period 2013
Hall of Fame New England Championships - 2013
April 23, 2013
Over 160 teams and 125 college coaches descended on the heart of Connecticut to take part in the 5th annual Hall of Fame New England Championships. The event has grown into one of the top LIVE period events in the Northeast and this was evident by the fact that every major conference on the eastern seaboard was represented, including the ACC, Big East, A10 and more.
Top Performers in the Tournament - 17u
Calvin Crawford, 6'7, 2013, BC Eagles - Crawford was MVP of the tournament last year in the 16u, and could have been the same this weekend had his team taken the title. Very crafty and efficient around the rim, Crawford has a knack for making the right play. Finished with 33 points in the championship loss to CBC.
Travis Cook, 6'4, 2014, BC Eagles - Cook exploded for some good games early on in the weekend and his play never let up. Cook is a good athlete that can also step out and shoot the three-ball.
Stan Buczek, 6'6, 2013, BC Eagles - A strong and burly forward, Buczek finishes pretty well around the rim and can face up. Could see him finding a home in the NE-10.
This weekend Wesleyan University hosted their annual Basketbull event that saw top teams from all over the northeast region come to Middletown, Connecticut to compete for a championship. By the end of Sunday, due to NCAA Live Period rules not permitting teams to play more than three games in a day, the 17u bracket saw two champions be crowned, CBC and the New Jersey Pirates.
Cleanthony Early's best game came in losing cause for Wichita State
Wichita State’s Cleanthony Early throws down huge dunk over Louisville [GIF]
There was a 60-second block of time in the early Final Four game on Saturday that did not go quite as planned as Louisville might have liked. First, an airball, then, nothing but dunk city.
You are supposed to hear such phrases as ‘wide right’ at the Georgia Dome, but that is for football games, not with Russ Smith trying to shoot a three-pointer.
Yikes. After that and a second Loo-ville turnover, this happened:
Most folks had not heard of Wichita State until the ninth-seeded Shockers’ Cinderella run through the NCAA Tournament.
Well, Cleanthony Early just introduced himself to the nation with this massive dunk.
Cleanthony Early dunk helps Wichita State take halftime lead over No. 1 seed Louisville