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Corey Chandler taking visits to nearby colleges

August 27, 2009 Comments off

Following up on the earlier post, Corey Chandler is looking at Binghamton and St. Bonaventure to transfer to now that he has been dismissed from Rutgers. Personally, I’d like to see the Bonnies land an impact player… even though there is some evidence that he has some work to do in his shooting. And those two teams have game planned against him before, successfully:

  • He went 1-6 against St. Bonaventure last year (3 points, 2 assists, 3 turnovers) in 19 minutes;
  • 2-7 against Binghamton (9 points – 6 free throw attempts, 2 assists, 6 turnovers, 6 rebounds);

And during the non conference schedule, Chandler dropped these clunkers:

  • 0-7 against Rider (0 points, 6 assists, 2 steals, 4 turnovers);
  • 3-10 against Delaware State (12 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 4 turnovers)

Chandler had some decent games as well:

  • 7-13 against Lehigh (15 points, 1 turnover)
  • 5-11 against North Carolina (14 points, 2 assists, 2 turnovers)
  • 7-16 against Pittsburgh (where they looked like they might pull off the big upset until Pitt went to zone defense, slowing Chandler and Mike Rosario in the second half, Corey had 17 points, 8 rebounds, 2 turnovers)

Watching a highly regarded player move from one college to a lower level is always interesting; athletic ability should allow that player to be a superior competitor, but the mental aspect of the game has to come as well. Talent is little without shot selection and knowledge of teammates.  Some players transfer and fade into obscurity… others really thrive.

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Anthony DiLoreto to Utah State

August 26, 2009 3 comments

Being tall really does get you a chance, as stated earlier: Anthony DiLoreto, famous nationwide for participating in a botched bank robbery (and stealing a tank of gas for said robbery), has a scholarship from the Utah State University Aggies and Coach Stew Morrill.

If he’s good, we’re going to get those gauzy-toned ESPN specials with gentle piano/ organ music, a downplay of what the player did, and how he’s on the right track. I suppose everyone should get a second chance… but I do feel like there are some very hypocritical moralists out there who will say DiLoreto “paid his debt” or “deserves a second chance” or “will be better because he’s living with Mormons” just because he plays for Utah State. Armed robbery is much worse than:

  1. affairs
  2. cheating on one’s SAT’s
  3. and possibly, worse than stealing laptops, like AJ Price and Marcus Williams of U Conn.

Just so you know where I stand.

Official press release from Utah State; coverage from Deseret News.

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A Few Thoughts on John Calipari

August 21, 2009 1 comment

(Pico’s note: this is by Raycroft, the head and Reverend of the Church of Bracketology.)

What a strange couple of weeks in College Hoops have just passed. I am not even going to touch the Pitino story.  We will save that for another day.

But, I do have a serious gripe with the John Calipari/Memphis situation and as the Reverend of The First Church of Bracketology, it is hard for me to just sit back and be quiet. (And, thanks to The East Coast Bias for providing me the forum.)

All I hear from people, time and time again, is how John Calipari is dirty and it is ‘only a matter of time’ before it catches up to him. It’s a simple thought because in these times of steroids and hanging chads, there is a natural skepticism from anyone when someone the other side excels to the top.

John Calipari has coached two Final Four teams and both times they have been vacated.  That’s right, Memphis too.  See, it’s happening again.  But, what is he guilty of? What has he done wrong?  What rules has he broken?

…I’m still waiting.

Exactly.  According to the NCAA, absolutely nothing.

In the case of UMass, it was Marcus Camby who took money from an agent, forcing the NCAA to retroactively declare him ineligible thus vacating their Final Four and their wins. Honestly, anyone that knows college sports knows that coaches sometimes break the rules to recruit a player – which may involve money – but a coach is never going to suggest that his player break the rules freely on his own.  If Cal knew anything about the Camby taking money from an agent beforehand, it would be to advise him against it because he knows the repercussions.  And, if he knew about it after the fact, he certainly would not blow the whistle. The argument that Cal was behind that is ridiculous Roveian spin. I have argued this many times with the Barstool Pundits I have met over time.  It goes a little something like this:

BP: Well, you know he know he was paying Camby anyway.

Me: I don’t believe that.

BP: Come on, we all know that.

Me: Really, What evidence do you have?

BP: You just know it.

Wow, so simple. We have many lawyers who are members of the Church of Bracketology, and I’m sure that none of them would even think of walking into to a court room with that as his or her case (I like to believe that my friends are a little bit intelligent.)   I have not seen any evidence to make that case, so until then I do not believe that Cal was involved with Camby’s incident.  But, I will also admit that it is possible that Cal has some violated rules to get where is. I am not going to just ‘know that’ because he seems to be very very good at his job.  I think I am the only person who ever asked the question, “Could he just be that good?”

With Memphis going down this week, the Barstool Pundits have now made their case, so they think.  Seriously, that tells you something when the same coach has another Final Four vacated for playing an ineligible player.  However, once you dig into the case, unlike the UMass case, which was pretty straight forward, you find some major problems with how the NCAA handled it. First, the NCAA Clearinghouse ruled Derrek Rose eligible to play by NCAA rules. Calipari started him. Then the NCAA says his SAT scores were ruled invalid, thus making him ineligible.  When Memphis questioned the NCAA Infractions Committee because the NCAA Clearinghouse made the error, the Infractions Committee said the Clearinghouse couldn’t be trusted to be accurate.  Really??  They are the same people!  There is so much more to the Rose case too which screams of incompetence, it is amazing that this got as far as it did without a smoking gun.  But, that is another story.

Despite what the Barstool Pundits believe, in both the UMass and Memphis situations, the NCAA did not rule that John Calipari committed any infractions.  Therefore he is not punished, so the NCAA had each school’s Final Four vacated.

The question still stands – Is he that good?  There is no doubt that he is ‘that good’ of game coach, ‘that good’ of an ambassador to the community and the media.  But, is he ‘that good’ of a recruiter to land top players at little schools.  Or, is he just ‘that good’ at hiding it all; the Ronald Reagan of college hoops, which nothing sticks to?  Since my agenda is to enjoy college hoops and not rip people down without evidence because they ‘seem shady’, I will believe the first one.

Reverend M.J. Raycroft

The First Church of Bracketology

www.churchofbracketology.com

I highly suggest reading two stories:

1. Matt Vautour’s (UMass beat writer) article about vacating Final Fours:

http://gazettenet.com/2009/08/21/ncaa-vacating039-penalties-have

2. Mike Decourcy (College Hoops correspondent to Sporting News) article about how Memphis should not get penalized:

http://www.sportingnews.com/nba/article/2009-08-20/ncaa-let-rose-play-so-why-does-memphis-have-pay

Wrong place, wrong time, he’s still tall: on Anthony DiLoreto

July 28, 2009 3 comments

You may have seen that CBS’ Gary Parrish wrote that Anthony DiLoreto is out of jail, facing two felony charges… all while playing with an AAU team in a tournament in Las Vegas, and has a scholarship offer from the Rick Majerus and Saint Louis University.

Anthony DiLoretoYou may also know (possibly from this blog or others) that Anthony DiLoreto was the getaway driver in a bank robbery in Wisconsin, near to where DiLoreto lives in Minnesota. This was in the summer (2008) before the lanky center was to report to the Cal Poly campus. Way to party your summer away.

Now I’d like to say I’m all for second chances. But I think it’s suspect that athletes, at times, find themselves in the “wrong place, wrong time” like Tyreke Evans who happened to be the getaway driver after a fatal shooting but didn’t know what was going on. At least there is some deniability there. But in DiLoreto’s case… this is certainly less deniable, unless there are some facts we don’t know about.

And does it matter? His compass is obviously off, and not by a little; this is no hormonal aggressive teenager abusing a woman. This is no friend/ homeboy with a beef that erupts into a fight or even a shooting. Those things are wrong, those actions are illegal, but they happen enough that when crimes happen, a person can be allowed to come up with caveats, hike down from the moral high ground, and cheer on that player. Much, much respect to the people who don’t; but I understand the line of thinking.

But a bank robbery? Saying no one got hurt when one party had a sawed off shotgun (unloaded, supposedly), and a getaway car? The potential for real uninvolved innocents to get hurt while just going about their day – that’s real. That, honestly, is the kind of crime that should put a fear in people. The fact that no one got hurt should not mask the possibility of what could have happened. This is not a crime that is in the normal course of athletes being assholes.


The sliding scale of crime heinosity that a bank robbery is on can be debated; but the way college basketball is, if the kid can play, he will be considered if he is eligible (i.e., not in jail) to play. And that is the long and short of it. And the fact is, his profile has never been higher. He has a plea bargain scheduled

Anthony DiLoreto should never have told Parrish what school offered him a scholarship. I would think that kid like that would want to keep a low profile. He’s not obligated to answer questions. Moreover, I would bet cash money that he does not get in to St. Louis; the school’s students can muster up some Catholic moral high ground.

But whatever happens with that school, as long as he can avoid much of his jail time, we will hear a story about how he has gotten better, realized his mistake. We heard it with AJ Price and Marcus WIlliams. Those two Connecticut players were given gauzy screened, soft-music treatment by the sports media once their penalties were up. All DiLoreto has to do now is sign with a decent school, get on a CBS Saturday afternoon game, and watch the sympathetic stories come in…

It’s the way of college basketball.

Jason Kidd Doesn’t Chase ‘Em

August 13, 2008 Comments off

May Andersen modelThough he is no longer on the east coast, Jason Kidd’s dating life is amusing to watch.

Remember those classic lines from Biggie’s One More Chance (lyrics NSFW)? The original, not the remix with Mary J. Blige. Well, Jason Kidd, he’s breaking up with his current model girlfriend May Andersen. The Danish former SI swimsuit model (also famous for dating Kid Rock and hitting flight attendants) has been partying too much and it was distracting to Jason Kidd’s Olympic preparation, apparently.

In totally unrelated news, the Big Lead passes on the note that Olympic organizers passed out 100,000 condoms at the Olympic Village… since other Olympics ran out.

Keep it wrapped, J-Kidd.

Updates to Roster

June 26, 2008 Comments off

Check out the StJ08-09 page for updates to the official roster, as taken from St. John’s Official Site.

Note that Sean Evans is taking Larry Wright’s old number 5, and DJ Kennedy has given up his number 10 to Quincy Roberts, taking the number 1 instead. That’s a lot of responsibility, Kennedy!

Sports Linx 06.26.08

June 26, 2008 Comments off

Astros pitcher Shawn Chacon choked general manager Ed Wade during an argument.

In Euro 2008, Turkey finally loses. But not without another ill last 15 minutes goal, which was answered in the 90th minute by a German goal for the win.

Tonight is the NBA draft; Chad Ford and Bill Simmons chat about the top picks (I like Chad Ford’s work, and his comments here).

The University of South Florida recruit Dwan McMillan has problems with his academic record and will likely not suit up for South Florida this coming season.

Photos from the Steve Nash charity soccer event in Manhattan, including Theirry Henry, Baron Davis, Raja Bell, Leandro Barbosa, and Jason Kidd.

The Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy disagrees with he feasibility of Brandon Jennings’ European basketball plan, making salient logistical points. I don’t agree with all his assertions, but why would a European team make an investment, and then, why would they play him?:

It starts with the notion there would be a huge market for a player in Jennings’ circumstance. His stated intention is to be a part of the 2009 draft. So why would a European team want to make any sort of investment in him? The agent wouldn’t rule out the possibility that some rogue owner might take a flyer, but he considers it highly unlikely. He said it’s not like it was when Danny Ferry was lured to Europe for a time after he went No. 2 overall in the 1989 draft. The money is not as loose for American players now.

“The only guarantee with contracts in Europe,” he said, “is that you’re guaranteed not to get all the money you’re expecting.”

There also is the fact we’re talking about Jennings, not LeBron James or Greg Oden or even O.J. Mayo. Jennings is an appealing prospect for the Arizona Wildcats, but he is not nearly as well known or established as some of his predecessors. He is a score-first point guard, and European coaches, who tend to be “play the right way” types in the Larry Brown mold, are unlikely to be excited about his style.

Many teams in Europe are loathe to play the young talents that are homegrown and under contract. French big man Alexis Ajinca should be one of the first international prospects taken in Thursday’s draft; he averaged 11 minutes a game for Hyeres-Toulon last winter. Turkish center Omer Asik, another first-round prospect, got about 18 minutes a game for Fenerbache in Euroleague competition.

In order to actually play, Jennings might have to go to a much lower level where the salaries are limited and collecting at payday can be an adventure. Indeed, if any of those teams will have him.

This is not the revolutionary moment in basketball that opponents of the NBA’s draft age limit dream it to be. Even if Jennings were find an interested team, sign a lucrative deal, navigate the likely cultural and linguistic barriers, crack his team’s lineup and excel on the floor — he’s more likely to go 0-for-5 in those pursuits than 5-for-5 — this still would not be the best avenue for elite prospects to follow because it removes players from the consciousness of the American sports fan.

NCAA antagonists have convinced a generation of players their time in college basketball is uncompensated, but it’s a lie. Beyond the education, living expenses and high-level training provided to all Division I basketball players, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony signed contracts with Nike worth a combined $81 million based on the reputations they gained in one college season each — Durant as 2007 national player of the year, Anthony as 2003 NCAA Tournament most outstanding player. They became famous, and therefore their endorsements became valuable, because of college basketball. There would be precious little marketing appeal in a player who went from Oak Hill Academy to Europe.

Brandon Jennings, European Explorer

June 23, 2008 8 comments

compassTo catch you up: recently, it’s been tossed about that top high school recruit, Brandon Jennings, might skip out of his commitment to the University of Arizona and play in Europe, due to some discrepancy in his scores on his SAT attempts:

“It’s something I’m considering now,” Jennings said. “I still want to go to Arizona but if things don’t go right, I’m considering going overseas.”

Jennings said he will get his standardized test results back next Thursday. This is the third time he has taken a standardized test. Jennings said he was red-flagged for a jump in his score from the first to the second test. He said he didn’t know his scores.

“The first time I took it I didn’t try, the second time I did so I had to take it a third time,” Jennings said.

Arizona assistant coach Mike Dunlap said Friday that the staff was well aware that Jennings was looking into playing overseas.

Overseas? No one does that. Like… not in a college?

Brandon Jennings at Oak HillIn Europia?

Now there is a solid idea – the NBA’s age limit is a restriction on young people to earn a wage out of high school. And while I am sure people would like to think that sending these kids to college is extremely helpful for their lives, it’s more of a revenue generator for the umbrella organization (NCAA) and the school that has a “contract” to the player. That contract is spelled out in favorable terms for the school – they provide education, room, board, coaching, and travel. But do those players value those items equally? From all accounts, many players are there to showcase themselves for professional basketball options. The education value is low on their totem pole.

It’s always interesting to see players hustling to get that qualifying score for their college, by the way. Makes me wonder sometimes what their friends and even AAU coaches are doing – you got to qualify to become a star! Or else you become, well, Lenny Cooke. How bad are those high school grades… or how “good” are they?

(And if he does go to college, will the NCAA give an extra long look at his high school and collegiate transcripts? You know, to see if he is really going to that Golf 101 class? To see if he really passed biology?)

So, Brandon Jennings really might go to Europe to ball? From today’s New York Times:

“I think people just develop better over there,” he said. “You’re playing professional ball for a year, you’re playing against guys who are older than you. I’ll constantly be playing basketball 24-7. I don’t have to worry about school and things like that.”

On the surface, that sounds troubling. In reality, forcing talented players who otherwise would be drafted to spend a sham year in college does not advance higher education. The N.C.A.A., the N.B.A. and the union created a class of hired guns.

“For a person that plays ball, our dream is to get to the N.B.A.,” Jennings said. “College is like, O.K., we’ll do this one year, but our real mind-set is that we’re trying to get to the league, take care of our families. They’re making us do college so we feel like, Let’s do one year, go to class half the time.”

Jennings could play a role in redirecting the pipeline that carries N.B.A.-ready talent from high school to college, in which the best players are forced to mark time for a season. There are not many options.

A player could go to the N.B.A. development league. He would be eligible to play in the league because he is a high school graduate, but he couldn’t be called up to an N.B.A. roster. He would become eligible for the N.B.A. draft the next season.

Jennings will receive his test scores on Thursday. He’ll huddle with his mother, Alice, to determine whether to go to Arizona for the obligatory year or go to Europe to begin his pro career.

What’ll it be: Spain or Paris, or Tucson? Being compensated —half a million to a million Euros, or receiving room, board, tuition and a telephone book of N.C.A.A. regulations?

He would come into the N.B.A. with money and maturity after having lived abroad for a season or two. This is true education, the kind of education an elite college basketball or football player will be hard pressed to receive inside forced study halls, where the primary objective is to stay eligible.

Brandon Jennings flat topHe’ll probably get into Arizona, and this commentary on playing somewhere else might be a smart shot of early media exposure/ spectacle. It don’t matter. I love this. As, of course, does Ball in Europe. There is an issue with the cultural difference. Moreover, the lack of worldliness that many Americans have is likely magnified by playing in the high school basketball bubble, where a top player is surrounded by other top players who know little about the outside world and coaches who obviously focus more on the jump shot than on life skills.

Brandon’s gonna have to take his moms with him. Even then, that is going to be rough. But it would be a bold move to take the risk and take that road less traveled, playing against better competition. And Jennings can feature it on his website/ fan site.

Will he get enough playing time? Is he physically developed to play on the top levels of Euroleague (he is 6′, 165 lbs, a little light), or will he need a couple of years to make his mark? Will people think that the flat-top do is back? Will Paul Shirley meet him and call him a moron in his next book (Which will be okay, it’ll just mean that Shirley’s jealous and bitter)?

But, as Juan Carlos Navarro proves, sometimes the money’s good, or even better than the NBA’s rookie scale. Cash money has a lot more value, at least in the short run, than some fluff classes and a second-round exit in the NCAA Tournament. Coupled with the better competition, and the fact that most NBA teams scout Europe heavily… go for it, player.


College Fast Break makes note of how some commenters (on the ESPN article) are remarking about how “dumb” he is. The kid is probably not a moron. The problem is the differing scores on the SAT test, one qualifying, one not qualifying.

And for a young man who has not been preparing for the test, answering the questions is more “cram” than it is “knowledge”. Some highly intelligent people have trouble with the test. And without preparation, those folks get some terrible scores.

Moreover, the SAT is not the only measure of intelligence, though those scores are treated as such. The guy is a point guard, which requires different intelligences – spatial reasoning, for one. If he hasn’t been planning on actually graduating college, one could see how the SAT is, frankly, a waste of his damned time.

Good luck to Brandon Jennings and I would love to see this happen. College ball is a farce for many “student”-athletes, and everyone knows it. Players have to realize that there is a world of basketball out there, countries to see.

But if the European coaches start coming to AAU events, they need to remember that most indoor venues are no-smoking.

Sports Tip Drill 06.16.08

June 16, 2008 2 comments

Me? I’ve been summering it up and welcoming expatriate New Yorkers, watching the trees twist in the wind when it storms, and watching Euro 2008. Are you NOT watching this? This tournament is reminding me what good futbol/ soccer can be – tense, ridiculous, with leads just hanging on a string.

We were cheering for Turkey (there’s Turkish history on my fiancee’s side, and I didn’t like the cut of the Czechs’ jibs), but while they were fighting to tie the game up, they gave up a second goal. All was lost… until it was not. The first goal was nice, but the second (how the keeper didn’t hang on to that ball was beyond me. Or a testament to being tired.) and third were the comeback we never thought we would see. Absolutely incredible. I haven’t said that many holy sh*ts since… well, it’s been a long time.

edit: Deadspin’s narrative about the game. I can go on for days about how incredible this was.

(I can’t embed the video from MySoccerMedia, so enjoy video highlights of Turkey vs. Czech via link, please.)

Only thing: the freaking goalie makes a save and, to the side, shoves an opposing player, getting kicked out with a red card. In the 91st minute. So he’s out for the next game. Nice work, dude.

+ Top NYC guard Lance Stephenson lists his prospective schools as Kansas, UCLA, USC… and possibly St. John’s, in the way that vowels sometimes include “Y”.

+ This is how South Florida creates a program: another guy with eligibility problems in Gus Gilchrist, former Maryland recruit… who was a Virginia Tech recruit before that… will now transfer to USF. He’s highly regarded, and a great get for Stan Heath:


As a senior at Progressive Christian, Gilchrist averaged 22.3 points and 10.3 rebounds. He initially signed early with Virginia Tech in November 2006, but opted out of his letter of intent because of the tragic April 2007 shootings. He enrolled in Maryland in January 2008, but the Atlantic Coast Conference ruled Gilchrist would not be eligible until January 2009 and would lose a year of eligibility because he had previously signed with another ACC school. This decision prompted him to leave Maryland.

“No one ever told him about it [the transfer rule],” Woody said. “They sprung it on him. He could have gone to any school in the country after Virginia Tech.”

Maryland’s appeals to have Gilchrist eligible this fall were denied, so that’s why Gilchrist left Maryland, Woody said.

Woody said USF would begin the process Monday to appeal to the NCAA for a hardship waiver that would allow Gilchrist to play this season at USF. If the appeal is not successful, Gilchrist would not be able to play at USF until the 2009-10 season.

+ Costs to Indiana University from the Kelvin Sampson basketball violations.

+ Voluntary restrictions for college coaches with respect to letters of intent for pre-high school athletes? Myles Brand finds them untoward, and the National Association of Basketball Coaches is looking for a voluntary ban on signing kids who can’t drive to basketball commitments.

Meniscus repair+ West Virginia forward Joe Alexander is staying in the draft (where he can’t beat up on St. John’s anymore). Kansas State forward Bill Walker hurt an already-injured knee, but wants to stay in the draft. Jeff Goodman reports that it’s a partial tear in the meniscus. What’s that, you ask? To the right is a picture of a knee.

+ Ray Allen left after last night’s NBA Finals game after hearing learning about a health issue involving one of his children, possibly diabetes. Good luck, Ray.

+ Rashard Mendenhall has some beef with Ron Zook and the Illinois football program. H/T to AOL Fanhouse.

+ Zach Randolph and his entourage get into a fight in Portland. *Smacks Head*

+ Becky Hammon is playing for Russia in the Olympics, though she has no ancestral ties.

+ Willie Randolph might be safe from being fired, but Mr. “I can fix Victor Zambrano in 10 minutes” Rick Peterson might be looking into unemployment benefits.

Sports Links 06.06.08

June 6, 2008 1 comment

The hurried, unvetted version.

- Derrick Rose as the new Stephon Marbury? I like the comparison, in a sense; I didn’t see a lot of passing from Mr. Rose, and I don’t really know how to evaluate a player in the dribble-drive system which looks like… advanced streetball to me. He’s no Chris Paul, and if saw Chris Paul in college, the only worry would be if he would be marginalized because he was small (and not a great shooter), that dude could PASS.

- Please watch the Coco Crisp/ James Shields fight (third video in this post from Out In Center Field), because that fight is one of the better ones I have seen: Crisp takes umbrage with a hit that he kinda deserved, he avoids a pretty solid-looking punch from Shields, then the Rays Dioner Navarro pulls down Crisp. Jonny Gomes gets some blows in and then Akinori Iwamura, who took the rough slide from Crisp that escalated the beef, gets in some sucker punches. I don’t know what Carl Crawford’s doing there, though.

- Maryland’s basketball program is in turmoil. Catch up here.

- Adam Zagoria and Dick “Hoops” Weiss also have picked up on Phil Wait’s commitment to St. John’s men’s basketball program. Even with no official announcement… looks like he’s coming.

- Instead of taking a whole lot of lumps in Bryant’s first season in Division I, Bryant University coach Max Good decides to take on an assistant coaching job at Loyola Marymount in LA, working under Bill Bayno.

- Possible white bias in the NBA finals? Hey, if Dan Engber wrote it, it must be true (he’s from the old HS, after all).

And Chris Bosh’s interviews at the NBA Finals for the Jay Leno show:

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