Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Peep The Score's Court Cuts for November 30th, 2010

This week's Court Cuts from The Score!

Birdman, Jeff Green, Amare Stoudamire, Rudy Gay, Derrick Rose, Derrick Rose and more DR, De Andre Jordan, Marvin Williams, Charles Outlaw and Russell Westbrook dunking over everyone on the Houston Rockets! Enjoy!

NBA highlights, it's fantastic!

Monday, November 29, 2010

MHC's Nairen Duncan should change his last name to "Dunkan" after shattering backboard!

Nairen Duncan
Photo Courtesy of http://www.huskiehoops.com/
 Medicine Hat College(MHC) in Alberta's Nairen Duncan got the game off to a shattering start this past Saturday against the SAIT Trojans. First play of the game he goes up for a two-hand cram and brings the backboard down as it crumbles into pieces with only 14 seconds played in the game...
The game had could not continued and is rescheduled for this coming Friday December 3rd.
It's a 3 minute clip that starts with a scoreboard shot while the Canadian National Anthem is being sung.
So you can forward it to the tip off at the 2 minute mark and watch from there!

Check out the video evidence below:

Here's the story from the Medicine Hat News...Click HERE.

Looks like Duncan is a transfer from Saskatchewan...Check out his bio HERE.

Head Coach Ben Julius is the younger brother of my good friend Kyle Julius of A-Game Hoops
here in Ontario. So the family has a great basketball pedigree including father Stu Julius a long
time women's basketball coach in the OUA! Coach Julius even had a stint with the Orlando Magic
a couple of years ago when they went to the NBA Finals against the Lakers!

Rattlers Head Coach Ben Julius' Bio

Coach Ben Julius is entering his first season with the Rattlers program. He is extremely excited to be the bench boss for the 2010 – 2011 campaign. Ben has been coaching at various levels for the past 9 years.
Julius started coaching high school then quickly moved to an assistant position with Wilfred Laurier University. From there he went south to become a member of the coaching staff with Canisius College, a division 1 program. Ben continued his education as a coach by working with the NBA’s Orlando Magic for the 2008 – 2009 season. His travels brought him back to Canada and the University of Manitoba, where he spent last season as the lead assistant for the women’s program.
Ben’s mix of experiences has created a coaching philosophy that is combined with education, community outreach, and hard working basketball. Coach Julius believes that hard work is the key to success and is excited to instill that philosophy within the Rattlers program.

Coach Ben Julius
Photo Courtesy of http://www.acac.ab.ca/

 Some more info HERE on coach Julius!

Here's the link to the Rattlers' website.

There are a couple of Ontario natives on the squad as well...include Tyler Courtney and Hamilton's Jamar Coke.

MHC Rattlers Roster

2010/2011 Rattlers Roster
Photo Courtesy of http://www.rattlers.ca/

Hope you liked that!


Champions: Vaughan Voyageurs
Photo Courtesy of Spud Light Productions

The 30th Annual Humber College Classic went off without a hitch as some of the top high school players from the GTA and beyond took the court at the top notch Humber Athletics Center at Highway 27 south of Finch in the west end of Toronto.

Silver Medalists: Eastern Commerce Saints
Photo Courtesy of Spud Light Productions

The tournament included the Henry Carr Classic Champions Vaughan and star Andrew Wiggins along with Henry Tan, Troy Reid Knight and Roshane Roberts. Also participating were the Henry Carr Crusaders featuring Richard Adu, Tevin Messam and Kenrick Lewis who went down to Vaughan in their tournament final. Eastern Commerce was back in the fold after losing the Bronze medal game at the Carr Classic with a line up that is bolstered by Aaron Best, Kevin Kamba and streaky shooter Tyrone Arriri. The field also included more star power as the Anderson Raiders were looking to make a name for themselves among the giants in the GTA hoops scene. They are led by rising star Dyshawn Pierre fresh off a bronze medal at the FIBA World U17’s and Justin Edwards who enhanced his status as a baller to watch this season with a sensational performance in the Bronze medal game against Carr. More star power needed?...well how about future Gonzaga Bulldog Kevin Pangos and his scrappy bunch of ballers from Denison in Newmarket. Rounding out the talented draw were the Ascension Eagles featuring emerging star Camall Brown But without the injured Bikram Gill; Oakwood with Kevin Blake, Isaiah Watkins and Tyrell Bell Green; and Windsor Holy Names led by Chance Hallas their leading scorer in the team’s 2 losses.

Interview with Vaughan forward Andrew Wiggins



The first day went pretty much as expected as Vaughan, behind 25 points from Roshane Roberts easily downed Ascension 84-57. Brown dropping 29 for the losers. In the next game Anderson barely squeaked by Oakwood 50-48 as Pierre and Edwards notched 20 points each and Tyrone Bellot-Green poured in 18 for the Barons in the loss. The thing I got out of this game was the ability of Pierre to affect the play in several ways, including His unyielding motor, ability to cover ground all over the court, blocked shots and altered shots and moves in the post. Despite having a slightly awkward release on his shot, Pierre showed that you can’t leave him open outside either burying several threes as well. In the 3rd game, the depth of the Carr team was too much for super PG Pangos as his Denison team hung tough early with Carr but Kenrick Lewis’ 15 points helped the Crusaders advance in the pool.Holy Names also held tough in the first quarter and a half but Eastern’s relentless defence and pressure was too much for the Windsor squad. Aaron Best was flying all over the court for dunks and blocks scoring 16 while Holy Names’ Chance Hallas scored 10 in a losing effort.

Interview with Eastern Commerce Forward Kevin Kamba

Day 2

This was the day everyone was looking forward to as the Championship semis featured Vaughan against Anderson and Eastern versus Carr in a rematch of the Carr Classic semis in which Carr defeated the Saints. Revenge was on the mind of Eastern Commerce while the Vaughan/Anderson tilt would feature a match up with FIBA World U17 bronze medal teammates Wiggins and Pierre!
Back to that in a minute...as Denison looked to rebound against defending OFSAA Champions in the Consolation final. They both got thereby beating Holy Names and Ascension respectively and Pangos needed to rebound from a tough loss to Henry Carr the night before; and rebound he did! It seemed that the Barons were at the mercy of the 6’1” pg as he showed an array of skills and moves to either get to the rim or drain outside shots. His step back three was insane as he buried 5 trifectas in the game, 25 first half points en route to a 33 point performance that had many in the crowd, obviously watching Pangos for the first time, extremely impressed. “oohs and aahs" could be heard several times Pangos lit up defenders and their outstretched arms. Combine that with several tasty no-look dimes and feeds to open shooters and it was one of the most complete games I’ve seen in a while at the high school level. I’ll tell you, I’ve covered "KP" as I call him since May of this year and his attention to detail, fundamentals, and work ethic are unparalleled amongst his peers. Folks, Mr. Pangos is the real deal.

Interview with Vaughan guard Troy Reid-Knight

Back to the semis; despite a fast start for Pierre and Anderson, Vaughan was just too deep and talented for the Durham region power. Wiggins and Tan led Vaughan with 13 apiece while Pierre poured in 21 in an array of shots, including threes, and some impressive post moves with Wiggins guarding him down low and trying to make his life miserable. Anderson went down but look for them to be in the mix come OFSAA time with Pierre and Edwards who dropped 35 in the bronze medal game leading the charge.The other semi was a tight one for much of it as Carr looked like they would take it over Eastern again but fell apart in the 2nd half.  Streaky shooter and one of the best scorers and one-on-one players in the GTA, Tyrone Arriri was unstoppable scoring 24 points in a 72-62 OT win. Kenrick Lewis led Carr with 19 points. So the final was set as Vaughan would take on Eastern Commerce who were looking to avenge two previous losses earlier in the season to the Voyageurs!

Henry Carr Coach Paul Melnik always teaching.
Photo Courtesy of Spud Light Productions

The Final

Eastern came out flying out the gate and led it 17-6 after 1 quarter. But the Voyageurs, led primarily by some great defence by Roshane Roberts, came back to make it a game in the 2nd quarter. Roberts read passing lanes for steals that enabled he and his squad to run out on the fast break and close the deficit. A disturbing trend for Vaughan has been slow starts in big games, including last year’s OFSAA semis against Hamilton's St. Thomas More where they get down by double digits(26 points) and had to climb back in it by putting on mad full court pressure for the rest of the game. Their starting game intensity will have to improve going forward.

Interview with Eastern guard Ammanuel Diressa

But in the 2nd half Vaughan was flying on all cylinders pulling to within 7 after three and then their frenetic defence allowed them to finally take the lead late in the fourth for the first time in the game(61-59) with a minute left. Throughout the fourth it was a tight affair and it was Best and James Sylvester who paced the Saints. Best led his team with a game-high 17 points using his frenetic full-court game to keep his team in it. While Sylvester nailed several tough jump shots, contested or not, for Eastern.
Down the stretch the game was really intense as either team could have won it and then Reid Knight decided to make his mark taking and making two cold blooded threes to give Vaughan the victory. Roberts was also clutch hitting pull-ups and spinning drives until an ankle injury forced him out of the game midway through the last frame.

Captain Sy Samuels receiving the Humber Hardware
Photo Courtesy of Spud Light Productions

Wiggins, who was coming of an MVP at the Carr Classic wasn’t super spectacular like at the Carr Classic but he was more than solid notching a few nice rim rockers as well as tremendous defence and rebounding inside for the Voyageurs while finishing with a game-high 22 points. Wiggins also showed an outside prowess knocking down some three pointers as well. He’s so long and athletic, that even at 15 years old he is miles and miles ahead physically than 98% of the players playing SENIOR ball! This young man is a special talent and if he improves his shot mechanics a bit, including at the free throw line and develops a mid range game, he will be pretty much unstoppable in the future!

Vaughan celebrating with Champions Hats
Photo Courtesy of Spud Light Productions


So the Voyageurs won their 2nd tournament  69-65 in a thriller and lay claim as the pretty much undisputed number 1 team in the GTA if not the province! They will have to stay humble and remain focused though because the rest of the elite have taken notice and all teams will be gunning for them over the next several weeks. They host their own tournament  December 2-3rd so there’s no time for the team to rest on their laurels. An even-keel attitude and the ability to not let early season success cloud their end of season goals will be paramount for their continued success. Great tournament...I was disappointed by the lack of big crowds but kudos to the Humber College staff and volunteers for a job well done!
Hooptown GTA has the rankings after the tournament . Check them out HERE!

Interview with Vaughan Head Coach Gus Gymnopoulos

Hooptown's tournament summary HERE!

Tournament All Stars:

Tournament MVP: Andrew Wiggins(Vaughan)

All Stars

Henry Tan(Vaughan)
Roshane Roberts(Vaughan)
Kevin Kamba(Eastern Commerce)
Aaron Best(Eastern Commerce)
Justin Edwards(Anderson)
Dyshawn Pierre(Anderson)
Kenrick Lewis(Henry Carr)
Tre Boutiler(Henry Carr)
Kevin Pangos(Denison)
Camall Brown(Ascension)

Hooptown GTA also has a pic of some of the tournament All-Stars as well...HERE!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Myck Kabongo nets Triple Double as Findlay smashes IMG!

Myck Kabongo
Photo Courtesy of http://www.ny2lasports.com/phenomnation/player_details.aspx?playerid=164

Looks like IMG really misses Canadian big man Dwight Powell!

Courtesy ESPN.com Recruiting on the trail!

Findlay College Prep (NV)Scouts Grade: 97 ESPN100 Rank: 10 Position Rank (PG): 2

Mykc Kabongo's triple-double powers Findlay

November 20, 2010
Findlay defeated IMG academy 136-69 on Friday night. The Pilots had seven players in double figures and excelled at making the extra pass tying a team record with 30 assists. Findlay shot 17 of 26 from the three point and 27 of 35 from the free throw line.

Seniors Nick Johnson, Myck Kabongo, Amir Garrett, and Kevin Kaspar led the squad with a combined 80 points, 22 assists and 13-18 from three.

Kabongo scored 26 including 3 three pointers, with 10 assists, and 10 rebounds. Johnson went for 27 on 10 of 11 shooting, 5 of 6 from 3, with 5 assists, 3 rebounds. Amir Garrett scored 21 on 3 of 4 from three with 7 rebounds. Unsigned point guard Kevin Kaspar had 6 on 2 for 2 from 3, 6 assists, 4 rebounds, 3 steals.

Junior Landen Lucas scored 15 with 14 rebounds and tied a Findlay record with 7 blocks. He shot of 9 for 10 from the free throw line. Winston Shepard scored 14 on 5 of 8 with 6 rebounds. Junior guard Nazareth Long scored 11 including 3 of 6 from 3. Sophomore Nigel Williams-Goss had 14 on 4 of 6 from the field, with 4 assists, 2 steals. Benas Griciunas scored 2.

Ballislife has a video of Findlay early in this 2010/2011 season...

Check out the Link... http://www.ballislife.com/video/nick-johnson-myck-kabongo

Iowa State basketball boasts the tremendous Hilton Coliseum and the brand new 37,500 Square foot Sukup Complex!

Beautiful Hilton Coliseum at night!
Photo Courtesy of http://www.iowastatecyclonesfootballtickets.com/

Did you know that Ex-NBA player and executive and former Iowa State star Fred Hoiberg is now the Cyclones head coach? Well he is and the program boasts a recent NBA draft pick Craig Brackins(now on the 76ers) and a brand spanking new 37,000 square foot athletic center(Sukup Basketball Complex) with weight room, lounge and separate Men's and Women's practice gyms(secure facility-open 24 hours a day)! The facility boasts rehab and nutrition facilities as well. I'm sure Jamie Vanderbeken and Melvin Ejim are enjoying the perks and it is a great selling point when Hoiberg goes recruits future Cyclones!

The sublime Sukup Basketball Complex.
Photo Courtesy of http://www.athleticbusiness.com/

Already boasting one of the most RABID fan bases in NCAA basketball(Hilton Coliseum), all former Cyclones admit to feeling like part of a family the minute they suit up for Iowa State! In the video below Hoiberg talks about bringing the program back to the top by playing athletic players in an uptempo system and also pointing out that due to his 16 years in the NBA(10 as a player and 6 as an executive) he has the phone numbers of all 30 NBA GM's at his fingertips, ensuring that his players can get the looks they need in order to get a shot at playing in the NBA!

Sukup Louge
Photo Courtesy of http://www.athleticbusiness.com/
Check it out HERE...a phenomenal video by the Cyclones.com website...one of the best sites I've seen!

Separate gyms for Men and Women
Photo Courtesy of http://www.athleticbusiness.com/

Video room
Photo Courtesy of http://www.athleticbusiness.com/

The Score's Court Cuts:November 23rd, 2010

Highlights include: Monte Ellis, Amare Stoudamire, Derrick Rose, Eric Gordon, Paul Pierce, Blake Griffin, Jeff Green, Russell Westbrook, Blake Griffin, James Harden, Kevin Durrant, Tony Parker, Rudy Gay, and more Blake Griffin!!!!!


Nothing else necessary to say here!

Another Canadian also on the Iowa State Cyclones...Jamie Vanderbeken! Nails the game-winning shot...or did he?

Vanderbeken after nailing the controversial game-winning three!
Photo Courtesy of http://www.cyclones.com/
Besides Ejim, another Canadian plies his wares for the Iowa State Cyclones and his name is Jamie Vanderbeken. After injuries wrecked his 2009-2010 campaign, the 6'11" 240lb Sr. is ready to get back into the fold and make a mark inside for Iowa State...
He did just that this past Sunday, draining a 25-foot 3-pointer that gave the Cyclones a dramatic 91-88 victory over the Creighton Blujays! Vanderbeken shot 5-for-9 and scored 12 points, with 4 rebounds in 31 minutes of action. His only 3 pointer was the game winner!
The ironic thing is Creighton is coached by former Cyclone coach Greg McDermott who paced the Iowa State sidelines from the 2006-2007 season until last year's campaign.

Check out the buzzer-beater below...

HERE's the scoop on the game and Vanderbeken's 40 foot bomb to improve his team to 4-0 on the season!

But there is a caveat...apparently Vanderbeken may not have gotten the shot off in time as the refs had to use their judgement on the "game winner" due to not having the luxury of a replay because the game was not televised on TV. If the game is not televised the Big 12 says the NCAA does not mandate a replay system to be in effect!
You believe that...2010 and no replay in a non-televised game? Wow! The company that put on the game...Global Sports(not the station I used to work for in Toronto) apologized to Creighton coach
McDermott for the gaffe. Check out the apology and explanation HERE!

Here's also a pic of the shot showing the ball in Vanderbeken's hands with the backboard light already on!

The backboard lights are on!
Photo Courtesy of http://www.desmoinesregister.com/

Anyways the Cyclones still got the win. Check out the Belleville, Ontario native's bio HERE.

The next game for the Cyclone's is tonight Wednesday, November 24th, 2010 against Kennesaw State where they look to improve to 5-0!

Peep their schedule HERE.

Melvin Ejim named Big 12 Co-Rookie of the week for Iowa State!

Photo Courtesy of http://www.cyclones.com/
The Toronto native has had a fantastic start to his career for the Cyclones...notching 14 points on 7-for-8 shooting against Drake in a 91-43 drubbing...then he followed that up with a career-high 22 points in a 91-88 squeaker over the Creighton Blue Jays...14 of those 22 points were in the 2nd half which shows that Ejim was clutch when it truly mattered!

"Ejim has scored in double figures in each of the first four games to begin his career, is second on the team in scoring at 15.3 points a game and is third in the Big 12 in field goal percentage (68.6 per cent)."

Canada Basketball has the scoop HERE.

This young man is a hidden gem and is truly on the rise. Hopefully he will be a part of Canada Basketball's future as the crop of talent this country is generating is on par with or above most top countries in the world!
2010 Gatorade player of the year in New Hampshire and Brampton, Ontario Native attended Brewster Academy this past school year(won the state title) and impressed many with his perfect 2-guard frame at 6'6" and 205lb weight. He had interest from several schools including DePaul, Virginia and Michigan but decided on Iowa State and it looks like he made a great choice because he's making an impact already early in his freshman campaign. Another reason why Canada is on the rise!

ESPN recruiting page on Ejim is HERE.

Wanna see Melvin Ejim in action...well Ballislife has a short mixtape of some highlights below: Check it out!

Find more videos like this on BALL IS LIFE

Here's a link to more ballislife videos as well!


Click HERE to see Ejim's bio on the Iowa State Men's basketball site!

Khem Birch opts for PITT in 2011 by forgoing his post-graduate prep school year!

Photo Courtesy of http://www.crownmagonline.com/
Big news came out a few days ago with respect to Khem Birch changing his recruitment to join next years class instead of the class of 2012! This past weekend he took part in the National Prep Showcase in New Haven, Connecticut and dazzled the crowds with eye-popping moves, game presence and athleticism. Head Coach Jamie Dixon must be ecstatic about getting a 6'10 pogo-stick in Birch.
The NBE Basketball report talks about Birch and his decision to enter college in 2011 as Anthony Jaskulski breaks it down...
Birch himself talks about the academic side to his decision and of course the ability to get better as a player while attending PITT!

Check it out HERE.

Nolan Shulman and Flagrant Fouls also has a recap of the Showcase and features some insight into Birch and Grandy Glaze's play!

Check it out HERE. Great job by Shulman who made the trip down to New Haven to check out all the action. I need his job...because he's everywhere like CityTV. Nolan my man...what you doing to be able to check out all these great hoops tourneys? I need your formula!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Great article about Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph who taste real NCAA action tonight against Navy!

With Thompson and Joseph, familiarity breeds success!
Photo Courtesy of http://www.statesman.com/

Mark Rosner of http://www.statesman.com/ writes a great piece on the two Canadian studs on Texas, Cory Joseph and Tristan Thompson. Today is a big day for the duo from the Greater Toronto Area(GTA)!
They take on Navy for the first time in their spiffy burnt orange uniforms of the Longhorns.
I hope it's on TV somewhere or at least on the Internet because I know all of Canada will be rooting for these two McDonald's All-Americans and high-school national champions to do well down in Austin!
I think Tristan will be surprisingly good this year...and silence a lot of his critics. But as a former University point guard myself, I have a certain affinity and enjoyment for Joseph's highly polished game!
The game will be aired on ESPNU in the States!

The game preview for tonight is right HERE.

Check out the article HERE!

Andy Rautins hasn't played a minute in a real NBA game...but he's getting ready for that first call to the court!

Andy Rautins all smiles for the Knicks.
Photo Courtesy the sny.tv/AP.
Nice piece about Andy Rautins and his steep learning curve in his transition from a 2-guard in college to the point guard position in the League...at sny.tv.
Despite not playing a minute in a regular season game so far...Rautins is doing all the prep work for the moment Coach Mike Dantoni calls and he will rise from the bench, tear off his warm up and check in to a real contest! He's got a lot to learn but guys like Raymond Felton and former Raptor Roger Mason have been there to give the rook pointers on playing in the NBA. Rautins although I'm sure is overwhelmed, sounds confident that when his name is eventually called he will be able to use all his training and experience to do a good job on the court for the Knicks...
Check the story out HERE.

Ontario Basketball Hall of Fame Gala was a success...

Last week saw a special event take place...the Ontario Basketball Hall of Fame Gala.
There were 4 inductees...One of which was former York University Men's head coach Bob Bain. I once had the pleasure of playing under coach Bain for one year when I attended York and he is a well-deserved recipient of the Hall of Fame induction. Bain was a tireless teacher and motivator who spent almost 40 years in coaching and amassed close to 700 wins in his time on the sidelines. Bain was a tough coach but he always had the team's interest in mind when leading the York squad.
Other inductees include...Andrea Blackwell, builder Hazel Miner, and for the first time a team was inducted...the 1974-75 Laurentian Lady Vees.
Humber Athletics was also honoured with a special partner recognition award.
Four athletes from Team Ontario were honoured with James Rose awards and they included Kia Nurse(U15), Kelly  Van Leeuwen(U17), Kemar Alleyne(U15) and a player I have become really familiar with the last couple of months in my coverage of A-Game hoops(http://www.agamehoops.com/), Agunwa Okolie(U17).

Agunwa Okolie repping for A-Game Hoops!
James Rose award recipient
Check the story out HERE at the Ontario Basketball site!

Check out the Canadian contingent in Europe...Denham, Jevon and Rock doing work!

Levon Kendall in Spain dropped a season-high 17 points.
Photo Courtesy of http://www.basketball.ca/

Canada Basketball has a wrap up of all the European action this past weekend. Some notable performances by Denham Brown...18 points...Levon Kendall season-high 17 points...Jevohn Shepherd 23 points...Jermaine "Rock" Anderson team-high 18 points...Olu Famutimi team-high 16 points.

Check out the link HERE.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Great Michael Jordan highlight reel from World Star Hip Hop!

Words are not necessary!

Presenting MJ!

ESPN says Myck Kabongo is a Texas Longhorn again!

So Kabongo will be joining Thompson and Joseph at Texas after all!
Photo Courtesy of http://www.raptorsforum.com/
 In a report out today, ESPN says that Myck Kabongo after de-commiting to Texas 5 days ago has now re-committed to the school in Austin, Texas and will join fellow Canadians Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph in 2011! In a quick about-face, the Toronto native apologizes for all the confusion surrounding his decision and is looking forward to being a part of the Texas Longhorn community. He says he made a mistake in changing his mind the first time and hopes that the fans and supporters down in Austin will appreciate him owning up to his change of heart on Halloween weekend.
There's obviously more to this story...and it may or may not come out in the near future!

Here's a link to the story!


Andrew Nicholson getting respect for the program down at St. Bonaventure!

Andrew Nicholson ready for a big season at St. Bonaventure!
Photo Courtesy of www.a10collegehoops.com
Check out ESPN's piece on Mississauga native Andrew Nicholson's rise in the Atlantic 10 and despite his squad being picked to finish near last in his conference, Nicholson believes the Bonnies will be a team to be reckoned with in the upcoming season!

Story courtesy of ESPN...

Andrew Nicholson sees bright By Dana O'Neil November 2nd, 2010.



Realizing that the demands of Division I college basketball and the hours of lab work required for a chemistry major wouldn't necessarily jive, Andrew Nicholson decided he needed to change his major to something a little less demanding.So he did.To physics. "It's still very challenging, but I have the capacity to do it," Nicholson said without a trace of arrogance. "I'm very, very, very, very good at time management. I've got it down to the millisecond."
Andrew Nicholson averaged 16 points and 7 rebounds as a sophomore last season.
Nicholson is equally good at managing his basketball career. The St. Bonaventure forward enters his junior season as a preseason All-Atlantic 10 selection and a rising NBA prospect.
His coach, Mark Schmidt, has fielded more than a handful of calls from interested NBA general managers, and ESPN lists Nicholson as the No. 21 draft prospect among power forwards.
All of this is still relatively new news to the Nicholson family. "I sat him and his parents down his freshman year and told him he could play in the NBA," Schmidt said. "They had no idea. For them, it's books, books, books. That's how his parents approach things, so that's what he does. The idea of a basketball career never really occurred to any of them. I had to explain that he had a legitimate chance. He's got size 19 shoes, hands as big as a table and he had no idea. He's such a breath of fresh air."
There is, of course, a poetic irony that a legitimate student-athlete is leading St. Bonaventure's rebirth. Seven years ago the program was all but decimated by scandal because one of its players, Jamil Terrell, had a welding certificate instead of an associate's degree.
Smacked hard with NCAA sanctions, the Bonnies have been pulling themselves out of the quagmire ever since.But in the last three years since the blue-collar Schmidt took over, St. Bonaventure appears to be at least nearing the corner, if not rounding it altogether. Two years ago, the Bonnies finished 15-15 and made the Atlantic 10 Tournament for the first time since 2005, and last season the Bonnies went 15-16, actually won a game in the conference postseason and finished a more than respectable eighth in the league.
It is not coincidental that those happen to be the same two years that Nicholson has been on campus. The Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year two seasons ago, Nicholson topped his freshman numbers (12.5 points and 6.0 rebounds) as a sophomore, averaging 16.4 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. In the A-10 conference tourney win against Duquesne, Nicholson had 25 points and seven rebounds.
He is exactly the sort of kid Schmidt needed to get things going at St. Bonaventure. Schmidt's first recruit, Nicholson was all but overlooked during his high school career in suburban Toronto. He didn't start playing basketball until his junior season in Mississauga, Ontario, and missed the entire summer circuit prior to his senior year with a broken ankle.
Schmidt had the good fortune of good timing, finding Nicholson before anyone else did. For once he also had good location in Olean, N.Y. It sits 160 miles from Nicholson's hometown, had a brand new science building going up on campus and a lure that the preternaturally mature Nicholson just couldn't resist: a team as much a diamond in the rough as he was."I wanted to be a part of a rebuilding program," Nicholson said. "It's fun to be playing on a team that's always going to win. I wanted to be on a team that could be a part of history and say I was on the team that came back and made the most noise."
I think this going to be a much bigger year for this program. We're ready to make something happen.
Nicholson will have to be the lead trumpet player in a noise-making band. The Bonnies lost their backcourt of Chris Matthews and Jonathan Hall to graduation. The duo sat right behind Nicholson in scoring last season.A self-described laid back person -- "very laid-back, almost too laid-back" -- Nicholson has all of the physical gifts to take himself and his team to loftier perches.
An offensive sure thing that has averaged 58 percent from the field for his career, he is growing defensively, too. Last season, he moved into third place on the school's all-time blocked shots list, with 136 in his career, and he is steadily becoming more active on the boards.
But Schmidt is looking for that something else, that indescribable trait that transcends ability, the one that would not only lift Nicholson out of obscurity but perhaps the Bonnies, too.
Schmidt can't necessarily name it, but he's seen it before. Schmidt spent seven years at Xavier, working alongside Skip Prosser, and for four of them he watched David West grow into the national player of the year."Andrew is on that level," Schmidt said. "He may not have the feel that David had, but he's capable. The thing is, can he handle the next challenge? He's so mature. He's not egotistical at all. He's not the kind of kid who would ever say, 'Coach, shut up. I know what I'm doing.' He listens to every word.But the respectful kid does seem to be developing a bit of an edge. He politely but matter-of-factly explained that he is not just a little bit offended that St. Bonaventure was picked 13th in the 14-team preseason Atlantic 10 polls. "We're not even close to being 13th," he said. He said he and his teammates are ready for a revolution.
Four of the players on the roster have been a part of the program now for three years or more, taking the incremental baby steps necessary to build a solid foundation under the once-floundering Bonnies.
They are ready now for results."I can't wait for this season to start," Nicholson said. "We've stuck together through so much adversity. I can just see something different in practice. I think this going to be a much bigger year for this program. We're ready to make something happen."
And the physics major knows how to do it: Force equals mass times acceleration.
The force behind the Bonnies, it would seem, is ready to accelerate.

Dana O'Neil covers college basketball for ESPN.com and can be reached at espnoneil@live.com.

Media day at Texas means a high profile for Canadians Tristan Thompson and Cory Jeseph!

Cory Joseph is ready to get to work at Texas!
Photo Courtesy of http://www.crownmagonline.com/
A lot of hype and publicity at the University of Texas this season as the Head Coach Rick Barnes welcomes his two prized recruits from Canada in McDonald's All-Americans Tristan Thompson and Corey Joseph. The dynamic duo who won back-to-back high school national championships at Findlay are ready to take on bigger and better players at the NCAA level and it will be interesting to see how the two fare in the Big 12 conference. I think they will do well...because they are winners and know what it takes to get the job done. They've proven it at all levels they've played at so far and look for them to continue their stellar play at Austin!

The Dynamic Duo ready to go down in Austin, Texas
Photo Courtesy of http://www.crownmagonline.com/

Thanks to Ray Bala at Raptors HQ for providing the link to a photo gallery of Texas at media day!


Coach Barnes speaks to the media below in a 22 minute video and talks about Thompson and Joseph amongst the other players on the roster.


News 8 from Austin has a nice story on Tristan and Cory that shows how deep a bond the both have with each other...


Go Texas Go!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Liam McMorrow: Leaves the Marquette Golden Eagles for the Golden Eagles of Tennessee Tech!

The tale of the tape on McMorrow
Photo Courtesy of http://www.herald-citizen.com/
 Vancouver, B.C. native Liam McMorrow has gone from playing college ball here in Ontario for Durham College to transferring to Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and sitting out two years(one as a redshirt and one for medical reasons), to transferring to Tennessee Tech to finally playing this year for Tech after being granted the okay from the NCAA...whew...was that easy to understand or what?

He was granted the waiver of the transfer requirement( by the NCAA and can play this season and the 7'0'' baller and former hockey and lacrosse player is rearing and ready to suit up for his second Golden Eagles team! Last year he sat out for the Marquette Golden Eagles due to medical reasons so this will really be his first taste of U.S. Collegiate competition.

Liam McMorrow
Finally ready to play for the Golden Eagles!

"In his one season at Durham College, McMorrow averaged 8.4 points and 6.5 rebounds a game in 20 contests. He was third in blocked shots in the 21-team Ontario Colleges Athletic Association with 23 and was eighth in rebounding. He had four double-doubles that season and scored a career-high 18 points against Centennial College and 18 rebounds against Georgian in 23 minutes of play."

Check out a piece on McMorrow's his return to competitive basketball after a 2 year absence in the Cookeville, TN Herald Citizen right HERE.

The granting of McMorrow's eligibility was also outline HERE by the Herald Citizen in September 2010.

Check out McMorrow's bio page at the Tennessee Tech basketball team's website right HERE.

Myck Kabongo, not so fast Texas...as the top 10 2011 recruit de-commits to Rick Barnes and the Longhorns!

Myck Kabongo
Courtesy of http://www.crownmagonline.com/

Say it isn't so Super Myck! Well you may or may not have heard but outstanding Canadian PG Myck Kabongo, who committed to go the the University of Texas Longhorns in early 2009 has no de-committed to the school and has opened up his recruiting to 5 schools that surprisingly still includes Texas. The others in the mix include big name programs; UNC, Duke, Kentucky and Syracuse. All those programs are pretty stacked with talent but I can see Syracuse being in play as their back court could really use a PG of Kabongo's talent.

It's possible that despite looking forward to joining other notable Canadians Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph, that Kabongo wants to make his own mark on a program and not risk being overshadowed by the likes of those two Canuck studs. It could also be simply Kabongo going to one of the other schools listed to increase his chance of being a one-and-done player and get to the NBA in the quickest possible manner. I'm not sure what his family's financial circumstances are, but money could be a factor that could certainly be in play for Kabongo.

Crown mag has a take on is HERE as well.

ESPN also writes about the Kabongo about-face right HERE.