Wednesday, March 31, 2010

McDonald's All-American game 2010

OSU-bound Sullinger named East MVP
Associated Press
Originally Published: March 31, 2010

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- No harm, no foul, for Brandon Knight.

Knight's 3-pointer from the right wing with 3 seconds left gave the West a 107-104 victory over the East in the McDonald's All-American game on Wednesday night at Ohio State's Value City Arena.

Knight drove the right wing and stopped short as a defender fell down, taking his time to set up for the winning 3. It appeared he may have pushed off to get open.

"No, he just fell down," Knight said of the defender. "I didn't even know. I just tried to get it off."

But East MVP Jared Sullinger, a Columbus native and crowd favorite who has signed with Ohio State, quickly kidded him.

"Nah, he pushed off," he said with a laugh.

Sullinger missed a long heave at the buzzer.

Knight, out of Pine Crest School in Coral Springs, Fla., is undecided about his college.

"Harrison [Barnes] tried to flash up, but they denied him," he said of his last shot. "We wanted to get the best shot available."

Barnes, who is going to North Carolina, led the West with 18 points, Terrence Jones had 14, Doron Lamb had 12, Jereme Richmond (Illinois) had 11 and Keith Appling (Michigan State) and Joshua Smith (UCLA) each had 10 for the West, which overcame a halftime deficit by scoring 16 of the first 20 points in the second half.

Sullinger was hospitalized on Tuesday night with a mild case of food poisoning that left him dehydrated.

"Early this morning I didn't think I'd play," he said. "But I went to the hospital, got an IV and now it's all good."

Kyrie Irving (Duke), Tobias Harris (Tennessee) and Josh Selby each had 13 points for the East, while Deshaun Thomas (Ohio State) added 11, including the dunk that tied the game with 33 seconds left off a backdoor assist from Selby.

McCallum's athleticism a revelation
By John Stovall
ESPN Recruiting
Originally Published: March 31, 2010

Here are the five things that I'll will take away from Wednesday night's McDonald's All-American Game in Columbus Ohio:

1. Ray McCallum is a better athlete than anyone thought

The Detroit product's athletic ability was evident throughout the weekend it certainly showed in the dunk contest and the way he played in practices and scrimmage. McCallum (Detroit/Country Day) is a really bouncy point guard with explosive ability. This is an elite class of point guards, but outside of Josh Selby (Baltimore), Kyrie Irving (Elizabeth, N.J./St. Patrick) and Brandon Knight (Coral Springs, Fla./Pine Crest), he could be the most talented point guard in the nation.

On another note, I'm hearing that McCallum has narrowed his college choices to Detroit and Arizona (MUH: "NOOOOOOOOO!!!!! WHERE'S UCLA?!?). Could you imagine the impact he'd have playing for his father --Ray McCallum Sr. -- in the Horizon League? Wow!

2. Brandon Knight is not a natural point guard

All the buzz has Knight heading to Kentucky. If that happens and Eric Bledsoe leaves for the pros, it will be interesting to see what UK does with Knight. He can play the point and certainly can guard it, but he's not an instinctive point. He's aggressive enough for the dribble-drive system, but he might just be more comfortable off the ball (keep in mind, John Wall often played at the 2 position for UK this past season). In fact, I think that Knight, who could be the top perimeter scorer in this class as he showed on Wednesday night, isn't the only point guard in the class who might not have a true point guard's skill set. Selby, an nonstop attacker, is not really a true lead guard.

3. Patric Young is a grown man

Patric Young is a grown man. Young (Jacksonville, Fla./The Providence School) runs the floor with an active motor. He will be a very impactful college player and has the chance to be a pro. He's kind of like a more athletic Buck Williams. The Florida recruit is the second best rebounder in this class -- next to Jared Sullinger (Columbus, Ohio/Northland). He'll be a great fit in Florida's frenetic system. You can be the ultimate role player inside. You don't have to run a play for him and he can still get a double-double. Coaches love guys who can be productive without be an offensive focal point, Young falls into that category.

4. Jared Sullinger will have no problems compensating for his lack of athletic ability

No one has ever doubted Sullinger's skills. He has the best hands, feet and feel for the game of any player in this class and it's not even close. At the college level, he has a chance to be an All-American from Day 1 at Ohio State. He's not a great athlete but that's the only thing that's missing from his package. People fixate on Sullinger''s marginal athletic ability, but they shouldn't. Most coaches would rather have a guy who can play than an athlete who is still developing. The common thought is that you can't teach athleticism. Well, you'd have a hard time teaching a big man the kind of skills Sullinger possess. They're plenty of productive guys in the pros -- such as Kevin Love and Elton Brand (both former McDonald's All-Americans) -- who aren't great athletes. Sullinger can play.

5. Fabricio Melo and Josh Smith are heading in opposite directions

Melo (Weston, Fla./The Sagemont School), a Syracuse recruit, was the only traditional center in this game. He is ready to be an impact college center, and that fact has a lot to do with his commitment to conditioning. Melo is running the court better, and he's more bouncy. Last year at this time, if he didn't get the board in his first jump his second jump wasn't high or explosive. Now he's blocking shots and running the floor to finish fastbreaks. He looks great.

Smith (Covington, Wash./Kentwood) checked in well over 300 pounds, and it showed. In fairness, he missed some time with injury, which has a lot to do with his weight fluctuation. When Smith gets to UCLA, the staff needs to get Smith a nutritionist and start working him. He's going to get down to 280 or 290 to be productive in Year 1. He's going be able to move effectively on both ends of the court -- especially on the defense -- to be a key player for the Bruins. That said, we still love his low-post skills and rebounding ability.

John Stovall is a recruiting coordinator for Scouts Inc. He has worked as part owner and director of scouting for Prep Spotlight Scouting Service and magazine for 15 years.

Ray McCallum-Josh Smith connection: All they lack are UCLA jerseys

Josh Smith Dunks on Fab Melo From Sick Pass By Ray McCallum @ McDonald's All American Practice

Added by Arek Kissoyan
March 28, 2010 at 4:31pm

Find more videos like this on BALL IS LIFE

"Check out one of the many highlights from day 1 of the McDonald's All American Practice. This one features Josh Smith from Kentwood high dunking on Fab Melo from a sweet pass by Ray McCallum."

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Slavin to coach again at St. John's

Lavin succeeds Roberts at St. John's
Updated: March 30, 2010, 10:54 PM ET

NEW YORK -- Steve Lavin made his first appearance as coach of St. John's in a building he'll soon become quite familiar with -- Madison Square Garden.

About 4 hours after he agreed to take charge of New York City's top college program, Lavin sat down Tuesday night for an impromptu news conference during the NIT semifinals.

"Having come here as an assistant coach and then a head coach at UCLA and then as a broadcaster, I have a sense and feel for how special an arena it is, it is the world's biggest stage for college basketball," Lavin said.

He now will get a chance to show his coaching ability on that stage.

He will be officially introduced at a news conference on Wednesday.

Lavin has been an analyst for ESPN since UCLA fired him in 2003. That was the subject of most of the questions he faced -- those seven years away from coaching.

"For starters, the 15 years at Purdue and UCLA as a coach allowed me to build the foundation for my second career as a broadcaster," he said. "The last seven years as a broadcaster allowed me to travel the country as a barnstormer with my partner, observing and studying different styles, different coaches, aspects of game preparation, the game itself sitting courtside, breaking down tape, the scouting reports.

"This was an extended sabbatical that allowed me to stay close to the game, a little more distant to see things with more clarity and when you come back to the game you bring all that with you to enhance your ability to coach and run a successful program."

He had a 145-78 record with UCLA, leading the school to the NCAA tournament's round of 16 five times. The Bruins reached the final eight in 1997, his first season.

St. John's, which fired Norm Roberts after six seasons, has not been to the NCAA tournament since 2002.

The Red Storm, who play several home games each season in Madison Square Garden, lost to Memphis in the first round of the NIT to finish the season at 17-16, giving Roberts an 81-101 record with the school.

St. John's returns all five starters and 94 percent of its scoring from last season's team.

Lavin said his first order of business would be to assemble a staff.

"That's my No. 1 priority," he said. "I want assistants who are strong in the Northeast with recruiting ties and I want to look for people who have had experience as a head coach."

Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt rejected an offer from St. John's last week. Al Skinner, who was fired by Boston College on Tuesday, also was interviewed.

St. John's athletic director Chris Monasch said Lavin "fit all the criteria we had established."

"In hindsight we wound up with the best guy," he said.

Former Bruin and current Los Angeles Clipper Baron Davis said: "I wish Coach Lav nothing but the best. He's always been so supportive of his former players, and I know he truly cares about anyone that plays for him, both personally and professionally.

"I can easily say I think his new team will instantly take to his personality and passion for the game. He has had time since he last coached to build his game plan for his style. I love Coach Lav and St. John's is a great fit for him. I am totally on board to support him and I think it's great for college basketball to have him on the sidelines again."

Lavin was fired by UCLA after going 10-19, his only losing season and the school's first in 55 years. It was the only season in which one of Lavin's UCLA teams did not win at least 20 games.

He was succeeded by former Pittsburgh coach Ben Howland.

"I'm very happy for Steve," Howland said Tuesday. "St. John's has got an outstanding tradition and history. It's going to be exciting for him after being out of coaching for seven years and [now being] in the biggest media market in the United States.

"I'm sure he'll do an outstanding job."

Lavin, who had five years remaining on his contract when he was fired, fell into the job when Jim Harrick was fired in November 1996 -- only a week before the season began and 19 months after the Bruins won their 11th national championship. With Harrick assistants Mark Gottfried and Lorenzo Romar already having taken head jobs, then-athletic director Peter Dalis promoted Lavin from unproven assistant to head coach.

His teams at UCLA beat four No. 1-ranked teams, but in his final season, the Bruins had a then-record 10 losses at Pauley Pavilion and the average attendance of 8,348 in the 12,819-seat arena was the lowest since 1993.

Ten of UCLA's national championships were won under coach John Wooden in the 1960s and 1970s. The other was under Harrick in 1995 -- when Lavin was the No. 3 assistant.

And who can ever forget the famous "slavin exercise bike" scandal back in 2003? If you haven't heard the story, check out one of my earliest posts so you might be enlightened. Here's the link.

This is why we love slavin so much. Happy that it is St. John's and not us.

UCLA assistant basketball coach Donny Daniels leaving UCLA for Gonzaga

Photo from UCLA Men's Basketball website

Daniels joining Gonzaga's staff
By Ramona Shelburne

Updated: March 30, 2010, 6:33 PM ET

UCLA assistant basketball coach Donny Daniels is leaving the program to become the top assistant on Mark Few's staff at Gonzaga, Bruins coach Ben Howland said on a teleconference Tuesday afternoon.

Daniels has been an assistant at UCLA for seven years. He is replacing Gonzaga assistant Leon Rice, who left to become the head coach at Boise State last week.

"I support him 100 percent on his decision," Howland said. "You'd have to ask him his mindset, but I always considered Donny a good friend and a very good coach. He was a part of three Final Fours here. I appreciate all his hard work and dedication. He's probably financially making a little more relative to cost of living.

"It's something he felt strongly about, and so I support him 100 percent."

Howland said he would delay hiring a new assistant coach until after he finished this year's recruiting class over the next few weeks.

Daniels had previously been the head coach at Cal State Fullerton and an assistant at Utah under Rick Majerus (1990-2000).

Kentwood's Joshua Smith on McDonald's All-American Game roster | Boys basketball

Vintage Josh Smith

video credit

Kentwood's Joshua Smith on McDonald's All-American Game roster | Boys basketball

Joshua Smith of state champion Kentwood will play for the West team Wednesday in the McDonald's All-American Game in Columbus, Ohio.

By Seattle Times staff
Originally published March 30, 2010 at 5:53 PM | Page modified March 30, 2010 at 8:11PM

Joshua Smith, who led Kentwood High School to the Class 4A state boys basketball championship this month, will face even bigger competition Wednesday in the McDonald's All-American Game in Columbus, Ohio.

The boys all-star game, televised on ESPN, is scheduled to tip off at 5 p.m. PDT. A girls game will start at 2:30 p.m. on ESPNU. No girls from Washington were selected for the game.

Smith, a 6-foot-9 senior who has signed with UCLA, is the top-ranked center in the nation, according to ESPN Rise.

Smith will be joined on the West squad by another Northwest player, 6-9 forward Terrence Jones of Portland's Jefferson High. Jones remains uncommitted, but has narrowed his finalists to Kentucky, Oklahoma, UCLA, Washington and Oregon.

The McDonald's game will be the first of two high-profile national all-star events for Smith, who is also committed to play in the Jordan Brand Classic April 17 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Additional information from earlier post:

from the Chicago Tribune



G Reggie Bullock - Kingston (N.C.); North Carolina
F Tobias Harris - Hollow Hills (N.Y.); Tennessee
G Kyle Irving - St. Patrick (N.J.); Duke
G Joe Jackson - White Station (Tenn.); Memphis
C Perry Jones III - Duncanville (Texas); Baylor
G Jelan Kendrick - Wheeler (Ga.); Memphis
F C.J. Leslie - Word of God (N.C.); Undecided
G Kendall Marshall - Bishop O'Connell (Va.); North Carolina
F Jayvaughn Pinkston - Bishop Loughlin (N.Y.); Villanova
G Josh Selby - Lake Clifton (Md.); Undecided
C Jared Sullinger - Northland (Ohio); Ohio State
F Deshaun Thomas - Bishop Luers (Ind.); Ohio State

G Keith Appling - Detroit Pershing (Mich.); Michigan State
F Harrison Barnes - Ames (Iowa); North Carolina
F Terrence Jones - Jefferson (Ore.); Undecided
G Cory Joseph - Findlay Prep (Nev.); Undecided
G Brandon Knight - Pine Crest (Fla.); Undecided
G Doron Lamb - Oak Hill Academy (Va.); Undecided
G Ray McCallum - Detroit Country Day (Mich.); Undecided
C Fab Melo - Sagemont (Fla.); Syracuse
F Jereme Richmond - Waukegan (Ill.); Illinois
C Joshua Smith - Kentwood (Wash.); UCLA
F Tristan Thomas - Findlay Prep (Nev.); Texas
F Patric Young - Providence (Fla.); Florida

Kentwood's Josh Smith named McDonald's All-American
By Mason Kelley
The Seattle Times
High School Sports Blog
Thursday, February 11, 2010 - Page updated at 03:05 PM

Here is a press release about Kentwood's Josh Smith being named a McDonald's All-American:

Seattle, WA Josh Smith of Kentwood High School joined the ranks of basketball's elite today with his selection to the prestigious 2010 McDonald's All American High School Basketball Boys Team. Smith's participation in the Games will help raise funds for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio, which supports local children and families in need.

Smith was named to the West squad, and will play with the 23 other top male high school basketball players in the country. He averages 13.4 points-per-game, 11 rebounds and 2 blocked shots. His coach is Michael Angelidis.

The Boys Game will tip off at 8:00 p.m. ET, Wednesday, March 31, at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio and will air live on ESPN. The Girls Game will get underway at 5:30 p.m. ET and will broadcast live on ESPNU. Tickets are available here and all proceeds from ticket sales will benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio. Millions of dollars have been raised since the Games were first played in 1978.

Every athlete who participates in the McDonald's All American Games also visits the host city's local RMHC chapter during Game Week. Smith will visit the Columbus Ronald McDonald House on March 28.

Since 1977, over 750 male players have competed in the McDonald's All American Games, forming an elite list that reads like a "Who's Who" in basketball history. McDonald's All American athletes include basketball greats Alonzo Mourning, Magic Johnson, LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant.

Coach Ben comments on Bobo; Coaches Daniels, Hillock; slavin

Howland ON:
By Jon Gold
Inside UCLA, LA Daily News
March 30, 2010 2:40 PM

On the dismissal of J'mison Morgan:
"It had been I decided it was in the best interst of both our program and for him that he leave for and transfer. He's in good academic standing, he'll have two years of eligibility left. He'll probably transfer back somewhere closer to home."

On Danny Daniels leaving for Gonzaga as the Zags' top assistant coach:
"Donny Daniels is going to be leaving effective immediately to go to Gonzaga as an assistant for Mark Few. He'll be in tomorrow - he had three wisdom teeth pulled - and he did a terrific job for me and this program for seven years. He was really a key impetus for all the success we've enjoyed. He'll be going to another outstanding program with a very good tradition and history. It's where I started my coaching career 29 years ago."

Are you looking to get a veteran staff guy?

"I'm not even worrying about that until our recruiting is done this year. There won't be a look at staff until late in the month."

With Bobo leaving, opens up another scholarship. How many do you want to use?
"I'd like to use all our scholarships up. That gives us three at least."

Was it any one thing?
"It's just there's a point in time where you have to move forward, and I just felt it was in our best interest in the program, as well as for him. He's leaving here in good standing academically, he'll be better for the experience here, not only as a player but as a person."

Any discussions about players leaving for NBA Draft?
"Not really. I'm actually meeting with our team here in about 45 minutes for a brief team meeting, and I'll be having individual meetings with our players tomorrow. I don't anticipate anybody testing the waters this year."

Any possibility anybody else can transfer?
"At this time, I don't see that, but anything is possible."

Did you try to retain Donny Daniels?
"I support him 100 percent on his decision. You'd have to ask him about his mindset. I will always consider Donny a good friend, and more importantly a very, very good coach. He was a part of three final fours here. I really appreciate all his hard work and dedication. Financially, he'll probably make a little bit more relative to cost of living. Financially, it's a step up for him."

Any other coaching changes right now?
"At this time, nothing to announce."

Any preliminary ideas for a replacement?
"No, I'll be getting a lot of phone calls relative to that. There won't be any rush to do anything. We're not allowed to go in the spring because of the AAU Tournaments, but I'll be out as many days I can be out."

Any chance Joe Hillock will leave to coach CSUN women?
"It is a possibility. He'll fight for that and I'm supporting for that. That's a great job and he was the coach at Southern Utah for several year, and he'd like to get back into coaching."

Thoughts on Steve Lavin getting hired at St. John's?
"I'm very happy for Steve. St. John's has got an outstanding tradition and history. It's going to be obviously exciting for him after being out of coaching for seven years to jump back into the biggest media market in the country."

Have you ever had two players leave in the same year?
"At Northern Arizona, I had about four of them in my second year. The next year after that, we had a pretty good year, too."

Bobo dismissed

J'mison Morgan #22 of the UCLA Bruins goes up with the ball between Tyrone Nash #1 and Carleton Scott #34 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on February 7, 2009 at Pauley Pavillion in Westwood, California. UCLA won 89-63.
Photo: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images Feb 07, 2009

J'mison Morgan Dismissed From UCLA Basketball Team

The sophomore center will not enroll in spring quarter and will leave UCLA immediately.

from the official UCLA Men's Basketball website
March 30, 2010

LOS ANGELES - UCLA men's basketball head coach Ben Howland announced today that 6-foot-10-inch sophomore center J'mison Morgan will not be returning next season. Morgan, from Dallas and South Oak Cliff High School will transfer to play his final years at another school.

Morgan will leave UCLA immediately and hasn't made a decision as to where he will transfer.

"I feel that it is in the best interest of this program and for J'mison Morgan that he no longer be a part of this team," Howland said. "We are supportive of him and his future in whatever direction he decides to go."

Morgan averaged 2.1 points and 1.1 rebounds per game while appearing in 40 contests without making a start during his career with the Bruins (2008-09 and 2009-10). He played in 280 minutes (7.0 minutes per game) while shooting 46.1 percent (35-for-76) from the field and 38.9 percent (14-for-36) from the free-throw line in his two seasons. He scored his personal-best of eight points in a home win over FIU on Nov. 29, 2008 and grabbed a career-high five rebounds this year in the home win over New Mexico State (Dec. 15, 2009).

Best of luck, Bobo.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Michael Roll will play at the Final Four!!! (sorta)

The senior guard has led UCLA this season with game averages of 14.1 pts, 2.8 rbds, 3.6 assists, (1.9 turnovers, 1.9/1 a/to) and 1 steal. For final 2009-10 season player stats, see right sidebar.

Michael Roll Named to Reese's College All-Star Game

The game will be broadcast live on CBS College Sports.

from the official UCLA Men's Basketball website
March 26, 2010

LOS ANGELES - UCLA senior Michael Roll has been selected to play in the Reese's College All-Star Game as part of Final Four weekend in Indianapolis. He is one of 20 seniors selected to play in the event, which tips off at 4:35 p.m. (EDT)/1:35 p.m. (PDT) on Friday, April 2, at Lucas Oil Stadium. The game will be broadcast live on CBS College Sports.

"It is an honor to be named to the all-star team and I look forward to representing UCLA," Roll said. "It shows that my individual hard work has paid off. But I wouldn't be where I am today without my coaches and teammates motivating me to improve, and I thank them for helping me in my preparation."

Roll will play on the Reese's All-Star team, which will be wearing the orange uniforms. He will be coached by former Purdue head coach Gene Keady. Former Indiana State head coach Bill Hodges, who led the Sycamores and Larry Bird to the 1979 NCAA Championship game, is the coach of the Hershey's All-Star team (dark uniforms).

"It is a very well-deserved honor and Michael [Roll] represents the ideals of what it is to be a student-athlete," UCLA Head Coach Ben Howland said. "I am very proud of him and happy for him."

Roll led the Bruins with a 14.1 scoring average, ranking 11th in the Pac-10 in 2009-10. He also ranked second in the league in assist/turnover ratio (1.89), third in three-pointers made per game (2.5), fourth in three-point field goal percentage (.426, 80-188) and sixth in assists (3.6 apg).

Roll's All-Star teammates will be Robert Glenn (F, IUPUI), Tre'von Hughes (G, Wisconsin), Jerome Randle (G, California), Adam Koch (F, Northern Iowa), Omar Samhan (C, St. Mary's), Aubrey Coleman (G, Houston), Bryan Davis (F, Texas A&M), Tyren Johnson (F, Louisiana Lafayette) and Quincy Pondexter (F, Washington).

Coach Ben/UCLA loses SF Jesse Perry to Sean Miller/Arizona

Jesse Perry told that he chose Arizona because of UA coach Sean Miller's honest approach

The 6-10 forward was a teammate of UCLA verbal commit Lazeric Jones at Logan JC (Carterville, IL). Coach Ben offered Perry a scholie for the 2010 basketball season but the forward chooses Arizona. Looks like Miller the Wildcats are ramping up recruiting rather nicely.

What Perry’s verbal commitment means for Arizona

by Javier Morales, under Sports
Wild about AZ Cats
Mar.28, 2010

Opponents will find it more difficult to defend Arizona next season because of the verbal commitment Sunday night of Logan (Ill.) Junior College forward Jesse Perry.

The Wildcats often became stagnant in their halfcourt sets this season, which is a significant reason why they finished 16-15 overall and without an NCAA tournament appearance for the first time in 26 years.

Perry, a 6-foot-8-inch versatile forward, averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds for Logan this season. He also shot a reported 48 percent from three-point range and at one point this season made 27 consecutive free throws. He is an aggressive player who can create his own shot off the dribble.

“He has the ability to play both forward spots, has excellent ball skills and solid range on his jump shot,” reports Van Coleman of “He can face at the arc and takes bigs off the dribble or roll and post, using his quicks and bounce to score in the paint.”

That description did not fit any of the current Wildcat wing players on a consistent basis this season.

UA freshman wing player Solomon Hill on occasion showed the ability to play inside and outside, but he was inconsistent mostly because of his youth. Fellow freshman Kevin Parrom missed significant playing time on two occasions during the season because of a stress fracture in his right foot. Parrom should be more of a benefit to the Wildcats in the vicinity of the basket next season.

Jamelle Horne, who will be the Cats’ lone senior next season, showed a decent shooting touch from three-point range this season, making 43.5 percent from beyond the arc. However, he was only slightly better in shots within the three-point stripe: 46.1 percent. Horne had one of the most peculiar stats among the Wildcats — he made 50 of 115 shots from three-point range and 53 of 115 shots within that range.

The most glaring reality of these stats is that Horne was not aggressive enough around the basket as a 6-7 forward who can leap as well as anyone in the Pac-10. The quality that Perry brings to the Wildcats that Horne has lacked thus far is the ability to put the ball on the floor, penetrate and create shots for himself or his teammates.

This new dimension for the Wildcats should keep defenders honest, forcing them to extend and therefore creating more room for Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Derrick Williams and for guards to penetrate.

Defensively, Perry is relentless, according to Logan assistant coach Kyle Smithpeters.

“When he first showed up here two years ago, he was like a twig at 179 pounds,” Smithpeters said. “He has become stronger and put on weight, which means he can hold his own defensively. He also has a good nose for the ball because he has a good basketball IQ.”

This is Miller’s first recruitment of a junior college player in his six years as a head coach (the first five at Xavier). He had a few transfers from other colleges while at the Cincinnati school, but he never signed one that played at the junior college level.

Perry was not recruited by Arizona until November, when UA assistant coach Archie Miller scouted Perry’s teammate, point guard Lazeric Jones. The Millers watched Perry play again soon after that and offered him a scholarship.

“The real reason I decided was because I felt that was the place that could make me better,” Perry told “Coach Sean and Archie [Miller] and the other guys on the staff I created a relationship with each and every coach and the players that are there. That’s a place I can go play and be a big impact player.”

Perry was also recruited out of Logan by UCLA, South Carolina, Southern Illinois and Iowa State. When he graduated from St. Louis Gateway High School in 2008, he was recruited by St. Louis coach Rick Majerus.

The Wildcats’ Class of 2010 now includes Perry, shooting guard Daniel Bejarano of Phoenix North High School and combo guard Jordin Mayes of Los Angeles Westchester High School. Bejarano has signed a national letter of intent, while Perry and Mayes have offered non-binding verbal commitments.

Other potential Class of 2010 recruits for Arizona include Manhattan (N.Y.) power forward Kadeem Jack, Baltimore Lake Clifton point guard Josh Selby and Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill Academy combo guard Doron Lamb. All three have completed official visits to Arizona.

The spring signing period starts April 14 (MUH: and ends May 19).

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bruin sighting in the NBA 2: Westbrook and the OKC Thunder grounds Air Kobe

Also Friday night, former Bruin "two-and-done" Russell Westbrook 2007-08 had a solid night against the league-leading Los Angeles Lakers: 23 pts, 6 assists (2 turnovers, 3/1 a/to ratio), 4 steals and 1 rbd.

Fellow Bruin "two-and-done" Jordan Farmar 2005-06 had a subpar game for the visiting Lakers, only managing 4 pts, 3 rbds, 0 assist to 1 turnover.

Thunder wins easily, 91-75.

Russell Westbrook taking it strong to the hoop (and one)

Durant lifts Thunder to surprisingly easy win over Lakers
By Randy Renner,
Posted Saturday March 27, 2010 12:09AM

OKLAHOMA CITY ( exclusive) -- Kobe Bryant and his Los Angeles Lakers teammates had been cruising along like a well-oiled machine during their seven-game winning streak. They came into Oklahoma City with a 12-game winning streak over the Thunder franchise dating back to the Seattle days.

But Friday night in front soldout and roaring crowd at Ford Center, Kobe and the Lakers (53-19) clanked, clunked and sputtered in their worst performance of the season, while the Thunder (44-27) sizzled in rolling to a shockingly easy 91-75 win that wasn't nearly that close.

The 75 points was L.A.'s lowest output this season.

OKC led by 33 at the end of the third, 80-47, when the Lakers managed just 13 points to begin the second half. They scored just 15 to begin the first half and shot just 39 percent for the game. L.A. even had touble hitting free throws -- going just 15-for-24.

"They have speed and quickness, they beat us to all the loose balls," said Lakers coach Phil Jackson. "They were just quicker than we were in all areas."

It became such a mismatch that Thunder coach Scott Brooks didn't know what to say to begin his postgame news conference. He sat down, looked around at the gathered reporters and said, "Well," paused looked around a moment more and finally added, "we played good basketball tonight."


It looks like the Thunder's early spring swoon that saw them drop three of four is over. They played well despite losing to San Antonio on Monday night then throttled Houston Wednesday night before drilling the Lakers Friday night.

"We bounce back well, we never get too high after a big win or too low after a disappointing loss," said Brooks. "Our guys like to compete and wanna get better."

The Lakers seemed a little disinterested coming off a big come-from-behind win in San Antonio on Wednesday night.

Bryant didn't score in the third, missing the only shot he took and didn't even play in the fourth. He finished with almost as many turnovers (nine) as points (11) and was just 4-for-11 shooting.

"Thabo [Sefolosha] did a great job on one of the best players in the game," said Brooks. "I couldn't ask for a better defensive game. Thabo has changed the culture of our team with his defense. He sets the tone, he's an inspirational player. Not too many people can do what he does."

Sefolosha, who is gaining more of a reputation around the league for being a defensive stopper, constantly pestered Bryant with hands in his face and around the ball. Bryant slipped down a couple of times and tripped another time as he turned the ball over.

"Kobe had nine turnovers and you can't do that," Jackson said. "You can't have a game like that and expect to have success especially this late in the season."

"They played very well," a solemn Bryant said after the game. "They executed and did a good job. They did great defensively."

On what if anything this loss might indicate as far as the Lakers are concerned heading toward the playoffs, Bryant had the obvious answer.

"We want to play better. There are things we have to do. I know what we can do. I know what our game really is and so I'm not second guessing it."

Bryant had scored 31, 26 and 40 points in the previous three meetings with the Thunder this season.

"Thabo's defense was great," said an admiring Kevin Durant, "Kobe is the best player in the world. Thabo gets us going on defense, he did a great job of fighting Kobe."

The showdown defensive matchup was supposed to be the Lakers' Ron Artest on Durant. Artest almost single-handedly shut down the Spurs' offense Wednesday night. Early in this contest, Artest bothered Durant's shot a little, but the All-Star forward scored 26 to lead all scorers and added eight rebounds. He was 9-for-19 shooting.

Artest was just 1-for-6 for 2 points. The Lakers had only two players in double figures, Lamar Odom with 15 and Kobe's 11.

In additon to Durant's 26, point guard Russell Westbrook broke out of his recent shooting slump, hitting 10-for-13 for 23. Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic added 10 each and Krstic grabbed 10 rebounds.

The Thunder outrebounded L.A. 42-39 and dominated in the paint and on the break -- outscoring the Lakers 44-30 down low and 15-7 on the run.

The Thunder started just the way Brooks had hoped they would -- with a lot of energy and stingy defense. The Lakers seemed to meander around on offense, never getting in sync early, shooting just 30 percent in the first for 15 points.

Oklahoma City, meanwhile, got off to another hot shooting start, hitting 48 percent and scoring 27 in the first.

The Lakers also had trouble with turnovers. They came into the game averaging just 13.5 per game, but had 11 by halftime -- eight of those belonging to Bryant.

The Lakers will continue their road trip in Houston on Saturday night.

"It was a tough game for us but we really don't have to make a huge deal about it," said Lakers center Pau Gasol, who had nine points. "We just have to bounce back tomorrow, put together a good game and move on."

Oklahoma City will stay home to host Portland in another key Western Conference game Sunday night.

"We got a good one tonight but now we've gotta get ready for the next one," said Durant in a happy but quiet Thunder locker room. "We have 11 more games left so we have to keep pushing and play our hardest."

Bruin sighting in the NBA: Holiday, Kapono turn in stellar games in 76ers win over Hawks

Former Bruin "one-and-done" Jrue Holiday 2009 had 13 pts, 12 assists (2 turnovers, 6/2 a/t ratio), and 7 steals for the night.

Fellow Bruin alum Jason Kapono 2000-03 also started alongside Holiday for the 76ers, scoring 14 pts to go with 5 rbds and 3 steals.

76ers beat the Hawks, 105-98.

Hawks grounded in loss to Sixers
By Andy Jasner, for
Posted Friday March 26, 2010 11:21PM

PHILADELPHIA ( exclusive) -- Since a season-best five-game winning streak between Jan. 31-Feb. 9, which included road wins at New Orleans and Houston, the Philadelphia 76ers haven't been able to put together a mere two-game streak.

Until Friday.

Following up on a road win at Milwaukee on Wednesday, the Sixers came home and picked up a well-deserved 105-98 victory over the Atlanta Hawks before 13,293 fans at the Wachovia Center.

The fans were treated to quite a performance by the Sixers.

Andre Iguodala turned in a stellar all-around game with 25 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in 39 minutes. Rookie point guard Jrue Holiday, the youngest player in the NBA, added 13 points and career-highs of 12 assists and seven steals.

The last Philadelphia player to finish with seven steals was Chris Webber against New York on April 2, 2006.

"Jrue was better than good," Sixers coach Eddie Jordan said.

Holiday earned his second double-double this season, but his first with points and assists.

"I'm learning to be consistent," Holiday said. "I'm learning how every game is different and to go with whatever the flow is in that game."

The Sixers began the game with Marreese Speights at center in place of Samuel Dalembert because he was late getting to the arena. Dalembert checked in with 2:37 left in the first quarter and wound up with 14 points and seven rebounds.

"That's all there is to it," Sixers coach Eddie Jordan said. "We are fine."

So was Iguodala, who nearly picked up his fifth career triple-double.

Despite playing with plantar fasciitis, Iguodala was on the court for most of the game. And he was solid in every aspect.

"In the second half, the pain just went away," said Iguodala, who was 9-for-12 from the field. "In the first half, it was bothering me a little bit. In the second half, you just have to go out there and play. If you have to sit out, you sit out. I try not to let it stand up in my mind."

For the Hawks, this had to be a tough loss to stomach. With their loss and Orlando's win over Minnesota, they fell 4 ½ games behind the Magic in the Southeast Division.

Joe Johnson and Josh Smith scored 20 points each, but the Hawks weren't able to withstand a late push by the Sixers. A win would have equaled last season's total of 47, but it will have to wait.

"We haven't had many games like this one, but we are playing for something," Atlanta coach Mike Woodson said. "I am trying to tell the team and push these guys to understand that you have to beat teams you're supposed to beat. There are no gimme games. I don't care where you play, when you play on the road, it is tough to win. We just showed up like we were just going to win and it didn't happen."

Johnson was even more critical of his team's effort.

"Our mindset was back in Atlanta," Johnson said. "We just thought we were going to show up and beat a team that was struggling. It doesn't work like that. We have to regroup and get ready for Sunday's game against Indiana. I am very disappointed in the way we played."

Conversely, the Sixers were elated after shooting 50 percent and out-rebounding the Hawks 40-39.

"This is not a fluke," said Sixers forward Elton Brand, who had 14 points. "I look at these rosters of these teams and I know that we can compete and beat these teams home and away."

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Banner 11

Some great moments from the 1995 Championship Season

Tyus Endey's 4.8 second drive against Missouri in the second round

from 805Bruin on youtube

from BBRVideos on youtube

Ed O'Bannon (courtesy of 805Bruin on youtube)

Toby Bailey (courtesy of 805Bruin on youtube)

UCLA 1995 Basketball Championship Ceremony (courtesy of Lu7884 on youtube)

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

2011 Prospects: Caudill, Chol, Dawson, Johnson, Royal, Turner, Wiltjer

Videos on 2011 prospects

Kyle Caudill (Brea Olinda, CA) 6-10 270 C

Angelo Chol (Herbert Hoover, CA) 6-8 205 PF

Branden Dawson (Lew Wallace, IN) 6-5 190 SF - OFFERED

Nick Johnson (Findlay Prep, NV) 6-3 185 PG

Norvel Pelle (Dominguez, CA) 6-9 190 PF
Video from July 2009 courtesy of, link

Julian Royal (Milton, GA) 6-8 195 PF

Josiah Turner (Sacramento, CA) 6-2 180 PG

Kyle Wiltjer (Jesuit, OR) 6-9 200 PF

Another video on Kyle Wiltjer: link

UCLA basketball: Ben Howland denies DePaul rumor

The following story was posted on today:

Theus a candidate at Auburn, UCF
By Pat Forde
College Basketball Nation Blog,
March, 24, 2010 Mar 24 5:53PM ET

Former New Mexico State and Sacramento Kings coach Reggie Theus interviewed with Auburn Tuesday night about its coaching vacancy, a source told

Theus and University of North Texas coach Johnny Jones are considered prime candidates for the job, but are not the only names being bandied about. UTEP head coach Tony Barbee is also considered a very serious candidate.

Theus also is a possibility at Central Florida, as is former Alabama coach Mark Gottfried and others. Gottfried has had his name come up in connection to the jobs at Houston and Charlotte as well.

DePaul has also been mentioned as a potential landing place for Theus, but there has been a rotating array of names there. The biggest: UCLA's Ben Howland, rumored to be offered a whopping, multiyear deal.

Editor's note: Early Wednesday evening, Howland responded to with the following: "I am the coach at UCLA. I will never leave UCLA and will stay at UCLA as long as they will have me."

UCLA basketball: Ben Howland denies DePaul rumor
Chris Foster
The LA Times
March 24, 2010 | 3:40 pm

UCLA basketball Coach Ben Howland said that Internet rumors, picked by ESPN and fan websites, that he was headed to DePaul are false.

A source with ties to the UCLA athletic department said that he had received no indications that Howland was entertaining offers from other schools.

Internet scuttlebutt began circulating Wednesday afternoon that Howland had been offered a hefty multi-year contract.

"I am the coach at UCLA," Howland said. "I will never leave UCLA and will stay at UCLA as long they will have me."

Howland says DePaul rumors untrue
Updated: March 24, 2010, 11:11 PM ET
By Ramona Shelburne

UCLA men's basketball coach Ben Howland, reacting Wednesday to a rumor tying him to the coaching vacancy at DePaul, says he has no plans to leave the Bruins.

"I am the coach at UCLA. I will never leave UCLA and will stay at UCLA as long they will have me," Howland said in statement released by the university.

Howland has been on the recruiting trail every day but one since UCLA's season ended on March 12 (and the one day he missed was because he had food poisoning), according to sources close to the program.

ESPN reported earlier Wednesday that Howland had been rumored to be offered a multiyear deal by DePaul.

Aside from the statement released by the school, Howland told the Sporting News he has "zero interest" in the DePaul job. He went on to say any reports of him being interested in DePaul were "absolutely unfounded, untrue -- 100 percent unequivocal."

Howland, who could not be reached for further comment Wednesday, was as disenchanted as anyone about the Bruins' subpar season. And based on his recent workload, he seems determined to turn it around.

The other reason Howland probably isn't planning to leave UCLA any time soon?

In 2008 he signed a seven-year contract extension that escalated his salary from $1.97 million in 2008-09 to $2.3 million a year until 2014-15.

DePaul Apparently Has Dreams of Ben Howland as Their Coach

By Larry Brown, Larry Brown Sports | March 24, 2010 - Posted in College Basketball

Commotion has exploded around the UCLA basketball scene today amidst reports that DePaul University has thrown major bucks at current Bruins coach Ben Howland. DePaul is making it known that they’re willing to pay for a high-quality coach. The Blue Demons endured four losing seasons in five years before firing coach Jerry Wainwright mid-season en route to a 8-23 season. They were 0-18 in Big East play two seasons ago and went 1-17 in conference this year so they’re obviously looking for major improvement. Though Howland could move to Chicago and position himself to become the savior once again, keep in mind that DePaul hasn’t won more than 22 games in a season for 25 years; their potential for greatness is low and nowhere near UCLA’s. In essence, I treat this story similarly to the way I view St. John’s efforts to woo Billy Donovan by offering him $3 million a year — it’s a nice dream but it won’t happen. While I’m dismissing the notion that Ben Howland will leave for DePaul — he’s already unequivocally denied interest — I’m not dismissing the notion that Howland has reasons to be dissatisfied at UCLA.

One reason Howland could be less enchanted by Westwood could be the amount of negative press he has received this year, from me included. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that going to another reclamation project would relieve pressure and put Howland in position to be a hero again. The second reason is that Howland is vastly underpaid for the type of coach he is. According to most accounts, Howland makes less than $2 million per season which is comparative peanuts for a coach who’s been to three Final Fours. It’s possible that Howland could be interested in being paid a greater salary, but then Howland would no longer be coaching at his “dream school.”

Lastly, would UCLA fans be OK with Ben Howland leaving based on the poor season? To me, the answer is the same any time a team fires a coach or is contemplating letting one leave: is the replacement a better coach than the predecessor? As frustrated as I’ve been with Howland’s coaching the past few years and even at times during the glory seasons, I’d still want Howland as my coach for the next two seasons over most others. Here is my initial limited list of guys I’d take as the replacement were Howland to leave: Tom Izzo (never going to leave MSU), Roy Williams (ditto Izzo), Bill Self (same thing), Bruce Pearl, Thad Matta, and Scott Drew. I don’t know who else could be available (e.g. former NBA coaches), but I’m trying to maintain perspective. I also say Ben Howland should have two more years to get things back to normal before we think about new coaches. Believe me, I would have been more forgiving had they never redone the season ticket system and demanded massive donations. When you demand that kind of cash from your fans you should be held accountable for producing a winner.

2010 PF prospect 6-7 215 Kevin Mulloy?

Another prospect for next season that is getting some buzz on Bruin message boards these days is power forward Kevin Mulloy:

Kevin Mulloy | PF
Hometown Oxnard, CA
High School Oxnard High School
Position rank Power Forward # 93
Height 6'7"
Weight 215 lbs.

He has signed with UC Irvine for the 2010 season, but the recent departure of UCI Anteater coach Pat Douglass opens the possibility for Mulloy to get out of his commitment and go elsewhere:

Douglass out at UC Irvine
Updated: March 12, 2010, 1:42 AM ET
Associated Press

IRVINE, Calif. -- Pat Douglass is out after 13 seasons as UC Irvine men's basketball coach.

Athletic director Mike Izzi said Thursday in a faxed statement that Douglass' contract won't be renewed.

He says the decision will allow Irvine to move the program in a new direction with the goal of being in the upper tier of the Big West Conference yearly and competing in the NCAA tournament.

Douglass had a record of 197-191 at Irvine, which lost 73-69 to Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo in the first round of the Big West tournament on Wednesday. The Anteaters finished with a 14-18 mark.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Mater Dei's Lamb is 2009-10 boys basketball player of the year

Mater Dei's Lamb is 2009-10 boys basketball player of the year

He is surprised by the comparison, but should not be.

"Miles Simon?" Lamb said. "Wow. He was such a great player ... NCAA Tournament MVP."

Lamb might be Mater Dei's best all-around player since Simon played for the Monarchs before going on to Arizona, where he helped the Wildcats win a national championship and he was named the NCAA tourney's most outstanding player in 1997.

Lamb led his team to a championship this year, as Mater Dei won the CIF-Southern Section Division 1AA championship. Clearly the best player on the county's best team, Lamb is the Orange County boys basketball player of the year for the 2009-10 season.

Lamb, a 6-foot-5 senior guard, was consistently spectacular, and spectacularly consistent. He led the Monarchs with 18.5 points a game, was second in rebounding at 6.8 rebounds a game and tied for the team lead in assists at 3.6 a game. Lamb scored a team-high 22 points in Mater Dei's 68-65 victory over Etiwanda in the CIF-SS 1AA final at Honda Center, and scored a season-high 32 points Saturday when the Monarchs lost to Westchester of Los Angeles, 71-63, in the CIF Southern California Regionals Division 1 championship game at USC's Galen Center.

While his teammates made only 9 of 41 shots against Westchester, Lamb was 13 for 22 from the floor. He was 3 for 7 on 3-point shots, while his teammates were 2 for 22. Mater Dei was No. 1 in the state rankings, and Westchester was No. 2.

That was in many ways a typical game for Lamb, as he often was Mater Dei's best player against the Monarchs' better opponents. He scored a team-high 21 points in the Regionals semifinals against Taft of Woodland Hills, which was No. 2 in the state rankings.

Lamb led Mater Dei with 26 points in a triumph over Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas in the Nike Extravaganza, scored 24 and 19 points in the Monarchs' two Trinity League victories over Orange Lutheran, and had team highs of 23 points and 11 rebounds in a nationally televised victory over De Matha of Maryland.

He finished his senior year with plenty of memories.

"What I'll always remember most is winning the CIF championship," Lamb said. "I'll also remember last year's team, my junior year, playing with the twins (David and Travis Wear, now at North Carolina) and Andy Brown (now at Stanford) and Gary Franklin. And I'll always remember the Westchester game."

Lamb will get more one more opportunity per season to play at Galen Center, site of that loss to Westchester. He signed with UCLA, in November, having committed to the Bruins at end of his sophomore year when Lamb was at Colony High of Ontario.

He transferred to Mater Dei between his sophomore and junior years.

"I wasn't doing too well academically at Colony," Lamb said. "At Mater Dei, the academic standards are high for the whole student body. Being around kids at Mater Dei, where so many kids go on to college, helped change my grades around."

Lamb carries a 3.0 grade-point average. He wants to major in communications at UCLA.

Lamb's father Terry was a standout player at Bishop Amat of La Puente. In the 1987-88 season, Amat beat Mater Dei twice in Angelus League games to win the league championship, the most recent time Mater Dei has not won a league title.

The son led Mater Dei to another league championship this year, plus a CIF championship, too. Miles Simon led Mater Dei to league and CIF championships. Maybe the Lamb-Simon comparisons will be favorable when Lamb gets to UCLA.

Coach Ben offers scholie to 2010 F prospect Jesse Perry (Logan JC, Carterville, IL)

When Jesse Perry showed up at Logan Junior College two years ago, he weighed only 179 pounds. He is a powerful prospect now at 210 pounds.

Props go to Puffdaddy for sharing this article to the BZ Basketball Board today on prospect Jesse Perry - a 6-8 210 forward who can hit the trey - plays for Logan JC in Carterville, Ill along with UCLA 2010 recruit point guard Lazeric Jones.

JC standout Perry could provide matchup problems for UA opponents
Wild About AZ CatsRoundball Recruiting Roundup & the Rest
by Javier Morales on Mar.22, 2010, under Sports

Former Arizona coach Lute Olson used versatile junior college transfer Eddie Smith to jump start his career in Tucson in 1983.

Smith, a 6-7 wing player who could rebound and knock down the perimeter shot just the same, was a JUCO player of the year and All-American at Dodge City (Kansas) Community College before signing with Olson. Smith’s versatility was a perfect complement to another JC transfer, center Pete Williams, who anchored the frontcourt as an unrelenting rebounder.

Twenty-seven years later, UA coach Sean Miller is trying the same approach for success by recruiting a versatile JC forward named Jesse Perry, who like Smith hails from the nation’s heartland. Smith is from Wichita, Kan., and Perry is a St. Louis native.

Perry, 6-8 and 210 pounds, averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds this season with Logan Junior College in Carterville, Ill. His most impressive stat, however, is his three-point shooting percentage — a scorching 48 percent, according to Logan assistant coach Kyle Smithpeters.

“I will say this: He didn’t force a lot of shots,” Smithpeters told me Monday night after I asked if he knew how many shots Perry attempted from beyond the arc. “He took a lot of good shots. Sometimes it got to a point where the team we played pressured him on the perimeter and Jesse made up for it by penetrating.

“He is really good off the dribble. He can create his own shot. That made him dangerous both on the perimeter and in the paint. It caused a lot of matchup problems for our opponents.”

Miller’s recruiting doctrine: Get a player who can beat you more than one way.

Look at Xavier’s current roster, built by Miller and orchestrated into the Sweet 16 by Chris Mack, who learned his craft under the young Arizona coach.

The Musketeers are loaded with players who cause matchup problems.

Jordan Crawford, a sophomore transfer from Indiana, is one of the nation’s most versatile players. At 6-foot-4, he leads Xavier in scoring (20.2 points per game) and steals (46), averages 4.8 rebounds a game and is second on the team with 99 assists. Terrell Holloway, a 6-foot sophomore, is the Musketeers’ starting point guard who is a nightmare to scout.

Not often does a team’s assist leader also be the player with the most free-throw attempts. Holloway leads his team in assists (132) and he also is the leader in free-throw attempts (169, making 144 for 85 percent). That means he is as valuable distributing the ball as he is taking his own shot by being aggressive to the basket.

Nic Wise was similar to Holloway in that he led the Cats in assists (103) and he attempted 156 free throws. However, Derrick Williams, as an assertive inside player, led Arizona with 232 free-throw attempts.

Williams, like his namesake Pete Williams, stands to improve if Perry opts to sign with the Wildcats during the spring signing period, which starts next month. Smith’s versatility on the wing made Pete Williams more of a threat by loosening the inside. Perry can do the same thing for Derrick Williams (especially if the UA is unable to land interior prospect Kadeem Jack of Manhattan, N.Y., Rice High School).

“Arizona’s system fits Jesse’s style,” Smithpeters said. “He has the physical presence to play good defense. And on offense, he can play with his back to the basket. With his size, he can shoot over smaller defenders on the perimeter. He also has the strength to box out.”

That was not the case when Perry graduated in 2008 from St. Louis Gateway High School, where he was a three-star player and 39th-rated small forward overall according to

“Jesse was a good prospect out of high school — a top 150 to 200 kind of player,” Smithpeters said. “However, he was not nearly the perimeter player he is today. His shot was not there and there were some questions about his ball-handling ability. If you compare what he was his freshman year, in the last game of last season, to now, you would not believe he is the same player.

“He came in here at only 179 pounds. He was a stick. In his first summer, he worked out hard and built his weight to 195. Last summer, he gained about 10 to 15 pounds and he is now a solid 210 pounds.”

Perry, who is being recruited by UCLA, South Carolina, Southern Illinois and Iowa State, can use that strength to provide a much-needed consistent inside-outside scoring threat the Wildcats lacked this season.

His 18 points a game is a bid modest, but in one five-game stretch, he averaged 27 points and 14 rebounds a game for Logan. The Volunteers also feature seven sophomores who are being recruiting by Division I schools, according to Smithpeters, so Perry had to buy into the team concept and not pad his scoring average.

“I think of him as a natural leader. He asks questions. He wants to improve his game. He’s focused,” Smithpeters said.

“He’s not caught up in the statistics. The kid just wants to win. He plays the game the right way. He plays hard all the time. He’s really fun to watch. He goes after that extra rebound, blocks shots, rebounds … and then he goes out and hits 48 percent of his three-pointers.”

Three of his teammates are headed for prominent Division I programs, including point guard Lazeric Jones, who has committed to UCLA. Jones was at one time recruited by UA assistant coach Archie Miller, who noticed Perry while scouting Jones. Bruin coach Ben Howland has learned how valuable Perry is while watching his future point guard play for Logan.

Howland extended Perry a scholarship offer four weeks ago, according to Smithpeters. Perry might visit UCLA
and could reschedule a visit with South Carolina, which canceled its recruiting visit with Perry last weekend because of scheduling conflicts. Perry could also make up his mind after touring the UA campus.

“That’s a possibility,” Smithpeters said. “We’ll have to wait and see what happens. It’s his call. If he feels like it’s the best situation for him, he can make up his mind. He will obviously play where he feels most comfortable.”

NOTES: The two other prominent Division I prospects on Logan’s roster are 6-9 power forward Andre Clark and 6-10 center Antwond Roshell. Clark is being recruited by Alabama, Cincinnati, DePaul, Iowa State, Louisiana Tech and Providence. Roshell is being recruited by one of the Cinderellas in the NCAA tournament — Northern Iowa — and also Idaho State, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, DePaul, South Alabama and Tennessee Tech. … An interesting development could involve Roshell and Perry facing each other in November if Roshell goes to Idaho State and Perry to Arizona. The Wildcats host Idaho State on Nov. 14. … Perry was a recruiting target of St. Louis coach Rick Majerus out of high school but reportedly Perry had difficulty qualifying academically. Smithpeters said Perry’s academic standing now is favorable. “From what I understand, Jesse’s doing a fantastic job in the classroom,” he said. “In my opinion, he is not a JC kid academically. He has passed every class and these are some legitimate, very tough classes. To be recruited by UCLA, you have to be a pretty sound student. He came here and has done his work. He has put himself in a position to get the chance (of playing in Division I) that he deserves.”

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Westchester wins So Cal Regional Division Title, beats Mater Dei 71-63

Mater Dei loses to Westchester 71-63 in the So Cal regional championship. The Monarchs rallied from 20 points down, but it wasn't enough. Tyler Lamb had 32 pts & 14 reb. Jonathan Khamis,, 3/20/10

Westchester had a sizzling start. Mater Dei got as close as 1 point in the 4th but Westchester held on for the win.

UCLA 2010 recruit and Mater Dei guard Tyler Lamb finished with 32 points and 14 rebounds.

Damian Calhoun’s Game MVP(s): Westchester’s Dwayne Polee and Jordin Mayes. “When the Comets needed them late, their big duo came through. Polee finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Mayes had 21.”

“Mater Dei MVP: That's an easy one. Tyler Lamb. Lamb was the only reason Mater Dei was relatively close at halftime when he scored 17 points. He finished with 32 and 14 rebounds. I think he will do just fine next year at UCLA.”

Mater Dei vs Westchester
In-game blog posting
By Damian Calhoun
March 20, 2010

Boys basketball: The Division I showdown is getting closer (updated)
March 20th, 2010, 6:13 pm

Both the Mater Dei and Westchester boys basketball teams have arrived here at Galen Center ahead of tonight's much-anticipated Division I regional final.

We have one more game (Long Beach Poly-Clovis West girls game) and then it is the showdown that we've all been waiting for. Who do you think it will be? Mater Dei? Westchester?

Updated: It appears that they are selling tickets in the upper section. You have an hour to get here.

Boys basketball: Mater Dei-Westchester, the pregame show
March 20th, 2010, 7:45 pm

The moment every high school basketball fan in the state of California has been waiting for is finally here. Mater Dei-Westchester are getting ready to face off in the CIF Southern California Regional final here at Galen Center.

The teams have been on a collision course since the playoffs began. I knew that the Division I title would eventually be settled between the Monarchs and Comets.

Earlier this week on, I picked Westchester to win. I'm sticking with that prediction.

The crowd is filling in nicely. The lower level should be full by tip. People are finally up in the upper level.

The college coaches are out too. I see Utah, Pepperdine, Washington St., Montana. Kevin O'Neill (USC) was walking around earlier.

Stay tuned. Tip-off is set for approximately 8:20 p.m.

Note: Mater Dei guard Tommy Stangl is in uniform and going through warmups.

Boys basketball: Tip time for Mater Dei-Westchester
March 20th, 2010, 8:09 pm

Both teams are on the court going through warm-ups. Mater Dei is the home team. Turnovers will be key. Can Westchester turn over Mater Dei? I think Westchester should be able to handle Mater Dei's press.

Gary McKnight and Ed Azzam are having a brief conversation on the Mater Dei bench.
This should be interesting.

Here are the starting lineups:

Mater Dei
11 Max Hooper
4 Gary Franklin
20 Tyler Lamb
24 Keala King
5 Katin Reinhardt

32 Kareem Jamar
12 Jordin Mayes
44 Reggie Murphy
0 Dwayne Polee
10 Menas Stephens

Boys basketball: Westchester out to early lead
March 20th, 2010, 8:26 pm

Mater Dei opened showing a lot of patience on offense, but that quickly turned into a couple of rushed 3-point attempts.

You can always tell how important the game is by looking at Gary McKnight. McKnight is usually posted in his seat. Tonight, he has been up since tip.

Mater Dei has only made one field goal and that was a 3 by Tyler Lamb to open.
Westchester 8, Mater Dei 5
4:28 left in 1st

Boys basketball: Westchester strikes fast
March 20th, 2010, 8:31 pm

With the scored tied at 10, Westchester went Jordin Mayes 15-foot J, followed by Denzel Douglas 3 for a 15-10.

The refs are letting them play, which can either be a good or bad thing, depending on things.

At one in the first, Steve Fryer had Mater Dei shooting 2 of 15 from the field. I love sitting near the fans. We have one guy telling Mater Dei to man up.
Max Hooper knocks down 3

Westchester 15, Mater Dei 13
1:05 left in 1st

Boys basketball: Mater Dei up after the first period
March 20th, 2010, 8:36 pm

WOW! What a quarter.

Mater Dei got two consecutive 3's (Max Hooper and Tyler Lamb) to take a 16-15 lead. Lamb followed with a reverse layup.

Reggie Murphy closed the quarter with a rebound/putback. Tyler Lamb has been beastly for Mater Dei with 12 first quarter points.

The refs are letting a lot of stuff go. Westchester was called for three fouls and Mater Dei for only one. Keep that in mind.

Mater Dei 18, Westchester 17 end of 1

Boys basketball: Mater Dei's offense is missing in action
March 20th, 2010, 8:42 pm

If you see the Mater Dei offense, please direct it back to Galen Center. The Monarchs have gone ice cold. Their settling for too many 3's and the ball isn't moving at all. Makes things a lot easier for Westchester.

The Comets, however, are having a better time. They are currently on an 8-2 run to take a 28-21 lead.

Keala King has just two points. Gary Franklin has missed a lot more than he has made.
We are on the verge of blowout city.

Boys basketball: It is a good thing Tyler Lamb showed up
March 20th, 2010, 8:51 pm

Lamb has scored 17 of Mater Dei's 25 points. However, the rest of the Monarch team has failed to follow his lead. More bad news for Mater Dei is that Westchester has 37 points and can get any shot it wants at any moment.

According to the Westchester fan to my left, Mater Dei needs to get its weight up.
Westchester 37, Mater Dei 25
at the half

I will be back with halftime stats.

Boys basketball: If you're a Mater Dei fan, look away
March 20th, 2010, 8:57 pm

Here are the halftime stats and they're not pretty for the Monarchs.
Westchester 37, Mater Dei 25

Jordin Mayes leads Westchester with 14 points (5 of 6 shooting, 3 of 4 on 3s)
Reggie Murphy has nine points and six rebounds.

Mater Dei is shooting 30.3 percent (10 of 33) from the field. Tyler Lamb has 17 points (7 of 13 shooting from field).

Gary Franklin is shooting 1 of 10. Keala King is 1 of 5. Katin Reinhardt has only taken two shots.

Westchester is outrebounding Mater Dei, 24-19. Tyler Lamb has nine rebounds for Mater Dei.

Boys basketball: Westchester appears headed for Bakersfield
March 20th, 2010, 9:06 pm

Mater Dei opened the second half with consecutive turnovers. That pretty much sums up the night for the Monarchs. Make three early turnovers for the Monarchs
On the other end, Dwayne Polee hit a 3, Reggie Murphy put back a Jordin Mayes miss. Denzel Douglas offensive rebound and basket.

I've been to Bakersfield for the past seven consecutive years for the state wrestling championships. I can give Westchester all of the info on the who, what and where of Bakersfield.

Westchester 44, Mater Dei 26

5:24 left in 3rd

Boys basketball: Mater Dei finally showing some life
March 20th, 2010, 9:13 pm

Westchester's lead grew to 20 at 46-26, however, the Monarchs are making a good push here in the third.

A Keala King three-point play has cut the lead to 46-36 with 2:28 left.
Can the Monarchs come back?

Boys basketball: Mater Dei within striking distance heading to fourth
March 20th, 2010, 9:20 pm

I guess 10 is within striking distance.

Mater Dei thanks to its press has started to cause a little trouble for Westchester. The Comets are getting open looks against the press, but they aren't falling
I liked the fight that the Monarchs showed in that quarter.

Taking a look at the foul board, Westchester has been called for seven fouls. Mater Dei has been called for four.
Westchester 51, Mater Dei 41
end of 3

Boys basketball: The red wave is rolling now
March 20th, 2010, 9:28 pm

Mater Dei finally got the lead under 10 thanks to a pair of Gary Franklin free throws with 5:48 left in the game. Westchester is over the limit with 10 fouls. The Comets are not playing with the same sharpness they did earlier.

Franklin hit a 3 with 5:13 to finally make this a ballgame again.
Westchester 54, Mater Dei 49
5:13 left in game

Mater Dei shot 42.9 percent in the third quarter, while Westchester shot 37.5

Boys basketball: Jordin Mayes for 3, Dwayne Polee brings down the house
March 20th, 2010, 9:35 pm

Tyler Lamb basket and free throw made the score 54-52.

Lamb later hit one of two free throws to cut the score to 54-53. Dwayne
Polee knocked down two for a 56-53 lead. Keala King went to line and made one, 56-54. Then Westchester struck and did so fast.

Jordin Mayes stepped up and knocked home a big 3 for a 59-54 lead. Dwayne Polee followed with a thunderous jam, but he called for a T. Franklin went to the line and missed both free throws.

Westchester 61, Mater Dei 54
2:29 left.

Boys basketball: Westchester one minute away from Bakersfield
March 20th, 2010, 9:44 pm

The crowd was still buzzing after Polee's jam. How is that kid not going to either USC or UCLA? Jordin Mayes (another who isn't going to either USC or UCLA) then came out of a timeout and hit a 15-foot J to give Westchester a 63-54 lead.
Mater Dei is barely hanging on, trailing 64-58 with 1:04 left.

Polee made one of two free throws for a 65-58 lead. Lamb followed with a layup with 50.5 seconds left.

Westchester 65, Mater Dei 60
50.5 seconds left.

Boys basketball: Highway 99 will get you to Bakersfield
March 20th, 2010, 9:52 pm

And Westchester will be on it sometime in the next couple of days.

Dwayne Polee went to the free throw line for what seemed like 15 attempts in the final minutes. Mater Dei eventually ran out of time.
Westchester wins, 71-63.

Boys basketball: Mater Dei-Westchester, instant analysis
March 20th, 2010, 10:21 pm

Here is my instant analysis of Westchester's 71-63 victory over Mater Dei.

Turning point, No. 1: The second quarter. Mater Dei actually led 18-17 after the first period. Westchester then did what it wanted to in the second, outscoring Mater Dei 20-7 in the second. The second quarter was ugly for Mater Dei. With the game tied at 19, Westchester outscored Mater Dei, 11-2 to take a 30-21 lead. The Comets would eventually lead 37-25 at halftime.

Turning point, No. 2: Mater Dei trailed by 20, but eventually made a ferocious second half run to get to within 54-53 in the third. Westchester then scored seven consecutive (Dwayne Polee free throws, Jordan Mayes 3 and Polee's monster jam) to regain control at 61-53.

MVP: Dwayne Polee/Jordin Mayes. When the Comets needed them late, their big duo came through. Polee finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Mayes had 21.
Westchester unsung hero: Reggie Murphy. The tallest kid on the court, finished with 14 points and 14 rebounds. Westchester outrebounded Mater Dei, 44-37.

Mater Dei MVP: That's an easy one. Tyler Lamb. Lamb was the only reason Mater Dei was relatively close at halftime when he scored 17 points. He finished with 32 and 14 rebounds. I think he will do just fine next year at UCLA.

What went wrong for MD: Not enough offense from the likes of Keala King, Gary Franklin and Max Hooper. At halftime, Franklin was 1 of 10, King was 1 of 5 and Hooper was 1 for 2. The wide open 3-point attempts that Mater Dei enjoyed all season, were not in the cards tonight.

Franklin finished shooting 5 of 18, but 1 of 10 on 3's. He finished with 18 points. King was 3 of 14 and missed all three 3-point attempts. Hooper was 1 of 5.

Mater Dei also couldn't shoot. The Monarchs shot 30 percent at halftime. They did shoot 42.9 percent in the third, but finished shooting just 34.9 percent.

What went right for MD: The Monarchs showed a lot of fight in the second half to cut the deficit from 20 to 1. Mater Dei's defense picked up, forcing Westchester into a lot of hurried shots.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Where does Ray McCallum Jr fit best?

ESPN article from March 10, 2010

Where does McCallum fit best?
By ESPN Recruiting
Originally Published: March 10, 2010

While Ray McCallum Jr. (Beverly Hills, Mich./Detroit Country Day) is keeping his recruitment close to the vest, Arizona, Detroit, Florida and UCLA are the likely favorites. While Detroit doesn't necessarily have the same tradition as the other programs on his list, it's important to remember that's where his dad, Ray Sr., coaches. Here's a look at what all four programs have to offer this complete lead guard.

Ray McCallum
Height: 6-1 | Weight: 179 | ESPNU 100: 34 | PG rank: 7


Playing style - UCLA is an opportunistic, fast-break team that will settle into its half-court offense that includes great spacing, ball screens and a mix of set. Coach Ben Howland allows his point guards to play in attack mode, which provides them the freedom to make plays for themselves or teammates.

How he fits - McCallum would be an excellent fit for the Bruins' thin backcourt and he has the tools to run the team right away. Jerime Anderson returns and juco point guard Lazeric Jones committed in late December, so with the addition of McCallum the backcourt would be pretty deep.

Pro factor - The Bruins have been hit hard by early entries into the draft at every position over the past couple of years, especially at the guard position. Darren Collison and Jrue Holiday went in the first round in 2009, and Russell Westbrook was selected No. 4 overall in 2008. This recent success should be attractive.

X factor - UCLA is the farthest school from home that McCallum is considering, but the Bruins' recent Final Four appearances and tradition is undeniable. Also, the Bruins have signed the No. 1 center in Josh Smith and playing with a quality big man is always important to a point guard


Playing style - McCallum would be great at leading Arizona's fast break and running its half-court offense, consisting of set plays and motion. He would be the coach on the floor for head coach Sean Miller and he would be able make the offense run smoothly and set the tone in the half-court man-to-man defense.

How he fits - McCallum would step right in with the departure of senior point guard Nic Wise. Lamont Jones would be the only remaining point and he and McCallum would be excellent together. With Wise being the only senior on the roster, the Wildcats would be loaded with young talent.

Pro factor - The tradition of great point guard play at Arizona could be very attractive for McCallum. It has been a staple of the program and expect Sean Miller to add to the list that includes Mike Bibby, Damon Stoudamire and most recently Jerryd Bayless, who were all high NBA draft picks.

X factor - The distance could be a huge factor for McCallum. Although the tradition and great weather excites recruits, McCallum's family attends each and every game and traveling west from Detroit could be a major concern, especially for his father, who is the head coach at the University of Detroit.


Playing style - The Titans look to attack in transition and run balanced half-court sets. Ray Jr. would have an opportunity to run the team from Day 1 and set the tone on both ends of the floor.

How he fits - Detroit senior point guard Woody Payne led the Titans with 138 assists this season, so the minutes are available for McCallum to play as much as he can handle. Also Detroit returns three of its top four leading scorers next season, so it has a chance to be very good with McCallum.

Pro factor - Ray McCallum Sr. has recruited and coached several NBA players, most recently the No. 7 overall pick of the 2008 NBA draft, guard Eric Gordon, while he was an assistant at Indiana. He also coached swingman Bonzi Wells, who was the No. 11 pick in 1998, at Ball State.

X factor - Detroit had a pretty good year, finishing 20-14, before losing to Wright State in the Horizon League semifinals and McCallum could play for his dad and be the man right away. Plus, by staying at home, the McCallum's family and friends could see almost every game.


Playing style - The Gators love to get out in transition on misses and turnovers. Head coach Billy Donovan allows his point guards to attack at high speeds and they make plays from multiple on-ball screening actions utilizing dribble penetration, drive draw and kick opportunities. McCallum would also be a coach on the floor.

How he fits - Florida has plenty of playing time available. Erving Walker will be the only true point guard returning, but he and McCallum would be an excellent pair of lead guards. Add shooting guard Kenny Boynton, who will have a year of experience under his belt, and the perimeter would seem to be in great hands.

Pro factor - In 1998, Sacramento selected point guard Jason Williams as a lottery pick and he later won an NBA title in 2006 with the Heat. In 2007, guard Taurean Green went to the Portland Trailblazers in the second round.

X factor - Donovan has back-to-back NCAA championships to sell and Florida is much closer and easier for the McCallum family to travel to, as opposed to Arizona or UCLA. Donovan is also in hot pursuit of Brandon Knight, who played AAU ball with Boynton, and if Knight commits it would probably take away this option for McCallum.