Home » » Recent Articles:

Gonzaga at Portland

by - Published January 27, 2004 in Columns



No Upset This Time

by Jed Tai

You’d never guess it from their relative places in the WCC standings the past few years, but Gonzaga has had a devil of a time with the Portland Pilots.

Last season in their two meetings, the Zags beat Portland by only three on the road, and in the rematch back in Spokane, the unthinkable happened. Head Coach Michael Holton led his Pilots over Gonzaga in the Kennel, 72-68, in what was likely his biggest win as a head coach.

So entering this year’s first matchup between the Zags and the Pilots, Gonzaga was determined to not take anything for granted.

“That was the second loss in the Kennel in my career,” said Gonzaga senior guard Blake Stepp. “You definitely think about that, and coming into here, we definitely had to change some things.”

So that’s exactly what Gonzaga did against Portland at the Chiles Center in Portland on Friday evening. While the Pilots hung tough for 35 minutes, Gonzaga used swift ball-movement, tough defense, and clutch shooting to down Portland, 80-65.

“We showed great poise and really stuck with the game plan down the stretch of the game,” said Gonzaga head coach Mark Few. “We were about as efficient as we could be in the last eight minutes both offensively and defensively. I thought we weathered some storms in there, but eventually we made some of tough shots miss and were able to capitalize at the other end.”

While the final score indicated a double digit win, the game was actually tight for most of the contest in front of a sold-out, capacity crowd. It started early on when Portland used hot shooting from three-point range to take an early 13-11 lead. But Gonzaga used their size advantage inside with Rony Turiaf and Cory Violette, pounding the ball into the paint. The Zags went on an 11-2 run to take a 22-15 advantage midway through the half.

But the Pilots remained hot from the perimeter and continued to fire away from three-point range. And when senior guard Casey Frandsen hit a three just minutes later, the Pilots went back ahead 26-25. Again, the Zags responded by going down low, and went on another 14-4 run to lead 39-30 with two minutes left. But Portland came back with a mini 8-0 streak, and pulled to within one when Pilots forward Patrick Galos scored on a coast-to-coast fast break bucket at the buzzer.

The teams remained separated by no more than six points early in the second half. Portland leading scorer Pooh Jeter started to get hot, and his deep three at the 10:21 mark gave the Pilots a 54-53 lead. Gonzaga came back with a 12-3 run, but Jeter kept the Pilots to within striking distance of six, 67-61, when he sank another three with five minutes left.

But that would be Portland’s last gasp. Behind Turiaf and Stepp, the Zags milked the clock on offense, forcing Portland to chase the ball, sucking the Pilots out of any energy they had left for the offensive end. Portland missed their last ten shots in a row, while Gonzaga scored the next 11 points of the ballgame, essentially putting the contest out of reach.

While the Zags improved to 15-2 overall, 5-0 in the WCC, they knew they were in for a tough fight, regardless of the final score.

“Everybody that plays us right now wants to bring their ‘A’ game to beat us,” said Turiaf. “Tonight we did a good job of making every shot difficult for them, and I think we wore them down. Since we have so much depth, it’s difficult to deal with us for 40 minutes.”

Turiaf led Gonzaga with 21 points and 14 rebounds, shooting 8-for-10 from the field. Stepp finished with 19 points and nine assists – surpassing John Stockton for number two on Gonzaga’s all-time assists list in the process. Violette added 17 points and eight rebounds.

Portland was paced by Jeter, who scored 18 points. Fellow sophomore Donald Wilson added 15, while senior forward Dustin Geddis grabbed 13 rebounds. The Pilots gave it their all in their attempt to pull off the upset, but fell just short.

“I thought we competed and I was pleased with our energy and effort,” said Holton. “They wore us down as the game progressed in the second half and that was the difference. Our goal coming in was obviously to try and win the basketball game and we did everything we could to give ourselves that opportunity, and for that I’m proud that our guys competed. At the end of the day there was a difference in our basketball teams and down the stretch, it was pretty apparent.”

Portland dropped to 8-10 overall, 2-3 in conference play. But as the Pilots head on the road this upcoming week, the fact they were able to hang tough for most of the game against the league’s top team gives them hope.

“That energy that we had the first 35 minutes, that’s the way we should play every game,” said Jeter. “We do that, we’ll come out on top.”

Portland faces Santa Clara in San Jose its next contest on Thursday. Gonzaga will look to continue their eight-game winning streak at San Diego.

     

In Memoriam 2003

by - Published January 8, 2004 in Columns


In Memoriam, 2003

by Jed Tai

As we say hello to 2004, we should also take this time to remember, reflect, and pay homage to those who left this earth in 2003.

A number of former coaches and players with ties to college basketball passed away in 2002, some of them even doing what they loved – coaching and playing hoops. This is our goodbye to those who are no doubt nearby that great basketball court in heaven.

(Note: If you know of anyone with a college basketball background that we might have missed, please let us know.)

John K. Adams, 57, October 21

Adams devoted much of his life and career to Division III athletics. He started out as a standout basketball player at Rowan University (then called Glassboro State) and moved on to the coaching ranks William Paterson, where he led the team for 11 seasons, reached eight NCAA Tournaments, won seven conference championships, and put together a record that stood fifth all-time in career winning percentage. Adams then moved up to athletic director at Rutgers-Newark, where he served as the athletic director until this year. He has been honored by both Rowan and William Paterson for his accomplishments.

Bob Allen, 83, April 3

The son of legendary coach Phog Allen, Bob Allen was a standout on the basketball floor as well. Playing for his father during the 1940′s, the younger Allen was twice an all-conference selection and played on the 1939-40 team that reached the NCAA Tournament finals. After graduation he had a successful career as a medical doctor in the Kansas City area, but never lost contact with the KU program, attending Jayhawks games for years.

Jed Beford, 21, December 14 (cardiac arrest)

Beford, captain of Columbus State’s basketball team, was a prolific three-point shooter who led NCAA Division II in three-point field goals made last season with 135. The 5-foot-11 guard started his college career at Gulf Coast Community College in Florida. During the 2003-04 season, he had been averaging 21.4 points through seven games.

Henry Beenders, 87, October 27

A native of the Netherlands, Beenders was Long Island’s team captain during the 1941-42 season. The center was also a member of LIU’s 1941 NIT title team. After college, he played with the Providence Steam Rollers and the Boston Celtics of the BAA, one of the forerunner leagues of the NBA. He was also a US war veteran, having served with the Army during World War II.

Ernie Calverly, 79, October 20 (illness)

Calverly led the nation in scoring for the Gulls during the 1943-44 season at 26.7 ppg and the Pawtucket native is generally regarded as one of the state’s all-time great athletes. He was also the MVP of the NIT in 1946, even though URI lost in the finals to Kentucky. He became one of the original players in the BAA and later coached Rhode Island to two NCAA tournament berths and a 139-114 record from 1958 to 1968.

Tommy Campbell, Bradley, 59, September 14

Campbell competed at Bradley during the mid-late 60′s, taking off three years to serve a tour in Vietnam. He was the team’s third-leading scorer during the 1964-65 and 1965-66 seasons before leaving to go overseas. Bradley later returned for his final year of eligibility at Bradley during the 1969-70 season.

Peter A. Carlesimo, 87, June 22 (unspecified illness)

While he never played or coached Division I hoops, Carlesimo was still extremely important in the evolution of major college basketball. He was the first full-time director of the National Invitational Tournament and has been credited with keeping the post-season tournament alive when the NCAA Tournament became the top draw in March. Carlesimo also created the pre-season NIT in 1985, which has become one of the top tournaments at the start of every season. A Fordham graduate, Carlesimo’s background was in football, but he also coached basketball at the University of Scranton in two stints between 1944 and 1955. The father of future Seton Hall head coach PJ Carlesimo was also athletic director at Fordham for many years.

Justin Chapman, 22, July 18 (drowning)

A native of Toledo, Chapman started his college basketball career at Alpena Community College before moving on to Wayne State his final two seasons in 2001-02 and 2002-03. He made an immediate impact at Wayne State, earning All-Conference honors as a junior and earned All-Defensive honors as a senior while leading the team in scoring. Chapman was known as a fierce competitor, but also a standout off the court, and his number 24 was retired by the school on December 6 and a memorial scholarship fund has also been set up in his name.

John Patrick Conroy, 95, November 4

Conroy was one of the original “Blocks of Granite”, a group of lineman at Fordham during the late 20′s-early 30′s that were virtually immovable and impenetrable. While he was best known for his football exploits, Conroy also played on the school’s basketball team and participated in the first-ever college basketball game held at Madison Square Garden. He was inducted into Fordham’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1980.

Dave DeBusschere, 62, May 14 (heart attack)

While the Hall-of-Famer will be recognized mostly for his exploits as a professional player, DeBusschere was one of the all-time great collegians as well. At the University of Detroit from 1960-62, he was an three-time All-American and ranks amongst the schools all-time leaders in scoring and rebounding. He still stands tied for fifth all-time in the NCAA record book for rebounds in a game with 39, and ranks in the Top 20 all-time in career rebounds. A two-sport athlete, DeBusschere later went on to fame with the Detroit Pistons and New York Knicks and also served as player/coach and general manager during his career, after a two-year stint in the major leagues.

Lee Denmon III, 23, March (gunshot wound)

A native of Los Angeles, Denmon started his collegiate career at LA Southwest Junior College before moving on to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, where he excelled as a three-point marksman. In two years and 54 career games, he set school records for three-point field goals made in a season with 69 and in a career with 120. After graduation, Denmon returned home to coach the freshman team at his alma mater, Morningside High School in Inglewood, when he was tragically and mistakenly caught in a drive-by shooting.

Patrick Dennehy, 21, July 27 (gunshot wound)

Dennehy, from Mountain View, California, started his college career at New Mexico, where he averaged 10.6 points and 7.5 rebounds as a sophomore starter. He transferred to Baylor, where he sat out the 2002-03 season as a redshirt. It is alleged that Dennehy’s good friend Carlton Dotson is responsible for Dennehy’s death. The 2003-04 season would have been Dehenny’s junior year and he had two seasons left of eligibility.

Kellen Dixon, 21, September 13 (auto accident)

A native of Berkeley, CA, Dixon attended St. Mary’s High School before moving onto UC-Riverside, where he was a mainly role player. The 6-foot-5 guard appeared in 17 games in 2002-03, averaging 1.5 points and 1.2 rebounds. He was killed when a tractor trailer veered off the road and hit the Jeep Cherokee he was riding in with a couple of teammates (who survived the accident). He would have been a junior in 2003-04, and UCR has dedicated this season to his memory.

Jack Donohue, 70, April 16 (cancer)

Donohue was one of the coaching legends in Canadian basketball history. He established the national program in the 1970s and coached Team Canada to four Olympics and a gold medal at the 1983 World University Games. Donohue actually started his coaching career in the United States in the high school ranks at famed Power Memorial Academy in New York in the early 60′s, where his star pupil was Lew Alcindor. He then moved on to Holy Cross where he compiled a 106-66 record in several seasons before moving up north of the border.

Robert Dowell, 91, November 27 (natural causes)

Nicknamed “Duck”, Dowell was first a basketball All-American at Northwest Missouri State in 1932 as a player before serving as both head basketball coach and athletic director at Pepperdine during the 1950′s and 60′s, where he coached the Waves to four straight conference titles from 1950 to 1953. He compiled a career coaching record of 263-263.

Brent Edwards, 21, November 25 (auto accident)

The young man known as “Buddha” to his teammates was a walk-on to the Chippewas program, but was very much a part of the team. As a freshman in 2002-03, Edwards made the team and appeared in three games, scoring two points and grabbing two rebounds. He was a team motivator who was also a three-sport athlete in high school. He had remained back at home when the CMU team traveled to Hawaii for the Maui Invitational.

Billy Feeney, 20, August 28

Feeney sat out at New Mexico in 2002-03 after transferring in from Portland State, where he had averaged 8.5 points and 3.6 rebounds as a freshman. It appeared that he would be big part of the Vikings future plans, but when there was a coaching change, he transferred to New Mexico. The Boulder, CO, native would have been a sophomore in eligibility for the Lobos.

Dick Fick, 50, April 28 (unspecified illness)

Fick was best known for his sideline antics while coaching Morehead State in the mid-90′s. His athletic career first started out in baseball, where he starred for Lewis University in the mid-70′s and was part of two national championship teams. Fick went on to be an assistant basketball coach at Valparaiso and Creighton before landing the Morehead State head coaching job in 1991. He had spent the last two seasons as a part-time assistant at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, IL, and had suffered from unspecified health problems.

Al Fleming, 49, May 14 (kidney failure)

A four-year star at Arizona, Fleming compiled career totals of 1765 points and 1190 rebounds and set a standard for boardwork that still stands today in Wildcat basketball history. The 6-foot-7 forward played on the Seattle Supersonics team that won the NBA title in 1978, and then went overseas where he finished his playing career. He then moved back to the U.S. where he settled in his native Michigan City, IN, where he and his brother started up a church.

William Sheldon Frear, 81, December 4

Frear, a native Canadian, was an Ottawa Brave through and through. After graduating from the University of Ottawa, where he was a member of three conference championship teams as a player, he coached high school basketball in nearby towns before becoming the head coach of the Braves in 1955. For the next 23 years, he would compile nearly 300 wins at the school before stepping down and working in other capacities at the university.

Anthony Frederick, 38, May 29 (heart attack)

Known best as a defensive specialist with his long arms and quickness, Frederick only played two seasons at Pepperdine but made an impact during his short stay. After transferring in from Santa Monica Community College, the 6-foot-8 forward helped the Waves to two straight NCAA tournament appearances in 1985 and 1986. He then went on to play 147 career games in the NBA with three different teams

Otto Graham, 82, December 17 (heart aneurysm)

There’s no question Graham will be remembered for his accomplishments on the football field, where he was a Hall of Famer and one of the best quarterbacks of all-time. But Graham actually cut his teeth athletically on the basketball court, where he started out at Northwestern on a basketball scholarship. There, he became an All-American in both basketball and football in 1943 and after a stint in the Navy, embarked on a sparking pro career where he appeared in the NFL championship game in every year that he played. But he also played pro basketball as well, winning a title with the Rochester Royals in the NBL in 1946. After his playing career, Graham coached football at the college and pro levels.

Basil Hayden, 103, January 9

One of the all-time greats in the early era of Kentucky basketball, Hayden’s retired jersey #41 is one of the select few that hang in Rupp Arena. He played for the Wildcats from 1920 to 1922 after transferring in from Transylvania, and was UK’s first-ever All-American in basketball in 1921. He captained the team that year which won the SIAA championship, which is thought to be the first college basketball tournament ever played. Hayden also competed in tennis and the javelin while at UK. After a few years in the insurance business, he returned to UK for one season as UK’s head coach in 1926-27, but compiled a 3-13 record and made the decision to return to insurance, later entering the banking industry.

Emmett Hendricks, 65, May 18 (illness)

Hendricks was only a head coach for three seasons, but was Southland Conference coach of the year in two of them. After taking over the Louisiana Tech program in 1974, Hendricks earned conference coaching honors in 1975-76 and 1976-77 and put together a career record of 40-37. Some of the players he coached during his short tenure include current coaches Tim Floyd (New Orleans Hornets), Jim Woolridge (Kansas State), and Mike McConathy (Northwestern State). Before his coaching career, Hendricks played at Northwestern (LA) State and also served in the Air Force.

John “Whack” Hyder, 90, February 9

Hyder was the second all-time winningest coach in Georgia Tech history, behind Bobby Cremins. From 1959 to 1971, Hyder compiled 292 wins, and led the Yellow Jackets to their first-ever NCAA tournament appearance in 1960. His most famous win came at the expense of Kentucky on January 8, 1955, when Georgia Tech snapped the Wildcats 129-game home winning streak. Hyder was also a letterman in four sports at Georgia Tech as a player. He also served in the Navy during World War II.

Raymond Lavietes, 88, January 12 (lung cancer)

The basketball pavilion at Harvard is named after Lavietes, who not only played for the Crimson in the 30′s, but was a great fan and supporter of Harvard athletics his entire life. Even though he grew up in New Haven, Connecticut, home of rival Yale, Lavietes went to Harvard and after participating on the boxing team as a freshman, joined the basketball team where he played two varsity seasons. After graduation he ran successful businesses in Connecticut, and his three million dollar donation in 1995 helped upgrade many of Harvard’s athletic facilities.

Robert MacLeod, January 13 (stroke)

MacLeod was best known for his football career at Dartmouth, but also competed on the school’s basketball team during his years at the school, reaching all-Ivy League status in 1938-39. But it was on the gridiron that MacLeod made his mark as a two-way standout, and his name is still littered in the school’s record books in several statistics. He played one season in the NFL with the Chicago Bears was later inducted into the school and the College Football hall of fames.

Kevin Magee, 40, November 27 (auto accident)

Magee was arguably the Anteaters’ all-time greatest basketball player. In only two seasons after transferring from Saddleback Junior College, he averaged 26.3 points and 11.3 rebounds and was a first team AP All-American his junior and senior seasons. He still holds the school records for points (46) and rebounds (25) in a game. He was a second round pick in the 1982 NBA Draft, but ended up playing his entire pro career overseas, notably in Israel, where he became a hoops legend. He had retired and was working as a warehouse supervisor near his native Summit, MS.

Chuck Noe, 79, December 8 (illness)

After a four-year standout career at Virginia, Noe actually started his professional career as a baseball player, but only reached the AA level in the Boston Red Sox organization before a broken ankle ended his career. He moved on to coaching, where he finished at Virginia Commonwealth where he helped the Rams program make the transition from Division II to Division I in the 1970′s. He became a radio host until passing away this year.

Joe O’Brien, 68, August 28 (illness)

O’Brien was affiliated with Assumption for much of his life, as a player during the mid-late 50′s, and then as the longtime basketball coach from 1967-85, where he compiled a 321-173 coaching record. While at Assumption, he also helped out as an assistant athletic director, and also coached baseball and cross country. After his coaching career, he went on to be executive director of the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1985 and was a key component in the Hall’s recent renovation efforts.

Kevin O’Shea, 77, February 21 (heart attack)

He finished his career as a politician and in business in San Francisco, but many will remember O’Shea’s reputation as a playground basketball star. A standout prep player, O’Shea was a four-year All-American at Notre Dame in the late 40′s after a stint in the Coast Guard during World War II. O’Shea finished his Fighting Irish career as the school’s all-time leading scorer and was the school’s first-ever first round NBA draft pick. He ended up playing three years in the NBA with the Minneapolis Lakers/Hawks and the Baltimore Bullets before entering the business world back home in the Bay Area.

Don Phillips, 85, March 10

Phillips served as football coach, basketball coach, and athletic director at Shepherd College in West Virginia in the late 40′s-early 50′s. He coached hoops from 1949 to 1951 and compiled a 17-24 record during that time period. He later concentrated on his work on the gridiron at Bethany College and West Virginia Tech.

Dave Polansky, 83, June 16

Polansky had a tough task at CCNY in the 1960′s, taking over for famed Nat Holman as head coach. After filling in a few times during the 50′s during the point-shaving scandals, Polansky took over for good four games into the 1959-60 season and compiled a 68-58 record over the next seven years, which included three City University of New York titles in 1966, 1967, and 1968. As a player, Polansky played under Holman in the late 30′s and also excelled on the track team at CCNY.

Bryan Randall, 37, September 22

A diminutive point guard for Dartmouth in the mid-80′s, Randall was the Ivy League’s Rookie of the Year in 1985 and ended up as the Big Green’s all-time assist leader with 488 by the time he graduated in 1988. He went on to play a little in the CBA with the San Jose Jammers. After his playing career, he became a sports talk host in the Washington, DC, area. Randall had been battling unemployment and domestic issues at the time of his death.

Norm Sloan, 77, December 9 (pulmonary fibrosis)

Sloan was best known for coaching one of the greatest teams and players of all time in North Carolina State and David Thompson in the early 70′s. His 1973-74 Wolfpack team captured the NCAA Championship, winning a dramatic ACC Championship game against Maryland and beating invincible UCLA in the Final Four. In 14 years at NC State, Sloan had a 266-127 record, and he also coached two stints at Florida before and after his time in Raleigh and along with stings at Presbyterian and The Citadel, compiled 627 career wins. Also a standout player at NC State, Sloan was an Indiana native who was enshrined in the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.

Steve Stroud, 48, January 27 (pancreatic cancer)

He wasn’t the star on the team, but Stroud was an important part of Arkansas’ SWC undefeated title team in 1976-77. While the “triplets” of Sidney Moncrief, Ron Brewer, and Marvin Delph did the scoring, it was 6-foot-11 Stroud who did the dirty work inside with his rebounding and defense. Stroud averaged 4.5 points and 4.7 rebounds as a senior. Arkansas lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament that season, but made the Final Four the following year. Stroud was working in Hot Springs as a sales director.

Brett Studdard, 28, October 26

A junior college transfer, Studdard played for head coach Benny Dees at Wyoming from 1991-93 as a reserve guard. He appeared in 57 career games, averaging 4.3 points and 1.0 rebounds. His career game as a Cowboy was a 20-point performance against UTEP his senior season. He was living in Roswell, GA, and had an altercation with a former girlfriend that led to an unfortunate murder/suicide incident.

Guy Vetrie, 52, September 16 (heart attack)

Vetrie was a well-respected head coach in the Canadian collegiate ranks, who not only coached winning college teams, but also helped out with the national team as well. After a playing career at Laurentian, Vetrie entered the coaching ranks at the University of Saskatchewan from 1979 to 1988, and moved on to the University of Victoria where he was coaching at the time of his untimely death. His career highlight was coaching the Victoria Vikes to the Canadian national championship in 1996-97.

Shawn Walton, 19, December 11

A native of East Liverpool, Ohio, Walton had just started his college basketball career at Thiel College in Pennsylvania. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound forward had appeared in four games, playing about 10 minutes a contest, and scored a total of four points and grabbed three rebounds. He passed away in his dorm room after having a hard time breathing.

W.T. Watson, 71, May (stroke)

There’s a reason the athletic center at Southern Arkansas is named after Watson – he was affiliated with the program for almost 40 years as a player, head basketball coach, and athletic director. A player for the Muleriders in the early 50′s, Watson took over the reins as head coach in 1963 and served in that capacity until the end of the 1979-80 season, winning three conference championships and four NAIA district titles. He then moved over to the position of athletic director where he operated until his retirement in 1998. He was inducted into the school’s hall of fame in its inaugural class this year.

Wyatt Webb, 62, October 8 (cancer)

When Webb was named head coach of Akron in 1968, it was unheard of for a young man in his mid-20′s (Webb was 26) to be in such a position. After all, Webb had just finished his playing career at Akron just a few years back. But Webb proved the doubters wrong, compiling a 126-60 record in seven seasons and taking the Zips to three NCAA Division II tournaments, including a title game appearance in 1971-72. Even though he resigned after 1975, he stayed at the school as a teacher and chairperson.

Ron Whitson, 58, August 23 (heart attack)

Whitson was one of Transy’s all-time greats as a basketball player, where during his four-year career he scored 1534 points, which ranks 14th all-time in school history. As a sophomore in 1964-65, he led the team to the NAIA Tournament and was a two-time team MVP. He was elected to the school’s Hall of Fame in 1999. He later served as the team’s head assistant coach from 1974 to 2001, and was serving as the school’s athletic director at the time of his death.

Steve Wright, 45, December 22 (cancer)

Wright finished his college career at one of Boston University’s all-time great player. He was the first three-time MVP in team history, and still ranks as the school’s fourth all-time leading scorer with 1641 career points. As a senior in 1979-80, Wright averaged 19.8 points and 6.0 rebounds and helped lead BU to their first post-season appearance in the NIT in over 20 years. He was selected by the Boston Celtics in the eighth round of the 1980 NBA Draft and was inducted into BU’s Hall of Fame in 1980.

Ned Wulk, 83, November 15 (cancer)

Wulk coached at Arizona State for 25 years, where he compiled a 406-272 record and led the Sun Devils to nine NCAA tournament berths. He coached at ASU from 1958 to 1982 and some of the later players he coached that went on to the NBA included Lafayette Lever, Kurt Nimphius, Alton Lister, and Lionel Hollins. Three times, his teams were one victory away from the Final Four in the NCAA Tournament. Wulk started his coaching career at Xavier as an assistant after graduating from LaCrosse State Teachers College.

Jewell Young, 90, April 16

Young was a three-time Big 10 scoring champ for Purdue in the late-1930′s and was elected to both the Purdue and the state of Indiana’s Hall of Fames. He was named outstanding athlete of the year in 1938 and after his playing career and a stint in the Navy, coached high school basketball in Indianapolis from 1946-54 before entering the business world. He was living in Bradenton, FL, at the time of his death.

     

Portland vs Oregon

by - Published December 24, 2003 in Columns





Ducks looking for Redemption and Revenge

by Jed Tai

Two years ago, the Oregon Ducks came up to the University of Portland in desperate need of a win. Unfortunately, they went away empty-handed and it was such a bad loss that they’ve never forgotten it. So when they came up Interstate-5 on Monday night, the Ducks were definitely not going to let this one get away. And behind some deadeye three-point shooting and a big second-half run, the Ducks put it to the hometown Pilots, 88-70, to right some of the wrongs from the past.

“Losing here two years ago might have been the worst loss that I can remember since I’ve been at Oregon,” said Oregon swingman Luke Jackson. “You just don’t forget a game like that; it was the low point of our season. I wanted this game so bad just for everybody that was on that team. We wanted to prove to (Portland) that game really hurt us. They were very capable of doing that again if we let them do it. But fortunately we had that run in the second half and we executed.”

The outsized Pilots hung tough with the bigger Ducks early in the game. For a good part of the first half Portland shot the ball well, and on a jumper by Patrick Galos with 8:39 in the period, actually led Oregon, 17-14. But the Ducks went on an 11-0 run to regain the lead and momentum, and led 34-28 at the break.

While Portland would seem to hang around for part of the second half, Oregon was able to start grabbing control and put the game into cruise control. In the opening minutes of the period, Oregon – in particular James Davis – started firing away from three-point range and hitting. And when Andre Joseph canned a long jumper at the 16:20 mark, Oregon was up by 12.

Portland could never really recover and watched as the Ducks offense executed almost to perfection. And Jackson started to get things into gear, taking over midway through the half. He shook a Pilot defender with a crossover and drove the baseline for a jam to give the Ducks a 59-46 lead. And after personally hitting a runner and two threes later, Jackson dished to a cutting James Davis at the 9:45 mark for a 69-52 advantage. The Ducks were scoring and having fun, and cruised the rest of the way out for the win.

“Second half I really thought that the offense started playing,” said Oregon center Ian Crosswhite. “We started moving the ball and were really unselfish, and (everyone) started knocking down threes.”

Oregon ended up shooting over 71 percent on three-pointers for the game, and tied a Chiles Center record for most three-point field goals made in a game by an opponent with 15. The Ducks put four players in double figures, led by Jackson’s 19. Portland was led by guard Eugene Jeter’s

While revenge certainly was a motive coming into the game, there were several other factors at play too. A lot of them had to do with the bitter taste the Ducks had in their mouth after a tough loss to Alabama in Las Vegas on Saturday.

“We felt terrible that we let a game get away against Alabama,” said Oregon head coach Ernie Kent. “So coming into this game, we called it a continuation of the Alabama second half. We wanted to come out with the same intensity and same firepower and I felt we got that accomplished.”

Portland knew that the odds would be stacked up against them, but did as good as they could despite being overmatched.

“We just ran into a team that we’d have a hard time beating at this time if we played perfect,” said Holton. “They’re finding their rhythm and their stride, and they’re really playing well.”

“On the other side of the ledger, I told our guys that at 5-5 the sky hasn’t fallen,” he added. “There’s still a lot of basketball to be played. We have three non-conference games left, and hopefully we can go into our conference season with a winning record and see what we can do, because all of these games are in preparation for conference.”

The loss was the fourth in a row for the Pilots, who had gotten off to a quick start earlier this season including upsets on the road at Oregon State and New Mexico. But a nationally-televised drubbing at the hands of Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium started a streak of four straight losses, and it doesn’t get any easier as the Pilots’ next five games are on the road.

“We’re kind of swimming upstream right now,” said Holton. “We were 5-1 and everyone thought we were going to shock the nation. But it’s a long season. I thought our trip to Duke took a lot out of us, but I aggressively scheduled this team because I thought it was in our program’s long-term interest. I didn’t want to schedule D-II teams and schedule wins – I don’t believe in self-preservation. I didn’t do that as a player and I don’t do that as a coach.”

“But now we’re experiencing some growing pains,” he added. “We have to go back to the drawing board a little bit.”

Portland’s next game will be at Boise State on December 28. Oregon, meanwhile, will have some time off. The next time the Ducks suit up will be when they start Pac-10 Conference play January 2 at USC.

     

Texas Style

by - Published November 28, 2003 in Columns


Thanksgiving Weekend Hoops

by Jed Tai

In recent years, Texas has become a haven for high school hoops talent. No longer is the Lone Star State only known for prep prowess on the gridiron, but people are realizing that there are some great players on the hardwood as well. In the past two years, there have been seven McDonald’s All-Americans from Texas – three from the Houston/Gulf area (Ndudi Ebi, Kendrick Perkins, Vakeaton Wafer), three from the Dallas/Fort Worth Area (Chris Bosh, Daniel Horton, Bracey Wright), and one from Austin (Brad Buckman) – that’s more than any other state in the Union. And it’s not just the numbers, the fact that Bosh, Ebi, and Perkins are all currently playing in the NBA goes to show the quality of the players as well.

This Thanksgiving weekend, many players from the next wave will be playing at the 24 Hour Fitness/TeamSports Texas High School Jamboree on the campus of Texas Southern University in Houston. It’s a two-day event held on Friday and Saturday, November 28-29, and it will feature some of the top teams and talents from the state of Texas. Top seniors who will be in action include Texas-signee Daniel Gibson (Houston Jones HS), TCU-signee Neimann Owens (Channelview HS), and unsigned Robert Lee (Fort Worth Eastern Hills). A number of top underclassmen will be there as well, including junior two-sport standout Byron Eaton (Dallas Lincoln), junior swingman Gerald Green (Houston Gulfshores Academy), and junior big man Jeremy Barr (Houston Westbury Christian).

But not all the teams are from Texas – Baton Rouge University Lab from Louisiana has also been invited, and they feature the one and only Glen “Big Baby” Davis, LSU signee and consensus Top 5 player in the Class of 2004. It will be a battle of likely future McDonald’s All-Americans on Saturday as University Lab will take on Houston Jones and Daniel Gibson in the nightcap.

The complete list of matchups is as follows:

Friday, November 28

3:00 pm Houston Strake Jesuit vs. Fort Worth Eastern Hills
4:30 pm Galena Park vs. Corpus Christi Miller
6:00 pm Houston Westbury Christian vs. Dallas Kimball
7:30 pm Houston Gulfshores Academy vs. Dallas Lincoln

Saturday, November 29

2:00 pm Fort Worth Eastern Hills vs. Galena Park
3:30 pm Dallas Kimball vs. Houston Strake Jesuit
5:00 pm Dallas Carter vs. Houston Gulfshores Academy
6:30 pm Dallas Lincoln vs. Channelview
8:00 pm Baton Rouge University Lab vs. Houston Jones

If you are in the Houston area, be sure to catch this event and some of the best talent in the Southwest!

     

NBDL Draft

by - Published November 13, 2003 in Columns


The 2003 NBDL Draft

by Jed Tai

On November, 6, 2003, the NBDL – the NBA’s official developmental league – had its third annual draft. Held by conference call and broadcast via RealAudio on the internet, the league’s six teams took turns stocking up their rosters by picking players through ten rounds of selections. Through this draft, the dreams continue on for many young men who are still trying to get into “the league”.

The NBDL Draft runs a little different than drafts in other leagues, such as the NBA or the CBA. In those drafts, all players nationwide who are eligible for the draft can be picked. In the NBDL, the only players that are eligible are those who have signed an NBDL Standard Player Contract. The players also have either at least 20 years of age, or be drafted by an NBA team but were cut during training camp. With these standards in place, the number of eligible players was close to 70 players in this year’s pool.

Another interesting thing about the pool of available players is that it’s not just limited to players fresh out of college. Also included are players with minor league, international league, and even NBA playing experience. Some players may have been selected in a previous NBA draft. In fact, some players may have even been selected in a previous NBDL draft. It’s all about who has signed a contract with the league to be included in the draft.

The strategy in the NBDL draft is interesting. Teams obviously want to do well and compete for a championship. At the same time, one of the main goals of the league is to showcase players to move up to the NBA. So some teams may draft players with the intention of helping them advance to the next level. These are interesting dynamics in the draft that still have to perfected as the NBDL strives to be the main player development resource for the NBA.

In this year’s draft, there weren’t too many surprises. As expected, big men and players with NBA experience went early. The top three players selected, and four of the first six picks – Ken Johnson, Terence Morris, Lavor Postell, Jason Collier – are all players well experienced in the NBA, getting drafted and playing in the league in recent years. These guys will likely use the NBDL as a stepping stone to get back into the NBA. The other two first round picks, Josh Asselin (who played his college ball at Michigan) and Rolan Roberts (Virginia Tech), cut their teeth on pro ball overseas. The NBDL will be their chance to make an impression on NBA scouts on American soil.

The first true professional basketball rookie to be selected was Ronald Dupree out of Louisiana State, who was selected by Huntsville as the first pick of the second round. Many thought that Dupree would have been picked in the NBA Draft, but he was passed over. He, as well as others like Antonio Meeking, Carl English, and Phil Ricci – who all who participated in an NBA training camp this fall – will get a chance to make the league through the NBDL.

With the departure of Greenville and Mobile from the NBDL and the shortening of this year’s draft from fourteen rounds, the 2003 NBDL Draft only had a total of 60 selections. Here are the complete draft results.

2003 NBDL Draft

First Round
1. Huntsville Flight – Ken Johnson, Ohio State
2. Columbus Riverdragons – Terence Morris, Maryland
3. Asheville Altitude – Lavor Postell, St. John’s
4. Roanoke Dazzle – Josh Asselin, Michigan
5. Charleston Lowgators – Rolan Roberts, Virginia Tech
6. Fayetteville Patriots – Jason Collier, Georgia Tech

Second Round
7. Huntsville Flight – Ronald Dupree, Louisiana State
8. Columbus Riverdragons – Courtney James, Minnesota
9. Asheville Altitude – Antonio Meeking, Louisiana Tech
10. Roanoke Dazzle – Chris Christofferson, Oregon
11. Charleston Lowgators – Carl English, Hawaii
12. Fayetteville Patriots – Sam Clancy, Southern Cal

Third Round
13. Huntsville Flight – Erick Barkley, St. John’s
14. Columbus Riverdragons – Kevin Lyde, Temple
15. Asheville Altitude – Desmond Penigar, Utah State
16. Roanoke Dazzle – Demario Jones, Central Oklahoma
17. Charleston Lowgators – Hiram Fuller, Fresno State
18. Fayetteville Patriots – Ronald Blackshear, Marshall

Fourth Round
19. Huntsville Flight – Phil Ricci, Oregon State
20. Columbus Riverdragons – Matt Laur, McKendree
21. Asheville Altitude – Kareem Reid, Arkansas
22. Roanoke Dazzle – Marque Perry, St. Louis
23. Charleston Lowgators – James Smith, Colorado State
24. Fayetteville Patriots – Darrell Johns, Chicago State

Fifth Round
25. Huntsville Flight – Rick Apodaca, Hofstra
26. Columbus Riverdragons – Germaine Chase, Angelo State
27. Asheville Altitude – Lavorris Jerry, Eastern Kentucky
28. Roanoke Dazzle – Gilson DeJesus, Kansas State
29. Charleston Lowgators – Charles Manga, Seton Hall
30. Fayetteville Patriots – Kueth Duany, Syracuse

Sixth Round
31. Huntsville Flight – Mateen Cleaves, Michigan State
32. Columbus Riverdragons – Patrick Doctor, American
33. Asheville Altitude – Jai Pradia, Pittsburg State
34. Roanoke Dazzle – Mike Mackell, San Diego State
35. Charleston Lowgators – Jarrod Gee, Illinois
36. Fayetteville Patriots – Kent Williams, Southern Illinois

Seventh Round
37. Huntsville Flight – Uche Okafor, Missouri
38. Columbus Riverdragons – Derrick Zimmerman, Mississippi State
39. Asheville Altitude – Jaquay Walls, Colorado
40. Roanoke Dazzle – Mike King, George Washington
41. Charleston Lowgators – Victor Williams, Oklahoma State
42. Fayetteville Patriots – Chudney Gray, St. John’s

Eighth Round
43. Huntsville Flight – Jamario Moon, Meridian (MS) CC
44. Columbus Riverdragons – Erron Maxey, Providence
45. Asheville Altitude – Tobe Carberry, Vermont
46. Roanoke Dazzle – Kevin Owens, Monmouth
47. Charleston Lowgators – Muhammed Lasege, Louisville
48. Fayetteville Patriots – Nick Neumann, Florida Atlantic

Ninth Round
49. Huntsville Flight – Rashid Hardwick, Eastern Oklahoma State JC
50. Columbus Riverdragons – Tahric Gosley, Cleveland State
51. Asheville Altitude – John Martin, Southwest Texas
52. Roanoke Dazzle – Andre Matthews, Delaware State
53. Charleston Lowgators – Tony Rutland, Wake Forest
54. Fayetteville Patriots – Donnell Knight, Arizona State

Tenth Round
55. Huntsville Flight – Duke Freeman-McKamey, Fordham
56. Columbus Riverdragons – Tai Crutchfield, Philadelphia University
57. Asheville Altitude – David Webber, Central Michigan
58. Roanoke Dazzle – Jonathan Jones, Barat (IL)
59. Charleston Lowgators – Moses Malone, Jr., South Carolina State
60. Fayetteville Patriots – Larry Reid, Kansas State

(Note: the fact a player has signed a contract with the league and is drafted by a team does not guarantee that player a spot in the NBDL. They still have to make the team’s roster.)

     

Hoopville First Team All-Americans

by - Published October 16, 2003 in Columns


Hoopville First-Team All-Americans

by Jed Tai

Emeka Okafor, Connecticut


Emeka Okafor is Hoopville’s pre-season player of the year. It only makes sense when you think about it – he’s the only returning player from last season that made any post-season All-American teams last season. But that’s not the only reason why Okafor is our player of the year. It’s because he’s perhaps the player in the college game today that makes the most impact on both sides of the floor. A defensive demon from day one with his shot-blocking ability, Okafor has also developed into a legitimate low-post threat and could average as much as 20 points a game this season. There are many reasons why Connecticut is a Final Four contender and Okafor is one of them. It’s hard to believe he was barely a Top 100 recruit after his senior year in high school.

Jameer Nelson, St. Joseph’s

Jameer Nelson impressed many with his play at the Chicago Pre-Draft Camp, and was assured of being drafted, if not in the first round. But seeing an even better position in next year’s draft, Nelson came back and is ready to dominate once again at the college level. Given a good senior year, there’s a good chance that Nelson could graduate from St. Joseph’s as their best player of all-time. No one can stop him from penetrating into the lane and if his outside shot continues to improve, the sky’s the limit for Nelson. And there’s no question his presence will lead St. Joe’s to a Top 20 ranking and a deep run in the NCAA Tournament this season.

Romain Sato, Xavier

Now that David West has graduated and moved onto the NBA, it’s Romain Sato’s turn to step to the spotlight. No longer will the athletic swingman be in the shadow of last year’s player of the year. He averaged 18 points last year; with West gone expect that to now be in the mid-20′s. A great scorer, Sato isn’t one-dimensional – he also excels on the defensive end with his physical play. Scoring, rebounding, defending – Sato does it all. All this while still maintaing his silky-smooth jump shot. Expect Sato to duke it out with Jameer Nelson for Atlantic-10 Player of the Year honors.

Chris Thomas, Notre Dame

Don’t blame him for trying. Like every other young player in college today, Chris Thomas dreams of NBA glory. So he thought he’d try and see what kind of interest he’d get from the pay-for-play ranks by declaring for the NBA Draft. But when he wasn’t assured of being a first rounder, Thomas smartly decided to return to school. Mike Brey couldn’t be happier. A great combination scorer and distributor, Thomas will once again be the key behind the Irish’s success. His outside shooting has improved, and hopefully through the draft process, Thomas has learned even more what it takes to be an effective floor leader.

Hakim Warrick, Syracuse

The defending champs will definitely miss Carmelo Anthony, but the Orangemen aren’t fretting because Hakim Warrick will be back. Don’t put too much stock into how Warrick was inexplicably left off the Pan Am Games team. Warrick will excel and will dominate in the Big East this season. You’ve seen his impact on defense – just ask Kansas guard Michael Lee about Warrick’s long wingspan – but with Anthony gone, Warrick will now see the ball more often on the offensive side of the ball. Whether he moves over to small forward or remains at the power forward slot, he will remain a matchup nightmare because of his length and athleticism.

     

CBA Draft

by - Published October 1, 2003 in Columns


Second-Chance Draft

by Jed Tai

On June 26, 2003, many college players held their breath, waiting to see if
their name would be called on the stage of Madison Square Garden in New York
City, announcing their induction into the National Basketball Association.

Unfortunately, only 58 young men – from stateside and overseas – heard their
names that fateful night. But to those who weren’t called, the dream isn’t
over.

Enter the CBA Draft.

Annually held in September, the Continental Basketball Association – which was
the NBA’s main source of minor league talent before the NBDL venture – holds
its own draft of (largely) collegiate talent. Each of the teams in the league
gets a chance to restock their roster with players fresh out of college – a
chance to develop players for their own purposes (winning) or moving them up to
the next level (the NBA).

Unlike the glamour and glitz of the NBA Draft which is conducted in front of a
national television audience, the CBA Draft is done much differently. Held via
teleconference from the league office in Boise, Idaho, the seven teams in the
league make their selections in six rounds of picks. There are no players to
march up to the podium in flashy suits to shake CBA commissioner Gary Hunter’s
hand, but instead there are a list of names that were largely overlooked on NBA
Draft night back in June.

While some of the players picked historically in the CBA draft are largely
unknown to even the most die-hard college hoops fans (this year’s draft
included Division III standout Willie Chandler and junior college early entrant
Lamar Castile) – many of the names are recognizable as players who excelled at
the major college level. In this year’s CBA draft, no fewer than two NBA
second round draft picks (Rick Rickert of Minnesota, Matt Bonner of Florida),
an SEC Player of the Year (Ron Slay of Tennessee), a participant in the Final
Four (Robert Jackson of Marquette), and an NIT MVP (Marcus Hatten of St.
John’s) were selected.

In fact, the first pick of the draft should be well-known to ACC fans. Josh
Powell left North Carolina State as a sophomore hoping for NBA riches, but was
passed over in the NBA draft. Instead, Powell will hope to start his
professional career with the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Powell hasn’t given up on
the NBA dream – he recently signed with the Dallas Mavericks to participate in
their training camp. But if he’s not able to crack the Mavs full roster, he’ll
have an option in Sioux Falls to fall back on.

The strategy in the CBA Draft is a bit different than from the NBA. Unlike the
NBA, where players who are drafted will undoubtedly want to play in the league,
the CBA teams have to try and select players who they think will actually sign
and play for them. While all players that were eligible for the NBA Draft are
eligible for the CBA Draft, you won’t often find players selected in both
drafts since the likelihood of that player going for the CBA instead of the NBA
will be slim. But similar to the NBA Draft, any draft pick by a team will have
his rights owned by that team if he were to ever enter the CBA. So, to that
degree, some draft picks may be worth it for some teams in the event a player
doesn’t make the cut in training camp or is waived during the season and is
looking for someplace to play while they try and make it back to the league.

With that said, it should come as no surprise that many of this year’s CBA
draftees are actually in NBA training camps this fall. Powell, Kirk Penney
(Minnesota Timberwolves), Britton Johnsen (Orlando Magic), and Koko Archibong
(LA Lakers) are just a few of the players who are trying their luck in making
an NBA roster before considering other options – such as the CBA.

Here are the complete results of this year’s CBA Draft, which was held on
September 16th.

2003 CBA DRAFT

First Round
1. Sioux Falls Skyforce – Josh Powell, North Carolina State
2. Yakima Sun Kings – Rick Anderson, Arizona
3. Idaho Stampede – Stephane Pelle, Colorado
4. Gary Steelheads – Willie Chandler, Misericordia (PA)
5. Yakima Sun Kings – Wayne Wallace, Virginia Union
6. Idaho Stampede – Marcus Hatten, St. John’s
7. Dakota Wizards – Desmond Penigar, Utah State

Second Round
8. Sioux Falls Skyforce – Matt Bonner, Florida
9. Yakima Sun Kings – Hiram Fuller, Fresno State
10. Idaho Stampede – Kirk Penney, Wisconsin
11. Gary Steelheads – Ronald Dupree, Louisiana State
12. Dakota Wizards – Melvin Sanders, Oklahoma State
13. Yakima Sun Kings – Henry Domercant, Eastern Illinois
14. Rockford Lightning – Nick Neumann, Florida Atlantic
15. Gary Steelheads – Louis Truscott, Houston

Third Round
16. Sioux Falls Skyforce – Damon Jackson, Fresno State
17. Great Lakes Storm – Tahj Holden, Maryland
18. Idaho Stampede – Stephen Moss-Kelley, Bowie State
19. Gary Steelheads – Britton Johnsen, Utah
20. Yakima Sun Kings – Ryan Randall, Maryland
21. Rockford Lightning – Travis Watson, Virginia
22. Gary Steelheads – Mike Mackell, San Diego State

Fourth Round
23. Sioux Falls Skyforce – Marlon Parmer, Kentucky Wesleyan
24. Great Lakes Storm – Kevin Johnson, Tulsa
25. Idaho Stampede – Carl English, Hawaii
26. Gary Steelheads – Tim Szatko, Holy Cross
27. Yakima Sun Kings – Leonard Stokes, Cincinnati
28. Rockford Lightning – Terence Gulley, Barat College
29. Dakota Wizards – Quinton Ross, Southern Methodist

Fifth Round
30. Sioux Falls Skyforce – Koko Archibong, Pennsylvania
31. Great Lakes Storm – Dalron Johnson, UNLV
32. Idaho Stampede – Brooks Hall, Dayton
33. Gary Steelheads – Philip Ricci, Oregon State
34. Yakima Sun Kings – Quannas White, Oklahoma
35. Rockford Lightning – Robert Jackson, Marquette
36. Dakota Wizards – Ron Slay, Tennessee

Sixth Round
37. Sioux Falls Skyforce – Rick Rickert, Minnesota
38. Great Lakes Storm – Lamar Castile, CC of Beaver County (PA)
39. Idaho Stampede – David Bailey, Loyola-Chicago
40. Gary Steelheads – Terrell Riggs, Detroit
41. Yakima Sun Kings – Wayne McClinton, Hartford
42. Rockford Lightning – Brian Colbert, Cameron
43. Dakota Wizards – Jerry Holman, Minnesota

     

Basketball Hall of Fame Inductees

by - Published September 5, 2003 in Columns


The Basketball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2003

by Jed Tai

It’s September, and once again the sport of basketball celebrates some
of the greats in its history with the induction of the Class of 2003 to the
Basketball Hall of Fame this weekend in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Seven members will be enshrined into the hall this year, and six of
them have ties to the collegiate game in some way, shape, or form. They are as
follows (listed in alphabetical order):

Leon Barmore, Louisiana Tech

When you think Lady Techster basketball, the image of head coach Leon
Barmore must come to mind. The all-time winningest coach in women’s basketball
history, Barmore assembled a 576-87 record in a career that spanned over 20
years. The shining moment in his career most likely came during the 1987-88
season, when Barmore led the Lady Techsters to a 32-2 record and a national
championship. But under his guidance, the Louisiana Tech program became one of
the true powerhouses in the women’s game, reaching a total of five title games
and nine NCAA Final Fours. The Lady Techsters had 13 30-win seasons under
Barmore’s watch, the most in NCAA history. Barmore coached 12 All-Americans
and four future Olympians during his tenure at Louisiana Tech.

Chick Hearn, Southern Cal

Everyone knows about Chick Hearn’s legendary status as the voice of the
Los Angeles Lakers. But did you know that Hearn got his start announcing
college games? Before landing his gig with the Lakers, Hearn started his
broadcasting career on the college level. In 1950, Hearn broadcast Bradley
basketball games for a radio station in Peoria, and moving out to the West
Coast in the mid-50′s, served as the voice of USC football and basketball from
1956 to 1961. Even after landing the Lakers gig, he broadcast several UNLV
hoops games from 1977 to 1991. USC has not forgotten Hearn’s contributions and
the USC Annenberg School for Communication has established the USC Annenberg
Chick Hearn Scholarship Fund in honor of the legendary broadcaster.

Meadowlark Lemon, Florida A&M

His tenure there wasn’t long, but George “Meadowlark” Lemon also has
ties to the college game. The “Clown Prince of Basketball” was an all-star
performer on the court and on the gridiron in high school in Wilmington, North
Carolina. After high school he went to Florida A&M, but only lasted there a
short time before heading off to the Army for two years. After returning, he
got in touch with the Globetrotters and the rest has been history. While
dazzling crowds with his antics, Lemon still had a connection to the college
game, as the Globetrotters played in various exhibition games against College
All-American teams in the “World Series of Basketball” series. His #36 has
been retired by the Harlem Globetrotters.

Earl Lloyd, West Virginia State

Lloyd was the first African-American to play in the NBA with the
Washington Capitols in 1950, and earned the shot partly because of his standout
collegiate career at West Virginia State. At WVSC, Lloyd was a three-time
All-Conference selection and was twice named an All-American by the Pittsburgh
Courier his junior and senior seasons. As a sophomore in 1947-48, Lloyd helped
lead WVSC to the only undefeated record in the country, and in both the 1947-48
and 1948-49 seasons, helped lead his team to CIAA conference and tournament
titles. Lloyd has been recognized as one of the CIAA’s all-time greats and has
been elected to the conference’s Hall of Fame. He was also named to the NAIA
Golden Anniversary Team.

Robert Parish, Centenary

Best known as “The Chief” on the Boston Celtics powerhouse teams of the
1980s, Robert Parish was also a very accomplished collegian at Centenary
College in Louisiana. Over his four-year career, the Shreveport native
averaged 21.6 points and 16.9 rebounds, scoring 2334 career points and grabbing
1820 career rebounds – a board total that has yet to be surpassed at the
school. As a senior in 1974-75, Parish led the nation in rebounding at 18
boards a game, and was named a 1st Team All-American by The Sporting News (2nd
Team AP) – even though he played for small school such as Centenary. He was
selected by Golden State as the eighth pick overall of the 1976 NBA Draft and
played with the Warriors for four solid seasons before being traded to the
Celtics, where his legacy was built.

James Worthy, North Carolina

Before “Big Game James” donned the blue and gold and put on his
trademark goggles, James Worthy graced the court in baby blue for the North
Carolina Tar Heels. A high school All-American, Worthy decided to stay at home
in North Carolina and become a Tar Heel. While a broken ankle cut a solid
freshman campaign short, Worthy bounced back and became an All-ACC selection as
a sophomore, helping lead the Tar Heels to the NCAA championship game. It was
as a junior though, that Worthy made his big splash, taking the Tar Heels the
next step in winning the NCAA title. His 28 points helped him earn the
Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player Award, and the consensus First Team
All-American became the #1 overall selection by the Los Angeles Lakers in the
1982 NBA Draft.

The seventh member of the Basketball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2003
inductees is Dino Meneghin. While Meneghin has no ties to the American college
game, he is one of Italy’s all-time greats and is considered one of the
greatest International players ever. His career spanned almost 30 years and he
appeared in four Olympics, and has faced many former NCAA players in European
and International play. He was one of the first international players ever
drafted when he was selected by the Atlanta Hawks in the 1970 NBA Draft.

Congratulations to all of this year’s inductees!

     

Nice NCAA?

by - Published August 21, 2003 in Columns


The New “Nice” NCAA

by Jed Tai

Is the NCAA getting soft or what?

In the olden days, the NCAA wouldn’t give an appeal two seconds of
their time. We have our rules, we don’t care what extreme circumstances you
might be under. The coach that recruited you left and you’re stuck at a
school? Tough. The school you’re at is going on probation because of stuff
that happened years ago and you won’t ever be able to play in the NCAA
Tournament? Sorry to hear that. Tear up your knee one game more than allowed
for a redshirt your senior season? Good luck in your recovery, you had a great
career. Oh, there are allegations of a mistake with your high school
transcript years ago? You’re suspended until further notice.

But it appears that the once draconian NCAA is lightening up. The
organization recently approved a waiver that will allow the players remaining
at Baylor to transfer out without having to serve usual one-year redshirt year
required for transfers. Back at NBA Draft time, they ruled that players could
truly “test the waters” by allowing them to participate in the Chicago
Pre-Draft Camp without penalizing them for games played as they had done
before. Heck, the benevolence has even spread onto the National Letter of
Intent Steering Committee, which allowed incoming freshman Kris Humphries a
full release from his letter at Duke to play immediately at Minnesota without
sitting out any action.

In reality, what the NCAA has done is basically caught up with what
it’s all about — it’s for the kids and it’s good for the game. In the Baylor
situation, what good would it have done if the remaining players were forced to
sit out a year after transferring. They did nothing wrong. If they really had
a choice, they wouldn’t be leaving – star forward Lawrence Roberts (who’s
heading to Mississippi State) and guard Kenny Taylor (to Texas) have even
stated how much they loved the campus and the school. It’s not as if they are
taking advantage of a bad situation. They’re just getting what they deserve -
a chance to play next season, like they would have had if all this mess at
Baylor had never happened. Kudos to the big guys in Indianapolis for
recognizing this.

But at the same time that generous act occurred, the NCAA has recently
announced that they won an appeal for the 2-in-4 rule limiting exempted events
to still be in place for the 2003-04 season. This after the rule was removed
by a judge in Ohio a month ago. Schools that thought had finished off their
schedules are now scrambling for dates and games, and organizers of events they
thought were taking place are now extremely nervous that their events might not
take place.

Ah, it’s the old NCAA that we know. Some things never really do
change.

     

Early 2003 LSI Preview

by - Published July 14, 2003 in Columns




Early 2003 LSI Preview

by Jed Tai

It’s only July, but the folks at Promax Events are already planning for
this upcoming high school season in the state of Oregon. The field has been
set for the 8th annual Les Schwab Invitational, to be held December 19-22 at
the Chiles Center on the campus of the University of Portland. While the LSI
traditionally brings some of the top prep talent nationally to the Pacific
Northwest, the group on hand for this year’s event will especially feature some
of the top post players in the land.

“The Les Schwab Invitational is excited to have some of the best big
men in the country playing in the tournament this year,” said John McCallum,
Tournament Director and Vice-President of Promax. “We have six guys over 6-9
who are considered major college Division I talent and are the in the caliber
of current NBA players and past LSI participants Tyson Chandler, Carmelo
Anthony, Mike Dunleavy and Nbudi Ebi. We can expect to see a lot of athletic,
big bodied high school players dunking and blocking shots over the four days of
the tournament.”

Here are this year’s 16 invitees, three from outside the Beaver State,
and 13 from within:

Georgetown Prep Little Hoyas (Washington, DC)

Prentiss HS Saints (Prentiss, MS)

Hillcrest HS Hokes (Tuscaloosa, AL)

Aloha HS Warriors (Beaverton, OR)

Barlow HS Bruins (Gresham, OR)

Benson HS Techmen (Portland, OR)

Hillsboro HS Spartans (Hillsboro, OR)

Jefferson HS Democrats (Portland, OR)

Jesuit HS Crusaders (Portland, OR)

Lake Oswego HS Lakers (Lake Oswego, OR)

Lincoln HS Cardinals (Portland, OR)

Marist HS Spartans (Eugene, OR)

Redmond HS Panthers (Redmond, OR)

South Salem HS Saxons (Salem, OR)

Sunset HS Apollos (Portland, OR)

West Albany HS Bulldogs (Albany, OR)

This year’s out-of-state participants will have some serious horses in
the paint. Prentiss High School will be led by 6-9, 260-pound man-child Al
Jefferson, who is considered the No. 1 prep center in the country by
RivalsHoops.com. Jefferson has verbally committed to Arkansas, but could be
considering the NBA. Hillcrest High School will have a stud inside presence of
their own in 6-9, 230-pound D.J. White. White has decided to attend Indiana
and is also rated a Top 10 national recruit by RivalsHoops. Georgetown Prep
will bring to Portland a pair of big men in 6-9, 225-pound Davis Nwankwo and
mammoth 7-2, 270-pound Roy Hibbert. Hibbert committed to Georgetown University
after his sophomore season and Nwankwo is still considering several major D-I
colleges.

But the LSI this year won’t be just about the out-of-state teams, as
one of the best group of teams the state of Oregon has ever seen will be there.
Practically every likely pre-season Top 10 squad will be in the tournament, as
well as every highly recruited prep player in the state. Each of the 13
in-state teams will make their claim to the LSI title. Headlining the group is
Redmond, the defending 4A state champions who will be led by 6-9, 210-pound
superstar forward Maarty Leunen. Leunen, who is still considering Oregon,
Oregon State, Cal, Gonzaga, and many others in the recruiting process, is the
returning state player of the year. The Panthers finished in 3rd in last
year’s Les Schwab Invitational.

But Redmond won’t be alone, as many of the teams that finished at the
top of last year’s rankings will be in the tournament as well. Last year’s
state tournament runner-up Hillsboro is once again in the field, and dynamo
point guard James Loe hopes to kick-start a fantastic senior season. State
fourth place finisher Jesuit is a year more experienced and will also be at the
Chiles Center, led by the talented brother backcourt duo of Josh and Seth
Tarver. Perennial power Jefferson, which won the consolation bracket in the
state tournament, will be without the star power they’ve had in the past but
the Demos are a group of young kids that head coach Marshall Haskins claims
will surprise some people, even though “they are kids nobody knows about”.

Troy Berry will be making his LSI head coaching debut in this year’s
event, leading his alma mater Benson Tech. Guard Deshawn McKenzie is the
Techmen’s top returning offensive threat. The school Berry left, defending PIL
(Portland Interscholastic League) Lincoln, will also be in the field. The
Cardinals will be led by a new head coach, but they return star players such as
point guard Omar Leary and exciting forward LaTravis Turner. The teams invited
from in-state aren’t limited to the big boys either. 3A powerhouse Marist from
Eugene has also been brought on, and led by star forward Ryan Coldren, they
hope to make a splash. Other teams that figure to make some noise during the
school year include Sunset, South Salem, and West Albany.

Last year, Bishop O’Connell of
Arlington, VA defeated Westbury Christian of Houston, TX
– which featured
first round NBA draft choice Ndudi Ebi – 59-57 on a last-second, buzzer-beating
follow. This year’s field hopes to bring about the same kind of excitement.

Hoopville will be once again providing full coverage of the tournament,
so be sure to check back in December for more information on the 2003 LSI.

     

Avery Bradley Skills Academy

August 11-13, 2014 at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center.

More information is available by clicking here.

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

Advertisement


Your Phil of Hoops

Watson’s transfer will sting BU the most

April 11, 2014 by

bostonuniversity

Boston University recently saw three players transfer. The impact of the departure of one of them will be felt more than the other two.

Mihalich’s first year at Hofstra is over but will have plenty of value

March 9, 2014 by

hofstra

The first year for Hofstra under Joe Mihalich is in the books. Many expected that wins would be hard to come by, and they were, but this season was about more than that and is hardly a throwaway year.

Cornell’s future can only be better

March 2, 2014 by

cornell

Cornell has had a rough season, as could be expected given some personnel losses. It’s almost in the books, and the future at least looks brighter.

Hoopville Archives

Even More: City Hoops Recruiting

Mass Elite and Boston Warriors hold college showcase

Mass Elite and Boston Warriors, two of the largest programs in Massachusetts, teamed up for a college showcase on Wednesday night. Here are some evaluations from that event.

Massachusetts 11th grade AAU Tournament recap

Teams gathered at Mass Premier Courts to chase the state title in the oldest age group, and one champion was a familiar one.

Travel team profile: All For One

All For One has been one of the better travel programs in Massachusetts for players before they reach high school

Travel team profile: Blackstone Valley Chaos

Size and options on the wing are not lacking for this year’s junior team

Travel team profile: Expressions Elite

Expressions Elite has quickly become one of the deeper programs in New England

Conference Coverage

2013-14 Big Ten Post-Mortem

July 8, 2014 by

bigten

The Big Ten had some teams slip as the season went on, but plenty of others picked up the slack in another good year for the conference.

2013-14 Sun Belt Post-Mortem

July 7, 2014 by

sunbelt

Membership changes have been happening at quite a pace of late in the Sun Belt, and it was a new member that stole the show for much of this past season and seems poised to lead the way in the future.

2013-14 Big Sky Post-Mortem

July 1, 2014 by

bigsky

The teams that have led the way in the Big Sky of late were right there again this season. One of them won both the regular season and conference tournament, and also had a nice time with the post-season awards as well.

2013-14 MEAC Post-Mortem

July 1, 2014 by

meac

The 2013-14 season was N.C. Central’s year in the MEAC, as the Eagles completed their four-year ascent to the top of conference.

2013-14 Big 12 Post-Mortem

June 30, 2014 by

big12

When it comes to overall depth, the Big 12 this season may have been one of the strongest leagues in a long time. The conference sent seven of its 10 teams to the NCAA Tournament, the first time in 21 years and just the fifth time ever that a league sent 70% or more of its teams to the tourney.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter