Friday, April 29, 2011

Kareem Canty Plans Two Visits

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
Kareem Canty, a 6-foot-1 point guard out of Bridgton Academy (MA) has recently seen a boost in his recruiting.

Canty, just this week, has heard from Cincinnati, Providence, Texas, and West Virginia.

He currently holds scholarship offers from Iowa State, Providence, Rutgers, Texas A&M, Seton Hall and there are reports of many more.

The 6-1 guard confirmed that Cincy, Providence, Texas and West Virginia contacted him but also said, "The hardest [programs] recruiting me are Texas A&M, Providence, Xavier, Seton Hall and Dayton."

Canty is a great offensive player and a tough matchup at the point guard position. His ability to get to the rim and finish is just one of the many things college coaches like about him.

He's also a great playmaker. With the ball in his hands, Canty is going to make plays for himself, or teammates more likely than not. He's the ultimate competitor and always wants to put his team in position to win the game.

As he continues to improve his decision-making, Canty will certainly be a hot topic in 2012.

He plans to visit two schools, one in May and one in June. "I'm visiting Xavier Memorial Day weekend and Texas A&M on the first weekend of June," Canty said.

As of now, the recruitment end is not in sight. There is no timeline for the junior or favorites at this time.

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Mitchell Farr Down to Four

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
Mitchell Farr, and unsigned senior out of Racine Park H.S in Racine, WI has narrowed down to four schools of his choice.

The 6-foot-2 combo guard named Jacksonville, Midland, Sam Houston, and Youngstown State as the schools of interest. But he also added, "They are all recruiting pretty much the same."

Farr is an underrated 2011 prospect that I believe has the potential to blossom into a solid point guard at the next level.

He's a fearless shooter but also a developing passer. This season, Farr managed to lead his team to the WIAA Division I sectional championship before losing in OT.

Farr, along with many other great players in Wisconsin, were elected to play in the WBCA All-Star game on June 18th.

As his recruiting comes close to an end, Farr said, "I plan on visiting Jacksonville next month, I just haven't set a date yet."

*Photo Credits:

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Four Schools Recruiting Junior Lomomba Hard

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
Last summer, in the AAU circuit, Junior Lomomba really opened eyes with his athleticism and versatility. The Madison Memorial H.S. (WI) product stands 6-foot-5 and has shown flashes of playing the one, two and three.

In the 2010 FIBA U17 World Championships, Lomomba really showcased his ability to attack the opposition off the dribble and run in transition playing for Team Canada.

More impressively was his ability to lead Madison Memorial to a Division I State Championship, while averaging 17 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.

After a year like that, Lomomba caught the eye of many high profile coaches.

"Baylor, Cincinnati, Iowa, Indiana State, Kansas, Kansas State, Michigan, Michigan State, Nevada, New Mexico State and West Virginia," he said of his schools of interest.

Many schools are certainly new to the mix but two familiar names have stuck with Lomomba: Iowa and Baylor.

Lomomba holds offers from Baylor, Cincinnati, Indiana State, Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Xavier.

But four schools stand out the most to Lomomba. "The schools that are recruiting the hardest so far are, New Mexico State, West Virginia, Nevada and Baylor."

Right now, Lomomba is wide open and everyone is an option. But he did plan on trimming his list. "I'm looking forward to cutting down my list by the end of the summer," Lomomba said.

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Texas Trio Enters 2011 NBA Draft

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
Jordan Hamilton, along with Cory Joseph and Tristan Thompson have all entered their name in the 2011 NBA draft.

Hamilton is reportedly signing with an agent, while teammates Joseph and Thompson elect against signing to preserve eligibility.

Hamilton has been on NBA scouts radar due to his versatility and physical body.

Hamilton paced the Longhorns this season with 18.6 points, and 7.7 rebounds per game. Hamilton was selected on the All-Big 12 conference team along with a USBWA Second Team selection.

Teammate Thompson wasn't far off averaging 13.4 points, 7.8 rebonds, and 2.4 blocks per game. Thompson was selected as Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, All-Big 12 Second Team, and the All-Big 12 Defensive Team.

Thompson has a massive 7'2'' wingspan to make up for his height in the post. He certainly has the ability to dictate the tempo on the defensive end and the offensive side of the ball as well.

Joseph finished his season averaging 10.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, and three assist per game. The 6'3'' lead guard from Canada had an impressive season at the point for Texas. He's a great leader, doesn't force the action (1.5 TO's) and has the ability to run the point at the next level.

Joseph was an All-Big 12 conference honorable mention as well as being selected on the All-Big 12 Rookie Team.

His defense is solid, his offense will be a question at the next level.

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Alec Burks Enters 2011 NBA Draft

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
"I will be entering the 2011 NBA draft and my plan is to sign with an agent," Colorado sophomore Alec Burks said in a press conference. "I just felt like it was something I just couldn't pass up."

The 6'6'' guard from Grandview, Mo decided to forgo his final two years of eligibility to pursue a professional career.

Burks really opened eyes during his freshman season averaging 17.1 points, five rebounds and 1.2 steals per game.

Following his freshman season, Burks received the Big 12 Freshman of the Year award becoming the first Buff' to ever achieve the feat.

He was All-Big 12 Frosh team as well as All-Big 12 honorable mention.

He continued on his success his sophomore season, averaging an astounding 20.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.9 assist per game.

He became the first Buff' to be named to the Big 12 tournament team, was unanimous Big 12 conference selection and Associated Press All-American Honorable Mention along with many other awards.

Burks has caught the eye of NBA scouts due to his athleticism, length and scoring ability. He is expected to be a big time prospect at the next level.

Many NBA draft sites have Burks being selected in the lottery.

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Monday, April 11, 2011

Reggie Johnson Declares, Perry Jones III Stays

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
An already weak 2011 NBA draft just got weaker. Baylor Bears freshman Perry Jones III decided to stay in school and not put his name in the 2011 NBA draft.

The 6-foot-11 forward out of Duncanville, TX was the highest rated recruit in Baylor history ands  long believed to forgo his final years of eligibility and become a NBA lottery pick.

In his first season at Baylor, Jones started 30 games (a freshman record) while averaging 13.9 points and 7.2 rebounds.

Jones will have to sit out five games next season for receiving impermissible benefits.

Either way, the crop of players coming in (Quincy Miller, Deuce Bello, and Pierre Jackson) the Baylor Bears have potential written all over them.

An underachieving team in 2010-11 has just become a Big 12 powerhouse.

Miami sophomore Reggie Johnson, on the other hand, decided to put his name in the 2011 NBA draft but will not hire an agent to preserve his amateur status.

The 6-foot-10, 300 pound center averaged 11.9 points, 9.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game.

"The chance to play in the NBA is something that has been in my mind for a long time," Johnson said. "Now the chance has presented itself so I can see where I stand."

"If it doesn't feel right, I know I still have the opportunity to retune to play College Basketball."

Johnson started 34 games for the Hurricanes in his sophomore season and posted 13 double-doubles.

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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Willie Reed Withdraws From SLU

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
According to a statement sent out by the University, basketball star Willie Reed has withdrawn from the University after being admitted earlier this semester.

Last spring, Reed was suspended from school and released from his scholarship after another student alleged sexual assault.

Reed thought about transferring to Kansas State but ultimately returned to SLU after being re-admitted on a conditional status but was still suspended by the athletic department.

"Willie Reed stopped attending classes a few weeks ago," the University said in a statement.

"Because Willie [Reed] failed to meet the terms of his reinstatement as a student at St. Louis University, he was administratively withdrawn from his classes on April 5, 2011 and is no longer enrolled."

The 6-foot-9 forward from Kansas City hasn't played basketball all year and his NBA draft stock took a hit. Since he's sat out so long, his only two options are insert the 2011 NBA draft or sit out another semester.

Reed averaged 12.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game in his last action with SLU.

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Marcus and Markieff Morris Enter the 2011 Draft

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
Both Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor assured Kansas fans that they would return to school and not enter the 2011 NBA draft.

That same assurance didn't occur with the twins. Both, Marcus and Markieff Morris have entered their name in the 2011 NBA draft.

Marcus Morris has been labeled as the most gifted twin and with so many other players returning to school, he could go very high in the lottery.

Scouts love his ability to play inside-out. Marcus has a great jump shot and excels in fast-paced offensive games; very high motor.

Same situation with his brother Markieff Morris. Markieff had a magnificent season where he averaged 13.6 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.1 block and shot 58 percent from the field.

Markieff is a solid rebounder with a chance to be productive inside. Unlike his brother, Markieff has solid bulk and will be able to bang inside with NBA four's; although more weight should be added.

The twins are very efficient players and could have a successful career at the next level.

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Monday, April 4, 2011

Second Half Rout Leads UConn to the National Championship

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
The lady Huskies weren't able to add another National Championship to their already rich history but the men took care of business.

The Connecticut Huskies (32-9, 9-9) capped the season with an 11-game win streak and a National Championship.

"It may be the happiest moment of my life," UConn's head coach Jim Calhoun said after a 53-41 victory over Butler.

Calhoun joins elite company. Calhoun is only the fifth coach to win three NCAA titles joining Bob Knight, Mike Krzyzewski, Adolph Rupp and John Wooden.

"This group has taken me on one of the great special journeys better than any I could possibly imagine," Calhoun said.

Junior guard Kemba Walker chipped in a team high 16 points and was one rebound shy of a double-double.

His contributions were felt on both ends of the floor as he and his Huskie backcourt held Butler's in-check for most of the game.

Walker played a major part in the success but it was ultimately, Jeremy Lamb who stole the show in the second half.

Lamb ended the game with 12 points and seven rebounds on 4-of-8 (50%) shooting from the field. All of his points came in the second half after being on the bench facing foul trouble for most of the first.

"Going into halftime, I didn't have any points," said Lamb. "My teammates just encouraged me saying, we need you."

"Right out of the half, they ran a couple plays for me. I was able to get to the foul line. All I wanted to see was the ball go in the net. After I saw it go in a couple times, I got my confidence back and was able to knock down some shots."

Sophomore Alex Oriahki chipped-in the only double-double in the game with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Oriahki and Charles Okwandu did a magnificent job on Butler's star Matt Howard holding him to 1-of-13 (.07%) from the field, which is the lowest of his career, and seven points.

As a team, UConn wasn't much different.

UConn held Butler to a National Championship low 18 percent from the field and a half-court heave wouldn't even help their cause this time around.

18 percent was the lowest, ever, in any championship game and second lowest of any tournament game.

The Bulldogs scored a championship low 41-points. The lowest since Oklahoma State scored 36 in 1949.

Butler had one player in double-figures, led by Shelvin Mack's 13 points on 4-of-15 (26%) shooting from the field.

"They're a great team, great defensive team," Mack said. "They did a great job of contesting every shot. They just weren't falling today."

The Bulldogs were completely owned on the glass; Huskies had a 51-38 advantage and saw 10 of their shots get sent back.

"I knew they were a great rebounding team. I just boxed out went back to fundamentals," Oriahki said.

"I was able to box out, get a few rebounds here and there. I think that disrupted them because they weren't able to get second shots."

Coming in, most would of thought, if Butler could keep UConn in the 50's this game is won. But, it seemed like the Huskies emphasized defense more than offense because defense is the reason UConn walks away victorious.

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

UConn-Butler, National Championship Preview

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
The stage has been set. The Butler Bulldogs have advanced to their second straight NCAA National Championship after defeating the VCU Rams 70-62.

Butler will face, the UConn Huskies, who are coming off a defeat over the Kentucky Wildcats 56-55.

If you would've asked anyone at the beginning of the season, who would be playing in the National Championship game, most would have given you Duke, Kansas, Pitt, or Ohio State; myself included.

But this College Basketball season has been anything but predictable.

Both teams have defied odds. The Bulldogs were No. 16 in the first Associated Press rankings but fell out the very next week after losing to Louisville.

Mid-season, Butler loss to Evansville and Youngstown State, and wasn't even expected to make the NCAA tournament.

But, the team stayed focused and poised to make a run and receive a NCAA tournament bid after winning the Horizon League conference title.

Butler is now riding a 14-game winning streak and playing better than ever, maybe better than last years team that was runner-ups.

The Bulldogs are a very efficient team. They rarely make mistakes, and seem to mature as the game goes along.

Head coach Brad Stevens is a mastermind. He gameplans better than any coach in America. He continues to put his players in the best position to win the game.

Matt Howard has been "Mr. Clutch" throughout the tournament for Butler hitting back-to-back game winners against Old Dominion and Pitt.

Howard has averaged 16.4 points and 7.2 rebounds throughout the tournament and has relished his chance to compete for another championship.

The superstar for Butler, however, has been Shelvin Mack. The 'Mack Attack' has become a popular slogan linked to Mack's game.

Mack has been phenomenal throughout the tournament averaging a team-high 21.8 points per game. Mack's leadership was felt against VCU, turning in his best performance in the NCAA tournament, period.

Mack turned in 24 points and was an efficient 8-of-11 (72%) from the field. He also shot 83 percent from downtown. His experience will certainly be a huge asset to Butler in the title game.

UConn opened the season unranked, with little, to no respect, as a national contender.

The Huskies loss Jerome Dyson and Stanley Robinson, two very good players but seemed to recover very well with a solid recruiting class that featured seven newcomers.

But, more importantly, the Huskies were able to retain their magnificent point guard Kemba Walker.

At times, Walker has been able to put the Huskies on his back and lead UConn to victory.

During the tournament, not much has changed. Walker currently averages 25 points, 6.8 assist, 5.4 rebounds and 1.6 steals during tournament play.

But, it's not just Walker doing it all. Jeremy Lamb, Alex Oriahki, Shabazz Napier and Roscoe Smith have really stepped up and contributed consistently.

Lamb and Napier have proved to be great assets off of Walker in the backcourt. Napier allows Walker to come off the screens, create his own shots and be effective off the ball.

He also is very active on the defensive end. Lamb has become a great second scoring threat outside of Walker. 

His ability to come off the screen and knock down the jump shot has been beneficial for UConn throughout the tournament.

Smith and Oriahki is the huge key to this UConn team. Smith and Oriahki are strong down on the low block and are sure rebounders.

Their ability to rebound, on both ends, gives UConn a huge edge in the tournament. Lets not forget, UConn is amongst the top rebounding teams in the country.

This time last year, Butler was in the finals and UConn was probably somewhere watching at home.

The Bulldogs watched a last second heave by Gordon Hayward fall short at the buzzer and Butler went home empty-handed.

In familiar territory, you have to believe Butler will have the ultimate gameplan to finally cut down the nets.

Coach Stevens said, "We've just got to be one shot better than last year." Butlers defense needs to be magnificent going up against one of the most dominant players in the game in Walker.

Butler identity on defense has always been playing great man-to-man defense. Throughout the tournament, if anyone is going to force Butler to make an adjustment, it's going to be Walker.

Butler's great on-ball defender Ronald Nored has shown in the past he can stick the opposing teams best player. However, Nored hasn't faced a player quite as gifted as Walker.

That will certainly be a matchup that decides the game. If Walker is just too much for Nored, of course, UConn will be in great position to win the game.

But, if Nored does a great job of defending Walker and can stay out of foul trouble, I like Butler.

If I'm UConn, I want to go after Howard in the post and get him in early foul trouble. When Howard gets in early foul trouble, it's hard for Butler to remain effective.

UConn's defensive is built more on athleticism. The Huskies believe they can guard anyone's five and be effective.

Being physical is key to any game but the more physical team in the post will win. You saw it against Pitt, Butler got out-rebounded, Howard wasn't efficient, Andrew Smith was taken out of his game, and Khyle Marshall was in foul trouble. Now if it Nasir Robinson doesn't make a bone-head foul, who really wins that game?

Nonetheless, these two teams are both similar and this game will be decided in the last minute. The real question is, which superstar leads their team, Mack or Walker?

This game might one of the more evenly matched game in the tournament.

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Friday, April 1, 2011

Lon Kruger Expected to Leave UNLV for Oklahoma

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
After seven years as the head coach of the UNLV Rebels, former Kansas State guard Lon Kruger reportedly will re-join the Big 12 as the head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners.

Kruger led UNLV to four NCAA tournament appearances and a Sweet 16 berth during his tenure.

Kruger accumulated a record of 161-71 (72-38) and had a winning season every year at UNLV, plus five straight 20-win seasons.

If true, Kruger will succeed Jeff Capel, who took the Sooners to an Elite Eight but failed to stay consistent with recruiting and wins.

This will be the sixth head coaching position Kruger has held over his career and I'm not sure if it'll be his last.

Kruger will have a tough time trying to take over a program that is in turmoil after a lack of success after getting to the Elite Eight a few years ago.

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Jimmer Fredette Can Walk Away With His Head High

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
There was a point where many believed that the BYU Cougars were going to make it to the Final Four with such a solid roster that featured the National Player of the Year, Jimmer Fredette.

Fredette scored 30-or-more points in 16 games this season. He also had a 52-point outing, and three 40-plus games.

Fredette has taken advantage of every opportunity placed before him.

He isn't a John Wall, but his game on the court has turned his name into a similar media outrage.

He has his on dance, his name is considered a noun, which has its on definition as well.

Outside of all the off-court things, Fredette has become a hot commodity due to his ability to drain NBA three's, and beat the opposition off the dribble.

NBA superstar Kevin Durant tweeted that Fredette is the best scorer in the world. His teammate Russell Westbrook also said, "I know just from watching him that he's going to be a great NBA player."

Fredette doesn't have a ton of post-season history, with his first Sweet 16 berth in his four year career coming this year, but he can leave the college game with his head held high.

He is among the elite players to score 1,000 points in a single season, along with shattering Danny Ainge's Mountain West Conference scoring record with 2,599 points over his career at BYU; that's an average of 18.6 points per game.

He was also present in the NCAA tournament, all four years at BYU along with ending his career with a 114-27 overall record.

Rightfully so, Fredette won the most prestigious award in College Basketball. Every player that has won Naismith National Player of the Year award, has went on to have, at the least, some success in the NBA.

Fredette owns six Mountain West Conference all-time records, along with many BYU records. Freddette was a fierce competitor, he took College Basketball by storm and everyone still wants to learn "How to Jimmer."

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