Saturday, July 31, 2010

Hoosiers' New Recruits Hope to Bring The Fans What They Want

Posted by CoHoops Josh Dhani
The Indiana Hoosiers' basketball program brought in some solid recruits in Will Sheehey, Victor Oladipo, and Guy-Marc Michel.

Basketball has always been something popular for Indiana University. Actually, basketball has been something popular for the whole state of Indiana. This is where they eat, sleep, born, breathe, and live basketball.

For IU, it's really something special. From Bob Knight and Steve Alford to Eric Gordon and D.J. White, IU is rebuilding their team with head coach Tom Crean.

Since the departure of White and Gordon as they entered the National Basketball Association, the Hoosiers have struggled and gone through some painful defeats.

They haven't even gotten over .500 since their departure.

But the three new recruits bring something special. And the fans are hungry. Hungry for winning again. Hungry for the joy of the team's basketball. Hungry for everything.

And they want their team to revive. And the three new recruits bring something special and are the team's only shot at reviving themselves.

"When I actually found out what this place is about, about how much people care and how much the players care and how much basketball is more than just a game to these people -- it means the same to me -- that's how I knew, this is where I wanted to be," Will Sheehey told the Indianapolis Star.

Oladipo and transferred Michel will also help out well. They have been adjusting to the new atomosphere and the new basketball program. Along with that, adjusting to the college life.

Oladipo is a 6'4" guard who can run and can't stop. He has the speed and can rock the house.

For Sheehey, he is a shooter. The 6'5" guard has a nice stroke and some range. He'll help a lot.

Michel will be very interesting. At 7'1" and 278 pounds, he has a nice advantage and is something the Hoosiers need: a guy that can rebound and can take advantage of his size.

But the recruit from France still has a few things to work on and if he keeps developing, he can be one of the top centers in the Big Ten and the NCAA.

"I can bring a presence inside, block some shots, grab some rebounds, help the team defensively," Michel said.

"I think the guy can stand on the ground and put his hands straight up and pretty much touch the rim without jumping," Sheehey said. "If you can, imagine that standing under the basket. Next time you're looking up at the basket, trying touching the rim without jumping. That's what you've got with Guy."

Michael has been improving and is really progressing on his turnaround shots.

The Hoosiers are entering a hopeful year and will have high hopes. IU has their nice Big Three and they hope to bring IU fans what they have been longing for: enjoyment.

The past two years have been sad, rather depressing. The two-season total went to a 16-46 record, something you definitely can't be thrilled about.

But these three young guys can help build something special and makes this program at the top of their class again.

"When you see teams still pushing and trying to win every game, they have good things going for them," Sheehey said. "You can't judge a team purely off wins and losses.

"When you see guys competing, diving for loose balls, going for every rebound, you know that's a team you want to play for."

And that is what matters.

Looking forward to the 2010-11 season for Indiana basketball.

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2010-11' College Hoops: Ranking The Top Freshman Guards

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
The 2010 recruiting class was filled with a lot of talent. You have the extraordinary talent of Harrison Barnes, Brandon Knight, Josh Selby, C.J Leslie, Kyrie Irving and more.

Unlike most classes, these athletes hoist pure guard skills coming out of high school.

The guards' skill that they inherit will be showcased once the College Basketball season comes around. Here are the top freshman guards in the country.

5'10'' G Phil Pressey, Missouri
Pressey is the quickest guard in this class. His ability to push the tempo and score in transition fits Missouri's style of play. He has the ability to rise up on defenders at 5-foot-10 and finish strong. As well as hit jumpers outside the arc. On defense, he reads the offense well and steps in to passing lanes.

6'0'' G Trevor Releford, Alabama
Releford is one of the more explosive guards in the country. He has a solid 6-foot frame with noticeable bulk. With that comes his ability to drive the ball and finish aggressively. For a 6-foot guard, he scores around the paint more often than not. His quick crossovers, spins and fakes keeps the defender from checking him tight. Once Releford develops a consistent three-point jumper, he will be tough to defend.

6'4'' Kendall Marshall, North Carolina
Marshall has excellent size for a point guard. He is 6-foot-4 with leadership ability. The crafty lefty has great ball-handling skills to commend his vision and passing ability. He also stretches the floor. His ability to shoot the ball brings a dimension to the Tar Heels backcourt. As long as he keeps expanding his range and develop his right hand, Marshall can be a great lead guard for the Tar Heels.

6'0'' Joe Jackson, Memphis
Jackson is a big-time playmaker out of the backcourt. The first time I witness Jackson play, I couldn't help but notice his explosive leaping ability. With that, he has the ability to play above the rim. When driving to the lane he is always looking to throw it down. But when he doesn't get to the lane, he uses the pick-and-pop to score the bucket. Not to mention, he does thread the needle with his passes.

6'0'' Ryan Harrow, North Carolina State 
Harrow is one of the most underrated guards in this class. He is very good when utilizing the whole floor. With that, he finds teammates and score. No doubt, Harrow is the best ball-handler in the class. He has one of the quickest crossovers, displays great footwork and his change of direction is just amazing.

6'1'' Ray McCallum Jr., Detroit
McCallum Jr. is an all-around threat out of the backcourt. He displays great shooting ability that stretches the defense. However, he is very aggressive. McCallum Jr. uses crossovers to free up space and attack the lane. That when he finishes with a sweet layup or a dunk. He times steals very well and finishes in transition. He does need to develop his left hand though. 

6'3'' Corey Joseph, Texas
Joseph is a big time scoring threat out of the backcourt. His ability to shoot the ball brings another dimension to the Texas Longhorns. He gets great lift on his shot and if you give him the slightest room, he will fire up a shot. He is also a great pick-and-pop option. As well as playing the role of aggressor. 

6'3'' Josh Selby, Kansas
Selby isn't really a pure point guard but he does one thing better than anybody behind him, and that's score. Selby has the ability to be aggressive and finish through contact at the rim. His ability to play both the one and two brings versatility to the Kansas backcourt. He is at his best when he utilizes the whole floor. That way he can plan his attack and make plays.

6'4'' Brandon Knight, Kentucky
Knight, the Gatorade Player of the Year decided to make his college choice Kentucky. With that, I expect him to blossom. Knight has the ability to score every time he touches the ball. But lately, Knight has been finding his teammates. Knight is transforming into an all-around threat. He was already equipped with a jump shot, now the passing and vision skills solidify Knight as a top guard.

6'2'' Kyrie Irving, Duke
Did you watch the Jordan Brand Classic game? Irving ran circles around all the other top guards. On multiple occasions, Irving made Knight, Joseph and Selby look silly. His ability to handle the ball is amazing. Not to mention, he has great size, a jump shot and a knack for setting his teammates up. Irving is praised as the next Jason Williams. But I'm going to praise him as the top freshman guard in the country.

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It's Time To Take Notice Of The Baylor Bears

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Last season, the Baylor Bears were able to compete in one of the toughest basketball conferences. They came away (11-5) in Big 12 as well as (24-6) overall.

They competed with Kansas State in a game that could have gone either way. They also gave the Jayhawks all they could handle.

So once the Big 12 tournament came around teams understood they couldn't subside on the talent of the Bears. They advanced in the Big 12 tournament before being defeated by the Wildcats for the second time on the season.

But once the NCAA tournament came around the Baylor Bears were granted a No. 3 seed. They continued to win games and battle their way to an Elite Eight berth.

All along, Kansas and Kansas State stood atop of the Big 12. But once the tournament came around, Baylor was one of the last Big 12 teams standing. If you want to get technical, Baylor was the last Big 12 team standing.

After their hard-fought loss against the eventual National Champion-Duke Blue Devils, the Baylor Bears looked very solid heading into next season.

They lost Ekpe Udoh but brought in Perry Jones who is said to be the highest rated recruit in Baylor history. The Bears will have to do without Tweety Carter in the backcourt as well. However, they did bring in Stargell Love to fill the void.

Now with Jones, Love, LaceDarius Dunn along with Quincey Acy the Bears should be considered threats this year.

Their roster definitely catches the eye. They have depth at the guard position with Dunn and Love. Not to mention, with Acy on the wing it'll create matchup problems for the opposition.

Jones is Mr. Versatility with tremendous upside. You can place him on the wing or in the post and still receive steady contributions.

He has the ability to handle the ball, shoot as well as post up. Jones is the main reason Baylor caught my attention.

Once you combine the 2010 recruits with the experience players you see versatility and depth. Most importantly, the Bears have experienced players that I assume will step up and lead the team.

It's time to take notice in the Baylor Bears. They have done a great job of constructing a great roster and it'll pay off this winter.

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If Anthony Davis Commits To Kentucky The Wildcats Are National Contenders

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Since John Calipari began his coaching career with the Kentucky Wildcats, they have been well-known for attracting elite talent.

They acquired one of 
the best freshman recruiting classes a year ago that produced five NBA draft picks.

This upcoming 
season, Coach Calipari intends to make it six. He acquired Brandon Knight, Terrence Jones, Enes Kanter, Doron Lamb, Stacey Poole, Jarrod Polson and Eloy Vargas.

No question, Kentucky has the best recruiting 
class this year, as well. John Calipari continues to bring in talent, and nothing is modifying his recruiting endeavors.
Thus far in the 2011 recruiting 
class, he has received two verbal commitments. Michael Gilchrist and Marquis Teague help Calipari maintain the recruiting trend.

Now with the No. 1 overall 
along with the best guard in the 2011 class, it is time for a post presence.

the emergence of Anthony Davis, the Wildcats were one of the first teams to take notice.
Davis loves the fact that Kentucky produces NBA lottery talent, and that is one reason he is considering the program.

When Davis shortened his 
list Kentucky was amongst the leaders. If the Wildcats can receive a verbal commitment from Davis as well, I declare them national contenders.

think about a lineup that features Davis, Gilchrist and Teague.

The Wildcats will have the flexibility 
of going big or small and still contributing at a high level.

Teague will always play 
at the one, but with Gilchrist, you can slide him at the two or three and expect contributions as long as Gilchrist is on the wing he is productive.

Davis can be 
courted in three spots—the small or power forward along with the center position. He was guard about a year ago, and his frame allows him to be versatile on the basketball court.

This trio will be able to 
contend for a National title. A talented point guard, wing threat, and post presence is particularly useful when you are building a successful team.
However, Calipari will need to bring in LeBryan Nash, Tony Wroten Jr. and Trevor Lacey as well as retaining DeAndre Liggins, Darius Miller, and Stacey Poole.

Nevertheless, trying to win a National 
Championship is hard--especially if you are a freshman. With the talent and leadership ability of Gilchrist, the Wildcats are Anthony Davis away from being National Contenders.

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Friday, July 30, 2010

Does Perry Ellis Show Potential To Be The No. 1 Overall Prospect?

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell Photo
The 2012 recruiting class will add another dimension to College Basketball. You have Kyle Anderson that is said to be the next Evan Turner. Then you have Andre Drummond but I'm just going to call him 'size.'

Then you have Perry Ellis from Wichita, Kansas.

Kansas isn’t considered to produce a lot of talent, in fact, the last person to make a name for themselves in Kansas was…I had to scratch my head on that one.

But with Perry Ellis it’s a lot different. In Wichita, Ellis has made a name for himself. Not just in Kansas but nationwide.

Before, Ellis was considered to be a solid 6-foot-7 power forward. However, after his performances this summer scouts have to contemplate about that theory.

Ellis a High School junior-to-be acquired offers from just about everyone in the country. He has heard a lot from both Kansas, Kansas State along with Memphis and Kentucky.

These four schools are courted at most of his games. I know Bill Self always finds a way to watch Ellis play—same for Frank Martin.

Either way, these coaches witnessed a young basketball talent transform into a mature superstar.

This summer, Ellis showcased another part of his game. At 6-foot-7 he has the ability to pull up jumpers in the mid-range. Some go as far as saying he has the ability to stroke three-pointers consistently.

With that comes the ability to handle the ball. His aggressive attack puts a lot of pressure on the opposition.

His physical frame allows him to fight off defenders, while finishing strong through contact.

In the frontcourt Ellis is a monster. He likes to use his strength when shielding off defenders to grab a rebound. He battles hard on the glass and gathers almost every rebound.

Not to mention, he has the ability to put it back or throw down a tip-dunk.

His array of post moves adds another dimension to his game. He uses spins, pump-fakes and nifty moves to keep the defender guessing.

Now add his ability to knock down jumpers with his post skills and you have yourself an extraordinary talent.

Ellis is equipped with a very good inside-out game. His ability to stroke three-balls, post up and finish strong has scouts drooling over his potential.

He has tremendous upside and crazy athleticism. He provides nightmare matchups for opposing teams because of his versatility.

Right now he is courted in the top-10 of most recruiting sites. Ellis certainly does have No. 1 potential and I wouldn't be startled to witness it transpire.

If he maintains the same intensity and approach it could certainly occur. It surely wouldn’t be an easy feat to achieve. With the top being so crowded, Ellis is going to have to work hard to attain the No. 1 overall ranking.

Nevertheless, with his work ethic and determination, he can achieve anything.

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News Flash: Northwestern Can Still Compete Without Kevin Colbe

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images 
Kevin Colbe had been three seasons in the books, acquired 1,203 points, a Big Ten All-Freshman team honor, Jimmy V Comeback award finalist and oh yeah, a nasty foot injury.

After missing the entire 2009-10' season and watching his Wildcats drop 14-games, Colbe was destined to become a key element for Northwestern

While watching from the sideline he witnessed Jeremy Nash evolve into a complete player.

Before, Nash was a role player. He didn't receive a lot of minutes or contribute much on the floor. However, this year minutes opened and Nash went to work.

Nash, last season’s standout completed his four-year career and fans assumed Colbe could step up and fill the void.

However, before the season could even begin and predictions could be released, Colbe decided his basketball career at Northwestern was over. It wasn't due to the injury because his surgeon expects him to heal fully. Colbe decided he was going to complete his degree and graduate early.

Colbe was considered to be the best player for the Wildcats. In fact, every year he played Colbe accumulated the most points and rebounds on the team.

Northwestern valued the contributions that both Colbe and Nash gave to their program. However, they can be replaced.

A lot of minutes weren't open for Luka Mirkovic. Even with around 24 minutes a game Mirkovic averaged numbers similar or better than Nash.

With added minutes, Mirkovic will prove to be an instant upgrade from Nash.

As for Colbe, Northwestern signed four-star prospect JerShon Cobb. If you add two more inches to his frame, Cobb could certainly pose as the Northwestern version of Evan Turner.

In high school, Cobb accumulated 17.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, 5.1 assist and two steals per game. He is a scoring threat off the wing and will fill the void left by Colbe. He rebounds, scores and shares the basketball. Not to mention, has great basketball I.Q. that allows him to time steals perfectly.

That sums up some of the things Colbe did for the Wildcats.

Overall, without Colbe Northwestern will be okay. Assuming Mirkovic, Cobb, John Shurna, Michael Thompson and Drew Crawford will step up, the Wildcats reserve a chance to improve from last season.

They achieved a 20-14 record without him. Next year they have more experience and talent, so you do the math.

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Flashback Friday: 'The Shot' Featuring Mario Chalmers and The Kansas Jayhawks

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Back in 2008' the Memphis Tigers landed Derrick Rose. Coming out of high school, Rose was considered to be one of the best athletes in his recruiting class. Once he landed in Memphis, people foresaw a huge turnaround in for the program.

With Rose, Memphis climbed to the No. 1 overall ranking that year. Along with Chris Douglas-Roberts, Joey Dorsey and Robert Dozier, the Tigers were poised to win the National Championship.

In fact, once Selection Sunday came around, the Memphis Tigers were slapped with a No. 1 seed.

A few weeks later, they were in the National Championship game facing off against the Kansas Jayhawks.

The Kansas Jayhawks impressed a lot of people with their play that season. They came in with 30-plus wins and a blowout win against the North Carolina Tar Heels in the game before.

It almost seemed like their depth and talent would come away with the win. But Memphis and their talented athletes thought otherwise.

Once the game started, Memphis jumped out to an early (3-9) lead. But Kansas quickly matched that and knotted the score up.

From then on, the Tigers would get down and claw back into the lead; same with the Jayhawks.

This was exactly the game we wanted to see in the National Championship.

At the half, the Jayhawks held a slight five point advantage over the Tigers. Mario Chalmers and Brandon Rush found there sweet spots in the first half. 

However, coming out in the second, Douglas-Roberts limited the production of Rush.

That allowed the Tigers room for error. Once they took Rush out the game, the other players were forced to step up. But that also helped Memphis because they took the lead late in the second half.

With the score (47-46) Rose scored five straight points to push the lead out to (47-51). Soon after that, Memphis had the momentum and it looked like the Jayhawks were ready to give up. 

The lead was as high as (51-60) before the Jayhawks finally made plays.

With 1:39 seconds left on the clock, Douglas-Roberts nailed a free-throw that put the Tigers up by six.

However, Dorsey fouled Chalmers and he nailed the free-throws that brought the lead to four. 

Soon after, Chalmers sent Douglas-Roberts to the line where he missed the front-in of the one-and-one.

Then Kansas' Darrell Arthur came down and hit a jumper to pull within two.

That's when free-throws started to become crucial for the Tigers. With 16 seconds left on the clock and a chance to ice the game, Douglas-Roberts missed both free-throws.

However, Memphis gathered the offensive rebound and sent freshman Rose to the line. He missed the first one but made the second.

The first one would have put him in good company and gave the Tigers a four-point lead—the company that leads their teams to National Championship victories as a true freshman.

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
However, his miss would be Chalmers gain. With the clock ticking down, the Jayhawks ran a play; got Chalmers the ball and he nailed the three-point shot.

It wasn't a great look but it was decent; a very tough shot but Chalmers nailed it.

With no answer, the game went into overtime. 

Now, before we get into the overtime period its beneficial to know that Dorsey fouled out in the second period. He displayed good defense against Darnell Jackson.

Following the shot by Chalmers, Memphis reached overtime holding on by a strand. They weren't able to hold the league or knock down free-throws.

Now with the Jayhawks having the momentum heading into overtime, the game was over.

The Jayhawks scored, grabbed almost every rebound and didn't need a miracle to sink the Tigers in overtime. In fact, the Jayhawks grabbed seven rebounds versus the two acquired by the Tigers—one of which came from the possession arrow.

Overall, the Tigers couldn't capitalize at the line, on defense or secure the lead—that all spelled defeat and the Jayhawks marched home as the winner.

As for Chalmers shot that sent the game into overtime; classic. "It'll probably be the biggest shot ever made in Kansas history," Kansas coach Bill Self said. "I had a good look at it," Chalmers said. "When it left my hands it felt like it was good, and it just went in."

(Flashback Friday is a segment CoHoops does every week. If you missed last weeks segment of Flashback Friday, click here to read. To review the series click here)

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

College Basketball Rumors: B.J. Young to IU?

Posted by CoHoops Josh Dhani

According to the Indianapolis Star, the Indiana Hoosiers basketball program is on the verge of landing their top recruit B.J. Young.

Tom Crean was getting the commitment from the 6'3", 170-pound shooting guard from St. Louis.

The Hoosiers are comfortable now with their number one option and they like the fact that he likes the organization and is willing to commit.

"I really like the coaches. They support me a lot," Young told Jeff Rabjohns of the Indy Star. "I like the history of the program. I would really like to bring Indiana back."

If Tom Crean got Young aboard, the team could go strong into their rebuilding project.

Young is consistent, creative and a dominant scorer. He's also very quick and hard to stop on offense.

He can become one of the best players in his respective recruiting class. If he can work on his outside jump shot then he would really make something out of himself.

I'm really looking forward to Young commitment.

I bet he will.

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Good Decision: 2011 College Basketball Commits That Got It Right

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell Photo
College Basketball recruiting is always fun to keep up with. You have recruits that like to play hard to get and want to wait until the last-minute before they reach a final verdict.

However, it's some recruits that like to commit early. It eliminates the hassle of recruiting and lets you focus on the game.

Sometimes giving an early commitment isn't always the best thing. There have been cases where recruits commit somewhere and find out they don't like it. In return, they either transfer or try to work things out.

Instead of going through that, recruits are now taking more time and building relationships. Here are some athletes in the 2011 recruiting class that have already given a verbal commitment. In my opinion, they made the right decision.

G Myck Kabongo 6'2'' - Texas Longhorns
Kabongo is a good point guard. He verbally gave his commitment to Texas early. Texas has been the victim of poor point guard play. Kabongo can come in and fix the problems right away. 

He is very unselfish and has the ability to become a very good guard. He has great handle, a jump shot and improving defense. Kabongo made the right decision by choosing the Longhorns. He surrounded himself with talent and will be coached by one of the College greats.

G Michael Carter-Williams 6'5'' - Syracuse Orange
Carter-Williams made a great decision by choosing Syracuse. He is considered one of the best shooting threats in the class. Syracuse is the best place to show off your shooting ability. 

Not to mention, his handle and skill set also brings another dimension to the Orange. There have been a lot of players that come to Syracuse as a pure-two and leave with point guard skills.

F Marshall Plumlee 6'11'' - Duke Blue Devils
Marshall Plumlee decided to follow his brothers to Duke. I believe that is a great decision on his part.

Coach K has done a great job of curbing players into great prospects at the next level. Not to mention, Coach K will utilize this Plumlee twin.

His ability to spark the post on defense is a must for the Blue Devils. They had it with Brian Zoubek and in 2011 they'll have it with Marshall Plumlee.

F Michael Gilchrist 6'7'' - Kentucky Wildcats
Gilchrist is a very great basketball player. He committed to John Calipari and the Kentucky program during his year in high school.

I think he made the best decision.

Calipari is the only coach to have five first round draft picks. If you think he didn’t help maintain his players and make them better; I think you're crazy. The best way to improve and play at your strengths is with Coach Cal.

G Brandan Kearney 6'5'' - Michigan State Spartans
Have you been a witness to what has happened with the Michigan State Spartans? I have, and I certainly respect the way Tom Izzo improves his players. 

There is a fact stated by many sources that every four-year player under Tom Izzo reaches the Final Four.

You can't tell me you wouldn't want to be coached by Tom Izzo. Brandan Kearney; Good job!

G Marquis Rankin 6'1'' - Virginia Tech Hokies
Marquis Rankin gave a verbal commitment to Virginia Tech and Seth Greenburg. Well I assume you've seen the improvement from Malcolm Delaney.

It's not all Delaney I can assure you that. Seth Greensburg has help Delaney become the best overall guard in the country.

He will do the same with Rankin.

F Tyler Adams 6'9'' - Duke Blue Devils
Adams is considered one of the nation’s top recruits. When I spoke to him about a month ago, he stated that he wanted to get better. The best way for him to do that was to play under Coach K and the Duke Blue Devils.

I agree 100 percent with the decision. Coach K will have a smile on his face knowing he has a physical post presence in Adams.

While at the same time, Adams is soaking up the experience and improving his game.

F James McAdoo 6'9'' - North Carolina Tar Heels
McAdoo made his verbal commitment to the Tar Heels basketball program. He will have the ability to come in right away and contribute.

Not to mention, he will be coached by one of the better coaches in College Basketball.

He improved Tyler Hansbrough from a good player to a Tar Heel great. With time, he can do the same with McAdoo.

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