Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Catching up...

I think it would be an understatement to say that this season has not started off as well as mot of us expected, but...it hasn't. Personally, the loss to Vermont did not cause me too much concern. It was clearly a game that BC should have won, but I chalked that one up to "$#!# happens." The Providence game on the other hand, caused me great concern. To my ears (I am yet to see BC play this year), it sounded like a lack of effort (oh yeah, and piss poor shooting). Hopefully, the Rhode Island game was a sign that things have been straightened out, however, I will reserve judgement. I think this week will tell us a lot about what to expect from this team. On paper, neither Michigan State nor UMass are as talented as BC, but neither were Vermont or Providence. For me to believe that the ship has truly been righted, BC needs to win both of these games, and one of them has be a fairly easy victory. We'll see where things stand come Sunday morning.

Elsewhere, BC finally got around to announcing the five signees from the Fall signing period. I have tried to stay on top of how each of the signees are going in their high school season but most high school hoops seasons are yet to start. An exception to this is Texas. Texas high schools get started early, and both Biko Paris and Cortney Dunn have a handful of games under their belts already. In the case of Paris, he is picking up right where he left off after averaging 16ppg as a junior. Through six games this season, Paris is putting up better than 20 points per for Cypress Christian in Houston. A similar point output increase has been exhibited by Dunn. Some be fans questioned what BC might be getting in Dunn, especially after learning that he only put up 10 points a game as a junior. As a senior, through five games, he's averaging right around 16ppg. Clearly, Dunn is not going to be a guy that BC asks to carry the offensive load, but its good to know that he can put up decent points in high school, where he likely has a two to five inch height advantage most nights. As high school seasons kick into gear, I'll try to keep everyone updated on the future Eagles.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

College Hoops Net: BC Preview

Though their information is not always the most accurate, I like College Hoops Net for the fact that every year they rank the entire nation, #1 through #336.

This year, though I think they have BC a little high, at #10, I think the season preview is pretty accurate. CHN did what no other preview has been brave enough to do, pick BC #2 in the ACC ahead of Duke. Clearly, things will be decided on the court, but I just think the Blue Devils have a lot of question marks that are being overlooked. In any event, here is how CHN ranks BC's opponents:

North Carolina - top 5 - no preview yet
Kansas - top 5 - no preview yet
Duke #15
Georgia Tech #22
Virginia #34
Michigan State #36
Florida State #45
UMass #51
Clemson #54
Virginia Tech #59
Maryland #70
NC State #107
Providence #118
Miami #121
Wake Forest #143
Vermont #148
Rhode Island #170
New Hampshire #186
Yale #199
Northeastern #232
Sacred Heart #248
Duquense #269
Fairfield #281
Hartford #319

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Old news...Biko Paris commits

Notwithstanding my pronouncement that BC was Dunn with the class of 2007, BC was still working on point guards in the class of 2007. That work paid off in the form of Biko Paris, a 6'1 195lb point guard out of New Orleans, LA by way of Houston, TX.

Articles of Paris' commitment are plentiful (Eagle Action, Texas Hoops, Rivals, Scout), but those stories don't give us much information on Paris as a player. For instance, none of those articles point out that as a sophomore at John Curtis in River Ridge, LA, Paris lead all of New Orleans in scoring at 28ppg, oh yeah, he handed out 7 assists per game as well. Also missing from those articles is that last year at Cypress Community Christian in Houston, Paris led the team in scoring at 16ppg and in assists with 5apg, while being named 1st Team 4A TAPPPS All-Sate. For the record, last year's CCC squad also boasted current UConn frosh Hasheem Thabeet and top 50 sophomore (now junior) Steve Tchiengang. How about 43%, thats the percentage of Paris' shots from beyond the arc that found the bottom of the net last season. Based on this, I think its safe to say that Paris can both score and distribute.

On thing I find interesting about Paris is questions about his weight. He is generally listed somewhere between 200 and 210 pounds, however, I came across a number of references to Paris dropping a few pounds this summer and thereby increasing his recruiting stock. As far as the recruiting websites go, the only thing certain about Paris is that the pundits don't agree. Among various sites, Paris is rated #95, 162, 200, and 309, and this does not include Rivals or Scout, neither of which list him in their rankings. However, with offers at various points of the recruiting process from Cincinnati, Miami, Oklahoma, Southern Cal and Virginia, I think its safe to say that he's an ACC caliber player. Coupling that with the evaluation abilities of the BC staff, and I suspect BC is getting itself a player in Biko Paris.

With the addition of Paris, BC's five man recruiting class is rising in the national rankings; College Hoops Update lists BC's incoming class at #18 in the nation, while Hoop Scoop has it at #16.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Its officially hoops season...

I have been pretty good in staying on top of recruiting recently, but what I have not done is stay on top of how the team has looked in early pick-up games and individual workouts. With that in mind, I received permission from a couple BC faithful to pass along what they have heard and/or seen in recent weeks. Anyone who follows the BC message boards has already seen this info posted, but I thought I'd stick it in one place for all to see.

Pick-up Games

A couple weeks ago, ShockDoct happened upon the the BC team running pick-up in the Plex, here are his thoughts and observations (note that Akida McLain and Tyrese Rice were not running)...

Sean Marshall...still had trouble finishing

Jared Dudley...looked like he slimmed down a little, and he definitely is now the leader on this team as he and marshall did most of the "coaching"

Sean Williams...looked much more comfortable around the basket than in years past, he had some post moves, but nothing amazing

Tyrelle Blair...one suprise for me was seeing him rebound on the defensive glass, other than that nothing that impressive, he's not nearly as explosive as Sean Williams

Marquez Haynes...simply amazing from both outside and driving into the lane, was quiet (not a lot of woofing) and lethal

Shamari Spears...is going to have to adjust to playing against taller guys (was mostly defended by John Oates) as he had his shot swatted a few times, he seemed to get frustrated as well. Shamari has a release on his face-up jumper, but does not have the brute force to power pass biggert players. He does have a similar build as Craig Smith, so if he puts in the time he could transform his body and become a monster

Tyler Roche...has a nice shot from the outside, but he is very thin and was not much of a factor anywhere near the basket

Daye Kaba...is a legit 6'4 and looks comfortable handling the ball

Individual Workouts and Expectations

Now that practice has begun, Quadruple Eagle/BC Addict gave us what he's heard this fall about player development and expectations...

Jared Dudley - Worked on thinning down and being a bit quicker for the season -- will be more of the prototypical 3 than in years past, I think. While he'll be the focal point of the offense, he hopefully will have enough options to help shoulder the load. I'm thinking somehwere along the line of 18 and 9 for Duds, including the clutch performances we have come to expect out of him. It's pretty impressive to note that in each year he's been here, his game has steadily improved from seasn to season -- that's really soemthing to say considering his performance as a Ffosh. He will get his points, he will produce, the question is his supporting cast, as I am not as worried about him shouldering the load of being "the guy"...

Sean Marshall - I've been waiting for Marshall to improve in some respect every season he's been at the Heights. Each year, I've been disappointed; thus, I'm not going to get myself too worked up with expectations here. He is what he is -- he'll get you 10 points, but his inconsistency will drive you nuts. He's a very hard worker, particulalry on the defensive end, and if he can take some of the scoring load off of Dudley and Rice, he'll really improve our chances for success (as well as open up the court for Sean Williams around the rim). I really think he'll go off against UNC or Duke, but play miserably against NC State or G-Tech...

Tyler Neville - may see the court as his game has improved and depending upon Haynes' ability to play the point and Marshalls production at the 2. He's not a bad defender and can hit a pull-up J...

Sean Williams - bad news first: has some tendinitis in his knee and has had trouble getting on the court lately. While hopefully this injury doesn't linger too long, it's a little nuisance considering the substantital overhaul in the team's type of play they will be installing for the coming season. On a positive note, the tendinitis demonstrates the absolute tenacity Sean has shown in trying to improve his game throughout the offseason. From Nike camps to the Power Gym, Sean has really worked hard to improve his game. Remember that hook against G-Tech last year because you'll see it plenty this season. If Sean continues to develop his post moves, I don't think it'd be out of the question for the TEAM to IMPROVE on last year's substantial success...

John Oates - will continue to start and get 10 minutes a game -- while many people scream for him to get off the court (including myself last year), he is important in two respects: first, he improves Sean Williams' ability to stay on the floor and out of foul trouble; and second, relaxes some of the shooters on this team when he hits the 20 footer...

Akida McLain - While much was made of the rumors this offseason surrounding the mercurial, but immensely talented McLain, I'm more than a bit concerned about some more rumors emanating from his camp this fall. While completely different from the whispers this summer, rumor has it, he has broken team/school rules and may miss a few of the early games this season. This won't affect the team too much, and depending on how it unfolds, may give Shamari some nice early season experience. I sincerely hoped Akida would return this year with an aggresiveness he previously lacked....I suppose we must wait and see how things turn out. Akida could become the key to turning this team into a final four contender...unfortunately he hasn't demonstrated the effort or willingness to do so thus far...

Tyrelle Blair - just a body that hopefully won't have to see significant minutes because in that case either Williams, Akida or Shamari will have gone down with an injury, suspension etc. He's depth for the frountcout -- pretty solid on the defensive end, but his offense leaves a lot to desired. Perhaps the most significant development with him in the last week or so has been the commitment of Biko Paris. I think the most likely scenario next year will be that bBair does not get offered a 5th year, barring some sort of frontcourt transfer...

Tyrese Rice
- Our little Nick Van Exel shouldn't make too many people yearn for Lou this year. What we lose in veteran leadership, we make up big time in explosiveness into the lane, a more effective fast break and three point bombs. Lou picked up his game from the ACC tourney on last season, but his proclivity to disappear in stretches frustrated a lot of his followers throughout his career at BC. One thing about Tyrese, he never disappears. While he won't have Lou's spectacular A/T ratio, his point production and highlight-reel passes will hopefully make up for his at times turnover-prone game. This team will go as far as Tyrese Rice can take us. I know Dudley and Sean Williams will be critical to this team's success, but if this team wants to make a run at the Final Four, which I think it can, it must get consistent and at times spectacular PG play out of Rice. He is paramount to this team's run and IMO, he's up to the challenge. An injury to Rice would destroy this team faster than at any other position, including one to Dudley. Kaba is not ready to play at this level yet and Marquez is not a PG...

Marquez Haynes - Steady improvement out of this kid, who should see the floor at least 20 minutes a game -- spending time behind both Rice and Marshall. He could become a crunch time performer, depending upon Marshall's production as Haynes is the team's superior on-the-ball defender. I love this kid's tenacity and can't wait to see it when he puts it on the floor and takes it to the hoop -- something nobody else on this team does outside of Tyrese. He also has a knack for weakside rebounds. Running the break with Sean Williams and Tyrese should result in at least a few ESPN top 10's. Expect Haynes to be a big contributor this upcoming season...

Shamari Spears - Looks quite good and will be a contributor on this team from day 1. While I highly doubt he starts (that's going to John Oates in my opinion), he should get plenty of minutes off the bench--maybe something in the range of 15-20. If he improves on the defensive end, and continues to show a knack for scoring around the hoop, perhaps he could get 20 + come the end of the ACC season. While he has a similar body build, let's not lable him too much with Craig Smith type expectations and comparisons just yet, we do not want him to fold under the pressure of following one of BC's all-time greats. Shamari is the one freshman we can guarantee that will be a contributor this season. The amount of minutes he plays, is likely contingent upon Akida's ability to focus on the court and keep his nose clean off of it...

Tyler Roche - An absolute lights out shooter who is a legit 6'7-6'8 (think poor man's Steve Novak with a slightly smaller build). Unfortunately, Roche needs to work on his shot with someone in his face, as he is not nearly the dead-eye shooter that Novak was with a hand in his eyeballs. With a year of seasoning in the gym and weight room, this guy could become an integral aspect of BC bball for the subsequent 3 years. Great attitude here as well...

Daye Kaba - doubt he'll do much this year...

Time permitting, I'll have more of Biko Paris' commitment later today.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Recruiting news...

It appears that the Al Skinner and Company have adopted the recruiting philosophy of many other programs...sign as may people as you want and sort it out later. This assumption is based on the fact that 6'1 PG Biko Paris, from Cypress Community Christian School in Houston, Texas, is at the Heights this weekend on an official visit and is claiming a BC offer. Many fans felt that BC needed a point guard in this class, so the fact that they are recruiting one isn't suprising, what is suprising is BC's apparent willingness to take a fifth commit this fall even though only four scholarships are presently available for next year. Word is that a good visit for Paris this weekend is all but sure to result in his commiting to BC.

Though the general feeling among fans is that BC could get an additional scholarship from Sean Williams leaving school early, I believe a more likely scenario is that Tyrell Blair may not be given a fifth year. If he is unable to beat out Williams, John Oates, Akida McLain and Shamari Spears for mintues this year, there would be litte reason to bring Blair back the following season. With commitments from two post players, Blair's time to prove his worth is limited. Though I generally believe that you give a kid a scholarship until he exhausts his eligibility, I have no problem with BC pulling a scholarship from a non-contributing would be fifth year senior who has already graduated.

Oh yeah, in other recruiting news, I have a few more juniors that BC is involved with:

Melquan Bolding, 6'4 SF from the Bronx - BC has not had a lot of success recruiting NYC since pulling Uka Agbai out of Queens some eight years ago. If BC were to get the NYC ball rolling again with Boldingl, it is going to take one hell of a recruiting job, as he is likely to have his pick of Big East programs. In terms of Bolding's game, think Ryan Sidney with two extra inches of height.

Nate Miles, 6'6 SG from Cornerstone Christian in San Antonio, originally from Ohio - BC has little to no shot at landing Miles, who is a top 25 player in the class of '08, but you gotta like that the BC staff is not letting that stop them.

Jared Swopshire, 6'8 SF from IMG Academy, originally from St. Louis - Swopshire is a kid who is in the process of "blowing up." He is not on may top 100 lists, but by this time next year could be on most top 50 lists. He's a kid who has played close to that basket most of his life, but dominated on the 16-and-up AAU circuit this summer from the wing. BC was in early, but will likely have to fight off a who's who of college basketball to land this kid.

Steve Tchiengang, 6'8 PF out of Cyress Community Christian, yes same high school as this weekend's official visitor Biko Paris. Tchiengang, originally from Cameroon, is generally rated as a top 50 recruit, but that rating is based almost entirely on his potential rather what he has done thus far. In any event, Tchiengang has the physical attributes to be a monster at the next level and BC is in early with an offer. I can't say enough about my respect for BC's willingness to battle the Arizonas, Connecticuts, Floridas of the college basketball world, all of whom have reportedly offered Tchiengang.

Laslty, if you hadn't heard, 2008 target SG Garvey Young took in the BC/Maine football game a couple weeks ago with his father. Word is BC, thanks to its lead recruiter Bonzie Colson, is doing very well with Young.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

BC Targets in the Class of 2007

With the fall signed period quickly approaching, and BC's fall class wrapped up, I figured I'd take a look at the players that BC did not land. As is the case every year, BC -- as well as every other major conference school in the country not named Duke or North Carolina -- targeted three to five players for each available scholarship. My understanding is that each of Rakim Sanders, Corey Raji and Josh Southern were among BC's top five targets in the class, and frankly, I don't believe Al Skinner & Co. have every had that sort of success in recruiting.

As of the writing of this entry, to my knowledge, there is only one player (Josh Owens) that BC seriously recruited who has not committed anywhere. Taking a look at the schools to which the following players committed confirms that BC is continuing to make strides in recruiting. Gone are the days when BC goes head to head with the likes of Ivy League, America East and MAAC schools for recruits. Also gone are the days when BC would miss on options A and B to be left with C or D. Don't get me wrong, BC has done something right in recruiting to get where they are, and the strategy is not really changing, the difference is that BC is landing more of the players at the top of their board. With this in mind, here are the players that BC missed on:

Players who reportedly received offers from BC:

Eli Holman, C (Indiana) - listed BC among final three before committing
Jamelle Horne, SF (Arizona) - committed as a junior, but listed BC
James Johnson, SF/PF (Wake Forest) - listed BC in final five
Jeff Jones, PG/SG (Virginia) - BC was in final six or seven
Laval Lucas-Perry, PG/SG (Arizona) - BC was in final seven
Demitri McCamey, PG (Illinois) - never gave BC serious consideration
Keaton Nankivil, PF (Wisconsin) - BC was in final three
Jeff Teague, PG (Wake Forest) - BC was in final two or three
Julian Vaughan, C (Florida State) - did not list BC during latter stages of recruitment

Players that BC recruited by never offered:

Matthew Bryan-Amaning, PF (Washington) - never really considered BC
Dele Coker, C (St. John's) - wanted a BC offer that never came
Jared Cunningham, SF/PF (George Washington) - BC only evaluated him
Larry Davis, SG (Cincinnati) - considered BC until the end
Darnell Dobson, SF (Pittsburgh) - BC's interest waned
Justin Holiday, SF (Washington) - never seriously considered BC
Dorenzo Hudson, SG (Virginia Tech) - mutual interest never went anywhere
Richard Jackson, PF (Syracuse) - committed to early for BC to be a player
Jamelle McMillian, PG (Arizona State) - BC tried to get in too late
Todd O'Brien, PF (Bucknell) - wanted a BC offer that never came
Tyrone Shelley, SF (Pepperdine) - schools offered early then backed off
Shane Walker, PF/C (Maryland) - BC only evaluated him
Jerrell Williams, SF/PF (LaSalle) - early BC interest waned
Sean Williams, C (Syracuse) - BC only evaluated him

Based on recent articles on the Scout network, it appears that BC may still be in the market for a point guard in the class of 2007. Two kids who have expressed an interest in visiting BC are 6'3 Donnell Beverly out of Leuzinger HS near Los Angeles and 6'2 Kareem Nitoto out of San Leandro HS in northern California. At this point BC does not have any more scholarships available, but unexpected turnover is a way of life in college hoops, so BC appears to have spring options should someone transfer or declare early for the draft.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Around New England...

The people who put on this summer's New England Elite 75 camp have updated their website New England Basketball Services and have a lot of good information, including rankings, on New England's prep/high school classes of 2007 through 2010...

Speaking of the New England Elite 75, I came across this audio file and MRB.org's write up on the event while surfing the net. In the audio, Lee Academy's Coach Parker reviews his top 13 performers from the Elite 75. Among interest to BC fans will be #1 Rakim Sanders and #12 Erik Murphy. I don't want to call names or point fingers, but Coach Parker seems to be a bit of a homer in putting one of his own players, Corey Bingham, in the top 13 even though he didn't make the All Star game (top 20 players) at the event. Also odd is that Coach Parker has Alex Oriaki at #4 on the list when pretty much everything I've read about the event suggests that he did not have a particularly good showing...