Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hoffer Commits (Updated)

Taylor Hoffer (North Kitsap, WA) has committed to UNCG according to this article. Hoffer is a 6'-7" Forward that Rivals lists as a "3 star" prospect. He was selected as a 3-A All-State player.

I went looking for some more videos. Not sure if the first one is Hoffer. Since it's too grainy to really tell, we'll just assume it is Taylor. The second is a highlight of a North Kitsap game with some Drowning Pool dubbed over.

Video 1

Video 2 - Hoffer is #24

- Taylor has played on a good AAU team.

Hoffer's gone to great lengths to improve his game and draw interest.

The past few years, he's played his select ball with the Portland Legends. Three times a week, Hoffer would make the drive to Portland for practice, doing his homework on the way down and sleeping on the way home, often arriving at 1 a.m.

The team was good, boasting two standout guards from Bellarmine (Avery Bradley and Abdul Gaddy) and DeAngelo Castro, who led Ferris to state title.

- Hoffer was ranked #23 in the state of Washington according to this site. when you look at this site, remember that there is no distinction in class (Senior, Junior, etc.) and Washington has the top player in the class of 2010 & 2011.
- Taylor was being looked being looked at by Pac-10 schools Stanford, Oregon Sate & Washington State. Also Cornell showed some interest.
- According to this article, Taylor had received an offer from D1 transitioning Seattle University (coached by former UCLA standout Cameron Dollar).
- Just like the other 3 UNCG recruits, Hoffer was nominated for the McDonald's All-American game.

UPDATE: Here's the link to the UNCG website article announcing Taylor's signing.
UPDATEx2: News & Record article.

Welcome to the Spartans, Taylor !!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Links & OOC Scheduling

Now that I have some free time for the next couple of months, I'm going to try to exchange links with a few more college basketball websites. Feel free to send me sites that you think I should check out. I'm going to start by contacting websites of teams that UNCG is playing this upcoming season.

Which brings me to my to my next point. I'm adding a new space for confirmed out of conference opponents. I'll use this post to point out where I found these teams from. Hopefully by the time the real schedule comes out, we'll already have a good portion of it figured out. If anyone comes across a link or knows something that they'd like to share, email me.

- NC State, ECU & Princeton - We've known about these 3 for a while. All three games will be at the Greensboro Coliseum.
- Duke, Clemson, Maryland, Virginia Tech & Wake Forest - The article points out that the Duke game is in Cameron (11/14). Other than that game, it's unknown where the rest of these will be played.
- NC A&T (rumored) - I'm going to leave this one off the list because the article only vaguely says that the series will be restarted.
- Richmond, VCU & Charlotte (rumored) - The article just says Barakat is working on these teams. I also believe these are the same teams he mentioned at the press conference in December.

Conroy Not Going to Boone (Updated: It's Buzz)

For post #101 (and second of the day) I thought I'd update the coaching search taking place with our rivals to the west. According to this article in the Charleston Post & Courier, that Citadel coach Ed Conroy will remain the head coach of the Bulldogs.

"It looks good," for Conroy to remain at the military school, said the source.

Conroy, 41, emerged as a candidate at App State after leading the Bulldogs to a 20-13 record and the first postseason tournament in school history last season, his third at his alma mater.

App State officials interviewed Conroy and at least two other candidates last week, according to various reports. Conroy has not commented publicly about the App State job, which has been open since Houston Fancher was fired on March 16.

Appfan must be getting swamped this morning. I couldn't get the site to load in several attempts. I'm sure they will have some choice comments, though.

UPDATE: The Winston-Salem Journal is reporting that former ASU coach, Buzz Peterson, has taken the job and will be introduced at a press conference tomorrow.

Transfers, Rule Changes and the APR

Even though most of us have realized that UNCG would be losing a couple of players, here is some official notice from Fox Sports blogger Jeff Goodman.

TRANSFER ADDITIONS Aaron Austin, 6-3, G, Fr., Radford Landon Clement, 6-1, G, Soph., UNC Greensboro Tony Dennison, 6-3, G, Jr., Hofstra Kyle Desmarais, 6-2, G, Fr., Central Connecticut StateAaron Garriott, 6-3, G, Fr., SIU-Edwardsville Aaron Hall, 6-3, G, Soph., Central Connecticut State Jacob Iati, 5-11, G, Fr., High Point Khalil Mumford, 5-11, G, Soph., St. Peter’s Jake Nielson, 6-3, G, Fr., Southern Utah Daniel Oliver, 5-10, G, Soph., UNC Greensboro Kevin Payton, 6-5, G, Jr., Minnesota C.J. Reid, 6-4, F, Fr., St. Peter’s Mark Socoby, 6-5, G, Jr., Maine Ryan Staker, 6-7, PF, Jr., UC Irvine Anthony Thomas, 6-5, F, Fr., Howard Torrance Timothy, 6-5, G, Fr., Howard Isiah Tucker, 6-1, G, Soph., Winston Salem State Omar Wattad, 6-5, SG-SF, Soph., Georgetown Barry Wellington, 6-0, G, Jr., SIU-Edwardsville Joey Rodriguez, 5-10, G, Soph., VCU
Here's another good article written by Goodman discussing the ramifications of a new rule that the NCAA has implemented for this season.

The NCAA instituted a ridiculous and baffling rule recently in which college coaches are no longer able to watch players at AAU events in April.

It would seem that, like every other NCAA rule, this one started with good intentions. However, the unintended consequences will cause coaches to really have to go out of their way to see players or taking players that they never see play in person. That will undoubtedly lead to more transfers.

Finally, congratulations are in order for 2 UNCG teams. Women's basketball and women's tennis earned NCAA Public Recognition Awards for ranking in the top 10 percent of APR in their respective sports. Individual scores will be released on May 6. UNCG fans should be looking closely for the APR scores in men's basketball and baseball. Those 2 sports fell below the NCAA mark and were penalized this season.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Curry Turning Pro

Davidson's Stephen Curry announced today that he is entering the NBA draft and plans on hiring an agent soon. I don't have a link right now, but I watched the press conference online.

- Davidson Athletics
- Greensboro News & Record
- Charlotte Observer

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

VanDussen signs LOI with UNCG

Korey VanDussen (pronounced Van DUH-sin) signed his official LOI today to UNCG. Here's the story put out by the athletic department.

- Greensboro News & Record story (4/23/09)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Too much Youtube for Me

Ok, I'll freely admit that I spend way too much time playing on the internet. But yesterday, as I was looking for the Korey VanDussen videos in the post below, I found some other fun stuff. I figured I'd add a couple of older Kyle Hines videos. Enjoy.

Monday, April 20, 2009

UNCG Gets Another Guard

According to this article in the Holland Sentinel, Korey VanDussen (Zeeland East, MI) will be a Spartan next season. VanDussen finished 3rd in the voting for Mr. Basketball in the state of Michigan.

The 6-foot-3 guard will sign with NC Greensboro this week, Zeeland East coach Mickey Cochran said.

Greensboro began recruiting VanDussen late this season. Dement sent one of his assistant coaches to watch VanDussen in the regional title game against Grand Rapids South Christian in St. Joseph, Cochran said.

“At halftime, their assistant coach called (Dement) and said this is a kid we’ve got to have. They offered him a full-ride and were talking to Korey’s parents,” Cochran said. “They knew Korey wasn’t going to do much until after the season, so they scheduled a visit (last weekend) and made a great presentation.

“(Korey and his family) were so impressed with the campus, the coaches, everybody they met down there.”

Highlight Video #1

Highlight Video #2

I can't wait for the time when I'm sitting at the coliseum and hear "Three big ones for KVD". UNCG has now signed a backcourt that should be good for a very long time.

Welcome to the Spartans, Korey !!!

- Here's a good article by Jane Bos from with this little nugget ...

After all, he verbally committed to play at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Duke's opponent on Nov. 14.

- Here's a Holland Sentinel blog posting by Alan Babbitt discussing the new UNCG guards (KVD and Kyle Randall).
- For more news & highlights, check out (Zeeland East's basketball page).
- UNCG can't comment until he signs his LOI. Once that happens, I'll link to the UNCG athletics website.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Random Videos & Links

Ok, time for a few random humorous videos and links.

Our first link is from the Jim Rome Show. Jim is talking about Isiah Thomas taking the head coaching job at Florida International. He was announced at the press conference as Isiah Thompson. Fast forward ahead ~2 minutes if you want to laugh.

The second one is CNN's Anderson Cooper making good point about all of these tea parties.

Bruce Pearl is a rap star !!!

And finally, Every Day Should be Saturday thinks ECU needs to update their pirate logo to keep up with the times.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Randall Signs up to be a Spartan

Kyle Randall (Hermitage, PA) signed his LOI today to officially become a Spartan. has a nice article detailing Kyle's accomplishments.

- News & Record story (4/15/09)
- News & Record story (4/16/09)
- The Herald (Sharon, PA) story

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

2 in 1 Day? (USA Today)

It's just a two USA Today related posts kind of day today. I came across this article discussing the coaching carousel.

With one more change Monday, the number of Division I schools with new men's basketball coaches for next season stands at 24. If that holds, it will be the fewest since 1966, when 24 changes also were made.

Notice that one team still searching for a coach are our friends in Boone. Buzz Peterson officially turned down the App State job last Friday. Since then, the plot has thickened. The Apps appear to have turned their attention to the Citadel's Ed Conroy. The Winston-Salem Journal reported earlier that the Bulldogs denied App State permission to speak to Conroy. Now the Charleston Post & Courier has Citadel officials saying that report was false. However, it appears the Bulldogs are working to give Conroy an extension. A more detailed version of how this is playing out is available over at the Appfan blog.

UPDATE: Now App is after Buzz Peterson again.

UPDATE x2: Isiah Thomas is the new coach of Florida International ???

Season Wrap-up (USA Today)

USA Today has posted a great SoCon season wrap-up. I'll just copy some of the key UNCG portions here. You can read the rest of it here. It's a really comprehensive article that seems pretty spot on about most of the teams. I agree with the UNCG portion 100%. Although there are obviously a few more roster changes taking place that they don't note.

Offensively, the Spartans scored just 62.9 points per game (10th in the league); they were the only team to shoot less than 40 percent from the field (39.8 percent) while hitting just 31.5 percent of their 3-point attempts (11th); UNCG also was last in assists (10.3 apg).
--On the defensive side of the ball, Greensboro allowed 73.9 points per game (ninth) and was last in the Southern Conference in scoring margin (-10.9 point differential). The Spartans were tied for last in the league in steals (5.3 spg) and were 11th in the league in turnover margin (-2.5) and last in assist-turnover ratio (0.7).

WHAT WENT WRONG: Two seasons ago, the Spartans were a team that road the Kyle Hines roller coaster, pretty much going wherever he would take them. The talented forward averaged 19.2 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. His departure may have single-handedly prompted the drop from a 19-12 overall record that season to the 5-25 one the Spartans suffered this year. It also contributed toward the disadvantage in knowing exactly how to approach the lineup. Coach Mike Dement used 19 different starting lineups in an attempt to find an equation that would add up to a victory. For the most part, that never happened. And now the coach has an offseason to try something else.

THE GOOD NEWS: The Spartans will be moving into a venue that should continue to help recruiting for years to come. UNCG will begin play at the Greensboro Coliseum beginning next season. The Coliseum will have a standard capacity of 7,613 for the majority of most home games, dwarfing the 1,800-person limit of the former facility, Fleming Gym. As witnessed by the Spartans' lone game at the Greensboro Coliseum this season, officials will have no problem expanding the capacity when needed. The Spartans played Davidson in the venue on Feb. 5 in front of 11,687 fans. It was easily the highest-attended Southern Conference game this season, and it brings about the possibilities for the future.

KEY RETURNEES: The Spartans roster did not include a single senior, and the only player defection to this point was a midseason withdrawal. So UNC Greensboro will have all of its top scorers returning in 2009-2010. Guard Mikko Koivisto averaged 12.4 ppg while leading the league in free-throw percentage (89 percent). Forward Ben Stywall scored 11.7 ppg and was fifth in the league in rebounding (8.4 rpg). Fellow big man Damian Eargle added 9.2 ppg and 5.6 rpg after starting 20 contests during his freshman season. Guard Kendall Toney played in all 30 games and averaged 8.0 ppg and 3.2 rpg.

--UNC Greensboro inked Brian Cole, a 6-foot-9, 225-pound center from Dacula, Ga., during the early signing period. Cole played AAU ball with the Atlanta Celtics and was described by various recruiting services as a solid "role" player. With Ben Stywall coming back for another year, it will allow Cole the opportunity to ease into college basketball.
--The Spartans will have one more scholarship available for Mike Dement to recruit with during the last signing period. Sophomore guard Landon Clement withdrew from school after 18 games, opening a roster spot for another player.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Bizarre Recruiting Story

Jon Wall (Raleigh , NC) is widely considered the #1 high school prospect in America for the 2009 class. Memphis, Kentucky, NC State, Baylor, Duke and UNC all have a shot at landing him. Earlier this season, the Raleigh News & Observer did a piece detailing his rise to basketball prominence and some of the things surrounding his recruitment.

Then today there's this story that NCSU has ordered the shut down of a Facebook group titled "Jon Wall PLEASE come to NC STATE!!!". It was started by a NCSU student. Apparently, people in the Wolfpack athletics department thought that this might constitute a recruiting violation.

The NCAA made clear to N.C. State that it considers such sites a violation, Lee said. Making such a public appeal to Wall, in effect, turned Moseley into a representative of the university's athletic interests under NCAA Division I Bylaw 13.02.13.

NCAA spokesman Erik Christianson said the bylaw applies to "individuals who would develop a social networking site or use an existing one to send recruiting messages to prospective student-athletes. Those communications are not allowed."
Even though NCSU shut down their Facebook group, the article points out that there are still similar groups for the other schools still recruiting Wall. I'm interested to see all plays out. Expecting schools to self police this is a very silly idea.

The next problem will be defining what is a violation and what is free speech. I've mentioned a recruit on this blog that hasn't signed a LOI. I'm not a student and (as of right now) not a member of the Spartan club. All I am is an alumni. So, does this make me a "booster" in the NCAA's eyes? Have I committed a violation? Does this stretch all the way to message boards? The issue gets even murkier if a UNC student starts a "Jon Wall, come to NC State" group on Facebook or Myspace. Does NC State have the right to sue to stop it?

I honestly believe this is the case of a school being a little too cautious. I think the NCAA will shy away from doing much about this because they're not going to like what they find. Every school is probably involved (at least at the elite level). So who will they want to punish? Just think back to the old Jerry Tarkanian quote that, "the NCAA is so mad at Kentucky that they are going to put Cleveland State on probation for another year".

Easley Leaving UNCG

Assistant coach Kevin Easley has left UNCG to take a similar position with High Point University, according to the High Point Athletics website. There has been no official announcement from UNCG.

My thoughts on this are simple. UNCG has got to start funding it's basketball program in a way that keeps good coaches from leaving to take similar jobs at schools from mid and low level conferences. The UNCG administration has started to take steps to improve the program by moving it to the Greensboro Coliseum and playing a much tougher schedule. Now it's time to put money in place to keep quality coaches and assistant coaches. However, I wish Mr. Easley good luck in his future coaching endeavours.

The discussions on the UNCG forum can be found here and here.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Tournament Move is Official

Charlotte in '10 and back to Chattanooga in '11.

The first few days will be played in Bojangles Coliseum (formerly Cricket Arena)with the semifinals and finals being played in Time Warner Cable Arena.

Chattanooga Times Free Press
Official SoCon Press Release

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Coaching Searches (Part 1)

I thought I'd write a little post updating where some of neighbors are at in their coaching searches.

Appalachain State - The Winston-Salem Journal & Charlotte Observer are reporting that they have offered their position to former coach Buzz Peterson. Peterson led the Mountaineers to 3 straight North Division titles and to the NCAA tournament in 2000. He has since coached at Tulsa, Tennessee and Coastal Carolina. He is currently an executive with the Charlotte Bobcats.

High Point - The Panthers hired former North Carolina player Scott Cherry. Cherry had previously served as an assistant coach at South Carolina, Western Kentucky, George Mason and Tennessee Tech.

Elon - Elon hired longtime Davidson assistant Matt Matheny. Matheny had been an assistant at Davidson for 16 years.

Georgia Southern - Eagles coach Jeff Price resigned March 30. Two days later, the Savannah Morning News reported that the NCAA is investigating Georgia Southern's basketball program.

That's all for part one. I'll post another update with some of the national coaching searches and their ripple effects.

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Other Spartan Signee

I spent some time earlier this week talking about UNCG's newest commitment, Kyle Randall. I figured it was only right to talk about link to some articles about the first UNCG signee for '09, Brian Cole.

Cole, 6'-8" & 225 lbs, is from suburban Atlanta (Dacula HS) and he signed his LOI back in the fall. ESPN has Brian ranked as the #37 center in the country. thinks Brian's commitment could be a foundation one for the Spartans. The Gwinnette Daily Post did a story when he committed to UNCG and later did a feature story on Brian.

Welcome to the Spartans, Brian !!!

Model of Inefficiency

I've made it a habit of not veering off course with this blog. I talk about UNCG basketball, Southern Conference basketball and college basketball in general.

However, I couldn't help but make a post that deals with this Winston-Salem Journal story. The newly renamed Winston-Salem Dash (Class A - Chicago White Sox) are in the process of building a beautiful new stadium right beside of Business 40 in downtown Winston-Salem (my hometown and current city of residence).

The stadium was supposed to be ready by their opening day, April 23. However, the stadium really only appears to be about half finished as of right now (April 3). I'm really thinking that this whole situation is going to go down in the encyclopedia under "what not to do when building a stadium". It looks like there is plenty of blame to be spread around. Either way, it's ridiculous and the public is the big loser here.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

SoCon Tournament Possibly Moving

Over the past few weeks, it appears Charlotte business leaders and SoCon officials have been in talks to bring the 2010 Southern Conference Tournament to either Charlotte's Time Warner Cable Arena or Bojangles' Coliseum. Here are some links to articles and discussions.

Davidson Forum
Chattanooga Forum
College of Charleston Forum
UNCG Forum

Charlotte Observer (3/29/09)
Charleston Post & Courier (3/28/09)
Chalreston Post & Courier (3/30/09)
Chattanooga Times Free Press (3/29/09)
Chattanooga Times Free Press (3/31/09)

It appears that Chattanooga is willing to back their hosting date up one year and probably get some financial considerations for being so helpful. But, why the rush to get this in place for next year?

The CIAA Tournament is locked into TWC Arena for the next 3 years. In 2011 & 2012, that tournament and the SoCon Tournament fall on the same weekend. Next year is the only available year where that's not the case.

Don't believe that reason? Let's try this one. Stephen Curry will be a senior next season (provided he doesn't go pro). Imagine the fanfare of this tournament in a central location with a legitimate NBA lottery pick playing in it. Also, Davidson's campus is right down the road. Seems like the perfect storm to fill up the arena.

Want another option? If you believe massage board talk, Chattanooga barely broke even hosting this year's tournament and that's with the hometown team winning. It appears next season that UTC will be rebuilding. Why not wait a year to host again when the Mocs might be better and get more locals into the arena?

I think all of these reasons have some merit to them. I think Chattanooga is a fine place to host the tournament. Unfortunately, Chattanooga (and Charleston) are destination spots for the tournament. With economic times the way they are, the SoCon is going to have to take the tournament to where the fans are located.

I really hope this happens. Money is tight for me right now, just like everyone else. It would be nice to drive ~ 1 hour down the road to see the tournament. Plus, I really like TWC Arena. This seems like the right thing to do at the right time.

But, that's just my opinion.