Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Summer League Action #6

Here's a very quick recap from the few games I got to see last night. This is the last of the summer recaps as I'm out of town the rest of the week. I'll post my overall thoughts later.

Kyle Randall and Ben Stywall each had over a dozen points last night. Most of Randall's scoring came in crunch time when the game was close. There was also a nice drive and dish play from Randall to Stywall that basically sealed the win for their team. Elhanan Bone's monster shot block was the highlight of the night.

I watched just a few minutes of the late game in the lower gym. Brandon Evans and Kendall Toney were matching each other point for point until Evans got fouled hard. Both players scored in double figures, though.

Hines Back to Italy

According to his Twitter page, Kyle Hines has signed on to play another season in Italy.

It is official new contract signed this morning headed back to Italy Great situation great money I'm happy.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Shady Side of Recruiting

Since we're in the AAU/high school circuit this month, I thought I'd post a link to a NY Times article talking about the fleecing that tournament promoters and organizers are doing to college coaches. With every basketball program getting squeezed by its administrators, the NCAA needs to get involved with this situation.

Here are a few selected passages for the article.

Tournament organizers and summer basketball coaches have long charged significant fees for packets of information about potential Division I recruits — player rosters, phone numbers and e-mail addresses — that are the lifeblood of the billion-dollar college basketball business.

Antonio Curro, the tournament director, defended his prices, saying that he provided food for the tournament coaches and that he needed to feed his family. Curro also cited the costs of gym rental, employees and referees. He said that three coaches sneaked into the gym to avoid paying the $250 and that he made them purchase the packet because bootlegs were so prevalent.

“Everything we did was legitimate by the N.C.A.A.,” he said. “There is no rule for anyone setting the price.”

At the other end of the spectrum, Texas-Pan American Coach Ryan Marks, whose recruiting budget is $25,000, needs the packets to identify and reach out to undiscovered players. “We could spend a fifth of our recruiting budget on packets in July alone,” he said.

While the packets usually cost hundreds of dollars, they rarely have pertinent information, like players’ jersey numbers.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Summer League Action #5

Last night was a rough night for several of the teams with Spartan players at the Traid Pro-am. Farm Bureau (Ben Stywall, Elhanan Bone & Kyle Randall) and the Champion team (Mike Hardiman, Darius Sellers & Korey VanDussen) both took bad losses. Farm Bureau was previously undefeated in the league. Champion played a team with several pro players (Chris Paul & James Johnson) on the floor. Coach Dement was in attendance last night.

I saw parts of a lot of games, but not enough to give full game recaps. It was a bit of a lethargic night for most Spartan players. While everybody did some good things, there wasn't a whole lot that really stood out to me. The highlight of the night was Pete Brown's dunk over top of incoming freshman Brian Cole. It was the first time during this league that I had a chance to see Pete play for an extended period of time, and he looked a lot like the same player that finished up last season strong.

Unfortunately, that's all I've got for today. Monday will be my last day updating the summer league action as I'll be in Vegas for the rest of the week.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Summer League Action #4

I made it over the FCD early last night and watched 12 Spartans (or future Spartans) in action. I did leave without watching Chris Paul play in the final game of the night. Oh well, I didn't mind avoiding the crowds that were in the main gym to see him play. Plus, I had already seen 2 very good games. I kept up with the scoring of all of the Spartan players, but may have missed a basket or 2 along the way while text messaging.

The early game featured Ben Stywall, incoming UNCG freshman Kyle Randall & Elhanan Bone taking on a team with Sean Spooner, future Spartan Taylor Hoffer & Brandon Evans. It was a great game that saw Stywall's team make a last second shot to win. This was following Spooner's 2 made free throws that put his team up by 1 with 5 seconds remaining. Evans was star of the game, scoring 28 points. Hoffer (8 points) and Spooner (12 points) also played well. Stywall helped his team with 19 points. Bone dropped in 12 and Randall scored 5, but had several nice assists. There was also the added bonus of getting to see Randall and Spooner battle each other up and down the court.

After reading Coach Dement's Twitter page last week, I really wanted to see incoming freshman Brian Cole play. I got that opportunity in the second game of the night. Cole, Kendall Toney & Montel Smith's team lost a close game as Wake's Gary Clark made the go-ahead basket with less than 25 seconds remaining. Clark is teammates with UNCG players Darius Sellers, Mike Hardiman and incoming freshman Korey VanDussen. Even though his game tying 3 point attempt came up short, Toney finished the game with 12 points. Smith had 2 points, but spent most of his time distributing the ball. Cole had the tough task of guarding Wake Forest big man Tony Woods. However, still managed to scored 16 points with some nice moves around the basket. On the other side, Hardiman made a couple of early 3's and finished with 8 points. Sellers scored 2, but collected quite a few rebounds. VanDussen dropped in 10 points.

So, that's all for this week. Unfortunately, I will not be able to make it over this Thursday. Next Monday, I'm going to try to see Pete Brown and Brandon Davis play.

*** EDIT: I am going to make it over on Thursday after all. Woo-hoo.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Brian Cole and Scheduling Problems for Mid-Majors

Since I was at my niece's birthday party last night, I will just have to re-post from Mike Dement's Twitter page.

Got calls with news from the summer league that Brian Cole had 35 and 10. Told Brian we could use those no's vs the sched I just read about

Also, here is an article from the News & Record about the UNCG schedule that was released yesterday.

"It's definitely challenging," UNCG coach Mike Dement said. "... We're trying to make this move (to the coliseum) and make it a big move.

"We're looking at it as helping us in three ways. No. 1, playing that kind of schedule will prepare us for our Southern Conference games in every way possible. No. 2, we hope it will enhance our recruiting. Kids who want to play that kind of schedule, particularly kids from the state of North Carolina, will find us attractive. And No. 3, our present players will raise the level of their off season commitment to improving their strength and conditioning and skills."

Finally, here is an article by Rivals about issues that face mid-major programs when it comes to scheduling. Sienna, coached by former UNCG coach Fran McCaffery, is the main focus of the article. Apparently, winning games in each of the last 2 NCAA tournaments makes finding competition a little more difficult.

Chaskin has contacted plenty of schools that haven’t completed their schedules; some are even looking to fill games on the same dates Siena has available. Whenever he calls those schools, Chaskin typically get the same response: “Yes, we need a game and we know you need a game also. We’re also talking to other teams. Frankly, we’re hoping to hear from those other teams because we don’t particularly want to play you. But if we have to play you, that’s what we’ll do.”

Luckily, UNCG has already completed it's schedule. That schedule however, is the most difficult one that i can remember ever seeing. It's reminiscent of the one Chattanooga played last year. Let's hope that the end of year result will be the same for the Spartans this season.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

2009-2010 Schedule Released

UNCG released it 2009-2010 men's basketball schedule this afternoon.

11/7 Blue/Gold Game*
11/13 @ Duke
11/18 @ Virginia Tech
11/20 Clemson 7 pm
11/24 @ USC-Upstate
11/28 East Carolina 4 pm

12/5 @ Samford 2 pm
12/7 College of Charleston 7 pm
12/13 Princeton 1 pm
12/18 @ Akron
12/21 @ Richmond
12/28 Wake Forest 7 pm
12/31 NC State 6 pm

1/3 Maryland 2 pm
1/7 Wofford 7 pm
1/9 Furman 4 pm
1/11 @ Chattanooga
1/14 @ Western Carolina
1/16 @ Appalachain State
1/21 Chattanooga 7 pm
1/23 Samford 4 pm
1/28 Elon 7 pm

2/4 @ Furman
2/6 @ Wofford
2/8 Appalachain State 7 pm
2/15 Westerm Carolina 7 pm
2/18 @ Elon
2/20 @ The Citadel
2/25 @ Davidson

3/1 Georgia Southern 7 pm
3/5-3/8 Southern Conference Tournament^

* Fleming Gym
^ Charlotte, NC (Bojangles Arena 3/5 & 3/6, TWC Arena 3/7 & 3/8)

Summer League Video

Since I won't be posting an update for tonight's games, here's a video taken by a Wake fan on Monday night. Right off the bat, there's some good passing from a couple of Spartans to get Aminu a dunk. Other than that, the rest is most of WFU players. I'll take my camera next week and get some UNCG players in action.

*The UNCG schedule will be announced this afternoon. I'll post when it does.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Twitter Gives Insight into Recruiting

I must admit that I'm a newbie when it comes to Twitter. Since, I was ahead of the curve on Myspace and Facebook, I decided that I just didn't feel like dealing with another new social networking site. However, it seems like everyone has a page right now. So, I've caved into the pressure and getting up to speed in an hurry.

I thought I'd let everyone know that my favorite person to follow on Twitter has become recruiting "guru" Dave Telep. Telep does recruiting analysis for Scouthoops and the ACC Sports Journal. Plus, he runs a tournament for high school basketball players. Dave has been out on the road at several AAU tournaments. Some of his tweets can give you insight to what the coaches are doing at these things.

- Head coach is dipping and thinks no one sees. Another closed a japanese bar + sang karaoke last nite.

- Socon coach on a player. "If he didn't have a beer gut we could go to the other gym. We couldn't get him"

- Rough day at camp. Play is poor, effort not there. Kids clueless how disenchanted coaches r with results"

Anyone who has time should go through and read all of his stuff.

As I've mentioned before (and linked to here already) Coach Dement updates his twitter page daily. Also UNCG Sports has a page, as does the Greensboro Coliseum.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Summer League Action #3

Last night I only watched one game due partially to family considerations and partially to huge crowds in the smaller gym. The game I got to see involved 6 Spartans (or soon to be Spartans). The game was between Champion (Korey VanDussen, Darius Sellers & Mike Hardiman) and Farm Bureau (Ben Stwall, Elhanan Bone & Kyle Randall). The score was closer than it should have been thanks to Wake Forest's Al-farouq Aminu thinking he was a 3 point shooter. I tried to keep a running total of a few stats, but I was texting during portions of the game. So if they are a little off, sorry.

VanDussen was the PG for his team most of the night. He made a couple of turnovers that I doubt he'd make if this wasn't a summer league game. However, Korey did a very solid job in second half. When his teammates found him spotting up he made a couple of 3's. I had him finishing up with ~10 pts. Sellers banged with Aminu and Bone most of the night. I didn't keep up with his rebound numbers, but he had quite a few. He finished with ~6 points. Hardiman made several shots and passes that kept his team in the game in the first half and ended up with ~7 pts.

On the other side, I again left very impressed with Kyle Randall. He easily had the most points of any UNCG player (~15 pts) and had one shot goal tended that wasn't called by the refs. Ben Stywall did a good job of finishing several fast breaks with layups and rebounding. He finished up very close to a double-double (~9 pts & ~8 rebs). Elhanan Bone drew the tough assignment of guarding Wake's Toney Woods. Bone had several baskets (~6 pts) and played some nice defense until Aminu arrived near halftime.

So there it is. Like I said above, those stats were just by my unofficial tally.

This will be my only report from the Pro-am this week, as I have plans on Thursday. I'll be back there on Monday, though.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Summer League Action #2

I'll preface this post by saying that I really didn't watch enough basketball last night to post very much definitive information. I got to the gyms just as the last session of games started and the smaller gym was absolutely packed thanks to the large amount of Wake Forest fans that had crammed in to see Al-farouq Aminu and Ish Smith square off. So, my recap will be short.

We'll start off with the Spartans in action at the main gym. Kendall Toney, Montel Smith and former UNCG player Donald Moore were playing against the defensing champions of the league (Jim Glasgow). I didn't see the end of the game to tell you who won, but as I was leaving Kendall made a big three and Montel had a three point play to tie up the game. Kendall also made several 3's early in the game and Montel had several nice drives to the basket. Incoming freshman Brian Cole is also on the team's roster, but wasn't there last night.

In the small gym, Kyle Randall really looked good. He had a nice assist to Ben Stywall and made several nice drives. He scored at least 10 points while I was there. I took some video on my cell phone, but it was way too grainy to post here. I will take my real camera next week to get better video, unless LeBron is town (which was the rumor last night).

So, that's all. Again, let me encourage any UNCG fan to come out and support our guys. If anybody is going to try to make it out, send me an email and I'll get you all the info you need.

* In case you haven't heard, Coach Dement is now Twittering (or is it tweeting). You can find him here. I'll put a permanent link on the site too.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Samford Schedule Released (Princeton Too)

Samford released their 2009-2010 men's basketball schedule on Monday. The Bulldogs are playing 3 non-D1 OOC games this season (Spring Hill, Shorter & Tennessee Temple) but make up for those games by taking a road trip through Texas (Texas A&M and Texas Tech). UNCG will be playing in Birmingham early in the year (Dec. 5). The return trip to the Greensboro Coliseum will take place on January 23.

Samford will tip off SoCon play in early December with home games against Elon (Dec. 3) and UNC Greensboro (Dec. 5). The Bulldogs will then play consecutive non-conference games versus Spring Hill (Dec. 12), Alabama (Dec. 16), Shorter College (Dec. 19), Eastern Michigan (Dec. 22) and Chicago State (Dec. 28), before resuming conference play on the road at Davidson (Jan. 4).

I'm guessing UNCG will be playing at Chattanooga on December 3.

I'm going to start listing UNCG's confirmed dates as more schedules are released throughout the summer.

*Here is the link to the Samford schedule.

Update: Princeton released their schedule as well. The Tigers' game in Greensboro will take place on Dec. 13. Maybe the game will get picked up by ESPNU again this year.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Summer League Action

As mentioned below, I went over to the Triad Pro-Am last night to check out some of the UNCG players in action. Apparently, Chris Paul & Jarrett Jack played in the first game in the main gym. Unfortunately, my group didn't make over to FCD until halftime of the second game.

The majority of the Spartan players were playing at 9 pm in different places. So, we split time between gyms. I watched about the first 15 minutes of the game in the main gym and then we moved to the lower gym to watch the second half of that game.

The main gym saw Ben Stywall & Elhanan Bone's team beat Chas McFarland's (Wake Forest) team. Bone looks like he's put on some muscle and spent most of the time I watched matched up with McFarland. He scored several early buckets on quick cuts to the basket and made a few free throws. Stywall was playing a little bit out of position it appeared. However, he did his normal thing and claimed a lot of rebounds.

The better game was going on in the smaller gym. Brandon Evans & Taylor Hoffer's team hung on to beat a team that had Mike Hardiman, Korey VanDussen & Darius Sellers on its roster. Evans made 2 free throws at the end to seal the win after VanDussen missed a 3 pointer. I'm looking forward to seeing Evans playing this year, and it was obvious Sellers has hit the weight room hard during his rehab. VanDussen seems to handle the ball as well as advertised in his videos and I think Hoffer will end up making a bunch of big "hustle plays" this year. Hardiman even got in the act by hitting a 3 just as we walked into the gym.

So, that's all from Day 1. I know it's not a lot, but I spent most of the time trying to figure out who was playing who (I forgot my schedule) and who played for which team. Also this format doesn't always allow players to show all of their talents. If anyone else was there and saw something that I missed (or disagrees with me) please post it in the comments section.

Triad Pro-Am Info

So, I took a trip over to the Triad Pro-Am with no idea what to expect or even where to go to see the games. I left very pleasantly surprised and figured I'd post some general info for anybody that wants to go (there's a post on day one action coming later today).

First off, the games are at Forsyth Country Day School in Lewisville (about 5 minutes west of Winston Salem). The games are played in 2 locations. The main gym (CAC) is at the "Upper School". The smaller gym (LIV) is just a short walk away. Just go through the doors opposite the entrance to the main gym and walk down the hill towards the middle school. There are plenty of roster sheets available in the main entrance. However, the only schedule was posted outside of the main gym. So, I'd advise printing one off for yourself or else you'll find yourself asking "What team is this?".

Admission is completely free. Come and go as you please. Sit where ever there's an open spot. There's a concession stand open that benefits the Triad Hoops Academy. Since I didn't buy anything, I don't know if the prices were high or not.

The games are two 20 minute halves with about a 5 minute halftime. There are refs that call fouls but are not calling it especially close. There are no coaches. The guys just sub themselves in and out. The game pace can get a little out of control at times. There are lots of pick & rolls and drive & dish plays.

So there are the basics. If you're really wanting to see basketball in July, it's worth the trip. The games are played on Monday & Thursday throughout July with a tournament at the end.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Summer League Basketball

Almost the entire UNCG roster, along with several former players, will be playing summer basketball at the Triad Pro-Am League at Forsyth Country Day in Lewisville (just west of Winston Salem). This camp was previously known as the Rusty Larue Basketball Academy until Rusty took an assistant coach position at Wake Forest. So, It's now being run by Triad Hoops Academy.

Here's a quick rundown of the UNCG players. You can find the complete rosters here and schedule here.

Bibs Downtown
- Montel Smith
- Kendall Toney
- Brian Cole (Incoming)
- Donald Moore (Former Player)

- Mike Hardiman
- Korey VanDussen (Incoming)
- Darius Sellers

Farm Bureau
- Elhanan Bone
- Ben Stywall
- Kyle Randall (Incoming)

Mecedes Benz
- Ray Bristow (Former Player)

Mountain Fried Chicken
- Travis Stokes

Page's Screen Printing
- Ricky Hickman (Former Player)

Triad Hoops
- Pete Brown
- Brandon Davis

University Dental
- Brandon Evans
- Taylor Hoffer (Incoming)
- Sean Spooner

I'm not sure if these games are open to the public. I will post it here if/when I find out. This camp is pretty close to my house. If it is open to the public, I may take a trip over.

UPDATE: Here's a post about this tournament on the WFU blog Blogger So Dear. Apparently the tournament is free and open to the public. I have emailed the Triad Hoops to verify this info.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Eargle at Youngstown State and N&R commentary on Bobb

Here are two interesting articles that have shown up since I left for vacation a week ago.

The first is from TribToday.com and is discussing former UNCG forward Damian Eargle. Apparently, Eargle has enrolled in summer school at Youngstown State and is going to be playing with the Penguins. According to the article, though, he hasn't signed the LOI with YSU yet.

Harding coach Steve Arnold said Eargle has left Greensboro and enrolled in summer classes at YSU. Eargle chose Greensboro over YSU before during his senior season with the Raiders.

Arnold said Eargle left because he was homesick.

Eargle is participating in open gyms at YSU, but has not signed a letter of intent with the Penguins. If and when Eargle does sign with YSU, he will have to sit out this coming year because of NCAA transfer rules.

The second article is from the News & Record discussing former UNCG athletics director Nelson Bobb. Obviously the author has his own thoughts on Mr. Bobb and shares them well. I have never made a comment on this whole thing because I don't feel like I know enough of the background to make an informed statement about it at all. Except to say that Bobb did a great job for UNCG for a long time.

I do wish he'd have kept his thoughts on the coliseum move and football to himself, though.

The school recently announced it would move basketball games to the cavernous Greensboro Coliseum. There are additions to the baseball stadium and improvements to the basketball practice facility, all happening under Bobb's watch. The move to the coliseum wasn't his idea. "I think it's great for the
community and for the coliseum," he said. "It's an outstanding opportunity. I just hope they don't look back in two or three years and ask 'What were they smoking?' "

He fears that success at the coliseum will bring on the inevitable talk of football, something he swore would never be allowed on his watch.

He fears UNCG will lose its soul to athletics, something he fought against from the day he arrived at a school known for not having football, known for its quaint traditions and slow, steady, logical growth.

***BTW, there's a comment at the bottom of the article that irritates me. The person who advocates getting rid of all college athletics has a right to make that point. However, if you read any North Carolina newspaper online, you'll see this same person make this exact same point over and over again. Nothing new or groundbreaking. Just this same "quit paying coaches, administrators blah blah blah" over and over again.

There's no point here except that for me to say that I'm just constantly annoyed by having to read this person's babble.

UPDATE: The N&R link was broken. I fixed it. Sorry.