Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Marquin Chandler update

Marquin Chandler
Marquin Chandler finished his season in South Korea and is back for a stint in the Philippines. His first outing indicates he remains at the top of his game.

Purefoods trips
Waylon Galvez
Manila Bulletin
April 29, 2009

Former Best Import Marquin Chandler returned to the Purefoods TJ Hotdogs Wednesday and delivered the goods for the Giants, coming through with clutch hits in a 92-85 decision over Coca-Cola in the Motolite-PBA Fiesta Cup last night at the Araneta Coliseum.

Chandler scored 30 points in his first game back as the Giants notched their fifth win in nine outings while handing the Tigers their sixth loss in eight appearances.

The 6-foot-5 Chandler, the team’s fourth reinforcement this conference, had 11 points in the fourth, including seven in a pivotal 14-6 run that turned a 76-77 deficit to a 90-83 advantage with 36 seconds left.

Chandler finished the game shooting 11-of-27 from the field, 5-of-7 from the three-point territory while adding 12 rebounds, three assists and four shot blocks in 25 minutes of play...

...Purefoods mentor Ryan Gregorio was all praises for Chandler, who missed the early parts of the conference as he was still under contract then with the KT&G Kites.

“Obviously the wait was all worth it. That’s the reason why we patiently waited for Marquin,” said Gregorio. “He brings a lot of stability to our team. Usually when we’re down we’ll just fold up, but not this time with Chandler around."

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Joseph Henson mention

Joseph Henson
Joseph Henson
(photo by Larry Goren, Pasadena Star News)

We came across a Joseph Henson (6-8 San Jose State basketball signee) mention today -- here it is:

Varsity Times Insider
Ben Bolch
Los Angeles Times
April 26, 2009

Basketball: Pacific League sweeps Rio Hondo League in all-star games

Despite a game-high 26 points by Blair's Deon Geary, the Pacific League all-stars defeated their Rio League counterparts, 108-103, Saturday in the first Rio/Pac all-star game.

Pasadena's Joe Henson scored 17 points and teammate Travis Flye had 12 for the Pacific League...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Aalim Moor's final high school diary

Here's the final diary entry from backcourter Aalim Moor of St. Mary's High (Berkeley). He and teammate Chris Brew completed their basketball eligibility with a record of 113-20. Only Will Brew, now at Santa Barbara, won more games -- 114 -- as a St. Mary's baller.

Wow! Is that it? It seems like just yesterday when I walked on campus as a skinny little freshman. Four years has flown by so fast. I can say without a doubt it has been the best experience of my life. The people that I have met, the places I've gone and the situations I have faced have shaped and molded me.
Aalim Moor
St. Mary's won 85% with Moor at the helm

Basketball is my life, I love it and it has loved me back. I am so grateful to the game because it has given me so much. It has given me an outlet for me to express myself.

To me, basketball is just like life in that it has a lot of twists and turns, highs and lows and ups and downs. One second you are on top of the world having nothing but success. All your shots are falling, you are dunking on guys, throwing alleys, hitting cats with dimes, blocking their shots and hitting the game winning basket. The next second your shots aren't falling, you're turning the ball over, can't hit a free throw, getting beat off the dribble and you're losing at the buzzer. Everything I just mentioned has been and will continue to be a major part of my life.

As wild and crazy as that sounds, I wouldn't trade those experiences for anything.

I will always treasure ever practice, every workout, every game, every plane ride, every ride in the car with my dad, every team meeting, every film session, every conversation with my coaches (good or bad) and every time I walked in a gym, especially St. Mary's!

I want to thank all my coaches and teachers at St. Mary's for everything they have done for me. They have helped me mature and grow in ways that I can never thank them enough.

I want to thank my parents, my little sister and all my family for all the love, support, advice and sacrifice they have made for me to follow and chase my hoop dreams.

I want to thank all of the people (even those people whom I didn't know and have never met) who came out to my games and showed me so much love and cheered and encouraged my teammates and I night in and night out.

I want to thank all my teammates whom I have gone to war with, you have always had my back and you know I always had yours, and always will for life!

And I can't forget about all of the haters, doubters and critics who always told me I couldn't do it. I don't know if you knew it or not, but you just gave me extra energy and motivation which fueled my fire and helped me to achieve my dreams. I have to thank you too!

Special thanks to SpartanHoops for allowing me to tell my story. It's all love!

Aalim A. Moor, III

Moor is a natural leader

Here's something we wrote as a companion piece to Aalim's diary:

Six seconds remained in the game. Salesian of Richmond was ahead by one. St. Mary's Chris Brew saw an opening but it quickly closed. He handed the ball off to Aalim Moor who drove to the basket and was fouled. No, wait. The official says it's an offensive foul. Two newspaper reporters blogging the game, Matt Smith and Chace Bryson, offered "Chace and I agree it should have been a no-call." But it wasn't. The Pride of Salesian won, ending the season for St. Mary's and Moor's career playing as a Panther. But in the midst of the combination of raucous celebration, raw hurt and severely sprained shoulder he played with in the last five contests, he still clapped for and acknowledged the opposing team.

Why so? Because of his makeup. He understands that it's not all about him. Moor and Salesian-ites Desmond Simmons, Dom Artis and Jabari Brown go way back. "We've been friends for years, we see each other as brothers and have a bond deeper than basketball." For Moor, comradeship supersedes whatever is happening in the moment.

Aalim Moor
College life and ball beckons to Moor
Plus, the St. Mary's tenure of the 6-foot-3, 185 pounder included playing in the NorCal finals three years in a row and going to the state finals last season. Weighty disappointment or worse -- a sense of failure -- are not conditions that incubate in an environment surrounded with so many good times.

Moor added, "Playing at a school like St. Mary's with all its history was an honor. Even though we didn't win a state championship, what I gained academically, athletically and personally are wonderful gifts."

Curiously, performing a role in which he agreeingly subjugated his personal numbers for the betterment of his team -- dealing passes leading to scores has kept many a basketball teammate happy regardless of the level -- was not Moor's forté as a youngster. He said, "Earlier, I was a shooter, I would shoot, shoot, shoot. But becoming a passer at St. Mary's was my way of trying to get everyone comfortable. I was good at it and I never worried about my role because we were successful. We had a wonderful team, I had great teammates and we all share memories that we will carry for a lifetime."

So what are Moor's summer plans? In a word, busy. "I'll be going to summer school at San Jose State, playing with the SJSU guys in the West Valley summer league, working out with trainers Anthony Eggleton, Philippe Doherty and Jeremy Russotti and spending some time with friends," Moor offered.

As for his entry into college basketball, Moor said, "I'll go in and work hard and try to get better, trying to pick the brains of the guys there and learn as much as I can." He added, "I want to do good."

He already has.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A fine time was had by all

the GateKeeper Posse made sure the money box was in good hands

The San Jose State men's basketball program held its annual post-season banquet at the Decathalon Club Thursday night. Seniors seniors DeVonte Thomas, DaShawn Wright and Tim Pierce were honored for their contributions.

DeVonte was the winner of the Coach's Leadership Award. He is now in the midst of spring practice with the Spartan football team. and it was noted he is also now in the midst of spring football practice.

Assistant Coach Brent Davis handled the introduction of the frosh: Garrett Ton and Kyle Thomas. Donald Williams came next and called out sophs Lance Olivier, Justin Graham, C.J. Webster and Adrian Oliver. Gary Stepan had the pleasure of introducing the junior class: Robert Owens, Mac Peterson, Chris Oakes and Jerelle Wilson. Head Coach George Nessman did the honors with the senior trio.

Tim Marrion's work on the season highlight film was superb. One thing we learned from it is that the men's basketball team achieved a 1,000 score on the NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) this season -- a perfect score.

Plus, the expectation is that Justin Graham -- a junior-to-be in athletic eligibility -- will earn his B.A. degree next fall while C.J. Webster and Adrian Oliver are on target for a spring graduation. Both C.J. and Adrian are also juniors-to-be athletically.

Coach Nessman spoke of the theme of unfinished business, of hurdling beyond the .500 mark and even going further by finishing out the games that are there to be won.

Spartan signee Anthony Dixon gets one more game

San Jose State signee Anthony Dixon has one more game remaining in his high school career, an all-star one tonight. He, a bunch of his teammates and some other players face a very tough squad loaded with two all-state kids (one heading to Connecticut and the other to Iowa State) plus Marcus Jordan (MJ's son).

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Aalim Moor on CalHiSports list of nominated all-state players

San Jose State signee Aalim Moor (St. Mary's High/Berkeley) was among the nominations for the CalHiSports all-state squad. We offer a big thumbs up to Aalim for this achievement.

C.J. Webster now classified as a junior-to-be

Although we thought it was in the NCAA's domain to issue a ruling, Jon Wilner is reporting that Texas State and the Southland Conference have done the deed and thus allowed C.J. Webster to gain back a year of eligibility.

...Center C.J. Webster received a medical redshirt from Texas State (his former school) and the Southland Conference, which means he has two more years of eligibility instead of one ­ he’s now in the same class as guards Adrian Oliver and Justin Graham..."
Regardless, congrats to C.J. (who, like Justin Graham, will end up playing for SJSU as a grad student and just may earn a master's degree before he also leaves the court.)

San Jose State women's team has a new point guard

Coach Pam DeCosta has added a junior college point to her roster. From the College of The Canyons athletics site:
Bradley Signs With San Jose State

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. - College of the Canyons sophomore guard Britney Bradley has signed a letter of intent with San Jose State University.

Bradley, a graduate of Hart High School in Newhall, was second on COC’s women’s basketball team in scoring this season with 13.4 points per game. She also averaged 4.7 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game.

Bradley poured in a season-high 31 points against San Jose City College on Nov. 30, 2008, connecting on 11-of-20 shots from the field, including 5-of-8 from beyond the 3-point line.

"Britney has worked very hard to become one of the best point guards in California," COC women’s basketball head coach Greg Herrick said. “I think she will continue to get better and have a tremendous influence on the San Jose State program."

The two-time, first-team all-conference player helped lead the Cougars to back-to back 20-plus win seasons and a pair of conference titles.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Basketball letter-of-intent signing day tomorrow

The second period for basketball recruits to sign letters-of-intent begins tomorrow April 15 and runs through May 20. A number of commits throughout the WAC are already known but certainly not all of them.

One known: 6-4 Chris Jones will be signing an official LOI with San Jose State. A 'big" is a another possibility -- more on that later.

Utah State seems to be deciding on a wing-type player. Nevada has two schollies available but it's unknown if each will be used. New Mexico State wants a big, a forward and a backcourter and Boise State is looking to land another big. Fresno State seems to looking for a big to go along with a point. Hawaii has two new freed-up scholarships to offer and they will be filled. Idaho has at least one opening. We're not sure what LA TECH is up to recruiting-wise but there seems to be an opening or two.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Here's a take that confounds 'truths' in college basketball

The following is from the men's basketball coach at Cal Tech (southern California). He offers some statistics that seem to belie -- at least to a degree -- the 'givens' necessary to be a winning basketball team.
Oliver "Doc" Eslinger
April 2, 2009

What happens when you coach a team that finished first in its conference in free throw percentage, field goal percentage, field goal percentage defense, and rebounding defense?

You get fired. At least, in Kentucky you do...and if the school colors are blue and white...
Go here for the remainder.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Joe Henson goes out as an MVP

Joseph Henson is no longer a Bulldog...a Pasadena High Bulldog that is. Come June, he enrolls at San Jose State.

Fred J. Robledo
Pasadena Star-News

Pasadena High School's Joseph Henson and Darius Johnson had 14 and 13 points, respectively, and the Star-News boys team won for the fifth time in six years, 101-85, at the annual Tribune/Star-News High School All-Star Basketball Classic at Azusa Pacific University Felix Event Center on Saturday night.

"This means a lot," said the 6-foot-8 Henson, who was selected Star-News MVP after scoring 11 of his team-high 14 points during the first half, along with grabbing 12 rebounds. "It was neat that we all came together as a team and got it done."
Additionally, San Jose State has 6-5 Anthony Dixon out of Chicago, Aalim Moor of St. Mary's High in Berkeley and 6-4 Chris Jones scheduled to come into the fold.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Wow! Mark Fox to Georgia

Did anyone see this coming? Betcha there are Utah State and New Mexico State fans singing "The Devil Went Down To Goergia" tonight.

Georgia hires Nevada coach Mark Fox
Chris Murray
Reno Gazette-Journal
April 2, 2009

After the Nevada basketball team won a dramatic game in late February, coach Mark Fox said he planned on being the Wolf Pack coach “for a long, long time.”

That “long, long time” was about 40 days.

Fox told his players Thursday night he has accepted the head-coaching position at Georgia. A news conference in Athens, Ga., is scheduled today to introduce Fox as the Bulldogs’ new coach...
Go here for the remainder.


Search for Fox's replacement begins now
Chris Murray
Reno Gazette-Journal
April 2, 2009

The Nevada basketball will be looking for a new head basketball coach after Mark Fox agreed on Thursday to head to Georgia to be the Bulldogs’ next coach.

Although he might not have much say in the decision, Fox made it clear this season who he would like to see become the next leader of the Wolf Pack.

Fox stumped for Nevada associate head coach David Carter to be his eventual successor after a game in February.

After Fox was ejected from a game against Virginia Commonwealth, Carter steered the Wolf Pack to a come-from-behind victory. That led the Fox’s backing of Carter.

“There’s only two people who understand how this program was sustained, and how we’ve developed this tradition: That’s myself and David Carter” Fox said at the time. “And the day that I leave here, I think he proved to you tonight why he should be the next coach when my career ends because he’s terrific and led our team back and did a terrific job...”
Go here for the remainder.