Posted on: May 19, 2011 9:39 am
Edited on: May 19, 2011 9:40 am

Can Marshon Brooks be an NBA first-rounder?

Posted by Eric Angevine

Looking at the NBA draft, most pundits would rather talk about Kyrie Irving or Enes Kanter. Those players will hear their names called very early in the process, make bulging sackloads of money, and play for teams with... limited prospects.

Sometimes, it's more interesting to look near the bottom of the first round. The sacks of cash are still pretty full down there, the contracts are still guaranteed, and the rookies at that end of the deal have a very good chance to play a role for a championship contender. Not a shabby deal, really.

Anyone who watched Marshon Brooks play at Providence knows the 6-foot-5 guard can score. He dropped in 43 at Georgetown last season, and topped that with a 52-point effort when Notre Dame came to town. The knock on the kid is that his team lost both of those games. As such, wouldn't it be nice for him to go to a team that didn't need him to be 'the man'? Brooks' handle and shooting touch might come in very handy for stealing minutes in a lineup full of accomplished NBA players.

SLAM magazine recently shot some footage of Brooks at a pro workout. With no rim rattle and plenty of string music, this practically qualifies as a music video:

This workout took place in Chicago, and some pundits have Brooks ending up with the Bulls. With a POY point guard in place in Derrick Rose, and playoff expectations in place, could there be a better landing place for one of college basketball's hidden gems?
Posted on: May 11, 2011 1:58 pm
Edited on: May 12, 2011 4:11 pm

Maryland recruit asks for release


Posted by Jeff Borzello

Wally Judge choosing Rutgers over Maryland was the first recruiting domino to fall after Gary Williams’ retirement.

Another one fell on Wednesday, as Terrapins’ signee Sterling Gibbs has asked for his release from Maryland.

“He’s asking for a release so he can fairly weigh his options,” said Gary Charles, Gibbs’ AAU coach with the New York Panthers. “Until he gets his release, he cannot talk to anyone.

“The same way Maryland had to do what they had to do, Sterling has gotta do what he’s gotta do.”

Since the news broke that Gibbs was opening his recruitment, Charles has heard from several schools. Florida, Louisville, Miami (Fl.), Texas, Seton Hall, Providence and Colorado are some of the schools that have already reached out.

Maryland is also still in the mix for the 6-foot-1 point guard from Seton Hall Prep (N.J).

“Absolutely,” Charles said. “Sterling doesn’t know [head coach Mark] Turgeon from a can of paint, and I don’t think Turgeon knows Sterling either.”

Turgeon did reach out to Gibbs’ family on Tuesday night – which is the first contact Gibbs has had with anyone from Maryland since Williams retired.

The former head coach never called Gibbs to notify him he was retiring.

“Nothing,” Charles said. “Didn’t even contact him.”

While Gibbs does not have a timeline for another decision, Charles said he does want to choose a school before summer school starts in June.

Photo: NJ.com 

Posted on: April 21, 2011 5:42 pm
Edited on: April 24, 2011 2:26 pm

Cooley lands first recruit at Providence

Posted by Jeff Borzello

Since taking over Providence, new head coach Ed Cooley has seen both committed recruits ask out of their letters of intent and look elsewhere.

On Thursday, Cooley was finally able to land his first recruit with the Friars, as Kiwi Gardner committed to Providence.

Gardner is a 5-foot-8 point guard from Westwind Prep (Ariz.) who ran with the Oakland Soldiers on the AAU circuit last summer.

“[Providence is] in the Big East,” Westwind coach Gary Trousdale said. “He had a great feel for the coaches.”


Gardner originally planned on reclassifying to the class of 2012, but he recently qualified for 2011 and decided to head to college in the fall.

Gardner is extremely quick with the ball, creating havoc defensively with his aggressiveness and putting pressure on the opponent at the other end with his ball-handling and penetration abilities.

“He will bring instant excitement with his personality and style of play,” Trousdale said. “He will have an impact as a freshman.”

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 9, 2011 6:12 pm
Edited on: March 11, 2011 12:52 pm

Who replaces Keno Davis at Providence?

Keno Davis

Posted by Eric Angevine

The waiting is over. Keno Davis is out at Providence, according to the Providence Journal.
(AD Bob) Driscoll will lead a search for Davis' replacement and word is the process has already led to contact with several potential canddiates. Among the early names to surface are Fairfield's Ed Cooley, a Providence native and ex-Central High star. Syracuse assistant coach Mike Hopkins, Duquesne coach Ron Everhart and Harvard's Tommy Amaker are also intriguing options that each have some degree of support.

The question of who might take over is an interesting one. Will PC do as they did in hiring Davis, and look to a hot mid-major coach coming off of tourney success, or will they head a different direction after seeing the success of retread Steve Lavin at St. Johns?

Of course, the other direction that could be taken is to hire a hot assistant from a successful program. Perhaps one of the top assistants to former PC coach Rick Barnes' Texas staff would mollify the fan base. Ohio State's Jeff Boals has found his profile growing recently, and former Providence and Rhode Island assistant Pat Skerry is currently on staff at Pitt. Skerry, in particular, is known as a top-notch recruiter in the New England area, though he has very little name recognition.

Our own John Rothstein mentions Skerry as a possibility, and adds "The next coach at Providence will have to energize the fan base and have strong recruiting ties in the New England prep school circuit and the tri-state area. (P)otential candidates to replace Davis include Fairfield coach Ed Cooley, St. Peter's coach John Dunne... and George Mason coach Jim Larranaga."

Many of those options will be constrained due to their upcoming participation in the NCAA tournament, so don't expect to hear too much right away.

Complete list of D-I coaching changes

Photo: US Presswire

More College Basketball coverage

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 24, 2011 7:01 am

The Morning Drive: Brooks sets record

Posted by Jeff Borzello

Last night’s action doesn’t even need an introduction – we’re going to dive right into it, starting with a performance for the ages.

Top Performer: Usually we reserve this spot for a player who had an eye-opening stat line and led his team to a victory, but Marshon Brooks was just too good last night to take him out of this category. Brooks scored 52 points in a 94-93 loss to Notre Dame, setting a new Big East record. He shot 20-for-28 from the field, knocking down six 3-pointers and six free-throws. Brooks scored Providence’s last 11 points to bring the Friars within one, but they fell short at the end. He also pitched in five rebounds and four assists.

Numbers Don’t Lie, Marshon Brooks Edition:

  • Notre Dame had not allowed a player to eclipse 40 points since 1987, when Danny Manning accomplished the feat.
  • Brooks outscored five BCS-conference teams by himself last night.
  • Last night was the first time since 2008 that a team lost when one of its players scored 50 points.
  • Brooks is now the third player in Providence history to score at least 40 points twice in a season, joining Jimmy Walker and Eric Murdock (the previous record-setter). 
  • Brooks’ 20 field goals broke the old mark of 18 set by Steve Rich of Miami (Fl.) on Feb. 20, 1996.
  • Brooks is now averaging 27.4 points in conference play – the Big East record is 27.8, set by Troy Bell in 2002-03.
  • It was the most points by a BCS player since Eddie House had 61 points for Arizona State on Jan. 8, 2000.

Filling it up: San Jose State’s Adrian Oliver is one of the most underrated scorers in the country and he proved that once again last night. Oliver – who we’ll have more about later today – scored 36 points to lead the Spartans to a 72-70 overtime win over New Mexico State. He knocked down five 3-pointers and shot 12-for-25 from the field.

Dynamic Duo: Overshadowed by Marshon Brooks’ unbelievable performance was the fact Notre Dame put up 94 points and won the game. The Fighting Irish were carried by Ben Hansbrough and Tim Abromaitis, who combined for 60 points on 21-for-29 shooting from the field. The two players also made seven 3-pointers and 11 free-throws.

Bouncing Back: Kyle Singler was the primary candidate for Preseason Player of the Year, yet he has struggled somewhat this season, falling well behind Nolan Smith on his own team. He was vintage Singler against Temple last night, though. He had 28 points and six rebounds, doing all of his damage inside the arc, to lead the Blue Devils to a 78-61 win.

Even when he struggles…: Jimmer Fredette didn’t have his best outing of the season last night, but he still managed to put up 34 points and five rebounds to lead BYU to an 84-76 win over Colorado State. He shot just 9-for-26 from the field and 2-for-8 from 3-point range, and also turned the ball over seven times. Fredette will need to have a much better performance this weekend against San Diego State.

Stat-Sheet Stuffer: It’s tough to overshadow Charles Jenkins, but UNC-Wilmington’s Chad Tomko managed to do that despite losing. Tomko put up 21 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists, playing all 40 minutes in the 71-64 loss. Tomko nailed four 3-pointers and shot 8-for-16 from the field 

Tit-for-Tat: Xavier Silas came into last night as one of the top-10 scorers in the country, but he was completely outplayed by Central Michigan’s Jalin Thomas in Northern Illinois’ 64-58 loss. Thomas made seven 3-pointers en route to an impressive stat line of 29 points and six rebounds. Silas, on the other hand, managed just 10 points on 5-for-11 shooting. 

Double Defeat: As we discussed last night, Cincinnati picked up a huge road win over Georgetown, 58-46. The win could be what the Bearcats need to get an at-large bid. On the other side, the Hoyas might have lost more than the game – point guard Chris Wright broke his left (non-shooting) hand and is out indefinitely. Without Wright, Georgetown could struggle offensively.

Mr. Big Shot: Just look at the video from last night – Wisconsin knocked off Michigan on a buzzer-beating three to win, 53-52. Moreover, the game-winning shot didn’t come from Jordan Taylor and Jon Leuer. Taylor was double-teamed in the final seconds, dishing it off to Josh Gasser. Gasser was wide-open at the top of the key and banked in a three as time expired. Good night, Michigan’s NCAA hopes.

Mr. Big Shot, Vol. II: Alabama couldn’t afford a terrible loss to Auburn if it wanted to keep its at-large hopes alive – and JaMychal Green made sure that didn’t happen. He had the game-winning tip-in with 0.3 seconds left off a Tony Mitchell miss, giving the Crimson Tide a 51-49 win.

Road Woes: Kentucky still struggles to win close games and road games – and close games on the road. The Wildcats lost in overtime last night to Arkansas, 77-76. Their six SEC losses are by a combined 16 points, and they are also 1-6 in conference road games. Moreover, Arkansas beat Kentucky for the first time in 10 years.

Set the DVR: The Big East highlights the docket tonight. West Virginia heads to Pittsburgh in the Backyard Brawl, with the Mountaineers looking to get back above .500 in the conference. Moreover, Marquette faces Connecticut in a must-win for the Golden Eagles. Everyone’s favorite bubble team can’t afford another loss. Over in the SEC, Georgia goes on the road at Florida. The first meeting between the two came down to a 30-footer by Erving Walker. Non-BCS schools also have some intriguing games. Morehead State and Murray State battle for first-place in the Ohio Valley, while Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s face off in a game with conference title and at-large implications.   

Notes and Notables:

  • Missouri stayed in control throughout against Baylor on Wednesday, knocking off the Bears, 77-59. Lace Dunn was scoreless in the first half and finished with 12 points.
  • Boston College suffered a huge blow to its at-large hopes last night, going down by as many as 22 points at home against Miami (Fl.) before losing by nine.
  • Another team that hurt its at-large hopes was VCU, who lost its third straight CAA game, to Drexel, 64-60. The Rams are in serious trouble.
  • Both Missouri State and Wichita State won last night, setting up a winner-take-all match-up on Saturday for the Missouri Valley regular-season title.
  • Maryland kept its slim at-large hopes alive with an impressive 78-62 victory over Florida State. The Seminoles scored just 25 points in the second half.
  • As Eric Angevine mentioned last night, Kansas State won a bubble battle against Nebraska, 61-57. Jacob Pullen led the way with 27 points, 20 coming in the second half.
  • UNLV likely locked up a bid to the NCAA Tournament with an overtime victory over New Mexico. Tre’Von Willis paced the Rebels with 25 points.
  • Colorado is still on the outside looking in, but the Buffaloes went on the road and knocked off Texas Tech, 71-68. Interestingly, the top two scorers for the Buffs were Marcus Relphorde and Levi Knutson – not Alec Burks or Cory Higgins.

Photo: US Presswire

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 14, 2011 2:30 pm

NBA-ready Marshon Brooks in Providence purgatory

Posted by Matt Norlander

STORRS, Conn. — It’s quite possible, even now, you don’t know who Marshon Brooks is.

If that’s not true, then a few months, maybe even weeks ago, his name and face weren’t on your radar. Let’s have some honesty: If you were shown that photo on the right this morning with the jersey cropped out, could you have named the player as Brooks?

No shame if not, as Providence basketball players don’t often receive national acclaim or attention. It’s hard to stand out within the bloated, 16-team Big East, let alone amongst a nation that’s been Jimmerized and Kemba-coated since November. Former Friar Ryan Gomes’ national profile didn’t come to be until Jim Calhoun went on one of his most epic post-game rants of all-time.

From there, Gomes went on to be a First Team All-America selection. Providence became a national story because of what a man who didn’t coach Gomes said.

Brooks, a senior Friar, is just now, sort of, beginning to receive some attention. Soon enough, Providence's season will be over and forgotten by many, and Brooks' collegiate career will barely qualify as a blip, big picture. No. 2 will not sniff any first or second national teams, and it’s pretty certain he won’t be included on third teams, either.

The 6-5, 200-pound, true 2-guard is in the midst of what some could consider a lost season. Brooks, the most well-polished Providence player since Gomes, is averaging a Big East-best 24.2 points per game and is considered a sure-fire NBA draft pick (the first round is his current projection). He also leads the team in rebounding (7.5 per game) and 3-point shooting, hitting one of every three 3s he takes, which is even more in valued due to Providence being one of the worst 3-point-shooting teams in the country.

But on a 14-11 (3-9 in the Big East) team, few are noticing or caring about Brooks’ play, save for NBA scouts who, according to those within the Providence program, continually value the senior’s ability and potential as the weeks go by. The latest indictment of Brooks’ somewhat-invisible year came last week, when he wasn’t selected as one of the 30 finalists for the Naismith Award, one of six national player-of-the-year awards handed out at season’s end.

“He’s one of the finalists for the MVP in our conference, so how can’t he be one of the top 30 in the country when he’s third in the country in scoring?” Providence coach Keno Davis asked Sunday night after his team’s 75-57 loss at Connecticut. “What I think happens sometimes is, guys aren’t ranked before they go into the season. But you would think after his 43-point performance at Georgetown he’d be on everybody’s radar. Tough that you might have a non-top-30 guy be an NBA pick.”

Brooks’ blowup on the road at Georgetown Feb. 5 was one of the most impressive performances — forget just within the Big East — this season. Providence lost the game, 83-81, but was only in it until the end because Brooks took it up on himself to toss his toned-yet-gangly frame into the paint time and time again. He played all 40 minutes, which is what Davis needs him to do in order to keep the Friars within killing distance of many superior Big East teams.

“It’s getting tougher,” Brooks said in regard to being asked to score 25-plus against the Big East. “Coming into the season with such a young team, I expected some bruises.”

Against UConn Sunday night, Brooks had a pedestrian-for-him 25 points on 7-of-22 shooting. He accounted for production of 24 of the Friars’ 66 possessions, which is significant, but clearly wasn’t nearly enough, and that’s why UConn pulled away in the second half.

“I’m trying to pull out a win on the road more so than anything,” Brooks said. “We’ve got nine freshmen. When we’re playing at home, I don’t have to do heavy lifting like that. But on the road, me being the only senior [starter], I try to take over the game.”

Brooks is now always getting the toughest matchup on the floor (including constant amorphous, floating double-teams), so he’s forced to not merely rely on his jumper from the wing or casual 3-point shot. It’s become a pattern for him to attack the rim like a lion on a zebra in second halves of games, when Providence so frequently trails and needs points in bunches. Against other teams, Brooks is getting the star treatment on the regular, the kind of defensive scheming that proves opposing coaches realize he’ll be making NBA dollars soon enough. UConn did its best to deny Brooks the ball from anywhere within 25 feet Sunday night.

“There’s just certain coaches that are so insistent on denying me the ball,” Brooks said. “So in those cases, when I catch the ball, I’m catching it at the half-court line. When I turn around, all eyes on me, so it’s tough to get the ball in the hole.”

Getting your shots and your points when that’s happening is what makes a pro a pro. And Brooks has a number of NBA-ready moves in his repertoire already. For instance, in the second half against UConn, with 12 minutes remaining in an eight-point game, Brooks baited Jeremy Lamb, a freshman Husky, and drew a patented and-one foul on a pump-fake shot near the top of the key. Lamb, a 6-5 guard with a tremendous wingspan, was catapulted from the floor by Brooks’ tempting jump-shot form. Up Lamb went. Brooks waited for the newbie to clumsily come crashing back down, then calmly released the 19-foot jumper that cuddled through the rim and net.

Official Tim Higgins ferociously signaled the basket as good. It was a savvy, tailor-made move that’s NBA-ready.

“I think the exciting thing about Marshon Brooks is that he’s so talented and has improved so much, but his basketball hasn’t been played,” Davis said. “He’s going to be such a better player in the next couple of years. The NBA team that gets him isn’t going to be a getting a finished product. … He’s just now learning how to play. … I think what you’re going to find is, he’ll be on an NBA team, and from year one to year two to year three he’ll just explode.”

Brooks is certainly on an ascending path. He went from 14 points per game last year to 24 this year. Across the board, really his numbers have spiked; he was the fourth-most-used player on Providence last season. A few years down the road, he could become the valued quick-volume shooter in the NBA. It’s too bad so many in and around the college game are missing the show now. One of the nation’s best offensive players seems stuck in Providence’s purgatory.

A shame Jim Calhoun couldn’t have helped him out, post-game.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com