Tag:Jeff Goodman
Posted on: September 15, 2011 5:58 pm

Plan remains the same for Amir Garrett

By Jeff Goodman

Amir Garrett’s plan remains the same.

Garrett, one of three St. John’s freshmen ruled academically ineligible by the NCAA on Thursday, still intends to play basketball for the Red Storm.

“He still has a chance,” Darrow Garrett, Amir’s father, said. “He will play at St. John’s in December. Mark my words.”

Garrett is a two-sport star who was selected in the 22nd round of the MLB draft this past June. He signed a contract with the Cincinnati Reds that included $1 million spread over five years.

Garrett’s father said the plan, if his son qualifies, would be to play with St. John’s in the spring and then play minor league baseball in the summer with the Reds. He also said Amir would take classes this semester in hopes of being cleared for the second semester.

“This time we’re going to be proactive with the NCAA,” Darrow Garrett said. “We’re going to get them everything they ask for as early as possible, but we’re optimistic everything will be taken care of and he will be able to play at St. John’s in December.”

Posted on: September 15, 2011 4:12 pm
Edited on: September 15, 2011 6:02 pm

Three St. John's freshmen ruled ineligible

By Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman

Remember that highly ranked recruiting class that had St. John's fans excited?

It's the same class that now has the same fans disappointed.

Class of 2011 signees Amir Garrett, Jakarr Sampson and Norvel Pelle have all been declared ineligible by the NCAA, St. John's confirmed Thursday. The school is still hoping to get the talented trio through the NCAA Clearinghouse in time for the second semester, but it remains undetermined whether that'll actually happen. Meantime, a source told CBSSports.com on Thursday that Sampson, a 6-foot-7 wing, might now elect to return to where he played last season -- Brewster Academy.

Sampson and Garrett were both ranked in the Top 100 of CBSSports.com's Class of 2011 rankings.

Sampson was No. 55. Garrett was No. 89.

Posted on: September 15, 2011 10:13 am

McGary's parents favor Duke; AAU coach Michigan

By Jeff Goodman

WOLFEBORO, N.H. - Exactly one year ago, the question from coaches was whether or not Mitch McGary could play in the Big Ten - or another big-time league.

Now he's the No. 2 player in the nation.

The 6-foot-10 McGary, an Indiana native spending his second year at Brewster Academy (N.H.), has taken three visits and could take three more.

McGary went to Michigan for a rainy football game a few weeks ago, where he hung out with fellow Chesterton High (Ind.) product Zack Novak. Then he went to North Carolina and most recently, took an trip to Duke.

McGary didn't deny the fact that his parents favor Duke while his summer coach with the SYF team, Wayne Brumm, likes Michigan.

He also said he's still taking it all in right now.

"I'm keeping quiet," he said. "I'm putting it down on paper and seeing what school fits me. I'm not sure when I'll commit."

Could today be the day?

It's when Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski will travel to Brewster and meet with McGary.

Roy Williams and John Beilein were both at the school on Wednesday. Billy Donovan and Mark Turgeon came earlier in the week while John Calipari is set to make an appearance on Saturday.

"It's brutal trying to figure it all out, but I know I have great options," he said.

Ones that weren't there a year ago.

McGary said he would like to take visits to Florida, Kentucky and Maryland - but he's not sure if and when that will happen.
Posted on: September 14, 2011 11:59 am
Edited on: September 14, 2011 4:37 pm

Trippin': Saint Louis puts the pieces together

By Jeff Goodman

Rick Majerus went and sat in the bleachers.

The doctors advised the Saint Louis head coach, who had a stent inserted back in early August, not to coach on the team's recent trip to Canada. Jim Whitesell replaced Majerus on the sidelines, which wasn't easy for the veteran, outspoken head coach. "There was no positive with having to sit in the bleachers and not be able to coach," he said.

The team, which continues to battle injuries, went 3-2 on the trip. 

What Majerus learned: "We've probably got to be more restricted with some of the players and what we enable some of them to do, playing to their strengths. I'm used to an eight-man rotation, but I may wind up going with a nine-man rotation this year." 

Who stood out: "I can't really say that one player stood out; that would be erroneous." 

What concerns him: "Our health and after that, it's our total commitment to defense. We seem to have one guy breaking down."

-- Kwamain Mitchell, who was suspended all of last season, played well in the first four games before suffering a back injury which required X-Rays and an MRI. Majerus said he's hopeful that Mitchell, who wasn't on campus for the first semester a year ago and didn't practice the entire season, is finally healthy enough to return to workouts today.

-- With Mitchell back in the fold, look for the point guard spot to be split between he and Mike McCall, the sophomore guard who led the team in scoring a year ago as a freshman.

-- Senior guard Kyle Cassity didn't play on the trip due to a bone fracture.

-- Junior forward Cody Ellis needed stitches over the weekend following an off-court incident. Majerus didn't know all the specifics, but said he was informed it involved jumping over a fence. "Doing what kids do," he said.

-- Sophomore guard Jordair Jett also missed the final game after hyper-extending his knee.

-- Freshman Grandy Glaze only practiced twice and played sparingly on the trip.

-- Majerus was raving about the future of 6-foot-11 freshman John Manning. "He has great hands and is very bright - both in the classroom and on the court. He's not afraid of contact. In fact, he embraces contact. He catches everything and has nice touch."

-- The NCAA didn't allow freshman guard Emmanuel Tselentakis to practice or go on the trip. However, Majerus said he is eligible to play this year.

-- This will be the first season since taking over the program that Majerus will have the full allotment of 13 scholarship players. 

Photo: AP
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: September 14, 2011 8:57 am

Skip Prosser's son, Mark, gets head coaching gig

By Jeff Goodman

Mark Prosser knows his dad was smiling yesterday.

The younger Prosser, the son of the late Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser, held a news conference in which he was announced the new head coach at Division II Brevard College.

"He probably would have been in the front row, saying 'What the hell did you get yourself into?'" Mark Prosser said. "I bet he would have asked seven or eight questions about what I was going to do and how we were going to play."

Prosser, 32, had a difficult decision whether to leave the D-1 ranks - where he has been an assistant at Wofford the last few years - for a head job.

The most difficult part?

"It was tough not having my dad to talk to about it," he said. "But I still have some great people that were able to help me - Dino Gaudio, Pat Flannery and Mike Young."

And his wife and mother.

"They know enough about basketball now to be dangerous," he laughed.

Prosser said there is no script for how to become a Division 1 head coach - which remains a goal of his.

"I'm not in any rush," he said. "But I think it's important for me to get head coaching experience - and this is a perfect opportunity for me. It's a small school that's about the right things."

The texts never seemed to stop yesterday, the congratulations coming from those in the Skip Prosser fraternity.

"Your dad would be proud of you," one read.

"That hits home," Prosser said. "It's hard, but I know he's ecstatic wherever he is."
Posted on: September 13, 2011 3:25 pm

Kobe, LeBron and ... Renardo

By Jeff Goodman

Kobe, LeBron and Renardo.

"He's the third-most talented guy who has ever been in my gym, behind Kobe and LeBron," said former NBA player/coach John Lucas. "I had never seen him before, but now I see what all the fuss is about. He's got everything. He can do whatever he wants on the court. He's that talented."

Yes, Lucas was talking about the enigmatic Mississippi State big man Renardo Sidney - who spent about two months this summer working with Lucas in Houston.

Sidney, who was suspended on a couple of occasions last year at Mississippi State, did not travel on the team's trip earlier this summer, instead being sent to work with Lucas.

"He's been allowed to do whatever he wants," Lucas said. "People have been treating him like a pro since the eighth grade. He's been used to being catered to."

Lucas said he went right at Sidney, who has dropped about 20 or so pounds this past summer.

"We battled for a month," Lucas admitted. "It was his will against mine."

Lucas' gym down in Houston has been filled with NBA and college guys - Antonio McDyess, Tristan Thompson, Rashad Lewis, DeAndre Jordan, Thaddeus Young and Derrick Williams just to name a few.

And Renardo trails only Kobe and LeBron in terms of pure talent.

Sounds crazy?

It's not.

"He's got every component to the game," Lucas said. "He has so much basketball knowledge and I think that's part of the problem. He gets frustrated and mad at his teammates."

There are plenty who have written Sidney off with the lack of effort and discipline he has displayed over the last few years.

But Lucas is still holding out hope.

"I like his chances," he said when asked if Sidney can straighten out his act this season and fulfill that "potential" tag.

I'm still not sold.
Posted on: September 13, 2011 12:12 pm
Edited on: September 13, 2011 12:37 pm

BU loses player of year candidate Jake O'Brien

By Jeff Goodman

Boston University senior forward Jake O'Brien is expected to miss the entire season after having a second surgery on his foot on Monday. 

O'Brien is a 6-foot-8 forward who missed the second half of last year after suffering a broken foot on Dec. 31.

"The foot never healed, so I had to go in and have a second procedure," O'Brien told CBSSports.com.  

O'Brien, who was set to to be cornerstone of new Terriers coach Joe Jones' team this season after BU graduated America East Player of the Year John Holland, said the rehab is expected to take anywhere from 3-5 months. 

"I'm going to redshirt and not rush back into anything," O'Brien added.

O'Brien, who hopes to practice with the team at some point later this year, averaged 13.8 points and 6.4 rebounds as a junior and was averaging 10.9 points and 5.5 boards last season when he went down with the injury.
Posted on: September 13, 2011 9:12 am
Edited on: September 13, 2011 9:36 am

Trippin': Illini thrive in Italy, rout West Va.

In our Trippin’ series, we’re talking to teams as they return from preseason trips to foreign locales. Click here for all Trippin’ related stories.

By Jeff Goodman

Bruce Weber wouldn't come right out and say it, but it's fairly obvious from his tone that he likes this year's Illinois team.

Gone are veterans Demetri McCamey, Mike Davis and Mike Tisdale. Jereme Richmond also made the mistake of leaving after just one season in Champaign.

But let's face it: Those guys underachieved, whether it was due to a soft mental approach or, for some, a soft physical one.

Whatever the case, Weber is ready to turn the page and was optimistic following his team's recent trip to Italy:

What Weber learned: "We have a lot of depth and these guys play their butts off. We pressed the entire time and rotated guys and when guys didn't play hard, they came out."

Who stood out: "Brandon Paul was our best player, but at the same time, he can still play better. He still has lapses, but he's made progress each year. He should be one of the better players in our league if he is consistent."

What is the biggest concern: "Taking care of the ball. Turnovers. Rebounding is also a concern. We lost Mike Davis, our best rebounder, and Jereme (Richmond) was also one of our better rebounders."

- McCamey is playing in Turkey, Tisdale has returned home from Germany and Davis is in the Ukraine.

- Weber said that the Illini played well in the NCAA-sanctioned scrimmage against West Virginia on the Aviano Air Base. Illinois jumped out to an early lead and finished with a 47-26 rout. "It was one of those games where our guys were ready to play and we make shots." Weber said it was an unbelievable experience, playing against the troops, holding a clinic for kids and also holding an exhibition against Bob Huggins' team.

- Weber raved about one-year Bradley transfer Sam Maniscalco, who is eligible immediately and will likely start at the point guard spot. Weber saw plenty of Maniscalco prior to college, when he played on the same summer team (Illinois Wolves) with McCamey. "He's a Godsend," Weber said. "He's a tough little guy who knows how to play and gives us stability and leadership." Maniscalco, who averaged 9.7 points and 4.3 assists last season for Jim Les, played on the trip at less than 100 percent. "He's not totally healthy," Weber said. "He's still recovering from an ankle injury."

- Sophomore big man Meyers Leonard didn't dominate on the trip (6.9 ppg, 2.9 rpg) by any means, but Weber said a combination of fatigue and a sprained MCL were both factors. "He was gone 23 days for the US Under-19 team, then came back and we started practicing. Then he got hurt. I think it was mental and he was afraid of getting hurt again."

- Weber said that Tyler Griffey, who was stuck behind Davis and Richmond last year, was the surprise of the trip. Griffey was second on the team in scoring (12.6) and also averaged 5.7 rebounds per game. "We have to play him," Weber said. "He can shoot and be a pick and pop four-man."

- Freshman Nnanna Egwu averaged 7.4 points and 3.2 boards on the trip. "He plays so hard. He's only played for four years, so he still needs to learn. But he's 6-10 and is going to end up being a good player for us."

- Look for freshman Tracy Abrams to backup Maniscalco at the point guard spot. "He's a rock 'em, sock 'em type of point guard. It's not always pretty, but he's tough and gets the job done. He gives us toughness and defense. He played better in the games than in practice." Crandall Head, Luther's younger brother, and Paul could also see time at the point.

- Freshman Devin Langford suffered a deep thigh bruise in the first practice and didn't play on the trip, but he'll be ready for the start of practice. "I'm not sure what position he is," Weber said. "But he's 6-7 or 6-8 and can handle and pass it. He just needs to get a motor."

Photo: AP
Category: NCAAB
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