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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Darius Washington to play for Virtus Bologna?


Darius Washington might be heading to Italy after Turkey.

Darius Washington(1.88-PG) might be the new player of Virtus Bologna, according to bolognabasket.it. The American point-guard with the bosman passport might soon be a free agent. The Turkish League has reached the end of the regular season and Galatasaray ended 9th in the leaderboard. That means they won't qualify to play in the play-offs and Washington might be released from the roster of the team. Usually the contracts run out at the end of June so it's to the Turkish team to see to his departure.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Elliott Williams' Current Projected Draft Position



NBA Draft.com
#20 to San Antonio Spurs

Draft Express
#25 to Memphis Grizzlies

MyNBADraft
#30 to Washington Wizzards

Hoops Hype
#25 to Memphis Grizzlies

NBA-Draft.com
#25 to Memphis Grizzlies

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tigers After Top Hoop Recruit, Perry Ellis, of 2012







Jarvis Greer
Posted: Apr 19, 2010 10:55 PM CDT
20-12 may seem like a long time from now, but NOT in the Wild, Wild World of College Basketball Recruiting.

And, Definitely NOT for University of Memphis Head Coach Josh Pastner.

As a matter of fact, a Who's Who of College Coaches attended the Workout Monday night of Wichita, Kansas High School Forward Perry Ellis..

Names like Former Tiger Boss John Calipari, who's looking for talent at Kentucky after HIS top class left for the NBA..

There's Bill Self of Kansas, Frank Martin of K-State..

Johnny Dawkins of Stanford, and a host of assistants, including the Tigers Own Glenn Cyprien, along with others from Louisville, Texas A&M and Missouri.

ESPN Hoop Analyst Pat Forde Reports the Tigers are hot on the trail of Perry Ellis..

Yes, he DOES have a Designer Name...and he's got the Designer Game to go with it..

The The 6'9" Forward from Wichita averaged more than 19-points and almost 12 Rebounds a game as a Freshman..

Last season he led Wichita Heights High School to a 24-and-1 record and the Kansas Class-6-A- State Championship pulling down 20 rebounds in the title game.

Rivals.com lists him as a 5 star recruit..

He's currently playing on the United States U-16 National Team.

Memphis has a Recruiting -IN- with Ellis in that his Sister, Savannah starts at Center on the Tiger Women's team.

Kansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Stanford are among the teams who've already offered Ellis a scholarship.

Joe Jackson & Jelan Kendrick with the dish-and-Dunk combo

Joe Jackson & Jelan Kendrick with the dish-and-Dunk combo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qro_DyEtqNk

Pastner says Memphis scheduling Arizona State for home-and-home series


Tucson Citizen
by Javier Morales on Apr.17, 2010, under Sports

Memphis coach Josh Pastner was a recent guest on the “Ryan and Brad Whenever” podcast, and among the topics discussed was Pastner’s non-conference scheduling.

Pastner, a former UA player and assistant coach, told hosts Brad Malone and Ryan Mayes that Memphis is currently scheduling a home-and-home series with ASU. When asked if a schedule with Arizona is possible, Pastner said, “You know, I haven’t even thought about that to be honest with you.”

Pastner indicated to me upon his hiring at Memphis last year that he welcomed the idea of coaching against his alma mater.

“I think that would be an intriguing match-up,” Pastner told me last June. “There would be a lot of fan interest from both directions. Memphis will look at its scheduling and decide what’s best for its schedule, and Arizona will do the same, I’m sure.”

Among other things discussed in the podcast, Malone asks Pastner about the proposed NCAA tournament expansion to 96 teams. Pastner said the tournament should actually expand to 128 teams so a team is not put in a disadvantage with a bye. Under the 96-team setup, some of the higher seeds will be given byes, which is not always a good thing, according to Pastner.

Yahoo Sports: NCAA hoops stock report


By Jason King, Yahoo! Sports
Apr 16, 12:47 pm EDT

One season after failing to make the NCAA tournament, the Baylor Bears nearly reached the Final Four this spring before falling to eventual NCAA champion Duke in the Elite Eight.

Syracuse won a Big East championship and earned a No. 1 seed despite losing its top three players from 2008-09.

On the flip side, North Carolina missed the tournament after winning it all the previous season. So, too, did Memphis, which was just two years removed from playing in the championship game.

As fun as it is to look back on the 2009-10 campaign, an exciting season also looms. Here are five teams that could make a big jump in 2010-11 – and five that seemed poised for a significant fall.


ON THE RISE

Memphis
The Tigers fell just short of the NCAA tournament in Josh Pastner’s first season, but that won’t be the case next year thanks to the addition of what is arguably the nation’s top recruiting class. Three of Memphis’ seven newcomers (forward Jelan Kendrick and guards Will Barton and Joe Jackson) are ranked among the Top 12 in Rivals.com’s Class of 2010. Starters Wesley Witherspoon and Will Coleman will also play prominent roles.

North Carolina
The Tar Heels were one of college basketball’s biggest disappointments in 2009-10. That won’t be the case next season because the arrival of national No. 1 recruit Harrison Barnes and high-scoring forward Reggie Bullock, the country’s 10th-ranked prospect. Mix in the Wear twins with a healthy Tyler Zeller, and the Tar Heels will give teams fits with their athleticism and length – especially if rising sophomore John Henson continues to improve.

Florida
Billy Donovan finally got the Gators back into the NCAA tournament following a two-year hiatus. With every prominent player other than Dan Werner returning, Florida should be even better next season. Kenny Boynton and Erving Walker should be much improved on the perimeter. And the frontcourt will be one of the best in the SEC with players such as Vernon Macklin, Alex Tyus and Chandler Parsons, who is one of the country’s top performers in the clutch.

Illinois
It would hardly be a shock if the Illini – who didn’t even make the NCAA tournament in 2009-10 – were a Top 10 team by the end of the season. Every key player from last season could return. Demetri McCamey, the assist leader who is finally beginning to garner the national respect he deserves, has entered the NBA draft but hasn’t hired an agent. Look for Mike Davis and Mike Tisdale to have breakthrough seasons for a team that will need minutes from incoming freshmen such as Jereme Richmond, Meyers Leonard and Crandall Head.

UNLV
The Runnin’ Rebels will provide a stiff challenge to BYU for the Mountain West title – mainly because they return their top eight scorers from a 25-win team. Included in that mix are Tre’Von Willis and Derrick Jasper, who will combine to form one of the top backcourts in the country. Jasper, who began his career at Kentucky, missed the end of last season with an injury.

ON THE DECLINE

Louisville
The Cardinals lose three of their top six scorers (Edgar Sosa, Jerry Smith and Reginald Delk) and, other than Peyton Siva, it’s not as if they have a ton of players waiting in the wings. Louisville lacked talent in 2009-10 and things will be even worse next season. Still, don’t expect Louisville to be down for long, as Rick Pitino is on the verge of signing an excellent recruiting class for 2011.

Syracuse
At this time last year, Syracuse fans were lamenting the loss of Jonny Flynn, Eric Devendorf and Paul Harris. The Orange responded by winning the Big East championship. They won’t be as fortunate this time around following the graduation of Andy Rautins and Arinze Onuaku and the early departure of Wesley Johnson for the NBA draft. Kris Joseph, Brandon Triche and Scoop Jardine are nice players, but they won’t bring another conference crown or No. 1 seed to Syracuse.

Wake Forest
Jeff Bzdelik’s inaugural season in Winston-Salem may be a bit rocky. Al-Farouq Aminu is headed for the NBA and Ishmael Smith, L.D. Williams and Chas McFarland are out of eligibility. Wake Forest greatly underachieved the past two seasons, which led to the firing of Dino Gaudio earlier this month. Any success the Demon Deacons have this season will be considered overachieving.

West Virginia
With Bob Huggins on the sideline, the Mountaineers are always going to be good. But Final Four good? Uh, no. Not this year – especially if Devin Ebanks stays in the NBA draft as expected. Without Ebanks and Da’Sean Butler, who was a senior last season, West Virginia will look to players such as Kevin Jones, Deniz Kilicli and John Flowers to pick up the slack. Huggins also needs to get more out of point guards Truck Bryant and Joe Mazzulla.

Cal
It’s rebuilding time for Mike Montgomery and the Golden Bears, who lost their top four scorers from last season’s Pac-10 championship squad. Jerome Randle, Patrick Christopher, Theo Robertson and Jamal Boykin averaged a collective 60.3 points last season. Also, D.J. Seeley, a projected starter a shooting guard next season, has decided to transfer. Incoming freshmen such as Richard Solomon, Allen Crabbe and Gary Franklin will have to grow up quickly.

Jason King is a college football and basketball writer for Yahoo! Sports. Send Jason a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.

MaxPreps: 2010 Recruiting Class - Memphis Still #1, Kentucky Up to #4


Top 25 college basketball recruiting classes
Buckeyes or Tigers at the top?
Wednesday, April 14, 2010There have been 4 comments about this story.
By: Jason Hickman
MaxPreps.com

One of college basketball’s youngest head coaches has pulled together the nation’s top recruiting class.

Josh Pastner, just 32 years old, will bring five players in MaxPreps.com’s Class of 2010 Top 100 to the University of Memphis next fall, including elite guards Will Barton and Joe Jackson.

As the late signing period begins, the Tigers’ hold on the top spot could be tenuous as Pastner’s former boss – John Calipari of Kentucky – officially jumpstarted his annual spring recruiting surge Wednesday with the addition of Florida phenom Brandon Knight.

Calipari and the Wildcats are also in the mix for top 25 talents Terrence Jones, Josh Selby and Doron Lamb.

Without anticipating what could occur in the coming weeks, here is a look at college basketball’s top 25 recruiting classes.

Top 10


1. Memphis
Top 100: No. 10 Will Barton, No. 11 Joe Jackson, No. 31 Jelan Kendrick, No. 59 Tarik Black, No. 64 Chris Crawford
Supporting Cast: Antonio Barton, Hippolyte Tsafack
Analysis: Head coach Josh Pastner could make Memphis a bully again in Conference USA after landing an embarrassment of riches in the backcourt. Keeping this many talented guards happy could be a challenge.




2. Ohio State
Top 100: No. 2 Jared Sullinger, No. 12 Deshaun Thomas, No. 51 Jordan Sibert, No. 84 Aaron Craft
Supporting Cast: Lenzelle Smith, J.D. Weatherspoon
Analysis: Even without Naismith Player of the Year Evan Turner, Thad Matta’s recruiting efforts have Ohio State fans thinking Final Four. Sullinger will be a double-double machine.




3. North Carolina
Top 100: No. 1 Harrison Barnes, No. 4 Reggie Bullock, No. 46 Kendall Marshall
Supporting Cast: None
Analysis: Barnes alone should make the Tar Heels a contender again in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Landing two of the top four players in America is helping ease the pain of a disappointing 2009-10 season in Chapel Hill.



4. Kentucky
Top 100: No. 3 Brandon Knight, No. 73 Stacey Poole Jr..
Supporting Cast: Enes Kanter
Analysis: It’s still early in the game for John Calipari. The Wildcats could land two or three other players ranked among the top 25 players in the country. Turkish import Kanter dazzled in last weekend's Nike Hoop Summit, but based on recent published reports could be a longshot to get cleared by the NCAA.





5. Michigan State
Top 100: No. 22 Keith Appling, No. 27 Adreian Payne, No. 68 Alex Gauna
Supporting Cast: Russell Byrd
Analysis: Tom Izzo has the luxury of bringing this group along slowly as the Spartans don’t need much help next year. Payne, a 6-foot-10 human flyswatter, and Gauna will eventually help Michigan State continue its dominance in the paint.




6. Syracuse
Top 100: No. 15 Fabricio de Melo, No. 25 Dion Waiters
Supporting Cast: C.J. Fair, Baye Moussa Keita
Analysis: Brazilian 7-footer de Melo headlines Jim Boeheim’s incoming quartet, but patience will be needed to see the fruits of this recruiting effort. Fair is on the rebound from a serious knee injury that cost him his junior season.




7. Duke
Top 100: No. 8 Kyrie Irving, No. 38 Joshua Hairston
Supporting Cast: Carrick Felix (Southern Idaho College), Tyler Thornton
Analysis: Irving could step in at the point guard position immediately for Mike Krzyzewski’s national champions. Hairston and Thornton teamed up to win an AAU age group national title with DC Assault.




8. Tennessee
Top 100: No. 5 Tobias Harris, No. 24 Trae Golden
Supporting Cast: Jordan McRae
Analysis: Harris is the star Bruce Pearl needed to go alongside Scotty Hopson. Golden heads to Knoxville fresh off an All-American senior year at Georgia’s McEachern High School.




9. Wake Forest
Top 100: No. 34 Tony Chennault, No. 50 J.T. Terrell, No. 93 Carson Desrosiers
Supporting Cast: Travis McKie, Melvin Tabb
Analysis: It’s up in the air whether Wake Forest holds on to this class as the program transitions from Dino Gaudio to Jeff Bzdelik.







10. Missouri
Top 100: No. 17 Tony Mitchell, No. 63 Phil Pressey
Supporting Cast: Kadeem Green, Ricky Kreklow, Matt Pressey (Navarro Junior College), Ricardo Ratliffe (Central Florida Community College)
Analysis: Mitchell and junior college transfer Ratliffe are perfect frontcourt players in Mike Anderson’s system. Pressey will be an all-conference-caliber point guard by the time he leaves Mizzou.

Next 15

11. Purdue
Top 100: No. 39 Terone Johnson, No. 71 Travis Carroll, No. 79 Donnie Hale
Supporting Cast: Anthony Johnson
Analysis: If Matt Painter continues to recruit Indiana like he did this year, big things are ahead for the Boilermakers as the state is loaded with talent in the 2011 and 2012 classes. Terone Johnson is coming off a state championship run at Indianapolis’ North Central High School.

12. Oklahoma State
Top 100: No. 35 Markel Brown, No. 58 Michael Cobbins
Supporting Cast: J.P. Olukemi (Vincennes College), Darrell Williams (Midland College), Brian Williams
Analysis: Brown is coming off a huge senior season in Louisiana and will be part of the replacement plan for James Anderson. Travis Ford scored a major coup in landing Cobbins over Georgia Tech, Memphis and Missouri among others.

13. Florida State
Top 100: No. 41 Okaro White, No. 48 Ian Miller
Supporting Cast: Bernard James (Tallahassee Community College)
Analysis: White and Miller are outstanding high school prospects, but James – a 27-year-old former Air Force sergeant – is the big story and could be an immediate difference-maker.

14. Marquette
Top 100: No. 43 Vander Blue, No. 89 Jamail Jones
Supporting Cast: Jae Crowder (Howard College), D.J. Newbill, Reggie Smith
Analysis: Blue and junior college player of the year Crowder have the ability to become standouts in the talent-rich Big East.


15. Connecticut
Top 100: No. 44 Roscoe Smith, No. 75 Jeremy Lamb
Supporting Cast: Michael Bradley, Tyler Olander
Analysis: Jim Calhoun goes long, lean and skilled on the wings with Lamb and Smith.

16. Virginia
Top 100: No. 54 Keylon ( K. T.) Harrell, No. 55 Will Regan
Supporting Cast: Billy Baron, Joe Harris, James Johnson, Akil Mitchell
Analysis: There’s no question about Tony Bennett’s ability to coach, so landing a recruiting class this good has to be encouraging for Cavalier fans in the wake of several player departures. Both Harrell and Regan were dominant in their home states of Alabama and New York, respectively, as seniors.

17. California
Top 100: No. 30 Allen Crabbe, No. 86 Gary Franklin
Supporting Cast: Alex Rossi, Richard Solomon
Analysis: With Jamal Boykin, Patrick Christopher, Jerome Randle and Theo Robertson moving on, Mike Montgomery needed an influx of talent and got it. Crabbe blossomed into one of California’s top players as a senior while Franklin was key for a 32-2 Mater Dei team.

18. Arizona State
Top 100: No. 52 Corey Hawkins, No. 62 Keala King
Supporting Cast: Jordan Bachynski, Chanse Creekmur, Brandon Duson (Wabash Valley College)
Analysis: Herb Sendek will continue to contend in the Pac-10 with recruiting efforts like this.

19. USC
Top 100: No. 36 Bryce Jones, No. 82 Garrett Jackson, No. 98 Maurice Jones
Supporting Cast: Curtis Washington
Analysis: Kevin O’Neill deserves a lot of credit. During a tumultuous time for the Trojan program, the former Marquette, Tennessee, Northwestern and NBA head coach has an intriguing cast of athletes headed to campus.

20. Maryland
Top 100: No. 45 Terrell Stoglin, No. 80 Mychal Parker
Supporting Cast: Pe’shon Howard, Haukur Palsson, Ashton Pankey
Analysis: Stoglin is an exciting guard who can puts points on the board. Palsson comes to College Park from Iceland via Florida’s Montverde Academy.

21. Illinois
Top 100: No. 21 Jereme Richmond, No. 49 Meyers Leonard
Supporting Cast: Crandall Head
Analysis: Illini head coach Bruce Weber locked up all three in-state prospects early.

22. North Carolina State
Top 100: No. 23 Ryan Harrow
Supporting Cast: Lorenzo Brown (2009 signee spent the year at Hargrave Military Academy)
Analysis: Sidney Lowe has addressed the backcourt and is still in the mix for athletic forward C.J. Leslie.

23. Florida
Top 100: No. 26 Patric Young, No. 72 Casey Prather
Supporting Cast: None
Analysis: Young will be an immediate force in the paint for the Gators.

24. Dayton
Top 100: None
Supporting Cast: Jesse Berry, Ralph Hill, Dean Oliver, Brandon Spearman, Juwan Staten
Analysis: No Top 100 selections, but the Flyers still score big coming off NIT championship.

25. UCLA
Top 100: No. 33 Joshua Smith, No. 57 Tyler Lamb
Supporting Cast: Lazeric Jones (John Logan Community College)
Analysis: Smith and Lamb are major additions, but Ray McCallum electing to stay home and play for his father at Detroit Mercy really stings the Bruins as they are desperate for guards.

Five more incoming recruiting classes to watch: Baylor, Butler, Oklahoma, St. Joseph's, Villanova

The one label Tulsa cannot shed yet


American Chronicle
By ERIC BAILEY
Athletic director Bubba Cunningham was asked to label the feeling surrounding Tulsa's basketball program.

"Frustration," Cunningham said.

Does Golden Hurricane coach Doug Wojcik agree?

"Absolutely," said Wojcik, who just completed his fifth year at TU -- one filled with lofty expectations deteriorated in the final weeks, leaving the Hurricane absent from the NCAA Tournament for the seventh consecutive year.

It's the longest stretch the program has gone without an NCAA Tournament appearance since 1981. That's a fact that weighs heavily on a TU fan base starving for a return to college basketball's biggest event. It has been a topic of conversation on Internet message boards and sports talk shows.

Wojcik and Cunningham know that.

Tournament goal

Making the NCAA Tournament "is a goal we set every year," Wojcik said. "So is winning the conference championship."

"When you watch the NCAA basketball tournament and see that excitement and to not be a part of it is frustrating," Cunningham said. "We've had some good wins, we won the CBI and been to the NIT twice, but that's the next step."

"We've made a lot of progress," Cunningham added. "In Doug's five years, he turned a program that was struggling to (a program with) four years in a row of winning 20 games ... We have to continue to have faith and confidence that we have the right people and that we'll get there. It's slower than we thought, but sometimes that does happen. We'll get there."

The margin for error is slim to gather an at-large bid to the tournament for schools like Tulsa. UTEP won the Conference USA regular season with a 15-1 mark, lost in the league tournament championship game and still barely squeaked into the field.

Is TU's final grade of success-failure based on the NCAA Tournament?

"It's not the singular point that you can say everything hinges on," Cunningham said. "You can't say you'll either succeed or fail based on that one aspect of a larger job.

"That is a part of it. It's a significant part of it. I think we're showing progress that we're going to be there, but that's just one measurement."

Positives under Wojcik

Wojcik's five-year era has had plenty of positives. After inheriting a program in worse shape than any other Tulsa coach has faced in the past 30 years, he's won 20-plus games for four consecutive seasons, taken TU to three postseason tournaments (including an inaugural CBI championship run) and guided the program to two Conference USA championship games. The Hurricane was 0-4 against BCS-level schools in the Reynolds Center before Wojcik. His record is 3-1 against BCS schools at home.

With Ben Uzoh and Jerome Jordan scheduled to earn degrees this spring, he will remain perfect on graduation rates (12-of-12) for players who exhausted their eligibility at TU. There has been zero off-the-court problems. Wojcik has won despite having resources that aren't as impressive when Tulsa is compared to other "mid-major" programs like Xavier and Dayton. TU doesn't have half the budget of C-USA power Memphis.

In two years, Wojcik likely will become the program's all-time winningest coach. Schools like Iowa and Stanford have taken interest and reportedly considered him strongly for openings the past few seasons.

Not-so-flattering numbers

There are also some not-so-flattering numbers during the past five years.

Tulsa is just 4-24 against teams that finished the season in the RPI's top 50 (collegerpi.com) under Wojcik. Of the 24 losses, 10 came to Memphis. The Golden Hurricane's only triumphs came in a 2009- 10 home win over Oklahoma State and 2008-09 victories over Texas A&M and UAB (which happened twice).

Attendance has sagged in recent years.

Season ticket sales were at 6,659 in 2002-03. This past season -- despite heavy promotion including a message "this is the year we have been waiting for" -- sales hovered around the 4,300 mark. In Wojcik's first season (2005-06), season ticket sales were at 4,949.

The number "zero" next to NCAA Tournament appearances weighs heaviest to detractors. Cunningham has heard them in person and via e-mail.

Wojcik is very open with fans, even at times when he comments "on e-mails that make me feel like we went 12-23 instead of 23-12."

'A terrific job'

Cunningham says Wojcik has "done a terrific job."

All of Tulsa's coaches are given five goals -- enhance the student-athlete experience, have win-loss success, stay within budget, improve and maintain a high grade point average and stay compliant to NCAA rules and regulations.

"The way we practice, schedule practice and travel has been a great improvement," Cunningham said. "Our win-loss record has steadily improved since he's been here. He's probably the most meticulous person we have in terms of his budget, we've improved our GPA and our APR is outstanding. He's always the first in with his phone logs and practice logs. From an AD's perspective, he's done a great job in those five areas."

Cunningham also understands making the NCAA Tournament will silence plenty of critics.

"Are we where we want to be competitively? No, we want to be in the NCAA Tournament," Cunningham said. "We want to have success in the tournament. But the body of work has been outstanding. Are there areas where we're going to get better? Absolutely."

Attendance drop

Attendance dipped this season to 5,491 fans per game, the second- lowest figure since the Reynolds Center opened in the 1998-99 season.

TU fans grabbed hold of this program during the CBI championship run, hinting of what life can be like inside a raucous arena.

"I appreciate the fans that are coming," Cunningham said. "The atmosphere of the arena for the OSU game, the Memphis game and the UTEP game were terrific.

"We do have a tendency to ebb and flow more than some of the larger schools. The challenge is how do you bring fans to the other games? I don't know. I don't have a magic answer to that other than continue to win and win at alarmingly good rates and keep the fans engaged."

TU does have a 72-15 home mark the past five years. It had the nation's third-longest home winning streak at one point this past season, and set a school mark for 28 consecutive nonconference home victories two years ago.

Budget questions

Cunningham said the Hurricane is in the "top third of our league in terms of budget and we're comfortable there."

The U.S. Department of Education's most recent figures show Tulsa basketball had operating expenses at $578,461 ($36,154 per player). Xavier's expenses were at $1.5 million ($102,919) and Dayton was at $847,749 ($52,984). Conference USA power Memphis is at $1.2 million ($80,643 per player).

"If there are more resources that you could apply to basketball, there's certainly ways that you can spend the money," Cunningham said. "When you look at the schools that spend more, they are typically generating more. We have invested a lot in the last five years, not only financial resources but personnel and time.

"There's a commitment to be one of the best teams in the league. Are we there? No, but we're not there in a lot of areas. We'll push and try to get better."

Next season brings an unknown. Justin Hurtt is the only TU returnee who has averaged double-digit points in a game. Seven different faces -- including injured guard Glenn Andrews -- will bring a new look.

Cunningham likes the progress of the program and showed optimism for the future.

"You evaluate the whole body of work and look at those five dimensions and we're doing exceedingly well," he said.

"We've fallen short in a very visible area -- making the NCAA Tournament. But I feel like we're knocking on the door."

Attendance drop

Tulsa's basketball attendance fell to an average of 5,491 fans per home game this past season, the second-lowest total since the Reynolds Center opening in 1998. It is also the second-lowest figure since the 1979-80 season, when TU played at the Convention Center. A look at recent Reynolds Center attendance:

Season __ Avg.

Attendance__ Sellouts

1998-99 __ 8,282__ 7

1999-00 __ 8,184 __ 11

2000-01 __ 7,846__ 3

2001-02 __ 8,098 __ 7

2002-03__ 7,747 __ 7

2003-04 __ 7,384 __ 2

2004-05 __ 5,942__ 0

2005-06 __ 5,862 __ 1

2006-07 __ 5,425 __ 0

2007-08 __ 5,751 __ 2

2008-09 __ 5,783 __ 0

2009-10 __ 5,491__ 1

Eric Bailey 581-8391

Originally published by ERIC BAILEY World Sports Writer.

(c) 2010 Tulsa World. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

NBA defection may help Memphis


NBC Sports Beyond The Arc
Posted: Wednesday, April 14, 2010 11:37 AM

It’ll sound a little odd, but Josh Pastner’s recruiting may have gotten a boost from Elliot Williams entering the NBA draft.

Williams, Memphis’ leading scorer this season, is a first round lock. And that’s crucial when it comes to Pastner selling his program to other would-be NBA hopefuls, writes Dan Wolken of the Memphis Commerical Appeal.

After all, how many 32-year-old coaches can claim they developed an NBA player?

Not that Pastner needed a lot of help. He secured the top class for 2010 – three five-star players and seven overall committed to the Tigers – and figures to have even more recruits signing up in coming years.

But it’s an important edge when it comes to retaining local talent and vying against the state’s other destinations, like Bruce Pearl at Tennessee. Dan breaks it down beautifully here:

It's pretty easy to envision Pastner and his coaching staff contrasting the way they handled Williams with the way Bruce Pearl and his staff have handled guys like Tyler Smith and Scotty Hopson. Smith would have undoubtedly been drafted after the 2007-08 season - his first at UT after transferring from Iowa - and possibly in the first round. He was convinced to return to Knoxville and saw his draft stock crater the following year, forcing him to come back as a senior. The story ended badly when he was kicked out of school for an off-court incident last December and is now in Turkey, unlikely to make it to the NBA. Hopson and Williams were both McDonald's All-Americans in 2008, but Hopson was universally considered the better prospect, ranked seven spots ahead of Williams by Scout.com and 11 spots ahead by Rivals.com. Now, as Williams heads to the NBA, Hopson heads back to Tennessee for a junior season, his reputation diminished severely by two mediocre seasons in Knoxville.

It’s not like Pearl’s hurting in recruiting or acclaim – his Volunteers did just reach the Elite Eight – but when it comes to recruiting, everything matters. Especially sending guys to the NBA.

Memphis is latest offer for AJC’s Mr. Georgia Basketball, Marcus Thornton, while new Clemson coach awaits conversation


ajc
10:45 pm April 13, 2010, by Michael Carvell

The AJC’s Mr. Georgia Basketball is taking a wait-and-see attitude toward Clemson’s new basketball coach.

Westake High’s Marcus Thornton has turned into one of nation’s hottest free agents in college basketball since being granted a release from his Clemson letter-of-intent after Oliver Purnell took the head coaching job at DePaul. On Tuesday, Clemson selected Wright State’s Brad Brownell to fill the vacancy.

Clemson athletics director Terry Don Phillips informed Thornton about the new coach. What does Thornton think of Brownell? Is he enough to convince Mr. Georgia Basketball to pick Clemson again?

“We’ve heard about Brad Brownell, and I’ve heard other people say that he’s a good coach,” Thornton’s father, Billy, told the AJC on Tuesday night. “We expect to talk with (Brownell) on Wednesday or Thursday. We look forward to talking with him. As far as anything else, I don’t think it would be appropriate to say anything else about him until we talk to him.”

Meanwhile, during Clemson’s 8-day search for a coach, Thornton has attracted attention from some of the biggest names of college basketball. The 6-foot-7 forward has accepted in-home visits during the upcoming NCAA contact period from a who’s who in the coaching profession:

Kentucky’s John Calipari.

Florida’s Billy Donovan.

Texas’ Rick Barnes.

Alabama’s Anthony Grant.

Georgia Tech’s Paul Hewitt (although Thornton will probably meet Hewitt in the Atlanta area because of the close proximity).

UGA’s Mark Fox.

All six schools have offered basketball scholarships. Thornton will wait to see how the in-home visit goes before determining which college campuses to visit. He has already seen many of them during his summer travels playing AAU basketball.

On Wednesday, the elder Thornton also confirmed that Memphis has extended a scholarship offer. Memphis has already raided Georgia for Wheeler High’s Jelan Kendrick, who was the state’s lone participant in the McDonald’s All-America game.

Auburn and Michigan are among the other schools that have offered, while around a dozen other schools have left messages.

“We feel blessed to be in this situation, but we’re not sure about making this thing any bigger right now,” Billy said. “We’re ready to move forward with the process.”

Thornton committed to Clemson before the start of his junior season, before many other colleges had finished evaluations. He had a monster senior season — averaging 24 points and 12 rebounds, while leading Westlake to the championship game in the Georgia’s largest division.

Thornton is also an Honor Student with a 3.7 GPA. He couldn’t talk to college coaches on Tuesday because he was studying for an AP calculus test.

Brownell has a lot more than Thornton to worry about in his opening days: Several Clemson players expressed frustration over Purnell’s departure, while Devin Booker has talked about a transfer.

Peterson witnesses Tyreke Evans' growth


Peterson witnesses Evans' growth

Sacramento Press
by Rob Small, published on April 13, 2010 at 12:57PM

Tyreke Evans has been an impact player for the Sacramento Kings. The rookie guard from the University of Memphis has gained national attention for the whole season.

Like all NBA players, Evans had to start somewhere, and LaMont Peterson, part of Team Tyreke, helped him grow into the player he is today.

He joined Team Tyreke along with Evans' older brothers Reggie, Doc and Pooh and cousin Temetrius, along with Evans' best friend, Dwayne Davis.

"I was introduced to his family by a mutual friend," Peterson said. "I thought he was an average 14-year-old. There was nothing physically that stood out about him. He was about 6 feet 3 inches, 165 pounds. It wasn't like there was this great, physical presence."

Then something stood out about Evans that separated him from basketball other prep players in the country.

"I saw where he was ranked," he said. "(He was the) No.1 player in the country, but I didn't see that by just (training) him for the first time."

Six years later, Evans is listed at 6 feet 6 inches and 220 pounds. Coming out of college, he was widely regarded for having an NBA-type body.

After training Evans over an extended time, Peterson saw his talent progress.

"As I got to see him play more and more, I got to appreciate his presence, his savvy, his IQ and what he brings to a team," he said.

After Evans finished high school at American Christian Academy in Aston, Pa. 2008, he played with the Memphis Tigers under head coach John Calapari. Peterson's role would change.

"Coach Calapari had an opening and he hired me as assistant coach on staff," he said. "I made sure the guys were in class. I wasn't allowed on court during practice because of NCAA rules limiting how many staff members are allowed to work on-court during practices."

After a one-and-done freshman season at Memphis, Evans declared for the 2009 NBA Draft. Now, Peterson would have to help Team Tyreke prepare Evans for training in front of NBA scouts across the country. It started by hiring Arm Tellem as his agent.

In Los Angeles, Evans worked out with Tellem's clients, including fellow rookies Wayne Ellington and Gerald Henderson Henderson and NBA stars Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook.

After traveling all over the country for workouts, draft day finally arrived and Team Tyreke members had one team they wanted Evans to land with.

"We felt that Sacramento was the best place for him," Peterson said. "It was a small town, there wouldn't be a lot of pressure on him. We thought that this would be the perfect place for him to grow and develop and become a go-to guy, franchise-type player."

Evans was chosen No. 4 overall in the NBA draft by the Kings, and Team Tyreke’s members’ wishes came true.

"It's surreal," Peterson said." At times it seems like a dream and (unreal) because this is all we've been preparing for.

"His older brother, Reggie Evans, who's his legal guardian and his business manager, put together a plan what we call 'The Blueprint,' and we've stuck to it for the past four years. So, to see this happen is a fruition of four to five years of hard work and effort."

Evans trained in Chester, Penn., before coming to Sacramento for training camp. They felt that Evans would be a starter from day one, Peterson said about Team Tyreke. After preseason ended, Evans played his first NBA game at Oklahoma City against the Thunder.

"It's incredible," he said after watching Evans step on an NBA court for the first time. "It was finally realization of all your dreams. We shared this dream with him. To know you helped play a part in his success – there's no better feeling in the world."

Evans appreciates Peterson's support through the season.

"He's around every game," Evans said. "He's been a big support."

His brother, Doc, agrees with Evans.

"He's been very influential," Doc said about Peterson’s affect on Evans. "He's been really instrumental in getting (Evans') body ready for the college and the pro level. We've been doing that for a long time, and LaMont's been a major part of that."

After Kevin Martin was ruled out to a long-term wrist injury, Evans exploded onto the scene. Now that Evans' season is almost over, Team Tyreke will have training set up for him in Los Angeles.

"We want him to be able to play 40 minutes every game next year," Peterson said. "We want him to be injury-free. Obviously you can't predict injuries, but we do a lot of preventive (things)."

Peterson has been with Evans preparing him for the NBA. There's no reason that his work with him should end anytime soon.

Carney shines with Sixers in return to Memphis, shares thoughts on Tigers


The Daily Helmsman
By: Joseph Russell

Issue date: 4/13/10 Section: Sports

After a nagging toe injury kept him on the bench for the previous five games, Philadelphia 76ers guard Rodney Carney refused to sit out Saturday's contest.

The 6-foot-7 swingman was back in the place where he spent four years of his life, suiting up for The University of Memphis during the program's latest ascension to prominence.

In a game that the Grizzlies needed to win in order to secure an even record this season, Carney helped spoil the home team's plans. The Sixers won, 120-101, and the Indianapolis, Ind., native came off the bench to score 11 points, making four of his six shots and two from three-point range in 20 minutes, despite the toe injury.

"It felt good before the game," he said. "As the game progressed, I knew it'd stiffen up. By the fourth quarter, it was on fire. It was hurting bad. This is my first game back playing on it."

Carney said he was glad to be back in FedExForum, especially with a win, but was disappointed with the overall outcome of the 2009-'10 season.

"We had a lot of times when we'd go on five-game losing streaks and stuff," he said. "Ultimately, we can do much better. Personally, I think I can do a lot more to help the team. The playing time has been up and down, but that comes with the profession."

Although blessed with freakish athleticism and the ability to knock down 3-pointers with ease, playing time is one thing Carney has had trouble finding at the professional ranks.

Drafted by the Chicago Bulls with the 16th pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, Carney found himself quickly shipped to Philadelphia before the night was over. As a rookie, he averaged just a little over three points per game while playing behind then-Sixers star Allen Iverson. Once Iverson departed, Carney gained more time on the floor and increased his scoring to just over nine points per contest.

In his second season with the Sixers, Carney was relegated back to the bench. Although he played in 70 games, he started just six and averaged fewer than 15 minutes per contest.

With Andre Igoudala becoming a superstar in the league, Carney found himself on the outside looking in.

After the '07-'08 season, Philadelphia traded him and Calvin Booth, along with a future first-round draft pick, to the Minnesota Timberwolves for a future conditional second-round pick and cash considerations.

It was there that Carney began to flourish.

"When I got traded, it solidified me," he said. "When I got to Minnesota, Kevin McHale gave me a lot of playing time. It really got my confidence up and my experience up. It was all thanks to him, in my opinion."

In the grand scheme of things, an increase to 18 minutes per game probably doesn't seem like a big deal. But for Carney, it meant averaging the highest points of his career at 7.2 per contest. He also shot a career-high 35 percent from three-point range, but perhaps the biggest change was the confidence he got from Minnesota's front office.

He didn't score a lot, but he was definitely needed. One of the first off the bench, Carney proved himself capable to guard some of the league's top players night in and night out.

After his rookie contract expired, Carney found himself back in Philadelphia. Now that his playing time is more consistent, Carney has turned his attention to the next step - postseason.

"Now I'm on this team, and I'm contributing, so that's good, but it's not good when we don't make the playoffs," he said. "We can be pretty good next year; we just have to tweak some things here and there. We have the talent in place; we just need some structure."

The Sixers are just 27-53 on the season and will likely finish 23 games out of first place. But with most of the team's core coming back, combined with their high draft pick, Carney said he's optimistic about the squad's future.

"I don't know what we're going to do in the draft," he said. "It just needs to be a group effort. We have to fix some things, and we'll be back on the playoff track."

Even though he admitted to losing some focus on the Tigers while dealing with his own career, Carney said he still keeps an eye on The U of M.

"I kind of lost track this year because I was focusing on what I was doing with my team," he said. "But we're going to bring it back to dominance this upcoming year. We've got a great recruiting class coming in. I think we're going to bring Memphis back to prominence. Even though Cal left, we can still sustain what we're doing here."

While some U of M fans were unsure about where the allegiances of former players fell when Calipari left, Carney's support of the program was evident in just a few words.

"I haven't talked to (Josh Pastner) yet, but he actually sent me some Memphis gear," Carney said. "I needed it bad, so he sent me some. I didn't know who to call because I don't know any of the coaches there. He actually reached his hand out to me first, and that says a lot about the kind of guy he is."

As for what he'll do at the end of the year, Carney said he wouldn't be surprised to find himself back in the Bluff City, at least for a little while.

"When the season's over, I'm going to go chill with (Pastner), talk with him a little bit and just show my support for The University," he said. "Whatever happens happens. I'm sure we're going to do pretty good."

Thursday, April 15, 2010

NY Times: D-League Attendance Tops 1 Million (34 players called up to NBA this season)


D-League Attendance Tops 1 Million
New York Times - Off the Dribble
By JONATHAN ABRAMS

Below the radar, the N.B.A.’s Development League has gone from an underdeveloped asset to a key tool for N.B.A. franchises.

The Development League’s playoffs start Wednesday, and N.B.A. teams have called up a record 34 players this season from the 16-team farm system. Earl Barron became the latest to carve his path from the D-League after signing with the Knicks via the Iowa Energy. He scored 17 points and grabbed 18 rebounds in a win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday.

The league also topped 1 million in attendance for the first time this year, an uptick of 6.57 percent from last season. That increase was aided by the inaugural season of the Maine Red Claws, who played to capacity crowds every game. Meanwhile, the D-League showcase, where all the league’s teams play, has evolved into a major meeting spot for N.B.A. scouts and general managers.

The history of the NBA Rookie of the Year


The history of the NBA Rookie of the Year

Sacramento Press
by Rob Small, published on April 9, 2010 at 5:22PM

At the end of every season, the NBA Rookie of the Year (ROY) Award is awarded to the best rookie of the season.

Don Meineke was the first to win the Eddie Gottlieb Trophy in the 1952-53 season. Of the 56 ROYs, 21 basketball hall-of-famers, from Oscar Robertson to Michael Jordan, have emerged.

More than 53 percent of retired ROYs were voted into the hall of fame.

The next trophy could be coming to Sacramento as Kings guard Tyreke Evans tries to make history becoming the fourth rookie to average 20 points, five rebounds and five assists for a season. The first three were Robertson, Jordan and Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James.

Portland Trail Blazers Television Analyst Mike Rice knows exactly how the ROY is selected because he has a vote.

"Rookie of the year is decided by votes from announcers that see the teams, beat writers that see all the teams all the time," he said. "You can't get a vote if you're a columnist or someone who doesn't see every team during the year. It is just distributed through TV and radio analysts, play-by-play men and beat writers."

Voters cast three votes: A first-place vote worth five points, a second-place vote worth three points and a third-place vote worth one point.
Many rookies who have won the award have gone on to lead their teams to bright futures. Blazers Head Coach Nate McMillan knows this firsthand. His team traded for Brandon Roy, the 2007 ROY, on NBA Draft Day 2006.

The team went from being known as the infamous "Jail Blazers" to a young team with championship potential.

"We thought he had a lot of potential," McMillan said. "He has continued to show the potential that he has. Of course, when you do have a guy that comes in and plays well, as Brandon did, and wins the rookie of the year in a situation where you're trying to gain you're fan base back – it's good to have a player like that, to give the fans something to look forward to in the future"

During his rookie season, Roy was focused on winning rather than the ROY award.

“The whole year I wasn't going for rookie of the year," he said. "I was just trying to do my best to try to help my team win. That's always been my goal. I don't want to put that pressure on myself trying to win an award. So I just always go out there, play to win, good things happen."

The season before the Blazers traded for Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge in June 2006, they finished with a record of 21-61. In Roy's rookie season, the team finished with a 32-50 record. Two seasons after building through the draft and trades, the Blazers earned a 54-28 record.

The San Antonio Spurs also know how a rookie can make an immediate impact. When hall-of-fame center and former ROY David Robinson was injured, the Spurs, a perennial playoff team, slipped to the third-worst record in the NBA and grabbed the top spot in the NBA Draft Lottery.

With the No. 1 pick in the 1997 draft, the team drafted Tim Duncan, who became the 1998 ROY. A year later, he earned his first of four NBA Championships and first of three Finals Most Valuable Player awards.

"It was a great season for me," he said. "Better than that, I was on a very good team, and we made the playoffs, it (was) a great year."

His head coach, Gregg Popovich, thought it was a no-brainer to draft Duncan, who is widely regarded as the best power forward of all time.

"It was a thrill and a pleasure because (he was) already a heck of a player when he came to us," he said. "It was just an unbelievable stroke of luck and good fortune on our part."

There have been ROYs who didn't pan out. Damon Stoudamire was the 1996 ROY for the Toronto Raptors, averaging 19 points and a career-high 9.3 assists per game.

After two and a half seasons in Toronto, he was traded to the Blazers. His numbers dropped, and he was never the same player the Raptors had drafted.

The Kings have numerous connections to the ROY award. Robertson, Maurice Stokes, Jerry Lucas and Phil Ford were ROYs during the franchise's days in Rochester, Cincinnati and Kansas City.

Notable former Kings players Chris Webber and Mitch Richmond were also ROYs, both with the Golden State Warriors.

Kings President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie was a co-ROY in 1971 for the Blazers with hall-of-famer Dave Cowens.

"It was really exciting at the time," Petrie said. "To share it with Dave Cowens of the Boston Celtics, coming from an expansion team like Portland, it was a fun season and I think it was good for the franchise and all of my teammates."

Petrie said he thinks that Evans winning the ROY award could have the same impact on the Kings franchise.

"I think it's certainly a validation of Tyreke's play over the course of the entire year," he said. "He certainly helped elevate our team and give it some great promise for the future going forward. Hopefully, his play at both ends of the court will be rewarded."

Evans feels like he's had a good season, but he didn't know how well he would play.

"I didn't know that I'd be averaging 20 (points per game)," he said. "When you're doing that, I think that's a blessing for me, being a rookie and coming here making a big impact in this league."

In the end, the voters decide who the ROY award will go to. Along with Evans, Warriors guard Stephen Curry and Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings are also in the running. Rice, who has a vote, has already made up his mind.

"At the start of the year, it looked like Jennings of Milwaukee, of course, was going to be the leader because of his 55-point game," he said. "But once Tyreke Evans got started, he's probably the most consistent of the three rookie of the year candidates. Curry came out late and played well for Golden State.

"I have a vote for rookie of the year, and I'm going to vote for (Evans) because of his consistency, and if you look at his (statistics), no other rookie (is averaging 20 points, five rebounds and five assists per game),” Rice said. “That's Oscar Robertson, MJ and LeBron. Those guys did that their rookie year, and that's putting Tyreke in a great category with those guys. I think he's (deserving) of the rookie of the year, which I think he will win."

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

NCAA makes recruiting rules changes

Updated: April 13, 2010, 3:25 PM ET
Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS -- The NCAA will now allow college basketball coaches to have recruiting conversations during summer camps and clinics on campus.

The coaches will be restricted from giving recruits campus tours or other benefits that come from official visits.

The NCAA's legislative council announced the decisions Tuesday after a two-day meeting in Indianapolis.

The panel also approved legislation that will require athletes to take sickle-cell tests, provide documentation that they have already had the test or opt out of the test by signing a release.

The proposal had gained traction after the deaths of several athletes were believed to be linked to the genetic trait.

The council rejected a proposal that would have banned printed media guides.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

Monday, April 12, 2010

Memphis Tigers' Elliot Williams to enter NBA Draft


Memphis Commercial Appeal
Posted April 12, 2010 at 8:57 p.m.

University of Memphis sophomore guard Elliot Williams will announce his plans to enter the NBA Draft today, a source close to the situation told The Commercial Appeal on Monday night.

The former St. George’s standout has not chosen an agent but will hire one, thus forgoing his final two years of college eligibility.

Data Center: Scores in Tiger history. Williams, a 6-5 guard, was a former McDonald’s All-American who originally signed with Duke before transferring to the Tigers last summer due to a family illness. He was granted immediate eligibility to play for the Tigers under first-year coach Josh Pastner and led the team in scoring at 17.9 points per game. He was also named to the all-Conference USA first team.

According to the source, Williams was torn whether to leave but had been given enough information to suggest that he will be picked somewhere between 20 and 30 in the June draft. The Memphis Grizzlies own both the 25th and 29th picks, thus making them logical candidates to take Williams.

Though it was assumed that Williams would be at Memphis more than one year when he transferred from Duke, it was ultimately a successful pairing for both sides.

Williams averaged just 16.6 minutes and 4.2 points as a freshman at Duke playing a defense-first role. At Memphis, he immediately became the primary scoring option on a team that was decimated by former coach John Calipari’s departure and the loss of the 2009 recruiting class.

Williams scored 20-plus points in nine of his first 11 games for the Tigers and finished the season shooting 46 percent from the field while showing expanded range from the 3-point line (37 percent).

Though he struggled a bit down the stretch and especially in the C-USA Tournament, scoring just six points (2-for-9 field goals) in a loss to Houston, he apparently did not jeopardize his draft position in the first round.

While Williams would have certainly added experience to the Tigers’ lineup next season, his departure will not be devastating as Memphis brings in significant talent in the backcourt with two McDonald’s All-Americans (point guard Joe Jackson and wing Jelan Kendrick), a consensus top-10 recruit (shooting guard Will Barton) and local sharpshooter Chris Crawford.

The Tigers also return 6-foot-9 junior Wesley Witherspoon, who averaged 12.5 points and will probably see more minutes next season at small forward, his natural position.

What Williams’ departure means for guard Roburt Sallie is still to be determined. Had Williams come back in a crowded backcourt, Sallie almost certainly would have left Memphis a year early to pursue professional opportunities overseas. Now, there’s a possibility he could return, though the source said nothing has been determined.

In the big picture, Pastner will undoubtedly use Williams’ ascension at Memphis as a selling point to recruits, especially in the local area.

2010 NBA Draft Early Entries......Elliott Williams Next?

2010 NBA Draft Early Entries

The following players have declared themselves eligible for the NBA draft on June 24. If he player does not hire an agent, he has until May 8 to withdraw his name and retain his eligibility.

Player School Position Height Weight Class

Cole Aldrich Kansas Center 6-11 260 Junior
Al-Farouq Aminu Wake Forest Forward 6-9 215 Sophomore
James Anderson Oklahoma State Guard 6-6 195 Junior
Talor Battle Penn State Guard 5-11 170 Junior
Eric Bledsoe Kentucky Guard 6-1 190 Freshman
Craig Brackins Iowa State Forward 6-9 230 Junior
Avery Bradley Texas Guard 6-2 180 Freshman
Derrick Caracter UTEP Forward 6-9 260 Junior
DeMarcus Cousins Kentucky Forward 6-11 270 Freshman
Jordan Crawford Xavier Guard 6-4 195 Sophomore
Ed Davis North Carolina Forward 6-10 225 Sophomore
Malcolm Delaney Virginia Tech Guard 6-4 175 Junior
Devin Ebanks West Virginia Forward 6-9 215 Sophomore
Kenneth Faried Morehead State Forward 6-8 240 Junior
Derrick Favors Georgia Tech Forward 6-10 246 Freshman
Charles Garcia Seattle Forward 6-10 225 Junior
Paul George Fresno State Forward 6-7 190 Sophomore
Manny Harris Michigan Guard 6-5 180 Junior
Jeremy Hazell Seton Hall Guard 6-5 185 Junior
Xavier Henry Kansas Guard 6-6 220 Freshman
Adnan Hodzic Lipscomb Forward 6-9 255 Junior
Armon Johnson Nevada Guard 6-3 195 Junior
Wes Johnson Syracuse Forward 6-7 205 Junior
Dominique Jones South Florida Guard 6-4 190 Junior
Sylvan Landesberg Virginia Guard 6-6 195 Sophomore
Gani Lawal Georgia Tech Forward 6-9 234 Junior
Tommy Mason-Griffin Oklahoma Guard 5-11 200 Freshman
Elijah Millsap UAB Guard 6-6 215 Junior
A.J. Oglivy Vanderbilt Center 6-11 240 Junior
Daniel Orton Kentucky Forward 6-10 240 Freshman
Patrick Patterson Kentucky Forward 6-9 235 Junior
Herb Pope Seton Hall Forward 6-8 233 Sophomore
Jeff Robinson Seton Hall Forward 6-6 205 Sophomore
Larry Sanders Virginia Commonwealth Forward 6-11 235 Junior
Xavier Silas Northern Illinois Guard 6-5 200 Junior
Lance Stephenson Cincinnati Guard 6-5 210 Freshman
Evan Turner Ohio State Guard 6-7 210 Junior
Alex Tyus Florida Forward 6-8 220 Junior
John Wall Kentucky Guard 6-4 195 Freshman
Willie Warren Oklahoma Guard 6-4 203 Sophomore
Terrico White Ole Miss Guard 6-5 213 Sophomore
Hassan Whiteside Marshall Center 7-0 235 Freshman
Chris Wright Dayton Forward 6-8 226 Junior
Jahmar Young New Mexico State Guard 6-5 190 Junior

Future Tigers in spotlight at Jack Jones Shootout


All-star contest provides early look
By Dan Wolken

Sunday, April 11, 2010

With just enough room to operate, Antonio Barton spun his way into the lane, scored in traffic and drew a foul. Though the future University of Memphis point guard missed his ensuing free throw in the first half Saturday at FedExForum, forward Hippolyte Tsafack, another future Tiger, had blocked out Virginia-bound James Johnson just enough to get his hands on the ball first for an easy stickback.

It may seem like a long wait until the 2010-11 basketball season, but Saturday's Jack Jones Shootout gave Tiger fans a taste of what to expect when the No. 1 recruiting class in the country arrives on campus this fall.

A new high school all-star game created in the honor of local philanthropist John Paul Jones, the Shootout included four of Memphis' seven signees, all playing on the same team and often on the court together. Though it was a losing effort for the future Tigers, getting a chance to play on the court at FedExForum with other top talent from around the country Saturday offered an experience that should be beneficial coming into college basketball.

"It was a good opportunity to come in here and play with the players I'm going to be playing with next year," said Sheffield guard Chris Crawford, who had a pair of deep 3-pointers in the second half. "It's a good experience playing with some competitive players in your class to show them you have talent also."

The Jack Jones Shootout was created by Ernie Kuyper, who runs a local program, with the goal to one day rival the McDonald's All American Game in prestige on the high school all-star circuit.

Though attracting the elite players is difficult, especially when NCAA rules limit them to two all-star games, Saturday offered a chance for others to grab some spotlight and practice in a competitive environment with former NBA coach Eric Musselman and former Virginia assistant coach Drew Diener.

Especially in a city like Memphis with such a deep talent pool of Div. 1 talent, it was also an opportunity for several hundred fans to see players like Arkansas-bound guard Mardracus Wade and Minnesota-bound guard Austin Hollins one more time before they depart to college.

"It was the only all-star game I've been in this summer so it was a great experience, just to see what kind of competition I'm going to have next year," Ridgeway forward Tarik Black said. "It's also great because you get to see the fan support you're going to have."

Each of the four Memphis signees made an impact in the game, including Barton, who might be the most overlooked member of the recruiting class simply due to the fact that his brother, Will, ranks among the top-10 players in the country.

Antonio Barton, who played his senior season at Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass., had a strong first half running the point, getting past his defender and scoring off the dribble.

He also ran the floor hard on defense, deflecting balls and getting back quickly in transition. His performance was yet another reminder that the Tigers will have significant backcourt depth next season and freshmen backups who will be capable of making an impact.

"It's going to be real competitive," Crawford said. "Practices are going to stay competitive every day and we just have to go at it all year."

Memphis should also have solid frontcourt depth, though Saturday's game didn't necessarily clarify how much of difference Black and Tsafack will make right away. Black, an athletic 6-9 forward, cleared some tough rebounds and protected the rim defensively but missed several close shots.

It's clear that his progress in the weight room this summer will determine whether he's ready to play against physical forwards next season.

"Stuff like this, playing in an all-star game, lets you see that," Black said. "You're big in Memphis but when people come in from outside who are just as strong as you, the weight room is very, very important. I've been waiting on it. Like I tell everybody, college is time and opportunity. It's time management, and if you decide you want to work hard and get better, that's what's going to happen."

Tsafack, the 6-8 native of Cameroon who plays at the Miller School in Charlottesville, Va., showed an impressive aptitude for physical play but also needs skill development work.

"It's not good to lose the first game I played with them," Tsafack said. "That means we have to work very, very hard to win next year. We had some bad turnovers, made bad decisions, bad shots. We have a long way (to go)."

Call Dan Wolken at 529-2365; read his Tiger basketball stories and blog at gomemphistigers.com.

McLemore sets the tone on Day 1 at Nike Youth Basketball League


McLemore sets the tone on Day 1 at Nike Youth Basketball League

By Reggie Rankin
ESPNU Recruiting
Updated: April 10, 2010, 11:16 AM ET

Hampton, Va. -- The inaugural Nike Elite Youth Basketball League, held at the state-of-the-art Boo Williams Sportsplex, features elite level travelling teams with Division I talent from around the country to compete for one championship. Other stops on the EYBL trail will include Houston, Los Angeles and North Augusta, S.C., over a span of three months in order to crown a champion.



Top performers on Day 1 included class of 2011 super athletic shooting guard Ben McLemore (Wellston/Wellston, Mo.) of the St. Louis Eagles and class of 2013 Jonathan Williams (Southwind/Memphis, Tenn.) a promising small forward who took over the game at times for Memphis YOMCA. Great performances seemed endless at times with such a high number of terrific prospects on every court.



Standout player
SG/SF Ben McLemore (6-foot-5, 185 pounds)
2011, Wellston, MO. / Wellston, AAU: St. Louis Eagles
This long-armed athletic wing can simply make scoring plays with the ball in his hands. He attacks defenders off the dribble and loves to play along the baseline, where he uses his quick and explosive athletic ability to finish above the rim before the help-side defenders know what hit them. McLemore can also finish in the lane with great body control on both sides of the rim and with either hand. He can knock down the open 3 with time and space, and get to the ball to an open teammate when he draws a second defender. McLemore is a good ball handler and decision maker as well. He is a new addition to the St. Louis Eagles and is still finding his way but he had a scoring flurry that included a deep 3 on the wing, a baseline drive that resulted in a dunk, another slam from a set out-of-bounds play and a mid-range pull up in the second half after only playing very limited minutes the first half. McLemore needs to add strength but expect this young man to make some major noise the remainder of the spring and summer. McLemore, along with Florida commit shooting guard Bradley Beal (Chaminade/St. Louis, Mo.), gives the Eagles and deadly tandem at the wing positions.

Surprise Player
SF Jonathan Williams (6-8, 205)
2013, Memphis, Tenn. / Southwind, AAU: Memphis YOMCA
Williams is an active young wing player with great upside. He is long and wiry and is a very good athlete with matching bounce around the rim, where he dunks drop-off passes created by guard penetration. He runs the floor and can get to the rim and finish with great touch and body control. Williams is very smooth and understands how to set up his one-on-one attacks with ball and foot fakes in order to move the defender out of position. Williams is a lefty who can score in variety of ways off the dribble. He is a good rebounder and an alert defender. Williams holds your attention when he is on the floor because he is always looking to make a play. He must work on perfecting his perimeter jumper to take his game to the next level but he is oozing with talent and it will be a treat to watch him develop over the next few years.

Notes
• Class of 2011 shooting guard Nick Johnson (6-3, 175, Phoenix/Findlay Prep) was great as well on Day 1. He plays above the rim in transition and can score the ball on strong drives, where he welcomes contact, and can knock down the open 3. Johnson works on the defensive end and is an intense competitor.

• Florida commit Bradley Beal (6-4,190, St. Louis, Mo./Chaminade) is without question one of the best shooters in the class of 2011. He has a smooth and effortless stroke whether he is spotting up, coming off a screen or making a mid-range pull up. This kid can flat-out shoot the ball with NBA range.

• Marquis Teague (6-1,185, Indianapolis, IN. / Pike) was terrific as well. He is a strong and explosive lead guard who attacks the rim relentlessly. He constantly changes speeds and directions in small areas in between defenders. He can finish on a consistent basis and at times seems to toy with defenders. A legitimate elite guard in the class of 2011.

Reggie Rankin was an assistant coach at seven schools for 13 seasons, most recently at Dayton. He played at Ohio University from 1986-90 and was an All-MAC first-teamer his senior season.