Thursday, March 30, 2017

What Are We Teaching The Best Players Early In Their Development

In the quest to hang banners, win championships and collect hardware we are teaching our best players all the wrong things. Everyday on Facebook and Instagram I see some coach proclaiming victory and holding up hardware.

Edwin Ebube Taking Official Visit To Niagara

Lawrenceville School's SF/PF Edwin Ebube is scheduled to take an official visit to Niagara right after the dead period ends next week. The 6'7 post grad has several D1 programs taking a close at him including Lehigh, Rider and Niagara. He is a proven winner and really strong student. Programs looking for a that profile in a player should take the time to head down to Princeton and recruit him.

Loomis Chaffee SG/SF Getting Interest From Multiple D1 Programs

Jesus Cruz is one of the best available unsigned combo guards as recently reported by New England Recruiting Report. The 6'5 combo guard is getting interest from several D1 programs including American University, Marist College and UNC Greensboro.  Expect more D1 programs to take a close look at Cruz who has the size and skill to help a lot of programs.

Blue Ridge School Point guard Josh Colon Gets First Division 1 Offer

2017 point guard Josh Colon recently received his first D1 offer from VMI. The underrated guard who led Blue Ridge to a Virginia Independent Private School Division 2 State title had over 10 D2 offers before he received the offer from Virginia Military Academy.  Look for Colon to receive more offers in the coming weeks. He was the player of the year in the state on a team full of high major talent. If you need a PG he is your guy!

Friday, March 24, 2017

South Kent School Stretch 4 Nick Washington Visits Georgetown

South Kent School 2017 Power Forward Nicholas Washington visited Georgetown last week per sources.  Washington is one of the best available unsigned "Bigs" as reported by ESPN's and New England Recruiting Report ('NERR") Adam Finkelstein. Coach JT3 's firing from Georgetown two days after the visit could impact Washington's interest in playing of the Hoyas next year.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Canada Shows Puerto Rico What The Next Level Looks Like

Canada once again showed why they are one of the best teams in this tournament with a 83-66 win over Puerto Rico in the FIBA Americas U18 Semifinal.  Canada dominated the game from the outset and never allowed Puerto Rico to come within 10 points since going up 15-3 in the first quarter.

Puerto Rico looked tired and the entire team seemed to be satisfied with qualifying for the World Championship the day before against the USVI. Coach Ortiz looked to their bench to try and create some energy early in the game but to no avail. You could see the lack of emotional interest by almost everyone on the team and it showed in their style of play.

What has hurt Puerto Rico throughout the tournament and continued to plague them yesterday was their inability to protect the ball.  The team had a total of 23 turnovers and only 9 assists. That speaks to what we saw yesterday with almost everyone on the team playing one on one basketball.  Puerto Rico shot a total of 22 three point shots making only 5.  Those 17 misses turned into easy transition buckets for Canada. 

A bigger problem moving forward for Puerto Rico may be the teams refusal to stay committed to playing team defense. The refusal to help the helper was evident throughout the game with the team struggling all night to make second and third rotations. It's a problem that has plagued Puerto Rico throughout this tournament.  

An Atlantic-10 Assistant Coach who watched yesterday's game said this about Puerto Rico's play yesterday, " What I saw yesterday was really really bad. They have a lot of players who have no idea how to play selfless basketball. And some of their players just refused to play defense. It's almost like they didn't care about the game but instead focused on padding their individual statistics."

This mindset has become the norm with many young players and it can destroy the fabric of a team. You could see this happening yesterday with players bickering and fighting with each other over the failure of some guys to commit to playing defense on every possession.  It became a pattern time after time with players from Puerto Rico not being able to stay in front of their man.  If you cannot defend, you cannot compete with elite teams. 

Lets see if the players from Puerto Rico will commit to playing for each other or we will see another ugly performance of Me vs. We.  We have watched four games thus far and have yet to see the players call one huddle during the game. Teams that play for each other and are connected typically call anywhere from 5-10 huddles a game. A team that never huddles is a team that is selfish by definition. 

We play Brazil for third place and a bronze medal later today, lets see if Puerto Rico can do three very simple things. If they do they have a chance at beating a very talented Brazilian Team. 

1. 12 Turnovers or less
2. 45 Rebounds In Total
3. 20 Assists

Friday, July 22, 2016

Puerto Rico Qualifies For World Championship With Win Against The USVI

Puerto Rico started off slow and then got things going in the second half for a 85-61 win versus the USVI. Ethan Thompson led all scorers with 24 points.  Christian Negron led the team with 11 rebounds and PG Jhivvan Jackson had 15 points and 4 assists.

The team from the VI which has yet to win a game in the tournament started off strong. They took an early lead playing a 2-3 zone on defense and attacking the rim off the dribble offensively. Puerto Rico's Head Coach Danny Ortiz made the necessary adjustment bringing in Jorge Pacheco who went 6/12 from inside the arc and finished with 15 points in what was the best game of the tournament for Pacheco. Puerto Rico struggled early in the game against the zone.

With the win Puerto Rico, quailed for the 2017 FIBA Americas U19 World Championship. Brazil, Canada and Team USA also qualified from the Americas. Those 4 teams which play todayn the semifinals of FIBA Americas all received an automatic bid to the World Championship. Puerto Rico plays Canada this afternoon at 4:45p.