Thursday, September 30, 2010

Gerogetown Coach JT3 Stops By To See Carmelo Betancourt

Georgetown Coach John Thompson III stopped by to see Montrose Christian Class of 2011 PG, Carmelo Betancourt today. This is the second visit by a Georgetown coach and clearly a sign that Georgetown is interested in Betancourt. Our sources tell us that Carmelo showed up big again practicing and playing like the 4 star general he is.

A recruiting inside said," Betancourt is Coach Thompson's type of player. His system is perfect for Carmelo. Betancourt is the type of cerebral player Coach Thompson loves to have running the show. Betancourt reminds me of former GU point guard Jonathan Wallace. Wallace was undersized, not a great athlete but had everything else you want in a player. Remember that Wallace started for 4 years at GU and I'm sure Coach Thompson has visions of Jonathan when watching Carmelo."

Betancourt is planning on taking an unofficial visit to GU as soon as this weekend and may get a chance to play with the team this weekend as well. Sources have told IPRB that St John's coach, Steve Lavin is planning to come see Betancourt next week.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Francisco "Furro" Lopez Is On A Mission

First it was Abreu, then Betancourt and now another little guard from Puerto Rico is on a mission.Meet Francisco "Furro" Lopez, the 5'10 Class of 2011 SG, who transfered last year to La Salle HIgh School (Miami) is on a mission. The former Bucaplaa Club SG has been working on making the switch to PG and is now working with PR Playmakers to help him get to the next level.

IPRB spoke with a recruiting insider who had this to say about Lopez," He's got the ability to play at the next level and can flat out score. Like a lot of the guards coming out of Puerto Rico he is small and will need to show recruiters and coaches that he can play against bigger and stronger guards. The size issue is always there when you talk about a 5'10 SG.
He had a solid summer playing AAU for Gold Coast AAU Program and showed glimpses of a guy who could be really really good. The question a lot of coaches will ask is if he can play the PG position. He's in a perfect position playing at La Salle and simply put he must prove he can play."

IPRB spoke with "Furro's" father, Frankie Lopez, who is very confident that his son can play at the next level. "I've been taking my son to play all around Puerto Rico since he was 4 years old. I know he has the ability and desire to play. This has been a dream of his for as long as I can remember. I know he can do it and all we need is for a coach to take a chance. He is not only a very good player but is an even better person."

Lopez should also benefit from the fact that he is a very good student who has a 3.5 GPA. PR Playmakers Founder Todd Washington said, "Furro has the whole package. He can play, has good grades, is fluent in English and most importantly he is focused and working hard to reach his goals. He has some challenges in front of him to include, taking the SAT, completing the transition from SG to PG and showing he can compete against bigger players. We are excited to have him in our program and he understands the ball is in his hands. His work ethic and performance both on and off the court will determine if he plays at the next level. Based on what I have heard from both he and his father, Furro will get the job done."

IPRB plans to keep our eye on Furro and see if he has what it takes to get to the next level.

Friday, September 24, 2010

UCLA To Watch Betancourt (Updated)

IPRB has confirmed that UCLA Assistant Coach Scott Duncan went this afternoon to Montrose Christian Academy to watch Carmelo Betancourt. Betancourt continues to increase interest at the highest level of Division 1 basketball. UCLA is also recruiting Preseason All American, Quinn Cook and both Coach Duncan and UCLA Head Coach, Ben Howland are in DC meeting with Quinn Cook. "With Georgetown, UCLA and other major programs looking at Betancourt so early in the season it has really helped increase interest, said a recruiting expert. He went from being a total unknown less than 6 months ago to now being someone coaches want to see in person."

PR Playmakers' Founder Todd Washington told IPRB," Carmelo and his mother and father are really excited! I just finished a call with them and it's kind of surreal. First Georgetown and now UCLA. It couldn't happen to better people. The good thing about Carmelo and his parents is that they understand that this is the first step in the recruiting process and at this point neither school has made an offer. Carmelo is the the type of kid who will use this as motivation to continue to work hard and prove to people that he can play at this level. I'm really proud of what he has done!"

Betancourt's USA debut was at the 2009 Jordan Classic (International Game). He played well there and went back to PR and hit the gym for 5 months before coming to Montrose. He and Tyrone Johnson, a Class of 2011 PG who has already committed to Villanova have been going at it in practice everyday.

A source confirmed late this evening that Coach Duncan plans to come back and see Betancourt practice again in the next two weeks.

Harvard University Interested in Gabriel Anglero

IPRB confirmed today the former Adianez guard and current St Benedicts (NJ) guard Gabriel Anglero may have a chance to attend the prestigious Harvard University. Sources close to the Anglero family confirmed that Gabriel's father spoke to Harvard University Men's Basketball Assistant Coach, Kenny Blakeney earlier today. Blakeney was a McDonald's All American at famed Dematha High School and went on to play on the 2 National Championship teams at Duke in the early 1990's. Former Duke University guard and assistant Coach Tommy Amaker is now the Head Coach at Harvard.

Anglero, a class of 2011 SG, transferred to St Benedicts this year and has become a hot commodity in recruiting circles. IPRB spoke to a mid major Division 1 college assistant coach who said, " Anglero is one of those kids every team must have. He is a "glue guy", someone who can do a number of things well and loves to play defense. The strength and conditioning coach calls him,"Hercules" as he is the strongest kid on the team and plays with a chip on his shoulder."

Said a recruiting insider," Anglero is a solid mid major player with great upside. He is a little on the short side for a shooting guard at the top 20 level but has shown great growth since arriving at St Benedicts this summer."

It should not be a surprise that Harvard is interested Anglero as St Benedicts Head Coach, Roshown Mcleod and Harvard Assistant Coach, Kenny Blakeney played together at Duke. Blakeney and PR Playmakers Founder Todd Washington grew up together in DC so the connections run deep. Whether or not Anglero ends up at Harvard or not what is clear is that he has officially arrived!

Angel Matias To "Red Shirt" at MCGCC

2010 18U National Team forward and former Carmen Del Sol player Angel Matias will be "red shirted" this year. IPRB spoke to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College ("MGCCC") Coach Wendell Weathers who confirmed the schools decision to "red shirt" Matias and said, "Angel is a heck of a player and we are confident that he can do great things for us next year but at this point he is simply not ready."

Matias who was given a full scholarship to MGCCC in late August has had come challenges both on and off the court. PR Playmakers Founder Todd Washington said, " They love Angel down there! He is a great kid and Coach Weathers was clear in his commitment to helping Angel catch up in the classroom and getting into college basketball shape."

MGCCC is where former Carmen Del Sol superstar Raymond Cintron is in his second year and he has been acting as a big brother to Matias. Taking a "red shirt" year allows a player to practice with the team and and stay on scholarship while they work on developing into a true student athlete. Carlos "Yao" Lopez who started on the 2008-2009 National Champion Findlay Prep team ended up "red shirting" last year at UNLV.

Provided Matias does what needs to be done in the classroom he could opt to only play one year at MGCC and graduate in 2012 or stay and play two years at MGCCC starting next year. Most importantly he is working towards obtaining a college degree that that should be the goal for all student athletes!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


IPRB confirmed that Carlos Beltran has had conversations with several potential candidates for the National Team's, General Manager position. This group of people he has communicated with includes both current and former BSN team owners. Clearly, an existing owner of a BSN Team should not be the GM of the National Team. It's a major conflict and should not be allowed. I find it interesting that the last several GM's were clearly not "personnel guys" who could develop and work with players. Players did not respect Rivera or Diaz and that is a must if you are going to have a GM that is more than just a figurehead. Both Diaz and Rivera are decent people and clearly love the game but neither of them are the right age or have the right background to be successful as a GM in today's game. Things have changed drastically in basketball over the last 10 years and Beltran has a very difficult decision to make as he recommends someone to the FBPUR Board.

The GM's position is to run the team and act as a intermediate between the coach, players and senior management. Their focus must be on putting a team on the floor with one vision and goal and that is to win. Lets also add the fact that no player should be compensated for playing on the National Team. All players must abide by the same rules and receive the same "perks" or else it is not a team but a collection of All Stars. History has taught us that a solid team beats a collection of All Stars 9 out of 10 times.

There is clearly a candidate available who can do the job and help make the necessary changes to bring PR back into the top 10 FIBA world rankings. His name is ...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Five Star Camp To Come To Puerto Rico?

IPRB has confirmed that a group of local coaches are working to close a deal with Five Star that would bring famed Five Star Basketball Camp to PR to conduct an Elite Academy. IPRB confirmed with a source close to the negotiations that Five Star, " is interested in coming to PR and offering an Elite Academy sometime next summer. We've spoken to some of the best players in PR and the demand for an Elite Academy is high. The real question is economically can this market support an offering like this given the cost associated with operating a world class Academy."

Many of PR's best young players have attended Five Star Camps stateside and with the interest of players to attend prep schools and college on the mainland the need for more exposure is critical.

Butch Lee Point Guard Academy

IPRB confirmed that former NBA Champion and Rucker Park Legend, Butch Lee, has started the 2nd Annual Butch Lee PG Academy. Butch has a track record of being a fantastic teacher and someone I would want my son to learn from. Lee possessed all the skills you want a player his Academy should really help develop the elite talent in Puerto Rico. IPRB confirmed that Gary Browne Ramirez is going to be working with Lee along with some of the other talented PG prospects from PR Playmakers.

PR Playmakers founder Todd Washington told IPRB today that," We are trying had to get Butch to work with some of our top kids and have asked that he consider coaching one of our elite travel teams. Not only is Butch a fantastic coach and former NBA Champion, he is an even better person. We would be honored to get Butch involved in our program and look forward to making that a reality. PR Playmakers is in the business of working with the best and clearly Butch is at the top of the list when talking about talented and experienced coaches who can help young kids develop."

Moreno To Attend TAAG Academy

Class of 2011 Small Forward Roy Moreno has decided to transfer to TAAG Academy in Tampa Florida for his senior year. IPRB confirmed last week that Moreno and his parents are working to complete the paperwork and get him up to school in the coming week. IPRB has not spoken to officials at TAAG to confirm this but spoke to Moreno over the weekend. Moreno is a 6'3 forward who has solid skills and could be a solid mid major player provided he gets stronger and develops his dribble-drive game.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Stop Pointing Fingers!

IPRB is not in the business of pointing fingers or placing blame. That is always rule #1 in any team sport! Plain and simple, you just don't do it. Since PR's early departure in the FIBA 2010 World Championship all everyone seems to be doing is pointing fingers and placing blame. It's disgusting and it needs to stop. While we are opinionated at IPRB and think there are some things from a basketball culture and rules standpoint that should be reviewed and possibly changed it is unfair to place blame on any individual. Rule #2, win as a team and lose as a team. When we win everyone gets credit and when we lose everyone takes the blame. Lets start getting back to the fundamentals and hold everyone accountable as a team. There is no "I" in team.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Betancourt Getting Major Looks at Montrose Christian

It's only been a couple of weeks since Class of 2011, PG Carmelo Betancourt left PR and started classes at Montrose yet his name is ringing from coast to coast. IPRB confirmed earlier today tons of coaches have been on campus including Hall of Fame Coach, Gary Williams from University of Maryland and Coach Tony Bennett from University of Virginia both ACC schools.
A source who has seen Melo's workouts confirmed that Melo has really impressed everyone who has seen him and seems to have convinced many that his size will not prevent him from playing for a top 20 program.

IPBB spoke to Carmelo tonight who said,"I'm really enjoying myself, this place is so professional! My classes are small so I have to work hard and the teachers are really helping me. I was a little nervous at first as I have never had to practice in front of coaches like this but I see now why it is so important to be in shape and work hard. I'm really glad I came here".

There Is No Place In Basketball For Racism!!!!

One of the wonderful things about BASKETBALL which I think is the greatest game on earth is that it doesn't matter where you are from, what color you are or how much money you have. Once you throw that ball in the air there is only one question to be asked, "can he play or not". I've lived in 15 countries and played in gyms and playgrounds around the world. In some places I didn't speak the language or know any of the people I was playing with but it didn't matter. Game recognizes game and serious players know when they see someone who has game.

A New Development Model For Puerto Rico's Elite Youth Prospects

Puerto Rico doesn't need to make any excuses given it's rich basketball history.
Butch Lee, Georgie Torres, Fantauzzi ,Raymond Dalmau, Piculin, Jerome Mince and Eddie Casiano are recognized around the world as the "Original Puerto Rico Playmakers". Puerto Rico has had some really talented and accomplished coaches like Flor Melendez and Julio Toro who are legendary in this part of the world! History will show that many of the names above and many that were not mentioned paved the way and put PR on the basketball map! As a student of the game and a self proclaimed "basketball junkie" I appreciate the need to study the past and learn from it but also appreciate the importance of leaving the past in the past! Those who spend to much time in the past tend to get lost and many times miss out on what is happening in the present. This seems to be happening within the basketball community in Puerto Rico.

So instead of focusing on what is in the "rearview", lets begin to ask some critical questions like,

What are we doing to help develop elite players in Puerto Rico?
Why are we not identifying, developing and nurturing elite players through a year round National Development Program?
Why are our most talented prospects playing on teams and in leagues where there are playing time restrictions and games are played on concrete?
Why are we not teaching our elite prospects how to play defense? We have kids on our 12U and 13U National Teams who have yet to be taught "ball/man", "help/recover" and many other basic defensive principles.
How can we expect to compete with the rest of the world when we are doing the same stuff we did 5,10, 15 years ago?
Where are the elite clinics, camps, showcase games and events that will attract top talent to PR?
Why are we playing Small Fry and YBOA and not AAU and EYBL?

I could go on and on and on but lets start here. The time for change has come and the problem is those who control basketball are reluctant to rock the boat! Introducing a National Elite Youth Development Program which works with our most talented prospects year round is step one. Little Lads and ACB are wonderful leagues which offer the masses a platform to learn and play recreationally but neither were created to develop elite players!
They are businesses whose mission is to make money versus nurturing and developing elite players. The sooner we recognize that the existing "club model" is flawed and a new model which should mirror what Canada, China and the USA have recently implemented is the right way forward to reclaiming our position atop the FIBA Rankings!