Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Manolo Cintron Is A Fantastic Coach And Even Better Person

Coaching a National Team is not all glitz and glamour. It's a lot of hard work, the pay is not all that great and the level of scrutiny is excessive and many times far to personal. IPRB has watched Manolo Cintron lead the National Team with grace and dignity. He is a fantastic coach but more importantly a better person. He always seemed to have a bounce in his step and a smile on his face. He's the type of person you want to go to battle with as he always believes he can win and will always support his players.

If in fact the decision has been made to replace him, we at IPRB wanted to thank Cintron for his service, professionalism and sacrifice. He coached the team with a since of pride and style and always wore his heart on his sleeve.

Manolo Cintron is a fantastic Coach but he's an even better person!!!!

Louisville Spokesperson Denies That Pitino Has Accepted Job

Reports this evening out of Louisville contradict that Pitino has accepted the position or that there is a timetable for his decision. Sources close to the negotiation confirmed to IPRB this evening that," things are moving forward and we are confident that the Federation will complete a deal in the very near future."

USC's Fontan To Debut Saturday Against Jayhawks

Jio Fontan has been waiting for this moment his entire life. The 6'1 Junior transfer from Fordham by way of St Anthonys debuts against Josh Selby and the Kansas Jayhawks this Saturday. We brought he and Mike Rosario down in 2009 to play for the 19U National Team. The did pretty well, leading the world in points and assists. Fontan transferred from Fordham to University of Southern California last December and had to sit out until December 18th.

We are sitting down with Fontan before the game to talk shop and get a feel for what is going through his mind as he is about to suit up for his first game as a Trojan.

Abreu To Start Against Minnesota

University of Akron Point Guard, Alex Abreu is only 5'9. Two summers ago he was a 17 year old kid trying to make the 19U National Team that had Raymond Cintron, Mike Rosario, Carlos Lopez and Jio Fontan. On one of the first days of tryouts, we watched Abreu pin 6'10 Carlos Lopez's (now attending UNLV) lay up attempt against the glass and that was only one of many things he did that practice which made everyone in the gym ask, "who is that little guy?"

Fast forward to almost a year ago. Alex was attending a prep/post graduate academy that happened to play some of the top ranked teams which were loaded with big time D1 guards. Abreu destroyed every guard who had a name or reputation including Louisville signee Russ Smith who Abreu torched for 27 points and 5 assists. Once again people in the gym asked, "who is that little guy?"

Abreu started getting interest from big schools including Rutgers, Nebraska and Utah but decided to attend Akron. Akron's Head Coach happened to be Lebron James High School Coach and a friend of Alex's mentor and family friend. Alex visited the school last spring and knew right away that Akron was home.

Abreu said about his visit and experience at Akron, " I knew right away it was home for me. My mom and dad really liked "Coach D" and the way the assistant coaches and team were like a family. I spent the summer out here getting focused, taking some classes and working out.
I could have been relaxing last summer in Puerto Rico but I knew I had work to do.
I got in the gym, got stronger and ran, ran and ran some more. That is clearly the biggest transition from High School to College. I thought I was in shape before I got here and now the season has started I am still not where I need to be but I am getting there."

That commitment showed the coaching staff that Alex was mature beyond his years and provided his performance on the court was consistent with his past performances he may have a chance to get major minutes.

Akron got blown out on Sunday against Temple but Abreu showed signs that he was ready to crack the starting line up with a career high of 11 points. We spoke to him as he was landing in Minnesota. "I'm excited about my progress and I'm officially in the starting line up. Minnesota is a great team with some really good guards. I'm excited and ready to play even though it is -5 degrees out here!"

Abreu's attention to detail and drive will ensure his success no matter what he does or where he does it. This is going to be a breakout game for Alex given the brighter the lights, the bigger he plays.

Minnesota vs Akron, Wednesday!