Monday, May 23, 2011

Betancourt Would Be Interested In Texas A&M

Carmelo Betancourt graduates from Montrose Christian this week and has yet to decide where he will go to school in the fall. The 5'11 PG, who many think is the next JJ Barea, has several high major schools wanting to offer him for 2012 and more than a dozen mid major schools offering this year. Betancourt has never been in a rush to make decisions and is taking his time before making such an important decision.

Several schools including Georgetown, UCLA, Villanova, Miami and Akron are on Betancourt's list but he has yet to indicate what he plans to do in the fall. Some of those schools do not have any scholarships left so Betancourt was considering attending Prep School for a year. Betancourt has recently qualified with the NCAA Clearinghouse which will allow him to sign and not have to attend Junior College. Defending Junior College National Champion, College of Southern Idaho had offered Betancourt.

Former Memphis Assistant Coach, Glynn Cyprien, accepted a job as an Assistant Coach at Texas A&M yesterday. His first order of business will be to find a PG given the need to bring in a player who can run new Head Coach, Bill Kennedy's system. Cyprien and PR Playmakers Founder, Todd Washington are close friends. Washington reached out to Cyprien suggesting that Cyprien take a close look at Betancourt.

IPRB contacted Washington late this evening.
"I'm happy for Glynn and his family. When I called to congratulate him on the announcement I mentioned to him that I've got a fantastic PG named Carmelo Betancourt who has yet to sign. Cyp had seen incoming West Virginia commit, Gary Browne at Arlington Country Day School who is Carmelo's teammate on the PR National Team. I reminded Coach Cyp that Gary never started at the PG position on the National Team because Carmelo has been holding it down since they were 14. Carmelo is a special kind of player and people have over looked him because he is undersized. With the success VCU's PG, Joey Rodriguez and Dallas Mavericks' PG, JJ Barea, coaches recognizes that being undersized can have its advantages. If Coach Cyp and A&M can get him to commit that would be a major coup. They just don't make them like Carmelo, he's special", said Washington via text this evening.

When contacted by IPRB, Betancourt confirmed his interest in A&M."I don't a lot about Texas A&M except that it is a great school. Coach Cyp put together a great group of players at Memphis and they had success over there. If they are looking for a PG and need someone to come in a run the team, I'm def that guy."

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Robert "Tractor" Traylor Found Dead In His Apartment

Robert "tractor" Traylor was found dead in his apartment in Isla Verde, PR. Traylor was playing professional basketball in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. There are a lot of rumors about how we died and out of respect for him and his family IPRB wants to be 100% accurate about the cause of death. We will post more information as soon as it is confirmed and we are certain it is accurate.

Traylor was one of the nicest guys I've ever met, a gentle giant! Our condolences go out to his family, most especially his children. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Monday, May 9, 2011

JJ Barea Is A Killer and The Pick and Roll Is His Weapon Of Choice

Former Miami Tropics and current Puerto Rican National Team PG, JJ Barea has catapulted from a little know back up for the Dallas Mavericks to arguably the hottest PG in the NBA! We are so happy for him! There is not a more humble and deserving person! Being the student of the game that he is he witnessed Chris Paul create all type of match up issues for the Lakers by running the pick and roll to perfection. Barea saw that and with the prolific shooters the Mavs have it was a wrap for the Lakers in 4! Great players learn from others and then take it to the next level. The pick and roll is arguable the most important exchange between two offensive players. Most coaches don't coach it and most players don't have a clue how to defend it. Those of us who used to watch Karl Malone and John Stockon run the pick and roll back in the late 80 and early 90s wonder how many championship Utah would have won if neither Magic or MJ were in the league.

Put Barea with Amare and Melo in New York with the style of play Mike Diantoni runs and Barea could be an All Star! I doubt if Cuban ever allows that to happen but clearly somebody is gonna have to pay JJ a lot of money for his services!

*We received a note from a reader who reminded us how much trouble the Puerto Rico National Team had defending the pick and roll last summer.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Puerto Rico Recruits Watch To See Who Maryland Selects As New Head Coach

With several top Puerto Rico recruits expected to attend high school in the Washington, DC area many of them are watching closely to see who is announced as the next Head Basketball Coach. Arizona's coach, Sean Miller and Jamie Dixon from Pitt have both decided to stay put.

IPRB has learned that VCU coach, Shaka Smart would serious consider the position if it were offered to him. A source close to Smart told IPRB, " Shaka would have to seriously consider this. He is an incredibly loyal guy and VCU showed him a lot of love with the contract extension but this is Maryland. There is no area in the world that has more talent than in the DC/Baltimore area. People closest to him are telling him that he must take a serious look."

PR Playmakers Founder, Todd Washington who is from Washington, DC and has strong relationships in the local DMV grassroots basketball scene said," Maryland is one of the top jobs in the country. When you talk about the DMV (DC, Maryland and Virginia) you are talking about the best high school basketball and AAU teams in the country. They play in arguably the second best conference in the college basketball and their facilities are top notch. It would be great if they could get Shaka Smart. Maryland would really benefit from hiring a young African American coach. The perception among many in the area is that Maryland is completely out of touch in terms of recruiting."

While Smart is not currently on the list other names mentioned are Brad Stevens (Butler) and Mike Brey (Notre Dame).

Friday, May 6, 2011

UCF Interested In Carmelo Betancourt

IPRB learned earlier today that University of Central Florida may make an offer to Carmelo Betancourt. Betancourt played this year at powerhouse program Montrose Christian. He recently got an offer from Akron and College of Southern Idaho. Questions remain about Betancourts size and speed but many feel he is a steal for a high major program including Montrose Christian's Head Coach, Stu Vetter.

Vetter told IPRB that Betacourt reminded him a lot of Cameron Dollar, who also played for Coach Vetter in the mid 90s and went on the win a National Championship at UCLA. Vetter commented, "Carmelo is everything you want in a point guard and leader. He could come in as a back up and give your starter a rest much like Cameron Dollar had planned to do at UCLA. Remember Tyus Edney from UCLA got hurt and Cameron came and led the team to a National Championship. Carmelo has those same skills and they are almost identical in terms of size."

Betancourt knows he has the talent and skill level to play at the next level and is just waiting for the right situation. UCF may be the perfect fit for Betancourt.

Dave Telep's Article On The NCAA's Ruling Against On Campus Events

Please see the article written by ESPN's Dave Telep
By Dave Telep, ESPN Recruiting
Just shooting 3s...
1. On campus venues a thing of the past

Recently, the NCAA threw a curveball to camp and tournament directors across the country. The NCAA has a particular interest in changing the face of AAU and traveling team basketball and the latest rule is couched under the premise of reducing recruiting advantages for college programs.

Non-scholastic events -- AAU tournaments and camps -- are no longer allowed to be conducted on college campuses. That means events like the Memorial Day weekend Tournament of Champions in North Carolina, has to find alternate gyms and doesn't have much time to do it. Basically, any event that doesn't have high schools teams during the season, cannot be played on a college campus. The NCAA Legislative Council did this in order to reduce recruiting advantages by host schools. In the case of the TOC, North Carolina, Duke and NC State played host to games. We're hearing the TOC will go on, but it'll be spread out over a smattering of high school gyms and non-college basketball facilities.

The caveat to the rule is camps or events with pre-existing contracts with venues will be allowed to continue. That's why you'll see the NBAPA Top 100 Camp continue on Virginia's campus. It's why the LeBron Skills Academy may be at Cleveland State again this year and so on.

My take: college arenas are great venues. We have a finite amount of gyms across the country of this nature. While I understand the concern for the recruiting advantage, I'd like to see college gyms remain open for use for these events. It's really another way for the NCAA to put the squeeze on AAU basketball. You'll notice the new legislation doesn't bar high school teams from playing in college venues, only non-scholastic (Yes, they mean AAU) teams from participating. This is a shot across the bow aimed at the spring and summer grassroots system.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Washington Denies Being Involved In Coaching Search With Federations

By Felipe Perez

Several blogs and mainstream media outlets have been linking Puerto Rico Playmakers Founder and basketball power broker Todd Washington to Coach Calipari's hiring in the Dominican Republic. It has also been reported that Washington was assisting the Puerto Rico Federation in its hiring process. Washington vehemently, denied those reports when contacted by IPRB via text today.

Washington said,""I am not involved in either situation and want the record to be clear. I've worked with both Federations in the past but have nothing to do with either the hiring of Coach Cal in the DR or the new coaching search in Puerto Rico."

It's was reported last week in several blogs that Washington had introduced former, Wake Forest and South Carolina Head Coach Dave Odom, to Federation President, Carlos Beltran and had arranged through Coach Odom for Beltran to speak to both Syracuse Head Coach Jim Boeheim and Team USA and Duke University Head Coach, Mike Krzyzewski. Both coaches allegedly called Beltran in support of hiring Odom as Head Coach of the National Team.

Washington further commented by saying,"Sure I know who Coach Odom is but I do not represent him or the Federation. I don't have a clue what they are doing in terms of finding a head coach. It's really none of my business and I am not involved whatsoever."

Washington's quote is completely inconsistent with information provided to IPRB last week in which Washington supposedly picked Odom as the candidate he decided to lobby to get Carlos Beltran to consider. Other candidates Washington considered recommending included, Former New York Knick and ESPN Commentator, Mark Jackson, Portland Trailblazers' Head Coach, Nate McMillan and former Princeton Head Coach, Pete Carril who is now an Assistant with the Sacramento Kings.

Rumors are circulating that Coach Odom is on island interviewing for the job tomorrow. We will continue to investigate this story and provide updates as new and relevant information becomes available.

Coach Cal To Coach Dominican National Team

IPRB was the first to announce that the Dominican Federation was interested in Coach Cal. The national media soon picked up the story and now it is official. Coach Cal is now officially the Coach of the Dominican National Team.

It's going to be interesting to see what move Puerto Rico makes in respect to their Head Coach.
With Federations making moves across the region including, Jamaica possibly naming former Georgetown Hoya and New Knicks Center Patrick Ewing as their Heach Coach, Puerto Rico's is officially on the clock.

Dominican Federation and Coach Cal Could Announce This Week

IPRB confirmed earlier today from reliable sources that Coach Cal and the Dominican Federation are close to getting a deal done. Three of the the four NBA players who are of Dominican descent including Al Horford, Francisco Garcia and Charlie Villanueva have all agreed to play for the Dominican Team with Trevor Ariza considering joining the team.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

St Johns Preparatory School (Washington, DC) Offers Scholarship To Abdiel Badillo

Fresh off a solid performance at the 2011 Jordan Brand Classic, Class of 2012 SF, Abdiel Badillo has been getting a lot of interest from some of the top Prep Schools on the mainland. It looked like Badillo was in route to Montverde Prep in Orlando when Head Coach, Kevin Sutton resigned. Then there was talk that he would be looking at Oak Hill or Montrose Christian. IPRB learned tonight that St Johns Preparatory School, an elite school in the WMAC League was offering Badillo an opportunity to attend school there in the fall.

St Johns has produced hundreds of D1 players and plays in one of the top leagues in the country along with powerhouse programs, Dematha, Gonzaga, Bishop O'Connell and Archbishop Carroll. Abdiel's performance Coach and Founder of PR Playmakers Todd Washington confirmed St Johns interest by saying," St Johns is an elite academic and athletic institution. The coaching staff led Coach D does a great job turning boys into men. On top of that Abdiel will get a chance to play in one of the top high school basketball conferences in the country. We are excited about placing another player in an elite DC private school."

Badillo would follow Class of 2011 PG, Carmelo Betancourt who spent this year running the point at powerhouse Montrose Christian. Badillo is a 4.0 student which makes it an easy sell to schools even though he is going to be a senior.