Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bertancourt Gives Verbal Commitment To University of Akron

Class of 2011 PG, Carmelo Betancourt decided to verbally commit to the University of Akron last night. Betancourt will spend a year at prep school and enroll at Akron in 2012. Betancourt will follow former BMA/CJEOTO point guard, Alex Abreu who started at PG for Akron as a Freshman.

Betancourt spent his senior year at powerhouse Montrose Christian in Rockville, Maryland. The 5'11 guard is widely considered to be one of the top 5 players in the Puerto Rico in the Class of 2011. Betancourt had been getting interest from several high majors including Georgetown, UCLA, Texas Tech and Texas A&M.

"I went on a visit to Akron and I really liked it. Everything out there was like brand new. The school is great, the facilities are awesome and Coach Dambrot and his staff recruited me really hard. My teammates were really cool and we got a lot of talent on that team too. They only have one PG on the team and Alex (Abreu) is going to be like my big brother. At first, I didn't think going out there made sense because Alex was out there and I didn't want to compete with another player from home but it is not like that. We are going to push each other and he will be a Junior when I am a Freshman. Coach Dambrot made it clear that he would put the ball in my hands and give me a chance as a Freshman to get a lot time on the floor," said Betancourt.

Betancourt's decision to attend a mid major is similar to what JJ Barea did several years ago by attending Northeastern. Betancourt's size and game are very similar to JJ and clearly JJ's success this year motivated Carmelo to follow the same path and attend a mid major.

"There is no question that I could have chosen to go to a bigger school in one of the top conferences. That is something every player wants to do at the same time Akron plays in a great conference with really good teams. We made it to the tournament this year too," said Betancourt.

The decision to go to a mid major versus a high major is a tough decision for a lot of players. Many times players get caught up in the hype and trying to impress their friends and family by selecting the most well known school versus the school that best fits their skill level and style of play. Betancourt's performance coach, Todd Washington thinks Betancout made the right decision by selecting Akron.

"Melo has high major talent. There were several high major programs interested in him as a back up PG. And, with the additional year of Prep School he would have gotten several high major offers. The JJ Barea model makes a lot of sense. Go to a smaller school, kill the league and make a name for yourself. This is exactly what Alex Abreu did. Alex had both Utah and Nebraska ready to offer but was smart enough to recognize that Akron is a program on the rise which he could help take to the level. This extra year of prep school will prepare Melo to come and and make a serious contribution. Akron is getting a fantastic player and even better person. He and "Double A" (Alex Abreu) are going to push each other both on and off the floor. Alex had an incredible season and he is probably as excited as anyone that Melo is going to come up there. Aron is a program on the rise and we want to develop a pipeline from Puerto Rico to Akron. Coach D and his staff did a great job with Alex this year and we are all confident that Melo will have the same level of success. " said Washington.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Francisco Lopez Confirms Visit to CSI

Francisco Lopez will take an official visit The College of Southern Idaho this week. Lopez recently graduated from LaSalle High School in Miami and is a qualfier but has not gotten the level of offers a player of his calibur should have received.

"Fransisco is a legit D1 prospect. He is a natural leader, has range out to 22 feet on his jump shot and can get where he wants on the court. Coach Gosar and CSI will get one heck of a player if both sides decide that this is the right situation for him, said Todd Washington, Founder of PR Playmakers.

College of Southern Idaho is the defending NJCAA Division 1 Champion. Considered the "Duke of JUCO", every Division 1 program in the country recruits players from CSI.

JJ Barea Super 60

It's official, JJ Barea announced the camp yesterday and posted a short video confirming his intent to get 60 of the best rising 8th-12th graders together for a three day academy, July 7-10, 2011 at the Olympic Training Facility in Salinas, Puerto Rico. The event is presented by T-MOBILE and will be covered exclusively by www.fivestarbasketball.com.


Below is the link announcing the event including a video of JJ Barea.


http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=199953436718165

Friday, June 10, 2011

College of Southern Idaho Interested In Francisco Lopez

College of Southern Idaho "CSI",is known as the "Duke of Juc". It is widely considered to be the top Junior College program in the country. The won the Division 1 NJCAA Championship last year. Every college in the country recruit from there and they need a PG. If there is one thing Puerto Rico produces it is great point guards. Francisco "Kiko" Lopez is now officially on the CSI radar after Carmelo Betacourt decided to go to prep school instead of accepting an offer to sign with CSI. Lopez just graduated from LaSalle in Miami and would only need to spend one year at CSI since he is a NCAA qualifier. Like so many players from Puerto Rico, Lopez did not get the type of exposure required to interest schools to offer him a scholarship. IPRB confirmed last night that Coach Gosar and Lopez spoke by phone. Lopez could take a visit as soon as next week.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Federacion Plays It Safe and Smart By Selecting Flor Melendez

It was the safe and smart thing to do. By selecting Flor Melendez the Federacion got a proven local coach with "international experience". After the Pitino resignation which was due to "scheduling conflicts" this was the right move for the Federacion for many reasons. To start, Melendez is a well respected coach who has been around the block and knows the competition as well as anyone. Second, there is always the feeling that a foreign coach will not be accepted by many in the local basketball community so selecting a local coach eliminates the "you should have selected a Puerto Rican Coach". Third and probably most importantly, if the Federacion can also get other local legendary coaches to join the team then it goes from be a safe and smart move to a legendary move!

Friday, June 3, 2011

JJ Barea Super 60 Update

IPRB learned earlier today that JJ Barea and his father Jaime Barea are planning to announce the 1st Annual JJ Barea Super 60 which will be held at Albergue Olimpico July 7th-10th and will showcase the Top 60 rising 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th graders from across island. This event will be by invitation only. The event which will be presented by T-Mobile and co-branded and covered digitally on www.fivestarbasketball.com. Many of the top club and high school coaches will be present working the camp. Sources close to the event told IPRB that the official announcement could come as soon as Monday.