Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Roy Moreno Leaves TAAG Academy and Returns To Puerto Rico

Class of 2011 SF Roy Moreno had his ups and downs this year. The 6'4 SF left Puerto Rico Powerhouse, St. Francis and decided to attend TAAG Academy. Many close to Moreno thought it was an unwise decision but Moreno decided to attend anyway.

TAAG academy is part of a new breed of basketball post graduate programs that seem to be sprouting up all over the country. Here today, gone tomorrow these "academies" are not traditional schools rather places where players can go to develop their games and showcase their talents. Not all Post graduate programs are failure and some do a heck of a job providing opportunities for players to graduate, qualify and showcase their talents.

Moreno started his senior season off strong with an All Tournament Select in the highly competitive College of Southern Idado Tournament which had several top prep school and junior college players competing in the event. Moreno showed an ability to play at a very high level and created a nice buzz.

Soon after that performance, Moreno injured his knee and had to sit out the reminder of the season. While sitting out and rehabbing his knee, several of his teammates got caught stealing and were expelled. The program felt apart shortly thereafter and Moreno came back to PR to finish school online and rehab his knee.

"I had some good experiences while I was at TAAG and got to play against a lot of really good players. I proved that I an play at a really high level. I'm back in PR doing my classes online and rehabbing. My knee feels great and I'm almost back to being 100 percent", said Moreno via text message.

PR Playmakers Founder Todd Washington says this is a cautionary tale and both parents and players need to be careful when deciding what school to attend. "We tried as hard as we could to discourage Roy from attending TAAG. When making a decision to leave a really good situation like he was in at St. Francis it only makes sense if you going to go play for a superior program. Leaving just for the sake of leaving is never a wise decision and in many cases what happened to Roy is the norm. Roy is a great kid who will use this experience as a learning lesson. He's a hard worker and part of the PRP Family. We were disappointed that he did not accept the advice we offered but we don't turn our back on kids who make bad decisions. Roy needs a couple of years at a JUCO and he will be a great addition to a mid major program."

Several In Class of 2011 Have Yet To Sign

With the NCAA Late Signing Period about a month away, several of players in the Class of 2011 have yet to sign an NCAA Letter of Intent which is required when accepting a scholarship offer. Several players decided to attend a school on the mainland with hopes of increasing their exposure and playing against the top players in the country.

Carmelo Betancourt, Gary Browne Ramirez, Rasham Suarez, Gabriel Anglero and Roy Moreno all decided to leave PR and attend school on the mainland while other top players like Giancarlo Santiago stayed and had great seasons playing for local schools.

Suarez who has been attending schools in the states since his Freshman year signed early with Georgia Southern. Both Browne and Betancourt have garnered a lot of interest from top 20 colleges and universities yet neither has secured an offer. Anglero did not get the playing time he expected but had a solid year and is getting looks by several D2 and D3 schools. Moreno got injured during the season after having a strong start. IPRB spoke with a high school recruiting expert, who said, " Both Browne and Betancourt proved they can play at a high level and compete against the best players in the country. Big East power, West Virginia has shown serious interest in Browne and Miami, Mississippi State and Alabama recently expressed in interest as well. There is a long list of mid major schools interested in Browne. Betancourt had a very solid season at Montrose and schools like Georgetown, Davidson, and UCF have expressed interest in Betancourt along with a long list of mid majors.

Since both of these players were not on the recruiting scene until this year coaches have been paying close attention to both. Both of these guys are fantastic players and should be considered a steal for any program that signs them.

"Gary and Melo had great years and played for Top 20 programs. This was an important experience for them, to compete at the highest level and get accustomed to competing for playing time. We try to tell all of our guys that this is going to be a reality for them moving forward. When players advance from one level to the next they encounter a higher level of competition. For a lot of our players in PR they have been "the man" since they were like 9 or 10 years old. They have never competed for playing time and are accustomed to being one of the best players on the court every time they play. Making that transition is not easy but it is necessary if they are going to play D1 ball. The same is true for guys like Anglero and Moreno. All four of these guys are great players and fantastic young men. They have all improved, matured off the court and learned a tremendous amount spending a year away from home."