Paging Scott Drew: Meech Goodson Just Hit Campus

Posted by rtmsf on May 31st, 2011

We’ve known for some time that former Gonzaga guard Demetri “Meech” Goodson was giving up basketball to return to his home state of Texas and pursue college football with the remainder of his amateur eligibility.  We learned today through The Spokesman-Review (via Fox 26 Houston) that Goodson will end up at Baylor for his two seasons on the gridiron.  Presuming that Bears head coach Art Briles is aware that he’s adding a tremendously athletic 6’0, 175-pounder with a ridiculous first step and quick hands to his roster, Goodson told the television station that he will be enrolled in the Waco school and ready to work out very soon.

Goodson Could Provide Spot Defensive and Leadership Minutes at Baylor

Just get my transcript from Gonzaga shipped over to Baylor.  I shipped it out (Saturday). Once they get all that stuff done, I’ll be there. It’s a great feeling.  I’m excited. A bit nervous because I haven’t played (football) in a while. Once I go and start hitting the weights and learning their system, I’ll be all right.  I could probably go overseas and make some money.  But professionally, football will be a better move for me just because of the number of basketball players who make it and the number of football players. That was basically why I did it.

Considering that there isn’t much of an NBA market for undersized point guards who average five points per game and have trouble shooting the ball from distance (career 20% three-point shooter), this is a fairly enlightened move on Goodson’s part.  With the transfer, not only does he give himself two seasons to fully re-adjust to playing football — the last time he suited up on the field was in 2006, during his sophomore year in high school — but he also joins a Baylor team coming off a 7-6 (4-4 Big 12) season where the depth chart shows only one returning starter at his favored cornerback position.  An opportunity to prove himself against the light-em-up offenses of the conference would enable Goodson a pretty good opportunity to eventually become a future NFL defensive back.  Incidentally, his older brother, Mike Goodson, a considerably bulkier player at 210 lbs., is currently a running back with the Carolina Panthers (see video of a TD last season here).

The intriguing part to this transfer saga between sports is what, if any, effect this might have on Baylor basketball.  The Bears are already settled in the point guard slot for the 2011-12 season with incumbent junior AJ Walton manning the spot and JuCo transfer Pierre Jackson coming in to provide relief.  But what if something goes wrong with one of those two players prior to the 2012-13 season (which, coincidentally, is when Goodson would be eligible to play his fourth and final season of hoops)?  Or, what if Goodson’s foray into football doesn’t go as well as planned (injury, rustiness, etc.)?  Is Scott Drew really going to sit idly by and not accidentally “bump” into Goodson at the athletic training facilities or cafeteria when there’s a proven winner on the hardwood walking around his campus?  Would he not want a seasoned veteran like Goodson in his locker room to provide backup minutes as an athletic defender to close out games? 

Drew has made major waves in his ability to recruit nationally at a school with virtually no basketball tradition, earning commitments from top players such as Perry Jones, III (Duncanville, TX), Deuce Bello (Greensboro, NC), and Quincy Miller (Winston-Salem, NC) in recent years.  Are we really supposed to believe that he doesn’t have the power of persuasion needed to entice Goodson for a final run in the gym?  Only time will tell, but it wouldn’t shock us in the least if we see Goodson suiting up for the Bears in both the primary fall and winter sports two seasons from now. 

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RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Jon Leuer

Posted by KDoyle on May 31st, 2011

Player Name: Jon Leuer

School: Wisconsin

Height/Weight: 6’10/ 228 lbs.

NBA Position: Small/Power Forward

Projected Draft Range: Late First/Early Second Round

Overview: As a freshman playing for Bo Ryan’s Wisconsin Badgers, Leuer often times looked lost on the floor—nearly a “deer in the headlights” type of lost. He is not one of the more athletic big men in this year’s draft—this was especially apparent during his early years as a Badger—but his flawless shot and ability to create his own shot developed into the best parts of his game during his junior and senior seasons at Wisconsin. Standing just shy of seven feet, Leuer plays much closer to a shooting guard or small forward than a center. For his size, he is a below average rebounder—probably because he spends a good deal of time outside of the painted area—but he can tickle the twine with the best of them at his size and position. He has always shot a high percentage from the field (48.2%) and from three (37%), but it is free throw shooting that has markedly improved throughout his career. Leuer will be drafted for his offensive capabilities, so the drastic improvement on his three-point shot and performance from the charity stripe has really improved his stock. As a freshman, he shot a paltry 48% from the line, but this number improved every year (60% as a sophomore, 72% as a junior, and 84% as a senior). When scrutinizing Leuer’s ability to venture beyond the arc and hit a three regularly, he has become a much more polished shooter. During his first three years he was a combined 46-126 (36.5%) from behind the line, but in his final year he significantly upped his output from distance, hitting eight more treys than the previous three seasons combined (54-146 for 37%). The ability to stretch opposing defenses beyond the arc, as well as being able to create his own shot off the dribble (he is quicker and has a better handle than you’d think) makes him a very appealing draft candidate for a team looking to stretch defenses.

Leuer's Size and Skill Set Makes For an Intriguing Prospect

Will Translate to the NBA: Known more for his offense, Leuer will be asked to extend defenses and add a “European-type” offensive flare to his future NBA team. When studying his game, Leuer plays like the traditional European big player would as he is an excellent shooter, a sound defensive player, and has a fundamentally strong understanding of the game. There is always room for shooters in the League—especially big men—so Leuer will have little trouble finding his niche.

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Who’s Got Next? Nike EYBL, Kevin Ware, New Lists and More…

Posted by Josh Paunil on May 31st, 2011

Who’s Got Next? is a bi-weekly column by Josh Paunil, the RTC recruiting guru. We encourage you to check out his website dedicated solely to college basketball recruiting, National Recruiting Spotlight, for more detailed recruiting information. Twice a week he will bring you an overview of what’s going on in the complex world of recruiting, from who is signing where among the seniors to who the hot prospects are in the lower levels of the sport. If you have any suggestions as to areas we’re missing, please let us know at rushthecourt@yahoo.com.

Introduction

Try saying Nike EYBL five times fast — it’s tough, but after this past weekend, it’s fairly easy to write. When the best players in the country come together for a three-day weekend leaving everything on the court because a Peach Jam appearance is on the line, you get the best prep basketball in the country. From excellent shooters to freak athletes to dominant big men, the Los Angeles EYBL had it all this weekend and it also gave us a chance to get some updates from prospects regarding their recruitment. And remember that guy Kevin Ware (yes, this Kevin Ware)? Well, he committed… again.

What They’re Saying

  • Josh Gershon on L.J. Rose‘s (#20) recruitment: “L.J. Rose says UCLA and Texas lead. He’ll visit UCLA on Monday and also check out UT again.”
  • Junior Rodney Purvis (#7) on adding a school to his list: “Adding Coach [Josh] Pastner and the Memphis Tigers to my list of schools….” On the best player in the Class of 2013: “[Power forward] Julius Randle (Watch List) is way better then advertised. Hands down best player in country in his class!.”
  • Lis Mack, mother of senior Kevin Ware, on her son’s commitment to Louisville: “The visit was pretty much the deal closer. We had a comfort level that he developed and he thinks it’ll be a great place for him. On top of the ability to learn and they have a great fan base.”
  • Sophomore standout Jairus Lyles on his favorite school: “I wanna go to Wake Forest… that’s my dream school.”
  • Senior Sidiki Johnson (Arizona) on who he’s recruiting among the sophomores and juniors: “[Class of 2013 shooting guard] Chris Thomas (Watch List), he’s a great player… [Class of 2012 power forward] Danny Dingle out of New York, he’s pretty good… and this kid from California, [Class of 2012 small forward] Shabazz Muhammad (#3), that’s about it.”
  • Sophomore sensation Kuran Iverson (Watch List) on location factoring into his recruitment: “Well, my mom may say something about it, but I don’t really care.”

What We Learned

Kevin Ware Commits… Again. With the drama from the Central Florida recruiting scandal dying down, Class of 2011 shooting guard Kevin Ware committed to Louisville over the weekend. After de-committing from both Tennessee and UCF in the past couple of months, Ware joins a Cardinal class that includes shooting guard Wayne Blackshear (#22), small forward Angel Nunez, power forward Chane Behanan (#35) and center Zach Price. With this addition, Louisville head coach Rick Pitino now has a top ten class and will be moved into either the #8 or #9 slot when I update my 2011 Class Rankings later this week. However, keep in mind that Ware cannot make a binding agreement since the spring signing period ended and what he will be signing is non-binding grant-in-aid papers until he enrolls in classes. This means he has the opportunity to de-commit again without penalty if he chooses to do so (but to see why it’s likely that Louisville is where he’ll attend college, check out what his mother had to say in the “What They’re Saying” section above). Ware is a great athlete who excels in transition and is a tremendous finisher above the rim. He is a spectacular slasher from the wing and has improved his perimeter shooting so it too is respectable now. However, he needs to continue to get better at shooting in both catch-and-shoot situations and off the dribble so he can be a scoring threat in a variety of ways on offense. He can also become a better ball-handler since he commits too many turnovers as the secondary ball-handler. Look for him to be a three to four year player for the Cardinals since despite his fantastic athleticism and raw talent, Pitino could really help him develop into an elite player when he’s an upperclassman. 

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Best Dressed: 1995-2004 Maryland Terrapins

Posted by rtmsf on May 31st, 2011

John Gorman is an RTC contributor.  Every week throughout the long, hot summer, he will highlight one of the iconic uniforms from the great history of the game.  We plan on rolling out 24 of these babies, so tweet your favorites at us @rushthecourt or email us directly at rushthecourt@yahoo.com. This week, we recall the great Maryland uniforms from the mid-90s through the early 2000s.  To see the entire list to date, click here.

Fear the turtle. A phrase that elicits smiles from same mouth which speaks its words, but before 1932, would have never seen the light of day without the help of an inquisitive school paper and a Maryland man named “Curley.”  The campus daily, The Diamondback, called out for a school nickname to replace the “Old-Liners,” a reference to the state nickname. Harry Clifton Byrd, the school football coach affectionately known as “Curley”, answered the call. Curley proposed “Terrapins,” a nod to the Diamondback Terrapin turtle endemic to his Chesapeake Bay hometown of Crisfield. As Byrd moved up to the ranks from football coach to athletic director to university president, the Terrapin was minted, popularized and given an identity.

Maryland Was At Its Hoops Peak in These Uniforms (UM Athletics)

The Diamondback Terrapin is green, gray and white, but the school’s red, white, black and gold model is colored after the alternating Calvert and Crossland emblems that appear on the Maryland state flag. You’ll note if you look closely, this same pattern also provides the inspiration for the mid-field Baltimore Ravens’ crest (which doubles as the team’s secondary logo).  The logo and mascot which appears on the threads, “Testudo,” draws its moniker from an old Roman warfare formation where soldiers would pack together closely, and flank all sides with shields, to protect the formation from incoming arrow attacks. Testudo, fittingly, is Latin for “Tortoise.”

Always an aesthetic pleaser and a huge draw at the box office (former Terps coach Lefty Driesell is commonly credited for starting Midnight Madness), the school’s profile rose considerably in the 1990s, as coach Gary Williams built a consistently competitive program. It was at this time Nike stepped in and did what Nike does: Doctored up the athletic wear to entice the locals to buy.  Nike gave the home whites some pop: A big, bold MARYLAND on the front with even bigger, bolder red numbers, and – the perfect touch – black and gold diamondback trim along the edges, crafting that quintessential snapping-turtle look. Never before has something so slow looked so fast streaking up and down the hardwood.

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Morning Five: 05.31.11 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on May 31st, 2011

  1. The biggest news involving college sports on Monday was the resignation of Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel after ten very successful seasons amidst swirling allegations of misconduct involving at least 28 of his players trading memorabilia for tattoos, marijuana and cash (as reported by SI).  Normally this sort of thing wouldn’t involve this site unless the allegations leaked over to the basketball program, but speculation on Twitter and around the web about whether Tressel may face a show-cause penalty set off a mini-firestorm among several going back and forth over Kentucky’s John Calipari as a basketball equivalent (Searching for Billy Edelin noted several others here).  Calipari himself added a little fuel to the fire with his tweet on Monday night needling “the triumvirate and compadres” for their “radio silence” with respect to positive stories surrounding the Kentucky program, one of which was Brett McMurphy’s piece Monday on Cal’s association with Dick Vitale’s Jimmy V gala recently and his general philanthropy.  Remember the mantra when it comes to Calipari: loved, hated but never ignored.
  2. After quite a few names thrown around in recent days (including the itinerant Larry Brown of all people), Penn State appears closer to making a hire to replace abruptly-departed Ed DeChellis.  Andy Katz reported on Monday that three names were likely candidates — Duquesne’s Ron Everhart, Boston University’s Pat Chambers, and Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Rob Jeter — with Everhart confirmed as interviewing at PSU on Tuesday.  Frankly, Penn State fans would likely be thrilled with any of those three, as each has shown a proven capability of success at the mid-major level, but recruiting a winner to a basketball wasteland with a low (for Big Ten standards) salary will require a rather compelling pitch from AD Tim Curley.
  3. Welcome to next year.  One of the first jobs that new Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin has in front of him is to face the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions in two weeks to answer for allegations that occurred under the previous guy’s direction (a jocular dude named Bruce Pearl; remember him?).  The Vols don’t expect that any probation ultimately coming their way will involve a postseason ban, but they expect to at least lose a scholarship for a year or two and have some restrictions placed on his recruiting.  We’re not sure exactly what Martin will be asked to say at this hearing other than “yes, sir” and “no, sir,” but we’re quite certain that he’ll be hoping all the while that his appearance at this sort of thing in Indianapolis will be his last.
  4. Mike DeCourcy writes about the five teams that he believes have a pretty good shot at ending NCAA Tournament droughts next season.  We won’t spoil the surprise other than to say that Ivy League fans based in Cambridge are not going to be happy with their exclusion from this list — 66 years!  Truthfully, though, his five are eminently reasonable, although choosing Northwestern to come through is probably just as dubious as referencing John Harvard’s school on any kind of such list.
  5. An elite Class of 2012 guard named RJ Hunter from Indianapolis recently committed to Georgia State over notable BCS-level schools Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and Iowa.  Um, why would a player receiving offers from those schools commit to Georgia State?  Turns out that the school had a bit of an advantage in his recruiting process — his father, Ron Hunter, recently took the head coaching job at GSU in Atlanta after nearly two decades at IUPUI.  RJ said that Bryce Drew’s experience playing for his dad, Homer, at Valparaiso had an influence on his decision, and we’ve seen in recent years as Ray McCallum, Jr., and Trey Ziegler both had successful freshman seasons playing for their old men at mid-majors Detroit and Central Michigan, respectively, last year.  Good for him.
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RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Kawhi Leonard

Posted by rtmsf on May 30th, 2011

Over the course of the next month until the NBA Draft on June 23, RTC will be rolling out comprehensive profiles of the 35 collegians we feel have the best chance to hear their names called by David Stern in the first round that night. There won’t be any particular order to the list, but you can scroll back through all the finished profiles by clicking here.

Player Name: Kawhi Leonard

School: San Diego State

Height/Weight: 6’6, 227 lbs.

NBA Position: Combo Forward

Projected Draft Range: Mid- to Late Lottery

Overview: In his two seasons under Steve Fisher at San Diego State, Leonard took the Mountain West by storm. He won the MWC Tournament MVP as a freshman after grabbing 21 rebounds in the championship game, then backed that up by notching a second-team All-American spot as a sophomore. Leonard didn’t really bloom until his senior year of high school, and even then was still just the 56th-best prospect in the nation (according to ESPNU), but he averaged over ten rebounds per game in his time on the Mesa and developed into a versatile full-court threat, capable of pulling down a monster rebound over a seven-footer on the defensive end, turning and pushing the ball upcourt and either finishing at the rim, pulling up for a midrange jumper or finding a teammate on the break. Despite measuring out at an underwhelming 6’6, Leonard is plenty long enough to play the power forward in the NBA, with a 7’3 wingspan and a 8’10 standing reach. However, Leonard’s terrific ballhandling skills, ever-improving jumper and ability to defend a wide range of offensive players means he is just as capable of playing the three at the next level. In fact, at SDSU, Leonard was most often seen working out with the guards rather than the big men. Leonard’s athletic testing at the NBA Combine returned some very average numbers (just a 32.5-inch vertical leap and just three reps at 185 pounds), but Leonard’s frame can definitely get stronger and he’s done just fine so far without jaw-dropping leaping ability.

Kawhi Leonard Led SDSU To Its Best Season Ever

Will Translate to the NBA: Leonard’s versatility gives him any number of ways to help out his future team. A tenacious defender, capable of guarding the two, three or four spot, he could develop into a lockdown caliber player. And his rebounding isn’t going anywhere, as he’ll be at least the equal of most fours in the league on the glass, while immediately putting his name in the hat for best rebounding small forward on the planet. Throw in the fact that Leonard is a tireless worker both on and off the floor and he’s got a very bright future.

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Around The Blogosphere: May 30, 2011

Posted by nvr1983 on May 30th, 2011

If you are interested in participating, send your submissions to rushthecourt@gmail.com as we will be updating these posts throughout the day.

General News

  • Heels Add Gardner-Webb Transfer: “Gardner-Webb point guard Luke Davis, a Raleigh, NC native, will be transferring to UNC and join the basketball team as a walk-on.” (Tar Heel Fan)

Analysis

  • Indiana holding UK’s spot in 2012 Class Rankings: “Indiana is taking the anti-UK approach to the rebuilding of their program, and now Tom Crean may actually be tripping into a top class.” (Kentucky Sports Radio)
  • Larry Drew and the Wear Twins Talk to the L.A. Times, Explain Little: A response from a UNC blog to a LA Times story of the weekend that some have used to criticize the Tar Heel program. (Carolina March)
  • An examination of the performance of Rick Barnes’ offenses: Taking a look at how Texas has performed offensively using advanced metrics while Barnes has been in Austin. (Burnt Orange Nation)
  • Our Look at the Indiana Elite Story: A breakdown of the potential recruiting scandal. (Boiled Sports)
  • A Post-Deadline Look at the Big East: Villanova Wildcats: Can the Wildcats bounce back after a horrific end to last season? (Casual Hoya)
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Morning Five: Memorial Day Edition

Posted by rtmsf on May 30th, 2011

Happy Memorial Day to everyone around the country, whether you’re honoring our fallen soldiers and/or the family members who are no longer with us. It’s a day worthy of reflection and memory, and we hope that your day will be spent in equal parts pouring out an ounce of liquor and cooking up some tasty barbecue.  After all, life is here to be lived, even while we’re remembering those who are gone.

  1. As if five full days of the hoops extravaganza known affectionately as the Big East Tournament wasn’t already enough, Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said late last week that he wants to see the tournament expand to 17 teams (or further upon additional expansion) when TCU formally enters the league in 2012-13.  His justifications — that teams (such as UConn last year) can win five games, and that every player in the conference deserves a chance to play in the Garden at the league’s marquee event — sound reasonable enough to us.  Although the idea of a #16 vs. #17 play-in game between DePaul and TCU on Monday night seems about as enticing as talking derivative markets over at the Harvard Club.  The setup Boeheim suggests, though, would be more workable if the league ultimately expands to 20 teams and could have a “First Four” of its own then.
  2. Speaking of Big East expansion, maybe someday soon the University of Memphis will get a long-desired invitation to the league, but in the meantime we’ll have to settle for a home-and-home series between the Tigers and longtime rival and nemesis Louisville scheduled to begin next season at the KFC Yum! Center.  The two schools who battled for decades in the old Metro Conference and later in Conference USA (when it was still relevant) have not played in six years since Louisville left CUSA (the infamous Darius Washington game) but, needless to say, the two are still not friendly.  This will be a great series, and we hope that even if Memphis doesn’t join the Big East in the coming few years, that the two will continue this series indefinitely.
  3. Say what you want about Dick Vitale as an announcer past his prime or a shameless homer for certain east coast schools where he’s friendly with the head coaches… but never question the man’s commitment to improving the lives of the people around him through his relentless advocacy to fight cancer in his role as a spokesman for the Jimmy V Foundation.  As Andy Staples writes in this piece on Friday, Vitale has leveraged his name within the sporting community to raise over $100M at his gala in just the last six years, a ridiculous number in philanthropic contributions when you think about it.  Someday, when this very site or its replacement is writing the obit for one Richard Vitale, the first sentence shouldn’t mention the word ESPN, or Duke, or even basketball — it should focus on the consuming passion that he has given into the fight against cancer and how his tireless efforts in the “fourth quarter” of his life helped make the world a better place.
  4. The LA Times published a piece over the weekend examining the odd situation of three southern California kids all returning back home to play for UCLA after spending at least one season all the way across the country at UNC.  Larry Drew II, Travis Wear and David Wear each returned to LA after finding Chapel Hill not to their liking for one reason or another, and are looking to regain some of the form that made each of them elite recruits coming out of high school.  Considering that very few players leave Roy Williams’ teams to transfer elsewhere (only seven in over 20 years of head coaching), it’s a weird coincidence that four of those players came from the sunny skies and endless avenues of Los Angeles (Alex Stepheson was the other).  Good news for Tar Heel fans: none of the players on the 2011-12 UNC roster is from SoCal.
  5. It continues to amaze us that South Park is still on the air, but it is, and it continue to push the envelope with its politically incorrect jabs at just about everything anyone considers holy and sacred.  It’s been a long time since anyone considered the NCAA sacrosanct, but SP’s recent episode, “Crack Baby Athletic Association” skewers the governing organization in a parody that likens modern student-athletes to slaves in a for-profit scheme run by a select few.  South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s alma mater, the University of Colorado, comes off as particularly complicit in this show as the school the boys visit in an attempt to ply their exploitative trade.  We could go on, but don’t take our word for it — the entire unedited episode is here.
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RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Darius Morris

Posted by rtmsf on May 29th, 2011

Over the course of the next month until the NBA Draft on June 23, RTC will be rolling out comprehensive profiles of the 35 collegians we feel have the best chance to hear their names called by David Stern in the first round that night. There won’t be any particular order to the list, but you can scroll back through all the finished profiles by clicking here.

Player Name: Darius Morris

School: Michigan

Height/Weight: 6’5, 190 lbs.

NBA Position: Point Guard

Projected Draft Range: Mid- to Late First Round

Overview: Few prospects in this year’s NBA Draft pool were virtually unknown commodities this time last year, but Darius Morris is one of those such players.  He entered Michigan not even a top 100 player in the Class of 2009 (according to RSCI Hoops), and after averaging a mere 4.4 PPG and 2.6 APG during his freshman season in Ann Arbor, he was considered a promising player with a steep learning curve ahead of him.  Something clicked much sooner than expected by anybody, though, as the sophomore not only tripled his scoring average to 15.0 PPG and his assist average to a Big Ten-leading 6.7 APG, he also led the Wolverines back to the NCAA Tournament after a one-year absence, dominating Tennessee before losing a tight Third Round game to #1 seed Duke.  Morris flirted with returning to Michigan for another year, but he instead decided to strike while his iron was hot; at 6’5, he has prototypical size for an NBA point guard and he’s already shown a demonstrated ability to lead a team from that position.  In this year’s draft pool, he falls a notch below the Kyrie Irving/Brandon Knight/Kemba Walker/Jimmer Fredette crew, but with his size and proven ability to penetrate, score and act as a distributor, someone in the bottom third of the first wound will undoubtedly pick him up.

Darius Morris Floored People With His Improvement Last Season

Will Translate to the NBA:  As mentioned above, his size is exactly what NBA general managers love to see in a point guard — he stands 6’5 with a wingspan that ranks among the best of that position.  This size and his innate aggressiveness will translate very well at the next level because he gets to the cup very well and has the length and ability to finish the play in traffic.  There’s also something to be said for his extremely quick developmental arc, suggestive of a hunger to learn and work on his game that usually cannot be taught.

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Who’s Got Next? Illegal Benefits, Kentucky Spotlight, Shabazz Muhammad and More…

Posted by Josh Paunil on May 27th, 2011

Who’s Got Next? is a bi-weekly column by Josh Paunil, the RTC recruiting guru. We encourage you to check out his website dedicated solely to college basketball recruiting, National Recruiting Spotlight, for more detailed recruiting information. Twice a week he will bring you an overview of what’s going on in the complex world of recruiting, from who is signing where among the seniors to who the hot prospects are in the lower levels of the sport. If you have any suggestions as to areas we’re missing, please let us know at rushthecourt@yahoo.com.

Introduction

Well, if you haven’t learned yet after the Kevin Ware situation or the Tony Wroten, Jr., drama, the world of college basketball recruiting is nothing without another scandal to fill headlines. It’s also nothing without a big-time commitment happening soon after a de-commitment and the recruiting world certainly can’t live without more news about top five prospects and the rippling affect of other commitments. If you haven’t been able to tell yet, a lot happened in just the past few days in the recruiting world… and we haven’t even started previewing one of the most significant AAU events that will happen all summer.

What They’re Saying

Rodney Purvis tweeted about Ryan Harrow's transfer.

  • Junior Rodney Purvis (#6) on Ryan Harrow’s transfer to Kentucky: “Harrow’s decision doesn’t change my outlook on UK at all. Unless coach tells me otherwise!”
  • Junior Kyle Anderson (#22) on Harrow transferring to the Wildcats: “Ryan Harrow not going to St. John’s keeps them on my list.”
  • Mauricio Ducuara, the head of a basketball foundation in Bogotá, on Hanner Mosquera-Perea (#23) receiving illegal benefits: “People with whom I have spoken said he has received lots of gifts [and] things. If you knew how Hanner grew up the people don’t even have shoes. Hanner came home at Christmas with iPods, iPhones, [Bose] headphones digital cameras. Things that for a kid are impossible.”
  • Baylor assistant coach Mark Morefield : “I guarantee u if he (Perea) does [commit to another school] he will be in Colombia for the spring and summer and next year. Don’t forget it.”
  • Junior Justin Anderson (#45) on why he committed to Virginia: “The Cavaliers were always my second choice behind Maryland. Also, my family lives in Virginia. After the departure of Coach [Gary] Williams and Coach [Robert] Ehsan, it just feels like the right fit.”
  • Junior Archie Goodwin (#19) on other top prospects’ effect on his recruitment: “My friends that are top players are: Rasheed Sulaimon; Shabazz Muhammad; Isaiah AustinRicardo Ledo… [and] Rodney Purvis. When it comes to colleges, we’ll talk about what the coaches told us and see if anything was said different by each other. We’ll compare them that way, but I don’t think it’ll make us decide then and there what we’re gonna do with that school.”
  • Omar Calhoun Sr., junior Omar Calhoun Jr.’s father, on Jim Calhoun potentially retiring: “We believe in UConn and it’s still going to be UConn. We still feel like Coach Calhoun is still going to have a major part still in the development in the program even if he’s not the head coach.”
  • Junior Ricardo Ledo (#9) on the current state of his recruitment: “I don’t have a list, it’s not down to four, I am wide open.”
  • Sophomore Isaiah Lewis on Kentucky and his list: “I really like Kentucky a lot. I think I can play at UK under Coach [John] Calipari and the rest of the coaching staff. I think they can do a great job of coaching me up and getting me to the next level; but I also like other schools, like UConn, Arizona, Kansas, West Virginia, Florida and Florida State right now.”

What Shabazz Muhammad is Saying

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The RTC Interview Series: One on One With Tim Abromaitis

Posted by rtmsf on May 27th, 2011

Rush The Court is back with another edition of One on One: An Interview Series, which we will bring you periodically throughout the offseason. If you have any specific interview requests or want us to interview you, shoot us an email at rushthecourt@yahoo.com.

In a culture of one-and-dones and low academic performance ratings, it is always refreshing when there is an instance of a student-athlete who gets the job done on the playing court and goes above and beyond in the classroom. Notre Dame forward Tim Abromaitis thoroughly fits the description of one of those instances. Abromaitis has been a starting forward for Mike Brey’s Fighting Irish for the past two seasons and he flourished on the court as the team’s second leading scorer in both seasons as a starter. While it is well-known that Notre Dame carries stringent academic requirements for their student-athletes, the Big East Scholar-Athlete of the Year’s academic career is among the most impressive of all the students on the South Bend campus.  The  Unionville, Connecticut, forward graduated cum laude from the Mendoza School of Business (Business Week’s top rated undergraduate business school for the past two years) in just three years. Following his graduation, he enrolled in the school’s ultra-competitive one-year MBA program and will continue to take courses in 2011-12, his final season as a member of the Fighting Irish program.  RTC correspondent Walker Carey recently had the pleasure of speaking to Abromaitis about his remarkable academic career and the plans for his future.

Abromaitis is a Beast Both On and Off the Court

Rush the Court: For two years straight, Notre Dame has had the top-rated undergraduate business school in the country. Tell me a little bit about your major and the challenges you faced in such a competitive classroom setting.

Tim Abromaitis: As an undergraduate finance major, I took a variety of classes in the area such as Behavioral Finance and Investment Theory. With high-level classmates, it meant that courses would progress at a high speed and you had to stay on top of your game for every class.

RTC: Graduating in four years is an accomplishment, but graduating in three? How were you able to accomplish that? What was your workload like? Was it difficult to balance academics with basketball?

TA: Part of the reason why I was able to graduate early was the fact that I had a lot of credits from high school advanced placement tests. In addition to this, being on campus with the team for summer school and usually taking the normal full load of courses meant that I was able to graduate a year ahead of schedule. Balancing academics and basketball was challenging at times, especially when we would be traveling and missing classes. I have learned to manage my time well and focus on the right things to get the job done on the court and in the classroom.

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Around The Blogosphere: May 27, 2011

Posted by nvr1983 on May 27th, 2011

If you are interested in participating, send your submissions to rushthecourt@gmail.com as we will be updating these posts throughout the day.

General News

  • Ryan Harrow Chooses Kentucky, Eligible to Play in 2012: “With his commitment to Kentucky, Harrow gives the Wildcats their de facto point guard for the 2012 class, and it is now doubtful that Calipari will choose to pursue any other high school options at that position.” (A Sea of Blue)
  • DeAndre Liggins Part of ESPN Investigative Report about Indiana Elite & IU: Liggins may be at the center of an investigation that could leave Indiana in quite a bit of trouble. (A Sea of Blue)
  • ESPN on Indiana Elite, Hanner Perea and A-Hope: The same investigation could jeopardize Perea’s eligibility. (Inside the Hall)
  • The Hoyas Are Going to China and You’re Invited!!!: Preliminary details of Georgetown’s trip to China this summer. (Casual Hoya)
  • An interesting quote from DeAndre Liggins: The former Wildcats suggests that John Calipari was more willing to let the star recruits have an opportunity to shine than others on the team. (Kentucky Sports Radio)

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