Who’s Got Next? Pangos All-American Camp, UNC Spotlight, Twitter Trouble and More…

Posted by Josh Paunil on June 3rd, 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

Last week it was the Nike EYBL, this week it’s the Pangos All-American Camp. Last week Class of 2012 small forward Shabazz Muhammad (#3) got his own section and this week Class of 2013 power forward Julius Randle (Watch List) gets his own section. Last week Class of 2012 point guard L.J. Rose (#20) named UCLA as a favorite and this week he elaborated on that. As you can tell, there are a lot of parallels between last week’s column and this week’s column but there are some things (or should I say people) that weren’t mentioned in the previous Who’s Got Next? column: Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Wilt Chamberlain, Moses Malone, Kareem Abdul-Jabar, Candace Parker and ‘The Jewish Jordan”… not to mention a Twitter recruiting scandal.

What They’re Saying

Junior Brandon Ashley (#4) looks to cut his list in the next couple of weeks.

  • Junior Brandon Ashley (#4) on when he will make his decision: “I’m hoping to cut everything down in the next two or three weeks, maybe to a top ten, make my decision probably in the early signing period.”
  • Junior Rodney Purvis (#7) on his list of schools: “Duke, Kentucky, Louisville, North Carolina State and Memphis.” On what position he’ll play in college: “Most of the coaches I’ve talked to feel I’ll be most successful as a combo guard.”
  • Junior L.J. Rose (#20) on why he took a visit to UCLA this past weekend: “I’ve built a great relationship with [UCLA] head coach Ben Howland.”
  • Junior Elijah Macon on the schools recruiting him the hardest: “Miami, Maryland, West Virginia and South Florida are on me hard.”
  • Sophomore standout Solomon Poole on what he’s looking for in a college: “First, academics. You can’t get anywhere without that. And a coach that makes you better. I want him to tell me what I’m doing wrong.”
  • Fantastic Freshman Trey Gundy on his favorite school: “I’m a Kentucky fan, I want to go to UK for college. I am going to keep my options open and see what’s best for me, but I bleed blue.”
  • IMG Academy head coach Andy Borman on when senior DeAndre Daniels will commit: “There is no timetable.”

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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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ATB: The Season’s First RTC?

Posted by rtmsf on December 10th, 2010

The Lede.  To RTC or to not RTC, that is the question.  Tonight Temple “upset” Georgetown in a battle between two teams that began the season a little over a month ago at essentially the same ranking.  Since that time, the Hoyas have shot up the rankings into the top ten, while the Owls have fallen out after losing games to California and Texas A&M in the Old Spice Classic.  Still, it’s not exactly as if Georgetown rose to #1 and Temple has been a huge disappointment this year.  In the eyes of most folks who cover this game regularly (and Vegas, who set the line at 1.5 points), the teams came into tonight roughly equal.  The Hoyas might have a bit more upside than the Owls, but everyone expected a close game and both teams are considered dangerous possibilities to do some damage in March.  Apparently the Temple students weren’t hearing it.  Acting like they’d just beaten Big John, Pat Ewing and Reggie Williams at the height of Hoya Paranoia, the Owl fans spilled out of the student section when Austin Freeman’s 50-foot shot went 60 feet, covering the Liacouras floor with what we believe to be the season’s first RTC within seconds.  What’s the basis — an unranked team defeating a top ten squad?  A close game that came down to the final shot?  Does it matter that the two programs are not that far apart in talent or relative stature this year?  Do Georgetown’s Final Fours, national title, and Big East pedigree make a difference?  These and other questions must be considered when making a determination on whether fans should rush the court, but it ultimately comes down to the simplest of analyses — feel.  We’ve been doing these things for a while, and while we love the uniqueness of a great court-rush and  the unabashed excitement of a student body sharing the joy of victory with its team, tonight’s Temple RTC just didn’t feel right.  You may disagree, but that’s our stance.  But let’s hear what you have to say — was Temple’s RTC tonight warranted?

Your Watercooler MomentThe first verified RTC of the 2010-11 season, of course.  Whether appropriate or not, we still recognize it.  The first two students who can verify they were a part of tonight’s court-rush at Liacouras Center will receive an RTC t-shirt in your team’s colors.  Email us at rushthecourt@yahoo.com or hit us on Twitter @rushthecourt.

Tonight’s Quick Hits…

  • Atlantic 10. Temple’s win over Georgetown in addition to Xavier’s tough victory over Butler resulted in a memorable night for the A-10.  The conference has had a bit of a rough start to the season, with no team having fewer than two losses at this point and traditional power XU struggling.  Still, the Owls and Musketeers in one night did much to raise the overall profile of the league, especially on an otherwise light night of hoops across the country.
  • Ramone Moore. With teammates Juan Fernandez (7 points on 2-8 FG) and Lavoy Allen (6 points on 2-9 FG) struggling offensively tonight, it was the unheralded Moore who came up with a huge career-high 30-point game on 12-18 shooting to give coach Fran Dunphy his 400th career win.  Moore has emerged as a solid scoring option on the wing this year (14.5 PPG), picking up for the departed Ryan Brooks.
  • Jared Sullinger’s 40.  Now especially true with Kyrie Irving on the shelf at Duke with a toe injury, but we chafed a little bit when we kept hearing that Irving was without question the best frosh in the land.  That hadn’t been proven yet.  Both Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger and Terrence Jones at Kentucky have looked equally fantastic, and tonight’s 40/13 on 12-17 FGs and 16-23 FTs for Sully definitely catapulted the Buckeye big man to the top of the list.  He played the game with his recently-passed uncle in mind, and when Sullinger puts his mind to it there is nobody in college basketball who can stop him on the interior.

…and Misses.

  • Kenny Boynton’s Three-Pointers.  If we were Billy Donovan, we’d set some kind of a limit on Boynton’s three-point gunning.  Something like, if he hasn’t hit his first two of the game, he doesn’t get to take any more that night.  After another 1-8 night from beyond the arc (coming on the heels of an 0-6 vs. American, an 0-3 vs. UCF, a 2-7 vs. Florida Atlantic and a 2-8 vs. Morehead State), possessions that end with Boynton firing a long bomb are almost as good as turnovers.  The sophomore guard takes 56% of his shots from deep, yet he only makes 23% of them!  How’s that for expected value?
  • Butler’s In Trouble.  Now with a 4-4 record after tonight’s close loss at Xavier, the Bulldogs are facing a serious uphill climb simply to make it back to the NCAA Tournament where they were the runner-up last season.  Other than the Diamond Head Classic, they will not face another likely Tourney team the rest of the way, unless you want to count HL member Cleveland State (11-0) as a possibility.  Butler has an RPI of #36 right now, but it will inevitably slip the farther into the Horizon League they get.  You’d have to figure that in order to have a reasonable chance at an at-large bid in March (presuming they fail to win the HL again), they’re going to have to beat Stanford and Utah handily, perform well in the DHC and then rip through the Horizon with a 17-1 record or similar.  The lack of a game-changing scorer like Gordon Hayward is really hurting them right now — Shelvin Mack had a tremendous summer, but he’s struggled with his shot and nobody else beyond the known commodity Matt Howard has stepped up.

Tweet of the Night.  We don’t like his chosen reference to “court-storming,” but our sentiment is the same.

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It Wasn’t Me…

Posted by rtmsf on March 7th, 2009

Some interesting RTC stories from the last couple of nights.  RTC stories – as in actual “rushing the court” stories, as opposed to the normal tripe that we throw on here every day.

First, let’s re-visit the amazing Penn St. comeback win over Illinois Thursday night (let’s also forget about today’s result in Iowa City).  We mentioned in our ATB that night that PSU’s RTC was “quick.  No hesitation.  Straight to the middle of the floor.  Immediate bedlam.”  It was an awesome scene, as shown below.

But apparently admidst all the chaos, Penn St. star Talor Battle, he of the game-winning floater, got taken out, as in knocked to the floor, by the throng of people rushing onto the court.  Someone snapped a photo immediately prior to the student immersion of the court into a maelstrom of sweaty whiteness, and they captured this guy grabbing Battle as the bedlam began.

penn-st-talor-battle-rtc

Very soon thereafter, Battle was knocked on his back, and the author of this PSU hoops blog, Crispin and Cream, starting taking some heat for representng the closest visual evidence of assault/battery while Battle was still standing.  Andy Katz even mentioned the scene on his blog on Friday. So last night, he responded with a Zapruder-esque recount of his steps throughout the RTC process, including detailed exculpatory evidence as to how he could not have possibly been the reason that Battle fell down.   Read on:

I’m asking you all to watch the ESPN evidence for yourself in super slow motion if you can and make your own analysis. Don’t watch Battle or me, watch everyone else. As soon as our scene occurs, while Battle’s falling, you’ll see another black guy in a black jacket to Battle’s right rising up. He was getting up from his fall, but he wasn’t the one who started it all. The real culprit has yet to make his appearance.

OJ?  Hey, we couldn’t tell a damn thing from that video, but there’s one quote that keeps ringing in our heads here.  Methinks thou doth protest too much.  Or the Shaggy song, whichever.

There was actually one other RTC-related story, and this one comes from the Ivy League of all places!  An RTC when Cornell clinched its second consecutive NCAA bid last night led to a computer getting smashed and a scoring error that resulted in the final score getting changed well after the fact.  Take it easy out there, RTCers!

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