There's a buzz at the adidas ABCD camp about Rutgers University basketball that starkly contrasts the way the program was perceived a year ago. Last July, newly hired coach Gary Waters was criticized at this annual summer showcase for being slow to introduce himself to New Jersey's high school basketball community.
What some Amateur Athletic Union coaches and players didn't realize then was that Waters was focusing energy on academic issues surrounding his new team.
"I knew we were going to have some backlash with that," Waters said during Tuesday's 18th annual ABCD camp at Fairleigh Dickinson University's Rothman Center. "But I thought getting the program started was more important than going out and chasing kids. I'm a believer that if your house isn't in order, people don't want to come to your house."
Rutgers suddenly appearing on top players' radar screens
Rutgers freshman Cappie Pondexter (Chicago, IL) was one of 12 finalists named by USA Basketball for its 2002 World Championship For Young Women (20-and-under) Qualifying Team, the group announced today.
Pondexter Makes Final Cut for USA Basketball Team
Basketball - Prospects
Several players from the Tim Thomas Playaz AAU team could end up at the same college. But it doesn't seem Rutgers has any advantage in the recruiting war for Darryl Watkins and Marquis Webb of Paterson Catholic, Jamar Nutter of Seton Hall Prep and Terrence Roberts of St. Anthony.
All four are attending the 17th Adidas ABCD Camp at Fairleigh Dickinson's Rothman Center in Hackensack, which continued yesterday and runs through tomorrow.
Rutgers has no lock on Playaz
Terrence Roberts drove the lane and made a bounce pass to a teammate, who passed it back. Roberts quickly made another pass to his teammate, who passed it back to set up his third easy dunk of the game.
The 6-foot-8 forward from St. Anthony of Jersey City has made it look surprisingly easy during the first two days of the ABCD Camp, continuing to strengthen his reputation as one of the camp's all-star performers and a major-college recruit.
"He's just getting better and better and better, and he's playing terrific here," said Tom Konchalski, one of the East's foremost talent evaluators.
N.J.'s star in making
Sebastian Telfair's most famous relative, Stephon Marbury, says he thinks his second cousin will follow him from Coney Island to the pros.
"He's an NBA player," Marbury said Tuesday at the ABCD Camp, where he came to watch Telfair. "We're not talking about him making it or not making it. It's just whether he goes No. 1, 2, 3, or 4 [in the draft]. He's going to make it if he stays on this path."
Others from Marbury's family -his brother, Zach, and Telfair's brother, Jamel Thomas - enjoyed the same ballyhoo and tried the same road but found it full of bumps. It convinced the 17-year-old Telfair that the topsy-turvy world of hoops has steeper inclines and declines than the Cyclone roller coaster.
Marbury's cousin forging his own way
For 90 minutes on Sundays, Kendrick Perkins slips on his custom-fitted cassock, ambles his long frame up the steps of Our Mother of Mercy church and sits down next to the priest for services. At 6-11 and as the consensus No. 2 high school basketball player in the country, he's the closest person in Beaumont, Texas, to God.
Perkins has faith in his game
In its recruiting efforts this offseason, St.John's is trying to get big. In his effort to make a reputation for himself this summer, Lamont Hamilton is trying to get small. And now the program and the player have found themselves to be a good fit.
Hamilton, a 6-9 power forward from downtown Brooklyn, said yesterday he has accepted a scholarship from St. John's. He says that by the time he arrives on campus in Queens, he expects to be the tenacious rebounder with a taste for contact that the guard-heavy Johnnies will need so badly.
Hamilton Downsizing To Fit Into SJU's Plans
The final installation of our interview with Greg Schiano is on-line. There are some pieces of interesting information. Greg Schiano Interview - Part 6 of 6
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Linebacker Ahmad Brooks, USA TODAY's All-Defensive Player of the Year and one of the jewels of Virginia's best-ever recruiting class in February, will not play for the Cavaliers this season while trying to improve his standardized test scores at prep school, his family said.
Top Virginia recruit Brooks headed for prep school
"Go long" is more than a pass play when it comes to college football. It now defines the season.
With its first game the Jim Thorpe Classic on Aug. 22 and its last the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 3, NCAA Division I-A will play its longest-ever schedule. The 135 days of this season beats last year by one and the previous long of 1997 by two, according to available data from the NCAA.
College football's longest drive opens Aug. 22
Donald "Big Dog" Forbes: BigDog@Rutgersfootball.com