Netwhispers on Hoops




Slam Magazine recently ran a lead article on former Rutgers swing Jeff Greer and his brother Ricardo. The article was about Street Ballers. In a related feature, did anyone else catch then ESPN interview with the Main Event? Street Baller, Walivy Dixon formerly of Linden High and Rutgers, has been labeled the Main Event by ESPN for his prowess on the court.  I'm sure it will be repeated like most things on ESPN. 


More recently, the ones that got away were Aaron Gray and Josh Boone. They were both interesting decisions. Gray is going into a situation where there is Toree Morris, a senior center, ahead of him next year, as well as, two other underclassmen that play the power four. If all three freshmen insiders ( Waters, Taft and Gray) are eligible for September, this class has a built in transfer out of the Pitt program. There will be 6 athletes that play the 4 or 5 position and but one true point guard.  Sometimes you have to wonder if the Pitt staff isn't counting on one or both of their other recruits to be ineligible next year.


 Josh for the all time he took also made a questionable decision. Ahead of him are present freshmen Marcus White and Lionel Armstrong. There is also Scott Hazelton who is a combo forward. Armstrong is a true sleeper and was just starting to be recognized when he signed on with Jim Calhoun.  Rutgers had seen him and Gary Waters hoped to steal him but it was not to be. This guy has the potential to be the best power guy at Storrs since Toby Kimball. Josh Boone's game is real similar to Armstrong's. Virginia discounting Rutgers was a far better destination. I am not even discussing center, Emeka Okafor, who is slated as a 35-minute guy. Should Okafor go to the NBA the equation skews more toward the decision.  Should he remain in Storrs the decision isn't even questionable, it just stinks.


 Rutgers is still in it with insiders Shagari Alleyene, Roman Narimbyme, and Mookie Watson. Watson, as previously stated, will most likely wait until April to announce his destination. Arch Bishop Molloy point guard, Marlon Smith, still mentions Rutgers.  Smith who expects to sign in April mentions Rutgers, Kent State and Pitt as possible destinations next year.  This guy is a really slick under-rated point. Rutgers has been on him since early this summer and he was linked to Rutgers in an early July article in Mike and the Big Dog.


In other Rutgers news Ramel Bradley a New York City guard has been reclassified as a junior and has resurfaced at Mt. Zion Academy, North Carolina. He can take it to the hoop or pull up and launch it from three.  He averaged almost 25 points per game at Park West High School, New York. Another junior guard that has mentioned Rutgers is Jammal Warren of Springfield, Massachusetts. He has also been reclassified to the class entering college in the fall of 2004. He mentions Rutgers, Maryland and a group of other Big East schools.


Roman Narimbyme's buddy, Arnaud Dahi, went home to the Ivory Coast for week or so in August but ended up spending almost two months there. Due to the civil war in the Ivory Coast, Arnaud had a tough time acquiring a visa to return to New Jersey. Right now his recruiting is on hold as he tries to readjust to being in New Jersey. This Burlington Life combo forward will definitely have lots of offers come April.


In other Big East news, University of Miami grabbed a top 100 center,  Yakuba Camara. Camara committed to Fordham coming out of high school but had to go the junior college route.  This near seven footer from Gambia, Africa, will spend this year at Moberly Community College. He selected the Canes over UNLV and Oklahoma State. University of Connecticut lost out to Kentucky for Sheray Thomas.  Thomas a 6'8" combo forward who plays for Riverdale Baptist, Maryland, is from Canada and hit it off with Denham Brown, a countryman who plays for the Huskies.  With one scholarship remaining, the Huskies are after bigger game and had no opening for Thomas after they received a commitment from Josh Boone.


Mike Pilgrim a 6'7" fifth year senior who is in prep school this year opted not to play for his cousin Lou Orr.  Mike selected to return home to Ohio and play for Bobby Huggins and the Bearcats.  Meanwhile, a couple of weeks ago I mentioned center Paulius Joneliunas a Lithuanian transplant to Roanoke, Virginia.  WVU was among a group of schools after him but now UVA and Texas are in on him. Both of these schools need insiders. Don't be surprised if the Huskys get involved.  Look for him to sign late and be a major recruit.


When Rutgers plays in the preseason NIT they will be participating in a tournament selected to experiment with two rule changes.  The first change is moving the three-point line 9" further back to 20'6" while the second change is widening the free throw lane. These changes bring the college game closer to the international game. I'm old fashioned and sort of believe in the saying, if it isn't broke why fix it. That's just my opinion for now.



Finally, from the where is he now category, where is former Robeson High, Brooklyn,  guard Josh Thomas.  T

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