THIS, THAT AND THE OTHER
Netwhispers On Hoops
If experience is one of the parameters that indicate success, Syracuse may be in some minor predicament this year. Granted that Keith Duany is back to lead the Orange but seven out of the nine scholarship players are underclassmen. The best of the lot is super frosh, Carmello Anthony. The guard spots, however, will be mostly in the hands of underclassmen. With Billy Edelin serving a 12 game NCAA suspension the pressure will be on Gerry McNamara to lead the team at the point. This team will be the youngest that Jim Boeheim has coached in his 27 years at the Cuse. The most experienced team in the Big East is St. Johns where the majority of the players are third and fourth year players.
The youngest major team in the country is probably North Carolina. Their roster now includes eleven players, nine of which are underclassmen. The Heels have three first years on the roster as well as six-second years.
Speaking about young talent, Top 25 junior lists are starting to appear and St. Benedict's of Newark has two players in the group, Earl Smith a reclassified 6'6" swing and 6'9" forward Stan Branch. Rutgers is looking at both. Brian Laing a 6'5" wing from St. Raymond's, New York is another local candidate. Rutgers is also said to be involved with Juan Palacios a 6'8" forward from Centerreach Our Savior, New York. Another possibility is Renaissance Detroit star, Malik Hairston, a 6'6" swing.
This year's senior class still has some high level available talent. Burlington Life Center star forward, Arnaud Dahi, will wait until the spring to sign on to the college of his choice. This borderline top 100 recruit has his core grades in order but may need to raise his standardized test scores. The big schools all know about him and are following his progress. He and center Roman Narimbyme will get lots of attention this year. Narimbyme who also will wait until the spring is being pursued by the Scarlet Knights. Similarly, I still expect Mookie Watkins to wait till spring to decide his final destination.
West Virginia picked up another recruit in Chicago native Jerrah Young. Young is a 6'8" power forward from Rita High School, Chicago, Illinois. He selected WVU over some mid-major schools. Meanwhile, the Boys from Storrs lost out to Arkansas for Ronnie Brewer. They remain in contention for power inside top 100 Brandon Bass as do the Hurricanes of Miami
Miami recently picked up another signed recruit, Guillermo Diaz, a 6'3" combo guard. A native of Puerto Rico, Diaz is spending this year at Miami Christian. This is significant because Miami was looking at his teammate, Ivan Lopez, a Memphis signee and thus met Diaz early. Diaz is a true athlete but needs to refine his hoop skills. Miami continues to search for insiders.
Revisiting Jucoland I checked out which guards Seton Hall and St Johns allegedly were interested in. The Hall has allegedly contacted Ron Davis a 6'3" shooting guard from Olney Junior College, Illinois. The Hall is also interested in Steve Moore of Eastern Oklahoma. Moore is Big Time but was close to a commitment elsewhere when I wrote this column.
Up north in Michigan at Schoolcroft Junior College former Wichita State Shocker, Dion Sherell, is lighting it up. The 6'3" combo will need to earn a degree before returning to Division I play. St. John is one of many following his progress. He could step right in and replace Marcus Hatten in the Storm lineup.
My Junior College source also told me that both Providence and Pittsburgh are nosing around for point guards. Both of these schools now have freshmen points, McGrath at Providence, and Krauser at Pittsburgh. I am not sure what the thought processes our by the respective schools.
Our old friend Daevon Haskins is at South Plains, Texas, Junior College. He appears to be doing well on the court. South Plains feature two insiders that our getting some good publicity. Guillherme Teichmann a 6'9" center is a defensive star while his complement 6'8"Marcus Jackson can score from all angles.
In the where is he now column, where is former New Brunswick and St. Bonnie star Dave Capers? Well, he is allegedly looking for a new place to play after being cut by the NBA Developmental League.