Archive | August, 2011

The sad tale of a good kid

30 Aug

By Justin Young
National Hoops Report

I don’t know the Javaris Crittenton that was arrested by the Federal Bereau of Investigation at the John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California this week.

That Javaris Crittenton was wanted for murder. He was on a Most Wanted poster. He allegedly shot a 22-year-old mother of four from a car. He was on the run. His mugshot was posted on every major media outlet in America.

The reports of the crime he was connected too are heart-breaking, sad and confusing.

I don’t know that guy.

I’m not sure I want to know that guy. Continue reading

Inside the SEC: August 30

30 Aug

By Matt Fultz
National Hoops Report

Mississippi State Freshman Gardner Dismissed

While some coaches are banning their teams from using Twitter, others are bypassing that step all together and just kicking off players for popping off on the social media site.

It was just six months ago that Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury banned his players from using Twitter after Ravern Johnson fired off tweet criticizing the coaching staff, but the Bulldog head man decided to lift the ban after the season ended.

However, after last Thursday night on thing is almost guaranteed, the Twitter ban is back in full effect.

Incoming freshman D.J. Gardner sent out this rated-R tweet after feeling that the coaching staff lied to him during the recruiting process, leading to him being red-shirted.

“These b***es tried to f**k me over.. That’s y I red shirted .. But I wish my homies a great as* season.. I don’t even know y I’m still here”

The 6-foot-6 shooting guard did have to wonder about his future much longer, as Stansbury made that decision for the former four-star recruit deciding to dismiss him from the Bulldog program for what was termed “repeated action deemed detrimental to the team”

Gardner had talked to the coaching staff about possibly wanting to red-shirt the upcoming season before the teams trip to Europe, after learning he was not likely to play as much as the coach had promised during his recruitment.

“It’s like they sold him a dream,” said Angela Gardner, D.J.’s mother said.

Gardner’s mother was not exactly thrilled with the timing of the decision, since she had planned to talk to the coaching staff this week about her son’s future.

“I was told no decision would be made until November about D.J. being redshirted,” she told Brandon Marcello of The Clarion-Ledger “Imagine my surprise when I saw it come across Channel 9 news.”

Thursday night’s tweet was not the first time that Gardner lashed out on the social site, back in June he tweeted the following:

“Call em and tell more… I can’t stand liars and that’s all they did since I started being recruited.. R.I.p. To that contract I signed.”

From day one in Starkville, Gardner was not happy and was considering a transfer after his freshman season according to his mother.

“He got there and realized what he was told was a lie,” she said. “I told him to tough it out, play hard and we had entertained the idea of staying there his freshman year and transferring. We had entertained the idea because he was not happy at State.”

While a final destination is not known at this time, Angela did say that her son would enroll at another school this fall.

NCAA Lenient on Tennessee; Hammers Pearl

The Tennessee Basketball program escaped any further punishment from the NCAA last Wednesday, but former Volunteer coach Bruce Pearl was not so lucky.

New coach Cuonzo Martin will only have to deal with the schools self-imposed penalties of two years probation, set to start Wednesday, and some minor recruiting restrictions.

Pearl, on the other hand, was handed a stiff 3 year show-cause penalty. The show-cause does not make it impossible for Pearl to get a job with another NCAA institution during the three year period, but it hinders his chances severely.

During the three year period, Pearl is banned from recruiting, and if another institution wanted to hire him they would have to go before the NCAA and tell them what their reasoning for wanting to hire the embattled coach.

While pleased that Tennessee would not face any further punishment, Pearl wasn’t as happy about his own fate.

“I am pleased and relieved the University of Tennessee received no further penalties,” he said. “I accept responsibility for my actions, but I am disappointed with the length of the show-cause penalty.”

Tony Jones, Steve Forbes, and Jason Shay, Pearl’s assistants, were also hit with a show-cause penalty, but theirs is much less severe lasting only one year.

One thing that remained out of the 21 page infraction report was the supposed major violation committed by Pearl and Tony Jones, when they were accused of having  incidental contact, known as a bump, with a recruit at Oak Hill Academy. The accusation, which was in the Letter of Allegations sent to the school, played a key role in the staff being fired.

“The final straw for our coaching staff, according to UT chancellor Jimmy Cheek, was the alleged bump (violation) heard around the world, and it wasn’t even in the report and the Committee on Infractions deemed it not to be a violation at all,” said an unhappy Jones, who is now the head coach at Alcoa High School. “I’m sure that makes the Vol Nation have a lot of confidence in Chancellor Cheek, who never even bothered to meet with our coaching staff.”

Kentucky’s Vargas Cut From Dominican National Team

New Dominican National Team coach John Calipari said it is never easy to cut players from a roster, but his latest decision must have been one of the toughest for the coach.

Calipari was forced to cut one of his players from the University of Kentucky, Eloy Vargas, last week when the Dominican roster had to be trimmed from 15 to 12.

“I’ve talked with Eloy and he fully understands the decision. He will be coming home this weekend to prepare for his senior season with his teammates at Kentucky. Eloy has enjoyed a great experience with this Dominican team. He was a really a great teammate and gained valuable experience during his three weeks,”  Calipari said in a statement released on his website “Eloy was going against veterans like Al Horford and Charlie Villanueva and Jack Michael Martinez. He held his own, but these guys have been playing in the pro leagues for years. When everybody is so close, you’ve got to look at it as we need three big men, we need three point guards and we need to fill out the roster from there. Eloy understands the decision, and what I think he’s done and what I told him is he’s probably cemented his spot on the national team for years to come.”

Vargas averaged 1.5 points and 2.0 rebounds a contest in his junior campaign at Kentucky.

Gamecocks Score Florida Pair

Ian Baker and Carlos “Squirrel” Morris have already played together on two different teams, Wednesday night they decided to make it three.

The pair who attend Arlington County Day in Jacksonville, Florida and run with the Dwight Howard Warriors AAU program committed to play for coach Darrin Horn and South Carolina in 2012.

While the two made the call to the Gamecock coaching staff together, it was Baker that pulled the trigger first.

“It was down to Providence and South Carolina — and Kris Dunn committed to Providence this morning — and I felt like I was South Carolina’s guy,” Baker told “So I just went ahead and did it.

The news that Baker, a 6-foot-1 point guard, had decided on South Carolina, was all the convincing that Morris needed.

“It just felt like it was time for it so I called Squirrel and asked him if he was ready to do this and he said he was and the rest was history,” Baker told the

Morris is a 6-foot-5 shooting guard who has a knack for getting to the rim and scoring the ball, while Baker thinks brings toughness to the table.

“I think I do a great job of scoring the ball,” Morris said. “I will do whatever they want me to do though. If they want me to rebound, that is what I will do, if they want me scorer, I can do that. I will be a team player and do what it takes to make this a winning program.”

“My winning ways,” Baker said. “I just want to win so I am going to do my best to bring that attitude to the program. I also think my toughness takes me a long way. You can’t teach toughness so that is an area that can benefit the program.”

Graham Goes with Gators

Dillion Graham has always dreamed of donning the blue and orange and playing for Florida, Tuesday the 6-foot-4 guard made his dream a reality.

“I told Coach Donovan it’s my dream school,” Graham told The Orlando Sentinel “It’s the place where I’ve always wanted to play college basketball.”

The Orlando native, who held offers from the likes of SMU, Liberty, and Jacksonville as well as others, exploded on the national scene this summer due to his play on the Florida Rams. It was not long after the summer evaluation period began that the high-major offers began to roll in, and by the end of the summer Graham had quite the list of suitors, including Louisville, Florida State, Kansas State, as well as the Gators.

All it took for Graham to make his decision was a trip to Gainesville, which occurred last Thursday.

“I wanted to see them work out and get to know the players a little bit,” he said. “I pretty much committed that day. I just needed to come back home and talk it over with my parents.”

Florida, Kentucky Recruit Shatters Backboard

Mitch McGary didn’t walk away from the Boost Mobile Elite 24 game with the MVP trophy, in fact he didn’t even play in the game, but he didn’t walk away from the game empty handed.

The 6-foot-10 power forward, rated the number three prospect in the 2012 class by, displayed some of his raw power Saturday night, destroying one the backboards. The show of strength not only earned McGary a spot on almost every college basketball website in the country, but a new nickname and a trip to the hospital.

In an interview with ESPN’s Dave Telep following the incident, McGary said the rest of the players at the event had given him the nickname “White Chocolate” because “I’m the only white kid here” but changed it to “White Thunder” after breaking the backboard.

After delaying his trip to the hospital so he could watch the game, the Brewster Academy senior received 37 stitches to close a cut in his left shoulder.

McGary recently cut his list to six which includes Kentucky and Florida. Michigan, Maryland, Duke, and North Carolina round out the list.  He already visited Florida, and plans to take a trip to Lexington in the near future.


August 30th is national signing day?

30 Aug

By Brian Flinn
National Hoops Report

Most everyone that follows college basketball recruiting looks forward to two dates: November 10th (start of the early signing period) and April 13th (start of the late signing period). Well everyone, Christmas has come early. Continue reading

NHR Top 100: #63 Patric Young, PF, Florida

26 Aug

By Justin Young
National Hoops Report

Number 63 – Patric Young, PF, Soph., Florida

If you were to walk into a gym in Gainesville and Udonis Haslem, Al Horford, Joakim Noah and Patric Young were in it, playing a game of pick-up and if someone asked you who the NBA player was, you might start with Young first. Continue reading

The Mighty Ducks: Dana Altman is quietly building a giant in Oregon

25 Aug

By Brian Flinn
National Hoops Report

One of the biggest storylines last season was the search for a new head coach in Oregon. Candidates ranged from established coaches like Tom Izzo to Brad Stevens. In the end the Ducks ended up with Creighton head man Dana Altman, it was regarded as a solid, if unspectacular hire. Continue reading

NHR Top 100: #64 Alex Oriakhi, C, UConn

25 Aug

By Justin Young
National Hoops Report

Number 64 – Alex Oriakhi, C, Jr., UConn

In basketball, we love a good cliché. Oriakhi is a winner and a grinder. There, I feel better. Cliché is out of the way for the day.

Truth be told, Oriakhi is exactly the cliché used to describe him. He won in high school. He’s been sized up for a National Championship ring. Oriakhi has also been on teams that no one really gave much of a chance. His blue collar work (crap, there’s another cliché) is an anchoring point to that team’s success. Continue reading

NHR Top 100: #65 Trent Lockett, SG, Arizona State

24 Aug

By Justin Young
National Hoops Report

Number 65 – Trent Lockett, SG, Jr., Arizona State

Okay, let’s face it. Herb Sendek basketball isn’t very sexy. With that, his players aren’t sexy. Right? That’s the conception.

That conception is wrong. Lockett’s game isn’t sexy but it is like the pretty girl with a great sense of humor, huge heart, contagious laugh and that can quote lines from Swingers with the best of them. Continue reading

Inside the SEC: August 24

24 Aug

By Matt Fultz
National Hoops Report

With school starting around the SEC, the National Hoops Report takes a look at some housekeeping notes from around the SEC. Continue reading

NHR Top 100: #66 C.J. McCollum, SG, Lehigh

24 Aug

By Justin Young
National Hoops Report

Number 66 – C.J. McCollum, SG, Jr., Lehigh

If you talk to the high school basketball mavens in Ohio, no one really saw this coming with McCollum. Now, they knew he would be good. But great? And this great this early and this often? Oh, please. Continue reading

NHR Top 100: #67 Tim Hardaway, SG, Michigan

24 Aug

By Justin Young
National Hoops Report

Number 67 – Tim Hardaway, SG, Soph., Michigan

If you look at the top 100 recruiting lists for the class of 2010, you’ll find Hardaway near the bottom if he is even on the list at all. Hardaway wasn’t a big-time recruit coming out of Palmetto High School in Florida. When he committed to the Wolverines, the news outside of Ann Arbor didn’t measure very well on the recruiting Richter scale. Continue reading