Thursday, May 29, 2008

NBA Camp Update

I wanted to give a quick update on some information I received from Draft Express regarding our two guys in Orlando. JDunc has court sense and team skills that would be welcome in the NBA but his athleticism is lacking for him to be a '3' and they question his overall strength to be a '4'. They list him as a European level player. Hammer is making his name on the defensive end down there (go figure) and the recap had this line that I just had to share concerning Brian Roberts: "He did struggle defensively trying to stay in front of the very strong and aggressive Stanley Burrell, who got to the rim whenever he wanted and absolutely man-handled anyone standing in his way". You gotta love that. To be fair though BRob is said to have one of the purest jump shots in the 64 man camp and is great playing in transition. His slight frame is a detriment to his draftability but he is making a good impression playing the point thus far.

Other A10 players are doing well also. Gary Forbes destroyed Wayne Ellington and many, many teams are going to be watching his individual workouts today to gauge his jumpshot. Mark Tyndale from Temple has the size and length they are looking for at the next level (he threw down a two handed flush over Sasha Kaun that was a head turner) but his jump shot needs tremendous improvement though. I was mistaken in that Will Daniels is not at this camp but Pat Calathes is. He made some very slick passes in his game and was efficient shooting the mid range but they question his funky release and accuracy to three point land in the NBA. Shawn James from Duquesne is down there too but I have yet to see any updates on his performance thus far. In all there are 7 A10 players in Orlando trying to make the next step up.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Hammer Headed to Orlando

Apparently Stan got the call yesterday to head down to the NBA predraft camp as well as Josh Duncan. Again best of luck to both. This can only help them in their quest to play for pay. Also from the A10 Pat Calathes, Gary Forbes, Brian Roberts, and Will Daniels will be in attendance. Good luck to everybody as they strive to make that impression. You only need one team to like you.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Good Luck JDunc

Just found out Josh has an invite to the NBA pre-draft camp in Orlando. This is obviously a positive and indicates the League thinks he has a good chance of being draft worthy. I hope all goes well but the comp is fierce at this level. Best of luck JDunc.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Random Thoughts 5/19/08

Just a few random thoughts:

- Attended XU's commencement yesterday and it was nice to see all three seniors walk across the stage and pick up their diplomas. One dumb ass in the crowd chanted 'UC, UC' as Josh walked across the stage. Numbnuts decided to do the same when Lavender came up and was quickly visited by campus police. Have a little class will ya? At least let the guys walk in peace.

- Lavender has recently worked out for the Hawks, JDunc for the Heat, Burrell also worked out for the Hawks and the Bucks I believe. My money is still on Josh to make an NBA roster first.

- Kevin Parrom probably deserves a second chance.

- Donnie Hale high major from 2010 class was recently on campus for a visit.

- Ari Stewart seems content to wait until fall to make his commit. I think the XU staff is willing to wait, but if Baskin is ready to jump they'll take him in a minute.

- The Enquirer had a nice piece today on summer hoops and the challenges it presents OHSAA. I think it is truly a lot to ask AD's on the high school level to keep tabs on these kids over the summer. Grassroots basketball is not going anywhere anytime soon and the high schools are even benefitting with free tennis shoes and warmups.

- Bob Huggins picked up a nice one in Devin Ebanks. The forward is a top 20 recruit for the class of '08 and was once headed to Indiana. Thanks Kelvin.

- Still interested to see an update on Alvin Mitchell's status with the Bearcats. NO BS I think the guy can be a big time contributor for the dark side.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Kevin Parrom

Kevin probably cost himself a shot on our team after a weekend episode with his high school coach Orlando Antigua. He apparently punched his coach after an altercation after a game in a tournament they were in this past weekend. Orlando is not going to press charges but Kevin most likely will not be back at St. Raymond's next year and I doubt he will have a firm offer from XU after this. At least I hope not. Good luck to him but responsibility is important.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Rivals 150 updated their top 150 recruits for the class of 2009. I thought I would list all the guys I know X is recruiting or have been listed with:

#39-Mfon Udofia (rivals lists all kinds of schools with him with X and UC (Dave you were right) only getting 'medium interest' from him.

#59-Ari Stewart (rivals dropped him from 5 stars to 4 with this latest rating, of note UC is not listed on his laundry list of schools)

#65-Omari Lawrence (going to be hard to score another great guard with this class off the efforts and signings of the '08 class but Book has a connection with him)

#81- Brian Oliver (another wing X and UC are in the hunt for but he has four leaders and neither of the Queen City schools are in that group)

#83- Durand Scott (another great scoring guard out of New York, Book has an 'in' with him too via the New York Gauchos AAU team)

#93- Tevin Baskin (his recruiting has picked up and he has listed no favorites at this time to my knowledge, but lots of big timers are checking in)

#101- Sherrod Wright (another big scoring guard from the Big Apple, and yep you guessed it Book is the reason this guy is listing us even though we have a great young crop of guards)

#102- Andrew Fitzgerald (the big man has in his top three along with UK and Pitt, he is expressing 'high' interest in all of us. I believe he has a visit to UK this weekend)

#114- Kammeon Holsey (appears we are losing ground with this kid who appears to be down to Clemson and GA Tech)

#115- Terrance Shannon (another fantastic wing prospect from the state of Georgia. The Peach State is really loaded with talent this year)

#117- Carl Jones (small guard from Garfield Heights is listing us)

#140- James Still (athletic post out of Detroit would go nicely with our current crop of big men)

#141- Kevin Parrom (Bronx, NY native is a team mate of Omari Lawrence's at St. Raymond HS. He is a reported strong XU lean and I will post a scouting report on him soon. Once again this is a Book target I believe)

38 & 14

My man DWest dropped 38 points and snared 14 boards for the Hornets Tuesday night in their victory over San Antonio. He is getting it done at a very high level to say the least. I am not normally a fan of the NBA but I like to see our guys do well. To quote Reggie Miller from a recent TNT telecast "Penn State is known as Linebacker U., USC is known as Running Back U., why not call Xavier Forward U?" I like that and given our long success of providing quality forwards to the League not that much of an exaggeration. Hill, Strong, Grant, Posey and West all had or are having great careers. Hornets and Celtics in the finals may get me to watch.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Andrew Fitzgerald

Andrew Fitzgerald from Owings Mills, MD has been a fast riser on the spring AAU circuit. When you are 6-9 245 and show the ability to be dominant in the low post that will happen. He has announced his final three according to Rivals and X, Kentucky, and Pittsburgh is on that list. He is scheduled for a weekend visit to X soon.

Hey Andrew take note of the massive player defections from UK. They lost Jasper and Mike Williams a seven footer just this week. There is a reason this is happening beyond playing time concerns. Gillespie grinds on people to say the least. We have two openings and it is looking more and more like Mfon and Ari Stewart are a package deal. I would be more than happy with a two man class of Fitzgerald and another fast riser in Tevin Baskin. My sources tell to rate Baskin as the player as of right now most likely to commit to X when a firm offer is in place. He is certainly the staff's number 2 choice behind Stewart IMO. Kudos to Sean, Mack, Book, and Whit for hustling on the recruiting circuit and getting in on these kids early. He has done this with Fitzgerald and they identified Stewart several seasons ago as a high major talent.

Miami takes a pass

As expected (and reported by the Cincinnati Enquirer today) Miami will not be playing UC next season. MU wanted a little more coin than they were going to cough up and Henderson said all the right things. Again the only ones losing are fans of traditional rivalries. UC will pick up a cupcake they hope they can beat and MU goes some where else for a bigger pay day.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Bearcat Recruiting update

I generally leave the recruiting scene stuff to Deck but I have been needing a UC B-ball fix so I set off to dig up some off-season news. Also Deck keeps getting on me about being a total slacker and not posting. So fix needed, motivation DigiDeck style supplied, off I went and the results are pouring in. 

I should start off by saying that the following tidbits are in no particular order of importance, just the order in which I scribbled my notes.

Last weekends visitor Bobby Maze signed with Tennessee after they told him he was "the solution". Hmmmmmm... I wonder what they told Scotty Hopson.

Danny McElroy has reopened his recruiting after seeing to much comp at forward. I think maybe He's been told he wouldn't be starting as a freshman.

Mfon Udofia   PG Georgia - Still has UC high on his list. The #36 overall player in 09 according to has been lights out in AAU. Besides being one of the best Points in his class signing him could earn the Cats a long hard look from this guy.

 AAU teammate Ari Stewart#16 Overall in the country. How awesome would that be?

For 2010 The cats have offered Adreian Payne out Dayton. And for 2011 Cincinnati's own Aiken High School's Chane Behanan is already on Micks radar. 

2009 Recruiting Update

I wanted to speak briefly about our recruiting targets for the 2009 class. X has two scholarships predicted to be available for this class (Raymond & Anderson) and apparently Miller and staff are swinging for the fences in the early going. They did this with the '07 class and had plenty of misses which lead to needing to snag transfers McLean and Taylor to go along with Jackson. We have had two misses already here in the early going. Wing guard Naji Hibbert was down to Texas A&M and us according to rivals and he went with the Aggies. I think all the underclassmen we have at the guard spot will make it very difficult for the staff to land another gem there. And we went after Lawrenceville, GA big man Jeremy Olsen who at 6-10 would have been a nice bookend for Kenny Frease but he ultimately chose Utah and given the fact he is Mormon that isn't all of a suprise. Below I have listed my 'dream three' knowing we can only get two:

-Ari Stewart 6-7 190 Marietta, GA: 5 star recruit by Rivals and rated 4th best small forward in this class. He lists his top four as Florida, Georgia Tech (no confirmed offer at this time), Wake Forest, and X. He has been offered a scholarship according to from Arizona, UCONN, Georgia, Michigan State, North Carolina, Oregon, and Texas. He would be an absolute huge get for us.

-Kammeon Holsey 6-8 200 Sparta, GA: We are in his top 4 with other offers from Clemson, GA Tech, and Alabama.

-James Still 6-9 230 Detroit, MI: Most schools want James to play Center while X sees him as a '4' which is attractive to him. Iowa, Iowa State, Michigan, and Michigan State are all showing interest at this time.

Other names to watch for in the coming weeks: Omari Lawrence, Tevin Baskin, Brian Oliver, Ben Simons, Andrew Fitzgerald, Kevin Parrom, Jordan Prosser, and longshot Mfon Udofia.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Deveroes Summer League

Begins Sunday June 15th at Noon. Woodward HS is the location once again. Traditionally this is our chance to see the newcomers up close. I'll try and catch as many as I can and leave my thoughts about the guys keeping in mind that this is in fact summer ball. However the games can be very entertaining and if you get the chance you should stop by and catch some of it.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Read the Cincinnati Enquirer story this morning regarding US Bank cancelling this game. My take is this series won't last past next season and it won't happen next year unless Charlie Coles tells the Miami AD to go ahead and schedule it. What kills me most of all is that US Bank is holding out hope of lining up another game featuring UC. What makes the management down there think that game will draw any better? Mick is quoted that with a 'tough' 18 league games the 'Cats can only schedule little sisters of the poor which wouldn't entice me to go to US Bank. I completely understand not doing home and homes with MAC schools but this is a little different. This is a 'rivalry' that local fans should have interest in. I think this is another by product of UC having a couple down seasons. Cincinnati fans in general are very 'fair weather' to say the least.