Thursday, June 26, 2008

Draft Tonight

Tonight at 7 PM ESPN will cover the NBA Draft and I will be watching. I think the best chance we have for a draftee is Josh Duncan and he would go in the latter half of the second round (48-60 range) IMO. I do not think Burrell will be drafted but will draw a nice salary in Europe. He is on record as stating he will not play in the D League. Lavender has already accepted an invitation to play on Cleveland's summer league team and he can thank his relationship with his old AAU buddy LeBron James for that. Lavender is most likely D League material. However these drafts can get screwy and that is why I will watch. I will also be checking in on other A10 players such as Gary Forbes (the best chance to get drafted), Will Daniels, Brian Roberts and Pat Calathes has also started to appear on some mock draft boards. So we shall see.

On the recruiting front Miller is on record as saying not to expect any commits until August. A hot rumor right now is that current sophomore guard Jordan Crawford from IU is looking for a place to transfer. X but him on the back burner in pursuit of Jeff Teague two summers ago and we lost that gamble. Another 6-4 wing type player in the mix would appear to create a log jam but I trust Miller has a plan in place. I think if you can get a proven commodity, sit them out a year to learn the system and concentrate on academics it is a huge win. Miller has seen great examples at X of this in CJ Anderson and Brian Thornton. D1 transfers are a fairly regular occurrence these days. Competition is what it is all about. I grow tired of people saying he is forcing somebody out though when this is all rumor and speculation. And isn't that really preparing these kids for the real world anyway? You better bust tail to save your spot because if you don't there will surely be somebody there to take it.

There is also a book coming out written by former XU beat writer called 'Xavier Tales' that reviews the history of our beloved program. Apparently everything I have seen has indicated Michael Perry has done a great job with this. I heard we can expect to see it on the shelves some time in August. He takes it all the way up to the current Miller regime so it should be a very interesting read indeed.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Took a few days vacation down to the Great Smoky Mountains near Gatlinburg and enjoyed the peace and serenity of the fresh air. Not quite as exciting as Kenny Frease's summer plans playing for the Elite U19 team in Europe. What a great opportunity for him. Tyreke Evans, Demar Derozan and Brandon Jennings have a very good chance of being 'one and done' players for next years class. This most likely means we will not see much of Kenny playing in the Deveroes League. I am hoping to stop out tonight and see a couple of games. I am not sure if any of our freshmen are playing yet because most will not enroll for classes until sometime in July meaning they will have a place to stay on campus and be in town.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Congrats to James Posey on picking up his second NBA title with the Boston Celtics. Posey can hit the open market this year and expect him to get paid a few more nickels next year. His defense on Kobe was very, very good and he hit some timely shots as well. I wonder if he would like to return home to the greater Cleveland area and help King James win his first title. Great job JP and way to represent.

Also while we are congratulating folks I need to mention that Bill Comar, former director of basketball operations has moved on to be an assistant coach at Loyola (IL). True nice guy. I would expect to see Mario Mercurio elevated to his position on the staff.

One more congrats is in order also for Derrick Brown who will be working the Lebron James Skills Academy and another high profile camp that escapes me right now out west. He will be working with the best high school recruits in the country to teach them fundamentals, how to absolutely bend the freaking rim, serve up spalding burgers, and how to get more confidence in your outside jump shot. This guy is going to blow up absolutely BIG TIME next year barring an unfortunate injury. I would say he is X's next James Posey. ;)

Friday, June 13, 2008

XU Elite Camp

Sean Miller and staff will be conducting their 'elite' camp today and tomorrow. There are 40 or so athletes involved with this. Many from the class of 2010 or rising juniors for the upcoming school year. One noteable name for me out of the '09 class is Cameron Baskerville from Atlanta, GA/Whitefield Academy. He is 6-6 215 and more of a combo forward. I had not heard our name mentioned with his recruiting. Which is why I am not going to share the entire list. Also from the Class of 2010 we have local big man from Moeller Griffin McKenzie, Scott County lead guard Ge-Lawn Guyn, and Chad Jackson from Rose Hill Christian School in Ashland, KY. Several of these guys will probably be back on campus when the staff conducts their team camps later this summer. This is a great recruiting tool to make inroads with these guys and Sean really doesn't leave any stone unturned. Best of luck to all who are participating.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

McLean to play in Taiwan

Per Dustin Dow's blog we will not get the chance to see Jamel play in the Deveroes Summer League. He will be traveling with the Athletes In Action sports ministry to play in the William Jones Cup International Tournament. It is a ten team tournament and supposedly features Olympic level competition from the Asian countries. He will practice with the other players July 1-7, and tour Taiwan July 10-18. Good for Jamel. This will keep him under wraps from the masses locally though and I think he will be an immediate contributor to the squad next year.

Among other things there is a strong rumor that we are in Ari Stewart's top three right now. He has been invited with 24 other players by Jim Boeheim to try out for the USA Basketball Olympic team in his age group. They only keep 12 and name three alternates. Still quite the honor for the young man.

Also Sean Miller's 'elite camp' is taking place this Friday and Saturday. There are some interesting names on the list for this camp. I will have a little recap for that soon.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Bad Information

I received some bad information on the recruit on campus this weekend. Omari Lawrence is going to visit XU but it wasn't this past weekend. It was in fact Kevin Parrom who is being described as similar to Justin Cage but with a better jump shot. I never thought Cage's was horrible he just didn't shoot it enough or lacked confidence in it. Anyway Pitt is still the leader for Kevin but they lost an assistant to Memphis recently who was most heavily involved with Parrom. He is rated #141 by Rivals and would be a nice front line player to get. Lawrence obviously is a guard and I think we are loaded there right now but given what talent evaluators think of him we could find room. Or go four guard lineup ala Villanova a couple of seasons ago. Who knows? Again I trust Sean and staff to put us in the best position.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

NBA draft/finals 2008 notes

With no bearcat news to speak of I thought I would offer a few bits on the Finals and the upcoming NBA draft. 

I watched game one of the finals the other night and all I could think of was how for me, its just not the same as college ball. Don't get me wrong it was a pretty good game. I guess the pro style just isn't for me. 

This whole Paul Pierce thing was completely blown out of proportion on BOTH sides of the discussion. He hurt his knee. Aftera couple minutes they realized it wasn't bad. He came back in the game. Did it really warrant all that drama and attention?

Derek Fischer is underrated

Ray Allen is overrated

On to the draft.

Seven of the top Ten players listed in the top 100 on are Freshman. The other three are Sophmores. 

I know that isn't really news to anyone but maybe this is.

Nine of the last ten on the list are Seniors. the other bottom dweller? A Junior.

Is it really worth having the one and done Freshmen classes? Were the ratings better for the Tourney this past season?

I was definitely one to tune into a game just to see Rose, Beasley, Or Gordon. 

Man I can't wait until November. 

Friday, June 6, 2008

Recruiting Update

Just wanted to give a quick update on recruiting for 2009 class. Omari Lawrence from New York will be in for a visit this weekend. We are among his four finalists. He is a wing guard listed at 6-3 175. rates him as the 65th best overall prospect for this class. Arizona is among others he is considering. Also Andrew Fitzgerald has wrapped up his visits with Pitt, X, and UK. I think his preferences are in that order. I would love to have his size on our team because by all accounts he is a beast on the low block. The staff has also been giving heavy attention to Terrance Shannon, yet another highly touted prospect out of the state of Georgia. He is described as an athletic 6-7 forward. Finally Kevin Parrom has us in his top two along with Pitt. Kevin is also moving up various ranking charts and is another Book Richardson connection we could benefit from.

On the UC front still no word that I have seen on Alvin Mitchell. IF we see him playing in the Deveroes Summer League I think that will answer the question. If he is not on scholarship it limits the 'Cats to only one opening with the recent Danny McElroy de-committ for the 2009 class. That was a good move on both sides IMO. Finally Varez Ward committed to the Texas Longhorns. That completes the Mike Williams trade from a couple of seasons ago. Seriously Rick Barnes must have seen the same defensive potential that Mick and staff recognized in him.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Duncan Strongest at NBA Camp

JDunc was the strongest guy at the NBA Draft camp in Orlando. He benched 225 pounds 26 times to lead the class of 64. Burrell was the 4th strongest at the camp with 21 reps. It also listed w/o shoes Duncan at 6-8 and Hammer at 6-1.5. Brian Roberts (I won't share his benchpress totals because it would be embarrassing) stands at 6-0 without shoes. With shoes you can add an inch to everybody's height. I still don't see any of these guys getting drafted but you never know. Some mock drafts have Gary Forbes sneaking into the low first round and most project Will Daniels in the middle of the second. One thing I do not understand: How is Joe Alexander being considered for the lottery? Granted he is a good player but in the games I saw (XU and UC) I was not that impressed. Obviously his skill set is solid but is he a '3' or a '4'? Duncan abused him in the NCAA's with limited minutes due to foul trouble.

One other note of interest: Charles Bronson has landed at NAIA Pikeville College in Kentucky. I was hoping he would end up at NKU so we could catch a couple of games. All the best 'Death Wish'.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Random Thoughts 6/3/08

Here are just a few random musings as I start my day:

- The A10 has a new commissioner and her name is Bernadette McGlade. She was the asst. commish in the ACC and has much expertise in dealing with television contracts as she not only helped the ACC but the entire NCAA negotiate their deal with CBS.

- Speaking of TV deals Xavier has reached a new agreement with FSN Ohio. FSN Ohio would like to televise 10 or so contests for us but CBS Sports (formerly CSTV) gets the rights to A10 contests. Here is hoping they can work together.

- Bobo to Notre Dame has been a hot rumor and deservedly so. If I was the Irish giving Mike's past connections with them he would be on my short list. His official stance is he is not interested and that is good enough for me.

- An All 4 One club member is telling me we will be playing Duke the week before Christmas next season on national television. Love getting a chance at these guys on a neutral floor.

- Summer league ball is starting in a couple of weeks and I am hoping all the new guys are in town by then so we can see them up close and personal. I know Terrell Holloway has already been coming down for some open gyms on campus.