I believe this makes the third appearance for Doug, now a junior at University of Detroit.
Archive for the ‘College’ Category
Many of you will remember Torian Oglesby, the former standout at Mott Community College and lesser-known prospect out of Saginaw Buena Vista. Oglesby, from the time I first saw him as a sophomore in high school, has always had major-league athleticism. In high school, he didn’t have much else.
After two years at Mott Community College and another year at Bowling Green University, Oglesby is starting to live up to his potential.
Recently, he broke a longstanding NCAA record for consecutive made field goals. Over seven games, Oglesby made 26 straight shots. For the season, he is an incredibly efficient 33-of-37.
Now don’t get me wrong, he won’t be transitioning to the wing anytime soon — he knows his role. Still, that level of consistency is really remarkable.
Demetrius Miller, former all-conference guard at Mott Community College, has helped lead Metro State to the top of the NCAA Division II national poll.
Metro State (Denver, Colorado) is now 9-0 on the season. Miller, a junior, has started eight of nine games, leads the team in assists and is averaging more than 12 points per game. Miller, Metro’s point guard, is also second on the team in minutes played.
Cameron Lefear, an unheralded 6-3 guard from Flint Northern, scored 16 points for Oakland City University (Indiana) last night in a loss to Butler. Lefear is probably the best “feel good” story of the year for basketball in Flint. No one, myself included, thought he would make it at the college level. He didn’t play much in high school on a very average team at Northern; clearly, however, he didn’t let that fact keep him from getting to work.
Lefear, a sophomore, has started all six games this season for OCU and is averaging more than 13 points per game.
I love stories like this. It reminds me of Torian Harris from several years back. He too was unheralded at Saginaw High, but he kept the basketball dream alive at Lansing CC, then at the University of Nebraska – Omaha. The next step, if he chooses that route, could be professional basketball overseas.
The lesson is simple: Don’t let your circumstances dictate the realization of your potential.
Davenport University just scored one of the hidden gems of the JUCO circuit. Mott’s Sam Burton, a 6-3 guard from Detroit, has officially signed with the Panthers.
Burton’s basketball future was in question after an ugly knee injury sidelined him for the bulk of the Bears’ run at a national champion last March (Mott finished as the national runner-up). A lot of folks chalked up the team’s inability to earn the school’s fourth national title to Burton’s absence. He was, after all, a high-impact player for Mott for two seasons.
Burton was injured early in the tournament run, tried to play, but ultimately the injury was too serious. His knee was surgically repaired earlier this year and he continues his therapy regimen.
Burton is a slinky guard with tremendous explosion to the basket. He’s a great finisher and about as gritty as I’ve seen at the position. If Burton makes a full recovery, he’ll be something special at this level.
Though not in those exact words, I must have had six or seven different people ask me if longtime head coach at Mott, Steve Schmidt, would be a candidate to be the next coach at Eastern Michigan University.
If history is any indication, he probably will.
The last time a MAC head coaching position in Michigan opened up, at CMU back in 2006, Schmidt was a finalist. Since being passed over in favor of Ernie Zeigler, Schmidt has won 158 games (an average of more than 31 per season) and two national titles. Just this past March, his team finished second nationally with a record of 33-3.
I think Schmidt could immediately bring a spark to EMU’s program just like he has at Mott over the last five seasons.
Schmidt has three really important things going for him: Not only did he turn Mott into a JUCO powerhouse, but his brand of basketball is a product that people want to see. Finally, he has demonstrated the ability to not only graduate players, but to keep them in the sports section (not the news section) of the paper.
Even though it would be a great loss for the Flint area, EMU would increase its fan base by a factor of 10 overnight. There are no more loyal fans in this state than Schmidt’s.
Other potential candidates:
• Dane Fife, head coach at IPFW.
• Todd Lickliter, former EMU assistant coach. Also coached at Butler and Iowa.
• Dwayne Stephens, MSU assistant coach.
Looks like Eastern Michigan head coach Charles Ramsay will be out the door. It shouldn’t be surprising to anyone, of course, because his record over six seasons was 68-118.
I, for one, think EMU could be a solid mid-major program. Right now, it’s a laughingstock.
UPDATE: It’s official.
Here’s an interesting blog coming out of Monday night’s national championship game between UConn and Butler. Steve Finamore, former Jackson CC head coach now at East Lansing, questions the value many place on talent over teamwork.
He writes in Coach’s Chronicle:
Recruiting will get better for Butler, no doubt. Brad Stevens, Butler’s head coach can now walk in any high school gym or attend any AAU tournament and right away the players and parents will know who the guy standing in the corner is and where he’s from. The players will not have to squint to get a closer look at his logo on his polo shirt.
But make no mistake, we watched many talented teams fall the past few weeks in the NCAA tournament (shoot, we even witnessed it on the women’s side with UConn and Stanford falling). I still think it’s teamwork that’s important. Sure talent is necessary; but with hard work, you can put yourself in position to be the champ and to be a more talented team.
Former basketball coach Bob Knight once said, “Good players make themselves good; great players make the players around them better.”
Is former Saginaw High head coach Lou Dawkins next in line to be an assistant coach under Tom Izzo at Michigan State? Mark Montgomery’s departure might just be a coincidence, but I doubt it. I can’t imagine Dawkins resigning without something in the tank.
Longtime Michigan State assistant Mark Montgomery is the new head basketball coach at Northern Illinois.
The announcement was made Wednesday and a news conference will be held Thursday.
Montgomery, who played at Michigan State and is third in school history in assists and steals, coached four years at Central Michigan and spent the last 10 seasons with Tom Izzo, the last four as associate head coach.
He succeeds Ricardo Patton, who had a 35-83 mark over four seasons.