Archive for October, 2010

By Andrew Bolton

After a summer filled with intrigue, the NBA season could not come soon enough for hoops junkies everywhere. Everyone watched as the entire NBA landscape went through some unforeseen and incredible changes. No team, even the hometown Pistons, came away from the off-season unchanged. Let’s take an alphabetical look at the 26 people, teams, places, and ideas that will dominate the 2010-2011 NBA season.

A is for Absence: The fans’ absence, that is. Aside from a few teams (Lakers, Thunder, Magic, others) that always draw well, last year was a horrible year for the NBA. Attendance was down. Viewership was down. Revenue was down. A combination of a lousy economy and lousy teams were enough reasons to keep many folks at home during the season, especially in our state, where the Pistons home sellout streak ended. Will the fans continue to stay away this season? What can the league do to get them back?

B is for Big Threes: Ever since Boston won the 2008 NBA title, teams have been trying to copy their formula for success: Trick Kevin McHale into giving you his franchise player, and then pairing him with two all-stars. Unfortunately for the rest of the league, McHale is no longer a GM, so it’s much harder to create a Big Three. Still, a few teams have managed to do it. We all know about the one in Miami. Oklahoma City has a pretty good three-pack with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Jeff Green. The original Big Threes are still around for Boston and San Antonio. But the one I’m most interested in is a potential Big Three forming in NYC: Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul going to play with Amare Stoudamire. Does the scoreboard go higher than triple digits?

C is California: Once again, the state of California has the most interesting basketball in the country. The Lakers are out for another three-peat. The Clippers (with a healthy Blake Griffin) are out to prove that they aren’t the Clippers. Golden State has the most explosive offense in basketball with Monte Ellis and Stephen Curry. The Kings have a talented young roster with Demarcus Cousins joining Tyreke Evans. Not only does California have the best or most interesting teams, they also somehow have the best fans. The crowds for all the home games are always unbelievable. Can the state of California rule the Western Conference this season? (This man’s opinion: no, of course not. The Clippers will always be the Clippers. Golden State doesn’t play defense. The Kings are too young. And the Lakers are too old. Finally.)

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Mott Community College sophomore forward Doug Anderson has verbally committed to Duquesne University in the Atlantic 10. Anderson, an athletic phenom at 6-6, has yet to play a minute of his sophomore season at Mott. A fact not lost on the mind of his coach, whose program has not typically produced early commitments.

In an article written in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review today, Schmidt made it clear that Anderson has no plans to sign until late.

“They’re in great shape with Doug Anderson. They’re the front-runner. He’s going to sign, but not until late,” Schmidt told the Tribune-Review. “He’s a tremendous athlete, but he’s got some work to do in terms of graduating. I’m trying to get him to become a complete basketball player.”

Schmidt was more candid in his comments when contacted this afternoon. He expressed “disappointment” with the handling of Anderson’s recruitment by members of Duquesne Head Coach Ron Everhart’s staff. He expressed displeasure with some of the staff’s recruiting tactics and a level of surprise since it’s not the first time the Everhart has recruited the program.

“This has been a distraction to Doug in the area he should be concerned about the most, his academic standing,” Schmidt said. “As far as I’m concerned, there will be a lot of schools still interested in Doug. (Duquesne) is still one of the schools he’s considering.”

Schmidt said he would contact Coach Everhart to discussion the matter further.

Anderson prepped at Kalamazoo Central High School before coming to Mott last year. He came to Mott last summer and made some waves with 11 dunks in the Bruin Club Classic all-star game.

Five JUCO basketball teams from Michigan ranked in the top 25

Posted: October 25, 2010 by Jared Field in College

Mott Community College (Flint, Michigan) leads a quintet of Michigan-based JUCOs in the preseason NJCAA top 25. This is the most I’ve ever seen in this particular poll.

2.) Mott Community College (Flint, Michigan)

5.) Grand Rapids Community College (Grand Rapids, Michigan)

9.) Henry Ford Community College (Dearborn, Michigan)

22.) Lansing Community College (Lansing, Michigan)

25.) St. Clair County Community College (Port Huron, Michigan)

Each and every season, the MCCAA is among the best JUCO conferences in the country. Last year the powers that be in the NJCAA recognized as much when they allowed for two teams from the conference (east, west) to compete in the national tournament. I can’t encourage you enough to get out and support these programs. It’s exciting basketball, inexpensive and heavy on athleticism. What could be better?

The Mott Community College Bears won their exhibition game against Mid Michigan Community College, a first-year squad trying to make its way into the MCCAA, 92-47 on Saturday night in Kalamazoo.

The game was effectively a home game for Mott, as sophomores Doug Anderson and TJ Cameron returned home to play in their high school gym at Kalamazoo Central.

There are a few familiar names to fans in the Mid-Michigan area on MMCC’s roster including Vince Parker (Lansing Waverly), DeOndra Callahan (Lansing Christian) and Xavier Walker (Flint Powers).

This news couldn’t come at a worse time for Brad Redford, one of this state’s most prolific prep scorers. Redford was poised to become one of the go-to players for Xavier this season before a knee injury in practice put the breaks on his junior season.

From the Sporting News:

Xavier guard Brad Redford, one of the nation’s most dangerous 3-point shooters, will miss the 2010-11 season as the result of tearing a knee ligament during a Musketeers practice.

The Cincinnati Enquirer quoted Xavier team physician Robert Burger as saying Redford had torn the ACL in his left knee.

“Because of the nature of the injury, he will undergo reconstructive surgery sometime in the near future,” Burger told the Enquirer. “We anticipate Brad will miss the 2010-11 season but will make a full recovery for the future.”

Redford had been a one-man zone buster for the Musketeers in his first two seasons.

Saginaw Buena Vista grad Tory Jackson had a solid camp with the Milwaukee Bucks, but as an undrafted free agent, didn’t earn a spot on the final roster.

His pro basketball career is just beginning, however. Earlier this month, Jackson told the Saginaw News he’d play with Fort Wayne in the NBA Developmental League:

If he doesn’t make the Bucks’ roster, he will play for Fort Wayne in the National Basketball Developmental League.

The whole Saginaw News story is worth checking out. Jackson, one of 14 kids, recently lost his mother, so he’s been coping with that at the same time he’s trying to get his pro basketball career started.

As a true point guard and one of the toughest players Michigan has produced in recent years, Jackson, who was a four-year starter at Notre Dame, is already missed by his old program:

“You go right to Tory Jackson leaving the building,” men’s coach Mike Brey said during Monday’s basketball media day. “Not only having the ball in his hands 38 minutes a game, the toughness factor and maybe more than anything how he helped me manage the locker room. We have to try and replace that.”

Jackson will join Arthur Hill grad Dar Tucker in the D-League next year.

Flint’s Morris Peterson was excited about his trade to the Oklahoma City Thunder, mainly because for the first time in his career he’ll get the chance to play for a title contender.

But he’s also going to a team that’s loaded on the perimeter with MVP candidate Kevin Durant and promising young players like James Harden, Jeff Green and Thabo Sefalosha all vying for minutes. Peterson got an extended look in a recent preseason game and OKC coach Scott Brooks was happy with the performance:

He played 26 minutes against CSKA Moscow during Thursday night’s 97-89 victory at the Ford Center, finishing with nine points and making 4 of 5 shots from the field.

“I wanted to get a good look at Mo,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “I thought he came in and did some good things.”

Peterson does have some question marks. Two years ago in New Orleans, he missed significant time due to injury. Last season, he struggled shooting in the first half and temporarily lost his spot in the Hornets rotation before earning his way back in with stronger play later in the season. But if Peterson can knock down shots and defend, he’s going to be an asset to the Thunder since the Western Conference has so much talent on the perimeter.

— Patrick Hayes

Grand Blanc’s K’Len Morris has seen his share of downs in his college basketball career. He started off at Michigan, was injured as a freshman limiting him to only a handful of games, then transferred to Grand Valley State after Tommy Amaker was fired.

But his career has never really got going at GVSU because of two knee injuries. He’s finally healthy, however, and poised to have a big year as a senior. Morris told the Grand Valley Lanthorn, the school’s student newspaper, that he thinks GVSU is deep and talented this season:

“This is the best that I’ve felt since being here, and I want to push myself and my teammates so we can be as successful as possible,” Morris said. “We’re so deep, and that will help us succeed as a team, but individually my goal is to come in a play my game every day and push my teammates.”

GVSU coach Ric Wesley has been impressed by the character Morris has displayed while fighting back from serious injuries:

“He hasn’t ever really played a healthy season in his college career,” Wesley said. “His hard work to get healthy says a lot about his resiliency. He has dealt with some pretty major injuries, it shows to his desire and commitment and we’re hoping it pays off big this year.”

Grand Valley was 22-9 last season and made the NCAA Division II tournament. They are continually one of the top D-II programs in the country.

(Photo: Grand Valley Lanthorn)

— Patrick Hayes

Roy ‘Devyn’ Marble, a Southfield Lathrup standout and son of Beecher great Roy Marble, committed to the University of Iowa early on. The news has Iowa fans excited since his dad is Iowa’s all-time leading scorer and was one of the top players in the Big Ten in the 1980s. And although the younger Marble made the decision partially to honor and be closer to his dad, who still lives in the area, he also is looking to forge his own way as a Hawkeye. From the Central Iowa Times Republican:

“We’re two separate people,” Roy Devyn said Thursday. “We don’t even play the same. I’m glad he did what he did. I’m going to do what I have to do.”

Showing his own individual identity is the reason he’s also going by a different name this season — ‘Devyn.’ In preparation for the likely attention he’ll get because of his father’s immense shadow in Iowa City, Marble’s Southfield Lathrup team already followed in his dad’s footsteps on a mini-level last season. They went to Beecher and beat the Bucs last December.

(Photo: HawkCentral.com)

— Patrick Hayes

Flint Southwestern and Mott grad Lamar Rice started his season with the Shiga Lakestars over the weekend, and scored 21 points and seven rebounds in his team’s win. But Rice and his team should score a lot of points this season, according to his teammate, Yu Okada while talking to the Japan Times:

“Our offense can score from anywhere. We run a lot. But we don’t have size so we need to box out firmly and play with discipline based on fundamentals. Otherwise, even if we score a lot, it can be ruined if we play poorly on defense.”

Rice played in a different Japanese league last season. This year, his league features several American players and former D-League players, as well as former Denver Nuggets lottery pick Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (formerly Chris Jackson). Abdul-Rauf was a pretty good NBA player for a while, but is probably best remembered for his stance (or lack thereof) on the national anthem.