Practice Starts Quietly as Dawgs Avoid Madness

Oct 17, 2010, 2:46 PM | Updated: Apr 5, 2011, 11:20 am

Practice started at Washington on Friday and there was very little hoopla. The team are now en mass in Olympia for a three-day two night retreat which Coach Lorenzo Romar annually does to set the tone for the season. Percy Allen of the Seattle Times reported that the initial practice on Friday at Hec-Ed was nothing but down to business.

“It was evident the players and coaches were very eager to get things going and it was apparent that practice is vastly different than open runs during the summer. For starters, coach Lorenzo Romar and the UW coaching staff are sticklers for detail. It’s not uncommon for an assistant to interrupt the workout and make the team run if an individual doesn’t properly perform a task in a drill.”

Percy also reported that sorely needed forward Desmond Simmons could come back as soon as in a week after arthroscopic knee surgery three weeks ago. Normally those type of surgeries take six weeks plus to heal from. Allen also mentioned that dynamic senior Venoy Overton, who has been slowed by a hamstring took part in “most of the workout”.

Percy mentioned that sophomore center Aziz N’Diaye is still wearing a mask to protect a broken nose and that senior post Matthew Bryan-Amaning was there 90-minutes early to shoot “perimeter jumpers”.

Percy also appeared on 710-ESPN Radio in Seattle with my role model as a sports journalist John Clayton where he went over some of the questions surrounding the UW team and talked a bit again about the 1st practice, which he was able to watch.

Mynorthwest.com archived the segment, which included Percy’s comments and to listen to it go to between 23:30-11:15 in the podcast.

Note to Percy, Aziz is 260 lbs., not 240 lbs., according to everything I’ve read and he looks every bit that big. Sorry man, but out of respect for my role model I had to rub in the minutia.

Allen, who has been really busy with Husky Hoops after focusing more on other assignments from the Times, also did a nice post on Sunday with quotes from the UW players on media day about what these practice retreats are like to start the year.

Don Ruiz of the Morning News Tribune reported on UW Media day and there were a few newsworthy items that came up.

Romar told the media that Matt, Isaiah Thomas and Justin Holiday are likely starters, but that nothing is guaranteed.

“I would think those guys going into camp would be the ones that would start off as starters. And again – I repeat – that means absolutely nothing if we come out here the first day and a guy is getting outplayed. It doesn’t mean anyone’s starting. But going into it, you would think that those guys would have the edge.”

Romar seemed optimistic during the conference call about the number of options that this group offers him. I also spoke to a few players down at the event on Wednesday, but nothing of major news was discussed. On Monday we will be welcoming Darnell Gant to “Talkin’ Hoops”. Darnell was scheduled last week, but couldn’t make it due to a personal issue.

There is a new blog in Seattle called seattlesportsstop.com which did a particularly interesting and comprehensive preview of the Dawgs. The writer of the blog is not listed on the site, but whoever they are I was both amused and impressed by their attention to detail.

The preview was filled with comments that seemed well informed both of the game and the Dawgs themselves, like this one on Overton.

“I can imagine few things in life that would be more annoying than being given a basketball, and challenged to dribble from baseline to baseline against Venoy Overton. I wouldn’t want to. He’s ruthless, he’ll harass you, your daddy, and your grandma, rob you blind, and talk xxxx as he’s doing it.”

Could be that whoever is doing this is a pro writer that needs a chance to say what he really thinks without being called a UW homer or jeopardizing his “professional integrity”? I find this blogger to be better informed on UW than nearly all of the national pundits, but many casual fans are for that matter.

Seth Davis of sports Illustrated is a great example of that. In his “Ten Burning Questions” feature, answering questions about the upcoming season, he discounts the Pac-10 as if it were a given, based on the consistent coverage in the mainstream media, that the league was not going to bounce back significantly, as I feel that it will.

All the way on the 2nd page of his feature with question #9 Davis asks, “Will the Pac-10 be any better?”, He then answers dismissively, “The short answer is, not really”. He went on to explain that Washington will be the only team that will stay in the national picture throughout the season, which should be good news for UW fans, but is not realistic in my mind.

“It will probably seem like the conference has improved because unlike last season, when the Pac-10 spent most of the year without having a single team in the top 25, it will have a marquee team in Washington.”

Davis feels that UCLA, the leagues “Marquee program” will be better, so that with UW could mean that the league could appear to be improved, which sounds to me as if this is smoke and mirrors.

Of three of the leagues other top teams, “Arizona, Arizona State and Washington State are just OK”. Seth is wrong about a lot of things, but I’m not going to address his every point here today. I’ll just say that in March we’ll see who was right.

SI, however gave UW a nice, but clearly deserved, mention for having one of the nations top back courts. My question for Davis is this. If Washington’s back court is so good and the league is so bad, how did they finish 3rd in the Pac-10 last

year?

Rivals also made a somewhat smarmy assessment in their similar feature on Friday

“The Pac-10 would be hard-pressed to be much worse than it was in 2009-10, when it flirted with being a one-bid league. While it looks to be, by far, the worst of the six major conferences, it should be improved. After reaching the Sweet 16, Washington is a clear favorite, though the Huskies must replace Quincy Pondexter. After shedding some bad apples, UCLA will rebuild around Tyler Honeycutt, Malcolm Lee and Reeves Nelson. Arizona and Washington State will hope for more consistency

under second-year coaches Miller and Ken Bone, respectively. But nobody else needs to have any NCAA hopes.”

This one is rich with road apples. First of all the Pac-10 was sorely underrated in a fashion that would be grounds for a mistrial in a court case were the jury reading all of the hype that ESPN, followed by Yahoo, SI and the rest distribute.

Cal and 3rd place and conference tourney champ UW got in the Big Dance, but ASU was criminally overlooked in my opinion. At worst the conference should have had three bids and Cal’s win over Louisville and UW’s Sweet-16 showing should have clearly demonstrated that. Why are we hearing this crap after what happened on the court last March?

The Pac-10 is not the “worst of the six major conferences” for that same reason. UCLA didn’t shed some “bad apples”. Ben Howland is the bad news Bruin here and everyone in the know is starting to realize that. Funny how these corporate media “sources” keep running to his rescue, never balancing a statement with the mountain of accounts to the contrary.

Howland ran off Drew Gordon, “Bobo” Jamison and Mike Moser, just this past year. Tyler Honeycutt and Malcolm Lee are leaving as soon as they possibly can for the pros. Jrue Holiday and numerous other former Bruins have also privately expressed similar regrets towards their dealing with Bennie.

Most (but not all) of the big time blue-chippers that Ben signs ultimately don’t like Howland’s system and now most recruits are not buying it, though the chances are good in my opinion that someone involved is often buying them.

2011 guard Norman Powell told the San Diego papers that Howland is going to play faster and less hands on, but if he or 2011 ASU Commitment Jahii Carson (who was given a similar close by Herb Sendek) believes that, I’ve got some swamp land in Florida that would make a great vacation hideaway for the two of them. Plenty of space, but watch out for them ‘Gators.

Arizona and WSU are not bubble teams, but should instead be looked at this year as likely tournament teams with the talent returning and OSU and USC from early reports look to be surprisingly improved and anyone that questions ASU’s ability to win games is not paying attention (helpful hint for Seth).

Every team in D1 has NCAA hopes, let alone all but maybe 2-3 of the talent laden, coaching rich teams in the Pac-10. This stuff is over the line in my opinion.

ESPN’s Andy Katz seems to lead this agenda that results in goldmines like the SI and Rivals snippets. After picking Gonzaga 8th in his incredibly predictable style, he then picks UW at #17 and subsequently picks no other Pac-10 team in his top-25, plus 13 others to “Watch”.

In his segment on the Dawgs Katz has to use it as another chance to either mention the Zags (which I do not believe are guilty of major corruption), as he has done for years, or Kentucky (more recently) almost every time UW’s name has come up.

“Like Jay Wright, there was positive karma with Lorenzo Romar sharing the coaching duties in Las Vegas for the USA Basketball select team. And the guard play is extremely solid with the return of Isaiah Thomas, Venoy Overton and Abdul Gaddy, wings Justin Holiday and newcomers led by Terrence Ross. Losing Quincy Pondexter shouldn’t be underplayed, though. We’ll know early enough about the Huskies when they go to the Maui Invitational with a possible semifinal match up against Kentucky.”

My comment for Andy is this. The same standard that people are holding Jim Calhoun to, while he plays dumb as to what has Been going on around his program, needs to be applied to you sir. Everyone knows what John Calipari has been doing, just as those that lived in his era knew what Al Capone was up to. The only real question is, which side are you on?

If you (and others in your position) do not use your abilities as a journalist to uproot “Coach Cal” and other corruption that sit directly on your beat and instead hype his program at all turns in the road along with poo pooing those that attempt to stand in the way of this evil greed (as you do) you are part of the problem.

Venoy was once again recognized as one of the top defensive players in the nation, this time by SI.

“Ask any good Pac-10 guard to name the most annoying or aggressive defender he’s faced, and he’ll likely say Overton.”

According to the Seattle Times Jerry Brewer, “Isaiah Thomas could be most dangerous force in Pac-10”.

Thomas has worked very hard this past summer on his shooting and showed a much clearer mindset last season in his ability to defend and distribute and he told Brewer that those facets of his game have also improved.

“I’ve matured so much the past two years. Knowing when to take over, when to get my teammates off, when to shoot, when to pass, I’m so much better at it. I don’t think too much about it. I just can read what’s happening on the floor.”

ESPN’s new recruiting guru, Dave Telep mentioned Terrence Ross as the top freshman in the Pac-10 this coming season. Ross may be more familiar to Telep from his days in Maryland. Telep is very plugged into what all of the kids are doing recruiting wise through his network, who or what that may be, but is not as plugged into the west coast when it comes to taking stock of talent, as he is on the east where he resides.

Ross was at a prep school at Maryland and Telep was probably made aware of his elite level talent out there, while some players, C.J. Wilcox in particular are not so familiar to him, along with others in the conference. That said, Ross is that good and likely deserves that accolade, so I guess Dave could be right after all.

Two other pure freshman players worth mentioning are Maurice Jones and Ahmad Starks, smallish PG’s for USC and OSU respectively out of Chicago. Keala King of ASU is going to make some noise, as is the Sun Devils’ Corey Hawkins, the son of former Seattle Sonic Hersey Hawkins.

The Beavers’ Roberto Nelson, if he ever gets healthy and eligible, is going to make waves too and both Cal and Stanford have numerous frosh who will put up impressive stats, if for no other reason than plenty of PT. Josh Huestis of Stanford is a sleeper to watch.

Sources have informed me that he has all the tools to be a great 3-4 in the Pac-12 and beyond, but was hidden away in Great Falls MT. Don’t be surprised to see Allen Crabbe win the Freshman of the Year award. Ross is a better player in my mind, but Crabbe will perhaps have greater opportunities to show his stuff right away.

One UW guy that had a chance to show his stuff last season at UW and received a lot of heat in the process was Abdul Gaddy.

According to Gohuskies.com, Gaddy tweeted after watching the Portland Trail Blazers NBA exhibition fund raiser at Garfield High School on Thursday with Bryan-Amaning, that he and Matt are “watchin where we are headin!”.

Isaiah Thomas has tweeted that Gaddy is headed to the league and will blow up this year. All of this is good news for UW fans, but I still think that Abdul stays for three years.

Terrence Jones stood next to Ross and told the world that he would be a Husky, only to recoil in mysterious fashion and sign with Kentucky after three weeks of what can best be described as a docu-drama in April and May. Jones needed all of the time in the interim to come up with enough material for his “explanation” for Yahoo’s Jason King.

I don’t who I feel has more integrity, Jones or King, but this piece is full of some classic eye rollers. One account from Jones to King about Terrence being awestruck with the dribble drive offense as a 9th grader seemed particularly well concocted.

“So impressed was Jones that, as a 15-year-old, he logged onto Memphis’ website in hopes of contacting Calipari. He said he found the main number to the school’s athletic department and called several times. Eventually, though, Jones grew frustrated with the automated menus and voice prompts.”

What was also interesting was this account from Calipari in the article.

“We had been told he was coming [to Kentucky]. I was at a function and someone called and said he picked Washington. I said, ‘What? How did that happen?’”

Why didn’t John say, Jones told us or Terrence told me? I’ll have my people call your people and we’ll work something out is what that sounds like to me. Surrogates are the key in my opinion, as to why it is so hard to nail “Coach Cal”.

He is too slick to reveal enough there to not be able to deflect with something about an assistant coach, but I believe that others are involved, which is in itself an NCAA violation, let alone what they may be doing to close his deals.

One former Dawg who turned down Tubby Smith, the honest coach before the coach before Calipari (Billy Gillespie) at the UK, is Adrian Oliver.

Oliver is being mentioned as an honors candidate this year by many and could have helped the Huskies greatly over these past two seasons, which included an outright Pac-10 title, a conference tourney title and a Sweet-16 appearance.

Adrian transferred to San Jose State, who have been a bottom end WAC program on the hardwood. Oliver was pictured in Yahoo after his game last year at Hec-Ed, hugging Lorenzo Romar. Did Romar look bitter that Adrian left? Not at all. SJSU offered a class dedicated to producing a successful March Madness event for Adrian senior year.

This is a cool idea to use a college marketing course as a spring board to promote the Men’s and Women’s teams, but if Oliver wanted to be in a program where the school and community is excited about his team, why didn’t he stay in Seattle? I know it may sound cold, but pay attention kids.

Think very carefully when your impulses tell you to run away from a tough challenge. Quincy Pondexter stuck around and now he is in the NBA with a lot of success at Washington and support from the community of his school behind him. I truly hope Adrian does well anyway, but in this case there is a lesson to be learned.

Husky Recruiting Corner

2011 UW post recruit Norvel Pelle was not at Kansas’ Midnight Madness event, though KUSports.com’s Gary Bedores said it was “possible” that he could make it out.

2011 UW post recruit Angelo Chol was there and expressed some sticker shock in regards to the price he paid for attending the huge gala in a tweet.

“Done some things I’m not proud of tonight”

Chol also mentioned that KU Coach Bill Self came out dressed as “Vanilla Ice”. I’m not sure what this has to do with preparing a team for the season, but it is part and parcel when it comes to these big factory school promo events. What these schools are trying to sell often to kids is that is you come here it going to be fun.

That fun involves girls, parties and limo rides. I feel that UW fans should be proud that their coach does not sell his program with either of those sales tools. Whether it sells Chol or Pelle, remains to be seen, but UW must get a big guy in 2011.

With Matt gone after this year and Tacoma CC’s Kevin Davis’ ability to pass UW admissions unknown, my concern is that UW will need a big man that is physical. Jernard Jarreau could be a great player. Like Robert Parrish of Centenary, he is a skinny kid from the deep south who has extraordinary raw skills, but will he be to be a Pac-12 physical presence in a year.

I think that Davis will sign, in the hope that he can gain eligibility, but that UW should get another big man in anyway and let the numbers take care of themselves. Aziz N’Diaye could go right to the league.

Don’t kid yourself, a seven-foot 260 lb. player that can run and is a hustle guy is a valued commodity in the NBA draft. A lot of guys like Aziz have been drafted in the 1st round, half of which by the Sonics.

From the way that he and Isaiah Thomas are talking Abdul Gaddy could go pro. He has taken an unfair measure of criticism from some elements of the Seattle media and some of the loudest mouths of the UW fan base. Though Thomas is probably more ready to play at the next level than Gaddy, Gaddy is much less of a risk to an NBA GM at his height.

Ross could go pro, though he claims that he is staying all 4 years. UW needs to get another big guy in 2011, because even if N’Diaye stays, teams could focus on fouling him out and UW needs to have another option on nights where they succeed and his minutes are limited in 2011-2012. Gant should be a good answer, but that is not enough depth.

if you have a group of guards and wings that are top of the line and are too thin up front, it is a huge waste. We have seen what the opposite looks like this past year at UCLA, when they had too few guards and were pathetic.

Maybe Austin Seferian-Jenkins on loan from the football team could help, but with all of these great players, some big guy has got to be thinking that UW is a great opportunity. If the UW coaches can’t sell one on their program and are too focused on closing Chol and Pelle, that could wind up to be a critical mistake.

2012 UW guard recruit Gabe York was the subject of a recruiting update from the Notre Dame Rivals site. Other than talking about the Irish, as would be expected, York mentioned Washington prominently, as one of the schools he would like to visit.

“Other than hoping to visit Notre Dame soon, York doesn’t have any other trips in the works. He would like to check out Washington, Oregon State, Marquette and Kansas, among others.”

Prephoopsassist.com did an update on all of the top uncommitted 2011 players, which had some info or more appropriately opinion on 2011 UW forward recruit DeAndre Daniels, Chol and Pelle.

Of Chol, who they rank at #47 and state that, “Chol has Washington, Alabama, North Carolina, Kansas and Alabama under consideration”. Apparently, with the info out that Arizona can’t close the deal on any new 2011 recruits, until they see how things look in the spring, may have eliminated the ‘Cats.

On Pelle at #55 all they had was a quote from Zagsblog from late September and for Daniels all that was said is that he is wide open.

Is it too early to talk about the class of 2015? Tacoma guard David Crisp is just incredible in a new youtube highlight reel.

Pac-12 Round Up

WSU packed 3,000 seat Bohler Gym for its midnight madness event on Friday. According to Scout, “Defense was nothing more than an afterthought in the 8-minute scrimmages staged by the Men’s and Women’s teams”.

The men’s segment ended in a 22-22 tie and also according to Scout, “No one looked better Friday than Klay Thompson”, which is great news for Coug fans. Australian freshman Dexter Kernich-Drew won the dunk contest and has been commended for his all-around play, while JC transfer Faisal Aden was commended for his outside shooting and all-around play.

According to numerous reports, Andre Winston from Tacoma is looking like Reggie Moore’s back-up and PG and is also reportedly has “looked sharp” along with frosh forward Patrick Simon. Overall it sounds to me that things are looking very much upbeat for Ken Bone and the Cougars. There was a Youtube highlight reels done of the event.

Utah has started its quest to use their inclusion in the new Pac-12 to mine recruits from the West Coast by receiving a pledge from six-foot-six prep forward George Matthews from Phoenix AZ.

According to Rivals, “Matthews is currently attending a post-graduate year at local basketball powerhouse Westwind Prep International” but also originally hails from St. Mary’s High School in Phoenix, where he graduated. He is a post graduate player, but will enter Utah as a pure freshman.

According to Rivals, “It looked as though Matthews would verbally commit to West Virginia this summer after the program offered him a scholarship, but West Virginia wanted Matthews for the 2010 basketball season and Matthews and his family decided that prep school was a better route for this season – allowing Matthews to attend college next year in 2011.”

Also according to the report from Rivals, “He chose Utah over ‘Seton Hall, West Virginia, Clemson and Colorado'”

Stanford freshman guard Anthony Brown did a large Q+A with Yahoo blogger Jeff Eisenberg.

Stanford returns all but one of the key players from a team that were able to get 14 wins this past year and nearly beat Kentucky in Puerto Rico. That one player was Landry Fields, who is currently doing fine in the NBA and was really a one man wrecking crew for them last season.

Improving as a team is certainly likely, with the addition of a number of highly thought of freshmen, including Brown, who is full of optimism.

“I think we have all the pieces we need to make a run at the NCAA tournament and the Pac-10 championship.”

Brown also mentioned the return of Josh Owens as being a major key to the season. Stanford was Fields, Anthony Green and some players who on occasion did a good job fulfilling roles in support of those two. This year they will be better, having so much back, but I’m not sure there is enough of a real go-to-guy to fill Landry’s shoes.

The SF Chronicle talked more about Owens, who just might be able to provide an inside presence to match Green outside fireworks to get the job done. Overall it looks like Stanford could be the better of the two in the Bay Area, but it is hard to count out Coach Mike Montgomery.

Stanford, Cal and Oregon will be the three worst teams in the Pac-10. Suffice it to say that the league is going to be much better.

UCLA’s Josh Smith of Kent WA painted a rosy picture, as to his quest to slim down for the season. Bruin fans are excited over the good news that he lost 50 lbs. Husky Digest has reported that Smith is very slow in open gyms, but it won’t be long to see the question answered on the court.

Smith told Scout in a video clip that he decided on UCLA after his sophomore year at Kentwood High School, but sounded afraid of the backlash from the community. Sounds kind of wimpy to me. I hope that Smith does well, as he is a local kid, but not wasting people’s time would have been greater appreciated, if he is concerned about what they think about him.

In his picture on Media day he still looks pretty big, but having a bruiser to support Reeves Nelson would be a major plus for the Bruins as long as he’s not too slow.

Nelson has been developing a jumper according to ESPN. if he has a mid-range shot working, along with his brutal low post game, UCLA is going to be much improved. With what I’ve heard from sources in the off-season about Tyler Honeycutt’s progress and improvement at the PG position with the addition of JC transfer Lazeric “Zeke” Jones UCLA will be improved.

Numerous sources have reported that Honeycutt had hip problems that could affect his NBA plans and the coming season.

ASU has concerns in the middle, as little used sophomore Ruslan Pateev and freshman Jordan Bachyski will all be new at the center position, but overall the team looks to be in decent shape. Doug Haller did a preview of the Sun Devils that points out that although they lost half the roster, the new faces coming in and the players already there are an impressive group.

Normally when you have to replace that many kids it spells trouble, but Coach Herb Sendek seems to have it under control. With Herbie, you either buy in or move on and he doesn’t seem to have much trouble finding great kids to make that journey.

One of the finest big men in the nation in the class of 2013 decided to go with Sendek, as Maurice Kirby committed to the Sun Devils, according to Rivals.

Kirby is 15 years old, but is already six-foot-nine and still growing. Many feel he has a future in the NBA. Washington had been recruiting him for a while as well. The Dawgs may have backed away though, as according to Rivals, they were not mentioned in a rather long list of suitors by Kirby.

Carrick Felix is a JC transfer for ASU that played with Aziz at CSI in Twin Falls. Felix told Scout that the Sun Devils are going to run this year, which is really hard to believe, based on Herb’s track record.

“We’re going to be running the floor, up and down. I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people. I think they’re going to be shocked when they see us.”

Maybe what Jahii Carson was told, may be somewhat true, but I’ll believe it when I see it. Sendek has always played a very deliberate style.

The Sun Devils did an interesting Q+A as a team for Doug Haller where they were asked who they would most want to talk hoops with.

Kyle Cain, an undersized JC transfer post that could help with his maturity this year for ASU said the politically correct thing and answered Herb Sendek. Freshman Corey Hawkins, who was a scoring machine and broke numerous Arizona state records in high school mentioned his dad Hersey the former Sonic, which was nice to hear.

Jamelle McMillan did not mention his dad, who is former Sonic and current Blazer coach Nate, but instead mentioned coaching legend Larry Brown. Pateev mentioned former Philadelphia 76er legend Doug Collins, who he says comes out to practices on occasion.

According to the LA Times, USC will likely start little freshman Maurice Jones, while veteran Donte Smith will support, at least until transfer Jio Fontan becomes eligible.

It sounds as if Kevin O’Neill has really struck gold with Jones. I have been very impressed with what I’ve seen of him and he could very well be the next great small man in a league that has had some really good ones lately in UW’s Thomas, Jerome Randle of Cal and Tajuan Porter of Oregon.

USC is making a point of selling the idea that the bad influences that brought down the program in the past are in for some changes in policy. According to ESPN, agents are not going to be allowed, along with other basketball bizzers.

“Under NO circumstances will the following individuals be permitted access to practice facilities: agents (such as sports agents, marketing agents or financial advisors to athletes) or their employees, representatives or affiliates (including “runners”).

My question is why were they before? This at least defines the problem and attempts to remedy it, but any school that allows for those types to come to practice is really playing it fast and loose to begin with. If the NCAA doesn’t actually have this as a bylaw, they should.

USC AD Pat Haden told boosters that agents are, “A disgusting problem” and added that “From what I’m finding out, it’s even worse with basketball”.

Great stuff Pat, but did you know that a ton of players like O.J. Mayo came to your school, because of its close proximity to so many agents? I’m glad that USC is taking these actions, but we’ll soon see how the boosters end up liking what happens with all of the elite level recruits that they are accustomed to signing, especially in football.

How soon will USC transition from punished program to conference contender. Not long according to senior post Alex Stepheson in the Orange County Register on Saturday.

“I think we’re good enough to win the Pac-10.”

Oregon got an NCAA waiver for J.R. Stowbridge, a 5th year senior guard who has played at a number of schools, according to a tweet from Mike Decourcey the Sporting News.

“Oregon gets a waiver on transfer J.R. Stowbridge. Can play this season. Ducks need warm bodies”

Stowbridge played at Nebraska, transferred to South Carolina, then ended up at Jacksonville. He was given a waiver to play his senior year at Oregon without having to sit out a year for transferring again. The NCAA allows seniors to do that if they graduate prior and want to pursue a field of study that is not offered by their school.

Another Duck senior awarded a waiver for medical reasons is Joevan Catron. According to Coach Dana Altman in the Eugene Register-Guard, Catron is “An injury waiting to happen”. Not a ringing endorsement of optimism on a player that is essential to any hopes that Oregon has for this season.

If Joevan goes down it may be time to talk about Oregon avoiding being tied with Oregon State’s record for worst all-time conference slate at 0-18.

According to Coach Sean Miller in AZstarnet.com ‘Zona freshman guard Danial Bejarano is a hard worker and physically fit to go with his talents with the basketball.

“Daniel from Day 1 in late August until our first day of practice has improved in some respects as much as anyone in our program. He showed a lot of will and talent to do that and be No. 1 as a freshman.”

Northwest Round Up

Seattle U is listed by Rivals as having a 2010 commit from Freddy Wilson of Franklin High School by way of Westwind Academy in Phoenix AZ, but according to Rivals visit list for this past weekend, Wilson visited Seton Hall, but Wilson is on the Redhawks 2010-2011 roster.

Perhaps he and Seattle U have parted ways and he has reclassified to 2011, but this very well could be a mistake as well.

Montana has received a commitment from Auburn High School guard Kevin Henderson, according to a tweet from a Missoula blogger named “mslacat”

“I have heard from multiple sources Kevin Henderson a 6-3 guard from Auburn HS in WA has committed to the U of Montana Grizzly program”

According to the Seattle Times Mason Kelley, Henderson picked Montana over Portland State.

NCAA Corruption

Baylor is under NCAA investigation. As more details are start to surface as to how and why, star player LaceDarius Dunn is also involved with a suspicious situation in regards to a domestic incident.

According to ESPN, his girlfriend had her jaw broken in two places by him according to a police report, but now she is asserting that it was a result of an accident and that he did not hit her. Dunn has been allowed to practice, but because of a felony aggravated assault charge that is still pending, he is ineligible.

My concern here is why did she change her story? Is it possible that someone with a vested interest in Dunn playing basketball make her a better offer or is she (knowing that this could be a remedy) playing this out for another reason.

The Waco police seemed to be convinced that this was a case of domestic violence. They may have an idea what that is. A much deeper inquiry is needed here in my opinion.

In the NY Times Kevin Kunst, a high school AD confirmed that the NCAA, “Is engaged in a wide investigation of the Baylor University’s Men’s basketball program that includes its recruitment of Hanner Perea, a forward from Colombia who is widely considered one of the best 25 high school juniors in the country”.

At issue, among other possible violations is an egregious text message sent by a Baylor assistant coach that appears to literally threaten Perea with deportation to his original home in Columbia if he does not choose Baylor.

UConn Head Coach Jim Calhoun met with the NCAA on Friday for more than 12 hours, according to the AP, regarding the investigations into his program.

The University said that Calhoun chose to skip UConn’s March Madness event “First Night” to meet with the NCAA rather than miss the team’s 1st practice.

Calhoun acted put out by the experience, as if he felt it was unnecessary.

“I couldn’t wait to get to the gym. I’m in a place I feel comfortable. I’m a basketball coach and I couldn’t wait to get back in the gym. I’m here to coach basketball and that’s what I’m doing right now. I’m just happy to be here.”

Note to Jim. I don’t buy your story or your bald blue collar appeal about just being an average Joe wanting to do your job. You have been running a hoops factory that has pumped out NBA players for a very long time, packs a huge gym and has a huge contract with Nike. That is the good news for you in my book.

The bad news to me is that people on the street say you are running it dirty as well. We only need to look at the case of USC and the Josh Luchs feature in SI to see what the effect of agents has on programs that look, taste and smell like yours. You are not a blue collar guy Jim. You are a greedy aristocrat basically.

Retire in shame so that the University can rebuild without your legacy tearing it down. Return that Hall of Fame plaque with an apology. Tell everyone about what you have done. Tell everything you know about Nike who make a fortune selling your brand and the other coaches that are aided by their network of runners and deal sweeteners on the recruiting trail.

Tell everyone about the boosters at UConn and all of the agents, not just the one that was found out about. Then you may deserve the respect of people that earn an honest living.

Former Kentucky guard Darnell Dodson was arrested Friday morning at 3AM, according to the Louisville Courier Journal, for disorderly conduct.

In the report it was also stated that Dodson had been trying to be reinstated by Kentucky, but that Coach John Calipari “Closed the door on that possibility on Thursday at a press conference. Calipari had stated that Dodson’s return was a possibility.

This is obviously not Calipari’s fault, but I feel that it is worth mentioning that the kind of behavior that Darnell demonstrated has been a hallmark of his programs. Recently former Assistant Coach Rod Strickland was fired for at least 3 DUI’s.

Why Calipari, who in my opinion runs a very fast and loose operation, didn’t get rid of Strickland after his 2nd DUI should tell you something.

Louisville is no better, they just don’t have much juice on the recruiting trail as Kentucky right now in the form of William “Worldwide Wes” Wesley in my opinion. That doesn’t mean that the ‘Ville doesn’t have their own dirty birds flying across the country working any angle they can.

According to ESPN blogger Eamonn Brennan, a Kentucky fan had been contacting anyone that would listen to point out that Louisville hired 2011 Kentucky commit Marquis Teague’s AAU coach Shabaka Lands, but now that Teague has chosen Kentucky, Lands is no longer employed by the Cardinals.

I guess the NCAA should look at this as a reason to investigate Louisville, as I believe they are Kentucky, if they haven’t already. It’s nice to watch these fans, who readily admit that their school does the same thing, to point out others who smell equally as bad. For the NCAA is should take some of the work out of it I hope.

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