Big Day for UW

Apr 30, 2010, 6:23 PM | Updated: Apr 5, 2011, 11:20 am

Terrence Jones and Terrence Ross will play together, according to the Seattle P-I, as we reported that they would a number of weeks ago.

To be fair, a lot happened that went back and forth, as opposing staffs from Kentucky, Kansas and others were able to gain inroads but never close the two talented Portland hoops legends. Jones will be the 1st McDonald’s All-American to choose Washington in the Romar era from outside of the state. Ross could have easily been one of those, had his senior year not been littered by a transfer out of the Maryland prep school that he left for after being named Oregon State Player of the Year as a sophomore.

Ross only left the door open for Jones, who won the award the next two years and the scene was emotional when the two announced their commitment to play together in Seattle as Dawgs on Friday at Jefferson High School in Portland. We’ll have much more on this story and how it will affect the landscape of Husky Basketball over the off-season.

The big competition for Jones was Kentucky down the stretch, but news that top 2010 guard Brandon Knight never signed an LOI and suspicion that the reason was concern by his family over Calipari leaving for the NBA or Kentucky being in trouble couldn’t have helped.

Emmert Moves to NCAA President, Voices Concern Over “One and Done”

Washington President Mark Emmert has been hired as the new President of the NCAA.

Right off the bat he gave some indication as to what his intentions are and possibly why the governing body of college sports chose him. He took a shot right off the bat at the one and done rule in Men’s Hoops. I

“I think it creates difficult problems inside universities when we’re trying to promote an emphasis on (players being) students as well as athletes. It certainly creates a challenge for individual programs.”

How he is going to get the NBA to change their policies again is another story, but at least it appears that Emmert intends to try. I believe that Men’s Basketball should be the same as football, baseball and any other sport. In those sports if you play at all in college you are not allowed to enter MLB or the NFL for three years, regardless to whether you are in school. For the NFL you cannot skip college and are only eligible for the league until after what would be your third year after high school.

In baseball you can go to MLB after high school, but are not eligible if you enter college for three years after. I don’t care which of these is adapted by Men’s Basketball and the NBA, but the current system is very bad. Kentucky under John Calipari has been working the system in ways that are way off the charts unethical, but expert in avoiding NCAA violations in my opinion.

That could come crashing down soon though, as I believe there are signs that something is going to pop up that will stick and force the NCAA to start investigations, once again as they did while “Coach Cal” was at both of his previous jobs in Memphis and at UMass.

Calipari has built his program in Kentucky on recruiting “One and done” players, keeping them in school in my opinion by marginal means just enough to play hoops for a season and then shipping them out to the NBA with little regard to whether they are ready or not so he can get the next group in that he has already penciled in probably before the latest one signed.

I believe that he will stop at nothing to entice kids and their parents by means which includes help from boosters, agents, Nike (which sponsors Kentucky and pumps tons of money and I believe “political help” into his basketball program) and even some back room and even back alley trickery that closely resembles mob style intimidation to promote his cause.

Everywhere along the way he expertly covers his tracks so that if something surfaces, someone else can be blamed, just like a true gangster evading the FBI, but unfortunately for the college game that has truly lost credibility while he has been up to his fun and games, the NCAA has no where hear the means and some would even argue the intention to catch him on much of anything.

Compared to the counter espionage and literally paramilitary measures that the underworld have to maintain to protect themselves from the FBI or other police forces, what it takes to evade the NCAA is child’s play. I wish that “Coach Cal” were the only one. There are a number of others out there in the college basketball world that is capable of shady dealings, but he is truly one of a kind. Having Lebron James at his disposal to help close recruits is not illegal, but speaks volumes about the level that he is dealing on.

It is a strong close to have Lebron call up a kid on your behalf, if you are a college coach, but Lebron is really part of this business that Calipari is involved in. John Wall signed with an agency that James owns and because Lebron is not the licensed agent that actually will represent him. Though James stands to benefit by signing a top-3 NBA draft pick, he is still not an agent by NCAA regulations and can recruit a kid for Calipari. He is also not a former player or even student at Kentucky.

It is more illegal under NCAA regulations for a UW student to attempt to sell a recruit on UW than it is for James, who has a sweet heart deal already set up in my opinion to gain most of the profit from representing Wall as a pro than the agent that is actually going to do the work. The NBA licensed agent that is actually on record for Wall has never had a client drafted, from what I can gather.

One thing is certain; this is fishy stuff and an obvious effort to dance all over NCAA loop holes.

John Greig, the Bellevue WA based agent that signed Demarcus Cousins, the other likely top-3 NBA pick from Kentucky this past season, admitted to me that he has also never had an NBA pick on his roster. I had heard from numerous sources that Greig became involved with Cousins early on, way before he committed to Mike Davis at UAB, Calipari or had that well documented interest in UW last year about this time. I spoke to John and I felt for the guy.

All he wants is to break into the agent game and compete with the big boys, the huge agencies that hoard the market and play games in my opinion like the one that James is rather obviously playing. I asked John if he had ever given Demarcus advice prior to him signing with him and he denied that. I have heard from numerous accounts by participants at UW open gyms that when Cousins was in town and ran with the UW guys, Greig was the one that brought him. This goes back to when he was still a possibility for UW and had not signed with Kentucky.

Here’s my question for you, the reader, since I could not get a straight one from Greig (which is no huge surprise). Why is a high school student from Alabama in Seattle for long periods of time in the summer when his AAU team or any school organization is no where near? This type of stuff is happening all over the place with guys like Cousins, so no one really notices, but that doesn’t make it right if my suspicions are found to be true.

I firmly believe that Lorenzo Romar had nothing to do with any of this, but kids getting trips and other benefits from agents and shoe guys is so common, that I believe he is well aware that it happens all over the place and is concerned with what actually concerns him. I believe that Greig has gotten in with Cousins and his family and that someone other than either a high school kid or his parents paid the expenses for him to go out to Seattle to hang out. I believe that it takes money to “Get in” with a player like Cousins and his family.

Greig did not come off as a bad guy to me when I spoke to him. He came off as a guy that has worked hard building an agency on his own having come up short, according to Greig about 20 times on landing an NBA draft pick. John did this after playing basketball at Oregon, then in the NBA for a bit in Seattle and finally over in Europe for a good bit. Greig then built a successful espresso chain in the Puget Sound area and originally hails from Olympia. He is not a bad guy, but his story is fishy.

I do not believe that he landed Cousins without doing something unethical to “Get in” with him a long time ago, probably when Demarcus was early in his high school career. It’s worked for him though and he will negotiate Demarcus’ 1st NBA contract and all of the juicy endorsement deals that go hand in hand. We have heard from sources that the big “corporate” agencies are laughing though and saying that Cousins will jump ship on him after this first set of deals and that he will only make the money back that he has already spent over a number of years to get in.

I hope that he does better than that oddly. I guess that if I have to pick one between a lone entrepreneur and a bunch of fat cats, I go with the little guy. It doesn’t make it right though. What does this have to do with Mark Emmert becoming the new NCAA president? If Mark is able to stop “One and done” it will take the steam out of this type of thing, which is getting worse every year.

Dawgs Rap on the Mic

I was rapping in NYC in 1980 before any of these guys were born, so don’t tell me that I don’t understand hip-hop at age 52. I like this youtube video of a rap song that was directed by Tyreese Breshers and features cameos by Isaiah Thomas, Abdul Gaddy, Justin Holiday, Ty, Darnell Gant and Scott Suggs.

I do not like the use of the “N-Word”, as I find it completely unnecessary in presenting this happy go lucky catchy hip-hop pop track, but one thing I have learned about rap, heavy metal, punk or even rock ‘n’ roll itself, without shocking adults it would have as much viability as video cassettes did in the 70’s and 80’s without pornography. Call me irreverent and a trouble maker, but last time I heard we have a right to free speech. I still think the use of the “N-Word” is wrong and I’m not promoting porn, but the more people like me say its bad, the more appealing it apparently becomes. .

One Dawg that has a great rap in my book is Will Conroy. The all-time Husky assists leader led his Rio Grande Valley Vipers to their first NBA Development League Championship. Will delivered an assist on the winning basket as the Vipers beat the Tulsa 66ers 94-91.

Husky Recruiting Corner

2011 UW post recruit Angelo Chol has thinned his favorites list to five schools. According to Rivals, “Kansas, Alabama, Connecticut, Georgetown, and Washington are the five schools left standing for the five-star center from California”.

Rivals also reported that 2012 guard Shabazz Muhammad has a list that includes literally every elite school in the country and includes Washington.

2012 UW guard recruit Gary Harris from IN got a great review from ESPN for his participation in the 2010 King James Shooting Stars Tournament.

“Harris is an athletic and strong wing. When he is in attack mode, he is a tremendous force. He is skilled and could project one day to the point guard position. He has a solid handle and makes good decisions with the ball. Harris is a good slasher to the basket, where he finishes above the rim. He is devastating in transition, where his speed, strength and athleticism are tough to stop. He is a decent shooter right now with range to 19 feet, but Harris must work to continue to improve his consistency and range. Harris is good at playing the passing lanes. His speed allows him to play back and then explode into the passing lane for steals, leading to easy fast breaks. He is solid on the ball and uses his strong body to deter his opponent from the lane.”

2012 UW post recruit Danny Powell has a long list that includes the UW. Rivals did a feature and stated that, “The Phoenix (Ariz.) Mesa 2012 recruit might remind some of a smaller Jon Brockman, an impressive comparison for one of the top rising juniors in Arizona.”

What better place for a kid to go than the school that helped develop the real “Brockness Monster”.

Cougar Corner

In a feature on ESPN.com Coug star guard Klay Thompson explains that he is really going to work in the off-season to get better.

WSU should be very good despite losing some talent in guard Xavier Thames. Much of the minutes that would have gone to Thames will probably end up with JC transfer Faisel Aiden who looks to me to be a very good scorer and all-around talent.

2010 Minnesota post player Kevin Noreen, received his release from Boston College and has attracted quite a bit of recruiting attention, including a lot of looks from WSU. Rivals reported that, “He picked up offers from Marquette — which he visited Saturday — and Northwestern over the weekend and also has offers from schools such as Indiana, Providence, Washington State, Colorado, Penn State and Iowa State”.

2012 WSU forward recruit Grant Verhoeven is just starting to get some major attention and could blow up this summer. According to Rivals, “Stanford, Southern Cal and Washington State have shown the most interest”. Good work by the Cougs to get involved early on a kid that should be a major name very soon.

Zags Land Bell

Mark Few scored a huge recruiting coup by landing 2011 guard Gary Bell of Kent WA. We spoke to his father Gary Sr. and it seemed as if UW and Cal were the leaders, with a possibility of other Pac-10 schools getting involved, but Gary will take his high level of basketball IQ and skill set to Spokane. It is the perfect way for the Zags to continue to build a pipeline into the Puget Sound area. GU lucked out with Steven Gray, who has turned out to be really good and will finish his Gonzaga career this coming season.

That will set the stage for Bell who should take a lot of pressure of the ‘Zaga staff in their efforts to replace Gray in the fall of 2011. The Zags also signed Keegan Hyland, a 2010 shooting guard who will also be able to weigh in to the mix after Gray’s departure.

Could Hornbuckle Get Back In Touch With Dollar?

Another Keegan, this one named Hornbuckle was an undersized power forward recruit that a number of Pac-10 schools looked at. Hornbuckle transferred out of Colorado and will likely be headed back to the west coast. He will have three years of eligibility left. Seattle U’s Cameron Dollar watched Hornbuckle while at Washington and the Redhawks might be a good fit for the six-foot-seven 205 lb. banger who comes from Southern California.

Pac-10 Round Up

USC will take in Aaron Fuller, a transfer from Iowa. The sophomore forward, who led the Big Ten in offensive rebounding last season, will be eligible in the fall of 2011.

Oregon has hired and signed Dana Altman as its new head coach and the former Creighton head man has his work cut out for him. The AP ran a piece that outlines some of the challenges that lay ahead.

UCLA landed Matt Carlino, who will attempt to enroll early in the fall of 2010. It will be similar situation to that of Daniel Hackett who enrolled early successfully after his junior year in high school. Matt will add guard depth that the Bruins sorely need.

Cal landed the player regarded as the 2nd best player in Canada after Texas commit Cory Joseph in Vancouver B.C. shooting guard Emerson Murray. Murray was a bit under the radar, as he missed his whole senior season with an injury that he sustained playing summer ball.

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Big Day for UW