Sunday, November 02, 2008

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (11/3)

By Bruin Basketball Report

Prep News Roundup is published every Monday.


Lute Olson's doctor said Tuesday that the former Arizona basketball coach had a stroke within the last year and he advised him to retire. The comments by Dr. Steven Knope at a news conference called by Olson's family offer the first explanation for Olson's sudden retirement last week, two days after he appeared at the Wildcats' media day. Olson said at the time he was energized and looking forward to his 25th season with Arizona. Knope said an MRI confirmed the stroke in the frontal part of Olson's brain, which left the Hall of Famer with severe depression and impaired judgment. "This is a rather cruel twist of fate," Knope said at a McKale Center news conference attended by two of Olson's daughters, Jodi Brase and Christi Snyder. GoAZCats 10/28

Arizona's loss became Washington's gain Tuesday night as guard Abdul Gaddy of Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma, the highest-rated recruit in the state, announced he will sign a letter-of-intent next month to play basketball for the Huskies. The 6-3, 170-pound Gaddy, rated by as the No. 2 point guard in the nation, had previously committed to Arizona. But he reopened his recruitment last week when Arizona coach Lute Olson announced his retirement for health reasons. Gaddy's father, Abdul Gaddy Sr., said Tuesday night his son was worried about the "inconsistencies" of the coaching situation at Arizona, which he said had been his dream school for years. Once Arizona was no longer in the picture, Gaddy again seriously considered UW along with UCLA, which he had also visited. "We came back to the drawing board and (UW) coach (Lorenzo) Romar has always been there," Gaddy Sr. said. "He's followed him since he was a freshman in highs school. And it will be a great opportunity to play in front of family and friends. It was just kind of a no-brainer at the end." Seattle Times 10/28

Abdul Gaddy's commitment will also help Romar with the recruitment of power forward Josh Smith – class of 2010 - and guard Tony Wroten, who might be the best player in the nation in the class of 2011. Gaddy has a relationship with both players. Thomas helped recruit Gaddy to UW. Now, both of them will go to work on Smith and Wroten. Seattle PI 10/29

News that Lute Olson was stepping down as Arizona's basketball coach hit Mike Moser hard. Moser, a senior at Grant who had made a nonbinding commitment to Arizona, awoke Thursday to the realization that his college recruitment would begin anew. "I was shocked. I was blown away," Moser said of Olson's retirement announcement. Adding to the confusion: Moser was scheduled to make a visit to Arizona over the weekend, which he saw through. He attended the Wildcats' football game against USC and got a feel for Tucson and the university. He did not, however, re-commit. "I'm pretty much back on the market," Moser said. "Right now, it's a fairly long list of schools I'm looking at. I plan on shortening the list soon." Oregonian 10/29

In the middle of his school schedule today, Mike Moser picked up the phone on my first try. That surprised me a bit. I figured he’d be either busy or fatigued by a phone ringing off the hook from folks telling him about Oregon, USC, UCLA, Louisville, Oregon State, Syracuse or any number of other schools that are now recruiting him again. All of those places want Moser to pick them quickly, sign a letter-of-intent and therefore lock himself out of ever going back to Arizona if the Wildcats pick a coach he likes next spring. Some of those schools might try that age-old trick — threatening to pull their offers off the table if he doesn’t sign now — but Moser indicated he probably won’t bite. “They’re all really pressuring me to sign early,” Moser said. “But I’m just going to wait. Wait to the spring.” Arizona Daily Star 10/29

Xavier Henry, a 6-6 guard from Putnam City (Okla.) High, likely will make his college decision sometime next week, his dad, Carl, told Xavier is recovering from injuries sustained in a car accident last week. He will meet with family members next Wednesday, then perhaps announce late next week on ESPNU. LJ World 10/30

Durand Scott is saying his list of potential schools remains at three. While sources close to Scott say he has trimmed his list to UConn and Miami, Scott said Thursday that Pittsburgh is still in the mix, too. "All the other schools had something about them that I didn't like, so that's why they're eliminated," Scott said. "None of [the remaining] schools have things I don't like." Scott, a 6-5 guard from Rice High in New York, played high school ball with UConn freshman Kemba Walker. He attended the Connecticut Elite Camp each of the last two summers at Gampel Pavilion and made an official visit to UConn in September. Hartford Courant 10/30

From the beginning, however, Renardo Sidney represented a different sort of high school star, in part because, strictly speaking, he wasn’t a high-school star. He didn’t even join a high-school team until his sophomore year, and caused a minor stir when he told The Washington Post that high-school ball is “not that important.” Of course, for Sidney, it wasn’t, but that’s not something a young player is supposed to say out loud. Instead, to the dismay of many scowling traditionalists, Sidney was almost wholly a product of the summer. He made his name in the demimonde of summer basketball: what the sneakers companies call grass-roots basketball and what most everyone else calls, in slightly misleading shorthand, A.A.U. basketball. (Many, but not all, of the events fall under the purview of the Amateur Athletic Union, a nonprofit that promotes and oversees amateur sports.) What they’re talking about is the ecosystem of shoe-company-sponsored summer traveling teams, shoe-company-sponsored summer tournaments and shoe-company-sponsored summer camps. It is a vast, roiling Dodge City of the hoops landscape, lying as it does outside the reach of high-school coaches and the regulatory arm of the N.C.A.A. — an unsavory world, in the popular imagination, of street agents and shoe boxes full of cash and chest-thumping 16-year-olds with Adidas stripes branded like bar codes on their foreheads. And largely for that reason, summer ball has become a catch-all symbol of basketball indulgence, blamed for everything from the death of the bounce pass to the corruption of America’s youth to the occasional failures of the grown men who represent USA Basketball on the international stage. It is something like basketball’s bad conscience. And it was in this system that Sidney thrived. “He blew up in A.A.U. basketball,” says Renardo Sr., who, until his contract expired recently, earned about $20,000 a year as a Reebok “consultant,” a job that mostly entailed shepherding his son to Reebok-sponsored events. NY Times 10/31

(photo credit: Oregonian, New York Times)


At Nov 3, 2008, 12:10:00 AM, Anonymous David G. said...

WOW. The New York Times just eviscerated AAU Basketball and Renardo Sidney. I think basketball gets a bad rap. I won't go so far as to say there's a hint of racial bias, but as a youth baseball coach who is heavily involved in travelball, I can attest that the same type of atmosphere exists in baseball without the negative perception. While college and pro scouts do make it out to high school baseball games, the glut of their legwork takes place in showcase events, connie mack leagues, and travelball tournaments. Admittedly, there isn't a looming corporate presence like the shoe companies, but the competition in baseball is far more fierce with significantly more athletes and a significantly higher attrition rate.

At Nov 3, 2008, 5:14:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing to report on Snaer this week?


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