Wednesday, July 25, 2012

WCAC Major Talent Pool for Colleges

As August approaches and the AAU basketball season comes to a close we are right in the thick of the college hoops recruiting period. For many areas this would be a pretty dead time in the world of amateur sports but the DC Area features the nationally renowned Washington Catholic Athletic Conference and is bound to be one of the first stops on any college coaches recruiting trip.

Here we will feature some four the top rising seniors in the WCAC and where there recruiting trails taken them so far. We have brought in Edgar Walker form to give us some insight into what he likes about each player.

Lennard Freeman, F, St. John’s (Team Takeover)
I recently featured the 6’8’’ Freeman in an article for USA Today High School Sports because his recruitment has been absolutely on fire lately. In the past months he has picked up several major offers including a pair from perennial NCAA Tournament goers Xavier and CUSA Power Memphis. Freeman, who was selected second team all-conference last season, averaged nearly a double double and led the Cadets to the conference semi-finals before they were bounced by eventual champion Paul VI. Currently Freeman holds a dozen offers and said that while he doesn’t really have a list of favorites, he said that UAB, George Washington, Xavier and Memphis are recruiting him the hardest. Walker’s take on Freeman is that he is an athletic specimen that is taking his game to the next level—a fact proven by the gratuitous amount of high level scholarships he has recently received.

BeeJay Anya, C, DeMatha (Team Takeover)
Once overweight, out of shape and nearly 300 pounds at the end of his sophomore season Anya transformed his body dropping over 30 pounds of fat leading up to his junior year. Now standing at a muscular 6’9’’ 265, Anya is one of the most sought after big men in the class of 2013. He throws down thunderous slams but his real strength is at the defensive end of the ball. There, Anya’s 7-foot-9 wingspan has helped him become one of the best shot blockers in the country. Walker told me “What I like about BeeJay is he’s a force to be reckoned with and he powers through the paint and isn’t afraid of anything on the court.” So far Anya has a host of offers from almost every powerhouse school in the country and plans on making his decision only after taking all five official visits. Things are looking good for Indiana however as they are the only school that he has said he will be visiting.

Kris Jenkins, WF, Gonzaga (DC Assault)
After losing UNC commit Nate Britt to Oak Hill and 2015 star Franklin Howard to WCAC foe Paul VI, Gonzaga’s success will rest primarily in the hands of the 6’6’’ forward Kris Jenkins.
 Luckily for the Purple Eagles, Jenkins, the 2011-2012 Washington Catholic Athletic Conference Player of the Year, is completely capable of putting the team on his back—something college coaches are taking notice of. Since last season, in which he averaged 20.4 points and 10.6 a game, Jenkins, who was already a high major recruit, has exploded into the mainstream recruiting scene. He recently told me he holds about 20 scholarship offers including ones from Miami, Xavier, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh and Villanova. Also involved in his recruitment are programs like Ohio State and Georgetown. When asked Walker was extremely high on Jenkins. He said “[Jenkins] defines as a player. You can’t limit him to one position. He can shoot, dribble, defend, just do it all. He will go in and have an immediate impact in college.”

Stanford Robinson, G, Paul VI (Team Takeover)
The lone committed player featured here, Robinson committed to Indiana in May. Prior to that point the sweet shooting 2 guard with a tenacious defensive streak was being courted by a variety of schools mostly on the east coast. Now very solid with his commitment to IU Robinson has shifted his focus to getting other players, like Anya, to commit to the Hoosiers. Walker’s take on Stan is that he is a true scorer. He is skilled in the lane and just blows by defenders off the dribble. With his commitment out of the way Robinson will be able to put his full focus on bringing another championship to PVI.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Daily News Editor Passes Knowledge onto Journalism Class

Andrew Mishler, Sports Editor for Ball State University’s Daily News is headed to London to cover the Olympic games. First though he made a stop at BSU’s Journalism Workshop to talk to the sports journalism class and pass some tips onto them as they advance in their writing careers.
As Mishler wrote several insightful tips on the board one he emphasized over and over the importance of asking questions. The class certainly followed that advice as they fired away with question after question as they picked his brain for everything they could.
Owen Fletcher, a member of the sports journalism class said, “It really got us into the web to broadcast our work and our personas because a lot of us weren’t using the web to its full potential.” Rod Satterthwaite, the teacher for the class also had some thoughts to pitch in on Mishler’s advice. He said that the presentation has helped the class to find the story behind the story, which in turn will make their own stories more interesting.
With Mishler’s know-how now in their brains, the students have the knowledge to do big things; now they just need to make them happen.

NCAA Rips PSU with Excessive Sanctions

            Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Beaver Stadium. WHAT? Well that is a list, in order, of the three most populated cities in Pennsylvania on a Saturday afternoon in autumn. The occupants of Beaver stadium are, of course, the pride and joy of Happy Valley—the Penn State Football Team—alongside 110,000 screaming fans. When NCAA President Mark Emmert stepped onto the stage at one of the most anticipated press conferences in NCAA history and announced the sanctions being handed down onto a new coach, a new administration and football team’s current Nittany Lions I, along with many others across the country just couldn’t comprehend.
             Sure I like the fact that the University will be forced to give several million dollars to the prevention of pedophilia and the sexual abuse of children, but why do it in a specified lump sum payment that will most likely be passed onto the students of the university and will have a negative effect on the University’s other sports? Instead it should have been a five or six year process in which all revenue generated from the football that DOES NOT go towards funding other sports programs. That way the University still loses money but doesn’t hurt the smaller athletic programs that had absolutely nothing to do with anything Sandusky related that went down.
            Worse than the massive payment that could easily become the crippling blow to several of the University’s minor sports is the shadow that has been the cast across not only the entirety of State College and the football program, but also over every alumnus of the school. The severity and length of the punishment will just remind of the terrible transpirings every time the Penn State football team takes the field. No—every time the institution is even brought up.
            These sanctions thrown down by NCAA President Emmert will not let Penn State University put these horrific events behind them. It will simply serve as a painful reminder to students, fans and especially to the victims of that monster Jerry Sandusky. The message would have been sent with a one or two-year bowl ban, five less scholarships per year and the required donation (broken into several different payments) from the football team’s revenue. Instead what we saw wasn’t just harsh punishment, it was sanctions that completely destroy the Penn State football program. It basically puts this storied program on equal footing with FCS schools.
            What bothers me most of all of this however is the deletion of every single Nittany Lion win since 1998. What purpose does that serve? What ineligible players were used? There were absolutely no grounds for that type of punishment. Sandusky’s actions and the subsequent follow up did not in any way shape or form have a positive effect on the team’s performance. In addition what good is tarnishing the legacy even more of a dead man? There isn’t.
            Even more it takes those wins away from the student-athletes that played in Happy Valley over that period of time. Former Nittany Lion and current Washington Redskin running back Evan Royster was among the hundreds of athletes affected. Yesterday he expressed his disappointment; a sentiment shared by many of the former PSU athletes, when he tweeted “ah crap... so I lost every college football game I ever played in?” Oh and did I mention that the NCAA didn’t even take proper procedure when determining the punishment. Mark Emmert came up with the decision without even running it past his council. It’s just ridiculous.
            When its all said and done though one thing stands true. Happy Valley isn’t very happy anymore.