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SoCalHoops Recruiting News

News & Notes, Stuff & Tidbits For
The Beginning Of Spring--(Apr. 1, 2002)

Ah, spring....Where do we begin......

Player Notes....Hassan Adams has been named by Gatorade as the California State Player of the Year.  This is strictly a deal sponsored by Gatorade, and it's part of the company's selection of the top player in the country, so while the award was reported by many of the local newspapers as though Hassan had been chosen as the "official" player of the year in California, there actually is no such award, at least not one given out by the CIF.  We certainly don't mean to denigrate the accomplishments that Hassan has achieved this season, including being named as Gatorade's "Player of the Year" in California, but there are a few other competing awards that are currently and/or which will be just as prestigious once they are announced.  One such award is Cal-Hi Sports' new "Mr. Basketball 2002".  We earlier posted the list of nominees, which consisted of about 80+ players, and that list was narrowed to just six boys in the past few days by Cal-Hi Sports.  The six finalists are: Hassan Adams of Westchester, Evan Burns from Fairfax,  Nate Carter from Horizon in San Diego who will reportedly walk-on at San Diego State next year, Marquise Kately from Riordan in San Francisco, Marvin Lea from Riverside M.L. King,  and Leon Powe from Oakland Tech.  And while we usually don't mention the girls, here are the six female finalists for Ms. Basketball 2002:   Dominique Banks from St. Mary's, Stockton;  Nikki Blue from Bakersfield West;   Courtney LaVere from Buena in Ventura;  Noelle Quinn from Bishop Montgomery;   Brooke Smith from Marin Catholic in Kentfield;  Candice Wiggins from La Jolla Country Day and the odds-on favorite to win it this year (in our humble opinion, not knowing much about girls' hoops) is Sa'de Wiley-Gatewood from Lynwood.

More Player Notes... About two weeks ago, Frank Burlison reported at Fox something we've been hearing for months, and that was the rumor that Marcus Williams, a 6'-2" Jr. PG from Crenshaw was about to transfer to Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, VA, for his senior season.  Contrary to popular opinion, Oak Hill does not play fifth year seniors or post-grads, but only high school players.....but we digress.  We bumped into Marcus a few weeks ago at a State Regional semifinal game and spoke with him at the time,  which was about two weeks before Frank's report had been published. Marcus told us then that he was uncertain about his future and whether he would transfer or return to Crenshaw.  He acknowledged that he and his father, Kelly Williams, had been speaking with the Oak Hill admissions people, but wasn't certain whether he would be making the switch.  Williams has also long been mentioned as one of UCLA's top prospects at the point guard position from the class of 2003 (others include players like Ayinde Ubaka from Oakland, Kalief Ford from Diamond Bar, and a few others), and there is speculation that if Williams head east this will spell trouble for the Bruins, but we don't share that view, at least not based on our conversations with Williams' father.  UCLA is certainly a leader for Marcus,   along with Arizona, and while Oak Hill would open up some new recruiting interest from east coast powers with ties to that program (notably Maryland and others in the ACC), we still think Williams is likely to head back home when it's all said and done....

HS Coaching Moves:  Much of what we're hearing about coaching changes comes from the Central Valley.  The Fresno Bee reported last week that Bullard's head coach, Dan Kilbert will be moving to an assistant coach position at the college level, specifically at Fresno Pacific University.  The word is that former Fresno Buchanan boys coach Tony Petersen is interested in the job. The Fresno Bee also reported last week that Buchanan fired Peterson. Buchanan athletic director Chris Hansen refused to comment on Petersen's removal or go into detail of the coaching search. Applications for the opening will be accepted until April 12, Hansen said.  Its also rumored by some that Vance Walberg, the very successful head coach at Clovis West may throw his hat into the ring for the Fresno City College job,   although we really don't know anything about that first-hand.

Speaking of College Jobs....The college coaching job carousel picked up a lot of steam last week.  Fresno State's Jerry Tarkanian announced his retirement two weeks ago, and the search for a replacement saw names like UCLA assistant Jim Saia, UC Irvine head coach Pat Douglass, and Oklahoma assistant Ray Lopes, and it looks like he's the favorite. The University of Washington fired Bob Bender, and several names have been mentioned to replace him, including Missouri head coach Quin Snyder who apparently pulled his name out of the running; others being mentioned are Saint Louis head coach and former Pepperdine head coach and UCLA assistant Lorenzo Romar, who also played college ball at Washington and current Minnesota head coach Dan Monson, who many believe is the front-runner for the job.  Long Beach State announced today (no it's not an April Fool's joke) that Cal State San Bernardino Coach Larry Reynolds has been hired, meaning the CSUSB job is now open too.  And here's our "most curious" move of the year:  New Mexico agreed to a severance of head coach Fran Fraschilla, whose program was plagued by dissension this season, leading to the release of talented but volatile point guard Marlon Parmer.   So the NM job opens up and Oregon State head coach Ritchie McKay gets the Lobo head job. Remember though a few years back when McKay was hired at Colorado State?  He described it as his "dream job"....Two years later he took the Oregon State job and also described that as his "dream job".... So who gets the now-vacated Oregon State job?  Your guess is as good as ours, but we hear that Bobby Braswell, the current CSUN head coach would certainly be interested,  and if the CSUN job opens up, we'd also expect current University of Portland assistant Eddie Hill to throw his name into the hopper for that the Matador head coaching position, at least that's what some people tell us.   Of course, the folks who run the CSUN athletic department have some strong ties to Maryland, so don't be surprised to see longtime (11 years) Terp assistant Jimmy Patsos looking for a head coaching gig somewhere which might also include Northridge, although now that the Terps have won the national championship, we certainly think that Patsos might merit a job in one of the east coast conferences.  And congratulations to former Oregon head assistant, Greg Graham who was named as the new head coach at Boise State earlier this past week.  

Yet More Player Notes....Not everyone commits to large schools.  The Bakersfield Californian and the Fresno Bee both reported last week that Immanuel HS's center McKenzie Angangan, who led Division 5 Immanuel to the Southern Regional semifinals, has signed a national letter-of-intent to play at The Master's College in Santa Clarita in the fall. An East Sierra League first-team selection, the 6-foot-1 Angangan averaged 17.8 points and 14.2 rebounds a game.  The Masters is an NAIA school and the NAIA does not impose the same restrictions on signing dates that NCAA D-I does, so all of you recruiting nuts out there who are ready to say, "Hey, he couldn't have signed," well, think again.

Self-Importance?...Finally, ever since UCLA lost in the round of Sweet 16, we've been reading a lot of buzz over on the UCLA fan sites, Bruinzone and Bruin Report Online, mostly including a lot of talk from some very important people who are leading a fan revolt and a full-blown boycott of the program.  Hold your donations, they say.  Don't buy tickets.  Don't attend games until the coaches are fired.  The truly amazing thing about the opinions we've seen on this subject, mostly on BRO, is how vehement those in support of a change are on this subject, how convinced they are that they're  doing the right thing.....Which brings us to an editorial we saw this morning in the Los Angeles Daily News by Kathleen Parker, a columnist for trhe Orlando Sentinel, who wrote a piece today entitled "Mideast is no place for Jesse Jackson."   The piece itself is really not relevant to UCLA basketball, but began with the following quote from T.S. Eliot:

"Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important.  They don't mean to do harm---but the harm does not interest them.  Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves."

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