As I look back on all of the years I have been writing about JUCO basketball, it is very seldom that I write about the parents of the college basketball players.  In part, it is because it a time for the young men to be pulling away from them and becoming adults themselves. 

I have met parents who come to every game and even practice on their days off.  I have never met far too many parent(s) who never or seldom come to to a game in two years. 

Its very difficult to communicate in writing about all of the things that college basketball parents go through with their son’s.  How do you write about a joyful look or a sad silence?  The unspoken fear that their son might make a life changing decision with someone in that knot of young women who are fawning over him after every game.  Why is my son sitting on the bench?  He’s always been a star.  Is its coaches’  fault…or my son?

The pure joy when their son gets a full ride scholarship offers from three universities.  The family’s pride when their son gets the 4.0 academic award along with being named to the first all-conference team.  The look on the player’s face when he tells you how happy his mother is when he called her and told her he was back in college. 

We all know about parents who won’t let their son go and always blame the coach or someone else for the bad decisions their son’s make.  Few of us notice the parents who quietly support their son’s through thick and thin while letting them go and become men. 

One thing I can tell you for sure, if the first thing a father of one your players talks to you about after a big game is about his son’s good grades, that kid is going to be a winner in life.

The time of letting go and joy and pain. 

Now that the 2014-15 Summer Shootout period is over, the final push for recruiting by JUCO teams is underway.  The teams have a better picture of what they need to add to the team to be be competitive at the level they strive for. 

I heard the following rumor that I have not yet verified from a second source:  the Fall shootout will be held September 20, 21 2014  Saturday and Sunday again at Cerritos College.  Makes sense as the dates fall right in the open recruiting dates approved by the NCAA of September 9 through November 9, 2014.

The Fall Shootout will give fans a much better picture of team(s) they follow as all of the JUCO players should be well into the fall semester and all are committed for the 2014-15 year.  I at first was not happy with the change from two summer shootouts to one summer and one fall shootouts that was pushed through by the coaches.  I now like the change as it will give the players an incentive to turn up the practice energy in the fall as they have competition to look forward to.  In the past, there was no competition in August, September, October before the pre-conference season began in November. 

Wonder if San Bernardino, Citrus, Riverside, Mt. Sac and Ventura will sign up for the Fall Shootout?

Heard a rumor an elite team has added the best player from a non-elite team, getting ready for next year.  Poaching or correcting a bad decision by the player.  Depends how you look on things. 

I interviewed Scott Golden, the Co-Owner of the All-American JUCO Showcase, which is a national company that provides top JUCO players an invitation only platform to be recruited by University coaches.

Antelope Valley College players have been invited to the showcases in the past three years;

  1. Jason JJ Johnson,   D-1 Utah Valley University
  2. DaShawn Gomez,  D-1 Iona University
  3. Dwan “Po” Caldwell,  D-1 Tennessee Tech University
  4. Mike Scott,   D-1 Idaho University
  5. Larry Slaughter,  D-2  Montevallo University
  6. Vadal Faniel, D-2  Texas A and M International
  7. Daviyon Draper, D-1  Pending
  8. and four more players invited this year(Four AVC Players Invited)

Thanks for taking the time to talk to me Scott.  How long has your company been operating the All-American Showcase?

Five years.

Has there been any changes in JUCO basketball during that period of time?

The players from the JUCO’s haven’t changed much physically but there has been an improvement in the past couple of years in their academics.  We also seen a major change on how university coaches are looking at JUCO players.  They are much more positive in bringing in JUCO players.  Universities are watching the grades very carefully and if you have two players with equal basketball talent and one with better academics will get picked first every time.  The coaches don’t want to worry about their players hurting their graduation rates. 

Is it difficult to evaluate players in a two day showcase like the one you are putting on this weekend?

Not at all.  In fact it is easier because you are watching the crème dela crème of JUCO players.  Their level of play is so much higher than regular JUCO games.

How important do you believe the All-American JUCO Showcase is in assisting JUCO players in getting University scholarships?

We like to think what we do is important in assisting the JUCO players.  We know however that it is the the team coaches relationship with universities and  what kind of program they run.  One thing I can say however, the number of university coaches who attend the showcase grows every year.  Our east coast showcase this year had 210 coaches attending.  We expect as many or even more this weekend in Vegas. 

AVC’s senior assistant coach/sports academic advisor Mike Rios says you run a first class event.  He also says that you and Brad are a couple of the top evaluators of Basketball talent.  He also mention that you very hard workers and are honest in all that you do.  Why would he say that?

Laughter!  Maybe he fibs a little.  Really though, I believe we do a great job in  placing JUCO  players.  John and Mike do a great job in running the AVC basketball program as well.  

Again thanks for taking the time to talk with me about your upcoming showcase. 

 

 kj  moffitt shotThis young man is a winner.  Everything your read about him is that he “wins the big game in the last two seconds.”  Captain of the state champion Alemany High School basketball team and knows what it is to win it all.  A great pick for AVC. 

KJ fits in very well with the deep and experienced AVC team as he is smart and has a great feel for he game.  Most importantly, he can do so many things. 

image

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKWmklQ0Gvs gives you a touch of Moffett’s physicality and shooting ability.  Out of high school, KJ did not receive the university offers that were satisfactory to him.  He joined a local prep school out of high school and felt it was helpful for him.  He got to play against bigger, stronger and experienced competition. 

After a year at the the prep school, he was ready for the next level.  He had been watching Antelope Valley College and after enrolling in the basketball class, he was sold. 

KJ’s major is Kinesiology and his short and long term goals are a college degree and then a well paying job.  Keep and eye on this guy.  He is going to be a special player at AVC. 

Four Antelope Valley College basketball sophomores have been invited to the All-American JUCO Showcase Elite 80 West in Las Vegas, NV July 25-27.  The four players invited are;

  • Tajee Shaw, 6’5”, 220
  • Ryan Wright, 6’6”, 210
  • Ismail Ali, 6’1”, 175
  • Lawrence White, 6’4”, 190

Camp will be held in Las Vegas, NV the same time as the Adidas Super 64 and Fab 48 which insures strong university coach participation  in recruiting.

  • JucoRecruiting.com will be evaluating prospects for their 2015 JucoRecruiting.com Top 100 Player Rankings
  • INVITE ONLY – The Nations Top Rising JUCO Sophomores (2015 Class)
  • Top 20 players featured on JucoRecruiting.com
  • Over 450 College Coaches Attended our July events last year, we expect even more this year

tajee shaw dunk2ryan wright skywalkerali flieslawrence White

The Summer Shootout at Cerritos is over.  Antelope Valley College played four elite teams and lost all four games.  Not what the team members expected.

AVC 45 Saddleback  56

AVC 50 Sierra  67

AVC 39  Merritt  40

AVC 50 Fresno City 51

Two AVC players stood out in the two day shoot out;

  1. Kamal Holder, 6’3”, 200 sophomore guard/wing led the Marauders inkamal holden pass rebounding, defense and even stepped in to backup the point guard position.  A solid multi talented player. 
  2. Lawrence White, 6’4” 190 sophomore guard/wing was the leading scorer in the four games and his thunderous dunks received ooh’s and aah’s from the crowd.  He played solid defense and was a team leader. lawrence White2

Next to showcasing the players to university coaches, the Shootout gives the coaching staff a first look at what the team needs to win against elite teams.  The team as a whole especially in its first two games shot dreadfully.  The shooting improved in the second two games but taking “good” shots will be key for success in the future.  The defense was adequate for this time of the year and will only get better.

The two issues that stood out in all four games was lack of rebounding and poor integration of the new players into the system.  The integration of the new players should improve in time as there is solid talent to build on here.  The rebounding looks to be one of the thorniest problem to solve.  Little or no blocking out was done by the team in the shootout and the current itineration of the team is undersized. 

Over all, the shootout at Cerritos was a tough learning experience for the team.  AVC has six weeks to put together a an improved team that will be more competitive against the elite teams in the four game Fall Shootout and ultimately for the 2014-15 season. 

Overall? The basics were well covered.  Good stuff.  Things could be improved in the “Would be really nice.”  Overall ranking of the 7 of 10.

  1. Very organized, everything right on time.  The man is a time dictator!
  2. Parking was plentiful, right next to the venue and free!
  3. Great teams and competition.  Schedule excellent.
  4. Food service was below average not even a hot dog.  Most folks had to leave to get food off the grounds.  Missed fiscal opportunity.
  5. Seating?  Ok for fans,  but a battle for a chair with many standing.  Plenty of seats for University Coaches but that is good and bad…if you know what I mean. 
  6. Information systems.  Sucks!  So much could be improved here.  
  • The Shootout needs scorekeepers. 
  • Technology available for 52 inch screen that scores for day could be scrolled.  Add to that scrolling of some stats.  Its all available.(Rental) 
  • Really need wireless in the gym for bloggers and reporters.  Cerritos one of the few without it.