Timagehey have dark circles around their eyes.  The whites of their eyes seem a bit red. They seem to be a bit dazed and jittery at times.  Who are we talking about?  The Antelope Valley College Men’s basketball coaching staff. 

What is the cause of theses symptoms?image  Working five straight days getting new student athletes signed up for their classes, getting them settled, introducing them to the existing team etc. etc..  Classes are full.  Crash the class.  Do we have all of imageyour transcripts?  Have you signed all of the the paperwork.  One heck of a week.image

Somewhere in the back of their minds the coaches are thinking; how will these new players fit?  

Setting up the practice times and routines to get the most of the time.  Start bringing the individuals together to make a team.  Tough long week for the AVC Coaches. 

Antelope Valley College added size, athleticism, and experience to its team.  After taking a year off to work on family issues, growing an inch and putting on 15 pounds, one of Antelope Valley’s most talented basketball players re-joins AVC.  He will add to a already good sized and experienced college front court; 6’10, 6’8”, 6’7”, 6’7” 6’6”, 6’5”, 6’5”.  It will take him some time to work into playing shape but I am expecting impact from Ryan. 


Ryan Wright, 6’7”, 230, Sophomore

ryan wright skywalkerAs a high school player in the Antelope Valley, a 6-foot-7 high flyer was the No. 13 ranked prep in California heading into his senior season(2011-12) according to Cal High Sports.  Wright was one of the most heavily recruited athletes in the Antelope Valley as he averaged 16 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.3 steals, 1.8 assists and 1.6 blocks per game in his senior season. As a junior, he averaged 20 points, 12.4 rebounds, 3.3 blocks and 2.5 steals. As a four-year varsity starter at Palmdale High School, Wright earned four straight First Team All-League honors, two team Most Valuable Player awards, and was named the league’s co-MVP following his junior season.

Much to the surprise of a large number of people,  Ryan chose D-2 ChicoRyan wright1 State over offers from Cal State Northridge and Northern Arizona, among others(Antelope Valley Press.)    As can occur, Ryan and Chico State did not click together and he spent a red shirt year at Chico State and decided to join the JUCO basketball program in Antelope Valley College.

Ryan had a solid year 2013-14 for Antelope Valley.  He started on the 27-4 team and showed flashes of brilliance;  dominating on the boards and running the floor on the wing.  He score over 20 points in a number of games. An outstanding 2014-15 year looked in the offing for Wright.  Things don’t always workout as expected and to make a long story short,  Ryan had family issues to take care of.  Things out in the real world without a Ryan Wright dunkdegree can a be a big come down for a basketball player who has the skill to play at the D-1 university level.  Ryan Wright says he learned a lot in the last few years and  he has decided to head back to where his strengths are, college basketball. 

He knows that he has a lot of work to do get back into shape, get his timing back after a year off and to get into the academics again. 

The most important thing that Ryan Wright will bring to this year’s team is that he older, more mature,  will be a team leader and could have an immediate impact.

Welcome back Ryan, this could be one of the most important years of your life.  We are with you. 

A special thanks to the biggest Victor Valley College basketball fan for the information on the hiring of coach Troy Johnson at Victory Valley.   It is done!


Troy Johnson
Head Coach
Alma Mater: Western New Mexico University
 
Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach Troy Johnson spent two seasons with Adams State University. Johnson brings with him many yearsTroy Johnson of experience coaching basketball. For the Grizzlies, Johnson serves as a recruiting coordinator, compliance liaison, fund raising coordinator, study table coordinator, defensive coordinator, and player development coach.
In his first season with the Grizzlies, Johnson helped coach Adams State to a 17-10 overall record. The Grizzlies finished the season ranked fourth in the NCAA Division II in points per game and eighth in NCAA Division II in steals per game. Adams State advanced to the quarterfinals of the RMAC Conference Tournament.
Prior to coaching at Adams State, Johnson was an assistant coach at Tyler Junior College. Tyler Junior finished the season 21-9 overall and finished in third place in the region. 
Johnson helped coach the No. 1 ranked scoring defense in the Pac West while working as an assistant coach at California Baptist University. CBU finished the season 16-10 overall and ranked No. 3 in the National Christian College Athletic Association.
While at Notre Dame de Namur University from 2010-11, Johnson worked as an assistant coach responsible for recruiting, post and perimeter player development, film exchange, and scouting.
As an assistant for Colorado State University-Pueblo, Johnson helped the Thunderwolves reach the Final Four in the RMAC Tournament. The Thunderwolves finished the season with a 17-11 overall record and were ranked in the top 10 in the region.
Johnson was an administrative assistant/video coordinator at San Jose State University. He served as the team’s film exchange coach, assisted with team travel planning and budgeting, assisted with game day preparations, and maintained a recruiting database.
Johnson was a head coach at Meritt College from 2006-2008. At Merritt College, Johnson led the school to a second place finish in his first season as head coach. The Thunderbirds finished in the top 10 for California Junior Colleges for points per game allowed defensively.

NINE NEW LATE SUMMER PLAYERS

teamAntelope Valley College Basketball workouts begin today.  The players are signed up and have attended their classes and now its time to head back into serious basketball.  There are only 24 days left till AVC will play its first game in the Fall Shootout on 19-20 September 2015.

The next 24 days will not be used alone to prepare for the shootout but to integrate new players into the core team.  For the first time in the last ten years, AVC received nine new players in the last two weeks of the summer.  Every year AVC gets a couple of players late in the summer that makes a big difference in their year.  But never nine late summer additions.   Some were expected and some were not. 


VICTOR VALLEY HEAD COACH

Still no known changes in the Head Coach situation at Victor Valley.


COLLEGE HEAD COACHES PROBLEMS.

Mississippi Valley State men’s basketball coach Chico Potts, seen here against Cincinnati this past season, has been suspended indefinitely after being arrested earlier this month on domestic violence charges. (AP)

Southern California football coach Steve Sarkisian said Tuesday that a mixture of medication and alcohol was at least partially to blame for his inappropriate behavior at the school’s Salute to Troy event Saturday night and that he would seek help.

For the readers of this blog you know I have no patience for college basketball players who take drugs, drink booze and act the fool.  These talented young men have too much to lose to take a chance on drugs and booze.  Little did I think that a million $ coach would set that kind of an example.


Sarkisian apologizes for drunken speech

By: Greg Beacham Associated Press


LOS ANGELES – Southern California coach Steve Sarkisian publicly apologized Tuesday for his drunken appearance at a team rally last weekend, attributing his slurred, profane speech to a combination of alcohol and medication.

Sarkisian plans to seek unspecified treatment, but the second-year Trojans coach doesn’t believe he has a drinking problem.

"I was not right, and I think the moral of the story is this: When you mix meds with alcohol, sometimes you say things and/or do things that you regret, and I regret it," Sarkisian said. "I’m sorry. I’m sorry for all of our fans and donors and all the people that were in attendance, but I’m going to move forward, and we’re going to be great. I can’t wait to start coaching again today."

Sarkisian was penitent in his comments before the eighth-ranked Trojans practiced on campus, but he expressed confidence in his ability to remain in charge despite his embarrassing performance in front of his players, fans and alumni at the Salute to Troy.

Sarkisian slurred his words, disparaged some of USC’s upcoming opponents and used profane phrases before leaving the podium. The coach hasn’t been suspended or publicly disciplined by USC athletic director Pat Haden beyond a scolding in a brief public statement.

Sarkisian doesn’t believe he has substance abuse issues that would require him to step away from the Trojans, who open the season Sept. 5 at the Coliseum against Arkansas State.

"I don’t know if I even need rehab," Sarkisian said. "That’s part of the process, and I credit Pat Haden for this, that he has put things in place for me to have meetings to figure that out, and I’ll address them as they come. I’ve got a great staff that can support me along the way, and we’ll see what comes out of it."

Sarkisian declined to specify what medication he is taking, but said he was impaired after combining it with "not a lot" of alcohol. The program is banning alcohol from campus and the Coliseum for the coaching staff. Alcohol was never available to players’ locker room, Sarkisian confirmed.

"There won’t be alcohol in our building ever again," Sarkisian said.

Sarkisian also said he was personally done drinking for the season.

Quarterback Cody Kessler and linebacker Su’a Cravens believe the players support Sarkisian, who went 9-4 last season after rejoining the program where he spent two stints as an assistant coach under Pete Carroll. The Trojans are a popular preseason pick to win the Pac-12 title in their first season after the expiration of heavy NCAA sanctions.

"He came to us as a man, apologized, looked us in the face, told us things, and that’s hard to do," said Kessler, a fifth-year senior who has known Sarkisian since early in his high school career. "But at the end of the day, I think he earned more respect from us and the team, and I think it brought us closer together."

Kessler and Cravens said the team’s leadership council assigned Sarkisian to do unspecified physical punishment drills Monday, just as they would for a teammate who missed a meeting or made a similar mistake. Sarkisian "came in just drenched" in sweat after his punishment workout, Kessler said with a smile.

The 41-year-old Sarkisian’s wife, Stephanie, filed for divorce in April. They have three children.

"We’ve dealt with much worse," Cravens said of Sarkisian’s latest misstep. "Obviously everybody makes mistakes, and it’s just another one of those things where it’s tough. You’ve got to deal with it, and we’ve moved on. He’s still our head coach at the end of the day, and we love him and support him 100%."

The attitude within the AVC basketball program is unique.  It like a person who just ate an outstanding meal of all of their favorite foods; stuffed mushrooms, a big prime steak with a baked potato, fresh bread and the best wine in the house.  To top it off here comes their favorite dessert;  it looks great BUT it was made without sugar!

THE MEAL

image

 

Looking back the last three years;

  • 2014-15  24-6  Number 1 Seed in SoCal Playoffs
  • 2013-14  27-6
  • 2012-15  27-5
  • ——————-
  • TOTAL    78-17

Two straight conference championships, 90% of AVC’s basketball players received a full ride scholarship in the last three years.  Add to that six AVC players currently playing professional basketball including Dewayne Dedmon in the NBA. 

THE DESSERT

image

 

Looking at all that was accomplished at AVC,  you might expect they are patting themselves on the back but they are not.  Why?  They haven’t put up the State Tournament banner in the Gym yet.  They have a couple of final fours, elite eights and even the coveted runner up banner but not the Championship Banner.  A meal without dessert. 


They will not talk about winning the state tournament tomorrow when workouts begin.  Instead they have made sure the players are in their classes.  Next, getting ready for the September Fall Shootout games.  Then the pre-conference games, conference play, state playoffs and then they will start talking about the State Playoff Champion Banner and rings.  Step by Step.

Does AVC have all the ingredients to cook a full meal this year?  Stay tuned!

 

 

When you are a talented college basketball player in an elite JUCO program, you are going to live a balancing act.  You must balance at least four things and set priorities/budgets/time while you are a student athlete.  Here are the four based on priority;

  1. Academics
  2. Basketball
  3. Jobs
  4. Relaxation

Many of AVC student athletes got good part time jobs this summer and have learned a lot and enjoyed the extra bucks and the spending power it brought them.  I worked my whole way through college and looking back, may have learned more from my jobs than some college classes but…that’s another subject. 

Now however its time for college basketball players  to re-arrange priorities.  Every AVC player is working to get a university scholarship when they graduate from AVC and every player knows that their GPA must be 2.5 or better and the higher the better.  A University scholarship is worth $25,000+ a year and it well worth all the effort..  With all of the AVC talent again this year, missing practices is not an option.  Battles for playing time will occur and improvement in basketball skills are needed for every player as well. 

That means that time for work will be curtailed and relaxation time may become a thing of the past.  Studying will be their relaxation time.  Think that is tough?  Universities who give you a full ride scholarship and pro teams who pay you  six of seven figures salaries expect way more. 

Time to start looking at priorities.