As we transition into Spring… Let’s take a quick stroll through the Philly Hoops landscape… Mid-April 2018…
Live Period begins in 5 days… There’s been some coaching changes… the 2019 class in Philly is loaded… Who will stay home?
The Sixers are on the verge of GREATNESS… Ben Simmons is the ROY… Joel Embid is a legitimate MVP candidate… The Sixers will, at least, make it to the Eastern Conference Finals… They should win an NBA title in the next 36 months if Brett Brown is truly a good coach. Admittedly, I fuckin’ hated “the process”… the losing intentionally was excruciating. I was NOT an admirer of Sam Hinkie… I did NOT trust that shit…
I was wrong!
Tanking was clearly in the long-term interest of the Sixers ball club. Still hated it though. Sam Hinkie was correct.
It seems like they haven’t lost a game since the Obama presidency… Had to briefly touch on the Sixers. But, that is the most I have ever written or said about the NBA… Black Cager’s focus is on collegiate, scholastic, AAU/Grassroots and youth basketball.
Amateur basketball in Philadelphia is the subject we have a LOT to cover…
Jay Wright, Best Coach in Big 5 History
For the second time in thirty-six months, Jay Wright has led Villanova to an NCAA National Championship. It should be acknowledged that Wright is among the top 2-3 coaches in college basketball. He is definitely on a par with or ahead of guys like Izzo, Boeheim, Self, Roy, Huggins and Calipari.
Jay is the best Big 5 coach ever and pushing up on Coach K nationally…
Conceivably, one could still make a case for John Chaney. Indeed, many still consider Coach Chaney the finest coach in the history of the Big 5. When pressed, however, with 2 national titles, I would concede that Wright has inched ahead of the legendary Temple coach.
While Jay rules the basketball universe Philly’s other D1 programs are undergoing significant changes in leadership.
Dunph to Coach One More Season
It has been announced that Fran Dunphy will coach his final season at Temple this year.
By all reasonable measures, Dunphy has been a very good college basketball coach. In the last 12 seasons, Temple has made nine postseason appearances, including seven NCAA Tournaments.
Dunph is the all-time winningest coach in Big 5 history with 557 victories, Dunphy’s teams went 310-163 in 17 seasons at the University of Pennsylvania. The Quakers played in nine NCAA Tournaments. He is the all-time winningest coach at Penn and ranks third on Temple’s all-time coaching win list with a 247-152 record.
More good stuff…
Ultimately, it came down to the fact that Temple fans/alums expect deep NCAA tournament runs. Dunphy never made a deep run. That matters at Temple.
Make no mistake, Dunphy is a very good basketball coach. More importantly, Dunph is my friend… my Ol’ Head. I am rooting for Dunph to make a deep run as he transitions away from Temple basketball.
Aaron McKie, Head Coach In-Waiting
Every day we inch closer to the moment when the hopes, dreams and expectations of the Temple faithful are placed on Aaron McKie’s broad shoulders.
Sometime in April 2019, Aaron McKie will assume the reigns of the Temple program. How will he do? What type basketball will McKie’s Owls play? We will have to wait a year for answers to those questions. We can observe and assess McKie’e effectiveness on the recruiting trail. Black Cager will closely watch his efforts to assemble the 2019-2020 Temple Owls.
Will Temple return to fielding teams composed of top local players such as Donta Scott, Dahmir Bishop, Isaiah Wong, Mikeal Jones and Seth Lundy?
Can Aaron get the top guys to stick around?
Gonna be interesting to watch… I like his chances…
Phil Martelli, The Dean of Local Coaches
Bruiser? Gone… Dr. John Giannini? Gone… Jerome Allen? Gone… Dunphy? Taking a final lap…
Meanwhile, over on City Ave… Phil Martelli prepares for season number 23 running the St. Joseph’s program. Yet again… He’s positioned for a run at an A10 Championship with a talented group of young Philadelphia players…Charlie Brown (George Washington/Philly Pride), Chris Clover (St. Joseph/Philly Pride), Fresh Kimble (Neumann-Goretti/Team Final) and Ryan Daly (Archbishop Carroll/Jersey Shore Warriors) demonstrate that Martelli and his staff recruit Philly very well.
Martelli is a significant figure in Philly Basketball and has been for more than two decades… He rumbled Speedy… He had epic confrontations with Chaney… He played a home and home with Bruiser every year… Now he will be facing Ashley Howard on the court and competing with Aaron McKie in living rooms.
Martelli is an OG…
While things have changed across the city, they’ve stayed the same on Hawk Hill…
Martelli’s Hawks won the Atlantic 10 Tournament and went to the NCAA tournament in both 2014 and 2016. Additionally, Phil has three former players in the NBA. Jameer Nelson ’04 (Pistons), Langston Galloway ’14 (Pistons) and DeAndre Bembry ’16 (Hawks) are established league players. Guard and wing prospects have taken note of Phil’s success placing guards on All-League Teams and in the NBA and top European leagues.
Some believe Phil has another serious NBA prospect on his current roster… 6-7 SF/SG Charlie Brown has caught the attention of NBA scouts.
Freshman forward, Taylor Funk has demonstrated that he is a great shooter. He’s very accurate with exceptional range extending to the NBA 3 pt line. Brown and Junior Point Guard Kimble return to action after medical redshirt seasons.
Most recently, Phil landed Daly who is transferring from the University of Delaware. Daly will sit a year and have two years of eligibility remaining.
La Salle Hires Nova Assistant Ashley Howard
They put my youngin’ on at La Salle. For those steeped in the history of the Big 5, Howard’s hiring has special significance. Howard is the first Black Men’s Basketball Coach in the history of La Salle University.
This was an extremely popular choice among those in the Philadelphia basketball community. Will their elation translate into support for the Explorer program? Will top local prospects want to play for the Explorers? How will Howard do on the recruiting trail?
There’s a lot of BUZZ surrounding La Salle’s recruiting and his staff… Which recruits will he target? Who’s will he be hiring?
Ashley Howard and Donnie Carr are formidable recruiters and the 2019 class in Philadelphia has several HIGH MAJOR prospects. Look for La Salle to go after the best Philly has to offer.
Zack Spiker and The Dragons
Zack Spiker was hired as head coach of Drexel on March 25, 2016. Spiker replaced former head coach Bruiser Flint (Episcopal Academy/St. Joseph’s). He has the Drexel program headed in the right direction. Last season, Spiker led Drexel to four more victories over the total for the previous year. Then on February 22, 2018, Spiker led Drexel to an incredible 34-point comeback win over Delaware, the largest comeback win in Division 1 history.
On the recruiting trail, Spiker seems to be zeroing in on Lucas Monroe (Abington HS/Team Final).
Black Cager College Coach of the Year, Kevin Baggett
Kevin Bagget’s Rider squad was 22-10 and regular season champions last season. Baggett and his top Assistant, Dino Presley do an OUTSTANDING job recruiting the Philadelphia region.
The Rider roster is filled with area players like Ahmad Gilbert (Constitution HS) and Kimar Williams (Constitution HS) join Stevie Jordan (Conwell-Egan/API), Tyere Marshall (Martin L. King, HS), Anthony Durham (Abington, HS), Jordan Allen (Dover HS) and Dimencio Vaughn (Calloway HS).
Baggett will continue to recruit Philadelphia with vigor.
Ivy League Champion Penn Quakers
Steve Donahue has the Quakers back at the top of the Ivy League. The Quakers went 24-9 last season and made the NCAA Tournament.
Jake Silpe (Cherry Hill East HS), Camden’s Darnell Foreman (Pitman), Devon Goodman (Germantown Academy), Ryan Betley (Downingtown West) have helped restored the program.
Lucas Monroe and Chris Arcidiacono project as Ivy League qualifiers. Roy Somerville (Shipley/Philly Pride), Chris Ings (Neumann-Goretti HS/K-Low Elite) and Allen Powell (La Salle University) are also very strong students.
Doug Overton has Lincoln on the Right Track
Doug Overton landed Jordan Camper ’17 (Chester HS) last year. This year he picked up Tamir Green (Constitution HS/Philly Pride).
Overton has made inroads in Delaware County and Philadelphia. This helps as he competes in the highly competitive CIAA.
RC Kehoe is Landing D1 prospects at Holy Family
Holy Family’s RC Kehoe (Roman Catholic) is punching above his weight class on the recruiting trail. He got a commitment from Dahmir Montague (Neumann-Goretti HS/Hoopdreamz). Lefty sniper Eric Esposito (Conwell-Egan/Philly Pride) is also on board.
West Chester’s Damien Blair is Building a D2 Powerhouse
Damien Blair led West Chester to final record of 22-7. Coach Blair reaches the 20-plus win marker for the forth time in his10 seasons at the helm. Blair’s Golden Rams won their first-ever NCAA Tournament game and managed to tie a program record with 12-straight wins to start the year. West Chester was ranked as high as No.17 in the country throughout the season.
Blair recruits the region very well. Colin Daly (Archbishop Carrol HS), Jawan Collins (Academy Park), Matt Penecale (Abington HS), Steve Smith (Fairfield HS), Tyrell Long (Bishop McDevitt), Terrence Moore (Audenreid) are notable locals on Blair’s roster.
Arcadia’s Justin Scott
Justin Scott has did very well recruiting last season. He brought in Da’kquan Davis (Roman Catholic HS). Davis was MAC Commonwealth Rookie of the Year… He played in 26 games during the season, starting 25… Averaged 14.2 points and 4.3 rebounds per game while shooting 47.6% from field goal range and 75.4% from the free throw line…
Philadelphia Area College Free Agents (Uncommitted Transfers)
Ryan Daly (Delaware) – Committed to St. Joseph’s
Zane Martin (Towson) –
Anthony Durham (Rider) – Re-committed to Rider
David Beatty (South Carolina) –
Nazeer Bostic (Penn State) –
Area Shoe Company Circuit Rosters are LOADED with D1 prospects
All of the shoe company circuit teams and the top independent clubs have talented players. You can find D1 talent on many rosters.
Philly Pride 17U
Philly Pride 17U has Donta Scott ’19, 6-7, PG/SF, (Imhotep). Donta holds offers from St. Joseph’s, La Salle, Temple, South Carolina, Georgetown and Penn State. Donta will take unofficial visit to Georgetown in late April. He has visited South Carolina and Maryland. Chris Arcidiacono Post-Grad, 6-4, PG/SG, (Neshaminy) holds offers from Delaware, Quinnipiac, Eastern Kentucky and Mt. St. Mary’s. Ray Somerville ’19 6-9 C/PF (Shipley) has been offered by Stonybrook. Hartford, NJIT, High Point and La Salle. Hakim Hart ’19, 6-6, SG (Roman Catholic) holds offers from Bowling Green, NJIT, Temple and La Salle. Jamil Riggins ’19 6-7 PF/SF (Imhotep) has Coppin State, Central Connecticut State and Rider offering full rides. Jamir Reed ’19 PG/SG (Mastery North HS) holds an offer from Kent State. Reggie James ’19, SG (Trenton Catholic) has an offer from NJIT.
WeRone 17U features Eric Dixon ’19, 6-8 PF (Abington) has narrowed his choices down to Louisville, Virginia, Villanova and Seton Hall. Qudus Wahab ’19, 6-11 PF/C (Flint Hill School) holds offers from Syracuse, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Colgate Rutgers, Umps, Pittsburgh, VCU, Seton Hall, St. John’s, St. Joseph’s and Old Dominion. Isaiah Wong ’19, 6-3 PG/SG (Bonner-Prendie) holds offers from La Salle, Rutgers, Saint Joseph’s, Monmouth, Seton Hall, Pitt, TCU, UConn, Tulane, Temple, Memphis, Miami and Villanova. Alexander Rice ’19, 6-3 PG/SG has Illinois State and Pitt among others. Hofstra and Rider have offered Chereef Knox ’19, 6-6 PF/SF (Imhotep).
Team Final 17U has Jon Bol Ajak ’19 6-10 C (The Church Farm) who holds offers from Georgetown, UConn, Pitt, Rutgers, Saint Louis, Seton Hall, Syracuse, Wake Forest and Villanova. Seth Lundy ’19 6-6, SF (Roman Catholic) has been offered by Bowling Green, Penn State, Temple, UConn, VCU, La Salle Oregon. Mikeal Jones ’20 6-8, PF (Girard College) hold offers from Penn State and Villanova. Khalif Battle ’19 6-4, SG (Trenton Catholic) holds offers from UConn, Iona, Rutgers, St. Joseph’s Syracuse, Washington, Miami and VCU. AJ Hoggard ’20 6-3, PG (Archbishop Carroll) has offers from Seton Hall, Rutgers and UConn. Lynn Greer, III 6-3 PG holds offers from St. Joseph’s, Oregon, Penn State and Temple.
K-Low Elite 17U features Seth Pinkney Post Grad 7-0 C (Archbishop Wood). He holds offers from UMass, Towson and Coppin. Christian Ray ’19 6-5 SF (Haverford School) has offers from Bowling Green, Central Connecticut State, St. Francis, PA, NJIT and Stonybrook. Chris Ings ’19 6-2 PG (Neumann-Goretti) has been offered by Stonybrook, Mt. Saint Mary’s and La Salle. Dahmir Bishop ’19 6-5 SG (Imhotep) Bowling Green, La Salle, NJIT, Penn State, Hofstra, Saint Joseph’s, Rutgers, Seton Hall, VCU, Temple. Karam Cummings ’19, 6-4 SG (Imhotep) has an offer from St. Francis, PA.
PYO Hoops’ Naheem McLeod ’19, 7-2 PF/C (Plymouth-Whitemarsh) has offers from La Salle, Temple and Villanova. He will once again be running with Ahmin Williams ’18 6-1 PG (Plymouth-Whitemarsh) and Ahmad Williams ’18 6-3 SG (Plymouth-Whitemarsh.
Meet you at the gym…