One of premier academic high schools in the Greater Philadelphia Region, Saint Joseph’s Preparatory High School, is seeking a Boy’s Basketball Coach. Saint Joseph’s Prep plays in the highly competitive Philadelphia Catholic League.
One of premier academic high schools in the Greater Philadelphia Region, Saint Joseph’s Preparatory High School, is seeking a Boy’s Basketball Coach. Saint Joseph’s Prep plays in the highly competitive Philadelphia Catholic League.
by Amauro Austin
*Lynn Greer III, Kai Champion & Jackson Piotrowski have all noted that they plan to attend prep school in the fall..
Tyreese Watson 6-4 175 PG Bonner-Prendie — most improved player in the state, checks all the point guard boxes, size, IQ, athleticism, ect.. Elite defender.. (Mid Major)
Robert Smith 6-1 180 2G/PG Bishop McDevitt — True definition of tricky lefty, Plays downhill, hardnosed, sturdy frame, dogged defender.. (Low to Mid)
Erik Timko 6-4 180 2G Methacton — Classic late bloomer, Premier 3-point shooter in the area, 73 made 3-point baskets, underrated off the bounce.. Still improving.. (Low to Mid)
Gediminas Mokseckas 6-4 185 2G/SF Archbishop Ryan — Eastern Euro import is an athletic 3-point shooter, led team to CL Semis & State Quarters without team’s top scorer, great grades.. (Low Major)
Andrew King 6-7 225 Str4 Downingtown East — Big, Mobile forward, 4-year starter, Drains 3s and puts it on the floor, best days ahead.. (High D2 to Low 1)
Trevor Wall 6-1 170 1G St Joseph’s Prep — Crafty lead guard, heady veteran.. (High D2 to Low 1)
Isaac “Zeke” Marshall 6-3 175 2G/SF ANC — unorthodox, plays for keeps, loves defense, sticks open jumpers, Winner/Warrior.. (High D2)
Yasir Stover 5-11 165 2G Simon Gratz — Pub Player of the Year, Sugar sweet jump shooter, plays within himself, efficient, great without the ball, High IQ, defends.. (High D2)
David Robinson 6-8 220 C Springside-Chestnut Hill — Rim Runner, Loves to rebound, beats other bigs up and down the floor, protects the paint.. (High D2 to Low 1)
Manir Waller 6-3 175 2G Abington — SLEEPER! Many skills, confident, scores from.all 3 levels, Could be the next Abington college star.. (High D2)
Jeremiah Alexander 6-4 190 SF Bensalem — Best athlete I’ve seen all season and plays with his pants on fire, best basketball is ahead.. Humble & Hungry.. D1/D2 qualified.. (High D2)
Shaquil Bender 6-2 2G Lincoln
Ross Carter 6-5 SF Simon Gratz
Sean Emfinger 6-4 2G-SF Cheltenham
Champ Hammonds 6-1 2G Constitution
Ahmir Harris 6-0 PG Bishop McDevitt
D’Maio Massey 6-5 SF John Bartram
Siddiq McNair 6-0 1G Olney Charter
Semaj Oliver 6-6 SF M.L. King
Caelen Peters 6-2 2G/PG Plymouth Whitemarsh
Tym Richardson 6-4 2G West Chester East
Donovan Rodriguez 6-1 2G Bonner-Prendie
Kam Roundtree 6-6 Str4 Imhotep
Duane Satchel 6-9 C Simon Gratz
Akeem Taylor 6-4 SF Chester
Naadir Woods 6-8 C MCS Charter
Izayiah Adams 6-5 SF-PF Frankford
Kasiem Andrews 6-5 PF Dobbins Tech
Jarik Baker 6-5 SF Frankford
Nymier Brooks 6-7 C Sankofa
Zahmir Carroll 6-5 PF Chester
Jalen Cassidy 6-1 2G Academy Park
Aaron Dixon 6-5 SF Southern
Conner Eagan 6-2 2G Bonner-Prendie
Darius Ellis 6-7 C Dock Mennonite
Kyyon Gordon 6-4 SF Simon Gratz
Eddie Harris 5-8 PG Simon Gratz
Delonce Hines 5-10 PG Springside-Chestnut Hill
Tyler Howard 6-9 C Chester Charter
Tajmir Hunt 5-7 1G M.L. King
Oluwdara Idowu 6-9 C Lincoln
Christian Isopi 6-6 C Archbishop Ryan
Tvon Jones 6-4 SF/PF MCS Charter
Markus Lowry 6-1 2G Harriton
Drew McKeon 6-2 2G Pope John Paul II
Shamir Mosley 6-2 2G Bishop McDevitt
David Pope 6-6 SF Cheltenham
Johnathan Proctor 6-4 SF Coatesville
Yasir Rowel 5-7 1G Simon Gratz
Brandon Scott 6-2 2G/SF Cheltenham
James Simples 6-4 G/F Lower Merion
Kyier Smith 6-0 1G George Washington
Acquil Stewart 5-6 PG Girard College
Jake Timby 5-11 2G La Salle College High
Shymar Wiggins 6-6 PF Southern
Sam Wylie 5-11 2G/PG Imhotep
After heavy thinking and evaluating. Basketball Spotlight has determined that the Mike Melton 2020 NJ State Player of the Year is Jamir Watkins from Trenton Catholic Academy and here’s why.
In a year which we have no McDonalds All American, TOC winner or State Champions factor in. I had to look at what I saw on the floor. When I saw Watkins face the Top 3 teams (Camden, Roselle Catholic and Patrick School) in the state he was undeniably “THE BEST PLAYER” on the floor even in defeat. Secondly, if you switched him with any other player in consideration their team would become better while TCA would actually lose more games. Finally, no other player dominated in the way he did. He handle the rock, scored from all three levels and played about the rim better than anyone else. Some might not agree but hes my pick! Jamir Watkins was the best player in the State of NJ!
Delgreco K. Wilson recently joined National College Preps (NCP) as the National Director of Basketball Scouting. We sat down with Mr. Wilson to discuss his thoughts as he begins his work with NCP.
NCP: You’ve had a scouting service and recruiting platform for over 5 years and it’s been very well received, why did you decide to join the NCP team?
DKW: I think it was primarily because I’ve had some success that I’ve decided to join NCP. Over the years, I’ve worked with young men like Jameer Nelson (Chester HS/St. Joseph’s/NBA), Dionte Christmas (Lutheran Prep/Temple/NBA), Samme Givens (ANC/Drexel/FIBA), Delonte West (Elanor Roosevelt/St. Joseph’s/NBA), Markeiff Morris (Prep Charter/Kansas/NBA), Marcus Morris (Prep Charter/Kansas/NBA), Dion Waiters (Life Center Academy/Syracuse/NBA), Derick Jones (Archbishop Carroll/UNLV/NBA), Savon Goodman (Constitution HS/Arizon St/FIBA), Austin Tilghman (Archbishop Carroll/Monmouth/FIBA), Langston Galloway (Christian Life Academy/St. Joseph’s/NBA) and Charlie Brown (George Washington HS/St. Joseph’s/NBA) as they transitioned from high school to college. In addition to those Philadelphia area kids, I’ve built strong relationships with Omhar Carter (Mississippi Basketball Association) in Mississippi, Ron Bailey in Washington, DC (HoyaReport), Tony Chiles in New York City (Bishop Loughlin), Jimmy Salmon and Marcus Toney-El in North Jersey (Immaculate Conception/NJ Playaz) as well as Rod Harrison (Mt. Zion Prep), Julian Brown (Team Melo) and Nick Myles (St. Frances Academy) in Baltimore, Maryland.
The simple truth is Black Cager Scouting Service was a small boutique firm and it really only focused on a select group of male elite mid to high major Men’s Basketball prospects. I want to serve far more student-athletes than was possible through Black Cager Scouting Service.
NCP: What was it about NCP that led you to join forces with them?
DKW: First and foremost, it was the leadership team. Greg Hood and Christian Lockhart have done an excellent job establishing NCP as the pre-eminent Black-owned college recruiting platform in America. These brothers are Clemson alums. Greg was running back for the Tigers. They have worked hard to position NCP as one of the top football recruiting platforms in the country. NCP’s reputation is outstanding among SEC, Big 10, ACC and other D1 football programs. Moreover and more importantly, they have developed and refined an outstanding computer-based scouting system. Their state of the art software will allow me to quickly share more information on more student-athletes than I ever could have through the Black Cager Scouting Service. Whereas, I have had to limit the number of prospects I could scout in the past, that is no longer the case.
In fact, I really look forward to working with low Division 1, Division 2, Division 3 and NAIA programs to match them up with qualified prospects. Additionally, we are really excited to give the girls as much attention as we give the boys.
NCP: You’ve never worked with the girls?
DKW: Yes, I have… But it’s always been limited. Again, as a boutique firm, I kinda focused on elite players. For example, a few of my favorite girls were Ashley Rosario (nee Louge), Alliya Butts, Nelli Perry, Aja Ellison and Tamyra “Mookie” Laws. Ashley Rosario was named Most Valuable Player for the Saint Joseph’s University Women’s Basketball team in 2010. She was one of the top post players in the Atlantic 10 and Philadelphia Big 5 during her career. Alliya Butts finished her career at Temple with 1,936 points, 420 assists, 292 threes, and 280 steals. She ranks second all-time at Temple in points. Alliya owns the all-time career records for threes and steals. She finished her career ranked fourth in assists. Alliya is the only player in Temple women’s basketball to be named All-Conference four times and is just the second player in Temple history to be named to four All-Big 5 teams. Nelly Perry scored over 1,000 points over a career that started at Clemson and ended at South Carolina. Nelly finished high school career with 2,091 points to become her school’s all-time leading scorer and the 24th player in South Jersey to score 2,000 points.
Aja Ellison played 3 seasons at Maryland and finished her collegiate career at Texas A&M where she set season career-highs for minutes played, points, rebounds, assists and field goal percentage. Tamyra is one my favorites. She a gritty tough girl from “Norf” Philly. A 5’8” guard her toughness was on full display when while playing for Frederick (Md.) Community College, pulled down 42 rebounds in a game against Howard CC. That season she averaged 21.9 points and 18.8 rebounds per game. She would finish her college career at Immaculata.
So yes… I’ve worked with girls, but not enough of them. There are so many girls that need the push that a good scouting service can provide.
NCP: Can you name a few girls that college coaches should be paying attention to right now?
DKW: Because (South Carolina Women’s Head Coach) Dawn Staley is a good friend of mine, I always make mental notes when I see girls that can play at the highest level. I make sure to pass the names off to Dawn whenever we talk. A few of the high level girls I have noticed recently are Hannah Hidalgo a freshman guard from Paul VI HS (NJ), Cire Worley a freshman guard from Abington HS (PA), Ava Sciolla a sophomore guard from Pennsbury HS (PA) and Destiney McPhaul a junior guard from West Catholic Prep HS (PA). These girls are all destined to play Division 1 basketball. If we can work with the families to give them the exposure and push that gets them where they want to be, my objectives will be more than satisfied.
NCP: When can we expect to see you out and about representing NCP?
DKW: I told Greg and Christian, I’m gonna start right away. While we deal with this horrific coronavirus situation, I can’t go watch live basketball. But, I am developing the NCP basketball prospect database. I am taking calls from college coaches, high school players and parents. We are reviewing films. We are making referrals and establishing connections.
More than ever before, I’ve been in touch with my friends that coach at the small college level. These guys are always looking for good players and they work at some strong programs. I stay in touch with guys like Gerald Holmes, Bloomfield College, Dan Burke, Wilmington University, Tim McDonald, Cabrini University, Damien Blair, West Chester University, Alfred Johnson, Elizabeth City University, Brian Gorman, Becker College (MA) and Jim Rullo, Neumann University. More than ever before, I’ll be able to help them identify good small college players.
NCP: We are excited to have come aboard our team and we look forward to helping a lot of kids transition from high school to college.
DKW: We will be the number 1 and the dominant Basketball Recruiting Service in the mid-Atlantic region by this time next year.
Trenton, NJ – March 20, 2020: Mike Melton, Founder and Director of Basketball Spotlight, the nation’s leading Middle School age basketball organization announced the members of the Basketball Spotlight All-State team for 2020.
Lance Ware (Camden)
DJ Wagner (Camden)
Jamir Watkins (Trenton Catholic)
Trey Patterson (Rutgers Prep)
CJ Wilcher (Roselle Catholic
Taj Thweat (Wildwood Catholic)
Jayden Pierre (Elizabeth)
Will Richardson (Bergen Catholic)
Ben Roy (Manasquan)
Cliff Omoruyi (Roselle Catholic)
DJ Woodbury (Burlington City)
Adama Danago (Patrick School)
Taquan Woodley (Camden)
Alex Galvan (Manasquan)
Mark Armstrong (St. Peter’s Prep)
It is ironic that most fans of college basketball are completely unaware of one of the most influential books of the 20th century. Published in 1962 by the University of Chicago Press, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, authored by Thomas Kuhn introduced term “paradigm shift” to contemporary discussions of organizational change and intellectual progress. Fans of Philadelphia’s rich college basketball tradition have, perhaps unknowingly, experienced a massive and consequential paradigm shift.
Thomas Kuhn can help us understand what has taken place over the past quarter century. Kuhn’s work is important because he singlehandedly changed the way we think about mankind’s most organized attempt to understand the world: science. Kuhn focused his considerable analytical acumen on our view of science and scientific progress. However, the power of his analytical approach for lay persons lies in it’s ability to shed considerable light on organizational change in general.
Prior to Kuhn, the standard account saw steady, cumulative “progress” in organizational development. Kuhn, trashed that traditional mode of thinking… Instead, he saw “paradigm shifts” or abrupt discontinuities – a set of alternating “normal” and “revolutionary” phases in which communities of specialists in particular fields are plunged into periods of turmoil, uncertainty and angst. These revolutionary phases – for example the transition from Newtonian mechanics to quantum physics – correspond to great conceptual breakthroughs and lay the basis for a succeeding phase of business as usual.
The fact that Kuhn’s version seems unremarkable now is, in a way, the greatest measure of his success. But in 1962, almost everything about it was controversial because of the challenge it posed to powerful, entrenched philosophical assumptions about how organizational change and intellectual progress did – and should – work.
I strongly anticipate that many will find this application of his framework to subject of Philadelphia college basketball controversial. This essay will directly challenge some powerful entrenched assumptions about Philly’s mid-major hoops programs.
Here, I assert that the world of college basketball has been in an extended period of turmoil, uncertainty and angst for the past decade or so. This revolutionary phase – the transition from a high/mid/low major model to a far more narrowly circumscribed high/low major model – corresponds to aggressive Power 5 Conference geographic expansion and serves the basis for a new succeeding phase of business as usual. In this new phase, the mid-major category or classification will become extinct.
Increasingly, we are left with the BIG BOYS and the rest of us… Ain’t no more middle ground…
The present discussion will center around very specific cases in the mid-Atlantic region, but I would argue the logic is applicable to Division 1 college basketball in general. Let’s focus on the strategy of encirclement deftly deployed by Big 10 Commissioner Jim Delany and it’s deleterious impact on Philly mid-major basketball programs, namely: Temple; Saint Joseph’s; La Salle, and; Drexel.
Encirclement is a military term for the situation when a force or target is isolated and surrounded by enemy forces. Delany and the Big 10 have effectively encircled the Philly mid-majors: Rutgers to the north, Penn State to the West and Maryland to the South. This situation is highly dangerous for the Philly mid-majors: at the strategic level, because the Big 10 programs are attracting top recruits that would otherwise serve as reinforcements, and on the tactical level, because the Philly mid-majors are being subjected to an attack from several sides. Lastly, since the Philly mid-majors cannot retreat, they must either fight to the death or surrender.
Surrender does not appear to be imminent. These programs are gonna fight to the death…
In what can aptly be described as as stroke of genius, Delany added Penn State to the Big 10 in 1990, twenty-four years later he added Maryland and Rutgers. With the latter two additions, encirclement was firmly in place. Delany has publicly stated how significant the mid-Atlantic presence is to the Big 10’s long-term plans. “I don’t think people should evaluate this in the short term. But in a 25-year or 50-year period, I think they’re going to be very competitive. They are added value. And if the Big Ten had stayed at 10 and not taken on any of the risk associated with expansion, we probably would be tied for the fourth-largest conference.
Delany further adds, “Rutgers is a fabulous institution, as is Maryland. And the corridor they occupy with Penn State might be the most important in the Western world — great students, political institutions, financial institutions. So we’re not only recruiting students to play basketball but students overall.”
“If you don’t venture out,” Delany said, “you never gain anything. I don’t want to go back and read all the articles about (criticism for) the Big Ten Network or instant replay or expansion. You have to do what you think is right. And if you make mistakes, you course correct or you double down.”
The Big 10 doubled-down and it is now reaping the rewards.
DJ Newbill, John Johnson, Shep Garner, Lamar Stevens, Tony Carr, Nazeer Bostic, John Harrar, Mike Watkins, Izaiah Brockington, Kyle McCloskey and Seth Lundy were Penn State Nittany Lions that may have found their way to Philly mid-major programs under the old paradigm. Eric Ayala, Hakim Hart and Donta Scott are plying their trade in College Park, Maryland instead of the Wynnefield or Olney sections of Philadelphia.
Shit is real… The paradigm has shifted… But not everyone is convinced…
The alums, season ticket holders and athletic directors of the Philly mid-majors remain entrenched in the outdated paradigm. They have yet to fully comprehend the extent of the paradigm shift. Hence, they are striving maintain a “mid-major” status when the existence of the category itself is tenuous at best.
Collectively, they have pinned their hopes on a “Messiah Model” of intervention.
From their perspective of the “Messiah Model”, status as competitive mid-major program hinges on finding the right head coach. Operating within this model, the competitive struggles of the Philly mid-major programs on the court and on the recruiting trails are attributable to the “poor performance” of head coaches. Hence, Billy Lange replaces Phil Martelli… Ashley Howard replaces John Gianinni, Aaron McKie replaces Fran Dunphy and Zach Spiker replaces Bruiser Flint…
Just gotta get the right guy in there and we’ll be alright… So they think…
In this way, the Philly basketball community has developed a collective messiah complex. There has emerged a state of mind in which the alums, fans and athletic directors hold a belief that the “new coaches” – Lange, Howard, McKie and Spiker – are destined to become a program savior today or in the near future.
They seemingly lack an appreciation of the much more complex and insurmountable sets of problems and issues facing these programs.
For those that understand a paradigm shift that has taken place, it’s just not that simple. For those that have recently ventured into the athletic facilities at Big 10 programs, it becomes immediately apparent that the Philly mid-majors are deficient and at a serious disadvantage. There’s one notable exception… Temple has been able to build and renovate it’s facilities in a manner that renders them on par with Penn State, Rutgers and Maryland.
Saint Joseph’s, La Salle and Drexel are simply not on the same planet. The gap is humongous and ever-expanding.
Then there are the significant differences in travel accommodations and living arrangements. Simply stated, money matters and Delany has delivered ungodly amounts of cash. For the fiscal year 2019, Big 10 athletic departments each received $52,100,000 before they sold a single $88 ticket, $1,000 seat license, $5 hot dog, $20 parking pass or $125 hoodie. The student-athletes travel and live differently in Big 10 programs. Kids and their parents have become savvy comparison shoppers. Private Jet travel, 5 star hotels, luxury apartments are de rigueur in the Big 10 Conference.
Philly mid-majors ain’t playing in that ballpark. People, even 18-19 year old prospects, like nice things…
Then there’s the subtle but tremendously important leadership question…The Big 10 has a long history of progressive policies and righteous behaviors in the area of race relations. That means, in addition to tremendous advantages in athletic facilities, travel accommodations and living arrangements, the Big 10 has people in charge that look like many of the top high school basketball student-athletes in America. Jim Delany’s successor as Big 10 Commissioner is Kevin Warren (pictured above). Warren is the only Black commissioner among the Power 5 Conferences.
Warde Manuel is the 12th athletic director in the 118 years that the University of Michigan has had a formal title for the job. And he’s the second African-American man in that office. Tradition-rich Michigan has a consistently given Black men an opportunity to serve in leadership positions. Michigan has 31 teams and more than 950 student-athletes. The self-supporting department has an annual budget of $197 million and a staff of 400.
Gene Smith currently serves as Vice President and Athletic Director for the Ohio State University. He was named the university’s eighth athletic director on March 5, 2005. The Ohio State athletic department sponsors 36 fully-funded varsity sports with more than 1.000 student-athletes competing for Big Ten Conference and NCAA championships. Smith has additional oversight responsibility for the Business Advancement division of Ohio State which includes: Schottenstein Center, Nationwide Arena, Blackwell Hotel, Drake Union, Fawcett Center, and Trademark & Licensing.
Damon Evans was named the Director of Athletics for the University of Maryland on June 25, 2018. He oversees a department with 20 varsity sports and 500 student-athletes, a full-time staff of over 200, and an annual budget of $95 million. Evans joined the Terrapins in December of 2014 and served as Executive Athletic Director and Chief Financial Officer. He had overseen all day-to-day operations for the athletic department since October of 2017 prior to his appointment as Director of Athletics.
The Philly mid-major programs have widely varying track records in this area. One has a long and strong legacy of diversity and inclusion. Another has made significant progress over the past few years. The others lag considerably behind in this regard.
Temple has a long-standing track record of identifying and appointing Black males to leadership positions. Temple currently has a Black male COO, Kevin Clark (pictured above). Temple has a Black male basketball head coach and a Black female women’s basketball head coach. Historically, Temple has had a Black male athletic director, Black male football head coach, 3 Black female women’s basketball head coaches and two Black male basketball head coaches. Without question, Temple University has long valued Black participation above and beyond the playing field.
La Salle University currently has a Black male athletic director, Brian Baptiste (pictured above) and a Black male basketball coach. La Salle has also had a Black male women’s basketball coach. La Salle demonstrates a commitment to diversity and inclusion at the leadership level.
Drexel has had one Black male basketball coach.
Saint Joseph’s has never had a Black male basketball coach. Saint Joseph’s has never had a Black female basketball coach. Saint Joseph’s has never had a Black athletic Director. Currently, Saint Joseph’s has zero Blacks in leadership positions in the Athletic Department.
As my Grandpop used to say, “everything ain’t for everybody…”
Taken together, one could easily surmise that these factors do not bode well for coaches of Philly mid-major programs competing with Power 5 programs for elite basketball recruits. In addition to talent drained off to Penn State and Maryland, Miami (ACC) has successfully recruited Davon Reed, JaQuan Newton, Lonnie Walker and Isaiah Wong from the Greater Philadelphia region. Virginia snatched DeAndre Hunter. Kentucky landed Quade Green and Lance Ware.
Surprise… Surprise… Kids like really nice new things…
And, who would’ve thought? Kids and parents respond to people that look like them in leadership positions.
Alums, fans and the ADs of the Philly mid-majors have convinced themselves that they can overcome these hurdles by simply identifying the “messiah.” Lange, Howard, McKie and Spiker are expected to deliver these programs from the depths of mediocrity they currently inhabit.
Through the sheer force of their personalities, by exercising their exceptional “X & O” knowledge and just working VERY HARD they will compete…
So what the BIG BOYS have NBA arenas on campus… So what the BIG BOYS travel exclusively on private jets… So what the BIG BOY players live in luxury apartments…
Who needs a garbage disposal and washer and dryer in their apartment anyway?
Unfortunately, once one realizes and accepts that the paradigm shift has occurred it becomes apparent that alums, fans and ADs of Philly mid-majors have somewhat grandiose self-images that veer towards the delusional.
Shit has changed! And… It ain’t changing back…
By the standards of a present-day high major/low major rubric, alums, fans and ADs of Philly mid-major basketball programs look misinformed and naive at best. And yet we know they aren’t. They are fervent and passionate supporters of programs with wonderful basketball traditions.
They have no idea they are well behind Towson, Monmouth, Quinnipiac, UMBC, Fairfield and Coppin State in the facilities arms race… They just don’t know…
Kuhn’s blinding insight into the problem at hand comes from the sudden realization that if one is to understand these alums, fans and ADs, one must know about the intellectual tradition (outdated paradigm) within which they are operating. One must understand, for example, that for them the term “mid-major” means a program outside the Power 5 that was truly capable of challenging the BIG BOYS year in and year out on the recruiting trail and on the court.
Those days, I fear, are a thing of the past.