Thursday, April 3, 2008

Thursday Tidbits

Derrick Character

I cannot believe that Rick Pitino would allow a player to stop attending classes and play on the Louisville basketball team. That is wrong and deserving of an NCAA investigation. It shows a coaches priorities are wrong when this type of thing happens. It became all about the win. It became about the NCAA tournament!!

If this does not show the difference between a basketball factory and a solid basketball program I do not know what will. At the least Rick should have had him attending courses so that IF, and that is a huge if unfortunately, he wished to continue his education later in life he would be further along.

I also think his transcripts at Louisville should be examined to see what courses he has taken to date. That would be interesting to see. In fact, I would love to get a glimpse of all the Louisville players transcripts for the same reason. What is going on with the graduation rate there? No one has talked about it in the past. I wonder...........?

Rick would have looked solid if he threw Derrick off the team after realizing he stopped attending classes. He would have been applauded and even earned more lecture money from people who would have new respect for him. And please none of that he did not know. Because if that is the case no one should send a kid to Louisville because they do not keep track of players academic progress.

Now about Mr. Character turning Professional.

I am stunned that this kid decided to do this after the season he just had. Talk about poor advice!! I wonder who his agent is? Ummmmmmmmmmmm! Could it be a person who at one time I thought was the best out there for future NBA Players. A person even my son wanted to work for after college? A person who grew up in the town I lived in for many years? If so he again is doing a disservice to a young man in need of maturity and even more important, mental toughness and refined skills.

Derrick Character could easily become a Shawn Kemp type without the NBA years Shawn got in. He could also easily become a low 2nd round pick if he is picked at all. This is almost a bigger version of Omar Cooke all over again. This kid should not be looking towards the NBA, he should be looking towards transferring to another school to get his act together. Sit a year and work on stuff before playing the following year exceptionally well.

This all makes DC look like such a horrible person. But believe it or not he is NOT!! This kid is one of the nicest, most engaging, and communicative people you will ever meet. He is far from being a bad person. What has happened is he has gotten bad advice. He needs to step back and get some advice from a few folks not looking at him as a commodity.

When Did It All begin

It began when Derrick was in JHS and receiving raves from all over the country. he was a huge kid who could actually play at a young age. He had legit talent at 13 years old! Because he did the Sneaker companies, well at least one in particular, became very involved. They became his PR firm and even told him where he should be playing summer and AAU basketball. The spoiling process had begun. But despite all the fanfare, he remained A GREAT KID! And he still is. Just confused.

When it was time for HS, he chose a high profile place with a great coach and better person. Just happened to be a sneaker school unlike his town HS at that time. The coach at the HS was not about to allow him to get away with stuff. So his advisors and family had him transfer to the town HS after 1 season. Now because he was playing with buddy Lance Thomas at the local HS, they became a sneaker school.

He leaves the town school to go back to the nationally known HS. After a season back it is on to a NE Prep school that is really a basketball factory.

I could go on and on but I just want folks to see how this kid has been pulled at for many years. And trust me, I have not talked about alot of stuff. This kid could go down as a real example of what happens when too many people get involved in a kids life based on basketball potential. sadly, when all is said and done and he is playing If this does not show the difference between a basketball factory and a solid basketball program I do not know what will.

Sofman To Transfer From Rutgers

Good for this kid. He will have a very good career at another school. I hope he considers a few Colonial AA schools as well. NC Wilmington has a great program with sell out crowds every home game. University of Delaware is back and has a GREAT CAMPUS and following. Those are places that he could go and not feel he has stepped too far down. The last thing he needs to do is leave Rutgers and attend a school that averages 246 fans at home games and zero campus life. He would be better off at a place like Gannon in Erie Pa. A D2 school that has a D1 type basketball program He would enjoy that better than some D1 places with no support. Enjoy the experience I always say!

Impact on Ebanks

Will this impact Ebanks attending Rutgers? Were they REALLY friends? I honestly have a gut feeling Ebanks is looking for something more and different than what Rutgers is offering. It is unfortunate that he cannot see what RU has to offer in terms of instant Stardom and playing next to a few talented perimeter players. He could be the next Phil Sellers to go along with Rosario (Dabney), and Chandler (Jordan). I know I am stretching on the Jordan comparison lol. But I am talking about Eddie and not Michael.


hoops41 said...

I take exception to you calling that NE prep school a basketball factory. Not everyone there is a high profile player needing to improve either on the court or in the classroom. They receive a great deal of individual attention and can great improve but in the class and on SATs or ACTs. Yes, the goal is to leave with a D1 scholarship. This is for those who have a ton of offers as well as those who work hard on the court and make the most of their time on the court. What is wrong with that? DC did not like to go to class andwas bored. Whose problem is it? He is a good kid but has got to grow up nd become a man. He and no one else is responsible for class attendance. Pitino can only be happy to see him leave. He was never easy to coach. His mother hs him go from s private HS to Public and back. SHe takes an appartment in Elizabeth to prove a move while her daughter remained in the public school. This was and is a family gone mad about the $$$$$ potential and now it is fading away. DC needs to get back in the classroom, sit a year and then bust his butt. THis is the only real way to the NBAa

darrenmaloney said...

LF and hoops 41....on the money. Sad story but unfortunately very common.

Maybe Boyle, Marinello, and the rest of the "great coaches"....should limit their home visits and rosters full of kids from sixty miles away. For every kid that makes it there are five that they screw up. Many permanently!

LFBall said...

Hoops 41

Thank you for your comments and insight. But trust me, I know the difference bbetween a Prep School and a Basketball Factory. In fact, I know them going all the way back to the days of Rockwood Academy and Laurenburg Institute.

FYI Prep schools vary by league. A good example is schools like Choate, Berkshire, Lawrenceville, Blair, Ms. Porter (for young ladies), Solebury, and Trinity Pawling. Those schools and others like them might have a good player or two, but they really have more reg students, many from afluent families, than sports stars. In fact, they put little emphasis on sports compition wise although they love winning and competing especially on homecomming days. Many of these schools are considered D2 Prep.

Schools such as Blair and all the comp in their league are great academic places that demand academic excellance but also compete against the factory schools as well.

Now let me explain the factory schools. They serve a purpose and help turn around kids lives. But the school Character attended if memory serves me right, is one building and the players make up a good percentage of the population. The players live in a house I think, that is near the school or attached. This school and others might mean well but they are not traditional NE Prep schools with the rolling hills and multiple buildings on a beautyful campus. Even St. Thomas Moore has changed somewhat. Ditto Cheshire, and Wincendon. Though they have nice campuses, they lack enrollment. Because and of this those schools have at least 50% or more of the students coming from Asia with the tuition being paid by Asian corporations.

So again, they are factories and are nowhere as academically sound as others I have mentioned. The classes often have 3 o4 kids, etc. But yes they serve a purpose. By the way, did you know most of those factory type schools bring in 25 kids. Here is the formula: top kids get tuition paid by AAU programs via sneaker company funding. The next 5 kids get 60 to 70% tuition reduction based on them being top 100 type kids. Both of these groups get assistance from AAU programs and financial aid funding.

Next group gets some financial help. and the final group gets only financial aid based on need.

The reg schools I mentioned get straght aid and assistance on occassion from AAU programs. And in many cases sponsors cover all costs.

So again thanks for the comments but I still consider that school, that turns out multiple D1 players yealy, a factory.

hoops41 said...

Well yes my son does reveive a great deal of aid. However, prior to attending, he have great difficulty with his SAT and ACt. He now has his grades up and test scores well over 1100. Maybe for him it has been a academic factory as well.