Just a quick note to let you all know that this will be my last post for a couple of weeks as I will be taking some time off starting tomorrow and returning on July 13. Looking forward to diving right back in when I get back. Take care.
Some of you may have seen my story today on Nick Forbes. I realize he committed last weekend, but our shrinking news space put the story on hold for several days. Anyway, here is more from my conversation with Forbes.
On choosing Cal: “One of the main reasons i chose Cal was because of the family atmostphere, not just with football but with the school and the professors. I talked to some of the professors and they seem to really care about the students. They stay late and help out and stuff like that.”
Expanding on the family atmosphere aspect of the football program: “They’re just really good people. AFter I committed, I thought maybe they wouldn’t show as much attention toward me, but there was no difference how they treated me before and after. It just seems like they are good, honest people. They didn’t pressure me during the recruiting process or throw a million facts at me. They are just genuine people that don’t seem like they are really working to make Cal out to be something that it’s not.”
On moving so far away from home (Frederick, MD): “Football is so demanding you don’t have a chance to go home every weekend anyway. It’s not really a factor. I never thought i would be completely satisfied with whatever choice I made. I thought I would still kind of think about going somewhere else. But about the only negative thing about Cal is that it’s far away, and that doesn’t matter to me at all. I joke around with my mom that it’s the worst positive about it.”
This happened a couple of days ago: The Bears received an oral commitment from wide receiver Tevin Carter, ranked 60th in the nation at his position by scout.com. Carter decommitted from Washington to join the Bears.
This is a rather significant commitment given the questions the program has at wide receiver and considering there is only one new wideout joining the Bears this season.
New coach Sean Miller continues to restock the shelves quickly at Arizona. Miller got a commitment from point guard Lamont “Momo” Jones of Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., according to rivals.com. Jones, 5-11, will join the Wildcats this fall. He is the fourth new player landed by Miller, the former Xavier coach.
Jones is the godson of Arizona assistant Emanuel Richardson. Rated as the No. 66 overall prospect in the Class of 2009, he picked Arizona over Florida.
A year after having 12 players drafted, the Pac-10 had nine taken Thursday night. That’s 21 in two years — more than any conference in the country. By my count — and it’s late, so give me a break — the ACC and Big East also had nine players drafted.
Here’s the Pac-10 recap:
— 3. James Harden, ASU, to Oklahoma City
— 8. Jordan Hill, Arizona, to New York
— 9. DeMar DeRozan, USC, to Toronto
— 17. Jrue Holiday, UCLA, to Philadelphia
— 21. Darren Collison, UCLA, to New Orleans
— 26. Taj Gibson, USC, to Chicago
— 31. Jeff Pendergraph, ASU, to Portland (from Sacramento)
— 38. Jon Brockman, Washington, to Sacramento (from Portland)
— 44. Chase Budinger, Arizona, to Houston (from Detroit)
With the consensus perception that the conference will be down a bit next season, how many Pac-10 players figure to be taken in the 2010 draft?
Our guess is six (in no particular order): Patrick Christopher, Cal; Quincy Pondexter & Abdul Gaddy, Washington; Nic Wise, Arizona; Klay Thompson, WSU; Dwight Lewis, USC.
You taking over or under?
If you missed today’s live chat with Jahvid Best, you can read the transcript here.
I’m sure many of you didn’t get your questions answered. I was told there were 660 questions submitted, and Best answered 32. That still means Best answered a question about every two minutes. I assure you we tried to get as many questions answered as possible.
One year after 12 Pac-10 players were picked in the NBA draft, Arizona State shooting guard James Harden became the first from the conference to go this year. Harden was picked third overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder, the first top-five pick from ASU since Byron Scott in 1983.
Ryan Anderson, who left Cal after his sophomore season in 2007-08, is part of the New Jersey Nets’ deal that also sends Vince Carter to the Orlando Magic. The Nets receive Rafer Alston, Tony Battie and Courtney Lee.
Anderson, who led the Pac-10 in scoring at 21.1 ppg two seasons ago, was the 21st overall pick in last year’s dradft. The 6-foot-10 forward started 30 games and averaged 7.4 points and 4.7 rebounds as a rookie with the Nets.
Live chat today with special guest Jahvid Best, 1:30 p.m. Here’s the link to chat.
Here are a few stories looking at how Thursday’s NBA draft shapes up for Pac-10 players:
— The prospects of Washington power forward Jon Brockman are something of a mystery, writes Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times.
— UCLA point guard Darren Collison has plenty of motivation as he embarks on his NBA career, according to Brian Dohn of the L.A. Daily News.
— USC’s DeMar DeRozan, a star without attitude, is rising on the draft boards, says Scott Wolf of the L.A. Daily News.
— Arizona State sophomore guard James Harden is about to realize a lifelong dream, writes Doug Haller of the Arizona Republic.
— Arizona State senior Jeff Pendergraph is about to find out if staying in school was the right move, according to a profile in the Republic.
— Bruce Pascoe of the Daily Star in Tucson examines whether coaching turmoil at Arizona actually benefitted the development of Jordan Hill and Chase Budinger.