J'wan Roberts might be young, but he is developing into a stout presence around the basket for Shoemaker. The 6-foot-7 sophomore post showed his growth Dec. 21 against Buda Hays in nondistrict action when he registered a double-double with 17 points and 16 rebounds. For his performance, Roberts was recently voted Freddy's-KDHpressbox.com Player of the Week, an honor he has hoped to receive for quite a while. 'It feels good because it's my first time winning it,' Roberts said. 'I really wanted to win this one. 'I came out, ran the floor and did what my coach said - just execute, get rebounds and score for my team.' Grey Wolves head coach Emund Prichett was not surprised by Roberts' output against Hays. 'Those are kind of our expectations for him,' Prichett said. 'Sometimes we forget he's a sophomore because he's so talented. When he shows up and plays and is really, really focused, he has a chance to be a great player.' Roberts took advantage of his size against the Rebels, especially on the offensive glass. He tallied 13 first-quarter points, most of which occurred on putbacks. Second-chance points are invaluable to any team, and Prichett certainly appreciates when Roberts is able to assert himself underneath on the offensive end. 'Every rebound is a possession,' Prichett said. 'Basketball is a possession game, and his rebounding is definitely helping us out as a team.' Obviously, there were some growing pains for Roberts to begin the season. It is his first at the varsity level, and his youth showed early on. But he has continued to progress with each game, and Prichett said his growth from the onset to the present has been astronomical. 'He's developed tremendously,' Prichett said. 'He's learning how to post up, learning to pick his spots and is getting better defensively. He's come a long way, and he continues to get better. 'We saw a lot of improvement this weekend from him (at the Whataburger Basketball Tournament in Fort Worth).' Moving forward, Prichett believes the sky is the limit for Roberts. 'He can be the best player on the floor on any given night,' Prichett said. 'He's just young, and he's learning to focus every time out and getting into the heat of the game right. He's going to be one of the better players in the district, for sure.' But player development isn't based purely on talent. He must be willing to soak in what his coaches are trying to teach him, and Prichett said Roberts is doing just that. 'We're just trying to teach him how to have proper footwork and finding out when to seal and why he's sealing,' Prichett said. 'Like I said, sometimes I forget how young he is because he's so talented. But we've got to sit back and be patient with him - take what we can get as long as he's playing as hard as he can.' Roberts, a left-hander, agreed with his coach's sentiment. 'In the post, I always used to go left,' he said. 'I never used to really use my right. I started working harder and progressing, and I can now use my right hand just as much as I can use my left. 'It's really more dominant to use my right hand now, so I think I've really improved, but I've just got to keep working.' Roberts won the award in a landslide, as he garnered 62 percent of the vote.
North Texas men's basketball head coach Grant McCasland has announced the hiring of Jareem Dowling as an assistant coaches Friday. Dowling join associate head coach Ross Hodge and assistant James Miller completing McCasland's coaching staff. 'Jareem Dowling has an uncanny ability to help student-athletes reach their full potential on and off the court,' McCasland said. 'He truly cares about our players and helps them grow as men. He has had tremendous success as a head coach and his und... [read more]
North Texas men's basketball head coach Grant McCasland has announced the hiring of Jareem Dowling as an assistant coaches Friday. Dowling join associate head coach Ross Hodge and assistant James Miller completing McCasland's coaching staff.
'Jareem Dowling has an uncanny ability to help student-athletes reach their full potential on and off the court,' McCasland said. 'He truly cares about our players and helps them grow as men. He has had tremendous success as a head coach and his understanding of the game of basketball is a huge asset."
Dowling brings 11 years of collegiate coaching experience to North Texas. Most recently, he spent a year as an assistant coach with McCasland at Arkansas State.
"I'm very fortunate and grateful of the opportunity to work with coach McCasland," Dowling said. "It is a new beginning and we are hoping to strive for greatness one step at a time."
Before ASU, Dowling served as the head coach of the Scotland Performance Institute, a prep school in Scotland, Pennsylvania. While with SPI, Dowling developed several players that went on to earn college scholarships, including three that signed with Division I programs.
Prior to SPI, Dowling spent three seasons at Southern Miss as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. He helped the Golden Eagles post a three-year record of 65-37 (.637), while earning a pair of postseason berths. Three players during that span garnered All-Conference USA honors.
In 2013-14, Southern Miss posted a school record 29 wins, claimed a share of the C-USA regular season championship, posted a perfect 15-0 record at home and made its second straight trip to the NIT Quarterfinals. The 2012-13 campaign saw Southern Miss post a 27-10 record and capture its first postseason victories since 1988, as Southern Miss made a trip to the NIT Quarterfinals.
Dowling moved to Southern Miss after spending one season at Morehead State. In his lone season with the Eagles, Dowling assisted with all aspects of the program, including recruiting, practice/game preparation and player development. He was also responsible for monitoring the academic progress of all student-athletes in the program.
He joined Morehead State's staff after three seasons in a similar capacity at Slippery Rock. Dowling helped the Rock to three consecutive winning seasons, including 21-win campaigns in 2008-09 and 2010-11.
Prior to Slippery Rock, Dowling was an assistant to legendary junior college coach Bill Lewit at Cecil College. Dowling's recruiting and scouting contributed to a 97-6 overall record in three seasons from 2005-08.
PAOK Thessaloniki (A1) signed 27-year old Virgin Islander international forward Ivan Aska (201-104kg-90, college: Murray State). He is a dual citizen owning also U.S. Virgin Islands passport. Aska He just played at ET Land in South Korean KBL league. In 25 games he had 14.8ppg, 6.6rpg and 1.3apg this season. Aska also played earlier that season for Ironi Ramat Gan (Winner League) in Israel where in 11 KBL games he recorded very impressive stats: 22.5ppg, 8.3rpg and 2.2apg. He has tried to... [read more]
PAOK Thessaloniki (A1) signed 27-year old Virgin Islander international forward Ivan Aska (201-104kg-90, college: Murray State). He is a dual citizen owning also U.S. Virgin Islands passport. Aska He just played at ET Land in South Korean KBL league. In 25 games he had 14.8ppg, 6.6rpg and 1.3apg this season. Aska also played earlier that season for Ironi Ramat Gan (Winner League) in Israel where in 11 KBL games he recorded very impressive stats: 22.5ppg, 8.3rpg and 2.2apg. He has tried to make it to the NBA and played in the NBA Pro Summer League in 2015. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others Aska's college team won OVC Tournament in 2010 and 2012. He was also voted Latinbasket.com All-CBC Championships 1st Team in 2015. Aska represented U.S. Virgin Islands at the CBC Championships in Tortola (British Virgin Islands) two years ago. His team won Gold and his stats at that event were 6 games: 15.8ppg, 8.2rpg, 1.7apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 39.7%, 3PT: 36.8%, FT: 71.4%. Aska is quite experienced player. He has played in five different countries on three different continents (Europe, Latin America and of course North America). Aska has played previously professionally in Belgium (Leuven Bears), Germany (ALBA Berlin), Puerto Rico (Cangrejeros), Greece (AE Ikaros Kallitheas) and Israel (Maccabi Ashdod and Ironi Nes Ziona). He attended Murray State until 2012 and it is his fifth season as a professional player.
Walter Hodge selected the top Virgin Islander playing abroad in last week's games - 2 days ago
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We bring you last week's top performances from Virgin Islanders who are playing abroad and who all have had prior experience of national team duties at youth or senior level. This week's number one is an international point guard Walter Hodge (183-86). He led ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne Basket to a victory over the league outsider Entente Orleans 45 in the French ProA in Friday night's game.
We bring you last week's top performances from Virgin Islanders who are playing abroad and who all have had prior experience of national team duties at youth or senior level.
#1. This week's number one is an international point guard Walter Hodge (183-86, college: Florida, currently plays in France). He led ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne Basket to a victory over the league outsider Entente Orleans 45 (6-17) 82-78 in the French ProA in Friday night's game.
Hodge was MVP of the game. He scored 20 points and added 3 assists in 28 minutes on the court.
ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne Basket (12-11) is placed eighth in the ProA.
Hodge has relatively good stats this year: 13.4ppg, 2.0rpg, 5.9apg, 2FGP: 53.0%, 3FGP: 41.4% and FT: 79.2% in 23 games he played so far.
He has a dual citizenship: U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rican.
Hodge is currently a member of the U.S. Virgin Islands senior national team.
#2. Second place goes to an international center Frank Elegar (208-86, college: Drexel, currently plays in FIBA Europe Cup). He could not help Enisey in their last game on Wednesday. Despite Elegar's very good performance the third-placed Enisey was badly defeated in an overtime 95-79 on the road by the lower-ranked Oostende (#6) in the group P of FIBA Europe Cup.
He recorded a double-double by scoring 17 points and getting 15 rebounds. Elegar also added and 5 steals.
It's Elegar's first season with the team.
He has individually a very good year with high stats. Elegar averages: 16.2ppg, 10.2rpg, 1.3apg, 1.5bpg, 1.4spg, 2FGP: 66.9%(79-118) and FT: 70.3%.
He is another player who holds two passports: U.S. Virgin Islands and Guyanese.
Elegar is in the roster of the U.S. Virgin Islands senior national team.
#3. The U.S. Virgin Islands player who performed third best last week abroad was an experienced international forward Victor Cuthbert (197-83, college: Murray St., currently plays in South Korea). He was the major contributor in a 3-point ET Land Elephants' victory against the closely-ranked Samsung Thunders (33-20) 81-78 in the South Korean KBL on Wednesday night.
Cuthbert recorded 14 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks in 26 minutes.
Inchon ET Land Elephants (25-28) are placed sixth in the KBL.
They ended the series of four consecutive loses.
His team will play only one more game in the Regular Season. And that game will be critical.
This year Cuthbert has relatively solid stats: 11.4ppg, 8.5rpg, 2.0apg, 1.1bpg, 1.9spg, 2FGP: 56.6%(228-403), 3FGP: 29.6% and FT: 62.1% in 53 games.
He is also a member of the U.S. Virgin Islands senior national team.
#4. Forward Jordan Murphy (198-97, currently plays college basketball in the States), who plays in the NCAA was not able to help the Minnesota (10-8) in their last game. Despite his very good performance the Minnesota lost 72-81 in Murfreesboro to the Middle Tennessee State University.
Murphy scored 15 points, grabbed 9 rebounds and dished 3 assists in 31 minutes.
The National Tournament Round 1 already ended in the NCAA.
Murphy has reliable stats this year: 11.3ppg, 8.8rpg and 1.1bpg in 34 games.
He has both American and U.S. Virgin Islands nationalities.
Murphy is also U.S. Virgin Islands national team player.
#5. International center Craig Williams (206-89, college: TCU, currently plays in Japan) was not able to secure a victory for Orange Vikings (24-22) in their last game on Friday. Despite his good performance Orange Vikings (#4) were edged 93-91 in Renova by the lower-ranked Kagoshima (#6) in the West group.
Williams recorded a double-double by scoring 12 points and getting 13 rebounds. He also added and 3 steals.
There are only three games left until the end of the Regular Season. So now every game is very crucial.
Williams' stats this season are: 12.3ppg, 8.4rpg and 1.6apg.
He plays currently for the U.S. Virgin Islands national team.
#6. Center Amadius Der-Weer (201-94, currently plays in NAIA) couldn't help the Talladega College (72-10) in their game against the SW Assemblies of God University (23-9) in the NAIA. Der-Weer cannot count Wednesday's game as one of the best ones.
He recorded only 2 points in 7 minutes on the court.
The Talladega College lost 75-81 in Waxahachie to the SW Assemblies of God University.
The National Tournament Round 1 already ended in the NAIA.
This year Der-Weer's overall stats are: 0.8ppg and 1.3rpg in 12 games.
He is a former U18 international player as he played for the U.S. Virgin Islands team five years ago.
The list of other players, who all have U.S. Virgin Islands passport but never been selected to any of U.S. Virgin Islands national teams:
#1.Rakeem Christmas (206-F-91, college: Syracuse, currently plays in NBA). Christmas could not help the Indiana Pacers (36-35) to beat the Toronto Raptors (42-29).
He scored 6 points and grabbed 5 rebounds.
The Indiana Pacers (36-35) were crushed 116-91 on the road by the Raptors.
Christmas' overall stats this season are: 2.4ppg and 2.4rpg.
#2.Deon Edwin (190-G-92, currently plays college basketball in the States), who plays in the NCAA was not able to help the Kent St. (9-7) in their last game. Despite Edwin's very good performance the Kent St. (#4) was badly defeated 97-80 at home by the Univ.of Calif.at Los Angeles.
He scored 18 points and grabbed 4 rebounds in 33 minutes.
The National Tournament Round 1 already ended in the NCAA.
Edwin's stats this year are: 13.1ppg, 5.6rpg, 2.4apg and 1.3spg in 34 games he played so far.
#3.Desi Rodriguez (198-F-96, currently studies in the States), who plays in the NCAA was not able to secure a victory for the Seton Hall (10-8) in their last game on Friday. Despite his good performance the Seton Hall was defeated 77-71 on their home court in South Orange by the The University of Arkansas.
Rodriguez scored 10 points, grabbed 7 rebounds and made 2 blocks.
The National Tournament Round 1 already ended in the NCAA.
Rodriguez has individually a very good season with high stats. He averages: 15.7ppg, 5.2rpg and 1.8apg.
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