Monday, January 30, 2012

Misperception and Fact!!!

"Women and girls basketball is a more fundamental game". That is the prevailing sentiment in many circles. I detailed an opinion about the lack of teaching and quality development in club, and high school, having a negative impact on the college game. I specifically made the case that the growth of athletic guards is being stunted by "roll the ball out" style of play. Many may disagree so here are some TRUE facts:

Here are the stats for the last four Division 1 Top 25 teams to lose in men and women basketball. I have included field goal percentage and 3 point field goal percentage. These numbers can be found on the NCAA site for both groups:

Last 4 Top 25 Programs to lose:
Men- FG%- 41.25
Women- FG%- 33.5

Men- 3pt%- 29.75
Women-3pt%- 21

Men shot more than 8% better from the field. Men shot more than 8% better from the 3 pt line.
This is obviously a very small sample size so lets continue.

Here are the number of teams shooting above 40% from the 3point line in D1 ball:

Teams shooting 40% from 3pt :
Men- 15 total
Women- 2 total

Here are the number of teams shooting 45% from the field in D1 ball:

Teams shooting 45% from 2pt:
Women-13(total) Not a Typo!

The men have 111 more teams than the women shooting 45% from the field!

I have blogged that the reason for the women shooting less than men CAN be attributed to a couple of factors. Obviously the men are bigger, taller and finish baskets closer to the rim. It should be easier to make shots when you play so close or above the rim.(The argument may not hold up because the defenders TOO play above the rim so their is no physical advantage). The other reason that 3point percentage is higher in men basketball is due to men being stronger. The strength should allow the men to make shots from long distance. So let's look an area that does not inherently factor in size.

Assist to Turnover Ratio truly depicts if better fundamentals are being displayed by women. The following are the number of teams that at least have a 1:1 assist to turnover ratio. In other words, for every turnover, these teams have at least 1 assist.

Teams with at least 1.1 Assist to Turnover Ratio:
Men- 38
Women- 22

Sixteen more men's programs have a 1 to 1 ratio compared to women. Why does this matter or even pertain to the blog I wrote yesterday? These stats are relevant to illustrate that while the girls game is growing and getting better, it still has a long way to go in catching up to the men's game.

The men's game has a lot more negativity due to the competitive nature that money producing sports possess. However, the girls game would benefit from better developers in the formative years. A better understanding of what skills translate to the next level should be taught to parents and their daughters. An emphasis on wins, chasing trophies and fictitious titles blind parents to what is really important. The perception that the women's game is fundamentally more sound is false and it derives from the fact that the girls game is not producing enough skilled players to keep this myth alive.

"The finest system cannot overcome poor execution of the fundamentals....the coach must be certain that he never permits himself to get 'carried away' by a complicated system to the extent that it 'steals' practice time from the fundamentals".

When the gentleman wrote this, he was speaking of too many sets and structure. If Coach John Wooden was to write his book, 'Practical Modern Basketball' today and concentrate on girls basketball, he would would probably replace "system" and "complicated" with full court press and athletic system. 

As in "the full court press cannot overcome poor...fundamentals" and "the coach must be certain that he(she) never permits himself(herself) to get carried away by athleticism to the extent that it steals...from fundamentals".

Sunday, January 29, 2012

"Guard" the Future!

Speaking of Joe Keller, the book "They Played their Hearts Out" describes his practice of crushing teams using a press defense he called the "Fist". The book details how his team would full court press teams and humiliate weaker guards. I see the same happenings in local basketball.

There is such a large gap in talent locally, blowouts occur often. This seems to be a local and a state practice; to pad stats by pressing weak guards. Here is the problem. The practice of getting cherry picking lay ups off of steals does not translate to the Division 1 level.

A few years ago, one of the best local teams went undefeated in pool play of AAU Nationals. Pool play included weaker teams that could be pressed into uncontested lay ups, just like some local high schools. However, as soon as this team reached the meat and potatoes of the event, bracket play, they were romped and sent home early. Bracket play included players that can play and coaches that could coach. Uncontested lay ups are hard to come by and half court basketball IQ was needed.

Anyone watching women's college basketball with an unobjective eye will see that pressing plays little part in the overall scheme of things, with most teams. Texas A&M is the obvious exception. With no 10 second back court count, breaking the press is relatively simple in most cases. Pressing serves a different role at that level. Speeding up game pace, preventing long shot clock possessions and causing the periodic turnovers are what the press accomplishes at that level.

I have a theory that will be unpopular and controversial but here it goes. Too many Texas high school and club teams play styles that do not translate to college! Again, many prominent Texas basketball players play in programs that fail to prepare them for the set driven offensive systems of college. Additionally, too many Texas coaches oversell their players in a quest to brag about producing BCS kids.

How many elite Texas guards are shining at elite levels today? Meighan Simmons and Odyssey Sims are the exception, not the rule. I had a major college coach tell me that he agreed with my opinion, but only in regards to wing players.

Wing players that do not posses an ability to knock down 3 point shots consistently struggle at the next level. Slashing against set defenses is pretty difficult at the elite level. A good portion of slashing wings dominate high school with coast to coast drives and steals in the open court. When these players get to college, they realize that they do not "own" a great skill, as this D1 coach phrased it.

(Side note: Baylor wings get more opportunities than most wings to play in the open court. Brittany Griner allows them to be more aggressive than most teams because of how many shots she blocks(changes) and her domination of the boards. Add a super quick PG, in Sims, and the Baylor wings have more opportunities to eat in the open court and pressure the ball.)

In a conversation with a club coach, she claimed that she has a player that is a BCS caliber kid. This kid has decent size for a guard but main attribute is athleticism. I asked, what position will she play at a BCS school? This coach responded via text, "She can play the one if she works on her handle. She can play the two if she works on her jump shot. She could play the three if she was two inches taller". OK!!!!! A lot of ifs for an upperclassman. She "owns" no skill that translates to the next level outside of being athletic. That is the problem! Too many coaches leave kids ill prepared for college and over sell them to programs that they can not thrive in.

It seems that too many college coaches are using the 15 scholarship cushion to stash athletic kids on the bench. Find a BCS roster that is heavy on Texas kids and you will find athletic kids riding the pine. Now this does not seem to apply to Texas Bigs. Griner, the Ogkumikes, Carolyn Davis, Kelsey Bone, Cokie Reed are just a few Texas Bigs that are playing prominent OFFENSIVE roles at the BCS level.

I am not bashing Texas kids, I father, coach and train kids in Texas. I am saying that WE must guard the future of our Guards.

Texas is on par with ANY state in terms of talent. Top 25 schools like Baylor, Texas A&M, Texas Tech have an overwhelmingly Texas roster. Time will tell if Texas guards and wings are being prepared to contribute OFFENSIVELY in college systems. A popular sentiment among former players is that the WNBA is political. It may be. It seems to favor set driven guards with high basketball IQ. If that is the case, we may want to start implementing set driven basketball skills and basketball IQ if we want our local guards to burn in college and have a chance in the league. The "Fist" philosophy of Joe Keller did not work with the boys and it is not apparently working for the betterment of our girls!

ShesBallin Prospects: Tanaeya Boclair/Wendy Knight

Don't believe the hype!

Nike Presents
Southern California All-Stars
Traveling Basketball Team
4th & 5th Graders
*Sponsored Program
*Professional Coaching
*Team Discipline
*Fundamental Exercises
*Private Training
*Knowledge of the Game
*Exposure for College
*Plays against top talent in the country
Free Nike Gear
This advertisement is featured in the book "Play Their Hearts Out", a must read for parents  with players in club basketball, primarily the boys game.

(Side note: In a recent conversation a parent stated that he did not like the "seedy" side of club ball on the girls side. He talked of envelopes filled with cash exchanging hands. I had to enlighten this father that few women's basketball program consistently operate in the black at the collegiate level. There are no Cam Newton fathers in girls basketball because there is no money in girls/women's basketball. Men's football/basketball programs pay for almost all women's basketball programs. The rookie pay scale for a WNBA player is equivalent to what a teacher makes in most states. Money stuffed envelopes for a revenue losing sport with meager salaries! Hardly! A more detailed blog to come.)

Back to the subject, the above verbiage was included on a flier and passed out to parents. The brilliant marketing ploy was the brainchild of Joe Keller. He realized that the name Nike is golden in basketball. He set up an alliance with SCA basketball club, led by Patt Barrett, for some free shoes and uniforms. Joe Keller took free shoes and turned it into a perception that Nike was now his benefactor and many parents fell for the creative embellishments. I had intimate knowledge of the now famous strategy since a relative of mine was drawn to Joe Keller's team through these claims. Unfortunately, he found out what many in South/Central Texas girls basketball will soon find out. Like Joe Keller, NO team in this area is a Nike Sponsored program. Here are the facts:
  • Nike Sponsors 22 Teams. The list can be found here.
  • The only teams in the entire state of Texas that are sponsored by Nike are Cy-Fair Shock and DFW Elite. These two organization prominently display the Nike name in front of their name.
  • Just because a program puts Nike on their site, does not mean that they are sponsored by Nike. Just because the organizations leader wear nothing but Nike, does not indicate Nike sponsorship.
  • Only Nike teams attend Nike Nationals! Many club directors promise kids the opportunity to play at Nike Nationals by being invited. If a club is not Nike, they can not be invited to Nike Nationals, unless Nike changes this policy this year. Please review ESPN Hoopgulrz very extensive coverage of all things Nike Nationals in 2011 here. Please note that the ONLY teams in the event are also included on the BlueStar link above. NO non-Nike sponsored teams are at the event.
  • Boo Williams is arguably the most powerful man in girls club basketball. The Boo Williams Invitational is a great event and features a large number of Nike teams. However, while most teams can get into the event, very few teams can attend the event and get the main stage. Here is an example, my child played with a Nike team a couple years ago. She played in a game vs Arkansas Mavericks. The game featured these players: Tank Youngblood(LSU), Recee' Caldwell(2014 #8), Jessica Jackson(2013 #13), Imani Wright(2013 #36), Roshunda Johnson(2013 #50), Marche Amerson(Univ of Houston), Sylvana Okde(Louisiana-Lafayette). With all this star power, the game featured a whopping 4 scouts in the gym. The other couple hundred scouts attending the event chose to view a different game. Many club coaches are falsely claiming that they will take teams to Boo Williams and play on the big stage. Not true, expensive lies!

    "In a back gym at the Boo Williams Sports Complex in Hampton, Va., last April, Curtis Ekmark was fit to be fried. "I'm so mad at Boo," Ekmark said of the tournament director, albeit in a gentle tone most reserve for, say, conversations with a loved one. "He promised we'd be in the elite division." This a quote from an ESPN Hoopgulz article on one of the best clubs in the country, featuring some of the best players and yet they did not get a chance to play in the top division of Boo Williams. This team plays together in high school and is the #1 High School team in the country, St Mary's. If they can not get the top division of Boo Williams, fat chance for the lesser known area teams.
Why does all of this matter, because anything Nike matters, even though it may not matter much. Take a look at the ESPN Hoopgurlz or Blue Star Report top players in 2013. The top 4 players in 2013 for Hoopgurlz did not play at Nike Nationals in 2011. Four out of the top 5, 7 out of top 10 did not play for Nike Teams according to Blue Star. Moving on, here are Nike connections of local teams in recent history.
TeamXpress: Had a major Nike connect through one of the most powerful men in girls basketball, Mike Flynn. While many presumed TeamXpress was a Nike sponsored team, they were not. They were a Blue Star sponsored team. Being a Blue Star team afforded them a lot of Nike affiliations but they could not play in Nike Nationals.
Sophia Young Elite: This organizations director used to direct Overtime Select, primarily boys teams. A change of name and a WNBA player as a sponsor gave them an automatic boost in prestige. Sophia Young is a Nike sponsored player, the club is not. Free or discounted Nike gear is essentially the extent of the relationship with Nike. The only WNBA star affiliated with a Nike Sponsored program is Diana Taurasi with her Cal Storm Team Taurasi.
SA Finest: Was a feeder program into Nike Cy-Fair Shock two seasons ago playing under the name Cy-Fair Shock-Caldwell. Is currently the only local team with a player that has participated in the prestigious Nike Regional Skills Academy. Obviously is not a Nike sponsored team.
Nike Regional Skills Academy: Only three local players have participated in Nike Regional Skills Academy, Recee' Caldwell(twice) Chamaya Turner(once)and McKenzie Calvert(once).Turner was included two years ago before she officially played a game for SYE. Both Caldwell and Calvert are the only current players to have suited up for a Nike Sponsored team, Nike Cy-Fair Shock(Caldwell) and Nike DFW Elite(Calvert). TeamXpress was able to get more than a few kids into the NRSA last season due to the relationship with a Nike power, Mike Flynn.
This blog was prompted by misleading practices and a call from a Central Texas club director. This coach went on to say that an upstart club in that area is pulling a Joe Keller, and exaggerating Nike ties to recruit talent. This is the type of stuff that led that previously mentioned parent to complain of "seedy dealings". As the saying goes, "The bigger the lie, the more they believe." The problem is that "they" are lying to parents, but hurting the kids!

Friday, January 27, 2012

San Antonio Lovers!!

A quick shot out to some schools that are showing local kids love lately by visiting the Alamo City:

UTSA, Rice, HBU, UNM, UNT, Texas State, UT, TAMU, Weber State, UTA, Stanford, OU, Duke, NMST, UCLA, LSU, and TCU.

The awakening continues!

Allemand Featured on HoopGurlz

Brooke Allemand's decision to commit to UNM this week is featured on ESPN Hoopgurlz.

ESPN Hoopgurlz Feature:

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it
be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything." Matthew 5:13

I heard a preacher give an interpretation of this scripture that applies to girls basketball in many ways. He reasoned that salt is one of the most powerful substances on earth. Salt influences every environment that it is in. Large bodies of water on earth are undrinkable due to the power of salt.

I have observed the power of salt in girls basketball. I have seen kids come into a failing programs and change the culture. I have seen enthusiastic players motivate their teammates and inspire.
I have also seen the distasteful side of salt. I have seen negative environments change kids. The fervor that some kids possessed going into some programs is now watered down. Here is an example of a coach and a player being salt and having a positive impact on their environment.
  • A couple of years ago, I wrote about former Stevens coach, Steve Sylestine. Here is a portion of the blog I wrote about Sylestine the first time I saw him:
"At half time, Coach Sylestine, dressed in slacks and loafers,always SPRINTS off of the court into the locker room area. He beats his sprinting players to the area to high five and encourage them as they prepare to meet. He then walks away as his players gather and collects his thoughts. This is not commonly seen among coaches and I do not know his motivation. Maybe he is sending a message to his kids that we are excited, prepared and sprinting into the second half of the game as winners."
Sylestine is now at Clark, on the boys side. It is no surprise that his team is 20-7 and positioned for the playoffs. Chad Quisenberry, head coach of Devine HS, often says that "a good coach can coach any sport". Sylestine success validates Quisenberry's philosophy. A good coach is passionate and will be have a passionate effect on his/her players.
  • Using a player as an example, Len'Nique Brown was salt for Wagner. Wagner has benefited from a lot of talent over the past few years. While their coach is respected by her troops, Len'Nique was instrumental in being the on court leader for the T-Birds. Len'Nique was a calming influence for many high strung teammates. Len'Nique was not only the peace maker among her team, she was the spark plug. It was unacceptable for lessor talented teammates to not work hard when Brown always gave it her all. She led by example, earning good grades and often speaking of her faith.
Both Sylestine and Len'Nique are great examples of being the salt of their environments. A major college head coach recently explained that a lot of incoming freshman find it hard to adjust to big time basketball. Not because they are ill equipped from a basketball perspective, but unprepared mentally. This coach went on to explain that the habit of "playing down" and unmotivated in their senior year of high school ingrains bad habits that are extremely hard to break. It takes a salty coach like Sylestine to keep college bound kids engaged. It also takes a kid like Brown to remain focused on goals and not succumb to distractions. Petty jealousy, hating from teammates parents, and mounting pressure all can have a negative impact on players. Len'Nique did not allow these things to dull her light. Like salt, she and coach Sylestine remained tasteful, useful and influential.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Brooke Allemand commits!

Boerne Champion guard Brooke Allemand has decided to play basketball for the University of New Mexico. The 2013 sharp shooter for SA Finest is the first 2013 player in the city to pledge to a D1 university.

ESPN Hoopgurlz article

Congrats to the Allemand family!

Friday, January 20, 2012

January Snippets

Don't look now- My preseason picks for the city included Jay and Steele near or at the top. Injuries decimated the Jay squad early but the Mustangs showed how they are a team to be reckoned with vs Stevens last Tuesday. Destiny Amezquita(2013) looks to be back to her old ways and that spells trouble for opposing guards!

Steele seems to be getting all their talent on the same page. Rice bound guard Elena Gumbs is shooting incredibly from the field, percentage wise. The super talented freshman, Kyra Lambert is making her presence felt. Baylor bound scoring machine, McKenzie Calvert(2014) recently scored her 1000th career point and is feasting on the district.

Calvert is one of the few kids that I have seen that "kills" weaker opponents. Many coaches talk about having the killer instinct being missing in many players. A Final Four coach recently visited the city and spoke of the tendency of elite players to not take high school serious and play down to competition. Not Calvert. She has the focus to score 30 plus numerous times recently while her team won by large margins.

Incarnate Word vs Antonian- I have been told that last nights environment was the best in recent history for a girls basketball game. Standing room only crowd filled with heckling students, painted faces, and a professional entertainer at half time made for a raucous time. Incarnate Word was led by Briana Bustamante with 16 points while Jackie Anderson led Antonian with 11 points in the low scoring affair.

Distinguished Visitors- Jay's Antania "T" Newton has Texas State in the house tonight. Houston Baptist University is coming out next week.

LSU is in the house viewing the Johnson vs Lee game tonight. Stanford will watch Johnson take on MacArthur next week.

Wendy Knight- The most slept on kid in the city, Knight put on a show vs Johnson on Tuesday. Knight scored 18 points in the 1st half. Knight ended up with 25 points, the same as Johnson's top two scorers COMBINED for the entire game.

Reagan - Speaking of Knight, how good is Reagan and its coach Terry Barton? Johnson was down by 8 points at half to Reagan in a close game. Coach Barton made the appropriate adjustments at half time and his squad ran away with the game by close to 30 points. Talent and good coaching usually makes for a contender for a State trip come March. Reagan has both.

Must Read!- This ESPN article details the DANGERS of social media for prospective athletes.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Cal "The Wolf" is a Wise Guy!

Putting on my Robert Greene hat, here is a look at Churchill coach Cal Wulfsberg through the eyes of a couple of HBO series. Being very familiar with Las Vegas, waching Wulfsberg reminds me of the wiseguys that buy out the craps table on the strip. They walk with a gait that screams power. Their demeanor says "I'm a Boss and you know it". Cal Wulfsburg has many detractors. A lot of people, opposing coaches, can not stand his swagger. A lot of basketball heads wish they had the opportunity to expose his weaknesses. Whatever your view of him, he has definitely raised the stakes in the city.

"He couldn't sell it" Junior Soprano, 'The Sopranos'

Junior Soprano wanted to make a move on his nephew, Tony, for control. He had a willing co-conspirator in Richie Aprile, a nasty old school hoodlum. Junior asked Richie to feel out some potential allies, also unhappy with the Tony regime, to see if they would back a coup d' etat against Tony. When Richie was flatly told that they would not support an uprising against Tony, Richie reported the disappointing news to Uncle Junior. Uncle Junior saw that Richie was too weak to lead a rebellion and was not "respected" by the other leaders. This lead him to say that Richie "couldn't sell it", he was not respected enough to sell it.

Cal Wulfsburg sold it. He had the resume' and experience to follow the successful Stacey Moore. The Wulf was able to keep Leslie Vorpahl from going to a different high school, even though she had to sit out her freshman season as a school of choice transfer. The Wulf obviously knows his stuff. This is an essential ingredient in a successful coach locally. San Antonio has a ton of elite dads. Elite dads seem to know it all and are always second guessing coaching decisions. Elite dads are numerous across the nation as most of them(us) have played the game and are living the game through our kids to some extent. The huge problem is that San Antonio has a lot of elite dads that have never played the game and their daughters are "not so elite". A large number of elite moms watch a Spurs game and feel qualified to heap criticism on the X & O ability of local coaches. The Wulf has the knowledge, experience and presence to shut privileged kids and opinionated parents up. In a recent game, one of his star players was talking back to him. He sternly told her to "shut up and sit down". Of course she did and he moved on to doing his job. He could not speak that way to a star player if she did not respect him. Her parents would not have allowed their child to be spoken to in that way if they did not respect his ability to lead. Just because someone calls themselves a leader, does not mean that they can lead! The Wulf is respected enough to "sell it" and others fall in line.

"The Game done changed" -Cutty Wise

"Nah, the Game is the same, it just got more fierce"- Slim Charles, 'The Wire'

The Wulf can care less about local sensibilities. He announced his presence to the local scene with clear intention; supremacy. He carries himself as if his counterparts are not on his level. He is a former men's college standout and coach. The same tenacity and lack of civility that is mandated on the men's side, he has brought to girls basketball. He has helped make the game "more fierce".

In a recent game versus Madison and their well respected coach Tracy Hastings, The Wulf howled. His Churchill squad was beating Madison by 30 points, late in the 4th quarter. Tracy Hastings kept her starters in the game and began pressing the Churchill second string. The Wulf looked down to the other bench at Hastings a couple of times. Hastings kept pressing. The Wulf stood up and told one of the most tenured coaches in the city, "Your not going to win, if you keep pressing, I'm putting my starters back in". Tracy Hastings kept pressing, so The Wulf backed up his threat and sent the A-Team back in a game that was already out of hand. The message was evident. The Wulf understands that every play is a battle. Every battle has an effect on the War. The War is not an individual game or district win. The War is establishing a tradition of excellence, a tradition of supremacy. Allowing Madison to have ANY perceived success against his team was a potential threat to his local legacy. If onlookers, scouts, parents, fans and his own players saw a chink in his armour, this could have a negative impact later. He had to make sure that his second strings inability to break a press did not bring up connotations that he only is successful because of his elite players. The Wulf is a different animal, not normally seen in local girls basketball.

"This aint about your business class, this is that other thang"- Avon Barksdale,
'The Wire'

Avon Barksdale was a street soldier. His long time partner, Stringer Bell, was more than a soldier. He was an articulate business minded street guy that shunned unnecessary violence in favor of cooperation and "business". Beefing with other street soldiers was not in Stringer Bell's character. Things could be settled in a business like way without violence in Bell's ruling style. Avon Barksdale saw a flaw in this strategy in time of war. When dealing with a ruthlessly capable upstart, Marlo Standsfield, Barksdale realized that Stringer Bell could not comprehend that business civility only goes so far. When dealing with an unrelenting opponent that possesses ambition and skill, a harder hand is needed. As Avon said, "it's that other thang" that a wolf needs to keep other wolves at bay.

Anissa Hastings is an Alpha female personified. Hastings bows down to no one. She has used her super athletic frame and tenacity to lead her very successful Sam Houston High School team as a player years ago. She earned a ride to the University of Texas. Her first head coaching job was at Fox Tech. She chose to become an assistant before getting the reigns at Stevens. When a local coach walked into a meeting last year and stated, " We all know who District MVP is, so let's get it over with", Hastings protested. The coach was automatically giving the award to NC State's Erica Donovan but Hastings had other ideas. She felt her Western Kentucky bound guard Alexis Govan was the true MVP and fought for her kid. Hastings lost Govan and other key contributors to her successful 2010 team and went to work. She made her current group believe that they are elite by demanding it! They are currently #2 in the city. Hastings is ambitious as a street soldier, Marlo Standsfield.

The Wulf had to see if Anissa Hastings was a formidable foe in the first game of the season. The Stevens team was down when Hastings started to LEAD her team on a run. During an emphatic block by one of her players on a Churchill shot, the ref called a foul. Hastings went off! She told the ref, "She volleyball spiked it and you called a blocking foul?" The Wulf overheard the comment and smirked. He had some ammunition.

The Wulf started playing pick up ball. His team made a shot and he looked over at Hastings and smiled. He looked at his fans behind his bench and winked at them. Whenever the Churchill team got a questionable call against them, he yelled at the ref, " That was a volleyball spike". These digs were an attempt to get under the skin of Hastings. While it did not work, Stevens prevailed, the message was sent. The Wulf will test the metal of his opponents. Like ANY former competitive basketball player, he understands that the games are not just played in between the lines, but in between the MIND!

"Fish gotta swim"- Omar Little, 'The Wire'

Omar Little was speaking of the nature of a certain individual. Like the gentleman that Omar was referencing, The Wulf has tenancies. A few of his tenancies show that like fish, he does was he is built to do.

A former point guard, The Wulf is smart enough to keep the ball in the hands of his point guard. In a city that is fascinated with taking the ball out of the hands of their best player, The Wulf is a stark contrast. He runs numerous flat screens for his star, Vorpahl, that makes teams adjust. He knows that the best decisions come from the most experienced and skilled players. He knows that he has arguably the best pure point guard in the city. His knowledge tells him that it would be IGNORANT to not have the ball in Vorpahl's hands. In a recent spanking of Johnson, he had a seldom used post player set 4 on ball screens, 25 away from the basket, for Vorpahl, on one play!. She eventually found a gap and turned the corner to find a wide open Jordan Holub for a jumper.

While the Wulf is respected enough to make his team realize who will have the ball, he is smart enough to get easy looks for Vorpahl. In a game versus the amazingly good on ball defender, Moriah Mack, Vorpahl struggled to get open shots. Accordingly, Churchill lost. It is amazing that more coaches do not swim with Wulfsburg. Local coaches allow one of the best decision makers in the city to MAKE DECISIONS. How does the city guard these effective flats; trap it and make her pass then deny the return, hard hedge, go under, funnel, shadow it, make her refuse it, jam the screener, switch, etc? Most of the time, no game plan is set for an offense that is ran 90% of the time for the #4 team in the city!

How does The Wulf defend opposing elite players? He runs a creative 1-3 Zone with his best defender face guarding full court. It resembles a Diamond and 1 but flattens out the baseline defenders. (Amazingly, no one counters with an inverted 1-4 high set that puts skilled guards at the high post to play 4 on 3 with the back line defenders) .While he KEEPS the ball in the hands of his best player, he refuses to allow other elite players to KEEP the ball in their hands. He runs his girls team like the boys Churchill coach. The boys coach keeps the ball in the hands of Scott Mammel, another great savvy decision maker. This less than complicated theory is what you do when you have a Chris Paul. You make it easier for Chris to do his job. What Mike Floyd did with Erica Donovan, what Tina Camacho did with Len'Nique Brown, what Kari Wallace Did with Meighan Simmons is what The Wulf is doing. For this reason, Churchill is not a team that local coaches are going to want to see come February.

The Wulf is good for the city. His "take no prisoners" approach will make others start to take the game seriously. He is a system coach. His system is something that allows his kids to look good while making others look bad. The comparison to HBO gangsters is not meant to vilify nor insinuate negativity. It is to illustrate an old gangster maxim, " Gangsters do what the want, the weak do what they can". Cal "The Wulf" is doing whatever he wants to do. Other teams, with more talent, are pitifully doing what they can!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

10 Bigs Comparison(FG %)

Following the 10 Guard comparison, here is a look at how 10 of the best "Bigs" in the city compare to each other. Again, this may not be the 10 BEST post players in the city but all will play beyond high school. Also, a few on this list will not play in the post in college.

1.Simone Field 58.6
2.Tesha Smith 57.3
3.Ebony Easter 53.1
4.Avery Queen 46.8
5.Tanaeya Boclair 45.96
6.Mychal Costley 45.5
7.Aleeya Harris 44.8
8.Dani Espinoza 44
9.Erica Chapman 43.1
10.Sabrina Berry 41.4

10 Bigs Comparison(Boards)

Following the 10 Guard comparison, here is a look at how 10 of the best "Bigs" in the city compare to each other. Again, this may not be the 10 BEST post players in the city but all will play beyond high school. Also, a few on this list will not play in the post in college.
Avg Rebounds/Total
1.Tesha Smith 9.8/ 235
2.Ebony Easter 9.6/ 230
3.Avery Queen 8.9/ 241
4.Tanaeya Boclair 8.83/ 212
5.Dani Espinoza 8.3/ 133
6.Simone Fields 7.6/ 182
7.Aleeya Harris 5/ 70
8.Erica Chapman 4.9/ 112
9.Sabrina Berry 4.8/ 82
10.Mychal Costley 3.7/ 136

10 Bigs Comparison(Points)

Following the 10 Guard comparison, here is a look at how 10 of the best "Bigs" in the city compare to each other. Again, this may not be the 10 BEST post players in the city but all will play beyond high school. Also, a few on this list will not play in the post in college.
1.Ebony Easter 18.62
2.Avery Queen 15.48
3.Tanaeya Boclair 12.12
4.Tesha Smith 11.69
5.Simone Field 10.58
6.Erica Chapman 10.3
7.Aleeya Harris 9.07
8.Sabrina Berry 6.94
9.Dani Espinoza 6.8
10.Mychal Costley 6.41

Monday, January 9, 2012

10 Guard Comparisons(Rebounds)

With SA Express doing a mid-year progress report, here is a look at ten of the best guards the city has to offer. This may NOT be the BEST ten guards in the city but a comparison of their accomplishments:


1.Niaga Mitchell-Cole 251
2.Chamaya Turner 140
3.Moriah Mack 122
4.Recee' Caldwell 105
5.Leslie Vorpahl 93
6.Wendy Knight 84
7.McKenzie Calvert 82
8.Elena Gumbs 58
9.Carlie Heineman 51
10.Brooke Allemand 46

10 Guards Comparison(assists)

With SA Express doing a mid-year progress report, here is a look at ten of the best guards the city has to offer. This may NOT be the BEST ten guards in the city but a comparison of their accomplishments:

Assists(2011-12)/ Assist Average

1.Leslie Vorpahl 6.8
2.Recee' Caldwell 6.38
3.Niaga Mitchell-Cole 4.63
4.Brooke Allemand 3.4
5.Chamaya Turner 3.14
6.Elena Gumbs 2.5
7.McKenzie Calvert 2.1
8.Carlie Heineman 2.09
9.Wendy Knight 1.92
10.Moriah Mack 1.54

10 Guard Comparisons(3 pt makes/attempts/%)

With SA Express doing a mid-year progress report, here is a look at ten of the best guards the city has to offer. This may NOT be the BEST ten guards in the city but a comparison of their accomplishments:

3 Pt Makes(2011-12)/ 3 Pt Attempts/ 3 Pt %

1. Brooke Allemand- 59/ 152/ 38.56
2. Carlie Heineman- 51/ 128/ 39.84
3. Wendy Knight- 38/ 94/ 40.43
4. Recee' Caldwell -38/ 115/ 33.04
5. Leslie Vorpahl- 34/ 81/ 44.44
6. McKenzie Calvert- 32/ 138/ 23.19
7. Niaga Mitchell-Cole- 26/ 100/ 26
8. Elena Gumbs- 14/ 38/ 36.84
9. Chamaya Turner- 13/42/30.95
10.Moriah Mack- 2/ 14/ 14.29

10 Guards Comparisons(avg/shots/fg%)

With SA Express doing a mid-year progress report, here is a look at ten of the best guards the city has to offer. This may NOT be the BEST ten guards in the city but a comparison of their accomplishments:

Scoring Average(2011-12) ppg/ Shots Per Game/ FG %

1.McKenzie Calvert 20.86/ 19.95/ 35.54
2.Recee' Caldwell 17.71/ 16.2/ 39.18
3.Chamaya Turner 17.14/ 12.14/ 47.04
4.Carlie Heineman 16/ 11.54/ 38.58
5.Niaga Mitchell-Cole 15.5/ 11.5/ 44.02
6.Leslie Vorpahl 15.04/ 10.04/ 47.01
7.Brooke Allemand 13.55/ 10.72/ 38.98
8.Wendy Knight 11.96 /11.9/ 45.16
9.Elena Gumbs 11.7/ 7.6/ 50
10. Moriah Mack 10.58/ 8.76/ 45.81

10 Guards Comparison(Career Scoring)

With SA Express doing a mid-year progress report, here is a look at ten of the best guards the city has to offer. This may NOT be the BEST ten guards in the city but a comparison of their accomplishments:

Career Games in parenthesis/ Scoring Average Leaders Career

1. Recee Caldwell (46) 19.13ppg
2. McKenzie Calvert(54) 17.51 ppg
3. Chamaya Turner (76) 16.57 ppg- 3 years
4. Brooke Allemand( 57) 14.52 ppg
5. Leslie Vorpahl( 57) 14.33 ppg
6.* Elena Gumbs ( 90) 11.64ppg - 3 years
7. Niaga Mitchell-Cole (92) 11.52ppg- 3 years
8. Carlie Heineman (56) 10.87 ppg
9. Wendy Knight (61) 10.75.ppg
10. Moriah Mack (58) 10.39ppg

* Elena Gumbs freshman stats are not included because of a jump in classifications. However, she scored a ton of points as a frosh.