Thursday, April 30, 2009

West Virginia's Joe Mazzulla Charged With Domestic Battery

Johnston, Rhode Island native, Joe Mazzulla; looks to be in hot water again at West Virginia, via ProJo Sports:

Joe Mazzulla’s future with the West Virginia basketball team is very much in jeopardy because of Mazzulla’s second arrest involving alcohol-related problems.

The 20-year-old Johnson resident has been indefinitely suspended by Mountaineer coach Bob Huggins after his arrest last week on charges of domestic battery. He was involved in an incident at The Lazy Lizard bar in Morgantown in which he allegedly grabbed a woman by the neck.

It was the second arrest for the Hendricken High grad. He pleaded guilty to charges of public drunkenness and disorderly conduct after an incident last September at a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game in which he had a disagreement with security personnel.

“Joe is suspended indefinitely from all basketball related activities,” Huggins said in a statement issued through the school’s sports communications office. “We take violations of our team rules very seriously.”

Huggins will have no further comment on the situation at this time, the statement said. Bryan Messerly, the school’s contact for men’s basketball, said Monday that there is no timetable for the issue to be resolved.

Dan Mazzulla, Joe’s father, told The Providence Journal Monday night that his son very much enjoys being at West Virginia and hopes to stay.

``He has some personal issues and he’s being treated as we speak,’’ Mazzulla said. ``It’s a delicate issue.’’

He would not go into any detail other that to say the issues are medically related.

``He absolutely loves it there. He’s getting the proper treatment,’’ Mazzulla said. ``He hopes to stay.’’

Mazzulla, coming off a strong performance in the NCAA Tournament in March of 2008, began the season as the Mountaineers’ starting guard. However, he missed all but seven games because of a fractured growth plate in his left (shooting) shoulder. The problem happened in a fall during a game in December. It was hoped the problem could be solved without surgery, but when it did not go away Mazzulla had surgery in February and was in a brace for six weeks.

Mazzulla, who has been a Big East Academic All-Star and a member of the WVU athletic director’s academic honor roll, still is not fully healed. Attempts to reach him and members of his family Monday were not successful.

Assuming he would be given a red-shirt for this past season, Mazzulla still has two years of eligibility remaining.

His situation could be impacted by the personnel situation with the team. The Mountaineers recently signed the national junior college player of the year, Casey Mitchell. Mitchell is a 6-4 shooting guard from Chipola College in Marianna, Fla. His signing gives the team, which was a six seed in the NCAA Tournament this year but was beaten by Dayton in the opening round, commitments for 15 players for 2009-10. That is two above the limit, so the team will have to make moves to reduce its commitments by two.

URI Signs High Scoring North Carolina Guard Akeem Richardson

The URI Rams just signed a high scoring guard from North Carolina in Akeem Richmond, via ProJo Sports:

The Sanford, N.C., Herald reported on its blog Wednesday that Akeem Richmond, a 6-foot-1 guard who was the player of the year in his area, has signed a national letter of intent with Rhode Island.

Richmond had visited URI last month and reportedly was the Rams' top target in the late recruiting. Richmond is a combo guard who scored 2,846 career points and averaged 29.2 points for Southern Lee High in Sanford this past season.

He also was considering Charlotte, Western Kentucky and South Florida.

With the loss of Jimmy Baron, URI lacks depth in the backcourt, with only four guards on the roster, and badly needs someone who could help right away in 2009-10. Richmond apparently will get a chance to do that.

Here is a scouting report on Akeem Richmond, via ESPN U:

February, 2008: A scoring guard who has been a big time scorer for years. He does need to work on his shot selection, but Richmond can really score in bunches. He is very good at shooting off the dribble and can really find ways to get his own shot as well as create for others. Richmond can also score off screens and he is a good defender as well when he wants to be. Richmond needs to get stronger and needs to become a better 3-point shooter. While he has a good feel for how to play, Richmond also needs to know how to get others involved more as well. He needs strength to be able to finish at the next level.

2007: Akeem is a scoring point guard. He thinks score first and pass second. He is a decent distributor. He needs strength but he is talented. He is just an average defender at this point. Akeem is a top 125 player in the 2009 class nationally.

They rate him as the 55th best PG in this class and give him a scouts grade of 86, which means he is mid-major prospect and "should be a solid contributor and two- or three-year starter at a mid-major program." Well, URI is pretty much a mid-major in my eyes when it comes to recruiting talent, so this should be a solid pick up for them.

Also, Richmond seems happy with his decision to come to URI:

"It's been a long journey, a long recruiting process," Richmond said. "It's a blessing that I've been able to go through this, but it feels like a huge weight is lifted off my shoulders. It's a big relief, and now I'm just very happy."

More: URI

Friday, April 24, 2009

2009 Providence Journal Rhode Island Boys Basketball All-State Team

2009 Providence Journal Rhode Island Boys Basketball All-State Team

Ashton Watkins, Senior, Classical: One of two repeat first-team selections, Watkins led Classical to a 22-3 record overall and its second Division II championship. In the playoffs he scored 26 points against West Warwick in the quarterfinals, 15 in the overtime semifinals victory against Scituate and 13 in a 20-point rout of Narragansett in the finals. He averaged 17.3 points while being double- and triple-teamed most of the season. He went over 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in only 2 ½ seasons with the Purple after transferring from Hope. "He learned to make us a better team without his scoring. When teams took his scoring away, he did other things, like rebound and play defense. He came up with huge rebound after huge rebound. When he had to step up and make big plays, he did. To me, Ashton is the most dominant player in the state. He was double-teamed every time he got the ball. You can't play him straight up," coach Todd Keefe said. And Watkins shared the glory with his teammates. Junior Michael Palumbo was hot during the playoffs, scored 22 points in the finals and was the tournament MVP. "A lot of kids would have forced stuff the last couple of games. He didn't. He put the team first," Keefe said of Watkins.

Billy Baron, Senior, Hendricken: Perhaps the best player in the state this season, Baron repeats as a first-team choice partly because he was at his finest in the big games. In January he scored 42 points in a loss to Mount Pleasant, the only Rhode Island team that beat the Hawks (22-3) this season. He scored 38 in the first of two games against Cranston East, a three-point win, and 36 in the second meeting, a three-point overtime victory at the end of the regular season. In the playoffs he scored 23 in a blowout of Hope in the quarterfinals, 24 in the semifinal rout of Cranston West and 25 points in the championship game against Mount Pleasant. He averaged 23 points for the season. Baron can score from way outside and on layups after daring slashes to the basket. He is a good passer and defender. He won three state championships after playing on the junior varsity as a freshman. "He's a big-time player. He makes the jumper. He goes to the basket. He finds a way to get his shot off in traffic. He goes to the foul line and makes his free throws. He'll be sorely missed," coach Jamal Gomes says.

Billy Soriano, Sophomore, Mt. Pleasant: A dynamic player who can take over a game with his scoring (17.1 points per game), passing (6.5 assists) and defense (2.5 steals), Soriano is quick and has superb court sense. Teammates must always be on alert because of his pinpoint passing, and opponents must be prepared for his shooting. He scored 15 points against La Salle in the quarterfinals, 26 against Cranston East in the semifinals and 25 in the championship game loss to Bishop Hendricken. He led the Kilties to a 22-4 record. "As the games get more important and the stage gets bigger, he thrives on that. He enjoys getting out in front of as many people as he can get in front of," says coach Chris Coleman. "He pushes himself. He compares himself to the best in points, assists, steals, whatever. He wants to be the best. He wants to show everybody what he can do. He's the best pure point guard in the state, in my opinion. What he sees on the court, you can’t coach."

Mike Juarez, Senior, Cranston East: This quiet and respected leader averaged 18.1 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists. He broke the school's career scoring record and finished with 1,557 points. He and the Bolts finished with a 20-5 record, played tough in two three-point losses to Bishop Hendricken, the second in overtime, and almost upset Mount Pleasant in the tournament semifinals, losing by three. Cool under pressure, he didn't hesitate to take the last shot in the semifinals, his 35-footer at the buzzer caroming off the side of the rim. A true leader, after collapsing to the floor in disappointment, he pulled himself together and led his teammates through the postgame handshake line. He scored 22 points in that game. "I've coached a lot of kids in 33 years, and he's one of the nicest," says coach Bill Monigan. "He has been the hardest worker and the leader of this team since he was a sophomore. He's not a loud leader but a leader by example. His fellow players respond to him because he says, 'Yes, coach,' he runs the drills the hardest, and he's never late for practice or the bus. "He has really improved his game. He was always a good shooter, but now he's a very good shooter, he drives to the basket, he's our leading rebounder, and he's a very good defensive player. All the things he improved on he did by hard work and by listening."

Frank Robinson, Senior, Mt. Pleasant: Returning to Mount Pleasant after two years at East Providence High School, Robinson added experience to a team that lost eight players to graduation but welcomed members of the 2008 state junior varsity championship team. A solid player who can get to the basket or sink outside shots, he led the Kilties in scoring (20.0 ppg) and averaged four rebounds and two assists per game. His floater over Mike Juarez in the last minute beat Cranston East in the semifinal. He scored 13 points in the quarterfinals, 23 in the semifinals and 18 in the finals. He had 26 points in the Jan. 13 victory over Hendricken. "His all-around play helped us all season. He was our high scorer most of the games and was consistent all year. We would not have gotten as far as we did without him," said coach Chris Coleman.

Florida's Allan Chaney Might Transfer To Providence College

Current Florida Gator, Allan Chaney, could be leaving Florida to transfer to Providence College, via ProJo College Hoops Blog:

Providence College nearly signed Allan Chaney two years ago when he was coming out of New London, Conn. Instead he chose Florida. Now he may be heading back this way. Chaney is leaving Florida when final exams wrap up next week. He wants to transfer even though he played (and started some games) quite a bit for the Gators as a freshman. Chaney said he hasn't talked with many schools but his parents and high school coach have and Providence is the most persistent school. He said he likes the idea of playing in Keno Davis' system where forwards are allowed to score both inside and out. That is Chaney's game and why former coach Tim Welsh once compared his skill set to that of another Connecticut native, Ryan Gomes. "Providence is really interested. My dad spoke with Coach (Pat) Skerry and I'm definitely interested in talking with Keno Davis," Chaney said. Chaney added that Providence and Virginia Tech ``are my top two right now." Chaney is not back home until the second week of May and won't get a chance to meet with PC's entire staff until then. "I'll probably pick a school by the first of June," he said.
Chaney is a forward who measures in at 6'8 tall and weighs 231 lbs. He averaged just 3.0 points and 2.1 rebounds in his Freshman year at Florida. He played mostly in the non-conference portion of Florida's schedule and had game highs of 23 minutes, 13 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 steals, and 2 blocks. Seems like he has some potential to have an all-around game and he does have height, so he might be a nice addition to PC's squad if he does decide to transer there.

More: Providence College

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Forbes Ranks Providence As Hardest US City To Get By In

Ain't this a bitch!? You can count me among the 11.6% of unemployed. Thank God for severance pay, unemployment, and oh yeah, can't forget about that blog money! This got me seriously thinking about moving down to Atlanta where my boy is at already.

Here's the scoop, via Forbes:

1. Providence, R.I.
(Providence-Fall River-Warwick, R.I.-Mass., metro area)

Population: 1.6 million

Cost of Living Index: 122

Median Income: $54,064

February 2009 Unemployment Rate: 11.6%

There are few smiles among those who live in Providence, R.I., these days.

In February, the metro area reported an 11.6% unemployment rate, one of the highest in the country. Construction--one of Providence's major industries--is down; traditional manufacturing has been struggling for years. Like many across the country, few are spending at retailers. And while the area's median income is $54,064--about $4,000 higher than the national average--its cost of living index is steep, 22 points above the national average of 100.

All this means it's hard to catch a break in Providence. While not as dire, other metro areas across the country are facing similar situations. It costs more than average to live in Sacramento and Portland. The New York metro area's got an 8.2% unemployment rate; in San Jose, home to Silicon Valley, it's 10%

Here's the rest of the list for all you other suckas and poor bastards who aren't quite as unfortunate as me:

2. Los Angeles, California
3. Riverside, California
4. Tampa, Florida
5. Buffalo, N.Y.
6. Portland, Oregon
7. Orlando, Florida
8. Detroit, Michigan
9. Miami, Florida
10. Louisville, Kentucky
11. Sacramento, California
12. Cleveland, Ohio
13. Las Vegas, Nevada
14. Charlotte, North Carolina
15. Rochester, N.Y.
16. Jacksonville, Florida
17. San Jose, California
18. San Diego, California
19. New York, N.Y
20. Memphis, Tennessee

Bonus: Get By (Remix) - Talib Kweli feat Mos Def, Kanye West, Jay-Z, & Busta Rhymes

Friday, April 17, 2009

Vincent Council & Russ Permenter Officially Sign With PC

Vincent Council & Russ Permenter already had verbal committments with PC, but now they are officially coming to PC to play next season, via ProJo Sports:

The Providence College basketball team’s incoming class of recruits is now officially at seven players.

The PC coaching staff received letters-of-intent Wednesday from two players who had verbally committed to the Friars several months ago:. point guard Vincent Council of Brooklyn, N.Y. and the Patterson (N.C.) School and junior college forward Russ Permenter of Temple, Texas.

“We are extremely pleased to be adding Russ and Vincent to our basketball program,” coach Keno Davis said. “They are both very talented student-athletes who we anticipate will have great success at Providence College.”

Council and Permenter join Kadeem Batts (Powder Springs, Ga.), Johnnie Lacy (Milwaukee, Wis.), Duke Mondy (Grand Rapids, Mich.), James Still (Detroit, Mich.) and Kyle Wright (Hartford, Conn.) as newcomers for the Friars.

Council, a 6-foot-2 guard, helped Patterson to the No. 1 ranking among prep school boys teams for most of the season. Patterson finished with a 34-3 mark with Council averaging 10.2 points and 10.1 assists per game. Council shot 53 percent from 3-point territory. Before Patterson, Council played for Lincoln High School (Brooklyn) in 2008 and helped his school to a city title.

Permenter is a 6-9, 230-pound forward who’ll be needed to play right away for the Friars. He currently is at Temple College in Texas where he averaged 17.9 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.2 blocks per game and earned North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference First Team accolades. Permenter led the league in blocks and ranked third in scoring and rebounding. Permenter transferred to Temple after spending his freshman season at the University of Texas-San Antonio, where he battled injuries. During his years at Temple High, Permenter averaged 22 points, 14 rebounds and 6.6 blocks during his senior season and was named District 13-5A MVP and First Team All-District in 2007. He was ranked 27th among Texas high school seniors in 2007, according to
More: Providence College

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Portsmouth Invitational: Weyinmi Efejuku, Geoff McDermott, Kahiem Seawright, & Jimmy Baron - Day 3 & 4

Weyinmi Efejuku, Geoff McDermott, Kahiem Seawright, & Jimmy Baron finished up strong on Day 3 & 4 of the Portsmouth Invitational:

Day 3:

Kahiem Seawright: 13 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 6-13 FG

Geoff McDermott: 3 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block, 1-4 FG

Weyinmi Efejuku: 12 points, 4 rebounds, 5-9 FG, 1-3 3FG

Here are some Day 3 observations, via Draft Express:

Weyinmi Efejuku: Weyinmi Efejuku did a good job of showing off his versatile skill-set, scoring from all over the court, hitting spot-up jumpers and attacking the basket en route to 12 points on 9 shot attempts. In the lane, his combination of explosiveness and body control were on display once again, as he did a nice job with pump fakes and show-and-go moves. Defensively, Efejuku also performed well, really taking to the challenge on the few plays he was matched up with Jermaine Taylor, despite his limited wingspan. He appears to have all the makings of a productive European league shooting guard.

Day 4:

Weyinmi Efejuku: 9 points, 1 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 4-9 FG, 1-2 3FG

Jimmy Baron: 33 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals, 11-19 FG, 9-15 3FG

Geoff McDermott: 7 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 2 blocks, 3-6 FG

Kahiem Seawright: 4 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 blocks, 2-5 FG

Friday, April 10, 2009

Portsmouth Invitational: Weyinmi Efejuku, Kahiem Seawright, & Jimmy Baron - Day 2

Weyinmi Efejuku, Kahiem Seawright, & Jimmy Baron were all in action on Day 2 of the Portsmouth Invitational:

Weyinmi Efejuku: 12 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 5-11 FG, 0-1 3FG

Jimmy Baron: 13 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 5-11 FG, 3-8 3FG

Kahiem Seawright: 0 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal, 0-1 FG

Here are some observations, via Draft Express:

Weyinmi Efejuku: Weyinmi Efejuku also had some good flashes, showing off his athletic abilities and shot-creating abilities, both pulling up and attacking the rim, but he struggled to put together an efficient performance, scoring 12 points on 5-for-11 shooting along with 3 turnovers. Picking his spots a little better and moving more off the ball to get the ball in prime scoring position should be among his priorities, although he did show nice potential.

Jimmy Baron: Had a very strong second half en route to a 13 point performance. He made shots from all over the floor but also showed a strong basketball IQ with some excellent passes and plenty of unselfishness. His physical limitations are obvious, and he’s clearly not a point guard, but this coach’s son will surely make a team happy overseas.

More: Portsmouth Invitational

What U Lookin' At - Jon Hope feat Mista Mista

New joint from two of Prov City's finest off of Jon Hope's Somekind of Wonderful EP, which you can download below too.

What U Lookin' At - Jon Hope feat Mista Mista

Download EP: Somekind of Wonderful - Jon Hope (EP)

More: New Joints

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Portsmouth Invitational: Geoff McDermott, Weyinmi Efejuku, Kahiem Seawright, & Jimmy Baron

Geoff McDermott, Weyinmi Efejuku, Kahiem Seawright, & Jimmy Baron have all been invited to play in this year's Portsmouth Invitational tournament, which is the only postseason event for college seniors prior to the NBA Pre-Draft Camp and is the only postseason event to include actual game competition.

Here is how McDermott & Baron played on Day 1 of the tournament:

Geoff McDermott: 6 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, 3-8 FG

Jim Baron: 12 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 turnover, 4-17 FG, 4-14 3FG

I don't expect either of these two to get drafted, but it looks like Jimmy Baron has come out firing, since he took a team high 17 shots. Efejuku plays today, so make sure to check back here for an update on how he did.

More: Portsmouth Invitational