- Ridiculous Upside notes, "This past season, the Springfield Armor [of the NBA D-League] had two noteworthy Call-Ups, Willie Reed (Memphis) and Kris Joseph (Brooklyn). Prior to this season, the franchise witnessed three Call-Ups including Dennis Horner, Jerry Smith and Jeff Foote."
- The Richmond Times Dispatch writes:
At the University of Richmond, players in the men’s basketball program pass their courses, do what the coaches ask and don’t transfer.
Doesn’t seem all that hard, does it?
It’s harder than it sounds.
The NCAA released its most recent academic progress rate results this week and among the 347 men’s Division I basketball programs, 12 had perfect scores of 1,000.
Richmond was one of the 12, joined by Belmont, Bucknell, Butler, Cornell, Elon, Indiana, Lehigh, Kansas, Notre Dame, Texas and Vermont.
- The Ft. Meyers News Press writes:
Justin Gray thought his teammate was going to shoot, but he went up for the rebound just in case.
When Gray instead was offered a perfect alley-oop toss off the backboard, the 6-foot-5 guard and top recruit from Tampa Berkley Prep knew what to do.
“I just dunked it,” said Gray, broad grin across his face. “It’s Dunk City. Had to do it.”
On the first day of FGCU team camp Friday in Alico Arena, Gray was among several handfuls of prospects basking in the enhanced profile of a program forever connected with March’s historic NCAA tournament run, which continues to resonate.
“I think it caught the nation’s attention, and certainly it made its way up to Tampa,” said Berkley Prep coach Bobby Reinhardt, whose program features at least two genuine Division-I prospects in Gray and fellow rising senior guard Marshall Holmes.
“We’re real happy for what the guys have done down here. I still think Florida is not regarded as highly as it needs to be in terms of basketball, at all levels. (FGCU) is certainly a boost in the arm for everybody in the state of Florida.”
About 55 teams are participating in FGCU’s camp, which runs through Sunday.
Defending Class 8A state champ Miami Norland boasts four Division-I prospects on its roster — including 6-9, premier sophomore Dewan Huell — while state-ranked recruits like Orlando-Edgewater’s Eddie Keith and Community School of Naples’ Jeff Merton were also among those on the floor.
“This is our first time coming to (FGCU). That should probably tell you something right there,” said Reinhardt, who said his team bypassed another school’s camp it usually attends this week.
“I think there’s probably some other teams that are here off of the high of Florida Gulf Coast and what they did. We knew there’d be some real quality teams because of that. That’s why we’re here.”
Gray, the seventh-ranked rising senior recruit in the state by FloridaHoops.com, first visited FGCU the week after the Eagles became the first No. 15 seed in NCAA tournament history to reach the Sweet 16.
Aside from seeing the team on television everywhere he went, Gray, whose brother played for Cornell, said he also took a strong liking to the “family atmosphere” surrounding the program.
“The stock has definitely risen up,” said Gray, who listed FGCU with Harvard, Stanford, Butler, Miami and Virginia atop his short list. “I just love coming here. The campus is beautiful. It’s close to home, so my family can come to my games. That’s all coming into play right now.”
Even with the head coaching change from Andy Enfield, now at USC, to former Kansas assistant Joe Dooley, coaches and recruits say FGCU’s appeal remains as strong if not stronger.
“Winning is a culture,” said Reinhardt, noting the importance of Enfield staff members Marty Richter, Michael Fly and Joey Cantens all remaining at FGCU as part of Dooley’s staff.
“That culture is going to remain. I know Joe Dooley will look to capitalize on that and keep the momentum going. I wouldn’t expect Florida Gulf Coast to skip a beat.”