Friday, April 28, 2006

Midconfans News 4/28/2006

VU adds Finnish forward--The Post-Tribune

April 28, 2006

By Mark Lazerus / Post-Tribune staff writer

Valparaiso wrapped up the late-signing period Thursday, signing Finnish forward Samuel Haanpaa to a national letter of intent.

Haanpaa, a 6-8 perimeter shooter with what Crusaders coach Homer Drew called “NBA range,” is the third and likely final signing Valparaiso will make this spring.

“That’s our 12th scholarship, and we’d like to save one in case you get a transfer or if something happens and you discover some kid in some gym,” Drew said. “Really, we’re done unless something unusual happens.”

All three recruits are foreign players who have honed their skills in the United States.

First was 7-1 center Calum MacLeod, a New Zealander who played two seasons at Gonzaga before playing in a Colorado junior college.

Two weeks ago, Valparaiso signed Paul Guede, a 6-5 British swingman who played three seasons and won two state championships at Grace Christian in Sanford, N.C.

Now comes Haanpaa, who comes from a turmoil-riddled prep school in San Antonio, Cornerstone Christian. The Warriors’ official record this past season is 0-18, as they were forced to forfeit 13 victories because of ineligible players.

The Texas Association of Private and Public Schools (TAPPS) declared ineligible 11 players on the Cornerstone Christian team “due to inducement involving room and board.” The school of about 200 was allegedly recruiting players.

Neither Haanpaa nor Cornerstone Christian coach Walter Webb could be reached Thursday night.

Drew was excited about bringing Haanpaa on board, deeming him an exceptional outside shooter and an unselfish player. While his forte is the outside game, Drew termed him a three or a four, who can post up and play down low when he needs to.

Drew learned about Haanpaa through Valparaiso sophomore Shawn Huff, a fellow Finn who played with Haanpaa on the Finnish national team.

“We’re very pleased,” Drew said. “These three are very good players and they’re all good people and they all come from winning programs.”

Drew said both Oregon and Colorado State were also pursuing Haanpaa. Like with MacLeod and Guede, the fact that Valparaiso graduates its starting five was appealing to Haanpaa.

“Of the six seniors we lose, that’s 77 percent of our points, 67 percent of our rebounds and 65 percent of our assists,” Drew said. “We lose a great deal. And the attraction, I think, for these three is they’re going to have a chance to make an immediate contribution. All three will see the floor. How much, of course, will depend on how they fit in with the system and how well they do.”

Contact Mark Lazerus at 648-3140 or mlazerus@post-trib.com


Valpo signs fourth recruit--The NWI Times

Women’s Basketball Adds Four to 2006-07 Recruiting Class--OUGrizzlies.com

Samuel Haanpaa Signs With Crusaders--www.valpo.edu

Leathernecks Continue to Add Size with Addition of Eastern Arizona’s Owens-Murrey--Western Illinois Athletics

Monday, April 24, 2006

Midconfans News 4/24/2006

Campus notes--deseretnews.com

Southern Utah
ADMINISTRATION: Southern Utah has named David Viveiros its director of athletic marketing. Viveiros, a 2002 graduate of Utah Valley State College, comes to SUU from Category 5 Sports where he is currently serving as coordinator of events.
WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: SUU athletics director Ken Beazer has narrowed the list to five finalists for the position of head women's basketball coach. The finalists were chosen from a pool of 91 prospective candidates, including 13 from Utah. Three of the finalists have Utah collegiate ties, while the other two are from out of state.
The list includes former Oklahoma State head women's coach Julie Goodenough; current Canyon View girl's basketball head coach and former SUU men's assistant coach Steve Hodson; Myndee Larsen, a former Thunderbird player and assistant women's coach who currently serves as assistant athletic director and senior woman's administrator; current Weber State women's assistant coach Monica Starrett; and Amy Gusso-Williams, who serves as an assistant coach at the University of Tulsa.


Steve Curtis named Centenary women's basketball coach--www.mid-con.com

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Midconfans News 4/19/2006

MEN’S BASKETBALL: Small-school atmosphere lures Guede to VU--The Post-Tribune

April 19, 2006

By Mark Lazerus / Post-Tribune staff writer

Most of the words coming out of Paul Guede’s mouth are colored by a lilting British accent, just as you’d expect from a guy born and raised in London. Every now and then, though, Guede drops in a southern twang to keep you on your toes. After all, he’s been in North Carolina for three years.

“It’s been kicking in a little bit,” he said with a laugh.

Next on the agenda is a Northwest Indiana accent — something he’ll start working on when he arrives at Valparaiso University on July 2 to get an early start on his college career.

Guede (pronounced '’gweed’), a standout swingman for Grace Christian High School in Sanford, N.C., officially joined the Valparaiso basketball program on Tuesday, with the school receiving his letter of intent.

Guede is Valparaiso’s second catch during the late signing period, joining 7-foot-1 New Zealander Calum MacLeod, who played two seasons at Gonzaga.

“Paul is a perfect fit for Valpo,” head coach Homer Drew said in a release. “He is a quality person, student and basketball player, and we are extremely excited to get him on campus and make him a part of the Valpo family.”

Seven months ago, Valparaiso was as far from Guede’s mind as possible, and Valparaiso had barely even heard of him. But after receiving interest from top-tier schools such as Indiana, Pittsburgh and Texas A&M, as well as a host of smaller Division I schools, Guede went unsigned in the fall.

It wasn’t until January that the Crusaders came calling, after hearing about him at a Christian high school tournament in Tennessee. He went on an official visit to VU in February more out of curiosity than anything.

“They had gotten in so late in the recruitment, it was pretty much, all right, let me go see what it’s all about,” Guede said. “I had heard about Valpo, I knew they had a great tradition, and I just wanted to go see the school.”

He liked what he saw. Coming from a small high school, he liked the small-school atmosphere at Valparaiso. He liked that it offered degrees in international business and sports management, his favored majors. He liked that it was a Christian school. He liked that Homer Drew was a “godly man.”

Suddenly, Valparaiso was in the mix, calling twice a week and e-mailing regularly.

“Valpo pretty much came out of nowhere,” Guede said. “When I took my visit, I was pretty surprised. It seemed like a great fit for me. I felt like a lot of the bigger schools were more business-oriented. At a smaller school like Valpo, I felt that coach Drew would care about me on the court and off the court.”

On the court, Guede is an explosive, versatile player. He can play point guard, shooting guard or small forward. He led his high school team to two state championships in the Christian league, leading the team in assists all three of his seasons. He averaged 22 points, 11.1 rebounds and 5.6 assists as a senior.

Guede lists his ability to get to the basket, post up and play unselfishly as his strengths. He hopes to improve his outside jumper and add about 10 pounds to his 6-5, 200-pound frame.

With Valparaiso’s entire starting five graduating, assistant coach Bryce Drew sees Guede playing a significant role next season.

“Losing as many people as we did, he’s definitely going to have an opportunity to come in and get some playing time right away,” Drew said. “The great thing about Paul is he can play a bunch of different positions.”

And that’s fine with Guede, who came to America three years ago to find a career in basketball.

The A/B student wanted to play at an elite level and in an atmosphere where grades mattered — in England, it’s all club sports, where you can play regardless of how badly you do in school.

He’ll get both at Valparaiso.

“I’ll do whatever coach Drew wants me to do to help the team win,” he said. “If that means playing a lot of minutes, that’s great. I’ll do whatever I can.”

Contact Mark Lazerus at 648-3140 or mlazerus@post-trib.com


WIU dips into juco ranks for frontcourt help--The Peoria Journal Star

SUU announces five finalists to replace Hillock--The Spectrum

SUU ANNOUNCES FINALISTS FOR WOMEN’S BASKETBALL COACHING POSITION--SOUTHERN UTAH THUNDERBIRDS

Thomas Adds to Recruiting Class with Kankakee Community College Big Man--Western Illinois Athletics

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Midconfans News 4/15/2006

MEN’S BASKETBALL: Good Friday as VU snags big man--The Post-Tribune

April 15, 2006

Post-Tribune staff report

After a quiet start to the late signing period, the Valparaiso University men’s basketball team has made a big splash — as in 7-foot-1 recruit Calum MacLeod.

The Wellington, New Zealand, native has signed a national letter of intent with the Crusaders. MacLeod spent this past season at Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colo., after beginning his college career at Gonzaga. He has two seasons of eligibility left.

“He’s definitely going to be a nice addition to our team,” Valparaiso assistant coach Bryce Drew said. “We don’t have a true center coming back on our roster, and he’s a true center. He’s very skilled, and he can shoot the 3. He can get up and down the floor.”

MacLeod helped Northeastern to a 30-4 record, the second-best in program history, and a berth in the Region IX championship game. In 34 games, including five starts, he averaged 5.7 points and 3.4 rebounds, shooting a team-leading 56.8 percent from the field.

MacLeod, who could not be reached on Friday, appeared in nine games as a freshman at Gonzaga, which won the West Coast Conference title and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. He was behind several talented front-court players.

MacLeod was with the Gonzaga team that beat Valparaiso 76-49 in the 2004 NCAA Tournament, but was not an active player at that time.

“One of the things that interested him in Valpo was that we have no centers, so he should get some nice playing time,” said Drew, adding MacLeod chose the Crusaders over Denver after he also had offers from Wyoming and Colorado.

“To get any player who’s 7-1 and has some agility is a definite bonus.”

MacLeod was 20 years old when he arrived at Gonzaga, where he was labeled as not aggressive enough, after playing for the New Zealand Junior National Team. He led his high school team to a national tournament title.

“He’s a very skilled center with the ability to step out and score from the perimeter,” Valparaiso coach Homer Drew, currently in Europe, said in a news release.

The Crusaders signed 6-foot-3 guard Keaton Frye during November’s early period, but he has been considering attending prep school. They have four remaining scholarships, and Bryce Drew was optimistic they would sign two or three more players before the late period ends.

“We’re looking forward to adding players,” he said. “We’re anxious for the next few days.”


MacLeod could make immediate impact--The NWI Times

Western adds another guard from Missouri into mix--The Peoria Journal Star

Leathernecks Add Missouri Point Guard--Western Illinois Athletics

Friday, April 14, 2006

Midconfans News 4/14/2006

Campus briefs--deseretnews.com
Southern Utah

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Southern Utah interim head women's basketball coach Tony Giannotti announced Wednesday the signing of Utah prep star Aubrey Mackintosh to a national letter of intent to play for the Thunderbirds next season. Mackintosh, a 5-foot-10 guard from Brighton High, was a first-team all-state selection this year after averaging 14.0 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals a game.


BOYS BASKETBALL--The Oakland Press
Country Day’s Benson signs with OU
So does star point guard Jonathon Jones of Okemos
By DAVID BIRKETT Of The Oakland Press

A year after making its fi rst NCAA appearance, Oakland signed its most high-profile recruiting class ever, and coach Greg Kampe doesn’t believe it’s a coincidence.
The Grizzlies received letters of intent Thursday from in-state products Jonathon Jones of Okemos and Keith Benson of Birmingham Detroit Country Day.
Both players fill voids for a team that finished this season a disappointing 11-18. Benson is a 6-foot-10 forward with perimeter skills, while Jones starred at point guard during Okemos’ run to the Class A fi nals, averaging 31.5 points in two games at the Breslin Center.
Jones chose Oakland over Mid-American Conference schools such as Eastern Michigan, Toledo and Akron in a recruiting battle that intensified after his strong tournament. He scored 25 points in a semifinal win over Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, and had 38 in a doubleovertime championship game loss to Saginaw Arthur Hill.
“We went head to head with some schools in a little higher-profile conferences (for Jones),” Kampe said. “This wasn’t one where those schools were hanging around thinking about recruiting him, they were recruiting him. They went after him, they offered him and we went head to head with them and we won.
“We were in there for a long time, and there were some good reasons he came to Oakland. But when push came to shove, when the big boys came in, the fact that we’ve been to the tournament and that we can go again and that we have a guy (Rawle Marshall) in the pros, those are the things that kept us in it.
“In my opinion, it’s the highestprofile recruit we’ve ever gotten. And I think its the dividends of having been to the tournament.”
By most estimates, Jones was considered one of the top two senior point guards in the state along with Saginaw Buena Vista’s Tory Jackson, who signed with Notre Dame. Jones averaged 21 points, six assists and three steals a game and led Okemos to a 25-2 record.
Benson helped Country Day (20-5) to the Class B quarterfinals this year, averaging 7.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.4 blocks a game. He grew several inches last summer after playing on the wing his first three seasons at Country Day.
“He’s long, he’s athletic, he’s thin,” Kampe said. “He’s somebody that two years from now, people could be like, ‘Jeez, what he’s doing at Oakland?’ His whole career is ahead of him.”


Valpo signs 7-foot-1 center--The NWI Times

Harris saved by "An Excellent Device"--The NWI Times

Kindell Becomes Newest Golden Eagle--Oral Roberts University Golden Eagles

Crusaders Add 7'1" Calum MacLeod--www.valpo.edu

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Midconfans News 4/13/2006

NCAA Committee Backs Scheduling Changes--MICentralSports.com

Late signing day quiet for Valpo--The Post-Tribune

April 13, 2006

By Mark Lazerus / Post-Tribune staff writer

The first day of the late signing period passed without a meaningful fax at the Valparaiso men’s basketball office.

No worries. Yet.

“I’m not sweating too bad yet,” assistant coach Bryce Drew said. “In another week, if I don’t have any news for you, I might be sweating a little more. April’s a lot different than the fall. In the fall, everyone’s gung-ho. Now, people have a long time to sign.”

Valparaiso has five scholarships to offer, and snagged only one player in the early signing period — 6-foot-3 swingman Keaton Frye, from Davenport, Iowa. And even his commitment could be in jeopardy, as he weighs the option of attending a prep school next season.

The Crusaders lose their top five scorers — Dan Oppland, Ron Howard, Mohamed Kone, Seth Colclasure and Ali Berdiel — to graduation. Still, Drew was relatively unconcerned, and expects to receive some letters of intent in the next few days.

“We have a few guys to sign,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll have some news in the next week. I don’t think we’re going to use all (five scholarships). We have a very strong junior class, so we want to save some of those.”

Drew also shrugged off the idea that recruiting the bulk of the incoming class in the spring implies a weaker class.

“Obviously your selections are fewer, but there are a lot of quality players out there from all levels,” he said. “There are still McDonald’s All-Americans available. Signing late isn’t a sign that a player’s not a good player. Some are just more patient.”

Head coach Homer Drew arrived in Spain on Wednesday to recruit “a few big kids,” Bryce said. He also will spend some time with his daughter, Dana, and her husband, Casey Shaw, who plays pro ball in Europe. Bryce said he didn’t expect his father to come back from Europe with any letters of intent in hand just yet.

On the domestic side, there’s the issue of Frye, who doesn’t even turn 18 for about two months. Despite signing with Valparaiso in November, Frye is considering attending a prep school next year rather than go straight to college.

“We’ve been talking to him all year,” Bryce Drew said. “He’s very young for his age. He should only be a junior in high school right now. We’ve talked to his parents, and obviously they want him to have a successful college career and be mature enough to handle it when he does get to college. We’ll keep talking with him about it, but nothing will be decided until into the summer.”

n PELLER SIGNS: Chesterton senior Kelly Peller made it official on Wednesday, signing a letter of intent to play basketball at Valparaiso.

Peller, a 5-11 guard and the Post-Tribune Player of the Year, was a second-team All-State selection this season. She scored more than 1,000 points at Chesterton and averaged 17.2 points per game as a senior.

“Kelly is a great competitor who has a passion for the game,” said VU coach Keith Freeman in a news release. “She is a great fit for Valpo and we look forward to working with her the next four years.”

Contact Mark Lazerus at 648-3140 or mlazerus@post-trib.com


Will they or won't they sign with VU?--The NWI Times

Mackintosh heads SUU women's basketball recruiting class--The Spectrum

ORU Signs NEO’s Kelvin Sango on First Day of Spring Signing Period--The Tulsa World

Hill and Stallings Join Gents Roster for 2006-07 Campaign--GoCentenary.Com

ORU Signs NEO's Kelvin Sango on First Day of Spring Signing Period--Oral Roberts University Golden Eagles

SUU WOMEN’S BASKETBALL SIGNS AUBREY MACKINTOSH TO NATIONAL LETTER OF INTENT--SOUTHERN UTAH THUNDERBIRDS

Peller Signs NLI to Play at Valpo--www.valpo.edu