Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Giving Back: Caron Butler's 3D Classic


Smizzzz said...

This is tight. CB is the embodiment of player whose gone from rags and riches through hard work, sacrifice, and the ability to turn a bad situation good. Great person to run a camp of this ilk.
Looks like UConn is going good on the recruiting trail, with the addition of Coombs they are laying out groundwork for a solid future. They've offered Tyler Harris, a scoring guard from LI Lutheran and look to be the leaders in getting Jabari Hinds, a talented young guard from Ben Gordon's alma mater, Mount Vernon. See below.

January 26, 2009

by Zach Smart

NEW YORK—Bob Cimmino’s Mount Vernon Knights basketball program has been a steady pipeline to the Division 1-A ranks in recent seasons. This year’s hot prospect is Sherrod Wright, who followed Kevin Jones, who followed Jonathan Mitchell and there was also Keith Benjamin, Ben Gordon and on and on. From all indications, current sophomore point guard Jabari Hinds is next in line.

Hinds’ Division-I stock is starting to soar, as Villanova, Marquette, Virginia, and UNLV are all competing for the young gun’s future services. Hinds said that UNLV and Virginia have already made a scholarship offers and Jim Calhoun and the Connecticut Huskies have expressed considerable interest in the Mount Vernon sophomore.

He’s most impressed, however, with what UConn has to offer. The Knights took in the Huskies’ win over Seton Hall at Hartford last weekend, and Hinds got acquainted with UConn’s coaching staff.

“Right now from what I see, I love it,” said Hinds, a budding point guard for the nationally-ranked Knights (10-2).

“I’ve got a couple of Big East schools looking at me, so it should be interesting.”

Calhoun, along with a coaching staff that’s widely recognized as one of the nation’s top recruiting combinations, have been in active pursuit of Hinds. Hinds shined at the SNY Invitational at NYU’s Coles Center this weekend, his performance going from efficient to electrifying.

In the Knights’ win over Brooklyn power Thomas Jefferson High, Hinds and explosive scorer Sherrod Wright (32 points) got the better of Jefferson’s three-headed monster of Keith Spellman, Davontay Grace and Joel “Air Jamaica” Wright.

Recovering from a shaky first half (four assists to five turnovers), Hinds dropped 14 points and handed out five dimes.

In the championship, Hinds played beyond his years as Mount Vernon shellacked St. Raymond’s, 70-54. The wiry 6-foot guard scored 18 points (8-for-13 FG), dealt out four assists, played stingy defense (he recorded five steals as the Knights forced St. Ray’s into 22 turnovers), and converted two steals into rim-rattling fast break dunks.

This season, Hinds is the perfect supplement to Wright, an off guard who averages 23.4 points.

The Right Fit?

As a Hall of Fame coach who’s turned UConn into an NBA breeding house and a top-notch Big East program, Calhoun has an affinity for New York guards. The New York style of play is fitting for Calhoun’s speedball, hellfire offensive approach.

A.J. Price and Kemba Walker, two of the Huskies top guards, both hail from the New York area. Price starred at Amityville High in Long Island and Walker re-wrote the record book at Rice High in Harlem.

Former Husky and current Chicago Bull Ben Gordon, who helped lead the Huskies to a 2004 national championship, played at Mount Vernon under Bob Cimmino.

Cimmino, who’s architected a perennial power, Big East pipeline (Rutgers’ Jonathon Mitchell and Michael Coburn, former Pittsburgh star Keith Benjamin were all cropped up in the system that breeds all homegrown talent) and Division-I launchpad, maintains close ties with the UConn coaching staff.

Since ascending to NBA star status, Gordon—who shelled out a boatload of cash to prevent the school system from eliminating interscholastic sports—has been a major local presence.

As a player who made it out of Mount Vernon and watched his game skyrocket, Gordon could very well have an influence on Hinds’ decision.
Labels: Connecticut Recruiting

posted by NBE Blogger @ 9:38 PM

David Gillett said...

Thanks for the info Zach. Your blog is coming along great. Keep up the great work.

There will be a good mixture of seasoned players and young talent on the team next season that I don't think the drop off will be as drastic as during the major exodus a few years ago did to the program. Thanks for the dropping by.