Archive for the “Championships” Category

How good a coach is Calipari?

Jeff Morgan: Calipari is kind of like the Phil Jackson of NCAA basketball. He always seems to have all-star filled rosters, and success seems a foregone conclusion. However, people forget his success at UMass was largely with unknown players, and not until he got to Memphis did he start getting some of the top recruits in the country. So, is he the best coach in the NCAA…far from it, but the man does get the maximum effort out of his ridiculously talented players.

Dave Vinluan: With him claiming his first National Championship, Calipari is as good if not better than any elite level NCAA coach right now. His coaching style allows for his players to mesh well together. What’s so good about Calipari is his ability to have his players believing in his team first philosophy, and it doesn’t hurt that he is the master of one and done recruiting.

Kyle Williams: Great coach and an even better recruiter. There is no doubt Coach Cal is one of the great coaches in college basketball. While many focus on his recent success with top recruits at Memphis and Kentucky, this is the same coach who led UMass to 5 straight tournament bids including an Elite 8 and a Final Four trip. Calipari’s free-flowing, high-paced offense allows his athletes to get out and run and has been dominant at UMass (193-71), Memphis (252-69), and on the highest stage with Kentucky (102-14 and a recent championship). Coach Cal has been able to sell his free-flowing style to the elite high school prospects that are looking to play the way they want to play and win while doing so.

Did Calipari need this win to solidify his legacy?

Jeff Morgan: He keeps pushing this question aside like it doesn’t matter, but he absolutely needed to win a title in order to solidify his legacy. Now that he got the monkey off his back however, he’s going to have to win multiple championships to be considered in the same class of some of the best college coaches in the country. While this win was important, he still has a long way to go to become a legend on the hardwood.

Dave Vinluan: Yes. Calipari has reached the Final Four and National Championship previously with stacked line ups and lost both in heartbreaking fashion. Not to mention he has produced first round talent ranging from Derrick Rose to John Wall. This championship solidifies his status as one of the best ever.

Kyle Williams: Absolutely. While Calipari has made numerous deep tournament runs with every program he’s been with, no one can deny the power of championship. Amongst the swirling controversy over the one-and-done rule, along with Calipari’s recent exploitation of that rule, this year’s title possessed significant clout for Calipari. Not only does it add a championship to his resume, but it also silences the critics who said his teams stacked with freshman stars didn’t have the experience to win it all.

Does the 1 and done rule help or hurt high school prospects?

Jeff Morgan: I suppose 1 year of college basketball can help refine a high school player’s game, but I think the impact is minimal. Kids going into the NBA with 1 year of college under their belt are hardly as polished as a 4-year college player. This rule was put in place to make sure that kids weren’t drafted before they were ready to play in the NBA. In that sense, the 1 and done rule hasn’t really done much to change that perception. Hell, even Anthony Davis, the consensus #1 pick in the draft is a project. There are no guarantees he’ll be an all-star player in the NBA.

Dave Vinluan: I think it hurts high school prospects that have no interest in pursuing a college education. Coming out of high school most of these athletes are convinced they want to make Basketball a career. Playing one year in college and having an injury filled year or just not performing well would hinder the chances of them getting to the NBA greatly.

Kyle Williams: The one-and-done rule hasn’t so much impacted high school prospects as it has the college game as a whole. In terms of high school prospects, the rule has generally been helpful in that we no longer see high school players, who have no business being in the league, entering the draft. When looking at college basketball, the negative impact of the one-and-done rule can be seen. College teams are put in a difficult recruiting situation where they have to decide whether or not to focus on top recruits who may spurn the program after just a single year of play. If there is a side that pushes hardest to increase the rule to more than one year, that push should come from the NCAA.

Can other programs compete with the recruiting style of Calipari?

Jeff Morgan: If this 1 and done recruiting strategy continues to breed success and championships, it’s going to be extremely hard for other schools to compete from a pure talent standpoint. The allure of a full college experience is starting to lose ground in favor of a quick 1-year path to the NBA. You watch, if Calipari starts reeling off championships, all the major college basketball programs will adjust their recruiting efforts to entice players to come play for them instead, even if it’s only for a year.

Dave Vinluan: Not now, with the majority of the Kentucky roster expected to enter the NBA draft, that’s an open invitation to become a starter for the Wildcats. It’s hard to compete with his style because of what he has done for his players. Taking them far in the tournament and producing first round talent.

Kyle Williams: Some programs may try, but Calipari is clearly in the best spot to capitalize on one-and-done recruiting. The things he has going for him: coaching at a top program, coaching a system that top players want to play in, and a recent championship to stand for it. While the UCLA’s and Duke’s of the world have similar programs in terms of tradition and success, they both have coaches that bring strict, structured, defensive-minded systems to the table. The program that has the best chance to compete is UNC, with some of college basketball best tradition, Roy Williams’ high-paced style, and Jordan’s legacy hanging over the Dean Dome.

Does Calipari win it all again next year?

Jeff Morgan: Who knows. How can you even speculate on Kentucky’s chances next year when their starting 5 players are going to be completely different? Even if Calipari gets 6 more McDonalds All-American’s to fill out his roster, he still has to basically start from scratch with a whole new group of players. Calipari has had loaded rosters in the past and failed to win it all. If he can’t get his players to work together for a common goal, they could easily have an early exit in next year’s tourney. So for now, I’ll take the field over Kentucky.

Dave Vinluan: As long as he’s got the pulse on the next Anthony Davis, Marquis Teague, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, then absolutely yes.

Kyle Williams: That’s tough to say, as there are so many moving parts for Calipari next season that are yet to settle. While it seems to be a lock that Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist jump to the league, we will have to see if see if Doron Lamb and Marquis Teague decide to follow them or stick around for another year. Calipari already has 5 star recruits Archie Goodwin and Alex Poythress committed as well as 7-foot center Willie Cauley. Undoubtedly the biggest factor will be the decision of unanimous #1 recruit Shabazz Muhammad, who is still deciding between Kentucky, Duke, and UCLA. If Coach Cal lands Muhammad and keeps a player or two from this year’s squad, I like his chances. If not, I see Calipari’s squad as another one of his highly talented young teams that just doesn’t have quite enough to cut down the nets in 2013.

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A powerhouse battle of two top teams delivered a game worthy of being played at Qualcomm Stadium. But only one could actually earn the prize of a trip to Mission valley, and it was the Vista Panthers (11-1) who will move one step closer to becoming champions.

Brandon Ivy kicked a 23-yard field goal with three minutes left in the fourth quarter to give Vista the victory over Torrey Pines 20-17 in the CIF San Diego Section Division I semifinals at Falcons Stadium.

“The Falcon defense came out and fought every single play. But we wanted it more. We fought hard, we executed and we put 110% in every play,” said Vista’s senior tailback Shakeel Marshall, who had 107 rushing yards on 26 carries in the game.

Postgame video interviews:

Vista went into this game knowing that they were going to get a lot of Wilson and that he would be carrying the load for the Torrey Pines (10-2) team. With the adjustments made at half time, the Panthers defense was able to shut down Wilson’s running game in the second half.

Torrey Pines running back John Wilson had two touchdowns (41 and 12 yards receiving) and carried the ball 16 times for 126 yards (110 first half.)

“John Wilson is a heck of a player and a runner. Our goal was to get Wilson out of the game and we did not do a good job at that in the first half. I thought we made some good adjustments in the second half to shut him down,” said Vista head coach Dan Williams.

Vista scored after Marshall blocked a punt, setting up a 25-yard pass from quarterback Christian Gallardi to Myron Seabrook, giving the Panthers an early lead 7-0 in the first quarter.

Brandon Ivy came in for a 21-yard field goal attempt at the end of the first half to tie the game 10-10. Instead, Torrey Pines drew a penalty for roughing the kicker. This penalty put the ball on Torrey Pines 2-yard line allowing for an easy 2-yard touchdown run by Joey McFadden on the following play for a 14-10 halftime lead.

The loss of Torrey Pines’ starting quarterback John Cabot to a shoulder injury at the beginning of the second half was a huge upset for the Falcons.

The Falcons’ backup quarterback Andrew Perkins tied the game in the fourth quarter 17-17 with a well-executed hook and lateral play to Mitchell Yocum who tossed the ball to John Wilson who went 41 yards for the touchdown.

Vista senior Stefan McClure had a huge impact on the Vista game in the fourth quarter. McClure had a 44-yard punt return that set up a 40 yard field goal by Brandon Ivy. His 36-yard reception helped position Vista for their only other score of the second half, the game-winning 23-yard field goal by Ivy.

Coach Williams said about player Stefan McClure, “Stef is the best player in the county in my opinion. He can play on both sides of the ball. He is explosive. He is our go to guy. I am happy he is on our team.”

“It was a tough game out there tonight. We had some ups and downs, some three and outs, but our defense really stood up tonight. It was a huge game and a huge win,” said Stefan McClure in regards to Vista’s victory.

Vista will meet fourth-seeded Mira Mesa in the Division Championship game Monday at 7:30 p.m. at Qualcomm Stadium.

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Sport: Softball Position: Pitcher Height: 5’11” Class: 2011 School: University City High School San Diego, CA

The Centurion pitcher, junior Amanda Hansen, led her team to their second straight CIF San Diego Section Division III Title this past month. Hansen pitched a two hit shutout against Santana High School narrowly beating them 1-0 to take the championship game. Hansen was also named to the first team for the All San Diego Section team for softball and was named Pitcher of the Year for the Western League.
To view Amanda’s complete SportsForce profile click here –

Scouting report courtesy of SportsForce – Home for college Sports Recruiting Videos, Tips, Tools and Premium Services –

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Sport: Track and Field Event: Pole Vault Height: 6’0″ Class: 2010 School: Westview High School San Diego, CA

Westview senior, Kortney Ross took top honors in the pole vault at the CIF Track and Field State Championship by clearing 13’-6”. Ross set the San Diego Section record with the 13’-6” mark and had a very close miss at 13’-9” as she made her return from injury. Ross took second place the State Championship last year with a mark of 13’-4”, which set the San Diego Section record she broke this past weekend. Ross is committed to the University of Oregon.

To view Kortney’s complete SportsForce profile click here –

Scouting report courtesy of SportsForce – Home for college Sports Recruiting Videos, Tips, Tools and Premium Services –

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