Marcus Derrickson

2015 Marcus Derrickson of Paul VI is young, talented, and developing

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READING, Pa.–For a player in the Top 10 of his class, it takes some time to crack the shy outer shell of 2015 forward Marcus Derrickson of Paul VI (Va.).

Though intense, aggressive, and powerful on the court, the 6-7, 230-pound rising sophomore is reserved when talking to the media, taking a few minutes of conversation before the more colorful side of his personality emerges.

“It looked like you turned it on a little more in the second half there,” I said to him at Hoop Group Elite Camp in Reading, Pa. “You started pushing guys around a little bit.”

“Yeah, I guess I did,” he said with a smile. “I started to get more comfortable.”

Derrickson comes from two powerhouse programs in the Washington D.C. area, attending Paul VI High School in Virginia and playing for Team Takeover DC on the AAU circuit.

A number of major college programs have taken an interest in Derrickson, including Indiana. Hoosier assistant (and former Paul VI and Team Takeover coach) Kenny Johnson came to watch him this past week.

Derrickson is also drawing interest and offers from schools that include Maryland, Georgetown, NC State, Miami, Villanova, Rutgers, and others.

“Interest has coming from everywhere so far,” he told NBCSports.com this past week. “A lot of college coaches are coming out to see me play, but I’m just trying to work hard and no overdo it or anything.

“I’m just looking for a place where I can fit in,” he continued. “Where [geographically] it is doesn’t really matter, just a place where I can learn and work hard.”

He was hampered by a mild knee injury at Elite Camp this past week, but showed his versatility, including good rebounding skills and the ability to step out away from the basket on the offensive end.

With three years of high school still left for him, he will continue to develop his frame, adding muscle and maturing.

“I have a big motor when I play and I’ll do whatever,” he said. “I can take charges, set myself up on defense, and I can score the basketball.”

But with all of that time, Derrickson wants to stay grounded and not get caught up in the national buzz surrounding his name.

“I don’t really pay attention to the rankings,” he said. “I just try to be the best I can be and ignore those.”

Photo Credit: Washington Post

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Mountain West admits official error, won’t change result of Boise State-Colorado State

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After reviewing video for a second straight day, the Mountain West has determined that Boise State should have beaten Colorado State on Wednesday night, but that due to an NCAA rule the outcome of the game cannot be changed.

Boise State’s James Webb III hit a one-handed, banked-in three at the end of overtime in Colorado State’s Moby Arena, breaking an 84-all tie, but after officials reviewed the play on the video monitor, they waived off the basket. Webb got the shot off in time, but the clock operator did not start the clock on time. After using stopwatch technology embedded in the video monitor, the referees determined that it took 1.3 seconds from the time that Webb caught the pass until the time that he got the shot off.

There were 0.8 seconds left when Boise State took the ball out of bounds.

On Thursday, the league announced that the referees followed the correct protocol to make the call.

They released a video that the referees used to make the decision, but upon further analysis — and amid a push on social media — it was determined that there was a difference between the “rate at which the embedded digital stopwatch advanced and the rate at which the game clock regressed during the instant replay review.”

In other words, the referees made the correct call with the evidence they had available, but the conference provided them with flawed evidence.

Boise State lost 97-93 in double-overtime.

The loss came four days after officials botched a call at the end of San Diego State’s win over New Mexico.

Akron reveals special bobble heads for LeBron, high school teammates

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When it comes to discussing some of the game of basketball’s best players, specifically those who went directly from high school to the NBA, a question that’s often asked is where said player would have attended college if forced (by rule) to do so. Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are among those who have been discussed in this manner, and in the case of LeBron he’s got connections to two programs within his home state of Ohio.

LeBron’s connected with the Ohio State program, which is outfitted by the Nike’s LeBron signature line, but there’s another program with an even closer connection. That would be Akron, which is led by head coach Keith Dambrot, and all he did was serve as LeBron’s high school coach at St. Vincent/St. Mary’s HS in Akron during the player’s freshman and sophomore years at the school. Also on those teams were two future Akron Zips in guard Dru Joyce and forward Romeo Travis.

Thursday the school announced that it would be honoring James, Joyce and Travis with bobble head dolls to be given out before Akron’s home games against Buffalo (February 16; Joyce’s bobble head), Bowling Green (February 26; Travis) and Ohio (March 1; James).

All three bobble head dolls are wearing Akron uniforms, which in the case of LeBron allows fans to think back and imagine what could have been. Season ticket holders guaranteed one bobble head per account (on each of the three giveaway days), with the first 750 fans in attendance to receive one as well.