La Jolla Light

Assigned Reading: The cautionary tale of La Jolla Prep

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Over the years prep schools have become an attractive option for many players who hope to earn a college scholarship. Whether it’s to improve their academic standing or to play with and against some of the most talented prep players in the country, these schools have grown in popularity.

But with this comes the risk of landing at a prep school that won’t prepare the player for the next level. This can lead to academic ineligibility at the college level or even derail a player’s growth to the point where a Division I scholarship isn’t possible. Therefore, athletes and their families need to leave no stone unturned when evaluating the possibility of attending a prep school.

In Sunday’s San Diego Union-Tribune, writers Dennis Lin and Stephanie Loh took an in-depth look at La Jolla Prep, and the findings aren’t pretty. According to the story the school, with Gary Trousdale serving as head coach, owes various parties some $56,000 and the problems left many families in a bind that could have derailed the hopes of their children. In the end, the players learned a life lesson they won’t forget anytime soon.

Fresno native Shaq Moore will play at Moorpark College this fall. For him, the experience proved to be a life lesson.

“Basically, he was selling people dreams of scholarship opportunities,” Moore said. “It didn’t really test me beyond my physical limits and my will and (did not) bring me to another step of competition.

“But it strengthened me mentally now that I know I can’t trust a lot of people. It’s a shady world.”

Are all prep schools dealing with issues like these? Absolutely not, but this is certainly a story that needs to be read and discussed within basketball circles.

The entire story can be read here.

POSTERIZED: Wyoming’s Josh Adams takes flight

Josh Adams
Associated Press
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Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.

After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.

Video credit: Wyoming Athletics

Defensive progress will determine No. 4 Iowa State’s ceiling

Monte Morris
Associated Press
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Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.

Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.

Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.

Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.

Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.

But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.