Kelly Kline/Under Armor

Tyler Dorsey plans on being patient after reopening his commitment

1 Comment
Kelly Kline/Under Armor

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Four days ago, Tyler Dorsey made the worst kept secret in high school basketball official: he announced his decommitment from Arizona in a statement.

On Tuesday, he spoke with the media at the NBPA Top 100 Camp for the first time since he made the decision to part ways with the Wildcats.

“I thought that I jumped the gun a little bit and committed too early,” said Dorsey, who pledged to Sean Miller and company back in January. “I didn’t take any officials or unofficials. I just committed too early for me. I just felt that, for me, I had to take my time.”

Dorsey said that he’s currently talking to “every school that wants to recruit me” but that he’s planning on being patient this time around, taking his time to find a school that’s the right fit.

“It’s looking at the guard situation,” he said. “Who’s going to stay, who’s leaving, who are they recruiting in my class, the system and how they’re going to use me in it, my relationship with the coaching staff.”

“Every body is trying to get me on campus, but [I’ll do that] later, after I cut my list after the whole July season. I don’t have any plans for scheduling any visits.”

In other words, Dorsey’s willing to hear from anyone and everyone that’s interested in him, and given the fact that he’s rated as the No. 7 overall recruit in the Class of 2015 by, the list of coaches calling him is going to be long and include a lot of high-profile names. But the attention that he will receive gets exacerbated by the fact that the 2015 class does not have a huge number of high-profile guards, especially when you consider that players like Charles Matthews, Luke Kennard, Malachi Richardson and Justin Simon have all already committed.

A lot of teams are going to be looking for back court firepower, making Dorsey one of the biggest prizes in the country.

What can Dorsey do as a player? He’s a big-time scorer that can score at all three levels. He rebounds the ball well for his size and he can make plays off the dribble. The question for Dorsey is what position he will play down the road. He wants to be a point guard, and he has the handle and the playmaking ability to do so, but he may actually be more effective off the ball as his first instinct is to score.

Dorsey said that he doesn’t have a list and that Stanford, Cal, Arizona State, Oregon, Oregon State, Georgetown, Louisville, and Florida have all reached out, but “there’s much more I’m forgetting right now”.

Battle 4 Atlantis title proves Syracuse will be relevant this season

rad Horrigan/The Courant via AP
Leave a comment

Michael Gbinije scored 20 points and Trevor Cooney added 15 points and five assists as Syracuse left the Bahamas with a title, beating No. 25 Texas A&M 74-67 in the finals of the Battle 4 Atlantis.

I guess it’s time to start taking the Orange seriously.

There’s a lot to like about this group. Gbinije and Cooney are both fifth-year seniors that not only understand how to operate at the top of the 2-3 zone that Jim Boeheim runs, but they both have developed into versatile offensive weapons. Cooney was known as nothing more than a jump-shooter when he arrived up north, but he’s now averaging 3.5 assists on the season.

And Gbinije?

He has been one of the best players in the country through the first two weeks of the season. Through six games, he’s averaged 19.7 points, 4.2 assists, 3.0 boards and 2.8 steals while shooting 51.3 percent from beyond the arc.

Freshman Malachi Richardson, who had 16 points in the win over A&M, has scored double-figures in all six games this season while another freshman, Tyler Lydon, was against terrific on Friday, finishing with 13 points and eight boards. He’s now shooting 58.8 percent from beyond the arc this season.

And that’s where this team is going to do the majority of their damage this season.

Through six games, they’re shooting 41.1 percent from beyond the arc. In the three wins in the Bahamas, the Orange knocked were 34-for-73 from beyond the arc, a 46.5 percent clip. The question isn’t whether or not that rate can continue — four of the six players that saw action on Friday are dangerous three-point shooters while the other two, Tyler Roberson  and DaJuan Coleman, aren’t going to be shooting threes — but what happens on the nights where the threes aren’t going down.

There are going to be nights where they shoot 5-for-25 instead of 11-for-25. Will they have enough firepower then? Will their defense be good enough? Will guys like Roberson and Coleman be able to supply a scoring punch? Will Cooney, Gbinije and Richardson attack the paint instead of settling for jumpers?

Because at the very least, these three games in the Bahamas have proven that the Orange are going to be relevant this season, even in the loaded ACC. Whether that means they’re going to push for a top four finish or simply end the year as a tournament team remains to be seen, but this much is clear: Jim Boeheim has himself a squad Upstate.

No. 10 Gonzaga outlasts No. 18 UConn despite late offensive struggles

Leave a comment

No. 10 Gonzaga survived a furious rally from No. 18 UConn to win the third place game in the Battle 4 Atlantis, 73-70.

The Zags were up by as much as 21 points early in the second half, leading 48-27, but UConn slowly chipped away at the lead. Kyle Wiltjer led four players in double-figures with 17 points while Eric McClellan added 15 points, making a number of key plays in the second half when it looked like the Zags were in danger of giving away the lead.

As good as Gonzaga looked in the first 22 minutes of this game — and they looked really, really good — the second half exposed the concerns that many had with this group entering the season. Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell Jr., who both shot around 40 percent from beyond the arc and started for four years, graduated, meaning that Gonzaga’s point guard situation is, more or less, Josh Perkins.

Perkins was terrific in the second half of a loss to Texas A&M on Thursday. He played 17 foul-plagued minutes against UConn. When UConn’s defense ratcheted up during the second half, Gonzaga struggled finding a way to consistently get good shots on the offensive end. Part of that was due to ineffective point guard play and part of it was a result of not really having anyone on the offensive end that can create a look on their own. As skilled as Wiltjer is, his impact can be limited when pick-and-pop actions aren’t working and he’s getting doubled in the post.

Perkins is talented, but this is essentially his first season of college basketball; he was a medical redshirt last season after breaking his jaw last November. There are going to be ups-and-downs, and that’s problematic on a team where he is essentially the only point guard on the roster.

The good news?

Gonzaga beat a good UConn team on a day when their best players struggled in crunch-time. It was McClellan and Kyle Dranginis that made the big plays down the stretch, not the big names on the Gonzaga roster.