Joe Callero

Cal Poly announces addition of shooting guard Trevor John

Leave a comment

After struggling for much of the 2013-14 season Cal Poly got hot at just the right time, winning three games in as many days to earn the Big West’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. One of the issues for Joe Callero’s Mustangs: shooting, as they ranked last in the conference in field goal percentage (40.8%) and sixth (33.3%) in three-point percentage.

Improving their shooting is one way in which Cal Poly can make sure it’s a factor in 2014-15, and on Friday the school made official the addition of shooting guard Trevor John. John averaged 15.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game at Monte Vista HS in Danville, Calif. last season, and Callero praised his ability to shoot the basketball in the release.

“We’re fortunate to have such a quality addition to our program,” said Callero of John, who joins a program coming off its first Big West Conference Tournament title and an NCAA Tournament second round appearance. “Trevor has the shooting ability of (former All-Big West selection) Dylan Royer and a great work ethic. He comes from a basketball family and understands the game and the commitment level needed to be successful.”

As for the comparison to Royer, he finished his career in 2013 shooting 44.4% from three, transforming from a player who attempted just seven three-pointers as a freshman to one of the Big West’s best shooters as a senior. If John, whose father Jay has plenty of coaching experience at the Division I level (he was head coach at Oregon State from 2002-08, and assistant coaching stops include Arizona and California), can travel a path similar to that of Royer that would bode well for the Mustangs.

John is one of three additions for Cal Poly, with junior college transfer Kyle Toth and incoming freshman Aleks Abrams being the others. The Mustangs will have to account for the loss of two of their top three scorers from last season (Chris Eversley and Kyle Odister), with forward David Nwaba (11.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg) being their most productive returnee.

Boise State loses guard Harwell to torn ACL

Leon Rice
Associated Press
Leave a comment

Expected to be one of the favorites in the Mountain West this season, Boise State’s perimeter ranks have shrunk by one player due to injury. Thursday it was reported by the Idaho Statesman¬†that freshman guard Malek Harwell will redshirt after suffering a torn ACL in practice. Along with fellow freshman Paris Austin, Harwell is expected to be a key part of the Broncos’ future beyond the upcoming season.

Now, instead of competing with an experienced backcourt that includes four redshirt seniors, Harwell will work to get his knee back to full strength for the 2016-17 season.

Among the guards who will play significant minutes this season are Anthony Drmic, who took a medical redshirt last season, Montigo Alford, Mikey Thompson and grad transfer Lonnie Jackson (Boston College). Chandler Hutchison, who started in Boise State’s final 18 games of the 2014-15 season as a freshman, will also compete for playing time.

Knee injury sidelines Illinois forward Leron Black

Josh Hart, Leron Black
Associated Press
Leave a comment

Illinois will be shorthanded in its front court for the time being, as during the team’s media day Thursday head coach John Groce announced that sophomore forward Leron Black is out due to injury.

Black will undergo surgery Friday to repair a meniscus tear in his knee, and he’s expected to miss anywhere from four to six weeks. A return after four weeks would have Black back on the court just before the Fighting Illini open their season November 13 against North Florida. Any longer and the Memphis native would wind up missing some game action.

Black averaged 5.0 points and 4.3 rebounds in just under 15 minutes of action per game as a freshman. He’s one of the players expected to contribute in the front court for the Fighting Illini, who lost their best interior defender and second-leading rebounder in Nnanna Egwu at the end of last season (guard Rayvonte Rice, who led the team in rebounding, is also gone).

In addition to Black and junior Maverick Morgan, Illinois adds redshirt freshman Michael Finke and grad student Mike Thorne Jr. (via Charlotte) to their front court rotation.