Posts Tagged ‘Marqus Blakely’

Top Dunks: 81-90

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

Sam’s countdown of the top 100 America East dunks of the past season continues, as Air Brenton Airlines takes flight, the America East throws down on the game’s biggest stage, a wide load rattles the backboard and a lay-up line superstar gets his moment to shine.

OBW All [Almost] Decade Rim-Rockers

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

On November 11th the America East will once again tip-off its season. It will also serve as a milestone of sorts for me, as it will mark my 11th season of following and now covering the America East day in and day out. My first season, during the 2001-2002 campaign, coincided with the conference realigning into something close to what it is today (with the departure of the CAA-4 and the addition of the SUNY schools). I’ve been through a lot during my time in the America East. What began as a way to spend time with my dad and my brother during the end of my time in high school (and a way to cope with the sheer suckitude of UMass hoops), became a rock of sorts in my life. AE hoops has seen me through the loss of my best friend, my father, my own self-destruction in pro ball, and a host of other defining moments in my life. It’s been the one constant for me.

Invite Only: BU’s Holland, Maine’s Barnies score pre-draft workouts from NBA teams

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Boston University small forward/shooting guard John Holland and Maine

John Holland has several NBA invites on his slate

power forward Troy Barnies have scored workouts with NBA franchises leading up to the 2011 NBA draft. Holland, the 2011 America East Player of the Year and a three-time first team All-Conference selection, worked out with the New York Knicks on Tuesday and has future workouts scheduled with the Detroit Pistons and Denver Nuggets, while Barnies, who enjoyed a breakout season as a senior and was named to the All-Conference First Team (the first All-Conference selection of his career), has workouts scheduled with the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers.

Being invited to NBA workouts is a heck of an accomplishment for any player from a low mid-major like the America East and gives Holland and Barnies a chance to show what they can do in front of NBA coaching staff’s and front office personnel.

However, it is important to note that not all pre-draft invites are equal. There are typically two kinds of players invited to pre-draft workouts with NBA teams: true NBA prospects that NBA teams want to take a very long look at to assess, and players to push them through the workouts and bring out the best in them (in essence, practice players).

Among recent America East Alums who scored NBA workouts, Taylor Coppenrath, Jose Juan Barea, Kenny Adeleke, Jamar Wilson, Marqus Blakely, Nick Billings, Trevor Gaines, Rashad Bell, Errick Greene and Justin Rowe were all brought in for true NBA looks. The likes of Muhammad El-Amin, Mike Trimboli, Chris Holm and Kevin Gardner (to name a few) fell into the second category. (more…)

Coppenrath wins championship: Helps carry Spanish Club C.B. Murcia to LEB Gold championship and trip back to first division.

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

While Marqus Blakely made headlines recently by signing with the Houston Rockets and becoming the first Vermont Catamount to make the NBA, the player who was supposed to have claimed that title, Taylor Coppenrath, continues to quietly carve out one of the most successful careers of any recent America East alumni in professional basketball. The success continued last week, as Coppenrath helped to lead his club, C.B. Murcia, to a championship.

On April 15, Coppenrath scored 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting and pulled down nine rebounds in Murcia’s 112-111 overtime victory. The win clinched the regular season Spanish LEB Gold (also known as the “second division”) title. As is the case throughout Europe, the Spanish divisions are cyclical. The regular-season champion and playoff champion from the second division move up to the first division the following season and, conversely, the bottom two teams from the first division drop down. With the win, Murcia, which finished with a 30-4 record, clinched a spot in the Spanish ACB (first division), widely considered to be the best domestic league in the world outside of the NBA, next season. (more…)

Blakely gets called up to “The Show”

Saturday, April 16th, 2011

Former Vermont Catamount Marqus Blakely signed a three-year non-guaranteed contract with the Rockets on Tuesday, becoming the first Catamount to make it to the NBA.

Blakely, a two-time America East Player of the Year and three-time America East Defensive Player of the Year, was a 6’5” power forward in college who was deemed a “tweener” leading up to the 2010 NBA draft – too small to play power forward in the NBA and without the skills (ballhanding, outside shot and perimeter defense) to play the small forward position at a high level. After going undrafted, he played in the Summer League for the Clippers before being invited to NBA training camp.

Blakely’s energy and enthusiasm made him a fan favorite and made many believers around the Clippers organization and NBA as a whole; however, he was released on the final day before the NBA tip-off as the last man cut by the Clippers. (more…)

John Holland invited to Portsmouth Invitational Tournament

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

John Holland is officially wading into the waters of professional basketball, as he has been invited to (and will participate in) the 2011 Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, which starts today and runs through April 9th at Churchland H.S., in Portsmouth, Va.

The “PIT,” which enters its 59th year, is the oldest amateur tournament, having been run continuously since 1953, and is a by-invitation-only showcase for some of the best college seniors in the nation. The tournament itself consists of eight teams and 12 games, and serves as the first of two NBA pre-draft camps, the second being in Orlando (previously Chicago). 200 NBA scouts, officials and front office personnel are expected to watch the PIT, as well as numerous European scouts and owners.

While the Portsmouth Invitational likes to bill itself as a big-time NBA camp, citing such former participants as Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, John Stockton, Tim Hardaway, Ben Wallace, Avery Johnson and Rick Barry, to name a few, it is in reality a showcase for marginal NBA prospects. Of the 64 participants in 2009, only six were drafted, none in the first round. (more…)

Vermont pulls away late, snaps two-game losing streak with quarterfinal win over Binghamton, 57-46

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

For 33 minutes, the No. 9 Binghamton Bearcats gave the class of the conference, the No. 1 Vermont Catamounts, everything it could handle and then some. Less than seven minutes remained, the Bearcats had the ball, a chance to pull within 1 or even tie, and a noticeably pro-Vermont crowd on edge.

And then, in a flash, the game (and the season) were over.

The Catamounts reeled off a decisive 8-0 run to extend their slim one-possession lead to an 11-point margin. From there, Vermont simply maintained their lead and ran off the final few minutes of the clock to secure a 57-46 victory and advance to the America East semifinals. The win was Vermont’s fourth consecutive in the America East Tournament. (more…)

AE Alumni Around the World

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Earlier this season we checked in on former America East players Rashad Bell and Muhammad El-Amin, who are both competing in the top league in Hungary. At the time, Bell was making a run at another league MVP, while El-Amin was trying to find his footing. Fast forward to today and Bell continues to look like an MVP, while El-Amin played the game of his life a week ago. Here’s a run-down of how both Bell and El-Amin have been doing on the pro-circuit, as well as some updates on several other former America East players competing in the pro-ranks.

Rashad Bell, BU ‘05:

"King Bell" continues to dominate Hungary

Bell continues to excel in the Hungarian A division. Bell has carried Kormend, which sits in fourth place at 12-3, all season long, and currently ranks second in the league in scoring at 21.2 points per game, seventh in rebounds at 9.4, tenth in blocks, while shooting 60 percent from the floor as well as averaging 2 steals per contest. He has been, quite simply, the best player in the top league in Hungary despite facing double and triple-teams every night. When you consider the combination of salary, performance on the court, strength of league and carrying a team to the top of the standings, Bell is having the best year of any AE Alumn playing pro ball not named “Barea.” Bell continues to write the book on climbing the international ladder, and should have some very high level offers on the table next season. (more…)

Let’s go streaking: Tim Ambrose is on a roll

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Everyone knows Albany’s Tim Ambrose can put up numbers. The compact 6-foot-nil guard had solid stats as a freshman despite limited playing time and provided more than his fair share of scoring outbursts in his sophomore and junior year. Despite his point totals, though, Ambrose built a reputation defined more by inconsistent play and wasted potential than big numbers. Unable to shoulder the burden being placed upon him, Albany slipped in the standings, falling from 3rd to 7th, and eventually reaching the cellar last season.

So color this America East observer surprised to see Ambrose as a key figure in Albany’s early-season success, and shocked to see the senior Dane exhibiting a level of reliability that easily exceeds anything we’ve witnessed from Ambrose before. (more…)

Week in review: Nov. 29 – Dec. 5

Monday, December 6th, 2010

It’s been more than three weeks since the start of the regular season. Every America East team is still in the process of figuring out what it does well. Some teams rebound well. Others are taking good care of the basketball. Others will hang their hats on stout defense.

And a couple of teams have proven to be very good at losing basketball games.

The point is, the league is – slowly – starting to take shape. Are things set in stone? No, far from it. But everyone loves some rankings with their recap, so without further ado, here’s our first-ever (drumroll please!) America East Power Rankings.

1. Vermont Catamounts (6-1)
Last week: Won vs. Dartmouth, 80-53, on Wednesday; Won vs. Yale, 82-78, on Saturday
This week: Wednesday vs. BYU (in Glens Falls), Sunday vs. Marist
First, a caveat: Vermont does not have a win that makes you sit straight up in your chair and say, “That’s a really good team.” But neither does anyone else, and Vermont’s win at Siena in regulation is still the best win by any conference team this season. Oh, and the Catamounts are 6-1. Turnover margin still requires attention – it’s not enough to avoid turnovers, Vermont needs to force them, too – but when you have the current favorites for Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year on your team, it’s a lot easier to get over losing that Marqus Blakely guy. Who was he, again? (more…)