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  #161  
Old 12-13-2015, 07:01 PM
LongTimeFan LongTimeFan is offline
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It may not be able to talk publicly about available scholarships for 2017, but do any of us really believe there will be no scholarships available? I believe that Bradley has 5 known scholarship offers for that year that have been mentioned here. Of course some like Williams have probably blown up enough to no longer be considering Bradley.
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  #162  
Old 12-13-2015, 07:23 PM
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I know, but if there the scholarship situation is uncertain, it does shrink the possibility that someone might commit this early
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  #163  
Old 12-13-2015, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Da Coach View Post
Aw, come on turtle, why so mean? Every midmajor program goes in cycles, and Bradley will eventually rebound. Few midmajor programs have the financial support, the facilities, or the fan support that Bradley has.

And those dinosaurs are the people who are financially supporting the program, something our last president and AD seemed to ignore as they chased after and coveted the younger fans. The problem is that the much more self-centered Generation X and Generation Y/Millennial alumni just don't feel the obligation to donate and support the university like the older alumni do.
That's too bad. As the older red sweater fans die off, the program will have less and less support.
Not being mean -- but come on its been what 25 plus years ? Put a winner on the floor and I can guarantee the fans and donors will show up again.
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  #164  
Old 12-13-2015, 11:19 PM
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What a great night at the Den last night. A clash of Mid-Illini Conference heavyweights. Washington wins 43-40, great game. AJ Youngman was in attendance with a few of his Rams teammates & coaches. I had the good fortune of being introduced to him after the ball game.

I want to start off here by apologizing for an earlier post of mine (high school basketball message board) when I said that AJ should not be allowed to play at Manual after transferring from Morton. This is a very delightful & talented kid that carries himself very well. The following is not word for word, but I would say it's pretty darn close, as AJ graciously agreed to answer some of my questions. (not bad for only 3 or 4 minutes)

Question Were you impressed with Nate Kennell tonight & who's the better shooter? He said "Nate's really good. Some people think if you scored a lot points it means you played great, but some nights the ball just doesn't go in for you. Some nights you don't get many shot opportunities. He didn't score a lot tonight, but he made great passes to open teammates & didn't force up any bad shots. Nate plays the game the right way. If you play hard, play good defense, and get the 50/50 balls, it makes a shooter like he or I much more valuable, especially on a night the shot's not falling. I've never compared myself with other players, unfair to the other guy, unfair to me."

Question Why did you leave Morton? He said "I'm not trying to seem rude, but that's my family's private information."

Question Are you happy at Manual & how hard is it playing on a team with other great players like Williams & Douglas-Watkins? He said (big smile), "I love it, they are great players & great guys. If you can't get over yourself and play well with other great players you'll never make it far in this game. As far as being a student at Manual, it's fun, the students at Manual are just like the students at other high schools, they're just kids like me, no different." The genuine innocence that he made that last statement with was both refreshing, and shocking considering the reputation at Manual.

Question What are your goals? He said "Winning the Big 12 conference title and a state championship with his teammates, becoming a good defensive player, getting as prepared as I can for the next level. I think our style of play translates real well to the 30 second shot clock at the college level (I never thought about that) I want to play in the NCAA tournament, & play professionally if the opportunity presents itself."

Question How many D-1 schools are you hearing from? He said "I've been hearing from the same 12-15 D-1 schools for a while, but a few new schools have started to call & text me in the last couple weeks. I think it has a lot to do with switching AAU programs to the Illinois Wolves (Under Armor shoe sponsored program) in the late fall and now playing for a state ranked team like Manual. The coaches who have recently started to contact me have all pretty much said that they had already heard of me, but that my name's been popping up a lot more lately, and they are going to get out to watch me. It's amazing how my basketball life has changed so much in the last 12 months. I'm real fortunate now to be playing for 2 great programs with unselfish teammates, friends, and 2 great coaches."

Question Would you consider playing for Bradley University? He said "Sure, I'm from here, all my family lives here, but I haven't really heard from Bradley, so I haven't really thought about it. I'm busy doing my homework on the schools that are recruiting me, getting to know those coaches and programs the best I can so I make a good decision."

Question When do you plan on making a decision? He said, "I'm not sure, but sometimes the texts & calls can be overwhelming, and I get a little tired of it honestly, but it's a huge lifetime decision, and I'll be leaning on my dad, coach Booth, and coach Mullins to help me make the right decision."

I reminded AJ several times that it may not seem like it, but we want to win here again real bad, but we need to get better players, and great shooters to do so. No matter if this kid ends up playing for us or not, he made a great impression on me and I am now a fan. His university of choice will be getting a fine young man (pun intended).
What did you think of Washington ? -- those little guys can really play -- I would love to see a Manual Washington matchup
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  #165  
Old 12-14-2015, 09:51 AM
DeanMartin DeanMartin is offline
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Originally Posted by tornado View Post
more than a dozen of my wife's family members are Manual grads and still very proud of it. Sure there's a reputation, but rather than dwell on it, I applaud AJ & his family for doing exactly what it takes to start erasing that reputation - stay clean & get good grades! Well done.


Too bad, I'd love to see us land AJ but our staff obviously are a little handcuffed in having zero open scholarships on paper for 2017...
Illinois Wolves kids (Sam Maniscalco, Evan Turner, Obediah Church, Chasson Randle, etc...) have always been great kids and fundamentally solid players.
Tell AJ he can always come on a baseball scholarship like Roger Phegley then become the star on the basketball team!
If I were as smart as you Tornado I would have asked him is he plays baseball. Roger is my all time favorite Brave.
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  #166  
Old 12-14-2015, 09:59 AM
DeanMartin DeanMartin is offline
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Originally Posted by turtle View Post
What did you think of Washington ? -- those little guys can really play -- I would love to see a Manual Washington matchup
I like Washington, they play so hard and are so well coached. The dynamic duo of Griffith and Whitelow are something else. Washington would obviously be out-manned against a loaded Manual team, but I think it would be closer than most probably think it would be.
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  #167  
Old 12-16-2015, 01:10 PM
midstateknowitall midstateknowitall is offline
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Originally Posted by tornado

Too bad, I'd love to see us land AJ but our staff obviously are a little handcuffed in having zero open scholarships on paper for 2017...
Illinois Wolves kids (Sam Maniscalco, Evan Turner, Obediah Church, Chasson Randle, etc...) have always been great kids and fundamentally solid players.
Tell AJ he can always come on a baseball scholarship like Roger Phegley then become the star on the basketball team!


*Obediah Church never played for the IL Wolves.*
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  #168  
Old 12-16-2015, 01:33 PM
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your right - my humble apologies....- he played for the Irish and they've grown to about the same level of respect....great kids and well schooled
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  #169  
Old 12-16-2015, 02:13 PM
tornado tornado is online now
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BTW - one score...
Manual won last night, beating Champaign Central
Damonte Williams had 20, Romon Douglas-Watkins had 15...AJ Youngman nailed three 3-pointers

In a scary situation, highly regarded Champaign sophomore Tim Finke (brother of Illini's Michael Finke) fell & struck the floor hard with his head, and was removed to the lockerroom.
He then returned and re-entered the game but did not score from the floor after that (got a couple FTs) and then was taken out for good before half.
He was diagnosed as having a concussion and in a little of a puzzling statement the head coach who is also the father of Tim Finke, stated his reasons for putting Tim Finke back in despite such a severe head injry that he had to taken to the lockerroom and was later diagnosed with a concussion:
"He had a concussion,” Central coach Jeff Finke said. “He didn’t tell us at
first, so we let him go back in, but he said he couldn’t focus and the lights
were bothering him. We’ll get him looked at, and hopefully he’ll be back
sooner than later."


BUT - one of the single strongest pushes by IHSA and virtually ALL sports governing bodies - is to VERY CAREFULLY evaluate for concussion and NOT RELY solely on the judgement or words of the player, and side WAY on the side of safety or caution if there's even any doubt ("when in doubt, sit it out" is the mantra), and that no player with even the suspicion of a concussion may re-enter the contest without being seen, examined, then cleared by a physician - something that didn't appear to happen last night.
Thus, Head Coach Finke's own words just may get him into trouble...
http://www.news-gazette.com/sports/p...s-concussion.h

I know it sounds harsh but this is a very important topic and they need to get it right!
He'll probably be ok but wouldn't be surprising if he sits out a couple games...

Last edited by tornado; 12-17-2015 at 03:16 AM.
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  #170  
Old 12-16-2015, 10:44 PM
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I was at the game last night and saw the fall. The back of his head hit the floor very hard. Don't know if a Doctor attended to him but someone did. He left the floor under his own power and went to the locker room. Came back out played a few minutes was removed and never entered the game again. Someone took him to the dressing room again and he never did return. After halftime The Coach went into the stands and took his Mom I'm assuming to the dressing room and neither boy or Mom appeared again. Very scary and hope he is alright. On a side note both teams very good. The Williams boy is the real deal and a big time major. A.J a nice spot up shooter and does a lot things on the floor you would expect from a coaches son. Really like his game and you wouldn't want to zone his team. The Williams boy could start for us tomorrow night and be our best player.
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  #171  
Old 12-17-2015, 12:18 PM
midstateknowitall midstateknowitall is offline
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Was at the game as well. Both teams are good and should be extremely tough when state tournament starts up. Scary fall for Tim Finke- I thought it was going to be his tailbone at first and then saw his head smack the ground. He is a tough kid, sure he is frustrated he couldn't go after that.

Williams is good and can be very good. Has so much of Frank in him. The way he walks, moves, and plays. He isn't on Frank's level yet- but he is good.

Youngman is more D3 to me than he is D1. Shot is solid, but everything he did was stand, catch, and shoot. I don't remember him every coming off screens to catch and shoot or even dribbling in the half court with any purpose. Plus who the hell does he guard at the D1 level (SG or SF?) which tend to be a teams quickest or most athletic players.... You can tell he is a coaches kid- has an understanding of the game and looked to be a good teammate... But I didn't see anything that said D1. (1 game is 1 game tho)
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  #172  
Old 12-17-2015, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by midstateknowitall View Post
Was at the game as well. Both teams are good and should be extremely tough when state tournament starts up. Scary fall for Tim Finke- I thought it was going to be his tailbone at first and then saw his head smack the ground. He is a tough kid, sure he is frustrated he couldn't go after that.

Williams is good and can be very good. Has so much of Frank in him. The way he walks, moves, and plays. He isn't on Frank's level yet- but he is good.

Youngman is more D3 to me than he is D1. Shot is solid, but everything he did was stand, catch, and shoot. I don't remember him every coming off screens to catch and shoot or even dribbling in the half court with any purpose. Plus who the hell does he guard at the D1 level (SG or SF?) which tend to be a teams quickest or most athletic players.... You can tell he is a coaches kid- has an understanding of the game and looked to be a good teammate... But I didn't see anything that said D1. (1 game is 1 game tho)
pretty much agree with your assessment . Think he will be a D1 recruit before his HS days are over. Very good spot up shooter but if he had to get his shot of the dribble it becomes a little harder for him. I think that will come but agree with you on who he could guard. Thought he gives it all he has and leaves it all out on the floor.
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  #173  
Old 12-17-2015, 04:24 PM
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These were the same assessments I heard and read about Jeremy Crouch and Aaron Zobrist by people on the local message board at the time. Both of them turned out to be pretty good D1 players. JC lead the country in 3-point shooting, and Zobs lead the country in FT%. I am not predicting AJ will become as good as they were, but he has another 1 1/2 years to go in high school.
He has several D1 offers already, and will have a bunch more before he's done.
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  #174  
Old 12-17-2015, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Da Coach View Post
These were the same assessments I heard and read about Jeremy Crouch and Aaron Zobrist by people on the local message board at the time. Both of them turned out to be pretty good D1 players. JC lead the country in 3-point shooting, and Zobs lead the country in FT%. I am not predicting AJ will become as good as they were, but he has another 1 1/2 years to go in high school.
He has several D1 offers already, and will have a bunch more before he's done.
Agree with your points & comparisons to Crouch & Zobrist when it comes to shooters. I watched several of Aaron's high school games, and went to quite a few of Jeremy's Pekin games. I've always loved watching great shooters over the years, but I will be the first to admit, I didn't think either one of them was going to make it at Bradley. I thought both were too slow, neither athletic enough, and didn't think either would ever be able to guard at this level, but boy was I ever wrong! Zobrist & Crouch completely changed my mind about the dynamics of recruiting to win in MVC. Both enjoyed terrific careers on the hilltop and were on winning teams. They each showed that having shooters to space the floor allows slashers penetrate, and post players see less double teams. Both demonstrated that having a high b-ball IQ, along with a good feel for the game, hustle, & toughness can more than make up for not being the fastest nor most athletic kid. In evaluating players there are both measurable's (very obvious), and there are the immeasurable's (only the great evaluator's see & gauge these). Basketball is not a track meet, measurable's are great and needed, but you must also have shooters, & kids with the (immeasurable's) intangibles on a team as well if you want to win in the MVC. Recruiting is not an exact science, therefore opinions are going to vary greatly. Ultimately the only opinions that matter are the coaches.

I've only watched 2 Manual games thus far this season, but it's very obvious that Youngman has great range, accuracy, & a very quick release on his jump shot, a high b-ball IQ, great feel for the game, and good size for a shooter. He didn't look as good as he did at Richwoods, but he was still did things that stood out in my mind for sure:

no-look touch pass in traffic for a lay-up in the 4th quarter in transition.
2 steals on the defensive end where he launched his body in the air, diving across the floor to beat everyone to the ball.
taking the ball right at Tim Finke in the 1st Qtr., with a driving floater off the board.
Several nice dribble drives set up by a very nifty shot fake, and then delivered nice passes to open teammates

I, like others would love to see Youngman coming off screens to catch and shoot it but Manual's offense has no screening, and never really has over the years. Manual has for the most part used isolations & 1 on 1. Over the years they have had great talent and that style of ball has won Manual a lot of games, and championships, but it could also be said that not having an offensive which incorporates screening and better player movement has cost the Rams some big games and even a state championship or 2. I've watched a few of AJ's highlights on YouTube and he is definitely more than a spot up shooter, he shoots it real well off screens and off the dribble. Defensively, Youngman will be no different than Zobrist or Crouch, and will fit in fine in a pack-line style defense at the next level. If I had to guess, Youngman will wind up being a good mid-major player somewhere, but he could wind up garnering some hi-major offers, with added strength, continued improvement & a good AAU showing in the Spring & Summer before his senior season. When I think of Zobrist & Crouch, I can't help but think about another of my all time favorite shooters Matt Roth from Washington, I still cringe thinking of him going the hi-major route. He virtually rotted on the IU bench the bulk of his career, when he could have had a tremendous career at a mid-major, like Bradley.

We also heard some people trashing Da'Monte Williams, calling him "over-rated" after he missed a lay-up off of a feed inside. Sometimes that happens, Youngman and Keaton both missed layups as well that night. Others calling Williams "Mr. Do to Much." I agree that Williams might not have played his best (5-14 fg), but none of the Rams with the exception of Keaton really did based on what I saw vs Richwoods. I was not impressed 1-bit with Tim Finke or Champaign Central at the TOC. Heck, as a team they barely scored over 20 points for the entire game. That was only 1 game though. They looked like a pretty good team against Manual though, so I will give them some credit, but Manual did have an off-night. There's no denying that Williams has big-time potential. He is already faster, quicker, and jumps much higher than his father. He'll be better than Frank once he stops settling for long distance jump shots (he's not a real good 3 point shooter yet). Once he starts looking to be a driver first, & looks to create for teammates in the inerior & on the perimeter (like LeBron does), he'll still score about the same amount of points as he does now, but without forcing the bad shots. Williams can average a double/ double (points / assists), and could get an occasional triple/ double (rebounds). He possess all of the tools to be that good, and has a great supporting cast around him! This kid plays with the pressure of being a former NBA player's kid, so I'm sure he feels a certain sense of having to do something spectacular every night. Sooner or later he's going to figure out, and he will do a better job of utilizing his teammates talents, including the shooter he's never had, Williams will make his teammates, himself, and his team better.

Last edited by DeanMartin; 12-18-2015 at 05:20 AM.
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  #175  
Old 12-18-2015, 11:45 AM
midstateknowitall midstateknowitall is offline
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Youngman: I need to see a lot more out of him to feel comfortable saying he is a D1 player. Big difference calling someone a D1 shooter & a D1 player. I think he is a good shooter but don't see where in college right now at D1 level he fits. Crouch to me was a little quick and more mobile than Youngman and also feel Crouch may have been little tall & longer.

Williams: Has all the tools to be elite, love his length, poise, and toughness. But just like Frankie has a light switch game. His motor comes and goes and as of right now Frankie was better at this point. When light was on Frankie was a killer and would let people know. I haven't seen that out of Monte yet. Monte has a chance to be really good, he just needs to rev motor up and be able to keep it there. Had an unbelievable spring on the circuit-really struggled in July prime example of Light Switch mentality. If he ever can keep it ON ..... Watch Out!

Tim Finke: Seen him play multiple times during school season. They are giving him too much freedom off the bounce. He isn't that type of player. He is a scorer that is at his best in space and having people running at him or chasing him. He isn't a guy to size you up 1 on 1 and shake somebody. He is a shot fake straight line drive or dribble pull up type of guy, that can get scary hot from the outside. Agree with you he hasn't looked good either time I have seen him during school season this year. But my opinion just too much freedom on trying to do things he isn't good at yet.

Will be fun to monitor these guys next few years though.
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  #176  
Old 12-18-2015, 12:05 PM
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Some kids develop late....but I think we're seeing the development of AJ right now as a junior in high school....
anyone who sees him now remarks on the change since a year or two ago....
I am reminded that Jimmy Gavin, who walked on here at Bradley - was not offered a scholarship by any school of any size at any time....either in high school or for 3 years thereafter...
until he had a "tryout" with Parkside, then did well enough there that he was "recruited away" by an offer from DI Winthrop...
..where he is a starter now on a team that's 6-3 with their 3 losses being NC State, Georgia, & Alabama
and he's their 2nd best scorer & 3pt shooter & leads the team in assists.
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  #177  
Old 12-18-2015, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by midstateknowitall View Post
Was at the game as well. Both teams are good and should be extremely tough when state tournament starts up. Scary fall for Tim Finke- I thought it was going to be his tailbone at first and then saw his head smack the ground. He is a tough kid, sure he is frustrated he couldn't go after that.

Williams is good and can be very good. Has so much of Frank in him. The way he walks, moves, and plays. He isn't on Frank's level yet- but he is good.

Youngman is more D3 to me than he is D1. Shot is solid, but everything he did was stand, catch, and shoot. I don't remember him every coming off screens to catch and shoot or even dribbling in the half court with any purpose. Plus who the hell does he guard at the D1 level (SG or SF?) which tend to be a teams quickest or most athletic players.... You can tell he is a coaches kid- has an understanding of the game and looked to be a good teammate... But I didn't see anything that said D1. (1 game is 1 game tho)
Speaking of D3 isnt that what Bradley looks like ? And Duke did fine with JJ Reddick
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  #178  
Old 12-18-2015, 04:52 PM
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Duke had a lot more to go with him.
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  #179  
Old 12-18-2015, 09:52 PM
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Bradley doesn't look like DIII - they look like a team full of freshmen playing against other teams' varsity.... and it isn't gonna change overnight

I'm encouraged by the fact that right now we are tied for 1st in the MVC race and every MVC team from 5-10 doesn't look a ton better than we are ...
Go Braves!
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  #180  
Old 12-18-2015, 10:45 PM
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Final score from Friday
Manual 58 - Normal West 20


Manual highlights plus Metamora, Washington, & more
http://www.centralillinoisproud.com/...om-dec-18-2015

Last edited by tornado; 12-19-2015 at 04:36 AM.
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