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Wally Ellenson

J.B.'s Jottings - June 16, 2012

06/16/2012, 7:30am CDT
By J.B. Bauer

Wally Ellenson Leaps Into Summer League Action Next Week

Notes on the Pro City League, Gopher football & basketball APR scores, basketball recruiting and more.

Kyle Washington

Former Benilde-St. Margaret's forward Kyle Washington is one of the top Gopher recruiting targets at the NBPA Top 100 Camp this week.

Pro City League Returns

The June Miller/Howard Pulley Pro City League begins another season this coming Tuesday, June 19th.  Most weeks the league will feature two games per night, Monday through Thursday, with start times of approximately 7:00pm and 8:30pm.

The games are played at the High Performance Academy located at 2950 Lexington Avenue, Eagan, MN 55121.  The league is well run and not only is there free admission, but the atmosphere is such that you can bring the entire family, including kids, to watch some very good ballplayers up close.  

The final, confirmed rosters will be available next week, but I did talk with Rene Pulley regarding the expected roster assignments for Minnesota Golden Gophers:

Rodney Williams and Joe Coleman – Fundamentally Sound Athletics
Andre Hollins and Andre Ingram – Information Investors Group
Austin Hollins and Charles Buggs – Pat Madison Magic
Julian Welch, Wally Ellenson and Chris Halvorsen (walk-on) – Miller Time
Oto Osenieks and Elliot Eliason – Errol Carlstrom Playaz
Maverick Ahanmisi and Kendal Shell (walk-on) – 123PRINT.COM

Trevor Mbakwe (ACL) and Maurice Walker (PCL) both continue to work toward their return to the hardwood, but are not expected to participate in the Pro City League this summer.

Freshmen Wally Ellenson and Charles Buggs are now on campus and rooming together.  In a league like this, I think Ellenson will be able to quickly gain some new fans that aren’t yet familiar with his game.

Keep an eye on the GopherHole basketball message board for updates and thoughts from members who attend games.

Brewster Bolstering Football APR; Hoops Hovering Near Hindrance

The NCAA is expected to release 2010-11 single year and multi-year Academic Progress Rate (APR) data next week and many schools released partial APR data this week.  I’ll save a more expansive discussion on APR for a rainy day (or, if you have specific questions feel free to email me or post on the GopherHole message boards), but a few key things to point out for now:

The University of Minnesota reported the following APR scores for the basketball and football teams:

Basketball: 2010-11 academic year: 939; Four-years ending 2010-11: 954
Football: 2010-11 academic year: 932; Four-years ending 2010-11: 917

Despite popular belief, a transfer or early departure for the professional ranks by itself does not have a direct negative impact on the APR.  If all kids in a school’s basketball program are doing fine, except that every year there has been a couple of transfers out and a one-and-done player, that program can still have a perfect 1000 APR score.

If kids are doing at least mediocre to borderline-poor schoolwork and they don’t stop going to class in the middle of a term, the APR score should not be an issue.

Remember there is a lag in the “real-time” APR.  The eligibility to participate in the 2012-13 postseason is based on APR results the 2010-11 academic year.  Under the transition rules of the newly revised standards, a four-year APR (ending 2010-11) of less than 900 gets you into hot water, unless you have a two-year APR of at least 930.  Once fully phased in (four years from now), the cutline will be a four-year score of 930.

Tim Brewster’s 2008-09 team posted an impressive single-year APR 968, which greatly helps the prospects of Minnesota being eligible for a bowl game through the 2013-14 season.  However, with scores hovering around 930 the past two seasons (through 2010-11), Coach Kill would love to have another 2008-09-like performance.  Based on recent comments from Joel Maturi, I’m expecting a strong 2011-12 score when released a year from now.  That said, I wouldn’t be too worried about where the Gophers football program is with regard to the APR.

Gopher basketball may be a different story.  Looking ahead to the 2014-15 season, to avoid penalties the team will need a four-year APR ending with the 2012-13 academic year of at least 930 or a two-year APR of 940.  For 2009-10, Minnesota hoops had an APR score of 898 and for 2010-11 the school released a tally of 939 this week.

In rough numbers, this means that Minnesota must average at least 940 for 2011-12 (the year just ended) and 2012-13 (the upcoming academic year) or face penalties.  I don’t yet know what the expected score for 2011-12 is – but if it’s not excellent, the pressure is on.

NBPA Top 100 Camp

The NBPA Top 100 Camp is underway in Virginia and several kids with interest from the Gophers are present.  Forward Kyle Washington spent three years at Benilde-St. Margaret's before reclassifying to 2013 and heading to Hotchkiss (CT) last year.  Washington has already seen his stock rise over the past year, but reports I've received from camp indicate interest could grow even stronger from colleges after what has been a good showing this week.  

Also from the state of Minnesota is Tubby-target Rashad Vaughn of Cooper.  A number of kids from Wisconsin are at the camp including Bronson Koenig (Wisconsin commit, high school class of 2013), Deonte Burton (Marquette, 2013), Duane Wilson (Marquette, 2013) and Kevon Looney (uncommitted, 2014).  Minnesota has shown interest in Looney, a 6'8" highly skilled junior-to-be who has the potential to be a sensational player at the college level and beyond, but top programs from across the nation will be after this young man.

6'9" 2013 Goodluck Okonoboh was offered quite some time ago by the Gophers, but interest in the big man has picked from others and will only continue to grow with defensive showings like he's having at this event.  I don't see Minnesota really being in the picture for Okonoboh.  

The Gophers are also involved with camp-attendee Sterling Brown, a 2013 wing from IL and brother of NBA player Shannon.  He's a good all around contributor who would probably find Minnesota a nice fit.

Apple Valley point guard Tyus Jones (2014) is in Colorado for the USA Basketball U17 tryouts.  Those selected (17 kids trying for 12 spots) for the team will travel to Lithuania later this month for the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship.  Unfortunately, I've heard Jones banged up his thumb yesterday and was sidelined.  It doesn't sound like a major injury, so hopefully he'll be able to play today and be one of the 12 chosen to compete for a Gold Medal.  The decision on who will travel overseas will likely be made Sunday afternoon.

J.B. Bauer
Twitter: @jbbauer612

Talk about college basketball and the Golden Gopher Basketball Team on the Tubby's Barn message board.

Tag(s): Gopher Basketball