Local hoops recruiting notebook
Loyola shooting guard Matt Rum ended his recruitment earlier this week when he committed to William & Mary.
The 2009 prospect chose the Tribe over Towson, Radford and Boston University, according to Loyola head coach Josh Davalli.
“I think the fact that [William & Mary was] the first one to be interested [was important],” Davalli said. “Their interest hasn’t waned at all, it’s only increased, and that positively affected Matt’s decision.”
Rum, 6 feet 3, averaged about 16 points, 5.5 rebounds and two assists per game for the Dons as a junior, Davalli said.
Davalli, who played at and graduated from Towson, said he was pleased with Rum’s choice.
“I wanted Matt to make the decision for himself,” Davalli said. “William & Mary’s such a good school academically and such a good fit all around, with the style that they play. ... [It would’ve been great if] he’d been a Tiger, but I think this is a great choice -- his best choice, for sure.”
• UMBC landed an early commitment for its 2009 class earlier this month when St. Mary’s point guard Nick Groce pledged to the Retrievers.
“I think it’s a great opportunity and a great fit for him,” said St. Mary‘s head coach Brian Konik. “He’s established himself as probably the top point guard in the ‘09 class in the area. He’s an outstanding ball handler and a very good on-the-ball defender. Last year he really had a breakout year in terms of scoring. He was 44 percent from the three-point line and had several games over 20 points. ... His family wanted him to play for a winning program that’s close to home, and UMBC offers both those opportunities.”
Groce, 5 feet 10, 168 pounds, averaged 15 points, three assists and three steals per game as a junior for St. Mary’s. He led the Saints to a 20-10 record and a runner-up finish in the MIAA B Conference tournament.
According to Konik, Groce picked UMBC over interest from American, Loyola and Vermont.
David Thurston, an assistant with Groce’s AAU team, Maryland/Severna Park 3D, said Groce’s style mirrors that of current UMBC point guard Jay Greene. The opportunity to potentially replace Greene in UMBC’s lineup was attractive to Groce.
“I think he’s got very good range from 20 feet, and he’s a very smart player,” Thurston said. “He’s got north-to-south quickness and lateral quickness. He pushes the ball up the court and makes great decisions. He should become a shutdown defender at that level. He’s a unique player because he’s very good in the half-court set and very good in transition. You can play multiple styles with him and be successful.”
• Every member of the Baltimore Stars’ 2008 class will be playing basketball in college, Stars official Troy Franklin said today.
Mount Carmel point guard Troy Franklin Jr. (Towson), Loch Raven guard Jordan Lee (Coppin State), Mount St. Joseph point guard Justin McCoy (Coppin State) and Mount St. Joseph center Henry Sims (Georgetown) all made their choices months ago, but several of their Stars teammates have found homes in recent weeks.
“They’re already in Kansas, already started school,” Franklin said. “School’s going well … and they have tremendous potential.”
Franks, 6 feet 8, 225 pounds, received recruiting interest from Missouri, Missouri State, Southern Illinois, Towson, Wichita State and Wyoming, while Branch, 6 feet 4, was hearing from Miami, Tennessee, Towson and Virginia Tech, according to Franklin. Franks and Branch will improve their academics at Hutchinson and play for one of the top JUCO programs in the country.
“The best option was JUCO, where they would have a good chance at earning a college degree and then moving on to a DI school,” Franklin said.
Franklin said three other Stars will play for junior college programs next year. Former Woodlawn guard Dexter Dorsey is headed to Kilgore (Texas) College, Mount Carmel guard/forward Stanford McNair will attend Northampton Community College in Bethlehem, Pa., and Mount Carmel guard/forward Rummell King will likely pick Laramie County Community College in Wyoming. There’s a chance King could end up with McNair at Northampton, but Franklin said LCCC is the more likely choice.
Franklin credited Mount Carmel head coach Tom Rose for his role in finding good fits for his seniors -- Franklin Jr., Franks, King and McNair.
“As far as the total package, not only as a coach on the court, but doing everything in his power from NCAA readiness and helping bring the colleges in, this guy has done a tremendous job with our kids,” Franklin said of Rose. “He’s the total package.”