March 22, 2011

College hoops spotlight: USF's Eric Skeeters

eric-skeeters-south-florida.jpg At every step in his climb up the proverbial college basketball coaching ladder, Eric Skeeters has learned an invaluable lesson.

Many of the lessons imparted to Skeeters – a Baltimore native now serving as an assistant coach at South Florida – came during his time working under Coppin State’s Fang Mitchell.

“I had to finish a scouting report for a game one time,” Skeeters recalled. “Fang came in the office the next day and said, ‘Did you get a chance to finish that report?’

“I said, ‘No, not yet. I’m almost done now.’

“Fang said, ‘Well did you sleep last night?’


“‘Well then you had time to do it.’”

It's been 12 years since Skeeters left Coppin. At South Florida, he enjoys coaching in the most high-profile basketball conference in the country. But the lengthy path that led to Tampa was predominantly paved thanks to his experience playing and coaching in Baltimore.

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Posted by Matt Bracken at 3:22 PM | | Comments (3)
Categories: College hoops spotlight

September 23, 2010

College hoops spotlight: Jamar Briscoe

For every phase of his basketball career, Jamar Briscoe considers himself in "the show-me stage."

At Cardinal Gibbons, the pint-sized point guard had to show Baltimore basketball observers he could run a team and score at will. At North Carolina Central, the 5-foot-10, 165-pound freshman had to show he could play at the Division I level. Now Briscoe, who sat out last year after transferring to Charlotte, must show a new coaching staff that’s he’s capable of performing in the Atlantic 10, arguably the top mid-major league in the country.

“The new staff, they weren’t familiar with not one of us. They had never seen us play,” Briscoe said. “But everything was the show-me stage. We had three weeks before the end of the year to show what we can do. … In Baltimore basketball, that’s just kind of how it goes. It’s showing what you can do. I’m just used to that. Every time you go at a guy, you still have to show someone what you can do. I didn’t want to be in a bad situation when it came down to that. So I was prepared. So it really wasn’t a problem for me.”

Briscoe’s college hoops debut during the 2008-09 season couldn’t have gone much better. After accepting a late scholarship offer from North Carolina Central, a DI independent in Durham, Briscoe thrust himself into the Eagles’ starting lineup and finished the year as the nation’s second-leading freshman scorer at 17.8 points per game.

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Posted by Matt Bracken at 2:59 PM | | Comments (4)
Categories: College hoops spotlight
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Matt Bracken was a lightly recruited football and tennis prospect out of East Lansing (Mich.) High School in 2001, but spurned all (nonexistent) scholarship offers to attend the University of Michigan. Matt graduated from UM in 2005, earned a master's degree in new media journalism from Northwestern University in 2006, and spent the first 11 months of his career as an online producer / videographer / blogger at the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson. He has worked at The Baltimore Sun since July 2007, where he currently serves as the deputy sports editor for digital.

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