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2017-18 College Basketball All-Alumni Team

College basketball season is over. As the calendar turns to April, we have NBA Playoffs and Draft conversation to keep us going. All American teams and most other individual awards have been handed out by now, but we’re doing our first Hoop Group All-Alumni teams. We’ll highlight twelve Hoop Group alumni who had exceptional NCAA seasons this year.

Disclaimer: There were A LOT of candidates who had strong seasons. Hoop Group alumni live all over the NCAA, at all levels. Future pros were left off this list. Lottery picks didn’t make the cut. Even players who were first team all-conference in their respective conferences didn’t make the cut.

First Team:

Jalen Brunson-Villanova: 18.9 PPG, 4.6 APG, 3.1 RPG
Not much to say that hasn’t been said about Brunson already. He was the engine that made Villanova go. He’s the AP Player of the Year, and winner of the the Naismith Award, Bob Cousy Award and the Wooden Award as college basketball’s best player.

Devonte’ Graham-Kansas: 17.3 PPG, 7.2 APG, 4 RPG
Devonte’ Graham got stronger as the season progressed, and so did Kansas. After the Trae Young and Keenan Evans hype died down a little, it was Graham being awarded Big 12 Player of the Year, a year after his teammate Frank Mason won.

Miles Bridges-Michigan State: 17 PPG, 7 RPG, 2.7 APG
Many thought Bridges had a down year after deciding to return to school for his sophomore season. That said, 17 and 7 is pretty darn good for a “down” year. Bridges was still one of the best players in the Big Ten, and college basketball this season. His numbers support it.

Mikal Bridges-Villanova: 17.7 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 1.5 SPG, 1 BPG
Some would argue Mikal Bridges was Villanova’s actual best player, and some of his play would support that. A long and athletic player, Bridges was a major impact on both ends of the floor for the national champions. And he elevated his draft stock in the process.

Tony Carr-Penn State 19.6 PPG, 5 APG, 4.9 RPG
I think Tony Carr flew under the radar this year, mainly because Penn State did fail to make the tournament. Carr did a little bit of everything for Penn State, and the Nittany Lions saw the results, winning the NIT this year. Carr was one rebound shy of a triple-double in the championship.

Second Team:

Shamorie Ponds- St. John’s: 21.6 PPG, 4.7 APG, 5 RPG, 2.7 Steals PG
St. John’s may have had a down year, but Ponds was a major bright spot. He did it all for the Johnnies, and his stats attest to that. In the Red Storm’s back to back wins over Duke and Villanova, Ponds combined for 59 points, 12 rebounds, 8 assists and 6 steals.

Gary Clark-Cincinnati: 12.9 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 1.7 spg, 1.2 bpg
Similar to Bridges, Clark helped Cincinnati in every aspect this season. He scored in double digits 29 times and recorded double digit rebounds 16 times this season. He was the best player on the best AAC team, and he took home Conference Player of the Year as a result.

Jaylen Adams-St. Bonaventure: 19.1 PPG, 5.1 APG, 1.5 SPG, 3.4 RPG
Adams, and Davidson center Peyton Aldridge, took home co A-10 Players of the Year this season. Adams has been an elite scorer in the A10 for the past four seasons. He hit 40+ in back to back games this season for the Bonnies.

Peyton Aldridge-Davidson: 21.2 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 2.5 APG
Alridge is no slouch scoring the basketball either. He scored over 30 on five occasions this season, while leading the A-10 in scoring. More impressively he did it almost shooting 50% from the field. His best game was a 45 point, 12 rebound game versus St. Bonaventure in triple overtime.

Angel Delgado-Seton Hall: 13.6 PPG, 11.8 RPG, 2.8 APG

Delgado may not have been first team All-Big East, but he was a machine for Seton Hall this season. He recorded a double-double in 22 games this season, including a ridiculous 24 points and 23 rebounds in the final game of his career versus Kansas. He cemented his great career and season by taking home the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award.

Chris Silva- South Carolina: 14.3 PPG, 8 RPG, 1.4 BPG
Silva became the man at South Carolina after a lot of players departed following a Final Four season. He responded by upping his points per game from 10 to 14 and averaging 2 more rebounds a game. He was the focal point of Frank Martin’s team, and likely will be next year.

Honorable Mention:

Kelan Martin- Butler: 21.2 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 2 APG
Jerome Robinson- Boston College: 20.7 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 3.3 APG
Caleb Martin-Nevada: 18.8 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 2.4 APG
Mo Bamba-Texas: 12.9 PPG, 10.5 RPG, 3.7 Blocks PG
Tremont Waters- LSU: 15.9 PPG, 6 APG, 3.4 RPG
Vincent Edwards- Purdue: 14.6 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 2.9 APG

Get to Know the HGSL: Alvin Gentry Elite


Director: Mike Myers

Social Media Handles: Instagram: @alvin_gentry_elite

                                            Twitter: @AlvinGentryEliteBB

Key players:

Ethan Spry

Reed Myers

Team analysis: Alvin Gentry Elite is an AAU program sponsored by New Orleans Pelicans Head Coach Alvin Gentry. The team is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Alvin Gentry Elite, or “AGE,” is an organization that is committed to character, commitment, and integrity as well as maintaining all NCAA academic eligibility requirements. Alvin Gentry is well known and respected in the basketball community. The product this team puts forth represents his name well every time they grace the hardwood. The team had a nice mix of age groups on the 17u team from last year. As a result, this group will return a nice nucleus of battle tested players who are comfortable playing high level games on the HGSL. One of the standouts is guard Reed Myers. Myers relayed that he’s hearing from Cornell, Pepperdine, Dartmouth, Rice and Colorado Christian.“Colorado Christian and Pepperdine came to one of my open gyms before the season and in the past summer I visited Rice University, met the coaches and did their elite camp.”

AGE plays a high octane style of basketball on the offensive side of the floor. Their willingness to push the ball and create in transition makes them one of of the most exciting teams on the HGSL. Get your Iphone’s out everyone, the show is about to begin!

Stat to know: The AGE was founded originally as the Arizona Eagles in 2009. The Club excelled as a youth team and won numerous Arizona state titles as well as West Coast Regional titles.

Get to Know the HGSL: NY Early Risers


Director/Head Coach: Bobby Rahn

Social Media Handle: Twitter: @earlyrisersny

Notable Alumni:

Cleanthony Early – Wichita St – New York Knicks

Mike Tobey – University of Virginia – Charlotte Hornets

Omari Spellman – St. Thomas More – Villanova

Nick Vier – Bergen Catholic – University of Vermont

John Oates – Don Bosco Prep – Boston College

Key players:

Bryan and Brandon Powell

Chris Wright

Andre Paul

Team analysis: The Early Risers are committed to creating opportunities and providing support for student-athletes to fulfill their potential in the classroom, on the court and in the community. Together with parents, coaches and volunteers they do a great job of helping each athlete reach their full academic and athletic potential.

Since its inception in 2001, Early Risers have established themselves as one of the premiere AAU programs in America. The program has done a great job developing their players via the tutelage from their great coaches and skill development in practice. They have also done a tremendous job in getting their players exposure and getting their players good situations on the collegiate level.  As of 2017, the program has sent over 250 student athletes to both two and four year collegiate institutions.

Stat to know: Current Villanova frontcourt player Omari Spellman is a former Early Riser NY player.

Chris Mack to Louisville; Jeff Capel to Pittsburgh

With three NCAA Tournament games left, we’re near the end of the college basketball season. The coaching carousel has been fairly quiet compared to most off-seasons, at least in the major conferences. UConn and Memphis got their new head coaches last week. Today, Pittsburgh and Louisville found their guys. Pittsburgh agreed to make Jeff Capel their head coach, while Louisville came to terms with former Xavier head coach, Chris Mack. Both programs have quite a rebuild ahead of them, but step one is done. They found their coaches.

Jeff Capel to Pittsburgh

Just one day ago, Pittsburgh was rumored to be interested in Duke assistant coach Jon Scheyer as their possible new coach. Instead, they went with the more experienced coach from Coach K’s bench. Capel has been at Duke since 2011. Prior to his arrival to Cameron, Capel was the head coach at Oklahoma for five seasons. In his time as head coach, Capel has made the NCAA Tournament three times, including one as the coach of VCU, his first coaching gig. The move for Capel is an interesting one for a Pitt program that struck out on landing their Plan A in Dan Hurley. Capel certainly has the experience, he’s coached at the big level and has spent the last seven years in the ACC, under the winningest coach in the sport.

He’s also shown the ability to recruit. At Oklahoma he recruited McDonald’s All-Americans such as Willie Warren, Tiny Gallon and of course, Blake Griffin, to name a few. When Capel took his assistant coaching job at Duke, the Blue Devils coincidentally saw the McDonald’s All-Americans come in bunches. Guys like Greg Paulus, Kyle Singler and Brian Zoubek were replaced with Jahlil Okafor, Jayson Tatum and Marvin Bagley. It may not have been all Capel, but the correlation speaks for itself. That kind of recruiting will be needed at a program that saw eight players request transfer after Kevin Stallings was fired.

It should be noted however, that Capel and Oklahoma were forced to vacate wins in 2011 due to playing with an ineligible player. It was believed that Tiny Gallon, one of his blue chip recruits, received impermissible benefits while playing at Oklahoma. Many believe this led to Capel and Oklahoma parting ways. At a time where bribery in college basketball is at an all-time high, hiring Capel could be a roll of the dice. But it’s not like Pittsburgh can have a worse season that last year. Capel has a seven year deal to turn the program around. Given his track record I expect him to hit the recruiting trail hard and try to make a big splash as soon as he can.

Louisville Gets Their Guy in Chris Mack

Chris Mack to Louisville has been heavily rumored since Xavier lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. For as big of a mess that Pittsburgh is in, Louisville may, may, be worse. Everyone is well versed in the Rick Pitino/Brian Bowen saga to begin the season. You also probably know about the vacated wins and loss of a National Championship banner that occurred mid-season. And there’s still this FBI investigation looming over the program, and sport. The job is not a welcoming one, but Mack is the guy who can right the ship.

Mack’s resume speaks for itself. He has the most wins all-time at Xavier, passing his former coach, Pete Gillen, earlier this year. He led Xavier to a Big East regular season championship this season and a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Despite the early exit, Mack took an Xavier program from middle of the pack, to one of the best in the country. More importantly, he’s thought of to run a clean program. Something Louisville needs more than anything right now.

Louisville is still owed some sort of NCAA penalties for their involvement in the FBI Investigation. As the poster school for the investigation, penalties are not expected to be light. Mack’s job will not be easy, but a long, seven year contract will give him enough time to resurrect and turn Louisville on the path to being a clean program. The Cardinals pretty much put all their eggs in one basket when they targeted Mack and it paid off.