USC basketball freshmen look to bring fire

first_imgFreshman Kevin Porter Jr. will bring his athletic talents to the men’s basketball squad in their upcoming season. (Photo courtesy of USC Athletics)The 2018-19 USC men’s basketball team has a lot of production to distribute. With the departures of starters Chimezie Metu, Jordan McLaughlin and Elijah Stewart, there are plenty of holes to fill on the roster.However, all is not lost. USC has improved its basketball recruiting in recent years, and its advances can be seen in this year’s crop of 2018 freshmen. Here’s what you need to know about the incoming recruits.Kevin Porter Jr.Shooting GuardSmall ForwardThe highest-ranked freshman in USC’s class, Kevin Porter Jr. earned a five-star ranking and was named the 28th-best player in the country by 247Sports. The Seattle native averaged 28 points, 14 rebounds and six assists in his senior year, leading Rainier Beach High School to the 3A Washington state championship game.At 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds, Porter is an explosive athlete. He’s fast, he’s quick and he can get up off the floor. This natural talent has made for a fair number of highlight dunks, and USC fans should get used to seeing Porter throw down this season.Porter also has the potential to be the go-to scorer the Trojans sorely missed last season. The lefty showed the ability to score at all three levels in high school, with the ability to finish at the rim with either hand and a nice shooting stroke off the dribble. Porter is also a crafty ball-handler, with a powerful ability to get to his spot against any defender.The biggest questions facing Porter have to do with his passing ability and consistent intensity. If head coach Andy Enfield can get Porter to move the ball and go all out on every possession, the Trojans could have a star on their hands early this season.Elijah WeaverGuardWeaver, a combo guard from Rockledge, Fla., is the 37th-ranked player in the nation according to ESPN, three spots higher than Porter. A four-star recruit, Weaver averaged 23.1 points, 8.2 rebounds and 8.7 assists in his final high school season. He was honored as Florida’s Class 6A Player of the Year. Although he possesses the same strong, 6-foot-5 frame as Porter, Weaver fits the model of a pure point guard more than his new teammate. Also a lefty, he’s a talented passer, using his height to see over the defense and passing lanes. He’s also very adept at driving the lane and finding the open man. These could be a crucial skills in the absence of graduated point guard Jordan McLaughlin, who ranked fourth in the country in assists last season and ran the offense.Weaver also uses his frame to his advantage on defense. His long arms and smooth athleticism make his abilities hard to limit, and were certainly part of the reason he averaged 4.3 steals per game in his senior season.To unlock his full potential, Weaver will need to improve his jumper. It’s not that the shot is broken, but adding a deadly shot to his arsenal will make Weaver virtually unstoppable.J’Raan BrooksPower ForwardThe final of USC’s three four-star or better recruits, Brooks was a star at Garfield High School in Seattle, the school that defeated Porter’s in the 3A state title game. Brooks decommitted from USC following the FBI probe involving former player De’Anthony Melton and former assistant coach Tony Bland, but recommitted after Melton declared for this summer’s NBA Draft.Brooks, ranked 83rd nationally by 247Sports, was a key cog on a Garfield team that finished the season as the 11th-best team in the country. At 6-foot-9 and 220 pounds, Brooks made his mark on both ends of the floor. He’s noted as a tenacious rebounder and rim protector with a high motor. He is also a skilled offensive player, with a capable mid-range jumpshot and good footwork and touch around the basket.Brooks lacks an elite skill. He’s not an amazing athlete or a one-on-one scorer. He’s solid in every area of the game, but he might not be a difference-maker. The best way for him to improve would be extending his range to the 3-point line, as it would help the Trojans’ spacing immensely.Brooks’ return, along with Porter, gives the Trojans the two best players in the class from Washington. Unlike Porter and Weaver, though, Brooks has a clear shot to start; unlike the backcourt, the Trojans lack depth in the frontcourt, especially after losing Metu.The most important thing to know about these three is that they can all be culture setters. All three are competitive and work hard, important qualities for freshmen. They may show it in different ways — Porter is fiery and emotional, Weaver is cool as a cucumber, and Brooks puts his emotion into cleaning the glass — but all want to win badly. If they can channel that in the correct way, the Trojans can continue to compete in the Pac-12.last_img read more

BLEARY-EYED MARTIN McGUINNESS BOASTS OF 3AM START FOR DONEGAL SUMMER SOLSTICE

first_imgSINN FEIN deputy leader Martin McGuinness boasted of his 3am early morning alarm call – so he could watch the sun rise on the longest day in Co Donegal.Mr McGuinness was hosting a meeting of the British Irish Council in Derry on Friday for Taoiseach Enda Kenny, British Deputy PM Nick Clegg and the leaders of other nations in these islands.The North’s deputy first minister, looking slightly tired and bleary-eyed, told a press conference that he had been up from 3 o’clock in the morning. “I went out to the beautiful fort at Burt, An Grianan of Aileach, to watch the sun rise and to hear the morning chorus,” he said.“It was quite a spectacular start to the day; loads of people were there and it was a pleasure to be there too.”He later tweeted this picture of the event.  BLEARY-EYED MARTIN McGUINNESS BOASTS OF 3AM START FOR DONEGAL SUMMER SOLSTICE was last modified: June 22nd, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:BLEARY-EYED MARTIN McGUINNESS BOASTS OF 3AM START FOR DONEGAL SUMMER SOLSTICElast_img read more

ANGER AS FOUR MASTER LADIES TOLD MONAGHAN HARPS WON GAME

first_imgTHERE is considerable anger among Ladies Football fans in Co Donegal tonight after the Ulster Council awarded the Ulster Intermediate title to Monaghan Harps earlier this evening.The Ulster Council had refused to comment ahead of tonight’s meeting at which they studied the referee’s report.Thee showpiece final in Brewster Park Enniskillen ended in farce on Sunday after Four Masters were told they had WON the game and the title. However they were then told it was a DRAW!Instead of extra time, the girls – Donegal’s Intermediate Champions – were told there would be a replay.But that is not going to happen.In a statement the Ulster Ladies Gaelic officials said they had awarded the game to Monaghan Harps because they had actually WON the match! After 60 minutes the score board read Monaghan Harps 1-8 Four Masters 2-4 however the referee scored the game as a one goal victory for Four Masters. After further consultation the game was declared a draw 1-8 to 2-5.Four Masters Ladies may now appeal the decision.Surely a replay would have been better for all concerned.But as it stands, Four Masters ladies are out of a chance of going for an All Ireland title.It seems Sunday’s farce has been repeated. In a statement Monaghan Harps Ladies insisted that they are the deserved winners of the Intermediate Ulster Club Championship title.They describe the fact that they were not awarded the title on Sunday as an “injustice”.ANGER AS FOUR MASTER LADIES TOLD MONAGHAN HARPS WON GAME was last modified: November 5th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:four mastersrobbedUlster councillast_img read more