Todd Porter says reports have three teams expressing interest in GlenOak High School graduate C.J. McCollum as Thursday’s NBA Draft approaches. Also, both the Suburban and Federal leagues are awaiting Green’s decision on its future.
Where C.J. McCollum begins his NBA career could be close to home, or it could me a long way away. Either way, there is a good chance McCollum will be close to the action as his future unfolds in New York for the NBA Draft on Thursday night.
The NBA invites a handful of first-round prospects to the event, and McCollum still is waiting to find out if he gets to go. Most mock drafts have McCollum going as a lottery pick between the eighth and 11th pick overall.
NBA.com latest mock draft has McCollum going to Minnesota at No. 9. Chad Ford of ESPN has him going 10th to Portland. Ford writes of Portland’s pick:
“The Blazers would like to continue to add shooters. Enter McCollum. While he commonly gets compared to Damian Lillard, they are different players and could nicely complement each other in the backcourt. I’m also hearing Croatia’s Dario Saric is a strong possibility here, too.”
If McCollum and Lillard become teammates, it won’t be a new relationship. McCollum said he has talked with Lillard before and the two have kept in contact over the last several months. Lillard was taken with the sixth pick by Portland last year and named the Rookie of the Year. One of the reasons why McCollum is picking his brain is Lillard played at a smaller college, Weber State, and he successfully made the transition to the NBA.
Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com writes of McCollum going to Minnesota:
“Minnesota wants to add scoring and shooting, and McCollum can do both. But it’s especially a tough call because Minnesota wants to shed, not add, point guards. McCollum can become a combo guard if he can play alongside a big point.”
Part of the problem for McCollum is where will he play in the NBA. He could be a point or a No. 2. McCollum’s college play would appear to make him more of a two because he shoots well and knows how to score.
There also is a chance that McCollum ends up with Detroit, which has the No. 8 pick. Detroit had McCollum and Syracuse’s Michael Carter-Williams in for a visit. While McCollum’s family doesn’t care where he plays, Detroit is a much closer trip than Portland or Minnesota.
Ford ranked McCollum as the eighth-best draft prospect at the combine. McCollum goes 6-foot-3 and weighs 197 pounds. According NBA.com, McCollum has 9 percent body fat with a reach of 8-foot-1 and a 6-6 wingspan. That wingspan is what is attracting many teams to him, because he’s just 6-3, but he has long arms, an attractive defensive quality for many NBA coaches.
Page 2 of 3 - Shane Battier had a huge Game 7 for the Miami Heat in their second straight NBA championship, this one over the Spurs. Battier scored 18 points from the 3-point arc.
So where does an unlikely hero cap off a championship night and a big role in it?
Denny’s of course.
Battier tweeted a picture of a late-night dinner at Denny’s after that game.
SUBURBAN LEAGUE WAITING
The Suburban League has mailed out questionnaires to schools in attendance at its meeting earlier this month to gauge interest in joining the league. Those are due back July 1.
The Suburban League invited 14 schools, including Lake. However, Lake officials did not attend the meeting and have not expressed any interest in joining the Suburban League. Norton was unable to attend the meeting, but has expressed and interest in joining.
As mentioned last week, Green is the big player in this. Green is a charter member of the Suburban League and is being courted by the Federal League. One of the reasons Green is looking elsewhere is it has found its gate revenue in football and boys basketball isn’t as high as it thinks it should be, and part of that is some of the smaller Suburban League teams don’t have large fan bases.
But the Suburban League is looking at a two-tier format with smaller schools and larger schools. If Green can be in a Suburban League with Medina, Stow, North Royalton, Hudson, Cuyahoga Falls, Brecksville and Twinsburg, then Green likely is to stay in the Suburban League.
“Green is attractive to both conferences,” Suburban League Commissioner Keith Walker said. “We want to keep Green. I’m sure the Federal League would love to have them. They have a lot of possible prom dates here. As they make their decision, that will make the decision come more quickly for other schools.”
Part of the problem, though, is Green isn’t sure what it wants to do. The district just hired a new superintendent. That means the new superintendent, who was the middle school principal in the district, has to get on the same page with the principal and athletic director. It isn’t clear if all three are there yet.
SO DOES FEDERAL LEAGUE
All the Federal League can do is wait and see what happens in the Suburban League and hope enough schools are willing to join so the league can form a North Division to complement the six-team Stark County South Division if that’s how the league moves forward.
In about 10 years from now, Stark County football fans should remember who the superintendents, athletic directors and high school principals were at each of the six Federal League schools in Stark County right now. You will be either able to heap praise or criticism on them for how the league takes shape going forward. This is a crossroads for the Federal League.
Page 3 of 3 - It spurred the Suburban League to action, too.
“We didn’t want to be on the back side of this, having the Federal League inviting all these schools and Green saying we’re going to the Federal League,” Walker said. “Then Wadsworth says we’re a big school and have to look around. At this point, we’re happy with where things are. I don’t know where this is going. If we get 16 teams, we’ve never experienced two divisions before. It’s sort of exciting the options it opens up.”
SKYLAND CHARITY OUTING
One of the best charitable golf scrambles is entering its 17th year. The Pizza Oven Pro-Am will be played July 23 at Skyland Pines Golf Club with the proceeds again benefiting the Canton Ex-Newsboys Association. The two best balls of five in each scramble team will be played. The outing is limited to 20 teams per wave. For more information, contact Angelo Tsangeos at 330-454-5131.
Cost for pros is $200 and $300 for amateurs. It includes breakfast, a buffet lunch and steak dinner after golf. This year’s guest speaker for dinner will be former Browns receiver Reggie Rucker.
Each team will have an area pro on its team. That pro will be eligible for the first-place pro prize money of $3,000. The total pro pot is $11,000. The amateur pot is $11,000 with certificate redeemable at the Skyland Pro Shop.
ROGERS TRANSFERS TO MASSILLON
Reggie Rogers, a 6-0, 180-pound receiver, transferred from Firestone to Massillon earlier this year. It was some time after the start of the year. Rogers is a junior, but he has already been offered a scholarship by Kentucky, a second-tier SEC team. One of the reasons Rogers transferred is he had an off-the-field issue at Firestone that was not serious in nature.
Massillon is no different than many Federal League schools — GlenOak in recent years, McKinley traditionally, Hoover has had a few over the years — which get transfers from other schools after a football season. It remains to be seen how big of a producer Rogers will be because Massillon has Marcus Whitfield, who may be the best receiver in Stark County next season.
The big question for Massillon is who will play quarterback?