By: Brian Dickmann | 06-17-15
Photo: Jim Matthews / Press-Gazette Media
New Green Bay head coach Linc Darner is off and running when it comes to recruiting for the 2018 class.
The Phoenix have extended scholarship offers to three players in the state of Wisconsin's high school sophomore class. As things stand right now, Green Bay would have several scholarships to offer for the 2018 recruiting class.
Tyler Herro, a 6'3" guard from Greenfield, was one of the players receiving an offer from the Phoenix. He had a stellar freshman season at Whitnall High School, leading the team in scoring at 15.8 per game to go along with 1.6 assists per contest. He scored a career-high 31 points in a 64-46 victory over Cudahy in a game where he shot 6 of 9 from three point land. Herro shot nearly 37% from downtown this past season and was named First Team All-Conference.
Wissports.net's Mark Miller says Herro is an "athletic and productive wing player with impressive skills." He also recently received a scholarship offer from UWM head coach Rob Jeter and the arch-rival Panthers.
Green Bay also extended scholarship offers to a pair of local players: Jordan McCabe from Kaukauna and Bay Port High School's Jack Plumb.
McCabe has gained internet fame for his slick ball handling skills, with this highlight video already at over a million views. The 5' 10" guard has offers from Green Bay as well as UWM and Missouri and has garned interest from Wisconsin, Michigan State, Marquette, Iowa State, Virginia, VCU, and Gonzaga.
Miller calls him an "extraordinarily skilled point guard who handles the ball as well as any guard in Wisconsin while also shooting a high percentage and passing at a high level." He helped lead the Galloping Ghosts to a 20-4 record this season, scoring 14.2 points as well as nearly 5 assists per game. McCabe was named second team All-Conference in the highly competitive Fox Valley Association this past season.
Plumb, a kid from Green Bay's backyard, is a 6'8" big man that Mark Miller calls "one of the top frontcourt prospects in Wisconsin in the class of 2018."
The Bay Port High School forward scored 4.0 points per game this season for a Pirate team that went 17-7 and finished just one game behind De Pere for the Fox River Classic Conference championship.
NY2LA's Antonio Curry says that Plumb's "rebounding is really where Plumb can hang his hat as he exerts himself greatly on the boards and is almost a sure double-double player game in and game out whenever he hits the court."
Here are some other names that Green Bay has been linked to on the recruiting trail:
2016.....David Jean-Baptiste (6'0", Miami, FL), Nick Finke (6'7", Champaign, IL).....2017.....McKinley Wright (6'0", Champlin, MN), Ben Vander Plas (6'7", Ripon, WI), Owen Hamilton (7'0", Prescott, WI), Ish El-Amin (6'3", Minnetonka, MN), Isaiah Chandler (6'8", Omaha, NE).
In other recruiting news, Purdue transfer Bryson Scott has finally made a decision and chose to sign with his hometown school: IPFW.
By: Brian Dickmann | 05-11-15
Photo via Boone News Republican
Green Bay has landed 6'7" forward Jamar Hurdle. The Milwaukee native played the past two seasons at Des Moines Area Community College in Iowa and will have two years of eligibility remaining.
Hurdle said on Twitter that he's "looking forward to this new journey of life as a Phoenix." He is eligible to play right away this upcoming season.
He's the first Wisconsin native and also the first forward that new Green Bay head coach Linc Darner has landed so far this Spring.
Hurdle averaged 13.6 points per game his freshman year in Des Moines on 63.6% shooting from the floor. He also grabbed 6.6 rebounds and had nearly 2 blocks per game, helping lead DMACC to a 29-7 record.
This past season, he led the team in scoring at 14.9 points per game on 56.4% shooting and upped his rebounding to 8.1 per game. He also shot 71.6% from the free throw line and was named Second Team All-Region as his team had another solid season, going 28-7.
He played his high school basketball at Milwaukee Madison where he was named the team's MVP for three out of his four seasons. Hurdle was named Second Team All-Conference in the Milwaukee City Conference for the 2011-2012 season and was First Team All-Conference his senior season in 2012-2013.
The Phoenix still have 1 scholarship remaining for the 2015 season. There are several players Green Bay is in on, including Purdue transfer Bryson Scott, who visited Green Bay back on May 4th.
By: Brian Dickmann | 05-11-15
Photo via Daily Express
What a first season in Great Britain it was for former Green Bay star Rahmon Fletcher.
Fletcher, the former Phoenix point guard from 2007-2011, just completed a campaign that saw his Newcastle Eagles team win all four of the British Basketball League’s possible trophies this season.
He joined the Newcastle side after spending several seasons playing professionally in the Netherlands.
The Eagles won the Championship, given to the team with the best record at the end of the regular season, and also won both concurrent tournaments: the BBL Cup and the BBL Trophy.
In the BBL Cup, a single elimination (on home / away aggregate scores) tournament, they defeated the Glasgow Rocks 84-71 in the Final on January 11th and in the BBL Trophy, a single elmination tournament, they beat the Leicester Riders 96-90 in Final back on March 22nd.
Newcastle finished the regular season with a 31-5 record to win the Championship trophy and clinch the #1 seed in the Playoff. The Playoff Final took place Sunday at the O2 Arena in London and the Eagles were able to finish off a clean sweep of all four trophies by knocking off the London Lions 96-84 in front of nearly 15,000 fans.
Fletcher was named the MVP of the Final after scoring 23 points, dishing out 9 assists, and grabbing 6 rebounds in the winning effort.
He finished third in the league’s Player of the Year voting this season, scoring 13.2 points per game to go along with 6.3 assists and 2.4 rebounds.
By: Brian Dickmann | 05-03-15
Photo via Twitter
New Green Bay head coach Linc Darner has landed his first commitments as head coach of the Phoenix: Charles Cooper, a 6' 4" shooting guard, as well as twin brothers Anthony and Avery Brown from Minneola, Florida.
Cooper, a Gary, Indiana native, played the past season at Kaskaskia College in Centralia, Illinois and helped his team to a 23-9 record.
He is immediately eligible and will have two years of eligibility remaining.
He was Kaskaskia’s leading scorer this past season, scoring 18.8 points per game to go along with 4.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists per contest. In conference games, he shot 10-25 (40.0%) from three point land and upped his scoring average to 20 points per game.
An aggressive, athletic wing, he is capable of highlight reel dunks as well as stepping out and knocking down jump shots. He is also solid on the defensive end of the floor, an important aspect in Darner's system.
"Green Bay was a perfect fit for me because it wasn’t too far from home," Cooper told Prep Hoops Illinois. "A few schools in the conference were real close to home and that way my family can come see my play more often. I loved the facilities and the coaches. They have a new coach. His name is Coach Darner and he came from Florida Southern. He won a national championship there so he knows how to win.”
He will likely be expected to contribute right away next season.
Cooper chose Green Bay over scholarship offers from Arkansas-Little Rock as well as Southern Illinois, where he took an official visit over the weekend of April 18th. Cooper took an official visit to Green Bay the last week of April.
Anthony and Avery, identical twin brothers at Lake Minneola High School in Minneola, Florida, helped to lead their team to a 24-5 record this season.
Anthony Brown, a 6' 1" point guard, led the team this season in scoring (20.1 points), assists (5.3), and steals (3.5) per game and was 2nd on the team with 7.0 rebounds per game. He shot 55% from the floor and 75% from the free throw line. He had a scholarship offer from San Francisco as well as Green Bay.
His brother Avery, a 6' 2"guard, finished 2nd on the team in scoring at 18.3 points per game to go along with 5.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 2.2 blocks, and 2.1 steals per game. An explosive athlete, he recently won the high jump, triple jump, and long jump at the 3A District 6 track and field meet. Avery chose the Phoenix over scholarship offers from UNC-Wilmington, and Florida Gulf Coast.
Darner recently talked about his intentions to recruit players from the state of Florida and was successful in his first attempt at luring prospects from the Sunshine State to Green Bay.
"Now I've got great recruiting ties in Florida, spending 9 years there," Darner recently said during an appearance on the Bill Michaels Show. "I know there's unbelievable talent in the state of Florida and those kids want an opportunity to go Division I and it doesn't matter where it is, they will go.
"We have those opportunities to recruit down there now too."
The Phoenix now have two open scholarships available for the class of 2015. It is possible that Darner will choose to bank a scholarship for the class of 2016.
Other players Green Bay has been recruiting include Champlin Park, Minnesota's Jeremy Johnson.
Johnson scored 14.3 points per game this year, helping his high school team to a 31-1 record before falling just short in the state championship game. The 6' 4" guard is a bit raw but is versatile enough to play all three guard positions. He has seen his recruiting stock rise this Spring with scholarship offers coming from Green Bay, Milwaukee, North Dakota State, Denver, and Western Illinois.
The Phoenix are also in on Purdue transfer Bryson Scott.
The Fort Wayne News-Sentinel reported back on April 16th that Scott and Green Bay have "mutual" interest. The 6' 1" guard will transfer from the Boilermakers and have two seasons of eligibility remaining after sitting out next season due to NCAA transfer rules.
Besides Green Bay, Scott has interest from Jacksonville, Northern Kentucky, IUPUI, and his hometown IPFW.
Another player the Phoenix have an interest in, according to WisSports.net's Mark Miller, is Milwaukee Messmer senior Dallas Polk-Hilliard.
He had a breakout Junior season in 2013-2014, scoring 17.2 points and 8.1 rebounds per game en route to being named first-team all-conference in the Midwest Classic Conference.
He suffered injuries during his senior campaign which diminished his effectiveness and a took a toll on recruiting, but the 6'5" athletic wing still boasts scholarship offers from Radford, Colgate, and Nebraska-Omaha to go along with interest from North Dakota State, South Dakota State and Sam Houston State.
By: Brian Dickmann | 04-21-15
Photo via Stevens Point City Times
New Green Bay Phoenix head coach Linc Darner is wasting no time hitting the recruiting trail.
A week after being hired as the 7th head coach in program history, Darner offered his first class of 2016 scholarship to Trevor Anderson, a 6’ 1” point guard at Stevens Point Area High School (SPASH).
Anderson was named Player of the Year in the Wisconsin Valley Conference as a junior this past season, leading the Panthers to a 27-1 record and WIAA Division I state championship. SPASH beat Germantown in the championship game, 67-51, behind a game high 25 points from Anderson.
A silky-smooth shooter, he shot nearly 50% from beyond the three point line (49.6%) and made 87.9% of his free throws this past season. He led the Panthers in scoring at 23.0 points per game to go along with 5.0 assists, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.8 steals.
The WisSports.net scouting report on him says Anderson is a “quick, skilled guard who can stroke long-range jumpers or beat defenders off the dribble” and that he’s an “extremely accurate foul shooter who can put up points in a hurry.”
He seems to be a perfect fit for the high octane, fast-paced offense that Darner plans to run at Green Bay that relies on athletic players that are capable of scoring lots of points.
“It’s a great style,” Darner recently said in an appearance on the Bill Michaels Show. “Guys want to play that way, guys want to have freedom to be able to shoot and score. Everybody likes to score. When you score 85, 90 it gives a lot of guys the opportunity to score.”
“We’ll recruit guys that fit our style. We’ll recruit guys that can really shoot the ball."
Besides Green Bay, Anderson has also received scholarship offers from Drake, Lehigh, South Dakota State, and Toledo.
Landing a commitment from Anderson would go a long way towards solidifying the system that Green Bay will try to run. A floor general of his caliber to contribute and run the offense is critical.
It would also go a long way towards Darner establishing and building on recruiting relationships with high school programs in the state of Wisconsin.
“We want to recruit this area,” Darner said. “We want to recruit Wisconsin and get kids from Wisconsin to want to come.“