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.“
By: Brian Dickmann | 04-17-15
(Photo: Leon Halip / Getty images)
The Green Bay Phoenix men’s basketball program may soon have two former Purdue guards.
In addition to new head coach Linc Darner, who played for the Boilermakers from 1990-1994, the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel reports that there is “mutual interest” between Green Bay and Purdue guard Bryson Scott. The 6’ 1” Fort Wayne, Indiana native is transferring from Purdue after two seasons.
“Me and Coach Painter, we just didn’t see eye to eye,” Scott told the News-Sentinel. “It’s a good program. They’re in the Big Ten for a reason. It’s a good school. I wasn’t fit for the role that he wanted me to be in. I think we just had two different ideas on how to go about things. That’s why I decided to move on.”
Besides Green Bay, he has also received interest from IPFW, IUPUI, Jacksonville, and Northern Kentucky.
Scott was a 4-star recruit coming out of high school and was number 75 on Rivals top 150, including one of the ten best perimeter defenders in the country. He also scored 2,042 points in his prep career, ranking 33rd on Indiana’s all-time list and finished fourth in the state’s “Mr. Basketball” voting in 2013.
He was the first Purdue player to be named Big Ten Freshman of the Week twice during a rookie season that saw him appear in all 32 of the Boilermakers games, scoring 6.2 points and grabbing 2.6 rebounds in 15.7 minutes per game.
But over this past season he saw his role diminish, averaging just 10.7 minutes per game, scoring 3.8 points to go along with 1.6 rebounds. He did not appear in nine games this season, including 8 of Purdue’s last 20 games. He did not play in either of the team’s Big Ten Tournament games or the Boilermakers loss to Cincinnati in the NCAA Tournament.
Nathan Baird of the Indianapolis Star wrote that Scott “flashed athleticism and defensive intensity, but his offensive production and attention to detail on defense were inconsistent.”
Scott told the News-Sentinel that he is hoping to be more of a combo guard instead of a true point guard, which was his role at Purdue.
“Every school that’s offered me or talked to me is looking for me to be a primary scorer, a guy who can get to the basket, a guy who can do a variety of things -- get teammates involved,” Scott said. “That’s what I’m looking for. I want to play a bigger role in the program, and ultimately lead that program to the NCAA Tournament. Make a name for them and for me.”
Green Bay faces a large amount of roster turnover, which is common after a coaching change in college basketball. The Phoenix had 1 scholarship available before Darner took the helm, but now could potentially need to add 5 or more new players.
Freshman guard Daeshon Francis has already announced his intention to transfer, but a source told WBAY’s Chris Roth that he will not be allowed to transfer to any Horizon League school along with former head coach Brian Wardle’s new team, Bradley.
All 3 of Green Bay's signed recruits have asked for their release from their National Letters of Intent and will look to play elsewhere.
As for Bryson Scott, who will have two years of eligibility remaining after sitting out next season per NCAA transfer rules, the possibility to play right away in Green Bay should be appealing.
“I can finally get to a program where I can play a lot of minutes and be myself again,” Scott told the News-Sentinel. “Get back to the way I know how to play basketball.
“Right now I’m just chilling and trying to wait and see what is the right fit for me.”
By: Brian Dickmann | 04-14-15
Photo via Dairyland Express
It sounds like Phoenix freshman Daeshon Francis is leaving Green Bay. The 6’ 3” guard from Indianapolis tweeted (what sounds like) his intention to transfer on Tuesday afternoon shortly after word got out that Linc Darner would be taking over as head coach of the Phoenix.
Francis appeared in all 33 games for Green Bay this season, scoring 4.5 points, grabbing 2.1 rebounds, and contributed nearly an assist per game. His 13.5 minutes per game ranked 7th on the team.
He scored a career high 17 points, including a thunderous tomahawk jam, in a February 28th home victory over Oakland.
Francis was expected to be a starter and a big contributor to a rebuilding Phoenix team next season.
“Just wanna start by thanking the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay for giving me the opportunity to play D1 basketball for their program this season,” Francis wrote on Instagram. “[I] matured as a young man on and off the court thanks to our hard working coaching staff and supporting teammates.”
“Wishing the best for the guys and their careers, but it’s time to see what the future holds.”
Roster turnover is common when teams undergo coaching changes. Several players and recruits followed former Green Bay coach Tod Kowalczyk to Toledo in 2010 with a couple others transferring to other schools.
At least six players are transferring from former head coach Brian Wardle’s new team, Bradley.