Sky Hoops with House
January 12, 2012

What’s happening Sky Fans! It was another great week in the world of Sky Hoops!

Today is January 12th That reminds me.... did you wish Piph a Happy Birthday yesterday!?... January 11. Piph turned 24!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY PIPH!

We are wishing Piph the very best of birthday’s this year and want to help lift her spirits, keeping Piph in our thoughts. Piph lost someone very; very close to her with the passing of Exodus AAU and Nazareth (NY) HS coach Apache Paschall. Piph and fellow WNBA player Kia Vaughn have taken it upon themselves to help raise funds for his services. That is leading with the heart and by example. Thank you Piph, be well.

SKY RIDER QUESTIONS:

Thank you Sky Riders for your great questions and for being so passionate about your team.

Wallace, a diehard and knowledgeable Sky Fan, had some specific questions on a few college prospects.

Great stuff... Please keep them coming and I will try to make sure I email you back!

I’ll also pick one or two questions to share with SFN each week. (SkyFanNation! I just made that up. Go ahead, use it... I don’t mind.)

DRAFT PROSPECTS

Q: Is Courtney Hurt a four or a three player? I have not seen her play before and reading stats alone is not a good judge on how a player performs on the court.

JH: Great question. Courtney Hurt is one of those developing all around players in a very good mid-major conference. It’s hard to put a position on her... 4, 5 sometimes 3. She is in a position at VCU where she can do a little of everything (shoot from the perimeter, score inside, rebound, run the floor, handle the ball some) because of her skill set and the school she plays at. Courtney can be dominant, leading the nation in rebounding (12.4 rpg) and double-doubles (25) in 2010 – 11. She is a 6'1 post player, with the ability to make some 16' jumpers and an occasional 3. Her game has expanded since last season and she is showing improved footwork at the high post and with her overall face up game. She is powerful - a tenacious rebounder with a nose for the ball. Keep an eye on her.

Q: Have you scouted Chay Shegog, Julie Wojta, or Amanda Johnson yet?

JH: EXCELLENT PROSPECTS TO BE KEEPING TABS ON! You have been doing your homework! I love it!

I have not seen Chay this year, but I will. I tried to recruit Chay when she was in high school (Brooke Point) and have seen her development over the years at North Carolina. Chay is having a tremendous senior season, averaging nearly a double-double with 17.9 ppg and 8.5 rpg – while shooting 54% from the field. She is seeing a great deal of defensive attention from other teams. At 6’5 she is a true back to the basket center that has improved her ability to pass the ball as well as continuing to finish around the basket.

Julie Wojta and Amanda Johnson are two highly skilled combo forward type players whom I haven't yet seen live. Another great thing... we are very fortunate to have a video system from Synergy Sports that has nearly every NCAA game data based. We have the ability to watch entire games or pull out all of the clips that involve just a certain player, or a certain player involved in a certain action (i.e. Amanda Johnson - pick roll as ball handler, Julie Wojta - pick and roll as roll player – stuff like that.) I have been watching so many clips as well as complete games I can’t wait to watch both Julie and Amanda and with this system it is amazing the stuff you can see!

Wojta dropped 24 on Illinois recently and I want to watch that game. She is interesting, very good but undersized playing the post. The interesting thing about her is her offensive skill set is that of a guard. She reminds me a little of Jenna O’Hea of the LA Sparks.

Amanda Johnson is a little bigger the Wojta, 6'2, similar type player and very good with the ball in her hands. She is more of a combo forward (4 / 3) and consistently hits mid and long range jumpers while averaging over 20 ppg and nearly 11 rpg through the first 9 games. We’ll see how she returns from her thumb injury (vs. Denver) and how that impacts her status amongst players being evaluated for the draft. There is no question the Ducks need her back in a bad way... they have gone 2-5 (0-5 on the road) since her injury after starting the season 7-2. I will also reach out to Cat Kraayveld (our resident Oregon Duck expert!) and get the inside 411 on her health progress.

DID YOU KNOW...Amanda is an incredibly smart person. She earned her undergraduate degree with a double major in only TWO YEARS? That is a little scary.

Thanks for the great, great NCAA prospect questions! There were some other free agent questions that I will share after the January 15th opening of the free agency period.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN...

I am currently out on the road for a few days.

I’ll knock out 1,102 miles on this trip: 4 stops in 3 days! Good stuff. I miss having my family with me... it would be a blast for them to come along. Everyone, especially our son, loves watching games with me – so he would love a long road trip. Plus, he’d shake me down for ice dream at Dairy Queen!

See if you can figure out my stops!

Thanks Sky Fans! Keep the emails coming. See you next week!

Click here to read last week's Hoops with House.