Sunday, September 21, 2014

New Gannon Season, New Gannon Hoops Features

You might have noticed a new-look Gannon Hoops website, and I certainly hope you like it. The only negative feedback I received was from "Gary M." who wanted the color scheme changed to blue and green instead. No can do, sir. We bleed maroon and gold.

Not only has the look changed, but we've added some new features that I hope will enhance your Golden Knight experience this season. The features are all located on the right hand side of the page, and I'll run them down for you here:
  • Search This Blog: If there's a past post or blast-from-the-past name you want to look for, just enter your data in the open field, hit the "Search" button, and the results will show up at the top of the page. 
  • Popular Posts: This lists the most popular recent posts in case you're curious what your fellow Golden Knight fans are reading. I would have listed the all-time most popular posts here, but I don't expect in the near future we'll surpass the 2,641 views of the "Cleve Will Leave" post from April 29, 2013.
  • Total Pageviews: Thanks to your support, as of today the Gannon Hoops site has received nearly 400,000 page views. When I first started this blog, I thought the only readers might be Rick "Stats" Klapthor, Steve Piotrowicz's dad, and my family, but the Gannon community has certainly shown great interest in their Knights. Thank you again!
  • Related Links: This is my favorite new addition. You'll now be one click away from the official Gannon men's basketball website, the Gannon men's basketball Twitter feed, the PSAC men's basketball web page, a popular Atlantic Region basketball message board, the Division II men's basketball web page, and the NCAA Division II Regional Rankings. That should give you the entire information landscape of Gannon basketball. If you have any other sites to suggest adding here, please let me know. (And, no Gary M., we won't link to the Mercyhurst men's basketball page from here, so don't even bother asking.)
I haven't paid as much attention to the Gannon basketball Twitter feed as I should have, but I'm glad I found this video on there recently. It's appropriately titled "2014-2015 Gannon Basketball Hype" and professionally executes on showing pretty much every dunk and big basket from last season. You'll want to watch it again and again -- I already have. I'd like to give a high five to whoever is behind A Level 5 Movement, producer of the video.


Friday, September 12, 2014

New Knight: Isaiah Eisendorf fr. F 6-5 215

I was talking with a longtime Gannon fan this week, and we both voiced optimism about the upcoming season. Our only concern is how the incoming players will fit. Will they adjust to John Reilly's defense-and-rebounding-or-else approach? Do they have the work ethic necessary to compete on the Division II level? Will they be team players -- do they have the right attitude to fit with Blazek, Porter, Thomas-Edwards and company?

After researching Isaiah Esiendorf, I have zero reservations about him fitting in. I think this excerpt from a Feb. 18 Washington Post article reveals why Reilly recruited him: 

"Late in the first quarter, Eisendorf drew the defense from below the basket and found Aaron Robinson with a perfect feed to set up an easy layup. He jumped, hollered and clapped ferociously, a relative emotional explosion inspired by a perfectly executed team-first moment. … Eisendorf’s rebounds, disciplined defense and unabating hustle — along with a team-high 19 points — sparked Springbrook) to its ninth straight win. 

“He’s our glue,” Springbrook Coach Tom Crowell said. “He brings energy every game, leading rebounder every game, and he’s been scoring a lot lately . . . Isaiah is a beast.”

Eisendorf helped set up many of the Blue Devils’ buckets he didn’t score himself, whether by going a step or two more in pursuit of a loose ball, enticing an offensive rebound away from a Knight, or making an extra pass. As with his first-quarter assist, he reacted most vehemently to those less glamorous plays — hardly shifting his facial expression when he beat the third-quarter buzzer, but nearly clapping his hand off when a teammate finished after he made a tough save-to-outlet pass.

“Honestly, I get most pumped up when we score a tough basket,” Eisendorf said. “That’s all that matters to me. I try to do the things that aren’t getting done — if we need rebounds, I try to get rebounds. If it’s defense, I’ll try to step up on defense. I just try to do whatever we need."

I don't even need to see tape to know if this kid is Reilly's (and my) kind of player. I'd have offered him a scholarship just on attitude alone!

Before I get to Eisendorf's basketball abilities, I have to spend a paragraph on his stepfather, Norman Chad. You might recognize Chad as ESPN's top poker commentator, a guest host on Pardon The Interruption, or for his syndicated sports column that appears in the Washington Post, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Cleveland Plain Dealer, and a dozen other newspapers. To get a sample of his writing talent, check out this column Chad penned about Eisendorf and his high school basketball team. The guy can make words dance. I have to admit I'm concerned Chad will attend a Gannon game this year, write about it, and then all the Gannon Hoops followers will realize what a hack I am. So if you see this man taking notes during a Golden Knight game, I implore you to steal his pen. Thank you.

Here's more information on Eisendorf, some of it courtesy of the Gannon Sports Information Department:
* Let's go to the videotape first. Here's his high school highlight tape from YouTube. You have to love a tape that includes both dunks and deflections.
* Watching him on film, he reminds me a lot of former Knight Alphonso Scandrett (2008-10), a reserve forward on that 30-4 Gannon team that advanced to the Elite 8 in 2009. Scandrett wasn't a giant or a giant scorer, but he was always around the ball, diving on the floor, and making sound decisions. Guys like that help make a bunch of players into a team.
* Here's how the DMVelite prospect report describes Eisendorf's skills: "Eisendorf is strong and athletic with toughness that is contagious. Volume rebounder and is always at the rim rebounding and defending. Has some perimeter skills and can create for other. Must work on overall skill as well as shooting to transition to the wing. Would benefit from spending a year or two at a quality prep or juco, will make him a low D1 prospect."
* Eisendorf also posted a series of individual workout tapes on YouTube.
* Was a standout both on and off the court at Springbrook High School in Silver Spring, Md.
* An honor roll member, he received the Student-Athlete Award, Versatility Achievement Award, and African American Achievement Award.
* His senior year he averaged 12.5 ppg, earning honors as team MVP, all-county second team, and All-Met honorable mention.
* According to this stat sheet from his senior year, 110 of his 112 field goals were two-pointers, and he made 65.7% of his foul shots.
* Springbrook won regionals and advanced to the state semifinals.
* Posted a season high 25 points and 15 rebounds in a 74-38 drubbing of Churchill.
* Scored 20 or more points in four games.
* Dominated in a win over Wheaton, tallying 19 points and 15 boards.
* According to this Baltimore Sun article, he totalled 11 points and 20 rebounds in Springbrook's Class 4A North Regional semifinal victory over a despondent Dulaney team.
* Scored 14 points in Springbrook's state semifinal loss to Henry A. Wise HS.
* His steal and nearly full court pass made the Washington Post's top plays in this video.
* If I was related to Eisendorf, I'd pay the Gannon Hoops blogger a ton of money to cover small college basketball for ESPN I would buy this sweet Getty Images photo of Isaiah's one-handed floater in the lane and turn it into a poster. But since I'm not a relative, I'll just link to the photo here.
* Played both basketball and football at Springbrook.
* This web page from May 14 lists him as a football recruit for the University of San Diego. Eisendorf is listed as a freshman tight end for the Toreros. And here's a pic of him signing his letter of intent to play football at USD. I'm not sure what happened, but this gives me confidence he'll be able to bang with other bigs in the PSAC.
* According to this article, he appeared in an adidas TV commercial, but I couldn't find it on YouTube despite watching a bunch of clips. So let's just pretend I came across the commercial and that Eisendorf is NBA star Damian Lillard.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Knights Announce Recruits, Returnees

Gannon announced its recruits and returnees for the 2014-15 season, and the good news is there aren't any giant surprises. First let's look at the list of recruits (with links to Gannon Hoops profiles on each player):
* Tony Boykins jr. G 6-3 190
* Jean Yves Toupane jr. F 6-7 195
* Dan Kaigler fr. F 6-6 195
* Adam Holm-Weber fr. PG 6-1 180
* Isaiah Eisendorf fr. F 6-5 215

The only real surprise out of that bunch is that Marc Fabricius, a 6-foot-7 freshman who was Holm-Weber's teammate in Denmark by way of Alexander Basketball Academy (Md.), was not on Gannon's official list. Fabricius was announced by ABA as a Golden Knight recruit before Holm-Weber's commitment was made public. I'll try to find out more of what happened with Fabricius, but right now Google isn't my friend. The first link in the search for "Marc Fabricius basketball" yields a result that says, "Marc Fabricius has accepted a basketball scholarship from Gannon University for the 2014-15 academic year."

I had not profiled Eisendorf, but I had been told a freshman forward from the D.C. area had committed to the Knights. The name I was told was "Eisenberg," and I knew this guy wasn't going to be a Golden Knight. When I build Eisendorf's profile, expect this YouTube highlight video to be part of his Gannon Hoops bio.

Six returning lettermen plus three redshirts will also make up  the Gannon roster this year: seniors Adam Blazek, Girbran Smith, Raphell Thomas-Edwards, and A'Darius Porter were all starters for last year's 20-10 club. They'll be joined by redshirt senior Rich Austin (who sat out last year after transferring from Lake Erie College), junior walk-on Cory Bailey, sophomore Matthew Dogan, and redshirt freshmen Brandon Domenick and Marcus Jones.

Only two underclassmen who were on last year's roster at the end of the season will not suit up for Gannon: Aleksandar Malinic and Nolan Woodward. I'm not sure of Malinic's whereabouts, but Malinic is on the roster at Kankakee (Ill.) Communicy College (thanks Gannon Hoops follower Corey for the tip) while Woodward is rumored to have transferred to American International College (Mass.)

Now the questions to ask are who will redshirt and who will be part of the rotation. I'm not even going to try to predict the redshirts; last year the Knights elected to redshirt a senior transfer (Austin) which I didn't see coming at all.

For the rotation, you'd have to assume Blazek, Smith, Thomas-Edwards, and Porter will log the majority of minutes based on history. I would also guess that the third big to rotate in with RTE and Porter would be Austin. Dogan should see playing time at the small forward -- he started at the three at the beginning of last season and was GU's leading scorer in the season finale vs. East Stroudsburg -- but I would guess one of the newcomers will also get some minutes here. A third guard will be added to the mix, but they should not expect to see lots of playing time. In the playoffs last year, Smith averaged about 30 minutes of action per game while Blazek played whenever the clock was running (e.g. 50 minutes vs. Slippery Rock, 45 minutes vs. West Chester in PSAC OT games).

Gannon fans can't be disappointed with this roster. It's balanced in terms of bigs vs. guards and upperclassmen vs. freshmen/sophomores. Go Knights!

Updated 9/7/14: For the first time in 350 posts and five years, I updated the look of the Gannon Hoops website. I wanted it to look all nice and spiffy when CBS does its research on Gannon for the Elite 8 in March. Let me know what you think.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Gannon Releases Schedule, Porreco Cup Run Is Over

Gannon announced its 2014-15 men's basketball schedule today, and what's most noteworthy is what is not on the list of games. For the first time in 40 seasons, GU will not host a tournament near the Christmas holiday. Eliminating the Porreco Cup gives the Knights more flexibility in their schedule and allows them to open their season against non-PSAC foes. As I wrote in this blog post last year, "I don't see who it's serving keeping the Porreco Cup in December. With home tournaments in late November and December, the Knights force themselves to play league games right off the bat, so it doesn't benefit the players or coaches." Instead of moving up the cup to open the season, Gannon eliminated the home tournament altogether and simply renamed the home contest vs. Mercyhurst "The Porreco Game."

I won't get into too much detail in this post about the schedule -- because Gannon SID Dan Teliski's analysis in the press release is superb -- but here are 5 parts of the schedule that have me fired up already:

1. Nov. 8 -- Gannon at Siena (exhibition). The game won't count in the standings, but I'm always thrilled when Gannon gets a shot at a Division I foe. Siena won 20 games a year ago but also lost 18, so this will be a good test for the Knights. I hope it will be more like when they played Dayton close in 2009 (losing by 8) and not the 69-44 drubbing Pitt put on them 10 years ago.

2. Nov. 14-15 -- PSAC/MEC Challenge at Glenville State. I'm actually more nervous than excited for the season-opening games against Mountain East opponents Glenville and Charleston, both who qualified for the NCAAs last season. The pessimist in me says Gannon could be eliminated from hosting the regional tournament just 26 hours into the season. The optimist in me says the Knights could establish themselves as an Atlantic Region heavyweight with a strong showing at this event.

3. Nov. 28 vs. Le Moyne (Gary Miller Classic) and Feb. 18 at Le Moyne. A home-and-home with a former Mideast Collegiate Conference rival? That's tremendous! If Gannon hadn't canned the Porreco Cup, the second game vs. the Dolphins and the Dec. 13 home game vs. Shepherd wouldn't have been possible. Can we figure out a way for both GU and LC to honor their 1987-88 teams during halftime of those games? Le Moyne won the MCC tourney at Gannon that year and returned to the Hammermill the following weekend where Gannon captured the NCAA East Regional title.

4. March 25-28 -- NCAA Elite 8 at Evansville, Ind. When Tom Chapman coached Gannon, he made sure the Elite 8 was always listed on the Gannon schedule. I like the expectation it sets for the program. I'm not reserving a hotel room in Evansville yet, but I'm excited to know Gannon has plans to be there.

5. There are no dregs on the schedule. Every game this season will be against a Division II school. No Penn State-Allegheny or Penn State-DuBois (Edinboro opponents next season) or any other non-conference cupcakes. Gannon's independent schedule includes 2014 NCAA entrants Glenville, Charleston, and Le Moyne, plus 20-game winner Shepherd (last year's Porreco Cup champ), and 24-5 Alderson-Broaddus. If GU makes the NCAAs this year, they will have earned it for sure.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Potential New Knight: Dan Kaigler fr. F 6-6 200

When Gannon signs a freshman big man who starred in high school, the skeptic in me always asks the same questions, "Could he be great for Gannon, too, or was he just a man among boys? How will he fare against players his size or taller? How about guys who weigh 30 pounds or more?" With 6-foot-6 forward Dan Kaigler likely to join the Knights ( says he will), I wonder those same questions, but the optimist in me asks one more after watching his senior year highlight tape: "Could we see the return of the Jammermill?"

I implore you to watch the entire 6-minute, 40-second video of Kaigler in action, but if you can't for some reason, then take 15 seconds to check out the steal and thundering slam at the 5-minute mark. Even Darrell Blanton would have admired that one.

Here's my 6-part assessment of Kaigler after watching his highlight tape:
1. Has a good midrange game, shoots an over-his-head jumper that's hard to defend
2. Can also shoot the three with that same smooth stroke
3. Moves easily and controls his body well for a big man
4. He loves to dunk -- who doesn't? -- and gets above the basket with two hands when he goes to the rim
5. Shares the ball when needed, doesn't panic when doubled
6. Would instantly be the best shot blocker on the Gannon team the moment he steps onto the court

If you think I'm overstating point #6, check out this part of Kaigler's highlight reel. I really feel bad for a kid whose shot gets thrown into the curtain on the stage while attempting a layup over the big man.

Point #6 made me think if I was going to say he could be the best shot blocker in a Gannon uniform since ____, whose name would I fill that blank with? The last time a GU player blocked 80 or more shots in a season, MC Hammer was recording his debut album. Kyle Goldcamp had 79 blocks in 2007-08, but I don't think any of us regard him as a big-time shot blocker. John "Shanghai" Matthews (123 blocks in 1985-86, 101 in 1986-87) and Craig Dixon (91 in 1983-84) may be the only Knights I regard as true shot blockers. All that said, I'd like to see someone in maroon and gold who can clean up inside when guards get beat off the dribble.

Here's more info on Kaigler:
* I'll start with the most important fact for longtime GU fans: Former LeMoyne standout Len Rauch was his AAU coach and Jack Rauch, Len's son, was Kaigler's teammate, according to this article. The gist of the article is that Kaigler led his team to an AAU national championship but to me that pales in comparison to knowing that he has connections to my all-time favorite Gannon opponent.(Side note: The resemblance between the senior Rauch and the junior Rauch is uncanny.)
* Averaged 17 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 blocks as a senior.
* Kaigler's Bishop Ludden (N.Y.) teams enjoyed unparalled success during his four varsity seasons. Ludden won three straight section championships, two regional championships, and the New York Class A state title in 2012.
* Was an all-Central New York selection for three years.
* Was voted Central New York Player of the Year in a fan poll. I like that the writer points out the poll attracted 6,000 more voters than the most recent Syracuse mayoral election.
* Led his team with 14 points in his final high school game, a loss in the Class A state tournament regional finals.
* In his team's last win of the season at regionals, he led the way with 19 points and 12 rebounds.the
* Allegedly, this is a video of him scoring his 1,000th career point about halfway through his senior campaign. I couldn't watch the video because it's asking for me to sign in with my Time Warner Cable ID or to order Time Warner cable. That's the opposite of convenient.
* This article does a nice job -- at least a better job than Time Warner -- of giving insight into Kaigler's 1,000th pont.
* Was named All-Central New York player of the year as a junior after averaging 14.5 ppg, 10 rpg, 4 apg, and 2.5 bpg.
* In this early season game from his junior year between "megapowers" Ludden and Jamesville-Dewitt, he led his squad to victory with 21 points.
* Scored 9 points as Bishop Ludden claimed the the sectional championship his junior year.
* Scored 20 points during a loss in the state semifinals as a junior.
* This article from his junior year said Kaigler was being recruited by schools from the DI Patriot League and MAAC. 
* In the sectional title game as a sophomore, he led the Gaelic Knights with 12 points, 12 rebounds, and 3 blocked shots.
* This article talks about Kaigler and a teammate competing to see who had the most dunks their sophomore season. I did that same thing with a teammate when I was in high school. It was a tie. In fact, I could have that same competition with Danny Devito over the span or our entire lives, and we'd tie at zero.
* There are some great quotes about Kaigler in this 2012 article and video from Just a sophomore, it was great to hear his coach say, "He just won an Ace leadership award through the school, so Dan has it in perspective of getting the academics first and athletics second."
* Geez -- the state legislature can really make winning a state championship seem boring.
* This link takes to you a MaxPreps page on Kaigler. It includes lots of photos and lists him as the #23 prospect in New York.
* For even more photos of Kaigler in action, follow this link.
* Here's a quick 2013 TV studio interview with Kaigler, his coach and his teammates.

Bonus material for fans who read this entire post: I came across some recent rec league footage of Darrell Blanton. He's turning roller rinks and playgrounds into the Jammermill!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Potential New Knight: Tony Boykins jr. G 6-2 180

I thought I was on top of every potential new Knight this off season. I've already featured St. Bonaventure transfer Jean Yves Toupane plus freshmen Marc Fabricius and Adam Holm-Weber. I'd heard from more than one source that Gannon was going to land a player from Sweden and a 6-foot-7 freshman from the D.C. area, and because I couldn't find information on them, I was just waiting for the official release from the school. While trying to find the names of those last two players, I Googled "gannon basketball signing" and was surprised by the third result on the first page.

It said "Boykins Signs With NCAA Division II Gannon University." When you follow that link, you learn that on April 30 Tony Boykins, a guard from Owens Community College in Perrysburg, Oh., signed to play for the Knights next season. Why haven't I heard this rumor yet? Was he not accepted to the school? Was there a change of heart? Or are Gannon fans (and me) asleep at the switch of the rumor train for nearly 4 months?

Let's assume this was a wake-up call and that Boykins will be a future Golden Knight. Here's some background on the 6-foot-2 guard:

* Played his first two years of college ball at Owens, an NJCAA Division II squad.
* This link will connect you to an interview with Boykins and OCC coach Keith Raine discussing the Gannon signing. Raine says, "He exemplifies everything that we try to preach. He got it done in the classroom -- he'll have over a 3.3 GPA when he graduates."
* As a sophomore team captain, averaged 8.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg, and 1 apg while starting all 31 games.
* Shot 47% from the field including 26.4% on threes (19-for-72) while playing 25 minutes a game.
* Connected on just 54.5% of his free throws (42-for-77).
* Scored a season-high 20 points in a 117-109 loss vs. Kalamazoo Valley CC. Made 7-of-14 field goals and all 5 of his free throw attempts.
* Exploded for 19 points on 7-of-14 shooting during an 84-76 win at Columbus State CC.
* He only scored 8 points during a Jan. 10 victory vs. the University of Akron Club team, but you've got to check out the box score from this 104-36 whipping. The score at halftime was 56-13, and Akron shot 5.3% from behind the arc.
* Was held to single digits for scoring in 19 games.
* His team finished 25-6 overall and tied for the OCCAC (Ohio Community College Athletic Conference) championship with an 11-1 record.
* Five players from Owens' team last year have signed to play at four-year colleges including Bikramjit Gill at Division I Ball State.
* Prior to his sophomore season, he was selected to play in the Mullens Junior College Showcase in St. Louis.
* As a freshman, averaged 9.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg and 1.1 apg and was named honorable mention All-OCCAC.
* The Express posted a 26-10 mark, advancing to the NJCAA Final Four.
* This workout tape of Boykins I found on YouTube offers interesting stats: a 6-foot-7 wingspan and a 36-inch vertical jump. 
* Starred at Loy Norrix High School in Kalamazoo, Mich.
* Was a first team all-Southwest Michigan Athletic Conference guard as a senior.
* This link says he scored 357 points as a high school senior, but it doesn't say over how many games. If we assume 25, that's about a 14 ppg average.
* This web page from MaxPreps says Boykins averaged 15.4 ppg and 8.1 rpg over 23 games as a senior.
* This article about Loy Norrix's division-clinching victory shows Boykins has passion for the game. It also features this paragraph: "The Blue Devils buried 8 of 14 shots in the third quarter to wipe out a 30-28 halftime deficit and take a 49-41 lead into the final frame. But Boykins & Co. weren't done yet. The 6-2 Boykins outscored Gull Lake by himself, 8-7, in the fourth."
* And you know John Reilly will adore this quote from that same article: "Boykins said that the Knights' ability to get stops reversed their fortunes. 'Defense, (taking) charges and discipline,' he said."
* This video from that same game shows Boykins scoring the game's final point before the crowd storms the floor.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Potential New Knight: Jean Yves Toupane jr. F 6-7 185

For years I've heard Gannon basketball rumors from a variety of sources including friends, family, former GU players, co-workers, blog commenters, and anonymous emailers. Now I have one to add to the list: ESPN.

According to ESPN college basketball writer Jeff Goodman, junior forward Jean Yves Toupane (pronounced jawn two-PAIN) has transferred from Division I St. Bonaventure to Gannon. That rumor has been floating around for a while including on a Bonaventure message board and in the Olean Times Herald.

Toupane's stats during his two years of Division I play are rather pedestrian (18 total points scored), but his bio is anything but boring. A native of Senegal, he was first discovered by U.S. scouts while participating in the Sports for Education and Economic Development (SEEDS) program in Africa. He went on to earn MVP honors of both the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program in Africa and the Jordan Brand international game in 2010. His final year of high school play, he was named one of the top 100 small forward college prospects in the U.S. by Gannon-rumor-starter ESPN.

Before we talk more about Toupane's basketball ability, let's look at a little Gannon history. I believe only one other player who hailed from Africa has suited up for the Knights. Akol Tong, a 7-foot-3 reserve center and native of the Sudan, played for Gannon from 1987-91. "Footer" was a Hammermill fan favorite despite limited playing time. Now back to Toupane:

* Played 6 games as a sophomore, registering 4 points (0.7 ppg) and 1 rebound in 11 minutes of play.
* Saw action in 7 games his freshman year, scoring 14 points (2.0 ppg). In 30 minutes of action, he grabbed 4 rebounds and made 3-of-8 three-pointers.
* Scored a career-high of 7 during a 92-73 loss at NC State on Dec. 22, 2012. Hit on a pair of three-pointers and a free throw vs. the Wolfpack.
* If you really want to break down his stats, this web page from DraftExpress will do that for you.
* This is the press release from his signing with Bona back in 2011. Bonnie head coach Mark Schmidt said, "Jean is a long, athletic player with great skills. He can really score the ball from the wing and we're excited to have him join us."
* This string from a Bonaventure message board is an interesting read for a few reasons, most notably a nugget that he was being recruited by Georgia, USC, and Bradley before committing to SBU.
* Before Bonaventure, Toupane played at Lee Academy, a prep school in Lee, ME. This web page gives some background on the Lee program and lists alums playing collegiately. I didn't recognize any of the players, but the schools include Oregon State, Colorado, UMass, SMU, Texas A&M, LaSalle, Fordham, and PSAC foe Millersville. (Side note: That list made me think of this Sesame Street song.)
* This article in the New England Recruiting Report says, "Jean Yves Toupane is a long and athletic swingman who knows how to put the ball in the basket." Another NERR article describes him this way: "Toupane is a long and skilled perimeter forward with a soft shooting touch from long range and a knack for scoring the basketball. His jumper comes complete with a high release that allows him to get it off with very little separation from his defender."
* NERR named him one of the Top 20 players in the New England Region in 2012. I didn't think that meant much -- Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island, and New Hamphire aren't exactly basketball factories -- until I saw other names on that list included recent NBA first round draft picks and NCAA finalists Mitch McGary and Nik Stauskas, current Detroit Piston Andre Drummond, and University of Arizona big man Kaleb Tarczewski.
* I couldn't find any revealing video on Toupane. This YouTube snippet is from his days at Lee Academy; he is #44 in blue.
* This second clip from some Lee game action offers little value besides Toupane's three-pointer at the 4:15 mark and that Lee's offensive strategy gave me a skull-splitting headache. Pass the ball! Move the ball! Swing the ball!
* OK -- I can't end on that note. Let's conclude with my citing NBA journeyman Ronny Turiaf's personal website that mentions Toupane. I predict we will never do that again.