GSK Tournament News

Probably the most interesting thing that happened was off the court the during the press conference with Word of God’s head coach. Erasto Hatchett, also Ryan Harrow’s brother-in-law, criticized the attitude of his players and the culture that has been at Word of God in previous years during a five minute opening “statement”. There is still speculation that Ryan may transfer mid-year to come to Word of God and play for one the most talented high school teams in the country according to Hatchett. However, after watching the press conference one has to wonder if that move makes sense.

Here are a couple of quotes from the N&O:

“At some point in time, we’ve got to understand there’s not an ‘I’ in team,” Hatchett said.

Hatchett went through each of the players sitting near him, describing them as talented, but with attitudes that will allow them to “self-destruct.” The only one of the four described as not having that sort of attitude, Joel Kindred, was described as joining a team with a detrimental persona that has started to rub off on him.

“I have a heck of a task at hand. And it hurts me to my soul that I feel like I have the most talented team in the country — and what they’ve been exposed to, and the way they’ve been able to kind of get things or feel like things should come easy to them through basketball is going to become a domino effect,” Hatchett said.

“And the game we used to know or have known it as is not going to be any longer. And that’s the truth of the matter.”

“And we’re missing it. We want the entertainment. We want the high-flying. We want the alley-oops and the dunks. And so do I, [but] there’s a way to do it,” Hatchett said.

“I know what I’m trying to give them and instill in these guys is right. Anyone who don’t believe it and anyone who don’t feel that way, then you’re a part of the problem as well. Period.”

I also got to hear Hatchett at Harrow’s signing day event earlier this Fall and I have to say that he is an impressive guy. Based on what he says, he sounds like he has his priorities straight and that he takes the game of basketball and his role has a coach very seriously. Assuming he can win at Word of God, then you have to wonder if he has a future at the college level.

On the court, Ryan Harrow scored 35 points in his team’s win over local school Raleigh Millbrook. After only scoring 6-8 points in the 1st half, Harrow erupted in the 2nd half by scoring 7 points in the final thirty seconds of the 3rd quarter. In the 4th, he continued pouring in points and saved his team from an upset after missing a shot, then tipping the ball one handed to a wide open teammate underneath the basket who scored the game winning bucket with only a few seconds left.

This wasn’t a great game for Harrow. He missed all five three point attempts and if he played well, then he could have easily scored 45-50 points. Instead, he only scored 35 points…when is the last time you could say an NC State commitment only scored 35 points?

This win set up a semi-final match up tonight at 7:20 pm against Kinston who has UNC commitment Reggie Bullock leading their team. Broughton HS’s gym will be packed. If you plan on going, then make sure you get there by 5 pm or else there is no guarantee you will get in the gymnasium. I would almost put this in the “can’t miss” category for local NC State fans despite NC State playing a home game against Winthrop at 7 pm in the RBC tonight.

At 5:40 pm, NC State commitment Luke Cothron’s team, Flora MacDonald, plays against United Faith Christian. These are two of the top private schools in the state and it should be an outstanding game. Cothron had 30 points and double digit rebounds yesterday in his team’s win. This was my first time seeing Cothron and in my opinion he is a better prospect than either of this year’s freshman forwards Painter and Howell. He is legitimately 6’8″, strong, and mobile. He has all the tools and he would be a perfect addition to next year’s team. Rumors from the tournament suggested that his commitment to NC State is solid though Tennessee and Alabama are making a run at him.

Basketball Recruiting General

36 Responses to GSK Tournament News

  1. Sw0rdf1sh 12/29/2009 at 10:24 AM #

    I personally hope that Hatchett has a few more years at the high school level. How often do you get to hear a high school coach talk like that in reference to high caliber players?

    Unfortunately he is in the minority with his mindset of nurturing a student athlete instead of just putting them on display and riding the media train for personal benefit. I’m not saying there are a ton of crappy high school coaches out there (am i?), but it is refreshing to see an understanding of what it takes to be an all around person….not just what it will take to be a superstar on the court.

    I think we are still solid with Luke as well, but Alabama could be intruiging to him since it is where he is orginally from. Let’s hope we keep him and wrap up CJL too!

  2. Daily Update 12/29/2009 at 10:39 AM #

    ^As far as Hatchett, what do Levi Watkins and Tony Bethel bring to the table that Hatchett doesn’t? In terms of managing players and pure coaching/teaching, then doesn’t he actually bring more to the table?

  3. D_Medlin 12/29/2009 at 10:43 AM #

    That press conference, without a doubt, was one of the most awkward things I have ever seen covering any sort of sporting event.

    There were about 15 people in the room and when Hatchett called out the reporter you could have heard a pin drop. I don’t think anyone really knew what to do or how to respond, much less how to continue questioning both Hatchett and the players at the press conference.

    I do agree with some of what Hatchett said, but I really think that is beside the point in this case. If you’re a head coach, really at any level, you shouldn’t lose your cool to the point of pretty much challenging a member of the media. There were definitely a few seconds where Hatchett was staring down the reporter, in somewhat of a threatening manner.

    Again, I don’t necessarily have a problem with Hatchett’s rant because, in many ways, he is 100% right. The recruiting meat market creates dangerous situations for high school players and he does have a job to do in preparing his players for life at the college level and beyond.

    It was a very interesting night, and that’s putting it lightly.

    In other somewhat ironic/hilarious news from GSK yesterday, there was a fight during the national anthem before the 9 p.m. game between what looked to be two high school students. I was thoroughly impressed by the man singing the anthem because the fight was in his line of sight and he didn’t miss a beat.

  4. Daily Update 12/29/2009 at 10:48 AM #

    ^Agree. He shouldn’t have gone as far as he did. But obviously he was pissed and pointed out that not even five minutes after his team’s game that tournament officials were knocking on the locker room door to get them into the media room. He has to handle these requests better as the Word of God coach, but then again he sees the circus that Word of God has become as the problem he is trying to fix.

    Interesting developments.

    What time do you guys who go to this every year suggest getting to the gym to make sure we get inside?

    I do not want to miss tonight’s games.

  5. D_Medlin 12/29/2009 at 10:55 AM #

    Just as a point of clarification, it was more than five minutes after the game.

    The Apex coach and players had their press conference before Hatchett and Co. made their way upstairs. One thing I think Hatchett also has to consider is that GSK is probably the only time all year that the media will be like it was last night.

    He has to think about that and just kind of suck it up.

  6. phillypacker 12/29/2009 at 11:06 AM #

    I put this in another thread but it seems like it belongs here. I wrote this before reading your thoughts on the press conference, D_Medlin. Your comments shed more light on this. I still stand by my comments. Thanks for your work on this, D_Medlin.

    Was the article that accompanies the video of the WOG coach’s press conference written by a high school kid? It is such a piss poor attempt at journalism, it must be. The headline says that the coach blames his team’s issues on the media. That is not at all what he says. He blames a whole system which includes ESPN and hacks like Nick Stevens, whoever he is. They are part of the problem but at no time does he say they are the problem. Stevens compares the coach’s comments to the Oklahoma State coach who went off a few years ago. His comments are nothing like that. Once WRAL was a solid news outlet. Is this how they are doing things now? If this is a fan blog, ok, but I don’t think much of that either. This coach is right. By instilling discipline in these kids and forcing them to care about fundamentals and coaching and learning life lessons, he may be helping to save them from having a poor future outside of basketball. When he says these kids can self destruct I totally believe him.

  7. Daily Update 12/29/2009 at 11:07 AM #

    D. Medlin: I don’t disagree in the short run. But maybe in the long run his players needed to hear it. We will see what happens the rest of the year.

  8. 61Packer 12/29/2009 at 11:15 AM #

    Could the Wolfpack add WOG to it’s non-conference schedule next season?

  9. Sw0rdf1sh 12/29/2009 at 11:36 AM #

    Hell, I loved that Ok State coaches rant too. Maybe I just love seeing passionate people taking something they care about to the limit. I know sometimes it can be at fault, and Medlin is right, it probably wasn’t a great all around moment for the Coach.

  10. D_Medlin 12/29/2009 at 11:39 AM #

    Daily Update:

    They definitely need to hear that, but not at a press conference and not in the manner they heard it.

    I do agree, though. Players like Leslie and co. need that sort of stuff.

  11. GAWolf 12/29/2009 at 11:49 AM #

    Media members who complain about people they accost with ridiculous questions going off on them is akin to cops who get angry at people who refuse to talk to them. It’s part of your job to deal with this sort of thing just as much as it’s possibly a part of the subject of the questions. Deal with it. Don’t take it personally. You’re no more entitled as a member of the media to information than any of the rest of us. Sometimes you have to work for it, and sometimes you’ll get scolded for it. That sort of thing is a part of every job out there. I’m not necessarily pointing this directly at you D_Medlin, but even you would have to admit that some media members act just as much like babies at times as some of the coaches/subjects who lose their mind.

  12. Daily Update 12/29/2009 at 11:56 AM #

    Gawolf: As a participant in the event, dealing with the media is a part of the coach’s responsibility. If the coach didn’t want to deal with the media, then the coach would be at the middle school level or would have pulled out of that tournament. Taking the WOG job has some inherent responsibilities because of the type of program that WOG is trying to build. At the same time, becoming the WOG coach is an incredible opportunity for someone looking to make a name for themselves. You have to take the good with the bad.

    The media has to be able to do their jobs and when you participate in one of the top HS tournaments in the country, then as a coach you have to help them do it.

  13. GAWolf 12/29/2009 at 12:04 PM #

    So isn’t the contrary true as well? Should a media member believe it his right to ask questions that are contrary to the obvious goals of the coach? As in, is it professionally okay for a member of the media to stir the pot and expect everyone else to just play along?

  14. Alpha Wolf 12/29/2009 at 12:11 PM #

    I have no problem whatsoever with a coach calling out a reporter.

    They may buy their ink by the barrel, but too many of the so-called professional journos are sanctimonious know-it-alls who think themselves above reproach. They don’t bother being fair-minded because they know better and they’ve already made up their mind how they are going to portray something — as sensationalistically as possible — beforehand.

    I could name names, but you already know them.

    It is refreshing to see a reporter get called down once in a while from someone in a position of authority. It’s harder to brush off, whether the reporter likes it or not. You or me, we’re just the unwashed masses and below their dignity.

  15. Pack05 12/29/2009 at 12:21 PM #

    I thought his response was fairly spot on. What I am really excited about is Ryan Harrow’s comments yesterday that he believes that CJ will be playing with him next year. Please let this happen!

    (trying hard to not get hopes to high)

  16. choppack1 12/29/2009 at 12:24 PM #

    Can someone give some background on what caused they tirade? Heck, I agree w/ most of what he said.

    As far as his ability to coach – time will tell. Plenty of coaches are tough guys who call kids out and plenty of those don’t succeed. However, the best coaches can do this type of thing and the team responds – and it’s usually because those kids realize that the coach actually cares about those kids and has their best interest at heart.

  17. D_Medlin 12/29/2009 at 12:26 PM #

    I do agree that it’s ok to call out a reporter, most certainly. And yes, some members of the media think they are above reproach for whatever reason, but Hatchett still fails in this instance.

    He is preaching about how much his kids need to have good attitudes and act in ‘acceptable’ ways as they live their lives but then he goes out and pretty much challenges the reporter, right in front of the same kids he was talking about ‘self-destructing’. That’s a mixed message if I’ve ever seen one.

    Again, I do agree with his main point and his right to say what he feels, but he took it just a bit too far.

  18. Pack05 12/29/2009 at 12:32 PM #

    Here is the link to ryan’s comments.. it’s at the 1:35 mark.

    Also, Cothron has some reassuring comments in the video as well about sticking with the Pack and signing in the spring.

  19. packalum44 12/29/2009 at 1:37 PM #

    Although most of my criticisms have been fair, I really really really hope I eat all my negative comments about Lowe next year. The team will be stacked with Brown, Harrow, Smith, Leslie, and Howell/Cothron in the starting lineup with talented role-players off the bench including: Woods, Painter, Vandenburg, Davis, Javi, Mays, Williams. Wow. That’s a team that could compete for a Final Four.

    Please end the curse V and let these chips fall into place…

  20. choppack1 12/29/2009 at 2:19 PM #

    packalum – we should probably take a wait and see attitude.

    going into this year, I’m sure a lot of folks thought the starting lineup would be Mays, Lorenzo Brown, CJ Williams, Howell (or Painter) and Tracy Smith…

    We see how that turned out.

    Based on what I’ve read on Harrow, I’m not sure he’ll be able to force out an improving Javi Gonzalez from the starting line-up next year.

    If he makes the grades, I think Brown stands an excellent chance of being our starter at the 2 spot. Neither CJ Leslie or Cothron have signed on the dotted line. As such, it’s really premature to pencil them in for a starting spot.

  21. Rick 12/29/2009 at 2:42 PM #

    “What time do you guys who go to this every year suggest getting to the gym to make sure we get inside?”

    You better get there before 5. Probably before 4:30.

    I do not see Harrow starting over Javi.

  22. Greywolf 12/29/2009 at 3:01 PM #

    ^ “I do not see Harrow starting over Javi.” Is this the same Javi who was judged by many to not be an ACC caliber player? 😉

    “The headline says that the coach blames his team’s issues on the media.”

    Headlines are not written by the reporter. ALL HLs are written by a “Headline writer” and are written for the sole purpose of drawing the reader’s attention to the article. Example: Less than 1% of the student body at UNX was once referred noted in a HL as “Masses Boycott Classes.”

  23. Daily Update 12/29/2009 at 3:15 PM #

    Anyone who envisioned Mays starting over Javi I would have to question their basketball IQ. I also wouldn’t have seen any starting lineup that didn’t include Dennis Horner.

  24. packalum44 12/29/2009 at 3:24 PM #

    Believe me Chop, I know. Its more a prayer than an expectation.

    Please do share what you’ve read on Harrow that leads you to think he’ll sub for Javi? To the contrary, everything I’ve read and seen tells me he’s the next Jeff Teauge of the ACC if not better.

    Javi will do well as a senior coming off the bench with a gifted 2 guard to help him break the press. We won’t be a one trick pony next year whether CJ and Cothron come or not.

  25. Rick 12/29/2009 at 3:59 PM #

    ” Is this the same Javi who was judged by many to not be an ACC caliber player?”


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