CALGARY, Alta. — For the third season in a row, we turn to the fans to hand out some hardware.
Starting at the end of February, and stretching into the first week of April, the College Court Report Player and Freshman of the Year Fan Votes take place. It’d be easy for us to sit back and hand out awards on our own, but admittedly so, it’s tough for us to watch every single game each season.
We may miss something that others saw, and may not get a full 360 look at a player. So, is there anyone better than the fans to hep pick two major awards?
The answer is simple. No.
We look at every player not on the roster at a power conference school, and narrow down the field. From there, it’s up to the fans to pick the winners in a bracket-style format.
It’s a unique way for fans to show their support for their beloved student-athletes. However, it’s tough to please everyone.
Each year, we get messages and comments from fans all across the country, expressing concerns surrounding the contest and their favourite players being properly represented.
As the Owner of College Court Report, I fully respect and understand each and every comment and concern around the challenge. I personally take the time to answer each one as best as I can.
He may be a graduate transfer who can lead his new team to the NCAA Tournament, but he is also a symbol for Dayton, Ohio.
“I play with passion. I play with a chip,” said Alstork, a Dayton native and former star at Wright State, on Watching with Wesner. “You can tell when someone is from where I’m from, how they play and the passion they play with.”
Alstork is one of the most talented scorers left on the transfer market; he averaged 19 points per game and scored 27 plus points on 7 separate occasions last season.
Last week he narrowed his list to four teams, leaving Illinois, LSU, Pittsburgh and South Carolina as potential suitors.
Throughout the month, Alstork has been frequently posting on social media, chronicling his experiences and campus visits. The 6’5” scoring guard has an altruistic reason for his persistent Snapchat videos and tweets.
“I wanted to take my people from Dayton, Ohio, who have supported me from day one. I wanted them to be with me in the process,” he said. “They have been with me for this long. I don’t want them to feel like that I am going to change up on them or that I am not going to continue to be the same person I am. I’m never going to change who I am.”
Alstork did not want to transfer from Wright State. After all, as a hometown product playing at a local university, the benefits were abundant. However, being a part of the Raiders became toxic.
“During the season, I went through a time with myself that a lot of people don’t get out of. I was frustrated with some of the things — Some of the things at Wright State wasn’t normal,” Alstork recalled. “I actually didn’t want to leave, to be honest. I wanted to stick it out and try to become an NBA player from Wright State.
“It’s not easy leaving your family and friends,” said Alstork. “They can be looking forward to watching me play two times a weekend. It’s a place to come and be happy and smile and enjoy life.”
Two values of importance to Alstork is faith and family. As the son of a preacher, a relationship with God was forged early on — one that has not weakened with age.
“Faith and prayer is a huge part of me being who I am and continuing to be in God and continuing to grow a relationship in God,” he said. “I know God leads my life.”
For many student-athletes, athletics and academics dominate. Add being a transfer with a plethora of top-tier options and a disconnection from core values can occur.
This was not the case with Alstork.
“I know exactly the reason why I am on this earth,” said the 2016-17 Horizon League first teamer. “It has nothing to do with me and it has all to do with God.”
Six visits and fourteen flights later and the memories of a lifetime have been given to Alstork and his family.
“The most memorable moment for me was being able to have my mother and brother there the whole time,” said Alstork. “I’m just glad, I’m able, that God has allowed me to be in this position in my life. I never would have thought that this would happen again. The opportunity that I am having is straight from God.”
Three years after receiving a release from Ball State, Mark Alstork will call one final school home. Another decision must be made; but, with it, perspective and advice will be given to aspiring basketball players in Dayton.
“I’ve had some people hitting me up,” said the Thurgood Marshall High School product. “Older kids who say, ‘You motivate me. You aspire me. Your work ethic speaks for itself. And no matter who gets you, you’re not going to change.’”
Alstork confirmed he will tweet to the college basketball world his decision tomorrow, exclusively on Twitter.
With his decision, one major domino for next season will fall and one team will be closer to a trip to the Big Dance.
While the Notre Dame Fighting Irish only signed one recruit to their class of 2017, the Irish got the ball rolling early as they secured a commitment from class of 2018 four-star point guard, Prentiss Hubb.
The on-court success of the Irish seems to be transpiring on the recruiting trail, as Notre Dame has been starting to secure some blue chip recruits. Demetrius Jackson led the way, followed by soon-to-be sophomore T.J. Gibbs, incoming freshman D.J. Harvey and now Hubb.
Hubb’s commitment marks the second straight recruit Head Coach Mike Brey has landed from the state of D.C in two years. Both Hubb and Harvey come from D.C. where they squared off against each other in high school.
Cristiano, who spent his freshman season with Lafayette of the Patriot League, has transferred to NCAA Division III New York University, he announced via Twitter on Thursday night. The 6’8″, 195-pound forward has three years of eligibility remaining and will suit up for the Violets next season.
“[I] didn’t get the opportunity I was looking for there,” Cristiano said in an exclusive interview. “[The] slow half-court style of play there, also, doesn’t use me in a way which utilizes my skills effectively.”
Cristiano says academics played a significant role in his decision; New York University has a business school, the Stern School of Business, while Lafayette College does not.
His pursuit of a degree aside, the former Greens Farms Academy star envisions something special at NYU.
“I will have a great opportunity there, including two other big transfers that will make us very competitive.”
Last year the Violets were 7-18 overall and 2-12 in the University Athletic Association.
However, Cristiano, who scored 1,472 points in his high school career, has the skills to be an immediate contributor.
“I am a 6’8 inside-out player with a great motor. I get out and down the floor, play above the rim and have range out to the three-point line,” Cristiano said. “I am a mismatch because I can post smaller defenders and drive by bigger defenders. [I am my] best in transition.”
New York University, formerly a Division I school, last made the Division IIINCAA Tournament in 2016. Head coach Joe Nesci is entering his 30th season at the helm.
FORT WAYNE, Ind. — College basketball is an ever-changing game.
Each season, it seems as though more and more players are looking to transfer to a new program. This year’s list is approaching the 600-mark, and names are still being added to the list with each passing day. Players transfer for varying reasons, most of which we will never truly know why.
With that being said, there are always big name transfers who hit the open market. This season, the likes of Marcus Evans, Dedric Lawson, Khris Lane, and Chase Jeter have all been looking for new homes, among others.
While the big name transfers get the bulk of the attention, many impact transfers fly under the radar. One of those names on this year’s transfer list is guard Marcus DeBerry. After two seasons with the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks, the 6’5” guard opted to transfer for his final two seasons of eligibility.
The transfer market has dominated the 2017 College Basketball offseason thus far. Big name talents like Marcus Evans and theLawson brothers have headlined a strong class of players changing teams.
But while the likes of Evans and the Lawson’s are the center of attention right now, their transfers will soon be forgotten until they step foot on the basketball court. They’ll have a quiet year to acclimate to school, while familiarizing themselves with the new coach, teammates, court, and any of its warps or tricky dead spots. The NCAA requires non-graduate transfers to sit out a season before they play for their new team. So we will have to wait until November 2018 before we see KJ, Marcus, and all the other transfers play for their new schools.