Tracking the College Basketball Stars of the Future
Monday, October 25, 2003
By Thad Mumau
'Reputation' nets Castro
a great deal to do with recruiting success. Normally, reputation is
associated with college conferences, such as the ACC in basketball and the
SEC in football, and with individual schools oozing tradition. But the
reputation of coaches is also very important, and therein lies a big reason
East Carolina hoops is a program on the rise.
Pirates are not beating out Duke or North Carolina for high school hotshots.
The Bucs, however, have landed some fine prospects in the last couple of
years, and Bill Herrion is the key, with his reputation proving to be a
have read about Charles Bronson, the Philadelphia big man who was actually
told by his high school coach that any program headed by Herrion is a
program a kid would do well to play for.
Schofield, the coach at Lutheran Christian Academy in Philly, made no
apologies for getting involved in Bronsonís recruitment, saying he felt a
responsibility to help his players get into good situations and that Bill
Herrion makes for a good situation.
Now you can
add Robert Kirk to the Herrion fan club and Mike Castro to the East Carolina
235-pound power forward, Castro is in his second year at Allegany Community
College in Cumberland, MD.
Kirk has made
Allegany one of the top junior college programs in the country. Last
seasonís record was 27-3, an upset loss in the regional tournament ending a
season punctuated by frequent residence in the top 10 of the national JuCo
really impressed with the East Carolina coaches," Kirk said, "and I like
them too. Bill Herrion does what he says heís going to do, and that isnít
always the case. Sometimes, these college coaches will say what a kid, his
family and his coach wants to hear ó all the right stuff ó and then forget
it. The kid becomes just a player when it was promised that his life as a
student and person would be equally important.
the way Coach Herrion operates. His kids go to class; he keeps up with them.
I think he is genuinely interested in his players as people.
"Bill has been
in here a lot the last two years. He came to see Mike and others play. He
has shown more interest in Mike than any of the coaches, and Bill himself
has come often rather than just sending assistants all the time.
"We try to run
a Division I program at the junior college level," Kirk said. "In the last
eight years, all 33 of our sophomores have graduated and gone on to
four-year schools. We do things the right way, and thatís what Bill does."
Itís easy to
see that Kirk heartily endorses Herrion and East Carolina, and that
at Allegany Community College from Spingarn High School in Washington, DC.
He played in all 30 of Alleganyís games as a freshman last season, averaging
eight points and seven rebounds on a team that had five players score in
double figures. He sank 93 of 144 shots from the floor, with no three-point
attempts, for 64.6 percent accuracy.
"Mike played a
lot more at the end of the season," Kirk said, "as much as some of our
starters. He was our first post reserve. He will start this year, and weíre
counting on him to have a big season.
"He has only
played three years of basketball, so Mike is still learning. He has improved
in every phase of the game since last year; heís a hard worker. He is very
strong and has great hands. He catches the ball well. When he gets his hands
on it, he keeps it.
"Mike can move
out and shoot a little ó out to 15 feet. He wasnít doing that when he got
here. He has some good post moves, and he rebounds real well. He also runs
the court real well."
wouldnít say which other schools Castro was considering ó "I donít do that
with any of my players because I donít think itís fair to the coaches who
donít get the kids ó Kirk noted that several were very interested.
"It was a
great job for East Carolina to get Mike early," he said. "There were a lot
of big-time head coaches in here this year, and all of them mentioned him."
visit was to Greenville.
"He is going
to get much better," Kirk said. "He has a real chance to be a key
contributor at East Carolina. Itís a real good fit for Mike and for East
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02/23/2007 02:40:47 PM