Saturday, November 21, 2009

West's Valentin is Back and Better than Ever

12/5/09
In my post the other day about the “What if Players,” Richard Valentin from West was one of the biggest question marks on that list. But folks, let me be the first to tell you, he’s on the team, and he’s one of the state’s best players.

I was at the scrimmage this morning between West and Bedford. Not only did Valentin play for the Blue Knights, but he was the best player in the gym...by a lot.

I just really like this kid's game. Considering it is the first week of practice, and he hasn't seen game action since last winter, he is in exceptional shape. He's very strong for a 5'10" kid, and plays bigger than his height. He is extremely quick off the dribble, and can get to the basket at will. Plus he can shoot it very well, with good range. And he's an excellent defender, plays his butt off and hustles for loose balls. Watching him today, I thought I was watching a college player, not a high-schooler. And he is also one of the state’s better ball handlers, as he broke the Bedford press all by himself, dribbling through three players, while putting the ball behind his back, and maintaining complete control of ball and his body the whole time. He’s constantly pushing the ball, putting pressure on the opposing defense, and plays with a ton of energy.

And I know what you’re thinking, he was ONLY playing Bedford. But Bedford is actually pretty good. They’re still a work in progress offensively, but they’re very tough on defense, with some good size. Every time Valentin took it to the rim, Bedford’s help defense was quick getting there. He was met by one or two players at the hoop each time, and these were players that were much bigger than him. And he still was able to either finish it or get fouled every time.

Valentin is better at the two guard spot, but he is also a good passer, especially when driving and dishing, and he has the ability to play either guard position. His only weakness is that when driving, he goes right every time. Teams have to adjust and force him left to have a chance at stopping him.

West is a different team with him in the lineup. They don’t have a lot of size, but they’re very fast and very athletic. Their best lineup is when Valentin, Sammy Abdalla and Quentin Hunter are all out there together. Hunter is also extremely quick off the dribble. Some of their players are still very raw and unpolished. This is a team that will get better as the season goes on, especially with Coach Carey leading the way.

Only thing that could hold Valentin back is himself. He has to keep his nose clean off the court. He’s on the team for now, but he has to behave himself off the court and in the classroom to stay on the court. If he does that he is in for a HUGE senior season, and West will surprise a lot of people.

31 comments:

  1. jeremy, who was the best player on bedford?

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  2. I would say Maher played the best. Tough call though, Weber and Marinelli were also solid. Bedford really had a balanced offensive attack, and all played tough, team defense making it tough for individuals to stand out. O'Brien also played well.

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  3. Is Greg Asselin playing for West?

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  4. He didn't play today, and neither did forward Jose Gonzalez. Not sure if they just missed today or if they're not playing at all...

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  5. I am impressed with how much effot you put into this website Mr.Leville. I also agree with the post. Valentin is a D1 caliber player no lie. He is extremely quick with the rock and has a nice outside shot.

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  6. I know both Gonzalez and Asselin have/had been practicing with the team. If they both play, West will be filled with raw talent and potentially scary! Very inexperienced, but as athletic as almost any other team in the state.

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  7. Ya, 5'10", definitely D1 caliber, 11:09...

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  8. Previous post, are you kidding me???

    I didn't know you had to be over 5'10" to be a D1 player. Thats like saying you have to have two hands to be a D1 player. Ask Kevin Laue about that one.

    Your a ignorant fool, there are so many players 5'10" or under that have played D1 or are playing.

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  9. Jeremy, how did Matt Beaulieu look for Bedford in the scrimmage?

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  10. Yes, those 5'10" D1 players are from sick prep schools or major bball schools in major bball states, and even then they're very rare. A random 5'10" kid from little ole NH going D1 that DOESN'T dominate the competition (think Laguerre) going D1? No way. Every year in NH, maybe 3 kids get scholarships at the D2 level, and then every few years or so ONE kid will go D1 like Roche out of HS. Valentin is no Roche, and no Laguerre for that matter. If Laguerre is struggling to get major offers at 6'1" and with twice as much talent of Valentin(though he holds offers from UNH and URI), then I think it's fare to say Valentin won't be suiting up for D1 any time soon.

    Step out of Manchester for a second and see what else is out there. There are kids that are better AND taller and still don't get the D1 offers. Maybe D2 will come a'callin', but the ship to D1 has sailed

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  11. OK, reality check. Valentin could average a double/double this season and even a D2 program would have a tough time taking a chance on him with his "less than stellar" past. D3 would be reality for him only if he toes the line, behaves and gets good grades. Any one who thinks he copuld go D1 needs to watch a lot more basketball before they post again.

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  12. Yeah, I was at the game and was glad to see Valentin playing and thought he played well...but was surprised to see the accolades that Jeremy bestowed upon him. I think Jeremy was generous in his praise.

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  13. 9:09, what about Jeremy's comments that Bedford looked "actually pretty good" in the scrimmage? I've heard other reports that Bedford looked awful in the scrimmage. What was your perspective on Bedford, did they look pretty good?

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  14. So now we have a d1 expert, wow Jeremy drawing from all over.Laguerre....if he stay's healthy will go Major D1.Offer's??? he's already visited two Major d1's and he's reclassified as a Junior at New Hampton on the Prep Varsity squad. 5'10" will struggle to get a d1 agreed but if all the parts are in place not out of the realm of possability. d1aa or a soft d1. a definite attainable goal.Valentin, unfortunately seems to have outside mitigating factors in his life that he continues to struggle with basic student/citizen responsibilties and expectations. excellent baller hope he's successful........

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  15. 5:43, 1aa is a football subdivision now known as the FCS. Completely unrelated to basketball. Valentin has neither the size or talent of a D1 basketball player, and has extra baggage. Well outside the realm of possibility. Valentin could never compete with the likes of a Laguerre or Roche, ever. I'm sorry, I know it may be the harsh reality, but it's the truth. He's a very good player, but not nearly that good.

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  16. Bedford won the scrimmage so they couldn't have looked that bad.

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  17. The scoreboard was tuurned off the entire time, how do you know Bedford won?

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  18. You think Bedford was going to not keep stats? That is a gud won

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  19. I think Bedford kept stats because I think they are still trying to figure out their starting line up.

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  20. who was the starting lineup for the scrimmage? was it marinelli, weber, maher, hendricks, and schapler?

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  21. Yes, that was their starting lineup. The three main players off the bench were Beaulieu, O'Brien and Fahmy. Koehler played a few minutes. Glassman did not play at all.

    As for Valentin, I was especially impressed by him because he didn't play AAU ball and didn't play with the team all summer or fall and still played very well.

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  22. he is good player not third though. little too quick to move up that high. you move players down for not playing in the fall yet you see someone once and think they are going to be D1. great blog but i think you react too quickly with taking a small sample instead of the full body of work. love your passion though.

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  23. earlier reports were that Zach Koehler didn't try out this year for Bedford. But it looks that those reports were wrong.

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  24. I agree that he must keep his nose clean if he wants to get to the next level of competition. Colleges will not waste their time with someone who can’t behave.

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  25. 4:45, I don't recall ever predicting Valentin would go D-I.

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  26. basketball is a tough sport to judge off of one game i agree, someone can have a hot game or a cold game. but for the most part jeremy tends to do a pretty good job staying accurate despite the little research that is availiable on NH sports.

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  27. Dover and West will be scrimmaging Saturday Morning

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  28. vasity will be playing at 1130 i believe and jv starts around 10

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