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The Daily Times' boys basketball blog

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Archbishop Carroll coach Paul Romanczuk, who has sent three players from his 2008-09 state-championship team to Division I programs, talked Thursday about the most recent to make the leap: Juan'ya Green.

Thursday, Green - an all-state and All-Delco 6-4 combo guard - gave Niagara University a verbal commitment. He joins D.J. Irving (Boston University) and Ben Mingledough (Delaware) as members of the Patriots' PIAA Class AAA championship team to accept D-I scholarships.

Here's what Romanczuk had to say about Green.

On choosing Niagara:
"Obviously he got recruited by a bunch of different levels. There was A-10 interest, Big East interest. ...When all is said and done, this is the best fit for him. I feel he's in great hands with (head coach and La Salle alum Joe) Mihalich and (assistant coach Phil) Martelli. They're good people and they'll take care of him."

On playing point guard at the college level:
"I feel like point guard is his best position. He sees the floor better than most I've seen while around our program. He sets up defenses, knows the pace of the game, gets guys involved, all of that. I think he's well suited for point guard. He's big enough to play off the ball, but I think you get the most out of him at point guard. At the high school level, you don't get a 6-3 point guard often. He's a luxury for me to have. I can post him up if they put a smaller guy on him. They could probably get away with that a little at the college level. Juan'ya is a tough matchup."

On moving from the city to the 'burbs:
"I think it'll be a little bit of a culture shock. It'll get a little colder and there will be a little more snow than he's used to seeing. I think it always is for a freshman. He's probably 6 or 7 hours away by car. He's very close with his mother. I just know having a little taste of Philly helped him out. ...They always have Philly area kids up there."

On his interest from Villanova, which went from hot to cold:
"Villanova has gotten to the point where they are not just a top-25 program; they're a top-10, top-15 program. Coach (Jay) Wright has done a wonderful job in making it a national program that they can get a little picky and the way coach Wright put it to me was that they want to get it right with a Philly-area kid. They don't want a Philly-area kid not to play as a freshman or as a sophomore. It's tough on a Philly-area kid to go to Villanova and to have the spotlight on him and be a success early. (Wright) was a little apprehensive. They went in a different direction, but I think Juan'ya could have figured it out there."

On sending Carroll players to Division I programs:
"Back when I first started coaching, I had a Division III college coach who I knew very well and respected, and he said to me, 'What do all great coaches have in common?' I'm 23, 24 at the time and I feel like I know nothing. I also feel like I'm going to learn the lesson. And he says to me, 'All great coaches have great players,' and that pretty much sums it up. I've had some very good players in recent years. I think it's just a great thing for Carroll. It makes a coach's job that much easier to have that kind of talent to continue to come through our school and represent our program."


For more on Green's decision, check out Friday's edition of the Daily Times.

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Before Thursday, only three people had known where Juan'ya Green planned on continuing his basketball career: his mother, Octavia Green; his AAU coach, Lonnie Lowry of Team Philly; and his coach at Archbishop Carroll, Paul Romanczuk.

Now, Green wants everyone to know - he's heading to Niagara University.

"As soon as I get off the phone with you," Green told the Daily Times Thursday afternoon, "I'm calling the coaches to let them know I'm committing."

An all-state, all-Catholic and All-Delco, Green chose Niagara ahead of higher-tiered programs that had extended offers. Boston University, Temple and George Mason were top candidates, and Saint Joseph's and Maryland were in the conversation, too.

Villanova, for a time during Green's freshman and sophomore years, had plenty of interest in Green. Wildcats coach Jay Wright was a staple at Carroll's games.

Playing time - and immediate playing time - carried plenty of weight for Green, a 6-4 combo who has been assured that he could be the Purple Eagles' starting point guard for the 2011-12 season.

Green averaged 16.2 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists for Carroll, which advanced to the PIAA Class AAA playoffs in the Catholic League's first seasons of PIAA eligibility. The Patriots won the state title in 2008-09 and made state quarterfinals last winter. Green improved his scoring averages during both state-playoff pushes.

A big-game player, Green said he doesn't expect any hitch playing under the not-so-bright lights of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. He said he likes how a city boy like himself will fit into Niagara's rural setting.

"I think I'll adjust real well," he said Thursday by telephone. "The players like me and I like the campus and the school. It'll be a great fit."

For more on Green's decision, check out Friday's edition of the Daily Times.

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