College Conference Honors For Empire Basketball Standouts

Thursday, March 22, 2012 | 2:14 am

Posted By Press Democrat Staff Writer Michael Coit

Playing big for a pair of NCAA Division II schools gained one time Empire standouts Matt Cousins and Jacob Noisat all-conference honors.
Another former All-Empire selection Mani Maceira helped lead Claremont-Mudd-Scripps to the NCAA Division III tournament, earning all-conference honors along the way.
Cousins capped a great career at Chaminade University that included playing annually against some of the nation’s top major colleges in a famed tournament hosted by the school in Honolulu .
In his senior campaign, Cousins scored 15 points a game and grabbed nearly 8 rebounds per contest – both fourth overall in the Pac West Conference. The big man with the shooting touch also was a force down low, leading the conference in offensive rebounds.
The Cardinal Newman graduate was named to the Pac West first team.
Summer workout partner Noisat exceeded expectations at Dominican University , in San Rafael . Scoring a team leading 11 points and pulling down 6 rebounds a game, Noisat led an improving Penguins squad. He was sixth in the Pac West for field goal percentage.
After transferring from Chabot College , the Elsie Allen graduate helped Dominican navigate a difficult schedule and finish strong. Noisat, a junior, was named to the Pac West second team.
Finishing his college career with a fine season, Maceira was named to the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference first team.
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps won the conference tournament after sharing the regular season title. Maceira’s last collegiate contest was a close loss in the first round of the NCAA Division III tournament.
An athletic wing for Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, the Rancho Cotate graduate averaged 12 points and more than four rebounds a game. Maceira was among the conference leaders in free throw shooting.


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Former prep stars Cousins, Jacob Noisat finding their college niche

Friday, January 20, 2012 | 1:04 pm

Former Elsie Allen standout Jacob Noisat, a Dominican junior, tops the Penguins in scoring and rebounding. (Photo by Courtesy Photo)


Bouncing around to find a footing in college basketball, former All-Empire players Matt Cousins and Jacob Noisat are having fun leading their teams early this season.
Cousins, a Chaminade senior, tops the Pac West Conference in scoring. Both Cousins and Noisat, a Dominican junior, are among the league leaders in rebounding.

The pair, who work out together at Santa Rosa Junior College over summers, have found NCAA Division II programs where they can improve and harbor hope of playing professionally.

“This season it’s really, really fun,” said Cousins, from Cardinal Newman. “I do want to pursue playing overseas and just really focus on finishing up this season as best as I can.”
Noisat’s first season at Dominican couldn’t have started better for the former Elsie Allen standout. He is aiming for big goals, including averaging double figures in points and rebounds.

“I enjoy leading the team,” Noisat said. “I want the challenge.”

Earning opportunities to play leading roles in the college game has been demanding enough. Both athletes left the programs that recruited them out of high school, played a year of junior college ball, and then gained scholarships at the Pac West schools.

“You think you can just do whatever you want and be successful wherever,” Cousins said. “Obviously that doesn’t work out always. You learn from those opportunities.”

After sitting out a year at Chico State and then playing a brief stint for the Wildcats, Cousins transferred to SRJC. At Chico State he was planted under the basket. Cousins fit in better as a mobile forward at the junior college, where he started for the playoff-bound Bear Cubs, and again with Chaminade the past three seasons.

Noisat was a big man in a guard-dominated offense at Cal State East Bay his first season. Moving over to Chabot College, he was a presence in the low post, drawing attention from four-year schools and getting a spot on the Dominican team.

“You can’t let it get you down. It’s definitely tough on the mind,” Noisat said of his moves among colleges. “You keep faith that good things will come.”
Improving despite varying systems and different coaches, Cousins and Noisat lead their teams in both scoring and rebounding.

Cousins is averaging more than 16 points — best in the Pac West — and 7 rebounds a contest for the Silverswords. He is seventh in the league in free-throw accuracy.
Noisat puts in 11 points and hauls down more than 6 rebounds a game for the Penguins. He is tied for sixth in blocked shots.
Already this season, Cousins and Noisat each has been named Pac West Player of the Week. Cousins also made the conference Honor Roll of top 10 players, and Noisat twice earned that accolade.

Offensive rebounds are an area Cousins worked on most coming into the season. Already a solid scorer in Chaminade’s motion offense, Cousins has become a sharper shooter.

“The main goal is just always be moving,” he said. “We get the rebound and push it. I even bring the ball up now and then.”
A highlight of the season was playing traditional large school powers UCLA, Georgetown and Tennessee in the prestigious Maui Invitational Tournament. As event hosts, the Silverswords open each campaign battle-tested, as Cousins appreciated again in the three losses — Chaminade’s only defeats.
Off the court, Cousins and a teammate spent time at the tournament banquet talking with Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, who has the most wins in NCAA DivisionI history.

“We were just talking shop,” Cousins said. “He asked more about us. He was really well-spoken and just down to earth.”

A polished scorer around the basket, Noisat has become a better all-around player, improving his passing, offensive rebounding, shot-blocking and overall quickness.

“I had to get more skills and stronger,” Noisat said. “I’m definitely playing the game at a better pace.”

Noisat’s play at center has helped Dominican’s guards enjoy more success as the Penguins look to improve.

After leading Dominican to its first win last week and making the all-tournament team at the Notre Dame de Namur Thanksgiving Classic, he earned conference top-player honors on Monday.

“You’ve got to work harder,” Noisat said. “You definitely have to spend every day playing basketball and trying to get better.”
Playing well enough to raise a team’s level of play is the goal for these big men. Chaminade won the conference last season, and Cousins would love another opportunity to compete in the NCAA Division II national tournament.
Cousins went out of state to keep playing college basketball. Noisat stayed closer to home.

Their journeys meet in January when Dominican hosts Chaminade in San Rafael. The conference foes match up again in Honolulu in February.

“We’ve talked about playing against each other,” Noisat said. “It will be fun and competitive.”

The pair became friends through basketball, first as prep opponents in the North Bay League, and are excited to meet in college.

“Now we’re both enjoying success,” Cousins said. “It was definitely worth it.”

You can reach Staff Writer Michael Coit at 521-5470 or

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Empire Prep Greats Earn College Basketball Honors

Friday, January 13, 2012 | 4:55 pm

Matt Cousins

Posted By Press Democrat Staff Writer Michael Coit:

A pair of former Empire standouts made the Pac West Conference men’s basketball honor roll on Monday.

Matt Cousins, of Chaminade University, and Jacob Noisat, playing for Dominican University, were among the conference’s best in leading their teams to recent wins.

The onetime All-Empire players –Cousins from Cardinal Newman and Noisat out of Elsie Allen — are among the league leaders in the Pac West, an NCAA Division II conference. Both are big men with Cousins playing forward and Noisat at center.

A senior, Cousins is second in both scoring, at 16 points a game, and rebounding, hauling down 8 boards per contest.

Noisat, a junior, scores 12 points a game, which is 13th in the Pac West, and averages 7 rebounds, good for seventh in the league. Noisat also is sixth in field goal percentage.

In addition to making the Pac West weekly honor roll multiple times, both Cousins and Noisat have been chosen as a player of the week this season.

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Post Season College Soccer Honors For Former Empire Players

Monday, December 19, 2011 | 11:30 pm

Posted By Press Democrat Staff Writer Michael Coit:

Carrying great play on Empire pitches into college, a handful of former area prep standouts have been named to NCAA and NAIA regional teams.
The awards are made by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
Courtney Parsons, goalkeeper, San Diego, made second team for the NCAA Women’s Division I All-West Team. The senior from Ursuline helped lead San Diego to NCAA tournament wins over UC Irvine and UCLA before the Toreros fell to Long Beach State in the quarterfinals — the deepest run for a San Diego women’s team in program history. On the season, Parsons recorded six shutouts and a 0.86 goals-against-average, while posting 73 saves.
Taylor Varnadore, forward, Sonoma State, made third team for the NCAA Men’s Division II All-West Team. The sophomore from Analy led Sonoma State in scoring with 12 goals and 25 points, including a trio of game winning goals. Varnadore is already 11th on the all-time Sonoma State goal-scoring list with 22 in his first two seasons.
Hayley Johnson, defender, UC San Diego, made first team for the NCAA Women’s Division II All-West Team. The junior from Maria Carrillo led UC San Diego in assists with 13 — third most for the Tritons in a single season. Johnson played on a back line that boasted the lowest goals against average in NCAA D-II and allowed the fewest scores in the regular season with four. UC San Diego won the California Collegiate Athletic Association regular season title and reached the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Kaitlyn Le Baudour, defender, Wheaton, made first team for the NCAA Women’s Division III All-Central Team. The senior out of Ursuline helped anchor a Wheaton defense that posted a 0.72 goals against average this season with 14 shutouts. Wheaton recorded three shutouts in its six NCAA Tournament games, losing in the title contest. On the season, she had five goals and four assists.
Lauren Johnson, forward, Cal State San Marcos, made the NAIA Women’s All-West Team. The former Montgomery great has been a building block in the young program’s history, with Cal State San Marcos winning their conference and reaching the NAIA tournament this season. Johnson, a senior, scored 8 goals and tallied 3 assists, adding to her school-record total in goals and points.

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Local products in women’s college hoops spotlight

Tuesday, December 6, 2011 | 7:16 am

Ex-Brentwood Academy standout Taylor Reece and former Blackman guard Shelby Campbell were involved in a record-setting performance during Samford’s 73-40 win Wednesday night against visiting Jacksonville State.

The Lady Bulldogs connected on 16 3-point baskets, setting a school single-game mark. Reece, a freshman forward, started and had three treys among her 11 points. Campbell, a sophomore, came off the bench and contributed nine points and one 3.

The previous single-game record of 15 was originally set in 2007 and tied on three other occasions, including twice last year.

Briana Morrow, a freshman forward from Glencliff, started for Jacksonville State and scored a team-high 10 points with a game-high 11 rebounds.

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College football picks of the week: The Pac-12 and SEC title games, Bedlam and more

Saturday, December 3, 2011 | 3:43 am

Only one Pac-12 game, and it’s the one we’ve been waiting an entire season to see, err … (actually, I bet UCLA makes it a better game than we think). I’ll combine that with four others to finish off the regular season. Watch for the Hotline’s bowl picks after I’ve had a chance to digest the [...]
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The Paterno scandal (and college football picks of the week)

Friday, November 11, 2011 | 1:17 am

*** 7:25 p.m. update: Paterno has been fired. I’ll have picks of the week a bit later, but there was no way I could let the day end without a word on the Penn State situation, which is only the biggest scandal in the history of college sports by a factor of eight. That’s one [...]
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Taft DL Adolphus Washington, Taft WR Dwayne Stanford plan to announce college decisions before Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 9, 2011 | 11:25 am

Taft senior defensive lineman Adolphus Washington and Taft senior wide receiver Dwayne Stanford plan to announce their college decisions before Thanksgiving, according to Taft coach Mike Martin.

Stanford is scheduled to visit Oregon on Nov. 19, Martin said.

The Enquirer previously reported Washington has narrowed his list to Ohio State, Alabama and Michigan State, according to Martin. Stanford has narrowed his list to UC, Oregon and Ohio State, according to Martin.

Stanford and Washington are two of Ohio’s four players on the roster for the 2012 game. Cleveland Heights offensive lineman Kyle Dodson and Lakewood St. Edward offensive lineman Kyle Kalis are the others.

Here are some area players who have been U.S. Army All-American Bowl All-Americans over the years:

2011 game – Centerville defensive lineman Michael Bennett

2010 – Princeton quarterback/running back Spencer Ware, Anderson offensive lineman Andrew Norwell, St. Xavier offensive lineman Matt James, Highlands defensive back Austin Collinsworth

2008 – Elder tight end Kyle Rudolph, La Salle wide receiver DeVier Posey

2007 – La Salle defensive lineman Ben Martin, Colerain defensive back Eugene Clifford

2006 – Colerain offensive lineman Connor Smith

2005 – Hamilton defensive back Adam Myers-White

2004 – Huber Heights Wayne linebacker Marcus Freeman

2002 – Alter offensive lineman Nick Mangold, Highlands offensive lineman Rob Smith

2001 – Chaminade-Julienne wide receiver Angelo Chattams, Highlands defensive end Brent Grover

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College football: Picks of the Week (the LSU-Alabama winner and potential BCS chaos)

Friday, November 4, 2011 | 5:43 pm

Who says college football doesn’t have a playoff? The showdown in Tuscaloosa on Saturday is essentially a national semifinal, with the winner advancing to the BCS championship game. Probably … Maybe … I’m less interested in which team wins than in what the remaining schedule has in store for the winner: Is there an upcoming opponent [...]
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Insiders Sports Report: The Keys to Betting College Football

Wednesday, October 19, 2011 | 11:07 pm




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Idaho State's QB Austen Arnaud

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Teams that have gotten off to a bad start and have no chance at making a bowl game will often throw in the towel.
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