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Posted at 04:45 PM ET, 07/26/2007

Tony Skinn as Player-Coach

This Kenner League stuff is hard to follow: players come, players go, coaches leave for Las Vegas, former Final Four participants then become player-coaches, first-round NBA draft picks show up, etc. You could make a strong argument that local bloggers should decamp immediately to McDonough Gymnasium and remain there until further notice.


But what I can tell you is that Tony Skinn, the slash-first guard from George Mason's Final Four team, coached at least three games for the Meyers & Alterman squad, finishing with a 2-1 coaching record, including a victory in yesterday's quarterfinals. It's unclear who will coach M&A in Saturday's semifinals. Also, I can tell you that when Virginia's Sean Singletary didn't appear for a couple of games, Skinn became a player-coach, which is awesome.

"I just kind of jumped into the picture," he told me a few moments ago. "I wasn't trying to take a lot of minutes away from the guys. If the game was kind of getting out of hand, then I just subbed myself in."

But since his team was a virtual bubbling hotbed of Local Top 11 players, I'm thinking about asking him to become a poll voter. In recent days, M&A has included Mason recruits Isaiah Tate and Cameron Long, GW's Rob Diggs, former Hoya Jeff Green and, theoretically, Singletary. Some impressions from talent scout Tony Skinn:

On Diggs: "Athletic as hell. He can jump out of the gym. He's a skinny guy, but he can jump well above the rim; if you throw it up there he'll go get it, and his mid-range game is not too bad either."

On Long: "I like Cameron Long's game. You can put him at any of the guard spots, but he's more of a 2. I like his game. He's aggressive, he wants to play."

On Georgetown's Austin Freeman: "I like the kid Freeman. He's a little laidback, but when he does do something, he DOES it. He might be sleeping for five or six plays, but when you need a bucket, he gives you a bucket. At the end of the day, that's what really counts."

On what Jeff Green is doing in Kenner: "I don't know. We just got there one day, they said he's in town and he's playing. It's summer; he was just chilling. He was relaxing. Same as me, I was just chilling. I ain't been playing as hard as I know I can. He don't want to try to do too much either. He's a millionaire now."

As for Skinn, read all about his exploits in The Washington Times. He said Croatia was beautiful--his balcony in Split overlooked the Adriatic--but he wasn't getting paid, so he left and wound up in France with Clermont, finishing as the team's second-leading scorer, if my French math is right. He then played with the Orlando Magic's Summer team, and plans to go back to Clermont in the middle of next month.

I asked what were his favorite French cheeses; "Maaaan, to be honest with you I probably ate it and just didn't pay attention to it," he told me. "Not a big fan of [French cuisine]. Not at all. I mean, for the most part I just ate pasta, chicken, stuff that's like normal. I didn't really try too much stuff. Just kept it safe."

I also asked about George Mason's 2007-08 team which will likely start the year about seventh in the Local Hoops Top 11 Spectacular.

"Kind of reminds me of my junior year when we didn't do as well as everybody thought we would do, but we came right back and, obviously, went to the Final Four," he said. "If history repeats itself, I think they'll be fine this year."

And I asked about how frequently he thinks back to the Final Four season.

"Somebody probably says something to me about it more than I think about it," he said. "I mean, it's in the back of my mind, but I'm trying to get past the Final Four, just get to the next level of my career. Obviously it's helped me with my career. The Final Four is something that's going to always help me, but as a current player I would be trying to do the next thing. Because that's over."

By  |  04:45 PM ET, 07/26/2007

Categories:  College Basketball

 
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