Category Archives: College Basketball

Preseason Wooden Award Top-50

The Wooden Award, college basketball’s highest individual honor, released it’s list of the Top-50 players in the 2009-10 season.  There are a ton of good players on this list and I would imagine we will see a freshmen or two on the final list.Luke Harangody

Notre Dame’s Senior Forward, Luke Harangody, looks to be the early favorite to win the award.  Here are seven of my “need-to-know” that we will need to pay attention to throughout the season.

  1. Manny Harris, Michigan Guard
  2. Luke Babbit, Nevada Forward
  3. Matt Bouldin, Gonzaga Guard
  4. E’Twaun Moore, Purdue Guard
  5. Tasmin Mitchell, LSU Guard
  6. Craig Brackins, Iowa State Forward
  7. Evan Turner, OSU Forward

Preseason Top 50 List

Player First Player Last Height Position Class University
Solomon Alabi 7-1 C So. Florida State
Cole Aldrich 6-11 C Jr. Kansas
Al-Farouq Aminu 6-9 F So. Wake Forest
Luke Babbitt 6-9 F So. Nevada
Talor Battle 5-11 G Jr. Penn State
Trevor Booker 6-7 F Sr. Clemson
Matt Bouldin 6-5 G Sr. Gonzaga
Craig Brackins 6-10 F Jr. Iowa State
Da’Sean Butler 6-7 F Sr. West Virginia
Sherron Collins 5-11 G Sr. Kansas
Ed Davis 6-10 F So. North Carolina
Devan Downey 5-9 G Sr. Sourth Carolina
Jerome Dyson 6-3 G Sr. Connecticut
Devin Ebanks 6-9 F So. West Virginia
Corey Fisher 6-1 G Jr. Villanova
Luke Harangody 6-8 F Sr. Notre Dame
Manny Harris 6-5 G Jr. Michigan
Gordon Hayward 6-8 G/F So. Butler
Jeremy Hazell 6-5 G Jr. Seton Hall
Robbie Hummel 6-8 F Jr. Purdue
Damion James 6-7 G/F Sr. Texas
Sylven Landesberg 6-6 G So. Virginia
Gani Lawal 6-9 F Jr. Georgia Tech
Kalin Lucas 6-0 G Jr. Michigan State
Tasmin Mitchell 6-7 F Sr. Louisiana State
Greg Monroe 6-11 C So. Georgetown
E’Twaun Moore 6-3 G Jr. Purdue
Raymar Morgan 6-8 F Sr. Michigan State
A.J. Oglivy 6-11 C Jr. Vanderbilt
Patrick Patterson 6-9 F Jr. Kentucky
Jerome Randle 5-10 G Sr. California
Scottie Reynolds 6-2 G Jr. Villanova
Samarado Samuels 6-8 F So. Louisville
Larry Sanders 6-11 F Jr. VCU
Jon Scheyer 6-5 G Sr. Duke
DeShawn Sims 6-8 F Sr. Michigan
Kyle Singler 6-8 F Jr. Duke
Tyler Smith 6-7 G/F Sr. Tennessee
Isaiah Thomas 5-8 G So. Washington
Deon Thompson 6-8 F Sr. North Carolina
J.T. Tiller 6-3 G Sr. Missouri
Evan Turner 6-7 G/F Jr. Ohio State
Jarvis Varnado 6-9 F/C Sr. Mississippi State
Greivis Vasquez 6-6 G Sr. Maryland
Deonta Vaughn 6-1 G Sr. Cincinnati
Kemba Walker 6-1 G So. Connecticut
Willie Warren 6-4 G So. Oklahoma
Terrico White 6-5 G So. Mississippi
Nic Wise 5-10 G Sr. Arizona
Chris Wright 6-8 F Jr. Dayton
www.woodenaward.com

Quick Hits: 8/19/09

Favre in Minnesota Purple and GoldBrett Favre

This is a surprise to no one and to be honest, it is a great move all around.  Here is some Quick Hits reasoning to why this is a good move.  

For the MN Vikings – They get a legit QB on a team many people believe were a legit QB away from the Super Bowl.

Ziggy Wilf- Financially this is a win-win.  The media coverage and the ticket/jersey sales is going to be awesome.

Adrian Peterson – Teams will not be able to stack the box as much.

Viking Receivers – You get a QB who can throw the ball into the ocean.

Brett Favre – No matter what he says, the Packers ran Favre out of town.  They did – and now he has a chance to shut them up.

Michael Vick – We moved off this topic for a couple days.

The NFL – They get another story line that is not highlighting some criminal act.  Unless you talk to the Packer Fans – they might view this as a misdemeanor at least!  

I have never been a Favre fan, but I have always respected him and enjoyed watching him play.  And I can understand that if a team offers you a chance to play and compete at a high level, $12 Million a year, and an opportunity to go back to Green Bay and stick it to Ted Thompson – you tell me why he doesn’t sign. 

One thing I would like to say to Brett – because I am sure he checks out the blogs:  Remember – this was a good team without you with a great running back and defense, stay within the system.  Please – it worked in Green bay your last year – just let it happen and don’t force the issue unless necessary.

Former Duke PG Greg Paulus to Start at QB for Syracuse

Someone would have to prove it, but I am not sure this has ever happened before.  An athlete that goes from being a starting point guard at one school to becoming the starting quarterback at another school.

Just like the Favre story, this will be an interesting ride.  Click here for the ESPN write-up and video.

MN Timberwolves Head Coach – Kurt Rambis 

The Rambis signing is one that I understand and I “ok” with.  This is a young team that needs to grow together and why not have a new coach that willl grow with them.  Mark Jackson would have been fine, but I do think Rambis is more ready to lead a team.

Ben Woodside Update

NDSU’s All-Time leading scorer is going to play over in France.  After playing on the Timberwolves summer squad, the 5’10” point guard has picked his bags and will follow former teammate Brett Winkelman to Europe.  Winkelman will  play with Edimes Pavia in Italy.

“Woodside signed a contract to play professionally with BCM Gravelines Dunkerque, a team that placed sixth last year in the 16-team Pro A League — the highest league in France. Woodside would not disclose his salary but said he has an option until early September to sign with another team.”  *Taken from Dickinson Press 8/12/09.

Good Luck Guys – have fun.

Day After (or a week) The 2009 NBA Draft

My head is still spinning.  With a the point guards and all the trades prior, it is was very crazy.

MN T’Wolves Equals PG

When I sat down and look at what I hoped that Timberwolves leadership would do tonight, picked four point guards was not in the top ten scenarios possible.

Granted, UNC guard TY Lawson is headed to Denver and Florida guard Nick Calathes is going to Dallas.  And everything I have heard and read is that there is going to be a deal with including Ricky Rubio.

Wayne Ellington at 28 is a good pick, but it is tough to give them a grade when it still seems up in the air.

Carter to the Magic

I get the need to fill the void of Hedu Turkaglu and Vince Carter replaces the scoring, but trading Country Lee makes me sad.  He was something they did not have, a good defensive player who could get to he basket and make a mid-range jumper.  Carter is going to have to figure out how to play with a quality big man, which he has not done, ever.  And Carter will have to find how to be effective with out the ball in his hands.

This trade is a reaction to various things.

  1. Trade - With Shaq coming to Ohio and the Wizards adding Mike Miller and Randy Foye, the Magic needed to improve as top in the east got a little more crowded.
  2. Hedu Opting Out - With Turkeglu opting out of his contract, the Magic would have had a hole in the line-up.
  3. The Economy – it makes sense for teams to dump salary.

Many NBA “experts” like this trade and I am not sure I do.  Mainly because you lose Courtney Lee.  If this because he missed that lay-up?  Pau Gosal hit the rim and the pass pulled him behind the backboard.  Just leave him alone.  I think Lee is going to blow-up in Jersey – ala Devin Harris – and those two could become the best young backcourt in the league.

Clippers – So Far So Good

Lets be honest, it would have been pretty hard for the em to mess this up, but there is still time, it’s the Clippers for cry-out-loud.

Blake’s brother, Tyler, was drafted at 48 to Phoenix.

Panthers in the 2nd Round

Both DeJuan Blair and Sam Young fell into the second and were picked back-to-back with Young going to Memphis at No. 36 and Blair to the Spurs at No. 37.  I think Blair fell because of his knees and Young because of his age.  Both will grow and will be assets the moment the put on a uniform.

NBA Combine Measurements

I “borrowed” the chart below because it has some fun bits of knowledge to ponder before the draft.  I will be posting nba_draft09_203(and writing) my mock in sections and should start on Monday – maybe sooner.  

NBA DRAFT COMBINE MEASUREMENTS

Player Height
w/out shoes
Height
w/shoes
Weight Wingspan Standing
reach
Jeff Adrien, UConn 6′ 5¼” 6′ 6½” 235.2 7′ 2″ 8′ 11½”
Rodrigue Beaubois, France 6′ 1¼” 6′ 2¼” 182.4 6′ 9¾” 8′ 4″
DeJuan Blair,
Pittsburgh
6′ 5¼” 6′ 6½” 276.6 7′ 2″ 8′ 10½”
Derrick Brown, Xavier 6′ 7½” 6′ 8½” 224.6 7′ 2½” 8′ 11½”
Chase Budinger, Arizona 6′ 6¼” 6′ 7″ 206.4 6′ 7″ 8′ 5″
DeMarre Carroll, Missouri 6′ 6¼” 6′ 7¾” 207.2 6′ 10″ 8′ 9″
Omri Casspi, Israel 6′ 7¾” 6′ 9¼” 211.2 6′ 9¼” 8′ 10½”
Dionte Christmas, Temple 6′ 4¼” 6′ 5½” 210.6 6′ 9″ 8′ 6½”
Earl Clark, Louisville 6′ 8½” 6′ 10¼” 226.4 7′ 2 1/5″ 9 1½”
Darren Collison, UCLA 6′ 0¼” 6′ 1½” 166.2 6′ 3″ 8′ 0½”
Dante Cunningham, Villanova 6′ 7″ 6′ 8¼” 227.4 6′ 11″ 8′ 10½”
Stephen Curry, Davidson 6′ 2″ 6′ 3¼” 181.0 6′ 3½” 8′ 1″
Austin Daye, Gonzaga 6′ 9¾” 6′ 10¾” 191.8 7′ 2¼” 9′ 2″
DeMar DeRozan, USC 6′ 5¼” 6′ 6¼” 211.2 6′ 9″ 8′ 6¼”
Toney Douglas,
Florida State
6′ 1″ 6′ 2″ 183.4 6′ 6″ 8′ 1½”
Wayne Ellington,
North Carolina
6′ 4¼” 6′ 5¼” 202.4 6′ 6½” 8′ 4″
Tyreke Evans, Memphis 6′ 4″ 6′ 5¼” 220.6 6′ 11¼” 8′ 8″
Jonny Flynn, Syracuse 5 11¼” 6′ 0¾” 195.6 6′ 4″ 7′ 11½”
Taj Gibson, USC 6′ 8½” 6′ 9¾” 214.4 7′ 4″ 9′ 1″
Danny Green,
North Carolina
6′ 5¼” 6′ 6½” 208 6′ 10″ 8′ 7″
Blake Griffin, Oklahoma 6′ 8½” 6′ 10″ 248.4 6′ 11¼” 8′ 9″
Tyler Hansbrough,
North Carolina
6′ 8¼” 6′ 9½” 234.2 6′ 11½” 8′ 10″
Luke Harangody,
Notre Dame
6′ 6¼” 6′ 8″ 240.4 6′ 9¾” 8′ 10″
James Harden,
Arizona State
6′ 4″ 6′ 5¼” 222.0 6′ 10¾” 8′ 7½”
Gerald Henderson, Duke 6′ 4″ 6′ 5″ 214.6 6′ 10¼” 8′ 6½”
Josh Heytvelt, Gonzaga 6′ 10″ 6′ 11″ 246.2 7′ 1¼” 9′ 0″
Jordan Hill, Arizona 6′ 9¼” 6′ 10¼” 232.4 7′ 1½” 9′ 0″
Jrue Holiday, UCLA 6′ 3¼” 6′ 4¼” 199.0 6′ 7″ 8′ 4½”
Joe Ingles, Australia 6′ 7¾” 6′ 8¼” 209.2 6′ 10¼” 8′ 9″
Damion James, Texas 6′ 6¼” 6′ 7½” 224.0 7′ ¾” 8′ 10″
James Johnson,
Wake Forest
6′ 7″ 6′ 7 ¾” 257.2 7′ 0¾” 8′ 9½”
Gani Lawal,
Georgia Tech
6′ 7 ¾” 6′ 9″ 229.0 7′ 0″ 8′ 10″
Ty Lawson,
North Carolina
5′ 11¼” 6′ 0½” 198.6 6′ 0¾” 7′ 10½”
Eric Maynor, VCU 6′ 2¼” 6′ 3¼” 163.6 6′ 2½” 8′ 1″
Jack McClinton, Miami (Fla.) 5′ 11¾” 6′ 0¾” 185.2 6′ 2½” 8′ 0″
Jerel McNeal, Marquette 6′ 1½” 6′ 3″ 190.4 6′ 7¼” 8′ 3½”
Jodie Meeks, Kentucky 6′ 3″ 6′ 4″ 211.4 6′ 4½” 8′ 2″
Patrick Mills,
Saint Mary’s
5′ 11¼” 6′ 0½” 175.4 6′ 2″ 7′ 11″
B.J. Mullens, Ohio State 6′ 11¾” 7′ 1¼” 258.2 7′ 1½” 9′ 3″
Jeff Pendergraph, Arizona State 6′ 8¾” 6′ 10″ 239.6 7′ 1″ 8′ 11″
A.J. Price, UConn 6′ 0½” 6′ 2″ 192.8 6′ 3¾” 8′ 1″
Tyler Smith, Tennessee 6′ 5¼” 6′ 6″ 212.0 6′ 9¾” 8′ 8½”
DaJuan Summers, Georgetown 6′ 7¼” 6′ 8½” 243 7′ 0¾” 8′ 10½”
Jermaine Taylor,
Central Florida
6′ 3½” 6′ 4¾” 207.4 6′ 8¾” 8′ 6″
Jeff Teague,
Wake Forest
6′ 0¼” 6′ 1½” 175.2 6′ 7½” 8′ 2½”
Hasheem Thabeet, UConn 7′ 1¼” 7′ 2½” 267.2 7′ 6¼” 9′ 5″
Marcus Thornton, LSU 6′ 2¾” 6′ 3¾” 194.4 6′ 5″ 8′ 3″
Greivis Vasquez, Maryland 6′ 4¾” 6′ 6″ 197.4 6′ 7¼” 8′ 5″
Terrence Williams, Louisville 6′ 5″ 6′ 6¼” 213.2 6′ 9″ 8′ 7¾”
Sam Young,
Pittsburgh
6′ 5¼” 6′ 6¾” 222.8 6′ 10¾” 8′ 9½”

NBA vs. College Basketball

This argument comes down to one thing:  In the NBA, players play for the name on the back of the jersey.  In college the players play for the name on the front.

Too simple?  Yes.

True?  I think so.

Quality arguments can be made to point out the positives and negatives on whether the NBA or college basketball is superior. Even after this article, you will still have a preference, and that is good.  Yet I believe that a vast majority of sports lovers assume that the NBA is “better” because the talent is stronger and the players are more mature – last point is debatable.

One disclaimer – everything is the NBA is about money, and a good portion of college ball is as well, but the NCAA can’t admit that.  With that said, I will not need to breakdown the “why do they play”, because we all know.

Let’s breakdown by certain factor’s.  And I will decide the winner of those categories, and the side with the most “points”, wins.

JerseysLeBron James

NBA - Every team in the NBA has at least three different jerseys (if you are the LeBrons, you have 17).  The jerseys range from classics with the Lakers and Celtics, to the WNBAish with the Timberwolves and the Kings.  And you will always know the players because the names are always on the back.

When the average fan purchases a jersey they are usually supporting the individual, not the team.

84254635MW087_NCAA_Second_RCollegeThe college jerseys are not as visual creative and rarely do you have “throw back night”, but I have not seen a jersey that makes me wonder if they accidentally put on the girls team’s jersey.  Certain schools will never put the names on the back, and some have removed the players name to drive the point home that we are one team – not just players.

When the average fan (or alumni) purchases a jersey they are usually supporting the school, not the individual.

Also, you can just by a jersey with any number and unless the player is incredible and the number is retired, you might be able to use it again and again.

Winner = Tie, both are sweet.

Arenas

NBA - The NBA is full of teams with new stadiums that are shiny, glitzy, and in HD.  Now, name two famous/historic stadium.  Madison Square Garden, huh, wait there has to be at least one more…nope.  That’s it.

CollegeUnlike the pro’s, the undergrads study in historic buildings.  Cameroon Indoor Stadium, the Hoosier Dome, Williams Arena (Minnesota), etc.  And there are many more.

So this comes down to personal preference.  Do you like the old or new?

Winner = College.  I think everyone needs a reminder of those who have been there before.

CheerleadersBKN-CELTICS-LAKERS-GAME 1

NBA - They have many costume changes and get to perform a ton, and might even get to be on a  calender or two.  The downside is that there are probably more implants in the NBA than in college.

CollegeThe cheerleaders are typically less “dancy”, and there is more traditional cheer leading.  Sometimes co-ed, so pyramids and flips are frequent.   But my wife thinks it is weird – and a little creepy –  that the fans are gawking at teenagers.  Good point.

Winner = NBA.  At least they get paid and they are legal.

Rules

NBA - Six fouls, 48 minutes, 24 second shot clock, 8 seconds to get over half court.

The rules in the NBA lean towards the one-on-one game.  The introduction of the “zone” has made it better.

College - Five fouls, 40 minutes, 35 second shot clock, 10 seconds to get over half court.

The college game leans towards team play and strategy.

If the college game would increase the foul limit to six and increase minutes, this would not be a contest.  But they have yet to do it.

Winner = NBA.  Sometimes 5 fouls just is not enough.

Referring

NBAI am not even going to factor the case of a certain ref named Tim into this equation, that would be unfair.  Some experts say that refs control the games in the NBA more than any other element, and can then pick a winner and it becomes obvious in the way they call the game.

The league has been calling touch fouls on anyone in the area of their stars for years, but now, anyone can get tick-tack fouls on their way to the basket and on the perimeter.  Prime example – hand checks.

College - Every time a player steps on the court they have to be ready to adjust to whomever calls the game – the same is true in the NBA, but I think the refs are a little more consistent.  Plus, the way the game is called usually allows the players to play a little more, which is why we watch.

Winner = College.   Give the players a chance to play.

Jerry SloanCoaches

NBA -The coaches on certain teams are more high school counselor than NBA coach.  Teams are made up of grown men who are trying to make a living and have ego’s as big – or bigger than most of their second homes.

If the association, unless you are a top-tier coach, you are more expendable than the worst players on their teams.  Coaches rarely get credit for wins, but always get the blame for loses.

Breaking into the ranks of head coach is more difficult in the NBA than any other sport, but once you are in the coaching carousal, even if you are fired – you stay on the ride.

College - Coaches are the face of the program. And everyone is very aware of that.  Some would say that coaches in college have bigger ego’s and need to be the center of attention than their counterparts in the league.

A college coaches duties are pretty year round and always changing with the different roster that appears each season.  You have recruiting and players leaving early which means the ability to adjust on the fly is very important.

There is a better chance for coaches to get their “break” and land a good job.

Winner = NBA.  Longer season, but recruiting is not in the job description.  And you don’t have to deal with alumni.

Crowds

NBA - One could swear that the mute button is on until halfway through the fourth quarter.

CollegeThe stadiums are always full with students and alumni.  They sing their school songs and go nuts even at 11 am.

Winner = College.  This really wasn’t a contest – the NBA didn’t stand a chance.

Style of Play

NBAThe NBA has long been a league that allows for individuals to showcase their ability to beat defenders one-on-one.  The idea of team defense is all about weak side help, doubling the post and a little zone.  The NBA is quicker at times, but comes down to players making plays in crucial, end-of-game situations.

College- Each squad has to establish their own style and the ability of that team to dominate tempo.  Each possession means more because there less throughout the game.  There are more swings in the success of the team and the crowd can really affect how teams play.

Winner =NBA.  Systems are good, but players should decide games.  And in the NBA they do, if the refs let them.

Postseason

NBA - Finally.  I always feel that way.  Getting through the regular season can be like getting teeth pulled, but the playoffs are magical (see Bulls vs. Celtics).  Many feel the playoffs are too long, the seeding needs to get reworked and that good teams are left out.  But that last point happens in every sport.

College – There are upsets and underdogs making runs deep into the tournament, players can take their lead their team over better teams and make names for themselves.  The only issue is that many times really good get left out on selection Sunday.

Winner = College.  From the brackets to watching the games online at work and every game matters.

Acquisition of Players

NBA – The NBA draft is fun to watch.   It is short and you usually have a good idea of who is going where.

Free agency is a toss-up.  It can help a team rebuild really fast (the Spurs are experts at this), but it also decreases the amount of players that stick with teams their whole careers.  Even All-Stars Tracy McGrady and Vince Carter have played for at least two different teams (T-Mac has played for three – Raptors, Magic and Rockets).

College – Recruiting is interesting to follow and you can keep busy all year round.  With coaching changes and kids changing their minds, it is a very fluid situation.

I understand the “sit-out-a-year” rule when you transfer from one D1 school to another, but think it should be changed if their is a coaching change or family hardship.

Winner = College.  Money is not involved – at least I hope not.  Oh wait.

Final Tally

I think have covers the majority of important issues that make each game unique onto itself.  Even after this extremely logical argument, there will be some that will disagree, and that is OK.  Because you are wrong, or least “less-right”.

Winner = College 6 to the NBA’s 4.

Quick Hits 4/10/09

Draft Declarers – Round 3

  1. Jeff Teague, guard from Wake Forrest
  2. DeMar DeRozan, guard from USC
  3. Taj Gibson, forward from USC
  4. Daniel Hackett, guard rom USC
  5. Jrue Holiday, guard from UCLA
  6. Jordan Hill, forward from Arizona
  7. Nic Wise, guard from Arizona
  8. James Harden, guard from ASU
  9. Jonny Flynn, guard from Syracuse
  10. Paul Harris, guard from Syracuse
  11. Eric Devendorf, guard from Syracuse

Rumor has it that DeRozan, Hachett, Holiday, Harris and Devendorf have all hired agents.  The Syracuse boys are making a mistake is that pans out.  Neither Harris or Devendorf guaranteed to be drafted and the Orange have a great chance at making a run to the Final Four next season if they return with Flynn.

There is a ton of talent in this group, but other than the the players from the PAC-1o (minus Wise), everyone should come back for another year.  I understand the desire to leave the craziness of Arizona, and USC is the OJ Mayo/Reggie Bush “Amatuer” Sports Prep School, so it is natural that the three best players want to jump – they may have a couple years ago.

I have also read that PITT forward and Big East Co-Player of the DeJuan Blair has hired an agent.  That is a mistake.  There is little chance of him being a first round pick, but I am sure he is being sold on the idea that the media is calling this a “weak draft” and he better strike while he is hot.

Good Luck.

Duke Fans Meet John Wall

This could be your point guard future.

If Wall signs, Duke would have 3 out of the top 17 draft picks in 2009 classes.

ESPN 2009 Top Recuiring Classes

ESPN was had a list of the top-25 classes coming in next year. It looks to not have adjusted for the coaching moves and recruits de-committing.

A couple highlights.

1. UNC

2.  Texas

3.  Florida

6.  Duke

7.  Indiana

10. Minnesota