Tag Archives: Blake Griffin

2009-10 NBA Preview: Part 1

It seems like only yesterday that I was watching the Lakers win the NBA championship in Orlando.  Actually, it may have been yesterday, ESPN Classics probably showed it again.

There have been a ton of off-season moves, but we will get to that in part 2.  For now, take a look at some of the young players to watch.

Rookies – 10 SpotBlake Griffin

  1. Blake Griffin –  As the No. 1 pick, expectations with him and the Clippers are going to be on different levels.  But there should be plenty of chance for improvement for both.  PS – He may be out for six weeks.  Clippers curse!
  2. Brandon Jennings – After an up and down year in Italy, many are hoping that a return to the States will mean the return of his game.  I thought Jennings might be a good chance of pace off the bench, but word is that he will be starting.
  3. Earl Clark – Is anyone more Jekyll and Hyde than the former Louisville star?  He is on the end of the bench, but Clark is a building block for the post-Steve-Nash era.
  4. Eric Maynor – Jerry Sloan found the perfect point guard in Maynor and he should grow with some tough-Sloan-love.  He will be the perfect back-up for Deron Williams.
  5. James Johnson – Like Clark, Johnson had lottery-like talent.  And like Clark, he had the ability to disappear on occasion.  Johnson will also be low on the depth chart, could add the element of running the offense through him when he is on the court.
  6. Derrick Brown – The Bobcats are piecing together a nice team and Brown could pan out to be the steal of the draft at the 4oth pick.
  7. Chase Budinger – One of my favorite college players has landed on a team with Trevor Ariza and Shane Battier.  But Budinger is skilled and athletic enough to add offense off the bench.
  8. Danny Green – There were a few picks that made sense for the Cavs.  But the perfect pick was Green.  A 6’7″ defensive hound, who will not need to be handled with kids gloves and will bust his butt regardless of the amount of playing time he gets.
  9. Toney Douglas – Poor man’s Ben Gordon plus defense, Douglas derserves to get meaningful playing time.  But on a roster with Chris Duhon, Nate Robinson, Wilson Chandler, Larry Hughes and Cuttino Mobley, there are not going to be enough balls to around.
  10. Jonny Flynn – Flynn was the only reason I watched the Orangemen last season and he will be the man running the show in Minnesota this season.  But he will also play with one of the best big men in Al Jefferson.

Sophomore Sensations?

Joe Alexander – This guy was the epitome of explosive at West Virginia.  Athletically and emotionally, Alexander was able take games over in a flash.  But his rookie was not much more than spark (4.7 ppg and 1.9 rpg in a total of 12.1 minutes a game).  Alexander struggled to find playing time, but the Bucks higher-ups must have seen something in Alexander they liked by letting Charlie Villanueva sign in Detroit.  Looking for more than just a spark this season with some more playing time.O.J. Mayo

O.J. Mayo – I was not a fan of Mayo until I watched a bunch of games of USC and I was excited when Minnesota drafted him with the No. 4 pick two drafts ago.  But then I woke up the next morning and Mayo was in Memphis.  A quick look at his stats you will see 18.5 ppg, 3.8 ppg, and more assists than turnover (barely).  But what is really impressive is 44% shooting from the field, 38% from distance and 88% from the foul line.  After finishing runner-up in the ROY voting, Mayo is posed to do more in Memphis.  The only question, is the Answer – Allen Iverson.  And how Iverson’s need to have the play in his hand will effective Mayo.  Because Mayo has the same need.

D.J. Augustin – When the Bobcats drafted Augustin, I think everyone was surprised.  You had a strong starting point guard in Raymond Felton, but maybe Charlotte was looking for another option off the bench.  In 26.1 minutes a game, Augustin added 11.8 ppg and 3.5 apg.  All while shooting 43% from the field, 44% from three-point range and 89% from the charity stripe.  Side-note: In twelve starts last season, Augustin averaged 17.8 points and 5.6 assists.  Expect to see more minutes for this tiny, yet talented guard.

Eric Gordon – In his one season at Indiana, he was involved Kelvin Sampson scandal.  So going to the Clippers was probably not as shocking as it would have been for other players.  Many people under-rated him as a player coming out of college.  But the LA choose home and he did not disappoint, and the Clippers needed him to take on a large load of he offensive.  16.1 ppg, 46% from the field, 39% from the floor and 85% from the foul line.  I would expect him to turn into more of a spot-up shooter who will live off the double teams of Blake Griffin.

Danilo Gallinari – To say that the Knicks faithful were shocked by the pick Gallinari, would be an understatement.  While limited to on 28 games by a back injury, there were hints of ability in his limited time on the court.  He can score from the perimeter, shooting 45% from the field and 44% from distance.  Gallinari is not a great athlete and can be a below-par defender, but has the ideal head coach in Mike D’Antoni’s run and gun offense.

Mario Chalmers – When the Heat trade for Chalmers, it probably was not in the plan to have him start all 82 games. But this quick, defensive guard could prove to be exactly what the Heat need.  A pass first point guard (4.9 apg), who can put constant pressure on the ball (2.0 steal per game), shoot a good percentage from the field (42%), and score when need (10 ppg).  Going into his second season, Chalmers should continue to put impressive numbers in regards to his assists and steals.  But needs to improve from distance, as he only shot 37% from distance.

Kosta Koufos – After a less than impressive freshmen season at Ohio State, Koufas declared for the draft.  Being drafted by the Jazz was an ideal situation as he was not needed to start from day one, and had time to learn under some talented players.  But Koufas is talented and has a good offensive game for a player his size (7’0″) and his age (20 years old).  Look for more playing time, and in that, a more appealing stat line.

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Quick Hits 7/14/09

So I have taken a couple days off, mostly because I was not moved to write.  But with the shocking news of Jessica Simpson and Tony Romo splitting-up, I felt compelled to voice my concerns.

Jessica and Tony

So, you’re saying there is a chance?  No, there is not.

Timberwolves Coaching Search

The rumors out there is that the TWolves are looking at Mark Jackson, Kurt Rambis and Rockets assistant Elston Turner.  I would be OK with Rambis or Turner, but not Jackson.  HE HAS NO HEAD COACHING EXPERINCE!!

Maybe Jackson will have the respect of the players, but still, I am not ready to throw the team Mark Jackson.

NBA Summer LeagueJonny Flynn

The TWolves rookies have been playing well and Jonny Flynn looks legit.  Wayne Ellington is playing well.  Check out the highlights at ESPN.com.

Ellington has scored 26 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in two games.  Ellington pulled down 8 rebounds in the first game and then scored 22 points in the second.

In two games Flynn is averaging 11.5 points, 10.5 assists and 6.5 turnovers.  But looks to be able to control a team and get to the basket and finish against bigger players.

I just wish they would trade Rick Rubio.  Say good bye to the Spanish wonder and get some draft picks or young talent.

Blake Griffin had a steller debut. 27 points and 12 rebounds.

I am putting it out there – Rookie of the Year comes down to Griffin, Flynn, Steph Curry at Golden State, James Harden at Oklahoma City and Tyreke Evans at Sacramento.  Girffin may not get as much PT with other bigs in his way. file_23_8

Soccer T-Shirt

I am eagerly awaiting this original Landon Donovan inspired soccer t-shirt I bought at www.objectivo.com.

They have some pretty original shirts.  Check them out.

FIFA Rankings

In the ranking releases on July 1st, Brazil claimed the No. 1 spot after their championship in the Confederations Cup in South America.  Moving up from No. 4

The US moves up two spots to No. 12 while the Spainish team fell to No. 2.

Ranking Team Pts
Jul 09
+/- Ranking
Jun 09
+/- Pts
Jun 09
1 Brazil 1672 4   384
2 Spain 1590 -1   -171
3 Netherlands 1379 -1   -63
4 Italy 1229 0   -63
5 Germany 1207 -2   -171
6 Russia 1161 3   -6
7 England 1135 -1   -90
8 Argentina 1091 -1   -112
9 France 1082 1   15
10 Croatia 1031 -2   -169
11 Greece 1001 6   79
12 USA 983 2   36
13 Switzerland 930 3   -1
14 Serbia 925 6   55
15 Denmark 909 9   73

www.fifa.com

Random Basketball Awesome Fact of the Day

Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson are a part of what elite group that Carmelo Anthony has the possibility of joining?

If Carmelo wins an NBA title, they will be the only three players since 1979 to win a NCAA, NBA and Olympic Championship – I think.  I am trying to find info to say other wise.

Now prior to the high school revolutiona and the one-and-dones, it was seen more often.  But I am struggling to find others in the last 30 years.

DTP 2009 NBA Mock Draft: Picks 1-6

More than years past, this draft is completely up in the air.  Even the No. 1 pick.  The economy is forcing organizations to make atypical decisions on the the future, meaning lots of trades and out-of-the-box moves.  Griffin is the sure first pick, but even though the Clippers said they would take him, there are no guarantees.

We could set a record for the number of trades and have fewer international picks then in years past.  After Ricky Rubio, there is not another recognizable non-US player – besides Brandon Jennings.  On the ESPN list of the top 20 prospects, you will not see any other foreign born, besides Rubio, in the Top-20.  And finally at No. 30 we see another international player, 6’9″ small forward Omri Casspi from Israel.

So that being said, it will make for an interesting night.  And my Top-6 have at least one surprise.

1. Los Angeles Clippers:  Blake Griffin, Oklahoma

Everything about this is pointing to an epic failure.  One, it’s the Clippers.  Two, the choice is too obvious.  Three, they have too many post players with too much money tied to those players.

This is the third time the Clippers have had the first pick of the draft, first in 1998 – Michael “I am a total bust, what the hell is giving the idea I will be good” Olowokandi and ten years earlier in 1988 with Danny Manning.

But Griffin is the obvious choice.  There is no debate.  But two random thoughts.  1.  Will the Clippers make any kind of trade around this pick – i.e. the pick or other players?  2.  Would Griffin have been the No. 1 pick in last years draft?

2. Memphis Grizzlies:  Hasheem Thabeet, Connecticut

While I picked Thabeet at this pick, Ricky Rubio is a better pick and player, and I am positive the Grizzlies are looking to trade down.

But if they keep the pick, Thabeet does make sense as Mike Conley seems to have the backing of the organization.  Thabeet will give them a shot blocker and a decent rebounder.  But is still very early in his basketball development.  He is 7’3″ and is much more athletic than people give him credit, and be able to get easy buckets on put-backs and in the lane dunks.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder:  James Harden, Arizona State

I have seen Jrue Holiday at this pick who is very similar to Russell Westbrook but I am not sure that you can skip over Rubio at this spot.  Thabeet works here, but I am not sure he will drop down to No. 3.  The major needs are at the PG/SG and C spot but no other center is worth a top-ten pick.

The Thunder must decide if Westbrook is a true point guard, shooting guard or a combo guard.  If they come to the conclusion that Westbrook is the man at point, then they will pick Harden.   If he is a SG/Combo guard, they will pick Rubio.  Both are ready to contribute from day one.

4. Sacramento Kings:  Ricky Rubio, Spain

If Rubio is available at No. 4, new coach Paul Westphal will need smelling salts.  Kevin Martin is the teams best player at the two spot, Jason Thompson and Spencer Hawes are going to be a solid, yet young, front court, and there is a need at the small forward spot.  But Westpahl can not ignore the fact that Beno Udrih was the starter for the majority of the year, then 36-year-old Bobby Jackson started the last ten games of the season and Will Solomon is your back-up.

Rubio = Instant upgrade.

5. Washington Wizards:  Jordan Hill, Arizona

At No. 5, the Wizards could go anywhere.  They need to draft a highly-qualified doctor to put the team up mid-season when the fall apart.

Hill is high energy and low basketball IQ.  He would help right away, but does not have the up-side that many other picks.  But he is something the Wizards need to win now with Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler and Antwan Jamison.

I could see them going with Steph Curry or Jonny Fylnn or trading this pick.

6. Minnesota Timberwolves:  Tyreke Evans, Memphis

The T’Wolves need talent, plain and simple.  Evans is a great fit as someone who can handle the ball, create his own shot, is over 6’4″ tall, and has monster upside.

Minnesota has needs at point guard, shooting guard, and center, but are not going to find a productive center anywhere near this pick. I have seen Curry and DeMar DeRozan at this pick, I like Curry, but not here.  The Wolves will trade the pick unless they can get Thabeet or Rubio.

If they keep this pick, they need to pick Evans.  This team is young and if they can keep the mature and grow through the remainder of Al Jefferson’s contract, this team will be a force.

Chad Ford’s Mock Draft: Picks 1-5

Here is the latest Chad Ford mock draft with the first five picks.  You need to be an ESPN insider – which I am – to see the remainder of the first round.  I agree with a four of the five picks, but I think that the Hasheem Thabeet and Ricky Rubio could switch and I am not convinced that James Harden is the fifth best player in this draft, but he is more NBA ready than most other shooting guards.

I can tell you that with No. 6 – the MN Wolves pick is predicted to take Tyreke Evans.  I am warming to Evans, I will explain more later.

PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS
L.A. Clippers Blake Griffin Position: PF
Height: 6-10
Weight: 248 pounds
Age: 20
School: Oklahoma

 Analysis:For the past several years, we’ve been blessed with at least a little suspense when it comes to who will be the No. 1 pick. Not this year. Griffin is going to be a Clipper. Sources around the league say that trade talks with the Clippers are virtually nonexistent when it comes to Griffin. Instead the Clippers are focusing on finding a new home for Chris Kaman or Zach Randolph. 
 

PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS
Memphis Hasheem Thabeet Position: C
Height: 7-3
Weight: 267
Age: 22
School: Connecticut

 Analysis: The Grizzlies’ situation continues to be an enigma.

They are talking to a number of teams about a potential trade, and the Kings, Wizards, Knicks, Rockets and Celtics have shown interest in moving up to No. 2.

At the same time, the Grizzlies continue to publicly pursue Ricky Rubio, although a well-placed source in the point guard’s camp said it’s likely (though not definite) that Rubio will skip Memphis when he goes on a three-city U.S. tour next week. And there have been rumblings that Tyreke Evans is in the mix in Memphis.

But when the dust clears, it looks as though the most likely scenario has Thabeet in Memphis on draft night, if the Grizzlies keep the pick. If they move down, add Jordan Hill to the players who would be under consideration.  

PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS
Oklahoma City Ricky Rubio Position: PG
Height: 6-4
Weight: 180
Age: 18
Country: Spain

 Analysis:The Thunder have been their typical quiet selves. GM Sam Presti has told a number of agents that he is interested in their players, but it has been difficult to ascertain the direction the team is leaning.

We continue to hear that the Thunder have expressed interest in Rubio, Thabeet, James Harden, Jordan Hill and Stephen Curry.

Rubio likely will make a visit to OKC some time before the draft, but major questions exist about how he would fit there. The team sees Russell Westbrook as its point guard of the future and isn’t sure how he would fare without the ball in his hands.

Maybe more importantly, Presti is an opportunist. If he can get a couple of good assets in return for the No. 3 pick, he won’t be afraid to pull the trigger.

But if he doesn’t, or if Rubio is off the board, the team will have to make a tough decision. Thabeet would give the Thunder the shot-blocking they desperately need. Harden would give them the savvy of a veteran. Curry would give them shooting. Hill would give them rebounding and energy. Oklahoma City could use all those things, but our guess is that it would settle on Harden or Curry. 

PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS
Sacramento Jrue Holiday Position: PG
Height: 6-4
Weight: 199
Age: 18
School: UCLA

Analysis:At this point I think it’s safe to say the Kings have narrowed it down to Holiday, Flynn and Rubio. In Sacramento this past weekend, Flynn, Holiday (his second visit) and Brandon Jennings went head-to-head in front of the entire Kings brass.

Sources say Flynn was probably the best of the three in the workout, but that Holiday still holds a slight edge on their board. Flynn would provide immediate help and is a real floor leader. But Holiday’s size, upside and defensive ability give him a razor-thin edge.

If the Grizzlies and Thunder both pass on Rubio, the Kings could be in an interesting situation. Sources in Sacramento say the Kings have reservations about Rubio and that it’s far from a done deal that they will take him if he is on the board. Is it possible Rubio could slip past No. 4? Ultimately, I don’t think so. The Kings would be nuts to pass on him. But who would’ve thought a month ago it was even a possibility?  

PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS
Washington James Harden Position:SG
Height: 6-5
Weight: 222
Age: 19
School: Arizona State

Analysis:As we’ve been reporting since draft lottery night, the Wizards are shopping this pick. A source in Washington told me the Wizards have had a number of interesting offers. Their goal is to get back a veteran who can play right now — and to shed a few million dollars off their payroll, if possible. A number of teams including the Knicks, Rockets and Pacers are possibilities here.

If the Wizards keep the pick, they’ll have a tough choice between Harden and Hill. From the intel I’ve received, it sounds as though Harden might be slightly ahead, though Hill and Davidson’s Stephen Curry are still very much in the mix.

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”

Quick Hits 4/08/09

85329035TL028_Pittsburgh_PaSean Miller to Arizona

Miller finally expected the 11M – five year offer that Arizona first made Monday.  Early reports had Miller staying at Xavier, but Arizona is in a different class of basketball, and Xavier is losing a lot of talent this season,

Miller is a good fit got this program and he will have them back to winning quickly.  The first challenge will be to convince Jordan Hill and Nic Wise to stick around, but both have been rumored to be out the door. 

Here is an article from ESPN.com about Miller’s move to Arizona by Andy Katz.

Draft Declarers – Round 2:

This group, compared to the first group, is filled with at least three lottery-first round picks and a lot NBA potential.  Downey, Blair and Meeks should go back to school and as of now, have not hired agents.  While the rest should ahead and hire an agents.

With Budinger and Meeks, one must wonder if their decision was based on the new man who would be in charge of their team.  Budinger would have the unique grand slam of a new coach every year his has played if he had stayed for his senior season and Meeks would have had three with John Calipari. 

Top-25 in 2010

Since this season is over, why not immediately jump to next season and get an early look at the potential top teams in the country.

Yahoo.com gave this prediction for the top-25 teams for the 2010 season.  A good portion of the teams rankings are hinged on the decision of many key players.  No.1 Kansas would drop if Cole Aldrich and/or Sherron Collins declare for the draft (neither should).

Best Championship Team of the Decade

Foxsports.com had a post that ranked the best of the best in college basketball since 2000.  It uses Whatifsports.com which simulates games between any two teams, regardless of time, season, etc.

By the way, this years UNC team is third.

Blake Griffin is a Rare Treat

Nobody’s surprised, but Blake Griffin won the AP National Player of the Year Award. BASKETBALL/NCAA

I hope everybody realizes what a rare player he is.  Athletically he is a freak, that’s obvious.  He made Tyler Hansbrough look fairly average last week in the tourney.  But he couples that athleticism with solid fundamentals, playing good defense and rebounding like an animal (he led the country in rebounding).

Mostly, he is rare because he doesn’t celebrate much, you often see him helping players from the opposite team off the floor, and he is a family man.  The primary reason he returned for his sophomore year (and went to OU in the first place) was because he respects his older brother’s opinion.  He and Taylor Griffin won multiple state championships at Oklahoma Christian School.

And lastly (just take a minute to watch these)…anybody who hustles like this while having the ability to do this is ok in my book.

Good luck in the NBA Mr. Griffin.