Tag Archives: Tyler Smith

What A Sports Weekend!

Busy Basketball Weekend

The college basketball teams ranked No. 3-6 and 8, 10-14, 16-18, 19-21 and 23 are all playing on Saturday.  Then on Sunday the No. 1, 7, 9, 15, 19, 22, 24, and 25 teams have games.   And there are match-ups on ranked teams all over the place – some on television.

Saturday

  • Colorado at No. 2 Texas
  • Georgia at No. 3 Kentucky
  • No. 4 Purdue at No. 20 Wisconsin
  • No. 5 Duke at No. 17 Georgia Tech on ESPN
  • Marquette at No. 6 Villanova
  • No. 8 West Virginia at Notre Dame
  • No. 10 Kansas State at Missouri
  • No. 11 Michigan State at Iowa
  • No. 13 Connecticut at No. 12 Georgetown on ESPN
  • UNLV at No. 14 New Mexico
  • Miss. St at No. 16 Mississippi
  • No. 18 Gonzaga at Portland
  • Boston College at No. 21 Clemson
  • No. 23 BYU at UTEP

Sunday

  • No. 1 Kansas at No. 15 Tenn on CBS
  • South Florida at No. 7 Syracuse
  • Virginia Tech at No. 9 UNC
  • No. 19 Florida State at Maryland
  • No. 22 Washington at Arizona
  • No. 24 Butler at Detroit
  • No. 25 Temple at Rhode Island

That is every-single-team ranked in the USA Today Top 25 playing this weekend.  That is nuts.  But here are my picks of the bunch.

Duke at GT – GT had one of the best recruiting classes this year, headlined by the want to see GT’s super-freshmen Derrick Favors play.  Favors was the No. 2 recruit in the nation last year and while he is not getting the headlines like other freshmen (John Wall and Xavier Henry), Favors is averaging 12.2 ppg, 8.8 rpg and 2.2 blocks per game.

Kansas at Tennessee – Does anyone know what is happening or going to happen to the players arrested?  I think they are suspend indefinitely, so this match-up may not be as close as it would be with Tyler Smith in the line-up.  Still these are both talented teams, but Kansas is just bigger than Tennessee.  Update – Smith has been dismissed from the team.

Purdue at Wisconsin – I know that Big Ten basketball can be very painful to watch, but this is the Boilmakers first real road test at the toughest place to play in the Big Ten – i.e. Duke in ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

UNLV at New Mexico – I know nothing about either of these teams, but there is buzz surrounding both teams.  Should be a tough conference game.

NFL Playoffs Getting Started

The first round of the playoffs are also happening this weekend.  And there are two rematch from last week with Philly and Dallas and Green Bay at Arizona.  A lot people are picking upsets and home teams losing.  Here are match-ups:

Saturday

  • NY Jets at Cincinnati
  • Philadelphia at Dallas

Sunday

  • Baltimore at New England
  • Green Bay at Arizona

Every match-up really could go either way, but here are my quick thoughts.

  • New York beats Cincinnati, I have no real thoughts about this game.
  • But the Philly/Dallas game is very interesting.  Was what we saw last week real with Philly?  I am not sure.  But I think The Eagles go back to Dallas and upset the Cowboys.
  • New England could struggle without Wes Welker, but I am not confident in the Ravens offense.  So, I am picking New England.
  • Green Bay rolled over Arizona – or did the Cardinals roll-over when they knew there was nothing to play for?  I think Green Bay wins again.

The Vikings will play either Dallas, Arizona or Green Bay next Sunday.  I fear only the Cowboys – but the Cardinals beat the crap of the Vikings and it is very hard to beat a team three times in a season.  But the Purple are playing at home.

Minnesota Timberwolve GM David Kahn Podcast

I listen to a lot of podcasts – ESPN has a ton – and one that I listen to is the NBA Today with Ryan Rusillo.  He however is not the reason that I listen.  Rusillo just thinks to much of himself and kind of drives me nuts, but he gets a lot of good guests on the podcast.

he latest podcast features an interview with T’Wolve GM David Kahn and they discussed the team and his thoughts on the future of the team.  Click here to get to the NBA Today podcast page.

Quick Hits 4/27/09

NBA Playoffs Mini-Hits

1.  I will go on record as saying this has been the most entertaining and competitive opening rounds of NBA playoffs I can remember (minus Cavs vs. Pistons and Nuggets vs. Hornets).Loul Deng

2.  The current Chicago Bulls roster is a who’s who of Final Fours recent past.

  • Loul Deng – Duke 2004
  • Kirk Hinrich – Kansas 2003
  • Ben Gordon – UConn – 2004
  • Tyrus Thomas – LSU – 2006
  • Joakim Noah – Florida – 2006 and 2007
  • Derrick Rose – Memphis – 2008

3.  The Derrick Rose/Rajon Rondo triple-double “anything you can do, I can do better” showdown, is the single best match-up in the playoffs.

4.  The Cavs looked bored at times playing the Pistons, if it weren’t for the fact that the LeBrons were so much fun, I would have been bored.  It seemed like there were more Cavs fans at the games in Detroit than Pistons fans.

5.  Example of balance – in Game 4 of  the Sixers vs. the Magic, every stater scored in double figures.  Hedu Turkaglu finally showed up and hit a game winner when the Magic needed.  Philly’s Andre Miller is underrated and has been his whole career.  Andre Iquodala is showing the nonbelievers that he is a legit All-Star type player not just an athlete.

6.  The Hawks are talented, just not basketball savvy enough to take this series from DWade and the south beach bunch.

7.  If Kobe plays like he did in Game 4, the run to the Championship series will be short.  Carlos boozer has one of the nice jump shots, I would have never thought so at Duke.

8.  Yao looks tough and Von Wafer is the talk of the town in Houston.  PS – Portland.  FRONT YAO IN THE POST!

9.  Say good-bye to one of the greatest Dynastys we have seen.  Duncan is at the end of maybe the greatest career since Jordan and the Spurs will have to find another way to win, just not this year.

Side Note – The Pistons, as we knew them, are done.  The lose to Cleavland is the final bell and this team is be exploded all over the league.  No one is safe.

Draft Declarers Round 6 or 7 – just like the NFL draftGerald Henderson

Everyone not names Vasquez, go to the NBA.  The only one that is questionable is Smith.  We know what he can do, but I want to see him develop a better shot.  Personally, I would like Henderson to come back and lead a stacked Duke squad, and he still has the option without an agent.  Only Curry has signed with an agent, but I would expect the first three on the list to join him quickly.

ESPN”s Andy Katz voices his opinons on the underclassmen.

NDSU’s Woodside Workouts

Ben Woodside will be wearing NBA gear of at least four different teams, if only for a couple hours.  Woodside has work outs scheduled with the Timberwolves, Trial Blazers, Grizzles and Rockets and should expect more in the near future.

Many experts feel Woodside will not be drafted, but is almost guaranteed a free agent contact with an NBA team.

DraftExpress.com had this to say about Woodside durning the Portsmouth Tourney.

Random Hits

  • I would like to know how many people, who are not getting paid, actually watch the entire NFL draft.
  • I am not sure who started the trend, but I like seeing the players at home waiting to be selected.  Surround by people who have supported them not matter what jersey they wore.  Instead of with a bunch of people who are only cheering you because you wear their team’s jersey.
  • Boston swept the Yankees – suddenly, A-Rod is needed.

The All-Do Everything Team: Forwards

Every team needs them.  Every team wants them.  These players typically do not average a ton of points, but can score when they are needed and step up when his team needs a boost.

They dive on the floor, grab the important rebound or make the defensive play to save the game.  Their teams win or loose depending on how these players play.

There are many players who are in the double-double category, but I will highlight some players who do little bit of everything with less name recognition.  The players can be hard to label – i.e. small forward, power forward, shooting guard, etc. – but no matter what you call them, they get the job done.

The All-Do Everything Team

Tyler Smith, Tennessee

Smith is the heart and soul of Bruce Pearl’s struggling Volunteer team, but times would be even more difficult without the Iowa transfer.  Smith is the team’s leading scorer averaging 17.8 ppg and is one of only three players who gets more than four rebounds a game with 6.1 rpg.

In the last four game against; Kansas, Gonzaga, Georgia and Kentucky, Smith averaged 35 minutes a game.  Pearl turns to the 6’7″ junior late in games when the team needs a basketball, which is the only time the coach calls set plays.

Smith recorded the only triple-double – 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists – this season against everyone’s favorite punching bag UNC Ashville.

Danny GreenDanny Green, North Carolina

The Tarheels lose at Wake Forrest could have been much worse if not for Green.  But the senior guard was making plays all over the court and finished with 22 points, six rebounds and five steals.

The 6’6″ defensive hound has a solid stat-line this season; 13.2 points, 4.5 rebound, 3 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.4 blocks a game.  Plus he is shooting 47 percent from the three point line and is a career 83 percent shooter from the foul line.

Unlike Smith, Green rarely gets an offense plays run for him, but he always around the ball.  Green always knows how and where to find open spaces on the floor and he has a quick trigger from deep.

Evan Turner, Ohio State

After playing a supporting role last season, sophomore Turner is now the leader on this young Buckeye team and he has stepped-up his game to fill the role.

In a nationally televised game against then ranked No. 7 Notre Dame, Turner broke out with 28 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and played all 40 minutes.

Turner has always been a solid defensive player, but his offensive numbers have improved with more shots.  Turner increased his scoring from 8.5 points a game last season to 15.7 this season.   He has gotten better defensively, the 6’7″ long-armed winger is averaging 2.3 take-aways a game, up one steal from last season.

Robbie Hummel, Purdue

At 6’8″ Hummel is the leading rebounder in the Big-Ten.  Enough said.  Well, almost enough.

Hummel also leads the Boilermakers in scoring with 14 points a game.  But like everyone on this list, he helps out in every way possible.  Hummel averages 2.4 assists and 1.1 steals a game while shooting 40 percent from distance.

Hummel is not just a “scorer”, he is an extremely efficient shooter.  He shoots 87 percent from the foul line and 48 percent from the floor.  Of his conference leading 7.9 rebounds a game, two a game are on the offensive end.

Terrence Williams, LouisvilleTerrance Williams

The super athletic Williams, is the leader of the Louisville Cardinal team that seems to have righted the ship.  Williams is the Cardinal leader with 9.3 rebounds and five assist per game – that is two more assists a game than any other Louisville player.

Williams is more of a scorer than a shooter, he does not shoot a high percentage.  Williams is one of the best finishers in the country and he gets a lot of his buckets using a combo of strength and  jumping  ability.  He is able to shot over shorter defenders and going around bigger opponents.

Williams leads the Cardinals in rebounding, assists, steals, and turnover to assists ratio (2.4:1)  and is third in points.  Even though Williams is a thief on the court, he has not fouled out of a game all season and has only committed four fouls once.

Kyle Singler, Duke

Singler is the busiest player wearing a Blue Devils uniform.  Coach K asks him to be everywhere at every moment.  From setting screens to offensive rebounding, from shooting three’s to guarding post players.

Singler is does not have the efficiency of others on this list, but like of these players, he finds ways to contribute.

Singler leads Duke in points, rebounds, assists and steals per game but he has been struggling this season from the perimeter.

Sam YoungSam Young, Pittsburgh

I have not seen Young much this season, but I do know that he is playing at a high level after having a slow start.  While he currently is not in the top five in any major statistical category, Young does lead the Panthers in scoring with 18.4 ppg.

Young is a difficult match-up for most team because he is such a strong player, who never looks rushed.  He uses his athleticism to create and make difficult shots, and is a career 49 percent shooter from the field.

Chase Budinger, Arizona

Budinger is one of my favorite players in college basketball.  Why, you ask.  He rarely looks uncomfortable on the court and is very capable of finding shots is the nature flow of the Wildcat offense.

Like many of the players on this list, Budinger is a tremendous leaper, but his all around game is more refined.  He shoots 44 percent from distance, 48 percent from the floor and 83 percent from the foul line.

Budinger was considered a lottery pick out of high school and while his draft status may have dropped, he should prove to be an asset to an NBA team.

Da’Juan Summers, Georgetown

At 6’8″ and 236 pounds, Summers is a major physical presence and ever since his arrival at Georgetown, his production has increased.

His freshmen year, Summers averaged 9.5 points a game, shot 42 percent from the floor and 33 percent from distance.  so far this season, he is scoring 15.5 points a fame, shooting 54 percent from the floor and 44 from distance.

Summers is the leader of a balanced Hoyas team and sets the tone for this young squad.  While not as athletic as Young or Williams, he is an over powering player and a tough defender.