2013 NBA Draft: My Starting Five

24 06 2013

 

In anticipation of the NBA Draft on Thursday, this is my starting lineup of the players I like most from each position.

 

 

PG – Michael Carter-Williams (Syracuse)

2012-13 season: 11.9 ppg, 7.3 apg, 4.9 rpg, 2.8 spg

 

 

SG – Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Georgia)

2012-13 season: 18.5 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 2.0 spg, 80.0 FT%

 

 

SF – Anthony Bennett (UNLV)

2012-13 season: 16.1 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 1.2 bpg, 53.3 FG%

 

 

PF – Tony Mitchell (North Texas)

2012-13 season: 13.0 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 2.7 bpg

 

 

C – Gorgui Dieng (Lousiville)

2012-13 season: 9.8 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 2.5 bpg, 2.0 apg, 53.4 FG%

 

 

Bench:

PG/SG – Erick Green (Virginia Tech)

2012-13 season: 25.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.8 apg, 1.3 spg, 81.6 FT%

 

 

PG/SG – C.J. McCollum (Lehigh)

2012-13 season: 23.9 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.9 apg, 1.4 spg, 51.6 3P%, 84.9 FT%

 

 

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It’s the Perfect Time To Be A Cardinal

8 04 2013

Rick Pitino quite possibly just had the best day of his life.

After it was announced earlier in the day that Pitino would be a part of the next group to enter the Hall of Fame, he watched his Louisville Cardinals take down the Michigan Wolverines 82-76 in the NCAA championship game Monday night, as he now becomes the first coach to ever win two championships with two different schools.

Even though Michigan jumped out to a 12-point lead late in the 1st half, Louisville remained focused on playing a full 40-minute game as they have done all season and all tournament. Just a few days ago, the Wichita State Shockers also held a 12-point lead, which Louisville erased by game’s end. These Cardinals know how to rally like another Cardinals team from a different sport…

This event was simply a great basketball game to watch with two teams that had budding basketball players. To put it simply, this was some high-quality basketball and good for the league.

The Wolverines (52.1 percent) actually shot better than the Cardinals (45.9) for the game, but due to Louisville doing the little things, they pulled this one out. The men in red snatched 15 offensive rebounds, led by Chane Behanan (15 points and 12 rebounds), who grabbed seven big offensive rebounds – only one less than the entire Wolverine team. That ability to pound the glass on the offensive end gave the Cardinals 13 more possessions than their opponent.

Even though Trey Burke (24 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field) continued to show the nation why his draft stock keeps rising, possibly all the way to a top-3 pick position, this game was about Luke Hancock‘s hot hand and Peyton Siva‘s ability to do it all.

Sixth man Hancock made all five of the three-pointers he attempted Monday night, leading to a team-high 22 points. This matches his season-high for the year and gives him 42 points in the last two games. The Cardinals have had to fight back to win each of these games and Hancock suddenly becoming extremely dangerous from deep has been a cornerstone to their resiliency.

What Siva did should be considered as just another Siva-type night. He’s been doing it all year long. The senior point guard may not have the best shooting touch but he makes up for it in every other possible way.

18 points. Six rebounds. Five assists. Four steals. Six-for-six from the free throw line. 36 minutes played.

I really like what this 6-0, 185 guard brings to the court night in and night out. His team can always count on him to give one-hundred percent, no matter the opponent and no matter the deficit. Monday night was no exception for the Cardinals’ leader. I believe he has the raw skills to find himself a place in the NBA.

This team showed the nation how you catch fire at just the right time. While the Kansas Jayhawks and Indiana Hoosiers – also No. 1 seeds – looked to have teams ready to make a deep run, each had losses less than a month before the tournament began. Louisville finished the year on a 16-game winning streak, including 12 double-digit victories. That is how you finish a season strong.

The 2013 college basketball champs have kept a trend going of predictability when it comes to the one team that wins it all in this March Madness. (Pay attention to this next stat bracketology gurus.) Six of the last seven and 16 of the last 22 champions have been a No. 1 seed. Even though plenty of Cinderella teams, such as Butler, VCU, FGCU and George Mason, have made an exciting push, none have been able to make it to the finish line.

If you’re not a fan of the rich getting richer, you might as well look away at this point.

Following an 11-2 football season in which they defeated the Florida Gators to take home the All-State Sugar Bowl, their sports program is in the middle of a spectacular Spring sports season. In addition to this recent championship, the Women’s basketball team will continue their Cinderella run when they face the Connecticut Huskies Tuesday for their own national championship. Also, their 14th ranked baseball team is holding their own with a 25-6 record. Director of Athletics Tom Jurich must feel like it’s been Christmas Day 24/7 this entire academic year. For those students currently enrolled at Louisville – you have my jealousy.

Over all of these accolades and numbers, the best part about this championship was the Cardinals’ desire to win this for someone not on the court.

I’m sure most of you have seen the Kevin Ware injury video. Yes, it’s disgusting. But it’s also sad to see a young man fail to finish out his sophomore season playing the sport he loves.

His teammates and brothers wouldn’t let this be a gloomy season’s end for Ware. All the players again came out with Ware’s No. 5 on the back of their warmup jerseys and “Ri5e to the Occasion” on the front. Once the title was obtained, he was right in the thick of the celebration, giving just as many high fives and hugs. Finally, when it was time for that net to be cut, they lowered the net in order to let Ware cut the final strand out of the net.

These are the moments that make sports so captivating and intriguing to watch. When you can visually grasp the type of powerful bond that is formed on these sports teams, especially at the college level, and take a dive into the positive off-court stories, that enriches the game itself and makes it more enjoyable to watch. The support that Ware received from his basketball home couldn’t be more admirable and is simply amazing to see.

“These are my brothers,” Ware said. “They got the job done. I’m so proud of them, so proud of them.”

Now they can enjoy this championship together as a family. Congrats, Louisville.

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Chicago Bulls – Roundball Daily

4 02 2013

For those that are not connected to Facebook and Twitter where I post articles from my other site, here is a link to my most recent Chicago Bulls article from Roundballdaily.com, an NBA and college basketball website. I am a contributing writer, so check in from time to time to see more of my writing.

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One Basketball Player Scores 138 Points In a Game

21 11 2012

Yeah, you read that title right. 138 points.

The Thanksgiving Day feasting started early for Grinnell College, as the university watched their basketball team obliterate Faith Baptist Bible 179-104 and watched their superstar Jack Taylor score an NCAA-record 138 points, shooting 52-of-108 from the field and 27-71 from the 3-point range.

Rio Grande’s Bevo Francis set the previous record of 113 points in 1954. But that was no 138.

Now, I’m not going to get into the fact that there are some underlying issues present when a coach and a team allows one of their players to shoot this many times in one game. (71 3-point attempts… really?) This was an unnecessary offensive onslaught in a 75-point blowout.

What I would like to do is put this performance in perspective compared to NBA records (in which games last 48 minutes) and make clear just how dominate this kid was for 40 minutes of basketball.

  • Kobe Bryant and Donyell Marshall hold the record for most 3-pointers made in a game with 12. They would have needed 12 overtimes to make as many 3’s as Taylor did.
  • Damon Stoudemire hold the record for most 3-point field goal attempts in a game with 21. To hoist up as many shots as Taylor, Stoudemire would have needed 33 overtimes.
  • The Boston Celtics and Phoenix Suns both hold the record for points scored in a regulation game with 173. Taylor would have accounted for 80 percent of these points.
  • Wilt Chamberlain holds the NBA record for most points scored in a game with exactly 100. Four overtimes would have been necessary for Chamberlain to match Taylor’s scoring outburst.
    • Chamberlain holds the NBA record for most field goals made in a game with 36. Chamberlain would have needed five overtimes to match Taylor’s numbers.
    • Chamberlain holds the NBA record for most field goal attempts in a game with 63. Seven overtimes would have been required for Chamberlain to put up as many shots as Taylor did.
  • Ray Allen made 269 3-pointers in the 2005-2006 season, which is the most in a single season. This one game gives Taylor 10 percent of Allen’s season total.
  • George McCloud shot 678 3-pointers in the 1995-1996 season, which is the most 3-point field goal attempts in a single season. This one game gives Taylor 10 percent of McCloud’s season total.

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Fun Fact Friday

16 03 2012

Yesterday UNC Asheville gave Syracuse a run for their money in their 72-65 loss. A #16 seed has never upset a #1 seed, but here’s who have come the closest:

1996 – #16 West Carolina vs. #1 Purdue:  71 – 73

1989 – #16 Princeton vs. #1 Georgetown:  49 – 50

1989 – #16 East Tennesse St vs. #1 Oklahoma:  71 – 72

1990 – #16 Murray St vs. #1 Michigan St:  71 – 75 (overtime)

 

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From 68 to 1

13 03 2012

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Let the Madness Begin

12 03 2012

 

#1 Seeds – Kentucky, Syracuse, North Carolina, and Michigan State.

Interestingly, 3 of these 4 top seeds (all except MSU) are heading into the tournament off a loss. Only the Spartans were able to win their conference tournament while the others were knocked out prematurely.

 

#2 Seeds – Duke, Ohio State, Kansas, Missouri

Duke is looking to make its 16th Final Four appearance while Missouri is still in search of its first.

 

Notable inclusion
Iona – The Gaels won the regular season MAAC title but were upset by Fairfield in their conference tournament. Not having played any team with an RPI above 50, many are wondering how this Mid-American team edged its way in. Look out, though. Iona edges out North Carolina as the highest scoring team in the country.

 

Notable omissions
Washington – The Huskies become the first team from a “major” conference to miss the tournament after winning their regular season conference title. However, the Pac-12 was so weak this year, that most analysts are not surprised at the snub, especially after being upset by Oregon State in the conference tournament.

Drexel – The Dragons won an impressive 27 games this year, and over the second half of the season, won 19 straight games. Unfortunately they lost to VCU (last year’s Final Four Cinderella) in the Colonial Athletic conference tournament. This loss in conjunction with a weak strength of schedule doomed their chances.

 

Bracket Advice
Trends since 1979 (the current seeding era):

Only once has the Final Four been composed of all four #1 seeds (2008).

The Final Four has included no #1 seeds just three times.

(Last year, the Final Four had no #1 seeds or #2 seeds for the first time ever.)

The championship game has pitted two #1 seeds against each other only 6 times.

However, the eventual champion has been a #1 seed 18 times:

1 seed – 18 times
2 seed – 6 times
3 seed – 5 times (including UConn last year)
4 seed – 1 time (Arizona, 1997)
5 seed – never
6 seed – 2 times
7 seed – never
8 seed – 1 (Villanova, 1985)
9 and lower – never

Finally, the Selection Committee has been assigning a #1 overall seed since 2004. This would seem to denote the “best” team in the country; however, only once over the past 8 years has thet #1 overall seed gone on to win it all – Florida in 2007.  Will Kentucky be able to overcome the pressure and break this trend?

 

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