Tag Archive | "NBA Draft"

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Providence Forward Dixon To Transfer to Towson

Posted on 30 April 2012 by WNST Staff

Bilal Dixon Will Transfer to Towson
Forward/Center Played in 94 Games & Started 68 for Providence from 2009-12

TOWSON, Md. – The Towson University men’s basketball program has added a big man to help the Tigers for the 2012-13 season, as Bilal Dixon, a 6-foot-9, 245-pound forward/center, will attend Towson. Dixon will have one year of eligibility remaining after transferring from Providence College, where he played in 94 games and started 68 for the Friars from 2009-12.

“We’re excited to add a player with Bilal’s talent and experience to our roster,” said Towson head coach Pat Skerry. “I coached him for two years in the BIG EAST conference, at a prestigious school like Providence that has a rich basketball tradition. I know what he’s capable of and I am thrilled to have him as a member of our basketball family. We are looking forward to adding a student-athlete that’s had success at the highest level of collegiate basketball.”

Dixon, a native of Jersey City, N.J., was named to The Sporting News BIG EAST All-Freshman Team in 2010 after averaging 8.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game while starting 30 of 31 games for Providence. As a freshman, Dixon recorded his first double-double in conference play against No. 19 Connecticut as he registered 12 points and 11 rebounds and guided the Friars past the Huskies, 81-66. Dixon also hauled in 16 rebounds while matching up against future NBA draft pick Greg Monroe and seventh-ranked Georgetown and he set his career-high with 19 boards vs. Seton Hall.

As a sophomore, Dixon had nine double-digit rebounding games, including double-doubles against Colonial Athletic Association foe Northeastern and BIG EAST rival Seton Hall.

This past season, Dixon saw action in 31 of 32 games for the Friars and averaged 4.3 points per game. He was fourth on the team in rebounding (4.1 rpg), second in blocked shots (37) and second in field goal percentage (55.8 percent). Dixon scored a career-high 18 points and hauled in 10 rebounds to lead Providence past Rutgers on February 1, 2012. He also had a career-high seven blocked shots against South Carolina on December 1, 2011. Dixon averaged a rebound every 3.87 minutes he was on the floor, which ranked eighth in the BIG EAST Conference.

Dixon attended Queen of Peace High School (N.J.) from 2006-08 where he was a second-team All-State selection and the Conference Player of the Year as a senior after averaging 19 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks. Dixon led Queen of Peace to an 18-0 mark in conference action in 2008. Dixon played at St. Anthony’s High School (N.J.) during his freshman and sophomore seasons.

Dixon will be one of three transfer students from BIG EAST programs who will be eligible to play for Towson. He joins Jerrelle Benimon (Georgetown) and Mike Burwell (South Florida), who each have two years of eligibility remaining starting with the 2012-13 season.

Comments (0)

Maryland guard Stoglin declares for NBA Draft after year suspension handed down

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Maryland guard Stoglin declares for NBA Draft after year suspension handed down

Posted on 30 April 2012 by WNST Staff

(Updated: 10:15 a.m.)

Looking primed to return to the NCAA tournament next season with a loaded recruiting class coming this fall, the University of Maryland will suffer a major blow to those hopes.

More details are emerging about the reason for leading scorer and second-team all-ACC guard Terrell Stoglin declaring for the 2012 NBA Draft on Sunday. The university announced Monday morning that Stoglin and Mychal Parker, who recently announced his intention to transfer to another school, had been suspended for a year due to “a violation of the University of Maryland Student-Athlete Code of Conduct.”

Averaging 21.6 points per game to lead the Atlantic Coast Conference in the 2011-12 season, the 6-foot-1 Stoglin will exit College Park after his sophomore season.

Stoglin’s relationship with first-year head coach Mark Turgeon was strained at times last season, which included an incident in which the guard publicly questioned the coach’s motives after he was benched in the final minutes of a loss at Duke. Turgeon openly shared his frustration with Stoglin’s willingness to be coached at different points but had recently expressed confidence on AM 1570 WNST that he would be a better coach for the Tuscon, Ariz. native next season.

The mercurial guard — along with Parker — will instead depart after one season under Turgeon.

“Being a University of Maryland student-athlete carries a tremendous honor and responsibility,” director of athletics Kevin Anderson said. “As much as we appreciate the effort these two young men gave to the program this season, they were unable to live up to that responsibility. We’re disappointed, but hope they use this as a learning experience.”

It is believed that Stoglin’s suspension stems from academic issues.

The deadline to declare for the NBA Draft was Sunday, with the draft itself to be held on June 28 in Newark, N.J

Based on Stoglin’s action on his Twitter account Monday morning, it became more apparent the announcement was not based solely on his desire to play in the NBA.

Comments (3)

Your Monday Reality Check-Turgeon Deserving Of Praise With Work To Do

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Your Monday Reality Check-Turgeon Deserving Of Praise With Work To Do

Posted on 12 March 2012 by Glenn Clark

On Friday’s edition of “The Reality Check”, Ryan Chell and I decided to put together a Maryland Terrapins season ending report card. After the Terps’ loss to North Carolina in the ACC Tournament, it was easy to assume the basketball season was over in College Park.

That assumption proved accurate Sunday night, as the NIT failed to extend an invite to the Terps as expected. The University of Maryland declined to participate in the lesser known postseason CBI Tournament due to the financial model that forces schools to pay for participation. (Three schools from BCS conferences-Washington State, Pitt and Oregon State all accepted CBI bids.)

It’s a long winded way to say the season is over. The Terps finished 17-15 in Mark Turgeon’s first season since taking over for the retired Gary Williams, surpassing the expectations of many while still falling short of the expectations of others.

In our Report Card segment Friday, I graded Turgeon’s job in year one as a “B”. I noted the lack of both quality and quantity in Maryland basketball players that Turgeon was forced to deal with partly due to the late timing of Williams’ retirement announcement. Not only did Maryland lose All-ACC Center Jordan Williams to the NBA, they also lost F Haukur Palsson to a pro turn in Europe. Turgeon was only able to retain one from Williams’ three-man recruiting class (G Nick Faust) although he made up for that in part with a late commitment from C Alex Len.

(I point all of this out because some Maryland fans have decided to “blame” Gary Williams for the state of the program. They’re only telling half of the story.)

Len’s 10 game suspension to start the season and PG Pe’Shon Howard’s 18 missed games due to injury made an already difficult situation nearly impossible. Entering the season, there was legitimate reason to fear a “bottoming out” of sorts for the Maryland program.

While those fears never came to fruition, the team never fully came together. Sophomore G Terrell Stoglin at times carried the Terps during a 6-10 Atlantic Coast Conference campaign, but often proved to be as much of the problem as the solution. Len never showed progress during his freshman campaign, Senior G Sean Mosley offered valuable leadership but never overwhelmed with his play on the floor. The only player that showed marked progress was Faust, who was named to the league’s All-Rookie team.

All of these were contributing factors in grading the job Turgeon did this season. It was a tough campaign, but it could have been significantly worse. Turgeon deserves credit for keeping the program afloat and avoiding any true embarrassment. (Only a late season loss at Georgia Tech stands out as a head shaker due to the opponent and Maryland’s most lopsided defeats came at the hands of NCAA Tournament participants like UNC, Duke, Virginia, Florida State, Alabama and Iona.)

Nearly five hundred words in, it’s time to look to the future. While Turgeon is absolutely deserving of praise for how he kept this Maryland team together in his first season, the coach offered a noteworthy thought Sunday night via Twitter.

Comments (3)

Slow Your Roll Monday on the MSB

Tags: , ,

Slow Your Roll Monday on the MSB

Posted on 05 March 2012 by Thyrl Nelson

The MobTown Sports Beat is handing out speed warnings. Here’s who needs to slow their proverbial roll.

 

Danny Ainge

 

The first and biggest speed warning goes to Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics. Rajon Rondo scrapped together 28 points, 17 rebounds and 20 assists for a “Big-O/Wilt-style” triple double on Sunday, perhaps responding to the trade rumors that have been swirling around him for seemingly as long as anyone can now remember. Sooner or later the Brass above the brass that runs the Celtics is going to realize that Rajon Rondo is surely the best player that the Celtics have, not to mention the youngest of their array of stars. They’re also bound to realize that Rondo can and will win a hell of a lot more games for the Celtics in the future than either Danny Ainge or Doc Rivers could ever hope to.

 

There’s an argument that Rondo could be the best player in the game, and still the Celtics seem content…no determined to ship him out of town. That’s right I said the best player in the game. Lebron is the most talented, that’s not even close, Kobe Bryant and Derrick Rose are the most tenacious and the most willing and able to put the team on their backs, but no one is scrappier or more helpful in more areas than Rondo. He’s the best extended dribble point guard in the league, he’s the most consistent threat to hand out 20 dimes on any given night since John Stockton, he rebounds as well and any 6’1” guard ever and it wasn’t that long ago that we saw his arm bent unnaturally backward in a playoff game that he returned to play well in almost immediately.

 

And what I didn’t mention yet, but will now is that at about $11 million per season Rondo is at least the league’s best pound-for-pound player or dollar-for-dollar player if not its all-around best.

 

With all of that said, Rondo should walk into Ainge’s office at first chance and demand to be traded or paid. If Ainge and Rivers think Rondo’s already tough to deal with imagine him disgruntled and intentionally a distraction. At the very least Rondo should point out that all of the trade talks involving him seem to involve players on the other side who make substantially more money than Rondo by comparison. Ainge, who seems intent on keeping the Celtics aged core intact while shipping out every useful young player on the roster needs to slow down before he really gives Rondo a reason to exercise his leverage.

 

 

Miami Heat

 

The Lakers served the Heat a gigantic helping of “slow your roll” on Sunday and showed the young risers that everything won’t be as easy for them as they’ve made it look of late. We all waited to see what would happen with Kobe and Wade on Sunday, and it looked like the Heat did too. Miami got caught up in trying to out-physical the Lakers early and never got their game on track behind it. Leave it to Kobe to run psychological warfare on the Heat when everyone else (including the heat themselves) were looking for physical retaliation.

 

The Heat are still easily the best team in the league and have to be the hands down favorite to win it all, while the Lakers may not even be the best team playing in their building this year. Still for one game at least, Kobe and the Lakers reminded Miami that they still have some work to do, and before you can get “not 4, not 5”, you first have to get one and then two. Until then the Miami Heat can still slow their roll.

 

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Coppin Announces Inaugural Hall of Fame Class

Posted on 15 February 2012 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE — The Coppin State department of athletics announced today its inaugural Hall of Fame class. The six Hall of Fame members will be honored at a ceremony from 7-8 p.m. in Baltimore at the Forum Caterers on Friday, Feb. 17. The Hall of Fame class will also be honored during halftime of the Coppin State-Howard men’s basketball game on Saturday, Feb. 18 at the Physical Education Complex.

The inaugural Hall of Fame class includes former men’s basketball coach John Bates, men’s track and field performer Nicholas Eugene, men’s basketball and men’s track and field athlete Clayton McNeill, men’s basketball player Joe Pace, women’s track and field athlete Diana Pitts and men’s basketball player Larry Stewart.

“Our inaugural class showcases the rich history and tradition of Coppin State,” said director of athletics Derrick Ramsey. “We take great pride in honoring and recognizing the special talents displayed by our Hall of Fame members during their time at Coppin State.”

Bates led Coppin State to its only national championship when he guided the men’s basketball team to the NAIA Championship in 1976. The Eagles compiled a 39-2 record during the 1975-76 season, which culminated with a 96-91 victory over Henderson State in the championship game. He led the Eagles to a 32-3 record the following season and compiled a 209-121 overall record in 12 seasons at Coppin State. He ranks second all-time in victories and led CSU to the Potomac Intercollegiate Conference Championship in 1974-75, 1975-76 and 1976-77.

Eugene stands as one of the top distance runners in Coppin State track and field history. He is the Coppin State indoor record holder in the 1500 meters and ranks third all-time in the 1500 meters outdoors. He helped lead the Eagles to back-to-back Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Cross Country Championship in 1991 and 1992. He finished third overall at the 1991 championships and then finished first overall at the 1992 championships. He won the 5000 meter indoor MEAC championship in 1994 and earned six top-five finishes during his indoor career. He also had three top-five finishes at the MEAC Outdoor Championships.

McNeill left a lasting impression on Coppin State University as a student-athlete and an administrator both within the athletic department and the University. McNeill was a student-athlete at Coppin State from 1966-69 and participated in basketball, baseball and track and field. He was a guard and forward on Coppin State’s first conference championship team, which won the 1968 Potomac Intercollegiate Conference Tournament. He earned his bachelor of science degree in mathematics and education from Coppin State in 1969, his master’s of education from Coppin State in 1975 and his doctor of education degree from Temple in 1986. He served as the athletic director at Coppin State from 1992-96 and led the Eagles to seven MEAC Championships in four different sports. He served as the Coppin State director of Coppin Urban Resource Exchange, director of student activities, director of auxiliary enterprises, acting associate dean of the university and vice president of student life.

Pace ranks as one of the greatest players in Coppin State history and led the Eagles to the 1976 NAIA National Championship. He scored 43 points in leading Coppin State to a 96-91 victory over Henderson State in the championship game and was named the tournament’s most valuable player. He ranks ninth in Coppin State history with 1,313 points and is second with 978 rebounds. He is the all-time leader at Coppin State with career averages of 22.3 points and 18.6 rebounds per game. He was named an NAIA All-American in both 1975 and 1976 and was named to the Associated Press College Division All-American team in 1976. Pace was drafted in the second round of the NBA draft by the Washington Bullets where he spent two seasons.

Pitts was the first Coppin State track athlete, male or female, to earn All-America honors. She earned outdoor All-America accolades at the 1993 and 1994 championships in the 800 meters and remains the only two-time honoree in school history. She captured seven conference championships including winning the 800 meters, the 1500 meters and the 3000 meters at the 1994 MEAC Indoor Championships. She is the Coppin State record holder in the 500 meters, 1000 meters, 1500 meters and the mile indoors and the 400 meters, 800 meters and 1500 meters outdoors.

Stewart was a two-time Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Player of the Year and was a three-time All-MEAC selection. He helped lead Coppin State to its first-ever berth in the NCAA Tournament in 1990 and helped lay the groundwork for the success that would follow. He ranks as the third leading scorer in Coppin State history with 1,824 points and is the all-time leader with 1,052 rebounds. He is the only player in school history to surpass both 1,000 career points and rebounds. After leaving Coppin State he played for four seasons in the National Basketball Association with the Washington Bullets and the Seattle Supersonics and became the first undrafted rookie named to the NBA All-Rookie Team.

The Coppin State University Athletic Hall of Fame was established to pay tribute and give recognition to former student-athletes, coaches and administrators who have significantly contributed to the athlete success and history of the institution.

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Former Terp Johnny Rhodes Named ACC Legend

Posted on 09 February 2012 by WNST Staff

Johnny Rhodes Named An ACC Tournament Legend

Former Maryland guard one of 12 players selected to 2012 class

    GREENSBORO, N.C.— Johnny Rhodes, one of the most versatile players in Atlantic Coast Conference history, who helped lead Maryland back to national prominence in the mid-1990’s, has been selected to the 2012 class of ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Legends.

    The 12-man class was announced Tuesday by Commissioner John Swofford and includes a member of the ACC’s 50th Anniversary basketball team, a National Player of the Year, three former All-Americas, six former All-ACC selections, ten former NBA Draft selections – including six first-round selections – and eight players who combined for 38 years of NBA experience.

    Rhodes, a native of Washington, D.C., is the ACC’s career steals leader and helped Maryland make three NCAA Tournament appearances in his four-year career. He is the only player in ACC history to score over 1,700 points (1,743) with over 700 rebounds (704), 400 assists (437) and 300 steals (344).

    Joining Rhodes in the class are former Wake Forest All-America Randolph Childress (Washington, D.C.), who led the Deacons to the 1995 ACC Championship, and former North Carolina All-America Kenny Smith (Queens, N.Y.), who led the Tar Heels to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances and was named the National Player of the Year by Basketball Times in 1987.

    Also in the class are Boston College’s John Bagley (Stratford, Conn.), who was named a third-team (NABC) All-America in 1982; Clemson’s Sharone Wright (Macon, Ga.), a powerful post player for the Tigers who earned All-ACC honors in 1993 and 1994; Duke’s Kenny Dennard (King, N.C.), one of the key cogs of the Blue Devils 1978 Final Four team who helped lead Duke to ACC titles in 1978 and 1980; Florida State’s James Collins (Jacksonville, Fla), a high-scoring wingman who was a three-time All-ACC selection in 1995, 1996 and 1997; Georgia Tech’s Malcolm Mackey (Chattanooga, Tenn.), a powerful post player who helped lead Georgia Tech to ACC Championships in 1990 and 1993.

    Completing this year’s ACC Legends Class are Miami’s Ron Godfrey (Coral Springs, Fla.), an Honorable Mention All-America forward for the Hurricanes in the 1960’s who also served as head coach for four seasons; NC State’s Todd Fuller (Charlotte, N.C.), a prodigious presence in the paint for the Wolfpack who earned All-ACC honors in 1994, 1995, and 1996; Virginia’s Lee Raker (Louisville, Ky.), a versatile forward who helped lead the Cavaliers to the 1981 NCAA Final Four; and Virginia Tech’s Dale Solomon (Annapolis, Md.), a high-scoring forward who helped lead the Hokies to two NCAA Tournament appearances and one NIT berth.

   The Legends will be honored at this year’s ACC’s Men’s Basketball Tournament at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Ga., March 8-11. They will be feted at the annual ACC Legends Brunch, which will be held Saturday, March 10, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis Hotel, and, later that day, will be introduced to the Philips Arena crowd at halftime of the first semifinal game. Ticket information for the ACC Legends Brunch is available on the ACC website at theACC.com.

   Rhodes (1992-96), the ACC’s career leader in steals, started four seasons for coach Gary Williams at Maryland, leading the Terrapins back to national prominence. An extremely versatile guard who played point or wing guard, Rhodes is the only player in ACC history to score over 1,700 points (1,743) with over 700 rebounds (704), 400 assists (437) and 300 steals (344). He helped the Terrapins post a 73-49 overall record during his four seasons in College Park, including three straight (1994, 95, 96) appearances in the NCAA Tournament. He was named to the 1993 ACC All-Freshman team, then earned 3rd-team All-ACC honors as a junior and 2nd-team All-ACC accolades as a senior in 1996. He still holds the ACC career record for steals per game (2.82), and his 110 steals and 3.7 steals per game in 1996 are still league standards. He totaled 704 rebounds in his career, the third-best mark by an ACC backcourtman, trailing only Georgia Tech’s Bruce Dalrymple (744) and Florida State’s Bob Sura (714). A native of Washington, D.C., Rhodes owns his own construction firm, Rhodes Construction, in the D.C. area, and is working towards starting the Johnny Rhodes Foundation.

   Bagley (1979-82), one of the top playmaking guards in Boston College history, played three seasons for the Eagles for Coach Dr. Tom Davis and led BC to a 64-27 record and one NIT and two NCAA tournament appearances. The first Eagle to earn Big East Player of the Year honors (1980-81), Bagley was an explosive scorer who averaged nearly 18 points per game and led BC in scoring in each of his three seasons at the Heights. A two-time All-Big East selection, he averaged 20.4 points per game in leading the Eagles to the 1980-81 Big East regular-season championship and the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16. The following year, Bagley upped his production to 21.1 points per game and led BC to the NCAA Tournament’s Elite Eight. He was named to the NCAA all-tournament teams for both the 1981 Mideast Regional and the 1982 Midwest Regional. Bagley left BC after his junior season and was the 12th overall pick in the first round by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 1982 NBA Draft. He enjoyed an 11-year career in the NBA for the Cavaliers, the New Jersey Nets, the Boston Celtics and the Atlanta Hawks. Inducted into the Boston College Varsity Club Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995, he currently resides in Stratford, Conn., and is working to reintroduce athletics into the middle school system of his hometown, Bridgeport, Conn.

   Wright (1991-94), a dominating 6-11 presence in the low post for the teams of Coach Cliff Ellis in the early 1990’s, still ranks 5th on the ACC’s career list for blocked shots per game (3.13). An Honorable Mention All-America (AP) in 1994, he was one of 20 nominees for the Naismith Award that year. He led the ACC in blocked shots in 1992 and 1993 and finished 3rd in 1994. He ranked 6th on the Clemson career list for rebounds and 4th in rebounds per game. He still holds the Clemson single-season record for blocked shots (124) and was the only player in the ACC to average in double figures in points and rebounds in both 1994 and 1995. Named a Freshman All-America by Basketball Weekly in 1992, he was named a 3rd-team All-ACC selection in 1993 and 2nd-team honors in 1994. As a member of the U.S. team which participated in the 1993 World Games, he shot 73 percent from the field and averaged 10 points a game in leading the U.S. to the gold medal. He was the first Clemson player to declare early for the NBA Draft and was the 6th overall selection on the first round of the 1994 draft by the Philadelphia 76’ers. He played five seasons in the NBA with Philadelphia and Toronto and was named to the 1994-95 NBA All-Rookie team. His NBA career was cut short by a severe auto accident early in his fifth professional season. Wright currently resides in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., where he is involved in various basketball coaching projects.

   Dennard (1978-81), a versatile 6-8 forward who was effective inside or outside for the Duke teams of Bill Foster and Mike Krzyzewski of the late 1970’s and early ‘80s, helped lead Duke to the 1978 NCAA Final Four and two ACC Championships in 1978 and 1980. Dennard helped the Blue Devils compile a 90-37 record in his four seasons in Durham, including three NCAA Tournament appearances and one NIT berth. He was named to the 1978 ACC All-Tournament second team in his freshman season. Dennard played three seasons for Bill Foster (1978-80) and one for Mike Krzyzewski and was named team captain in his senior season. Drafted in the 4th round of the 1981 NBA Draft by Kansas City, he played three seasons in the NBA for Kansas City (1982-83) and Denver (1984). He finished his career shooting 51.3 percent from the field and is one of seven Duke players who have totaled over 1,000 points (1,057), 650 rebounds (671) and 200 assists (232) in his career. A native of King, N.C., Dennard is the managing partner at Dennard, Rupp, Gray and Lascar, an investor relations firm based in Houston, Texas. He will be a 30-year cancer survivor this coming September and has served on the Coaches vs. Cancer National Council since 1996. He has been married to his high school sweetheart, Nadine, for 27 years and they have a son, Mason (17).

    Collins (1993-97), a high-scoring wing guard for the Florida State teams of Pat Kennedy, was a three-time All-ACC honoree. Collins was named 3rd-team All-ACC in 1995 and 1996 and garnered 2nd-team honors as a senior in 1997. That year he led Florida State to a 20-12 record and to the finals of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) where they lost to Michigan. He completed his career as the third leading scorer in school history with 1,793 points. He also still ranks in the FSU all-time Top 10 for field goals (645), field goal attempts, three-point field goals made (255) and three-point field goals attempted (686) and made 37.1 percent of his shots from three-point range. Collins was drafted as the 36th overall pick by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2nd round of the 1997 NBA Draft. He played one season in the NBA with the Los Angeles Clippers (1998) and spent one year (1999) in the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) before playing professionally nine seasons in Europe. A native of Jacksonville, Fla., he currently is the head basketball coach at his high school alma mater, Andrew Jackson High School in Jacksonville.

   Mackey (1990-93), Georgia Tech’s all-time leading rebounder who was a low post force for the Jackets both offensively and defensively, helped lead the Tech to a four-year record of 87-43 which included four NCAA Tournament appearances. Mackey completed his career with 1,205 rebounds, a total which ranks 11th-best in ACC history. He also had 199 career blocked shots, which ranks 26th on the ACC career list.  Mackey was named 2nd-team All-ACC in 1993 and 3rd-team All-ACC  in 1992. An Honorable Mention All-America in 1993 by United Press International, he was also a 2nd-team All-District in 1993 by the NABC. Mackey remains Tech’s career leader in rebounds (1,205), games played (130) and games started (127). He was named to the ACC All-Tournament teams in 1990 (3rd team) and 1992 (2nd team). He is the only Tech player to start for two ACC championship teams (1990,1993). The 27th overall pick in the first-round of the 1993 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns, he played one season in the NBA and 11 seasons professionally in the CBA, Europe, China and Puerto Rico. A native of Chattanooga, Tenn., he currently is the Internet Sales Manager at Hennessey GMC Buick and is also serving as a landlord for several properties in McDonough, Ga.

   Godfrey (1958-61), one of the finest forwards to play at Miami, was an honorable mention All-America as a senior in 1961. He finished his career ranked in the Top Ten in seven career categories in the Miami record book including 7th in points (1,384), 7th in field goals made (518), 6th in free throws made (384) and 7th in rebounds (767). Godfrey’s totals of 159 free throws made and 207 free throws attempted in 1960 still rank 5th and 6th in the Hurricane career lists. His total of 22 made free throws against Oklahoma City in 1960 is still tied with Rick Barry for the most made in a game by a Miami player. For his career, he averaged 17.5 points a game. Playing alongside former Miami All-America Dick Hickox, Godfrey helped lead the Hurricanes to their first-ever NCAA tournament bid in 1960 as the Canes finished with a sparkling 23-4 record. In his senior year, Godfrey led Miami to a 20-7 mark and a berth in the National Invitation Tournament. In his three varsity seasons, Godfrey helped the Hurricanes to a 61-18 record. As a coach, he guided Miami for four seasons, leading the Hurricanes to championships in the 1967 Hurricane Classic and the 1968 Marshall Tournament and was inducted into the Miami Sports Hall of Fame in 1988. A native of Martins Ferry, Ohio, he now resides in Coral Springs, Fla.

   Smith (1983-87), one of the top point guards in North Carolina basketball history, Smith ended his career second in ACC history only to Wake Forest’s Muggsy Bogues in career assists with 768, averaging 6.1 per for each of his 127 career games. His assist total still ranks ninth on the ACC’s career list.  Coached by the legendary Dean Smith, he helped lead North Carolina to a 115-19 record during his four varsity seasons. Smith also helped North Carolina to four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, reaching the Elite Eight in both 1985 and 1987. He was named the National Player of the Year by Basketball Times in 1987 and also earned consensus first-team All-America honors that year. He was a 2nd-team All-ACC honoree in 1985 and 1986 and earned first-team honors as a senior in 1987. The 6th pick in the first round of the 1987 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings, he played 11 seasons in the NBA for Sacramento, Atlanta, Houston, Detroit, Orlando and Denver. A member of the 1988 NBA All-Rookie team while with Sacramento, he was a part of two NBA Championship squads (1994, 1995) while with the Houston Rockets. He scored 9,397 points (12.9 avg.), grabbed 1,424 rebounds (2.0 avg.) and passed out 4,073 assists (5.5 avg.) during his NBA career. In 1998, he joined Turner Sports and has since served as a basketball TV analyst for Turner Sports, NBA TV and CBS-TV for the NBA and for the NCAA Basketball Tournament. A native of Queens, N.Y. who attended Archbishop Molloy High School, he now resides in Atlanta, Ga.

   Fuller (1992-96), a strong low-post presence for the NC State teams of coach Les Robinson in the mid-1990s, led the ACC in scoring as a senior in 1996, averaging 20.9 points per game. The 6-11 center finished 4th in the ACC in rebounding in 1995 and 5th in 1996. He earned first-team All-ACC honors in as a senior in 1996 and was a third team choice as a sophomore (1994) and a second-team selection as a junior (1995). Also an excellent student, he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree from NC State in 1996 in Applied Mathematics. He was named to the All-ACC Academic team in each of his four seasons and he was a two-time first-team Academic All-America, earning that honor in 1995 and 1996. He declined to accept the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship in order to play professional basketball. He was the 11th overall pick in the first round of the 1996 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors and went on to play five seasons in the NBA with Golden State, Utah, Charlotte and Miami. He also played professionally six seasons in Spain, Poland, Greece and Australia. He sponsors an annual mathematics competition for Raleigh, N.C., area high school students through NC State, called the “Todd Fuller Math Competition.” He also has a scholarship fund arranged through the NC State Physical and Mathematical Sciences college. In 2007, the Wolfpack honored him by hanging his jersey, number 52, from the roof of the RBC Center.

   Raker (1977-81) combined with high school teammate Jeff Lamp and Virginia All-America Ralph Sampson to lead Virginia to two of the most successful seasons in school history in 1980 and 1981 for coach Terry Holland. An excellent shooter, defender and passer, Raker helped lead the Cavaliers to a 24-10 record which included the championship of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) in 1980. UVa followed that up with a 29-4 record in 1981, including a 13-1 mark in the ACC and first place during the regular season. UVa advanced to the NCAA Final Four, garnering 3rd-place national honors with a win over LSU in the consolation game. At one point, Raker helped the Cavaliers win eight consecutive post-season games, still a school record. Virginia finished the 1981 campaign ranked 5th in the final AP poll and 3rd in UPI. During his four collegiate seasons,  Raker helped lead Virginia to a 92-32 overall record, averaging in double figures in scoring each year, and shooting 50.3 percent from the field for his collegiate career. He completed his career with 1,423 points, which still ranks 20th on Virginia’s career scoring list. He also led the 1979 squad in field goal percentage and was named a 2nd-team All-ACC selection that year. An excellent student, Raker was twice named to the All-ACC Academic Basketball squad (1980, 1981) and earned first-team Academic All-America honors in 1981. He was selected in the 4th round of the 1981 NBA Draft by San Diego. A native of Louisville, Ky., he is now the Head of Investor Relations with Camber Capital Management LLC and lives in the Boston, Mass. area.

   Solomon (1978-82), one of the best basketball players in Virginia Tech history, was a 6-9 center-forward who combined power with a soft shooting touch. He helped the Tech teams of Charlie Moir to a four-year record of 78-41 which included two NCAA Tournament appearances and one NIT berth. Solomon led Tech in scoring in each of his four  seasons and ended his career with 2,136 points which still ranks 4th on the Hokies’ career scoring list. Solomon’s career scoring average (18.4) is Tech’s 9th best. His career field goal percentage of .567 is the second best in Tech history and his 856 career rebounds rank 7th. He was named to the first-team All-Metro Conference in each of his four seasons. Solomon was named the Metro Conference Tournament MVP and Freshman of the Year in 1979, leading the Hokies to the Metro Conference championship. Solomon was selected in the 3rd round of the 1982 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers but did not play in the NBA. He did play professionally in Italy for 12 seasons. A native of Annapolis, Md., Solomon is currently living in his hometown.

   Childress (1991-95) turned in one of the spectacular performances in the history of the ACC Tournament in his senior season, as the sharpshooting guard led Wake Forest to the 1995 ACC Championship by averaging 35.7 points and 7 assists per game in the Tournament’s three contests. That year, Childress, playing for coach Dave Odom, saved his best for last, scoring 37 points and passing out 7 assists. In that title game, he connected on the game-winning jump shot with only four seconds remaining in overtime as Wake defeated North Carolina, 82-80. For his efforts, he was named the winner of the Everett Case Award as the 1995 Tournament’s MVP. He also was named the winner of the McKevlin Award as the ACC’s Overall Athlete of the Year for the 1994-95 school year. A second-team All-America selection in 1995, he was named first-team All-ACC in 1994 and 1995 and 2nd-team All-ACC in 1993. He scored 2,208 points during his career, which still ranks 18th on the ACC ‘s career scoring list, and he made 329 three-point field goals, the 5th-highest total in ACC history. He helped lead the Demon Deacons to a four-year record of 85-39 which included four appearances in the NCAA Tournament and two trips to the NCAA Sweet 16. He was twice named to the ACC All-Tournament team in 1994 and 1995. Childress ranked 3rd in scoring in the ACC in 1993 and 1994 and finished 2nd in 1994. Selected as the 19th overall choice of the Detroit Pistons in the first round of the 1995 NBA Draft, he played two seasons in the NBA with Detroit and Portland. He then played 14 professional seasons in Turkey, France, Italy and Australia. In 2002, he was named to the ACC’s 50th Anniversary Basketball Team as one of its Top 50 basketball players. A native of Washington, D.C., he recently returned to Winston-Salem to serve as an Assistant to the Athletic Director of Wake Forest.

LEGENDS BRUNCH

   The Legends will be honored at this year’s ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament in Atlanta at the annual ACC Basketball Legends Brunch, which will be held on Saturday, March 10 beginning at 10 a.m. at the Marriott Marquis Hotel. Hosted by television personalities Tim Brant and Mike Hogewood, tickets for the ACC Men’s Basketball Legends Brunch are priced at $35 each and tables of ten are available for $350 each. Information on purchasing tickets may be obtained at the official ACC website—www.theACC.com/ACCtournament.

   2012 ACC BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT LEGENDS ROSTER

   Name School Years Position Hometown (Current Hometown)

   John Bagley   Boston College 1979-82 Guard Bridgeport, Conn. (Stratford, Conn.)

   Sharone Wright Clemson 1991-94 Center Macon, Ga.  (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.)

   Kenny Dennard Duke 1977-81 Forward King, N.C. (Houston, Texas)

   James Collins Florida State 1993-97 Guard Jacksonville, Fla.. (same) 

   Malcolm Mackey Georgia Tech 1989-93 Forward/Ctr. Chattanooga, Tenn. (McDonough, Ga.)

   Johnny Rhodes Maryland 1992-96 Guard Washington, D.C. (same )

   Ron Godfrey Miami 1958-61 Guard Martins Ferry, Ohio (Coral Springs, Fla.)

   Kenny Smith North Carolina 1983-87 Guard Queens, N.Y. (Atlanta, Ga.)

   Todd Fuller NC State 1992-96 Center Charlotte, N.C.. (same)

   Lee Raker Virginia 1977-81 Forward Louisville, Ky. (Boston, Mass.)

   Dale Solomon Virginia Tech 1978-82 Forward Annapolis, Md. (same)

   Randolph Childress Wake Forest 1991-95 Guard Washington, D.C. (Winston-Salem, N.C.)

Comments (0)

Top 10 Games In Comcast Center History

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Top 10 Games In Comcast Center History

Posted on 12 November 2011 by Glenn Clark

The University of Maryland will open their tenth season of basketball play at Comcast Center Sunday night when they face UNC Wilmington. The 2002-2003 campaign was the first at the new arena in College Park, as the Terrapins moved after claiming the only NCAA Championship in school history during their final season at Cole Field House.

In honor of the start of the tenth season, I decided to put together a list of the Top 10 Games in Comcast Center history (at least in my humble opinion). And while both the men’s and women’s basketball teams call Comcast Center home, this list will focus only on the men. I will admit that I missed a few women’s games along the road.

10. Pe’Shon Howard plays savior (November 10, 2010)

I’m not sure which is more memorable about the Terps’ win over College of Charleston-Howard’s winning shot or the look on Gary Williams’ face that said “we probably shouldn’t have won this one.”

Either way, it was a surprisingly exciting night in a 2K Sports Classic victory over the Cougars.

9. Morgan State shocker (January 7, 2009)

morgan

If Greivis Vasquez is the greatest player in the history of the building, perhaps there is an argument Reggie Holmes checks in at Number 2?

The Bears guard was brilliant while the Terps fell apart in one of the more stunning losses in program history.

I still can’t believe this actually happened.

8. Great Vermont escape (November 21, 2008)

vasquez

I would assume then Catamounts coach Mike Lonergan (now at George Washington) probably still hasn’t figured out why he didn’t just have his team give a foul late instead of allowing Greivis Vasquez to knock down the game-tying three.

It was all Terps in the extra frame, and Dave Neal’s ten points in the game were a sign of positive things to come for the senior.

7. Florida ends Maryland streak (December 14, 2002)

gators

I remember this game for my introduction to John Gilchrist, my beliefs that Ryan Randle might be a pretty good player and my realization that I didn’t much care for Anthony Roberson.

The contest against Florida was the first ever battle between two ranked teams in the Terps’ new building and the loss would snap Maryland’s then 87 game home winning streak against non-conference opponents. It was a hell of a Saturday afternoon though.

6. Cliff Tucker the hero (February 20,2010)

This game was of course MORE awesome because Tucker’s game winner came after a would-be game winner from Greivis Vasquez was waived off due to a timeout.

Look, this is simple math. If a buzzer beater is involved, it will probably end up on the list.

Comments (0)

Did the Wizards Make Draft Day Magic?

Tags: ,

Did the Wizards Make Draft Day Magic?

Posted on 27 June 2011 by Thyrl Nelson

Historically, draft day as a Wizards fan has been tough to get excited about. Last year and the fortune of falling into the #1 pick and selecting the consensus top player in John Wall was exciting yet anti-climatic. While it could have been seen as a signal of a reversal of fortune, the harbinger of a new era, it still left the team with little to think about and therefore little room for error. This year though, with #6 and #18 in the first round, the Wiz had to do some real thinking, and for what it’s worth, it looks like they did pretty well for themselves.

I’ll start by saying that I was under the assumption that the Wiz would fall into Kawhi Leonard at #6, but would have still needed to score a more projectable small forward at #18 as that seems their biggest deficiency and as Leonard looked to be much more of a defensive minded 4 than the 3 that some saw him to be. Jordan Hamilton would have been a thought there, and looked to still be around at #18 (and was).

 

In the days leading up to the draft though I found myself enamored with a few mocks that had Enes Kanter falling to the Wiz at #6, which still left Hamilton in play at #18. The other interesting and late developing draft stories were the interests of draft savvy clubs like the Lakers and Spurs trying to get into the late lottery, presumably seeing some talent that others were likely to sleep on. After the George Hill trade it appears that Leonard might have been that slept on talent, surely at #15 he’ll make more than a couple of teams sorry they passed on him.

 

As for the Wizards’ actual 6th pick, Jan Vesely, all I can say is that he’s young, well regarded by scouts and that his highlight tape was impressive. Lots of guys though have impressive highlight tapes. You have to like what you saw on his though, and any guy who answers a question about being called the Euro Blake Griffin by calling Griffin the American Jan Vesely doesn’t seem to be lacking the confidence he’ll need to try a similar aerial act at the game’s highest level.

 

Euros are always a gamble as are all draft picks, but if ever there were a draft where picking European players became prudent, 2011 was probably it. It seems a relatively safe bet that the NBA’s own labor fight is set to get far more contentious than the ugliness we’ve been seeing from the NFL, and there seems to be a very real possibility that the 2011-12 NBA season will at least be abbreviated and very likely canceled altogether. If that happens, and clubs are no longer allowed to contact players, having guys continue to play in Europe and stay active, while also being able to keep tabs on them through game films could be considered making the best of a bad situation at least.

 

On the opposite side of that spectrum, you won’t likely be seeing Kyrie Irving or Derrick Williams taking their talents to Europe in the meantime. In Irving’s case in particular, while talented no doubt, there’s a very real possibility that if the NBA season starts in February or even October of 2012, the Cavs will have a point guard who has played exactly 11 games since high school in 2010 trying to live up to the status and contract of the top pick overall.

 

Having drafted Vesely at #6, Hamilton at #18 would have been a bit redundant a bit. It would have been interesting to see what Washington might have had to give up to get into that #15 and get Leonard too. With that said, Chris Singleton makes for a nice consolation prize there. He has an NBA body, probably slipped because of his inactivity much of last season and was regarded by many as the best defender in the draft. He along with Trevor Booker look like a stout second unit frontcourt, and his upside could certainly go beyond that given his competition (or lack thereof) on the roster.

 

Shelvin Mack at #34 seems impossible to pass up. He’s got lots of strength and experience, both at the college level and internationally. Five years from now he could be seen as the 3rd or 4th best guard produced by this draft. For now, he could be Eric Maynor like relief for John Wall. While such a young platoon at the point is less than ideal, Mack could remain somewhat mysterious based on the playing time that Wall will command. As a result the Wiz may be able to flip him a la George Hill or Darren Collison down the line for real value.

 

While the group that Washington will add those parts to is still young and frustrating, they’re not without upside. If left out of the offense and deployed only to play defense and collect rebounds and put backs, I for one (and apparently only one) still think JaVale McGee could have big and legitimate upside. In comparison to what they have at the 5 right now, I’d have to think the Heat or Celtics could put McGee to immediate and effective use. If the Wizards don’t see it or believe it, it won’t be hard to find a GM with interest.

 

While Andray Blatche needs even more work than McGee on the defensive end, he proved to be Wall’s best pick and roll partner when healthy and as a tandem they were one of the league’s most efficient despite the lack of other options to distract opposing defenses. Jordan Crawford looks like he could beat out Nick Young for the starting 2-spot and Young could certainly serve as the best scoring option on the second unit and a hot hand you can play with down the stretch a la Jason Terry or Jamal Crawford. Kevin Seraphin is too young to be discouraged with yet and may bring this team the bonus upside they desperately need in a frontcourt with lots of parity all of a sudden.

 

Most encouraging of all, is that whenever they do get back to playing basketball, the Wiz will continue to be on the build just long enough perhaps to get another juicy lottery pick and come away with a Harrison Barnes or Terrance Jones like talent. They’re young and on the build, and just one Kevin Durant away from being the next Oklahoma City Thunder.

Comments Off

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Nets Select Maryland’s Jordan Williams in Round 2

Posted on 23 June 2011 by WNST Staff

Williams Picked by Nets in Second Round

Maryland center led ACC in rebounding in 2010-11

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Jordan Williams, who earned All-Atlantic Coast Conference recognition after leading the league in rebounding as a sophomore, was chosen by the New Jersey Nets in the second round of the NBA Draft Thursday night.

Williams, a 6-foot-10 center, was the 36th selection overall in the draft and was the Nets’ second selection of the night.

I’m excited for Jordan that he realized a longtime dream of his to have his name called in the NBA Draft,” said new Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon. “It’s a testament of his hard work and the great opportunity he had to play college basketball at Maryland.  We wish Jordan the best as he begins his professional career, and we will follow him closely as he adds his name to the long list of Maryland alumni to play in the NBA.”

Williams averaged 16.9 points and 11.8 rebounds per game for the Terrapins, who went 19-14 in the 2010-11 season. He set a school record with 13 straight double-doubles this season and ended the year with 25, which was second in the nation.

With 388 rebounds, he finished second on the single-season rebounding list at Maryland and was only the seventh sophomore in the history of the ACC to grab at least 600 career rebounds (672). He finished third nationally in rebounding and was the first Maryland player to lead the ACC on the glass since Joe Smith (1993-94).

He was a third team All-America pick by Yahoo! Sports and FoxSports.com, and earned honorable mention All-America consideration by the Associated Press.

Williams’ selection gives the Terrapin men’s basketball program picks in back-to-back seasons for the second time since 2007. Greivis Vasquez, the ACC Player of the Year in 2010, was selected on the first round by the Memphis Grizzlies and was the 28th pick overall in last year’s NBA Draft.

D.J. Strawberry (2007) and James Gist (2008) were the most recent back-to-back picks, while Maryland had players taken in 2001 (Terence Morris), 2002 (Chris Wilcox, Juan Dixon, Lonny Baxter) and 2003 (Steve Blake).

Comments Off

Tags: ,

NBA Mock Draft — With a Little Blurb About Jordan Williams in the Begining.

Posted on 23 June 2011 by Tom Clayton

The NBA Draft is almost here and although I am in the minority in Baltimore I am pumped up to see the next crop of prospects enter the ranks of the NBA.

For Maryland fans I will say that I believe Jordan Williams made a major mistake by leaving this season as I do not think his game is anywhere near mature enough to be a contributor at the NBA level. With that said I have a feeling like Greivis last year a team will take Jordan late in the first round.

Admittedly this draft is a little underwhelming with the top-2 draft eligible prospects, Harrison Barnes and Jared Sullinger, choosing to remain in college but there are some interesting prospects and a shrewd General Manager should be able to find a prospect to help his team.
I have decided to do a mock draft for the 14 lottery picks and here we go:

1. Cavaliers – Kyrie Irving, Point Guard, Duke, 6-2, 175lbs.

After LeBron took his talents to South Beach everyone saw the reason why, the Cavaliers had assembled an abysmal team around him. Years of signing fringe “stars” to big contracts and trading for over the hill “name” players caught up with the Cavaliers and now they are in a complete rebuild. I believe they will start this process with the best point guard prospect in the draft and a player that will become a leader in the locker room from day one.

Positives:
 Excellent ball handler that has the ability to get open for a jumper or all the way to the rim at will, once at the rim Irving is a ferocious finisher
 Irving plays under control and has a complete set of all around fundamentals.
 Superb court vision especially in the open court on the fast break; Irving also does a nice job of getting the ball to the open man without being overly turnover prone.
 A lock down defender with great lateral quickness, quick hands, and a knack for jumping the passing lanes and creating offense from his defense.
 A confident leader without being cocky or self-serving; Irving is a natural born leader that will take control of a locker room from Day One.

Negatives:
• Need to improve his outside shot to become a complete offensive player (but this is a critique of 98% of NBA perimeter prospects).
• Can become a bit of a shoot first point guard; needs to consistently find that happy medium between getting his teammates involved and getting off his own shot.

2. Timberwolves – Derrick Williams, Small Forward/Power Forward, Arizona, 6-8, 248lbs.

This pick would certainly necessitate a trade of fellow #2 overall pick Michael Beasley but the T-Wolves could be onto something by adding Williams to a backcourt of Kevin Love and Wesley Johnson.

Positives:
 Strong finisher at the rim that finishes with explosion and power; should rack up a ton of ‘and 1’s’ at the next level.
 Excellent shooter for his size; should be be a threat from beyond the arc (57% last season).
 Supreme athlete that runs the floor well and gets himself into good position quickly off the break.
 High IQ player that knows where he should be on the court at all times and moves well without the ball using screens and natural quickness to get open.
 Clutch player that shows up when the lights are brightest.

Negatives:
• A bit undersized for a natural power forward at 6’8”.
• Some ball security issues; he turns the ball over too much for a post player.

3. Jazz – Enes Kanter, Power Forward/Center, Turkey, 6-11, 260lbs.

Brandon Knight is probably the right pick here but I think the Jazz have their eyes on picking up a different point guard with their second lottery pick. With that in mind I have them taking the best pure big man in the draft in Enes Kanter.

Positives:
 A physical big man that loves to use his immense body to make room in the paint to grab rebounds and get an inordinate amount of put back baskets.
 Has great touch around the basket with a nice repertoire of post moves; does a nice job of backing down defenders with his size.
 Has a decent mid-range game and his face-up game is a bit underrated; he should be able to keep defenders honest with his shot although a majority of his points are going to come in the paint.
 An excellent finisher that uses his power to fight through fouls to create a lot of ‘and 1’ opportunities’; Kanter is also a solid free throw shooter which will help him add 4-6 points to his total every night.

Negatives:
• Is still a bit raw on the offensive end but with good coaching the sky is the limit when it comes to refining his post moves.
• Ball security can be a bit shaky in the post; smaller players with quick hands have shown a propensity to swipe the ball away.
• Not particularly explosive therefore he is not an imposing defender and he isn’t going to be a big time shot blocker but he should be a serviceable defender that improves as he matures.

4. Cavaliers – Jonas Valanciunas, Center, Lithuania, 6-11, 240lbs.

Cleveland is actively shopping this pick but I am not mocking trades and with Kanter off the board I think the Cav’s go with Jonas Valanciunas. Combining Kyrie Irving with JJ Hickson and Valanciunas would be a good beginning to what could be a long rebuilding process in Cleveland.

Positives:
 Great size with a long wing span; room to add weight onto his frame.
 Excellent athleticism and explosion; if combined with a good point guard he could be an unstoppable alley-oop finisher.
 An excellent rebounder on both ends of the floor; his rebounding should translate immediately to the NBA game.
 Good finisher that runs the floor well and should get easy points in an up-tempo offense.
 High energy player that gives everything he’s got on the floor; his activity leads to a lot of second chance points and tip-ins.

Negatives:
• He has shown a propensity to get into foul trouble due to his high energy play; he hacks at opposing players leading to early trips to the bench.
• Could get overpowered by bigger NBA post players; although throughout his young career he has shown no fear and attempts to bang in the paint with opposing big men.
• His footwork is raw and will need a lot of polish before his offensive game catches up with his defense.
• He will need to develop a better mid-range shot to bring opposing centers out of the paint to guard his jumper.
• Will probably need to stay in Europe for one more year because of his contract; if not for this he may have been the #1 overall pick.

5. Toronto – Brandon Knight, Point Guard, Kentucky, 6-3, 177lbs.

Bryan Colangelo & company will be officially jumping for joy if the hyper-talented Brandon Knight falls into their lap with the 5th pick. Knight would be a great fit for the Raptors and would more than likely be their starting point guard from Day One.

Positives:
 Didn’t start out lighting Lexington on fire but grew into an elite college point guard as his freshman year continued. This showed he takes coaching well and has a lot of room for growth as he matures as a basketball player.
 Great motor; he is quick and extremely agile which aided him in his ability to penetrate into the paint at will.
 Excellent finisher around the rim, unafraid to take contact and get to the free throw line.
 A good shooter with an excellent mid-range game and a smooth stroke from beyond the arc.
 The best defensive point guard in this year’s draft; a tenacious defender that swarms his man with quick hands and outstanding lateral movement.

Negatives:
• Knight isn’t as fast baseline to baseline as previous Calipari point guards (D. Rose and John Wall).
• Some scouts question his basketball IQ.
• High volume shooter that can tend to forget about his four teammates on the court and attempt to take over a game single handedly.

6. Washington – Kawhi Leonard, Small Forward, San Diego State, 6-7, 227lbs.

The Wizards are in a tough spot here as Kanter and Valanciunas are both off the board. I think they really could use an elite shooting guard but I think they go with the best wing player on the board.

Positives:
 An excellent rebounder with HUGE hands; Leonard averaged 10.6 rebounds per game including an outstanding 3.1 offensive boards during his sophomore season. He also has the ability to take a defensive rebound and lead the fast break.
 A tremendous finisher at the rim especially when he gets out in the open court.
 Leonard also has excellent ball handling skills that he combines with nice court vision which makes him a dangerous facilitator at the Small Forward spot.
 An amazing athlete that can guard multiple positions on the floor and is an absolute tenacious defender no matter what position he is guarding.

Negatives:
• Leonard will need to improve his overall shot to become a complete offensive player at the next level.
• Forces his game at time; especially in his penetration leading to unnecessary turnovers and offensive fouls.

7. Sacramento – Kemba Walker, Point Guard, UConn, 6-1, 184lbs.

The thinking with this pick is that the Kings will move Tyreke Evans to the small forward and allow him to become more of a scorer. The Kings desperately NEED a leader in their locker room and there is no better leader in this draft that Kemba Walker, who led his team to an NCAA Championship this past season. Late rumors have started to pop up that the Spurs have offered the Kings Tony Parker in return for this pick and that may be a wonderful fit as Parker is a proven winner that will bring a veteran presence and great leadership to the locker room.

Positives:
 Elite scorer at the Point Guard position.
 Outstanding athlete with elite quickness and explosiveness; probably the fastest player in the draft baseline to baseline.
 Great ballhandler with a devastating crossover that allows him to get open at will; also adept at getting to the rack where he converts an inordinate amount of “traditional” three point plays.
 Very nice shooting touch with a mature mid-range game and an improving outside stroke.
 Above average court vision with a knack for getting his teammates the ball in a position to score.
 Solid defender with great lateral quickness and quick hands that give opponents fits.

Negatives:
• Undersized for an NBA point guard at a generous 6’1”.
• Questionable shot selection; sometime will fire up a deep three early in the shot clock without allowing his team to get into their offensive set.
• Needs to continue developing his outside shot.
• Is more of a combo guard than a natural distributor of the basketball; reminds me a little of Russell Westbrook in his offensive mentality.

8. Pistons – Alec Burks, Shooting Guard, 6-6, 191lbs.

The Pistons are high on Bismack Biyombo but with the impending free agency of Tayshaun Prince and the Pistons lack of offensive punch I think they go with a player with more offensive upside.

Positives:
 Late blooming prospect that has shown he is just tapping his full potential.

 As athletic as any prospect in this draft; Burks is exceptionally explosive and is an unparalleled finisher around the basket, particularly in transition.
 Goes to the hole hard; relishes contact around the basket and is an excellent free throw shooter (82.5%) which combined with his attacking style of offense should add 5-7 points a night to his scoring total.
 Good rebounder for a shooting guard; follows his own shot well and crashes the offensive and defensive boards with reckless abandon.
 A long, quick athlete which helps project him to a solid on ball defender.

Negatives:
• Can try and do everything on his own at times; forces the action especially in crunch time.
• Needs to improve his shooting ability, without improvement he could become very predictable and easy for good NBA defenders to stop.
• Needs to be a more willing defender; he posses the length and quickness needed to be a good defender but looks disinterested on that side of the ball at times.

9. Bobcats – Jan Vesely, Small Forward, Czech Republic, 6-11, 240lbs.

Michael Jordan has proven throughout his tenure with the Wizards and the Bobcats he has no idea what he is doing when it comes to draft picks. This season I think he makes the right pick with Jan Vesely, a foreign player with huge upside.

Positives:
 Super athletic wing player that runs the floor as well as any big man, a combination that makes him unstoppable in the open court.
 Outstanding finisher at the rim that draws free throws at an amazing rate.
 Good slasher that uses screens well to get open.
 Great range that extends well beyond the three point arc.
 Uses tremendous leaping ability to contest every shot put up and to get easy tip-in baskets on the offensive boards.

Negatives:
• Struggles to create his own shot off the dribble; will need to play with a good distributor to become an offensive force.
• Will need to gain more confidence in his jumper because right now he depends too much on pure athleticism.
• Needs to add some bulk to his thin, lean frame; has a tendency to get pushed around by opposing big men in the post.

10. Bucks – Bismack Biyambo, Power Forward, Congo, 6-9, 240lbs.

Defensive minded head coach Scott Skiles will be having wet dreams about pairing the “Ben Wallace clone”  Biyambo in the paint with current Center Andrew Bogut.

Positives:
 Quite simply an elite defender with the potential to be a defensive player of the year candidate for the next decade.
 An elite shot blocker with great timing, explosive leaping ability, quick second hop, and a ridiculous wingspan.
 Excellent rebounder on both ends of the floor.
 Great upper and lower body strength; should be able to physically battle other NBA post players from Day One.

Negatives:
• No offensive game to speak of; has no jump shot and virtually no post moves which make him a completely one dimensional player.
• Horrendous free throw shooter that gets to the line A LOT but converts well under 50% of his attempts.
• May be a few years old than he claims (18).

11. Warriors – Marcus Morris, Power Forward, 6-9, 230lbs.

New coach Mark Jackson is going to preach defense and fundamentals to the Warriors for the first time in well……..forever and Marcus Morris presents the perfect combination of both left on the board.

Positives:
 Good size and strength with ideal dimensions for an NBA Power Forward but the skill set to play Small Forward.
 Runs the floor well and a strong finisher in transition.
 Strong player that gets good position on the blocks to post up and keeps defenses honest with a solid mid-range jumper.
 Great teammate and a high character guy that will fit in well in any NBA locker room.

Negatives:
• What you see is what you get; there isn’t nearly as much upside with Morris as there is with most other lottery picks.
• Not an elite rebounder for a Power Forward.
• Doesn’t have the range to hit shots consistently from outside the arc.

12. Jazz – Jimmer Fredette, Point Guard, BYU, 6-3, 196lbs.

After taking Enes Kanter with the 3rd pick Utah gets their point guard with the 12th pick and he is a popular player in the Utah area. Fredette should not only contribute on the court but at the box office where he will be a crowd favorite from Day One.

Positives:
 First and foremost, Fredette is an elite scorer that has ability to drop 40 on a nightly basis.
 Crafty and intelligent player with scoring instincts that are unparalleled in this year’s draft.
 Does a great job of using screens, curls, and fadeaways to get his shot off, even when double teamed.
 A good finisher at the rack but not in a typical fashion; he uses layups, tear drops, and scoop shots rather than thunderous dunks but is just as effective as a high flyer.
 Unlimited range on his jump shot; has the ability to hit from just inside half court if left unguarded.
 Underrated ball handling and court vision, should be able to be a decent facilitator while still putting up big scoring numbers.
 Well put together with a strong upper body and a quiet toughness that helps him withstand contact when driving the lane.
 Great emotional leader on the court that loves playing on the road and relishes being a “wanted man” on the court by both his opponents and opposing fans.

Negatives:
• Not a great defender and could have trouble defending good NBA point guards due to a lack of lateral quickness and athleticism.
• At 6’2” he has trouble when defended with longer athletes; Kawhi Leonard gave Fredette fits in their two meeting last season.
• In college he was given a green light to shoot at will, at the next level he will be forced to control his game and gets his shots in the flow of an offense.

13. Suns – Tristan Thompson, Power Forward, 6-8, 233lbs.

The Suns are a wildcard here because they could go a plethora of different ways with this pick; I think Alec Burks or Jimmer Fredette are their targets but if both are gone I think they go with Thompson a Power Forward with a ton of upside.

Positives:
 A great combination of length and size; at just 20 years of age he should be able to fill out his frame and become a prototypical Power Forward.
 Outstanding athlete with tremendous bounce; great timing on his jump which led to Thompson being one of the best shot blockers in the nation without being a foul machine.
 A very good rebounder on both ends of the floor with the ball handling skills to start the break and turn a missed shot into immediate offense.
 Fiery player that gives it everything he has on the court and will not be out hustled to rebounds or loose balls.

Negatives:
• Thompson is still a developing offensive player that needs to continue to work hard on his jump shot to be a difference maker on the offensive end of the court.
• Not an overly explosive athlete on the offensive end of the floor; he is not a dominate finisher around the rim.
• A horrendous free throw shooter (48%); this is going to make him a liability in the waning minutes of an NBA game.
• Is probably going to be a pure Power Forward; I don’t think his offensive skills are going to allow him to drop down and play the wing offensively.
• Could have used another year in college to develop his offensive game; with another year of seasoning he could have been a Top-3 pick next year.

14. Rockets – Klay Thompson, Washington State, 6-7, 202lbs.

The Rockets could probably use a big man as I think Yao’s career is just about over but I also think they could use a sharp shooting wing as well. With Klay Thompson on the board I think they go with the best pure shooter in this year’s draft.

Positives:
 Without question the best pure shooter in the draft; he has shown the ability to consistently hit contested jumpers.
 Above average offensive skill set with the ability to get open off screens and well as using his dribble; he also will attack the basket and use his athleticism to penetrate into the teeth of the defense.
 A solid ball handler with decent court vision; he could fill play Point Guard, Shooting Guard, and Small Forward at the next level.
 An outstanding free throw shooter.
 A solid defender with good length and good lateral speed
 Has been the focal point of Washington State’s offense for three seasons so he should relish the opportunity to be a go-to guy in the NBA.

Negatives:
 Will need to add bulk to his frame to be a durable NBA player for the next decade; his frame is thin and wiry at this point in his career.
 He looks like he could settle to be a one-dimensional player in the NBA if he can’t find the ability to get to the basket against bigger, stronger wings.
 He can be streaky on the offensive end.
 Needs to keep his emotions in check as he has shown to be overemotional on the court at times.

Comments Off