Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Free Agent Profile: Rudy Gay

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Free Agent Profile: Ray Allen

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

2010 UConn Draft Prospects

Stanley Robinson: His athleticism is top-notch and has general managers drooling over that aspect of his game, but he is still a work in progress. His outside shot, which he had a good percentage in his senior year, wasn’t consistent and never showed up at crunch time of tight ballgames. His rebounding was and will be a huge asset to him at the next level. He’ll need to be relentless in the paint to earn minutes right off the bat. The major contribution that Sticks can demonstrate right away will be at the defensive end. He was solid there and his length and athleticism made him ideal to cover any sized wing player.

He reminds me of a Tony Allen type of player at the next level. He has the potential to be much better and is already a better rebounder, but without that outside aspect to his game, he’ll come off the bench with the second unit.

Jerome Dyson: He’s been working hard on improving his shooting range, which was the only thing lacking from his game. It isn’t a pretty shot, since he shoots it flat footed, which gives his opponent a chance to block it. He has a dynamic first step and isn’t afraid to attack the rim, which will be an asset to him since the lanes are wider and the restricted circle is there to deter lingering big men. The one thing that isn’t in Dyson’s favor is his injuries. He has had a major surgery, and tons of bangs and bruises due to the style of play he invokes.

Dyson reminds me of a poor man’s Dwayne Wade. Sure he isn’t of Wade’s superstar level of talent, but his game is in Dwayne’s mold. They both are looking to attack the rim whenever the ball is in their hands and the outside shot is only an afterthought. Dyson will thrive at the next level and if his body can hold up, he should eventually become a starter. It depends where he lands.

Gavin Edwards:
He is a long shot to make a team. Early in the season, he drew attention with his rebounding and blocked shots, but he tailed off down the stretch and so did the spotlight. A team might take a look at him as a free agent and assign him to a D-League squad, but there are so many players of his size and skill level that he’ll need to improve leaps and bounds to make a NBA team. He reminds me of a shorter Josh Boone, but with a better shot.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Meet Roscoe Smith

Roscoe Smith is a 6-8 and 185 lbs small forward from Baltimore, Maryland. He is a dynamic scorer, who has a blossoming post game and a silky smooth jumper which is deadly from deep. He averaged 21.4 points and 11 rebounds in his junior year and looks to be a major player in next years rotation. Georgetown and Duke had also gave invitations to Smith, but he felt that UConn was a better fit because of the success of the wing position and his schools ties to Rudy Gay. His coach, Kelvin Bridgers said, “ He has a greet feeling about UConn….He can flat out shoot the cover off the ball…and can score from anywhere on the floor.”

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Ranking the Returning Huskies

1. Kemba Walker. This is the most obvious one to rank. He is the only legitimate scorer and was the leader of the team at the end of last season. He’ll need to step up his game, especially against the zone, and be able to make good decisions when double teamed, because he’ll see plenty of it until someone else steps up. He’ll also need to knock down the jumper and finish plays around the rim, since points will be at a premium to start the season. He’s the sole leader of the team and he’ll need to lead this team early and often.

2. Alex Oriakhi. He didn’t have the year that he wanted, but he has the body to be a bruiser in the Big East. He should be bigger and more comfortable with the banging inside. He needs to become a rebounding beast, not worry to much about post play, and get his points on hustle plays around the rim. The post game will come in time, but with his size and strength, he should be flirting with a double-double in every game next year.

3. Jamal Coombs-McDaniel. He had a rough time shooting the ball and looking for his offense on a team filled with seniors, but he will get his chance to have a bigger impact on the game this season. He has a nice stroke and also isn’t afraid to attack the glass, but he is far from polished. He needs to work on using the dribble to open his shooting hand and using the pick and roll more. He can’t remain a one-dimensional player, because this team needs production from his position.

4. Ater Majok. For many fans, Majok was a disappointment last year. He came in with high praise from Calhoun, but he never achieved a quarter of it. He was in constant foul trouble and would take ill-advised shots which had him in Calhoun’s doghouse, but he did show flashes of the hype. He has a soft touch from the line which shows that he can develop a mid-ranged game, he causes havoc on defense, and hustles. If he can defend without fouling, he should be a shot blocking force that UConn needs.

5. Donnell Beverly. He knew his role last year, take over the point, don’t look for your shot unless the shot clock was winding down, play solid defense, and don’t turn the ball over. But he is going to need to contribute more this upcoming season. The team is going to need some offensive points from him with the freshmen being a total unknown. He’ll be one of the few leaders out there and will hope to have a Gavin Edwards type season, where he jumps up his productivity with more playing time.

6. Charles Okwandu. He is a hustle machine but he does everything that Majok can do but is less athletic, which slides him down the depth chart. It is his last season and he still has a ton of growth left, which isn’t good at all. He should get the minutes to show what he can do, but he is running out of time.

7. Jonathan Mandeldove. He red-shirted last year and looks to be playing the same amount of minutes. He doesn’t have a ton of on the court experience but does have the practice hours that could make him a valuable asset if there is an injury.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Handling the Handlers

With the NCAA revealing its investigation into the alleged violations into Josh Nochimson, who is also under investigation into stealing money from Rip Hamilton, UConn is doing all it can to save face. They cut loose two of their assistant coaches in Pat Sellers and Beau Archibald, and Calhoun put on a press conference where he seemed remorseful but still distanced himself to protect his legacy. There were significant violations and the whole coaching staff knew what the rules are and still violated them. For that there will be a severe punishment.

The sad thing about this whole situation is the recruits involved. Nate Miles was teetering on the edge of eligibility with his transcripts and his living situation. UConn was doing the young man a service of offering him a scholarship. No other school of UConn’s caliber would touch him. He was a huge gamble and one that did not pay off. Majok, another of the recruits that was mentioned being involved in the investigation during the beginning of this fiasco, was another player that was living in a precarious situation. It was much different then the Nate Miles case with nothing negative looming over Ater, but he was a refugee from another country living in Australia. His living situation was turmoil and UConn extended their hand out, waiting through the long process of eligibility.

The problem with these two cases are not necessarily the players but the handlers that are controlling the players. They both are looking at basketball to escape their dire situations and it is these handlers that entice these impressionable youths. College recruiters must go through these shady conduits to deal with recruits and many of these handlers have their own interests at heart. Now, UConn knew the rules to begin with and they are culpable for their actions, but there is a dark underbelly to this story that isn’t being reported.