Category Archives: TwitHitters

TwitHitters are a weekly feature here on Every Month March. Our experts analyze hot button issues across the NCAA in a quick hitting twitter style format.

Thursday TwitHitters: Draft Recap

After a week (and a lockout) to gather our thoughts, we came up with our three best/worst picks in this year’s NBA Draft.

Disagree? Want to argue your point? Tell us why. We love arguing.

Best Picks:

MAYO

1) Chris Singleton, 18th, Washington WizardsIn a draft full of likely role players, getting the best defensive player in the draft as far down as no. 18 is great value. He is a great athlete who can get up and down the floor and has the potential to be an above-average spot-up-jump-shooter. The most underrated aspect is the attitude he will bring to a team that, quite frankly, was soft last year.

Singleton = Steal of the Draft.

2) Brandon Knight, 8th, Detroit Pistons – Mocks had Knight going as high as no. 3 to the Jazz, so the Pistons get a steal at no. 8. Knight has the tools and versatility to emerge as one of the best players in this draft, if you ask me. He will take some time to develop, but his size and athleticism at the point guard spot, coupled with the fact that he’s as skilled as he is…great pick.

3) Bismack Biyombo, 7th, Charlotte Bobcats – BISMACK! When you’re a rebuilding team you need to find a star or two, but just as importantly you need guys who provide energy, defense, and rebounding on a consistent basis. Check, check, and check for Biyombo, who has all the makings of a potential Defensive POY award winner. Charlotte can consider their rim protected with this pick.

GIBLIN

1) Kemba Walker, 9th, Charlotte Bobcats – Michael Jordan might have failed on his first pick (see below), but he made up for it with this pick. Kemba is a champion, a tireless worker, and a media darling. When is the last time the Bobcats had anyone they could really market? Stephen Jackson? Gerald Wallace? Ehh. Now they have Kemba. He’ll become an instant fan favorite and will eventually replace D.J. Augustin at the point.

2) Chris Singleton, 18th, Washington Wizards- This pick made the most sense out of any in the draft- a lottery talent and best defensive player in the draft falls to a team that was absolutely abysmal on their end of the court last who needs help on the wing. Hmm…yea that was as easy a pick as it gets for Ernie Grunfield. Some Wizards fans wanted him at the 6th pick. Getting Singleton here was what made Washington the winners on draft night.

3) JuJuan Johnson, 27, Boston Celtics – Quick. Who was the Big Ten POY last year? Nope, not Jared Sullinger. It was JJ. He was absolutely incredible averaging 21 points, 9 boards, and 2 blocks a game. Any Celtic fan will tell you how much Big Baby SUCKED last year in the post-season and won’t be crying when the headcase leaves. Johnson is exactly the type of player that can help the Celtics aging front-court and KG can take under his wing as the Cs make one last run at a title (lockout pending).

LUKE

1)  Brandon Knight, 8th, Detroit Pistons –Dropping all the way to #8, Knight is a steal at this point for the Pistons. Rodney Stuckey hasn’t quite panned out as Joe Dumars and the Detroit front office has hoped, so Knight is a great insurance policy. Plus, both Stuckey and Knight can play both guard positions, so don’t be surprised to see them on the court together at times.

Did Joe Dumars benefit from MJ taking Biyombo over Knight? We say yes.

2) Kawhi Leonard, 15th, San Antonio Spurs – Before the draft, many experts had Leonard pegged as a top-six pick. But on draft night, he found himself free-falling harder than a Tom Petty song. Luckily, Leonard got scooped up at 15 by the Pacers and then shipped out to San Antonio where he will have the pleasure of learning behind Tim Duncan for at least one year, before taking over for the big fella.

3) Alec Burks, 12th, Utah Jazz – Burks sat around and watched as Klay Thompson and the Jimmer were taken just ahead of him. I’m sure the message was received loud and clear, as Burks realized that teams were a little down on him. But, the shooting-guard with the most talents in this year’s draft should use that as more motivation, as he fits in alongside Devin Harris and 2010 #1 pick Gordon Heyward in Utah.

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Twithitter’s: 2nd Round Value

We have completed not one, but two NBA mock drafts so far and we’ve learned one thing: this draft is going to be incredibly difficult to project. And we’ve only focused on the first round!

Recent history has shown us that some serious NBA talent can drop to Round Two and the teams that find those hidden gems can reap the benefits for years. Paul Millsap, Marc Gasol, Carlos Boozer, DeJuan Blair, Monta Ellis, Gilbert Arenas, and the list goes on. Some players have been All-Stars. Others have turned into solid role players.

Either way – teams can pick up championship pieces in the second round.

So that begs the question: what players could be this year’s hidden gems? Who could contribute immediately coming off the bench for a contender?

Our “Experts” weigh in…

Giblin

Looks like white man CAN jump after all

  1. Jon Leuer, Wisconsin – Leuer has a great shooting stroke for a 7-footer and has better athleticism than he is given credit for. He reminds me a lot of Tyler Hansbrough (sorry for the Caucasian on Caucasian comparison). Hansbrough went 13th overall. Leuer in the 2nd round would be phenomenal value.
  2. Isaiah Thomas, Washington – Need instant energy and offense off the bench? Isiah’s your guy. What Isiah doesn’t have in size, he makes up for in heart and drive. We’ve talked about how much we love Isiah before but rightfully so – he’s going to be an instant contributor at the next level.
  3. Demetri McCamey, Illinois– McCamey may not have elite athleticism but he has pretty good size and is a natural point guard unlike some of the other scoring “point guards” in this draft. When his head is screwed on straight, he can run a team and be very effective. We’re guessing a paycheck will help him keep his focus at the next level. Continue reading

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Twithitters: NBA Draft Movers

With the NBA Draft on the horizon and our first Mock Draft in the books, we decided to take a closer look at some of the players likely to move up/down draft boards in the coming weeks. So, here is a list of the draftees we are looking to make a big move, whether for the good or bad, heading into draft night in NYC:

Top 3 Draft Movers:

Giblin

Enes Kanter: GMs typically love to draft on potential which is why Kanter is considered a lottery pick. But a top 3 pick? I doubt it actually happens. There are so many other players that have shown flashes of potential this past year where as Kanter was declared ineligible by the NCAA and couldn’t show much. I’m guessing he drops regardless of how his individual workouts go.

Iman Shumpert: The guys been able to show his athletic ability and scouts are beginning to drool. I’ve already said that I’m not that impressed with his lack of overall skill, but I think NBA scouts are going to hope he can develop that overtime and will overlook it for now. Don’t be surprised if he ends up drafted in the teens.

Shumpert might fly up into the middle of the first round.

Jon Leuer: This is purely a hunch. I think Leuer could sneak into the top of the 2nd round. He’s got great size, a solid skill set, and a good motor. I think a GM is going to fall in love with him envisioning a Channing Frye/David Lee type player. If he shoots the ball well in these upcoming workouts, don’t be surprised if he starts rising on some draft boards.

                            

Mayo

 Jordan Hamilton: Hamilton is a top scorer in this draft. He has ideal size and athleticism for an NBA wing. Why is this guy not a surefire lottery pick? For my money, Hamilton is going to be up where he should be by the time the draft rolls around.

Yes, we are talking about you, Kawhi...Sorry to be the bearer of bad news

Kawhi Leonard: Leonard has a lot of upside but he may be out of place being up around the top 5 or 6 picks. He also had a somewhat disappointing combine, which is a bigger deal than you’d think since a lot of what scouts like about him is his athleticism. He could fall a bit.

 JuJuan Johnson: If JaVale McGee and Ed Davis can be drafted in the lottery, why on earth is JuJuan Johnson a fringe first round pick? Johnson has all the measureables, he just lacks bulk. He’s a great shot blocker, can run the floor, and he can score–though his post game is still developing. If he doesn’t rise, some team is going to get a steal in the late first or early second.

___________

Luke

Marshon Brooks:I’ve written about Brook’s sleeper potential before but the 6-foot-5 swingman from Providence is starting to actually rise up team’s draft boards. He’s been receiving high grades from scouts as of late and even drawing comparisons to Paul George throughout workouts. So, as the most potent scorer in the draft and with some off the charts measurements (including a 7’1″ wingspan) Brooks could be heading for lottery after all.

Marshon could be raising the roof on draft night if he sneaks his way into the lottery

Markieff Morris: The Morris twins have been hot on many radars since they declared back in April. But, while Marcus has been finding his way into the top-10 even in some mocks, Markieff has seen his stock falling as of late. With some questions about his position entering the league and a mediocre-at-best offensive skillset we could see at least one of the two twins headed for a steep fall on draft night.

Nikola Vucevic: After some terrific workouts in Chicago, Vucevic left the windy city looking more and more like a high level center in the NBA. Some teams have been falling hard for the 7-footer from Montenegro and it wouldn’t be all that surprising if he even snuck his way into the lottery come draft night.

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Thursday’s Twithitters: Best College Hoops Writers

After Linda Gonzalez, former Manhattan and Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez’s older sister, released her Top 10 worst sports writers list on her blog that set off an internet firestorm (which has been since removed but the Rush the Court boys had a very interesting interview with her), the boys here thought we should release our list of BEST national college basketball writers. No need to bad mouth anyone…here’s a list of some of our favorite basketball writers.

Top 3 Writers:

Giblin

  1. Gary Parrish, CBS – Very entertaining writing that knows everything that’s going on in the world of college basketball. His Weekend Look Aheads and Weekend Look Backs are full of great information, easy reads, and funny. And the guys isn’t afraid to tell it how it is.
  2. Jeff Goodman, FOX Sports  CBS – If there is one person who beats one of the writers from ESPN consistently to break a story,

    Jay Bilas's Twitter = Genius.

    it’s Goodman. Goodman was recently plucked from FOX Sports by CBS – they get a phenomenal writer strengthening their already solidcollege basketball crew.

  3. Jay Bilas, ESPN – Jay Bilas is one of the best. He’s a very opinionated analystbut is very fair in his analysis. But the reason he’s great: his Twitter. Absolutely hilarious. If you aren’t following him, you need to start.

Mayo

  1. Seth Davis, SI– Davis isn’t gimmicky, but for my money he’s got the most

    No one is better at telling it as it is - isn't that right, NCAA

    knowledge of the combination of the game and the personnelout there. He calls the NCAA out on their BS better than anyone, and he is just the best pure writerout there.

  2. Jay Bilas , ESPN – Bilas is known for his TV persona as much as anything but he can really write as well. He might have the best X’s and O’s knowledge of any of the analysts or writers out there, and as a former player (at Duke no less) he brings a very interesting perspective that not many guys can duplicate.
  3. Andy Katz, ESPN – NOT because he does Obama’s bracket every year. Katz is just a wealth of information and seems to be the first, or one of the first, to break many of the major stories in college hoops. Plus, it seems like he’s got a direct line to every coach in America.

Hughes

Is Dana O'neill underrated or just under the radar?

  1. Dana O’Neill, ESPN– This may not be the most popular pick and Yes she’s awoman writing about men’s basketball, but Dana knows what she is talking about when it comes to the NCAA. She also does great feature pieces on under the radar guys as well as high school prospects, accurately capturing more than meets the eye. Really underrated!
  2. Fran Fraschilla, ESPN – Some of you non-Insiders might not see much of Fraschilla on the ESPN main page, but the dude has tons of insight on recruiting and is definitely a reliable source when it comes to anything NCAA related.
  3. Seth Davis, SI – Confession: I don’t rely on SI for College Basketball very often, as I’m usually scouring ESPN’s entire site for info and analysis, but Davis does catch me me peeking over now and again. He is a master of breaking down the tourney and always reliable when it comes to breaking news.

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Thursday’s Twithitters: Early NBA Prospect Thoughts

Thursday’s Twithitters has arrived and we’re talking NBA prospects for these former college stars (and a dude from the Congo). Mock drafts are all around here, here, and here. All of them seem to agree with our lottery sweepstakes projection with Kyrie going number one to Cleveland. Yay us!

But we also looked at some of their mock drafts and decided who we thought were the most underrated and overrated prospects in this year’s draft. We start with the guys we think are undervalued…

Most Underrated Prospects:

Giblin

  1. Reggie Jackson, Boston College – Yes, I am a homer. Jackson’s freakish 7-foot wingspan and ability to get to the rim are not being valued enough. His outside shot improved every season at BC and he’s got a good feel for the game. He’s only going to get better at the point. Some team’s going to luck into a great player late first round.
  2. Keith Benson, Oakland – Why is Benson not getting more love? Are guys like Kenneth Faried that much better? He’s got NBA size and athleticism and has some good inside skills. He could be better than both Morris twins.
  3. Isiah Thomas, Washington – Everyone is pointing out his lack of size. We get it. But look at J.J. Barera and his contributions in the NBA playoffs. Thomas’s lightning fast quickness and ability to get in the lane will make him a great bench player for many years in the league. And of course he’s COLD BLOODED!

Mayo

  1. Tobias Harris, Tennessee– Harris is solid in all aspects of the game and has great basketball IQ. His play during his freshman year wasovershadowed by the chaos of Tennessee’s program because of the Bruce Pearl circus that unfolded throughout the year. He probably won’t be picked until the later first round, if not the second, but can really be a legitimate starter in the league.

    Is Faried one of the safest selections in this years draft?

  2. Kenneth Faried, Morehead State– Faried got his name out thereby leading Morehead State to a first-round upset of Louisville this past tournament but still isn’t a household name. He is built like a brick house and might be the best rebounder in the draft. He likely won’t go until the later lottery but could be the perfect complimentary player for a potential contender. Think Joakim Noah.
  3. Jordan Hamilton, Texas – Hamilton has great size and athleticism, and he is one of the most versatile scorers in the entire draft. Yet, you don’t hear his name too often when it comes to lottery picks. I see him as a bonafide starter and potentially a great number two option offensively.

Hughes

  1. Kenneth Faried, Morehead State – NCAA’s All-Time leading rebounder, of course I’ll take him. His game reminds me a lot of Ben Wallace. A tad undersized and still developing offensively, but in today’s game how often do you find a guy who puts defense and rebounding ahead of all else?
  2. Chris Singleton, Florida State – Defense is becoming even more of a fad than the 3-pointer in the NBA and Singleton brings it better than anyone in this draft. At 6’9 and 225 and with elite athleticism he could effectively guard each of the Heat’s Big 3 at different points in a game. Give his offense some time but at the very least you’re getting a great wing defender for years to come.
  3. Josh Selby, Kansas – He had his struggle while in Lawrence, but the upside is too good to overlook. A bad year doesn’t necessarily mean a bad career. If you need any further proof, see: Brandon Jennings. Sure, there is a lot of risk in the pick, but with terrific guard fundamentals and a developing shot how could someone rightly pass him up in the 20’s.

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Thursday’s Twithitters: Draft Deadline Decisions

Second edition of Twithitters where we’ll be looking at the best and worst NBA draft deadline decisions. Short and sweet thoughts from our writers all Twitter-style.

2011 NBA DRAFT 

BEST DECISIONS:

Giblin

Jackson's athleticism could see him shoot up Draft boards come June.

  1. Tristan Thompson, Texas – With Jared Sullinger and the Carolina front court staying put, Thompson’s potential and athleticism will likely make him a lottery pick. Tough to question that decision.
  2. Reggie Jackson, Boston College – Pains me to say this, but Reggie made the right decision. Major roster turnover and a weak draft could make RJ a lottery pick. Can’t argue that he should have stayed.
  3. Tu Holloway, XavierAnother year at Xavier will not only make Chris Mack happy, but also allow Tu to show scouts that he can be an effective floor general for two straight seasons and that last year was no fluke.
Mayo
  1. Perry Jones, Baylor – Jones would have been a top-five pick, if not better, but he knew his game wasn’t ready for the next level quite yet. Yes, he risks injury next year, but barring that, if he puts in the work he will seriously be considered for the first overall pick next draft.
  2. Alec Burks, Colorado – Nothing but production his first two years at Colorado, and Burks stock probably isn’t going to get too much higher than where it is right now. It’s not like he’s going to have much to come back to next season. Good choice.
  3. The Morris Twins, Kansas – Marcus and Markieff established themselves nationally this year, and, short of winning a championship, they accomplished about as much as they could have wanted to at Kansas. Their only challenge now is adjusting to probably not playing together at the next level.

    Could Terrence Jones decision to stay in school ultimately backfire?

Hughes
  1. Brandon Knight, Kentucky –The freshman point guard lit it up in the tournament and solidified his stock as a Top-10 player. Staying at Kentucky may have only opened up more criticism and with a weak draft class as it is, bolting for the league was his best move.
  2. Terrence Jones, Kentucky – From one Wildcat to another. With the impending lockout and seriously raw talent, Jones made the right decision in staying another year in Lawrence. With a dominant season in the post and some signs of maturity we could be talking about the #1 overall pick in 2012.
  3. Klay Thompson, Washington State – Thompson’s stock is as high as it ever may be and staying another year may just expose more holes in his game. The lengthy guard has lots of potential and could sneak his way into the lottery with some solid workouts.

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