The Legend of Victor Page

Page and AI dominated at Georgetown.

The Kenner League is an NCAA sanctioned summer basketball league that is played at McDonough Arena on the campus of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. For hoops junkies, it is the Mecca of Basketball in the District that fills the basketball void that exists from the end of the NBA Finals in June to the beginning of Midnight Madness in October (at least for us cowards who aren’t brave enough to take in the games at the Goodman League at the Barry Farms projects).

The Kenner League is a free event (which is exceedingly rare in this economy) whose main purpose is to develop Georgetown’s freshman who all play on the same team. In 1994 a skinny freshman from Hampton, Virginia made his debut in the District at the Kenner League and cemented his legend. The Kenner League is also a Pro-Am comprised of college and NBA players with district roots. So in a game you can have local legends such as Isaiah Swann (formerly of Magruder High School and Florida State University) running the break with guys like James Gist (Good Counsel/Maryland) or Jeff Allen (Dematha/Virginia Tech), or Jeff Green blocking a Chris Wright attempt off the backboard. And who is that watching in the stands? Is that Patrick Ewing? Is that Alonzo Mourning? Is that Victor Page? Wait a minute, Victor Page? Oh, boy. This changes the story. It was at the most recent summer league game that I saw Victor. He was the player that forever changed the Georgetown basketball program. Fourteen years later, my feelings about him remain mixed.

Continue reading

Advertisements

12 Comments

Filed under General

Freshmen Focus: Who to watch in 2012

While most college coaches have been hitting the road and attending the summer all-star recruiting camps, Mayo and I decided to give a quick run-down on a bunch of formerly sought-after recruits who will be freshmen in the fall.The 2011 Class was loaded with talent and many will become instant household-names (if they aren’t already). But we’ll also look at a couple of the more intriguing recruits and a few sleepers too.

Best Incoming

Anthony Davis, PF, Kentucky:

Davis will give the Wildcats another weapon in the post.

I’m taking Kentucky’s Anthony Davis here. Davis is many people’s consensus #1 recruit of this year’s class, so I’m not reinventing the wheel here. Davis’ combination of size and athleticism is tantalizing, and what’s more: he’s an impact guy on both ends of the floor. What will be interesting to me is how Davis will fit in with incumbent power forward Terrence Jones, who decided to stay at Kentucky for his sophomore year. Jones’ presence might curtail some of Davis’ impact as a freshman, but there is no doubt about the talent that he brings to the table. John Calipari will have one of those good problems of figuring out how to use both effectively at the same time. (Mayo)

James McAdoo, PF, North Carolina: The McDonald’s All-American Game MVP is an athletic specimen who like Davis can dominate on offense and defense. I’ve said before that McAdoo’s joining a loaded Tar Heel team that is very deep in the front court (Zeller, Henson, Barmes); but that’s not going to prevent the explosive McAdoo from seeing the court. He’s just too talented not to. Roy Williams has had deep teams before and he usually experiments a lot during November and December before finding a rotation he likes for conference play. Expect to see McAdoo getting 25-plus minutes and a spot on the NCAA All-Freshmen Team. (Giblin)

Biggest Impact

Tony Wroten, PG, Washington: Isaiah Thomas was the key spark for the Huskies when Abdul Gady went down with an injury last year but declared early for the draft leaving a void to be filled by the powerful lefty. Washington has some depth in the backcourt but Wroten, former Husky Nate Robinson’s cousin, has the size and skills to start at the point from day 1. He’s a legit 6’4” who uses his size well and distributes the ball very well. He’ll make an immediate impact and his play will go a long way toward’s deciding the champs of the Pac-10 (12?). Any guy who crosses up John Wall this bad is going to have a BIG impact (Green #1, 0:30 mark…might want to mute that horrendous music). (Giblin)

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Opinion, Recruiting

NBA’s European Migration: A Benefit for NCAA?

By: Tim Speros (Special Contributor to EMM)

Remember Keanu Reeves and Gene Hackman in The Replacements? No? Ok, the movie wasn’t an Oscar winner but I enjoyed it. Who wouldn’t want to be Keanu in that situation? You’re dating the head cheerleader for a pro sports team and have your own boat.  Boss!

Gene Hackman is a BOSS!

How does this relate to the NBA?  If a new CBA is not put in place before Halloween, (the usual time of the NBA season tip off) millions of fans will be disappointed when they have to stream footage of Bestikas (on eurohoops.net/ we now have game.html) or to see Deron Williams cut in and out (on their screen, not on the court).

Let’s say this lockout does not end, couldn’t the NBA owners just find replacement players?  I’m sure there are plenty of guys out there who would play in the NBA for say $300,000.00 a year. The minimum NBA salary last year was about $472,000.

This could be ideal for the NCAA, their current players, and former stars.  This could help college basketball become more competitive and more exciting.  Recent NBA drafts have consisted of mostly college freshman, sophomores, and international players. Before that, (before the draft rule changed a few years ago) kids were going from high school to the NBA and the NCAA was losing talent.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under General, NBA Draft, Opinion

NCAA: Quit Pretending. Go Back to Your Roots.

I’m not the first columnist or blogger to announce to the world that the NCAA has an image problem.  By now, it’s brutally obvious, what with the Terrelle Pryor/OSU scandal topping the list of blemishes against the NCAA over a myriad of other issues. Plain and simple, the NCAA has chosen to adopt the approach of unaccountability, under-supervision, and acceptance of the utter disregard its constituent universities show towards its already-flaky set of rules. With Congress giving them a tough run for their money, NCAA executives are currently leading the race for least trusted and most despised public figures in America (source: Conor Murphy).

It’s almost depressing to consider the way the NCAA and media attempt desperately to turn prima donnas into role models.  After watching the NCAA Lacrosse playoffs, I started to consider myself a failure, having never saved an entire village from famine or accomplished a feat of similar magnitude. Apparently, a bunch of players on the field at any given time had done so, or at least made a valiant attempt, while a substantial number of their best friends sat on the sidelines for “undisclosed disciplinary reasons”. (NB: I have the utmost respect for the way the UMD team overcame their adversity, and this is in no way meant to be a criticism of that team or the media’s paying attention to that story).  The fact of the matter is that enough negative stories have surfaced over the years that the NCAA’s propaganda, across all its sports, isn’t fooling me anymore, and I suspect there are more and more fans soon to join my camp.

Am I going to stop watching? No. I have a blog to write. Will the casual observer? Maybe. So if I were running the NCAA, I’d be deep in the process of developing alternate strategies to make the on-field (court) product better, and the depressing behind-the-scenes stories a little bit easier to take. Of course, the governing body of the NCAA is probably not doing this, but I am (and therein lies the problem).  I have an idea that certainly won’t cure the NCAA’s problems, but it might just help lift its image a little bit.

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under General, Opinion

NBA Draft Reflective: Notable Decisions to Leave Early and Their Outcomes

Every year there are underclassmen who declare for the draft, and when their announcements scroll across ESPN’s Bottom Line, you think, “Really?” This year, I believe the thinking for some of the guys in that category would have been: this year’s draft class is weak, there is opportunity to go higher and thus make more money if I come out a year early.

Or it’s just: I’m tired of being broke.

Guys like Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams, for example, wouldn’t fall into this category because it was more-or-less a given that those two were leaving early and going 1-2. In any case, here’s a look at some of the more, perhaps, interesting decisions to leave early and how they turned out after the fact.

Great Decisions

Tristan Thompson, Texas, #4 to Cleveland

Thompson was always considered a pro prospect, but his numbers his only year at Texas weren’t at the level where you figured it was a given he would come out. But Thompson climbed up a lot of draft boards throughout the evaluation prospects, landing in Cleveland at #4, where in more than one mock draft had him on the edge of the lottery when he declared. Next season, there is no way Thompson goes this high–the 2012 class will more than likely be absolutely stacked at the power forward position.

Knight may have had aspirations of being a top-3 pick, but staying in the top ten should be a win overall.

Brandon Knight, Kentucky, #8 to Detroit

Yeah, yeah, yeah–Knight could have gone as high as #3 or #4 in this draft depending on how a few dominoes fell early on, but a) he stayed in the top ten, but also b) Knight has a serious question mark about whether he can play a true point guard in the NBA. I personally think he can, but I digress. Another year in school may have helped prove to NBA teams that he could play that position in the league, but it also could have damaged his draft stock if he didn’t ease the concerns for a second straight year. I think getting taken eighth overall was pretty much right on target for Knight, as he probably had more risk than reward if he came back for his sophomore season.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under General, NBA Draft, Opinion

Why did Stanford renew Johnny Dawkins’ contract?

Johnny Dawkins, the former Duke basketball player and assistant coach, has signed an extension with Stanford to remain their head coach through the 2015-2016 season. But with three years remaining on his original contract and a ho-hum 49-48 overall record, why would Stanford sign him to an extension?

Will Dawkins' extension help him on the recruiting trail? It better.

Only one reason seems possible: to help Dawkins on the recruiting trail. Jon Wilner of the Mercury News explains it well:

The extension is partly a show of support for Dawkins, who’s 49-48 in three years (no NCAA appearances) and oversees a program slipping into irrelevance — even on its own campus. But it’s largely a recruiting necessity: It allows him to hit the road this month and tell rising juniors and seniors that he’s under contract at Stanford for the entirety of their college careers.

This makes a lot of sense. Stanford wants to improve its basketball program and this will hopefully help Dawkins turn it around on the recruiting trail and land some impact players for the Cardinal. Plus, it’s relatively risk-less. In the world of college athletics, a lot of these contract extensions are meaningless as the school’s protect themselves with “out-clauses” that let them get rid of the coach with limited financial loss.

Dawkins better hope that recruiting improves and results follow, but it won’t be easy. The Pac-10 has been relatively weak the past few years but it won’t be down for long (see: improving Washington, Arizona, UCLA, USC). If Dawkins doesn’t have the Cardinal dancing in one of the next two years, he won’t get a dime from this contract extension.

Leave a comment

Filed under Coaching Carousel

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.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under General, NBA Draft, TwitHitters

Retroactive Draft Night Diary

Draft night is now almost a week passed and we have heard plenty of analysis from experts around the country. We were building up to this Draft for months with analysis and articles in the weeks prior, so it seemed appropriate that we get a little live-diary going for the evening’s festivities.

Granted a little late but we wanted to give our readers an inside look at our thoughts as NBA teams built towards the future.

Plus, we all write in our own personal diaries every night anyways, might as well be productive with it.

Without further adieu, let’s get the ball rolling, shall we?

  • 5:12 – Three team trade between the Bobcats, Bucks, and Kings has destroyed our mock draft less than 2 hours before the draft. Hope you liked it (Giblin)
  • 6:08 – Just saw that Jeff Van Gundy will be on ESPN’s broadcast team. What’s the point of watching the draft on mute? Damnit. (Giblin)
  • 6:10 – No love for Van Gundy, Giblin? Come on man. You more of a Mark Jackson guy? (Mayo)
  • 6:55 – Dick Vitale covering this draft makes me sick as well. Every player is gonna be aweseome baby! God I hate the ABC/ESPN NCAA guys almost as much as the NBA guys. (Giblin)
  • 7:15 – Bilas and John Barry are the guys to listen to tonight. Best knowledge, analysis, and straight-forwardness. Ignore the idiot in the middle. (Giblin)
  • 7:27 – When did Fran Fraschilla become an expert on international prospects? Are you an expert if you attend one or two workouts? I might be applying for that position. (Giblin)
  • 7:34 – Has any commissioner ever gotten a cheer from the fans when he first steps up to the podium? (Giblin)
  • 7:35 – Only cheers tonight will be reserved for Adam Silver.. (Mayo)
  • 7:39 – 1 for 1 in our mock! Should we stop this on a high note ala George Costanza? (Giblin)
  • 7:42 – Is it me or do Kyrie Irving’s highlights not blow you away? He’s definitely a skilled player but athletically I find myself not being overly impressed. (Mayo)
  • 7:46 – No suprise with Williams at number 2 but who knows if David Kahn and Minnesota keep him. And now Utah up with the most pivotal pick in the draft. I’m shotgunning a beer if it’s not Knight. (Giblin)
  • 7: 48 – It seems like things are shifting to Kanter being the pick, but I don’t understand it. They have Jefferson, Milsap,and Favors up front. I think Kanter is at least the third best player in this draft, but a) there is no guarantee they get Jimmer at 12, and b) their backcourt is disheveled to say the least. Devin Harris is just OK, and they have nothing at the two spot. (Mayo)
  • 7:51 – That sucked. Anyway, the chances for Jimmer to end up playing in Utah shot up 3000%. (Giblin) Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under NBA Draft

NCAA Compliance made easy

On the list of major Universities across the country facing recruiting violations, scandal or even simple compliance issues, you’ll find the names of: Ohio State, USC, Indiana and in earlier times Georgia, Arizona State and even Boston College.

But, one name that you won’t find on that list – LSU.

Lousiana State has somehow remained in the clear when it comes to NCAA violations. How you may ask? Well, I think we may have finally found the answer…

Meet Super Compliance Guy, a master of the NCAA Rulebook and Jay Bilas Favorite.

Maybe Jim Tressel, Pete Carroll and Kelvin Sampson should take notice –

Leave a comment

Filed under Opinion, Recruiting

NBA Draft: Winners and Losers

Thursday night’s NBA Draft proved to be fairly dull on most counts, with predictability taking precedent for the most part. But, the greatest intrigue of the night had to have come by way of the trade.

Sacramento picking for Charlotte, who swapped picks with Milwaukee, and Boston exchanging with New Jersey or Dallas conceding all draft picks in exchange for a proven player in Rudy Fernandez.

There were plenty of twists and turns and while players were being nabbed off the board under the radar every five minutes, analysts were rushing to try and break down trades and fit the specific pieces in the correct cities.

So, while your mind may still be tingling with confusion and popping with frustration over your team’s selection (Knicks fans I feel for you), here is a breakdown of the biggest winners and losers from Thursday night.

WINNERS:

1. The Wiz Kids– A young and talented Wizards team was looking for some good players to implement right off the bat in 2011-12. Taking the very talented and NBA-ready Vesely at #6 was a god send for the D.C. boys. The wing position was arguably Washington’s biggest problem in 2010 and they were in dire need of a long, slasher who could compliment rookie scoring machine Jordan Crawford and take some pressure off of 2010 number 1 pick, John Wall. Vesely is a great talent for the Wiz — plus his girlfriend is an absolute smokeshow — and a terrific value at 6th overall.

Not only is Vesely a top-10 talent but his girlfriend is also a smokeshow

The Wizards got a great player in Vesely here, not to mention an absolute steal in Chris Singleton at #18.  The lengthy defender can play both the 3 and 4 (in some sets) and should have an immediate impact on defense. Combine his length on the wing with Wall’s ability to guard the perimeter and you could be looking at the start of a great defensive team for years to come.

Don’t knock the selection of Shelvin Mack in the 2nd Round either, he’s a shifty point guard, who could provide some rest for Wall at times or be a good compliment to him, playing off ball in some sets.

Overall, great draft for the Wiz and this could be the start of a long run of quality basketball in the D.C. area.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under General, NBA Draft, Opinion