Monthly Archives: April 2010

The decision of Terrence Jones

Terrence Jones out of the state of Washington is, in my opinion at worst in the 5-10 range of the class of 2010.The 6’8 forward offers a versatile game, with his ability to put the ball on the floor, play multiple positions and his passing will surely be a valuable asset to any team. The lefty leaves only one concern at this point, that being his jump shot which needs work. Other than that he is as solid a prospect as you can find and today is expected to choose from Washington, Kansas and Kentucky.

How would he fit in to each program and what would the outcome be?

Washington - Perhaps the favorite as of today, could field an athletic and very competitive team next year and into the future with Jones, new signee Terrence Ross, Isaiah Thomas and Abdul Gaddy. The quarter would be a formidable 1-4 and could mesh very well together. For Jones, he can look at Quincy’s Pondexter’s revival in his senior year to see what type of role he could play under Lorenzo Romar.

Kentucky- Calipari suddenly is need of front court help after having an embarrassment of riches this past year. Losing out on CJ Leslie makes Jones an even more pressing need.  Without Jones, UK’s frontline is left with Enes Kanter and not a whole lot else. What Jones can bring to UK is someone to slide in next to Kanter and complement his game very well with his ability to be a face up 4. He would be much better suited in the 1 in 4 out offense than Pat Patterson was this recent season.

Kansas- Landing Jones to go along with Josh Selby would be quite a late signing coup for Bill Self.  Kansas maybe the only team on this list that Jones might not start right away on, as Kansas still possesses both Morris twins and Thomas Robinson. What Jones can bring is another talented piece that Self can fit into his puzzle and put KU right back in the thick of things for next year.

Where should Jones go?

You can make a case for each school, Washington the home town selection to play with his good friend Ross, and lead a talented to UW team to Pac 10 titles.

How can  you argue against anyone signing up to play wtih Calipari at this point? He just develops pros.

And Bill Self’s ability to utilize and coach up post players is almost second to none at this point. Jones would be an ideal fit for his high-low offense.

In the end, nobody can make any recommendation to Jones, they all make sense. Whatever the decision is, it will make a few dominoes fall, for the late recruiting period and on the court results next year.

Who needs to make an impact?

End of the year 2010 individual player rankins are coming out.  As it is with every year there will be top rated players lost in the shuffle on deep, talented teams.

So we’ll take a look at a group of players that will be called upon next fall to make an immediate impact..in no order..

Brandon Knight, Kentucky – Another year, another freshmen point guard for Calipari. Knight will not have the supporting cast that Derrick Rose, John Wall or even Tyreke Evans were placed with. Knight is going to have to live up to his billing for Kentucky to find anywhere near the success they had last season.

Nate Lubick, Georgetown- The big man from Massachusetts could find himself in the starting lineup from Day 1. Greg Monroe leaves a big void to fill and Lubick is the most logical big man to slide in to the starting role. His development is key as Georgetown does return all other 8 scholarship players from last years team. Lubick brings rebounding and an ability to finish at the rim, both assets that the Hoyas have been missing.

Dominique Ferguson, FIU – Isiah Thomas’ first big time recruit. Ferguson has a chance to shine against weaker competition and attempt to start to put FIU on the map. The potential impact that Ferguson could have on FIU and for Thomas’ college coaching and recruiting career is quite large. If he finds success, Isiah might be able to reel in a few more blue chippers.

Fab Melo, Syracuse – Arinze Onauku leaves a gapping hole in the back of the zone that it appears Dashonte Riley is not ready to fill. Melo will be the odds on favorite to win the starting job and hold down the paint. He has a well rounded game and size that most other bigs will not possess on the college level. He can make a large impact that leaves Syracuse again towards the top of the Big East.

Ray McCallum and Trey Zeigler, Detroit and Central Michigan – Both elected to play in small conferences for their fathers. Both will now be expected to be Stephen Curry 2.0. And unfair expectation to carry. I imagine the burden within the household to carry will be as much as on the team. They will have the chance to start from day 1 and lead their teams to conference titles while increasing the profiles of both programs.

Adreian Payne, Michigan State- With Delvon Roe’s constant nagging injuries and Draymond Green’s lack of height, Michigan State is desperate for height and athleticism, Payne brings both to the table. He, when chooses to can be a beast on the glass. It is not Tom Izzo’s job to get it out of him on a nightly basis.

Kyrive Irving, Duke – The best point guard Coach K will have had since Jason Williams. So may say Irving is more advanced at this point in his career. He will be the beneficiary of playing next to Nolan Smith who will act as a secondary ball handler and someone able to play the point guard spot in spot minutes. Duke does lose three starters and starting point guard Jon Scheyer. If Duke wants to attempt to make a run for  back to back titles, Irving has to be as advertised.

Josh Smith’s weight, UCLA- Josh Smith can play and at least be a presence if on the floor next year. The issue is his weight, which has ballooned after an injury in the fall. Based on his appearance in HS All Star games he hasn’t done a good job of taking it off. The weight must disappear this summer and early fall for Smith to make a substantial impact. If he does, UCLA will bounce back from a dreadful year, if not, it could be more of the same.

Perry Jones, Baylor – When you watch Perry Jones go up and down the court, he just looks….different. He can run the floor like a gazelle at 6’11 and has a college ready body right now. He likely will have to play in the paint with the absence of Epke Udoh. He and Quincy Acy will form a formidable athletic duo. Jones is going to have to emerge as someone who can go get a basket for Baylor to try to repeat their success of 2010.

The trio of Joe Jackson, Will Barton and Jelan Kendrick, Memphis – Could it be possible the best back court in the country will consist of 3 freshmen? Memphis fans after a down year with Calipari leaving the cupboard bare will be eager to win. And this trio, all McDonald’s All American’s will be expected to return Memphis to CUSA domination.

The trio of Kendall Marshall, Reggie Bullock and Harrison Barnes, UNC- Another trio of McDonald’s All Americans. They will be asked upon to bring scoring and play making to the perimeter for the Tar Heels, which last years squad was lacking severely. Bullock might be the forgotten man here with an early commitment but he and Harrison Barnes should make the biggest impact. Marshall should not be expected to fix the PG woes just yet. The pressure will be on for a bounce back year, in a big way.

Eric Atkins, Notre Dame- Four year starter Tory Jackson finally moves on from the point guard position for Notre Dame. The keys to Mike Brey’s well tuned offense now likely fall into the hands of Atkins, a D.C. product. As with Kyrie Irving, Atkins will benefit from having a secondary ball handler next to him, in that of Ben Hansbrough. Notre Dame does return some talent and it will be up to Atkins to make a return trip to the NCAA’s.

Taran Buie, Penn State- Big brother Talor needs help at State College, lots of it. Taran Buie the younger brother of Talor, should at the very least provide scoring punch. Since his commitment and then re-location to Pennsylvania, Buie has almost become a forgotten prospect. But the 6’3 combo guard should instantly infuse more talent and scoring into the Nittany Lion back court that will help pull out a few more Big 10 wins next season. Given that the brothers will only have one year to play together, the pressure is on.

Daryl Traynham, UMASS- Traynham has seen a large amount of buzz with this past season and an impressive showing at the Derby Classic. Under sized, but lighting quick, Traynham will bring an excitement and an infusion of talent that Derek Kellogg is desperately in need of at Umass. Traynahm will likely be given a lot of freedom from the jump.

Ian Miller, Florida State- Florida State does return a trio of guards in Kitchen, Snaer, and Dulkys but none are true point guards. Ian Miller can be and it’s been a void for Florida State recently. They are desperate for scoring and whether Miller can do that himself or facilitate for others it would be a welcome addition.

Michael Cobbins, Oklahoma State- Oklahoma State and Travis Ford have toughness, quickness and athleticism. They’ve been missing height and length up front. Cobbins is a bouncy, 6’9 forward that should help solve that issue. His ability to run the floor should suit him well in Ford’s system. With Marshall Moses and Matt Pilgrim around he may not be asked for too much off the bat but his size will be needed next season.

Gary Franklin, Cal- Franklin will face the challenge of filling a large pair of shoes left by All American candidate Jerome Randle. Unfortunately for Franklin, also gone are Theo Robertson and Pat Christopher, leaving a very thin roster with limited offensive options.

Cameron Clark, Oklahoma – The Sooners and Jeff Capel need some type of hope, anything. Clark a highly touted recruit can at least bring talent into a dire roster in need of it. He will be asked to put points on the board from the first game to try and avoid a second straight terrible year.

Aaron Craft, Jordan Sibert, Lenzelle Smith, Ohio State- Another year and another mystery at point guard for Thad Matta. This time it is more difficult as there is no Evan Turner still hanging around. Diebler, Lighty and Buford are talented wing players but none capable of moving over to play point guard for extended stretches. The dilemma is which one do you take off the floor? Either way, this trio of freshmen guards can hopefully provide at least one player to be capable of giving 15-20 quality minutes at the point guard position to provide balance and direction. Otherwise OSU is a Top 10 team putting the pressure on this need.

Early Entrants – The Sophomore Class

Solomon Alabi, Florida St- Can’t teach height. And Alabi has plenty of it. Anchored the top statistical defense in the country this past year. He still lacks strength but possesses a nice shooting touch shown at the charity stripe. There’s some potential here, albeit still a project for the most part. Late round 1.

Greg Monroe, Georgetown – A decisive prospect. Probably the best passing big man in basketball. Not college basketball, basketball. Not an explosive athlete and needs to develop his face up jump shot and continue to develop his right hand. Top 10 when it’s all said and done.

Al-Farouq Aminu, Wake Forest – The question will be can he play the 4 at the next level? He rebounds and is a good enough athlete to do so. The issue is I don’t think he has close to the skills needed to play the 3 in the NBA. He’s a lotto pick as well with upside, but what position he plays will likely be an issue.

Luke Babbitt, Nevada - Love his game, but again here..can he play the 3? The skills aren’t the issue with Luke, the athleticism and quickness is. I like him more than a comparable Kyle Singler. Probably founds himself taking in the second round, though.

Ed Davis, North Carolina – Not a fan. And not sure if his game improved at all from his frosh year to this past season. Has anyone seen him score on anything but a dunk or a left handed jump hook? That said, he’s athletic, rebounds and can block shots. But if he goes in the Top 10, there is bust potential here in my opinion.

Terrico White, Mississippi – Was intriguing before the start of the year with his ability to be a combo guard down the line. But there was not much improvement in his game this season and Ole Miss didn’t quite live up to expectations. A 2nd round talent.

Samardo Samuels, Louisville - With the feedback he’ll receive, There’s no way he stays in the draft. Not even worth discussing.

Willie Warren, Oklahoma – Should have bounced last year. From lottery pick to at best a late round 1 pick this year. Did not look so hot without Blake Griffin around, and made it obvious he is not a point guard.

Jordan Crawford, Xavier – Once known for his dunk over LeBron, now as well known for his shoot out with Kansas State. He can score and dial it up from long distance. However, he needs to do more than just seek out his own shots. He likely could become a nice scorer off the bench for an NBA team down the road. With impressive workouts it wouldn’t be out the question to sneak into the first round.

Herb Pope, Seton Hall – Safe to say Herb has not had the best circle around him for a while now. Has NBA potential due to his rebounding, but needs more time.

Courtney Fortson, Arkansas- Get the passport ready

Arnett Moultrie, UTEP – Go back to school.

Sylven Landesberg, Virginia – Talented, but had his season short cut due to academics. Has a well rounded offensive game, can handle, drive and shoot from distance fairly well. Probably could have made a push to be an All American caliber player his junior year. Now looking at the top end of Round 2.

Elliot Williams, Memphis – Can do about everything but shot. And that’s a big issue as a 2 guard. His athleticism, ability to attack the rim and defend finds him a spot from 25-40.

Devin Ebanks, West Virginia - Has yet to realize his potential and his offense is a major work in progress. Actually as there been any progress? But he can defend, and defend multiple spots. I could see an Ariza like career path for Ebanks, although I do think he’s worth a late Round 1 pick.

Paul George, Fresno State – Youtube sensation his freshmen year. Talented, but started to rely on the 3 ball a bit too much this year for my taste. When you have athletic ability, you need to put it to use in college, in particular when you shoot FT’s at a 90% clip. Has ideal size to play on the wing in the NBA and rebounds well. Looks like a safe bet to go in Round 1 at this point.

Gordon Hayward, Butler – I don’t buy the hype as a lottery pick, not yet. Didn’t shoot the ball well this year in an offense that gets open looks for everyone. But does have the size to play the 3 in the NBA and does not have the athletic concerns that a player like Babbit does.

The impact on the college game..

Memphis – With Will Barton, Joe Jackson and Jelan Kendrick on the way, the loss of Williams does not hurt too much. It may be turn out to be easier to mesh for Josh Pastner. If Williams had to stay you’re probably going to have start Joe, Will and Elliot together, not ideal. Jelan fits in well as a 2nd distributor.

Georgetown- From a Top 5 preseason team with Monroe back to now a fringe Top 15-20 squad. Still bringing back a great back court to go along with a more than solid recruiting class. Big man Nate Lubick is the key.

Butler- If Hayward is gone, it really deflates Butler’s hopes for another run. He clearly was the one spot on the floor that Butler had an advantage against top tier teams. Matt Howard and Shelvin Mack are nice players, but not of Hayward’s quality.

Florida State- If Alabi had returned with Chris Singleton and Michael Snear, it could have been a legit Top 15 team with their defensive ability. Now they’re likely on pace for a similar season as the past one.

Oklahoma- Again, a mess.

Louisville- Samardo is absolutely needed back. While critics have picked his game apart, if he returns, Louisville is a top 5 Big East team. Without him you have to move forward with Rakeem Buckles and Jared Swopshire holding down the paint, not ideal.

Xavier – Another spot where one player dramatically changes how things would have looked next year. Big loss, and while Xavier will continue to win in the A10, the upside they might have had does not exist without Crawford.

West Virgnia- If Ebanks had returned, I would have thought WVU to be a tough out again next season. Now without him, Huggins loses his two best players, Ebanks and Da’Sean Butler. Ebanks had the ability to handle the ball and make a few plays on the offensive end to go next to Butler. Now it puts Kevin Jones, who I love as a player, into an offensive he role he just probably is not ready for.

CJ Leslie Back to NC State

CJ Leslie has decided to re-commit to NC State. Beating out Kentucky, which at this point is a major upset in the recruiting world. It also gives NC State a pretty damn good and ultra athletic class of Ryan Harrow, Lorenzo Brown and Leslie.

Does Calipari also now miss out on Terrence Jones? Stay tuned. At this point my gut says yes.

Introducing: Andre Drummond

Andre Drummond is a class of 2012 man child from Connecticut that has been on the radar of  every high major in the country. As recently as last week Roy Williams, Jim Calhoun and John Thompson III dropped in to watch him in action.

Drummond has been thought of as a sure thing for Uconn, but with possible recruiting violations on the horizon as well as Calhoun’s health and contract status that now remains to be seen.

As seen in this new mixtape, Drummond’s potential is sky high. A legit 6’10, if not pushing 6’11 and an NBA body already, Drummond has a strong hold on the #1 overall spot in 2012 and the odds on favorite to be a top pick in the 2013 NBA draft.

NBA Draft Early Entrants – The Freshmen

With just about any and everyone having declared here on the last day, it’s time took at the individual prospects for those moving foward and the impact it leaves on college basketball..

First a look at the one and dones..

John Wall, Kentucky – Is there anything left that hasn’t been said? He shakes David Stern’s hand first. Although I will say that the Derrick Rose comparisons naturally come, and I don’t believe he is as good coming out.

Xavier Henry, Kansas – I love his ability and size. The production was not always there. I’d be willing to over look that aspect and take him in the back end of the lottery. Shooting guards with his gifts, skill and body wise don’t grow on trees.

Daniel Orton, Kentucky – Guaranteed to be a name talked about a lot the next two months. Little production, not a starter, yet is still generating first round buzz. He could have been a focal point of Kentucky’s team next year. It’s hard to even say how he projects, there just isn’t enough evidence.

Tommy Mason-Griffin, Oklahoma – Why? Undersized, over weight guards don’t generate much NBA buzz. TMG could have been a really solid college guard, now he’s likely headed to Europe.

Eric Bledsoe, Kentucky – We’ll hear about how he’s a combo guard and has to work on being a PG. Well, before John Wall..that’s the only position Bledsoe knew. He still has much to work on with his PG play and jump shot, but the athletic ability and size is there. My guess is somebody takes him in the 20’s.

Avery Bradley, Texas   – Love him. Questions surround what position he can play. Doesn’t matter to me, you can have him as a combo guard as a 6th man at worst. He defends and his jump shot is more advanced than once thought of. Anywhere outside of the lottery and Bradley’s possesses great value.

Tiny Gallon, Oklahoma –Maybe an answer to why TMG would bolt can be found here. Gallon has the $3,000 gift looming and the OU program has gone from ‘on the verge’ to being a mess. Like TMG, Gallon’s not getting drafted.

DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky – Is he an oversized brute that feasted on small college front lines with production that won’t translate or is he that big and strong that his numbers will come on any level? I’ve started to lean towards the fact he’s just damn good. But is his head on straight? What happens when he gets paid? Not sure. Proceed with caution.

Derrick Favors, Georgia Tech   – If Favors had any competent guards or coaches to work with this year, he would have fared much better. He is the most athletic big in this draft and has skill to go along with it. Favors is a high character person as well. Top 5 lock.

Lance Stephenson, Cincinnati    – I’d like to say he can sneak into Round 2, but I saw nothing to support that claim this year. He can’t shoot from distance, isn’t a great athlete and just did not really produce. Maybe somebody takes a shot on him. But if he’s on a roster next fall I’d be almost stunned.

Hassan Whiteside, Marshall – A hidden gem in the freshmen class that dominated in Conference USA. Whiteside is a fluid athlete and an elite shot blocker. Comparisons have been drawn to Marcus Camby. Entering the draft should not be a big surprise given his age for his class (20) and the idea to strike when the iron is hot for a big man. He’s likely to be slotted in the Mid first round.

What do the defections mean for certain teams?

Kentucky – Once again, it’s time to reload for John Calipari. He’s already picked up Enes Kanter, Stacey Poole, Brandon Knight, Doron Lamb and likely one of CJ Leslie or Terrence Jones to follow. Questions and concerns about winning with a one and done roster are valid, but was it expected to see Bledsoe and Orton leave after one season? Probably not. As long as John Calipari is at Kentucky, they will be an elite program.

Oklahoma – Yikes. The losses of Gallon and Mason-Griffin are not it for Jeff Capel. Willie Warren, Orlando Allen, Ray Willis, Tony Crocker, and even assistant coach Oronde Taliaferro resigned this spring. The amount of scholarship players has dwindled to a hand full and Jeff Capel suddenly has a rebuilding project on his hands. The possible NCAA violations with Tiny Gallon will do no favors. Life after Blake has not gone well and the future is now bleak.

Texas – The loss of Avery Bradley was off set this week with the addition of Cory Joseph, a McDonalds All American and top PG prospect. Rick Barnes and the Texas program will be fine, even if a national title isn’t a priority.

Cincinnati- Well, Mick Cronin rolled the dice on Lance. And while he didn’t get burned, Lance performed decently, and by all accounts was not a distraction on or off the court. However, the reward never truly came to fruition. A lack luster year has Cronin on the hot seat and now last year’s once thought of ‘Big 3’ now just consists of the over weight and suddenly under whelming Yancy Gates. It will be a struggle again for the Bearcats to find themselves in the top half of the Big East.

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