The Allegheny County DA Must be a Pitt Fan

Posted by rtmsf on October 3rd, 2007

Since we’ve been on the police blotter kick lately, we may as well continue with an epilogue to one of our previous taser stories.  No, not the Florida John Kerry heckler, bro.  Actually, we’re referring again to Pitt PG Levance Fields, who as you may recall, on Sept. 16 became involved in an altercation with an off-duty police officer:

According to Pittsburgh police reports, Fields, 20, was arguing with an unknown man and using obscene language outside Puro nightclub early on the morning of Sept. 16.  An off-duty officer working security at the club on 19th Street said Fields appeared to have been drinking and ordered him to stop yelling. The officer said Fields punched him in the chest, grabbed his belt and reached for his gun, and the officer and his partner used a Taser gun to subdue and arrest Fields.

Let’s pick out the key piece of information here, in case you scanned over it.

Fields punched him in the chest, grabbed his belt and reached for his gun

Fields and Atty

Fields Should Thank Pat O’Brien His Attorney

Now, we’re no expert in this sort of thing, but it seems like making a play for a cop’s gun is grounds for all kinds of nastiness to come down on you.  So imagine our surprise when we heard this news from Pittsburgh:

Prosecutors agreed on Tuesday to drop charges of disarming a police officer, public drunkenness and aggravated assault, stemming from Fields’ alleged scuffle with a police officer on Sept. 16. A lesser charge of simple assault will stand.  In exchange, Fields must spend nine months in the Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition program and serve 50 hours of community service. If he completes the probation without incident, his record will be expunged, defense attorney Robert DelGreco Jr. said.

So Fields went from facing several felonies and a near-guarantee of jail time…  to a lone misdemeanor of simple assault.  And for what penance – fifty hours of community service?  We think we did that much tree planting and mail sorting in one semester for alcohol violations in college. 

Either Mr. DelGreco, Jr., is a master of advocacy on behalf of his clients, or the Allegheny County DA has Pitt season tickets.  Considering the Panthers lost Aaron Gray and Levon Kendall from last year’s Sweet 16 squad, the potential loss of Fields could have made for a boring winter in the Steel City.  As long as Fields can spare 1.28 hrs/week for community service over the next nine months and resist any and all urges to throw haymakers at officers, Pitt basketball should remain a viable entertainment option for Stephen A. Zappala, Jr., and his friends.       

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Don’t Tase Me, Bro…

Posted by rtmsf on September 18th, 2007

One story that got short shrift from us yesterday was the news that Pitt’s starting PG Levance Fields went apesh*t on an off-duty cop outside a nightclub on Sat. night:

According to Pittsburgh police reports, Fields, 20, was arguing with an unknown man and using obscene language outside Pure nightclub at about 2 a.m. An off-duty officer working security at the club on 19th Street said Fields appeared to have been drinking and ordered him to stop yelling. The officer said Fields punched him in the chest, grabbed his belt and reached for his gun.  The officer and his partner used a Taser gun to subdue and arrest Fields.  Fields was charged with aggravated assault, disarming a police officer, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness.

 Levance Fields

Something tells us Fields is facing a hefty suspension from Pitt.  As we all know, only Joey Dorsey gets away with random acts of violence and mayhem.  So where does that leave the Panthers?  Jamie Dixon’s teams play slow and boring program basketball, which mitigates the loss of any one player.  Still, with the graduation of Aaron Gray inside and potentially the loss of their point guard for some or all of next season, Dixon may be searching for quick fixes. 

In somewhat related news, an overzealously inquisitive Florida fan named “the” Andrew Meyer got tasered by UF police fascist pigs for  questioning John Kerry during a speech about a number of things, including his voting record on Iraq and Yale’s Skull & Bones Society.  Despite what we think about the po-po’s infringement of Meyer’s right to free speech here, we happen to find his shrieks of “owwww” and “help me” to be hilarious.   Maybe that’s just us, though.

 

What’s he so mad about?  After all, Florida wins everything (even elections).   

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NBA Predraft Camp Thoughts

Posted by rtmsf on June 5th, 2007

Thanks to the guys over at draftexpress.com, we’re just getting our first look at some of the height/weight and athletic numbers coming out of the NBA Predraft Camp last weekend in Orlando. We don’t put a lot of stock in drafting players based on these measurements – after all, if a guy can play, he can play (tip of the hat to Jonathan Givony for making this very point perfectly on draftexpress.com) – but it’s always fun to see who wins for the “incredible shrinking” award (aka the Lonny Baxter Trophy) as well as who appears to be the top athletes coming out of college this year. Note we said “appears.”

mj-and-jw.jpg

The Logo and MJ discussing the talent in Orlando

Why wasn’t Maryland better this year?

Guard D.J. Strawberry was rated the top overall athlete this year, and Ekene Ibekwe had some of the most eye-popping big man numbers, featuring a 7’6 foot wingspan and a thirty-nine inch veritical leap. This is yet another example of superior basketball skills and IQ (see: Florida Gators) trumping a stable of athletes. Either that, or Gary Williams was too busy resting on his laurels to teach these kids anything the last four years.

Durant needs to beef up

We realize he’s only eighteen and he can score on just about anyone already… but zero bench presses of 185 lbs. is pathetic. That stat, combined with his surprising lack of speed and agility in the drills, may suggest that he’ll face long obstacles in becoming a solid two-way player in the long run. He’s also going to take a beating on drives into the paint the next few years unless he commits himself to a weight training program to improve his strength.

Perhaps not surpisingly, most of the one-and-dones were weaker than their older peers. Durant, Julian Wright (2), Brandan Wright (2) and Daequan Cook (4) combined for a total of just eight bench presses at the 185-lb. weight. Mike Conley, Jr., (13), Javaris Crittenton (11) and Spencer Hawes (9) did better. Greg Oden sat out that event due to his injured wrist.

Lonny Baxter Award

Corey Brewer. Routinely listed at 6’9 at Florida, he came in at just 6’6.75 by the camp measurements. Lucky for him, he’s not a post man, so this won’t likely affect his draft status too much. Another Floridian, Al Thornton, deserves a nod here too. FSU listed him at 6’8, but the measurements put him at a mere 6’5.75. Considering that Thornton logged significant minutes on the interior, this puts him at a major disadvantage going into the draft.

Who Knew?

Aaron Gray is a legitimate seven feet tall, and Joakim Noah is a solid 6’10.5. We would have guessed both were shorter. ACC bigs Brandan Wright and Josh McRoberts are both 6’8.75 tall, but Wright has the slightly longer wingspan and McBob needs to put… the… coffee cupcakes… down (camp high 13.7% body fat).

Guys who’ll get a look based on their measurements alone

SEC big men Major Wingate and Jermareo Davidson. Both measure in the solid 6’9-6’10 range, have extremely long wingspans (7’4) and solid if not spectacular athleticism. Clemson’s James Mays could be a Renaldo Balkman type – a 6’7 jumping jack with a 37″ vertical and long arms (7’1.5″ wingspan).

Major Wingate and Chris Richard

Wingate & Richard battle in the post

Watch for these guys in a future NBA dunk contest near you

  • Al Thornton – 6’6 with a 7’1 wingspan and a 41-inch vertical – wow!
  • Nick Young – 6’5 with a 7’0 wingspan and a 40.5 inch vertical
  • Jeff Green – 6’8 with a 7’1 wingspan and a 38-inch vertical.

Dis-honorable Mention – Jared Jordan, who managed a standing still 14.5-inch vertical (to be fair, he doubled it to 28.5 inches in the running vertical).

jared-jordan.jpg

Can you outjump this JJ?

Quick bigs and slow guards

  • Greg Oden, Ekene Ibekwe and Chris Richard. We covered Oden yesterday and Ibekwe above, but how about super-sub Chris Richard? He never struck us as very fast. At 6’7.5 he’s a classic tweener, but his length (7’4.5 wingspan) and agility might just get him a spot somewhere eventually.
  • Marcelus Kemp and Sammy Mejia. Both of these guards were slower than big-ass Mario Boggan and a host of other big men at the three-quarter court sprint. Kemp in particular may need to think about heading back to Nevada for another season.

Classic Tweeners

Hard-luck Villanova forward Curtis Sumpter and BC forward Jared Dudley. Both are ferocious rebounders in the paint, but both happen to measure at around 6’6. Their only real chance at the next level is to re-invent their games to face the basket, akin to what Corliss Williamson and more recently, Chuck Hayes, have done.

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Oden Even More of a Beast than Originally Thought

Posted by rtmsf on June 4th, 2007

Greg Oden

Somewhat lost amidst all the Billy Donovan and Lebron talk in the hoops world this weekend were reports from the NBA’s predraft camp, coincidentally also held in Orlando.  We’ll get to who helped and hurt themselves in a minute, but we have to first mention that Greg Oden is apparently a gazelle trapped in a seven-footer’s body.  Consider this report from the Portland Oregonian:   

Oden is faster than Durant in the 3/4-court sprint, quicker in the lane-agility drill, and has better numbers in the running and standing vertical leaps. And, Oden has a mind-boggling 7.8 body-fat percentage … most big men are north of the 12 percent range. For instance, other top-rated big men such as Washington’s Spencer Hawes (13.0), Duke’s Josh McRoberts (13.7) and Pitt’s Aaron Gray (10.8) don’t compare. [...]  Oden is 6-foot-11 without shoes, 7-feet with shoes. He weighs 257 pounds.   His wingspan is 7 feet, 4.25 inches (fourth best in the draft). His standing reach is 9 feet, 4 inches (the highest of anyone in the draft). His standing vertical is 32 inches, his running vertical 34 inches.

For a big man, these numbers are sick, as he outperformed the smoother and more fluid-looking Durant in every athletic category.  What this essentially means is that Oden has guard-like athleticism (not to be confused with guard-like skills – see: KG) as a traditional back to the basket seven-footer.  No wonder the scouts have been drooling over this guy since he was in ninth grade.  There shouldn’t have been much question, but if there was any at all, these athletic numbers will put to rest the notion of Portland taking Durant over Oden in about three weeks. 

Players Who Helped Themselves (draftexpress.com): 

  • Jared Dudley (Boston College)
  • Taurean Green (Florida)
  • Demetris Nichols (Syracuse)
  • Aaron Gray (Pittsburgh)
  • Zabian Dowdell (Virginia Tech)
  • Jared Jordan (Marist)
  • Ramon Sessions (Nevada)
  • Jermareo Davidson (Alabama)
  • Antanas Kavaliauskas (Texas A&M)
  • Ali Traore (France)

Players Who Didn’t Help Themselves (espn.com‘s Chad Ford – insider access required):

  • Dominic James (Marquette)
  • Joseph Jones (Texas A&M)
  • Sean Singletary (Virginia)
  • Marcellus Kemp (Nevada)
  • James Mays (Clemson)
  • Dominic McGuire (Fresno St.)
  • Ron Lewis (Ohio St.)
  • Kyle Visser (Wake Forest)
  • Aaron Brooks (Oregon)
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