RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Nolan Smith

Posted by nvr1983 on June 4th, 2011

Over the course of the next month until the NBA Draft on June 23, RTC will be rolling out comprehensive profiles of the 35 collegians we feel have the best chance to hear their names called by David Stern in the first round that night. There won’t be any particular order to the list, but you can scroll back through all the finished profiles by clicking here.

Player NameNolan Smith

SchoolDuke

Height/Weight6’4, 190 lbs.

NBA Position: Point Guard/Shooting Guard

Projected Draft RangeLate First to Early Second Round

Overview: After spending much of the first three and a half years of his time at Duke in the shadows of more prolific scorers, Smith stepped up in the second half of his senior season to become the Blue Devils’ leader while picking up some pretty significant individual hardware — AP 1st team All-American and ACC Player of the Year — along the way. The son of the late Derek Smith, a star at Louisville in the early 1980s, Smith started to show signs of becoming a potential first round pick as a junior when his production jumped from 8.4 points per game as a sophomore to 17.4 the next year while seeing his playing time increase significantly. However, even at that point he was often in the shadows of All-American Kyle Singler and senior Jon Scheyer. He started to show signs of becoming the team’s leader with a series of scintillating summer league performances a year ago that had the nation buzzing, but found himself in a secondary role when the season started thanks to the arrival of Kyrie Irving, the likely #1 pick in this year’s draft. To his credit, Smith continued to play well while not creating too much attention even when Irving dominated the ball. Smith finally got to show his full repertoire when Irving went down with a toe injury early in the season against Butler. From that point forward, he asserted himself as one of the premier guards in recent years and has turned himself from a player that many considered a fringe NBA candidate to one who has a legitimate shot at being a first round pick.

Smith Will Face a Difficult Transition at the Next Level

Will Translate to the NBA: Smith is a prototypical combo guard. He probably won’t become a star, but should be a solid role player for years because of his ability to score in spurts and fill in as a point guard in spots. Smith will struggle to start in the NBA because he isn’t quite a good enough scorer (mainly due to his erratic outside shooting) to compensate for his lack of size as a shooting guard and isn’t a good enough distributor to be a starting NBA point unless he winds up in a situation like Miami where a ‘point forward’ is dominating the ball and distributing. Smith’s solid defense should be effective when defending point guards, but his lack of size will become an issue when he is forced to defend taller shooting guards; that might be ameliorated by the fact that most NBA shooting guards have an annoying tendency not to take smaller guards into the post, preferring to stay on the perimeter despite their obvious advantage.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

Morning Five: 09.28.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on September 28th, 2010

  1. Former Michigan State star and 1979 national champion Jay Vincent pleaded guilty to falsifying his tax return and mail fraud on Friday as part of an Internet scam that defrauded investors of over $2M from 2006-09.  The ruse he and an associate pulled on people involved convincing their clients to become home inspectors, undoubtedly trying to cash in on people’s blind greed as a result of the national housing bubble during those years.  For some reason, every time we hear one of these stories about former stars doing the wrong thing (and there are plenty of them), it makes us sad.  It shouldn’t, but it still does.
  2. Wouldn’t it be great if Butler’s Brad Stevens ultimately decided to stay in Indianapolis for the next thirty-odd years and built Butler into a national powerhouse who competed with the likes of Duke, Kentucky, UNC and Kansas for the top recruits and slots in the Final Four every year?  To say Stevens will never leave Butler for another job at a high(er)-major is unlikely — after all, never is a long time for a 33-year old — but according to this article by Seth Davis, it certainly appears that the coaching wunderkind is awfully comfortable with his office in Hinkle Fieldhouse, and we’re rooting for him to be in the old barn for a very long time.
  3. Nolan Smith is the Dookie who’s hard to hate, and this story by David Steele at Fanhouse helps to illustrate why.  We all know that Nolan and his father, Derek, are one of the few father-son duos to have ever both won a national title.  Can you name the other duos?
  4. Blue Ribbon has announced its first-team All-Americans for the 2010-11 season, and the list is heavy with Big 12 players…  Baylor’s LaceDarius Dunn, Kansas’ Marcus Morris, Kansas State’s Jacob Pullen, Duke’s Kyle Singler and BYU’s Jimmer Fredette.  You know what’s especially interesting about this list?  Four seniors and one junior.  Do you think that Jared Sullinger and Harrison Barnes might have something to say about that?
  5. We’re definitely late on this one, but we had to make mention of it.  LSU walk-on Andrew Del Piero spent last year in the LSU band playing tuba; he’ll spend this year trying to harness the 7’2, 286-pounds of flesh and blood that he has been blessed with on a basketball court.  Tigers coach Trent Johnson has his work cut out for him, but Del Piero at least has some basketball bloodlines of some sort — his pops played at Dartmouth a number of years ago.  Here’s some footage of him playing in the LSU marching band last season — he’s fairly easy to spot near the end of the clip.

Share this story

RTC Final Four Tidbits: 04.01.10

Posted by THager on April 2nd, 2010

Each day this week during the regional rounds of the NCAA Tournament we’re asking some of our top correspondents to put together a collection of notes and interesting tidbits about each region.  If you know of something that we should include in tomorrow’s submission, hit us up at rushthecourt@yahoo.com.


Michigan State (Tom Hager)

  • ESPN’s Jemele Hill has never been one to shy away from controversy, but she caused quite a stir when she said that head coach Tom Izzo was the best coach in the history of the state.
  • According to guard Korie Lucious, although the Spartans are anticipating a hostile environment, they are used to big crowds cheering against them.
  • Ryan Fagan of The Sporting News says that MSU’s experience is what will set them apart, and that the only players who treat the Final Four like an ordinary game have never played at that level before.
  • USA Today points out that Michigan State’s win margin of 13 total points in their first four games is the lowest total since the field expanded to 64 teams.
  • If the Spartans win on Saturday, East Lansing police can expect some rioting, even before the national championship game.

Butler (Andrew Murawa)

  • In the basketball-mad state of Indiana, Butler has now vaulted Indiana University and other stalwarts to the head of the class, if only temporarily.
  • The Bulldog roster features 10 players from the state of Indiana, including such key contributors as Gordon Hayward, Matt Howard, Zach Hahn and Andrew Smith.
  • But while the Bulldogs may be riding high, they aren’t so famous that head coach Brad Stevens doesn’t get mistaken as a player on the team by a Lucas Oil Field security guard.
  • While, thankfully, the Butler/”Hoosiers” comparison has tired out some, it is pretty cool to note that Bobby Plump, the Milan High star upon whom the Jimmy Chitwood character in the movie was based, actually went on to star at Butler.
  • Speaking of the movies, Butler junior forward Howard has earned a reputation as quite the actor when trying to draw a charge.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

30 Days of Madness: Phi Slama Jama Detonates on Louisville

Posted by rtmsf on March 31st, 2010

We’ve been anxiously awaiting the next thirty days for the last eleven months.  You have too.  In fact, if this isn’t your favorite time of year by a healthy margin then you should probably click away from this site for a while.   Because we plan on waterboarding you with March Madness coverage.  Seriously, you’re going to feel like Dick Cheney himself is holding a Spalding-logoed towel over your face.  Your intake will be so voluminous that you’ll be drooling Gus Johnson and bracket residue in your sleep.  Or Seth Davis, if that’s more your style.  The point is that we’re all locked in and ready to go.  Are you?  To help us all get into the mood, we like to click around a fancy little website called YouTube for a daily dose of notable events, happenings, finishes, ups and downs relating to the next month.  We’re going to try to make this video compilation a little smarter, a little edgier, a little historical-er.  Or whatever.  Sure, you’ll see some old favorites that never lose their luster, but you’ll also see some that maybe you’ve forgotten or never knew to begin with.  That’s the hope, at least.  We’ll be matching the videos by the appropriate week, so all of this week we’re heading down memory lane at the Final Four.  Enjoy.

NCAA Final Four

Dateline: 1983 NCAA Final Four – Houston vs. Louisville

Context: This game was the most highly anticipated game of the year in 1983: Houston’s Phi Slama Jamma versus Louisville’s Doctors of Dunk.  Both teams were filled with high-flying, athletic players who liked to get up and down the court.  Houston was led by future Hall of Famers Akeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler, while Louisville had Scooter and Rodney McCray up front as well as Lancaster Gordon and Milt Wagner in the backcourt.  This game more than any other of the post-UCLA era showcased the “attack the rim” mentality that has come to define the modern game, and it showed in the viewership (earning a then-record 14.8 television rating).  We pick up the game with Houston trailing and about to go on a spectacular 17-1 run that included six straight dunks by the Cougars (and ten in the final 12 minutes of the game).  SI’s Curry Kirkpatrick wrote at the time that the display was “breathtaking… [a] bomb of a Houston team detonated.”  Enjoy.

Share this story