08.11.09 Fast Breaks

Posted by rtmsf on August 11th, 2009

With the rate of news coming out these days, this’ll feel a little more like slow breaks…

  • Academic Headstart.  This got almost no play over the weekend, but it should have because it has the smell of something that ends up being more important than anyone previously thought.  The NCAA Basketball Academic Enhancement Group (chaired by Derrick Rose?) recommended a requirement that each school should make an academic assessment of its incoming freshmen each season to determine whether the student-athlete is adequately prepared for college-level schoolwork.  If they are not (presumably using some objective measure other than the Jim Harrick, Jr., test), then they’ll be required to take six hours of classes over the summer (‘bridge’ summer coursework data shows a higher incidence of long-term academic success).  The big carrot is that, while they’re in summer school (and all players can attend if they like), they can work out for up to eight hours/week in athletic activities.  The catch, however, is that they must pass at least three of those hours to gain eligibility for the fall semester.  Should this recommendation come to pass (and it probably will), each school will have to balance a  fine line between the player assessment and player eligibility.  God forbid that the next Michael Beasley gets his high school grades and test scores in order, shows up at his school amidst great fanfare, only to fail college algebra over the summer and have to sit until December because the coach wanted those eight hours per week of court time.  It’s an interesting dilemma and it imposes a certain level of accountability on the schools themselves to take the academic side of things more seriously, which is a good thing.  Props to the NCAA for getting creative here. 
  • Vegas Watch ACC Preview.  We’ll be sure to come back to this when we put up our conference previews later this fall, but we wanted to make sure that you guys alll have a chance to read the first installment in a really innovative series of posts breaking down each of the BCS conferences.  VW ran several regressions on the last three seasons to determine a fairly accurate predictor for future success using Pomeroy ratings, returning minutes and production and incoming recruiting rankings.  Looking at the projected 2010 rankings, it appears that those riding the Terrapin bandwagon have reason to believe, as Maryland is projected third, while those of us who were high on Georgia Tech (even prior to losing K. Holsey) may want to re-think that a little bit before October.  Keep an eye on this series because it’s fascinating stuff. 
  • Deron Washington Hurdles into Eternity.  If, for some reason, you haven’t seen what Virginia Tech has done with its new practice facility yet…  It’s really too bad that Syracuse football doesn’t play Virginia Tech this year, or Paulus would have a fair opportunity to exact some revenge (he’s the third-string QB for the Orange as of this week). 

deron washington over paulus

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Step Right Up, Sonny…

Posted by rtmsf on April 3rd, 2008

You’re a senior who can dunk or shoot threes? You didn’t make the Final Four? Step on up to the annual NCAA 3-point and Dunk Contest (ESPN, 9pm EDT), the place where, for most of you, it’ll be the last time we ever see your face on tv.

We can’t wait to see what Deron Washington does with his attempt. We’re quite sure that if there was a kid wearing a UNC jersey stationed underneath the basket, he’d take off from halfcourt and tomahawk on his head… sorta like this:

Or maybe like this:

Here are your worthy contestants:

3-POINT CONTEST:

Chris Lofton, Tennessee
Drew Neitzel, Mich St
A.J. Graves, Butler (predicted winner)
Shan Foster, Vanderbilt
Derrick Low, Wash St
Jamar Butler, Ohio State
Brian Roberts, Dayton
Jaycee Carroll, Utah St

SLAM DUNK CONTEST:

James Gist, Maryland
JR Giddens, New Mexico
Deron Washington, Virgina Tech (predicted winner)
Patrick Ewing Jr., Georgetown
Brian Randle, Illinois
Will Billard, Texas A&M-Corpus Cristi
Sonny Weems, Arkansas

This event has produced one of the greatest dunks we’ve ever seen – two hands from the foul line. Cue up James White, 2006.

Let’s hope nobody gets hurt out there tonight. The NBDL doesn’t pay all that much, you know.

Update: Um, yeah, we meant Sonny as in Sonny Weems, the 2008 slam dunk champion! See the winning dunk below:

A late addition to the 3-point contest, Lasalle’s Darnell Harris, won that competition.

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08.08.07 Fast Breaks

Posted by rtmsf on August 8th, 2007

  • Here’s an interesting (if not well-edited) piece on the seventh circle of hell known as watching AAU basketball in the midsummer heat of Vegas as an assistant coach.
  • Just in case you’d forgotten, Deron Washington can dunk.  Hard.   
  • Did Tim Floyd have an ulterior motive in signing Lil Romeo to play at USC?  Demar DeRozan says hello.    
  • Billy Gillispie is considering using “special teams” in basketball for specific situations.  In Lexington, the only special teams that matter are ones that hang banners - the populace could not care less how it’s accomplished. 
  • After a 14-44 record in two seasons at the helm, Ricky Stokes was “promoted” to a position within the athletic department at East Carolina.  Mack McCarthy (309-177 at VCU and UT-Chattanooga) will take over as head coach. 
  • Doug Gottlieb gives his takes on players poised for breakout years based on his summer viewing of their pickup games.  Takeaways:  Derrick Rose, Kevin Love and DJ Augustin are the real deal. 
  • The Wages of Wins, one of our fav blogs, analyzes the impact of superstar power on winning titles in the NBA.  Conclusion:  It matters.  A lot.  We’d love to see something like this for the NCAA Tournament, especially given the knockout nature of the tourney.     
  • Finally, in the “you’re doing a great job, Brownie,” category, props to Joe Alleva for keeping his job as the Duke AD.  His accomplishments during his nine-year tenure include presiding over the worst football program in America as well as throwing his lacrosse team under the bus amidst unsubstantiated allegations.  Keep up the good work! 
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