ATB: Kenny George & the Lilliputians

Posted by rtmsf on January 10th, 2008

ATB v.4

Real quick ATB today…

Kenny George. Yeah, UNC won the game 93-81, Asheville kept it reasonable, and all the other stuff (Psycho-T: 23/9; Lawson: 17/5/7 assts)…

But all we really want to talk about is the sheer enormity that is Kenny George. This was the first time we’d actually seen him standing near other players, and to say that he dwarfed the rest of them is to insult the word itself. George absolutely miniaturized them. It was like some gentle giant had been released from his cave to mortify and terrorize the citizens of Far Far Away or Whoville. Look, for the college game, Tyler Hansbrough is a beast of a guy – 6’9, 250 lbs and cut like a Rodin sculpture – but he looked like a little snot-nosed kid when standing next to George (which isn’t to say that George could handle the Psychotic One – taking advantage of his superior quickness (a hint right there that George is um, rather, lumbering), Hansbrough had a nasty cram below right in George’s mug).

George is listed at 7’6, 360 lbs on the UNCA roster, but we’d like to take a look at the calibration of that scale. He looks more like four bills to us. The thing is, unlike some supersize-me players we’ve seen in the past (Shagari Alleyne and Escalade, er, Troy Jackson come to mind), this guy may actually have a little game. He’s contributing 13/9/5 in just over 22 mins per game (14/11 against Carolina), which is more than double his output from last year. Who knows – with a little more conditioning… he might just redefine the damn sport.

Other interesting games.

  • Tennessee 85, Ole Miss 83. Looks like Ole Miss is better than we thought. The Rebs were very close to winning this game, and UT has become a difficult place for opponents to win games. Does Cincy regret letting Andy Kennedy get away yet?
  • Charlotte 82, Clemson 72. Here we go! The annual Clemson collapse is now under way…
  • Arizona St. 64, Arizona 59 (OT). Hmm… ASU is now quietly 13-2 while Arizona is 10-5. Maybe Herb Sendek can coach a little bit after all?
  • Dayton 92, Rhode Island 83. The Flyers draw first blood in what will be an exciting and competitive A10 this year.
  • Mississippi St. 61, LSU 39. Clearly John Brady’s charges were partying all week with the football team. This was in Baton Rouge too.

Vandy & Memphis also remained unbeaten last night, so there are five remaining (+UNC, Kansas and Wazzu).

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2007 NBA Draft Musings

Posted by rtmsf on June 29th, 2007

Note:  If you’re looking for the 2008 NBA Draft Musings, look here. 

Some post-apocalyptic draft thoughts for your Friday, as we settle into a long summer of waiting for something to happen…


Championship or Bust in Portland?

  • One and Dones. These players acquitted themselves quite well in this year’s draft, which means they were getting good information from their schools and representatives. Greg Oden, Kevin Durant, Mike Conley, Jr., Brandan Wright, Spencer Hawes and Thaddeus Young were six of the top twelve players taken. Not coincidentally, five of those were among the top seven seniors of the Class of 2006, according to Rivals (Chase Budinger of Arizona was the lone holdout returning to school, and Conley was rated #18). Javaris Crittenton and Daequan Cook were also selected in the first round, meaning that every college freshman who declared was taken this year. Although it’s arguable whether the one-and-done system worked for college basketball (Ohio State – yes; Washington – no), we assert from a player perspective that it helped them exponentially in terms of marketability and readiness to perform at the next level. Every sports fan in America now knows who Greg Oden and Kevin Durant are – that wouldn’t have been the case prior the one-and-done rule.
  • Gator Rule. As we alluded to yesterday, the Florida Gators were set to greatly increase its all-time count of draft picks last night, and they did so with a flourish (see Joakim Noah‘s getup below), increasing its total from 10 to 15 overnight. Florida’s five entries into the NBA last night – Al Horford, Corey Brewer (who looked like the happiest man alive), Noah, Chris Richard (we figured he’d get a look), and Taurean Green – ties UConn for the most draft picks in one year. What, no Lee Humphrey?!?! The Huskies also entered five in 2006. One question, though. Where was Billy Donovan during this celebration of Pax Floridana? Maybe Christine hasn’t let him out of the house yet.

Joakim Noah Suit

Love the Seersucker, Jo

  • Conference Breakdown. The BCS conferences accounted for 39 of the 60 picks last night. The ACC (9 total; 6 first rounders) led the way, with the SEC close behind (8/3); the Big 10 (6/4), Pac-10 (6/4) and Big East (6/2) each showed moderate success, while the Big 12 fell behind the others (4/3). Considering that there were thirteen international players selected, that left only eight picks for the mid-majors. The highest mid-major player selected was Rodney Stuckey from Eastern Washington at #15; although Nevada also placed two players in the second round (Nick Fazekas and Ramon Sessions).
  • Dumb Declarations. By our count, only four players from D1 schools who stayed in the draft as an early entry candidate were not selected this year (most notably, Shagari Alleyne, formerly of Kentucky). This shows again that players are improving at determining their real value (vs. perceived inflated value) before making the decision to jump.

“Why Didn’t I Go Pro Last Year????”

  • A Year Late, A Dollar Short. Three players from big-name schools were probably kicking themselves for not leaving school early last year, when their weaknesses weren’t as exposed to the scouts. Duke’s Josh McRoberts (offensive skills), LSU’s Glen “Big Baby” Davis (weight issues) and Arizona’s Marcus Williams (headcase) all would have been much higher picks last year. Now each must battle for scraps as second-round selections this time around.
  • Parlez vous français? We always hate to see guys who put in their four years at college and were pretty good players, only to get passed over in the draft for Pau Gasol’s little brother. So a special shout-out goes to Zabian Dowdell (Virginia Tech), JR Reynolds (Virginia), Curtis Sumpter (Villanova), Mario Boggan (Oklahoma St.), Ekene Ibekwe (Maryland) , Brandon Heath (San Diego St.), Ron Lewis (Ohio St.) and Kyle Visser (Wake Forest) for providing wholesome collegiate entertainment over the last half-decade. We were tempted to also include Mustafa Shakur (Arizona) here, but he seemed to disappoint more than inspire during his tenure in Tucson.

SLAM Oden & Durant

Oden Wins Championships; Durant Wins Scoring Titles.

  • Final Thought. Oden vs. Durant was endlessly debated all season long. While we have to agree that we enjoy watching Durant play far more than Oden, that belies our bias against watching post men in favor of perimeter players in general. Still, Oden is the kind of player that championship teams are built around, and the Durants of history are comparitively light in the hardware department. We saw this played out in this year’s NCAA Tournament, where Oden’s team went to the national finals, and Durant’s squad was out (embarrassingly) in the second round. Either way, we wish the best of luck to both of them, as they made college basketball a more interesting game for the year they spent with us.
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