Posted by jstevrtc on July 1st, 2011
- The FIBA Under-19 World Championship is held every couple of years in some exotic locale. This year’s tournament is in Riga, Latvia (yep, that Riga) and the USA are the defending champs, having taken the gold in Auckland in 2009. Our boys had trouble in exhibitions against a couple of Lithuanian youth teams in the lead-up, but they won their first game against Egypt yesterday by 55 points. Obviously we’re keeping an eye on how the team does, but, as the Wall Street Journal points out, what’s just as interesting is seeing the huge surges next season in the skill and confidence of the players on the current team. The article mentions the most impressive one we can recall: Pittsburgh’s Ashton Gibbs in 2009, who came back from New Zealand a changed man, averaging 4.7 PPG the season before his U19 squad membership and 15.7 PPG after it.
- The blog at the San Antonio Express-News has taken a San Diego writer to task regarding the question of whether or not Kawhi Leonard fell victim to some bad advice when he decided to leave San Diego State early for the NBA. SanDiego.com’s Lee Hamilton says Leonard should have stayed, gone higher in next year’s draft, and hopefully wouldn’t have ended up with the Spurs whom he claims are a poor fit for Leonard. Tim Griffin of the SAEN feels that Leonard will be fine in San Antonio and this was the year to make the jump. Our stance: as much as we loved watching him in college, Leonard made the right call. You don’t know what will await a 15th pick next year, and 2012 will bring a deeper draft. Plus, even though the Spurs are unlikely to soon return to their recent championship form, you can do a lot worse than learn from Tim Duncan for a few seasons.
- Incoming coach Archie Miller would rather be back on campus while potential Flyers are making visits to the University of Dayton in August, but he won’t be there, poor guy. From August 8-18 he’ll be learning about his new team as they play exhibitions in Belgium, France, and the Netherlands. Color us jealous. As the linked article explains, Miller already has a reputation among his players as a coach who gives them a little more independence (read: responsibility) both on and off the floor. That said…a little advice, guys, given your destinations: 1) it’s called a bidet, 2) iPhone + no European voltage adapter = bad scene, man, and, 3) those aren’t the brownies you’re used to at home. Hey, Coach Miller, if you need someone to come along and blog the entire trip…
- For the past ten years the Pac-10 Tournament has been held in Los Angeles. And why not? Couple of schools reside there, huge city, basketball-friendly…but is it time for a switch? LA wants to keep it, and Phoenix has raised its hand for consideration, but the most interesting possibility in our eyes is Seattle. The 2012
Pac-10 Pac-12 get-together will still happen in Los Angeles, but a move could happen as soon as 2013.
- Rotnei Clarke isn’t the only guard leaving Arkansas. Razorback point guard Jeff Peterson will play his senior season at a third school (he was Iowa before transferring to Arkansas), this time Florida State. This is a different situation, though. Peterson has already graduated from Arkansas, and he’s taking advantage of that rule that allows student-athletes to change schools and play immediately if the school in which they’re enrolling has a graduate program in an area not offered by the previous school. Peterson averaged 6.3 PPG, 2.2 RPG and 2.4 APG in 21.8 MPG last season and will be going after a marketing master’s in the B-school. With the departure of these two gents, the Hogs have lost last year’s co-leaders in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.3) and will return only two guards who played more than 12.5 MPG.