The NCAA Tournament in Tweets: Saturday and Sunday

Posted by Nick Fasulo on March 25th, 2013

bythetweets

Tyrone Garland, one of the best sixth men in the country, is from Southwest Philadelphia. If you didn’t already know that, then you most certainly made the connection following his postgame interview after Garland lifted La Salle past Ole Miss into the Sweet Sixteen. The basked, he called it, was his possibly patented #SouthwestPhillyFloater, which quickly became a usable hashtag and will certainly get some run leading up to the Explorers’ upcoming match-up against Wichita State. This is something I can get on board with, unlike #layupgang.

Florida Gulf Coast, A #15 Seed, Is In The Sweet 16

So far, this is the best story of the 2013 NCAA Tournament. And unless the national championship game ends in a buzzer-beater, it is unlikely it will be topped. Representing the Atlantic Sun Conference, Florida Gulf Coast is the first #15 seed to reach the Sweet Sixteen. To add a bit more weight to this story, it is a school that was founded in the 1990s and only been eligible to play in this grand tournament in 2009. You cannot make this stuff up, but you can get FGCU trending on Twitter through the weekend.

Heading in to the work week, it will be very interesting to track the media coverage the school gets. Will the jokes about this being an online university continue? Will we focus on the actual talent Andy Enfield has assembled? Will we just drool over his wife Amanda?

Following the win, the most competitive pissing match was to see who could come up with the most retweeted play on words. A collection of the ones I could bear to read…

Oh… and… Tunechi. He got involved too.

Marquette Draws America’s Ire

Forget Duke. Somehow the Marquette Golden Eagles have become the team America loves to hate, after squeaking past two non-power conference teams America has grown to love over the past five years. Buzz Williams’ team advanced to its third straight Sweet Sixteen over the weekend, but it took a bit of luck and last second heroics to get past both Davidson and Butler, and nobody is forgetting that.

The Golden Eagles are the epitome of “survive and advance.” Two wins, a three-point total margin of victory, and one sloppy play after another in the game’s final minutes (save Vander Blue’s smooth left handed lay-in with seconds remaining to down the Wildcats).

Aaron Craft Goes Iso, Defeats ISU

After Aaron Craft went dagger on Iowa State, all of the following tweets were published within seven seconds of each other. I counted.

https://twitter.com/raphiellej/status/315893271698239490

https://twitter.com/DaveKrupinski/status/315893308482256897

https://twitter.com/Peter_R_Casey/status/315893413436338176

https://twitter.com/eamonnbrennan/status/315893423695597568

https://twitter.com/JonRothstein/status/315893542419591168

Game: blouses.

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College Basketball by the Tweets: NCAA Tournament Thursday/Friday

Posted by Nick Fasulo on March 23rd, 2013

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Thanks to Kentucky’s follies, we have to open this up by paying a bit of attention to the NIT.

OK we good? Got that out of your system? We can’t let them completely hijack this post. Moving on.

Georgetown is a Joke

In a year where we were all afraid that there would be absolutely insanity, where the unpredictable would reign supreme, and your bracket would be in the toilet by Friday afternoon, we actually got something we can rely on: John Thompson III laying an egg in the NCAA Tournament.

Seriously. Vitale may be the master of the obvious, but it there are not enough ALL CAPS on your keyboard to use when talking about how bad Georgetown has been in recent NCAA Tournaments.

Following the loss, many Syracuse fans shared a beer, and then a huge, breathless belly laugh.

But on the other side of the upset, Florida Gulf Coast University, which has only been eligible for the NCAA Tournament for four years, and was founded in 1991 (think about that, very bizarre) celebrated while Twitter played jokes on their “famous alum” and a made up mission statement.

The Eagles received a lot of low blows last night. We won’t share those here. They won; the Hoyas lost, thus the joke is on the underachieving, established basketball program.

Marshall Henderson Wins a Tournament Game

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College Basketball By The Tweets: Ben Howland, Gonzaga, and More Marshall Henderson…

Posted by rtmsf on March 6th, 2013

bythetweets

Nick Fasulo is an RTC correspondent who writes the column College Basketball By the Tweets, a look at the world of college hoops through the prism of everyone’s favorite social media platform. You can find him on Twitter @nickfasuloSBN.

Before I go to bed, I always, always, always put my phone on silent. I don’t want to come out of my slumber for any reason, so part of my nightly routine is to flip that switch on my phone before flipping the light off and hitting the hay. Inexplicably, that critical step to setting my phone to silent was missed the other night, and around one in the morning, my phone started buzzing.

https://twitter.com/BobbyBancroft/status/308805192328048640

And kept buzzing.

https://twitter.com/TroyMachir/status/308805349845118976

Then buzzed some more.

https://twitter.com/RobDauster/status/308805700279230464

I’ll be sure to never make that mistake again, especially in March, when old Syracuse tape seems to always be rolling as late night programming.

Victor Oladipo Blowing Our Minds

The Internet has run out of real words to describe Victor Oladipo’s hops. This, coming after he shocked the heck out of Ohio State’s Shannon Scott in transition Tuesday night. Oladipo took off from two steps within the free throw line, put his head level with the hoop and covered what looked like 100 square feet in the matter of a second for the clean swat.

https://twitter.com/jeffborzello/status/309145175312175104

https://twitter.com/natekotisso/status/309145183377838080

https://twitter.com/ESPNDanaOneil/status/309145195872661504

https://twitter.com/eamonnbrennan/status/309145214965149696

https://twitter.com/ShitHoosiersSay/status/309145177447079936

Ben Howland Plays Beer Pong

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College Basketball By The Tweets: Ben Howland, Gonzaga, and More Marshall Henderson…

Posted by rtmsf on March 6th, 2013

bythetweets

Nick Fasulo is an RTC correspondent who writes the column College Basketball By the Tweets, a look at the world of college hoops through the prism of everyone’s favorite social media platform. You can find him on Twitter @nickfasuloSBN.

Before I go to bed, I always, always, always put my phone on silent. I don’t want to come out of my slumber for any reason, so part of my nightly routine is to flip that switch on my phone before flipping the light off and hitting the hay. Inexplicably, that critical step to setting my phone to silent was missed the other night, and around one in the morning, my phone started buzzing.

And kept buzzing.

Then buzzed some more.

I’ll be sure to never make that mistake again, especially in March, when old Syracuse tape seems to always be rolling as late night programming.

Victor Oladipo Blowing Our Minds

The Internet has run out of real words to describe Victor Oladipo’s hops. This, coming after he shocked the heck out of Ohio State’s Shannon Scott in transition Tuesday night. Oladipo took off from two steps within the free throw line, put his head level with the hoop and covered what looked like 100 square feet in the matter of a second for the clean swat.

Ben Howland Plays Beer Pong

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College Basketball By The Tweets: Bill Self Dancing, Michael Carter-Williams losing, #NCAAOscars

Posted by Nick Fasulo on February 27th, 2013

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Remember back in the fall when North Carolina State was the trendy pick to contend for a Final Four berth? Following a Sweet Sixteen appearance, C.J. Leslie was coming back to lead a team with a solid point guard and top flight freshman class. Everything was coming up roses in Raleigh. Then the Wolfpack even seemed to meet expectations, too, opening the season 14-2, including a win over then No. 1 and undefeated Duke. But on Saturday Mark Gottfried’s team lost to its rival North Carolina, a team who was supposed to be trending down this season. They’re now 8-6 in ACC play and have the look of a team whose fangs have been blunted, becoming the latest casualty to the rigors of conference play.

Sometimes, you gotta peel back the onion before assuming a team is solid on paper.

Bill Self and the Tremendously Fast Cycle of Twitter

Last week Kansas took on Kansas State. The highlight? That would be Bill Self dancing. Or shuffling. Or Harlem Shaking. Or intuitively doing something to spark a flurry of social media activity. The response is a perfect case study in how sports GIFs and memes are digested at a rapid pace. Take a look:

Here was the immediate reaction.

Followed by the delayed reaction, which in Internet time is like 20 seconds after the event occured.

Then, if it is worthy, @Bubbaprog hops into action.

Followed by a someone asking for something more.

And suddenly, the wish is granted, thanks to a random dude with the right resources and the right level of initiative.

Seriously. This took all of 27 minutes to unfold. The Internet has evolved so prolifically that its current state is analogous to passing against a defense rather than trying to dribble through. It’s so much faster and effective.

#NCAAOscars

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College Basketball by the Tweets: The Harlem Shake, Bob Knight and Alan Crabbe…

Posted by Nick Fasulo on February 20th, 2013

bythetweets

Nick Fasulo is an RTC correspondent who writes the column College Basketball By the Tweets, a look at the world of college hoops through the prism of everyone’s favorite social media platform. You can find him on Twitter @nickfasuloSBN.

So this Harlem Shake viral phenomenon. You’ve heard of it. I shouldn’t have to explain it. Heck, there’s a chance you’ve made one or been forced to watch your co-workers’ rendition in the last seven days. Anyway… from the Soulja Boy Superman to the Dougie to Gangnam Style, college basketball always has a say in the direction and popularity of dance crazes. So with the latest flash in the pan fad reaching its apex over the weekend, naturally it pervaded DI to NAIA gyms and arenas over the weekend. Like, literally.

Based on my observations, Colin is not exaggerating.

Mike Montgomery Shoves Alan Crabbe

In sports today, almost any altercation, whether physical or verbal, is going to spark conversation on Twitter. Drama moves the needle, and the latest occurrence of that was Saturday when Cal head coach Mike Montgomery shoved his star player, Alan Crabbe. Video shows nothing too aggressive, but a love jolt enough to upset Crabbe and cause a bit of short-lived dissent among the team. Some quickly compared the act to that of Morehead State’s Sean Woods, who verbally abused a player earlier this season The difference is that Sean Woods humiliated his player because of how personal Morehead’s game against Kentucky was. Woods is a former Wildcats star whose jersey hangs in the Rupp Arena rafters, now coaching against his alma mater and trying to squeeze as much out of his players as he could. But only for his own good. Montgomery was passionate and truly trying to motivate, unfortunately displaying that passion in a not-so-ideal manner. Many people saw it the same way.

So I think we can agree that the action was understandable. We can give Montgomery a pass. But what he said in his postgame press conference probably didn’t award him a get-out-of-jail free card, thus leading to the undisclosed punishment.

Oh yeah, and, Montgomery’s act sort of worked, as Crabbe led the Golden Bears’ comeback against the Trojans, and also this…

Assuming Montgomery has spoken to Crabbe privately about this, I’ll tip my cap to the heady coach.

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College Basketball By The Tweets: Cameron Crazy Chants, Notre Dame, Nerlens Noel, and Nate Wolters

Posted by Nick Fasulo on February 13th, 2013

bythetweets

Nick Fasulo is an RTC correspondent who writes the column College Basketball By the Tweets, a look at the world of college hoops through the prism of everyone’s favorite social media platform. You can find him on Twitter @nickfasuloSBN.

When NC State beat Duke in Raleigh back in January, fans rushed the court, C.J Leslie was deemed a hero, and we were all supposed to think it was an ACC power-shifting victory for the Wolfpack. Then Mark Gottfried’s club took a return trip to Durham, and were beaten decisively, restoring reality and balance to the top of the league. Following the game, this was the scene at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Yes that’s right, just another day in the office for the Blue Devils

A Faux Chant About Tyler Lewis’s Grandmother

There’s nothing worse than a baseless rumor that lives and dies on Twitter… but when one occurs in the college basketball world, we have to at least trace its arc. Following said loss to Duke last week, NC State Wolfpack fans, or alumni, or beat writers, or maybe just Blue Devil haters, started something nasty declaring that the Cameron Crazies started a chant about Tyler Lewis’s grandmother, who passed away just days before. Totally awful, right? Absolutely, but ultimately something totally awful that likely never actually happened. The seeds were planted after it got in front of a former Wolfpack star with a bit of clout and a few thousand followers.

Within minutes many had immediately jumped at how horrible it sounded, while some took a second to think that it was probably not true.

Checking their timelines, and neither seem confident enough to deliver an earnest and clear response. So from there, all the Dookie fans got defensive, and rightfully so, and pretty quickly it was clear that this was a Twitter troll with a very short life span.

And finally.

Sigh. Oh and, by the way. Rodney Purvis checked Twitter, saw what was going on, posted his thoughts completely based on hearsay, looked like a clown, then deleted his tweet. All in the span of 45 seconds.

Let’s face it, NC State was just bitter. This did not happen or it would have had legs in the general media over the following days.  The Cameron Crazies have hurled some not-so-flattering chants at opponents over the years, but rarely have they leapt over the line like this.

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College Basketball By The Tweets: Bill Walton, Northern Illinois and the Rise Of Marshall Henderson

Posted by Nick Fasulo on January 30th, 2013

bythetweets

Nick Fasulo is an RTC correspondent who writes the column College Basketball By the Tweets, a look at the world of college hoops through the prism of everyone’s favorite social media platform. You can find him on Twitter @nickfasuloSBN.

Bill Walton Comedy Hour

There’s almost nothing better then the glee and unbridled joy Bill Walton spews into his microphone when calling a basketball game. Formerly an NBA-only announcer for ESPN, Walton has resurfaced this season calling Pac-12 games for the Worldwide Leader, and we’re all better for it. He’s a bit kooky, sure, but what’s most enjoyable about Walton is his unique ability to criticize and praise a player or coach with a positive tone of voice. Take Ben Howland, for example. While he’ll say it with a smile on his face, Walton is quick to judge the coach of his alma mater, and it was never more prevalent than last Thursday during the Bruins’ game against Arizona.

Drink. Drank. Drunk. Thanks, Bill.

Duke Gets Wrecked By Hurricanes

It feels like it happened eons ago, but we can’t forget that the Blue Devils were embarrassed by Miami last week, potentially turning Coach K’s team in to national championship pretenders and Jim Larranaga’s team into real ACC contenders.

You used to laugh at him, but perhaps an injury to one of Duke’s best players will define his worth as he watches from the sidelines.

Since Ryan Kelly went down with a busted foot, the Blue Devils are 2-2, and while that shouldn’t change the magnitude of the victory for The U, the annual rules of court rushing were brought to the Twitter table from the moment the game was all but over.

We all have our opinions on when this student celebration should and should not be warranted, but much like your fantasy football team, nobody else really cares to hear about it.

The Week of Marshall Henderson

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College Basketball By The Tweets: Hinkle Magic, Michael Carter-Williams, Inauguration Photobomb

Posted by Nick Fasulo on January 23rd, 2013

bythetweets

One of the saddest yet least talked about endings in college basketball is looming. The Big East, while it isn’t entirely dissolving just yet, is in its final year as the league many of us more or less grew up with. Syracuse and Pittsburgh will officially join the ACC this summer, and you probably know the marching order for the other schools exiting stage left. It’s sad… well, it’s pathetic really… and you can be sure that for the next eight weeks any human with even a peripheral association with the league will be sure to tell you how sad and pathetic this shift is.

Indeed, Kevin. I’m ticked off, too.

Roosevelt Jones’ Buzzer Beating Heroics

Best moment of the 2012-13 college basketball season?  Best moment of the 2012-13 college basketball season, as an absolutely tremendous Saturday of hoops was capped off by the latest thrilling victory from Butler, who knocked off Gonzaga with a steal and subsequent mid-range floater from Roosevelt Jones as time expired.

With the College Gameday season premiere on campus to build the game up and capture it all, I’d say ESPN execs had to be pretty satisfied with the drama that unfolded at Hinkle.

Dick Vitale, who called the game alongside the great Dan Shulman, pushed out a pretty bold statement that speaks volumes to just how amazing this game, which really ended up being a bit of a spectacle, was.

Michael Carter-Williams Meeting Lofty Expectations

Switching back to the Big East, a few weeks ago it was Ben McLemore turning NBA scouts’ heads in rapid succession, now it appears to be the Syracuse sophomore Michael Carter-Williams turn. Despite eight turnovers and 4-of-13 shooting, MCW’s end of game play-making against then top-ranked Louisville on Saturday drew fear from Cardinals fans.

Then 48 hours later, the Orange star followed up that performance, dropping 16 points – with some emphatic slams, steals and shares –  helping his team squeak past Cincinnati.

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College Basketball By The Tweets: Will Privette, Dunk(s) of the Year, and Those Baylor Unis

Posted by Nick Fasulo on January 16th, 2013

bythetweets

Nick Fasulo is an RTC correspondent who writes the column College Basketball By the Tweets, a look at the world of college hoops through the prism of everyone’s favorite social media platform. You can find him on Twitter @nickfasuloSBN.

What were arguably the two most memorable incidents to go down in college basketball the last seven days? On the court, it was certainly the game’s final four undefeated teams falling one by one over a 96-hour span. Off the court, err, on the sidelines, it was Robert Montgomery Knight revealing his age and inability to make out the difference between the shot clock and game clock during the final moments of Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt. The most underappreciated handle on all of Twitter encapsulated it beautifully.

C.J. Leslie and his friend Will Privette

To call it heartwarming would be an understatement, but whatever it is, C.J. Leslie’s Saturday afternoon was one he will never forget. First he dropped a game high 25 points as the Wolfpack upset then top-ranked Duke, which led to this photo that should be sold as a 24″ x 48″ poster at the school’s bookstore.

But even after the final horn sounded, Leslie was still being attentive on the court, ushering a senior student in a wheelchair to safety amongst the sea of red that was stomping all over the PNC Arena court.

Yes, naturally, Will Privette’s act has gone viral. The kid is one of the most sought after interviews in sports media right now, and it’s doing wonders to his social media clout.

Brandon Paul, Anthony Bennett, Jamaal Franklin. Who ya got?

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College Basketball By The Tweets: CBS Infighting, Khalif Wyatt and #BBN

Posted by rtmsf on January 9th, 2013

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It was good to hear from Kim English over the weekend. The former Missouri Tiger, perhaps a player whose on-court talents were inflated by the media due to his charming personality and usage of Twitter, is now playing in the D-League for the Detroit Pistons. But he’s still closely watching his Tigers, who escaped an upset from Bucknell due mostly to their really freakin’ good point guard.

Untitled

Something tells me he’s on the fast track to being a studio analyst.

Doug Gottleib and Seth Davis Disagree on Jim Boeheim

I could elaborate, or you could just read about their exchange of tweets, courtesy of Jared Smith at NunesMagician.com. Let’s all appreciate the love/hate these two share with one another.

(Uncle) Khalif Wyatt?

We hope you were watching, but understand it may have been difficult to give Temple – Kansas your undivided attention alongside the NFL Playoffs. What you missed may have been the coming out party for Khalif Wyatt, who dropped 26 on 8-of-19 shooting (and 7-of-7 from the free throw line) in a losing effort. He also turned the ball over just once

There’s no doubt that Wyatt is a legitimate point guard with a unique look and feel to his game… like Uncle Drew, without the staged playground game and hours of make-up. Old folks can appreciate style.

Now between his game against Kansas and 33 points against Syracuse, it’s fair to say that Wyatt is licensed to hang a big number on any opponent this season.

Sabatino Chen, Colorado Gets Robbed

The hottest button college basketball topic of the week was unquestionably the final seconds of the Pac-12 opener between Colorado and Arizona. You know the deal: Colorado blew an eight-point lead with under two minutes to play, and Satabtino Chen’s bank shot three-pointer as time expired as called off… but it shouldn’t have been.

Twitter went nuts. At first the shot did look too close to call, meaning it should not have been overturned to begin with. And after America watched for the 17th time, it was clear that 0.1 seconds remained on the clock and Satabino’s shot should have counted. Lost in this moment’s was Chen’s lack of accuracy from beyond the arc. Despite being a 6’4″ guard, he’s simply not a respected shooter.

Additionally, props to those who simply felt sorry for Chen, as he’s now college basketball Armando Galarraga, the former Detroit Tigers pitcher who was wrongly deined a perfect game due to a botched bang-bang play at first base a few summers ago. Not only is this a big bummer for the Buffs, it’s a huge bummer for Chen, who could develop a bit of a cult hero status in Boulder for a few years to come.

#BBN Gets Richer

Keeping up with the (Matt) Joneses is going to be nearly impossible next college basketball season. That’s right, John Calipari has pretty much put together a perfect 2013 recruiting class following the latest signing of center Dakari Johnson, with an Andrew Wiggins or Julius Randle likely to follow.

Naturally, the smug responses came in droves… and they probably still are if you follow the hashtag #BBN.

Oh yeah, and this dude will be in Lexington in 2014.

I hate you, sometimes, Kentucky. I hate you.

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College Basketball By The Tweets: Kentucky/Louisville, Nick Johnson and Two Freshman Phenoms…

Posted by Nick Fasulo on January 2nd, 2013

bythetweets

Nick Fasulo is an RTC correspondent who writes the column College Basketball By the Tweets, a look at the world of college hoops through the prism of everyone’s favorite social media platform. You can find him on Twitter @nickfasuloSBN.

Full disclosure: I grew up a grossly obnoxious Duke basketball fan. UNC was evil, but a necessary evil, making up one half of what I believed to be the greatest rivalry in all of sports. But as of late,  I can confidently say that the happiness felt from the hate of that lighter shade of blue has been usurped by another in-state rivalry. The build-up to Kentucky and Louisville’s annual late December battle was popcorn-making worthy. Twitter was abuzz all week, with profanity laced rants 140 characters at a time being hurled back and forth between the 80-mile stretch of I-64.

Never stop this hatred ever, guys. We’re all better for it.

More on Kentucky – Louisville

Per the usual, the build up was full of jabs that make this rivalry great.

Louisville fans secured home court for their team, as there was no Sea of Blue present at the Yum! Center.

Kentucky was down early, clueless against Louisville’s full court press, but foul trouble for the Cardinals and the emergence of Archie Goodwin and Willie Cauley-Stein in the second half kept the game interesting.

But in the end, the experience of Rick Pitino’s club prevailed. A freakishly fast-paced game left everyone involved exhausted.

Nick Johnson To The Rescue

Perhaps the most exciting game of the holiday break was the finals of the Diamond Head Classic, where Arizona slipped past San Diego State, due in large part to a game-saving block by the Wildcats’ Nick Johnson. A 6’3″ guard, these are the types of plays a taller frontcourt player is supposed to make, meaning Sean Miller has a special athlete in his rotation.

https://twitter.com/jeffborzello/status/283806646881370113

Johnson’s block drew such oohs and aahs that fans started drawing comparisons with that play and another game saving swat by a former Wildcat, Derrick Williams.

My pick? Gotta go with Johnson. He’s no imposing big man, but a perimeter player who used his incredible hops to turn and make a play without even thinking.

Ben McLemore & Anthony Bennett:Two Stars In The Making

If you’ve seen Kansas and UNLV play this season, then you’ve probably noticed two freshman who have established themselves as clear-cut pros. Over the last 10 days, if you saw Ben McLemore drop 22 with ease on Ohio State, and Anthony Bennett show his versatility against North Carolina, you told yourself multiple times that these may be two of the best young basketball players in the country, regardless of level.

As part of a freshman class that few were psyched about following the litany of spring All-American games, the Jayhawks and Rebels seem to have the two most obvious one-and-done players as we enter the new year. McLemore, who is drawing comparisons to Dwayne Wade, seems to get less attention on Twitter because he makes it look so easy. He scores from anywhre on the floor, but doesn’t necessarily incite hashtag-inducing plays.

Conversely, Bennett has established himself as a must-see-TV player. He blows people away with his ability to create his own shot despite his girth, and his game compels people watching to immediately turn to social media…

Tony Parker Wanted To Be Home For Christmas

The curse of the overweight, overhyped Bruins big man continues. Just a few weeks after sophomore Josh Smith left the UCLA school and program, freshman Tony Parker aired, albeit cryptically, some grievances about his feelings about his first year in Westwood.

https://twitter.com/tonyparker32/status/282987874918477824

https://twitter.com/tonyparker32/status/283635223068024832

Parker soon defended his tweets, saying he was just a homesick college kid unable to be back in his native Atlanta for the holidays… which, let’s be honest, is completely understandable. Parker has not had an impact this season, getting only eight minutes of run a game. He finished with two points in just three minutes played Friday night in UCLA’s thrilling overtime victory over Missouri, meaning on the court he’s still got a ways to go to meet his potential and expectations.

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