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College, NBA / Mar 15, 2011 / 1:00 pm

Dime Q&A: NBA Players Make Their Picks, Name Their Sleepers

David Lee

Florida's David Lee

The bracket is out, let the hysteria begin. It seems like everyone around the country is amped about the Big Dance this year. Who wouldn’t be? With the tournament as wide open as it is, it really could be anybody’s year. (I’m looking at you, Long Beach State.) With many NBAers having their respective alma maters back in the tourney, we thought it’d be dope to get their insight into this year’s madness. With that, we caught up with David Lee, Anthony Morrow and Sundiata Gaines to discuss some bracketology.

David Lee, University of Florida

Dime: What are your thoughts about Florida making a run this year?
David Lee: I think they’re peaking at the right time. I watched their last couple games and I thought they’ve been playing really great. Chandler Parsons is really playing well for them. We’ll see where they end up; hopefully they’ll do real well.

Dime: Any other teams you think will do damage in the tourney this year?
DL: I think a team like Duke has good experience in the tournament. They should be tough. Carolina has been playing really well. I think probably Pittsburgh too. They’re a good team. I think a lot of the Big East teams have a serious advantage because they play against such a tough schedule, so many top-15 and top-20 teams all-year long. But it will be interesting to see which one of those teams kind of does well because it seems like all of them are up and down.

Dime: Who about sleeper picks?
DL: Sleeper? I’ll go with Kansas State. They had a tough run there for a while, but they’ve been playing well lately. There are a couple veterans on that team, so I’ll go Kansas State as my sleeper.

Dime: Which players do you expect to have a big tournament?
DL: That kid Pullen on Kansas State. Jacob Pullen. He’s had kind of a strange year but he’s cool.

Sundiata Gaines, University of Georgia

Dime: What do you think of Georgia this year?
Sundiata Gaines: I think they have a real solid team. They’ve had a lot of ups and downs but they’re a solid team. It’s going to be alright going into the tournament.

Dime: Any other teams you think will do damage in the tourney this year?
SG: A lot of teams have shown a lot of flashes. Duke has shown some flash. Kansas looks pretty good. Kansas State got flashes here and there. There are a lot of those teams out there, but those are my three right there.

Dime: Who are your sleeper picks?
SG: Maybe St. John’s. They’ve been playing well as of late, might be a little sleeper. I would say Connecticut, they’ve been playing well too.

Dime: Which players do you expect to have a big tournament?
SG: I like Jimmer Fredette from BYU. I’ve always liked his game. Kemba Walker‘s been having a good year too.

Anthony Morrow, Georgia Tech

Dime: Which teams will have the biggest impact in the tourney this year?
Anthony Morrow: North Carolina, Pitt…I like Kansas too. Who’s good in the Pac-10?

Dime: Arizona?
AM: Nah, I want a sleeper…I would say BYU, but that kid (Brandon Davies) got suspended. My sleeper? San Diego State. Got my little brother out there, Malcolm Thomas. St. John’s too – they’re my main sleeper.

Dime: What did you think about the end of the St. John’s-Rutgers game?
AM: Really shaky! Someone’s getting fired over that.

Dime: Who are the players to watch come tournament time?
AM: Malcolm Thomas, Kemba Walker, that kid Tyler Zeller from Carolina, Harrison Barnes, [Jared] Sullinger and that other kid from Ohio State that can shoot…

Dime: Jon Diebler?
AM: Yeah, him. He’s good. Man I can’t wait. I’m excited for it to begin!

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  • http://www.centercourtbasketball.com CCB

    I’m glad someone understands that Malcolm Thomas is one of the biggest sleepers in the tourney. When I coached at Crawford, I missed the chance to coach Malcolm and turned the job over to Coach Tucker when I came to Memphis. When they made it to the CIF at the Jenny Craig, Crawford flew me back to California, and I got to meet Malcolm. I knew he would be a pro. No one has actually seen what that guy can do. He actually has point forward skills although State only uses him in the post and to protect the basket. As an SDSU alum I’m excited and I can see them getting to the Elite 8 this year. Go Aztecs!
    Chris B.

  • http://dimemag.com Whitey20

    Chandler Parsons won’t be enough for the Gators to do any significant damage in the tourney. Sorry David Lee.

  • http://brokejumper.com/ brokejumper.com

    Is Sundiata signed for the rest of the year?