After an outstanding sophomore season at Syracuse that had many analysts talking about him as one of the best guards in the country, Dion Waiters decided the time was right to test his talents and make the jump to the NBA. The Philly native was a beast as a Sixth Man, averaging 12.6 points on nearly 48 percent shooting to help lead the Orange to the Elite 8 this season. Syracuse came up short in their bid for a National Championship, but Waiters’ stock continues to rise. Now as he gets prepared to be drafted into the NBA, Waiters will be giving us the inside scoop on his journey to the draft, how his life is changing and everything in-between… Read More »
TAG: Ashton Gibbs
The first month of the college hoops season has already had enough defining moments to warrant the Luther Vandross treatment.
There was the poignant high of Coach K surpassing his mentor Bob Knight as the all-time leader in NCAA D-I coaching wins; the gut-wrenching (and ongoing) low of Syracuse assistant Bernie Fine throwing his program into scandal; the inspiring comeback stories of Arizona forward Kevin Parrom and Kansas forward Thomas Robinson; made-for-March upsets like UNLV over North Carolina, Presbyterian over Cincinnati, and Central Florida over UConn; and big-time matchups like Ohio State vs. Duke, Kentucky vs. Kansas, and Syracuse vs. Florida that were dipped in Tournament atmosphere.
This past weekend, though, gave us the most thrilling game, the highest display of talent, and the most grand exhibition of the best of college basketball, all wrapped in one 40-minute showcase in Lexington, Ky. Here is that game, plus the rest of the best and worst of the weekend: Read More »
We’ve been waiting on an upset. Naturally this early in the season, you don’t expect it. Everyone is playing cupcakes, and conference schedules haven’t started yet. But where are the close games? Outside of a few, the majority so far have been snoozers. But last night, Pittsburgh got beat up from start to finish, in their own home… by freakin’ Long Beach State, 86-76. Miraculously, this was just the second time any non-Big East team had ever won in that building, and the 49ers didn’t just win. They dominated from the tip. Pitt was never closer than six throughout the whole second half despite some good games from Ashton Gibbs (20 points) and Nasir Robinson (19 points). Pitt did what they could to stay close, but check out the box score. Those Long Beach St. shooting percentages are video game-like. Read More »
*College basketball is here (unlike the NBA), and this year might be one of the best in recent memory. The powerhouse is back, while the Cinderellas believe. That’s a deadly combination. We know some of y’all have been asking for some previews. We have you covered – the top 16 teams in the nation will be previewed individually in the next few weeks. After we broke down Baylor earlier this morning, we’ll keep this going with No. 11-ranked Pittsburgh (ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll).* Read More »
For years, I’ve said that the Big East Tournament makes up my five favorite days of the basketball year. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the NCAA tournament or the NBA Playoffs, but to me, it doesn’t get better than many of the best teams in the college playing in the biggest city in the country in the World’s Most Famous Arena. Thursday’s games were just more testimony to my already strong beliefs. Here are my awards from Day 3… Read More »
It was an ending almost too corny for Hollywood. The hometown kid playing in his hometown arena against the No. 1 team in the conference with the ball in his hands in a tie game with six seconds left.
But this afternoon, with Pitt and UConn knotted at 74 in the Big East quarterfinals, there stood the Huskies’ Kemba Walker, a Bronx native, at the top of the key defended by the Panthers’ 6-11 center Gary McGhee with a trip to the Big East semis on the line. Read More »
When it comes to conference tournament play, some programs always seem to rise to the occasion. But without the right leader on the sideline and on the court, your team aura can only take you so far in a tourney that is stacked with contenders like the Big East. Yesterday, UConn took its second step towards being that team. You know, a squad that could steal the Big East Tournament, as they have both the sideline leader (Jim Calhoun) and floor general (Kemba Walker) to make a serious run at what has once again become “the tournament of all tournaments” during Championship Week. Read More »
Could you, with a straight face, make an argument that Robin Lopez is more valuable to the Phoenix Suns than Steve Nash? If you watched the Suns get dropped into the proverbial oubliette last night by the Magic, you could. Nash missed the game with a groin injury (maybe or maybe not the byproduct of somebody’s reaction to Nash announcing his divorce the same day his wife had a baby), but perhaps more important, Lopez was out with a knee injury that will keep him sidelined for about a month … Without Lopez, the Suns were using guys like Earl Barron, Earl Clark, and somebody named Garrett Siler to man the post. Read More »
On the same night when college basketball officially tipped off, Bulls/Nuggets had all the unpredictability and entertaining sloppiness of an NCAA game, with a slew of former college superstars deciding the outcome. Derrick Rose (Final Four, Memphis) and Arron Afflalo (Pac-10 P.O.Y., two Final Fours, UCLA) traded clutch buckets for a minute, but the game really turned on turnovers — like one sequence when Ty Lawson (ACC P.O.Y., national champion, North Carolina) coughed it up twice in a row, one of which led to a steal by Keith Bogans (All-American, Kentucky), who flipped a no-look pass over his shoulder to Luol Deng (Final Four, Duke) for a dunk that put Chicago up four with two minutes left … Read More »
Granted, watching basketball all the time is part of my job, but it still amazes me how many people don’t (or rarely) watch college hoops until the NCAA Tournament. Because of such inexcusable ignoring of America’s best spectator sport (if you ask me), during the Big Dance I usually get peppered with “Who is that guy?” or “Who does [Team X] got?” questions.
Some of them make sense — even I can’t say I’ve seen Wofford or UC Santa Barbara play this year — but a lot of the players who slip under the mainstream radar don’t deserve the anonymity. After giving your four Players to Watch from the Midwest and South regions yesterday, here’s the West: Read More »