Granted, watching basketball all the time is part of my job, but it still amazes me how many people donâ€™t (or rarely) watch college hoops until the NCAA Tournament. Because of such inexcusable ignoring of Americaâ€™s best spectator sport (if you ask me), during the Big Dance I usually get peppered with â€śWho is that guy?â€ť or â€śWho does [Team X] got?â€ť questions.
Some of them make sense â€” even I canâ€™t say Iâ€™ve seen Wofford or UC Santa Barbara play this year â€” but a lot of the players who slip under the mainstream radar donâ€™t deserve the anonymity. After giving your four Players to Watch from the Midwest and South regions yesterday, here’s the West: Read More »
Once upon a time, Antonio Pena was known only as one of the “other guys” on Sebastian Telfair‘s team at storied Lincoln High School (Brooklyn, NY). But after a journey that has since taken him through two years at a prep school in Connecticut, knee surgery and a redshirt season, Pena has re-emerged as one of the key players on a Villanova University squad contending for a national championship in 2010.
Pena, a 6-8 junior power forward, is averaging 11 points and 7.5 rebounds for the Wildcats (22-3, 11-2 Big East), ranked No. 3 in the country before last night’s loss to UConn. Read More »
/ Jul 30, 2009 / 2:08 am
While Miami waits for Lamar Odom to decide if he’d rather look at sun-dipped Rodeo Drive honeys or sun-dipped South Beach honeys during timeouts for the next 4-5 years, another possible Plan B in case they don’t get Odom became unavailable. The Hawks re-signed Marvin Williams for $40 million over five years — kind of steep for a guy who wasn’t gonna get $8M a year from anyone else, but not the worst move in the world considering Marvin is a big contributor for a still-developing core unit in Atlanta. Read More »
/ Jul 7, 2009 / 2:05 am
Basketball is back. Kinda. If you don’t live in a playground hotbed like NYC or Chicago, and you’re not so desperate that you’re watching classic games on NBA TV and trying to pretend you haven’t seen them before, the Orlando Pro Summer League debuted yesterday to fill the NBA void … Since nobody really cares who wins the games, we’ll just look at the stats: The Celtics rolled out what could be both the worst and the slowest NBA frontline tandem ever, starting Robert Swift (20 mins, 4 pts) and Mike Sweetney (15 mins, 3 pts, 5 rebs) against Utah. Read More »
/ Jul 5, 2009 / 5:07 am
With the biggest of the big-name free agents quickly finding homes, the next phase is all about reactionary replacements. Example: The Blazers thought they had Hedo Turkoglu the other day, but now that he’s going to the Raptors, Portland has turned their sights on David Lee. They can offer Lee the same $50 million over five years they offered Hedo, but is Lee even worth that much? He’s only had one good year (16 ppg, 11.7 rpg) as a starter, and those numbers were put up in Mike D’Antoni‘s stats-on-crack system where he was the only rebounder on the Knicks. And do the Blazers really need to spend $10M a year on LaMarcus Aldridge‘s backup? … Read More »
/ Mar 29, 2009 / 4:33 am
Are we seeing the early stages of a new, more mature Gilbert Arenas? The other day he announced his “retirement” from blogging, and instead of gunning for 40 in his season debut last night, Gil was clearly making an effort to pass the rock and get other guys their looks. Read More »
/ Mar 27, 2009 / 4:40 am
A couple of themes dominated last nightâ€™s NCAA tourney Sweet 16 games: Defense and Onions. First you had UConn defensive stalwart Hasheem Thabeet putting together his first dominant game of the tourney (15 pts, 15 rebs, 4 blks) to push the Huskies past Purdue. Then Villanova slapped a stifling total team defensive effort on Duke, ball-pressure and denial for which Coach K‘s boys seemed totally unprepared. And then Missouri’s new-school “40 Minutes of Hell” paved the way for them to get past Memphis … As for the onions? Look no further than Levance Fields. Read More »
/ Mar 23, 2009 / 6:32 am
While No. 1 seeds UConn and North Carolina had little trouble getting through the first two rounds of the tourney and into the Sweet Sixteen, Louisville and Pitt haven’t looked nearly as strong. Yesterday, Pitt was tied with Oklahoma State around the 2:30 mark of the second half, struggling again to put away a lesser-talented team before Levance Fields took over. Read More »