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When Common Sense Fails: Jay Bilas
Articles

Our good 'ole buddy Jay Bilas recently did an interview on azcentral.com. It's a pretty decent barring the absurdities that spewed from Bilas in one section of the interview:

azcentral.com: "Given his past, was hiring Calipari a risk?"

Jay Bilas: "Well, I don't really look at it that way. John Calipari never had an NCAA issue. People say, 'Well, he's had two banners vacated.' Over what? UMass had the 1996 Final Four banner vacated over a kid taking a kid money from an agent. How's a coach going to stop that? He can't control that, and it's ludicrous for people to suggest that he can. The other thing, with Derrick Rose, Rose was considered ineligible, and Memphis is supposed to catch that when the clearinghouse and the testing authority didn't raise an issue until the weekend of the Final Four? What are they going to do? I don't know of any school, anywhere, that would've held a player out with that kind of flimsy evidence."

John Calipari

To say that Calipari never had an NCAA issue or didn't know what was going on in his program is like saying Microsoft didn't know about the dreaded Xbox 360 Ring of Death, but the real kicker is Bilas more or less claiming that Kentucky has nothing to worry about. This is the same Kentucky program that has been at the center of NCAA sanctions no less than five times in its rich history. Don't worry about that?

Calipari is the only man ever to roam the earth that had two Final Four banners confiscated. He even beat out the Godfather of NCAA scrutiny, Jerry Tarkanian.

But don't worry. Calipari's relationship with the highly influential street agent World Wide Wes isn't a problem. They only trades cooking recipes, not recruits. Surely the NCAA won't look at that. Memphis lost 38 victories, a runner-up trophy, their Final Four appearance, banners, and a few million dollars, but don't you sweat it, Kentucky. You, too, can have a vacated Final Four just like Memphis and UMass.

The sweetest thing about Coach Calipari is when the heat is on he possesses an awesome willingness to fully cooperate with the NCAA, because he knows nothing, did nothing wrong, and will leave for another job that pays more.

In 1996 Calipari left UMass for the New Jersey Nets to the tune of 16 Million, and now after the Memphis bomb it's on to Kentucky for 34 million. It's the most wonderful state of ignorance by a person that I have seen since former Enron official Ken Lay defrauded millions.

And I get it, Kentucky fans. No one can technically say Calipari did wrong, but it's real shady in here. As the old saying goes, "Where there's smoke, there's fire". Calipari didn't start the fire, but he smells like smoke and it's enough to make anyone with casual intelligence cough up a lung from the fumes.

Bilas is used to this game, so I really shouldn't be shocked by his remarks. His Duke alma mater was able to keep Corey Maggette around. Maggette got his cash through an AAU coach while still in high school; the funds filtered down from agent donations. His amateur status was deleted, hence, he should not have been able to play for Duke's 1999 Final Four team. Bilas doesn't see the dirt in that either.

With Calipari at Kentucky's helm the school will look like ringers, but the worries won't happen immediately. It should be a fun ride for Kentucky until Calipari jumps ship (and he will according to his history). That's when the skeletons in his closet could choke out the potential accomplishments in Kentucky's future grasp.

The microscope is on now more than ever. For almost the first time in his life, Calipari will be going into the home of recruits also visited by Roy Williams and Mike Krzyzewski. It's a different ball game for Calipari and he won't be able to use the same old bag of tricks. Yes, Jay, Kentucky needs to worry.

 
1966 - 1970 3rd-4th Round Rundown
Articles

TDR keeps it rolling with another 5-year release of 3rd & 4th round draft profiles: 1966-1970

1966-1970 Research Problems:

Ken Wilburn: Like many HBCU picks, Central State didn’t really have any leads or positions to point me regarding Wilburn's career stats. I was glad to recover bit and pieces, but his information is far from complete.

Sam Singleton: Thanks to some digging, I retrieved Singleton's first two years at the University of Omaha (now Nebraska at Omaha), but his final playing season requires additional research to fill in the few gaps that remain. Singleton did not play his final season at Omaha as he was academically ineligible.

Richie Moore: Moore transferred to Hiram Scott after questioning his role with Villanova, but this turned out to be a bad move. His new, liberal college stood only six years before going bankrupt. The shaky beginning and abrupt end to his college career leaves his statistics fragmented, but I was able to obtain the numbers for scoring and games played. Much of the remaining data is missing.

Darryl Jones: I acquired a good portion of Jones' stats with the exception of some holes in his junior numbers.

Rob St. Pierre: To put it mildly, St. Pierre's numbers were about as easy to find as a needle in a hack stack. Hanover College could only provide career numbers. Everything else I have made available came through good old fashion research through various sources.

Billy Jones: Jones is another one of those players whose school just recently found his career numbers, thanks in large part to their new Sports Information Director. Perhaps his remaining numbers can be located, but it may be unlikely. I was able to retrieve his first two years, while his remaining years came through a multitude of sources.

Jimmy Wilson: While a good portion of Cheney's stats were not too challenging to obtain, his first two years at the HCBU are behind a dark veil. It's unconfirmed where he actually spent his first year, but I was able to verify that his sophomore year was indeed spent at Cheney.

Donald Dee: Dee is one of the most unique and uplifting stories in the draft. He was a tremendous player on the fast track to stardom at St. Louis before suffering a devastating knee injury that almost drove him away from the game. Dee later moved away and married his college sweetheart while working full time, but two years later (at the urging of a co-worker) he decided to give basketball one more chance. Dee was far removed from the big roots of St. Louis, so he spent a year at St. Mary of the Plains in Dodge City, Kansas to obtain eligibility and continue knee rehab. Two years later he went on to become an NAIA all-American while earning a spot on the gold winning 1968 Olympic team. Unfortunately, his school closed their doors in 1992. This left much of the his records lost or inaccessible. Dee’s stats are missing data in key spots. Only games played and points per game have been uncovered thus far.

Highlights:

Louie Dampier: Dampier spent nine All-star years in the ABA before ending his career after 3 seasons with the NBA. He makes this list based on being (arguably) the first small guard to utilize the three point shot to become an offensive force. Dampier was a specialist of the highest order in the fashion of Steve Kerr, yet slightly better at passing and ball handing. His shooting was prolific, as evidenced by 199 successful three point shots during the 1968-69 ABA season. This achievement stood unmatched in pro basketball until it was broken 26 years later by John Starks, who hit 217 three-pointers in the 1994-95 NBA season.

John Block: This one time all-star was a solid bench player with great rebounding and defensive abilities. Block was unfortunately dealt the same hand as the talented and constantly moving Jimmy Jackson of the 1990’s. He was often used as trade bait to sweeten deals between NBA teams.

Archie Clark: Clark was discovered by an assistant coach at the University of Minnesota, but was older than most rookies due to his time in the Army. His scoring ability made him a hot commodity in the newly forming ABA with several contract offers for his services. Clark went on to become a two time all-star and, unlike many African American players just a decade ago that were just happy to play in the NBA, this generation helped usher in a new bargaining position financially.

Norm Van Lier: Van Lier was a three-time NBA all-star known for his dominant perimeter defense. The original "Stormin Norman" teamed up with future Hall of Fame coach Jerry Sloan to form one of the NBA's best defensive backcourts of the mid 60’s through the mid 70’s. Sadly, this tough-nosed defensive point guard recently died in February 2009 at the age of 61 from an apparent heart attack.

Bobby Dandridge: Dandridge was a mere side note on draft night, but went on to be regarded as one of the finest forwards of the 1970’s. This four time NBA all-star won two NBA championship titles with the 1971 Milwaukee Bucks and 1978 Washington Bullets. Dandridge’s defensive ability and fundamentally sound game made him a versatile threat capable of a multitude of functions on the court. He is clearly one of the biggest steals in NBA draft history.

Greg Smith: Smith was a starter on the 1971 Milwaukee Bucks championship team and spent the majority of his career as a contributor off the bench, but he faced quite a bit of adversity before making the NBA. After Smith's junior year his brother, Dwight Smith, was drafted by the NBA. Western Kentucky University held a banquet to honor both brothers’ on-court accomplishments, but the evening ended in tragedy. On the car ride home, Greg hit a large pool of water on the road and began to hydroplane. The car flipped into a deep ditch filled with several feet of water. His brother and sister also occupied the the car, but did not survive. This left Greg with despair and guilt.

There is more great stuff out my historical vault. Dig into this latest release as I move on to make ready the 3rd and 4th round draft picks from 1971 through 1975.

Enjoy! Matthew Maurer

 
Honorable Draftee: The Case for Ed Warner
Articles


The Case for Ed Warner

He became one of the most prestigious collegiate players of the early 1950s, yet Ed Warner not only tarnished his legacy, but also destroyed his chance at a professional career in the same manner as his friend and fellow honorable draftee, Sherman White. Warner played a huge part in leading CCNY to both the NIT and NCAA championships in 1950. To date it is the only school to accomplish this feat and will probably remain so unless the current scheduling and popularity of the NIT changes.

Despite his 6-3 stature and lack of explosive leaping ability, he was blessed with a quick step, body control, and toughness that few could match. Warner was also the blueprint for hundreds of young African American ball players on the east coast who sought to pattern their game after him. As a sophomore in 1950 he earned the (formerly) prestigious MVP award in the NIT. Warner was on track as a first round draft pick with most NBA teams rumored to be eyeing his talents, including the Celtics.

The Problem

From the minute Warner entered college scene there were questions surrounding his transcripts. Despite graduating 827th out of 927 students at DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, he gained admission into CCNY despite their high academic standards. Warner's admission raised a few eyebrows, but no one publicly challenged the legitimacy of CCNY’s respected head coach Nate Holman’s program.

 
1961 - 1965 3rd-4th Rounds Rundown
Articles

1961-1965 Problems:

Waite Bellamy: I was able to research several stats for his college career, but Bellamy's overall numbers remain spotty, especially his sophomore season. Bellamy was another small school HBCU pick that made Marty Blake famous. Bellamy never made the NBA, but many believe it had nothing to do with talent and everything to do with the silent and unwritten quota of how many African Americans were able to be on an NBA team at one time.

Connie McGuire: While I was able to obtain his first three seasons at Oklahoma (where he played sparingly), McGuire's transfer to Southeastern Oklahoma left the trail extremely cold. After much digging I was happy to recover his stats in games played and total points for the season.

Charles Hardnett: It was difficult, but I acquired Hadnett's complete stats for his last two years at Grambling. Through additional research I obtained rebounds, points, and games played for his Freshman and Sophomore seasons. Marty Blake is also responsible for this HBCU pick. Blake was still years ahead of many NBA general managers, with the exception of Red Auerbach of the Boston Celtics. Auerbach played chess in the draft while everyone else played checkers.

Porter Meriwether & George Finley: Statistics for these Tennessee State teammates were extremely hard to come by, but this is also quite normal considering most HBCU's and major colleges of this time. Meriwether's career points were easier to obtain than points by year and games played, but his career is mostly bare except for his junior year where I found complete information. Finley is somewhat of a mystery man. I found very little on him and it's a mystery as to why he isn't listed on the roster for his first two years. I gained his senior season totals, but anything prior remains to be uncovered.

Reggie Harding: Not many young NBA fans know of Reggie Harding, but he (not Moses Malone) was the first modern player to enter the league out of high school. Despite his youth, the Pistons decided to put this raw player in the Midwest Professional Basketball league. He played one season for two different teams, but with limited time due to attitude problems with coaches. Unfortunately, the numbers from that league are spotty at best. The NBA may be grateful for the low level news reporting of the 1960's. In today's time, Harding would be a public relations nightmare. Everything about Harding was shady. His friends were drug dealers, gamblers and hustlers. He was a heroin & cocaine addict with periods of bizarre behavior, and he often disappeared hours at a time before showing up late for games with a glazed look. Harding was later murdered in Detroit. It is suspected that he owed money to drug dealers.

Highlights:

Bill Bridges: Despite his 6-foot-6 frame, Bridges was a dominant rebounder and defender during his thirteen years in the NBA. He was a three time all-star with a career average of a double-double in points and rebounds, but his physical style of play often led to a great deal of fouls. Bridges ended his career with a championship in his final season with the 1975 Golden State Warriors.

Jon McGlocklin: McGlocklin became the first player, along with teammate Flynn Robinson, to represent the Bucks in the NBA all-star game, but the team remained a below average until Kareem Abdul-Jabbar arrived. Abdul-Jabbar's superstar presence drew double teams consistently, which helped to augment McGlocklin's standout shooting ability. In 1971 McGlocklin was a starter for the Bucks one and only championship team.

Bob Love: Love is one of the NBA's smoothest performers, but is often forgotten in Chicago Bulls' history because of the player who followed. The Jordan era may leave Love's name off the tongue of casual fans, but to hardcore fans he remains one of the 1970's most fluid ballplayers. The three time all-star was a mere after thought when the Cincinnati Royals selected him in the 4th round of the 1965 NBA Draft. After bouncing around to NBA teams Cincinnati and Milwaukee, Love was traded to Chicago for a fresh start on a team with a new coach, Dick Motta. Throughout Motta's coaching career he ran his teams with a forward-oriented offensive philosophy, meaning forwards are to get the ball first on offense. This gave Love plenty of opportunities to impress with his silky shooting. After his playing days were over he conquered a long time problem with severe stuttering and can now be seen at numerous speaking venues.

High Tier Role Players: Third and Fourth Round role players selected during this period were spectacular. Don Nelson, Keith Erickson, Barry Clemens, Bob Weiss, Tony Kimball, Jim Davis, Happy Hairston, McCoy McLemore, Wali Jones and Chico Vaughn all played an average of 670 career games in the NBA. The ABA protesters may argue that Vaughn should be left off the list because he played a few seasons with the ABA's Pittsburgh Pipers, but those purists must not forget that Vaughn's 327 NBA career games included him averaging a little over 20 minutes per game. He's definitely a role player, and he may have stayed in the league had the ABA never surfaced.

This is more great stuff out my historical vault. Enjoy these newest profiles and watch for the next release of 3rd and 4th round draft picks (1966-1970).

Enjoy! Matthew Maurer

 
Site Update: Early Entry
Articles
The Early Entry lists from 2005-2009 have been updated with profiles of undrafted players filled with favorites such as D'Mond Grismore, Caner Oner, Ronald Ogoke to name few.
 
1956-1960 3rd-4th Rounds Rundown
Articles

1956-1960 Problems:

Jim Spivey: Jim Spivey is no relation to former Kentucky great Bill Spivey, but he was a tremendous player for Southeastern Oklahoma. That college name may ring a bell thanks to alumnus and rebound king, Dennis Rodman. The school only has record of Spivey's total career points. There is no breakdown, but I was still able gather his scoring and games played through additional research. Yet to be obtained are his remaining college statistics.

Small School Gems: To some degree, Raeford Wells, Ed Kazakavich, Ken Remley, Charles Sharp, and Dan Swartz have various holes in their college stats. If you feel there are any errors in the numbers, please contact me, stating the correction and your source of reference. Unfortunately the stats were built from the ground up and had no singular source, but are a collection of various sources.

Highlights:

Wayne Embry: Hall of Famer Wayne Embry (as a contributor, not a player) was a five time All-Star. As an African American he had several great ccomplishments: Embry was one of the first in all of professional sports to hold a front office position, the very first to be named NBA General Manager, and in 1994, he became the NBA's first black team president (as part of the Cleveland Cavaliers).

Quality Role Players: Role players during this time period were not tremendous as a whole, yet greatly improved over previous years with key players like Dave Piontek, Bucky Bockhorn, and Paul Neumann. This can be attributed to the death of the NIBL (National Industrial Basketball League) and ABL (American Basketball League). Both leagues were unable to compete financially as the NBA rose to prominence and became more attractive to players who might otherwise have gone elsewhere just five years prior.

I'm glad to bring this latest source of draft history out of my vault. Up next will be the release of 3rd and 4th round picks from 1961-1965.

Enjoy! Matthew Maurer

 
1950-1955 3rd-4th Rounds Rundown
Articles

This week begins the roll out of 3rd and 4th round profiles starting with players from the 1950-1955 drafts. At this time access is available from the draft board only.

Because of the large amount of new profiles in the database and the amount of input work involved, it will take more time for the latest profiles to be accessible from "By State", "By College", "By Last Name", "By Position" and "By NBA Teams". My goal is to have that available by winter.

During this time I will spotlight key players and speak a little about the research that still has a few holes in it. Maybe the great basketball minds that come to the site will be gracious enough to fill in those blanks.

The later draft rounds can be accessed from the top of each draft board as highlighted below.


 

1950-1955 Problems:

Stan Christie: I am certain my information is correct, but I need some clarification as to whether he was in the Armed Forces. Because of the fact that he was eligible for the draft despite his junior class status, it leads me to believe he spent time elsewhere (after high school) before attending Southern California.

Charles Marazovich & Paul Hicks: Both are Eastern Kentucky alumni and their first two years of stats have been very hard to find. I was extremely lucky to have the 1949 and 1950 scorebooks, but do not possess the 1947 or 1948 season stats.

1952 & 1953 NBA Draft Order: During this time the NBA was at war with the NIBL (National Industrial Basketball League) and concerned about showing their draft order for fear that the NIBL would have a window into what players they valued and desired. The only team that consistently recorded their order during this time period were the Boston Celtics, which probably had much to do with the Godfather of basketball statistics, Bill Mokray, who was in their employ. Mokray was a great mind with a desire to organize and record anything that had to do with basketball, which was uncommon in those days.

Highlights:

Bud Grant: The pro football Hall of Famer was actually a solid basketball player who spent two seasons playing for his local pro team, the Minneapolis Lakers. Grant left after his second season to pursue a professional football career where he became an excellent Head football coach for the Minnesota Vikings, leading the team to one NFL Championship and four Super Bowl Appearances.

NIBL: The National Industrial Basketball League proved the NBA was justified in their practice of hiding draft orders in 1952 and 1953. Notable players like Howie Williams, Ron Bontemps, Burdette Haldorson, B.H. Born, Dick Boushka, Walt Walowac passed on the NBA for the financial security of various Industrial Clubs. This was a dangerous time for the NBA due to the college basketball scandal that made the talent level scarce and robbed the sport of Sherman White, Jim Spivey and Gene Melchiorre. The NIBL remained a thorn in the NBA’s side for a few more years until they slowly gained financial strength and overtook the NIBL in acquiring superstar talent.

 
It's Coming Soon! 3rd and 4th Round Draft Picks
Articles
By Matthew Maurer

It's been a long road more than two years in the making, but the wait is almost over. It's time to get excited about draft history all over again!

In just a few short weeks you will have access to an additional 1,100 player profiles that can only be found on The Draft Review as I present each and every 3rd and 4th round draft selection dating back to 1950. This comes complete with photos, vitals, and game statistics, plus feature stories on select players that you won't hear about anywhere else.

But the work doesn't stop there. I'm moving on to the 5th and 6th rounds and will continue my work until all players in each of the 21 rounds is made available to you. Much like the work involved with rounds three and four, my ongoing efforts to expand historical references beyond what others have made available takes time, money, diligence, and a ton of coffee!

I'm dedicated to producing the most exhaustive NBA draft history resource that cannot be matched and also look forward to sharing players' personal stories - the tragic, the heartwarming, and the celebratory.

Thanks for being a fan of The Draft Review. Stick around for the ride because there's more to come!

 

 
Republish Seven Deadly Sins of the NBA Draft - Sin #7
Articles

Sin #7: Politics and Pedigree

Like most things in life the NBA draft does not come without politics, which can sometimes be the driving force behind draft selections that don't add up. And when it comes to a player's pedigree, politics almost always seems to be in the mix. Pedigree is generally defined as "a known line of descent". In the basketball world pedigree can translate into the college a player attended, his past accomplishments in high school, or who his parents are. Unfortunately, pedigree appears to boost certain players on draft night and contributes to quality players being selected lower on the board or left totally undrafted.

 

 
Republish: Seven Deadly Sins of the NBA Draft - Sin #6
Articles

Sin #6: USA vs. The World
Every draft usually has a solid core group of international players that are legit NBA prospects, but far too many times rationale gets thrown out the window, imprudence arises, and good U.S. prospects are overlooked in the name of foreign fanaticism. I'm not putting all foreign prospects into one basket to imply that they don't measure up, but it seems as if the common theory at some point in the draft is to sacrifice an American for an international player who is tall with moderate fundamentals.

Take into account Peter Fehse, who the Seattle Supersonics virtually took sight unseen in the 2002 NBA draft. Sure, the youngster has above average ball handling and shooting ability, but Dirk Nowitzki he’s not. Fehse played in Germany's third division, which is terrible.

 
Republish: Seven Deadly Sins of the NBA Draft - Sin #5
Articles


Sin #5: "Hype-nitis"
How many times do fans get duped into a draft story
about a player that no one has ever heard of? Some take it hook, line and sinker, contracting a bad case of "Hype-nitis". The symptoms of this dangerous condition cause one to scour the Internet for stats and YouTube clips on the purported phenom, while joining in forum threads about the latest sensation.

It happens all the time and the best (or shall I say, ridiculous) part of these articles is the anonymous source. For example, the writer may say, “An NBA scout that I found at the game told me this player is as good as anyone in the draft.” It's beyond me why these media outlets attach anonymous sources to their articles as if it gives their story more validity. Their sources usually turn out to be as reliable as a Nigerian email scam.

 
Republish: Seven Deadly Sins of the NBA Draft - Sin #4
Articles


Sin #4: "I want a big man too..."
Podkolzin

The NBA is obsessed with size. The center position is very hard to fill and this demand sometimes makes dreaded examples of GMs in their quest to find the next great big man. This has no doubt led to some draft day busts. Who could forget the amazing story of Pavel Podkolzin, whose tales spun by ESPN writer Chad Ford were greatly published and exaggerated. Despite limited basketball ability or experience, Podkolzin was taken with the 21st pick in the 2004 NBA draft. Not only did he look raw, but he was greatly out matched on the NBA level. Despite a first round flyer and 6 games in a two year NBA career the Podkolzin project was abandoned. One thing is for sure - 3 million dollars should get you more than 6 games if you’re an NBA team.

Although I understand the philosophy behind drafting big men, which is the old adage that you can teach skill but can’t teach height, the disparity between projects that succeed versus projects that fail is huge.

 
Mock Draft Update: 6/20/2009
Articles
The Draft Board has been updated!
 
Republish: Seven Deadly Sins of the NBA Draft - Sin #3
Articles

Sin #3: "He’s working out with ..."
Most agents make it a point to mention who their players are training with as if the athlete will become significantly better. Make no mistake that trainers like Tim Grover, David Thorpe, and Joe Abunassar do a great service, but the general idea that these guys are going to take projected players and catapult them up the draft board can be foolish. You always hear about the improvements in athleticism and diet which are all great, but at the same time it doesn’t amount to a whole new player.

 

 

 
Republish: Seven Deadly Sins of the NBA Draft - Sins 1 & 2
Articles

The NBA draft is a career breaker or maker for many people involved. For some GMs and scouts it will spell the end of a career after selecting players that under perform. For others, it will catapult them to genius status when bringing on board underrated players. Regardless of this, many NBA personnel still practice foolish trends that are high risk high reward moves. Over the course of the next couple of days we will explore these trends – The Seven Deadly Sins of the NBA Draft.
 
Mock Draft Update: 5/27/2009
Articles
The Draft Board has been updated!
 
Remembering Wayman Tisdale
Articles


On Friday, May 15, 2009, Wayman Tisdale passed away at the age of 44 after a courageous two year battle with bone cancer.

On the Court

Tisdale

Tisdale was selected 2nd overall in the 1985 NBA draft by the Indiana Pacers. His 12 year NBA career also included time with the Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns. During that time he averaged 15.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. Tisdale was a reliable low post scorer and regarded as a great teammate and solid competitor. His best days were his early years with Sacramento. He was an excellent fit for former coach Dick Motta’s forward oriented offense.

The Oklahoma alum’s collegiate career is as impressive as it gets. Tisdale was a three time Big Eight Player of the Year and the first in college basketball history to be named first team all American in his freshman, sophomore and junior seasons. He left school for the NBA after his junior season and still holds Oklahoma’s record for all time points and rebounds. His college career was so profound that it propelled him into the College Basketball Hall of Fame 2009.

Off the Court

Tisdale’s story is one example of several important reasons I founded The Draft Review. It’s obviously vital to chronicle players’ careers with background information and statistics, yet I find it as equally important to understand who the players are on a personal level and how success or tragedy shaped their lives.

About two years ago I approached Tisdale for an interview. He politely responded by telling me that he wasn’t feeling well and he would be back in touch after things improved. It wasn’t until after this quick email exchange that I learned of Tisdale’s fight with cancer and the chemotherapy he had recent undergone. This brought back memories of a family member who had also undergone chemo and reminded me of the challenges involved in recovering from this difficult procedure.

 
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