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Where's the Hate?
Articles

The Spanish sensation, Ricky Rubio, has declared for the draft. And it's no surprise. This 18 year-old phenom has played, in arguably, one of the world's toughest basketball leagues since the tender age of 15 and evolved into one of the best in the world at his position. NBA teams clamored to follow the "La Pistola" and are jocking him like he's an eighties heartthrob. So they got their wish. Rubio is in the draft. But where's the media hate?

Some of us became quite cynical and frustrated by the NBA's bargaining agreement, as it ended the ability for traditional high school players to pursue an NBA contract. For the most part the rule has definitely been a source of great success. After all, watching Derrick Rose, Michael Beasley, Greg Oden and Kevin Durant dominate the college game has been favorable for the league. It gives free, widespread marketing hype to upcoming star players and revitalized the excitement of the NBA draft.

This has worked tremendously and no one can argue its effectiveness, but what bothers me is the international market's lack of bad press and scrutiny. Few, if any, sports writers talk about how bad foreign players are, like Johan Petro, Pavel Podkolzin, Yaroslav Korolev, or Nikoloz Tskitishvili to name a few. All of these guys could have been in high school when they were drafted.

Consider Darko Milicic who is esteemed as serviceable while Kwame Brown is viewed as a complete disgrace. When you get right down to it they're both complete busts, but Milicic, the international guy, has somehow escaped the deeper fathoms of Bust-topia. Why?

And now the conversation has turned to John Wall possibly entering the draft as a fifth year high school player. Wall says all the right things in interviews because he's smart. He knows if he declares or even mentions that he is thinking about declaring there will be an orgy of hack writers talking about how bad of a pro he will be and what he is missing by not going to college. Meanwhile, international players have a free pass to openly talk about whatever they want because they never get any flack for it.

So Rubio is in the 2009 NBA draft. And I wonder where is the hate is, because if an American high school player declares it will be a Hater's Ball.
 
Phenom Wasteland
Articles

The Phenom Wasteland
It is a place desolate and barren where stories of abandoned phenom glory dwells. And I visited this dejected land in all its gloom to bring back the tales of former recruits who cast off their glory and squandered their talent to the Phenom Wastelands.

Clark Francis, Bob Gibbons, and Dave Telep are just a few of the gurus who make a living watching young men play basketball. They do a solid job of evaluating talent in the difficult and tedious task of grading and ranking 500-800 players each season. They have nailed quite a few prospects but there have also been some significant misses. So how do recruiting gurus go wrong when it comes to a top 25 national recruit who goes bust?

My visit to the Wasteland revealed that it's not what about what happens when the game is played. Rather, it is a lethal dose of bad luck, unfounded player hype, or poor decisions off the court.

It's easy to recall obvious Wasteland dwellers like Schea Cotton, Lenny Cooke, Jerod Ward, Felipe Lopez and Ronnie Fields. But this place also holds the obscure stories of five former top recruits who met with unpredictable and heartbreaking circumstances that derailed their journey to the NBA.
 
When They Were Giants: Long Island University
Articles

Like many who watch college basketball, fans naturally tend to lean toward supporting a powerhouse school or one of the best locally. Nowadays the typical NCAA tournament features UCLA blowing out a lower level college from an average conference. But if you turn back the clock 50 or 60 years neither UCLA, North Carolina, Louisville and many others in today's power conferences could stand toe to toe with yesterday's giants now fallen from grace.

Long Island University was easily one of the most dominant teams of the mid-thirties, forties and very early fifties that pioneered the game with an African American as its star player and a team loaded with Jewish talent. But a point shaving scandal would cause this giant's downfall.
 
Honorable Draftee: The Case for Ben "Benji" Wilson
Articles

The Case for Ben "Benji" Wilson

At the start of the 1983-84 basketball season one thing was clear - Lowell Hamilton was not only Chicago’s top player but one of the nation's top 20 prospects in the 1985 recruiting class. But Ben Wilson would soon surpass Hamilton's glory by becoming Chicago's first to be named the nation’s top recruit.

You can't really blame anyone for sleeping on Wilson. It was only two years prior when he played junior varsity as a freshman, and while he had a solid sophomore year his numbers were modest. Yet it was during this time that things began to take shape for the 6-8 small forward. He adjusted into his quickly growing body while retaining passing and ball handling ability from his days as a guard. Word soon got out about the budding talent and the crazed basketball city of Chicago quickly embraced its newfound native son.

Wilson did not disappoint as he led Simeon High to the state championship with a 30-1 record and success did not stop there. He was invited to attend the prestigious Nike All-American camp where his versatility and feel for the game led many recruiting observers and head coaches to label Wilson the top player in the nation.

Heading into his senior year Wilson was on top of the basketball world. Simeon was a lock to repeat as State champs with Wilson, which became even more assured when he convinced his childhood friend and future NBA player, Nick Anderson, to transfer from Prosser High School.

Illinois, DePaul, and Indiana waited with baited breath to hear if Wilson would select their program. At 17 years-old he was also a new father to a baby boy. His future seemed all but set - just a few years in college before cashing in on the NBA.

The Problem

It was a warm November day; the kind that reminds you of spring. Wilson was just a few days from playing the first game of his much anticipated senior year. He and his high school sweetheart, Jetun Rush, decided to take a walk a few blocks from Simeon's campus. No one would have guessed that the events to unfold on this beautiful day would result in Wilson's murder.

 
Important Notice: Scouting Discontinued
Articles

Dear Friends,

Thanks so much for your patronage and friendship to The Draft Review. It has been a solid 3 years since I first opened up the site on a journey that has been filled with ups and downs. The Draft Review's principles and standards in the basketball industry are unmatched by few. It's because of this commitment to excellence that I have made the difficult decision to stop production on the 2009 Basketball Draft Yearbook and discontinue scouting services to the public (trivia winners will be contacted about receiving an alternate prize of greater value).

After much consideration I have decided to focus more of my energy on draft history and at the same time have accepted a business offer that would cause my scouting to suffer. This decision was not an easy one. How could it be? After all, scouting is something I've done faithfully since 1997. But the business has clearly changed.

Unlike several peers whom I will not name, I am unwilling to compromise my morals to take The Draft Review to higher heights as it relates to Internet scouting. I am proud to say that I have accepted not even one of the unethical proposals from the many that have been made to me in the last several years. All of this has simply left a very sour taste in my mouth.

Unfortunately, the most popular self-made Internet scouting sites have become pawns that are moved by these same unethical dealings, but I refuse to sell my soul and forsake my integrity as it's repeatedly been offered to me.

And now we are heading in a new direction, one free from the politics and anarchy of the Internet scouting business. But this is not the end of The Draft Review. If anything it is a rebirth with draft history as it's primary focus. With scouting discontinued I am free to present even more content as I roll out the 3rd & 4th historical draft rounds at an accelerated pace. Additionally, TDR will still produce the mock, feature current players, and provide the thought provoking articles you have grown to love.

In closing, I thank everyone who has become a part of the site and look forward to seeing you as we bring draft history like it can be found nowhere else!

Thanks so much,

Matthew Maurer
Draft Historian

 
Robert Dozier
NBA PLAYERS
Player Background
By Matthew Maurer
1/6/09

Dozier's rise in basketball came rather late. It was at an age when top prospects are discovered before they finish the 8th grade. He was initially more interested in baseball than hoops but his 6-inch growth spurt after freshmen year led him to rethink his athletic options.

Dozier's sophomore year was nothing more than an experiment as his new found body lacked coordination, but by the time he entered junior year the clumsiness that plagued him was a thing of the past. His tremendous AAU play during the Kingwood Classic really opened up college coaches eyes around the nation, including head coach John Calipari who offered him a scholarship which Dozier immediately accepted. But with the explosion of his stock heading into senior year Dozier decided to re-open his recruitment because he felt he rushed things.

The top 100 prospect committed to the University of Georgia with their offer of playing time. After graduating from Lithonia High School, Georgia's admissions flagged Dozier's SAT because of it's significantly high score. He re-took the test only to score dramatically lower. With his academics out of order he made his way to Laurinburg Prep where he played an integral part in the school's perfect 40-0 record and their 2005 prep national championship. Dozier averaged 14.4 points and 7.5 rebounds on a loaded squad that featured fellow Memphis teammates Antonio Anderson and Shawne Williams (Dallas Mavericks).

In the end Dozier re-committed to Memphis partly because of his relationship with the coaching staff but primarily due to the school's location close to family. Although Dozier is not labeled a troublemaker he's had his share of lumps with Calipari who, despite this, remains loyal to Dozier but stresses that the senior must be dedicated to the weight room this season.

BIOGRAPHY If you have additional information you would like to contribute to any player profile (i.e. missing stats, biography), please click here. Please be aware that you must have a verifiable source.

Statistics

SEASONS

GP

FG%

3PT%

FT%

SPG

BPG

RPG

APG

PPG

2005-06 Memphis

37

40.4

22.2

75.0

0.6

1.1

5.5

0.6

5.6

2006-07 Memphis

37

47.1

29.3

63.4

0.9

1.5

6.2

1.1

9.6

2007-08 Memphis

37

44.0

30.3

67.5

1.1

1.8

6.8

1.1

9.2

2008-09 Memphis

37

51.9

37.5

72.1

1.3

1.6

7.5

1.4

12.9

DIV I Totals

148

45.9

29.8

69.5

1.0

1.5

6.5

1.1

9.3

 

 
Roundball Rant: Eric Snow, Hansbrough, and 1991 UNLV vs. Arkansas
Articles

By Matthew Maurer

I recently watched NBA TV’s “NBA Game Time” hosted by Marc Fein and former
Eric Snow with wife DeShawn
NBA ball player Eric Snow. Somebody please press the play button in Snow’s brain because he's stuck on pause. He's dull, monotone, and has the personality of a comatose snail. My hyperactive son filled up on cookies and Kool-Aid begs me for a nap whenever he sees Snow on the tube. This guy doesn’t give you any kind of insider perspective like Steve Smith and Gary Payton. Nor does he talk with any passion and zest like Chris Webber. Listening to Snow is the equivalent of Ben Stein in the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off..."Bueller? Bueller? Anyone?” I think Snow's wife, DeShawn, is part of the problem. She's got a reality gig on Bravo’s Real Housewives of Atlanta and let’s just say this woman is special like having a hole in head. Every five minutes she talks about how elite she and her family are (no lie). Dealing with that 24/7 probably leaves Snow with very little left in the tank for the job. Maybe DeShawn brainwashed Snow into thinking he's so extremely elite that all he has to do is show up at the studio, look good in his tailor-made suit and viewers will be satisfied. Who knows. But to Snow’s credit he is capable of saying intelligent things and always remains professional and classy, however, in the field he's chosen he needs a quick study course on how to engage viewers. (If DeShawn reads this she'll probably say I'm jealous of her elite-ness.)

Tyler Hansbrough may just be the most under appreciated player in the history of college basketball. But maybe it’s partly his own fault. He doesn’t have that jerk swagger with the "yeah I know I’m a star" grin, and athletically he lacks that one real play that defines him as a SportsCenter highlight. For Hansbrough his high point is battling through a barrage of bodies while keeping his balance for the and-one foul. And he’s white. I know, I know, race supposedly has nothing to do with basketball but in the minds of scouts and media I'm not so sure. How many times have you heard a white player complimented on his sheer "will" and how "he out works everyone"? People in the media, please, for the love of all that is right with the game stop using these tired clichés. If I was to take a drink every time an announcer or color commentator said these worn out words I'd have to be treated for alcohol poisoning. To further compound the issues some of the geniuses in the scouting world feel that Hansbrough doesn’t have first round talent. What games are you guys watching? Rafael Araujo, Kris Humphries, Julius Hodge and Shelden Williams are all draft busts that went in the top 20 of the first round, yet certain scouts project Hansbrough in the 20-25 range. How is this when the players mentioned did less? These scouts are lucky they live in the sports world where accountability is a non-factor or else they'd be in the unemployment line.

I have some old school games that I had the opportunity to watch over the holiday. 1991 UNLV versus Arkansas. Man, what a game. We're talking about nine NBA draft picks with seven of them in the first round! Arkansas was armed with Todd Day, Oliver Miller, Isaiah Morris, and Lee Mayberry. Mighty UNLV had Larry
Anderson Hunt
Johnson
, Stacey Augmon, Greg Anthony, Elmore Spencer, George Ackles and Anderson Hunt. Hunt was such a special player. I know this guy’s name is synonymous with why you shouldn’t leave school early, but his story is more complicated than that. Anderson Hunt is in the rare company of players who were probably ahead of their time. Later that season he declared for the 1991 NBA draft as a junior and left with most of his teammates. As the story goes he went undrafted and was later cut by the Washington Bullets (Wizards) and Boston Celtics. Many league execs said later on that Hunt wasn’t drafted due to his height, which is true. He was 6-1 to 6-2, but how much of this had to do with the league environment? If you look at the league’s shooting guards at that time most starters were in the 6-5 to 6-7 range. Today it's a different story. Ben Gordon, Allen Iverson, Eric Gordon, Eddie House and Shannon Brown to name a few all drop below what would have been the shooting guard standard in the NBA of the early nineties. Hunt's great defense, sweet shooting stroke and athleticism would have been huge assets in today’s market. Even vaunted NBA scout Ryan Blake said in an ESPN story that Hunt’s only problem at the time wasn’t talent, but height. He was “a 6-2 shooting guard that needed to play point in the NBA," said Blake. "Kenny Anderson came out that year. [Execs] are going to take guys that have more of an upside, that can come in and help that position (point guard) right away. It all came down to that."

Getting back to the game, final score was 112-105, UNLV.

 
Sam Young
NBA PLAYERS
Player Background
By Matthew Maurer
12/31/08

Young first caused heads to turn the summer of 2004 when he played AAU in the Las Vegas Showcase. His intensity, ability to score, and sheer athleticism made coaches take notice.

At Friendly High School in Maryland Young's team needed his size desperately, which often kept him away from the perimeter. Young topped off his senior year with a state title but academic problems prevented him from entering college. He spent a prep year at Hargrave Military Academy which proved to be an excellent move, as he became Scout.com's National Prep School Player of the Year after averaging 23 points and 11 rebounds per game. Although Young's recruiting was limited due to being undersized at power forward, his play catapulted him to a top 75 national ranking and garnered scholarship offers from Virginia Tech, Penn State, and Miami (FL) before he committed to Pittsburgh under head coach Jamie Dixon.

Over the past three years Young has gone from an undersized power forward with few fundamentals to a legitimate small forward prospect. His rise actually led some to speculate his early entry into 2008 NBA draft but he quickly informed everyone that he was staying for his final year. The winner of the Big East Conference's Most Improved Player of the Year award could finish his career among Pittsburgh's top 10 scorers depending upon his senior year performance.


Premium Historical Comparison: Chris Morris
Substandard Historical Comparison: Joey Graham

Strengths:
• High Flyer
• NBA Ready body
• Tremendous Finisher
• Superior Athlete
• Long arms
• Work Ethic
• Perimeter Defense
• Solid Rebounder
• Absorbs contact on finish
• Impressive physical tools
• Effective shooter
Weaknesses:
• Court vision
• Ball handling skills
• Upside
• Shooting off dribble
• 1st step
• Settles for jumpers
BIOGRAPHY If you have additional information you would like to contribute to any player profile (i.e. missing stats, biography), please click here. Please be aware that you must have a verifiable source.

Statistics

SEASONS

GP

FG%

3PT%

FT%

SPG

BPG

RPG

APG

PPG

2005-06 Pittsburgh

33

52.1

19.0

69.3

0.7

0.6

4.4

0.8

7.9

2006-07 Pittsburgh

37

45.8

31.0

59.7

0.6

0.5

3.0

0.7

7.2

2007-08 Pittsburgh

37

50.3

38.3

69.0

1.1

1.1

6.3

1.2

18.1

2008-09 Pittsburgh

36

50.2

37.2

74.0

1.0

0.8

6.3

1.1

19.2

DIV I Totals

143

49.5

31.7

67.9

0.9

0.8

5.0

1.0

13.2

 

 

 
Norm Cook: The Insanity of Life
Articles

If you've kept up with recent basketball news you know that Norm Cook, the once great Kansas player, passed away on Monday December 22, 2008. But what you probably won’t read about is the tragedy that played out for more than half his life.

At a very young age Cook witnessed his father gunned down by violent Chicago gangs. The violence then continued as gangs constantly harassed Cook before he moved to Lincoln and found peace on the basketball courts. It was here that he became a Lincoln High legend, leading them to the quarterfinals of the Illinois state tournament.

The move not only proved positive for Norm but also benefited the rest of the Cook family as his siblings Steve, Joe, and Stacey were sensational athletes. Joe went on to play basketball for Duke University and Stacey finished second in the 440 yard dash to future Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee. Norm continued his basketball career playing for the University of Kansas and head coach Ted Owens. At an age when freshmen don't typically contribute Cook was immediately inserted into the starting lineup on a team that would eventually make the Final Four. After three years he was the first modern athlete in Kansas’ illustrious program to leave school early for the NBA. The All-Big 8 conference was selected by the Boston Celtics in the 1976 NBA draft before serious problems started.

 
Wait, Whose 12-0?
Articles

Submitted by Ben Chew, TDR Fan Blog

Alright everyone, here is a pop quiz for all of you. There are currently two teams that are ranked in the top 25 who have 12-0 records. Who are the two?

For all you Big East fans, I give you that Pittsburgh is 12-0. Then who is the other team? Most people would probably figure that it's someone from the ACC and that's right. Is it North Carolina? Wake Forest? Duke?

Nope, it's the Clemson Tigers. Albeit, many of you are probably saying that they haven't beat anyone and that might be rightfully so. However, they did beat Miami by a large margin and Illinois in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge if that matters to anyone.

I'm not saying that Clemson is a world-beater by any stretch of the imagination but looking at their line-up it's not hard to be impressed. They have one of the best shooters in all of college basketball with Terrence Oglesby and do all starter KC Rivers. This success shouldn't come as a surprise since this Clemson team was the runner up in the ACC tournament to North Carolina.

This could arguably be the best team that Clemson has had since the 1979-80 season when the team was lead under head coach Bill Foster. That team was lead by Larry Nance and reached the elite eight in the NCAA tournament. Don't be surprised if the success from this year's team matches or surpasses the team of 1980. Just start paying attention to them.

 
Ahmad Nivins
NBA PLAYERS

Player Background
By Matthew Maurer
12/20/08

Nivins demonstrated great aptitude for the game of baseball growing up and dreamed of making it big in the major league. He perceived basketball as nothing more than a recreational sport to engage in after baseball season's end. That is until his high school freshman year when he decided to give basketball a try due in large part to a growth spurt and the support of his father. This made the transition to hoops a natural progression.

With his first year of organized ball under his belt Nivins proved to be a non-factor, but in his sophomore year he showed great promise. Due to luke warm competition Nivins soon transferred to basketball powerhouse St. Anthony where he learned under the tutelage of Coach Hurley. The move paid off as his play the following year at the ABCD camp earned the eyes of local schools Rutgers and Seton Hall. Before the start of his senior season Nivins ended his recruitment after an enjoyable visit to St. Joseph's sealed the deal. Nivins stated that head coach Phil Martelli made him feel very comfortable. The top 150 prospect averaged 15 points, 10 rebounds and 5 blocks per game before bowing out of the state tournament against rival high school St. Patrick's. Upon entering St. Joseph's Nivins slowly developed into a dependable low post threat after a modest freshman year where he earned all-rookie honors in the Atlantic-10 conference. His biggest obstacle is to develop a better presence on the boards and keep his intensity level and focus consistent.

BIOGRAPHY If you have additional information you would like to contribute to any player profile (i.e. missing stats, biography), please click here. Please be aware that you must have a verifiable source.

Statistics

SEASONS

GP

FG%

3PT%

FT%

SPG

BPG

RPG

APG

PPG

2005-06 St. Joseph's

30

61.3

00.0

70.6

0.4

1.3

  5.0

0.3

 6.1

2006-07 St. Joseph's

31

63.1

00.0

67.8

1.0

1.0

  7.6

0.4

16.6

2007-08 St. Joseph's

33

64.7

---

74.1

0.7

1.2

  5.8

0.5

14.4

2008-09 St. Joseph's

32

61.2

00.0

78.7

0.8

1.8

11.8

1.0

19.2

DIV I Totals

126

62.6

00.0

72.9

0.7

1.3

  7.6

0.6

14.2

 
Anatomy of a Man Crush
Articles

By Hannah S. Brown

The title may a bit misleading because, as a woman, I'm not about to break down the interworkings of Man Crush to a bunch of male basketball junkies who, no doubt, are crushin' on some baller as we speak. This is merely a plea for understanding.

 

My 12 year-old son (let's just call him Andrew) has been man crushing like crazy going on 3 years now and, quite frankly, it's weird. It always begins preseason with talk of some player I've never heard of but no doubt get to know very well by the time March Madness rolls around. First it was O.J. Mayo, then it was Brandon Jennings, after that, Ty Lawson, and now its Mike Rosario.

My view of a Man Crush is probably lopsided and womanly bias. From the outside looking in it appears to be an unhealthy obesession that results in a continuous babbling on about a player as if the man crusher is being paid to endorse him for GreekGods R Us. For boys (and maybe grown men, I don't know), it's SLAM and Sports Illustrated picture clippings plastered all over the bedroom walls with the magazines' remains strewn all over the floor amid dirty socks and smelly shorts. It's viewing the player's 40-second high school game clip on YouTube over, and over, and over again. And it's defending the player even when he sucks to the utmost, making the man crusher look as dumb and irrational as the "masterminds" behind the drafting of Danilo Gallinari.

But I have learned one thing, and please correct me if I'm wrong. A Man Crush can be recanted and revoked at any given time. How do I know this? I'm still ticked about the fifty plus dollars I dished out last season to buy my kid the #5 Ty Lawson jersey he bugged the hell out of me for. Then good 'ole Ty proceeds to twist his ankle and go soft on the team for the rest of the season. Man Crush dead. Fifty plus dollars wasted. Boy with #5 UNC jersey now wants #50 UNC jersey.

Just my two cents on what doesn't make sense. I'll leave you men to your crushes.

 

 
Antonio Anderson 2008 Underclassmen
Drafts
  • Name: Antonio Anderson
  • Position: Shooting Guard
  • Height: 6-6 (1.98m)
  • Weight: 200 (91kg)
  • College Team: Memphis Tigers
  • Nationality: American
  • Hometown: Lynn, Massachusetts
  • Birthdate: 6/5/1985
  • Drafted: Declared for the 2008 NBA Draft but withdrew... Automatically eligible for the 2009 NBA Draft but was not drafted by an NBA franchise...

Player Background
By Matthew Maurer
12/17/08

Antonio Anderson first earned his stripes playing basketball against his brother Anthony, a former Division II standout. He credits this time period to the development of his toughness and perseverance. Anderson was a dual sport star in football and basketball by the time he entered Lynn Tech high school, but his immediate success on the hardwood made football a secondary option. He dominated the basketball league as he took the school to the Massachusetts state title his junior year.

Once Anderson recognized the need to further boost his stock and, most importantly, prove himself against better competition, he transferred to Maine Central Institute where his play catapulted him onto the national recruiting scene. But despite this success his work on the prep level wasn't complete as he found himself needing to shore up his academics. The talented guard left Maine Central Institute to take a post grad year at Laurinburg Prep where he teamed up with future Memphis teammates Shawne Williams (Dallas Mavericks) and Robert Dozier. While averaging 12.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game Anderson helped lead Laurinburg Prep to the national prep-championship with a perfect record of 40-0.

As a top 75 prospect he selected Memphis over Missouri and Michigan State because he felt John Calipari could give him the best chance of making it to the NBA. Anderson has been one of the country's best all-around players with quality passing, scoring and defending. He declared for the 2008 NBA draft but withdrew as he wasn't pleased with the feedback that he was projected as a second round pick.


BIOGRAPHY
If you have additional information you would like to contribute to any player profile (i.e. missing stats, biography), please click here. Please be aware that you must have a verifiable source.

Statistics

SEASONS

GP

FG%

3PT%

FT%

SPG

BPG

RPG

APG

PPG

2005-06 Memphis

37

42.1

36.5

63.3

1.5

0.3

3.4

2.8

7.2

2006-07 Memphis

36

39.0

24.5

63.4

1.6

0.3

4.1

3.6

8.0

2007-08 Memphis

40

40.8

33.3

57.0

1.2

0.3

3.7

3.4

8.6

2008-09 Memphis

37

45.0

25.4

73.3

1.4

0.5

4.8

4.5

10.2

DIV I Totals

150

41.7

30.0

64.1

1.4

0.3

4.0

3.6

8.5

 
The Curious Case of Stephen Curry
Articles

Submitted by Ben Chew, TDR Fan Blog

When most college coaches were scouting Stephen Curry, the major knock on him as a player was his size and inability to score near the basket. After a whirlwind season last year where Curry lead his team to an elite eight appearance in the NCAA Tournament and earned himself an Associated Press Second Team All-American, those concerns seem to be wavering. The season that Stephen Curry has put up so far this year has only proven that his success last year wasn't a fluke.

The real question is how did Stephen Curry not get recruited by any major program?

 
Roundball Rant: Big Baby, EA Sports & International Prospects
Articles
By Matthew Maurer

Thank God some ballers don't take their nicknames literally. "Apollo 33" Jamario Moon isn't risking flight with NASA, Andrei Kirilenko never brandished an AK-47 assault riffle, and Andrew "Boston Strangler" Toney...well, you get the idea. So here we have Glen "Big Baby" Davis getting all watery-eyed on national TV in last week's game against Portland. Davis obviously doesn't know one of basketball's biggest unwritten rules - never cry when your future rests on your persona as an enforcer. Davis proclaimed post-game to have no for regrets for the emotional meltdown, but if you ask me he just flushed his reputation down the toilet. He's always been a fun-loving player, but when you're 6-foot-9 and weigh 289 pounds, crying just isn't an option on the court. Man up, big baby.

Okay, I'm very pissed off at EA sports and have been for a while now. These jerks bought an exclusive deal with the NCAA (just like they did with the NFL) to be the only licensed developer to make games featuring college basketball teams. The outcome is NCAA Basketball 09, which is so bad I honestly have too little time to spell out everything that's wrong with it. My beloved College Basketball 2K series has been shelved, not because the series was bad, but because it was too good. Instead of embracing the spirit of competition and improving their product, those EA chumps took the corporate way and flashed some green to secure themselves as the only provider. WHY? Because they can't beat 2K Sports! EA doesn't understand that people like me have no problem updating the rosters with the new recruits and removing graduates. It's all about 2K9, baby! Screw EA Sports. To all my fellow gamers - don't settle for hamburgers when you can have steak. In the next few weeks I'll post my rosters here on the TDR site as well as in the 2kShare system.

Now I know some will question this, but mark my words. The foreign reign of 13 consecutive years of an overseas player drafted in the first round is in jeopardy. That is unless someone comes out of nowhere, or some team owes an agent a favor or just really feels like reaching. The international flavor is a bitter drink to swallow this year. This is the result of years of NBA teams taking near high school-aged players out of Europe. Now the pickings are super slim. Only Brandon Jennings stands a chance, but he doesn't really count because he's American. And have you checked out his game lately? Jennings isn't exactly killing it overseas right now. Add to the fact that Victor Claver is injured and signs that point to Ricky Rubio staying one more season, and it all adds up to a lukewarm international draft class. I'm sure some publication will put together a fluff piece in the near future about an overseas player that's purported to be shoe-in. And I'm sure some team will be high on that player, as another team, alleged by some oblivious source, will proclaim their plan to draft him in the first if he's available. But please hold the hype. This year's draft class isn't that strong and the prospects are not mind blowing overseas. The Euro dollar may be strong but it'll be American muscle flexing on draft night.

As Jimmy V was celebrated once more this past week for his courageous fight against the cancer that took his life, I also celebrate every other person with cancer who battled just has hard or is presently continuing their battle when no one is looking.

 
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