NCAA

notebookheader NCAA - The Draft Review

If there is anything that stands out this year in college basketball, it's the small school players who will have an impact on the 2010 NBA draft. Overall, this year's draft class does not appear to be that deep or that talented, and judging from the mocks draft around web, including NBAdraft.net and yours truly here at TDR, it seems this year's class has at least five to ten players projected who wouldn't see the light of day in a normal, stronger year.

Or is this year's small school class exceptional? Afterall, we're not just talking about one standout, like a Lester Hudson, but at least five thus far who have been visited by NBA scouts.

Top Small School Prospects

  1. Keith Benson - Oakland - C
  2. Charles Garcia - Seattle -SF/PF
  3. Artsiom Parakhouski - Radford - C
  4. Edwin Ubiles - Siena - SG
  5. Kevin Palmer - Texas A&M Corpus Christi - SG

duosmallcenter NCAA - The Draft Review
Parahouski (left) & Benson (right) NBA prospects look bright.
There's no doubt this surge in small school prospects has much to do with the fact that two of the five happen to fill one of the hardest spots in the league, the Center position. Benson and Parakhouski both have their share of fans among scouts. In particular, Benson clearly has a nice upside and a still developing frame with a good grasp on fundamentals. On the other hand, Parakhouski is a virtual opposite with his big frame and less fluidity than Benson, the much more finished product.

Gauging these players from a historical draft perspective, Benson has the potential to go as high as another small school product, Jeff Foster, who was drafted 21st overall out of Southwest Texas State (now known as Texas State) in the 1999 NBA draft. As for Parakhouski, I feel Dan McClintock, drafted 53rd overall out of Northern Iowa in the 2000 NBA draft, is a good representation. In the case of Parakhouski I wouldn't be shocked if he goes in the early part of the draft.

Rounding out the remaining Top 5 are perimeter players, with the exception of Charles Garcia who is at the college level a combo forward. To put it mildly Garcia is enjoying the newly reintroduced Division I program. University of Seattle has a very rich basketball history and is no stranger to the NBA draft, boasting six former players drafted in the first and second rounds. Yet the hype on Garcia has been tremendous and, in my opinion, bit too exuberant.

It's not to say this hype is faithless. There is definitely some girth to the press Garcia has received, but a top twenty draft pick? I don't know about that. From a historical perspective Garcia reminds me of Jerome Beasley, who was drafted 33rd overall out of North Dakota in the 2003 NBA draft.

Rounding out the bottom are Edwin Ubiles of Siena and Kevin Palmer of Texas A&M Corpus Christi. Both players must continue to build on their senior seasons and have a good showing at the Portsmouth Invitational tournament, but this is not a knock on either player. More than ever, draft night of 2010 will be greatly impacted by what goes on at the pre-draft camps.

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."

tx_calipari2 NCAA - The Draft Review
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.

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.

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?

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.