Friday, April 15, 2011


The National Hoops Report is back. However, we've moved homes. You can find the new site by clicking on the link below.

Monday, November 23, 2009

12 @ 12: Weekend randomness

1. National Hoops Report college player of the week: Wesley Johnson, Syracuse. If you saw him against North Carolina, you know why he is here. The Texas native was amazing against the Tar Heels.

2. National Hoops Report freshman of the week: Rodney Williams, Minnesota. Surprised? I get it. He’s not the sexiest of picks and sure, he was great against a couple of cupcakes last week. But understand this – Minnesota started the season with major question marks and distractions off the court. The bouncy Minnesota native scored 31 points in two games and was Tubby Smith’s best player in the two wins. The true test awaits him this week with games against Butler and Miami.

3. National Hoops Report win of the week: Boston over Indiana, Syracuse over North Carolina, VCU over Oklahoma. Take your pick. Boston’s win is important for a program that is lead by a great, young head coach in Pat Chambers. Think that’ll help with recruits? Syracuse’s win over UNC has been hashed over a million times since it happened last week. You should know what it is a big win by now. Finally, how about Shaka Smart, the latest Boy Wonder to take over the Rams, beating former VCU head man Jeff Capel in Richmond? The Rams still have the punch against the big boys.

4. You hear coaches say this all the time: “Pre-season polls don’t mean anything.” Boy, are they right. The preseason top 25 poll is a hot mess. Here is my attempt at nailing down a Top 15 after the first full week of hoops.

1. Kansas
2. Texas
3. Kentucky
4. Syracuse
5. Michigan State
6. Purdue
7. Villanova
8. Tennessee
9. Washington
10. West Virginia
11. Duke
12. North Carolina
13. Butler
14. Michigan
15. Clemson

5. N.C. State doesn’t have Lorenzo Brown on its roster this year because of academic issues. Brown is now spending a season at Hargrave in Virginia and quickly becoming one of the most talked about players in the nation. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit to see the former Roswell (Ga.) Centennial crack into the top 10 of the high school player rankings in the class of 2010. He and Ryan Harrow will be one of the top backcourts in the ACC next year despite the fact the two are freshman. Sidney Lowe needs that, too.

6. Keep an eye on these two international freshman: Gonzaga’s Elias Harris and St. Mary’s Matthew Dellavedova. The two rookies have caught the West Coast by surprise and by storm. Harris, a 6-7 20-year-old German, is Gonzaga’s top rebounder and third best scorer. Dellavedova, a 6-4 Aussie, is his team’s top scorer and the most impressive two guard on the West Coast so far this season.

7. When my wife perks up and says something during a basketball game, I tend to listen. You see, she’s not a big fan of the game. Maybe because it consumes my time. Whatever, the case, she’ll watch on occasion. This week she said “Why are all of these games empty? No one is going to games.” She is right. No one is going to games early this season. Hardly anyone was in Puerto Rico. No surprise there, really. No one really attended games during the 24 hour marathon. Few were at the Coaches Vs. Cancer event at Madison Square Garden. Hawaii will certainly be packed. But the gym is smaller than my office. I saw a Duke game against UNC Greensboro and there were plenty of seats available on the rackety bleachers at Cameron Indoor. Remember the Final Four in Detroit? Michigan’s paradise was empty this year. Hopefully things will change and the gyms will have more spectators. The game needs it.

8. Oh boy, the Pac-10 is horrible. I heard that a lot this weekend. But is the conference really that bad? As a conference, the Pac-10 is 23-10.

UCLA isn’t up to UCLA’s standards. Stanford is a mixed bag. But is Cal as bad as everyone thinks? They lost to Syracuse and Ohio State without Theo Robertson. Oregon State is that bad, however. Little to debate about that. Oregon lost to a very good Portland team that is well coached by Eric Reveno, who could eventually be the next head coach in the Pac-10. I digress.

But Washington is very good. Arizona State is much better than what people think. Washington State is still a question mark early in the season. Arizona has talent and a good, young, aggressive coach in Sean Miller.

By comparison, the SEC is a combined 33-10 with some of those losses coming to Wofford, Rider, Cornell, Missouri State, Central Florida and UAB.

The Big Ten is a combined 28-9 with some of those losses coming to UT-San Antonio, Duquesne, UNC Wilmington, Tulane, Boston and George Mason.

9. So what now? With the early signing period now over, the dominoes have tipped and some decisions have been made easier for some prospects and harder for others. Tobias Harris picked Tennessee on the final day of the early period. His decision caused Jayvauhn Pinkston’s decision to be put on hold. On the public forum, there are those that say Tennessee is still very strong with the New Yorker. But my belief is Villanova will still be the winner.

When Harrison Barnes picked North Carolina, Duke immediately turned it’s attention to Roscoe Smith.

Everyone turned to C.J. Leslie despite the commitment. He’s one of the few uncommitted guy that is truly leaning in one particular direction.

Terrence Jones of Portland will be the most coveted player on the West Coast.

And what domino will Doron Lamb push over? His recruitment may be the toughest one to truly figure out.

10. Linkage: Andy Katz's Weekly Watch...Allow me to play Santa for a moment (save "Well, J, your gut is certainly big enough" jokes). Face it. Men are tough to shop for, right? Admit it. We are. If your wife or girlfriend or mother or someone that needs a buy a gift for an un-shoppable male, take heed. Try the Tony Ingle book "I Don't Mind Hitting Bottom, I Just Hate Dragging" or the ESPN Encyclopedia of College Basketball...Dave Telep spent the weekend in New Haven, Connecticut for the National Prep Showcase. Here is his coverage (sub required): Day 1, Day 2, Day 3...Eric Bossi was also in New Haven…CBS Sports' Gary Parrish released his top 26 teams in the country...Jeff Goodman of Fox released his top 25.

11. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

12. Here are my 12 football thoughts from the weekend:

A. Dear Santa, I’d like a watch and some common sense for Christmas. Thanks, Les Miles.

B. Dear Santa, I’d like an offensive coordinator’s position in the NFL. Thanks, Charlie Wies.

C. Was it me or did a lot of teams both in college and the NFL go for it on 4th downs on Saturday? Trickle down effect?

D. The BCS computers are on the brink of blowing up Y2K style. Six teams remain undefeated. At least five will remain undefeated by Sunday.

E. What an effort from Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli in Tucson on Saturday night. The double overtime thriller was all about the 5-11 junior from San Francisco. He ran for three touchdowns and passed for three touchdowns. I’m surprised the effort wasn’t fawned all over by national analysts like Tim Tebow. It was a 2008 Tim Tebow-like effort.

F. Speaking of Oregon, it is time for Kellen Clemens, a former Duck, to take over the Jets offense. Mark Sanchez hasn’t just hit the wall. He’s stuck under the rubble of bricks.

G. After starting 6-0, Denver will probably finish 9-7. If the NFL Playoffs were like the NCAA tournament, the Broncos would certainly be on the last four out list.

H. So the Browns and the Lions played in the best game of the year on Sunday, huh? The NFL is the best sports product on the planet. You never, ever know who or what will happen.

I. Ricky Williams should be the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year award winner this season. If you saw him on Thursday night (and few of you did), Williams looked like the old Ricky Williams en route to his three touchdowns for the Dolphins.

J. I’ll be playing defensive tackle, tight end, full back, linebacker, long snapper, coach and pain inflictor on Thanksgiving morning at Lassiter High School in Marietta, Georgia. Feel free to join the world’s greatest Turkey Bowl. Bring some ice and band-aids.

K. Who is the Heisman leader right now? I am full steam ahead for Stanford’s Toby Gerhart. He’s a man amongst boys as a runner and has a very mediocre team playing well above their expectations this season.

L. Who is the NFL MVP leader right now? You can make a strong case for Brett Favre this year. He’s having one of his best years in his 87-year career. The Vikings are playing on another plain compared to the rest of the league because of his energy. Favre moved up to my second place spot behind Peyton Manning.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Time to watch, time to focus

I learned a good lesson today. Live-blogging is vastly over-rated. Time to put this idea to bed. Forever.

I'll have much more on the rest of today's games on the site tomorrow.

Live: Charlotte at Duke

7:40 p.m. Time to put this game to bed. It is 85-50 in favor of Duke. Hard to watch.

7:35 p.m. Tennessee is up 39-6 over UNC Asheville. The blowouts continue.

7:30 p.m.
Andre Dawkins won't be a major player for Duke this year but he'll be the team's top scorer as a junior or senior. He's a star player in waiting.

7:23 p.m.
Jimmy Dykes is nailing it with Nolan Smith. Is he an elite level guard in the ACC? If the answer is "yes" than the Blue Devils are a major contender. If he's a little better than he was last year, it is middle of the pack.

7:12 p.m.
Turning on the tube and seeing the Duke 68, Charlotte 32 score I'm not surprised a bit. That's been the story of the day in this 24 hours of basketball. One team winning big or two teams missing shot after shot after shot. Nolan Smith has 20. Think the Blue Devils can use him this year? He'll be much better off the ball.

Live: Temple at Georgetown

5:36 p.m. The live blog is on an hour (or longer) pause. Duty calls. Can you hear my one-year-old screaming?

4:49 p.m.
Temple is 5-27 from the floor in the first half and 1-10 from three.

4:47 p.m. Halftime score: Georgetown 19, Temple 13. This is, by far, the toughest first half of all of the games today. Thirty-two total points in this match-up. No wonder kids are going to Europe to play basketball.

4:39 p.m.
Temple just hit the 10 point mark. Oh, at 3:40 left in the first.

4:36 p.m.
I've always wondered about Greg Monroe's value at the NBA level. I wonder if he will ever really blossom into the player that so many think he can be.

4:33 p.m.
Lavoy Allen is an impressive rebounder. Always has been. History has proven that if you can rebound in high school, you'll be successful in college as a rebounder.

4:28 p.m.
Nothing like a friend setting you straight. Just had a conversation that went as follows:

Friend: "Just saw on your twitter that you've been live blogging all day today on this basketball stuff."
Me: "Yeah, I'm pathetic."
Friend: "What does your wife think?"
Me: "Haven't asked her."
Friend: "I'll clue you in. She's at my house with my wife. They are mocking you."

4:24 p.m.
Looks like the scoring drought/bad shot selection continues. Total of nine points in nine minutes played in this game.

4:23 p.m.
I'm still stunned by the year that Georgetown had last season. How does a team with that much talent go nearly .500?

4:09 p.m. The Lavoy Allen (Temple) vs. Greg Monroe (Georgetown) match-up should be the best of the day so far. Allen is one of the most under-appreciated players on the East Coast.

4:02 p.m. Welcome to the 16th hour of this very ho-hum 24 hour marathon of college basketball games. Temple travels to Georgetown for what should be a good out of conference game. We have Mike Patrick and Len Elmore calling the game. We have two good coaches in John Thompson III and Fran Dunphy. We have some star power (see Greg Monroe). Hopefully we have a good game.

Live: Arkansas-Little Rock at Tulsa

4:01 p.m. Just woke up from a power nap and apparently the game is over. I think Tulsa won. Not sure if it really matters.

3:25 p.m.
Finally, some excitement. Donte Medder of Tulsa has shown me enough to keep me intrigued for anything longer than 30 seconds.

3:23 p.m.
Charlie Coles' press conference is now on YouTube. Best post-game dialogue this year. Go ahead and end that contest.

3:22 p.m.
I'm tempted to go to the DMV right. That has to be more exciting than this one. Okay, I promise. That's my last complaint about this game. I swear.

3:18 p.m.
Evan Daniels is reporting that West Virginia signed 7-footer David Nyarsuk this week. (Told you this game was slow.)

3:09 p.m.
Ben Uzoh of Tulsa is now 2-10 from the floor. And he's the most talented player from a skills standpoint on the floor.

3:08 p.m.
If this were an AAU tournament, I would have left by now and found a local eatery Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives style for an hour break away from hoops.

2:51 p.m.
Jason Williams just brutalized UCLA's roster during this halftime break. Gottlieb does his homework and just bailed out his teammate.

2:48 p.m.
Ugh. Another sluggish 1st half of basketball in the books.

2:41 p.m.
Little-Rock has no answer for Jordan's size inside. Too big to handle.

2:23 p.m. ebosshoops "Is anybody going to mention that for the most part it's been 24 hours of bad basketball ? That 6am tip on the East Coast was brutal."

2:20 p.m.
Looks like we are in store for another giant offensive game today. Points are just coming a mile a minute. (Those two sentences were scribed in a new font called sarcasm.)

2:13 p.m. Where will Doug Wojick coach next season? He'll be a hot name come March.

2:11 p.m.
Is there a tornado watch in Tulsa? No one is at this game.

2:09 p.m.
Talking about Tulsa being the Conference USA favorite this year. Would agree with that as we start the season. Would like to see how Memphis can grow as the season under Josh Pastner.

2:08 p.m.
Love the Ron Franklin-Fran Fraschilla combo. We need more Franklin on television.

2:06 p.m.
And we are off in Tulsa. Breaking news: Jerome Jordan is huge.

Live: Northeastern at Siena

Getting back to the television for a little bit and prior to the tip, I was actually quite excited about the Siena-Northeastern game. Then I saw the score and the time on the Internet. I quickly debated even watching the game. 20-10 at 5:38 left in the first half. Nevertheless…let’s pick it up from there.

12:35 p.m. Goodness gracious. Can anyone play well today?

12:36 p.m. Siena students take school much more serious than Liberty. Smaller crowd at Siena. Liberty was pretty full.

12:37 p.m. Edwin Ubiles vs. Northeastern right now.

12:40 p.m. Get the feeling in the short time I've been watching that Siena is about to come out with a big second half and the win. Ubiles is doing all he can do and is proving he's one of the elite mid-major players. Maybe even the best mid-major player in the country.

12:45 p.m . Bill Raferty nailed it with Ubiles when he said he knows where he fits. Had a similar conversation with Ubiles when he was in high school. Kids that understand their value and pick a school that allows them to shine always have success. Self-awareness is the cornerstone to success as a player.

12:47 p.m. A lot of my fellow basketball scribes like Matt Janning of Northeastern as the CAA Preseason Player of the Year. He's good, no doubt about it. But I don't think he's the guy for that. First team all-conference, no doubt. But he's not the MVP of the conference.

12:50 p.m. ESPN noted that the first points in the Saint Peters-Monmouth game was scored by a kid named Bacon. If there was a kid with the last name of Benedict, Bill Raferty would have most certainly called him "Eggs."

12:51 p.m. Northeastern up 26-20 at the half thanks to a Janning shot to end the half.

1:18 p.m. The laptop secretly compensated by my wife for the last 20 minutes. We are now new owners of an over-sized Christmas wreath.

1:52 p.m. Wanted to find a good time to write this but never really found the moment. Now seems good. Northeastern head coach Bill Coen is one of the best talent evaluators in the business. He was the magic behind the Boston College steals (Craig Smith, Jared Dudley, Tyrese Rice, etc.) and now he’s finding players and developing them into producers at the mid-level. He’s the king of the follow-up. If he ever received a tip on a player, he immediately chased the lead, did his homework and went hard after a player if he was sold.

1:58 p.m. This has nothing to do with this game but certainly worth space on this site. A good friend of mine called the 24 hour marathon “basketball Viagra."