Monday, October 5, 2009
12 @ 12: Weekend randomness
1. I spent the weekend in Boca Raton at the adidas Superstar Showcase at Lynn University and really came away impressed with the start-up event. The players competed, played smart and took advantage of the stage and opportunity all the while not playing selfish or out of control. Matt Ramker did a great job of assembling a top-notch staff and ran a terrific event. The event will be a staple on the National Hoops Report travel calendar from here on out. Saturday was about the younger guys. Sunday was about the next group of prospects from the Sunshine State.
2. The top 2010 player from the event was: Cady Lalanne of Oak Ridge High School (pictured).
3. The top 2011 player from the event was: Adonis Burbage of Orlando Christian.
4. The top 2012 player from the event was: Ishmael Douda of Grandview Prep.
5. The top 2013 player from the event was: Malik Martin of Monsignor Pace.
6. After spending the weekend in Florida, I’m excited to roll out the top 12 players from 2009 and the Hot Dozen for the Sunshine State for tomorrow’s 12 @ 12.
7. Get better Emmanuel Negedu. The Tennessee freshman spent last weekend a Knoxville hospital after having to be revived with a difibulator. Negedu is one of the most engaging young men I’ve ever covered on the prep scene. He has an infectious personality and a motor that didn’t come with an off switch. I hope nothing but the best for a guy that wants to be the best and not just in basketball. He is a future leader of men.
8. Why do I have the sneaking suspicion that the off-the-court issues Kansas is currently having will really sidetrack this team’s quest for a National Championship. The talent is certainly there. But is the mental focus? Champions have a steel wall with Kevlar coatings around their minds. The focus is solely on winning all the marbles. I do wonder if the Jayhawks are in that mental state.
9. If you need a good read for lunch, check out ESPN's story and breakdown of the all-time rankings of college basketball programs. A lot to go through but if you are a college hoops addict, and I assume you are, make sure you read it.
10. I’ve been to a lot of individual showcases this month and there are two things that I value more than anything this fall: Guys that can hit jumpers and kids that compete.
11. My Georgia Hoops Fall Showcase is quickly approaching on Oct. 17. This is the first year that I have opened it up to non Georgia residents. If you are interested in attending, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The event is open to all non Division I programs to evaluate players, too. College coaches, please spread the word. Former University of Georgia interim head coach Pete Hermann is our lead instructor. What’s he doing before he works our camp? Spending time with Larry Brown and the Charlotte Bobcats. Are you in the camp?
12. Here are my 12 football thoughts of the weekend:
A. Oregon is back. The Ducks could win the Pac-10, especially if LaGarrett Blount returns to the team before the Oct. 31 game against Southern Cal. The Ducks average nearly 200 yards a game on the ground without him.
B. Patrick Willis of the 49ers is the best player in the NFL that few people are talking about.
C. What an amazing run after the catch from Brandon Marshall. His snag and sprint kept the Broncos, yes THE BRONCOS, undefeated and it sent the Cowboys back to Dallas looking for hope in an already dismal year.
D. Terrence Newman of the Dallas Cowboys is the most overrated defensive back in the NFL.
E. Ben Roethlisberger is playing for the absolutely perfect team and for the perfect coach. He’s working on his place in Canton if you ask me. Have you ever seen a quarterback that big, that good and that poised in the face of adversity on the field?
F. If you are a hardcore NFL fan, make sure you follow Pro Football Talk, Peter King, Adam Schefter and MoveTheSticks.com.
G. These celebration rules in college football are too inconsistent and ridiculous. The Georgia-LSU game was ruined or enhanced (depending on who you talk to) because of two terrible “celebrations.” Yet, Notre Dame doesn’t get a penalty for the near-minute long celebration by tight end Kyle Rudolph against Washington. Stripes, be consistent.
H. Cincinnati is 5-0 and quietly in the top 10. With seven games remaining, the Bearcats only face one top 25 team (this weekend at No. 23 South Florida) for the remainder of the year. If Brian Kelly’s team can run the table, will Cincy get a shot at the National Championship?
I. Other than Sam Bradford, it has been a relatively healthy season for stars in both the NFL and NCAA.
J. What is more surprising this year: the Tennessee Titans being 0-4 or the Denver Broncos 4-0?
K. Don’t call me on Saturday night. The LSU-Florida game is the best game of the year to date. The two programs are the most physical programs in the country and there are just pros everywhere you look in this one. Think Trent Johnson and staff will try to have over a 100 basketball prospects on campus? What a recruiting opportunity!
L. Who is the Heisman leader right now? Colt McCoy of Texas sat at home in Austin over the weekend with an off week. And so did his top spot in my Heisman list. The next three weeks will be telling for the Longhorn gunslinger.
M. Who is the early NFL MVP leader right now? Peyton Manning is starting to separate himself from the rest of the pack and he is the most valuable individual on any of the 32 teams in the NFL. He alone has raised the level of play with a team with a new head coach, new receivers and a new backfield.