As Hurricane Irene continues its path of destruction along the Carolinas and upper east coast, the University of Miami is in the midst of a “Hurricane” of their own. I thought it would be nice to shift away from the bleak forecast ahead (pun intended) for both situations and instead relive some of the Miami Hurricanes’ glory days by admiring their long history of producing exceptional athletes, uh, I mean STUDENT-athletes (unnecesarry shot, I know, but it was just too easy). Here are some notable Hurricanes alumni and who I think are the best to ever don a professional uniform in each sport. Read more…
CNBC’s Darren Rovell is reporting that one of basketball’s greatest characters, Shaquille O’Neal, is going to work for Turner Broadcasting. O’Neal is reportedly going to be the newest member on Read more…
As the 2011 NBA Draft rapidly approaches (Thursday, June 23), I thought it was a good idea to take a look at some of the guys the Knicks are rumored to have some interest in with their 17th pick. Jimmer Fredette, Chris Singleton, Klay Thompson, Marshon Brooks, Josh Selby, and Nikola Vucevic have been the most talked about names in Knicks camp, so let’s highlight each prospect. Read more…
Alec Burks 6-6/195/SG/Colorado
Some experts have Burks as a lottery pick while others have him being selected in the middle to late first round. Names such as Jimmer Fredette, Klay Thompson, and Marshon Brooks have been talked about and analyzed at nauseum, and rightly so, but Alec Burks definitely deserves to be mentioned among the elite scorers in this year’s draft. I think Burks is vastly underrated among shooting guards. He can create his own shot in multiple ways and isn’t afraid to get into the lane, averaging 8 free throws per game in his final season at Colorado. Burks is a crafty playmaker and is very willing to get his teammates involved. He’s also long, athletic, and quick which makes him capable of being a solid defender in the NBA.
Bottom Line: Burk’s can straight up put the ball in the basket.
My Draft Prediction: 10th overall to the Milwaukee Bucks
Norris Cole 6-2/175/PG/Cleveland State
Cole is a solid all-around point guard. He doesn’t do any one thing spectacular but possesses all the skills needed to play the point guard position. He’s a great ball handler, above average passer, and best of all he doesn’t turn the ball over. Cole had a 2:1 assist to turnover ratio in his senior season at Cleveland State and showed he can play at all paces. He’s also a good on-ball defender and has a tireless work ethic.
Bottom Line: Cole is a complete point guard.
My Draft Prediction: 35th overall to the Sacramento Kings
Jordan Williams 6-9/250/C/Maryland
Williams has shown he’s willing to put in the work to get better. He’s lost upwards of 20 pounds since his freshman year at Maryland which has led to great improvements in footwork and quickness. Williams has also added a solid mid-range jumper to his game. A newly refined jumper, solid frame, and good low post moves make Williams one of the more true and complete big men in this year’s draft. Williams is not an elite athlete by any means, but what he lacks in athleticism he makes up for in his positioning and effort, especially on the glass.
Bottom Line: Williams is an old school banger down low who can go to work in the post and rebounds extremely well.
My Draft Prediction: 45th overall to the New Orleans Hornets
Andrew Goudelock 6-3/200/PG/College of Charleston
Goudelock is one of the best perimeter shooters in this year’s draft and is one of the more intriguing players as well. He can stretch the defense for miles with his unlimited range and is just as proficient shooting off the dribble as he is in spot up situations. Goudelock has also shown that he knows how to get his teammates involved, becoming a very willing passer throughout his college career. He can definitely be a contributing member off the bench in the NBA and can shoot a team back into games.
Bottom Line: Goudelock isn’t afraid of the moment and can fill it up in a hurry.
My Draft Prediction: 46th overall to the Los Angeles Lakers
Charles Jenkins 6-3/220/SG/Hofstra
Jenkins led the CAA in both points and assists per game in his senior season at Hofstra, one of only two players to lead their conference in both categories. Jenkins also finished as the nation’s fourth leading scorer, averaging 22.6 ppg on only 14.5 shots per game. That’s about 5 shots per game less than other high volume scorers like Fredette, Brooks, and Kemba. His ability to score in bunches coupled with the efficiency at which he plays the game will make any team lucky enough to steal him late very happy they did.
Bottom Line: Jenkins knows how to use his body in the lane and has the purest mid-range jumper in the draft.
My Draft Prediction: 30th overall to the Chicago Bulls
JaJuan Johnson 6-10/220/PF or C/Purdue
Johnson is one of the best perimeter shooting big men in this year’s draft. He’s an absolute pick and pop nightmare for opposing teams. He has exceptional touch around the basket and can shoot it with either hand. Johnson is an above average defender who is quick off his feet and adept to blocking shots, especially when coming over in weak side help situations.
Bottom Line: Johnson has high basketball IQ and is a great pick and pop guy.
My Draft Prediction: 31st overall to the Miami Heat
Darius Morris 6-5/190/PG/Michigan
Morris is a very compelling player at the point guard position. He uses his size and frame extremely well on both ends of the court. Morris is very aggressive ont the offensive end, exploding to the basket and always looking for contact. He has an excellent mid-range game and can definitely finish at the rim. Morris is also a great distributor and playmaker, averaging 7 assists per game in his final season at Michigan.
Bottom Line: Morris has great court vision and uses his size very well against other point guards.
My Draft Prediction: 33rd overall to the Detroit Pistons
Hoopsworld.com is reporting that the New York Knicks are close to acquiring the 30th overall pick in this years draft from the Chicago Bulls. They are also reporting that the Knicks are very interested in players like Andrew Goudelock and Darius Morris, both point guards. I think Goudelock will definitely still be available in the second round even though he is a volume scorer, but Morris would be a great pick at 30. Hoopsworld.com is also saying that the Knicks will likely draft Read more…
ESPN’s Chad Ford is reporting that the Knicks are just one of several teams looking to trade up in the draft.
Ford: “Sources say that the Charlotte Bobcats (9), Milwaukee Bucks (10) and Golden State Warriors (11) are also open to moving their pick. In this case the interest is all pretty specific. The Knicks, and a handful of other teams, are trying to get ahead of the Jazz. The target? BYU’s Jimmer Fredette.”
Ford says that the Utah Jazz sitting at #12 really like Fredette and more than likely he’ll be their pick if he’s still around. Jimmer would be a great fit in D’Antoni’s system but at what cost. The Knicks would likely have to give up either Landry Fields or Toney Douglas along with the 17th pick in this year’s draft in order to move ahead of the Jazz. Personally, I would definitely hold onto TD so that he could be used in the potential Jonny Flynn trade I discussed yesterday. I wouldn’t be opposed to moving fields to get Jimmer though. Fields struggled mightily once Melo came over via trade and just looked very uncomfortable on the floor. Jimmer could thrive in an up-tempo offense like New Yorks and will definitely make teams think twice about doubling down on Melo or Amare in the post.
Frank Isola of the New York Daily News is reporting that the New York Knicks and Minnesota Timberwolves have had “preliminary discussions” in regards to a potential trade involving combo-guard Toney Douglas and point guard Jonny Flynn. The Timberwolves’ recent signing of Ricky Rubio (their 5th overall pick from the 2009 NBA Draft) has made Flynn’s role less significant and thus more expendable. Toney Douglas is the name being thrown around in a potential deal for the former Syracuse floor general. Both Douglas and Flynn have had injury issues in the past. TD is coming off of off-season shoulder surgery while Flynn was limited to 53 games last season because of hip surgery. Douglas has clearly had a more productive first two seasons than Flynn has, but Flynn possesses more of the point guard skills the Knicks are looking for in their backcourt. TD has also shown that he can shoot the 3 and play above average defense while at the same time Flynn has struggled with his shot and isn’t near the ball hawk that Douglas is. Nevertheless, I think the trade would benefit both teams. The T-Wolves could use a guy like Douglas who can stretch the defense with his 3 point shooting, and the Knicks would love to have a lottery pick talent at point guard who hasn’t even began to show his true colors in the NBA in Flynn. Note that the Knicks would have to add another player or cash considerations in the trade for Flynn to make the salaries work. Isola thinks that Renaldo Balkman would be the likely player included. This trade is not imminent by any means, but look for the Knicks to make a splash during the 2011 NBA Draft this Thursday.