Archive - 2012 - Article
From December 27th to 29th Stella Azzurra hosted the Citta di Roma, which is the first of the four qualification tournaments (L’Hospitalet, Siaulai and Belgrade the other venues), of the Nike Junior International Tournament. The winner was the Bosnian team KK Spars Sarajevo who topped Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul. Here is a list of prospects that showed the most NBA potential.
Romaric Belemene (1997, 6’9”, SF, Unicaja Malaga, Congo)
Two weeks ago we placed Kansas 2-guard Ben McLemore above Shabazz Muhammad and #3 on the 2013 mock draft and many scouts thought it might be a little high. No other draft prognosticators even had him projected in the lottery. Some had him in the late 20s, while others had him in the late teens. Over the past two weeks, McLemore has lived up to that early projection and now the question has turned to whether he could go #1 overall.
This week’s “Game of the Week” should be no mystery to anyone familiar with all seriously they take their hoops in Kentucky:
Oh, my goodness it’s going to be loud in the KFC Yum! Center when the Louisville Cardinals play host to the Kentucky Wildcats.
Two other games that I’ll likely keep on my DVR for a while: UNLV at North Carolina (Saturday) and San Diego State vs. Arizona (Christmas night in Honolulu).
Anthony Bennett UNLV, 6'7'' PF
The transition process so far has been seamless for Bennett. He went for 25 and 13 against California, not only overpowering defenders inside, but facing up and attacking them off the dribble from the perimeter. A hard worker and high character guy by all accounts, Bennett is sure to impress in workouts and interviews leading up to the draft.
Consider this, before Syracuse and Duke fans commence with their e-mail screeching when they read that Michigan is atop my updated Top 16:
My rule of thumb over a whole lot of seasons of putting together national ratings is “a team that didn’t lose in the previous week can’t be ‘leap-frogged’ in the ratings – no matter how well teams below it might have played”.
Last year's draft had just one International first rounder with Evan Fournier going 20th overall to Denver. This year's International crop looks to be significantly stronger with two likely first rounders, Dario Saric and Rudy Gobert, plus a number of other first round hopefuls. There are still seven months before the 2013 NBA draft, but European competitions are in full swing. Here's a look at the top prospects coming from outside the US.
The Game of the Week – even for those who don’t reside in Gainesville, FL, or Tucson, AZ – takes place out west Saturday night.
The unbeaten Florida Gators and Arizona Wildcats, who have clearly established themselves as the favorites to bag the Southeastern and Pac 12 conferences, respectively, hook up in Tucson.
It could be the most watched/DVR’d game of November and December . . . although Kentucky at Louisville two weeks later will give it a run for its ratings, of course.
Kentucky’s freshmen are going to be a heck of a lot better, collectively, come March than they’ve been so far.
But after what happened to the Wildcats last week (losses to Notre Dame and Baylor), and what Florida did to Marquette on Thursday night, we can go ahead and agree that the Gators looked every bit like the best team in the Southeastern Conference – for the time being, at least.
Ben McLemore, Kansas
McLemore appears comfortable out there, and looks the part of an NBA 2-guard. He's been a little inconsistent to start the year, particularly shooting the ball, but his potential is unmistakable. He's drawn comparisons to Ray Allen due to his size, athleticism and silky shooting stroke, and smooth all around game.
In baseball and horse racing, the Triple Crown is seen as the ultimate individual honor that is rarely achieved. On the unique occasions that someone reaches this milestone, their name goes down in the history books to be looked upon with reverence forever. Affirmed was the last horse to win the award, 34 years ago. With baseball’s Miguel Cabrera ending a 45-year Triple Crown drought this season, America has been reminded that such an achievement is still possible in this day and age.