Archive - 2014 - Article
By Lukas Peng
With the CBA season well into its second half, Emmanuel Mudiay is no longer on the official roster. He suffered an ankle injury in late November versus Xinjiang, a game in which they ended up losing. Without Mudiay, the team lost the next game versus then undefeated Liaoning. That was the last time Guangdong lost.
Conference play begins in earnest as we prepare to burst through into 2015 a second past midnight on Thursday.
And there’s going to be some nifty conference openers on the final day of 2014: Penn State at Wisconsin (Big Ten); Butler at Villanova and St. John’s at Seton Hall (both Big East); UNLV at Wyoming and Boise State at Colorado State (both Mountain West).
So a little over a quarter into the 2015 NBA season and the only thing that seems certain about this heavily anticipated rookie class is that they can't wait until 2016 to show us what they can do. The 2015 NBA season will undoubtedly have several themes before its end, but for this group of first-timers, the 2014-'15 season will go down as the year of the injured rook.
The “Kentucky is the most dominating team since . . .” chatter could get even more pronounced after John Calipari’s team visits Louisville Saturday.
If the Wildcats bus back to Lexington with anything approaching a dominant performance over Rick Pitino’s club, their being unbeaten going into the NCAA Tournament may border on the likely.
The Wildcats are far from anything approaching an exceptional team on the offensive end of the floor right now.
With the exception of Connecticut vs. No. 4 Duke (Thursday) and No. 2 Arizona at UTEP (Friday), it’s a fairly slow week for clashes involving the Power 16 squads.
Things will accelerate on Saturday, though, when top-ranked Kentucky faces UCLA and No. 11 Ohio State takes on North Carolina in a double-dip – televised by CBS – in Chicago.
And, in another Saturday doubleheader (this one in Las Vegas), No. 13 Washington takes on Oklahoma and Utah – with only narrow losses at Kansas and San Diego State – faces UNLV.
The most successful franchises in the NBA usually share quite a few similarities, great coaching, a focused direction, a superstar or a two, and a great fan base. But perhaps the defining characteristics that separates success from dominance, is the rare franchise that can maintain success by optimizing their draft selections despite consistently low draft picks.
Since 1977 Leo Papile has coached some of Boston’s best amateur talent; including the likes of Patrick Ewing, Rumeal Robinson, Michael Carter Williams and Nerlens Noel. Papile’s legendary BABC (Boston Area Basketball Club) program has won 17 National Championships, becoming a consistent winner on the Nike EYBL circuit and over the summer claimed runner up at the AAU Super Showcase.
Last week’s action solidified the top four in this week’s Power 16, even as the Wildcats from Kentucky and Arizona almost proverbially bit off more than they could chew by way of visiting from Texas and Gonzaga.
Atlantic Coast Conference teams Duke (then-No. 2 Wisconsin) and Virginia (Maryland VCU) filled out the top four by moving up a couple of slots apiece with matter-of-fact victories on the road.