NCAA Daily Links
December 6, 2011
Not too many games to report on last night, but the news never stops for college basketball and its future at this time of year. So, here is todays NCAA Daily:
Breaking Down Some Rising Sophomores in 2011
College basketball is at a time where many expect freshman to be immediate contributors. Most of the time, if a freshman is rated in the top 50-100, if they do not make an immediate impact, some label them as being busts or disappointments. But, for every "one and done" player who makes enough of an impact to be a high NBA draft pick after only one year in college, their are those who take time to develop. These prospects may not be on the same level as a Jared Sullinger, Harrison Barnes, Perry Jones III or Terrence Jones, but they definitely have a chance to eventually stake a claim as being solid players at the college level and possible NBA draft prospects.
Seth Davis breaks down some sophomores who have taken definite steps forward this year as compared to their freshman season. Many of these players were on the draft radar and now that they are improving, we are seeing what all of the fuss was about. The marquee name on the list was a player who was expected by many to take a huge leap forward in Terrence Ross. The Washington Huskies wing is a major athlete with good size who can score in a variety of ways. He is thought to be a possible lottery prospect in the 2012 NBA Draft, if he chooses to enter. Playing the role of go-to guy on a Huskies team that lost it three leading scorers from last years squad, Ross has upped his averages from 8 ppg and 2.8 rpg as a freshman to 16.2 and 6.7 through the early season.
The list also includes much improved centers Fab Melo from Syracuse and Meyers Leonard from Illinois, both of whom look vastly improved from there freshman selves. Davis chose to leave off the players who were "too good" as freshman and looks at those who are looking to have break out seasons after playing minor roles as first year players. He includes breakdowns on guards such as Marquette's Vander Blue, Villanova's James Bell, Wisconsin's Ben Brust, Georgetown's Markel Starks and Stanford's Aaron Bright as well as Ross, Melo, Leonard, Connecticut forward Tyler Olander and Indiana forward Will Sheehey. He even lists those he chose as rising sophomores in 2010, many of whom are indeed possible 2012 and 2013 NBA Draft prospects.
Thad Matta Claims Sullinger's Back Problems Will Not Linger
(Staff Report/Sporting News)
On Saturday, Thad Matta won his 300th game as a college coach as Ohio State crushed Texas Pan-American 64-35. Matta did this with Jared Sullinger on the sidelines, as his star player was suffering back spasms. Matta does not feel these problems should linger and told Sullinger's father, coach Satch Sullinger, that he believes the spasms may be related to plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation in the band between the heel and ball of the foot.
This is supposed to be a very painful injury, but the training staff is working with Jared to do anything they can to get it under control. Ohio State's next game is on Saturday against #13 Kansas and having Sullinger to match-up against Thomas Robinson would be incredibly key. Matta believes this will happen, we will all have to just wait and see.
Mike Krzyzewski Named Sportsman of the Year By Sports Illustrated
(Steve Wiseman/The Herald-Sun, Durham, NC)
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is set to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated as their 2011 Sportsman of the Year. Krzyzewski recently surpassed coach Bob Knight for most wins in NCAA men's college basketball history. He is joined on the cover by Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summit, who is named Sportswoman of the Year and holds the career records for NCAA womens basketball. The pair is set to be honored in a ceremony in New York tonight. Krzyzewski joins 1972 winner John Wooden and 1997 winner Dean Smith as the only men's college basketball coaches to have won the award. This is also the eigth time that a pair has won the award. Amazing achievement from two fantastic coaches.
Niels Giffey Makes Case For Increase Court Time
(Phil Chardis/Journal Inquirer)
Connecticut has a pretty loaded squad by most accounts. They have back court stars such as Jeremy Lamb, Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright, plus their front court rotation seems to be five deep with DeAndre Daniels, Roscoe Smith, Tyler Olander, Alex Oriakhi and Andre Drummond. Well, it looks as if the Huskies may need to include another spot for 6'7 wing Niels Giffey.
The German import made a case for himself after an impressive 14 minute showing against Arkansas, which saw him play strong defense on Arkansas guard BJ Young. He also did not commit any turnovers while scoring 4 points, grabbing a couple rebounds and notching an assist and steal. Giffey played some decent basketball in flashes last year and he may find a slightly larger role for himself this year.
Utah Suspends Guard Josh Watkins
(Bill Oram/The Salt Lake Tribune)
First year coach Larry Krystowiak has not exactly gotten off to a great start as his Utes are 1-6 on the season. So, with his suspension of Utes leading scorer Josh "Jiggy" Watkins, Krystowiak is definitely sending a message that will hopefully get through to his team. The suspension is indefinite and at the very least Watkins will miss their game on Wednesday against Cal State Fullerton. A 6'0 senior guard, Watkins is averaging 17.7 ppg but has been questioned for making to many mistakes and playing shotty defense. Hopefully this is a wake-up call and the Utes get back on track for their first season in the Pac-12.
Detroit Names New Court After Dick Vitale
(Perry A. Ferrell/Detroit Free Press)
Former Detroit Titans coach Dick Vitale was honored yesterday as the university chose to name their new state of the art court after the popular announcer. Vitale was a coach at Detroit for four seasons, accumulating 78 wins and a Sweet 16 NCAA Tournament appearance for the Titans. Vitale is much better known for his work with ESPN college basketball than his time as a coach, but he was incredibly thankful for the honor, stating that without his time coaching at Detroit, there would be no Dickey V. The Titans christened the new court at Calihan Hall with a 69-63 win over St. John's. Star PG Ray McCallum scored 21 points while Chase Simon had 20. St. John's got 19 and 11 from freshman Moe Harkless in the loss.
Okaro White Has Career Night in FSU Win
(Brandon Mellor/Seminoles.com Senior Writer)
Seminoles forward Okaro White had a career best 20 points to go with 7 rebounds in a 76-51 win over Charleston Southern. This win comes after a three game losing streak to the likes of Harvard, Connecticut and Michigan State. Junior guard Michael Snaer scored 13 for the Noles while big men Bernard James and Xavier Gibson each scored 12. The Seminoles had 21 turnovers on the game, so that is something they have to cut down. On the "Young Krefty Watch", fan favorite Jon Kreft had 4 points, 5 rebounds, a block, 2 TO's, 3 fouls and several broken hearts in 17 minutes.
Council One Rebound Away From Triple Double as Providence Friars Crush Brown Bears
(Brendan McGair/Pawtucket Times)
Junior guard Vincent Council came incredibly close to a triple double with 21 points, nine rebounds and 11 assists as Providence improved to 7-2 on the season after beating Brown 80-49. Guard Bryce Cotton and forward LaDontae Henton each added 19 for the Friars. The 6'2 Council is putting up strong numbers to start the season with 17.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg and 5.8 apg, although his shooting percentages leave something to be desired. It was still a very impressive defensive game for Council and the Friars as they held Brown below 30% FG and forced 18 turnovers
. The Friars also received some good news and bad news yesterday. The good was that freshman LaDontae Henton was named the Big East rookie of the week. The bad was that guard Kiwi Gardner, a very exciting athlete and someone expected to play a role as a freshman for Providence, was declared ineligible for play this year. Coach Ed Cooley can still be happy with his strong first year start after coming to Providence from Fairfield, plus the fact that he has prized recruits Kris Dunn and Ricardo Ledo both committed to play for the Friars next year.
Findlay Prep Snaps 42-Game Marcus Win Streak
In a game between two of the best high school teams in the nation, Nevada based Findlay Prep won 47-39 over Texas' Marcus High School to snap a 42-game win streak. Findlay Prep, which has players from all over the country and even the world, was ranked #7 in ESPN's Powerade Fab 50 HS rankings. Marcus was ranked #5, led by Oklahoma State commits Marcus Smart and Phil Forte. Smart, one of the top rated wing prospects in the 2012 HS class, put up 14 points and 12 rebounds. However, Findlay was able to shut down sweet shooting guard Forte, who finished with only 2 points.
Findlay was led by a top recruit of their own, Canadian import Anthony Bennett. The burly stretch 4 Bennett had 19 points and 11 rebounds, 9 of his points coming in the fourth quarter. Guards Nigel Williams-Goss, who was named game MVP, and Italian import Amedeo Delle Valle each had 10 points. Williams-Goss is a junior guard from Oregon who I feel is incredibly slept on, as he seems to get things done at every level he competes at. He has been a big contributor at Findlay since his freshman year in high school. Marcus was able to luckily get Arizona commit and top 2012 prospect Brandon Ashley in foul trouble, holding him to just two points and four rebounds. However, this still was not enough to be the incredibly big and talented Findlay prep team, who feature 8 players over 6'7.
Jabari Parker Lead Simeon To Easy First Victory of the Season
(Mike Helfgot/Chicago Tribune)
Simeon High School in Chicago is known for having a very famous alumnus, 2010-11 MVP and Chicago Bull Derrick Rose. Right now, there could be a few more famous players from the school, in particular 6'8 forward Jabari Parker. Son of former NBA player Sonny Parker, Jabari is thought to be the top ranked junior in the nation, even in the discussion as being the best player in high school regardless of class.
Parker was incredibly effective in game 1 scoring 26 points on 9-13 FG, 2-4 3PT and 6-6 FT adding 6 rebounds and 3 assists. Marquette bound senior forward Steve Taylor added 20 points, 8 rebounds and 2 steals. Junior guard Kendrick Nunn also had 9 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals. Nunn was originally committed to go to Texas A&M, but has since de-committed and opened his recruitment. Potential Jabari Parker suitors include Washington, Duke, Kentucky, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan State, BYU, Ohio State, North Carolina and Connecticut. Seems pretty wide open and should be a major topic of interest for a number of schools.
Thank you for reading and hope you have fun watching some games tonight! The Jimmy V Classic kicks off with a 7:00 pm ET contest with Villanova playing Missouri and Washington playing Marquette at 9:00 pm ET, both games at Madison Square Garden. See you all tomorrow with more NCAA Daily!