While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at email@example.com.
Good read on newest Cavalier Dion Waiters– “That swagger comes from growing up in South Philadelphia, where Waiters was raised by a single mother who had him at age 17. His father was in jail when he was born. Waiters attended four high schools and said his childhood was marred by the deaths of three cousins and his best friend. Brashness, he said, is a necessary survival trait in Philadelphia.” [Thamel/NY Times]
“Here’s one conclusion I’m willing to reach at this juncture: The Indians are a very average team in a very awful division. Now, keep in mind, this is not necessarily a deal-breaker. Baseball, after all, is set up in such a manner that all you have to do is set your foot in the door in October and anything can happen. This year, there will be added value to a division win, in that it will grant you a first-round best-of-five with a Wild Card entry that just exhausted its best available pitcher in a one-game play-in. The winner of what is currently a sluggish Central (where a .533 winning percentage currently gives you a 2 1/2-game edge and four of five teams have a negative run differential) will have a distinct advantage over the runner-up in, say, the vastly superior AL East (where a .533 winning percentage places you 6 ½ back and four of five teams have a positive differential).
Unfortunately, the division in which they reside is the best thing these Indians have going for them these days, because these are the facts — the excruciating minutiae, to use one of our old favorite phrases here — staring them in the face.” [Castrovince/MLB]
Audio of Dion Waiters talking to Goldhammer after the draft. [ESPN Cleveland]
Profile of Tyler Zeller from Draft Express– “Perhaps the area we’ve noticed the most improvement in Zeller over the past year has been with his toughness and willingness to embrace contact in the paint. We noted before that he seemed to be a bit soft at times and was muscled around on occasion, but he showed more of a mean streak this year on both ends of the floor. After being a below average rebounder for three seasons, Zeller improved dramatically as a senior, showing great activity on the glass on both ends of the floor and grabbing 13.6 rebounds per-40, which was the highest of all centers in our top 100.
Overall, Zeller had a very impressive senior season at North Carolina, solidifying his strengths and shoring up some of his weaknesses. He improved each year since arriving as a freshman and also earned Academic All-American of the Year honors this season, further exemplifying his strong off-court intangibles. The fact that he’s already 22 years and doesn’t have elite length or athleticism likely limits his upside in the eyes of NBA decision makers, but 7-footers who can rebound, run the floor, and score in the post are always highly coveted by NBA teams, and Zeller looks to have the potential to make a contribution early in his career if he’s drafted by the right team and given the opportunity.” [Draft Express]
More from 11W on the new Urban offense– “For the past few weeks I have examined the idea of combining a run and pass play together and allowing the quarterback choose post-snap to constrain the defense. Today I want to look at a separate yet related concept that I have previously touched upon–combining concepts in the passing game. Though the goals are different the basic premise is the same–provide the offense options to confront a defense post-snap so that the offensive coaching staff does not need to guess right before the snap. Urban Meyer, Tom Herman, and the offensive coaching staff have already demonstrated extensive use of this idea, providing more options for Ohio State’s passing offense.” [Ross/Eleven Warriors]