Why not Dayton? This was the question asked for decades by the renowned Flyer Faithful. While the once-storied program consistently disappointed, mid-major after mid-major blasted through the gates of the NCAA tournament’s first weekend into the hearts of the nation.
There are plenty of skeptics when it comes to the Cleveland Cavaliers’ selection of Dion Waiters with the 4th overall pick in Thursday night’s NBA draft. Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim is not one of them. Despite a lot of anger and disappointment from Cavs fans, Boeheim told CBS New York’s Jon Rothstein that those fears are unfounded:
“He’s more ready for the NBA than any other guard I’ve ever had,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said of the 6-foot-4, 215 pound Waiters on Tuesday. “Nobody will be able to guard him one on one unless their last name is Westbrook. He’ll go by anyone he faces. Dion started out the draft process at 25 or 30 and has risen dramatically. It should come as no surprise, he’s got all the tools.”
Not that the list of Syracuse guards in the NBA is all that impressive1, but this is still high praise from a coach with whom Waiters had his share of run ins with in his two seasons at Syracuse.
Another underrated aspect of Waiters’ game is his NBA-ready frame. While some fans have expressed concern over Waiters’ height at the SG position, Boeheim feels his body type will be an asset at the next level:
“It’s huge,” Boeheim said in reference to Waiters’ physical attributes. “You look at some players in college and they’re good players but they’re not physically ready for the next level. That’s something that doesn’t affect Dion. He’s more than ready in that aspect and he’s also ready to play with other good players because he played at Syracuse. People sometimes say if you play at a lesser program and put up better numbers that it’s better for your chances in the NBA but that’s not the truth. In the NBA, you have be able to co-exist with other great players. Dion’s already done that.”
Boeheim may be a little biased when it comes to Waiters, but that doesn’t make him wrong. Despite Cleveland fans’ obvious let down factor over not getting Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or Bradley Beal, the fact remains that with those guys off the board, Waiters was arguably the next best wing player available to the Cavaliers. Several analysts and draft pundits have had nothing but good things to say about the Cavaliers’ pick of Dion Waiters. Jim Boeheim would agree with them.
- no offense to Jonny Flynn [↩]
Deshaun Thomas can score on anybody, but he may not necessarily be able to score on everybody. What I mean by that is, he won’t be able to beat that Jim Boheim Zone Defense by himself tonight, but I do expect him to be the main reason why it gets all blown up.
As opposed to traditional zone busting, which usually comes with the three ball first, I really feel like Tank Thomas and Jared Sullinger can exploit the Fab Melo-less frontline of Syracuse and create shots all over the floor for Aaron Craft and William Buford specifically. Inside out, as opposed to outside in, or something like that. Tank and Sully will need to continue to play off one and other like they have throughout this tournament in order to do so however.
Against this zone defense particularly, Craft will need to get the ball into Thomas at the high post to start the offense. From there, Thomas and Sullinger will need to go to work. Once the double teams come they’ll need to find scorers, if it doesn’t, they need to finish strong at the rim. Craft and Buford can’t get caught watching those guys work in there though either, they have to be ready to catch and shoot when that ball comes back out. They’ll need to get the shooting performance that they each had last round against Cincy out of their heads from the jump though, and come out tonight ready to be the scoring threats they can be. If Sully and Tank keep playing like they have been, Craft and Buford will be wide open, and I expect them to capitalize. [Read more...]
With the Sweet 16 upon us and the end of the NBA season rapidly approaching (didn’t it seem like this season last like a month?), this will be your (and NBA scouts for that matter) last few chances to see some of the top prospects play real competition. I have never been a “workout” guy. I go by what I see on the court.
With 16 teams left, I thought it would be a good time to take a look into who is left in terms of NBA prospects the Cavaliers could be interested in with four draft picks this June (two first rounders and two second rounders). If the season ended today, the Cavs would have the eighth worst record in the NBA. So unless they essentially end up losing out the rest of the way, they will be picking somewhere between sixth and ninth with their first selection.
The first part of this series, we looked at the #1 Kentucky Wildcats. We followed with the UNC Tar Heels. This piece will focus on the prospects of Syracuse, Ohio State, Marquette, and Baylor. [Read more...]
When the polls were released last week, Ohio State’s men’s basketball team was 13-2, which was good enough to be ranked 7th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and 6th in the AP Top 25. Two blowout wins against Nebraska (71-40) and Iowa (76-47) later and the Bucks moved to #5 in both polls.
In fact, the top five are unified in both polls for the time being.
- North Carolina
- Ohio State
The Buckeyes jumped Duke in the AP poll and both Duke and Missouri in the ESPN/USA Today poll. Duke was hurt by a five point loss at the hands of Temple, while Missouri lost 75-59 to Kansas State.
The upcoming schedule could prove to be difficult for the Buckeyes as they head to Illinois and are back home to host Indiana. Illinois is currently 14-3 (3-1 Big Ten) while the Hoosiers are 15-1 (3-1 Big Ten.) Of course Indiana also handed the Buckeyes a pretty tough four point loss on December 31st in Bloomington.
The local Lake Catholic High School product, and former Iowa Hawkeye Quarterback, was taken with the fourth pick of in the 5th round yesterday, 135 overall.
If Stanzi’s ability to continue the marked improvement he demonstrated over his four year career in Iowa continues, the ESPN future documentary “The Stanzi Seven” is not out of the realm of possibilities.
With four QB’s off the board at the conclusion of the 1st round on Thursday, three more were selected before KC ended up nabbing Stanzi.
Stanzi heads to KC now and will look to compete for the back-up spot behind former 7th Round pick Matt Cassel. Cassel never started a game during his college career at USC, and recently signed for major dollars to be the Chiefs starter after successfully filling in for Tom Brady during a stretch with the Patriots a few seasons ago.
As a senior at Iowa, Stanzi threw for 3004 yards, 25 TD’s, and posted a passer rating of 157. His biggest improvement over the season before was in the turnover department, throwing only 6 INT’s in his senior campaign as opposed to 15 as a junior. [Read more...]
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On some Big Ten expansion: “So what’s the upside again? Oh, right the money. But think of how much you’ll end up paying some crappy consulting firm to re-design the Big Ten logo in order to shoehorn a “2″ into it. Plus, you really want to go to Rutgers for away games? If Notre Dame agrees, then go ahead and sell yourself out, but try to consider the Minnesota rowing team (they still count as Big Ten too, right?) as they scrounge up enough gas money to get their van to Syracuse.” [Dashiell Bennett/Deadspin]