Friday, April 2, 2010

Tweets reveal traits. ...Plus! Relevant thoughts on college hoops and Kings

...I follow several of the NBA Draft prospects on Twitter. It is a valuable tool for anyone with any sense of how human beings operate. Over time - personality traits reveal themselves on Twitter. An example? Two players that I am already a fan of seem to have basketball on their brains all the time. I like that and I think that translates to a better a chance at success in the NBA. Those two are Evan Turner of Ohio State, and Jordan Crawford of Xavier. One prospect - that I won’t sell out (yet) seems to complain on 80% of his tweets. Complainers wear you down over a season and I don’t want them as teammates. Now, this kid is a REAL talent and highly skilled so I’m not saying I would not select him, I’m just saying I devalue him on my “ big board” just a little due to this intangible.

...Baylor lost in their Final Four bid in part due to a lack of touches by LaceDarius Dunn down the stretch. Epke Udoh does some nice things but he is far from a go-to guy offensively yet. Dunn can get you 20 in his sleep.

...The more I watch Nolan Smith of Duke play—the more he is winning me over. He can beat you outside or off the dribble. He scores but is also unselfish. He’s a willing defender that is athletic enough to play in the NBA. And maybe the part I like best; he is all business and no showboat.

...This is a nitpick but I think Gordon Hayward of Butler really needs to tighten up his left-hand dribble. If I saw it - I know Tom Izzo and his coaches saw it too. Michigan State will force Hayward into his left hand Saturday and I bet they get some turnovers. ...I enjoy watching Spartans player Draymond Green. He is a 6’6” ‘Point Power Forward’. His pass to Raymar Morgan in the waning moments of their last game was a play that, if not made, there is no Final Four for Michigan State. (Green is pictured to the left) ...Izzo was also a key with a set play that succeeded out of a timeout in the closing seconds of the first-half. Green scored on a dive to the hoop as the clock ran out. Without those crucial two points - they lose.

...I thought Joe Mazzulla was fantastic in West Virginia’s win. ...If you watch enough hoop you will see some strange things. The Mountaineers didn't have a two point field goal until two minutes (plus) into second half, yet they were leading! Huh?

...The funniest thing I saw all weekend was Tennessee Freshman Brian Williams telling Sr. JP Prince to “StFU”. It was classic. That might have gotten Williams socked by some teammates.

...Kenneth Faried declared for the NBA Draft (without hiring an agent). Faried, from Morehead State, is an NBA rebounder right now but can he improve his shooting enough to thrive at the next level? Faried needs to show he can hit a face-up 17 foot shot with consistency, and improve his ability to pass to open teammates.

...Steve Lavin is a guy I like and I hope he does well at St. Johns. Lavin was very good at recruiting during his UCLA days and he is inheriting a team with potential in D.J. Kennedy and Justin Brownlee.

...North Carolina’s woes this year were not just about their lack of solid guard play but also about missing Ed Davis and Tyler Zeller for a large chunk of the season. Zeller looked good the other night in their N.I.T. semi-final win over Rhode Island. He is a skilled 7’0” sophomore Center that can shoot.

...Al Farouq Aminu declared for the draft as well. He is a scorer that gives opposing Power Forwards fits with his ability to get to the basket off the bounce. That said, he should be more efficient if he is really going to be a lottery pick as many say he will be. He has more than two turnovers for every one assist, and he is just a so-so shooter at 69% FT for his college career.

...Since I have been so high on Joey Dorsey - I feel the need to comment on his release from the Kings. I continue to strongly believe that he is an NBA quality player that should be getting minutes. Knowing your role IS a skill, and apparently my man JD needs to work on that aspect of his game.

...Likewise—I feel compelled to comment on Tyreke Evans. The Kings rookie has made significant strides since December in improving his ability to involve teammates. Evans is scoring just a little less but his assists are coming more frequently. For the season—his assist-to-turnover ratio is 1.89 to 1. That is close enough to the desired 2-1 ratio for me to concede that this version of the evolving Evans can play Point Guard.

...One of the smarter pieces I’ve read recently was written by ESPN.com’s Bill Simmons. Check it out here.

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