Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Name: Ben Gordon
Team: Detroit Pistons
NBA Rank: 65
Looking Back: Ben had an interesting off season last year. He sat unsigned by the Bulls after he rejected their first offer. He later signed a one year contract before camp and joined the team during mini-camp. He started off the season playing well and soon became a starter. It wasn’t until the playoffs that he showed his magic, creating an epic series against the Boston Celtics in which Gordon hit clutch shot after clutch shot. It earned him a fat paycheck on a new team, even though the Bulls slighted him by not even offering a contract.
The Good: He is an offensive force, possessing a silky touch from deep and a quick step to the basket. Solid from the line, Ben is clutch with the ball in his hands. He is good coming off picks or taking his man off the dribble. It is also unique to see a player play well coming off the bench or starting. He is a fourth quarter player, who gets hot when a team is desperate for scoring.
The Bad: Not known for is shutdown defense, Gordon tends to use a majority of his energy on the offensive side of the ball. He also gets himself into trouble when he is in the air and causes turnovers. Ben thrives when the offense is funneling through him and isn’t the most impressive passer.
Looking Ahead: Ben has a fresh slate now that he is in Detroit and should be able to find his niche in the new look Pistons. Some players need a change of scenery to be able to take their game to another level and hopefully he has found it. With Rip and Villanueva also there, he has more of an inclusive environment to improve his game.
Posted by David Gillett at 11:13 AM
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
With the Final Four a distant memory, the new Huskies are tightening their sneakers and breaking a sweat for the upcoming campaign, but for the fans it is time to sit back and unravel the gift that is college basketball. There is no knowing that Dyson will return back to form from his injury, or that Robinson can step up in his Senior year to reach the potential that fans have seen in stretches, will Edwards secure a starting role, and how high will the ceiling on Walker’s potential be in what many consider his final year, not to mention what impact will the freshmen have? There are so many questions and storylines that will make this season intriguing.
The Big East has had it's fair share of notable departures that should help UConn through it's own transition. The front runners, Villanova and West Virginia, aren’t locks, not in this league. Georgetown, Notre Dame, and Louisville all have returning starters and solid squads. Up and coming teams like Cincinnati, Rutgers, and Seton Hall will also be in the mix for a possible NCAA berth. It is this turnover and year after year transition that makes the college game so special.
The strength of this year’s team is undoubtedly in the backcourt where it boasts one of the countries best guard combos of Jerome Dyson and Kemba Walker. They are both fantastic with the ball in their hands and have the ability to slash and dash defenses. They will also be one of the best defensive guards in the league and the country. They play a physical, in your face, man-to-man defense and love to jump into passing lanes for steals and momentum shattering dunks.
With the backcourt solidly figured out, the frontcourt is a mystery. Sure Robinson is a lock at the small forward position, but the power forward and center positions are total mysteries. It is Edwards job to lose at the power forward spot, but he could be sharing time with Oriakhi and Okwandu in a three man rotation. Okwandu is the biggest mystery of the bunch. His maturity will be a major factor as to how much UConn misses Thabeet and Adrien. Oriakhi will be fine. He has the size and skills to bang against experienced Big East foes.
The other freshmen will all have contributing roles, though it will be interesting to see how Calhoun dishes out the minutes. Darius Smith will back up Walker, Majok for Robinson, Trice for Dyson, and Coombs-McDaniels will be an utility player. He has the ability to slide into both guard positions and play small forward. He could be a James Posey-like player and will be invaluable by the end of the year. With so much responsibility on the shoulders of the freshmen, there is no telling what type of team this will become by March, which is the beauty of this game.
Calhoun’s ability to draw top talent or find under the radar players has left this squad with enough talent to compete for a Big East title. He’ll need to find an identity to this team though. Will they be an inside-outside team like the last squad or a fast break off a miss team of the past, and will he find that elusive sharpshooter? Calhoun will have a solid mix of young and old players that can show the freshmen how he wants things done, which is a luxury that Dyson, Robinson, and Edwards didn’t have. While there will be some bumps in the road, this is going to be a dangerous team come February.
Posted by David Gillett at 9:05 AM
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Posted by David Gillett at 9:11 AM
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Looking Back: While Caron had a good season statistically, his team was a horrible disappointment. They were coming off a solid playoff performance and looked primed to take the next step, but with another year of an injured Agent Zero, Caron and the Wizards floundered. It was a perfect opportunity for Butler to become a superstar. Even though he had All-Star numbers, he couldn’t will his team to victories.
The Good: Tough Juice is a versatile player who has the size to play the post, ability to play isolation, and hit from deep. He is a decent free throw shooter and a solid defender, ranking 18th in steals. He is also a workhorse, ranking 6th in minutes played. Out of all the Huskies Alumni, he has the greatest versatility with the ball in his hands. Caron has also shown the ability to knock down the clutch shot, sinking a few daggers during the season.
The Bad: He turns the ball over way too much and needs to be less careless with the ball. He also decreased in almost every stat during this past season. For Caron to take the next step in becoming a superstar, he will need to make the players around him better, be that on the defensive end or drawing double teams.
Looking Ahead: Caron is reaching his prime and should help shoulder the leadership role even with the reemergence of Gilbert Arenas. He has all the skills to be an All-Star but needs to take his team into the playoffs. He looks ready to take the torch from Ray Allen and become UConn’s best NBA player.
Posted by David Gillett at 10:20 AM
Friday, October 9, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Name: Ray Allen
Team: Boston Celtics
NBA Rank: 54
Team: Boston Celtics
NBA Rank: 54
Looking Back: Ray Allen was coming into the year healthy and comfortable with the Celtics system. It all added up to a solid year of consistent ball. Not one of his major stats decreased throughout the year. He shot the ball better from deep and from the charity stripe. When Garnett went down with an injury, Ray Allen stepped up his game and helped to shoulder the offensive load. He was clutch throughout the playoffs and had produced the epic game against Ben Gordon and the Bulls, but he just didn’t have a complete roster to compete in the end and fell to the Magic.
The Good: It starts with the best jumper in the game. He ranked 2nd in the NBA in three point field goals made and attempted. He also has the ability to hit the clutch shots, seen in the number of game winners during the regular season and throughout the playoffs. Even though he was on a team that featured both Pierce and Garnett (for most of the season), Ray ranked 30th in regular season scoring. He doesn’t only display a great outside threat but still has the ability to take his man off the dribble and is wily around the basket. He is also an underrated defensive player and isn’t shy about playing his man up close and tight around screens.
The Bad: He’s a veteran and will be more susceptible to injuries, not to mention losing the speed to play against the younger guards. With the NBA season one of the hardest and most strenuous in all of sports, Ray will not only be battling his opponent but also his own body’s limitations. His game also goes the way of his jumper. If it isn’t falling then he seems to disappear from games.
Looking Ahead: Ray is in a contract year and needs to remain healthy and effective. He should have a bit more depth on the team but he will get his 34 minutes a game. He is such a reliable player and has his shot down to a science that he should have several years left in the tank. Out of all of the UConn Alumni, Ray has the best chance to win another championship.
Posted by David Gillett at 9:30 AM