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Sports Blog Comments Off on The Young Who Look to Be On The Rise In The NBA

The Young Who Look to Be On The Rise In The NBA

By Matthew Laczko | October 21, 2015

It’s officially almost the start of the NBA season as we approach the first game of the regular season with the tip off being a clash of teams with young talent with the Atlanta Hawks against the Detroit Pistons, Cleveland Cavaliers against the Chicago Bulls, and the New Orleans Pelicans against the World Champion Golden State Warriors. In 2015, I predict that we will see the biggest rise of young players turned All-Stars since the late 1990’s and early 2000’s with Iverson, Kobe, Shaq, and LeBron all coming in to the league around that time. For the start of the regular season here are the young stars to look out for in each game:

In the Detroit Pistons at the Atlanta Hawks watch out for two players on the Hawks who look to be big contributors as veterans of a deep playoff team and one who looks to break out his mold as a bench player. Dennis Schroeder was drafted as the future of the point guard position for the Atlanta Hawks as Jeff Teague played mediocre until his first All-Star performance last year. Schroeder has been coming off the bench for the Atlanta Hawks since his rookie season but as a third year player he looks to try and overtake Teague as the starting point guard as the season progresses even if it is as a splitting time role for the Hawks. Schroeder improved his playing this offseason as the star for his home country Germany in EuroBasket Tournament as he lead the older German team as the starting point guard against the best players in Europe.

The other player to come off the bench to produce as a starter this year will be Kent Bazemore, the SG/SF out of Old Dominium, who has been a threat off the bench backing up DeMarre Carrol. With Carrol in Toronto, Bazemore looks to have a breakout year being a premier wing defender with explosive rim rocking power and will be guarding a barrage of players like Luol Deng, Justise Winslow, Tobias Harris, and Otto Porter Jr. in the Southeast Division of the NBA. In his first year with the Hawks, Bazemore averaged 5.2 PPG, 3 RPG, and all while doing this with an average of 17 minutes a game off the bench.

For Detroit look out for one of the biggest and toughest big men in the league as Andre Drummond looks to assert himself as one the league’s best centers in the Motor City. Drummond averaged a double-double in his 3rd season in the NBA and thrived in Stan Van Gundy’s offense as well as blocking almost 2 shots a game as the big man in the middle for the Pistons. Also for the Pistons comes a young man with as much talent as the starting SF but will be limited due to lack of experience in the NBA as Stanley Johnson was drafted by the Pistons out of Arizona this past summer and will look to contribute off the bench as a rookie in the NBA.

For the Cavaliers and Chicago game be on the lookout for three young players who will take the court in this season opener for both teams. On the Chicago Bulls, Jimmy Butler is coming off another All-Star performance, Most Improved Player of the Year Award winner, NBA All-Defensive Second Team, and of course a major contract from the Chicago Bulls. At 26 years old, Butler is far from being done and with Derrick Rose’s injury history Jimmy might be the only Bull to lead his team to the playoffs besides another All-Star performance from a declining Pau Gasol. For the Cavaliers there is one name who has always been a key component for the Cavaliers and if he is healthy, could lead the team to an NBA Championship alongside LeBron. Kyrie Irving is only 23 years old (!!) and has had a great career with a scoring line of 21 PPG, 5 APG, and 3 RPG at the point guard position for the Cavaliers. As he paired with LeBron James he averaged pretty much the same stat line last year and hopes to improve on his season without as many turnovers he’s had his entire career with his career low stat line being 2.5 per game in 2014-2015. The final player to watch in this game will be coming off the bench and is a second year pro out of Creighton named Doug “McBuckets” McDermott. McDermott averaged a mere 3 PPG last year while battling injuries and riding the pine as Tony Snell and Mike Dunleavy platooned the small forward position. McDermott will thrive this year as the 6th or 7th man off the bench as Fred Hoiberg loves big men who can shoot threes (enter McBuckets) and the fact that Hoiberg brings a fast-paced oriented offense that emphasizing moving the ball in space which McDermott thrived in during his college days under his father at Creighton.

The final game of the evening is between the up and coming New Orleans Pelicans and the Golden State Warriors who face each other with a bit of youth in several positions. For the Pelicans, MVP candidate and 22 year old power forward Anthony Davis is the talk of the town and will be looking to log in more minutes and play a faster tempo offense under new Head Coach Alvin Gentry who was the Assistant Coach for Steve Kerr and the Golden State Warriors last year. Davis might be leaned on heavily in this game as Tyreke Evans is recovering from a knee injury and Jrue Holiday is the only real offense weapon that might be open in this game due to Klay Thompson locking down Eric Gordon. Another young name in this game is James Michael McAdoo out of the University of North Carolina and was a contributor in some situations off the bench for the defending champs. McAdoo doesn’t scream out breakout player on the stat sheet as he barely averaged anything behind a veteran front line of Draymond Green, David Lee, Andre Iguodala, Harrison Barnes, and Andrew Bogut, but as a starter in the D-League for the Santa Cruz Warriors, McAdoo was a beast. McAdoo nearly average 20 points per game alongside a beefy 2 BPG and 9 RPG so he has shown his ability to be a featured SF/PF in the Warriors system that Kerr has asked his staff in Santa Cruz to develop players with.

As a final note I will say that this season as you watch these games and see names unfamiliar just remember these are the up and coming, the nameless, the restless, the non-complacent players who work hard each and every day and now have a chance to prove themselves. This is the year of the new generation of players and the year we see a guy under 25 try and earn himself the honors of being the Most Valuable Player in the greatest league for Basketball on this planet.

Sports Blog Comments Off on NBA Season

NBA Season

By: Dumaka Moultrie |10-27-15
The NBA season is today. Oh what a time to be alive. As the season approaches I want to give a breakdown of the storylines and whats new to the NBA this season. From the new crop of ballers being developed. To season veterans trying to reach the ultimate goal of a nba championship. The NBA season is going to be full of excitement.
One of the first storylines to think of for the NBA season is the development and the passing of the torch of the older generation to the new one. From Kevin Garnett passing it to Karl Anthony-Towns, from Kobe Bryant passing it to D’angelo Russell, to Dwayne Wade passing it to Justise Winslow. The early 2000 basketball we grew up watching is now slowly transitioning to a new wave of basketball. Seeing all this young talent having the opportunity to be groomed by an older group of champions is going to be interesting to see.
Another storyline to watch are the younger group of veterans coming back this year hungry  for another crack at a championship ring. Steph Curry coming back to defend his championship ring with his team mostly in tact from last year. Anthony Davis coming off a MVP candidate season is looking to win the trophy this year along with attempting to bring a championship to New Orleans. Kevin Durant coming off of his foot injury is finally healthy and ready to team up with Russell Westbrook to get another shot at Winning a championship ring.  Damian Lillard losing his long time teammate Lamarcus Aldridge is going to lead Portland to hopefully another playoff run.
Another storyline to follow is the New Faces in New places. The Lakers in Free-Agency were very busy acquiring several new players such as Roy Hibbert, Lou williams, and the artist formerly known as Ron Artest. The San Antonio Spurs who many say were the winners in free agency landing Lamarcus Aldridge and David West automatically making them the best front court in the NBA. The clippers made strides as well gaining Lance Stephenson, Josh Smith, and Paul Pierce. Teams have been gearing up to Win an NBA championship so we’ll see how this plays out.
To tie a bow on this NBA season its going to be like the last few years very interesting to say the least. The usual power houses have been slown down some and I think the same will continue. The Spurs are going to be a force in the NBA this year but of course there are 82 games to play. The Hawks have made moves that should keep them in the top 3 seed. Tune in tonight for the season opener of the NBA
Sports Blog Comments Off on Phil Jackson Playing and Dealing Knicks Cards

Phil Jackson Playing and Dealing Knicks Cards

Xavier Chisum

September 28 2015

After a distasteful season from the New York Knicks and undeniable promise Phil Jackson made to Knicks fans and the NBA saying that he still believed that they could be a playoff contending team that year, Derrick Fisher requested the voice of Phil more this 2015-2016 season. Allowing Phil to have more authority of this basketball team I believe will ultimately create tension between the two which will then leak into the locker room and affect the identity of this team.

“Maybe I stepped back too far last year,” spilled Jackson. He talks about how he desired Derek to be himself and basically feel this new position as head coach out transitioning from being a player. Well indeed it works both ways. This will the second year for Phil Jackson as the Knicks President of Operations and one may argue that he still has a lot of feeling out to do himself with his decision making this offseason passing up Small Forward Justin Winslow, Point Guard Emmanuel Mudiay who would have filled the void of a potential franchise Point Guard for years to come as well as the departure of J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert, but also Willie Cauley-Stein Center from Kentucky with a tremendous upside and athletic ability similar to former Knick and Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler, just to get Kristapas Porzingis scoring Power Forward leaning at 7 foot 2 and weighing at 230 pounds. With this particular card play it shows that the Zen Master not only is confident in his moves, but also that he will exercise whatever right he has to the team in assuring that his moves will not be seen to be done in vein at the end of the season.

“Not in the aspect of whatever coaching but just in being around, talking basketball, influential in observations,” vows Phil. The only basketball one in the NBA especially a Knicks fans, wants Phil Jackson to talk about is Knicks basketball, and to assume that the 11-ring rewarding coach’s observation will just be observational not authoritative is hard to believe. Phil compared young scorer Porzingis to former big slender big man Sean Bradley and how much of a factor his height could restrict him from getting into a prime defensive position in battling other big men in the post and on the block whether it is on offense and defense. This comparison factors into the coaching of Derrick Fisher and how he will use this tender rookie in the Triangle offense, which we all know was mastered and handled by Phil and conveyed by play with Fisher. Will the decision-making of Fisher be later praised by Phil or frowned upon.

In 164 games played, the Knicks have only won 54 of them. The make-up of this team was changed when the Knicks fired Mike Woodson who originally coached this team to a number #2 seed in the Eastern Conference and to the second round of the playoffs based off a defensive paradigm. Hiring Phil Jackson and bringing in Derrick Fisher places more infuses on the offensive side of the game. Andrea Bargani was taken by the Toronto Raptors in 2006 in the first round and later traded to the New York Knicks. The legend of him being the next Dirk Nowitki was hushed by his inability to stay healthy and his lack of progression as a Knicks player. Phil Jackson has to earn his credibility as a President of Operations before trying to take on other roles in the organization. Allow Derrick Fisher to do the job he was paid to do and pray that the investments he made this offseason were good ones.

Sports Blog Comments Off on A Giants Look Into the Playoffs

A Giants Look Into the Playoffs

By: Jonathan Orrillo

 

Standing in second place of the NFC East the Giants (1-2) still have a long way to go if this team wants to make the post season.

 

After losing the first two games of the season by mental errors and poor execution in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys and the Atlanta Falcons have dug a hole for the G-Men. It was the first time that a team gave up a 10-point lead heading into the fourth quarter in NFL history. The Giants did bounce back with a win against the Washington Redskins last Thursday 32-21.

 

With the rest of the NFC teams like San Francisco, Tampa Bay, and New Orleans the Giants’ out-of- division schedule does not look too scary. The G-men face the Buffalo Bills on Sunday and that marks the return of Victor Cruz who has not played an NFL snap since he torn the patellar tendon on his right knee on October 12 2015. Lets see if with Victor Cruz and Odell Beckham Jr. can produce some magic on the field this Sunday.

Sports Blog Comments Off on The Benchwarmers’ Blog: Finally! The Coach has Spoken (Off the record)

The Benchwarmers’ Blog: Finally! The Coach has Spoken (Off the record)

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by Mike Foster (Sports Director)

 

 

If you’ve listened to our show the past few weeks, you’re well aware that student media has been in a pickle with KSU’s newly-promoted men’s basketball coach Jimmy Lallathin.

 

Well, I’m happy to announce that Lallathin has finally broken his silence with us, and it’s even more apparent after the phone conversation I had with him today that he’s much different than the former man in charge, Lewis Preston.

 

Lallathin was upset after The Sentinel ran an article Feb. 3 titled “Rivalry Weak,” outlining some of the major differences between Mercer’s and KSU’s respective basketball programs. Considering KSU had a 9-67 coach step out the door two days before the Bears from Macon defeated powerhouse Duke in the NCAA Tournament, there’s no denying the smaller, private school to the south still has us beat.

 

Credit: NCAA.com

Credit: NCAA.com

 

But, I’ve got a feeling the program is in much better hands now than it was two weeks ago when we were told in an exclusive interview with athletic director Vaughn Williams that Preston would return as the coach in 2014, “unless something crazy happens.”

 

Whatever crazy happened, the Owls now are led by a coach who possesses very proactive leadership qualities, which I think have been made somewhat apparent already with the way he has reached out to media since his hiring–including his eventual conversation with me. It’s even been brought to my attention that Lallathin had an open-practice policy when he took over as interim head coach Jan. 2. For whatever reason we didn’t know this, but that potential transparency is in stark contrast to the guidelines in place beforehand. We in student media are looking forward to the access we will have with Lallathin and the team as a whole once practice swings around.

 

Along with the new hire, former assistant Mike Scutero, who was hired seven games into the 2013-14 season under Preston, was not brought back. Kory Keys, former coordinator of basketball operations, will also not return under the new staff. Assistant Brian Lawhon will remain. You can expect some assistant hires to made by Lallathin in the coming weeks, and one would assume whoever comes in can help make local recruiting a huge priority. KSU had just two Georgia-grown players on roster in 2013 (Yonel Brown and senior Andrew Osemhen).

 

Also, KSU Owl Howl has reported that former Quinnipiac point guard Kendrick Ray will join the team, according to a pretty promising Tweet from an account titled Gotham Hoops, LLC. Considering KSU has not had a true point guard in a while, this could be a really nice addition.

 

Around the Nest:

 

–KSU held its first football tryout Saturday morning. 85 prospective student athletes participated, including members of KSU’s club football team and many former Cobb County high school players.

 

–Freshman golfer Tereomana Beaucousin shot 3-under par at the Linger Longer Invitational this week, earning him A-Sun Men’s Golfer of the Week honors for the first time in his young career. 20 percent of the time it took to produce this blog post was spent spell checking his name.

 

–KSU baseball has slumped to a 1-5 start to conference play. The Owls have struggled with defensive miscues. KSU ranks second-to-last in the Atlantic Sun Conference in fielding percentage, and is the only team with an ERA lower than 4.5 that has a losing record (12-16).

 

For the record: I can’t say I’m not bragging about being in the top 1-percent of brackets on ESPN.com at the moment, thanks to correctly picking first-round upsets by Dayton, Stephen F. Austin, Mercer and North Dakota State. Of course, because the law averages, this only means that I’m destined to be wrong about all four of my final four picks (Florida, Wisconsin, L’Ville and Sparty).

 

Credit: r/sportsmemes

Credit: r/sportsmemes

 

We’re off air this week because of spring break, but make sure to tune in to The Benchwarmers show April 11 and every Friday from 6-9 p.m., only on KSU Owl Radio!