McDermott VS Embiid VS Wiggins

  • John Gasaway, over at ESPN, wrote an op ed called “Top 25 Players in College Hoops”, where he ranked current players based on his own value system for how they impacted the college game instead of how NBA scouts rank players for draft status, based on their potential at the next level.

    Gasaway concluded that the top player in college basketball is Doug McDermott. Joel Embiid finished 9th and Andrew Wiggins finished 21st.

    I was unable to finish reading his story because I don’t find enough value in the ESPN media to warrant paying to read their opinions. But… I’ll go ahead and post my own ideas around this story and the rankings that came from it.

    Doug McDermott is an outstanding college player. And I agree with most, that he may have a problem maintaining his current status at the next level. I’ll only rate that as “maybe.” McDermott might lack some of the athletic acrobatics we’ve all come to gush over, especially in highlight reels. But what is clear in McDermott’s game is the amount of coaching he has been blessed with his entire life. His current head coach is his father, Greg McDermott. When it comes to fundamentals, Doug McDermott is head and shoulders above the rest of the field of top college players.

    I do not need to go into detail about the qualities of Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid, because this is a site for Kansas basketball, and I’d like to avoid most of the redundancy in text we’ve all been posting for months. But I will mention a few things that are important for the sake of argument, when comparing these 3 players.

    The biggest difference between McDermott and both Kansas players; college game experience. McDermott has seen more D1 court time than both Kansas players combined and times 3. We all value experience because it tends to help players achieve over all the challenges present in the game. Experienced players tend to play with more consistency and have had more time to develop an identity on the court. McDermott has a strong basketball identity; he is a scoring machine! He’s averaging 24.8 points a game while shooting a remarkable 50.2% from the field, 44% from 3-point range. Doug is responsible for more than 30% of Creighton’s offense and takes over 29% of Creighton’s shots. Creighton runs their offense through Doug McDermott.

    Joel Embiid’s identity is in the developmental stage. As the season has progressed, Embiid has transformed from a bench player to a starter. As his game experience progresses, he is gaining identity as both a shot blocker and solid defender while also becoming an efficient offensive threat. His FG% is a staggering 67.9%. Embiid is averaging 11.1 points per game. He leads the team in blocks at 50, and is steadily increasing the amount of blocks he is making per game.

    Andrew Wiggin’s identity is also in the developmental stage. When he came to Kansas, his offensive prowess in high school projected his status to the top of college basketball as a freshman. Andrew is not only adjusting to D1 basketball, he is adjusting to Bill Self basketball. Self’s game is defense, and Andrew has focused much of his efforts on the defensive side of the ball. Andrew has become a solid lock down defender. When Kansas needs to stop a single opponent from scoring, typically the assignment shifts to Andrew, and he is proving to be capable of stopping all kinds of scorers. Andrew is still trying to figure out how to reach a high level of effectiveness on offense. Still, as a freshman, he has a 43.9FG% and is averaging 15.2 points per game.

    When comparing these three players on offense, as of this date, Doug McDermott is the clear winner and there is a long distance between these three players. But statistics don’t explain everything. Creighton’s offense is built around creating scoring opportunities for Doug. Their offense is tuned to perfection with on and off ball screens freeing Doug to do his thing. Kansas has one of the youngest teams in college basketball, so it is incapable of running at the same level of perfection as Creighton’s. Kansas’ offense is not built around one player, so fine-tuning to free up Andrew or Joel is not in the cards. The Kansas offense is being built to support more of a team offense, and you can go to the stat page to compare it with Creighton to realize that. It takes adding both Joel and Andrew’s points per game to reach one-third of Kansas’ total offense. So in many ways, it is not a fair comparison to pit Doug’s offense against Joel’s and Andrew’s without noting the strategy of both team’s offense. Doug’s offense is more important to his team’s success because they’ve structured it that way. That is further evidenced when comparing assist statistics. Doug averages about one-third more assists than Andrew and Joel, but he also possesses the ball far more on offensive possessions. Creighton plays their offense through Doug. However… when you factor in equal PT for Joel (to match Doug’s PT), Joel matches Doug’s assist while possessing the ball for probably half the time Doug has it.

    I was unable to read Gasaway’s story in it’s entirety, but I’ll assume his focus was on offense, because when you start looking at defensive stats, the advantage of McDermott’s game suddenly dissolves. When comparing steals, Doug is in last place at only 6 steals in 19 games. Kansas has played one less game, but Andrew has 17 steals and Joel has 16. Doug is a post player so we have to compare blocked shots. Doug has only 3 blocks this season, compare that with Joel’s 50 and Andrew’s 16 (and Andrew is a guard). Remember, Kansas has played one less game… another important fact; Joel has averaged 9 less minutes a game than both Andrew and Doug.

    In the rebounding department, Joel leads with 7.4 followed by Doug at 7.1 and Andrew at 6.1. What has to be noted is Joel’s fewer minutes. If you factor in added minutes to equal both Andrew’s and Doug’s minutes, Joel suddenly averages 10.3 RPG. While we are adjusting for minutes we need to look at all the stats; Joel suddenly averages 15.5 PPG, with 70 blocks and 22 steals!

    One last thing to consider, we are only at mid-season. Doug is a senior, and we should expect that his growth potential has leveled off. His upside is limited because he has already largely maximized his college game by tweaking it for 4 years. Andrew and Joel are freshmen who are just going through their first tweaks at the D1 level. We should expect more improvement from their games moving forward this year. And if we only go off of the improvements made recently, we should expect sizable gains moving forward.

    So when taking a broader look at these 3 players, I’d rate them like this:

    Doug McDermott means the most to his team and will remain with this edge over Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid throughout the year. Kansas has more talent and has not focused their offense around just one player. Consider the structure of these two teams and Doug will always win this category because it is built into the philosophy of Creighton.

    The ranking of top player today (mid-season) I’d give a slight edge to Joel Embiid, with Doug McDermott close behind, followed by Andrew Wiggins closely behind Doug. Doug is an excellent offensive player and Creighton has maximized his value by building their structure around him, but take him out of that advantage and his value as a player is diminished below Joel, especially because he doesn’t have much of an impact on the defensive side of the ball. And on offense, imagine if Kansas can take advantage of Joel’s remarkable 67.9 FG% by making Joel a bigger part of Kansas’ offense? If Kansas starts weighing Joel’s offense only at half of the importance Creighton gives to Doug, Joel’s offensive stats will skyrocket to showcase his value on offense far over every current D1 player!

    Moving forward, I would project both Joel and Andrew to surpass Doug because both Kansas players contribute well on both sides of the ball, and they do it without a team structure built around promoting their talents individually. Bill Self is likely to tweak his offense to better take advantage of both players’ strengths which will enhance their statistics. Both Kansas players are bound to improve their fundamentals as they gain more experience, taking away the one big advantage Doug has possessed up until now.

    One last thing, lets not forget the comparison of SOS’s between Creighton and Kansas up until now. Kansas is #1 while Creighton is #25 (ESPN). Weigh that in to these comparisons and it further illustrates where these players rank against each other. Creighton’s schedule is tough, but a far distance from the hardest schedule in America!

    Imagine it is late March, and all D1 coaches are polled across America to pick their starting 5 from every player currently in college basketball. I believe this may be the best way to decide where the top players rank within the college game and at the right time of year to assess the performance of each player for the year.

  • @drgnslayr great job of explaining! I would also add if McDermott gets in foul trouble or injured, Creighton would struggle. Kansas just brings in a great sub.

  • @drgnslayr

    McDermott reminds me of Adam Morrison. Morrison was an outstanding college player (his father was also a coach) but his game did not translate to the NBA.

    I thought he would have a decent career in the NBA, but then I thought Stephen Curry would not. These two players have been my biggest misses when predicting professional success from college performance.

  • @drgnslayr slayr bringing it to people. Thx.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    I was always surprised about Kevin Love’s success in the league. I missed on him, big time!

  • “Imagine it is late March, and all D1 coaches are polled across America to pick their starting 5 from every player currently in college basketball.”

    Very interesting idea. While not D1 coaches, and while also to surely exhibit a heavy KU bias, why not have the posters pick their starting 5? Here’s mine, in the order I think I’d pick them:

    Embiid Russ Smith (Lou) Keith Appling (Mich St.) Wiggins McDermott (Cre)

    So a quick disclaimer, I don’t watch a ton of college basketball outside of KU games. Some, and I follow it quite a bit, but this year in particular I typically get a chance to watch 1 full non-KU game per week, and bits and pieces of maybe 3 or 4 other games. Also, I did this just under the guise of making a run through March. Not on any other criteria, like if I was starting a program who would I take (in which case freshman would probably be more favored). Now to explaining my picks:

    Maybe a touch of homerism in taking Embiid #1 overall, but it’s January. Imagine him in March. I envision a Jeff Withey like performance in the tournament on the defensive end, and a match-up nightmare for almost any team on the offensive end. He’s already proving to be a headache, as double teams aren’t nearly as effective as opposing coaches were probably hoping.

    So, following my freshman center I took a senior backcourt at picks 2 & 3. Russ Smith - already an NCAA champion. Scorer, decent outside shooter, plays good defense. Keith Appling at the point - Izzo toughness (some may turn their nose at that statement), explosive, attacks the paint, plus trey gun.

    Took Wiggins here at #4, primarily because of his defense, height, & length. With my backcourt standing at 6’ & 6’1", I had to have someone with all the tools to at least prevent one mis-match on the perimeter.

    Thought a lot about my last pick. Needed a power forward. Thought about Randle, specifically for his rebounding. In the end I decided against it, mainly because watching him this season has really turned me off to him. Body language is awful. Facial expressions after every foul on him. In the end I chose McDermott. Great collegiate player. Yeah he might not be as great on a team not designed to get him scoring opportunities, but still is so fundamentally sound. Would be nice having him in the front court with Embiid; Joel might lead the team in assists if other teams wanted to double him!

    Anyway, that’s my “draft”.

  • @drgnslayr

    I liked Kevin Love a lot in High school and college. I had high hopes he would come to KU bu he chose UCLA instead; not really a surprise since he is West Coast guy.

  • @icthawkfan316 : Glad to see you posting here.

    So I consider myself lucky because I get to watch a lot of college ball because my wife likes to watch too. Here’s my picks:

    It’s hard for me to go away from Aaron Craft : 6’2", 195#, PG. I know he’s not putting up huge points but he’s a gamer. Watched Ohio State last night and he makes great basketball decisions on both ends of the court. He has really quick hands and goes for the ball when someone drives on him and a lot of the time he succeeds in knocking it away. Averages 4.9 assists, 9.3 points, and 2.3 steals per games. A/TO is 2/1.

    Now here’s a tough one. Do I go with a true SG in Gary Harris Jr. : 6’4", 210# that’s averaging 18.4 points and 2.1 steals per game? Harris’s three % is down this year at 33.3% (last year 41%) but his FT% is at 83.8% and I really like the way he plays. Or do I go with Tyler Ennis : 6’2", 180# who’s a smaller combo’ish guy (probably 1>2) from the 'cuse averaging 5.5 A, 2.7 steals, just 1.3 TOs, and 11.9 points per game? Ennis probably pads his steals numbers just because of their zone but I like the 2.7 disruption. Craft and either of these two would be like having RussRob and Mario back. I guess I’ll go with the better shooter and take Harris. Someone needs to score points right? Or is this team playing in the old Big10 of 40 point games??

    The best SFs this year are all F and So. It’s a toss up between Wiggins and Parker here. Wiggins is the better all around player. Parker is the better offensive player. If Wiggins can and does start to create his own shot (and we’ve seen glimpses) then he’d be the obvious pick. Parker is disadvantage because of Dukes lack of a bigs he’s playing the 4. I’ll stay with my all D team, be a homer, and take Wiggins for my SF.

    I know he’s hurt right now but I’m a big fan of Adreian Payne : 6’10", 245#, PF. Like McDermott he can score in the paint and can step out and hit the three. He’s averaging 16.2 points, 7.7 rebs per game. Shooting 43% from 3 and 52% from 2. Doug’s numbers are a little better points wise but I wanted a prototypical 4. Doug’s more of a 3/4.

    There’s not a better true big in the NCAA than Joel : 7’0", 250#, C. kensucky fans will argue that wcs is better but I’ve watched him play and he’s really not. wcs had better games against weaker teams early in the season when Joel was coming off the bench. Now Joel is starting, getting more minutes, and has increased his stats against better competition.

    So it’s a 2 KU, 2 MSU, and Ohio State team. I really spiced it up there huh??

  • @Kip_McSmithers Thanks Kip. Glad to be here.

    First of all, Aaron Craft? It seems there’s two camps with this guy - you either love him or hate him. I really think he’s overrated. And they might have looked good last night, but they just lost 4 in a row.

    I really like Harris & Ennis too. I shied away from Ennis just because he’s a freshman and I was already taking 2 of the freshman Jayhawks, plus at a position like PG I couldn’t pull the trigger on a freshman to run the team. Not over a senior anyway.

    I like Payne as well, but wasn’t sure how hurt he was and if he’d come back, what condition he’d be in. I really did want a more prototypical 4 though, or at least a beast on the boards. Give me TRob all day at the 4!

    As far was Willy Cauley Stein goes, I will probably never be a fan. I watched him play a couple tournaments in high school, and he was awful. In one he averaged like 7 ppg, despite being one of two D-1 players (Shevon Shields was the other, who signed with Nebraska). I remember posters bemoaning us not getting him as a recruiting miss (even though we didn’t really recruit him at all), and I kept telling everybody we dodged a bullet. He’s trash, and Kensucky can have him. Fits right in.

  • @icthawkfan316 : I know there are two camps on Craft. And I’m in the one that thinks he’s a really good college player. The games OSU lost they shot horribly (from either 3 range or 2 range). I tried watching the Nebraska game (the L one) but it was painfully bad. The reason I like Craft was the reason we all like K.Young. He makes play that don’t show up on the stat sheet. Last night he made several hustle plays and swiped the ball when an Illini was going to the basket that weren’t steals because they went out on the Illini player. (note: the Illini player he swiped wasn’t the guy he was guarding. He happened to sag down and help on d) I really liked your picks. I too like Appling. He’s a senior on a really good team and I took two of his teammates. But really, if I’m being honest with myself I’d have probably taken Smart. But I’m stubborn and couldn’t and still won’t. 😉

  • No floppers allowed! LOL

  • @icthawkfan316

    I think Craft is a superior college player where his smarts and hussle can compensate for his lack of natural talent and athleticism. Once he gets to the NBA he will find out that essentially all players can play the game well and most every player will have more natural talent and athleticism. I don’t believe he will have a long career in the NBA.

    Cauley-Stein is as soft as they come. He should have left after last season when his stock was high and he was thought of as having potential. His stocks has dropped quite a bit this year and scouts are realizing that his potential and upside are low. He will probably get drafted anyway, since as coaches say…you can’t teach 7 feet, but he has a limited ceiling.

    By the way, Jeff Withey had 14 points in 27 minutes on 5-6 from the floor and 4-5 from the free throw line; he also had 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks. I believe this is his best game as a pro. Their starting center is injured and he outplayed all the other centers; hopefully he will start getting more minutes from now on.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Thx for the Jeff Withey bulletin. He has the tools necessary to play well in the NBA, IF, and its a big IF, he has the social/leadership skills and courage, to build the cadre of teammate support necessary to protect him from being physically beaten up and punked. There appears an unwritten rule around the league that no one gets to play well enough to take another man’s meal ticket without physical assault sooner or later. The players that can withstand the physical assault with the aid of loyal teammates become professionals in good standing in the NBA; those that don’t are cowed into staying backups and never really competing against with respect.

    Put another way, Jeff will have to play on a team that is willing to punk one of theirs, when they punk him. It is not enough to be willing to fight on your own; that is a given. You also have to have teammates willing to fight to. It is the law of the jungle in the NBA, even for many stars early on.

    Bird was punked brutally many times until it became clear that:

    a) Bird was willing to play even dirtier than those that tried to intimidate him; and

    b) the full breadth of his team was willing to go to war for him too.

    We saw this with Isaiah on the bad boys. It was never enough that Isaiah could be a dangerous customer, he had to have Laimbeer and Rodman and Salley willing to end careers of others to make Isaiah’s act stick.

    We saw this with Jordan and the Bulls early, before the Jordan Rules got enacted.

    If your teammates buy into your being a professional to be paid respect, then after a period of punkings and counter punkings you can have a long career in which while you will encounter violence, it will not be aimed at ending your career and progress.

    Ostertaag played on a team that would not go to war for him in part because Ostertaag would not go to war for himself.

    Karl Malone would not get into it with Shaq to back Ostertag up. Nor would anyone else after Malone left, once Ostertaag had made clear that the response to getting punched out was doing nothing.

    I am not saying Ostertaag could have done something to Shaq. Maybe from a money standpoint, his being willing to go along and be a cowed backup his career meant that he won the money game. That’s okay. I might have played it the same way as Ostertaag. You never know for sure until you get in the situation, what you are capable of.

    But it is written in stone that if you do nothing and your teammates do nothing, you are never going to be anything more than a back-up and part time starter collecting a check on a team of guys that will never back you up for the rest of your career.

    Bird and Isaiah were great examples of players that were not physically imposing that were so willing to go to the wall, to pay any price in an encounter, to get even after the fact no matter how long it took, that both players became towering (often hated and feared) leaders in the combat of the NBA.

    Bird and Isaiah made no bones about wanting to make you pay and then wanting to humiliate you for the rest of your career if you crossed them, or their team.

    Neither Bird, nor Isaiah ever reached the level of revenue value to the NBA to be granted the Jordan Rules that fully protected them against mayhem directed against them.

    To my knowledge, Jordan is the only person ever fully insulated from massive, career threatening retaliation in the NBA. But in Jordan’s first 3 years, he was subjected to plenty of abuse. He just became so good so suddenly that he kind of leap frogged the kind of on-going abuse heaped on Bird and Isaiah.

    The other exception in all of this was Magic Johnson. Magic got excepted from most of the abuse very quickly because he was under Jabbar’s shield and because it became quickly clear that in Los Angeles and with his magnetic personality, he was a guy to be pretty much fully protected. And it also did not hurt that Magic was this physical freak on the level of Lebron that could defend himself unilaterally in all one on one grudge matches and he played on a Pat Riley team apparently taught to massively retaliate on any and all wrongs done to any one of its members.

    Jeff, if he keeps blocking grown men’s shots, and scoring on them, at his slight build, better be taking marital arts and getting his black belt quick, AND he better be playing for an organization that will go to the wall for him, or he is just one punking away from hospital time.

    We all know Jeff is brave and tough, because he took tremendous abuse during college. But what is done in college is nothing compared to the NBA. And many teams in the NBA have cliques with no loyalty at all to other teammates.

    If Jeff plays on a loyal band of professionals, and if Jeff takes martial arts and dishes out the chops and kicks that he is going to receive, and his mates back him up, then Jeff could play 15 years in the NBA and be the shot blocker glue guy on a championship team with a superstar. But if he can’t get so he can dish it, and his mates won’t punk back for him, he might as well start wearing a titanium cup and a hockey mask now to go along with the usual mouthpiece.

  • @icthawkfan316 RE: Aaron Craft. I didn’t realize there were 2 camps with him. My wife is from Ohio and loves Ohio State as much as I love KU, so we watch Ohio State whenever they’re on. I’ve been watching Craft for the last 3 years now and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone with more hustle than him. If he played baseball, he’d be Pete Rose (Charlie Hustle), minus the gambling problem. I agree that he is not a great shooter, but he brings so much more to the game. Besides his hustle, he has a great attitude, is unquestionably the team leader on the court, has excellent stats, and is the PG equivalent of a spark plug. He certainly makes those around him better. As far as losing 4 in a row, remember what happened to KU in Feb. last year. It was a team issue, not something to lay at the feet of one person. I guess I would definitely have to be put in the “love him” camp.

  • @jaybate 1.0 -

    Thanks for the read on some of the old NBA greats and the abuse they had to endure. I pretty much agree with your views on each.

    The NBA was a different brand of basketball back then. Especially when talking about teams like Detroit. Laimbeer was a one-man wrecking crew. And Isaiah was usually the little guy who instigated fights. There was a period of time when their games more resembled the NHL than the NBA.

    I totally agree with you… that Jeff will have to defend his status if it starts growing in the No Boys Allowed league.

    The only time I dislike Aaron Craft, is during the 40 minutes we play OSU. Otherwise… I appreciate his scrappy play and I thought it was quite the move for Self to show his troops footage of Aaron. Aaron’s game may be limited at the next level, but he will be immortalized at the college level for all the skin he left on hardwoods around America.

    @icthawkfan316 - Interesting… your comment about Randle’s body language. I’ve felt the exact same thing. I watch most of Kentucky’s games and Randle often turns me off. Even though he’s an awesome player, something inside of me is glad he didn’t choose Kansas! I like players to carry a bit of swagger, but some of his body language is downright vulgar. But man can he score in the low post!

  • @oldhwkfan Oh there’s definitely a second camp on Craft. In fairness to him, it’s not 100% his fault. I think a lot of it is media driven. For example, some of us as KU fans couldn’t fathom the Defensive POY not going to Jeff Withey, yet we’d turn on ESPN and someone would be talking about how they’d give it to Craft. It was almost as if Thad Matta walked him around his freshman year, talking him up to any media person who would listen, and before you knew it everyone was calling him the best defender in the country. Not saying he isn’t good, but he certainly used to get away with a TON of hand-checking and reaching in. I haven’t caught them too much this year to see if the new rule enforcement has affected him, or if he is still getting away with murder based on reputation. I guess that’s my only issue with him, is again, that I think he’s overrated. Which is not to say he isn’t very good, but for example I think Russell Robinson was a superior defender than Craft is, yet no one was hyping up RussRob for any Defensive POY awards, let alone by his sophomore year.

    As for the losing 4 in a row part and what happened to KU, we lost 3 games in a row (including an ugly effort at TCU). Of course you’re right, it was a team issue, but also remember Bill coming out and saying “we have no point guard”, obviously aiming it at Elijah. Much like a quarterback in football, the starting point guard will often take much of the credit for victories and much of the blame for defeats. Now I won’t claim to have watched any of those defeats or to be in any way an expert on the team dynamics that led to those losses. It was just in response to Kip saying he watched them win their last game last night, so I kind of threw that out there wondering if he’d watched any of the losses.

  • @jaybate 1.0 jb, your punking analysis lends credence to JoJo’s declaration that he might not yet be ready to move into the crunch and grind of professional play. Brannen Green spoke today of Embiid’s gains in strength this season, how he has gradually gained ability (physical capacity) to finish at the rim. JoJo has got to be weighing the upside of spending another year in the Kansas training facilities. He readily admits that he is just now learning to eat right. The kid bears a rough and tumble retaliatory streak which obviously will benefit from at least one more year of collegiate preparation before wading into the meatgrinder. If I were his parent, and the family coffers were not desperate for immediate embelliishment, I might probably be inclined to advise JoJo to wait another year, continue to learn and grow. It would encompass one hell of a serious injury for his pro career to be doomed in such a manner that he would not eventually pull down millions of dollars, whether he should fall out of a top 3 lottery slot or not.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Thanks for the Withey update. I occasionally check Jeff’s stats, but I missed these numbers. I really hope he is able to escape the slaughter…

  • @icthawkfan316 I like your best of 5 endofseason lineup. I probably would not nominate Wigs at this stage, although your explanation for his inclusion made sense. Got me to thinking about other Big 12 players who might be nominees for this list. Okie State Smart probably the only player we have competed against, to date, who definitely bears the combined talent and desire to win. I might give him the nod over Appling.

  • @drgnslayr agreed on Craft. A real pain unless he’s on your team. 🙂

  • @REHawk, I agree that Joel should stay, especially with an enforcer like the Chicago guy coming in. Mbah a Moute may want Joel to jump for the money, but good lord, Joel has within his grasp an NBA career of the first rank if he avoids being the African equivalent of Chocolate Thunder aka Darrel Dawkins. Dawkins most definitely have come to KU for a couple of years to develop some kind of a game. Bigs and skinny wings need the development time more than guards. The ubiquity of stunningly strong, long and athletic big men in the NBA just wears anyone down that is not thoroughly hardened before hand.

    Notice I said “and skinny wings.” Andrew Wiggins should IMHO come back. He is the antithesis of UK’s great 3 on the Davis team that had the NBA body that was already physically matured and reputedly came from the tough side of town. Andrew’s body appears in just one year almost certain to go through a metamorphosis even without Hudy. But it is going to take him a year to grow into that metamorphosed body and Hudy’s weight program can keep the transition channeled and avoid one part of his body overwhelming another part of his body, so that at the end of a year he can pretty much walk into the NBA knowing that below the brain case, at least, he is playing with a body equal in toughness to the NBA guys. Toughness is the key distinction. It is not enough to be able to run and jump with those guys in the L. You’ve got to be able to take contact every game.

    Neither Andrew, nor Joel’s, families appear destitute. So I believe they should both stay on another year. Any injury either one might get would leave them the same place Brandon Rush was after his knee injury: still a top 15 pick. And in both players cases, both would be sharply more likely to step on the floor and be productive from the git go, so that by the time their second contract is to be negotiated, they are studs that teams will break the bank for long term, plus the endorsement deals will get juicer sooner.

  • @jaybate 1.0 Just out of curiousity, do you really not remember the names of some of these former UK players, or do you just refuse to call them by name? Kind of like Peyton-Brady referring to each other as “the other guy”. The other day you referenced Terrance Jones and “another sophomore”, whom I pointed out was Doron Lamb. I’m inclined to think you’ve misplaced their names, as you named Jones & Davis, so with that being said, the great 3 on the Davis team was Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. If you wish me to stop referring to these players by name and are intentionally not naming them, just let me know 🙂

    Agreed on your analysis of long and athletic big men wearing down players in the NBA. See Greg Oden, Andrew Bynum.

  • @icthawkfan316, wish I were being rhetorically cunning, but alas, I’m just getting forgetful. Thanks for recalling Kidd-Gilchrist. What a stud he was for a freshman. Lamb could shoot the rock, too. As time passes I am more able to think about the UK team independent of our loss to them in the Finals. But when ever that games comes into my mind I hate them as much as ever. 🙂

  • @jaybate 1.0 Ditto, my memory. Recently I forgot the name of our red shirt Mickelson, so referred to him as our Arkansas kid. Senior moments…

  • @REHawk, aging sucks, not being old. aging is losing the tools that enable you to savor and live life fully. being old is just getting better at what you know. But the aging, man does this suck or what, coach? 🙂

  • I don’t mind getting old I do mind my sister in law saying, “I just answered that, its Wednesday,”

    Okay well answer it again, dip wawd.

  • @REHawk I like to think that the more long term information your brain stores, the longer it takes to access information because it has to search the whole collection. If so, not being able to find the information quickly is a sign that you are retaining a lot of the information you encounter, which could be seen as a good thing.

    A different argument you could make that also paints a positive picture is that in today’s day and age it is often more important to determine where to find the information (a pointer) rather than retaining the information itself, i.e. what terms to google to get the right answer immediately. So, your brain can be freed to store other more meaningful long term memories, like the way your wife moved the day you met her, or how your your baby son’s cheeks creased when he made his poop face.

  • Anyone read the story on Embiid i posted above from hutch news? The quote on main page is from there.

  • @icthawkfan316 Craft is great if you need someone to play great defense and score 5 points a game. If you need him to score 15, he’s not nearly as good. He doesn’t have the quickness to get to the rim, and his jumper is woeful. He is shooting 30% from the 3. He is a great complimentary player. Your comparison to RussRob is perfect.


    RussRob came rom HS with a reputation as a scorer but gave that up because Coach Self had a different role for him. I have a lot of respect for him because of his unselfishness.

  • For my starting five the first player I would take would be Doug McDermott simply because he is the best player in the country.

    Next I would take the best point guard I could get. Marcus Smart probably is the best, but I do not like him so I will instead go with Shabazz Napier from UCONN.

    Then I would take Embiid because he already may be the best center in the country and he will continue to improve.

    Now all that is left is to take good wings. I would first take Jabari Parker. Then I would take Lamar Patterson.

    So this would be the starting five: PG: Napier, SG: Patterson, SF: Parker, PF: McDermott, C: Embiid.

Log in to reply