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Friday, November 12, 2010

The G team..

Guard-  Brandon Knight

Something about Kentucky guards lately just make me fall in love (no homo of course).  The next phenom sacred line of Calipari point guards, Knight will have no trouble carrying on the tradition.  Not only will this guy be the best driver, shooter and facilitator on a young but very talented Kentucky basketball team, he possesses the basketball IQ at a young age of a veteran.  This guy will rip through the SEC, and land nice and softly into the hearts of Big Blue Nation.  With big shoes to fill, let's just hope this kid can dance.

Guard-  Kemba Walker

At 6'0", Walker is arguably the fastest guard in all of college basketball.  After a breakout Sophomore campaign at Connecticut averaging 14.6 points and 2.1 steals per game, Walker returns as the best point guard in the Big East, and top 3 in the nation.  Walker seemed like the only guard all year that actually presented a challenge to future number 1 over all pick John Wall, when Wall and Walker absolutely went at it in a showdown between their two teams.  Walker is the type of player that will score tens points on you so fast that you won't even have a chance to catch a breath and will pose a great challenge for anyone going head to head against him.  Even with Connecticut on probation, look for Walker to have an All-American type year and be one of the top guards selected in the upcoming NBA Draft.

Forward/Guard-  Travis Leslie

There's nothing more exciting in the game of basketball then highlight reel dunks.. and there's no player more exciting then Travis Leslie.  This 6-4 junior wing for the Georgia Bulldogs has the speed to go around defenders, the strength to go through them, and the hops to literally go over them.  Leslie became a YouTube sensations after his absolutely posterizing slam on Kentucky's 6'11" Demarcus Cousins, (just check out the picture to the right).  This kid jumps so high he has to call in to air traffic control every time he takes off.  At one point in the season Leslie had 3 different plays in just one Sportscenter Top 10 clip...  all from the same game!  After averaging 14.8 points per game in a break-out year, Travis Leslie is poised to use his uncanny athletic ability to propel himself to be one of the best players in the country.  Look out below, Travis Leslie is flyin' here!

Forward-  Kyle Singler

Given the nickname 'Warrior', this kid is nothing short of Mel Gibson in the movie Braveheart when he takes the floor.  With a midrange game so nice that it'll make you wanna go outside and practice bankshots during halftime, Singler without a doubt has the best all-around game of anyone in the nation. After leading the Duke Bluedevils to the 2010 National Championship with his fiery leadership and hard-nosed, tough play, Singler kept his name from the NBA Draft for one idea in mind... back to back national championships.  Dont let the long hair and fair skin of this nerdy lookin', straight out of the movie Hoosiers appearance fool you, this white boy can flat out play!

Forward/Center-  Jon Leuer

A 6'10" big man with a smooth perimeter game, Leuer is a very tough matchup for anyone that is to guard him at the college level.  If you put a smaller, more athletic player on him he'll use his dominate post skills and wide-array of hook shots and fade-aways to dominate his defender.  Well, since that didn't work I guess you'll try and put a center on him, which will leave Leuer no other choice then to complete embarrass his defender with his ridiculous perimeter skills and sweet outside touch. Leuer's fundamentals are so ridiculously good he will make any NBA scout slobber at the mouth.  With a high level of basketball IQ, Leuer only averages a low 0.08 turnovers per possession, the second lowest in college basketball.  Watch for Leuer to have a special senior year, I'm talking conference player of the year and All-American level stuff.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Turkish superstar Kanter ruled ineligible as a college athlete..

The biggest fear of the Big Blue Nation, has come true.. Enes Kanter, the Turkish league phenom, has been ruled permanently ineligible by the NCAA to participate as a college athlete.  In a statement released on the organizations website, Kanter has been ruled "permanently ineligible for receiving benefits above his actual and necessary expenses while playing for a club basketball team in Turkey."  The university will appeal this decision, but all hope is pretty much lost being that these types of things are usually set in stone.  This incident will leave Kentucky short handed in the front-court, having to rely on Josh Harrelson much more than in years past, as well as new-comer Eloy Vargas who's father recently past-away in the Dominican Republic.  Look for Kentucky to play a fast pasted, small line-up much of the year including 4 guards(Brandon Knight, Doron Lamb, Darius Miller and DeAndre Liggins) and forward Terrance Jones at the 5 spot.  That style of play should be a fun one to watch, much like the way Villanova plays.  Coach John Calipari will really have to work his magic in the 2010-2011 basketball season.. no task seems too large for this man though.

Heres a link to the press release by the NCAA.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Chane Behanan

Normally, a 6'7 250 pounder would be trying to make a college football choice at this time and not a basketball choice.  Chane Behanan on the other hand is not the typical 6'7" 250 pounder, he is a physical specimen.  This absolute monster gets up and down the floor, as well as up off the floor as good as most 2 guards and wing's.  Ricky P. was quoted today about Behanan saying quote, "Explosive, he'll do some things jumping wise that I don't quite believe for his size."  Cardinal fans, picture this in your mind... Derrick Caracter with the athletic ability of a Brandon Jenkins... WOW!  With the size of an interior player and the ridiculous guard skills thatat this young man possesses, a future dominant presence in the Big East is at our hands.  After solidifying himself as one of the premier players in the bluegrass by averaging 21.2 points, 12.3 rebounds,4.5 assists, and 2.8 blocks his junior year at Bowling Green High School, Behanan didn't stop there.  This summer after being invite to the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) Top 100 Camp, a camp in which only the best of the country's best amateur players are invited, he not only attended the camp but dominated it, bringing home the honor of camp MVP.  In his upcoming senior season, he is the frontrunner for Mr. Basketball in Kentucky.  Hello Big East world, Chane's here!

Expectations- I don't see Behanan being an immediate starter with the likes of Rakeem Buckles infront of him at the 4, but leave no doubt he will see significant minutes right off the bat.  This young man is just too much of a talent for him not to solidify himself as a top 5 player on the team as a freshman. I expect him to be a 3, maybe even 4 year player for us ( NBA teams will be skeptical to take a chance on him because of his height, which is beyond me with the likes Chuck Hayes and Paul Millsap having successful careers, thats another story though) and a name that will become feared among Big East opponents.  Expect an unlimited number of double-doubles throughout his career, maybe even a record breaking number, and to average somewhere around 14 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 assists.

Weakness- From the start, I have a feeling that Behanan will be the player that Pitino will always talk about 'playing at a target weight', much like Preston Knowles and Juan Palacios.  At 250 pounds, the young man will absolutely make your jaw drop, can you imagine what he could do at 240 or 235?  This will be the target area that Ricky P. will constantly talk about and the weight that will make Behanan the best player he can be.  At this stage, alot of Behanan's defensive prowess is reliant on his athletic ability, which isn't the best of idea's when playing in the Big East.  His defensively footwork in the post is bad, translating into tick-tack fouls at the next level.  Defensive fundamentals, though, are an easy fix for the veteran Pitino at this point.

G's Grade- A

Comparison- Carmelo Anthony... I can hear the criticism now for the comparison.  Keep in mind though that this is a comparison of playing style.. not a measure of how good he will be.

Enjoy this clip of Chane Behanan showing of his array of skills on the floor..


Wayne Blackshear

The only word that I can use to describe this kid at the moment is WOW.. never in my years of being a die-hard Card fan have I been more excited about a recruit that Pitino has inked.  The first thing that jumps out of the screen at me while watching this kid play was his crazy athleticism.  He's blessed with a great frame at 6'5" and can really play above the rim at times, even rebounding like a 4 man out of his guard position.  This kid really is the perfect example of the all around player.  He can dribble as if a point guard, has the size to guard 3 positions, runs the floor extremely well, possesses an excellent midrange stroke that extends way beyond the 3-point arc, and has all the makings of a prototypical Pitino wing player.  In just his junior year he took the Chicago area by storm averaging 29.2 points, 14.2 rebounds (as a guard), and 2.2 blocks per game while leading his Morgan Park team to the city championship.  Rumor has it, at the end of the championship game Wayne makes the tying basket in the closing seconds while getting fouled, makes the go ahead free-throw, then blocks the other teams final shot to seal the victory.  The kid is special.

Expectations- From the day Wayne arrives on campus his skills and instincts will force Ricky P. to start him as a freshman.  Day one, this kid will be the most talented player at Louisville and will hold that billing for the next 2 and maybe 3 seasons.  Expect Wayne to average some crazy numbers that will fill a stat line, I'm talking T-Will type stuff only Wayne will be a better scorer. Something like 18 points, 7 or 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals.  It will blow my mind if this kid isn't a two time All-Big East by the time he leaves and an All-American.  I expect Wayne to stay 3 years, reason being that Pitino is quoted saying "Wayne bleeds Louisville red." There's no doubt in my mind that this guy will be ready for the NBA after his sophmore year.

Weaknesses- The only thing I can find that actually may qualify as a weakness for Wayne would be this strength.  He looks a little lanky now but expect him to put on 10 pounds of muscle... Watch out!

G's Grade- A

Comparison- Evan Turner

Below is a link of a nice highlight tape put together Wayne showing off all of his skills... Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Whata day for 'Slick Rick'...

On Wednesday, November 10th,  thousand's of high school seniors across the country will sign LOI's (Letter of Intent; for all of the non-sport followers) to the college that they have chosen to continue their sporting careers and accept a scholarship.  This period includes every sport from baseball to tennis, with the exception of football, and yes even future snobby, frat boy lacrosse players are included in this day.  Let's face it, no one cares about any other sport on this day more than basketball... or at-least not where I'm from.    Where I'm from, Louisville basketball is life. We may not have the greatest tradition of any school in Kentucky, we'll not mention that other school, but no fan base is as loyal, passionate, and cares more about it's program.  November 10th is the day when all the talk on message boards will be put to rest and we will finally know what the incoming class includes.... and I promise you, no one is more excited about this Louisville's 2011 class than me.  Well, Ricky P. might have me.  Throughout the day I will be posting separate excerpts about each athlete, their skills and talents as well as where they're lacking.  I'm no expert, but damn it's hard not to be excited as a Louisville basketball fan!