Monday, March 21, 2011
He led the UConn Huskies to 5 straight victories in 5 days in the Big East Tournament. He averaged 23.6 ppg during the regular season while playing in arguably the best conference in all of college basketball this year. And now, he's managed to single-handedly bring the underdog Huskies to the Sweet Sixteen of the 2011 NCAA Tournament.
So why is Kemba Walker projected to go Number 22 in the 2011 NBA Draft?
1) Scouts believe he'll be an undersized two-guard in the NBA.
- Listed at a generous 6-1, Walker does have the look of a scorer than he does a point guard, which he is currently listed at. However, he did record a near triple-double in the 3rd Round of the NCAA Tournament against Bucknell with 18 points, 8 rebounds, and 12 assists. Still think he can't play point guard at the next level?
2) As a Junior, scouts believe Kemba Walker has peaked.
- Yes, you could argue that college upperclassmen sometimes do appear to have reached their ceiling as they get older, but let's take a closer look at Walker's college statistics:
- He hasn't just shown progress in three years, he's shown significant progress each and every year. As a Freshman, he averaged 8.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg, and 2.9 apg. In his Sophomore year, he averaged 14.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg, and 5.1 apg. That alone is a big jump, but let's take a look at his Junior year. In his Junior year, Walker averaged 23.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg, and 4.5 apg. He has made huge strides in scoring each year and hasn't showed signs of slowing down. Still think he's reached his peak?
3) What will it take for Kemba Walker to move up in the NBA Draft?
- Perhaps, a college basketball Naismith National Player of the Year Award and a deeper run in the NCAA Tournament, but is that really necessary? Kemba Walker has already overcome all odds to get to this point and proved he's a lottery pick. Maybe if he was a couple of inches taller he could be a sure-fire lottery pick, but then again the NBA has become a Guard's game, with teams now trending smaller and quicker shooting guards than in years past.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Butler (No. 8 Seed) defeated Pittsburgh (No. 1 Seed) in the second round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament Saturday, March 19, 2011. They will now advance to the Sweet 16.
A year after playing Duke in the 2010 National Championship, nobody expected the Bulldogs to go this far in the tournament, especially after losing Gordon Hayward to the NBA draft.
How did this happen?
Pittsburgh's Gilbert Brown was fouled on a controversial play with a second left in the game when Butler led 70-69. Brown made his first free throw to tie the game and missed the second. The game was tied at 70 with .09 seconds left on the clock when Pittsburgh's Nasir Robinson fouled Butler's Matt Howard on another controversial play. Howard then went to the line sinking a free throw to give the Butler Bulldogs a 71-70 win over the heavily favored Pittsburgh Panthers.
The announcers said they had never seen anything like it.
Friday, March 18, 2011
Kyrie Irving is looking like he could jump back up to No. 1 on NBA draft boards after his performance in the 2nd Round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament against the Hampton Pirates Friday, March 18, 2011.
After missing 26 games and over three months of play, Irving returned to action and looked as good as ever. He mentioned before the game that he wouldn't have returned so quickly if he didn't feel he was 100% ready and able to play, after suffering a toe injury.
Irving led all Duke Blue Devils in scoring with 14 points in just 20 minutes. He also registered 4 rebounds, 2 threes, 2 steals, an assist and a block while shooting 50 percent from the field (4-8) and 100 percent from the free throw line (4-4).
While some doubted his comeback, the Chris Paul clone is now turning skeptics into believers as he hopes to take Duke deeper into the NCAA Tournament and further increase his draft stock.