2015 NBA Summer League Roundup

With so many NBA prospects from the area participating in the NBA Summer League it is difficult to follow all of them.  If you find yourself saying “I really wish I could just go to one place and see how all of those guys are playing!”, it’s your lucky day.

Summer League will be wrapping up at the end of the week. Here is how each of our local guys have fared thus far.

Wayne Blackshear (San Antonio Spurs) – 18.3mpg 11.7ppg 3.7rpg 1.3apg

Keith Bogans (Portland Trailblazers) – 15mpg 0.0ppg 2.0rpg 1.0apg

Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns) – 28mpg 8.0ppg 4.5rpg 1.5apg

Willie Cauley-Stein (Sacramento Kings) – 21mpg 13.0ppg 3.0rpg 1.5bpg

Earl Clark (Brooklyn Nets) – 18.8mpg 6.3ppg 3.0rpg 0.5bpg

Archie Goodwin (Phoenix Suns) – 28mpg 21.0ppg 5.5rpg 1.0apg

Montrezl Harrell (Houston Rockets) – 26mpg 11.0ppg 8.0rpg 1.0bpg

Josh Harrellson (Phoenix Suns) – 16mpg 3.5ppg 3.5rpg 1.5apg

Aaron Harrison (Charlotte Hornets) – 29.0mpg 13.4ppg 4.8rpg 3.4apg

Andrew Harrison (Memphis Grizzlies) – 23.2mpg 5.4ppg 2.0rpg 3.0apg

Scotty Hopson (D-League Select) – 26mpg 23.5ppg 3.5rpg 1.0apg

Dakari Johnson (Oklahoma City Thunder) – 26.8mpg 7.6ppg 8.6rpg 0.4apg

Doron Lamb (Golden State Warriors) – 12mpg 5.0ppg 2.0rpg

DeAndre Liggins (Sacramento Kings) – 20mpg 6.0ppg 3.5rpg 2.5apg

Trey Lyles (Utah Jazz) – 22mpg 9.0ppg 2.5rpg 1.0spg

Darius Miller (Dallas Mavericks) – 16.0mpg 6.5ppg 2.0rpg 1.0apg

Daniel Orton (Portland Trailblazers) – 21.5mpg 5.5ppg 5.0rpg 1.5bpg

Julius Randle (Los Angeles Lakers) – 21mpg 11.0ppg 1.0rpg 1.0bpg

Terry Rozier (Boston Celtics) – 29.6mpg 13.2ppg 3.0rpg 3.8apg

D’Angelo Russell (Los Angeles Lakers) – 30mpg 11.0ppg 6.5rpg 4.5apg

Peyton Siva (Orlando Magic) – 23.5mpg 5.0ppg 2.0rpg 4.5apg

Russ Smith (Memphis Grizzlies) – 29.2mpg 14.8ppg 2.4rpg 6.2apg

Marquis Teague (Oklahoma City Thunder) – DNP

Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota Timberwolves) – 32.5mpg 10.5ppg 6.0rpg 2.5apg 1.5bpg

James Young (Boston Celtics) – 20mpg 7.3ppg 2.0rpg 0.3apg

That is a lot of NBA talent that has passed through the area and it’s good to see so many of them having success at the next level. Hopefully they can keep it up and ink some contracts.

If there is anyone I left out feel free to call me an idiot in the comment section.

 

 

UK UNC Alumni Game in the Works

The NBA could be coming to Kentucky…sort of.  We’ve already heard about preseason games to played in both the KFC Yum! Center and Rupp Arena in the fall, now rumors are circulating about a potential University of Kentucky v. University of North Carolina alumni game being played in Rupp as well.

Kentucky Sports Radio is reporting that the game could feature several NBA players from the two schools, with John Wall and Harrison Barnes leading the squads as captains.

Given all the talent to come out of UK and UNC in recent years this would be a great event for state and fans of basketball within the state. We’ll take the NBA here anyway we can get it at this point.  Hopefully there will be more information leaking on this soon.

#BringEmBack

NBA Draft: The Local Guys

Basketball season doesn’t end after the NCAA Tournament or the NBA Finals. Not around here, at least.  For the year-round basketball fan one season doesn’t truly transition to the next until the NBA Draft.

The city of Louisville and state of Kentucky are no strangers to the draft.  With the 7 guys from the University of Kentucky, 2 from the University of Louisville, and 1 who grew up in the city of Louisville, you can bet all eyes around here will be tuned in.

On that note, here is a brief round-up of what all the talking heads have to say about our favorite future pros leading up to the big night..

Karl-Anthony Towns (University of Kentucky) – Projected #1

This year was shaping up like those debates, as Jahlil Okafor and Karl-Anthony Townswere said to be neck and neck for the top spot this year. But in reality, this is not a two-man race. Towns is the best player in the draft, and it isn’t particularly close.

What’s really jarring is that Towns doesn’t appear to have any glaring weaknesses. Scouts can question Okafor’s defense, D’Angelo Russell’s athleticism, Emmanuel Mudiay’s shooting and Kristaps Porzingis’ frame, but there’s nothing to nitpick with Towns. After watching him at a private workout, ESPN’s Chad Ford described Towns with the most ridiculous hypothetical imaginable: “What if Dwight Howard could shoot, dribble and move the way James Harden does?”

SB Nation

D’Angelo Russell (Ohio State University/Louisville, KY) – Projected #2-4

“He is such a smooth operator,” Blake told SN’s Sean Deveney. “He can make plays for himself and others. He is not an elite athlete in terms of hops and speed, but he’s got that elite brain. … The numbers are off the charts on him. When you have a player like that who rarely had a bad game, it’s so hard to ignore.

Sporting News

Willie Cauley-Stein (University of Kentucky) – Projected #4-11

Willie Cauley-Stein is a player you can plug in your system in order to play high level defense, and provide both versatility guarding perimeter players and the ability to guard the rim … His one side of the ball type of play will cause him to be drafted below players that have two way potential, but he has the ability to be very good, or possibly elite as a defender if he can harness his improved metal focus, and grow as a professional …

NBADraft.net

Devin Booker (University of Kentucky) – Projected #8-14

One of the best shooters in the draft, maybe even the best, and the Heat certainly could have used that kind of firepower last season after the loss of Ray Allen. Booker has good size and could do plenty of damage off the bench in support of Wade, but is he too one-dimensional?

Fox Sports

Trey Lyles (University of Kentucky) – Projected #10-16

What makes Lyles a potentially special offensive weapon is that he can’t be put in a box. He has the size of a traditional NBA power forward, but showed he’s just as comfortable playing the perimeter. He isn’t a big man who wants to play like a guard; he’s a 6’10 force of nature that can adapt his game from inside-out depending on the matchup.

SB Nation

Montrezl Harrell (University of Louisville) – Projected Late First Round

That finishing ability, as well as physicality, energy, and rebounding is what he hopes to bring to an NBA team. Harrell made 58.7 percent of his shots overall for the last two seasons, including 72 percent of his shots within five feet of the hoop. Harrell was able to make shots around the hoop in a variety of different sets and situations, although one aspect stays the same each time:

He will try to dunk the ball nearly every time.

CBS Sports

Dakari Johnson (University of Kentucky) – Projected Late First Round

Some NBA team will almost certainly look at Johnson’s relative youth, apparent desire to work hard and 9-foot-4 standing reach and see a project worth taking on. ESPN Stats & Info estimated that although Johnson’s chances of achieving superstardom are very slim, he has the lowest risk of becoming a bust of any player in the draft.

NY Times

Terry Rozier (University of Louisville) – Projected Late First Round/Early Second Round

Rozier has the physical tools to match up against NBA guards and nice size to boot. Measured at 6’2.25” with a 6’8.25” wingspan at the NBA Draft Combine, Rozier has a strong frame, long arms and good size for a point guard which will allow him to compete on both ends. Additionally, he possess excellent speed, agility and explosiveness to round out his strong athletic profile.

Draft Express

Andrew Harrison (University of Kentucky) – Projected Late First/Early Second Round

The better of the two Harrison twins is a strong combo guard with a great ability to finish. He can handle very well for a bigger guard, and his ability to creatively finish in the lane is tough to guard. Obviously, after two years at Kentucky, you know you’re getting someone who knows how to win.

USA Today

Aaron Harrison (University of Kentucky) – Projected Second Round

Teams love his fearlessness—who can forget the three game winners he made in the 2014 NCAA tournament—but poor three-point shooting numbers last season (31.6%) have scouts uneasy about his future.

Sports Illustrated

Ten potential draft picks with ties to the area.  Something not many other places can say.  We hope the best for all of these young men as they take one more step toward their dream Thursday night.

 

 

Louisville Named College Basketball Capital

A new Wall Street Journal article, which examines the major TV markets for all major sports across the country, has dubbed Louisville, KY “The College Basketball Capital of the World”.  According to the article..

People in Kentucky don’t just watch their own teams more than anyone else. They watch every team more than anyone else. Louisville has registered the country’s highest television ratings among metered markets in college-basketball programming for at least the last dozen years, according to ESPN data.

This should come as no surprise to the people of Louisville.  The entire state, and specifically its’ largest market, is obsessed with college basketball.  Even the most anti-basketball resident couldn’t deny that fact.  But bring up the NBA’s popularity in the city though, and you’ll get mixed reviews.

There is a certain purity to college basketball.  Student-athletes playing the game we love is often more emotionally fulfilling than millionaires playing it.  It’s a fair argument for favoring the college game over the professional game.  But basketball is basketball, and the fact of the matter is the city of Louisville loves the basketball they have more than anyone else.  I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that they would feel the same way if they had the NBA as well.

The people of Louisville love their basketball. The trick is making the NBA theirs again.

#BringEmBack

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Growth, Development, and Buckets

Alright.  Let’s talk Louisville.  It really gets on my nerves when people are against an NBA team here.  NBA fan or not, it would make sense.  Let’s address several arguments I hear against a NBA team in Louisville.

PEOPLE HERE LIKE COLLEGE BASKETBALL AND WON’T SUPPORT NBA

What?  So much evidence suggests otherwise.  First of all, people in this city love basketball.  As a former high school player I played in many packed and high energy gyms across the city.  I never heard anyone say, “High school players play with more heart, they aren’t worried about scholarships and money.  It’s more honest basketball”  (You may sense some hostility to this comment; as you should.  I’ll address that later).  No. Let’s address that now. You can’t tell me that without the regulations from the NCAA some of these college players would be going directly to the NBA. You may also consider their choice of playing at Kentucky or UL is directly related to the ability of the coach to get them to the league.  Therefore, for some of these kids it’s all about the money.

As a repeat season ticket holder to UL you see the same passion but on a larger scale.  Instead of high school loyalty dividing fans, they can unite under the University of Louisville.  This city is still divided.  I don’t even have to mention the rivalry that divides us when it comes to sports.  Imagine the energy and pure magic that could be instilled in the city if we actually had something we can all root for as one.  I cite December 8th, 2010.  The Louisville home game in the Yum! Center that evening had an attendance of 21,000 fans.  Simultaneously the University of Kentucky hosted Notre Dame in Freedom Hall with an attendance of 18,000 fans.  That is a total of 39,000 fans in the same city, miles apart, at the same time, supporting a team that they love.  This is almost double the seating capacity of the Yum! Center for basketball games.

Lets task October 4th, 2014.  The Yum! Center hosted an NBA exposition game between the Miami Heat and New Orleans Pelicans.  Even in the wake of Lebron leaving the Heat more than 21,000 people attended the game.  This was in competition with a waterfront/river road music festival and events on Fourth street as well.  You don’t have to take it from me, see what the Heat have to say about their experience in the Yum Center.  I sat in the fifth row at the game.  The energy when Russ Smith and Anthony Davis took the floor was unparalleled to any energy I have felt at any NBA game I have attended.  Moral is that the Heat think they can make money playing in our arena…. why can’t we have our home team to keep that money in-house?

I also would like to refer you to an earlier post talking about former UL and UK players in the league and further reasons why Louisville would support the NBA.

Also, remember that exhibition game that occurred on October 4th, 2014?  81% of the people who attended were from Louisville or Southern Indiana.  Take a look at the population trend of this region.

WHERE IS THE CORPORATE MONEY TO SUPPORT THIS?

By no means can I speak for any corporation.  What I do see and would like to point out is the commitment corporations in Louisville have made to the city.

The obvious one is the fact that our arena is named the YUM! center.  If Yum! did not anticipate success, they would not have put the 100 million plus into the arena to have it build.  It is and will be their contribution and legacy in the city.  They are rooted in the town and seem to be itching to have something to get the city behind and excited about.  With a market cap of 33.69 billion dollars as reported by Forbes, I am sure that they can find a way to give support to the potential team.

Brown-Forman is another local name that has taken interest in our town here.  Our city is growing, especially downtown.  Neighborhoods are improving, remodeling, and trying to contribute to the growth that the Yum! Center may seem to be helping.  For example Whiskey Row downtown just east of the arena is continuing to grown.  With a name like that, who would you guess is having a hand in this directional growth? If you guessed Brown-Forman you would be correct.  This shows their dedication and involvement with the growth of the city.

NuLu is another neighborhood on the rise!  They host a variety of events and festivals for the citizens here.  The NuLu fest that occurred over the summer tops that list.  I encourage you all to attend next summer to see the new-found energy in an all but seemingly forgotten part of the town.

Louisville will continue to grow.  Current plans for a new Omni Hotel to be built shows that not only I, but parties outside of the city believe in the growth that we are kick starting in the city.

IT WOULD MESS WITH UofL AND THEIR SCHEDULE

I believe in this city and its potential.  It is impossible to ignore the positive economic result of bringing an NBA team to Louisville.  That is why I am such an avid supporter.  The University of Louisville does not own the Yum! Center.  I fear that is what people are expecting.  They are merely a resident.  If you do not think we could coordinate schedules of the teams then I laugh and would like to direct you to the Staples Center in LA.  If they can handle coordination of hockey, 2 NBA teams, concerts, and other national training type events, we could handle a couple of basketball schedules.

I close with simply this.  If you don’t like the NBA, that is fine.  I am not here to directly turn you into a die-hard fan.  There is however no reason why would should be opposed to this prospect.  Maybe you are scared of change. I will warn you though.  The worst way to run your business and life is with a “This is how we have always done it attitude.”  That prevents growth, efficiency, and profit.  You can choose to not attend, but I’ll be at the game with a beer, apparel, plenty of heckling, and 22,000 other people.