NCAA Men's Championship Game - Butler v UConn

NBA draft update: Butler’s Mack Texas duo stay in draft

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Sunday night at midnight was the NCAA’s imposed deadline for when a player has to say he declare he will stay in college or lose his elegibility. The NBA says a player can wait until mid-June to decide, but the NCAA cares about its coaches and money making machine more than players getting good advice, so they moved the date up. And will again next year to an unreasonable time, but that’s another topic.

For now, we know what underclassmen are in for the NBA Draft. Here are a few highlights that declared one way or another in the last couple days.

* Shelvin Mack, Butler point guard that everyone loved in the NCAA Tournament, is in the draft. He’s tough and smart but lacks NBA athleticism for the point, and is likely a second round pick.

* DeAndre Liggins, the Kentucky junior combo guard, surprisingly is staying in the draft. He is likely to go undrafted, but maybe with some good workouts he slips into the end of the second round. But not likely.

* Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph also will enter the draft. Thompson is raw but likely will be a lottery pick because of his potential. By the way, next time a kid says in March he is staying in school but NBA guys don’t believe him, this is why. Well, this and Kevin Durant and about 100 other guys.

* Reggie Jackson — no, not that Reggie Jackson, we’re talking the Boston College point guard — will remain in the NBA draft. He’s long, athletic and kind of flew under the radar at BC, but scouts seem to really like the potential. Late first round pick, and with good workouts it could be higher.

* Klay Thompson, the Washington State guard (an son of former No. 1 overall pick Mychal Thompson) will stay in. The guy can flat out shoot the rock. There are questions about him on defense and his lateral movement. Expect him to go in the first round around 20 somewhere.

* Ashton Gibbs from Pittsburgh will remain in school, which was the right move for him.

* Carleton Scott of Notre Dame, the team’s third leading scorer and defensive specialist, has decided to stay in the draft. But he will not be drafted. Way, way to raw on offense.

* Jeremy Green from Stanford will enter the draft. Another guy who stayed in the draft but should have stayed in school. Undrafted for sure.

Lucky? Klay Thompson reminds Doc Rivers which team lost to Rockets


There’s this overplayed angle talked about by some fans and pundits suggesting the Warriors just got lucky last season — for example, they faced a banged-up Rockets’ team in the conference finals then a Cavaliers’ squad without two of their big three through the Finals. Then there was Clippers’ coach Doc Rivers saying the Warriors were lucky not having to play the Clippers or Spurs in the postseason.

The Warriors are sick of hearing they were lucky.

Friday Klay Thompson fired back at Rivers, via

– “I wanted to play the Clippers last year, but they couldn’t handle their business.”
– “If we got lucky, look at our record against them last year (Warriors 3-1). I’m pretty sure we smacked them.”
– “Didn’t they lose to the Rockets? Exactly. So haha. That just makes me laugh. That’s funny. Weren’t they up 3-1 too?”
– “Yeah, tell them I said that. That’s funny. That’s funny.”

Warriors big man Andrew Bogut phrased it differently.

If you think the Warriors just won because they were lucky — you are dead wrong.

They were the best team in the NBA last season, bar none. They won 67 regular season games in a tough conference, then beat everyone in their path to win a title. Did they catch some breaks along the way, particularly with health? You bet. Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and Kobe Bryant didn’t win a title without catching some breaks along the way, either. Nobody does. Luck plays a role, but it was not the primary factor in why the Warriors are champs.

All this talk of them getting lucky is fuel for the fire they needed not to be complacent this season. Way to give the defending champs bulletin board material, Doc.

Dwyane Wade serious as mentor, teaching Justise Winslow post moves

Third day of Miami Heat camp 10/1/2015
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Dwyane Wade has earned his status as an elder statesman, the E.F. Hutton kind of veteran who speaks and everybody listens.

Rookie Justise Winslow is listening.

Winslow (who should have gone higher in this draft) is a perfect fit for the Heat and he’s going to be part of their rotation off the bench from the start of the season (along with Josh McRoberts and Amare Stoudemire). Wade has already fully stepped into the mentor role with Winslow working with him on post moves, reports Jason Lieser at the Palm Beach Post.

“As his career develops, hopefully he’s able to do multiple things on the floor, but right now there’s gonna be certain things (Erik Spoelstra) wants him to do, and some of those things I’m good at,” Wade said. “I’m just passing down knowledge to someone who I think could be good at things that I have strengths at. It’s gonna take a while, but if he figures it out at 21, he’s ahead of the curve. I figured it out at like 27.

“All of us are where we’re at because someone before us helped us. They helped by letting us sit there and watch film with them or having conversations with them. If he’s a student of it and he really wants to know, I’m a pretty decent teacher in certain areas.”

This is what you want out of a veteran leader and some of the young teams out there have done an excellent job adding this kind of mentor — Kevin Garnett in Minnesota may be the best example. Someone who can pass on his wisdom and show the team’s young players how to be a professional and win in the NBA.

It’s a little different for Winslow, he and the Heat are more in a win-now mode, but he should be able to contribute to that.