Tag: NCAA Tournament

Orlando Magic's head coach Stan Van Gundy directs his team during their NBA basketball game against Miami Heat in Miami

Stan Van Gundy says it’s “absurd” to think Kentucky beats an NBA team


Charles Barkley said it, so we should just assume it was absurd to begin with.

But it got a lot of play. Barkley said he thought Kentucky could beat the Raptors or Bobcats. In case you wanted some thoughts besides mine on why that idea is absurd, I bring you Magic coach Stan Van Gundy.

“Look, it’s absurd,” he said before the Magic faced the New York Knicks. “I mean, people will say, ‘Oh, Kentucky you know’s got four NBA players.’ Yeah, well the other team’s got 13.”

“Could anything happen on a one-night thing? I mean, I suppose, you have major upsets all the time. So maybe, but it’d be rare and in a series it’d be a joke,” Van Gundy said. “It wouldn’t be close. That’s just the way it is. John Calipari’s got a lot of talent, he does not have 13 NBA players. He just doesn’t. And even if those guys all are, they’re all NBA rookies. I mean, when has that ever been a success in the NBA? So no, they’re not going to win.”

Well said. Thank you. Now, let’s talk to Van Gundy about pizza

Kyrie Irving says if not for Tournament he would have returned to Duke

Hampton v Duke

Kyrie Irving is just over a week away from being the No. 1 pick of the draft and having unrealistic expectations heaped upon him in Cleveland.

Irving is the Duke point guard who played eight games to start the season before a toe injury sidelined him. Until NCAA Tournament, when he returned and almost instantly was back in charge of the Duke offense.

If it hadn’t been for those extra few games, he would have returned to Duke, he told Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio.

“Those eight games (before the injury) just weren’t enough,” he said. “But playing in the tournament gave me a chance to prove to all the naysayers about my durability.”

So, three games made all the difference? Apparently. Duke beat Hampton and Michigan the first weekend but fell to Arizona (led by soon to be No. 2 pick Derrick Williams) in the Sweet 16. Irving had 28 points in the loss on 9-of-15 shooting in that loss. Irving said he was about 70 percent for those tournament games but is 100 percent now.

Of course, the only team that got to see him at 100 percent this summer was Cleveland, the team with the No. 1 pick is the only one Irving has worked out for.

And apparently the only reason they got to see him was three more games in March.

Report: Kemba Walker leaving Connecticut, entering draft

NCAA Men's Championship Game - Butler v UConn

Kemba Walker, who led Connecticut to the National Championship, has decided to leave college and enter the NBA draft.

That according to Andy Katz of ESPN. UConn has a press conference called for Tuesday where that will beocome official. And it is the right move. (We should note, as was pointed out in the comments, Walker is graduating in three years, but he could return for one more season if he wished.)

Walker is expected to be an NBA lottery pick (Draft Express has him as the fifth rated prospect). He’s the kind of small (6’0”), quick guard that has been in vogue in the NBA and he has an impressive step back shot and midrange game. But he is not an elite NBA athlete in the John Wall or Kyrie Irving kind of way, he’s going to have to adjust his game to the faster and longer guys he will regularly face in the NBA. But he should be a solid NBA point guard at the least, and there is value in that.

One other thing to like — Walker has been a big game player, stepping up on the biggest stages to make plays. He was a force when UConn needed him in the Big East and NCAA Tournament. You like having those kind of guys on your team.

Nets part owner Jay-Z could end up paying for Kentucky visit

2011 NBA All-Star Game - Performances And Celebrities

Jay-Z is a hoops fan, just with a lot more access than the rest of us. Because what doorman anywhere is stopping Jay-Z when he walks up?

Like the doorman at an NCAA tournament game. After Kentucky’s win over North Carolina Sunday to send them to the Final Four, Jay-Z was in the locker room congratulating the Wildcat players. Who were pretty thrilled to meet him (but may have preferred meeting Beyonce).

Except, as a minorty owner of the Nets, Jay-Z can’t have that kind of contact with college recruits, as Ken Berger reports at CBSSports.

The NBA plans to investigate contact between Nets part-owner Jay-Z and members of the Kentucky basketball team after the Wildcats beat North Carolina Sunday to advance to the Final Four, a person with knowledge of the situation told CBSSports.com. The hip-hop mogul’s visit was documented in photos and video showing him congratulating players in the Kentucky locker room, which happened to have been occupied by two potential lottery picks — Brandon Knight and Terrance Jones.

Berger notes that Celtics GM Danny Ainge got fined $30,000 for having a conversation with Kevin Durant’s mother in the stands at the 2007 Big 12 Tournament. This was much more, he was in the locker room with a number of guys who could be in the NBA in a few years.

Now, Jay-Z wasn’t recruiting for the Nets, and he has little if any say in basketball operations for the team. He was not there on Nets business. It’s a perception thing and he’s going to end up paying for it. We’re also fairly sure he can afford it.

Spurs sign Da’Sean Butler for remainder of season

West Virginia v Kentucky

The Spurs have decided to take a smart, calculated risk on Da’Sean Butler, and have signed the free agent forward, reports Hoopsworld’s Alex Kennedy on twitter.

Just a year ago Butler was leading West Virginia into the NCAA Final Four — where he blew out his ACL against Duke. Teams are leery of guys coming off surgery so the certain first-round pick fell to second round where the Miami drafted him No. 42 overall. They gave him guaranteed money.

But in October, as he was slow to bounce back from the surgery and the Heat were looking to add depth to their roster they waived him. Butler continued his rehab on his own.

Just days ago he was cleared for on-court workouts.

Now the Spurs have picked him up. Teams make this move at this time of year, grab a prospect to fill out the roster spot, use him as an extra body in practice and see how well he fits in with the team. Basically, it’s a baseball-style call up and the Spurs can decide after that if they want to keep him around or not.

We likely will not see Butler in any Spurs games, he was placed on the inactive list by the Spurs as he continues his recovery. But the Spurs will be evaluating and they have a track record of finding guys like this that fit what they want to do and it working out very well for them.