Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Stop or My Mom Will Link

So last night I watched the Pitt-Cincy game for two reasons: 1. to hopefully watch Pitt lose; 2. Lance Stephenson. Sadly, Pitt ended up winning 74-71, and while Stephenson showcased flashes of his immense talent, he never really took over the game like I was hoping.

I've been paying close attention to Lance Stephenson ever since I saw him in "Gunnin for That #1 Spot", where as a 15-year-old, Born Ready was more than holding his own against players that are now in NBA. So when I got a chance to see him at work finally in his freshman year, I was eager to see what he could do.

It's evident that he is Cincy's best player. No question about that. And despite reports to the contrary, he didn't look like a selfish player throwing up wild shots. Actually, he played almost too unselfish against Pitt last night. Yes, he took a game-high 15 shots, but considering the Panthers were leading most of the way, I was looking for him to take over. Instead, he sort of deferred to Yancy Gates and deonta Vaughn, both of whom had excellent games for the Bearcats. I was hoping for Lance to be the one taking over.

It's not that he had a bad game, because he didn't. He finished with 15 points on 7-15 shooting and dished out four assists, doing a particularly nice job filling the middle of Pitt's zone near the foul line and then distributing to teammates. But he didn't show the aggressiveness I've seen him have as a high schooler, evident by him getting to the line just once and grabbing only one rebound. Hopefully next time around, I'll see the dominant, aggressive, physical player that has had college coaches excited since he was 14 years old. But last night, he was a bit underwhelming.

As was UNC, by all accounts. Since the Tar Heels were taking on the College of Charleston, the game wasn't of much interest. But when Charleston was hanging tough, ESPN routinely cut in to show the action, and then eventual fall. First off, that was one hell of a sick ass shot to send the game into overtime by Andrew Goudelock.

As you know, the game went to OT, and Charleston outlasted UNC 82-79. Looking at the box score, it's a familiar scene. The UNC guards struggled as Dexter Strickland and Larry Drew shot less than 30 percent combined, and that was their downfall. Conversely, Charleston got a great game from Goudelock, clearly winning the guard battle and the game. The Tar Heels may still finish in the top 15 this season, but they won't get too far in the tournament because the guard play simply isn't good enough.

Underwhelming basketball last night for sure.

Links …

-As expected, Navorro Bowman is going pro.

If he by some miracle became an Eagle, I would cream my pants and immediately buy a Bowman jersey. Of course, Bowman will already be off the board by then and the Eagles will draft an offensive lineman in the first round, so that won't happen.

-Juwan Howard is still alive:

-The Eagles miss Stewart Bradley.

-Danys Baez is a Phillie. Danys is a stupid name, and I'd rather have Chan Ho Park back.

-Brandon Jennings on the cover of SLAM because he's the man.

-A trip down memory lane: One of the greatest articles I've ever read, Scoop Jackson's 1998 profile of streetball hoop legend Billy Harris. Seriously, read it. It's an awesome story and shows the excellence Scoop displayed at SLAM. Too bad he moved to ESPN and turned into the rambling, misplaced writer he is today. SLAM is where Scoop belongs.

-David Lee, franchise player?

I don't know about all that, but the guy is a monster. And I've loved watching him play ever since seeing him beat James White in that dunk contest.

-They just don't make commercials like they used to:

-A human highlight reel:

-Made the rounds yesterday, but awesome:

I especially enjoy Harvey Bars' explanation of the video above:

While most of the sports loving world submerged itself in all the profound excitement that was the NFL’s week 17, Florida’s Teddy Dupuy Mike Miller David Lee Matt Walsh Chandler Parsons was sinking a 60 foot shot against NC State and setting the bar rather high for 2010’s shot of the year.

Why is it that I like Teddy Dupay, David Lee and don't mind Mike Miller, but I absolutely hate Matt Walsh, who went to Germantown Academy in suburban Philadelphia? Perhaps because he's a ginger? I don't know.

-As a journalist and journalism school graduate, I couldn't agree with this more.

-I'll let the headline do the talking here: Domino's CEO named new athletic director at University of Michigan (seriously)

-Stafon Johnson is the toughest human being on Earth. He will play in the Senior Bowl.

BallHype: hype it up!

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