Showing posts with label NBA draft. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NBA draft. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Kansas Once Again Beats KState In Manhattan

Kansas seized early control of the Big 12 conference race last night, edging Kansas State 59-55 in Manhattan. The Jayhawks have now won 16 straight games, and are still unbeaten in conference play. KU has won 45 of its last 48 games against KState, including a 23-2 mark in Bramlage Coliseum.

During the second half, it appeared that the Jayhawks were going to put the Wildcats away for good thanks to Ben McLemore. The redshirt freshman, who will be an early in pick in next year’s draft, scored five consecutive points to give Kansas a 10 point lead. However, KState got an answer from Shane Southwell, who hit consecutive three pointers to keep the Wildcats close. Southwell, who had a career high 19 points, also got KSU within three late, however KU closed the game out at the free throw line.

The 59 points were a season low for Kansas, and concerns about the team’s offense continue to grow. Kansas is averaging only 61 points per game in its last four contests, relying on its stout defense to grind out wins. While KU’s defense will keep them in every game, Bill Self will have to address the offense and try to get better play out of senior point guard Elijah Johnson, who has struggled mightily in conference play.

On paper, this is the toughest regular season game the Jayhawks had remaining, and the win now makes them heavy favorites to claim a ninth-straight Big 12 title. KU will face Oklahoma at home on Saturday, which should provide the team with another tough test. The Sooners are 4-1 in conference play this season, including impressive recent wins over Oklahoma State and Texas.

KState will have to regroup quickly, as they travel to Ames on Saturday to face Iowa State, who also only has one loss in conference play – which came in overtime in Lawrence against Kansas.

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Friday, June 24, 2011

2011 NBA Draft Recap

The 2011 NBA draft took place last night, and as expected, five Big 12 players were drafted in the first round. Tristan Thompson, forward from Texas, was the first Big 12 player to be selected. Thompson went fourth to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Colorado guard Alec Burks was selected 12th by the Utah Jazz.

One of the biggest stories from the draft was the back-to-back selections of Marcus and Markieff Morris. Most pundits considered Marcus, last season's Big 12 Player of the Year, to be the better player and more NBA ready. However, Markieff ended up being selected before Marcus, going 13th to the Phoenix Suns. Marcus was drafted next by the Houston Rockets. Markieff has a more natural NBA position, being a true power forward, while Marcus is considered more of a "tweener." Interestingly, Markieff was born seven minutes ahead of Marcus, and was also drafted seven minutes ahead of his twin brother.

Texas' Jordan Hamilton was the last Big 12 player to go in the first round, falling all the way to the NBA champion Dallas Mavericks at 26. Hamilton got a nice shot in towards his former coach Rick Barnes, showing some of the turnmoil that took place in Austin last season. Despite some alleged personality problems, Hamilton was once projected as a top ten pick, and could be an absolute steal for the Mavericks.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

2011 NBA Draft Starts Tonight

The 2011 NBA Draft is upon us, which means we will several local players fulfill their basketball dreams as well as a few hilarious outfits. The draft will begin at 6:00 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN and ESPN 3.

Several local players are expected to be drafted in the first round, most notable Kansas' Marcus and Markieff Morris. Most draft experts expect Marcus to go somewhere around tenth in the first round, while Markieff will likely be selected a few spots later. Milwalkee and Golden State have been listed as two likely destinations for Marcus. The Morris' one-and-done teammate from last season, Josh Selby, will likely be a late-first rounder at best. Most projections include Selby going in the second round.

Colorado guard and Kansas City native Alec Burks will also likely be an early selection, and could possibly be the first true shooting guard selected. Burks lacks a consistent outside shot, however his ability to drive and finish at the rim could be a big boost for an NBA team that needs to add some size and scoring to its guard rotation.

Two other Big 12 players will likely be drafted in the first round, and both played for Texas last season. Wing Jordan Hamilton and forward Tristan Thompson could both be top-15 picks, as Thompson's draft stock has risen steadily since he earned strong reviews in pre-draft workouts.

Overall, this is arguably the weakest NBA draft since 2000. The weak talent pool means that the former Big 12 stars listed earlier will all be guaranteed a decent draft position and starting salary, as well as an opportunity to see early playing time in the league.


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