I'VE HAD JUST ABOUT ENOUGH OF YOU SONNY
Ann Arbor.com reporting:
THJ made the team. Pretty solid work right there. The team leaves for Europe on Friday. Other B10 teams had players trying out too. Here's the update:
Michigan sophomore-to-be Tim Hardaway Jr. made the roster for the 2011 USA U19 World Championship team, USA Basketball announced today. . . . Michigan State's Keith Appling and Illinois' Meyers Leonard are currently part of the 13-member roster. Iowa's Melsahn Basabe was among the cuts. The team will cut one more player before leaving for Europe. CBSSports.com's Jeff Goodman is reporting that the last roster spot will go to Appling or Villanova's James Bell.
- The NBA draft is on this upcoming Thursday night. The green room invitations were announced, i.e. the players the NBA are reasonably certain will be picked in the lottery will be present to when their names are called. Here are the names:
PG Kyrie Irving (Duke); F Derrick Williams (Arizona); C Enes Kanter (Turkey); PG Brandon Knight(Kentucky); PG Kemba Walker (UConn); C Jonas Valanciunas (Lithuania); F Jan Vesely (Czech Republic); SF Kawhi Leonard (San Diego St.); SF Chris Singleton (Florida St.); SG Klay Thompson(Washington St.); PF Tristan Thompson (Texas); GJimmer Fredette (BYU); PF Marcus Morris (Kansas); G Alec Burks (Colorado); PF Markieff Morris of Kansas.
- What this means for the Pistons: It looks like one of the Morris twins or Thompson will be our selection at #8, as they have had positive workouts with the Pistons and are green room invitees. Bismack Biyombo has long been my favorite for the pick, as he is an adept rebounder and shot blocker, two statistics the Pistons finished in *last* place last season. He would automatically be second on the depth chart, at backup C (Ben Wallace is on his last legs), whereas a PF would have to beat out Jonas Jerebko (soon to be extended, or at least tendered a qualifying offer; starter two seasons ago when healthy), Charlie Villanueva (making starter's money at 7.54 million), and Jason Maxiell (5 million a year). Alas, Biyombo is probably not Joe's pick, and I am frustrated to no end.
- Dwayne Casey was considered a frontrunner to fill the Pistons head coaching vacancy, but word is that now he's very close to taking the Toronto Raptors head coaching position.
- What this means for the Pistons: Lawrence Frank is now the favorite to coach the Pistons, and I would be on board with that decision. He set an American professional sports record by winning his first 13 games when taking over for the New Jersey Nets. He's a little man, literally (5'8"), with no competitive playing experience to his name, and would need fill his staff with some tough assistants. This is the perfect scenario for Bill Laimbeer to return to the Pistons, as Frank's lead assistant.
- Pat Riley has sent out a message to the rest of the league, in that he is not breaking up the Big Three. This team is two Mid-Level Exception players away from becoming a dynasty. Bleh....Golden State and Orlando have denied that the DraftExpress reported offer of Monta Ellis/Ekpe Udoh/Andris Biedrins (former Wolverine transfer) ever took place, but I doubt it. Can't blame GSW for trying, and short of offering David Lee, that's the best package they could come up with. At the deadline next season that deal would be far more enticing to the Magic, especially if picks were involved...
- What this means for the Pistons: Nothing. We aren't a free agent hot spot. We'll have to draft our big three.
- Last of all, and most importantly, the NBA's Collective Bargaining Agreement expires on the 30th of this month. In the end, all that matters to most fans is that no games are missed, but there has already been a casualty for avid followers in that the Las Vegas Summer League has been cancelled. This has historically been an opportunity to get a good first look at rookies, and some vets even play in the summer to support their new teammates (Kevin Durant, Ron Artest, and more).
- What this means for the Pistons: Well, with a new coach, we need every game we can get to prepare. We're likely losing Tayshaun Prince and Tracy McGrady to free agency, two vets that were key rotation pieces last season, adding a #8 overall draft pick, and returning a healthy Jonas Jerebko. There's been a lot of turnover for the Pistons, and if the preseason loses any games (there are 8), I'll be unhappy.
There isn't anything particularly earth-shattering in the interview, but he does claim to be 6-foot-6 and 200 pounds, as opposed to the 6-foot-5 and 185 that was reported at the time of his commit.
I also found the following Q&A interesting not only for the confidence that Stauskas reveals but also for his mention that "politics" keeps him from being ranked higher:
WCS: Although rankings are just numbers, many outlets have you classified right inside the top 100 in the country. You've talked about your shooting and ability to get to the hoop. What parts of your game do you feel you need to improve on over the next year to move up that list, or in other words, what's keeping you from going from a top 100 player to a top 25 player?NS: To be honest with you, the biggest thing that is keeping me out of the top 25 at this point is politics. My game still needs a lot of work, especially physically with my speed and strength, but at this point I believe I have proven to a lot of people that I am more than capable of going at and competing with other top 25 players.
Also of note are his plans for this summer and beyond:
NS: My knee injury has limited my plans for the summer. I wasn't able to play this spring, and that lead to me not being able to go to certain camps such as Pangos All American and NBA Top 100. In July, I still plan to be in Minnesota for the Best Buy Classic, Vegas for the Fab 48, and Phoenix for the Dual in the Desert. I might have a few other tournaments that I will be attending, but I'll have to talk to my coach first. One of my goals since I was young was to play in the McDonald’s All American game at the end of my senior year. I know I have a very long way to go to be able to play in that, but it's still something I dream about. Other than that my goals have basically been to come to Michigan my freshman year as prepared as I can be to play college basketball. I'm working hard so that I leave the coaches at Michigan with no excuses to not play me. And obviously, I'm still working at achieving my biggest goal of one day playing in the NBA. It's a long way away, but at this point I just have to keep working hard and taking it one step at a time.
Stauskas doesn't mention this event (perhaps he's sitting it out because of his injury), but he was selected to play in the 2011 All Canada Classic, which is being held on June 21 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Among the others selected for the rosters is Stefan Jankovic, the 6-foot-10 big man being recruited by Michigan for the 2012 class. (Other invitees include a couple of former U-M recruits: Kevin Pangos and Sim Bhullar).
Evidently, Jankovic will be attending, but some of the other invitees will not, according to this preview:
Myck Kabongo, Khem Birch and Kyle Wiltjer will not be competing, as they have been invited to both the Jordan Classic and the McDonald's All-American Game, so they are likely to compete in those two as their designated two all-star games.
Anyone know if the two designated all-star games is just a Canadian thing? I haven't heard of this before.
Tough draw - Got a break playing Wisco only once, and at home. But not getting Iowa and Nebraska at home is not good - probably the #9 and #10 teams in the league.
Kentucky already honored JC for getting 500 wins but has now backed up on it with pressure from the NCAA. This situation reminds me of OJ Mayo, in that I know it is just a matter of time before the dirt sees the light.
....in his 5th tier of prospects and estimates that he will go between picks 21 and 35. This is an insider article where Chad Ford of ESPN ranks the NBA draft prospects into tiers based on their long term potential. This year he has zero players in Tier 1 (reserved for franchise players like Blake Griffen or Jon Wall).
Here's what he says about Tier 5:
Note: These players look like locks for the first round but most likely won't make the lottery. A few teams had Brooks, Harris, Markieff Morris and Vucevic in Tier 4 but not quite enough for them to make the cut; they were very close, though. Bertans, Honeycutt, Jackson, Mirotic and Darius Morris were borderline picks here. Every one of these players dropped out of the top 30 on at least one NBA team's draft board.
I still wish Morris had stayed another year given the likelihood of a lockout since he could have moved himself into a lottery pick next year. But at least he seems like he'll get the guaranteed first round spot he was hoping for and I wish him the best.
(edit - fixed some clunky wording)