Unverified Voracity Swims In Popcorn

Unverified Voracity Swims In Popcorn

Submitted by Brian on April 14th, 2015 at 12:33 PM

I didn't know this was a thing. The NBA kids these days and their "popcorning."

That is Nik Stauskas splayed upon the counter in his popcorn-covered home. Urban Dictionary doesn't know what "popcorning" is (top result: "One of the ways a guinea pig shows his/her excitement/affection") and neither do I. Apparently it has something to do with the fact that Stauskas doesn't drive?

I feel like everything about Stauskas's NBA career has gone through the same filter that created "Sauce Castillo."

A brief essay on Sauce Castillo. It was a tweet at first, with a picture to verify. It took off as these things do, and then the Kings stepped in wholeheartedly. They had a friggin' Sauce Castillo night.

This is probably a good idea for the Kings. They are on top of what is happening on The Social Media and provide some intrigue for an early April game played by a team currently 38 games back of the Warriors. (But seven ahead of the Lakers!) They sold some merch, I imagine. A brief survey of the Kings organization shows a marketing savvy that's a bit of a shock for someone focused on colleges that are doing it right if they aren't shooting themselves in the foot monthly. The Kings are the future, when people at the top of organizations actually understand the internet and act accordingly.

And that's a little sad. A few years ago Sauce Castillo would have been a mark of something… probably that you read Bethlehem Shoals and are the kind of NBA obsessive who needs to find similarly-minded groups of proto-marxist revolutionary cells. Now Sauce Castillo is joyously accepted by the organization at large and thus destroyed.

Man I feel like an old man in Portland complaining that Sleater-Kinney's latest album ruins their entire career right now. But it is kind of a thing: there is a lot of value in defining yourself as a separate, weirder in-group in a mass of fans. MLS and the ever-shifting power struggle between various USMNT supporter's groups do a good job of this; the rest of American sports doesn't.

That will have to come from elsewhere in the Kingsfuture when every mildly diverting tweet is swiftly assimilated by the entertainment Borg.

LeVert update. Holding pattern for Michigan but one in which the arrows continue to point the right way. Chad Ford's advocating a return:

He should return. His draft stock was trending down before he was injured. Not sure he'd be a first rounder if he declared. He'd need excellent workouts.

Since LeVert isn't getting back on the court until May, those workouts would not be ideally timed. And LeVert is facing down an avalanche of prospects in this draft:

Among underclassmen at LeVert's positions -- shooting guard and small forward -- to declare early are Kentucky's Devin Booker and Aaron Harrison, Arizona's Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Kansas' Kelly Oubre, Wisconsin's Sam Dekker, Florida's Michael Frazier II, Eastern Washington's Tyler Harvery, Georgia State's R.J. Hunter, Houston's Jherrod Stiggers, Florida State's Aaron Thomas, North Carolina's J.P. Tokoto and UNLV's Rashad Vaughn.

Other wings expected to declare for the draft include Duke's Justise Winslow and Arizona's Stanley Johnson. Mario Hezonja, a 6-foot-7 small forward from Croatia, is also a projected lottery pick.

"Jherrod Stiggers" is a spectacular name.

Let's maybe hold off on that for one sec. After his commitment, Matt Falcon takes a cue from the Lawrence Marshall playbook:

Right now, he says he's focused on three-star receiver Dez Fitzpatrick and four-star defensive lineman Khalid Kareem.

His pitch to them both is pretty simple.

"The best players in the state play for Michigan," Falcon says. "I'm trying to recruit names in the state and trying to get them to join the family."

I mean, continue to do that. Just expect MSUThaBest2009 to be on your case as you do so.

Hello: Samuelssons. I don't have to tell you this is a hockey recruiting bullet, do I? You just saw "Samuelssons" and assumed we were talking about some Swedes, be they from Sweden or relocated.

Well done, reader: Michigan hockey has secured commitments from depressingly young hockey players once again. This time they are the sons of former NHL defenseman Kjell Samuelsson. The older one, Matthias, is a defenseman. Over The Boards scouts:

He is… uh… 14 and his dad is 6'7" so I would expect him to be very large indeed by the time he reaches campus. Luke Samuelsson, his brother, also committed as a 2018 forward. I haven't been able to find anything on him yet, as you might expect in this age range.

Meanwhile in draft hijinks. Not much in the way of intrigue in this year's OHL draft; Michigan's commitments that far out are generally already signed up with the NTDP. There weren't any unpleasant surprises this year. Michael Pastujov, the younger brother of NTDP-er Nick Pastujov, was drafted by Saginaw in the fourth round on a flier. Michael was projected as a top pick—possibly the top pick—in the draft and slid significantly because of concerns over his commitment. Saginaw is not noted as a team that snipes random Americans.

Toronto-based forward Quinn Hughes, also projected as a top ten pick, slid to the third round. Hughes has dual citizenship and is already committed to the NTDP; his father also works in an NHL front office so they're well aware of the pros and cons of each route. Josh Norris went in the sixth round to Niagara.

How does the seemingly imminent retirement of Red Berenson play into these recruitments? I don't know. Michigan has to be telling these kids that it's unlikely Red is around in 2018, so the far-future ones seem somehow more secure than those who might be making decisions in a year or two. I expect there's some attrition when the change is made; how much is hard to tell.

Etc.: Daily profiles Kyle Connor. Irvin report card. Anthony Carter's tear-away jersey. Diamond Stone eschewing the LOI, good man.

Dear Diary is Closed Captioned

Dear Diary is Closed Captioned

Submitted by Seth on March 27th, 2015 at 10:31 AM

The name of the year bracket is out and I just don't know you guys, there are so many good ones. We've known for 17 years that Charity Sunshine Tilleman-Dick would be a top contender in this year's draft, but not that Littice Bacon-Blood, Dr. Wallop Promthong, Mussolino Africano, Manmeet Colon, Flavious Coffee, Understanding Bush, Reverent Pierrebatista Pizzaballa, Infinite Grover, Amanda Miranda Panda, and Cherries Waffles Tennis would all be coming out this year. Charity is just a 13-seed. The MSU guard they call "Tum Tum" is a 15-seed and entered by his given name, Lourawls Nairn Jr.; apparently someone agrees with me that a nickname like "Tum Tum" need not be wasted on a guy already named Lourawls. I vote we make them give it to Trice. Tum Tum Trice. All in favor?

Sadly Michigan is again unrepresented, the once-mighty program with the all-Ron Swanson-approved front seven reduced to a spattering of boring last-names-that-coud-be-first-names.* However after last night we may ourselves have a write-in candidate:

saucecastillo

It's Canadian for extremely sharp triple-dip salsa.

Meet Sauce Castillo, the accidental nickname for Nick Stauskas. I am old enough to remember a time when hilarious captioning mistakes were merely legends you prayed someone else at school saw the next day, not immediately screencapped, spread to every person who might be interested, meme'd,

07f3e13dd228a1fba847835aee9d8baa_crop_north

and slapped on a t-shirt you could order immediately:

2KPoQX9LdTlRQp4lBJwyUAlfi7jqdOYDR65eQi9TeJg_1024x1024

Since the internet, Mr. Castillo. I remember the days before it, and those days were less fun than these days.

Side Note: Never, and I repeat: NEVER say "Nik Stauskas" into Siri. She will translate it as "skip chapter" and not only jump you to the next one on your audiobook, but you can never go back! It is skipped forever!

* [So many first name last names: Brady Hoke, Dave Brandon, Desmond Morgan, Drake Harris, Shane Morris, James Ross, Jarrod Wilson, Jeremy Clark, Ty Isaac, Mason Cole, Willie Henry, Kenny Allen, Zak Irvin, Cutler Martin, Alex Kile, Evan Allen, Megan Betsa,…can you think of more?]

[After the jump, the other two in the 2015 Big Two Little Twelve is a team from Michigan (NTTFM)]