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.


Yinka Double Dare

April 14th, 2015 at 12:49 PM ^

Typical "popcorning" involves dumping popcorn to fill up someone's entire car interior, or at least most of it. It's definitely a NBA rookie hazing thing, you can find examples of other teams doing it, just search "filling car with popcorn" or something along those lines.

late night BTB

April 14th, 2015 at 12:50 PM ^

What's the story behind the no driving thing?  I know the Canada, prep school, etc route, but now?  Does he have a driver?  His gf drive him around?  Seems like a pain, especially since Sac-town isn't like NYC/Boston/Chi and probably doesn't have great public transportation.


April 14th, 2015 at 12:59 PM ^

Forgot about the OHL draft. I saw that Hughes and Pastujov were taken in the 4th and wasn't sure how to take it (I think guys like Copp and Compher were taken in like the 12th or 13th round something). Seems like there's enough uncertainty that those teams felt it was worth a shot.

And for the kids who are 99's and 2000's, they surely must know Red won't be their coach right? Unless you assume the AD is sitting on a huge secret like "We have a coach in waiting" which they then told a bunch of 14, 15, and 16 year olds, and those teenagers have managed to not spill the beans, I have to assume these guys are being sold on the school and the program sans coaching staff, right?


April 14th, 2015 at 1:36 PM ^



The hipster effect: When anticonformists all look the same

In such different domains as statistical physics and spin glasses, neurosciences, social science, economics and finance, large ensemble of interacting individuals taking their decisions either in accordance (mainstream) or against (hipsters) the majority are ubiquitous. Yet, trying hard to be different often ends up in hipsters consistently taking the same decisions, in other words all looking alike. We resolve this apparent paradox studying a canonical model of statistical physics, enriched by incorporating the delays necessary for information to be communicated. We show a generic phase transition in the system: when hipsters are too slow in detecting the trends, they will keep making the same choices and therefore remain correlated as time goes by, while their trend evolves in time as a periodic function. This is true as long as the majority of the population is made of hipsters. Otherwise, hipsters will be, again, largely aligned, towards a constant direction which is imposed by the mainstream choices. Beyond the choice of the best suit to wear this winter, this study may have important implications in understanding dynamics of inhibitory networks of the brain or investment strategies finance, or the understanding of emergent dynamics in social science, domains in which delays of communication and the geometry of the systems are prominent.

Sac Fly

April 14th, 2015 at 1:54 PM ^

IMO, Saginaw drafting Mike Pastujov was the best thing Michigan could have hoped for because they also own the rights to his brother.

They're not going to sign and the Spirit probably won't be able to trade their rights unless it's a package deal.

If an OHL team can afford to fork over that king's ransom, I'll start to worry. Otherwise we should be in good shape.

The Pope

April 14th, 2015 at 6:02 PM ^


I get your point about the Kings organization embracing the whole "Sauce Castillo" thing, and it kind of killing the whole "coolness" of it when the establishment embraces it.  However, the Sacramento Kings and thier fans are a small minority in the whole NBA landscape, that kind of have a whole anti-establishment thing.  (I went to high school in Sacramento and became a Kings fan when they had Spud Webb, Wayman Tisdale, the L-Train, and other medoicre players.)  The Kings have lost for so long and thier fans have stayed passionate to them.  They even "fought the power" to keep thier team, and overcame the NBA, the Maloofs, Microsoft billionaires, and ridiculous legal cases.

I realize that someone will bring up the fact that the team is owned by a billionaire, but even his story of being an immigrant from India and building an incredible software empire rings of the little guy overcoming.

So I love the Sauce Castillo thing, and have no problem with the team embracing it.  As Kings fans we always have an "us against the world" thing going, and I consider Vivek part of the "us".


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