Tag Archives: Tyler Hansbrough

Tinsley waived: Pacers roster now filled with good people and bad players

Bird has gotten rid of all the bad seeds in Indiana but left the Pacers with little talent in the process.

Bird has rid the Pacers of bad seeds, leaving the cupboard bare in the process.

Larry Bird’s rebuilding job aimed at reversing the Pacers’ public image is finally complete with the news that the team has finally waived disgruntled guard Jamaal Tinsley. Now, it appears Bird will soon have another rebuilding job on his hands.

Thanks primarily to Tinsley and Stephen Jackson, the Pacers’ public image took a hit in the years following the “basketbrawl” in 2004.

Tinsley was involved in three off-court incidents between 2006 & 2007, including a bar fight that resulted in a felony charge of intimidation, misdemeanor battery charges, and a disorderly conduct charge.

The Pacers told Tinsley not to report prior to last season and entertained a few trade offers before banishing him to the island of misfit point guards for the entire season.

Pacers fans should applaud Larry Bird’s efforts to clean up Donnie Walsh’s mess, but a glance at the team’s roster suggests there won’t be much to cheer for on the court next season.

Everything revolves around rising star Danny Granger. The All-Star averaged 25.8 ppg last season while playing in 67 games. After that, it’s pretty much a disaster.

The core features Troy Murphy, T.J. Ford, and Brandon Rush. Mike Dunleavy is expected to play, but nagging knee problems could end his career at any point.

The rest of the roster includes Tyler Hansbrough, Dahntay Jones, Earl Watson, Josh McRoberts, A.J. Price, Travis Diener, and Roy Hibbert. Jeff Foster is a free agent and could return to provide another big man.

The Pacers have assembled what is without doubt the least talented roster in the NBA. Jim O’Brien will have to work miracles to keep his team from finishing with the worst record in the league next season.

It looks like it’s time to wait until next, next year.


NBA Mock Draft, first edition

Why Not? The Clippers will select Blake Griffin with the No. 1 overall pick - then things will get interesting.

Why Not? The Clippers will select Blake Griffin with the No. 1 overall pick - then things will get interesting.

With the NBA draft less than a week away, you’ve probably seen dozens of mock drafts with a fairly similar look. We’ve decided to change it up a bit for our first mock draft. In addition to listing the probable first round picks, we’ll grade the likely selection.

1. L.A. Clippers – Blake Griffin, F/C Oklahoma

This makes too much sense for even the Clip Joint to screw up. The Clippers hasn’t hid the strong desire to land Griffin, the first highly marketable player the team has boasted in years. His game still has plenty of room to improve and he should have a huge impact from day one in L.A.

Grade: A+ Clippers finally make a good move with a top-5 pick.

2. Memphis Grizzlies – Hasheem Thabeet, C UConn

The Grizzlies don’t want to be in this spot. Attempts will be made to trade the pick, but the team will likely settle on the best available player not named Ricky Rubio. Memphis seems to think Thabeet’s the best fit because of his defensive abilities.

Grade: F The pick needs to be traded at all costs, but I’m not counting on that to happen. Thabeet is the latest over-hyped big man and Marc Gasol is already in the middle – talk about a slow frontline.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder – James Harden, SG Arizona State

Harden’s maturity and scoring ability makes him an attractive pick for the young Thunder.

Grade: C Harden will be a good pro, but OKC is very weak inside and could use a post scorer more than another perimeter player.

4. Sacramento Kings – Ricky Rubio, G, International

Rubio could be the man to breathe some life into a dying franchise. He won’t be a star right away, but has all the tools to be a great point guard, and more importantly, sell tickets.

Grade: A His 6 million dollar buyout is somewhat of a mystery, but it will only cost the Kings $500,000. Rubio hasn’t objected to the idea of playing in ‘Mento – this one is a no-brainer.

5. Washington Wizards – Jordan Hill, F Arizona

Hill is the best big man in the draft.

Grade: A Washington already has Gilbert Arenas and still hasn’t given up on Nick Young, so a big man makes sense here. Hill would provide much-needed inside-scoring for the Wiz.

6. Minnesota Timberwolves – Tyreke Evans, G Memphis

The T’Wolves will make a big splash in the draft, and it all starts with Evans. He has the tools to be an All-Star for years and make fans forget about draft disasters Randy Foye and Rashad McCants.

Grade: A Minnesota should have a strong draft now that Kevin McHale isn’t running the show any longer.

Tyreke Evans could be headed to the Twin Cities.

Tyreke Evans could be headed to the Twin Cities.

7. Golden State Warriors – Stephen Curry, G Davidson

Don Nelson loves guards and has more input than he should in Warriors’ draft decisions. Curry and Monta Ellis would give Nellie plenty of offense and no size or defense – just the way he likes it.

Grade: C Golden State’s system suits Curry’s skills, so the pick wouldn’t be a total disaster. The Warriors need inside help, but it doesn’t really matter – nothing good will happen as long as Nelson is in charge.

8. New York Knicks – Jrue Holiday, G UCLA

The Knicks are one of several teams talking to Memphis about the No. 2 pick in a quest to land Ricky Rubio. If that falls through, look for NY to nab Jrue Holiday.

Grade: B Holiday has point guard skills but is relatively inexperienced and could take some time to develop. LeBron is not impressed.

9. Toronto Raptors – DeMar DeRozan, G/F USC

DeRozan has been impressive during workouts and has as much potential as any other player in the draft field.

Grade: A+ This pick fills a need and gives the Raptors the best player available – the perfect combination for draft success.

10. Milwaukee Bucks – Jonny Flynn, G Syracuse

Flynn is still learning how to be a facilitator, but his scoring energy would make him a nice addition for the Bucks.

Grade: B In a draft filled with solid point guards, and Brandon Jennings and Ty Lawson could end up having better pro careers than Flynn.

11. New Jersey Nets – Gerald Henderson, G Duke

The Nets need to get younger and more athletic, and Henderson has been impressive in several pre-draft workouts. Rod Thorn has a knack for drafting quality perimeter players.

Grade: A Henderson is a safe pick and should have a nice pro career.

12. Charlotte Bobcats – Terrence Williams, G/F Louisville

Williams has a ton of talent and could fit nicely with Gerald Wallace and Raymond Felton.

Grade: C Williams is the kind of player Larry Brown hates, so Brandon Jennings or Earl Clark might be a better option.

13. Indiana Pacers – Brandon Jennings, G International

Jennings is a sparking talent and could finally give the Pacers stability at the point guard spot.

Grade: A Even if it takes a couple years for him to develop, Jennings should be worth the wait.

14. Phoenix Suns – James Johnson, F Wake Forest

Johnson is strong, big and athletic – his awful jumper is only glaring flaw.

Grade: A The Suns need to get younger on the perimeter, and Johnson is a step in the right direction

15. Detroit Pistons – Earl Clark, F Louisville

Clark’s versatility makes him the perfect replacement for the fragile Tayshaun Prince

Grade: A The Pistons desperately need help in the frontcourt and Clark has a ton of potential.

Clark would be a nice fit in the Motor City.

Clark would be a nice fit in the Motor City.

16. Chicago Bulls – DeJaun Blair, F Pittsburgh

The Bulls could look to replace Ben Gordon with this pick, but Blair’s inside scoring ability makes him the likely pick.

Grade: C Blair might be able to score inside, but he won’t be a good defensive player and has limited upside.

17. Philadelphia 76ers – Ty Lawson, G North Carolina

Lawson’s speed and quickness could help the Sixers become one of the fastest teams in the NBA.

Grade: A Lawson could be the perfect replacement for Andre Miller, who is expected to be elsewhere next season.

18. Minnesota Timberwolves – B.J. Mullens, C Ohio State

Despite his size and talent, Mullens has no idea what it means to play hard or tough.

Grade: C There is nothing wrong with stockpiling big men, but Minnesota should look for a point guard or wing.

19. Atlanta Hawks – Jeff Teague, G Wake Forest

The Hawks passed on another Wake point guard a few years back and desperately need Teague to develop.

Grade: C Teague is certainly not Chris Paul and needs to get much, much stronger

20. Utah Jazz – Tyler Hansbrough, F North Carolina

Hansbrough’s days of domination are over, but he will be a decent NBA player.

Grade: B In a draft light on quality big men, Hansbrough is the best available besides Thabeet and Blair.

21. New Orleans Hornets – Chase Budinger, G/F Arizona

The Hornets desperately need a running mate for Chris Paul.

Grade: A Budinger is a good shooter and finisher who could flourish in the NBA – this pick makes sense.

22. Dallas Mavericks – Sam Young, F Pittsburgh

The Mavs need more youth on the perimeter.

Grade: A Young could be Josh Howard – without the attitude.

23. Sacramento Kings – Omri Casspi, F International

Casspi’s athleticism and versatility make him an attractive prospect.

Grade: A The Kings can afford to wait a couple years for Casspi to develop.

24. Portland Trail Blazers – Eric Maynor, G VCU

Maynor could be a steal in the late first round.

Grade: B Jerryd Bayless is probably more suited to be scoring guard, so Maynor could be the distributor the Blazers need.

25. Oklahoma City Thunder – Taj Gibson, F USC

Gibson needs to gain weight in order to be effective on the inside.

Grade: B This is a little high for Gibson, but the pick certainly fills a team need for the Thunder. Gibson is the last decent big man remaining in the draft.

26. Chicago Bulls – Wayne Ellington, G North Carolina

Ellington is sneaky athletic and a good shooter.

Grade: A His skills make him a good compliment to Derrick Rose.

Ellington could be runnin' with the Bulls.

Ellington could be runnin' with the Bulls.

27. Memphis Grizzlies – Victor Claver, F International

Claver is a bit raw but has a wealth of offensive talent.

Grade: B This could end up being a great pick, that is if he wants to play in Memphis.

28. Minnesota Timberwolves – Darren Collison, G UCLA

Collison is a winner and could be a great defensive player in the NBA.

Grade: A Randy Foye’s future in Minnesota is cloudy – Collison would be a nice insurance policy.

29. L.A. Lakers – Toney Douglas, G Florida State

Douglas has the maturity and toughness to fit in with the Lake Show.

Grade: A With Derek Fisher is nearing the end, Douglas could be the perfect replacement.

30. Cleveland Cavaliers – Derrick Brown, F Xavier

Brown is as steady as they come and a strong defender.

Grade: A Brown would be the perfect combo forward for the Cavs to match up against Rashard Lewis, Lamar Odom types.

Harangody, Vasquez to return for senior seasons, Lawal headed back to G. Tech

Big-buzz is coming back for another season with the Irish.

Big buzz is coming back for another season with the Irish.

Luke Harangody waited until the last minute to withdraw from the NBA draft, finally making the decision most people expected weeks ago.

Yahoo! reported Harangody worked out for at least eight NBA teams in preparation for the draft.

His return makes Notre Dame a strong team heading into next season. It also means Notre Dame will be televised on ESPN at least 30 times next season.

Harangody’s unorthodox style has allowed him to be one of the best college ballers in this decade. His game doesn’t translate to the next level at this point, and never will if he fails to improve his severely limited perimeter skills.

Move over Hansbrough, the next great white college legend is here!

Greivis Vasquez pulls out at the last minute

After impressing the Sacramento Kings in a workout last week, most people expected Vasquez to remain in the draft.

Vasquez has decided to return to Maryland, ESPN is reporting Monday afternoon.

The 6’6″ Venezuelan can be dazzling at times, however his future in the NBA is somewhat cloudy. He needs to gain weight – at least 20 pounds – to avoid being pushed around.

Vasquez averaged 17.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg, and 5.0 apg for the Terps last season while shooting just over 40 percent from the floor.

Gani Lawal returning to Georgia Tech

Lawal was a hot prospect this spring and will be even hotter as the 2010 draft approaches. The rugged 6’9″ forward is heading back for his junior season with the Yellow Jackets.

He improved greatly last season after a sub-par freshman campaign. Lawal could develop into a Charles Oakley type in the NBA.

Paul Hewitt’s squad will be tough next season.

North Carolina coasts into title game

Ellington & UNC made it look easy Saturday against 'Nova. (Getty Images)

Ellington & UNC made it look easy Saturday against 'Nova. (Getty Images)

North Carolina didn’t face much resistance along the road to the Final Four.

Saturday’s matchup against Villanova proved to be another easy task for the Heels.

UNC took advantage of horrid Villanova shooting and advanced to Monday’s championship game with a 83-69 victory.

Ty Lawson scored 22 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out eight assists. Wayne Ellington added 20, and Tyler Hansbrough had another double-double.

Villanova shot 32 percent, including an abysmal 5-27 from 3-point range. I can’t recall any team struggling so badly from long distance in a Final Four.

North Carolina will face a much tougher task Monday against Michigan State.

Meanwhile, Villanova loses Dante Cunningham, Shane Clark, and Dwayne Anderson but returns Scottie Reynolds, Corey Fisher, and Reggie Redding. Jay Wright has a strong recruiting class coming in, so the Wildcats figure to have a terrific squad next year.

I’m looking forward to Monday night’s game. A Michigan State victory would mean so much for the people of Detroit – assuming they are watching the game, have a job, and aren’t Michigan fans.

You gotta love the media.

Stay tuned.

Previewing Villanova-North Carolina

Jay Wright, seen here giving Corey Fisher some fashion tips, has done a great job at 'Nova this season. (AP Photo)

Jay Wright, seen here giving Corey Fisher some fashion tips, has done a great job at 'Nova this season. (AP Photo)

(3) Villanova tries to keep the magic alive against (1) North Carolina in a game featuring dynamic guard play.

The ‘Cats have improved defensively throughout the season, but face a tough task against UNC’s powerful attack.

Villanova will need to shoot well from the outside to win the game.  Scottie Reynolds has shot the ball poorly in the NCAA tournament but can get hot.

I can’t remember a team with as much balance as Villanova.  Corey Stokes, Corey Fisher, and Reggie Redding make ‘Nova a tough guard.

Time is running out for Tyler Hansbrough to dominate the court.  Villanova isn’t a big team, so he should have a good game inside.

Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington will be the difference in the game.  I haven’t seen anyone stop Lawson’s penetration, and Ellington has shot the ball really well since late January.

Villanova is deeper than UNC and will need to speed up the game.  Lawson is still not 100 percent, so he might wear down, especially if Reynolds and Fisher attack him off the dribble.

This should be fun to watch.  I expect North Carolina to win, but Villanova has surprised me throughout the tournament.

10 Final Four questions

Izzo leads the Spartans into Ford Field.

Izzo leads the Spartans into Ford Field.

The 2009 Final Four features some interesting matchups and compelling subplots. We’ll have much more coverage later in the day on TTT, but here are some nuggets and tidbits to watch for in Detroit.

1. Will Michigan State benefit from playing in Detroit? Clearly, the Spartans have an advantage in terms of travel and fan support. Ford Field is about 90 miles from East Lansing and should be an exciting atmosphere when Michigan St. takes the court.

Although the Spartans are playing a virtual home game, UConn is not likely to be rattled and is the more talented team. MSU benefits, but it may not be enough.

2. What will be the subject of Enberg’s Essay? It’s time once again for the annual glimpse into Dick Enberg’s aging mind. I’m betting his featured “essay” will deal with how basketball can help boost the economy and the morale of the city of Detroit.

3. Will the magic continue for Villanova? The ‘Cats had a difficult road to Detroit, and should be ready to face North Carolina. If ‘Nova keeps getting contributions from its role players, Scottie Reynolds and Dante Cunningham will push UNC to the brink.

4. Who will be the best player in Detroit? Ty Lawson has bounced back from his toe injury and played well to lead UNC into the Final Four. Lawson’s quickness and strength makes him difficult to stop. Villanova can throw a number of defenders at Lawson and may try to get the ball out of his hands. I expect Lawson to win M.O.P.

5. How will Hasheem Thabeet impact the Final Four? If Thabeet plays smart and with intensity, he should be able to control the paint. As the only true center in the field, he will be able to roam the paint and clean the glass. Thabeet thrives while playing team defense but can struggle when he is attacked in a 1-on-1 situation.

6. Will Tyler Hansbrough have one more shining moment? Although UNC didn’t really need him to beat Oklahoma, the Hansbrough-Blake Griffin matchup went about as expected. Hansbrough finished with eight points and six rebounds, and looked very ordinary. The Final Four will be his last chance to dominate on the court, and I expect him to finish strong.

7. Who will be the Final Four’s unsung hero? There are a multitude of solid candidates, but a few stand out. I like Stanley Robinson and Jeff Adrien of UConn. I also like Corey Fisher, Durrell Summers, and Dion Thompson to have strong Final Fours.

8. Who will be the most over-hyped player in the Final Four? Hansbrough is the most likely candidate, but Scottie Reynolds will make a run. Reynolds can be exciting but may not even be the best guard on his team.

9. Will the Final Four help Detroit’s economy? This isn’t exactly the best year for Detroit to showcase its city in an attempt to boost tourism, but if nothing else, the Final Four forces fans to spend money in Detroit.

In addition to the thousands of fans journeying to the Motor City, many coaches and athletic directors attend the weekend’s festivities. The Final Four should generate millions of dollars in Detroit and surrounding areas.

10. And the National Champion is…North Carolina. The Tar Heels had a relatively easy road to the Final Four, and look to be in good shape. Ty Lawson is the difference.

ACC struggling in NCAA tournament

Teague and Wake Forest suffered a first round loss after struggling down the stretch this season.

Teague and Wake Forest suffered a first round loss after struggling down the stretch this season.

Throughout the season, some experts proclaimed the ACC to be the strongest conference in all of College Hoops.

And with nine of 12 teams in contention for NCAA tournament berths until late in the season, you could certainly make an argument supporting ACC supremacy.

But the ACC’s struggle in the NCAA tournament has solidified the Big East as the strongest conference in College Basketball.

Seven ACC teams received NCAA tournament bids, but only two teams advanced to the Sweet 16. Clemson, Wake Forest, and Boston College were upset by lower seeds in the first round.

Maryland upset Cal in what was a very favorable matchup for the Terps.

North Carolina and Duke remain in the Big Dance. UNC has a relatively easy road to the Final Four, while Duke will play Villanova in what will be a thrilling game that could go either way.

Given the way some of the ACC teams performed down the stretch, its performance in the NCAA tournament may not be that surprising after all.

Clemson played poorly on the road this season and was prone to having horrid shooting games. Wake looked lost at times and seemed to lack chemistry. Boston College had a nice season but has average talent and Maryland was inconsistent all season.

it’s hard to believe that ACC will never be dominant conference, but next season will certainly be interesting.  A number of players including Tyrese Rice and Tyler Hansbrough have used up eligibility, and many underclassman including Gerald Henderson and Jeff Teague may declare for the NBA draft.

Stay tuned.