All around the Blazers, they’re pushing Nicolas Batum to be more assertive, to find the next echelon, and he promises one thing on his health and his game. “It’s coming.” Read More. Written by Shams Charania on Dec 17, 2014
Kyrie Irving said he has spoken to Duke's Mike Krzyzewski three times since the season began.
"He didn't like the pace I was playing at in the first game," Irving said in reference to his NBA opener on Monday, a night he shot 2-of-12 from the field in a loss to Toronto.
"He said I needed to play a little bit quicker, which I agree with. He offered as much advice as he could."
Irving certainly played a quicker game Wednesday in Detroit, where he scored 14 points and added seven assists.
"We both know he needs to play faster," Cavaliers coach Byron Scott said. "[Irving] knows it. We want to be that type of team. Hearing it from me and also hearing it from a great coach like Mike, who coached him for the last year and knows him pretty well, I think kind of reinforces the way we want him to play. I don't have a problem with that."
Shabazz Muhammad is looking at Kentucky, Duke, UCLA, Arizona, Kansas and UNLV.
USC, the alma mater of Muhammad’s father, Ron Holmes, is apparently out, as is Texas A&M.
“I narrowed my list down actually to six,” he said at the City of Palms Classic. “I think it was a good thing for me to narrow them down to six because a lot of schools were calling that I wasn’t really interested in. So now I can stay grounded on the court and get ready and go through the season.”
Nerlens Noel could reclassify and become a member of the incoming college class of 2012. Noel is currently a high school junior.
“Yeah I’ve heard that one,” Noel said of the rumor. “I’m not gonna do that though. I’m 90 percent sure that I won’t reclassify. But the fact that those coaches think I can play now, definitely gives me even more confidence on the court.”
Syracuse, Providence, Duke, Florida, Kentucky, Louisville, Georgetown and Connecticut are considered the leaders for Noel.
Austin Rivers is averaging 15.8 points and is shooting 42 percent from beyond the arc.
“Rivers is improving every week,” one veteran NBA scout said (he cannot be quoted by name because NBA scouts are forbidden from publicly commenting on draft-eligible players). “He’s great off the bounce and is starting to calm down and is doing a better job of reading the defense.
“He’s a Top 10 pick.”
Another NBA scout suggested Rivers should spend a second year in college.
“Austin is an offensive-minded 2 guard who has the ability to get to the rim but still struggles with his consistency shooting the ball from the perimeter,” the second scout said. “He also needs to be a more committed defender. I think he came into the season as a one-and-done but should stay another year.”
Julius Randle says that he has discussed teaming up with some of the other top recruits from the 2013 incoming class, most notably Jabari Parker and Aaron Gordon.
"We have a special class with a lot of top talent," Randle said. "I have played with Aaron Gordon at Nike Global … I really enjoyed playing with him. He plays hard all the time. He's a great teammate."
Randle and Gordon both have Kansas on their recruiting list.
"I have talked to Jabari about playing together," Randle said. "He said he wants to play with me."
Randle and Parker have Kansas, Duke, North Carolina and Missouri in common.
Mike Krzyzewski and Pat Summitt were selected by Sports Illustrated to their Sportsman/Sportswoman of the Year
"Of course there's an element of the lifetime achievement award in SI's choice," writes Alexander Wolff. "How could there not be? Summitt has put her stamp on women's basketball for 38 seasons, from the days when the sport was sometimes referred to as "women's extramurals," and her Lady Vols were asked, during a 1979 game at LSU when their prelim to the men went into overtime, to move to an auxiliary gym so the guys could tip off on time.
"As for Krzyzewski, with four more seasons he will complete 40 years as a collegiate head coach. He won his fourth and unlikeliest national title in 2010, and -- oh, by the way -- sandwiched around it two almost criminally underappreciated international gold medals, at the 2008 Olympics and 2010 World Championships, as head coach of a U.S. national team program that had been in steady decline. No other coach has ever won the Olympics, the NCAAs and the Worlds -- and Coach K did so in a span of 26 months."