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The Worst Game Of Aaron Gordonís Life

Five minutes after the game was over, and I’m still shaking. The game between Wisconsin and Arizona was insanely intense. For whatever reason, I decided to watch this game by scouting every play Arizona’s Aaron Gordon made. Since Gordon’s reputation is that he makes a bunch of plays that don’t show up in the box score, I decided I would track him from the opening tip to the closing horn of the Elite Eight match-up. Here are my notes:

The biggest thing I noticed in this game is that Gordon loves playing defense much more than he loves playing offense. When you look at his body language, he just lives for the defensive end of the floor. On offense, he set screens, he moved to the open areas of the floor, and he had a couple of crisp passes to get his teammates inside baskets. But his heart was not into playing methodical half-court offense. Conversely he just floats on defense. He makes every defensive movement with a constant spring in his step.

Gordon’s biggest contribution early in the game was pushing the ball in transition. Arizona’s game plan was to try to attack before Wisconsin was set. And that meant not waiting to get the ball to a guard to take the ball passed half court. When Gordon got the offensive rebound or picked the ball up off a deflection, he dribbled and attacked.

Obviously, most people are going to look at his stat line offensively and say he had a terrible day shooting the ball. But that isn’t really fair. I only noted four particularly egregious offensive efforts. First, early in the first half, he went around a weak screen and settled for a three at the 45 degree angle. It wasn’t a good shot because Arizona could have run the offense and got a better look.

Second, near the end of the first half, he grabbed an offensive rebound near the three point line and put up a somewhat crazy underhand scoop shot. Third, at some point in the second half, Gordon tried to play Nigel Hayes face-up out at the three point line. But Gordon swung the ball out wide as if looking for a cross-over. And Hayes simply reached out and took the ball away for a clean steal. Finally, there was a possession at 6:18 of the second half, where Gordon looked exhausted as he jumped short on a finger-roll attempt.

But other than that, most of Gordon’s looks were strong. At 12:44 of the second half he put up one of the softest floaters you will ever see, but it bounced around the rim for three seconds before rolling off. It was that kind of night for Gordon.

The real reason Gordon will want to burn the game tape is what happened on the defensive end of the floor. First, I want to talk about what happened in three straight situations starting near the 8:30 mark of the first half. If you are an Arizona fan, what you are going to say happened was that Nigel Hayes used three straight chicken wing elbows to get around Gordon, and the refs allowed it. For the second of the three incidents, clearly that would be correct. Hayes put his elbow into Gordon’s back, Gordon fell over, and Gordon was called for the foul.

But on the other two possessions, Gordon was just beat. The first was baffling. Gordon had perfect position, but Hayes somehow swung into a face-up, and beat Gordon along the baseline leading to points. There was a slight elbow when Hayes went up for the lay-up, but I have no idea how Hayes beat Gordon initially along the baseline. That was a truly spectacular play. The third incident was just a classic post move by a skilled big man, beating Gordon into the lane.

Now, given that Gordon was struggling to guard Hayes, you wondered perhaps if he would have better luck on one of Wisconsin’s other big men. And Gordon was put on Frank Kaminsky in the second half. At this point the commentators went into apologist mode. When Kaminsky straight up beat Gordon, starting from 12 feet out and backing him in for a lay-up, Marv Albert said that “Gordon was trying to avoid a second foul.” That was ludicrous.  A few possessions later, Gordon contributed his patented help defense to stop a drive, but that meant he left Kaminsky wide open for a three which Kaminsky nailed. Moments later, Kaminsky caught a simple post-pass and put it in over Gordon’s head. Gordon simply could not defend Kaminsky in this game.

And when Gordon switched to Sam Dekker, it was no better. Near the 5:07 mark of the second half, Gordon tried to stay with Dekker, but got lost on a screen, and Dekker got a lay-up.

There were two good possessions of defense that are worth mentioning. Near the 9:45 mark of the second half, Gordon had a fabulous second effort recovery to block a Nigel Hayes shot. And near the 6:30 mark of the second half, he played Kaminsky straight up in the post, and by holding his ground, he allowed Rondae Hollis-Jefferson to come over and block the Kaminsky shot.

But even without watching Hollis-Jefferson intently, I could tell Hollis-Jefferson was having a far better day than Gordon. For 37 minutes, Aaron Gordon was having the worst day of basketball in his entire life. He couldn’t make a shot. And he couldn’t guard anyone.

And then something happened. Despite everything that had gone wrong, Gordon didn’t give up. He kept fighting. And he started making plays. Near the 2:30 mark, he caught the ball in front of Kaminsky, and made a beautiful move along the baseline for a lay-up.

Then with time running down in regulation, he switched onto Traevon Jackson. Jackson has won a ton of games for the Badgers over the last two years by beating his man and getting clean looks. But Gordon forced Jackson into a very tough shot that rimmed off.

On the first defensive play of OT, Gordon was a step behind Kaminsky, but made an amazing play to dive in and steal the post feed. And with 3:34 left in OT, Gordon caught a pass on the perimeter, and buried a wide open three to tie the game. Then at the 2:58 mark in OT, Gordon caught an offensive rebound, and skied for an emphatic put-back dunk.

Gordon wasn’t perfect in OT. He switched onto Traevon Jackson another time and got beat. But Gordon showed the heart of a winner. Despite one of the worst days of his career, he kept fighting and he kept working. And even as I looked at my notes from what was an absolutely horrible afternoon, I didn’t feel like Gordon was exposed. He played a phenomenal offensive team. He played a player in Frank Kaminsky who might have just worked his way into the NBA lottery. And while Gordon will surely be criticized for this performance, if I was an NBA GM and saw a player with as much passion and energy as he has on the defensive end, I would still draft him in a heartbeat.

Balance Remains Key To Winning In March

While the underdogs are the story of the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, the favorites take the stage in the Sweet 16 and Elite 8. The cutdown from 64 to 16 isn’t nearly as brutal as the one from 16 to 4. A team might sneak through the first weekend due to a favorable draw, but the quality of play ratchets up quickly the further you go. The talent gap shrinks as the field narrows and any weakness a team has will eventually be exposed.

That was the story on Thursday night, which featured two of the best games of the Tourney - Florida 79, UCLA 68 and Arizona 70, San Diego State 64.

After playing the America East champs in the first round and a middling ACC team in the second, Florida faced the second best team in the Pac-12 in the third.

Arizona, after rolling through the champions of two mid-major conferences in the first two rounds, faced a steep challenge from the Mountain West champs in the third.

The games between the 1 and 4 seeds in the South and West brackets were heavyweight matchups. Florida was the No. 1 overall seed and had won 28 straight games; UCLA had as much talent as any team in the country and was coming off winning the Pac-12 conference tournament. Arizona had a 31-4 record and was ranked in the Top 5 for most of the season; San Diego State had a 31-5 record and had not slipped out of the Top 15. All four teams had multiple NBA prospects.

The Florida game came down to rebounds - the Gators had a +10 margin on the glass, including 10 offensive rebounds. UCLA went into a zone early, hoping to exploit Florida’s inconsistent perimeter shooting. However, one of the problems with zones is that it’s harder to rebound out of them, since none of the defenders have a box-out assignment. So while Billy Donovan’s team missed plenty of shots, going 8-21 from three, they rebounded enough misses to make up for it.

The Bruins had a ton of perimeter talent, but they didn’t have the size and athleticism upfront to match-up with Patric Young (6’9 260), Will Yeguete (6’8 230), Dorian Finney-Smith (6’8 215) and Chris Walker (6’11 220). UCLA started two jump-shooting big men in the Wear Twins, who combined for only 8 rebounds. Tony Parker, their biggest player at 6’9 255, was still a year away - he picked up three personal fouls in only 10 minutes of action on Thursday.

Their weakness on the glass meant the Bruins were playing uphill for most of the night. The 1-on-1 talent of Kyle Anderson, Jordan Adams and Zach LaVine fueled runs throughout the game, but they could never close the gap and get a lead. Florida always had an answer, either on the first shot or the second shot or the third. UCLA couldn’t turn them over consistently either, so they were never able to make up the possessions they lost on the defensive glass.

The Bruins were an offensive-minded team that played just enough defense to survive. Against lower-seeded teams like Tulsa and Stephen F. Austin, their overwhelming edge in talent made up for their inability to impose their will on defense. However, against an elite team, it doesn’t matter how many points you can score if you can’t protect your defensive glass. Florida exposed UCLA’s weaknesses in a way their opponents in the first two rounds couldn’t.

San Diego State was the polar opposite of UCLA - an elite defensive team that played just enough offense to survive. When the Aztecs were at their best, they were using their athletic advantage to turn teams over and get out in transition, getting points going from defense to offense. In the half-court, their lack of post play and perimeter shooting made them limited offensively, especially against teams with the size and athleticism to protect their defensive glass.

Arizona, like SDSU, played elite defense and could play an NBA-caliber athlete at every position on the floor. The difference was they had better shooters and more skilled players in the frontcourt, allowing them to run much better half-court offense. They turned the tables on Steve Fisher’s team - turning them over and scoring points in transition, before the Aztecs could set their defense. San Diego State had four assists on 10 turnovers; Arizona had 14 assists on 7 turnovers.

As long as Sean Miller’s team took care of the ball, they could force San Diego State to stay in the halfcourt and beat them from the perimeter. And with their season on the line, the Aztecs couldn’t make enough shots when it counted - shooting 39 percent from the field and 29 percent from three. All those misses allowed them to grab 18 offensive rebounds and keep the game close, but the Wildcats pulled away late, forcing a few huge turnovers and getting easy points on run-outs.

While UCLA could only beat you with offense and San Diego State could only beat you with defense, Arizona and Florida could beat you with both. An elite team can beat you in multiple ways. Some nights the shots aren’t falling, so you have to be able to dig in on defense. Some nights the other team can’t miss, so you have to be able to keep up. Just as important, a balanced team can exploit any weakness in the other team’s roster. They don’t leave points on the board.

In a one-and-done tournament, you never know who you are going to play or what type of team you will have to face. Match-ups can be a tricky thing - the Midwest was supposed to be the region of death, but the No. 3 seed lost to the 14 in the first round and the first seed lost to the eight in the second. A favorable draw will only take you so far; eventually you are going to run into a team with the pieces to expose any hole on your roster. That’s why the best teams have the fewest holes.

One of the age-old debates in basketball is whether offense or defense wins championships. The answer is neither - you need both. A team that plays good offense and good defense is going to have the edge over a team that plays great defense and average offense or great offense and average defense. That’s why balance is the key to winning in March. Arizona and Florida were more balanced than San Diego State and UCLA and that’s why they are moving on.

Every Player In The Sweet Sixteen

Today I want to talk about all 154 players that have made some noise for the teams in the Sweet Sixteen this year. While I am ignoring a handful of players who stayed glued to the bench all year, today I will discuss everyone else, from the role players to the superstars.

Injured or kicked off the team (8): Iowa St.’s Georges Niang, Arizona’s Brandon Ashley, Michigan’s Mitch McGary, Stanford’s Aaron Bright, Tennessee’s Robert Hubbs, Florida’s Eli Carter, Louisville’s Chane Behanan and Kevin Ware.

Niang is the most recent player to get injured, but he certainly isn’t the first. Perhaps the most interesting story belongs to Kevin Ware. A year ago, he broke his leg. In the fall, he was back playing in an exhibition. But some combination of off-court issues and injuries have caused him to no longer travel with Louisville this season.

New to lineup thanks to those injuries (3): Iowa St.’s Daniel Edozie, Arizona’s Elliott Pitts and Jordin Mayes.

With Niang and Ashley going down, these players have seen their minutes tick up lately. But we still don’t know very much about how good these players can be. As much as injuries hurt, sometimes the best news is that the opposition doesn’t have a detailed scouting report on these players yet.

Cut from the rotation late in the year (15): Baylor’s Ish Wainwright, Connecticut’s Omar Calhoun and Tyler Olander, Dayton’s Devon Scott and Kyle Davis, Florida’s Devon Walker and Jacob Kurtz, Kentucky’s Dominique Hawkins, Louisville’s Tim Henderson, Michigan St.’s Alex Gauna and Russell Byrd, San Diego St.’s Dakarai Allen, Stanford’s Grant Verhoeven, Tennessee’s AJ Davis, Virginia’s Darion Atkins.

These players may play a few minutes this weekend. And one or two might even play a larger role if there is some unexpected foul trouble. But all these players have seen their minutes cut at the end of the year. The reasons are fairly straightforward. Everyone on this list either has a low ORtg or never shoots. And you can’t afford to put non-scorers on the floor in the NCAA tournament.

Never plays but you should care (1): Florida’s Chris Walker.

Walker was an elite recruit but eligibility issues prevented him from practicing with Florida for most of the year. If Florida can get a commanding lead and get to garbage time, look for him to get a monster dunk.

They started as walk-ons (2): Kentucky’s Jarrod Polson and Stanford’s Robbie Lemons.

Because both teams lack guard depth these two players will sometimes play meaningful minutes. They are mainly in to help with ball-handling.

One game wonders? (2): Virginia’s Evan Nolte and Connecticut’s Terrence Samuel

Nolte was starting to fall out of the rotation but he hit two huge threes against Coastal Carolina when the game was still in doubt. Samuel scored a career high 11 points in the NCAA tournament game against Villanova.

He’s a big body (4): Wisconsin’s Duje Dukan, Michigan St.’s Gavin Schilling, Tennesee’s Derek Reese, Arizona’s Matt Korcheck.

The rotation patterns suggest these team’s head coaches are not in love with these players. They play because big men get in foul trouble and need rest. But these players are only on the court for short stretches. Schilling is one of only two Spartans to play in every game this season.

Defensive subs (8):

Player

Team

Steal Rate

Block Rate

Justin Anderson

Virginia

1.1

4.1

Dwayne Polee

San Diego St.

3.7

3.3

Lasan Kromah

Connecticut

3.1

1.8

Aqeel Quinn

San Diego St.

2.8

0.4

Alvin Ellis III

Michigan St.

2.7

1.2

Armani Moore

Tennessee

2.3

5

Kendall Pollard

Dayton

2.3

4.2

Marcus Allen

Stanford

2.3

0.7

Defensive subs is sometimes a code word for “this guy can’t shoot.” That isn’t quite fair to everyone on this list. Dwayne Polee is actually a pretty solid spot-up shooter. But it is fair to say that none of these guys are scoring stars. They get their hands on steals, or in Justin Anderson’s case, they block a lot of shots from the wing position. And that still earns them some rotation time.

Get the opening tip, then come sit on the bench (2): Connecticut’s Philip Nolan and Dayton’s Matt Kavanaugh.

Despite starting a ton of games for these two teams, these two play shockingly few minutes.

Defensive rebounding specialists (6):

Player

Team

DR%

Jon Horford

Michigan

25.6

Josh Davis

San Diego St.

24.9

Akil Mitchell

Virginia

23.7

Dustin Hogue

Iowa St.

20.5

Cory Jefferson

Baylor

20.8

Will Yeguete

Florida

18.6

There are elite defensive rebounders in the groups that will follow (Kenny Kaminsky, Rico Gathers, Branden Dawson, Kyle Anderson, Jarnell Stokes, Adreian Payne, Julius Randle), but for these six, it is their defining quality.

Two point scorers (7):

Player

Team

eFG%

Royce O’Neale

Baylor

61.6

Anthony Gill

Virginia

59.7

Kaleb Tarczewski

Arizona

57.6

Stefan Nastic

Stanford

57.4

Norman Powell

UCLA

57.3

Travis Wear

UCLA

56.1

David Wear

UCLA

55.7

These are all players with a high eFG% without taking a lot of threes. I am cheating a bit with this category, as these players do not have all that much in common. But I honestly did not know what to do with these guys. They aren’t great rebounders, they are not really their team’s primary ball-handlers, and they aren’t three point gunners. But they can all score when you get them the ball inside the arc.

O’Neale is probably the most versatile player on the list. He has solid assist numbers, makes wide open threes, and is decent on the boards. But he makes 56% of his twos and that is probably his biggest contribution at this point.

Rim Protectors (7):

Player

Team

DR%

Block%

Amida Brimah

Connecticut

11.3

15.4

Willie Cauley-Stein

Kentucky

16.0

12.2

Isaiah Austin

Baylor

13.5

11.9

Skylar Spencer

San Diego St.

11.8

11.5

Mangok Mathiang

Louisville

13.2

9.9

Matt Costello

Michigan St.

14.8

9.8

Mike Tobey

Virginia

12.3

7

I might be stretching a bit with Tobey, but these are the best shot-blockers left in the field.

No one left in this tournament is both an elite shot-blocker and defensive rebounder. These guys are all tall and explosive enough to have defensive rebounding rates above 20%, but none of them come close. Because these guys go for blocks, they tend to be out of position when fighting for defensive boards.

When you get the offensive rebound, it is easier to score (16):

Player

Team

OR%

Rico Gathers

Baylor

18.2

Dakari Johnson

Kentucky

17.5

Jeronne Maymon

Tennessee

13.9

Stephan Van Treese

Louisville

13.9

Branden Dawson

Michigan St.

13.3

Jordan Morgan

Michigan

12.8

Patric Young

Florida

12.8

Tony Parker

UCLA

12.5

Dorian Finney-Smith

Florida

12.1

Alex Poythress

Kentucky

11.6

Dyshawn Pierre

Dayton

10.6

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

Arizona

10.5

Jalen Robinson

Dayton

10.5

Taurean Prince

Baylor

8.7

J.J. O`Brien

San Diego St.

8.3

Winston Shepard

San Diego St.

7.2

Most of these guys are not skilled offensive players, but by getting offensive rebounds, they tend to get high quality put-backs. Shepard is a surprisingly good passer for a rebounder of his size.

Finney-Smith is a little hard to classify, but given his shooting woes this year, his put-backs are probably his greatest contribution.

The Shooters (26):

Do not leave these players open:

Player

Team

3P%

3PM

3PA

Michael Frazier II

Florida

44%

110

248

Brady Heslip

Baylor

46%

109

235

Ben Brust

Wisconsin

39%

89

229

Jordan Sibert

Dayton

43%

79

184

Joe Harris

Virginia

40%

70

173

Luke Hancock

Louisville

34%

65

192

Naz Long

Iowa St.

41%

63

154

Zak Irvin

Michigan

41%

58

142

Caris LeVert

Michigan

41%

57

139

Gabe York

Arizona

39%

56

144

Niels Giffey

Connecticut

52%

55

106

Anthony Brown

Stanford

45%

52

115

Zach LaVine

UCLA

38%

48

125

Josh Gasser

Wisconsin

46%

47

103

DeAndre Daniels

Connecticut

45%

46

103

Khari Price

Dayton

41%

46

113

Wayne Blackshear

Louisville

40%

45

112

Matt Thomas

Iowa St.

34%

44

130

Sam Dekker

Wisconsin

32%

39

121

Devin Oliver

Dayton

39%

37

95

Kenny Kaminski

Michigan St.

49%

37

75

Matt Shrigley

San Diego St.

35%

35

100

Josh Richardson

Tennessee

34%

33

96

John Gage

Stanford

36%

26

73

Josh Huestis

Stanford

34%

25

74

Bronson Koenig

Wisconsin

32%

19

60

A lot of these guys don't fit in just one category. Luke Hancock and Anthony Brown are very good at driving and getting fouled. Wayne Blackshear is a versatile defender. Devin Oliver and Josh Huestis are great rebounders. Sam Dekker is a very good driver for a big man. Regardless, you don't want to leave any of these guys open.

Pass-First PGs (13):

Player

Team

ORtg

A%

A/TO

T.J. McConnell

Arizona

112.5

31.1

3.1

Kasey Hill

Florida

99.0

25.5

2.0

Darius Thompson

Tennessee

104.3

25.2

2.7

Spike Albrecht

Michigan

127.0

24.8

4.6

London Perrantes

Virginia

118.3

24.3

3.6

Scoochie Smith

Dayton

88.7

20.7

1.8

Monte Morris

Iowa St.

125.2

20.5

5.0

Derrick Walton Jr.

Michigan

112.3

20.3

1.9

Gary Franklin

Baylor

105.1

19.9

1.7

Bryce Alford

UCLA

110.3

19.2

2.1

Travis Trice

Michigan St.

118.2

18.9

2.3

Terry Rozier

Louisville

116.9

17.0

3.0

Antonio Barton

Tennessee

111.1

15.8

2.2

Hill, Thompson, Smith, and Franklin are the only guys without a solid jump shot, and that hurts their ORtg overall. But Hill makes up for it by getting to the free throw line at an elite rate. Barton has not been an effective creator this year and thus the ball-handling duties have fallen more on Tennessee's Jordan McRae.

Scoring and Passing (7):

Player

Team

PPG

PctPoss

ORtg

A%

A/TO

Kenny Chery

Baylor

11.5

23.1

115.6

34

2.3

Keith Appling

Michigan St.

11.7

21.5

110.1

26.3

2.2

Traevon Jackson

Wisconsin

10.8

22.5

107

25

1.8

Andrew Harrison

Kentucky

11

21.7

104

23.1

1.4

Ryan Boatright

Connecticut

11.9

22.5

104.7

22

1.8

Chris Jones

Louisville

10.4

21.7

110.2

20.6

2.1

Vee Sanford

Dayton

9.9

25

103.4

17.5

1.2

Appling, Jackson, and Harrison live at the FT line. Appling is obviously still not 100%, and the biggest question left in this tournament is whether Appling's injury will hurt Michigan St. when they play a close game against a quality opponent.

The stats don’t tell the story (3): Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes, Michigan’s Glenn Robinson, and Arizona’s Aaron Gordon.

Aaron Gordon should be a lottery pick in the draft, but when you look at his stats, he doesn’t dominate in any statistical category. But I strongly believe the stats are missing something here. Sean Miller has taken a team to the NCAA tournament 7 times, but he’s never had a Top 10 defense in his career until this season. And I believe Gordon and Hollis-Jefferson are largely responsible for the peak defensive success. Gordon has an incredible ability to both help in the lane and close out on three point shooters. Gordon has a superstar level impact even if that isn’t reflected in the stats.

Glenn Robinson has seen his draft stock slip substantially this season, and his numbers aren’t great. But he is still an impressive player in the open floor and he has the athleticism to frustrate opposing players.

Finally, Nigel Hayes is statistically a liability for the Badgers. He is one of the least efficient players on the team. But what makes him so important is that Hayes is the Badgers only true inside big man. Hayes has a free throw rate of 94, meaning he gets 94 FTs for every 100 shots he takes. For a perimeter oriented Badger team, he provides some key balance.

They Do Everything! (5):

Player

Team

PPG

DR%

A%

Steal%

Shabazz Napier

Connecticut

17.8

15.2

30.9

3.0

Kyle Anderson

UCLA

14.7

25.4

34.3

3.0

Dwight Powell

Stanford

13.9

17.3

20.5

2.3

Malcolm Brogdon

Virginia

12.6

17.3

19.4

2.4

Denzel Valentine

Michigan St.

8.1

18.3

23.0

1.9

Napier is one of the best rebounding guards you will ever see. Brogdon is a super-versatile wing player. And Anderson and Powell are talented playmakers with the size of forwards. Valentine doesn't have the scoring of the others, but he's still a dynamic point forward. Other than Powell, all are quality three point shooters too.

The Pure Scorers (19):

These players all score a lot, but let’s break down the contributing factors. Jarnell Stokes is scoring a lot despite Tennessee’s slow tempo. Adreian Payne is scoring a lot, despite playing limited minutes.  Meanwhile Russ Smith is the highest volume scorer left in the field, and Nik Stauskas is the most efficient.

Player

Team

PPG

Tempo

PctMin

PctPoss

ORtg

Nik Stauskas

Michigan

17.4

62.7

85.4

23.7

124.5

Frank Kaminsky

Wisconsin

13.6

63.7

66.3

24.9

123.0

Jordan Adams

UCLA

17.4

70.1

72.6

25.6

121.7

Xavier Thames

San Diego St.

17.3

63.4

77.3

27.6

120.6

Montrezl Harrell

Louisville

14.0

69.1

72.9

22.1

117.6

Jarnell Stokes

Tennessee

15.2

62.8

80.3

26.0

117.4

Aaron Harrison

Kentucky

14.1

66.5

79.7

20.7

116.6

Jordan McRae

Tennessee

18.6

62.8

79.4

28.6

115.8

Casey Prather

Florida

14.1

62.8

66.8

25.2

115.4

Russ Smith

Louisville

18.1

69.1

72.9

30.8

114.5

Nick Johnson

Arizona

16.3

64.6

80.7

24.8

114.4

Gary Harris

Michigan St.

16.9

66.4

73.2

25.5

114.1

Adreian Payne

Michigan St.

16.6

66.4

55.1

27.2

114.0

Melvin Ejim

Iowa St.

18.1

71.9

74.3

25.8

113.0

Chasson Randle

Stanford

18.7

67.0

87.0

25.5

112.9

Scottie Wilbekin

Florida

13.1

62.8

72.4

21.5

112.9

Julius Randle

Kentucky

15.1

66.5

75.9

26.3

111.2

DeAndre Kane

Iowa St.

17.1

71.9

84.2

26.7

110.9

James Young

Kentucky

14.3

66.5

80.1

22.0

110.4

Harrell, Stokes, and Julius Randle are all monster offensive rebounders. Other than those three and Casey Prather, all these players are dangerous from three point range. Surprisingly, Jordan Adams has the best steal rate, though Russ Smith isn't far behind. Kane and Smith are also dynamic passers and creators for their teammates.

Arizona Looks Loaded

Aaron Gordon isn't putting up other-worldly stats, but he's been doing the little things on an Arizona team that is loaded with the presence of T.J. McConnell, Nick Johnson, Brandon Ashley, Kaleb Tarczewski and Rondae Holis-Jefferson.

2013 Holiday Tournaments (Part 2)

In the second of a three-part series, we breakdown the NIT (with a potential Gordon vs. Parker matchup), Maui Invitational, Legends Classic, CBE, Gulf Coast Showcase and the Cancun Challenge.

A Case For Holiday Tournaments Over Bowl Games

With the start of college football right around the corner, some fans may be setting aside some extra cash for a bowl week vacation. But as fun as a trip to the Sun Belt can be in January, I donít think enough sportsí fans appreciate college basketballís holiday tournaments.

2013 Jordan Brand Classic

Golf's credibility problem and the NCAA rule that must also be changed, plus a college-centric perspective on the Jordan Brand Classic.

2013 McDonaldís All American Game Recap

Arizona's latest commit Aaron Gordon stole all the headlines, but I was more impressed with a less-heralded name headed to Washington.

Sweet Sixteen Day 1

Grading Doug Gottlieb, analyzing the Syracuse zone, Ohio St.'s under-rated athleticism, and Ramon Galloway's memorable father.

Comparing The Conferences

The Pac-12 has been suffering through a long dark period. The Big Ten has been dominant (at least in the pre-conference schedule) for the last few years. Should we expect a change this year? Is the Pac-12ís slump over? Is the Big Tenís boom about to come to an end?

Team-By-Team Gold Medal Winners

The Jazz and Thunder have had the most Gold Medalists since the USA began bringing NBA players in 1992, while Duke leads amongst colleges. How do the other 29 NBA teams rank?

Notes On The 2012 Jordan Brand Classic

Anthony Davis wanted to wear Michael Jordanís number in this game last year. This year no one chose to wear #23. Maybe people are right when they say this yearís class of high school seniors is missing a larger than life star.

2012 Pac-12 Power Rankings

Washington won the regular season championship, but were ranked fifth statistically in a conference that was bunched together in the top half.

Top NCAA Coaches Of Past Five Years

There are a lot of complicated ways to evaluate college coaches, but in this edition we look at the coaches with the best per possession numbers over the last five years.

Freshmen Bring Hope

Teams that play a lot of freshmen are the most likely to improve as the season goes on, while those with a lot of experience are more likely to plateau. In this piece, we examine freshmen minutes for every major school in the country.

Pac-12 Prospect Watch List

The Pac-10 may have morphed into the Pac-12 this offseason, but the extra 24 players hasn't resulted in any surefire lottery players even though there are several sneaky good prospects.

Power Rankings For The Alumni Games

It is hard to imagine a more exciting barnstorming series than a tournament featuring NBA players suiting up again for their college.

Harry Potter And The 2011 NCAA Tournament

Unlike books and films, sports is always unscripted entertainment and the good guys don't win every time. Let's look at how that relates to the schools (beyond UConn) that should celebrate their March success.

Draft Report: Derrick Williams Of Arizona

The NBA doesn't have a lot of scorers in the mode of Derrick Williams, who also is probably the best bet to win the 2012 Rookie of the Year since he is more NBA-ready than his peers.

On The NCAA Tournament (Day 2)

Kyrie Irving's return, Gus Johnson's Mom, why Georgetown was Friday's biggest loser, plus Texas' expectations remain relatively stagnant.

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