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Basketball Wiretap
Basketball news gathered from around the net.

UW's Isaiah Thomas Declares For Draft, Won't Hire Agent

University of Washington junior guard Isaiah Thomas has decided to enter his name in the upcoming NBA Draft.

In a statement on the UW web site, the two-time first team All-Pac-10 member said that he would not hire an agent.

Thomas, an honorable mention Associated Press All-American, averaged 16.8 points and 6.1 assists per game for the Huskies in 2010-11.

Via Press Release

Walker Beats Out Fredette, Smith For Cousy Award

UConn's Kemba Walker was announced the winner of Bob Cousy Award, given annually by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to the nation’s top point guard.

Walker beat out Jimmer Fredette of BYU and Nolan Smith of Duke among others for the award, which is given out by the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.

“I am thrilled that Kemba has been named the winner of the Bob Cousy Award. He is having one of the great seasons ever in college basketball history,” UConn coach Jim Calhoun said in a statement. “Beyond the stats, game-winning shots and accolades, he epitomizes the leadership that a great point guard must have and what he has done to lead our young team to a Big East Championship and to a spot in the Final Four has been unforgettable.”

Walker is averaging 23.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.9 steals per game.

Via Neill Ostrout/Hearst Communications

Parade Announces 2011 High School All-Americans

Parade announced the 2011 All-America Basketball Teams this week.

Austin Rivers (Duke), Bradley Beal (Florida), Anthony Davis (Kentucky), Chase Fischer (Wake Forest), Adonis Thomas (Memphis), Rodney Cooper (Alabama), Dantley Walker (UNLV), DJ Gardner (Mississippi State), Trevor Lacey (Undecided) and Wayne Blackshear (Louisville) were named to the First Team.

On the Second Team were D'Angelo Harrison (St. John's), Adam Smith (UNC-Wilmington), Troy Wroten (Washington), Chane Behanan (Louisville), Cody Zeller (Indiana), Trey Burke (Michigan), Kyle Caudill (Boston College), Jahil Carson (Arizona State), LeBryan Nash (Oklahoma State) and Angelo Chol (Arizona).

Receiving Third Team honors were Wesley Saunders (Harvard), Shelby Moats (Vanderbilt), Devonta Abron (Arkansas), Jarvis Threatt (Delaware), Amir Williams (Ohio State), Jordan Baker (Pepperdine), Branden Dawson (Michigan State), P.J. Hairston (North Carolina), James McAdoo (North Carolina) and Xavier Ford (Buffalo).

The Fourth Team was comprised of Julien Lewis (Texas), Jake White (Wichita State), Johnny O'Bryant (LSU), Tanner Wozniak (FIU), Myck Kabongo (Texas), Reese Morgan (Cal Poly), Michael Gilchrist (Kentucky), Colun Gruber (Northern Arizona), Ryan Spangler (Gonzaga) and Marquis Teague (Kentucky).

Click here for more history of the Parade All-American teams.

Via Chicago Tribune

2011 Mr. Basketball Of Illinois Shared By Two

For the first time in Illinois history, two players shared its top basketball award.

East Aurora's Ryan Boatright and Rock Island's Chasson Randle each finished with 257 points after statewide voting by coaches and media ended March 25. 

Randle, who was named Gatorade Player of the Year in Illinois, will team with Boatright on the North team this weekend in the All-American Championship games in Houston, site of the Final Four.

Morgan Park's Wayne Blackshear was third with 198 points, followed by Perspectives-MSA's Anthony Davis (120) and Benet's David Sobolewski (90).

Boatright, a senior guard who has signed with Connecticut, averaged 32 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals per game.

Randle, a senior guard who has signed with Stanford, averaged 21.7 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game.

Past winners of the award include Derrick Rose and Kevin Garnett.

Click here for prior history of the Illinois Mr. Basketball award.

Via Chicago Tribune

VCU's Postseason Transformation Starts Beyond The Arc

Virginia Commonwealth gave up 34 percent shooting from long range all season long. Over the last five games, that number's down to 23 percent.

The Rams’ three-point shooting has spiked as well -- going from 36 percent during the year to 44 percent in the tournament. They're shooting threes more often in the They're shooting threes more often in the tournament, as well.

On offense, the spikes have been from Bradford Burgess (who has gone from shooting 40 percent to 59 percent), Jamie Skeen (40 to 50), and Brandon Rozzell (39 to 49). And if you drop Burgess's opening round 0-for-4, he's 13-of-18 (72 percent) from deep since.

Via Drew Cannon/Basketball Prospectus

Pitino Says Key To Stopping Kemba Is Forcing Him Baseline

In three games against Rick Pitino’s Louisville Cardinals, Kemba Walker was held below his season averages in field-goal shooting (34.0 percent), three-point shooting (18.7 percent) and scoring (18.3 points per game).

The secret to their success, Pitino says, was keeping him from his comfort zone.

“We start with the theory that if you let a great guard get to the middle of the floor, you're going to have trouble,” Pitino said. “So the first thing we did was try to keep him out of the middle as much as possible.”

It's almost inevitable that Walker will make plays. But Pitino said the Cards concentrated on making him work for everything.

“We know we're not going to stop him to a certain degree, although we had success against him,” Pitino said. “We just want him to shoot a low percentage. So we trap him out of our zone, we trap him on pick and rolls, we switch and then come back and trap him but don't let him roam free in the middle.”

Via C.L. Brown/Louisville Courier-Journal

Barnes Will Let Loss Heal Before Making NBA Decision

Shirley Barnes told The Daily Tar Heel that her son has goals that he wants to fulfill.

The North Carolina freshman forward said after losing 76-69 to Kentucky on Sunday in the Elite Eight that he felt just like he did three years ago, when a last-second shot gave Iowa’s Marshalltown the 51-50 win against Barnes-led Ames in the state playoffs when he was a sophomore.

“That hurt for three months,” his mom, Shirley Barnes, said on Tuesday. “And that was the last time he lost. He has goals and I think he wants to fulfill those goals.”

When asked if he had played his final game in a North Carolina uniform, Barnes gave no indication which way he was leaning, only that he was living in the moment that visibly consumed him.

“I’m not thinking about the NBA,” he said.

Shirley Barnes said when the time is right, her son will make his decision.

“Harrison needs to heal from this loss,” she said. “We haven’t really talked about it, honestly. It’s not pressing to us. It’s what it is.”

Via Jonathan Jones/Daily Tar Heel

Irving Will Take Time Making NBA Decision

Duke guard Kyrie Irving is projected as the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft if he decides to leave school early.

This weekend, the 19-year-old Irving will travel home to New Jersey to discuss his options with his family.

But no one should expect a quick answer.

"Right now, we're going to do our due diligence and privately discuss it as a family," Drederick Irving, Kyrie's father, said Wednesday. "It could be a month or it could be a week. It's not going to be quickly."

Irving said after the Arizona game that the decision remained uncertain. On Wednesday, his father echoed those comments, calling this the biggest decision of Kyrie's life.

"Right now," Drederick Irving said, "Kyrie's focus is on being a student and doing well in the classroom."

Via Steve Wiseman/Herald-Sun

Villanova's Maalik Wayns Returning For Junior Season

Villanova guard Maalik Wayns announced that he will return to Villanova next season, ending speculation that he would test the NBA waters this summer.

The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Wayns averaged 13.8 points, 4.5 assists and 30.1 minutes per game in 2010-11.

He is projected as a second round pick by several draft outlets.

Via Dom Cosentino/Phillyburbs.com

Cousins Wishes He Was Still At Kentucky

When former Kentucky center DeMarcus Cousin’s mind wanders to last year's dismal 73-66 loss to West Virginia in the NCAA Tournament's East Regional final, Cousins tosses and turns as images of missed shots and missed opportunities replay in his mind.

"When I think about it, I can't sleep at night because we should have won that game," said Cousins, now a rookie center for the NBA's Sacramento Kings.

Even at 18, Cousins understood he was part of something special.

"Yes, I wish I was still there," Cousins said. "College life was fun."

Via Will Graves/Associated Press

Pitino Was Highest Paid Coach In Tournament

Louisville’s Rick Pitino will pull in $7.5 million this season.

College Basketball Scholarship Value Estimated At $120,000

The estimate includes benefits received from the university.

Santa Clara Wins 2011 CollegeInsider Tourney

Kevin Foster scored 16 points on Wednesday night to lead Santa Clara over Iona 76-60, and capture the 2011 CollegeInsiders.com tournament.

BC's Reggie Jackson Declares For Draft, Will Not Hire Agent

Reggie Jackson was named to the All-ACC first team, and earned an honorable mention for The Associated Press All-America team.

Butler Struggles In Fast-Paced Action

Virginia Commonwealth would be wise to push the tempo against Butler.

Matta Played Percentages In Choosing Not To Call Timeout Against Kentucky

Ohio State coach Thad Matta said the percentages are better to score late in the game when not calling a timeout.

Rivers, Wiltjer Turning Heads During McDonald's All-American Practices

Austin Rivers and Kyle Wiltjer have impressed those in attendance in Chicago for the McDonald’s All-American game.

Rose: Calipari Creates Us Against World Mentality

Derrick Rose says John Calipari was inspirational in his maturation into a great player.

Utes To Interview Krystowiak For Head Coaching Vacancy

The Utah Utes have received permission from the New Jersey Nets to interview Nets assistant coach Larry Krystowiak for their men's basketball coaching vacancy.

Report: NBA Will Investigate Jay-Z's Postgame Celebration With Kentucky

The NBA will investigate Jay-Z’s visit with the Kentucky Wildcats.

Self: Lockout Could Stunt Draftees’ Development

Kansas coach Bill Self said that the near certainty of an NBA lockout creates a lot of uncertainty for potential draft picks.

NCAA President Open To Increasing Value Of Athletic Scholarships

NCAA president Mark Emmert is open to including the costs of travel, laundry, and other college expenses into the total value of an athletic scholarship.

Kanter Played Pivotal Role In Harrellson's Development

Kentucky recruit and likely lottery pick Enes Kanter practiced with the Wildcats all season.

Walker Sees Freshmen As Key To UConn's Title Hopes

UConn freshmen Jeremy Lamb, Shabazz Napier and Roscoe Smith have contributed greatly to UConn's postseason run.

Jereme Richmond Expected Back At Illinois

NBA prospect Jereme Richmond is expected to return for his sophomore season at Illinois.

Maryland's Jordan Wiliams Entering the Draft

While it is believed that he will ultimately leave his name in the draft, Jordan Williams is leaving his options open at the moment.

NBA Execs Anticipate Strong European Influence In Draft

Several NBA executives are pondering international selections.

Kemba Walker On Track To Break Carmelo's Mark For Postseason Production

UConn's Kemba Walker has produced more than Carmelo Anthony did during Syracuse's 2003 run to the title.

Butler Enters Final Four With Historically Small Win Margin

The Butler Bulldogs have tied the record for smallest margin of victory through four tournament games.

Georgia Tech Coach Brian Gregory Plans To Install Fast-Paced Offense

The Yellow Jackets will look to run off both makes and misses, according to new coach Brian Gregory.
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