December 2011 Basketball Wiretap

Calipari Trusts Kidd-Gilchrist To Play Through Foul Trouble

Dec 30, 2011 3:37 PM

Kentucky freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has been saddled with two early fouls in the past three games, but that hasn’t stopped coach John Calipari from putting him back on the floor.

"Normally when a guy gets two fouls, I will not play him the rest of the half," Calipari said. "The problem with this team is you need his toughness so bad, that I ended up shoving him back in there."

Calipari can’t afford to protect Kidd-Gilchrist for later in the game.

"I'm just getting better and better on the court, so he needs me out there," Kidd-Gilchrist said. "I think that's the reason he puts me back in."

UKAthletics.com

Tags: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky Wildcats, Southeastern Conference, NCAA, NBA, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General

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Khem Birch In No Hurry To Enter Draft, Hopes To Expand Skill Set

Dec 29, 2011 3:15 PM

Khem Birch, who has yet to decide where he will transfer after leaving Pittsburgh, said he's in no rush to turn pro.

"I'm not in a rush to get to the NBA," Birch said. "I know I have a lot of work to do."

Birch indicated that he’d like to play in an up-tempo system where he can develop his power forward skills.

"I want to play more four," Birch said. "That's one of the main reasons I went to Pittsburgh in the first place. I know I don't have the four-man skills yet, but I want to develop them."

CBSSports.com

Tags: Khem Birch, Pittsburgh Panthers, American Athletic Conference, NCAA, NBA, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General

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Scouts Question Fab Melo's Consistency

Dec 29, 2011 3:13 PM

NBA scouts want to see Syracuse center Fab Melo be more consistent before they consider him pro ready.

“[The] biggest issue with him is can he consistently look like a first round pick night in and night out for them,” one NBA scout said.

“Until and unless he can do that he will be considered as simply a player who came in with great hype but hasn’t lived up to it.”

Melo seems well aware of the criticisms against him and promises that there will be more nights like Wednesday.

“No, there will be more for sure,” he said. “I am going to work a lot and my game is going to get better.”

Adam Zagoria/ZagsBlog.com

Tags: Fab Melo, Syracuse Orange, American Athletic Conference, NCAA, NBA, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General

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Cody Zeller Plans To Unveil Shooting Range

Dec 28, 2011 1:27 PM

Cody Zeller plans to be ready if Big Ten opponents make his job tough near the basket.

"I can shoot a little bit on the outside," Indiana's 6-11 freshman forward said Tuesday. "We're talking about moving a little more to the perimeter."

Zeller and his teammates are still improving.

"As he gets more comfortable, he'll keep expanding his game," Hoosiers coach Tom Crean said. "I'm comfortable with him on the perimeter creating for others. His ability to create already has been seen from the post.

"Our best players can get better. Cody epitomizes that."

Marlen Garcia/USA TODAY

Tags: Cody Zeller, Indiana Hoosiers, Big Ten Conference, NCAA, NBA, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General

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Kidd-Gilchrist Compares Himself To Tebow

Dec 28, 2011 1:24 PM

Kentucky freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist likened his ability to win games to that of Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow.

"I'm like a Tim Tebow," Kidd-Gilchrist said. "I just want to win the games, and whatever it takes, I'm going to do it."

Kidd-Gilchrist is averaging 13.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and two assists per game, and has shown a willingness to lead even more veteran teammates.

"I'm ready to lead," Kidd-Gilchrist said. "I'm a freshman, but so what? I'm just ready to lead and win. I've always been that way."

CatsIllustrated.com

Tags: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky Wildcats, Southeastern Conference, NCAA, NBA, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General

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Bradley Beal Adjusting To Speed Of College Game

Dec 22, 2011 3:41 PM

Highly touted freshman Bradley Beal is averaging 15 ponts and 6.2 rebounds per game. And yet there is a feeling that Beal can do even more because he's shooting just 33.9 percent from three-point range. 

Beal acknowledged he needs to work on speeding up the release of his shot.

“You just have to focus on jumping quicker and releasing it quicker,” Beal said. “The form doesn't change or anything like that. Coach Donovan said most of my shots I miss is because of my legs so really I'm just starting to play lower to the ground, really getting my legs more involved in the game.”

Florida coach Billy Donovan said Beal is beginning to feel more comfortable.

“He's understanding the speed of the game,” Florida coach Billy Donovan said. “I think the speed of the game was something that was a little bit surprising to him where you think you are open and you have time to shoot the ball and those gaps close pretty quickly. The length of people running at you in relationship to what was running at him in high school, those are things I think he has to go through to keep getting better.”

Gainesville Sun

Tags: Bradley Beal, Florida Gators, Southeastern Conference, NCAA, NBA, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General

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Drummond Gives Up Scholarship, Playing As Walk-On

Dec 22, 2011 12:09 AM

Andre Drummond said he declined redshirt freshman Michael Bradley’s offer to give up his scholarship.

“I’m thankful for what Mike was trying to do for me,” Drummond said.

“I told Mike, `Don’t do that, man. I’ll pay my way and take a scholarship next year. You don’t have to give up a scholarship for me.’ ”

UConn already had reached its scholarship limit when Drummond, a gifted 6-foot-10 center from Middletown, shocked college basketball by making a late commitment in August, just days before the start of the fall semester.

Gavin Keefe/New London Day

Tags: Andre Drummond, Connecticut Huskies, American Athletic Conference, NCAA, NBA, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General

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Kidd-Gilchrist Organizing 'Breakfast Club' Workouts At Kentucky

Dec 21, 2011 12:08 AM

Noticing Michael Kidd-Gilchrist working out before breakfast, Wildcats coach John Calipari recounted how Michael Jordan organized early morning workout sessions with teammates, suggesting Kidd-Gilchrist persuade others to participate.

“I did,” Kidd-Gilchrist said. “It’s at 8:30 in the morning. It’s just lifting and shooting (before breakfast). We just want to get better.”

Gilchrist was soon joined by point guard Marquis Teague, sophomores Terrence Jones and Jarrod Polson, and finally fellow freshman Kyle Wiltjer and Anthony Davis. Taking a page from Jordan, the Wildcats refer to themselves as the “Breakfast Club.”

“I’m going to go tomorrow,” Teague said. “People will come on certain days. If they wake up early enough to go, they go. … Coach Cal just mentioned it. He talked about how Michael Jordan’s team did it. He just said it’s something we should take into consideration, and we just did it.”

By establishing an early morning workout regimen, Kidd-Gilchrist has evolved into one of the team’s best leaders.

“I want to be a leader now, so I just want to step into that role,” he said, noting that Calipari picked him to start it because he noticed “I’m always in the gym. I’m just getting better and better and, as y’all saw in the Indiana game and the UNC game, it’s just showing.”

Courier Journal

Tags: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Doron Lamb, Marquis Teague, Anthony Davis, Terrence Jones, Jarrod Polson, Kyle Wiltjer, Kentucky Wildcats, Southeastern Conference, NCAA, NBA, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General, NCAA B-Ball IQ

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Harrison Barnes Unconcerned About Scoring Slump

Dec 20, 2011 3:18 PM

Harrison Barnes scored only nine points in each of the last two games, ending a streak of 24 straight double-figure outings that started following a nine-point showing at Duke in February.

Tar Heels coach Roy Williams isn’t overly concerned about Barnes’ lack of production.

"I told you guys that last year, and every one of you thought I was crazy," Williams told reporters Monday night. "At the end of the year, you forgot that I told you that. You didn't say I was right; you just forgot I told you."

Barnes noted his struggles to finish at the rim.

"There’s not too many concerns," Barnes said Tuesday. "I missed a lot of open shots. (Monday) was just a matter of finishing a layup and making some free throws. Those are things you can correct. For the most part you just have to continue to play. With so many games right back to back, you just have to have a short memory."

Fayetteville Observer

Tags: Harrison Barnes, North Carolina Tar Heels, Atlantic Coast Conference, NCAA, NBA, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General

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McAdoo Struggling To Find Niche With Tar Heels

Dec 19, 2011 3:20 PM

James Michael McAdoo ‘s overall lack of aggressiveness helps explain why the forward hasn’t been more effective this season.

“Thinking about it at first, I didn't think it would be as hard,” McAdoo said. “But going into this stretch here at home, I'm looking forward to it, just to where I can get into a groove and hit my stride.”

McAdoo is averaging just 5.4 points and 3.6 rebounds in 13.9 minutes.

“This is a big change from a small private school league in Virginia to the ACC,” Williams said. “He's playing against guys just as big, just as quick, long arms and those kind of things — it's a huge adjustment for him, being asked to do it against that caliber of player every single day.”

Herald-Sun

Tags: James McAdoo, North Carolina Tar Heels, Atlantic Coast Conference, NCAA, NBA, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General

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Weber: Meyers Leonard Focusing Too Much On NBA Future
Illinois coach Bruce Weber questioned Meyers Leonardís maturity.

Chicago Tribune

Naismith Hall Of Fame Announces Bob Cousy Award Candidates
The Bob Cousy award recognizes college basketball's top point guard.

USA Today

Zeller Leads Hoosiers In Scoring Despite Low Percentage Of Shots Attempted
Freshman forward Cody Zeller leads the undefeated Indiana Hoosiers in points per possession.

The Mikan Drill

Tyshawn Taylor Expected To Return Just Eight Days After Knee Surgery
Kansas point guard Tyshawn Taylor had surgery last week to repair torn meniscus in his right knee.

Lawrence Journal World

Tar Heels' Henson Working To Extend Shooting Range
Tar Heels forward John Henson has been working to add an effective jumper to his repertoire.

Times-News

Advisors Reportedly Pushed Khem Birch To Leave Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh freshman Khem Birch left the team for personal reasons.

Pittsburgh Gazette

Harrison Barnes Struggling To Score Off The Dribble
Harrison Barnes has not displayed the ability to score off the dribble, a shortcoming that decreases his value at the NBA level.

HoopSpeakU

Scouts Question Terrence Jones' Aggressiveness
Terrence Jones has yet to fully prove himself in big game situations.

Louisville Courier Journal

Barnes Rates As Tar Heels' Worst Individual Defender
Harrison Barnesí stop percentage registers as the worst on the team.

SI.com

Craft Forcing Nine Turnovers Per One Hundred Possessions
Aaron Craft has recorded 28 steals thus far this season.

SI.com

NBA Scouts Impressed By Scott Machado's Passing Vision, Shooting Ability
NCAA assist leader Scott Machado is projected as a late first round pick.

Richmond Times-Dispatch

Hardaway Jr. Adjusting To Being Focal Point Of Opposing Defenses
Tim Hardaway Jr. is working hard to adjust to the new looks he's getting from opposing defenses.

AnnArbor.com

Jordan Taylor Fighting Through Shooting Slump, Insists He's Fully Recovered From Ankle Surgery
Jordan Taylor hopes to rediscover his touch when Wisconsin takes on UW-Milwaukee.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Tar Heels Undefeated When Kendall Marshall Records Nine Or More Assists
Kendall Marshallís ball distribution has been a strong point for the Tar Heels.

ESPN.com

Calipari Sees Jones' Apathetic Performance Against Indiana As Isolated Incident

Eamonn Brennan/ESPN

Scout: Rivers Should Stay For Sophomore Year At Duke
Austin Riversí shot selection has some scouts shaking their heads thus far this season.

Adam Zagoria/SheridanHoops.com

Moser Could Become First Round Pick
Dave Rice uses Mike Moser in the post and lets him handle the ball on the break, and Moser has shown three-point range.

George Dohrmann/Sports Illustrated

Rivers Leading Blue Devils In Percentage Of Shots Attempted
Austin Rivers has not been shy about asserting himself on offense this season.

SI.com

Sullinger Scoring With Greater Efficiency Despite Back Spasms
Jared Sullinger has upped his field goal and free throw percentages despite dealing with back spasms.

SI.com

Anthony Davis Posting Up On Just 5.7 Percent Of Possessions
The Wildcats are still learning how to utilize Anthony Davis on offense.

SI.com