March 2011 Basketball Wiretap

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

Mar 31, 2011 4:25 PM

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.

Press Release

Tags: Isaiah Thomas, Washington Huskies, Pacific-12 Conference, NCAA, NBA, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft Declarations

Walker Beats Out Fredette, Smith For Cousy Award

Mar 31, 2011 1:44 PM

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.

Neill Ostrout/Hearst Communications

Tags: Kemba Walker, Jimmer Fredette, Nolan Smith, Duke Blue Devils, Connecticut Huskies, Brigham Young Cougars, Atlantic Coast Conference, American Athletic Conference, Mountain West Conference, NCAA, NCAA Award

Parade Announces 2011 High School All-Americans

Mar 31, 2011 1:22 PM

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.

Chicago Tribune

Tags: Austin Rivers, Bradley Beal, Anthony Davis, Chase Fischer, Adonis Thomas, Rodney Cooper, Dantley Walker, D.J. Gardner, Trevor Lacey, Wayne Blackshear, D'Angelo Harrison, Adam Smith, Chane Behanan, Cody Zeller, Trey Burke, K.C. Caudill, Jahii Carson, Le'Bryan Nash, Angelo Chol, Wesley Saunders, Shelby Moats, Amir Williams, Branden Dawson, P.J. Hairston, James McAdoo, Xavier Ford, Julien Lewis, Jake White, Johnny O'Bryant, Tanner Wozniak, Myck Kabongo, Reese Morgan, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Colin Gruber, Ryan Spangler, Marquis Teague, Jordan Baker, Michigan Wolverines, North Carolina Tar Heels, Boston College Eagles, Duke Blue Devils, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Texas Longhorns, Louisville Cardinals, St. John's Red Storm, Northern Arizona Lumberjacks, Indiana Hoosiers, Michigan State Spartans, Ohio State Buckeyes, Cal Poly Mustangs, Delaware Fightin Blue Hens, UNC Wilmington Seahawks, Harvard Crimson, Washington Huskies, Buffalo Bulls, Wichita State Shockers, UNLV Runnin' Rebels, Arizona Wildcats, Arizona State Sun Devils, Alabama Crimson Tide, Arkansas Razorbacks, Florida Gators, Kentucky Wildcats, LSU Tigers, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Vanderbilt Commodores, Memphis Tigers, Florida International Golden Panthers, Gonzaga Bulldogs, Pepperdine Waves, High School, NCAA

2011 Mr. Basketball Of Illinois Shared By Two

Mar 31, 2011 12:24 PM

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.

Chicago Tribune

Tags: Ryan Boatright, Chasson Randle, Connecticut Huskies, Stanford Cardinal, American Athletic Conference, Pacific-12 Conference, High School, NCAA

VCU's Postseason Transformation Starts Beyond The Arc

Mar 31, 2011 10:45 AM

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.

Drew Cannon/Basketball Prospectus

Tags: Bradford Burgess, Jamie Skeen, Brandon Rozzell, VCU Rams, Colonial Athletic Association, NCAA Tournament, NCAA

Pitino Says Key To Stopping Kemba Is Forcing Him Baseline

Mar 31, 2011 10:42 AM

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.”

C.L. Brown/Louisville Courier-Journal

Tags: Kemba Walker, Connecticut Huskies, Louisville Cardinals, American Athletic Conference, Southeastern Conference, NCAA Tournament, NCAA

Barnes Will Let Loss Heal Before Making NBA Decision

Mar 31, 2011 10:36 AM

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.”

Jonathan Jones/Daily Tar Heel

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

Irving Will Take Time Making NBA Decision

Mar 31, 2011 10:31 AM

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."

Steve Wiseman/Herald-Sun

Tags: Kyrie Irving, Duke Blue Devils, Atlantic Coast Conference, NCAA, NBA, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General

Villanova's Maalik Wayns Returning For Junior Season

Mar 31, 2011 10:28 AM

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.

Dom Cosentino/

Tags: Maalik Wayns, Villanova Wildcats, American Athletic Conference, NCAA, NBA, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General

Cousins Wishes He Was Still At Kentucky

Mar 31, 2011 10:26 AM

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."

Will Graves/Associated Press

Tags: DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings, Kentucky Wildcats, Southeastern Conference, NCAA Tournament, NCAA, NBA

Pitino Was Highest Paid Coach In Tournament
Louisville’s Rick Pitino will pull in $7.5 million this season.

Jodi Upton/USA TODAY

College Basketball Scholarship Value Estimated At $120,000
The estimate includes benefits received from the university.

Jay Weiner and Steve Berkowitz/USA TODAY

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 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.

Santa Maria Times

Butler Struggles In Fast-Paced Action
Virginia Commonwealth would be wise to push the tempo against Butler.

Joe Lunardi/

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.

Sports Radio Interviews

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.

Justin Young/

Rose: Calipari Creates Us Against World Mentality
Derrick Rose says John Calipari was inspirational in his maturation into a great player.

Shannon Ryan/Chicago Tribune

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.

Salt Lake Tribune

Report: NBA Will Investigate Jay-Z's Postgame Celebration With Kentucky
The NBA will investigate Jay-Z’s visit with the Kentucky Wildcats.

Ken Berger/

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.

Tully Corcoran/Topeka Capital Journal

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.

Steve Wieberg/USA TODAY

Kanter Played Pivotal Role In Harrellson's Development
Kentucky recruit and likely lottery pick Enes Kanter practiced with the Wildcats all season.

Brett Dawson/Courier-Journal

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.

Jason King/Yahoo! Sports

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

Scott Powers/

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.

Scott Howard-Cooper/

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.

Andy Staples/

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.

John Gasaway/Basketball Prospectus

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.

Sports Radio Interviews