Category Archives: Greg Brzozowski

NBA Free Agent Pick ‘Em Selections

After I posted last week’s blog about the competition I created, making a game out of this summers NBA Free Agent Class (which frankly, has become a game in itself with all the “sources”, inflated contracts, and now the LeBron James Selection show on ESPN at 9:00 Thursday) I got a lot of responses from readers as they sent in their selections for where some of the NBA’s best will be playing next year. Listed below are all of the entries for the first ever, NBA Free Agent Pick ‘Em competition. New standings will be posted throughout the free agent period until all players have signed and/or the season begins. Without further ado, here are the official picks made by the contestants:

Stephen Brzozowski

# Free Agent Player Points Team He Will Sign With Correct
1 LeBron James 125 Miami Heat
2 Dwyane Wade 100 Miami Heat
3 Dirk Nowitzki 90 Dallas Mavericks
4 Chris Bosh 90 New York Knicks
5 Amar’e Stoudemire 85 New Jersey Nets
6 Joe Johnson 80 New York Knicks
7 Carlos Boozer 80 Chicago Bulls
8 David Lee 80 Washington Wizards
9 Rudy Gay 70 New Jersey Nets
10 Yao Ming 70 Houston Rockets
11 Ray Allen 60 Boston Celtics
12 Shaquille O’Neal 50 Dallas Mavericks
13 Tracy McGrady 50 New York Knicks
14 Brendan Haywood 10 Miami Heat
15 Raymond Felton 10 Toronto Raptors
16 John Salmons 10 Sacramento Kings

Russell Varner

# Free Agent Player Points Team He Will Sign With Correct
1 LeBron James 125 Cleveland Cavaliers
2 Dwyane Wade 100 Miami Heat
3 Dirk Nowitzki 90 New York Knicks
4 Chris Bosh 90 Chicago Bulls
5 Amar’e Stoudemire 85 Miami Heat
6 Joe Johnson 80 New York Knicks
7 Carlos Boozer 80 New Jersey Nets
8 David Lee 80 Dallas Mavericks
9 Rudy Gay 70 Houston Rockets
10 Yao Ming 70 Houston Rockets
11 Ray Allen 60 Boston Celtics
12 Shaquille O’Neal 50 Cleveland Cavaliers
13 Tracy McGrady 50 New York Knicks
14 Brendan Haywood 10 Sacramento Kings
15 Raymond Felton 10 Charlotte Bobcats
16 John Salmons 10 Sacramento Kings

Matt Curry

# Free Agent Player Points Team He Will Sign With Correct
1 LeBron James 125 Cleveland Cavaliers
2 Dwyane Wade 100 Miami Heat
3 Dirk Nowitzki 90 New Jersey Nets
4 Chris Bosh 90 Cleveland Cavaliers
5 Amar’e Stoudemire 85 Miami Heat
6 Joe Johnson 80 New York Knicks
7 Carlos Boozer 80 Utah Jazz
8 David Lee 80 Dallas Mavericks
9 Rudy Gay 70 Oklahoma City Thunder
10 Yao Ming 70 Houston Rockets
11 Ray Allen 60 Miami Heat
12 Shaquille O’Neal 50 New York Knicks
13 Tracy McGrady 50 New Jersey Nets
14 Brendan Haywood 10 Sacramento Kings
15 Raymond Felton 10 Toronto Raptors
16 John Salmons 10 Sacramento Kings

Christian Binder

# Free Agent Player Points Team He Will Sign With Correct
1 LeBron James 125 Cleveland Cavaliers
2 Dwyane Wade 100 Miami Heat
3 Dirk Nowitzki 90 New York Knicks
4 Chris Bosh 90 Miami Heat
5 Amar’e Stoudemire 85 Phoenix Suns
6 Joe Johnson 80 New York Knicks
7 Carlos Boozer 80 Utah Jazz
8 David Lee 80 Dallas Mavericks
9 Rudy Gay 70 Memphis Grizzlies
10 Yao Ming 70 Houston Rockets
11 Ray Allen 60 Boston Celtics
12 Shaquille O’Neal 50 Cleveland Cavaliers
13 Tracy McGrady 50 New York Knicks
14 Brendan Haywood 10 Golden State Warriors
15 Raymond Felton 10 Charlotte Bobcats
16 John Salmons 10 Cleveland Cavaliers

Brian Hoeg

# Free Agent Player Points Team He Will Sign With Correct
1 LeBron James 125 New York Knicks
2 Dwyane Wade 100 Miami Heat
3 Dirk Nowitzki 90 Dallas Mavericks
4 Chris Bosh 90 New York Knicks
5 Amar’e Stoudemire 85 New Jersey Nets
6 Joe Johnson 80 New York Knicks
7 Carlos Boozer 80 Utah Jazz
8 David Lee 80 New York Knicks
9 Rudy Gay 70 Memphis Grizzlies
10 Yao Ming 70 Houston Rockets
11 Ray Allen 60 Boston Celtics
12 Shaquille O’Neal 50 Miami Heat/Rap Career
13 Tracy McGrady 50 New York Knicks
14 Brendan Haywood 10 Sacramento Kings
15 Raymond Felton 10 Toronto Raptors
16 John Salmons 10 Sacramento Kings

Alex Sherron

# Free Agent Player Points Team He Will Sign With Correct
1 LeBron James 125 Cleveland Cavaliers
2 Dwyane Wade 100 Miami Heat
3 Dirk Nowitzki 90 Dallas Mavericks
4 Chris Bosh 90 New York Knicks
5 Amar’e Stoudemire 85 Miami Heat
6 Joe Johnson 80 New York Knicks
7 Carlos Boozer 80 Portland Trail Blazers
8 David Lee 80 New Orleans Hornets
9 Rudy Gay 70 Sacramento Kings
10 Yao Ming 70 Houston Rockets
11 Ray Allen 60 Boston Celtics
12 Shaquille O’Neal 50 Cleveland Cavaliers
13 Tracy McGrady 50 New Orleans Hornets
14 Brendan Haywood 10 Sacramento Kings
15 Raymond Felton 10 Charlotte Bobcats
16 John Salmons 10 Houston Rockets

Craig Filazzola

# Free Agent Player Points Team He Will Sign With Correct
1 LeBron James 125 Chicago Bulls
2 Dwyane Wade 100 Miami Heat
3 Dirk Nowitzki 90 Dallas Mavericks
4 Chris Bosh 90 Miami Heat
5 Amar’e Stoudemire 85 New Jersey Nets
6 Joe Johnson 80 New York Knicks
7 Carlos Boozer 80 Utah Jazz
8 David Lee 80 New York Knicks
9 Rudy Gay 70 Memphis Grizzlies
10 Yao Ming 70 Houston Rockets
11 Ray Allen 60 Boston Celtics
12 Shaquille O’Neal 50 Miami Heat
13 Tracy McGrady 50 New York Knicks
14 Brendan Haywood 10 Sacramento Kings
15 Raymond Felton 10 Charlotte Bobcats
16 John Salmons 10 Sacramento Kings

Josh Cohen

# Free Agent Player Points Team He Will Sign With Correct
1 LeBron James 125 Miami Heat
2 Dwyane Wade 100 Miami Heat
3 Dirk Nowitzki 90 Dallas Mavericks
4 Chris Bosh 90 New York Knicks
5 Amar’e Stoudemire 85 New York Knicks
6 Joe Johnson 80 Atlanta Hawks
7 Carlos Boozer 80 Miami Heat
8 David Lee 80 Chicago Bulls
9 Rudy Gay 70 Memphis Grizzlies
10 Yao Ming 70 Houston Rockets
11 Ray Allen 60 Los Angeles Clippers
12 Shaquille O’Neal 50 Los Angeles Clippers
13 Tracy McGrady 50 New Jersey Nets
14 Brendan Haywood 10 Los Angeles Clippers
15 Raymond Felton 10 New Jersey Nets
16 John Salmons 10 Milwaukee Bucks

Alex Rosenbaum

# Free Agent Player Points Team He Will Sign With Correct
1 LeBron James 125 Chicago Bulls
2 Dwyane Wade 100 Miami Heat
3 Dirk Nowitzki 90 Dallas Mavericks
4 Chris Bosh 90 Chicago Bulls
5 Amar’e Stoudemire 85 New York Knicks
6 Joe Johnson 80 New York Knicks
7 Carlos Boozer 80 Miami Heat
8 David Lee 80 New Jersey Nets
9 Rudy Gay 70 New Jersey Nets
10 Yao Ming 70 Houston Rockets
11 Ray Allen 60 Boston Celtics
12 Shaquille O’Neal 50 Cleveland Cavaliers
13 Tracy McGrady 50 Boston Celtics
14 Brendan Haywood 10 New York Knicks
15 Raymond Felton 10 Charlotte Bobcats
16 John Salmons 10 Los Angeles Clippers

Will McPherson

# Free Agent Player Points Team He Will Sign With Correct
1 LeBron James 125 Cleveland Cavaliers
2 Dwyane Wade 100 Miami Heat
3 Dirk Nowitzki 90 Dallas Mavericks
4 Chris Bosh 90 Miami Heat
5 Amar’e Stoudemire 85 Phoenix Suns
6 Joe Johnson 80 New York Knicks
7 Carlos Boozer 80 Cleveland Cavaliers
8 David Lee 80 Toronto Raptors
9 Rudy Gay 70 Atlanta Hawks
10 Yao Ming 70 Houston Rockets
11 Ray Allen 60 Boston Celtics
12 Shaquille O’Neal 50 Retire
13 Tracy McGrady 50 None
14 Brendan Haywood 10 Washington Wizards
15 Raymond Felton 10 Charlotte Bobcats
16 John Salmons 10 Sacramento Kings

Rob Devine

# Free Agent Player Points Team He Will Sign With Correct
1 LeBron James 125 Chicago Bulls
2 Dwyane Wade 100 Miami Heat
3 Dirk Nowitzki 90 New Jersey Nets
4 Chris Bosh 90 Miami Heat
5 Amar’e Stoudemire 85 New York Knicks
6 Joe Johnson 80 New York Knicks
7 Carlos Boozer 80 Chicago Bulls
8 David Lee 80 New Jersey Nets
9 Rudy Gay 70 Memphis Grizzlies
10 Yao Ming 70 Houston Rockets
11 Ray Allen 60 Boston Celtics
12 Shaquille O’Neal 50 Cleveland Cavaliers
13 Tracy McGrady 50 New York Knicks
14 Brendan Haywood 10 Dallas Mavericks
15 Raymond Felton 10 Charlotte Bobcats
16 John Salmons 10 Sacramento Kings

Steve Milwicz

# Free Agent Player Points Team He Will Sign With Correct
1 LeBron James 125 New Jersey Nets
2 Dwyane Wade 100 Miami Heat
3 Dirk Nowitzki 90 Dallas Mavericks
4 Chris Bosh 90 Miami Heat
5 Amar’e Stoudemire 85 New York Knicks
6 Joe Johnson 80 New York Knicks
7 Carlos Boozer 80 Chicago Bulls
8 David Lee 80 New Jersey Nets
9 Rudy Gay 70 New Jersey Nets
10 Yao Ming 70 Houston Rockets
11 Ray Allen 60 Boston Celtics
12 Shaquille O’Neal 50 Dallas Mavericks
13 Tracy McGrady 50 Washington Wizards
14 Brendan Haywood 10 Chicago Bulls
15 Raymond Felton 10 Charlotte Bobcats
16 John Salmons 10 Cleveland Cavaliers

Tom Waterman

# Free Agent Player Points Team He Will Sign With Correct
1 LeBron James 125 Chicago Bulls
2 Dwyane Wade 100 Miami Heat
3 Dirk Nowitzki 90 Dallas Mavericks
4 Chris Bosh 90 New York Knicks
5 Amar’e Stoudemire 85 Los Angeles Clippers
6 Joe Johnson 80 New York Knicks
7 Carlos Boozer 80 Chicago Bulls
8 David Lee 80 Phoenix Suns
9 Rudy Gay 70 New Jersey Nets
10 Yao Ming 70 Houston Rockets
11 Ray Allen 60 New York Knicks
12 Shaquille O’Neal 50 Cleveland Cavaliers
13 Tracy McGrady 50 Cleveland Cavaliers
14 Brendan Haywood 10 Dallas Mavericks
15 Raymond Felton 10 New Jersey Nets
16 John Salmons 10 Toronto Raptors

Rich Ryan

# Free Agent Player Points Team He Will Sign With Correct
1 LeBron James 125 Cleveland Cavaliers
2 Dwyane Wade 100 Miami Heat
3 Dirk Nowitzki 90 Dallas Mavericks
4 Chris Bosh 90 Cleveland Cavaliers
5 Amar’e Stoudemire 85 New York Knicks
6 Joe Johnson 80 New York Knicks
7 Carlos Boozer 80 Miami Heat
8 David Lee 80 Chicago Bulls
9 Rudy Gay 70 Chicago Bulls
10 Yao Ming 70 Houston Rockets
11 Ray Allen 60 Chicago Bulls
12 Shaquille O’Neal 50 New Jersey Nets
13 Tracy McGrady 50 None
14 Brendan Haywood 10 Dallas Mavericks
15 Raymond Felton 10 Los Angeles Clippers
16 John Salmons 10 Milwaukee Bucks

Sal Licata

# Free Agent Player Points Team He Will Sign With Correct
1 LeBron James 125 Cleveland Cavaliers
2 Dwyane Wade 100 Miami Heat
3 Dirk Nowitzki 90 Dallas Mavericks
4 Chris Bosh 90 Miami Heat
5 Amar’e Stoudemire 85 Phoenix Suns
6 Joe Johnson 80 Atlanta Hawks
7 Carlos Boozer 80 Chicago Bulls
8 David Lee 80 New York Knicks
9 Rudy Gay 70 Chicago Bulls
10 Yao Ming 70 Houston Rockets
11 Ray Allen 60 Boston Celtics
12 Shaquille O’Neal 50 Retire
13 Tracy McGrady 50 Los Angeles Lakers
14 Brendan Haywood 10 Dallas Mavericks
15 Raymond Felton 10 Los Angeles Clippers
16 John Salmons 10 New York Knicks

Barry Greenstein

# Free Agent Player Points Team He Will Sign With Correct
1 LeBron James 125 New Jersey Nets
2 Dwyane Wade 100 Miami Heat
3 Dirk Nowitzki 90 Dallas Mavericks
4 Chris Bosh 90 New York Knicks
5 Amar’e Stoudemire 85 Chicago Bulls
6 Joe Johnson 80 New Jersey Nets
7 Carlos Boozer 80 Sacramento Kings
8 David Lee 80 Phoenix Suns
9 Rudy Gay 70 Memphis Grizzlies
10 Yao Ming 70 Los Angeles Clippers
11 Ray Allen 60 Chicago Bulls
12 Shaquille O’Neal 50 Miami Heat
13 Tracy McGrady 50 New York Knicks
14 Brendan Haywood 10 Washington Wizards
15 Raymond Felton 10 Atlanta Hawks
16 John Salmons 10 New York Knicks

Jordan Rizzo

# Free Agent Player Points Team He Will Sign With Correct
1 LeBron James 125 Chicago Bulls
2 Dwyane Wade 100 Miami Heat
3 Dirk Nowitzki 90 Dallas Mavericks
4 Chris Bosh 90 Toronto Raptors
5 Amar’e Stoudemire 85 New York Knicks
6 Joe Johnson 80 New York Knicks
7 Carlos Boozer 80 Chicago Bulls
8 David Lee 80 New Jersey Nets
9 Rudy Gay 70 New Jersey Nets
10 Yao Ming 70 Houston Rockets
11 Ray Allen 60 Boston Celtics
12 Shaquille O’Neal 50 Retire
13 Tracy McGrady 50 Memphis Grizzlies
14 Brendan Haywood 10 Washington Wizards
15 Raymond Felton 10 Charlotte Bobcats
16 John Salmons 10 Sacramento Kings

Oden Hutcherson

# Free Agent Player Points Team He Will Sign With Correct
1 LeBron James 125 Cleveland Cavaliers
2 Dwyane Wade 100 Miami Heat
3 Dirk Nowitzki 90 Dallas Mavericks
4 Chris Bosh 90 Miami Heat
5 Amar’e Stoudemire 85 New York Knicks
6 Joe Johnson 80 New York Knicks
7 Carlos Boozer 80 Chicago Bulls
8 David Lee 80 New Jersey Nets
9 Rudy Gay 70 New Jersey Nets
10 Yao Ming 70 Houston Rockets
11 Ray Allen 60 Boston Celtics
12 Shaquille O’Neal 50 Cleveland Cavaliers
13 Tracy McGrady 50 Los Angeles Clippers
14 Brendan Haywood 10 Dallas Mavericks
15 Raymond Felton 10 Charlotte Bobcats
16 John Salmons 10 Milwaukee Bucks

Michael Franko

# Free Agent Player Points Team He Will Sign With Correct
1 LeBron James 125 Chicago Bulls
2 Dwyane Wade 100 Miami Heat
3 Dirk Nowitzki 90 Dallas Mavericks
4 Chris Bosh 90 Chicago Bulls
5 Amar’e Stoudemire 85 New York Knicks
6 Joe Johnson 80 New York Knicks
7 Carlos Boozer 80 New Jersey Nets
8 David Lee 80 San Antonio Spurs
9 Rudy Gay 70 Memphis Grizzlies
10 Yao Ming 70 Houston Rockets
11 Ray Allen 60 Boston Celtics
12 Shaquille O’Neal 50 Denver Nuggets
13 Tracy McGrady 50 Los Angeles Clippers
14 Brendan Haywood 10 Dallas Mavericks
15 Raymond Felton 10 Charlotte Bobcats
16 John Salmons 10 Milwaukee Bucks

Benny Wayne

# Free Agent Player Points Team He Will Sign With Correct
1 LeBron James 125 New Jersey Nets
2 Dwyane Wade 100 Miami Heat
3 Dirk Nowitzki 90 Dallas Mavericks
4 Chris Bosh 90 Chicago Bulls
5 Amar’e Stoudemire 85 Miami Heat
6 Joe Johnson 80 Atlanta Hawks
7 Carlos Boozer 80 New Jersey Nets
8 David Lee 80 New York Knicks
9 Rudy Gay 70 New York Knicks
10 Yao Ming 70 Houston Rockets
11 Ray Allen 60 Boston Celtics
12 Shaquille O’Neal 50 Dallas Mavericks
13 Tracy McGrady 50 None
14 Brendan Haywood 10 Cleveland Cavaliers
15 Raymond Felton 10 Charlotte Bobcats
16 John Salmons 10 Milwaukee Bucks

Jonathan Smith

# Free Agent Player Points Team He Will Sign With Correct
1 LeBron James 125 New Jersey Nets
2 Dwyane Wade 100 Miami Heat
3 Dirk Nowitzki 90 Dallas Mavericks
4 Chris Bosh 90 Chicago Bulls
5 Amar’e Stoudemire 85 New York Knicks
6 Joe Johnson 80 New York Knicks
7 Carlos Boozer 80 Miami Heat
8 David Lee 80 Washington Wizards
9 Rudy Gay 70 Chicago Bulls
10 Yao Ming 70 Houston Rockets
11 Ray Allen 60 Boston Celtics
12 Shaquille O’Neal 50 Cleveland Cavaliers
13 Tracy McGrady 50 None
14 Brendan Haywood 10 Oklahoma City Thunder
15 Raymond Felton 10 Charlotte Bobcats
16 John Salmons 10 Miami Heat

Greg Brzozowski

# Free Agent Player Points Team He Will Sign With Correct
1 LeBron James 125 Chicago Bulls
2 Dwyane Wade 100 Miami Heat
3 Dirk Nowitzki 90 Dallas Mavericks
4 Chris Bosh 90 Miami Heat
5 Amar’e Stoudemire 85 New York Knicks
6 Joe Johnson 80 Atlanta Hawks
7 Carlos Boozer 80 Chicago Bulls
8 David Lee 80 New Jersey Nets
9 Rudy Gay 70 Los Angeles Clippers
10 Yao Ming 70 Houston Rockets
11 Ray Allen 60 Chicago Bulls
12 Shaquille O’Neal 50 Cleveland Cavaliers
13 Tracy McGrady 50 New York Knicks
14 Brendan Haywood 10 Dallas Mavericks
15 Raymond Felton 10 Miami Heat
16 John Salmons 10 Washington Wizards

Jackson Brodie

# Free Agent Player Points Team He Will Sign With Correct
1 LeBron James 125 New York Knicks
2 Dwyane Wade 100 Miami Heat
3 Dirk Nowitzki 90 Dallas Mavericks
4 Chris Bosh 90 Chicago Bulls
5 Amar’e Stoudemire 85 New York Knicks
6 Joe Johnson 80 New York Knicks
7 Carlos Boozer 80 Miami Heat
8 David Lee 80 New Jersey Nets
9 Rudy Gay 70 Los Angeles Clippers
10 Yao Ming 70 Houston Rockets
11 Ray Allen 60 Boston Celtics
12 Shaquille O’Neal 50 Cleveland Cavaliers
13 Tracy McGrady 50 New York Knicks
14 Brendan Haywood 10 Oklahoma City Thunder
15 Raymond Felton 10 Charlotte Bobcats
16 John Salmons 10 Miami Heat

NBA Free Agent Pick ‘Em

For about the past two years, NBA and sports fans alike have been anxiously awaiting the summer of 2010, more specifically, July 1st. Now if you have not watched a single minute of Sports Center since 2008 or have no idea who LeBron James is, then maybe you aren’t as excited as the rest of the self-aware world and I am. But if neither of those apply to you, then you know the entire landscape of the NBA will change shortly as some of the best basketball players in the world are about to become free agents. Guys like LeBron, Dwyane Wade, Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Bosh, and tons of more All Stars will be free to sign with any team they want in just a little more than a week. Franchises and their fan bases are doing anything they can do in order to lock up a superstar or two in order to try and win a long coveted championship (New York Knicks) or doing anything they can in order to keep the player that means everything to not only their organization, but their city (Cleveland Cavaliers).

That being said, anyone who follows “The Association” believes that they know, or at least have an idea, on where all of these top stars will be playing next year. People have voiced their opinions so strongly, saying statements like “LeBron could never leave the Cavs!”, “Why would D-Wade want to stick around in Miami?”, or “I guarantee Bosh is a Laker next year!” when in all honesty, we all have no clue what’s going to take place this offseason. But, because everyone thinks they’re right about which city these guys will be calling home, I decided to create a Fantasy league of my own where we will finally decide whose predictions are the most accurate.

Taking the top 16 free agents in the league, what you must do is accurately predict which of the 30 NBA teams said player will sign with next year. The point values (the max total you can receive is 1060 points, I know its not a round number, but it worked) are based on the stars skill level, amount of different teams interested in them, and the pain it would cause the team’s fan base that had them this year if they left. For example, LeBron has the highest ranking of all players because he is the most talented player in this free agent class, many teams are interested in recruiting him, and everyone feels that Cleveland might not exist as a city anymore if he leaves because it will become a ghost town without King James. Dwyane Wade, by comparison, is a nearly equally talented player, and the city of Miami would go into depression in “Wade County”, but many less teams feel they have a shot to sign him then LeBron.

Now that you know the rules, listed below are the players and their point values. Once again, correctly select the team each player will sign with and the one who gets the most player-team combos right will forever be known as the “Master of Free Agency” and wear the (metaphorical) crown as the most knowledgeable NBA fan… or luckiest, depending on how this whole summer works out. (NOTE: THIS CONTEST IS JUST FOR FUN. NO PRIZES, JUST BRAGGING RIGHTS.)

To send your picks in, join the official Facebook group here: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=127402543967193 and I will collect everyone’s entries and update standings throughout the entire summer till every of the 16 free agents have signed. I will post everyone’s picks in another blog entry once they are received by the cut off date. YOU MAY NOT ENTER THE COMPETITION AFTER JUNE 30, 2010 AT 11:59 PM! ALL ENTRIES RECEIVED AFTER THIS TIME AND DATE WILL BE DISQUALIFIED! If you have any questions about the competition, feel free to leave a comment below or email me at gbrzozowski@elon.edu and I will get back to you. Thanks and may the best fan win!

# Free Agent Player Point Value Team He Will Sign With
1 LeBron James 125
2 Dwyane Wade 100
3 Dirk Nowitzki 90
4 Chris Bosh 90
5 Amar’e Stoudemire 85
6 Joe Johnson 80
7 Carlos Boozer 80
8 David Lee 80
9 Rudy Gay (restricted) 70
10 Yao Ming 70
11 Ray Allen 60
12 Shaquille O’Neal 50
13 Tracy McGrady 50
14 Brendan Haywood 10
15 Raymond Felton 10
16 John Salmons 10

4th and 15 Mock Draft

We at 4th and 15 are all about keeping track of who’s wrong and who’s right. In keeping with that tradition, we’re gonna keep a record, then we’ll check our mock draft with the actual draft and see how we did.

1) St. Louis Rams – Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
2) Detroit Lions – Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
3) Tampa Bay Buccaneers -Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
4) Washington Redskins – Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
5) Kansas City Chiefs – Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
6) Seattle Seahawks – C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson
7) Cleveland Browns – Earl Thomas , S, Texas
8 ) Oakland Raiders – Taylor Mays, S, USC
9) Buffalo Bills – Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
10) Jacksonville Jaguars – Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
11) Denver Broncos (from Chicago) – Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
12) Miami Dolphins – Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
13) San Francisco 49ers – Joe Haden, CB, Florida
14) Seattle Seahawks (from Denver) – Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
15) New York Giants – Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama
16) Tennessee Titans – Brandon Graham, LB, Michigan
17) San Francisco 49ers (from Carolina) – Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
18) Pittsburgh Steelers – Mike Iupati, G, Idaho
19) Atlanta Falcons – Kareem Jackson, CB, Alabama
20) Houston Texans – Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida
21) Cincinnati Bengals – Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
22) New England Patriots – Sergio Kindle, LB, Texas
23) Green Bay Packers – Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
24) Philadelphia Eagles – Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
25) Baltimore Ravens – Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers
26) Arizona Cardinals – Charles Brown, OT, USC
27) Dallas Cowboys – Patrick Robinson, CB, South Florida
28) San Diego Chargers – Jahvid Best, RB, California
29) New York Jets – Jerry Hughes, LB, Texas Christian
30) Minnesota Vikings – Nate Allen, S, South Florida
31) Indianapolis Colts – Jared Odrick, DT, Penn State
32) New Orleans Saints – Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri

And there you have it. We’ll check our results on next week’s show and let you know how we did.

NBA Sets New Salary Cap for 2010-11 Season

The NBA Offseason just got a lot more exciting. Earlier today at the end of the Board of Governors meeting, Commissioner David Stern made the announcement that the salary cap for the upcoming NBA season would be much higher than it was earlier expected. With talks of a cap ceiling being estimated at only $ 50.4-53.6 million last summer due to economic troubles plaguing the league, team executives, general managers, and fans all around the Associated cheered with joy when Stern announced that the cap would be projected at $ 56.1 million.

While this is a decrease from the 2009-10 season salary cap maximum ($ 57.7 million), it’s not big enough to limit any of the top candidate NBA teams from landing superstar free agents like LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Joe Johnson, Amar’e Stoudemire, Rudy Gay, and Carlos Boozer. Many teams now feature the cap space to potentially sign not just one, but even two superstars to max contracts. For instance, if the Knicks do not initially resign All Star forward David Lee (which the won’t, you can add him to this free agent mix), they will have $ 34 million to spend on luring LeBron and another marquee free agent. For a team that’s been cutting salary since before the 2008-09 season for to get ready for July 1, 2010, (when free agency begins… along with absolute and utter madness) this was big news.

Another team this is great for is the Miami Heat. All along, many Heat fans have been upset that the team has yet to compliment their franchise player Wade with another top-notch player since they won the NBA Finals in 2006. The best teammates he has played with since that championship run have been Michael Beasley and Jermaine O’Neal (or as Charles Barkley likes to refer to them, Tito Jacksons). With the way the salary cap plays out, they have a fantastic chance to not only resign Wade, but also add a star to the team to help him out. Many people in basketball are not predicting, but expecting Stoudemire to become a member of the Heat in the next season and add another quality player.

Other teams clearly benefit from this cap space, also. The New Jersey Nets, Chicago Bulls, Washington Wizards, Sacramento Kings, and Los Angeles Clippers all have enough cap space to go after a top guy in the league. New Jersey now has the second most spending money this offseason behind the Knicks, with $ 26 million to hand out to talent while also adding a top rookie, as they are guaranteed a top four pick in this years draft. The Bulls, on the other hand, already have an All Star in Derrick Rose and a fantastic big man in Joakim Noah with enough money to spend that they wouldn’t have to cut any cap. The Kings feature young talent like Tyreke Evans, Jason Thompson, Carl Landry, and Omri Casspi that is a veteran away from contending for the playoffs. The Clips have great potential in Eric Gordon and Blake Griffin (who WILL come back strong next year from injury and prove he was worthy of being the top pick in ’09) and good veterans with Baron Davis and Chris Kaman, but owner Donald Sterling is a serious disadvantage for the Lakers alternative, just due to the fact that he is not well thought of or respected by people in the league because of antics like discriminating against African American and Hispanic residents in housing apartments that he owned. Washington will try to land a couple of players off the free agent market, but the Gilbert Arenas gun fiasco and a weak roster in place will not help the Wizards chances.

NBA fans have been going insane in excitement for this upcoming offseason and today they only were teased more about the possibility of what could happen in a matter of months. Fans were only assured today that this magical offseason will happen and come July 1st, the free agents and team will be ready to strike. I can’t wait for the bidding to begin.

Greg Brzozowski
WSOE Sports
gbrzozowski@elon.edu

Crazy About the Madness

Conference tournaments are ending, your studying bracketology rather than biology, Joe Lunardi is on ESPN for the 12 hours minimum a day, In and Out no longer has anything to do with the fast food chain, and you care more about your team’s RPI rather than your own GPA. What could this possibly mean? Oh, that’s right, it’s time for March Madness!

A college basketball fan and an amateur gambler’s Christmas, the NCAA Tournament is one of the top moments in a year for all sports fans. Filling out bracket’s and entering tournament pools are customary of anyone who even has a mild interest in College Basketball (of course, that would only be the case if gambling were legal, which its not). Every year, every fan thinks that they are filling out the perfect bracket, that every upset will happen, and that for once, they will finally win their pool. Of course, all of this is spoiled when Davidson goes to the Elite Eight or George Mason and Wichita State are playing in the Sweet 16. All of a sudden, you understand why Adam Morrison cried like he was getting a glimpse of what his pro career would be like, rather than losing a heartbreaker to UCLA.

March Madness is also about the battle of Favorites taking on Underdogs and Davids vs. Goliaths. It’s where the 5-12 game lives. It’s where Cinderella’s like VCU, Western Kentucky, and Valparaiso make names for themselves in history. It’s where Santa Clara, Hampton, Richmond, and Coppin State become trivia answers to “which 15 seeds have defeated a two seed”. It’s where George Mason sees application numbers jump through the roof, not because of academic reasons, but because their basketball team beat #6 Michigan State, #3 North Carolina, #7 Wichita State, and #1 UConn in a row to get to the final four. It’s where Eric Maynor and Bryce Drew will live on forever. And it’s why the opening round of the tournament features some of the best basketball games of the year.

March Madness also provides fans with some of the best play-by-play calls heard in sporting history. Upsets and dramatics bring out the best in CBS’ broadcasters. Nothing can sum it up better than this YouTube video of the best of Gus Johnson, the most excited announcer in the history of sports broadcasting, to the music of Fort Minor  .

March Madness allows for the breakdown an entire season worth of games and put the worth of a team’s wins and losses into their seeding in greatest tournament in all of sports. For everything the BCS is not in College Football, the NCAA Tournament is its opposite in College Basketball. It provides for the perfect amount of teams to be selected to play. 65 schools are given a shot to win the National Championship, all you have to do is win six straight games (7 if you are the 16 seed out of the play in game) and the ‘ship is yours. There are juggernauts from the Major conferences, the conference tournament winners from Mid Majors, and Bubble teams who had to sweat out Selection Sunday to see if they would even make it. The drama surrounding teams asking will they or won’t they be in makes for a huge part of the excitement of the Tournament.

That’s what makes today’s Selection Sunday so meaningful, the impact it has on those bubble teams. As all College Basketball fans know, this may be the final year of the Tournament as we know it. With the NCAA in talks of expanding March Madness from 65 to 96 teams in order to increase revenue, who knows if we will even hear the words “Bubble Watch” again. With the expansion in total teams likely to happen next year, less and less controversy and excitement take place preceding the playing of the games that adds a little extra enjoyment to a seemingly perfect event. But once again in sports, it’s ALWAYS about the money.

Even if the tournament does expand, no one can say the games will be less exciting. Every fan will tune in again as all it will basically mean is it’ll be even harder to pick a perfect bracket than ever before. The tourney has expanded before and it still seems to work pretty well today. I’m not saying it’s a good thing, or a bad thing, but don’t automatically dismiss it.

When all the teams are picked, the brackets are set, and fans break down every possible matchup, don’t think about any changes to formatting or which seeds didn’t get it. Just think about the exciting basketball we fans of this great sport are about to witness. So turn on your TV, put “One Shinning Moment” on a continuous loop, and become consumed in Madness. Folks, the NCAA Tournament is about to begin.

Elon Phoenix vs. Bucknell Bisons

Be sure to tune into WSOE’s broadcast of the Elon University Phoenix as they host the Bucknell Bisons today at 2:00 PM at Latham Park. The game will be called by Andy Harris and Greg Brzozowski. WSOE’s coverage will begin at 1:45 PM, and can be listened to at WSOE 89.3 FM and also online through the “listen live” feature. To read live blog updates from the game click on the link below.

Click Here

Elon Phoenix vs. Ohio Bobcats

Be sure to tune into WSOE’s broadcast of the Elon University Phoenix as they host the Ohio Bobcats tomorrow at 12:00 PM at Latham Park. The game will be called by Tom Waterman and Greg Brzozowski. WSOE’s coverage will begin at 11:45 AM, and can be listened to at WSOE 89.3 FM and also online through the “listen live” feature. To read live blog updates from the game click on the link below.

Click Here

Wall or Nothing

With the NBA season now a couple games into its second half, most fans have a good feeling about which teams will be around for the playoffs come mid April. On the flip side, it’s also easy to tell which teams stand no chance whatsoever for postseason glory as many of the basketball bottom feeders are as close to being eliminated as a team can get. For these fan bases, there is pretty much only one thing left for them to be excited about… the possibility of acquiring the number one selection in the NBA Draft Lottery! Fans have even more reason to be excited about this year’s top pick as the grand prize of this year’s draft class is one of the best prospects to come along this decade. If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past three months or lost your ability to communicate with society, you know that losing teams are dreaming for the chance to take John Wall, the 6’4” Freshman Point Guard from Kentucky, with the first pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.

Now if this were football or baseball, there would be no speculation over which team would have the first pick in the draft; the club with the worst regular season record would be awarded the first selection. But in basketball, this is not the case. In an effort to cut down on teams giving up on their seasons by just losing games on purpose in order to get a high draft pick, the NBA developed the lottery system in use today. The lottery’s inception came in 1985, when all seven teams who didn’t make the playoffs got a equal chance at acquiring center Patrick Ewing of Georgetown, that years “can’t miss” prospect, with the New York Knicks ultimately winning the lottery.

After tinkering with the system over the years, the NBA arrived at its current lottery format. All fourteen teams who missed the postseason are entered in to get a shot at the number one pick.  To start the process, a set of ping-pong balls, numbered one to fourteen, are placed in a drum. With these fourteen numbers, 1,001 four number combinations are possible. Based on a team’s record, they are given a certain number of combinations with the worst team getting the majority, the second worst getting the next most, and so on and so forth. 1,000 of the 1,001 combinations are handed out to the teams; if the one set of numbers not distributed comes up, the balls are redrawn. The lottery balls are used to only select the top three picks of the draft; after the first three teams are placed, the teams picking from spots 4-14 are placed by their season winning percentage. This rule was put into place so that if one of the worst teams did not get a top three selection, they would not have to worry about dropping so far in the draft that they would miss out on a quality player who could maybe help their struggling franchise.

A lot of basketball fans like this lottery system because of the reasons it was created: it prevents teams from mailing in games, losing on purpose, and gives a level of opportunity for all non playoff teams to claim the top pick in the draft. I, myself, have never had a serious problem with the draft lottery… that is, until this year. For those of you who know me, I am one of the very few New Jersey Nets fans in this world. I have been with this team since the days of Sam Cassell, Kendal Gill, and Keith Van Horn. I’ve seen the highs of two NBA Finals appearances and the lows of, well, this ENTIRE FRICKEN SEASON! The Nets, if you haven’t heard already, are an NBA worst 4-44 on the season (as of February 3, 2010, as this article is going up, they are 5-48) and are on pace to have the worst record ever posted by an NBA team (the current record is held by the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers with a 9-73 record). Now tell me if I’m wrong, but I think it would be pretty unfair to have to suffer through the worst season ever by an NBA team just to see someone like the Detroit Pistons or Indiana Pacers end up getting basically a guaranteed superstar in John Wall. With this pessimistic view in mind, I begin to basically panic when thinking about May 18th when the Draft Lottery will be held.

While hoping for more losses every game from my team to wrap up the best chance at getting Wall on draft night, I came across a page on ESPN.com created by NBA Insider Chad Ford. On this page, Ford created a mock Draft Lottery, simulating every possible teams chance at winning the “John Wall Sweepstakes”, based on current standings and percentage odds. When playing with the fake lottery one day, dying slightly inside every time a Warrior or Kings logo showed up next to Wall’s name rather than a Nets, I decided to conduct an experiment to see the actual chance of this Freshman star coming to New Jersey next year (and then leaving for Brooklyn soon after, but that’s another story). I decided to simulate the lottery process 100 times, documenting every team that came up with the number one pick, which teams made it in the top three lottery picks, seeing who teams were picking in positions 2-4 when they missed out on Wall, and documenting drafting patterns of each team on the rest of the players in this draft class. I then took a special look at the lowly Nets to see how they would be affected by the lottery. I took into account where they picked during every single simulation and which player they ended up selecting. The lottery positions reflect the team’s records as of February 1, 2010.

Teams Odds for #1 pick Record
New Jersey Nets 25.0% 4-42
Minnesota Timberwolves 19.9% 11-38
Golden State Warriors 15.6% 13-33
Detroit Pistons 11.9% 15-31
Indiana Pacers 8.8 % 16-32
Philadelphia 76ers 6.3% 16-31
Washington Wizards 3.6% 16-30
Sacramento Kings 3.5% 16-30
Utah Jazz (via New York Knicks) 1.7% 18-29
Los Angeles Clippers 1.1% 20-27
Milwaukee Bucks 0.8% 20-25
Houston Rockets 0.7% 25-22
Memphis Grizzlies 0.6% 25-21
Oklahoma City Thunder 0.5% 26-21

* Note: The way the teams in the Western Conference are playing, there is always going to be a changing of the order of the teams with the last three picks. Currently, the teams in the 4th playoff spot in the West are only five games up on the team in 10th in the Conference. The Lakers and Nuggets seem to be the only teams who are in no danger… for now.

** Note: There are many other traded 1st round picks already, besides the one the Jazz relieved from the Knicks that goes back to the fantastic Stephon Marbury trade from earlier this decade. There are also a couple of conditional picks that could change over to another team if a certain stipulation is met. Here they all are:

– Oklahoma City receives the Phoenix Suns’ first pick.

– The Clippers get the Timberwolves pick if it is not in the first 10.

– The Timberwolves receive the Charlotte Bobcats first pick if it is not in the first 12.

-The Nets receive the Dallas Mavericks first round pick.

During my simulation of the Lottery, I only focused in on the top players in this upcoming draft class, documenting which teams they went to and where they were commonly picked. But, to give you some names of upcoming “players to watch”, especially with March Madness coming up in about a month and a half, you can watch the tourney and have some players in mind for your NBA team that can help your franchise get out of the lottery and into the playoffs. Here they are in their projected draft order if the lottery were to give teams with the worst losing percentage the top picks.

Player College Position, Year Height, Weight
John Wall Kentucky PG, FR 6’4”, 185
Evan Turner Ohio State SG, JR 6’7”, 205
Derrick Favors Georgia Tech PF, FR 6’9”, 215
Al-Farouq Aminu Wake Forest SF, SO 6’8”, 205
Ed Davis North Carolina PF, SO 6’10”, 215
Wesley Johnson Syracuse SF, JR 6’7”, 198
Cole Aldrich Kansas C, JR 6’11”, 245
Demarcus Cousins Kentucky PF, FR 6’10”, 250
Xavier Henry Kansas SG, FR 6’7”, 220
Dontas Motiejunas (None) Lithuania PF 7’0”, 220
Patrick Patterson Kentucky JR, PF 6’9”, 245
Willie Warren Oklahoma PG, SO 6’4”, 210
Hassan Whiteside Marshall PF, FR 6’11”, 225
Solomon Alabi Florida State C, SO 7’1”, 245

All of these players could contribute in some way to the teams in this lottery. Some could be good role players, coming off the bench or bringing a special trait to a team that needs one. Others could contribute from day one and maybe one day make an All Star team or two. But in this class, there is one, AND ONLY ONE PLAYER, who won’t maybe, but WILL become an absolute superstar and a dominating force in the National Basketball Association. That player is John Wall. So, without further ado, I give you the results of 100 simulations of the NBA Draft Lottery, A.K.A. “The John Wall Sweepstakes”.

Team Number Of Times Won #1 Pick More/Less times won than % odds
New Jersey Nets 32 More (25.0%)
Minnesota Timberwolves 15 Less (19.9%)
Golden State Warriors 14 Less (15.6%)
Detroit Pistons 9 Less (11.9%)
Indiana Pacers 7 Less (8.8%)
Philadelphia 76ers 2 Less (6.3%)
Washington Wizards 10 More (3.6%)
Sacramento Kings 8 More (3.5%)
Utah Jazz (via NYK) 3 More (1.7%)
Los Angeles Clippers 0 Less (1.1%)
Milwaukee Bucks 0 Less (0.8%)
Houston Rockets 0 Less (0.7%)
New Orleans Hornets 0 Less (0.6%)
Oklahoma City Thunder 0 Less (0.5%)

When breaking down these numbers, it’s clear to see that you don’t have to be at the top of the draft lottery odds order to have success in landing the top pick. The Wizards, with only a 3.6% chance, were able to select John Wall 10 times in the simulation. Guess they wouldn’t be missing Gilbert Arenas so much next year with the best point guard to come out of the draft since Chris Paul (who Wall is being compared to by scouts, with only one difference… more upside!). The Kings also had a good amount of success based on their chances of getting Wall. Honestly, imagine a backcourt of John Wall and Tyreke Evans in Sacramento for the next five years… WOW!

The T-Wolves and Warriors were just under their percentage marks but still got to choose at number one 15 and 14 times respectively. These two teams would most likely have to make a trade or two if they either landed Wall due to the overloads they would have of young, developing, and talented guards. The Warriors have four year, 24-year-old Monta Ellis, who is sixth in the league in scoring at 26.5 PPG at shooting guard and Rookie, 21-year-old point guard Stephen Curry, who is one of the top five fist year players in the league. One would have to go, most likely Curry, despite Golden State not seeing his full potential yet. Wall is a better fit at point and could get the ball to Ellis at will while creating his own shot, too. Curry could be dealt for a big man, most likely a power forward, considering Vladimir Radmanovic is currently starting and Anthony Randolph dealing with an ankle injury… oh, and also the fact that Don Nelson is completely holding him back from reaching his potential. Just don’t cry about it Anthony. 

Meanwhile, as hard as it seems to imagine Minnesota drafting another guard after last years draft when they took PG Ricky Rubio at #5, PG Johnny Flynn with the very next pick, PG Ty Lawson at #18 (who was then traded to Denver), and SG Wayne Ellington at #28. But again, no one can pass on Wall, so they would have to take him. Flynn is safe in Minnesota, though, due to the very strong campaign he’s putting as a rookie (14.0 PPG, 4.4 APG). Rubio is the likely trade candidate due to the fact that he is a very highly ranked player on a lot of scout’s lists and has been playing pro ball since he was 15 overseas. A team would have to give up a pretty nice deal to land a player of Rubio’s caliber but not as much as if he were playing in the league now due to the fact that his current contract with Regal Barcelona only gives him the option to leave for the NBA after the 2010-11 season. A team will be willing to wait for the Spaniard though and make a deal and the T-Wolves will be willing to let him go because Wall is already better than Rubio.

A quick comment on these numbers: Ask any Knicks fan who doesn’t hate the Stephon Marbury trade with 100% of their being yet when they see the three #1 picks going to the Jazz in this simulation if they can’t stand it completely yet. That’s three times they land Wall and add an incentive for LeBron James to come to New York. But hey, no future whatsoever with only six players scheduled to come back to the team, the best of which is Danilo Gallinari, is just screaming, “Hey LeBron, come WIN in New York”!

Now to the team that I decided to write this all about, the New Jersey Nets. They have already guaranteed one of the worst seasons ever recorded in NBA history and are on pace to break the 1972-73 76ers record of a 9-73 campaign. Following this Nets season has been tough as a fan. I try to get by with cracking a joke here and there, such as, “On opposite day, we’ll be champions” or by claiming a win in Knockout with my suitemates as property of the Nets to give them something to feel good about. But all of this, the humiliation, the jokes, the anguish, will be worth it if those ping pong balls just work out in our favor. With a ton of cap room to spend freely, a move from the run down Izod Center in the Meadowlands to the state of the art Prudential Center in Newark, and the number one pick in the Nets position, New Jersey looks like a fantastic place to play for such free agents like Joe Johnson, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, and LeBron James. Wall is the essential part of the puzzle. Devin Harris has struggled with injury troubles and some poor performance this year (although what is he supposed to do with the roster around him) and now is now is no longer “untouchable” in trade talks. If Wall goes to Jersey, free agents have an eventual superstar at both point guard and center in John and Brook Lopez at the core of a young and talented nucleolus. Not to mention, Harris is traded for a player that can be inserted into the Nets lineup and instantly contribute.

While the Nets did get more #1 overall selections than half the next closest team received, they still missed out on drafting Wall 68 times. Because I knew the Nets couldn’t draft the freshman phenom every single simulation, I not only took note of when every team won the first pick, but when they gained a top three selection in the draft. This chart outlines the total of all those picks. When a team got the first pick, they received three points. When they were awarded pick #2, they added on two points to their score. And when each team picked third, they received one point. Here are the results:

Team Total Points
New Jersey Nets 145
Minnesota Timberwolves 104
Golden State Warriors 80
Detroit Pistons 67
Indiana Pacers 65
Philadelphia 76ers 30
Washington Wizards 38
Sacramento Kings 33
Utah Jazz (via NYK) 12
Los Angeles Clippers 3
Milwaukee Bucks 6
Houston Rockets 6
New Orleans Hornets 3
Oklahoma City Thunder 5

I also singled out New Jersey specifically and documented where they picked every single time. If they did not receive a top three pick, they were automatically given the #4 selection because they have the worst winning percentage in the NBA. Here is a breakdown of where they picked after every single simulation:

Draft Position Times Nets picked there
#1 32
#2 18
#3 16
#4 34

As you can see, the Nets picked in the top three spots more than anybody in the lottery but ended up drafting in the four spot more than any other position. Now if you ask me, when you have the chance to post the worst record in basketball history, I think you should be able to not have to worry about missing out on the best prospects available in a draft class. So I took a look at whom the Nets selected every time they went to pick and came up with these results:

Player # Of times picked
John Wall 32
Evan Turner 31
Wesley Johnson 37

New Jersey only selected thee different players in their draft picks. They obviously took Wall whenever they were at #1. When they picked at #2, Turner was always their selection, choosing him over Derrick Favors. If they picked at three, they would also choose Johnson over Favors if the latter were still on the board. In fact, the Nets and T-Wolves were the only two teams that would choose Turner or Johnson over Favors. Every other team would go with the freshman from Georgia Tech. To better show he draft tendencies of these lottery teams, I marked down which players were drafted after Wall was gone in the next three picks that followed him. So here are the draft spots of every player picked between selections 2-4:

Player #2 Pick #3 Pick #4 Pick
Evan Turner 54 37 9
Derrick Favors 45 47 8
Wesley Johnson 0 9 21
Ed Davis 0 9 21
Al-Farouq Aminu 0 0 6

All right so let’s break down this table. Turner was the next pick after John Wall whenever the Nets and Timberwolves were picking at #2. Every other team would pick Favors though when they were in the two spot. New Jersey and Minnesota would also choose Johnson over Favors but they were in the minority in that, also. Teams like the Warriors and Pacers were high on Davis, but with his recent wrist injury, it’ll be interesting to see if his draft stock drops. Aminu was only picked in the top four by the Pistons and no one else. One player that will undoubtedly join this field in a top four selection will be DeMarcus Cousins, whose interest from NBA teams has been skyrocketing lately. The thing is, none of these guys have the same ceiling as Wall. Guys like Turner, Cousins, and Favors could have multiple all-star appearances in their futures, but Wall is a frontrunner to become a part of NBA royalty.

With great hype, comes great responsibility, and that is what people will hold to John Wall when he is the first overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. No matter where he goes, Washington, Detroit, Golden State, Minnesota, or New Jersey (PLEASE BE NEW JERSEY!!! O MY GOODNESS!!! PLEASE BASKETBALL GODS!!! HAVE MERCY ON THE NETS!!!), he is going to be looked upon as the savior of the franchise. We saw it happen this decade with LeBron James in Cleveland, Dwight Howard in Orlando, Greg Oden in Portland, and Kevin Durant in Seattle. And while Oden has yet to pan out due to extensive injuries (which may or may not have to do with the fact that he might secretly be 76 years old), the three other guys are definitely top 10, maybe top five, players in the league right now. This will be expected from Wall. He cannot just be an All-Star, but the LeBron version of a point guard. If people give him the two or three years they gave James, Howard, and Durant, Wall will be fine.

So to the fans, let me tell you this. Wall belongs in the aforementioned group of players whose hype has been in another world before coming to the NBA. And based on those other four names, he has about an 80% chance to reach the highest peak in basketball. And that number is a lot better than the chances a lottery team has to draft him.

Contact Information:
Greg Brzozowski
WSOE Sports
gbrzozowski@elon.edu

Elon Phoenix vs. Furman Paladins

The Elon Phoenix Women’s Basketball team took to the court in Alumni Gym on Saturday to face the visiting Furman Paladins.

The starting lineups for each team are as follows:

Furman Paladins

Guard Lee Stevens

Guard Raegan Thompson

Kali Holtfretter

Center Susan Troutman

Center Lakyn Ledfor

Elon Phoenix

Guard Ali Ford

Guard Kallie Hovatter

Guard Tiffany Davis

Forward Kelsey Evans

Forward Urysla Cotton

At the 15:43 mark in the first half, Furman has used a quick, early run to get out to an 11-4 lead. The Paladins have been on fire from the start as they are shooting 80% (4-5) from the field and 66% (2-3) from three. Every single point has come from guard Lee Stephens, who has yet to miss on six attempts.Meanwhile, Elon is having a tough time getting shots to drop as they are only shooting 17% (2-12).

With 12:01 remaining, the Phoenix shooting struggles continue as they are still down, 18-6. Stephens has still yet to miss for Furman and has 14 points now to lead all scorers. Hovatter, Davis, and Lei Lei Hairston all have two points for Elon.

With 6:24 left in the first half, Elon is trailing the Paladins by a score of 25-16. The home team is using their deep bench to get all of their players involved as 13 Phoenix have taken the court. Coach Karen Barefoot is trying to get some fresh legs out on the floor. Four players have two points for Elon while Stephens still leads Furman with 15. Kendra Berry has come off the bench for Furman and has six points herself.

The first half is winding down and Elon is making a serious push to get back into this game. Thanks to high pressure on defense from a full court press and shots starting to drop, Elon is only down three as Furman leads 32-29. Ali Ford has caught fire in this game and has scored 11 points in a four minute span. Courtney Medley has also given the Phoenix some life as she has contributed nine points and is perfect from three point range (3-3). The full court press has derailed the Paladin’s offense and caused them to make more and more turnovers. Both teams have 11 so far.

At the half, Elon has made this a ball game again as they only trail by a score of 36-32. Elon’s defense has been outstanding in causing pressure. Lee Stephens has not been able to get off any more clean, open shots as every single attempt of hers is met with a hand in her face. This ferocious defensive front has also limited the Paladin’s shot attempts. Furman has a much better shooting percentage than Elon (56%-36%) but the Phoenix have kept it close because they have gotten off more shots (36 attempts for Elon, 25 for Furman).  Ali Ford leads Elon with 15 points. She and Courtney Medley each have all of Elon’s three threes.

Just less than five minutes in to the second half, Elon has continued their hustling play to condense the lead to one. Furman now only leads 42-41. Elon has destroyed the Paladins on the boards the entire game, leading 25-14. One thing that Elon needs to try and do better is get to the free throw line. Furman is 5-9 from the line but the Phoenix only have one free throw attempt (which Ali Ford missed). If they get to the line more, that can only help the Phoenix establish a lead.

With 6:47 remaining, Elon is still down one to Furman, 54-53. It has been a back and forth battle so far in the second half; one team scores and another answers right back. Their is a great deal of excitement in Alumni Gym today as a larger than average crowd is getting veri involved in the game. Elon really has a home court advantage today.

With 3:55 left in the game .Elon has jumped ahead to take a 60-55 lead. Ali Ford has been great for Elon all game, scoring 23 points on the Paladins and dishing seven assists. Lee Stephens of Furman has had little second half success as Elon’s defense is still giving her fits.  Kendra Berry has done a good job trying to step up for the Paladins, contributing ten points, but Elon now seems to have an answer for anything they throw their way.

Elon has defeated Furman 63-61. Furman made a late push to try and catch Elon, but it was too little too late. Elon’s next game is at home against Wofford on Monday, the 18th, at 7:00 PM.

Elon Phoenix vs. UNC Greensboro Spartans

The Elon Phoenix Women’s Basketball team went on the road on Wednesday, January 13, to Fleming Gym to take on the UNC Greensboro Spartans. The Phoenix entered the bout with a 6-9 overall record while being 2-5 in SoCon play, hoping to win another conference match while the UNCG hoped to improve their 5-9, 3-4 Conference record.

Tonight’s starting Lineups are as follows:

Elon Phoenix

Guard Ali Ford

Guard Kallie Hovatter

Guard  Tiffany Davis

Foward Kelsey Evans

Foward Urysla Cotton

UNC Greensboro

Guard Amanda Leigh

Guard Monique Floyd

Guard Lakiah Hyson

Forward Kendra Smith

Forward Amy Clapper

With 15:35 left in the first half, Elon has a 9-7 lead over ther Spartans. Ali Ford leads all scorers with six points as she is a perfect 2-2 from three point range. Monique Floyd leads UNCG with five points. The Phoenix has shown a lot of hustle with two steals already but the Spartans are winning the rebounding battle, 10-2. Elon is shooting much better from the field, though, as they are shooting 50% (3-6) while Greensboro is only shooting 27% (3-11).

At the 11:00 mark in the first half, the Spartans lead Elon 16-15.  Elon has gone a little cold shooting wise as they are now only posting a 45% field goal (5-11) while Greensboro is even worse at 37% (7-19). Bot teams are missing shots and finding difficulty capitalizing on their possessions. Both teams are also a combined 3-6 from the charity stripe and not making their freebies. The Spartans are also dominating the rebounding battle still by nearly doubling the Phoenix total, 13-7. Both teams are also getting their benches much more involved and spreading out playing time to give ample rest.

With 7:53 remaining in the first twenty minutes, the Phoenix are trailing UNCG by six as the score is 25-19. Both teams are playing sloppy basketball. Elon has seven turnovers while the Spartans have five themselves. Ali Ford still leads Elon with six points as she has yet to take another shot since the first three minutes of the game while Lakiah Hyson has contributed nine points for Greensboro.

Now with 3:49 remaining in the half, the Spartans still lead Elon by a score of 29-24. Shooting struggles and turnovers continue to be the biggest problems for each team. Elon is shooting 42% (8-19) while UNCG is no better, posting a poor 34% (12-35) themselves. The Spartans are especially cold from three as they are only 2-9. Meanwhile, Elon has given the ball away eight times and the Spartans have 6 turnovers themselves. Greensboro is having a lot of success driving the lane which is keeping them in the lead. Elon will have to do a better job at controlling the ball and stopping the Spartans from scoring in the paint.

At the half, it has turned out to be all Spartans as UNC Greensboro is now dominating the Phoenix, 44-26. Elon could not buy a bucket in the last four minutes as they went scoreless from the 4:22 mark till there was only 36 ticks left. UNCG is now taking advantage of the 13 Elon turnovers by increasing their shooting percentage to 42% (17-41) while the Phoenix only shot 36% (9-25). The Spartans are excelling on the boards, leading Elon in the category by an outstanding total of 31-15. The two players leading the charge for the home team Spartans is Lakiah Hyson who has 17 points, the most in the game. Meanwhile, Elon is still lead by Ali Ford who has had much difficulty getting off shots so far around this tough Greensboro defense. She is only 2-4 from the field, all coming from behind the three point arc. If Elon wants to make a comeback, they are going to have to shoot much better from the field and the free throw line (where they are only 5-11), limit their turnovers, and box out to try and get a better presence on the boards.

With 15:08 left in the game, Elon is still down big. UNC Greensboro is leading in this one, 56-41. The Phoenix have shot much better in the second half, having a 64% (7-11) in the first five minutes after the half. Courtney Medley is leading the comeback attempt for Elon with nine points with Urysla Cotton contributing eight herself. For the Spartans, they have continued to putt pressure on the Phoenix on defense and use Elon’s turnovers to their advantage. UNCG still leads the battle on the boards, 34-23, but the visitors are starting to put up a fight for rebounds. Lakiah Hyson is still leading Greensboro with 19 points.

At the 11:23 mark, UNCG has a 60-47 lead. Both teams are going back and forth on offense and defense, failing to either increase/decrease the lead. The Spartans are in the bonus as Elon has nine team fouls while UNCG only has five. Greensboro has used the charity stripe as an advantage for a majority of the game, compared to Elon. The home team has shot 63% (10-16) from the free throw line while Elon has posted a dismal 42% (6-13) from there.

Only 7:55 remains in this game and if the Phoenix want to catch up they will have to move fast. They are trailing UNCG, 68-54. Elon is making up ground in the statistical categories that were hurting them in the first half, such as rebounds and field goal percentage, but they are falling behind anyway. The tough and physical Spartans defense has kept the visiting Phoenix from attempting anywhere close to the same amount of shots as their counterparts. Greensboro has 62 attempts while Elon has only been able to muster up 49. Lakiah Hyson has been the clear choice for MVP so far in this game as she has posted a game high 26 points in an outstanding performance. She is shooting only 42% (8-19) from the field but has been a perfect 8-8 from the free throw line. She also has the possibility of posting a double-double  as Hyson has contributed seven rebounds and two assists Ursyla Cotton leads Elon with 13 points.

A comeback is looking less and less likely by the second as the Phoenix continue to trail the UNCG Spartans by a score of 77-57 with 3:46 left in the game. Greensboro has not let up in their intensity on offense or defense as they have kept the pressure on their opponents constantly. The Spartans have forced 23 turnovers so far and have 13 team steals. These have led to 24 fast break points for UNC Greensboro while the Phoenix only have 14.

The game has come to an end and unfortunetly, it is not an outcome Phoenix fans wanted. The UNC Greensboro Spartans have defeated the Elon Phoenix by a score of 84-70. Lakiah Hyson led all scorers with 29 points and Monique FLoyd put up a double double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Ursyla Cotton led Elon with 17 points while Ali Ford chipped in 16. The Phoenix will play their next five games at Alumni Gym and face Wofford there on Saturday.