Archive for November, 2013

Prospect Report: De’Mon Brooks (Davidson)

De'Mon Brooks Davidson basketball scouting report

By James Blackburn

Game Scouted: UVA vs Davidson at the Time Warner Cable Arena (Charlotte)
Virginia Wins 70-57
Box Score

De’Mon Brooks (F, 6’7”, SR)

Stats
36 min, 4-15 FG, 2-3 3 pt, 3-4 FT, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 TO, 1 blk, 1 steal, 13 TP

Strengths
High motor undersized PF who has a nose for the ball. Solid rebounder who is better then his final rebound total stated today in the box score. Solid post defender who has a good base and defends with out fouling. Quick hands defensively for a player his size. Tremendous help defender who drew several charges this game. Understands proper defensive positioning. Very impressed with his defense this game.
Offensively, Brooks struggled for most of the game, before finding some success late. His teammates didn’t do a great job of getting him the ball early on in the post. Solid agility and good strength inside on the block. Loves to go into the spin move- where he can spin either direction and finish w/ either hand. Drew the double team in the post most of this game, and did a solid job of not turning it over and getting it out early to the open perimeter player. Good ball handler with either hand, actually went right more times then he went left. Does a good job of finding the right angle and using creativity around rim to finish. Uses pump fakes and the glass to his advantage. Uses his body well to shield and create space to finish lay-ins. Draws contact well. Good footwork in the post.

Showed the ability to stretch the floor out to 3 point range. Can hit the open 3- lefty but has an unconventional stroke. Above average FT shooter – has improved in this area every year at Davidson. Good rotation on his shot. Has the ability to be a stretch 4 with his pick and pop ability
Weaknesses

His lack of athleticism and height hurts him the most and this hurt him on both ends today. I thought he could have demanded the ball more inside when he had post position. Struggled to finish in this game around the rim- couldn’t get anything going. Having a hard time finishing and scoring over the more athletic and taller Akil Mitchell and Mike Tobey.
I thought he could of run the floor better and he looked a little out of shape this game- could be an effect of him playing major minutes and having to battle bigger players on both ends. Although Brooks does an unbelievable job of being in the correct defensive position, his lack of height doesn’t allow him to adequately defend taller post players when they get position. “Tweener” – what position is he?

Overview
Brooks struggled this game scoring the basketball, but he continued to battle and play hard. Big issue is his lack of a true position. He is not quick enough to guard a SF, but is undersized to play the PF at next level, at least the NBA level. Not the best game Brooks has played as he struggled to score over taller defenders most of the game and battled repeated double teams, but he should dominate his conference this season and is poised for a breakout year. It would be nice to see Brooks at the PIT this season and see how he stacks up there- has a good chance in my opinion. Will definitely watch again this season. Will be a tremendous get for an overseas team as his rebounding and agility are covetable assets.

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By James Blackburn

Game Scouted: WSSU vs Concord

Winston-Salem wins 76-73

Preston Ross, III (F, 6’5”, SR)

Stats
37 min, 6-15 FG, 2-6 3pt, 5-6 FT, 5 reb, 1 assist, 3 TO, 1 blk, 1 steal, 19 TP

Preston Ross Winston-Salem State basketball

Strengths
Physical defender who bumps cutters. Closes out with high hands. Active and quick hands defensively-makes plays- got multiple deflections tonight and guards the inbounds. Made the proper defensive rotations and has good bball IQ. Looks to make contact and box out on all rebounds. Hustles and plays hard. Incredible offensive rebounder because of hustle, vertical leap, and timing. Relentless motor.
Secures rebounds strongly with 2 hands.

Excellent athlete who runs the floor well and has good hands. Quick jump. Excellent in transition, gets out quickly. Very good slasher who can finish with contact. Head hunts on screens. Strong frame. Shot has good rotation and he has solid mechanics with a nice follow through. Showed he was capable to knock down the open corner 3 off the pick and pop play- hit back to back 3′s at a critical point in this game with under 4 min to play. Has a smooth FT stroke. Team player who shares the ball and does not force shots. Is in great physical condition- played a game high 37 minutes in this contest. Good high-low passer and is an underrated passer in general- better then his assist numbers would indicate. Does a good job of sealing inside.

Weaknesses
Struggles to change directions with the ball off the dribble. Needs to improve ball handling overall, dribbles with head down. Inconsistent shooter from 3 and needs to speed up release. What position is he on the floor? Struggled to finish around the rim tonight but hustled and was able to board most of his own misses.

Went for too many ball fakes when defending the perimeter and needs to improve lateral quickness.

Overview
Another solid performance tonight from the senior forward. Had 20 pts and 10 rebounds in his 1st game and led his team in scoring tonight in another win. Transfer from D1 Western Carolina, where he started last season. Should have a big year on a young team that needs his toughness, leadership, and competitiveness.
Needs to improve body language when things are not going his way, showed visible frustration on missed shots and fouls. Is supportive of teammates on bench and in game and listens to his coaches.

Needs to communicate more on the floor. Calls out screens but would like to see him talk more in general, but is a winner and a competitor.
Ross shouldn’t have a problem finding a role to play at the next level, either in a 2nd division European country or in another country/continent. His athleticism, strength, and rebounding ability will be highly coveted by a pro team.

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Murphy Burnatowski Colgate Basketball

By James Blackburn

Game Scouted: Wake Forest vs Colgate
Wake Forest wins 89-78
Murphy Burnatowski (F, 6’7”, SR)

Stats
37 min, 3-12 FG, 2-7 3pt, 5-6 FT, 6 reb, 4 assist, 5 TO, 1 blk, 13 TP

Strengths
Great core strength. Solid lefty shooter who can stretch the floor with 3 pt range. Nice touch. Struggled shooting tonight, but is a good shooter overall. They ran several baseline inbounds plays for him to get his shot off. Looked comfortable at the FT line where he is better then 70%. He follows his own shot. Consistent in all areas. Fundamental. Plays under control and doesn’t force the issue most of the time. Moves very well for size and strength. Can handle the ball well and is effective with either hand- was able to advance the ball up court with the dribble after the rebound multiple times. Fluid with the ball and can create his own shot- even showed the ability to shoot the step back 3.
Moves his feet well defensively on the perimeter and gets low in defensive stance. Rotates and is in proper help defensive position. Better perimeter defender then post defender. Drew several charges and offensive fouls tonight.

Weaknesses
Has a tendency to fade and shoot off of one foot on his shot, which leads to some inconsistency. Needs to be more square and balanced on shot. Poor footwork overall. Needs to get stronger w/ the ball on the perimeter. Lack of athleticism limits his offensive game overall.
Poor post defender- gives up deep position too easily. Goes for too many pump fakes and gives up too many easy baskets inside. Is not a defensive force. Lacks athleticism and quickness. Not a bad rebounder, but needs to improve in this area. Boxes out but is limited because of lack of quickness. Needs to do a better job of setting screens- too straight up and not very wide- doesn’t head hunt- screens do not get teammates open- needs to improve both on ball and off the ball screens.

Overview
Returns for his senior year after being the Raiders leading scorer last season with an average of just over 17 ppg. Should be the offensive focal point on a very competitive Colgate squad. Originally from Canada, where he played on the Canadian Junior National Team after playing for the Canadian National Elite Development Academy.

More of a perimeter player on the offensive end who plays on the interior and defends the post on the defensive end. Must continue to improve game in post and off the dribble.

At his size and with his shooting ability, shouldn’t have a hard time finding a job in Europe at the end of this year. Would be a solid stretch 4 in most European leagues.

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Sleeper Report: (ECU) Akeem Richmond

Akeem Richmond East Carolina

By James Blackburn

Game Scouted: ECU @ UNC-G
ECU wins 85-84
Akeem Richmond (G, 6’0”, SR)

Stats
36 min, 5-13 FG, 4-10 3 pt FG, 5-5 FT, 1 assist, 3 TO, 4 ST, 19 TP
Box Score

Strengths
Excellent 3 point stroke and he can get it off in a hurry. He can’t be given any room on the perimeter and he has range beyond the 3-point line. Tremendous overall shooter- showed he could shoot off the dribble as well- got shoulders square and has fundamentally sound stroke. One of the purest shooters I have seen this year. Smart passer off the P/R and does a great job of feeding the post. Very quick. Smart player. Does not force shots. Had several And 1 plays tonight, including a 4 pt play. Kid is tough and he is not scared of taking big shots. Is a good FT shooter who is comfortable and calm at the line- hit 3 FT’s at the end of the game for the win w/ his team down 2.

Uses quickness to stay in front of opposing guards. Looks to make plays off the ball- got several steals by anticipating passes.
Weaknesses

Size is an issue as he plays off the ball- struggles to defend the opposing 2-guards because he is not tall enough to contest the shots adequately. His 6’0” size he is listed at is generous. Needs to communicate more on the defensive end and be vocal. Would of also liked to see him pressure the ball more.

Struggles to create his own shot offensively. Struggled to score against longer defenders. One dimensional offensively- what else can he do besides shoot the 3? Did a decent job of creating for others off the P/R, but still struggles to do much off the dribble. Handle is a little shaky and doesn’t look extremely comfortable handling the ball- must improve left hand dribble. Played off the time the entire game- can’t be classified as a PG or a combo guard- is a straight 2G, which is tough because of his size. Its also tough, because he is a shooter much more then a scorer. Only negative about shot- is it does not have a lot of rotation on it.

Overview
Was a 3-time AP All-State Selection. Transferred to ECU after playing his 1st 2 years at University of Rhode Island. Has already eclipsed the 1,000 pt scoring mark in his 1st 3 years of collegiate play. Led Conference USA is 3-pt FG made per game last season with 3.

I liked his demeanor and attitude through out the game. Facial expressions do not change- he is a poised guard who does not fold under pressure. Hit 3 huge FT’s at end of game for the win after getting fouled on a 3.

Would like him to be a little more aggressive and assertive on both ends of the floor, especially as a senior earlier in the game. Needs to be more vocal as well. Does support his teammates and is coachable and respectful.

Is one of the best shooters I have seen this year, but he struggles to do much else. He is not a PG and would struggle at the next level to play the off-guard position at his size. Has the shooting ability to play in Europe, but its tough for American 2 guards or SG to get a chance to play abroad. He would need to make the transition to the PG position to have a real chance of playing overseas professionally.

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JD Lewis Center Fall League Garner Road 2013

By Marcus Shockley and James Blackburn

Notes from Session II of the J.D. Lewis High School Fall League for 2013:

Austin Burnette (SF, 6’6″, 2015) Burnette’s calling card have long been his fluid length and ability to consistently score from the elbow. He’s also shown an improved handle and runs the floor extremely well. Burnette is a true SF with a versatile skill set. Committed to Rutgers.

Jalen Jones (G/F, 6’4″, 2014) Jones has a solid build and can play multiple positions effectively. Seems he will be best sliding between the 2G and 3G at the collegiate level, but can run the point some as a combo guard and is a good decision maker. Good athleticism and plays through contact, high basketball IQ. Division I prospect.

Kalen Cooper (2016, 6’7”) Cornith Holder HS
Raw player with good length. Excellent rebounder on both ends. Rebounding is his strongest skill set- strong on the boards. Stronger then his frame would suggest. Needs to improve on the defensive end and add weight. Good hands and is in the right spot most of the time for tip-ins. Soft touch around rim. Runs the floor well, especially on offensive end. Needs to be more aggressive. Needs to finish better and stronger- goes up for 1 hand flip shots instead of 2 hands around rim. Has potential and will continue to improve.

Julius Barnes (PG, 5’8″, 2015) Pure PG with good quickness. Sure handed ballhander with good change of speed and ability to beat his man on the perimeter. Tends to fade on his shot a bit. Likes to push the ball but is adept at running the half court set.

Anthony Staton (2016, 6’2”) Harnett Central HS
Good finisher around rim. Decent athlete who has a high motor. Better off the ball help defender then on the ball at this point. Can knock down the corner 3 ball with consistency. Has a low release but was able to get it off.

Ian Hinckley (G/F, 6’3″, 2017) Heritage HS
Good length, active, can shoot from deep and solid passer from the 2 or 3 spot. Good in transition, good athlete, a wing player with upside. Needs to lower dribble but definitely a perimeter player.

Thomas Allen (G, 6′, 2017)
Combo guard who can play on or off of the ball, has an ability to score and is very good in transition. Smooth game and an ability to get to the rim and get himself to the free throw line. Plays solid D in the passing lanes.

Jalen Gaddy (2015, 6’3”, Prominence Academy)
Got better as the day progressed. Athletic with a lot of natural skill but needs to improve consistency. Is a threat to hit the long ball but can be streaky. Settled for too many contested outside shots and often did not look to make the extra pass. Scorer’s mentality. Has the talent but needs to be more consistent.

Grayson Kelley (2015)
High IQ high motor player who does a lot to help you and little to hurt you on the floor. Has a funky shot release in front of his body, but can knock down shots off the catch and off the dribble. Underrated passer who is also solid on the boards. Runs the floor and is strong.

Zach Boggs (SG, 5’10, 2013) – very good defender who is a bit undersized. Has sped up his shot release a bit and shoots a straight ball from the 3 pt line. Plays hard and has a high motor, can handle contact. Always involved.

Basketball Ref Pro Basketball Circuit

Across the U.S., each new basketball season brings a bevy of fledgling minor league basketball teams, all looking to establish themselves in the world of semi-pro sports. Unfortunately, almost all of these teams will fold in less than one season. Some estimates place the number of failed basketball teams over the past decade as higher than 200.

For the newly forming Pro Basketball Circuit, the existing model is flawed. Minor league sports in the United States cannot draw enough attendance to support the professional model; even the NBDL, affectionately known as the ‘D-League’, cannot draw enough fan support to be considered successful, despite the fact that the league is a subsidiary of the NBA.

So what makes the PBC think they can succeed where so many have failed? For starters, the league intends to create a system where teams play tournament-style play, with several teams at a single location, eliminating much of the cost of travel that often spells doom for new franchises. The majority of minor league teams barely break even or suffer slight losses on each home game, but take it on the chin when they hit the road.

Additionally, the PBC breaks the level of play into multiple divisions, allowing teams to move up or down in competition. The PBC also will heavily manage and regulate many of the things that wreak havoc in minor leagues: scheduling, referees, transactions and rosters. Many minor league owners complain about the lack of organization among existing teams and leagues.

The league also has options for players who want to gain exposure but cannot afford to leave their current jobs and families to chase a roster spot overseas. The league is going to propose a system for those players that will allow them to band together and play in games which fit around their schedule.

While only in the early stages, it’s unclear if this new model is radically different than what has come before, and only time will tell. Players, coaches, agents and potential team owners can learn more about the PBC by visiting ProBasketballCircuit.com.

There Are No Do-Overs

No Do Overs Book Dave Cowens

Retired professional basketball player and former CBA, WNBA, and NBA head coach, Dave Cowens, and CEO of Northeast Delta Dental, Tom Raffio combined business smarts and basketball strategy in their debut business book There Are No Do-Overs: The Big Red Factors for Sustaining a Business Long Term.

There Are No Do-Overs is a game-changing management book that offers readers insight on how to create a winning team at the office by reviewing lessons from the basketball court. Think of it as a full-court press that shows business leaders how to bring their A game—from tip-off to working overtime—and what it takes to win.

Combining lessons from the boardroom with directives on how to make big wins in the NBA, There Are No Do-Overs shows readers the devil is in the details. In other words: success is the sum of paying attention to detail when it comes to business, sports, and life.

“There Are No Do-Overs: The Big Red Factors for Sustaining a Business Long Term displays the importance of success in the business world, combining business and basketball to create a slam dunk read. Raffio, McLaughlin and Cowens prove that you can shine on and off the court,” says Jack Heath, host of New Hampshire Today and author of Salem VI: Rebecca’s Rising.

About the Authors:

Tom Raffio, CEO of Northeast Delta Dental, was born and raised in Weston, Massachusetts. He graduated from Harvard University in 1978 and earned his Masters at Babson College in 1988. After college, he began his career at John Hancock. Ten years later he was hired at Delta Dental Plan of Massachusetts to start up the operations, and he worked his way up to Senior Vice President after ten years service. In 1995, he moved to New Hampshire to become President and CEO of Northeast Delta Dental. He founded the Northeast Delta Dental Foundation in 1997. He has served on over 20 not-for-profit boards and advisory councils. He and his lovely wife Lisa live in Bow, NH and raised twin sons and two daughters, all of whom are in or graduated from college. He enjoys road races and skiing in his spare time.

Barbara McLaughlin, retired Director of Corporate Relations at Northeast Delta Dental, was born in Pennsylvania and raised on the North Shore of Boston. After receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Salem State University, she married her high school sweetheart in 1977. She taught elementary school and junior high art for a number of years before beginning her career in the Office of the President at Northeast Delta Dental in 1987. She was recognized as a Far Exceeds employee every year for ten years before being placed in the Hall Of Fame. Barbara was appointed by the President of the United States to serve on the Selective Service System (SSS) board – the third line of defense for the United States, behind only the active military and the National Guard, and she has been Chair of the SSS Hillsborough County Board since 1999. She enjoys her hunter-jumper trained horse, the great outdoors and anything to do with nature, and riding her Harley Davidson with family and friends.

Dave Cowens is a retired professional basketball player and former CBA, WNBA, and NBA head coach. He was the Athletic Director of Regis College for two years, and he was one of five founders of the National Basketball Retired Players Association. For 40 years, he conducted overnight basketball camps in the Greater Boston area attended by approximately 40,000 kids ages 10-17, and he conducted clinics in other U.S. cities, Asia, and Europe.

Dave was Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the Sports Museum of New England for 10 years where he managed, promoted, and raised funds for its educational programs. His civic involvement includes serving as the honorary chairman of many medical and social charitable organizations on a local and national level, and he served on the boards of Wheaton College and the Olympic Bank of Boston, each for five years.

Dave fought to preserve and restore the Prowse Farm in Canton, Massachusetts, located at the foot of the Blue Hills on a natural aquifer and the site of Doty’s Tavern, a place where patriots drafted portions of the Declaration of Independence that were delivered by Paul Revere. It was also the breeding site of some of the most famous standard bred horses in the world. His many interests and roles include small businessman, product endorser, author, public speaker, gardener, golfer, husband of 35 years, father of two daughters, and friend.

Title: There Are No Do-Overs: The Big Red Factors for Sustaining a Business Long Term

Authors: Tom Raffio with Barbara McLaughlin and Dave Cowens

Genre: Business

ISBN: 978-0-9887223-3-0 eBook

978-0-9887223-2-3 Paperback

978-0-9887223-1-6 Hardcover

Publication Date: October 29, 2013

Pages: 140

Price: 9.95 eBook

14.95 Paperback

19.95 Hardcover

Publisher: Curran Pendleton Press

There Are No Do-Overs: The Big Red Factors for Sustaining a Business Long Term is available at Amazon, Barnesandnoble.com and a variety of local retailers. To learn more about the books go to www.bigredfactors.com.

Contact
Sherre Wilkolaski
(888) 498-7812
sherrie@authorsboutique.com

Lamont Middleton basketball

By James Blackburn

Game Scouted: NC A&T vs Fayetteville State

NC A&T wins 71-65

Lamont Middleton (G, 6’3”, SR)

Stats

37 min, 6-12 FG, 1-4 3 pt, 9-13 FT, 7 reb, 5 assist, 6 TO, 2 steals, 22 TP

Strengths
Great size and strength for a PG/lead guard. Capable of hitting the contested 3. Good rotation on his shot. Keeps eyes up and scans the court when dribbling. Attacks the rim hard and isn’t afraid to play physical or of contact. Gets to the FT line at a high rate where he is better then average. Uses body to shield ball when attacking rim.  Willing to make the extra pass and is not selfish with the ball. Is patient on the offensive end and is in command and control. Throws direct/hard passes that are on target.

More of a scorer and slasher then a shooter. Loves the spin move going from right to left.

When he does turn the ball over or miss a lay-up, he never gives up on the play and fights and scraps to get it back or get the offensive board.

Weaknesses
Slow laterally. Needs to improve overall on defense. Doesn’t put in the same effort on the defensive end as he does on the offensive end. Doesn’t bump cutters, trails his man on cuts, and doesn’t sprint back defensively. Seemed to be a step late/slow on defense this game.

While he is strong and physical, he needs to improve overall finishing ability when he attacks. Part of his finishing problems are due to him attacking the rim recklessly or out of control at times and getting caught trying to finish over more then one defender. Needs to get stronger with the ball in his hands. He had the ball stripped from him more then once and is TO prone. Lacks elite quickness and overall athleticism. Needs to improve shooting consistency from the three point line.

Overview
The Aggies looked to utilize Middleton’s size and strength on opposing PG’s by posting him up inside where he was able to establish good deep position. Leader on the court. Played both the PG and the off-guard- equally capable of either, but played more off the ball this game. Middleton will be looked on to provide scoring and leadership to a young team that has eight freshman. Got into a stare down with an opposing player at a critical stage of the game- needs to keep his head at crucial times in the game.  Is better off the ball then on the ball, not a pure PG.

Solid game from Middleton based on the box score. Will continue to receive heavy minutes as the season goes on. I believe he is better then he played tonight and should have some huge games this year.

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North Dallas Vandals Training Camp

By Marcus Shockley

The North Dallas Vandals are expected to make a strong run during this season; the team will open training camp with several solid players. In addition, the team also added Jonathan Blake (6’7”-F-87, college: Texas Wesleyanand Ashton Brown (5’10”-PG-91) to their roster on Wednesday, November 6.

The Vandals will open their 2013-2014 season on the road against the Conway Cyclones on November 16 at Hendrix College before returning to Dr. Pepper Arena to play their home opener against the Colorado Kings. The team will then play a home and away series against the Metroplex Lightning.

Here are the Top 20 Players listed by the team headed into training camp (in addition to Blake and Brown).

For more information about the Vandals, visit their team page here.

David Singleton (6’4”-G-88)

Dwight Gentry (6’0”-G-87, college: Texas Arlington)

EJ McWoods (6’0”-PG)

Eric Tisby (5’8”-PG-88, college: Sioux Falls)

Eban Hyams (6’5”-G-81, college: Georgia Perimeter)

Mansa Habeeb (6’3”-G-91)

Dallas Hunter (6’5”-G-87, college: Tex.A&M-Comm.)

Will Haynes (6’8”-F-79, college: Manhattan)

Laron Griffin (6’8”-C-89, college: E.Washington)

Will Brown (6’9”-F-89, college: McNeese St.)

Jarvis Bradley (6’6”-PF-82, college: McNeese St.)

J’mison Morgan (6’11”-F/C-89)

Abdoulaye N’Doye (7’0”-C-89)

Jeremie Hart (6’2”-G, college: McMurry)

Brandon Lee (6’2”-G-82, college: Tarleton St.)

Tristan Thompson (6’5”-G-88, college: N.Texas)

Faisal Aden (6’4”-G-89, college: Washington St.)

David Tairu (6’3”-G-86, college: Texas Tech)

Deron Cherry II (6’2”-G-85, college: Park)

Philip Gavin (6’3”-G/F-86, agency: Marcher Sports, college: Jarvis Christian)

ST. LOUIS (USBWA) - The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has selected 15 outstanding players for its 2013-14 Oscar Robertson Trophy Preseason Watch List. Members of the association’s board of directors chose the players to be included on the list as contenders for the Oscar Robertson Trophy.

The award is to be presented to the national player of the year by its namesake at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards on April 14, 2014, at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. The Henry Iba Coach of the Year Award and the Integris Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award will also be presented at the gala to be held annually the Monday following the NCAA Men’s Final Four.

Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart, the 2013 Big 12 Player of the Year and Wayman Tisdale Award winner as the national freshman of the year, leads the watch list and is the USBWA’s preseason selection as the Player of the Year. Creighton forward Doug McDermott, a first-team USBWA All-American a year ago, also headlines the list.

The Big Ten, led by Michigan State teammates Gary Harris and Adreian Payne, leads all conferences with four players recognized, and seven total conferences are represented. Overall, the watch list includes seven seniors, four sophomores and four freshmen. The four freshmen all appear on the Wayman Tisdale Award Preseason Watch List.

Following is the complete watch list:

2013-14 OSCAR ROBERTSON TROPHY PRESEASON WATCH LIST
Pos. Player, School (Ht., Wt., Yr., Hometown)
G Jahii Carson, Arizona State (5-10, 180, So., Mesa, Ariz.)
G Aaron Craft, Ohio State (6-2, 195, Sr., Findlay, Ohio)
F C.J. Fair, Syracuse (6-8, 215, Sr., Baltimore, Md.)
F Aaron Gordon, Arizona (6-9, 225, Fr., San Jose, Calif.)
G Gary Harris, Michigan State (6-4, 210, So., Fishers, Ind.)
G Joe Harris, Virginia (6-6, 225, Sr., Chelan, Wash.)
F Doug McDermott, Creighton (6-8, 225, Sr., Ames, Iowa)
F Mitch McGary, Michigan (6-10, 255, So., Chesterton, Ind.)
G Shabazz Napier, Connecticut (6-1, 180, Sr., Roxbury, Mass.)
F Jabari Parker, Duke (6-8, 235, Fr., Chicago, Ill.)
C Adreian Payne, Michigan State (6-10, 245, Sr., Dayton, Ohio)
F Julius Randle, Kentucky (6-9, 250, Fr., Dallas, Texas)
G Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State (6-4, 220, So., Flower Mound, Texas)
G Russ Smith, Louisville (6-0, 165, Sr., Brooklyn, N.Y.)
G Andrew Wiggins, Kansas (6-8, 200, Fr., Vaughan, Ont.)

By conference: Big Ten (4), ACC (3), American Athletic (2), Big 12 (2), Pac-12 (2), Big East (1), SEC (1).

By class: Seniors (7), Juniors (0), Sophomores (4), Freshmen (4).

While these standout players are the initial contenders for the Oscar Robertson Trophy, all NCAA Division I players are eligible for postseason honors from the USBWA. For the fifth straight season, the USBWA will present an Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week each Tuesday beginning Dec. 10.

In mid-March, the USBWA will announce its 2013-14 All-America Team and, at that time, finalists will also be chosen for the player of the year. Once finalists are announced, the entire USBWA membership will vote for the winner of the Oscar Robertson Trophy.

Tickets and sponsorship information for the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards are available at collegebasketballawards.com or by contacting Scott Hill (405-749-1515, scott.hill@access-sports.net). The April 14 banquet will also honor the recipient of the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award.

Since the 1958-59 season, the USBWA has named a National Player of the Year. In 1998, the award was named in honor of the University of Cincinnati Hall of Famer and two-time USBWA Player of the Year Oscar Robertson. It is the nation’s oldest player of the year award and the only one named after a former player.

The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. With more than 900 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball. It has selected an All-America team since the 1956-57 season. For more information on the USBWA and the Oscar Robertson Trophy, contact executive director Joe Mitch at 314-795-6821.

Related links:
Oscar Robertson Trophy
USBWA logos