Meet the Guards of the Future: High School’s Elite Prospects

Many of the top guard prospects in the country gathered at Stephen Curry’s Under Armour SC30 Select Camp this summer to improve their games and receive some top-level coaching.

Bleacher Report put together the ultimate 57-second mixtape highlighting their dunking abilities and detailing why they are the guards of the future.

Watch the video and be enthralled by some of the most spectacular athletes of the next generation.  

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The Most Exciting NCAA Basketball Players from Schools You’ve Never Heard Of

Can a high-scoring player be considered a star if he plays for a school that never plays nationally televised games?

Players like Incarnate Word’s Denzel Livingston and UMKC’s Martez Harrison are the college basketball version of the tree falling in the forest with no one around to hear the sound.

Fortunately, we have the box scores to confirm that these 10 players are actually excelling at No Name Tech and Anonymous A&M.

You might have to find some grainy online feeds to keep up with these guys during the 2014-15 season, but you won’t be disappointed if you make it a point to watch each of these players at least once before he graduates.

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Nebraska among 2 big-time schools with no NCAA win (Yahoo Sports)

Now that Nebraska has made it back to the NCAA tournament, the next challenge is to get a win there. The Cornhuskers (19-12) go into Friday’s West Region game against Baylor (24-11) in San Antonio with the distinction of being one of two power-conference programs to have never won a game in the tournament. Nebraska coach Tim Miles has repeatedly said he doesn’t want his name associated with anything that has or hasn’t happened before his arrival last year. The Huskers’ 0-6 NCAA record might not be an albatross to him, but he does feel the fans’ pain and likened the situation to that of two Major League Baseball teams.

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Arizona State Basketball: Sun Devils Stumble at Rocky Mountain Schools

Hot on the heels of one of the biggest victories in Arizona State basketball history over the No. 2-ranked in-state rival Arizona Wildcats, the Sun Devils (19-8, 8-6 Pac-12) went on the road and fell flat—hard.

Traveling to the newer basketball arenas in the Pac-12 and escaping with a victory at Colorado and Utah is not easy, just ask the aforementioned Wildcats, who needed overtime to escape the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City unscathed. 

When Arizona State arrived at the Coors Event Center in Boulder, the Buffaloes were fresh off a road victory over USC and had won four of their last five games including a thrilling overtime win over Utah. The Sun Devils had only lost one game in the previous month, including two overtime games and the epic victory over Arizona.

The Sun Devils were embarrassed in Boulder, shooting a meager 31.5 percent from the floor and 28 percent from beyond the arc. Arizona State was out-rebounded by the largest margin all season, 48-27, including a 15-5 advantage on the offensive glass. Five offensive rebounds—by the entire team—in 40 minutes.

Jermaine Marshall, who had been clutch in the past three overtime victories over Cal, Oregon State and Arizona, went ice cold. Marshall shot 3-of-13, including 1-of-8 from three-point territory, in Boulder and 3-of-10 from the field, 1-of-7 from three, in Salt Lake City.

Jordan Bachynski, the Pac-12 all-time leader in blocks, who leads all Division I players averaging 4.4 per game, had one block against Colorado and three at Utah. Bachynski nearly averages a double-double on the season with 8.9 rebounds and 11.7 points per game. In the past two games, he averaged 4.5 points and rebounds per game.

Jahii Carson, the most NBA-ready player on the team, was like Jekyll and Hyde on the roadie. Carson nearly missed a double-double in Boulder, netting 18 points and seven rebounds, but he was nowhere to be found in Salt Lake City, with eight points and one rebound.

The most consistent player of the Rocky Mountain trip was senior forward Shaquielle McKissic, who averaged 12 points and seven rebounds per game, a sizable improvement from the 8.8 points and 5.3 rebounds he averaged before leaving on the road trip. 

The Sun Devils played horribly on the road trip and head coach Herb Sendek would be the first to admit it. 

“We played horrible basketball,” Sendek told Doug Haller of azcentral.com. ”I have no explanation. You’d have to ask them. We didn’t make plays. We didn’t defend. Couldn’t make shots, couldn’t make free throws. It’s really inexplicable and quite a dismal performance.”

With all the work that Sendek has done to extinguish his hot seat over the past two seasons, will this horrible road trip re-ignite the flame? Arizona Republic sports columnist Paola Boivin tweeted this assurance for Sendek:

 

It’s not all doom and gloom for Sendek and the Sun Devils as they still maintain a quality RPI of 32 and are 3-3 against teams with an RPI of 50 or better; their College Basketball Power Index (BPI) is also respectable at No. 38, which places them as a No. 10 seed in the NCAA Tournament. 

America’s foremost bracketologist, Joe Lunardi, has the Sun Devils as a No. 9 seed playing against Virginia Commonwealth in the South bracket in Orlando. Regardless of the seeding, ASU Basketball had this to say on Twitter Monday afternoon after the new bracketology prediction was announced:

The Sun Devils are 14-1 at home this year and 30-5 in the past two seasons, including victories over two ranked teams in Arizona and Marquette. This week, Arizona State welcomes two teams with better conference records in Stanford and California, so victories over the Northern California schools will dramatically improve their seeding in the upcoming Pac-12 Tournament.

Arizona State finishes on the road again this season against a pair of struggling Oregon teams. Regardless of the competition, if the Devils repeat this past road trip in Oregon, everything could all be for naught.

 

David A. Bowers is the featured columnist for Arizona State Athletics. Follow him on Twitter— @asudave. 

 

 

    

 

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Thursday Tailgate: Most successful two-sport schools of BCS era

Taking a look at schools that have reached elite levels in football and basketball.

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Thunder to rebuild courts at 3 Moore schools (Yahoo Sports)

MOORE, Okla. (AP) — The Oklahoma City Thunder will rebuild the outdoor basketball courts at the sites of three schools destroyed in the May 20 tornado.

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Wizards’ Rookie Buys Homeless Man Sandwich, Schools Nation on Being Decent Human

Otto Porter Jr. is a Washington Wizards rookie with his life and career well ahead of him. However, he is already a man who understands just how powerful the gentle touch of humanity can be. 

The New York Daily News’ Jaime Uribarri spotted a wonderful letter The Washington Post published to their website. The letter comes from a fan who witnessed a random act of kindness played out by a young man the local NBA franchise has high hopes for in the coming years. 

Michael Stein, who wrote to the Post, was trying to get away from a stressful week in D.C. and decided to read the paper and get something to eat. 

While sitting there, Stein noticed a homeless man who unsuccessfully asked patrons nearby for a sandwich. Little did Stein or the hungry man know but amazing was just around the corner. 

After about 25 minutes, Otto Porter Jr., the Georgetown basketball star and the Washington Wizards’ newest first-round draft pick, drove up, hopped out of his car and entered the shop. Mr. Porter soon exited with his sandwich and drink — but also with a sandwich, a bag of chips and a drink for the homeless man. Mr. Porter then sat down next to the man, and they both enjoyed their sandwiches while making small talk.  

Well, I’m a jerk. 

I hate to personalize a story that isn’t remotely about me, but I am officially a jerk. Porter is a 20-year-old kid headed into the NBA, but he found time to not only feed the hungry, but he also reminded a homeless man that he is still a human being—and homeless or not, we all need the comfort of a friend. 

Stein goes on to write what many of you are already thinking. Porter did all of this without any knowledge that anyone was watching or knew who he was. 

Simply, he saw a man in need, of both sustenance and a human touch. So the collegiate star provided a sandwich and chat. 

So why am I a jerk? Because I haven’t done the same. 

How remarkable was this small gesture? It was moving enough to have one man write a nice letter and send it off in the hopes others would see it. It was special enough that we were just as touched by the sentiment and had to get the word out. 

Unfortunately, it’s so remarkable because it doesn’t happen all the time. 

Georgetown head coach John Thompson III caught a whiff of the story and took no time trumpeting a classy young man (h/t The New York Daily News).

Here is what he had to say, via Georgetown Hoyas‘ website

It was just Otto being Otto. I said it a lot last year when it came to the way he plays, but it’s also about the way he carries himself off the floor too. He’s a great young man with a terrific future and this story is just an example of something all young men can look up to.

Porter took a couple moments and a few bucks to make another person—someone forgotten and cast aside—feel human again. 

It was a small gesture, but it hopefully had a nice impact for an anonymous man who just wanted a sandwich. This Porter kid is going to be mighty easy to root for this season. 

 

Hit me up on Twitter


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Power Conference Transfers Most Likely to Lead Small Schools to NCAA Tournament

We’re all familiar with the up-transfers, guys who dominate for programs struggling to see NCAA tournament action and head to a more successful school for March exposure, if not always playing time.

Players like Seth Curry (Liberty to Duke) and Luke Hancock (George Mason to Louisville) are among the best examples of players who found both.

But what about the down-transfers? What about players who are unhappy or stapled to the bench on a major conference team and simply want to find a place they can play? Some of those guys have landed in decent opportunities themselves.

These seven playerspresented alphabeticallyhave a chance to play serious minutes in an NCAA tournament game this season. That’s a claim that most of them couldn’t make at their previous power conference home.

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VIDEO: Gilbert Arenas schools Steve Blake during scrimmage at Lakers practice facility

It appears that Gilbert Arenas has still got it.
In a video Arenas posted to his Instagram account, the former All-Star can be seen playing at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo. Unfortunately for Steve Blake, the clips that Agent Zero decided to share with the world shows the Lakers point guard getting schooled numerous times.
“Helping the lakers guards get reason for the season,” Arenas wrote, “(thx for letting me rock with u guys) good luck this season”:

This video was likely shot a week or so ago; at the moment, the Lakers are focussed on their current group of players under contract as training camp is underway and the team’s first pre-season game is this Saturday.
Also, this doesn’t mean that the Lakers are about to sign Arenas – even though they have had interest in the guard in the past – but it definitely looks like Agent Zero can still ball.

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Michael Jordan Schools OJ Mayo at 2006 Basketball Camp

On Tuesday, Michael Jordan made headlines when he said he could beat LeBron James 1-on-1 in his prime. During that same interview, Jordan also shared an interesting story of how he schooled OJ Mayo, who was in high school at the time, at one of his camps. 

The folks over at Larry Brown Sports have tracked down the video of Jordan vs. Mayo at the 2006 camp, and you can clearly see how MJ had his way with the high school star. 

According to LBS, here’s what’s going on in the video. 

“In the video, the first clip is from a game Jordan played in front of the whole camp. After that clip comes four highlights from the game where Jordan taught Mayo the lesson. You can see Jordan beat Mayo in every way possible in the game.”

After the news broke on Tuesday, Mayo took to Twitter to explain his side of the story.

Mayo told Bucks TV why he challenged the NBA legend: “I kind of had the mentality that I had everything to gain and nothing to lose. And Mike did what he had to do”

No shame in losing to the G.O.A.T.

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