Start of College Basketball season:

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#1
It begins for real tonight with the major schools, Kentucky, Duke, LSU and others taking the floor tonight. Players to watch include Skal Labissiere, Jamal Murray of Kentucky, Brandon Ingram of Duke, Ben Simmons and Antonio Blakeney off LSU, to name just a few. I'll do a more indepth review of the top college players in another thread. This is just a reminder that the game is on.
 
#3
Sac State upsets Arizona State in Tempe tonight. Pretty amazing but Hornets on the rise last few years and were 21-12 last season with 4 starters back. Was Bobby Hurley's first game as new ASU coach and he called 66-63 loss "embarrassing." But it was third time in recent years that Sac State has knocked off a Pac-12 team. Go Hornets!
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#4
It would be great if the Hornets could build on that performance. ASU isn't one of the powerhouse's in the Pac-12, but non the less, it's in a major conference, so certainly a big feather in Sac states hat. Major schools who usually build off, early out of conference games, have to be aware of the danger as well. Easy to let your guard down, and before you know it, your in a dog fight. Welcome to the Pac-12 Bobby....
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#5
Well, already watched Kentucky play twice. I recorded the Kentucky/Duke game, but haven't watched it yet. Some quick early impressions. Jamal Murray, the 6'5" PG/SG from Kentucky seems like the real deal. He had a great game against Albany. Very smart player with good, but not extreme athleticism. His next game was OK, but his shot wasn't falling. Still, he impacts the game overall. Skal Labissiere, the 6'11" PF/C, and that's if you use the center part loosely. I swear, I don't think he weighs more than 55 pounds. He has some serious weight room activity ahead of him if he wants to play in the NBA. His first game against Albany was a bit of a dud, but in his second game he exploded and started to look like the projected number one pick.

The surprise for me in the game against Albany was Derek Willis. He played excellent defense, and contributed more than I expected on the offensive end. He's been hidden the last couple of years. Marcus Lee was as expected. I've also seen Duke play twice, and the surprise in both those games was Grayson Allen, the 6'5" SG. I expected him to make a bigger splash this year, but my goodness, his splash almost knocked all the water out of the pond. Through two games he averaging 27.0 PPG, while shooting 51.6% overall, and 41.6% from the three. He's also averaging 4 assists and 4 rebounds a game. Can he continue to play at that level? Don't know, but if so, Duke will be in the conversation for another national championship. His freshman running mate Brandon Ingram, the 6'9" SF also played well.

I also caught Kris Dunn, the 6'4" PG out of Providence. He's projected as the best PG in the next draft, and I saw nothing to dispute that. Dunn is a terrific athlete who plays both ends of the floor. In the game I watched he had 32 pt's on 11 of 16 shooting, going 1 for 1 from the the three. He also had 5 assists, and 8, yes I said 8 steals to go with two blocked shots. It's still early, and most teams are playing out of conference, warm up games, but Dunn was the most impressive player I saw. I can't wait to see him against tougher competition. Lastly, I caught Ben Simmons out of LSU. And for the most part he was as advertized. Terrific passer! He's actually a 6'10" PG, and so far, that's how LSU is using him. He's a very good ball handler, and he shot the ball well percentage wise. However, I don't remember him taking one jumpshot in the entire game. Maybe I nodded off, which is possible at my age, but that's my question mark regarding him. Does he have an offensive game away from the basket. More later!
 

kingsboi

Hall of Famer
#6
I am glad College Basketball is back. I'd like someone to give me the top 10 players to watch for the season. Any potential star players this year?
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#7
Here's a list of the players I'm interested in, and most are considered to be the top players in the nation. When your talking top ten, that can change quite a bit as the season goes on. The players at the very top will usually remain there, just change order a bit, but when you get down to the 7th through the 10th, that can change. So here are the one players I like at the moment along with the school they play for.

Ben Simmons: 6'10" SF/PG - LSU (Terrific passer and ball handler for a guy his size)
Skal Labissiere: 6'11" PF/C - Kentucky (dude needs to add some serious muscle if he's going to play center in the NBA)
Brandon Ingram: 6'8" SF - Duke (Another skinny as a rail player but a very good athlete with a jumpshot)
Jamal Murray: 6'5" PG/SG - Kentucky (Played the point in highschool, but forced to play a lot of SG at Kentucky)
Kris Dunn: 6'4" PG - Providence (Terrific athlete and best PG in the draft so far)
Antonio Blakeney: 6'4" PG - LSU (Highly touted and played in highschool with Simmons)
Diamond Stone: 6'10" PF/C - Maryland (You have to love the name)
Jaylen Brown: 6'7" SF - California (Smooth athletic scorer considered the third best player coming out of highschool)
Jakob Poeltl: 7'0" C - Utah (Great size and very good defender. Played well in NCAA last year)
Cheick Diallo: 6'9" PF - Kansas (Ranked 5th best player coming out of highschool)

That's ten, but here are some other players that could easily sneak into the top ten as the year progresses.

Isaiah Briscoe: 6'3" PG - Kentucky
Melo Trimble: 6'3" SG - Maryland
Ivan Rabb: 6'11" C/PF - California
Jabari Bird: 6'6" SF/SG - California
Carlton Bragg: 6'9" PF - Kansas
Malik Newman: 6'3" PG - Mississippi St.
Damian James: 7'1" C - Vanderbilt
A few of these guys are long shots to make the top ten, but you never know how much a player is going to improve. Here's a list of players that could or should be first round picks to keep an eye on.

Marcus Lee: 6'9" PF - Kentucky
Grayson Allen: 6'4" - Duke
Amile Jefferson: 6'9" SF/PF - Duke
Ron Baker: 6'4" SG - Wichita St.
Alloonzo Trier: 6'4" SG - Arizona
Danuel House: 6'7" SF - Texas A&M
Wayne Seldon: 6'5" SG - Kansas
Henry Ellenson: 6'10" PF/C - Marquette
Stephen Zimmerman: 7'0" C - UNLV
Michael Gbinije: 6'7" SF - Syracuse
Daniel Ochefu: 6'11" C - Villanova
Amida Brimah: 7'0" C - UCONN
Marcus Paige: 6'1" PG - North Carolina

Once again, a lot these guys will be 2nd round picks, but you never know. This is assuming that they all declare.
 

kingsboi

Hall of Famer
#8
Thanks for your input as always. I did catch a little bit of Ben Simmons...I came away very impressed. I'd like to see better competition before I speak further on him. I watched some Grayson Allen today for Duke and he looks like a Kyle Korver to me. His shot is fluid and natural. Melo Trimble is another guy who will find a niche in the league, he has that clutch gene in him I feel. He has such a smooth shot, looks effortless when he puts them up.
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#9
Thanks for your input as always. I did catch a little bit of Ben Simmons...I came away very impressed. I'd like to see better competition before I speak further on him. I watched some Grayson Allen today for Duke and he looks like a Kyle Korver to me. His shot is fluid and natural. Melo Trimble is another guy who will find a niche in the league, he has that clutch gene in him I feel. He has such a smooth shot, looks effortless when he puts them up.
Grayson really struggled against Kentucky. A major part of Graysons game is pulling up from mid-range, or finishing at the basket. Kentucky's height took a lot of that away. I think he had his shot blocked 4 or 5 times, and had it affected several times. Jury is still out on him. Overall, it's way too early in the season to draw any conclusions about players. As the season goes on, the competition will improve and we'll have a better picture. I don't think this draft class is as good as last seasons, but you never know who is going to immerge. Right now, I'm impressed with Jamal Murray. I'm also impressed with Kris Dunn, despite a bad showing against Illlinois. Dunn is one of those players that knows how to step up even when he's having a bad game. Terrific defender at the PG position.
 
#11
Grayson really struggled against Kentucky. A major part of Graysons game is pulling up from mid-range, or finishing at the basket. Kentucky's height took a lot of that away. I think he had his shot blocked 4 or 5 times, and had it affected several times. Jury is still out on him. Overall, it's way too early in the season to draw any conclusions about players. As the season goes on, the competition will improve and we'll have a better picture. I don't think this draft class is as good as last seasons, but you never know who is going to immerge. Right now, I'm impressed with Jamal Murray. I'm also impressed with Kris Dunn, despite a bad showing against Illlinois. Dunn is one of those players that knows how to step up even when he's having a bad game. Terrific defender at the PG position.
Hey Bajaden, I have a question regarding a lot of freshman prospects. Why are tending to be older now? Is it the fact that some of them are foreign?

There are a lot of 19yearold freshmen.
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#12
Hey Bajaden, I have a question regarding a lot of freshman prospects. Why are tending to be older now? Is it the fact that some of them are foreign?

There are a lot of 19yearold freshmen.
You know, that's a very good question, and It's probably for a number of reasons. One is the reason you stated. A lot more kids from Canada and Australia, and of course Europe. I also think it has something to do with getting the proper grades to be acceptable to the NCAA. Some may stay an extra year in a prep school to make sure they get their grade average up. Although these prep schools are highschools, they're also basketball factory's. Some may have struggled along the way and got set back a year. They don't all come from solid backgrounds. Example is our own Ben McLemore who comes from a horrible part of the St. Louis area. I know, I used to live within two blocks of where he lived. When he got to Kansas, he had to redshirt a year to get all his ducks in a row, thus he was around 19 years old his first year of eligibility. When you grow up in the Wellston area, studying isn't the first thing you think of in the morning. Surviving is!
 
K

KingMilz

Guest
#13
I was watching the Kentucky and South Florida game and I had completely forgotten Cousins had a younger brother and it was amazing how much they look/move on the court the same they literally from the distance the game is watched from on TV could be identical twins.
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#14
I was watching the Kentucky and South Florida game and I had completely forgotten Cousins had a younger brother and it was amazing how much they look/move on the court the same they literally from the distance the game is watched from on TV could be identical twins.
Yep, the first time I saw him I thought he was a clone. Unfortunately he doesn't appear to be as talented as his older brother. If you want to take a peak at a dark horse, check out Shevon Thompson of George Mason university. He's a late bloomer that didn't start playing basketball until highschool, but I think he's going to be an NBA player.
 
#15
I don't know when Bill Self will get him into a game, but Cheick Diallo finally got cleared to play. I'm really looking forward to seeing him face some college competition -- he reminds me a bit of Taj Gibson back in the day.
 
#16
I watched Diallo in Mac's game and that kid has hustle AND handles (you don't want him to dribble into traffic, but he's more than fine in less dense situations) - always very promising combination. A bit thin, but has a lot of fight in him.
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#17
I also am looking forward to seeing Diallo play, but Self has a tendency to make freshmen earn their minutes, especially big men. He has some other big's in front of him in the pecking order. Bragg, another touted freshman is only getting around 11 minutes a game so far.
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#19
Dunn with a triple double today...is he a legit NBA PG?
In my opinion, yes. He reminds me a little bit of Wall. Very athletic, and great defender. He lets up on defense once in a while, which I don't like, but always rises to the occasion when needed. Not presently a good three point shooter, but seems to know that, and doesn't take many. Ironically, last year he shot the three pretty well. Around 35%, but this years he seems to have reverted back to his freshman and sophmore years. He has a nice mid-range shot though, and is very good at getting to the basket and finishing. At this point, I think he's the best PG in the draft, and I think his three point shot is fixable.
 
#20
Any thoughts on Dwayne Bacon? I feel like he's the forgotten freshman because he went to Florida St. Him and freshman Beasley score nearly 20pts each.

Bacon would be a guy I'd draft in the 2nd round. Flashes a lot of tools

Wouldn't surprise me if he did declare for the draft this year...already being 20
 
#21
Dear god, Simmons looks like LeBron mark II. I haven't seen a prospect this good in a long, long time. The way he carries himself too, he's going to be a legit superstar.
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#22
Dear god, Simmons looks like LeBron mark II. I haven't seen a prospect this good in a long, long time. The way he carries himself too, he's going to be a legit superstar.
Yeah, Simmons and Dunn have been the most impressive players for me so far. Only weakness I can see in Simmons is his outside shot, but my god, what a great rebounder he is. I didn't expect that. He reminds me a little bit of a cross between Pippen and Odom. Lebron couldn't shoot that well from the outside when he arrived either.

Dunn is off to a fantastic start so far. His outside shot looks improved, but still needs some work. Just a terrific defender at the PG position.
Any thoughts on Dwayne Bacon? I feel like he's the forgotten freshman because he went to Florida St. Him and freshman Beasley score nearly 20pts each.

Bacon would be a guy I'd draft in the 2nd round. Flashes a lot of tools

Wouldn't surprise me if he did declare for the draft this year...already being 20
I think it's fair to say that both Bacon and Beasley are exceeding expectations, especially Beasley, who was ranked 43rd nationally coming out of highschool. I've only seen them play one time so far (so many teams and so little time), but both played well in the game I saw. Still early, but they have my attention.
 
#23
I'm conflicted on who I have as my best PG.
Dunn has been amazing and improved this year. He's playing much more under control and I think he's elevated his decision making.
6'4 200lb PG who can facilitate, rebound, defend, and score(some). He sounds like the perfect PG if we were talking about that position 4 years ago. However, his biggest weakness is his shooting. Even with that being said, he's still a solid shooter. His overall shooting stroke and mechanics would need to be worked on, but he's shown that he can hit his jumpers.

The other guy I really like is Demetrius Jackson. 6'1 194lbs. Without Jerian Grant, he's had to step up his role, and I think he's doing it very nicely. He's a great shooter who loves to attack. He can shoot, score, pass, and defend(some). He's an elite athlete. His biggest weakness is his size. It really prevents him from taking that extra leap as a defender. He's a pesky defender, but he'll have problems vs. bigger guards mostly because they'll be able to play over him. I think he has all the quickness and tools to keep up. On defense, he'd be a 4" taller IT, pesky defender who could take someone 1v1. While he can pass, he's not a traditional facilitator compared to Dunn.

While it may seem obvious who's the best PG, Kris Dunn, I'm conflicted on Jackson's overall game. He's such an athletic player. He's a good shooter and great scorer. He loves to attack at the rim and finish. His game reminds me a lot of Russell Westbrook and Eric Bledsoe. He has Westbrooks' intensity and athleticism. He plays very closely to how Bledsoe plays. He loves to attack.

When I see Dunn, I see a development guy who can become one of the best all around PGs, similar to John Wall. However, when I see Jackson, I see one of the most explosive guards who can shoot. He has potential to be next in line as a top 15 PG immediately.

Am I the only one conflicted? At this point, I'm leading more towards Jackson. Am I fooled by his athleticism?
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#24
I'm conflicted on who I have as my best PG.
Dunn has been amazing and improved this year. He's playing much more under control and I think he's elevated his decision making.
6'4 200lb PG who can facilitate, rebound, defend, and score(some). He sounds like the perfect PG if we were talking about that position 4 years ago. However, his biggest weakness is his shooting. Even with that being said, he's still a solid shooter. His overall shooting stroke and mechanics would need to be worked on, but he's shown that he can hit his jumpers.

The other guy I really like is Demetrius Jackson. 6'1 194lbs. Without Jerian Grant, he's had to step up his role, and I think he's doing it very nicely. He's a great shooter who loves to attack. He can shoot, score, pass, and defend(some). He's an elite athlete. His biggest weakness is his size. It really prevents him from taking that extra leap as a defender. He's a pesky defender, but he'll have problems vs. bigger guards mostly because they'll be able to play over him. I think he has all the quickness and tools to keep up. On defense, he'd be a 4" taller IT, pesky defender who could take someone 1v1. While he can pass, he's not a traditional facilitator compared to Dunn.

While it may seem obvious who's the best PG, Kris Dunn, I'm conflicted on Jackson's overall game. He's such an athletic player. He's a good shooter and great scorer. He loves to attack at the rim and finish. His game reminds me a lot of Russell Westbrook and Eric Bledsoe. He has Westbrooks' intensity and athleticism. He plays very closely to how Bledsoe plays. He loves to attack.

When I see Dunn, I see a development guy who can become one of the best all around PGs, similar to John Wall. However, when I see Jackson, I see one of the most explosive guards who can shoot. He has potential to be next in line as a top 15 PG immediately.

Am I the only one conflicted? At this point, I'm leading more towards Jackson. Am I fooled by his athleticism?
Look, we all see what we see, and to be honest, I've been doing this for a long time, and how I look at players now, is entirely different than how I looked at them 1o or 15 years ago. The obvious one's leap out at you if your paying attention and don't get bogged down with one particular trait. Having said that, shooting is a big deal for me, unless I'm overwhelmed by the rest of a players game, and in Dunn's case, I'am. Lets not forget that Dunn is also a great athlete.

Here's the difference that I see between Jackson and Dunn. I like Jackson, but see him as a great off the bench PG. I see Dunn as one of the top starting PG's in the league five years from now. Dunn has that "It"factor. He rises to the occasion when he's needed. But that's just my opinion. I think he's little further along than Wall was coming into the league, but then he should be with more years of college experience. I also like Jamal Murray of Kentucky and his running mate, Isaiah Briscoe. Murray is playing out of position but you can still see the PG talent he has.

Getting away from the PG's, a player that I've only seen play twice and can't wait to see again is Jaylen Brown of Cal. My goodness what a spectacular player he is. He's sort of like Andrew Wiggins with attitude. No doubt the makes a lot of mistakes, but boy, is he loaded with talent. Fun player to watch. If I had carte blanche to pick one player that I thought would make the biggest difference for the Kings, it would be Ben Simmons. Of course we have no chance of getting him barring a miracle, but it's fun to dream.
 
#25
Look, we all see what we see, and to be honest, I've been doing this for a long time, and how I look at players now, is entirely different than how I looked at them 1o or 15 years ago. The obvious one's leap out at you if your paying attention and don't get bogged down with one particular trait. Having said that, shooting is a big deal for me, unless I'm overwhelmed by the rest of a players game, and in Dunn's case, I'am. Lets not forget that Dunn is also a great athlete.

Here's the difference that I see between Jackson and Dunn. I like Jackson, but see him as a great off the bench PG. I see Dunn as one of the top starting PG's in the league five years from now. Dunn has that "It"factor. He rises to the occasion when he's needed. But that's just my opinion. I think he's little further along than Wall was coming into the league, but then he should be with more years of college experience. I also like Jamal Murray of Kentucky and his running mate, Isaiah Briscoe. Murray is playing out of position but you can still see the PG talent he has.

Getting away from the PG's, a player that I've only seen play twice and can't wait to see again is Jaylen Brown of Cal. My goodness what a spectacular player he is. He's sort of like Andrew Wiggins with attitude. No doubt the makes a lot of mistakes, but boy, is he loaded with talent. Fun player to watch. If I had carte blanche to pick one player that I thought would make the biggest difference for the Kings, it would be Ben Simmons. Of course we have no chance of getting him barring a miracle, but it's fun to dream.
I think I'm just a little biased because I do love watching a lot of ND basketball. I think the thing with Jackson that I like is that he has the explosiveness and elusiveness factor in him that we've only seen from the elites.

For scouting PGs, I've really started putting an emphasis on scoring, specifically outside shooting.

There's a new trend in the NBA with going towards combo guards and I think we're going to start seeing less of the Rondos, and more of the Lillards. 5 years ago, Rondo was the best PG in the NBA. If you took that same Rondo from 5 years ago, and put him in this era, he's not even a top 5 PG. Maybe just outside of the top 10.

I think that's just an example of how scoring has become such a prominent thing for PGs.

With Dunn, I'd just like to see more outside shooting from him. He definitely has the better potential. Last year, he shot the 3 at a decent rate, but it's regressed this year. He still displays the ability to hit perimeter Js/long 2s, but I'd like to see him try to stretch it out to the 3pt line. If we could just ignore shooting, he's an amazing prospect. He has a super quick 1st step and his size lets him go against smaller PGs inside the paint. He does a great job attacking the rim. His agility really allows him to exploit the defense. This is why he's such a tremendous passer. If the defense collapses in on him, he quickly passes it out to the open man.

However, he's not a good off-ball player. He needs the ball in his hands to have an impact in the game.
When I see Jackson, I think the only real thing stopping him from becoming the next big thing is his height.. If he's a solid 6'0 or 5'11 3/4 without shoes, I think it would be great.

I really do like Murray. It sucks that Kentucky has Ulis and Briscoe. It forces Murray off the ball. There's a lot to like about him. I do wonder about his athleticism a bit. I don't think he'll ever be more than an average defender in the NBA, unlike Dunn. He reminds me a tiny bit of D'angelo Russell, but probably not the prospect he was.

Skal Labisssiere is a player I want to stay far far far away from.... I saw the huge upside in Porizingis..but I don't see one in Labissiere. He is RAW. I don't think he's 225. He looks a little smaller. If he had an extended range, I'd feel much more comfortable with him. He needs to put on a lot more weight.
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#26
I watched the Utah/Wichita St. game. Mostly with the intent to get another look at the 7 foot center from Utah, Jakob Poeltl. It wasn't one of his better games, but to be honest, it wasn't really his fault. His teammates couldn't get him the ball. I'll attribute some of that to Wichita St's excellent defense that denied him the ball. But most of the blame falls on his diminutive PG, the 3'8" Brandon Taylor (OK, I exaggerate a bit, he's listed at 5' LOL 11". Maybe if he stood on a shoe box. Either he was too short to see when Poeltl was open for a pass, or he simply was more interested in scoring himself. When Poeltl did get the ball, he scored very efficiently. My only knock on Poeltl so far is that he has little or no game away from the basket. But he's a very skilled post player and a very good rebounder.

Who I did come away impressed with was Ron Baker, the 6'4" SG from Wichita St. and his running mate, the 6'0" PG, Fred VanVleet. Both players are seniors, and they play that way. Both are good outside shooters, and Baker in particular is very good at getting his own shot whenever he feels the need. Baker plays more like a combo guard averaging 3.3 assists a game. More on both players at a later date. Another player on the Wichita team that looks like an up and comer is Markis McDuffie, a 6'8" SF. He's very athletic, defends very well, and is shooting 52.6% from beyond the arc. Don't know if he can keep that up, but he's worth keeping an eye on. By the way, Wichita St. easily beat Utah. The giant killer strikes again.
 
#27
Call me crazy, but I believe Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk could be the steal of the draft if he slides. He's not doing well at Kansas this year and he's continued to struggle with shooting the ball consistently. Despite this, I feel like he does have the tools to become a great SG in the NBA. He'd need a good shooting and development coach.

6'8 195lb SG
- shooting potential
- good athleticism
- good lateral quickness
- tools to become a good defender
- can handle the ball a bit
- can pass the ball, and very unselfish
- high bball IQ

negatives I've seen on tape:
- skinny/lack of strength
- gets bullied by bigger opponents
- inconsistent shooter
- lack of aggression going at the rim
- very raw on both ends
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#28
Call me crazy, but I believe Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk could be the steal of the draft if he slides. He's not doing well at Kansas this year and he's continued to struggle with shooting the ball consistently. Despite this, I feel like he does have the tools to become a great SG in the NBA. He'd need a good shooting and development coach.

6'8 195lb SG
- shooting potential
- good athleticism
- good lateral quickness
- tools to become a good defender
- can handle the ball a bit
- can pass the ball, and very unselfish
- high bball IQ

negatives I've seen on tape:
- skinny/lack of strength
- gets bullied by bigger opponents
- inconsistent shooter
- lack of aggression going at the rim
- very raw on both ends
He's a player on my radar, but I'm going to wait for a while for I comment on him. How hard is he willing to work is my question for him.
 
#29
Skal Labissiere is so underwhelming... his play speaks for itself..

Jakon Poeltl is a top 5 player in this draft. If we didn't have Cousins, I'd be all over him. He's man-handled almost every team he's played this season. He plays a lot like Cuz. Uses his strength and quickness in order to over-power opponents and get to the rim. Unlike Cuz, he's actually a pretty nice above the rim player.
 
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