Tag:John Wall
Posted on: June 23, 2010 2:35 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2010 9:36 am

Questionable Cousins still must go in top four

The most intriguing debate heading into Thursday's NBA Draft is the debate about DeMarcus Cousins.

Will he be the Rookie of the Year?

Will he be a headache?

Truth is, it won't surprise me if Cousins turns out to be both. The guy is an awesome talent and uneven personality whose reputation is well earned. My guess is that he'll put 18 points and 17 rebounds on somebody in the first month of his NBA career and cause general managers who passed on him to cry, then two months later be caught on camera arguing with an assistant coach, at which point those same general managers will be thankful they passed.

And that's probably how Cousins' career will go.

Lots of nice moments surrounded by lots of shake-your-head moments.

So the question the Nets (picking third) and Timberwolves (picking fourth) must ask themselves is whether they'd rather have Cousins and his issues, or Derrick Favors, Wes Johnson or Greg Monroe, because it's not close in terms of talent. On talent alone, Cousins should probably be the second pick (behind only Kentucky teammate John Wall) and perhaps the No. 1 overall pick. As much as I've criticized Cousins' demeanor, I've never questioned his ability. He's big and strong and skilled, and he was the most dominant force in college basketball last season. I love his potential, but I'm scared he'll never be able to get out of his own way. That's the dilemma. That's always been the dilemma.

And yet I still wonder how much it should matter.

I still really do wonder if we care too much about character.

I mean, I just watched the Lakers win an NBA title with a player who has been accused of rape (Kobe Bryant), a player who ran into the stands to punch a fan (Ron Artest), a player who once demanded a trade from the team that drafted him (Pau Gasol), and a player who married the worst Kardashian just weeks after meeting her (Lamar Odom). Again, those are our world champions. Meantime, the Indianapolis Police Department believes Zach Randolph could be a drug kingpin, and he's an All-Star. Dwyane Wade has gone through some kind of crazy divorce and may or may not be a terrible father, but he's a pretty successful basketball player. Carmelo Anthony once told criminals not to snitch on other criminals, but I'd take him on my team. Tyreke Evans was the driver of a car that carried a murderer away to safety, but he was also the Rookie of the Year.

I could do this forever, but you get the point.

Character matters, sure.

But nothing matters in the NBA more than talent.

You don't win or lose with good people and bad people.

You win or lose with talented players and untalented players.

So I'd take Wall ahead of Cousins and I might -- let me stress might -- take Turner and Favors ahead of him, too. But there's absolutely no way Cousins -- a 6-foot-11, 280-pound forward who averaged 15.1 points and 9.8 rebounds in 23.5 minutes per game as a freshman -- should go any lower than fourth in this draft, absolutely no way Cousins should be selected behind Johnson, Monroe or anybody else not named Wall, Turner or Favors because you don't pass on a potential All-Star unless you're getting a potential All-Star in his place.

There are only four prospects in this draft who project as potential All-Stars.
  • John Wall
  • Evan Turner
  • Derrick Favors
  • DeMarcus Cousins
If they're not the first four picks Thursday night, somebody messed up.
Posted on: April 7, 2010 7:06 pm

Five UK underclassmen entering NBA Draft

Kentucky's John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Patrick Patterson, Daniel Orton and Eric Bledsoe are all, as expected, declaring for the NBA Draft, school officials announced Wednesday.

All five players are projected first-round picks.

Wall will likely go No. 1 overall.

Cousins and Patterson should both join him in the lottery.

Kentucky finished 35-3 this season.

The Wildcats lost to West Virginia in the Elite Eight.
Posted on: March 3, 2010 2:52 pm

I switched my vote to Evan Turner

Evan Turner appears headed toward National Player of the Year honors.

The Ohio State junior received 41 of 49 first-place votes in the final AnnArbor.com National Player of the Year poll to take a commanding lead over Kentucky's John Wall. Syracuse's Wesley Johnson, Villanova's Scottie Reynolds and Duke's Jon Scheyer rounded out the top five. Turner was the lone player to appear on all 49 ballots. He was first or second on 48 of them.

My ballot looked like this:
  1. Evan Turner
  2. John Wall
  3. Wesley Johnson
So, yes, I finally switched from Wall to Turner.

It was the right thing to do.

Here's a recap of Turner's season: Changed positions, posted insane numbers, broke bones in his back, missed six games, returned to the court, posted more ridiculous numbers and led Ohio State to a Big Ten title and Top 10 ranking. He's averaging 19.5 points, 9.4 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game. So while I still believe Wall is devastating, the country's best NBA prospect, and somebody who could get hot and overwhelm opponents while leading Kentucky to a national championship, Turner is the correct pick for Player of the Year at this moment.

Remember, Derrick Rose wasn't the Player of the Year in 2008.

He wasn't even a serious candidate for that award.

But Rose was ultimately heralded as college basketball's best guard after the nation watched him tear through Drew Neitzel, D.J. Augustin and Darren Collison in consecutive NCAA tournament games. This could be similar. But there's no denying Turner has had the better season to date, and he deserves every first-place vote he got, plus whatever other honors come his way.
Posted on: February 17, 2010 2:01 pm

Turner passes Wall in POY poll

Ohio State's Evan Turner now tops the AnnAbor.com College Basketball Player of the Year poll.

The votes of 49 panelists moved Turner past Kentucky's John Wall for the first time this season with Villanova's Scottie Reynolds, Syracuse's Wesley Johnson and Kansas' Sherron Collins rounding out the top five. Each voter was asked to list a top three and turn it in Tuesday afternoon, i.e., before Wall nearly put a triple-double on Mississippi State. Turner got 30 first-place votes, Wall got 13, Collins got four and Reynolds got two. Amazingly, eight voters didn't list Turner in their top three. Wall wasn't listed on four ballots.

My ballot looked like this:

1. John Wall
2. Evan Turner
3. Wesley Johnson

Click this link to see all the details.
Posted on: February 4, 2010 1:13 pm
Edited on: February 4, 2010 1:14 pm

Turner gaining on Wall in POY race

Michael Rothstein of AnnArbor.com has posted the results of his second Player of the Year poll.

Click this link to check it out.

Forty-eight college basketball writers -- myself included -- listed our top three in order.

My top three were:
  1. John Wall (Kentucky)
  2. Evan Turner (Ohio State)
  3. Wesley Johnson (Syracuse)
And that's exactly the order of the top three of the poll.

Wall got 25 first-place votes while Turner got 18.

Scottie Reynolds (Villanova) and Damion James (Texas) rounded out the top five.

Sherron Collins (Kansas) -- with one first-place vote -- was sixth.
Posted on: February 3, 2010 2:32 pm

My top three for Player of the Year

I just turned in my updated Player of the Year rankings to Michael Rothstein of AnnArbor.com.

He's conducting a media survey every few weeks.

The latest results will be out tomorrow.

My ballot looked like this:
  1. John Wall (Kentucky)
  2. Evan Turner (Ohio State)
  3. Wesley Johnson (Syracuse)
Posted on: January 20, 2010 3:08 pm

Media panel has Wall way ahead in POY race

Michael Rothstein of AnnArbor.com polled 45 college basketball writers to get a glimpse of how the Player of the Year race is unfolding. It's no surprise that John Wall got 32 of the 45 first-place votes, just a surprise that three voters didn't list Wall among their top three.

I like to call those people stupid.

Seriously, how could Wall not be in somebody's top three?

Anyway, click this link to check the results.

My ballot (as of this minute) is ...

1. John Wall (Kentucky)
2. Evan Turner (Ohio State)
3. Damion James (Texas)
Posted on: December 5, 2009 3:57 pm
Edited on: December 5, 2009 4:12 pm

Wall cramps, still secures UK win

John Wall can make free throws with leg cramps.

This, we learned Saturday.

Because the freshman point guard sank a pair of free throws with four seconds remaining to secure Kentucky's 68-66 victory over North Carolina. It was the second time in three games Wall has made clutch free throws. So if John Calipari ends up in a situation where he needs single points to secure, say, a national championship, I suspect he'll be fine this time around. In the meantime, Calipari better get as many fluids as possible into Wall's body, because Wall was limited greatly by cramps in the second half against UNC, and the Wildcats are nowhere close to as explosive without Wall as they are with him.

This, we also learned Saturday.

But before Wall started cramping, he was his usual sensational self, so much so that he became a "Trending Tropic " on Twitter, which garnered respect even from those at rival schools. "Yo...John Wall is a trending topic," Tweeted Tennessee sophomore Renaldo Woolridge . "Gotta give props when they r due...thats league ." Wall finished with 16 points, seven assists and five rebounds.

Another thing about Wall: When he gets an outlet pass on the run, I noticed, he looks like a tailback taking a pitch from a quarterback, like Reggie Bush in a USC uniform flying around and past everybody. Sometimes Wall loses control (that's partly why he finished with seven turnovers), and he'll have to figure that out as he progresses. But watching him run the break might be the most exciting thing you can watch any college basketball player do this season. So I'd advise you to do it whenever possible, and I can't wait to see Wall do it live at Madison Square Garden against Connecticut on Wednesday night.

Hopefully, he'll down plenty of fluids between now and then.
Category: NCAAB
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