Around College Basketball, 4-18-08

Tim PollockSenior Writer IApril 18, 2008

After almost two weeks since the end of the season, there is still plenty of news to discuss, and there will certainly be more to come.    

First, some coaching news:


Keno Davis takes over at Providence    

Like the Big East really needs more competition.  It seems odd that the National Coach of the Year was a third choice for a school, as Jim Larranaga, Travis Ford and Bob McKillop all turned down the job. Perhaps people are still wondering if Drake’s season was a fluke.

In any case, it might end up being a good thing for the Friars, as Davis looks to be the best fit.  The Friars return seven seniors, so he should have above average talent and experience to work with. 


Frank Martin gets five-year deal at Kansas State    

What are the chances Martin makes it through those five years without getting fired?  Between this guy’s temper and Beasley playing for money…err…legit money, things aren’t looking good for ole Frank. 

It’s just my take, but this looks like a panic move by K-State.  


Travis Ford becomes new head coach at Oklahoma State    

Great hire.  If you got the chance to see UMass’s run in the NIT, you saw a great coach.  Ford will make the Cowboys instantly improved on the defensive end of the floor.  Ford’s style is up-and-down and in-your-face, so the fans will appreciate the show as well.  


And now to the yearly drama of teenagers making poor decisions, a.k.a. the early entry list. 

I must admit, there is some strange part of me that enjoys seeing some of these self-indulgent kids who declare early only to be drafted much later than they were told—or not at tall.  

“Upside” is the new draft term, so some of these kids will get a shot based on their athletic ability, but a handful will be choosing between the Polish or Mexican leagues. 

We have seen this song and dance before.  For some reason, kids just don’t learn.  Blame AAU, I guess.  Everyone else does.  

I won’t repeat the guys from Michael Lemaire’s article, well, not all of them at least…    

That said, here are the guys I have question marks next to—if they indeed hire agents:    


Joe Alexander 

This kid seemingly came out of nowhere.  Halfway through the year, common fans finally started asking, “Who’s the white guy that just dunked on some dude?”   

Alexander may very well be a sleeper, but he needs quite a bit more polish—he is six-eight and sturdy but only got 6.4 rebounds per game while shooting 46 percent from the floor this past season.  


Ryan Anderson 

It’s hard to argue with Anderson’s offensive abilities, but what position will he play in the league? Anderson gets the infamous “tweener” call, which typically drops a player’s stock come draft time. 


Chase Budinger 

Looks like a tough call on this kid.  He has great size for his position and can shoot the lights out, but tends to play passively at times.  Some team will fall in love with him, but I tend to think he’ll be more of a “work out superstar” that never truly pans out in the league. 


Derrick Caracter 

A poor man’s Zach Randolph. Caracter has size, athleticism but his poor reputation and rap sheet at Louisville will certainly scare off teams.

You can’t read anything on this kid without seeing the words “lazy” or “selfish.” He's good, but probably not worth the trouble.   

JJ Hickson 

Great numbers for a freshman in a tough conference, but when the term “project” is attached to your name, that’s never a good thing.  Hickson seems a bit raw right now.   

Would a lottery team really gamble on this kid when there are other more established players on the board?  Seems unlikely.


Jeremy Pargo 

Pargo is an exceptional athlete, but a star point guard simply cannot shoot 26 percent from three-point range; in addition, he has a tendency to play too fast, committing silly turnovers.  I can’t see anyone even drafting this kid. 


Ronald Steele 

After a terrific sophomore season, Steele played terribly as a junior, scoring less than nine points per game. He followed that by sitting out an entire season due to injury. 



Robert Vaden 

As a 23-year-old junior, is Vaden really going to get much better next year?  And perhaps that is part of his thinking, since 23-year-olds are now five-year vets in the league. Yes, Vaden is deadly from the outside, but he doesn't bring much else.   

Vaden is JJ Redick with a bigger frame but without the DUI and Duke label.