A few nuggets on some big time talent heading into college next season...
We care because you care, Texas fan. Or Nova fan, depending on which camp you’re in. If you ask a Texas coach, he’d tell you the vibe from the Joseph people is cause for concern. It’s not all Texas all the time like it used to be. A lot of folks in burnt orange expected something firm from the talented combo guard two short weeks ago. Then it was pushed back to mid April. Not a good trend.
If you ask a Nova coach, however, they still think Texas is the team to beat although they’ve made some headway in a short amount of time. That leverage comes from CJ’s hesitation to play with high school teammate Avery Bradley. You would think the two studs would be tight since they played together at Findlay prep. That’s not necessarily the case, however. There’s a feeling among the ‘Nova camp that Joseph is sensitive about shots and minutes or playing second fiddle with Bradley again. To an objective observer this is nonsense because Texas will have plenty of shots and minutes to go around next year, but Villanova has found this emotional pressure point with CJ and jumped on it with both feet.
It’s no wonder that when Bradley was a lock to the NBA, Joseph was a lock to become a Longhorn. Now that Bradley is sending messages that he might be returning to Austin by not hiring an agent, Joseph is much more open to the idea of playing elsewhere.
Keep an eye on Bradley because it’s very unlikely he and Joseph end up together again. The darkhorse in all of this is UCONN because they could end up being the compromise team and also have an open spot at guard.
After de-committing from the University of Florida a few days ago, (we were the first to break the news three weeks ago ), Austin Rivers is currently in Hampton, Virginia playing with his AAU team, Each One Teach One (which shares the name of an excellent album by West Coast reggae band Groundation). There should be a very strong buzz around the gym, especially since this is Nike’s Inaugural Youth Basketball League. Click here to see River’s face all over ESPN.
So, the next question is how soon will Rivers be committing to Duke? Or does North Carolina actually have a shot? It probably doesn’t go down this week.
Roy Williams has been all over Rivers since the visit two weeks ago — in his ear about winning right away. The counter from the Duke folks is that you can win now and later in the Blue Devil program, and that means you won’t be forced into being one and done.
Duke also has stability and some fresh hardware to show off. And in the eyes of a kid in Rivers’ situation — someone that doesn’t need the NBA necessarily right away but does need to mature physically — Duke is a perfect fit. Rivers will still be a Blue Devil and sooner than later.
Sherron Collins’ draft stock has been slipping and Selby was recently asked why would he want to play at Kansas. Selby’s response was simple: “I am not Sherron Collins.” If I were a Jayhawk, how would I take that comment? One one hand, you have to like his confidence. On the other hand, did he just dis the Jayhawks’ highly respected lead man that guided his team to a #1 seed? Selby and Knight are both preparing for the Jordan game in New York on April 17.
Knight is walking on cloud nine after hearing that five Kentucky players are entering their names into the NBA draft. Calipari has four point guards going pro in three years. Guess what they are whispering into Knight’s ear? I’d do anything to be the team manager on that Kentucky team. Dude also probably makes $100K a year.
DeMarcus Cousins signs with John Greig to represent him in the NBA. Greig is similar to your cousin Whimple. You don’t have a cousin named Whimple? Exactly! Who the hell is John Grieg? Looks like someone was working the magic for Cousins like he does in the low post. Where the hell is Bilal Batley? Expect Batley to be sitting in the Green room on draft night with Cousins.
See you around the gym. And bring your game because I’ll be watching. And listening.
ballerjunkie writes at the leading college hoops blog March To March .
Follow him on Twitter: @MarchToMarch