Due to an overwhelming week and a half of domestic terrorism, a bunch of #FreeJahar nonsense, and, of course, NBA playoff basketball, I’ve consequently been slacking in the department of NCAA basketball. And just as of April 15th, our main man Georges Niang out of Iowa State was shown quite a bit of love from ESPN; love that we predicted back on February 26th would happen when experts finally realized that they had screwed the pooch in assessing the Methuen, Massachusetts native out of high school. Check it out:
Myron Medcalf of ESPN : Who’s the next breakout star in college basketball? I think Iowa State’s Georges Niang is worthy of this list. He averaged 12.1 PPG last season, and he’ll play a bigger role for Fred Hoiberg’s squad next season. He’s not on many radars right now, but I love his potential.
Eamon Brennan of ESPN: Totally agree on Niang. When I learned our topic for today — wherein we look around the college hoops landscape for potential breakout All-American candidates — he was the first player to pop into my head. He’s still just under-the-radar enough that he can qualify as a surprise when he turns his vast combination of perimeter skills in a tricky 6-foot-8 frame into a stellar sophomore season. And he’ll have plenty of touches, that’s for sure
Hey NOW, I guess Georges looks to FINALLY be receiving the media recognition he deserves and, as a Massachusetts resident, I could not be more proud of his putting on for Boston basketball to the max. The story of this underdog is one we should all admire. Like I said, the immaculate pump fake, the finesse up and unders, the spins and baby hooks COURTESY of an excellent understanding of how to use his body and a silky stroke that forces bigs to extend out to the perimeter is all there. Instincts on instincts. Imagine when he comes back from an entire period of off-season work with five to ten pounds of added muscle, a tightened handle that allows him to consistently attack off the dribble when bigs have to extend out to the perimeter, and, of course, more explosive. As we’ve seen with the success of those that have defied the need for elite level athleticism to make a living at the next level (cough, cough…Zach Randolph), its ultimately not what you do above the rim that makes you productive. Rather, its what you can do UNDER the rim that scouts time and time again look over in favor of the potential accompanying insane physical gifts. Not to mention everyone surprisingly forgot that he banged and battled with Nerlens Noel for years in practice (no wonder he’s so unbelievably capable of getting his jump hooks/shot up over anyone and is as heady as they get in knowing when to get his defender off the ground…duh). Man, do I foresee scouts going crazy over his game resembling that of Jared Dudley’s. Keep on working, Georges, and don’t forget to use the $4.25 million Dudley is guaranteed by The Suns until 2016 as incentive. Let it be know that I’m a believer in a NBA Niang.
P.S. Do you think the Eamon to Eamon connection works for Brennan? Like, I’d have to assume that if “Don’t Want You Back” pops up on the juke box at a bar he’s taking back some broad with ease.
1.) Travis Tritt’s Attempt at the National Anthem Sucked Ass
He looks like dog shit
Really? You couldn’t muster a way of getting Jennifer Hudson with $70 plus million? Dude was terrible. Zero tonality. Couldn’t hit a high note to save his life. Not to mention he was also about 20 pounds underweight and without his trademark long care don’t care flow. Let this be a lesson too all: Country singers suck ass at National Anthems (besides Darius Rucker, of course). I want me some Travis Tritt while enjoying a cold one and watching rice cook in the microwave. Its a goofy thing, I know.
2.) Trey Burke’s Waves are Impeccable
Can’t see them waves now? Take a good, hard look when he’s all dappered out on Draft night. You’ll notice they are equally as impressive as his ability to initiate contact. I’m sure my man invests in S-Curl.
3.) I’m Literally TOO Nice At the Lookalike Game
I’m telling you, if Spike’s hair was as drenched in sweat as Mikey J’s this lookalike would be on point to the 10th degree.
Pusha and Kevin Ware. Now that’s impeccable.
4.) Trey Burke Got PAID
While #TeamSpike convinced John Beilein its “cooler” to be a spectator than a coach and thus extend Trey Burke’s stay on the sidelines to detrimental length (Spike was in there for about five to seven minutes too long), Burke was once again able to put on a show. Even in a losing effort, he still managed to solidify his place within the top eight come June and showed teams at the top of the draft with established point guards that he doesn’t need major minutes to flourish (time to get him hip to Jarrett Jack’s line of work!). What does that all mean for Trey from a financial standpoint? Well, lets see, the difference between the 10th and 5th overall selection is nearly $1 million, or 50%, in the first contract year alone. Even a step up from sixth to fifth overall is good for a $267,000 boost in rookie pay. Before the NCAA tournament, Burke was hovering between 12th and 16th overall. Now, he’ll likely head to Sacramento with the 7th overall pick. If Marcus Smart does in fact go to Phoenix with the 3rd overall selection, then the possibility of him making that extra 1 million in base salary and going to Detroit at the five spot becomes that much more realistic (I’d take him over Oladipo and Joey Dumars needs a stud lead guard to play major minutes with the second unit). Nevertheless, Trey “I Got Waves For Days” Burke made that money. Imagine if Sacramento catches a bit of the Maloof “I suck at drafting” Brothers Syndrome and he slips to OKC at the 8th spot. Eric Maynor on steroids.
These ass clowns have got to be kidding, right? Remove yourself from the blind fixation on potential that kills NBA teams and realize you’ve got a cost effective legitimate back up big who can immediately contribute. Hey NBA scouts, the new CBA got you feeling a bit cost conscious? Well, how about taking on Diengs rookie contract? Shit, it’ll be far cheaper than anything you can find on the open market. And believe me, if Festuz Ezeli can find significant minutes in his first year of action, then Gorgui is good to go. Dude’s size, instincts, touch, strength and lateral quickness equate to off the bat contributions at the next level. Not mention he has an advantage on the steep learning curve that every NBA big endures because of his ability to stroke it from 15 meet and act as an escape valve in pick and roll situations. If Danny Ainge doesn’t roll with Giannis Adetokunbo at 17, then he better take a hard, long look at Gorgui. Straight up bafoonary if OKC snags him at 29.
6.) Is Spike Albrecht the Perfect Example of How D-1 Player Evaluations Are Flawed?
Spike Albrecht is a prime example of proper evaluations in recruiting. Had two D1 offers coming out of HS. Michigan. And Appalachian St.
I know what all ya’ll are thinking: If Spike Albrecht can score 17 first half points and look like the best player on the floor amongst several All-Americans and soon to be lottery picks, how in the fuck does he wind up going so heavily under-recruited? Were scouts just straight up goonish for adhering to conventional criteria of what makes a high major prospect? The answer: yes with a some what lingering no.
Unlike the majority of these esteemed columnists raving about Spike, I actually had the opportunity of seeing him dismantle Brewster Academy (yes, the same team that featured Mitch McGary, Xavier’s Semaj Christon, St. John’s JaKarr Sampson and NC State’s TJ Warren) in the class AAA championship out at Endicott College. Was he the best guard on the floor? Yes, yes he was. Would I have offered him a scholarship right then and there? Personally, I’d have been VERY tempted to take a chance because I’ve fortunately been exposed to AAA/AA basketball and thus am a firm believer in anyone who “pisses” throughout an entire season in arguably country’s the most competitive high school league (that’s why I’ve been so high on Georges Niang since day one). But the reality is scouts are so fixated on evaluating prospects based on athleticism and whether or not players can physically adapt to the next level that it ultimately bites them in the ass and undersized, slow white kids like Spike are written off despite having the actual skill to get it done (don’t you realize everyone lifts and gets stronger in college?). And as a result, thousands of kids go on to have successful careers and develop into guys more than capable of playing high major ball when its all said and done.
But I’m not convinced he’s a perfect example of flaws behind D1 evaluations because not even John Beilein could have predicted the kid going off like he did. You know who is a perfect example of flawed evaluations? Guys like Kenneth Faried, like Jeremy Lin, like Steph Curry. Guys who’s production makes coaches say to themselves, “Fuck, I may have lost my job over not taking a chance on this kid.” Listen, I love Spike. LOVE HIM. I truly believe he’ll end up having a productive role within the Michigan program for the next four years. But do you think Sean Miller or John Calapari or even Rick Pitino now look at this kid and say, “Boy, we sure did screw the pooch on this one”? No, because what happened last night was the most outlandish, unprecedented moment in maybe the history of sports. Shit happens. Did he EVER show glimpses earlier in the season of going for more than 10 points in a contest? Well, maybe against Ohio State back on the 13th of January. But other than that, no. Chop it up to opportunity and the magic of the NCAA Tournament, no one, besides Appalachian St. and other mid majors, are losing sleep.
Marquette and Michigan may have royally butt fucked my bracket, but I had an awesome time watching one eyed Chris Otule and Trey Burke so it doesn’t much matter. Here are twelve points of observation and unconventional awards from the second tremendous weekend of March Madness.
P.S. In lieu of Kevin Ware, can President Obama finally realize its about time he forced Mark Emmert to pay these mafuckin Children for their efforts? Its getting a bit ridiculous, don’t you think? Stipends for everyone, PLEASE! Hit ‘Em
1.) Biggest Winner: The Dude From the AT&T Commercials
Beck Bennett: Winning. May he very well become more iconic than the Michelin Man, GEICO’s Gecco and a Billy Mays jacked up on cocaine combined? I think so. Bravo, Beck. Hopefully his advertising success proves just as lucrative as Leo’s. Now THAT would be a Miracle!
2.)Biggest Challenge Conqueror: Michael Carter Williams
Our HitEmWhereTheyAint/Ciroc Bracket Challenge updates to let you know who’s sucking dick and who’s well on their way to poppin bottles/fucking phat bitches will come Monday morning. But for now, here are some six quick predictions through the weekend. Hit ‘Em
1.) Wichita State Upends Gonzaga Because the Bulldogs are Fucking Soft
I picked Pittsburgh to get out of the first round and penciled Gonzaga to the Sweet 16 because I anticipated Steven Adams doing jack shit offensively because his teammates don’t feed him the rock. But now that Wichita State is up against the ugliest college basketball player EVER, its a rap. Love Pangos, but their overall guard play can’t handle the nitty gritty-ness of Malcolm Armstead and Demetric Williams. Game Over…Flip.
2.) Dominic Artis Finds His Groove and The Ducks Beat St. Louis
I have Saint Louis, but I made that decision based on Dominic Artis and his not being fully healthy. Now, in seeing how he responded to a squeamish 2 point first half with 11 big ones in a controlled 17 minutes of play, it looks as if Coach Ernie Kent may be able to not worry about playing the kid 25 plus minutes. If he finds himself looking like the floor general that he once was when The Ducks were 17 and 2 through the first 20 minutes of play, Dominic (What’s Up, Dominic) could very well be in a position to have his name widely tossed around social media. Jordair Jett’s stupid baggy white tee and awesome dreads are capable of putting the clamps on ‘Nic. But I’ma ride with the potential breakout performance from Damian Lillard’s protégé.
3.) VCU Gets the Best of Trey Burke
In lieu of the disappointing Burke v. Nate Wolters matchup, we should anticipate a statement performance from the potential lottery pick. He went 2 for 12, but if you watched the game, each of his 12 shot attempts were of high quality and were unfortunately subject to bad bounces along the rim—Looks should have fallen. And while I’ll confidently say that Trey would win the battle with VCU’s trademark frenetic full court pressure 9 times out of 10, its a NEW, unaccustomed look. Hey, go ahead, scout Shaka Smart’s defense all you want. But until you actually PLAY against it, you ain’t figuring it out. That’s why its so well built for the tournament. Internalize the “It Only Takes One Game” mentality and Trey Burke might replicate his Thursday struggles from Auburn Hills.
4.) FG-Coast’s Point Guard Brett Comer Looking Like Mac Miller Trends on Twitter
He eats Tom Knight and Jack Cooley with a number of fluid jump hooks and up and unders and guess what…he never once needed to keep the defense honest by jacking from deep. Brilliant. Like, is there a Freshman with a higher basketball IQ in all of college ball? He scores 19 points without forcing the issue and showing the world his entire arsenal. And while Thad Matta will scout him properly, last night’s performance should undoubtedly place an emphasis on stopping him at the rim. What happens next? 1.) Guys like “I Can’t Hear Shit Because I’m SO Fucking Angry” Ravenel start to ease up a bit as Niang floats around the perimeter and 2.) Guys like “I STILL Can’t Hear Shit” Ravenel give Georges enough space to jack from deep. Love it. Ohio State is great defensively, but I think George could keep adding to his coming out party.
6.) Marshall Henderson Doesn’t Hold Back With the Antics Much Like He Did Against Wisco
La Salle Shoots a Shit Load of Three’s, Marshall Shoots a shit load of “What in the Fuck” Three’s off of curls and dribble pull ups. La Salle is entirely African American (besides one back up center white boy). All Marshall Henderson wants in life is to be Black. Only one more game until the Sweet 16. I’m anticipating the psychopath within to be on full display.
Last time Nicky Friedman aka Chris Kattan had Georges Niang by our Podcast, the Big 12 All-Rookie Team award winner was professing his love for white women with short hair, clowning Elijah Johnson aka Beetle Juice, and demonstrating the same crazy basketball intellect we’ve seen the kid implement through 31 regular season games. Yesterday, Nicky was in Chicago handling some Biz for the Team. So the White Black Frank White stepped in and took responsibility as the two talked Big 12 Championships expectations/game plans, Kelly Olynyk/Golem comparisons, and, yes, white women with short hair. And he did it all while casually slurping on a beverage. Sippin on that large Hi-C from McDeez. I see you, Georges! But anyways, we wish the homeboy from Boston all the success in the world and hope he can expose the underrated label on a national level in the near future. Hit ‘Em
And last Thursday, we got Georges on the line for an interview right before taking off for his make or break NCAA tournament hopeful three game stretch against Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and West Virginia. From discussing his feelings with the underrated label to his opinions on KU swingman Travis Releford’s hair line and white women with short hair, Georges showed us that’s he’s a youngin’ with a story and personality that should never go unnoticed. If there’s one take away from our first of many radio interviews with Georges, it’s that he’s got the tools to not only ball outrageous for the rest of his basketball career, but to ball outrageous 30 years down the road in life. Check out some of the highlights from our conservation transcribed below. Hit ‘Em.
P.S. Excuse my sounding like the biggest white boy of all time when discussing French Montana and his most recent Mac & Cheese Mixtape. I assure you all that I’m far more WAVY than I appear over the Podcast. Believe me, I’ve routinely punched myself in the face for that one.
A LOT was learned/reaffirmed last night in the Hilton Coliseum. Time to Hit ‘Em with that basketball intellect.
1.) If You Didn’t Know Prior To Last Night That Georges Niang is the Most Underrated Freshman in the Country, Then Fuck You.
Am I surprised the Methuen, Massachusetts native is Iowa State’s third leading scorer, most efficient body at Fred Hoiberg’s disposal, and is in the running for Big 12 rookie of the year? Nawwww, not in the slightest. Honestly.
Well, I was at that classic NEPSAC championship game (check the Hoop Mixtape, you’ll see my two boys, Tilton’s AD and I posted on the baseline. Peep the grey hoody exposing my white-T), in the “ratchet” audience out in Lynn and watched that EYBL Championship from start to finish on ESPNU. And my impression was simple: Yes, Georges might both lack the bounce/explosiveness and size needed to crack the “ELITE level” recruit label that Ben Mclemore, Archie Goodwin, Marcus Smart, Nerlens Noel, etc. casually assume. But you’d be crazy in saying this kid wouldn’t provide immediate HEAVY contributions at the next level after demonstrating a basketball IQ/footwork/touch beyond his years and an ability to score (EFFICIENTLY) in virtually every facet of the game on a nightly basis against the Nation’s collection of star-studded bigs.
In summary, because Georges had BEEN producing against the Steven Adams’, the Mitch McGary’s, the Kaleb Tarczewki’s of the world and put up numbers that were in no way inflated because of his playing alongside Noel/Wayne Selden, why wouldn’t one trust that those creative instincts, touch and polished skill set would instantly translate at the next level? And through 28 games (especially last night), he’s continued to torch dudes with his immaculate pump fake, finesse up and unders, spins and baby hooks COURTESY of an excellent understanding of how to use his body and a silky stroke that forces bigs to extend out to the perimeter. Oh and those defensive shortcomings all those scouting services were talking about? He’s got that under control, just ask Jeff Withey.
Another clear case of the “certified” basketball expert failing to emphasize the importance of skill and focusing far too much on what the kid can/cannot do from an athletic standpoint. Keep on riding the underrated train, homie. It’ll serve you well, especially when all those Big 12 honors start piling on. Breakout performer in 2014? Well, considering the fact that he’ll be in the gym adding to his natural big body frame, working on his explosiveness from the perimeter, and, of course, taking thousands of jump shots, I’d say the possibility is quite high
1.) Ladies & Gentlemen, I’d Like to Welcome the CLASSLESS Ass Formally Known as Elijah Johnson to the Stage
Before I say anything, let me just state that in another life I most certainly would have disrespectfully woofed one down at the end of regulation just like Elijah. If I had as shitty of a slump as EJ did in the middle of the season with so many people doubting my draft stock and ability to help Kansas make a serious push come March I would be sticking my junk in a crowd’s will all day, all night. But I’m speaking from the perspective of that dude who tried to throw down in fisticups with Bill Self. And neither that motherfucker nor the rest of the Cyclone student body would allow “BOOYAH” Johnson to lay his nuts all over their pride and get away it (if they could, of course).
I’ll tell ya what: If I’m an Iowa State walk-on, I either a.) shoulder the fuck out of him in post-game handshakes, b.) look him dead in the eyes and shout “Suck my ass, Elijah!” or c.) shut my god damn mouth entirely because he dropped a massive 39 point dump on this beautiful bench warming face of mine. Ultimately, option C looks most viable. But because I’m Jewish and have adopted the loud mouth characteristic of my people, I might toss the prick a Yiddish “No-Goodnik.” GRILLLL ‘EMMMMMMMMM
1.) Why So Blue? Oh That’s Right, Because Them Cyclones Got FUCKED
College officiating has always been beyond bothersome and last night was a perfect example as to why I can’t stand the amateur Zebras. I, yes, ya boy CHRIS KATTAN, even almost started pouring my eyes out. God Damn Frustration tears at their finest. George Niang and Tyrus Mcgee play BEAUTIFULLY through the second half, Niang splashes in Withey’s face from downtown with 44 seconds left in regulation extending the lead to five, stage looks set for the fellow Bostonian to get his Freshman SHINE on. What happens next? Mark Whitehead and the rest of his bum ass officiating crew essentially tell Fred Hoiberg, “Look, Pal, we’ve gotta give Bill Self every opportunity he needs to be the ninth fastest coach in Division 1 history to reach 500 wins. Our whistles are sealed tight. Fuck off.” With loses to Texas Tech and Texas, this Iowa State team could very well be on the outside looking in come Tournament time all because of the Sin Foolery/Fuckery that was consecrated last night. So go ‘head, child, cry your eyes out.
2.) Nice Fangs, Ms. Lady!
When fooling around with your boyfriend, remember the following: “Don’t Bite It.” The Ghost of Eazy E will hear his cries and slap you silly.