St. John’s Grabs Peter Robert Casey as Twitter Blogger

You all know Peter Robert Casey, he was featured here in an exclusive interview a few months back for his impressive work with The Entertainers Basketball Classic a.k.a the EBC, but what you may not know quite yet is that he recently signed an agreement with St. John’s University to act as a micro-blogger covering men’s basketball games for the upcoming 2009-2010 season. Casey will be given a court side seat to each contest and will use his twitter account, @Peter_R-Casey, to broadcast in real time how the Red Storm are doing on the court. Casey has been given the green light to use his basketball I.Q. and personal brand to dissect the play of the St. John’s basketball team in order tolife_peterrobertcasey_200 reach basketball fans that are online via Twitter when the Red Storm are playing. He will be the first Twitter-blogger to earn a seat on press row.

To put in perspective how many followers and fans Casey has on Twitter, he is among the top ten most followed individuals in the basketball community which includes coaches and players of all calibers. In other words only 9 potential NBA players have a bigger following base than Casey. As a non-celebrity that is amazing. Be sure to check out more details of this story that even ESPN has covered.

Are we following each other on Twitter yet? @DinoGomez

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Tribute to Lute Olson

It was amazing to speak with Randy Brown about his days coaching alongside Lute Olson.  The way Randy spoke about Lute told you just how much he learned from him and how much he admired the person he is. Randy didn’t simply say Lute was an amazing coach, he said Lute is an amazing person.OlsonGraphic

I met Lute once when I was 13.  I attended his basketball camp in Tucson, Arizona about 9 years back. It was a week long camp which included a personal photo opp with the coach. I’ll never forget that camp simply because the demonstrations from current and past Arizona players were spectacular. It was every kids dream to attend Lute’s camp and you know the man himself wasn’t just trying to make an extra buck by hosting a summer camp. Lute was there to help kids learn basketball correctly and build an audience for the university in which he represented. That is why Lute is awesome and why he is loved by everyone in the basketball community.

On August 8th, 2009 coach Lute Olson is to be recognized for his amazing Hall of Fame Career at the University of Arizona at which he coached. In his tenure with the University he contributed to 11 Pac-10 titles, 23 consecutive NCAA appearances, 4 final fours, and a national championship in 1997. The ceremony will last from 11Am until 12:30 Pm at the McKale Memorial Center in Tucson. The event will include presentations from NBA players that Lute coached as well as a highlight reel of bits and pieces of those 23 seasons in which he led the Wildcats to the Big dance and beyond. The ceremony is free to the public and is sure to be amazing so be sure to stop by with a friend. Thanks again for everything Lute! Arizona fans will never forget you.

Houston, we have footage.

Awhile back Lebron James hosted his annual skills camp where he was dunked upon by Xavier’s Jordan Crawford.  This tape was promptly confiscated by big brother… er Nike?  Everyone knows this story.  What you probably don’t know is that TMZ claims that they have footage of this infamous dunk. (Yea, it’s that TMZ.  You know, the celebrity stalking e-tabloid.)  Apparently not only do they have footage, but they will debuting it live todat at 6:45 est.  That’s when we find out if this is actually a big deal.TMZ

As I mentioned once before, I don’t think this is a big deal no matter what the talking-head pundits claim.  They should’ve spun this positively instead of opting for this ridiculous gag order.  They, Nike and Lebron, have armies of publicists and PR people, don’t tell me they couldn’t have done it.  “Anything’s Possible” would work. Lebron is human afterall despite all the evidence suggesting otherwise.

Arizona sets a record with 31 draft picks since 1989

When Chase Budinger and Jordan Hill were called into the NBA this year they made the 30th and 31st players from Arizona to be drafted into the league since 1989. You see in 1989 the NBA draft was shortened into 2 rounds and since then only a few elite programs can say they have had over 20 of their players selected in the NBA draft. Those programs would be: Duke with 29, UCLA with 28, North Carolina with 25, Connecticut with 23, ancatsd Kansas with 22.

Arizona also has the longest current consecutive streak with an invitation to the NCAA tournament with 25. North Carolina holds the record with 27 straight appearances which began in 1975 and ended in 2001. Only 3 more years to go for the Cats which should be easier now considering Arizona’s new coach, Sean Miller, did a remarkable job recruiting this offseason and has the program commanding the 12th best recruiting class of 2009.

While we are on the subject of records and or awards, Playboy came out with their 2008- 2009 College Party School of the year award where Arizona ranked 5th. No wonder Sean Miller had such an easy time signing recruits, it’s a fun place to go to school.

Better yet, which college team lost the most in the 2009 NBA draft?

It’s fun to discuss the NBA draft in terms of which NBA team will benefit the most from their picks as well as which players were drafted too soon or too late. However it is rare that a rookie comes into the league and dominates right away. They may snatch a starting position and put up impressive numbers in their first year, but they almost never make a huge impact right away. They have to develop first. That is why after the NBA draft it is more fun to discuss the NCAA. Imagine losing an NBA quality player at the college level? Now that makes an impact on your team. So instead of further dissecting where the draft picks are headed, were taking you back to where these players came from to see which programs have gaping holes to fill next season. The rules of this evaluation are simple: Two NBA players that leave the NCAA affect the college they attended more than if just one player left. So below are all the colleges that lost 2 or more players this year to the 2009 NBA draft.Louisville Media Day Basketball

  • Arizona – Jordan Hill (8) and Chase Budinger (44)
  • Arizona State- James Harden (3) and Jeff Pendergraph (31)
  • Uconn- Hasheem Thabeet (2) and A.J. Price (52)
  • Louisville- Terrance Williams (11) and Earl Clark (14)
  • Memphis- Tyreke Evans (4) and Robert Dozier (60)
  • North Carolina- Tyler Hansbrough (13)/ Ty Lawson (18)/ Wayne Ellington (28)/ Danny Green (46)
  • Oklahoma- Blake Griffin (1) and Taylor Griffin (48)
  • Pittsburgh- Sam Young (36) and Dejuan Blair (37)
  • UCLA- Jrue Holiday (17) and Darren Collison (21)
  • USC- DeMar DeRozan (9) and Taj Gibson (26)
  • Wake Forest– James Johnson (16) and Jeff Teague (19)
  1. North Carolina wins or technically loses this contest. Four players from their team left the Baby Blue behind. They have by far the most work to do if they are to match the caliber of their championship team this past year.
  2. Louisville loses the second most.  Terrance Willams and Earl Clark closed business deals for them on the court and losing them hurts.
  3. Arizona State and Wake Forest tie for third. ASU will have a tough time in the Pac-10 without Harden’s scoring and Pendergraph rebounding and blocking shots. Wake Forest finished poorly this last season but will be hard to recognize without James Johnson and Jeff Teague.

A Moment with Brandon Jennings

What happened to the best player to come out of high school last year? He failed academically to make it into the University of Arizona and charged over to Italy to grab some gourmet pasta, bread with butter, and a professional contract playing for Rome is what happened. That’s right, Brandon Jennings the number one high school prospect last year according to multiple sources, failed academically to make it into college. So instead he went with his family overseas and didn’t “waste” his time at a University. Time in a classroom without a projector showing highlights of a basketball game is considered wasteful to professional basketball players that pay their agents to think and act intelligently in their interests. So Jennings played ball in Italy this past year and with new eligibility has entered himself into the 2009 NBA draft. What exactly did life consist of for this star while he was away from home? “We” check in with Jennings below. P.S. Bring back that fade cut son!

College Star disappears from NBA?

Jerry Mcnamara with 2006 Big East Tournament MVP trophy.

As June 25th, the date of the 2009 NBA draft looms closer, it is always difficult to predict which college players turning pro will actually be worth while. Those players which are talented enough to move on to the next level from college are the best of the best that the NCAA has to offer. Things tend to change when they start playing alongside the giants in the NBA. They no longer have set plays to allow them an easy three point opportunity ( J.J. Reddick and Salim Stoudamire understand how this sucks) and rarely do post players that are 6′ 10″ have a man shorter than themselves guarding them on defense.

The difference between college ball and professional is the difference when you were a kid playing at your local rec center with your buddies or playing on your high school team. The way the game is played is completely different. So how do NBA scouts know which college players will shine in the league as they did when they were living out of their dorm room in college? Well they really have no way to know and can only make an educated guess.

Here are five players off the top of my head who disappeared from the NBA after shinning bright in college.

  1. Sheldon Williams (Duke- drafted 5th overall in 2006 before  Brandon Roy and Rudy Gay)
  2. Adam Morrison ( Gonzaga- drafted  3rd overall in 2006 before Sheldon Williams above)
  3. Luke Jackson (Oregon- drafted 10th overall in 2004 before J.R. Smith, Jameer Nelson, Kevin Martin)
  4. Hassan Adams (Arizona- late second round-dropped before end of his rookie season- now on Toronto)
  5. Jerry Mcnamara (Syracuse- undrafted? Can’t find him)