December 3rd Pick and Rolls

December 3rd Pick and Rolls
Dec 03, 2007, 10:14 am
FoxSport’s Jeff Goodman has the story on USC’s other freshman, 6’8 Davon Jefferson. Coming off an injury Jefferson has forced his way into the Trojan starting lineup, outplaying turnover prone OJ Mayo with strong games against Southern Illinois, Oklahoma and Kansas. Jefferson has gotten to the foul line 29 times the past three games.

ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla had interesting observations on my two favorite unheralded freshmen, Villanova’s Corey Fisher and NC State’s J.J. Hickson.

“The most impressive player to me (in the Old Spice Classic), however, was 6-1 freshman Corey Fisher, who is mature beyond his years. The Bronx native is a playground legend whose nickname is "Fisher Price" for the way he toys with people.”

“NC State's team is top heavy with frontline players with the addition of 6-9 McDonald's All-American JJ Hickson. He reminds me of the Timberwolves' Al Jefferson at the same stage. The presence of Hickson allows 6-10 sophomore Brandon Costner to roam the perimeter and shoot threes.”

Hickson reminds me more of Peter Warrick, but regardless, he is extremely talented and commands double teams.

Butler made the Sweet 16 last year, is 7-0 this year, has beaten Michigan, Texas Tech and Virginia Tech and somehow doesn’t seem to be talked about nationally. Saturday they had their best performance of the year holding Ohio State to 16 second half points. It’s unfortunate they only have one game left against a BCS conference school, Florida State.

Michigan losing to Harvard and ex-coach Tommy Amaker by 11 Saturday was so embarrassing; the whole Big 10 should be ashamed.

For those who were intently watching every Texas game last year to watch Kevin Durant, it seemed that Damion James was a limited player. While that is all he did to beat number one UCLA with his dunk with eight seconds remaining Sunday night, the rest of his game has shown dramatic improvement. He now has a face up jumper to go along with his athleticism which he displayed in the second half where it seemed only James and DJ Augustin could score against the vaunted UCLA defense.

What a week, first Bob Knight has a taped incident in which Knight and friends were accused of shooting shotguns at a neighbors home, then he leaves his team at halftime feeling ill and his teams ends up losing to the nation’s smallest Division I team.

Gonzaga appears to have some serious competition in the West Coast Conference. After St. Mary’s upset Oregon last week they handedly beat Seton Hall, except St Mary’s to join the top 25 shortly.

Fanhouse blog discusses Eric_Gordon's dominating performance on Saturday and a FoxSports blogger makes his case for Gordon being the best freshman in the country. Personally, I still think its Michael Beasley.

Bob Gibbons of Scouts Inc on UCLA’s number one recruiting class, which will probably be joining Kevin Love next year.

“Steadfast at the top of our 2007 Top 25 recruiting classes is UCLA, with four top-30 rated signees. As coach Ben Howland said after his four newcomers had officially signed, “You got a happy coach in Westwood because I feel like we have a great recruiting class. Not only in terms of their abilities because you have four of the best players in the country, but also all of them are great kids from great families."
The Bruins' best class since the Wooden era includes No. 5-rated 6-4 G/F Jrue Holiday (North Hollywood, Calif.), No. 24-rated 6-5 G/F Malcolm Lee (Riverside, Calif.); No. 29-rated 6-9 PF Drew Gordon (San Jose, Calif.) and No. 36-rated 6-3 PG Jerime Anderson (Anaheim, Calif.).

One player people should pay more attention to is Cal’s Ryan Anderson, who scored 36 points against Nevada last week and has had three straight double doubles. He is in a rare breed of big men who can average over 20 points, 10 rebounds and shoot over 50 percent from the field and 80 percent from the line. Last season Devon Hardin’s injury allowed Anderson to shine, however, this season Anderson’s play has people almost forgetting about Hardin.

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