My Friday blog

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#1
College basketball has its Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight and Final Four, cleverly-titled descriptions that refer to the number of tournament teams still left standing for the sport's biggest prize. I'm starting a new category called Kelly's Quintet (far less catchy and guaranteed to go no further than EOG). KQ is a group of five NCAAB teams and five NCAAB players to monitor when the tournament field of 68 teams is announced on Selection Sunday (March 13). Here we go:

OHIO STATE.....The 21-0 Buckeyes deserve top billing. Thad Matta is a dual threat as a coach and recruiter. Ohio State combines veteran leadership with the best freshman class in the country to be a serious threat to win six straight games when it matters most. NBA-bound big man Jared Sullinger is considered by some to be the best post player in college basketball. The development of freshman point guard Aaron Craft has been a welcome surprise.

DUKE.....Must show respect for the defending national champs. Love the senior leadership of Singler and Smith. Kyle gets most of the publicity, but Nolan is the key to Duke's long-range success, especially if super frosh Kyrie Irving doesn't return from his mysterious toe injury. Smith is averaging an ACC-leading 5.7 assists per game and NBA scouts are starting to take notice of his complete game.

SYRACUSE....Kris Joseph is the team's star and a sure-fire NBA first-round draft pick, but other players on the Orange roster are capable of hitting a big shot, including Scoop Jardine, Brandon Triche and emerging sophomore James Southerland. Don't worry about the recent three-game losing streak as Syracuse lost to Pitt and Villanova, potential Final Four teams, and a red-hot shooting Seton Hall team that hit 7-of-11 from beyond the arc in the first half. January losses can lead to March victories if the proper adjustments are implemented. Jim Boeheim's 2-3 zone is a nightmare for opposing coaches come tournament time.

NOTRE DAME.....Like Syracuse, ND will be a tricky match-up in the tournament. The Fighting Irish can play fast or slow and seemingly know when to push the pace or slow the tempo. Notre Dame lists five senior starters, but three of the five will return next season (ND lists its athletes by academic class, not athletic eligibility). Ben Hansborough is a scrappy point guard who receives the highest marks in the position's most important category, the ability to make your teammates better. Forward Tyrone Nash is one of the most improved players in the country. Sleeper.

WASHINGTON.....The Pac-10 is down, but the Huskies are not. The season-ending injury (torn ACL) to Abdul Gaddy hurts, but it allows 5'8" point guard Isaiah Thomas to shine. Thomas was recently named Pac-10 Player of the Week after averaging 20.5 points, nine assists and six rebounds in a pair of victories over the Arizona schools. Thomas teams with Matthew Bryan-Amaning to form one of the best inside-outside combinations in the land. The Huskies are the best team in the Pacific time zone, better than BYU, San Diego State, St. Mary's and Gonzaga.


KAWHI LEONARD.....He's my favorite player in college basketball this season. His huge hands and freakishly-long arms make him a devastating rebounder on both ends of the floor. He seemingly snatches every 50-50 ball. I see Leonard as a cross between former Michigan State player Jason Richardson and St. John's product Ron Artest, and likely better than both players. Unlike SDSU teammate Billy White, who is the same player he was two years ago, Leonard is improving all the time. Offensively, if he reaches the paint, he's like a lot of NBA superstars, he'll either score or get fouled, or score and get fouled.

DAVID LIGHTY.....The fifth-year senior has been overshadowed his entire career, first by All-American Evan Turner and now by talented post player and heralded freshman Jared Sullinger. Lighty's defensive tenacity, unselfish offensive game and ability to make the right play at the right time make him the most indispensable player on Ohio State's roster.

MARCUS MORRIS.....Better than his twin brother Markieff, Marcus is a 6'8" power forward with the skills to play on the perimeter and the toughness to play in the paint. The KU junior is a team player whose biggest assets are his size, strength and swagger. Marcus's position of point forward is the most difficult in the NBA as he would be assigned to guard the likes of Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Paul Pierce and Carmelo Anthony.

SHELVIN MACK.....He wears #1 on his jersey and I predict he'll go down as the best NBA player ever produced by Butler, the small Indianapolis school that captured the title of national runner-up last season. Gordon Hayward, averaging 3.4 points per game in his rookie season with Utah, was the media darling last season when Butler made its surprising tournament run, but the backcourt of Mack and Ronald Nored was the key to the team's success. Mack, a 6'3" junior, can create for himself or others. Tenacious.

JIMMER FREDETTE......The senior guard from BYU dominates the basketball unlike any player since Allen Iverson's college days at Georgetown. Fredette's free-wheeling ways have thrust him into the national spotlight as a potential Wooden Award winner...and for good reason. He is college basketball's best closer, a player who can hit a deep "3" or fadeaway "2" with the shot clock winding down, in addition to nailing free throw after free throw to preserve a narrow victory. Fredette is a hyper-competitive assassin who will not back down from any challenge. His weaknesses at the NBA level: slow feet will make him a defensive liability (though Steve Nash doesn't guard anyone) and his inability to finish at the rim (but Nash owns a variety of flip shots that are effective in the paint).


FRIDAY'S BEST BET.....Play 823 Charlotte Bobcats +4.5 over the Golden State Warriors. Against the better judgment of my EOG brethren (Viejo Dinosaur, bernardoincr, Ching or Dong, and others), I played another NBA game tonight. The Bobcats look for their third straight win and fifth in their last six games. Charlotte hopes to avenge a bitter 96-95 home loss to Golden State on December 31. The Bobcats played as a team in their last game, a 114-107 victory over Phoenix, having all five starters score in double figures and recording 26 assists against only eight turnovers. Paul Silas is the coach of Charlotte and his son (Steven?) is now an assistant coach for Charlotte after serving as an assistant with Golden State earlier this season. The scouting report should be complete. One other note: Charlotte owner Michael Jordan is expected to sit courtside.

COMING TONIGHT.....Five NCAAB selections.

COMING MONDAY.....A look at five college teams and players to avoid come tournament time.
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#7
Re: My Friday blog

The same Keith Lee who was involved in a point-shaving scandal at Memphis when Dana Kirk was the head coach there.
 

JHU Dad

EOG Dedicated
#8
Re: My Friday blog

Charlotte's been playing much better. I have them under for the season. Good luck...have them lose by a basket.
 

munson15

I want winners...
#10
Re: My Friday blog

Put me in the column with those who are more excited to see your college picks, John, but as the great Ralph Kramden might say. "Irregardless, I will play Charlotte.":LMAO
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#12
Re: My Friday blog

Put me in the column with those who are more excited to see your college picks, John, but as the great Ralph Kramden might say. "Irregardless, I will play Charlotte.":LMAO
I love certain situations in the NBA. Call me a spot player: I like to drive through the neighborhood, but I can't afford to live there.
 
#18
Re: My Friday blog

we lose tonight, i might have to report you to immigration when you try to leave c r.
i'll come up with some trumped charge---i have experience........:devil:
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#20
Re: My Friday blog

You can lead a horse to water......but you know the rest.....

Good luck JK with the NBA(Nothing But Aggravation)
Thanks VD. Last Friday night was cruel and unusual punishment when Golden State won and covered in overtime. Golden State owes me. I love fading poor defensive teams laying 3.5 points or more.

Can't afford to disappoint Bernie. He has friends in high places.
 

JHU Dad

EOG Dedicated
#21
Re: My Friday blog

Thanks VD. Last Friday night was cruel and unusual punishment when Golden State won and covered in overtime. Golden State owes me. I love fading poor defensive teams laying 3.5 points or more.

Can't afford to disappoint Bernie. He has friends in high places.
This is what they were thinking about when they wrote the Eighth Amendment. Very cruel. Unusual? Not so much.
 
#22
Re: My Friday blog

I think the Zags will be the best fade come MM....they are down this year, but books will be hard pressed to fade them. BOL this WE JK
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#23
Re: My Friday blog

I think the Zags will be the best fade come MM....they are down this year, but books will be hard pressed to fade them. BOL this WE JK
Thanks cheapseats. Zags took a lot of money last night and failed to win at home. Basketball in the Pacific time zone appears weak. I think the Big East and Big Ten will dominate in March and early April.
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#29
Re: My Friday blog

It would have been cruel to lose back-to-back Friday night games in Oakland in overtime taking 6.5 points and 4.5 points. One for the good guys.
 
#31
Re: My Friday blog

It would have been cruel to lose back-to-back Friday night games in Oakland in overtime taking 6.5 points and 4.5 points. One for the good guys.
I had the electric shock collar ready for you JK and thought I would have to use it as normally don't want a dog at home in OT. This time the dog gets a biscuit and no shock. With the luck factor going I am hopeful for a big Sat of "COLLEGE" hoops!! Big Sat and "the force be with you"!!!!!
 
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