The Sweet 16 will consist of four games per day today and tomorrow (4/9 and 4/10). After that, we'll go straight to the Elite 8 on Monday, April 13th. Then, we'll pause briefly to prep the Final Four and Championship games. Four days. Two rounds. Twelve games. Can you feel the madness?
Some of today's players were six years old when College Hoops 2K8 came out. Are you using updated rosters for 2020?
Yep! We originally took rosters from Operation Sports, but they've been modified so much at this point that we've uploaded a new file here. We did our best to balance via updated stats where necessary. If you see an issue with your team during a stream, be sure to let us know - there's a lot of teams (68, to be exact) and we're happy to update as the tournament moves along!
How can I spread the word?
We want this to get to as many college basketball-deprived people as possible, so feel free to use #RedditMarchMadness on Twitter and to tell anyone who'd be interested!
Can I get a downloadable bracket?
Yes. Just go to File -> Download -> PDF Document in the bracket link above!
Can I bet on these games?
We're running no official lines from our HQ, but DraftKings has joined us in the fight against boredom! Check out our post here for more info. DISCLAIMER: Those who are running this tournament are not participating in any betting on it and will not profit off it in any way.
On our MTV Challenge Accepted podcast (link in bold) we have a segment where we discuss this question. Whose stock went up? Whose stock went down? Here were our winners and losers this week.
[OC] Which awards are locked in? Which are still up for debate? a glance through the odds and campaigns in each category It feels like it's been 5 years since we've seen actual NBA basketball, which may make awards debates and campaigns more difficult. Wait, who was playing well again...? Dennis Schroder? Seriously? Huh. Okay then. As we soldier back into the bubble, there's a risk that awards voters will forget about that early part of the season (aka the vast majority) and fall victim to recency bias. Given that, we wanted to glance through the major races and determine which -- if any -- awards may still be in debate. For this exercise, I'm using the current odds as listed by an online betting site (bovada). Note: the percentages do NOT add up to 100% because online betting sites like your money. MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo: - 3500 (97%) LeBron James: +600 (14%) is the race over? This betting site heavily favors Giannis Antetokounmpo, although some other metrics have it closer than that. Basketball-reference's MVP tracker lists Giannis at 50.7% and LeBron at 17.3%. I'm more inclined to believe the latter and that LeBron James would be closer to 15-20% odds. No doubt, Giannis is a worthy MVP. He's been a dominant force (again) for the top statistical team in the league (again.) He's racking up 30-14-6 in only 30.9 minutes per game. In most circumstances, he'd win this award in a walk. That said, you can never discount "narrative," and LeBron James has a few of those going for him. The Lakers have vaulted up to the # 1 seed in the West, outperforming preseason expectations. James has played exceptionally well, and even led the league in assists. Partly because of that, James' camp has successfully gotten the media to buy into the storyline that he made a sudden transition to point guard (ya know, because he had always deferred to his point guards like Mo Williams and Mario Chalmers in the past...) More than that, James may benefit from this strange corona-bubble. He's been a leading advocate for continuing on, and as always, players tend to follow his lead. I can see more than a few media members giving James an MVP vote for "saving the season." All in all, I expect this vote to be closer than it should be (and I expect poor James Harden to finish well behind where he should as well.) So James will get some votes, but can he actually win the award? I wouldn't rule it out. The Lakers are currently 3 games behind the Bucks for the # 1 overall seed. It's hard to imagine Milwaukee losing enough to slip, but it's not Wallace Shawn inconceivable either. If the Lakers somehow manage to catch them, then I actually think LeBron will win MVP. Of course, it's more likely the Bucks will hang onto the # 1 seed, and Giannis will hang onto MVP. But again, I don't think it's a stone cold lock -- yet. Rookie of the Year Ja Morant: - 3500 (97%) Zion Williamson: +850 (11%) is the race over? It should be. Zion Williamson is freakin' amazing, but he's played 19 games so far. That's 40 less than Ja Morant, who has played stellar ball for a rookie from a small school, and somehow led the Memphis Grizzlies to the 8th seed. Still, we can't rule out the risk of recency bias and a wild overreaction from the media. Williamson has a chance to lead the Pelicans up to the 9th spot, at which point they'd play Morant's Grizzlies. If Williamson can lead New Orleans to two victories over Memphis in a row -- and thus leapfrog them in the standings -- then it's very feasible the media would throw their vote his way. The media (and the league as a whole) tends to like this Zion fella, if you haven't noticed. Sixth Man Dennis Schroder: - 220 (69%) Montrezl Harrell: +190 (34%) Lou Williams: +450 (18%) Derrick Rose: +3000 (3%) is the race over? Simply put: no. It's still a three-man race in my book. The Clippers' Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell finished 1-2 last season, and are right back in the thick of things this year. Among the two, it's harder to justify Williams' winning for the third season in a row. He hasn't played as well as last year, and hasn't been as big of a focal point for the Clippers' game plan. He hasn't looked as engaged this season, and even debated missing the bubble. With Sweet Lou taking a slight step back, it's opened the door for Dennis Schroder. He's having a career season in terms of efficiency. In fact, it's hard to understate his jump this year. In his six previous season, his career high TS% was only 53.3%. This season? He's vaulted up to 57.3%. The question is: have enough voters noticed? OKC has been a feel-good story this year, but Chris Paul and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander tend to get the most credit for that. Overall, I wouldn't be surprised if voters get lazy and just fall back on the highest scorer among the three. And even by those standards, the race is wide open. Schroder is at 19.0 PPG, Williams is at 18.7 PPG, and Harrell is at 18.6 PPG. A strong (or bad) week or two in the bubble may tilt this race in any direction. Defensive Player of the Year Giannis Antetokounmpo: -500 (83%) Anthony Davis: +200 (33%) Rudy Gobert: +2800 (3%) is the race over? Even among savvy and analytically-inclined media members, "defense" is still something of a mystery to quantify. We see a lot of herd mentality emerge for DPOY voting, with candidates needing to stake their claim early on and campaign all season long. In terms of storylines and narratives, it felt like Anthony Davis had the early momentum. He's a wrecking ball (1.5 steals, 2.4 blocks) who helped improve the Lakers' defense from # 12 to # 3 this season. Still, Giannis Antetokounmpo has steadily built his case for a double MVP + DPOY, and currently ranks as the betting favorite on this site. Personally, I believe it's a closer race than these numbers suggest. At the same time, I'm not sure what their play in the bubble is going to do about it. More likely, it'll be an influential media piece (like Zach Lowe pushing for Marc Gasol) that may get voters ushering on one side or another. Most Improved Bam Adebayo: -150 (60%) Brandon Ingram: +250 (29%) Luke Doncic: +500 (17%) Jayson Tatum: +900 (10%) Devonte Graham: +1000 (9%) is the race over? Again, this race feels "too close to call" to me. John King and David Chalian may be tallying up the counties all night long. Earlier this season, I looked back at previous Most Improved winners and tried to find some common threads. On average, the winner improved from 11.7 PPG to 19.6 PPG (roughly +8 points.) Historically speaking, Brandon Ingram and Jayson Tatum fit close to those templates. Ingram has swelled from 18.3 PPG to 24.3 PPG in his first season in New Orleans (+6). Tatum has made an even bigger leap, going from 15.7 PPG to 23.6 PPG (essentially our exact +8). Of the two, I may lean more to Ingram myself. Tatum's taking more shots and more threes, but he was already considered a proven star prior to this. Ingram had been more of a question mark before, but has now established himself as a potential max player. The key for him has been an improved FT%. In his first three seasons, he shot 62%, 68%, and 68% from the line. This year, he's up to 86%. That's major progress, and represents a massive difference in his efficiency "floor." Still, you wonder if Ingram's momentum peaked too early. Ever since Zion Williamson came back, it feels like Ingram has been an afterthought in the media. Conversely, Bam Adebayo's reputation within the media is still surging. He's been a major reason for the Miami Heat's success this year, nearly doubling from 8.9 PPG to 16.2 PPG (+7.3 overall.) He's also doubled his assists (from 2.2 to 5.1). If you wanted to nitpick Adebayo's candidacy, you may suggest he was pretty darn good already. A lot of the statistical upswing comes from an increase in minutes, from 23.3 to 34.4 this year. Overall, I'd say Abebayo is the favorite, but I wouldn't lock it in yet. A player like Brandon Ingram could get hot and have a few 40 point games, at which point the momentum may swing back in his favor. When anthropology professors 99 cent store free agents: Point Guards The NBA offseason is always filled with exciting storylines like star free agents and blockbuster trades. But rather than dwell on the obvious, this series intends to do the opposite: focus on the lower-profile free agents who may have some value to teams. No NBA player is actually "99 Cents," of course, but these are all players who may be bargains based on their perceived market. This "99 Cent Store" series has been open for business for the last two offseasons. In the past, we've highlighted names like Fred VanVleet (pre breakout), Christian Wood, and Davis Bertans. Not all of the items turn out to be gems (is Nerlens Noel still not a DPOY candidate yet?), but the returns have been largely positive so far. Let's see if we can keep that momentum going this season.
99 cent store
Langston Galloway, Detroit Pistons, UFA, 28 years old In last year's 99 Cent Store, we hyped up Seth Curry (Steph's brother) as a possible value free agent. Seth didn't have the size and skill set of a traditional point guard, but the NBA isn't always craving traditional point guards these days. A lot of star SGs, SFs, PFs, and even Cs have the ball in their hands, so teams need to fill the court with a supporting cast that can complement them and provide spacing. Effectively an undersized SG, Seth's excellent shooting appeared to be a perfect complement to a ball-dominant superstar. Seth ended up going to Dallas on a moderate contract, and had a strong season for them in that role. For those same reasons, we'd recommend Langston Galloway as a potential bargain add. We're not going to suggest that Galloway is as good as Seth Curry as a player or as a shooter, but his skill set is related. He's not Steph Curry -- he's not Seth Curry -- he's on the opposite side of the family tree. He's like the random third cousin who shows up at the barbecue and hogs all the mac n' cheese. Still, if he got the address, then he must have some relation to the family we know and love. Galloway would share some DNA in the sense that he's also a "point guard" who's more of an undersized shooting guard by nature. He doesn't have the ball skills or playmaking to run an offense. At all. However, he can be effective if operating as a 3+D guard. Players like Patrick Beverly and George Hill are the premium prototypes of that skill set, and Galloway is the 99 Cent store generic brand. He's an above-average as a shooter (36.7% from three for his career), and above-average as a defender, where his 6'8" wingspan helps his cause. And while it feels like Galloway has been around forever, he's still only 28 years old. He probably has 2-3 years left of usefulness in his role. There may be 1 or 2 teams that would start Langston Galloway (in a limited role), but almost every team could use him as part of the rotation. possible fits HOU. Russell Westbrook and James Harden are ball dominant and salary-cap dominant players, making depth a constant struggle for the team. Backup PG Austin Rivers can probably get more money than he's due on his player option ($2.4M) even in a COVID-market, possibly creating another hole. Galloway would make sense as a replacement here, seeing as how he'd be able to play in a lineup with either Westbrook or Harden. LAL. Avery Bradley may be skipping the playoffs, but there's still a chance the Lakers can win the title with some combination of Alex Caruso and Rajon Rondo at PG anyway. But what happens if it doesn't work out? What happens if Bradley and Rondo (both of whom have player options) get shuffled out? In that case, Galloway and Caruso could tag-team and provide a decent and low-cost 3+D guard spot for next year. MIN. The Timberwolves tried the "no PG offense" for a majority of the season, and it didn't work out so hot. Now, they'll be handing the reins over to D'Angelo Russell full time. Galloway could be a nice backup for Russell; the two would have enough size to play some minutes alongside each other as well. You have to figure Gersson Rosas will prioritize shooters like Galloway as well. The team wants to play MoreyBall (top 3 in 3PA), but doesn't have the personnel yet to pull it off (bottom 3 in 3P%). Yogi Ferrell, Sacramento Kings, UFA, 27 years old He may be fairly anonymous now, but there was a time when the name "Yogi Ferrell" was a big deal in college basketball. The bluechip recruit immediately stepped into the starting lineup for Tom Crean's Indiana Hoosiers, helping to lead the team to a # 1 seed that first year on campus. But then a funny thing happened: the college star actually stayed in college. Ferrell would go on to play all 4 years (starting 137 of 137 games) for Indiana. Through it, Ferrell developed the negative narrative that he was a "college player." Only 6'0" with average length and athleticism, he didn't have the look of a future pro. The NBA dismissed him, leading him to get undrafted. He's hung around since then, but his buzz has dwindled and dwindled. He played this past season as Sacramento's 3rd PG, only logging 11 minutes per game. Maybe they were right -- maybe he was never cut out for the NBA. Then again... are we sure about that? Ferrell may not be the prototype, but he still has some virtues. Among those strengths: "basketball." He's a savvy, steady field general who has an above-average shot. He's hit 36.5% from three and 83.8% from the line over the course of his NBA career. He's not going to carry the load (14-4-4 per 36 minutes), but he's not going to rock the boat either. In fact, he only averages 1.5 turnovers per 36. The concern with a player like Ferrell would be his limited size and athleticism, a combo that tends to translate into awful defense. But again, we haven't seen much evidence of that. Effort and basketball IQ can help overcome athletic weaknesses, and that appears to be the case with Ferrell. Limitations and all, Ferrell has registered only a -0.2 defensive box plus/minus. Overall, this profile doesn't suggest any huge upside or any hidden "star" potential. But at the end of the day, this store isn't about star potential -- it's about value. Ferrell is a high-end third PG who can potentially be a true # 2. He'd make sense on a team like Orlando as a potential replacement for their own steady eddie backup D.J. Augustin (also a free agent.)
Gary Payton II, Washington Wizards, UFA, 27 years old On paper, you may wonder why Gary Payton II wasn't a bigger deal entering the NBA Draft. After all, we're talking about the son of an NBA superstar who had been productive in college. In his last season at Oregon State, he averaged 16.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, 7.8 assists, and 2.5 steals (!) How the heck did someone with that pedigree go undrafted? Unfortunately for Payton, two factors worked against him. For one, he was a poor shooter. Second, he was "over-aged." After spending some time in community college with Jeff Winger and Dean Pelton, Payton would be a 24-year-old rookie, a major knock against him and his perceived upside. That criticism may have proven apt; Payton has not improved as much as a young pup may have. His three-point shooting has sagged around 25-30%, a major problem in today's NBA. In general, he's a below-average offensive player, averaging just 10-6-4 per 36 minutes. That said, Payton does have some virtues on the other end. He's not quite "The Glove" (basketball-reference even dubs his official nickname "The Mitten"), but he's definitely a good defender. He's 6'3" with a 6'8" wingspan, and has proven to have sticky hands himself. After averaging 2.8 steals over two years at OSU, he's at 2.2 per 36 in the NBA. He makes some sense when paired together with a ball-dominant SG like a James Harden or Devin Booker or Bradley Beal. No, we're not talking about as a starter, or even as a lead backup, but as a 3rd PG who can add a different skill set to a bench. In that context, he's worth a roster spot. Is a 13th man not worth reading about to you? Well then, get the F out of our store, ya snob! This is what the 99 Cent Store is all about.
E'Twaun Moore, New Orleans Pelicans, UFA, 31 years old Collectively, NBA fans scratched their heads in confusion when the New Orleans Pelicans doled out $8.5M a year for anonymous E'Twaun Moore. After all, this was an unheralded a player, a R2 draft pick, a player who hadn't cracked 10 PPG in any of his first six seasons in the league. For all we knew, he was an NBA2k generated player. Three years later, the contract doesn't look much better. Moore got buried this past season in a crowded Pelicans lineup, averaging only 18.8 minutes per game. He doesn't appear to be a part of the franchise's future plans at all. Moore will be tossed out into the darkness, left with no home, and perhaps no chance of matching that $8M salary ever again. However, we have to be mindful as NBA fans not to lump in an "overpaid" player as a synonym for a "bad" player. Someone like Tobias Harris may not be worth his salary, but he's still a good starter. On a lower level, E'Twaun Moore may be the same way. Perhaps he's not worth $8-10M a year, but he's actually a solid addition to a rotation (even if the Pelicans squeezed him out.) Moore's primary virtue is as a 3+D wing. At first glance he's not big enough for that role at 6'4", but he's aided by a pelican-like wingspan that stretches to near 6'10". He's not a great defender (now at age 31), but he's passable at both the SG and SF spots. Offensively, he'll help you as a spacer. He's hit on 39.0% of his threes for his career, and had actually gotten up to 42% and 43% the prior two seasons before he lost some rhythm this season. That combination of skills makes Moore a good rotation player, and perhaps even a low-end starter on the right team. I wouldn't expect him to get "overpaid" again, but that's precisely what earns him a place in our store. He's a potential bargain buy right now. possible fits BKN. SG Joe Harris is an excellent shooter, but he's also a free agent. Will the Nets pony up to keep him around? Or will he be jettisoned like others from the pre KD-Kyrie era? If he is, then E'Twaun Moore makes sense as a cheap replacement. MIL. The shooting guard spot is the biggest question mark for the Bucks, and this offseason may add to the murkiness if Wes Matthews (player option) or Pat Connaughton (UFA) leave town. E'Twaun Moore would be a sensible filler, and platoon with Donte DiVincenzo. SA. Do Gregg Popovich and the Spurs want to contend for the playoffs in 2020-21? Do they want to blow it up? TBD. But if their intention is to go for that 8th seed again, Moore may be an upgrade on smaller Bryn Forbes, who struggles on the defensive end.
99 cent store
Shaquille Harrison, Chicago Bulls, UFA, 26 years old Coaches and front offices love to tout that "defense is half the game!" That is, until it's time to actually pay a defensive player. Or draft a defensive player. Or even invite a defensive player onto the roster for a fully guaranteed contract. Shaq Harrison has been dealing with that struggle for his entire professional career. Coming out of Tulsa, Harrison always had the chops defensively. He's long and agile enough to guard 1s and 2s and even some 3s. The trouble is: shooting was never his strong suit. Even as a senior, he only hit 19.5% from deep in the NCAA. Yikes. That's a surefire recipe to go "undrafted," which is exactly what Harrison did. Since then, Harrison has been trying to improve his shot, the key for him to stick on an NBA roster. This past season, we've started to see some glimmers of progress there. He shot a career-high 38.1% from three, and a career-high 78.0% from the line. Now to be fair, those were both extremely small sample sizes (16-42 from three, 39-50 from the line), but it's still encouraging nonetheless. Because if Harrison can become a passable shooter, then his defensive abilities give him inherent value. He's legitimately one of the better perimeter defenders in the league. ESPN's real plus/minus listed his impact as a +2.5 on defense, which ranked as the 9th best player in the entire NBA (out of 503 qualifiers.) If a coaching staff feels confident in their player development and their shooting coaches, then Harrison would be an intriguing investment to make.
John Konchar, Memphis Grizzlies, 24 years old Last year, I included Philadelphia PG-SG Shake Milton in this column, causing Sixers fans to riot and demand that I mention the team had the right to extend his two-way contract if they wanted. The team did, and Milton will prove to be a bargain for them over the next few years. Similarly, the Memphis Grizzlies will have that opportunity to keep two-way player John Konchar on the team should they want. But if they don't, I'd be eyeing Konchar as a possible roster addition. No doubt, there are reasons to doubt John Konchar's NBA prospects. He comes from a school that's so small that they didn't even know what to name it (shifting a few times before settling on "Purdue Fort Wayne"). And at the risk of being politically incorrect, we should also mention that he's white. NBA GMs don't exactly sit up and salivate when they see an undersized (6'5") white wing player walk into the gym. All that said, Konchar has been productive time and time again. As you'd expect, he can hit the three pointer. But what's most intriguing about Konchar is his playing strength. He may be only 6'5" (6'7" wingspan) but he plays much bigger than that. As a college senior, he grabbed 8.5 rebounds a game and blocked 0.9 shots to boot. He also converted 62.9% of his field goals in two-point range. It may have been low level competition, but he flat-out bullied his opponents. Naturally you'd presume: there's no way he can do that in the pros! But so far, so good. Konchar put up similar numbers in the G-League this season, hitting 56.5% from the field and grabbing 8.3 rebounds per game (in 30 minutes a night.) From there, you'd presume: there's no way he can do that in the actual NBA! Well, in his 160 minutes of NBA action, Konchar shot 65.7% from the field and averaged 9.9 rebounds per 36 minutes. Clearly, it's too early to take this as gospel. But eventually, we're going to have to presume something else: maybe this dude is actually good. If I ran an NBA team, I'd want to run that experiment with Konchar in our uniform and not someone else's.
99 cent store
Josh Jackson, Memphis Grizzlies, UFA, 23 years old Like most of us on this sub, I have moments when I watch the NBA, watch the roster moves, watch the draft, and think: I could do that. Not play, of course, but perhaps build a team and winning roster. I've had a long and successful career in fantasy sports, so naturally a GM job would be the logical next step. The 2017 NBA Draft was one of those moments for me. Prior to the draft, I wrote a few posts on here, explaining why consensus top prospect Markelle Fultz wouldn't have been my personal # 1 pick. Clearly, I am a genius operating on a higher plane than the Bryan Colangelos of the world. Unfortunately, the alternative prospect that I advocated for wasn't Jayson Tatum. Or De'Aaron Fox. Or even Lonzo Ball. Instead, I thought the # 1 prospect in the class was... Josh Jackson. Whoops. Turns out, Jackson became an even bigger bust than Fultz (for his original team), causing the Phoenix Suns to dump him and wash their hands clean. Turns out: I have no clue what I'm talking about after all. But while I may have given up on my hidden genius, I'm still not ready to give up on Josh Jackson as a player. After all, no one expected Jackson to be a finished product. Back at Kansas, his shot looked funky and in need of an overhaul. Still, he had athleticism, defensive tenacity, and flashed some ball skills and passing ability. All in all, I thought he may develop into a player in the mold of a Jimmy Butler in time. Unfortunately, his NBA career stumbled out of the gates. If you're going to be the next Jimmy Butler, you need to work at it. Jimmy Butler may be a polarizing media presence, but he's undoubtedly a hard worker. In contrast, Josh Jackson had some issues off the court that made you doubt his dedication. His shooting hadn't improved much either. Even now, he hit on only 31.9% of his threes (29.8% career.) Still, if you're a stubborn Jackson optimist like I am, then you can see some flashes of progress here. After being humbled by a trip to the G-League and a trade to Memphis, Jackson has started to be effective again. This past season for the Grizzlies, he averaged 19.0 PPG, 5.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.8 steals, and 0.9 blocks per 36 minutes. He's never going to be Kawhi Leonard as a shooter, but there are ways he can be effective offensively. He converted 77.5% of his field goals inside (0-3 feet), which was up from 55% in the past, showing how improved strength and bulk may aid his game. He also shot 34.8% on corner threes -- still below-average, but better than before. So where do we go from here? What can Josh Jackson become? If he continues to work on his craft without any problems behind the scenes, he looks like a good prospect again. After all, this is a kid who's still 23 (younger than rookie teammate Brandon Clarke.) Maybe it's too optimistic to think he can be the next Jimmy Butler, but maybe he can be a solid starter in the mold of a young Wilson Chandler. There's still some risk involved here, but it's worth an investment and gamble in the right circumstance (and for the right price.) possible fits MEM. Jackson staying in Memphis is the most likely scenario. While the Grizzlies are in the 8th seed right now, they're still a young team. Ja Morant is 20. Jaren Jackson in 20. Jackson can fit into their timeline. The only question here is whether they already have a similar (and better) player in house in Justise Winslow. CLE. The Memphis Grizzlies are a good young team. The Cavs are a bad young team. They need to add some more talent, especially at the wing. In theory, Jackson would be a nice complement to their undersized bomber guards like Darius Garland and Collin Sexton. CHA. The Hornets need to find a star, somehow, some way. It's unlikely Josh Jackson becomes that star, but it's worth a shot. He's comparable to current forward Miles Bridges in terms of his worth/upside. Daulton Hommes, San Antonio Spurs, 23 years old Marial Shayok, Philadelphia 76ers, 24 years old NBA general managers have a lot in common with Chris D'Elia: they like 'em young! They tend to dismiss college veterans as "over-aged" and salivate over teenagers instead. And to be fair, there's some logic there. A 22 or 23-year-old rookie likely doesn't have as much upside as a 19 or 20 year old. At the same time, not every NBA players needs to ooze with Giannis Antetokounmpo upside. Sometimes, you set the bar lower; you're just looking for a serviceable role player. To my eye, Philadelphia's Marial Shayok is trending in that direction. He spent 5 years at college (gross!) -- the first 3 at Virginia, before transferring and playing for Iowa State in 2018-19. That last season, Shayok looked solid -- averaging 18.7 PPG with great shooting splits (50-39-88). The 6'6" wing also sported a 7'0" wingspan, which naturally makes you consider him as a potential 3+D prospect. Still, the "age" issue prevented Shayok from going high -- landing at pick # 54 last season and earning only a two-way deal. That leverage puts the Sixers in the catbird seat here; they can bring Shayok back on a team-friendly deal, and likely will do just that after he played very well in the G-League. In fact, he averaged 27-7-5 per 36 minutes, hitting 36% from three and 89% from the line. Teams don't just let players like that go, especially when their depth is an issue already. However, if the Sixers decide to cast him aside, then Shayok should wash ashore on another team in a hurry. Marvin Williams, Milwaukee Bucks, UFA, 34 years old Chris Boucher, Toronto Raptors, RFA, 27 years old Frank Kaminsky, Phoenix Suns, 27 years old Bonzie Colson, 24 years old Back in college at Notre Dame, Bonzie Colson felt like an anomaly. Here was a stocky 6'5" player who largely played as a smallball 5. He utilized his strength and wingspan (7'0") to bully opponents, averaging 19.7 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks as a senior. Still... a 6'5" PF/C? You didn't play like that in the NBA. Or do you...? The Houston Rockets are changing the paradigm with heavy minutes for P.J. Tucker (also 6'5") at center. Zion Williamson (6'6") will likely play a good amount of center as well for New Orleans. It may not ever be the norm, but it's not a ridiculous concept anymore. If you're an NBA team, it makes sense to at least have a lineup like that in your back pocket to break out in case of emergency. Colson can capably fill that role (on the back-end of a roster) due to his natural savvy and his passable shooting (34% from 3 in the G-League.) Better still, he'd be dirt-cheap after some G-League and overseas stints. In fact, he may not cost much guaranteed money at all. If he shows up at camp in good shape, then there's a chance he sticks around. And let's be honest, the NBA -- and all of our lives -- are better off when there's at least one Bonzi/e around. Nerlens Noel, Oklahoma City Thunder, 26 years old Jakob Poelte, Mason Plumlee Ekpe Udoh, 33 years old Ivan Rabb, 23 years old Langston Galloway, Detroit Pistons, UFA, 28 years old
Thought this year was going to be the greatest year in PC History. Before I get absolutely destroyed, I mean strictly the story-line. A team left for dead, underachieved, fans stopping going to games or losing interest. Then suddenly, a domino effect happened. Texas goes down and the Big Bad Big East wasn't so scary, at least for us. Had we officially made it into the NCAA Tournament, barring a blowout in the first game of the BET, I think we go to the Sweet 16. Wanted to finally see Pipkens show us what he was truly capable as a leader.
Hello cfb! It's bowl season!!! Here is my analysis of each bowl matchup if the teams' mascots/nicknames duked it out instead of the players. With so many abstract/fictional/nonsense team names, I'm going to use my best (or some other type of) judgement. Feel free to fight me over any of these. I'm going to use a solo version of the mascot where appropriate ("Wolf Pack" still get a bunch of wolves, etc)
Game 1 - New Mexico Bowl - Aggies vs Mean Green (Utah State vs North Texas)
"Aggies" was originally a shorthand for agriculturalists.
"Mean Green" originated from "Mean" Joe Greene (this is debated but whatever).
Winner: Mean Green. Our first bowl game goes to "Mean Green," with the legendary DT crushing an old frail farmer. Even if the Aggie was a young strapping buck, I'm still taking Mean Joe. Mean Joe pounds the farmer 49-14.
Game 2 - Cure Bowl - Green Wave vs Ragin' Cajuns (Tulane vs ULM-Lafayette)
"Green Wave" came from a song published in a newspaper. This came from the team being called the "Greenies" or "Greenbacks". I'll stick with the green wave of water seen in their logo.
"Ragin' Cajuns" is not a joke. I've spent a decent amount of time is south Louisiana and those boys are wild.
Winner: Ragin' Cajuns. I've seen a few bad storms hit the gulf coast, and those Cajuns always bounce back. They're resilient, and our lone Cajun spend the entire game bracing against the strong water. Eventually the storm subsides, and he walks into the endzone for the win.
Game 3 - Las Vegas Bowl - Bulldog vs Sun Devil (Fresno State vs Arizona State)
You know what a "Bulldog" is.
A "Sun Devil" is just that. A devil that lives in the sun. Fun fact- before becoming the "Sun Devils," ASU was also the "Bulldogs." And before that they were Arizona State "Normals"
Winner: Sun Devils. Devils are sneaky and can like... do magic and shit. The devil turn the bulldog into a field mouse and waves his pitchfork while the ball flies around the field. He gets a bit too cocky in the 2nd quarter and accidentally pops the ball on his pitchfork. He vanishes and times ticks out as the butterfly tries to repeated fly into the new ball and push it. It doesn't work. 35-0 Sun Devil.
Game 4 - Camellia Bowl - Eagles vs Eagles (Eastern Michigan vs Georgia Southern)
An "Eagle' is a bird.
An "Eagle" is still a bird.
Winner: Draw... They sit on opposite goal posts and stare at each other until the game is finally called so the refs can get some sleep.
Game 5 - New Orleans Bowl - Mountaineers vs Blue Raiders (Appalachian State vs Middle Tennessee)
"Mountaineers" are the mountain people living in the mountains with guns and coonskin hats. They also live in the mountains and like mountain things.
"Blue Raiders" are... blue people who raid stuff? Idk. The name came from a coach and there isn't really any explanation.
Winner: Mountaineers. The mountain man gets the ball first and scores while the blue raider kind of just stumbles around. A couple minutes after the game started, the raider drops to the field dead. The mountaineer tries to resuscitate him to no avail. Unfortunately, no one noticed the reason the raider was blue was because he was choking. The mountaineer tries to help out and comfort people because he's a good guy, and he still wins 7-0.
Game 6 - Boca Raton Bowl - Huskies vs Blazers (Northern Illinois vs UAB)
It's a husky
"Blazers" in this case should probably mean a dragon, but i'm doing this post so I get to be pedantic.
Winner: Huskies. The husky seems a bit nervous before the game, thinking he's about to face a scary dragon. When the representatives are called to the field, the husky notices some guy toss a jacket on the field. The husky easily scores a few TDs before the game is over. 21-0 huskies.
Game 7 - Frisco Bowl - Bobcats vs Aztecs (Ohio vs San Diego State)
A mid-size wild cat
A fierce native warrior from present-day Mexico
Winner: In our first recreation of a traditional Roman gladiator match, we get a really exciting game. Bobcats are small, but they can burst out for 25-30 mph runs. It's tied at half 14-14. The Aztec is using the "kill your opponent" strategy, but finding the bobcat to be a bit elusive. Finally, in the 4th quarter, the bobcat scores to go down 34-35. While celebrating, the Aztec takes a cheap shot with his macuahuitl, injuring the cat. Unable to continue, the bobcat forfeits.
Game 8 - Gasparilla Bowl - Bulls vs Thundering Herd (South Florida vs Marshall)
It's a male bovine.
It's a lot of somethings.
Winner: Thundering Herd. A single bull vs. a herd of just about any animal would be a tough task. I'll stay true to Marshall's mascot and assume this is a herd of buffalo. The heard of buffalo easily distract and confuse the lone bull, dominating it 45-0 (don't ask how they got a field goal.)
Game 9 - Bahamas Bowl - Rockets vs Panthers (Toledo vs Florida International)
"Rockets" are big metal payloads that get expelled from something. We'll assume it's a large and deadly one. Cause why not.
Another type of wild cat
Winner: Panthers. In a stunning upset, the panther shocks the world! Rockets take quite a while to prep and launch, so the panther uses this time to score a couple touchdowns. Shortly into the 2nd quarter, the rocket finally takes off and everyone realizes what's about to happen. The panther and fans scramble to escape the stadium. Because I'm not mean, we'll let everyone live. The rocket crashes into the stadium and destroys everything, including itself. Unfortunately, that's not how you score in football. The game is over before halftime, the panther winning 14-0.
Game 10 - Potato Bowl - Cougars vs Broncos (BYU vs Western Michigan)
I feel like I don't need to explain most names, but I'm trying to keep a format
It's a wild horse in case you didn't know
Winner: Cougars. In our first single mammal vs single mammal matchup, and one of the most highly anticipated bowl games thus far, the fans were in for a treat. Cougars are fairly small compared to broncos, but neither are good handling the ball. There's a bunch of gnashing of teeth and kicking of hooves. Both teams fight to end, but the cougar finally pulls away toward the end, as the bronco wasn't trained for the endurance battle. Cougars wins 35-28.
Game 11 - Birmingham Bowl - Tigers vs Demon Deacons (Memphis vs Wake Forest)
"Deacons" are leaders of churches, especially Baptists. Devils are basically the opposite. The name was the thoughtchild of a group of fraternity guys who wanted a "classy demon," so it's a classy demon.
Winner: Demon Deacons. Even though he's dressed as a holy man, it's still a demon. He teases the tiger for the majority game, but never lets it get close. He's still a gentleman though, so he's not as rude as the previous demons in our list. 24-7 final.
Game 12 - Armed Forces Bowl - Cougars vs Black Knights (Houston vs Army)
Still just a cougar
"Black Knights" are traditionally the dark and mysterious villains, but we'll leave the "villainous" part out since it's Army.
Winner: Black Knights. . This game ends much close than many expected. The black knight attempts to play fair, and it almost costs him. His heavy armour leads to the cougar having the advantage on speed. It's still pretty easy for him to carry the ball though and swing his sword to scare off the cougar as needed. The black knights plays the TOP game, and squeaks out the win 21-14.
Game 13 - Dollar General Bowl - Bulls vs Trojans (Buffalo vs Troy)
Oh look, another bull!
A condom. Also a roman warrior.
Winner: Trojan. For the most part, warriofighter type humans will typically beat animals, and, and this game is no exception. The trojan is viscous and brutal and slays the bull in the first quarter. Taking no chances, he runs up the score 77-0.
Game 14 - Hawaii Bowl - Rainbow Warriors vs Bulldogs (Hawaii vs Louisiana Tech)
Don't let the name fool you. Traditional Hawaiian warriors are scary and strong.
Why did I format it this way?
Winner: Hawaiian Warrior. I'm getting a bit drunk, and I'm not even halfway through. This game pretty much goes as expected. The rainbow warrior has a good heart and wouldn't kill a dog for no reason. He even lets the little puppy score a garbage time TD. 35-7.
Game 15 - First Responder Bowl - Broncos vs Eagles (Boise State vs Boston College)
The Thunder lost :(
Winner: Eagles. In our first mammal vs. bird (dubbed the Battle of the Classes), we see some unique techniques. Although smaller, the eagle is much more agile and aggressive. It executes its plan masterfully as it taunts and out-maneuvers the bronco. It forces multiple turnovers zigging and zagging through the slower bronco's thick body, proving that birds > mammals. 27-7.
Game 16 - Quick Lane Bowl - Yellow Jackets vs Golden Gophers (Georgia Tech vs Minnesota)
A wasp. Seriously the worst
A slightly lighter version of a normal gopher
Winner: Gopher. The yellow jacket got off to a promising start, landing a couple stings on the gopher. The gopher realized it needed to better utilize its (under) ground attack better, and the ball wasn't seen again until there were 10 seconds left in the game. The gopher popped up from under the wasps's endzone and scored the game's only TD. 7-0.
Game 17 - Cheez-It Bowl - Horned Frogs vs Golden Bears (TCU vs California)
These weird frogs that squirt blood from their eyes.
Huge hairy beasts
Winner: Golden Bears. This one isn't even close. The frog's only defensive mechanism was no match at all the bear's superior strength. Ignoring the blood, it squashes the poor frog on the first play. The bear marches into the endzone, then moves toward the crowd. No one saw the end of the game, but it was 7-0 and the frog was dead, so... 7-0.
Game 18 - Independence Bowl - Owls vs Blue Devils (Temple vs Duke)
A new bird!
Another type of devil! However, Duke's mascot gets its name from the WW1 French battalion. It's still a devil though, so for consistency it's still just a devil. And this one isn't choking, it just decided to be blue.
Winner: Blue Devils. Wasting no time, the blue devil zaps the owl, turning it into a butterfly. A gust of wind blows the butterfly away from the stadium, and it spends the rest of the time trying to fly back to the field. The blue devil scores a single touchdown, then heads to the bleachers to hit on sorority girls. He's quite the devil ;) 7-0
Game 19 - Pinstripe Bowl - Hurricanes vs Badgers (Miami vs Wisconsin)
A weird mammal that I loved as a kid because of Redwall
Winner: Hurricanes. Hurricanes are brutal and unforgiving. It demolishes the stadium at the very beginning, throwing the badger and fans in all directions. Fortunately it won the coin toss, so the ball crossing the goal line still counts. 7-0
Game 20 - Texas Bowl - Commodores vs Bears (Vanderbilt vs Baylor)
A high ranking naval officer
A big mammal
Winner: Bears. In a shocking upset, the bear wins this one. Unfortunately the commodore is pretty ineffective off his ship. Despite being in Houston, he couldn't find a way to bring the game to the sea. Despite the commodore's best attempts, the uncoordinated bear manages to win 28-21.
Game 21 - Music City Bowl - Tigers vs Boilermakers (Auburn vs Purdue)
I should really get a girlfriend
Dictionary.com defines "boilermaker" as "a person who makes boilers." (Is that the new intro to all graduation speeches? No one uses Websters anymore right?)
Winner: Tigers. In another rare upset of animal over human, the tiger showed why it's the king of the jungle (lions don't live in jungles. Idk who came up with that). Despite being smart and probably good at... building boilers... this is (a version of) football. The boilermaker has no weapons and hid on the bench the entire game. Tiger managed to nudge a few balls over the goal-line for a 21-0 win.
Game 22 - Camping World Bowl - Mountaineers vs Orange (West Virginia vs Syracuse)
It's a color. But i'm going to use the fruit cause I can. It makes it easier. Yes I know I have Stanford coming up. I'll think of something.
Winner: Mountaineers. In probably the most boring game thus far, the mountaineer walks out to shake the opponents hand and decides to just eat it. This mountaineer wasn't quite as nice as the last one, and he decides to run up the score a bit. He's also a bit clumsier than the last one and somehow gives up a safety. 49-2.
Game 23 - Alamo Bowl - Coyotes vs Cyclones (Washington State vs Iowa State)
How are you guys doing tonight?
Basically a tornado.
Winner: Coyotes. This game plays out basically the exact same as the Hurricanes vs Badgers (minus some water.) Unfortunately for the cyclone, the coyote started with the ball. The cyclone scores the only goal on itself and loses 7-0.
Game 24 - Belk Bowl - Gamecocks vs Cavaliers (South Carolina vs Virginia)
Probably any bird that can be hunted I guess
A guy with a sword. I'm getting lazy. Okay fine, it's a supporter of King Charles I in the English Civil War. Thanks again Dictionary.com!
Winner: Cavaliers. The cavalier is pissed because he heard "football" and assumed it was soccer. He chases down the bird and slaughters. He builds a fire and starts roasting it while discussing with the refs the rules of the of the game. The refs try to just convince the cavalier to pick up the ball and walk into the endzone, but he's scared to use his hands. It takes 4 overtimes for the bird to be done cooking and for the cavalier to finally agree to pick the ball up. He still dribbles the ball into the endzone with his feet, and reaches down to touch it. The refs call the game, and the 10 fans that stayed for some grilled pheasant cheer. 7-0
Game 25 - Arizona Bowl - Red Wolves vs Wolf Pack (Arkansas State vs Nevada)
A small version of a normal wolf
A lot of wolves
Winner: Wolf Pack (but really everyone won this one). Wolves are super cool. The game starts and the wolf pack begins testing the red wolf. Even though he has no chance, the red wolf fights tooth and nail and the pack is impressed. At halftime, the pack invites the lone wolf to join its pack. He agrees and announces his mid-game transfer. With no opponent, the pack wins even though they were already winning 24-0.
Game 26 - Military Bowl - Wildcats vs Hokies (Cincinnati vs Virginia Tech)
First wildcat. I'm going to assume this one is a lynx because I feel they don't get enough credit. They're pretty awesome.
This came from some made-up student chant "Hoki Hoki Hoki Hy." Students really used to have a lot more power back then. I have no idea what it's supposed to mean. I could go with a turkey but that doesn't fit the name. According to Urban Dictionary, a "Hokey" is a "VERY VERY loose vagina," but that doesn't work either. I'll go back to my original source, Dictionary.com. The closest to "Hokie" is "Hokey," which is makishly sentimental. That's what I'm using. (Also, I really like the hokey-pokey as a kid. I used to get in trouble though because I'd always "put my penis bone in, put in my penis bone out, put my penis bone in and shake it all about." Four-year-old me was awesome.)
Winner: Wildcats. There was a feeling of sick nostalgia (i'd imagine this is the same feeling I get when I smell Patron Citron?) in the stadium, but no one actually showed up for VT. The wildcat played with the ball a bit and managed to get a couple TDs. 14-0
Game 27 - Sun Bowl - Cardinal vs Panthers (Stanford vs Pittsburgh)
Okay whatever. I'll do a color.
Still a panther. Lets make him pink this time though. Sorry pitt :)
Winner: Panther. It's a color. Vegas didn't even accept bets on this game. The field was a deep shade of red, but for the second game in a row, the single player managed to "run unopposed." He was a bit better than the lynx though. 28-0.
Game 28 - Redbox Bowl - Ducks vs Spartans (Oregon vs Michigan State)
A warrior from Sparta.
Winner: Spartans. Again, not even close. The spartan is focused and takes the game very seriously. The duck wanders around with no clue what's going on. Somewhere in the middle of the 3rd period, the duke accidentally got in the way of the spartan, who proceeded to slow-motion flip over the duck while slicing its beak off. Poor duck :(. Btw if you're actually reading this, pm me and I'll give you silver. Spartan wins 300-0.
Game 29 - Liberty Bowl - Tigers vs Cowboys (Missouri vs Oklahoma State)
I'm so ready for bowl season. Did you get your pick-ems in!?
A dude with a hat, a gun, a lasso, a leather vest, and a bunch of cows.
Winner: Cowboys. Thankfully for OSU, they sent their best sharp-shooter. The tiger tried running straight for the cowboy before the game even started. The cowboy got off a perfect shot right between the eyes, dropping the wild cat from 30 yards out. The cowboy had work to do, so he scored a single TD and left the field. 7-0
Game 30 - Holiday Bowl - Utes vs Wildcats (Utah vs Northwestern)
Everytime I hear "Utes" I think of My Cousin Vinnie. I know they're an actual native people from Utah, but this is my made up game so suck it!
Let's go with a leopard this time. There aren't any of those yet in FBS.
Winner: Wildcats. A young boy wanders onto the field and the Leopard smacks his lips. He makes a bee-line straight for the kid and ferociously devours the little kid, avenging his previously slain brethren. The fans are in shock, and the leopard scores a touchdown before getting chased out of the stadium by fans of both teams. The NCAA holds an emergency meeting about the future of the sport, but decide the games are more important. No one knew who the kid was anyway. 7-0 Wildcats. You're kind of mean Northwestern.
Game 31 - Gator Bowl - Aggies vs Wolf Pack (Texas A&M vs NC State)
Another wolf pack
Winner: Wolf Pack. Leading the wolf packs to a 3-0 post-season record, the wolves make short work of the pitchfork-wielding farmer. Everyone already seems to have forgotten the previous week, and the wolves punch in a couple rushing tds. 14-0
Game 32 - Outback Bowl - Bulldogs vs Hawkeyes (Mississippi State vs Iowa)
So many bulldogs
Since hawkeyes aren't a real bird, I'm going with the archer from Marvel (I haven't seen any of the new movies but I think I get the gist).
Winner: Hawkeyes. He snipes the bulldog with ease and it's a super boring game. 21-0.
Game 33 - Citrus Bowl - Nittany Lions vs Wildcats (Penn State vs Kentucky)
Supposedly "Nittany Lion" was a mythical lion that roamed a mountain in Pennsylvania named after an Indian Princess named Nita-nee. It's still just a lion to me. And tbh it always looks like a female so I'm going to assume it's a lioness.
I just found out wildcats are an actual group of small cats. I thought it was "wild cats" like the whole group. I'm going to leave the lynx and leopard though.
Winner: Nittany Lions. The small basically housecat was super intimidated by the real wild cat. The Nittany Lion scored quick, and decided to take the full-grown wildcat back to her pride, thinking she was a baby "real lion." 7-0.
Game 34 - Peach Bowl - Gators vs Wolverines (Florida vs Michigan)
Short for alligators in case you were wondering
Already did one comic book hero, so this time I'll use the real animal. Wolverines are kinda weird. Basically small bear things but kinda like badgers and skunks and stuff.
Winner: Gators. Despite being a miniature bear, gators are insanely powerful. On the first drive, the gator popped the ball. It still wandered into the endzone and laid down in the sunny Georgia weather. The wolverines and the refs were too scared to retrieve the ball from the gator, and time expired. 7-0.
Game 35 - Orange Bowl - Crimson Tide vs Sooners (Alabama vs Oklahoma)
A real crimson tide is what happens when certain algae bloom in the water. There's some red water from the plants and stuff.
"Sooners" are the people who literally jumped the gun to lay claim to Oklahoma lands. Some call them cheater, but I call them opportunistic. They also come with their very own wagon.
Winner: Sooners. The sooner is completely unphased by a bit of red water, and proceeds to scored a few touchdowns before realizing this is a waste of time. He cuts out a little piece of sod and runs off the field. 21-0.
Game 36 - Cotton Bowl - Tigers vs Fighting Irish (Clemson vs Notre Dame)
Anyone got any cool plans for the holidays? Lets me know in the comments below. And if you like this channel, make sure you subscribe! (I make myself cringe)
"Fighting Irish" get their name from Irish immigrants who fought for the north in the Civil War.
Winner: Fighting Irish. In no surprise to anyone, the soldier with the gun manages to kill the cat early in the game. Most of these games are really just about the first 5 minutes. People just attend these events to see the initial bloodshed. 56-0.
Game 37 - Fiesta Bowl - Tigers vs Golden Knights (LSU vs UCF)
This has taken me a lot longer than I expected. I was laughing about the article saying there were too many bowl games, but maybe he was right.
Similar to the Black Knights, but the "Golden Knights" are a bit more show-offy.
Winner: Golden Knights. This game literally plays out the exact same as the Army game. Literally every play is identical, every drive is identical. The media and fans throw out a ton of conspiracy theories, but it eventually dies down to a weird historical fact. 21-14
Game 38 - Rose Bowl - Buckeyes vs Huskies (Ohio State vs Washington)
Lol. It's a tree, but typically refers to the nut that tree produces. Someone on the radio yesterday called them "peanuts with hoodies on."
Whew! Only a couple left!!!
Winner: Huskies. The husky doesn't even notice the lone little nut on the field. He plays with the ball for an hour. 21-0.
Game 39 - Sugar Bowl - Bulldogs vs Longhorns (Georgia vs Texas)
Why are bulldogs the one dog breed mascot? The next FBS team call themselves the "Pitbulls." They can be much more intimidating than a drooling lump of skin folds (also before anyone gets mad - I've had a few pitbulls. They can definitely be SUPER sweet dogs when trained properly.)
"Longhorns" are stinky slow gross cows with horns that people bred to be big because everyone in Texas is trying to overcompensate for something. (Another side note about my life. I used to live in Texas, and had a girl from another state say "oh i've heard everything is bigger in Texas" then she got really disappointed and I felt bad.)
Winner: Bulldogs. Because Tuck Fexas. Just kidding, I'm not that petty. They actually lost because the bulldog (despite being a terrible breed of dog), was much quicker and agile than the huge cow. It was able to force several take-aways and ran laps around the out-of-shape massive horny boi. 28-7.
Game 40 - CFB Championship - Sooners vs Fighting Irish (Oklahoma vs Notre Dame)
We already did this. Also fun fact, Oklahomans saved longhorns from extinction back in the day. It's true. Look it up. (Also wtf reddit auto-correct? It's saying "Oklahomans" is incorrect, so I tested a few other states. Whatever, guess I should start using "Oklahomies".
It's still an Irish WWI soldier.
Winner: Sooners. Our first and ONLY human vs human game. The sooner has a massive advantage with their wagon being a part of their identity. They're able to hide inside, and pop out for shots against the Irish soldier. Also, many soldiers in WWI were vastly under-trained, while the land-grabbers were survivalists and pioneers. Both men ignore the football, knowing the only way to win the game is knocking out their opponent. Both humans had agreed on no kill-shots, and the sooner manages to tag the arm of the Irish soldier in the arm in the 4th quarter. He waits until there's a few seconds left on the clock and walks the ball into the endzone. 7-0.
There really isn't any. It was fun and I definitely took some leisure in my interpretations of the team representatives, but if you actually read this, then thanks for the time. I really should get a girlfriend.
The GIF Final Four is Set! Vote for the GIFs you want to send to the championship match now!
We’re finally here: the GIF Final Four! Thank you to everyone who has voted so far, I couldn’t do this without you!
If you are unfamiliar with the GIF tournament, Here is the original post and here is the full tournament bracket.
Session 10 Wrap-Up
In what was, by far, the craziest GIF match yet, #1 I’m Beginning to Feel Like A Meme God and #7 Gonzaga Doesn’t Win the WCC needed overtime to determine which GIF would make the Final Four. Even in overtime, the match remained tight. AT 8:00 PM last night, shortly after a vote tied up the two GIFs for the tenth time, “Gonzaga doesn’t win the WCC” took a one vote lead, which it never relinquished. The final vote tally was 45 to 44, a margin of just 1.1%. You can see the utter ridiculousness of the matchup here, displayed on a graph of votes over time. I know it’s just a GIF tournament vote, but seriously, this shit was wild. What’s even crazier is that both GIFs won their Sweet 16 matchups by a single vote, so really, any of the four regional semifinalists easily could’ve ended up in the Final Four.
Final Four Fun Facts: Mostly for my own amusement, read it if you want. I will be using abbreviations for most of them.
-Two of the Final Four GIFs, “Champions of the Caribbean” (COTC) and “Meanwhile, in the ACC” (MITA), have yet to win a match by less than 70%. “Guardians of the Final Four” (GOFF) had one overtime mach, but won its other three matches by 70+%. Meanwhile, “Gonzaga doesn’t win the WCC” (GDWW) has had two consecutive one vote victories. -One semifinal pairs two top-seeded GIFs against each other (GOFF and MITA), who were the #2 and #3 overall seeds, respectively. Meanwhile, the other semifinal pairs two lower seeded teams against each other, #5 COTC and #7 GDWW, who were ranked #20 and #25 overall, respectively. -Despite getting less than half of the upvotes of GOFF and MITA, COTC got by far the most value in awards. -Of the four users represented in the Final Four, only one of them (u/pugsandtacos) started the tournament with multiple GIFs. The other three users (u/notshawnvaughn, u/n3burgener, and u/yolman56), very impressively, saw their only tournament GIF make it all the way to the final four, meaning all three users are currently undefeated. -Interestingly, all four GIFs were released at different times during the season. MITA was released during the regular season, GDWW was released during champ week, GOFF was released during the tournament, and COTC was released after the tournament ended. -Virginia was depicted in three of the four GIFs; the only team to appear more than once. Auburn, Duke, Florida State, Gonzaga, Michigan State, North Carolina, Pepperdine, San Diego, St. Mary’s, Syracuse, and Texas Tech all showed up once. -COTC and GDWW were unique in the tournament in terms of their respective source material. GOFF was one of two GIFs to use Guardians of the Galaxy as source material, while MITA was one of nine to use The Office. -GDWW was the only GIF that made it from the GIFs I personally chose as my favorite GIF from each region in the original post, before the tournament began. The rest of my final four was “St. Mary’s Got Hosed”, which lost in the Elite Eight; “The Big 12 after the first 2 rounds of the NCAA Tournament”, which lost in the Sweet Sixteen, and “Old Woffer”, which lost in the Round of 32.
Click#forTwitter//TableorderedbyMPG//Startersinbold//Playersleavingstruck-out//Salariesinmillionsofdollars TEAM STATS
2016-2017 REGULAR SEASON RECAP
61-21, #2 Seed in the West Despite facing both a disappointing exit to the 2015-16 postseason and the loss of an NBA titan in Tim Duncan, expectations for the Spurs still stayed relatively high heading into the 2016-17 campaign. Kawhi Leonard had emerged as a bona fide MVP candidate and won his second straight Defensive Player of the Year award, and the team added an aging Pau Gasol to the fold to help offset the loss of the future Hall of Famer. On top of that the Spurs still had veteran stalwarts LaMarcus Aldridge, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili returning to the team, along with a bevy of support weapons such as Danny Green, Patty Mills and Kyle Anderson as well as the signing of intriguing bench pieces in former-all-star-turned-journeyman David Lee and a relatively unknown athletic big in Dewayne Dedmon. With this group of top end talent mixed with solid options off the bench playing under the disciplined gaze of Gregg Popovich, many in the media anticipated another successful campaign from the Silver and Black. The Spurs certainly did not disappoint on opening night. Much to the delight of an NBA fanbase frothing at the mouth for Golden State to be humbled following their incredible offseason in which they added former MVP Kevin Durant, the Spurs delivered in a way that even the most homer San Antonio fans could not have envisioned, winning the day with a 129-100 trouncing of the previous year’s Western Conference Champions. The Spurs continued the season on a high note, winning their first four games and 14 of their first 17. As an exciting development on the season, Kawhi Leonard not only continued his stellar play from the 2015-16 season, but to the surprise of many, actually improved, evolving into a consistent and elite offensive threat. With Kawhi’s newly discovered offensive prowess, he not only began dominating games, but he began to will the Spurs to wins in otherwise flat performances with some stellar 4th quarter play. Even in games where Kawhi was sucked into the offensive doldrums that the rest of the team seemed riddled with through most of the season, Kawhi would seem to find it in himself to channel a vague essence of His Airness in the 4th quarters of games to bring the Spurs back from the brink, with a string of four straight games from 11/30-12/6 against Dallas, Washington, Milwaukee and Minnesota coming to mind. The team continued chugging along, including a 13 game road winning-streak to start the season, and although the team dealt with a few speed bumps in the form of nagging injuries (including a small bout of gastroenteritis passing through the team), the Spurs headed into the New Year with an excellent 27-6 record. Along the way, the Spurs made time to officially give thanks to a legend and retired Tim Duncan’s number on December 18th. A hot button topic surrounding the Spurs throughout the season was how consistently inconsistent LaMarcus Aldridge (or “Garbidge,” as he was dubbed in many a postgame thread) played throughout the course of the season. Although Spurs fans were more than thrilled to see Kawhi Leonard evolve into a consensus Top-5 talent, they were almost equally taken aback in how ineffective Aldridge would seem at times throughout the season. Though the former All-Star averaged 17.3/7.3 on the season and maintained a high level of defensive play, offensively it seemed that he would go through 5 game hot streaks in which he couldn’t miss, followed immediately by streaks of 7-10 games where he simply would seem unable to perform like a 2nd option, and in some cases, seemed almost disinterested in the game at hand, settling for fadeaway jumpers rather than doing the dirty work inside. A similar, though less pronounced, narrative went along with Tony Parker’s season as well—many fans expressed their frustration at his declining level of play due to his age, and his seeming “unwillingness” to pass Kawhi the ball at times in important situations. In spite of these denouncements, both veteran stars found ways to continue to contribute to the cause and help the team continue to win games. By the end of the season, things proved clear that many of the complaints Spurs fans held about the team were more of a product of how spoiled our fanbase at large has been over the last two decades rather than any major flaws existing in the team's play. The Spurs would finish the months of January, February and March with records of 36-11, 45-13 and 56-16 respectively and would find ways to win one way or another throughout the season with Kawhi’s career high performance and an incredible MVP candidate duel being the standout contests to watch along the way. The Spurs came within spitting distance of the 1 seed (getting as close as 0.5 a game behind the Warriors while Kevin Durant was out with an injury), but eventually settled comfortably into the 2nd seed with a stellar 61-21 record, marking the first time in the Spurs’ decorated history that the team had won 60+ games in back-to-back seasons. With the playoffs looming on the horizon, the Spurs seemed primed to be darkhorse contenders for the Larry O’Brien trophy.
2016-2017 PLAYOFFS RECAP
Western Conference 1st Round: #2 Spurs (61-21) vs #7 Grizzlies (43-39) Game 1: Grizzlies 82 – Spurs 111 Game 2: Grizzlies 82 – Spurs 96 Game 3: Spurs 94 – Grizzlies 105 Game 4: Spurs 108 – Grizzlies 110 Game 5: Grizzlies 103 – Spurs 116 Game 6: Spurs 103 — Grizzlies 93 The Spurs met with a familiar face in the First Round of the 2017 Playoffs in the Memphis Grizzlies. The Silver and Black flashed the promise of a short series in the first two matchups of the series with two big blowouts on the backs of Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker, the latter of which showing a level of play unseen from him since the team’s 2014 Finals run. However, as the series shifted to Memphis, the momentum of the series shifted as well. Rallied by Dave Fizdale’s fiery postgame conference in the wake of Game 2, the Grizzlies responded with strong performances in Games 3 and 4, with a throwback performance by the duo of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol in Game 3 and a down-to-the-wire tit-for-tat showdown between an ascending Kawhi Leonard and the clutch tandem of Mike Conley and Gasol again in Game 4. In the face of seeping doubts that the Spurs might have more than they could handle against the experienced Grizzlies, the Spurs responded in the last two games of the series, closing the series out in Memphis in Game 6. Western Conference Semi-Finals: #2 Spurs (61-21) vs #3 Rockets (55-27) Game 1: Rockets 126 — Spurs 99 Game 2: Rockets 96 — Spurs 121 Game 3: Spurs 103 — Rockets 92 Game 4: Spurs 104 — Rockets 125 Game 5: Rockets 107— Spurs 110 Game 6: Spurs 114 — Rockets 75 Another familiar foe loomed on the horizon of the WCSF in the form of Mike D’Antoni and his newly evolved version of the 7SOL-Suns, this time led by James Harden. Fully embracing Morey-ball and its beliefs of only 3 point shots or shots at the rim, Harden and the Rockets went on a high-octane rampage through the NBA last season that caused many to view them as the only true challengers to the Warriors in the West due to their ability to keep up with the latter’s equally explosive offense. This was fully evidenced in Game 1 of the series, where the Rockets demolished the Spurs by 27, and it seemed that the Spurs had no answer for Harden and his merry band of 3 point bombers. However, in classic Popovichian fashion, the Spurs managed to come back with adjustments and matched the Rockets’ blowout in Game 2. Kawhi led the charge with a 34/7/8 statline on 13/16 shooting. However, the Spurs lost Tony Parker for the rest of the playoffs due to a ruptured quadricep tendon. To that point, he had been averaging 16/2.5/3.1 on 61.6 TS%. The Spurs pressed forward with another solid victory in Game 3, but rolled out of bed flat in Game 4 and were subsequently blown out by the Rockets again, though this game marked the beginning of Jonathon Simmons’ playoff breakout. Game 5, proverbially speaking, signaled the beginning of the end of the Spurs’ title hopes. In the 4th quarter, Kawhi Leonard sprained his ankle, an injury from which he would not fully recover from for the rest of the playoffs. Down their two best players of the postseason thus far, Manu Ginobili stepped up once again as the heart of the team and delivered a signature Manu moment to give the Spurs a Game 5 victory. With the Spurs down Kawhi in Game 6, it seemed that the game was a scheduled loss as the team geared up for an all-out war in Game 7. However, such a clash never came to fruition as the Rockets came out surprisingly flat (though maybe not so surprising, as D’Antoni had shrunken his rotation to 7 players by this point in the series) and the Spurs were able to advance to the WCF to the tune of a 114-75 thrashing in Houston. Western Conference Finals: #1 Warriors (67-15) vs #2 Spurs (61-21) Game 1: Spurs 111 – Warriors 113 Game 2: Spurs 100 – **Warriors 136 Game 3: **Warriors 120 – Spurs 108 Game 4: Warriors 129 – Spurs 115 Well, here it was folks. A highly anticipated match-up three years in the making that, for one reason or another, the Spurs could never fully hold up their end of the bargain for. One year, it was “Why is Portland the 4th seed?” followed by a 1st round(!!!) series for the ages against Chris Paul and the Clippers. The next, it seemed that the Thunder had finally put themselves together into the true championship contender we’d always anticipated them to be. Finally, after two painfully early playoff exits, Spurs fans had the Western Conference Finals match-up they'd been salivating over ever since our last title run in 2014. At the end of the first half in Game 1, things couldn’t have been going more smoothly. With Kawhi Leonard back in the fold, the Spurs dominated the first 24 minutes of the game to the tune of a 20 point halftime lead. Then, just as the team had ascended with Kawhi’s play, so too did it come crashing down with his ankle. Suffering a second sprain in less than a week, Pop elected for the conservative move and kept Kawhi out of the rest of game and series. Against the greatest team of our time—and likely all time—the Spurs without their on-the-court leader simply couldn’t keep up. Game 1's lead eventually evaporated into a loss, and relying on a trio of LaMarcus Aldridge, Patty Mills and Jonathon Simmons to carry the offensive burden, the Spurs would lose each of the next three games by double digits en route to a four game sweep to the eventual champions. The ending of the season could be aptly described by this famous James Taylor ballad: “sweet dreams and flying machines in pieces on the ground." 2016-17 HIGHLIGHTS Kawhi With the Game Winner Against the Wiz! Team Block Party Kawhi Ruins Ben McLemore’s Night Kawhi Leonard Wins It Against the Pacers! Manu Saves Game 5 2 Way Dominance Dedmon Drops the Hammer! Justin Anderson: Ded Mon Walking JSimms Introduces Meyers Leonard to a Poster Kawhi With a Jordan-esque Finish
Going into the offseason, the Spurs were rumored to be players for a big name of some kind, be it signing Chris Paul or even engineering a trade for the likes of Paul George or Kyrie Irving. With the team sitting near the back of the draft as always, the fanbase had low expectations for an impact rookie. To top it all off, there were rumors that LaMarcus Aldridge was no longer content with his current situation with the team, and wanted out. Following our successful play for the aforementioned big man just two summers ago, the Spurs fanbase anticipated that the team might be in for a big shakeup again this summer. While trade rumors continued to swirl around the Spurs during the draft, the Spurs managed to make off with Derrick White of Colorado and Jaron Blossomgame of Clemson. White is certainly an intriguing prospect, as he ranked among the leaders in TS% in the NCAA for players shooting 10+ field goals per game. Blossomgame was signed to the newly created two-way contract, and will likely be spending much of his time with the Austin Spurs for the coming year. White may find a fringe spot in the rotation, but is likely to spend lots of time in Austin as well for the coming year. Going into free agency, the Spurs were claimed to have “never had a strong interest” in Chris Paul in the wake of his trade to the Rockets. All around the league, big names changed places, with a particularly massive exodus of All-Stars or recent All-Stars moving from East to West. However, the Spurs made a decent splash with the signing of Rudy Gay, along with the less celebrated signing of Joffrey Lauvergne. To much criticism, Pau Gasol was re-signed to a 3 year, $48m contract. Breaking Down the Gasol Deal At first look, this appears to be an awful, awful signing. However, it makes much more sense when broken down: initially, when Pau opted out of his contract for the 2017-18 season, he was owed $16m. Because the Spurs were unable to lure any star players in free agency with the money Gasol opted out of, the organization returned that $16m he originally gave up and gave him another $16m as a token of good faith. The third year is what makes this deal very interesting: the last season on the contract is only partially guaranteed at $6.7m. Furthermore, if Pau retires after next season, the Spurs will be able to stretch that last year with the stretch provision, bringing the cap hit down to only $2.2m/year over 3 years. Overall, the deal was constructed as it was to show good faith on the organization’s part, as well as to protect the Spurs in the event of a career-ending injury to Gasol. The $16m is a tough pill to swallow, but in all is not as crazy as it seems at first glance, especially with the pricetag that the modern salary cap had previously established for big men. Gasol, as crazy as it seems, might very well be earning his proper value as a center for the coming two seasons.
Currently, Vegas has the Spurs oveunder win total on the season at 53.5 games, which feels low for a team that seems to have improved in the offseason. When contextualized with the rest of the West, it seems that the Spurs are relatively in a worse position than last year, but you have to keep in mind that the Spurs “only” play the Rockets, Thunder and Timberwolves (the three most-improved teams in the conference) 11 times combined. The Spurs went 10-2 combined against those three teams last year, and even if you figure that they go 5-6 against them this year, that still places them in the 56-57 win range again this year, all other factors remaining equal. Based on their offseason moves (or lack thereof), the Spurs also seem to be hedging their bets on improvement from Davis Bertans and Kyle Anderson (with eyes on one of them to be taking David Lee’s place in the rotation), as well as one of Bryn Forbes or Dejounte Murray to become a staple in the guard rotation to replace the departed Jonathon Simmons. Why Losing Simmons and Dedmon Will Not Hurt the Spurs As an aside, as much of a fan-favorite as Simmons was, his production for the Spurs is not something that greatly contributed to our regular season success. He certainly had a penchant for tremendous highlight-reel plays, but he also would consistently make self-damaging plays on both offense and defense, and would play himself in and out of the rotation throughout the season, before obviously becoming a hot hand late into our playoff run. Dewayne Dedmon is a harder loss to quantify. On one hand, he was a big part in why our bench units were so successful defensively. On the other hand, he played himself out of a starting role almost as soon as he played himself into it, and completely lost his spot in the rotation following a sour performance in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals. I will certainly miss watching both players play for the San Antonio Spurs. However, it remains to be seen whether the team will hurt for their losses, or continue to move forward as the Spurs are wont to do. PROJECTED DEPTH CHART
#9 Tony Parker With the days of Tony Parker being a star long in the rear view, Parker has struggled to find his footing in the new ecosystem of the team in the last three years. Starting in 2014-15, he looked to make room for a budding Kawhi Leonard, and then further made space when the team landed LaMarcus Aldridge the subsequent offseason. In spite of his age, Parker still has a few tricks in his bag and is capable of giving productive NBA minutes. It seemed that he had finally found his niche with the team again during last season’s playoffs, putting up 15.9 ppg on 61.6% TS%, and played his best ball since the 2014 championship season. Coming on the heels of endless calls by unfaithful Spurs fans for him to retire, be cut, or traded by the team due to his inconsistent regular season play in the last few years, this was a breath of fresh air. However, Parker faces a new challenge this year—coming off of a ruptured quadricep tendon injury that left him sidelined after Game 2 of the WCSF last season, Parker faces an uphill battle at 35 in attempting to return for his 17th NBA season. Early reports suggest that Parker may be returning in early December, far sooner than his original projected return of mid-to-late January. Hopefully this bodes well for The Fiery Francophile and the Spurs for the 2017-18 season.
#8 Patty Mills Patty Mills has been a spark plug off the Spurs’ bench for the last four seasons. He was rewarded handsomely for his efforts this summer with a 4 year, $50m deal signed on the first day of free agency this summer, a move that surprised many onlookers both in how quickly a deal was struck and at how cheap, relative to Mills’ perceived value, the contract was. The Spurs and Mills affirmed a commitment to each other, and the Spurs would be hard-pressed to find a better man to fulfill Patty’s current role on the team. Going into the season, Mills looks to be picking up the majority of the minutes at PG until Parker returns, even though he will likely continue to come off the bench while the Spurs break in 2nd year guard Dejounte Murray.
#5 Dejounte Murray Speaking of Dejounte, the Spurs’ 2016 1st round draft pick has rapidly evolved into a fan-favorite over the summer with his enthusiastic tweets about summer training, and a seemingly mentor-apprentice relationship developing between himself and Kawhi Leonard. When Murray was drafted, people raved about his upside, with some Mock Drafts even pegging him as a lottery-level talent. To see him fall to the end of the draft, and to the Spurs specifically, shocked many, and insiders around the league proclaimed Murray to be the Spurs’ next big steal. With Tony Parker sidelined for the next few weeks (and maybe more), Murray is projected to have every shot to prove these analysts right as we head into the 2017-18 season.
#14 Danny Green After a wildly disappointing season in 2015-16, Danny Green appears to have rediscovered his 3-point shooting touch thanks, in his words, to Lasik eye surgery. Though a season-ending slump tarnished his numbers slightly, Green shot 37.9% from 3 last season after hovering around the Top 5 in the league for most of the year. He was also finally recognized by panelists as a member of the All-Defensive Team for the first time in his career, earning 2nd-Team honors. Green forms an excellent perimeter tandem with Kawhi Leonard (the duo is affectionately known as Wing Stop) and projects to be a solid role player for the team again as we head into the new NBA season.
#20 Manu Ginobili After being unable to give Tim Duncan a proper send off from a game, Spurs fans attempted to make amends by giving Manu a standing ovation as he left the court for the last time during the 2016-17 postseason. Manu interpreted this as the fans pushing him away from the game, and so mulled over a potential retirement for weeks during the summer. After a good deal of backpedaling and urging him to stay, Spurs’ fans hopes were rewarded as Manu signed on to return for his 16th season with the team. Though it is certainly surprising to see Manu make it not only one, but two seasons (at least) longer than Tim did after playing with such a reckless abandon in his youth (and in all honesty, he still does…), Spurs fans are sure to cherish every Manu moment from now until he joins Duncan in the sunset, be it in 2018 or further down the line.
#11 Bryn Forbes After being a mostly unknown, junk-time quantity throughout the 2016-17 season, Forbes went and lit the Summer League on fire during the offseason, showing himself to be a Patty Mills-type player. Though it is again uncertain what role, if any, he will be holding with consistency for the team during the year, Forbes has certainly shown the ability to take and make shots. In the current league climate, the Spurs will no doubt find a use for his 3-point shooting abilities.
#2 Kawhi Leonard After finishing 2nd and 3rd in the MVP race the last two years, Kawhi Leonard seems primed to take the front and center seat in this year’s race, with last year’s candidates Russell Westbrook and James Harden receiving new All-Star-calliber teammates in the forms of Paul George/Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul, respectively, to help spread their previously heavy responsibilities. The former Aztec has evolved quite literally past even the craziest homer’s wildest dreams, and has gone from a simple evolution of Bruce Bowen to a player who is rapidly approaching LeBron and KD for the title of best wing player in the world. Although his overall defensive intensity slipped a bit with his all-around game pivoting more towards offense, Leonard still showed that he was more than capable of guarding opponent teams’ key players down the stretch while shouldering the offensive load on his own as well. Although he is starting this season dealing with some nagging quad injuries from last year, if Kawhi is fully healthy and leading the team come Game 1, expect him to be right in the thick of the MVP discussion for the upcoming season.
#8 Rudy Gay As the Spurs’ big splash of the offseason, Gay has already endeared himself to the Silver and Black fanbase by declaring himself a Spur for life. Gay is coming off a season where he averaged 18 ppg on 56% TS%, but he was only able to play in 30 games due to an Achilles injury. Especially for a player on the wrong side of 30, this could very well spell trouble for Gay and his career, but in recent years he has evolved into a player who relies less on his athleticism and has actually become less of a chucker and begun to choose his spots in smarter situations. If he can return at even 75% of the level he was at before his injury, he will easily be the Spurs’ 6th man and be on the shortlist for 6MOY contenders in the league.
#1 Kyle Anderson Anderson has been slow to develop for the Spurs since he was drafted three years ago in 2014, but he has surely carved himself a niche role on the roster as well in that time. Though not very athletic (he’s known by the moniker “Slow-Mo”), he very clearly possesses a gift of excellent court vision, and has proven to be a decent shooter when given enough space to shoot. He also makes up for his lack of lateral quickness with fast hands and crafty footwork, and has displayed a propensity for blocking shots in the past as well. Slotting in more as a SF/PF combo, he projects to fill in the role that David Lee has left in the team this year along with Davis Bertans.
#12 LaMarcus Aldridge Although Aldridge had an overall solid year last year, many Spurs fans couldn’t help but be disappointed by his overall output. In equal parts, I’d estimate that Spurs fans expect too much of him almost as much as he’s underperformed. Speaking of die-hard Spurs fans specifically, many believed Aldridge to be the natural successor to Tim Duncan—to speak bluntly, he simply is not. Holding him to the legacy of a Top-10 player of all time is as unfair to Aldridge as it is an insult to Duncan. Players of Duncan’s caliber cannot simply be plucked off of trees. However, despite living in Duncan’s hefty shadow, Aldridge has been able to carve out a good role for himself next to Kawhi in the organization, and has remained especially impressive on defense since coming to the Alamo City. Though he doesn’t provide the consistent 2nd punch that Spurs fans hoped he’d be, Aldridge is still overall an excellent 2nd option who, by and large, is still worth the contract that we pay him. Expect him to attack this new season with vigor after the tumultuous end to the 2016-17 playoff run, as well as the drama-filled 2017 offseason. If there’s one thing Aldridge has shown over the years, it’s that he pays attention to fan criticism. I’m on board to give him another chance.
#42 Davis Bertans With David Lee remaining unsigned throughout the offseason, it seems clear that the Spurs are placing their chips on either Bertans or Kyle Anderson (or perhaps both) to fill the former All-Star’s role for this upcoming season. Bertans showed last year that he is a long, surprisingly athletic forward with a good shooting touch and decent defensive instincts. While it remains to be seen whether or not he has the strength to battle with bigger bodies on the inside, he is currently a picturesque example of what a modern stretch-4 looks like in today’s league, and projects to be a solid bench piece for the Spurs in the upcoming season.
#16 Pau Gasol Gasol, like Aldridge and Parker, faced a love/hate relationship with Spurs fans over the season. Often cited as too old and slow to be a viable rotation piece in this modern, faster NBA (the PnR defense when he and Parker were on the floor was especially difficult to watch), Gasol still showed that he was capable of guarding the rim, and was especially valuable on offense, stretching his range and hitting a career high 53.8% of his 104 3-point attempts on the season. However, now that Gasol is another year older and holds an even heftier contract under his belt, you can rest assured that Spurs fans will be even more critical of and attentive to his performance as the season progresses. Though he has aged relatively gracefully thus far, Father Time remains undefeated. We can only hope that the wheels stay on for a few more years.
#77 Joffrey Lauvergne Acquired this offseason as a free agent, Lauvergne projects to be the team’s backup Center this season despite playing predominantly as a Power Forward thus far in his career. Lauvergne has a decent touch around the rim for a big man, and has good rebounding numbers for the relatively limited minutes he has played in his NBA career. Though he has not had a chance to show it yet, Lauvergne may also be a decent big man at moving the ball, as it seems many bigs who develop in Europe (the Gasols, Diaw, Jokic, Nurkic to name a few) have a tendency to have good court sense. Though this prognosis is certainly optimistic, Lauvergne could very well prove to be Pop and Co.’s next big reclamation project.
The Warriors are being blamed for supposedly, ruining the league, because of their roster moves. "Super Team", but here are a few things that you need to know about how they came to this point and why the accusation is false.
When Steph Curry was drafted , he wasn't exactly highly thought off
Don't get me wrong, Curry deserves all the attention he is getting. He really is a great story. The son of one of the best NBA shooters of all time gets looked over by all the high-majors, goes to a small school in North Carolina, and proceeds to torch everyone in the country from the first day he sets foot on campus. Add to that the fact that he genuinely seems like a good kid and a nice guy, and you have the worldwide leader's dream. No matter how good of a player Curry is, at some point (and we have reached this point) his hype is going to surpass his skills as a player. So the next logical question is, will he be a pro? I actually think he will, although I doubt he will be a star. - Bleacher Report, Janurary 6, 2009 http://bleacherreport.com/articles/107424-is-stephen-curry-overrated
Comparisons: Best Case: I've seen a lot of people saying Mike Bibby, so I'll go with that; Worst Case: Jannero Pargo, Steve Kerr, and JJ Redick. Bottom Line: Curry is an incredibly smart player. Not only does he understand the game, he understands his limitations. He probably is never going to end up being a star in the league because of a lack of explosiveness (meaning he will be a huge defensive liability). He should be able to hang around the league because of the all-around offensive package he brings to the table. - Bleacher Report, May, 2009 http://bleacherreport.com/articles/183841-nba-draft-prospects-stephen-curry-davidson
But, at a career 42.3 % NCAA field goal percentage, this is precisely what worries me about Thompson: He perhaps overachieves on guile and his statistical production could reflect guile’s limitations. The concern is that the Warriors drafted already-realized potential, as opposed to tapping a grower like Kawhi Leonard........It’s this kind of action that draws praise from film-gurus like Sebastian Pruiti. I’m equally impressed by his screen-usage, but more than happy to go negative with a positive: If Thompson is this smart, then why aren’t his numbers smarter? This kid certainly knows how to expertly use picks. I’m just not sure that means Golden State is equally good at it. What does this mean for Monta? It could mean nothing. Number 11 picks don’t usually become starters (Acie Law was picked at 11, for example). I’m less inclined to be reverent towards Jerry West than many out there. He’s had a great career, but the septuagenarian executive left Memphis in shambles. Sorry to be age-ist, but I like West better as a consultant than an ultimate decision-maker. - Warriors World, June, 2011 http://www.warriorsworld.net/2011/06/24/klay-smart-gsws-good/
In the bigger picture, I have no idea how this arrest will affect Thompson's future. Have we seen him play his last game as a Coug? Even before his arrest, I figured that was the case. Thompson's a junior who was expected to leave early for the NBA, but there's some doubt about that because he's projected as a late-first round or second-round draft pick. Thompson has said if he were projected to go in the second round, he would stay for his senior season. If I were an NBA GM, it wouldn't bother me, but maybe the marijuana charge will hurt his draft status. What would bother me more is the fact that Thompson isn't quite ready for the NBA, physically and I would argue emotionally as well. For as good as he is, Thompson can be surprisingly erratic, both with his shot and the ball. Remember, too, that this is also a kid who was late for the team bus in Tempe two weeks ago because he couldn't find his iPod. But maybe I'm viewing this subjectively as the WSU alum who hopes that Thompson returns. With Thompson, Moore and DeAngelo Casto playing a third year together, the Cougs would be a top-25 team, one with the potential to crack the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament. Whatever happens, Thompson has been consistent in one respect -- good and bad, he never ceases to make you shake your head in disbelief. - SeattlePI, March, 2011 - http://www.seattlepi.com/sports/moore/article/Thompson-s-erratic-ways-continue-this-time-with-1042357.php
Last for Klay
He reminds me of a less-quick version of Kevin Martin. Thompson is the son of former L.A. Lakers big man Mychal Thompson. ...Can Klay Thompson play in the NBA? Absolutely. But I've read where he is being compared to Reggie Miller and that is just silly. There is a difference between good, very good, and great. Klay Thompson's 3-pt percentage, this season was 39% (good) but not the 44% (great) that Miller's was at UCLA. Miller shot 54% FG (GREAT!) as a Bruin. Thompson's, as we mentioned, is 42% (not very good). Miller, as a junior, averaged 25.9 ppg. (very good). Thompson was 21.6 as a junior (good). ...I think Klay Thompson can be a good starter in the NBA sometime - but I don't foresee stardom. - Hoops Obsession, June , 2011 http://basslinespin.blogspot.com/2011/06/i-dont-hate-klay-thompson-plus-tyler.html
Around this time we also had the Monta Ellis trade
Both acquisitions are good fits with the Warriors' roster, but neither was able to help Tuesday. The team was in shock before Ellis addressed them in a closed-door meeting and said his goodbyes before the game. Ellis has been the face of the Warriors' franchise for much of his seven seasons. He was named the league's Most Improved Player in 2007 and has been among the NBA's top scorers the past three seasons. But he was never a good fit alongside similar-sized Curry, and he started to show his frustration with the organization in the past week. His teammates immediately shared that frustration Tuesday, when Ellis and Udoh were informed of the trade via a scroll at the bottom of the TV. As many players shook their heads in disbelief, Curry walked over and hugged a solo Udoh. Wright said, "I'll talk about the game, but I'm not talking about the trade crap." One Warriors player said, "If we're giving up, I can feel my hip hurting already." "It's time," said a smiling Ellis. "They're moving in a new direction. I can't be mad about that. I was in those shoes at one time, when a veteran guy was playing in front of me. It becomes time for that player to go. It's my time to go." The move opens immediate playing time for rookie Klay Thompson, a shooting guard who is getting rave reviews around the league and is considered nearly untouchable by the Warriors. With a potential playoff run all but lost, the move also opens the door for the Warriors to be more cautious with Curry's recurring ankle/foot injuries. They maintain that they're going to try to win as many games as possible, but they'll be shorthanded and could see a precipitous drop in the standings. - SFGATE - March, 2012 http://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Warriors-send-Monta-Ellis-to-Milwaukee-Bucks-3406832.php
The Milwaukee Bucks need to head on over to their local casino and put some serious bets down on the roulette table, because they are the luckiest bunch of guys in the country right now. With the first big trade of the 2011-12 NBA season, the Milwaukee Bucks have agreed to send Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson to the Golden Warriors for Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh and Kwame Brown. After reading that, if you're left thinking "why in the world would the Warriors make a trade like that?", you're not alone. There's no doubt that Andrew Bogut is a solid big man when he's healthy, but Golden State didn't necessarily make an upgrade at any position with this trade. Instead of becoming a better team, they sent away solid and consistent production for an injury-prone player, and a player that's well past his prime in Stephen Jackson. To understand the insanity that exists within this trade, just take a minute and look at the comparison between all the players' combined production for each team in this trade. Bogut and Jackson: 21.8 PPG, 11.5 RPG, 5.6 APG, 24.8 PER, 40.2 FG% Ellis, Udoh and Brown: 33.7 PPG, 10.6 RPG, 7.2 APG, 41.8 PER, 46.7 FG% Aside from rebounds per game, the Warriors are the clear winners when it comes to every major statistical category. If you take out both players that are currently injured, Andrew Bogut and Kwame Brown, those statistics become that much more lopsided in the Bucks' favor. Not only are the Warriors sending away a significant amount of offensive production, they are also getting rid of three players that are much more efficient than the talent they are getting in return, which will certainly hold Golden State back this year and into the future. - Bleacher Report, 2012 http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1103923-nba-trade-deadline-why-the-warriors-trading-away-monta-ellis-makes-no-sense
The Warriors records before the 2012 Season: - Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson drafted within this time 2009: 26-56 2010: 36-46 2011: 23-43 and then Draymond Green comes
Draymond Green is in a staring contest with history right now, and usually, history doesn’t blink first. For the Golden State Warriors second-rounder, failure is practically assured. But why? How can we be so certain of Green’s fate at such an early juncture in his career? The answer is simple. Green comes from the most historically cursed category of NBA players: He’s a Consensus First Team All-American who wasn’t drafted in the first round. Moreover, scouts are virtually unanimous in saying that he knows how to play and has a terrific basketball IQ. What he doesn’t have is a position. There are concerns that Green, generously listed at 6’8” and 236 pounds, won’t be able to defend either forward spot in the NBA—not to mention that he’s had problems with his conditioning in the past. So, the odds are stacked against Draymond Green. If he puts together a solid career, he’ll buck the trend that no player like him has ever been able to. For what it’s worth, I’m hopeful Green can break the mold into which he’s been cast. Maybe all 30 NBA GMs were wrong to let him slip out of the first round. It’s possible. But history is standing firmly in front of Green, dispassionately staring him down. - Bleacher Report, 2012 http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1248077-golden-state-warriors-why-history-dooms-draymond-green
Then Golden State fires Mark Jackson after two straight playoff years
He continued to put his players in the best possible positions to succeed and grow, particularly his young core. Stephen Curry went from a good, young scorer to an NBA All-Star Game starter under Jackson. Klay Thompson went from a timid rookie to a fearless two-way force. Draymond Green went from being a second-round pick to being one of the most valuable bench players in the NBA. Jackson's club was the league's third-best road team. His starting lineup had the best plus-minus in the NBA. Since that article, Jackson's merit has only increased. He almost knocked the Los Angeles Clippers out of the playoffs despite not having Andrew Bogut—his best defensive player and rebounder—on the court. He kept his team together amid nearly unprecedented levels of conflict, deceit and paranoia within the organization. He was endorsed heavily by all of his players. There are only 10 coaches in the league—at most—that did as good a job as Jackson did of maximizing their talent and getting their teams to buy in, compete and execute. Jackson deserved to be the Warriors coach next season, and it is not even close. The problem is that "deserve" has nothing to do with it. Joe Lacob, Golden State's majority owner, did not want him to be the coach, and so he fired him. That's when the locker room starts to weaken. Curry starts to realize that the reason he wanted to be on the Warriors for his entire career was not something inherent about the team or location but rather the special atmosphere that Jackson had created. Free agents that would have once flocked to Oakland at a discount (such as Iguodala did) start to shy away from signing in a place where the ownership has a history of breaking up successful, potential-laden teams due to ulterior motives. As quickly as Lacob shed the darkness and dysfunction that had been plaguing the franchise for 20 years, the Jackson firing could ultimately trigger a rapid descent back into NBA obscurity as soon as 2017. - Bleacher Report, 2014 http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1651457-mark-jackson-firing-reveals-true-priorities-of-golden-state-warriors-ownership
Steve Kerr is hired
Ownership has spun this into the notion that the two-headed combination of Myers and Lacob had had enough of the offense and personal interaction issues. Steve Kerr ostensibly solves both of these problems at once. And yet, this still leaves open the door to the question as to whether the credentials were worth going this high and blind, flying all the way to Oklahoma City after their Game 6, to woo the guy they wanted? Kerr was and is Lacob's guy all along. For whatever reason it may be, he got what he wanted. If the team desired offensive innovation they could simply go with Mike D'Antoni and bank on the defenders to keep playing at their requisite talent. If they wanted a fresh face with coaching experience and a fun offense, there was Fred Hoiberg. Hell, they were even ready to interview Lionel Hollins, a coach that ran into most of the same problems Jackson was a part of near the end of the season. But Lacob's comfortability and connections led him to the glitzy hire of Steve Kerr. We just don't know what was so glitzy to begin with. - SBNation/Warriors , May 2014, http://www.goldenstateofmind.com/2014/5/15/5719552/golden-state-warriors-steve-kerr-coach-lacob
In comes Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant could join the Warriors this summer. That is possible because, in the 2016 NBA offseason, almost anything is possible. The $1 billion in salary cap space and the lack of bad long-term contracts around the league open doors that would have been inconceivable in almost any other year. The notion of Durant, the offseason’s top free agent, joining the Warriors, the NBA’s top team, is simple enough, as Sporting News has explained in the past. The notion of Durant joining the other foremost Western Conference power, however, is more complicated and perhaps more interesting. - Sporting News, May, 2016 http://www.sportingnews.com/nba/news/kevin-durant-spurs-free-agency-salary-cap-san-antonio-oklahoma-city-thunder3fhcsyjd0871uosph6652hy9 For the rest of this decade, any superstar has a better chance of making the Finals in the East. The West has Golden State, San Antonio, OKC (for now), the star-crossed Clippers, the savvy Blazers and the precocious T-Wolves lurking like Arya Stark. That’s a murderers’ row. The East has Cleveland (FYI: Year 14 for LeBron next season), Boston’s Collection of Awesome Assets That Can’t Translate to an Actual Contender Yet, Whatever Toronto Is, Whatever Atlanta Was, Whatever Orlando and Milwaukee Might End Up Being, Whatever Pat Riley Might Have up His Sleeve and that’s about it. (Sorry, Knicks fans.) You want an easier road to the title, go East. Or sign with the Warriors.Durant knows this. I promise you. He hasn’t made the Finals since 2012 for a variety of reasons: injuries, cheap owners, shaky coaching, bad luck, a stacked conference, and one dreadfully short-sighted trade (that’s becoming less and less dreadful as Steven Adams blossoms into a Kiwi warrior, but still). You can excuse all of those things and easily land at the following place: We should have won at least one title, it’s amazing that we didn’t, I can’t give up on this team yet. Admirable and understandable, especially for someone as loyal to fans and teammates as Durant has been. - The Ringer, June, 2016 https://theringer.com/kevin-durant-thunder-conundrum-4b1689d4002c
Also keep in mind other teams had a chance at Kevin (Well, at least in thoery
The Thunder, Spurs and Warriors already have meetings set up, according to a report from The Vertical. The Los Angeles teams want face-to-face talks. So do Miami, Boston, Houston, and New York. Another agent thinks, in the case of Durant, the club that wants to pry him away from the Thunder “needs to be a good team, in a better market with a better chance to win than OKC.” “So Golden State and Miami become the only real players,” the agent said. “It's too hard to justify a move to Los Angeles (Lakers) or New York because they are not close to winning. Houston's out.” Durant won't be touring city-to-city. The Vertical reported that Durant and his representation will host meetings at an undisclosed location in NYC, the homebase of Roc Nation. LeBron James had a similar strategy in 2010 when he set up meetings for teams to come to him in northeastern Ohio. Not since James has a free agent been as highly coveted as Durant, to be able to control the entire tempo and pace of free agency. Another agent, however, thinks Durant's free agency will be different from James' in one regard: Durant isn't playing general manager. - NewsOk, June, 2016 http://newsok.com/article/5506480
...and there you have it. The Warriors built up this so called "Super Team" by players that they drafted. Steph Curry was a first round pick, but there were still mixed feelings about him when he was drafted. Thompson was heralded, but people were worried about the weed arrest. Alot of people thought that neither one these players would be Stars. The trade of Monta Ellis for Bogut and others, was ridiculed at the time. Even I questioned that, because Ellis was really good at the time. The Warriors go the playoffs two straight years , only to have Mark jackson be fired. At the time, I hated it. I thought it was stupid. I thought that the Warriors would regress because of this. Of course that was wrong. The Warriors have also picked up decent free agents along the way like Andre Iguodala and Shawn Livingston. Both ended up being great additions. The Warriors built their core through the draft and supplemented that through smart , veteran Free Agent picks.
Andre Iguodala won’t ever win an NBA championship until he’s paid correctly and plays with truly better players than himself on offense. It’s inconvenient for whatever team overpays him this summer, but it’s the truth. - HuffPost, July, 2013 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jake-fischethe-incovenient-truth-abo_b_3530424.html Livingston is a beast of a defender, capable of handling both guard spots and most small forwards. His length, physicality and smarts make him yet another fantastic wing stopper on a Golden State roster that already has one of the league's best in Andre Iguodala. Slotting him into backcourt lineups alongside Stephen Curry will allow the Dubs to hide their franchise point guard on the weakest available matchup. And if the Dubs want to get particularly nasty on defense, they can put a flat-out-terrifying combination of Livingston, Iguodala, Draymond Green and Andrew Bogut on the floor together. - Bleacher Report, July, 2014 http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2116632-does-shaun-livingston-signing-make-klay-thompson-more-expendable-for-warriors
The Warriors got to the state that they in by making shrewd moves. Fortunately for them , these moves paid off. Trades, Free Agents, Draft picks, Coach firings, it all could have went either way. This was not a team that went out and constructed a Big 3 in Free Agency. They drafted and groomed their Big 3 organically. Yes, they added Kevin Durant, but Durant had other suitors. He talked to other teams who did not do enough or have enough to wow him. The Warriors had the cap space and they signed the FREE agent. There was a void. Harrison Barnes was that void. We already know how bad he was in the Finals. The Warriors wanted to be able to beat the Cavs, so they got better. Kevin Durant is available and the job of every team is to constantly improve. The Warriors would be doing a disservice to themselves and their fans if they did not pursue him. He was free to choose and there was nothing wrong with this. There are fans who are now complaining and saying that the league needs to do something, but the Warriors did nothing wrong and Durant did nothing wrong. The Durant signing was there biggest Free Agent signing in years. This was a team built through the draft and I can't stress that enough. I keep repeating that when Curry, Klay and Draymond were drafted most did not see any of them being stars, so lets not act like these were overly hyped draft picks. The Warriors built their team the right way Its almost similar to how Jerry West helped build the Lakers in the late 90s/early 00s and then to go to the Warriors in 2011
After a slump in the early 1990s, West rebuilt the team of coach Del Harris around center Vlade Divac, forward Cedric Ceballos, and guard Nick Van Exel, which won 48 games, and went to the Western Conference Semifinals; for turning the team around, West received his first Executive of the Year Award. By trading Vlade Divac for Kobe Bryant, signing free agent center Shaquille O'Neal, and signing six-time NBA champion Phil Jackson as a coach, West laid down the fundamentals of the Lakers three-peat which saw L.A. win three NBA titles from 2000 to 2002. On May 19, 2011, West joined the Golden State Warriors as an executive board member, reporting directly to new owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber. This role also came with an undisclosed minority ownership stake in the team. In 2015, the Warriors won their first championship in 40 years; the championship was the seventh earned by West while serving as a team executive. - Jerry West, Wikipedia
the bottom line is, if other NBA teams want to win, then maybe they should follow the blueprint of the Golden State Warriors. You have a clear vision that you follow, you make smart draft picks, you build team chemistry even at the expense of trading favorite players (Ellis), you put smart basketball people in key positions in your franchise (West), You take chances at the Coaching position even if it doesnt make sense at the time (Kerr), you take chances and add players other teams dont really want (Iggy, Livingston, Javelle), You make your team as a good as possible by going after and acquiring the best player in Free Agency when you have the chance (Durant). None of this "ruins" the league.
How Many Points Does it Take to Land a Recruit? A Technical Recruiting Guide with Tips and Tricks [Warning, Math]
This is a guide for those who already are familiar with the recruiting mini game in NCAA 14. For those of you that love recruiting as much as I do, here’s a complete guide to nabbing a sweet class. It might be a little disorganized, but everything I put in is important!
First off, if you’re a 1 or 2 star school, don’t bother with the prospects that are interested in you unless you have lots of bonus points on them. Competition is the biggest problem for small schools. If you want to sign a top 10 class as UTEP or FAU, ignore those interested (unless they are immediate needs) in you and look for higher caliber players with less competition. Prospects who are already interested in you are who the game expects you to get. And you can't turn around a fledgling 1 star program with one and two star recruits! Think BIGGER!
If you’re at a 5 or 6 star prestige school, you shouldn’t need any help. This is a guide for getting the most out of a recruiting class with little to work with.
Week 2 is vital! A commonly known strategy is to sort by % locked and find prospects that no one is recruiting. This is best done in week 2, as you’ll see if a prospect is being left alone or not. Skill position players are the most common (QB, HB, WR, ATH, DE) so you’ll probably have to look elsewhere for other positions.
Don’t be afraid to look at 2 star prospects. Find JUCO players that are both 2 or 3 stars, and you have a mid to high 70’s player from the get go. But for players outside of JUCO's, don’t add prospects under 65 overall. There’s plenty of prospects to go around, and you won’t need them. There won’t be many gems that are worth finding who's predicted overall is less than 65. Just remember that a 65 overall player is an 80-85 overall player by the time he’s a redshirt senior, so don’t shy away from these recruits.
If you add a prospect to your board, you cannot put any points toward him until he lists your team on his interests. SO DON’T WASTE POINTS. If you have an N/A next to your school, don’t put points in, they do nothing. Because of this, offer scholarships week 2. If you can’t use your points on a recruit, at least offer a scholarship. If you go into a battle without a scholarship, you will sometimes fall down a players board no matter how many points you put in.
As for preseason, it's important too! If you follow the strategy above, you won't be able to actively recruit a player until week 3. For my preseason and week 1 recruiting board, often times I keep higher rated players or positions of need that are already interested. But the big thing I do is add "usual suspect" 5* players. There should be two or three 5* players that are ignored or are only recruited by small schools. These are often times Athletes, WR's, QB's, and HB's. I usually add all the 5* prospects of these positions and any others I have room for. That way, if you guess right and they are being lightly recruited, you get an extra 2 weeks of recruiting you wouldn't have gotten otherwise. And if you guess wrong, no harm no foul.
If you’re at a small school, and Ohio State (or another big school) starts recruiting a player, drop him. You will waste points as you plummet down his board. Only recruit a player if you can give similar points per week as the competition. How do you know this? It’s easy math, but here’s how to recognize each scenario.
Calculate how many points you’re giving him: 500 points plus 30 bonus? That’s 530. Let’s say the competition’s bonus points (Viewable from the “Top Schools” tab on a recruit) is 230.
Scenario A: You’re gaining 300 points per week on the competition: That means that the prospect is on another teams board, but they aren’t actively recruiting him, he’s only getting the bonus points from them.
Scenario B: You’re gaining 530 points per week on the competition: They don’t even have him on their board. You’re free and clear! For now……
Scenario C: You’re losing 200 points per week: That means the competition is actively putting 500 points per week (Plus 230 Bonus) into the prospect. You should probably drop him as 200 points per week adds up quickly, and a visit can’t make up for that easily. As listed in an Operation Sports article, your competition will always put their max points into a prospect. Always. Unless they stop recruiting him completely.
Visits: Plan your visits ahead. Schedule a conference rival and that’s a free 300 bonus points for a win. There are visit boosts based on performance too, be sure to meet these. Also, If you’re confident in your abilities, visit versus a higher ranked team and earn up to 300 MORE points for a win (it’s incremental based on how much they are better than you).
Plan for complimentary visits:
WR, TE, OL
2 or more FB
3 or more WR
2 or more TE
G, C, RB, FB
2 or more T
T, C, RB, FB
2 or more G
T, G, RB, FB
2 or more C
DT, MLB, OLB
2 or more DE
DE, MLB, OLB
2 or more DT
DE, DT, MLB, CB
2 or more OLB
DE, DT, OLB, CB
2 or more MLB
MLB, OLB, FS, SS
2 or more CB
MLB, OLB, CB, SS
2 or more FS
MLB, OLB, CB, FS
2 or more SS
There seems to be a different cap on different positions for how many points they can receive from complementary visits, but no one can go higher than 300 (six 50 point boosts).*
Use your lock picks.
Lock picks are a free 1500 (on average) point boost. So you can strategically drop a prospect a bit right before a visit or before the offseason, as you can bombard them with points on top of the 1500 point boost. This takes some math and some finagling, so be prepared for that.
Finding the BIG TIME STEAL:
Once you hit week 7 or so, teams are going to start signing players left and right, so this is your chance to find a big steal. Look for prospects that are below 100% locked and only have one team in their projected cut off (1 team above the red dotted line), look at their top schools, and look to see if they have any scholarship offers. If they don’t, add them to your board. Now look at their top schools from your recruiting board, if all teams below the top team have green arrows with small gains, you’ve found yourself a steal. What happens, is that teams fill needs. If Florida has a 5 star OLB on their board and he commits, they will stop recruiting the 4 star OLB on their board. Even if the prospect is 80% locked and you’re 4000 points down, add him. He’s yours, pending you have little competition. I’ve never seen the CPU add a prospect back after removing him. Also, in online dynasties, no one does/knows this. It’s an easy way to get 1 or 2 big steals per class. Look every week for these prospects!
How many points does it take to land a recruit?
Simply put, it’s different for every player, but you can crack it rather easily. It sort of depends on the caliber of the recruit, but the ONLY factor that has an influence on how many points it takes to land a recruit is his original locked %. The lower prospects generally have higher original locked %, so that’s why I said what I said earlier.
But how many points exactly?
Original Locked %
Recruiting points needed to increase 1% locked
67-71 points (5760-6100 total points for 100%)
62-65 points (5270-5525 total)
59-61 points (4960-5125 total)
55-57 points (4565-4730 total)
53-55 points (4345-4510 total)
50-51 points (4050-4130 total)
47-50 points (3760-4000 total)
As you can see, there is a gigantic difference between prospects. A player who starts at 20% locked takes over 2000 less points to commit than a player who starts at 14% locked. Take serious note of this.
These are the most common % locked for most 3, 4, and 5 star players. It keeps going down incrementally, with prospects that start with 25 or 26% locked, you only need 35 points per 1% locked!
So what does all this mean? How can you benefit from knowing this?
Well, if you know the numbers, you can plan out when prospects are going to be ready to visit or commit. First off, you have ZERO influence on a prospect’s locked percentage if you are not in first place on his board. It will usually take 500-700 points to climb into first on a prospect’s board if they are being ignored by everyone else. Furthermore, you must put 51% of total points into a prospect to net a visit. You must put in 51% of points for a prospect to be ready to visit.
So let’s make up some scenarios. Let’s use the chart above for numbers. Let’s also say you add two prospects that no one wants on week 2, when you can tell if they’re being left alone or not.
Points behind leader
You’re now down 550 points each on each prospect because you start at the bottom of their board. You want them both to come visit you when you play your rival week 8. That means:
You need 550 points plus 37% on the DT and 550 points plus 32% for the QB. Let’s play it safe and aim for 52%. You have 5 weeks to put in points until they must be ready for a visit. So you need to put in
(550+(70*38))/ 5 weeks
That’s roughly 640 points per week. Subtract the 110 bonus points you get, and you need to put in 530 points per week to have your DT ready for a week 8 visit.
For the QB, (550+(51*33))/ 5 weeks
That’s roughly 445 points per week. Subtract the 45 bonus points, and you get 400 points per week to be ready for a week 8 visit.
Formula: ((Points out of first place)+(Points per % * Points until 52%) / Weeks
Fair warning though, your bonus points can change every week. Check to see what the points are each week to get accurate readings, knowing the point total you need for a visit.
How many prospects should I realistically expect to net using this strategy? Let's look at the absolute bare minimum. From the time you have to start recruiting these "lonely" prospects, at 5000 points available per week, you have 60,000 points (12 weeks) to work with. Let's say all your recruits start at 16% locked, and it takes 5000 points for them to commit. Let's say you have 500 points to gain first place with a prospect, a 700 point visit, and 100 bonus points per week. So,
60,000 / 3,600 = 16 or 17 commits per class (Not including off-season recruiting)
For prospects without competition, the earlier the visit the better. A 6 star program with an unexpected need can steal a prospect from 2000 points down in a matter of weeks, so plan accordingly. It’s up to you how to divvy out your points, work a prospect too fast and lose out on others, spread yourself too thin and you will face the risk of easily losing prospects. If a 6 star school is gaining 500 points per week on you, Cut prospects quickly and put points elsewhere, even if you’re 1000 points ahead. When that prospect hits 100% locked, you must be 1300-1700 points ahead, or you’ll enter into a battle with a 6 star school that you will most likely lose. For the Off-season, there really isn't any math. Sometimes a prospect will commit to you even if you only put in 50% of the points you need, sometimes he'll elect not to go to any school. Putting 2000+ points on a recruit seems like a safe bet, but still, the off-season by all accounts is pretty damn random and not predictable. Don't trust the off-season to make your class great. Make prospects commit before then. And that's all I know. If you want to see my data used to calculate the points per % point, let me know. Got anything else? Feel free to share!
2019 NCAA Tournament: Sweet 16 betting lines, totals, spreads. By Rob Dauster Mar 25, 2019, 9:24 AM EDT. Leave a comment. Share this: Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) The 2019 NCAA Tournament continues Thursday with four excellent Sweet 16 games. Thanks to a lack of upsets during the first weekend, it’s a bettors’ dream. We’ve got links below to all our coverage — individual game breakdowns, what the sharps are betting, our staff’s favorite picks and more — for Thursday’s games. All 12 of the NCAA Tournament’s top dozen seeds are still alive with the Sweet 16 getting underway on Thursday, and Duke remains the betting favorite at the sportsbooks. By OddsShark Mar 26 Best NCAA Sweet 16 predictions picks for 2020. Many bettors like to use early betting predictions because they can get some good Sweet 16 odds for the upcoming NCAA competition. So, what teams can be a part of your Sweet 16 lines for 2019? The answer to this question is not an easy one, especially this early on. Opening point spreads for the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 have been released. Get those below, plus Sean Koerner's projected spreads and over/unders to help find betting value. All 16 favorites won straight-up in the second round, which has created more competitive matchups in the Sweet 16.
Free March Madness Sweet 16 NCAA College Basketball, NBA & MLB Free Sports Picks 3-29-19
Tennessee Volunteers vs Purdue Boilermakers Sweet 16 Predictions, Picks and Odds for their college basketball NCAA Tournament South Regional matchup on Thursday, March 28, 2019 from Louisville, KY. NCAA March Madness 156,422 views 8:55 MLB Picks (3-28-19) Opening Day 2019 Major League Baseball Expert Predictions Vegas Lines Odds - Duration: 12:26. Badgers still winning the ship tho ----- Shoutout to SeatGeek for sponsoring me... Sweet 16 Predictions: Duke Blue Devils vs Virginia Tech Hokies (NCAA Tournament Picks - March 29) - Duration: 5:18. WagerTalk TV: Sports Picks and Betting Tips 6,698 views Duke Blue Devils vs Virginia Tech Hokies Sweet 16 Predictions, Picks and Odds for their college basketball NCAA Tournament East Regional matchup on Friday March 29, 2019 from Capital One Arena ...