BREAKING: Ray Allen will not play this season

@rayn34

@rayn34

In a statement released by his agent, ten-time NBA All-Star Ray Allen will not play during the 2014-15 NBA season but leaves the door open for 2015-16. As the picture above suggests, he sure seems to be enjoying his time off.

“Over the past several months, I have taken a lot of time to deliberate what is best for me,” Allen said. “I’ve ultimately decided that I will not play this NBA season. I’m going to take the remainder of this season, as well as the upcoming off-season, to reassess my situation, spend time with my family and determine if I will play in the 2015-16 season.”

Read the full release here.

Call it respect, call it a plea or call it both but even King James couldn’t sway Ray Ray this time…

 

Jeremy Lamb runs the handshake (pre)game

Jeremy Lamb’s hands have gotten some serious publicity of late… I just hope non-UConn fans realize this is not the most famous Lamb-shake (see below).

THE REAL LAMB SHAKE

Although my favorite pre-game handshake routine still belongs to Shabazz Napier and Roscoe Smith, seen here at the 3:25 mark of the 2011 Final Four intros…

UConn Basketball Social Media Week in Review: Valentine’s Day Edition

As it will lead us into Valentine’s day, this week’s UConn Basketball Social Media Week in Review is all about the love…

NBA

Just when you think no one cares…

Someone cares too much…

Westbrook should really show some of that love to Kemba…

or maybe James Ennis, not sure who needs it more…

Definitely not Ray though, he’s got em lined up.

UConn

Patriot fans mistakenly show love for Darius Butler…

Butler shows he loves to troll… (UConn football is funny off the field too?) 

Doug Gottlieb will never love UConn…

but UConn loves NOLA.

Recruits

Jalen Adams kisses his teammate off the backboard…

next year, it’s to this guy.

International

7’4 Boban Marjanovic did not expect this early gift from Marcus Williams (#9)…

the Germans still love Niels Giffey…

Jerome Dyson has always loved to score (@sliceanddice)…

…but most importantly, shows he can give too.

Andre Drummond’s first career game-winner for Pistons (video)

Andre Drummond made two huge plays in the waning seconds of Friday night’s game against the Indiana Pacers. First, deadlocked at 96-96 with :24 seconds remaining, Drummond coaxed Pacers All-Star big man Roy Hibbert into an offensive foul. Then, on the ensuing possession, Drummond followed a Brandon Jennings’ miss for his 16 point on his 16 rebound, giving the Pistons 10 wins in their last 12 games.

I have not been shy in proclaiming Drummond a Hall of Famer, barring injury. His athleticism is so freakish, he could completely redefine the center position in the NBA, similarly to how LeBron James redefined the small forward. In just his third season, at a mere 21 years old, Drummond is averaging roughly 12 points, 13 rebounds and 2 blocks per game. To average these numbers, with a game so raw he barely has a viable post move or sense of defensive positioning, is a scary thought for Eastern Conference opponents.

Though impossible to imagine at this point in time, Drummond’s athleticism will eventually fade. His ultimate reputation will be decided by technique, development and execution. As SI.com’s Rob Mahoney puts it in his article linked below: “He will always appear capable of more, because in some sense he’s capable of almost anything.”

Ladies and gentlemen, watch out for Andre Drummond.

http://www.si.com/nba/2015/01/13/andre-drummond-pistons-the-craft

 

Vote Kemba Walker to the 2015 All Star Game

 Kemba All Star 2015

It’s impossible to repay Kemba Walker for what he gave UConn fans in the Spring of 2011. However, voting him into his first All Star game (a NYC homecoming at that) is a great way to start. Walker is averaging 30+ points in the midst of a 5 game win streak, including 28 points in just 28 minutes during last night’s blowout of the New York Knicks. In addition, Cardiac Kemba ALREADY has three game-winning buzzer-beaters on the young season. Kemba Walker deserves to be an All Star, here are the many ways to vote him in:

Twitter

Tweet “Kemba Walker” with the hashtag #NBABallot, or, simply RT my tweet below. Might as well RT for Andre Drummond too while you are at it…

Facebook

Post “Kemba Walker” with the hashtag #NBABallot:

Kemba 2015 ASG

 Instagram

Post an original photo with “Kemba Walker” and the hashtag #NBABallot.

Online

Create an account and vote online here.

Texting

Vote by texting “Walker” to 69622 (MYNBA). Message and data rates apply.


 

Fans can cast up to 10 votes per day on each voting medium, but only one per player. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posts must include the player’s first/last name AND the hashtag #NBABallot. Voting ends January 19, 2015 so let’s get to it…

Kemba Walker does it again for Hornets…

If you thought Kemba’s game couldn’t translate to the NBA you are a fool. As I have said all along with Kemba- winners win. Regardless of the level, winners will find a way to win (ie Shabazz). This is Kemba’s third buzzer-beater on the season and third straight game with 30+ points. Most importantly? Charlotte is 3-0 in those three games. Here is Kemba’s circus finish over 2013 NBA All Star Jrue Holiday. For those of you familiar with the Walker-Holiday rivalry- this isn’t close to Kemba’s most impressive finish over Jrue (see second video)…

2008 McDonald’s All American Game: BOO-YAH

Deandre Daniels Officially Heading to Europe

Getty Images

Getty Images

The Toronto Raptors have come to terms with former Celtics 2013 first round pick Lucas Nogueira. Great news for Nogueira, bad news for Deandre Daniels. The Nogueira signing fills the Raptors roster, confirming rumors Daniels will be shipped overseas next season- though the Raptors will keep his rights. The team is currently in the process of finding the best fit for Daniels overseas, presumably a situation where he can get minutes immediately and continue to develop. More to come…

2014 Las Vegas Summer League Recap

Summer League

The  Sacramento Kings won the 2014 Las Vegas Summer League earlier this week, featuring newly acquired Alex Oriahki at the center position (sneak peak into celebration below). Oriahki was just one of a slew of former Huskies participating in Vegas this summer. Others included Deandre Daniels (Toronto Raptors), Jerome Dyson (Charlotte Hornets), Niels Giffey (Utah Jazz), Shabazz Napier (Miami Heat) and Roscoe Smith (Los Angeles Lakers). Here are the complete statistics from Vegas:

Player

G

GS MPG FG% 3P% RPG APG SPG TO

PPG

Daniels

5 5 21.4 .36 .26 6.2 .2 .4 1.8

10

Dyson

4 0 16.8 .22 .22 1.3 1.3 0.0 2.8 3.8

Giffey

5 0 12.2 .25 .17 1.8 .6 .6 .6 3.4

Napier

4 4 27 .28 .250 1.3 2.8 2.5 3.5

10.3

Oriahki 4 4 12.5 .40 0.0 3.0 .5 0.0 1.5

2.8

Smith 5 0 12.8 .56 0.0 2.2 0.0 0.0 .4

5.0

 

Deandre Daniels

Getty Images

Getty Images

Out of all UCONN players in the two summer leagues, it is safe to say Deandre Daniels was the most consistent. Starting all five games at small forward for the Raptors, Daniels contributed UCONN-esque numbers of 10 points/6 rebounds per game. In a July 18th win versus the LA Clippers, Daniels registered a double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds. Although roughly half of Daniels field goal attempts were from deep, he led the team in rebounding, proving he is not content to just hover on the perimeter but ready to mix it up in the middle. Already leading the team in rebounding, when he packs muscle onto his scrawny frame, Daniels will be a force. It has been rumored he will play this upcoming season overseas which will give him time to mature before returning to the Raptors next season.

Jerome Dyson

July 10th Jerome Dyson signed with Dinamo Sassari of the Italian Series A League, according to Sportando. The same release stated Dyson had an NBA out in his contract until July 23, allowing him to sign with a NBA team if his performance in the summer league won him a roster spot. Unfortunately for Dyson, he was stuck behind first-round pick PJ Hairston on the depth chart and averaged only 4 points in 17 minutes of play. Dyson will return to Italy next season teaming up with former Louisville guard Edgar Sosa and BC/Fairfield transfer Rakim Sanders. The club is a newcomer to the Euroleague (European NBA) and hopes to boost their championship aspirations with the addition of Dyson who averaged 17 points/4 rebounds with Enel Brindisi (Italian Series A) a season ago.

Niels Giffey

Following two summer leagues where he struggled to find playing time, Niels Giffey has signed in Germany.

Shabazz Napier

Player G GS MPG FG% 3P% RPG APG SPG TO PPG
Napier (LVSL) 4 4 27 .28 .250 1.3 2.8 2.5 3.5 10.3
Napier (OSL) 5 5 27.6 .273 .154 3.0 4.6 1.8 4.8 9.2

Here is a comparison of Napier’s statistics from the OSL to the LVSL. In Vegas, Napier shot the ball better (it couldn’t have gotten much worse) and his turnovers were down, but he averaged only 2.8 assists per game, third on the Heat. As I wrote earlier, I am not worried by Napier’s struggles. The learning curve is much sharper for a point guard and especially in a summer league setting with players hailing from all over the world and little time to practice offensive sets. Another point to consider: Napier finalized his contract at the end of the summer league. With this final distraction off his mind it will be all basketball from now until training camp.

Alex Oriahki

AO Kings Gear

AO’s Kings Gear

July 12th the Sacramento Kings acquired the draft rights to Oriahki in exchange for guard Isaiah Thomas. Oriahki was drafted by the Suns in the second round of the 2013 NBA Draft but the Suns’ talented front court forced him to begin the season overseas. Oriahki started 4 games for the Kings in Vegas, averaging 3 points, 3 rebounds and 1 block per contest. This block against Cameron Bairstow and the Chicago Bulls made it to nba.com’s summer league highlights. This season, Oriahki faces another uphill battle to make a Kings roster featuring  veterans Rudy Gay, DeMarcus Cousins, Reggie Evans and Jason Thompson. If he is unable to make the Kings roster this year, Oriahki will return overseas or play another year with a D League affiliate.

Roscoe Smith

Undrafted in the 2014 NBA Draft, Smith earned an invite to play with the Lakers in Vegas. Scoe averaged 5 points and 2 rebounds in 13 minutes per game, playing with his typical high energy and intensity. Smith is a long shot to make a NBA roster this season and will most likely play overseas.

 

Sacramento Kings Championship Celebration via Snap Chat:

Kings Celebrate Championship

The Sacramento Kings celebrate their championship

2014 Orlando Summer League Recap

nba.com

nba.com

The 2014 Orlando Summer League ended July 11 with the Philadelphia 76ers taking home the trophy at the expense of Memphis. The OSL featured Shabazz Napier (Miami Heat), Jeremy Lamb (OKC Thunder), Niels Giffey (Memphis Grizzlies) and Lasan Kromah (Brooklyn Nets). Orlando was not particularly kind to the former Huskies, Giffey and Kromah struggled to find minutes playing behind team investments while Lamb and Napier laid bricks. Here are complete player statistics from Orlando and a closer look at Lamb/Napier’s numbers:

Player G GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG TO PPG
Lamb 3 3 31.3 .32 .174 .80 5.3 1.7 1.3 2.7 17.3
Napier 5 5 27.6 .273 .154 .80 3.0 4.6 1.8 4.8 9.2
Giffey 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Kromah 1 0 7.0 .33 0.0 0.0 1.0 0.0 0.0 2.0 2.0

Jeremy-Lamb-summer-league

nba.com

Jeremy Lamb

You can’t look at Lamb’s statistics without two numbers sticking out, 32 and 17. Lamb shot a horrid 4-23 (17%) from deep in 3 games and only 32% from the field overall. With such a silky stroke, those numbers are unfathomable. On the plus side, he did fill up the box score for the Thunder while playing 31 minutes per game, good for third in the league. Lamb’s 17.3 scoring mark (6th overall) and 80% from the free throw line at least show he can get to the line and put points on the board even when his shot is off. Conditioning may also have been a factor in the poor shooting- Lamb will by nothing but net once again by the start of the year.

espn.com

espn.com

Shabazz Napier 

Similar to Lamb, Shabazz Napier struggled shooting the ball in his first summer league. Napier shot only 27% from the field and a sub-Lamb 15% from three. What could possibly be more shocking than that? 3P% was not even the most alarming statistic. It’s 4.8. That is the number of turnovers Napier averaged in 5 OSL games, including 8 in a match-up with Celtics first-round pick Marcus Smart. Though that is unusually high, I am not worried about the turnovers- Napier can handle the basketball, we all know that. It takes time to adjust to the speed of the game and that is all he needs, time. If anything, Napier’s ability to battle through the turnovers and shooting troubles and still have the confidence to make plays (4.6 apg), defend (1.8 spg) and score the basketball (9.2 ppg on 80 ft%) should serve as a positive.  

2014 Las Vegas Summer League

The Sacramento Kings, featuring newly acquired center Alex Oriahki, have won the 2014 Las Vegas Summer League. Stay tuned for a recap of all UCONN players in Vegas including Jerome Dyson, Deandre Daniels and Shabazz Napier…