"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Recruits: Big East 2nd best path to NBA, and MU 2nd best NBA path in BE

With the guaranteed 2-year contracts going to 1st round picks Wesley Johnson, Greg Monroe, Dominique Jones and our own Lazar Hayward, the Big East has 69 players coaching or playing the NBA, more than any other conference except the ACC (74).

What is truly amazing is that if Hamady N'Diaye of Rutgers makes the Wizards then all 16 Big East teams will have former players in the NBA (despite all having fewer tams, no other conference has every team represented in the NBA).

Not only does the Big East have the 2nd most players in the NBA, but among Big East schools, Marquette ranks 2nd at getting players to the NBA. Here is the complete list:

1st) Connecticut 12 - Allen, Ray (G-Boston), Thabeet, Hasheem (C-Memphis), Okafor, Emeka (C-New Orleans), Boone, Josh (C-New Jersey), Villanueva, Charlie (F-Detroit), Gay, Rudy (SF-Memphis), Hamilton, Richard (G/F-Detroit), Butler, Caron (SG-Dallas), Gordon, Ben (G-Detroit), Williams, Marcus (PG-Memphis), Ollie, Kevin (PG-Oklahoma City), Price, A. J. (PG-Indiana). Trying out (2nd round, 10-day or end-of-season contacts, etc.); Robinson, Stanley (SF-Orlando).

2nd) Marquette 8 - Doc Rivers (Coach-Boston), Wesley Matthews (G-Utah), Jim Boylan (Assistant-Milwaukee), Maurice Lucas (Assistant-Portland), Novak, Steve (F-LA Clippers), Hayward, Lazar (SF-Minnesota), Wade, Dwyane (SG-Miami), Diener, Travis (PG-Portland).

3rd) Notre Dame 7 - Monty Williams (Coach-New Orleans), Adrian Dantley (Assistant-Denver), Bill Laimbeer (Assistant-Minnesota), John Shumate (Assistant-Phoenix), Murphy, Troy (PF-Indiana), Carroll, Matt (SG-Dallas), Quinn, Chris (PG-New Jersey). Trying out (2nd round, 10-day or end-of-season contacts, etc.); Kurz, Rob (F-Chicago), Harangody, Luke (F-Boston).

4th) Syracuse 7 - Frank Hamblen (Assistant-LA Lakers), Thomas, Etan (C-Oklahoma City), Warrick, Hakim (PF-Chicago), Greene, Donté (SF-Sacramento), Anthony, Carmelo (SF-Denver), Johnson, Wesley (SF-Minnesota), Flynn, Jonny (PG-Minnesota). Trying out (2nd round, 10-day or end-of-season contacts, etc.); Rautins, Andy (G-New York).

5th) Villanova 6 - Alvin Williams (Assistant-Toronto), Allen, Malik (PF-Denver), Cunningham, Dante (PF-Portland), Thomas, Tim (F-Dallas), Foye, Randy (G-Washington), Lowry, Kyle (PG-Houston).

6th) DePaul 5 - Tyrone Corbin (Assistant-Utah), Hunter, Steven (C-Memphis), Simmons, Bobby (SF-New Jersey), Richardson, Quentin (SF-Miami), Chandler, Wilson (G/F-New York).

7th) Georgetown 5 - Patrick Ewing (Assistant-Orlando), Hibbert, Roy (C-Indiana), Monroe, Greg (F/C-Detroit), Green, Jeff (PF-Oklahoma City), Summers, DaJuan (F-Detroit).

8th) Pittsburgh 4 - Tim Grgurich (Assistant-Denver), Gray, Aaron (C-New Orleans), Blair, DeJuan (F/C-San Antonio), Young, Sam (SF-Memphis).

9th) Louisville 3 - Clark, Earl (F-Phoenix), Williams, Terrence (SF-New Jersey), García, Francisco (SG-Sacramento).

10th) Seton Hall 3
- Adrian Griffin (Assistant-Milwaukee), Mark Bryant (Assistant-Oklahoma City), Dalembert, Samuel (C-Sacramento).

11th) South Florida 3 - Jones, Solomon (C-Indiana), Jones, Dominique (SG-Dallas), Atkins, Chucky (G-Detroit).

12th) Cincinnati 2 - Maxiell, Jason (F/C-Detroit), Martin, Kenyon (PF-Denver). Possible addition Stephenson, Lance (SG-Indiana).

13th) St. John's 2 - Robert Werdann (Assistant-New Orleans), Artest, Ron (SF-LA Lakers).

14th) Providence 1 - Gomes, Ryan (SF-Portland).

15th) West Virginia 1 - Alexander, Joe (SF-Chicago). Trying out (2nd round, 10-day or end-of-season contacts, etc.); Butler, Da'Sean (SF-Miami) and Ebanks, Devin (SF-LA Lakers).

16th) Rutgers 0 – None. Trying out (2nd round, 10-day or end-of-season contacts, etc.); N'Diaye, Hamady (C-Washington).

The players listed are among the 593 players who are currently on an NBA roster, AND are also; 1, a head coach; 2, an assistant coach; 3, a 1st round pick with a guaranteed 2-year contract; or 4, a returning player who earned at least $100,000 last year in the NBA. Any player who earned less than $100,000 last year is typically someone who was just picked up on a 10-day or end of season contract, which is why they are listed with 2nd round players who often don’t make rosters under “trying out.” Of course there are other players like Jerel McNeal getting a good look from Charlotte who are “trying out” but not listed.

MU > Wisconsin and Big East > Big 10

The good news for recruiting in state is that Marquette’s 8 former players top the 2 for Wisconsin, and the Big East easily tops the Big 10 by a 69 to 42 margin.

Here is the list for Wisconsin and the conference-by-conference ranking:

Wisconsin 2 - Harris, Devin (PG-New Jersey), Finley, Michael (SG/SF-Boston). Trying out (2nd round, 10-day or end-of-season contacts, etc.); Stiemsma, Greg (C-Minnesota) and Butch, Brian (C-Denver).

Top Conferences (top 2 teams in each conference)
1. ACC (74) – UNC 22, Duke 17
2. Big East (69) – UConn 12, Marquette 8
3. Pac 10 (60) – UCLA 16, Arizona 11
4. SEC (53) – Kentucky 16, Florida 10
5. Big 12 (44) – Kansas 12, Texas 10
6. Big 10 (42) – Ohio State 10, Michigan State and Indiana tied 6
7. Atlantic 10 (20) – Xavier 5, St. Joe’s 3
8. Mountain West (14) – UNLV 7, New Mexico 2
9. WAC (10) – Fresno State 3, Nevada 3
10. Conference USA (10) – Memphis 5, Marshall 2 AND West Coast Conference (10) – Gonzaga 3, Santa Clara 2

Friday, June 25, 2010

LAZAR! 7th first round pick means MU only school with 4 NBA seniors since 2005

I was on a three hour drive through rural Alabama wearing a Lazar Hayward jersey last night when I heard the crackling voice from Cincinnati’s ESPN affiliate say the word “Lazar” and I knew Marquette’s leader had defied all odds to become the 7th player in MU history to be selected in the 1st round.

That announcement guaranteed $850,800 for the upcoming season and $914,600 for the following season. After four years of unselfish play that included playing out of position for the good of the team and willing MU to the NCAA after the Three Amigos left, no one could have deserved it more.

His guaranteed contract as a first round pick means that he will join Travis Diener (2005), Steve Novak (2006) and Wesley Matthews (2009) as the 4th player since 2005 to play all four years at Marquette and then go straight to the NBA. In an era of one-and-dones, Marquette is the only school that can make that claim.

Seniors to go to NBA since 2005

FOUR SENIORS (1 school): Marquette (Travis Diener 2005, Steve Novak 2006, Wesley Matthews 2009 and Lazar Hayward 2010.)

THREE SENIORS (4 schools): Arizona (Channing Frye, Salim Stoudamire, Hassan Adams), Duke (Shelden Williams, JJ Redick, Daniel Ewing), UNC (Tyler Hansbrough, Danny Green, David Noel) and Washington (Brandon Roy, Jon Brockman, Quincy Pondexter).

TWO SENIORS (14 schools): Boston College, Florida, Florida St., Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan State, New Mexico, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, UCLA, UConn and Villanova.

ONE SENIOR: 32 schools

ZERO SENIORS: 296 schools

As for the history books, The list of “First Round Pro Picks” for Marquette on page 262 of ESPN’s Basketball Encyclopedia will have to be expanded to seven: Dean Meminger (1971 New York), Jim Chones (1972, New York ABA), Maurice Lucas (1974 Chicago), Bo Ellis (1977 Washington), Butch Lee (1978 Atlanta), Dwyane Wade (2003 Miami) and Lazar Hayward (2010 Washington).

After being listed as a possible late 2nd round pick or undrafted by ESPN and most mock draft services, Lazar Hayward’s four years of hard work was rewarded when he became the 7th Marquette player ever selected in the first round. The closest prediction came from www.nbadraft.net, which moved Lazar up to the 6th pick of the 2nd round the day of the draft, but even that was not high enough.

Three months after being snubbed for All-Big East honors, Lazar at least 12 spots ahead three of the 1st team selections in Da’Sean Butler (42nd pick), Luke Harangody (52nd pick) and Scottie Reynolds (undrafted). I hope all the Big East players make it, but I’m glad the NBA scouts and coaches who are hired and fired based on picking the best players got it right.

Fellow Big East players Dominque Jones, Wes Johnson and Greg Monroe joined Lazar in the first round, so will also enjoy guaranteed contracts the next couple of years.

Certainly Kentucky can take pride in being the first school ever to have five players chosen in the first round, but with four of those five players playing only one year for the Wildcats, I’ll take getting to watch Diener, Novak, Matthews, Hayward as well as McNeal and James for four years each over Calipari’s one-and-dones anytime.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

NBA Draft Day: Lazar Hayward Day?

The 2010 NBA Draft is just hours away and as GoMarquette reported earlier in the week Marquette graduate Lazar Hayward has moved up the draft boards recently and stands a good chance of being picked tonight. The Buffalo News caught up with its hometown hero recently, so check that out. In the meantime, here are a few memorable clips of Lazar to pass the time until the draft begins.

Lazar posterizing a Mountaineer

Lazar in an NBA prospect profile

Lazar dominating the all-star game at the 2010 Final Four

Homer's interview with Lazar from 2009

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Hayward could give MU 13th biggest NBA presence

Only 1% of Division I college basketball players make the jump to the NBA each year, so the fact that Lazar Hayward could become the 8th former Marquette player drawing an NBA paycheck next year puts MU in elite company.

Lazar has shot up to a projected 38th pick in Thursday's draft (www.nbadraft.net), and all 16 times a Marquette player has gone in the first two rounds, he has played in the NBA. In fact, Wesley Matthews was the 14th MU player NOT drafted in the first two rounds to still make the NBA, meaning Lazar could be MUs 31st NBA player, and he could join seven former MU players who were drawing an NBA paycheck last season.

As for the future, DJO emerged as a potential future NBA player when he was selected as one of the Top 15 college guards by Chris Paul’s camp, and 5-stars like Vander Blue have a pretty good record of making the NBA (Note to Vander, we are talking about the 2014 draft for you AFTER your 4-year career at Marquette):

Colleges with the most NBA players, coaches and projected 2010 draft picks
1 UNC 23
2 Duke 18
3 UCLA 17
4 Kentucky 16
5 UConn 13
6 Kansas 13
7 Arizona 12
8 Texas 11
9 Ohio State 11
10 Florida 10
11 Georgia Tech 10
12 Notre Dame 9
13 Marquette 8
14 Alabama 8
15 Oklahoma 8
16 LSU 7
17 Memphis 7
18 Wake Forest 7
19 Syracuse 7
20 Southern California 7

Ed Davis’ projected 10th pick gives the Tar Heels 23 former players, while Jon Scheyer's rather shaky projection as the 52nd of 60 picks (14 spots behind Lazar), gives Duke 18 former players to break a tie with UCLA for 2nd.

Kentucky’s five projected picks starting with John Wall shoots them up to 4th place, while Kansas and Texas move up the list as the only other two teams with more than two projected picks this year.

Obviously, these counts won’t necessarily be the same as the actual rosters at the beginning of the next season. We could have our hearts broken like last year’s draft with Lazar not being called, Doc Rivers (or coaches Jim Boylan or Maurice Lucas for that matter) could hang it up, and Steve Novak or Travis Diener could always be cut, though Wes Matthews and Dwyane Wade look like pretty sure things to be back.

However, this is true of any of the teams listed. There are very few sure bets to be back as a player or coach. And we can still hope for McNeal or James to follow Tom Copa's steps by going oversees for a couple of years before coming back to play in the NBA.

The important thing is that when players like Vander Blue get down to their short list, they are only going to consider programs that have shown they can produce NBA players. With Buzz appearing to be able to develop players like Wes Matthews, Jimmy Butler and DJO, there are really only seven schools that can argue that they clearly offer a better chance for a player to make the NBA (Arizona, Connecticut, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, UCLA) .

Marquette is really on par with the other 13 schools on this list, and ahead of the other 327 Division I schools.

MU offers recruits the opportunity to play in front of the 10th largest crowds in the country, play for one of only 11 programs to make it to the NCAA tournament all of the last five years, and go to the only program in the country where they have this strong a chance to make the NBA AND don’t have to compete with football players for attention on campus. I mean really, why would any 4- or 5-star want to go anywhere else?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

High Stakes Realignment – 94% of 4-stars chose BCS or Memphis

The Big East gives 20% to 25% of all US Television sets access to Marquette basketball games, which is crucial to those of us who don’t live in Chicago or Wisconsin. More important, it provides advertising in New York and elsewhere that the University could not afford to buy, and has helped MU land nine 4-star or better players since joining the Big East.

Yes, the stakes of the current realignment are high. Signing even a single 4-star player in a class is a rare feat if you are not in a BCS conference. Last year 83 four- or five star recruits chose either Memphis or a BCS school, leaving only St. Joe’s, Dayton, Xavier, LA-Monroe and Florida International with ONE 4-star player, and the other 278 non-BCS programs without a single 4-star player.

For the second time in six years, the Big East’s status is threatened by Conference expansion. However, the Big East came out even stronger in basketball after the ACC’s 2004 raid of Virginia Tech and Miami, and there are five scenario’s under which Marquette and Big East basketball could not only survive but come out as strong or stronger.

First, let’s acknowledge the current BCS pecking order, since only the top 4 to 6 conferences on this list will retain BCS status for football purposes:

1. Big 10 - $23 million payout
2. SEC – over $17 million, tops in football now
3. Pac10 – if they get the Texas teams, they nail down the No. 3 spot
4. ACC – would be the 4th BCS ahead of Big East unless…
5. Big East – see below
6. Mountain West Conference – Boise State and eyeing Big 12 leftovers
7. Big 12 – on brink of dissolving unless Texas keeps it together this week

Thank goodness B10 picked Nebraska over Rutgers first

As scary as this week was, the important good news is that by picking Nebraska instead of Rutgers, the Big 10 actually set a realignment in motion that – temporarily at least – made the Big East the 5th strongest BCS conference, ahead of the endangered Big 12. The Nebraska move provides five potential scenarios that keep Marquette with BCS-level status:

1. The Big 10 does not go to 16 teams. The first thing we all need to remember is that the Big 10 does not need to go to 16 teams. They remain No. 1 with only the SEC anywhere close, and going to 12 teams adds the lucrative Conference title game. The immediate impact of adding another four more teams would be for all 12 Athletic Directors to give up about $6 million per year, so the ADs are going to have to feel pretty confident in the long-term benefit of a 16-team conference to give up that kind of money while the economy stinks. If the Big 10 doesn’t go to 16 teams, then the Big East could remain largely intact to remain a 5th BCS Conference.

2. Notre Dame joins the Big East in football. I’ve rooted against Notre Dame football since they beat Bama in 1971, but if they were to choose the Big East over remaining independent or joining the ACC or Big 10, they would assure the BCS-status and I’d grudgingly be very thankful.

The first two scenarios would solve the threat without the Big East doing anything proactive, but if they don’t happen, there are still three proactive steps the Big East can take to stay one of four to six elite conferences.

3. The Big East acquires Kansas, K-State and perhaps even Missouri. Make no mistake, the Mountain West hopes to pass the Big East in the pecking order by adding K-State and Kansas to their recent acquisition of Boise State to make the case that they should take the BCS spot. TCU will fight against allowing Baylor into the conference. If the Big East were to claim the Kansas schools and any other combination of Baylor and Missouri, it can stay ahead of the MWC, make the case for BCS renewal, and create an incredible basketball conference.

4. The Big East passes a weakened, SEC-raided ACC. Right now the assumption is that if we go to four 16-team Super Conferences, then the ACC beats out the Big East for the fourth and final spot. However, just remember that the Big 12 was way ahead of the Big East until the potential raid by the Pac 10. Here in SEC country there is some talk of a pure Florida-Virginia grab by the SEC (Miami, Flo State, Virginia and Virginia Tech let the SEC dominate the Florida markets and add DC and Virginia’s Hampton Roads market). This would leave the ACC with five teams from the Carolinas to go along with Georgia Tech, Maryland and Boston College. While the ACC would certainly try to raid the Big East to replace those teams, it also creates the possibility that Boston College would get tired of fighting to make it to an ACC championship game attended by 7,000 fans, and come back where it belongs. If BC came back to the Big East, Maryland might consider a New York venue for their conference title after years of complaining about having to play in Carolina almost every year. Unfortunately, this scenario would become less likely if former Bama coach Gene Stallings is successful in getting Texas A&M to go to the SEC instead, because that turns their attention west instead of north to Virginia.

5. Dumped elite basketball-only schools pull off one extra High Major conference. If the first four scenarios fail and all the Big East football teams are lost, then the task is to form one basketball conference that is on par with the BCS conferences for basketball. Such a conference could compete for 4- and 5-star athletes by giving them the only major conference they could attend to be the big stars on campus rather than be overshadowed by the football players on campus. While the payouts would be much lower on a school-by-school basis, the budgets could be as strong since none of the schools would incur the huge costs of running a football program. Even assuming a worst-case scenario under which all Big East football programs left for the Big 10 and ACC, the remaining schools could combine with the Atlantic 10 and a few other elite programs to form a Conference as good as any BCS conference in basketball:

Butler, Dayton, DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Memphis, Old Dominion, Providence, Richmond, Saint Joseph's, Seton Hall, St. John's, Temple, VCU, Villanova and Xavier.

The only teams in that conference with football are Temple, which plays football only in the MAC, and Memphis, who hopefully would figure out something to do with possibly the worst Division 1 football team in the country.

In basketball, Memphis No. 55 Pomeroy ranking last year would have put them in the Top 8 of all six of the BCS conferences. In that new conference, Memphis would have ranked as the 11th best team. Under this scenario recruits could be offered a spot in the deepest basketball conference in the country, with New York and many other major markets intact, and it could be the only of the five major basketball conferences on which they could be the biggest stars on campus ahead of the football players at all BCS schools.

Crazy times – but we have hope.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Buzz Williams on The Difference Network

Great video. Sit back and enjoy these 10 minutes. Classic Buzz.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Hold on to your ass....the first domino has fallen...conference realignment begins

Well, we've all known it's coming and the first domino dropped today. Nebraska is going to the Big Ten, which is perfect since the "N" stands for knowledge and the Big Ten already had 11 schools in the fold. A marriage in heaven. One of the most boring brands of football played (at Nebraska) now goes to easily the most boring football conference in America, the Big Ten.

Most likely the destruction of the Big 12 is all but assured, with 4 to 6 schools likely to go to the Pac Ten (soon to be Pac 14 or Pac 16). But that's only where the initial fun begins, and more importantly where Marquette is is impacted greatly.

Without football, Marquette is a bystander while all the girls get invited to the dance, even the really ugly ones with bad breath and hairy arm pits. The reason is simple, no football means not wanted in conference realignment, at least from a BCS perspective.

Now, it's possible (perhaps even likely) that my view point is skewed and in Debbie Downer overdrive, but let's just play along and say it isn't. Here's what could be happening and fast.

Nebraska to the Big Ten. Are they done? Maybe, but could add 2 to 4 more (Missouri, Rutgers, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, etc)
6 Big 12 schools to the Pac Ten \ Pac 16

What does the SEC do? They sure as hell aren't going to sit on 12 schools and give up that revenue. Look for them to add 4 schools either from the Big East or the ACC (Florida State, South Florida, West Virginia, Louisville, are all candidates)

How about the ACC? Will they try to cut the SEC off at the pass and grab Syracuse, Rutgers and maybe Pitt and some other school?

Which leaves us with the Big East, the weakest of the BCS football conferences to begin with. In my eyes, this conference is dead, at least in football. It's going to lose prominent members, not gain them for football. Sure, Central Florida or Memphis might want to join, or Houston and even a Kansas or Kansas State, but that's a patch work situation.

Marquette, Villanova, St. John's, DePaul, Georgetown? What becomes of these schools? Could there be some kind of conference alliances that allow members to be in football for one conference but basketball for another? Unlikely, but wilder things have happened.

It is entirely possible if enough of the Big East football members find other homes that the Big East is relegated to a basketball only conference. At that point, you embrace that legacy and history and make it the best basketball only league you can. You add Xavier, UMass, maybe Saint Louis and Temple. Let's face it, good programs (some even very good) but not the Big East.

At the end of the day, if all this happens, then MU is going to be in a BCS-less conference which is not a good thing. As Bill Self of Kansas put it bluntly, "I'm not in panic mode yet, but I'm very concerned," Self said. "I believe that Kansas will be OK no matter what, but for us to continue to compete at the level where we've been competing, and recruit at that level, I really believe that we need to be aligned with a BCS conference."

Bill Self is right and you don't have to be in Kansas anymore to share that same line of thinking.

So grab you asses folks, because the next month plus is going to be a wild ride that could have a profound affect on Marquette University athletics and the Big East for decades to come.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Davante Gardner beats out 3- and 4-star players for Virginia All-State honors

Davante Gardner has been chosen ahead of all other state 3-star players, and even some 4-star players, to be named 1st team All-State in Virginia.

Virginia continues to be a strong basketball state, including 15 current 3-star players and 12 that are 4-star or higher. Just two years ago my alma mater of Benedictine in Richmond, Virginia produced the No. 4 recruit in the country in Ed Davis. I believe this is an excellent sign that the coaches who have watched Davante continue to improve and shed weight during his 23-ppg, 13-rpg senior campaign chose him over all of his fellow 3-star recruits and even over some 4-star recruits for the honor.

Davante is joined on the All-State front line by highly sought after 4-star juniors in Dorian Finney-Smith (who also had listed Marquette as one of many potentials for 2011) and Travis McKie (Wake Forest bound after playing in my native city of Richmond).

The 4-star players Davante beat out for the honor include the likes CJ Barksdale (out of Danville, Virginia Tech-bound). He beat out fellow 3-stars such as Dimitri Batten (going to Gtown killer Old Dominion) and Andrew White, a junior out of the Richmond area.

The fact that the coaches at least seem to think Davante has gotten better than all the other 3-star players and at least some of the 4-star players is an excellent sign, because as I’ve documented on this blog before, 3-star players usually have very little impact their freshman year in the Big East while 4-star players usually have an immediate impact worth a couple of additional wins. If the high school coaches’ evaluation of his current level is indicative of Davante really being a 4-star level 6-foot-9, 280-pound big boy inside, then this signing really could be the breakthrough big man we’ve all been waiting for since Robert Jackson went to the Final Four.

To be fair, this does not prove that Davante is now one of the top 5 players in the state. The coaches also picked a backcourt of small guards who I assume are your typical awesome high school players that are not big time college prospects in Melvin Henderson from Roanoke and Max Lenox of WT Woodson (the high school from the movie Remember the Titans).

Clearly, if the coaches were picking the best five players in the state, the back court would have been the Oak Hill backcourt of 5-star Doron Lamb (going to Kentucky) and 4-star Juwan Staten (going to Dayton). However, the coaches don’t consider these players out of the Oak Hill machine that scheduled only seven games against Virginia teams, including beating my alma mater 79-65, as they continually play for the national title.

However, between the continuing reports of great progress from Chris Otule, and this latest indication that Davante Gardner has worked himself to a 4-star level, guard play may not be the only thing that excites the Bradley Center in the future … and having a shot at Virginia talent in future years would not be a bad thing either.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Quick Links

Welcome back from Memorial Day to the NBA-version of today's links

First, Tim did a write-up of Lazar for Ballin' is a Habit. (And before anyone criticizes Tim for talking about Lazar's lateral quickness, note that it was written before the draft testing results came out). Speaking of which, check out Rosiak's blog post on how Lazar measures up. He did awesome. Not only that, but even Andy Katz is giving Lazar some love on ESPN.

As a reminder, the NBA draft is on June 24th, and we see that Lazar is showing up as a second round pick on many sites (nbadraft.net, draftexpress, collegehoops.net.

GoMarquette.com has a nice interview with Wesley Matthews. The entire interview is embedded below.