I just wanted to take the time to talk about a story line in the second round of the NCAA Tournament East Region (Pittsburgh, PA). The second round match-up between (1) Syracuse Orange and (8) Kansas St. Wildcats has an interesting twist to it. Three starters for the teams actually went to the same high school in Washington, DC. That high school is, Archbishop Carroll High School, which plays in the extremely competitive WCAC (Washington Catholic Athletic Conference). Through the years Archbishop Carroll has produced the likes of John Thompson, Jr., George Leftwich, Tom Hoover, Edward “Monk” Malloy, Eddie Jordan, David Hawkins, and many other college and professional athletes in various sports. Kansas St. forward Jamar Samuels played with Kansas St. guard Rodney McGruder before he eventually transferred to a prep school. The year after Jamar Samuels transferred from Archbishop Carroll, Kris Joseph, who is a forward for Syracuse, came to Archbishop Carroll via Montreal, Canada and played with Rodney McGruder for two seasons. The three star players also played AAU together with the world renowned DC Assault AAU organization, which has produced numerous college and professional basketball players. All three players are very versatile, with the combination of fundamentals and athletic ability to play basketball at the next level. I have had the pleasure of being able to coach, train, and mentor these players while teaching and coaching at Archbishop Carroll. It has been great watching them develop into the players I knew they could become. Joseph and Samuels are seniors and McGruder is a junior. There is a chance we will see all three players playing in the NBA and if not they all have the ability to make good money playing overseas. Keep Working Hard and Good Luck Fellas!!!!!
Posts Tagged ‘Aquil Bayyan’
2012 NCAA Second Rd. Match-up: Syracuse vs. Kansas St. Features 3 Archbishop Carroll HS (DC) TeammatesSaturday, March 17th, 2012
I would like to take the time to talk about the smartest backcourt in the history of the NBA. That backcourt, you may be wondering, is none other than the backcourt of the 2011-12 New York Knicks. Now we have all been inundated with the media attention surrounding Jeremy Lin who came from obscurity (or from “Bolivian”, as Mike Tyson would say) and catapulted to super stardom in a matter of 7 NBA games. What has been highlighted about Jeremy Lin is the fact that he is a graduate of Harvard University (currently ranked #1 academically by many collegiate ranking publications) with a degree in Economics. It seems as if he was well on his way to working on Wall Street, becoming an Economics professor, working for the Federal Reserve, or becoming a consultant.
Jeremy Lin’s starting backcourt mate, who is also in his second year playing in the NBA is Landry Fields, who happens to be a graduate of Stanford University (currently ranked #5 academically by many collegiate ranking publications) with a Communications Degree. If we look through the history of the NBA, I do not think we can find a backcourt that hailed from such highly rated tier 1 academic institutions. It seems that the collective IQ of the Knicks’ backcourt has translated to success on the court by winning 9 of their first 10 games as the Knicks primary backcourt. On the economic side of things, Jeremy Lin’s recent success has caused the New York Knicks internet sales to increase by 3000% and he is sure to get a raise on his $700,000 salary when he becomes a Free Agent at the end of the season.
I have found irony in the fact that Harvard has been ranked in the Top 25 College Basketball Polls for much of the NCAA season before recently dropping out of the Top 25. I wonder how much Harvard basketball coach Tommy Amaker used the fact that a former Harvard basketball player made it to the NBA while he was on the recruiting trail. It seems that the basketball talent pool at Harvard has increased significantly and may be a force to be reckoned with for a while, the way the University of Pennsylvania and Princeton University have done in the past. With less than 30 games left in the NBA season, let’s see if the academic resumes of the Knicks’ backcourt help them make it to the playoffs this year and into the second round.
After watching Norris Cole light up the Boston Celtics last night I decided to post this Blog from statements I made on our show (Episode #71 at the 28:15 mark) last Thursday December 22, 2011 here.
(This is posted from the actual show statements)
I just wanted to take to the time to talk about one of the NBA Rookies this year out of Cleveland State. This young man averaged 22 pts, 6 rebs, 5 asts, and 2 stls during his senior year which included a 41 point, 20 rebound, and 9 assist performance. His name is, Norris Cole, and he has the rare combination of handles, passing ability, three point shooting, mid range shooting, and pure toughness that can lead to an NBA guard having a long career. After watching Cole give out work during the NBA preseason, in limited minutes, I became a believer. He averaged 10 points and 5 asts during the preseason, but I felt as if he may be the missing piece for the Miami Heat in those crucial situations when they need a bucket from someone other than the Big 3 (Wade, Lebron, and Bosh). Watching Cole on the floor, you could see that he was not in awe of the Big 3 and that he did not mind taking big shots. I envisioned Cole hitting crucial shots every now and then when the Heat’s offense breaks down. I also envisioned Cole being effective when teams institute a zone defense. We all remember how the Heat struggled with zone defenses in the 2011 NBA Finals. (Shout out to the Dallas Mavericks zone defense that slowed down the Miami Heat) What I found interesting about Norris Cole off the court, is that he was the salutatorian of his high school’s graduating class and he graduated from Cleveland State with a Bachelors degree in Health Sciences. He is also the cousin of Philadelphia Eagles DE, Trent Cole. So it seems that Norris Cole is a well rounded, highly educated, and down to earth athlete who does not shrink back in big moments. Well, it should be interesting to see how this young man’s NBA career unfolds, because at the end of the day, it has only been 2 NBA games.
Join your 5 favorite radio hosts in The War Room this Thursday, September 8th to celebrate our 1-year anniversary show with us!
Tune in Thursday, September 8th at 6pm ET to hear Jimmy, Aquil, B. Austin, Devin, and Paul take you on a trip down “Memory Lane” to our very first episode from September 9th, 2010 and our favorite moments of our first year on the air! We’ll also be previewing the 2011 NFL season, which starts directly after the show! To tune in, go to www.WarRoomSports.com and click the “Listen Live” button…or dial 323-410-0012 to listen LIVE by phone.
Finally, if you own an Android phone or tablet…an I-Phone, I-Pad, or I-Pod, please go to your Market and/or App Store and download the FREE War Room Sports mobile app! It’s the VERY BEST way to stay up on all of our media content!
I just want to take a minute to talk about some interesting observations I’ve made as the NBA playoffs come down to its final four teams. Many people, including the War Room Generals, picked the Boston Celtics to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals this year. Unfortunately for them, they were sent home in 5 games by the Miami Heat. In noticing the manner of which the Celtics were easily bounced by the Miami Heat, I began to wonder, analyze, pontificate, cerebrate (which means to think, not celebrate), cogitate, evaluate, and even speculate…all while I took the time to defecate, about what happened to the Boston Celtics this year.
Tom Thibodeau used to be an assistant coach and defensive mastermind for the Boston Celtics who went to 2 of the last 3 NBA finals, winning 1 and going pretty far in the playoffs without Kevin Garnett in 2009. He is now coaching my Chicago Bulls and has led us to 62 wins, the best record in the NBA, and won the NBA Coach of the Year award in the process. All I have to say is…Tom Thibodeau is still coaching right now.
The NBA player we all know and love, and who probably gets way more attention than he should; Kendrick Perkins. While we all agree that his skill set is weak and that he is not really as tough as advertised, he has helped his teams to 3 of the last 4 NBA Conference Finals and he still talks to Raon (I left the “J” out on purpose) Rondo every day, for what it’s worth. All I have to say is…Kendrick is still playing right now.
Nate Robinson; you all probably forgot that he was playing for the Thunder until you saw J.J. Barea cross his face off and fish-fry-bake “Lil Nate” in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. I remember in last year’s playoffs when “Lil Nate” would come into the game and give the Celtics a lift off the bench, hitting key three pointers, finishing in the lane, all while jumping around, pounding his chest, and screaming while getting the fans fired up. All I have to say is…Nate is still playing right now.
Brian Scalabrine, now you may laugh and wonder why I am even talking about a player who averaged 1.5 points, 1 rebound, 0.5 assists, 0.2 blocks, and 0.2 steals for the Celtics last year, and followed that up with similar solid stats with my Bulls this year. You can never underestimate the impact of an NBA player in a suit or warm up who has 0% chance of getting into the game, cheering his teammates on. All I have to say is…Brian is still cheering right now.
All this thought has caused me to wonder if the Celtics would still be playing if this coach and these three players were still a part of the team. I guess we will never know.
On the heels of Mike Vick speaking out against dog fighting apps found in the Google Android Market, I wanted to take the time to reflect back on statements made by Tucker Swanson McNear Carlson, who is a conservative political news analyst for The Daily Caller and the Fox News Network. It can be noted that Tucker has had his discrepancies and debates with The Daily Show’s John Stewart over political issues in the past. In January 2011, while filling in for Sean Hannity on Fox News’ Hannity Tonight, Tucker commented on President Barack Obama uplifting the Eagles for giving Mike Vick a second chance, he said:
“I’m a Christian, I’ve made mistakes myself, I believe fervently in second chances, but Michael Vick killed dogs, and he did in a heartless and cruel way. And I think, personally, he should’ve been executed for that. He wasn’t, but the idea that the President of the United States would be getting behind someone who murdered dogs?”
After I heard those statements, I was like WOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWW!!!! Now, as a Christian, I am trying to figure out which part of the Bible backs those statements up? For the record, I have read the entire Bible a few times and have yet to come across that scripture, but I have read where the famous apostle Paul, who wrote much of the New Testament, ordered and oversaw early Christians being killed before he became a Christian himself, after he was given second chance. Later, Tucker Carlson recanted his statements and said:
“This is what happens when you get too emotional,” Carlson told Fox’s Sean Hannity. “I’m a dog lover, I love them and…I know a lot about what Michael Vick did…I overspoke. I’m uncomfortable with the death penalty under any circumstances. Of course I don’t think he should be executed, but I do think that what he did is truly appalling.”
I am glad Tucker Carlson repudiated his earlier statements and realized how off base he was with his axiom. There we have it, the beauty of freedom of speech and the beauty of public apology. It’s the American way!
Well, Well, Well, now that we are into the second round of the NBA Playoffs I wanted to take some time to reflect back on the drama and hype that surrounded the 2011 NBA season from training camp to the end of the regular season…The Carmelo Anthony Trade Saga. After it was all said and done you now have the over-hyped New York Knicks who are sitting home after a first round playoff flame-out where they could not even win one game. Carmelo’s former team, the Denver Nuggets, played like a top 4 NBA team since the trade, finishing the season with a 17-7 record, climbing to the 5th seed in the West, compared to the Knicks 14-14 record since the trade. Since the famed and drawn-out Carmelo Anthony Trade Saga, all I have to say in regards to the Knicks being back is…”we don’t believe you, you need more people” – (Jay-Z).
In terms of Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Amare Stoudemire, and D’Antoni’s system being the savior that would get them a title; I am quite skeptical. I personally think that the Knicks are just a high-scoring, no defense playing “Phoenix Suns of the East” who can’t win meaningful, grind-it-out games in the playoffs. I have been saying for the past three months that I expect this move to end badly with the Knicks getting bounced from the first round of the playoffs 3 years in a row, but at this rate, D’Antoni may only have a half of a season to prove himself in 2011-12. Before the trade, the Knicks were 28-26, and since the trade they are 14-14. The good thing is they have some years to get it together as an organization. The thinking is they will go after Chris Paul or Deron Williams next summer, but even with those additions, they will win more regular season games but I doubt D’Antoni’s run and gun + no defense system will get them an NBA Championship. I wonder how long it will be before GM Donnie Walsh, coach D’Antoni, Melo, and Amare want out of NY and Isaiah Thomas is back running the Knicks with a starting lineup that features Stephon Marbury, Quentin Richardson, Jared Jeffries, Renaldo Balkman, and Eddy Curry?
I wanted to talk about all the attention Brigham Young University’s (BYU), All-American basketball player and potential NBA first round pick, Jimmer Fredette has been getting. Jimmer was voted the 2011 NCAA Men’s Basketball Player of the Year, Wooden Award winner, Naismith Award winner, Adolph Rupp trophy winner, and Oscar Robertson trophy winner. Now, we have been very descriptive here in The War Room in regards to Jimmer’s rare skill set and his dominance of the NCAA this year. This dominance has included multiple 40 point performances off of an array of long three pointers, pull up jumpers, cross over dribbles, in and out dribbles, hesitations, lefty layups, floaters, between the legs and behind the back dribbles, and supreme confidence.
It was reported last week that Jimmer was banned from attending classes at BYU because the university felt that he was too much of a distraction on campus and in the classroom. Now let’s be mindful, BYU is not used to having such a college star grace its campus even though they have had 2 Super Bowl winning QB’s in Jim McMahon and Steve Young, and an NBA championship guard named Danny Ainge.
In my opinion, I think that is a bit much to tell Jimmer that he has to take the rest of his classes during his senior year online, but hey, BYU abides by their own rules (see BYU Honor Code) My only questions are: Will he be able to attend his graduation? If not, that means he has to get his degree scanned and emailed to him. My second question is, Did the university do this for fear that the female students would be more tempted to break the honor code with Jimmer because of his fame and stardom? I can’t call it, I just wish Jimmer and his current girlfriend (Whitney Wonnacott) the best and I hope he has a successful NBA career.
I just want to take a minute to go the route of my Homie & co-host Aquil Bayyan and offer a public apology to one Mr. Derrick Rose. Prior to, during, and shortly thereafter the 2008 NBA draft, I loudly proclaimed that Mike Beasley should have been the #1 pick instead of the young Mr. Rose. I saw Rose’s athletic upside in his lone season at the University of Memphis but never in a million years thought he could also become a prototypical point guard on top of that. Less than 3 years after draft day, he is averaging 24.5 points, 8.1 assists, and 4.3 rebounds per game, he’s in the midst of a VERY legitimate MVP campaign, and though I don’t give him this title quite yet, he is arguably the best point guard in the NBA (I personally still reserve that title for Deron Williams).
Now hindsight is always 20/20 and I never actually said he wouldn’t be good, but I was unaware of the intangibles that this youngster possesses that sets him apart from the “pretender” category. His desire to be great is extremely evident in both his work ethic and his level of what seems to be GENUINE humility. When he came into the league, his jumpshot had a body-cast on it. He, unlike Raon Rondo (yeah I said Raon…I left the J out on purpose…think about it for a minute) has put in tireless work to become a better shooter…and a better shot has disallowed people to continue to play off of him and limit his athleticism by forcing him to shoot. Let’s put this into perspective…he’s no Ray Allen, but he has arrived at a point where you must respect his jumper, leaving defenders at his mercy and vulnerable to ape-like highlight reels and poster shots (yeah I said ape-like…get over it…it’s a compliment). He has also become a much better passer and playmaker than I’d expected.
So ball on young Mr. Rose and continue to prove all the doubters wrong…if you still have any. This is one sports analyst that you’ve won over. Now go collect your MVP trophy and take a bow.
I would like to shed some light on the disgraced former track star and Olympic Gold medalist Marion
Jones. As we all may remember, Marion Jones won 5 Medals in the 2000 Sydney, Australia Olympics and became known as the fastest woman on the planet. After her ex husband, track star CJ Hunter and her ex boyfriend and father of her son track star Tim Montgomery were tied to performance enhancing drug use while they were with Jones and her ties to Victor Conte and BALCO, all signs pointed to her being guilty of steroid use. Recently, Marion Jones has been in the news for serving 6 months in prison from March 2008 to September 2008 for lying to a federal grand jury about her steroid use and for pleading guilty to a check fraud scandal with the aforementioned Tim Montgomery. In 2007, she married sprinter and Olympic medalist Obadale Thompson who is from Barbados and they have two children together.
What many people may not know is that Marion Jones once scored 48 points in a high school basketball game while growing up in Southern California and led the University of North Carolina to the 1994 NCAA Championship as a starting freshman Point Guard.
She had to make the decision between track and basketball and eventually decided to pursue track full-time and graduated from UNC in 1997. While a professional track star she was even drafted by the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA in 2003. After being banned from Olympic competition and having the majority of her medals taken away, she decided to try her hand at basketball again at the ripe age of 34 this past year. She played for the Tulsa Shock this season and averaged 3pts and 2rebs in 9 minutes a game shooting 52% from the field. In the last 3 games of the season she averaged 11pts, 6 rebs, and 2 stls while playing 22 minutes a game and shooting 57% from the field. With increased playing time is it possible we could see Marion Jones playing in a WNBA all star game one day?
During the WNBA offseason Marion Jones has been on a Book Tour for her new book “On the Right Track” and has been conducting interviews. Famous director John Singleton recently did a documentary on Jones titled “Press Pause” detailing the journey of Marion Jones’ rise to stardom and recent legal troubles. In regards to Marion Jones being a black female who has served time for her involvement with steroids and lying about it while no one else has served time. Singleton stated:
“Come on now, it’s just common sense — nothing’s going to happen to any of those guys. Those players will not see the inside of a jail cell. They don’t want to open up a can of worms – be it the IOC, NFL or MLB, be it what’s legal or not legal — going back over the last 30 years. They’re only going to go so far with those people and then they’ll let it taper off.”
One excerpt from the book details how Marion Jones spent 23 hours a day in solitary confinement with no TV or computer for 48 days for defending herself against her cell mate, who allegedly attacked her.
While the general public may have written off Marion Jones and label her as a failure, a cheat, a miscreant, or disgrace to her country I look forward to her redeeming herself on the basketball court these next few years and becoming an ambassador of what not to do while speaking around the country.
Aquil “Quil” Bayyan of The War Room, For War Room Sports