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The **GROAT** argument: Shane Battier
Shane Battier is the GROAT Greatest Role [player] Of All Time
Role player as defined by Red Auerbach: “For Auerbach, the key was to look beyond individual honors and focus on the team. Specifically, Auerbach and the Celtics are considered to be the first organization to popularize the concept of a “role player.” According to Auerbach, a role player is someone “who willingly undertakes a thankless job that has to be done in order to make the whole package fly.” Auerbach went on to add that the Celtics represent a philosophy that in its simplest form maintains that victory belongs to the team: “Individual honors are nice, but no Celtic has ever gone out of his way to achieve them,” he said. “We have never had the league’s top scorer. In fact, we won seven league championships without placing even one among the league’s top ten scorers. Our pride was never rooted in statistics.””
After his illustrious college career, Shane came into the league as a player expected to be the key go-to scorer, but alongside players like Pau Gasol and Mike Miller, Shane immediately assumed the role required to help the team the most (defense, corner threes, hustle, smarts) and continued it throughout his career. Part of what makes Shane the GROAT was his ability to alter his mindset and role for each game. When nothing more than a defender and rebounder was needed, Shane was there to lock it down; when the team needed someone to step up and score some points or hit a clutch shot, Shane was there to knock it down. What distinguishes Shane from the other great Role Players in history (Dennis Rodman especially, Robery Horry, etc.) was Battier’s on and off court contributions. Shane was a crucial leader in EVERY locker room starting from his rookie year at Memphis, and on the court he would do whatever was asked. This is the X-factor when going against a Dennis Rodman in the “role player” category. Though Dennis is most likely the greatest rebounder the league has seen and an absolute force on defense, he lacked both the locker-room aspect (the “glue” or “lego”) as well as the adaptation to circumstances that Shane brought. Dennis was an all-star and DPOY, but he was not a role player; he was a HOF player who only had one role.
College (yes we’re going there for background info):
Transitioned from young and role player to go-to player for Duke, ultimately setting the record for most wins by a college player ever (broken a couple years ago by Karnowski of Gonzaga, though he won 4 games one season and then redshirted due to injury, so he technically had 5 seasons to beat Shane’s record in 4)
During a championship run and while leading the race for the Naismith, when a professor didn’t show up to class, Shane stepped into that role and taught the class. I mean, talk about versatility and stepping up to the plate. (i read this a few years ago but can’t find any source verifying this; nevertheless, it will stay until i find a source negating it)
Two-time Academic All-American and awarded Academic All-American of the year in 2001
Swept National Player of the Year awards
Duke retires his number 31 jersey.
Grizzlies first term:
Shane is drafted with the #6 overall pick by the Memphis Grizzlies.
Grizzlies went from 23-59 in Battier’s rookie year to 50-32 in his third year, when they made the N.B.A. playoffs, as they did in each of his final three seasons with the team.
Always referred to as the “Glue” of this Memphis team. Ball mainly went through Pau, Mike Miller, James Posey, but Shane was what brought it all together game after game
After Shane leaves, Grizz dive to 22-60, worse than when he first joined.
2006-7, Shane was traded to the Houston Rockets (previous season record was 34-48).
2007-8, Shane messes around with some corner 3s and stellar defense, and the Rockets finish the season with a 52-30 record.
2008-9, Shane puts the team, including an enormous Yao Ming, on his back while single-handedly winning 22 games in a row and finishing the season 55-27….
Though some may say Tracy and Yao (both taking time off for injuries) were primarily behind that 22 game run, I won’t argue, BUT, I will point out that Shane averaged more minutes per game during that stretch than anyone on the team all while guarding the opponents’ main scoring threat.
Only player with access to the Rocket’s highly sophisticated statistical data that they compiled on all opposing players; he used this data to become familiar with the tendencies of the players he would guard in each game.
Shane leaves in February of the 2010-2011 season to join Grizz, Rockets finish that season 43-39 and the following season regress to 34-32 (short season).
The prodigal son returns to the Grizz:
Within months of returning to the promised land, Shane brought the Memphis Grizzlies their FIRST ever post season win in GROAT fashion: a game winning 3 on the road against the Spurs dynasty, leading to an incredible 4-2 series beating the #1 seed.
After sealing the Grizzlies’ historical playoff series, Shane is traded to the Heat who are coming off a disappointing Finals loss due to their lack of one very important arts & crafts suppliy: glue.
Shane overshadows LeBron, Wade, Bosh, & co. in a record 27 consecutive wins in a season by diving for loose balls, hitting corner 3s, boxing out rebounders, and taking a CTE-worthy amount of charges.
Shane’s post-game, pre-Super Bowl speech is credited with sparking the 27 game win streak. No joke.
Also, this run makes Shane the only player to be a part of two 20 game win streaks in the NBA.
Finals 2012 - For his first 3 games of the Finals, Shane shoots 11/15 for 3, setting a record at the time for amount of 3s in the first 3 games of a finals.
Joined Ray Allen as only players at the time to ever make 6 or more threes in 2 separate Finals games
Finishes the Finals with the highest 3-point shooting percentage (57.7%) in NBA Finals history for a player with 15 or more threes. This is a top-5 three point shooting percentages in NBA Finals history when accounting for people with less than 15 made threes.
Playoffs 2013 against the Bulls, after a stat line of 3/1/1 with 1 steal, Shane puts up an unreal plus minus of +42 (the highest plus minus of any playoff game since Jason Terry’s +43 in 2005).
Finals 2013, GAME 7 - Shane Battier “regresses to the mean” after a lackluster playoffs to shoot 6/8 from the three in game 7, a Finals Game 7 record. Yes, Game 7. Shane put that ring on Bron’s finger for the second year in a row.
Additionally, Shane puts up a +12 differential, the highest of any player in the game.
Went to Denny’s after the win instead of a club. Helping out the home town heroes of Miami.
Won the NBA’s “Teammate of the Year” award with 67 first place votes and on 209 ballots overall, making him the runaway winner. Came in 2nd the year prior to Chauncey Billups cause Chaunce was old and people pitied him (probably).
“I think everybody would agree that you could make a case for a lot of guys in the locker room, but Shane, he's the ultimate teammate," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Selfless. He'll do whatever it takes. He's a leader. He's playing for his brothers, his teammates, and you can feel it. So it's a great award."
Ran the team NCAA pool every march and the dead man’s pool, the knockout pool in the NFL in the winter. Every group of best buds needs that one friend to work as the league commissioner and keep things running. Without that team camaraderie, no doubt that Heat team would have gone ringless.
Probably saved dozens of NBA players from bankruptcy:
“whenever a rookie came to our team or a young guy got traded, I gave him the Wall Street Journal’s Primer on Basic Finance. And honestly, most guys don’t know what an interest rate is. Or they don’t know what the Dow Jones is and they’re afraid to ask because it makes them look like an idiot. And so they’d rather just be ignorant and look cool than look silly and ask questions. So I’d say, “Look, I don’t know what your financial background is, just put this on your toilet and every time you’re on the crapper, just read a page. It’s got pictures, it’s got graphs.” It’s a really good primer. You can never be too financially well-educated.”
Shane patented the “blindfold” technique. When the scorer goes to shoot and Shane can’t get a hand on the ball, he uses his hand to cover the shooter’s eyes.
Kevin Durant :"He’s probably the only guy that does it," Durant said. "I’m just used to guys contesting the shot, but putting a hand in your face? That’s different."
Kobe would never admit it cause he’s Kobe, but everyone knows he hated it
Kobe only scored on 34% of iso opportunities against Shane.
Only player to have played on 2 of the 5 teams with longest winning streaks. Both the Rockets and Heat streaks were number 2 at the time.
SIX-time divisional winner of the NBA “Sportsmanship Award”
Listed by Sporting News as seventh smartest athlete amongst 19 other braniacs, #1 basketball player.
In response, Shane responded “Intelligence is an esoteric measurement… I don’t know. I’m smart, but I don’t know about the smartest.” —— please name me one other NBA player or anyone for that matter who would have used the word “esoteric” in his response.
Winner of the NBA Community Assist Award during April of rookie season. Rookie season.
NBA “Teammate of the Year” Award
Married high school sweetheart, Heidi Ufer, and together they have a son, Zeke, and a daughter, Eloise.
Contacted by the Michigan Democratic Party to run for Senate, but he declined.
Dozens of mentions in the Commercial Appeal (Memphis’ Newspaper) commenting on how Shane could run for Mayor and win handily
Member of the esteemed Washington Speakers
Role in the Community:
The Battier Take Charge Foundation - not only a clever name because of the amount of charges taken throughout his career, the Take Charge Foundation awards four-year $20,000 college scholarships to deserving young leaders from the greater Miami, Houston and Detroit areas.
Has over 16 students in its national scholarship program
Battioke - bringing together dozens of athletes and celebrities, Shane and Heidi lead a kareoke night to raise money for the foundation.
Shane Battier stumbled upon a man named Steve’s tailgate one Sunday afternoon, and proceeded to clean the area.
“After the game, he came up to me and asked me where they needed to put the trash,” Steve wrote. “Can you believe that with his millions of dollars he started picking up trash and cleaning the area?”
Serves on multiple boards, such as St Jude and the Memphis Zoo.
Shane changed the way statistics are used in the game, both by management and players; changed the way shots are contested; changed the way teammates handled their newfound fame and fortune; changed communities; and ultimately, Shane changed what it takes to be the GROAT.
He’s probably the No. 1 smartest basketball player and person I’ve been around… He knows everything.”
Joel Anthony on Shane Battier being ranked the #7 Smartest Athlete in 2010 by Sporting News
“That is no surprise. His basketball IQ is off the charts in terms of understanding situations and being able to analyze all the different situations on the court. Even off the court. If there’s like a general question, everybody will look to Shane like, ‘You know the answer to this?’”
“Shane was an alien. I wanted at the end of his career to crack his head open and see if he was really human,” Blue Devil head basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski said of the two-time All-NBA defensive second team selection. “When the storm hits, you want him [Shane] to be the captain of your ship. I love Shane. I’d want him on any team that I ever coach.”
“He is going to go down as one of my favourite team-mates of all time just by being the guy that he is.” - d wade
“I call him Lego,” Daryl Morey says. “When he’s on the court, all the pieces start to fit together. And everything that leads to winning that you can get to through intellect instead of innate ability, Shane excels in. I’ll bet he’s in the hundredth percentile of every category.”
Dan Wetzel : “There’s this public perception that they’re all thugs. But they aren’t. A lot of them are really good guys, and some of them are very, very bright. Kobe’s very bright. LeBron’s very bright. But there’s absolutely never been anything like Shane Battier.”
”He was outstanding. There's something about that guy. He has championship DNA. He's got it.”
“The guy has won at every single level - high school, college, pro and that’s not a coincidence. He has something running through those veins that separates him, makes him a little bit different as a champion.”
“Everybody notices Shane when the ball is going in. We notice everything else before that,” Spoelstra said. “His versatility, the defensive plays he makes, the leadership. He allows us to play our roster the way we need to, and we weren’t necessarily able to do that last year. And so now we’re able to play LeBron at several different positions, and the same with Dwyane, and he kind of ties that all together.” (https://www.miamiherald.com/sports/nba/article1940633.html )
The Miami streak -
“It was in the spirit of the Super Bowl – a great game,” Battier said. “In the spirit of teamwork and camaraderie. … We have a saying around this club, ‘Touching the people.’ I was giving the people a soulful touch. It’s metaphorical. It’s very Zen-like.”
Udonis Haslem on Shane’s speech sparking the 27 game win streak:
“Just touch the people,” forward Udonis Haslem said. “People want to be touched. Sometimes it’s going to be uncomfortable. Sometimes they might get carried away. But touch the people. The fans. And enjoy these moments, because they’re going to come to an end some day.” “That just brought us closer,” Haslem said. “We were never separated. We’ve always been connected as a group. But I think, definitely, doing things off the court only helps the relationships on the court.”
“He’s a big part of everything we do here,” Allen said of Battier. “Without guys like that, it’s hard to put together streaks like this, where you have consistency and habits and selflessness out there on the floor. He’s one of those guys who does the intangible things, so yeah, he does have a big part in it.”
Quotes from Shane -
"I will miss the feeling of the butterflies before the game, when I know I have to guard Carmelo Anthony, and guard a Kevin Durant, and guard a Kobe Bryant...There's nothing in my life that will ever, ever replicate that feeling. So I try to enjoy it as much as I could. It's not a good feeling. It's not. It's not. But it makes you feel alive."
Comments about David Green, a graduate of University of Florida through the Take Charge Foundation.
“He was a former member of a gang, but had shown a love for robotics and academia, and was able to tell the people in his environment, ‘Look, I have huge aspirations,’ ” Battier says. “Not only did he graduate, but he graduated with honors and now works in Silicon Valley for a tech firm.
When asked about his jersey retired at Duke:
“You know Art I never started out for individual accolades. Never. It was always about how can I help my team win games? I learned that from my dad. He was my Little League coach and football coach. He was never my basketball coach, but he always said be the best teammate that you can be. Help them win games. That is what it is all about. I have had an unbelievable run in basketball. A lot of individual accolades are a direct result of having my team have success. So when I got my jersey retired at Duke it was a huge honor. You look up in the rafters and you see my heroes. Grant Hill, Bobby Hurley, Christian Laettner and Danny Ferry. They are just unbelievable college basketball players. I almost have to pinch myself and say that is somebody else. That is another Battier. That is not me. It is so surreal when I walk into Cameron Indoor Stadium”
Shane on Kobe: 1)
”The average possession of the Los Angeles Lakers in 2008 generated 0.98 points per possession, 0.98. So you took the average possession of the Lakers. They were going to score 0.98 points every time they had a possession. And so Kobe Bryant only shot the left-handed pull up jumper at a 44 percent clip. So every time that he went left and shot that pull-up jumper he was generating 0.88 points per possession. Well that’s a tenth of a point less than the average Laker possession. And so if I could make him do that time and time again which is a lot tougher to do than to say, I’m shaving off a tenth of a point every single time."
”There was nothing like trying to guard Kobe in his prime. Watching him, I had a lot of nostalgia of the battles. And he used to be such a jerk to me. The fact that it was even insinuated that I even had somewhat of a chance to guard him, it was the most insulting thing to Kobe. So he was the biggest jerk to me. Like I’m out there spreading all these things about I’m the Kobe Stopper, I can guard him, and he just used to be the biggest jerk. Never speak to me. He’d hit my shoulder as I walked by, like he was trying to put me in my place.
I’m like, “Kobe, give it a rest. I don’t care.” I always tried to play up how slow I was and how unathletic I was, that I was just lucky that Kobe missed some shots. When it came to Kobe, it was a lot of false humility because I knew that would drive him even crazier. That was my version of being passive-aggressive towards Kobe, so he was trying to impose his will on me and I was trying to undermine him by being super passive. It was like the best psychological game of all time, and only he and I were in on the joke."
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.
Head Coach: Fred Hoiberg (5th season) Projected Starting Lineup PG Monte Morris - 6'2", 171 Sophomore (6.8 ppg, 3.7 apg, 1.3 spg) SG Bryce Dejean-Jones - 6'5", 205 Senior (13.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.0 apg @ UNLV) SF Dustin Hogue - 6'6", 220 Senior (11.6 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 0.8 spg) PF Georges Niang - 6'7", 215 Junior (16.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.6 apg) C Jameel McKay - 6'9", 218 Junior (17.8 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 2 bpg @ Indian Hills JC) --- eligible December 20th Key Bench Players G Matt Thomas - 6'3", 200 Sophomore (5.5 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 34% 3FG) G Sherron Dorsey-Walker - 6'4", 202 Junior (1.2 ppg, 0.6 rpg, 0.5 apg) G Nazier Long - 6'4", 205 Junior (7.1 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 40% 3FG) F/C Daniel Edozie - 6'8", 245 Senior (1.0 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 0.3 bpg) Key Recruits G Clayton Custer - 6'0", 170 Freshman (consensus top 100 recruit) G Kourtlin Jackson - 6'3", 190 Junior (8.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.8 apg @ John Wood JC) F Abdel Nader - 6'6", 225 Junior (13.1 ppg, 5.6 rpg in 2012-13 @ Northern Illinois) C Georgios Tsalmpouris - 7'1", 217 Freshman (Greek national team prospect) ............................................................................... Things just keep getting better in Ames. Excitement is building in the heart of Iowa, where The Mayor holds court on an actual court and features a cabinet stocked with talented, versatile young basketball players instead of middle-aged Suits. In four seasons, former Cyclone and NBA player Fred Hoiberg has taken Iowa State to the brink of college basketball's A-list. With a combination of infectious enthusiasm, talented transfers, and fresh, fluid chemistry, he's pointed a once-stagnant program in the right direction. And he's turned Ames into an in-vogue destination for elite talent from high school, all levels of college basketball, and even Europe. Now, the Cyclones are truly starting to think big. Like, conference championship big. Like, Final Four big. Transfers have been a massive part of Hoiberg's success at ISU, and this season continues that trend. Bryce Dejean-Jones (UNLV) and Jameel McKay (JuCo) figure to be starters, while Abdel Nader (Northern Illinois) will see extensive minutes either off the bench or as part of a forward-heavy starting lineup. McKay won't be eligible until the end of December, so Hoiberg might well play with his starting lineup through the midpoint of the season. However the lineup shakes out, transfers are again going account for a ton of production. Hopefully enough to make up for Hoiberg's two graduated seniors. Last season, DeAndre Kane was pretty much the nation's consensus transfer-of-the-year. After struggling to keep his nose clean off the court and battling turnovers and inefficiency on it during his time at Marshall, Kane put it all together as a senior to become one of America's best guards. Kane's fellow senior, Melvin Ejim, was a four-year starter who became the Big 12 Player of the Year last season, and re-wrote portions of the Iowa St record book during his transcendent career. In the departed duo, the Cyclones have lost 34.9 points, 15.2 boards, 7.7 assists, 2.5 steals and a block per game. You could count on your two hands the number of teams that could absorb that kind of a hit and still entertain legitimate hopes of being even better next season. With Hoiberg's charisma in luring new talent, combined with a healthy host of returnees, Iowa St is one of those teams. Dejean-Jones is a proven wing scorer. He isn't the most efficient player in the world, but should find a more comfortable niche in Ames than he encountered at his previous stops - Southern Cal and UNLV. While he's unlikely to completely replace DeAndre Kane's magnificent production from 2013-14, he does bring a similarly diverse skillset. Dejean-Jones had 92 assists and 52 turnovers last season as a 2-guard forced to handle some point responsibilities. McKay has outstanding athleticism and leaping ability that should translate nicely to the high-major level. He immediately gives the Cyclones a major upgrade in the shot-blocking department, which has been largely deficient the last couple of years as Hoiberg has spread the floor with smallish lineups of versatile players. Nader, who has something extra to prove after an offseason DUI arrest, was the best player on two bad Northern Illinois teams to begin his career. Now he becomes another in the succession of multi-skilled, undersized combo forwards to transfer into Hoiberg's lineup. Iowa State's backcourt will be tremendously deep. Dejean Jones figures to start alongside Monte Morris, a wiry 6'2" sophomore. Morris posted an absurd 134-28 assist-to-turnover mark as a true freshman last season. In fact, that mark (4.79:1) was so exceptional that it set an all-time NCAA record. Again, Morris was a true freshman: let that sink in. He showed good defensive instincts and quickness, too, and snagged 46 steals. He didn't launch often from behind the 3pt arc, but still made 40.6% of his attempts. Oh and by the way he canned 84.7% of his freebies. With the additions of Dejean-Jones and Nader, plus the return of Dustin Hogue and Niang, there should not be any real pressure on Morris to score. That means he should be free to develop into one of the best young floor generals in America. Dejean-Jones figures to fit in nicely with this team, because he doesn't have to be the #1 scorer and will have the opportunity to show his all-around game. After posting strong numbers at his previous stops, Dejean-Jones has expanded his game and become a player who can score in transition, knock down jumpers, and set up teammates. He can't get caught up in trying to be Kane; simply being who he was in Las Vegas last year will allow the Cyclones to challenge for all the goals they have in mind. Naz Long (Threesus of Nazareth to his friends - how awesome a nickname is that?) and Matt Thomas give the Cyclones a pair of tremendous deep shooting threats off the bench. Neither of them does anything else at a high level, but ISU has so many good guards that that might be ok. Either is capable of going off and hitting a bunch of treys in any game. Thomas struggled a bit as his freshman season wore on, but still showed that he is going to be a dangerous outside shooter for four years in Ames. He made 44 triples on the year, 2nd-best ever by an ISU freshman, but averaged just 2.6 points over the team's final 13 games. Long is a more highly-evolved version of Thomas who showed last season that he's capable of providing huge momentum boosts for the Cyclones with his timely shot-making. He made at least three shots from deep 13 times last season, and he made 4 triples against North Carolina - including one with less than a minute left - to help the team reach the Sweet 16. As if all that wasn't enough, 4-star freshman Clayton Custer will push Morris at the point and keep the offense humming when he needs a rest. A consensus four-star prospect, Custer (a Kansas native) turned down an offer from Kansas to play for Hoiberg. Sherron Dorsey-Walker, a veteran guard from Detroit, also returns. He's spent most of his career earning mop-up minutes, but can handle the ball and has outside shooting ability; 15 of his 26 shot attempts last season came from downtown last year. Rounding out the backcourt is JuCo import Kourtlin Jackson. While not a huge scorer, Jackson could contribute because he offers contrast to ISU's shooters. Jackson is a quick guard who likes to break his man down off the dribble, and could bring a nice dimension to Hoiberg's second unit. Fans will have to wait a month to get their first real look at McKay, but the buzz is growing for his Hilton Coliseum debut. While not heavily built, McKay has long arms and bouncy athleticism sufficient to have been regarded as one of the better defensive prospects of the Class of 2013. Having picked Marquette originally out of the JuCo ranks, he decided at the very beginning of last season not to play for the Golden Eagles. A full year of practicing against Iowa State's talented forwards should have him better-prepared than most transfers to step right into the lineup. He'll get plenty of opportunities to score hustle baskets around the rim, and likely will be on the receiving end of more than a few lobs from his slick-passing teammates. Daniel Edozie became one of the feel-good stories of the 2014 NCAA tournament when an injury forced him into ISU's starting lineup. Formerly homeless, Edozie has made his way from foster care to the JuCo ranks to a supporting role at the 5 spot for Iowa State. He gives Hoiberg an experienced wide body off the bench and does good work on the boards. Iowa State made headlines late in the 2014 recruiting season by adding 7'1" Greek import Georgios Tsalmpouris. While largely an unknown entity, he's said to have shooting range out to the 3pt arc, and with ISU's improved post depth should have the chance to adjust slowly to the North American game. He's a very intriguing prospect, though, because he's by far the biggest player Hoiberg has recruited to Ames. The star of Iowa State's frontcourt - and really, whole team - is Georges Niang. Though he broke his foot towards the end of ISU's win against NC Central, Niang had a breakout year. One can only imagine what Iowa St might have accomplished last season if he hadn't been inured. And during the offseason, the junior combo forward dropped upwards of 25 pounds, and looks ready to become a more physical player as a junior. He will be on the court in all situations, and though Niang gets into foul trouble way too often and can be a defensive liability, his offense more than makes up for those drawbacks. He has shooting range well out to 3, a developing dribble-drive game, and great instincts in the paint - both as a scorer and passer. And with his dedicated work this summer, he could be poised to make a big leap defensively. With that, and even more improvement in his all-around game, Niang is a very serious candidate to assume Ejim's mantle as Big 12 Player of the Year. And between Morris, Dejean-Jones and Niang, the Cyclones will be able to bewilder some opponents with pure ball movement. Dustin Hogue is an absolute animal on the glass. He made an immediate impact after coming to Ames from the JuCo ranks, and should continue to bring energy and hustle to ISU's talented lineup. Undersized but physical, the NYC native posted seven double-doubles and led the team in rebounding. He exploded for 34 points in Iowa St's season-ending loss to UConn, and is poised for an even bigger year as a senior. Nader should be ready to hit the ground running after competing against Niang and the outstanding Melvin Ejim in practice last season. While he showed legit high-major talent as the main guy in DeKalb, he was also pretty inefficient. Now, with a more talented team around him, Nader should become comfortable playing his role. And his percentages will improve accordingly. While the Cyclones lose two of the better players in America, their 2014-15 team should be Hoiberg's most well-rounded outfit. It may take a month or so for all the new faces to mesh and become comfortable in their roles - and obviously the defensive rotation won't be complete until McKay is on the floor. For any team that loses as much as ISU, and has so many new faces as ISU, there is potential for things to break down. Look at UNLV - Dejean-Jones could tell you a few things. Hoiberg has had very smooth success adding new pieces into his rotation during his tenure, though. And it feels pretty unlikely that the whole thing will fall apart now. Not with legit center depth for the first time, a true point guard, plenty of deep shooters, and two of the most versatile forwards in America leading the way. Iowa State has made steady progress the last 3 years. Twice they went to the round of 32, and last year, even without Niang, advanced to the Sweet 16. And while it took the eventual National Champions to knock them out, everyone around the program was hungry for more. This could be the season that they break on through to the Final Four. It's going to be all about chemistry. The talent is there - will it be cohesive? Even with that uncertainty, one thing is sure: I'm not betting against Fred Hoiberg. This is a program with palpable momentum, and The Mayor has the unquestioned confidence of his players. Iowa St is a program on the cusp of great things.
132+ Teams in 132+ Days: Day 84 - TCU Horned Frogs
STILL IN EDITING PHASE: PLEASE EXCUSE WHILE WE CLEAN UP! Texas Christian University Horned Frogs Big 12 Conference Year Founded: 1873 Location: Fort Worth, TX Total Attendance: 9,725 Mascot: Horned Frogs Live Mascot:SuperFrog Cheerleaders:Best known for the TCU Showgirls,Bonus Showgirls,Cheerleaders Stadium: Amon G. Carter Stadium just finished a $164 million renovation, which was 100% funded by private donations. It was only football stadium nominated for up for the 2013 Sports Business "Sports Facility of the Year." Stadium Location: Stadium Drive, on the west side of campus and across from the student union + campus commons Conference Champions (17): 1920, 1929, 1932, 1938, 1944, 1951, 1955, 1958, 1959, 1994, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2011 Number of Bowl Games: 29 (13-15-1) National Titles (2): 1935, 1938 2012 Season Record: 7-6 Coach: Gary Patterson Key Players:
True freshman Devonte Fields stepped in to become the Big 12 defensive player of the year, finishing with 10 sacks. In a rainy game ongoing monsoon during TCU’s game against rival SMU, he posted 7 tackles, 4 for loss, and 2.5 sacks.
Redshirt freshman Trevone Boykin filled some big shoes when quarterback Casey Pachall was suspended for the season after being arrested on suspicion of DUI. At the time, Pachall had the highest QBR in football. Boykin was taking reps as a running back two days before start against Iowa State. He struggled at times, but managed to lead the team to wins against Baylor, West Virginia, and Texas (all on the road).
Josh Boyce seemed to be the only consistent offensive threat for the Frogs. The wide receiver was limited due to the quarterback situation, but the junior broke most of the career receiving records at TCU on his way to another great season. He would have broken more, but decided to declare for the NFL Draft. He was picked up in the 4th round by the New England Patriots and signed a 4 yea$2.6 million deal.
Led by legendary quarterback Davey O'Brien (the guy the QB award is named after), TCU beat Carnegie Tech in the 1939 Sugar Bowl. It gave the Frogs their first consensus national championship (they also share claim to the 1935 title).
In the 1957 Cotton Bowl Classic, the underdog Horned Frogs blocked an extra point to beat the Jim Brown-led Syracuse Orange 28-27.
In a 52-24 rout of UTEP in 1999, LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for an NCAA record 406 yards and six touchdowns. His quote after the game: "All the credit goes to the offensive line. They've done a great job of creating holes all season," Tomlinson said. "I need to buy them a couple of steaks."
In 2010, BCS busters collided when No. 3 TCU traveled to Salt Lake City to take on the No. 5 Utah Utes. With a Mountain West Conference title and BCS dreams on the line, fans camping out for ESPN GameDay, and fans paying upwards of $200 for standing-room tickets, it was the biggest game in the conference's history. It turned out to be an embarrassment for the Utes. The Frogs dominated Utah in every way, snapping Utah's 21-game home winning streak in a 47-7 win on the road.
In Casey Pachall's first start, TCU traveled down to Waco for a Big 12 preview against Baylor in 2011. Robert Griffin III looked Heisman-worthy in jumping out to a huge 47-24 lead entering the 4th quarter. Pachall led the Frogs to an astonishing comeback, scoring 25 points in less than 11 minutes to give the Frogs the lead. With their back against the wall on a 3rd and 10, Baylor used a trick play and receiver Kendall Wright connected on a 15 yard pass to the quarterback. The Bears' drive continued and set up the go-ahead field goal with 1:04 left to play. Pachall wasn't done, either. The Frogs got the ball on their own 14, and marched down to the Baylor 40-yard line. Pachall's late interception on 3rd and 10 denied TCU's chance at a game-winning field goal.
After its first undefeated season in the BCS era, TCU made it to the 2011 Fiesta Bowl against fellow BCS buster Boise State. Trick plays would spell doom for the Frogs however, as TCU would fall 17-10 in the desert.
After an undefeated season, TCU was left out of the BCS Championship due to undefeated Auburn and Oregon teams and sent to the Rose Bowl against Wisconsin. The Badgers were averaging 67 points over their last three games, but the Frogs were coming in with the nation's top defense. Needing a 2-point conversion to tie with exactly 2:00 left, Tank Carder's immaculate deflection eventually gave the Horned Frogs its first BCS win and an undefeated season.
Greatest Players: "Slingin'" Sammy Baugh: The Sweetwater six-shooter became the weapon of choice in the first primarily passing attack in college football. Teams had thrown the ball long before Baugh, but it was mostly used as a surprise. Coach Dutch Meyer and Baugh perfected the downfield pass, and Baugh would later be instrumental in making the forward pass part of the NFL playbook. He was also the team's starting punter and defensive back. Did I mention he also played baseball for TCU, and was in the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system before being drafted by the Washington Redskins? When asked about being drafted he said: "I didn't know what they were talking about, because frankly, I had never heard of either the draft or the Washington Redskins." Oh yeah, he also took up acting in a 12-week series called "King of the Texas Rangers". In the NFL, he retired with the record for the most seasons leading the league in passing (6, which still stands, tied with Steve Young), and highest career punting average (45.1, which is second all-time behind Shane Lechler). Davey O'Brien: TCU's lone Heisman winner, first Heisman winner from the Southwest Conference and namesake to the award given to the best quarterback in collegiate football came to TCU as Baugh's backup in 1935. He still holds the NCAA record for most combined passing and rushing plays in a single season - 400. The 1938 O'Brien-led Horned Frogs outscored opponents 269-60, and held all but one of their 10 regular season opponents to seven points or less. In 1939, he went on to lead the NFL in passing his rookie year, breaking Sammy Baugh's standing single-season record. He did so again in 1940, then retired to become an FBI agent. Jim Swink: The Rusk Rambler was one of the best running backs in Southwest Conference history, leading the Frogs to consecutive conference championships in 1955 and 1956. His most memorable game came in a 47-20 win over the Texas Longhorns in Austin. He rushed for 235 yards and scored 26 points. Bob Lilly: Known more for his 11 Pro Bowl seasons with the Dallas Cowboys' "doomsday defense", Lilly was a dominant defensive lineman and consensus All-American for the Horned Frogs. He is now considered among the best defensive linemen in NFL history. LaDainian Tomlinson: Holds the NCAA single-game rushing record with 406 against UTEP in 1999. Didn't play running back until his senior year of high school. He won the 2000 Doak Walker Award and Jim Brown Trophy before being the 5th selection in the 2001 NFL Draft. Andy Dalton: Nicknamed the "Red Rifle" by Bengals fans (how did we never think of that?), Dalton took over the starting spot as a redshirt freshman and led the Frogs to an 8-5 season and 2007 Texas Bowl win. From then on, Dalton's Frogs went 34-3 with losses to then-No. 2 Oklahoma (eventual BCS runner up) and No. 10 Utah (13-0 with Sugar Bowl win over Bama) in 2008 and No. 3 Boise State in the 2010 Fiesta Bowl. He is the Mountain West Conference career leader in total offense and holds most TCU career passing records. High points include completing 21-23 passes in a 45-10 domination of then-junior Robert Griffin III's Baylor Bears in 2010, completing 21-26 for 355 yards and 3 TD in a 47-7 beating of then-No. 5 Utah in Salt Lake City, and in his final game, beat Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. Greatest Coaches:
Gary Patterson: GMFP, as he’s well-known as in Fort Worth, is a staunch advocate of the 4-2-5 defense and is regarded as one of the greatest defensive minds in modern college football. TCU has led the nation in total defense more times (5) than any team since the NCAA started tracking statistics in 1937 and last year led the Big 12 in defense, despite having only one senior in the starting lineup. All five seasons have come under Gary Patterson since 2000. He is winningest coach in school history with a 116-36 (72-23) record as head coach, and has only failed to make a bowl game once (2004). Thanks to the revolving conference door, he has coached the Frogs in bowl games as a member of four different conferences (WAC, CUSA, MWC and Big 12). Aside from coaching, he's also a pretty good guitar player!
Dutch Meyer: Dutch's famous quote, "Fight 'em until hell freezes over. Then fight 'em on the ice!", can be seen on locker room walls, t-shirts, and of course, above the entryway to the back dining room at Dutch's Hamburgers -- a mainstay across from TCU's campus named after the legendary coach and home of the best hamburger buns in the world. Both TCU national championships came under Dutch. He revolutionized football by incorporating the short pass as the primary play in the offense, and is one of the early inventors of the spread formation. He retired from football in 1952 to become athletic director. In 1956, without someone to fill the position, he decided to also coach the baseball team, leading the Frogs to a SWC championship that year. In 1934, "Old Iron Pants" served as TCU's football, baseball, and basketball coach.
Jim Pittman: More a fun trivial fact than “great coach,” Pittman coached only seven games for TCU before dying of a heart attack on the field during a game against Baylor in Waco in 1971.
Greatest Rivalries: SMU (45-40-7) The rivalry started in 1915 with a 43-0 TCU win, and has continued to this day for all but six years (two of which were SMU's death penalty years). According to legend, The "Battle for the Iron Skillet" name started when SMU fans were frying frog legs before a game. A TCU fan bet the frog legs -- and the skillet -- on the game. TCU would win the game. The trophy is currently at Amon G. Carter Stadium after last year's monsoon-ish 24-16 victory. The rivalry has gone through lopsided streaks, with TCU going 14-2-1 between 1949-1965, then SMU going 19-2 between 1966-1986. The Frogs have won every game since 1999 except for a painful 21-10 loss in 2005 (it was TCU's only loss of the season after beating Adrian Peterson's No. 5 Sooners) and a home overtime loss in 2011. Baylor (51-50-7) From 1899, when TCU was still located in Waco (until a "mysterious fire" burned down the campus in 1910) until the SWC disbanded in 1995, TCU and Baylor played each other 103 times. It is one of the oldest and most-played rivalries in football. Like the SMU rivalry, both teams enjoyed streaks, with TCU dominating most of the 50's and 60's, and Baylor taking most of the 70's and 80's. Now the only private schools in the Big 12, the rivalry is coming back to its form as TCU is 2-1 against Baylor in the past three years. Others Thanks to TCU's entrance in the Big 12, the Frogs have renewed old rivalries with SWC foes Texas and Texas Tech. TCU beat Texas 20-13 in front of the largest crowd the Frogs had ever played in front of (99,950 attended) and lost to Tech 56-53 in a triple OT thriller. TCU also had a number of minor rivalries in the Mountain West, including BYU and BCS busters Utah & Boise State. ESPN College Gameday came to the last two matchups between Utah and TCU, and Boise State has provided TCU with some great contests as well. If given the right amount of time, TCU could have developed into some serious hate with these three schools. Traditions
Bleacher Creatures -- Before every game, kids can go onto the field and run out with the team at the team entrance. Founded in 2001 by Gary Patterson, DT David Johnson holds the distinction of becoming the first player to play for TCU after running with the Bleacher Creatures as a child.
I Won’t Back Down -- At the beginning of every fourth quarter, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ 1989 classic plays over the loudspeakers with accompanying highlights. Tom Petty is one of Patterson’s all-time favorite performers.
Fear The Frog flag -- A new tradition made during TCU’s debut Big 12 season, a giant flag is waved after a substantial play.
Campus and Surrounding Area City Population: 777,992 (16th) City Skyline Iconic Campus Building:
Campus Commons. Nothing in this picture existed before 2007. It's part of a huge building and renovation phase for the university (TCU is often joked as Texas Construction University) - now totaling more than $1 billion since 2007.
Robert Carr Chapel. The tallest building on campus (just inches taller than the football stadium, the old joke going "Texas: Where God is just barely above football"). Tour guides tell visiting students to book their wedding then, as the chapel is a very popular place for Horned Frog nuptials (I believe the next wedding date available is in February of 2014, but that was a few months ago that I checked).
Dutch's Hamburgers. Named after the legendary head coach (if you haven't been reading), Dutch's is home to the world's best hamburger buns. They also have 1/2 price burgers and $2 premium drafts on Tuesday and $5 pitchers of Shiner on Thursday. Hard to beat.
Buffalo Bros -- I linked to their Facebook because the site is under maintenance. Dozens of TV's with every sports package available, homemade pizza, homemade wings with sauce imported from Buffalo, a full service bar, and drink specials every day? Makes sense, right? My favorite -- whiskey and wings Wednesdays. Boneless or traditional wings for 50 cents and all whiskey is $4.
Fuzzy's. Yes, this is the original Fuzzy's. The one before they sold out to the man and started opening them everywhere. Hard to miss a trip to TCU without some fish tacos and a signature purple margarita.
Joe T. Garcia’s A bit away from the stadium, but widely regarded as the best Mexican food in the city. A must-have in the city of Fort Worth.
Salsa Limon. A sketchy food truck run by guys who disappear to Miami all the time. After hitting the local bars, it's hard to beat these tacos, though.
Current NFL players (17)
Daryl Washington, LB, Arizona Cardinals
Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals
Jeremy Kerley, WR, New York Jets
Tank Carder, LB, Cleveland Browns
Josh Boyce, WR, New England Patriots
Stansly Maponga, DE, Atlanta Falcons
Marcus Cannon, OL, New England Patriots
Jerry Hughes, LB/DE, Buffalo Bills
Marshall Newhouse, OL, Green Bay Packers
David Hawthorne, LB, New Orleans Saints
Jason Phillips, LB, Philadelphia Eagles
Colin Jones, S, Carolina Panthers
Matthew Tucker, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
Skye Dawson, WKPR, Washington Redskins
Clint Gresham, LS, Seattle Seahawks
Jimmy Young, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Braylon Broughton, DT, Detroit Lions
Girls, girls, girls: TCU has been ranked by several organizations, including The Onion, MyPlan, and College Prowler has having the hottest girls of any university. Anyone in disagreement may consult any Google results of “TCU Showgirls”.
David and Goliath: Other than Wake Forest, TCU is the smallest school in the BCS. It is also the smallest school to ever win a BCS game. Not everything is small at TCU, though. Next to UT (with 55,000 students), TCU has the largest endowment in the Big 12 ($1.4 billion).
With added exposure thanks to its athletic programs, the academic profile has increased significantly. With a 2012 acceptance rate of 37%, TCU is the most selective school in Texas behind Rice. Its business, nursing, and pre-med programs rank among some of the elite in the nation.
While many focus on the "C" in TCU, the university is actually mostly secular (meaning separate from religion). TCU has no religious requirements, other than for students to take one religious class (of their choosing) as part of the University Core Curriculum. This can be anything from The Bible to Scriptures of Islam to Religous Sects and Cults. TCU is the largest university affiliated with the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), which still has an affiliation to the school through scholarships, programs, and members of the board. TCU is often jokingly referred to by students as “Texas Construction University” for the constant construction.
TCU was one of the first schools in the southwest to allow women and African-Americans. The university nearly folded because of people pulling funding because of these reasons.
TCU was the first major university to offer a Bachelor's Degree in ballet. The joke being -- TCU had ballet before it was legal to dance at Baylor. This is actually true. When dancing was finally allowed at Baylor, the president warned against anything "obscene or provocative. No pelvic gyrations, no excessive closeness, and no dirty dancing." Oh, by the way... This was in 1996.
What Is and What is to Come The 2013 season has a lot of potential for the Horned Frogs. The season opener against LSU will be a good measuring stick for a squad returning nine starts from the conference's best team defense, but they will be without star DE Devonte Fields due to a two-game suspension. More importantly, it will be a welcome-back for reinstated quarterback Casey Pachall. Coach Patterson is still mum on who the starting quarterback will be, but any and all speculation leads to Pachall taking the reigns back from Trevone Boykin. Pachall didn't throw at all during his stint in an alcohol rehab clinic, but looked sharp during spring practices. He has packed on all the weight he lost, and even beefed up a little bit (about 6'5", 230 pounds). He also took the majority of first-team reps during spring practice. Due to scheduling entering the Big 12, the Frogs will play at OSU for the second consecutive year, and an odd Thursday night game/away game in Lubbock against Texas Tech will be great tests for the Frogs. This year's schedule is much easier on the Frogs than last year, and after years of traveling the globe in different conferences, TCU plays eight of their 12 games in Texas and two in Oklahoma. This season will rise or fall based on the return of Casey Pachall, and if the team can stay away from off-the-field issues and injuries that plagued them last year. Consensus in Fort Worth media seems to be that the Frogs will improve on their 7-6 opening season in the Big 12 and go anywhere between 9-3 and 11-1 in the regular season. Sneaking out of Cowboys Stadium with a win over a young LSU team would be huge for the Frogs' momentum. Winning even a share of a Big 12 Championship would go a long way for a team looking to boost its goal of dominating the recruiting within Dallas-Fort Worth. More Information Subreddit: [/TCU](www.reddit.com/tcu) Contributors: steinertimer, RiffRamBahZooContributor bios: steinertimer: I saw some people were doing this, so I thought I'd write something short. I attended TCU, where I covered the football team as a student during the Fiesta Bowl and Rose Bowl years. I even won an regional Emmy Award for story I did on Gary Patterson. I currently work for the university now, but have very little involvement with the football team (definitely not enough to get free tickets). Before switching to higher education, I had a short stint writing for ESPN Dallas. I left journalism because sports journalism was too cut-throat for me (I like to think I'm a nice guy, at least), and news journalism didn't really interest me. RiffRamBahZoo: I felt like I could contribute to the TCU 132+ Days post and felt like writing one for my school, however, it was already taken. After asking mods for help, I was pointed to steinertimer. As funny as it is, I know steinertimer in real life and previously did work with him in TCU’s journalism school. I currently serve as the sports editor for TCU’s student media and have covered a number of big events, including TCU’s 20-13 upset over Texas. Before I decided to be a sports journalist, I dressed up in a morphsuit and top hat and before that, I dressed as a 80‘s hair metal styled rocker for TCU football games. Please upvote this thread even if you are not interested in the team so that users who are interested will see it For more information on the 132+ Teams in 132+ Days Project, see: [the full listings here](http://www.reddit.com/CFB/comments/1930fe/132_teams_in_132_days_mega_thread/
Last Year: 35-5 (16-2 in Big East play, conference champs), defeated North Carolina for the 2016 National Championship Head Coach: Jay Wright (16th year) Projected Starting Lineup PG Jalen Brunson - 6'2", 200 Sophomore: 9.6 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 2.5 apg SG Josh Hart - 6'5", 205 Senior: 15.5 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.9 apg SF Mikal Bridges - 6'7", 211 Sophomore: 6.4 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.1 spg PF Kris Jenkins - 6'6", 240 Senior: 13.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.2 apg C Darryl Reynolds - 6'8", 245 Senior: 3.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 0.5 bpg Key Bench Players G Phil Booth - 6'3", 187 Junior: 7.0 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 2.1 apg G Donte DiVincienzo - 6'5", 202 Freshman: Redshirt 2015-16 F Eric Paschall - 6'7", 250 Junior: 15.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.0 apg @ Fordham in 2014-15 F Tim Delaney - 6'8", 232 Sophomore: Redshirt 2015-16 C Dylan Painter - 6'11", 220 Freshman: Consensus Top 150 prospect ................................................................................................................. Villanova has dealt with years of scorn from outside the program. Not because Villanova hasn't been successful; not because Villanova hasn't dominated its league, not because Villanova has failed to produce excellent college players and successful pro's. No, Villanova has dealt with consistent scorn because despite all the Wildcats' success, Villanova had made a frustrating habit of bowing out of the NCAA Tournament earlier than predictions had indicated in previous years. Maybe that's why Villanova put it on straight up deity mode once they'd reached the Final Four last spring. Head coach Jay Wright's program has silenced every possible bit of doubt about its standing on the national landscape. Villanova absolutely demolished a fantastic Oklahoma team and then used one of the most iconic buzzer-beaters in NCAA history to win one of the most iconic games of the past decade in order to earn a National Championship. Now, the Wildcats are out to solidify themselves as the dominant program in the nation. And with many key contributors from last season's team - plus an infusion of talented newcomers - there is no reason to doubt Villanova's ability to repeat. Kris Jenkins returns for his fourth season as a star scoring forward for the Wldcats, and he's coming off of a summer spent reveling in the notoriety of his incredible game-ending, title-clinching three pointer. Jenkins is as unique as any power forward in the nation. He's really not a power forward; he's a smooth, slick-shooting wing that comes in a powerful package. While Jenkins will never be the type of guy who can overpower traditional post players inside, he's got so much game it's silly. He's improved defensively and still can get better, and this year Jenkins will look to fully flesh out his game as a terrific playmaker. Quite simply, Jenkins is one of the best forwards in the country and exactly the type of proven, clutch, senior leader that any coach would love to have on his team. Not to be outshone, Josh Hart returns for another run at a title beside his classmate Jenkins. In their first two years playing for Wright, Hart and Jenkins had combined for 62 wins overall and a 32-4 mark in Big East play, but just two NCAA Tournament victories. Last season was a revelation for the veteran duo, and Hart was every bit as integral to Nova's success in the postseason as was Jenkins. Hart is a really tough cover, blending great quickness, strength and awareness on the offensive end. Capable of scoring inside and out, Hart posted a fantastic 51/36/75% line from the field as a junior. He's a standout defender who can cover guards and wings, and he will join Jenkins as a leading contender for Big East Player of the Year as a senior. No matter what Villanova has lost to graduation off of last year's title contender, Jenkins and Hart are superstars of such high quality that they could combine to make virtually any roster in America into a Final Four challenger. Wright's team does lose a lot with the departures of senior leaders Ryan Arcidiacono and Daniel Ochefu. Arcidiacono was a do-everything guard who always seemed to be in the right place at the right time, and his steady effectiveness on both ends of the court was something that his teammates grew to rely upon. Ochefu added size to a smallish team, and he was both a double-double threat who defenses had to account for inside and the team's only true rim protector. Wright believed that he had a ready-to-go replacement for Ochefu in 5-star freshman Omari Spellman. A huge presence in the paint with great footwork and the offensive game of a 10-year NBA vet, Spellman is going to be great for Villanova. Next year. Unfortunately for Wright and Co, Spellman was ruled academically ineligible due to a mix-up in his 9th grade transcripts. As a result, Spellman must redshirt and wait for his chance to become a star next year. Fortunately for Villanova, not only is the rest of the roster loaded, but Wright has three solid options to use at the 5 spot instead of Spellman. Darryl Reynolds is a veteran presence who has battled in the paint against some of the best teams in America for years behind Ochefu, and now he'll get the start for the Wildcats. Reynolds is no star offensively, as he gets most of his points on quick feeds or putbacks. He's a great rebounder and quality defender with a good motor and improved mobility. While Reynolds isn't going to put up double-doubles like Ochefu, he will provide reliability in the paint while the rest of Wright's players do the scoring. And if Reynolds shows a bit more scoring panache as a senior, Nova will be that much more dangerous. Redshirt freshman Tim Delaney could step right into a quality backup role, and the former Top 150 prospect can provide rebounding and a bit of shooting range as well. The thing is, Delaney had surgery on both hips last season year and took a redshirt, and he's still not completely himself. Still, Delaney has worked hard during the summer to get healthy and this fall to get into game form. He'll play a bench role if Wright feels he's healthy, and if Delaney gets back to 100% he could emerge as a reliable bench presence. Incoming freshman Dylan Painter is the team's biggest player, and while he will have to prove he is physical enough to handle Big East play, he could earn a key backup role. Painter is a skilled big who can create good looks with his length and mobility. It's not a sure thing that either Delaney or Painter will play more than a dozen minutes per game, but if they can both give Wright a decent dozen minutes, it will really help. The 5 spot is Villanova's question mark, but even without Spellman it can be a plus for the Wildcats if everyone fits into a comfortable role. The supporting cast for this team is vast, talented and young. Jalen Brunson was a 5-star recruit last year who acquitted himself well as a freshman overall. Now, the offense will be in his hands so long as he plays the way Wright demands. At times last year, the coach was frustrated by Brunson's shot selection and decision-making, but as Brunson matured his role became established and now the sophomore point guard will look to emerge as a star. Brunson slashed 45/38/77% from the floor and handed out 100 assists against 72 turnovers. The shooting line was terrific; Wright knows that Brunson's A/TO rate can improve significantly. Now that Brunson won't have Arcidiacono to handle the main playmaking duties, he'll have to emerge as the type of classic floor general that he was advertised as being before arriving in Philly. It says a lot about the huge expectations heaped upon Brunson that some have called his freshman season a mild disappointment. This season, Brunson should emerge as one of the nation's best young point guards. Phil Booth is an excellent combo guard who could very well earn a starting role as a junior. As a freshman, Booth shot a blistering 56% from the field and 49% from three. Last year, as his role expanded, Booth finished with a 37/32/89% line. And yet, Booth shot 58% from downtown in the NCAA Tournament and gave one of his many flashes of greatness in the NCAA title game itself. Booth's 20 points on 6/7 shooting showed the type of explosive scoring potential he has, and this season Booth is going to get starter's minutes. If he can recapture his efficient stroke and make good decisions with the ball, Booth is going to become a star. Donte DiVincienzo is a former Top 150 prospect who took a redshirt last season after eight games played due to an ankle injury. He's 100% now and ready to push for a big role in Wright's backcourt. A big guard who can pass the ball, knock down shots and attack off the bounce, DiVincienzo used his redshirt season to add strength and improve his handle. When DiVincienzo maintains his aggressiveness, Wright thinks that he can be a key offensive player. Defensively, DiVincienzo has good length and quickness and he's showed improvements in fall practice. It looks like he will be a productive two-way player who can score, distribute and defend in a variety of lineups. Wright really has an embarrassment of riches in the backcourt. The two biggest x-factors for Villanova, this behemoth devoid of a traditional big production post player, are the forward duo of Mikal Bridges and Eric Paschall. Bridges redshirted two seasons ago to add strength, but once he was on the floor for the 'Cats, Bridges made an immediate impact. Long and athletic with great quickness and good end-to-end awareness, Bridges is a versatile defender who will be on the floor in all sorts of important situations for the forseeable future. With tremendous instincts, Bridges can react quickly even when he's out of position or facing a size/strength mismatch, and he's developing a good overall feel on the offense end as well. Bridges can knock down outside jumpers, but as a freshman he was inconsistent and did his best work on quick looks near the rim. If the experienced sophomore can make strides as a shooter, he will play starter's minutes. Paschall is a throwback. The former Fordham star is a big, strong, below-the-rim scorer who can become poetry in motion with his great touch and footwork in the paint. Paschall doesn't have the measurables which wow NBA scouts, but the sophomore forward can really score the ball inside and he's going to be a matchup problem for lots of defenders. Paschall was a primary option for the Rams, but now that he's eligible for Villanova he'll likely be a super sub, allowing Wright to mix and match his lineups based upon what the defense is trying to do against Villanova. If Paschall gets matched against a smaller, slower, or simply inexperienced opponent, he will go to work with an array of quick post-up moves, and Paschall is a whiz with his back to the basket. A more reliable jump shot, cultivated during the transfer year off, will make Paschall an even more dangerous scorer. With a great idea of how to score the ball inside and the strength and occasionally, attitude to give Villanova a different look up front, expect Paschall to be a key fixture in Wright's rotation immediately. Villanova is loaded with talent, with experience, with potential: and they are the returning National Champions. Other programs have certainly added more raw talent than the Wildcats during the past year - and many have more post depth and traditional big men, as well. Nova is unconcerned. The 'Cats have real, proven star power, tremendous depth of their own, and talented, versatile newcomers who should allow Wright lots of flexibility. Villanova may not repeat as champions because repeating is one hell of a tough challenge. However, until some other team proves that it can knock the Wildcats off the summit of college basketball, there is no reason to bet against them.
ButlerButler Bulldogs Big EastBig East, formerly Atlantic 10Atlantic 10 and HorizonHorizon League Basic Info Butler University Butler University was founded as North Western Christian University in 1855 by Ovid Butler. Though founded by members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), it was never controlled by the church (lol Catholic 7). It was the first university in Indiana and third in the U.S. to admit both men and women. School Motto: Education, Research, Service Year Founded - 1855 Location - Indianapolis, Indiana President: James Danko Total Attendance: ~5,000 students Team Info Mascot: Bulldogs Live Mascot:Butler Blue III, aka Trip, formerly Butler Blue II aka Blue 2 and Butler Blue Cheerleaders:Hink and the Squad Fight Song:The Butler War Song Stadium:Hinkle Fieldhouse Capacity: 9,100 Stadium Location - Indianapolis, IN (on campus) Conference Regular Season Champions (18): Missouri Valley Conference: 1933, 1934 Mid-American Conference: 1947, Indiana Collegiate Conference: 1952, 1953, 1959, 1961, 1962 Horizon League: 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 Conference Tournament Champions (7): Horizon League: 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2008, 2010, 2011 NCAA Tournament Appearances (14): 1962, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016 NCAA Tournament Record: 21-14 Best Tournament Finish: National Runner-up, 2010, 2011
National Tournament Results
YOU KNOW THE STORY. YOU'VE HEARD THE LEGENDS. 3 INCHES FROM THE SINGLE GREATEST BASKETBALL GAME IN RECORDED HISTORY.
I am only versed in the recent history of this rivalry, but let me be clear: We. Fucking. Hate. Xavier. Things have been heated ever since the infamous Water Fountain Game. Most of the Butler community views the Xavier team and fanbase with contempt, especially since the Xavier-Cincy brawl (when no one got suspended - looking at you Chirs Volde-Mack). Most recently, we've been having a good laugh about JP Macura getting arrested for flashing his junk to the cops. This rivalry is heavily one-sided in favor of Xavier, 37-18, but doesn't drown out the fire that is brought to every match up.
Meh. Not really a rivalry, but IU simply does not have a case to claim "Best Team in the State" this century. Nor do Purdue or Notre Dame for that matter. This is more of a "fuck off, big brother" type deal. Our record in the Crossroads Classic shows as much.
Marquette Golden Eagles
Also not quite a rivalry, but ever since the 2012 Maui Invitational and joining the Big East, these games have had an air of excitement surrounding them. As far as I'm aware, there's no bad blood between our two teams, just plain old basketball. These are good games and Butler and Marquette fans alike should pay attention in the coming year. This could be the start of a purely skill-based rivalry.
When I close my eyes, I can still see Hayward's shot. I swear it's going in. This time it will, I know it. For one day, we were all Butler Bulldogs. Yes, we lost this game. But that doesn't take away anything that the team did that year. We lost our final non-conference game and the team said, "fuck this shit, let's run train on these bitches" except the white boy Indiana equivalent. They went undefeated in Horizon League play. They swept the Conference Tournament. They beat four nationally ranked teams in a span of two weeks to reach the national championship, the smallest school to get there since Nova in 1985. Butler has absolutely nothing to be ashamed of in this lost. They did more than any other team in that tournament.
This was sweet, sweet revenge for knocking us out of the 2000 and 2007 Tournaments. We were down at the half. We were down halfway through the second half. Our Lord and Savior Brad Stevens calls on a rarely used frosh, Chrishawn Hopkins, and he knocks down a trey, to the delight of Gus Johnson. This sparks a rally that allows the Bulldogs to tie it up and send it to overtime. Who doesn't love OT in the NCAA Tournament? Butler gets the job done in OT to get to their second consecutive Final Four.
This was a nail-biter the whole 45 minutes of game time. Also this your 101 class on "Scrub to Schollie" taught by Alex Barlow, the walk-on guard who was granted a scholarship just days after hitting the game winner against the #1 team in the country. Butler's first ever victory against a #1 ranked team. Sweet satisfaction that lead to many social media posts of "#1 in the country - #2 in the state."
I would also like to take this time to point out a few glorious tidbits. IU's first ever basketball game in the 1900-01 season was a loss to Butler, 17-20. When Old Assembly Hall hosted its first basketball game on February 21, 1901, that too was a loss to Butler 20-24. The following season IU opened the season against, you guessed it, Butler, losing 15-17. Fourth time was the charm though, a 32-29 win. Thank you for your time. P.S. Bet you won't show your faces in Hinkle any time soon...Scared?
If you like college basketball, what more could you conceivably ask for in a game? Two high ranking mid-majors (at the time, I will fight you if you think Butler is a mid-major today) duking it out in one of the top 5 places in the country to see a basketball game. Dick Vitale having a stroke because of the finish. Can I just point out one thing? Roosevelt Jones, the dude who score the winning bucket, WAS NOT EVEN IN THE GAME WHEN BUTLER TRAVELED. HE. WAS. NOT. IN. THE. GODDAMN. GAME. BRAD STEVENS YOU ABSOLUTE GENIUS. Greatest Players:
Ralph "Bucksot" O'Brien (1946-1950) - I literally have no idea who this guy is at all, but his nickname was Buckshot and that's dope. Last Butler player to be drafted to the NBA before Gordon Hayward in 2010.
Bobby Plump (1954-1958) - the man who made The Milan Miracle happen which inspired everyone's favorite non-Space Jam basketball movie, Hoosiers.
Joel Cornette (1999-2003) - Thousand point scorer. 700+ rebounds. Helped to lead Butler into national prominence at the turn of the century. This dude grew 3-4 inches between his freshman and sophomore years. How bout that? By the way, do you like put-back dunks for wins over IU? Joel didHe passed away recently at the too young age of 35. He will be missed.
Darnell Archey (1999-2003) - Ever wonder how many consecutive free throws someone made in college basketball? Well the record is 85, and Archey owns it. His streak lasted from February 15, 2001 until January 18, 2003.
Gordon Hayward (2008-2010) - The tennis player and professional gamer who also does some basketball related activities from time to time.
Shelvin Mack (2008-2011) - A lights-out shooter and the #13 all time scorer at Butler, Mack was instrumental in getting the team back to the National Championship in 2011. Now he's getting the band back together in Utah as a teammate of Gordon Hayward on the Jazz.
Andrew Smith (2009-2013) - Thanks to the amazing tournament runs of 2010 and 2011, you all know how Andrew was as a player. And thanks to his incredibly strong widow, Samantha, you all know how Andrew was as a human being. I want to personally thank this subreddit for the outpouring of support for Andrew and the Butler community during those troubling times.
I'm going to leave off Roosevelt Jones and Kellen Dunham for the time being since they are still pretty fresh in our minds. But don't get me wrong, they are two of the greatest players in the history of Butler University.
Harlan Page (1920-1926) 100-30 Before there was any sort of real national tournament, Page led the Bulldogs to the 1924 AAU National Championship. (SO THERE. We did it!)
Tony Hinkle (1926-1942, 1945-1970) 559-395 This dude coached Butler for 41 years, not including the time he took a break to GO FIGHT IN WORLD WAR II GOT DAMN. Oh, he also INVENTED the orange basketball. You're welcome. And one more tiny detail, THEY NAMED THE DAMN FIELDHOUSE AFTER HIM WHILE HE WAS STILL COACHING THERE. Literally a living legend at the time.
Barry Collier (1989-2000) 196-132 The man who almost single-handedly saved Butler Basketball. Many people don't know this, but the year before Collier took over, Butler was considering dropping to D3 or even cancelling the program. Barry said "Fuck that shit" and wrote a 40 page thesis on how he was going to rebuild the program and institute what he learned under Tony Hinkle - what we know today as The Butler Way - and threw it at the University President's head yelling, "GIMME" (I may be paraphrasing those events, though the 40 page thesis is true).
Thad Matta (2000-2001) 24-8 Hired Brad Stevens.
Todd Lickliter (2001-2007) 131-61 Coached Butler to its first Sweet Sixteen in program history. Promoted Brad Stevens to full time assistant coach. Made Iowa a laughing stock for 3 years.
Brad Stevens (2007-2013) 166-49 Find me a better Xs and Os coach in the sport right now and I'll kiss you on the mouth. A rock on the sideline to both players and fans alike. He coached the hell out of those Cinderella teams in 2010 and 2011. On July 3rd, 2013, the world ended as the Boston Celtics stole him from us (though I'm a fan of them now by default). To no one's (in college basketball) surprise, he took a shit roster in the Celtics and started winning games. Danny Ainge panicked and traded off the rest of the team leaving Stevens with little more than some old guys, some bench players, and a mop. This turned into a completely different situation, and in his second year made it to the playoffs with some slightly better scrubs. I digress, this is college basketball's subreddit.
I'm not really aware of any particular traditions around Butler Basketball so here are some throwaways.
Many Dawg Pound members eat Chick-fil-A sandwiches before games and have brief mental breakdowns when Butler plays on a Sunday.
One fun annual tradition is destroying Purdue and sometimes IU in the Crossroads Classic.
Scotty's Dawghouse is the newest and (heavily biased) best eatery that is little more than a hop, skip, and a jump away from Hinkle. View from the patio I took a few months ago. Scotty's is a Indiana chain that can be found all over Indy.
The many restaurants and bars of Broad Ripple and Downtown Indy (both a 5-10 minute drive from campus)
NOT Butler Dining. It's better than it was 6 years ago, but it's still bad.
Famous Alumni Other than basketball related people and a bunch of people I've never heard of, Butler has a couple other relatively famous Alumni, and one whopper of a graduate.
Last but not least, and the reason Butler is always near the top of those annual lists of "The Worst Graudates of the NCAA Tournament Teams," Jim Jones of the infamous Jonestown Cult mass murder-suicide.
Butler has yet to beat Villanova since joining the Big East, causing these games to be some of the best we play every year.
Butler has one of the top 3 dance programs in the country. We're talking Julliard level here, if not better.
Butler's Lacy School of Business is #1 in the country for internships. They require you to have 2 internships to graduate.
I made a half court shot at a game and won a tv.
What Is and What is to Come
Butler's current head coach is Chris Holtmann (2 N's - don't forget). He took over on an interim basis in 2014 and was named full time head coach in January of 2015. He has done a stellar job guiding this team through a rough patch following the departure of Brad Stevens. Holtmann has taken Butler to two consecutive NCAA tournaments, winning a game each time. Under his tutelage, we have seen the flourishing Kellen Dunham and Roosevelt Jones, the growth of Andrew Chrabascz, and the rising stars in Kelan Martin and Tyler Wideman. One thing that Coach Holtmann is doing at Butler that is radically different from the days of yore is casting a WIDE and public net for recruiting. In the past, it seemed like few people knew about the recruits until they committed. Now, all of the coaches are hitting the recruiting trail extremely hard and as a result, Butler has been making the final cuts of a lot of top notch players. Here's to hoping we land them all! 2016-17 Team wiki page
I'm a huge Butler fan, and if you'd like to add something please just message me and I'll get it in here! I know there are probably games y'all think I should add to the Greatest Games section, so send em my way.
The 2014 NCAA Championship Game Posted on April 7, 2014 | by TheDuck The game has finally arrived, we started with a reduced field of 32 and we have ended up with the two best teams in college basketball, this will be for all the cheese as it is a one loss your out system. Ex. Baylor Bears (8/1) to win the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship. The Bears are listed as a 8/1 betting choice to win the NCAA Men's Championship. If you wager $100 on Baylor to win the NCAA and it captures the championship, then you would win $800 (8 ÷ 1 x 100). You would collect $900, which includes your win and stake ($100). NCAA Basketball. PGA Tour. David Lingmerth (-15) over Justin Rose 2014: Hideki Matsuyama (-13) over Kevin Na there will be a designated section on how to approach the 15-time major Year Champion (Record) Coach Score Runner-Up Site title game replays; 2019: Virginia (35-3) Tony Bennett: 85-77 (OT) Texas Tech: Minneapolis, Minn. Watch the full game Kentucky is the betting favorite to win 2015 national championship in college basketball New, 3 comments A loaded Wildcats team is the favorite to win its second national title, with its third
Kentucky vs Wichita State Full Highlights 2014 NCAA Basketball Tournament
Duke Basketball 2014-15: ... Duke Basketball 2015: THE SEASON (6/17/15) - Duration: ... Duke Basketball 384,291 views. 12:34 #1 Kentucky vs #4 Louisville Ncaa Tournament Final Four 2012 (Full Game ... UCLA defeats Kentucky 92-85. The title win would be John Wooden's last game and the last of his 10 NCAA titles. Watch the 2014 NCAA Final Four Highlight Video that was shown at Gampel Pavilion during the Championship Pep Rally. Song Credit: Love Me Again - John Newman Shot At The Night - The Killers Happy ... Duke Blue Devils @ Wisconsin Badgers - NCAA Basketball - December 3, 2014 College Basketball Betting - http://bit.ly/ncaabasket. List of all NCAA Division I men's basketball champions in history from 1939 to 2019, showing championship games, by year, winners and losers, final scores and venues. College basketball winners ...