I was supposed to work during the NBA Draft, but the weather was terrible so I got to go home. I whipped out the laptop and this is what transpired:
6:35 — The NBA Draft isn’t in HD?!?!? The Tampa Bay Devil Rays broadcast their games in HD but the draft isn’t? I’m watching this on a 42-inch TV, but ESPN’s actual footage is taking up about 20 of those inches. Oden’s head actually seems kind of small — well, at least normal.
6:37 — Wow, getting drafted actually made Greg Oden crack a smile. An Oden smile is rarer than a solar eclipse. It’s not all that great though — for some reason Kevin Durant is smiling more than Oden. And now I see where Oden gets it from because his mother hardly seems to care either.
6:40 — Stephan A. Smith’s first completely obvious comment that he feels the need to yell out loud at a very unreasonable volume level: "You can’t teach 7’0”! You can’t teach 7’0"!!" Do I really need to listen to this all night? I actually wish Mel Kiper Jr. was here.
6:42 — Talk about a tease. Andy Katz just announced that Seattle was making a trade, but it took him about 30 seconds to make it clear that the Sonics were not trading their No. 2 pick — instead they traded Ray Allen for the No. 5 pick. Katz has no idea how many heart attacks he just caused. Seattle fans were thinking they just lost Durant, but realized 20 seconds later that it was only Ray Allen. Meanwhile, half of Boston suffered heart attacks because they thought they were getting Durant, then the other half suffered heart attacks when they realized they were only getting Ray Allen.
6:57 — So Jeff Green just went to the Boston Celtics of Seattle. Because the trade wasn’t made before 2 p.m. today, the Celtics still have to make the pick. What a dumb rule. For the rest of Green’s life he will look at draft day pictures and see himself wearing Celtics gear even though he isn’t on that team. It’s like if my parents dressed me in Cubs gear when I was born until my birth certificate was officially printed and I was officially a Sox fan. I know, that was a stupid thing to compare it to, but that’s exactly my point.
7:04 — I’m having a sudden appreciation for the 15-minute clock in the NFL Draft. ESPN is spending too much time breaking down the previous pick instead of previewing the next pick. Maybe we can compromise on a 10-minute clock.
7:08 — Yi Jianlian is talking to Stuart Scott. He seems to know the English language, but it doesn’t seem like he can talk. You think he is already pulling a Sammy Sosa because he doesn’t actually want to go to Milwaukee?
7:09 — Why is Stephan A. Smith yelling?
7:14 — Sam Smith of the Chicago Tribune was 6-for-6 in his mock draft before Corey Brewer went to Minnesota. The bad news? Joakim Noah is still on the board for the Bulls to pick. The last thing we need is another big guy who can’t score.
7:17 — Can we just take a moment to realize how good of a trade the Sonics made earlier? They just got Durant and Green? That might be even better than the Cleveland Browns nailing Joe Thomas and Brady Quinn. They probably gave up less than the Browns did too. Ray Allen? That’s it?
7:19 — Michael Jordan drafted a UNC player already … shocking. And Jay Bilas had Brandan Wright as his No. 4 overall player in the draft? That’s the one thing about Mel Kiper that I like — I trust the guy. His hair annoys me, but I trust him. If Bilas has Wright No. 4 then I’m not so sure I trust him.
7:23 — ESPN is actually spending a minute to preview who the Bulls will take. Unfortunately Smith just took up the whole minute telling us that he has no idea who the Bulls will take. Thanks *****.
7:25 — Joakim Noah. Sh!t. Too many afros on this team. Not enough dance moves. The good news is that Noah is another guy who will hustle and bring a ton of energy to the floor. The problem is that he tended to frustrate the Gainsville media and I don’t think it will be long before he clashes with the Chicago media.
8:00 — At this point I left the building after switching back and forth from the draft to the White Sox game. Here are my thoughts on the rest of the draft, however:
No. 21: It still amazes me that someone would actually draft Daequan Cook in the first round. THIS GUY WAS TERRIBLE LAST YEAR. He won the Big Ten Six Man Award by default (who else was going to win it? Joe Krabbenhoft?) He couldn’t shoot, yet he managed to take too many shots. Philly traded him to Miami — like there aren’t enough guys already on that team who shoot too much.
No. 28: Tiago Splitter is by far the best name of the draft.
No. 29: Congrats to Alando Tucker for going in the first round. I was up in Madison over the weekend and people kept asking me where he would be drafted. I really thought Phoenix was the best place for him. An undersized, incredibly athletic wing forward can always work in that system. I’m happy for him. He will play and they will like him.
No. 30: Did Philadelphia just draft a hockey player? Petteri Koponen of Finland is the last to go in the first round.
No. 31: Who would of thought that Carl Landry would be the first pick in the second round? Good for the Landry family, but if Seattle doesn’t take him I’m not sure Landry even gets drafted.
No. 37: All I’ll say is, "I told you so Josh McRoberts." Still happy he left though, because I don’t have to see him play anymore. Even happier he went to the Pacific Northwest because I don’t have to see him play anymore.
No. 43: Another Big Ten guy that I didn’t think would be drafted. I’ll take it though. Adam Haluska is a good guy and a good player. If he’s 6’5” though, then I’m as big as Greg Oden.
No. 49: The Bulls are back on the clock. Watching the draft with my buddy Keith, this is how the pick transpired:
Me: "Please don’t take Aaron Gray. Please don’t take Aaron Gray."
Keith: "Please don’t take Aaron Gray. Please don’t take Aaron Gray."
Both of us: "Sh!t. They took Aaron Gray."
When Pittsburgh was at the Kohl Center back in December, the Panthers were No. 2 in the nation and Gray was supposedly the best big man in college basketball and a sure Top 10 draft pick. Then he ****** in the game and Brian Butch, yes, Brian Butch scored 29 points as the Badgers routed Pitt. Gray is terrible, but I will say this: He is the closest thing to Bill Wennington and Luc Longley since they left.
No. 51: I actually like the pick of JamesOn Curry. Taurean Green was available, but Curry could end up being a good pro. He’s got some size at 6’3” and he is better than a late second-round pick. He slipped because of his past — an arrest that happened three years ago. The Bulls aren’t incredibly deep at the point guard position and I think Curry will be on this team come fall.
There is nothing better than predicting something and having it come true six months later. It doesn’t happen all the often, but it’s pretty sweet when it does.
Everyone makes predictions at the beginning of every season. My favorite are my Big Ten preseason picks and my preseason MLB picks — at least these are the ones I really take seriously when I sit down and make them. But, just like the NCAA Tournament, my picks are almost never right.
Take for instance my Big Ten basketball picks this season. I got one team in the right spot: Michigan State finishing in seventh place.
But there are those few times where you make a gutsy call and get it right. The most recent for me was picking Justin Morneau as my sleeper pick to win the AL MVP last season.
I’ve started making my MLB predictions for this season and realized how many possible scenarios there are. I will most likely post them next week, but I will say now that I am 99% sure that I am not picking the White Sox to win the AL Central — wild card, maybe, but not the division.
I can, however, give you my predictions/thoughts on tonight’s Sweet 16 matchups:
In my bracket, I have Southern Illinois beating Kansas and Pitt beating UCLA. I am going to stick with those picks, but after seeing Kansas play in person last weekend, it reaffirmed what I have been saying all season long — that the Jayhawks have the most talent in all of college basketball. Southern Illinois plays defense and could be the right team to take Kansas out, but I’m not so sure about this pick anymore.
Pitt will surprise UCLA, however. Being around the Big Ten the past five months, I know Indiana is terrible. The fact the Bruins let the Hoosiers back in that game, just made me more confident that Pitt’s balanced attack can upend UCLA.
Now the South bracket … My bracket says Ohio State and Texas A&M will win tonight. Again, I’m sticking with my bracket, but don’t be surprised if Tennessee upsets the Buckeyes. If you read my column yesterday, you know that I love Wayne Chism — and quite frankly, that name is so great that it could singlehandedly bring the Volunteers all the way to the Final Four. Will it happen though? Probably not. I’m going with the Aggies to win the South bracket.
- I’m trying to figure out why Steve Alford is leaving Iowa for New Mexico. We all know he can’t recruit, but this is the same guy that was rumored to be going to Indiana last year. I just wonder if he was getting pressurred out of Iowa City by the athletic department.
- Josh McRoberts is leaving early for the NBA? Thank god. I can’t stand watching him be worthless in college basketball. Now he can be worthless in the NBDL.
I might be back to blog during the Sweet 16 games tonight. At least the first session of games.
For now, check out my radio show today from 3-5 p.m. It runs every Tuesday and Thursday.