Kris Dunn Dwayne Wade Comparison

This year, Dunn is primed to be a repeat of Dwayne Wade’s Big East emergence for the Marquette Golden Eagles.  That year, Wade led his 3-seeded Marquette group to the Final 4 with a win over #1 Kentucky.

Dunn is labeled a point guard by fans who watch college basketball through the lens of predicting what a guy will resemble in the NBA.  Those who actually watch the games know that Dunn is no point guard.  He rebounds, attacks the rim, dribbles with a giddy-up that can freeze a defender, shoots that fall-away, wears the number 3, and rips the ball from unsuspecting dribblers from a help defender position.  At Marquette, Wade was listed at 6-5.  Dunn is 6-4.

Dwayne Wade was the 5th overall pick for the Miami Heat in the 2003 NBA Draft.  ESPN’s Chad Ford has Kris Dunn projected as the number 8 pick next Spring.

Chris Paul followed advice to go and see Kris Dunn in person during the DirecTV Wooden Legacy Championship game.  During the ESPN telecast, Paul remarked on Dunn’s aggressive nature for scoring.  Basketball fans who follow @CBBEyeTest on Twitter say Kris Dunn is the frontrunner for Player of the Year.



Sons of NBA Players in College Basketball 2015-16

There are many sons of NBA players currently in college basketball.  Gary Payton Jr., Sam Cassell Jr., and Jalen Bruson are some of the better-known second generation basketball players.  However, it’s not only point guards who inherit the talent.  Domantas Sabonis is the son of Arvydas Sabonis, but could navigate a much different pro path—playing NBA ball in his prime (Arvydas played overseas for a decade before joining the Blazers).

Elgin Cook’s father, Alvin Robertson, played in the NBA with the San Antonio Spurs.  Cook is now one of the leaders of a nationally ranked Oregon Ducks team.  See a list of more second generation NCAA players below.

Here is a list of NCAA basketball players whose dads played in the NBA:

Son Current team NBA dad NBA team of note
Lasani Johnson Stephen F. Austin Larry Johnson Charlotte Hornets
Aubrey Dawkins Michigan Johnny Dawkins Philadelphia 76ers
Sam Cassell Jr. UCONN Sam Cassell Houston Rockets
Isaiah Wilkins Virginia Dominique Wilkins (stepfather) Atlanta Hawks
Domantas Sabonis Gonzaga Arvydas Sabonis Portland Trailblazers
A.J. English III Iona A.J. English II Denver Nuggets
Justin Robinson Duke David Robinson San Antonio Spurs
Wyatt Lohaus Northern Iowa Brad Lohaus Milwaukee Bucks
Bryce Alford UCLA Steve Alford Dallas Mavericks
Elgin Cook Oregon Alvin Robertson San Antonio Spurs
A.J. Davis UCF Antonio Davis Indiana Pacers
Trey Mourning Georgetown Alonzo Mourning Miami Heat
Jalen Brunson Villanova Rick Brunson Toronto Raptors
Gary Payton, Jr. Oregon State Gary Payton Seattle Supersonics
Kameron Rooks California Sean Rooks LA Clippers
Brandan Stith Old Dominion Bryant Stith Denver Nuggets
Evan Manning Kansas Danny Manning LA Clippers




Turkey Takeaways

If the Thanksgiving turkey made you tired, we want to be sure you don’t sleep on these developments.  The holiday weekend was full of quality college basketball.

A&M is For Real

If there was any doubt in your mind the Aggies have game, this battle in Atlantis is Exhibit A for their excellence.  The Aggiees illustrated depth, a transition game, and an ability to stretch the floor.

Tony Trocha-Morelos made Przemek Karnowski  look silly at times on defense.  Trocha-Morelos hit 4-4 from 3 point territory while guarded by the big man.

A quintessential cliche of the picture-perfect team is one in which the name on the back of the jersey is secondary.  With their slick black-on-black tops, you literally couldn’t see the name of each player darting into passing lanes and diving down to double-team Gonzaga’s three-headed-monster.  Led by Daniel House, Texas A&M excelled past Gonzaga, but was defeated by Syracuse in Battle 4 Atlantis Championship.  Syracuse is banned from postseason play.  The Orange showed it can play the role of spoiler.

Gonzaga Guardplay 

Josh Perkins is sick of hearing you say Gonzaga “lost a lot” at point.

Of course, Gonzaga did lose a tandem of two of the best guards in its program history—Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell, Jr.

If you watched the A&M game, you now know that the siren-sounding about the loss of talent is overblown.  Josh Perkins is a player.  Perkins doesn’t have the deadly range that Kevin Pangos did, but there are things from Perkins game that you didn’t see from Pangos (especially while he was nursing injury as an upperclassmen).  Perkins scored 15 points in the second half.  He led a transition break himself and made an athletic move to stop on a dime and hit a mid-range bucket.  He skied for a rebound in the late minutes to regain possession in a pivotal spot.  Perkins was also efficient from 3 point territory.

Providence Prodigy

We have to sneak this note in before the next paragraph appears to be a slight on the Providence Friars.  Coach Ed Cooley has been knocking on the door of greatness, as in a Sweet Sixteen berth greatness, for a few years now.  His Providence teams have been gritty.  They have also had Kris Dunn.  This year, Dunn is primed to be a repeat of Dwayne Wade’s Big East emergence for the Marquette Golden Eagles.  That year, Wade led his 3-seeded Marquette group to the Final 4 with a win over #1 Kentucky.  Dunn is labeled a point guard by fans who watch college basketball through the lens of predicting what a guy will resemble in the NBA.  Those who actually watch the games know that Dunn is no point guard.  He rebounds, attacks the rim, dribbles with a giddy-up that can freeze a defender, shoots that fall-away, wears the number 3, and rips the ball from unsuspecting dribblers from a help defender position.  At Marquette, Wade was listed at 6-5.  Dunn is 6-4.  Chris Paul followed advice to go and see Kris Dunn in person during the DirecTV Wooden Legacy Championship game.  During the ESPN telecast, Paul remarked on Dunn’s aggressive nature for scoring.  Basketball fans who follow @CBBEyeTest on Twitter say Kris Dunn is the frontrunner for Player of the Year.

Arizona Arrogance 

It’s difficult to understand how Arizona is automatically slotted in the top 15 among AP voters.  When you watch this team, you know it is not a top 25 squad.  The Wildcats went to overtime to defeat a winless Santa Clara team.  The following night Kris Dunn ran circles around Arizona, scoring the final ten points in a win.

Doesn’t it feel like this happens every year?  A cushy spot in the low teens is slotted for the Pac 12.  The same is happening right now for California and Cuonzo Martin’s squad.  Cal is ranked in the teens as is Arizona.  However, both teams suffered losses to unranked teams on neutral floors this holiday.  Let’s stop ranking Pac 12 teams on what potential their rosters have and instead on the productivity on the floor.

The 6-0 Squads Squared Off 

Neither Cincinatti and George Washington are in the Big East, but in Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center, their matchup looked like an old Big East Championship.

Patricio Garino led the way, again, for the Colonials.  He scored off of steals and from behind-the-arc.  In the end the Bearcats defense guarded Garino tight and dared someone else to beat them.  GW Center Kevin Larson finished the game with just one point and the Colonials lost a game that they had led throughout.

For the Bearcats, sophomore point guard Troy Caupain pressed the gas pedal late.  He led Cincy in minutes played as looks to be the routine.  Their are plenty of mouths to feed in that Cincinatti offense.  The Bearcats took a bite out of their first RPI top 50 win by defeating George Washington.  We really get to see how good the Bearcats are now.  They’ll play Xavier, Butler, Iowa State, VCU and Temple before 2016.

Dunk City Sequel? 

I can’t make the argument that USC 2015 will become Florida Gulf Coast 2013.  Watching the Trojans today tells me that Andy Enfield has a young team that can run the floor and share the rock.  They held Wichita State to 2-17 shooting in the opening session.  Watching this happen, it looked the dizzying tempo Wichita State had to guard affected its offensive output.  Props for the Wichita State win, but I’m not getting super excited seeing that Van Vleet and company were missing in action.  I can say that USC could be a serious handful in 2016.

King James of the Plains 

You’ll laugh reading this, seeing that Wichita State lost three straight.  But Ron Baker is the college basketball version of LeBron James.  His football background allows him to get anywhere he wants on the floor.  Baker is a terrific defender.  He can guard the post and the point.  Baker passes first, but can run the floor and/or put his head down and go get a basket.  And, unlike Ben Simmons (who you could also make the LeBron argument about), Ron Baker is deadly when left open from behind the arc.  It was a pleasure watching Baker lead his undermanned Shocker squad against an upstart USC team.  He almost won the game single-handedly.  Wichita State currently has a carousel of power forwards jockeying for playing time.  Baker seemed to set each up with a pocket pass after drawing a double team around the elbow.  In the end, USC got the best of him.  However, it looked more like LeBron surrounded by Boobie Gibson and Donyell Marshall than it did LeBron surrounded by Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.  We can’t say Wichita State has a lack of depth.  However, after watching, we can absolutely say that Wichita State has a lack of scoring punch off of the bench.  Freshman Markis McDuffie showed that he can score in the Alabama game.  Despite his contribution, the Shockers are reeling from the absence of Fred Van Vleet and Connor Frankamp.  Help is on the way, King James of the Plains.

Turkeytology 2.0 (a “Bracketology” Holiday Tradition)

Last season correctly picked 40 of the 68 tournament teams on Thanksgiving.

Here is our second crack at it.  Hopefully we’ll improve on last season’s record and move closer to making this a holiday tradition!

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And, to ensure there’s a witness, we tagged Joey Brackets on Twitter…

North Carolina Debrief

Kansas State is not very good.

Northern Iowa lost its National Player of the Year candidate, Seth Tuttle.

Yet, both teams made North Carolina look very pedestrian this past week.

As you know, Northern Iowa defeated North Carolina 71-67 while hosting them November 21st.  Senior point guard Marcus Paige watched from the sidelines in what was scheduled to be a homecoming in his native state.  However, his hand injury kept him out and his teammates failed to raise a hand to guard the 3-point line.

The Panthers shot 39.3% from behind the arc on 28 attempts.  To put that into perspective, Reggie Miller averaged 39.5% for his NBA career.

The Panthers trailed by 16 with 16 minutes left in the game.  They won by four points.   We’re learning that North Carolina is a team that can go on a run, but is also susceptible to those swings.

Marcus Paige is clearly a catalyst for the offense, but the Tar Heels defense is showing major deficiencies in this recent rut.

Two days before Thanksgiving, North Carolina again failed to guard the 3-point line.  A very inexperienced Kansas State squad shot lights out, especially in the first half, taking a 32-30 lead into the lockerroom.  The Wildcats finished the game shooting 50% from three-point-land (8-16).

In the game North Carolina’s guards contributed a total 7 assists to their combined 7 turnovers.  That’s not the type of production you’d want from a bench in a Sweet Sixteen game against Michigan State or UCONN, let alone K-State.

The Tar Heels rallied with a 14-1 run on 2:59 game-time to avoid a bad loss in front of a boisterous Kansas City crowd.

If Roy Williams wants his bunch poised for the Final Four, it’s going to take more than just getting Marcus Paige back.

Value Plays on the Beach

Vashil Fernandez, F Valpairaso ($6,000 Draft Kings)

The big man struggled with foul trouble in his last outing up in Oregon.  The Ducks come at you in all directions, and have size that can run as well.  Fernandez’s value has dropped about a thousand fantasy bucks after his 21 minute, 2 point performance.  His line against Rhode Island is more like an average night for Fernandez—12 points, 3 blocks and 4 rebounds.  Ohio State also doesn’t scare you in the post, so Fernandez should bring an appetite and keep eating.

Carlton Bragg Jr., F Kansas ($3,400 Draft Kings)

If you’ve blown almost all of your fantasy cash, Carlton Bragg Jr. is a decent option.  The freshman has been a staple of Bill Self’s rotation, playing in the mid-teens for minutes per game.  He turned twelve minutes of play into 9 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists against Chaminade.  Bragg is a power forward in training, who the Jayhawks will give an occasional post-up opportunity.  He is active on the offensive glass.  Tuesday night he faces an equally young UCLA squad.  As Self is clearly developing his lineup, and with Chieck Diallo still out, this freshman could have his coming-out-party any night now.

Greg McClinton, F Wake Forest ($4,400 Draft Kings)

Sometimes in a tournament environment, when a player gets hot he stays hot.  For the price, you could roll the dice that this happens with McClinton.  The Demon Deacons are playing with house money after surprising Indiana and making the Hoosiers defense look pedestrian.  McClinton scored 7 points and grabbed 7 rebounds in the process.  There’s another factor that fantasy players can appreciate.  McClinton has consistently played between 20-25 minutes each game thus far.  There have been no wild swings of 8 then 28 minutes, like so many role players in the college game experience.



A Chance to Check Out Vanderbilt

If you’re starting the Thanksgiving holiday days early, this may be the first chance to feast your eyes on a team with much hype surrounding it.

The Vanderbilt Commodores come into Monday’s 2:30 EST game against St. John’s  19th overall in the new AP rankings and a slot better on

The eye test shows an NBA Lottery prospect, Damian Jones, budding as a post presence that demands the ball.

Wade Baldwin, who has a little Shannon Brown pop to his point guard game, leads the team in scoring.

Riley LaChance is a pure shooter.

We in the blogosphere are also buzzing about the Commodores.  For example, the Three-Man-Weave has them biting at the ankles as the number two team in the SEC.

Before we crown Kevin Stallings as SEC Coach of the Year, the ghosts of the Commodores’ past remind us of 2011-2012.

The Commodores came firing into the tournament after its first conference championship in 61 years.  They were loaded with senior talent—Festus Ezeli, Lance Goulbourne, Brad Tinsley, Steve Tchiengang and Jeffery Taylor.  Vandy went one-and-done, suffering a first weekend loss to Wisconsin.

Tweet your thoughts on Monday’s Maui performance by Vanderbilt.  Give a shout to @CBBEyeTest.  


Fantasy Value Players: Puerto Rico Tip Off

It’s the day of the Puerto Rico Tip Off and you want to get into daily fantasy.

You want to get college basketball’s newest diaper dandy, LSU’s Ben Simmons, on your squad, but he costs and arm and a leg.

Here are three players that can bring production at a great value.

Josh Gray, G LSU ($5,100 Draft Kings)

First, Josh Gray is a good option right there on the LSU roster. He returned from suspension and played 22 minutes in his first action against Kennesaw State. He is a score-first point guard by nature, but has played better over his LSU tenure (formerly of Odessa Texas Tech college).  Last year with underclassmen such as Jordan Mickey, Gray showed an ability to run the floor and contribute in transition. He obviously has the resources surrounding him now. Especially with point guard Keith Hornsby still out with an injury, Gray is a great option.

Peter Jok, G Iowa ($4,500 Draft Kings)

Peter Jok is expected to return tonight after suffering an ankle injury.  The 6-6 junior averaged 7 points last season, but is sure to see an expanded roll with Roy Devyn Marble having moved on.  He is an active defender and can score you a couple of steals.  Jok also hit 2 of 3 three pointers in his first game against Gardner-Webb.  Most daily fantasy leagues reward bonus points for 3’s.

Isaiah Zierden, G Creighton ($5,800 Draft Kings)

Although lesser competition, Creighton blew out its first two opponents.  The Blue Jays scored 196 points.  Versatile guard Isaiah Zierden led Creighton in points, steals and minutes played in its last win against UTSA.  Check out these highlights, courtesy of Creighton Athletics, and pay close attention to number 21.



Eye Test Tip-Off All Stars

Here are the guys who not only stood out while watching the Tip-Off Marathon, but also led their teams to victory.
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First Team All Eye Test Tip-Off All Stars 
G Tyler Ulis, Kentucky
Denzel Valentine, Michigan State
G Charles Cooke, Dayton
F  James White, Georgia Tech
F  Patricio Garino, George Washington
Second Team All Eye Test Tip-Off All Stars 
 Paul Jorgenson, George Washington
G  George King, Colorado
G  Jeremy Morgan, Northern Iowa
F  Nick Faust, Long Beach State
Jordan Loveridge, Utah
First Team Notes:
Tyler Ulis played near-mistake free basketball.  Denzel Valentine was quiet in the first half but chipped away at a triple double and willed his team to a win over Kansas Tuesday night.
Charles Cooke scored a third of his team’s points as Dayton led 57-31 at one point against Alabama.  Cooke, a James Madison transfer, shot 66% from the field.  That included two threes and a dunk in transition to put a punctuation early on what amounted to an 80-46 win.
 James White led Georgia Tech with 17 points in the first half to help the Yellow Jackets set the tone and fend off Rick Barne’s Tennessee Vols.
Patricio Garino looked like Tony Kukoc against Virginia.  His length on defense bothered Cavalier wings and he finished with a 14 point second half for the upset of the marathon.
                                                 Second Team Notes:
Paul Jorgensen was another star of a huge team win for George Washington.  We all know about Josh Scott for Colorado, but George King dropped 32 on Auburn to get a quality road victory.  His contribution could greatly help in the scoring void left by Xavier Johnson’s season-ending injury.  Jeremy Morgan was known last year as a defensive stopper for Northern Iowa, but on Tuesday he showcased his offensive moves early.  Morgan scored seven in the opening moments as Stephen F. Austin was made to look pedestrian for a second consecutive game.  Nick Faust, the Maryland transfer, did it all for Long Beach State in its win against BYU.  He scored 10, grabbed 8 rebounds, had an assist and dove on the floor late for an important loose ball and a resume building victory.  Jordan Loveridge missed this holiday stretch portion of the college basketball season.  Monday night, he benefited from a fluid balance to the Utes offense and scored 21 on 55% shooting for a home court win against San Diego State.

George Washington Colonials Win Tip-Off Marathon

Before the Tip-Off Marahon double-feature finale, the true college basketball fanatics already had a winner.

If you happen to follow George Washington basketball, you know that the story of 2014-15 is of what could have been.  The Colonials began the season 16-4, including wins against Wichita State and Colorado.  But the wheels came off in February and George Washington was not invited to the dance.

Fans in the nation’s capital looked forward to its internationally decorated roster getting a boost from, of all places, Syracuse.  Wake Forest transfer and Western New York native Tyler Cavanaugh delivered toughness to help gain a huge early season win against 6th-ranked Virginia.  Cavanaugh finished with 18 points.

Paul Jorgensen also came in the clutch, especially in the first half.  As point guard Joe McDonald gave up three first half turnovers (to be fair, Cavanaugh had 3 early as well), Jorgensen compensated with 8 points and solid play at point.

McDonald redeemed himself knocking down two threes moments apart.

Kevin Larsen also looked like a point guard from the post position, finishing with 5 assists to go with 7 rebounds and 9 points.

George Washington won 73-68 and, at times, it didn’t look that close.

Patricio Garino, pardon the cliche, let the game come to him.  The Argentinian had four points in the first half while focusing on defending guys like Anthony Gill.  Garino then finished with 18 points.

The producers behind the all-GW-basketball podcast, Hail to the Buff, sums it up best.  The handle tells on Twitter that the key to win was simply “interior passing and composure.”

There were some impressive wins, some bubble-on-bubble-crime wins, some wins that reaffirmed authority from some of the national powers, but this win by George Washington was the most advantageous win.  It’s an “upset” for now, but it puts George Washington in the drivers seat to keep on the gas petal from last year’s success.

Enjoy this one, George Washington.  Perhaps we’ll see your patriots in late March.