Are the Toronto Raptors tanking to try to bring Andrew Wiggins home to Canada?
By trading Rudy Gay to the Sacramento Kings, it certainly looks like they are headed in that direction.
From Toronto Star columnist Cathal Kelly:
“In off-loading flighty wing and human anvil Rudy Gay to the Sacramento Kings, Raptors GM Masai Ujiri has finally given the order for this season — ‘Dive.’ To read more of this story, click here
Despite his lackluster play last week in the Bahamas, NBA executives and scouts are still understandably high on Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins.
“His status isn’t about what he IS, it’s about what he CAN become,” one NBA GM who would take Wiggins No. 1 overall told SNY.tv.
Wiggins averaged just 8 points and 5 rebounds in Kansas’ last two games in the Bahamas — a loss to eventual champion Villanova and a win over UTEP — but by all accounts he was very ill.
“He was sick the whole trip but he still has to play and bring it,” said a source close to the Kansas program. To read more of this story, click here
By BEN BASKIN
Special to ZAGSBLOG
NEW YORK – On Friday afternoon, Kentucky coach John Calipari hopped on WFAN in New York and talked college basketball with Mike Francesa. Francesa asked some good questions to the coach of the third-ranked team in the country but, in his inimitable style, rarely allowed Calipari to finish more than a sentence before cutting him off.
For instance, at one point, Francesa asked: “How did Wiggins get to Kansas?”
Calipari began to respond, “Well, I think again we had a whole group of guys and…” but Francesa interrupted him with “Did you recruit? Were you close? You had to be close on Wiggins. You’re close on everybody…How good is Wiggins?” To read more of this story, click here
Perhaps the only funnier radio riff on Andrew Wiggins than Colin Cowherd’s question to Bobby Hurley earlier this year occurred Friday afternoon on WFAN in New York.
Mike Francesa, who clearly hasn’t watched a college basketball game yet this season, interviewed Kentucky coach John Calipari in advance of the Kentucky-Providence game Sunday at Barclays Center.
At one point, Francesa blurted out: “How did Wiggins get to Kansas?”
Calipari: “Well, I think again we had a whole group of guys and…” To read more of this story, click here
Iona senior guard Sean Armand isn’t shy about expressing his plans for the Gaels’ Tuesday night tilt at No. 2 Kansas.
“Yes, I’m going into the game expecting to win, just like every other game we play,” the Brooklyn native told SNY.tv Monday.
You might wonder how Iona, a two-time NCAA Tournament qualifier out of the MAAC, came to play Kansas, a perennial Final Four contender featuring the projected No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft in Andrew Wiggins.
The answer is that Iona President Dr. Joseph E. Nyre is an alumnus of Kansas who did his graduate work there. To read more of this story, click here
How much did Jabari Parker impress the NBA scouts on Tuesday night in Chicago when he went off for 27 points in a loss to Kansas?
“That dude could play right now [in the NBA], like today,” one NBA assistant coach who sat courtside told SNY.tv.
“Like if he left Duke right now and said, ‘I’m leaving,’ he would be Utah’s best player. He would be a lot of teams’ best player.” To read more of this story, click here
Count Kevin Durant among those highly impressed with Kansas superstar frosh Andrew Wiggins.
“He’s raw, but his ceiling is high. He can be like a Hall of Famer, All-Star, for sure. He’s good,” Durant told Yahoo! Sports.
Durant watched on TV Tuesday night as Wiggins and Kansas held on to beat fellow frosh Jabari Parker and Duke in the Champions Classic. And like the nearly 80 NBA personnel in attendance, he came away impressed with both.
“That [Parker] kid is amazing,” Durant said. “I think he is the best player in the country. Him and Wiggins are like ’1A’ and ’1B.’ Those guys are going to do the one-and-done thing, do it early. They are going to do really well in college and lead their teams to, I think, the Final Four. That’s kind of like, ‘Close your eyes and pick one.’ You’re good with either one of those guys. To read more of this story, click here
CHICAGO — Just getting settled in here for tonight’s Champions Classic at the United Center.
Here’s six quick storylines heading into tonight’s games, which feature four of the top five teams in the AP Top 25: No. 1 Kentucky vs. No. 2 Michigan State (7:30 p.m. EST) and No. 4 Duke vs. No. 5 Kansas (10 p.m EST).
1. No. 1 vs. No. 2
The No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the Associated Press Top 25 have previously met 39 times (according to collegepollarchive.com), with the No. 1 team posting a 20-19 record. The top two teams in the poll have not met since Feb. 23, 2008 (No. 1 Memphis vs. No. 2 Tennessee). The No. 2 ranked team has won the last two meetings and six of the last eight. Prior to this meeting, the earliest meeting between No. 1 and No. 2 was Nov. 29, 1975 (No. 1 Indiana vs. No. 2 UCLA). It’s also worth noting that this is the first time since the 2008 National Semifinals that four of the top five teams in the nation will play in the same venue on the same day. To read more of this story, click here
By JOSH NEWMAN
Special to ZAGSBLOG
The 50-player preseason watch list for the John R. Wooden Award was released on Tuesday afternoon. To the surprise of no one, with freshmen allowed on the list for the first time, the young guys are well-represented.
Kansas (Andrew Wiggins, Wayne Selden Jr. Joel Embiid), Kentucky (Andrew Harrison, Julius Randle, James Young) each got three first-year players on the initial list, while Arizona (Aaron Gordon) Duke (Jabari Parker) and Indiana (Noah Vonleh) each got one. To read more of this story, click here
Nearly 80 NBA personnel are expected to watch diaper dandies Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle and Jabari Parker in the Champions Classic on Tuesday night in Chicago.
Media coordinator Charley Green told SNY.tv that 73 NBA credentials have been issued, and that doesn’t include the Chicago Bulls who don’t have to go through Green because the United Center is their home arena.
“Probably around 80 scouts in total. This thing blew up after Wiggins committed,” Green told SNY.tv. To read more of this story, click here