March Madness NCAAB podcast with Michelle Richardson: Top schools Virginia and NC; plus Tenn, Kentucky, and Duke

Photo credit: @UVAMensHoops

On the March Madness NCAAB podcast with Michelle:

#1 Michelle, talk about some the top ranked schools in March Madness, Virginia and North Carolina.

#2 Talk about the Tennessee Vols (5), Kentucky Wildcats (6), and Duke Blue Devils (10).

#3 The Washington State Cougars (11-20) finished up their season with Oregon State Beavers (18-12) they’ve lost four in a row. What is the best thing they can expect out of the Pac-12 Tournament?

Michelle’s Final Thoughts

Michelle does the NCAAB podcast each Sunday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

NCAAB podcast with Michelle Richardson: Without Azubike and DeSousa, Wildcats have their way with Hawks; Duke comes back to beat George Tech; OSU gets the better of UW; plus more

Photo credit: @KentuckyMBB

On the NCAAB podcast with Michelle:

#1 Udoke Azubuike is out with an injury and Silvio DeSousa is in ineligible. Wihout their key players, the Kansas Jayhawks (16-4) couldn’t turn the corner to the Kentucky Wildcats (16-3) 71-63. The score is reflective of the lack offense needed by the Hawks.

#2 Duke (17-2) got a win over Georgia Tech (11-9) on Saturday 66-53. The Blue Devils got hoop help from RJ Barrett with 24 points and 11 rebounds Duke won it coming back from behind.

#3 Washington Huskies (16-4) defeated the Oregon State Beavers (12-7) 79-69 Saturday . The Huskies’ Jaylen Nowell (19) and Nahziah Carter (18) both led in scoring and the Beavers’ Stephen Thomson Jr (30) and Tres Tinkle (18) led OSU in scoring.

#4 Michelle’s final thoughts

NCAAB podcast is every week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

NCAAB podcast with Michelle Richardson: Johnson’s 15 points leads UNC in win over Pitt; Alabama defeats Kentucky 77-75; VA Tech gets huge win 77-66

Photo credit: @UNC_Basketball

On the NCAAB podcast with Michelle:

#1 The No. 15 Tar Heels’ Cameron Johnson scored 15 points in NC’s 85-60 win over Pitt.

#2 Alabama beat Kentucky 77-75 first time that Alabama beat Kentucky since 2013

#3 Virginia Tech defeated Boston College 77-66 on Sunday. Jarius Hamilton led BC with 31 points for the win.

Michelle does the NCAAB podcasts each Sunday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Kings get their point guard at #5 plus turn three draft picks into four

Vlade Divac summarizes the Kings 2017 NBA Draft

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Brooklyn Hoops Winter Festival
Point guard De’Aaron Fox is now a Sacramento King

The Sacramento Kings entered the 2017 NBA Draft on Thursday night hoping that Kentucky point guard De’Aaron Fox would still be available when they had the opportunity to make their selection with the number five pick. “Lady Luck” smiled upon the Kings and Fox was still on the board when they went on the clock. There was never a doubt that the Kentucky connection with Sacramento was going to continue as the Kings made Fox the newest member of  the “Sacramento Royalty”.

There had been many rumors that the Lakers were considering Fox over Lonzo Ball at number two. Many analyst feel that Fox is a more well rounded player than Ball. Ball is seen as a “true” point guard but Fox is more “well rounded” player who can create his own offense when necessary. The Lakers went with Ball despite the baggage that comes in form of his father.

There had also been rumors that Phoenix would take Fox and then move Eric Bledsoe – with whom they have been less than thrilled with over the past two seasons – on to another team. In the end, Phoenix drafted to their need – which was a shooting guard – and selected Josh Jackson out of Kansas.

The Kings were able to draft their point guard of the future which they have wanted for sometime. Fox has the elite size and wingspan that NBA teams are looking for in a point guard today. He is not only a play-maker but Fox can be a force on offense. He averaged 16.7 points per game for the Wildcats.

Fox is a strong mid-range shooter who suffered from behind the 3-point line for much of the season. With a great deal of hard work, Fox greatly improved his 3-point shooting production late in the season and in the NCAA Tournament.

Fox is also known for his rebounding. He is considered to be an outstanding rebounder for a guard.

Had the Kings not moved up from number eight to number five in draft lottery, De’Aaron Fox would have not been available to Sacramento. A little luck is always a good thing.

Turning three draft picks into four

The Kings held the number ten pick in the draft. They had that selection as part of the DeMarcus Cousins trade so getting a player of value was of great importance to the Kings.

The Kings did not have a burning desire for any player who was projected to go at number ten. Instead of wasting the selection, Sacramento made a deal with Portland to get the 15 and 20 selections in the draft in exchange for the 10 pick.

Number 15 pick

J Jackson
Justin Jackson the Kings #15 overall draft pick

The Kings went to the ACC for their pick at number 15. Small Forward Justin Jackson from North Carolina was the Kings choice with their second selection in the first round.

Jackson- a junior –  was the ACC player of the year while helping lead the Tar Heels to a National Championship. He also was a consensus First Team All-American and ACC Player of the Year.

Jackson is known for having a diversified game on offense and a high basketball IQ.

And with the number 20 selection …

giles
Harry Giles – is he the next Chris Webber?

The Kings went “high risk – high reward” with the number 20 pick. They chose 6-foot-10 forward/center Harry Giles out of Duke.

Prior to enrolling at Duke, Giles was predicted to be the number one draft pick this season. An ACL surgery (his third knee surgery) and missing the first 11 games of his freshman season lowered Giles stock in the draft.

Scouts compare a healthy Giles to Chris Webber. How could the Kings not take a chance on him?

This is a roll of the dice that has the potential to have a huge payoff.

The second round selection

Mason
Kings second round selection Frank Mason

Sacramento had the fourth (34th overall) selection in the second round. The Kings went with experience by selecting senior combo guard Frank Mason out of Kansas. He was a consensus Player of the Year and a First Team All-American.

The four-year Jayhawk player posted 20.9 points, 5.2 assists and 4.2 rebounds during his senior year at Kansas. He led the Big 12 in 3-point shooting percentage at 49-percent.

How did the Kings do in the draft?

Most analyst are giving Sacramento high marks for their moves in this year’s draft. The experts seem to really like the Kings move to trade the number 10 pick to add two first round picks at number 15 and 20.

All of the experts love the Kings selection of Fox. Virtually every draft analyst believes Fox will be a star in “the association”. They also believe that if Giles can get healthy he could be the steal of the draft.

Grading the Kings draft

Ben Stram of FANRAG Sports will join me on our Sacramento Kings podcast to grade the Kings 2017 draft. That podcast will be available beginning on Saturday June 24 at 8:00 a.m. on SportsRadioService.com.

 

Rumor: Kings have a Fox crush; willing to trade two #1 picks to move up in draft

by Charlie O. Mallonee

fox

According to a report from Chad Ford of ESPN, the Sacramento Kings really see De’Aaron Fox of Kentucky as their point guard of the future. The Kings have been looking for a point guard they can build around since trading away Isaiah Thomas in 2014 (the Thomas trade was made by the previous basketball operations management).

Fox – a “one and done” star point guard – was a standout at Kentucky for John Calapari averaging 16.7 points per game and 4.6 assists per game. He is a 52-percent shooter from 2-point range but just a 25-percent shooter form 3-point land. To his credit, Fox’s 3-point shooting did improve considerably late in the season and during the NCAA Tournament.

Because of his talent and speed, Fox is most often compared to Kentucky basketball great John Wall now of the Washington Wizards. Who wouldn’t want the next John Wall on your team? However, how many championships has John Wall won? That would be none. He has helped lead his team into the playoffs but the goal is also a ring and a banner.

What is Fox worth?

fox detail

The real question is – how much is too much to give up for a player like Fox? Two number one draft picks is too much for a team like the Kings. They have so many needs and having two lottery picks in the most talented draft in decade is not a situation to be squandered. Sacramento needs depth and they have the chance to add young talent that they can have under team control for years to come.

There are two top rated point guards that will be available when the Kings select at number five if Fox is gone. Dennis Smith out of North Carolina State who averaged 18.1 ppg and 6.2 apg will almost certainly be there, and maybe the most intriguing player in the draft will also be there as well.

18-year old point guard Frank Ntilikina who plays in France and who is the “darling of Europe” will be available. Ntilikina is 6-foot-5 “pass first” point guard. He was the European junior player of the year. At just 18, Ntilikina is not considered NBA ready and he is seen as a high risk/high reward selection, but who doesn’t want a 6-foot-5 point guard?

In order to take one of these two point guards, the Kings might need to select them a little higher than they are currently ranked. There is no problem with that. Sometimes, you have to draft for need instead of just drafting the next best player available. That type of creative thinking would allow the Kings to keep both of their lottery picks.

Why are the Kings so concerned?

fox cal

The Kings are getting nervous because the Lakers are making noise about not taking Ball (would you want to deal with his father?), Philly really needs to think backcourt players, Phoenix has interest in Fox (why they would draft another guard would a mystery but they are the Suns).

The danger for the Kings is they are about to become the Chicago Bears of the NBA Draft. Every team would like to have two lottery picks and might be willing to entertain a deal. Sports professionals everywhere are laughing at the Bears because the 49ers snookered them out of an extra draft pick for nothing. The Kings need to be very careful not to make the very same mistake.

Who can the Kings get with the number 10 pick?

markkanen

The Kings are projected to have some very interesting possible selections at the number 10 spot. Arizona power forward Lauri Markkanen has been projected to be there. He has been labeled as a Ryan Anderson type player. Center/power forward Zach Collins from Gonzaga is seen as a 10 pick. The very talented small forward Justin Jackson from North Carolina could be there at number 10. If Rudy Gay opts out, the Kings will need someone at the three spot. Jonathan Issac out of Florida State is also a possibility.

On June 22, the Sacramento Kings have the opportunity to change the fortunes of the franchise for the next decade. The brain trust in the basketball operations department led by Vlade Divac cannot afford to take a swing and miss. They must hit a home run with both of their lottery draft selections on that franchise changing night.

Sacramento Kings Podcast May 31, 2017: Reporter Jerry Tipton analyzes point guard De’Aaron Fox

fox detail

Charlie O talks with Jerry Tipton – sports reporter for Kentucky.com and the Lexington Herald-Leader – about Kentucky Wildcats top rated point guard De’Aaron Fox. Fox has been projected as a possible pick for the Kings with their number five selection in the NBA Draft.

Jerry and Charlie O discuss:

  • Fox’s character

  • His ability to play under adverse conditions

  • Fox’s rebounding ability

  • Is Fox a pass first or score first guard

  • What pro player is he most like

  • Should the Lakers take Fox over Lonzo Ball

You will gain some great insight from a reporter who followed Fox all season long.

 

 

UNBELIEVABLE! Kings will pick at 5 & 10 but it could have been at number 3 & 10

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Right at the top of this story – let me say that it is time for the NBA Lottery to go away. Yes, it creates some interesting discussions during the playoffs for the fans of non-playoff teams, but the purpose of the inverse draft is to allow the worst teams in your league to obtain top talent to become competitive again. 

The National Basketball Association is a worldwide marketing behemoth that is spreading its brand across the globe at a lighting pace. The NBA no longer needs gimmicks like the Draft Lottery when they have Steph Curry, James Harden, LeBron, Russell Westbrook and the 3-point shot to captivate fans for 48 minutes per game. The game itself is enough to market to the fans. No gimmicks are needed at this time.

The Kings got lucky and then got ******!

sixers logo

The problem with the whole scenario is the Kings did this to themselves. The Kings made a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers to trade number one picks if the Kings selection was a better pick than the Sixers pick in 2017 as a part of a salary dump trade in 2015. That trade also cost Sacramento their 2014 first-round pick shooting guard Nik Stauskas. And if that is not enough, the Sixers get the Kings first-pick unprotected in 2019 now that Chicago can no longer receive a first-round selection from Sacramento.

reich

Confused? Nate Silverman and former Secretary of Labor Dr. Robert Reich will be holding a seminar at UC-Berkeley on Wednesday to sort the situation out for “die-hard NBA fans” (that’s not true).

The Kings came into the lottery with the eighth worst record in the NBA. Sacramento has never been particularly lucky when it comes to the ping-pong balls on Lottery Night. On Tuesday night, the Kings jumped from number eight to number three. For a brief moment, Sacramento became the luckiest team in the lottery. Then the Philadelphia 76ers raised their hand and said we’ll take that pick.

The Kings immediately fell back to number five in lottery order. They still made a major move from number eight to number five, but the fact is that for “one shining moment” Sacramento was number three in the order.

bar fight

There were many loud and demonstrative discussions going on over beer and shots in sports bars all over the Sacramento area on Tuesday night about what had just happened to their beloved Kings.

The Kings will also pick at number 10 thanks to DMC and the Pelicans

The Kings will have two lottery selections because of the DeMarcus Cousins trade to New Orleans. That pick was protected if it had been an one to three pick. It held at its pre-lottery spot of number 10. In this talented laden 2017 draft, the Kings are sure to have the opportunity to draft a high quality prospect with that selection.

Will that player be another DeMarcus Cousins? Probably not. Will he be a highly talented player that Kings can build around to become a playoff contender? The answer is probably yes.

Who will be available at number five?

isaac

Tankathon.com (my new personal favorite site for many reasons) has the Kings taking small forward Jonathan Isaac out of Florida State at number five. He is 6-11 and would have just turned 20 years old as the season starts. He averaged 12.0 points per game along with 7.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots per game. If Rudy Gay does opt out of his contract, the Kings will need a small forward.

DeAaron-Fox-2

Draft Express says the Kings will wind up with Kentucky’s fine point guard De’Aaron Fox with the number five selection. Finding a young point guard who can be with the club for the long-haul has been a goal the Kings have been trying to fulfill for some time. Fox scores 16.7 ppg, 4.6 assists per game to go with 4.0 rebounds per game. Sacramento loves Kentucky Wildcats players (see Willie Cauley-Stein and Skal Labissiere).

tatum

NBAdraft.net has the Kings taking Duke small forward Jayson Tatum at number five. Tatum is a 6-8 SF that is seen a good wing prospect. Again if Rudy Gay is opting out, the Kings need to replace that talent on the floor. Tatum is a good mid-range scorer who can score from multiple spots on the floor. He is also known as a good defender. By the way, he is also a Duke guy. If Coach K liked him, that is a pretty high recommendation.

And who will be there when the number 10 pick is on the board?

CS Bakersfield Arizona Basketball

Tankathon.com projects the Kings taking Arizona big man Lauri Markkanen with the number 10 selection they picked up from the Pelicans. He will be 20 years old by the beginning of the season. He is a seven-footer who weighs 225 pounds. Markkanen averaged 15.6 ppg with 7.2 rpg and shot 42.3-percent from beyond the 3-point line. Can you say “stretch four”?

collins

Draft Express says that the Kings will bring the “Zags” Zach Collins to Sacramento with the number 10 pick. The 7-0 foot power forward/center averages 10 points per game to go with 5.9 rebounds per game. Drafting Collins could mean that Koufos could be on the move.

Ntililinilna

NBAdraft.net has Sacramento going with point guard with the number 10 selection. They see the Kings taking international sensation Frank Ntilikina tenth. This kid is the darling of the Euroleague. He is 6-5 with a seven foot wing span! He is a true point guard with a pass first mentality. The drawback is that he is young – just 18 years old. He is a project. Ntilikina needs to learn how to play at the next level, but everyone says he has a very high basketball IQ. The reality is – he is not NBA ready yet. Well, neither was Skal Labissiere. Some time in Reno took care of that problem.

It’s now a war room problem

Between now and June 22, 2017 there will be multiple scenarios that will be run through the war room in Sacramento about who should be drafted by the Kings. Players will be brought in for tryouts and teams will be calling about possible trades for the draft slots that Kings have available.

What happens in the next 30 days may be the most important decisions that have been made in the history of this franchise in the last 20 years. What decisions are made will most certainly set the direction of the franchise for the next five to seven years. This is high drama if you are a fan of the Sacramento Kings.