An Unnecessarily Exhaustive Guide To The Euroleague Final Eight
March 24th, 2011

In terms of the calibre of non-international competitive basketball, the Euroleague is second in the world only to the NBA. That is to say, of all the leagues in the world not to excessively overuse snippets of Busta Rhymes songs, or turn nightly to the tortured genius of Kiss Cam, the Euroleague is the best. If you love basketball, you’ll love watching the Euroleague. If you love basketball and yet have never watched the Euroleague, you haven’t tried hard enough. The first two group stages have been complete, and now the eight strongest teams enter a playoff-style format or head-to-head series. Ergo, continuing a series of posts that take fleeting glances at every worthwhile current player in the world today – the loose theme of which is ‘Why spend all that time watching it all just to never write about any of it?’ – there follows a look at the compelling protagonists of the final eight teams in this Euroleague season. Teams list in no order other than alphabetical. Juan Carlos’s time in Memphis wasn’t all this happy. Barcelona As ever, Barcelona are absolutely stacked. They have three options at every position, populated almost exclusively with players who will be, who were, who could be, or who could have been, NBA players. To put that into some context, they have seven former NBA draft picks on the team, and two more players who played in it as undrafted free agents. That list doesn’t even include Jaka Lakovic, a high quality European guard, or Joe Ingles, a man who almost got drafted as recently as 18 months ago. There’s just reams of talent at every position, and the talent assault is relentless. The starting backcourt consistently consists of Ricky Rubio and Juan Carlos Navarro. Navarro has lost nothing; his assault of […]

Posted by at 8:31 AM

An Unnecessarily Exhaustive Guide To The 2010/11 NCAA Tournament, Part 3: Southeastern Region
March 17th, 2011

There is no better event in the American sports calendar than the NCAA Tournament. None. Zilch. Zero. And it’s not even especially close. All the games running concurrently, and the one game knockout format, make for captivating evenings of hours and hours of entertainment. This is particularly true of the first round, where action jumps from game to game, and Greg Gumbel struggles to keep up with all the information he’s getting in his ear. It’s like the FA Cup, except it’s better. Much, much better. And I like the FA Cup. Since this post is long enough already, the intro ends here, and there follows a preview (often in the form of a recap) of all 68 of the teams taking part in this, the 2011 NCAA Tournament. In this post: the 17 teams in the Southeast region. Use the following links to skip to relevant parts. Arkansas-Little Rock – Belmont – Butler – BYU – Florida – Gonzaga – Kansas State – Michigan State – Old Dominion – Pittsburgh – St. John’s – UCLA – UC Santa Barbara – UNC Asheville – Utah State – Wisconsin – Wofford Twinned with Little Rock. Arkansas Little-Rock The Trojans rely on an 11 man rotation and 4 guards at a time, to harass the opposition and ugly up the game. They pretty much play with five out, moving the ball, looking for threes, or long twos off screens, with little inside game to go to. And since they rank 9th in the nation in three point percentage, it certainly has its merits. They are led by conference player of the year Solomon Bozeman, the Sun Belt Conference’s own entry level version of Kemba Walker. But there is no real threat here. Photobomb. Belmont Belmont have been subtly touted as a possible […]

Posted by at 12:10 AM