Some more items to pass along.
If you worry/wonder/never had it cross your mind that perhaps since Birch is a Pitt commit you might be viewing his performance last night through Blue and Gold glasses, the final note at ‘Cuse blog TNIAAM on the game should be reassuring.
And as for Pitt-bound Khem Birch…yikes, you guys. One-and-done that guy…
Either it was shyness, or something else, but the difference between the Khem Birch during practices and the one that showed up during the game continues to be the thing that most observers noticed.
Khem Birch (Toronto, Ont./Notre Dame Prep) did not have a stellar week of practice. Truth be told, he sleep walked through the sessions. Not even an elbow to the eye was enough to light his fire during practice. Going into the game, expectations for him were not high. However, what he does exceptionally well — run, rebound and block shots — sets up perfect in an all-star game. Out of nowhere, the Pittsburgh signee had 15 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks. Only Birch and Gilchrist recorded double-doubles. We had him down for the count, but he rose up and gave us glimpses of the baby Derrick Favors that he is.
Favors had more bulk than Birch, but that’s a comparison I could live with having.
The NCAA mandated limited window to test the draft waters does not have the NBA happy. They are, however, taking steps to work within the restrictions.
With the way the rules are currently set up, players have a window of only 10 days to decide whether or not to withdraw – from the time the early-entry list is officially released to teams (typically four days after the deadline, April 28) to the date the NCAA has legislated underclassmen must declare their intentions in writing to the school’s Director of Athletics, May 8.
Since the NCAA also restricts student athletes from missing class to “try out for a professional team,” players are essentially relegated to the weekends of April 29 and May 6 (the same date as the Euroleague Final Four) to attend NBA workouts and get an accurate reflection of their draft stock – something that is virtually impossible due to the logistics involved.
NBA teams, many of whom are still competing in the playoffs, are still in the preliminary stage of their evaluation process at that time, and are in no position to tell an underclassman with any real accuracy where he will be drafted on June 23.
Not only do the players have a short window to show what they have. They have an even shorter window to get reports and evaluate them to make an informed decision. The best solution? One big get-together.
The solution, which is awaiting approval from the NBA League office, is a group workout for draft-eligible prospects conducted in the last weekend of April that will be open to all 30 NBA teams. The New Jersey Nets , in a joint-bid with the Houston Rockets and New York Knicks, are hoping to host this event at their practice facility in East Rutherford.
Ideally this workout will feature as many top draft prospects as are willing to attend — not just underclassmen who are “testing the waters,” but also seniors and international players. Measurements and athletic, combine-style testing will also likely be conducted.
The prospects may even be able to compete in five-on-five action, if the teams involved in the bid get their wish.
One could happen as quickly as the end of this April in New Jersey. Not sure why teams wouldn’t support this option, but there is always some gamesmanship involved. For guys like Ashton Gibbs, who are testing the waters, this would simplify things immeasurably.
One big workout and a chance to get feedback with time to spare. Plus, if a team seems taken with a player, they can set up their own workout in the following week to get more info.
Finally, Coach Dixon had an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show today.
There was talk about the Final Four. Dixon leaned towardss the teams he’s faced — Butler and UConn. He even admitted with the Butler choice it was mainly because he hasn’t seen enough games involoving VCU.