Thursday, July 24, 2008

7/24 - Some Links, Some News

-Following up on yesterday's post about player's heading to Europe, former Georgia Tech forward Ra'Sean Dickey has signed a contract to play professionally in the Ukraine giving up his last year of eligibility. The 6'10" Dickey red-shirted last season as he battled knee problems and academic issues, but was an impact player in his three seasons for the Jackets. His best season was in 2005-2006 when he averaged 13.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg, and 1.5 bpg. The loss of Dickey combined with the graduation Jeremis Smith and Anthony Morrow leaves the Ramblin' Wreck with a thin front line and without a go to scorer. Combine that with a weak recruiting class, and it could be another long year for Paul Hewitt.

UPDATE: Draft Express Euro guru Luis Fernandez weighs in on the exodus of NBA and American players to Europe. Interesting read, and it looks like we really don't have much to worry about here.

-By now everyone knows the story of Antonio Gates - the hero for tiny Kent State during their run to the 2002 Elite 8 who, upon graduation, joined the NFL (after not playing football in college) and has since become one of the best tight ends in the league. Joe Reitz is looking to follow in those footsteps. The 6'7", 250 lb (now around 270 lb) Reitz signed with Baltimore in April after graduating from Western Michigan as their third all-time leading scorer and rebounder. He averaged 15 points and 8 boards this past season. Reitz, who was all all-state on the gridiron in high school, is being groomed by the Ravens as an offensive tackle, and the Ravens like his athleticism and mobility, but he needs to be bigger and stronger before he can contribute. Right now, he is battling three other players for a spot as a back-up.

-John Thompson, in an LA Times article, voices his opinions and concerns regarding the one-and-done rule and the problems involved with recruiting high school players these days. Definitely worth a read.

-Remember the name Jerome Jordan. He is a 7 foot, Jamaican-born center playing at Tulsa who is starting to get some serious NBA Draft buzz. A rising junior, Jordan averaged 10.5 ppg, 7.9 rpg and 3.7 bpg on the season, but averaged 16.2 ppg, 12 rpg, and 4.8 bpg in his last six games last year. He is one of those guys that really just needs a chance to play and develop his strength and his game, although I suspect he could be the next in the Patrick O'Bryant/JaVale McGee pipeline. Jeff Goodman at FoxSports has a nice profile on Jordan.

-The U18 National Team lost in the finals of the FIBA Americas to host country Argentina, 77-64. Future UConn Husky Kemba Walker was named MVP of the tournament.

-6'10" German forward Robin Benzing, who was signed to play for Michigan, did not meet eligibility requirements because of a league he played in that included professionals.

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