Evan Turner Should Win the Silver Basketball

By Paul M. Banks

Forget Kalin Lucas, Ohio State’s Evan Turner is the point guard who should be hoisting the Silver Basketball award when the season is over. Read on and get to know the future league MVP.

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Evan Turner, Buckeyes Stoned in Morgantown

By Hans Hetrick

After a promising three game win streak and the seemingly complete restoration of Evan Turner, the Ohio State Buckeyes turned to stone in Morgantown Saturday against the West Virginia Mountaineers. Before Saturday, the Buckeyes looked destined to make a serious run at the Big Ten title, and the possibility of a deep run through March Madness grew with every Evan Turner explosion to the rim.

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Big 10 All-Injured Team

By Paul M. Banks

Injuries are just part of sports; the natural order of things, the way it is. But during the 2009-2010 college basketball season, the injury bug has seemed to infested the Big Ten a little more than usual. In fact, you could make a pretty good starting five out or Big Ten stars that have missed a couple months or will miss a couple months this season.

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College Hoops 101

Tom Crean

By: David Kay

If you don’t get a chance to watch a ton of college hoops during the week, have no fear.  College Hoops 101 is your stop for all you missed in the past week and what to look for in the next few days.  This week’s edition focuses on a rough weekend for the best conference in America and the resurrection of a historic program.
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2010 NBA Draft Stock Report

Wisconsin Michigan St Basketball

By: David Kay

Every week The Sports Bank’s resident NBA Draft and college basketball nerd, David Kay takes a look at whose draft stock is on the rise and whose is falling.  You can check out full player prospects here and David’s 2010 NBA Mock Draft here.

BUY:
Trevon Hughes, PG, Wisconsin, Sr.

Living in Wisconsin and following Hughes since he first arrived at Wisconsin, I have seen flashes where I think he can be a legit back-up NBA point guard and plenty of times where he has added to the gray hairs on Bo Ryan’s head.  So far this season, Hughes has been phenomenal for the Badgers.  He received praise from Coach K in Wisconsin’s win against Duke when Hughes scored 26 points and hit some big shots late in the shot clock.  He then dropped 27 in a loss at UWGB and has shown the ability to hit outside shots, attack the basket, and gets after it on D’.  If he keeps performing at his current level of play, he has a real chance of being a second round pick.

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College Hoops 101

badgers hoops

By: David Kay

Since it is the Holiday season, college basketball continues to be the gift that keeps on giving.  And since I am in the Holiday spirit, I give you another edition of College Hoops 101; breaking down all you need to know about what is taking place in college basketball.  Check back every Monday for a new article.

Rewind
-There are plenty of reasons I love my job.  I get the opportunity to do things that people would pay a lot of money to like sit on the baseline and cover a game as exciting as the Duke/Wisconsin this past week.  I was nearly trampled by hundreds of students storming the court as the Badgers pulled out the four point victory.  I myself rushed the court in 2002 when Marquette knocked off fourth-ranked Cincinnati.  The emotion and excitement is pretty crazy and is truly a once-in-a-lifetime sort of event.  The win also helped the Big Ten claim their first ever victory in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge  And once again, the lesson we all learned from this game; never underestimate a Bo Ryan-led team.

-Speaking of storming the court, a shout-out to the Texas Tech students who pulled an Iowa football fans move circa 2008 by pre-maturely rushing the court in the Red Raiders victory against Washington.  Whoops.

-Evan Turner’s injury is painful to watch let alone actually experience.  Read my complete thoughts on how costly this injury is.

-The Play of the Week goes to Kentucky freshman phenom John Wall who had several sick plays in the ‘Cats victory against UNC.  If you haven’t seen this kid play yet, get on it!

-TSB.net’s Peter Christian asked me for my top 5 rankings so here’s my top 10…
1. Kansas
2. Syracuse
3. Texas
4. Purdue
5. Villanova
6. Kentucky
7. West Virginia
8. Tennessee
9. Duke
10. Florida

Fast Forward
Butler vs. Georgetown, Tuesday 6:00, ESPN
A chance for Butler to shake the mid-major label by knocking off an unbeaten Hoya team at Madison Square Garden in the Jimmy V Classic.

Kentucky at UConn, Wednesday 8:30, ESPN
Fresh off their win against UNC, the young Wildcats have a big road test at UConn.

Syracuse vs. Florida, Thursday 8:00, ESPN
Two of the surprising teams in college basketball meet head-to-head in Tampa for the Big East/SEC Invitational.

Ohio State at Butler, Saturday 11:00, ESPN
The Buckeyes first big test post-Evan Turner’s injury.

Marquette at Wisconsin, Saturday 4:00, ESPN2
Look for more on this in-state rivalry later in the week on The Sports Bank.

The Drive
Games watched through 12/7: 69

Games watched this past week (home teams in CAPS): 16

# 5 Kentucky 73, Cleveland State 49
This was a holdover from the previous week so I could get my first look at John Wall in Kentucky blue.  By the way, CBS College Sports hires the worst broadcasting teams ever.  My application is in the mail.

#9 NORTH CAROLINA 80, Nevada 73
I am having a hard time trying to figure out the Heels out.  The talent and depth can clearly be seen but so can their inexperience and youth.  It should be interesting to see how this team grows during the season.

Penn State 69, VIRGINIA 66
Talor Battle has adopted the curly flattop look this season and single-handedly took over this game in the second half where he scored 28 of his 32 points.

#9 NORTH CAROLINA 89, #11 Michigan State 82
Roy owns Izzo, clap, clap, clap clap clap… Why does Sparty try to run with the Heels?  Haven’t they learned better the past two times they played UNC?

#5 PURDUE 69, Wake Forest 58
The Boilermakers stiffened up their D’ and picked up the intensity in the second half

WISCONSIN 73, #6 Duke 69
See Rewind above for more on this coming.

#24 UNLV 74, ARIZONA 72 2OT
Poor DVR’ing on my part.  The recording ended in overtime which is disappointing.

Illinois 76, #19 CLEMSON 74
Read TSB.net’s Paul Schmidt’s reaction on this crazy game.

#15 OHIO STATE 77, Florida State 64
Just when I started to hate on FSU big man Solomon Alabi, he plays a really good game (21 points, 10 boards).  Not as sick as Evan Turner (25 points, 13 boards, 6 assists) is of course.

#4 KENTUCKY 68, North Carolina 66
What looked like it was going to be a UK blowout turned into a tight game when the ‘Cats went cold in the second half.  John Wall had three “wow” plays in the first few minutes of the game.  If you haven’t seen him play yet, what are you waiting for?

N.C. State 77, MARQUETTE 73
MU deserved to lose this game.  Lazar played good as Tiger lies about getting beat up by his wife.  This was the Marquette team I expected to see this season, not the one that played in the Old Spice Classic.  I am terrified for the start of Big East play.

Wake Forest 77, #16 GONZAGA 75
Fun game to watch.  Some dude named Bol Kong came up huge for the Zags as their comeback attempt fell short.

#5 DUKE 80, St. John’s 71
I can’t wait for Duke to lose in the second round of the tournament… again.

#1 Kansas 73, UCLA 61
Rock, Chalk, Jayhawk just out-worked the Bruins in this one.

OKLAHOMA 79, Arizona 62
When Nic Wise doesn’t score his first points until the six-minute mark of the first half, ‘Zona is in trouble.  On a side note, OU’s Tony Crocker no longer wears a long-sleeve t-shirt under his jersey.

#3 Villanova 95, Maryland 86
When ‘Nova is feeling it from 3, watch out.  And they are still without ultimately two of their starters (Redding and Yarou.)

Evan Turner’s Injury Costly in Numerous Ways

evanturnerinjury

By: David Kay

It is not very often when I watch a sports highlight that I cringe.  Maybe it is my thick skin or the fact that I have seen some pretty gruesome looking injuries happen during my short lifetime, but when Ohio State’s Evan Turner took a nasty spill after missing a dunk Saturday, I cringed.  (The video is linked at the bottom of the page if you have not seen it.)

The fall looked as painful as what the injury ended up being; fractures of the second and third lumbar vertebra of his spine.  Initial reports say Turner will miss at least eight weeks which has to be a relief considering how hard and awkward he fell on his neck.

This is obviously a major blow for the Buckeyes.  Heading into their game against Eastern Michigan, Turner was doing a little bit of everything for Thad Matta’s squad averaging a ridiculous 20.6 points, 12.9 rebounds, and 6.6 assists per game while already posting two triple-doubles.  He was becoming a Scottie Pippen-like player as he transitioned into a point forward role and was the early favorite for Player of the Year honors.

EvanTurnerWhile the injury leaves some major shoes for Ohio State to fill, it may hurt Turner’s NBA Draft stock even more than OSU’s chances for success this season.  Based on the seriousness of the injury, I cannot imagine Turner returning to the Buckeyes at the level he was playing to start the year.  After he heals up, the 6’7” Turner will have to prove to NBA scouts he is 100% by the end of the season if he is going to declare for the draft.

In my most recent mock draft, I had the junior standout going fifth overall.  When I come out with my next mock, Turner’s name will not be on the list at all because I have to think there will be some hesitancy or fear of taking another hard fall and possibly re-aggravating the injury when he does return, thus plummeting his stock.

I think Turner may have to go back to school for his senior season to have any hope of re-establishing himself as a top-five pick.  Think about it, if you are an NBA team, are you going to want to risk a lottery pick on a player pretty much recovering from a broken back?  Remember what happened to DeJuan Blair’s draft stock when medical reports said he was more susceptible to knee injuries?  Blair dropped from a possible late lottery possibility to a second round selection.  I don’t think Turner’s nose-dive would be that drastic, but you never know what team doctors will say.

Maybe most important of all, I have to find a new college hoops man-crush.  At the end of last season, Turner was the early favorite to replace Tyreke Evans as my guy to gush about.  Turner was certainly living up to expectations and now I feel empty, lost, and confused.  The likely candidate to take Turner’s place in my man-crushdom; Syracuse’s Wesley Johnson.

(Photo Credit: Fred Squillante/Columbus Dispatch)