Wizards John Wall Mentors Michigan Wolverines Darius Morris

darius morris

Michigan Wolverines point guard Darius Morris is a hot prospect in this year’s NBA Draft. Part of that is due to his breakout sophomore season. Part of it is because he’s getting mentored by some of the best and biggest names in the game. Like Washington Wizards point guard John Wall, the #1 pick in last year’s draft.

“He checks in with me every once in awhile, sending me a text message here and there to see how things are going,” Morris said.

“Things were a little different for him obviously going through this process, because he was a first round pick. He didn’t have to work out too much, but he knows to just keep working hard every day to take advantage of any opportunity that you get,” he continued.

By Paul M. Banks

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Gophers Basketball Can’t Sleep on Michigan

darius morris

Glen Rice is long gone, the Fab Five are nothing but a distant memory, and recent stars Manny Harris and Deshawn Sims aren’t walking through that door. [Read more…]

Big Ten Quarters/Big East Semis Live Chat!

big ten conference

By The Sports Bank Staff

The title says it all, we’re here talking conference tourneys all day long at The Bank! The most important early day plot lines are whether or not Michigan can keep this up (THIS being a 16-10 lead halfway through the first half) and whether or not the Illini can punch their ticket to the Big Dance with a victory against Wisconsin.

Join us, as we have Paul Schmidt and Paul Banks live in Indy at the tournament, and David Kay and a host of others will be here once the Big East action gets under way. Will upsets hold sway in Madison Square Garden again? Stay tuned.

big east conference

Should Michigan’s Manny Harris go Pro This Season?

By Paul M. Banks

Michigan junior guard Manny Harris projects as a late first round draft pick this June, does that mean he should skip his senior season.

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Marquette NCAA Tournament Live Blog

by: David K. and Quentin

(11:25 a.m.)  It’s go time.  After a season that started out with very high expectations and even realistic thoughts of a trip to the Final Four, Marquette begins their NCAA Tournament run with not a lot of hype due to losing five of their last six games.  Of course the Dominic James injury played a major factor in that losing stretch, but MU has played well and hung with five of the top teams in the country in those losses.  I will be live blogging during the Marquette/Utah State opening round game.  Please follow along and post comments and I’ll be sure to respond to any and all questions and/or comments.

(11:30 a.m.) Tip time… CBS is obsessed with the top angle of the opening tip and then zooming in the NCAA logo at half court.  My prediction: MU 78 Utah State 65

(11:33 a.m.) MU with all team shaved head look!  Not sure how I feel about that.  They look kinda goofy.  But if it helps them win, then I am all for it.  Why did Dom not shave his head?  SHOCKER… a terrible charge call on Dwight Burke to start the game.

(11:36 a.m.) Wesley rocking the headband, not Wayne Chism style, but I still like it.  The Boise crowd seems to be really pro-Utah State thus far.

(11:38 a.m.) From Quentin: “They announced during the ‘Cuse game that Stephen F. Austin has a guy who is 27.  The 26-year old on Utah State must be relieved.”

(11:41 a.m.) From Quentin: “Dood just said DJ was one of his favorites, guess that means we’ll constantly be reminded how much we miss him.”  “Utah State’s PG is a 23-year old junior.  Going on a Mormon mission is the prep school of Utah.”  Q is like Lazar right now and I am the rest of marquette, just getting out-produced.  Lazar has all ten of our points.  I love Lazar.

(11:45 a.m.) From Q: “So they’re running the Tom Crean ‘We have 400 offensive plays’ strategy.  I wonder if 394 of them are the 3-man weave at the top of the key before chucking a three as the shot-clock expires too.” 

(11:46 a.m.) Ah, the Travis Diener offense.  I think the whole “flash cards of plays” is very hig-schoolish.  Jimmy’s rocking the headband too.  By the way, every team should have a guy named “Jimmy” on their team.  It’s just fun to say.

(11:50 a.m.)  For the record, all times are posted in CST.  Sorry Acra.  From Q: “With the headband, Jimmy now looks like a cross between Wayne Chism and Landry from Friday night Lights”

(11:53 a.m.) Lazar just sprited a dunk.  If you don’t know what “spriting” a dunk is, it’s when you have a easy dunk but brick it off the back of the rim or don’t get high enough and get it stuck on the front of the rim.  Wesley just did a brilliant flop and drew the offensive foul call.  Well played Wesley.

(11:55 a.m.) I think they’ve mentioned Dwyane Wade’s name about 12 times already.

(11:56 a.m.) From Q: “For the 1247th time, I love these kids.  They seem to have come out with the exact attitude that I hoped for.”

(12:00 p.m.) 19-9 Marquette at the under 8 minute time-out.  Marquette’s defense is apparently pretty good right now as Dood (the color analyst) has mentioned about 14 times.  Plus, Utah State looks like a team that was really good in a really terrible conference.  Oh wait, that’s exactly what they were.  I heard Woody Paige picked Utah State to upset Marquette.  When I found that out, I became even more confident MU would win.)

(12:05 p.m.) Glad to see Syracuse is taking care of business, up 16 at the half.  I just had my DVR rewind of the game when Jerel blocked the dude’s lay-up by pinning it against the backboard.  We are playing dumb right now.

(12:10 p.m.) Lazar is kind of a black hole when he puts the ball on the deck, but it’s okay today.  Why are we doing 17-foot pull-up jumpers on fast breaks?  Isn’t one of our strengths attacking the basket in transition and getting lay-ups or fouls?

(12:12 p.m.) From Q: I would love to see ‘Rel get a couple of shots to drop.  He seems to be short-arming everything.”

(12:15 p.m.) I’m surprised Utah State doesn’t have more players rocking the t-shirt under the jersey.  It’s well-documented how much I hate that look.

(12:17 p.m.) I just said, “Uh-oh!  Oh, it’s only Cubillan” when there was a Marquette player grabbing his ankle.  That sounds kind of terrible, but is really the proper reaction.

(12:19 p.m.) From Q: “Big last minute and a half here.  Need to calm things down.”

(12:21 p.m.) Yeah, we’re lucky to be up eight at the half.  They looked pretty out of sorts in the last couple minutes.  Thankfully, Utah State can’t hit a shot.

(12:25 p.m.) My All-T-Shirt team: (C) Arinze Onuaku-Cuse (PF) Matt Howard-Butler (SF) James Harden-Arizona State (SG) Manny Harris-Michigan (PG) Jonny Flynn-Cuse

(12:33 p.m.) Q’s Halftime Thoughts: “Frustrated.  We’re letting them hang around and their fans are coming alive.  A great defensive effort but something needs to be done about ‘Rel.  I recall distinctly 4 great looks that he didn’t knock down.  When that’s happening, maybe we should ask someone else to take the isolation play?  Seems like we’re trying to get him started but it just isn’t happening.  The effort is there and we don’t seem to be playing tight so I feel like we hit a few shots, we’ll get things going.”

(12:40 p.m.) I’m feeling pretty good considering ‘Rel and Wesley were both cold in the first half.  We need to attack the basket more.  And it helps that Mo starts the second half with a three.

(12:45 p.m.) Utah State within three and Marquette looks lost on offense.  Not a good start to the second half.  Let’s figure it out here, huh?

(12:50 p.m.) 31-28, at the under 16:00 time-out.  Lazar is carrying us.  And yes, I am going to refer to Marquette as “we” and “us.”  If anyone sees Jerel McNeal, can you please ask him to show up in Boise?  Thanks.

(12:55 p.m.) A guy from Utah State just badly bricked a jumper and the announced said, “He tried to bank it in,” and I think he was serious.  Hoop and some harm for Utah State and we are tied.  Ugh.

(12:59 p.m.) Uh-oh, Wesley’s down and holding his shoulder or elbow.  That should help his broke jump shot and our lack of offense.

(1:06 p.m.) 36-35 10:47 left  Wesley’s ok.  His offense is not.  Nor is Marquette’s rebounding which is also non-existent.

(1:09 p.m) From Q: “HEY! A good call on the attempt for a charge.  I want their big guy shooting, not Quayle.”

(1:10 p.m.) 41-38, 9:09 left  Lazar hits a three and we seem to have some momentum until typical white under-sized shooting guard from Utah State drains a triple.  ‘Cuse wins.  Now we don’t have to hear anything about tired legs.

(1:11 p.m.) From Q: “And Quayle hits a three.”

(1:14 p.m.) 43-40 7:39 left  Lazar makes Bob Knight proud by using a pump fake to free up a 16-footer which he makes.  Aggies just won’t go away as their 84-year old center gets a bucket and foul.

(1:16 p.m.)  Utah State has a guy named Pooh.  Somewhere Pooh Richardson is angry. 

(1:17 p.m.) Utah State’s fundamentals are killing us and Wesley and ‘Rel miss back-to-back lay-ups.  Quayle hits a three, Utah State takes the lead for the first time.  We can’t buy a basket.  I’m getting angry.

(1:17 p.m.) From Q: “Quayle just hit another three.  I’m watching the last 5 and a half minutes with my hands over my eyes.”

(1:18 p.m.) Another Utah State three.  MU down 49-43.  I’m getting really angry and don’t want to check any of the four text messages I just received.

(1:21 p.m.) From Q: “The DirecTV commercial about using DVR from your phone: It’s a Tuesday and the game he wants to see starts at 7:30.  Who’s at a dinner party on a Tuesday?  How does said party almost end at 7:20.” 

(1:22 p.m.) I’m just glad it’s not the Fast and Furious commercial for the 67th time.

(1:24 p.m.) Quayle has four fouls.  ATTACK HIM!!!!

(1:26 p.m.) Why did it take Marquette 37 minutes to figure out that they should attack the basket and draw fouls.  Utah State just called “Spur 2” which thankfully means missing a three that goes out of bounds to Marquette.

(1:29 p.m.) From Q: “Suddenly, Wilkinson is Luke Harangody.”

(1:30 p.m.) I just threw up in my mouth A LOT.

(1:33 p.m.) From Q: “Ok, since I have an awful track record on jinxing these things.  I now am officially afraid of Wilkinson”

(1:35 p.m.) From Q: “What is the guy (announcer)?  He said “no” to that one before it even got to the backboard.  AND HE THINKS HE INTENDED TO USE THE BOARD?!?!?!!”

(1:37 p.m.) Ok, my computer just froze.  CBS switched off the Marquette game during important free throws.  Quayle and Jimmy fouled out.  Jerel showed up to make a play.  Marquette has hit free throws.  Some guy on Utah State just banked a three.  MU up 56-54 19.3 seconds left after nearly throwing the inbounds pass away.  I’m having a heart attack.  Seriously.

(1:38 p.m.) From Q: “Yeah, I feel like the world is spinning too fast right now.”

(1:39 p.m.) From Q: “Pooh is allowed to tackle someone?”

(1:40 p.m.) We hit our free throws.  We win 58-57.  I feel like I just ran a marathon or as a friend texted me, “had an orgie with the Swedish cross country skiing team.”  Marquette was lucky to win that.  Jerel and Wesley should be hugging Lazar all day and buying him some “entertainment” for the evening (assuming they have “entertainment” in Boise.) 

(1:43 p.m.) GO CORNELL!!!!