Please avert your eyes College Basketball is on and its BAD #CBB

badFor years it has become a ritual of mine to pick up my preseason college basketball magazines once a national champion had been crowned on the gridiron. I assumed that this year would be no different however things are very different this year. The teams who are usually contenders are now average at best and the latest crop of supposed freshman phenoms seem to be destined to be either professional benchwarmers or NBA D-leaguers at best. And the one phenom who is actually living up to the hype, Ben Simmons, may not even make it to March Madness.

It appears that many of the so-called 5 stars players pail in comparison to the crop of skal posterizedfreshman phenoms that proceeded them. There does not appear to be a Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, Chris Paul, or Anthony Davis like once in a generational talent in the latest crop of freshman. Maybe we have been spoiled year in and year out and as a consequence the quality of college basketball is hemorrhaging one brick or air ball at a time.

Besides Ben Simmons at LSU, his freshman brethren have left very little to be desired. Skal Labissiere at Kentucky can not shoot and is so thin that he makes a twig look massive. The coach k and ingramDurant comparisons to Duke freshman Brandon Ingram are downright criminal. It is downright blasphemy to compare one of the greatest scorers of all-time to a reluctant freshman whose not even the top scorer on his own team. And the reigning McDonalds All-American and Jordan Ball Classic MVP Cheick Diallo is currently collecting splinters on the bench in Lawrence for Kansas.

For nearly a decade college basketball has feasted off of the hype of its phenomenal freshman. College basketball is best when the diaper dandies live up too the hype, when they don’t we are left with a dreadful year like this. Announcers sound bored out their minds, fans have been much quieter than usual, and prominent coaches have been left scratching their heads.

coaches going crazyMaybe things will get better? But if the clanks and 1-on-5 playground offensive sets continues I will have to send in my resignation as a college basketball fan. Because when the freshman are bad, college basketball is down right unwatchable. Will the Class of 2017 be any different? Stay tuned…I know I will – A. Denmark

 

 

Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on GoogleListen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio  Subscribe to podcast

Kentucky Wildcats, kids no more?

uk pursuit of perfectionThe expectations for the Kentucky Wildcats at the start of the season was down right absurd. After the John Calipari welcomed another top recruiting class the bitter taste of disappointment from 2013 was replaced with talks of the young guns going 40-0.

Aspirations of an undefeated season ended on opening night with a loss to Michigan State and the slide from the number one ranking to be unranked happened rather quickly. As the loses began to mount everyone began to wonder if another first round exit in the NIT Tournament was on the horizon for a second consecutive year.

With their backs against the wall and with an invite to the Big Dance no longer coach cal and julius randleconsidered a lock Coach Cal finally got the 12 McDonald’s All-Americans to ignore their sliding NBA draft stock and stop playing me ball.

The Wildcats played a remarkably in spurts throughout the season, and the nation witnessed their true potential when they handed the Wichita State Shockers their first loss of the season.

We have witnessed the Wildcats grow before our very eyes, the team with an Harrison Twinsembarrassment of riches may have finally realized their potential. Although freshmen James Young and Julius Randle are the only first round locks in the 2014 NBA Draft, the growth and maturation of the Andrew and Aaron Harrison are why the Cardiac Cats are in the Sweet Sixteen.

UK Wildcats kids no moreThe Wildcats will win or lose based on the play of their guards. When the Harrison twins struggle the Cats struggle; when the Harrison twins thrive, the Cats are darn near unbeatable. The Wildcats may not be the favorite to win and advance but if the Harrison twins repeat their success against the Louisville Cardinals (combined 28 points 3 assists) and the once undefeated Wichita State Shockers ( combined 29 points 4 assists) then the rest of the nation will realize that these Kentucky Wildcats, are kids no more. – A. Denmark (@eatdrkslpsprtz2)

Hoops Hardwood & Gridiron Dilemmas 03/13 by eat drink sleep sportz | Sports Podcasts

Listen2 latest Hoops Gridiron Dilemmas podcast #NFLFreeAgency  Special. 32 Teams 32 blueprints to success. R#Patriots #SuperBowl contenders after landing on #RevisIsland ? How many big spenders will be #NFLPlayoff Contenders? Tune in2 this #MarchMadness #Zenmaster n more http://tobtr.com/s/6057715

Hoops Hardwood & Gridiron Dilemmas 03/13 by eat drink sleep sportz | Sports Podcasts.

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The Future: Wiggins, Parker, and Randle oh my!!

Jabari Parker Julius Randle Andrew WigginsIn sports there are certain athletes who have the ability to standout without breaking a sweat. We have witnessed it with Yusiel Puig in the MLB; Calvin Johnson Megatron in the NFL; and Johnny Football Manziel in college football. Last night in their national debut Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, and Julius Randle joined this elite company.

Although we have witnessed phenoms before, we have never be fortunate to see three of them on the same night on the same court. Their teams clearly have room to grow, but what is really scary is that with these stars the best is still yet to come.

Despite being a freshman Julius Bulldog Randle is clearly the leader of the Kentucky Wildcats squad. The Michigan State Spartans may have beat the Wildcats last night, if they meet again in March the outcome will likely be completely different. The Wildcats julius randle and john calipariteased everyone with their talent while also reminding us of their youth. However, as is the case with all John Calipari coached teams, their team will only go as far as the point guard takes them. Will Aaron Harrison conquer his turnover demons and run what Calipari calls? Time will tell.

Jabari Parker aka Lil Melo endless scoring arsenal will be relied upon heavily for the Duke Blue Devils. Although Coach K has a collection of former McDonald All Americans the NCAA tournament fate will be determined largely by Parker, whose team cannot afford for him to foul out. Sophomore guard Rasheed Sulaimon was able to carry the Devils for stretches but Parker is the only one who can get his on shot.

parker and wigginsAndrew Wiggins silenced doubters in his debut showcasing his jaw dropping athleticism and versatility. Despite appearing bored at times, but when the game comes so easy to do you blame him. Although Wiggins has garnered most of the attention and hype, Wayne Shelden is a best in his own right that is destined to sit in the green room with Wiggins and shake the hand of the NBA Commissioner.

Last night was truly exceptional, its not often that a 33 point scoring night by Lebron James gets buried in the back pages but the national debut of Parker, Wiggins, andjabari parker Randle was certainly an exception. One game down, the nation is watching to see what they will do for an encore? Let the tanking begin! Stay tuned… I know I will.

College Basketball: A year of uncertainty – Title contenders missing and unaccounted for

cbb top 25Once upon a time in a land far away the landscape of college basketball was not as it is now. In those days teams that were ranked in the top five were actually elite programs due to their talent and not simply due to the names on the front of their jersey. Not long ago NBA-talent was the ultimate game changer that made the gap between traditional programs like Kentucky, UNC, Arizona and Duke were significant.

butler beats iuHowever, due to players leaving early for the NBA Draft these traditionally dominant teams now find themselves among the land of the average fighting for relevance in 2013. A new emphasis on coaching and player development has led to the ascension of programs like Butler, Oregon, Michigan, and Florida. Unable to land the premiere high school recruits these teams have found diamonds in the rough and built a team that has the viable pieces in place to make a legitimate title run.

Although the teams mentioned are not unknowns they have often taken second fiddlemiami beats duke to their more well-known bitter in-state or conference rivals (Kentucky, Michigan State, Arizona, and Indiana). The gap between these so-called premiere programs has closed and each week we have been given indicators of that fact: Duke losing by 30 to Miami; Butler upset Indiana; Kentucky losing by 12 to Texas A&M.

oregon beats arizonaThe lack of elite programs in 2013 brings both a level of uncertainty and excitement to this season. The top 25 rankings goes through a drastic makeover from week to week louisville beat kydue to the endless number of upsets. With March Madness little more than a month away 11 teams from the pre-season top 25 are not even ranked anymore, 5 teams have been ranked number 1, and the Kentucky Wildcats may make history by winning a NCAA title one year and missing the tournament all together the following year.

Despite the disappointing start of the traditional powers the start of conference play gives hopes that talk of the demise of their college basketball season was premature. As March Madness grows near the pressure will continue to mount for Florida, Butler, Oregon, and Michigan to sustain their current standard of excellence.

Next week Michigan will debut as the number one team in the country how they respond michigan basketballwill determine if they are truly ready for the limelight. Stay tuned…I know I will – A. Denmark

Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

Texas Longhorns: Is everything still bigger in Texas? Mack Brown Era nearing its end #hookemhorns

Last weekend the Longhorn faithful and Head Coach Mack Brown breathed a sigh of relief as a season full of disappointment was capped off with a bowl win over the Oregon State Beavers. Four years ago this once proud program was playing for a national championship but since former quarterback Colt McCoy exhausted his eligibility the Longhorns have finished 5-7 (2010), 8-5 (2011), and 9-4 (2012). For a program that was voted the most profitable football program in the nation by Forbes Magazine the past three years has not only been completely unacceptable but also inexcusable.

Since Mack Brown took the helm in 1998 the Longhorns experienced nearly a decade ofTexas Longhorns 2009 BCS National Championship dominance with BCS bowl appearances, 9 consecutive ten win seasons, 4 Big XII Championships, and 1 BCS National Championship. However, the blueprint for the downfall of the Longhorn football program was laid when Coach Brown would wrap up recruiting at his infamous Texas junior days where all the top talent in Texas camped at over the summer. Although this technique helped the Longhorns secure the state’s best talent and build a pipeline to the pros with 35 former players on NFL rosters. The success that the program has experienced in the past has led to an over reliance on recruiting rankings, poor player evaluations, and fostered an arrogant aura of entitlement that has infected the entire program.

Texas Longhorn RecruitsThe Longhorns have attracted the state’s top talent for years with very little effort resulting in a revolving door of 5-star recruits, this easiness of attracting premiere athletes has led to the program obsessing over recruits heights and measurables preferring ‘pro-ready prospects over diamonds in the rough. The laziness of the coaching staff has led to a Longhorn team chock full of undisciplined over-sized gazelles who continue to infuriate their fan base with poor play on the field.

The frustration of the Longhorn fan base is further heightened when their bitter in-state rivals flourish and thrive ut qb problemswith in-state players that the Longhorns did not offer scholarships too. Led by Coach Art Briles has produced a Heisman winner last year in RG III and led the nation in scoring with senior quarterback Florence at the helm, the Longhorns did not offer either recording breaking quarterback. The resurgent Southern Methodist Mustangs led by June Jones has yet to attract a instate 5-star recruit but somehow produced more NFL prospects last year than their deeper pocketed talented-filled in-state rival.

During their decade of dominance the thought of another coach at the helm was unconscionable and prospects never de-committed nor was the staff looking for better options. Nevertheless, it appears that theTexas A&M Aggies ride of dominion is over: Prospects are de-committing left and right; assistant coaches have one foot out the door preparing for the end of the Mack Brown era; and worst of all Texas A&M has now become the trendy school of choice for in-state prospects.

Mack Brown Texas LonghornsAlthough the Longhorns won their bowl game the fate of the program is uncertain: Will Mack Brown be fired or will he retire gracefully? When the time comes who will lead the Longhorns back to prominence? Who will be given the keys to the best the best job in the country, the number of interested candidates would be endless. Next season promises to be an exciting one.Stay tuned… I know I will. – A. Denmark #hookemhorns

Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google