2017 NBA Mock Draft (Final Version)

The NBA draft will take place on Thursday and we will do our best to predict where everyone will get selected. Some websites do their mock drafts based on “best player available” but we try to focus on team needs: for example, if a team like Phoenix already has Eric Bledsoe at the 1-spot, then they are probably not selecting a PG with the #4 overall pick. So, please see our 1st round predictions below and then let us know in the comments section what looks good and what might need a re-pick.

#: TEAM-NAME, POSITION (SCHOOL OR COUNTRY/YEAR)
1: Philadelphia-Markelle Fultz, PG (Washington/FR)
2: LA Lakers-Lonzo Ball, PG (UCLA/FR)
3: Boston-Jayson Tatum, SF (Duke/FR)
4: Phoenix-Josh Jackson, SG/SF (Kansas/FR)
5: Sacramento-De’Aaron Fox, PG (Kentucky/FR)
6: Orlando-Jonathan Isaac, SF/PF (Florida State/FR)
7: Minnesota-Lauri Markkanen, PF (Arizona/FR)
8: New York-Malik Monk, SG (Kentucky/FR)
9: Dallas-Dennis Smith, PG (NC State/FR)
10: Sacramento-Zach Collins, C (Gonzaga/FR)
11: Charlotte-John Collins, PF/C (Wake Forest/FR)
12: Detroit-Donovan Mitchell, SG (Louisville/SO)
13: Denver-Frank Ntilikina, PG (France/INTL)
14: Miami-Luke Kennard, SG (Duke/SO)
15: Portland-Justin Jackson, SF (North Carolina/JR)
16: Chicago-Justin Patton, C (Creighton/FR)
17: Milwaukee-Jarrett Allen, C (Texas/FR)
18: Indiana-Bam Adebayo, PF/C (Kentucky/FR)
19: Atlanta-Terrance Ferguson, SG (USA/INTL)
20: Portland-TJ Leaf, PF (UCLA/FR)
21: Oklahoma City-Harry Giles, PF/C (Duke/FR)
22: Brooklyn-OG Anunoby, SF/PF (Indiana/SO)
23: Toronto-DJ Wilson, PF (Michigan/SO)
24: Utah-Kyle Kuzma, PF (Utah/JR)
25: Orlando-Ivan Rabb, PF/C (California/FR)
26: Portland-Ike Anigbogu, C (UCLA/FR)
27: LA Lakers-Isaiah Hartenstein, PF (Germany/INTL)
28: LA Lakers-Semi Ojeleye, SF/PF (SMU/JR)
29: San Antonio-Derrick White, PG/SG (Colorado/SR)
30: Utah-Anzejs Pasecniks, C (Gran Canaria/INTL)

Filed Under: CBB

2017 NBA Mock Draft (Version 1.0)

The NBA draft will take place on June 22 and we will do our best to predict where everyone will get selected. Some websites do their mock drafts based on “best player available” but we try to focus on team needs: for example, if a team like Phoenix already has Devin Booker at the 2-spot, then they are probably not selecting an SG with the #4 overall pick. So, please see our 1st round predictions below and then let us know in the comments section what looks good and what might need a re-pick.

#: TEAM-NAME, POSITION (SCHOOL OR COUNTRY/YEAR)
1: Boston-Markelle Fultz, PG (Washington/FR)
2: LA Lakers-Lonzo Ball, PG (UCLA/FR)
3: Philadelphia-Josh Jackson, SG/SF (Kansas/FR)
4: Phoenix-Jayson Tatum, SF (Duke/FR)
5: Sacramento-Jonathan Isaac, SF/PF (Florida State/FR)
6: Orlando-De’Aaron Fox, PG (Kentucky/FR)
7: Minnesota-Dennis Smith, PG (NC State/FR)
8: New York-Malik Monk, SG (Kentucky/FR)
9: Dallas-Zach Collins, C (Gonzaga/FR)
10: Sacramento-Lauri Markkanen, PF (Arizona/FR)
11: Charlotte-Jarrett Allen, C (Texas/FR)
12: Detroit-Donovan Mitchell, SG (Louisville/SO)
13: Denver-Frank Ntilikina, PG (France/INTL)
14: Miami-Justin Jackson, SF (North Carolina/JR)
15: Portland-John Collins, PF/C (Wake Forest/FR)
16: Chicago-Justin Patton, C (Creighton/FR)
17: Milwaukee-Terrance Ferguson, SG (USA/INTL)
18: Indiana-TJ Leaf, PF (UCLA/FR)
19: Atlanta-Luke Kennard, SG (Duke/SO)
20: Portland-Harry Giles, PF/C (Duke/FR)
21: Oklahoma City-Ivan Rabb, PF/C (California/FR)
22: Brooklyn-Rodions Kurucs, SF (Latvia/INTL)
23: Toronto-OG Anunoby, SF/PF (Indiana/SO)
24: Utah-Ike Anigbogu, C (UCLA/FR)
25: Orlando-Bam Adebayo, PF/C (Kentucky/FR)
26: Portland-Tyler Lydon, PF (Syracuse/SO)
27: Brooklyn-Hamidou Diallo, SG (Kentucky/FR)
28: LA Lakers-Jonathan Jeanne, C (France/INTL)
29: San Antonio-Jawun Evans, PG (Oklahoma State/SO)
30: Utah-Isaiah Hartenstein, PF (Germany/INTL)

Filed Under: CBB

HoopsHD at the Final 4: Photo Essay (Day 3)

The Final 4 is not only the culmination of the best 3-week tournament in sports: it also serves as the final step of our season-long journey from Midnight Madness to 1 Shining Moment.  With his home state of Arizona playing Final 4 host for the 1st time ever, there was no way that HoopsHD’s Jon Teitel was going to miss the chance to head out west and check out as much of the action as possible.  While he was unable to finagle a press pass from the NCAA, he was able to attend all the ancillary activities including the College Slam Dunk & 3-Point Contest, an open practice featuring all 4 teams, the College All-Star Game, and the Fan Fest.  We already covered the 1st 2 days during the past few weeks, and we conclude with all the action from Fan Fest the day before the title game.

I tried to interview Christian Laettner earlier that weekend but everyone wanted a piece of him.  On April Fools Day he was back on the court leading a clinic, so this was the closest that I could get:

It was mostly a day full of players, but for you ESPN fans there was also a Seth Greenberg sighting:

The star of the show was Hall of Famer David Robinson.  The line to get his autograph seemed to go on forever, but the Admiral looked great for a guy who graduated from the Naval Academy 3 decades ago.  I just wish I could figure out who was sponsoring his appearance:

All the Wildcat fans came out to see Robinson’s former San Antonio teammate Sean Elliott.  If he had any eligibility left then perhaps Arizona would have made it back to the Final 4:

The Suns fans who like their crafty veterans came out to see Eddie Johnson just blocks away from where he used to regularly light up the scoreboard with his sweet jump shot:

The schedule makers saved the best for last.  Exactly 8 days after becoming the youngest NBA player to ever score 70 points in a game, Suns SG Devin Booker showed up with a small army of security to a boisterous reception from the hometown fans, even though his Kentucky Wildcats were unable to join him at the Final 4.  I do not know if the 20-year old is ever going to make an All-Star team or win a title, but when you cheer for a team that just lost more games than the LAKERS you take pride in his career so far and maintain hope that there is nowhere to go but up:

And that is a wrap from Arizona, scene of a fantastic Final 4, hope to see you next spring in San Antonio!

Filed Under: CBB

HoopsHD at the Final 4: Photo Essay (Day 2)

The Final 4 is not only the culmination of the best 3-week tournament in sports: it also serves as the final step of our season-long journey from Midnight Madness to 1 Shining Moment.  With his home state of Arizona playing Final 4 host for the 1st time ever, there was no way that HoopsHD’s Jon Teitel was going to miss the chance to head out west and check out as much of the action as possible.  While he was unable to finagle a press pass from the NCAA, he was able to attend all the ancillary activities including the College Slam Dunk & 3-Point Contest, an open practice featuring all 4 teams, the College All-Star Game, and the Fan Fest.  We already covered Final 4 Friday last month, see below for all the action from Fan Fest the Saturday of the Final 4, and check back later this month for the final edition.

After spending the previous day in Glendale it was back to my old stomping grounds of Phoenix to check out Fan Fest at the Convention Center.  I took the light rail for the 1st time ever and it exceeded my expectations: affordable, air-conditioned, and many convenient stops.  The 1st thing you are struck by when you walk through the front door is just how massive the place is and how many fans want to check out the center of the college basketball universe:

Of all the things I was hoping/expecting to see I must confess that Charles Barkley’s hoodie that he eats food out of during commercials was not on my list…but it definitely counts as 1 of the most unique items I have ever seen:

Onto the hardware: how does that national championship trophy look up close?

For those of you who like mannequins, each of the 4 semifinalists were represented:

  

  

We got lockers, podiums, and plenty of mascots:

  

And of course, HoopsHD was LIVE with the crystal trophy!

There was 1 area where you could get to meet some of the best coaches in the sport and have them autograph a photo.  The 3 who I got to meet were Creighton coach Greg McDermott, Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall, and Xavier coach Chris Mack.  As an Arizona fan it was just lovely to relive our past 2 NCAA tourney losses at the hands of the Shockers/Musketeers, but it was still neat to meet 3 of the best in the business.  I expected them all to have some underlings taking care of everything behind the scenes, but the woman taking photos of Coach Mack and 1 of his old players turned out to be…his wife Christi, who happens to be a member of the Dayton Hall of Fame due to her own basketball exploits as a player.

After that, since the Fan Fest staff was unable to arrange interviews for me with anyone (although I still appreciate the credential!), I just started running around the Convention Center getting as many autographs/photos as I could:

Former NBA Slam Dunk champion Cedric Ceballos:

A coaching panel trio featuring Steve Lavin, Bruce Pearl, and Mike Anderson:

2-time NBA All-Star Terrell Brandon:

Former WCC POY at Gonzaga Ronny Turiaf:

I had to save the best for last: 1997 NCAA tourney MOP Miles Simon

It seems like only 20 years ago the world watched Miles clutching the basketball at the end of the title game overtime win over Kentucky to clinch the Battle of the Wildcats with the memorable line “Simon Says Championship!”  The current ESPN broadcaster has aged gracefully over the past 2 decades and gave this Arizona fan a hearty “Bear Down!” as I walked away.  Hope you enjoyed the 2nd installment of my photo essay, and tune in later this month for #3.

Filed Under: CBB

HoopsHD at the Final 4: Photo Essay (Day 1)

The Final 4 is not only the culmination of the best 3-week tournament in sports: it also serves as the final step of our season-long journey from Midnight Madness to 1 Shining Moment.  With his home state of Arizona playing Final 4 host for the 1st time ever, there was no way that HoopsHD’s Jon Teitel was going to miss the chance to head out west and check out as much of the action as possible.  While he was unable to finagle a press pass from the NCAA, he was able to attend all the ancillary activities including the College Slam Dunk & 3-Point Contest, an open practice featuring all 4 teams, the College All-Star Game, and the Fan Fest.  See below for a photo essay from Final 4 Friday, and stay tuned for the Saturday and Sunday editions in the days ahead.

I attended the Slam Dunk/3-PT contest at GCU on Thursday March 30th: great crowd but bad seat so no photos from that.  On Friday it was off to Glendale to check out a little bigger gym.  The 1st thing you notice when approaching University of Phoenix Stadium is the larger-than-life statue of former Arizona Cardinals player Pat Tillman.  You do not have to be a Sun Devil alum to appreciate all the sacrifices he made before losing his life:

The 2nd thing you notice is the spectacle involved with playing a basketball game in a gargantuan football stadium:

 

 

Just when I thought that I had seen every mascot alive, I was confronted by the title sponsor of the College All-Star Game: I will let you guess which company he represents.

I made it to the Final 4, and this is what I looked like while wondering if Sean Miller will ever get there someday as well:

The open practices were a neat idea but it was not much fun trying to watch a bunch of teenagers shoot baskets from 100 rows up.  The highlight for me was the autograph session prior to the All-Star Game:

Since I did not have a press pass that required me to remain a journalist, I decided to be a fan and get a picture signed by some of the best seniors in the country:

JJ Frazier (Georgia):

Jack Gibbs (Davidson):

London Perrantes (Virginia):

Troy Caupain (Cincinnati):

Steve Vasturia (Notre Dame):

Evan Bradds (Belmont):

Reggie Upshaw (Middle Tennessee):

Tyler Cavanaugh (George Washington):

Moses Kingsley (Arkansas):

Tim Kempton (Lehigh):

DeWayne Russell (Grand Canyon):

Paris Lee (Illinois State):

Bryce Alford (UCLA):

Luke Nelson (UC Irvine):

Deonte Burton (Iowa State):

Sterling Brown (SMU):

Ben Moore (SMU):

Derek Willis (Kentucky):

Nathan Adrian (West Virginia):

Josh Hawkinson (Washington State):

The game itself was unmemorable beyond 2 good sightings.  The 1st was the woman 2 rows behind me who kept saying “Come on Timothy!” anytime Kempton missed a shot: since he grew up in Arizona, I assume it was his grandmother.  The 2nd was Bryce Alford’s dad, who has attended many of his son’s games during the past 4 years, but finally had the chance to do so while not coaching Bryce at the same time:

Walking out of the stadium I saw an enormous reminder of what was at stake the following Monday:

That is a wrap for Friday, check back later this week for a terrific trip to Saturday Fan Fest!

Filed Under: CBB

HOOPSHD AT THE BIG 10 TOURNEY: PHOTO ESSAY (DAY 5)

HoopsHD is always hovering around the edge of legitimacy (see Puppet, The), but thanks to the good folks at the Big 10 we kicked it up a notch last month with a media credential to the Big 10 Tourney in DC. From his prime perch in the 3rd row Jon Teitel has been bringing you daily updates of all the action from the Verizon Center via a series of photo essays. Championship Sunday brought us a pair of heavyweights with Michigan vs. Wisconsin battling for an automatic bid to the NCAA tourney, but since we are already a month behind let’s get right to the photos.

We have the red and we have the blue:

  

Let’s tip it off:

The arena had some pockets of Badger faithful but was overwhelmingly a sea of maize and blue, including the band:

When the final horn sounded and the Wolverines found themselves on top with a 71-56 win, it was time to celebrate:

A lot:

  

There was barely any breathing room for Coach Beilein but many indications of what he had won:

    

Then it was time to hand out the hardware, with a trophy for the whole team due in large part to the work of tourney MVP Derrick Walton Jr.:

  

After that it was some final kind words from the coach before the 1 thing that might ruin their great day (getting back onto an airplane):

It was fantastic to get such a great view of 1 of the best basketball conferences in the nation, so thanks to the Big 10 for hooking me up, hope you enjoyed the photos, and stay tuned for an upcoming series of photo essays from the Final 4 in Arizona!

Filed Under: CBB