Monday, August 20, 2012

Tracking My Accomplishments: A Year in Review

As long as I have been following basketball, I have been making predictions, many of which have come true. However, in the past, it was difficult to substantiate these claims, as I had little to no documentation concerning the predictions themselves as well as the time period in which these statements were made. With the advent of Twitter and my progression into writing about basketball, I am now able to firmly identify what I said and when I said it.

As a result, I have decided to exercise this newfound ability. This article delineates my noteable basketball-related predictions over the past year. An assigned value (on a 10 point rating scale) will be ascribed to each prediction and each will be itemized under the following headings: "The Good", "The Bad", "The Mixed Bag", and "Yet to Be Fulfilled". Feel free to provide any constructive criticism, as any feedback is much appreciated.


On Kyle O'Quinn: 9/10

-I identified him as an NBA draft prospect well before any other draft outlets even had them on their radar. For instance, I tweeted Draftexpress in very early September asking them to add the following players to their top senior board, which was a ranking of the top 70 or so senior draft prospects in the country:

The vast majority of those other names mentioned were invited and many participated in the Portsmouth Invitational. The others received workout opportunities.

Further, Kyle O'Quinn was on my radar all season long. The following tweets were made prior to O'Quinn's breakout performance in the NCAA tournament:

As a reference, Kyle O'Quinn was one of the biggest late season climbers in the NBA draft. He was the Portsmouth Invitational's MVP, as his team won the championship there. Further, the Magic selected him with the 49th pick in the draft and it appears as though he played well enough in summer league to earn a roster spot. He was inked by the Magic to a 3-year, $2.5 million contract. (Source

On Michael Kidd-Gilchrist: 4/10

I do not put so much weight on this accomplishment, as some of my statements did not turn out to be entirely true. However, I have long been an advocate of MKG, and I believed that he would help lead Kentucky to a National Championship.

Well, MKG was not the most valuable player on Kentucky last year. However, he was an extremely significant contributor to their title run. As such, the value of my prediction here is limited. Still, most believed before the season started that Jones would be a more important contributor than Kidd-Gilchrist, and MKG's draft stock was pegged as late lottery. I have always held that he was a top 5 pick. (see

Other statements:

On Gorgui Dieng: 8/10

While he was not on my radar during his freshman season, I was extremely impressed with Dieng during his matchup with Bellarmine University in the preseason. I explained further:

After watching him further, I identified the fact that he is a serious NBA draft prospect due to his impressive defensive game. I stand by my prediction that he will likely be drafted in the lottery after next season mostly because of his impact blocking and altering shots, coupled with his ability to control the glass. While this last tweet has yet to come to fruition, he was not even mentioned as a draft prospect by major outlets until part way into conference play.

On LaMarshall Corbett: 3/10

After his arrest on January 12, 2011, LaMarshall Corbett was promptly kicked off his Angelo St. squad. At that point in time, he was one of the best Division II players in the country. I issued this tweet recognizing his talent:

Since that time, Corbett was added to Siarka Jezioro over in Poland. He averaged 16.1 points per contest, shooting 51.9% from 2 and 46.0% from 3 point range. He has since signed in the French B League with Nantes. He is a player to keep an eye on a few years from now if he continues to work on his game.

On Low Seeds: 2/10

While I did not assert that these teams would win outright, I noted that they would present challenges to the teams they faced. Lehigh and Norfolk St. upset Duke and Missouri respectively.

On Derrick Nix: 2/10

I identified that Nix's body and overall game had improved significantly. Later on, I mention how he competed with Sullinger during conference play.

On Iowa St.'s Success: 7/10

On Lamar Winning the Southland: 8/10

On Oregon St. finishing in the middle of the Pac-12: 2/10

On LaRon Dendy: 6/10

I identified Dendy as a prospect well before most analysts had him on their radar. With team success, I thought that he had a chance to go drafted. And, he did receive his looks.

On Mississippi St.: 5/10

I recognized that Mississippi St. was a pretender and that the important big for MSU was not Renardo Sydney, but rather Arnette Moultrie. See Preseason Rankings as well.

On Georgetown NBA Prospects: 6/10

I noticed Henry Sims' improvements and indicated that this made him a potential NBA prospect after three mediocre seasons.

I also identified Otto Porter early on as a player that draft experts should keep an eye on. He is now considered a future lottery selection by most outlets.

On Missouri: 8/10

I identified Missouri as an elite team even after it became clear that Bowers was going to redshirt.

On Temple and Wichita St.: 9/10

I ranked both teams in my preseason top 25. Below, I noted that they were being severely underrated by most basketball analysts:

On Dion Waiters: 9/10

I noted early on in the season that Waiters was Syracuse's best guard, despite coming off the bench. I also felt that he was a very good NBA prospect early on in the season.

On Bernard James: 4/10

I noted that James could easily be considered a second round selection in the last draft despite his advanced age.

On Iona Mid-Game Against BYU: 4/10

I never believed that they would lose, but I did throw out the Purdue contest as an example of a game where Iona collapsed after obtaining a lead. It just so happened that BYU was able to mount a historical comeback against them following this comment:

There were many other "Good" calls that I had on twitter, but I have limited it to a few.


On Wisconsin and Missouri:

I noted that Missouri and Wisconsin should be considered top 10 teams. Missouri finished with a #11 ranking in the USA Today poll, and Wisconsin was ranked #12 by season's end.

On Wendell McKines:

While Wendell McKines was incredibly underrated going into the season on a national level, there were other more impactful underrated players. So, there is no doubt that McKines was underrated, after leading his team to a tournament appearance and averaging a double double for much of the season. However, no one could have anticipated Anthony Davis's impact.

On the Big East:

I firmly believed that the Big East was the best conference in basketball at the beginning of the year. And, while they did once again bring a near record number of teams to the NCAA tournament, the Big Ten was better from top to bottom.

On the Pac-12:

It was worth mentioning that I felt the Pac-12 would have a horrible year based on the early season. However, I was wrong in that Arizona was also overrated.


NC St. played very well and made the Sweet Sixteen.

Sutton did not receive an invite to the Portsmouth Invitational, but was well represented in NBA predraft workouts.

Few could have foreseen the play of South Florida down the stretch. The emergence of freshman point guard Anthony Collins had a lot to do with their success.

CJ McCollum was one of the top breakout players in the country this past season. His team advanced to the NCAA tournament and upset Duke in the first round. He is now routinely talked about as a first round and potential lottery selection. I jumped the gun with that one.

While they did suffer through injuries, Washington St. played far worse than I had originally conceived. Faisel Aiden's injury really hurt them. However, they played well towards the end of the year and were still able to make it to the finals of the CBI, where they lost to Pitt.

Speaking of Pitt, they had a very mediocre season in 2011-2012. They won the CBI though, and are hoping to rebound this year.

Yet to be Fulfilled

While he was not the most underrated player in the country, Kendrick Perry has yet to receive the national attention that he deserves.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will be a top 3 player from this draft. If he is able to develop his perimeter skills and perfects his jumper, he could eventually become the top player from this draft class. The talent and work ethic are there, but it will be difficult to surpass Anthony Davis, as it appears that he could be a once in a generation big man.

On other outlets, I identified Taylor as a top 10 player from this draft class.

That is all for now. My next related segment will track my 'Breakthrough Players' and how they performed last season. Any questions or comments on this will be greatly appreciated.

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