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Thursday, April 3, 2008

On the Stove Top: Links (4/3)

As we delve into the off-season, content is harder to come by. Thus, a collection of links to catch up on the week's happenings ...

- If you have time, read Monday's article by Rob Hernandez on Jonte Flowers in the Wisconsin State Journal. The whole story was well done, but the Michael Flowers quote rehashed by Hernandez is what stuck out to me:

"Good leadership produces winners,'' Michael said. "But great leadership produces other great leaders. That's what I think of Jonte."
Some might have heard a variation of that quote at some point, but I had not. That shows a great level of respect was present in the Flowers household as all those brothers developed into great athletes ... no doubt fueled by some scrappy driveway pickup games. Now, Jonte finds himself with an opportunity to play basketball professionally, his first step being the Portsmouth Invitational. The same invite led Kam Taylor to a professional contract in Spain; let's see if Flowers can do better.

- The St. Paul Pioneer Press named Jordan Taylor its 2007-08 Player of the Year this week. Will Minnesota's Mr. Basketball be Taylor's next accolade? He cannot arrive in Madison soon enough.

- Speaking of next year's new comers, one rumor gaining steam this week is that Phoenix-area wing Ryan Evans will be joining the Badgers in 2008 as well. Evans, whose father played at UW, seems capable and willing to walk-on to the program, but the intriguing part of this rumor is exactly when and for how long Evans might be paying his own way. Would he in fact be given only a one-year free ride his freshman year, thereby "holding" a scholarship for Jamil Wilson starting in '09, or be a preferred walk-on for a few years with the possibility of earning a schollie down the line. An article referenced on the message board seems to be the source of the speculation.

- The collegiate season will culminate this weekend, but the summer high school circuit is already underway. is running a series of previews for some of the state's best amateur programs, including the following:
:: Wisconsin Playground Warriors 6U (feat. C Evan Anderson, Sussex Hamilton G Kameron Cerroni & Milw. Lutheran G T.J. Kadima)
:: DTA 16U (feat. Milwaukee-area talent like G Flavien Davis & Milw. Custer PF Calvin Godfrey)
:: Tosa Bandits 17U (feat. Wauwatosa East G Keondre Gholston & the Lawson brothers of Racine St. Catherine's)

-Snubbed by the NCAA Tournament committee, Ohio State marched through the NIT and dominated UMass in the second half to claim its own postseason title Thursday night. Small consolation for the Big Ten.

Assuming Kosta Koufos goes pro, Ohio State will be facing the loss of its three top scorers again this offseason. The Buckeyes do have a nice, young nucleus on the perimeter in David Lighty, Evan Turner and Jon Diebler. But Dallas Lauderdale and McDonald's All-American B.J. Mullens are no Greg Odens.

- If you are a glutton for punishment, take another gander at the numbers from Davidson's demolition of Wisconsin in the Sweet 16. From a defensive efficiency standpoint, the game was far and away UW's worst of the year, allowing 1.34+ points-per-possession. The 18-2 advantage for Davidson on fast breaks sheds some light on how that happened.

- Camp Lambeau came to the defense of the swing offense. I myself think the offense--as espoused by Bo Ryan--has some inherent shortcomings, but that discussion is for another day.

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