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Posts Tagged ‘Derrick Low’

Weaver makes NBA ‘debut’ this afternoon

Posted by Jeff Nusser on July 12, 2008

The broadcast schedule is up online for the NBA summer league in Las Vegas, and if you have a broadband connection, you can catch Kyle Weaver’s first game with the Charlotte Bobcats today at 3 p.m. PT. — all you have to do is become an NBA.com “All-Access” member (which is free). The video from each game also is archived to watch later here if you can’t catch it today.

Derrick Low made his debut yesterday with the Dallas Mavericks, but played only three minutes. He did shoot 1-for-2 and dish out a pair of assists, but here’s to hoping he can get some more minutes to show what he can do.

To track how each does, Weaver has his own summer league page here, while Low’s summer league page is here.

Posted in News | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Weaver lands in a great spot; Low faces uphill battle

Posted by Jeff Nusser on July 4, 2008

Man, it’s been a lot harder finding time to do this than I thought it would — who knew a teacher on “vacation” could be so busy? Hope you all are barbecuing and enjoying your 4th!

Anyway, onto Kyle Weaver. As I checked in periodically with the draft as it unfolded last week, I found myself getting anxious for Weaver. It became clear pretty quickly that he wasn’t going to go in the first round — especially as guys such as CDR and DeAndre Jordan dropped like rocks — so mostly I was just rooting for him to go to a situation where he had a better than even chance of making a roster.

I think he found that when he was drafted by the Charlotte Bobcats.

Outside of being drafted in the first round, going to Charlotte is probably one of the better situations Weaver could have asked for. First of all, let’s start with the Bobcats’ new coach, Larry Brown. After his awful experience in New York, he’s desperate for redemption in Charlotte. He’ll have no patience for shenanigans, or players who make stupid mistakes or have no interest in playing defense.

Weaver is about as free of pretentiousness as a player gets, and we all know how smart he is on offense and how hard he works on defense. He just seems to be exactly the kind of player Brown loves, and while Weaver likely won’t get a guaranteed contract, I’d be pretty shocked if he doesn’t make Charlotte’s roster. The backcourt is a bit crowded there, but this is a team that is probably going to move some parts. Expect Derek Anderson to be gone, and there’s rampant speculation that Raymond Felton is going to be traded after drafting D.J. Augustin.

You can read a great story that focuses exclusively on Weaver here, from his hometown paper. Excellent quotes.

Weaver will get the first chance to show what he can do at the Las Vegas summer league, starting July 11. I’m assuming some of that league’s games will be on NBATV, but there’s not TV schedule out there yet. I’ll pass it along if it looks like Weaver’s going to be on TV.

As for Derrick Low, you all know he didn’t get drafted. He’ll be in that same summer league with Weaver, playing for the Dallas Mavericks, and he’s got a very, very uphill battle to make that roster. But you never know. He also could catch someone else’s eye if it looks like he’s not going to stick with the Mavs.

Posted in NBA Draft, News | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on Weaver lands in a great spot; Low faces uphill battle

Weaver looking like a fringe first-rounder

Posted by Jeff Nusser on April 29, 2008

Now that the deadline has passed for underclassmen to declare for the draft, both the 2008-09 college seasons and the 2008 NBA Draft are starting to take shape. This is still pretty preliminary, as a number of players who declared could still come back for their senior seasons, but we’re starting to get an idea of what “experts” think of where these guys will get drafted.

If you’re curious, Kyle Weaver is looking like a fringe first-rounder, according to DraftExpress.com and NBADraft.net. I’d love to tell you what Chad Ford at ESPN.com thinks, since he generally seems to be a little more in tune with what teams actually might do, but all of his content is Insider. If anyone has access to that info, post it in the comments. There are other ones out there, too, but most of them have yet to reflect the guys that actually didn’t declare.

These projections can fluctuate pretty wildly in the next couple of months, based both off of performances at pre-draft camps and team needs/preferences, but it tells you what you need to know about how people are viewing Weaver’s skill set: He’s a winner who projects to point guard at the NBA level with his smarts, passing ability and defensive length. More or less the kind of guy that can help out a team that doesn’t need him to carry the mail, the kind of team found at the bottom of the first round.

I’m no draft expert, but that would seem to be the high end for Weaver, barring a spectacular showing at a pre-draft camp. The guys in front of him on the board are guys not likely to head back to college thanks to their potential, and of course, we all know what a premium the NBA places on potential in the draft over actual proven abilities.

Getting into the first round would be huge for Weaver. The difference between the 30th overall pick and the 31st? Two years guaranteed at just under $1 million each with team options for the third and fourth years vs. the prospect of a non-guaranteed contract.

As for Derrick Low? He had some well-publicized difficulties at the Portsmouth Invitational draft camp, and isn’t on anyone’s radar as even a second round pick at the moment. But that could change, too, with a good showing at another camp.

Posted in Around the 'Net, NBA Draft | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

One down, five to go

Posted by Jeff Nusser on March 20, 2008

So, how about those halftime adjustments?

With WSU and Winthrop tied at the half, I identified five things that were going wrong for the Cougs that allowed the Eagles to hang close. Some of it was Winthrop; most of it was our own doing. TB and the boys must have had the blog on the laptop at halftime, because here’s what happened:

  1. Too many turnovers — 1st half: 5; 2nd half: 3.
  2. Too many offensive rebounds — 1st half 5; 2nd half 1.
  3. Too much Taj McCullough — 1st half 15 points; 2nd half 2 points.
  4. Too many 3s given up — 1st half 4-for-8; 2nd half 2-for-11.
  5. Too little Low — 1st half zero points; 2nd half 11 points.

I honestly don’t have enough superlatives to describe that second half of basketball. What a veteran, gutty performance. It was so calm, so collected, that you’d hardly know they were being threatened by a lesser team. They knew, if they shored up a few things and kept doing what they were doing, that they were going to be able to stop Winthrop and get some things going offensively.

To me, this game illustrates perfectly the difference between last year’s team and this year’s team. With the offense sputtering tonight, Kyle Weaver was able to carry us until the rest of the team got going. Not only that, but our offense was able to keep us in it, even as the other team played out of its collective mind. And of course, Aron Baynes had just the kind of game we all thought he could — some nice post moves against smaller guys and dunks off guard penetration.

That was as dominant a stretch of basketball as you’ll see in this tournament, No. 1 seed or otherwise. To hold any tournament team that’s not a No. 16 seed to single digit points for the vast majority of a half is just spectacular. It even allowed us to get a little rest for the regulars, which is no small thing this time of year.

And don’t take it for granted that that’s what high seeds do — just look at all the trouble Duke had with Belmont and Xavier had with Georgia. (And Wisconsin is having with Cal State-Fullerton. Go Josh Akognon!) This was just what the doctor ordered. If a deep run into this tournament isn’t in the cards, it won’t be because this team isn’t ready.

I’ll probably have some additional thoughts tomorrow once all the stats roll in, but you should be doing what I’m doing right now: Basking in the glow of a tremendous victory.

One down, five to go.

Posted in Game Analysis, NCAA Tournament | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Basketball is beautiful and Kyle Weaver is awesome

Posted by Jeff Nusser on February 11, 2008

I finally got a chance to watch the USC game in its entirety today on ESPN360, and all I really want to do is watch it again. At the risk of offending Jo-Jo, soccer is not the beautiful game — basketball, when it’s played the way the Cougars played it on Saturday in dismantling USC, is.

I say that not because we ran roughshod over USC, because we really didn’t, despite what the final score said. No, it was beautiful because this was Cougar basketball at its finest — methodical and opportunistic. Somewhere, Dick Bennett was smiling broadly. (Despite what we saw for three years, he does smile.)

The performance was most impressive for its sheer, cold efficiency. Check out the game flow from ESPN.com:

ESPN WSU-USC

Notice how the graph steadily gets wider as the game goes along? That’s our offense just being steady-eddie, sharing the ball to the tune of 17 assists. Notice those long flat spots for USC? That’s our defense turning up the juice. Just awesome on all fronts.

Right now, though, nothing is more awesome than Kyle Weaver. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Breakdowns, Game Analysis | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Are the Cougs tired?

Posted by Jeff Nusser on February 6, 2008

Early this season, I mentioned that I was concerned about the minutes our starters were logging, especially in blowouts. Then, as this team slugged its way through the first seven games of the Pac-10 season, we all pointed to some road weariness before the start of this four-game homestand.

With that, I pose this question: Is it possible Tony Bennett deserves some of the blame for our failing defense? Here’s what I said in his grade report at the end of the non-conference season:

It certainly appears Tony Bennett is putting all his eggs into this season. His starters have logged heavy minutes in a lot of blowouts, as he tries to get this team into peak performance shape before Pac-10 play. Development of younger players has been largely pushed to the side. … However, the measurement of the job Bennett does will come at the end of the year when this NCAA Tournament-or-bust strategy can truly be evaluated.

A number of people said to me that starters on other teams were logging just as heavy of minutes as our frontline players, and to a certain extent, that’s true. Taylor Rochestie leads the team in percentage of minutes played at 81.2, far behind Pac-10 guys like O.J. Mayo (90.1), Patrick Christopher (87.3) or Chase Budinger (86.5 percent).

However, the big difference is this: In most of those situations, it’s a player or two from each team who’s spending so much time on the floor. In the Cougars’ case, it’s all the starters — especially the three guards — who are carrying such a heavy load. WSU starters are playing 76.6 percent of the available minutes — 27th nationally. Arizona and USC are the only Pac-10 teams who exceed that.

Additionally, among Pac-10 players, the Cougars have three of the top 14 players in terms of percentage of minutes played: Rochestie (seventh), Kyle Weaver (10th, 80.6 percent) and Derrick Low (14th, 78.7). No other team has more than two in those top 14, and some — UCLA, Arizona State and Washington — have only one.

For a team that already doesn’t have the quickest feet, this could be another reason why we’re seeing such a drop off in defensive effectiveness. Just some food for thought.

Posted in Breakdowns | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Thoughts on the Baylor victory

Posted by Jeff Nusser on December 1, 2007

Since I didn’t see the game thanks to it being on ESPNU, and since ESPN’s treatment on SportsCenter last night of this near upset of a No. 6 team amounted to 15 seconds of highlights — you’d think the only two interesting plays of the game were Low’s two late 3’s — I can’t really bring much to the table in the way of first-person analysis. (Several readers did a fine job of that last night.)

But what I can do is look at the numbers and offer up some observations.

First of all, I don’t know what it is about this team and its crappy starts, but they better get it figured out. I understand the whole thing about opponents coming out fired up and riding adrenaline early, but that only explains half the problem — the Cougars simply are not playing well early in games. If they don’t shore it up, there will come a point where they will not be able to dig themselves out of a hole. In fact, they might not have last night if Jerrells hadn’t missed the end of the game.

What went wrong in the first half? Well, the turnovers, for one. Let me hit you with two stats. Heading into last night …

  • WSU was 11th in the country in turnover percentage (the percentage of possessions that end up in a turnover);
  • Taylor Rochestie had an assist-to-turnover ratio of 4.4, and Kyle Weaver had one of 2.2; and
  • As a team, WSU had an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.5.

Last night? Ten assists, 14 turnovers as a team. Rochestie had four assists and three turnovers, Weaver had two assists and three turnovers. Very uncharacteristic, so it gives you hope that it’s something that’s solvable.

What else happened last night that’s solvable? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Game Analysis | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »