Thanks again to James Blackburn for pointing me to this video, for those of us who weren’t able to make it to Atlanta over the weekend. Can somebody from the league send a scout to watch T-Dub? Seriously!
This article has been contributed by James Blackburn (thanks, James!):
I went to Atlanta this weekend for the Sprite Slam Dunk Showcase presented by Sprite and the NBA. The event was held at Lenox Square Mall in the parking lot. Sprite had flown in 16 of the best dunkers in the country to compete for $5,000. Steet legends like TDub, Special FX, JFK, and Werm competed as well as YouTube regulars Golden Child, Elevator, Dthac, and Jonesy. Many of these guys are with Team Flight Brothers who post insane dunks on the web regularly. The atmosphere was cool with a DJ, and special appearances by Marvin Williams of the Hawks, Hot Sauce from And 1, and the Atlanta Hawks dance team. Sprite and the NBA teamed up to put on a great event. Prizes like NBA shirts, headbands, and shorts were given out, as well as free Sprite and water to everyone in attendance. Everyone in the crowd was also given electronic keypads to vote for each dunk, which transmitted to a TV to decide who won.
They had a large bracket with all the contestants’ names on it, so there were head to head battles with the winner moving on. Marvin Williams helped judge the championship round.
The dunks were insane with 540’s, through the legs, behind the back, and windmills shown on a regular. JFK tried to jump over a car, but rolled his ankle in the process and had to pull out. That left a relatively easy road for the 5’9” TDub who wowed the crowd enough to take home the enlarged $5,000 check. Props to Sprite and the NBA for putting on a well thought out and planned event like this for free for people to enjoy.
I wanted to revisit a book on basketball coaching that I wrote about a few weeks ago, the Coaches Notes, which I called the ‘Secret Weapon’. If anyone is interesting in learning the inside basketball strategy that coaches like Roy Williams and Rick Pitino employ to win so many games, this is an incredible resource:
One of the most interesting aspects of these coaches approach to the game is that they almost invariably start with the mental aspect of the game over the physical. I think that alone says volumes. Sure, it’s just as important to hit free throws, but I’ve personally watched high school basketball players who had D-1 level talent but weren’t putting forth the effort or mental attitude to get to that level.
One example that immediately comes to mind is a 6’6″ shooting guard who could scorch from deep and had a fluid slashing ability to get to the hoop. I’d seen this player in practice and warm ups and was expecting him to look great, but when the game started, all he did was stand outside the three point line, never moved to get the ball and walked back on defense. I think he finished with, maybe nine points (all threes). He never even got a single offer. He was the classic example of a player who could have played his way onto a top college team but just wasn’t willing to do anything except hang around where the shots were easy.
This is one of the reasons I like delving into the top coaches’ basketball tips, because fundamentals start with approach.
Just a few days after Maryland received good news regarding center Steve Goins, they get another win:James Padgett (PF,6’8″,2009) has given a verbal commitment to the Terps:
Padgett, who transferred to Lincoln from Xaverian, said he chose Maryland over the University of Pittsburgh. He said the Panthers were not able to offer him as much playing time because they had just signed two players at his position.
Big time pickup for Gary Williams.
Brandon Jennings (PG, 5’11”, 2008), the flashy point guard who wowed coaches and scouts last year with his pyrotechnic passing has signed a deal with Under Armor that is “multi-year” and “incentive based”.
Jennings, who signed with Italian basketball team Pallacanestro Virtus Roma, it is the first major basketball player signing with Under Armor, who currently doesn’t have a basketball shoe on the market.
Good news for Terp fans, Steve Goins (C, 6’10”, 2009) has been deemed eligible to play by the NCAA clearing house.
ACC Basketball Targets
Two players we added over the summer as ACC targets and should have mentioned before now: Harrison Barnes (SF, 6’6″, 2010), with an offer from Duke in hand, and DeMatha’s Victor Oladipo (SF), who has an offer from Maryland, Virginia, Clemson and Virginia Tech, among others. No word yet on who might have the inside track.
Durand Scott (SG/SF, 6’5″, 2009), a player who you might have seen recently playing in Rucker Park has a list of eight schools, including some ACC colleges.
Alex recently interviewed Scott, who confirmed his list of eight, including a ‘mystery’ school:
“UCLA, Tennessee, UConn, Memphis, Virginia, Miami, . . . Xavier [and] . . . [Pause] I can’t remember the last one . . .”
Shortly after this interview, Scott cut his list to five, eliminating Virginia and Xavier, but keeping Pitt (which Alex correctly guessed as the mystery school).
So, Scott’s current list still includes Miami.
More on Derrick Favors
I also wanted to follow up on a story we recently shared about Derrick Favors (PF, 6’9″, 2009), where the Atlanta Journal-Consitution reported that Favors was listing six schools. Favors was not actually quoted as saying that he had eliminated anyone, but it is important to note that Connecticut was also listed. Many services have UConn as completely out of it, so for now it seems like a bit more mystery.