2016-17 Jackson State Men’s Basketball Comparisons

Jackson State ended the 2016-2017 season with a disappointing 14-18 overall record, ranking 3rd in the conference. The roster is talented, just has not found that go-to guy on offense, and they’re a bit undersized at every position, which causes mismatches on defense.

Below I’ve made a list of comparisons in my opinion on which NBA players the men’s basketball team remind me of.

Yettra Specks, the starting point guard capped off his senior more than doubling his scoring average from a season ago. He averaged a career high 14.6 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game. Specks is undersized listed at 5-10, but his 171lbs gives him size. He doesn’t “wow” an NBA prospect with athleticism, but is a prototypical floor general that can score when needed.

NBA Comparison- Mike Conley, Memphis Grizzlies

Paris Collins, at 6-4 186lbs, plays shooting guard and small forward. Known more for his great energy and defense. He averaged 12.3 points in just his second season, and a career high 5.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 2 steals per game. Collins is a streaky shooter. The type of player that can explode for 26 points one, then 5 points the next night. The team relies on the energy he brings every nights. He does the dirty work that is not shown in the stat sheet. Every team needs a Paris Collins type of player.

NBA Comparison- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Detroit Pistons

Janarius Middleton, the 6-8 223 forward also just capped off his senior year. Middleton usually plays center because the team is undersized and he’s arguably the most durable and has been the most consistent big man for Jackson State since he came in. He averages 7 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. Middleton doesn’t shoot many 3’s, but he’s well capable of hitting occasional deep shots. He has post offense, can shoot the midrange jumper, and can move his feet well for his size.

NBA Comparison- Enes Kanter/Pau Gasol, Oklahoma City Thunder/San Antonio Spurs

Maurice Rivers, the 6-7 200lb junior made his debut with the Tigers this past season. Rivers is a forward and was instant offense off of the bench at the forward position. He shot  47.8% from the field averaging 7.1 points and 4.8 rebounds in only 19.7 minutes. Rivers is a scorer and plays pretty solid defense. He’s not big, but has the length to block shots get steals, averaging  0.5 blocks, and 0.6 steals in the 2016-2017 season.

NBA Comparison– Nerleans Noel, Dallas Mavericks

Edric Dennis, the 6-3 188lbs combo guard just finished his first season at JSU. He’s probably the most well-rounded player on the team if you want to get statistical. He averaged 14.0 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1 steal as the backcourt mate of Yettra Specks. His main problem is that he turns the ball over the most, averaging 3.0 a game, along with 2.2 personal fouls. He displays frustration in his body language, but other than that he’s been the second primary ball handler, and has more than enough time to be a great player for years to come.

NBA Comparison- Marcus Smart- Boston Celtics

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Always Blame YOURSELF For YOUR Short-Comings

Never blame anybody for ones’ failures. Never blame the marijuana, the alcohol, your parents, surroundings, ethic, or even the fact that you maybe on the bad side of a stereotype in history. Whenever you fail to reach your goals BLAME YOURSELF. IT’S YOUR FAULT!

LaVar Ball, the father of UCLA basketball prodigy and future NBA lottery pick Lonzo Ball said, “I’ve always instilled in my boys that whenever your team loses it’s your fault, and when the team wins give credit to the team.” There’s always something you can do better for a better result. Not just in sports, but in life. Even if Lonzo scores 50 points in a loss, “he could’ve done more”, says LaVar. That mentality has Lonzo along with his brothers as some of the best non-NBA basketball players in the state California, and they’re all teenagers still.

I’m only 22 years old. I’ve made mistakes throughout my life, I hung with the wrong people, I made decisions before fully having a thought process, but it wasn’t until I realized that I was the problem that I started to make the proper leaps in the right direction. I have goals and ambitions just like many young men and women, and I’m perfect. I’m a former weed smoker. It caused me to over-sleep, relax too often, and to not have the conscious to save money to purchase necessary upgrades in my life, and most importantly, to have a savings account.

But guess what, IT’S MY FAULT!

I don’t blame the drug, the parties, nor the influences. It took for ME to realize what had to be done, and that I was the problem for me to bury that addiction. Weed is drug that causing relaxation and self-awareness in my case, but once it became an addiction then I became the problem.

With that being said, I no longer associate myself with marijuana or any mind altering substances because once it becomes an addiction then that’s when I become the problem. I have only one life to live. Drugs can temporarily take away pain and build self-confidence, but once those few hours expire and that high cools down, you’re back to reality, and you’re back spending money.

Why do that when I’ve gotten to this point of my life with a sober brain? Drugs will always be here, but our time to get the job done won’t.

Who’s OKC’s X-Factor Going Into The Playoffs?

Russell Westbrook finished the season as the leading scoring, averaging 31.6 points per game, but that 42% has people wondering if that will be enough to be the only star on a team that can advance

The Thunder will play against the soon to be MVP runner up James Harden and the Houston Rockets in the first round. Houston is loaded with 3 point snippers and a Mike D’antoni system that helped Steve Nash win back to back MVP awards and extremely high scoring. This new look Thunder team will go into the playoffs with an entirely new identity, not having Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka. The team is built around Russell Westbrook and skilled big-men.

James Harden finished the season as the leader in assists averaging 11.2 a game, and Westbrook is at 10.4. An argument can be made tat Hardens’ assists are much easier that Westbrooks’. Rockets’ perimeter consists on Ryan Anderson, Eric Gordon, Lou Williams, Patrick Beverley, Trevor Ariza, all proven shooters in this league. Westbrook has no true 3 point shooters. Majority of his assists come off of alley-oops and penetrations in the paint to feed the big-men.

Victor Oladipo and Enes Kanter have both shared the role as the number 2 scoring options, but Oladipo is only averaging 15.9 points as a starter and Kanter adds 14.3 of the bench, but banter is a defensive liability, which is the only reason he’s not a starter. OKC picked up Doug McDermott at the deadline and has proven that he can score from anywhere on the court, but where will his minutes come from? Andre Roberson is the best perimeter defender on the team but can’t buy a jump shot or offensive game.

OKC still doesn’t have an identity of who their 2nd best player is. OKC will have an advantage and will be able to hide some of the flaws against Houston because of the size, length and skills of the OKC big-men.

Maybe, there will be a unsung hero.

What Will Be Magic Johnson’s First Order Of Duty?

The most storied franchise in NBA history Los Angeles Lakers will finish the season lottery bound and a void of a playoff appearance for the 4th consecutive season. 16 world championships hang in the rafters in the Staples Center, 2nd most to the Boston Celtics. At least four of the top 15 greatest players of […]

The most storied franchise in NBA history Los Angeles Lakers will finish the season lottery bound and a void of a playoff appearance for the 4th consecutive season.

16 world championships hang in the rafters in the Staples Center, 2nd most to the Boston Celtics. At least four of the top 15 greatest players of all-time all wore purple and gold and won championships. Legends from Wilt Chamberlin, Shaquille O’Neal, Kareem, Kobe Bryant, to Pau Gasol, all are apart of Lakers history.

This is the worst era in Lakers history as each of the past two seasons the Lakers have set records for losses in a season with 17-65 and 21-61. The Lakers have had a history of quickly bouncing back into title contention, but this process might take a bit longer.

After a 20 year career and five championships with the Lakers perhaps the greatest Laker of all-time Kobe Bryant has retired and now the franchise is in search of its’ next guy.

Deangelo Russell, a second year point guard out of Ohio State has had his moments but does not look like he’ll be in a Lakers uniform as part of the future. He’s been relatively average for a number two overall draft pick and has been involved in off court lockeroom drama with teammates.

Brandon Igram, the rookie guard/forward has shown progress but is near bust contention. He’s averaging 8.7 points and 4.0 rebounds per game but the Lakers expected far more. Maybe you can blame the front office for signing Luol Deng and keeping Nick Young.

Magic Johnson is the President of Basketball Operations and knows that his job won’t be easy. The entire roster has reshaping up to do. Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson are still there and productive so only time will time.

This upcoming draft is deep with talent, so as every year. Lonzo Ball, Jayson Tatum, Josh Jackson, Markelle Fultz, and Dennis Smith Jr. are the top prospects.

The Lakers best chance to gamble on the right guy is to lose for the rest of the season.

Is This The Resurgence Of The Former 4th Overall Pick?

In his 5th year out of Syracuse Miami Heat shooting guard is leading them to clutch victories and is averaging a careeh-high 18.7 points  4 rebounds and 4.7 assists in wins this season. He has hit game winners against the Cavaliers and Warriors and seems to be the go-to guy for a rebuilding team. This is Waiters’ 3rd team; the Cavs, Thunder, and now the Heat. The talent was never the question. His high volume and career 41.2% shooting from the field seems to have people still questioning if he has all-star potential or not.

All-rookie team, rising stars challenge participant is what he has to his resume so far. In Cleveland Waiters’ and Kyrie Irving looked like a potential great back-court for the future. That was until LeBron came home. Some people say that Waiters’ never got a fair chance to be great. Traded to OKC right before the deadline in 2014, Waiters’ instantly was the Reggie Jackson replacement. The number one option off of the bench averaging 12.7 point during his first year. During the playoffs he played well in each round and was clearly the 3rd scoring option.

Approaching free agency Waiters’ was seeking a max deal and Billy Donovan instantly made it clear during draft night shipping Serge Ibaka out of town for Victor Oladipo, it was clear Waiters’ was on the bad side.

How would a first round match-up between the Cavs and Heat sound?

With A Potential Top 3 Draft Pick, What Move Will The Celtics Make?

As of the now the Boston Celtics are a top heavy team in the Eastern Conference, and a potential threat to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Back in 2013 the famous blockbuster trade that sent Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry to the Nets for three first round draft picks as well as the right to swap picks in 2017 was classified as robbery in favor of the Celtics. Since then, the Brooklyn Nets has made one playoffs appearance, and the Celtics have been on the rise since. With those picks the Celtics drafted Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Terry Rozier, and James Young, all solid players currently on the roster. The Nets did not have a 1st round pick in 2016, with those other picks they drafted Chris McCullough,  Mason Plumlee, and a bunch of no names who aren’t even on the roster still.

The Nets currently has the worst record in the NBA at 16-57 and the Celtics are a borderline championship team at 48-26. From the perspective of many analyst, they are only one move away from a championship appearance. Boston with that 2017 pick can choose between a pool of college talents that includes, Kansas forward/guard, Josh Jackson, UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball, Kentucky shooting guard, Malik Monk, and a point guard heavy draft.

Which player would make the most sense?

With Isaiah Thomas being the franchise player in Boston and a miniature 5’9, it’ll be strange to imagine Boston drafting another point guard. Especially a star talent that potential will be bigger and have a better career than him. That scratches out Lonzo Ball, and Washington guard, Markelle Fultz. Boston shooting guard Avery Bradley is a core player, and has the longest tenure on the team. He’s an all-NBA defensive player and 2nd in scoring, averaging 16.7 points. With all of that being said, he’s only 26 and has been in the league since 2010, maybe they move him to get younger.

Allonzo Trier, out of Arizona is the only pure shooting guard close enough to a lottery pick, ranking at the #12 prospect per CBS Sports Draft Big Board.

The Celtics are a defensive minded team, the only non-defensive player is the point guard Isaiah Thomas. Drafting Josh Jackson would make perfect sense only if they have plans on moving Jae Crowder, who has also been a solid defender. Jackson is 6’8 207lbs, averaging 16.3 points 7.4 rebounds, and 3.0 assists for the Kansas Jayhawks and is ranked the #2 prospect for CBS. He’s only 20 years old and right now he’s a better overall basketball talent than what the Celtics have at his position.

Featured Pistons’ Guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Was Arrested Wednesday Morning For Suspected DUI

Multiple reports say that Caldwell-Pope was stopped around 2:50 a.m. with a blood alcohol level of .08, which is the legal limit. They described him as “very cooperative.” The arrest came after the Pistons loss at home to the Miami Heat on Tuesday night. He reportedly was driving 45 mph in a 25 mph zone and after he was pulled over, an officer smelled alcohol and conducted a sobriety test.

The Pistons just defeated the Brooklyn Nets on a game winner by Ish Smith. Caldwell-Pope score 12 points, had 4 rebounds, and grabbed 3 assists. The Pistons are currently #10 in the Eastern Conference playoff picture and 2.5 games out the #8 spot nearing the end of the season.

The Pistons are back in action Friday in Milwaukee.