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“Alex Len, Maryland. Upside scenario: His ankle not only heals properly but the rest of both feet are also dipped in reinforced titanium. Maryland’s point guards actually were as bad as everyone claims and Len was injured for far longer than he’s letting on, which explains his mediocre stats. He gets stronger and adds a couple of post counter-moves while still maintaining his nifty footwork and solid hands. In a league where Dwight Howard is still one of the best big men around with a giant fork in his back, Len becomes an All-Star-caliber center for a decade.
Downside scenario: The stress fracture is just the first sign that the 7-foot Ukrainian isn’t going to be healthy enough to even see if he can get good enough. NBA big men routinely bang him out of position on the block and back him down at will. Len starts getting compared to other big men who had mediocre numbers and left school early. Maryland’s point guards end up with better NBA careers.” [Glockner/Point Forward]
“The scandal has shaken a company that fuels the nation’s trucking industry, and it has put the spotlight on a hard-charging family that says it borrows tactics from the football field to excel in the tough business of peddling diesel.
On a glorious recent evening, when many people were outdoors barbecuing, Jimmy, now the 59-year-old chief executive of privately held Pilot, was inside his home, flanked by his wife, Dee, his dad and his stepmother, Natalie.
The room had gone dead silent as he considered the dark cloud hanging over his company and his family. Investigators appear to be pressing for indictments, maybe even his, he acknowledged. He says he hasn’t done anything wrong and he is “very comfortable” with his personal position.” [Morris/Wall Street Journal]
“Chudzinski started at tight end for three seasons during his time as a player at the University of Miami from 1986-90. His first job in the NFL was the Browns’ tight ends coach in 2004. As an offensive coordinator, Chudzinski has helped Antonio Gates and Kellen Winslow put together Pro Bowl seasons.
And now, as a head coach, Chudzinski’s offensive coordinator, Norv Turner, shares the desire to utilize a tight end. But do the Browns have a tight end to utilize?” [Delco/The OBR]
“Advanced statistics have become increasingly popular at every level of basketball, but there are important differences in the data sets from the NBA and NCAA. There are more than 10 times as many Division I programs as there are NBA teams, so the talent is more spread out. The problem is even more acute with big men, since there are so few NBA-caliber ones in college. Robinson’s collegiate numbers against substandard competition were a classic example of a “false positive”.
In his first two years at Kansas, Robinson backed up Cole Aldrich, Marcus Morris and Markieff Morris, all of whom were Top-15 picks. As a result, he didn’t start until his junior season, following the departure of the Morris Twins. The Jayhawks played one of the top schedules in the country that season, finishing with a 32-7 record and a berth in the national championship game. Yet, despite playing in a number of high-level games, Robinson saw very few NBA-caliber big men.” [Tjarks/Real GM]
Finally, something fun to discuss. What do you think of Nebraska’s new alternate uniforms? [Dr. Saturday]