Flagrant Fouls

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STONE COLD STEPHEN F. AUSTIN 3:16

Who exactly is Stephen F. Austin? The Syracuse players and coaches have made it clear they haven’t heard of them, and I know I’ve never heard of them. So than who the heck are they?

Well the first reason nobody has ever heard of Stephen F. Austin is because, never in the history of their program have they been to the tournament. The second reason is because they play in the Southland Conference. This is a team that has rivalries with the University of Texas- San Antonio, Central Arkansas, and my personal favorite Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Ok, are you nervous yet?

Stephen F.Austin is also a team that won 24 games this year, including their conference tournament championship. They are led by senior center Matt Kingsley who was the tournament’s MVP. He averages just over 16 points and just under 8 boards. He’s had the best stretch of his career over the past few weeks and is ready to go toe to toe with Ricky and Arinze. Jonny Flynn is going to have close to a 7 inch height advantage over 5″3, Stephen F. Austin point guard, Eric Bell. Bell has season averages of 3.6 points, and 3.6 assists, which should provide quite a mismatch for the Orange.

Stephen F. Austin did play a few teams you’ve heard of this season. They lost on the road at Texas A&M by 7, they lost at Texas Tech by 14, and got pounded at Arkansas by 16. The Cuse should be able to run this team out of the gym if they come in focused and energized. If they come out aloof and disinterested, ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN.

Key Matchup:

Paul Harris vs. Josh Alexander

Paul- 12.6 ppg, 7.9 Reb, 50% Fg, 1.1 Steals, 2.2 TO
Josh- 14.5 ppg, 5.4 Reb, 40%Fg, 1.1 Steals, 6.8 3-point attempts,

Both men stand 6″4, both weigh over 200 pounds, and both contribute to their clubs in a variety of fashions. Paul is a little stronger, and will try to face up his opponent, and bully his way to the basket. Whether or not he can convert near the rim will be paramount to Syracuse’s success. Josh does a lot of his damage from deep, averaging close to 7 three point atttempts per game. If he can heat up, he will get plenty of opportunities to hoist shots over Syracuse’s patent 2-3 zone. The winner of this matchup could very well determine the outcome of the game.

Nolan Shulman
nolan@flagrantfouls.com

Posted 1 week, 6 days ago at 1:55 PM.

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Breaking Down The Brackets
South Region

Most Physical Player- Tyler Hansbrough (UNC): Known around college basketball as “Psycho T”, Tyler never takes a play off. EVER. Hansbrough is averaging 21.4 points and 8.2 rebounds for the #1 seeded Tar Heels. Tyler has 44 career double-doubles (25 more than the next best in the ACC), is North Carolina’s all time leading scorer, and has made 919 free throws in his career (most in NCAA History). This kid is the best player in North Carolina history, having had a better career than Michael Jordan, Sam Perkins, Antwan Jamison, and Phil Ford. That’s a pretty impressive list to be at the top of. All that’s left to accomplish for Hansbrough is a trip to the Final 4.

Best Future NBA Player- James Harden (Arizona St.): Blake Griffin of Oklahoma gets all the publicity, but I believe Harden will be the better pro. This 6″5 phenom shooting guard can score in a variety of ways. He is relentless attacking the rim and can stroke it as well. Harden is averaging 20.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 4.2 assists. He shoots over 50% from the field and can light up a gym for some HUGE numbers. NBA COMPARISON: Slower, left-handed D Wade

Coach to Watch- Mark Few (Gonzaga): After a decade long run, Mark Few has turned the Zags from one time cinderella to national power house. The Zags have historically come up big in the tournament under Few, and they certainly have the talent to do it again this year. Will this be the last run for Few at Gonzaga? Once again, Mark is being mentioned for possible jobs this off-season, but a rumor of Few to Arizona has begun to pick up steam.

Most Likely to Hit a Big Shot- Jonny Flynn (Syracuse): Jonny has the ability to take the ball coast to coast as fast as anyone in the country. He loves the big moment and has excelled taking big shot after big shot for the cuse.

Best Player You’ve Never Heard Of- Dionte Christmas (Temple): This senior guard will give James Harden everything he has got. Christmas has been flying under the radar his entire career, in part because he plays for a Temple team that plays in the A-10 conference, a conference that hasn’t gotten much air time. The 6-5 scoring point guard averages 19.2 ppg’s and is very impressive with the ball in his hands. The first round matchup of Temple vs. Arizona St. could be one of the best of the weekend. The Owls are the A-10 champions and Christmas is a huge reason why.

Best Potential Matchup- Ty Lawson (UNC) vs. Jonny Flynn (Syracuse): This would be a matchup for the ages as both point guards are lightning quick and instrumental in their teams success. The NBA scouts would be all over this one, as both players project as first round prospects. It wouldn’t happen until the Elite 8, but we’ll talk about it anyways. Both PG’s have been called the best point guard in America at times this season, and the head to head battle would be epic. I would have to give the nod to my boy J Fly (I’m a homer), in part because he’s got the better jumper, and plays the pick and roll a little more efficiently.

Regional Finals Prediction- North Carolina vs. Syracuse

Nolan Shulman
nolan@flagrantfouls.com

Posted 2 weeks ago at 8:42 AM.

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Breaking Down the Brackets
Midwest Region

Most Physical Player- Cole Aldrich (Kansas): This hard nosed big man averages just short of 15 points and 11 rebounds, while shooting 60% from the field. More importantly he rarely shows emotion and is a force underneath. He blocks 2.4 shots per game and does it in a very workmanlike fashion. Sherron Collins provides the flash and scoring for the Jayhawks, but Aldrich gives this team it’s toughness. If Michigan State advances to meet Kansas in the Sweet 16, I believe Cole will be the difference, as Michigan State has no matchup for the gritty big man.

Best Future NBA Player- Earl Clark (Lousiville): Louisville’s versatile forward has a prototypical NBA game. He is a tall wing, who can do a little bit of everything. He scores (14 ppg’s), he rebounds (8.8 rpg’s), and he passes it well (3.2 dimes). He plays unselfishly in Rick Pitino’s system but has athelticism, desire, and plays with poise. NBA COMPARISON: Lamar Odom.

Best Player You’ve Never Heard Of- Devin Ebanks (West Virginia): West Virginia’s Freshman forward has really come on late in the season. He was absolutely terrific throughout the Big East Tournament last week. He averages just over 10 points and a hair less than 8 rebounds, but has been a double-double machine late in the season. He’s long, wiry, and difficult to box out. Keep an eye on him, as he may be the best forward in the Big East Conference a few years down the road.

Best Floor General- Kalin Lucas (Michigan St.): The Big Ten player of the year has been a bit off of late, but expect him to make up for it in the tournament. Kalin only managed to dish out 4 assists in two games while playing in the Big Ten tournament. Michigan State was upset by Ohio St. and if they are looking to avoid the same fate in the big dance, they’re going to need Lucas to carry the load. He averaged just under 15 points and 4.4 assists this season and needs to do a better job of getting his teammates involved.

Team With a Chance to Pull the Upset- Arizona Wildcats: Even though it was a pretty disappointing year for the Cats, the talent is certainly there for this team to get out of the first weekend. They have two potential lottery picks in Jordan Hill, and Chase Budinger as well as a point guard (Nic Wise) who plays solid, controlled basketball, and knows how to get the ball to his horses.

Player Who Could Become a Household Name- Demar DeRozen (USC): The USC freshman came into the year with as much hype as any player in America. He hasn’t been spectacular, but has been quite solid. Averaging 13.6 points and 5.7 rebounds, this highly athletic wing player has the abilities to be one of the best players in college basketball. He showed us some flashes in the Pac-10 tournament of what he’s capable of, and I believe that will continue on the big stage this week.

Regional Finals Prediction- Louisville vs. Kansas

Nolan Shulman
nolan@flagrantfouls.com

Posted 2 weeks ago at 7:17 AM.

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