Flagrant Fouls

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Tiki Mayben:
If Only He Could Spell His Name

It’s half-time of the Duke vs Binghamton game and one can only stop and think what might have been. Cuse fans who remember the name, Tiki Mayben (Binghamton PG) was a 2005 Syracuse commit. He was supposed to be part of the Eric Devendorf, Andy Rautins, and Arinze Onuaku class. In fact, to my knowledge, Syracuse coaches didn’t actually offer Andy a scholarship until they knew Tiki wasn’t going to be capable of qualifying. Tiki has had his share of baggage over his career. He was thrown off his high school team, couldn’t pass the ACT, and had off court problems during his year at prep school. Once the Syracuse coaches pulled the offer (knowing he wouldn’t qualify academically), Tiki decided to take his act to UMASS. After one season (and all sorts of rumored problems), Tiki decided to transfer to Binghamton, never to be heard of again.

Until tonight that is.

Let’s be thankful it worked out the way it did for a few reasons. One is that Andy has turned out to be a heck of a player. He isn’t a legacy recruit like some felt when we offered him, he’s legit. Second, is that a combination of Eric D and Tiki might have led to some scary off court issues (or should i say scarier off court issues). The last and perhaps most important, is that, had Tiki been our point guard, Jonny Flynn might not have had the oppurtunity to become the best PG in the country, and we certaintly wouldn’t have had room for Scoop Jardine on the roster.

Nolan Shulman
nolan@flagrantfouls.com

Posted 1 week, 4 days ago at 8:24 PM.

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Breaking Down the Brackets
West Region

Most Dominating Defensive Player- Hasheem Thabeet (Uconn): At 7′3, 265, Thabeet dominates the interior like no player in college basketball has for years. Many Big East coaches (including hall of famer Jim Boeheim who’s been part of the league since it’s inception) say he is the best shot blocker the conference has ever seen. That’s high praise considering the likes of Dikembe Mutumbo, Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, and Etan Thomas all played in the Big East Conference. What’s more impressive to me though is that he rarely commits fouls. Hasheem has only fouled out of two games all season, and one of those games was the 6OT thriller with Syracuse. He’s the best defensive player in the tournament. PERIOD.

Best Player You’ve Never Heard Of-
Lazar Hayward (Marquette): Dominic James and Jerel McNeal get all the attention (at least James used to before he got hurt), but Lazar Hayward is perhaps the most important piece of the puzzle down at Marquette. The Warriors (why did they switch to The Golden Eagles exactly?) don’t have a lot of big men they can count on, so they’ve asked the 6′6 wing player, Hayward, to guard and play the post this season. He’s responded by doing an excellent job and never complaining or making excuses. Lazar averages 16.1 ppg, and 8.6 rebounds. Next year with seniors McNeal, James, and Wes Matthews leaving it will be Lazar’s show. Expect him to pick up the slack without any growing pains.

Best Future Pro- Hasheem Thabeet (Uconn): For all the reasons I mentioned above. Anyone who takes Blake Griffen over this game changing center will regret it for the rest of the decade. He’ll be everything everyone expected from Greg Oden (and more).

Best Coach- John Calipari (Memphis): I’ve been pretty hard on Memphis this season, stating my reasons why I think they didn’t deserve such a high seed in this years field. That being said, it just proves the kind of coach John Calipari is. After losing #1 overall pick Derrick Rose, along with CDR, and bruiser Joey Dorsey to the NBA, most people (including myself) thought it was going to be a rebuilding year for the Tigers. All Memphis did this season was go undefeated in Conference USA, and than back it up by winning the conference tournament. They suffered early losses to Syracuse at home, as well as the one and done Georgetown Hoyas (yes Im refrencing the NIT). But they came on late when Coach Cal decided to switch freshman sensation Tyreke Evans to the point. Since than, the Tigers haven’t lost a game and are red hot entering the tournament.

Most Electric Player- Isaiah Thomas (Washington): No relation to THE Isaiah Thomas, and that’s a good thing. This flashy guard has handles, can jam it, and can stroke it. He averages 15.4 ppg on just 42% shooting, but I’m not talking about how good he is. All I’m letting you in on, is how much fun he is to watch. Here is a video of some of his high school highlights. A little taste of what your in for this weekend.

Posted 1 week, 5 days ago at 7:43 AM.

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