Who to blame for Alabama’s loss in the Sugar Bowl

For some reason I feel like Lane Kiffin had something to do with Alabama losing this game.

For those who don’t know, Kiffin was brought in by Nick Saban to consult and discuss offensive philosophies. After watching A.J. McCarron throw for multiple interceptions, it doesn’t seem like it was a good move.

This guy has burned everyone from an NFL franchise to multiple big name colleges. Now he’s burned Saban and Bama.

Let this be a lesson for the next GM/AD that considers hiring him for coaching, consulting, anything. I’d even recommend high school principals to stay away from this guy.

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Is Anthony Bennett the Reincarnation of Kwame Brown?

By AA

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Ok maybe I’m jumping the gun with this comparison but lets be honest Anthony Bennett is horrible! It’s hard to compare anyone to Kwame Brown( the biggest bust In pro sports) but at this rate why not? The only #1 pick to start off a season this bad since Kwame Brown is Bennett.  In the 10 games to start the season Anthony Bennett is averaging 1 point per game, and shooting 1% from the floor and less then 1 percent from three point range.

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 On the Brightside you can only go up from those numbers, and his performance in college seemed legitimate. He was a 17 and 8 player during his only season at UNLV, and reminded many people of Larry Johnson aka grand mama. The Cavaliers jumped the gun and selected him first overall, but so far he’s playing more like Madea. It is only the beginning of a very long season, so hopefully he can turn it around and contribute. 

 

( Bisportisan will  perform a follow up  review  of Bennett’s performance at the All-Star break, stay tuned) 

Top 3 One and Done Player Comparisons

By AA

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Andrew Wiggins has the most upside out of the top 3  one and done prospects. His freakish athletic ability , lanky physical stature and explosive leaping ability  is similar to  Tracy Mcgrady. The one thing that hindered Mcgrady’s success was his lack of aggressiveness and leadership , hopefully Wiggins does not share the same traits. Mcgrady  was able to get to the basket from any point on the floor and could handle the ball and shoot as well. With a little more polishing and hard work Wiggins should be able to do the same and exceed T-Macs accomplishments as well. 

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Jabari Parker may have the most complete all around game coming out of college since Carmelo Anthony. We all know Carmelo could have entered the draft straight out of high school with his ability, but his decision to enroll at Syracuse delivered a national championship and enshrined him as arguably one of the greatest one and done players in college basketball history. Jabari shares the same size, offensive ability and competitive nature as Carmelo, and hopes to follow Anthony Davis and Carmelo’s  footsteps as the next great one and done NCAA Championship winners.Image

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Julius Randle is a physical beast! He is simply a man amongst boys at the college level, but at his 6’9 height his abilities will be tested at the next level.  At the NBA level Julius Randle will either become a small power forward or a small forward lacking the ability to consistently  shoot the basketball. If he works on his few flaws he has the potential to make an immediate impact in the NBA. If Julius Randle can develop a mid range jump shot , he would be  comparable to a former college great , Chris Webber. They are about the same size and  both share the ability score on the interior and collect rebounds.

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Potential Final 4 Preview?

By Randy Yiadom

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Tonight is the night that college basketball fans have been waiting for.  We’ve got some of the best  pro prospects & teams in the country going at it tonight. As a VCU alum, I always keep tabs on my alma mater for basketball updates. “But this Season right here, right here might be the season ever” (Katt Williams voice). I’ve been waiting for over a decade to watch a crop of potential NBA superstars play on the collegiate level before step into the league. Though I never got to see LeBron vs. Melo in college. I thank the college basketball gods for reimbursing us, with this type of talent exactly a decade later. Prior to the “one and done” rule we saw the talent level go down in college basketball since the top tier highschool prospects were going straight to the draft after graduating high school. Before the NBA enforced the “one and done” rule, basketball enthusiast have always wondered how would KG, Kobe, T-mac, or LeBron have performed on the collegiate level. Could they have won championships as freshmen like Melo? Or been a preseason All American like Harrison Barnes was? We will never know the answer to those questions of but we we can enjoy a new era of elite talent with Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker,  Julius Randle and many more prospects in the next few months. Now that I’ve explained to you on why this season is about to be amazing, it’s time to make selections.

 

First Game: Michigan State vs Kentucky

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This game right here is the battle of the elite coaches “The Snake vs. The Proven One”. Though both coaches are good coaches, there is a big philosophical difference between the two. One coach prefers to develop their players, while the other coach just snatches the best talent and leave all the other coaches with the chicken scraps. You really can’t knock the hustle on how Calipari operates but it’s a strong possibility that he has met his match. Izzo will be coaching his most complete roster in a while. But history shows that MSU starts the season off slow whether they are rebuilding or experienced, they usually tend to develop as the season progresses. So don’t be surprised if they get ran off the floor by a bunch of young athletic prospect on UK that probably doesn’t realize the intensity and volume behind these games.

 

The advantages that play a role for Kentucky is that nobody has tape on this team. Izzo will have to do a lot more adjustments on this team than most. Though you’re able to always point out flaws whether a team wins or loses. It’s better to spot out more flaws of when a team  loses, so you are able to exploit the matchups and cater your game plan on how other teams have beat them them in the past. Also, Randle was a low block player in high school now Calipari has him playing from the perimeter. Which creates more of an advantage for Randle because he has the option of shooting, driving or posting up. Watch out for those Harrison twins to have a coming out party on a big stage but today will be the day to see if the wildcats are real. The main test is to see how Kentucky matches up with the elite teams with experience. Though I’m not a fan of moral victories, if Kentucky is to lose in a nail biter, I believe it’s safe to say that there an upper echelon team and if you are to compare this team with the past Calipari teams. You’d have to match them with the rest of the great Calipari squads that were led by Davis, Wall, and Rose. All I know if UK loses in fashion beware of this team in March. Look for MSU to show different matchups, if the game gets close Adrian Payne shall be covering Randle, during crunch time. With the game being played in Chicago and Michigan not being that far they should have the home advantage.  Though my gut is telling me to go with the experience squad, I got to roll with UK. Too much depth athleticism and talented veteran leadership off the bench.  Kentucky has bullied their way to the mountain top with these top prospects, and you can’t do anything about it until they have been beaten. So you have no choice but to roll with the wildcats.

 

Second Game: Kansas vs Duke

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Let’s keep it real like Faizon Love’s perm on Friday, nobody gives a damn about who wins the game. In fact we wouldn’t care if this game was a draw. All we want to see is two players outduel each other, so we can choose an allegiance on who is better. Will it be #TEAMWIGGINS or #TEAMPARKER? We living in a world where nobody respects what an Analyst on ESPN got to say. Everybody knows that the local OG has been speaking the truth since ’95. Though nobody felt like listening to him, we listen to him because we the people can break it down better than an analyst on first take. I’m rolling with Duke to win this game, a better coach with a better cast surrounding the pure scorer in Parker. But all I want, is to just be a part of history and witness and instant classic, like Bird vs. Magic. Before entering the NBA, if the basketball gods are on our side this is the game we were suppose to witness in 2003-2004 college basketball season (Lebron vs Melo). But we had to EQ it and fast forward it to 2013, which is fine with me. The main objective at hand, with this match is for debates to be sparked and sides to be taken in your local hangout spot, on who will be the better prospect. Get your popcorn ready and your arguments and points in order for deep discussion, because this season will arguably breed the next best generation of NBA superstars.

 

 

 

Is it Time for a Statistical Revolution in Football?

By Aynom

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What if I told you that in the NBA, you can win the scoring title without having the most points? I know it sounds crazy but it happened last season. Kevin Durant had 2280 points last season but the scoring title was awarded to Carmelo Anthony who had 1920 points. The reason why Carmelo Anthony won the scoring title was because he averaged more points per game. This seems strange to casual sport fans but most of us know that sports like basketball and baseball use averages to quantify a player’s contributions instead of the season total. This system doesn’t penalize a player’s stats if he misses time to injuries.

The weird thing is that football, the sport that is most known for violence and a high number of injuries doesn’t use this system. Football players know that injuries are a part of the game so why don’t the statisticians calculate stats by averages to account for this?

Changing the stat system to averages would cause us to see some players in a different light. The current system is designed to have players with the most longevity to break records. Statistically, Brett Favre is the best passer and Emmitt Smith is the best rusher. I know most fans disagree with that but the current system is designed to statistically credit the least injury prone players and not necessarily the most talented players.

Another disadvantage of the current system is that it puts players of past eras at a disadvantage because they play more games now in the NFL. Many consider Eric Dickerson to have the greatest rushing season since he broke the single season rushing record with 2105 yards. What fans don’t realize is that Dickerson needed 16 games to break the record. O.J. Simpson ran for 2003 yards but did it in 14 games. If you judged the 2000 yard seasons from Simpson & Dickerson by the average of yards per game, you would realize that Simpson had a more impressive season since he had a higher average.

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Even in college football, some teams play more games in a season compared to others. If we installed the statistical averages system in college football it would make it easier to select Heisman candidates, All Americans, and other award winners. It doesn’t seem right for a player not to have the chance to break a record because his team didn’t schedule enough games and/or make it to a bowl game.

No statistical system is perfect, this system is no different. You don’t want guys who have 1 good game all season (like Matt Flynn a few years ago) to win the passing title. With this statistical averages system, you would need to have minimum qualifiers to prevent any statistical anomalies. But overall, it would help us reward players in a fairer manner.

Welcome to the Future

By Aynom

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We’ve seen some NBA GMs blatantly attempting to tank by letting their star players leave through trades and free agency. The Jazz, Celtics, Bucks, Hawks, and 76ers are  examples of teams letting go of star players. All in the hopes of landing a player in the 2014 draft that can carry their team for the next decade. Hardcore basketball fans have heard of Andrew Wiggins of the Kansas Jayhawks. Wiggins is only the 2nd player ever to be named a preseason All-American honors as a freshman (Harrison Barnes was the first). Wiggins is a super athletic wing who many consider to be the top pick in the 2014 NBA draft.  Due to the obvious tanking by some teams, fan-base are making slogans like  “riggin’ for Wiggins”  Unfortunately, there are multiple tanking teams but only 1 Andrew Wiggins.

But he isn’t the only player that can change the fortunes of a franchise. In fact, Wiggins wasn’t even considered the best prospect for this class initially. He was expected to graduate high school in 2014 and enter the 2015 draft, but ended up reclassifying so he can graduate in 2013 and play college basketball this season.

The original top prospect of 2013 was a forward from Chicago named Jabari Parker.  He was dubbed by Sports Illustrated as “the best high school basketball player since Lebron James.”

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Parker played for Chicago powerhouse Simeon Career Academy (same school to produce Derrick Rose, Benji Wilson and others that would play in the NBA). Simeon has had a long tradition of not letting freshmen play on the varsity team no matter how talented. But for Parker they made an exception and he became the first freshman ever to start for the varsity squad. During his 4 year career he was named freshman of the year, sophomore of the year, junior of the year, and national player of the year. He was a 3 time state time champion, and won 2 gold medals in FIBA Americas U16 & U17 championship.

Parker is a highly skilled player. He can play multiple position and has a versatile game. Like Lebron, he is an excellent passer, and has a reputation for making his teammates better. He posses excellent footwork and is very patient. He plays like he’s been receiving NBA caliber coaching his whole life. He is very polished, dangerous scorer. The main knock on him is his athleticism but his critics might need to reconsider that after this amazing dunk he had during a scrimmage. A foot injury during his senior season also caused some weight gain which affected his athleticism last year.

He seems to be in better shape in his first (and probably last) season with Duke. Coach K will get the best out of this talented player. The Blue Devils’ style of play and roster also compliments Parker very well. Parker scored an efficient 22 points in 23 minutes in his season debut against Davidson. Next, he’ll face Kansas and fellow freshman phenom, Andrew Wiggins. They both have tremendous respect for each other and this won’t be the first time they’ve faced off and it sure won’t be the last. Wiggins has the elite athleticism to get defenders into foul trouble quickly but if Parker can perform well, he’ll have a chance to show GMs why they might need to reconsider the order of their draft board. Some fans might trade one stupid slogan for another. They might go from “Riggin for Wiggins”  to “Plunging for Parker” (or “Jeopardize for Jabari”). Wiggins and Parker are developing a rivalry and will forever be linked, especially if they’re drafted 1st and 2nd in the draft. I look forward to watching them go head to head and hope that we can get a rematch in March.

Scary thing is that these aren’t the only prospects expected to enter this upcoming draft with NBA superstar potential . Keep an eye out for other players like Julius Randle of Kentucky and Marcus Smart of Oklahoma State who some also consider to have a shot of getting drafted 1st or 2nd overall (or at the very worst top 5).

Trends in the NFL

by Hitman

Two or three running back system

With the ever increasing salary of quarterbacks, teams are finding different ways to save money. One of those ways is not having a featured, work horse running back. Running backs like Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice, and Matt Forte etc. cost their teams a significant amount of money. But this trend is on a rapid decline, teams like New England, who seem to be ahead of the curve when it comes to new trends, Denver, Cincinnati and Washington. These teams have two or three backs that can do different things, for example, when the Bengals need a yard they give the ball to Green-Ellis, when they need a player maker on third down they give the ball to Giovani Bernard. New England has three backs Ridley, Bolden and Blount they all have different skill sets and are used at different situations during a football game. The life of a back in the NFL is about 3-4 years, so why pay one back all that money when you can have two or three backs that make the minimum and produce the same numbers. If teams are looking to save some cash (and they do) having a two back system is one of those ways. This trend is on the rise.

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The emergence of the TE position

The NFL has put a lot of emphasis on hard hits and hits to the head. Where on the field do most of the hard hits happen? In between the hashes, where safeties are looking for someone to come across so they can blast them. But with these new rules, the safeties can’t do what they do and the middle of the field is wide open. This is where the TEs come in; again New England and New Orleans are prime examples of this trend. These teams have proven that you can win games in this league with a dominant TE. NE and NO don’t have a dominant WR but because of the evolution of the TE position and the new rules they are taking full advantage. Just look at the numbers, Gronk had 9 rec 143 yds 1 TD on Sunday, Brady completed 7 of his first 11 passes to Gronk, he had 8 rec 114 yds against the Jets in week 7. Jimmy Graham already has 49 rec 750yds and TEN (10) TDs so far this season. Granted Graham and Gronk are talented individuals with elite QBs but the rules also work to their advantage, TEs can run down the field without any fear of getting decleated by a safety or a linebacker. You can see other teams trying to imitate this trend as they are drafting big and fast TEs more and more. Eventually, this will lead into teams valuing more bulky TEs that can run, leap and block than flashy receivers. Tight Ends are 4th after quarterbacks, left tackles and pass rushers; TEs are the key to cracking modern defenses.

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3-4 scheme is taking over

The 3-4 defense first created in 1970s by Bum Philips (RIP) (some say Chuck Fairbanks was the one to create this defense). Throughout the 80s and 90s team didn’t really utilize this scheme; it was in the 2000s when teams started to adopt the 3-4 scheme. Belichick brought this scheme with him when he was traded to NE. As we all know the NFL, it is a copycat league; if something is successful other teams will try to duplicate it. To have a successful 3-4 scheme, you need a nose tackle that can clog up the middle and take on blockers. Excellent nose tackles that come to mind are Vince Wilfork, Casey Hampton and BJ Raji. You also need great OLBs who can rush the passer, stop the run and have some coverage skills. Terrell Suggs, D.Ware (when Dallas run 3-4), Von miller, Tamba Hali, Ryan Kerrigan etc. The 3-4 defenses allows for more athletic and faster players to be on the field at the same time, which is what is needed with the spread formation offenses are running these days. There are not too many weaknesses with this scheme, if a team has the right personnel, they will stop the run and successfully defend the pass with this scheme. In addition, the OLBs are usually in a 2 point stance which allows them to either rush the passer or drop in coverage. This will cause the quarterback to decide what the OLB is doing, by the time he makes a decision it’s too late, he is sacked for 8 yard loss.

You will see teams draft more a college DE in hopes they will become great OLBs. As you see in the graph below, teams that run the 3-4 have been increasing steadily until 2009, when the number of team that run the scheme sky rocketed. More and more teams will be switching into 3-4 base defenses as the years pass, I think by the year 2018 about 90% of the teams will be using the 3-4 scheme.  

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To be continued….