NCAA Basketball Tournament - Purdue v Saint Mary's

Former St. Mary’s guard Matthew Dellavedova one step closer to NBA

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Everyone’s favorite WCC player Matthew Dellavedova is inching closer to earning a spot on an NBA roster.

After going undrafted in the 2013 NBA Draft, Dellavedova recently inked a two year, $1.3 million contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

While there are no guarantees, things are looking bright for the St. Mary’s grad who hails from Australia.

Delly tweeted last night:

He told the Herald Sun: “Cleveland is looking for a third point guard and I have a shot at it.”

With injury-prone Kyrie Irving as the Cavaliers’ starting point guard and Jarrett Jack seeing additional minutes as a shooting guard next season, there is room for Dellavedova on the roster.

“I talked to Coach Brown a bit. He told me what he was looking for, that third point guard to push Irving and [Dion] Waiters in practice,” said Dellavedova.

Delly rewrote the record books in his four years at St. Mary’s as he is the all-time leader in scoring, assists, games played, free throw percentage and three-point shots. For his career, he averaged 14.2 points, 5.6 assists, 1.1 steals, and shot a blistering 86% FT.

College hoop fans grew fond of watching his late-night WCC games over the years, and seeing him get the opportunity to play in the NBA now is surely a welcome sign.

POSTERIZED: Wyoming’s Josh Adams takes flight

Josh Adams
Associated Press
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Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.

After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.

Video credit: Wyoming Athletics

Defensive progress will determine No. 4 Iowa State’s ceiling

Monte Morris
Associated Press
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Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.

Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.

Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.

Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.

Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.

But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.