Tag: Jordan Mathews

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What if today was college basketball’s trade deadline?

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In honor of today’s NBA trade deadline, where far too many people will spend the day obsessing over where Goran Dragic, Enes Kanter and Reggie Jackson will end up, we give you college basketball’s deadline deals. 

If teams at the collegiate level were allowed to swap players, what are some moves that could help turn pretenders into contenders, or contenders into favorites? Here are six trades that would fill holes on the roster of both teams:

1. North Carolina’s Isaiah Hicks for Cal’s Jordan Mathews

  • UNC makes this trade because: The Tar Heels have plenty of bodies up front. What they need is another player on their perimeter that can knock down jumpers. Mathews is shooting 45.0 percent from three on the season, meaning he is a guy that would allow Marcus Paige to play on the ball more.
  • Cal makes this trade because: They need help on the interior. Badly. Losing Mathews is not exactly ideal, but with Jabari Bird on the perimeter as well, they have the depth to be able to make a change. The Bears are not as far out of the bubble picture as you might think, and adding this piece for the stretch run could be the difference.

2. Ohio State’s Kam Williams for Texas’ Prince Ibeh

  • OSU makes this trade because: Ibeh is as big, as physical and as athletic as any front court player in the country. He can block shots, he can run the floor and he can go blow-for-blow in the post with anyone. Texas can spare him because he plays essentially the same role as Cameron Ridley, who is worlds better offensively, but Ohio State would make use of him as the shot-blocking presence that allows them to extend their defense.
  • Texas makes this trade because: One of the issues for Texas this season is that they have too many big bodies and not enough scoring pop in their back court. Williams is a streaky shooter, but he’s a guy with a reputation for being a big-time scorer that can provide scoring pop off the bench or from a starting role.
source: AP
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3. Washington’s Nigel Williams-Goss for Louisville’s Shaqquan Aaron

  • Washington makes this trade because: This season is a bust for Washington, who watched as their chances to make the NCAA tournament disappeared when Robert Upshaw got the boot. They need to start over, and what better was to do that than by bringing in a former top 30 recruit from Seattle. Aaron was lambasted by Pitino after the loss to Syracuse on Wednesday, meaning he may be out the door already. Why not try and get something in return?
  • Louisville makes this trade because: The biggest issue for Louisville this season? They don’t have a lead guard on their roster that makes everyone else better. Terry Rozier is extremely talented, but he’s a scorer first, second and third. Chris Jones is an elite defender, but he’s a gunner that wants to be Russ Smith. Nigel Williams-Goss is not an ideal fit defensively for Rick Pitino, but he’s one of the nation’s most underrated point guards, a guy that will get easy shots for some of his new, offensively-challenged teammates.

4. BYU’s Skyler Halford for San Diego State’s Angelo Chol

  • BYU makes this trade because: The Cougars need some physicality in the paint, and Chol will provide that. He’s not really a low-post scoring threat, but he blocks shots, he rebounds, he plays hard and he’ll provide a big, physical body in the paint to help deal with guys like Brad Waldow and Gonzaga’s front line. He can be to BYU what Jameel McKay is to Iowa State.
  • SDSU makes this trade because: The Aztecs cannot score. They lack elite shooting and they don’t have enough playmakers on their roster to help breakdown a defense. Halford is a knock-down jump shooter and a better creator than he gets credit for, and he’s an expendable piece for the Cougars given how many talented perimeter players are on that roster.

5. Syracuse’s Rakeem Christmas for Kansas’ Svi Mykhailiuk

  • Syracuse makes this trade because: The Orange literally are not playing for anything this season beyond pride, thanks to the ludicrous decision that the school made to self-impose a postseason ban for this year. That means that Christmas, a senior having an all-american caliber season, is a valuable piece. Mykhailiuk is a freshman, but he’s only 17 years old. He’s long, he’s athletic and he can shoot, meaning he’ll fit in the Orange zone, and he needs at least one, maybe two more years in college before he’s ready to go pro.
  • Kansas makes this trade because: The one thing the Jayhawks are missing this season is a true low-post scoring threat, and that’s precisely what Christmas is. He’d take the pressure off of their perimeter players, and while giving up Mykhailiuk means giving up a terrific prospect, it would make Kansas a real national title contender versus being a streaky shooting team with a shot at the Final Four.

6. Indiana’s Stanford Robinson for Louisiana’s Shawn Long

  • Indiana makes this trade because: Indiana has been forced to play small-ball this season because of their lack of size in the paint. They spread the floor, they jack up threes and they are as entertaining as any team in the country when those threes are going down. But they’re also the worst power conference team on the defensive end of the floor, and Long should help that. He’s a 6-foot-9 shot-blocker that can score on the block and has three-point range.
  • Louisiana makes this trade because: Losing Long hurts, but adding Robinson might end up being more valuable. Remember, this is the program that turned Elfrid Payton into a lottery pick, and while Robinson is a different player than Payton, the former top 30 recruit can still be a dynamic slasher from the wing. He’s fallen out of favor at Indiana, averaging just 11 minutes.

Despite poor shooting night from Tyrone Wallace, Cal downs No. 21 Washington

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Entering halftime, Tyrone Wallace was 2-of-13 from the field, as a team Cal was shooting 32 percent while its defense allowed No. 21 Washington to convert of 54 percent of its attempts. Given all that, the Golden Bears should have considered themselves lucky to only trail by five.

In the second half, the shots still didn’t fall for Wallace, though, they didn’t have to. Jordan Mathews and David Kravish carried the load offensive, combining for 52 points — 34 of which came after halftime — as Cal kicked off Pac-12 play with an 81-75 win over the ranked Huskies.

Mathews was one-point shy of matching his career-high of 32 points. Kravish set his own career best with 21. Although Wallace was his season-worst 4-for-20 from the field, he still managed to finish with 19 points, doing the bulk of his damage from the line, hitting 10 free throws with under three minutes to play.

Nigel Williams-Goss had 19 points, eight rebounds and nine assist for the Huskies, followed by Robert Upshaw with 16 points and eight boards.

The Golden Bears shot 61 percent from the field in the second half, and for the night only coughed up the ball four times. The Huskies committed 13 turnovers, which Cal took advantage, turning those miscues into 15 points. In Washington’s upset loss to Stony Brook at home on Sunday, the Seawolves created 19 points off 12 turnovers to help erase a double-digit deficit.

Another area where Cal took advantage of was on the glass. Despite being outrebounded 33-21, the Golden Bears turned eight offensive rebounds in 13 second-chance boards.

If you’re Cuonzo Martin, you have to feel encouraged after your first Pac-12 game. Wallace had a terrible night shooting the ball, but still contributed offensively, Cal’s second-best scorer, Jabari Bird, is still sidelined and the Golden Bears were still able to get a win over a ranked opponent.

Washington, however, has a short turnaround before another challenging, conference road game. The Huskies are at Stanford on Sunday night.

California takes a step forward in comfortable win over No. 23 Syracuse

Cuonzo Martin, David Kravish
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The Cuonzo Martin era at California got off to a good start, with the Golden Bears picking up comfortable victories over Alcorn State and Kennesaw State. But with all due respect to those two teams, the Golden Bears’ matchup with No. 23 Syracuse in the semifinals of the 2K Sports Classic in New York was going to reveal a lot more about Cal than either of those prelims have.

Thanks to a stretch late in the first half in which they knocked down four three-pointers, the Golden Bears took control of a game they would eventually win by the final score of 73-59. What’s helped Martin thus far is the amount of talent that remained in Berkeley following the retirement of Mike Montgomery, and against the Orange those players stepped forward to turn a competitive game into a comfortable victory.

The Golden Bears were able to find gaps in the Syracuse zone, shooting 8-for-19 from three and 50 percent from inside of the arc. And of their 26 made field goals 20 were assisted, with reserve guard Sam Singer accounting for eight of the assists. Cal didn’t settle for long jumpers, which is something many teams do when facing Syracuse, and the strategy paid off.

Jabari Bird was responsible for two of the four three-pointers during that decisive first half run, and Jordan Mathews scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half. Add in senior forward David Kravish, who accounted for 12 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and three blocks, and junior point guard Tyrone Wallace (ten points, five assists), and four of Cal’s five starters finished the game in double figures.

With Wallace being a junior and both Bird and Mathews being sophomores, they can be valuable pieces for Martin not only this season but in the future as well. Cal won’t be the deepest of teams, especially in the front court as a result of the knee injury suffered by Kameron Rooks, but they’ve still got plenty of skill.

Syracuse has a host of issues to address, and Thursday’s result served as a reminder of how much production (and talent) they lost from last year’s team. But that shouldn’t take away from what California accomplished. In front of a pro-Syracuse crowd and against Jim Boeheim’s famed 2-3 zone, Cuonzo Martin’s Golden Bears took an important step forward in their development as a team.