Tyson Chandler

Anthony Davis injured, out of Olympics contention

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Four days ago, Anthony Davis was selected with the first pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.

With Dwight Howard, Andrew Bynum and Chris Bosh missing the Olympics, many believed that meant that the newest New Orleans Hornet would have a very real shot at backing up Tyson Chandler as Team USA’s center in this summer’s Olympics.

With Kevin Love and Blake Griffin being the only other big men on the entire roster, it made sense.

But that won’t be happening, according to Adrian Wojnarowski:

source:

So much for that theory.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

Aaron Moore, another ‘Play Their Hearts Out’ success story

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Earlier this week, Jabari Parker — a high school junior from Chicago — was put on the cover of Sports Illustrated, where he was dubbed the “Best high school basketball player since LeBron James.”

And while Parker has the most unique back-story of an elite hoops recruit that I can remember, he’s not the first kid to be dubbed the next LeBron before attending a high school prom. Back in 2005, it was Demetrius Walker who was called “14 going on LeBron.”

That’s a lot of pressure to put on a kid that’s not even in high school yet, and as the terrific book “Play Their Hearts Out” documents, the article was just a part of the reason that Walker went from being “the next LeBron” to coming off the bench for New Mexico.

Walker gets the majority of the attention because he is the guy that had Sports Illustrated write about him as a 14 year old, but the fact of the matter is that the book is about an entire team, and Walker was far from that team’s most heartbreaking story.

That title goes to Aaron Moore. Moore was a 6-foot-7 freshman that worked his way into Compton’s powerhouse Dominguez program, which has produced talents like Tyson Chandler and Brandon Jennings. But Moore’s upbringing was quite upsetting to read about. He was molested by his step-father before he even entered elementary school. He was propositioned — although, according to the book, never assaulted — by convicted child molester and former Dominguez head coach Russell Otis. His mother, who was receiving payouts from Otis for her son to play at Dominguez, tried to get Moore to return to the school to keep the money coming in. He was missing class and games as early as his sophomore season, and when he should have been attending prom and picking a school to attend, Moore was a homeless dropout.

Remember, this is a kid that had a chance to commit to Washington as a freshman in high school.

There is a happy ending to this story, however.

After getting his academics, and his life, in order at a couple of different Junior Colleges, Moore has finally earned himself a Division I scholarship. He signed a letter of intent to play his final two years of eligibility at Portland State in the Big Sky Conference.

Portland State isn’t exactly a gateway to the NBA, which is something that Moore had been promised since he was 13 years old. But it is a way for him to get a college degree. And given what he has been through in his life, it is impossible to call him anything other than a success story.

Image via here.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

Kentucky’s Anthony Davis officially added to pool for U.S. Olympic team, roster still to be cut

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After much speculation, it is now official: former Kentucky standout Anthony Davis will officially be part of the 18-man pool for the 2012 Olympic roster, Jerry Colangelo of USA Basketball announced Monday.

The team recently received an extension from the USOC on when the 12-man basketball roster is to be finalized, now pushing the date to July 7.

Oklahoma City Thunder guard James Harden was also added to the pool.

Davis averaged 14.3 points, 10 rebounds, and 4.7 blocks this past season for the national-champion Kentucky Wildcats, on his way to winning National Freshman and National Player of the Year awards.

With injuries in the United States frontcourt, first to Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard, and now a undetermined timetable for the return of Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh, chatter began to pick up that Davis could be a suitable replacement.

The most appealing part of his game is the fact that he could make an impact at the international level without touching the ball on the offensive end.

With scorers like Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Dwayne Wade, the United States doesn’t need another player who needs the basketball in his hands to affect a game.

That’s where Davis, who proved to be a defensive stopper at Kentucky, could fill in. Imagine a lineup on the floor with James, Bryant, and Durant scoring on the offensive end, with Davis and NBA Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler around the basket?

The United States has fallen into a trap in the past of having an impressive collection of talent, while struggling to find team chemistry or have pieces that fit together properly.

Davis could be a step in the right direction.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Report: Anthony Davis to be a finalist for Team USA

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According to a report from Sam Amrick of SI.com, Kentucky’s Anthony Davis will be getting a shot as a replacement candidate to compete with Team USA in this summer’s Olympic Games in London.

There has been quite a bit of speculation about Davis’ potential candidacy, but with the torn ACL that Derrick Rose suffered in the opening game of the NBA Playoffs, Team USA is now down four players from the group of 20 finalists that were announced in January.

The current finalists for Team USA include: Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Kobe Bryant, Tyson Chandler, Kevin Durant, Rudy Gay, Eric Gordon, Blake Griffin, Andre Iguodala, LeBron James, Kevin Love, Odom, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, Russell Westbrook and Deron Williams.

There is no guarantee that Davis would make the team, but with his skill set and potential, it would make sense to get him involved with the National Team program as early as possible.

As a sophomore in high school, Anthony Davis was a 6-foot-2 shooting guard for a bad high school team in Chicago. As a junior, he was a 6-foot-6 forward getting recruited to places like Cleveland State. After one season in college, he’s got a shot to be on Team USA.

That, my friends, is a meteoric rise.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

Should Anthony Davis head to the Olympics with Team USA?

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With Dwight Howard now out for the Olympics and in need of back surgery, who will the United States turn to before the international games in London?

Bill Simmons has an answer: Kentucky’s Anthony Davis.

It makes sense. With the Lakers’ Andrew Bynum reportedly not interested in participating, Davis could be the inside presence that Team USA needs.

Dwayne Wade and Ray Allen have talked about their belief that Olympic athletes should be paid, but do you think that Davis, fresh out of college and about to cash in on a rookie deal, is too concerned about that?

As Simmons points out, Davis would be “the ultimate happy-to-be-there” guy. With scorers like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Derrick Rose, Davis can make the difference where the US might need it most: defensively.

He showed in the national championship game that, even without demanding the basketball on the offensive end, he can be an invaluable piece of a well-rounded team.

The United States has found out in recent years that, just because you can throw a collection of All-NBA players together, doesn’t mean you’ll breeze to an Olympic gold medal.

Imagine bringing Davis off the bench, in combination down low with a player like Tyson Chandler, who also brings a defensive presence. Add those two players to three elite-level scorers and I like the options that the Americans will have in London.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Dallas owner Mark Cuban weighs in on NBA draft age limit debate

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The debate about the NBA draft age restriction seems to be the flavor of the week, as far as hot arguments go, and now Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has chimed in.

Whereas David Stern wants the league to add another year to the already existing “one-and-done” rule that the NBA has in place, Cuban wants to add two years, keeping players in college through their junior years.

“I just think there’s a lot more kids that get ruined coming out early or going to school trying to be developed to come out early than actually make it,” Cuban told ESPNDallas.com. “For every Kobe (Bryant) or (Kevin) Garnett or Carmelo (Anthony) or LeBron (James), there’s 100 Lenny Cookes.”

Lenny Cooke, you’ll remember, had a famous duel with LeBron James in high school, before their paths went separate ways, with LeBron where he is today and Cooke never having played a minute in the NBA.

“I just think there’s every good reason to do it, which is obviously why we didn’t do it,” Cuban went on to say, sarcastically.

An interesting point to make, though, is to look at the composition of Cuban’s championship team last season and how many stand at odds with Cuban’s new idea for the draft. Remember, he believes players should stay three years after their high school class has graduated.

Tyson Chandler, the anchor in the center, came to the NBA straight out of high school. Solid contributor DeShawn Stevenson went that route as well.

Jason Kidd, the veteran point guard, played two years at California before getting drafted. Caron Butler, though injured for the stretch run of last season, played two years at Connecticut before turning pro.

Dirk Nowitzki was a few days shy of his 20th birthday when he was drafted in 1998.

Peja Stojakovic had just turned 19 when he went pro.

To be fair, Cuban made a point that players should be able to develop in the D-League or head to Europe, as Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings did, before heading to the NBA.

But, with a roster so based on players who didn’t stay for three years in college, it would seem to steer Cuban’s argument toward the business side of the game. It’s better for the NBA business to have players who have developed, weeded out in college, so owners can make better drafting decisions.

This, of course, does not take into consideration the view of the players, who some believe should have the right to play, regardless of their age, so long as an NBA team wants their services.

And the debate goes on.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_