Jack Scheuer’s Off The Boards – November 19, 2013 Edition

Off The Boards

By Jack Scheuer

November 20, 2013 Edition

Guard Play – Yesterday and Today

The combo guard seems to be taking over the great sport of basketball, and whether this is good or bad for the game is subject for debate. One negative is that the pure point guard is on the verge of becoming an after-thought. As a result, shooting averages and assists are definitely on a downward trend. In fact, total assists last season were the lowest in 20 years. The traditional point guard would run an offense to get scorers in the proper spots, while most combo guards look more to individual scoring. It seems likely that younger kids today are being influenced by some of the NBA stars who are “lead” guards who usually top their teams in assists, but also in scoring and shots attempted. Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Brandon Jennings, Kyrie Irving (who took 28 shots in a game last week) come to mind. Add in Russell Westbrook, who on too many occasions has taken more shots than Kevin Durant. Of course these are great players, but to try to emulate them is not a good idea. The result is too many young players try to force the issue, take bad shots, and commit turnovers. Among the starting guards in the city, only Tyreek Duren has the pure point guard label, and he even became a combo guard against Siena (good thing) scoring 20 points in a LaSalle win. Amazingly, he had zero assists in the game, probably a first-ever for him. Temple’s Will Cummings was a true point guard last season, but is supplying much-needed scoring this year. Combo guards obviously can be very effective. Stephen Curry, Tony Parker, etc., but most hoop purists prefer the true lead guard who prefers passing more than scoring. As for me, I really miss Mo Cheeks.

Big Five International
Several former Temple players have gone from North Broad street to the far corners of the world to display their basketball talents. Ramone Moore is playing in Hungary; Scootie Randall is in Japan; Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson is big in Luxembourg; Jake O’Brien is shooting 3’s in the Ukraine; T.J. DiLeo and Ryan Brooks are making plays in Germany, and Khalif Wyatt is putting up points in China. Wyatt, it has been reported, has the biggest contract in China of anyone who has not played in

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the NBA. Coach Dunphy has always said he would like his players to learn about other cultures., so they took

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him seriously. (and they’re also getting paid.)

Trivia Time: In the history of the NBA, which player recorded the most 20-plus point games? Answer at the end of the column.
This and That: Doug McDermott might not possess a lot of speed, but he’s about as close to a perfect player as you can get…. Villanova’s Randy Foye is now a starter with the Denver Nuggets. Hard to figure why a player who is a good guy and a good player, is with his fifth team in 8 years….Fellow Wildcat Dante Cunningham is getting minutes with the Timberwolves….Top candidate for Sports Agent of the Decade: Mark Bartelstein, who arranged a 2 year,6 million dollar contract for Kwame Brown…. If you get a chance, check out Virginia’s Joe Harris , a 6-6 underrated swing-man who can really play….You’re getting older department folks: Shawn Kemp Jr. is playing at Washington; Andre Hollins (Lionel) at Minnesota; Juwan Howard Jr. at Detroit: Evan Manning (Danny) is a walk-on at Kansas; Reggie Theus Jr. is at S. Carolina, and Ryan Alford is playing for his dad at UCLA.
Answer to Trivia Time: Karl Malone, maybe the best power forward ever, had 20 points or more 1,134 times.

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