Off The Boards
By Jack Scheuer
December 4, 2013 Edition
Youth Being Served?
The pre-season attention given to this year’s prized recruits was unprecedented, especially regarding Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle and Jabari Parker. Some publications went a little overboard such as when Wiggins (already on the cover of Sports Illustrated) was being compared to LeBron James. I know these young men are exceptional talents, but to declare someone a first team All-America before he plays a game seems pretty much a stretch. Obviously it’s too early to decide if these young men will be as good as advertised, but right now, Kentucky’s Randle seems to be the most impressive. At 6-9, 250 , he has very quick feet, excellent moves, passes well and owns the boards. Parker has also impressed, and at 6-8, the Duke forward has shown much versatility, although his outside shooting has been somewhat inconsistent. And then there is Wiggins, at Kansas, the highest touted of them all, who has started a little slowly. In addition, there are times during games when he looks uncomfortable, almost like he’d rather be somewhere else. He’s known to have a laid-back personality, which might explain it, but he hasn’t shown to be very aggressive. It’s early, and maybe in time, these three young stars will live up to the hoopla they’ve received as they prep for the NBA. But another LeBron James? Let’s calm down a little.
Former La Salle forward Aaric Murray has surfaced at Texas Southern, playing for ex-Indiana coach Mike Davis. So far, so good as Murray, who left West Virginia after one season, is averaging 20 points a game for the Tigers, who are based in Houston. It would appear very unlikely that chemistry is among his subjects. One of Murray’s teammates is Tyree Bynum, a 5-9 freshman guard, who played locally at Penn Wood. Texas Southern from the Southwestern Athletic Conference will play at Temple on December 18.
Trivia Time: Who holds the Division One record for highest assists per game average? Answer at the end of the column.
This and That: Big game Saturday when streaking Villanova visits Hawk Hill. The Wildcats depth is the best within recent memory. A potential matchup between Halil Kanacevic and JayVaughn Pinkston could be very interesting…. Drexel’s tough luck continues with the loss of Damion Lee, but the Dragons toughness will keep them on track…. The addition of point guard T.J. McConnell, who transferred from Duquesne, makes Arizona a definite Final Four possibility. He’s the perfect fit for a team that is loaded with talent…. Penn is struggling, but Tony Hicks has certainly been putting up impressive numbers….Taylor King, the much-traveled, much-troubled former Villanova forward is playing in Taiwan after 2 stints in the National Basketball League of Canada….If you love hoops, Saturday is your day. All six Division One teams are in action locally, plus the Sixers host the Denver Nuggets. Temple starts if all off at noon against Texas at the Wells Fargo Center.