Jack Scheuer’s Off The Boards – November 26, 2014 Edition

Off The Boards

By Jack Scheuer

November 26, 2014 Edition

It’s a long way to March, but Final Four predictions are everywhere, so I might as well join the crowd.  Kentucky seems to be the odds-on favorite.  They are obviously loaded, but maybe too loaded.  Coach Cal  is going with a platoon system which could be a bad idea.  Some guys will be unhappy because they’re not starting, others upset when they’re taken out, so the Wildcats are not in my foursome.  In alphabetical order, my picks are Arizona, Duke, Gonzaga, and Wichita.
Arizona because of 3 returning starters including a top point guard in C.J. McConnell, and the return of Brandon Ashley; Duke with the country’s best big man in Jahlil Okafor plus the usual array of  talent;  Gonzaga, loaded with high-caliber recruits plus 3 solid returnees; and Wichita, with the superb Fred VanVleet running the show that includes sharp-shooting Ron Baker. to form the best backcourt in the nation.
There they are, and I’m well aware I could go 0-for-4.
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Kevin Ware and Michael Curry are two people who I hope have great success this season.  Ware is the player from Louisville who suffered that terrible leg injury during an Elite 8 game in 2013.  He has transferred to Georgia State and is fully recovered.  Curry is the former Sixers assistant coach, a solid basketball man and a terrific human being, for whom the Philadelphia Analytics had no use.  He is now the head coach at Florida Atlantic, replacing Mike Jarvis.
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Trivia Time: Who is Temple’s all-time assists leader? Answer at the end of the column.
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Bill Russell couldn’t be called the greatest basketball player ever, but he has been described as the greatest winner, and for good reason.  In addition to all of those many Celtics championships in which he was such a big factor, check this stat: In his career he was involved in 21 seventh-game playoffs, and went a perfect 21-0.
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This and That: Anthony Lee, who transferred from Temple to Ohio State,  averaged 20 minutes and 7 points in the Buckeyes first 3 games….Former La Salle star Rasual Butler, now in his 12th NBA season, is now playing for the Washington Wizards…. Quickest player in the city just might be St.Joe’s freshman guard Shavar Newkirk….Why do broadcasters continue to say that a player is tired because he’s tugging at his shorts?  Players always can be seen doing that  when lined up for free throws, even if they just came into the game…I’m guessing that Penn’s impressive  freshman Mike Auger is the best player to ever come out of Hopkinton, New Hampshire.  Unfortunately, he will be out 3 – 4 weeks with a stress fracture which is a tough loss for Penn.
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Answer to Trivia Time: Howie Evans who had 748 assists.

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