We Might Have New Football Uniforms

by Charlie Sallwasser on June 25, 2016

We live in an age of surprise releases by major artists and have a very social media-savvy football staff, so it doesn’t really come as a surprise that our new football uniforms may have just been tested on the general public via an otherwise innocuous tweet from Bronco Mendenhall.

Streaking the Lawn reached out to the University to inquire if these are, in fact, our new duds, and they deflected with the response that the program often receives uniform mockups from their vendors. Fair enough.  What we do know is that there’s at least a mockup of a sweet, retro-looking home and away set featuring the long-lusted after white helmet hanging out in the office complex somewhere.

I’m all for a change, in the sense that I hope what we see in September to in no way resembles the program of the preceding decade or so, and that includes the presentation (hint to the Gameday Ops people).

{ 0 comments }

Malcolm Gives a Buck

by Charlie Sallwasser on June 25, 2016

I started getting anxious about Malcolm’s chances — not just the kind of restless that committing to sitting in front of your TV for countless hours makes you, but actually on the lookout — when San Antonio’s turn came up. The Spurs began a run of teams that included the Warriors (30) in the first round and Celtics (31 and 35) and Clippers (33) in the second that had both worked out and been documented as interested in Malcolm. As the Celts made their second pick, I started to worry, but barely had time to fire off some worried missives to Twitter before Woj alleviated my worries by dropping the news of Malc to the Bucks into my feed.

My first reaction was guarded because in some lights, the Bucks are a mess that took a marked step back this season, and because I have no allegiance to them as a fan (whoo Bulls) or as an avid League Pass viewer.

I felt better about it once I digested it for a few. Here’s why: the Bucks have two guard-types (Michael Carter-Williams and Tyler Ennis) and Khris Middleton (a three) signed right now, and while Middleton is a lock, one of the guards (M C-W) can’t shoot and comes and goes on D, and he’s the more proven one (Ennis enters year three largely a blank slate).

In addition, landing in Milwaukee gives Brogs — a lifelong and eager learner — the opportunity to milk the brain of Jason Kidd, who is only one of the best point guards of all time. Finally, the Bucks — boasting Giannis Antetokounmpo, the aforementioned M C-W, Jabari Parker, the newly-drafted Thon Maker, and Khris Middleton — boast a young, athletic, long-armed core that has voiced a commitment to defense and versatility (two things Malcolm offers more of immediately). Jared Dudley had a really nice year on a Bucks team that finished second in defensive efficiency  (99.3) in 2015, thanks to his relentless leadership and his ability to guard four positions and nail the corner three. Malcolm potentially offers a lot of those same attributes. I think this is going to be fun.

 

 

 

 

{ 0 comments }

The Freshmen Have Numbers

by Charlie Sallwasser on June 22, 2016

It’s not really news when a highly-recruited first year basketball player gets a number, but these are probably more significant to all of you than DeAndre Hunter’s new friend from a summer American Lit class. It’s always fun to geek out over the arrival of new players to the roster, but it’s even more fun when it’s the highest-ranked class in recent history and a group of guys with the opportunity to build on the work of the decorated class that just left.

Kyle Guy is wearing number 5. Five brings Curtis Staples to mind before anyone else, which is good because Guy is an elite scorer with deep range and Staples’s 413 career threes are 402 more than the last three guys (Darion Atkins, Teven Jones and Assane Sene) to wear the number made in their combined ten seasons here. Another couple of notable Virginia 5s are Cornel Parker, who spent a long time as my favorite Virginia basketball player ever and would likely still be carved on my Cavalier Mount Rushmore if I had to make one, and Derrick Byars, who transferred out under Pete Gillen but ended up getting a couple cups of coffee in the NBA. Guy’s high school number (24) is (probably — I remember Maleek Frazier being pushed off #4 by Marial Shayok, so Jeff Jones could probably be convinced to surrender #24) available, but he picked 5 to keep the peace and honor his five siblings.

Jay Huff is bringing 30 from high school, a number last worn at Virginia by Thomas Rogers up to 2014 and by Adrian Joseph before that. I’ve got fond memories of playing “Happy Joseph/Sad Joseph” with my friend Katie (if AJ nailed his first shot, we’d see more looks and an increasing degree of difficulty throughout the game, if he missed, he’d slowly disappear like that Homer .gif) and of Rogers nailing at three against ‘Cuse, so this seems both like a good number and one that Huff could make his own without a lot of substantial baggage.

Ty Jerome is number 11, either because he spent the months immediately following his hip surgery with the on-court mobility of Lars Mikalauskas, or because he wore it in high school. 11 spent the last four years on the capable shoulders of Evan Nolte.

DeAndre Hunter will wear #12, last seen on Joe Harris. Before Joe, 12 was seen on U-Ball Leitao-era favorite and living example of unfulfilled potential Jamil Tucker.

In case you missed it last season, Mamadi Diakite will take the floor in #25 (late of Akil Mitchell) and Austin Nichols will wear #1 (Justin Anderson and Jontel Evans). Haughty company, but I feel like those two will live up to it.

 

 

 

{ 0 comments }

So Where’s Malcolm Going?

by Charlie Sallwasser on June 22, 2016

Thanks to Tony Bennett, the NBA Draft is a lot more interesting than it used to be from a Virginia fan’s perspective. From 1997 to when CTB took over in 2009, Virginia basketball saw two guys — Roger Mason (2000 second round, pick 31) and Sean Singletary (2009 second round, pick 42) — selected. During the Bennett era, we’ve already seen more guys drafted (Mike Scott, Joe Harris, and Justin Anderson), with Justin even landing in the prime time first round before things descend into tedium and two carving out niches for themselves in the League (assuming Mike resolves his legal issues). People can talk all they want about how our style of play detracts from development (and they will so long as we’re still good and Twitter is still a place to go scream nonsense into the void), but the best rebuttal for those claims is to keep rolling prepared, coachable young men off of the assembly line and into the NBA.

2016 almost guarantees us another draftee, as Malcolm Brogdon has been widely lauded as the winner of the pre-draft interview process and has fascinated teams with his ability to defend three perimeter spots (and switch onto some fours), hit corner threes, and create for his teammates. He frequently comes up as someone who *could* sneak into the first round, but I’ve yet to see a mock draft with the balls to forecast him there. I have seen three mocks from reputable sources, and all have Malc going in the first half of the second round. While I’m OK with that from the perspective that the second round offers some financial freedoms, it worries me because a.) a second rounder needs to prove themselves just a little bit more than a first, who is expected to automatically make a team and contribute, and b.) because the top of the second round is littered with bad teams and potential minefields where a guy can get lost, whereas I think a guy like Malc — 23 years old, mature, fully rounded as a player — fits best on a veteran team with a system in place.

Here’re the projections:

1.) DraftExpress: 44th to Atlanta.
DraftExpress  Mock Draft

 

 

 

 

 

On the court, I like this a lot. Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer is a disciple of Gregg Popovich, and brought a lot of the movement-heavy, pretty Spurs offense east with him when he arrived. The Hawks are facing the offseason free agency of Al Horford and Kent Bazemore, and a guy like Malc who fits in schematically and will arrive cost controlled for a few years seems like a natural choice. The Hawks weren’t the same without Demarre Carroll this season, and Malc and Carroll fill a very similar bill in today’s NBA.

Off the court, Malc’s a good fit anywhere, I just hope he never catches a ride to Virginia with the Scott brothers.

2.) CBS: 40th (Sam Vecenie) and 39th (Gary Parrish) to New Orleans.
2016 NBA Mock Drafts   CBSSports.com BasketballNew Orleans was an object disaster this past season, as they struggled to adjust to Alvin Gentry’s uptempo system with a roster ill-suited to run and then saw even those attempts torpedoed by injuries to practically everyone important. They return Tyreke Evans and Quincy Pondexter and are almost definitely going to grab a guard in the lottery, but Malcolm could conceivably help steady a second unit that’s been one of the worst in basketball in recent seasons. I don’t like this as much as I do Atlanta, but I don’t dislike it. Malcolm fits into what Gentry is trying to do, and potentially offers a similar skill set to what they’re pursuing in Jared Dudley at a far cheaper price (albeit with less professional success and a less proven jumper, but I don’t claim to be unbiased).

3.) NBADraft.net: 33rd to the LA Clippers.

2016 Mock Draft   NBADraft.net

 

Jamal Crawford, Austin Rivers, Luc Mbah a Moute, and Wesley Johnson are all unsigned for next season and Paul Pierce could possibly retire after appearing to partially disintegrate during this past season. If they all leave, it means the Clips’ roster is basically wide open after Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, and J.J. Redick, and that there’s conceivably playing time to be found for a young player with a veteran mindset like Malcolm.

I’m excited for Malc’s next step. I think he enters the league with an exemplary skill (his perimeter defense) at an opportune time following a Finals where the value of a player that can switch from smalls to smaller bigs without missing a beat (Andre Iguodala, for example) was shown to be higher than ever. He’ll probably go in the second round, but I don’t see a tough acclimation period for him. More soon.

{ 0 comments }

‘Hoos Draw OSU in 2016 ACC-B1G Challenge

by Charlie Sallwasser on May 25, 2016

I’ve got three criteria I consider when evaluating a UVa opponent in the ACC-B1G Challenge.

First off, I want respect in the draw. We’ve won 89 games and advanced to the Elite Eight and Sweet 16 over the last three seasons and are commonly slotted in the top 15 of every way-too-early preseason prognostication, and I want to be treated like it. That means landing someone like Michigan State or Michigan, Ohio State, or Indiana — the blue blood programs that ESPN wonks probably would rather pair with someone from Tobacco Road — instead of the run of Northwesterns, Penn States, and Minnesotas that we went on during the Leitao era and the early years of Tony’s tenure.

Second, I want some history. I’m a big fan of a rematch or a rekindling of a recent meeting, or something that gives Len Elmore something to repeat incessantly throughout the broadcast. This means Ohio State, Wisconsin (doubly so with the Bennett connection and intrigue over the possibility of CTB taking that job, though I’m hesitant thanks to the scars from their last visit to JPJ), or Maryland.

Finally, I don’t want to play Maryland. I don’t miss them at all. I don’t want to enter a scenario where a UVa bus full of athletes might have to decamp in College Park. I sports-hate Maryland. Sometimes, I almost wish we’d play them again because I miss rooting against them, but then I remember their home crowd’s antics from our 2014 visit, and I stop.

Ohio State fits the bill. The Buckeyes boast one of college basketball’s name coaches in Thad Matta, have finished Big 10 play over .500 in 10 straight seasons, and while they haven’t advanced past the second round of the NCAAs in three years, they won 70 games in those three seasons and made the NCAA Tournament twice. We just played them last season (a 64-58 Virginia win keyed by six Malcolm threes), and the Buckeyes will return almost everyone (save center Daniel Giddens, who transferred) who played impact minutes in that game, in addition to adding four star center Derek (don’t call me Lawrence) Funderburk. They aren’t Maryland, and playing them might get me on the same podcast as Mark Titus for the second straight season, assuming The Hard Hedge has me back.

The game will take place on November 30th, the third and final day of the Challenge, and should be one of the special nonconference matchups that gets an especially fervent JPJ crowd.

 

 

 

{ 0 comments }

What’s Next for Malcolm Brogdon?

by Charlie Sallwasser on May 22, 2016

The NBA Draft Combine treated Malcolm well. The Combine focuses primarily on your basic body measurement stuff (body fat measurements, vertical leap, some simple sprints) a handful of shooting drills, and some light scrimmaging, so I wasn’t that worried about him — if he can make 17-footers with Justin Jackson’s hands in his face, he can make them off the bounce in an empty gym, and I feel like his size and strength will make up for his lack of blazing speed — but I was watching with the hope that he’d at least hold his own to maintain the buzz that he’s a lock for the second round with an outside chance of sneaking into the first. I was most worried that he’d either struggle in the sprints against other guards or that his jumper — kinda flat on a good day, needs the spare flat on a bad day — wouldn’t stretch to the NBA three point line, a must for a wing these days (ask Andre Roberson).

He performed well in shooting drills, hitting 21-25 15-footers, 29 of 40 shots taken off the dribble between 15 feet and the college three point line, and soothed my angst over his ability to hit from the NBA three point line by making 13 of his 25 NBA threes and seven of 10 from the corners, which is where he’ll be spending a fair amount of time at the beginning of his career. If he hadn’t been shut out from the top of the key (0-5), his numbers would have been even better, but I don’t see the top of the arc (increasingly the provenance of point guards and trailing bigs in the modern NBA) as Malcolm’s bread and butter going forward.

Physically, he surprised some people. He placed ninth in the agility drill and recorded the best time in the shuttle run, stats that illustrate how well he is able to change direction (and thusly how well he was able to stick with guards one would have assumed would beat him in a race). Those faster guards (and some bigs like Brice Johnson) placed ahead of Malc in the sprints (he was unremarkable at best in the three-quarter court sprint), but he at least held his own in the vertical jump (finishing ahead of guys like Justin Jackson).

He shined the most in the five on five action, though. He scored 17 via two threes and a handful of floaters, moved the ball (he had six assists) and played his usual brand of D. I’m not surprised. I’ve always felt as though Malc will shine best for next level evaluators in a five-on-five setting when you can see everything (getting guys great shots, quarterbacking a defense, his knowledge of cuts and space) that he brings to the table. He probably won’t be a star, but it’s hard for me to believe he can’t help a team.

With the Combine out of the way, workouts are next. Malc worked out in Boston this week, but it’s hard to read much into that since the Celtics have eight picks between number three and number 58 and are doing due diligence on everyone. Fran Fraschilla ID’d him as a perfect fit for Golden State because “he’s perfect for a playoff team with a winning culture, because that’s what he is.” He’s been associated with the Spurs at the end of the first round for the same reasons. I could see Brogs playing the Shaun Livingston role for Golden State if the Warriors don’t pick up his option. The Spurs are more of a question mark, because while Malcolm fits their wholesome, intelligent mold, they need excitement and athleticism more than they need Malcolm.

Chad Ford and DraftExpress — my favorite purveyors of the inexact science of the mock draft — currently have him rated 37th and 41st, respectively, but Bleacher Report has him 24th, and whispers of an NBA team going for the sure, fully-developed thing in Malcolm instead of reaching for potential were pretty common last week. The keys for him in these workouts will be nailing his threes and looking fast. If he can pull that off — since he can’t magically become two years younger — his chances of being a first rounder grow considerably. If the NBA doesn’t work out for him, he’ll be eligible to run for President in 2028, and if 2016 is any indication of the direction we’re headed, we’ll need him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

{ 0 comments }

Maurice Canady Drafted by Ravens, Severin Signs with Steelers

May 1, 2016

Maurice Canady was expected to be our only player drafted this year, and he came off the board today in the sixth round, going 209th overall to Baltimore. With Canady’s selection, we’ve now had someone drafted in 33 straight drafts, even though the streak is hanging by a thread: there’s been just one Cavalier picked […]

Read the full article →

‘Hoos Got Next, or What the 2016-’17 Basketball Team Might Look Like

April 15, 2016

For better or worse, next year’s team is going to be different. The departing seniors are taking 58% of our points, 48% of our rebounds, and 43% of our minutes played when they pack the vans next month .It’s going to be weird watching us and not having Malcolm Brogdon be prominently involved. I don’t remember what […]

Read the full article →

Raising a Glass to the Outgoing Fourth Years

April 10, 2016

The Virginia basketball brand has become nationally significant again over the last half decade, emblematic of hard work, effort, and efficiency on both ends of the court. We’ve won at least 20 games for five straight seasons and at least 29 for the last three, making four NCAA appearances in five seasons after a rough […]

Read the full article →

Elite ‘Hoos Whisk Away Cyclones, ‘Cuse Up Next

March 28, 2016

Last time we made the Elite Eight, I was an 11 year old kid who thought that there was no greater low post scorer in college hoops than Junior Burrough and practiced Curtis Staples’ lightning fast release in my driveway. It’s been a minute. I didn’t skip writing on ISU and delay this preview because I’m […]

Read the full article →