This week's edition of Chain Reactions looks at differing opinions on the hire of Mark Turgeon as Maryland basketball's next coach, whether the Wizards' new look can be followed by some luck when it comes to the NBA Draft lottery and Bryce Harper fixing his only flaw.
Two Differing Opinions on Mark Turgeon Hire
My initial reaction to Maryland hiring Mark Turgeon was that it was a good hire. I like his resume working at Kansas and then winning at Wichita State and Texas A&M, and he came on my radio show on Selection Sunday. I'm easy like that.
I also read what many others thought and saw mostly high marks from college hoops pundits on the hire. Two of my favorite college basketball writers had two very different thoughts on the move, though. Here is a few of John Feinstein's
Mark Turgeonis not a good hire for Maryland; he's a great hire. There are plenty of numbers to prove it, but the most impressive one is this: He went to four straight NCAA tournaments at a school that couldn't care less about basketball in a league that has been at least as competitive as the ACC - maybe more so - during that period.
Sporting News college basketball writer Mike DeCourcy, on the other hand, has some reservations about the hire.
In 13 seasons as a head coach, Turgeonnever has won a conference tournament. Only once has he advanced beyondthe first weekend of the NCAAs, when Wichita State reached the Sweet 16 in 2006. His teams won a single regular-season league championship, again in '06, when the Shockers beat out five strong contenders to finish first in the Valley.
DeCourcy also is not a believer that Turgeon will help heal the Terps recruiting issues in the D.C. area.
In four recruiting years at A&M, including the Class of 2011, Turgeon once collected a class ranked in Scout.com'stop 25. How long has it been since he was part of a staff that regularly was "in" with the nation's top players? Years? No, decades-since he was at Kansas under Larry Brown and Roy Williams in the late '80s and early '90s.
One opinion is certain: Terps fans are rooting for Feinstein to be right about their new coach, not DeCourcy.
Can Wizards Repeat as NBA Draft Lottery Champs?
The NBA Draft lottery will take place Tuesday night, and the Wizards are going to send last year's prize, John Wall, to try to get lucky again. The Wizards have the fourth-best chance to win the lottery at 11.9 percent, and a win would be HUGE for the Wizards rebuild. It would likely mean they'd pick Arizona's Derrick Williams, an athletic forward who would fit the team's biggest need.
Post Scoring:Once again, according to Synergy Sports Technology, Williams is in the 92nd percentile in terms of PPP in post-up situations, scoring 1.065 points per possession on 50% shooting. Williams does two things very well on the block. He establishes great position without the basketball andonce he makes the catch he is able to quickly go up with it before the double team can get to him or before his defender can take advantage of Williams' lack of size.
Wall is apparently very superstitious and plans on wearing a similar suit to what Irene Pollin wore a year ago
"Oh yeah, there's a lot of pressure," Wall said. "She took that yellow jacket and the ring, so I'm probably going to ask, can I borrow the yellow jacket, then I'm going to ask to find something from my mom, some pearls or something, something unique, so I can try to get a win like she did."
I'm hoping the new-look Wizards are participating in their last lottery for years come.
Lots of Love for
Bullets Wizards' New Uniforms
Let me be the millionth person to proclaim the new
Bullets Wizards uniform a success. It's a fantastic mix of old school with modern style (meaning no short shorts). The logo is cool and the color scheme matches up with the Capitals and Nationals, so you can mix and match your favorite teams if choose to do so.
The next question, which Ted Leonsis sort of answered during the fashion show, is
when if will the name change take place? Leonsis shared his thoughts on that topic on The Mike Wise Show on 106.7 The Fan
“I mean, it’s a cheap way to get people to support you. And let’s be honest, it’s not a simple decision. The Washington Post one day wrote an article on why we should change the name, and then ran an editorial on why we shouldn’t change the name....I’m very focused on making sure that lesser-expense items like hats and t-shirts become iconic, because it’dbe great to see lots of kids wearing these items around town, representing the city.”
Most importantly, let's just hope the guys filling out those uniforms are ready for prime time next season.
Watch Out World, Bryce Harper Can See Now
I have read many scouting reports about about Bryce Harper, but never once read he had bad vision, which makes the news of his seeing issues pretty shocking. Just a quick aside to the eye issues -- I'm not an eye doctor, but could the issues be from wearing all that eye black? I mean, Alice Cooper thinks it is gaudy.
Anyway back to the future of Hall of Famer (fingers crossed). The kid is so good he could hit the ball without seeing. This just adds to his legend. I can't wait to tell my grandkids that Harper played blind early in his career just to make it fair for his opponents. Since being fitted for contacts about three weeks ago, Harper is on a tear as Mark Zuckerman points out.
Harper has turned a pedestrian start to his pro career into a full-fledged phenomenon. His season average is up to .381 (3rd in the South Atlantic League), his slugging percentage is up to a ridiculous .683 (2nd in the South Atlantic League) and his 1.141 OPS ranks (2nd in South Atlantic League).
So now that the next big thing can actually see, perhaps those bold predictions about his future should become even bolder? Baseball's first 60/60 man? OK, I'm getting a little crazy. For now, I will settle for a September call up.