Bulldog Maroon & White

a Mississippi State sports blog

Archive for July, 2008

Charles Rhodes Showing He Belongs In The NBA

Posted by Kyle Weidie on July 25, 2008

Charles Rhodes put NBA scouts on notice with his performance in the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League. He averaged 10.8 points (tied for 2nd on the Mavs), 6.0 rebounds, and 1.4 assists in 19.0 minutes per game, over five games, while shooting 64.5% from the field and 77.8% from the free-throw line. This Dallas Mavericks forum has a great break-down of Rhodes’ numbers in comparison to some other players.

NBADraft.net has described Rhodes as a “bruiser with a diverse skill set,” and other reports have outlined displays of hustle and tenacity.

The next stop for Rhodes and the Dallas Mavericks has been the Rocky Mountain Revue, another summer league in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Mavs will play their sixth and final game of the revue tonight versus the Utah Jazz. After a slow start in the RMR, Rhodes came through very strong yesterday, scoring 14 points in the 4th quarter for a total of 21 in a win against the New Jersey Nets.

Charles Rhodes still has many hurdles to climb in order to make an NBA squad, many players in his situation often get caught in a numbers game. In the least, he has taken large strides towards a training camp invite, whether it be with Dallas, or another NBA franchise.

Dallas Dedicated has shed some light on the battle between Charles Rhodes and another power forward hopeful, James Singleton:

Charles Rhodes, the 6-8 rookie from Mississippi State, has outplayed Singleton in very outing. While Singleton is coming off major knee surgery, Rhodes has been impressive and has outhustled opponents on both ends of the floor.

Charles Rhodes continues to impress us at Dallas Dedicated, and would even go so far as to say he might be desired over James Singleton. Too bad Singleton’s contract was rushed….and guaranteed. 

Should Rhodes not be on an NBA roster when the season begins, I’ll be curious to see if he opts to head overseas or remain close to a possible call-up by playing in the NBDL. Stay tuned….

Posted in bulldogs in nba, charles rhodes, mississippi state bulldogs, nba | 1 Comment »

MSU Bulldog Basketball Run-Down

Posted by Kyle Weidie on July 17, 2008

Barry Stewart Injury

The MSU junior recently experienced a stress fracture in his ankle from playing pickup ball and is expected to be out 6-8 weeks (he’s evidently in his second week of rehab now). Ankle injuries are never a joke, as I’ve experienced many myself. I’ve always been told that a bad sprain (with ligament issues) is worse than breaking an ankle, but I’m not sure how a stress fracture compares. Of course, Stewart’s injury required surgery, most ankle injuries don’t. Kentucky’s Patrick Patterson had the same injury at the end of last February and missed the rest of the season, including the Wildcat’s first round NCAA tournament loss to six seed Marquette.

This is a pretty significant setback for Barry Stewart, who experienced a down sophomore campaign, especially shooting wise (Stewart’s true shooting % went down eight points from his freshman year). If anything, Stewart will just miss out on pick-up games, but will still be able to hit the weights to increase upper body strength. He’s expected to make a full recovery before practice starts in mid-October, but hopefully he’ll be ready much earlier to go through sanctioned individual workouts preceding official team practices.

To Wear or Not To Wear

Rick Stansbury wants to make sure potential recruits know who the heck he is….or at least who he coaches for, Mississippi State…you damn right. From a recent SI.com college basketball recruiting update:

This year’s winner for best use of a garment as a billboard is Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury, who outfitted himself and his assistants in white shirts with the school’s name written in huge maroon letters. The shirts eschewed school initials — MSU also could be Michigan State, Murray State or Morgan State — and logos — a Bulldog could represent Georgia or Gonzaga — to eliminate any confusion. That may seem like a little thing, but not every prospect knows the difference between a Georgia Bulldog and a Mississippi State Bulldog.

Gotta make Mississippi State known and distinguished….we all know about Richard Williams getting upset over ‘Mississippi’ hats when the Bulldogs made it to the Final Four in 1996.

You can also check out what a couple MSM blogs have on Stansbury and summer talk.

Clarion-Ledger MSU Blog – Kyle Veazey
Inside Miss. State Sports – Gregg Ellis

Basketball Schedule?

It’s still being developed…..but word is that the Bulldogs will be taking part in the Legends Classic, which will be played in Newark, New Jersey. Evidently, the top four participants, Pittsburgh, Texas Tech, Washington State, and the MSU Bulldogs, will host the first two rounds of games on each of their respective campuses from November 20-23. The finals will be played at the Prudential Center in Newark on November 28-29.

The Bulldogs will also play South Alabama in Starkville on December 13th and Centenary will be coming to the Hump to open their season on November 15th.

What Exactly is a “Fearless” Prediction?

Luke Winn of SI.com is making some “fearless” predictions for the upcoming college basketball season. Mississippi State factors into prediction #19:

If Jamont Gordon can get Raycom on his TV in Europe (or some NBDL outpost), he’ll tune in and realize he could have made Mississippi State the champs of the SEC West … but now, no one in the entire league will really challenge Tennessee.

Posted in mississippi state bulldogs, ncaa basketball, sec basketball, SEC Sports, south alabama jaguars, starkville | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Update on Mississippi State Bulldogs in NBA Summer Leagues

Posted by Kyle Weidie on July 16, 2008

We’ll start with the oft-covered Charles Rhodes.

What the Web is Saying:

“Charles Rhodes has looked extremely impressive on the offensive end, but hasn’t been able to stay out of foul trouble.”hoopsworld.com

“‘Chuckie’ Rhodes, I won’t lie, I want to see this guy on the court with J-Kidd and The Big German! Rhodes is a beast, with a large body. for the past 3 games he has been a real eye opener.”All about the Mavs

“[Charles Rhodes] A bit of a surprise, but played a very solid game. Scored 10 on 5-8 shooting and had six boards off the bench. Defended the pick and roll nicely and demonstrated nice shooting range. Could turn heads if this play continues.”Dallas Dedicated

  • Game 1: Mavs vs. LA Clippers – Rhodes had 10 points on 5-8 shooting and six boards in 21 minutes of play. He did have six fouls, but that seems to be the norm in summer league play. I’m glad to see that Charles only committed one turnover.
  • Game 2: Mavs vs. Golden State Warriors – Rhodes had 12 points on 4-5 shooting and 4-4 from the FT line, six rebounds, two assists and a block in 17+ minutes on the court. However, Rhodes was still successful at picking up fouls (5), and the turnovers (5) returned to his repertoire.
  • Game 3: Mavs vs. Minnesota T-Wolves – Rhodes, getting slightly less time with 16+ minutes and still coming off the bench, scored nine points on 4-5 shooting along with two boards, two assists, and a steal. He committed less fouls (4) as his time narrowed, but Rhodes realized that room for mistakes was limited and didn’t commit one turnover.

NBADraft.net and Draft Express both compare Charles Rhodes to Brandon Bass. In comparing each of their final seasons at their respective schools (Bass left LSU after his sophomore year in 04-05), PPG and FG% are close, but Bass was a better FT shooter and rebounder, although Bass’s edge comes on the defensive boards. Other stats such as assists steals and blocks are negating, but Rhodes did turn the ball over more. One thing about Brandon Bass is that his game is mostly facing the basket and doesn’t always display true quality low post moves. I believe that Charles Rhodes has a more diverse inside/outside game than Bass. However, Bass has been known to be a good one-on-one defender, something I can’t really say about Charles Rhodes.

In any case, the Dallas Mavericks seem like they are looking for another Brandon Bass, but Rhodes doesn’t qualify as he doesn’t have previous NBA experience. Hoopsworld thinks that James Singleton might be the next Brandon Bass. Mavs.com says not yet. As for Brandon Bass himself? Expect to hear more from him in 08-09, it’ll be a contract year.

The Dallas Mavericks will play the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday the 16th at 5 pm central time. Visit NBA.com to catch the action.

Jamont Gordon

What the Web is Saying:

The Games:

  • Game 1: 76ers vs. Golden State Warriors – Jamont started at guard along with Junior Harrington out of Wingate. Gordon scored 11 points on 3-8 shooting and 5-6 from the FT line, along with five assists, a rebound, a steal, and a block with three turnovers in 28+ minutes.
    • “We have Jamont Gordon and Dawan Robinson running the show, and it seemed like they were making bad decision after bad decision out there, it was tough to watch.”sixer soul
  • Game 2: 76ers vs. Denver Nuggets – Gordon started at the helm once again, playing just under 30 minutes. During his time, he had 12 points on 5-8 shooting (2-6 from the FT line), six rebounds, five assists, and a steal to go along with four turnovers.
  • Game 3: 76ers vs. LA Lakers – Playing in just under 29 minutes, Gordon scored eight points on 2-7 from the field and 4-6 from the FT line. He also had four rebounds, three assists, two steals, and only one turnover.
    • “One of the Lakers’ guards thought it’d be funny to randomly scream and Jamont Gordon while playing defense at the top of the key. Well, he thought right. He scared Gordon enough to jump back a little. I thought it was funny.”sixer soul

So far, Jamont Gordon’s per game summer league numbers do show his versatility. Shooting is still a glaring concern as he has gone a combined 0-5 from three-point territory. Turnovers aren’t terrible at 2.67 per. Jamont is doing a good job in getting to the free-throw line, averaging a FT attempt every 4.8 minutes. However, going 11-18 from the charity stripe will not help Gordon’s cause.

I’ll be getting an up close look at Jamont Gordon tonight as the Philadelphia 76ers take on my beloved Washington Wizards.

Walter Sharpe

Sharpe is seeing decent action for the Detroit Pistons so far. He’s started in all three games, averaging 22.7 minutes, 6.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.7 steals per. He’s not shooting well from the field (30.4%), but is knocking down free-throws (85.7%). Look for Sharpe’s Pistons to take on Charles Rhodes’ Mavericks on Thursday the 17th.

What the Web is Saying:

  • “Sharpe was active on both ends of the court, but was caught out of position much of the night. He was aggressive on the defensive end and was rewarded with 3 steals for his efforts. His shot was off and all of his points came from put backs or free trows. Since this was his first taste of NBA level pace and talent, it’s hard to judge how much was nerves and how much was inexperience. Sharpe looked to have the skills that Dumars has promised that he has. Sharpe needs to work on finishing around the basket and needs to relax when shooting. We are going to have to see more of him before there can be any kind of judgment, but Walter got off to a shaky start.”Pistons Full Court Press (after the July 11 Laker game)
  • “Having another poor shooting night was Walter Sharpe, who went 2-8 from the field. But that wasn’t what left the biggest impression from the young forward. It was Sharpe’s leaping abilities and the way he can handle the basketball and bring it up the court. Sharpe looked smooth out there and seemed to be relaxed when he had the ball in his hands.”Pistons Full Court Press (after the July 13th Clippers game)
  • “Walter Sharpe continued to impress coaches and fans alike with his play. Sharpe showed his versatility and looked very comfortable in the Pistons offense and defense. If Sharpe continues to improve at his current pace, it’s hard to imagine that he can’t fight his way into the Pistons rotation, depending on what changes are made to the current roster. Sharpe finished with 8 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists in 23 minutes of play.”Pistons Full Court Press (after the July 15th Bucks game)

Marcus Campbell

As for our friend Marcus Campbell, he received DNP-CD’s (did not play – coach’s decision) for all five Miami Heat games in the Orlando NBA Summer League. A report in the Sun-Sentinel said that Campbell was limited by injury.

Posted in bulldogs in nba, charles rhodes, jamont gordon, mississippi state bulldogs, nba, sec basketball | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

What Vegas Has To Say About MSU Bulldog Football

Posted by Kyle Weidie on July 15, 2008

The over/under on win totals for 48 DI college football teams have been posted over at Vegas Watch. The o/u for Sylvester Croom’s Mississippi State Bulldog football squad has been set at seven games, and Vegas doesn’t like the odds for the Bulldogs to cover the over. Not to condone gambling, but the numbers out of Sin City always serve as an interesting predictor for upcoming seasons.

The money lines for the Bulldogs winning more than seven games is +155 and the under is -175. Of the eight other schools listed as having seven set as their o/u (Iowa, Maryland, Michigan State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Purdue, and Texas A&M), only Mississippi State and Purdue are underdogs to achieve the over. The Boilermakers are less of a dog at +120.

The true value on MSU Bulldog wins is 6.48…..so, 6-6 gets you to a bowl game, but does it keep Bulldog fans satisfied?

Looking at the true value of other SEC schools, here’s where the Bulldogs rank:

  1. Florida – 10.14
  2. Georgia – 9.36
  3. Auburn – 9.19
  4. LSU – 8.95
  5. Tennessee – 8.10
  6. South Carolina – 7.74
  7. Alabama – 7.52
  8. Miss. State – 6.48
  9. Arkansas – 5.74
  10. Ole Miss – 5.50
  11. Vanderbilt – 3.10
  12. Kentucky is not listed

Personally, after glancing at the schedule, I like the chances of at least a 7-5 season. One could hope for no let downs against either Louisiana Tech, Southeastern Louisiana, or Middle Tennessee. 3 wins. The Bulldogs pull off Ws against each of the teams below them on the totem pole above, all except for Ole Miss are home games. 7 wins. And on top of that, Georgia Tech (true value of 5.81) and Alabama are both beatable, albeit, those two games are on the road.

In any case, I’m almost optimistic enough to book a flight to Vegas. Go Dawgs!

Posted in bulldog football, mississippi state bulldogs, ncaa football, sec football | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Scratch That, Charles Rhodes Will Be With The Mavericks Summer Squad

Posted by Kyle Weidie on July 11, 2008

On again, off again, that’s what I get for believing what I read.

When I initially heard that former Bulldog Charles Rhodes received a ticket to ride on the Dallas Mavericks summer league express, I wrote a post outlining a couple reasons as to why the Mavs would be an excellent chance for Rhodes.

Then, on Monday, I deduced from this link on the Dallas Mavericks website, which did not mention Rhodes, and this link on the Mavs Blog on the Dallas Morning News website that Rhodes, and others, had found alternative options to suiting up for the Mavericks summer league squad. So, I wrote a post that the Mavs might not be Rhodes’ cup of tea.

Lo and behold, on Thursday, that same Mavs blog on the Dallas Morning News website, along with a story in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram today, had Rhodes on the squad.

So, I did what I should have done in the first place, write an email to the Dallas Mavericks trying to get an official word on Charles Rhodes. Their media relations people graciously and promptly responded with confirmation that Rhodes was set to play.

So there you have it, lesson learned……don’t always believe what you read, even if it comes from supposed credible sources. You can find the official Mavs Summer League roster here. Their first game in the Vegas Pro League is tonight at 9 pm.

Now that all is settled, good luck Chuck!

Must Read:

A guest column on the ClintonNews.com by Jonathan Dillon who was a senior on Mississippi College’s basketball team last year. He writes about his recent tryout with the New Orleans Hornets where, you guessed it, Charles Rhodes was present.

Posted in bulldogs in nba, charles rhodes, mississippi state bulldogs, nba | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Jarvis Varnado Denies Chris Paul and LeBron James

Posted by Kyle Weidie on July 10, 2008

A lot of people love to knock the NBA, college basketball die-hards included. The league is full of selfish, money hungry players who individualize a game where you only need to watch the final two minutes, which take forever by the way…..or so goes the stereotype. This blog entry could go on a diatribe against such a gross misconception, but it won’t. I’ll just tell a story about two of the best players in the world heading down to the local rec center to play pick-up because they love the game.

Recently, a buzz filtered throughout the University of Akron campus….LeBron James, the self-proclaimed ‘King of Ohio’ was playing pick-up at the recreation center. Oh yea, 07-08 NBA MVP runner-up Chris Paul was there too, playing alongside LeBron. But King James and CP3 weren’t playing against your run-of-the-mill scrubs, they were matched against some of the best college basketball players in the nation who were in town for the LeBron James Skills Academy. How the NBA duo fare? Four wins and three losses. Huh? I know, I just did a double-take and heard a record scratch to a halt as well. LeBron James and Chris Paul lost?

Upon reading this story via CBSSportsline.com, I figured that LeBron was just going through the motions, much akin to the way Michael Jordan casually beats and berates the old men (35 and over) who pay $17,500 to attend his Senior Flight School. Two caveats, Jordan didn’t lose those games, and LeBron was actually playing with a competitive spirit. Quoting Gary Parrish’s article on CBSSportsline: “Proof of this came during one of the last games, when James wasn’t just attacking the rim but also complaining to an official about getting fouled on his way. James looked just as intense in this pick-up game as he does during the NBA playoff games and was visibly disgusted every time he lost.”

Previously, I wrote a blurb in a Bulldog Maroon & White blog post about Mississippi State’s Jarvis Varnado participating in Amare Stoudamire’s Big Man Skills Camp, part of a network of Nike academies focused on bringing fundamentals back to the American game. Well, it appears as if Varnado AKA “Swat” made the trip to Ohio to further hone his game at LeBron’s specialized academy. A Bulldog fan could not be more encouraged by this revelation.

Even better is that fact that Varnado’s squad, featuring Patrick Beverley (6’1″ G – Arkansas), Patrick Christopher (6’5″ G – California), Jonny Flynn (6’0″ G – Syracuse) and Terrence Williams (6’6″ F – Louisville), gave Team James-Paul the most difficulty, winning two and losing two. From the account, Terrance Williams spent the day guarding LeBron, even blocking his shot once, but we all know that Swat was holding down the painted area for his team.

Bulldog fans are well aware that Jarvis Varnado has a great attitude. Now he is getting, by far, more prolific summertime experience than any other Mississippi State basketball player in history. I’m expecting big things from this young man in the future, and in turn, for the MSU Bulldog basketball program as well.

Posted in arkansas razorbacks, jarvis varnado, mississippi state bulldogs, nba, sec basketball | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

Stansbury Gets A New Contract, But Where’s The Love?

Posted by Kyle Weidie on July 9, 2008

For success during 10 seasons as men’s head basketball coach at Mississippi State University, Rick Stansbury has been awarded a raise and a contract extension through 2011-2012. Stansbury’s new $1.2 million salary is composed of a $225,000 base salary and a supplement from the Bulldog Foundation, making him the 4th highest paid basketball coach in the SEC. So why are many Bulldog fans showing Rick Stansbury no love?

Here are some of the initial opinions expressed in the comments section of the Clarion-Ledger’s July 3rd story on Stansbury’s new contract:

“Waste of money”

“Earn your money Stainsberry and make some noise in the NCAA tourney. We’ve had enough of your 2nd round defeats!!!”

“Good recruiter.. Bad coach”

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Guaranteed to be a pretty decent, better than average team through 2011-2012. Damn Scamsbury.”

Sure there were positive comments to follow, but from experience, the above opinions are indicative of the general negativity emitted from many Mississippi State fans. A great job is not good enough. Have people been spoiled by success, or are they justifiably unsatisfied from lack of achievement?

Simply put, Stansbury has brought consistency to a program with, at best, sporadic tradition, essentially spawning winning out of a purported “no-win” situation. Sure Coach Stansbury has had difficulties with advancing in post season play, never making it past the 2nd round of the big dance. Of course, I’ve been frustrated with poor free-throw coaching, lack of offensive X and O prowess, and the inability to coax maturity out of some players. And perhaps Rick’s interest in the academic success of his players has the MSU basketball program tippy-toeing along the sanction line, a single point over the NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) threshold of 900. After all, Stansbury was quoted, “We don’t talk to teachers when we’re recruiting kids, everyone does it differently,” in a New York Times article investigating Philadelphia’s Lutheran Christian Academy, a ‘diploma mill’ attended by Jamont Gordon and former Bulldog, Vernon Goodridge, which has since been put on an NCAA ‘unacceptable’ list.

But hey, what’s the price of relevancy? Shall we live in a fatalistic world where “everybody’s doing it” allows us to root with a clear conscience? Large corporations consistently teeter between black and white, always looking for a loophole to give them a competitive edge. That’s business, and until the NCAA changes it’s rules otherwise, it’s member organizations will continue to act as such. In that SI.com article outlining ‘no-win’ situations in college basketball, an anonymous coach is quoted in admitting that “coaching in the SEC requires ‘a moral flexibility.'” What that coach forgot to admit is that lax moral values transcend conferences, sports, players, and even fans. I don’t proclaim to have any solutions, but I do know that the NCAA is ultimately responsible.

I’m digressing from the matter at hand. Point is, Rick Stansbury is not unlike many other college basketball coaches, especially those in the SEC……except for the fact that he gets big time players to come play in Starkville, Mississippi. How soon we forget the days when the best players in Mississippi were consistently heading out of state. When is the last time you heard that complaint?

It’s natural to desire that success be built on top of success. Bulldog fans want their basketball team to live up to its potential, I have the same hopes. But my mantra is that things could always be worse; Bulldogs fans don’t know how good they have it. Congratulations to Coach Stansbury on receiving a well deserved new contract, his track record speaks for itself. With recent defections, next season ain’t gonna be easy. Sure we will hear rhetoric from Rick about having a young team, but the task will be daunting nonetheless. Here’s to program building, getting through the rough patches, and the high capability for success.

Posted in Bulldog Basketball, mississippi state bulldogs, rick stansbury, sec basketball, SEC Sports | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Evidently The Dallas Mavs Aren’t Charles Rhodes’ Cup of Tea

Posted by Kyle Weidie on July 7, 2008

I’m not sure if I’m wrong or not, but I’ll admit to…..something.

A week ago, I wrote that the Dallas Mavericks may be Charles Rhodes’ best shot at landing in the NBA. Main reason: Roster room for the Mavs – they had seven players signed for next year, none of whom play the four (Rhodes’ most likely position in the NBA). Dallas then inked DeSagana Diop, a five, and Gerald Green, a wing.

On Monday, the official Dallas Mavericks summer league roster was released and Charles Rhodes was nowhere to be found. The Mavericks Blog on the Dallas Morning News website is reporting that Rhodes, and a couple others such as Aaron Miles and Reggie Williams, will not be participating because they, “got what they perceive to be better offers.”

A quick check of the rosters for the Las Vegas NBA Summer Pro League did not yield any results for Rhodes. It might be the case where Charles Rhodes and his agent, Mike Conley Sr. (the Vice President of Player Representation for Bill Duffy’s BDA Sports Management and father of Mike Conley Jr., currently a PG for the Memphis Grizzlies and formerly an Ohio State Buckeye), feel that Charles would be best served taking the sure overseas money rather than risking the cut-throat nature of NBA tryouts. After all, Charles In Charge “just wants a job.” Stay tuned.

Posted in bulldogs in nba, charles rhodes, mississippi state bulldogs, nba | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Former Bulldog Marcus Campbell Looking For Time to Share on South Beach

Posted by Kyle Weidie on July 7, 2008

The 2008 Orlando Pro Summer League begins today with participating teams representing the Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, New Jersey Nets, and the Oklahoma City….Team. Naturally, I browsed the rosters to look for Mississippi State Bulldogs and came across a lone participant, Marcus Campbell.

Remember the 7’0″ lefty with soft hands and the disposition of your little brother? Observing Marcus Campbell up close and personal many times during his days at Mississippi State, I was always wowed by his natural athletic ability, and as Jay Bilas might put it, elongated reach — he has a 7’6″ wingspan in his basketball tool kit. However, Campbell never was able to put forth a consistent motivated effort as a Bulldog, seemingly destined to make a meandering basketball journey on his God-given talent rather than intense work.

And a journeyman’s basketball career Marcus Campbell has made. With 122 games and 10.7 minutes, 4.7 points, and 3.3 rebounds per on his NCAA resume, Campbell has bounced around minor professional leagues in the United States since leaving Mississippi State in 2005. Stints, short and long, have included time with the Tunica Gamblers (WBA), Rockford Lightning (CBA), Arkansas ArchAngels (WBA), Arkansas RimRockers (NBDL), Oklahoma Storm (USBL), Kansas Cagerz (USBL), Idaho Stampede (NBDL), and Anaheim Arsenal (NBDL). Some of Campbell’s minor league statistics can be found via Basketball-Reference.com. Previously flirtations with the NBA involved suiting up for the Sacramento Kings at the 2005 Reebok NBA Summer League and for the Charlotte Bobcats at the 2006 Orlando Summer League.

This year, Campbell will be showing his wares to scouts while donning a jersey for the Miami Heat in this initial NBA summer league episode. The Heat, with new 37-year old coach Eric Spoelstra, are ripe with chances for young and hungry players. After winning the NBA title in 2005-2006, Miami got swept 4-0 by the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the 06-07 playoffs, and then spent much of 07-08 dealing with injuries, which led to call-ups for several NBDLers, but also a league worst 15-67 record. With Dwyane Wade, Shawn Marion, and 2008 #2 overall pick Michael Beasley left as pretty much the only dishes in the cupboard, the 08-09 version of the Heat are set to be young, dumb, and full of fun. Good luck to Marcus in his tryout with Miami….here’s to hard work and avoiding the South Beach police blotter.

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