Moving story about Quinnipiac’s freshman forward Marquis Barnett.
Monthly Archives: December 2011
You’ve probably never heard of Elena Delle Donne, and probably never will until the University of Delaware breaks the top 10. With her height enabling her to post-up, and her ability to step back and hit the 3 has helped her average nearly 30 points and 10 rebounds a game, Delle Donne is somehow overlooked in women’s college basketball. With all of the talk surrounding Brittany Griner and #1 ranked Baylor, Elena and her Blue Hens are flying under the radar. Once the most sought after player in America during 2007-2008, the 6’5″ wing was being recruited by elite contenders. She signed with UConn but took a leave-of-absence from the team due to a burnout after the second day of the summer school program. She then enrolled at U.Delaware to be closer to home, and closer to her older sister who suffers from cerebral palsy and autism as sensory complications.
Entering U. Delaware as a freshman she walked on to the school’s volleyball team where she also excelled as the team appeared in its second straight NCAA tournament. After her hiatus from the hardwood, Delle Donne returned to the court and picked up where she left off. She posted a 54 point game against James Madison, was named an All-American, was a finalist in the John Wooden Player of the Year contentions. Amongst receiving other numerous accolades Elena averaged over 26 points and collected almost 9 boards a game in her debut year on the court. The awards only increased the next season, as she battled being diagnosed with Lyme disease.
Now in her junior year, Delle Donne is posting unbelievable numbers as her team is moving up in the rankings. By the end of the year Elena Delle Donne will be a household name. I’m predicting that she will be Player of the Year and the Blue Hens will finish the year in the top 10. Depending on how the seeding plays out for the NCAA tournament, I might even have them breaking into the Sweet 16 as long as the team remains healthy. Look out for the university of Delaware to make some noise this year.
WHO IS NORRIS COLE?
The 6’2 23-year-old was a multi-sport star at Dunbar High School in Dayton, Ohio. He was even recruited to play football on a scholarship at Walsh University, before joining the Cleveland State basketball program.
Cole earned some significant honors during his time at Cleveland State, amongst them are included being the first person in Horizon League Men’s Basketball history to simultaneously be named Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, earning AP All-America Honorable Mention, and making the National Association of Basketball Coaches District 12 First Team.
Norris Cole was the 28th overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft. The pick belonged to the Chicago Bulls, but they traded his rights to the Minnesota Timberwolves who then dealt him to the Miami Heat. The cousin of NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Trent Cole, has already begun to make a name for himself in the NBA.
The Miami Heat rookie stole the show in the game against the Boston Celtics recording 20 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds and 3 steals—14 of his 20 points came in the 4th quarter.
As the Celtics began to chop away at Miami’s 20-point lead down to 3, it was Norris Cole, who in the final minutes, scored 9 straight points, assuring the Miami victory; 115-103.
Cole makes things happen for Miami off the bench. He is very active on the court, he shows little fear and immense confidence, which is just what the Heat needs—great productivity aside from the Big Three. He is an effective playmaker, with vast athleticism and speed, which makes me wonder if he will take Miami’s starting PG spot. Even so, with Miami being a fast-paced team and quick in the transition, Cole is a perfect fit. It may still be too early to tell, but I expect great things from this rookie.
Chicago Bulls 88- Los Angeles Lakers 87
In the final two minutes of the game, the Chicago Bulls played the same kind of defense they had throughout all of last season!!!
I was shocked that Coach Thibs and the Bulls did not foul and send the Lakers to the line, down 1, with 20 seconds to go. Instead Coach Thibs, trusting his defense, decided to trap Kobe and force a turnover. And it happened perfectly, leading to what would be Chicago’s game-winning basket with 4.8 seconds to go.
Shoutouts of the game go to: Coach Tom Thibodeau, Derrick Rose and Luol Deng.
Although Derrick Rose had the game winner, it was Deng who had the steal that set up Derrick Rose’s game-winning unbelievable basket, and had the block on Kobe that sealed the 88-87 victory.
The Lakers indeed lost in heart breaking fashion; yet the slander on Twitter and Facebook is something to be taken lightly. It still early in the (short) season. Kobe and the Lakers still played well against the Chicago Bulls given their circumstances, and only lost by 1!!
We’ll see how the LAL does tonight against the Sacramento Kings 10pm (EST).
LeBron James: 37 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks
Skip Bayless on First Take “It don’t mean a thing without a ring”
The Dallas Mavericks’ zone defense really messed up LeBron’s game in the NBA Finals. They cut off his driving lanes, forced him to take jump shots—many of which did not go in—and really exposed his need to develop a stronger post game. Yesterday, it was clear that LeBron James has worked on his game this offseason.
It was expected that the Mavericks were going to challenge James early to see just how much James has improved trying to force him to continue to take more jump shots. Although there were a couple of shots taken a great number of his points came off of being fouled, driving to the paint or posting up.
The absence of Tyson Chandler was certainly felt this game, particularly against a team like Miami, which likes to penetrate and drive to the basket. Dallas did not do a great job of clogging the paint like they did in the NBA Finals. This game really proves that Chandler was crucial in the playoffs last season for the Mavs— he protected the rim effectively, provided great help defense, and was strong offensively. I expected a better game from Lamar Odom although his ejection spoiled his debut Sunday. Even so, I don’t think the Mavericks have a single player on their roster that can really provide what Chandler did.
With that said….
If LeBron James continues to be able to break the zone, either by posting up, making jumpers or creating open shot opportunities for his teammates, it will go along way toward silencing some of his critics. However, as Skip Bayless said in First Take this morning let’s hope “the chosen one” does not turn into “the frozen one” come playoffs.
with all the hype surrounding the nba season tip-off tomorrow, the fact that there are no basketball games being aired today add to the excitement. majority of ncaa teams are on a much needed break today due to the holiday, but basketball fans like myself are looking for games to watch. the nfl is showing a couple of playoff push games but those can’t keep my attention when the first basket scored is less than 24 hours away.
game 1: the festivities begin with a knicks/celtics showdown at noon. it will be a great game for knicks’ fans and bandwagonners alike to watch as they will finally get to see one of the best front-courts in the nba go head-to-head against boston. paul pierce is a big question mark for the midday affair. both teams aren’t deep but the celtics will need extra help from the bench to fill the scoring void.
things/players to watch out for: d’antoni’s new 10 player rotation. with a new defensive outlook, watch for the knicks coach to look deep down his bench and sub in and out frequently.
game 2: the most anticipated game tomorrow, without a doubt, will be the finals rematch between the heat and mavs. the heat have added a couple of bodies to their roster in hopes of revisiting the finals and winning a championship. lebron has shown off his mid-range versus the magic this pre-season but we will see if it will translate into the season opener. the loss of tyson chandler will also play a large role in the game as brendan haywood may have to match up with the heat’s newly acquired eddy curry.
things/players to watch out for: defense is something that may not appear in tomorrow’s rematch. expect high scoring, run-n-gun, and a bunch of fast-break opportunities. also look out for lamar odom and vince carter’s debut for the defending champs.
The 2011-2012 NBA season is 5 days away from officially starting, and it’s already filled with lots of drama!!!!!!!!
Will Chris Paul make the LA Clippers playoff contenders?
How will Tyson Chandler fit in with the NY Knicks?
Is age and experience going to hurt or help the Boston Celtics this year?
Will Dwight Howard be traded?
However, what I’m MOST looking forward to watching is the Dallas Mavericks vs. Miami Heat game.
The Dallas Mavericks outlasted the Miami Heat 4 games to 2, to win the NBA Finals last season. For this season opener, all eyes will be on LeBron James. Last time these two teams met, the Mavericks’ zone defense did a great job cutting off his driving lanes, forcing him to take more jump shots—of course many of those shots did not go in—and really exposed LeBron’s weaknesses.
To add insult to injury, the Miami Heat will have a front row seat to the Dallas Maverick’s ring ceremony! LeBron James will watch as the banner is lifted and the jumbo screens show shots of the Heat frustrated and missing shots while the Mavs hit shots and celebrate. Perhaps Mark Cuban will have more slick things to say in regards to the win last year. Overall, it will be a very rough environment for the Heat to start the season.
Since I am a Heat fan, I will openly say this: that finals loss last year was the most crushing, heart-breaking defeat I have experienced as a basketball fan. However, the wound may heal a bit, if they were to win their season opener against Dirk and the Dallas Mavericks. Since Wade and James have both discussed to the media how hard the team is working, without a solid Center or Point guard, it will be great to see if the Miami Heat can walk away with a win on Christmas Day!
Jess Abreu (@jessicaa323), Nia Blackmon (@curlyysue) and Dave Johnson (@ReturnOfdave2) from Quinnipiac University are starting a basketball blog—NBA, WNBA, Men’s and Women’s NCAA College Basketball. We will kick-off along with the NBA season on Christmas Day!