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  1. #81
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    Michigan's Mike Smith has decided not to use his "super senior" year and is going to the NBA Draft. Probably more likely to make money playing overseas than in the league, but then again so was Fred Van Vleet or even our own Quinn Cook... heady point guards who can shoot have sneaky ways of making it into the league. But both those examples have a couple of inches on Smith. Regardless, here's hoping he figures it out, because he was a key cog in Michigan's success this year.

    FWIW, scuttlebutt on various Michigan fansites, insider message boards, etc., is that it's more likely than not that both Eli Brooks and Chaundee Brown return for their "super senior" years at Michigan. Assuming Isaiah Livers and Franz Wagner go pro (Wagner is likely a late lottery pick, and Livers is a senior, although maybe he wants to rehab his stress fracture in Ann Arbor, who knows), under this scenario Michigan conceivably returns four of its top 7 players from this year's squad (including 3/5 of the starting lineup in the tournament given Livers' injury), and bring in two immediate impact five stars. That would probably be the pre-season pick to win the B1G, and a front court of a sophomore Hunter Dickinson, senior Brandon Johns, and freshmen Caleb Houstan and Moussa Diabate would be a nightmare for any opponent.
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  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottdude8 View Post
    Michigan's Mike Smith has decided not to use his "super senior" year and is going to the NBA Draft. Probably more likely to make money playing overseas than in the league, but then again so was Fred Van Vleet or even our own Quinn Cook... heady point guards who can shoot have sneaky ways of making it into the league. But both those examples have a couple of inches on Smith. Regardless, here's hoping he figures it out, because he was a key cog in Michigan's success this year.

    FWIW, scuttlebutt on various Michigan fansites, insider message boards, etc., is that it's more likely than not that both Eli Brooks and Chaundee Brown return for their "super senior" years at Michigan. Assuming Isaiah Livers and Franz Wagner go pro (Wagner is likely a late lottery pick, and Livers is a senior, although maybe he wants to rehab his stress fracture in Ann Arbor, who knows), under this scenario Michigan conceivably returns four of its top 7 players from this year's squad (including 3/5 of the starting lineup in the tournament given Livers' injury), and bring in two immediate impact five stars. That would probably be the pre-season pick to win the B1G, and a front court of a sophomore Hunter Dickinson, senior Brandon Johns, and freshmen Caleb Houstan and Moussa Diabate would be a nightmare for any opponent.
    If Smith, Livers, and Wagner are the only guys Michigan loses, they will be among a group of teams considered national championship favorites given the strength of the returning players and the recruits. Houston will fit in and take Wagner's spot no problem, and I think he'll be better than Wagner offensively, and we'll have to see how ready Diabate is to contribute as a freshman. That is far from a given in my mind. So the key will be if Eli Brooks returns. If so, the super senior PG who was really solid this year, will run the team and be its leader. If he doesn't come back, it changes the picture substantially in my mind. I'm not sure why Dickinson is not more strongly considering at least testing the NBA waters. He's already shown what he brings to the table, and it's enough for the NBA right now. Yeah, he could work on his face up game I suppose, but that's never going to be his go-to, but he brings plenty of other things that you want in a big man. If I was him I'd be really thinking about it.

  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottdude8 View Post
    Toronto is looking to do an "abbreviated" rebuild considering they have a solid young core of VanVleet, Siakam, and Anunoby. Trent has fit perfectly into that group. If Toronto can find a young 5 with upside (they aren't low enough down in the lottery for this to be likely, but Evan Mobley would be an incredible fit) that group could make noise for years to come. Maybe not a superstar level ceiling, but a complete team that would compete and be very good defensively. I'm excited to see how Trent continues to develop as a Raptor.
    Unfortunately for Toronto, not having a "superstar" could really hamper any deep playoff run. In the nba it is really hard to win big without at least an all nba player or multiple all stars. And the most proven way to get one of those types of players is to either draft them or by the Lakers. They got lucky a few years back when they were able to rent Leonard for a year but they could easily get stuck as a middle of the pack playoff team for the next decade if one of the players you mention take a huge step forward.

  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommy View Post
    If Smith, Livers, and Wagner are the only guys Michigan loses, they will be among a group of teams considered national championship favorites given the strength of the returning players and the recruits. Houston will fit in and take Wagner's spot no problem, and I think he'll be better than Wagner offensively, and we'll have to see how ready Diabate is to contribute as a freshman. That is far from a given in my mind. So the key will be if Eli Brooks returns. If so, the super senior PG who was really solid this year, will run the team and be its leader. If he doesn't come back, it changes the picture substantially in my mind. I'm not sure why Dickinson is not more strongly considering at least testing the NBA waters. He's already shown what he brings to the table, and it's enough for the NBA right now. Yeah, he could work on his face up game I suppose, but that's never going to be his go-to, but he brings plenty of other things that you want in a big man. If I was him I'd be really thinking about it.
    I love Dickinson but disagree on your assessment about his NBA prospects a bit. Against UCLA his need to go to his left hand got exposed, which would be a major NBA liability. He's a good rim protector, but doesn't have the above the rim athleticism to do that at the same level at the NBA. And he has ways to go in guarding the pick and roll, which is key for NBA bigs.

    I think he'll end up being a very solid backup big in the NBA, with the potential for a higher ceiling if he can get a more diverse offensive game and improve athletically a bit, both of which another college season (especially with a full off season) could definitely help with. I also have a feeling Juwan will be able to tell him exactly what he needs to work on for that NBA aspiration.

    Regardless, the scuttlebutt I'm hearing is that he's a near certainty to return... he even tweeted something to that effect in response to one of the incoming freshman asking if they could play 2k for the right to his uniform number (his response was essentially "pick another number freshman", haha). But how he progresses will certainly be interesting to watch relative to the skills he needs for the NBA.
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  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by yancem View Post
    Unfortunately for Toronto, not having a "superstar" could really hamper any deep playoff run. In the nba it is really hard to win big without at least an all nba player or multiple all stars. And the most proven way to get one of those types of players is to either draft them or by the Lakers. They got lucky a few years back when they were able to rent Leonard for a year but they could easily get stuck as a middle of the pack playoff team for the next decade if one of the players you mention take a huge step forward.
    Definitely true. Siakam has shown flashes of having that upside but has disappointed this year. If the Raps get lucky in the lottery and could grab Mobley, who has that superstar potential and fits the core perfectly, perhaps that's the superstar.

    The other thing that's interesting to watch with them is the free agent market. Masai Ujiri has great relationships with a lot of the foreign NBA players, many of whom he helped scout in the early days... before Giannis resigned with Milwaukee, there were rumors that the Raptors were potentially a landing spot for him because of that relationship. There's also the fact that the level of Canadian talent in the NBA is rising rapidly, as is Canadian interest in the game, which could make Toronto more of a free agent destination in the coming years (yes it's not in the US, but it's a larger market than arguably 90% of NBA teams). If RJ continues to ascend but the Knicks crater, as has been their pattern, would he consider returning home to Toronto as a free agent? If he did he'd be worshipped by the city, let alone the country. What if Jamal Murray wants out of Denver for some reason in a couple years? You could see the same type of situation there. That development is definitely a few years down the line, but it wouldn't surprise me if the Raptors are building the foundations for a team that a superstar signing/trade could put over the top in 3-4 years, potentially with the hopes of keeping that star unlike Kawhi.
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  6. #86
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    Mock Draft Updates

    FWIW, Matt and DJ are both nowhere to be found in the latest mock draft on SI.com. Both are late second round picks (DJ the very last pick) on ESPN.com.

    While we haven't thought about Jalen for a while, there some unsurprising divergence on where he's projected. ESPN has him still in the Top 10, while he's almost fallen out of the lottery according to SI.
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  7. #87
    Quote Originally Posted by scottdude8 View Post

    While we haven't thought about Jalen for a while...
    Who?

  8. #88
    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernDukie View Post
    Who?
    JJ...

  9. #89
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    Not surprised that DJ is either not listed or barely listed. But I am surprised that Hurt isnít at least a second round pick. He has his faults but you cant argue with his production. I guess by the time you get to that point in the draft, teams would rather take a gamble on someone with upside.

  10. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by UrinalCake View Post
    Not surprised that DJ is either not listed or barely listed. But I am surprised that Hurt isnít at least a second round pick. He has his faults but you cant argue with his production. I guess by the time you get to that point in the draft, teams would rather take a gamble on someone with upside.
    I feel like different teams treat the second round very differently. Rebuilding teams definitely think as you've described. But contenders, those who still have second round picks, seem to want someone who can fill a bench role and thus has a specific skill. Matt would definitely fall into that category... he could certainly be a bench "stretch 4" playing 5-10 minutes a game relatively early in his career based solely off his shooting. That said, let's keep that to ourselves so he comes back for Year 3
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  11. #91
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    All I know is that were we to lose Mark Williams (and I'm not saying we will) I don't think my Duke hoop fandom would ever fully recover.

  12. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by budwom View Post
    All I know is that were we to lose Mark Williams (and I'm not saying we will) I don't think my Duke hoop fandom would ever fully recover.
    I have made this same comment with many different names in place of "Mark Williams" and I still keep coming back...are we all gluttons for the same punishment...

  13. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkD83 View Post
    I have made this same comment with many different names in place of "Mark Williams" and I still keep coming back...are we all gluttons for the same punishment...
    I've been used to losing guys who are (relative) phenoms from day 1 such as RJ, Zion et al, but losing a guy who just started figuring things out in the latter part of his first season is my new Maginot Line.

  14. #94
    Quote Originally Posted by MarkD83 View Post
    I have made this same comment with many different names in place of "Mark Williams" and I still keep coming back...are we all gluttons for the same punishment...
    I keep coming back ó sort of. I used to watch every minute of every game. This year I watched every minute of two games.

    Losing the sure fire ones and done didnít hit me like losing all of the marginal ones and done. The Quinn Cooks that never became Quinn Cook.

    Ah well.

  15. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by budwom View Post
    I've been used to losing guys who are (relative) phenoms from day 1 such as RJ, Zion et al, but losing a guy who just started figuring things out in the latter part of his first season is my new Maginot Line.
    Well, we know what happened to the Maginot Line.

  16. #96
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    While I am not surprised at this decision, many had said it was coming, I do think it is worth noting that Hauser does not appear to be much of a NBA prospect. He just does not appear to have the footspeed or overall quickness to be very effective in the NBA. I suspect his future is playing overseas.
    There was a time where not being an NBA prospect meant that you stayed and got your degree. I realize everyone will jump on how kids can go and make money overseas and thereafter go back to school. I am not convinced that is the driving force for most of these decisions. My speculation is most kids who make these decisions are not enamoured or interested with the academic facets of college. And of course there are some kids who do elect to stay, who have a contrary view (and Duke has housed a number of them in the past).

    Maybe if I did not look through my coloured glasses of the value of a college education I would be more inclined to support these decisions. Just seems a pity that they cannot stick it out and get a degree and then run overseas to play basketball. But then again, my parents told me that I was not going to be a baseball player but a doctor, lawyer or engineer. So what do I know.

  17. #97
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    As expected, Novaís Jeremiah Robinson Earl is going pro. https://twitter.com/vucoachjwright/s...440248325?s=21

  18. #98
    Quote Originally Posted by cato View Post
    I keep coming back ó sort of. I used to watch every minute of every game. This year I watched every minute of two games.
    My interest hasn't quite fallen off that cliff, but definitely has waned substantially.

    I've watched more Zion this year than I did "JJ." Probably couldn't pick Johnson out of a list of face shots.

  19. #99
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    Michigan senior (ex Wake) swing man Chaundee Brown is going pro rather than return for a super senior year. He had an excellent year as Michiganís 6th man and would have been a key guy next year too as their roster turns over with the losses of Wagner and Livers (presumed) plus Mike Smith not coming back. The next key guy to make a decision for Michigan is PG Eli Brooks. I think heíll be back. He can provide some stability and some shooting. Regardless itís going to be a really different team with a big recruiting class coming in so weíll see how Juwan Howard can piece it together.

  20. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommy View Post
    Michigan senior (ex Wake) swing man Chaundee Brown is going pro rather than return for a super senior year. He had an excellent year as Michiganís 6th man and would have been a key guy next year too as their roster turns over with the losses of Wagner and Livers (presumed) plus Mike Smith not coming back. The next key guy to make a decision for Michigan is PG Eli Brooks. I think heíll be back. He can provide some stability and some shooting. Regardless itís going to be a really different team with a big recruiting class coming in so weíll see how Juwan Howard can piece it together.
    What will Hunter Dickinson do?

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