Archive for draft

Decision Day for Top Dawgs

Posted in NCAA Football, NFL with tags , , , , , , , , on January 7, 2009 by nathanjzacharias

Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno will be announcing their plans for the 2009 football season, and all sources seem to indicate right now that they will be turning pro.  I can’t say I blame them, but as a loyal Dawg fan, it still hurts.  It’s not a huge surprise by any means, as both are the top ranked players at their position, with Stafford possibly being the number one pick overall.  But with some key players returning from injury next year, it would have been nice to have those two in uniform to make one more run at a championship.

I’ve tried to put myself in their shoes and figure out what I would do in the same situation.  And I have to say,  I can see why it’s a tough decision.  There are good reasons to choose either side.

As far as Stafford is concerned, if he’s a possible number one pick now, it’s kind of tough to improve his draft status in 2010.  Some say that he doesn’t have the “big” game in his resume.  While I kind of see their point, he has still led Georgia to some key victories (remember the ‘Bama game in ’07).  And in his defense, their losses and narrow wins this year were more a result of shaky defense than poor offense.  Sure they had some struggles, but for the most part they were putting up more than enough points to win each week.  He also showed a lot in the Capital One Bowl last week.  No, Michigan State isn’t Florida, but he showed a lot of resolve when he came back from a terrible first half to put up huge numbers.

In Moreno’s case, he’s proved all he has to at the college level. The guy is just a machine.  He ran well over 1,000 yards in both of his seasons, and he’s a weekly highlight reel.  He seemed to constantly turn what was a sure 5-yard loss play into a gain of some sort.  His play energizes the team and annoys the heck out of the opposition.

On the one hand, I like to think I would stay if I were them.  Does it get much better than playing for a huge program in a great college town with an awesome fan base?  In a way, no.  And the money would have been there next year too, as the NFL rookie payscale won’t be changing until 2011.

But they’re playing for their future, and all the circumstances seem to indicate that now is the best time for them to take that step.  Their arguably the top picks at their positions and their healthy.  Why not go now?

It’s disappointing to know we won’t be seeing them in the Georgia red anymore, but when Stafford hit Moreno for the final touchdown in last week’s bowl game, it almost seemed too picture perfect to mean anything other than that it was the last time we’d see that happen.

They represented the program well, and I wish them all the best.  Go Dawgs!


Anyone Else Feel a Draft?

Posted in NBA with tags , on June 27, 2008 by nathanjzacharias

The Chicago Bulls drafted hometown hero Derrick Rose with the number one pick in the NBA draft last night. Anyone stunned, stupified, and dumbfounded? I didn’t think so. Congrats to the Bulls for their selection. Averaging nearly 21 PPG, 6.5 rebounds and 6.0 assists in his first and only year in the NCAA, he could inject some life in the United Center.

Rounding out the top 5 of the draft were Michael Beasley/Miami (26.2 PPG, 12.4 RPG), OJ Mayo/Minnesota (20.7 PPG, 51 steals), Russell Westbrook/Seattle (12.7 PPG, 4.3 APG), and Kevin Love/Memphis (17.5 PPG, 10.6 RPG).

I’d like to act all cool and insightful and talk about who will be a star and who will end up being one of the guys who has to keep the warmups on the whole game and twirl his dry and unused towel as he cheers his teammates on. But I don’t know. Unfortunately I’m not a prophet; it’s one of my flaws. So instead what I’m going to do is look at how last year’s top 5 picks fared. So here you go.

1. Greg Oden – The 7 foot freshman Buckeye averaged 15.7 PPG, 9.6 RPG, had 105 blocked shots, and won numerous defensive awards in his only year with Ohio State. Unfortunately for Portland, he then went on to average 0 PPG, 0 RPG, and O blocked shots since he missed the entire season due to knee surgery. But the man with the 60 year old face is still only 20, so while the Blazers had to wait a little longer than anticipated he could still be a good pick for them.

2. Kevin Durant – In his only year with Texas, Durant led the Big 12 in scoring with 25.8 PPG. He also led the conference with 11.1 RPG and 1.9 blocked shots. In his first year with the Sonics, he averaged 20.3 PPG, 4.40 RPG, and 2.4 APG. Hey Kev….it’s pretty cool that you didn’t burn the place down.

3. Al Horford – with the first two picks of the 2007 draft a given, a lot of speculation focused on who the Hawks would pick at number 3. They went with Horford, and for the first time in a while they chose……wisely. (Shout out to the old dude in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Oh, if only that truly had been Indy’s last crusade). In his last year at Florida, Horford averaged 13.2 PPG, 9.5 RPG, and 1.8 blocked shots. As a leading Rookie of the Year candidate this year, he put up 12.6 PPG, 10.4 RPG, and 3.6 APG.

4. Mike Conley, Jr. – Another freshman Buckeye, he averaged 11.3 PPG, 6.1 APG, 2.2 steals, and shot 30% from the arc. This year with the Grizzlies he battled injuries while posting 9.4 PPG, 2.6 RPG, and 4.2 APG. He also dropped the Jr from his name. When asked why, he said because it made him think of what was perhaps Arnold Schwarzenegger’s most vile and disturbing movie – Junior.

5. Jeff Green – The Hoya forward averaged 14.3 PPG, 6.4 RPG, and 3.2 APG. He had a solid first year with the Sonics with 10.5 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and 1.5 APG.

So there you have it. The draft is always fun when it happens, but it takes time to truly figure out how good it actually was. Time will tell how Rose, Beasley, Mayo, Westbrook, and Love take to their new NBA careers. It will be fun to watch.

On a side note, as interesting as it was to do this research, I’ll be happy if I don’t have to type PPG, RPG, and APG for a little while.