Posts Tagged ‘percent’

Chicago Jazz? Bulls Add Three Former Utah Jazz Players This Offseason

July 17th, 2010

Heading into the offseason, the Bulls, along with multiple other NBA teams, were looking to add at least one top-tier free agent. LeBron, Wade, or Bosh were the ones in mind. Those three, of course, decided to go play with each other in Miami.

The Heat signed Wade and Bosh first. Right when they did that, the Bulls knew they needed to go after one of the other big free agents right away. Not long after the Heat signed Wade and Bosh, Carlos Boozer signed a contract with the Bulls.

The Bulls have searched for a couple of years for an inside scorer. They have finally landed one in Boozer, who averaged 19.5 points on 56.2 percent shooting to go with 11.2 rebounds for Utah last season. Boozer spent the past six seasons with the Jazz.
This is a major pick-up for the Bulls. It makes them so much more of a threat this season, and for seasons to come.
After LeBron decided to play with the Heat, the Bulls, along with other teams, needed to add some of the mid-level free agents.
The Bulls went after and signed guard/forward Kyle Korver. Last season, the Bulls ranked 28th in three-point percentage (33.0) and 29th in three-pointers made (352). Korver helps address both of those issues: He's a career 41 percent shooter from long range, and about half of his career field goals are threes.
He made an outstanding 59 of 110 (53.6 percent) from distance in 52 games with the Jazz last season. Korver was the second Utah Jazz player signed by the Bulls this offseason.
But there was more to come.
The Bulls also signed J.J. Redick to an offer sheet, which the Magic matched. The Bulls, once again, needed to go after another free agent. They quickly signed guard Ronnie Brewer, another former Utah Jazz player, the third they have signed already this offseason.
Brewer, a strong defender in the backcourt, will help replace some of what the Bulls lost when they traded Kirk Hinrich to Washington in a pre-draft salary dump.
I just thought it was funny that the Bulls signed almost one quarter of the Utah Jazz team from last season. Hopefully, you find the same humor in this that I do.

Tennis Star Wars Episode 7: Stealing the Force From Federer and Nadal

July 17th, 2010

From the tenor of the most recent debates—the controversy over who is ascending and who is falling in men’s professional tennis goes on and on.  

For the sake of allowing a new perspective to shift through the ATP upper realms, let us assume that Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have been transported to an alien space ship and whisked off to Pluto where they will be forced to teach Plutonians how to play tennis in their sophisticated subterranean world.

Who would be the next best and greatest player to step up and assume the mantle until we could renegotiate for the safe return of our tennis greats—both of them?  

Think of the pool of players, listed below, aged 26 and younger as pretenders to the crown by examining their head to head success against one another and their past head to head meetings with Nadal/Federer.  

This is how they would be ranked using the established statistical criteria: 


(1) Andy Murray 

Murray’s winning percentage against the assembled field is a positive 68 percent , while he stands minus four against Nadal/Federer. The Scot is currently ranked No. 4 in the world at age 23, having turned professional in 2005.  He broke into the top 10 after Wimbledon in 2008, reaching as high as No. 2 in the world in August of 2009.

Murray has the tools and the intelligence to win a major and establish his place at the very top of the men's game.  The statistics place him there.  With the best record against his contemporaries, the Scot should be the next No. 1. He just needs to win that first major and convince himself that he deserves to win.  A good place to begin would be the U.S. Open in 2010.  


(2) Novak Djokovic

The Serb’s winning percentage against the wannabe field is 65 percent , while Djokovic remains minus 11 against Nadal/Federer.  Currently ranked No. 2 in the world, 20 points ahead of Roger Federer, Djokovic, now 23, seeks to reproduce his winning ways—those that let him win the Australian Open in 2008 and make the finals of the U.S. Open in 2007.  

The Serb has been playing professional tennis since 2003, breaking into the top 10 in March of 2007.  He has remained consistently in the top five since June of 2007. Unfortunately, Djokovic has not returned to a major final since his 2008 victory at the Australian Open after dismissing Federer in the semifinals and dismantling Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final.  

It would be good to see the Serb return to the finals of the U.S. Open again in 2010—three years is a long to time to wait for a return engagement.


(3) Robin Soderling

Having just turned 25 and currently ranked No. 5 in the world, the Swede’s winning percentage against the other top-ranked men hovers at a positive 56 percent .  His head to head against Nadal/Federer is minus 14, having played against the dynamic duo 20 times—considerably more than most except Djokovic and Murray. 

The Swede turned pro in 2001 and has been waiting to have an impact on the game. He did just that. Soderling made his mark by defeating Rafael Nadal in the fourth round of the French Open in 2009, handing Rafa his only defeat at Stade Roland Garros. Soderling then advanced to meet Federer, falling short in the final.  He would also lose against Nadal in the 2010 French Open final. Surprisingly, clay does not seem to be his best surface.

After the 2009 French Open, Soderling shot up to the No. 12 ranking, edging into the top 10 in October of 2009.  Much of Soderling’s rise has to do with his new coach, followed by the Swede’s high quality play. Like many just outside the top four, Soderling’s ranking continues to rise as the injured Juan Martin del Potro’s continues to fall.  The Argentine remains sidelined with injury.

Hard courts are presumably the Swede’s best surface.  His big booming serve should pay dividends at the U.S. Open in 2010.  Maybe this will be the Swede’s chance to win his first major in New York.


(4) Juan Martin del Potro

The young and injured Argentine stands at 50 percent against his fellow competitors—winning and losing eleven.  His only losing records, however, are against Murray and Djokovic. His head to head against Nadal/Federer is minus five.

Yet many accord the 21-year-old the status as the next best and greatest because he has already won his first major at the U.S. Open last year against Federer in the finals. Del Potro battled for five sets and came back to win against the defending champion.  

The 6'6" Argentine has powerful serves and groundstrokes.  His movement on the court improved greatly in 2009.  Del Potro forced his game to continually improve until a wrist injury sidelined him for most of 2010.  The Argentine will not be able to defend his U.S. Open crown in 2010, so it will be hard to judge his place until he makes his comeback.  But, do not be surprised to see Del Potro sitting on the top rung some day soon.


(5) Tomas Berdych

The talk is that Berdych has finally found his footing and is a force to be reckoned with from this point forward.  Against the field, Berdych, who has been playing professional tennis since 2002, finds himself at 50 percent , winning and losing 15 matches against his peers fighting for that top spot.  Against Nadal/Federer Berdych is etched at minus 10.  

2010 has proven to be a breakout year as Berdych resumed his place in the top 10.  He faced Nadal in the finals of Wimbledon, losing in straight sets but it was his first major final and he fought through Federer and Djokovic to make it into that last match.  

There is no reason to assume his play, his conviction, or his chances to win will decrease at this year’s U.S. Open.  Berdych has a very good chance to take this championship in 2010.


(6) Fernando Verdasco

Fernando Verdasco does not have a positive winning percentage against his peers at the top of the game. He has won only 36.5 percent of his matches, 15 out of 41.  His head to head against Nadal/Federer is zero.  He has never beaten either in 14 tries.

The Spaniard is 26 years of age and has been playing professional tennis since 2001. Under new coaching and a new training regimen, Verdasco has seen a surge in his rankings.  It looks doubtful that Verdasco has what it takes to make a sustained run against the top players because Verdasco does not have enough weapons to defeat top-ranked players consistently.

Right now, the Spaniard is dealing with some injuries.  Perhaps the hard court season will rejuvenate his game, but Verdasco does not seem to have the right stuff to climb to the top of the game.


(7) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

The 25-year-old talented Frenchman has never done well against the top tier of players, suffering with a losing 31.5 percentage or just six wins out of 19 matches. Surprisingly, however, Tsonga holds a 5-2 head to head advantage over Djokovic.  His head to head against Nadal/Federer is minus seven.

The Frenchman never stays healthy long enough to do well.  His injuries have kept him outside the top five because certainly Tsonga has the talent.  He probably has more natural athletic ability than any other player in the pack circling Nadal and Federer.  But do not expect Tsonga, now ranked No. 11, to improve his professional lot unless he finds someone or something to inspire him to take that additional step necessary to make it to the top.


(8) Marin Cilic

Cilic, age 21, has the most to prove with the least results.  2010 has been his best year in his five-year career. He is currently ranked No. 13. Against the top-ranked players in this pool, Cilic has a losing percentage at only 23 percent , winning only five of 22 contests against his fellow top-ranked pros. His head to head against Nadal/Federer is even—Cilic has played each once, winning against Nadal and losing against Federer.  

This year he has made it to the semifinals of the Australian Open, losing to Murray after winning the tournament in Chennai.  Cilic followed that up by winning at Zagreb.  He made it to the round of 16 at Roland Garros.  

Much is expected of the Croat and many believe that he has the necessary game for success making the upper echelons.  

It is hard to imagine the field without Federer and Nadal but perhaps it is good to look at their competition to see who might succeed one or both of them at the top.


NBA Free Agency: New Chicago Bulls Guard Ronnie Brewer Future All-Star?

July 17th, 2010

For those who blinked in the past 24 hours, the Chicago Bulls immediately changed direction in their pursuit of a shooting guard, shifting from the Orlando Magic's J.J. Redick to the Memphis Grizzlies' (and formerly the Jazz's) Ronnie Brewer.

The Magic matched the three-year, nearly $20 million deal for Redick, which threw a wrench into the Bulls' plan of flanking star point guard Derrick Rose with two lethal shooters from long distance.

With the pool of available shooting guards so shallow, and the Bulls losing out on potential targets while Redick's offer sheet handicapped their cap space, it seemed as if Chicago would be stuck without a legitimate shooting guard.

It was a glaring hole last season and it would be a disadvantage in 2010-11 as well.

Rest assured, Ronnie Brewer is a more than satisfactory consolation prize.

In fact, Sam Smith of had this to say about Chicago's latest free agent addition:

"Because of his athletic ability and work ethic, he’s been regarded by some as a potential All-Star after being the No. 14 pick in the 2006 draft. He’s probably not quite at that level because of his lack of a long distance shooting stroke, but for the Bulls needs he seems an ideal fit because of his defensive proficiency and aggressiveness in the open court. "


A possible All-Star? For $12.5 million over three years? I'll take it.

Redick might be the hotter name, but Brewer is the better value. The Bulls could look back on the matched offer sheet as a blessing in disguise.

Redick dominates Brewer when it comes to outside shooting. That's a fact. Brewer, who has a unconventional shooting stroke because of an accident earlier in his life, doesn't even make close to 30 percent of his treys.

The comparison becomes much more interesting, however, when overall shooting percentage is taken into consideration.

In his NBA career, Brewer has shot 52 percent from the field and averaged more than 10 points per game. 

Redick, by comparison, is a career 42 percent shooter and averages seven points per contest.

Don't forget, shooting is supposed to be where Redick has a huge advantage over Brewer. Maybe from downtown, but not overall.

In terms of sheer size, Brewer has Redick beat. Redick is 6'4'' and 190 pounds, while Brewer is 6'7'' and 227 pounds.

While experts and scouts alike have praised Redick's improved defense, you can't teach size or length, and Brewer has them both. It's no surprise he was seventh in the league in steals in 2008-09, his last full season of play.

It's hard not to think about the potential matchup with the Miami Heat when making free agent acquisitions. Adding Brewer will go a long way in shutting down the Big Three.

Redick can't guard Dwyane Wade, and definitely can't guard LeBron James. 

Brewer can definitely guard Wade, and could make life difficult for James.

Look, if the Bulls need shooting, they can sub in Kyle Korver. A team can never have enough shooting, but the same can be said about defense.

Plus, if Rose is telling the truth, he has developed a consistent three-point shot of his own, which could potentially be set up by the slashing of Brewer and Luol Deng.

Which leads to the final reason Brewer may ultimately be better for the Bulls than Redick: He can handle the ball.

In fact, Brewer was considered a combo guard coming out of college, where he was in charge of a lot of Arkansas' ballhandling duties.

He's not going to be a backup point guard for the Bulls. He will never be asked to be the primary ballhandler on the floor.

However, he can play the same role as Kirk Hinrich did alongside Rose, and that is occasionally bringing the ball up the court. Brewer should be comfortable enough to start the fastbreak on his own.

Brewer has all the tools to be a successful starting shooting guard with the Bulls, and if he commits to improving his jumper like Rose did this offseason, he won't have a glaring weakness in his game.

Saying he's a potential All-Star is premature and unsubstantiated. 

Still, he has shown he can score given the opportunity (13.7 points per game in 2008-09) and is a proven lockdown defender.

The only knock on him is he can't shoot well from three-point range.

Is that really such a bad tradeoff?

If the Bulls can use the money they saved to add more quality pieces, Gar Forman and John Paxson should send a thank-you to Magic General Manager Otis Smith for matching the Bulls' offer to Redick.

Because they not only got an arguably better player, but now they have even more room to make their young team a threat in the Eastern Conference.


Michael Heisley’s Cheapness Strikes Again

July 17th, 2010

In 2009, named Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley the third worst owner in the NBA.

His crimes?

Trading away the greatest player this woebegone franchise has ever known in Pau Gasol, who, by the way, has two NBA championships as a member of the Lakers.

Signing Allen Iverson, mainly because Iverson was his wife's favorite basketball player, which in turn cost the team at least four wins this past season.

And now, days after signing Rudy Gay to a five-year deal worth over $80 million, Heisley once again proves to everyone who follows the NBA why he deserves to be considered one of the worst owners in the league.

Xavier Henry, who the Grizzlies selected with the No. 12 overall pick, has yet to play a summer league game.

Not because of an injury.

But because Heisley the Cheapo refuses to budge in contract talks with the former Kansas star.

Unlike the NFL, the NBA has a rookie salary scale that pays their draft picks based on selection.

Roughly, owners pay their rookies between 80 and 120 percent of the figures they make in their first year, however unlike in the past in situations with both Rudy Gay and Hasheem Thabeet, in which he paid the 120 percent to both, Heisley is refusing to do the same for Henry.

Which in turn has resulted in Henry holding out and possibly hindering his development into the player he can be in this league.

What's laughable about this is the fact that the amount being fought over is roughly over $330,000, barely half of what he is planning to make this season.

According to GM Chris Wallace, the idea is for Henry to earn his keep, which to me, is another delusional statement from South Third.

How can a franchise, which paid $82 million to a guy who hasn't played to his potential or even in an All-Star Game, dicker around with a guy who can provide instant production?

You tell me.


Texas Recruiting News: Longhorns Looking for a Few Good Men

July 16th, 2010

In the spirit of “YOU WANT ANSWERS?!!” we’ll start with the news on Malcolm Brown’s impromptu unofficial visit to Austin, which was originally reported by Recruitocosm just after the San Antonio Express-News posted it on their website. What can I say, their hamsters are faster.

Malcolm Brown rolled up to the 40 with family in tow to get a vibe for the campus as a student and not the rock star treatment of one of the top two or three running backs in the nation. An admirable sentiment to be sure. But this isn’t Mack Brown’s first courtship and considering unofficial visits are like hitting green on a roulette table, Mack wanted to get the most bang for his buck.

With 7-on-7 workouts rescheduled, the staff had a few key players on hand to meet Brown and his family as our student-athletes are often the best salesmen and recruiters the program has—particularly the ones that have bought into the program enough to sacrifice their summer nights to prepare for the season.

Guys like Garret Gilbert, Jordan Hicks, Jackson Jeffcoat, the Achos, the Browns, Aaron Williams, etc. are even better recruiters than Mack Brown in this situation, because the Brown family was looking to drill down and truly get a feel for what’s in store for Malcolm when he’s on campus.

While the Brown family was drilling down, it appears that it’s the Longhorns who’ve struck oil. Word we received from our guy is that Brown told the staff he’s coming and it could be a matter of weeks if not days before he makes it official. After that, it’s up to the Longhorns to show some semblance of a between-the-tackles running game to keep the Browns happy. But for now, it looks like the blue chip running back drought is over for Texas.

Jermauria Rasco says, “You’re a Lousy Fucking Softball Player Jack!!”

While the news on Brown is great, the Jermauria Rasco news seems to be less so. In talking to a guy who’d know, the talented defensive end prospect out of Shreveport Evangel has grown concerned with the Longhorn depth chart.

“With guys like Jeffcoat, Wilson, Reed, and some of the bigger linebackers that can drop down to defensive end, Rasco is worried it would take him three years or so to see significant snaps,” our source said.

Why are depth charts suddenly a concern?

“It’s not coming from the Alabama people that’s for sure,” he explained.

“Bama has a chance to land two higher rated defensive ends and they tipped their hand about how they truly feel about Jermauria by playing him off the LOS during their camp. They wanted to show him they could get him snaps early regardless of how many D ends they had. Of course that backfired because Rasco was injured and the move ended up pissing him off.”

He added, “LSU offers Rasco a chance to play right away, and Coach Miles is going to do and say everything possible to land a talent like Rasco.”

Perhaps Phillip Geiggar can diffuse the situation with a couple well placed comments planted by Muschamp. Comments that make mention of Joseph Barksdale and Russell Sheppard and the pitch Miles used on them.

In any case, the Horns certainly have some work to do.

Predictions On How the Horns Close—“He does think better with that bat!”

Malcolm Brown
Odds of Committing 100 percent up 1% percent from last week (“I’m sexually aroused by that commander”)

Yes, we’re that good. We told you Brown was done deal at every turn. I wish we would have had a blog when we predicted the Jeffcoat, Hicks, Westerman, and Turner commitments before anyone else. Kudos to Sailor Ripley for coming down to Rucker park and pulling me out of retirement.

But now the Brown recruitment really gets interesting. We have to validate what we’ve been selling Pappa Brown. You coffee-is-for-closers guys know all about service after the sale. The product happens to be our running game.

Just give me between 4-5 yards per carry vs. UCLA, OU, and Nebraska and Brown will sign. No jet sweeps or reverses please. Coach Saban may be as ethical as Colonel Nathan Gessep, but he’s an X’s and O’s wizard who will point out any running game issues we have. And he has Pappa Brown’s ear.

Jermauria Rasco
Odds of committing: 50 percent down from 60 percent.

Texas needs to counter punch the depth chart question with combination of innovation and manhood challenging. Something along the lines of:

“Look, we plan on playing the best players and playing them in waves. You’ll get snaps. Unless of course you don’t think you can compete with a bunch of kids we recruited who were ranked lower than you by the services. Tell us now so we can give your ship to a placekicker.”

I think Rasco comes around because Texas can sell him on being the only pure defensive end they’re taking in this class since Reed is likely going to grow out of the position at some point.

Aaron Green
Odds of Committing: 20 percent, down from 40 percent last week (Maybe, if we work at it, we can get Dawson charged with the Kennedy assassination.)

With the impending commitment of Malcolm Brown and the hyper-interest the Texas staff has in 2012 super prospect Jonathan Gray, the odds of a Green commitment are becoming more of a pipe dream. The staff loves Green’s specialty skills but with the numbers as tight as they are, it would be tough to justify taking three running backs in this class. Especially if Seferian-Jenkins and Rasco decide to come.

Austin SeferiaJenkins
Odds of Committing: Still 95 percent

ASJ has basically recruited the Longhorns and the Longhorns reciprocated only after they figured the talented tight end from the state of Washington was completely serious about the 40 Acres and not the Yellow Rose. It would be a huge coup to grab the best tight end in the nation, along with the best O-lineman, arguably the best running back, and the best one or two defensive tackles.

Anthony Wallace
Odds of Committing 10 percent down from 50 percent

The odds are down from last week mostly because there’s a feeling with my sources that the staff has moved on for some reason and it doesn’t seem to have much to do with ability.

“The numbers are super tight already, and you’d hate to take a guy who’s not going to be an every down player. Wallace is a first and second down player especially in our league. He’s a very good one, but we feel like our resources are better spent on every down guys even if they’re a tick less talented," one source told us.

Another source I talked with, more of regional guy, claims that some schools have even backed off Wallace for some reason.

“If he’s not going to Texas then you would think other schools beside Oklahoma would step up and throw their hat in the ring but that hasn’t happened. Even A&M seems to have backed off. Perhaps he’s a silent to Oklahoma or perhaps he waiting for a re-offer from UT, but it doesn’t seem like he’s a priority for the Ags. I haven’t heard any off the field rumors like grades or the sort, so who knows. It’s strange.”

David Jenkins
Odds of Committing 25 percent

Jenkins is every bit the cornerback prospect that was Charles Jackson, if not better. He’s faster than Jackson and he has a much better frame to fill out into a more physical player. Jenkins currently holds a conditional offer from the Texas staff if the numbers work out. It also helps that he plays a position of need for the Longhorns.

If there’s some attrition on the 85 man roster in the coming months or if the 2011 class doesn’t fill up like the coaches think, Jenkins might be fully offered. The coaches are certainly going to watch the talented DB this season and seal the deal if and when the time is right.

2012 Prospects to Watch

If you want to know “Who the fuck is PFC William P. Santiago” in terms of the 2012 cock-studs of recruiting, one of our man scouts/sources has compiled the following early list of the best player in the state at each position. It’s never too early to take a look at the class of 2012. Now these cats are only going to be juniors so there will be some changes. But right now these guys are doing it the most for us.

DE Mario Edwards, Denton Ryan

He’s only been playing football for a couple of years so he has a lot of upside. Very good strength and athletic enough to also play receiver for Prosper. Listed anywhere from 6’2” and 6’5”, but it’s always a good rule of thumb to trust the shorter. Better than any DE in this year’s class. Transferred to Denton Ryan where he’ll get better coaching and playing time against better competition. Ryan head coach Joey Florence is a Mack Brown guy.

S LaDarrell McNeil, Dallas Smith

This dude’s a witch. Four year starter at safety. The film below is from his freshman year. What stands out to me is his ability to mix it up despite being a bit undersized. Remember what Royal said about pups that bite?

Young Pup.

OL Curtis Riser, DeSoto

He’s better than Marcus Hutchins and Evan Washington although Washington might have a higher ceiling. Texas will be in the mix, and we’ll stay in the mix with any Desoto player as long as Claude Mathis is the head man there: quality guy, loves Mack.

RB Jonathan Gray, Aledo

Son of former Tech great James Gray. He reportedly likes Texas, and his dad likes OU. Does he like Texas enough to follow Malcolm Brown?

WR Thomas Johnson, Dallas Skyline

Transferred to ridiculously talented Skyline in the spring after playing QB for some private school in Arlington. Smart move. He’ll make the move to receiver for Skyline this fall. May have more big time offers than any junior to be in the state.

LB Derek David, Rockdale

Committed to Tech. Muschamp supposedly told the Rockdale coaches that David is the best linebacker he’s ever seen at that age. There are questions about his grades that Tech fans will say is nothing but sour grapes. Has a brother currently at Blinn who has already committed to Tech as well. Rule of thumb in sports, if you have two first names you better be a BAMF.

DT Malcolm Brown, Brenham

Better than anyone in the state not named Desmond Jackson. We always have a shot at a Brenham kid. So does A&M and increasingly so does Tech.

QB Matt Davis, Klein Forest

A dual threat quarterback from the Houston area. Guess who he idolizes? Yeah, so did Russell Shephard. Get ready for much gnashing of the teeth. Alabama has already offered.

CB Justin Thomas, West Orange Stark

Perhaps a bit of a homer pick, but Stark puts out athletes on par with anyone in the state. He’s Earl’s cousin/brother/son so Texas will of course get a look, and he’s holding offers from most of the Big 12 South. Ran a 21.76 200m at the state meet and also ran on both of WOS’s gold medal sprint relays.


From the FanTake blog: Recruitocosm

Follow on Twitter: @Recruitocosm


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