Friday, March 30, 2012

News On The Horizon 3/30/2012

Ballin’: Gordon Hayward Had a Block Party in the Boston Garden*--The Big Lead
Video: Gordon Hayward — destroyer of Celtics, improver of defense--Ball Don't Lie
Utah Jazz talk tougher, but still must prove themselves--Salt Lake Tribune

The dirt’s rubbed off on Gordon Hayward. Last year, he too often was a fresh-faced kid from Butler who deferred and backed down. This season, Hayward has at times been a revelation.

He was Utah’s premier player Wednesday. Hayward attacked as soon as the ball touched his hands, scoring a team-high 19 points and delivering two nasty blocks in just five seconds.

The 22-year-old, who has defensively held his own against everyone from Kevin Durant to LeBron James, has quickly learned the best approach in a respect-driven league is a physical one.

"You kind of have to put your hands on people and really kind of force them away from what they want to do. There’s a lot of guys in the NBA that don’t like that. They don’t appreciate that," Hayward said. "You’re going to have some scuffles here and there. We have guys that aren’t going to back down or anything like that. We definitely can be a tough team."

Monson: The Jazz’s Great Race has started--Salt Lake Tribune

On the last laps of an exhausting season, the Jazz should be fresher than every team they play. Getting up the floor isn’t always their forte, but they should make the attempt to emphasize transition and simply wear opponents out. Run the floor like Gordon Hayward does. The Jazz defense has improved, creating more opportunities for them.

Wizards vs. Pacers: Indiana’s final push downs Washington--Washington Post

Wizards guard Shelvin Mack makes his return to Indy, where he led Butler to the national championship game. But it wasn’t a triumphant return for the rookie.

Butler basketball’s Brad Stevens to provide analysis on CBS Final Four show--The Indy Star

Bulldogs Active At Women's Final

Miami Heat’s Big 3 leads balanced effort over Dallas Mavericks--Miami Herald

The Heat also got a strong spark from Udonis Haslem and Norris Cole off the bench.

Cole, who has struggled recently, shot 5 of 9 from the field and finished with 10 points and two assists. Many of his contributions came early as the Heat staved off some early Dallas sharpshooting.

Heat sweep season series from Mavs; home win streak at 15--South Florida Sun Sentinel

It was a balanced effort from the Heat's stars, with Bosh and James scoring 19 apiece and Wade adding 16. It also was a well-rounded effort, with Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole, Udonis Haslem, Shane Battier and Ronny Turiaf also having their moments in supporting roles.

Season Wrap-Up: Michigan State--Rush The Court

In a nutshell: It sounds like a broken record by now, but this team really recaptured what has made Michigan State basketball so great over the years — defense, rebounding, toughness, and chemistry — after it had been lacking, particularly with last year’s group. Draymond Green emerged as one of the best players in college basketball, not to mention the most valuable, with his incredible arsenal of capabilities. Role players like Austin Thornton and Brandon Wood as well as freshmen Travis Trice and Branden Dawson produced. Izzo was not shy in saying how much he loved this team and he had good reason to.

Drew is staying, but Crusaders already getting long term plans in order--The Post-Tribune
Bryce Drew is staying, but Valpo is preparing for the inevitable--Off The Mark
Drew stays at Valparaiso, gets contract extension--The NWI Times
Edwards, Vucic to leave VU--The NWI Times
In photos: MSU basketball 2012-13 player-by-player analysis--The Detroit News

What's the outlook for next season? Coach Tom Izzo will miss the leadership and all-around excellence of consensus All-American Draymond Green, Brandon Wood's 3-point shooting and Austin Thornton's defense and rebounding.

Edwards, Vucic to Transfer From Crusader

YSU’s Perry, Zuiker to transfer--Youngstown Vindicator

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