It's been some time but we're bringing back the Basketball Mailbag. Shit, it can be about anything you want - college hoops, NBA, Draft, not even hoops if you want. We did this every Friday when we had basketball in our lives so we'll bring it back every once in a while.
Hell yeah, it's May which means we're getting to talk about the Knicks draft. This might sound weird, but I don't want anything to do with James Wiseman, even if he's a top-3 prospect for me. Why? The Knicks need to just develop Mitchell Robinson + you have Julius Randle under contract. With this team sucking load up on the wings and guard spots. That's why I want LaMelo Ball or Anthony Edwards. Those are my top two and it's not exactly shocking to hear that. Get as many guards as possible and both can be lead guards. If the Knicks fall out of the top-3, I'd say someone like Obi Toppin could be intriguing since how versatile he is. But again, just give me a guard.
I'm not sure where this is coming from but I've gotten this a handful of times. If Xavier fans are really trying to run Travis Steele out of town after 2 years they are fucking crazy. Let the guy get his guys in the system. This is his first time ever being a head coach. You have to give him at least 4 years. Plus, Xavier is weird in a way. They are a great program and have had a great history of coaches, but it's clear that they will lose them to the blueblood type programs. Let Steele build his program. You want to keep a coach as long as possible at Xavier. I really like KyKy Tandy and if he can just start recruiting more shooters and space out the offense, they'll be fine.
Sticking just to college there are very few but I really enjoyed watching Taurean Green at Florida and Jay Williams was just so fucking good at Duke. Other than no one.
It depends. If Olivier Sarr gets a waiver and is eligible this season then they are good. They have enough depth and mix of spots that they don't need to bring someone else in. That's the biggest thing I remind people. Depth doesn't mean going 10 deep, that's too deep. You nee dto have a 7-8 man rotation that you can rely on every single game. If Sarr is eligible you have that with Mintz/Askew/Jackson/Sarr/Boston/Clarke/Brooks/Ware/Fletcher and even Allen. You don't need to add another body to the mix with that. Now if Sarr has to sit out and doesn't get a waiver, then yeah, you need another big. Especially with how Calipari likes to play his bigs and run those sets, you need another big for that spot.
Yeah, I don't really get why they did that ESPECIALLY this year when games vs close opponents are going to happen more and more. It's a game that needs to happen with how close the two programs are and I really like what Keith Dambrot is doing at Duquesne. Plus who is Pitt going to add? If it's a buy-game sure it's a win, but it doesn't help the resume. Duquesne has a chance to be a Quad 2 win. Pitt has a good fanbase for high school basketball and the Zoo was rocking back in the Jamie Dixon/Ben Howland days. This is a weird decision.
This is a tough one as I love all 3 players. I'm going to go with start: Maxey, bench: Bey, Cut: Vassell. I think you know what you're getting with Bey and while that's a positive and really fucking good I'm going to take my chances with the higher upside Maxey. Plus, it's not like Maxey is a reach or anything like that. I know some people within the NBA have him as a top-5 prospect. That said, all 3 guys are going to be damn good. Vassell was arguably the most underrated player in the country last year.
We'll see what happens with rosters and who comes back, but the ceiling is winning the Big 10. I know they ended hot this year and they return a bunch but one thing to remember is how close their games were. The final 8-game winning streak 5 games under 10 and 3 of those games under 5 points. The question is, was that a luck thing or Wisconsin just closing games. That said, they'll be a favorite to win the Big 10. I think that's the ceiling. Who knows for the NCAA Tournament because again, it's matchup based. Again, we'll see what happens with who comes back and what not but feel like they'l be consensus top-15.
This is a close call too but I'll lean Winston. I think he's a bit better in the NBA game with the high pick and roll and ability to both shoot + pass. I don't think he'll be as good as Monte Morris, but he has that sort of feel to his game at the next level. Just a consistent second point guard, which is important today. Dotson has higher upside to me, but if I had to bet who has the better career I'd slightly lean Winston.