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Loud Links: 05|22|10

2010 NBA Draft: Which prospects have the most pro potential? - ESPN Insider
Where it gets interesting is with the last three, all of whom are likely second-round picks. We'll see whether there's a surprise in the bunch or conventional wisdom prevails. But I swear there was no pro-UVa bias involved in Sylven Landesberg's surprising rank. Rather, the Draft Rater just liked him and Greivis Vasquez because they had such solid ballhandling numbers at the wing positions.

As mentioned Greivis Vasquez and Sylven Landesberg are highly ranked in Chad Ford's Draft Rater. Vasquez was ranked #10 overall followed by Landesberg and St. Mary's Omar Samhan.

Former Texas Longhorns center Dexter Pittman leaves NBA draft combine after brother shot, killed - ESPN
Dexter Pittman, a senior at Texas and former Longhorns center, left the NBA draft combine Friday. Darius Johnson, Pittman's 15-year-old brother, was shot during a confrontation in Katy, Texas, and later died at a hospital.

Orton happy with NBA decision, not so happy with some fans' reaction |

Those fans had a point, which is almost more than you could say for Orton this season. Having to recover from the previous year's major knee surgery and beaten out by another freshman, DeMarcus Cousins, Orton got little playing time and scored few points. And his statistics reflected his playing time: 3.4 points per game, 3.3 rebounds per game, 13.2 minutes per game.

Yet the passion that some fans typically bring to UK basketball led them to insensitivity in Orton's case. Orton recalled a fan suggesting that he had used the death of his mother the previous year as an excuse for his low productivity.

"Using my mother as an 'escape-goat,' " Orton said before making sure reporters heard him clearly. "He said, 'escape-goat,' not scapegoat." The accusation infuriated his older brother, who wanted to fight the fan, Orton said.

The criticism hurt, Orton added. "I kind of shook my head," he said. "I tried to move on. That's what my mother always told me: Kill them with kindness."

Monroe, Vasquez lead local NBA hopefuls
Maryland senior point guard Greivis Vasquez had a much different experience than Monroe, since he worked out for NBA executives and coaches on Thursday and caught a flight back to College Park, where he graduated with a degree in American studies on Friday. Vasquez participated in the combine last season before deciding to go back for his senior season, but he couldn't pass up on an opportunity to walk with his class.

"That's another reason I went back," said Vasquez, a native of Venezuela. "That's an important accomplishment for me and my family. Now my whole country is involved in the whole NBA process -- all 24 million people -- and it's going to be even more impressive getting my degree."

Vasquez planned to return for the final day of activities on Saturday, but said he has already been assured that he will be drafted. Most mock drafts have him going in the second round, but Vasquez believes that any team would benefit from his experience of playing four years in college and with his national team.

"Look at the NBA, who's winning right now? The teams with the most experience," he said. "I'm just hoping I get with the right team and the right situation. I just want my chance. I know I'm a role player and eventually, I will become a good player in the league and be a starting point guard. I'm not trying to be a superstar like I was at Maryland."

Paul George | NBA Draft Combine | Spurs | 48 Minutes of Hell
Paul George envisions himself as an NBA shooting guard, although he’s fine switching between the 2, 3, and 4, depending on the floor match-ups. But mark this: he doesn’t want to play center.

George is a self-made wing. And it’s a fun story.

George’s dalliance with tall began at an early age. During his early years of organized basketball, YMCA coaches preferred to play him at center, which he detested. So he struck back. He gave up cartoons. "I stopped watching cartoons and practiced dribbling in the garage," George explained. "I wanted to be a wing. Wasn’t gonna play center. Had to give up the cartoons."

NBA draft 2010: Lance Stephenson, Dexter Pittman impress at Chicago combine - ESPN Insider
This year's Combine Man of Mystery was England's Ryan Richards. Richards is a long lefty from England who got the attention of a number of GMs when he stepped onto the floor. Richards shot the ball well, was very fluid running up and down the court and showed a sound basketball IQ. At one point during a break in the broadcast, an NBA director of player personnel came up to me asking me who Richards was and if I had his agent's contact info. For the rest of the time the power forwards were on the floor, all eyes were glued on him, in part because NBA GMs had never seen him in person.


With so many teams sporting multiple first-round picks (the Minnesota Timberwolves, Memphis Grizzlies, Oklahoma City Thunder and New Jersey Nets) I wouldn't be surprised if someone takes a shot at him late in the first round.

DraftExpress: West Coast Workout Swing Part 3: Joe Abunassar's Impact Basketball
In drills, [James] Anderson looked excellent, knocking down spot-up threes with ease and looking very smooth coming around screens, not surprising given his resume. He didn’t fare as well in scrimmages, however, not getting many open shots from his teammates and having to create virtually all of his offense out of isolations, which he did with mixed results. Many of the players here are a notch above Anderson athletically, and that’s something he didn’t seem to adjust to especially well in this setting, though it could have just been a bad day.

Page 3: A Rough Week For Channel 5 : The Lost Ogle
But what did the masses want to see Sunday? The Eastern Conference Finals, or Rick Mitchell talking about dark clouds and hail? It wasn’t life or death. So Channel 5 hung with some boring weather coverage because it was "necessary". And what did everyone do? Changed the channel. That’s what I did. I WAS watching it. But then they cut in and so I found something else. It shouldn’t take all afternoon to tell me it’s hailing. I’ll even accept a few cut-ins here and there so that I can be assured that an F14 isn’t barreling down on my house. But to just hog the whole afternoon is stupid. NBC kept a hockey game going for extended periods. Hockey! But the Eastern Conference Finals in a state that is NBA batty right now? Forget it. Here, look at some Doppler radar footage and a still picture of the sky instead.