Three articles about UVA Athletics that p’d me off

chris graham uva basketballIt’s not Festivus, but it’s time for airing of grievances, and I’ve got a lot of problems with you people.

Ahem. Actually, not you people, but specifically, three people.

First, this guy, who lists Malcolm Brogdon at the top of his list of “NBA Offseason Moves We Celebrated Way Too Quickly.”

Brogdon, as you know, signed with the Indiana Pacers, for four years and $85 million.

The issue that Mandela Namaste has with Brogdon is that he ranked 40th among point guards in usage rate last year, that and also that Brogdon shot 26.7 percent on pull-up threes.

I can’t explain away the pull-up threes thing, though I can point out that Brogs shot 42.6 percent on threes overall last season, which you may remember was sorta historic, in that our guy also shot 50.5 percent from the floor and 92.8 percent from the line, making him the 10th player ever – ever! – in the 50-40-90 club.

The usage stat is easy: um, he played with this guy, Giannis Antetokounmpo, that you may have heard of. Big guy, that the Bucks decided, probably wisely, to run the offense through.

I’m not sure why, but Milwaukee box scores always listed Brogdon as a point guard.

He’s not a point guard. He’s never been a point guard.

He’s a two guard. And a damn good one.

When Victor Oladipo returns in December or January, the Pacers will have a formidable, versatile, starting backcourt, and with Jeremy Lamb, another free-agent signee, coming off the bench, damn, that’s close to an embarrassment of riches there.

Dumb column.

Next, this guy, who has De’Andre Hunter second on his list of “NBA Rookies Who Won’t Live Up to Their Draft Spot.”

“Hunter may turn into a fine role player, even as a rookie. But he won’t finish as a top-five prospect from this class.”

How much does Jonathan Wasserman flub this one?

Hunter, Wasserman opines, lacks athleticism, “isn’t a blow-by athlete” or “explosive finisher,” and “even his jump shot comes with legitimacy questions.”

Um okay, dude. Hunter was 43.8 percent on threes last year, so, “legitimacy questions,” shove them, 68.6 percent on shots at the rim, not bad for a guy who can’t get past people or finish.

“The New Orleans Pelicans, who turned No. 4 into summer league stars Jaxson Hayes and Nickeil Alexander-Walker, will wind up thanking Atlanta for falling in love with Hunter.”

Jaxon Hayes? The one-year non-wonder from Texas? Kid was sitting on the bench for his high-school team two years ago.

Alexander-Walker was absolutely owned by Hunter every time they matched up.

Dumb column.

Last, this guy, who has Bryce Hall going in the second or third round of the 2020 NFL Draft, which is fine, but the reason why, just dumb.

Two words: “pedestrian speed.”

Here’s your pedestrian speed, dude.

For reference, there were three guys in the NFL in 2018 who hit 22 mph. Three.

Try harder next time.

Column by Chris Graham

uva basketball team of destiny

Team of Destiny: Inside UVA Basketball's improbable run

Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.

The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

augusta free press


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