Category Archives: Entertainment

Adrien Broner vs Marcos Maidana


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Updated: December 14, 2013
This post was originally published at Houndsports.com

broner-maidana

Adrien Broner and Marcos Maidana had no problems with the scale at their last press conference before getting in the ring  for their bout at the Alamodome in San Antonio , Texas. Neither boxers struggled with making weight with Broner weighing in at 144.4 pounds, and Maidana 146.2 pounds.

Things got a little heated later when Broner began to heckle the Argentine , Maidana responded and Bernard Hopkins had to go on stage to separate them.

Adrien Broner came up and spoke as usual, with the arrogance, does not fear the power of his opponent and is sure to keep him undefeated.

“Maidana never fought with me , has never seen anyone like me in the ring , I feel good , I’ve eaten lots of ice cream .”

“I have to stay focused, I will not fall into distractions , I will not lie : this is the biggest fight of my career , he will try to hurt me, so I’m ready.”

” The plan is to go out and hit Broner , keep busy. I’m ready to throw a lot of punches and push it throughout the fight . I am also ready to cut off the ring ” Maidana went on to say.

The fighters are ready and just waiting for the first bell.

 

Here is the under card for tonight

Thurman Keith 145.8 vs . Jesus Soto Karass 146.2

( Interim WBA Welterweight Title )

Leo Santa Cruz vs 121.4 . Cesar Seda 121.6

( WBC Super Bantamweight Title )

Beibut Shumenov vs 175 . Tamas Kovacs 174.4

( WBA Heavyweight Title )

Antonio Lopez

Antonio Lopez

An unapologetic Clippers fan Antonio has always been a writer and sports fan at heart but other than his love for writing, he also fancies non-fiction books, cartoons, road trips, beaches, and cats. Antonio is in charge of maintaining the HoundSports webpage and is also an editor for the site.

Breaking Down the Danny Granger-Evan Turner Trade


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Updated: February 20, 2014

Breaking Down the Danny Granger-Evan Turner Trade

The first NBA trade deadline with new commissioner Adam Silver has come and gone. Not a whole heck of a lot happened as many big names such as Rajon Rondo and Iman Shumpert stayed put. The biggest headline was that a lot of contending teams played it safe and didn’t do anything. It really was shaping up to be a dud of a day until late when the Indiana Pacers traded Danny Granger to the 76ers for Evan Turner. The rest of the deal is that the Pacers will get Lavoy Allen for a second round pick in the 2015 draft.

The Pacers get Turner, a player who is making strides offensively but still a work in progress. He is averaging 17.4 points per game and 6 rebounds, but his shooting could use some work. 43 from the field and 29 from beyond the arc does not cut it for a team contending for a championship. His numbers are a little deceiving since he is playing for Philly and his on-ball defense is spotty at best. Indy clears out 7 million in cap, and gets a few young players who have played some major minutes in playoff games in their young career. To go even further, it shows that the time is now for the Pacers to win. With both Turner and Lance Stephenson becoming free agents, it is very unlikely that both will sign with the Pacers. Indy will probably let Turner walk and keep Stephenson, who has been a triple threat machine this year. The Pacers also have acquired Andrew Bynum during the season, trying to attack Miami’s lack of big men. These moves of low risk potential high reward players make sense for this team trying to knock off the Heat. This is essentially the same formula the Heat used the past few seasons. The core is there for the Pacers and with the East being atrocious this year it makes sense to go all in.

But the part that makes this trade fair has yet to blossom. For the 76ers, they are in full on tank mode and by letting go of Turner that just signifies it even more. But it can only go up for Philly. They have young talent in Michael Carter-Williams and have their eyes on the number one draft pick with a highly touted class coming in. They could try to sign Granger in the offseason but his best years are behind him. The 76ers also acquired numerous draft picks in a very busy day, and could end up with 7 in this year’s upcoming draft (two 1st rounders). With Granger presumably gone, the 76ers are looking to clear up cap space to potentially team up with Thaddeus Young and the mystery that is Nerlens Noel. The offseason is the season of hope for Philly, as they could potentially have $26 million in cap room to try to sign a max guy. While Philly isn’t the ideal free agent destination money always talks. While it looks like the Pacers may have gotten the better deal now, it could be the 76ers who have the last laugh.

Isaac Luken

Isaac Luken

Born and raised in Maine, Isaac is currently a junior at the New England School of Communications majoring in sports journalism. Being a Mainer he roots hard for the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, and Bruins. He also supports many college teams mainly the University of Maine and Syracuse. Basketball is his favorite sport, but Isaac enjoys most sports, especially football and tennis. He is a fan of color in jerseys, mascots, and kickers. Follow him on Twitter @iluken00

Syracuse: Hideous Uniforms Foreshadow Loss To ACC Rival Boston College


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Updated: February 19, 2014

Syracuse: Hideous Uniforms Foreshadow Loss To ACC Rival Boston College

 

In uniforms that would have made David Bowie grin from ear-to-ear, No.1 Syracuse fell to Atlantic Coast Conference rival Boston College 62-59 in overtime at the Carrier Dome on Wednesday night.

 

    Guilty of raiding the same storage facility hiding 1979 Vancouver Canucks sweaters, Syracuse further tortured their fans by playing on par with the aesthetic embarrassment they chose for attire.

Syracuse: Hideous Uniforms Foreshadow Loss To ACC Rival Boston College

(Rich Barnes/Getty Images)

 

    Leading by 8 points at halftime, and as many as 13 in the second half, Syracuse watched as the Eagles from Chestnut Hill mounted a comeback that I still haven’t wrapped my head around.

    An offense that scored just 17 points in the games opening 20 minutes, Boston College found its stride in the second half. Sophomore guard Olivier Hanlan led the charge, scoring 20 points on 6-14 shooting, including a  game-tying layup in the final seconds of regulation.

    Hanlan and fellow sophomore guard Joe Rahon each connected on 3 triples, leading an Eagles team that finished 11-22 from deep. Junior Ryan Anderson grabbed 14 rebounds and fellow classmen Lonnie Jackson hit 4 free throws in the final minute of overtime to give the Eagles just their third win over a Division-I team since November.

    The win snapped BC’s 5 game losing streak and hopefully knocked some sense into a Syracuse fanbase that began selling “We Beat Duke!” t-shirts after the Orange defeated then No. 19 Duke at the Carrier Dome. I’d make some smartass remark about selling such t-shirts, but I attend a university whose football program’s biggest accomplishment is losing 48-20 to Oklahoma in the 2011 Fiesta Bowl. Different sports, sure, but the level of stupidity is parallel.

    Improving to 3-10 in ACC play, Boston College and head coach Steve Donahue earn a win that will hopefully create some momentum in an otherwise disappointing season. With an early season matchup at TD Garden against upstart UMass, and a November date with UConn at Madison Square Garden, preseason buzz surrounding a young Boston College team was high. However, following an 0-3 start, including a 95-92 loss to MAC powerhouse Toledo, the bandwagon appeared to hit a boulder, burst into flames and veer into a tornado.

There was brief hope that our Boston-bound wagon could be patched up after a win over PAC-10 property Washington, but an unconvincing overtime victory over Sacred Heart and a streak of 7 losses in 8 games signaled the end to any fanbase reclamation projects.

Though highly unlikely to matter when tournament time rolls around, tonight’s win allows some breathing room for a coach on the hot seat, Donahue, and a group of players who were synonymous with underachieving.

For Syracuse, their loss creates an opportunity to grow before they eventually fall apart in March. I’m not trying to insult them, it’s just a trend that has become a staple for northern New York’s most successful basketball program.

Squeaking out wins against No. 25 Pittsburgh and unranked NC State by a combined 3 points, the Orange have had warning signs about possible chinks in their seemingly perfect armor. Hey, maybe they could turn that into a t-shirt – “We Have A Chink In The Armor! Trust Me, We Lost To A Team That’s 7-19!” Their marketing guy or gal will probably come up with something better, but I’m pretty content with what I just submitted. I’d wear that t-shirt. Sorry if I’m getting sidetracked, it’s been a long day.

    With Syracuse’s loss,  No. 3 Wichita State (27-0) stands alone as college basketball’s lone unbeaten team. Wichita State, or “They got corn there?” as they’re known to thousands of drunks at sports bars across the country, faces pushovers Drake and Bradley before concluding their season at home against gritty Missouri State (17-10, 7-8 MVC) at home. The games against Bradley and Missouri State will be televised on ESPN2, and I think that’s pretty cool.

    Syracuse will look to bounce back from this horror show of a performance on Saturday as they travel to Durham for a date with Mike Krzyzewski and the No.5  Duke Blue Devils. Boston travels to Coral Gables, Florida on Saturday for a matinee showdown with a Miami Hurricanes team that has kept itself in check and refrained from committing any NCAA violations.

Nolan Cardwell

Nolan Cardwell

When he isn’t wolfing down Annie’s Pasta, Nolan can be found bricking jump shots on the basketball court. He is an avid supporter of all Boston sports teams, as well as Latvian hockey club Dinamo Riga. If this whole sports writing thing doesn’t work out he’s probably going to become a mailman, which is good because he really needs the exercise.

UPDATED: 2014 NBA Mock Draft


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Updated: February 20, 2014
This post was originally published on Houndsports.com

wiggins 1

HoundSports 2014 NBA Mock Draft

Check Out Picks 16-30 with our 2014 NBA Mock Draft Part 2

Updated 2.18.2014

2014 NBA Draft Fact or Fiction:

The 2014 NBA Draft is a draft worth tanking for because it is loaded with franchise saving players?” Fiction.

The 2014 NBA Draft is indeed a very deep draft, just no clear-cut superstars.” Fact

               This is a good draft, don’t mistake skepticism for negativity, there are many awesome players that I would be thrilled to add to my favorite NBA club. However, it is appearing less-likely that there are obvious franchise-saving superstars in the 2014 NBA Draft.

There are two kinds of superstars though. There are the kind of players who were always going to be a superstar regardless of the team they were drafted to. Kevin Love is a fine example of a guy who was always going to be a superstar. He was drafted to a bad team, with a coach who couldn’t recognize his talent and possibly even stunted his development as a player, but Love prevailed and has turned into one of the 10 or so best players in the NBA.

On the other hand you have Paul George. He was kind of a dicey pick, an inconsistent player who drifted through most of his two seasons at the smaller Fresno State, but he went to the perfect team. The Pacers put George on a strong program and brought him along at the appropriate pace and Paul George himself deserves a lot of credit for working at his game to get to that point.

I am confident there are no Kevin Love’s in this draft. There is not a single player who isn’t going to be situation-dependent on developing his talents. However, I do think there could be a lot more guys in the Paul George style of “how to get a star” then is let on. From Embiid and Parker at the top of the draft to Jordan Adams, James Young, Noah Vonleh and others…there is a lot of talent, but it’s not a guarantee.

I’ll note this later, but James Young is a guy I think is the perfect example of how cruel the NBA Draft can be. If I wasn’t confident in my team’s culture, I would be terrified of drafting him but if I was a stable organization with a good foundation of leadership there is a chance Young could be a very good scorer on the perimeter as he certainly has the raw athletic ability to do so.

The NBA Draft is a good reality check for where your organization is at. Draft productive players early, take fliers later. The 2014 NBA Draft will be one that has a positive impact on a number of teams, but as always there will be trap picks to steer clear of.

 

1)    Joel Embiid—7’0, 250 Freshman Center, Kansas:

embiid

 

2/18: The word is out on Joel Embiid. He’s no longer that “sneaky guy who might be the best player in the draft but could go 3-5 instead of 1,” but now it seems he almost stands on an island by himself as the clear-cut best prospect in the draft. That doesn’t mean he will automatically be the best player, but he’s on the fast-track towards stardom.

1/3: I’m going to call it right now: Joel Embiid will be an All-Star center as long as he can fix one issue in his game. He needs to stop fouling. Of all the amazing thing Joel Embiid does his 6.5 fouls per40 minutes are holding him back from truly putting together one of the best season by a center in recent college basketball history.

While his foul situation limits him to only 21 minutes per game, Embiid is still capable of making a huge impact on the court in his time. Want to know a funny stat? Andrew Wiggins, who I like and still think he’s got a shot at being pretty special in the NBA, is averaging 1.4 assists per game in 31 mpg, while Embiid is averaging 1.3 apg.

NBA Comp: Marc Gasol

Still like the Marc Gasol call for Embiid. Not too many big men that can move, pass, defend, shoot and do all the crazy things Embiid can do, but Gasol is one of them. Embiid has the attitude and work ethic of a winner and I can’t wait to see what he does in the NBA.

 

2)    Jabari Parker—6’9, 225 Freshman Forward, Duke:

parker

2/18: Guys who can score with volume, do it with efficiency and contribute in other areas of the game are very rare. We get 10-20 players a decade that have the potential ceiling Parker has.

He’s got a chance to average more than 1.5 steals and 1.5 blocks per game to go along with his tremendous scoring and rebounding ability. I am continually amazed at Parker’s well rounded game and he still has made a very compelling case for the first pick in the draft. Ultimately it might come down to fit between Embiid and Parker.

NBA Comp: Dirk Nowitzki

While Parker might end up being a little more freakish on the defensive end than Dirk is (Dirk also being underrated defensively), I think he will be an instant contender for the best forward for the next ten years once he steps on to the court. Similarly to Dirk, I imagine the best road to success is a defensive powerhouse center, a good pick and roll point guard and a slew of shooters to compliment Parker’s talents.

 

4)    Dante Exum—6’6, 195 Guard, Australia:

exum

2/18: After digging deep into video and statistical analysis of Exum’s game, it’s clear he is an elite prospect in this draft. The awkwardness of trying to scout internationally and compare it to collegiately seems to be recipe for sleeping on really good international players in most drafts. However, in Exum’s case it appears this won’t be an issue.

Exum is going to be in the top 3-5 contenders for “most athletic” player in this draft, but his amazing handle and ability to get to the rim are what separates him from the rest of the players in his peer group. He is lightning quick with his first step and his handle and mixing in his incredible size it makes him nearly unstoppable in the international league.

Exum’s max ceiling might be higher than anyone in this draft, but for him to ever fully realize his potential he’s going to have to improve his outside shooting.  His career three point percentages is in the 30% neighborhood and that is going to have to at least get to about 35% for him to fully turn into the player he can be.

NBA Comparison: Penny Hardaway

 

3)     Marcus Smart—6’4, 200 Sophomore Guard, Oklahoma St.

marcus smart

1/30: Marcus Smart gets the nod above Andrew Wiggins. I was chatting with a friend about draft stuff and he asked me “gun to your head are you going Smart or Wiggins,” and honestly I said Smart so naturally I felt I had to represent it that way as well in my Mock Draft. I like Wiggins, but I am so comfortable with Marcus Smart that, unless it’s situational driven, I’m not sure I could take Wiggins over him.

Smart has been doing this for 2 straight years: he’s a prolific playmaker and defensive player, who struggles to be consistent with the 3 ball but otherwise is a pretty good scorer. You know what you are going to get. He has a much higher floor than Wiggins and possibly an equivalent ceiling.

Why I say that is, Smart’s usage is incredibly high (30%) and it is very unlikely an NBA team uses him this much. If his usage is lowered to a more realistic 20-24% for an elite point guard, his weakness: three point shooting efficiency and turnovers are likely to improve.  If you watch Smart play he takes a lot of late in the shot clock 3 pointers and occasionally will try and force plays that aren’t there because he has to carry so much of the load for Oklahoma State.

I love Smart. He’s one of the safest picks in the draft and also has some pretty high upside that is requisite of being a top 5 pick.

NBA Comp: Chauncey Billups

The credit for this: My buddy @vjl_bball gets the nod for the Chauncey Billups comparison. If you love the NBA and enjoy statistical analysis I would HIGHLY recommend following him on twitter, he’s easily one of the best basketball minds on the internet. And I’m including guys like Marc Stine and Chad Ford in that conversation as well.

The Billups comparison is so spot on. A bigger point guard, excellent athletically, a  great play maker and defensive player while needing to improve his jumper before he can be an elite guy. Billups ended up being one of the best point guards in the NBA for about 8 years and I think that is kind of the ceiling Marcus Smart has.

 

5)    Noah Vonleh—6’10, 240 Power Forward, Indiana

vonleh

2.18: If I have a top 7 pick in the 2014 Draft and I need a Power Forward, Noah Vonleh would be my target and not Julius Randle. Vonleh has a similar scoring upside as Randle, he’s averaging 18 pp40, 54% FG%, 22% USG% and a sneaky 35% 3P%, which shows he has the ability to score the basketball and is a significantly better athlete than Randle as well.

In terms of off-ball prowess, there are few who can equal Vonleh as a post. He gets you 2.3 blocks, 1.5 steals and nearly 15 rebounds per40, which puts him in epic company as far as the 2014 Draft is concerned.

Vonleh is both production-wise a superior prospect and upside-wise a superior prospect to Julius Randle. He was a very highly-touted recruit as well and could easily be the guy in the 2014 Draft that teams instantly regret passing on.

NBA Comp: Serge Ibaka

I’m feeling pretty good about Vonleh as one of my absolute must draft guys for people not in the top 3 of this draft. Ibaka was a sleeper coming into the pros and in a similar way I could see Vonleh being that as well. His offensive game is more fluid and natural than Ibaka’s looked earlier in his career, I think Vonleh could quickly exceed Ibaka on offense but I like the style Ibaka plays as the comp for Vonleh. He’s a long and athletic defensive ace who is competent around the hoop and has some decent range.

 

6)    Andrew Wiggins—6’8, 200 Freshman Small Forward, Kansas:

wiggins 1

I’m starting to get back on the Andrew Wiggins bandwagon. I admit, I was one of the guys who jumped off farily early on, but I think the guy has shown enough to justify a top 5 pick in this draft…Just maybe not enough to tank for. You can read my full feature on Wiggins here.

2/18: Knocking Wiggins down to 6 is not a slight on him, but more that I have a much more defined opinion on a few other players ahead of him. Could Wiggins certainly turn into a superstar? I think he has that upside. He’s an excellent defender already and has potential to incredibly improve in that area as well. He score at the rim and shoot the three pointer as well…it’s just getting to the rim that is the problem.

The lack of an even college-level handle has really held Wiggins back in his freshmen season and could be the single most important aspect of his professional development as well. If he can take notes from Paul George and do whatever magical ball handling program he did (if there really is a Paul George ball handling program, he should be selling it to every suburban AAU kid on the planet) Wiggins could have a chance at reaching that superstar potential. Personally, I hope Wiggins drops in the draft a little bit just to light a fire under him. He could use a wake-up call to make sure he takes his development seriously.

1/30: Wiggins has looked a lot better as of late. In his past three games he is averaging 24.3 points per game and I shooting well over 50% from the field (and 3’s, which is encouraging). It looks like he might be starting to figure a few things out scoring-wise. He’s gotten to the line 6, 10 and 12 times in the respective games which I LOVE to see.

Not to be the Debbie-downer, but the reality is he has only recorded an assist in one of those three games (in which he did have 5). He hits the boards well and plays solid defense, but he absolutely need to improve his overall playmaking if he wants to be an elite prospect in the 2014 NBA Draft

 

7)    Julius Randle—6’9, 250 Power Forward, Kentucky:

Kentucky-Julius-Randle

1/30: I am very close to dropping Randle down a few spots in my Mock Draft, but he continues to do just enough to make it tough for me to believe he won’t be a top 5 pick.  He can score and he can board, and guys like that generally have a place in the NBA.

If it ends up he’s not athletic enough to score at-will on professionals the team drafting him could be looking at the next Anthony Bennett type scenario though.

For reference sake

PPG    RPG   BLK%   STL%   3P%  USG%

Player  1      16.1    10.2   2.8%     0.8%  18%   27%

Player  2       16.1    8.1    5.6%    1.5%  38%   27.5%

Player 2 is Anthony Bennett. Be worried.

NBA Comp: Jamal Mashburn

Mash was kind of miscast in the older days of the NBA. He was still a very effective Small Forward for nearly a decade, averaging 18 points, 5 rebound and 4 assists but I wonder what would have happened if they would have played him at the 4? I think Julius Randle might be a roundabout way of seeing what that could have been like.

 

8)    Willie Cauley-Stein—7’1, 250 C, Kentucky:   

WCS

 

I have liked WCS dating all the way back to last year’s draft. He has the potential of an absolute stud defensive player and that has only grown this season.  His per40 numbers are 5.3 blocks, 2 steals and 14 rebounds which puts him in absolute elite territory. To match his impressive defensive ability he also has a very efficient offensive game that shows a player who knows what he is and doesn’t try to do too much, but is very effective in his role.

He’s an athletic 7 footer that can move on the defensive end. On that alone he is worth a top 10 pick.

 

NBA Comp: Omer Asik

Asik is one of the absolute best defensive centers in the NBA with a DefRAPM of 5.4 which puts him in Joakim Noah, Marc Gasol and Dwight Howard company and he has a very competent but limited offensive game. I project WCS to be a similar type of player, an absolute monster defensively who won’t kill you (while not helping you) type of offensive player.

 

9)   Jordan Adams—6’6, 220 Shooting Guard, UCLA:

2013 Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational - Northwestern v UCLA

Look, I don’t know what to tell you. Jordan Adams is a killer-freaking good prospect and is being criminally underrated by the more popular draft websites right now. He’s James Harden like on offense (25 points per 40, 64% TS%) and Victor Oladipo like on defense (13% DREB, 6.6% STL). Adams is looking to be the perfect off-guard prospect in a league where the off guard position is incredibly thin.

I don’t know if there is something other scouts are seeing that I am missing, but even when I watch him play he seems like an incredibly active guy who is always involved in the offense and a menace on defense. I’m calling it now, come NBA combines you’ll start to see Adams rising to the top 8 of the NBA Mock Drafts…remember you heard it here first.

NBA Comp: Wes Matthews

I’m going to play this comp a little safer than I want to deep down. I mean there is a legitimate case to be made that he could be the next James Harden offensively, while being a significantly better defender. However, Wes Matthews seems like a very realistic comparions for Adams to reach in his NBA career. Matthews is a feisty defender, excellent scorer and can create plays for others. Matthews is also fairly underrated

 

10)      Kyle Anderson—6’9, 230 Forward, UCLA:

kyle-anderson-blog

UCLA pulls off the rare hat-trick of having 3 criminally underrated draft prospects on one team. I wonder if there is something about playing in Southern California that just downgrades your draft stock by 20% (remember Kevin Love went AFTER Michael Beasley and OJ Mayo). I can understand part of the issue with Anderson being that he plays really, really…..really, really slow.

Anderson is billed as not being very athletic, but I can’t imagine that is the issue. He’s getting 3.9% BLK% which is good for a very good center prospect, 2.7% STL% which is good for a very good guard prospect, 32% AST% which is great for a very good point guard prospect and 16% TRB% which is good for anyone. It’s quite puzzling that a guy who impacts the game on nearly every single level is not getting very much publicity but it must be because aesthetically he doesn’t appear to be all that impressive. If you check his stats though, he’s tough to ignore.

NBA Comp: Andrei Kirilenko

The concerns I have about Anderson’s game are similar to the issues AK-47 had over his whole career, he’s not really a 3 or a 4. It’ll be an issue most of Anderson’s career, but if he can get on the right team he should be able to be an AK-47 type of impact super-stud.

 

11)    Aaron Gordon—6’9, 220 Forward, Arizona:

aaron gordon

 1/30: I’m starting to get a little bit better feel for Aaron Gordon’s game. He’s going to be a very effective player in the NBA, but I’m still a little fuzzy as to what extent that will be. I think there is a possible Blake Griffin upside with Gordon as he finishes well at the rim, is very athletic and has a decent handle for 4, but there is also the possible reality that he gives you all of Blake’s shortcomings (FT shooting, not being an overly great individual defender) without nearly as much of what make’s Blake awesome.

NBA Comp: Giannis Antetokounmpo 

The best way to compare a very bizarre prospect like Gordon is to compare him with a very bizarre NBA like Giannis. Gordon has the raw tools to be pretty special, but much like Giannis, but he’s going to need some seasoning before realizing his potential.

 

12)     Tyler Ennis—6’2, 180 Point Guard, Syracuse:

tyler-ennis1

2/18: Ennis is just going to be a rock for whatever team he is drafted to. He never turns the ball over and makes all the right plays in leading Syracuse to being one of the favorites to win the NCAA tournament. His stock is flying high after his epic  game-winning buzzer beater vs Pittsburg a few weeks ago.

Tyler Ennis is exactly the kind of player who could see his draft stock rise immensely with the kind of tournament that he is capable of having, but it would be wise to maintain expectations for the young man. Is he going to be a star? Maybe he ultimately makes an all-star team in his career, but I don’t expect him to ever be considered a “franchise” point guard, but what he could be is a very steady player who is always making his teams better.

Much like my Vonleh>Randle opinion, if I needed a point guard and I had a lottery pick I would certainly be trying to get Marcus Smart first, as I believe he has a higher ceiling, but I wouldn’t be too worried if I ended up with Tyler Ennis.

NBA Comparison: Ty Lawson

Maybe not in terms of style, as Lawson is a shorter speed demon and that’s not quite Ennis’ game, but I think he probably will go about 5 picks later than he should and make a bunch of teams look stupid for taking other players ahead of him.

 

13)       Gary Harris—6’4, 200 SG, Michigan St.

gary harris

 

2/18: What you are seeing happen with Gary Harris is the effect of a significant increase in role from year-to-year. As a freshmen the Spartan’s used Harris as a reasonably important aspect of their offense to the tune of a 20% usage rate and he responded by being a very effective player in his off-ball role. Since productive freshmen shooting guards are a rare creature in this day and age, Harris was considered a top 10 pick in the 2013 NBA draft (honestly may have been the best player considering how poorly the 2013-14 Rookie class has performed). Now in his sophomore season he has seen his game take nearly a 30% jump in usage, from 20% to 28% and as a result his overall efficiency has dropped a little.

That being said, I think I’m more encouraged by this version of Gary Harris than I was last years’ version. The freshmen version of Gary Harris didn’t look like he could ever be more than a complimentary player, suited for an off-ball role but not a legit cornerstone of a contending team. After taking on a heavy load and still being an efficient and effective player, I’m coming away thinking Harris might have some upside that wasn’t shown last year.

NBA Comp:  Arron Afflalo

Arron Afflalo is probably the ideal comparison for someone who can take on a heavier usage role on a bad team but is likely best suited as the 4th wheel on a very good team. Harris shares the same smart brand of basketball Afflalo has played the past couple years as he has established himself as one of the more reliable wing players in the NBA.

 

14)      Doug McDermott—6’7, 225 Forward, Creighton:

DMcD

2/18: If I were McD’s publicist and I was tyring to establish his draft stock I would simply come up with the slogan “Doug McDermott: Because you can trust me” and that’s all I think you would need to get McDermott into the lottery of this draft. There are a lot of variables, a lot of unknown talents in the 2014 draft but the one constant is: Doug McDermott can shoot the basketball.

Both fairly and unfairly he is compared to Kyle Korver, who is an excellent and underrated player himself, but McDermott is more than just a shooter. He is a pure scorer. He’ll hit you with crafty post moves, make the right cuts at the right time and run a pick-and-pop to perfection. Will he be a star? Probably not, but he’s going to be a weapon for whatever team drafts him. You can trust Doug McDermott.

1/3: At some point his production just can’t be ignored. McD will surely have a tough time finding a spot to play in the NBA, being he isn’t overly athletic for 3 and doesn’t really have the size for 4 in the NBA, but his athletic limitations haven’t stopped him once in four years so far. He has a completely outstanding 65% career TS%, including 46% from beyond the arc and he has ramped up his Free Throw Attempts from a career average of 6 per game to a near-mythic 9.1 to start off his senior season. McDermott is a terrific rebounder and actually carries a very respectable Defensive Efficiency Rating giving up 100 pts/100 possessions which is counter what is commonly thought of his prowess on the defensive end.

Obviously any conversation about McDermott needs to include his main issues, which are bound to haunt him until he proves otherwise, being his unfortunate tweener status. He has played the majority of his college career as a 4 and hasn’t really shown any skills that would suggest he has the ability to be a 3 in college, not to mention the pros. A career average of less than .5% STL% and 9.8 AST% are not very encouraging and he is obviously not the most physically gifted guy in the world.

I can say one thing for certain with McDermott: he is legitimately a good basketball player. At some point physical limitations will win out, but I think McD has enough in him to make himself a viable professional basketball player and utilize his incredible offensive skill set.

NBA Comp: Ryan Anderson

I’m not sure Anderson is a great comp for McDermott, but he’s an awkward player to comp for. An extremely efficient scorer who also is an excellent rebounder? I think I like his chances of being some variation of the Ryan Anderson type of player, maybe not as effective but in that ballpark.

 

15)      Zach LaVine—6’5, 190 G, UCLA

zach lavine

UCLA is a weird team, they will have three guys I consider to be very strong NBA prospects coming out in 2014 but they aren’t a great team themselves. Either way, Zach LaVine storms into my top 10 with a hyper efficient scoring game which helps solidify him as one of the most athletically gifted players in this whole class.

Even after he has cooled off a bit, LaVine still qualifies as an intruiging prospect with his combination of size, athleticism and skill. I could see him being a very effective player in the wide-open style of many of the modern NBA offenses.

NBA Comp: Shawn Marion

Check out the rest of HoundSports 2014 NBA Mock Draft Here With Part 2

Follow me on Twitter @JustinPinotti

Justin Pinotti

Justin Pinotti

My name is Justin I am from Minneapolis, Mn. I have a double major in English and Communications, was a basketball and football athlete in high school. I play in many pick up games and adult leagues across the Twin Cities area and occasionally tweet my pick up basketball stats (but only if I have a freakishly good game). I like Fantasy Football, Awesome Television shows, movies and I enjoy writing/creating music as well. I am an absolute Minnesota TWolves homer and I won’t apologize for that (the 8th seed is ours this year!!!!) My years of being a Minnesota Sports fan additionally has lead to a huge passion for both the NFL and NBA Drafts. I love prospect watching and mock drafting. I’m excited to write for HoundSports!You can follow me on twitter @JustinPinotti

Why the Houston Texans Should Pass on Johnny Manziel in the NFL Draft


Home / NFL / Why the Houston Texans Should Pass on Johnny Manziel in the NFL Draft
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Updated: February 19, 2014
This post was originally published at HoundSports.com

Johnny Manziel

The Houston Texans have a difficult decision to make when they choose their first overall selection in the 2014 NFL draft.

Last week former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel expressed to the media that he wants his football career to continue in the Lone Star State as the Texan’s first selection. “I want them to say absolutely, without a doubt, with 100 percent certainty, that I’m who they want.”   Manziel told reporters about Houston making a definite decision on the 2012 Heisman trophy winner.

While the college phenom would be a great fit for any team in need of a quarterback of the future, it would be best for the Texans to pass on Manziel as their first selection. The reason has nothing to do with his off the field issues during his time in college, but that there are many directions they can go in deciding what they will do with that coveted first selection.

The main reason they should not spend the first pick on Manziel, or any quarterback in general, is that they already have a signal caller worth grooming for the future in Case Keenum. The undrafted free agent was thrust into a starting role after Matt Schaub was pulled due to poor performance towards the halfway point of the season.

Even though Case was unable to secure a win as the Texans’ starting quarterback, he displayed a lot of raw talent that can be honed into just what the Texans are looking for in a long term solution at quarterback. The addition of a new head coach gives Keenum that much of an edge should be return under center in 2014.

In addition to head coaching duties, Bill O’Brien will also handle the responsibilities as offensive coordinator. O’Brien has a history of working with top quarterbacks in the NFL, as he was once Tom Brady’s quarterback coach and offensive coordinator in his time on the coaching staff of the New England Patriots. With a full offseason of working extensively with the first team offense and under a new season, it will give Case Keenum the tools he needs to become the Houston Texans’ quarterback of the future.

Instead, Houston can use that pick to help bolster their offense or defense. On defense, Houston has the opportunity to select Defensive End Jadeveon Clowney. Making Clowney their first overall pick would make sense, as it is a potential roster need.

Antonio Smith, who has played at Defensive End for the Texans since the 2009 season, is a free agent this coming offseason and entering the 10th year of his playing career; turning 33 this October. If the Texans decide not to retain Smith in the offseason, Clowney could fill in nicely at the position opposite J.J. Watt, making them two fierce bookends on Houston’s defensive line.

On the other side of the ball, the team could add to their roster to provide some protection for their quarterback. Jake Matthews enters this year’s draft as the top prospect at offensive lineman, also another potential need. Wade Smith is entering his 12th year in the NFL and reportedly played injured for a majority of the 2013 season. Matthews would have to transition to Guard or Duane Brown would move to put Matthews in his spot, but planning ahead for the offensive line is a must for this team.

Lastly, there is the option that the Texans could trade their first round pick. With plenty of teams looking for their own next franchise quarterback, there will be many teams that will dole out multiple draft picks in order to secure that number one spot. If they are lucky, the Texans could get a deal like the St. Louis Rams did in 2012 when they gave the Washington Redskins their second overall pick, which they used on Robert Griffin III, in exchange for Washington’s first round picks in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

They could also make a deal where they get an abundance of lower round picks between this year and next year in an effort to shore up many needs they could have on their roster. They are in need of a stable player at the safety position after the Ed Reed experiment saw him miss the majority of the season due to injury, and eventually be released before the season ended.

The Texans could also use a definite solution at wide receiver. They used their 2013 first round pick on DeAndre Hopkins, who gave the offense a #2 option behind starting wide receiver Andre Johnson. Johnson is entering his 11th year in the NFL, all of them as a Texan, and even though his play is not in decline, it would be wise to find someone to pair with Hopkins after Johnson is no longer with the team. It would also be great for Case Keenum to have another young receiver to build a rapport with, potentially for years to come.

Whatever the Texans decide to do whenever the draft comes along in May, it will be no doubt interesting to see what direction they take as they look to bounce back from their worst season in franchise history. The team has the potential to be contenders once again in the AFC South, and put themselves back into the post season once again.e

Jesse Kirkendall

Jesse Kirkendall

Jesse Kirkendall is an amateur sports writer from Southeast Texas, and mainly focuses on the Pittsburgh Steelers in his articles. He gets his love of the Steel City from his mother, who grew up in Windber, PA, a small coal town that is just as passionate about the team as he is.

Michael Sam: An Unbiased Look


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Updated: February 11, 2014
This post was originally published at HoundSports.com

Michael Sam: An Unbiased Look

Michael Sam watched his older brother die from a gunshot wound. He never met his baby sister, as she died in infancy. One of his older brothers disappeared in 1998. He has two other siblings in jail.

Sam stands at six-foot-two, and weighs 255 pounds. He is a first team All-American for the Missouri Tigers, where this past season he recorded 11.5 sacks, and 19 tackles for loss. He was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year. He is projected as a late third round to mid fifth round pick in the NFL Draft. He also happens to be gay.

Sam’s decision to come out holds very significant cultural ramifications. Some NFL teams might not be ready for a gay athlete, and the media attention that comes with it. Some NFL players feel uncomfortable about having a gay teammate in the locker room. Some NFL fans are more than hesitant to accept a homosexual player. These are the facts.

In an interview with SI.com, a handful of NFL executives and coaches commented on Sam’s decision, and what it could mean for the NFL.

“I just don’t think football is ready for [an openly gay player] just yet,” said a player personnel assistant. “In the coming decade or two, it’s going to be acceptable, but at this point in time it’s still a man’s-man game.”

Sam’s homosexuality was pretty well known in Columbia, Missouri. He had told his team officially in August that he was gay, and the Tigers rallied around him. However, some claim that NFL teams knew of his sexual orientation as well, and immediately dropped or removed him from their draft boards. The same assistant personnel director said, “You’re going to have to have one confident general manager or head coach that is certainly entrenched in his position and established to draft a player like that. It’s one thing to have Chris Kluwe or Brendon Ayanbedejo, advocates for gay rights, on your team. It’s another to have a current confirmed player.”

There have been closet homosexual athletes in the NFL, and they typically keep their sexual orientation a secret because they don’t want the lime light on them. They don’t want to be that center of attention.

Neither does Michael Sam. “I understand how big this is. It’s a big deal. No one has done this before. And it’s kind of a nervous process, but I know what I want to be… I want to be a football player in the NFL,” he said to ESPN.

But, some players in the NFL are hesitant to accept Sam. Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma illustrated the dynamic of an NFL locker room when he said this to the NFL Networks a few weeks ago, “I think that he [a gay player] would not be accepted as much as we think he would be accepted. I don’t want people to just naturally assume, like, ‘Oh, we’re all homophobic.’ That’s really not the case. Imagine if he’s the guy next to me and, you know, I get dressed, naked, taking a shower, the whole nine, and it just so happens he looks at me. How am I supposed to respond?”

Sam responded to that like this, “It’s a workplace… You want to act professional… I mean, people will talk about the stereotype of gays being in the locker room… to me, I think that it’s a little stereotyped that gay people are predators. It’s just very offensive.”

Steelers safety Ryan Clark spoke to Mike Florio on Pro Football Talk, and expressed his concern for having a gay player in the locker room, not as a homophobe, but rather how the NFL can be more accommodating. “In what ways can you talk to him? In what ways can you involve him in your conversations? What are the things you can do and say around him that won’t make him uncomfortable? That won’t make him feel that he’s been ostracized? Or that won’t make him feel like he’s being harassed or quote-unquote bullied?”

Undoubtedly, the NFL might have to look at changing the culture. The recent Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin bullying situation, and Chris Kluwe’s volatile situation with certain Vikings’ personnel make it appear that there are those in the league that aren’t ready for a gay player. A year ago San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver said, “I don’t do the gay guys man. I don’t do that. No, we don’t got no gay people on the team, they gotta get up out of here if they do.”

On the flipside, New England Patriots owner, Robert Kraft, said on WEEI that the Patriot’s locker room would be a safe place for Sam. “If a player were gay and came into this locker room, it would be the most supportive system. He’d gain strength by being in here. And it wouldn’t be divisive, and he’d make friends for life and they could help him win. And I really believe that.”

Regardless of how you might feel about homosexuality, the fact is that gay men and women work in significant positions all across America. There is no logical reason why a professional sports league shouldn’t be the same way. The media will be all over Sam, throughout the combine, draft, and his career. However, if Sam can help a team win, and he can perform on the football field, he deserves the chance to compete and be accepted. The NFL senior vice president of communications Greg Aiello said, “We admire Michael Sam’s honesty and courage. Michael is a football player. Any player with ability and determination can succeed in the NFL. We look forward to welcoming and supporting Michael Sam in 2014.”

Sam might not be the first gay NFL player. He certainly won’t be the last. However, what he’s done will change the culture. Ultimately, the goal is to one day not have to make an announcement on sexual orientation. Like race, religion, or political ideology, it shouldn’t matter. What matters is if you can play. “If they can help us win, and they’re about team first, then I’m happy to have him here,” as Kraft said.

Sam might be nervous, but he isn’t scared. “I’m not afraid to tell the world who I am. I’m Michael Sam: I’m a college graduate. I’m African American, and I’m gay. I’m comfortable in my skin.”

Nathan Cunningham

Nathan Cunningham

Nathan Cunningham. Nate is a professional Monday morning QB, originally from Maine. He is currently studying journalism at BYU, and is a passionate fan of all things Boston sports. He roots for a handful of colleges, but his first allegiance is to the Tar Heels of North Carolina, and the Cougars of BYU. Nate is a lover of retro jerseys, cool mascots, and Tim Tebow. He can be found on Hound Sports writing reviews or talking sports. Follow him @NWCizhere

Why The Wolf of Wall Street is an awesome movie


Prostitutes, flying midgets (short people?), exotic drugs (queludes), not so exotic drugs (cocaine) and endless stacks of money. One thing is obvious to any one: Martin Scorsese’s latest movie portrays abundance in abundance.

The thing people seem to disagree on, however, is the exact function of this portrayal of abundance. Is it satire? Or is it actually a celebration of abundance? Are we supposed to loathe Leonardo Dicaprio’s character, or are we actually supposed to symphatize with him?

We’re supposed to do whatever we like, of course. But presumably, we felt a bit of both while watching the film.

In one way, we liked Dicaprio’s character. His humble background, his relentless work ethic, his natural charm: the character just didn’t seem naturally evil. But in another way, we thought his greed, his manipulative behaviour and his singlemindedness was despicable.

Presumably, we felt conflicted. Right? Right?

We did, and that’s exactly why The Wolf of Wallstreet manages to elevate itself from the monotome dreck Hollywood seems to produce about 80% of the time. As a satire, the movie manages to play with our emotions.

Here’s how:

First, Leonardo Dicaprio’s character reels us in by playing into our perceptions of freedom and individuality. I m from the working class, he tells us. I m just trying to fulfill my dreams. Aren’t we all trying to fulfill our dreams?

Yes, we say, in a way we all are. So we decide to go along. We identify with the character. In a way, we fall for one of the many impeccable sales pitches the character delivers.

And every time we start to get a little disgusted with all the drugs, hookers and midgets the character throws at our face, we get another one of those pitches, reeling us in even further.

Without realizing it, we sort of fall in love with the character. We know we re not supposed to, and we won’t hapilly admit it, but we do. Leonardo Dicaprio’s excellent acting (yes! It’s acting!) doesn’t hurt the film, in this respect. But mainly it’s because we live in the same society as Dicaprio’s character, and sometimes we think the same thoughts.

But then our emotions make a u-turn.

In a key scene, Dicaprio’s character interrogates one of his employees while speaking to a crowd. ‘Didn’t you have a sick child, and didn’t you ask me for 5.000 dollars when you first started working for me? And what did I do? Didn’t I sign you a 25.000 dollar cheque? he asks the employee.

See, we say to ourselves. Dicaprio’s character does good, as well. He’s a philantrope. He helps people in need.

Yes, you did, the woman says. That’s why I m now wearing this Chanel suit. Then, she starts crying.

And boom, that’s where the movie smacks us in the face. It’s the expensive Chanel suit that makes the woman cry — not her child. That’s what it’s all about, for her: the money, the glamour, the surface.

Suddenly, we feel ashamed of ourselves. The crying woman, who invokes laughter, not pity, makes us realize we’ve been fooled. For a second, we felt sympathy for her. Now, we just want to laugh at her, ridiculous as she comes across.

And as we re standing on the edge of reality, ready to fall in, we see Dicaprio’s character, high and/or drunk out of his mind, attempt to kidnap his own child.

Now, all we feel is disgust. With the woman in the Chanel suit, with Dicaprio’s character, but with ourselves as well.

Why did we like these characters? Why did we even laugh when we saw their slapstick antics?

Suddenly, it’s not so funny any more. And suddenly, we no longer want to identify with Dicaprio’s character, or the others. We’re now sure we re different, because a Chanel suit would never move us to tears.

Indeed, The Wolf of Wallstreet makes us sit still and think about ourselves for a second. In this film, the satire is subtle — even though it looks very much in your face at first. The Wolf of Wallstreet satires you and me as much as its characters and subject. It just has you chasing a thread like a jumpy cat before it lets you know it.

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Heat impressive at All-Star Break


This post was originally published at @ HoundSports

By
Updated: February 17, 2014

Miami Heat All-star break

The Miami Heat entered the All-Star break with a 37-14 record, which is the third best in the NBA. They’re also currently only two and half games behind the Indiana Pacers for the no.1 seed. That’s pretty darn impressive considering the Heat have been the team that has coasted throughout the regular season while the Pacers are focused on getting that no.1 seed and homecourt advantage. The team is also in the middle of a Western conference road trip where they have gone 3-1. The trip concludes this week with games against the Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder.

So far in this road trip, the Heat have beaten Western conference playoff contenders Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns, and the Golden State Warriors in a game that culminated in LeBron James channeling his inner cold-blooded assassin and hitting the game-winning three-pointer. All three of these games have been impressive wins and all the talk of Kevin Durant being the front-runner for MVP and closing the gap on LeBron as the game’s best overall player appear to have King James on a mission. Right now, I would say Durant is the front-runner for MVP considering the Oklahoma City Thunder have the best record in the NBA despite Russell Westbrook missing a significant amount of time this season. However, LeBron isn’t going to relinquish the MVP title that easy and it should be a close race come April  between these two front-runners. LeBron has also been playing much better defense lately than he had  earlier this year. This defensive intensity should continue come playoff-time. With Dwyane Wade missing time with injuries, Chris Bosh has filled in nicely as the team’s no.2 scorer.

 

Of course, I would like the Heat to play better, or at least look somewhat interested, against the inferior opponents. It’s ironic that their only loss of this road trip so far at the time of writing was against the Utah Jazz, who are contending for the no.1 pick in this year’s NBA lottery. Hey, these types of losses happen. The lowly Orlando Magic, who are also in contention for that no.1 pick, beat both the Pacers and Thunder in the same weekend, so these types of games will happen in the regular season. I would just like to see less of it with the Heat as I have seen so far this season. Although their victory at Golden State  was good overall, I would like to see them shake off that habit of blown leads, as they did by blowing a 21-point third quarter lead against the Warriors, who can are obviously capable of getting hot from beyond the arc at any given moment. Dwyane Wade’s number of missed games is a bit high and not a major concern.. I understand that this is part of the maintenance program for him to keep him healthy come playoff time but missing both games last week was a bit odd, even if the injuries were legitimate. The good news is that he did look impressive in the All-Star game, even if little defense is played in it, so he should be fine whenever he suits up.

Overall, despite some annoying losses to bottom dwellers, the Heat have done well this season and should continue to battle for that no.1 seed in the East. However, going into the playoffs healthy is a much bigger priority for this team in its quest for a three-peat.

Sergio Carmona

Sergio Carmona

Sergio is a life-long resident of Miami and an avid fan of the local South Florida teams. Although he cheers for all his hometown major sports teams, his favorites are the Dolphins, Heat, and Hurricanes football team. He is also very optimistic that the Dolphins and University of Miami football team can return to their former glory days. Rooting for the Dolphins this past decade has been tough on him but he remains a loyal fan. Sergio is a big fan of the NFL, NBA, and College Football but he follows virtually every sport. His writing experience includes writing for local newspapers Miami’s Community Newspapers and South Florida’s Jewish Journal.

Kim Kardashian I Agree With Kanye TMZ’s Got Racial Issues


http://www.tmz.com/2014/02/18/kim-kardashian-kanye-west-interracial-relations-tmz/

2/18/2014 6:00 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

021814_kim_kardashian_launch
Kim Kardashian just called TMZ out … echoing Kanye West‘s complaint that TMZ goes after him because we’re uncomfortable with interracial relationships.

Kim was leaving Barney’s New York Tuesday afternoon when we asked her about her fiance’s rant over the weekend at a concert, where he lobbed his criticism of TMZ and other media.

Kim proclaimed her blanket support for whatever Kanye says … but it was clearly targeted at his criticism of TMZ.

Not to brag … but we criticized Kanye long before he hooked up with Kim, like in 2008 after he attacked a photog at LAX, and after his Taylor Swift fiasco a year later.

BTW … we’ve also liked De Niro.

Chicago Bears Off-Season Addition Suggestions


Home / NFL / Chicago Bears Off-Season Addition Suggestions
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Updated: February 17, 2014
This article was originally published @ HoundSports.com

Chicago Bears Off-Season Addition Suggestions

With the NFL Combine and Free Agency happening soon, these are my top draft choices and free agents I believe the Chicago Bears should go after:

Draft choices for the first round pick at #14:

1. Ha’SeanHa Ha” Clinton Dix, Safety, Alabama – We need safety help and bad. Plain and simple this is a bad man and will add that bit of nasty to the back-end of the defense we’ve lacked since Mike Brown.
2. Justin Gilbert, Cornerback, Oklahoma State – With Charles Tillman hitting free agency, the Bears have a lot of questions at cornerback outside of Tim Jennings. If they resign Tillman, do you bring in another CB to add depth or do you draft this young guy and let Tillman walk? Time will tell. Gilbert would be a great compliment next to Tim Jennings and bring youth and athleticism to a defense in need of both.
3. C. J. Mosley, Linebacker, Alabama - One place we could use depth or a new starter is linebacker. I believe we can resign D.J. Williams for cheap but if he doesn’t want a short term contract, drafting Mosley would add a young stud of a linebacker to plug the middle.
4. If the Bears want to focus just on the defensive line, they will have their choice as to who they will take. They will have the luxury of taking the best available player if they go this route. Just a short list of players the Bears could look at:
Ra’Shede Hageman, Defensive Tackle, Minnesota
Kony Ealy, Defensive End, Missouri
Aaron Donald, Defensive Tackle, Pittsburgh
Louis Nix, Defensive Tackle, Notre Dame

Free Agency:
1. Any Defensive End that can get to the quarterback aka Greg Hardy, Michael Johnson or Brian Orakpo (if the Bears switch to a 3-4 he can play DE) – With the Bears deciding if they will cut Julius Peppers or reconfigure his contract, they need help to replace or find a compliment to him. Any of the guys above can do that.
2. T.J. Ward or Jairus Byrd, Safety – These are bad men in the secondary and the combination of either one of these next to Ha Ha Clinton Dix would be a ballhawking, hard hitting combo that is rare in the NFL but has proven to be a winner combination for a defense. Just ask the Seahawks.
3. Randy Starks or Henry Melton, Defensive Tackle – Depending on whatever scheme the Bears decide to choose, we need a big man up the middle to get to the QB and stop the run. Even though Melton is coming off an ACL repair, it’s rare to find DTs like him at the ripe age of 27. Starks would be a good addition if they don’t want to sign Melton even if he’s 3 years older than him.
4. Alterraun Verner, Cornerback – If the Bears decide to focus on the defensive line in the draft, they will need to look at adding youth and playmaking ability at the cornerback position and Alterraun has turned into one of the better cornerbacks in the NFL. He has shown to be a sound tackler but finally showed his playmaking and pass defense ability in the 2013 season. He would be a welcomed addition to the secondary and would take some of the pressure off the safeties.
Kyle Bunton

Kyle Bunton

Born and raised around the Chicago area, his teams are the Bulls, Cubs, Bears, and Blackhawks. Kyle has moved to and lived in the Nashville area for the last 5 years and is continuing his growth in sports writing through the best and upcoming blog websites. He’s known for his straight-forward way of writing and likes to be edgy at times. He is also a soon to be college graduate in May 2014 at Middle Tennessee State University getting his degree in electronic media management. Go Big Blue. @OfficialKBunton