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Big Ten Basketball Media Day

Last week, I covered the Big Ten Basketball Media Day in Rosemont, Ill. for SB Nation’s Bucky’s 5th Quarter, focusing on Big Ten favorite Wisconsin.

You can find the main hub of all my coverage by clicking here, and links to individual stories and video are listed below:

  • Interview with Frank Kaminsky:

  • Interview with Sam Dekker:

  • Interview with Josh Gasser:

  • Bo Ryan press conference:

  • Opposing players discuss Wisconsin (Shannon Scott, Tre Demps, Travis Trice):

Feel free to send any feedback using the “Contact Me” page on the lefthand column. You can also find me on Twitter and on Facebook. Also be sure to check out my YouTube channel.

 

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HP Sports Brief — March 19th

In the Lake Zurich IHSA Sectional Semifinal game, Fremd utilized a 19-3 run in the second quarter and a 12-0 run in the fourth to put away Highland Park, 47-26. HP’s David Sachs scored 13 points and Fremd’s Ben Carlson also notched 13, coming on 75% shooting. They finish the season at 22-8 and the future is bright. HP will see four starters return next year.

Here’s my HP Sports Brief for the week of March 19th. Feel free to send any feedback using the “Contact Me” page on the lefthand column. You can also find me on Twitter and on Facebook.

Be sure to check out my YouTube channel.

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HP Sports Brief for March 12th — Regional Championship

In Friday’s Class 4A Regional Championship game, the Giants beat Lake Forest (Illinois’ 19th-ranked team), 48-39. David Sachs led the way with 16 points and Lake Forest’s bell-cow, Evan Boudreaux, was kept quiet all night. They never trailed in the game. This is Highland Park’s first Regional Championship since 2008. They take on Fremd in the Sectional Semifinal on Wednesday. Sam Brief reports. Feel free to send any feedback using the “Contact Me” page on the lefthand column. You can also find me on Twitter and on Facebook

Be sure to check out my YouTube channel.

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New Look, New City, New Hope: Why the Brooklyn Nets Have All the Pieces in Place to Excel in Today’s NBA

For a team that has posted a measly record of 126-268 (.320 pct.) over the course of its past five seasons, including a putrid 12-70 season in 2009-10,

Last season was a major disappointment for the Nets, as they managed a meager 22-44 record, leaving the team with major questions going into a new era in Brooklyn.

predicting even a decent season in 2012-13 would be preposterous, but this upcoming NBA season, the newly named Brooklyn Nets have all the pieces in place to exceed decency and surmount even our wildest expectations.

Just 37 days ago, when NBA teams began negotiations with free agents, the Nets faced a potential unloading of their current depth-lacking lineup, which would have put them in complete crisis. Star point guard Deron Williams was an unrestricted free agent, and rumors were strong that he might have been headed to Dallas. Center Brook Lopez, forward Kris Humphries and veteran forward Gerald Wallace were all free agents as well, and losing one of those pieces would have been a colossal blow to the Nets’ roster. Instead, things went in the opposite direction for the Nets, as they re-signed Williams to a five-year deal, Lopez to a four-year deal, Humphries to a two-year deal and Wallace to a four-year deal. In addition to these essential signings, the Nets delivered a knockout punch to the rest of the NBA by sending Jordan Farmar, Johan Petro, Anthony Morrow, Jordan Williams and DeShawn Stevenson to the Hawks in exchange for six-time all-star guard, Joe Johnson. This move put the Nets in prime position with a strong starting lineup including Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries and Brook Lopez. In addition to this durable starting five, a Nets’ bench that

Bringing back Williams and trading for Johnson were two moves that gave the Nets the star power necessary to flourish in the NBA.

faces numerous depth concerns now possesses C.J. Watson, who the Nets signed this offseason to a two-year deal after he cleared waivers, and MarShon Brooks, the young, energetic guard with boatloads of potential.

Even with a remodeled lineup that leads to a renewed sense of hope for the Nets, there are still some nay-sayers out there, saying that their lack of depth will catch up to them or that Williams and Johnson won’t mesh in the Brooklyn backcourt. While both of these are legitimate concerns for the Nets going forward, the positives certainly outweigh the negatives for this upcoming season.

In the past few weeks, the Nets’ dynamic combination of Williams, Johnson, Lopez and Wallace has been dubbed the ‘Core Four.’ The ‘Core Four’ is a very balanced group both offensively and defensively, as they have a top five point guard, a top 10 shooting guard, a top 10 center, and  a reliable defender in Wallace. Compared to the Heat’s ‘Big 3, the ‘Core Four’ is much more balanced, as the ‘Big 3′ does not include a point guard or a center, and they still won the NBA Finals last season. The Nets’ balanced and star-studded ‘Core Four’ has the ability to push the Nets into the Eastern Conference’s elite class this upcoming season.

The entire Nets’ roster contains every trait that a winning NBA team needs: Dynamic scoring (Williams, Johnson), rebounding (Humphries, Lopez),

Hello Brooklyn! The Nets’ new, savvy look and improved sense of swagger is another aspect of the organization that can give the team the confidence it needs to contend.

defense (Wallace, Lopez, Watson), passing (Williams, Watson), outside shooting (Williams, Watson, Johnson, Brooks), and interior offense/defense (Lopez, Humphries). While the Nets seem like a choppy, inconsistent team, they clearly have all the pieces in place to succeed in the Eastern Conference and beyond.

It has all turned around this offseason for the Nets, as on paper, this is a team that can thrive against even the NBA’s best, erase its atrocious reputation in the NBA, and maybe hang up a banner or two during the process. Now, all they have to do is make it happen.

By Sam Brief

Agree? Disagree? Leave a comment, I would love to know if you think the Nets’ offseason successes will be enough to boost them into the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference!

Follow me on Twitter!! (@SamsSportsBrief)

2012 NCAA Men’s National Championship Game Preview

146 days after the 2011-12 College Basketball season tipped off, just two teams are left standing – the Kansas Jayhawks and the Kentucky Wildcats. The story lines in this game are amazing – both teams have a Player of the Year candidate (Kansas’ Thomas Robinson and Kentucky’s Anthony Davis), both are historic powerhouses (29 combined Final Four appearances), and they faced-off earlier in the season (Kentucky 75, Kansas 65). Which team will come out on top tomorrow? Will it be the Jayhawks or the Wildcats? Which players will play big roles? What are some intriguing matchups to watch? It’s time to find out…

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Kobe Bryant Is Underrated- It’s Not as Absurd as it Sounds

A bona-fide superstar, Kobe Bryant has become a household name--and then some.

Since his inception into the league in 1996, Kobe Bryant has been worldwide known and revered. He has won five NBA Championships, two NBA Finals MVPs and a regular season MVP Award. He is a nine-time all-defensive team selection. He is a 14-time NBA All-Star and a four-time NBA All-Star Game MVP. He has an approximate net worth of $200 million and that’s not all from his nearly $30 million per-year contract with the Lakers. In fact, a large majority of it is from the endless endorsement deals he’s signed and the worldwide tours that he has embarked on. His jersey is the second best-selling in the NBA, and he is a worldwide phenomenon. How can someone this popular be underrated? As absurd as that does sound, Kobe Bryant is an underrated player.

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