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“I Know What You Should Do This Summer”

 

NCAA Basketball Beat

by Ira Weintraub

June 26th, 2003

A Guide to Summer Hoops

The time between the National Championship game in April and Midnight Madness in October is excruciating for many college basketball fans. The ‘endless summer’ is full of hot weather, beaches and BBQ’s; but we need college hoops. The NBA playoffs are done. The Spurs won and nobody watched. There are people out there, like me who need basketball. The summer has great hoops, and I am not talking about the WNBA.

To start with, we have the NBA Draft. Even if they are just highlights, this is your last chance to see your favorite college star in his school’s uniform. One last chance to see Carmelo in his orange uniform throwing down the dunks. Draft night is a show more than anything else. It’s fun for a night. See where everyone gets to play next year.

As some players leave, programs are welcoming new stars for next season. Read scouting reports. Follow stories from AAU and other summer leagues. This is good beach reading material.

There is also basketball to watch this summer. The NBA summer leagues, including the Reebok Summer League in Boston, are next month. From July 14-20, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, New Jersey Nets, San Antonio Spurs, Atlanta Hawks, Dallas Mavericks, Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers and Washington Wizards will field rosters with many players we should be familiar with. Besides the chance to see LeBron James play this summer, these 10 teams will have rosters full of former college stars and role players trying to make a name for himself. You should see NBA hopefuls like Luke Walton, Matt Bonner., Keith Bogans, Steve Blake and LaVell Blanchard. These are guys we loved to watch in college that need to play strong in July.

Maybe watching guys trying to make the NBA is not for you. How about a chance to watch the future stars of college basketball. The Men's Junior World Championship will be played in Greece July 10-20. The hopes of your team in the 2003-04 season could rest on the shoulders of some of the players on Ernie Kent’s team. You will get to watch such stars as Daniel Horton of Michigan and J.J. Reddick of Duke.  Not only are these players representing America in world competition, they will be working hard on their skills for the approaching season.

Some of the top upperclassmen will be in action as well. The Pan American Games men’s basketball will be played August 2-6, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Coached by Michigan State’s Tom Izzo, the final roster will not be set until next month, but whoever is selected will be among the finest college basketball players in the country. Finalists include Andre Barrett (Seton Hall), Josh Childress (Stanford), Ben Gordon (Connecticut), Julius Hodge (North Carolina State), Luke Jackson (Oregon), Arthur Johnson (Missouri), Brandon Mouton (Texas) Steve Novak (Marquette), Emeka Okafor (Connecticut), Ricky Paulding (Missouri) and Hakim Warrick (Syracuse).

Finally, there is team USA’s participation in the 2003 FIBA Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament August 20-31, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. After being embarrassed in the last FIBA World Championship Team USA has a lot to prove to itself and the world. Coached by new Piston’s head coach Larry Brown, this team should be dominant and fun to watch. On the team are NBA stars Tim Duncan, Tracy McGrady, Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Jason Kidd, Karl Malone, Ray Allen, Mike Bibby, Elton Brand, Richard Jefferson, and Jermaine O'Neal as well as former Kansas All-American forward Nick Collison. The coaching staff includes Gregg Popovich of the World Champion Spurs as well as two college coaches who are newcomers to the ACC, Clemson’s Oliver Purnell and North Carolina’s Roy Williams. Hopefully the games will be smoother and more enjoyable than most of the NBA Playoffs.

That gets us to September. With the NFL and college football every weekend starting in September, the wait until Midnight Madness gets easier. If all else fails there are many college hoops video games to choose from. Just tweak the players and rosters a bit. Remmeber that the player and team ratings are from last season’s pre-season. In Dynasty mode, you can even keep players like Carmelo Anthony in school for more than a season!

Midnight Madness is almost four months. You can make it. You’ll be okay.


Ira Weintraub is a first time writer for Collegehoopsnet.  Any suggestions, comments, or critiques would be highly welcome.  Email Ira

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