Quick turnaround…For the record March did come in like a lion…

(Can also be viewed on NBAROOKS.COM)

Frankie Q’s Freshman Four-Pack…

Brandon Knight – Detroit Pistons

1. Brandon Knight (Det – PG)
College: Kentucky
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 8 by Detroit Pistons
Hometown: Coral Springs, FL.

Brandon Knight’s minutes continue to rise. Since last week, Knight played for 35+ minutes against Charlotte and 41+ minutes against Memphis. The main focus for Knight in the second half of the season is to cut down on turnovers. BK admitted not forcing plays and limiting mistakes is his main concern going forward. Brandon “Oh What A” Knight had only two turnovers total the past two games. The Pistons split their last two and it looks like they will continue to lean on Knight going forward.

Current Season Averages
38 games (32 starts) 32:06 MIN / 13.0 PPG /40.9 FG% /37.2 3PT% / 3.5 REB/ 3.5 AST / 0.7 STL / 0.1 BLK

Best Stat-Line of the Week
Mar 3 @MEM (83-100 loss) 41 mins 15 points (5-16)-2 ast-7 reb-1 stl

Tweet of the Week
@BrandonKnight12
 March 5 “Bored!”

Chris Singleton – Washington Wizards

2. Chris Singleton (WAS – SF)
College: Florida State
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 18 by Atlanta Hawks (traded to Wizards)
Hometown: Dunwoody, GA.

The Good News is Chris Singleton has started all of the last 12 games for the Washington Wizards. The Bad News is Singleton did not follow up his career night last week with anything good. It gets worse. Singleton’s minutes dipped below 20 against the Cavaliers over the weekend. Head coach Randy Wittman has stuck with Stretch, but given the Wizards six game losing streak, he went with another group on Saturday and got his team a much needed victory. It has been a see-saw year for Singleton due to his lack of efficiency. We shall see if Stretch can bounce back.

Current Season Averages
36 games (21 starts) 19:53 MIN / 4.1 PPG /36.2 FG% / 33.9 3PT% / 3.0 REB / 0.7 AST / 1.1 STL / 0.4 BLK

Best Stat-Line of the Week
Feb 29 @ORL (95-102 loss) 36 mins 6 points (2-5)-2 reb-2 ast-2 stl

Tweet of the Week
@C_SING31
 Mar 4 “Play my brotha @KlayThompson tomorrow. Should be a good game”

Tristan Thompson – Cleveland Cavaliers

3. Tristan Thompson (CLE – PF)
College: Texas
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 4 by Cleveland Cavaliers
Hometown: Ontario, Canada

After creating a buzz during all-star weekend in the Rising Stars game, Tristan Thompson has cooled off a bit. Thompson score 18 points and grabbed 11 boards in two games prior to Saturday.  TT also played 28+ minutes in both games. However, Thompson came up short Saturday against the Wizards. TT went scoreless and only corralled three rebounds in just over 16 minutes. It looked as if Thompson was prepared to do some real damage with the Cavs hurting in the front court. Unfortunately, Thompson couldn’t get his game together over the weekend. Stay Tuned…

Current Season Averages
29 games (0 starts) 19:30 MIN / 7.1 PPG /42.6 FG% / 46.4 FT% / 6.0 REB/ 0.2 AST / 0.3 STL /  1.1 BLK

Best Stat-Line of the Week
Feb 29 @NYK (103-120 loss) 29 mins 11 points (5-9)-8 reb-1 blk-1 ast

Tweet of the Week
@RealTristan13 
Mar 4 “Heading to the monsters game. Who’s joining me?”

Nikola Vucevic – Philadelphia 76ers

4. Nikola Vucevic (PHI – C)
College: USC
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 16 by Philadelphia 76ers
Hometown: Bar, Montenegro

With the Philadelphia 76ers missing their starting center, Spencer Hawes, Nikola Vucevic has been gaining more minutes. Vucevic played over 21 minutes against Chicago and scored 14 points. The big man from Montenegro also grabbed eight rebounds. There are rumblings about Vucevic getting the starting role soon as teammate Lavoy Allen hasn’t done enough to secure it in the absence of Hawes. Vucevic would certainly be an offensive upgrade if the 76ers give him the go ahead. The bad news for NV is that Hawes is due back by March 14. Time is running out for Vucevic to impress.

Current Season Averages
29 games (5 starts) 17:11 MIN / 6.6 PPG /52.0 FG% / 42.9 3PT% / 5.0 REB/ 0.7 AST / 0.5 STL /  0.8 BLK

Best Stat-Line of the Week
Mar 4 vs CHI (91-96 loss) 22 mins 14 points (7-13)-8 reb-1 ast

Tweet of the Week
Sorry Nikola Vucevic refuses to make a twitter! Believe me I check every week :(

-FQ
“Live & Think Outside The Box” 

Happy Leap Day! Go get your free cookie at Subway haha. Let’s check out which of my guys made the leap to All-Star Weekend and which were left out.

(Can also be viewed on NBAROOKS.COM)

Frankie Q’s Freshman Four-Pack…

Brandon Knight – Detroit Pistons

1. Brandon Knight (Det – PG)

College: Kentucky
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 8 by Detroit Pistons
Hometown: Coral Springs, FL.

Brandon Knight got to showcase some of his skills last Friday night in the BBVA Rising Stars challenge. Knight was one of the rookies/sophomores that were selected to compete against each other in an exhibition during NBA All-Star Weekend. BK was selected to be on Team Shaq and did not disappoint. On a team full of young stars, Knight scored 14 points and dished out seven assists in a losing effort. After the game BK stated how much he enjoyed playing with a bunch of the young guys, including being on the court with his own teammate Greg Monroe. Brandon “Oh What A” Knight was thrilled to be back in his home-state of Florida for all of the weekend’s festivities. The Pistons suffered back to back road losses entering the All-Star break. BK and his team must have still been break last night as well as the Pistons got routed by Philadelphia 97-68. Knight only scored eight points and had one assist in 28 minutes. Stay tuned to see how BK fairs in the second half of a congested NBA schedule.

Current Season Averages
36 games (30 starts) 31:41 MIN / 12.7 PPG /41.0 FG% /37.8 3PT% / 3.4 REB/ 3.4 AST / 0.7 STL / 0.1 BLK

Best Stat-Line of the Week
Feb 21 @CLE(100-101 loss) 35 mins 24 points (8-12)-3 ast-5 reb-1 stl

Tweet of the Week
@BrandonKnight12
 Feb 23 “It’s official. I’m back in my home state. Can’t wait til tomorrow night.#BBVARisingStars is gonna be fun. Orlando, lets go. TGBTG!”

Chris Singleton – Washington Wizards

2. Chris Singleton (WAS – SF)

College: Florida State
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 18 by Atlanta Hawks (traded to Wizards)
Hometown: Dunwoody, GA.

So let’s continue this game of Good News/Bad News with our buddy Stretch. The Bad News is Chris Singleton was not invited/selected to be in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge for NBA All-Star Weekend. The Good News is Singleton entered the second half of the NBA season with the best performance of his career. Last night Singleton played nearly 40 minutes and dropped in 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds.  The Wizards did lose to the Bucks by a point but Stretch also had two blocks and three assists. Head coach Randy Wittman benched Javale McGee in the second half,  which led to Stretch gaining the extra minutes. Singleton continues to start in place of Rashard Lewis. Wittman announced in the post-game that he is “Done with the young guys”. The Wizards head coach went on to say he will not continue to simply play the young guys if they don’t play the game the right way. Wittman said he went with the players he thought deserved to be out there in the second half. Fortunately for Singleton, he was one of those guys.

Wittman’s full post-game statement below:

Wizards Head Coach Randy Wittman is “Done With The Young Guys”

Current Season Averages
34 games (19 starts) 19:23 MIN / 4.1 PPG /36.6 FG% / 33.3 3PT% / 3.0 REB / 0.7 AST / 1.1 STL / 0.4 BLK

Best Stat-Line of the Week
Feb 28 @MIL(118-119 loss) 39 mins 16 points (4-14)-9 reb-2 blk-3 ast

Tweet of the Week
@C_SING31
 Feb 29 “Growing Pains”

Tristan Thompson – Cleveland Cavaliers

3. Tristan Thompson (CLE – PF)

College: Texas
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 4 by Cleveland Cavaliers
Hometown: Ontario, Canada

Well since Cleveland Cavaliers’ head coach Byron Scott won’t give Tristan Thompson some love, TT went out and got it himself this past weekend. Thompson strutted his stuff at the BBVA Rising Stars game during NBA All-Star Weekend. The big man played for Team Shaq and poured on 20 points to lead his squad. Although his Cavs’ teammate Kyrie Irving stole the show (what else is new) and handed Thompson and his team the loss by scoring 34 points and earning the MVP of the game, Thompson caught the eye of the viewing public for sure. Ironically enough TT only grabbed one rebound. Thompson is known for his impressive skill on the offensive and defensive glass. TT entered the All-Star break with a double-double and then last night opened the second half of the season with another one. With Cavs’ center Anderson Varejao still out, Thompson played the most minutes at center against Boston as he dropped in 13 points and 10 rebounds. The Cavs led a furious comeback in the second half but could not top the Celtics. TT will continue to lobby to start with his great play off the bench. Will coach Scott budge?…Stay Tuned…

Current Season Averages
26 games (0 starts) 18:53 MIN / 7.2 PPG /43.7 FG% / 45.5 FT% / 5.9 REB/ 0.2 AST / 0.4 STL /  1.2 BLK

Best Stat-Line of the Week
Feb 28 vs. BOS(83-86 loss) 27 mins 13 points (5-9)-10 reb-2 blk

Tweet of the Week
@RealTristan13 
Feb 27 “Weekend was great. Time to get back to cleveland,and start this 2nd half. #GoCavs

Nikola Vucevic – Philadelphia 76ers

4. Nikola Vucevic (PHI – C)

College: USC
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 16 by Philadelphia 76ers
Hometown: Bar, Montenegro

No All-Star Weekend for Nikola Vucevic but he did have his best performance of his career prior to the NBA’s big weekend. Vucevic closed out the first half of the NBA season with an 18 point, eight rebounds and three blocks showing against the Houston Rockets. The 76ers lost but Vucevic got hot in the second half coming off the bench. Last night Vucevic did not have as great an outing scoring only six points and grabbing five rebounds. NV will continue to get minutes as center Spencer Hawes sits out with several different injuries. Teammate Lavoy Allen, who was drafted after Vucevic this past summer, continues to get the starting role from head coach Doug Collins. “He’s become a force for us,” said Collins about Allen. While Allen doesn’t exactly fill the stat-sheet, Collins is impressed by his work ethic and play defensively. However, Vucevic continues to play more minutes than Allen, albeit coming off the bench. NV is the better prospect so stay tuned…

Current Season Averages
26 games (5 starts) 17:11 MIN / 6.6 PPG /53.3 FG% / 42.9 3PT% / 5.0 REB/ 0.6 AST / 0.5 STL /  0.9 BLK

Best Stat-Line of the Week
Feb 22 @HOU(87-93 loss) 27 mins 18 points (8-12)-8 reb-1 stl-3 blk-1 ast

Tweet of the Week
Sorry Nikola Vucevic refuses to make a twitter! Believe me I check every week :(

-FQ
“Live & Think Outside The Box” 

 

My boys are on the rise! Best group of rooks roll with FQ…you better believe it! Let’s check em out:

(Can also be viewed on NBAROOKS.COM)

Frankie Q’s Freshman Four-Pack…

1. Brandon Knight (Det – PG)

College: Kentucky
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 8 by Detroit Pistons
Hometown: Coral Springs, FL.

Brandon Knight has been dealing with a broken nose and playing with the pain the past two weeks. His numbers have taken on a see-saw quality while Knight has been dawning the Rip Hamilton patented face-mask. However, this did not stop Knight from having the best game of his career last Friday against the Sacramento Kings. BK ditched the protective gear before tip-off and recorded his first ten assist game which led to the second double-double of his career. Along with scoring 23 points in the win against the Kings, Knight flirted with a triple double as he grabbed six boards on the night. Brandon “Oh What A” Knight (second best nickname as thought of by Kentucky/Pistons fans) talked about not wearing the face-mask after the game saying, “It was like a relief…I finally felt free.” Knight admitted that he would get rid of it the second one of the Pistons’ athletic trainers said he didn’t need it anymore. Don’t look now but the Pistons are 7-3 in February…

(Check out Brandon Knight’s Rookie Spotlight HERE)

Current Season Averages
33 games (27 starts) 31:30 MIN / 12.4 PPG /40.4 FG% /37.4 3PT% / 3.5 REB/ 3.5 AST / 0.7 STL / 0.2 BLK

Best Stat-Line of the Week
Feb 17 vs. SAC(114-108 win) 38 mins 23 points (9-21)-10 ast-6 reb

Tweet of the Week
@BrandonKnight12
 Feb 18 “Thanking the one above for waking me up and giving me another opportunity to get better today. Hope y’all have a great day.”

Chris Singleton – Washington Wizards

2. Chris Singleton (WAS – SF)
College:
 Florida State
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 18 by Atlanta Hawks (traded to Wizards)
Hometown: Dunwoody, GA.

Remember last week when we were all excited to see Chris Singleton back in the Washington Wizards starting lineup? Yikes! The good news: Singleton is still in the starting rotation. The bad news: Singleton hasn’t exactly filled the stat-sheet, his minutes are diminishing and the Wizards have lost three straight. Stretch has started the last eight games but hasn’t been productive. CS is known for his defensive prowess but will need to contribute more on the glass and on offense if he wants to increase his playing time. Stretch has the opportunity with Lewis getting benched by head coach Randy Wittman. Stay tuned…

Current Season Averages
32 games (17 starts) 19:00 MIN / 3.9 PPG /37.7 FG% / 32.7 3PT% / 2.8 REB / 0.6 AST / 1.1 STL / 0.4 BLK

Best Stat-Line of the Week
Feb 17 @UTH(100-114 loss) 17 mins 5 points (2-4)-3 reb-1 blk

Tweet of the Week
@C_SING31
 Feb 20 “Bigger the risk the better the reward.”

Tristan Thompson – Cleveland Cavaliers

3. Tristan Thompson (CLE – PF)

College: Texas
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 4 by Cleveland Cavaliers
Hometown: Ontario, Canada

The iron is hot and now is the time to strike for Tristan Thompson. The Cleveland Cavaliers’ starting center Anderson Varejao will miss the next four-six weeks with a fractured wrist (right-shooting hand). Varejao will not require  surgery but will need time after healing to get back into game shape. Although this is terrible news for the Cavs, it is the opening that Thompson has been waiting for. Head coach Byron Scott repeatedly mentioned that he does not want to start Thompson just yet, but Scott may not have a choice in the coming weeks. As of now Antawn Jamison has started at power forward and will continue to. Third year player Semih Erden has gotten the nod at center since Varejao went down. If Scott swallows his pride, Thompson should get the starting roll soon after watching him break out against the Sacramento Kings (jees the Kings got my boys rolling). Thompson earned his first double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds. More impressively Thompson helped lead the Cavs to a one point victory by grabbing seven offensive rebounds. TT ankle is back to perfect health and could really get going soon.

Current Season Averages
23 games (0 starts) 18:36 MIN / 7.1 PPG /44.1 FG% / 46.2 FT% / 5.5 REB/ 0.2 AST / 0.3 STL /  1.3 BLK

Best Stat-Line of the Week
Feb 19 vs. SAC(93-92 win) 29 mins 15 points (6-10)-12 reb-3 blk-1 stl-1 ast

Tweet of the Week
@RealTristan13 
Feb 18 “Went to my first ever hockey game tonight with @KyrieIrving, crowd was great. Go Monsters! #lifetimememories.”

Nikola Vucevic – Philadelphia 76ers

4. Nikola Vucevic (PHI – C)

College: USC
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 16 by Philadelphia 76ers
Hometown: Bar, Montenegro

Nikola Vucevic hasn’t received a huge amount of minutes yet from head coach Doug Collins. Collins seems to be bringing Vucevic along slowly after he suffered a knee/quad injury last month.  Starting center Spencer Hawes will be out past the All-Star break with a sore achilles. Hawes has been in a walking boot and team officials say he will remain in it for an extended amount of time.  This means the only people in front of Vucevic are Tony Battie (whose dealing with his own ankle injury) and Thaddeus Young (who is undersized and really just backs up at power forward).  NV has a 3-point game that has yet to be shown in the NBA. NV has shown he can be a big help on the glass, stretch the floor with his mid-range game and defend in the paint. Once Collins commits to playing Vucevic more we will see everything the big man from Montenegro has to offer. Can’t Wait!

Current Season Averages
23 games (5 starts) 16:41 MIN / 6.3 PPG /53.3 FG% / 50.0 3PT% / 5.0 REB/ 0.6 AST / 0.5 STL /  0.8 BLK

Best Stat-Line of the Week
Feb 17 vs. DAL(75-82 loss) 19 mins 16 points (7-8)-7 reb-1 stl-1 blk

Tweet of the Week
Sorry Nikola Vucevic refuses to make a twitter!

 

-FQ
“Live & Think Outside The Box” 

 

 

Knight Earning His Sword

Posted: February 21, 2012 by frankieq in NBA

(Can also be viewed on NBAROOKS.COM)

Detroit Pistons’ rookie guard, Brandon Knight, has entered the NBA with conviction. The game of basketball is evolving on the professional stage and the rookies continue to push their way into the starting lineup earlier and earlier. It only took Knight six games before he was inserted into the Piston’s starting five.  The more interesting and compelling fact is that Knight is still starting for his team today as we reach the half-way point of the season. The only other rookie that can make claims to this success is Kyrie Irving…and well he was the #1 overall pick.

To take it a step further, Knight is second among his fellow rookies in minutes per game, trailing only Ricky Rubio. Detractors might say that Knight only starts because the Pistons are a bad team. While that theory may have some truth to it, the Pistons failures aren’t the main reason why Knight gets introduced every game night. The Detroit Pistons haven’t had a winning season since 2007. Since then the only first round draftee that started more than half of the Pistons’ games during his rookie campaign was 2010 pick Greg Monroe. Before Knight and Monroe, in order to find a first round rookie that started the majority of the Pistons’ games you have to go all the way back to Detroit’s 1994 third overall pick…some guy named Grant Hill started 74 games for the Pistons.

If you want to take it a step further, among his draft class Knight is in the top four in scoring, top five in 3-point percentage, top ten in free-throw percentage,  top ten in steals, top three in assists and second in double-doubles. Knight has simply earned his spot in the rotation, not just getting it because of the team’s ineptitude. The Pistons do have Will Bynum, Rodney Stuckey and Ben Gordon, so it’s not as if they have nobody else they could be playing. While the team is currently 11-22, with Knight in the starting lineup the Pistons have gone 7-3 in the month of February.

If you want to take it to the final step, besides Kyrie Irving, all the players that were drafted ahead of Knight still don’t have starting roles. Not to mention Charlotte is terrible, yet the just recently placed Kemba Walker in the starting lineup and Sacramento has been abysmal and Jimmer Ferdette still isn’t a consistent starter. So it goes to show you that while the NBA has transformed to a younger star driven league, it doesn’t mean the rookies on bad teams are getting playing time by default. You have to earn your spot and Knight has been one of the few that have clearly done that.

-FQ
“Live & Think Outside The Box” 

Happy Valentine’s Day everybody. Yes fellas it’s V-Day, if you are just realizing for the first time you better take an early lunch and raid your nearest convenience store or shopping center. That or sleep on the couch tonight…

(Can also be viewed on NBAROOKS.COM)

Frankie Q’s Freshman Four-Pack…

Brandon Knight – Detroit Pistons

1. Brandon Knight (Det – PG)

College: Kentucky
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 8 by Detroit Pistons
Hometown: Coral Springs, FL.

After scoring a career high 26 points against the Milwaukee Bucks on February 3rd, Brandon Knight has been plagued by inconsistent play. Two of Knight’s last four games have resulted in him only finishing with two point for the entire game. Knight gets a pass for one of those nights when he broke his nose and only totaled five minutes of play. However, since that night against New Orleans, Knight has obviously been bothered by the injury. BK has started wearing a protective face guard, the same kind Rip Hamilton uses, unfortunately it hasn’t been as effective for Knight stat wise. It must be a Piston thing, curse of the broken nose…

Brandon Knight broken nose (Click Here)

Current Season Averages
29 games (23 starts) 31:30 MIN / 12.1 PPG / 40.1 FG% / 35.6 3PT% / 77.2 FT% / 3.4 REB / 3.4 AST / 0.7 STL / 0.2 BLK

Best Stat-Line of the Week
Feb 3 vs MIL(88-80 win) 39 mins 26 points (10-23)-7 ast-3 reb

Tweet of the Week
@BrandonKnight12
 FEB 5 “Thank yall for the get better wishes and prayers. I appreciate it!! And I’ll be back rolling in no time!”

Chris Singleton – Washington Wizards

2. Chris Singleton (WAS – SF)

College: Florida State
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 18 by Atlanta Hawks (traded to Wizards)
Hometown: Dunwoody, GA.

Stretch fans rejoice!!! Chris Singleton has been inserted back into the starting lineup for the Washington Wizards. Head coach Randy Wittman decided to put Singleton back into the starting lineup after the club went on a 2-6 losing span with forward Rashard Lewis starting. Lewis had no been producing as hoped by coach Wittman and the Wizards have decided to play the youngster to help inflict a defensive feel to team. The Wiz have gone 2-2 since Singleton has been back in his starting role. CS will continue to see about 20 minutes a game and be part of Wittman’s starting five if the team continues to show as much effort they have in the past four games.

Current Season Averages
28 games (13 starts) 19:18 MIN / 3.9 PPG / 38.1 FG% / 32.6 3PT% / 66.7 FT% / 3.0 REB / 0.6 AST / 1.1 STL / 0.4 BLK

Best Stat-Line of the Week
Feb 8 vs. NYK(93-107 loss) 22 mins 6 points (2-5)-8 reb-2 stl-1 ast

Tweet of the Week
@C_SING31
 FEB 14 “The bodyguard on tv and I can’t even watch it!”

Tristan Thompson – Cleveland Cavaliers

3. Tristan Thompson (CLE – PF)

College: Texas
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 4 by Cleveland Cavaliers
Hometown: Ontario, Canada

Tristan Thompson returned to the court for the first time last week after suffering a left ankle injury. Thompson was held out four games with this injury. In Thompson’s first game back he went out and corralled 13 rebounds. TT also had three blocks in a losing effort against the Milwaukee Bucks. Head coach Byron Scott reiterated that he will not start Thompson anytime soon. “I want to keep him coming off the bench for right now,” said Scott following back to back losses for the Cavaliers. Thompson has some work to do offensively before he can be a real threat. However, TT’s work on the glass is monstrous and flying under the radar.

Current Season Averages
20 games (0 starts) 18 MIN / 6.8 PPG / 42.4 FG% / 42.6 FT% / 5.2 REB / 0.1 AST / 0.3 STL /  1.2 BLK

Best Stat-Line of the Week
Feb 10 vs MIL(112-113 loss) 28 mins 5 points (2-8)-13 reb (4 offensive)-3 blk-1 stl

Tweet of the Week
@RealTristan13 FEB 12 “Everytime I hear this song it reminds me of this past year’s draft.”

Nikola Vucevic – Philadelphia 76ers

4. Nikola Vucevic (PHI – C)

College: USC
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 16 by Philadelphia 76ers
Hometown: Bar, Montenegro

Nikola Vucevic has the talent we know that. However, Vucevic has only shown it from time to time this year. Vucevic got an opportunity to start in two games over the past two weeks with Philadelphia 76ers center Spencer Hawes constantly battling injuries. Hawes has been in and out of the lineup and it has given Vucevic a chance to show us what he’s got. In both starts Vucevic has a combined two points and ten rebounds.  Ironically, when NV comes off the bench he has been more effective and provides the 76ers with a spark. Head coach Doug Collins will give Vucevic a starting shot if he earns it and then it’s up to him to hold on to it. NV blew that shot over the past week but his talent will land him right back into starting five at some point this season. After all Vucevic is the future of the 76ers in the front court.

Current Season Averages
20 games (5 starts) 16:18 MIN / 5.5 PPG / 51.5 FG% / 50.0 3PT% / 5.0 REB / 0.7 AST / 0.4 STL / 0.8 BLK

Best Stat-Line of the Week

Feb 13 @CHA(98-89 win) 26 mins 8 points (4-8)-10 reb-1 ast-2 blk

Tweet of the Week
Sorry Nikola Vucevic doesn’t tweet…yet!

-FQ
“Live & Think Outside The Box” 

Rookie vs Sophmore game around the corner. Let’s see how my boys are doing.

(Can also be viewed on NBARooks.com)

Frankie Q’s Freshman Four-Pack…

Brandon Knight – Detroit Pistons


1. Brandon Knight (Det – PG)
College:
 Kentucky
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 8 by Detroit Pistons
Hometown: Coral Springs, FL.

Brandon Knight had a solid three games this past week. Although all three games were losses for the Detroit Pistons, Knight minutes went up again as he averaged around 40 minutes. Knight totaled 46 points, 16 assists and 14 rebounds in those games. The Pistons suffered an offensive blow when combo guard Ben Gordon went down with a “couple tears” in his left (non-shooting) shoulder. Gordon has not played since January 20th and will not be suiting up anytime soon. This means Knight will continue to see between 37-42 minutes a game if he keeps himself out of foul trouble. Luckily for the former Wildcat he only averages 2.7 fouls per game.  Knight remains as the third leading scoring among this year’s rookie class. Not to mention the high praise he’s received from Piston’s GM Joe Dumars, saying how much he loves Knight’s “work ethic”. All signs are a go for Knight moving forward.

Current Season Averages
21 games (15 starts) 33 MIN / 13.0 PPG / 41.4 FG% / 37.9 3PT% / 77.5 FT% / 3.7 REB / 3.5 AST / 0.8 STL / 0.2 BLK

Best Stat-Line of the Week
Jan 27 vs ATL(101-107 loss) 41 mins 20 points (6-18)-8 ast-5 reb-1 stl

Tweet of the Week
@BrandonKnight12
 JAN 25 “Good Monring tweet world. Been a lil absent; working hard to get better! Congratulations to the Tigers for the big signing of P. Fielder.”

Chris Singleton - Washington Wizards

2. Chris Singleton (WAS – SF)

College: Florida State
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 18 by Atlanta Hawks (traded to Wizards)
Hometown: Dunwoody, GA.

This past week has not been a good one for Chris Singleton. He lost his starting job, went scoreless in two games and only scored a total of four points in his last four games. Singleton minutes are way down and players like Rashard Lewis, Trevor Booker and Jordan Crawford are taking them and performing. At this point Singleton is only a defensive specialist and doesn’t enter the game unless players get into foul trouble or need rest. To add to this bad news, the Wizards split their last four games and new head coach Randy Wittman (took over for Flip Saunders who was fired last week) likes the rotation he’s put out in his first three games as coach. “Stretch” fans can only hope for an injury at the G/F positions or the Wiz to fall out of playoff contention early and allow Singleton to get some burn towards the end of the season. On the bright side, Singleton is 4th among rookies in steals.

Current Season Averages
20 games (9 starts) 19:41 MIN / 4.2 PPG / 43.4 FG% / 30.3 3PT% / 60.0 FT% / 3.0 REB / 0.6 AST / 1.3 STL / 0.5 BLK

Best Stat-Line of the Week
Jan 25 vs. CHA(92-75 win) 24 mins 2 points (1-4)-4 reb-5 stl-1 ast-1 blk

Tweet of the Week
@C_SING31
 Jan 30 “Everyone stay tuned for the L.E.A.G.U.E foundation; A new project I am working on to help give back to the less fortunate.”

Tristan Thompson – Cleveland Cavaliers


3. Tristan Thompson (CLE – PF)
College:
 Texas
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 4 by Cleveland Cavaliers
Hometown: Ontario, Canada

Tristan Thompson tweaked his ankle last week, missed two games, but suited up and played in the Cleveland Cavaliers last two. Thompson still remains behind Antwan Jamison on the Cavs depth chart and simply isn’t big enough (6’9) to play center in the NBA. Thompson has the amazing raw ability and with some time and seasoning he will become a viable starter for the young Cavs. “TT” showed in his last game against the Celtics that he can do damage on the offensive boards. In only 17 minutes of play, Thompson grabbed four rebounds, three of which were off the offensive glass. TT also had two blocks in a big win against the aging Celtics. Head coach Bryon Scott isn’t known for giving his rookies much playing time,  but after watching teammate Kyrie Irving continue to progress and play at a high level, Scott might lighten up to giving Thompson more playing time in the second half of the season.

Current Season Averages
17 games (0 starts) 18:06 MIN / 7.5 PPG / 46.2 FG% / 40.8 FT% / 4.9 REB / 0.1 AST / 0.3 STL /  1.1 BLK

Best Stat-Line of the Week
Jan 29 @ BOS(88-87 win) 17 mins 3 points (1-6)-4 reb (3 offensive)-2 blk

Tweet of the Week
@RealTristan13 
Jan 28 “Appreciate the opportunity you are in. If not than that opportunity might slip away. #evaluateyourself “

Nikola Vucevic – Philadelphia 76ers


4. Nikola Vucevic (PHI – C)
College:
 USC
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 16 by Philadelphia 76ers
Hometown: Bar, Montenegro

Nikola Vucevic left the game vs. the Wizards last week (Jan 23) with a strained left knee. Vucevic has not played since, missing the last four Philadelphia games. The young center believes he heard a “little pop” in his leg at the time of the injury. That statement drew a ton of concern from the 76ers, but fortunately Vucevic has come alone well this past week in rehab and is very close to returning to action says the coaching staff.  Vucevic even suited up Monday night but head coach Doug Collins said they would only use him as an emergency. There are reports that Vucevic will miss at least another two games before he gets back on the court and into the 76ers rotation. Philadelphia is hoping he can come back soon as starting center Spencer Hawes has been dealing with a lingering Achilles injury. Vucevic is the center of the future for the 76ers as Hawes is only signed through this year.

Current Season Averages
13 games (3 starts) 15:18 MIN / 5.2 PPG / 53.3 FG% / 50.0 3PT% / 4.9 REB / 0.9 AST / 0.5 STL / 0.7 BLK

Best Stat-Line of the Week
N/A- Nikola Vucevic injured (knee) missed last four games
*Jan 21 vs. MIA(92-113 loss) 24 mins 13 points (6-9)-9 reb-1 ast

Tweet of the Week
Sorry Nikola Vucevic doesn’t tweet…yet! Maybe he’ll make one while nursing his injury :(

Frank “Da Tank” Qasim
-Live & Think Outside The Box
 
 

Quick Turnaround? Yup that’s right! This is what happens when you go to AC for the weekend, but we’ll talk about that later. Let’s see how my boys are doing.

(Can also be viewed on NBARooks.com)

Frankie Q’s Freshman Four-Pack…

Brandon Knight – Detroit Pistons


1. Brandon Knight (Det – PG)
College: Kentucky
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 8 by Detroit Pistons
Hometown: Coral Springs, FL.

It only took seven games for Brandon Knight to become the starting point guard for the Detroit Pistons. Knight’s coming out party was thrown early in the season in his home debut at the Palace of Auburn Hills. The rookie poured on a career high 23 points and tallied 6 assists in the first game at home for the Pistons. On January 6th, Knight finally got his name penciled into the starting lineup by head coach  Lawrence Frank and hasn’t played less than 34 minutes since. Although it’s not the rookie’s fault, the Pistons have gone (2-9) since Knight took over at PG and (4-13) overall. The former Wildcat did help the Pistons snap their latest four game skid by scoring 14 points, grabbing three boards and dishing out three assists in a 94-91 victory against Portland over the weekend. Knight is currently third among NBA rookies in scoring.

Current Season Averages
17 games (11 starts) 31:11 MIN / 12.5 PPG /42.5 FG% /38.8 3PT% / 3.5 REB/ 3.3 AST / 0.9 STL / 0.2 BLK

Best Stat-Line of the Week
Jan 20 @MEM(81-98 loss) 34 mins 22 points (6-18)-4 ast-1 reb-1 blk

Tweet of the Week
@BrandonKnight12
 has not been tweeting lately…boo

Chris Singleton – Washington Wizards


2. Chris Singleton (WAS – SF)
College: Florida State
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 18 by Atlanta Hawks (traded to Wizards)
Hometown: Dunwoody, GA.

Chris Singleton was inserted into the Washington Wizards starting lineup on January 8th and hasn’t left since. Singleton has provided a tough defensive presence to the Wizards, unfortunately the team hasn’t succeeded so far this season. “Stretch” as he’s called among teammates and friends, is not going to drop 20-30 points on a regular basis, but he will fill up the stat sheet in other areas. Singleton ranks as third in steals among his fellow classmates this season. The main concern for Singleton right now is his minutes. Over the past five games Singleton’s minutes have been on a steady decline, despite keeping his starting spot. The Wizards have decided to give sophomore Jordan Crawford and Nick Young more minutes because of their offensive abilities. We’ll see if Stretch’s type of play keeps him in the starting rotation much longer.

Current Season Averages
16 games (9 starts) 21:06 MIN / 5.1 PPG /44.7 FG% / 32.3 3PT% / 3.2 REB / 0.6 AST / 1.2 STL / 0.4 BLK

Best Stat-Line of the Week
Jan 20 vs. DEN(104-108 loss) 16 mins 12 points (5-8)-3 reb-2 ast

Tweet of the Week
@C_SING31
 has not been tweeting lately either…what the heck is going on…boo

Tristan Thompson – Cleveland Cavaliers


3. Tristan Thompson (CLE – PF)
College: Texas
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 4 by Cleveland Cavaliers
Hometown: Ontario, Canada

Tristan Thompson sprained his ankle over the weekend while he was having one of the best games in his early NBA career (see line below). The injury is not listed as severe but consider Thompson as day-to-day. “TT” burst on the NBA scene back on January 3rd when he posted a career high 16 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks in a win against the Bobcats. While the Cavs have lost their last three games, the team is coming together quite nicely as Thompson gives them a boost off the bench and in the front court. Along with #1 overall pick Kyrie Irving, these two plan to be the future of this team in a big way. Thompson is third among rookies in rebounds and blocks so far this season.  TT is also right  behind his teammate Irving as 4th among rookies in FG%. Thompson minutes continue to rise and might even crack into the starting rotation after the all-star break.

Current Season Averages
15 games (0 starts) 18:08 MIN / 8.0 PPG /48.1 FG% / 40.0 FT% / 5.1 REB/ 0.1 AST / 0.3 STL /  1.1 BLK

Best Stat-Line of the Week
Jan 21 vs. ATL(94-121 loss) 23 mins 16 points (6-7)-5 reb-1 stl

Tweet of the Week
@RealTristan13 
Jan 22 “That turnover may really cost the 49ers the game smh.”

Nikola Vucevic – Philadelphia 76ers


4. Nikola Vucevic (PHI – C)
College: USC
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 16 by Philadelphia 76ers
Hometown: Bar, Montenegro

Nikola Vucevic is truly a hidden gem. Many may not see it yet, but with time and minutes all will see what the Montenegro native has to offer. Vucevic has started the last three games for the 76ers, due to the injury of the regular starting center Spencer Hawes. This diamond in the rough had his best game over the weekend against the Miami Heat (line shown below). Unfortunately for Vucevic his coming out party ended badly. The big man suffered a strained knee late in the game against the Heat and had to be carried into the locker room. Vucevic told reporters he heard something “pop” in his knee/quad. This is terrible news and there are conflicting reports on the severity of the injury. The 76ers have listed Vucevic as day-to-day but even he admitted that he has no idea when he will be able to return. Vucevic leads all rookies in FG% and is 4th in blocks and 6th in rebounds among his fellow draftees.

Current Season Averages
13 games (3 starts) 15:18 MIN / 5.2 PPG /53.3 FG% / 50.0 3PT% / 4.9 REB/ 0.9 AST / 0.5 STL /  0.7 BLK

Best Stat-Line of the Week
Jan 21 vs. MIA(92-113 loss) 24 mins 13 points (6-9)-9 reb-1 ast

Tweet of the Week
Sorry Nikola Vucevic doesn’t tweet…yet!

 
Frank “Da Tank” Qasim
-Live & Think Outside The Box
 
 

(Can also be viewed on NBARooks.com)

Frankie Q’s Freshman Four-Pack…

Brandon Knight – Detroit Pistons

1. Brandon Knight (Det – PG)
College: Kentucky
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 8 by Detroit Pistons
Hometown: Coral Springs, FL.

Brandon Knight is going to be one of the future stars of the NBA. The young guard spent one year playing college ball for the Kentucky Wildcats and averaged 17.3 PPG. Knight was an instant NCAA stud and led Coach John Calipari’s #11 Wildcats to another SEC tourney title and a final four appearance last year. The newest Piston has drawn several comparisons to former Detroit star point guard Chauncey Billups. Knight has the same 3-point game, mental toughness and big shot ability that Billups had in his prime and continues to showcase even today. The 6’3 guard is more athletic than a younger Billups ever was. While the Pistons will be at the bottom of the league this season, Knight will provide the fans with dazzling play as he already is third on the team in scoring. It is only a matter of time before Knight is the focal point of the offense and face of the franchise.

Current Season Averages
31:11 MIN / 11.8 PTS /43.6 FG% /40.3 3PT% / 3.7 REB/ 3.3 AST / 0.9 STL / 0.1 BLK

Best Stat-Line of the Week
Jan 17 @HOU(80-97 loss) 35 mins 15 points (7-16)-4 ast-3 reb-3 stl

Tweet of the Week
@BrandonKnight12 Jan 14 “Getting better. Tgbtg”

Chris Singleton – Washington Wizards

2. Chris Singleton (WAS – SF)
College: Florida State
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 18 by Atlanta Hawks (traded to Wizards)
Hometown: Dunwoody, GA.

Chris Singleton spent three years being a defensive force for the Florida State Seminoles. Singleton averaged 13 PPG last season and led the Seminoles to third place in the ACC. Although Singleton and FSU were bounced in the sweet sixteen by final four VCU last year, Singleton’s strong performance all year got him drafted this past summer. Singleton aka “Stretch” or “Sing” is known for his athleticism and defensive prowess. Many analysts compare his game to Trevor Ariza. Singleton will spend most of the season backing up Rashard Lewis, but knowing the injury-prone veteran, Singleton will most likely be starting by season’s end.

Current Season Averages
21:36 MIN / 4.8 PPG /43.8 FG% / 33.3 3PT% / 3.4 REB / 0.4 AST / 1.3 STL / 0.4 BLK

Best Stat-Line of the Week
Jan 16 vs. HOU(106-114 loss) 17 mins 6 points (3-6)-3 reb-2 stl

Tweet of the Week
@C_SING31 Jan 18 “I told them Terps we was going to win”

Tristan Thompson – Cleveland Cavaliers

3. Tristan Thompson (CLE – PF)
College: Texas
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 4 by Cleveland Cavaliers
Hometown: Ontario, Canada

Tristan Thompson is a big bad man. The former Texas Longhorn stands 6’9 tall and weighs in around 230 lbs. While some say he is undersized to play PF in the NBA, Thompson’s uncanny ability to grab offensive boards makes him a very interesting asset for the Cleveland Cavaliers. “TT” as the Longhorn fans call him, led #16 Texas to second place in the BIG 12. Thompson averaged 13 PPG and just under 8 rebs a game in his only year at Texas. He’s known for his rebounding and defending in the post. Thompson doesn’t allow offensive players to gain good positioning down low and has a 7-footer’s wingspan when it comes to blocking and defending shots. “TT” figures to fall behind Antawn Jamison for most of the season on the Cavs depth-chart until he becomes a more dependable offensive player. Thompson is efficient at scoring under the basket and inside the post, but struggles to create his own shot and passing out when double teamed. Thompson is still raw and can be coached into becoming a dangerously solid player.

Current Season Averages
18 MIN / 7.7 PPG /48.3 FG% / 36.8 FT% / 5.1 REB/ 0.2 AST / 0.2 STL /  1.2 BLK

Best Stat-Line of the Week
Jan 16 vs. GSW(95-105 loss) 18 mins 5 points (2-9)-9 reb-1 blk

Tweet of the Week
@RealTristan13 Jan 16 “Louis Vuitton Dons”

Nikola Vucevic – Philadelphia 76ers

4. Nikola Vucevic (PHI – C)
College: USC
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 16 by Philadelphia 76ers
Hometown: Bar, Montenegro

Nikola Vucevic may have been the most underrated big man in the draft. Even though he went 16th overall, Vucevic still isn’t getting the attention he deserves. The Montenegro native played three years at USC and avaeraged 17 PPG and 10 RPG  last year. Vucevic has a superb inside game to pair with his astonishing ability to own the boards. Experts are already correlating Vucevic’s style to a Mehmet Okur type. The only thing holding Vucevic back is consistency along the perimeter and in his mid range game.  Vucevic has good footwork and moves well for a 7-footer. Defensively he knows how to send shots the other way but will have to prove that he can stick with the other big bodies in the NBA. There’s no doubting Vucevic can score and in a number of ways. With Spencer Hawes having a comeback season early on and Elton Brand not slowing up from last year, Vucevic will simply have to wait his turn to get in on the action. Injuries during the season should gain the Montenegro big man some spotlight and playing time.

Current Season Averages
13:18 MIN / 4.3 PPG /55.0 FG% / 100.0 3PT% / 4.4 REB/ 0.8 AST / 0.5 STL /  0.7 BLK

Best Stat-Line of the Week
Jan 18 vs. DEN(104-108 loss) 11 mins 2 points (1-2)-3 reb-2 blk

Tweet of the Week
Sorry Nikola Vucevic doesn’t tweet…yet!

 
Frank “Da Tank” Qasim
-Live & Think Outside The Box
 

Brothers Separated at Birth

Posted: November 8, 2011 by frankieq in NFL, Other

I have been pushing this statement for weeks now. Especially after I watch the romantic comedy of Love and Other Drugs and watch football every sunday…

Movie Star Jake Gyllenhaal and NFL Quarterback Aaron Rodgers must be brothers. Here are the photos and fun facts to prove it:

Jake Gyllenhaal and Aaron Rodgers both have blue eyes.

Jake Gyllenhaal and Aaron Rodgers were both born in California.

Jake Gyllenhaal and Aaron Rodgers were born in the month of December. Jake December 19, 1980 and Aaron December 2, 1983. Aww big brother Jake.

Plus they look alike. You get the point. I hope.

 
Frank “Da Tank” Qasim
-Live & Think Outside The Box
 

St. John’s opened the 2011-12 college season with a 74-59 win over William & Mary Monday evening at Carnesecca Arena in Queens, NY. Red Storm Assistant head coach Mike Dunlap rallied his team to their comeback victory after trailing the Tribe 33-26 at the half. Head coach Steve Lavin was not in attendance for the opener as he continues to recover from the Prostate Cancer surgery he endured last month.

The new look young and raw Johnnies team opened the game with some jitters and sloppy play on both sides of the ball. It was a tale of two halves as the Johnnies forced up contested shots on offense and struggled to stop the 3-point game of W&M on defense in the first 20 minutes. However, the six scholarship new faces in Queens showed off their talents and dominated the second half to take the victory. Let’s go straight to the Good and Bad of the Johnnies first game of the season…

The Good

-Plenty of Offense. This new Red Storm team can score at will. Seemingly everybody except junior PG Malik Stith (only returning player from last year) has above the rim game ability. Along with that deadly attribute, the majority of these new kids can put the ball on the ground and create their own shot—both from inside and outside.

-Turnover City. These Johnnies may be raw, may be a little too aggressive at times, may not play the cleanest or firmest zone defense, but this team can force turnovers often. The length of defense by these youngsters stretches pretty far. They force bad passes and within a blink of an eye have a ball-handler trapped along the baseline or in a corner. The quickness is always on display as this team can press all the way up and down the court. The Johnnies forced 21 turnovers and scored 28 points from them. Not to mention these Johnnies hold on to the ball when they have possession, only coughing up the rock four times in the opener.

-High Bball IQ. Although this is the youngest Red Storm team we have seen in a while, these players have a unique intelligence out on the court. This team draws charges, jumps passing routes and makes adjustments throughout the game. It’s one thing to have the talent but it’s even better when a team uses it’s talents to be efficient.

The Bad:

-Free Throws? New team, same result. The Red Storm shot under 50% from the line. Poor shooting from the charity stripe is something that has plagued St. John’s over the past couple years and was present again in the opener. It’s simple…practice, practice, practice.

-Size and Boards. Without center recruit Norvelle Pelle, who is academically ineligible to play this semester, St. John’s is undersized in the Big East. Although freshman forward Maurice Harkless did a nice job with Achiuwa to provide an offensive presence in the paint both scoring 17 points, there is no depth to spell both of these players. Harkless played all but five minutes and Achuwa played all but two minutes of the game. The Johnnies got out-rebounded 29-26, but did manage to get eight offensive boards. Staying fresh and grabbing boards will be a re-occurring issue for the Johnnies until Pelle can return.

-Zone Defense? We know Coach Dunlap is a mad scientist when it comes to structuring his defense. These young kids can definitively get after the ball with their aggressiveness, however they didn’t look like a solid unit on defense in the opener. What is scary is that the team forced 21 turnovers on ability and pressure alone. The zone defense was far from crisp and the team did not seem to shift back and forth as one unit. With time this should tighten up.

Honorable Player Mentions: 

JC-SO PG Nurideen Lindsey- 19 points, 5 steals, 4 assists
Lindsey gives St. John’s something they haven’t had in a long time…a PG that can straight up ball. Nuri has the handles, the quicks, the shot and the throw down ability that makes him truly deadly. In the opener Lindsey showed he can take it to the hole, run the break, force turnovers and draw & convert multiple AND-ONEs. Nuri got his team going on multiple occasions in the opener by making the opposition give up the rock and burning defenders in transition.

JC-JR F God’sgift Achiuwa- 17 points, 9 rebounds
“God’s on our side!’ That’s the St. John’s faithful new chant for the Nigerian forward. Achiuwa has a knack for scoring down low and loves to throw it down as often as possible. Achiuwa’s game resembles once foe from Pittsburgh DeJuan Blair. Both are undersized forwards who play like a center. Tenacious on glass and efficient at gaining good positioning down low to convert easy baskets. Not to mention Achiuwa plays with a lot of passion and intensity. It’s not hard to see Achiuwa is a leader out on the court.

Frank “Da Tank” Qasim
-Live & Think Outside The Box