Stanford lands two to Wooden Award Preseason list

Stanford lands two to Wooden Award Preseason list


STANFORD Stanford womens basketball was one of just two teams in the nationto have multiple selections to the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top20 list as forwards Nnemkadi Ogwumike and Kayla Pedersen made the cut,The Los Angeles Athletic Club announced Tuesday.Ogwumikeand Pedersen highlighted a list that includes fellow Pac-10 playerJasmine Dixon from UCLA. Ogwumike was a 2010 John Wooden AwardAll-American last season. Stanford and North Carolina were the only twoschools to have multiple selections.Eachplayer has been vital to fourth-ranked Stanfords 12-2 start to theyear, including the teams 3-0 start to Pac-10 play. Ogwumike, a 2010All-American, leads the team in scoring (17.2 ppg), rebounding (8.4rpg) and shooting (59.3 percent) while Pedersen, one of the mostversatile players in the nation, is the only Cardinal player to rank inthe teams top three in scoring (11.5 ppg third), rebounding (8.2 rpg second) and assists (3.23 apg). Pedersen,has recorded three double-doubles so far in 2010-11, and each has comein key non-conference victories. The Fountain Hills, Ariz. dominatedthe boards to the tune of double-digit rebounding totals in wins overGonzaga (10), Texas (12) and top-ranked Connecticut (11), and added a14-point, six-rebound, three-assist all-around performance in theCardinals 89-52 victory over No. 44 Xavier on Dec. 28.Ogwumike,meanwhile, has posted double-doubles against three ranked teams so farthis season (DePaul, Tennessee and Xavier), and has shot over 50.0percent in 12 of her 13 games. Boasting the 10th-best shootingpercentage in the nation (59.3), Ogwumike most recently combined toshoot 67.9 percent (19-for-28) over Stanfords weekend sweep of Arizonaand Arizona State on Jan. 6 and 8.TheWooden Award All-America Team will be announced the week of the EliteEight round during the NCAA Tournament, making it unique among collegepostseason awards. Transfers, freshmen and medical redshirts areeligible for this midseason list but did not appear on the preseasonTop 30. All players nationally who excel throughout the season will beevaluated and considered for the official voting ballot released inMarch. The National Ballot consists of approximately 20 top players whohave proven to their universities that they are also making progresstoward graduation and maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA.Anunprecedented nine players from the 2010 Wooden Award ballot return tothe midseason list in 2011, including the nations No. 1 (Dawn Evans ofJames Madison) and No. 3 scorers (Jantel Lavender of Ohio State). TheWooden Award Womens Advisory Board had an especially difficult task inpreparing this years midseason list, with several members commentingthat they could find six or seven additional players who were deservingbeyond the 20 selected. Competition for one of the 20 spots on theWooden Award Ballot is expected to be especially tough this year.The35th annual Wooden Award ceremony, which will include the announcementof the Men's and Women's Wooden Award winners, a special tribute toCoach Wooden and Wooden Award founder Duke Llewellyn, and thepresentation of the Wooden Award All American Teams and the Legends ofCoaching Award, given to Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo, will takeplace April 8, 2011.Stanford returns to action this Friday night, traveling to Seattle to take on Washington in a 7 p.m. contest.Courtesy Stanford media services

Fultz a perfect fit, but do Kings have assets required to trade up?

Fultz a perfect fit, but do Kings have assets required to trade up?

It’s lonely at the top, which is where Markelle Fultz sits on almost every 2017 NBA Draft board. The Brooklyn Nets should be set for the next decade with a big time scoring point guard. Instead, it’s the Boston Celtics who have no choice but to take Fultz with the No. 1 overall selection after a savvy trade that sent veterans Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry to the Nets for a stack of picks and players back in 2013.

Fultz can do it all. He’s deadly from the outside, he can take you off the bounce and he has elite passing skills to boot. In a draft packed with star potential, specifically at the point guard position, the freshman from Washington stands out well above the rest.  

It would take a major shake up at the top for Fultz not to have his name called first on draft night, but there are plenty of very talented players sitting on the board behind him. Here is a deeper look at the potential top overall selection.

The Positives:
Fultz has tremendous size, length and athleticism for an NBA point guard. He measured in at 6-foot-5, 195-pounds with a 6-foot-10 wingspan and has a frame built to take on muscle. At just 19-years-old, he is already well defined physically and has plenty of room to grow and get stronger.

A crafty, high-end scorer, Fultz changes speed and direction well and has an advanced Euro-step for a young player. He averaged 23.2 points in 35.7 minutes a night for the Huskies while shooting 47.6 percent from the field and 41.3 percent from three. He can score from all three levels, finish well above the rim and play through contact.

In his lone season in college, Fultz showed that he is not only a legitimate scoring threat, but he is a willing passer and an unselfish teammate. While Lonzo Ball is considered the true pass first point guard of the draft, Fultz had a higher assist rate (35.5 to 31.5) and lower turnover rate (13.4 to 18.2) than the star guard from UCLA.

Fultz rebounds well for his position, averaging 5.7 rebounds per game at Washington. He also has potential as a defender, posting 1.6 steals and 1.2 blocks, although he is a work in progress on that end of the floor.

Known as a high-character kid and tireless worker off the court, Fultz has the entire package. He can also play the lead or shooting guard spot, which will come in handy if the Celtics decide to pair him with All-Star Isaiah Thomas in the backcourt.

The Negatives:
9-16 is a concern. Great college players should be able to will their team to victory, even if the talent around them is suspect. Washington was certainly worse off without Fultz down the stretch, losing their last six while he sat with a knee injury.

Shot selection and sloppy ball handling was also an issue this season. In Fultz’ defense, he played with a group that lacked overall talent and those issues might eventually disappear when he’s added to a roster that made it to the Eastern Conference Finals.  

Fultz is a quality chase down defender, but he fell asleep on plenty of plays or didn’t show a consistent fight on the defensive end. Lack of focus allowed for plenty of back cuts. He also showed an inconsistent effort fighting through screens.

He’s a work in progress on the defensive end, like most young players coming into the league. Most of these issues can easily be coached out of him at the next level.

Fultz has an advanced feel and tons of room to expand his game. On the court, he resembles another former Husky in Brandon Roy. Fultz is much further along than Roy was at the same age, but possesses both the ability to score from anywhere on the court, as well as rebound and set up his teammates.  

It’s hard to imagine the Celtics passing on Fultz with the top overall selection, but if they do, teams will scramble trying to move up to select him. He would fit perfectly in the Kings starting backcourt alongside sophomore Buddy Hield, but Sacramento lacks the assets to move from five to one, Fultz’ likely landing spot.


Early offense, six strong from Cueto lift Giants past Braves in finale


Early offense, six strong from Cueto lift Giants past Braves in finale


SAN FRANCISCO -- Johnny Cueto pitched six strong innings and Brandon Crawford drove in three runs as the San Francisco Giants defeated the Atlanta Braves 7-1 on Sunday.

Cueto (5-4) bounced back from his roughest stretch as a Giant. The two-time All-Star was 0-3 with a 4.33 ERA in his previous four starts.

The Giants won their third straight home series and posted their 11th victory in 18 games overall.

Crawford's two-run single highlighted a four-run second against R.A. Dickey (3-4) that made it 6-0.

The Giants scored their first run in the first inning on a passed ball by Kurt Suzuki, who was handling Dickey's knuckleballs.

Eduardo Nunez and Gorkys Hernandez each had two hits for the Giants. Joe Panik tripled to start the second-inning burst.

Matt Kemp had three hits for Atlanta. But the Braves couldn't get much going against Cueto, who allowed one run on six hits and a walk. Cueto struck out eight, including five in a row at one point.

Dickey allowed a season-high seven runs (six earned) on six hits and five walks.

Giants catcher Buster Posey was 0 for 2 with two walks. He hasn't struck out in 55 consecutive plate appearances.

Braves: 2B Brandon Phillips left the game in the top of the fifth for pinch-hitter Jace Peterson. Phillips fouled a ball off his foot in his last at-bat in the third.

Giants: LHP Madison Bumgarner will start his throwing program on Friday, manager Bruce Bochy said. Bumgarner will start out playing catch and make five rehab starts. The 2014 World Series MVP suffered a separated left shoulder in a dirt biking accident. "The progress is happening," Bochy said. "I think he sees light at the end of the tunnel." . Slumping rookie INF Christian Arroyo was out of the lineup on Sunday and his playing status appears uncertain. Arroyo, who turns 22 on Tuesday, is 0 for 19 in his last five games. "I'll talk to him, about what his situation is," Bochy said. "I'm definitely planning on giving him a couple of days" off.

Braves: RHP Julio Teheran will make his first career start against the Angels in Anaheim on Monday. Teheran is 3-9 with a 5.63 ERA in 15 career interleague starts.

Giants: LHP Matt Moore will face the Nationals for the second time in his career. He was with Tampa Bay when he gave up two runs in five innings against Washington in 2012.