Any kid picked late in the pecking order for a game on the playground can identify with Samardo Samuels’ plight during the NBA draft.
One does everything possible to get noticed during the selection process. But for all practical purposes you are invisible. The captains are incapable of recognizing your considerable talents, the proven track record, the physical gifts, the vast potential.
Once upon a time, Samuels was among the top three college prospects by every analyst. But when this draft is over, he’s still waiting for his name to be called.
Now the former University of Louisville basketball player is off to see the world, taking those talents to who knows where.
Remember when word came out of Jamaica that Samardo Samuels would be leaving the University of Louisville basketball team early to pursue a career in the National Basketball Association? Despite all advice to the contrary from his coaches or anyone who see him play the past two seasons?
Well, there’s an update from the island, from the Jamaica Gleaner News that Samuels’ stock may have risen dramatically during NBA workouts, according to a source close to the player:
“Samardo is showing that he has all the tools. In his workouts he shot phenomenally from the field and displayed adept basketball skills, qualities about him that were not widely known before.
“He is also hitting a lot of three-pointers, and the feedback we are getting is that in terms of shape, size and skill readiness for the NBA, he is one the most impressive.”
“He is moving like a guard while maintaining his post-up game. He is being described as similar to Carlos Boozer and Elton Brand, but with better ball-handling skills — a more dynamic player. Because of his skills and first step he is uncomfortable to handle for both the big guys and the smaller guys.”
One still wishes Samardo well but he was either keeping this arsenal of skills under wraps at U of L or someone was telling the reporter what he wanted to hear.
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McCoughtry On A Tear — Angel McCoughtry is leading the WNBA in scoring and is an early candidate for player of the year. She is averaging 24 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.7 steals, and 1.5 blocks per game. Her surprising Atlanta Dream team leads the Eastern Division with a 6-0 record.
AtlantaÂ faces maybe the toughest test of the season when it takes on the 5-1 Seattle Storm. Game time is 9:30 p.m. Tuesday night on ESPN-2. A great chance to finish up that remaining potato salad, ambrosia and grilled chicken from Sunday.
Don’t even think about the NBA, Samardo Samuels. Focus on the footwork. No future without it.
You expected more from this Louisville basketball team in the opening round of the NCAA tournament. Expected players to emerge from a season-long mediocrity, represent the name on the uniform, make a surprising run.
Nice dream. The wishful thinking clashed with reality quickly, California getting off to a 22-4 start. Rick Pitino’s team making some runs, getting within four a few times, but losing more impetus every trip down the court.
Everybody that is except Rakeem Buckles, with unbridled bundles of energy, never seeming to tire. Just when he seems unstoppable and U of L is within reach, Buckles is pulled to the bench. All signs of offense going with him.
All the effort aimed at getting the ball in the middle to Samardo Samuels is wasted if he’s having still another off night. He ends the season where he began, having trouble catching the ball, posting up on anyone near his size, unable to make a decent pass, getting pushed around.
Edgar Sosa getting three fouls early, the look creeping back on his face, too easily letting doubt control his game, something he will have to live with for a long time.
Jerry Smith not really back from the hand injury, his shooting obviously still affected, even the clunker that rolled in off the back of the rim. He will largely be remembered for scoring 23 points in his first game as a freshman, hitting a three-point winner at Marquette, and scoring the first eight points in the second win over Syracuse.
Reginald Delk didn’t receive enough exposure to really create much of an impression. A few three-pointers here and there, a few memorable defensive stops. Gone already.
Terrence Jennings is going to bite his tongue off some game chewing that gum. Maybe it affects his thinking.
Jared Swopshire should fatten up over the summer, eat mashed potatoes and gravy five meals a day, become the significant factor the analysts keep telling us he will become. But he should always be hungry, playing with a sense of urgency once in a while.
Rick PItino talked a lot about youthfulness on a team that started three seniors in the final game. Sometimes he outsmarts himself. He will have a few months to get back to a few basics.