Andy Katz has the latest on Joe Alexander and speculates that #8 to Milwaukee is the highest Joe is likely to go if he stays in the draft although he will work out for the Knicks who draft at 6. Mike D'Antoni is the current Knicks coach and prefers athletic guys that can play a couple of positions, run, and shoot so there is a possibility. Another possibility for the Knicks could be Italian forward Danilo Gallinari as D'Antoni played for nine seasons with Gallinari's father in Italy. Gallinari is still ranked as the top small forward in the draft by most as the 19 year old averaged 17.5 points per game in the Italian league this year to go with 40.5% three point shooting and over 4 rebounds per game. To further the ascent of Alexander is the release of the pre-draft measurements which show that Joe Alexander is as physically gifted as any player in the draft. Joe had a 38.5 inch vertical with 32.5 inches on a no step jump, the second highest bench press of anyone participating, and a body fat percentage of 5.8%. USF forward Kentrell Gansberry, on the otherhand, posted the third highest body fat percentage in pre-draft camp history with an artery clogging 17.4%. Oliver Miller had 22% in 1992 when he actually was caught eating tootsie rolls during the 3/4 court sprint. All that said, Katz leaves a glimmer of hope for the return of Alexander to WVU next season. That glimmer comes in the form of Alexander's desire to win a national title and his love of Huggy Bear.
"I think they have a legitimate shot at winning it all if I do go back," said Alexander last Friday prior to his first workout at the Milk House on Disney's Wide World of Sports campus in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. "There really is a great opportunity waiting for me if I go back. With me, they'll have a great team. They'll have a great team without me."Followed with:
"What people don't realize is that when you jump to the NBA, it overshadows the downside of leaving your school, leaving your friends and a team you committed to," he said. "If I didn't like my coaching staff, it would be easy. But I honestly like my coaching staff."And Joe thinks this is just the start for WVU basketball.
"I feel like this is the start of the glory time for us," Alexander said. "They're going into their best years of the basketball program, and that definitely helps me sleep about leaving. I think it's obvious with Huggins being there and the recruits they've got. But he didn't have to start from scratch. We already had a good team. There's no downtime for West Virginia. It's ready to blow up right away, starting next year."
Elsewhere Syracuse had very few highlights last year in football (Louisville implosion aside), but the wide receiving corps turned out decent. Now that looks to be falling apart. According to CBSSportsline Syracuse suspended the top returning player on the team Mike Williams and he has left the school. Much more available at Troy Nunes is an absolute magician including rumors of Williams being caught cheating multiple times in class and the original story detailing Williams and Taj Smith also leaving early (draft).
With both options off the table, our starting receiving core is now junior Lavar Lobdell who has never caught more than three passes in a game, junior Donte Davis who is coming off a hand injury and untested freshman such as Marcus Sales and Van Chew. One of the few areas on the team we didn't need to worry too much about this year has suddenly become a huge problem area.Another WVU rival that is having difficulties in recent years has been Maryland in their normal stronghold of basketball. Now that could be even worse as troubled player Tyree Evans decided not to attend Maryland after all the hoopla over his troubled past for drug distribution, assault, statutory rape, trespassing, and another marijuana possession and handgun charge (not all at once though because that would be Pac-manian). In addition the top recruit for the Terps was Gus Gilchrist and he is going to transfer before ever stepping on the court. Gilchrist had originally signed with VT and backed out. After some problems with his release from Blacksburg Gilchrist sat out a year and then was only granted 2 and a half years of eligibility by the ACC schools in 11-0 and 10-1 votes. Elsewhere Gilchrist will be allowed his full eligibility and is likely to go Division II if he wants to play immediately. Also guard Bobby Maze backed out of a pledge and signed to play with Tennessee and Shane Walker transferred and incoming recruit Sean Mosley hasn't qualified yet. If Mosely and incoming international player Jin Soo Kim (may have to wait until 2009) don't make it to Maryland this year the Terps will have only 10 players. Somewhere Gary Williams is sweating, but don't worry he always does that.