Traveling: This Week in Basketball (2.23)

Traveling is your quickest way to catch up on the weekend (or week) in the NBA and college basketball. I’ll have a new post up every Monday and Friday; ideal for your morning commute to work or that first bathroom break of the day.

I ran a little bit behind today, but hey, what better way to spend a Friday night than reading this post? Let’s get into it!

bear ref

This year’s March Madness upset pick: The FBI

Bad news in the world of college basketball. The FBI has released more of their findings; very significant because of the high-profile names, coaches, and schools involved. 

If you want a great podcast on this, sorting things out, go check out Matt Norlander and Gary Parrish. 

Blue Bloods in the Yahoo story:

Kentucky – “A listing that refers to “BAM” for $12,000 is later identified in the documents as Edrice “Bam” Adebayo, who would go on to play at Kentucky in 2016-17. He did not sign with ASM. There’s a later reference to Adebayo that says he received $36,500. “Bad loan,” reads the document.”

Kansas – “Apples Jones, the mother of former Kansas player Josh Jackson, received $2,700 according to documents.”

Michigan State – Miles Bridges’ mother received $400

North Carolina and Duke – Tony Bradley (UNC) and Wendell Carter (Duke) had meetings and/or meals with this shady agent.

But here’s the thing, and we’ve got to move on because Traveling is supposed to be quick hits on multiple topics, but the whole report reads like a comedy to me. Doesn’t the FBI have anything better to do with their time? Did we really need to send agents out, wearing wires, to bust players and programs for a couple hundred dollars?

I’ll be putting my thoughts together in an ebook called “Won and Done: Why Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas, Louisville, Michigan State (and more) Should Leave College Basketball.”

My central argument: these programs shouldn’t wait to be punished over shoe money; just threaten to create the NBA’s U-21 league instead and see if the NCAA doesn’t panic.

Kansas back on top the Big 12

The combination of Kansas destroying Oklahoma 104-74 and Texas Tech losing at Oklahoma State puts the Jayhawks alone in first place. They can clinch #14 in a row with a win at Texas Tech Saturday (which will be no easy task).

Houston in the Top 25… and now probably out

Houston should be safe to make the tournament, but their seeding took a hit with a loss to Memphis.

NBA Update

Not a lot to report this week, games started again on Thursday. But did want to show you the current rankings, stats, MVP favorites.

Western Conference

  1. Houston – 44-13
  2. Golden State – 45-14
  3. San Antonio – 35-24
  4. Minnesota – 36-25
  5. Oklahoma City – 36-25
  6. Denver – 32-26
  7. Portland – 32-26
  8. New Orleans – 31-26

Outside Looking in: LA Clippers, Utah Jazz

Tanking Race: Tight race between Phoenix, Dallas, Sacramento, and Memphis. Lakers kind of in worst of both worlds; eight games back of playoffs, but six games “back” of last place.

Eastern Conference

  1. Toronto – 41-16*
  2. Boston – 40-19
  3. Cleveland – 34-23
  4. Washington – 34-24
  5. Indiana – 33-25
  6. Milwaukee – 32-25
  7. Philadelphia – 31-25
  8. Miami – 30-28

Outside Looking in: Detroit Pistons

Tanking Race: Atlanta, Orlando, Brooklyn, Chicago. New York and Charlotte in purgatory land

Hey, so who’s MVP?

Let’s start with the stats:

PPG 

  1. James Harden – 31.3
  2. Giannis – 27.8
  3. Anthony Davis – 27.4
  4. Stephen Curry – 27.0
  5. LeBron James – 26.6

RPG

  1. Andre Drummond – 15.7
  2. DeAndre Jordan – 15.0
  3. DeMarcus Cousins – 12.9
  4. Dwight Howard – 12.8*
  5. Karl-Anthony Towns – 12.1

*Should we talk about Dwight Howard averaging a quiet 15.7 ppg, 12.8 rpg. Maybe next week?

APG

  1. Russell Westbrook – 10.4
  2. John Wall – 9.3
  3. James Harden – 9.0
  4. LeBron James – 8.9
  5. Chris Paul – 8.3

Medium Rare Basketball’s prediction for MVP

I think this year is a two-person race between LeBron James and James Harden.

First off, both very deserving candidates. But ultimately I think Harden will win out because he’s been in the mix the last few years, so close to winning, and hey, he has his team right at the top of the West.

But man, LeBron just punching in another casual 27/9/8 year.

The Return… of Karl Malone?

I’d try to set this up, but yeah, you really just need to go into this blind.

STILL HUNGRY FOR MORE BASKETBALL? CONSIDER THESE EBOOKS

How to Fix Professional Basketball (and college too) 

Don’t Hate the Warriors: How Golden State Gradually Built a Super Team

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