Ward Transfering to Auburn?

August 24th, 2010

Longhorn sophomore point guard, Varez Ward, will almost certainly transfer to Auburn.  Orangebloods.com reported last week that Ward wants to be closer to home and his mother, Sharon, who has a heart condition.  Ward will have to sit out the coming season before he is eligible to play for the Tigers.  Luckily, he was recently granted a medical hardship for another year of eligibility after suffering a season ending injury while warming up for a November game against Pittsburgh.  Once eligible to play, Ward will have 3 years of eligibility remaining.

With Ward’s departure, the Longhorns will be left with Dogus Balbay, Jai Lucas, J’Covan Brown, and heralded incoming freshman, Cory Joseph at the guard positions.  How will Barnes divide up the minutes now?  Ward was almost certain to get a lot of playing time.  Last season, Balbay went down with a season ending knee injury, Lucas looked overwhelmed, and Brown showed flashes of brilliance but wasn’t consistent.  That said, I expect Cory Joseph will likely play a lot of minutes this coming season.  If Balbay is fully healthy, he should see a lot of time as well.  Regardless, the Longhorns should rotate all their guards early in the season to get a feel for the pecking order.

Austin picks Baylor

August 9th, 2010

One of Texas’ 2012 targets, center Isaiah Austin, took his name off the recruiting boards by verbally committing to Baylor University today.  Austin was considering Texas, Kansas, Kentucky, Georgetown, Oklahoma State, Iowa, and Arizona.  Now that ESPN’s 7th ranked player in the 2012 class has committed to Big XII rival Baylor, what post player will Texas switch their focus to?

Lance Blanks Named New Suns General Manager

August 6th, 2010

The Phoenix Suns hired Lance Blanks yesterday to be their new General Manager.  He takes over for Steve Kerr and will join former NBA player agent, Lon Babby, in overseeing Phoenix’s newly revamped basketball operations department.  Blanks previously worked for the Cleveland Cavaliers the past 5 years as Vice President of Basketball Operations and 5 years for the San Antonio Spurs prior to joining the Cavaliers.

While at Texas, Blanks was the starting shooting guard for 2 years and helped the Longhorns reach the Elite 8 in 1990.  He was the “B” in the highly recognized “BMW” backcourt along with Travis Mays and Joey Wright.  Blanks finished his career at Texas with a scoring average of 20.0 ppg and was taken 26th overall by the Detroit Pistons in the 1990 NBA Draft.

More information on Lance Blanks and his career at Texas can be found here and the official press release from the Phoenix Suns can be found here.

Texas to appear twice on Big Monday

July 20th, 2010

The Big XII Conference released the schedule for ESPN’s 2010-11 Big Monday today.  Texas will play twice – at Texas A&M on January 31st and at home on February 28th against Kansas State.  The Big XII will announce the remainder of the conference schedule in the coming weeks. 

The same can be expected of the Longhorns.  Thus far, the team has announced their non-conference schedule for the coming season, highlighted by games against North Carolina (Dec. 18), Michigan State (Dec. 22), and Connectiut (Jan. 8).   When the complete schedule is released, 40 Acres of Hoops will post it.

Durant does work with Team USA

July 19th, 2010

Team USA started training camp today in Las Vegas for their participation in the 2010 Men’s World Basketball Championship.  This year’s event takes place in Turkey after being held in Japan four years earlier.  Kevin Durant is one of 22 players invited to training camp for the Men’s National Team.  He is expected by many to be the key figure of this summer’s team, as the entire roster from the 2008 Beijing gold medal winning Olympic team will not participate.  Unlike the other participants, however, Durant has already been named a member of the World Championship team.  The roster will ultimately be trimmed to 12 players prior to leaving for pool play.

Durant last participated with Team USA during a three-day minicamp last year for players trying to make the Men’s National Team.  Coach Mike Krzyzewski praised Durant for his play following the first day.  Coach K will attempt to build on his success at the Beijing Olympics and guide a new roster of players to a World Championship after a disappointing showing at the 2006 event in Japan.  Team USA finished third in 2006 behind Greece and champion Spain.

The 2010 FIBA (International Basketball Federation) World Championship for Men will be held Aug. 28-Sept. 12 in Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir and Kayseri, Turkey.  Twenty-four teams will compete in the 2010 FIBA World Championship for Men and those teams were divided into four preliminary round groups consisting of six teams each.   The United States was drawn on Dec. 15 into preliminary round Group B, and is joined by Brazil, Croatia, Iran, Slovenia and Tunisia.  The winner of the 2010 FIBA World Championship automatically earns a berth in the 2012 London Olympics.

Note:  JaVale McGee was added to the roster today, bringing the total invitees to 22.

Former Horns in 2010 NBA Summer Leagues

July 5th, 2010

2010 NBA Summer League

The NBA Summer League schedule official gets underway today with tip-off of the Orlando Summer League.  This year’s Orlando Summer League will feature 4 former Longhorns – A.J. Abrams, Connor Atchley, Damion James, and P.J. Tucker.  The New Jersey Nets will be the summer team for Abrams, Atchley, and James, while Tucker will play for the Charlotte Bobcats.   This year’s Orlando Summer League runs from July 5th-9th.

The Las Vegas Summer League picks up upon the conclusion of Orlando and runs from July 9th-18th.  Dexter Pittman is expected to play for the Miami Heat.  Additionally, Connor Atchley is expected to play for the Sacramento Kings.

The complete NBA Summer League schedule can be found here.  NBA TV will air the full NBA Summer League schedule, including 59 games live.  All games can be watched live through the NBA Summer League Broadband.

Bradley signs with Celtics

July 3rd, 2010

Avery Bradley and Luke Harangody introduced to the media

Josh Reynolds/AP

Avery Bradley, drafted 19th overall by the Boston Celtics in the 2010 NBA Draft, signed his rookie contract on Friday.  Terms of the deal were not disclosed.  However, as the 2010-11 rookie scale stipulates, Bradley will make a minimum $1,181,800.00 million his first year and $1,270,400.00 million his second year.  Rookies can make up to 120% of the rookie scale amount, if negotiated between player and team.  The Celtics hold options for the third and fourth year.

Bradley will not play for the Celtics summer league team, as he also underwent successful ankle surgery on Friday.  He injured his ankle June 13th during a pre-draft workout for the Oklahoma City Thunder.  Julian Benbow of the Boston Globe has more on Bradley’s signing and surgery here.

Kabongo excels at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Men

July 1st, 2010

Myck Kabongo at the U18 FIBA Americas Championship for Men

Ross Davis/FIBA Americas

Toronto PG and Texas 2011 commit, Myck Kabongo, helped Team Canada take 3rd place in the FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Men which was held this year in San Antonio, Texas from June 26th-30th.  Kabongo finished the tournament averaging 19.8 points and 6.4 assists per game.  His scoring average ranked 4th overall and he lead the tournament in assists. The complete list of statistical leaders can be found here.

Team Canada beat Team Argentina 86-83 in overtime to take the bronze medal.  Team USA took home the gold medal after beating Team Brazil 81-78 in the championship game.  USA, Brazil, Canada, and Argentina qualified for the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship for Men which will be played in Latvia from June 30th to July 10th.

Trio of Longhorns Drafted

June 25th, 2010

Thursday night saw 3 former members of the University of Texas Men’s Basketball drafted into the NBA.  Two players went in the first round.  Freshman guard, Avery Bradley, was drafted #19 overall by the Boston Celtics and senior forward, Damion James, was drafted #24 overall by the Atlanta Hawks and subsequently traded to the New Jersey Nets.

Senior center, Dexter Pittman, was the third and final Longhorn drafted when he went early in the second round to the Miami Heat at pick #32.  James and Pittman will suit up for their respective teams during the various summer leagues.  However, Bradley will not play for the Celtics, as he will undergo an arthroscopic procedure on his ankle that he injured in a pre-draft workout for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Thursday’s draft marked the first time since 1990 that 2 Longhorns were drafted in the first round.  Travis Mays and Lance Blanks were the last duo of Longhorns drafted in the first round.  Mays was drafted 14th overall by the Sacramento Kings and the Detroit Pistons drafted Lance Blanks 26th overall.  Since Rick Barnes has been coach, 13 players have been drafted, 7 in the first round.  The previous first round picks are Chris Mihm (2000), T.J. Ford (2003), LaMarcus Aldridge (2006), Kevin Durant (2007), and D.J. Augustin (2008).