Posted: Tuesday January 16, 2007 1:17PM; Updated: Tuesday January 16, 2007 3:47PM
Other Hoop Thoughts
Seth Davis will periodically answer questions from SI.com users in his Hoop Thoughts column.
We're all going to start running out of superlatives to describe Kevin Durant pretty soon. He obviously belongs on a very short list of all-time greatest freshmen alongside Chris Jackson, Pervis Ellison and Carmelo Anthony. Incidentally, remember how I used to track Durant's three-point attempts compared to his free-throw attempts? Well, I rechecked the numbers. In Texas' first eight games, he shot 43 free throws and 44 three-pointers. In its last eight games, Durant shot 61 free throws and 33 threes. That has made him that much tougher to guard and the Longhorns that much tougher to beat.
Gotta say, I dig Washington State coach Tony Bennett's no-tie look.
A little birdie tells me that Denver Nuggets assistant Mike Dunlap is a front-runner for the Colorado job. Also, I have a feeling Rob Evans is going to wind up on Hawaii's short list.
I also keep hearing Rick Majerus' name floating around Minnesota. I called Majerus last week and asked him if he wanted to return to coaching. I know he was very interested in either the Arizona State or Missouri jobs last year when they came open. He didn't sound like he was dying to get back in it, but he wasn't ruling anything out, either.
Most underrated, underexposed college hoops game analyst: Bob Valvano.
I hope you know Nevada is much more than Nick Fazekas. Not only did the Pack win at Boise State and Hawaii with Fazekas injured, but they also beat Gonzaga after Fazekas fouled out with 5:15 left. Make sure you watch Marcelus Kemp play so you can say you saw him in college and knew all along he'd be a great pro.
How in the world did Virginia Tech lose to Marshall? Now you know why Seth Greenberg doesn't have any hair.
A few weeks ago, I suggested Oregon guard Bryce Taylor was the most improved player in the country. Gotta throw Notre Dame's Russell Carter into the mix. Did you know that when it came time to pick a college, Carter had to decide between Notre Dame and William & Mary?
Speaking of Oregon, I have four thoughts for you: One, the Ducks are this year's Villanova. I love the four-guard alignment. Two, Maarty Leunen is their version of Arizona's Ivan Radenovic (and I'm not sure Leunen isn't better). Three, most people probably don't realize Oregon has played 10 of its 17 games without 6-6 junior Malik Hairston, who returned last week and went for 18 points and eight rebounds in the win at Arizona. Not only does Hairston give this team another scorer/slasher on the perimeter, but he is also an absolute demon on the offensive glass. And four, Aaron Brooks is the clear front-runner for Pac-10 Player of the Year. In other words, this is a very good, very entertaining team. So when does coach Ernie Kent get his long-term contract extension?
Now that there are no more undefeated teams, we can track the real intriguing story of the season: Will Iona go the entire year without winning a game?
I gotta say, the 'Bag/Bilastrator Challenge is a stroke of genius. Makes me wish I had thought to set up a Hoop Thoughts/Swishes-and-Bricks Challenge with Mike DeCourcy.
I say it at least once a year, so here goes: Dennis Felton will get it done at Georgia.
San Diego State came into the season with realistic designs on winning the Mountain West, but the Aztecs miss Marcus Slaughter more than I thought they would. His departure has left them without a formidable inside game.
I never liked Eric Devendorf's on-court antics at Syracuse, but after watching Devendorf go through a recent funk (brought on in part by the shooting of one of his friends back home), I realize Devendorf needs that chip on his shoulder to be effective. So now I say he should keep it there.