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5/25/2006 12:05:00 PM

Low Hype, Huge Potential

Oakland Arena
Despite being drafted 53rd overall by the Celtics last year, Ryan Gomes made the NBA All-Rookie Second Team.
Brian Babineau/Getty Images

Whether Toronto decides to take Italian superstar Andrea Bargnani, Texas big man LaMarcus Aldridge or Gonazaga's Adam Morrison with the first pick in the NBA Draft, it's safe to say that whoever is selected will have a positive impact on the Raptors next season. The same, however, can't be said for second-round selections, who more often than not end up in the NBDL, Europe or buried at the end of an NBA team's bench. A quick look at last year’s second round shows some successes (Ryan Gomes, Ronny Turiaf), but mostly failures (Von Wafer, Travis Diener). However, for an NBA team to be successful, it helps to have one diamond in the rough, as evidenced by the teams still in the playoffs: Phoenix (Leandro Barbosa, No. 28 pick in '03), Dallas (Marquis Daniels, undrafted), Miami (Udonis Haslem, undrafted) and Detroit (Ben Wallace, undrafted).

Today we want to know which players who are likely to be taken deep in next month’s draft will be diamonds in the rough. SI.com posted its first mock draft yesterday, and of the second round choices, we think Eric Hicks and Denham Brown will be instant contributors to an NBA squad. What under the radar players do you like?

5/24/2006 11:37:00 AM

Digging the long ball

We want to like college softball. We really do, but the game is making it hard for us. Because the mound is so close to home plate and the girls can hum it in there, every time we tune in it feels like we're watching a glorified game of catch between the pitcher and the catcher, while the batter stands there helplessly. For proof of the degree of difficulty, when major leaguers Mike Piazza, Brian Giles and Mike Cameron stepped in against former Arizona and U.S. Olympic team pitcher Jenny Finch, they all went down swinging. Need more proof? Texas All-America Cat Osterman, has thrown 17 no-hitters in her four year career. Seventeen!

As softball commissioner for a day, what rule changes would you suggest to level the playing field and make the game more exciting? The first change we’d make is to move the mound back five feet. What do you suggest? Or should we leave the sport be?

5/22/2006 12:36:00 PM

Stadium Switch-a-roo

Oakland Arena
Hockey was a huge hit at Lambeau Field. What other pro sports venues should be used for college games?
Photo by Jeff Hanisch/US Presswire

When the Rolling Stones announced recently they were playing in Fenway Park, they weren't the only major attraction besides the Red Sox to come to the historic park. Last week, the ACC announced that its 2009 baseball conference tournament would also be held at Fens, just a couple of David Ortiz moon shots away from the ACC's newest member, Boston College. In February, Wisconsin and Ohio State played a hockey game on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field and the Badgers football team is considering scheduling an upcoming home date in the Packers' stadium as well.

What other merging of college sports teams and pro venues would you pay to see? Or how about a pro team playing in a college arena? The Bears in the Big House anyone?

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