Friday, June 15, 2012
A.L.: David Foster Wallace on scouting
By Eamonn Brennan
The Afternoon Links are (intermittently) back, and they are exactly what they say they are. Some days will bring more than others. This is the offseason, after all. If you have a link you'd like included, your best bet is to hit me on Twitter. You can also e-mail your link to collegebasketballnation at gmail.com, or use the submission form here. Does anyone else wish the U.S. used the British plural style for describing teams? "England are," not "England is." I prefer it. No? Anyway ...
I plowed through David Foster Wallace's masterpiece "Infinite Jest" back in the halcyon days of Infinite Summer, the best temporary online book club of all time. I've never spent more time with a book, or returned to a book more often, whether to plumb new depths or chuckle at 20-page tennis-physics footnotes or just spend time with dozens of vividly realized, profoundly strange characters. (Mario Incandenza is probably my favorite.) My copy is dog-eared and torn and rife with markings and post-it notes, and it has a perpetually reserved spot on my dresser. Given this information, you now know why there was no possible way I was going to not link to the passage highlighted by Basketball Prospectus recruiting guru Drew Cannon at the Prospectus blog today, in which one of the younger tennis prospects at an elite academy describes his instructor's philosophy on player development. The passage is immensely relevant for any pursuit, really, but especially in regard to scouting young basketball players, as Cannon writes. It is also, like so much of the book, brilliant.
The Dagger's Jeff Eisenberg has spent much of the past month counting down the most "untouchable" records in college hoops, from North Carolina's 56-game home winning streak against Clemson (No. 10) to Pete Maravich's insane 44.2 points per game average (No. 2), and today the series concludes with a worthy topper, UCLA's seven-straight national titles. None of the records on the list are likely to be broken, but it's safe to say we will never ever see another run of dominance like John Wooden's. To say the least.
Larry Krystkowiak is in the midst of a total rebuilding project at Utah, and he needs every good bit of recruiting news he can get. Landing Parker Van Dyke, a top player from the state of Utah in the class of 2013, certainly qualifies. The only downside: Van Dyke plans on taking his Mormon mission after he graduates from high school, meaning his arrival at Utah will likely be delayed until 2015.