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Friday, January 18, 2013
3-point shot: Place for Aaron Craft in NBA?

By Andy Katz

1. Michigan sophomore guard Trey Burke has nothing but respect for Ohio State guard Aaron Craft. Craft defended Burke as well as any player has in his brief career. Burke said Craft wouldn't let him use any screens. Michigan coach John Beilein continued the praise of Craft when he said earlier Thursday that Craft could stay in front of NBA guards. He couldn't stop gushing over how well Craft moves his feet. One NBA scout was at Sunday's Ohio State-Michigan game in Columbus said he hadn't seen a player defend as well as Craft on the perimeter in some time. But he added that if Craft could shoot then there wouldn't be any hesitation on his NBA status. Beilein said there is a place for someone who can defend as well as Craft did Sunday.

2. The Barn at Williams Arena didn't make my initial list for top venues on my Katz Korner essay but it is one of my favorite places to visit. The Barn is an iconic building. Sure, it could use a facelift in some areas -- like more chair backs. But I love the raised floor because it is so unique. The back hallways are like no other building. I was told that no one quite knows why the floor was raised when it was built in 1927. But Minnesota officials said the raised floors at Final Fours now were copied from the Barn. Wisconsin had the old Field House that rivaled the Barn with its old school look. The Barn is similar but unlike the rival Big Ten school and there is no movement to tear it down and build a new facility. The Barn has grown on Tubby Smith but he isn't a fan of sitting up on the court. He said he feels alone up there, unable to talk to his assistants like he can easily on the road. Beilein said he has to stay up there because you run the risk of tripping or hurting your back trying to jump up from the bench.

3. Shaquille O'Neal said at the NCAA convention that players should stay in school for three years. That sounds great in theory. But Shaq should use his influence on his former colleagues. The holdup on any real change is the NBA Players Association. The NBA would go for two years out of high school at the very least. But the NBAPA is against it unless they get something in return from the league. More players, even freshmen, will leave than should in June, regardless of whether they are ready to play because someone has to get drafted. The spots are open and teams/agents will make it known that the players of note will get selected.