Dallas Mavericks: Texas Longhorns

Mark Cuban: Texas should stay put

September, 5, 2011
9/05/11
7:59
PM CT
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is trying to push a four-team college football December invitational. He served as guest game picker on ESPN's College GameDay on Saturday from Cowboys Stadium. So why shouldn't he have an opinion on the murky future of the Big 12 as well?

Good, because he does. He wrote all about it on his blog (blogmaverick.com) and he thinks Texas' best move is not to make one.

Cuban believes the formation of super-conferences will turn into a huge mistake, suggesting that more schools won't mean more TV money, that fans will hate the scheduling of games to slot them all on a network and that geographical rivalry games will disappear -- Cuban, the Pennsylvania native, notes his favorite ghost of a rivalry game between Pittsburgh and Penn State.

There's plenty more the Mavs owner has to say on the subject. Just click the link above.

UT's Dexter Pittman returns to Miami

December, 20, 2010
12/20/10
5:56
PM CT
MIAMI -- Rookie Miami Heat center Dexter Pittman has returned from a three-week stint with the D-League Sioux Falls Skyforce. The former Texas Longhorn won't be active for tonight's game against the Dallas Mavericks. That slot is reserved for Mike Miller's season debut.

Pittman played in eight games with the Skyforce and started all of them, averaging 16.6 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.63 blocks. In his last two D-League games, Pittman combined for 49 points, 19 rebounds and seven blocks. Twice in the eight games he logged more than 40 minutes.

"It was invaluable," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said of Pittman's time away. "He was able to play minutes he had never played before. Even in high school he had never reached anywhere near 40 minutes in a game; understanding how to play through mistakes that a lot of times he wouldn't have had that opportunity here with us."

Could Mavs help Caracter build character?

June, 23, 2010
6/23/10
11:52
AM CT
NBA draft prospect Derrick Caracter should have been born with an 'h' in his last name because he's been quite the character in a long, strange journey to the NBA draft.

Since the eighth grade, UTEP's 6-9, 280-pound power forward started seeing his name in lights and by the time he got to Louisville and coach Rick Pitino, Caracter was blinded by the glare.

"Going into my eighth grade year, they ranked me No. 1 (prospect in the nation)," Caracter told the El Paso Times during the season. "I stayed No. 1 until my junior year. That's when I let everything get into my head. I got cocky; big headed. I didn't work out too good and I got heavy. Even then, though, Lebron James was ranked No. 1 and they had me at No. 5."

Heading into Thursday's NBA draft, Caracter will be lucky if he's any better than No. 50, as in the 50th overall pick. That's where the Dallas Mavericks select barring a move up.

Caracter lasted two miserable seasons at Louisville at which point Pitino kicked him off the team. Pitino, who once compared Caracter to the Round Mound of Rebounds himself -- Charles Barkley -- bid Caracter adieu by calling him a thorn in his side.

So the New Jersey native headed farther west to UTEP. After sitting out a year to satisfy transfer rules, Caracter seems to have delved deep into his character, realizing a lucrative pro career hung in the balance. The junior averaged 14.1 points and 8.1 rebounds in leading the Miners to the regular-season Conference-USA title.

Caracter is remarkably agile and athletic for such a large man. He was a force for UTEP down low, but could also step out and sink a floating jump shot, not unlike the Boston Celtics' 6-9, 289-pound Glen "Big Baby" Davis (although Caracater is a better rebounder). The Mavs passed up on Davis, a second-rounder who is now an integral reserve in Boston, a couple of years ago.

Although the Mavs say they draft the best player and not by need that late in the second round, Caracter would fill a need at power forward behind Dirk Nowitzki and health-risk Eduardo Najera. The Mavs need rebounding help and scoring punch on the low blocks.

San Antonio relished its selection last summer of another low-center-of-gravity load in 6-7, 265-pound center DeJuan Blair. Blair averaged 7.8 points and 6.4 rebounds as a rookie. The Mavs passed on him in the second round, too.

Caracter, seemingly having added a dash of maturity and humility, could be one of the draft's sleepers at No. 50.

Other big men who could be available at No. 50:
Dexter Pittman, Texas
Brian Zoubek, Duke
Luke Harangody, Notre Dame
Jerome Jordan, Tulsa
Hamady N'Diaye, Rutgers
Tiny Gallon, Oklahoma

Interesting foursome get a Mavs workout

June, 17, 2010
6/17/10
7:35
AM CT
Day 3 of NBA draft-prospect workouts at the American Airlines Center is easily the most intriguing so far. The Mavericks bring in four more players and each has an interesting story.

Like most of the prospects the Mavs have brought in this week, these four are projected as late-second picks, if that. Without a first-round pick in the June 24 NBA draft, the Mavs will wait until the 50th of 60 pick rolls around to make selection.

Here's a look at today's group:

Elijah Millsap, a 6-foot-6, 210-pound junior out of Alabama-Birmingham. The small forward averaged 16.1 points and 9.5 rebounds in one season for the Blazers after transferring from Louisiana-Lafayette. He's taking a risk by coming out, but he has the length and powerful frame that will get some NBA teams excited. He's a confident player who makes good use of his solid frame slashing and finishing at the rim.

He's also seen what it takes to get the job done in the Association. His big brother is Utah Jazz power forward Paul Millsap.

Another 6-6, 210-pounder with a brother playing in the NBA is swingman Ryan Thompson, who averaged 17.2 points and 5.0 rebounds as a senior at Rider. That's where his brother, Sacramento Kings center Jason Thompson, starred and became the suprise 12th overall pick two years ago.

Ryan Thompson opened some eyes at the Portsmouth Invitational in April, leading the tournament in scoring while showing diversity to his game. Scouting reports say he's not a dynamic athlete, but he shot the ball extremely well from beyond the 3-point arc in Portsmouth, which he did not do as a senior, and he demonstrated excellent court savvy.

One of the better stories coming out of the college game last season was resilient Harvard point guard Jeremy Lin. Lin is of Asian descent and grew up in the Bay Area. His game often gets the obligatory comparisons to Steve Nash or Jason Kidd, which is pretty good considering growing up he was mostly told he was too skinny or too short or he simply wasn't taken seriously as a basketball player.

Lin averaged 16.4 points, 4.4 assists and 4.4 rebounds as a senior. He had Harvard on track to make its first NCAA Tournament since 1947 until late-season losses ended that dream.

The final prospect is Amarillo's own Justin Mason, who finished a four-year career at Texas as one of the Longhorns' top leaders.

The 6-2 guard doesn't bring a lot of scoring, but he'll earn a spot on someone's summer-league team through heart and hustle.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Monta Ellis
PTS AST STL MIN
20.3 4.4 1.8 33.8
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsT. Chandler 11.9
AssistsR. Rondo 7.1
StealsM. Ellis 1.8
BlocksT. Chandler 1.4