Archive for August 9th, 2012

Carmelo Anthony nursing a sore hamstring

The Knicks small forward has been nursing a sore hamstring for several days and insists that the injury is not serious. He will be available for Friday’s Olympics semifinal against Argentina.

“I’m fine,” he said before Thursday’s practice. “It’s nothing serious.”

The Knicks, however, are taking all the necessary precautions to make sure Anthony returns to the States healthy. The club sent a trainer to monitor Anthony over the final four days of the Olympics, which conclude with Sunday’s gold medal game.

– Reported by Frank Isola of the New York Daily News

The Washington Wizards announced today that Jerry Sichting will join Randy Wittman’s staff as an assistant coach.

Sichting brings 24 years of experience as an NBA player, coach and talent evaluator to the Wizards’ bench, including 11 seasons serving as an assistant both alongside and under Wittman with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

“I’m obviously very familiar with what Jerry will add to our staff and I’m thrilled to have him on board,” said Wittman.  “His experience playing, teaching and evaluating the game will be valuable on the bench and on the practice court as we continue to develop our players and establish this team’s identity.”

Sichting originally began his career with Minnesota in 1995-96 as the team’s director of scouting and player development before moving to the bench and adding assistant coach to his title for the next nine seasons (seven of which were spent alongside Wittman).  After a stint as an assistant with Marquette University in 2006-07, Sichting returned to the Timberwolves for two seasons as an assistant under Wittman, who had been promoted to head coach.  He returned to the front office as director of pro personnel in 2009-10 before joining the Golden State Warriors as an assistant coach for the 2010-11 campaign.  Sichting most recently stepped in to coach Martinsville (Ind.) High School, his alma mater, following the abrupt retirement of the team’s head coach during the 2011-12 season.

As a player, Sichting averaged 6.9 points and 3.3 assists over 598 games and 10 seasons with Indiana, Boston, Portland, Charlotte and Milwaukee.  He began his playing career in 1980 with the Pacers, and averaged a career-high 11.5 points per game during the 1983-84 season.  Sichting went on to help the Celtics capture the 1986 NBA Championship, averaging 6.5 points per game off the bench.  He returned to Boston after his playing career ended, spending four seasons (1991-95) as an analyst on the Celtics’ radio broadcasts.

Sichting was originally a fourth-round selection (82nd) overall by the Golden State Warriors in the 1979 NBA Draft out of Purdue University, where he was the captain of the 1978-79 Boilermakers squad that captured the Big 10 Championship.  He was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002.

Milwaukee Bucks sign Joel Przybilla

Milwaukee Bucks sign Joel Przybilla

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed free-agent center Joel Przybilla (7-1, 255), General Manager John Hammond announced today.

Przybilla, 32, returns to Milwaukee for his second stint with the Bucks after beginning his career with the franchise. The ninth overall pick in the 2000 NBA Draft by Houston, Przybilla was dealt to Milwaukee in a draft-night deal in exchange for Jason Collier and a future first-round pick. He would go on to play three-plus seasons with the Bucks, averaging 1.9 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 141 games. Pryzbilla left Milwaukee as part of a three-team trade in 2004 that sent him to Atlanta and Tim Thomas to New York in exchange for Keith Van Horn.

A 12-year veteran in the NBA, Przybilla has averaged 4.0 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 580 career games split between Milwaukee, Atlanta, Portland and Charlotte. Przybilla has made three playoff appearances during his career (2001 and 2003 with Milwaukee; 2009 with Portland), and owns career postseason averages of 2.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game.

Minnesota Timberwolves second-round draft pick Robbie Hummel has signed a one-year contract to play this season with Obradoiro CAB in Santiago, Spain.

Hummel, a 6-foot-8 forward who averaged 16.4 points and 7.2 rebounds a game at Purdue University last season, was drafted 58th overall by Wolves president of basketball operations David Kahn this summer.

“It’s something we worked on in concert with the Timberwolves,” Hummel’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, said Thursday, Aug. 9.

– Reported by Bruce Brothers of the St. Paul Pioneer Press

Jeremy Lin to host basketball camp in China

NBA star Jeremy Lin says he hopes to boost young players’ enthusiasm for basketball at a four-day camp he plans to host this month in southern China.

Lin said Thursday at a news conference in Beijing that he expected 80 kids to attend. His Asian heritage makes him a huge draw in the homeland of former Houston Rockets star Yao Ming.

– Reported by the Associated Press

The Orlando Magic have signed rookie forward Kyle O’Quinn, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today.

O’Quinn was selected in the second round (49th overall) of the 2012 NBA Draft.  He averaged 8.8 ppg. and 6.2 rpg. in 21.4 minpg. during last month’s AirTran Airways Orlando Pro Summer League.

O’Quinn (#9, 6’10”, 240, 3/26/90) appeared in 129 career games at Norfolk State University, averaging 12.5 ppg., 8.5 rpg. and 2.2 blkpg. in 27.3 minpg. and shot .553 (610-1,104) from the field during his collegiate career.  He was the 2012 Lou Henson recipient as the nation’s top mid-major player.  O’Quinn was the 2011-12 MEAC Player of the Year and a two-time MEAC Defensive Player of the Year (2010-11, 2011-12).  He was also named MVP of the 2012 Portsmouth Invitational, averaging 11.7 ppg., 11.7 rpg. and 3.7 blkpg. in three games.

As a senior (2011-12), O’Quinn played in 36 games, averaging 15.9 ppg., 10.3 rpg., 1.4 apg. and 2.7 blkpg. in 31.3 minpg.  He helped the #15-seed Spartans to a historic upset of #2-seed Missouri in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament with 26 points and 14 rebounds.  O’Quinn, an All-MEAC First Team selection and MVP of the 2012 MEAC Tournament, led the conference and tied for fifth in the nation with 20 double-doubles.  He also ranked 14th in the country in field goal percentage (.573, 205-358), 15th in blocked shots and 16th in rebounding.

During his junior year (2010-11), O’Quinn appeared in 32 games, averaging 16.4 ppg., 11.1 rpg. and 3.44 blkpg. in 32.8 minpg.  He ranked in the top 10 in the nation in blocked shots (fourth), rebounds (fifth) and double-doubles (eighth, 19).  O’Quinn led the MEAC in blocked shots and rebounding, while ranking second in field goal percentage (.556) and fifth in scoring.  He set single-season school records (Division I era) with 110 blocked shots and 355 rebounds.  O’Quinn was named MEAC Player of the Week and Defensive Player of the Week four times, and was voted to the MEAC All-Tournament Team.

As a sophomore (2009-10), O’Quinn appeared in 30 games, averaging 11.5 ppg., 8.7 rpg. and 1.7 blkpg. in 28.3 minpg., while shooting a conference-best .549 from the floor.  He was named to the All-MEAC Second Team.  During his freshman season (2008-09), he averaged 5.3 ppg. and 3.4 rpg. in 16.2 minpg.

USA now two wins away from hoops gold

Now that Kobe Bryant, strangely missing, has finally joined the fun, the U.S. appears complete.

Oh, there are some major defensive flaws, but that hardly matters to this suped-up, American-manufactured scoring machine that goes from zero to 100 points in seconds.

Overpowering and dominant in a way not seen since the 1992 Dream Team, the Americans are now two wins from a second straight Olympic gold medal.

Argentina awaits.

“We’re ready,” Carmelo Anthony said.

Pushed by teammate Kevin Durant to “turn it on,” Bryant scored 20 points - all in the second half - and the U.S. team stomped its way into the semifinals with a 119-86 win on Wednesday night over Australia, which scrapped as hard as it could until the world’s best team put the game away.

– Reported by Tom Withers of the Associated Press

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