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Bradley or Hamilton?

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Basketball:

Bradley or Hamilton? In an ideal world they are both back next season. Withought knowing how well they are responding to Barnes' style or what kind of draft grade they are looking for it's hard to project what they will do.

Bradley has been listed as a mid-first round guy but I have trouble seeing it. He's a shooting guard all the way and 6'2" is small at that spot. His strength, defense, and offensive confidence would be greatly boosted by another season with Wright and Barnes.

Hamilton could definitely improve his stock, which I've heard described as being in the early 2nd. His strength and defense could benefit a lot along with the chance at being the best creator on a high-screen team in heavier minutes. I think Hamilton has a much higher ceiling and thus much more money to make by staying. I think mid-first round is close to the cap for Bradley unless he's shooting 50% from the field and 40% from 3 next season while locking down the best perimeter offensive players in the country. Barring that higher than a mid-first round pick is a heavy price for an undersized shooting guard. Next year might reveal him as a better Daniel Gibson who could only play point with a point forward like Lebron James or Jordan Hamilton in the game.

For similar reasons I think Texas is better with Hamilton coming back next year than Bradley. He offers more offensively and Bradley's great defense shouldn't be irreplaceable with Balbay and Ward back. However, if one of them seems more likely (from the outsider's perspective) to bolt for the NBA it's Hamilton.

As for that whole NCAA Tournament March Madness deal, my bracket still has all final four teams remaining which is a serious improvement over my typical selections. There's something to be said for picking all the higher seeds I suppose.

There's been some speculation regarding the next great hope at Texas, Cory Joseph. I think the desperation for a point guard is based somewhat on the over-simple thesis of great point guard=good Barnes team. Bad point guard=bad Barnes team. I think a stronger case could be made that Texas needs pick'n'roll players to have good offense. The big men, the wings, the guards, if they aren't excelling in the high screen game they aren't excelling at Texas. Two of the better Barnes teams 05-06 and 03-04 lacked great point guard play and advanced as far as any team that didn't have TJ Ford.

Now, Cory Joseph might be a quick fix to a headache-inducing Barnes offense but I think 35 minutes of Hamilton per game would probably be a stronger bet for success. Then there's the potential problem of Joseph getting stuck in the doghouse while Barnes is content to start Ward, Brown, Balbay or God forbid Jai Lucas most of the season. I can actually talk myself into next year more easily at this point than I could for the next team after the Duke loss in that the personnel will actually be geared towards Barnes offense. I could stand another year like 07 when the defense was frustrating but the team would score like crazy, it's so much easier on the eyes.

If you have the stomach for it Simmons covered Texas-WF in his Thursday draft diary. Mostly he just describes Rick Barnes as a horrendous coach and predicts (accurately obviously) that the game will be determined by a team blowing it. Remembering that Augustin and Durant would be seniors barely even fazes me any more when I saw his predictions for Durant's averages for this season if at Texas. Any system that kept Durant in college for this season would be so stupid it's not really worth dreaming about, he's already better than almost the entire NBA roster.

NFL Draft:

Tebow demonstrated his new throwing motion at the Florida pro day. That Tebow can throw more accurately and with more touch when using proper mechanic and not under pressure may be the most worthless bit of news regarding the draft. I can throw pretty well using proper mechanics and under no pressure as well.

The Tebow we saw during the season doesn't have strengths that match NFL offenses and an improvement in his throwing, which I obviously think is suspect anyways, only elevates him from unsuitable to perhaps barely suitable. Just for his intangibles, work ethic, and athleticism I would draft him and put him to use in short-yardage packages while seeing where his talents fit on the field but a first round grade is ridiculous. Quarterbacks who throw low with long deliveries after staring down receivers don't see tremendous results in the NFL.

Football:

For you X's and O's enthusiasts our new friend Whiskey at onefootdown has started a series on the 3-4 particularly as it pertains to his Irish starting with expectations for the defense and line play in the odd front.

Reading the guest column on line play creates even more respect for Muschamp from me as he has managed to get the defense to absorb complex schemes by using packages and simplified assignments to create complexity out of understandable tasks. It also reinforces the importance of Kheeston Randall with Sacho likely having to take over the 3-tech job in providing the heart muscle of the Longhorn defense. I'm pretty excited to see how he handles the duties this season given his impressive showing last year and the 2 remaining seasons he has with the program.

Additionally, Texas will probably require some strong play out of the Mike this season inside the tackles to handle the running game unless Christian Scott is even more of an aggressive god of war than we are already dreaming of from vague practice reports and 1 quarter of game action. For the descriptions of the 3-4 we've been reading Texas doesn't actually employ that defense very often but uses the 3-3-5 with a weakside backer, Mike backer and the "buck" who is generally always flying into the backfield. So it's on that 1 inside linebacker (Earnest? Does Eacho move over) to handle whatever Randall doesn't pick up and free mr. Robinson to keep up this wonderful new tradition in Texas football where a linebacker actually rings up 100 tackles in a season.