Ya Boi Is Back Plus NBA Recap Going Into December

“Life sucks, and then you die.”

I was told that when I was in high school by one of the greatest teachers and men I have ever known. Boy was he right. Since me posting that Soft 7 was back, I was let go (company was bought out), hired somewhere else (making less money than anticipated), started a weekend job to make more money (love serving), started volunteering to give back, and still maintain a full class load. So yeah, have not had the freest schedule recently.

However, with me finally now getting a scheduled break a few days a week to get back into writing, i can now finally get back to what I really love: writing about the NBA.

We have had some huge headlines break in the NBA world. Adam Silver wants to completely change the league. Ratings took a nose dive. Giannis dropped 50, then James Harden dropped 60 (in 3 quarters). Luka looks like he is the MVP. Rookie of the Year talks mirror MVP talks in how wild they are. Zion is STILL gaining weight. The Kings shit the bed in a Western conference that lowkey sucks. Andrew Wiggins looks like he deserves the nickname “Maple Jordan”. Carmelo is back and somehow better. The Raptors look like a repeat worthy team.

Lemme take a breath cause these are just the major headlines, and this is without mentioning any of the major market teams (that exist in, say, Boston, New York, LA, etc.)

I’ll be picking up my writing starting next week. Thought I’d take a break during my studying for finals to let you all know. I shall see you all soon.

It’s time for Georgetown to move on from Patrick Ewing

Patrick Ewing is in his third year as a head coach for the Georgetown Hoyas, and has little to show for it. Georgetown’s recruiting has regressed since Ewing took over, and the Hoyas’ win percentage has only marginally increased when the Hoyas are playing the weakest strength of schedule in the past decade. To succeed as an coach in college basketball, the coach either has to recruit well or develop players well. Ewing does neither particularly well.

Starting with Ewing’s recruiting record, Georgetown’s recruiting has been the weakest it has been in the past decade. From 247 Sports, take a look at Hoya recruiting over the last ten years.

YearNational RankBig East RankingAvg. Rating
20195540.8887
20183130.9176
20174450.8953
2016113100.8953
20152830.9402
2014810.9425
20139480.9656
20121910.9698
20111420.9384
2010810.9506

Ewing was hired in 2017, and his three recruiting classes thus far have been three of the worst four recruiting classes in the past decade as measured by average rating. The fourth of that group was John Thompson III’s final season as head coach at Georgetown.

But it makes some sense Ewing would not be a recruiting. His experience was coaching in the NBA and developing players. However, player development usually results in winning, which Ewing also has not done at Georgetown. Observe Georgetown’s record coming into this season.

SeasonWLW-L%SOS
2018-1919140.5765.31
2017-1815150.5005.29
2016-1714180.4389.31
2015-1615180.4558.49
2014-1522110.6679.81
2013-1418150.5458.27
2012-132570.7817.59
2011-122490.7277.69
2010-1121110.65610.39
2009-1023110.6769.56

Georgetown’s strength of schedule has been soft every year Ewing has been at the helm, but Georgetown certainly does not seem to be capitalizing on a schedule made up of milkmen and janitors.

One of the main distinctions between the Ewing hire at Georgetown and Chris Mullin’s hire at St. John’s was Ewing’s experience coaching in the NBA.

Prior to coaching for Georgetown, Ewing served as an assistant coach for multiple teams, including the Washington Wizards, Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic, and Charlotte Hornets. Prior to Ewing’s hire at Georgetown, he interviewed with multiple NBA teams and was never hired as an NBA head coach.

Ewing’s former coach, Jeff Van Gundy, who also hired Ewing as an assistant coach with the Rockets, said Ewing desrved an NBA head coaching job a long time ago. “I don’t think it’s unfair to say [racism played a part],” Van Gundy said in a phone interview shortly after Ewing’s hiring at Gerogetown. “Certainly, I think there’s some size bias involved. I think back when he played, some of the things that were allowed, the signs, what was said. Even when I coached in the NBA, there were some columns written that were racially tinged in all areas. I mean, I think it’s a combination of things.”

Based on Georgetown’s performance under Ewing, the NBA teams that did not hire Ewing potentially did not hire Ewing because he was not head coaching material, rather than because he is tall. When Ewing’s NBA coaching career receives closer observation, it is possible he was gifted every job he received.

First Ewing coached for the Washington Wizards in the 2002-2003 season. That was the Wizards team Michael Jordan played for in his final season. Ewing and Jordan’s friendship off the court is well documented, so it is possible Jordan wanted one of his guys working his side on the bench, not unlike LeBron getting Jason Kidd hired by the Los Angeles Lakers.

Ewing’s next job was with the Houston Rockets, where he was hired by the aforementioned Jeff Van Gundy. Jeff Van Gundy was Ewing’s coach for several years with the New York Knicks, so like Jordan, Van Gundy may have just wanted a guy on his bench to echo his own voice and message.

After the Rockets, Patrick joined the Orlando Magic, coached by Jeff Van Gundy’s brother, Stan Van Gundy. Jeff was on his way out in Houston, Stan was just getting started in Orlando, so Van Gundy may have been doing his former player and loyal assistant a solid in getting his brother to hire Ewing to the Orlando staff.

Finally, after Orlando, Ewing joined the Charlotte staff. Michael Jordan became the majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets in 2010, so when Ewing became available, it is possible the fairly new owner wanted to make sure he could pack as many of his guys into as many jobs as he could.

Now how Ewing got all these jobs mentioned above is a matter of speculation. What are facts are Ewing had these jobs, interviewed for NBA head coaching jobs, did not get any NBA head coaching jobs, and accepted a position at Georgetown. Georgetown was Ewing’s alma mater. Ewing’s former coach, John Thompson II still maintains an office on the Georgetown campus.

So is there reason to believe that Ewing’s relationships got him every job after he retired from the NBA? Well yeah, if for no other reason than the old adage that it’s not what you know, it’s who you. It certainly has to be who Ewing knows as to why he is still coach at Georgetown, because as shown above, the Georgetown results are demonstrating what Ewing knows, and that’s not much.

The Juice is Loose, Should We Panic About Kentucky?

First off, I know what you’re thinking…where hell have you been, Juice? Well, I moved to Nashville and the real world got chaotic. But I’m back…kind of. Kentucky basketball coverage has been my dream and I’m happy to say I’ve secured an amazing job and recently started a side hustle which will be announced later but I wanted to come back to the roots, to the place that started it all. Now let’s get to my point.

As we all know now, Kentucky got flat out embarrassed by Evansville. You can blame who you want, but it’s simple to see how we lost: we were unprepared.

I love John Calipari, but we lost this game because of him. Now stay with me. Cal has shown since day one he doesn’t really care about Kentucky and I respect that. Okay, he cares but he wants more than just notoriety for the school. His type of coaching/recruiting is unprecedented and his goal isn’t a championship, a perfect season, or to even make the tournament, he coaches for the kids futures which is why this past weekend was weird, especially for Cal.

Early season with a young team can be stressful. We’ve seen Cal stress this and it’s been proven especially when we lost to Duke last season by 34 but we still should’ve made the Final Four. Early season is so important for Cal which just makes his visit to NC State this weekend even more weird. He knows how important prep is for games, especially the weaker opponents because it’s a chance to run their schemes and get prepared for April but Calipari spent 2 days away from the team to cheer on his son. I’m not saying that’s an issue, I support Brad and I’m sure every member of BBN does but this early in the season you can’t be lazy and unfortunately that’s what Cal was last weekend.

I’m not knocking Calipari for visiting his son, that’s awesome and I’d want to see my kid play his first game (outside of Kentucky). But we need his full attention and I believe this is what captures it.

Look a loss is a loss who cares. We’ll be fine. We’ll beat Ohio State, we’ll beat Utah and we know damn well those Dirty Birds aren’t beating us in Rupp. We’re banged up. Hagans needs to rest, EJ and Allen need to get healthy, and Maxey and company need to find their stride. This team reminds me a ton of 2011 with Knight. We struggled, especially on the road and lost to some inferior opponents. But they’ll turn it around, give it some time.

This team still can win it all. We got spoiled with a great performance against Michigan State but it’s early. We should expect some bumps along the road and I know Calipari is more focused than ever now. We’ll be where we need to be, when we need to be there.

As always, Go Cats.

PS…Morning Juice will be making a comeback early December. I’ll be writing more here until I can share the exciting news.

An Open Letter: The Content is Coming…

Dear Soft Sevens,

As is the case with most 20-somethings out of/in college, the whole Soft 7 staff was no different: we got busy as shit. A lot of us were extremely fortunate and got to go on summer vacations. Unfortunately, that is not the only issue. Some had summer classes drag their attention away, while others had 9-5 work weeks axing a lot of free time. Some were in rec leagues, some traveled for work. Some had family issues rise up, some had relationship issues rise up. It sucks that the content took a hit, since we all love writing. As I’m sure you saw from other sport’s content sites, the summer months are a tough time for content as it is anyway. Life getting busy didn’t help this, and it sucked for most of us having to take a step back and put our hobby to the side.

You didn’t come here to read excuses. You came here for the plan ahead.

We at the Soft 7 staff are extremely fortunate in announcing a new model and schedule going forward. We all feel like we have gotten a grip on our new schedules as they stand currently, and any issues in our personal lives have been resolved. I have a few articles I am working on. Wic is putting together some, and I believe Juice may have a few Morning Juice’s in the works for this upcoming college football season. Expect big things from the staff. We hope to break many of the milestones we set before us this year. Who knows, maybe a long-awaited addition to our website gets added around Christmas time.

On behalf of the entire staff, we are sorry for the lack of content. However, get ready for a wild season up ahead.

Stay Soft Sevens,

Buck

Cal Starts 2020 with a Bang, Plus N’Faly Commitment?

A little bit of breaking news this morning as Kentucky gets their first commitment in the 2020 class, Brandon Boston Jr. Boston is the #10 player in the class and the #2 shooting guard. He is a very versatile player who was seen as a lock to Kentucky but is also considered Duke and Auburn. He is an amazing shooter as well as a great rebounder but needs to work on his strength if he wants to make it in the long run, but Cal can bring so much out in him. Boston could be the next Eric Bledsoe for Kentucky, but he could bring a much better force in the college game than Bledsoe could have ever imagined. He is joining Wade and Bronny James this season which will give us a better idea of how he can play with some spotlight on him, but this is a HUGE get for Calipari with Coach K making a big push for Boston Jr last week.

With Boston Jr committing, our attention turns again to N’Faly Dante. Dante is a 6’11” junior from Kansas (originally Mali) and he is in the process of reclassifying but he is running short on time. Dante is said to be between Oregon, Kentucky, and LSU but if you ask me, it’s Kentucky or Oregon with LSU trending down quicker every day. With the process nearing a close, here’s what we know.

Dana Altman and the coaching staff over at Oregon have done an amazing job with their pursuit of N’Faly. They have had his visit and have visited him multiple times within the past two seasons and they were the first team that showed interest in him. I can see why N’Faly would want to go to Oregon, just because of the constant love and admiration they have shown him but look at Bol Bol…no offense, Oregon did not help him whatsoever, in fact it definitely made his situation worse. But what they do have, is success with reclassified players such as Dillon Brooks and Francis Okoro. When it comes to it, Oregon will be hard to turn down for N’Faly.

Five-star center N'Faly Dante stops and poses for a photo in New York City

With Kentucky, you know what I think. Kentucky would allow N’Faly to develop his full potential with the help of Kenny Payne and John Calipari, I mean just look at their success with the big men. Kentucky offers a challenge that any other school cannot do but it comes at a cost. Kentucky is the standard for one and dones, but with every class but a few there has always been competition that cuts playing time which means less time to showcase skill. Cal has never held back anyone (shut up Booker fans) and he always allows them to strive once they hit their peak. N’Faly would have to accept a lesser role, due to Richards, Sestina, and Montgomery but it would also allow him the opportunity to grow and fully enhance his game at an elite level, on a national stage every single night.

N’Faly would put Oregon into the top 25, would they stay there? My guess is probably. Oregon will be decent this season with or without Dante. He would force them into a conversation for the title, but most likely a Sweet 16 is the peak. He would make Kentucky a top 2 team and they’d be there all year. If he commits, he’d give Kentucky the best odds to win the tournament but there is still some waiting to be done. With the Peach Jam and the summer circuit closing shortly, N’Faly is waiting on some test results but all signs point to a reclassification. His host mom loves Kentucky, so does his AAU director…calling them “family.” I firmly believe he will be a Wildcat in due time, just be patient with the process.

For all BBN updates, opinions and much more, follow us on Twitter @soft7sports now!

A Big Blue Charge

We’re in a rare situation in Lexington. It is currently the end of July and more people are excited about football than ever before, in fact no one even cares about the thought of N’Faly Dante joining the Basketball Team but who blames them? There is so much build up around the football program, even with the injury to Davonte Robinson. Kentucky Football is a next man up program and good thing there are tons of four stars backing up Robinson. But all of this is due to one man and his intentions on forever (Mark)ing his legacy in Lexington.

If you would have told me that Kentucky Football was beating LSU, Alabama, Michigan, and even Louisville in recruiting, I would not believe you, not at all. But it’s a different feel in Lexington these days and that is mainly due to Vince Marrow and Mark Stoops. In November 2012, Mark Stoops took over the program and it started off very rocky. In his first year he went 2-10 and then followed it up with two straight 5-7 seasons, barely missing bowl season. Everyone was calling for Mark’s head, including myself but I am forever thankful that Mitch trusts himself more so than the passionate Big Blue Nation.

Image result for kentucky football

After his first three years of going a combined 12-24, he started his 2016 season with another disappointing 0-2 before he turned it around. He finished up going up 7-5 defeating Lamar Jackson and the Louisville Cardinals in the best way possible. This was followed by another 7-6 season due to another bowl loss and we all know what happened this past season, 10-3 with a Citrus Bowl victory over Penn State. Stoops has given Kentucky fans a wild ride, but the actual ride is only beginning.

Last year put Kentucky Football on the map. A team that was never expected to win more than 6 games ended up being the team that beat the streak, demolished Louisville, and posted a 5-3 record in the SEC. Josh Allen led the way and became the eleventh top 10 pick in program history and the 17th first rounder. He is the highest Wildcat drafted since Dewayne Robertson in 2003 when he was selected 4th by the Jets. Benny Snell also changed the program, becoming the all time leading rusher as well as posting highs that haven’t been accomplished in so long at Kentucky. Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow have built on all their success. When looking at Allen, the 2 star recruit out of high school, helps Kentucky’s recruiting game more than anyone. Marrow and Stoops built him into a top 10 pick after being a 2 star and it shows the tide is turning at Kentucky.

Kentucky is changing, folks. It is no longer only a basketball school and a big thanks goes to Mark and Vince. With the growth, comes the disrespect which many analyst have already brought on. Not predicting a bowl game, not thinking they’ll get over 6 wins, ranking Terry the worst in the SEC, etc. This only builds the passion of the team. Their feeding this team with tons of bulletin board material as they prepare to shock the world even more. As Michael Jordan once said, “the ceiling is the roof.”

For the latest updates, follow us on Twitter @soft7sports and on Facebook.

Latest on N’Faly Dante

With August approaching quickly, all eyes have shifted to N’Faly Dante and his decision that could impact a few teams and bring one to a lethal team. Dante is a 6’11” junior from Kansas (originally Mali) and he is in the process of reclassifying but he is running short on time. Dante is said to be between Oregon, Kentucky, and LSU but if you ask me, it’s Kentucky or Oregon with LSU trending down quicker every day. With the process nearing a close, here’s what we know.

Five-star center N'Faly Dante stops and poses for a photo in New York City

Dana Altman and the coaching staff over at Oregon have done an amazing job with their pursuit of N’Faly. They have had his visit and have visited him multiple times within the past two seasons and they were the first team that showed interest in him. I can see why N’Faly would want to go to Oregon, just because of the constant love and admiration they have shown him but look at Bol Bol…no offense, Oregon did not help him whatsoever, in fact it definitely made his situation worse. But what they do have, is success with reclassified players such as Dillon Brooks and Francis Okoro. When it comes to it, Oregon will be hard to turn down for N’Faly.

With Kentucky, you know what I think. Kentucky would allow N’Faly to develop his full potential with the help of Kenny Payne and John Calipari, I mean just look at their success with the big men. Kentucky offers a challenge that any other school cannot do but it comes at a cost. Kentucky is the standard for one and dones, but with every class but a few there has always been competition that cuts playing time which means less time to showcase skill. Cal has never held back anyone (shut up Booker fans) and he always allows them to strive once they hit their peak. N’Faly would have to accept a lesser role, due to Richards, Sestina, and Montgomery but it would also allow him the opportunity to grow and fully enhance his game at an elite level, on a national stage every single night.

N’Faly would put Oregon into the top 25, would they stay there? My guess is probably not. He would make Kentucky a top 2 team and they’d be there all year. If he commits, he’d give Kentucky the best odds to win the tournament but there is still some waiting to be done. With the Peach Jam and the summer circuit closing shortly, N’Faly is waiting on some test results but all signs point to a reclassification. His host mom loves Kentucky, so does his AAU director…calling them “family.” I firmly believe he will be a Wildcat in due time, just be patient with the process.

For all BBN updates, opinions and much more, follow us on Twitter @soft7sports now!