"I'm enjoying it. I'm never going to be able to do this stuff again."
-Aaron Craft, to The Dispatch's Bob Baptist
Ohio State products Aaron Craft and LaQuinton Ross are in the final stage of NBA draft prep: individual workouts with interested teams. The two have been all over the country in the last month, trying to impress teams with their measurables.
The process is a veritable blitzkrieg of exercise and travel. According to Craft, the teams work out players for 60-90 minutes, interview them, feed them lunch, and then drive them to the airport so they can get on to the next one. The turnaround time is no joke--Ross recently worked out for 7 different NBA teams over a 14-day stretch.
Buckeye fans are hopeful that this last slate of workouts helps seal the deal for at least one of these stalwarts from the last few seasons. How likely that is remains to be seen--ESPN's Chad Ford's latest mock draft has both Ross and Craft sitting outside the 60 picks available, with Craft rated 64th-best and Ross at 68th.
Craft will work out for the Toronto Raptors on Thursday, after doing the same for the Dallas Mavericks yesterday. Ross will work out for the Grizzlies on the same day that Craft is in Canada.
"No one knows what to do with Evan Turner. But he was Philadelphia's best player before he was a disaster in Indiana."
-Tom Ziller, SBNation
In SBNation's comprehensive NBA free agent rankings, former OSU standout Evan Turner comes in at No. 34. Turner is a restricted free agent this off-season, meaning that the Indiana Pacers have right of first refusal when it comes to Turner being signed away by another franchise.
Turner was traded from the 76ers to the Pacers in February as part of the Danny Granger deal. The results were less-than-stellar on the Indiana side, as Turner and Lance Stephenson struggled to coexist both on the court and off. Still, the former Buckeye showed occasional flashes of what made him a No. 2 overall pick coming out of college, averaging about 21 minutes and 7 points per game. The fit hasn't been ideal for either Turner or the Pacers, and it's certainly worth wondering whether the guard's reputation as a locker room problem child will affect his perceived market value.
Other Buckeye free agents heading into the NBA's off-season are are fan-favorite (and championship runner-up!) Greg Oden, who sits at No. 70 in Ziller's rankings, and Byron Mullens, who is unranked. Mullens has played for 4 teams in 4 seasons in the NBA, most recently in Philadelphia.
"That's what the trial comes down to. Paying players isn't an abomination of some sacred principle; it's just something the NCAA doesn't want."
-Kevin Trahan, SBNation
Look, we've been through this a million times now, but hypocrisy and silliness are always, always worth pointing out. In this case, we're here to lampoon NCAA president Mark Emmert's farcical testimony, a session rife with contradictions and double-speak. It would be hilarious if it weren't so detrimental to the well-being of so many student-athletes in the United States.
The now-infamous O'Bannon vs. the NCAA case centered on Thursday around the NCAA's working definition of "amateurism," a tenet that it claims to be bound to. What emerged was essentially that the definition of amateurism is whatever the NCAA says it is. Assuming that you have a functioning cerebral cortex, since you're able to read these words, I don't need to point out to you the massive amount of stupidity inherent in making up a rule and then claiming to be beholden to it. Samwell Tarly had a better case when he ditched Gilly and her baby in the pantry on the grounds that he had to uphold his Night's Watch vows, just because he had promised to.
The NCAA, headed by Mark Emmert, are hanging their hats on their ability to tie up the real issues with straw man arguments and verbal slipperiness. The problem with that strategy is that they approach linguistic nuance with all the delicacy of Matt Foley trying to get kids to stay off drugs. They attempt to define, redefine, and three-define words like "stipend" and "payment" in order to fit their twisted, cash-grabbing worldview. I, for one, am ready for the whole thing to crumble into nothingness.
"I don't know how to catch."
-Terrelle Pryor, Seattle Seahawks QB
Former OSU standout Terrelle Pryor has no intention of playing a position other than quarterback at the professional level. Pryor, long considered a candidate to switch to either tight end or wide receiver, was picked up by the Seahawks in April in exchange for a 7th-round draft pick. He struggled with his delivery in his stint as the starter for the Oakland Raiders, getting benched in favor of rookie Matt McGloin in the middle of the season.
Pryor might be selling his other talents short--he famously caught a touchdown pass from Todd Boeckman in the 2009 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl against Texas. He's also got wheels, as every Buckeye fan knows, and as the NFL found out last year when he busted out the longest QB run in league history. Pryor went untouched for all 93 yards of that rush. Still, he seems committed to the idea of staying at QB in the long-term.
Only time will tell what happens to the embattled QB as a member of the Seattle Seahawks. The defending Super Bowl champs already have a franchise starter in Russell Wilson and a veteran backup in Tarvaris Jackson, both of whom have skill sets that might render Pryor's redundant. Should the Seahawks choose to keep three QBs on the roster, Pryor will be fighting former USF star BJ Daniels for the job.
STICK TO SPORTS
- Pour one out.
- A minister and a physicist will publicly debate the existence of God. Should solve everything IMO.
- Mumps and measles are still on the rise in Ohio, because we're living in 1941.
- Are you one of the (ugh) millennial generation? The Columbus PD wants you on the force.
- Watch Michael Cera audition for his role in "Superbad." Spoiler: he's basically just playing himself.