FIBA: Turkey crushes France
Ersan Ilyasova has been Turkey's best player through five games, but the hosts didn't need much help from him as they manhandled France 95-77 to move on to the quarterfinals. Ersan drew three fouls early (4/6 fts) but the French (often Florent Pietrus, older bro of Mickael) blanketed him effectively for most of the night. His first basket was a closely-guarded three from deep on the right wing, and he chucked up a couple of other questionable shots before throwing down a garbage time dunk with 10 seconds left. He finished with nine points (3/11 fg, 4/6 ft) and five boards in 28 minutes.
Turkey had their way with the French down low, while the pressuring Turkish zone had France looking rattled all night. Hedo Turkoglu (20 pts on 10 shots) looked a bit more like the leader he's supposed to be, but to me the real difference maker was backup guard Sinan Guler. He sliced the French defense to pieces en route to 17 pts in just 18 minutes, including eight in the second quarter as Turkey took over the game. The hosts next face Slovenia, who wrecked Australia 87-58 earlier in the day. Condolences, Aussies.
FanHouse: Brandon Jennings, Sub-Media Darling
There's only one person who could deliver the definitive take on Brandon Jennings' shape-shifting, envelope-pushing approach to social media: Bethlehem Shoals.
If you don't think Jennings is busy constructing a more layered, intricate public persona, well, you're not on the right frequency. Jennings's frequently shifting, sometimes locked, Twitter accounts aren't so different from pirate webcasts or disposable cell phones. The low-risk, high-reward world of social media -- where an item can live and die in a matter of hours, and imperfect archiving means you're always left with some form of ghost -- is the future of athletes-in-public.
BDL: Bogut #2 among centers
I meant to post this last week, so you've probably already seen it by now. Strong praise coming from KD. Bogut is now back in Milwaukee, and a bunch of other guys have been in town as well getting some work in before camp--CDR, Jon Brockman, and Larry Sanders among others.
Ball is Life: Jennings at the Nike Real Run (above)
Pickup game highlight reels aren't worth much, but they are fun, no? It's also nice to see Brandon punching a tomahawk like he did back in the day. I know some people were a bit disappointed Jennings didn't do more of that last season--if memory serves me correctly, his only dunks were breakaways against the Nets and Sixers. But part of the problem is that Jennings does almost all his dunking off two feet, which means he needs to be all alone to gather himself and get up to throw down. The fact that he doesn't want to blow a dunk while playing for Scott Skiles is also probably part of it. Two hands for safety, Brandon. (h/t Where 55 Happens)
SI Vault: Michigan State's Skiles answers critics with points (1986)
An absolutely fascinating 1986 article from Sports Illustrated, detailing how Scott Skiles' struggles with offcourt problems marred a fantastic college career. Skiles' youthful indiscretions with drugs and alcohol aren't exactly news, but this is the first time I've read something from the time (ie without the benefit of hindsight).
TheScore.com: Jennings talks kicks
Full disclosure: Jennings' interview with Megan Wilson from The Score is virtually all about his new signature Under Armour shoe.
The entire Black Ice shoe is designed and inspired by certain things in my life or relating back to my style. The stitching actually represents my "trinity" — my mom, my brother and myself, which is why it’s a triple layer stitch. The name itself, Black Ice, is actually the name of the air freshener in my Camaro. The strap across the front was designed after one of my watch bands. [...] The shape of the shoe — it’s a mid[top] with an asymmetrical top, is inspired by the "Gumby" fade I was rocking during the season.
So much for his old Ford Edge I guess.
It’s going to depend on how the finger heals now. The elbow is pretty much healed, I’m just getting the swelling down. The wrist feels good already. It feels like it’s healed. The finger is the thing that worries the doctors because of the ligaments. There’s a slight percentage chance that it can re-break very easily. It’s a slight percentage, like five percent, but they say that there’s a chance of that happening so they are kind of worried about me trying to push myself the first couple of weeks. Whether that’s into June or early July, we don’t know. I’ll definitely be back in with a solid two months of basketball training before coming to Milwaukee.