Louisville went for years without a solid presence in the NBA, but things appear to be on the up-tick for the Cards. There are currently four former Cardinals in the league. None will make a particularly big impact, but will for the most part have lengthy careers playing for David Stern. Here’s how they did:
Terrence Williams – G/F #55 – Sacramento Kings
If you look in the dictionary next to the word “Enigma,” you’ll find a picture of Terrence Williams showing off a goofy smile. T-Will has shown sporadic flashes of greatness throughout his NBA career, but the more common trend has been his inability to mesh with his coaching staff. He closed out his rookie season with a bang. He averaged 14 points, 7 rebouds, and 5 assists over the final six weeks of his inaugural year, which included a triple-double against Derrick Rose and the Bulls and earned him Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month honors. He was a popular pick to have a breakout sophomore season on a team that needed him to become an impact player.
Instead, he simply couldn’t see eye to eye with new head coach Avery Johnson, who replaced Kiki Vandegwhe. He grabbed decent minutes in the first several games of the season, but quickly became a fixture on the bench before being relegated to the D-League (where he averaged a triple-double) and traded to Houston. Things didn’t get much better in Clutch City. He played in only 23 of his 103 games as a Rocket. He posted 15+ minutes in 6 of those games before being cut in mid-March. He was definitely getting picked up by someone. But who was going to take a chance on a guy that completely blew it in his first two NBA cities?
Enter the Sacramento Kings, who signed him to a 10-day contract. The Kings’ season was long over, so they had plenty of minutes to let him showcase his abilities. He took advantage right away, and was quickly signed for the rest of the year. He has played the 1, 2, and 3 for the Kings since he’s been there, and has actually spent most of his time bringing the ball up the court. He is beginning to look like the T-Will of his rookie season, which is great to see. He has averaged 9 points, 4 boards, and 3 assists in 22 minutes of primarily reserve play. He is still as flashy as ever, and he will make a highlight out of the simplest pass. He seems to be pulling it together, and things are looking up for T-Will to become a factor in the NBA. When given the minutes, he is one of the most fun players to watch in the league. Hopefully for T-Willy, he can get those minutes.
Slam Jam Bam
Beast Mode on Phoenix
Francisco Garcia – SF #32 – Sacramento Kings
Cisco Da Kid finished up his sixth season in the league, and the wily vet is entering the twilight of his career. Garcia was set up for a career year in 2009-10, but broke his arm during a freak weight lifting accident. Since that time, he has been unable to provide a huge impact on the Kings, where he’s been his entire career. This year, he provided spot bench minutes, getting 16 minutes a game. Unfortunately, the Kings are terrible, and he just isn’t the player he was a few years ago. He averaged his lowest total of his career, notching only 4.8 points per game. Garcia should have a place in the league for a few more years, but his time is definitely winding down.
Here’s Da Kid puttin a sky whoopin on Kobe
Earl Clark – PF #3 – Orlando Magic
Earl has struggled to find an identity as he closes out his third year as a pro. He played in 45 games for the Magic this year, but was able to grab some valuable minutes toward the season’s end due mainly to Dwight Howard’s injury. This gave him 20 minutes a game in April, where he was only able to manage 5 points and 4 rebounds a game during that time. He did record his first career double-double, scoring 14 points and 11 rebounds against Philadelphia on April 16th. Still, Clark’s days might be numbered in the NBA. He hasn’t been able to prove that he can give much value to a team. He has only scored in double figures 10 times in three years, and the only time he has notched double digit rebounds was in the aforementioned game against Philadelphia two weeks ago. At this point, I’d give Earl a 50-50 chance of getting another contract in the NBA. He might be better suited to head to Europe where he can get more playing time and likely make more money.
Samardo Samuels – PF #24 – Cleveland Cavaliers
Samardo puzzled everyone when he left after his sophomore season to go pro. His family certainly needed financial assistance, but he clearly was not ready to go against NBA competition. Draft scouts agreed, and the Jamaican big man was picked up as a free agent by Cleveland after going undrafted. He surprised people last year when he had 8 straight games in double figure scoring and was playing inspired basketball.
Going into the offseason, Cavs fans had right to be somewhat optimistic about his play, but he fell of a bit to start the season. After being unable to locate his passport, he was not allowed to travel with the team to Toronto for an early January matchup. This came on top of him being a bit out of shape, which put him in coach Byron Scott’s doghouse. He played 36 minutes in the 9 games that followed. He did come around at the end of the season, averaging 7 points and 4 boards in 18 MPG in April. I’m a bit more optimistic about Samardo’s future in the league than Earl’s, but he needs to put in some work this offseason. He will hang around a few more years, but unfortunately I don’t think he has the athleticism to defend or rebound over the 4 in the NBA.
He looks awesome in this mix from last year though!
(Photo By Maggie Ruper of WHAS-11)
Staying true to his word, Terrence Jones, delivered on his promise. If you all remember March 31st, Jones stated…
Louisville cheerleading coach Todd Sharp said Logue needed stitches before she could return to the court because the wound on the top of her head bled so much.
Jones had no idea he’d injured Logue in the first-half collision, but he was very apologetic after the game.
“Tell her I’m sorry,” Jones said. “I’ll drive down there and tell her myself with some flowers or something.”
Here’s the video of the actual play.
Jones has been amazing in his brief stint following his UK career. He’s stayed after hours to make sure everyone gets an autograph (sometimes 2 hours over the allotted time frame), excellent in the community and as stated above; he’s even backed up every promise. Continue to do BBN proud Terrence. I can’t wait to watch you in the league.
Well, it’s just about that time folks. You know, that day we’ve been preparing for since the National Championship run. Here in less than 4 hours, we’ll know our faith.
Will the starting lineup look something like?…
There’s been rumors all day long that say, “this guy is coming back or these guys are 100% leaving”. I’m not even going to speculate, let’s just see where the cards fall.
Tonight ESPNU, will air the press conference live at 7 pm (eastern). If you don’t have this channel, you can visit these links for the live stream…
I’m sure there’s other links, but these should work just fine.
CardsandCats prediction: All 5 leave. I see no reason why you call a presser and announce this guy is leaving, this guy is staying, etc. It has to be all or nothing. Since Terrence Jones is already going on an autograph tour with Vargas, I’d have to believe that the writing on the wall. Obviously, I want them all to come back, but that’s just me being a selfish fan. I’ll update via twitter and the site the moment it’s official.
Good luck BBN….
What really happened
As expected, all five underclassmen have declared for the NBA Draft. Good luck guys! We’ll be watching!
Adam Zagoria reports that Anthony Davis, Terrence Jones and Marquis Teague will all enter the NBA Draft. There’s been speculation that Terrence will announce tomorrow all day long. I’ve even seen rumors that all 5 underclassmen will declare together. (which shouldn’t be shocking to any of our readers)
Zagoria later tweeted….
Who the heck knows. I’m still sticking with……
100% Anthony Davis, Terrence Jones and MKG.
80% Doron Lamb.
60% Marquis Teague.
I just don’t see the benefit of staying in school for most of these guys. I’ve weighed the pro/cons and it’s just hard me to sit here and say “He needs to come back to school without question!“. Lamb and Teague are the only two who SHOULD come back (in my opinion), strictly because of draft status. But, who really knows how important that is to these young men. I’m glad they are taking all of the time necessary to make the RIGHT decision though. Multiple former Kentucky players (Cousins, Wall, Knight, Liggins, etc) have said they wish they were still at Kentucky. It’s just a matter of, how bad do they want a paycheck or continue to play for fun. A job is… well, a job and college is something they forfeit if they leave. How bad do they want it?
I’ll support whatever they decide, as they’ve put in countless hours for the University I love.
UPDATE: Per KSR, All Five underclassmen are announcing their intentions tomorrow during a press conference tomorrow at 2pm.
Due to this news, prepare for them to leave. So, let’s not sulk and lay in our tears.
Per twitter sources (believe them if you may), but it’s not looking good for UK and Shabazz Muhammad (UCLA) and most believe Nerlens Noel is a lock to join the Wildcats. Either way, we’ll find out tonight for sure at 7:30ish on ESPNU. Stay tuned!
*Update* — Shabazz appears he will announce at 7:45pm and Nerlens will announce around 8:45pm.
*Update* — Shabazz commits to UCLA. Congratulations to him. Wish him the best of luck.
*Update* — Nerlens Noel commits to Kentucky!