Wednesday, February 22, 2012

News and Notes: Wednesday Edition

Below, some news and notes for Wednesday...


  • Cody Toppert ('05) has parted ways with his professional club Ourense in Spain's LEB Silver (3rd Division ) league.

...the [Cornell Big] Red shattered [Lin's championship] dreams by winning the Ivy League title with an 11-3 conference record and eventually making it to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA tournament [during 2009-2010].

When Harvard came to Newman for the first meeting with the Red that season, it was thought to be the beginning of a serious rivalry, according to [Harvard Crimson writer, Martin] Kessler. But Cornell came away with a decisive 86-50 victory, outscoring the Crimson by 22 points in the second half.

“To be honest, I wasn’t super impressed with (Lin’s) game,” said senior point guard and co-captain Chris Wroblewski. “We paid a lot of attention to him when we were scouting them, knowing their offense ran through him, but we played them at home and ended up beating them by 36.”

Though Lin put up a game-high 19 points, he only handed out one assist, and no one else on his team cracked double digits. The Red had five players in double figures, including Wroblewski, who scored 13 points and recorded four assists.

“I didn’t think he was a true point guard and he wasn’t a knock down shooter,” Wroblewski said. “But obviously he has improved so much in both regards.”

The ability to keep Lin in check and limit the touches of his supporting players helped the Red claim the Ivy League title that year. Wroblewski, who started both of those games as a sophomore, was assigned the task of guarding Lin.

“It’s different with college and NBA defense,” Wroblewski said. “I always had a lot of help, we had five guys always devoted to knowing where he was on the floor, whereas in the NBA the defense is more relaxed. But it’s cool to watch him scoring on those guys now.”

***

No matter what city Lin’s success comes in now, the image he has created for Ivy League basketball in general is a lasting one. Coupled with the Red’s run to the Sweet Sixteen two years ago and the Crimson’s Top-25 ranking for the first time in school history this year, the story of an Ivy League basketball player turned NBA star is helping to improve public perception of Ivy League basketball.

“I’m kind of biased because I’m not out of the Ivy world yet and I don’t have an outside perspective,” Wroblewski said. “But I think it’s great in terms of gaining respect for the Ivy League and I hope it gives guys like (Jeff Foote ’10) a chance at an NBA team as well.”

Kessler agreed, saying that Lin’s achievements in the NBA would be a definite selling point during recruitment for head coach Tommy Amaker, who has a signed Lin jersey hanging in his office.

“Cornell’s run to the Sweet Sixteen two years ago, Lin’s success now, all these things are legitimizing Ivy League basketball,” Kessler said.

Staying in the Game

While Jeff Foote and guys like Ryan Whitman and Louis Dale continue their hoop dreams on the court, another one of their teammates is still living the dream, only on the sidelines.
Jon Jacques was trying to find work as a writer, and ended up a coach.

We caught up with the Stevens college assistant for this week's action sports spotlight.

" I'm still itching to get in the game sometimes. If I see something I think I can do on the floor, you'll see me. I stand up more than any coach ever should."
It wasn't so long ago that Jon Jaques was starting for a Division 1 team. Just last year he was playing professionally in Israel.
Now he's in a whole new world, life in the quiet gymnasiums of division 3 basketball.

" The environment is a lot different than D-1, like you mentioned. But I'd say the skill of the players isn't that much different. Obviously they're smaller, maybe not as strong, but skill wise it's pretty similar. "

Jaques was set to turn the page on his basketball life, looking for work as a writer in the New York City area.
But his old coach Steve Donahue set up a meeting with Stevens College coach Bobby Hurley, and after an afternoon talking basketball, Jaques had a spot on the bench next to guys who watched him in the sweet 16 2 years ago.

" They know about Cornell's Sweet 16 run, and they know I was on the team. But we don't talk too much about that run or that season. It's easy to talk to them because we're all a similar age. "

We joked with Jon, that Donahue's greatest coaching skill may be his whistling ability, and wondered if any of that rubbed off in 4 years.

" I'm just a clapper, you know. Guys on the Cornell bench would tell me that I clap too loud sometimes. That's my unique skill I'd say. "




After trying basketball overseas, a Cornell graduate is playing in his first full year with the NBA developmental league.
And now, finds himself on the All-Star team.

Center Jeff Foote has been selected to the D-League All-Star game.
In his first full season with the Springfield Armor, Foote is averaging 15 points and 8 and a half rebounds a game.
He says he's playing on a good team, with several guys deserving of the All-Star nod.
And he hopes his inclusion in the game will show NBA scouts that he's improving as a player.

"When I got the news, I was pretty excited. It's my rookie season so I feel that's kind of an accomplishment and hopefully this kind of shows people that I'm still developing. I'm only 24. I'm a young player and hopefully it gives me that little extra leg in the NBA."

The 6th annual D-League all-star game will be this Saturday, at 2:00 pm.

  • When Princeton dunks in a game, it is big news in the Tiger community. The Daily Princetonian published a photo essay series on Ian Hummer's dunk against Cornell on Saturday.
  • Not a member of Twitter? See what The Cornell Basketball Blog is tweeting and retweeting each day by visiting our Twitter Timeline.

  • Committed Cornell recruit Holt Harmon scored 21 points and passed for 5 assists as his Plano West team advanced in a district playoff game with a 74-49 win over Keller on Tuesday. Plano West next plays on Saturday on the big stage against South Grand Prairie in the American Airlines Center in Dallas. See recaps from the Dallas Morning News and Plano Star.
  • Robert Mischler, a committed Cornell recruit, hit for 14 points in a 95-66 win over Bremen. See a recap on Radio 960 AM.
  • Game Recaps-Below are links to our game recap sections from each of Cornell's games this season.
  1. November 11, 2011 at St. Bonaventure L 58-79
  2. November 14, 2011 vs. Binghamton W 76-61
  3. November 16, 2011 at Buffalo L 59-68
  4. November 20, 2011 vs. Boston University W 71-66
  5. November 22, 2011 at Delaware L 68-76
  6. November 27, 2011 vs. American L 63-65
  7. December 3, 2011 vs. Lehigh W 81-79 (OT)
  8. December 17, 2011 vs. Albany W 85-82 (OT)
  9. December 19, 2011 at Illinois L 60-64
  10. December 21, 2011 at Penn State L 67-74
  11. December 28, 2011 at Stony Brook L 58-69 (OT)
  12. December 31, 2011 at Bucknell L 60-63
  13. January 3, 2012 at Maryland L 62-70
  14. January 7, 2012 vs. Albright W 78-60
  15. January 13, 2012 vs. Princeton W 67-59
  16. January 14, 2012 vs. Penn L 52-64
  17. January 21, 2012 at Columbia L 56-61
  18. January 28, 2012 vs. Columbia W 65-60
  19. February 3, 2012 at Harvard L 60-71
  20. February 4, 2012 at Dartmouth W 68-59
  21. February 10, 2012 vs. Yale W 85-84 OT
  22. February 11, 2012 vs. Brown W 72-63
  23. February 17, 2012 at Penn L 66-73
  24. February 18, 2012 at Princeton L 57-75
  • Cornell RPI Watch: The RPI (Rating Percentage Index) is a measure of strength of schedule and how a team does against that schedule. It does not consider the margin of victory, but only whether or not a team won and where the game was played (home/away/neutral court). The formula is 25% team winning percentage (WP), 50% opponents' average winning percentage (OWP), and 25% opponents' opponents' average winning percentage (OOWP). (See: CollegeRPI.com for a further explanation of the formula.) The RPI may be the most influential factor in NCAA Tournament seeding. Cornell's RPI rank as of February 22 is No. 190 out of 344 total Division I teams. While neither the Ken Pomeroy or Jeff Sagarin rankings are used by the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee, the KenPom.com site ranks Cornell No. 188 in the nation, while the USA Today Sagarin rankings have Cornell at No. 196 Both sites are predominantly used by fans and the media.
IVY LEAGUE COMPOSITE SCHEDULE

Friday, November 11
Johnson & Wales 66 Brown 86 (Box Score - Recap)
Columbia 57 Connecticut 70[ESPNU] (Box Score - Recap)
Cornell 58 St. Bonaventure 79 (Box Score - Recap)
MIT 49 Harvard 76 (Box Score - Recap)
Dartmouth 56 Rutgers 62 (Box Score - Recap)
Penn 59 Maryland-Baltimore County 45 (Box Score - Recap)
Yale 73 Central Connecticut State 69 (Box Score - Recap)

Saturday, November 12
Wagner 73 Princeton 57 (Box Score - Recap)

Monday, November 14
Albany 77 Brown 68 (NIT Tip-Off-1st Round@Syracuse, N.Y.)[ESPN3] (Box Score - Recap)
Temple 73 Penn 67 OT (Box Score - Recap)
Furman 58 Columbia 62 (Box Score - Recap)
Binghamton 61 Cornell 76 (Box Score - Recap)

Tuesday, November 15
Harvard 73 Holy Cross 64 (Box Score - Recap)
Yale 62 Quinnipiac 68 [SNY] (Box Score - Recap)
Brown 52 Manhattan 54 NIT Tip Consolation@Syracuse, N.Y. [ESPN3] (Box Score - Recap)

Wednesday, November 16
Cornell 59 Buffalo 68 (Box Score - Recap)
Vermont 65 Dartmouth 53 (Box Score - Recap)
Princeton 58 North Carolina State 60 [ESPNU] (Box Score - Recap)

Thursday, November 17
Penn 78 Rider 72 OT (Box Score - Recap)
Lyndon State 37 Yale 101 (Box Score - Recap)

Saturday, November 19
Buffalo 53 Princeton 61 (Box Score - Recap)
Hartford 52 Brown 59 (Box Score - Recap)
American 66 Columbia 58 (Box Score - Recap)
Bryant 62 Dartmouth 66 (Box Score - Recap)
Robert Morris 60 Penn 66 (Box Score - Recap)
Harvard 77 Loyola Marymount 67 (Box Score - Recap)

Sunday, November 20
Boston University 66 Cornell 71 (Box Score - Recap)

Sunday, November 20
Boston University 66 Cornell 71 (Box Score - Recap)

Monday, November 21
Brown 48 George Mason 74 (NIT Consolation Fairfax, VA) (Box Score - Recap)

Tuesday, November 22
Brown 79 Monmouth 71 (NIT Consolation Fairfax, VA) (Box Score - Recap)
Columbia 53 Stony Brook 67 (Box Score - Recap)
Cornell 64 Delaware 72 (Box Score - Recap)
Wagner 71 Penn 65 (Box Score - Recap)
Elon 56 Princeton 55 (Box Score - Recap)
Yale 62 Seton Hall 73 (Box Score - Recap)

Thursday, November 24
Dartmouth 69 San Francisco 71 (Great Alaska Shootout) (Box Score - Recap)
Harvard 75 Utah 47 [HDNet] (Battle 4 Atlantis Bahamas) (Box Score - Recap)

Friday, November 25
Dartmouth 64 vs. Alaska-Anchorage 52(Great Alaska Shootout) (Box Score - Recap)
Harvard 46 Florida State 41 [VERSUS] (Battle 4 Atlantis Bahamas) (Box Score - Recap)
Princeton 56 Bucknell 62 (Legends Classic, Lewisberg, PA) (Box Score - Recap)
Pittsburgh 78 Penn 58 [TCN] (Box Score - Recap)

Saturday, November 26
Yale 84 Army 75 (Box Score - Recap)
Columbia 59 Manhattan 41 (Box Score - Recap)
Princeton 56 Morehead State 68 (Legends Classic, Lewisberg, PA) (Box Score - Recap)
James Madison 60 Penn 58 [TCN] (Philly Hoop Group Classic) (Box Score - Recap)
Dartmouth 48 Western Michigan 65 (Great Alaska Shootout) (Box Score - Recap)
Harvard 59 Central Florida 49 [VERSUS] (Battle 4 Atlantis Bahamas) (Box Score - Recap)

Sunday, November 27
Brown 64 Sacred Heart 77 (Box Score - Recap)
Princeton 66 West Alabama 66 (Legends Classic, Lewisberg, PA) (Box Score - Recap)
American 65 Cornell 63 (Box Score - Recap)

Monday, November 28
Swarthmore 42 Columbia 104 (Box Score - Recap)

Tuesday, November 29
Manhattan 72 Penn 75 (Box Score - Recap)
Yale 74 Hartford 69 (Box Score - Recap)

Wednesday, November 30
Dartmouth 50 New Hampshire 53 (Box Score - Recap)
Lafayette 69 Princeton 54 (Box Score - Recap)
Rhode Island 56 Brown 65 [myRITV] (Box Score - Recap)

Thursday, December 1
Harvard 55 Vermont 48 (Box Score - Recap)

Friday, December 2
Columbia 69 Loyola Marymount 61 (LA Westside Centennial Classic) (Box Score - Recap)

Saturday, December 3
Vermont 52 Yale 68 (Box Score - Recap)
Brown 54 Iowa 75 (Box Score - Recap)
Lehigh 79 Cornell 81 (OT) (Box Score - Recap)
Penn 65 Villanova 73 [ESPN3] (Box Score - Recap)
Columbia 72 North Texas 57 (Box Score - Recap) (LA Westside Centennial Classic)

Sunday, December 4
Columbia 78 La Sierra 56 (Box Score - Recap) (LA Westside Centennial Classic)
Seattle 70 Harvard 80 (Box Score - Recap)

Monday, December 5
Brown 49 Providence 80 [ESPN3/SNY] (Box Score - Recap)
Yale 73 Sacred Heart 71 (Box Score - Recap)

Tuesday, December 6
Holy Cross 45 Columbia 46 (Box Score - Recap)

Wednesday, December 7
Delaware 60 Penn 69 (Box Score - Recap)
New Hampshire 69 Brown 56 (Box Score - Recap)
Princeton 59 Rutgers 57 (Box Score - Recap)
Bryant 59 Yale 76 (Box Score - Recap)

Thursday, December 8
Harvard 53 Connecticut 67 [ESPN2] (Box Score - Recap)

Saturday, December 10
Central Connecticut State 80 Brown 90 (Box Score - Recap)
Long Island 53 Columbia 63 (Box Score - Recap)
Harvard 76 Boston University 52 (Box Score - Recap)
Princeton 60 Drexel 64 (Box Score - Recap)
Penn 73 UCLA 77 [DirecTV] (Box Score - Recap)
Dartmouth 47 Notre Dame 65 [ESPN3] (Box Score - Recap)

Tuesday, December 13
Dartmouth 51 IPFW 56 (Box Score - Recap)

Wednesday, December 14
Princeton 72 Rider 71 OT (Box Score - Recap)

Saturday, December 17
Elon 54 Dartmouth 62 (Box Score - Recap)
Albany 82 Cornell 85 OT (Box Score - Recap)

Sunday, December 18
Princeton 71 Northeastern 62 (Box Score - Recap)
Yale 68 Rhode Island 65 [COX RI] (Box Score - Recap)

Monday, December 19
Cornell 60 Illinois 64 [ESPN3] (Box Score - Recap)
Dartmouth 55 Colgate 61 OT (Box Score - Recap)

Wednesday, December 21
Dartmouth 64 Army 67 (Box Score - Recap)
Cornell 67 Penn State 74 [Big Ten Network] (Box Score - Recap)

Thursday, December 22
Florida Atlantic 51 Harvard 63 (Box Score - Recap)
Princeton 59 Siena 63 (Box Score - Recap)

Friday, December 23
Maine 71 Brown 58 (Box Score - Recap)
Dartmouth 74 Albany 82 (Box Score - Recap)
Marist 71 Penn 84 (Box Score - Recap)

Wednesday, December 28
Columbia 59 Marist 79 (Box Score - Recap)
Cornell 59 Stony Brook 68 OT [Cablevision] (Box Score - Recap)

Thursday, December 29
Brown 49 St. Francis (N.Y.) 66 (Box Score - Recap)
Harvard 67 Boston College 46 [ESPN3] (Box Score - Recap)
Penn 70 Davidson 75 (Box Score - Recap)
Yale 71 Wake Forest 72 (Box Score - Recap)

Friday, December 30
Princeton 75 Florida State 73 (3OT) [ESPN3] (Box Score - Recap)
Lafayette 67 Columbia 77 (Box Score - Recap)

Saturday, December 31
Cornell 60 Bucknell 63 (Box Score - Recap)
Holy Cross 65 Dartmouth 61 (Box Score - Recap)
Yale 70 Florida 90 [ESPNU] (Box Score - Recap)
Saint Joseph’s 69 Harvard 74 (Box Score - Recap)

Sunday, January 1
Princeton 76 Florida A&M 61 (Box Score - Recap)
Penn 55 Duke 85 [ESPNU] (Box Score - Recap)

Monday, January 2
American 70 Brown 61 (Box Score - Recap)
Fairleigh Dickinson 52 Columbia 67 (Box Score - Recap)

Tuesday, January 3
Bucknell 67 Dartmouth 59 (Box Score - Recap)
Harvard 54 Fordham 60 (Box Score - Recap)
Holy Cross 67 Yale 82 (Box Score - Recap)
Cornell 62 Maryland 70 [ESPN3] (Box Score - Recap)

Wednesday, January 4
Columbia 66 Colgate 59 (Box Score - Recap)
Penn 78 Lafayette 73 (Box Score - Recap)

Saturday, January 7
*Dartmouth 47 Harvard 63 (Box Score - Recap)
Albright 60 Cornell 78 (Box Score - Recap)

Sunday, January 8
Columbia 65 Elon 60 (Box Score - Recap)
The College of New Jersey 68 Princeton 79 (Box Score - Recap)
St. Joseph’s (N.Y.) 86 Yale 101 (Box Score)

Tuesday, January 10
Harvard 70 Monmouth 61 (Box Score - Recap)
La Salle 68 Penn 57 (Box Score - Recap)

Wednesday, January 11
Longwood 79 Brown 77 (Box Score - Recap)

Friday, January 13
*Penn 66 Columbia 64 (Box Score - Recap)
*Princeton 59 Cornell 67 (Box Score - Recap)

Saturday, January 14
*Brown 64 Yale 68 (Box Score - Recap)
Longwood 67 Dartmouth 83 (Box Score - Recap)
George Washington 48 Harvard 69 (Box Score - Recap)
*Princeton 62 Columbia 58 (Box Score - Recap)
*Penn 52 Cornell 64 (Box Score - Recap)

Saturday, January 21
*Yale 73 Brown 60 (Box Score - Recap)
*Cornell 56 Columbia 61 (Box Score - Recap)
*Harvard 54 Dartmouth 38 (Box Score - Recap)
Saint Joseph’s 80 Penn 84 (Box Score - Recap)

Monday, January 23
Brown 67 Bryant 60 (
Box Score - Recap)

Friday, January 27

*Dartmouth 59 Brown 66 (
Box Score - Recap)
*Harvard 65 Yale 35 (
Box Score - Recap)

Saturday, January 28

*Harvard 68 Brown 59 (
Box Score - Recap)
*Columbia 60
Cornell 65 (Box Score - Recap)
*Dartmouth 52 Yale 62 (
Box Score - Recap)

Monday, January 30
*Princeton 67 Penn 82 (Box Score - Recap)

Friday, February 3
*Princeton 77 Brown 63 (Box Score - Recap)
*Columbia 64 Dartmouth 62 (Box Score - Recap)
*Cornell 60 Harvard 71 (Box Score - Recap)
*Penn 53 Yale 60 (Box Score - Recap)

Saturday, February 4
*Penn 65 Brown 48 (Box Score - Recap)
*Columbia 52 Harvard 57 (Box Score - Recap)
*Cornell 68 Dartmouth 59 (Box Score - Recap)
*Princeton 54 Yale 58 (Box Score - Recap)

Friday, February 10
*Brown 60 Columbia 86 (Box Score - Recap)
*Yale 84 Cornell 85 (OT) Box Score - Recap
*Harvard 56 Penn 50 (Box Score - Recap)
*Dartmouth 47 Princeton 59 (Box Score - Recap)

Saturday, February 11
*Brown 63 Cornell 72 (Box Score - Recap)
*Yale 59 Columbia 58 (Box Score - Recap)
*Dartmouth 55 Penn 58 (Box Score - Recap)
*Harvard 62 Princeton 70 [ESPNU] (Box Score - Recap)

Friday, February 17
*Brown 42 Harvard 69 (Box Score - Recap)
*Columbia 66 Princeton 77 [ESPNU] (Box Score - Recap)
*Cornell 66 Penn 73 (Box Score - Recap)
*Yale 70 Dartmouth 61 (Box Score - Recap)

Saturday, February 18
*Brown 53 Dartmouth 58 (Box Score - Recap)
*Columbia 59 Penn 61 OT (Box Score - Recap)
*Cornell 57 Princeton 75 (Box Score - Recap)
*Yale 51 Harvard 66 (Box Score - Recap)

Friday, February 24
*Cornell at Brown, 7 pm
*Columbia at Yale, 7 pm [YES]
*Penn at Dartmouth, 7 pm
*Princeton at Harvard, 7 pm

Saturday, February 25
*Columbia at Brown, 6 pm
*Cornell at Yale, 7 pm
*Princeton at Dartmouth, 7 pm
*Penn at Harvard, 7 pm [ESPN3]

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

"whereas in the NBA, the defense is more relaxed."

Leave it to Wrobo to pretty much sum it up in an understated way.

The NBA has evolved into professional wrestling with a ball. Moreorless a semi-scripted, half-effort, series of entertainment-oriented whistlestops around the country. What a shame for a once-proud sport that was focused on traditional athletic competition!

The crowds cheer (yeah, and pay for) the dazzling individual offensive plays. Woe be unto the team or individual who considers employing the kind of defense and team play that is required to participate on most college teams. There is a tacit agreement that consistent sticky defense would interfere with what the majority of today's fans come to see.

The NBA is just a different "game."

Anonymous said...

There's a sad irony to a signed Jeremy Lin jersey hanging in Tommy Amaker's office today. Lin was recruited by former Harvard coach Frank Sullivan, who was summarily run out of town to make way for the hiring of Tommy Amaker. The lone Division I coach who had room for Lin on his bench never even got to coach Lin as a starter.

I sure as hell hope that Frank Sullivan has a signed jersey, too.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:54: The NBA has the best players in the world, of which only a minute percentage of college players are able to join. You clearly don't understand the ridiculous skills involved in the NBA game -- it's just that college players aren't as good and are forced to pick up the slack on defense against the stars. I love and prefer college ball, but you're way, way off base.

Anonymous said...

Ditto on the defense. NBA plays team-based man to man, because they have the athleticism to do so. The best teams play the best defense, and its TEAM defense. The players are so good on offense that no one player can stop any other player one-on-one. No one player can stop Nowitski's fall away, or Kobe's et.al...they're just that good.

Anonymous said...

ANONs 12:19 and 12:50-
I guess we (Wrobo and I) and you two might differ on this one. BTW, like you, I'm a college BB guy. And, all of us see an imbalance in the NBA favoring offense. One more question... I don't really play and never really did. Did you?

In the NBA, you see players (a la Anthony, Bryant, Durant, the old Duncan, Griffin, Howard, James, Nowitzke, Rose, Wade, etc.) who are so skilled offensively that they essentially cannot be stopped. You see defenders in top form manning up on them and simply unable to get the job done. For a few top players (3-4% of the league), it's a pro-offense imbalance with astounding offense tending to get the best of great defense. I'll actually buy this part of your scenario.

Wrobo, an all-conference D-1 player, says that what he sees is that NBA defense is more relaxed. I'll give players at his level credit for being able to recognize "relaxed defense."

What I also see is players (a la Aldridge, Lee, Love, Jefferson, Gordon, Thornton, Westbrook, etc.) who are a half-step behind the above tier, with whom NBA defenders have difficulty. While they're not on the Bryant-James level, they do alot of damage. For these guys, is it a pro-offense imbalance with great offense getting the best of very good defense? And teams have used up the great defenders who could stop them, trying to stop the Top Ten guys. And, the pro-offensive imbalance that is created by the stars, trickles all the way down.

Or do athletes with the ability to really play sticky defense, simply not do it all the time because it would wear them out and negatively influence other parts of their game (i.e., their stats line) that they need to rely on during salary negotiations. And the league needs the [relative] offensive dazzle to sell seats and cable TV packages. It's not a bad agreement, when you put it that way.

Just sayin' that it looks to Wrobo, a real player, and me as if "more relaxed defense" in the NBA is part of the story.

Anonymous said...

ANONs 12:19 and 12:50-
I guess we (Wrobo and I) and you two might differ on this one. BTW, like you, I'm a college BB guy. And, all of us see an imbalance in the NBA favoring offense. One more question... I don't really play and never really did. Did you?

In the NBA, you see players (a la Anthony, Bryant, Durant, the old Duncan, Griffin, Howard, James, Nowitzke, Rose, Wade, etc.) who are so skilled offensively that they essentially cannot be stopped. You see defenders in top form manning up on them and simply unable to get the job done. For a few top players (3-4% of the league), it's a pro-offense imbalance with astounding offense tending to get the best of great defense. I'll actually buy this part of your scenario.

Wrobo, an all-conference D-1 player, says that what he sees is that NBA defense is more relaxed. I'll give players at his level credit for being able to recognize "relaxed defense."

What I also see is players (a la Aldridge, Lee, Love, Jefferson, Gordon, Thornton, Westbrook, etc.) who are a half-step behind the above tier, with whom NBA defenders have difficulty. While they're not on the Bryant-James level, they do alot of damage. For these guys, is it a pro-offense imbalance with great offense getting the best of very good defense? And teams have used up the great defenders who could stop them, trying to stop the Top Ten guys. And, the pro-offensive imbalance that is created by the stars, trickles all the way down.

Or do athletes with the ability to really play sticky defense, simply not do it all the time because it would wear them out and negatively influence other parts of their game (i.e., their stats line) that they need to rely on during salary negotiations. And the league needs the [relative] offensive dazzle to sell seats and cable TV packages. It's not a bad agreement, when you put it that way.

Just sayin' that it looks to Wrobo, a real player, and me as if "more relaxed defense" in the NBA is part of the story.