Seals of Approval: CHD interviews Tulsa legend Shea Seals

Basketball fans were horrified by Paul George’s gruesome leg injury in Las Vegas, although George has said he hopes to come back better than ever.  One guy who knows all too well about how an injury can derail an NBA career is Shea Seals.  After choosing to play in his hometown of Tulsa, he made the NCAA tourney for 4 straight years and graduated as the all-time leading scorer in school history.  After joining the Lakers his NBA career came to a crashing halt after four games due to an injury and the 1998 NBA lockout.  He later played pro basketball overseas and in the US, then spent a few years as a high school coach, and currently works for his alma mater as Director of Player Development.  CHD’s Jon Teitel got to chat with Shea about playing for Tubby Smith, playing against Dream Team III, and making it to the NBA. 


In 1993 you chose to attend college in your hometown of Tulsa despite the fact that the entire athletic department had spent the previous year on probation with no postseason play for any of its athletic teams: why did you choose to go to Tulsa despite the probation situation, and what was it like to play in the same city in which you were born? I got to know Tubby Smith and the rest of the coaching staff and players beforehand. I wanted to stay home and be around the people that had always supported me, and I was happy about the direction that Tubby was taking the program. It was an opportunity for a great education and I liked the chance to start as a freshman. Continue Reading


Ram Tough: CHD interviews Boyd Grant about Colorado State legend Jim Williams

Jim Williams spent more than a quarter-century as the head coach at Colorado State and was a model of consistency, never winning more than 18 games in a season and never losing more than 17.  Before arriving in Fort Collins he led Snow College to the 1954 NJCAA tourney title game, and he made 4 NCAA tourneys during his time with the Rams. He was a fiery leader on the sideline, and was good enough to go on the road and beat the legendary John Wooden on more than 1 occasion. CHD’s Jon Teitel got to chat with Williams’ former player/assistant Boyd “Tiny” Grant about the role that his mentor played in his life. 


Williams served in the Army during WWII as a company commander in New Guinea and the Philippines: what impact did the war have on him either on or off the court? Not a huge impact, but he once talked to us about being lost and then arriving at a hill and seeing the American flag. He remembered exactly where he was sitting: he said that if the US had lost the war then none of us might be playing basketball that night.

In the 1954 NJCAA tourney title game as coach at Snow College he had a 5-PT OT loss to Moberly Area CC: how did he feel about coming so close to winning the title? I think it meant a lot to him. We had a shot at the end of regulation right under the basket that was going in, but it went in-and-out and we lost the game. We were 1 of the last seeds to make the tourney but we had a lot of respect for the winning team. We had a great reception when we got back to town, which was 1 of the greatest experiences of my life.

In the 1962 NIT Bill Green scored 37 PTS (14-14 FG) for Colorado State in a 1-PT loss to Holy Cross: was it just 1 of those scenarios where every shot Green put up seemed to go in because he was “in the zone”? Bill was a guy who scored easily. My wife once told me that he did not seem to score a ton of points on a particular night…and I told her that I guess not because he only scored 42! I told him to work on his FTs and his scoring went up a lot the following year, making him 1 of the best scorers in the country. If you got him the ball in the post he would score or get fouled.

What are your memories of the 1963 NCAA tourney (Green had 19 PTS/12 REB but his team blew an 11-PT halftime lead in a 3-PT loss to Oklahoma City)? That was probably Coach Williams’ most disappointing loss. They started double-teaming us in the 2nd half and we did not handle it well, plus they made every shot they took down the stretch. I felt that coach took that loss awfully hard: we all knew that we should have won the game because in those days before a shot-clock you could control the ball for a long stretch of time.

What are your memories of the 1965 NCAA tourney (Sonny Bustion had a tourney-school-record 30 PTS/20 REB but Oklahoma City scored the winning basket with 1 second left in a 2-PT win over the Rams)? Not many, but I guess we could just not beat them!

In the 1969 NCAA tourney Lloyd Kerr scored 17 PTS in a 2-PT win over Dayton: how big a deal was it to get the 1st tourney win in school history? It was awfully big: we played a tremendous defensive game because we knew exactly what they would do on offense.

Clifford Shegogg scored 20 PTS in an 8-PT win over CO: was it extra-special to beat your in-state rival? The sun did not rise in Boulder the next day! The headline in the Rocky Mountain News the next day was “the sun will rise in Boulder today”. 1 of their assistant coaches admitted that he did not think we would beat them, so it was a shock to the citizens/media of Colorado. It was 1 of the greatest moments of Coach’s career because we did not play them at all during the regular season.

He once received a whopping 7 technical fouls in a game against Tulsa: what kind of a temper did he have? He got most of those technicals from Irv Brown, who was 1 of the best college refs I have ever seen. Coach just got out of line: he was described by Lute Olson as the nicest guy off the court who would change personalities on the court. He was a 1st-class competitor as well as 1 of the best coaches ever. A lot of my own success as a coach comes from what I learned from him.

He beat John Wooden’s UCLA Bruins twice in Los Angeles: how was he able to coach his best against the best? He could really prepare his team. Both of those games went right down to the wire. Coach Williams might be the only guy with a .500 record against Coach Wooden.

He remains the winningest coach in school history: do you think that anyone will ever break his record? He is the winningest D-1 coach in the history of the state of Colorado and I think he is the best coach in school history.

He passed away in 2007: when people look back on his career, how do you think he should be remembered the most? As a fierce competitor, a man who knew the game and would play anyone/anywhere/anytime. He would study film for 3 hours every morning and knew exactly when the opponents were going to do something based on their footwork. He had a tremendous mind and was an offensive genius: he knew how to get the most talent out of everyone he coached. A lot of people asked me if it was hard to work for him but I told them that he was the easiest guy to work for because he never questioned anything I did in terms of recruiting.


His scoring touch was golden: CHD interviews IUPUI legend Carlos Knox

Tamika Catchings just made the game-winning shot in the WNBA All-Star game earlier this month, and George Hill helped the Pacers to the number seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs this past spring.  What do these two basketball stars have in common?  They were both trained by a former college superstar named Carlos Knox.  He was the 1998 D-2 national POY, a two-time scoring champ, and a three-time All-American at IUPUI who scored more than 30 points during his college career.  After a pro career overseas he coached at his alma mater, in the WNBA, and also the CBA.  He suffered a serious knee injury during college, so now he also trains players to overcome injuries and strengthen their skill set.  CHD’s Jon Teitel got to chat with Carlos about his sensational scoring and training triumphs. 


You suffered a knee injury during your junior year at IUPUI: were you worried that you were never going to be able as good as you had previously been? I was young and did not understand the medical world. Some people called it a career-ending injury so I was not sure how I would handle it, but I worked hard the following summer with the right trainers to get my rehab together.

After your junior year you declared early for the NBA draft but later changed your mind: why did you declare early, and why did you withdraw your name? I declared early because that was my hottest year and I had been able to do some damage at camps where I held my own with stars like Vince Carter/Allen Iverson. I was talked out of leaving school by my head coach, who wanted me to come back and continue to build the program. I do not know if I would do it the same way again. Continue Reading


Alright Hamilton! CHD interviews Georgia State legend Rodney Hamilton

Georgia State has not made the NCAA tourney in more than a decade, but after winning 25 games last season they were on the doorstep before a heartbreaking one point overtime loss in the Sun Belt tourney title game.  They bring back one of the best backcourts in the country in Ryan Harrow/RJ Hunter, but the best guard in school history now roams the sidelines a few hours away in Tennessee.  Rodney Hamilton was a star player for the Panthers back in the 1990s, and was good enough for the school to retire his number.  After a pro career overseas he has spent several years as an assistant coach at various schools: this year he will be a trusted assistant for new Tennessee State head coach Dana Ford.  CHD’s Jon Teitel got to chat with Rodney about dominating the Atlantic Sun Conference despite standing only 5’9″. 


Why did you choose to attend Georgia State? I chose Georgia State because it was located in the city of Atlanta. Basketball was the primary sport on campus during the 1990s, and I had the opportunity to come in as a freshman and compete immediately for the starting PG position.

In December 1996 you had a career-high six blocks in a loss at Winthrop: how on earth does a 5’9” guy who is the best point guard in school history block six shots in a game?! As a PG I never thought about blocking shots so when those happened I was as shocked as anyone else. I just ended up being in the right position at the right time. I was able to hide behind the taller guys and sneak up behind them and block more than a few that night. I felt like I was 6’9” that game! Continue Reading


One Proud Poppa: CHD interviews Iowa legend Roy Marble

Iowa’s Roy Devyn Marble was selected 56th overall by the Denver Nuggets in last month’s NBA draft.  However, this summer marks the 25th anniversary of the first Roy Marble from Iowa to ever be drafted.  Roy Sr. was a high school All-American before deciding to become a Hawkeye, where he helped lead his team to 4 straight NCAA tourneys and became the all-time leading scorer in school history.  Now they are poised to join a long list of fathers and sons who have each played in the NBA: Henry and Mike Bibby, Mike Dunleavy Sr. and Jr., Dolph and Danny Schayes, etc.  CHD’s Jon Teitel got to chat with Roy about switching positions, losing a tourney game in double-OT, and why the 4th of July holds a special place in his heart. 


In 1985 you were named a McDonald’s All-American: which of your fellow high school seniors impressed you the most (Sean Elliott/Danny Ferry/other)? I remember both Elliott/Ferry being prominent players at that time. Continue Reading


Instant impact or bench-warming bust: CHD’s analysis of all 30 first-round picks

Last year’s rookie class was rather underwhelming, with only four players averaging 10+ points in their first year (Michael Carter-Williams, Victor Oladipo, Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr.). Carter-Wiliams (6.2 rebounds per game) was the top rebounder among all rookies…despite being a 6’6″ point guard! Of the first six overall picks, one missed the entire year due to an injury (Nerlens Noel) while three others scored less than five points per contest (Anthony Bennett, Otto Porter Jr., Alex Len). CHD’s Jon Teitel reviewed the first round and has made his predictions regarding who will succeed and who will fail (and why).  Feel free to share your thoughts at the bottom.


1. Cleveland: Andrew Wiggins (SF-Kansas): with free agent SF Luol Deng headed out of town, Wiggins should step right in as the Cavs’ go-to scorer and has to be a favorite for ROY…assuming that Kyrie Irving is willing to share the ball.
2. Milwaukee: Jabari Parker (SF/PF-Duke): the Bucks were the worst team in the league last year, so you can probably pencil in Parker as a starter, although I am unsure if he can coexist with a former Tar Heel like future frontcourt teammate John Henson.
3. Philadelphia: Joel Embiid (C-Kansas): the hot rumor this weekend is that Embiid is going to miss the upcoming season, which sucks if it is true, but if there is anyone in the league who can teach him how to cope with sitting out for a year as a lottery pick, it is his new teammate Nerlens Noel.
4. Orlando: Aaron Gordon (PF-Arizona): as a Wildcat alum I knew that Gordon would go in the top-10, but never dreamed that he would be the fourth overall pick.  After the Magic traded leading scorer Arron Afflalo to Denver the morning of the draft, Gordon will get to take a lot of shots as a great addition to an exciting 23-years-old-or-younger nucleus of Victor Oladipo, Tobias Harris, Nikola Vucevic.
5. Utah: Dante Exum (PG/SG-Australia): I hate when teams use first round picks on the same position in consecutive years, so if they want Exum to play point guard while Trey Burke sits then shame on the Jazz, and if they want to play them side-by-side and continue to have Alec Burks providing instant offense off the bench or dangle him as a trade chip, then I hope they know what they are doing.
6. Boston: Marcus Smart (PG-Oklahoma State): Smart cannot play shooting guard at 6’3″, and Rajon Rondo is an All-Star caliber point guard when healthy, so unless the Celtics want to play very small ball, then it looks like the writing may be on the wall as far as Rondo’s future in Beantown.
7. LA Lakers: Julius Randle (PF-Kentucky): assuming that free agent Jordan Hill takes his talents elsewhere, and if Randle’s right foot heals up over the summer, then he has a good chance to be in LA’s starting lineup in the fall thanks to his NBA-ready body.
8. Sacramento: Nik Stauskas (SG-Michigan): the Kings used their 7th overall pick last year to pick Ben McLemore, but instead of finding some size to put next to DeMarcus Cousins down low, they took Stauskas and hope he can combine with the recently-opted-in Rudy Gay to outscore a slew of high-scoring teams in a deep Western Conference.
9. Charlotte: Noah Vonleh (PF-Indiana): the Hornets are not ready to give up on the Michael Kidd-Gilchrist experiment after one year, so they will put Vonleh next to Al Jefferson and hope they can all wreak some havoc in the paint.
10. Philadelphia: Elfrid Payton (PG-Louisiana Lafayette): the 76ers traded him to Orlando, where Magic point guard Jameer Nelson will turn 33 in February, so Payton will spend they year being groomed to take over the starting spot in 2015 as part of the team’s youth movement.
11. Denver: Doug McDermott (SF-Creighton): the Nuggets traded him to Chicago, which should be an excellent fit because the Bulls already have the #1 defense in the league and McDermott was the best scorer in college basketball last year.
12. Orlando: Dario Saric (SF/PF-Croatia): the Magic traded him to Philly, but he is expected to play in Turkey for the next couple of years, but when he and Noel and Embiid are all healthy and all playing in America in 2017, look out world!
13. Minnesota: Zach LaVine (PG/SG-UCLA): the Timberwolves spent most of the past decade drafting point guards, so the one thing we know for sure is that LaVine will be used primarily at the two-spot, and if surrounding Kevin Love with fellow UCLA Bruins is the key to keeping him around, then LaVine + Luc Mbah a Moute + Shabazz Muhammad =  a good start.
14. Phoenix: TJ Warren (SF-NC State): the Suns are in desperate need of some frontcourt scoring so Warren should be a perfect fit for them, and he arrives with an outside chance of being the team’s second-leading scorer next year.
15. Atlanta: Adreian Payne (PF-Michigan State): the Hawks are already set with big men like Al Horford/Paul Millsap, so while Payne’s skill set can be a nice complement to those two, I think it would have been better for them to draft the best available SG or SF to provide some scoring punch.
16. Chicago: Jusuf Nurkic (C-Bosnia & Herzegovina): the Bulls traded him to Denver, and unlike some other international players he is expected to join his new team immediately, so we can see how scoring 12 PPG in the Adriatic Leagued translates to the NBA.
17. Boston: James Young (SG-Kentucky): the Celtics have not had a lot of size in their backcourt for several years now, but the 6’7″ Young will help them out tremendously regardless of who is running the point.
18. Phoenix: Tyler Ennis (PG-Syracuse): if the Suns lose Eric Bledsoe to injury or free agency, then Ennis might get a chance to get his feet wet early; if not, then he will get to spend at least 30 minutes/game next year closely watching Bledsoe…from the bench.
19. Chicago: Gary Harris (SG-Michigan State): the Bulls traded him to Denver, which does not make a lot of sense after Denver acquired Afflalo to play the same position earlier that day, so I am not expecting Harris to get a lot of significant minutes as a rookie.
20. Toronto: Bruno Caboclo (SF/PF-Brazil): best case scenario is “the Brazilian Kevin Durant”; worst case scenario was the quote of the night from Fran Fraschilla: “he is 2 years from being 2 years away”!
21. Oklahoma City: Mitch McGary (C-Michigan): the Thunder might be only one player away from winning a title, but McGary is not that player, although after watching Nick Collison and Kendrick Perkins get eaten alive in the playoffs, he should get a chance to play a lot of minutes if he can stay healthy on the court and adopt some good habits off the court.
22. Memphis: Jordan Adams (SG-UCLA): the Grizzlies used a shooting guard platoon last year of Tony Allen (defense) and Courtney Lee (offense), but since Adams scored 15+ points and had 2+ steals per game during each of his two years in college, perhaps he can become a great contributor off the bench after getting tutorials from the 2 veterans ahead of him.
23. Utah: Rodney Hood (SF-Duke): Gordon Hayward was the best Jazz player last year, so if he leaves via free agency then Hood will try to replace him, but if Hayward stays in Utah then they will probably regret not taking a big man to help out Derrick Favors down low.
24. Charlotte: Shabazz Napier (PG-UConn): the Hornets traded him to Miami, which will make LeBron James happy if the King ends up staying on South Beach, and will make all Heat fans happy after watching Mario Chalmers score a whopping 6.4 PPG in this year’s playoffs.
25. Houston: Clint Capela (PF/C-Switzerland): the Rockets are not going to bring Capela to the states anytime soon, so if he ever surpasses Thabo Sefolosha as “best NBA player from Switzerland”, it will not be until much later this decade (if at all).
26. Miami: PJ Hairston (SG-Texas Legends): the Heat traded him to Charlotte, where he will hopefully avoid all the bad habits that he encountered 150 miles away in Chapel Hill while trying to take the job of former Duke SG Gerald Henderson.
27. Phoenix: Bogdan Bogdanovic (SG-Serbia): another Adriatic League star a la Nurkic, the Suns expect him to stay abroad for at least one more year before he decides which side of the Atlantic Ocean he prefers.
28. LA Clippers: CJ Wilcox (SG-Washington): Wilcox is very athletic and can make shots from behind the arc, but with 6th Man of the Year Jamal Crawford taking most of the backcourt minutes off the bench, I do not expect Wilcox to get a lot of playing time next season.
29. Oklahoma City: Josh Huestis (SF/PF-Stanford): see McGary entry above.
30. San Antonio: Kyle Anderson (SF-UCLA): the champs did not appear to have a lot of holes in their lineup after beating the Heat in five games, but there is no team that appreciates good passing more than the Spurs, and if he can feed Duncan in the post and Danny Green behind the arc then he will find a way to get onto the court.


CHD 2014 NBA mock draft (version 4)

The NBA draft is tonight, so it is time to see if we know our stuff. See below for CHD’s fourth and final round of predictions regarding which teams will draft which players. If you have any opinions, feel free to let us know in the comments section. We will be reviewing the actual draft in the week ahead.


1 Cleveland Cavaliers -  Andrew Wiggins SF Kansas
2 Milwaukee Bucks -  Jabari Parker SF Duke
3 Philadelphia 76ers Joel Embiid C Kansas
4 Orlando Magic - Dante Exum PG/SG Australia
5 Utah Jazz - Noah Vonleh PF Indiana
6 Boston Celtics - Marcus Smart PG Oklahoma State
7 LA Lakers - Julius Randle PF Kentucky
8 Sacramento Kings - Aaron Gordon PF Arizona
9 Charlotte Hornets -  Doug McDermott SF Creighton
10 Philadelphia 76ers -  Nik Stauskas SG Michigan
11 Denver Nuggets -  Gary Harris SG Michigan State
12 Orlando Magic - Rodney Hood SF Duke
13 Minnesota Timberwolves -  Zach LaVine PG/SG UCLA
14 Phoenix Suns - Dario Saric SF/PF Croatia
15 Atlanta Hawks -  Elfrid Payton PG Louisiana Lafayette
16 Chicago Bulls -  Kyle Anderson SF UCLA
17 Boston Celtics Adreian Payne PF Michigan State
18 Phoenix Suns -  TJ Warren SF NC State
19 Chicago Bulls -  Jusuf Nurkic C Croatia
20 Toronto Raptors -  Tyler Ennis PG Syracuse
21 Oklahoma City Thunder -  James Young SG Kentucky
22 Memphis Grizzlies - Shabazz Napier PG Connecticut
23 Utah Jazz - Jordan Clarkson PG/SG Missouri
24 Charlotte Hornets -  Cleanthony Early SF/PF Wichita State
25 Houston Rockets -  Clint Capela PF France
26 Miami Heat -  PJ Hairston SG Texas Legends
27 Phoenix Suns -  Jerami Grant SF Syracuse
28 LA Clippers -  KJ McDaniels SF Clemson
29 Oklahoma City Thunder - Jordan Adams SG UCLA
30 San Antonio Spurs -  CJ Wilcox SG Washington


Stan the Man: CHD interviews Arizona super-recruit Stanley Johnson

Arizona came within one possession of making the Final 4 last March, and there was some doubt about whether they could make another deep run after losing Aaron Gordon and Nick Johnson to the NBA draft.  One guy who hopes to get the Wildcats back to the Elite 8 is incoming freshman Stanley Johnson.  He had a scintillating spring including his fourth straight state high school title, the California “Mr. Basketball” award, and an appearance on the West roster in the McDonald’s All-American Game.  His summer plans are looking pretty sweet too, as he made the official 12-man roster for the USA U18 national team last weekend that will be playing in the FIBA Americas U18 Championship later this month in Colorado Springs.  CHD’s Jon Teitel got to chat with Johnson about going undefeated, picking the Wildcats, and playing for Coach Sean Miller. 


Your mother Karen was a Hall of Fame basketball player at Jackson State and later played professionally in Denmark, Italy and Sweden: what kind of influence has she been on you both on and off the court? She has been a great influence on me: it always helps to have a Hall of Famer in the family. Continue Reading


CHD 2014 NBA mock draft (version 3)

The NBA draft is just over one week away, so we will keep predicting which teams will draft which players. See below for CHD’s third round of predictions. If you have any opinions, feel free to let us know in the comments section. We will be updating this for the final time next week.


1 CLE Joel Embiid C Kansas
2 MIL Andrew Wiggins SF Kansas
3 PHI Jabari Parker SF Duke
4 ORL Dante Exum PG/SG Australia
5 UTA Noah Vonleh PF Indiana
6 BOS Julius Randle PF Kentucky
7 LAL Marcus Smart PG Oklahoma State
8 SAC Aaron Gordon PF Arizona
9 CHA Doug McDermott SF Creighton
10 PHI Nik Stauskas SG Michigan
11 DEN Gary Harris SG Michigan State
12 ORL Dario Saric SF/PF Croatia
13 MIN Zach LaVine PG/SG UCLA
14 PHO Rodney Hood SF Duke
15 ATL TJ Warren SF NC State
16 CHI Kyle Anderson SF UCLA
17 BOS James Young SG Kentucky
18 PHO Cleanthony Early SF/PF Wichita State
19 CHI Elfrid Payton PG Louisiana Lafayette
20 TOR Adreian Payne PF Michigan State
21 OKC Jusuf Nurkic C Croatia
22 MEM Jerami Grant SF Syracuse
23 UTA Jordan Clarkson PG/SG Missouri
24 CHA Glenn Robinson III SF Michigan
25 HOU Tyler Ennis PG Syracuse
26 MIA Shabazz Napier PG Connecticut
27 PHO Mitch McGary C Michigan
28 LAC KJ McDaniels SF Clemson
29 OKC PJ Hairston SG Texas Legends
30 SAS Clint Capela PF France


The Cure for what ails you: CHD interviews Detroit legend Earl Cureton

All basketball fans are familiar with Hall of Famer Earl “The Pearl” Monroe, but only true fans know Earl “The Twirl” Cureton.  After attending two different colleges (Robert Morris and Detroit) he spent a majority of his pro career playing in some of the most notable playoff series in NBA history: the 1981 Eastern Conference Finals (Philly vs. Boston), the 1984 Eastern Conference first round (Detroit vs. New York), and the 1994 Finals (Houston vs. New York).  He played with such legends as Moses Malone, Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon and won a pair of rings over a decade apart.  After retiring from the NBA he coached in the WNBA, did some color commentary, and finally got his college degree.  As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of his final NBA title, CHD’s Jon Teitel got to chat with Earl about his signature spin move, teaming up with his idol, and keeping a promise that he made to his mother. 


Your nickname was “The Twirl” due to your great spin move: who gave you the nickname, and how did you like it? I got it in college from Dick Vitale: he came up with nicknames for everyone. Continue Reading