Bears

Seton beats Brother Rice in conference play

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Seton beats Brother Rice in conference play

By Tony Baranek
YourSeason.com

Mark Weems Jr. was uncharacteristically quiet during the first three quarters of Setons 61-48 Catholic League South victory over host Brother Rice.The Stings leading scorer had as many fouls as points two.Things would change.Hes a closer, Seton coach Brandon Thomas said. That guy scores in a lot of different ways. He can shoot the three, he can get to the cup and he can make free throws.Weems did it all, except for hitting a three, anyway, finishing with 16 fourth-quarter points as the Sting (16-3, 7-0) thwarted a stunning comeback by the Crusaders. J.R. Tolliver added another 18 markers for the winners.Brother Rice (11-8, 5-2) was paced by Alex Majewski (18 points) and Ray Rubio (eight).What looked like a cruise for Seton turned into a wild ride before all was said and done.Brother Rice, which went into the night having made at least one three-pointer in 259 straight games, went 0-for-5 in the first half.Seton, meanwhile, dominated in most phases, including the ridiculous.With 0.4 left in the half, Damian Evans stood at the top of the three-point circle as Kamal Shasi tossed the inbounds pass. In one motion, Evans leaped, caressed the ball every so briefly, then launched what would be a swish.Up 29-18 at halftime, Seton would go on to build a 38-21 advantage early in the third. Then, Brother Rice finally exploded.A layup by Garrett ONeill got it started. Rubio hit a three, the Crusaders first, with 3:30 showing. After Jim Barista connected from beyond the arc with 43.9 seconds left in the period, it was a 40-40 proposition.Our defense wasnt there anymore, Thomas said. And we shot a lot of jump shots in that quarter. Tolliver, we were having success going to him, and all of a sudden we didnt want to go to him anymore.They never did go to Tolliver again, but it didnt matter. Trailing 42-40 at the start of the fourth period, it became the Weems show.The 6-foot-2 junior brought the Sting back into a tie with a short jumper from the side, and followed it with a running bank-in. Shortly after, he drove for a three-point play.Tolliver was 4-of-4 from the field and 8-of-9 from the free-throw line in the final eight minutes.

NFL Power Rankings Week 8: Jags, Eagles, Bears all see stock fall

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USA Today

NFL Power Rankings Week 8: Jags, Eagles, Bears all see stock fall

Take a look over the NFC landscape and try to find me a team that can compete with the Rams. 

Packers? Held back by Rodgers' knee and Rodgers' coach. Saints? Might not even win their own division. Washington? Does Alex Smith really scare anyone in the playoffs? 

The Rams have one of the easier paths to the Championship Round/Super Bowl that we've seen in some time. Will it likely stay that way? Probably not. But there's a difference between parity and mediocrity and right now the NFC is toeing the line HARD. 

Outside the NFC's "elite", how did your team do this week? 

You can take a look here and see where they landed. 

Shaquille Harrison could improve the efficiency of Bulls bottom five defense

Shaquille Harrison could improve the efficiency of Bulls bottom five defense

The Phoenix Suns released guard Shaquille Harrison last week, and although it is not a move that will send shockwaves through the league, the Bulls picking up Harrison could be the exact type of move to help solve what ails them.

At 6-foot, 4-inches and with a long wingspan, Harrison would step in and likely be at least the second-best perimeter defender on the team behind Kris Dunn. And he is the type of player, when combined with a talent like Wendell Carter Jr. and/or Dunn, could help form the type of lineup that could have a transformative effect on the overall team defense.

Last season Harrison had a defensive rating of 109, this despite the fact that the Sun—as a team—had a defensive rating of 113.51, over four points worse than when Harrison was on the floor.

His best skill is his ability to “get skinny” around a screener, meaning that on defense, Harrison is adept at angling his body to get around players trying to screen him off his man:


The Bulls need more players who show Harrison’s effort level when navigating screens on defense, not just because it will make life easier on their rim protectors, but because they also need to make sure they continue adding players who lead by example on that end of the floor. A team as young as the Bulls needs to collect young talent who pride themselves on defense, and Harrison fits the part.

When it comes to offense, Harrison doesn’t have the most impressive profile, but his play on that end of the floor is similar to former Bull David Nwaba. Harrison is not even an average 3-point shooter  (23.1 percent from 3-point range), but he makes up for it in other ways.

His rebounding is an area of strength, and fitting in with his preference to bring physicality to his matchup, he is adept at getting to the free throw line.

Last year Harrison’s 30.6 percent free throw attempt rate would’ve been a top-five mark on the Bulls. But his low usage rate (18 percent) will likely be lower in Chicago, so the free throw numbers may fall. But with so many score-first players on the roster, Harrison will still be able to crash the glass against the many guards who forget to box out their man.

Offensive rebounding will be less of a focus for a Bulls team that wants to preach getting back on transition defense, but Harrison gives Fred Hoiberg a special player that can do both. Harrison will run back on defense to help create the “shell” that the best teams create to cut off easy forays to the rim, and then when his team gets the ball back and is on the fastbreak, he brings value as the “trailer” (trailing man on a fastbreak) even without shooting ability:

This signing could end up being a big one for the Bulls, however small it may seem now.

Around the league, more and more teams are starting to invest resources in multiple ball-handler offenses that negate the differences between point guard and shooting guard, making versatile back court defenders a must.

This will be evident when the Bulls take on the Dallas Mavericks in game No. 3 of the regular season, as Rick Carlisle's Mavericks feature Dennis Smith Jr. and Luka Doncic in an explosive offense that doesn't have a defined "lead" guard.

The Bulls will continue to attempt to curtail offense with a high-scoring back court duo when they take on the Charlotte Hornets in a back-to-back on October 26 and 27. If Harrison is worked into the rotation by then, expect to see Harrison and Dunn on the floor together to match up with Doncic and Smith respectively, but have the flexibility to switch defensive assignments on the fly. If Chicago's perimeter defense starts to offer significantly more resistance, it will allow quicker improvement from Carter and the rest of the Bulls bigs on the interior.

With Zach LaVine currently in the top-five in the NBA in points per game, Dunn returning and Lauri Markkanen getting healthy, the Bulls front office is slowly approaching the point where their team has enough players who are considered possible focal points of an offense.

To become a championship contender, you need to have that one player who is unequivocally a superstar capable of a heavy workload, and only time will tell if the Bulls already have that player or need to acquire him. But the other important factor in building a championship roster is having the elite-level role players who do the little things that make life easier for their teammates in all phases of the game, and Shaq Harrison is excellent prospect who fits that exact mold.