Jeff Eisenberg

  • Meet the unlikely guru to the NBA's All-Star dunkers

    Jeff Eisenberg at Yahoo Sports 11 hrs ago

    Two months before the 2014 NBA slam-dunk contest, Toronto Raptors wing Terrence Ross received a message from a guy he'd never met.

    A barrel-chested 30-year-old man who stood barely 6 feet was offering to help the NBA's reigning dunk champion defend his crown.

    Chuck Millan is the founder of Team Flight Brothers, a group of world-class dunkers who have gained a following uploading gravity-defying slams to YouTube and delivering jaw-dropping performances across the country. More than 100,000 YouTube users subscribe to their channel and millions of people have seen their videos.

    Luckily for Millan, Ross had watched Team Flight Brothers videos since he was in high school. The 6-foot-7 second-year pro enlisted Millan's help coming up with never-before-seen dunks tailored to his two-footed jumping style and teaching him how to execute those consistently enough for a contest setting.

    Word of Millan's expertise apparently spread quickly in NBA circles because he has become a guru to the contestants in the dunk contest the past couple years.

    More NBA coverage from The Vertical:

  • Indiana edges Iowa, showing it can handle step up in competition

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 1 day ago

    Twelve days ago, Indiana tried its best to lose to woeful Minnesota. Three days later, the Hoosiers pounded NCAA tournament contender Michigan in Ann Arbor.   

    Five days ago, Indiana suffered a confidence-shaking loss at floundering Penn State. On Thursday night, the Hoosiers rebounded by toppling fourth-ranked Iowa.

    So who is the real Indiana?

    About all we can say for sure about the Hoosiers after Thursday night's 85-78 victory over the Hawkeyes is that their 10-2 Big Ten record isn't merely a product of a soft early conference schedule. They handled a step up in class with aplomb on Thursday night, enduring a furious Iowa rally from a 15-point first-half deficit and then executing better down the stretch to secure a big victory.

    Iowa was still within five with under a minute to go when Indiana forward Troy Williams split a double team off the dribble, pulled up and buried a jump shot that made it a three-possession game. The Hawkeyes never had the ball trailing by fewer than five after that.

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  • College basketball's All-time Starting Five: Georgetown Hoyas

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 1 day ago

    With March Madness right around the corner, The Dagger is picking an all-time starting five from some of college basketball's most tradition-rich programs.

    Our picks were based on a variety of factors, including stats, tourney success, All-America selections, and of course, our opinions.

    First up: Georgetown Hoyas.

    Who was considered from Georgetown:

    1. Patrick Ewing, C, 1981-85 (15.3 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 3.4 bpg) 2. Alonzo Mourning, C, 1988-92 (16.7 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 3.8 bpg) 3. Allen Iverson, G, 1994-96 (23.0 ppg, 4.6 apg) 4. Eric "Sleepy" Floyd, G, 1978-82 (17.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg) 5. Reggie Williams, F, 1983-87 (15.3 ppg, 6.4 rpg) 6. Jeff Green, F, 2004-07 (13.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg) 7. John Duren, G 1976-80 (13.5 ppg, 3.2 rpg) 8. Mike Sweetney, F, 2000-03 (18.2 ppg, 9.2 rpg) 9. David Wingate, G, 1982-86 (12.8 ppg, 3.6 rpg) 10. Dikembe Mutombo, C, 1988-91 (9.9 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 3.7 bpg)

    Georgetown's All-time Starting Five

    G — Allen Iverson

    G — Eric "Sleepy" Floyd

    F — Reggie Williams

    C — Alonzo Mourning

    C — Patrick Ewing

  • Only fair solution to clock debacle is awarding Boise State a win

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 1 day ago

    The Mountain West released a video Thursday afternoon that the league hoped would vindicate its officiating crew's disputed call to wipe out Boise State's game-winning 3-pointer the previous night.

    Needless to say, the video did not accomplish what the league thought it would.

    The video showed that the replay technology referees used to wave off James Webb's buzzer beater featured a clock mistakenly operating about twice the speed of the game clock at Moby Arena. That explains why referees determined that it took Webb 1.2 or 1.3 seconds to get his shot off when media outlets timed it at around six or seven tenths of a second.

    The play in question began with eight tenths of a second remaining in the first overtime period of a game Boise State eventually lost to Colorado State in double overtime. Webb caught an inbound pass with his momentum carrying him away from the basket yet banked in a tie-breaking 3-pointer that left his finger tips well before the clock struck triple zeroes, seemingly giving the Broncos a dramatic road victory.

  • From obsession to YouTube star: The life of a professional dunker

    Jeff Eisenberg at Yahoo Sports 1 day ago

    Three years into his pursuit of a bachelor's degree in industrial design, Jordan Kilganon approached his mother with an impractical idea.

    He intended to drop out of college and try to support himself dunking for a living.

    Dunking had been an obsession for Kilganon since before he was tall enough to even touch the rim. Whereas most basketball players in his hometown of Sudbury, Ontario, looked up to NBA stars, Kilganon would watch grainy YouTube videos of streetball players performing jaw-dropping dunks and then imitate them on an 8-foot rim in his driveway.

    Kilganon's fixation only increased when he finally dunked on a regulation rim for the first time at age 16. For the next five years, he spent up to three or four hours per day inventing creative new dunks or mastering ones he had watched others do, often remaining at the gym until his forearms were bruised and swollen and his fingertips were cracked and raw.

    The most high-profile member of Team Flight Brothers is Guy Dupuy, an accomplished French-born dunker who in many ways is an outlier in his industry.

  • Disputed call wipes out dramatic Boise State buzzer beater

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 1 day ago

    Another disputed call by a Mountain West officiating crew erased one of this college basketball season's most remarkable buzzer beaters.

    Boise State suffered a 97-93 loss at Colorado State in double overtime on Wednesday night in a game the Broncos thought they had won at the end of the first extra session.

    With the score tied and eight tenths of a second left in the initial overtime, Boise State forward James Webb III caught an inbound pass at the right wing with his momentum taking him away from the basket. Webb then banked in an off-balance 3-pointer that appeared to leave his finger tips before the clock struck triple zeroes, seemingly giving the Broncos a dramatic road victory.

    James Webb III with the banked-in game-winner #mwbb pic.twitter.com/q0g4RqAYsC

    The procedure Hall and his crew followed in nullifying the shot is exactly what referees are supposed to do in that situation. The problem arose from their decree that it took Webb well over a second to release the shot. 

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  • Bubble breakdown: Butler rights itself with crucial road victory

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 2 days ago

    Ten days after its NCAA tournament hopes appeared to be flickering, Butler has managed to steady itself.

    The Bulldogs clawed back to .500 in Big East play on Wednesday night by capping a three-game win streak with an impressive 81-75 road victory at Seton Hall.

    A nine-point second-half Butler lead had been slashed to two in the final minute when the Bulldogs put the ball in the hands of senior Roosevelt Jones and had him make a play off the dribble. The 6-foot-4 forward bullied his way to the rim and banked in a high arcing runner, giving his team the breathing room it needed to escape with a key road victory.

    Butler improves to 17-7 overall and 6-6 in the Big East with quality wins over Big Ten power Purdue and fellow bubble teams Cincinnati and Seton Hall. All seven of the Bulldogs' losses are against top 50 KenPom opponents with the exception of a damaging road loss at streaky Marquette.

    It's possible Butler would be in the field of 68 if the season ended today, but the Bulldogs' ability to secure a bid next month will depend on how they cope with a challenging finishing stretch.

    WEDNESDAY'S BUBBLE WINNERS:

    WEDNESDAY'S BUBBLE LOSERS:

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  • Bubble breakdown: Creighton restores hope with marquee win

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 3 days ago

    On the fringes of the bubble picture entering Tuesday night, Creighton landed the marquee win it needed to get back to within striking distance of an NCAA tournament bid.

    Point guard Maurice Watson scored 32 points and dished out five assists to lead the Bluejays to a 70-56 upset of visiting fifth-ranked Xavier.

    Creighton's victory gives it hope of a late surge during the final three weeks of Big East play. The Bluejays are 16-9 overall and 7-5 in the Big East, but their most noteworthy wins prior to Tuesday night came against fellow bubble teams Seton Hall, Butler and Georgetown.

    Now the Bluejays at least have one truly big win on their resume. Xavier (21-3, 9-3) had been just a game behind first-place Villanova in the Big East standings prior to suffering its third conference loss.

    Of Creighton's six remaining Big East games, four are on the road against Xavier, Providence, Butler and Marquette. The Bluejays probably need to win at least two of those and hold serve at home against St. John's and Marquette to have realistic hope entering the Big East tournament.

    TUESDAY'S BUBBLE WINNERS:

    TUESDAY'S BUBBLE LOSERS:

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  • College basketball's All-time Starting Five: Arizona Wildcats

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 3 days ago

    With March Madness right around the corner, The Dagger is picking an all-time starting five from some of college basketball's most tradition-rich programs.

    Our picks were based on a variety of factors, including stats, tourney success, All-America selections, and of course, our opinions.

    First up: Arizona Wildcats.

    Who we considered from Arizona:

    1. Sean Elliott, F, 1985-89 (19.2 ppg, 6.1 rpg) 2. Damon Stoudamire, G, 1991-95 (15.0 ppg, 5.4 apg) 3. Mike Bibby, G, 1996-98 (15.4 ppg, 5.4 apg) 4. Bob Elliott, F/C, 1973-77 (18.7 ppg, 9.5 rpg) 5. Steve Kerr, G, 1983-88 (11.2 ppg, 3.4 apg) 6. Miles Simon, G, 1994-98 (14.6 ppg, 4.0 apg) 7. Jason Terry, G, 1995-99 (11.3 ppg, 3.8 apg) 8. Jason Gardner, G, 1999-2003 (14.6 ppg, 4.6 apg) 9. Khalid Reeves, G, 1990-94 (15.0 ppg, 3.1 apg) 10. Derrick Williams, F, 2009-11 (17.8 ppg, 7.7 rpg)

    Arizona's All-time Starting Five

    G — Mike Bibby

    G — Damon Stoudamire

    F — Sean Elliott

    F — Derrick Williams

    C — Bob Elliott

    That's the five we're going with. Who would you take?

  • Roy Williams 'doing OK' after vertigo-related collapse

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 3 days ago

    As he returned to the bench after arguing with a referee during Tuesday night's victory over Boston College, North Carolina coach Roy Williams collapsed to the ground.  

    Williams walked slowly to the locker room with the help of team trainer Doug Halverson and remained there for the final 14 minutes, 35 seconds of the game. He did return to the court after the final buzzer to take part in the postgame handshake line. 

    North Carolina said Tuesday night that Williams' collapse was "vertigo-related" and that he was "doing OK" in the locker room. Williams has suffered from vertigo intermittently throughout his coaching career, but typically he has been able to continue coaching even after a flare-up.

    Williams is expected to travel back to Chapel Hill with the team Tuesday night. He gave a brief statement to reporters in Boston after the game.

    Issue, happens, Roy says, when he jerks his head quickly. Which is what happened tonight.

    "What I want to do is tell you I'm alive, I'm well. I'm kicking. I'm not well, mentally."

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