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With the NBA and NHL playoffs in full steam, daily baseball games and much more in the world of sports, there’s a chance you couldn’t get to all of the great content on SI.com this week. Inside SI has you covered. Here’s a selection of some of the top Sports Illustrated stories and video productions from the past week.
SI announced 10 finalists for its inaugural College Athlete of the Year.
Richard Deitsch reviews Fox Sports 1’s new big hires and more in his weekly Media Circus column.
Jeff Pearlman reminisces about the USFL 30 years later
Ian Thompson says Steph Curry is the latest to establish himself as a star in the playoffs.
Lee Jenkins writes that Kevin Durant can only do so much for OKC.
Rob Mahoney lists five players who have disappointed in the playoffs so far. He also notes the biggest surprises of the playoffs so far.
Do the NBA Playoffs Underdogs stand a chance? Chris Mannix and Maggie Gray discuss the Warriors and Bulls (video).
Mannix discusses how the injuries of Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook and Amar’e Stoudemire have affected their respective teams (video).
Sara Kwak says the Isles vs. Penguins has been the most thrilling series so far.
Allan Muir says the Senators showed their superiority over the shorthanded Habs.
While this week’s SI cover man Sidney Crosby worked his magic in the Penguins’ Game 5 Win, Eli Bernstein says the play of both goalies proved to be the difference.
Stu Hackel on how the NHL may change their policy on head shots.
Tom Verducci says expensive free agents are once again failing to meet expectations.
Jay Jaffe says Matt Harvey is fastest-starting Mets ace ever.
Cliff Cocoran provides this week’s Awards Watch.
SI.com’s Tom Verducci takes a look at the increasing strikeout rate around the MLB and asks if the Braves’ power can overcome their swing-and-miss ways (video).
The Tigers top Joe Lemire’s power rankings.
Peter King notes differing draft strategies, who will control the ’14 draft and more in this week’s MMQB.
Jim Trotter writes on how the California workers comp bill will have a lasting effect on NFL players.
Don Banks asks if betters days are coming for minority hires in the NFL?
Chris Burke on each team’s most pressing question as minicamp looms.
Micahael Bamberger writes that TV saved Tiger Woods from withdrawing from the Masters.
Gary Van Sickle says McIlroy, Stricker and Scott make TPC Sawgrass look easy
Andy Staples takes a stab at his post spring top 25.
Holly Anderson hands out her Sixth annual Switzies, which celebrate the ‘best’ of the 2013 offseason.
Stewart Mandel on how Ohio State aims to break the SEC’s title streak in 2013.
Rick Pitino talks Kentucky Derby, Final Four and 2013-14′s prospects in a Q&A with Pete Thamel.
Luke Winn gives out his second annual data-based hoops awards.
Bruce Jenkins writes that Madrid red clay is a welcome sight after 2012 left all feeling blue
In his weekly mailbag, Jon Wertheim wonders if Serena Williams and Sloane Stephens can find peace.
Grant Wahl provides updates on Alex Morgan, Frank Lampard and various MLS nuggets in his Planet Futbol Column.
Jonathan Wilsion says David Moyes is a safe choice for Manchester United, but comes with risk.
Sid Lowe writes that Jose Mourinho’s separation from Real Madrid getting messy.
Floyd Mayweather tops Chris Mannix’s Pound-For-Pound Top 15.
Floyd Mayweather talks about his title fight victory over Robert Guerrero, and looks ahead towards the rest of his multi-fight contract (video).
Jeff Wagenheim discusses Anderson Silva’s punishment, Johny Hendricks’ beard, and more in his MMA mailbag.
Lars Anderson on what we learned on a rainy, dark day at Talladega.
Carl Estes provides this week’s power rankings.
After a disastrous season for Kentucky that saw them lose 12 games, miss the NCAA tournament, and lose in the first round of the NIT, the Wildcats have reloaded with one of the most heralded freshman classes in history. In this week’s Sports Illustrated, Chris Mannix profiles two of the highly touted recruits who hope to help Kentucky win a title for the second time in three years—super-twins Aaron and Andrew Harrison.
The Harrisons are 6’5”, 210 pound All-American guards from Richmond, Texas. Aaron is the scorer and the country’s top-ranked shooting guard by Rivlas.com, while Andrew is a playmaker, and top-ranked point guard in the nation. Mannix finds that the Harrisons posses many of the leadership qualities there were missing from this year’s Kentucky team.
John Lucas, the former NBA coach who leads workout sessions loaded with NBA Players, has worked with the twins in Houston for the last four years. He has only let four high schoolers consistently work out with pros: Kobe Bryant, Lebron James and the Harrisons. He says: “They are killers. Their competitiveness is unbelievable. They only care about winning.” (PAGE 46)
The twins chose Kentucky in large part due to coach John Calipari, who was very direct with the family from the start. Father Aaron Harrison Sr., who taught his boys the game and was a regular on the Houston rec league circuit, says: “He (Calipari) told Aaron and Andrew, ‘I need guards to get it done here. I want you, I need you, but Kentucky isn’t for everybody. You come here, you are going to work.’” (PAGE 48)
Since 2009-10, Kentucky has had more one-and-done players (9) than any other program in the nation. Many, including Harrison Sr., believe the twins could enter the draft after one season at Kentucky. He says: “You go to college to make money to earn a living. If [Aaron and Andrew] have an opportunity to do that in one year, why would I stop them? I sent them to Kentucky because I think it’s the best system to play basketball. Let’s not sugar coat it and say they are going to be doctors.” (PAGE 48)
The Harrisons and four other Top 100 recruits will join four returning starters in Lexington next season. “That’s as talented a young team as I have ever seen,” says a Division 1 assistant coach. “If they come together like Cal thinks, it’s game over. No one is going to be able to beat them.” (PAGE 48)
Aaron Harrison agrees: “We’re going down to win a national championship. All of us who are going there, we talk about it, we know that’s what we are going there to do. We know we will have a target on our backs. But we like that kind of pressure.” (PAGE 48)
In this week’s SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, reporter Dan Greene takes a look at Oklahoma State freshman guard Marcus Smart, a potential lottery pick and player of the year candidate. The 6’4” 225-pound Smart is the only power conference player to be in his league’s top 20 in five major statistical categories.
However, Marcus Smart isn’t thinking about the NBA draft just yet. Greene writes:
“He is more concerned with the now: getting Oklahoma State its first NCAA tournament win in four years.” (PAGE 31)
In addition to Smart, senior writer Chris Mannix analyzes five players projected to be first off the NBA draft board in June. (PAGE 31)
- Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas
- Anthony Bennett, PF, UNLV
- Nerlens Noel, PF, Kentucky
- Alex Len, C, Maryland
- Shabazz Muhammad, SG, UCLA
With input from league scouts and executives, Sports Illustrated Staff Writer Chris Mannix put together a list of the one-one all-stars, scorers who excel at getting the job done on their own (PAGE 20).
1. LeBron James, SF, Heat
2. Chris Paul, PG, Clippers
3. James Harden, SG, Rockets
4. Derrick Rose, PG, Bulls
5. Joe Johnson, SG, Nets
6. Jamal Crawford, SG, Clippers
7. Russell Westbrook, PG, Thunder
8. Kobe Bryant, SG, Lakers
Fans can join the debate on SI’s App for Windows 8. Launch the SI app for Windows 8 on your tablet or computer, then tap or click on the 8 Debate live tile in the app timeline. There, you can also watch exclusive video of Joe Johnson talking about going one-on-one.