It's a little odd to think of an NBA roster in terms of a college basketball alumni list, but something struck me a little odd about this Bulls-Pacers game tonight (7:00 ET, ESPN). The Bulls have a ton of guys who went to schools with important and successful NCAA programs, and the Pacers have maybe three, with Georgetown, Arizona, and a combination of Xavier and Tennessee as the big-name schools their players attended. The Bulls have three players just from Duke alone (Boozer, Deng, Dunleavy Jr.)! Noah and Murphy went to Florida, Hinrich went to Kansas, Rose to Memphis, Teague to Kentucky, and their least distinguished starter, Jimmy Butler, went to the reigning Big East Regular Season Champion Marquette Golden Eagles.
This means nothing to the NBA, but it is definitely interesting that even in today's era of recruiting hyper-awareness, stars like Paul George can be plucked from schools like Fresno State, and end up playing against the bluebloods from Duke, Kansas, and Kentucky. There are clearly more factors than NBA potential going in to who Duke chooses to recruit that year, but this matchup is a cool example of the disparity between college ball and the NBA.
This is going to be a real dirty kind of game, with tons of yelling, defense and hard fouls, so it's exactly the type of game that deserves a Gritty's beer. On a dark night, the Black Fly Stout is the choice for me, and its dark, roasted flavor will make a nice complement to this slugfest of a basketball game. Also, watch out for Paul George tonight, he's on fire right now, and he might be guarding Derrick Rose down the stretch if the game gets tight.