Posted by Jeremy Fine
Charlie Villanueva. Shaun Livingston. Julian Wright. All have gone to the NBA. All have had mediocre careers. And all have screwed over the Fighting Illini. They would get to their podium to announce their college decision and then leave you me in the cold. And now I hate them all fairly and equally.
But when Jon Scheyer snubbed Illinois and it hurt so much more. First off, Scheyer has a Jewish father. Also, he grew up not far from me. He was the talk of the town as a freshman in high school. Do you know how much nachas I would have gotten from rooting for this kid? Secondly, Scheyer played for the Illini’s coach, Bruce Weber’s brother in high school. So when he decided to pass on Weber’s offer and go with Mike Krzyzewski and the Duke Blue Devil it was total shock and devastation for Jewish Chicagoans everywhere.
Naturally, we assumed Scheyer made the wrong decision. How would he fit in the fast pace ACC? Being a good Jewish boy from Chicago, wouldn’t he miss a good homemade Matzo Ball soup? But Scheyer proved us all wrong. Every year is numbers and playing time has increased. Because the yid can flat out score the basketball. In this his senior campaign Scheyer averaged 18.6 points a game, grabbed 3.6 rebounds, and dished out 5 assists. All of this while leading his Blue Devils to a number one seed in the NCAA tournament. Compare him to NBA All Star Deron Williams (former Illini God) who also led his team to a number one seed. Williams averaged 10.1ppg, 6.8apg, and 3.6rpg, so Scheyer faired pretty well against the NBA’s best.
Scheyer’s future looks bright. He should get drafted into the NBA this off-season joining Jordan Farmar and Omri Casspi as the only Jews in the league. He should fit in like a Mike Miller or J.J. Reddick type player. Bombing away from 3-point land and serving as a solid backup to the much quicker NBA guards.
While it pains me to say this, and I mean like seeing Zack Morris in anything else besides Saved By The Bell type pain, Jon Scheyer is the best Jewish college basketball player in the country. He might even be in the top five best players in the country, period.
Below is this year’s Jewish All American NCAA basketball team. Keep an eye on Sylven Landesberg who might follow Scheyer’s NBA career path.
Jewish NCAA Basketball All Americans
1) Jon Scheyer – G – Duke Blue Devils – 18.6ppg, 5apg, 3.6rpg
2) Sylven Landesberg – G – Virginia Cavaliers – 16.6ppg, 2.8apg, 6rpg
3) Jake Cohen – F – Davidson Wildcats – 13.3ppg, 5.1rpg
4) Dane Diliegro – C – New Hampshire Wildcats – 8.9ppg, 8.1rpg
5) Derek Glasser – G – Arizona State – 10.1ppg, 4.8apg, 2.5rpg
Jewish NCAA Basketball Honorable Mentions
1) Jon Jaques – G – Cornell Bears
2) Brett Harvey – G – Loyola Maryland
3) Jared Mintz – F – Lafayette Leopards
Enjoy the NCAA tournament. And keep an eye on Scheyer and Landesberg in this year’s NBA draft.
And Let Us Say…Amen.
- Jeremy Fine
For more information on everything Jewish in sports check out www.TheGreatRabbino.com.
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March 17, 2010 | 2:30 pm
Posted by Jeremy Fine
So, it is tournament time. Everyone is frantically filling out their brackets, hoping to gain pride and maybe some cash. Everyone has a different strategy for picking the Final Four. Some people pick underdogs, some pick according to mascots, and some pick by what they think is knowledge yet always end up losing. Well, The Great Rabbino has decided to help you out. TGR is filling out your brackets using Jews. I want to state clearly that I am NOT responsible for you losing your pool. This is just a fun, Jewish, and different way of trying to win your bracket. Just remember that God influenced this bracket.
How are we going to do this? We have done tons of research and came up with a crazy and completely illogical system. Teams were considered by Jewish Players/Coaches, seeding numbers relevance to Judaism (#1 = God, 10 = 10 Commandments, etc), the University’s Hillel/Jewish studies program, the number of Jews on campus, the surrounding city’s Jewish presence, Jewish sports alumni, and a slight TheGreatRabbino.com bias.MIDWEST REGION ROUND 1
Kansas vs. Lehigh – While Lehigh has a Jewish player Matt Shamis, all #1 seeds will advance because the number one stands for God.
UNLV vs. Northern Iowa – I believe Northern Iowa was the home to the Rubashkins. UNLV wins by default.
Michigan State vs. New Mexico State –Hank Greenberg’s Michigan roots push MSU ahead to the next round.
Maryland vs. Houston – Maryland boasts one of the best Hillels in the country.
Tennessee vs. San Diego State – Player Steven Pearl gets the Volunteers to round two.
Georgetown vs. Ohio – Even with less Jews on campus Ohio has a Hillel.
Oklahoma State vs. Georgia Tech – Neither school is strikingly Jewish, so #10 gets the nod representing the 10 Commandments.
Ohio State vs. Santa Barbra – UCSB has Jordan Weiner, but OSU’s stadium is the Schottenstein center. Jewish home beats out Jewish player.
WEST REGION ROUND 1
Syracuse vs. UVM – The number one stands for God, which is unbeatable (unless its Ditka).
Gonzaga vs. Florida State – The Christian school wins this one. Let the interfaith dialogue begin.
Butler vs. UTEP – Butler has better Jewish life on campus.
Vanderbilt vs. Murray State – Vanderbilt’s quick growing Jewish population gets them to round 2.
Xavier vs. Minnesota – Sigmund Harris was an All American quarterback at Minnesota and a part of the tribe (yes, that is the best we can do).
Pittsburgh vs. Oakland – Pittsburgh Hillel trumps Oakland’s chances.
BYU vs. Florida – Nimrod Tishman, while not playing much, creates the Jewish/Israeli upset here.
Kansas State vs. North Texas – My regular bracket won’t have this, but my Jewish bracket does. North Texas has a great Jewish studies program and advances.
EAST REGION ROUND 1
Kentucky vs. ETSU – God is one!
Texas vs. Wake Forest – Current Jewish Major leaguer Scott Feldman plays for the Rangers. Texas pride!
Temple vs. Cornell – We are so upset that Jews are playing each other in the first round. Cornell has two and Temple has one, so upset in the making.
Wisconsin vs. Wofford – Wisconsin is home tons of Jewish summer camps. Not sure what Wofford is known for.
Marquette vs. Washington – The better Hillel moves on.
New Mexico vs. Montana – Umm…so…I have a Rabbinical School friend from New Mexico?
Clemson vs. Missouri – Numbers system. The 10 commandments trump the days in a week.
West Virginia vs. Morgan State – UWV at least has a Hillel.
Duke vs. (ARPB/WIN) – #1 God is with Duke and Jon Scheyer.
California vs. Louisville – Last season California had David Liss. His legacy continues.
Texas A&M vs. Utah State – There are more Jews in Texas. That’s a fact.
Purdue vs. Siena – Purdue has a Hillel.
Notre Dame vs. Old Dominion – Continuing our interfaith theme.
Baylor vs. Sam Houston – Baylor has a Hillel.
Richmond vs. St. Mary’s – Mary was a Jew.
Villanova vs. Robert Morris – Seems to be the interfaith region.
Kansas vs. UNLV – God is still 1.
MSU vs. Maryland – Maryland’s Hillel continues to roll.
Tennessee vs. Ohio – This time it’s Bruce Pearl who leads the way.
GT vs. OSU – Shalom in the Home. OSU marches on.
Syracuse vs. Gonzaga – Player Brandon Reese pushes ‘Cuse ahead.
Butler vs. Vanderbilt – Vanderbilt’s Jewish studies program trumps Butler.
Minnesota vs. Pittsburgh – The Squirrel Hill faithful keeps Pitt in it.
Florida vs. North Texas – Tishman’s prayers keep them alive.
Kentucky vs. Texas – God remains on top.
Cornell vs. Wisconsin – Jon Jaques and Eitan Chemerinski hep Cornell move on to the sweet sixteen.
Washington vs. New Mexico – Yikes again. Washington has more Jews?
Missouri vs. West Virginia – Been to Wheeling WV and it has a nice synagogue.
SOUTH REGIONAL ROUND 2
Duke vs. California – Scheyer will play a huge factor in the tournament. Stay tuned.
Texas A&M vs. Purdue – More Jews on campus.
Notre Dame vs. Baylor – The Hillel beats the Church.
St. Mary vs. Villanova – Mary over her son’s followers.
Kansas vs. Maryland – No Hillel can beat God.
Tennessee vs. OSU – The Pearls cruise.
Syracuse vs. Vanderbilt – Syracuse has Assistant Coach Bernie Fine. Winner!
Pittsburgh vs. Florida – How can Pittsburgh overcome thousands of old Jewish ladies?
Kentucky vs. Cornell – I want to pick Cornell but when Calipari left Memphis it allowed Josh Pastner (Jewish) to move into his coaching spot. So, for Calapari’s act of chesed the Wilcats move into the Elite Eight.
Washington vs. UWV – Marshall “Biggie” Goldberg played fullback for the Steelers, but he was born and raised in UWV (and makes this bracket not totally weird).
Duke vs. Texas A&M – Scheyer keeps them moving.
Baylor vs. St. Mary’s – Lets face it not too many Jews at St. Mary’s.
Kansas vs. Tennessee – Finally, I can stop picking Kansas. Tennessee’s Jew power overcomes Kansas.
Syracuse vs. Florida – Coach Fine and benchwarmer Reese carry the Orange into the Final Four.
Kentucky vs. UWV – Calipari’s help makes me want to keep him going.
Duke vs. Baylor – Scheyer is the best Jewish player in this tournament. Period.
Tennessee vs. Syracuse – Both teams have a Jewish player and coach, but Tennessee’s are better.
Kentucky vs. Duke – Jon Scheyer takes the Dukies to the Finals.
Duke vs. Tennessee –Jon Scheyer wins it all.