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February 18, 2014
Wolverines in the Pros: Several updates
Rising Stars Challenge for rookies and second year players over the weekend. Here's plenty on Hardaway, Trey Burke and several other Wolverines in the NFL.As reported over the weekend, New York Knicks rookie Tim Hardaway, Jr. put on a show at the
Hardaway was averaging 9.2 points and 1.5 rebounds per game for the Knicks as of Feb. 17, shooting 45.1 percent from the floor. His father, former Miami Heat star Tim Hardaway, Jr., said he knew his son would be an NBA success.
"I knew this all along,'' Hardaway Sr. told the New York Post. The two were teammates, along with the WNBA's Elena Della Donne, Saturday night in the Shooting Stars, though the team of Chris Bosh, Dominique Wilkins and Swin Cash, beat them and won the event. "A lot of people say I'm biased. That's my son. I know basketball. I played and evaluated it all my life. I said this all along - I see a lot of my competitiveness in him. He wants to win."
The Utah Jazz' Burke, meanwhile, earned his second straight NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month award, this time for January. He teamed with Portland All-Star guard Damian Lillard to win the all-star skills relay Feb. 18 and a $100,000 donation for the Teach for America & Wounded Warrior Project.
The two navigated the course that tests speed, agility, passing and shooting in a time of 45.2 seconds, just better than the East squad of Philadelphia rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams and Orlando shooting guard Victor Oladipo, who finished in 45.3.
Burke was averaging 12.5 points, 5.5 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game as of Feb. 17. His scoring numbers for January - 11.8 points to go with 6.8 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game - were down, but it was good enough to earn Rookie of the Month honors again.
Other NBA notes:
With the D-Fenders, Harris averaged 30.6 points and 6.5 rebounds a game before being called up and has excelled since. He scored 56 points and added 16 rebounds in a win over Santa Cruz Feb. 9 and notched six points and four assists in the Futures team's D-League All-Star game win over the Prospects Feb. 15.
"Commissioner,'' Avant said, "we need you to set standards. We need you to make it black and white. We need standards, and if we don't meet them, we shouldn't be here."
Not surprisingly, NJ.com called Avant "the most respected player in the Eagles' locker room.
Woodley isn't certain he'll be back in Pittsburgh next year. He has missed 14 games and parts of six others while taking part in only 56 percent of the plays since signing a big contract in 2011.
"He's had to battle some injuries, unfortunately for him and for us," head coach Mike Tomlin told triblive.com after Woodley was placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury in December.
Woodley notched 35 sacks his first three years, collecting 113 tackles, 18 sacks, 40 pressures while missing a possible 1,000 snaps.
"Three years of nagging injuries that's led to a lack of production, along with a hefty price tag left on his contract, could make the 29-year old Woodley a salary cap casualty in March," triblive.com added. "The Steelers could save $25 million in salary over the final three years if they release Woodley.
Henne played in 15 games last year, starting 14, and completed 305 of 503 passes for 3,241 yards.
Former U-M quarterback Denard Robinson, meanwhile, hopes to make a bigger impact for the Jaguars next season. His one pass attempt last year was an incompletion, and he only ran the ball 20 times for 66 yards and failed to catch a pass in his rookie year. He had four kickoff returns for 88 yards with a long of 27.
"I think this year has been really good for him," coach Gus Bradley said. "He asked me during the season, 'How do I need to get better, what do I need to do?'
"Part of it is just he needs experience. He went out there and got some experience and it really came to light. He needs to be more consistent in how he handles the ball, more consistent in his protections. My hope is that this has been a good process for him and he makes big strides. He's such a competitor; I know he's going after it."