Searching For: Kevin Pittsnogle

January 19, 2009

 

Not your average middle-school teacher

He's not your average middle-school teacher

Only two full seasons removed from the college basketball spotlight, Kevin Pittsnogle has returned to his hometown of Martinsburg.  He’s a regular guy– a middle school teacher and unpaid assistant basketball coach.  The New York Times’ John Branch updates us on the former WVU odditywho is living in a double wide (cue the “trailer trash” chants) with his wife, contemplating his next attempt at professional basketball.

Frankly we couldn’t stand Pittsnogle during his glory days.  This is due in large part to his atrocious last name and the fact he looked more like a ratly mountaineer than a basketball player. The article portrays Pittsnogle as a likebale guy however, and we’re willing to give him a pass as he seeks to carve out his future.

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Searching For: Teddy Dupay

January 5, 2009

Considering our blog title gives a shout out to a once promising Syracuse guard gone astray, we figured it would be a good idea to keep the nostalgic juices flowing from time to time and give you that “oh wow I remember him” feeling. We will be dishing out some write-ups on former players; ranging from the All-American type who didn’t have the “NBA Body,” to one-hit-wonders who played their best when it mattered most…March. Feel free to pass along your favorite forgotten college basketball players, as we compile a list of prospective guys to feature.

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When Billy Donovan made his initial etch in college basketball lore, he was flanked by a group of young and colorful players that were assembled to fit the brand of basketball he wanted to play.  Circa 2000, The Gators were by no means synonymous with March Madness, or were even perennial forces in the SEC.  At that point in time it was all about The Swamp and the Church of Spurrier down in Gainesville. We guess it still is, but after back to back national titles, you gotta think the people down there at least mildly care about what happens on the hardwood.

teddydupay1Along side Mike Miller, Udonis Haslem, Donnell Harvey and Brett Nelson, Teddy Dupay was the sparkplug for the 2000 runner up Gator team.  He was a Mr. Basketball in the Sunshine State, one of the most revered prep players ever in Florida, and layed the groundwork for Billy Ball–as the first recruit to sign under Donovan.  Dupay seemed like a pretty decent guy, someone you could violently kill beers with, but was unassuming and well-mannered at the same time.

Sadly our perception can be blurred and far from reality, as Teddy Dupay isn’t actually a good guy at all.  Teddy Dupay, if found guilty in the coming months, will be forever labeled a bad guy, because Teddy Dupay was accused of second degree rape charges this past summer.

After falling to the Flint Boys of Michigan State, the Gators had essentially done their job of reinvigorating the basketball program in Gainesville.  They appeared to just be happy to be there– after dumping Duke and UNC en route to the finals– and had that “wow I can’t wait to see what they do next year,” effect.

That return to the top didn’t really happen, and after one more season, the downward spiral for Dupay was set into motion. Teddy Boy was dismissed from the team in the fall of 2001, amidst allegations he was dribbling with his right hand, while placing bets with his left. Dupay of course denies it all, but the State of Florida was convinced it was true as numerous former teammates testified against him.

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After a few years of what probably every player we do a “Searching For” piece on–playing ball overseas–Dupay popped up in 2006 as a telemarketer in Utah, a career move his parents called a relief.  Really? A relief?  Interesting.

Anyway, this summer those rape charges came down on Dupay, filed by a woman he had a relationship with for the last two years.  Pretty tough love if you ask us, as the woman suffered two fractured ribs according to investigators.  There’s no word on the next steps for Dupay, and if or when he will face sentencing.

Bottom line, it sounds like a Tim Tebow moderated intervention couldn’t even appropriately re-wire this guy, and we will probably never hear from the once-revered-guard-gone-mad again.


Searching For: Ed O’Bannon

December 8, 2008
While Ben Howland is lauded by fans and alumni for restoring order to the UCLA basketball program, he’s still yet to bring a title to Westwood. You have to go back to 1995 where Jim Harrick–a convicted cheater for the record–manned the sidelines for one of the most complete championship teams we can think of. It was a team that on the whole was much greater than the sum of its parts. No player found long term success in the NBA and only a few even found short term success. But they did go about eight deep, and had a Wooden Award winning go-to-guy…

Nicknamed “Ed-O,” Ed O’Bannon was the focal point of the Bruins high-powered offense. Evidence is in the 30 points and 17 rebounds he posted in the championship game against Arkansas, which easily earned him Final Four MVP.

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While O’Bannon was unquestionably the best player in college basketball that season, there were still the skeptics who were not sure his skills could translate over to the NBA. Despite this, O’Bannon was selected 9th in the draft by the New Jersey Nets. He got a nice signing bonus and guaranteed cash, but the highlights pretty much stopped there.

O’Bannon struggled to find his place within the rotation, spending three seasons essentaily chilling on the Nets and Mavericks bench. He wound up as a throw in as part of a trade to the Magic and was immediately released, ending his time in the NBA. After bouncing around various European teams and withstanding a few knee surgeries, O’Bannon lost his desire to play the game. To put it bluntly, he said: “I guess I wasn’t as good as I thought I was.”

Now the story could end there, and we guess it still sort of does. But don’t worry about Ed O’Bannon, as he’s still living the good life. He lives in Las Vegas, constantly asking apprehensive consumers…What is it going to take to get you in this Scion today?

After accruing just under four million dollars in the NBA, O’Bannon has traded in his Converse’s for loafers, wielding a business card that reads: “Findlay Toyota and Scion – Sales and Leasing.”

While he seems like a pretty content individual, O’Bannon attributes his basketball demise to lack of confidence, telling LA Times writer Bill Plaschke , “I missed shots, [and] got pulled from games. It affected my defense, and I lost all my confidence.”

Yes, in the big picture, Ed O’Bannon is really no more than another college basketball star gone awry. A guy who was never “NBA Ready.” But he’s got one more national championship ring than any of us. And he probably still sports it while driving driving down the Vegas strip in a fuel-efficient Camry Hybrid.

Searching For: Harold Arceneaux

November 29, 2008

Considering our blog title gives a shout out to a once promising Syracuse guard gone astray, we figured it would be a good idea to keep the nostalgic juices flowing from time to time and give you that “oh wow I remember him” feeling. We will be dishing out some write-ups on former players; ranging from the All-American type who didn’t have the “NBA Body,” to one-hit-wonders who played their best when it mattered most…March. Feel free to pass along your favorite forgotten college basketball players, as we compile a list of prospective guys to feature in the future.

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If you were given and able to retain the nickname “The Show”, you know that somewhere, at some juncture in your life, you pretty effing sweet. While its been nearly 10 years since Harold Arceneaux was front and center in the college basketball world, serious enthusiasts can immediately reference the game that made Harold, well, heralded. It was 1999, Seattle’s Key Arena, first round of the NCAA tournament. Number three seed UNC, a mainstay among college basketball’s elite, versus #14 seed Weber State, champions of the Big West. UNC hadn’t lost a 1st round NCAA tournament game in nearly two decades. Surely, it would be business as usual for them as they looked to make another run to the Final Four.

Not so fast my friends. Harold Arceneaux would have none of that mainstream America thinking. In his first season of DI ball (he spent two years at JuCo Midland), Arceneaux averaged 23 points a game while shooting 51 percent from the field. Surely any sort of game plan the Tar Heels put together centered around stopping Arceneaux, but whatever was thought out before tip off would not throw the 6′ 6″ forward for a loop. “The Show” went off for 36 points in the game, dropping 20 in the second half. He connected on five of seven three pointers, and sealed the game for the Wildcats with clutch free throws in the end of regulation. An instant classic that sent Tar Heel fans into shock, and was the lead sports story across the country.

A one hit wonder? Maybe. But the ride didn’t quite end there because let’s not forget, there was still a second round game to play. Looking to ride the momentum wave, Weber State squared off against Florida with the Sweet Sixteen now a legitimate destination. Arceneaux stuffed the stat sheet once again, disregarding the notion that the secret was out and the party was over. He put up 32 points and forced overtime, carrying his entire team and the entire Weber State student body with him. This time however, reality prevailed and the upstart Gators would advance.

Even though Acreneaux had one year of eligibility left, many assumed he would look to cash in with his stock so high and test the NBA waters. He went against that thinking and instead returned to Ogden, Utah, for his senior season, hoping to find magic once again. Unfortunately the good times could not be unearthed a second time around. With new players and a new coaching staff the Wildcats got off to a slow start. They finished the season at 18-10, not good enough for an NCAA tournament bid.

From there, as we’ve seen so often in college basketball, Arceneaux stock fell tremendously and he failed to get drafted that Summer. Since then he’s bounced around from country to country, playing in various international leagues while continuing to impress as a proficient scorer. He even had a stint with the CBA’s Great Falls Explorers, a team Billy Edelin once verbally agreed to play for but couldn’t be found at the airport.

For the most part though, Harold Arceneaux serves as a name that represents all that is right with the NCAA tournament. A player who was able to captivate the common fan and even the common person fascinated with Davids defeating Goliaths.