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Raptors rookie Scottie Barnes already part of elite company

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The Toronto Raptors have had some impressive rookies ply their trade through 27 seasons. Almost all of the best of those went on to long and fruitful NBA careers. Two — Chris Bosh and Tracy McGrady — have been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Another, Vince Carter, is almost certain to follow.

And now there’s Scottie Barnes.

It’s foolish to argue that the 2021 fourth overall pick from Florida State will be better than them all. Not with the season barely two weeks old.

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But through his first seven games, Barnes has out-performed them all and is already on his way to one of the better starts for a first-year player in recent league history.

He’s listed as doubtful for his eighth game Monday night against the New York Knicks due to a sprained right thumb he suffered in the final moments of the Raptors’ win against the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night.

But the injury came after he logged a 21-point, 12-rebound night — his third game of 20 or more points, his second double-double and his seventh consecutive game scoring at least 12 points.

Barnes is averaging 18.1 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.0 assists on 55.1 per cent shooting.

How many first-year Raptors have averaged at least 18 points and eight rebounds on 55 per cent shooting over a full season?

None.

How many first-year players — ever — have done it?

One. You may have heard of him — big fella, played for the Orlando Magic at the time?

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Yup, Shaquille O’Neal, the NBA’s ultimate man-child.

Stream 250+ marquee NBA matchups from around the league, including over 40 Raptors games. Plus, get news, highlights, analysis, select NBA Playoff matchups and the NBA Draft.

The NBA is a marathon, not a sprint. A seven-game stretch shouldn’t have much predictive value.

But it’s not nothing either, especially given the Raptors rookie is doing it having only just turned 20. So it’s worth noting not only how few players have matched the thresholds Barnes has in his first two weeks in the league, but how good they all became or are projected to be.

According to basketball-reference.com, Barnes is now the ninth player in the past 40 seasons to start their career by averaging at least 18 points and eight rebounds on 50 per cent shooting. There’s not a dud in the bunch.

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• Zion Williamson, 2019-20: first pick in 2019 and one of the most hyped prospects since LeBron James.

• Ben Simmons, 2017-18: second pick in 2016; rookie-of-the-year in 2018; has been named to three All-NBA teams in his first five seasons.

• Blake Griffin, 2010-11: first pick in 2009, rookie of the year in 2011; All-NBA five times.

• O’Neal: first pick in the 1992 draft, 1993 rookie of the year, 2000 MVP, 14 All-NBA selections, four-time champion, Hall-of-Famer.

• David Robinson: first pick in the 1987 draft; 1990 rookie of the year (after completing two years military service); 1995 MVP; defensive player of the year; 10x All-NBA 10 times; Hall-of-Famer.

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• Hakeem Olajuwon: first pick in 1984; 1985 rookie of the year; 1994 MVP; 12x All-NBA; Hall-of-Famer.

• Ralph Sampson: first pick in 1983; 1984 rookie of the year and four-time All-Star in a career cut short by injuries but became a Hall-of-Famer in part on the strength of a legendary college career.

• Terry Cummings: second pick in the 1982 draft, 1983 rookie of the year; all-NBA twice; averaged 20.3 points and 8.5 rebounds over 812 starts in an 18-year career.

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It’s hard to fathom that Barnes is on that kind of trajectory.

But what he’s done in such a short period is even more remarkable when compared with past Raptors icons.

Damon Stoudamire was the Raptors’ first draft pick, taken seventh overall in 1995. He won rookie of the year in 1996 and went on to a productive 14-year career. He came out of the gates as if shot from a cannon, with the ultimate green light as the star of an expansion team in 1995-96. He averaged 15.3 points, seven assists and five rebounds – albeit on 37.8 per cent shooting – on his way to averaging 19 points and nine assists for the season — the top scoring and playmaking marks for a first-year player in franchise history.

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As big a star as Carter became, expectations were a bit muted for his first season during the lockout-shortened 1997-98 season. He was the fifth pick in the draft but he showed his quality quickly, averaging 13.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal per game while shooting 47.2 per cent. His breakout moment came in his eighth game when he popped off for 27/6/5 against the Vancouver Grizzlies in the first NBA contest played at what was then Air Canada Centre. Carter probably had the best start by a Raptors rookie prior to Barnes’ arrival.

Carter ended up averaging 18.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and three assists on 45 per cent shooting on his way to becoming the second Raptor to earn rookie-of-the-year honours, and eventual legend status.

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McGrady’s start shows how difficult an adjustment the NBA can be. He was 18 and straight out of high school after being the ninth pick in 1997, and his introduction to the NBA reflected that as he appeared in only three of the Raptors’ first seven games in his rookie season, making negligible impact.

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Depending on how you slice it, Bosh has had the best or second-best career of any player the Raptors have ever drafted.

Like Barnes, he came into the league as the fourth pick in a deep draft (2003) after one year of college. He got steady minutes immediately off the bench for head coach Kevin O’Neill, averaging 6.7 points and 4 rebounds a game on 51 per cent shooting in 25 minutes in his first seven games. He didn’t have a 20-point, 10-rebound game until December of his rookie season. He went on two win two championships and be named to 11 all-star teams before joining McGrady as the second player drafted by Toronto to make to the Hall of Fame.

DeMar DeRozan’ is the Raptors’ all-time leading scorer and was a four-time all-star with the club, but the early stage of his rookie season showed little signs of what was to come. He started but played just 18 minutes a game, averaging only 4.7 points in his first seven games. He cracked 20 points just twice that season, something Barnes did twice this past weekend.

Barnes has a long way to go to put together a career resume that would match previous Raptors stars, let alone some of the all-time NBA greats his start has put him in the conversation with, but his first seven games have him on the path to something that could be great.





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North Carolina vs. Notre Dame live stream info, TV channel: How to watch NCAA Football on TV, stream online

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Who’s Playing

Notre Dame @ North Carolina

Current Records: Notre Dame 1-2; North Carolina 3-0

What to Know

The North Carolina Tar Heels will be returning home after a two-game road trip. They will take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday at Kenan Memorial Stadium after a week off. UNC is expected to win — but not by much — so they will need to come into the game prepared for a fight.

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The Tar Heels beat the Georgia State Panthers 35-28 two weeks ago. Among those leading the charge for UNC was RB Omarion Hampton, who rushed for two TDs and 110 yards on 16 carries. Hampton put himself on the highlight reel with a 58-yard TD scramble in the third quarter.

Meanwhile, Notre Dame netted a 24-17 victory over the California Golden Bears last week. RB Audric Estime and RB Chris Tyree were among the main playmakers for Notre Dame as the former punched in one rushing touchdown and the latter snatched one receiving TD.

Notre Dame’s defense was a presence as well, as it embarrassed California’s offensive line to sack QB Jack Plummer six times for a total loss of 47 yards. It was a group effort with four guys contributing.

The wins brought the Tar Heels up to 3-0 and the Fighting Irish to 1-2. A pair of stats to keep an eye on: UNC enters the matchup with 310 passing yards per game on average, good for 21st best in the nation. But Notre Dame comes into the contest boasting the 34th fewest passing yards allowed per game in the nation at 184. These opposing strengths should make for an exciting matchup.

How To Watch

  • When: Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Where: Kenan Memorial Stadium — Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • TV: ABC
  • Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.)
  • Follow: CBS Sports App
  • Ticket Cost: $110.00

Odds

The Tar Heels are a slight 2.5-point favorite against the Fighting Irish, according to the latest college football odds.

The line on this game has moved quite a bit since it opened, as it started out with the Fighting Irish as a 1.5-point favorite.

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Over/Under: -110

See college football picks for every single game, including this one, from SportsLine’s advanced computer model. Get picks now.

Series History

Notre Dame have won all of the games they’ve played against North Carolina in the last eight years.

  • Oct 30, 2021 – Notre Dame 44 vs. North Carolina 34
  • Nov 27, 2020 – Notre Dame 31 vs. North Carolina 17
  • Oct 07, 2017 – Notre Dame 33 vs. North Carolina 10



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San Diego State vs. Toledo: How to watch, schedule, live stream info, game time, TV channel

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Who’s Playing

Toledo @ San Diego State

Current Records: Toledo 2-1; San Diego State 1-2

What to Know

The San Diego State Aztecs may be playing at home Saturday, but the experts are forecasting a three-point defeat. They will take on the Toledo Rockets at 3:30 p.m. ET at Snapdragon Stadium. Both of these teams will be looking for a pick-me-up after considerable defeats in their previous games.

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The Aztecs were expected to have a tough go of it last week, and, well, they did. They found themselves the reluctant recipients of an unfortunate 35-7 punch to the gut against the Utah Utes. San Diego State was in a tough position by the half, with the score already sitting at 21 to nothing. One thing holding San Diego State back was the mediocre play of QB Kyle Crum, who did not have his best game: despite one touchdown, he threw one interception with a passing completion percentage of only 31.25%.

Meanwhile, it’s never fun to lose, and it’s even less fun to lose 77-21, which was the final score in Toledo’s tilt against the Ohio State Buckeyes last week. The Rockets were down 56-21 at the end of the third quarter, which was just too much to recover from. Toledo’s loss came about despite a quality game from QB Dequan Finn, who passed for two TDs and 153 yards on 19 attempts in addition to rushing for one TD and 70 yards. Near the top of the highlight reel was Finn’s 50-yard TD bomb to WR Thomas Zsiros in the first quarter.

The losses put San Diego State at 1-2 and Toledo at a reciprocal 2-1. A couple offensive numbers to keep in mind before kickoff: San Diego State enters the game with 221 rushing yards per game on average, good for 22nd best in the nation. The Rockets have displayed some offensive firepower of their own as they rank 17th in the nation when it comes to rushing touchdowns, with nine on the season.

How To Watch

  • When: Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Where: Snapdragon Stadium — San Diego, California
  • TV: Fox Sports 1
  • Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.)
  • Follow: CBS Sports App
  • Ticket Cost: $14.85

Odds

The Rockets are a 3-point favorite against the Aztecs, according to the latest college football odds.

The line has drifted a bit towards the Rockets, as the game opened with the Rockets as a 1-point favorite.

Over/Under: -111

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See college football picks for every single game, including this one, from SportsLine’s advanced computer model. Get picks now.

Series History

This is the first time these teams have played each other within the last seven years.



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Miami (FL) vs. Middle Tenn.: How to watch online, live stream info, game time, TV channel

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Who’s Playing

Middle Tenn. @ No. 25 Miami (FL)

Current Records: Middle Tenn. 2-1; Miami (FL) 2-1

What to Know

The Middle Tenn. Blue Raiders are staring down a pretty large 25.5-point disadvantage in the spread for Saturday’s game. They will take on the Miami (FL) Hurricanes at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium. The Blue Raiders should still be riding high after a win, while Miami (FL) will be looking to regain their footing.

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Middle Tenn. simply couldn’t be stopped last week, as they easily beat the Tennessee State Tigers at home 49-6. The team ran away with 42 points in the first half and mostly just sat on those in the second to pick up the victory.

Meanwhile, Miami (FL) came up short against the Texas A&M Aggies last week, falling 17-9. Miami (FL) couldn’t find the end zone and got their points from three field goals.

Special teams was responsible for all of the team’s points. K Andres Borregales delivered a perfect 3-for-3 game.

Middle Tenn.’s win brought them up to 2-1 while the Hurricanes’ loss pulled them down to an identical 2-1. Two defensive numbers to keep in mind before kickoff: The Blue Raiders haven’t allowed a rushing touchdown yet this season. Miami (FL) is not quite as good, but they are no chumps, either: they enter the contest with only one rushing touchdown allowed, good for 11th best in the nation. Looks like the running backs might have a tough go of it.

How To Watch

  • When: Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Where: Hard Rock Stadium — Miami Gardens, Florida
  • TV: ACC Network
  • Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.)
  • Follow: CBS Sports App
  • Ticket Cost: $4.00

Odds

The Hurricanes are a big 25.5-point favorite against the Blue Raiders, according to the latest college football odds.

The oddsmakers had a good feel for the line for this one, as the game opened with the Hurricanes as a 26.5-point favorite.

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Over/Under: -111

See college football picks for every single game, including this one, from SportsLine’s advanced computer model. Get picks now.

Series History

This is the first time these teams have played each other within the last seven years.

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