Calvary vs. Madsen

2009-10-23 14:38 ☼ post

I saw on twitter this morning that Mark Madsen has begun his basketball coaching career as an assistant coach for the Utah Flash in the NBDL. Madsen had a surprisingly long NBA career as ultimate bench leader, good teammate and  12 minute a game guy. He even won a couple titles with the Lakers back in the Shaq and Kobe era.

As a Zag fan I”ve always wondered why Madsen made it and stuck around in the league when Casey Calvary never did. Physically, they seemed pretty comparable. Both guys were warriors in the paint, although I remember Calvary being a little more explosive athletically while Madsen played with a ton of emotion. I’d love to go back and analyze some games from both of their senior years to compare and contrast with each other and my memories of how they played.

Since I don”t have any video at my disposal, I pulled up their senior year numbers through (great site!) and did a head to head comparison. Madsen is listed at 6-9/235 his senior year and Calvary was 6-8/235 as a senior one year later. On the one hand, Madsen was an elite college rebounder- averaging 9.3 boards a game, but on the other he was a pretty average scorer at about 12 points per game. Calvary’s rebounding numbers were about 2.5 lower per game, but  he averaged 19 points and could actually shoot the three pretty well. In stark contrast, Madsen took two three pointers in his entire college career and missed both. Despite his offensive limitations Madsen ended up as the 29th pick in the first round of the 2000 draft. The more skilled Calvary went undrafted the following year.

Ultimately, like a lot of things in life I guess it just comes down to luck and opportunity. Mark Madsen got his shot and to his credit worked hard and impressed his coaches and teammates enough to carve out a nice 9 year career as a well respected pro. It’s just a shame that Casey Calvary never quite got that same chance to prove his worth.