Randall Cunningham II Might Turn Out Better Than the Original

Randall Cunningham II Might Turn Out Better Than the Original

A few months back, the National Football Post had a little story about a high school quarterback from Las Vegas named Randall Cunningham II – your eyes do not deceive you, Randall has offspring. We picked it up, and the RC2 sensation began sweeping Philly.

Cunningham II is still in high school, but he’s already in the process of being elevated to national star. Michael Rosenberg has a great story today on The MMQB about how the elder Cunningham was probably 20 to 30 years ahead of his time, considering that zone-read systems such as Chip Kelly’s are all the craze in the NFL. It’s a fantastic reflection on what an amazing athlete AND quarterback he truly was, so you’ll no doubt enjoy the nostalgia factor alone.

But toward the end Rosenberg delves into Son of QB Eagles, who appears to be coming around at exactly the right time for having such a similar skill set to his father – not to mention Michael Vicks, Colin Kapernicks, and Russell Wilsons of the world. The scary thing though: RC2 could be better than RC1.

Better? How? [Hall of Famer Dan] Fouts says of the elder Cunningham: “As a runner, he reminds me a little bit of Kaepernick.” Quick says of the league’s young quarterbacks: “He could do more than most of these guys. I would compare him to the guy in San Francisco, but physically, he had more than that kid. And I think Kaepernick is extremely gifted. Randall could shake people, and if you tried to go low on him he would jump over people. He was like the plastic man the way he would keep his balance.”

It is hard for any quarterback to be better than Cunningham was. Yet he points out his son is taller and faster than he was in high school. Randall II’s best high jump in competition of 7 feet, 3 1/4 inches was the highest jump in the country last year, according to track site dyestat.com. Randall II does not throw quite as hard as his father did yet, but he understands the game better, because he has a pretty good teacher.

“His knowledge of the game is beyond what people realize,” Randall Sr. says. “He understands pass protections in the NFL because I taught him all that. Schemes, down and distance … I didn’t understand any of that. I learned it in the college and the pros.

Randall II has another advantage: He was born at the right time. He says Bishop Gorman has run the read-option on roughly a quarter of its plays this year. He also says, “I feel like I’m able to drop back and pass, and if I need to, I can continue the play if I have to.” When Baylor offered him a scholarship to play RG3’s position there, the coaches started calling him RC2.

At the end, Randall Jr. even gives his endorsement of Chip’s offense. Swoon.

Obviously we’re a few years away from seeing RC2 in the NFL, and if/when he makes it, there’s only a 1/32 shot he’s drafted by Philadelphia. It’s fun to think about, and I’m pretty sure I’m gonna be a fan of the kid almost regardless of where he winds up playing. Also though, the MMQB piece is largely about Randall Sr., so even if the sequel never dons the No. 12 in midnight green, we can still reminisce on the good times we had with the original.

>> Today’s Perfect Quarterback Played a Quarter-Century Ago [MMQB]

Sixers use 3-ball to get past Bucks' frontcourt length

Sixers use 3-ball to get past Bucks' frontcourt length

One of the ways teams have attacked the Milwaukee Bucks this season is by hoisting up a large number of three-point attempts. 

So it wasn’t alarming to Sixers coach Brett Brown that his team launched 37 shots from beyond the arc in the Sixers' 113-104 win over Milwaukee on Monday (see instant replay)

“I wanted more of them,” Brown said. 

The Bucks entered Monday tied for fourth in opponent three-point attempts and makes. Teams are averaging 10.3 made triples on 29.1 attempts against Milwaukee.

This has a lot to do with the length of the Bucks, which allow the ninth fewest points in the paint and are tied for 11th in blocked shots. 

“When you look at how they play, I think they are the seventh ranked defense in the NBA, they are so long,” Brown said. “As we studied them and put forth a scouting report and instructions, we wanted everybody to take two steps further back as a starting point to create space for Joel (Embiid) and Jahlil (Okafor).

“Then you can hug the line or you can step into the line. We really wanted to promote steppers because of their length.” 

Four of Milwaukee’s last five opponents have attempted at least 30 threes, and the Bucks have allowed at least 10 made threes in each of their last seven games. 

The Sixers, which have hoisted at least 30 three-point attempts in 22 of 39 games, kept up the trend.

“Every team we play shoots threes,” Bucks coach Jason Kidd said. “At some point, we have to understand what the three means to us as a team if we want to win. We can talk about it but if there's no effort in guarding it and understanding, again, it starts with effort. If we don't give it, we're going to give up a lot of threes.”

The Sixers scored 18 of its 24 first-quarter points on three-pointers, making 6 of 13 attempts.

The only quarter the Sixers were beat from the three-point line was also the only quarter they were outscored Monday. Four of Milwaukee’s five made three-pointers came in the second quarter, while the Sixers were just 2 of 8. 

In the decisive second half in which the Sixers outscored the Bucks, 67-50, they hit six threes and allowed just one. 

“We knew how they are defending,” Sixers guard Sergio Rodriguez said. “They are a team with a lot of length, so it is hard to drive and get to the basket. They try to press and steal and are aggressive, so if we break the first line it is easier to shoot threes and find people open. That’s what we did, especially in the second half.”

While the Sixers shot just 37.8 percent from long range, they outscored the Bucks by 27 points on three-pointers. 

Eight different players hit threes for the Sixers with Robert Covington, Ersan Ilyasova, Nik Stauskas, Gerald Henderson, Chasson Randle and Dario Saric all hitting a pair. 

Jahlil Okafor was the only Sixers player to see the floor and not attempt a shot from beyond the arc.

“We needed to spread it out and we knew we needed to shoot a lot of threes,” Brown said. “We wanted to encourage it. I think it was a significant reason we were able to have 67 points in the second half.”

Okafor stays ready
Up until roughly 30 minutes before tipoff, Okafor was not expecting to play Monday. 

Nerlens Noel was set to backup Joel Embiid at center until a sprained left ankle left him a pregame scratch, which meant Okafor got the call. 

“You have to mentally get ready,” Okafor said. “I just had to get loose as quick as I could. I have been working extremely hard to stay prepared in case something like this happens.” 

Okafor finished with 10 points on 4 of 5 shooting in 20 minutes, helping the Sixers' reserves outscore Milwaukee’s bench, 52-34. 

“To go to Jahlil Okafor before the game and say, ‘I’m not going to go with you, I’m going to go with Nerlens,’ and then two minutes before warm ups go, ‘Whoops, it looks like you are in,’ he didn’t flinch,” Brown said. “I thought he played hard and played well. He was a really big part of the reason we won tonight.

“His attitude continues to blow me away given his age and what he is going through.”   

Instant Replay: Sixers 113, Bucks 104

Instant Replay: Sixers 113, Bucks 104

BOX SCORE 

The tone was set in the opening minutes of the third quarter. 

The Sixers quickly made up a halftime deficit and rolled from there, outscoring the Bucks, 67-50, in the second half for a 113-104 victory over Milwaukee on Monday.

The Sixers have now won four of their last five games with their only loss in the stretch coming the game Joel Embiid sat out. 

Milwaukee used a 19-4 run to take a 54-44 lead, but the Sixers scored the final basket of the first half and the first eight points of the third quarter to tie the game. 

Embiid scored 12 points in the fourth quarter to finish with 22 points, 12 rebounds and a career-high tying five blocked shots.

Inside the box score
• The Sixers scored 18 of their 24 first-quarter points from the 3-point line, connecting on 6 of 13 attempts from beyond the arc. Philadelphia hit on 14 of 37 three-point attempts, while Milwaukee was just 5 for 14. 

• Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 21 points in the first half, but battled foul trouble after the break and finished with 23 points for the game. He picked up his fourth foul with 6:04 left in the third quarter and was whistled for his fifth foul just 38 seconds into the fourth quarter. 

• Eight Sixers scored in double figures, led by Embiid with 22. Dario Saric added 17, Ersan Ilyasova scored 12, Gerald Henderson and Robert Covington had 11 and Sergio Rodriguez, Jahlil Okafor and Chasson Randle each added 10. 

McConnell MRI negative
The Sixers will be without their starting point guard for the time being, as T.J. McConnell left the team to return to Philadelphia to receive treatment for a right wrist strain and did not play against the Bucks (see story).
 
An MRI taken on McConnell’s right wrist came back negative, according to Sixers coach Brett Brown.
 
“He has a strain,” Brown said. “There’s no structural damage. In relation to what that means with regards to his return to play, I don’t know that yet.”

Sergio Rodriguez started in McConnell’s place and scored 10 points with seven rebounds and six assists. 

Monster jam
Embiid threw down a thunderous dunk to give the Sixers a 77-76 lead with 1:00 left in the third quarter. He then forced a turnover on the other end and later blocked a shot attempt by Matthew Dellavedova at the third-quarter buzzer. 

Noel sits
Sixers center Nerlens Noel was a late scratch from Monday’s game due to a sprained left ankle. 

Up Next
The Sixers will host Toronto (27-13) on Wednesday and Portland (18-25) on Friday at the Wells Fargo Center before traveling to Atlanta to face the Hawks (24-17) on Saturday.