Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Vanderbilt Beats #1 Tennessee - Who Has Got What?

Just moments ago #14 Vanderbilt beat their arch-rival #1 Tennessee 72-69, less than 28 hours after their men's basketball team had become the number one ranked team in the nation for the first time in the Volunteer's ninety-nine season history.  Memorial Gymnasium, Vanderbilt's home court, is one of the most unique basketball arenas I have ever seen.  Not only did I notice that the team's benches are at the end of the court (which creates a huge disadvantage for the visiting team), but it also looks like half of the floor section is below the court.  I don't know about anyone else, but I was very disappointed to see the lack of court-rushage after the game.  At least to make up for it, we will get to see what know-it-all ESPN commentator Skip Bayless, and Vandy alum, has to say tomorrow morning on ESPN2's Cold Pizza.  This morning good old Skip refused to accept that there was even a chance that the Commodores could win this game.  Good job Skippy, wrong again! 

With that here is an early look at my #1-#4 seeds.

#1 Seeds
Memphis - If these Tigers can't beat the rest of their C-USA opponents, well, than that's just sad.
UCLA - I really think that Stanford is the only real obstacle in this team's way of a #1 seed, and I think the Bruins can handle that.
UNC/Duke - The March 8 meeting between UNC and Duke in Durham will have a #1 seed on the line.
Kansas - Lately, KU has been vulnerable to Big 12 upsets, but I think they will get back on track and win the Big 12 tournament, just to prove it.

#2 Seeds
Loser of UNC/Duke - The loser of the regular season finale - a second seed... poor guys
Tennessee - They had their chance, so they can't complain
Texas - UT seems to always fold come March Madness, always.  Just keep that in mind
Georgetown - Still have some tough games left against Marquette and Louisville

#3 Seeds
Xavier - Should win the rest of their games
Wisconsin - Needs to beat Michigan State on Thursday and after that they are near the clear
Vanderbilt - They beat Tennesse, so give them their respect
Connecticut - The Big East is deep

#4 Seeds
Indiana - Even with all the Kelvin Sampson business, IU is still playing well
Louisville - The Big East is very deep
Stanford - Still have dates with USC and UCLA
Purdue - Should be able to win the rest of their games

Monday, February 25, 2008

Texas Tech Men's Basketball: Can They Make The Big Dance?

10.3 seconds left in the game.  Oklahoma has the ball and down by one.  The United Spirit Arena is the loudest it has been all season.  Austin Johnson, OU guard, gets the ball is double-teamed and is completely swarmed by Texas Tech defenders.  He passes the ball to Oklahoma senior player David Godbold.  Godbold, six feet behind the three point line, shoots the ball and with 1.4 seconds left in the game, Dead. Silence.  OU 66, Tech 64

The fact of the matter is that it would have been very easy for Pat Knight and his Texas Tech Red Raider team to lay down and give up on this season, with their then record 13-11 (4-6).  This past week the Red Raiders got their first road win against Colorado and their first Big 12 winning streak with a subsequent home win over Iowa State.  Texas Tech is now 6-6 in the conference and tied for 4th with A&M,  Baylor, and Oklahoma.  

With tonight's Kansas State loss to #5 Texas, the race in the middle of the Big 12 pack has become even tighter.  With four games left in the regular season, the Red Raiders are only a game out of anywhere from 3rd-10th.    Texas Tech's task is not an easy one, with four games left @ A&M (T-4th), vs. #5 Texas (1st), @ #6 Kansas (2nd), and vs. Baylor (T-4th).  I think if the Red Raiders want to get into the NCAA tournament they need to go 3-1 in these games and win at least one game in the Big 12 tournament, which really won't be easy.  If the Red Raiders go 2-2, which would still be a feat with the four remaining games, and win a conference tournament game, I really don't think it will be enough to get into the Big Dance.  Even with all the talk about the Big 12's RPI and that this is the year there could be six teams from the conference in the tourney, I don't think it will happen.  Like recent years, the Big 12 will send four teams to March Madness, and five if they are lucky.

TeamOverall Big 12 Record
Texas23-4 10-2
Kansas 24-39-3
Kansas State 18-98-5
Texas A&M 20-76-6
Baylor18-8 6-6
Oklahoma 18-96-6
Texas Tech 15-116-6
Nebraska 16-95-7
Missouri 15-125-7
Oklahoma State 14-125-7
Iowa State 14-134-8
Colorado 10-162-10
Texas Tech holds the tiebreaker over Kansas State and over Texas A&M (if they win on Wednesday)

If Texas Tech wants to extend their chances of making the NCAA tournament the first thing they need to do is beat Texas A&M in College Station on Wednesday.  

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Cleveland Cavaliers: Looking Into The Crystal Ball

With the recent acquisition of Ben Wallace, Wally Szczerbiak, Joe Smith, and Delonte West many say that the entire face of the Cavalier's franchise has changed; I would have to challenge to the death that is false and Lebron James is still "The King" in Cleveland, Ohio.  With all his recent complaining about how the Cavs needed somebody like Jason Kidd, it's good to hear that Lebron has given his thumbs up on the trade.

I really feel bad for Chicago Bulls fans, who are probably just now recovering from the Elton Brand trade about seven years ago, because they now have to deal with Larry Hughes on their beloved team.  Hughes has averaged only 12.3 points per game on a lowly 37% from the field this season.  Lebron James, obviously, is the reason the Cavaliers have had as much as success as they have had, and with what he has done with the players around him I think there is no doubt in my mind he is the best player in the NBA (and will be for a long time).  In his fifth season in the league, "The King" is averaging 30.2 points per game, 8.2 rebounds per game, 7.5 assists per game with a 48% field goal percentage.  In case you don't keep up with fantasy basketball and were wondering, those kind of numbers definitely make him a top five ranked player in the league; my personal number one.  The Cavs should be getting back to healthy at the right time, the playoffs, as Anderson Varejao (forward/center) and Daniel Gibson (point guard) should both be back on the court by the end of March.  I will be interested to see how much Zydrunas Ilgasukas and newly acquired big man Ben Wallace will be on the floor at the same time.  

Outlook & Predictions: For the Cavaliers, I think this recent trade has made them a clear number three team in the Eastern Conference, but to be completely honest with the Boston Celtics and Detroit Pistons ahead of them, that really does them no good.  I think the Cleveland Cavaliers will end the season at 48-34 and the #3 Seed in the Eastern Conference; when they meet the Detroit Pistons in the 2nd round they will lose in a five or six game series.  Just like last year, any success that this team has will be because of Lebron James.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Klitschko vs Ibragimov

Madison Square Garden, New York City-
Well well well look what just crept up upon us.... A heavyweight unification bout. The 1st heavyweight unification bout since Lewis vs. Holyfield in 1999. Nine years later the best heavyweights in the division are from Europe. Klitschko from Germany and Imbragimov from Russia. So maybe for one night for an hour or so on HBO we can forget about all the cheating in sports? We can take a break from the Mitchell report. We can take a break from Bellicheck and his peeping toms. We can take a break from Kelvin Sampson and his complete idiotic self who actually managed to get himself ousted from Indiana. For tonight we go back to some old school mano y mano 6 ft 2 219 pounds vs 6 ft 6 239 pounds, pound each others head in 'till the 1st one gives. Look people not only is it a big fight, it's also non PPV (it's on HBO) , and they are going to show the replay of Pavlik vs Taylor from last week where you may or may not think it was to close to call. So around 9:30pm est kick your feet up, tune in to HBO, and have your girl grab you both a beer out of the fridge because it should be a good one. One last thing... those steroid rumors in boxing are not true... are they?.....Thanks for the invite J.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Fantasy Baseball: How To Be Smart!

First off, I just want to welcome Jimmy to Sports Nation; it's going to be great to have another writer and hopefully have some differing opinions, every once in a while, too.

With that, about a week I wrote about some basic things you can do to be successful in your fantasy baseball league.  I used the term "be smart", but here is an in-depth look at exactly what that means.

1)Look for some young talent
When drafting your team try to get a few young, rising and upcoming stars, not old, declining from glory players; this is especially important in keeper and/or dynasty leagues.  For this upcoming season, I love players like James Shields (SP), B.J. Upton (2B, OF), Nick Markakis (OF), Hunter Pence (OF), and these are just the top few of a list of TONS of young talent.  Like I said in my previous article, don't make stupid picks on old and injury-prone players.  Don't take it personally Pedro Martinez, Jeff Kent, and Curt Schilling, but I don't want you on my fantasy baseball team.  These types of players may have had great careers, but unless they are your dad or you have some kind of monetary tie to them, don't waste your time.

2)Get a solid core of veterans
Though it is a good idea to get some young players, make sure not to get too many young players on your team.  Most of your team needs to consist of players that produce fantasy-wise numbers year in and year out.  If your team is going to be stronger in certain categories, this is the place where it needs to happen and in most cases one guy cannot make a difference completely on his own.


3)Draft a team full of players that take steroids
It's a proven fact that players that take steroids have better stats; they hit more home runs, get more runs batted in, and steal more bases.  Plus, if you haven't heard this year in fantasy baseball how many steroids your team's players have taken is a new category.
Haha, okay, just kidding about this one...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Pettitte : Given the benefit of the doubt?

Tampa,Fla - Andy Pettitte faced the media today at the Yankees spring training complex hoping to put an end to his endless summer of embarrassment . I believe to an extent he did. Pettitte stood at the podium and took all questions, except those concerning Roger Clemens. One particular question stood out “Do you consider yourself a cheater?” he was asked. Pettitte replied “I didn’t do it to try to get an edge on anyone; I didn’t do it to try get faster, or stronger, or throw harder. I did it because I was told it might be able to help me. If people want to think that I am lying, then they should call me a cheater. “He displayed the same genuine, honest, folksy personality that makes him so likeable in New York. Oh and did I mention his demeanor on the mound in a big game? Pettitte will get by this like he got by the Atlanta in ’96 with a hot John Smoltz on the mound. Like he almost did last season in Cleveland before the bugs attacked Joba Chamberlain. That’s how he needs to look ahead to this season, like a big game. He needs to pull the brim of his cap down to the top of his eyes and dig in. After all they visit Red Sox nation the second weekend of the season, where the fans will be ready for war. I look forward to it.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Phoenix Suns: Looking Into The Crystal Ball

The Phoenix Suns are a great team, but I really think that their recent trade for Shaquille O'Neal hurt them a lot more than helped them. A Lot.  Losing one of the best forwards in the NBA is going to be a huge blow to the Sun's forward core.  The Suns', obviously, have a superstar center in Amare Stoudemire averaging 23.2 points per game, 9.3 rebounds per game, and 59% field goal percentage.  Grant Hill, the Sun's starting small forward, has really been the one consistent forward that the Sun's still have this season averaging almost 15 points per game.  Brian Skinner, Shaq, and even Boris Diaw have all been very inconsistent this season leaving a huge hole in the Suns' lineup.

That is my first concern with this team's playoff chances - if they meet a team with strong forwards they could get dismantled.  My other main concern with the Phoenix Sun's is the very, very thin roster.  When (and if) Shaq gets healthy then the Sun's will be lucky to have a seven or eight man rotation and in a long playoff series fatigue could play a factor.

Outlook & Predictions: I think Steve Kerr, Suns' General Manager of Basketball Operations, and the rest of the Phoenix Suns franchise will find that they should have kept Shawn Marion as this team ends the season 53-29 as the #5 seed in the Western Conference, and loses to the New Orleans Hornets in the first round of the playoffs.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Michael Beasley < Kevin Durant

After going to the Texas Tech - Kansas State basketball game and seeing him live, in person, there is no doubt about it - Michael Beasley is an absolute beast.  He has as many skills as any other player in NCAA Division I basketball and has single handily made the Kansas State Wildcats contenders in the Big XII.

But when the question of whether or not Beasley is better than Kevin Durant, what Complete Sports posed a few weeks ago, my answer does not take any numerical statistics into account.  The most important stat to me is maturity, and for Beasley that his lack of it.  As the Washington Post reported last March, Michael Beasley's immaturity is really no secret.  He jumped from high school to high school five times in only four years, and he just assumes he will make it to the National Basketball Association because of his skills; but the NBA should never be considered a given.  Though Beasley and Durant's numbers from their freshman year are almost completely identical thus far, Beasley needs to realize that is time to grow up and stop doing petty things that get him in trouble both on and off the court.  Against Texas Tech, on Wednesday, there is no doubt that Michael Beasley was frustrated and played nowhere near his 'A' game, but still managed to score 22 points and grab 15 rebounds.  The problem was that Beasley was noticeably frustrated and did nothing but complain the entire game; if he did that in the NBA, he wouldn't be playing or very long.

Michael Beasley has all of the talent to be a superstar in the NBA, but now he needs to gain the maturity level too - before it's too late.  If Beasley continues with his immature behavior it won't be long before he is kicked to the curb like so many other young stars.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Dallas Mavericks' "Trade" All Makes Sense Now

Mark Cuban never intended for Devin Harris, Desagana Diop, Maurice Ager, Jerry Stackhouse, or Devean George to leave for the New Jersey Nets.  I think that's definitely clear, at least in my mind, until he proves otherwise. 
If you go to the Dallas Mavericks site or Mark Cuban's blog, neither one have any mention of the potential trade.  And I know you guys don't believe and will try to find something, go ahead, I dare you. With the NBA trade deadline looming and only six days away, I really think Mark Cuban consulted his players, especially Stackhouse and George , before the Jason Kidd trade was accepted.  He told Jerry Stackhouse to say that he will be back in Dallas in 30 days and Devean George to stand firm with his bird rights.  The reason George was able to block the trade was because of his "Larry Bird rights", keeping him from losing contract leverage this summer as a free agent.  I really think Mark Cuban knew this when he accepted the trade and contrary to what some believe he is a very smart guy.  
What this probably means is that, in reality, Cuban is trying to get Jason Kidd for less than what he is actually worth, or instead just trying to keep the Dallas Maverick's fans happy by "trying" to make a trade, and either way it's a stroke of genius by Cuban.  Another possibility is that Cuban intended to trade away the rights of Keith Van Horn, who is still technically a part of the Mavs.

 Of course, all of this goes out the window in the next six days if Jason Kidd becomes a Dallas Maverick and the original trade goes through.  We'll just have to see...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Jason Kidd to the Dallas Mavericks? - The Year of The Trade

First, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.  Then, Pau Gasol, Shaq, and Shawn Marion.
The last calendar year has been full of blockbuster trades in the NBA and it looks like the end isn't sight.  Jason Kidd appears to be heading to the Dallas Mavericks for Devin Harris, Desagna Diop, Devan George, Jerry Stackhouse, and Maurice Ager.  Yes, that's a lot of names and that is my main concern with this trade - the Maverick's new depth - or lack of it.  Dallas will also receive PF Malik Allen and G-F Antoine Wright in the trade and some sources say Jerry Stackhouse could re-join the Mavericks in 30 days.  When Stackhouse found out about the trade here is what he had to say about it, "I feel great.  I get 30 days to rest, then I'll be right back, I ain't going nowhere."  It makes sense because Stack has only played once in the past 11 games; for the Maverick's sake, I hope this is true.

As a Dallas Mavericks fan at first look this trade is absolutely ludicrous, but if you think back to last May against Golden State, you can't but shrug your shoulders and applaud Mark Cuban for at least doing something.  Though Jason Kidd is almost 35 he is still playing great basketball and will be a part of a Big 3 that is close to what Boston has in Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce.

I want the Mavericks to be good in five years, sure, but as a fan I can't help but think how close we have been to a championship (Game 3 of NBA Finals up 2-0 on Miami Heat) and how this trade could propel the Mavericks to that coveted NBA Championship.

No one really knows - this could be one of the worst trades in NBA history or we could be sitting here in June with the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals.  For now, I'll just have to hope that it's the latter of those two.

Texas Tech Men's Basketball Attendance Woes

The Texas Tech men's basketball program has gone through a lot in the past half a decade: the hiring of Bobby Knight, eight transfers in the last two seasons, the recent resignation of Bob Knight, and the beginning of the Pat Knight era.
By the way, another bigger problem, Texas Tech's men's basketball attendance in the United Spirit Arena is averaging only a measly 6,943 this season.

Here is an attendance list for each home game this season:

Team Attendance
Stephen F. Austin 5,762
TCU 5,942
Louisiana Tech 5,742
Stanford 7,119
Northwestern State 6,402
Lamar 5,075
UTEP 6,458
Texas A&M 11,268
Missouri 7,317
Oklahoma State 8,351

Yes, this is in the same United Spirit Arena that George Strait sold out in three hours for his March 7 concert in Lubbock. It is not hard to tell that basketball is not on the minds of many people in West Texas, but this wasn't the case so long ago. Bob Knight's first season in Lubbock the average game attendance was 13,743 - near twice what it is right now. But this season isn't the first season that attendance has proved to be troublesome since Bob Knight; here is an article from 2003 concerning Knight's frustration with the attendance at games.

When asked what the reason for the lack of attendance I have heard almost every excuse in the book, but the most popular answer is "if the team would win, than I would go to the game," but that's simply a horrible excuse. If you look at the Iowa State Cyclone men's basketball program, the team is 13-11 (3-6 in Big XII play) and a modest 12-4 at home in Ames, Iowa, yet still ranked second in the conference in attendance with over 13,000 sold tickets per game. This in a town that is less than 1/4 the size of Lubbock and with a university with about 4,000 less students. Your Red Raiders? A perfect 10-0 at the USA in Lubbock, even without the support of the community rallying behind them. It is no single person's fault for the lack of attendance, but I think everyone needs to take at least some responsibility.

As a student that lives on the Texas Tech campus I know that there are plenty of students that are bored on week nights and have nothing better to do - so I ask all of you guys this question - why not go to the Tech basketball? If anyone saw the ESPN 2 broadcast of the Red Raider game against Oklahoma State last week, the announcers disrespected Texas Tech the entire game and even went as far as saying the USA was a "morgue." I, personally, was at the game and would hardly call it quiet, so television really does no justice. For any student that says basketball games are boring, I would disagree with that statement too. Just come to a game, sometime when you are bored, what's the worst that could happen, you have fun?
I don't know what you will be doing during the next Texas Tech men's basketball game at the United Spirit Arena, but I will be in the student section, standing and screaming my head off - the entire game, just like always.

Happy Pat Knight Day Lubbock!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Detroit Pistons: Looking into The Crystal Ball

The Detroit Pistons, the number one seed in the Eastern Conference the last two years, came into the 2007-2008 not really knowing what to expect, but this team has just kept trucking along this season. It seems as though the Pistons have flown under the radar most of the season, and with their recent eight game winning streak they find themselves only three games back of the Boston Celtics for the Eastern Conference lead.

Though the Detroit Pistons have three all-stars this season in point guard Chauncey Billups, shooting guard Richard Hamilton, and recently named Rasheed Wallace, their stats are hardly overwhelming. Nevertheless this team consists of a solid core of talented veterans that compliment each other perfectly. The Pistons, this season, are once again the class of the National Basketball Association in defense surrendering only 89.3 points per game (ranked 2nd in the NBA - only 0.3 points behind guess who? the Celtics!). The only thing that concerns me with this team, at least this season, is that they have had a few fourth quarter letdowns. When the Pistons take the lead into the last stretch of the game, they should have the tools to put the game away.  Beyond this season and next season, the current core of veterans will be too old to keep the Pistons in position to contend for the NBA Championship in 2010 and beyond.

Outlook & Predictions:  I think the Pistons go 60-22 making them the Eastern Conference's #2 Seed.  Ultimately I think it will come down to the Detroit Pistons vs. the Boston Celtics and in a seven games series, if the Celtic's three superstars are healthy than the Pistons will be beat in the Eastern Conference finals.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

EA Sports Virtual Playoff Simulation: BCS National Championship!

#1 Ohio State 31 - #6 USC 7

The USC Trojans held the Ohio State Buckeye offense to only 18 passing yards, but 
when it was all said and done this didn’t matter as Ohio State coasted to a 31-7 
victory over USC in the BCS National Champonship game. In one of the most bizarre 
bowl games in recent memory, twenty-one of the Buckeyes’ thirty-one points were 
accounted for from the defense and special teams (one interception and two punt 
returns). The USC Trojan offense got first downs almost every possession of the 
game, but it didn’t matter. John David Booty’s team stalled every one of these 
possessions until once in the fourth quarter after the game was well within the 
Buckeye’s hands. Shaun Lane, junior cornerback, ran back the two Buckeye punt 
returns for touchdowns in route to being voted Most Valuable Player of the BCS 
Championship. This win caps off a 14-1 season for Brutus the Buckeyes’ team.

1st 2nd 3rd 4th Total
USC 0 0 0 7 7
OSU 7 10 7 7 31

First Downs 7 8
Total Offense 166 151
Rushes-Yards 9-(-3) 27-133
Comp-Att-TD 13-29-1 6-9-0
Passing Yards 169 18
Sacked 2 2
3rd Down Conv 1 – 9 (11%) 4 – 9 (44%)
4th Down Conv 1 – 3 (33%) 0 – 0 (0%)
2-Point Conv 0 – 0 (0%) 0 – 0 (0%)
Redzone – TD – FG 0 – 0 – 0 (0%) 1 – 0 – 1 (100%)
Turnovers 2 0
Fumbles – Lost 1 - 0 1 - 0
Intercepted 2 0
PR Yards 19 163
KR Yards 105 1
Total Yards 290 315
Punts – Average 4 – 42.7 4 – 38.5
Penalties – Yards 1 – 35 2 - 30
T.O.P. 7:32 12:28

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Fantasy Baseball - How To Win Your League!

With the 2008 baseball season upon us, the fantasy baseball season is about to begin.  Here are some tips to creating a successful fantasy baseball team. 
1)Be smart
When you are drafting your baseball team, don't take unnecessary risks.  This year you shouldn't be taking Pedro Martinez (36 years old and diminishing health) or Chris Carpenter (might be out until All-Star break) in any of the early or middle rounds.  You may not know every player in the MLB, but it isn't hard to use good judgement.  Don't fall into the mentality that you need to get certain positions early in the draft, just because the rest of the league makes a run on a specific position.  You cannot afford to take catchers, like Victor Martinez and Russell Martin, in front of other Top 40 players such as Aramis Ramirez, Magglio Ordonez, Alex Rios, and Curtis Granderson.  Closers fall into this same type of category; there are plenty of good closers that will be available after the 8th round.  Decide what is more important: having the best catcher and closer or getting more stats for your draft picks. 

2) Make a plan and stick to it
Have a plan before the draft starts.  Of all the fantasy baseball teams of mine that have been good, only one or two have been very balanced.  More so than in other fantasy sports, such as football or basketball, you need to choose some categories that you want to dominate your league in.  Whether that is good pitching (Wins, ERA, K's), power hitting (HR, RBI), or speed (SB, R), it doesn't really matter what it is, but pick something and stick with it.

3)Drafts cannot make a season, but they can break one
It's true that you need to research, know your stuff, and have a plan going into the draft, but don't put too much emphasis on the draft.  The baseball season is six months long and you can't underestimate the value of staying on top of your league every day.  Because of the length of the season, it is very easy to turn around a baseball league in the summer months by simply checking the free agents every day, watching what players get on hot streaks, and updating your daily lineup.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

New Orleans Hornets: Looking Into The Crystal Ball

After last Saturday's surprise blowout of the San Antonio Spurs, 102-78, the New Orleans Hornets were on a roll and put together a nine game wining streak, before losing to the Golden State Warriors last Wednesday 103-116.  Nevertheless the Hornets, who started out a solid 20-11, were an amazing 12-2 in the month of January and are 32-15 overall, tied for second in the Western Conference.  This season the Hornets are 4-2 against Western Conference powers (San Antonio, Phoenix, and Dallas) and starting to prove to everyone that they too want to be in this elite category of teams.

Their starting point guard, Chris Paul, has been outstanding this season averaging 20.3 points per game and 10.8 assists per game while shooting 48% from the field.  David West is also dominating at the power forward position averaging about 19 points and 9 rebounds per game; add a rejuvenated three-point shooting Peja Stojakovic and newly assertive big man play from center Tyson Chandler and you have a quality starting lineup.  Chandler has been a long time disappointment because of the trade that he was involved in for Elton Brand, one of the best power forwards in the NBA since 1999.

Outlook & Predictions: I look for the New Orleans Hornets to cool down some the next few months, but come playoff time I think the veteran teams of the Western Conference will prevail, at least this year.  With that said, if their core stays the same over the offseason, these Hornets could be good for the next few years.  I think the Hornets end the season 55-27 as the Western Conference #4 Seed and take an early second round playoff exit.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Shaq for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks - More Breaking News?

As Johnny Lunden of Yahoo! Sports has just reported it may be true. As if this week has not been filled with enough sports news, Shaquille O'Neal might be going to the Phoenix Suns in return for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks.
My first impressions of this trade are shell shock and being caught completely off guard. If this trade does go through it will be one of the worst things for the Phoenix Suns' in franchise history. For Steve Kerr, the Sun's newly appointed President of Basketball Operations, and the Phoenix Suns to get Shaq at this point in his career - and to give up Shawn Marion, one of the best forwards in the NBA to the Miami Heat, would be absolutely laughable. 

More information on this potential trade, as I get it.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Texas Tech Men's Basketball - Breaking News

Damn it, I won't be able to try out for Knight School now.

Bobby Knight resigned.  Texas Tech basketball will go through a rough patch the next five years.  Okay that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but historically it's what happens to programs after big coaches leave; hopefully Texas Tech won't follow the trend.  I'll be completely honest, when I first heard of Bobby Knight's resignation tonight I was shocked, angry, upset, mad, and scared for the future of Texas Tech basketball.  I am not totally agreeing with what Knight did, but I will say it makes sense. The Red Raiders have been mediocre at best, overall this season, starting 12-8 (3-3 in Big XII play).  If any time was the perfect time for Knight to hand over the reigns to his son Pat, it would be right now.  Texas Tech is right smack in the middle of the Big XII standings, and this is a great chance for Pat Knight to learn more about himself and now, his team too.  Pat Knight's first game as the head coach of the Texas Tech Red Raiders is Wednesday in Waco against Baylor.  This game needs to set the tone for Pat Knight's career as a coach and the Red Raiders need their first road win of the season.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Super Bowl - Thoughts, "The Play", Commercials

Earlier this morning I put my feelings towards the Super Bowl this way: I want the New England Patriots to lose, not the New York Giants to win.  I honestly thought that the Pats were going win this game, but the Giants defense did a great job of keeping Tom Brady on his back the entire game.  Eli Manning once again managed the game greatly the first three quarters of this game, only this time, in the 4th quarter, he took over the game and refused to lose.  Eli Manning's spin away from New England defenders and heave down the field towards David Tryee in the 4th quarter was simply one of the best plays I have ever seen on a football field.  Both, quarterback and receiver, made phenomenal plays, and there is no doubt in my mind that this play will be on SportsCenter's Top 10 Plays of the Year, come December 2008.  If you don't know what play I am talking about 1)shame on you 2)here is the link, go watch it!

Call me crazy, but could anyone else here the disappointment in Joe Buck's voice wh
en the Giants made that play?  Even though I had no connection whatsoever to either of the teams in the Super Bowl (other than just plain disliking the Pats) this is the greatest Super Bowl I have ever watched and is sure to be ranked as one of the best Super Bowls of all-time. 

With that I leave you with my Top 10 list of Super Bowl commercials for this year.  They can be found here and the number in parenthesis is what quarter the ad was aired.

1)Sleep - Diet Pepsi Max (1st)
2)Parade Floats - Coca-Cola (3rd)
3)Mice - Doritos (2nd)
4)Silence the Stains - Tide (2nd)
5)Baby - E-Trade (3rd, 4th)
6)Cashew Deodorant - Planters Nuts (2nd)
7)Fire Breathing - Bud Light (1st)
8)Will Ferrell "Jackie Moon" - Bud Light (4th)
9)Hank the Horse - Budweiser (2nd)
10)The Pigeons - FedEx (2nd)

EA Sports Virtual Playoff Simulation - FedEx Orange Bowl

#6 USC 13 - #2 LSU 10
In one of the few close games of the tournament number six seed University of 
Southern Cal pulled off the upset of the LSU Tigers, and favorites to advance to the 
BCS Championship; I guess that’s the reason why they play the game. Both teams 
played excellent defense and John David Booty, senior USC quarterback, looked shaky 
at times, but it didn’t matter as his team won the Orange Bowl in overtime. After 
USC gained about one yard on their overtime possession and kicker David Buehler made 
it a three-point game, on LSU’s first offensive play of the overtime period senior 
quarterback Matt Flynn threw an interception and the exciting game came to an abrupt 
The Tigers took a 10-0 lead into the 4th quarter, but the Trojans were 
persistent and kicked a field goal with three minutes and fifty-five seconds left in 
the game, shrinking LSU’s lead to 10-3. With only forty-nine seconds left in 
regulation John David Booty connected to Ronald Johnson from fifty-three yards out 
to tie the game at 10. This play was the Pontiac Game-Changing Performance and made 
Johnson the MVP of the game because of his broken tackle that helped spring him free 
towards the end zone. The Tiger defense held its own minus the single touchdown 
play and forced two sacks and three interceptions, but it was not enough; the 
Tiger’s offense never really got it going. The Trojans defensive line produced an 
amazing seven sacks for the second consecutive game.
1st 2nd 3rd 4th OT Total
LSU 7 3 0 0 0 10
USC 0 0 0 10 3 13

First Downs 10 9
Total Offense 180 190
Rushes-Yards 17-(-6) 20-19
Comp-Att-TD 11-26-1 12-29-1
Passing Yards 186 171
Sacked 7 2
3rd Down Conv 2 – 9 (22%) 6 – 13 (48%)
4th Down Conv 0 – 1 (0%) 0 – 0 (0%)
2-Point Conv 0 – 0 (0%) 0 – 0 (0%)
Redzone – TD – FG 0 – 0 – 0 (0%) 1 – 0 – 1 (100%)
Turnovers 2 3
Fumbles – Lost 1 - 0 0 - 0
Intercepted 2 3
PR Yards 6 4
KR Yards 69 69
Total Yards 255 263
Punts – Average 5 – 34.8 4 – 41.7
Penalties – Yards 4 – 55 2 - 10
T.O.P. 9:06 10:54

With that our the BCS Championship is set: #1 Ohio State vs #6 USC
Saturday January 6, 2007

Here is a look back at each of the first ten games:

1st Round
Holiday Bowl -  #12 Arizona State 38 - #5 Virginia Tech 12
Cotton Bowl - #10 Hawaii 28 - #7 Missouri 24
Outback Bowl - #6 USC 35 - #11 West Virginia 7
Chick-Fil-A Bowl#9 Florida 28 - #8 Kansas 10

2nd Round
Capital One Bowl - #1 Ohio State 20 - #12 Arizona State 10
Rose Bowl - #2 LSU 45 - #10 Hawaii 15
Sugar Bowl - #9 Florida 41 - #3 Oklahoma 14
Gator Bowl - #6 USC 37 - #4 Georgia 7

Fiesta Bowl - #1 Ohio State 38 - #9 Florida 13
Orange Bowl - #6 USC 13 - #2 LSU 10

Friday, February 1, 2008

Pau Gasol to LA Lakers - Immediate Impact?

Moments ago it was announced that Pau Gasol, longtime Memphis Grizzlie, was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for center Kwame Brown, rookie point guard Jarvaris Crittenton, out of Georgia Tech, and two future number picks.  

Just a few days ago when I was watching the Maverick-Grizzlies game I pondered whether Gasol would be able to get out of the hole that Memphis is this season, or if he would have to wait till 2008-2009.  There is no question that this trade benefits both teams.  Memphis is looking for a more fast-paced kind of game and there is no question that Gasol did not fit the piece of this puzzle.  If you have ever seen the Memphis Grizzlies play defense, okay well I just won't go there; I could go on for pages.  
I applaud the Lakers for doing something to get rid of scrub Center Kwame Brown, but I am  just wondering if the Lakers are doing this for Kobe and only thinking short term.  Andrew Bynum really became an up and coming center for the Lakers this season, but since his injury on January 13 this team has lost five of eight and that won't necessarily change just because of the addition of Gasol.  If I am a Lakers fan I obviously feel great about being a contender again, but also have to hope that Gasol and Bynum are both able to shine later this season and next season.  The Lakers are currently three and a half games out of the Western Conference lead - and this year that is not very much.  Pau Gasol has been plagued by some kind of injury two of the last three seasons and that adds question in my mind whether he can play well into his thirties, but only time can tell.  For now though the Lakers just need to worry about team chemistry and the rest of this season.  

Kobe wanted another star on his team, and he's got that in Gasol; the question is what is he going to do now that he has him?  I guess we'll just have to wait and see.