Sunday, February 13, 2011

Wolverines Making A Run

Not much was expected from the Michigan Wolverines basketball team this year. You really couldn't blame the so-called experts. They were coming off a dud of a season in which they were picked to go to the NCAA tournament and didn't make any kind of postseason. They lost their top two scorers in Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims and the help coming in was young.

Well the youngsters have grown up pretty fast. The Wolverines outlasted Indiana yesterday 73-69 to improve to 16-10 and 6-7 in the Big Ten. They were led by Tim Hardaway Jr.'s 26 points in another solid effort by the freshman. They've won 5 of their last 6 and have played well on both ends of the court. If they just could hit some late game free throws to ice games they'd be all set. I won't knock them on it though since they've been winning.

The team seems to have bought into coach John Beilein's system and they're having different players step up. Whether it's Zack Novak bombing away from three or Jordan Morgan picking up dirty work points inside, things seem to be working out in Ann Arbor. A big reason is the play of point guardDarius Morris. He looked lost at times as a freshman last year, but he's really kicked it up a notch. There are a few things he needs to work on, but he should be at least second team all Big Ten. If it wasn't for Ohio State's Jared Sullinger, Hardaway might be the conference freshman of the year.

The Wolverines have made a nice run to put themselves in the mix for an NCAA tournament bid, but face a steep climb if they want to get there. They have games against Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, and Michigan State remaining. If they can somehow win three of those games and get a win or two in the Big Ten tournament, they might get in. Otherwise they still have some work to do.

The future appears to be bright for the Wolverines after some dark days and near misses. Hopefully for the Michigan faithful they can keep the momentum going in the right direction.

DeVier Posey Hates Wisconsin

After Wisconsin knocked off number one Ohio State on the hardwood and the football field, Ohio State wide receiver DeVier Posey had some strong words for Wisconsin. From the almighty Twitter account.

"I'll be totally honest I hate wisconsin.. With a passion Yeah I said it !!! I can't wait to play them again next season!!! Just being honest."Watching a game like that gets yo competitive juices going something crazy !!! Can't wait."

I'm sure Buckeye big man Jared Sullinger feels the same way after Badger fans provided fuel for these two teams by spitting on Sullinger. I'm down with a lot of the antics college kids do, but this isn't one of them. As far as Posey goes, he was on the wrong end as a player and spectator and I see where he's coming from. He's also one of the Buckeye 5 who are suspended for the first five games of the year. He better hope the Buckeyes aren't in the toilet by then.

Also Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith feels the same way. He responded, via Twitter of course, with "Feel ya bro!!!" . Nothing like some good ol' Buckeye solidarity.

Your turn Wisconsin.  



Mario Lemieux Not Happy With The NHL

After a game which looked more like ESPN's Friday Night Fights instead of hockey, Pittsburgh Penguins owner Mario Lemieux isn't too happy with the way the NHL handled the punishment between the Penguins and New York Islanders. He's so disappointed that he's questioning himself whether he wants to stay in the league. He also said the Islanders should bear responsibiltiy for their failure to control their players.

The game featured 346 penalty minutes, 10 ejections, 15 fighting majors, and 20 misconducts. Sounds like a rough night at the saloon.

“Hockey is a tough, physical game, and it always should be. But what happened Friday night on Long Island wasn’t hockey. It was a travesty,” Lemieux said. “It was painful to watch the game I love turn into a sideshow like that. The NHL had a chance to send a clear and strong message that those kinds of actions are unacceptable and embarrassing to the sport. It failed,” he said. “We, as a league, must do a better job of protecting the integrity of the game and the safety of our players. We must make it clear that those kinds of actions will not be tolerated and will be met with meaningful disciplinary action. If the events relating to Friday night reflect the state of the league, I need to rethink whether I want to be a part of it.”

Come on Mario, the Islanders' Trevor Gillies received a nine game suspension and Matt Martin for four games. The Isles' were hit with a $100,000 fine. All this for the Penguins' goalie Brent Johnson's Clubber Lang beatdown of Isles' goalie Rick DiPietro. What more do you want. All you guys got was one player drawing an automatic 10 game suspension for leaving the bench and no fines. Pittsburgh got over and Islanders GM Garth Snow wasn't too happy about that.

“When I saw the suspensions on both sides and the fines, I was a little bit surprised it was just our club that got fined, Snow said Sunday before the Islanders played at Buffalo. You can ask the league about it. There’s nothing we can do about it but put it behind us and get ready for Buffalo. I’m very proud that our team showed restraint,” Snow said. “We came to play hockey and obviously, there’s a lot of things that happen in the course of a game. I’m proud of the way our team competed, and I’m going to support my guys.”

The fines and suspensions were one sided indeed, but next time any of your goalies decide they want to square off with someone tell him to stay in the crease. I'm not choosing sides, but this was nothing more than retaliation for the Johnson-DiPietro throwdown. If you want to compete hard than fine, fighting is a part of the game. I'm not part of the hockey elite but I know all that foolishness doesn't belong in the game.



Drew Brees Defends Sean Payton's Move To Dallas

When New Orleans Saints Sean Payton decided to uproot his family and move to Dallas, all kinds of bells and whistles went off in New Orleans. The move was signed off by Saints owner Tom Benson and General Manager Mickey Loomis.

The rumors that came out of it were that the Dallas Cowboys were looking at Payton to fill their general manager post. Another was that Payton was having family troubles. Saints quarterback Drew Brees says it's none of that and everyone is making a big deal out of nothing. Where there's smoke there's fire but I don't think Payton is going anywhere right now either. 

"It's a non-issue,'' Brees said. "I think everyone wants to immediately jump to conclusions and all of them are so untrue. The first of which is his family and him are having problems. No, that's not the case at all. The other one is he's taking a job with the Dallas Cowboys. No, not true either. People want to immediately jump to conclusions as to why he's bought a home in Dallas but most players and coaches in the league have a home base, a place where they're either from or where they spent a lot of time before so they have a solid foundation. There's not a guy who's more committed to his team and the city of New Orleans than Sean Payton. I think he's proven that.''

If the Saints struggle early you know the Dallas move will be the focal point behind it. Everyone will say that Payton has an eye on a different job, so the Saints players will feel sold out or why do they want to play for someone who doesn't want to be here. This will be something to keep an eye provided there is an NFL season.

Demar Dorsey's Second Chance

After being denied admission to the University of Michigan and Louisville, Demar Dorsey will finally get a chance to play football after high school. He'll be coming to Michigan, but he'll be playing at Grand Rapids Communtiy College.

Dorsey was a high school All American safety who originally committed to Florida then made a last minute change and signed with Michigan. That's when the wheels came off of that plan as word got out about his past legal troubles and not being able to meet admission requirements. He then sought refuge at Louisville but was denied there also. Being a player without a home he's now taking the JUCO route to get to a BCS school. There's no doubt he has the talent, he'll just have to show the maturity to get there.

Head coach Tony Annese knows all about Dorsey's story and is more than willing to give the young man a second chance.

“It was one of those things where kids get connected with other kids and we've got several kids from that Ft. Lauderdale area and they just talked,” Annese said. “He liked the idea of playing for us and we have been ranked in the nation the last couple of years. We're a second-chance place so we evaluate it that way. We accept the fact that's who we are and we try to do the things that we need to do to help our kids get through those circumstances. We can put all the variables in place and try to direct them the right way, but it's ultimately up to the kid and how determined they want to be to get their life on the right track.”

I hope the guy does well on the field and in life. We all need a second chance from time to time. Prove yourself at Grand Rapids and I am sure an offer will come from a good school. Now is the time to get it right. Michigan could be one of those schools but knowing how they are about JC transfers I doubt it. Get good grades and stay clean.


Quote Of The Week: Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen the drug machine was giving a little anti-drug advice to the UCLA baseball team earlier this week. I know it's strange coming from Charlie Sheen as he's battled an addiction to drugs and porn stars for years, so when I heard about his latest bender it didn't surprise me since he's been fighting those demons since the late 1980's.

"Stay off the crack. Drink a chocolate milk. Enjoy your moment. That's all I got." 

Well said Charlie. Maybe his next stop will be at the local high school.