Saturday, March 30, 2013

Pass first point guard vs. shoot first point guard

In the NBA today, we have a variety of different point guards. We have shoot first point guards (Derrick Rose), pass first point guards (Rajon Rondo), and a variety of both (Tony Parker).

Some say it is better to have a dominant more of a scoring type of point guard. They say it saves time to get up the court. They can go one on one and score in 10 seconds. However, some say it disrupts the concept of working the ball around. It doesn't seem to affect Rose or Westbrook (However, when Westbrook shoots poorly the Thunder usually play poorly).

Then theirs is the pass first point guards. These guys set up their stars and get players going. These point guards seem to have the most success. Think of all the championship teams in the past. Mario Chalmers, Jason Kidd, Derek Fisher, Rajon Rondo, Jason Williams, Avery Johnson, Steve Kerr, Kenny Smith, John Paxson, Magic Johnson, Maurice Cheeks, Tom Henderson, Lionel Hollins, Butch Beard, Larry Siegfried, Wali Jones, K.C. Jones, and Bob Cousy are the point guards who won championships (And are pass first point guards). That's about 65-70% of all championship teams had a pass first point guard.

Finally, there are the players who are neither pass first or shoot first point guards. These are players like Tony Parker, Chauncey Billups, Isiah Thomas, Gus Williams, Walt Frazier, Oscar Robertson, and Jerry West. That's 25-30% of all championship teams had a mix (not a pass first, but not a score first) point guard.

I cannot think of one team that had a shoot first point guard and won a championship. Jerry West was the point guard with the highest PPG average who won a championship. He averaged 25.8 PPG, but also led the league in assists. Therefore, you can't say West was a shoot first point guard in 1972.

Who would you rather have, a shoot first point guard, a pass first point guard, or a mix of both. First off, I can exclude shoot first point guards since they have yet to win a championship. In my opinion, I would rather have a pass first point guard. They have won 70% of all championships and you don't need a lot of money for most. You can go out and buy another superstar if you have an average pass first point guard (Derek Fisher).

A pass first point guard will be more valuable than any other point guard some of the time but I'd rather have a point guard that can distribute but know when to take a game over.

Rams' Rodger Saffold not answering Jeff Fisher's calls

Many thought it was a good signing when Jake Long decided to leave the Miami Dolphins for the St. Louis Rams. Current left tackle Rodger Saffold wasn't too pleased with the idea. With Long coming to St. Louis, that means Saffold probably moves to right tackle. Saffold wants to remain at left tackle.

Usually this means some kind of trade demand is coming. Saffold has went a step further by not returning coach Jeff Fisher's phone calls. Before anyone starts howling about if that was them they'd be fired from their job, remember this is the world of professional sports.

“Things are gonna work out,” Fisher said. “We’re confident they’ll get resolved.”

“We’ve been trying to reach Rodger, and he’s not returning calls right now,” Fisher said. “But we’ll get things settled, and Rodger’s a big part of our future and a big part of our plans on offense.”

Saffold hasn't responded in the most positive way. I'm sure Fisher would like to sell him on the idea of moving to right tackle or telling Saffold that there is an open competition.

That is very selfish if Rodger is crying like a baby over this. Jake Long has been to 4 pro bowls, Saffold how many have you and your agent been to, wait a second, zero, clear choice at left tackle, Long.The Rams are making an effort to win and Saffold needs to get on the bandwagon or go home. Or he comes to camp and outperforms Long and keeps the left tackle job.

Report: UCLA signs Steve Alford to become new head basketball coach

A report by ESPN's Andy Katz are saying that Steve Alford is leaving New Mexico to be UCLA's new basketball coach. The Bruins have come to an agreement with the New Mexico coach on a seven-year contract worth $2.6 million per year. This comes after firing Ben Howland after a second round ouster in the NCAA tournament.

The agreement with Alford comes less than two weeks after Alford had agreed to a new 10-year contract with New Mexico that reached into the $2-million-per-season range, including base salary, bonuses and incentives.

This is more of a surprise since many consider UCLA to be one of the top jobs in the country. The Bruins were spurned by Butler's Brad Stevens and VCU's Shaka Smart. It's obvious that many don't view it that way. Washington's Lorenzo Romar, Marquette's Buzz Williams, and NC State's Mark Gottfried were rumored to be candidates.

I don't know how this turns out, but  Alford is leaving a loaded Lobos team for whoever takes over. Alford will face a ton of pressure trying to coach up to the UCLA standard set long ago by JohnWooden.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Texas Tech interested in Tubby Smith

After being unceremoniously dumped by Minnesota, Tubby Smith is in line for another coaching job. Smith has been mentioned as a candidate for the open Texas Tech job.

According to sources, the school has contacted Smith about the job. Smith has been rumored to meet with the school on Thursday but that could not be confirmed.

Texas Tech already has met with a handful of other coaches about the job, including Oral Roberts' Scott Sutton, Southern Illinois' Barry Hinson, New Mexico State's Marvin Menzies, Indiana assistant Steve McClain and former UTEP and Nebraska coach Doc Sadler, who is in his first season as director of basketball operations at Kansas.

I would have to say Smith might be the favorite for the job, but is he the man to build a program. I'm not sure if Smith could be patient enough to take over a bottom feeder in a BCS conference. Regardless of who takes over the administration at Texas Tech will have to be awfully patient to wait for a turnaround. Texas Tech doesn't get the recruits like some of the other schools in the Big 12 so they should hire a program builder more than a coach. I do think Smith is a fine coach but not a good fit for Texas Tech.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Raiders may cut ties with Carson Palmer

"As noted Monday, it's possible that we may have seen the last of Carson Palmer in an Oakland Raiders uniform, as it's "highly unlikely" that the QB will take a pay cut, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. The Raiders now have three options: hang on to Palmer and pay him his $13 million for 2013, trade him or release him (ESPN)."

Carson Palmer blows, and the Raiders are no where close to being a good team. They should cut him and draft Geno Smith. Do we know Smith will be a great QB? No, but he has a ton more upside than Palmer and that's really all that matter right now.

If Palmer does get cut there are rumors the Cardinals would jump at the chance to sign him. I think Palmer is a bum, and I would never trust any USC QB with my team.

Dez Bryant thinks he can be the first 2,000 yard receiver

Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant has high hopes for his NFL career. Bryant believes he can become the NFL's first 2,000 yard receiver. A tall task indeed.

Bryant told that his breakout season in 2012 was only the beginning of better days to come. Bryant caught 92 passes for 1,382 yards this past season.

"That's still scratching the surface," Bryant said in a telephone interview with "It's only going to get better, to be honest. I still have a lot to give. I feel like nobody's seen anything. Nothing.

"I feel like it can be a lot more than that. That's just being honest. I honestly feel like [2,000 yards and 20 touchdowns] can potentially happen." 

It can happen but it won't happen for Bryant as long as he's in Dallas. Bryant says his knowledge of the offense and maturation gives him this confidence. Maybe but I can't see it happening. Dallas still likes to run the ball which will take away any potential targets coming his way. Throw in the fact that tight end Jason Witten is still around and that further dwindles his chances.

The closest to come to matching that feat was Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions and he was all they had on offense. So if he couldn't pull it off I don't see Bryant doing it in a more complete offense. I'm not saying he's a bad receiver, I think the Cowboys have too many other variables that will keep him from approaching that benchmark.

It's good to have confidence in your abilities but this may be a bit too much for Bryant.  

"It girl" of the week: Marzia Prince

The "It Girl" of the week is Marzia Prince.

This blonde bombshell is the definition of perfection and the biggest distraction of them all. She has a gorgeous face, perfect body, brains to go with it, a girl who played multiple sports in high school, a weightlifter who has more certifications than Joe Weider, and someone we can all follow training and nutrition advice from since she's dieted down to win several bikini championships. Does it get any better than this? I'm not sure a more perfect girl exists fellas. This 5'9" southern belle is a spokesmodel for Gaspari Nutrition and is the hottest girl in the game hands-down. You've seen her in dozens of magazines like Iron Man, Muscle and Fitness, American Curves, Fitness Rx, Muscular Development, and Planet Muscle and you've done a double take to drool over her in every single one of them.

Michigan defensive coordinator likes Mitch McGary at defensive end

Michigan center Mitch McGary has made a positive impact for the Michigan basketball team during the Wolverines run to the Sweet 16. He's also made a few fans along the way.

Michigan football defensive coordinator, Greg Mattison, has taken notice and likes what he sees in McGary. He likes him so much that he says he would like to see him at defensive end on the football team. Wishful thinking but Mattison has a plan.

"No question about it," Mattison said with a laugh. "I already promised he'd be a 5-technique (defensive lineman) right away and we'd get him a lot of sacks. I love him.

"I saw him one time the team was going to eat somewhere -- I just happened to run into him. I'd never stood next to him, and I just looked at him and all I kept thinking is, 'Wow, would he be good as a 5-technique.'"

McGary did play football growing up and you can tell with the way he plays on the court. He goes all out on just about every play. Mattison can dream but this probably won't happen.

Bobby Hurley hired to coach Buffalo basketball

The University of Buffalo has hired Bobby Hurley to lead the basketball team in a new direction.

Hurley was introduced as the new coach today after cutting his teeth with his brother, Danny, at Wagner and Rhode Island where Danny was the head coach and Bobby was an assistant.

He'll be taking over for the recently ousted Reggie Witherspoon, who had a small bit of success but was never able to get the team to the NCAA tournament in a pretty wide open MAC conference.

"The appointment of coach Hurley sends a clear statement that the University at Buffalo is committed to bringing big-time college athletics to the western New York community and the state at large," athletic director Danny White said. "I'm confident after our discussions that he is the right leader to take our program to the next level."

Most know Hurley from his days as a national championship winning point guard at Duke, which should get Buffalo some name recognition. Before anyone thinks this is a Clyde Drexler (Houston) or Isiah Thomas (Florida International) gimmick hiring, you must remember that basketball runs in the Hurley family blood.

Bob Hurley Sr. coaches the famed St. Anthony's high school program in New Jersey and has compiled more than 1000 wins. Dan played at Seton Hall and Bobby played in the NBA after his Duke career.

I don't know what this will do for recruiting and getting fans in the seats but knowing the leader that Hurley was at Duke, I believe the Bulls made a good hire. Hopefully for the fans there, it will translate into a winning program.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Maurice Jones-Drew doesn't like the criticism of Blaine Gabbert

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert hasn't had too much success at the NFL level. You can say he's had too many coordinators (three since he's came in the league) or he just doesn't have it. The new coaching staff doesn't seem too hot on him either as head coach Gus Bradley has declared it an open competition.

Recently a report surfaced saying that a former Jaguars assistant had some rather unkind words about Gabbert. The unnamed assistant said that Gabbert "thinks nothing is ever his fault" and they referred to him as "Blame Gabbert".

Fair or unfair, Gabbert's backfield mate Maurice Jones-Drew took umbrage with what the former assistant had to say about Gabbert.

“For that coach to come out and say that, that’s not what a man should do,” Jones-Drew said. “You have a problem, tell it to his face. You don’t air somebody out after you’re gone. That happens too much in this league.

“It just [ticks] me off that people talk about the guy like that. I get upset about it because people think it’s easy to learn [a new playbook], let alone learn what everybody is doing around you."

What the former assistant said might be true, he should've put his name to it. There are always unnamed sources putting their problems out there for all to know. Jones-Drew is correct, say it to his face if you have a problem. At least say it when you're going out the door.

“I’m not making excuses for Blaine — he’s made mistakes of his own that for us to go places, he has to correct,” he said. “But we all make mistakes, and I feel like we haven’t supported him enough.”

“How do you expect a guy to play?” Jones-Drew said. “I don’t understand how a guy can perform at a consistent level when there’s no consistency in his [professional] life.”

Once again I believe Jones-Drew is dead on. You can't develop any consistency when you keep changing the playbook and changing coaches. Gabbert hasn't had the best success but he hasn't been put in a position to succeed. Gabbert hasn't done well on the field but the Jags haven't done any favors for Gabbert.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Jamie Dixon signs extension at Pittsburgh

When Kevin O'Neiil was fired as head basketball coach at USC, there was speculation that Pittsburgh coach, Jamie Dixon would follow his former boss Ben Howland out west and take over the Trojans program. Pitt fans can rest a little easier because Dixon has signed a 10 year extension that will keep him in the Steel City.

Dixon has had success after Howland left for UCLA but has fell short of the Final Four and has been eliminated in the NCAA tournament six times before the Sweet 16. Despite the criticism because of the tournament shortcomings, Dixon says he and his family are happy in Pittsburgh.

"I'm very happy at Pittsburgh," Dixon said live on TNT in advance of Saturday's Round of 32 game between Harvard and Arizona. "That's where I'm going to be."

"I'm very happy," Dixon said. "Pitt's a great place. My family loves it there."

The school has to feel better since the Panthers will be moving to the ACC next season, but Dixon will need the team to take their effort up a few notches to maintain the level of consistency Pitt fans are used to.  

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Broncos' Quinton Carter caught cheating at a Vegas casino

Denver Broncos safety Quinton Carter is facing felony charges for allegations that he cheated at a craps game at a Las Vegas casino. Before I get to the arrest, I would love to ask Mr. Carter, why he was gambling at Texas Station? Out of all the casinos in Vegas, that is the last one I would expect to find a NFL player cheating at craps.

Carter, 24, was arrested late Saturday at the Texas Station casino in North Las Vegas. Security officials reported he was videotaped adding a $5 chip to three bets after the dice already rolled, according to a police report. Carter denied wrongdoing when police arrived.

Carter faces three counts of committing a fraudulent act in a gaming establishment, a felony in Nevada that carries a possible sentence of one to six years in prison and a $10,000 fine. He provided a North Las Vegas address when he was booked at the Clark County jail in Las Vegas and released with a Monday court date.

The Broncos are aware of the matter and are investigating the situation. Carter seems confident that he will beat the rap.

Carter said on Twitter:
"Regarding the matter that allegedly occurred during a brief trip to my hometown of Las Vegas, I am fully confident that when the facts come out I will be cleared."

What the hell was he thinking? Anyone in their right mind knows that you're not gonna cheat the casino. Eventually you'll get caught. Besides Carter should have a six figure income and shouldn't have to worry on trying to get over on the house.

I think Carter will get away with a light penalty in this case, but he should learn from his actions.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Raptors' Andrea Bargnani finished for the season. Could amnesty be next?

The Toronto Raptors fans have had enough of former overall number one pick, Andrea Bargnani. They've had their wish granted because Bargnani is finished for the year with an elbow injury.  The same elbow that cost Bargnani some court action this year.

Bargnani missed 26 games earlier in the year with wrist and elbow injuries. He’s now suffered a new injury in the same elbow — an “avulsion sprain” — that will sideline him 3-4 weeks.

Fans would love to see the big man shipped out if town. General manager actively tried to trade Bargnani before the trade deadline but couldn't find any takers. It appears the Raptors might be stuck with a player who has disappointed them one too many times.

There could be hope though. The idea of Bargnani being waived via the amnesty clause has been floated out there. It might be difficult to part ways with a player once thought of to be a cornerstone of the franchise. But  the decision is made a lot easier since Bargnani has two years and $22 million left on his contract.

If Bargnani is set free during the offseason is there still a place for him in the league? While some may say he should go back to Europe, I think he could excel in a place where expectations for him to carry a team aren't so high.

In my opinion, I really think Bargnani would fit in well with the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs have an international flavor plus he could play under Tim Duncan for a few years. Think about it, the Spurs have earned Nazr Mohammed a few extra paychecks. It damn sure wasn't his time in Detroit that did it.

The Los Angeles Lakers and the Chicago Bulls could possibly be a landing spot for Bargnani. More so the Bulls where he could come in as a sixth man.

No one knows what's going to happen but one thing is for sure. Bargnani more than likely is headed out of Toronto.

Alabama athletic director Mal Moore in hospital for heart problems

The man responsible for getting the Alabama football program to the level where they're at is currently in the hospital. Not Nick Saban, but athletic director Mal Moore, the man who hired Saban.

Moore has been hospitalized with heart problems. Moore also was in the hospital last August because of an irregular heartbeat but was released after the tests were negative.

University spokeswoman Debbie Lane said Wednesday that Moore has been admitted to Brookwood Hospital in Birmingham for tests and treatment "regarding pulmonary problems." She said no further information was available on the 73-year-old's status.

Moore has headed the athletic program since 1999 and was the man who hired Saban, arguably the Tide's best coach since Bear Bryant roamed the sidelines. He's also been with the university for more than 50 years dating back to his playing days for Bryant.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Two NFL general managers get pranked

Two 20-year-olds are looking at being in some big trouble because of a bad telephone prank. The prank involved two NFL general managers and now the law is looking to get involved.

The NFL is looking into a 'conversation' between Buffalo Bills general manager Buddy Nix and Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik last Friday. It happened to be recorded and appeared on Deadspin on Tuesday.  

From Deadspin:

On Thursday afternoon, the pranksters called Buffalo's publicly listed front office phone number. They claimed to be Bucs GM Mark Dominik and asked to be transferred to Buddy Nix. To their surprise, they were. Panicking, they hung up as soon as he answered.

Then Buddy Nix called them back.

And he kept calling back. Into Thursday evening, resuming again on Friday morning, Nix's personal number kept lighting up their cell phone. They ignored it, until they came up with a plan. They would call Mark Dominik, claim to be Buddy Nix, and send the two on a phantom game of phone tag.

So they rang up the Buccaneers, but while on with Dominik's secretary, Buddy Nix called again. It was perfect. They answered Nix's call, then fell silent while they were patched through to Dominik. They put the call on speaker, recorded with a second cell phone, and sat back and listened to the fun.

The call lasted about six minutes and after some initial confusion about wrong numbers, the pair settled in to discuss their own personnel, with Nix describing some of the team's frustration with the slowed progress of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. As far as juicy gossip or major revelations, there really wasn't anything of the sort, just two guys in the same profession chatting politely about business.

"We are aware of the report on Deadspin involving a phone conversation with Bills GM Buddy Nix," the Bills said in a statement. "We have made the league aware of the report and are reviewing it with legal counsel."

The Buccaneers did not respond to a request for comment.

In the state of Florida what these two unknowns did was a third degree felony. In New York they might have a loophole in which they can escape punishment.

"In Florida, it is a third degree felony so you are talking about a criminal violation," Jeff Hermes, the director of the Digital Media Law Project at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet & Society, said. "The Florida wiretapping law does have a civil cause of action."

Federal and New York state law requires "one-party consent," meaning that you can record a conversation as long as you are a party to that conversation. The pranksters may have a loophole here in that by Nix calling their number thinking it was Dominik's, they were technically a party to the conversation.

"This is a circumstance where there was an affirmative misrepresentation," Hermes said. "I'm not entirely sure how that would affect this analysis. A court could say 'you dialed a number, you didn't know for sure, you thought it was a person's number due to this person's misrepresentation. You're responsible for initiating the call and the consequences. If that results in the person you call starting a recording, that's on you.' I think it's a stronger argument to say under these circumstances where the call was initiated as a result of the misrepresentation that the person doing the misrepresentation shouldn't be treated as the legit recipient of the call." 

We'll have to see if these two yahoos get punished or end up with a slap on the wrist.

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is dating a former Heat dancer

You would figure that a NBA coach would be married and have children. And whoever they're married to would be in the same age bracket.

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, 42, has surprised many by who he's dating. Spoelstra appeared at a fundraiser Saturday night with his girlfriend, Nikki Sapp. Sapp is a 24 year old former Heat dancer.

An 18-year-old Sapp started dancing for the team in 2005, while a 34-year-old Spoelstra was serving as an assistant for Pat Riley. She danced with the squad for three seasons, then left before Spoelstra took over the Heat's head coaching position in 2008. 

Outside of Phil Jackson, no one really knows about who a coach is dating or married to. We all know Phil didn't do too bad (Jeanie Buss) and based on the looks of Sapp, Spoelstra isn't doing too bad either. But that age difference makes you wonder. Oh well. Play on player.

Monday, March 11, 2013

"It girl" of the week: Bria Myles

The "It Girl" of the week is Bria Myles

Former 49ers kicker Mike Cofer has Super Bowl rings stolen

Former San Francisco 49ers kicker Mike Cofer had two Super Bowl rings stolen out of his Las Vegas area home last Thursday. 

 Authorities say burglars made off with two Super Bowl rings from the Las Vegas-area home of former San Francisco 49ers kicker Mike Cofer.

Cofer told Henderson police he was watching his son's high school baseball game when the break-in occurred Thursday at his four-bedroom home.

Cofer's ex-wife, Lisa Cofer, told the Las Vegas Sun the thieves also took a coin collection, an Xbox game console and several games. She says they left a diamond ring.

I hate to be somewhat critical, but when will these athletes put their championship rings on lockdown?

Washington State assistant Jim Mastro declines to help NFL teams defend the Pistol

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick had a great deal of success in his first year as a starter. He led the 49ers to within a whisker of the Super Bowl title. NFL teams are still trying to figure out a way to contain Kaepernick after he excelled in the 49ers version of the Pistol offense.

The Pistol is generally was the formation Kaepernick played in while starring at Nevada. Former coach Chris Ault is thought of as the inventor of the Pistol. Former Ault and current Washington State assistant, Jim Mastro, is the godfather.

With the knowledge Mastro possesses, NFL teams have come calling. Mostly to get some insight and some knowledge on how to stop it.

Mastro has declined NFL offers due to his loyalty to Kaepernick.  Mastro told's Bruce Feldman, as long as Kaepernick is in the NFL he won't help teams with ways to defend the Pistol.

"As long as Colin [Kaepernick] is in the NFL, I'm not going to do that," Mastro told Monday. "He is like a son to me.

"There are plenty of people they [NFL teams] can get ahold of that can help them."  

I'm wondering if the Green bay Packers were one of those teams. Kaepernick single handedly destroyed the Packers, running for 181 yards in the process.

Cardinals part ways with Beanie Wells

The Arizona Cardinals have decided to part ways with former first round draft pick Beanie Wells.

It might have been surprising to some since Wells rushed for over 1,000 two years ago, but only played half of last season. When you think about it, it's not a surprise since it seemed that Wells was always hurt or playing hurt. He was limited last year due to a toe injury and has battled knee problems throughout his career.

Just been informed that I'll be released today. Would like to thank the Cardinals organization for give me a chance to live out my Dreams, said Wells from his Twitter account. 

He seems grateful for the opportunity and is looking forward to another chance. Wells will have to show he can over come his injuries before another team gives him a shot, but he is a big back with somewhat limited mileage, so someone may kick the tires on him.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Report says Harvin wants out of Minnesota

The Minnesota Vikings and Percy Harvin haven't been getting along for the past year. With offseason workouts slated to begin next month Harvin might not be there, whether he's a Viking or not.

Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star Tribune has reported that Harvin has asked to be traded. 

Hartman cited “good sources around the NFL,” and his story fits with everything that has come out about Harvin lately. 

General manager Rick Spielman has constantly said that he has no plans on trading Harvin.

Although his contract seems to be part of the issue, Harvin also doesn't like his role in the offense and has concerns about the medical staff.

This looks like it's going to get ugly very fast. Even though the Vikings hold all the cards (Harvin is signed for this year and can be franchised for the next two), Harvin can hold out or be the biggest malcontent on a team that surprised many by making the playoffs last year.

My top 10 NBA Draft prospects

I'm giving my top 10 NBA Draft Prospects, based off of my immense excitement for the upcoming draft on June 21st. Many changes happened within the ranks with injuries and players stepping up. The list is subject to change.

10. PG/SG Michael Carter-Williams, Syraucse

Great size for his position, and such a solid defender who plays a solid 35+ Minutes Per Game with Syracuse. Averaging an impressive 7.9 Assists and 2.9 Steals Per Game. My problem is that he can fold under pressure and can throw up unnecessary shots. A young guy with good upside overall, just not immediate upside.

9. C Alex Len, Maryland

Averaging 8.1 Rebounds and 2 Blocks Per Game, and is very active under the boards. Lacks some skills on the offensive end on the low block, though.

8. PG Trey Burke, Michigan

Many of draft sites don't even have him on their top 15, but I think the stats really speak for itself. Averaging 18.9 Points, 6.9 Assists and 1.6 Steals Per Game in a Conference which many of people think is the best in the country (Big 10). A tad undersized, but not that it's stopped anybody before.

7. SF/PF Anthony Bennett, UNLV

Another efficient player who has solid size. Averaging 14.6 Points, 8.3 Rebounds Per Game and he's extremely athletic. My question is the type of competition he's been going up though, being in the Mountain West Conference.

6. SG Victor Oladipo, Indiana

Averaging 14 Points, 6 Rebounds and 2.3 Steals Per Game and plays solid defense. Not enough of a scoring threat for the NBA though, but can make an impact for any team this coming year for sure.

5. PG Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State

Has been a proven clutch player this year, and has good size for a PG at a strong 6'4", 225 LB. Averaging 14.6 Points, 5.6 Rebounds and 4.3 Assists Per Game. Some say he's a Shooting Guard, but I think he's going to be better at the Point. Has struggled at shooting over 15 feet, much more of a slasher.

4. SF Otto Porter, Georgetown

A guy who's moved up so many mock drafts in the last couple of weeks, and he's moved up on mine as well. Averaging 16.6 Points, 7.6 Rebounds, 2.0 Steals Per Game while shooting at a ridiculous .469  3PT% this season. He's a really underrated defender too, and could move all the way up to #1 on many charts if he keeps this run up.

3. SG/SF Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA

A gifted scorer with great range. Averaging 18.3 Points, 5.1 Rebounds while shooting at a solid .446 3PT%. I think he could be the best offensive threat in this draft. His only problem is character, as he tends to get mad when he's passed up for the final shot of the game. Other people may look at it as a good thing though, viewing it as confidence in himself.

2. C Cody Zeller, Indiana

Now with Nerlens Noel done for the year, Zeller will be by far the best Center in this draft. He's averaging 16.5 Points, 8.1 Rebounds and 1.4 Blocks Per Game. Has tremendous size and fairly solid moves down low for an NBA prospect.

1. SG Ben McLemore, Kansas

A tremendous talent and can hit most shots from the outside. Has a Ray Allen type of stroke, and hits on .425 of his 3PT shots. Averaging 16.5 Points, 5.4 Rebounds and shooting .868% FT which is usually the one best sign of a good shooter. He has an incredible story that you can read up on which I wrote about the other day.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Brandon Jennings may not be in Milwaukee much longer

Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings will be a restricted free agent after this season. But instead if doing the same song and dance so many other players have done, Jennings has a different plan than most. Jennings says he'll play on a one year qualifying offer, but if he does he's good as gone in Milwaukee.

"If I take the qualifying offer and become an [unrestricted] free agent there is no way I am coming back," Jennings told Yahoo! Sports on Friday after practice. "There is no way."

Simply put, he wants to get paid. But Jennings also would like the Bucks to be more competitive and that he just wants to win. Jennings might have to come to the realization that the Bucks being championship caliber is a pipe dream and might have to go elsewhere to win. He wants to go to a bigger market but being in a big market isn't the key to winning a title. Ask any New York Knocks player of the past decade about it.

"I just want to win," Jennings said. "The way I am playing now, I just want to go to a winning team and play like that. I don't care about being a superstar or being the main guy. I did that [the] first four years. I just want to win and be somewhere where it's all about winning.

"I'm not saying the Bucks aren't about winning. But I think [a title caliber situation] will help me, motivate my game and then you have to perform."

Not the most conventional way to full blown free agency but Jennings has never done things in a conventional way when it comes to his basketball career.

He went to Italy to play professionally for one year instead of going to college. And instead of signing with an established shoe company he signed with Under Armour. Kind of a trailblazer of sorts.

Jennings looks at what the Oklahoma City Thunder have accomplished in a small market and figures why it can't happen in Milwaukee. Well, the Thunder have a special player in Kevin Durant and a very capable sidekick in Russell Westbrook. The Bucks have a few pieces like an emerging Larry Sanders and Monta Ellis, but the Bucks don't have too much outside of those players.

I hate to say it Bucks fans, say bye bye to Brandon.

Ravens' Boldin told to take a pay cut or get cut

After winning a Super Bowl, Baltimore Ravens receiver Anquan Boldin is being asked to take a pay cut. If not he might be released.  

Boldin makes $6 million right now but the Ravens would like a more cap friendly number. Mainly to resign linebacker Danell Ellerbe who is a high priority and other pending free agents.

This comes after signing quarterback Joe Flacco to a massive new contract.

During a February interview with NBC Sports Radio, Boldin said he would retire if released by Baltimore. A source, though, said Boldin is having second thoughts about that statement. 

If released Boldin is still good enough where he could catch on elsewhere should he back off his retirement talk. If he likes Baltimore that much he'll take the pay cut so they can keep most of the team together.

Indiana won't wear new Adidas uniforms

Following the lead of Michigan and North Carolina State, the Indiana Hoosiers have declined to wear the new new Adidas designed basketball uniforms for the upcoming NCAA tournament.

That's a wise choice. I know college basketball fans have gotten a peek at the sleeved jerseys and camouflage shorts. Those uniforms are flat out ugly. I don't advocate anyone losing their job but whoever designed them needs to be fired or reassigned.

Indiana athletic director Fred Glass didn't want to get away from the classic cream and crimson of the Hoosiers.  

“When you look at that picture, it’s really hard to tell those uniforms apart,’’ Glass said. “It has really been a consistent look. Our thing is stability and a classic look. It’s about the name on the front of the chest and not on the back. All those things are important to who we are.

“I take seriously our obligation to be a good partner with Adidas, and we weren’t cavalier about this. But when all is said and done, that’s just not something that I think is appropriate for us here at Indiana to do.”

“The Indiana uniform is such a reflection of who we are as a program and a university that we weren’t comfortable moving away from our classic, iconic uniforms.’’

I'm surprised that traditional powers such as UCLA, Kansas, and Louisville are going along with it. UCLA fans aren't too happy with the decision for the Bruins to wear them. They look like volleyball jerseys if you ask me.

Glass should be commended for saying no and sticking with tradition over a marketing scheme.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Byron Scott might shut down Kyrie Irivng

With a team going nowhere, Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Byron Scott is considering shutting down All-Star guard Kyrie Irving for the rest of the season.

The oft injured Irving has missed 14 games including three recently with a hyperextended knee. Irving said the knee was still bothering him after last night's win over the Utah Jazz. Scott doesn't want to risk losing Irving for anymore games and wouldn't have a problem keeping Irving on the bench.

"If Ky is hurting, I have no problem sitting him down," Scott said.

Irving doesn't plan on being in fancy suits the rest of the season even though the early break could help him.

"The only way I would get better is if I sit out for the rest of the season, and I'm not doing that," Irving said.

I believe Scott has the right idea. Irving is the franchise and he shouldn't risk him doing further damage to himself in a lost season. It's not like the Cavs are in the playoff chase so why not. As a competitor Irving wants no part of that kind of talk. But it's probably more beneficial to him if he sits out than playing at less than 100 percent for the rest of the season.

Irving has a lot of basketball left and shouldn't hamper his career for a few meaningless games.

Diamondbacks Barajas finds missing World Series ring after four years

Current Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Rod Barajas was a member of the Diamondbacks World Series winning team in 2001. Of course being on that team you get a coveted  World Series ring. Barajas got his ring but he lost it four years ago.

Four years later Barajas had the good fortune of recovering his World Series ring.'s Steve Gilbert tells the story.

Before leaving the couple's home in San Diego, Stacie tried on a pair of shoes she had not worn in years. She tried one foot on, determined it matched her outfit and packed both shoes for the trip.

While getting ready at the hotel just before the funeral, Stacie put on both shoes for the first time. Only there was a problem with the one she hadn't tried on before she left. There was something in the toe blocking her foot.

"I was getting ready and my wife yelled out, 'Guess what I just found?'" Barajas said. "We're in a hotel room and I'm like, what could you find in a hotel room?"

As it turns out, you can find a 2001 World Series ring and pendant.

"She walked out with the ring and pendant and we both looked at each other and I said, 'That was your grandmother. Your grandmother grabbed that and put it there for us. One last gift that she gave us before she left,'" Barajas said.

Barajas is lucky he found his, but when are players gonna learn to keep their championship rings in a safe place.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Broncos will pursue Freeney if Dumervil doesn't take a pay cut

The Indianapolis Colts decided to part ways with defensive end Dwight Freeney. He's now a free agent and will be exploring his options when free agency kicks in next Tuesday.

One team to keep an eye on for Freeney's services are the Denver Broncos. A source told Mike Klis of the Denver Post that the Broncos might be a player for Freeney. But that's all contingent if current Broncos defensive end, Elvis Dumervil, doesn't take a pay cut. Throw in the fact that Peyton Manning has been recruiting Freeney and it's almost a lock that he becomes a Bronco.

Freeney (33) is four years older than Dumervil (29) and isn't the force he once was but if Dumervil doesn't want to take a pay cut, the Broncos could sign Freeney and parlay the extra money into a few players to fill needs at different roster spots. They are similar players so the dropoff shouldn't be too significant.

The Broncos would love for Dumervil to return but I don't see him being too pleased to to a loss in pay. If that's the case Elvis will indeed leave the building.

Browns beat out Bills for Kevin Costner movie

Two of the more snakebit franchises in the NFL went head to head off the field recently. But for once it was the Cleveland Browns that came out on top.

The Browns reportedly beat out the Buffalo Bills for the right to be the franchise in the Kevin Costner movie, Draft Day.

The movie, which was to depict Kevin Costner as a fictitious Buffalo Bills general manager trying to restore his team to past glory, will instead be shot in Cleveland, with the actor portraying the Cleveland Browns GM.

Like most reasons for anything related to business decisions, it all came down to the money. Shooting in Cleveland was cheaper than shooting in Buffalo therefore the Browns will get the nod.

“At the end of the day, it was a money thing. I think Mr. [Ivan] Reitman really wanted to shoot here, but it just came down to the cost factor. What we were told is that the Cleveland incentives were better,” said Tim Clark who heads the Buffalo Niagara Film Commission .

“I feel the worse for the Buffalo Bills, because they worked real hard to convince the film company that Buffalo was the place to shoot this, and that Buffalo was America’s team.”

Buffalo Bills being America's team. Since when? I guess I missed the memo on that one.

This will be the second time a movie will be based on a Cleveland sports franchise as Draft Day hopes to be as successful as Major League. I guess the silver screen is the only place where a Cleveland franchise gets to be a winner.

Vince Young eyeing a comeback

Vince Young was once thought of to be the future of NFL quarterbacks. He was a Heisman Trophy finalist at the University of Texas, won a national championship, was the NFL rookie of the year with the Tennessee   Titans and appeared his career appeared to be trending upward.

Fast forward to now and Young is broke and out of football. After pouting  and playing his way out of Tennessee, he's bounced around to the Philadelphia Eagles and Buffalo Bills, not looking anything like the player scouts thought he would be coming out of Texas.

Young is looking for a job and is going to give it the old college try. Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated reported that Young is returning to Texas to finish his degree and work out at Texas' pro day in front of NFL scouts.

Young doesn't have many chances left if any. Young will have to perform out of his mind to impress the scouts and front office personnel that he's worth a roster spot. If he can do that he would also need to play the happy camper and realize that he's no longer starting material and barely second string material. And for the money that he thinks he's gonna get, no one will sign a third stringer for that price.

I would hope he makes it so he can at least get back on his feet financially, but the odds aren't in his favor.