Saturday, April 28, 2007

Underclassmen declarations, NBA draft and coaching updates

Real life interrupted so I haven't been able to update in a while... my bad. Anyways, here's some links to keep ya busy for a minute.

- Underclassmen declaring for the NBA Draft.
- Mock NBA draft for those that care (I have a mild interest in the draft... not the NBA).
- Air Force found a new head coach... and all they had to do is look down the bench.
- Rick Majerus is back in coaching... in St Louis. The food industry there just got a big ecomonic boost.
- Updated coaching changes.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

SEC stuff (couldn't think of a better title)

It looks like CMG is going to replace Asbury (who retired) with Kobie Baker. I know nothing about him to tell you the truth and being honest I doubt he'll have an impact on the team.
Here's his resume from rolltide.com.
I'll say it's underwhelming, but let's be honest... did anyone think we were going to get some "big name" assistant. I didn't. Saying that, I doubt we'll see any changes this coming season which is not a good thing.

Bamamag has a good writeup on Wimp Sanderson and his emphasis on the SEC Tournament.
I wish CMG would adopt this strategy... conference tournament games prepare the team for the big dance.
The writeup goes into more than just the SECT... just read the article.

Mississippi State (Alias spells it M$U) has parted ways with 3 players from their SEC West winner and NIT runner up squad. At first I thought this would hurt the Bulldogs, but looking at their roster it seemed to be a case of not enough basketballs. The Delks were probably going to be squeezed out of PT next year.

So far, only 5 SEC players have declared for the draft... 4 from the mighty Gators (you know their names) and LSU's Glen Davis (who I predict to be a major flop). As usual I expect a couple of mis-informed kids from this conference to declare as it happens just about every year.

LSU's Ben Voogd is transfering back west (probably somewhere in Oregon). I guess he's homesick... and probably sees that LSU is going to suck next year.

How did Auburn get Dean Smith and Roy Williams to visit their campus? A coaching clinic is scheduled for May 4th and 5th. Jeff Lebo does have some pull.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Tentative 2007-2008 "name" non-conference games and CMG interview

- Georgetown in Birmingham for the Big East/SEC challenge (Auburn plays West Virginia in the first part of a doubleheader). I believe this is December 5th.

- At Texas A&M (not sure of the date). Luster is lost due to Gillispie leaving for Kentucky.

- Las Vegas Invitational in late December. If things go well I plan on attending this. I've read Iowa State and Purdue are in as well... not sure who the other team is.

- Clemson at home on New Years Day. I'm not sure if this is a "name" school as Clemson has pretty much sucked ever since Rick Barnes left them for Texas.

Being totally honest, our non-conference schedule looks like Georgetown and a bunch of games we should win. A&M loses Acie Law IV and their HC which might push them to middle of the pack Big 12. It's a road game though... and we know how well we play on the road.

Other news:
- From rolltide.com, Gerald Wallace is NBA Eastern Conference player of the week. Good for him... although I'm curious why the university calls this big news as Wallace was here for a cup of coffee.

EDIT- I didn't want to make another blog post so I added the CMG interview from al.com here.

I'll just say I didn't come away impressed.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Underclassmen declaration watch and some other sports thoughts

The list so far from espn:

Arron Afflalo, SG, UCLA
Corey Brewer, SG, Florida
Roy Bright, G, Delaware State
Chris Daniels, C, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Glen Davis, F, LSU
Kevin Durant, F, Texas
Taurean Green, PG, Florida
DeVon Hardin, C, California*
Spencer Hawes, C, Washington*
Al Horford, PF, Florida
Dominic McGuire, F, Fresno State*
Josh McRoberts, F, Duke
Joakim Noah, F/C, Florida
Jason Smith, PF, Colorado State*
Marcus Williams, SF, Arizona
Julian Wright, F, Kansas

* To preserve college eligibility, player has not hired an agent

I expect at least a dozen more to declare in the next week or so.

Semi-humorous note- My "hometown" Atlanta Hawks played the Boston Celtics last night in what we have to call a lottery game. I didn't watch (and have not watched the NBA since 1999), but I have to imagine they both tried to lose. Ironic that the Hawks can't lose when they need to and can't win when they want to.

An annual hockey post- I didn't watch a single regular season game all year, but I'm tuned in for the playoffs. The NHL playoffs might be the best of the major sports (if hockey is still considered a major sport) and I'm rooting for the NY Islanders to summon the ghosts of Billy Smith, Mike Bossy, and Dennis Potvin to upset the #1 seed Buffalo Sabres. Fat chance.

Ok, I'm hoping the Atlanta Thrashers beat the crap out of the NY Rangers. This one's more probable. Now I need to figure out what channel Versus is on. Regardless, I suggest you check out the NHL playoffs... just about every game goes to the wire.

Baseball:
- Alex Rodriguez is ON FIRE! It's his potential contract year so he might have some inspiration.
- Jonathan Papelbon is unhittable right now. As a Yankee fan I hope he follows in the footsteps of Eric Gagne and only sustains this for another year.
- The Atlanta Braves are 6-1... and Brian McCann IMO is the best catcher in the majors. The 2007 Braves are a rootable bunch... a good mixture of proven veterans and up and coming stars produced by their farm system. Also, Tim Hudson is looking like the guy they got from Oakland. If him and Chuck James can produce this year the Braves have a legitimate shot at winning the World Series.

That's all... I'll throw some periodical updates on underclassmen declaring as I read/hear them.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Pelphrey to become next Arkansas coach

I knew they could do better than Altman and IMO they did. Alias is crying in his chocolate milk right now. :)

Link here

Many believed Pelphrey was waiting on the Kentucky job, but since that didn't work out he took the next best basketball job in the SEC (sorry, Florida is a great job now, but hasn't always been).

Pelphrey should win right out of the gate... Stan Heath brought in some talented players and they should be the SEC West favorite (and probably the SEC favorite overall). Good hire by the Hogs... even though they went to plan H... eheh.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Non basketball... blog attack courtesy of the Herd

I'm sure many of you read about Colin Cowherd's listener attack on thebiglead.com. If you haven't, here's the cliff notes version (funny that this came from espn.com).

I'm late to the party on this one as it's been covered by numerous sports blogs, but I had to make a comment on it,

Full disclosure- I've listened to his radio show in the past and came away unimpressed. Then again, I find national sports talk shows nauseating so that's no surprise.

I guess what I'm surprised at is how loyal some of his listeners are to him... or should I say how stupid they really are. What a bunch of sheep.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Gillispie and Huggins bail Big 12 and some comments

Billy Gillispie is the new HC at Kentucky while Bob Huggins bails after a year in Manhattan (KS) for Morgantown, WV.

Instead of giving you links to their moves I thought it would be better to give you links to A&M, Kentucky, Kansas State, and West Virginia messageboards.

Texas A&M Scout board (Basketball). They're just a tad pissed off.
Kentucky messageboard (rivals version was down). They're generally happy.
Kansas State Scout board (Basketball). I don't blame the fanbase for being pissed.
West Virginia Scout board (Basketball). They seemed fired up about Huggie Bear.

What good is a contract when coaches come and go as they please? If I was under contract and tried to leave my company for another I'd be sued or at the very least face some serious scrutiny. Why bother to write up a contract when a coach is going to leave the program high and dry after a few years. That is what Huggins did to Kansas State and to a lesser degree what Gillispie did to A&M. I know Gillispie verbally agreed to a contract extension just last week so technically he's less slimy, but in the end he did slither out of College Station in a similar fashion to Huggins.

It's hypocritical that coaches can up and leave as they please yet the student-athletes they recruited are stuck. I truly believe that if a coach leaves the program the players he recruited should have the opportunity to transfer. My exceptions would be transfering to a school in the same conference or following the coach to his new school.

So now Arkansas, Kansas State, and Texas A&M have coaching slots to fill. I'm thinking Gregg Marshall will go to Arkansas and A&M will hire one of Gillispie's assistants to fill their void.

What about Kansas State? I wouldn't be surprised if CMG's name wasn't one of the names bounced around for the gig. Why would I say that... well here's a couple of reasons:

1) Kansas State cares more about basketball. They just do. CMG wouldn't have to play 2nd fiddle to football.
2) The growing pressure here and the possibility for a change of scenery. Note CMG's responses to some of the criticism directed towards him this year.

I don't think this comes to fruition, but truth be told I wouldn't be the least bit surprised.

EDIT- Kansas State hires assistant Frank Martin. The A&M job is still available.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Bama to Play Georgetown in Hoops

This may be bad news, but....

December 5 (Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center; Birmingham, Ala.)
7:00 p.m. West Virginia vs. Auburn – ESPN2
9:30 p.m. Georgetown vs. Alabama – ESPN

December 6 (The Wachovia Center; Philadelphia, Pa.)
7:00 p.m. South Carolina vs. Providence – ESPN2
9:30 p.m. LSU vs. Villanova – ESPN

SEC/Big East Invitational

It's never too early for a preseason top 25...

is it?

No Gators as pretty much the entire team is declaring.... Tennessee is the highest ranked SEC squad. Mississippi State comes in at #24.

Going into next year Kansas, UCLA, North Carolina, and Memphis should be the favorites to make the Final Four. I'm hoping we can make a return to the big dance. I'm lying, a one and done in the NCAAs won't be good enough for me next year, despite low expectations. Hopefully, this view is shared by the powers that be in the athletic department, but I'm guess it's not.

Other links:
- 2 Arkansas players busted for mary jane.
- Donovan says he's staying in Gainesville.
- Huggins rumored to West Virginia.

Comments:
- Basketball players smoking pot.... say it ain't so?
- Donovan staying at UF... not overly surprising, but IMO his stock is as high as it'll ever be (no duh).
- Huggins to West Virginia... wow. That sucks for Kansas State... and is great for West Virginia.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Tom Asbury announces his retirement from coaching

TUSCALOOSA - Tom Asbury, an assistant coach on Mark Gottfried’s University of Alabama staff for the past four seasons, will retire from coaching when his current contract expires in July. Asbury, 61, came out of coaching retirement in April of 2003 when he joined the staff at Alabama.

“This is something that actually has been in the planning since the beginning of the season,” said Asbury who was head coach at Pepperdine from 1988-94 and Kansas State from 1994-2000. “It became apparent around the first of the year that I was not going to be able to continue to commit to the hours and demands of coaching. Mark and I discussed from the start that I wanted to do this for three or four years and because of health issues that have arisen in my family in the last year I had decided earlier this year that this would be my last year of coaching.”

Asbury will remain a part of the University of Alabama’s athletic department staff in another capacity.


From rolltide.com

Let's see who replaces TA... hopefully it's a defensive-minded coach. Hopefully the coach has some input.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Altman returns to Creighton... career suicide

Altman is now stuck with Creighton for life after accepting and then changing his mind on the Arkansas gig.

This is similiar to when Rich Rodriguez accepted and then changed his mind on the Alabama football job. I suspect in the end Arkansas will do better... and like us in football will take a big P.R. hit because of this Altman change of heart.

Next up... Gregg Marshall at Winthrop and maybe Eustachy at Southern Miss.

Monday, April 02, 2007

End of the season equals coaching carosuel

Stan Heath to South Florida (USF).
John Beilein to Michigan.
Dana Altman to Arkansas.
Todd Lickliter to Iowa.

The ones I'm surprised at are Beilein to Michigan and Lickliter to Iowa. Beilein should've waited for a bigger gig and Lickliter IMO is not moving up much in his move to Iowa City.

Altman to Arkansas is a curious hire. I think he's a good coach and will have Arkansas on top of the SEC West most of the time, but I think they could've waited and hired a bigger name.

Stan Heath to USF is good for both parties. Heath is better suited for a smaller school and USF hired the best coach they've ever had.