Tagged with "College"
Musings From The Hoodwood 3-3...the latest spec sheet
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: College Basketball

This weeks column is dedicated to the enduring memory of my grandmother Lorene Hare (1925-1993) who was the foundation of Hoodwood before anyone really knew what it was or what it could be…

The countdown to selection Sunday is on 12 days…this is most intense time of the year. People always go crazy about the tourney, but it’s the mad scramble to get a dance invite in which I find the most fascinating. The games are more intense and the stakes are never higher. The mid-majors and smaller conferences are ramping up for their respective conference tourneys where in many conferences only one berth will be gained. With apologies to the holiday and football bowl season. This really is the most wonderful time of the year. There will also be listed the dates and locations of Conference tournaments and in coming days teams will start earning their tourney bids and these will be noted as well.

 

 

Atlantic Coast
Conference Class-Power
Going: Virginia, North Carolina, Louisville, Duke, Notre Dame
Hoping For The Best: Miami-FL, NC State, Pitt, Clemson
Skinny on the ACC:  Virginia becomes the first team not named Duke or UNC to win back to back ACC regular season titles since NC State in 1973-74 in spite of a horrid first half in the Carrier Dome. The hoping group all right now sit at .500 in the conference the schedule sits just perfect where these teams will face each other in the regular season and possibly in the first or second round of the ACC tourney so a lot could shake out here soon.

Key Games: NC State @ Clemson Tuesday 9p (ACC Net\ESPN Full Court) Miami @ Pitt Wednesday 9p (ACC Net\ESPN Full Court) These may very well be elimination games for the last ACC berth, The Pack head into Death Valley to face the Tigers first then the Miami has to deal with the rowdy Oakland Zoo, winner stay in contention, loser drop to in it to win it status

Projected Bids: 6

Atlantic Ten
Conference Class- Mid-Major
Solid Dayton,VCU

Work to do: UMass, Rhode Island, Davidson
The A-10 Spec is: Are the Rams in trouble? After the Flyers roll into Richmond and come out with a hard fought win, you might think so but there still a three way log jam atop the A-10. I still see only four coming out here though UMass is making a late if futile push

Key Games Rhode Island at Dayton U Tuesday 7p (CBSSN) Winner here is in the drivers seat for the top seed line in the A-10 tourney VCU at Davidson Thursday 9p (ESPNU)  If  Davidson win the log jam atop the A-10 goes to the final day if VCU wins they stay within striking distance of the A-10 lead but will need help to win it.

Projected Bids: 4

 

American

Conference Class-Major

Going SMU,  Tulsa, Cincy

Hoping For : Temple, UConn
 

All-American Spec: The American has three maybe four bids to garner and suddenly there are more teams than bids. SMU got zapped by UConn and are now out the American lead. Cincy is looking better as they have won their last three, they are tied with Temple and with UConn making a late push this conference is getting really messy and intriguing. Tulsa is now the king of the hill but now has a tough final pair of games; by sheer luck of schedule the top 6 teams in the conference are facing each other in some combination of their last two games
Key Game: Cincinnati at Tulsa Wednesday 9p (CBSSN) Suddenly thrust into the king of the hill role the Hurricane cant afford to look ahead to a high stakes showdown with SMU next Sunday as they first have to deal with a resurgent Bearcats squad who desperately want to stay out of the 4/5 quarterfinal tourney game slot

Projected Bids: 4

 



Big East 
Conference Class-Major
Solid: Villanova, Providence,  Butler

Work to do: Xavier, Georgetown, St. Johns
Big East Skinny: Nova went into Cincy and after spotting X a big lead stormed back for a conference clinching win, Providence is ranked and safe. Of the Muskies, Johnnies and Hoyas the former two are the safest. I just cant believe the hype the Hoyas are trying to sell especially after the Johnnies just housed them in MSG

Key Games: Georgetown at Butler Tuesday 7p (FS1) The Hoyas are running out of chances to make a good impression on the committee going to Hinkle and winning would go a long way to the end

Projected bids: 5

Big Ten 
Conference Class-Power
Solid: Wisconsin, Maryland, Purdue, Ohio State

Work to do: Indiana, Iowa, Michigan State
The word on the Big Ten is: I think that both the Boilers and Bucks are now safe, but I cant give a pass to Michigan State or Iowa. Indiana should be thankful that they are still on this list after their last shameful loss to Northwestern, they have alternated wins and losses since late January. That’s no way to impress the committee.

Key Game:  Iowa @ Indiana Tuesday 7p (BTN) Is this an elimination game? It just might very well be as both teams are squarely on the bubble.

Projected Bids: 5

Big 12
Conference Class-Power
Solid: Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Baylor, Iowa State
Work to do: Oklahoma State, Texas
Skinny from the heartland: Iowa State with a thrilling comeback over Oklahoma moves into 2nd here and to the opposite side of the Big 12 tourney bracket for the moment. Texas fans stop barking that they should be in, a grimy win over Baylor in OT at home doesn’t get you a move uptown, they will need to get at least to Saturday in Kansas City to get consideration. The Pokes are just about done after a shameful loss against cellar dwelling Texas Tech

Key Game: West Virginia at Kansas 9p (ESPN2) The Jayhawks can clinch the #1 seed in the Big 12 tourney with a win

Projected Bids: 5

 

Conference USA
Conference Class-Mid Major
Solid: Louisana Tech, Old Dominion
Work to do: UTEP
Oh Say Can You C-USA Spec: I took this conference off the big list, thinking it was a one bid but they could earn two bids. I think the Bulldogs are home free, meanwhile there is a massive log jam for the 2 spot to avoid LA Tech until the finale

Key Game: Southern Miss at LA Tech Sat 8p The Bulldogs can clinch the #1 seed in the C-USA with a win

Projected Bids: 2
 



Missouri Valley
Conference Class-Mid Major
Solid: Wichita State, Northern Iowa
Work to do: Evansville, Illinois State
Missouri Valley Skinny: The Shockers win the MVC regular season title and you can bet that the Panthers will be waiting for them next week in the Arch Madness finale

Missouri Valley Confernce Tournament: March 5-8 Scottrade Center St. Louis

Projected Bids: 2


Mountain West
Conference Class-Major
Solid: San Diego State, Boise State, Colorado State
Work to do: Wyoming
Spec from the Mountains: The safe teams are still just that, though Colorado State sits closer to the fence line than they would like but I still think that they are safe.

Key Game: Utah State at Wyoming Wednesday 9p Both teams need the win to get better seeding for the MWC tourney

Projected Bids: 4


Pacific 12
Conference Class-Power
Solid: Arizona, Utah, Oregon
Work to do: UCLA, Stanford, Oregon State
Spec from the left coast:  No real changes here, UCLA isn’t in and wont be at least until they make the Pac12 Semis in Vegas. Stanford is running out time and chances to impress and Oregon States meager chance may have evaporated after getting housed at Cal but then again…

Key Games: Oregon @ Oregon St Wednesday 11p (ESPNU) The Beavers have just about run out of chances but beating their hated in-state rivals might buy them more time short of winning the whole thing in Vegas

Projected Bids: 3



Southeastern 
Conference Class-Power
Solid: Kentucky, Arkansas
Work to do: LSU, Texas A&M, Georgia, Ole Miss
Spec is Down South:  No real change here, UK is marking time as a marked team. Arkansas is quality but just not ready and will be uite happy to sit opposite of the rampaging Cats until the finale in Nashville. 

Key Game: Kentucky at Georgia  9p Tonight (ESPN) Kentucky’s last true road game, the Dawgs instantly go uptown with the biggest resume win of them all.

Projected Bids: 4
 


West Coast 
Conference Class- Mid Major
Going: Gonzaga, BYU
Hoping for the Best: St. Mary’s
West Coast Spec:  Leave it to BYU, to throw a massive monkey wrench into the works. The Coogs rolled into the Kennel and handed the Bulldogs a bittersweet sendoff for the Gonzaga seniors and prevented a clean sheet WCC skein. The Coogs now have the momentum to steal a bid outright as WCC or least stay in the conversation legitimately as a contender for an at-large.

West Coast Conference Championship Tournament Mar 6-10 Orleans Arena, Las Vegas
Projected Bids: 2



There are others in the mix to be sure. Teams from the always dangerous (Projected winners in Parentheses) Colonial (UNC Wilmington) and Big South (Coastal Carolina) always are in the mix and can send multiple teams. Of course the champions from the following conferences get an automatic bid: Amer. East (Albany) , Atlantic Sun (Florida Gulf Coast), Big Sky (Sacramento State), Big West (Cal-Davis), Horizon (Valpo), Ivy (Harvard), MAC (Central Michigan), MAAC (Iona) , MEAC (North Carolina Central), Northeast (St. Francis), Ohio Valley (Murray State), Patriot (Bucknell), Southern (Wofford), Southland (Sam Houston St) , Sun Belt (Georgia St), Summit (South Dakota St) , and SWAC (Alabama State) WAC (New Mexico State)

Since this is still just spec, nothing here is solid and we haven't even brought up the possibility of upsets. But those never happen, right?

Next Update: Friday

 

 

Wrapping Up My Sunday Basketball Games
Category: User Showcase
Tags: BostonCeltics WomensCollegeBasketball BostonCollegeWomensBasketball TennesseeLadyVols HartfordHawksWomensBasketball MissouriStateWomensBasketball

 

Five of the basketball teams I follow were in action on Sunday afternoon and evening, but the first bit of news I wanted to share was that Boston College men's basketball player Olivier Hanlan being named the ACC Player of the Week.

You can check out the photo below to see exactly why he got the award.

BOSTON CELTICS

The Celtics had won 7 out of their last 10 games going into last night's game against the NBA's top dog team the Golden State Warriors. And the Celtics started off the game on fire as they opened up a 26 point lead on the Warriors.

And that's why the team going on to LOSE 106-101 engendered such a feeling of disappointment in me. I just don't understand how in the world Boston could lose this game after building up such a big lead. And those that would make the argument that the disparity in the team's records might account for why Golden State was able to come back and win need to shut the hell up! The loss drops the Celtics to 23-34 so obviously the two teams have very different records.

I just can't understand how one team can simply stop playing or get beaten after building up that lead. What happened to their momentum? Or their defense (they gave up 37 points to Stephen Curry)? Or, HELLO, their offense.

Argh!

Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics with 20 points. Tyler Zeller added 17 points and 6 boards.

Brandon Bass (pictured below) finished with a 15 point, 12 rebound double double. Marcus Smart (10 points, 6 rebounds) and Jae Crowder (9 points and a game high 17 boards) also contributed.

Evan Turner (pictured below) rounded out the big contributors for the Celtics in the game. He had 10 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists.

By the way, Isaiah Thomas was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week on Monday.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

It was Senior Day for all four of my women's college teams yesterday.

Hartford - The Hawks hosted Stony Brook and got a 17 point 12 board performance from Cherelle Moore (pictured below) on their way to a 56-49 victory. The win puts them at 14-16 (8-8 in conference) as they move into the post season America East tournament.

Deanna Mayza added 15 points in support of Moore while Morgan Lumb finished with 14 points.

Here's a look at the four graduating seniors (L-R: Amber Bepko, Katie Roth, Cherelle Moore and Shanise Bultron).

You can check out highlights from the game and postgame comments below.

Missouri State - Before the Bears game against Drake, the Springfield News-Leader ran a story on backup guard Kori Farmer (pictured below) that you can read HERE.

As for the game itself, the Bears won their sixth game in a row with an 86-57 defeat of Drake. With two games left to play in the regular season, The team is now 14-13 (11-5 in MVC play).

The offense was led by 16 points and 6 assists from Kenzie Williams (pictured 1st). The lone senior on the team this year was NiJay Gaines (pictured 2nd). She finished her final regular season home game with 11 points and 6 boards. Tyonna Snow (who was named MVC Player of the Week) added 10 points and 5 boards.

 

Tennessee LADY VOLS - On Senior Day, the Lady Vols blew out Vanderbilt 79-49 behind 26 points (including 8 three pointers) from Ariel Massengale (pictured below). The win leaves the team at 25-4 (15-1 in conference) as they head into the SEC tournament.

Jaime Nared (pictured below 1st) had 17 points while Cierra Burdick (pictured 2nd) and Andraya Carter (pictured 3rd) scored 12 points each.

 

The three seniors honored before the game were Massengale, Burdick and Isabelle Harrison. Harrison was lost for the season a week or so ago, but was briefly inserted into the game to be on the court during her final regular season home game.

Boston College Women - Shayra Brown and Victoria Lesko (who I don't think played all season) were honored before the game. This was also the game that my former player Gabby was going to be in attendance for. I picked up 5 tickets for her back on Thanksgiving night. She took 3 of her friends and her mother went as the chaperone. Here's a pic of them from the game. (Gabby is on the far left, while another ex-player of mine, Kendall, is on the far right).

As for the game, it all came down to the most fundamental of necessary skills. Boston College trailed 47-40 late in their game against Virginia Tech, but they went on a 9-0 run to end the game. The run was capped off by freshman Katie Quandt (8 points) hitting two foul shots with 2.5 seconds left to give the Eagles the 49-47 victory.

Kelly Hughes (pictured below 1st) led BC with 17 points. Emilee Daley (pictured 2nd) had 8 points and Nicole Boudreau had 5 rebounds and 4 assists to go with her 8 points.

 

The Eagles finished the regular season 13-16 overall and a 5-11 ACC record. The Eagles will play Wake Forest in the first round of the ACC tournament on Wednesday.

You can see highlights of the game and the post game press conference below.

 

 

 

Sunday Musings #188
Category: User Showcase
Tags: HighSchoolBasketball BostonCeltics BostonCollegeEaglesBasketball MissouriStateWomensBasketball NFL CollegeBasketball

 

While trying to get rid of this nagging aching back...

 

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter - @TheOneTrueJay

I don't want to oversell things too much, but with the passing of actor/director Leonard Nimoy this past Friday, I wanted to stop for a moment and remember the man and his portrayal of Mr. Spock on Star Trek.

While it would be facetious to claim that his portrayal of the eminently logical half-Vulcan character is solely responsible for any sense of logic/realism that I display, given that I grew up on the re-runs of the original series, it would also be a lie if a little bit of the credo of the character didn't have something to do with my more rational side.

I was at my job when a co-worker told me that he had died. Oddly enough, I had a Star Trek novel in my work bag that I was planning to read at lunchtime. The title? A Ceremony of Losses. While the story has nothing to do with Spock himself, that's what the family, friends and yes fandom at large will be feeling for a while now, a ceremony of loss as everyone celebrates and remembers the life of Leonard Nimoy.

I posted a comment about his death on my Twitter page that read as follows: "He lived long and we all prospered for it." Actor Nathan Fillion had a great tweet paraphrasing one of the more memorable quotes from Spock: "I have been, and always shall be, your fan. Thank you."

On Nimoy's Twitter page, his final tweet read:

"A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP"

You can read a more complete article about his life HERE.

To everyone reading, may you live long and prosper as well as he did.

 

 

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL

I know it is a bit of a shake up in how I normally place my sections but with the state tournament underway here in Massachusetts, I wanted to give a little extra spotlight to the four teams I follow that made said tournament.

But first, I just wanted to weigh in a little on that story out of the Tennessee girls high school basketball tournament. It seems that two teams were thrown out of the playoffs after both were found to be intentionally trying to lose their matchup. This was being done so that they could avoid the top team in the double elimination tournament in the next round.

Yes, you read that right. The coaches of each team were trying (and ordering their players) to throw the game!

I have absolutely no sympathy for either team in this story. When you step on the court, you are supposed to try to win the game. That is the point of keeping score. Not only should both teams have been expelled from the tournament but the coaches should've been immediately fired and banned from coaching in the state of Tennessee (if not everywhere) ever again.

You can read more about this travesty of competition in this Yahoo article.

Bishop Stang Boys - In what turned out to be Jake's last high school basketball game, the Spartans got slaughtered 71-47 by Hanover on Thursday night. Jake had 2 points in the game. Bishop Stang finishes the season at 12-9.

Wareham Boys - The Vikings had a hard time in their opening round game against Abington, but they rallied back from a late deficit to force overtime. In the overtime period, Wareham took over and grabbed a 74-66 victory. None of my players scored in the game, but you can see a photo below (from the Standard Times newspaper) of the Viking bench as the team pulled ahead in overtime. Josh (#22) and Ashantay (the shorter of the two standing players in gold warmup shirts) are in the shot.

You can read the game report HERE.

You can see Mark on defense in this pic by the Wareham Courier's Adam K. Ellis.

On Saturday afternoon, the Vikings were matched up with Martha's Vineyard. This would be the sixth straight year that the two teams met each other in the state tournament. Martha's Vineyard held a 3-2 advantage in the previous five games. However, this day belonged to the Vikings. After the Vineyard led by 3 points at the end of the first quarter, Wareham got rolling and ended up blowing them out 75-56 to advance to the next round of the playoffs.

Mark had 9 points in the game, including 7 straight points during a big Vikings run in the first half of the game. Josh finished with 4 points. The big star of the game was this kid named Jovahn. He's not one of my ex-players but he had a career high 32 points (including 7 three pointers). And he isn't a one dimensional player either as he was tasked with defending the Vineyard's seven foot tall player as well. You can read more about the game HERE.

Wareham (19-5) now moves on to a Wednesday night rematch with down the road rivals Old Rochester, the team that beat them twice this year and ended their run of South Coast Conference regular season titles. The game will be held at Old Rochester and if it is anything like the two games they've already played this season, it will be another instant classic.

By the way, while I generally don't have much use for cheerleaders, the regional paper covering the game had a photo of a few of the Wareham cheerleaders. Two of them played basketball for me when they were in the the youth league. China is second from the left and Heather is second from the right in the Standard Times photo below.

Wareham Girls - The Wareham Vikings faced off against Old Rochester for the third time this season. The first two games ended with each team taking a 1 point victory. In this third matchup, Wareham opened up a big first half lead and then had to hold off a big rally from the Bulldogs. They ended up winning 36-31 for their first playoff victory since 2011.

Tieyanna led Wareham with 13 points. Gabby had 3 points. Erica added 2 points and Kali hit a foul shot in the game.

You can see a few photos from the game below. They are all from the Wareham Courier online gallery by Adam K. Ellis.

Tieyanna and Gabby on the floor for a loose ball.

Tieyanna making a play for the ball.

Kali on defense.

The team celebrates (Gabby #10 is featured prominently in the two pics below)

Wareham's "reward" for winning their first round game was a matchup against top seeded Abington on Friday night. Unfortunately for Wareham, the seeding wasn't a mirage as they just got curbstomped 70-16 to see their season come to a crushing end.

They didn't score more than 6 points in any one quarter and according to the game report got pressed to death even when the game was completely out of hand. The coach was quoted saying "They humiliated us."

Kali had 4 points in the game while Gabby and Tieyanna finished with 3 points each. Wareham finishes the season at 15-9.

Upper Cape Girls - The Rams opened up their state tourney run with their fourth meeting of the season against Old Colony. The game was a blowout from the start and Upper Cape rolled to a 48-24 victory. Michaela scored 4 points in the game and was mentioned in the paper as "sparking the team defensively."

The team went on the road to play Falmouth Academy on Friday night. After a first quarter that found them down just 8-5, the Rams never got closer than that for the rest of the game. Michaela had 3 fouls in the first quarter and when Falmouth Academy went on a 13-0 run to open things up, the game was effectively over.

Upper Cape went on to lose 54-31, ending their season with a 20-4 overall record.

In her last high school basketball game, Michaela scored 2 points.

By the way, I sent a tweet out Friday night making note of the fact I don't think it is right that the catholic schools that can recruit players take part in the same tournament as teams that can't recruit. Well, it struck a little bit of a chord because nearly half of the Apponequet girls team that lost to one of those catholic schools retweeted or favorited my comment.

NFL

Since making that Super Bowl clinching interception, life has been a non-stop whirlwind for Malcolm Butler. The appearance on the Grammys, being feted wherever he went, getting the truck from Brady's MVP win. But for a little bit of a look inside his hometown hero parade, you can check out this MMQB.com article.

BOSTON CELTICS

The Celtics opened up their week with a very disappointing 118-111 overtime loss to the Lakers. The L.A. win ended their 7 games losing streak. Boston got 22 points and 7 rebounds from Jae Crowder.

Newly acquired Isaiah Thomas (pictured below) scored 21 points in the game but was ejected in the latter part of the contest. Avery Bradley also scored 21 points in the game while Brandon Bass finished with 15 points. Evan Turner added 12 points, 12 assists and 6 boards. Tyler Zeller chipped in with 8 points and a team high 11 rebounds.

While that loss left a bad taste in the mouth, the Celtics turned things around in their next two games. Against Phoenix, Boston opened up a 17 point halftime lead but had to hold off a 2nd half flurry from the Suns to capture a 115-110 victory. Thomas scored 21 points and had 7 assists (while not getting ejected), but it was Avery Bradley's (pictured below) 23 points that topped the scoring column for the Celtics. Bradley also grabbed a career high 6 steals.

Bass had 18 points and 6 boards. Tyler Zeller and Jae Crowder combined for 24 points and 13 rebounds while Evan Turner scored 10 points to go with 8 rebounds.

In the team's game against the Knicks, they didn't start out quite as well as they might've hoped, but they got back on track and blew out New York 115-94.

Jonas Jerebko (pictured below, acquired from Detroit in the Tayshaun Prince trade) led the team with 20 points and 5 rebounds. Thomas added 19 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists. Jae Crowder had 18 points and 6 boards and Marcus Smart hit for 16 points. Bradley finished with 12 points. Turner worked to his first career triple double (12 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists).

On Friday night, the Celtics trailed the Charlotte Hornets at the break, but they came back to take a 106-98 victory. Now 22-33 on the season, the win is their third in a row and 7th in the last 10 games.

Isaiah Thomas (pictured below) had 28 points to lead the team. Jonas Jerebko added 16 points and 10 boards. Avery Bradley scored 19 points with Jae Crowder finishing with 14 points. Marcus Smart chipped in 10 points.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

What the heck is going on with now former Louisville point guard Chris Jones? First he gets suspended, then when he's about to be reinstated, he ends up being kicked off the team. And then on Thursday came the news that he's now being charged with rape

How the hell did the wheels come off his wagon in such a short amount of time?

In a completely opposite end of the spectrum story, SI.com had a story this week about the men's team at Mt. Angel Abbey. The roster is comprised entirely of monks and priests in training. Here's the LINK.

Catholic University - In the semifinal game of the Landmark Conference tournament, the Cardinals knocked off Elizabethtown 52-47. Amber didn't play in the game.

The win gave them a berth in the tournament final against Scranton on Saturday afternoon. Scranton was the favorite. Amber didn't play in the game but her team ended up winning 52-51 in a squeaker. The win clinches them the Landmark Conference tournament and an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament.

Amber is 2nd from the right in the back row of the photo below.

Hartford - The Hawks let their game against UMBC slip away, losing 53-51. Deanna Mayza led the team with 12 points and Morgan Lumb added 11 points and 7 rebounds. Darby Lee (pictured 1st) had 9 points while Christie Michals (pictured 2nd) finished with 5 points and a career high 7 rebounds.

 

On Thursday night, the Hawks lost to Albany 65-50. The loss drops the team's record to 13-16, with a 7-8 America East conference record. Amber Bepko (pictured below) led the team and had her first career double double with 16 points and 11 boards. The rebounding total is also her career high in that statistical category. 

Cherelle Moore added 11 points and 9 boards while Morgan Lumb tallied 9 points.

Missouri State - Missouri State scored a season high in points as they beat Illinois State 90-78. Kenzie Williams scored 25 points and Liza Fruendt added a career high 21 points. Tyonna Snow had a huge game with a season high 19 points to go with 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 6 steals.

Heading into the team's final two regular season games, the Springfield News Leader newspaper had an article on the Bears' lone senior NiJay Gaines.

Friday night's game against Northern Iowa saw the Bears in their Play4Kay pink uniforms. Tyonna Snow (pictured below 1st) scored 25 points, grabbed 5 boards and made 4 steals to lead the team, but it was Kenzie Williams (pictured below 2nd) who made the lasting impression of the night when she hit a buzzer beating left handed layup to set off a big celebration and sent the home crowd into a frenzy. Williams ended the night with 13 points and a team high 8 rebounds. Hillary Chvatal (pictured 3rd) added 13 points for the now 13-13 (10-5 in MVC play) Bears. The win puts them into a third place tie in their conference. You can read the game article from the Springfield News-Leader HERE.

 

By the way, you can check out a video profile of Kenzie Williams below.

Boston College Men - The Eagles wasted a 39 point outburst from Olivier Hanlan (pictured below), losing to Pitt 71-65 earlier in the week. Hanlan's point total was his new season high and just 2 points off of his career high.

My first thought after seeing Hanlan's stat line and the fact that they still lost the game was that there just seems to be no chance for Hanlan coming back for his senior year. He's proving that he can score against the best teams in the ACC but that the Eagles will almost never actually win any of these games.

Aaron Brown (see below) had 20 points. Dennis Clifford led the team with 8 rebounds.

The Eagles picked up their 2nd ACC win of the season yesterday when they knocked off North Carolina State 79-63. Continuing his amazing run of high scoring performances, Olivier Hanlan scored 24 points and grabbed 8 boards in the game.

But Hanlan (pictured below 1st) had a lot of help in today's win. Patrick Heckmann scored 14 points to go with 7 assists. Aaron Brown (pictured 2nd) added 13 points and Dimitri Batten (pictured 3rd) finished with 11 points (he tied Hanlan for a game high 8 rebounds. Dennis Clifford (pictured 4th) had 10 points and 5 rebounds.

 

 

Boston College is now 10-18 overall (2-14 in the ACC). You can see highlights of the game below.

Tennessee LADY VOLS - Tennessee's SEC win streak came to an end to start their week. They ended up losing to #2 South Carolina 71-66 despite a 20 point, 7 rebound performance from Bashaara Graves (pictured below). The loss leaves the Lady Vols at 23-4 (now 13-1 in the SEC). It was the team's first conference loss in more than a year.

Boston College Women - The Eagles found themselves on the wrong end of a beating early in the week. Squaring off against #9 Florida State, the Eagles had just 7 players see time in the game. The final score was 86-68.

Emilee Daley (pictured below 1st) scored a team high 17 points to lead BC. She grabbed 7 rebounds. On the downside for her, she led the team with 7 turnovers.

Kelly Hughes (pictured below) added 16 points and 9 rebounds. Nicole Boudreau also scored 16 points while dishing out 6 assists. By the way, you can check out a profile article about Hughes HERE.

Ashley Kelsick (pictured 1st) scored 12 points to go with 6 assists. Karima Gabriel (shown below 2nd) scored 4 points, made 5 steals and blocked a career high 5 shots.

 

You can see highlights from the game and the post game press conference in the two videoclips below.

By the way, you can check out an article from the BC student newspaper about guard Martina Mosetti HERE.

The team was on the road on Thursday to play Louisville. A poor first half saw the Eagles down by 15 points. They played marginally better in the 2nd half of the game but it wasn't enough to stave off a 77-60 loss. Their record is now 12-16 (4-11 in the ACC).

Nicole Boudreau's (shown 1st) team leading 12 points put her over the 1,000 point mark for her career. Emilee Daley and Ashley Kelsick (shown 2nd) had 10 points each. Kelly Hughes scored 8 points and had a team high 8 rebounds.

 

MISCELLANEOUS SPORTS ARTICLES OF THE WEEK

One of the sports columnists for The Standard Times, Buddy Thomas, had a very good piece looking at the Little League World Series scandal. You can check it out HERE

MISCELLANEOUS

TV - The Pop-topia.com recap article for the latest Arrow episode "Nanda Parbat" can be read via this link.

Books - This week I finished reading the new Jane Lawless mystery by author Ellen Hart. The Old Deep and Dark centered on the death of a country music star and a series of bodies found tucked away in the walls of a theater owned by the main character's sidekick. Once again, Hart crafts a winning tale that ties things together in a neat way without seeming to be forced for the sake of plot convenience.

Meanwhile, I got name dropped by author Sara Paretsky on her Facebook page. She had posted a link about an 11 year old girl that wrote to DC Comic about the lack of female super heroes. I read the letter and found it a bit inaccurate. So I wrote a reply to Paretsky detailing some of the facts that were missed in the letter. The next day, the author wrote a new post mentioning my name, what I wrote and more details about what she thought of the story as well.

Oh and I picked up another new book this week as well. This time it is the Mary Daheim mystery The Alpine Yeoman. It is the latest paperback edition in her Emma Lord series.

Music - The first bit of news this week revolves around the release of new music. Here in the US, most new albums are released on Tuesdays. But in a big bit of uniformity, beginning sometime this summer ALL new music releases WORLDWIDE will come out on Fridays. You can read more about the story HERE.

A new Whitesnake album was announced this week. Due out in May, The Purple Album is a tribute to the songs of Deep Purple during the time in which David Coverdale (the Whitesnake singer/leader) was in the band.

I'm rather disappointed in this news because I was looking forward to some NEW music from the band now that they hired ex-Night Ranger guitarist Joel Hoekstra. You can see the video for the band's cover version of the song "Stormbringer" below.

A new album from melodic rock outfit FM is due out in April. You can check out the video for their new song "Digging Up The Dirt" below.

Deep Thoughts
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Ranger College Baseball MLB Rob Manfred Gregg Zaun Cal Ripken Jr.

 

Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. Today, I wish I could borrow from Marshawn Lynch and go with I am here so I won’t get fined. I write a blog because I enjoy writing…usually. Maybe it is because the weather here has been lousy or maybe my biorhythms are out of whack…but I am just not feeling it today.

Last weekend, Carl Spackler and I took a quick trip to Ranger Texas to check watch a double header against Western Texas College. As a dad trying to catch some of the season’s games…you never know what you are going to get. Good fortune smiled on this trip as Blake had a really good game. A single, double and a bases loaded walk in the first game was his most productive day so far in this young season. But, the play that had Carl and I talking on the way home was the play on the swinging bunt that Blake somehow managed to throw out the runner. The guy running was a middle infielder and the ball was at least 20 feet from the plate toward 3rd base. It looked like an infield hit to everyone but Blake. The ball was still in his hand when the runner was two strides from 1B. The pea rod Blake threw just nipped the runner at first…damn. The next hitter drove a hard ground ball up the middle and the second baseman make an equally impressive play to get a glove on the ball and then threw out that runner, from his knees.. The final score was a 5 to 0 win for Ranger. It was a terrific game, with both teams flashing the leather. There is nothing like good baseball! After the game we hopped in the car and made a quick hour run up the interstate to visit Baker’s Ribs in Weatherford Texas. The BBQ was great, but I have to admit that the fried apple pie was the big winner for me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                        Blake and Carl Spackler visiting after the game. That is an ice bag on Blake's right shoulder. People forget how much catchers throw.

 

 

 

 

                                                    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image result for baker's ribs

 

 


 

 

 

Image result for cal ripken and gregg zaun

 

Did you happen to see the comments by Gregg Zaun this week? He recalled stories of bullying by Cal Ripken during Zaun’s rookie season. He said it was a good thing as it made him a better player. As I was reading along, I was thinking how strange to hear of this behavior as Ripken has always been portrayed as a good teammate and a good guy. Apparently, Ripken was none too happy with the comments and has vigorously denied the stories. Brady Anderson spoke up to defend the Iron Man, saying…he did not agree with hazing and that it simply did not happen as Zaun remembered it. This is a very strange story…hard to imagine that Zaun would have misremembered so differently. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle, but I think you have to give Ripken the benefit of the doubt. Here is Zaun's link and Ripken's rebuttal:

 

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-big-league-stew/gregg-zaun-says-physical-abuse-from-cal-ripken-jr--kept-him-in-line-071143606.html

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-big-league-stew/cal-ripken-jr--denies-claim-that-he-hazed-orioles-rookies-183448469.html

 

 


You have probably heard that the Red Sox won the Yoan Moncada lottery with a record signing bonus of $31.5 million signing bonus.  Drew Smyly took to twitter to wonder why foreign players were not held to the same money limit that amateur US players are. While I am sure that Sox fans are happy to have the talented Moncada, Smyly’s comments had me asking the same question. Apparently, Rob Manfred shares the same feelings. With more Cuban players on the horizon, we could soon see compensation rules change for foreign players.  Quite honestly…I think that this is a good thing. While I did not agree with Manfred’s thoughts with regard to changing the “pace of play” in MLB, I am happy to see that he is paying attention. The other Manfred comment I found encouraging is that he is open to shortening the MLB season to 154 games. Truthfully, this is a very good idea and I hope this idea gains some traction. This probably won’t happen soon…but at least it is being discussed.

 


 

 

 

alejandro inarritu sean penn

                                               Director Alejandro González Iñárritu and actor Sean Penn in 2003 at a premiere for "21 Grams."

 

 

Did you watch the Academy Awards? I watched about 4 minutes…I turned it on just in time to see Sean Penn make his joke about “who gave this SOB a green card”. Was it funny? Yeah, I guess so. Was it offensive to me? No. Predictably, the liberals have gone wild with criticism of Penn. I am not really a Sean Penn fan, but this is much to do about nothing. I am growing so weary of people being so damn sensitive. If the SOB Penn was talking about thought the joke was “hilarious”…everyone else should just shut up. I guess the only comforting thing is seeing the liberals turning on one of their own. What happened to being able to make a humorous comment without being labeled a racist? Penn and González Iñárritu are friends...shouldn't this make a difference?

In case you missed it...here is the link:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/23/sean-penn-green-card_n_6733238.html

 

 


That is all I have today, but I will leave you with a bit of Jack Handey…

 

Often, when I am reading a good book, I stop and thank my teacher. That is, I used to, until she got an unlisted number.

If you really want to impress people with your computer literacy, add the words “dot com” to the end of everything you say, dot com.

 

Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a few deep thoughts of your own.

 

 

 

Musings From The Hoodwood 2-23 New Spec Sheet
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: College Basketball

Coming down the line to the end of February, the cold is still here but the number of games is dwindling, the margin for error gets smaller and smaller for the so-called bubble teams

 

Atlantic Coast
Conference Class-Power
Solid: Virginia, North Carolina, Louisville, Duke, Notre Dame
Work to do: Miami-Fl, NC State, Clemson, Pitt
Skinny on the ACC:  The question here isn’t about where the solid teams are going. The solid teams are way safe, the working teams really have work to do. A side note, UNC breaking out the four corners to open the game against G-Tech was way way cool.

Key Game: Syracuse at Duke Sat 7p (ESPN) I know, I know the Orange are going nowhere but home in a week but an upset of Duke in Cameron would be a super consolation prize

Projected Bids: 6

Atlantic Ten
Conference Class- Mid-Major
Solid VCU

Work to do: Dayton, UMass, Rhode Island, Davidson
The A-10 Spec is: VCU is safe despite is lurching play, UMass is in ten types of trouble, only their monster numbers (38 RPI, 24 Strength of Sched) keep them on for now. Rhode Island is interchangeable with Davidson in getting in and right now the Rams are closer to the right side of the cut line than the Wildcats. Dayton is at 20 but I think they need a couple wins to firm up their resume

Key Games Dayton at VCU Saturday 2p Both teams are solid but a win here firms up a resume and keeps them on the home side of a tourney bid

Projected Bids: 4

 

American

Conference Class-Major

Solid SMU

Work to do: Cincy, Tulsa, Temple
All-American Spec: SMU is just about home free, they will get in this year. Temple is closing fast. Tulsa is coming apart at the seams and while Cincy got a much needed win over a sad sack Houston but need no slipup from here on out to get their resume back on solid ground.

Projected Bids: 3

 



Big East 
Conference Class-Major
Solid: Villanova, Butler

Work to do: Xavier, Providence, Georgetown, St. Johns
Big East Skinny: Nova is way safe, Butler is too despite the loss to Xavier who has rapidly recovered from their dangerous totter to the back end of the sheet and is maybe a couple wins from getting safe but getting swept by St. Johns hurts them as much as it helps the rapidly recovering Johnnies. Providence is getting closer and closer to safe but I still don’t really know why everyone is so hyped on the Hoyas they have, in my opinion fattened up on a weak schedule. They stay working for the time being.

Key Game: 

Projected bids: 5

Big Ten 
Conference Class-Power
Solid: Wisconsin, Maryland

Work to do: Purdue, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio State, Michigan State
The word on the Big Ten is: Wisky and the Terps are the only teams I feel good about. The Bucks shameful loss to the Wolverines makes their weak schedule standout just that much more and Sparty you have no reason to snicker as you have the same problem and that Texas Southern loss still dogging your resume. Purdue thinks its home free after sweeping Indiana but they aren’t. Indiana is running out of time short of winning the whole shooting match to get in. Iowa? If the Hawks keep winning they will be fine but they are too inconsistent to be sure

Key Game:  Illinois at Iowa 9:00 Wednesday (BTN) Is this a bubble play in game? Quite possibly.

Projected Bids: 6 

Big 12
Conference Class-Power
Solid: Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Baylor, Iowa State
Work to do: Oklahoma State, Texas
Skinny from the heartland:  Kansas has been safe since about New Years seemingly but have a bad habit of dumb losses and getting zapped in Manhattan by the weak Wildcats is a prime example. The Sooners and Bears join the Clones on the safe side of the fence. The Mountaineers are safer than the pundits want to give them credit for. Huggins always seems to get the most out of the least and has done it again in Morgantown. The Pokes and Horns still are on the wrong side of the cut line. This conference will NOT send 70% of its membership.

Key Game: Texas at Kansas 5p The Jayhawks are way safe but the Longhorns are running out of time to make a statement, a win in Allen Fieldhouse would do the trick in spades

Projected Bids: 6

 



Missouri Valley
Conference Class-Mid Major
Solid: Wichita State, Northern Iowa
Work to do: Evansville, Illinois State
Missouri Valley Skinny: The Shockers and Panthers are

Key Game: Northern Iowa @ Wichita State 2p (ESPN2) The regular season title is on the line here, and the coveted top seed at Arch Madness next week.

Projected Bids: 2


Mountain West
Conference Class-Major
Solid: San Diego State, Boise State, Wyoming
Work to do: Colorado State
Spec from the Mountains: Im thinking that this conference will send 4, legitimately. THe Aztecs are safe as are the Broncos and Cowboys. The Rams are almost there but could use another resume firming win

Key Game: Boise State at San Diego State Saturday 8p (ESPN2) Both teams are safe in my view but the Broncos could get a much better seed with a win here

Projected Bids: 4


Pacific 12
Conference Class-Power
Solid: Arizona, Utah
Work to do: UCLA, Oregon, Stanford, Oregon State
Spec from the left coast:  The solid teams are way safe, but the working teams have so many warts its frightening. The Bruins got housed in Tucson. The Ducks are making their case much stronger by beating Utah but even with 20 wins, Im not real sold on them. The Beavers are on the fringe and needs to keep winning to work their way into the conversation.

Key Games: Arizona at Utah (Pac12 Net) Saturday 9pThe Utes are trying to make their bones in the Pac-12 but face their sternest test with a Wildcat team that wants a #1 seed

Projected Bids: 3



Southeastern 
Conference Class-Power
Solid: Kentucky, Arkansas
Work to do: LSU, Texas A&M, Georgia, Ole Miss
Spec is Down South:  The Cats are playing for 40, the Hogs are safe. Now the ugly morass that is the rest of the SEC are living on rep and history rather than solid play. To be honest if any other conference had these records four teams in would be blasphemy, but instead the SEC gets the benefit of the doubt. Ill try to conceal my abject disgust.

Key Game: Arkansas at Kentucky 4p (SEC/ESPN) This may be the last best chance for an SEC team to get the Wildcats who often play indifferent at home, if the Hogs don’t get ‘em we might not be talking about a possible Wildcats loss for another month in Indy.

Projected Bids: 4
 


West Coast 
Conference Class- Mid Major
Solid: Gonzaga
Work to do: St. Mary’s, BYU
West Coast Spec:  The Bulldogs are gunning for an unbeaten WCC season and a top seed in the Big Dance, they haven’t loset in this calendar year. The Gales and Cougars are  trying to stay on the opposite side of the bracket in the WCC tourney and catch the Bulldogs sleepwalking to steal a bid.
Key Game: BYU at Gonzaga Sat 10p The Coogs cry they get no respect but they will get ten tons of it (and maybe solidify a bid) if they can knock off the Bulldogs in the Kennel, good luck though as they hold the nations longest home win streak.

Projected Bids: 2

There are others in the mix to be sure. Teams from the always dangerous (Projected winners in Parentheses) Colonial (Northeastern) and Big South (Coastal Carolina) always are in the mix and can send multiple teams. Of course the champions from the following conferences get an automatic bid: Amer. East (Albany) , Atlantic Sun (Florida Gulf Coast), Big Sky (Sacramento State), Big West (Cal-Davis), Conference USA (Louisiana Tech) Horizon (Valpo), Ivy (Harvard), MAC (Central Michigan), MAAC (Iona) , MEAC (North Carolina Central), Northeast (St. Francis), Ohio Valley (Murray State), Patriot (Bucknell), Southern (Wofford), Southland (Sam Houston St) , Sun Belt (Georgia St), Summit (South Dakota St) , and SWAC (Alabama State) WAC (New Mexico State)

Since this is still early spec, nothing here is solid and we haven't even brought up the possibility of upsets. But those never happen, right.

Next Update: Likely Saturday

 

Phat Dap

Hakim Emmanuel threw a 900 series that’s 3 perfect games. 36 strikes in a row for the first ever 900 series for a Massachusetts bowler.

 

Head Slap

To Roy Williams who criticized the Smith Center fans for being subdued last weekend against Georgia Tech. Sorry RoyBoy, The sorry Wreck aint Duke and beating them by 29 isnt going to get the adrenaline going…the potshot was unneeded.

 

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