Before sitting down to watch the Super Bowl this past Sunday, I had to check in with a bunch of college hoops action as well as the Celtics game. But before we get to that, there was a WNBA note that made me very happy.
Former Boston College star Carolyn Swords is back in the WNBA after being signed by the New York Liberty. She missed last season due to injury but is currently playing in Italy. A fellow poster on the women's basketball board I take part in joked that the Liberty were doing anything to make me a fan. This despite the fact that I've been following the team for a couple years. You've got Bill Laimbeer coaching, my favorite player Katie Smith now serving as an assistant coach and now Swords on the roster. I'm a happy guy. You can check out a brief interview with Swords from the Liberty's website HERE.
Here's a pic of Swords playing against Smith from a few years back. Time flies and now one will be coaching the other.
Now for the Sunday game action:
Tyler Zeller and Avery Bradley (pictured below) scored 17 points apiece to lead the Celtics against the Heat. But it wasn't enough to stop Miami from eventually taking the game 83-75. Brandon Bass added 15 points and 6 boards for the Celtics, who are now 16-30 on the season.
Tennessee LADY VOLS - I listened to the end of this game via streaming audio as Cierra Burdick (shown below) scored a career high 24 points to help Tennessee knock off Mississippi State and improve to 19-3 (9-0 SEC). She had 8 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals.
Bashaara Graves (shown below 1st) went over the 1,000 point mark for her career with a 17 point, 5 assist and 4 rebound performance. Isabelle Harrison (shown 2nd) had a double double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Hartford - I caught the last 10 minutes of this game via streaming video. The Hawks had a good lead, but ended up having to fight off a Vermont rally before beating the Catamounts 60-49. The win raises their record to 12-11 with a 6-3 conference mark.
Deanna Mayza (pictured below) scored 23 points to lead Hartford. Cherelle Moore added 12 points and 6 boards. Amber Bepko finished with 10 points and 6 boards. Alyssa Reaves scored 3 points in the game but was the team leader in rebounds with 9.
You can see the game highlights and post game comments below.
Missouri State - After trailing by 19 points, the Bears rallied back against Northern Iowa and cut the deficit to one point. But the rally fell short and Missouri State ended up losing 64-56. The loss leaves them with an 8-12 record (5-4 in conference play).
The team's defense had no answer for UNI's Madison Weekly, who scored 24 points including 6-8 on three pointers.
Kenzie Williams (pictured below) scored a team high 14 points and grabbed 6 rebounds before fouling out of the game. Hillary Chvatal added 11 points and 8 boards. NiJay Gaines had 10 points and Audrey Holt chipped in 5 points and 7 boards.
Boston College Women - The Eagles faced off against North Carolina on Sunday and much like when they upset Duke, they were playing far and above their expected talent level. They had a 60-58 lead?before they fell apart and watched the Tar Heels run off a 14-0 run to close out the game and win 72-60.
The Eagles turned the ball over 18 times and shot just 8-37 from three point range. Despite those awful numbers, they were still in the game. But they just couldn't figure out a way to stop UNC's Stephanie Mavunga and Allisha Gray. Mavunga (pictured below 1st) had 25 points, 14 rebounds and 6 assists while Gray (shown 2nd) had 15 points and 15 boards.
As for the Eagles, they were led by 14 points and 11 boards from Kelly Hughes (shown below).
Nicole Boudreau added 13 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Emilee Daley (pictured below) had 13 points and 7 boards. Katie Quandt fouled out with 8 points and Karima Gabriel grabbed 7 boards.
If the Eagles had been able to hit a few more three pointers, the game might've had a different result. They are now 9-12 (1-7 ACC) on the season. You can check out a brief post game press conference below.
While lacking any ambition whatsoever to do anything today but get ready for the Patriots game tonight...
Don't forget to follow me on Twitter - @TheOneTrueJay
If you missed my blog post earlier this week about the basketball action from last Sunday, you can check it out HERE.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
The time for all the talking and hype is soon to be over. I've spent the week mostly ignoring almost all of the Super Bowl articles on TV and in the papers. Yes, I read a piece here or there but for the most part it was, as Led Zeppelin sang about, a communication breakdown.
But the game is upon us in a few hours and all I can say is...
The Celtics finished off their six game road trip with a 3-3 record after splitting the last two games. It wasn't as bad as some might have expected so a break even set of away games is probably an improvement for the team.
They knocked off the Utah Jazz 99-90 behind a 19 point, 5 assist performance from Tayshaun Prince (pictured below), who saw 30 minutes of action. It's funny how this situation is developing. When he came to Boston, he was tagged with the "soon to have his contract bought out" designation. But Boston didn't quite get around to that. Then he put on the uniform and he has brought a little extra "oomph" to the team's performance on the court. And he's doing this while clearly wanting to leave the team. With the twilight of his career upon him, Prince leaves no doubt that he wants to finish with a contender. The great thing is that he is doing what a true professional does, his job.
The standout team stat for the Jazz game was that the bench players outscored the starters 53-46. Tyler Zeller had 14 points and 7 boards. Avery Bradley finished with 12 points, as did Jared Sullinger (he grabbed 9 boards too). Brandon Bass added 8 points and 7 boards. Marcus Smart (shown below) had 9 points and 5 assists.
The Celtics led by 20 plus points in the game and watched as the Jazz cut the lead down to four before finally putting them away.
In what might be chalked up to a case of overlooking an opponent, the Celtics ended the road swing with a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Minnesota has the worst record in the league, but they dominated the Celtics 110-98. Free throws played a big role in the game. The Celtics went to the line for just 9 foul shots while Minnesota had 32 freebies.
Jared Sullinger led Boston with 16 points and 8 boards while Marcus Thornton (shown below) added 15 points.
Avery Bradley (shown below) scored 13 points and both Marcus Smart and Tayshaun Prince finished with 12 points. Brandon Bass chipped in with 10 points and 6 boards. Evan Turner also scored 10 points to go with 6 assists. Tyler Zeller scored 6 points and had a team high 9 rebounds.
On Friday night, the Celtics were home to face the Houston Rockets. Houston came without Dwight Howard but still had more than enough to stave off a big 2nd half rally from the Celtics and win 93-87. The loss drops Boston to 16-29 on the season. They are 4-20 for the year against teams over .500.
The Celtics trailed by 18 points at halftime but outscored Houston 22-9 in the third to make a game of things before losing the game. Of course, this is a pattern for the Celtics. In games where they play a horrid 1st half, they almost always have a rousing comeback in the 2nd half before falling victim to yet another loss. If they'd learn consistency from opening tip to final buzzer, they'd likely win some of these close games.
Marcus Thornton (pictured below) and Brandon Bass scored 17 points apiece to spark the Celtics offense. Thornton had 7 boards while Bass finished with 8. Tayshuan Prince added 13 points while Avery Bradley had 10 points. Tyler Zeller had 7 points and 11 boards.
Lafayette women's basketball player Jamie O'Hare made a nifty play and score the game winning basket in her team's win over Colgate this week. You can see the video below.
Bruce Pearl brought his Auburn Tigers team to play Tennessee this past week. It was his first trip back to the building where he used to coach and once had the #1 team in the country. Anyone who follows college basketball knows how his tenure at the school ended, but the trip was an emotional homecoming. You can read about it in this SI.com article.
Boston College Women - The Eagles were off this week. They play this afternoon. But junior Nicole Boudreau was named Eagle of the Week. Meanwhile, you can check out the video below for coach Erik Johnson's take on the first half of the season.
Catholic University - Amber never saw the court as her team lost to Susquehanna 76-62. The team got back on the winning track on Saturday afternoon with an 85-78 victory over Moravian. Once again, Amber didn't see any playing time as her team raised their record to 14-6 with an 8-3 Landmark Conference record.
Boston College Men - The Eagles squeezed in their game against Louisville on Wednesday. There had been some minor doubt as to whether or not Louisville would be able to get into Boston due to the weather issues.
The Eagles might've been better off if they had postponed the game. They ended up losing 81-72. A nine point loss against a ranked opponent might not seem so bad, but BC really needed to get a big win on their resume. This game showed that while the Eagles may be able to hang with some of the best teams in the country, they are still far away from having a legitimate chance at beating them.
The loss wasted a season high 28 points from Aaron Brown (pictured below). The point total is the highest for any BC player this season.
Patrick Heckmann scored 14 points in the game, adding 5 assists as well. Olivier Hanlan (pictured below) scored 11 points and tied his career high with 9 assists.
Will Magarity and Dimitri Batten tied for the team lead with 6 points apiece. Magarity (pictured below) had 9 points and Batten scored 5 points.
You can see highlights from the game below.
On Saturday afternoon, the Eagles found themselves on the road and behind the eight ball from the very beginning of their game against Clemson. They went down 27-10 to start the game and were never really able to mount much of a comeback. I was watching the second half of the game when they cut the lead down to 14 points, but Clemson responded almost immediately and put the lead back to 20 points. The final score of 64-49 really doesn't do justice to just how much Clemson dominated the Eagles.
Olivier Hanlan (pictured below) and Aaron Brown scored 15 points apiece for Boston College. Hanlan also grabbed 4 rebounds and had 5 assists. Patrick Heckmann added 7 points and 5 rebounds for the now 9-11 (1-7 ACC) Eagles.
I don't know what the Eagles do next to get ready Notre Dame on Wednesday night, but they'd best have a much better and cohesive effort against the Fighting Irish than they showed against Clemson.
Hartford - Before the Hawks played Stony Brook this week, Amber Bepko was interviewed on the radio. You can listen to the audio in the Youtube link below.
As for the team's game, Deanna Mayza hit a shot with 28.4 seconds left and the team's defense made it stand up as the Hawks knocked off Stony Brook 60-58. Mayza finished with 13 points and 7 assists. Amber Bepko scored 18 points, grabbed 8 rebounds and dished out 4 assists. Janelle Harrison and Cherelle Moore each finished with 10 points.
The win had a bonus milestone to it. It was the 300th coaching victory for Jennifer Rizzotti. You can see her postgame interview below.
Tennessee LADY VOLS - Tennessee pulled off a 73-72 victory over Kentucky earlier in the week. It was their first road victory over a top 10 team since 2008. The final score assures that they didn't make it easy on themselves, but another number indicating that fact was the 22 turnovers in the game for the Lady Vols.
Isabelle Harrison (shown below 1st) led the team with 19 points and 10 boards. Cierra Burdick (shown 2nd) added 16 points (she had 5 turnovers) and Bashaara Graves (shown 3rd) finished with 11 points and 7 rebounds. Tennessee is now 18-3 on the season with a perfect 8-0 record in the SEC.
Missouri State - Kenzie Williams scored the last 7 points for the Bears in regulation, forcing the game into overtime where Missouri State ended up falling to Drake 94-89. Williams finished with 27 points and 6 boards. Her offensive running mate on the night was NiJay Gaines (pictured below). Playing in her hometown of Des Moines, Iowa she had a career high 19 points while adding 7 boards and 4 steals.
But Missouri State couldn't stop Drake's Lizzy Wendell (pictured below) who tied her career high of 43 points. They also had no answer for Caitlin Ingle who finished with a triple double (14 points, 11 boards, 10 assists). By the way, if you want to read more about Wendell, ESPN writer Mechelle Voepel had a great profile of her that was posted on January 29th. Check it out HERE.
As for the Bears, who now stand at 8-11 for the season with a 5-3 MVC record, Tyonna Snow had 13 points, 7 boards, 4 assists and 4 steals. Lexi Hughes had 10 points and Hillary Chvatal scored 8 points and grabbed a team high 11 boards.
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
The large portion of the games scheduled to be played this week got postponed as schools in the area have been closed for most of the week due to the blizzard most of New England seemed to get swamped by on Tuesday.
However, on Friday night things started to get back on track.
Wareham Boys Varsity - The Vikings moved to 12-3 (9-2 in the SCC) as they beat Dighton-Rehoboth 50-44. Josh had 2 points and Mark added 3 points in a game that the coach called "ugly".
Wareham Girls Varsity - Tieyanna scored 18 points to help lead Wareham to a 46-28 victory over Dighton Rehoboth. The now 10-7 Vikings (7-4 in the SCC) got 8 points from Kali and 2 points from Erica.
Bishop Stang Boys Varsity - Jake led the Spartans with 18 points as they beat Somerset-Berkley 77-68. The win ups their record to 8-5 (3-2 in conference).
BOSTON RED SOX
It isn't a gigantic piece of news but on Thursday, the Red Sox and outfielder Daniel Nava agreed to a one year deal for $1.85 million dollars. I know my mom will love the news because she just loves this guy.
MISCELLANEOUS SPORTS ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
The New York Giants website had an interview with now retired player Chris Snee looking back on his career as he begins life after football. You can check it out HERE.
The latest class of NFL Hall of Famers has been announced.
Music - The new Issa album Crossroads is due out in late February. The video for the title track has been released. I'm not that crazy about it but you can judge for yourself below.
Earlier in the week, Beth Hart announced she has a new album coming out on April 14th. It will be called Better Than Home. This news really got me excited. If you've read my reviews of past releases from Hart, you know that I'm a huge fan of hers. You can check out a trailer for the album below.
Movies - With the various troubles plaguing the planned reboot of The Crow movie franchise, Pop-topia's Kayode Kendall wonders if it isn't time to let it die.
Grantland.com had a really well done article on actor Gene Hackman as he turned 85 last week. You can read it HERE.
The teaser trailer for the new Fantastic Four movie was released this week. In all honesty, it didn't really do that much for me. You can check it out below.
Books - This week I finished reading the Rob Thomas / Jennifer Graham mystery Veronica Mars - Mr. Kiss and Tell. It is the second prose novel based on the TV series and follows the events of the movie and first novel. I really enjoyed the book as the authors did a great job of harkening back to the series but also moving the characters forward. This is especially important because after all, it is 10 years after the events of the show.
And I got my hands on a new Star Trek book this week as well. This one is Star Trek: The Next Generation - Takedown by John Jackson Miller. I'm way behind on the prose novels but sooner or later I will catch up.
TV - The Flash TV show introduced another character to its growing Rogue's Gallery in this week's episode. You can check out the recap HERE. As for the new episode of Arrow, there was a lot of shifting around of the various pieces on the chessboard...here's the recap.
The 5th season of Game of Thrones premieres April 12th on HBO. You can check out the season's trailer below.
Before checking out for the next couple of days thanks to the Snowpocalypse, I thought I'd take the time to wrap up the action from Sunday afternoon and evening featuring the basketball teams I follow.
There is one bit of non-basketball action to mention first though. The Boston College football team will be looking for another offensive coordinator before the start of next season. After two seasons in the job, Ryan Day has left to join the Philadelphia Eagles as the team's new QB coach. He replaces Bill Musgrave in that position.
The Celtics were down big in their game against the Golden State Warriors but managed to rally back to cut the lead down to 3 points. But they couldn't get any closer than that and ended up on the losing end of a 114-111 final score. The loss drops them to 15-27.
The Warriors got 31 points from Klay Thompson while Stephen Curry added 22 points and 11 assists to help them edge out the Celtics.
As for Boston, they got 26 points and 9 boards from Jared Sullinger (see below) to power their offense.
Evan Turner (see below) added 19 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists (with four turnovers). Tyler Zeller came up with 15 points and 5 rebounds while Avery Bradley tallied 15 points as well.
Hartford Hawks - Hartford turned the ball over 21 times on the way to an 82-58 loss to America East opponent Albany. Point guard Deanna Mayza led the team with 8 of those turnovers and Janelle Harrison had 6.
But turnovers were only half of the big two of problems facing the Hawks in this game. After trailing by just three points at halftime, they got used and abused in the 2nd half. Their defense on Albany's Shereesha Richards (39 points) and Imani Tate (30 points) was almost non-existent it would seem.
Amber Bepko led the scoring for Hartford with 14 points and Alyssa Reaves added 12 points. Hartford falls to 10-11 on the season with a 4-3 conference record.
Tennesee LADY VOLS - The Lady Vols managed to pull out another conference win on Sunday, beating Georgia 59-51. They improve to 17-3 (7-0 SEC). The win came about thanks to a 95% shooting night at the foul line and a 45-29 edge in rebounding. Those numbers offset their poor shooting night from the floor (34%) and the team's 18 rebounds (Georgia only had 14 turnovers).
Jordan Reynolds (shown 1st) had a career high 15 points. Ariel Massengale (shown 2nd) added 10 points and 6 boards. Isabelle Harrison (shown 3rd) finished the game with 9 points and a team high 9 boards.
Missouri State - The Bears (8-10, 5-2 MVC) stomped Illinois State 58-35 to capture their fourth win in a row. In getting the victory, the team set a home arena record for points allowed. They gave up just 15 points in the second half.
Kenzie Williams (pictured 1st) scored 12 points and grabbed 7 rebounds to lead the team's offense. Tyonna Snow (pictured 2nd) and Lexi Hughes each finished with 9 points.
Boston College Men - The Eagles had to hold off a late flurry of offense from Georgia Tech but narrowly got their first ACC win of the season 64-62. BC shot 59.1% from the floor in the 2nd half. They had rely almost exclusively on their starters for offense. The bench managed just 5 points in the game.
Olivier Hanlan (see below 1st) led Boston College with 25 points and 7 boards. Patrick Heckmann (below 2nd) added 12 points and Aaron Brown (shown 3rd) chipped in with 11 points. Will Magarity (shown 4th) finished the game with 9 points and 5 boards.
Here's the latest early week recaps and articles from the teams I follow at the various levels of basketball.
Before their game against the L.A. Clippers, the team waived Chris Douglas-Roberts, yet another of the players they acquired via trade that they had no intention of keeping around.
In the game vs. the Clippers, the Celtics never really could do anything more than keep within striking distance on their way to a 102-93 loss.
Brandon Bass scored 17 points to lead Boston's offense. Marcus Thornton had 15 points and Marcus Smart added 14 points and 7 boards. Jared Sullinger (pictured below) finished with 14 points and 8 boards.
Evan Turner had a double double with 10 points and 10 boards. He added 6 assists as well. Kelly Olynyk (pic below) finished the game with 11 points.
The surprise of the game was seeing that Tayshaun Prince suited up and got into the game. He had 2 points and 2 boards plus an assist. I don't know if this means he is going to be with the team long term but considering he was ticketed for a buyout as soon as he got traded to the Celtics, it is a huge turnaround.
I read an article in the newspaper on Monday about Miami men's basketball coach Jim Larranaga and came away with a really great impression of the man. You can check out the article via this link.
Meanwhile, SI.com had a couple of articles that were good reads. The first is on former Louisville player Kevin Ware as he rebuilds his life and career after transferring to Georgia State. You can read that one HERE.
The other story is about Preston Mattingly, the son of LA Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, and his career at Lamar after 6 years playing minor league baseball. Here's the link.
Boston College Men - The Eagles started off the game by taking their offense right at Syracuse but after building an early 12-4 lead on them, they watched as the Orange ran off a 31-5 run to go into halftime with a 35-17 lead.
BC outscored Syracuse in the second half but it wasn't enough and they lost 69-61 and are now 8-9 on the season (0-5 in the ACC).
Aaron Brown (pictured 1st) led Boston College with 21 points and 6 boards, Dimitri Batten (pictured 2nd) added 17 points and 5 boards. Point guard Olivier Hanlan (pictured 3rd) had 13 points, 5 boards and 5 assists. Patrick Heckmann (pictured 4th) finished the game with 9 points and a team high 9 rebounds.
Missouri State - A 15-0 run early in the second half helped lead the Bears to their 78-64 victory over Bradley. The win improves Missouri State to 6-10 with a 3-2 conference record.
Kenzie Williams led four players in double figures with 13 points. Hillary Chvatal (12), Tyonna Snow (11) and Liza Fruendt (11) were the other players. Fruendt added 6 boards. Audrey Holt (pictured below) had season highs in both points (7) and rebounds (5).
Hartford - Despite 25 turnovers, the Hawks took down UMBC 70-63 and got above the .500 mark for the season. They are 10-9 with a 4-1 America East record.
Deanna Mayza scored 16 pointswith 6 assists (4 turnovers) and Morgan Lumb had 14 points (6 turnovers). Janelle Harrison finished with 9 points and 8 boards.
Amber Bepko (shown below) led the team with 17 points which helped her top the 1,000 point mark for her career. I've been following her since her freshman year so I was very pleased to see her hit this milestone.
You can read more about Bepko's evolution as a player HERE.
Tennessee LADY VOLS- Tennessee never led in their Monday night matchup against Notre Dame. Their 88-77 loss was their 14th straight loss on the road to a Top 10 opponent. When you consider the history of the Lady Vols program, that is a rather astounding statistic. Of course, when you give up 34 points to Jewell Loyd, you probably can guess that you might not win the game.
Bashaara Graves (shown below 1st) led the Tennessee (15-3) with 22 points and 8 boards. Cierra Burdick (shown 2nd) added 15 points and Isabelle Harrison (shown 3rd) scored 12 points to go with 9 boards. Ariel Massengale (shown 4th) hit for 11 points.
Boston College Women - BC was down just 24-22 to Syracuse at halftime of their game this past Sunday. I missed that half but did catch the second half on the computer and it was astounding just how awful the Eagles played the last 20 minutes of the game on the way to a 64-46 loss.
The season low point total wasn't helped by their 23 turnovers in the game (Martina Mosetti had 7 of those turnovers on her own). A number of those turnovers came as the Eagles players found themselves trapped by the press defense in the backcourt and simply lost control of the ball.
The Eagles had a big edge at the half in rebounding and did actually still outrebound the Orange for the game. But in the second half, they repeatedly failed to box out on the offensive glass. This led to 2nd, 3rd and 4th chances for Syracuse.
BC's shooting was woeful, particularly from the outside. They were forced to rely on their outside shooting because they couldn't break the 2-3 zone employed by Syracuse to get drives to the basket.
Emilee Daley (shown 1st) and Ashley Kelsick (shown 2nd) led the team with 11 points apiece. Kelly Hughes(shown 3rd), the leading scorer for BC, had just 3 points in the game but did have a team high 11 boards. Shayra Brown (shown 4th) added 5 points and 4 rebounds.
Highlights of the game and the post game press conference with coach Erik Johnson can be seen below.
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Bishop Stang Boys Varsity - Jake scored 14 points as the Spartans beat Coyle-Cassidy and improved to 7-3 (2-2 in conference).
Sturgis East Girls Varsity - The Storm got 30 points from their top player but couldn't keep up with West Bridgewater, losing 64-46. Isabella scored 4 points in the game as Sturgis East fell to 3-5.
Wareham Girls Varsity - Tieyanna scored 21 points to lead the Vikings to a 48-32 win over Barnstable. Gabby scored 9 points as Wareham improved to 8-7 (5-4 in conference).
Upper Cape Girls Varsity - Last night, I went to see the Upper Cape girls against Avon. The two teams had played a week ago with the Rams blowing out Avon on the road. A week later, the game was a little tighter.
After the JV won 44-18. the varsity started out slowly. The team has been dealing with the flu running through the roster. At least two of the girls played looking like they walking zombies for a while.
Upper Cape was up just 8-4 after the first quarter. But Avon took a 9-8 lead at the start of the 2nd quarter. After that, the Rams built a lead that they never relinquished. Avon kept challenging them with their leading scorer having a game high 22 points, but the Rams ended up at 12-0 with a 51-36 victory.
Michaela was still recovering from being sick but did play in the game. She shot just 2-12 from the floor and 1-12 from the line for 5 points. She had one rebound, 1 assist and 1 steal as well as 2 fouls.
The Bourne Courier newspaper posted a photo gallery from the team's recent game against Cape Cod Tech on their website. The photos are by David Colantuono. A few of the pics are below with Michaela and Dasia first and both Krystle and Amber second.
I'm trying to clear at least a little bit of the material I have for what looks to be a very jam packed Sunday Musings this week, so here's a bevy of basketball related recaps, links, videos and photos to wile away your Thursday evening.
Boston Celtics - The Celtics split their two games thus far this week. And while always important, it seems the action on the court was of little concern to pretty much anyone from the fans to the players to management.
Instead, the various trades the Celtics made to further lessen their chances to win games were the top rung news stories of the week.
The long gestating trade of Jeff Green ( read the details here ) brought Tayshaun Prince and Austin Rivers to be nominal members of the team. But with the contract for Prince being targeted for a buyout and Rivers, now that the trade has been finalized, off to the Clippers to play for his father, Doc Rivers, the trade is essentially about clearing away Green with quantifiable returns not even a secondary concern. Yes I know we got Shavlik Randolph back, so I'm sure the season is saved!
The trade of unhappy veteran Jameer Nelson didn't take nearly as long to pull off. He didn't make a huge deal out of it, but he did talk about his unhappiness with his playing time when asked about it. The Celtics got Nate Robinson in return and while this would've been his second time around playing for Boston, it isn't going to happen. Why? Because the Celtics bought out his contract as well.
A former player of mine was excited enough about his return that she tweeted about it and I had all I could do not to ask her if she'd bothered to read the full story about the trade.
GM Danny Ainge has been stockpiling draft picks, trade exceptions and who knows what else in what everyone that follows the team can only hope is an executable plan to actually make the team better. I don't want to seem to pessimistic but I truly haven't an inkling about what he might actually do next.
All I know is that they'd better figure out something quick because the seeming lack of a real desire to field a team that can legitimately compete for the playoffs and/or an NBA title is wearing thin.
At least give me a little hope Danny, stop making it seem like the Celtics are doing a variation upon the Sixers' theme of blatantly losing to get a higher draft pick.
As for the games, the Celtics knocked off the Pelicans 108-100 to start off their week. The team committed just 11 turnovers of their own while scoring 21 points off of the turnovers by the Pelicans. Meanwhile, Marcus Smart hit a big three pointer in the final minute to help ice the game.
Jared Sullinger (seen below) led Boston with 27 points and 10 boards. Jae Crowder added 22 points and Marcus Thornton finished with 13 points. Brandon Bass (who could quite possibly be the next guy headed out via trade before the deadline) had 12 points.
On Wednesday night, the Atlanta Hawks continued their run as one of the best teams in the East with a 105-91 victory. The loss dropped Boston to 13-24. The Celtics hung in with the Hawks during the first quarter, but things fell apart for them during both the 2nd and 3rd quarters.
Avery Bradley (pictured below) led Boston with 17 points while Sullinger had 14 points and 9 boards. Kelly Olynyk went for 12 points and 8 boards.
In other NBA notes, with the brouhaha surrounding LeBron James pushing coach David Blatt away from a confrontation with officials during a game, Yahoo! Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowski has this column calling for James to show the leadership that he promised to bring on his return to Cleveland.
Tennessee LADY VOLS - Tennessee had to rally in the second half against Arkansas in order to pick up a 60-51 come from behind victory to start their week off.
The Lady Vols (now 14-2, 4-0 SEC) shot just 21.4% from the floor in the first half and trailed by as many as 9 points in the 2nd half.
Cierra Burdick (pictured below 1st) led Tennessee with 17 points, 6 boards and 3 blocks.
Ariel Massengale (pictured 2nd) added 16 points and Isabelle Harrison scored 13 points to go with a season high 13 rebounds.
Boston College Women - I can't say that I was surprised that the Eagles lost to Notre Dame this past Sunday, but I was more than a little disappointed that they were so entirely outmatched that it was like watching a youth league team play the Irish.
In the midst of their 104-58 loss, BC committed 20 turnovers in the game (Notre Dame had just 13), established their season low for points scored, shot 13-33 from three point range and got forced into three 30 second shot clock violations.
I had been hoping to find a way to watch the game on the computer, but seeing how bad the game was made me glad I didn't.
Emilee Daley led BC (8-8, 0-3 ACC) with 12 points. Karima Gabriel scored just 3 points but led the team with 12 rebounds.
Ashley Kelsick (pictured below) had 11 points but turned the ball over 5 times. Kelly Hughes scored 9 points but had 7 turnovers. Nicole Boudreau added 10 points.
You can see coach Erik Johnson's weekly press conference from Monday below.
Boston College Men - For the last 6 years, the BC men's team has been manhandled by Harvard in the annual meeting between the two schools with the Crimson winning all 6 matchups.
Last night, in the Eagles final non-conference game of the season, the team got off to a big lead and led by 11 points at halftime.
But once again, they collapsed and saw Harvard rally to send the game into overtime. However, the Eagles rallied in the extra period and took the 64-57 victory to end their losing streak to Harvard.
Boston College (8-7) got 17 points and 8 assists from Olivier Hanlan (pictured 1st). He did turn the ball over 6 times though. Patrick Heckmann (pictured 2nd) scored 14 points with Dennis Clifford (pictured 3rd) going for a double-double (13 points and 10 rebounds). Aaron Brown (pictured 4th) added 12 points and 7 boards while turning the ball over 6 times.
You can see highlights from the game below.
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Before I get into writing about the latest news on the high school teams I follow, I wanted to point you towards the latest SI.com High School Athlete of the Month piece. It's about a high school basketball player from Medfield, Massachusetts named Jack Cadigan. I think that once you read the article, you'll be amazed at what a great kid seems to be. Here's the link.
As for my teams of rooting interest:
Bristol-Plymouth Girls Varsity - Savahna's team dropped to 2-9 on the season after losing to Holbrook 53-25, then dropping a heartbreaking 51-50 overtime decision to Norfolk Aggie.
Bishop Stang Boys Varsity - Jake was a big factor for the Spartans in their 63-52 defeat of Somerset-Berkley. He helped seal the win with a big three pointer and a driving layup. Overall he finished with 14 points as Stang upped their record to 6-2 (1-1 in conference).
Wareham Boys Varsity - The Vikings are now 8-3 (6-2 in conference) after their 53-41 victory against Apponequet. Mark had 3 points in the game.
Wareham Girls Varsity - The girls team lost to Apponequet 40-31 in their first game of the week. Gabby had 6 points in the game. Tieyanna score 4 points, Kali scored 3 points and Erica added 2.
As disappointing as that loss was, their game on Wednesday showed just how far the team has come. In their first game of the season they lost to Bishop Stang by 27 points. But in their rematch last night, Wareham turned things around on Stang and won 50-42.
According to the coach it was the first time the team had played a full effort for the entire game all season long. Tieyanna finished with 15 points and Kali had 4 points as Wareham raised their record to 7-6 (5-3 in conference).
The pic below is from their earlier win over Sandwich. It features the Vikings in white. Tieyanna is laying down, Erica is diving for the ball and Gabby is #10.
Upper Cape Girls Varsity - The Rams had an excellent early part of the week. Michaela scored 12 points in their 55-35 victory against Avon.
Against Cape Tech last night, Upper Cape started out sluggishly and trailed 15-7 after the first quarter. But they got things going in the 2nd quarter, took a 28-18 lead at halftime and cruised to a 57-30 victory. Michaela had 5 points in this game. You can read more about the team's last two games HERE.
The two wins gives them a 10-0 record and makes them eligible for the state tournament! Whoo Hoo!
In other high school news, I had planned to attend the Sturgis East game tomorrow afternoon to see Isabella play but we are having some bad weather with very icy road conditions so I will most likely not be going if the roads are still that bad tomorrow.
YOUTH BASKETBALL FLASHBACK
There was an article in the local weekly town newspaper this morning about a new call firefighter to the town's department. As it turned out, it was a former player of mine.
I coached Justin back in the 97-98 season as a member of my Raptors team. Though I can't give the article link to you since the paper has yet to put it online, the photo below is of Justin on the left.