It was a big week for BC this week as hockey and basketball were active and grabbing at least some of the headlines in the papers. They won some and they lost some.
But for the entire Boston College community, the biggest loss came when the news broke that one of their longtime employees (and BC grad) Dick Kelley had passed away after a long battle with Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS). He spent 22 years working in the BC Sports Information office and was a huge BC basketball supporter. You can read more here: http://www.bceagles.com/genrel/021414aaa.html
As for the sports teams, the hockey programs for both the men and the women saw a huge bit of success when each of them captured the annual Beanpot tournament. It's the local tournament held each year between BC, Boston University, Harvard and Northeastern. The men's team won it for the fifth year in a row while the women picked up their second straight win.
Men's Basketball - The Eagles got beaten in the last second yet again this week. Against Georgia Tech, Olivier Hanlan (pictured below) hit a shot with 3.4 seconds left in the game to put BC ahead but the Yellowjackets nailed a 3 pointer with .7 seconds left and went on to win 74-71.
The loss drops Boston College to 6-18 on the season. Hanlan finished with 21 points and Ryan Anderson added 13. Joe Rahon scored 11 points, but with the team being outrebounded 31-17 for the game, the problem seems to be coming from everywhere but the offense.
Women's Basketball - The long spiral downward continued this week for the women's team. With Kristen Doherty still out with concussion like symptoms, the team once again was playing shorthanded. It's been a season long refrain, injuries sapping bodies from the available roster.
Last Sunday's game against Florida State was particularly disappointing. The Eagles were on the road and so was I. I had to take my mother to a baby shower but commandeered one of the TVs in the house and watched the game on NESN.
BC started out 12-6 but then FSU went on a 14-0 run to take command of the game, something they would never relinquish the rest of the way.
In the first half, BC was outrebounded 21-10 and turned the ball over 13 times (they were averaging 15 turnovers PER GAME.) Their interior defense was pathetic. Of the 35 points Florida State scored in the first half, 32 came in the paint. Katie Zenevitch (12 points, 5 rebounds) got exploited a number of times but even more depressing was just how bad Karima Gabriel played. She was a turnstile on defense, got her shot blocked EASILY, and turned the ball over a number of times.
Things just kept getting worse in the second half as FSU went on to win the game 72-55. They outrebounded BC for the game 46-22, including 24 offensive rebounds. Yes, you read that stat correctly. The Seminoles had more OFFENSIVE rebounds than BC had rebounds for the entire game.
While FSU's Natasha Howard had an outstanding game with 26 points and 11 rebounds, more impressive to me was the play of their point guard Cheetah Delgado. At five foot two, she's the smallest player in the ACC, yet with her speed she essentially slapped the BC defense around for the entire game. She had 6 points, dished out 15 assists and grabbed 9 rebounds. Can you believe it? The BC defense was so bad, that the smallest player on the floor had 9 boards!
While the game was pretty much nothing to really write home about, the Eagles did have one bright spot in the form of freshman Kelly Hughes. She tied her career high with 23 points and got 5 boards as well. She ended up picking up the ACC Rookie of the Week award later in the week.
By the way, you can check out the weekly press conference with coach Erik Johnson below.
On Thursday, the Eagles were at home facing off for the second time with Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish haven't lost all season and that trend continued against the Eagles. After blowing them out by 40 points the first time around, I suppose the 82-61 loss suffered by BC is somewhat of an improvement. But the loss drops them to 12-13 on the season with a 3-9 ACC record.
Kat Cooper (pictured below) led the team with 13 points. Katie Zenevitch had 12 points and 8 boards. Nicole Boudreau added 9 points and 7 assists.
The post game press conference is below.
They play today against Syracuse and I'm supposed to be there with courtside seats. Hopefully I'll have a report to post afterwards.
Hartford - The Hawks dropped to 9-15 (6-5 in the AEC) after their loss to Maine 60-56. Deanna Mayza (pictured below) scored 17 points to lead Hartford. Amber Bepko finished with 10 points. Alyssa Reaves had 8 points and a career high 13 rebounds. You can see highlights of the game and the post game press conference below as well.
Missouri State - The Lady Bears split their two games this week. They beat Bradley 78-72 to start their week. Bry Snow (pictured below) had a career high 29 points to go with 8 rebounds and 4 blocks. Her sister Tyonna Snow scored 17 points.
On Friday night, Tyonna Snow was the only player in double figures (17 points) as MSU lost to Northern Iowa. They are now 12-11 on the season with a 7-5 conference record.
Tennessee - After their 81-53 victory over Vanderbilt this week, the Lady Vols stand at 20-4 (9-2 in the SEC). Meighan Simmons led the victory with 22 points. Isabelle Harrison had 18 points. Andraya Carter (pictured below) scored 11 points while Bashaara Graves had 6 points and 10 boards.
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
You can check out my two high school basketball blog updates from the past week below.
The NBA is now on their All-Star Weekend break but before those not playing in that exhibition farce went their separate ways to presumably get some R&R from the season's grind, the Celtics had 3 games to play.
Last Sunday, the Mavericks knocked off Boston 102-91. Jeff Green led the offense with 18 points, but it was Rajon Rondo who provided the gas for the entire Celtics engine. He had 15 points, 12 assists and 8 rebounds.
Chris Johnson added 14 points and Jared Sullinger tallied 11 points and 12 boards. He was also later named Eastern Conference Player of the Week. Kris Humphries chipped in 10 points.
The Celtics beat then beat the Bucks 102-86. Jeff Green had 29 points and Kelly Olynyk had 14 points and 11 rebounds. With Rajon Rondo getting another DNP for "rest", Phil Pressey stepped up with 13 points. Jared Sullinger scored 13 points as well and had 10 boards. Brandon Bass finished with 12 points and 7 boards.
Boston then closed out the figurative first half of their season with a 104-92 loss to the Spurs. Rondo had 16 points to top the scoring column. Kelly Olynyk had 15 points and 10 boards. Brandon Bass added 12 points and Jerryd Bayless finished with 11 points. Green had 10 points.
The loss has the Celtics at 19-35. It's a bad record but in terms of what the Celtics had in mind, not bad enough. Boston Herald sportswriter Gerry Callahan even wrote an article that basically implored GM Danny Ainge be more proactive in making the team worse. He used the line from the first Rocky movie "He doesn't know it's a show, he thinks its a damn fight" to punctuate the point that coach Brad Stevens has been too damn good for the team's own good (read, high draft pick hopes).
While I understand the plan is to be bad enough to get Jabari Parker or one of the other two potential great team changing players expected to be in the next NBA draft, the fan in me finds myself disgusted by other people who WANT to lose. I know losing now to win big later is the plan and the logical part of my brain gets that. But purposely trying to be bad enough to lose and lose often...ARGHHHH!
Besides the 1980 Miracle on Ice US hockey victory over the Russians, I've spent the week try to figure out what my favorite Winter Olympics moment was. And I figured it out. I watched it as it happened and I was simply blown away by the figure skating performance of Sarah Hughes during the 2002 Olympics. She was ranked 3rd out of the three US skaters at the Games and was in fourth before the long program. And then she went out and delivered one of the most amazing skates I've ever seen. It was technically awesome and the zest she delivered it with brought the house down. And when she found out that she'd pulled off an amazing upset, her unbridled scream of joy was electric!
You can see her long program skate below followed by another link that shows all of the skates and her reaction (and that of her coach) about 34 minutes into the second video.
I remember being glued to the screen during her performance and actually cheering as she finished. And a "HOLY SH*T!" escaped my lips when she was announced as the winner. Just a classic moment.
As for the current Winter Olympics, I missed the first period on Saturday morning but caught the last two periods, overtime and the shootout between the US and Russian hockey teams.
The US caught a break late in the third period when a Russian goal was disallowed, but this was a heck of a game. With Doc Emrick on the call, everything seemed so intense. This game showed exactly why I love Olympic hockey. Each attempt in the shootout was so epic and when T.J. Oshie drilled a shot past the Russian goalie on the 8th attempt between the two teams, the US picked up the win! Can I get a HELL YEAH!!!!
TV - The television world lost one of its best known dads this week when actor Ralph Waite died at the age of 86. For those who grew up on the 1970's family dramas, you will remember him as John Walton, the patriarch on The Waltons. In recent years, he's appeared on the soap opera Days of our Lives as well as playing the father of Gibbs on NCIS and the grandfather of Booth on Bones.
Music - One of the upcoming CDs I'll be reviewing is the House of Lords album Precious Metal. The band has released a video for the song "Battle" and you can check it out below.
Books - I picked up the Rhys Bowen mystery The Family Way this week. It is the latest paperback release in her Molly Murphy series. The series is set in the early 1900's with Irish immigrant Murphy as she winds her way as an unlikely PI in New York. Each book has been highly entertaining and I'm so glad I discovered her books.
I also discovered by virtue of an excerpt printed in Sports Illustrated that there is a new book about the 1985 Chicago Bears out. It's called Monsters: The 1985 Chicago Bears and the Wild Heart of Football. The author is Rich Cohen and after reading that excerpt, I am definitely adding it to my want list.
While anticipating the end of the Brady versus Manning hype and laughing over being told about "The Jay Factor"...
MY SORT OF GOOD BASKETBALL WEEK
Tennis fans have been abuzz this week over the Australian Open results and the insane heat that is hanging around Down Under during the matches. But I've never been a big fan of that particular Grand Slam event, even when I was a big tennis fan.
Instead, this week's entry deals with a retired player and her legal troubles getting a resolution.
My favorite tennis player for a number of years was Jennifer Capriati. I made mention of her a while back when she was arrested on charges relating to assaulting/stalking an ex-boyfriend. The update now is that she cut a deal to avoid going to trial. I'm hoping that this gets her straightened out, I don't want to spend the rest of my life wondering what crazy ass thing she's done now to get into more legal trouble. You can read about it here: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/capriati-gets-deal-fla-battery-174448064--ten.html
The Celtics have had a very busy week once again. And I speak of both on and off the court news.
On the court, the Celtics lost two more games before ending what was a 9 game losing streak by knocking off Toronto. But the biggest on court news was Friday's return to the lineup of Rajon Rondo.
They lost to the Portland Trail Blazers 112-104 despite 25 points from Avery Bradley. Then came a 104-92 loss to the Houston Rockets. Bradley was the leading scorer (24) in that game as well.
Meanwhile, off the court news saw Keith Bogans given permission to leave the team indefinitely for personal reasons. Basically, he had no role with the team and he's been unhappy. While he is under contract and still being paid, it doesn't seem to me that he's likely to rejoin the team.
GM Danny Ainge made a move this week as well in anticipation of the return of Rajon Rondo on Friday night. In a three team deal that involved both the Golden State Warriors and the Miami Heat, Ainge sent Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks to the Warriors and got center Joel Anthony and two future draft picks from the Heat. Brooks has had little to no role with the Celtics and Crawford getting dealt will be good for him since he was going to lose his minutes to Rondo.
Back on the court, the Celtics got a monster game from Jared Sullinger (25 points, 20 rebounds) and beat the Raptors 88-83.
As for Rondo's return to game action, he saw 19:25 in playing time on Friday night. But it didn't make much of a difference in the final score as the Celtics lost to the Lakers 107-104. They are now 14-27 on the season and have lost 13 of their last 15 games.
Kelly Olynyk scored a career high 25 points to lead the six players who hit double digits for Boston. He also dished out 7 assists. Phil Pressey had 9 assists in the game.
Speaking of the Lakers, there was a buzz at Boston College yesterday afternoon as Kobe Bryant dropped by an international marketing class at the school:
" A Boston College professor says he used Kobe Bryant as an example in his first international marketing class of the semester — and then the Lakers star walked into the class and started taking notes.
Boston College says Bryant arrived shortly after the class began Thursday night and stayed for two hours until it was over. Professor Nick Nugent says Bryant's visit was not planned.
Bryant told students that he loves to learn and is interested in international marketing."
WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Hartford - The Hawks got a career high 21 points (and 10 boards) from Cherelle Moore but couldn't beat Albany, falling 69-52.
Yesterday, the Hawks squared off against New Hampshire and blew a 33-22 halftime lead as they lost 61-56. Alyssa Reaves had 10 points and 10 boards to lead the Hawks. Amber Bepko and Deanna Mayza each scored 9 points. But Hartford is now 4-13 with a 1-3 conference record.
Missouri State - The Bears came up just short in their game against Loyola earlier in the week. They gave up the last 6 points of the game and had two shots of their own blocked in the last 5 seconds of the game to fall 63-61.
Tyonna Snow had 13 points (but turned the ball over 7 times), Mikala McGhee (pictured below) had career highs in both points (12) and rebounds (9). Bry Snow added 9 points and a career high 11 boards while Kenzie Williams continued her season long double figures scoring run with 10 points.
Facing Drake on Saturday afternoon, the Bears got 21 points from Bry Snow while Tyonna Snow added 19 points and 8 boards and the team rolled to an 89-66 win. Kenzie Williams scored 13 points and grabbed 10 boards. Hannah Wilkerson tallied 10 points.
The win moves Missouri State to 7-8 on the season.
Tennessee - The Lady Vols had two games this week. They got knocked off by Vanderbilt 74-63 to start the week off on the wrong foot.
Meighan Simmons (pictured below) scored 19 points to power the Vols. Jasmine Jones added 13 points and Cierra Burdick had 11 points. Center Isabelle Harrison had 10 points but fouled out of the game with 9:23 left to play.
I don't know if it would've made a difference to the final result but given how productive Harrison has been throughout the season, I would think to be on solid ground to say the game would've been different if she hadn't fouled out.
Though the game was close, Tennessee rebounded from the loss to beat Mississippi State 67-63. The win moves them to 14-3 (3-2 in SEC play). Ariel Massengale and Bashaara Graves scored 13 points apiece to lead the team. Harrison added 10 points. The win over MSU keeps Tennessee's record over them perfect. They've beaten them all 35 times they've played.
The Lady Vols play on Monday night in a big game against Notre Dame.
BOSTON COLLEGE ATHLETICS
Football - While the season is over and things are technically on the back burner, the news out of the Eagle football office is the transfer of now ex-Florida Gator QB Tyler Murphy to BC. He's only going to be suiting up for the Eagles for a year under the transfer rules for players who have graduated from their previous school, but given that he was recruited by BC's coach Steve Addazio when the coach was at Florida, he will hopefully give the Eagles at least a stop gap measure for that year before they have to have a long term solution under center.
Men's Basketball - The Eagles started their week off with a 9pm tip-off on Monday against Syracuse. It was a home game that if I'd been able to attend would've had free tickets for.
The game saw BC drop to 5-12 for the season with a 1-3 ACC record after the #2 Syracuse team won 69-59. Lonnie Jackson scored 18 points to lead BC with Ryan Anderson adding 14 points.
It was announced Friday that junior center Dennis Clifford has been shut down for the season due to chronic knee problems. He's going to apply for a medical redshirt and come back next year.
On Saturday afternoon, BC visited North Carolina for a game that was on ESPN. I caught the start of the 2nd half on the radio while out running errands and then saw the last 9 minutes or so while eating lunch. And what I saw was a BC team that hung with the Tar Heels for the first 30 minutes of game time.
But once again, the lack of defensive stops and taking care of the ball did the Eagles in. They were down 56-55 with about 10 minutes left in the game. But they kept turning the ball over and the Tar Heels took advantage and went on to win the game 82-71.
BC hit 11 three pointers in the game but their 18 turnovers just killed their momentum. If you combine that with how UNC picked apart their defense, it was another in a long line of games where you wonder if BC will ever compete for real in conference play.
Olivier Hanlan scored 16 points to lead the offense, but had 6 of the 18 turnovers. Lonnie Jackson had 14 points. Joe Rahon hit for 13 points and dished out 6 assist. Eddie Odio turned in a career high 12 points before fouling out. Ryan Anderson (pictured below dunking) scored 11 points and led the team with 12 rebounds.
The loss leaves Boston College with a 5-13 record and they are now in last place in the ACC with a 1-4 record.
Women's Basketball - I watched the second half of the women's game last Sunday as they played #2 Duke. Unfortunately, Duke blew the Eagles out 78-57. BC just doesn't seem to have the horses to run with those highly ranked teams. They don't quit and I really like the grit and hustle on display from BC, but their offense went cold twice during the game and it killed them.
Kat Cooper had 21 points to lead BC. Katie Zenevitch had 10 points and Kristen Doherty (pictured below) finished with 8 points and 11 boards.
Boston College turned the ball over 21 times in the game and shot just 9-34 from three point range. Another big problem in the game was their inability to get to the foul line. Duke hit 17 out of 27 foul shots while BC only took 9 shots from the line for the entire game.
After getting crushed by two highly ranked teams, the women's team needed a win to stem the tide and Thursday's matchup against Miami gave them that opportunity. And though it was a close game, the opportunity was not squandered. They beat the Hurricanes 63-62 and stopped their losing streak. They are 11-7 with a 2-2 ACC record now.
Nicole Boudreau (pictured below) led the team with 15 points. Katie Zenevitch had 12 points and 10 boards while both Lauren Engeln and Kelly Hughes added 10 points.
(photo by John Quackenbos)
I'm headed up to Conte Forum later today to see the women's team take on #9 North Carolina and I'm sure that I'll have something to say about the game afterwards.
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
In case you didn't see my separate entries, you can check out my recaps of the week that was with the high school teams I follow below:
TV - Just a reminder that the third season of the British series Sherlock debuts tonight in the US. It airs at 10pm EST on PBS. The show has already aired in Britain but I know that fans of the show here in the States have been eagerly awaiting the show's return.
Also, you can check out the first official trailer for the fourth season of HBO's Game of Thrones below.
Oh, and thanks to selling off some stuff on eBay recently, I had the money to add the 9th season of Cheers to my DVD collection.
While waiting in anticipation of the full season trailer for Game of Thrones Season 4...
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
In the lead up to last night's playoff game between the Patriots and Colts, there were more than a few pundits who thought the Colts would win this game.
And while I had no illusions that Indy was going to roll over and play dead for New England, I thought anyone picking the Colts outside of their hometown newspaper reporters were utterly insane.
And it turned out that I was a bit more on the money than usual. The Colts didn't roll over and play dead, but they got their collective butts handed to them nonetheless.
The final score of 43-22 doesn't really do justice to how the Patriots dominated this game.
It was a game where Tom Brady was essentially a game manager. I don't know if the game plan included planning around the forecasted crappy weather, but Brady was just 13-25 for 198 yards last night. There were no TD passes and no INTs.
Instead he spent most of the night handing off to a battering ram run game led by LeGarrette Blount's (pictured below) 166 yards and 4 TDS (including a 73 yard scamper that broke the Colts back). The yardage total tied a team playoff record held by Curtis Martin and the four touchdowns are a new team playoff record.
But Blount wasn't the only object of trauma used against the Colts last night. During the rotation of backs in the game, Stevan Ridley (pictured below) got his chance to shine. The yardage total of 52 yards might not be all that impressive but his two rushing TDs were a nice additional bit of scoring. The six rushing TDs by the Patriots are now tied for second in playoff history.
And while the tendency is to overlook an important part of establishing any kind of run game, a big shout out has to go to the Patriots offensive line. They did give up two sacks of Brady, but otherwise, their job was magnificently performed as the opened up holes in the defense for the run game to burst their way through.
The Patriots defense was a bit rough in the first half of the game. Giving up 22 points means you won't grade out as an A plus but Colts QB Andrew Luck passing for 331 yards on the evening were mitigated by the four INTs picked up by the Patriots (two by Alfonzo Dennard). Also, between the score of the game and the fact that the defensive line shut down the Indy run game (69 net yards), Luck HAD to be throwing the ball a lot.
Luck (pictured below) is going to be a big star in the league, I think that much is obvious from how his first two seasons have gone. But last night showed that he has a ways to go before he is the king muckety muck in the AFC. While they survived his three INTs the previous week in their comeback against the Chiefs, Indy's luck ran out when he followed that up with four picks this week. Turnovers will come back to bite you in the ass sooner or later.
So the Patriots put on a power run and smack you in the mouth defensive performance last night and head off to their third straight AFC title game next week. They don't find out if it will be Denver or San Diego until later this afternoon, but if they can continue to play this kind of football, they can continue to be the most surprising edition of themselves in a number of years.
BOSTON COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Women's Basketball - The Eagles picked up their 7th win a row with a 70-63 win over Virginia Tech. They had a 13 point at one point in the second half only to let the Hokies climb back to within 2 points at 65-63 before finally putting them away. It was freshman Kelly Hughes (pictured below) that hit a big 3 point shot with 26.2 seconds left that helped ice the game. Hughes finishes with 12 points in all.
Kristen Doherty (pictured below 1st) had 16 points as did Nicole Boudreau (pictured below 2nd). Katie Zenevitch finished with 13 points and 9 boards.
With those seven straight wins, I had hopes that going into their matchup with #2 Notre Dame that they would give the Irish a game. Alas, it was not to be as the Eagles got crushed 95-53 to end their run of victories and leave them at 10-6 on the season.
Doherty (pictured below 1st) had 13 points, 5 assists and 5 steals to lead BC. Zenevitch (pictured below 2nd) scored 11 points and grabbed 7 boards. She topped the 1,000 point mark for her career. Lauren Engeln scored 10 points but turned the ball over 6 times.
By the way, next week I'll be headed up to Conte Forum to see the women's team take on North Carolina.
Men's Basketball - The men's team was on the road to play Virginia Tech yesterday afternoon. The game was on TV so I postponed my plans to go out and run some errands so that I could watch the game.
And I got to see a pretty decent ball game. It wasn't pretty by any means, but the Eagles ended up coming away with a 62-59 victory. They are 5-11 on the season but the win is their first in 3 tries this season in ACC games.
Lonnie Jackson (pictured below) led the team with 17 points and 6 boards. Olivier Hanlan finished with 14 points. Ryan Anderson had a hard time finding his stroke yesterday. He ended up with 6 points but made up for the lack of offense by grabbing 11 rebounds.
The best thing for the Eagles was seeing Dennis Clifford (pictured below) on the court. He's been out for the majority of the season with chronic knee problems. But yesterday he gave them 21 minutes. His numbers were a respectable 6 points and 6 boards, but more importantly he gave them some size on the court and solid defense.
Just a quick update. I was in a College Bowl Pick 'Em over on Yahoo. I finished 5th overall in yet another example of my total mediocrity in fantasy sports this season.
Hartford - The Hawks rough season continued as the team dropped a 61-57 decision to Stony Brook. They are now 4-11 on the season. The loss dropped them to 1-1 in America East conference play.
Cherelle Moore (14 points, 6 rebounds) and Amber Bepko (12 points) led the team
Missouri State - In their Missouri Valley Conference opener, the Lady Bears squared off against Wichita State and got their heads handed to them by the Shockers 98-68. The loss ended their four game win streak.
The game was close in the first half but the rout was in the second half. The Bears shot 57.1% from the foul line and just 2-13 from three point range.
Bry Snow had 19 points and 7 boards to lead MSU. Kenzie Williams and Tyonna Snow finished with 18 points apiece.
The Bears bounced back on Friday night with an 85-56 win over Bradley. The big win saw all 12 players score for Missouri State led by a career high 16 points from Katie Palmer (pictured below)
Bry Snow had 13 points to go with career highs in steals (4) and blocks (3). Kenzie Williams scored 11 points, which is her 13 straight game in double figures. Tyonna Snow hit for 10 points.
Tennessee - The Lady Vols picked up two more wins this week. But one of those wins came tough while the other was a strong blowout.
Against Georgia, Tennessee won 85-70, but not before nearly blowing a 27 point lead after Georgia went on a 21-0 run from the 7:20 mark in the second half to just under the 2 minute mark. Ariel Massengale led the team with 28 points and Isabelle Harrison finished with 18 points and 10 boards. Meighan Simmons added 11 points.
In their game against Ole Miss, Tennessee rolled to a 94-70 victory. Massengale (pictured below 1st) was again the leading scorer for the game. She finished with 23 points and grabbed 7 rebounds. Harrison had 16 points and 10 rebounds. Andraya Carter (pictured below 2nd) had 14 points and 6 boards. Simmons tallied 12 points and Cierra Burdick had 7 points to go with a team high 9 boards.
The team is now 12-2 on the season.
I dropped the Celtics down from the top of the post this week to slightly mix up the order of things and because they've continued their losing skid over the last week and it is mostly painful to watch. It has been four more losses for Boston as they dropped to 13-24.
They got blown out 119-96 by the Thunder with Avery Bradley and Jeff Green scoring 19 points. Kris Humphries added 14 points.
Before the Nuggets game, the team traded Courtney Lee to the Grizzlies for guard Jerry Bayless. Lee has been unhappy with his role on the team and while he didn't make a pest of himself about it, the move is probably best for all concerned. The problem is that Bayless wasn't exactly lighting it up in Memphis. He was hitting just 37.7% of his shots before the trade.
To make the numbers work for the salary cap, the Celtics sent a 2nd round draft choice to the Thunder for Ryan Gomes but he was waived immediately in a strictly financial move.
And then there was that Nuggets game. So to speak, because the Celtics got run out of the building 129-98. Green had 17 points to lead the team's offense. Brandon Bass had 15 points and 7 boards. Before fouling out of the game, the seemingly forgotten Vitor Faverani had 10 points and 5 boards.
On the road, Boston got 24 points from Jordan Crawford and Avery Bradley but came away from their game with the Clippers with a 111-105 defeat. Bayless added 11 points in support.
On Friday night, the game was much closer and intense. The Warriors still ended up prevailing over Gang Green though when Stephen Curry hit a jumper over Kris Humphries with 2.1 seconds left. Final score 99-97. Green had 24 points and 11 boards and Humphries scored 16 points and grabbed 14 boards. Jared Sullinger came off the bench for 21 points and 11 rebounds.
The seven game losing streak has the club in a free fall and I'm at a loss to figure out what might help them get back on the winning side of things.
BASEBALL HALL OF FAME
There's been a lot of kvetching back and forth over the Dan Le Batard story this week. He's the Florida sports columnist who gave his baseball Hall of Fame voting ballot to the Deadspin.com website so the fans could vote for who they thought should be in the HOF.
This is in direct opposition to the rules of voting for the HOF and while the majority of people I have read online over the last few days support what Le Batard did, I find it to be just another case of Le Batard being a gigantic penis as he always has been when I've seen him on TV.
If you don't want to vote, don't vote. If you think the process of selecting who goes to the Hall of Fame is flawed, work to fix it. But don't go around being an ass about things. You will get support, but only from like minded people rather than converting those not already on your side.
For his crimes of journalistic integrity, his membership in the Baseball Writers Association of America was suspended for a year and his Hall of Fame voting privileges were permanently yanked.
I'm in the minority opinion but I say good riddance to bad rubbish. Now if only ESPN and his home Florida newspaper would stop polluting the airwaves and print newspaper with his self serving pinheaded ways.
Music - The new Adrenaline Mob CD Men of Honor isn't due out until February 18 but you can check out the lyric video for the song "Feel The Adrenaline" below.
Books - I finished reading the Hank Phillippi Ryan thriller The Wrong Girl this past week. I loved it and I'm already eagerly anticipating the next book in the series.
Of course, I also picked up some new books to grow my "to be read" pile a little more. I got two books from Laurie R. King called The Pirate King and Garment of Shadows. The books tell a tale of an older Sherlock Holmes and his wife Mary Russell. This series has been a marvel since the first book The Beekeeper's Apprentice and though I'm behind in my reading of the books, they are always highly anticipated.
The other book I picked up was the science fiction novel by David Weber called A Rising Thunder. It is the latest paperback release in his Honor Harrington series. This is another series that grabbed me from the first book and never let go. He's continued the main series, but Weber has had two spinoff series as well as a young adult series to go with it. There's a comic series coming out soon and I believe there will be a movie at some point too.
While hoping that the winter storm leftovers (snow) melts down a little before we get hit with another round of fresh powder...
More bad news this week for the Celtics. Their stay in first place of the Atlantic division has gone by the boards after three more losses.
The Celtics blew yet another 18 point lead as they lost to the Atlanta Hawks 92-91. Kelly Olynyk had a career high 21 points in the game as the bench players got a lot of action when the starters got benched for a large part of the game due to ineffectiveness. Case in point: The starters shot 25% for the game while the bench hit 62% of their shots.
Kris Humphries scored 18 points and grabbed 10 boards while Courtney Lee added 11 points. Jared Sullinger had 11 points in the game.
There was some flareup on the Boston bench between Brandon Bass and Jeff Green. It has been played off in the press as just a run of the mill argument between teammates. I'm hoping that is the case because the Celtics can't afford any lingering bickering between two of their top players.
On Thursday, the Chicago Bulls put a 94-82 knockdown on the Celtics with 6 Bulls hitting double figures in the game. As for the Celtics, Jordan Crawford scored 22 points and had 7 assists. Green and Sullinger each scored 11 points. Sullinger had 11 boards as well. Humphries finished with 9 points and 11 boards.
And then came Friday's game against the New Orleans Pelicans. Avery Bradley scored 22 points. Bass had 16 points and 11 boards and Green added 16 points. Jared Sullinger finished with 13 points and 11 boards. Kris Humphries scored 7 points but led the team in rebounding with 12.
Jared Sullinger has been toughing it out as of late. It seems he re-aggravated a hand injury and it is causing him some harsh discomfort, but so far he has been adamant about playing through the pain. While an admirable trait, I hope the injury doesn't get so bad that he ends up having to be out for a long period of time. I'd rather see him down for a few games than a few dozen.
And have you noticed the way Kris Humphries has been playing as of late? Injuries led to his playing time increasing and he has shown up in a big way in the box score. He's scoring the ball, but he has also been a huge factor on the boards. For a guy that initially looked like he might not even be with the Celtics when the season started, he's actually earning the money he's getting right now. It's a long way from how people (including me) saw him as originally.
The official results of my dabbling in being a fake NFL GM this year saw me finish 5th overall in one league and 7th overall in another. I'm guessing if I was an actual GM, the one you'd compare me to most was the guy in Tampa Bay who just got fired.
Better luck to me next year I hope.
Two resoundingly bad bits of news this week for the league.
It seems the Los Angeles area is in for their second round of gawdawful ownership worries (after the McCourts-Dodgers debacle). The majority owners of the L.A. Sparks, the family owned company led by Sparks chairman Paula Madison have essentially walked away from their responsibilities as team owners.
The league has taken over the search for a new owner since the ones who were in control have abdicated their duties. The front office and coaching staffs (three weeks after head coach Carol Ross signed a contract extension) have been laid off / fired. The players got letters saying as of Dec. 31st, they were no longer employees of the team. They are apparently still being paid and getting their benefits though.
This is a rather spectacular disaster for the league, which has had more than its fair share of teams folding or moving it its relatively short lifespan.
From what I've read on the Rebkell women's basketball message boards, the Madison family ownership was seen as bad from Day 1 and allegations of shady business dealings by Paula Madison and her brother have been getting some play on the boards too.
It has also been mentioned that if the league can't maintain a team in a media capital like LA, it might further hasten a possible demise of the entire league.
Apparently there might be some light at the end of the tunnel though as Joe Lacob, the owner of the Golden State Warriors has expressed interest in owning the team. He's a big supporter of women's basketball and owned the San Jose Lasers in the ABL before that league folded.
It will be interesting to see how this story unfolds from here.
The other bit of news came on Friday when Seattle Storm President and CEO Karen Bryant announced the 2014 season will be her last with the team. She has spent 15 years with the team from securing the franchise in the first place and helping name the team to becoming one of the owners of the Storm.
While an owner stepping down/away from the team might not seem like a big thing when the rest of the ownership is still in place, you can't help but wonder if this is another BAD BAD BAD sign for the league when it loses one of its most passionate supporters in actively working in the WNBA.
Missouri State - The Lady Bears have been on a roll as of late. They beat North Texas 85-79 to win their 4th straight game and improve to 5-6 on the season.
Yes I know it is still a losing record but the rough start to the season had you wondering if it was going to be a long run of losses this year. It is nice to see things starting to take hold for the team as a whole before their Missouri Valley Conference schedule kicks in.
Bry Snow scored a career high 21 points and Tyonna Snow added 21 points of her own. Nijay Gaines added 12 points and Kenzie Williams finished with 11 points and 8 boards. Of course, the biggest factor in the win just might have come from the foul line as MSU hit 30 out of 40 attempts.
Tennessee - The Lady Vols split their last two games. First up they destroyed Lipscomb 110-42. The score makes you wonder why this team was on Tennessee's schedule in the first place.
Isabelle Harrison (pictured below) led the team with 26 points and 15 boards. Meighan Simmons added 15 points. Cierra Burdick had a big game with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists. Mercedes Russell, who would be named SEC Rookie of the Week, added 12 points and 7 boards. Bashaara Graves and Nia Moore each scored 11 points.
The score of the game was the largest margin of victory for Tennessee since 2005.
But the good times didn't keep rolling along when they faced off against #16 LSU. The Tigers are coached by former Lady Vol Nikki Caldwell and she came back to somewhat mar the Candace Parker jersey retirement ceremony (pictured below 1st) by upsetting the #5 Lady Vols 80-77.
Isabelle Harrison tied her career high with 26 points and added 10 rebounds. Simmons had 15 points. Ariel Massengale scored 10 and dished out 12 assists while Jasmine Jones (pictured below 2nd) had 8 points and 10 rebounds.
The loss leaves Tennessee at 11-2 on the season.
Hartford - The Hawks dropped a 70-56 decision to Penn State last week. Cherelle Moore scored 11 points as the only Hartford player to hit double figures in the game. She added 9 rebounds as well. Alyssa Englert scored just 4 points in the game but did have a career high 9 assists.
Hartford closed out their non-conference schedule on Saturday afternoon with a 56-43 victory over Dartmouth. They improve to 4-10 on the season. Amber Bepko (pictured below) was the only player in double figures for Hartford, finishing with 11 points (all in the first half).
You can see the highlights and the post game presser with coach Jennifer Rizzotti below.
NFL - I don't have a whole lot to say about the playoffs that hasn't already been said by talking heads who get paid to offer their opinions or by other bloggers on TSBN or YouGabSports. So I'm pretty easy on this...GO PATRIOTS!
But the interesting read I had this week had to do with the Cleveland Browns. This joke of a franchise should be contracted to save the NFL the weekly embarrassment that is the so-called professional football franchise. I've got a friend who is a huge Cleveland sports fan (no accounting for his tastes but I digress). While I'm not saying that I'm hoping a Cleveland team wins to get him off the metaphorical ledge of the building, it would be nice if he had SOME hope.
After the firing fest that took place last Sunday and Monday, it looked like the pink slips had gone by the wayside for the NFL head coaches. But yesterday, the Tennessee Titans fired Mike Munchak after he went 22-26 over three seasons.
I guess you can't say it was much of a surprise that he was fired but the timing is odd. What was going on that it took an extra week to decide he wasn't going to be brought back for a 4th season?
The article I read said the team has been holding meetings for the last week, but I can't imagine they just started their organizational review AFTER the season ended.
The firing ends Munchak's tenure with the club which began in 1982 when he was drafted to play for the franchise.
As for yesterday's first playoff game, fans sure got their money's worth for the game, didn't they?
I tuned in with 13:39 left in the 3rd quarter with the Kansas City Chiefs just smacking the Indianapolis Colts around, 38-10.
But just when you might've thought the game was over, the Colts rallied back, in "Music City Miracle" fashion, and with 4:21 left in the fourth quarter went ahead 45-44.
Yes neither team played much defense in the second half and yes the Chiefs were hurt by a number of injuries (including running back Jamaal Charles) but for those that love offensive football, this was a game of Thanksgiving meal sized proportions.
BOSTON COLLEGE NOTEBOOK
Women's Basketball - The women's team is cooking with fire lately. They've now won 6 games in a row to stand at 9-5 on the season.
They beat Providence 80-71 behind a season high 23 points from Kristen Doherty. Kat Cooper added 15 points and Nicole Boudreau scored 15 points of her own to go with 6 boards. Katie Zenevitch had 14 points and 6 boards.
You can check out a brief video of the post game comments from Erik Johnson below.
The team followed that victory up with an 81-67 win over Mount St. Mary's. Katie Zenevitch had a career high 29 points and career high 16 boards to power the Eagles to victory. Boudreau added 17 points and Doherty had 13 points and 8 boards. Lauren Engeln finished with 10 points.
The most amazing thing about this current win streak is that the Eagles are doing it while at the same time missing a large portion of their lineup. Against Mount St. Mary's they had just 7 available players for the game.
If they ever get all their players healthy and contributing...man I could be setting myself up for disappointment in a big way, but I would think they could be a factor in the ACC conference play.
You can watch the postgame with coach Johnson below:
Men's Basketball - The "Fire Steve Donahue" movement is now starting to get louder. On the BC athletics Facebook page in particular. After the Eagles lost to Harvard on New Year's Day 73-58, unhappy basketball fans aren't even bothering to hide their dissatisfaction with the product on the floor.
I can't say I blame them. The Eagles have now lost to Harvard 6 years in a row! They were 4-10 on the season after the Harvard loss and it isn't because they lack players. They've got guys who can score. But apparently they have no one who can play defense. And improvement doesn't seem to be on the horizon when you factor in that the ACC schedule with teams consistently ranked in the Top 25 (and top 5 for that matter) will be their opponents for the rest of the regular season.
If you can't stop teams that aren't as good as what you'll be facing in conference play, how the hell do you think you are going to stop Duke, Syracuse or North Carolina?
For the Harvard game, Ryan Anderson led the Eagles with 17 points and 9 boards. Olivier Hanlan added 13 points. Eddie Odio scored 11 and Joe Rahon chipped in with 10 points.
The Eagles played Clemson on Saturday afternoon. The first half was awful as BC was held to just 17 points for the first 20 minutes.
The game was much better and closer in the second half. Olivier Hanlan had a chance to tie the game at the foul line but front rimmed the first shot and had to purposely miss the second attempt. Clemson got the rebound and the final horn sounded and the Tigers won 62-60
Hanlan had 27 points and 5 rebounds in the game to lead Boston College. Ryan Anderson finished with 13 points as the Eagles dropped to 4-11.
TV - While I've been doing a rewatch on the cancelled Fox series Wonderfalls on DVD and watching Night Court on On Demand, the biggest TV news is also movie related.
The three season series Veronica Mars is getting a big screen movie. And the first official theatrical trailer has been posted online. You can check it out below. As a huge fan of the series, I was quite happy with the tease of the trailer.
Books - I picked up two books this week. The first I mentioned last week as having ordered it. But my copy of Hank Phillippi Ryan's The Wrong Girl finally came in the mail this week.
The other book I picked up was the latest Star Trek novel Star Trek: The Fall - Peaceable Kingdoms by Dayton Ward.
Also, as part of my writing duties for KNAC.com, I submitted my list of the 10 best CDs of the year. You can read the full article including the lists from everyone else involved with the content side of the site here: http://knac.com/article.asp?ArticleID=10688
My full breakdown of the best of goes like this:
01.) Oliva - Raise The Curtain (Nuclear Blast)
02.) Metal Church - Generation Nothing (Rat Pak Records)
03.) Black Sabbath - 13 (Republic Records)
04.) Fates Warning - Darkness in a Different Light (InsideOut Music)
05.) S.U.N. - Something Unto Nothing (Robo Records)
06.) Pamela Moore - Resurrect Me (Rat Pak Records)
07.) Deep Purple - Now What?! (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
08.) Helloween - Straight Out Of Hell (Sony)
09.) Queensryche - Frequency Unknown (Cleopatra Records)
10.) Benedictum - Obey (Frontiers)
If you include the NON-Metal releases, the list would look like this:
1. Oliva - Raise The Curtain
2. Metal Church - Generation Nothing
3. Black Sabbath - 13
4. Beth Hart - Bang Bang Boom Boom
5. Fates Warning - Darkness in a Different Light
6. S.U.N. - Something Unto Nothing
7. Pamela Moore - Resurrect Me
8. Beth Hart / Joe Bonamassa - Seesaw
9. Deep Purple - Now What?!
10. Helloween - Straight Out of Hell
Last Sunday, Boston beat the Knicks 114-73. It was the biggest beatdown in the NBA this season. Jordan Crawford scored 23 points and had 7 assists. His recent on court success garnered him the Eastern Conference player of the week award.
Jared Sullinger had 21 points and Brandon Bass put up 16 points and 8 boards. Also hitting double figures in scoring for the game were Jeff Green (16), Avery Bradley (13, plus 10 boards) and Courtney Lee (10).
Six days later (this past Friday night), the Celtics had to rally from an 11 point fourth quarter deficit to once again knock off the Knicks. This time the score was 90-86. Sullinger led the team with 19 points and 6 boards and Lee scored 18 points. Bradley had 13 points and 6 boards. Brandon Bass put up 10 points with 8 rebounds. Jeff Green had 8 points in the game, his first outing in quite a while where he didn't hit double figures.
Of course, in between these two games was were games against both the Brooklyn Nets and the LA Clippers. While it might not normally have been much in terms of a big game event for either matchup, the fact it was the first game back in Boston for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett with the Nets and for the now Clippers coach Doc Rivers meant the hype was turned up to the Nth degree.
Against the Nets, the Celtics got 22 points from Avery Bradley and 19 from Jeff Green, but it wasn't enough as they dropped the game 104-96. Sullinger and Crawford scored 15 points each while Bass had 13 points and 11 boards.
The Celtics pregame show host actually said, by way of intro to the Clippers game, that it was the one you (the viewer) had been waiting six months for. This caused me to roll my eyes. I love Doc Rivers for what he did here in Boston, but come on now, no one circles a game on the NBA calendar in early December.
He was rightfully lauded for his 9 years of service but let's not completely lose our minds here people.
But then it was time to actually play the game and the Celtics came out on the wrong end of a 96-88 final score. Jeff Green had 29 points and Crawford added 20 points and 9 assists. Brandon Bass got 17 points and 12 boards and Sullinger had 10 points and 9 boards.
So the week closes out with a Celtics record of 11-14. They are still in first place in the Atlantic division.
I wrote last week about the local Pop Warner football team, the Wareham Tigers, playing in the Super Bowl down in Florida. They lost that first game but it was close and they were in the lead for the majority of the game.
Such was not the case when they played their second and final game. They played some strong defense in the second half against the North Raleigh Bulldogs, but the first half wasn't so kind and they trailed 22-0 at halftime. The final score was 29-0.
While they lost both games it was great to see them get so far. The losses will sting in their memory I'm sure but the trip to compete for a national title will stay with them as well.
While the big news of the week boiled down to either the contract extension for Nick Saban at Alabama or when they will announce that Mack Brown is out as coach at Texas, let's not forget that the Army-Navy game was yesterday.
The game saw the Midshipmen win for the 12 straight year. The final score was 34-7 in a snowstorm game as the contest broke down to the sure-footedness of Navy QB Keenan Reynolds and 6 turnovers by Army.
Army had 5 fumbles in last year's game and repeated that less than stellar feat this year, adding an interception to go with 5 more fumbles. While Army couldn't move the ball for much of the game even when they held on to it, Navy's Reynolds broke the single season rushing TD mark for quarterbacks with 3 scores on 136 rushing yards. He has 29 for the season and still has the Armed Services Bowl game against Middle Tennessee State to pad the record. Reynolds also caught a pass for 2 point conversion.
The game featured as much pomp and pageantry as any of the big time schools.
You had the student bodies decked out in uniform on the field for pregame ceremonies and in the stands.
There was a marriage proposal (she accepted!)
And of course, you had the game.
And once the clock hit 0:00, Navy got to celebrate.
Army was at attention for their school song after the game.
As for the Saban contract extension, as a Bama fan I'm glad he's staying put, but the question with Saban is always...for how long? Just because he has a long deal doesn't mean he'll actually be around at the end of the deal.
One of my former players, Rachel, got named to the local paper's 2013 Cross Country Super Team this past week.
Here's what they had to say about her:
"Another talented sophomore, Rachel finished as the No. 3 runner for the Bulldogs. She was 27th in the sophomore race at the Twilight Meet in 21:12.05, was fourth in the South Coast Conference championships in 21:12 and clocked a personal best 20:57 in finishing 44th at the Division 5 Meet. …"Rachel made huge improvements in her times from last year," Coach Cindy Tilden said. "Rachel has become a very smart and aggressive runner and I am excited to see what the future will hold for her."
Two of my former players were part of the Cape Cod Times Friday sports feature "The View". They were asked what was the best gift they ever received.
Richie said: "My mom got me and my dad Celtics tickets two years ago and they were like five rows behind the hoop. They played the 76ers and won that night."
Sierra said: "A (Lionel) Messi soccer jersey from my soccer coach and a Spanish-English dictionary last spring because I was going to Mexico ."
WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Hartford - The Hawks broke their 7 game losing streak with a 66-56 overtime win over Maine this week. It was the opening game of their America East conference schedule. Deanna Mayza, who looked overwhelmed against Boston College last Sunday led Hartford with 18 points, 7 assists and 4 steals. Alyssa Reaves had 15 points and Amber Bepko finished with 11 points. They are now 2-8 on the season.
Tennessee - The Lady Vols spent last Sunday knocking off Texas 75-61. Isabelle Harrison (pictured below 1st) had 18 points and 8 boards. Ariel Massengale scored 15 points to go with 7 assists and Meighan Simmons added 13 points. Cierra Burdick (pictured below 2nd) finished with 10 points and 8 boards.
Against Troy on Saturday, the Lady Vols rolled to a 103-64 win despite turning the ball over 28 times. Bashaara Graves and Meighan Simmons scored 16 points apiece to pace the offense. Four other players also hit double figures in scoring: Cierra Burdick (15 points, 10 boards), Isabelle Harrison (13 points, 12 boards), Mercedes Russell (10 points, 8 boards), Nia Moore (10 points 13 boards, pictured below 1st). Jasmine Jones (pictured below 2nd) had 9 points and 10 boards.
The team is now 9-0 on the season but if they can't focus on a lesser light team like Troy and keep control of the ball how do they expect to beat the top teams in the country. 28 turnovers is atrocious for a top flight team.
You can check out coach Holly Warlick's post game press conference below.
BOSTON COLLEGE NOTEBOOK
Last Saturday, I went to a pro team tent sale and came home with another BC T-shirt to add to my collection. Just a little tidbit I thought I'd throw in there.
Football - The Eagles will play in the December 31st Advocare V100 bowl down in Shreveport, Louisiana. They will face off against Arizona.
Meanwhile, in the lead up to not winning the Heisman (he came in fourth) because everyone knew that FSU QB Jameis Winston (left off 115 ballots ENTIRELY) was getting that as soon as he wasn't charged in the rape investigation, BC running back Andre Williams (pictured below) was the winner of this year's Doak Walker award for the nation's top running back.
Men's Basketball - It was a tough week for the men's hoopsters. They lost to USC 78-62 thanks to a terrible second half. They were tied at halftime but came out flat and just couldn't put things together.
Ryan Anderson had 13 points, Joe Rahon (pictured below 1st) finished with 11 points, 9 assists and 6 boards and KC Caudill (pictured below 2nd) scored 11 points.
The week got worse when they opened their ACC conference schedule with an 88-80 loss to Maryland.
Olivier Hanlan scored 26 points and had a career high 8 assists but it wasn't enough to keep the Eagles from falling to 3-7 on the year. Garland Owens had 16 points while Ryan Anderson scored 14 points (topping the 1,000 career point mark) and 8 rebounds.
At 3-7, and heading into the ACC part of their schedule, you have to wonder exactly what coach Steve Donahue (pictured below) had up his sleeve. Because right now, it doesn't seem like the Eagles will be able to do much of anything against the top flight ACC teams. They can score points but can't seem to stop anyone else from doing the same. If you can't play defense, you can't win games and it is pretty close to the point where if you don't see some improvement in the overall fortunes of the program, there might be louder calls for a change at the top.
After that win, they played Boston University midweek. They'd lost the last two games they'd played against the Terriers but this time around the Eagles took the victory 63-52. BC won the battle of the boards 47-33 in large part to the 11 boards grabbed by Katie Zenevitch (she had 12 points as well).
Kristen Doherty had 14 points and 6 boards while Lauren Engeln (pictured below) scored 13 points and had 7 boards. Kelly Hughes finished 4-8 from three point range for 12 points and Kat Cooper tallied 10 points.
Here's the post game press conference video with coach Erik Johnson.
Movies - I picked up the DVD for The Fast and the Furious this week and watched it again. I still love it and it will rank high on my top movies of 2013 list.
TV - You can check out a brief trailer for this year's Doctor Who Christmas Special below.
Music - There's a couple of links for you to check out this week. The first is the lyric video for the new Adrenaline Mob song "Come On Get Up". The new album Men of Honor is due out February 18th.
And then there is the audio stream of the new Iced Earth song "Among The Living Dead" from their new album due January 21st called Plagues of Babylon.
And because I had a pretty darn good week, I was able to get three CD reviews done.