Try as I might, I really can't work up much enthusiasm for the Winter Olympics. I'm not usually as much of a fan of the Winter Games as I am the Summer Games but with the utter debacle that is the news coming out of Sochi regarding how unprepared the city (resort town) is, you have to shake your head.
Stray dogs, unfinished rooms, rooms without the basic necessities like toilets that flush toilet paper, water that comes with a warning (as if the yellow color wasn't enough of one) to not put it on your face.
You have to wonder if the Russian leader Putin planned it this way so the world's press would be distracted by the "small" stuff and ignore the bigger stories about how much of a dictatorship Russia is back to being.
I'll be interested in how the Olympic hockey tourney goes, but I'm usually only interested in events that the US does well in. Yes, I'm a homer in that regard.
There were two bits of news this week regarding the WNBA. The first story was the Phoenix Mercury announcing a new uniform sponsor. They'd lost Lifelock and have now replaced them with Casino Arizona. You can see the home jersey below:
The bigger news revolved around the future of the Los Angeles Sparks. When the previous owners bailed out, it looked like the Sparks would most likely move to the San Francisco area after being bought by Joe Lacob, the owner of the Golden State Warriors of the NBA.
But the Sparks will be staying in LA after the news broke that the investment group led by Magic Johnson and his partner in owning the LA Dodgers bought the team.
I joked on another forum that if this keeps up, Johnson might just buy the entire city of Los Angeles at some point. But this is a good move for the Sparks and the WNBA. Johnson and his partners have been pretty successful at their business moves and if they can make the Sparks into an even more viable entity, that can only improve the future for the league as a whole.
The news coming out of the Celtics this week is a three game winning streak. The record is now 18-33 after the wins and suddenly the Celtics look reasonably good again.
Yes I know the record stinks, but the entire Eastern Conference beyond the Heat and the Pacers stinks too so it isn't like the Celtics are completely out of the realm of possibility to make the playoffs...if they keep playing THIS way.
Things started off with a 96-89 win over the Orlando Magic. Jared Sullinger led the team with 21 points and 12 boards while Brandon Bass had 19 points and 9 boards.
The game also saw Rajon Rondo's first breakout game since his return from injury. He had 19 points, 10 assists and 10 boards.
Next up was a rematch against the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston edged them out 114-108 as Jeff Green had another explosive offensive night with 36 points (and 8 boards). Sullinger added 19 points and 10 boards. Bass scored 18 and grabbed 6 boards. Rondo dished out 11 assists.
On Friday night, with Rondo given a DNP-CD to rest, you might've expected a different result but the Celtics got it done against the Sacramento Kings 99-89. Jared Sullinger (pictured below on defense) scored a career high 31 points and had 16 rebounds. Jerryd Bayless finished with 19 points including 4 three pointers. Green added 17 points and Kelly Olynyk hit for 11 points.
And while he'll be down the list of reasons why the Celtics won this game, Gerald Wallace played a really big role in the win. He had 8 points, 12 boards and 9 assists. That kind of stat line demonstrates why he is a "glue guy" kind of player.
You know he isn't happy coming off the bench in a reduced role but he does everything that's asked of him. When he was running off at the lip early in the season it was slightly annoying but say what you want about that, he's doing his job in a remarkably effective way.
Speaking of that, another player doing a great job in the role provided him is Chris Johnson. And the team rewarded that effort by guaranteeing his contract for the rest of the season. He had been on his 2nd 10 day contract with the Celtics and league rules say that you can only sign two of those deals with any one team before they have to pick you up for the year or let you go.
I think it is a smart move for the Celtics as it gives them another quality role player who fits in with the team quite well and works his tail off when on the court.
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
You can check out the two high school basketball updates I did this week, including news on one of my ex-players hitting the 1,000 point mark via the following links:
And before I forget, here's the official team photo for the Upper Cape Girls varsity team.
WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Hartford - The Hawks split their two games this week. They won their 5th game in a row when they knocked off Stony Brook 61-48. Amber Bepko scored her season high of 19 points (to go with 7 boards. She was a perfect 10-10 at the foul line.
Morgan Lumb (pictured below) had a career high 17 points and was later named America East Rookie of the Week. Alyssa Reaves added 10 points.
The statistical oddity of this particular game was that Hartford won despite getting outrebounded 48-38.
The win streak ended on Friday night when Albany crushed the Hawks 90-68. While they played an even game in the second half, it was a 47-25 first half that killed Hartford's chances.
Morgan Lumb had 16 points to lead the team while Bepko scored 11 and Reaves finished with 10 points for the now 9-14 (6-4 AEC) Hawks.
Missouri State - Using their defense to force a season high 29 turnovers, the Bears crushed Southern Illinois earlier this week 76-58. This despite actually losing the battle of the boards 39-34.
Kenzie Williams had 12 points to lead the team. Bry Snow added 11 points and Hannah Wilkerson finished with 10 points. But it was a career night for Lexi Hughes who established 3 new career highs with 11 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals in the game.
On Friday night, a thoroughly balanced attack led the team to a 66-41 win over Loyola. All 12 players scored in the game and none of them hit double figures. It was Williams who topped the scoring chart with 9 points.
The team is now 11-10 with a 6-4 conference record.
Tennessee - The Lady Vols had two wins this week and surprisingly enough the games were actually relatively close affairs.
They beat Alabama 64-54. They were down in the game by as many as 15 points. But a career high 20 points to go with 11 boards from Cierra Burdick (pictured below) helped mount the successful comeback. Burdick went on to be named SEC player of the week. Isabelle Harrison had a double double with 11 points and 11 boards.
In what was the 100th win that Lady Vol player Meighan Simmons has been involved with during her time at Tennessee, the Lady Vols beat Ole Miss 77-65 for their 5th straight win and a 19-4 (8-2 SEC) record. Simmons had 20 points in the game. Harrison scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Burdick added 12 points, 8 boards and 5 assists.
BOSTON COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Women - The week started out bad for the women's team as they dropped yet another game they should've won. The 70-63 overtime loss to Virginia Tech was particularly galling since they had beaten them earlier in the season.
Worse yet was that BC was winning by 5 at halftime. Kelly Hughes continued her sensational freshman year with 22 points and Katie Zenevitch added 15 points and 9 boards (5 turnovers out of the team's 17 total TO's though).
What killed them in this game was the disastrous first three minutes of the overtime period. They turned the ball over 6 times in that time frame and managed just 1 point for the entire OT.
As demonstrated, that will simply not get things done.
The weekly press conference with coach Erik Johnson is below.
With BC heading in the downward direction and Virginia looking as though they were on a move up, you would be forgiven if you though their game on Thursday would be a Cavalier undertaking.
But after being down by 9 points at halftime and 15 points with 11:05 remaining, the Eagles used a 19-2 run to not only get back into the game but take it over down the stretch. That big run was keyed by 7 points from Kelly Hughes (pictured below 1st) and 6 points from Karima Gabriel.
Those 6 points were the only points that came from the BC bench. The starters provided the rest of the offense and that was with Kristen Doherty out of action for the game with an injury.
A key to the game in the second half was the Eagles committing only 4 turnovers in the half. Shooting 10-23 for the game from three point range didn't hurt either.
Hughes finished with a career high tying 23 points. Nicole Boudreau (pictured below 2nd) had 13 points and 5 assists while Kat Cooper (pictured below 3rd) scored 12 points. You can also check out highlights of the game in the video below.
Men - The men's game against Virginia was on TV the other night and I watched some of it. But they were getting hammered early. They went on to lose by "only" 10 points, 77-67, but with Duke coming to town Saturday night, they could've used a win over a slightly lesser light in the ACC. Ryan Anderson had 20 points and 7 boards to lead the Eagles with Olivier Hanlan (14 points) and Lonnie Jackson (12 points) also contributing.
As for the Duke game, the Eagles played the Blue Devils surprisingly close in the first half. They were down just 4 points at the break.
But an 18-0 run in the second half by Duke killed any chance for the Eagles (6-17, 2-8) to pull off what would've been a tremendous upset.
Olivier Hanlan scored 25 points to lead BC. Ryan Anderson (pictured below) added 12 points and Joe Rahon hit for 11 points.
Duke's Jabari Parker put on quite a show in front of the Boston crowd which included Celtics GM Danny Ainge. He finished with 29 points and 16 boards.
THE SUPER BOWL
Well, if you weren't a Seahawks fan, that was one crappy championship game I'd say. I was totally wrong on my score prediction last week. Thankfully I didn't actually watch the game as the ass-kicking was on pretty much from the opening kickoff.
Denver looked completely unprepared for Seattle in every respect.
For those that don't pay attention, the Seahawks win is not the city's first major championship since 1979. The WNBA's Seattle Storm won titles in 2004 and 2010. Call it lazy reporting by every single media outlet you can think of.
Movies - I'm probably going to see a movie at some point today but I have no idea what that might be. The new George Clooney movie The Monuments Men looks interesting but I don't know if I want to see that in the theater or just wait for the film to come out on PPV/DVD.
As many people know, actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died this week. I know some think it is crazy to see so many people that didn't actually know him be upset about his death and generally I agree with that viewpoint. But I did like some of the movies he appeared in and that is what I'll miss about him.
It also doesn't lessen my disgust with him over his drug use that led to his death. Particularly since it leaves his three children without a father.
TV - During the Super Bowl, Fox ran some promos for the return of the TV series 24. The 12 episode "event" series Live Another Day starts May 5th and I'm eagerly awaiting the return of Jack Bauer.
You can check out one of the quickie promos below.
And don't forget that tonight is the return of The Walking Dead on AMC. And for those so inclined towards comic books, the Kevin Smith show Comic Book Men returns later in the evening as well.
Funny thing about that show is how bad it makes us comic book fans look but much like a roadside car accident I can't stop watching it.
Comic Books - I somehow missed that one of my current favorite comic writers, Brian Wood, had a series prior to when I started reading his work (Conan, Star Wars, The Massive). It is called DMZ and it set during the second Civil War and the location is New York City. Obviously there is more to the story but I picked up the first trade collection yesterday (the entire series is collected in 12 trade paperbacks) and if this story is anything like his outstanding work on the three titles I mentioned above, I might just have a new series to add to my collection.
While the reaction wasn't immediate, it came as no surprise to anyone when the Boston Red Sox announced this week that Red Sox reporter Jenny Dell had been taken off the job as a game sideline reporter. The reason? Her now public relationship with Red Sox player Will Middlebrooks.
Of course, other female journalists are not happy with her actions. I think it seems kind of stupid to actively court losing a job all for the sake of "love", but since I'm probably the least romantic or sentimental person I know, my opinion likely shouldn't count for much.
Dell is still employed by NESN but as a studio host now. It seems Boston's female sideline reporters don't know how to stay away from the players they are supposed to be covering. Wasn't Hazel Mae dating Ricky Davis when he was with the Celtics.
I know that most sideline reporting duties aren't exactly the heights of quality journalism but doesn't anyone tell the reporters to do their jobs...not the players?
It's official. David Stern is no longer the commissioner of the NBA. After a 30 year run and presiding over the most successful period in the league's history, he's turned things over to Adam Silver. You can check out an interview with Stern that was done by SI.com's Jack McCallum here:
Another week in Celtics land and you can add three more losses to the team's record.
With Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett back in town with the Brooklyn Nets, the sentimental stuff was flowing strong and long for the two players. With all the positive press they were getting, you'd almost forget that they were on the opposing team.
The Celtics organization handled things quite well with each player getting a great video presentation. Pierce and Garnett said all the right things after the Nets 85-79 win as well.
Leading the Celtics was Brandon Bass with 17 points and 8 boards. Rajon Rondo had 13 points, 8 assists and 8 boards. Of course, when your point guard ties for the team high in rebounds you have to hope it is one of those statistical flukes or else you really have to worry about how your bigs are playing.
It probably comes as no surprise that the New York Knicks were looking for a little payback when they faced off with Boston this week. The last time the two teams met, the Celtics kicked their collective butts. Consider the favor returned as the Knicks demolished and likely demoralized Boston on their way to a 114-88 win.
Jeff Green had 14 points and 7 boards as the lead man for Boston in the game.
And just to add insult to the week, there was the Celtics 95-94 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. Sure it was a close game, but the Celtics lost the game on a Evan Turner layup at the damn buzzer! ARGGGGHHHH!
Jared Sullinger had a big game with 24 points and 17 boards. Jeff Green added 18 points and Kris Humphries had 13 points and 9 boards.
While the win-loss record took yet another beating (they are now 15-33), there was at least one positive note to be happy about. The Celtics signed Chris Johnson to a second 10 day contract. Johnson (late of the NBADL) has been impressing the team's coaches and brass with his day in and day out hustle. For those of us still paying attention via the game or the reports on the games, his efforts have been noticed as well. He had 12 points each against the Nets and Knicks and played his way through a sprain. He knows he has limited opportunities to show people what he's got and he's been capitalizing on those opportunities. The question now becomes will those efforts be enough to convince the team to sign him for the rest of the season once his 2nd 10 day contract ends?
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
You can check out my three blog posts recapping the latest high school basketball results for the teams I track below.
I know I'm in the minority of football fans, but I pretty much don't care about the Super Bowl this year. But for the sake of pretending to be in with the in crowd, I'll give you my pick for which team I think will win the game.
Surprisingly, I actually watched a couple of men's college games this week but for the life of me I can't remember who was playing.
As for the women's teams I follow:
Tennessee - The Lady Vols picked up two more wins this week to improve their record to 17-4 overall (6-2 SEC).
Meighan Simmons scored 26 points to lead the Vols over Texas A&M 76-55 in her home state return. It was Simmons and Ciera Burdick (pictured below) scoring 16 points each to lead the team over Arkansas 70-60 late in the week. Burdick added 7 rebounds as well.
Hartford - While by no means assuming that their season could possibly turn around after their disastrous start, the Hawks have been looking a little better as of late. They knocked off Vermont 64-51 this week and improved their overall record to 8-13. More importantly, their conference record is now 5-3.
The win came in a rather unorthodox way. The Hartford bench had a 43-14 scoring advantage over Vermont's bench and it was three reserves who led the team in scoring for the game. Cherelle Moore had 14 points and 8 boards, Morgan Lumb added 12 points and Taylor Clark scored 10. It was a 14-0 run early in the second half that pushed Hartford ahead to stay.
Missouri State - Another solid week for the Lady Bears has them nearing the .500 mark once more. They beat Illinois State 75-72. They had a 12 point lead but blew that. Then they regrouped to win the ballgame in the final minute. Tyonna Snow had 14 points and Kenzie Williams scored 13, though she did turn the ball over 6 times. Bry Snow added 11 points and 5 boards while Katie Palmer finished with 10 points.
On Friday night, MSU got 21 points from Kenzie Williams to knock off Evansville 87-70. The win moves them to 9-10 overall and 4-4 in the Missouri Valley Conference. Tyonna Snow had 17 points in the game to go with 7 steals while Katie Palmer added 13 points and 6 boards.
BOSTON COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Women - Last Sunday it was Alumni Day at the BC women's game. There were a number of former coaches and players in attendance including Carolyn Swords and Corey Rusin. Unfortunately, the current team lost a heartbreaker to Wake Forest 56-50.
They shot 2-20 from three point range and just 8-13 from the foul line. Kristen Doherty had 12 points and 5 rebounds to lead the team. Kelly Hughes added 8 points and 7 boards. Karima Gabriel had 17 minutes of game action (the most she's had this season) and scored 4 points to go with 6 boards.
You can see the postgame press video below.
The team's weekly press conference is below.
Despite leading by 10 points at halftime, the Eagles then dropped another heartbreaker. This time they lost to Pitt 67-65. Lauren Engeln and Nicole Boudreau each had 15 points in the game. Kelly Hughes had 14 points and 9 boards and Kristen Doherty added 12 points.
But the Eagles dropped to 11-11 overall and to 2-6 in the ACC. This further dampens if not dooms their hopes for a postseason playing opportunity. Setting aside the notion of a string of upsets in the ACC tournament for the conference automatic bid, their best hope was for a WNIT invitation but losing to Wake Forest and Pitt does nothing to bolster their chances.
Men - The Eagles picked up a 76-52 blowout win over Virginia Tech to start the week. They tied a Conte Forum record by hitting 14 three pointers in the game.
BC came out on fire with a 16-7 run to start the game and the Hokies never got closer than 6 points for the rest of the game. At one point, the Eagles led by 30 points. The win improves their record to 6-14 and 2-5 in the ACC.
Joe Rahon (pictured below on the right of Patrick Heckmann) had 20 points and 6 assists to lead BC. Ryan Anderson added 18 points, 8 boards and 6 blocks. Heckmann scored 14 points and Olivier Hanlan finished with 11 points.
On Saturday afternoon, the Eagles squared off with Notre Dame and got pretty well hosed at the end of regulation.
I'm not normally one to specifically put blame on the refs but they blew the call at the end of regulation which gave Notre Dame the opportunity to tie the game and send it to overtime.
The Irish were down by 1 when Eric Atkins was supposedly fouled by BC. He went to the line, hit the first shot to tie the game and then missed the second free throw. A quick put back attempt failed and the buzzer sounded.
The only problem was that he never should've gotten the foul shots in the first place. Atkins should've been called for an offensive foul. As he was coming down the court with the ball, Atkins quite clearly pushed a BC defender with his arm. You could see it as it happened and it was blatantly clear on the replays too.
But instead the trailing ref completely blew the call and gave Notre Dame a new life. The Irish capitalized on that extra chance when Atkins hit a soul destroying three pointer with .8 seconds left in OT to give the Irish a 76-73 victory.
For the Eagles, they had plenty of chances to take control of the game in the second half as they led for a majority of the time including building a 9 point lead right out of the halftime break. But they never managed to quite put the Irish away and then came the bad call and while it didn't affect their overall play in the OT period, you can't help but be ticked off because they never should've been any extra time in the first place.
This is why there is no such things a moral victories. ARGGGHH!
The loss drops the Eagles to 6-15 with a 2-6 ACC record.
Ryan Anderson (pictured below) scored 21 points and grabbed 6 boards to lead Boston College. Lonnie Jackson hit 3 three pointers (of the team's 7 on the day) on his way to 15 points. Joe Rahon finished with 13 points.
The 5th season finale of the show White Collar aired this past week and once again, it was a humdinger. They did a great job of wrapping up the season long storyline and then did a terrific cliffhanger to entice you back for next season.
Books - I received a copy of the Terry Hayes book I Am Pilgrim in the mail this week. It is the book I was tracked down on the Net by the publicity director for Atria Books in order to have me do a review. Once I finish reading it that is. When I first looked at the book I was a bit wary because the darn thing is 600 pages long. But I'm more than 150 pages in so far and it has been an interesting read so far.
I also picked up the Star Trek Voyager novel Protectors by Kirsten Beyer.
Music - The self-titled debut album from Red Dragon Cartel was released this past week. It's the return of guitarist Jake E. Lee (Badlands, Ozzy Osbourne). I've got my copy and a review will be forthcoming.
While pondering this quote by philosopher Arnold Schopenhauer as paraphrased by the late great Warren Zevon: "We buy books because we believe we are buying the time to read them"...
The Celtics had a busy week with four games on the schedule. There was a nice moment of sunshine in the overcast look to the season, but it was fleeting.
The week started off with a 93-91 loss to the Orlando Magic. I saw the second half of this game and as you might expect by the slim final margin, the Celtics were in the game until the very end. But with one last chance to tie or win the game, the team just couldn't get the shot they were looking for and went down in flames. Jeff Green had 22 points, Kris Humphries had 18 points and 12 boards and Avery Bradley had 18 points.
Five players hit double figures when Boston faced off with the Miami Heat but it wasn't enough as Miami took the game 93-86. It was Brandon Bass leading the way with 15 points. Kris Humphries was once again a big factor with 14 points and 13 board. Jared Sullinger had 12 points and 11 boards. Green had 12 points and Chris Johnson added 11 points.
Gerald Wallace hit the game winning layup with 2.5 seconds left in overtime to life the Celtics to a 113-111 victory over the Washington Wizards in the team's third game of the week. Wallace finished the game with 9 points and 9 assists.
Jeff Green exploded for 39 points and 9 boards while Phil Pressey scored 20 points. It wasn't all hearts and flowers for Pressey though. He had 6 turnovers and fouled out of the game. Sullinger finished with 14 points and 11 boards.
On Friday night, the Oklahoma City Thunder played their first game since moving to OKC where neither Russell Westbrook or Kevin Durant were in uniform. I know OKC is a good team, but I thought that with both of those players out of action the Celtics could do a good thing and pull off an upset. Silly Me!
The Thunder rolled to a 101-83 victory. Green had 16 points, Wallace added 13 points and Bass finished with 11 points. Rajon Rondo (who was a DNP-CD for one game this past week in order to rest) had 8 assists in the game.
The Celtics are 15-30 on the season. They are a bad team but in the minds of many I'm sure, not bad enough.
Julian Edlow of Celticslife.com had a piece this week on Jeff Green. He called him the biggest tease in the NBA. This would be in reference to the up and down nature of Green's scoring prowess.
His article was a good read and I responded that it is frustrating that Green can't be more of a consistent double figures scorer night in and night out. But I also said to imagine how bad the team would be without him in the lineup.
I wrote in an previous Sunday Musings entry that after Green had two sub-double figure nights, he then went for a long period of games where he hit double figures each game. I think getting rid of Green would accomplish the goal of tanking the season official.
I wish that his numbers wouldn't vary quite so much for his scoring totals but I also don't believe that Green has to be the main scorer every single night. They've got guys on the team that can all get nights where they put a ton of points on the board.
It would be nice if it was Green all the time and the Celtics were winning but I do agree with Edlow that the ship on Green's year to year growth as a player has probably sailed. But I just can't see dumping him in order to be that much worse of a team.
It was revealed this week that two of this year's inductees will go in with no team logo on their plaque. Greg Maddux couldn't decide between the Cubs and Braves and Tony LaRussa couldn't decide between the White Sox, A's or Cardinals.
I can sort of see LaRussa's point because he was so successful with the A's and Cardinals (sorry White Sox fans) but with Maddux saying that the length of time he spent with each club was a major factor for his indecision, I call BS. He was far more successful with the Braves and at least to my mind, going into the Hall with a Braves logo on his hat should've been a no-brainer.
BOSTON RED SOX
I picked up the NESN DVD Band of Bearded Brothers yesterday. It's their version of the World Series celebratory DVD.
This week saw the Boston Baseball Writers Dinner and Awards ceremony. One of the news bits out of the dinner was that the beards that played such a big role in last year's title team will be a thing of the past when the Red Sox take the field this year.
You can count me in as one who wants to see the two sides come to an agreement and keep Lester in a Red Sox uniform.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
After the debacle that was the AFC Championship game last Sunday I'm over the NFL season. I know that as a football fan I'm still supposed to be supercharged to watch the Super Bowl, but given that I really have no rooting interest in either team, I don't know if I'll even catch any of the game.
As for the Patriots loss, there's really nothing to say in defense of how ill suited they seemed to be to play against the Broncos. I listened to the first half of the game on the way home from the BC women's basketball game. If their lack of quality play wasn't bad enough, the Patriots radio announcers are two of the worst I've ever heard. They made the game that much more painful. Once I got home, the game didn't really get much better when I could visually witness what was going on out in Denver.
There was no running game, the passing game was sub-par at best and the defense could do nothing to stop a slight breeze much less the Broncos offense.
As much as I would've loved to see the Patriots make and win the Super Bowl, the plain truth is that they went about as far as their talent (or what was left of it after the parade of injuries) would let them.
The offseason news surrounding the Patriots started with the news of the coaching staff departures. Pepper Johnson quit to find a new job. There's no confirmation but reports I saw in the Boston Herald that said he was unhappy after getting passed over for the defensive coordinator job last year in favor of Matt Patricia. Johnson did release a classy statement with the news of his leavetaking.
The bigger surprise was the retirement of Dante Scarnecchia. He'd been an assistant with the Patriots for 30 years through 6 different head coaches. He's been the one constant for the team during all that time and his position and institutional memory are going be tough to replace.
I don't know what the Patriots will do this offseason, but they really have to upgrade the talent on the team and figure out a way to keep their players HEALTHY. They need to better their passing game attack by getting receivers who can stretch the field from Day 1. And they need to better their secondary.
HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
You can check out what I had to say in my recaps about the various high school basketball teams I follow in the two links below.
Hartford - The Hawks saw their season fortunes turn around a bit this week. They've won three straight games. While the record improves to just 7-13, when you are doing that bad you take what positives you can get.
Amber Bepko (pictured below) scored 19 points to lead Hartford in their 80-76 win over UMass-Lowell. Deanna Mayza and Cherelle Moore each finished with 19 points. Alyssa Englert had a solid game with 6 points, 7 assists and 8 boards.
The Hawks got a 66-42 victory over Binghamton with Alyssa Reaves and Mayza scoring 12 points. Reaves had 8 boards in the game as well. You can see highlights and the post game press conference below.
Yesterday afternoon saw the Hawks knock off UMBC 65-55. Cherelle Moore scored 16 points off the bench to lead the offense. Mayza had 11 points. Bepko, Englert and Reaves each scored 10 points in the game. Reaves also had 7 boards.
Tennessee - On Monday, the Lady Vols led by as many as 12 points but ended up losing to Notre Dame 86-70. Meighan Simmons (pictured below first) led Tennessee with 23 points (but had 7 turnovers), Ariel Massengale added 14 points and Isabelle Harrison (pictured below 2nd) finished with 13 points and 16 boards.
The loss stung to be sure, but Coach Warlick's team rebounded with their 89-69 win over Florida later in the week. Simmons led five players in double figures for the Lady Vols with 21 points. Bashaara Graves (pictured below) had 17 points and 8 boards. Andraya Carter scored 14 points and dished out 8 assists. Jasmine Jones chipped in 13 points and 6 boards while Harrison hit for 12 points.
Tennessee is now 15-4 with a 4-2 conference record.
Missouri State - Bry Snow scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds but the Bears came up on the short end of the scoreboard in their 68-60 loss to Northern Iowa early in the week.
As for the game against Indiana State, the Bears ended up losing 74-57. They committed 24 turnovers in the game and shot just 36.4 percent from the floor. Tyonna Snow had 15 points to lead Missouri State. Katie Palmer finished with 12 points and Bry Snow had 10 points. The team is now 7-10 overall with a 2-4 conference record.
BOSTON COLLEGE ATHLETICS
Football - The 2014 football schedule for the Eagles has been released.
I'm not one for sitting outside in the cold so it isn't like I would be going to any of the late season games, but in all honesty there is no team coming to Alumni Stadium that makes me want to attend a game.
Men's Basketball - Before the team headed into an 8 day layoff, they got knocked off by Georgia Tech 68-60. Olivier Hanlan had 19 points and Lonnie Jackson added 14 points.
With the fan talk swirling about a coaching change, there was an article I read that suggested Bruce Pearl (ex-Tennessee) as a possible candidate. But he put the kibosh on that rumor.
I was talking to a friend of mind and mentioned that the fanbase was unhappy with how the team is progressing under Steve Donahue. He said a name that might be an intriguing hire would be current Minnesota coach Richard Pitino.
There was also a brief weekly press conference with coach Erik Johnson.
Things didn't get any better for the Eagles when they went on the road to play NC State on Thursday night. The Wolfpack went out 9-0 to start the game and that margin ended up being the final margin of victory as the Eagles fell 85-76.
The loss was their fifth in a row against a ranked opponent. They are 11-9 with a 2-4 ACC record going into today's game against Wake Forest. It is also serving as Alumni Day at Conte Forum.
Kat Cooper was out for the game which leads me to believe her injury was worse than they thought against UNC. This despite me getting a response from whomever runs the BC women's basketball Facebook page saying she was fine when I asked how she was doing right after the UNC game.
In place of Cooper, freshman Kelly Hughes got her first career start and made the most of it. She hit 6 out of 10 three point attempts and finished with a career high 23 points. Katie Zenevitch had 19 points and Kristen Doherty added 10 points and 6 boards.
In celebration of the 25th anniversary of BC's Conte Forum, they've been talking to a variety of former players about their best memory of their time at the school and in the venue. This week they had a brief piece with former BC women's basketball player Carolyn Swords. You can check that out here: http://www.bceagles.com/sports/w-baskbl/spec-rel/012414aaa.html
First off, for those that don't waste enough time on the Internet already, I potentially have another little stop you can make on your surfing time.
It seems that someone read that article I wrote a couple weeks back about my favorite mysteries/thrillers of 2013. It prompted them to try and get in touch with me. But as I was later told I am a hard guy to get in touch with.
The guy got in touch with my buddy J.D. who forwarded me the email he sent. Seems he wanted to send me a copy of a new spy novel that is coming out in May for review. Who is this guy? He's the director of publicity for Atria Books, an imprint of Simon and Schuster. For those in the know about the book publishing business, S&S isn't exactly a small press publisher.
So that was pretty sweet news. But not being able to get in touch with me seems to be an issue these days. So after a long time of "badgering" by J.D. and this latest development, I have reluctantly given in and created a Twitter account. You can find me @TheOneTrueJay
Food - Speaking of good eats, I read a review of a restaurant this week. Actually, it's technically a pub. Flynn's Irish Pub to be exact. The review was intriguing and made me want to check the place out. And then I read the menu at the pub's website and think I'll have to hook myself up to a cardiac monitor to try any of their 21 different burgers. You can check it out for yourself at http://www.gotoflynns.com
TV - I'm happy to report that I am now a very happy NYPD Blue fan. After years of waiting since the release of Season 4, I've now got my hands on Season 5. It was released this week and I immediately bought it. Now I'm in the midst of watching it and grooving to the rewatch of the adventures of the 15th Precinct.
Oh, and while I have to catch the first episode on On Demand, the Starz original series Black Sails debuted last night. It's a pirate drama and looking at the previews this isn't your usual Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum look at the life of a pirate. I'm optimistic about this series and hope that once I do watch the first episode, I don't feel let down. You can check out the trailer below.
Books - It's been a busy work week so I haven't finished any books this week. But I did pick up a new one. It's the Iris Johansen thriller Silencing Eve. It is the third book in a trilogy story featuring her Eve Duncan forensic sculptor character.
Music - I picked up the debut solo album from Sugarland singer Jennifer Nettles this week. It's called That Girl. I've given it one listen thus far, but have to play it again before I'll feel comfortable reviewing it.
You can check out the video for the title track below.
You can check out the video for the Red Dragon Cartel song "Deceived" below. I've got the album on order and a review of it will be forthcoming.
And this week was a sort of sad week for me musically. This past Friday would've been the 67th birthday of Warren Zevon. Sadly he passed away in 2003 but his music remains as important today to me as ever it was. You can check out the http://www.warrenzevon.com website. There's a Facebook page dedicated to getting him inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and you can always go on Youtube to check out his incredible music.
Or go really crazy and buy his CDs! You probably know his biggest song "Werewolves of London" so I'm going to skip that one and instead you can check out a couple of different songs below.
There's a lot more to discover from raucous rockers to beautiful love songs and everything in between. And my love for all things Zevon extends to my choice in avatars that I use online. See that cigarette smoking skull next to my name? That's Zevon's Ol' Velvet Nose that was used on his backstage passes among other things.
Warren Zevon...music legend...still missed to this day.
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.
There were a bunch of my players in action last night and while the results weren't all good, there were some positive results to be had.
Upper Cape Boys Varsity - Richie had 5 points in the game, but the Rams got blown out by South Shore Voke 58-31.
ORR Boys Varsity - The Bulldogs kept up the pressure in the race for the conference title by knocking off Case 55-44. It is the second loss in conference for Case moving ORR into a tie with them for 2nd place, 1 game behind Wareham in the standings. Raekwon had 15 points in the game.
ORR Girls JV - According to Jillian's mother, the team beat Case 50-14 and Jillian had 6 or 8 points.
Bristol-Plymouth Girls Varsity - No word on a score but Savahna let me know that her team lost last night to Diman Voke.
Sturgis East Girls Varsity - The Storm rebounded from their Thursday night blowout loss to Upper Cape by knocking off South Shore Christian 42-35. They are now 2-9 on the season. Isabella didn't score in the game but got mentioned in the newspaper account for grabbing 3 rebounds.
Wareham Girls Varsity - Despite a huge game from the starting guards, the Vikings lost to GNB Voc-Tech 67-58. In reading the newspaper account the loss can mostly be put on Wareham's inability to stop Voc-Tech's inside game.
Amber scored a game high 25 points to lead Wareham, including 6 threes. Breanna (pictured below (in blue) 3 times from The Standard Times photo gallery) had 24 points with 3 three pointers. Gina added 3 points.
Wareham Girls JV - The first time the JV team played GNB Voc-Tech they got destroyed 41-7 in a game where they didn't score a single point in the second half. I was there to see that game. Last night, there was a marked improvement but Wareham still came up on the short end of a 41-36 decision.
Six of my ex-players found their way into the box score provided by Gabby's father.
Tieyanna was 5-10 (0-4 3 pt FG) and 4-4 from the foul line for 14 points. She had 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals, 3 turnovers and 1 foul.
Kali missed her only shot of the game, had an assist a block and committed 1 turnover.
Kendall had a foul in the game.
Saje was 1-2 from the field and 0-1 from the line for 2 points. She grabbed 2 rebounds and had a turnover and a foul.
Kiara took three shots but missed them all. She grabbed 3 boards and blocked a shot.
Gabby's shooting touch deserted her for much of the game. She was 2-17 (1-11 from three point range) and 0-4 from the line for 5 points. She did get 9 boards, a steal and 4 blocks though. She had 1 turnover and four fouls as well.
Upper Cape Girls Varsity - The Rams were ahead 23-13 at halftime which for them is a pretty close game. But they destroyed South Shore Voke in the second half, giving up just 6 second half points as they ran away to a 57-19 victory.
The win moves the Rams to 10-0 and officially qualifies them for the state tournament with half a season still yet to be played. And it means that I'll get to see the Rams in postseason play for just the second time in the last five years.