Miles Signed for Season

The Grizzlies have decided to add Darius Miles for the rest of the season. No matter what you think about Miles this is great to see. I had the pleasure of watching a few of his games in High School and I’ve got to say that he definitely had the potential to develop into a special player. He made some poor choices early in his career and then he had the “career ending knee injury” so he never reached that potential. But I’ve followed his comeback all season hoping he’d make it back. And it appears that much to the dismay of the Blazers he’s made it.

In just 12 minutes a game he’s averaging a very respectable 5.7ppg, 2.6rpg, and just under 1 blk per game. Granted it’s not what you’d expect from the former number 3 overall pick but it’s good that after 2years he’s finally made it back into the league. He’ll never be a superstar and he may never be a starter again. But maybe just maybe, he’ll spend 8 more seasons in the league as a valuable bench player and possibly even a mentor to younger players.

Shaun Livingston is another player who’s potential seems to have been wiped out by injury. Livingston had one of the most horrific injuries I’ve ever seen.

He averaged just 2.3ppg and 1 apg in 4 games with the Heat this season. He was traded to the Grizzlies earlier this month. But he was waived soon after the trade. I really hope this 23 year old can return to form. But when you see that injury it’s hard to believe that he’ll ever develop into the star PG he was once destined to be.

Super Bowl XLIII

The odds are pretty good that you’re sick of the Super Bowl talk already. At least the repetitive talking points you see over and over in the media. So we’re not going to interview 10 retired players and ask them what the build up before the Super Bowl is like. We’re just going to keep this brief by giving our predictions.

Jack Daniels: 28-17 Arizona. That’s right I said it. I’ve bet on the Cards every round so far and it’s paid off. So why stop now? I don’t care that Arizona was the worst regular season team to make the playoffs. It doesn’t matter. In 2006 the St. Louis Cardinals sputtered at the end of the season and were the worst team to make MLB Playoffs. And as we all know they got hot at the right time and steamrolled through the competition to win it all. I know my analogy is a different sport but the idea is the same. So people like First Take’s Skip Bayless need to shut up about the regular season. This is not the same Cardinals team. For MVP I’ll take the easy way out and say Kurt Warner.

Dan: 24-21 Pittsburgh. I think its going to go down to the wire with a Jeff Reed FG in the final minute being the winner. And I’m going with Willie Parker for MVP.

Medic! Another coach goes down in the SEC

The morning after Georgia’s embarrassing loss to Florida seems to have gone from bad to worse for Dennis Felton. ESPN’s Mark Schlabach is reporting that Felton has been fired. He is now the second SEC coach to bite the dust this week.

Granted his career at Georgia has been very mediocre. But he did make the tourney last year. And he inherited a program crippled by sanctions. But regardless, why are college programs now adopting the NBA philosophy of firing guys in the middle of the season. College basketball is so different from the NBA. Schools need to put their list of potential candidates together and fire guys immediately at the end of the season. Not in the middle. You’re not going to get any recruiting boost by having an interim coach in charge. So you might as well wait.

Over in the ACC, could Maryland’s Gary Williams be the next to go?

Random Tidbits

***If you find yourself at a televised basketball in Rhode Island(especially a Providence game) and you just happen to be on probation….don’t go onto the floor to confront a referee about a call or no-call that you disagree with. You just might find yourself behind bars without bail. full story

***If you’ve been in trouble with NCAA for recruiting violations at 1 school and then commit more violations at another school that was stupid enough to give you another chance….don’t cry out that you’re being treated unfairly when you’re banished from coaching for 5 years. full story

***In March if your favorite college basketball team doesn’t make the NCAA field of 65, the NIT field of 32 or the CBI field of 16 your season is over right?….Maybe not. There will soon be another tourney with a field of 16. full story

***Last but not least, if you find yourself getting caught up in the Kurt Warner vs. Big Ben Roethlisberger debate….just stop. Big Ben is better in the Steelers system. Warner is better in the Cardinals system. Period.

Gottfried Done in Tuscaloosa

Last week Dan posted the bizarre story of former Alabama All-American, Ron Steele, deciding to end his career by sitting out the remainder of the season. At first it was reported that plantar fasciitis was his reason for leaving the team. However, Steele later stated that there were other factors at play.

Now as reported by Tuscalossa News, Alabama Head Coach Mark Gottfried will step aside. Details are sure to surface soon. But one thing is for sure this has the potential to become develop into a sports soap opera.

In my opinion Gottfried, who spent 11 seasons as Head Coach, was a good recruiter but Bama always seemed to underacheive. It’s always bad to fire a coach during the season in college basketball. But obviously this guy did something that has not been released to the public yet.

Assistant coach, Phillip Pearson, will finish out the season as interim head coach.

The Pub’s Mid-Seasonish Awards

It’s past the halfway point in college basketball. But now that there’s been a few weeks of conference games it’s time to give out The Pub’s Mid-Seasonish Awards.

MVP Blake Griffin, So., F, Oklahoma: No explanation needed here

Most Outstanding Player Luke Harangody, Jr., F, Notre Dame: The big man is averaging 24.8ppg and grabbing 13.1 boards per game for 19th ranked Fighting Irish. He tallied 24pts and 15 rebounds in Saturday’s loss to UConn. Despite the loss Harangody showed Thabeet that he’s the real deal.(Note: Griffin would take this award also but here at the pub MVP and MOP can’t be the same player)

Who? MOP: (Goes to the MOP who gets no media attention)Lester Hudson, Sr., G, Tennessee-Martin: Haven’t heard of him? Don’t worry few outside of the Ohio Valley Conference have. At 6’2″ 190lbs Hudson is averaging 27.3points and 7.4rebounds per game. I don’t care where you play, in D-I thats impressive. And he’s a very efficient scorer shooting 46.6% from the field . Consistency has been the key for Hudson as no team has been able to keep him under 20pts this season.

Most Outstanding Defender Jarvis Varnado, Jr., F/C, Mississippi St: Say defense and everyone immediately thinks Hasheem Thabeet. But at just 6’9″ Varnado swats 4.9shots per games. That’s a full 1.2blocks than 7’3″ Thabeet.

Most Outstanding Freshman Seth Curry, Fr., G, Liberty:20.7ppg, 3.8rpg, 2apg, 1.8spg. It’s tough to go with a player from a small school here. But Curry’s stat line speaks for itself. The younger is actually off to a much fast start than Steph’s. It’s hard to beleive that the big schools overlooked this Curry too.

All-Pub 1st Team

  • G: Ty Lawson, Jr., North Carolina:  14.9ppg, 2.4rpg, 2.4 stl, 3.74A/TO
  • G: Stephon Curry, Jr., Davidson: 29.3ppg, 3.9rpg, 6.4apg,2.9spg
  • F: Blake Griffin, So., Oklahoma: 22.2ppg, 13.8rpg, 1.4bpg , .622FG%
  • F: Ahmad Nivins, Sr., Saint Joseph’s, 20.4ppg, 11.6rpg, 2.1bpg, .677FG%
  • F: Luke Harangody,Jr., Notre Dame, 24.8ppg, 13.1rpg, 1bpg, .478FG%

All-Pub 2nd Team

  • G: Levance Fields, Sr., Pittsburgh:  10.4ppg, 2.6rpg, .8 stl, 3.82A/TO
  • G: Jodie Meeks, Jr., Kentucky: 26.1ppg, 3.8rpg, 1.5spg, .453 3pt%
  • F: Jordan Hill, Jr., Arrizona: 18.4ppg, 11.9rpg, 2.3bpg , .545FG%
  • F: Tyler Hansbrough, Sr., UNC, 22.7ppg, 7.9rpg, .525 FG%, 10.1 FTA/G
  • C: Hasheem Thabeet, Jr., UConn, 13.0ppg, 10.1rpg, 3.7bpg, .655FG%

All-Pub 3rd Team

  • G: Jeff Teague, So., Wake Forest:  21.5ppg, 3.9apg, 4.1rpg, 2.1 stl
  • G: James Harden, So., Arizona St.: 22ppg, 5.7rpg, 4.2apg, 1.9spg .538 FG%
  • F: Kyle Singler, So., Duke: 16.5ppg, 8.1rpg, 1.8spg , .2.9apg
  • F: DeJuan Blair, So., Pittsburgh, 14.6ppg, 12.8rpg, 1.9spg, .597FG%
  • F: Jon Brockman,Sr., Washington, 15.3ppg, 10.7rpg, 1spg, .522FG%

All-Freshman-Team

  • G: Seth Curry, Liberty:  20.7ppg, 3.8rpg, 2apg, 1.8 stl
  • G: Mike Rosario, Rutgers: 17.3ppg, 3.4rpg, 1.4apg, 1.1spg
  • F: Luke Babbitt, Nevada: 15.9ppg, 7.7rpg, 1.3apg
  • F: Al-Farouq Aminu, Wake Forest, 12.6ppg, 8.6rpg, 1.5bpg, 2apg .543FG%
  • C: Greg Monroe, Georgetown, 13.3ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.7bpg, 1.7spg, 2.7apg,  .572FG%
  • Apologies to Oklahoma’s Willie Warren and USC’s DeMar DeRozan. Probably the top contenders to take a spot on this list at the end of the season

Top Coach

Bruce Weber, Illinois: I’ve been a big critic of Weber in the past but he’s really proved that he’s a big time coach this year. He’s led the Illini to a record of 17-3 and no one can honestly say that they saw this coming. On paper this team looks like it should be struggling to stay above .500. But they’ve played well as a team and continue to amaze puzzled onlookers.

Biggest Surprises

The Big10: Despite losing the ACC/Big10 Challenge once again this conference is has played great and established itself as possibly the 3rd best conference this year.

The SEC: One ranked team? Thats it. C’mon a conference like the SEC shouldn’t have this bad of a year.

McGwire, the Steroid Era & the Future


macdc

Deadspin.com put Mark McGwire back in the news today. Reportedly Big Mac’s little brother, Jay McGwire, has been trying to sell his tell-all book to publishers. According to Jay he introduced his older brother to performance enhancing drugs in 1994. That of course contradicts Jose Canseco’s account of McGwire’s steroid use. That’s the only new revelation that seems to have come out of this. Not surprisingly no publishers have picked up Jay’s book.

Jay and Mark reportedly have no relationship anymore. Jay claims he wrote this book to help Mac come clean.

What a load of BS!

First of all what kind of brother, estranged or not,  throws his family under the bus to make a profit? Jay is an ex professional bodybuilder who got hooked on roids. His life ended up falling apart and he found himself broke. Remind you of anyone? Hmm. Could it be another brother of McGwire’s? Perhaps a Bash Brother?mm_jc

I really don’t care whose account is accurate. McGwire did without a doubt use performance enhancing drugs. But so did 90% of the league during the “Steroid Era”. The strange thing is those performance enhancers were not banned by baseball. Many of them were illegal by law. But anything from smoking weed to beating on your wife is illegal. And there are still many players in professional sports who do something that is illegal to some degree every day. Hell most ordinary people do too. If you’re reading this thinking what is this crackpot talking about? If this is you answer this. Have you gone faster than the posted speed limit, failed to come to a complete stop at a stop sign or failed to wear your seatbelt? Odds are you answered yes. So you too have broken the law most likely without getting caught.

But back to the point, I hate that players were/are juicing. But I blame the MLB. It’s their mess and they chose not to deal with it. Chicks and fans do dig the long ball. A historic homerun race would probably be great for baseball after a strike wouldn’t it?

The HR race that saved baseball

The HR race that saved baseball

Baseball execs let the drug problem baseball grow and grow because it was good for them. It wasn’t until Barry Bonds II (the giant headed Bonds with the Schwarzenegger body) started breaking every homerun record that the public started to realize that there was something wrong. DC then decided to get involved and we all know the story from there.

BondsI on the left BondII on the right

BondsI on the left BondsII on the right

So what can be done?

MLB wants to just act like it never happened. They think that if you just don’t acknowledge the players of that era that it’ll go away. They obviously couldn’t be more wrong.

Here’s what they need to do.

Baseball is made up of eras. The most recent era will forever be remembered as the Steroid Era. So why not acknowledge the greats of the era? Here are the stipulations that I believe should be imposed.

1. Players that are obviously lying about their steroid use (Clemens, Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, Palmeiro) must come clean to the public.

2. They must volunteer time to a MLB ran anti-steroid program that operates throughout the US and Latin America to educate kids and prospects about the dangers of performance enhancers.

If a player completes these steps then the writers shouldn’t leave these guysoff their Hall of Fame ballots. And their accounts of drug use and what they’ve done to help the youth should be forever enshrined in Cooperstown on their plaque.

the road to cooperstown should be difficult bst achievable

the road to cooperstown should be difficult but achievable

I know many people will disagree with this but just think about for a little bit before you write it off as a stupid idea. It takes a great deal of time and effort to work in these programs so these guys won’t be getting off easily. And at the same time an entire era superstars will not just be simply ignored. They may have been juicing during some of their historic milestones but they were still the superstars of a league where the majority of players were doing the same thing. So they were the best of their era.

In conclusion, I believe Big Mac out of all these guys is perhaps the best person on the inside. He was always a team player and he didn’t have the huge ego of Bonds and Clemens. If McGwire decides baseball is something he wants in his life again he can have it if he comes clean. The other guys want back in but no one wants them. I believe that if they come clean and dedicate time to educating the youth about steroids they should be allowed back in baseball and in the Hall of Fame. I have a hard time believing that Bonds or Clemens would ever do what I propose. But Sosa, McGwire and perhaps others would be great candidates to go through the program and be positive role models once again.