Category Archives: Recruiting

Tuesday Throwdeeps: Pigskin Recruiting, Linkster +++

That the US Open was still underway, and I hadn’t had an opportunity to write about it yet, did not deter The Professor from scolding me.

“So when are you going to give a shout out to former Cardinal golfer Adam Hadwin?

“He’s leading the US Open for heaven’s sake.”

He had me. I suppose.

Transparency here. As much as I love U of L sports, the golf team has never been on my radar. I had seen somebody mention somewhere that Hadwin was a former Cardinal, and thought, “That”s cool.”

My next thought, and how I responded to Prof, “Well, isn’t there always some guy we’ve never heard of atop the leaderboard after the first day, only to fade into his own parade?”

Which to Hadwin’s credit and doggedness, he did not, finishing T7 at -1.

Under par for an entire US Open. World class. Continue reading Tuesday Throwdeeps: Pigskin Recruiting, Linkster +++

So, Yeah, I Went to Watch DJ Wagner

OK, I’ll hold off on my usual self referential hoo ha and cut to the chase.

DJ Wagner and his New Jersey Scholars mates opened their stay at the Louisville session of the EYBL Saturday morning with a 73-71 W over ProSkills.

Bottom Line: Yes, Milt’s grandson is a baller you would like to have playing for your favorite school.

Even my less than astute eye can tell that.

In spite of his his superprep top of his class or close to that status, he doesn’t preen. He doesn’t posture. He doesn’t complain to the refs.

He plays the game. He stays focused.

He handled the rock 4, 5, 6 times before ever taking a shot. He sees the court. He finds his teammates. His passing is deft.

He’s a great ball handler.

Like elite players do, he accelerates effectively when taking the ball to the rim. Especially on straight line drives, when he was relatively unimpeded thanks to sets being run by his squad. Continue reading So, Yeah, I Went to Watch DJ Wagner

The Coach, His AD, A Provocateur & His Provocation

There are some arguments, to which there is essentially no resolution, back and forths that simply get carried on until lungs are depleted of breath.

Until then, the protagonists bray on.

These are common when the issues involved are local in nature and many people have a significant vested emotional interest.

I’ve just returned from my 31st New Orleans JazzFest, the original and sole focus of which from the get go was as a showcase for the indigenous music, food and culture of the Crescent City and Louisiana. But the economic realities of modern times have forced the festival, in order to survive, to feature big name acts with zero connection to the area, but are a draw for enough patrons to keep the Fest financially alive.

In the festival’s chatrooms, purists have railed year around about the situation for more than a decade. The Fest and the arguments proceed.

It was no surprise really that during Derby season, when the focus is usually on whether to buy the blue or pink patched Madras sportcoat, or which hat the size of a beach umbrella to wear on the 1st Saturday in May, that a new brouhaha broke out, when the winning thoroughbred was set down.

But this is Louisville, where basketball is the overriding passion of the populace but for two weeks a year, and the University of Louisville Cardinals are the beloved favorite of the city. Which brings me to the argument that will never end.

Even during Derby time, the fire was stoked yet again. Continue reading The Coach, His AD, A Provocateur & His Provocation

Monday Afternoon PG: Another Game 7, Pucks, Russ’s Misdirection, Where’s J.B. & More

Speaking of point guards, Duke just got a commitment for next season from the highest rated ball handler left. Actually the highest rated PG committed or not.

Meaning Coach K and Coach Cal have once again corralled enough Golden Arches superüberduperstars with enough free burger coupons to sate every fan that will be in the Alamodome for next season’s Final Four.

The question of course is, will the Blue Devils and Wildcats actually be there to participate themselves?

I know stuff happens, kids don’t pan out like they’re supposed to, extraneous diversions affect team performances, etc, etc, but, given how they’ve harvested talent in the last decade, shouldn’t UK and Duke make it to the last weekend of the season every season? And win the dang thing more than they do?

 * * * * *

There’s a NBA Game 7 tonight. Boston and Washington shall battle to see which gets whipped by the Cleveland LeBrons in the Eastern Division finals.

It ought to be an exciting tilt. The squads are pretty even, if flawed.

My sense is the Wizards shall prevail, even though the game’s in Beantown. But that’s not why I bring it up.

Which is that I’m as mesmerized as the next hoopaholic about Celtic Isaiah Thomas’s offense. The guy can score. The guy can score at crunch time. From inside, despite his diminutive stature. From outside, even when closely checked by leaping bigs with a huge reach.

(We shan’t mention Thomas’s D. Because I could guard guys better than he does. And there are analytics to prove that. At least to provide evidence how bad he is. I haven’t seen any statisticians checking out my footwork recently.)

Now my point. When I see Isaiah Thomas play, I see Russ Smith.

(Except Smith knows how to play D.) Continue reading Monday Afternoon PG: Another Game 7, Pucks, Russ’s Misdirection, Where’s J.B. & More

Sports Shots 7/08: Hoops? Of course it’s Mostly Hoops

b-ballYeah, I’m back. Miss me?

You think I’m really going to try and talk European soccer with you, France vs. Portugal for the title, or Tour de France,  or Wimbledon?

Of course not. Though I’ll reiterate, NBC bike race announcers Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen remain my favorite announcing duo in any sport.

What you care about is who’s hot at the Peach Jam? You know, basketball recruiting. Well, I’m not going to talk about that either.

Golden State with Kevin Durant. Of course, the buzz is, how many titles are the Dubs going to win with their New Death Lineup?

And all I’m thinking is, how come you guys never listen? Have you not learned yet that the best conglomeration of players does not necessarily the best team make.

Let me remind you once again, as if I haven’t already ad nauseum every time talk of a super team comes up.

Lesson #1. Los Angeles Lakers, three seasons from 1968-71.

Three players on that team were among the very best in the NBA at the time. In fact, those three players remain among the Top Ten guys who balled in the 20th C.

Wilt Chamberlain.

Jerry West.

Elgin Baylor.

They never won a title. Continue reading Sports Shots 7/08: Hoops? Of course it’s Mostly Hoops

MMPG: Back on the Scene with a Gangsta Lean

allsportsSo, you remember me, right?

Your resident point guard, Seedy K. Well, I’m back after the usual early spring hiatus.

Why the disappearance, you might wonder?

Well, first there was my annual bout of PMMSD (Post March Madness Stress Disorder). Then Jordan Spieth’s meltdown in Augusta, which had me wondering if anything meant anything anymore in the world of sports.

Then eight days in New Orleans for JazzFest, and too much great music and equally delicious eats.

Then the announcement that Dylan, the Stones, McCartney, Neil Young, the half the Who that’s left and whatisname from Pink Floyd will be gigging together in Cali come October for the Mother of All Oldies Shows. They’ll be more than glad to relieve you of the entirety of your IRA as a down payment on tickets, which can be purchased over time at low interest rates.

Then Derby, which is always everywhere in this burg, even when the Julep glasses are inferior, even if one tries to hide out in unusual nooks and crannies of Derbyplace USA. (Though, in honor of the namesake of the winner, I did wear my stylin’ Red Wings sweater to a blissfully laid back post race get together.)

But, the Cavs are on the cusp of dominating the NBA, while the Spurs are showing their age. Little Richie Farmer, who had the governorship by the short and curlies had he any sense and moxie at all, has filed bankruptcy post-prison term, and is getting by with help from his parents. Gulp.

Which is to say, it’s time for my triumphant return. I’m back, with the usually skewed perspective, droppin’ dimes for deuces. Continue reading MMPG: Back on the Scene with a Gangsta Lean

Louisville Cardinals Decommitment; Mars Blackmon, the Culprit?

dunikcard“It’s gotta be the shoes.” — Mars Blackmon

Because, in these parts, basketball recruiting trumps all news — other than hoops itself — we are now obsessed with ***** Antonio Blakeney’s abdication of his intention to matriculate for his higher education on the Belknap Campus of the University of Louisville.

ISIS. Ferguson. McConnell vs. Grimes. The Who Is The Baddest Boy Ray Rice vs. Adrian Peterson Pay Per View Smackdown. Reappearance of the Polar Vortex.

Fuhgettaboutit. If local reaction is a gauge, Blakeney’s decommitment is bigger than all that. And tomorrow’s vote for Scotland’s independence too.

So, U of L fans are looking for a culprit.

Why else would a kid come for a visit, say yes, he’s wanted to be a Cardinal forever, and then, ten days later, say, uh waitaminute?

If one were playing “Clue,” there would be an obvious guess.

Coach Cal. In the Blue Room. With a fistful of Nike®Bucks. Continue reading Louisville Cardinals Decommitment; Mars Blackmon, the Culprit?

Sunday’s Sports Shorts: DeVante; Davis, Mo’ne, Detroit & More

cardsU of L Cardinal football fans are in a depressed state today, anxiously awaiting the word on the extent of star DeVante Parker’s foot injury.

The wideout is on his way to Charlotte to be examined by the expert of expert on such injuries. Whatever that injury might be?[

Have x-rays shown a break? Is he wearing a cast of some sort?

We simply haven’t been provided any information of substance, beside the notification that he’s hurt. Parker tweeted that he’s “fine.” Whatever that means?

Fans can only hope it’s less serious, rather than more. Continue reading Sunday’s Sports Shorts: DeVante; Davis, Mo’ne, Detroit & More

Thirteen Thoughts for Thursday (Rockin’ Video Included)

animated_sports1. Boys Will Be Boys. So The Rick, as he is wont to do from time to time, pontificated about his feelings on the social media phenomenon.

Essentially, he called all of us who might, from time to time, tweet or post on Facebook or any other of our ilk, uh, “crazy.”

Which is, frankly, a really stupid thing to say, but of little consequence in the realm of human events.

Except to Coach Cal, he of the you-say-potato-I-say-tomato mentality, when it comes to his rival down I-64.

And so it goes.

Boys, go to your rooms, each of you, and don’t come out until called for dinner. Continue reading Thirteen Thoughts for Thursday (Rockin’ Video Included)