Monthly Archives: March 2009

NBA: Who should win the NBA MVP?

By Russell Varner, WSOE Sports

So the NBA hot topic at this very split second in time is who should win the MVP award this season. Last season’s MVP, Kobe Bryant? The god-child, LeBron James? Or the NBA’s new hottest player, Dwayne Wade? Well, the better question will be who SHOULD win the MVP award.

In the past, the award has usually gone to the best player on the best team. Anyone who knows me knows how big of a Kobe Bryant fan I am, but he probably shouldn’t have won the award last year. Let’s be honest, Chris Paul was much more important to the Hornets’ success than Kobe was to the Lakers’ last year. But Kobe had deserved the award in so many of the previous years that the NBA decided it was finally time for Kobe to win it.

           

So how can we possibly find a right way to pick the MVP? Simple. I say the NBA should look at the teams without the player up for the award and think about how good the team would be without him. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the MVP the player who is most valuable to his team? So, shouldn’t the award then go to the player that makes the biggest difference to his team? As in they would suck with him?

 

So let’s look at the teams in question: the Lakers, the Cavs and the Heat. Without Kobe, the Lakers would be a good team, so that takes Kobe out of the question. This leaves a LeBron-less Cavs against a D-Wade-less Heat. It’s very close, but I think that the Heat are just barely better than the Cavs when both stars are out. So, going by that, LeBron James should be this year’s MVP. The only team he could be more valuable for would be the Cleveland Browns (it’s also the only way they will make the playoffs again, but that’s another story). This Cleveland team was made for LeBron. Every move they’ve made the past few years has been because of LeBron and to make him and the team better (though one can argue that that is why any team makes a move). Without LeBron though, the Cavs would just be a bunch of 3-point shooters and big guys. No superstars, just a bunch of role players, and that would not have them in first place in the East and battling for the best record in the NBA. LeBron James should without a doubt win the MVP award. But it’s been a little while since the NBA has given the award to the right guy, so the award is still up for grabs by whoever wants it.

 

Listen to Russell Varner and the Sports Time crew every Tuesday from 4:10-6:00 p.m.

 

Contact Information:
Russell Varner
WSOE Sports
rvarner@elon.edu

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Baseball: Elon-Princeton Game Cancelled

Tonight’s baseball game between the Elon Phoenix and Princeton Tigers has been cancelled.  No makeup date has been announced yet.

WSOE Sports to Broadcast Today’s Elon-Princeton Baseball Game

The Elon Phoenix will play today at 7:00 p.m. when the Princeton Tigers come to Latham Park.  WSOE Sports 89.3 FM will broadcast the baseball game with pre-game coverage beginning at 6:45 p.m. 

This game was not originally scheduled, but it was added after the Phoenix had many games cancelled due to inclement weather.  Princeton has won six of the nine times these two teams have ever played each other, including the last game 11-6 on March 4, 2007.

NFL: The calm before the storm known as the NFL Draft

By Tom Waterman, WSOE Sports

 

Are you finding yourself in kind of a NFL lull? Are you sitting on the edge of your seat just waiting for any news about your team?  Don’t worry you aren’t the only one.  With free agency starting over two weeks ago and all the big names including Albert Haynesworth, Ray Lewis, Bart Scott, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, and Kurt Warner having already changed teams or resigned with their old ones, there just doesn’t seem to be much newsworthy stuff happening.  Arguably the biggest story of the off-season so far was T.O. surprisingly being cut by the Dallas Cowboys and then latching on with the Buffalo Bills. However, with the NFL Draft only a little over a month away, it is never too early to start throwing out predictions for how the draft will shake out.As of now, my top 5 picks of the draft are:

1. Detroit Lions: QB Matt Stafford, Georgia
 

– I’m not 100% sold on Stafford myself. He does have great size and very strong arm, however in eight SEC games last year he only had 12 touchdowns and 8 interceptions, not exactly superb numbers. Plus his accuracy is questionable.  However, having the chance to take their potential franchise quarterback and pairing him with one of the leagues top young wide outs is too good of an opportunity for Detroit to pass up.


2. St. Louis Rams: OT Jason Smith, Baylor

– After the release of LT Orlando Pace there is glaring hole on the left side of the Ram’s offensive line, and the extremely athletic tackle out of Baylor fits the bill perfectly.


3. Kansas City Chiefs: LB Aaron Curry, Wake Forest

– Curry, who is one of the most versatile players in the draft because of his combination of size and speed, would be a great addition here in Kansas City fitting in a linebacker core that already includes Derrick Johnson and newly acquired Mike Vrabel. Curry is just too good of a player to pass up at this pick.


4. Seattle Seahawks: QB Mark Sanchez, USC

– In a surprise pick the Seahawks pass on an offensive lineman and take the quarterback with the most upside in the draft.  Sanchez, a one year starter at USC, comes into a situation where quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is coming off an injury-riddled and unproductive season as quarterback.  I see the Seahawks passing on the solid and safe choice of Offensive Lineman Eugene Monroe and jumping at the opportunity to take the athletic big-armed quarterback.


5. Cleveland Browns: DE/LB Brian Orakpo, Texas

– The Browns who are desperate for playmakers on defense jump and will jump at the chance to take the Nagurski and Lombardi Award winner.  Orakpo will be a great fir in their 3-4 defense as an outside linebacker, much in Terrell Suggs type of fashion.

 

Listen to Tom Waterman and the Smacktalk Sports crew every Sunday from 4:00-5:00 p.m.

 

Contact Information:
Tom Waterman
WSOE Sports
swaterman@elon.edu

Baseball: Davidson Downs Elon 7-1

Just like the weather, Elon’s bats grew cold Friday night against the Davidson Wildcats as the Phoenix fell 7-1. Designated hitter Mike Melillo had two of the three Elon’s hits, including a solo home run, which accounted for the lone Phoenix run.  

Davidson starter Thomas Middour picked up the win by throwing 6.2 scoreless innings, giving up only two hits, while striking out two and walking five.

Although the 30-degree temperatures cooled the Phoenix bats, the Wildcats were able to launch three homeruns, two of which came off of Phoenix starter Ken Ferrer. Ferrer, who was handed the loss, went 4.2 innings, gave up nine hits and five runs, four earned, while walking three and striking out four.

The loss to Davidson drops Elon’s overall record to 8-5 and their conference record falls to 3-3. Davidson raises their overall record to 8-6 and their conference record improves to 3-1.

Broadcast Team:
Craig Filazzola – Play-By-Play Announcer
Andy Sadler – Color Announcer
Brian Dudiak – Host/ Color Announcer
Lindsay Humbert – Producer in the WSOE studio 

The Phoenix and Wildcats are scheduled to play again tomorrow afternoon at 1:00. Jimmy Reyes is the tentative starter for the Phoenix and Chris Kennedy is expected to start for the Wildcats.  

Contact Information: 
Brian Dudiak
WSOE Sports
bdudiak@elon.edu

NCAA Men’s Basketball: Top Seeds Uncovered

By James Pearce, WSOE Sports

We are just two days away from selection sunday, and more than in previous years, drama surrounds which teams will be awarded the number one seeds.  Yesterday was a mess for the top teams in the land, with Oklahoma, UConn, Pittsburgh, and Kansas all falling, and Memphis and Washington struggling way more than they should have.  So the question is wide open today more than ever:  Who will get the number one seeds?  Here’s a look at the top contenders

#1 North Carolina- Winning today, albeit closely, sewed it up for them.  Nothing they or anyone else can do will keep them out of the top spot in the South region.

#2 Pittsburgh- Yesterday’s 14-point loss to West Virginia hurts them immensely.  The selection committee will want to avoid putting three teams from the Big East as top seeds.  If Louisville wins the Big East tournament, which they will, Pitt probably

#3 UConn- Compared to what Pitt did, UConn’s 6-OT supergame against #20 Syracuse last night is not bad at all.  Any team that plays well for more than a game and a half like that, coupled with a great regular season, deserves a top seed.

#4 Memphis- Struggling against Tulane yesterday did nothing to advance their cause.  A week overall schedule does not make an undefeated season in-conference alright.  They deserved the top seed if the rolled through the C-USA tourney, and putting up 51 on Tulane does not cut it.  If the Tigers want to be considered legit, they need to move up to the Big East or Atlantic 10.  Hell, even maybe the Missouri Valley.  I defended Memphis up till yesterday, but they dont deserve it anymore.

#5 Louisville- If they win the Big East, they get a number one seed.  If they lose at any point (all the potential respectable losses are out), then it’s down to a number 2.  Very simple.  I’m confident that they’ll win the automatic bid, and thus a top seed.

#6 Oklahoma- The loss yesterday to Oklahoma State made this dark horse even darker.  Oklahoma needed to win the Big XII tournament, and they didnt even come close.  No top seed for them.  They may have fallen as far as a 3…

#7 Michigan State- Still a shot.  IF and ONLY IF the win the Big Ten Championship.  With a regular season and tournament title in a deep conference, they have earned it.  Unfortunately for them, the ACC and Big East own college basketball this season, leaving little room for an outsider.  But from the looks of it, the pieces have fallen Sparty’s way, and if they do what they should, they’ll get that top seed in the Midwest.  And few teams will have an easier road to the title, but thats another story…

#9 Duke-  Still has an outside shot at the top seed in the East.  With wins over Wake Forest and UNC in the semis and finals, and thus an ACC Title, coupled with Michigan State and Louisville losing, and Memphis struggling, Duke would earn a number one seed.  But the length of that scenario alone should tell you how high Duke’s hopes should get.

So who’s in, as of right now?

South- North Carolina 
East- UConn 
Midwest- Michigan State 
West- Louisville

Listen to James Pearce and the 4th and 15 crew every Thursday from 4:15-5:00 p.m.

Contact Information:
James Pearce
WSOE Sports
jpearce5@elon.edu

MLB: Oh, How the Mighty have Fallen

By Andy Sadler, WSOE Sports 

 

World Baseball Classic favorite Dominican Republic got bounced in the first round last week.  No, let’s revisit that.  They got trounced in the first round last week.  In a tournament where no other favorite struggled out of the gate, the Dominican dropped two one-run decisions to the lowly Netherlands.

Yes, the Netherlands.  Led by stud pitcher Rick VandenHurk.  (Okay…  By stud I mean that he pitched in the MLB last year.  And only 14 innings at that.)  The team has compiled 95 career MLB victories among the entire team.  All of them belong to VandenHurk and journeyman Sidney Ponson.  The Dominican totaled 512.

The reality is, however, that no more than five of these guys will likely ever make it to Major League Baseball.  And none of them look to have All-Star potential.  This isn’t the case of an underrated team being remarkably better than everyone expected.  It’s the case of a world power being overconfident.  Twice.

For everything you can say about the Netherlands team, you can say the opposite about the Dominican.  Almost the entire roster has Major League experience.  The rest are top prospects right now.  There isn’t a player on this roster who won’t play in the Majors.  The Dominican B team should have crushed the Netherlands.  Even the C team could have matched them.

For the Netherlands, the journey continues.  After losing 5-0 to Puerto Rico, they’re off to a bracket with the Puerto Ricans, Venezuelans, and Americans.  Ouch.  If they can persevere, maybe the Dominicans can conserve a bit of pride.  But in all likelihood, they’ll be overmatched and make a quick exit.

This loss is a giant embarrassment to baseball in the Dominican Republic.  A team led by MLB stars David Ortiz, Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes, and Pedro Martinez couldn’t hang with a team led by Rick VandenHurk, Randall Simon, Eugene Kingsale, and Yurendell Decaster.  (Who???)  So it’s back to the drawing board and hope for 2012.

But that’s why they play the games.

 

Listen to Andy and the rest of the Sports Time crew every Tuesday from 4:10-6:00 p.m.

Contact Information:
Andy Sadler
WSOE Sports
asadler@elon.edu

Baseball: Elon defeats LaSalle 16-9

Justin Hilt hit a two-run homerun in Elon’s seven-run 7th inning to guide the Phoenix to a 16-9 victory over the LaSalle Explorers on Tuesday.

The Phoenix led 5-0 after four innings.  After LaSalle scored four runs in the top of the 5th, Elon responded with two runs in the bottom of the inning to lead 7-4.  Then in the top of the 6th, the Explorers knocked in three runs to tie the game at seven.  Hilt broke the tie in the bottom of the 7th with his second two-run homer of the ballgame. 

Jimmy Reyes picked up the win for Elon, while LaSalle’s Cody Weiss was saddled with the loss.

Broadcast Team:
Andy Sadler – Play-By-Play Announcer
Josh Norris – Color Announcer
Craig Filazzola – Host
Angus Dunk – Producer in the WSOE studio

The next baseball game on WSOE Sports is Friday when the Phoenix host the Davidson Wildcats.  Our pregame show will be at 5:45 p.m. and the game begins at 6:00 p.m.

Contact Information:
Craig Filazzola
WSOE 89.3 FM Sports Director 
cfilazzola@elon.edu 

ESPN’s Bill Simmons talks to WSOE Sports

Bill Simmons of ESPN answered a question in his mailbag on Friday from David Aneser of WSOE Sports. 

 

Simmons is a columnist for Page 2 on ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine.  Aneser is a panelist on 4th and 15 and an updater/occasional panelist on Sports Time. 

 

This is the dialogue exchanged between Simmons and Aneser.  

 

David Aneser: In Matt Cassel’s first news conference with the Chiefs, someone asked Cassel if he was looking forward to meeting Bernard Pollard. Shouldn’t he immediately take some of his new money and buy Pollard a new car? The best full circle moment is the fact Cassel would still be a nobody if it weren’t for the Chiefs and now he is playing for them. GOD, I LOVE THE NFL! 

 

Bill Simmons: I’ll go one further — imagine if we learned Cassel offered Pollard $3 million to take out Brady’s knee in Week 1? Would that be one of the five biggest scandals in sports history? It wouldn’t be bigger than the 1919 White Sox throwing the World Series, or the college basketball point-shaving scandals in the ’40s and ’50s … but it would be equally as big as Tonya Harding conspiring to maim Nancy Kerrigan, right? By the way, listen to Monday’s B.S. Report if you want to hear me make the case for the 2009 Chiefs as a phenomenal bet at 100-to-1 to win the Super Bowl, thanks to my theory that the success of one team can become a sports colonic for that city’s fans, turn them from “glass half-empty” to “glass half-full” and ignite every other team in the city. I see the Royals kicking off things by becoming this year’s 2008 Rays, followed by an NBA team moving to K.C. in June or July. Then in September, with the pennant race heating up and K.C. fans already delirious, the Chiefs will charge out of the gate with four straight wins … although there’s a sobering moment when Joe Posnanski’s head tragically explodes as he’s crafting a column trying to put everything in perspective. Just be prepared. Wait, you don’t believe me?

 

 

The conversation was taken directly from espn.com.
Source: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/090306 

Contact Information:
Craig Filazzola
WSOE 89.3 FM Sports Director
cfilazzola@elon.edu

 

Elon Baseball Games

Here are our remaining 2009 Elon Baseball Broadcasts:

Date

Pre-game

Game

Elon’s Opponent

3/10/09 TUES

3:45PM

4:00PM

LaSalle

3/13/09 FRI

5:45PM

6:00PM

Davidson

4/17/09 FRI

6:45PM

7:00PM

N.C. Central

4/18/09 SAT

6:45PM

7:00PM

N.C. Central

 *Games are subject to change