Monthly Archives: October 2009

MLB: World Series Game Log – Game 2

By Greg Brzozowski, WSOE Sports

The World Series has dawned upon us and I could not be happier. Baseball is my favorite sport to watch and the Fall Classic is the epitome of the entire season. This year is a little bit more special to me because I am a Yankees fan and am incredibly excited to see my favorite team playing for the championship again. But after Game One, I am a little less thrilled to be facing a red hot Phillies team. Cliff Lee and Chase Utley are instantly on my list of players I cannot stand to the point of a Red Sox level. Our youthful and talented bullpen has been near embarrassing (Phil Hughes). Not to mention, I am living or dying on every pitch and pickoff throw and will likely become completely clinically insane if any of these games go close… so I figured why not document my feelings and emotions during the course of the remaining games of the series to be put out in public. So, without further ado, here is my live game log for Game 2 of the World Series featuring the Philadelphia Phillies vs. the New York Yankees.

7:30 – Most people would expect that after Lee’s performance last night in how he put up one of the top 5 pitching performances in World Series history (also include Jack Morris in ’91, Bob Gibson in ’68, Don Larsen ’56, and Josh Beckett in 2003, that last one hurts to write) that I would change my original prediction of the Yankees winning this series in six games. Well, you’re wrong. Here’s my theory. While Lee pulled a Hall of Fame performance last night, I can honestly say that I do not see any other Phillies starter coming close to that effort. Four months ago 75% of the teams in the Major Leagues didn’t even want to look at Pedro Martinez. Cole Hamels is a shell of his postseason self from last year. And then Joe Blanton has a career ERA against the Yankees over 8. Not impressed.
7:36 – Having Jay-Z and Alicia Keys perform “Empire State of Mind” before game two was great; all that was missing was Jay-Z screaming out at the end “LET’S GO YANKEES”!!! You wonder if it would inspire the Phillies to bring their own rap duo to Citizens Bank Park for Game 3. I could see it now, “Ladies and Gentlemen. Give a round of applause to your opening act and Philadelphia natives, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince!” Make it happen Philly.
8:09 – Just made it to Varsity to watch the game. I thought it would be on the big screen TV but no. Apparently the Virginia Tech and North Carolina College Football game is more important than Game 2 of the WORLD SERIES!
8:17 – Top of the second. Both A.J. Burnett and Pedro Martinez haven’t allowed a hit yet. Burnett just got Ryan Howard on a nice curveball. He looks good so far.
8:30 – That ball that just went fair for Raul Ibanez down the line for the ground rule double almost seems to be retribution for the missed Joe Mauer call in the ALDS. Matt Stairs finds a way to get the ball under Alex Rodriguez to Johnny Damon. The second I see it happen I know Ibanez is scoring of off Damon’s arm. On a side note Matt Stairs is fat. 1-0 Phillies.

Celebrity Tweet of the moment: Jason Stark, ESPN Senior Baseball Writer
“Stair’s last RBI on anything but a home run: How bout June 25 – an RBI double vs. the Rays. Yep, that was June 25.”

8:33 – The reason I like this matchup of Pedro vs. the Yanks is this lineup knows him so well. Derek Jeter, Damon, A-Rod, Hideki Matsui, Jerry Hairston Jr. (when with the Orioles), and Jorge Posada (when he eventually pinch hits for Jose Molina, who is Burnett’s personal catcher) all have experience against him. Because I don’t know if you knew this, but Pedro pitched for the Red Sox earlier in his career.
8:35 – Key at bat between A-Rod and Pedro. A-Rod starts out making Pedro throw a lot of pitches, Pedro wins getting A-Rod looking. Yankees can’t have that.
8:47 – Pedro out of the second with no trouble after the K on A-Rod, single by Matsui, great catch to rob Robinson Cano by Ibanez (he really wants me to not like him). Fly out by Hairston. Looks good, well pitching wise. Appearance wise he looks like a slob.

Just to be clear, out of anyone from the Yankees Red Sox rivalry that was at its finest earlier this decade, there was NO ONE I HATED MORE THAN PEDRO MARTINEZ!!! He normally killed the Yankees, was overly arrogant and cocky (remember the quote: “Who is Kareem Garcia?), loved to go head hunting, insulted the Yankee tradition, and attacked a 73 year old Don Zimmer, which was one of the most classless moves I will ever see in sports in my life. No matter what Pedro does I will always despise him. He didn’t help his cause to fix things when he said he is the most influential player to ever play in Yankee Stadium. Please, Pedro isn’t even qualified enough to clean Babe Ruth’s toilet after one of his hot dog and beer performances.

Celebrity Tweet of the moment: Sweeny Murti, Yankees Beat Writer

“Pedro: 43 pitches to seven batters.”

They’re getting to Pedro early, which is what the Yankees need to do. BRING OUT THE PHILLIES BULLPEN! Not like ours is that much better though, excluding the greatest postseason pitcher of all time, Mariano Rivera

9:01– Anyone else realize that Charlie Manual looks like Freddy Kruger’s dad?
9:05 – HUGE strikeout by Burnett on Howard with Utley on first, Rollins on second. Yankees just avoided a big inning there that could’ve hurt them. Score remains 1-0.  My friend Jackson Brodie just brought up an awesome point. What killed the Yankees in Game 5 of the ALCS was Burnett giving up 4 runs on 4 hits and a walk in the 1st inning. It took a miraculous level comeback for the Yankees to take the lead in the 7th and that still wasn’t enough for the series-clinching win when the bullpen blew it. If Burnett keeps the Phills bats under control for the most part, the Yankees will have a chance to hit Pedro later on when he gets tired or the questionable bullpen.
9:11 – Molina walks against Pedro, the Yankees first BB of the Series. Once threw the lineup and no Yankee has reached second base yet.
9:15 – Jeter down looking, his 2nd K in as many at bats. I’m surprised how well Pedro is doing with all the history his daddy has against him.
9:22 – What product do you think Chase Utley uses to slick back his hair? McDonald’s french fry grease? Spit? Manure?
9:24 – Molina throwing out Jason Werth with his lead got too big at first is the game changing play the Yankees needed. Notice what happened afterwards. Two pitches later, Ibanez strikes out. One pitch after, Feliz flies out to left. Crowd gets excited. Not to mention Teixeira, A-Rod and Matsui coming up to face Pedro. Yankees NEED TO CAPITALIZE NOW!!!!!!
9:28 – WHAT DID I SAY! YANKS NEED TO CAPITALIZE!!! MARK TEIXERIA! FIRST PITCH! HOME RUN! 414 FEET TO CENTER! Game tied 1-1.
9:35 – Pedro allows two deep outs and K’s Hairston to get out of more trouble after Matsui waked. Tied at 1 after 4.
9:37 – If there is one debate the MLB postseason has caused this year, it’s whose overly promoted show will get canceled first, Lopez Tonight or the Wanda Sykes Show?
9:45 – We are 4 ½ innings through and we have had zero Kate Hudson shots. Is Fox feeling ok? They’re not acting like themselves. They live for the celebrity cameos. I’m starting to get worried.
9:50 – Pedro has 6 K’s so far yet Molina’s ground out was his first of the night.
9:57 – End of 5. Still knotted up at two. Pedro at 83 pitches after an 8 pitch inning. Bullpen is quiet for the Phillies. Pedro looks good for the 6th but maybe Manual should ask Grady Little what happens when you leave Pedro in postseason games too long at Yankee Stadium.
10:01 – Burnett gets through the heart of the order, Utley, Howard, and Werth in under 10 pitches. Who does Pedro have to face in the bottom of the 6th… the heart of the Yankees order.

Celebrity Tweet of the Moment: Sweeny Murti
“Between them Howard and ARod have struck out 9 times all ready this series. That’s niiiiine times.”

10:07 – Two Phillies up in the bullpen just sat down. Manual trusts Pedro after just striking out Teixeira.
10:08 – A-Rod down swinging for the second time in the game. Pedro has 8 K’s.
10:10: IT’S A THRILLA FROM GODZILLA!!! MATSUI WITH THE SOLO SHOT! Yankees take lead 2-1. I will be shocked to see Pedro come back for the 7th.
10:15 – Pedro just gave Manual the same line he gave Grady in the 8th in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS before he blew it, “I’m fine”. Don’t know if Manual could allow this to happen with Pedro at 99 pitches but Chan Ho Park is starting to warm in the Phillies pen. I chalk this up as a win-win for the Yankees for whoever comes in.
10:19 – Burnett is showing his worth right now. He has gotten better every single inning as he gets Werth, Ibanez, and Feliz 1-2-3. He has set down 8 in a row. It looked as though Pedro was going back out for the bottom of the 7th.
10:23 – Pedro is out to pitch the 7th! His next pitch will be his 100th. Molina is batting third. It’ll be interesting to see if Posada pinch hits because the one and only Mariano Rivera is now warming up in the bullpen. Molina is not really needed because I think Burnett pitches the 8th till he gives up a base runner, then enter Sandman.
10:27 – Pedro battles Hairston in a long at bat and Hairston wins with a bloop single. The Yankees fastest man, Brett Gardner, is now pinch running. The move pays off as Melky Cabrera executes a hit and run with a single to right. Gardner is at third, Melky at first, and Jorge Posada is coming to the plate to pinch hit for Molina.  Pedro’s “comeback” at Yankee Stadium looked good initially, but ends with him getting the loss. The lasting image, Pedro walking off the field smiling as Yankee fans boo him with a passion. I happen to say some not too kind words to the TV also.

Celebrity Tweet of the Moment: Bill Simmons, Writer for ESPN, the Sports Guy, a gift to the human race, unfortunately a gigantic Boston fan:
“Just landed in Boston + checked email. Top one said ‘Good God that’s Grady Little’s Music!’ Didn’t even have to check score.”

Celebrity Tweet of the Moment: Jason Stark
“Why Park (Park relieved Pedro)? Posada 0-7 against him. That would be why.

10:36 – Stark’s tweet proves to be wrong… Posada singles to center and scores Gardner. 3-1 Yankees.
10:39 – Park “strikes out” Jeter when he bunts foul with two strikes. One out in the bottom of the 7th. Manual takes out Park for Scott Eyre.
10:43 – Another umpiring error in this postseason! With one out, Damon lines a ball to Howard at first that takes a slight bounce, but Howard says he caught it. Throws to second where Jimmy Rollins tags Posada and up calls it a double play. They completely blew the call, thought it was a blink of the eye thing. Instead of the top of the 8th, it should be one out in the bottom of the 7th with the bases loaded for Teixeira. Yankees lost a chance to seal this game even further with Rivera now in the game for a six out save.
10:51 – Also, Charlie Manual looks like Jigsaw from the Saw movies.
10:52 – Burnett’s final line: 7 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 2 BB (1 INT BB), 9 K’s. Great performance.
10:57 – Rare walk by Mariano to Rollins, Shane Victorino singles to right. First and second with one out Utley at bat as the game leading run. If Phillies are going to come back, this is the time with the right guys at bat.
10:59 – You know how I just said Phillies need to capitalize here? Well rather than do that, Utley grounds to second for an inning ending double play. Mariano will face Howard, Werth, and Ibanez in the 9th. Coming to bat for the Yankees: Teixeira, A-Rod, Matsui.
11:02 – Another umpiring mistake. This one is HUGE and at first again! In looking at the replay, Utley beat out the throw and should have been safe, meaning first and third with two outs for Howard. Phillies got a break, now Yankees got one. “The MLB Postseason Umpires, equally making mistakes for all teams alike!”
11:04 – Ryan Madson comes in for the Phills and his first pitch nails Teixeira on the leg. Now he strikes out A-Rod. A-Rod is now 0-8 with 6K’s in the World Series.
11:13 – Madson strikes out Matsui, Cano singles to right, Gardner strikes out. To the top of the ninth we go!
11:18 – Howard strikes out for the forth time TONIGHT! Give him a Golden Sombrero. Yankees are now two outs away from tying the series.
11:20 – Werth hits a week liner to Cano. One out away.
11:22 – Ibanez continues the game with a double to deep left center. Matt Stairs, now the tying run for the Phillies, is at the plate.
11:24 – Mariano strikes out Stairs. Ballgame over. Yankees win. The World Series is tied at 1-1. We’re going to Philadelphia.

Celebrity Tweet of the Moment: Sweeny Murti
“Beating Broxton is one thing. Beating Rivera is another. Tied 1-1 heading to Philly. Great series on the way.”

I will be back Saturday night for game 3. If you read all of this, you’re a trooper. But I love baseball and I love a good World Series, which is exactly what this series looks to be turning in to.

Contact Information:
Greg Brzozowski
WSOE Sports
gbrzozowski@elon.edu

Advertisements

SPORTS TIME: 10/27 Show Recap

By Eli Kaufman, WSOE Sports

Sports Time is always an eventful and humorous occasion, but even more so today, as Craig Filazzola, David Aneser, and Russell Varner talked sports.   Baseball was naturally the first topic discussed as the World Series starts tomorrow pitting the New York Yankees against the Philadelphia Phillies.  It should be an interesting series, as Alex Rodriguez has been knocking the cover off the ball and Pedro Martinez will start game 2 for the Phillies at Yankee Stadium.

World Series Picks:
Craig – Yankees in 5 games
David – Yankees in 6 games
Russell – Yankees in 7 games

NFL was the second topic of choice.  As we are in North Carolina, the Panthers were discussed.  After Russell announced he was at the Panthers game in which they lost to the Bills, David replied, “Did you catch any Delhomme interceptions?”  Delhomme has been struggling but one has to remember, he’s playing with a horrible team.  Other football games that were discussed was the exciting Saints vs. Dolphins game in which the Saints came from behind to win it.

The Elon Phoenix has been playing some incredible football.  They moved up to 6th in the country from their previous spot of 7th after a whooping of the Chattanooga Mocs this past weekend.  Kick returner and defensive back Karlos Sullivan earned defensive player of the week and Senior AJ Harris earned special teams player of the week.  The team is in position to make the playoffs and to possibly host a playoff game.

NCAA Football Picks:

West Virginia @ South Florida     Matt: South Florida   Russell: West Virginia   Craig: West Virginia

Georgia @ Florida     Matt: Florida   Russell: Florida   Craig: Florida

Texas @ Oklahoma State     Matt: Texas   Russell: Texas   Craig: Texas

USC @ Oregon     Matt: USC   Russell: USC   Craig: USC

Ole Miss @ Auburn     Matt: Auburn   Russell: Ole Miss   Craig: Auburn

NFL Picks:

New York Giants @ Philadelphia Eagles     Matt: Giants   Russell: Eagles   Craig: Giants

Denver Broncos @ Baltimore Ravens     Matt: Ravens   Russell: Broncos   Craig: Ravens

San Francisco 49ers @ Indianapolis Colts     Matt: Colts   Russell: Colts   Craig: Colts

Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints     Matt: Saints   Russell: Saints   Craig: Saints

Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers     Matt: Vikings   Russell: Vikings   Craig: Vikings

Join us again next Tuesday at 4:10 p.m. on the radio at 89.3 FM or here by clicking the “Listen Live” page.

Contact Information:
Eli Kaufman
WSOE Sports
ekaufman@elon.edu

MLB: World Series – Phillies vs. Yankees

By Matt Curry, WSOE Sports

Courtesy of: ladiesdotdotdot.files.wordpress.com

Courtesy of: ladiesdotdotdot.files.wordpress.com

Well its about time; the time to find out if your season was a success. For one team, the year will be a success, and the other, missing the goal by one final step. The Yankees and Phillies will start their final bid at success this Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.

Now, how did each team arrive in the series? The Yankees dismantled the Twins in the ALDS and then beat the unrelenting Angels in the ALCS. The defending champion Phillies defeated the Rockies in the NLDS and the Dodgers in the NLCS for the second straight year.

Lets start off by looking at the keys to a Yankee victory. The main point is the pitchers must be on their game and keep this powerful Phillies lineup out of the game. As a Mets fan, I have seen what the Phillies can do when you give them pitches to hit. The Yankees starters need to hit their spots on the corners and pitch this team low to ensure some ground ball outs. The bullpen must also look to be ready to sub in at any time. Look for Girardi to use pitchers for one or two batter late in the game against Utley and Howard, as he tries to hold the lead until Mariano Rivera enters the game.  As for the Yankees offense, it all starts with the leadoff hitters getting on base for the big bats of Texiera and Rodriguez. A-ROD is looking for his first ever World Series ring, and look for him to be an impact player throughout the series.

The Phillies have to do what they did this year against the Yankees in interleague play, in which they took two of three games from the Yankees. They need their pitchers to hold off the most powerful offense in baseball. Look to hit some spots on the inside corner of the plate and jam the big hitters, otherwise stay outside because anything in the middle will be a home run. The Phillies bullpen will be huge in what I expect to be a high scoring series. Lidge struggles throughout the season, but has come out strong in the Post-Season, and he will need to be tough against the Yankees if they Phillies want to have a chance to close out the game. The Phillies offense will be facing a tough rotation and will look to Rollins to set the tone for Utley and Howard. Look for Werth and Victorino to be huge factors as they have been breakout players for the Phillies all year.

This Wednesday is the start of what should be an amazing World Series. The Phillies will throw Cliff Lee on the road at The Yankees ace C.C. Sabathia. This will be an extremely important game for each team because it will set the tone for the rest of the series. Look for this to be a close game, but nothing is assured with arguably the two greatest lineups in the MLB playing in this series.

With all the above stated, I think it is time for some predictions to be made. I look for the Yankees to win, in what will be a very entertaining series for guys like me who like to see a lot of runs. The series will probably go six games, with the Yankees celebrating on their field at Yankee Stadium. As for MVP’s of the series, look for A-ROD, Texiera, or C.C. Sabathia to be the top candidates.

Get Ready, Get Excited! This is what MLB fans have been waiting for the last five months. Lets see if the Phillies can defend their title!

Contact Information:
Matt Curry
WSOE Sports
mcurry3@elon.edu

Elon Crushes Chattanooga in Homecoming Game

By Craig Filazzola, WSOE Sports Director

Three touchdown passes from Scott Riddle to Terrell Hudgins on consecutive possessions guided the Elon Phoenix to an overwhelming 45-10 victory over the Chattanooga Mocs on Saturday.  Elon stepped up to 6-1 overall and 4-0 in the conference, while Chattanooga dropped to 4-3, 2-3.

“[It’s] great to get another SoCon win and to do it in convincing fashion,” said Elon head coach Pete Lembo. “This is one of those good wins where we can enjoy it but go back tomorrow and see some things on film that we can tweak and improve on.”

Elon’s homecoming game didn’t start off the way the Phoenix wanted when Riddle threw an interception on the team’s first play from scrimmage.  Craig Camay connected on a 27-yard field goal and gave Chattanooga a 3-0 advantage.  However, the Mocs lead lasted for just two more possessions.

Hudgins’ three touchdown receptions were not only his first three catches of the afternoon, but they also provided Elon a 21-3 edge early in the second quarter.  The next time the Phoenix had the ball came after a Chattanooga fumble and resulted in a 36-yard field goal from Adam Shreiner.

On the ensuing drive for the Mocs, Elon’s Darrius McQueen blocked a punt, and A.J. Harris returned it 35 yards for a touchdown.  The Phoenix led 31-3 at halftime.

Riddle played only the first three quarters of the blowout, completing 13 of his 18 passes for 196 yards.  Hudgins caught six of those passes for 74 yards.

Elon’s offense picked up 179 yards on the ground, as Jamal Shuman ran 16 times for 61 yards.  Brandon Newsome and A.J. Harris each had six carries for 48 and 33 yards respectively.

On defense, Karlos Sullivan contributed with an interception and six tackles.  Brandon Wiggins and Cameron McGlenn each delivered seven tackles.  Travis Greene also made key stops, adding six tackles.

Next Saturday, Elon visits the Wofford Terriers and Chattanooga hosts the Western Carolina Catamounts.

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

MLB: ALCS Game 5 Prolongs Phillies Wait

By Matt Curry, WSOE Sports

In what can be argued as one of the better finishes of this postseason, in a most crucial game, the Angels defeated the Yankees 7-6. The fact that the game could earn the Yankees a World Series berth with a win, left the Angels in a must win situation. The Angels used this desperation and jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the first inning. Unfortunately, as most people know, the Yankees have a powerful lineup with some of the best hitters in the AL. It was only a matter of time before the Yankees awoke in a thunderous roar. This came in the top of the seventh inning when with two outs and the bases loaded, the Yankees struck for six runs to take a 6-4 lead. With the same mentality as the Angels have had all year; they rallied for three runs in the bottom of the inning to put themselves up for good.

 

Courtesy of: newsday.com

Courtesy of: newsday.com

I picked the Angels to win the series in seven games, and I am not sure it can happen, but with the win last night I know it is a possibility. They defense they play, led by Torii Hunter in the outfield is outstanding, and they can put up runs in a hurry as shown in last nights game. They are also motivated unlike any other team, as they still use the loss of a teammate to give them strength. The pitching must improve if they want to win this series at Yankee Stadium, which I can assure you is one of the toughest places to win a game as a visitor, especially in the playoffs. If the Angels want to stay alive and complete one of the greatest playoff comebacks of all time, they will need to beat one of the greatest post-season pitchers of all time in Andy Pettitte. Joe Saunders will have to face the tough Yankee lineup and if he is on his game, I believe he will help the team get the job done in game six.

Now what does all this mean in terms of who goes on? I think if the Angels can win a crucial game six at Yankee Stadium, they will maintain momentum and claim a World Series berth in game seven.  The Yankees know this and will pull out everything in order to win this game, and they do not want a game seven in which anything can happen. As for the Phillies, don’t let Manuel’s confidence get you too excited because you are already set to play a tough series whether it’s the Yankees or the Angels. Secondly, the pitching rosters of the two remaining AL teams are far better in my opinion than what they have faced so far and it will be a difficult test for this potent Phillies offence. Anyways I will go more into depth about this later in the week when we finally know who will be playing in the World Series. For now, sit back, relax, and enjoy what should be a great ending to the ALCS.

 

Contact Information:
Matt Curry
WSOE Sports
mcurry3@elon.edu

SATURDAY: Phoenix Football Tailgate Show will air at 12:30PM, Homecoming edition

The Phoenix Football Tailgate Show will broadcast outside of Rhodes Stadium this Saturday afternoon.  We’re on the air one hour before Elon’s homecoming game against the Chattanooga Mocs.

Our broadcast begins: 12:30 PM
Game begins: 1:30 PM 

Our exact location: the corner of Phoenix Drive and Bank of America Drive, southwest of Rudd Field.

You can also listen to us on the:
Radio – 89.3 FM
Internet – here by clicking on the “Listen Live”  page

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

3 Broadcasts in 3 Days

Here are the upcoming broadcasts for WSOE Sports.

FRIDAY – Women’s Soccer – Elon vs. Chattanooga
On Air – 6:55pm
Game – 7:00pm

SATURDAY– Volleyball – Elon vs. Georgia Southern
On Air – 1:45pm
Game – 2:00pm

SUNDAY – Volleyball – Elon vs. Davidson
On Air – 1:45pm
Game – 2:00pm

All three broadcasts can be heard on the:
Radio – 89.3 FM
Internet – here by clicking on the “Listen Live” page

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

NBA: 2009 NBA Draft Recap at Madison Square Garden: The Top 10 Picks (Part 2)

By Angus Dunk, WSOE Sports

6.) Gerald Henderson, Guard, (Drafted 12th overall by the Charlotte Bobcats) – If there is anything that Henderson will bring to the Bobcats then its improvement. The Caldwell, New Jersey native started his freshman year at Duke with only 6.8 ppg and 219 points scored by the end of the season. Since that point, Henderson has improved his game both offensively and defensively. This past season Henderson registered 16.5 ppg, 610 points, 91 assists, 183 rebounds, 46 steals, and 28 blocks. Henderson’s 16.5 ppg. led all Duke basketball players in scoring. Henderson’s father, Gerald Sr., spent 13 seasons in the NBA compiling 3 championship rings with the Boston Celtics and Detroit Pistons. The two words that describe Henderson best are “stealth” and “speed.” On offense, he drives deep into the paint (often unnoticed) and receives a pass either for the lay-up or alley oop. He also shows good consistency with his turn-around j-shots. On defense, Henderson is a big force on his side of the court dishing out block after block. Overall, this is a good investment for the Bobcats who could really benefit from a two-way player.

7.) Tyler Hansbrough, Power Forward, (Drafted 13th overall by the Indiana Pacers) – He nearly had a 4 year career total of 2,900 points (2,872 was his final total) and gets drafted 13th? He also finishes as the ACC scoring leader and gets drafted after Henderson? Everyone has their reasons, but my guess is a lot of teams were speculating that he may be another J.J. Reddick (a stand college star in ACC competition, but has struggled in the NBA). Hansbrough’s 2,872 points career points ranks 12th all-time amongst NCAA Division I players. His junior year (2007-2008) at the University of North Carolina was his best when he tallied 882 points, 22.6 ppg., a .540 field goal pct., 399 rebounds (UNC’s all-time career leader with 1,219), and 59 steals. This year, Hansbrough established a career high in free throw pct. (.841) in addition to putting up a notable 704 points, 20.7 ppg, and 276 rebounds. Hansbrough’s ability to score in heavy traffic is his biggest attribute. He manages to control the ball well and finish his shots cleanly a lot of the time against pressure from 2 or 3 players. Overall, he should be a nice addition to the Pacers and complement current players T.J. Ford and Danny Granger.

8.) Earl Clark, Small Forward, (Drafted 14th overall by the Phoenix Suns) – Clark fits the definition of a small forward in that he dabbles in a little bit of everything. The NBA scouting staff describes him as a “long and athletic forward with a good overall skill set.” Clark has consistently improved his game in each of the three seasons that he has played for the Louisville Cardinals. This season Clark recorded 525 points, 14.2 ppg, 322 rebounds, a .326 three-pointer pct., and 119 assists. On offense, Clark is aggressive and will battle through traffic to help his team get the extra two points. On defense, Clark possesses tenacity and is good at stealing the ball and blocking shots; this past season he averaged 1 steal per game and 1.4 blocks per game. Clark’s weakness is probably his do-it-alone attitude. His 6’8, 220 pound frame gives him a lot of leeway to take the ball deep into the paint, but if you match a center such as Hasheem Thabeet (7’3, 263 pounds) or B.J. Mullens (7’0, 275 pounds) on him, then problems could arise. However, he emerged as more of a team player this year with his 3.2 assists per game. His game may take a little time to develop before he can make the active roster for the Suns, but he should prove to be a standout star. Dave-De Thomas of “yahoo! sports” compares Clark to Danny Granger of the Indiana Pacers.

9.) Jermaine Taylor, Shooting Guard, (Drafted 32 overall by the Washington Wizards) – Judging by his interviews he’s one of the more mentally sound players in the draft. He’s upbeat, determined, optimistic, and confident in his abilities. Jermaine Taylor this past season finished a successful 4-year tenure at the University of Central Florida and ranked 3rd in the nation in points per game (26.2). Taylor finished with career highs this year in almost every category including points scored (812), field goal pct. (.480), free throw pct (.812), rebounds (161), assists per game (1.9), and blocks per game (.8). Taylor’s total of 1,979 career points ranked third all-time at UCF and his 251 three pointers established a new school record. Taylor fits the typical role of a traditional shooting guard in his innate ability to score, but differs from some for his aggressive attack of the basket and love for dunking the ball. At 6’4, 205 pounds, the Tavares, Florida native shows tremendous athleticism, an attribute he believes to be the reason why many scouts compare him to Miami shooting guard, Dwayne Wade. Other sources, such as yahoo.com, have also compared him to Rodney Stuckey of the Detroit Pistons. Taylor is a good player, but still has some work to do. By dunking the ball as much as he does it seems he might be making one too many moves to score; this could become a problem because in the NBA defending players in the paint possess superior size and height making it easy to block the lane for a shot. He may have some work to do on his jump shot, but based on his field goal pct. and 3-pointer pct. from the past season this shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Taylor has also been compared to Rodney Stuckey of the Detroit Pistons by Yahoo! sports. Overall, he was definitely one of the better steals of the 2nd round.

10.) Sam Young, Small Forward, (picked 36th overall by the Memphis Grizzlies) – ESPN analysts dubbed him one of the more “active sleeper picks.” Underdog, maybe. Sleeper, no. Young was the eldest of five children born to Marquet Craig, who was a single 14-year old mother at the time of Sam’s birth. Young grew up in Clinton, Maryland on the outskirts of Washington D.C. Young attended Friendly High School and helped lead his team to back to back state championships in 2003 and 2004 (2A in 2003 and 3A in 2004). As a senior, he showed tremendous potential on both offense and defense to take his game to the next level recording game averages of 24.6 points, 14 rebounds, and 6 blocks. However, he went fairly unnoticed amongst college recruits; an event which prompted him to pursue a post-graduate program at Hargrave Military Academy (prep school) in Chatham, VA in order to improve upon his high school grades and to further develop his basketball game. He was a noticeable standout during the single year (2004-2005) he spent at Hargrave averaging 23 points and 11 rebounds for his almost undefeated team (28-1). After accepting an offer to play for the University of Pittsburgh, Young struggled during his first two seasons with the Panthers starting very few games and recording modest, but not exceptional statistics. That would all change his junior year (2007-2008) when he recorded career highs in almost all categories including rebounds per game (rpg) (6.3), assists per game (apg) (1.2), steals per game (spg) (1.1), blocks per game (bpg) (1.1), and 3-pointer pct. (.383). He repeated his stellar performance his senior year at Pittsburgh and recorded 19.2 ppg, 690 points, a .740 free throw pct., 6.3 apg. and 1.0 spg. Overall, Young is a quick two way forward who likes to score either on the dunk with panache or from outside the 3-point arc. At 6’6, 215 pounds he shows tremendous presence which gives him a distinct advantage in blocking shots and stealing the ball on defense, but at the same on offense allowing him to bury quick shots. In an interview, Young did not compare his style of play to anyone in the NBA. Young is known for having a specialty pump-fake which he learned as a child during street basketball and reintroduced the move once he entered college.  Solid second round choice by the Grizzlies. I admire their pursuit of defensive and two way players in the draft.

Breakdown of the Top 10 Picks

Team Previous Club Position

DKV Joventut (Spain ACB) – 1  Power Forward- 2

Memphis Grizzlies- 2                    University of Oklahoma- 1          Small Forward- 2

L.A. Clippers- 1                             University of Connecticut- 1        Center- 1

Sacramento Kings- 1                     University of Memphis- 1             Guard- 3

Minnesota Timberwolves- 1          Davidson College- 1                      Point Guard- 1

Golden State Warriors- 1              Duke University- 1                      Shooting Guard- 1

Charlotte Bobcats- 1      University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill- 1

Indiana Pacers- 1                            University of Louisville- 1

Phoenix Suns- 1                               University of Central Florida- 1

Washington Wizards- 1                  University of Pittsburgh- 1

Contact Information:
Angus Dunk
WSOE Sports
adunk@bu.edu

NBA: 2009 NBA Draft Recap at Madison Square Garden: The Top 10 Picks (Part 1)

By Angus Dunk, WSOE Sports

The L.A. Clippers made a solid choice with forward Blake Griffin who was probably the most consistent player in the draft, even if he was not the top scorer. I was a little disappointed that Hansbrough (one of the most offensive minded players in the draft) was drafted as late as he was, but Indiana did the right thing by finally staking a claim to him. He will make a good addition to point guard, Danny Granger (2009 Most Improved Player in the NBA). Center Hasheem Thabeet was another smart selection; the Grizzlies went with the top defensive player and will see that improve their finish in the final standings next year.

Round 1

1.) Blake Griffin, Power Forward, (drafted 1st overall by the Los Angeles Clippers) “Consistency” is the label for Blake Griffin. Just as easily as hockey comes to John Tavares (top pick at this year’s NHL draft), basketball seems to do the same for Griffin. In the NBA’s scouting report, Griffin is described as the “prototypical power forward.” This couldn’t be truer. With his 6’ 10,” 250 pound frame, he drives to the hoop with a strong presence and repetition that is hard to beat.  Griffin is not only hard to defend because of his physical presence and size, but because of his accuracy from every position and angle on the court including from the three point line and when he takes fade away shots. The Clippers got to see their boy in action this July in their first NBA Summer League game vs. the Los Angeles Lakers. No one on either side could match Griffin as he recorded a double-double and totaled 27 pts, 12 rebounds, and 1 assist. This past season at the University of Oklahoma, Griffin improved nearly all his career high college statistics by playing in 35 games in which he recorded 794 points, a .694 field goal pct (field goal percentage), and 22.7 points per game (ppg.). Griffin’s sophomore year (2008-2009) also saw him sharpen the defensive aspects of his game as he recorded 504 rebounds and 41 blocks. Prior to college, Griffin played basketball in high school as a stand-out at Okalahoma Christian School. He has drawn comparisons to former NBA player, Karl Malone. Overall, Griffin’s determined work ethic and flexible personality will help phase the Clippers out of their recent slump.

2.) Hasheem Thabeet, Center, (drafted 2nd overall by the Memphis Grizzlies) – If anything else, Tennessee’s NBA franchise keeps getting more and more interesting. While struggling on the court, off-court the scouting staff is slowly making Memphis more and more diverse. Thabeet is the first Tanzanian born basketball player to be drafted and slotted to play in the NBA. He becomes the 4th international player to enter the team’s current roster in addition to Marc Gasol (Spain), Hamed Haddadi (Iran), and Marko Jaric (Yugoslavia). Thabeet has clearly persevered as the #2 selection in this year’s draft. Coming from a broken home across on the other side of the Atlantic, Thabeet managed to turn into a stand-out defensive prospect after only beginning to play basketball at the age of 15. His size (7’3,” 263 pounds) definitely gives him an advantage at his position, but his college statistics are clear indications of his dedication to the game of basketball. In his junior year at the University of Connecticut this past season, Thabeet established career highs in many categories including games played (36), blocks (152), rebounds (388), and steals (22). Thabeet also established a healthy respect amongst competitors on offense with 489 points, a 640 field goal pct., and a 13.6 ppg average. Thabeet’s honors include being named the “NABC Defensive Player of the Year” for two consecutive years (2008 and 2009). Defensively, Thabeet’s height will give him an advantage over other players especially when it comes to blocking shots; in turn I would like to see how Lebron James approaches a center such as him. Offensively, Thabeet’s height will be a major factor again on rebounds and second chance points. “Yahoo! Sports” compares him to DeSagana Diop (Charlotte), but I’m tending to lean toward the consensus opinion that he compares with Emeka Okafor (New Orleans).

3.) Tyreke Evans, Guard, (Drafted 4th overall by the Sacramento Kings) – Evans was a player who went from having a rough start last year to a team leader. However, after he found his game about halfway through the season at the University of Memphis, he took off. Evans played point guard with the Tigers in his freshman year, but can play shooting guard as well. He likes to drive the ball often straight to the hoop for the lay-up and put in a quick basket. Evidence to the point that he is a shooting guard as well, Evans is also capable of making numerous fade-aways from behind the 3-point arc. This season he recorded 632 points, 17.1 ppg, and a .455 field goal pct. on 505 attempts. Evans was also sound defensively notching 177 steals (2.1 steals per game), 29 blocks (0.8 per game), and 198 rebounds (5.4 per game). In high school, he was an All-American at American Christian Academy in Aston, Pennsylvania. During his senior year he averaged 32.1 points per game and was named MVP at the McDonald’s All American game. Evans has continued to develop this game after being drafted by Sacramento by playing on the Kings’ summer league team. In his 2nd game in the summer league, he recorded a double-double with 25 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists. Overall, Evans shows a lot of promise for the Kings who would strongly benefit from some up-tempo offense. However, in my opinion, to work out any remaining kinks he may have in his game he should play in the NBA-D League (NBA Developmental League). He still is very young and could benefit from a farm-system team (The Reno Bighorns) to improve his defensive game if he continues to play point guard. At 6’6,” 220 pounds, Evans will definitely be a force within the paint.

4.) Ricky Rubio, Point Guard, (Drafted 5th overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves) – Rubio will definitely bring a sense of freshness with his fast, up-tempo European style of play.  Rubio is definitely the complete package of a point guard. He shoots, scores, passes, and plays aggressive defense. At 6’4,” 180 pounds Rubio can hold his ground amongst players on the court, but what’s more impressive is his ability to do so against larger and taller opponents. On offense, he particularly loves to drive into the lane for the lay-up regardless of whose on defense and 80% of the time seems to make the shot. However, he also fulfills the generic point guard description as well with his excellent ball-handling and passing. Rubio seems to find his teammates from any point on the court and make whatever pass is necessary including numerous behind-the-back bounce passes and toss-up’s for alley oop’s. Look out for him to become the league leader in assists one day. On Defense, Rubio’s most vital asset is his ability to simultaneously pressure other point guards and hold his ground and yield no space at all to his opponents. His size and speed make him effective at stealing the ball. Rubio has played the past four seasons with DKV Jovenut Jugadors of Liga ACB (the Spanish ACB League) and has led the squad to three Catalan Championships (2006, 2008, and 2009). Rubio has been compared to current NBA Star, Jason Kidd (Dallas Mavericks). Fun facts: His nicknames include “La Pistola” and “The Rolling Earthquake.”

5.) Stephen Curry, Guard, (picked 7th overall by the Golden State Warriors)- One would think that leading NCAA Division I basketball in points per game would give a player a higher draft pick, but Curry was plucked when was. This season with the Davidson Wildcats Curry was the leading scorer with 28.6 points per game. He also established career highs in points scored (974), assists (189), and steals (86). In his sophomore year (2007-2008), Curry established a new NCAA single season record after making 162 three-pointers. That same season, Curry established highs in all shooting percentages which included field goals (.483), three-pointers (.439), and free throws (894). Curry comes from a strong basketball oriented family. His father, Dell Curry, spent 16 seasons in the NBA for 5 teams (the bulk for the Charlotte Hornets, 10 seasons) and his brother Seth Curry spent his freshman year at Liberty University, where he led all NCAA Division I freshman in points per game (20.2). Curry is a very offensively focused player, but has also improved on the defensive aspects of his game over the course of his three years at Davidson College. He can score comfortably from almost anywhere on the court, but possesses the unique ability to consistently score from outside the paint whether it be a long shot for 2 points or a 3-pointer. As so many have already said, his shot range is what makes him phenomenal overall. Dave-Te Thomas of “rivals.com” compares Curry to Mike Bibby of the Atlanta Hawks. Curry is originally from Akron, Ohio; where Lebron James is also from (NBA MVP 2009). Despite choosing to not attend Davidson for his senior year, Curry still plans to earn a degree and is in the midst of online summer classes.

Contact Information:
Angus Dunk
WSOE Sports
adunk@bu.edu

NFL: Two Receivers Find New Homes

By Christian Binder, WSOE Sports

On Tuesday, October 7, two huge moves went down in the NFL that, honestly, were quite surprising. The New York Jets acquired troubled wideout Braylon Edwards from the Cleveland Browns and the San Francisco 49ers signed holdout Michael Crabtree to a six-year deal. Edwards brings the Jets a legitimate number-one receiver, something they have lacked for the better part of this decade. The 49ers got the assurance that they will not lose their number-one pick and, hopefully, he will provide QB Shaun Hill a downfield threat in the passing game. 

 

Courtesy of: media.nj.com

Braylon Edwards, Courtesy of: media.nj.com

The most shocking part of the Edwards deal was how relatively little the Jets gave up for him. WR Chansi Stuckey and special teamer Jason Trusnik were both shipped to the Browns in addition to two draft picks, believed to be 3rd- and 5th-rounders. Stuckey has been inconsistent in his two years in the league and has failed to live up to his expectations as a viable slot receiver this year. He will be replaced by David Clowney, who is also in his third year in the league. The key for Edwards’ success in New York is attitude. The Jets already have good chemistry in the locker room, thanks in large part to head coach Rex Ryan, and Edwards will have to become a part of that and avoid being a distraction. Presumably, Edwards will have to prove himself as the team’s number-one receiver by performing extremely well in practice, as Jerricho Cotchery went into the season as the number-one option for rookie QB Mark Sanchez. It will be interesting to see how Edwards’ presence affects a game because Jets receivers have been unable to get separation from defensive backs this season. Edwards is a threat to go deep, which should loosen up the secondary and allow players like tight end Dustin Keller to catch balls across the middle. While all of this sounds well and good, the Jets will have to wait and see if Edwards has any punishment awaiting him, since he allegedly punched a club promoter in Cleveland, who happened to be a friend of LeBron James, several days ago. As for now, the Jets will proceed like he will be a part of the team come Sunday. 

 

Michael Crabtree, Courtesy of: americansportsblog.files.wordpress.com

Michael Crabtree, Courtesy of: americansportsblog.files.wordpress.com

Michael Crabtree finally ended all of his drama with the 49ers and agreed to a six-year deal, the terms of which have not yet been disclosed. This is great news for the 49ers, who are already off to a 3-1 start, but not so much because of their offense. The defense, led by linebacker Patrick Willis, has only allowed 53 points through 4 games and has the team looking for its first division title since 2002. Shaun Hill has played great, completing 62.3% of his passes with 5 touchdowns to only 1 interception. Crabtree should instantly open up the passing game, which will make opposing defenses stop focusing on running back Frank Gore so much. However, Crabtree is a work in progress, so it could be a few weeks before he starts making plays. Crabtree made the best move for both himself and his team and it will be interesting to see how the rest of the season plays out.

 

Contact Information:
Christian Binder
WSOE Sports
cbinder@elon.edu