Saturday, May 29, 2010

Kentucky and the Bledsoe HS Transfer

Here is the NY Times article that had been rumored for weeks about Kentucky, grades and transcripts of one of their key players last year, Eric Bledsoe.

It is not the bombshell many expected but certainly is a fog of smoke rising up from the moral wasteland that is the Calipari coaching staff. Where there is smoke, there is usually fire. We shall see how this unfolds.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Calipari and James to the Bulls?

As a lifelong Bulls fan, that is a very intriguing headline. As readers know I am not a Calipari fan, however my disdain for him is entirely related to the college game -- recruiting, academics, etc. I think he is a decent game coach and could be a good fit for the bulls. I do find Calipari a bit too focused on offense, as defense wins championships in basketball, however, I think that is also a function of the young teams that he has had at Memphis and Kentucky.

One thing is for sure, getting Lebron James and pairing him with Derrick Rose would be a major coup for the Bulls. Of all the teams discussed in the James lottery, the Bulls seem the most ready to slot him in for a legitimate shot at a championship. The bulls greatest weekness is at the #4. With Rose, they have one of the best young PGs in the game and both Deng and Rose are legitimate scorers that will keep teams honest in defensive schemes. With Noah growing into one of the best young rebounders, all the pieces are in place to slot in James and his unique skills.

Regarding Calipari, the NBA is the perfect place for his skill set. He has proved that he can get along with "big personalities" and has already coached Rose with great success. He and James appear to have a bond that has assisted Calipari in his recruiting efforts at Kentucky. In the NBA, Calipari will not have to worry about recruiting violations, academics or any of the other areas that have gotten him in trouble in the college game.

I think as an NBA coach for the Bulls, I can put aside my animosity and get behind Calipari if that is the price to be paid to win the James lottery!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Big Ten Hoops has a lot Riding on Tomorrow's Decisions

[Update 5-8-09: And there it is all five of the players discussed below decide to return to school making the Big Ten arguably the toughest basketball conference going into next year.]

The Big 10 still has probably more than any other conference riding on tomorrow's draft decisions. Most of the other conferences have had their best players decide one way or the other regarding the draft, but the Big 10 still has "undecided" next to 5 key players.

McCamey and Davis are two very important pieces of the puzzle for Bruce Weber's Illini next season. While Davis would be easier to replace, because of the emergence of freshman Tyler Griffey this year and incoming Top 50 recruits Jereme Richmond and Meyers Leonard, he was the Illini's leading rebounder and a go-to scorer at times during the season. However, without the return of McCamey at the point, the Illini might drop from a Top 15 team to unranked. The Illini do not have a proven replacement for McCamey at PG and would have to rely on a committee of Jeff Jordan, DJ Richardson and Joe Bertrand. The Illini have a lot riding on that decision tomorrow.

Penn State
All indications are that Talor Battle is likely to go undrafted this year and should return to school. However, we have seen kids make unwise decisions in the past and Penn State would be in a world of hurt without their proven playmaker. Like Evan Turner, Battle led the Lions in points, rebounds and assists. His 18.5 ppg are irreplaceable from the remaining roster and the Lions would take a major step back in their quest to climb a couple of rungs in the Big Ten.

No team probably has more riding on tomorrow's decision than the Boilers. with JuJuan Johnson and E'Twan Moore, Purdue is again a Top 10 team and probably one of the favorites to reach the Final Four. Without one of them, Purdue probably falls to the bottom of the Top 25 and without either the drop out of the rankings all together. Painter has a great recruiting class coming in and Robbie Hummel returns to provide Senior leadership, however, without Johnson and Moore the Boilers would be far too reliant on unproven freshman. As we have seen time and again, even brilliant freshman can turn out to be very frustrating. Just ask Calipari.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Rickett's Family already Screwing up Cubs Ownership

I am a lifelong, suffering Cubs fan. I love Wrigley Field and part of that charm is the rooftop decks across the street on Sheffield and Waveland Avenues. Watching a game from a rooftop building is a unique event in sports. Many companies host private parties at these rooftop venues and I think they trump typical stadium suite offerings.

So the former owners entered into a lengthy fight with the city and rooftop owners threatening to put up shading and signs that would block the rooftop views. Ultimately, the parties compromised and entered into a long-term agreement whereby the rooftop owners would pay a portion of their revenue to Cubs ownership in exchange for continued viewing access to the games.

As a result, rooftop venues have proliferated and there are now over 20 venues. Additionally, many of the owners poured money into their facilities to upgrade the experience for fans. Frankly, many of the venues are like very upscale sports bars.

Well, in walks the Ricketts family. In the press, they say they love the Cubs and Wrigley Field. They want to maintain its charm and "uniqueness". But their first major course of action -- putting up large billboards in outfield that will block the viewing for some of the rooftop venues!!!!

What gives? What happened to maintaining the charm of Wrigley? What happened to assuming the multi-year agreements with rooftop owners?

The Cubs has been a highly profitable franchise for many years, largely because fans will come to the ballpark --- whether the Cubs win or lose. Lets be honest, we the fans love the Cubs because of the charm of Wrigley. The players come and go and we remember very few of them. I could care less who the owners are and I really don't care that much if they win!! I love the Cubs because I love the charm and uniqueness of Wrigley Field.

Change that and I am no longer a Cubs fan. Ricketts family, you have been warned.

Monday, May 3, 2010

More Proof that the NBA's 19 Age Rule is a Farce

I really enjoyed reading this article on the Kentucky basketball team's grades; worst ever for a Kentucky squad and 4 were below the 2.0 Mendoza line needed to play the following semester. Of course, we all know that does not matter because none of these kids intended to stay in school.

Is this really what the NBA intended -- basically have kids come to campus to play for 1.5 semesters, blow-off their classes and leave school with GPAs of 1.7.

Crazy!! What good does this serve? We might as well let these kids join the NBA or send them to Europe for a year. There is absolutely no reason for them to pretend to be attending school.

As I have said many times before, it is no surprise these players are at Kentucky. Calipari has proved that he does not care about education but he is the king of getting the one and done players to join him. It is clear his marketing pitch is all about basketball and he makes it very clear that he does not care if they attend class.