Sports 56 WHBlog Q

November 30, 2008

This & That (Turkey week edition)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg Gaston @ 5:53 pm

So much going on in the sports world, limited time to discuss. Here’s a few of my thoughts….

-The Final BCS Standings are out. I’m not saying Oklahoma doesn’t have a legitimate argument to be the Big 12 South Rep in the league title game, but think about this for a second. You are Texas, you beat the Sooners head to head, and your only loss was to Texas Tech on the road on a last second play after what should have been a game clinching pick. What else does Texas have to do? The system we have is flawed more than Lindsay Lohan. And you know what’s even worse? With an upset win by Mizzou over Oklahoma, the Longhorns still have a chance at making the BCS Title game. That’s right! Can’t win your division, let alone your Conference, but perhaps you’ll play for the brass ring. PATHETIC!

-I like the Lane Kiffin hiring at Tennessee as much as I like Liver. UGH! At least Papa Kiffin is expected to join his baby boy on the hill. Monte is a defensive genius. I’m still trying to figure out what Lane is.

-Speaking of the Vols, we’ve been all over Phil Fulmer this season but the bottom line is the guy was Tennessee Football. He finishes 100 games over .500 as the Vols Head Coach, plus a National Title. Not too shabby! Happy trails Phil and best of luck whatever you decide to do.

-Mississippi State now is in the market for a new head coach after Sly Croom’s resignation Saturday. I like Croom and I hope he gets another opportunity. It’s a tough business when you can be unemployed a season removed from being named the SEC Coach of the year.

-On the subject of coaches, godspeed to former Tigers coach Murray Armstrong who passed away over the weekend after fighting cancer for the last year. His rough outside contained a caring, passionate inside and he will be missed. The guy spent nearly 50 years at Memphis after playing ball and attending the University of Tennessee.

Here’s some quick hitters…..

-If offered, the Memphis Tigers need to play in the St. Petersburg Bowl against a Big East Opponent.
-The Grizzlies lockerroom is getting ugly, especially after losing to Oak City. As much as I like him, Marc Iavaroni’s days may be numbered. It all depends on how he fits in the Grizzles “Three year Plan”.
-Deangelo Williams could be headed to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl Game. The only problem is the bulk of the league’s top tier backs this season are in the NFC.
-They don’t normally get much love but I do have to say hats off to the lady tigers and new coach Melissa McFarrin. 5-2 start and the Piggly Wiggly Classic title. Is that more wins than the last two seasons combined?
-The Memphis Men are currently on hiatus until Tuesday when they play host to Marist. The team will get better but right now I may have to adjust my prediction of 5 losses to more like 7 or 8. I think Georgetown, Tennessee and Gonzaga are all road losses at this point.
I could go on and on but that’s enough to chew on for right now.


November 28, 2008

Post-Thanksgiving Thoughts

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Will Askew @ 12:39 pm

As I sit here waiting for the Egg Bowl to kick off, I still am dumbfounded by Rick Astley Rickrolling himself yesterday during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade yesterday, in a moment that will go down as one of the greats in Parade history:

It was absolutely awesome. And now I have newfound respect for Rick Astley, because anyone who is willing to poke fun at themselves is okay by me. Respeck, Rick Astley.

Allen Iverson skipped practice yesterday, and I don’t really have a problem with it. Much will be made of this because of his famous “Practice” rant, but the dude wanted to hang out with his family on Thanksgiving. Doesn’t bother me.

It turns out that Michigan State isn’t that great, or at least didn’t look that way last night. As I said in my last post, I didn’t really understand what the fascination was with the Spartans preseason. Anyone who saw them get annihilated in the first half by Memphis last year knows that they just don’t have many athletes. Raymar Morgan is a nice player, as is Kalin Lucas, but other than that, where is the top 10 talent? Tom Izzo is good, but not that good. North Carolina plays them in Detroit next week, and it could be ugly.

Speaking of North Carolina, I’ve never seen anything quite like Kyle McAlarney’s shooting display in the second half of the Maui Championship game. 10 threes? Bobby Frasor made the guy take fade aways from 25 feet…what else could he do? McAlarney can shoot, man. They could have lost that game by 30 if he hadn’t gone off like that.

I’m not just saying this because I was born and raised a North Carolina fan, or went to Carolina Basketball school in 1988 and saw Brad Daugherty and J.R. Reid, but North Carolina is really good this year. And by the way, my dad yelled at me last night because he didn’t feel that I adequately explain why I love North Carolina and Alabama…more on that soon. I get the “Why do you like UNC and Bama?” question more than any other outside of “How do you work with Weinberger?” Hopefully (if anyone reads this) I can clear that up.

What is it about college football that makes people feel it necessary to get us pumped up for the game by throwing on some country music videos? Whether it’s “Bob that Head” by Rascal Flatts or “We’re Comin…to your City” on College GameDay, TV feels it necessary to throw metrosexual country stars at us to get us fired up. Don’t understand it.

Great article by Jason Whitlock on about how ESPN is the enemy of the truth, and cannot give unbiased commentary. That pretty much sums it up. I’m not sure there’s a better sports writer out there right now than Jason Whitlock. The late Ralph Wiley, a Memphian, was also great.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, and has a safe Black Friday. Come visit us at Abner’s in Southaven on Monday…we’re going to be giving away 2 tickets to the SEC Championship game.

November 19, 2008

On the Couch!

Filed under: Uncategorized — robfischer @ 10:19 pm


College Football Thoughts:

Terry Bowden is available to coach.  Why aren’t teams interested?


– Despite scoring 50 or more points in six games this year, Missouri won’t beat any team in the Big XII Title Game.


– I expect Tommy Tuberville to force his firing at Auburn, ESPECIALLY if the beat Alabama.


– Alabama has outrushed its opponents 2184-826 yards.


– Since the Ole Miss loss, Florida has been the most dominant team in college football.  They’ve outscored their opponents 299-63 and have won each game by at least 28 points.  They’re the first team to ever win six straight SEC games by 28 or more points.  Tim Tebow has 15 touchdowns and 0 interceptions in the last four games against ranked opponents.  They are the best team in America today.


NFL Thoughts:

– Kurt Warner for MVP.  The Cardinals should give him a contract extension.  There’s no way Matt Leinart is this good right now.  The Cardinals are building a team that can win for a few years in a row.  Warner gives them the best chance.


– Overtime needs to be changed.  First of all, I laugh at the NFL players who say they don’t know the overtime rules.  Seriously?  I knew the OT rules when I was six years old.  I think we should go the college route, but start with the ball at the 45 yard line, so teams aren’t automatically in field goal range.   


– At least 15 teams will have a new coach by next season.


– Don’t look now, but Peyton Manning is heating up.  Manning has seven touchdowns and no interceptions in the last three games.  The Colts are 3-0. 


Other Thoughts:

– Tigers Basketball– It’s funny to hear Tigers fans early in the season.  Ten minutes into the UMASS game, I heard fans saying things like, “I told you we were going to be terrible.  Willie Kemp’s awful.  I really expected more from Wesley Witherspoon.  Derek Kellogg knows how to stop Cal.”  Calm down Tiger Nation!  They won by 30.  They’ll win a lot of games by 30.  They’ll look sloppy early, and finish strong once they get into the groove offensively.  They’ll always play defense which will give them a chance to win on any given night.  The Tigers will get into the tournament with a high seed, win two games, and who knows from there.  Just relax Nation.


– Tigers Basketball– Can’t wait to see the result of someone taking a charge from Pierre Henderson-Niles!  I like the new uniforms. 


– NBA– Hey Jeff Van Gundy- SHUT UP!  Just calm down and make your point.  We’re not all idiots watching you.  Besides, you aren’t a basketball genius.  You sound more like Rick Barry every day.  Now there’s what you want to strive for!


– NBA– Here are my NBA Predictions for 2008-09:

            – East Champion: Boston Celtics

            – West Champion: New Orleans Hornets

            – NBA Champion: New Orleans Hornets

            – MVP: LeBron Jmes

            – Rookie of the Year: OJ Mayo

            – Defensive Player of the Year: Kobe Bryant

            – Coach of the Year: Byron Scott


– One Loss Teams– Who is the best one loss team in sports?  The New York Giants, the Florida Gators, the Texas Longhorns, or the Los Angeles Lakers?  I’ll go with the Gators, because if you’re not a Gator, you’re Gatorbait!


– UFC 91– Can’t believe I watched.  I hate Ultimate Fighting.  I HATE IT!  First of all, these were two of the greatest fighters, supposedly.  One has a record of 16-9.  OOOH, how imposing!  Brock Lesnar is considered a heavyweight?  He should be a fat weight.  How can anyone take this sport seriously when Joe Rogan does color commentary with big terms like awesome, bad ass, best fighter in world, best this, best that.  Shut up Joe Rogan and go talk about people eating worms.  UFC is more similar to Fear Factor than a real sport.



The Fish Scales:

– The only college football ranking system that actually puts all teams on an even playing field and rewards accomplishment.  This is the 11th year of the Fish Scales which will culminate with Fish Bowl XI at the end of the season. The Fish Scales ranks teams based on accomplishment, seeds them 1-16, and then plays a simulated playoff on XBOX 360.  It’s not necessarily the “best” 25 teams in the country, but the 25 teams that have had the best season.  The top 16 are rewarded with a playoff.  Following are the top three teams for the SEC, CUSA, Top 25, and NFL Scales:

SEC- 1. Alabama  2. Florida  3. Georgia

CUSA- 1. Houston  2. Tulsa  3. Rice

Fish Scales Top 25- 1. Utah  2. Alabama  3. Boise State

NFL- 1. Titans  2. Giants  3. Panthers


To receive the SEC, CUSA, NFL, and top 25 Fish Scales, send an email to  You’ll be added to the mailing list and receive the Scales each week.

tunica-banner1 tunica-banner1 tunica-banner1

There’s plenty happening in the next few months in Tunica.  For a complete list of events and attractions in Tunica, Mississippi, click on the link below.  Get easy access to the casino’s, golf courses, and all other entertainment. 

Here’s a sneak peak of what’s coming up in Tunica:

November 20 – 23

Jungua: Descendants of the Dragon



November 22

Clint Black

Sam’s Town


November 22

fights at the Fitz



November 26

Ingram Hill

Sam’s Town


December 13

Frank Caliendo                           

    Sam’s Town



Talk to y’all this week.

Weekly Ramblings

Thoughts I’ve had while waiting for Notre Dame to grab an onside kick.

– I knew that Ole Miss would beat llLouisiana-Monroe, but I did not see a 59-0 blowout coming. That was an impressive performance by the Rebels. They are playing well right now and could be playing themselves beyond the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. I know Harold Graeter, Steve Ehrhart and the rest of the folks would love to have the Rebels, but they may not be available for the Liberty Bowl. If Ole Miss wins at LSU this week, I don’t see any chance of them coming to Memphis.

– What Florida is doing to opponents these days is ridiculous. Another week, another 50+ point output and another blowout for the Gators. There is no doubt they are playing the best football of any team in the country right now. I have to believe that Urban Meyer took particular enjoyment out of beating a Steve Spurrier coached team by 50. The only question I have about Florida right now is how in the hell did they lose at home to Ole Miss?

– Congratulations to Vanderbilt! The Commodores are bowl eligible for the first time since 1982 after their win at Kentucky. It was starting to look like they were going to pull another collapse after the 5-0 start and end up not getting to 6 wins, but Chris Nickson played extremely well with 285 yards of offense and D.J. Moore was outstanding with two touchdown catches on offense and two interceptions on defense to lead the Dores to that ever-elusive sixth win. This week, Vandy looks for number seven when they host Tennessee and Vandy is actually favored in the game, which according to Chris Low of, has only happened two other times in the last 30+ years.

– Anyone who watched Kodi Burns try and throw the ball on Auburn’s final drive against Georgia, should understand why the Tigers have been so bad offensively this year.

– Congratulations to Rich Rodriguez for doing in one year what no coach could do in the last 128, lead Michigan to an 8-loss season. I don’t think it’s all Rodriguez’s fault, but it is a pretty amazing stat. Also amazing is that neither Tennessee or Michigan had ever lost eight games in a season, and both may do it this year.

– How is it that so many people involved in the NFL don’t know the rules? The refs in the Steelers-Chargers game didn’t know the rules on the final play of the game so they took a touchdown away from the Steelers. Even though the points only really mattered in Vegas, it’s unbelievable that not one ref on the crew knew for sure what to do. In addition to that, you have Donavan McNabb not knowing that after one overtime period, a game ends in a tie. How can any player in the league not know that rule? Every casual fan of the NFL knows that rule. It’s common knowledge, I just thought everyone knew that.

-Another ridiculous NFL note: Adrian Peterson was fined $5,000 by the league for wearing a white skull cap under his helmet. Apparently, black is the only color skull cap allowed by the league. Considering you only get to see the skull cap when a player has his helmet off, who cares what color it is?

– Congratulations to DeAngelo Williams! The former Memphis Tiger turned in his third straight 100-yard performance Sunday and has four touchdowns in those three games. He’s playing extremely well.

– I didn’t know what to think about the Tiger basketball team playing an 11pm game, but after going to the game I can say I liked it and wouldn’t mind seeing them do it again. It was a fun atmosphere and it didn’t take away from attendance. The fact that 18,000 people show up for a game at that time just further illustrates the love affair this city has with Tiger basketball. The ovation for Derek Kellogg before the game was a very nice gesture by the Tiger fans.

– This week’s Sports Illustrated includes an article on former Tiger Derrick Rose. You can check out the article here.

– Shaq called himself and Kobe the greatest 1-2 punch in Lakers history. Would you take Shaq-Kobe or Kareem-Magic? It’s a tough call, but MWR would lean slightly towards Shaq-Kobe.

– I’ll be in Daytona Beach for the next few days with the Ole Miss basketball team filling in for David Kellum on the call of the games while Kellum is in Baton Rouge with the football team. I’m looking forward to it and want to thank the Ole Miss Radio Network for the opportunity. If you’re going to get the call to pinch hit, Daytona Beach not a bad place to get to go. The Rebels will play Utah at 5:30 Friday and Marshall at 3pm Sunday. You can hear both games on Sports 56 in the Memphis area.

– That’s all for now, I’m out!

November 18, 2008

One shopping day left…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Peter Edmiston @ 1:10 pm

…until my birthday.  Just saying.  You’ve still got time to get that gift.

I was really impressed with the crowd last night at the Tiger game.  The only thing more impressive than the 16-17 thousand or so was the fact that Ron Tillery was among them.  What kind of crazy person goes to a 11 pm tipoff game, stays for the whole thing, interviews John Calipari, then shows up and does the Morning Rush just 4 hours after leaving FedExForum?  He’s insane.  I watched as much as I could on TV before sleep eventually defeated me.  This team is a long way from the team I saw in San Antonio last April…but that’s no surprise.  That team was dramatically different from the team that started the 2007-08 season a year ago.  We simply don’t know how much Tyreke Evans will grow into the role of go-to scorer or what we can expect from Pierre (Henderson) Niles or even whether Antonio Anderson will play the majority of the point this season.  We didn’t know what Derrick Rose would be capable of in the NCAA Tournament a year ago either.

Because of Conference USA, the Tigers have a doughnut schedule – there’s a huge hole in the middle.  It means that there will always be lots of questions about the quality of their schedule and their ability to handle the tough tournament opposition.  And the only way for Memphis to handle those questions is the exact way they did it last season – just keep on beating good teams.

Quick Hits of the Week (a la Peter King)

  • How do you not know the rules of the game you play, Donovan McNabb?  You’re better than that.
  • While I don’t condone insider trading, I think Mark Cuban is getting a bad rap on this whole deal.  But I would advise that you should never invest in any company called – you’re just asking for trouble when you do that.  What does that site do, anyway?
  • Way to almost completely embarrass yourself then somehow magically come back from the brink of disaster to eke out a barely forgivable victory over Troy, LSU.
  • Apart from Florida and Alabama, the SEC isn’t very good this year.
  • Tim Tebow wasn’t lying when he said he would make sure nothing like the Ole Miss loss happens again.   And speaking of the Rebels, I’m happy for the Rebel fans out there…have fun in Atlanta.
  • The Big 12 is really good this year.
  • I’m just gonna come out and say it: O.J. Mayo is better than Rudy Gay.
  • Hey Rich Rodriguez – telling your fans to “get a life” is brilliant.  That always works well.  Fans are generally prone to introspection at times like these.  I’m sure that goblueosusux201 will take a contemplative look back at his life and his priorities before posting his thoughts on the Michigan/Northwestern game.
  • I still can’t believe that Tiger Woods won the U.S. Open with a broken leg and torn knee ligaments.

As far as the Tennessee coaching search is concerned, I’m starting to warm to the idea of Brian Kelly, though I still think it’s going to end up being Mike Leach.  Part of me is rather excited to see Leach unleash his incredible offense on the SEC, but another part of me questions his ability to work in the SEC with his, ahem, quirky personality.  Speaking of which, check this video out…

It’s hard to fully comprehend what we just saw there.  He has an animatronic pirate skeleton in his office.  That’s strange even by Leach standards.  You can check out more of Leach’s magic by clicking here…I recommend listening to his dating advice.

November 12, 2008

Will Carolina Be as Good as This Picture is Ridiculous?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Will Askew @ 12:29 pm


It’s the eve of my favorite sport, so who are the teams that will really contend for the National Title this year? Who can challenge North Carolina? Will Memphis be able to rebound from losing their three top players to the NBA? Will Tennessee finally break through and get to the Elite Eight?

The Contenders:

North Carolina: No team in the country returns as much talent or experience as North Carolina. An eventual starting lineup of Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington, Marcus Ginyard, Deon Thompson, and Tyler Hansbrough is a great college lineup, and when you can bring Danny Green, Tyler Zeller, Ed Davis, and Bobby Frasor off your bench, that’s pretty strong as well. The main concern with Carolina is health, and you’ve already seen that come to a head with Ginyard out until December with a stress fracture and Hansbrough resting with shin splints. Last year, it really cost them, with Frasor missing basically the entire season…his defense would have helped a lot come tournament time. All of that being said, this is basically a National Champ Or Bust team. That’s a hell of a lot of pressure.

UConn: This is a really good team, and it presents an interesting matchup for North Carolina. With AJ Price and Kemba Walker outside, and 96th year senior Jeff Adrien and 7’3 center Hasheem Thabeet inside, they’ve got all the ingredients. If he has developed any sort of offensive game, Thabeet could be one of the best players in college basketball this season, and would be really tough for Hansbrough, because Hansbrough struggles with guys who are bigger than he is. However, this team hasn’t really won a game of any significance yet. They lost in the first round of the Big East and NCAA tournaments last year. Unless they massively choke again though, this team is good enough to go to the Final Four and possibly be National Champion.

Louisville: They’ve got some really good players. Earl Clark, Terrence Williams, and Edgar Sosa all return from the Elite Eight team from last year. They did lose David Padgett, Juan Palacios (who should have been a lot better than he was), and Derrick Caracter (ditto), but get a spectacular inside player in freshman Samardo Samuels. They play really good pressure defense, but losing that much inside is a lot to replace. This should be a Final Four team, but losing Padgett is going to hurt a lot more than people realize.

UCLA: May have the best backcourt in the country with Jrue Holliday, Darren Collison, and Josh Shipp (assuming he doesn’t disappear for long stretches of the season like last year), had the best recruiting class in the country this year…but do they have enough inside? They lost a first team All American in Kevin Love, lost a glue guy in Luc Richard Mbah Amoute, and are stacked with unproven talented freshmen. That being said, they get to the Final Four every year, and if not for a freak (Derrick Rose) dismantling them in the semifinals last year, could have probably won the National Title. They’ll make it to the Final Four, and then…we’ll see.

Pittsburgh: Okay, we’ve seen this before. Lavance Fields (he’s still there?!), Sam Young, and DaJuan Blair, they play great defense, and could be really dangerous come tournament team. But if we can say that UConn hasn’t ever won a game of significance, we can definitely say that Jamie Dixon is consistently disappointing in the NCAA Tourney. That being said, this should be a Final Four contender, but we’ll see if Jamie Dixon can get them right come tournament time.

The Pretenders:

Notre Dame: They have Kyle McAlarney and Luke Harangody, who is the best non-Hansbrough inside player in the country. Other than that, I don’t see much, but few teams have an inside-outside combo that good. They got crushed in the NCAA Tournament last year by Washington State…and should we expect anything much better this year? They will be ranked really high all year, should make it to the Sweet Sixteen, and then ? I don’t see this team winning a National Title. They only have two good players that I see.

Michigan State: Some people say this team could actually be better without Drew Neitzel because their offense bogged down when they had to run him off 36 screens to get a shot. They have some interesting pieces like Kalin Lucas and Raymar Morgan, but I can’t shake the image of Memphis nuking them in the first half last year in the Sweet Sixteen. I don’t think they’ll make it out of the Sweet Sixteen, but they are in everyone’s top 5 or 6.

Duke: I admit a serious bias on this one, but where’s the inside game? This team looks a lot like the plodding team that depended overly on the three pointer last year, and they still don’t have anyone inside that impresses me–Kyle Singler is a 3. Nolan Smith adds athleticism that they need in the starting lineup, and Gerald Henderson is a really, really good player, but if they have a bad night shooting threes…see last year’s NCAA Tournament.

Texas: They have AJ Abrams, or as I call him, the Tiny Assassin, Damion James, and Connor Atchley. They lost DJ Augustin, who was one of the best 3 point guards in the country last year. I’m not seeing it. Sweet Sixteen and out.


Tennessee: An interesting team…They lost Chris Lofton, Jajuan Smith, and Duke Crews, but there’s something about this team that intrigues me. Scotty Hopson is going to be fantastic, Tyler Smith may be the best player in the SEC, JP Prince should be pretty good, and Wayne Chism is one of the more underrated players in the SEC. They could surprise in March.

Gonzaga: They are loaded. This is my dark horse Final Four contender. They return Jeremy Pargo, Matt Bouldin, noted mushroom aficionado Josh Heytvelt, and the guy who could be the best prospect of the bunch, Austin Daye. They will be really good. They have players inside and outside, and will go deep into March.

Memphis: I am very much on the record that I don’t think this year’s team will be nearly as good as last year’s. Tyreke Evans is good, but I don’t believe he is the same caliber as Derrick Rose. I don’t know if Robert Dozier is truly a go to guy, and you still have to replace Chris Douglas-Roberts and Joey Dorsey. There are a ton of questions with this team. Will Pierre Henderson Niles be able to play well? Will Willie Kemp ably fill the massive void left by Derrick Rose? How good will all of the new players be? All of that being said, though, you just know this team is only going to lose 2-5 games because of their schedule, and because of the recent success and their record, will be a very high seed. That gives them an easier road deep into the tournament…and they’ll give teams fits because of the style of play. Should make it to the Sweet Sixteen…everything after that is gravy. But depending on the matchup…could make life hell for someone in the Regional Rounds.

If I had to pick right now, my Final Four would look like this–North Carolina, UCLA, UConn, and Gonzaga, with North Carolina as National Champion.

November 10, 2008

This & That

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg Gaston @ 5:56 pm

Some ramblings from the Sports World………….

-The Tennessee Vols should be a shame of themselves for playing as uninspired as they did in a 13-7 loss to Wyoming. The fans who spend good money to watch the team deserve better

-Speaking of the Vols, Butch Davis would be a great replacement for Phil Fulmer but good ole Butchy ain’t leaving UNC. The coach that makes the most sense is Mike Leach. He’s Offensive minded and speaks his mind. (Not unlike that Pearl guy who coaches your men’s hoop team)

-I know Conference USA has been dreadful this football season, but can you not feel good about Tommy West and the Tigers. Yes, they should be competing for the C-USA Title, but at least through all their injuries they have buckled down and found ways to win. That’s the sign of good character.

-Who really is the best team in the nation? Bama, Florida, Texas Tech, Texas, Oklahoma, USC? Where does Utah and Boise State fit in? I hope Bama and Tech lose so the BCS can be in total chaos. Without a playoff system to break things down, the National title participants will be determined by human preferences and computers. Isn’t that how Bear Bryant wanted it?

-The Titans continue to amaze me. No running game against the Bears…no problem. I guess when it comes down to it, Kerry Collins can do more than just manage a game. He can actually throw the ball, and throw it pretty well.

-The Grizzlies are another scorer away from being 5-2. The team is playing some inspired ball and the defense is extremely better. The problem is that when Gay or Mayo are off, there’s no other options and their opponents know it. I say why not dress out Antoine Walker and let him score the ball for 10 minutes? Even Marco Jaric can shoot the rock. Quinton Ross and Greg Buckner are hard nosed defensive minded players but together on the court give the the Grizzlies a big goose egg from an offensive standpoint.

-And the Memphis Tigers hoop campaign starts Saturday against Fairfield. Once healthy and once the youngsters are on the same page with the veterans, this team will be not only competitive, but awfully fun to watch. Expectations however should be tapered. It’s awfully hard to duplicate near perfection, especially when you are missing some major ingredients.

November 4, 2008

Who next for Tennessee?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg Gaston @ 5:21 pm

I have no inside knowledge nor does the ole crystal ball work to perfection, but here’s some names U-T may want to look at.

1) Butch Davis- The North Carolina Head Coach makes perfect sense, however the chance of winning at UNC in the dissapointing ACC, drawfs your chance at annual success in the ultra competitive SEC.

2) Mike Leach- He makes less than 2 million at Texas Tech and annually puts together one of the nation’s top and most innovative offenses. Couple him with a defensive mind and you have a super two-pronged attack.

3) Tim Brewster- If you want to roll the dice with a relative unknown, check out the resume of the Minnesota Head Coach. He is a former NFL assistant who is known as a relentless recruiter. His turnaround of the Golden Gophers this season is nothing less than a miracle.

4) Mike Gundy- The Oklahoma State Head Coach may be more known for his Press Conference tirade last season, but the guy is only 40 (Well actually 41). Gundy has the fire and passion to at least be considered.

5) Jim Leavitt- This guy continues to be one of the most underrated coaches in the game. The South Florida Head Coach took that program from it’s infancy and has made it an annual Big East threat.

Others….Chris Peterson, Pat Hill, Lane Kiffin, Jon Gruden, Jim Grobe, Gary Pinkell, Bret Bielema, Mike Bellotti, Will Muschamp, Charlie Strong, Greg Schiano and Brian Kelly.

November 3, 2008

Weekly Ramblings

Filed under: sports 56 — Tags: — Eli Savoie @ 10:05 pm

This week’s ramblings are dedicated to looking ahead at the Grizzlies season at what I expect. So here is MWR’s player-by-player look at the Grizz for 2008-09.

Rudy Gay-Rudy made a huge step in his development last year and I expect much more of the same out of him this year. He is an explosive offensive player with athleticism that is second to none, but he must get better defensively this season. With his athletic ability there is no doubt he can be a good defender, but he has to put more effort into it. There are many times where he gets lazy on the defensive end and this team can’t afford that. He also needs to step up and be a vocal leader on and off the court. He’s the best player on the team so it’s only natural for the others to look to him for leadership.

O.J. Mayo-He’s been groomed his whole life to be an NBA player and now he gets his chance. He has a chance to be special. Some people are expecting him to be the ultra athletic flashy type player, but that’s not what he is. Mayo has tremendous skills that will allow him to do a lot of different things on the offensive end, but he’s not the type of athlete Rudy is, and unlike Gay, Mayo comes in as a very good defender so he will immediately make the team better at that end of the court.

Mike Conley-This is a big year for Conley. His rookie year had mixed results. He didn’t get to play early, was slowed by injuries, and then late in the year played well in spurts. Most point guards take a couple years to develop so it’ll be interesting to see how Conley comes along this year. He must use his quickness to get to the basket and break down defenses and then must be able to finish at the rim himself or set up teammates. He also has to push the ball and make good decisions on the break. I’m still a believer that he can be a very good NBA point guard, but he must get better this season.

Marc Gasol-Marc has looked very good so far in the preseason and through the first few games of the regular season. The think I like about him, is his willingness to play physically. Unlike his brother, Marc is willing to bang and even knock someone to the floor if he has to. He also has good hands and decent offensive skills. He’s probably the best center theGrizz have ever had, but that’s not saying a whole lot.

Darrell Arthur-Could prove to be the steal of the draft. He’s extremely athletic and is very active around the basket. Has the ability to score a little, but most of his points will come offputbacks. His main contributions will come on the boards.

Kyle Lowry-If Kyle accepts his role for what it is as the backup point guard, he can be an important part of the team, but if he continues to think he should be the starter, than he will continue to battle the coaching staff and his role will be diminished. There’s a chance he could be moved before the season is over, but while he’s here I hope he can keep a good attitude and help out at the point. He can’t shoot so when he’s in there, he must focus on being a great defender and creating off the dribble.

Hakim Warrick-Hak showed last year he can score and can rebound at the power forward spot. The problem for Warrick is that he’s a bit of a tweener and it hurts him defensively. He’s often overmatched by the strength of the other power forwards, but can’t match the quickness needed to guard small forwards. I like Hak, but I’m not sure how much faith the coaching staff has in him. This could be his last year in Memphis.

Darko Milicic-What can I say, I’m starting to think that Darko is simply a bust and will never be a big contributor in the NBA. It was a good risk the Grizzlies took by signing him, but it just hasn’t worked out. He’ll play some minutes and hopefully he can contribute as a defender and rebounder, but he just doesn’t have the skills to do much of anything offensively.

The rest of the roster doesn’t figure to contribute much so I won’t go through them. I think this team is on the right track in trying to rebuild. Theyhave a solid three-man nucleus in Gay, Conley and Mayo that could lead them to good things in the future and I think Gasol will be a solid big man for years to come. They still need many parts, but they are on the right track. I don’t expect them to win many games, I have predicted 23, but I think the improvement will be noticeable and there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. They will also be more fun to watch, although not many fans will show up to see it. If they do get off to a really bad start, such as 2-12 or something, I think MarcIavaroni will be fired, hopefully that won’t happen though. They had a great win in their home opener, let’s hope they continue to play well at home at least and they can get the home fans excited and coming to games.

I’m looking forward to watching this team develop, it could be a pretty fun year if they all come along like we hope.

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