Sports 56 WHBlog Q

April 1, 2009

On the Couch!

Filed under: blog, ncaa tourney, sports 56, Uncategorized — robfischer @ 1:40 am

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I’ve made a nice groove in the couch while sitting on it the last 36 hours waiting for John Calipari to wake up!  Well, the saga is over.  Coach Calipari is heading to Lexington.  Good for him.  It’s a premier job, he is exactly what the Cats need, he’ll win, and it’s great for college basketball when Kentucky is relevant.  They are once again.

Anyway, here are some names to ponder (not in any particular order) while listening to the national pundits quote their sources on who the next coach might be:

– Mike Anderson: Find out what his buyout clause is worth (maybe as worthless as Coach Cal’s) and find out what it would take for him to bolt.  I believe he’s the best hope for keeping players and maybe one of the incoming players.  He is the man that beat the man…. TWICE!

– Andy Kennedy: Nice guy, from the South, great coach, overchieved with his talent, recruits Memphis already, and comes to a basketball school.  Since Memphis already screwed up the Ole Miss football series, might as well steal their coach to leave no doubt they’ll never play.  Plus, he’s familiar with the conference.

– Sean Miller: Might excite the smart basketball fan, but not really a splash I’m looking for.  Besides if Jamie Dixon leaves Pittsburgh, Miller would probably be first in line.

– Tim Floyd: Boring.  From the South, has had success in minor conference’s, but hasn’t succeeded in the tournament.  Has probably underchieved at USC.

– Josh Pastnor:  Obviously a good recruiter, or he wouldn’t be on Coach Calipari’s staff.  He helped recruit the incoming recruits, he’s familiar with the system, and he’s familiar with the current players.  If you go young and cheap, he might not be a bad choice.

– Steve Lavin: Too far removed, but loves the Memphis program.  I like him as a coach, but he might be too far removed for any high school kids to remember him

– John Lucas: Very familiar with Coach Calipari’s system, attended a lot of practices, good coach, but like Lavin, too far removed.

– Larry Brown: The Tigers and Grizzlies have already almost had him.  He can’t be enamored with Michael Jordan getting more involved at Charlotte, and he’s ALWAYS willing to listen.

– Reggie Theus: Flashy personality, did a great job in a short stint at New Mexico State, and failed in the NBA.  Name me a good college basketball coach who didn’t fail in the NBA!  Besides Larry Brown.

– Anyone Fred Smith wants.

This hire should be the biggest hire RC Johnson makes.  I’m a little disappointed that a deal isn’t already in place.  There isn’t much time before the national scribes and talking heads call Memphis a dead end job.  Some have already claimed that.  They need to be proactive instead of reactive.  Although, that’s not how the Tigers have operated things lately.  I believe RC’s hires have worked in football, basketball, and baseball, but the school is at a crossroads.  A bad buyout and personal feelings are keeping a football team mediocre.  A horrendous buyout and clauses in player committments could potentially destroy next basketball season.  How is Coach Calipari’s buyout $200,000?  HE’S ONE OF THE HIGHEST PAID COACHES IN HIS PROFESSION!  Did they believe they would always keep him?  The stadium fiasco has never had a good plan or thought process.  The Big East left Memphis out and they’re stuck in a garbage conference.  RC….. it’s time to make the right move QUICKLY, or you can just borrow Mitch Barnhart’s hot seat that he doesn’t need anymore.

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Come join me at Tunica National this Thursday from 3-4 for Mid South Golfer the Radio Show with Bob Wolcott and Jimmy Darr.  It’s the most comprehensive golf show in the Mid South.  Plus, at 5 is the three person scramble.  Make sure to qualify early for the year end Tournament of Champions.  Call 866-Tee-Off-1 or 662-357-0777 to register.

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There’s plenty happening this month 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.

http://www.tunicamiss.com/ 

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

Trigger Proof » 888-245-7829 / Stage Bar @ Goldstrike

Dates: April 01 through April 04

 

Charlie Daniels » 888-245-7829 / Gold Strike

Date: April 03

 

Greg Redding and The Memphis All Stars » 800-871-0711 / Hollywood Casino

Dates: April 03 through April 04, April 10 through 11

 

Gabby Johnson » 888-245-7829 / Stage Bar @ Goldstrike

Dates: April 07 through April 17

 

Bang! Fighting Championships-MMA » 800-456-0711 / Sam’s Town

Date: April 11

 

STYX » 800-303-7463 / Horseshoe

Date: April 11

 

Creedence Clearwater Revisited » 800-456-0711 / Sam’s Town

Date: April 17

 

Earth, Wind & Fire » 901-525-1515 / Harrah’s

Date: April 23

 

Josh Turner » 800-303-7463 / Horseshoe

Date: April 25

 

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Talk to y’all this week.

 

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April 8, 2008

About Last Night…

Filed under: ncaa tourney — Tags: , — Will Askew @ 11:04 am

A lot will be made of last night’s national championship game. People will talk about Kansas’ unbelievable comeback, about Memphis’ epic collapse, about missed free throws, about why Derrick Rose didn’t foul Sherron Collins.

But more should be made about the fact that regardless of the outcome last night, and the absolute heartache that any Tiger fan is feeling today, that a team captivated and united a city, and that should be celebrated. More should be made about the fact that beneath all of the tattoos and the rough exterior, this team was actually a collection of good people, and maybe that will remind us to look beneath the surface here at home and not judge based on appearance. I am not a Tiger fan, but a North Carolina fan, and for that I get unbelievable amounts of grief. But I do appreciate what the Tiger basketball team symbolizes in this city. That there are plenty of things, whether black or white, rich or poor, inner city or suburbs, that can bring this city together and unite us as one. And as we were reminded last weekend with the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., that was his dream.

Chris Douglas-Roberts and Derrick Rose are likely headed to the NBA, and Joey Dorsey will head there as well. The Tigers may or may not get two highly sought-after recruits in Tyreke Evans and Devin Ebanks. The Tigers will have a different, but still very good, team next year. But Memphians should never forget this team, the 2008 runner up, just like they haven’t forgotten the 1973 runner up, as more than a basketball team, but a symbol–as divided as Memphians are in so many ways, they can rally together around a single cause that transcends all that divides us.

On to the game.

It is tough to pinpoint a single moment when it began to slip away for Memphis. As for me, I would have to say that Sherron Collins’ steal and three probably began the momentum shift. The cruel irony of the Tigers’ missing free throws is hard to ignore. All year long, John Calipari has been preaching that they would “make them when they have to,” and they had. Until the last 16.8 seconds of the final game of the season.

There were a couple of other key moments in the game. Joey Dorsey’s fifth foul was needless and silly, and not having him in the overtime period, as John Calipari correctly pointed out postgame, is a major reason why they lost the game. With Memphis’ guards completely outclassing everyone the entire tournament, it was an easy pick that they would in this game as well. Mario Chalmers and Sherron Collins were terrific though. Collins is a total bulldog, and Chalmers may be the best player on their team. Darrell Arthur completely outplayed Joey Dorsey, who was hampered by foul issues. Arthur will end up being the best NBA player off of this team, in my opinion. What poise Kansas showed getting back in the game–they made every play that they had to make. A worthy champion to be sure.

As hurt as Tiger fans are today, all should appreciate what this team meant to this city, and maybe this team reminded us that there are certain ties that bind. The symbolism, I hope, will not be lost.

April 7, 2008

Your One-Stop Tigers-Jayhawks Link Shop

vs.

A collection of links from various media outlets talking about tonight’s game:

Andy Katz, ESPN.com: Calipari seeks vindication

Mike DeCourcy, SportingNews.com: Rose and Rush under the spotlight tonight

Gary Parrish, CBSSports.com: Calipari and Self let the players play

Stewart Mandel, SI.com: Title game should fast and furious

The Edge, CBSSports.com: Title Game Breakdown

Dana O’Neil, ESPN.com: Rose and CDR vs. KU’s backcourt

Luke Winn, SI.com: Counting Down to the Title Game

Gerry Ahern, Yahoo! Sports: Is Joey Dorsey all grown up?

Tale of the Tape, USAToday.com

Pat Forde, ESPN.com: A look at Kansas coach Bill Self

April 5, 2008

Memphis 78 UCLA 63

Filed under: ncaa tourney — Eli Savoie @ 7:39 pm

Wow, what another great performance by the Tigers tonight. A few things really stood out to me. First, was the way Memphis was able to take Kevin Love out of the game in the second half even with Dorsey and Taggert in foul trouble. It was a great job of team defense. The guards did a nice job of taking the entry pass away so they could never get the ball to Love on the block. Second was the play at the point guard position as Derrick Rose again dominated an All-American type player. Rose looked extremely comfortable and confident all night while Darren Collison never looked either comfortable or confident. Collison was downright awful to tell you the truth and Rose had a lot to do with it. Finally, the fact that Memphis was able to speed up the pace of the game to their liking. It is not easy to do that and UCLA is one of the best in the country at slowing games down, but they couldn’t do that against the Tigers. The fast paced game also caused UCLA to tire in the second half, they could not handle it.

I’ve been saying for a couple months I liked UCLA to win it all and I stuck with that this week, but I’m happy to say I was wrong. I’m looking forward to seeing the Tigers play for the title Monday night. No matter which team they play it should be a very entertaining game, but I am hoping for a North Carolina win tonight. I think a Memphis-UNC matchup would be absolutely terrific and extremely fun to watch.

The Riverwalk

Filed under: ncaa tourney, sports 56 — Eli Savoie @ 11:57 am

Had a chance to hit the Riverwalk in San Antonio for the first time ever last night. I have to say its pretty cool. Someone had told me it was like Beale Street only with a river and they were correct. Its just a bunch of restaurants and bars lined along both sides of the river. The weird thing about it is that if you walk around up on the street you will see places that are nowhere near each other, but then you’ll be walking on the Riverwalk later and the places won’t be that far away from each other at all. I don’t know how they do it, but seemingly every place in the city is somehow on the Riverwalk. It’s also easy to get a little turned around and confused, especially after a few hours down there if you know what I mean.

The concern I had about the Riverwalk is that you walk right along the River with no railing or anything to stop you from falling in and a bunch of people walking in a small area. If someone really wanted to be an idiot they could easily bump you into the river. I would think that drunk people stumble and fall in or knock someone else in pretty often, but I don’t know and I didn’t see anyone fall in last night so maybe I’m wrong. Apparently if you are caught going in the river, it’s an automatic $500 ticket.

Peter Edmiston, Greg Gaston and I had a good time checking it out though. Something tells me we’ll be back there tonight also, but that’s just a guess. What really struck all of us was the number of Kansas fans that are here. Based on last night’s observations, the Jayhawk nation is clearly the most represented fan base in San Antonio, they were absolutely everywhere. Meanwhile on the other end of the spectrum, there were not many Carolina fans at all. I don’t know where Tar Heel nation is, but they were not on the Riverwalk last night. We’ll see who is most represented at the Alamo Dome today, but the rankings from last night’s eye test for most fans go like this: 1. Kansas 2. UCLA 3. Memphis 4. North Carolina

Anyway, today Peter and I will be doing a special Final Four preview show from 2-4pm. We will be joined live by Jerry Palm, we’ll have interviews I did yesterday with AP Coach of the year Keno Davis of Drake and Kansas State All-American forward Michael Beasley, we will replay Greg and I’s interview with Jay Bilas from earlier in the week and we’ll hear from a Tiger player or two from their media session yesterday. So as you make your way to your respective Final Four viewing parties, join us for a preview of the action.

Have a great day and Happy Final Four! Go Tigers!

April 4, 2008

Final Four in San Antonio

Filed under: ncaa tourney — Tags: , , , — Peter Edmiston @ 5:40 pm

What a thrill it is to be in San Antonio for the Final Four. This is a real blessing, and I am thankful for the chance to see such fantastic basketball. Eli Savoie and I drove from Memphis to San Antonio yesterday afternoon, and it is an even longer drive than I remember from last year. Possibly because Eli was in the car with me.

Good thing we left when we did, because a tornado went ripping through Little Rock not too long after we drove through, and I hear there’s been some flooding in Memphis today. Hope everyone’s OK back home. We arrived last night at about 1 am and promptly went to sleep, as I had to wake up and do the show this morning at 6. Not much sleep. Then off to the Alamodome to check out the open practice sessions and media day. No time to even grab a quick cerveza on the Riverwalk or anything! I’ll be making up for that oversight in a few hours anyway…

As ever, the Tigers open practice was merely a walkthrough of the most pedestrian sort – free throws, a few jumpers, a few layups, not really any actual drills to speak of. And just like always, the Tigers walked off the floor with about 12 minutes left in the session. Cal hates these things, and they really don’t serve a huge basketball purpose. But it’s nice for the fans to get a chance to check out the teams in the Final Four. Kevin Love put on quite a show during UCLA’s practice session – he made a shot from all the way across the court. The full 94 feet. He was also popping threes like nobody’s business – the dude is a good player. He will be a handful for Dorsey or whomever it is guarding him tomorrow afternoon.

Even without Andre Allen, the Tigers were a friendly and confident bunch, and there’s no question they’ve carried over the good vibes they built up in Houston. I don’t know if they’ve got another flawless weekend in them, but if they can come anywhere close to matching the games against Michigan State or Texas here in San Antonio, they will win the national championship. The other teams are respecting the Tigers’ ability and athleticism quite a bit more than before, as you would imagine. But no one here is intimidated. These four teams are all fantastic and worthy of title consideration.

Predictions?

Memphis 74 UCLA 65 – too much Rose/CDR and not enough Love.

UNC 85 Kansas 73 – the Jayhawks will struggle to cover Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington, and Tyler Hansbrough, but it will be Danny Green who has a huge night.

I’ll try to post some pictures from today a bit later on.

March 26, 2008

Tournament Picks and One-Legged Women

Filed under: ncaa tourney — Tags: , , , — Will Askew @ 10:59 am

Reading Eli Savoie’s post has given me a sudden burst of creativity and ambition to write a post (or maybe it was just guilt over having not posted yet). At any rate, the Sweet Sixteen is here, and I need to break down the games.

East Region:

In my mind, this is the toughest region left, simply because all of the chalk has advanced. The fact that UNC, Tennessee, and Louisville are all in this region is kind of ridiculous, because I think these are three Final Four-caliber teams. Washington State is pretty darn good also.

UNC vs. Washington State:
Washington State is a heck of a defensive team, and has really good guard play in Kyle Weaver and Derrick Low (not that one). However, they’ve struggled against teams with NBA talent so far this year, losing to UCLA twice, Arizona twice, and Stanford three times. That doesn’t bode well for Washington State in this game, because Carolina has as much talent as anyone in the country. In order to win, Kyle Weaver needs to lock down Wayne Ellington, and Derrick Low needs to have a huge game offensively. Tyler Hansbrough will get his, Ty Lawson will penetrate, and Carolina just has too many weapons.

Final: UNC 72, Washington St. 63

Louisville vs. Tennessee:
This is a real shame, because these two teams are Final Four caliber. Louisville is easily the best 3 seed in the tournament, and talent-wise, are a top 5 team. If not for injuries, they’re a 2 seed at worst. Tennessee hasn’t been as intense defensively lately, but I think they’ve been getting a bad rap-Butler is a heck of a basketball team. Louisville has crushed two opponents, but Oklahoma was much closer to a 10 seed in my mind than they were to a 6. Don’t know what the committee was thinking on that one. Everyone seems to think Louisville will win this game, but Tennessee has played with a lot of poise this year and has gone through the toughest schedule in the country with only 4 losses. Louisville will force Tennessee to shoot from the outside, and the key to the game is whether or not they hit those shots. This is going to be a sloppy game with tons of turnovers, as both teams like to press.

Final: Tennessee 85, Louisville 82

Midwest Region:

This really couldn’t have worked out any better for Kansas. In my mind, Kansas is the most talented team in the country, with good players at every position starting and really good players in Sasha Kaun (Sa-Sasha Kaun) and Sherron Collins coming off the bench. I love Davidson and Stephen Curry, but let’s be honest here…who in this region matches up with Kansas?

Kansas vs. Villanova:
Villanova showed a lot of heart in their first round win over Clemson, down by double-digits early and fighting back to win. Villanova typically has good guard play, and this year is no different, with Scottie Reynolds, Dante Cunningham, and Corey Fischer…but really, how can you pick against Kansas here? Just too much talent.

Final: Kansas 78, Villanova 62

Davidson vs. Wisconsin:

I love Stephen Curry. Love his ability to shoot, love his ability to create, love the fact that he scores at crucial times, love that he hits almost 90% of his free throws, love his mom. She is hot. But I digress. And Davidson isn’t just Stephen Curry either. Their other guard, Jason Richards, is a pretty darn good player too. But the problem for Davidson here is that they are playing a team that I think is better defensively than Georgetown, and won’t take their foot off Davidson’s throat like Georgetown did. Wisconsin is a heck of a defensive team, and Davidson’s run ends here.

Final: Wisconsin 65, Davidson 58

South Region:

This is the second toughest region, next to the East. Memphis certainly has their work cut out for them, and the fact that it’s basically a home region for Texas isn’t working for them either. That being said…

Memphis vs. Michigan State:
Everyone seems to think Memphis will just waltz through this game into their third straight Elite 8. I don’t see it that way. Memphis is clearly the more athletic team, but Michigan State is a very, very good basketball team. They went through a bad stretch during February during which they struggled on the road, but if you take that out, they’re a top 10 team. But you can’t take that out. Antonio Anderson needs to lock down Drew Neitzel, and the Tigers (Dorsey, Dozier, and Taggart especially) need to figure out some way to hit their free throws, because Michigan State is very physical. However, I think that Raymar Morgan presents a bit of a matchup problem. All that being said, I think the Tigers are the better team.

Final: Memphis 73, Michigan State 68

Texas vs. Stanford:

This is a very interesting game, as Texas has terrific guards and Stanford has great big men. Stanford should win the rebounding battle, but if you actually look at the numbers, Texas is a pretty darn good rebounding team too. Damion James is a freak, DJ Augustin is awesome, AJ Abrams may be the best pure shooter in the country, and Connor Atchley is underrated. Brook and Robin Lopez have great games, but in the NCAA tournament, it’s all about guard play.

Final: Texas 74, Stanford 67

West Region:

I know UCLA has struggled in this region, but really. Give me one reason they won’t win. There’s not a team close to them left.

UCLA vs. Western Kentucky:

UCLA lost one game out of conference, and it was to Texas by 2 points. Western Kentucky has looked pretty good in the first two rounds, but UCLA makes you look bad. UCLA is just a better team…if anything stops them, it will be their health. Josh Shipp has strep throat, and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute has a sprained ankle.

Final: UCLA 76, WKU 60

Xavier vs. West Virginia

Xavier’s a nice team. I like Josh Duncan, and I like Drew Lavender. But it’s not like they’ve played the roughest schedule in the tourney up to this point…Georgia is a four-win SEC team, and Purdue is one of the worst 6 seeds I’ve ever seen. West Virginia has a legit NBA prospect in Joe Alexander, and even though he struggled to hit shots against Duke, they still won, getting a great effort from Joe Mazzula, who’s really not that good. West Virginia was very hot going into the tourney, and I don’t think that Xavier has anyone to matchup with Alexander.

Final: West Virginia 70, Xavier 67

So there you go. I’ll make my Elite Eight picks Saturday. One other thing I had to get off my chest. Some of you may have noticed that Heather Mills, Paul McCartney’s former wife, won $48.5 million in a divorce settlement last week. Since then, she claims to have incriminating tapes of McCartney saying God knows what, and is now seeking to prove that McCartney is worth double what he said he was in the divorce proceedings, and that she can’t raise their four year old daughter Beatrice on the meager $70,000 dollars she receives a year from the divorce. Maybe I’m just biased because I love the Beatles, but hey Heather…go the f%^$@ away. You may have won $48.5 mil, but that can’t buy you another leg. Sucks for you. Until 3:00, my friends.

March 24, 2008

Tournament thoughts

Filed under: ncaa tourney — Eli Savoie @ 8:19 pm

Hey everyone, welcome to the new Sports 56 WHBQ blog. I’ll be checking in regularly here with my thoughts on various things as will the other Sports 56 hosts, producers, and anyone else at the station who can get on a computer. We hope you enjoy it. Of course, you can also check out more of my work at www.elisavoie.com

Now, some thoughts from the first two rounds of NCAA Tournament action.

Best Team: North Carolina and Louisville have both looked spectacular. Both have completely dominated their opponents from tip-off to final buzzer. In yesterday’s second round games, they each dismantled a pretty decent opponent. The thing is, though, only one can make the Final Four since both are in the East, and for that matter, both have very tough games coming up in the Sweet 16. Others receiving votes: Washington State, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Villanova

Most disappointing team: Vanderbilt getting beat by 20 by Siena is just inexcusable. I understand that upsets happen and once in a while a 13 beats a 4, but it should never be a blowout like that game was. A terrible showing by the Commodores. Others receiving votes: Indiana, USC, Clemson, Duke

Best player: No contest here, Stephen Curry of Davidson. This is a guy that the big schools definitely just missed on. 40 points in round one including a 30 point second half and then 30 points in round 2 with 25 in the second half to beat Georgetown. Are you kidding me? This kid can flat out play. The win over Georgetown helped to ruin my already bad bracket, but I’m glad Davidson won just so we can see Curry some more. Others receiving votes: Chris Douglas-Roberts of Memphis, Scottie Reynolds of Villanova, Kevin Love of UCLA.

Best Game: Western Kentucky’s 101-99 OT win over Drake. This game had more big shots hit then you could possibly imagine including a long three-pointer at the buzzer to win it. Without a doubt the best game among a strong field. Others receiving votes: Stanford vs Marquette, Memphis vs Miss St., Tennessee vs Butler, UCLA vs Texas A&M, Duke vs Belmont, San Diego vs Connecticut

– My favorite announcer line from the tournament goes to Mike Gminski during the Villanova-Siena game. With about eight minutes to go in the game, Scottie Reynolds of Villanova had 20 points. Gminski was not just impressed by that though, as he added that Reynolds was only six assists and two rebounds shy of a triple double. Really?

March 19, 2008

THE Official Sports 56 Blog is Here, Baby!

Filed under: blog, ncaa tourney, sports 56 — Peter Edmiston @ 10:43 pm

A big welcome to all of you who are checking this out for the very first time – it’s something new and big we’re going to be implementing over the next few weeks. In one form or another, almost all of us on the station have had our own blogs. Some of them are currently collecting dust (or whatever it is that unused things collect on the Internet), and some of them are still going strong…but we’ve never had one unified place where everyone associated with Sports 56 can post thoughts, ideas, pictures, videos – whatever they want, whenever they want.

And with the NCAA Tournament coming up, you can expect some of my thoughts and impressions from the tourney sites around the country. Wherever the Tigers go, I will go…camera in hand. I don’t know what to tell you to expect, because I really don’t know myself. But it will be awesome, count on that.

Eventually you’ll see Will Askew, Eli Savoie (when he can separate himself from the moneymaking machine that is elisavoie.com, Tyler McLellan, and more posting here not just about the tourney, but any and everything they want.

Bookmark it.

Between this and the new sports56whbq.com, we’re taking the Internet by storm.

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