Thursday, February 07, 2008

Michigan gets great crop of recruits, even without Pryor - - yet

2008 University of Michigan Football Recruiting Class
(As of 10 p.m. EST, Feb. 6, 2008)

Ricky Barnum OL 6-2 265 Lakeland, Fla. (Lake Gibson)
Boubacar Cissoko DB 5-9 175 Detroit, Mich. (Cass Technical)
Mike Cox RB 6-0 206 Dorchester, Conn. (Avon Old Farms)
Kenny Demens LB 6-1 226 Oak Park, Mich. (Detroit Country Day)
Justin Feagin QB 6-0 190 Deerfield, Fla. (American Heritage)
J.B. Fitzgerald LB 6-3 230 Princeton Junction, N.J. (West Windsor Plainsboro)
J.T. Floyd DB 6-0 190 Greenville, S.C. (J.L. Mann)
Taylor Hill LB 6-2 205 Youngstown, Ohio (Cardinal Mooney)
Rocko Khoury OL 6-5 280 Traverse City, Mich. (Traverse City West)
Kevin Koger TE 6-4 220 Toledo, Ohio (Whitmer)
Mike Martin DL 6-2 285 Redford, Mich. (Catholic Central)
Sam McGuffie RB 5-11 185 Cypress, Texas (Cy-Fair)
Elliott Mealer OL 6-6 280 Wauseon, Ohio (Wauseon)
Brandon Moore TE 6-6 221 Trotwood, Ohio (Trotwood-Madison)
Patrick Omameh OL 6-4 260 Columbus, Ohio (St. Francis DeSales)
Dann O'Neill OL 6-7 295 Grand Haven, Mich. (Grand Haven)
Terrence Robinson ATH 5-9 170 Klein, Texas (Oak)
Roy Roundtree WR 6-0 154 Trotwood, Ohio (Trotwood-Madison)
Michael Shaw ATH 6-0 185 Trotwood, Ohio (Trotwood-Madison)
Brandon Smith DB 6-3 210 New Brunswick, N.J. (New Brunswick)
Darryl Stonum WR 6-3 185 Stafford, Texas (Dulles)
Kurt Wermers OL 6-5 260 Crown Point, Ind. (Crown Point)
Marcus Witherspoon LB 6-2 225 Atlantic City, N.J. (Holy Spirit)

Roster by State
Connecticut: Mike Cox
Florida: Ricky Barnum, Justin Feagin
Indiana: Kurt Wermers
Michigan: Boubacar Cissoko, Kenny Demens, Rocko Khoury, Mike Martin, Dan O'Neill
New Jersey: J.B. Fitzgerald, Brandon Smith, Marcus Witherspoon
Ohio: Taylor Hill, Kevin Koger, Elliott Mealer, Brandon Moore, Patrick Omameh, Roy Roundtree, Michael Shaw
South Carolina: J.T. Floyd
Texas: Sam McGuffie, Terrence Robinson, Darryl Stonum

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Five Good Questions with Paul Kenyon about Rhode Island Basketball

Today's Five Good Questions is with Paul Kenyon of the Providence Journal-Bulletin....Paul covers the Rhode Island Rams who are 19-3 and ranked 19th in the RPI....

Q1. The Rams have three losses so far, but I noticed that one of their wins came against Syracuse earlier this season. What did the Rams do in that game to beat a team from one of the major conferences, the Big East?
A. Good shooting can cover a lot of bases. The Rams made their first nine 3-pointers in the Dome _ so much for the difficult background in the big arena _ and finished the game 12-for-18 on threes. The starting guards, Jimmy Baron and Parfait Bitee were a combined 10-for-13. URI had trouble stopping Syracuse. The Orange scored 89. But URI got 91.

Q2. Who are some of the Rams players we should get familiar with?
A. Will Daniels, a 6-8 forward, is having a tremendous season. He's a senior who had gotten better every year. He's averaging 18 points and nearly seven rebounds. Baron, the coach's son, is one of the best shooters in the country, with range as deep as anyone. He regularly shoot from 28 and 30 feet and is in the top 30 in the country for the second straight year in both 3s made and 3-point percentage. Bitee, the point guard, is a natural off guard who has learned a new role with on-the-job-training. He's having an excellent year, too, leading the A-10 in 3-point percentage and being in the top five in assists and assist/turnover ratio.

Q3. What area(s) must the team improve upon?
A. The team gambles a lot on defense, in part because it feels it has to. It is not strong overall defensively and is particularly vulnerable to a good big man who works inside. It also is a very average rebounding team.

Q4. What are Rhode Island's strengths?
A. As noted above, the team can put points on the board. As we stand today it is 13th in the country at just over 82 a game. Another strength is depth. Coach Jim Baron uses a nine-man rotation. Because the teams pushes the pace so much at both ends, that has helped wear down some teams. They've been a good second-half team.

Q5. What does this team have to do if they want to have a long tournament run in the Big Dance?
A. They have to keep pushing the pace, keep putting points on the board. They have scored at least 80 in 15 of their 22 starts thus far. They win by outscoring people, not out-defending teams.

I want to thank Paul for taking the time to is much appreciated...

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Minnesota quietly gets a running quarterback with loads of potential

Terrelle Pryor has been the talk of the recruiting season, but real quietly, the University of Minnesota may have gotten a Pryor Jr in Marqueis Gray a 6'5" quarterback from Ben Davis High School in is what was written about Gray:

MarQueis Gray - Ben Davis H.S.
6-5 225 Class of 2008
Gray is the enigma of the class of 2008. He has tremendous athletic ability and talent. MarQueis plays in the premiere conference in Indiana. He has shown shades of ability cut in the mold of Vince Young. When he runs he is a load to bring down, when he throws he does so with strength and has a fluid type motion. But can he win and play with heart and desire? Those high school coaches who have seen him play know that he has all the tools to be a great one. But, not sure he wants it bad enough. He has the physical capability of taking over a game. His signature game this year was against Lawrence North where he ran for 199 yards and threw for 130 yards. He is capable of dominating and he is capable of flopping. 2007 could be his breakout year if he discovers consistency.

An Indiana College Coach says: “Gray could be the most physically dominating quarterback in Indiana. He had D1 size, speed, strength, but he is also a Jekyl and Hyde. You never know who is going to show up each week. From a physical point of view, he has everything.”

Five Good Questions with Sean Keeler about Drake Basketball

Today's Five Good Questions is with Sean Keeler of the Des Moines Register about Drake Basketball....Sean took a few minutes to respond about a nationally ranked Drake team that is 20-1 going into its game tonight against Illinois State.....the Bulldogs have an RPI rating of #8....

Q1. Many people in the country do not know about Drake basketball and their impressive record. Is this team for real? Why?
A. Real enough to win the Missouri Valley Conference, that’s for sure. This team shoots the 3-ball, defends, rebounds and closes games — tight games — as well as any I’ve seen in six years of covering this league. They’re doing it with seniors. They’re doing it with two former walk-ons in the starting lineup. They’re doing it with a first-year head coach. They’re doing it at a school where sports come a distant second to academic responsibilities. And they’re doing it in the best mid-major conference in the country. If there’s a better basketball story going than Drake right now, brother, I’d like to see it.

Q2. Who are some of the players that we should get familiar with?
A. + Adam Emmenecker, senior point guard, former walk-on. Only just put on scholarship before this season. He’s a 3.9 GPA student with four majors/concentrations, already has a job with a major Des Moines company (Principal) wrapped up for next year, and in his first year as a starter, he’s become the best point guard in the MVC not named Daniel Ruffin. I think even some of Adam’s coaches are surprised a little at how well he’s played. And more than a few MVC coaches think, if Drake hangs on to win this league, he’ll be the conference’s player of the year. This from a kid who had baseball scholarship offers from Boston College and Michigan out of high school in Saginaw, Mich., and elected to walk on at a little private school in Des Moines so he could play basketball, his first love, at a Division I level.

+ ‘Bucky’ Cox, junior power forward. If Adam isn’t the most valuable player on this team, then Bucky is. Another former walk-on, the 6-foot-8 Cox has built himself into the prototype MVC big man: Strong enough to clean up down low, versatile enough to pop out and knock down clutch 3-pointers. They use him everywhere on the floor — and he’s comfortable shooting from just about anywhere on the floor.

+ Josh Young, sophomore guard. The budding star, the team’s best long-range rhreat. Drake went 3-0 without the 6-1 Oklahoma native in the rotation, but they’re a much better team when he’s healthy. No fear. He’d shoot from mid-court if his coaches would let him.

+ Klayton Korver, senior forward. Two bad knees, one sweet shot, one incredible senior season. The little brother of NBA standout Kyle is the 6-6 heart of this team. He’s quicker than he looks defensively and has his older brother’s range. Always has a green light. And when he’s on, it’s a lot of fun to watch.

+ Leonard Houston, senior guard. The 6-3 Michigan native is Drake’s captain on the court, especially defensively. Good on-the-ball defender, quick hands. Clutch, too. His putback at Creighton last month forced overtime and his trey from the corner in the rematch iced the Bulldogs’ first sweep of their MVC rivals in more than a decade.

Q3. What area(s) must the team improve upon?
A. Getting to the paint. Like a lot of mid-majors, this is a perimeter-oriented team. When the shots are falling, they can blow you out of the gym. When they’re not, things tend to get bogged down a bit. Teams are going to start challenging Drake to beat their guys off the dribble and drive inside. Will the Bulldogs be able to take advantage? There’s a some good quickness here, but not a heck of a lot of size. They tend to live or die by the trey.

Q4. What kind of coach is Keno Davis? What can you tell us about him?
A. Reserved, smart, driven, and self-depreciating. Basically, he’s is father’s son. He learned a lot from watching his dad, Dr. Tom Davis, growing up. But you can also see some of the things he picked up as an assistant to Bruce Pearl, although I don’t expect him to come to a Drake women’s basketball game with his shirt off and his body painted blue.

Q5. Last question, how well do you think Drake can match-up with the "Dukes and Memphises" of the college basketball world?
A. Physically, not all that well – the size and depth differential would probably do them in against bigger, stronger teams from power conferences (Memphis, Kansas, UCLA, etc.). But if you try to get into a game of ‘H-O-R-S-E’ with this team, you’re going to lose. They’ve got four starters who are comfortable from the beyond the arc and a point guard who loves to drive and kick to any one of them. I don’t know how many of those battles the Bulldogs would win, but it would be an awful lot of fun watching them try.

Once again I would like to thank Sean for taking the time to get us up-to-date with the Drake Bulldogs....

Monday, February 04, 2008

She's at it again - Hillary goes to the tears just one day before Super Tuesday

Hillary Clinton cries in Connecticut
by Jason George

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Sen. Hillary Clinton teared up this morning at an event at the Yale Child Study Center, where she worked while in law school in the early 1970s.

A doctor, who was introducing Clinton, began to choke up, leading Clinton's eyes to fill with tears, which she wiped out of her left eye. At the time, the doctor was saying how proud he was that sheepskin-coat, bell-bottom-wearing young woman he met in 1972 was now running for president.

"Well, I said I would not tear up; already we're not exactly on the path," Clinton said with emotion after the introduction.

Clinton is holding a roundtable discussion with Connecticut women to talk about childcare and healthcare.

When Clinton got misty-eyed at an event in New Hampshire on Jan. 7, politicos and pundits filled hours discussing if it helped her, and Clinton eventually pointed to the moment as when she "found her voice" and turned the corner in the Granite State.

At the time, there was much debate if the candidate's emotional response to a question -- "How do you do it?"" -- was genuine or calculated.

Let the conversation begin again...


Super Bowl Thoughts

The New York Giants win is considered an upset, but when you think about it, it was not that big of an upset...1) the Giants were a road tested team; 2) just a month ago, the Giants lost a close game to New England, so they knew the Patriots and knew they could hang with them; 3) the Giants had one of the best defenses in the yes, it was an upset in the sense that New England was 18-0....

This is probably one of the few instances when a New York sports team was cheered by many in the nation....usually most sports fans hate New York City sports teams, but because Americans love to hate winners and success, the Giants were the darlings of the Super Bowl...if a rematch was played next week, the Giants would be hated by everyone....

Take that Tiki Barber!!! was sweet that the Giants won the Super Bowl the year after Barber retired....Barber was a jerk earlier in the season when he ripped former teammate Eli Manning of not being a leader....he also layed into head coach Tom Coughlin for being a looks like it was YOU Tiki who was the problem....

Bill Belichick made a mistake by not wearing his traditional gray hoodie...he looked out of sync with the red hoodie...

The game had good pace....there was not a lot of delays and penalties...

There is no doubt the Patriot players who made the Pro Bowl do not want to play in that meaningless game....

Whether you love or hate the Patriots, think about it, they were 35 stinking seconds from having a perfect season....all that work since September, week after week after stinking week, and it all came down to 35 seconds....a place in history was lost in 35 seconds....a perfect regular season is now meaningless....the Patriots have to be sick...

The talk around the water cooler will be "what was the best commercial?"....who cares?!?!?!, we don't have a water cooler in our office...

I was rooting for the Patriots because I wanted to see history be made, but it was nice to see Eli Manning win the Super Bowl and be the MVP....earlier this season I had doubts if Eli would ever get it done in New York....but he proved me and all his critics wrong...

Sunday, February 03, 2008

NFL needs to release classic games on Itunes

The NFL should move the Super Bowl to Saturday night instead of Sunday....with the game set to kick-off at 6:17 p.m., that means the game will not be over until around 10:30 or so....who feels like staying out and partying when you have to be at work in the morning? having it on a Saturday night, the NFL would be helping the economy because more people would be, the NFL could move the game right into primetime at 8:00.....

The NFL is always looking to market its product and make money...then why the heck are they hoarding away all the classic NFL games at NFL Films?...Major League Baseball and the NHL are way ahead of the NFL in releasing its classic games from the past on Itunes...for $1.99 I am able to download historic games from the World Series or Stanley Cup playoffs...when is the NFL going to jump in and start releasing past games?...I know many football junkies would be downloading great games such as The Ice Bowl, the Drive, the Catch, the Immaculate Reception, among many others....

Because I don't have a favorite NFL team, the Super Bowl is not that big of a deal to me...

The last Super Bowl to be played entirely in daylight was Super Bowl XI between Oakland and Minnesota...

I won't be watching all that pre-game crap...I'll turn on my television at 6:00...

The New York Times has some interesting feature stories about both teams this week...

Boston Globe reporter Kevin Paul Dupont tries to find out who Bill Belichick really is..... "Who is Bill Belichick, the one so few of us see? In some ways, according to those who have spent time around the highly successful Patriots coach, he is precisely the guy in those oft-painful press conferences, when he says little, smiles less, and reveals next to nothing about his team, his thought process, or himself." .....

  • Kevin Paul Dupont

  • Boston Globe reporter John Powers writes how Giants first year defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has been a man on the move..... "His pigskin odyssey began in Central Massachusetts three decades ago, when Steve Spagnuolo was calling signals for the Grafton High Indians." ....
  • John Powers

  • Oh, by the way - Patriots 38-23