Friday, June 30, 2006

As one door closes, another one opens

RB Eric Haw announced his decision to transfer earlier this week. There were rumors floating around that one of the OSU tailbackss was considering a transfer, and it would have been either Haw or sophomore Maurice Wells. As most remember, Haw was suspended before the start of last season for possesion, and he never really got a true chance to show his potential from then on. Before his arrest, Eric Haw was last year's Spring football star. He proved in Spring practice that he could handle the big guys, and was also the leading rusher in the Spring Game. He drew many comparisons to a Robert Smith type of player. Unfortunately, with all of the talent ahead of him, Haw would never have gotten a chance to play. No word on where he's going yet, but UCLA seems to be the leading contestant.

In basketball news, Thad Matta got yet another 5-star recruit in SF Evan Turner. Illinois seemed to be the leading team to land Turner, but Thad jumped in at the last minute and stole him away from the Illini. Turner is the long wing player with a good midrange game that the 2007 class lacked. He is also a great student of the game and has great vision to go with it. If he can put on a little muscle, he could become one of the best players in the NCAA when he hits the hardwood at Columbus. On a side note, after hearing this news last night, I wrote up an entire big post about the 2007 recruiting class to date, and how much of a God Thad Matta is, but wouldn't you know it: as I hit the "Publish Post" button, I get some error message. When I hit back to see if it was there, everything was gone. Needless to say, I was pissed. I'll probably re-write it when signing day rolls around.

Randy Walker has Heart Attack

Before I get started talking about the Buckeyes today, let me leave my condolences for the family, co-workers, players, and everyone else that was connected to Northwestern head football coach Randy Walker. Walker died suddenly Thursday night of an apparent heart attack. This is an absolutely terrible tragedy, and if this were to actually happen at a school of more sports prestige, it would get a lot more media attention than, say, a Lance Armstrong-less Tour de France. Walker was a good coach, who got the most out of his players, and has made the team respectable ever since he took over in 1999. He is the only coach in school history to lead the Wildcats to three bowl games. In 2000, Walker and the Wildcats earned a share of the Big 10 title. Two months ago, he signed a 4 year extonsion through the 2011 season.

RIP Randy Walker 1954-2006

No matter where you're from, who you cheer for, or even if you like football, cheer for the Wildcats this season. I know I will.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Cavs involved in NBA trade rumors

I was watching ESPN around noon today, shortly after class and before going to work, and I heard Andy Katz talking about the potential 76ers-Celtics deal involving Allen Iverson. He mentioned a third team would be needed to complete this deal, and he said that that team would either be the Jazz giving up Carlos Loozer (What? Are you trying to tell me he wasn't worth the $69 Million?) or the Cavaliers trading Drew Gooden. Now, Gooden is a free agent-to be, which means we're going to have to sign him before dealing him, unless we can find some sort of loophole in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. We're probably also going to have to throw in another player (Eric Snow, potentially?), to even out the deal. From what Katz said, and what I have read on the Cavaliers message boards, Boston is willing to give up Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, and/or Wally Szczerbiak. Now, we probably won't get all three of those players, at least one of them will end up going to Philly. But who knows, we might end up getting a filler-player from the '6ers as well. Of course, this is all dependent on this deal actually going down, which is probably unlikely (we all know that most superstar-related trade rumors never actually happen). Also, even though this is draft night, this trade doesn't necessarily have to happen tonight. From what I understand, no picks have been involved.

Potential trade scenario:
Scenario 1:
Boston gets: Allen Iverson
Philly gets: Drew Gooden, Eric Snow (or other Cavs role player), and Gerald Green and/or Al Jefferson
Cleveland gets: Wally Szczerbiak, possibly Al Jefferson.

Scenario breakdown: If Cleveland walks out of this deal with only Szczerbiak, then I will be very disappointed. We CANNOT do this deal without Al Jefferson. He was Boston's PF of the future, and under LeBron, he would probably blossom into one of the better PFs in the league. Szczerbiak is a good 3 point shooter who would help spread the floor, but his 8 figure salary is much too much for a guy that will see mostly situational time. Also, getting Szczerbiak reminds me too much of signing Marshall/Jones, two guys who were picked up just for their 3 point abilities, and struggled for much of the season. Although Szczerbiak has a bit purer of a stroke than the other two, you can never know until the season is underway.


On another note, that may or may not be related, Boston traded their #7 pick and Dan Dickau to Portland for Sebastian Telfair.

Keith is my homedawg

This post has nothing to do with sports. I just wanted to let everyone know that Keith from Buckeye Commentary has provided a link to this blog on his site. It's an excellent site, and hopefully more sites like his will have my link in them, too. I recommend you go visit his site, because it's one of the better ones out there, and has boatloads of highlights and analysis.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

NBA Draft Chatter

On the eve of the NBA Draft, I've decided to give my input on it, although it's nowhere near my "specialty" (if I even have one). By now, we all know that the Raptors have the number one pick, and although there's no true LeBron James-esque number one talent, this draft could provide a team out there with just enough of a spark to take them to the next level. Is it the Cavs? It's doubtful. With the #25 pick, there's a good chance that anyone we end up picking won't have an instant impact. Anyways, here's my analysis of my top 3 players in the draft, who will be the most successful, who will be the biggest bust, and who will have the biggest impact next season. Most of the finer details I'm posting will come from, which is in all regards an excellent site.

Note: This isn't necessarily a mock draft, this is just who I feel will be the best player when all is said and done.

#1 Andrea Bargnani (6-11/240), PF, Italy

We've all heard this story before. The tall, lanky, Euro player with a stellar jump shot and will be a premier post player after some time in the weight room, who only ends up being a 7 PPG bench player. For some reason, I feel I shouldn't be falling for this trap again, yet something is a little different about this kid. Unlike the Darko's and Nickoloz Tskitishvili's of the world, this guy actually played in Europe. Not only did he play, he played well, too. He posseses a great jumpshot, with excellent mechanics. Also something that differs from most Euro flameouts, one of Bargnani's greatest strengths is his speed. Assuming he starts hitting the weights and the McDonald's when he lands in the NBA, he should be a top talent. Although, it will probably take some time for him to adjust to the NBA level, but there won't be a need to panic if he plays realatively mediocre in his first season.

Will fall no lower than: 2nd overall
Most logical NBA fit: Chicago at 2 (Toronto already has a surplus of forwards for the future, and will struggle to find time for Bosh, Bargnani and Villanueva to all play)
Will probably end up at: Toronto (Regardless of what I said, Raptors' GM Brian Colangelo won't pass up on Bargnani's potential in this relatively mediocre draft).

#2 Rudy Gay (6-8/222), SF, UConn

Moreso than in the collegiate game, especially at UConn, athleticism means a lot. And athleticism alone makes Gay the #2 prospect in my book in this draft. His ability to slash to the hoop and finish, as well as be a premier rebounder for his position only helps his case. If I had to compare him to a player today, I'd have to say a more offensive-minded Tayshaun Prince. He has a long wingspan which helps him lockdown defenders. His midrange game is also one of his better strengths, and it will only make defenses tighten up on him as he improves it, allowing him to drive to the basket easier. The only questions regarding Gay is his consistency and motivation. He's only 19, so it's way too early to tell if it was just jitters from being thrown into a superstar-role at UConn, or if he is too immature to handle the pressure. Only time will tell in the NBA, but most people, like me, expect him to flourish.

Will fall no lower than: #6
Most logical NBA fit: Charlotte at 3 (Word is that MJ absolutely loves this guy, and this team lacks an athletic front court player that can run the court as well as rebound. Just like with Bargnani, it might take him a season or two to adjust to the NBA game, but when he does adjust, we'll all know it).
Will probably end up at: Charlotte at #3

#3 Brandon Roy (6-6 195), SG, Washington

Roy is probably the best all-around player in the draft, and is probably the most NBA-ready of all of the upper echelon of talent in this draft as well. Although he may not have JJ Redick's spectacular range, or Rudy Gay's athleticism, he has a bit of everything, and enough of it to have an impact instantly. He has the basketball-intellect to make an impact on the court, but if he does have one weakness it is probably on the defensive side. He gives good effort, but doesn't have the lateral quickness or wingspan of the so-called "lockdown" defenders in the league. He played in the Pac-10, earning POY honors in the conference, yet so few people know much about him because he played on the west coast and Washington didn't exactly set the world on fire this year. His potential may not be as high as Gay or Bargnani, but he is as close to a sure thing as you're going to find this year.

Will fall no lower than: #5
Most logical NBA fit: Portland at 4 (If this team has a strength, and I'm still looking for it, it's in the front court. The team's current listed SGs are Juan Dixon, Voshon Leonard, and Martell Webster. Dixon is more of a point guard, Leonard can't really do much, anywhere, and Webster is more of a Small Forward, and will probably be worked into that spot as he continues to gain more playing time).
Will probably end up at: Minnesotta at #6 (The Hawks have more enough guys to fill the SG spot, and Portland already seems to have Adam Morrison all but drafted).

The player from the 2006 draft that will have the best career:
Rudy Gay. Freakish Athleticism, plus a solid midrange game should be a recipe for success, assuming he can put it together on a game-to-game basis. The way I see things going with Bargnani, he won't have nearly the opprotunities that Gay will have, which will cause Gay to blossom and Bargnani to become a top talent, but won't have as many opprotunities with the ball in his hands.

The biggest bust from this draft will be:
Adam Morrison. I don't get what everyone sees in this guy. Sure, he torched some good defenses in college, but he doesn't have anywhere near the speed nor athleticism to compete against the more athletic NBA defenders. His mechanics are a bit goofy, an dhe doesn't have any lateral speed, which will get him manhandled defensively. People say he's the next Larry Bird, but I see more of another tall, white guy with some 3 point range in him: Keith Van Horn.

The 2006-07 Rookie of the Year will be:
Brandon Roy. See my description of him for more details...I'm going to bed.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Sweet Lou would be proud

I didn't plan on posting anything today, but sometimes, things change. Sometimes, things come up. In this case, I came accross a video of a game of the Single-A Legends Astros Farm League team. To give you some background information, Koby Clemens was called out at second base, and I don't think the manager agreed with the umpire's call. Press play to view.

This is probably the funniest, most outrageous, meltdown I have ever seen before. Whether it be the dive to second base to the Lou Pinella style covering of homeplate, to the cleaning off of home plate, this video is a complete classic.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Ohio State 2006-07 Preview: Quarterbacks

I plan on doing a preview for each position area (QB, RB, WR/TE, OL, DL, LB, DB, Special Teams), probably around one a week, but I'm sure I'll fall behind and have to do multiple over a short stretch to finish by the start of the season.


Key Losses: None

  1. Projected Starter - Troy Smith, Sr. (6-1/215)

After a tremendous 2005-06 campaign, Troy Smith proved to the world that there is absolutely no question that he, and not Justin Zwick, is the go-to-guy for this Ohio State team. Smith is the headliner for an offense that most believe will challenge 1995 squad that featured the likes of Bobby Hoying, Orlando Pace, Biletnikoff Award (Nations top WR) Terry Glenn, and Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George. Smith's greatest physical attribute is his mobility, but don't be mistaken: This guy can throw, too. Over his career as a starter, Smith has saved just as many plays with his strong arm and decision making as he did with his ability to break tackles and make open field runs. After two incredibly strong performances to finish off last season (300 passing yards 1 passing TD, 1 rushing TD at archrival Michigan and 342 passing yards, 2 passing TDs, 66 rushing yards against Notre Dame), Smith began to draw comparisons to a certain heisman finalist QB from Texas who had a nack for making big plays in big games. But one characteristic that Smith posseses that far surpasses his ability to run or throw is his ability to lead. He is the most respected member of not just the Buckeyes' offense, but the entire team as well, and will more than likely be named a captain for this upcoming season. If everything falls into place, Smith could find himself in New York this December hoisting the Heisman.

Strengths: One of the top leaders in all of college football this season...Scrambling ability, especially in the red zone (11 rushing TDs, just about all of them came from inside the 20)....His arm is one of the strongest in the game today, as seen with his lengthy passing touchdowns in the Fiesta Bowl to Ted Ginn and Santonio Holmes....Overall Body Strength is greater than most quarterbacks in the NCAA. Helps him break tackles...Big game presence. Just ask any Michigan or Notre Dame fan. Decision making. Ranked in top 5 in all of NCAA in passer efficiency ratings...Breaking tackles. Again, ask any Michigan or Notre Dame fan.

Weaknesses: Size (Only 6-1). Often compared to Vince Young, despite being much smaller...Lack of size leads to tipped balls at the LOS at times...Needs to stay out of trouble, although he did a much better job of it this past season....His ability to make the touch throws (5-10 yard out passes, over the LBs and in front of safeties, etc.) have made great strides in the past two seasons, but still need some work.

2. Projected 1st Backup - Justin Zwick, Sr. (6-4/225).

Zwick was a highly touted recruit out of high school, but unfortunately, has not lived up to the hype. He was given the starter's spot in 2004 based off of his golden boy reputation as a QB that more fit the "Tresselball" style, and the offense greatly struggled under him. It was quite obvious that this was no Craig Krenzel, much less the Bobby Hoying we all thought he would be. His long throws did not live up to the "frozen rope" standard that fans had been greatly awaiting ever since his commitment. However, Zwick is still a very capable backup, and has the starting experience if something is to happen to Smith. He started the first six games of the 2004 season before injuring his shoulder, and he didn't see the field again that season until the Alamo Bowl when Troy Smith was suspended. He played very well at times (18/30, 324 yards, 3 TDs against Marshall), and completely awful at others (15/31, 124 yards, 5 sacks against Wisconsin).

3. Projected 3rd String - Todd Boeckman, So. (6-5/235).

Boeckman is a talented young prospect that is still a relative unknown among most outside of the state of Ohio. He was one of the top recruits out of the state of Ohio in 2003, and from what I have seen in his limited playing time in games, as well as the spring game, this kid could very well live up to it. He has a strong arm, but is primarily a pocket passer. He did not play too well in the '06 Spring Game, but in all fairness to Boeckman, the game was after all an exhibition and the line didn't do very much to help his case. If he can improve his mobility by the 2007 season, then the team should be fine offensively, although it will probably be more of a run-based team.

Other Notes of Interest

  • 4th String QB Rob Schoenhoft, who will either be the #1 or #2 guy in 2007, already has a strong bond on the field with rising star WR Brian Hartline. The two hooked up on numerous occasions during the Spring game.
  • Justin Zwick was rumored to be considering a transfer to another school, probably a DI-AA where he could play next season, but decided against it and returned to Ohio State to finish out his college career.
  • My reports on Todd Boeckman are somewhat shaky, just because most of the information I am going off of is from message boards and from limited action in play. So don't take it too much to heart.


This was my first of what I hope is many previews, I hope you enjoyed. Any questions, comments, concerns, or anything else of that manner would be greatly appreciated in the comments section.

Next up, Running Backs.

Saturday, June 24, 2006


Welcome to my sports blog! My goal for this site is to create a place where I can discuss some issues in the sporting world with anyone who reads this. I will focus mostly on Ohio State and Cleveland sports, but I will also discuss some of the more broad issues if I deem it necessary. This is not a MySpace or a Xanga, but if you really want to know about me, you can read my profile (side bar) if you like. As a sports fan, as well as a prospective journalist, I will try to maintain as much objectivity as possible, but don't expect that to stand true for every single post.

Let me tell you a little bit about myself as a sports fan.:

Favorite collegiate teams: OSU Football & Men's Basketball
Favorite Collegiate players: Troy Smith, Anthony Gonzalez, Jamar Butler, Greg Oden, Brady Quinn

Favorite baseball team: Cleveland Indians
Favorite Players: Travis Hafner, Grady Sizemore, Victor Martinez

Favorite Football team: Cleveland Browns
Favorite Players: Charlie Frye, LeCharles Bentley, and dare I say Braylon Edwards?

Favorite Basketball team: Cleveland Cavaliers
Favorite Player: Do I even need to say?