Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Former Seminole player Fred Rouse has been arrested and charged with three felonies: burglary of a dwelling, grand theft and unrelated possessions of a controlled substance without a prescription, which was ecstasy. Former Seminole and current Bengal A.J Nicholson is also wanted for the same events, and has a warrant out for his arrest on felony charges of burglary of a dwelling, grand theft and misdemeanor criminal mischief. [LINK]

"Allegedly" the two broke into current FSU player Lorenzo Booker's room and stole $1,700 in electronic equipment. The kicker? A.J Nicholson was Booker's former roommate.

So to get the details in order we have this: An NFL player and a former 5* recruit break into the room of a teammate and former roomate and steal $1,700 in electronic equipment. Considering that the list of stolen items was "two portable stereos, a DVD player and a pair of headphones" and worth such a smallish sum, it's not like they were exactly after the big haul to strike it rich. Besides being doped out of their minds, what on earth could that pair have been thinking - especially Nicholson?

To summarize, A.J Nicholson has now been charged with sexual assault, DUI, resisting arrest, grand theft and burglary. Not a bad years work for one of Saint Bowden's pupils. No word yet on Fulmer Cup points for this escapade, but the fact that it involves a former teammate and roommate definitely deserves at small bonus.

The Trainwreck in Raleigh

I'm a native of Fayetteville, NC (or Fayettenam, if you prefer) - so unfortunately I check the Fayetteville News and Observer from time to time. Imagine my surprise when I actually read something interesting there today:
Asked why Davis decided not to stick with N.C. State, Oliva said, “I don’t really know … I can only guess. You want me to guess?

“Well, they (N.C. State) took two months to name a coach, and then, when they did, they named a guy who can’t coach.

“That is about the stupidest thing I ever heard of.” [LINK]

That's 6-4 guard Larry Davis' coach discussing the reasoning behind Davis decommitting from NCSU and heading to Seton Hall. Less, than flattering ... to say the least. When Sidney Lowe was finally hired as the head coach at NCSU, most thought that the public relations disaster was finally going to end after two excruciating months for the Wolfpack. Instead, the other shoe was yet to drop.

Hidden in the noise surrounding UNC, GT's and Duke terrific recruiting classes this year (each with multiple McDonald's All-Americans) was the fact that the Wolfpack and the Demon Deacons also pulled in very solid classes over the next two years. With the bungled firing / running off of Herb Sendek and the delayed hiring of Lowe, the solid '06 and '07 classes for NCSU are in total shambles now. Just a quick review of each prospect from those classes:

Class of '06:

Larry Davis (3* G) - once committed to NCSU, now going to Seton Hall and his coach has just bombed the Lowe hiring in the press.

Dan Werner (4* PF) - once committed to NCSU, now only a "soft verbal" and considering other options including Kentucky and Notre Dame.

Dennis Horner (3* SF) - still committed to NCSU, WOOHOO!!

Class of '07

Chris Wright (5* G) - probable McDonald's All-American who was once committed to NCSU, but has reopened his recruitment and is involved with a number of other ACC and Big East schools.

Evan Turner (4* SF) - said that he planned to commit to NCSU on his official visit, but now list Illinois, Ohio State, Iowa, Wake and Wisconsin as "high" interest. NCSU no longer makes that cut.

In short, NCSU had a solid recruiting class for '06 already in the books and had made a huge head start at a top 10 class for '07. You know ... that sort of UNC/Duke talent that fans in Raleigh have been clammoring for. By railroading Herb Sendek out of town, State looks to have thrown out the baby with the bathwater. There is virtually nobody left on the board for '06, and with the departure of Cedric Simmons to the NBA is appears the Wolfpack will have a very depleted roster. There is also virtually no chance at replacing the '07 class with anyone near the quality that Sendek had lined up, so State is looking at two below average or worse recruiting classes in back to back years - and that's going to leave a mark. I'm not sure Lowe is a great coach, but he's going to almost have to be to even sniff the NCAA tournament in the next couple of years. T

Why Do Blogs Exist?

Clearly it's for articles such as this one: "The 15 Worst White NBA Ballers of the Last Twenty Years". There's a John Salley mention, so yes - it's GT related.

Also, keep track of the GT Men's Golf Team in the NCAA Championships here [LINK]. As with baseball this is one of the better sports teams on campus, and yet receives very little coverage.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Chris Rix Sr. Pops Off

Look, Chris Rix Sr. has a reputation - and it's not a good one, unfortunately. He has a history of substance abuse and of rambling into the FSU athletic department blowing up at staffers. He has a history of going off in the press. He has a history of blaming Bobby Bowden for ruining his son's career as a Seminole. In short, he's a monster emberassment to his son (who for all his struggles has carried himself with class and while not a terrific quarterback seems to be a solid human being in the end).

So today in the AJC, Tony Barnhart writes a completely sappy and fairly worthless (surprise!) piece on the legacy of Bowden and Paterno. It's a totally forgettable column until you get to the comments section ... where one Chris Rix Sr. raises his head again and just blows up Bowden (and yes, it likely is Rix Sr. Moderators from confirm it's similar in style and substance to what he's said before, and it matches with personality).

Back away from the buffet table, Tony, and put down the Kool-Aid! Keep swallowing marshmellows and pretty soon you’ll wind up with a bad case of Lyme Disease. Coaches cutting academic corners? Let me tell you a story. In Dec. of 2003, I found my son was lagging in some of his courses. I talked to the Academic Athletic Support Director at FSU, the President, the AD, the Compliance guy, and then made an appointment with Coach Bowden’s secretary to see him one hour after I talked to the Compliance guy. I got to his office because I was not to pleased when the Academic guy says: “I failed your son, Chris”. While I’m cooling my heels, two FSU police show up carrying automatics, and, catch this, say they are here to “escort me from the building”, as “per Bob Minnix (the compliance guy I just talked to”, due to Coach Bowden’s “bowl preparations”. and Bowden calls you guys (journalists) cowards? In bed pulling for our boys overseas. What a load of crap. What battle has Bowden won that somebody else didn’t fight for him. Big Patton buff. Ever read the story about his hare-brained scheme to send 300 men 60 miles into enemy-territory to rescue his son-in-law at a POW camp? Great read. Oh, about 25 men get killed, and his son-in-law gets shot in the butt, but hey, nobody questions Patton. Sounds like the “Chris Rix be the scapegoat” story until my son gets his coaching training wheels off? Big talk about God, but breaks the 1st Commandment by having a great big statue of himself sitting outside his temple. One version of being a Christian: lay your Son’s life down for everybody else. Bobby’s version? Lay others lives down for my son. Iknow, I watched it personnally. House at the beach? Sure, isn’t that what it’s all about? Got one for Tommy, when he dumped FSU’s title hopes to save his son’s job, IN MY OPINION. Just check his axles for the blood and guts of others. As far as I’m concerned, Barkhart, the right question is “What the hell are people like you doing to the game?”

I'm sorry for Rix Jr. after reading that. When that's your dad, you aren't exactly off to a fast start in life. And while Rix did receive his fair share of criticism from FSU fans and the media, you can't blame Bowden for that ... if anything he stuck by him too much and kept running Rix out as the starting QB when he was clearly struggling to get it done on the field.

Memo to Rix Sr:

Bowden didn't make your son park in handicap spaces. He didn't make him oversleep and miss class. He didn't make him throw all those boneheaded interceptions. He didn't make him lose to Miami five times in a row (granted, that's not entirely his fault - but he shares a large burden of the blame).

Your son seems like a fine person overall. He wasn't a terrific quarterback, but that's not a great crime against humanity. While he didn't deserve all the flack he got from fans, he certainly did a portion of it - that's the nature of being the highest profile athlete in a state rabid for college football. All in all though, Chris can hold his head high and move on with his life knowing he gave it his best shot and it just didn't work out.

You on the other hand are a drunken, overbearing lout and need to stop carrying this "cross" for your son. Your escapades in the press, the FSU athletic department offices and wherever else you decide to shoot off your mouth don't do anything but emberrass yourself and your son. For the benefit of all of us, go drink your Beast Light from a can in the swamp and stick to shaking your fist in anger at the blue hair vacationers driving south. The less the rest of us have to hear from you, the better off we will be.


Monday, May 29, 2006

NBA Draft Rumor

There's a rumor that has been bouncing around the internet for a couple of days now, and it's not going away. In the supposed scenario, Portland and Toronto would trade picks and players:
The Raptors see Bargnani, like Charlie Villanueva, being able to play the 3, 4 and 5 spots in the NBA, with Chris Bosh manning the 4/5. The only question now is whether the Raptors will draft him at #1, or will attempt to trade down a few spots (possibly to Portland for the #4 pick in a package with Chris Bosh’s good friend and ex-teammate Jarrett Jack) to pick up a valuable asset along the way. []
Needless to say, if this happens - I'll be the biggest Toronto fan on the planet. A lineup of Jack, Peterson, Bargnani, Villenueva and Bosh would be a potent offensive lineup to say the least. I doubt Portland goes through with this though, they seem very high on Jack and their fans don't seem to like the idea at all.


I don't often write about the Georgia Tech baseball team on this blog, even though they are the best all around athletic team on campus - and have been for a number of years. Part of the reason for this is because it's much more difficult to follow baseball from 1500 miles away because of the lack of TV coverage and the other part is that does such a fantastic job I'm not sure what else I could offer.

That being said, with the NCAA field of 64 set today, GT is again a top 8 national seed and will host all the way to the College World Series. This is the 4th season in a row that GT has been a top 8 national seed, and while many of those tournament runs have ended in dissapointment that is still an incredible accomplishment. Unfortunately, with the currently state of the roster's health (Danny Payne is probably done for the season, Wes Hodges can barely run, etc) I'm not so sure this year will end any different than the previous ones, which is a shame.

This weekend Tech and Clemson continued our season long war, with Clemson getting the edge in the final inning of the final game for a 16-11 win to advance to the ACC title game. That leaves us 3-3 on the season with the Tiggers, and 94-94-3 all time (if I am counting correctly). Doesn't get more even than that. Clemson is the #1 overall seed in the tournament, and if GT advances to the CWS would be our likely openining opponent in that tournament as well. 7 times in one year? Nowhere does it say that the NCAA likes to break up conference rivals (Texas and Nebraska will likely face each other again as well. Good work, committee).

If you live in the Atlanta area, get out to Russ Chandler and support this team for the regional and the supers. It's impossible to not like this group - it's a gritty bunch that might lack the star power of the previous Teixeira or Varitek/Nomar led teams, but they play their tails and have an outside shot at the school record for wins (52) if they can keep advancing.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

2006 Football Rule Changes

The latest issue of Referee Magazine is out, and supposedly it contains a number of rule changes for NCAA football for the 2006 season. These changes are not on the NCAA website yet, but I assume they will be shortly. The rumored changes are:
  1. The game clock now starts on a change of possession at the same time the play clock does, instead of starting when the ball is snapped. Supposedly this will save 5 minutes per game.

  2. Player's visors will now have to be clear, no more black, reflective gold or smoke colored ones.

  3. Kicking tees will have a maximum height of only 1 inch above the ground to reduce kickoff length and increase the number of returns.

  4. "Firmly" has been added to several definitions regarding what is or is not a "catch". For example a player who leaves his feet to catch a ball must now have the ball "firmly" in his possession when he lands.
There are a number of other very minor changes evidently, including one regarding "crowd noise" that didn't make a lot of sense to me when my referee friend was trying to explain it to me. As for opinions on the rule changes? I like starting the game clock on change of possession, college games last too long already and anything to speed up the game a bit I'm all for. I think the rule regarding visor colors is dumb, and can't think of a single reason why it should be in place. I like the rule regarding kicking tees ... it's going to really put an emphasis on kick coverage and kick return teams (unfortunately, both areas we've been terrible at recently). Finally, I'm not really sure what to say about the catch definitions, but if they want to move it more towards the NFL style rules then I'm all for it. Heck, if they want to require two feet inbounds I'd be for that as well.

I'll try to get a copy of the magazine and confirm the exact details of each of these rule changes (this was passed on to me by a referee friend) - but I thought people would be interested to see what we will have to get used to next year.

Don't expect to see the entire defense in black visors again, unfortunately (

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Ohio State University

Evidently you can get a boy out of C-Bus, but you can't get the C-Bus out of the boy. Former Buckeye and now Pittsburgh Steeler Santonio Holmes was arrested last night in Miami [LINK].

No word yet on whether or not Maurice Clarett was in attendence, but Tressel has already announced that Holmes will be suspended for a whopping 2 plays during his first alumni game.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Lawal Invited to US Trials

Gani Lawal was invited to try out for the US Basketball Under-18 National Team 2006 FIBA Americas U18 Championship. The tryouts are June 16-18 in San Antonio, and if Lawal makes the team he will then play in the FIBA tournament June 28 - July 2, also in San Antonio [LINK].

This is a nice recognition for Lawal, and an confirmation that the improvements he has made in his overall game in the past year have continued to keep him as one of the elite high school basketball players in the country. The other post players invited include Michael Beasley, Cole Aldrich, Spencer Hawes and Julian Vaughn - so Lawal will get several days of competition against the very best in the world at his age group. Even if he doesn't make the team (it's going to be tough, that's a very good collection of talent) the experience will be well worth it.

Good luck to Gani in the tryouts, and it's an honor to have any future, present or past Yellow Jacket represent the United States in international competition.

Tech Hall of Famer

There's a new blog for ACC football, following Florida State. Garnet and Great has an interesting new twist as well ... they are providing an audio archive with interviews and clips with former players and staff on a regular basis.

One of the first posts they had is an interview with Georgia Tech Hall of Famer Coleman Rudolph about the infamous 1992 game at Grant Field where Charlie Ward and the "fast break" offense announced themselves to the country. The interview is a little over 7 minutes long, and well worth the listen. Go check it out.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

How Quickly it Can Change

It's funny to laugh about Marcus Vick ... but he's with the Dolphins right now, so I guess his legal situations haven't totally ruined his life yet. For others, it doesn't always work out so well.

Keith Brumbaugh was a stud wing forward from Deland, FL who was ranked #11 in the '05 class (RSCI). He declared for the NBA draft, but ended up withdrawing and signing a scholarship with Oklahoma State. After an injury, elgibility questions and a shoplifting incident he left Oklahoma State in December of last year after never playing a minute for OSU.

It's just gone downhill from there, ending yesterday with an arrest for "fleeing and eluding an officer, which is a felony, and resisting arrest without violence, a misdemeanor" (LINK). In the car Brumbaugh had been driving it became more interesting:
In their abandoned car was a Bushmaster brand automatic rifle with about 56 rounds in the magazine, according to the sheriff's report. Volusia County deputies said they also found an electric weapon, a knife and several hundred rounds of ammunition.
Also in the car was a black shirt with the word "Police" on it, as well as a silver badge sporting the words: "Private Investigator."
Now, most people don't drive around with this in their backseat loaded with 50+ live rounds and clothing to impersonate police officers with ... but I guess it could be one heck of a costume party he was headed to.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal has this timeline of Brumbaugh's descent from his senior season of high school, and it isn't pretty.

Keith Brumbaugh Timeline:
  • FEB. 18, 2005: Plays in his final high school game for DeLand.
  • APRIL 8, 2005: Receives the Dairy Farmers Mr. Basketball award.
  • APRIL 16, 2005: Plays in the Michael Jordan Classic in Madison Square Garden, New York.
  • MAY 12, 2005: Announces he'll enter NBA Draft.
  • June 20, 2005: Withdraws name from consideration for NBA Draft.
  • JULY 20, 2005: Announces he will play at Oklahoma State.
  • Aug. 20, 2005: Charged with shoplifting at a Stillwater, Okla., Wal-Mart.
  • NOVEMBER 2005: NCAA requires Brumbaugh to retake the ACT; he does not get a high enough score to be eligible.
  • DECEMBER 2005: Withdraws from Oklahoma State without ever stepping on the court.
  • MAY 20, 2006: Is charged by Volusia County Sheriffs Office with fleeing and eluding officers and resisting arrest without violence.
It's amazing how poor judgement at such a young age can ruin a promising future, and lets hope that Brumbaugh puts his life back together and earns a second chance to utilize his talent - but right now he's managed to put himself as far behind as he possibly could.

Bosh's New Teammate

The Toronto Raptors "won" the NBA Draft lottery yesterday evening and will have the #1 overall pick in the 2006 draft. There are two needs on the Raptors they will try to address in the draft - small forward and point guard. Unfortunately there are no PG's deserving of the top pick, but there is a small forward with superstar potential waiting. Andrea Bargnani is a 7'0 225lb forward who plays for Benneton Treviso in the Euroleague. Unlike many European prospects who enter the NBA Draft, Bargnani is already playing key minutes in Euroleague games and not in a lower or Junior league, and he's playing very well in those opportunities. During the Euroleague regular season he averaged 10.6ppg on 60% shooting and 47% from 3pt range. Once he entered the playoff stage (in the Euroleague it's a round robin group event) he upped his scoring to 11.5ppg and still shot 50% from the floor [LINK to stats]. The Euroleague is a step above NCAA competition and somewhere below the NBA - but make no mistake, for a 20 year old to contribute and play that well for a Super 16 team in the Euroleague is a huge accomplishment.

Bargnani is very fluid and an exceptional ball handler for someone his size - very similar to Dirk Nowitski. When he played in an exhibition game against the Raptors before this season, he was beating Bosh off the dribble - something you don't expect to see from a man his size. With a potent 3 point stroke and a his ball handling, Bargnani is going to score points in the NBA. Whether he can defend adequately is questionable, and he's going to have to put on some weight and get better on the glass - but he could form a very potent and agile frontcourt with Bosh and Villenueva. With the dearth of true physical centers in the NBA the defensive weakness of that lineup might not be as scary as it looks on paper ... and there's 3 guys capable of 30 point games anytime out.

Bargnani has made it clear that he would like to play for Toronto, Collangelo has been to Italy recently to see him play and came away very impressed and Toronto has recently hired Benneton Treviso GM Maurizio Gherardini as an assistant. All of those signs point to Bargnani being the #1 overall pick and joining Bosh as his newest running mate in Toronto. I think it would be a fine pick, Bargnani is the only person in the draft with "superstar" potential and his skillset as a dangerous wing shooter matches with Bosh.

Here are three videos of Bargnani in action ... and remember, these are against quality competition equivalent to top conference NCAA basketball or better. The guy can flatout play basketball.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

New Name for Hoops

Former Maryland '07 commit, Pennsylvania guard Jeff Jones has reopened his recruitment. It seems that he was very close to assistant coach Moxley who had recruited him to the Terrapins, and with his move to Charlotte he is now no longer interested in being a turtle.

With the complete disaster that Maryland recruiting is turning into, is in complete meltdown. Jones is a very good player who can play multiple spots in the backcourt, is an above average scorer and athlete and had Georgia Tech and Villanova as his leaders as recently as last fall. It is very possible that he will be back in the mix for the final '07 scholarship, along with Tyrel Reed and Maurice Miller.

NCSU in the News Again

Arrest of illegal aliens halts construction on Carter-Finley Stadium.
Construction work at North Carolina State's football stadium stopped today when officials arrested several undocumented workers [...] The workers at Carter-Finley Stadium were hired by the Miller and Long construction company for a $19 million upgrade that will add end zone seating.
Everytime you feel bad about your own school, NCSU goes and does something that makes you realise you aren't as bumbling and inept as they seem to be. Seriously, can someone please remind me of the last time NCSU was mentioned in a positive light in the national media? While this is more humorous than harmful (it sounds like nobody was hurt in the accident that sparked this whole routine), it's just part of a continual stream of negative news.

We Should Cheer for UGa

About half of my regular readers just removed this site from their RSS feeds after reading that title, but let me explain for those of you still interested in reading. I have a THWG sticker on the back of my car. I don't own anything red, really (maybe a maroon shirt or two). I cheered my brains out for West Virginia in the Sugar Bowl - because watching sad rednecks in the stands warmed my cold, bitter little heart. I'm pretty sure I'd cheer for the University of Sheol coached by Lucifer if they played Georgia. I don't like Bulldog sports, at all.

That being said, outside of athletics Tech needs UGa to be a strong school. Since both are part of the University of Georgia system, we are tied together financially and academically in way that cannot severed, and each school is dependent on the other schools in the system for at least some portion of the success of the individual institution. UGa is the flagship school of the state, and the heart and soul of much of the government and legal structure of the state of Georgia (the percentage of Georgia politicians and lawyers from UGa is extremely high). Georgia Tech is the muscle that drives the Georgia economic engine, producing skilled engineers, managers and the research backbone for the state's industrial and technical firms and factories. Each of these schools (and Emory) plays a key role in the state's economy.

The key natural resource of Georgia is not peaches or peanuts or grits, it's a huge crop of well educated young people for employers to tap into. Between the Hope scholarship and the University of Georgia system (along with the fine collection of private schools in the Atlanta area) Georgia is one of the top 5 states in the nation for it's depth and breadth of quality secondary educational institutions. Three of the top 75 national universities in the country are within 100 miles of each other, along with several of the best regional schools and the top traditionally african-american schools as well. There's a reason that the two areas of the south experiencing the strongest economic growth are Atlanta and the Research Triangle Park near Raleigh-Durham/Chapel Hill ... they have some of the best collections of universities in the world.

Where am I going with this? Paul Westerdawg and Kyle King have been on the warpath against Michael Adams for some time - his litany of offenses against the UGa fanbase and athletic department being the easiest targets - but PWD touched on something today that hits at the core of a problem the University of Georgia system faces. Adams can't raise money. The University of Georgia's endowment is only a paltry $500mil and is well behind the academic powerhouses Arkansas and Kentucky. Look, I think it's funny that Adams continually pees in UGa fans' Cheerios, that the whole ugly Harrick situation sits squarely on his lap and that he wants to change the name of the Cocktail Party while his athletic department is basically supported in it's totality by a liquor distributor. That stuff makes me laugh. The fact that he's pile driving the state's flagship university into the financial dumpster? That's not funny.

Because of the importance of their two schools to the state's economy and it's future well being, Clough and Adams are two of the key employees of the state of Georgia and should be held accountable for how they do - not on the playing fields, but in their true job of education and advancing the state's workforce. Clough has excelled in this area, raising the profile of the Institute, continuing to develop the enormously successfull Georgia Tech Research Institute (which had a staggering $135mil in contracts and grants last year and total research has doubled under his tenure to $425mil), overseen over $1bil in construction and while he's had his faults he's been a very good president for GT. Adams? I'm not sure, he seems to be more crony than leader and his failures to raise money have a direct impact on the ability of UGa to advance. Money is the lifeblood of academia, and it's no mistake that the top universities in the country are also the richest universities. Endowments pay for top notch professors, scholarships to attract the best students and campus environments and technology that improve the quality of the educational experience - and in the end Georgia continuing to improve in those areas indirectly helps both Georgia Tech and the state of Georgia as a whole.

In this instance, we should be cheering for UGa ... and if Michael Adams isn't getting done, it might be time to step outside the "good ol' boy network" and get a president in Athens who'll drive the economic and fund raising engine the way other schools in the university system have.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

And the Final Word Is ...

The NCAA released it's final findings after Georgia Tech's appeal [LINK] and all the big penalties stand, unfortunately. The key sections are here:
In its written report, the Infractions Appeals Committee upheld findings II-A-1-c; II-A-1-f; II-A-2-f; and II-A-3-b without further review stating that Georgia Tech had failed to raise the statute of limitations issue during the Committee on Infractions hearing. The Infractions Appeals Committee determined that any statute of limitations issue must be raised in a manner, and at a time, sufficient to provide the Committee on Infractions with a reasonable opportunity to consider the matter.
(in other words - we did a crappy job from the beginning with this. Big surprise, and nice work by the administrative staff)

and here:
Regarding the penalty for grants-in-aid limitations [III-C], the Infractions Appeals Committee found no basis to conclude that the penalty was excessive or inappropriate. Georgia Tech originally self imposed penalties to reduce the number of initial counters by six for the 2005-06 and 2006-07 academic years. The Committee on Infractions imposed an additional penalty limiting the university to 79 overall counters for the 2006-07 and 2007-08 academic years. The Infractions Appeals Committee determined that such a penalty is not inappropriate because it is provided for in Bylaw The Infractions Appeals Committee found further that there was no basis on which to conclude that the penalty was excessive.
The good news though:
Regarding the penalties related to the vacation of football team records for all contests during the seasons in which ineligible student-athletes competed [III-F, III-H], the Infractions Appeals Committee determined that the Committee on Infractions’ decision was excessive in that the penalty was inconsistent with the Infractions Appeals Committee’s action in similar cases. Thus, the Infractions Appeals Committee reversed penalties III-F and III-H which related to the vacation of Georgia Tech's football team records.
Which means ... yes, Bulldogs - this really DID happen after all:

Heff Should Stick to Women

The 2006 Playboy All-America team has been announced - with Calvin Johnson inexplicably not making the list, and Joel Filani from Texas Tech making it instead. Filani had a solid year last year in Texas Tech's gimmicky offense, but with a long catch for his career of only 26 yards - he's far from the game breaking type of player you'd expect to be named All-America. Jeff Samardjiza? I could have seen that. Sydney Rice? He's a fine player as well. But Filani?

What makes this even odder is that the article brags about the fact that the "Playboy gathering gives glimpse into 2007 draft" - which would imply that they would be picking players likely to be high draft choices in the upcoming draft. Well, Calvin is a virtual lock to a be a top 5 overall pick ... and Filani might go on the second day. That doesn't add up, to say the least.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Smelly Little Leprechauns

Notre Dame and Georgia Tech will kickoff ABC's new Saturday night prime time coverage with an 8pm EST time kickoff on September 2nd [official story here]. This is huge for national coverage and is almost certainly a result of GT's excellent prime time showing last year with wins over Auburn and Miami in evening games. With the national spotlight firmly on Tech to begin the season (this will be the kickoff for college football as a whole, basically) it's an excellent chance to further impress the above average group of recruits that GT is getting attention from already this year - and no small factor that ND is a team that we seem to be up against almost constantly for recruits.

Georgia Tech's large number of evening games in recent years has been the butt of some good natured jokes [link], but ESPN/ABC love the atmosphere of the night games in Atlanta and it has become one of their favorite venues for broadcasting. It will be interesting to see where the Gameday crew sets up on campus, last time they were in Atlanta it wasn't exactly the best way to show off the school - hopefully Rad can get it worked out in a better location (yes, we know - urban campuses don't always have great options for this kind of thing).

Of even more interest, looking at ABC's prime time schedule for the rest of the season, one other date stands out:

• Nov. 11, 8 p.m. ET: ACC, Big 12 or BIG EAST (12-day selection)

GT will be visiting UNC at Keenan Stadium that day (a veritable house of horrors, unfortunately) and depending on both team's performance up to that point will be a candidate to be featured again in prime time. The other games for that day from the three conferences are:
  • Iowa St. @ Colorado
  • Wake Forest @ Florida St.
  • Syracuse @ USF
  • Duke @ BC
  • Miami @ Maryland
  • Baylor @ Ok St.
  • Texas Tech @ Oklahoma
  • NCSU @ Clemson
  • Nebraska@ TAMU
  • Cincinnati @ WVU
  • Texas @ Kansas St.
  • Pitt @ UConn
Of those, the only ones that look likely to be candidates for a prime time game will be Miami at Maryland, Texas Tech at Oklahoma and Nebraska at Texas A&M. In favor of a GT at UNC matchup would be the fact that UNC is going to be a solid team and will be playing a fairly weak early schedule - if they can beat VT at home they would probably be 6-2 and ranked in the top 20 the week before the @ND game (when the 12 day window will be used). That 12 day window also comes up right after Tech's homecoming game against Miami, and if Tech can pull off wins at home over ND and Miami we will be a fairly hot national name at that point (and yes, that's asking a lot).

My guess would be that this game is TT at Oklahoma, with Miami at Maryland right behind it - but keep an eye open for UNC and cheer for them to do well early in the year, national prime time games are absolutely huge for recruiting and name recognition.

Monday, May 15, 2006

TSN's Preseason All-ACC

Calvin Johnson is the preseason ACC Offensive Player of the Year and is joined by two fellow Yellow Jackets in The Sporting News preseason All-ACC first team. Johnson, Kenny Scott and KaMichael Hall are all first team at their positions, and Andrew Gardner is on the second team.

The complete team can be seen HERE[link].


Somehow this is becoming more of a basketball blog than any other sport (despite Little Joe in the header) - I think living in Lawrence is rubbing off on me. I've certainly got more e-mails about basketball than any other sport, probably because most people haven't been used to following basketball recruiting as intently in recent years.

Georgia Tech actually got into the picture with Thad Young fairly late in the game, and so a lot of information about him came and went without really being exposed to GT fans (UNC fans lapped up every bit though). Here's an excellent news piece about his focus on academics(!) and some nice highlights of his skills. I'm as excited about Thad as I can ever remember being for any GT recruit - even Calvin Johnson. One guy can have such an impact in basketball, and his all around game and attitude seem so polished that it will be a huge dissapointment if he isn't an impact player from the start.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Gold Shoes?

There's a post over on The Hive about the women's tennis team spray painting their shoes gold for the NCAA tournament, and being The Hive - it quickly turns to the availability of gold accessories (in this case shoes) in the proper shade of "old gold".

(click for larger picture)

My wife odered a pair of old gold and white Nike Huarache 2K4 basketball shoes (very similar to the pair that Lewis Clinch and other players wore last year) from through their "ID" program for my birthday this year. The shoes were shipped to me direct from the factory in Guangzhou, China with a faux suede bag and lined storage box and are absolutely the perfect shade and size. I would strongly suggest it as a gift idea for a Tech fan (or just a fan of unique kicks), as long as you know the right size for them. I'm certainly the only guy in any gym I go into with white and gold shoes, and they look terrific.

Jayhawk Invitational (Championships)

Sunday was the final day of the Jayhawk Invitational, and was fairly anti-climactic. Cole Aldrich was in street clothes fighting his bum wheel (and sporting the worst pair of jean shorts I've seen outside of Gainesville). Jon Leur finally seemed to hit the wall as well, and the Magic Elite didn't even make the finals.

KC Pump N' Run struggled a bit in the championship game with some sloppy play and their total lack of a real interior game seemed to be catching up with them, but Tyrel Reed poured in 20 on 8-15 shooting, and Conner Teahan was bombing away as well and they held on for the tournament championship. Reed was spectactular the whole weekend, controlling the pace of games, playing both PG and SG as needed and finishing tough around the rim. I'll be thrilled if he chooses to come to Atlanta, he's going to be a very solid college point guard.

Overall most impressive players of the weekend:

  • Tyrel Reed

    The best overall player in any age bracket, he's not a jaw dropping athlete but he's tough and very skilled and has a very smooth stroke from deep. The best player on the best team in the tournament.

  • Jon Leur

    Totally off the recruiting radar before this weekend, he played extremely well (even got at Dave Telep article on himself) and will be someone to watch. Tall and an excellent shooter, he also put the ball on the floor well and showed solid athleticism.

  • Xavier Henry

    The younger brother of C.J Henry (former high major prospect and now Austin Jackson's teammate in the Yankee organization), Henry is a 6'8" wing playing 15U, and dominated his opponents to the point of looking bored at times. While his Athletes First team lost badly in the 15U final, he had an awesome weekend - including a 30 point effort in the opener Friday night.

  • Conner Teahan

    Gunner. His shot was falling all weekend and with Reed and the rest of the solid Pump N' Run backcourt setting him up he looked like J.J Redick at times. I'd wonder how well he could get his own shot at the next level, but he can shoot and he can score and he's going to be either a very good mid-major player or a solid contributor for a high major (football might have something to say about that however).

  • Alex English

    Only a freshman, but at 6'5" he's already a big solid wing. Much more skilled than you would think for someone his age and strong as an ox with the ball around the hoop. His KC Cowboys team game a couple of more highly regarded teams a run for their money, and his play in the 17U group as the youngest guy on the floor most games had a large part to do with that

Unfortunately Cole Aldrich was fighting injury, Travis Releford was just coming off his own injury and Blake Griffin didn't even make the trip because he's banged up - so I didn't get to see the best of those 3, otherwise they'd almost certainly be on that list. Still a very fun weekend as I got to pop in and out and see a number of quality games.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Jayhawk Invitational (Pool Play)

The Jayhawk Invitational is wrapping up pool play this afternoon, and most of the major prospects have completed their opening games, so I thought I'd put up an update to this point. With two courts set up in Allen Field House, additional games in other facilities on campus and almost all of the best high school players in the midwest here, it's been a hoophead's dream so far.

PG/SG Tyrel Reed ( #14 PG - '07):

Tyrel Reed is one of two major targets for the GT staff to fill the final scholarship for the '07 class. On the Hive and elsewhere, I've been a bit skittish about Reed because I've only seen him play against his very weak Kansas 3A highschool competition - so I was very interested to see how he would do facing the top AAU opponents in this tournament.

The main draw for Friday night was Reed's KC Pump N' Run team facing the Minnesota Magic Elite team with Kansas commit Cole Aldrich ( #1 C - '07). There were several other high major players on both teams, including Reed's opposite number at PG for the Magic Elite, the extremely quick Minnesota commit Al Nolen. I'll have some more to say about a couple of other players in this game a bit later, but for now Reed was my focus.

(Reed bringing the ball up against Nolen's pressure)

Reed was extremely good, to sum it up succintly. He was in complete control with the ball in his hands, with a strong heads up dribbling style that allowed him to pick out open teammates. He finished in traffic well, and showed off his nice shooting stroke by hitting 4/8 from 3. While he's a good shooter, he never looks to force his own shot and was quite willing to get into traffic and set other guys up. Pump N' Run opened up a quick 11-0 run on their Magic Elite opponents and never really let it get close, as Reed and his fellow backcourt mates controlled the tempo and basically reduced Aldrich to a non-factor in a very impressive easy win.

(Reed matches up Nolen on an inbounds play)

Reed continued his stellar play in the second game I watched earlier today as Pump N' Run had a laugher against an outmatched opponent. Reed again controlled the tempo and play from the start, hitting open jumpers and feeding his fellow running mates for easy baskets. So far to this point in the tourney, Reed has been the most impressive player I've seen. I'm not sure I like the Kirk Hinrich comparisons (Hinrich was a better athlete, Reed is probably a better shooter) - I would compare him more to Tony Akins with a bit better shot, a tough nosed PG with strong leadership abilities. You can quickly see in this type of setting why Hewitt offered Reed a scholarship.

(Reed peeved at bad foul by a teammate)

C Cole Aldrich ( #1 C - '07)

Aldrich is coming off a stress fracture in his leg during the high school season, and has a bit of a dinged up ankle/foot as well - and when you are as big as he is, conditioning is the first thing to go. It was very obvious in both games I've seen of his, that he just is struggling with his fitness level and can't play more than 15-20 minutes before becoming severely winded. This also reduced his effectiveness in the post area, because he was tired and unable to work as hard in the paint as you would expect. KC Pump N' Run basically removed him from the game completely in his first game, and while he faired better in another game I saw it was one of his teammates in the frontcourt that really stood out (more on that later).

(Aldrich about to tip off - he's the man mountain on the left)

When talking about Aldrich, you have to start with his size. He's huge. Aldrich is around 6'10" / 240lbs. and could carry more on his frame. He's wide, with big trunk like legs and broad shoulders. In some ways though, his body and athleticism are farther ahead than his basketball skills at this point. While he's a good or even very good passer, his offensive game is basically 4 feet and in, and when he's not attacking the rim hard (like this weekend) he can really dissapear on that end for long stretches.

Aldrich got ripped pretty good on after his very poor game in the opener against KC Pump N' Run, but most of it is undeserved. He's coming off an injury, and KC's backcourt really did a nice job pressuring he Magic Elite and never letting them get easy entries to Aldrich either. He's going to be a very good player for the Jayhawks and his blend of size and athleticism is something you just can't teach. It is clear though that he's not at the same level as this year's #1 center (Greg Oden) and I wouldn't be surprised to see him slip down the rankings some until he gets back into shape and polishes his overall game some.

SG Conner Teahan

In the deep KC Pump N' Run backcourt, Teahan is the "scorer". The Gatorade POY for '05 in the state of Missouri and also the starting QB for the KC powerhouse Rockhurst High, Teahan continues to impress on the basketball court.

(Teahan boxes out)

From his floppy soccer boy haircut to his deadly 3 point shot, Teahan just screams out "future mid-major guy who's going to score 30 in a NCAA tournament upset". We were joking that he wears the #12 because that's the seed he's going to be when he guns down some team come tourney time. In actuality though, as well as he keeps playing he could end up picking up several high major offers. Teahan doesn't have supreme basketball athleticism, but he's a tough nosed scorer and he can really shoot it.

SG Travis Releford ( #2 SG - '08)

Friday night was the first game back from a dislocated ankle (read that without wincing) for Travis Releford, the best player in Kansas and one of the top 5 players in the '08 class nationwide. Releford just oozes talent and athleticism (throwing down a couple of nasty break away dunks), but was obviously rusty. With a couple of turnovers and some sloppy ballhandling, Releford at times looked like he was just taking it easy - of course, coming off the bench into games which were out of hand also had to have something to do with that. Releford is going to be special, heck - he already is.

(Releford goes up for a huge double pump jam)

PF Jon Leur

After Tyrel Reed, the best player I've seen this weekend has been 6'9" PF Jon Leur from Minnesota. He's so far off the recruiting radar that doesn't even have a profile for him, but it's hard to imagine that's going to continue with the way he's been playing.

(Leur running the break smoothly)

Leur has as pure a shooting stroke as you'll find at this level, and while his release might be a tad slow he's so tall that he can get his shot off almost whenever he wants. With a long thin frame that resembles Nick Fazekas, he's going to need to put on weight and strength to keep from getting pushed around on the blocks. All in all though, Leur is the kind of sleeper player that can land at a mid-major and make a huge splash. With a pure scoring touch, the ability to put the ball on the floor in traffic and run the open court - he has skills you can't fake for just one hot weekend.

More tommorow from the knockout rounds - all the key players will be there, and some commentary on the U15 studs here, specifically Xavier Henry.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Barkley on SEC "Ethics"

On TNT last night during their NBA coverage, Charles Barkley (Auburn alumn) interviewed Dirk Nowitski and then had this exchange:

Charles Barkley: "I took some good players over to Europe to play, and he dropped 50 on us.... so I ask him 'How old are you' and he says '19' so I tell him 'I'll give you any amount of money in the world if you go to Auburn"

Kenny Smith: "Isn't that cheating?"

Charles Barkley: "We're in the SEC, if you aren't cheatin, you ain't tryin. We got Alabama, Georgia, Florida"

I love Charles, he's one of the best commentators in all of sports television right now - and I doubt he really offered a bunch of cash to Nowitski, but can you even imagine that joke working with any conference other than the SEC? It's almost like it's a badge of pride that so much cash has changed so many hands over the years.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Basketball Recruits in Action

All of GT's key basketball recruits from the '07 class, and several from the '08 class will be in action this weekend at various AAU events - with most of them playing in the Wallace Prather Memorial Classic on the Georgia Tech campus. That tournament is named in honor of Wallace Prather Sr. - the founder of the powerhouse Atlanta Celtics (who will be the "host" team for the tournament). The other major AAU tournament this weekend is the Jayhawk Invitational on the University of Kansas campus, which will feature most of the key AAU teams from the midwest.

Players (and their AAU team affiliations) to keep an eye on if you choose to attend either event this weekend.

'07 Recruits

  • (PG) Tyrel Reed, KC Pump 'N' Run U17 - Jayhawk Invitational
  • (PF) Gani Lawal, Georgia Stars U17 - W. Prather Memorial
  • (SG) Lance Storrs, Georgia Stars U17 - W. Prather Memorial
  • (PG) Maurice Miller, Team Memphis U17 - W. Prather Memorial

'08 Recruits

RamblinRed over at The Hive has more details for the Wallace Prather Memorial and since it's on the Tech campus it should be fairly accessible to local GT fans who want to see the future of Tech hoops. I will be in attendence in Allen Field House for the Jayhawk Invitational and will have pictures, possibly video and a full write up after the weekend - particularly focused on Tyrel Reed who (along with Maurice Miller) is the probable final piece to the '07 class for GT hoops.

Eric Henderson a steal?

Todd McShay (Link - ESPN Insider) has listed the top 10 undrafted free agent signings, and Eric Henderson is #3.
3. Eric Henderson, DE, Georgia Tech -- Cincinnati Bengals
Injuries hampered Henderson throughout his collegiate career and caused him to go undrafted. He also lacks ideal height and has room to improve in terms of his lower body strength and ability to anchor versus the run. However, Henderson's outstanding athletic ability, instincts, upper-body power and motor make him an intriguing free agent to monitor in training camp this summer. If Henderson can kick the injury bug and reach his full potential, the Bengals could be rewarded.
I think Henderson can have an impact in the NFL, where the ability to rush the pasher will always get someone a look or two or five. He has to have some good luck and finally stay healthy though, and that's just a huge question mark for him unfortunately. James Butler has made it work for him, and Henderson looked like an NFL player when he was able to take the field - so I won't be surprised at all to see him doing well for the Bengals in camp and making the 53 man roster.

Friday, May 05, 2006

You want big hits?

Orson Swindle over at Every Day Should be Saturday put up a hit from Purdue safety Bernard "Bonecrusher" Pollard today to tide people over for the weekend. It's a nice hit, no doubt about it - but I mean, if you want hits ...

Quentin Coryatt back in his "Wrecking Crew" days simply wrecks a wideout. That guy is lucky to still be a functioning member of society.

Quinton Moore from Oklahoma State decleats and dehelmets someone. One of the most wicked shots in recent memory.

Dwayne Slay in a hit last year simply blows up KSU's defenseless QB.

I watched this game and thought Reggie Brown was dead. Dead. The way he lay facedown on the ground for seemingly ever - only time I've ever thought that watching a football game.

And finally - send this kid a scholarship offer, STAT!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Who needs fancy playbooks?

Look, I know that every other blog under the sun has covered this - NCAA '07 looks awesome. I'm not breaking any new ground here by bringing that to your attention. It's going to be sweet and I'm going to be in the doghouse with the mistress of the house for playing it religiously every night after work.

That being said, this artice has some interesting information that hasn't been covered before - or at least that I haven't seen:

But if you're looking for maybe the biggest change in the series, all you need to do is open the playbooks. I'm talking about the biggest playbook overhaul in the history of the series. Tiburon hired two offensive gurus who watched at least three games of every team, then went in and personalized each and every playbook. There are 102 new formations in the game (86 on offense, 16 on defense), including the spread offense that includes option runs to the WR, the double slant and go, the post stop, the Nevada Pistol formation (QB stands 3 yards deep with a RB directly behind him)…there are so many new plays, it's almost overwhelming (to the point you'll get called for delay of game while cycling through all the new hotness). There is also greater variety in the formations you already know. Just because USC and Texas both have I formations, that doesn't mean they both run the same plays out of the I. Now USC's I looks more like a pro setup, while Texas uses the I to run more options.

Reading that brings to mind the question of "what exactly will be in the Tech playbook" and I'd like to suggest a few plays they probably will want include to assure an accurate Tech offensive experience:

  • 17 variations of a deep fade to the sideline with the receiver forced to catch the throw out of bounds

  • 0 plays utilizing the tight end as a receiver - playbook simply shows two RT's lined up side by side

  • 0 plays utilizing the fullback as a receiver - playbook shows a LG lined up in the backfield

  • 6 different QB draws out of the shotgun

  • 2 crossing routes. Total. Neither features an o-line scheme designed to create a passing lane

  • 24 different "stop" or "comeback" routes, only 2 "fly" or "seam" routes where the receiver runs after the catch

  • 5 different buttons matched to throwing the ball away out of bounds
And last, but certainly not least:
  • As the game winds down your offensive co-ordinator keeps changing the the down number on the board so you can't keep track of when to spike the ball or not.
I can't wait, it should be a blast.


79-228, that's the career head coaching record of new North Carolina State head coach Sidney Lowe. Remember when State was going to get Barnes or Calipari and make a huge headline grabbing hire that would reconfirm them as one of the top 10 college basketball programs? Uh yeah, that turned out well.

Lowe may, or may not, turn out to be a good hire - but he's certainly not the "splash" NCSU wanted to make. I also thought they'd end up best by hiring an up and coming midmajor coach like Tech did with Hewitt and Duke did with Coach K ... but an NBA washout was the direction they went. Just an all around bewildering process.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

March 5, 1932 - May 3, 2006

One day when I'm older and hopefully far wiser, I hope that my relationship with my son or daughter is as strong and meaningful as Earl's was with Tiger. I truly believe one of the reasons that Tiger is so popular is because so many of us can look at him and his father and see ourselves and our dads walking down fairways together, placing telephone calls to celebrate life events together and always aspiring to live up to the example they set. The world is a slighly lesser place without Earl Woods after today.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

On a Serious Note

PWD has a story up on the Georgia Sports Blog about Mark Richt's wife and her battle with cervical cancer, something that touches very close to home with me.

When I was 16 my mother lost an 8 year off and on battle with breast cancer and passed away at the far too early age of 40. She was young, fit, intelligent and in the prime of her life (only a couple of years older than my wife is now) when she was first informed that little lump was the last 6 letters you ever want to hear: c-a-n-c-e-r. Unlike many other diseases, cancer is an indescriminate killer who cares not if you are young or old, fit or lazy, useful to society or a leach. There is nothing you do to "deserve" it, and unfortunately very little you can do to avoid it either. It picked my mother, it picked Kathryn Richt and it can pick your friend or family member just as easily.

For one Saturday a year I strongly dislike Coach Richt, and I hope he loses miserably each matchup. Outside of that he seems like one of the best young coaches in college football and has a terrific future ahead of him. His wife seems to be genuinely nice and together they are something of an "ideal" couple. Thankfully it apears that she will make a full recovery and will be able to live a normal life despite the scare of the original diagnosis. Coach Richt has said this episode has given him motivation to be more active in promoting cancer awareness, a worthy goal and one which cannot be stressed enough.

Get yearly checkups (both men and women) and pay attention to any abnormalities. The hastle of having your doctor give you a clean bill of health once a year beats the alternative of finding out too late that you have what would have been a treatable problem. Nobody is above the reach of this disease unfortunately, but hopefully a higher degree of awareness will help more people be in Kathryn Richt's position where it is only a scare and not something far more serious.

Watch out Atlanta!

Look, everybody knows Georgia Tech has our fair share of nerds, dorks, science geeks and assorted forms of people you are proud to point to for academic accomplishments, but wouldn't neccessarily be your first choice to party down with. Tailgating at Tech covers a wide variety of options from the V parking lot to the Physics lot (seriously, could that sound any worse? Where's your tailgate? Oh, in the physics lot - it's a "blast"!). In other words, we're not neccessarily the right crowd to be mocking anyone for their lack of proper tailgate etiquette.

That being said, this group of ND MBA students is way, way, way past the line where I've ever seen even GT tailgates go ( Orson does a great job putting them in their place (and the comments are just as good), but if this is what we have to look forward too this fall in Atlanta ... well, hide the women and children. The worst part is that not only is it so bad, but that they actually video taped it, then rewatched it multiple times while editing it and still thought this was a good idea. The lack of judgement is just staggering, and seriously begins to call into the question the quality of a Notre Dame education.

ACC / Big 10 Challenge Schedule

The Matchups for '06 ACC/Big Ten Challenge were released today (LINK) and there are a couple of interesting games on the docket. The marquee game will no doubt be a heavily hyped matchup between Ohio State and North Carolina at the Dean Dome, a game that will pair the top 2 recruiting classes in the country and will feature something like 7-8 future NBA players on the floor.

Of more interest to GT fans, Tech's game will be against woeful Penn State at the Thriller Dome ... and worse, since it's such an unintersting matchup, it will only be televised on ESPNU. Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech are the only two ACC teams to have games from the challenge on ESPNU. I understand VT getting the shaft, but GT has a solid chance at being a top 25 team and top 3 in the ACC next year, how about Wisconsin and FSU getting the ESPNU game at that timeslot?

2006 ACC/Big Ten Challenge Schedule (All Times ET)

Monday, Nov. 27
7 p.m. ESPN2 Michigan at N.C. State
Tuesday, Nov. 28
7 p.m. ESPN Maryland at Illinois
7:30 p.m. ESPN2 Florida State at Wisconsin
8 p.m. ESPNU Penn State at Georgia Tech
9 p.m. ESPN Indiana at Duke
9:30 p.m. ESPN2 Miami at Northwestern
Wednesday, Nov. 29
7 p.m. ESPN Michigan State at Boston College
7:30 p.m. ESPN2 Virginia at Purdue
8 p.m. ESPNU Iowa at Virginia Tech
9 p.m. ESPN Ohio State at North Carolina
9:30 p.m. ESPN2 Clemson at Minnesota

Looking at that list - it wouldn't surprise me if the ACC goes 7-4 or even 8-3 in the 11 games. The ACC has won the first 7 of these challenges, mostly because the bottom of the Big Ten is very bad year in and year out, and it would be a huge shocker for the Big Ten to "win" this one. Also of note is that the first team from the ACC to sit out the "Challenge" is Wake Forest, one of the founding members of the conference. They did finish at the bottom last year, and that has to be the reasoning, but it just portends how long of a season and how minimal the exposure will be for Wake in '06-'07. Finishing 12th out of 12 is going to hurt much worse than 9th out of 9 did.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Calvin Johnson - "The Catch"

Per a Hive request for more videos - Calvin Johnson's ridiculous one handed catch in the fourth quarter against NCSU as a freshman. This is almost certainly the best catch of his career, and one that Mel Kiper will show 904759813 times next year leading up to the draft. Each time I watch it, I just try to pretend that I'm not watching Reggie throw the ball 10 feet behind him.

Undrafted Free Agents

Last year it was James Butler who went undrafted, signed with the NY Giants and ended up the incoming starter at free safety this year for them. Around 75-150 undrafted free agents end up sticking in the NFL each year (some on practice squads, some on active rosters) and even more play in NFL Europe waiting for their chances. From news reports so far, here's where Tech's undrafted players ended up:

Eric Henderson - Cincinatti Bengals
Chris Reis - Atlanta Falcons
Damarius Bilbo - Arizona Cardinals
Gavin Tarquinio - Atlanta Falcons

Of those guys, I bet Henderson and Tarquino have the best shots of sticking. Henderson because he can rush the pasher, one of the most valuable skills in the NFL (obviously, if he gets hurt again in camp that's another story) and Tarquino because he's a long snapper and those guys are always floating around the league. Good luck to all them, and hopefully they find their niche in the league and go on to successful careers - either in football, or in their lives after footaball.