Thursday's Dirty Dozen: Random thoughts on the day before I see the surgeon........
12) Sports Illustrated article on UCLA’s basketball program is required reading for anyone who follows college hoop; interesting stuff, nothing that terribly shocking, but the picture of Howland painted by former players is disappointing. Not exactly a people person. Players need to know you care about them as more than a number on the greaseboard.
11) TCU has made great strides in basketball this year, going from 11-22 to 17-12, but next year they jump up to the Big 12 for football reasons, which will make them a doormat in hoops once again. Jim Christian, the former Kent State coach, has had the ultimate uphill climb making the Horned Frogs’ program a consistent winner. He’s obviously a good coach, but does TCU have the resources/facilities to compete in basketball with its new conference rivals?
10) Speaking of the Big 12, Missouri/Texas A&M have to fork over $12.4M each to get away from the league and head to the SEC, where $12M is pocket change, especially in the fall.
9) You don’t have to be Dr Phil or Dr Jack Ramsay to figure out that Lamar Odom isn’t happy in Dallas, and wants out. Tough to trade for guys who played for the fatcat teams; will they be as good a teammate when they go to a team they might not be thrilled to be on? Odom seems like a good guy, but he also seems like a player who wasted a lot of his vast talent over the years.
8) Rajan Rondo didn’t score a point Tuesday, but had 11 assists, five turnovers, and was +7 in 32 minutes in a game the Celtics won by 3. He’s the first NBA player this season to have 10+ assists and not score in that game. Rondo backed that game up with a triple-double Wednesday.
7) Pirates play only nine of their first 25 games at home, and 22 of their first 25 against teams that had winning records last year; now comes the news that AJ Burnett fouled a ball off his eye while practicing bunting on Wednesday. Hopefully the injury isn't too serious.
6) Good move by ESPN, signing up former Colts’ GM Bill Polian for the network; he should provide a different perspective on how/why things happen.
5) Michael Jordan’s mansion in Chicago is on sale for $29M; it has 15 bathrooms in it. Sounds more like a hotel than a mansion. Must be fun to be rich, but who owns a house with 15 bathrooms in it?
4) Colorado Rockies have an intrasquad scrimmage Friday, with managers Todd Helton/Jason Giambi. Exhibition games get underway Saturday, for the most part. Will be fun to watch these meaningless games for the next month, and I mean that.
3) Eldrick Woods is annoyed about Hank Haney's book; imagine how he'd feel if Haney talked Woods' girlfriends. He had to know something about all that stuff. Now that would've made for an interesting book.
2) Saints are playing a dangerous game, negotiating with Drew Brees on a long-term contract. The two sides are apparently pretty far apart. Just sign the man already; he's earned the money.
1) Totally enjoyed the end of Florida-Vandy game Tuesday, when the Commodore seniors came out one-by-one at end of the game, to rousing ovations from the home fans. A terrific player like Jeffrey Taylor openly crying on the court as he waited to be subbed in for gave you a glimpse of what is good about college sports, a marked contrast from UCLA.
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