Armadillo: Monday's List of 13: Wrapping up a sports weekend.....
13) UCLA coach Ben Howland put an end to the Shabazz Muhammad era in Westwood this weekend, saying the kid was going to the NBA next year. Muhammad has played well, UCLA is 23-8, for Howland to quickly send a star player on his way tells us one of two things.......
a) The kid is a pain in the butt, but considering UCLA had Reeves Nelson a couple years ago, this option is less likely than........
b) Had Muhammad returned, the NCAA would've come calling, and when the NCAA comes calling, often times the coach loses his job.
Either way, Howland has to recruit like a junior college coach; tremendous amount of turnover in his program.
12) Sunday night at 11pm, replay of a White Sox-Padre spring training game, with the great Dick Enberg on the mike. Thats quality entertainment.
11) Erik Compton is one of my heroes; guy has had two heart transplants, and he still plays on the PGA Tour. Compton finished T5 at Honda Classic this weekend in Florida, his first top 10 finish. Will somebody please make a movie about this guy?
10) Sportsbook.com posted 43.5 as the over/under for any major leaguer hitting home runs this season, the lowest such total since 1996. The bet is whether or not you think any hitter will hit 44 HRs this season. Anyone.
9) MAAC basketball tournament is next weekend in Springfield, MA, but there are no MAAC teams in Massachusetts, only one in Connecticut. What genius came up with this idea?
Geographic breakdown of the MAAC:
-- two teams in eastern NY (Marist/Siena)
-- two teams in Buffalo area (Niagara/Canisius)
-- two teams in New Jersey (Rider/St Peter's)
-- two teams in Westchester/Bronx (Iona/Manhattan)
-- Fairfield is in Connecticut, Loyola is in Maryland.
I am sure Springfield is a terrific place, but who is going to go to watch the MAAC tournament, when there are no local teams in it?
8) Further examination of Joe Flacco's contract show a $29M payment in 2016, which means the contract will get re-done after 2015, making it, in effect, a 3-year deal. Still a very lucrative deal.
7) There are bitter defeats, then there is Baylor's loss at home to Kansas State Saturday night. Game was tied with 0:01 left, Baylor had the ball out of bounds, 95 feet from the basket. Worst they can do is overtime, right?
Baylor throws a baseball pass length of court, but it goes out of bounds with no one touching it, so K-State gets it under their offensive basket- they set up a play, McGruder drains a 3 at the buzzer, and Baylor might be headed to the NIT as a result. Horrendous way to lose a game.
6) Since 1985, only two teams won the NCAA tournament without having had at least one winning streak of 6+ games during the season: Arizona in 1997, Michigan State in 2000. We'll monitor that later this month.
5) Virginia beats Duke, then loses at Boston College. Of course they did.
4) Providence won six of last seven games, after starting Big East play 2-7; credit to Ed Cooley, who seems to have things going in the right direction with his Friars. Have to win recruiting battles before you can win games, and Cooley is an excellent recruiter.
3) Was watching the European Tour on Golf Channel Sunday morning, and the 4th hole was a 685-yard par 5. 685 yards!!!! Hole wasn't too tough- the scoring average on it was something like 4.48.
2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers have 24 assistant coaches; three other teams have 23. NFL teams only have 53 active players each week. Seems like overkill, but in fairness, three of the 24 Buc assistants are strength coaches. Still, thats a lot of assistants. What do they do all winter?
1) Pretty good pair of games at Staples Center Sunday, with Thunder edging the Clippers and Lakers beating Atlanta by a point. Impossible to know, but wonder how many people were at both games?