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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 27 March 2012 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Women’s College Lacrosse-Towson @ Maryland (Tuesday 7pm from Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex live on AM1570 WNST.net); Auto Racing: NASCAR Goody’s Fast Relief 500 (Sunday 12:30pm from Martinsville, VA live on FOX), IndyCar Series Honda Grand Prix of Alabama (Sunday 2pm from Birmingham live on NBC Sports Network); High School Basketball: McDonald’s All American Games (Girls Wednesday 7pm from Chicago live on ESPNU Boys Wednesday 9:30pm from Chicago live on ESPN); Mixed Martial Arts: Bellator Fighting Championships 63 (Friday 8pm from Uncasville, CT live on MTV2); Boxing: Friday Night Fights-Hank Lundy vs. Dannie Williams (Friday 9pm from Mashantucket, CT live on ESPN2); Soccer: Team USA Women @ Japan (Sunday 6:30am from Sendai, Japan live on ESPN2), MLS-FC Dallas @ DC United (Friday 7:30pm from RFK Stadium live on NBC Sports Network); Bill Maher (Saturday 8pm France-Merrick Performing Arts Center at the Hippodrome, Sunday 8pm Strathmore); Donnell Rawlings (Thursday-Saturday Magooby’s Joke House); Goon” & “Wrath of the Titans” out in theaters (Friday); Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday)

10. Van Halen/Kool & The Gang (Wednesday 7:30pm Verizon Center), Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band (Sunday 7:30pm Verizon Center); Mac Miller (Saturday 8pm Patriot Center); Blue October (Sunday 7pm Rams Head Live); Mr. Greengenes (Thursday 8pm Recher Theatre); The Bad Plus (Sunday 7:30pm Baltimore Soundstage); All Mighty Senators (Saturday 8pm 8×10 Club); Sleigh Bells (Tuesday 7pm 9:30 Club), The Temper Trap (Saturday 6pm 9:30 Club), Andrew WK (Sunday 7pm 9:30 Club); Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (Wednesday 8pm Warner Theatre); Patti LaBelle (Friday & Saturday 8pm Strathmore); Leon Redbone (Saturday 7:30pm Birchmere), Three Dog Night (Monday 7:30pm Birchmere); Of Monsters And Men (Monday 8pm Black Cat)

The new Van Halen is TERRIBLE (at least the song is-I haven’t listened to the record), but it doesn’t change how freaking awesome this is…

I don’t worship Bruce Springsteen. (Some of you would have to admit you do.) I DO freaking love this song though…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GbWwDIo8XU

I have no idea what Three Dog Night even looks like at this point. I would be more than happy to sing along with this though…

Here’s another fantastic tune by a band called Of Monsters And Men. So now we’ve done that…

9. NBA: Washington Wizards @ Indiana Pacers (Thursday 7pm from Indianapolis live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS), Philadelphia 76ers @ Washington Wizards (Friday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Washington Wizards @ Toronto Raptors (Sunday 6pm from Toronto live on Comcast SportsNet), Milwaukee Bucks @ Washington Wizards (Monday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS)

Since Sonny Weems doesn’t play for the Raptors anymore, he won’t be there when the ‘Zards visit Canada. It’s a shame because if he was he could bring his creepy foot…

I get the feeling there won’t be many folks willing to click on Page 2 or Page 3 after that, but we’re going to keep going here anyway.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Kentucky Favorite, Loyola Given Longest Odds to Win NCAA Tournament

Posted on 12 March 2012 by WNST Staff

“As of this morning we have already seen some trends on who the public is liking to take this thing down. Florida State who won the ACC and who we opened at 40-1 have dropped down to 30-1 and are a heavy liability for us already.  Syracuse at 10-1 as a #1 seed has also taken quite a bit unlike Kentucky who are clear cut favorites at 9/4 but not seeing too much action at that short price. Michigan State took quite a lot of money when they were as high as 40-1 at one point during the season but now at 17/2 I guess some bettors feel they missed the boat on that one.”

-Kevin Bradley, Bovada.lv Sportsbook Manager 

Odds to Win the 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship 

Kentucky (1)                                          9/4

Ohio State (2)                                        11/2

North Carolina (1)                                   13/2

Michigan State (1)                                  17/2

Missouri (2)                                           10/1

Kansas (2)                                            10/1

Syracuse (1)                                          10/1

Duke (2)                                                20/1

Marquette (3)                                         30/1

Florida State (3)                                     30/1

Baylor (3)                                              35/1

Wisconsin (4)                                        35/1

Louisville (4)                                          35/1

Vanderbilt (5)                                         35/1

Wichita State (5)                                    40/1

Georgetown (3)                                      40/1

New Mexico (5)                                      50/1

Indiana (4)                                             60/1

Florida (7)                                              65/1

Memphis (8)                                          65/1

Cincinnati (6)                                         75/1

Kansas State (8)                                    75/1

Connecticut (9)                                      75/1

Michigan (4)                                          80/1

Belmont (14)                                          100/1

Temple (5)                                             100/1

UNLV (6)                                               100/1

Murray State (6)                                     100/1

Notre Dame (7)                                      100/1

St. Mary’s (7)                                         125/1

Gonzaga (7)                                          125/1

West Virginia (10)                                  125/1

San Diego State (6)                                150/1

St. Louis (9)                                          150/1

Alabama (9)                                           150/1

Creighton (8)                                          150/1

Texas (11)                                             100/1

Purdue (10)                                           100/1

NC State (11)                                        100/1

Iowa State (8)                                        200/1

Virginia (10)                                           200/1

VCU (12)                                               250/1

Harvard (12)                                           250/1

California (12)                                        250/1

Southern Miss (9)                                  250/1

Long Beach State (12)                            250/1

Colorado State (11)                                300/1

Colorado (11)                                         300/1

South Florida (12)                                  300/1

Montana (13)                                         300/1

New Mexico state (13)                            300/1

Ohio (13)                                               300/1

Davidson (13)                                         300/1

BYU (14)                                               300/1

Iona (14)                                                300/1

St. Bonaventure (14)                               300/1

South Dakota State (14)                         300/1

Lehigh (15)                                            450/1

Norfolk State (15)                                   450/1

Detroit (15)                                            450/1

Mississippi Valley State (16)                   500/1

Western Kentucky (16)                           500/1

NC-Ashville (16)                                     500/1

Long Island (16)                                     500/1

Lamar (16)                                             500/1

Vermont (16)                                         500/1

Loyola Maryland (15)                              500/1

Odds to Win the South Region           

Kentucky (1)                              5/7

Duke (2)                                    5/1

Baylor (3)                                  11/2

Wichita State (5)                        8/1

Indiana (4)                                 12/1

UNLV (6)                                   25/1

Connecticut (9)                          30/1

Notre Dame (7)                          40/1

Iowa State (8)                            60/1

Xavier (10)                                 60/1

VCU (12)                                   100/1

Colorado (11)                             150/1

New Mexico State (13)               200/1

South Dakota State (14)             200/1

Lehigh (15)                                200/1

Western Kentucky (16)               200/1

Mississippi Valley State (16)       225/1

Odds to Win the West Region 

Michigan State (1)                      11/5

Missouri (2)                               9/4

Marquette (3)                             13/2

Louisville (4)                              13/2

New Mexico (5)                          9/1

Florida (7)                                  14/1

Memphis (8)                              14/1

Murray State (6)                         25/1

St. Louis (9)                              30/1

Virginia (10)                               50/1

Long Beach State (12)                75/1

Davidson (13)                             100/1

BYU (14)                                   100/1

Colorado State (11)                    150/1

Iona (14)                                    150/1

Norfolk State (15)                       200/1

Long Island (16)                         200/1

Odds to Win the East Region  

Ohio State (2)                            8/5

Syracuse (1)                              9/4

Vanderbilt (5)                             9/1

Florida State (3)                         10/1

Wisconsin (4)                            10/1

Kansas State (8)                        15/1

Cincinnati (6)                             18/1

Gonzaga (7)                              30/1

West Virginia (10)                      30/1

Texas (11)                                 30/1

Southern Mississippi (9)             60/1

Harvard (12)                               60/1

Montana (13)                             100/1

St. Bonaventure (14)                   150/1

Loyola Maryland (15)                  200/1

NC-Ashville (16)                         200/1

Odds to Win the Midwest Region        

North Carolina (1)                       8/5

Kansas (2)                                2/1

Georgetown (3)                          10/1

Michigan (4)                              15/1

Temple (5)                                 18/1

Purdue (10)                               18/1

Belmont (14)                              18/1

NC State (11)                            20/1

St. Mary’s (7)                             25/1

San Diego State (6)                    30/1

Creighton (8)                              35/1

Alabama (9)                               40/1

California (12)                            50/1

South Florida (12)                      100/1

Ohio (13)                                   100/1

Detroit (15)                                150/1

Lamar (16)                                 200/1

Vermont (16)                             225/1

Courtesy of Bovada (formerly Bodog), www.Bovada.lv,  Twitter: @BovadaLV. 

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Your Monday Reality Check-Turgeon Deserving Of Praise With Work To Do

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Your Monday Reality Check-Turgeon Deserving Of Praise With Work To Do

Posted on 12 March 2012 by Glenn Clark

On Friday’s edition of “The Reality Check”, Ryan Chell and I decided to put together a Maryland Terrapins season ending report card. After the Terps’ loss to North Carolina in the ACC Tournament, it was easy to assume the basketball season was over in College Park.

That assumption proved accurate Sunday night, as the NIT failed to extend an invite to the Terps as expected. The University of Maryland declined to participate in the lesser known postseason CBI Tournament due to the financial model that forces schools to pay for participation. (Three schools from BCS conferences-Washington State, Pitt and Oregon State all accepted CBI bids.)

It’s a long winded way to say the season is over. The Terps finished 17-15 in Mark Turgeon’s first season since taking over for the retired Gary Williams, surpassing the expectations of many while still falling short of the expectations of others.

In our Report Card segment Friday, I graded Turgeon’s job in year one as a “B”. I noted the lack of both quality and quantity in Maryland basketball players that Turgeon was forced to deal with partly due to the late timing of Williams’ retirement announcement. Not only did Maryland lose All-ACC Center Jordan Williams to the NBA, they also lost F Haukur Palsson to a pro turn in Europe. Turgeon was only able to retain one from Williams’ three-man recruiting class (G Nick Faust) although he made up for that in part with a late commitment from C Alex Len.

(I point all of this out because some Maryland fans have decided to “blame” Gary Williams for the state of the program. They’re only telling half of the story.)

Len’s 10 game suspension to start the season and PG Pe’Shon Howard’s 18 missed games due to injury made an already difficult situation nearly impossible. Entering the season, there was legitimate reason to fear a “bottoming out” of sorts for the Maryland program.

While those fears never came to fruition, the team never fully came together. Sophomore G Terrell Stoglin at times carried the Terps during a 6-10 Atlantic Coast Conference campaign, but often proved to be as much of the problem as the solution. Len never showed progress during his freshman campaign, Senior G Sean Mosley offered valuable leadership but never overwhelmed with his play on the floor. The only player that showed marked progress was Faust, who was named to the league’s All-Rookie team.

All of these were contributing factors in grading the job Turgeon did this season. It was a tough campaign, but it could have been significantly worse. Turgeon deserves credit for keeping the program afloat and avoiding any true embarrassment. (Only a late season loss at Georgia Tech stands out as a head shaker due to the opponent and Maryland’s most lopsided defeats came at the hands of NCAA Tournament participants like UNC, Duke, Virginia, Florida State, Alabama and Iona.)

Nearly five hundred words in, it’s time to look to the future. While Turgeon is absolutely deserving of praise for how he kept this Maryland team together in his first season, the coach offered a noteworthy thought Sunday night via Twitter.

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John Carroll, Gilman Claim MIAA Basketball Titles

Posted on 19 February 2012 by WNST Staff

Featuring a young back-court which gained experience and confidence throughout the 2011-12 basketball season, No. 6 John Carroll overcame a pair of regular season losses to No. 4 Mount St. Joseph, rising up to stop the Gaels, 44-41, in the MIAA A Conference Championship Game, Sunday at UMBC.

In winning its second MIAA A crown, John Carroll (26-6 overall), which defeated St. Frances Academy in last year’s title game, is the fourth consecutive team to go back-to-back, joining St. Frances (2008-09 and 2009-10), Towson Catholic (2006-07 and 2007-08) and St. Joe (2004-05 and 2005-06).

The Patriots nursed a narrow lead much of the game and closed out the win by sinking 8-of-10 free throws in the fourth quarter.

Patriot senior star Jared Jones scored a game-high 17 points, including 11 in the second half.

“From the beginning of the year, we decided we were going to win another championship.  Our back-court had disappeared to college and nobody thought we had a chance to make it,” said Jones.  “Last year was a little bit easier with two senior back courts.  I was in there and we were a dominant team.  This year was harder with young guards and less experience.  It was a great year.”

John Carroll led 22-16 at the half, but St. Joe (23-6) scored seven of the first nine points of the third quarter to pull within one.  Phil Lawrence capped the burst with a steal and a coast-to-coast drive for a rim rattling one-handed jam.  John Carroll responded with an 8-3 run to go back on top, but the Gaels got a basket from Kameron Williams and a long three, at the third quarter buzzer, from Charlie Jones to pull within one, 33-32, as the fourth quarter got underway.

Lawrence then scored in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter to put St. Joe in front, 34-33.  It was the Gaels’ first lead since early in the first quarter.  It was also their last.

Two free throws from Rodney Elliott pushed JC back in front, igniting a 7-0 run which gave the Patriots a 39-33 lead.  In that flurry, junior Mike Owona took an inside feed and rose for a monster two-handed jam.

Williams, St. Joe’s leading scorer, only had one field goal in the contest and finished with just five points.  He did keep the Gaels alive, however, with three free throws after getting fouled on a shot from beyond the arc.  That made it 39-36, but St. Joe could get not closer.

Kyle Doran and Booth each hit three three-pointers for St. Joe to finish with nine points each.  That matched Lawrence’s nine points as the three shared team-high scoring honors.  Mike Owona finished with eight for John Carroll and Justin Jenifer had seven for the Patriots.

John Carroll head coach Tony Martin indicated that his team was motivated by its earlier losses to St. Joe and they worked hard to change the result.

“I thought our kids came in very focused.  We had an outstanding practice yesterday, a really good film session, and our kids believe they should have won the last one,” said Martin.  “It’s a great rivalry these last couple of years.”

The rivalry may have at least one more renewal this season, as the Patriots and Gaels will enter next week’s (Feb. 24-25-26) Baltimore Catholic League Tournament at Stevenson University as the favorites to reach the finals.  Both squads also have the inside track to receive one of the two guaranteed bids the BCL will receive to the Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament in March.

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French, Snelson Named Navy Football Captains

Posted on 11 February 2012 by WNST Staff

Brye French and Bo Snelson Elected 2012 Football Team Captains

ANNAPOLIS, Md.- Navy head football coach Ken Niumatalolo announced Friday night at the annual Navy football banquet that linebacker Brye French (Deatsville, Ala.) and slot back Bo Snelson (Pasadena, Texas) have been elected team captains for the 2012 football season by their teammates.

“Being elected team captain at the Naval Academy is one of the greatest honors you can receive at an institution that produces great leaders,” said Niumatalolo.  “Brye and Bo will do a great job of leading this football team both on and off the field.  They work extremely hard and are both vocal leaders and will lead by actions on the field.”

French played in all 12 games last fall, starting nine at outside linebacker.  He finished sixth on the team with 55 tackles, six of which were behind the line of scrimmage. He made his first-career start at 10th-ranked South Carolina, where he recorded a career-high 13 tackles and a sack in Navy’s 24-21 loss.  He was named the ECAC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance.

Snelson has played in 36 of Navy’s 38 games over his first three years, including 35-straight games dating back to his freshman year.  Snelson, the hard-nosed Texan who is known more for his blocking, has rushed for 191 yards and a touchdown during his career, while catching four passes for 52 yards.  Snelson will team up with John Howell and Gee Gee Greene to give the Mids a talented group of senor slot backs.

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Same Old Story For Terps in Loss to Carolina

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Same Old Story For Terps in Loss to Carolina

Posted on 04 February 2012 by Glenn Clark

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — While I don’t think University of Maryland guard Terrell Stoglin has ever uttered the exact words before, they sounded particularly familiar.

“We came short again from getting that signature win.”

If Stoglin has never uttered some a combination of words before, I know for sure that I have. I’d be willing to guess that Terrapins fans throughout the Baltimore and Washington areas and across the country have said either the exact combination of words or at least something remarkably similar.

Maryland was predictably “almost there” in their 83-74 loss to the University of North Carolina Saturday at Comcast Center. The Terps (13-9, 3-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) had a second half lead and never appeared to be out of it, but couldn’t muster up enough to knock off the #5 Tar Heels (20-3, 7-1 ACC) and give head coach Mark Turgeon his first marquee victory since replacing the legendary Gary Williams.

One of the culprits this time was offensive rebounds, as 19 second chances (on 39 missed field goals) became 18 second chance points for UNC. On the other side, Maryland had just 13 second chance opportunities (on 36 missed field goals) and converted those into just 12 second chance points.

“I know I’m going to watch the tape and probably be disappointed in our effort on the glass, (which) is something I’m on these guys about” Turgeon said after the loss. “I’ve never had more trouble getting a team to be more physical on box outs. We’ve worked on it, we talk about it, we work on it every day.”

Another culprit was Maryland’s inability to turn turnovers into points, as 14 Carolina turnovers resulted in just 11 Maryland points while 13 Maryland turnovers lead to 18 Carolina points.

As I feel like I’ve said before, they were very close to beating a quality opponent. They just weren’t quite good enough. Even Turgeon suggested in his body language (and a few uncharacteristic short answers) that this close call was a bit more frustrating than some of the other near-misses they’ve had against good teams this season.

It feels like a broken record. Much like in losses to Duke, Florida State, Tempe and Illinois earlier in the season; the Terrapins were in no ways blown off the floor by a superior opponent. They played at times exactly the way they needed to play in order to win games, but they just managed to let it slip away during a stretch where they got away from what makes them good.

“(We) had a stretch in the second half where we couldn’t get into anything” Turgeon said. “(Guard) Pe’Shon (Howard) was on the bench. (We) just didn’t look like we could get into anything, and when (North Carolina C/F Tyler) Zeller was out I thought we could’ve made a run.”

This is exactly the scenario that allowed what was once a 48-39 Maryland lead in the second to become a 50-50 tie in less than five minutes of game play.

Maryland is a good team. Well, they’re at least an improving team. They’re certainly better than the team that was blown out by both Alabama and Iona in the 5-hour Energy Puerto Rico Tip-Off in November. They’re just not going to be good enough to make any sort of imprint before the end of the season.

They’re not going to get into the NCAA Tournament, but we already knew that. They’re probably not going to make much of a charge in the ACC Tournament. They’re likely to find themselves on the outside looking in at even the NIT. They still have four games left against ranked teams (home and home against Virginia, games at Duke and North Carolina); but it is still hard to imagine this team improving enough to do more than perhaps steal one of two against the Cavaliers, and that’s honestly a best case scenario.

It will be tough for this team to show marked progress before the end of Turgeon’s first season, but it doesn’t make Maryland basketball a hopeless cause.

In fact, Turgeon probably said it best again after the loss.

“Obviously we’d like to win a couple more. We went to the wire the other night (in a 2OT loss to Miami), great comeback, great effort, really proud of our guys but we lost. Today we competed against the #5/#6 team in the country, great home crowd, lot of fun. I don’t look at 3-5. I really don’t. I’m going to look at the film and see how I can make them better.”

He then wrapped with this.

“You know what I need to do tonight to make myself feel better is pop in the Radford tape (the last game the team played before C Alex Len returned from suspension) and then pop in this tape to see how much better we’ve gotten in a little over a month. The kids are growing up, our preparation is better. We’re just not there yet.”

He’s right.

-G

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Turgeon Says Maryland Improving After Duke Loss…Trouble Is He’s Right

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Turgeon Says Maryland Improving After Duke Loss…Trouble Is He’s Right

Posted on 26 January 2012 by Glenn Clark

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — It was a fitting night for the Comcast Center floor to be dedicated as Gary Williams Court Wednesday.

Fitting because the atmosphere on campus at the University of Maryland was reminiscent to many nights during the 22 years Williams patrolled the sidelines for the Terrapins before retiring. The stands at the school’s nearly ten year old arena were absolutely rocking with Maryland students and no seats to be had. Students began chanting before the game and remained a factor almost until the game was over.

Unfortunately for the team inherited by Mark Turgeon, the performance on the newly dedicated floor was also fitting for a team that hasn’t really been good enough since Williams left.

The Terps hung in against the eighth ranked Duke University Blue Devils for much of the game, even leading 47-46 midway through the second half. But the Devils (17-3, 5-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) would double up the Terps (12-7, 2-3 ACC) the rest of the way en route to a 74-61 victory. Sophomore guard Terrell Stoglin would again lead the Terps in scoring (16 points), but the Terps would again fail to offer significant help on the offensive end (guard Pe’Shon Howard was next with just ten points). Struggles from beyond the arc (4-13) and the free throw line (11-21) continued to doom a team that lacks enough ability elsewhere to overcome such struggles.

A third straight overall loss for the Terps, it was eerily similar to the defeats suffered at both Florida State University at Temple University last week. They played well enough for a good stretch of the game but their problems ultimately caught up to them against an opponent of either similar or superior ability. They’re pretty good…just not quite good enough.

Mired in a funk after back to back conference wins, Turgeon attempted to put a positive spin on the loss postgame.

“I thought our team battled well and think we had a game plan and we stuck to it and it kept us around” Turgeon said. “We’re getting better. If you could have been in Puerto Rico (for the 5-Hour Energy Puerto Rico Tip-Off), you would have never thought that we could play like we’re playing right now. So, we’re getting there.”

It sounds a lot like coach speak, but it’s actually quite honest. Of course, that’s really the biggest problem facing this Maryland team as constructed.

The difficulty with judging Turgeon’s first season in College Park is that struggles were to be expected. Even after getting Howard back from a foot injury that cost him the first nine games of the season and adding freshman C Alex Len after serving a ten game suspension for eligibility issues, this Maryland team remains uncomfortably thin. Their big bodies aren’t big enough to neutralize talented frontcourts (23 points and 12 rebounds for Mason Plumlee Wednesday night a glaring example) and none of their players in the backcourt have a dangerous enough inside-outside game to truly open things up for anyone else.

They’re trying to win without really having the horses to win. Perhaps that’s where Turgeon deserves the most credit.

The new coach has done everything he can to get players to stick to a game plan, improve defensively and get after the basketball. In losses to Alabama and Iona in San Juan, Maryland did very little of what they needed to do in order to win and were on the wrong end of blowouts.

Over the course of the last nine days, the Terrapins have shown in stretches that they can do all of the little things they need to do to win. But in the stretches where those good habits have disappeared, better teams have been able to walk away with victories in three games.

Turgeon attempted to sum it up after the loss.

“There are still four-minute stretches where we aren’t making a field goal, and that is not going to beat good teams. That happens, when we’re good offensively, we’re good. But we have stretches where we don’t make free throws too. It wears you out and you can’t keep up. In the end, our defense wasn’t quite good enough and rebounding wasn’t quite good enough, neither was our free throw shooting. But our effort was tremendous and I’m really proud of the guys.”

This is the issue. Maryland isn’t a “bad” team. They’re just a team that isn’t quite good enough to be able to win games against good teams. Five such games (two against North Carolina, two against Virginia and the trip to Cameron Indoor Stadium) remain on the schedule, and the other six conference games aren’t cupcakes.

They ARE better. It’s just that there’s not enough time left in this season for that progress to truly equal results. Maryland fans hope to have something to hang their hat on about this team this season, but it’s not likely to come.

Turgeon was going to need time to fully show progress and he still will. A stunning upset of Duke might have been enough to garner favor for until the 2012-2013 season tipped off. Similarly a stunning upset of UNC would do the same.

Unfortunately for Maryland fans, those achievements aren’t likely to be realized. It doesn’t mean Turgeon hasn’t done a nice job in his first season.

They’re better. They’re just not quite good enough.

-G

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 23 January 2012 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: NBA-Charlotte Bobcats @ Washington Wizards (Wednesday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Washington Wizards @ Houston Rockets (Friday 8pm from Houston live on Comcast SportsNet), Washington Wizards @ Charlotte Bobcats (Saturday 7pm from Charlotte live on Comcast SportsNet), Chicago Bulls @ Washington Wizards (Monday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet/NBA TV); Women’s College Basketball: Virginia Tech @ Maryland (Thursday 7pm Comcast Center); Golf: PGA Tour Farmers Insurance Open (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel, Saturday & Sunday 3pm live on CBS. All golf from La Jolla, CA); Monster Jam (Friday-Sunday Verizon Center); Boxing: Friday Night Fights-Ruslan Provodnikov vs. David Torres (Friday 9pm from Airway Heights, WA live on ESPN2); High School Basketball: Parkville @ Perry Hall (Wednesday 6:30pm), Perry Hall @ Kenwood (Friday 7pm)

10. Miranda Lambert (Thursday 7:30pm 1st Mariner Arena); Matt Nathanson (Sunday 6:30pm Rams Head Live); Marc Broussard (Monday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Big Head Todd and the Monsters (Friday 8pm 9:30 Club); Ryan Adams/Jason Isbell (Tuesday 7:30pm Strathmore); Widespread Panic (Tuesday/Wednesday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); FUEL (Saturday 1:30pm Sandy Point State Park)

I feel as though I really shouldn’t admit how much I enjoy this song “Faster” by Matt Nathanson. It’s just that I can’t help it…

Ditto for “Rocksteady” by Marc Broussard…

Ryan Adams has made about a million songs in his life. None top this…

I saw FUEL like five times between 2000-2001. Make fun all you want, but you know you’ll be singing along to this…

9. Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge (Friday-Saturday Sandy Point State Park); Baltimore Winter Restaurant Week (Tuesday-Sunday); “Luck” premieres on HBO (Sunday 9pm); 50/50” and “Real Steel” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday)

You know who’s part of Restaurant Week? A spot I can’t name (because they’re not a sponsor) but who makes the best salad in Charm City…

You know who it is. And you know it’s fantastic.

Also, did everyone see 50/50? I thought it was one of the best movies of 2011 (Clip NSFW)…

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Your Monday Reality Check-Cameron Future Only Part of Postseason Agenda

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Your Monday Reality Check-Cameron Future Only Part of Postseason Agenda

Posted on 23 January 2012 by Glenn Clark

I’ve had the opportunity to make a number of radio appearances throughout the country during the last few weeks while the Baltimore Ravens marched along in the National Football League playoffs.

In virtually every conversation, I was asked a question about how the outcome of the next game could alter the future of Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron in Charm City.

It always felt a little strange to be asked about Cam Cameron. Usually I only hear Cam Cameron’s name when a listener/caller screams at me about him. It’s never in the form of a question.

After the Ravens’ 23-20 loss to the New England Patriots Sunday in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium, it didn’t take 30 minutes for the screaming to start again. It was a bit odd considering there was really no way Cameron could be blamed for the loss in Foxborough.

The reality is that as the team’s offseason officially got underway, Cameron sits at the forefront. His future can only be labeled as “to be determined”, as his contract expires with the end of the season.

Head coach John Harbaugh and the Ravens’ coaching staff are headed to Mobile, AL this week for scouting at the annual Senior Bowl. It would seem as though the team wouldn’t want the situation with Cameron to linger far into the offseason, especially if they ultimately decide not to retain Cameron after four playoff trips in four seasons and have to find a new coordinator without a likely replacement on staff.

(That’s not an endorsement for either decision. It’s just a fact. I’m actually indifferent towards the situation, as I believe any coordinator in 2012 would need more offensive talent to work with.)

The next pressing situation remains on offense. The team’s Most Valuable Player in 2012 (RB Ray Rice) becomes an Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA) at a time where NFL teams have been particularly unwilling to invest in long term deals for running backs. Also hitting unrestricted free agency is LG Ben Grubbs, who has never reached a Pro Bowl but has certainly played at a Pro Bowl level. (Monday update: Grubbs will in fact be making his first trip to Hawaii this season as a replacement for Patriots G Logan Mankins.)

There is a likelihood that the Franchise tag will come into play with one of the above players, as it did with DT Haloti Ngata last season before a long-term deal was reached.

DE Cory Redding, LB’s Jarret Johnson & Jameel McClain and S’s Tom Zbikowski and Haruki Nakamura highlight other Ravens who become Unrestricted Free Agents. LB Brendon Ayanbadejo (who has publicly stated he would like to play another season) is also on the UFA list, as are OL Andre Gurode, TE Kris Wilson, DT Brandon McKinney and LB Edgar Jones.

(CB’s Cary Williams & Lardarius Webb as well as LB Dannell Ellerbe are restricted free agents, all are expected to return.)

Also on the list of Unrestricted Free Agents is C Matt Birk, who denied a CBS report earlier this month that he had already decided to retire at the end of the season. With no “center of the future” clearly on the roster, it may behoove the team to bring the big man from Harvard back for one more season if he’s interested.

While we await Birk’s decision about his future, future Hall of Fame LB Ray Lewis told reporters in New England he intends to return to Baltimore for a 17th season. S Ed Reed’s future isn’t quite as defined, as he did not speak to reporters after suffering his second AFC title game defeat. Nagging back and neck issues appeared to affect Reed’s play at the end of the season, but he came with big plays in both playoff games.

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Navy Announces 2012 Football Schedule

Posted on 21 January 2012 by WNST Staff

Navy Announces 2012 Football Schedule

ANNAPOLIS, Md.—Five home games at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, a trip to Dublin, Ireland to face Notre Dame, road games at Penn State and Air Force and the annual Army-Navy game presented by USAA in Philadelphia highlight the 2012 Navy football schedule released today.

CBS Sports Network will televise all five games in Annapolis, while CBS Sports will televise the Notre Dame and Army games.

Navy will kick-off the 2012 season on Sept. 1 in Dublin, Ireland against Notre Dame.  The game will be played at Aviva Stadium, located in the heart of Dublin, and marks the first time the stadium has hosted an American football game.

It will also be the first time in program history that Navy has opened up against Notre Dame and the second time the two teams have met in Dublin.  Navy played the Irish at Croke Park in 1996.

After a week off, the Mids will travel to Happy Valley on Sept. 15 to take on Bill O’Brien’s Penn State Nittany Lions.  It will be the first meeting between the two schools since 1974 when Navy shocked Penn State in State College, 7-6.

VMI comes to town on Sept. 22 for the home opener at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. It will be the ninth meeting between the two schools and the first since 2003 when Navy defeated the Keydets, 37-10, in the season opener.

The Mids will have revenge on their minds when San Jose State comes calling on Sept. 29. Last fall, the Spartans eliminated the Midshipmen from bowl contention with a 27-24 victory in San Jose.

Navy will travel to Colorado Springs, Colo. for the first leg of the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy on Oct. 6.  The Falcons won the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy last year thanks to a 35-34 overtime victory over Navy in Annapolis.

The Mids will travel to Mount Pleasant, Mich. the following week, as Navy will play at Central Michigan on Oct. 13.  It will be the first time Navy has played at Central Michigan and the first time Navy has played in the state of Michigan since 2006 when the Mids beat Eastern Michigan at Ford Field in Detroit.

The Indiana Hoosiers come to Annapolis the following week (Oct. 20) for Homecoming.  It will be just the third time in school history that the two teams have met and it will be Indiana’s first trip to Annapolis.  The Hoosiers will be the first Big 10 team to play at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium since Northwestern beat Navy in 2002.

East Carolina will play host to Navy on Oct. 27 in Greenville.  The Pirates knocked off Navy last year in a thriller, 38-35.

Navy and Florida Atlantic will meet on the gridiron for the first time the following week as new head coach Carl Pelini brings his Owls North to Annapolis on Nov. 3.

Navy will make its first trip to Troy, Ala. on Nov. 10 when the Mids take on the Troy Trojans. Navy defeated Troy last year, 42-14.

The home finale takes place on Nov. 17, when Dennis Franchione and the Texas State Bobcats come to Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Senior Day.

The 2012 Army-Navy Game Presented by USAA will take place at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field on Dec. 8.  Navy leads the all-time series, 56-49-7, and has won a series-record 10-consecutive games against the Black Knights.

Season tickets, both renewals and new purchases, will go on sale Feb. 1 and are $180.  Those who purchase season tickets will also have an option at that time to buy single-game tickets, as well as tickets for the Navy-Notre Dame game in Dublin.

2012 Navy Football Schedule
Sept. 1              vs. Notre Dame (Dublin, Ireland)
Sept. 15            at Penn State
Sept. 22            VMI
Sept. 29            San Jose State
Oct. 6               at Air Force
Oct. 13             at Central Michigan
Oct. 20             Indiana (Homecoming)
Oct. 27             at East Carolina
Nov. 3              Florida Atlantic
Nov. 10            at Troy
Nov. 17            Texas State
Dec. 8              vs. Army (Philadelphia)

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