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NBA Mock Draft — With a Little Blurb About Jordan Williams in the Begining.

Posted on 23 June 2011 by Tom Clayton

The NBA Draft is almost here and although I am in the minority in Baltimore I am pumped up to see the next crop of prospects enter the ranks of the NBA.

For Maryland fans I will say that I believe Jordan Williams made a major mistake by leaving this season as I do not think his game is anywhere near mature enough to be a contributor at the NBA level. With that said I have a feeling like Greivis last year a team will take Jordan late in the first round.

Admittedly this draft is a little underwhelming with the top-2 draft eligible prospects, Harrison Barnes and Jared Sullinger, choosing to remain in college but there are some interesting prospects and a shrewd General Manager should be able to find a prospect to help his team.
I have decided to do a mock draft for the 14 lottery picks and here we go:

1. Cavaliers – Kyrie Irving, Point Guard, Duke, 6-2, 175lbs.

After LeBron took his talents to South Beach everyone saw the reason why, the Cavaliers had assembled an abysmal team around him. Years of signing fringe “stars” to big contracts and trading for over the hill “name” players caught up with the Cavaliers and now they are in a complete rebuild. I believe they will start this process with the best point guard prospect in the draft and a player that will become a leader in the locker room from day one.

Positives:
 Excellent ball handler that has the ability to get open for a jumper or all the way to the rim at will, once at the rim Irving is a ferocious finisher
 Irving plays under control and has a complete set of all around fundamentals.
 Superb court vision especially in the open court on the fast break; Irving also does a nice job of getting the ball to the open man without being overly turnover prone.
 A lock down defender with great lateral quickness, quick hands, and a knack for jumping the passing lanes and creating offense from his defense.
 A confident leader without being cocky or self-serving; Irving is a natural born leader that will take control of a locker room from Day One.

Negatives:
• Need to improve his outside shot to become a complete offensive player (but this is a critique of 98% of NBA perimeter prospects).
• Can become a bit of a shoot first point guard; needs to consistently find that happy medium between getting his teammates involved and getting off his own shot.

2. Timberwolves – Derrick Williams, Small Forward/Power Forward, Arizona, 6-8, 248lbs.

This pick would certainly necessitate a trade of fellow #2 overall pick Michael Beasley but the T-Wolves could be onto something by adding Williams to a backcourt of Kevin Love and Wesley Johnson.

Positives:
 Strong finisher at the rim that finishes with explosion and power; should rack up a ton of ‘and 1’s’ at the next level.
 Excellent shooter for his size; should be be a threat from beyond the arc (57% last season).
 Supreme athlete that runs the floor well and gets himself into good position quickly off the break.
 High IQ player that knows where he should be on the court at all times and moves well without the ball using screens and natural quickness to get open.
 Clutch player that shows up when the lights are brightest.

Negatives:
• A bit undersized for a natural power forward at 6’8”.
• Some ball security issues; he turns the ball over too much for a post player.

3. Jazz – Enes Kanter, Power Forward/Center, Turkey, 6-11, 260lbs.

Brandon Knight is probably the right pick here but I think the Jazz have their eyes on picking up a different point guard with their second lottery pick. With that in mind I have them taking the best pure big man in the draft in Enes Kanter.

Positives:
 A physical big man that loves to use his immense body to make room in the paint to grab rebounds and get an inordinate amount of put back baskets.
 Has great touch around the basket with a nice repertoire of post moves; does a nice job of backing down defenders with his size.
 Has a decent mid-range game and his face-up game is a bit underrated; he should be able to keep defenders honest with his shot although a majority of his points are going to come in the paint.
 An excellent finisher that uses his power to fight through fouls to create a lot of ‘and 1’ opportunities’; Kanter is also a solid free throw shooter which will help him add 4-6 points to his total every night.

Negatives:
• Is still a bit raw on the offensive end but with good coaching the sky is the limit when it comes to refining his post moves.
• Ball security can be a bit shaky in the post; smaller players with quick hands have shown a propensity to swipe the ball away.
• Not particularly explosive therefore he is not an imposing defender and he isn’t going to be a big time shot blocker but he should be a serviceable defender that improves as he matures.

4. Cavaliers – Jonas Valanciunas, Center, Lithuania, 6-11, 240lbs.

Cleveland is actively shopping this pick but I am not mocking trades and with Kanter off the board I think the Cav’s go with Jonas Valanciunas. Combining Kyrie Irving with JJ Hickson and Valanciunas would be a good beginning to what could be a long rebuilding process in Cleveland.

Positives:
 Great size with a long wing span; room to add weight onto his frame.
 Excellent athleticism and explosion; if combined with a good point guard he could be an unstoppable alley-oop finisher.
 An excellent rebounder on both ends of the floor; his rebounding should translate immediately to the NBA game.
 Good finisher that runs the floor well and should get easy points in an up-tempo offense.
 High energy player that gives everything he’s got on the floor; his activity leads to a lot of second chance points and tip-ins.

Negatives:
• He has shown a propensity to get into foul trouble due to his high energy play; he hacks at opposing players leading to early trips to the bench.
• Could get overpowered by bigger NBA post players; although throughout his young career he has shown no fear and attempts to bang in the paint with opposing big men.
• His footwork is raw and will need a lot of polish before his offensive game catches up with his defense.
• He will need to develop a better mid-range shot to bring opposing centers out of the paint to guard his jumper.
• Will probably need to stay in Europe for one more year because of his contract; if not for this he may have been the #1 overall pick.

5. Toronto – Brandon Knight, Point Guard, Kentucky, 6-3, 177lbs.

Bryan Colangelo & company will be officially jumping for joy if the hyper-talented Brandon Knight falls into their lap with the 5th pick. Knight would be a great fit for the Raptors and would more than likely be their starting point guard from Day One.

Positives:
 Didn’t start out lighting Lexington on fire but grew into an elite college point guard as his freshman year continued. This showed he takes coaching well and has a lot of room for growth as he matures as a basketball player.
 Great motor; he is quick and extremely agile which aided him in his ability to penetrate into the paint at will.
 Excellent finisher around the rim, unafraid to take contact and get to the free throw line.
 A good shooter with an excellent mid-range game and a smooth stroke from beyond the arc.
 The best defensive point guard in this year’s draft; a tenacious defender that swarms his man with quick hands and outstanding lateral movement.

Negatives:
• Knight isn’t as fast baseline to baseline as previous Calipari point guards (D. Rose and John Wall).
• Some scouts question his basketball IQ.
• High volume shooter that can tend to forget about his four teammates on the court and attempt to take over a game single handedly.

6. Washington – Kawhi Leonard, Small Forward, San Diego State, 6-7, 227lbs.

The Wizards are in a tough spot here as Kanter and Valanciunas are both off the board. I think they really could use an elite shooting guard but I think they go with the best wing player on the board.

Positives:
 An excellent rebounder with HUGE hands; Leonard averaged 10.6 rebounds per game including an outstanding 3.1 offensive boards during his sophomore season. He also has the ability to take a defensive rebound and lead the fast break.
 A tremendous finisher at the rim especially when he gets out in the open court.
 Leonard also has excellent ball handling skills that he combines with nice court vision which makes him a dangerous facilitator at the Small Forward spot.
 An amazing athlete that can guard multiple positions on the floor and is an absolute tenacious defender no matter what position he is guarding.

Negatives:
• Leonard will need to improve his overall shot to become a complete offensive player at the next level.
• Forces his game at time; especially in his penetration leading to unnecessary turnovers and offensive fouls.

7. Sacramento – Kemba Walker, Point Guard, UConn, 6-1, 184lbs.

The thinking with this pick is that the Kings will move Tyreke Evans to the small forward and allow him to become more of a scorer. The Kings desperately NEED a leader in their locker room and there is no better leader in this draft that Kemba Walker, who led his team to an NCAA Championship this past season. Late rumors have started to pop up that the Spurs have offered the Kings Tony Parker in return for this pick and that may be a wonderful fit as Parker is a proven winner that will bring a veteran presence and great leadership to the locker room.

Positives:
 Elite scorer at the Point Guard position.
 Outstanding athlete with elite quickness and explosiveness; probably the fastest player in the draft baseline to baseline.
 Great ballhandler with a devastating crossover that allows him to get open at will; also adept at getting to the rack where he converts an inordinate amount of “traditional” three point plays.
 Very nice shooting touch with a mature mid-range game and an improving outside stroke.
 Above average court vision with a knack for getting his teammates the ball in a position to score.
 Solid defender with great lateral quickness and quick hands that give opponents fits.

Negatives:
• Undersized for an NBA point guard at a generous 6’1”.
• Questionable shot selection; sometime will fire up a deep three early in the shot clock without allowing his team to get into their offensive set.
• Needs to continue developing his outside shot.
• Is more of a combo guard than a natural distributor of the basketball; reminds me a little of Russell Westbrook in his offensive mentality.

8. Pistons – Alec Burks, Shooting Guard, 6-6, 191lbs.

The Pistons are high on Bismack Biyombo but with the impending free agency of Tayshaun Prince and the Pistons lack of offensive punch I think they go with a player with more offensive upside.

Positives:
 Late blooming prospect that has shown he is just tapping his full potential.

 As athletic as any prospect in this draft; Burks is exceptionally explosive and is an unparalleled finisher around the basket, particularly in transition.
 Goes to the hole hard; relishes contact around the basket and is an excellent free throw shooter (82.5%) which combined with his attacking style of offense should add 5-7 points a night to his scoring total.
 Good rebounder for a shooting guard; follows his own shot well and crashes the offensive and defensive boards with reckless abandon.
 A long, quick athlete which helps project him to a solid on ball defender.

Negatives:
• Can try and do everything on his own at times; forces the action especially in crunch time.
• Needs to improve his shooting ability, without improvement he could become very predictable and easy for good NBA defenders to stop.
• Needs to be a more willing defender; he posses the length and quickness needed to be a good defender but looks disinterested on that side of the ball at times.

9. Bobcats – Jan Vesely, Small Forward, Czech Republic, 6-11, 240lbs.

Michael Jordan has proven throughout his tenure with the Wizards and the Bobcats he has no idea what he is doing when it comes to draft picks. This season I think he makes the right pick with Jan Vesely, a foreign player with huge upside.

Positives:
 Super athletic wing player that runs the floor as well as any big man, a combination that makes him unstoppable in the open court.
 Outstanding finisher at the rim that draws free throws at an amazing rate.
 Good slasher that uses screens well to get open.
 Great range that extends well beyond the three point arc.
 Uses tremendous leaping ability to contest every shot put up and to get easy tip-in baskets on the offensive boards.

Negatives:
• Struggles to create his own shot off the dribble; will need to play with a good distributor to become an offensive force.
• Will need to gain more confidence in his jumper because right now he depends too much on pure athleticism.
• Needs to add some bulk to his thin, lean frame; has a tendency to get pushed around by opposing big men in the post.

10. Bucks – Bismack Biyambo, Power Forward, Congo, 6-9, 240lbs.

Defensive minded head coach Scott Skiles will be having wet dreams about pairing the “Ben Wallace clone”  Biyambo in the paint with current Center Andrew Bogut.

Positives:
 Quite simply an elite defender with the potential to be a defensive player of the year candidate for the next decade.
 An elite shot blocker with great timing, explosive leaping ability, quick second hop, and a ridiculous wingspan.
 Excellent rebounder on both ends of the floor.
 Great upper and lower body strength; should be able to physically battle other NBA post players from Day One.

Negatives:
• No offensive game to speak of; has no jump shot and virtually no post moves which make him a completely one dimensional player.
• Horrendous free throw shooter that gets to the line A LOT but converts well under 50% of his attempts.
• May be a few years old than he claims (18).

11. Warriors – Marcus Morris, Power Forward, 6-9, 230lbs.

New coach Mark Jackson is going to preach defense and fundamentals to the Warriors for the first time in well……..forever and Marcus Morris presents the perfect combination of both left on the board.

Positives:
 Good size and strength with ideal dimensions for an NBA Power Forward but the skill set to play Small Forward.
 Runs the floor well and a strong finisher in transition.
 Strong player that gets good position on the blocks to post up and keeps defenses honest with a solid mid-range jumper.
 Great teammate and a high character guy that will fit in well in any NBA locker room.

Negatives:
• What you see is what you get; there isn’t nearly as much upside with Morris as there is with most other lottery picks.
• Not an elite rebounder for a Power Forward.
• Doesn’t have the range to hit shots consistently from outside the arc.

12. Jazz – Jimmer Fredette, Point Guard, BYU, 6-3, 196lbs.

After taking Enes Kanter with the 3rd pick Utah gets their point guard with the 12th pick and he is a popular player in the Utah area. Fredette should not only contribute on the court but at the box office where he will be a crowd favorite from Day One.

Positives:
 First and foremost, Fredette is an elite scorer that has ability to drop 40 on a nightly basis.
 Crafty and intelligent player with scoring instincts that are unparalleled in this year’s draft.
 Does a great job of using screens, curls, and fadeaways to get his shot off, even when double teamed.
 A good finisher at the rack but not in a typical fashion; he uses layups, tear drops, and scoop shots rather than thunderous dunks but is just as effective as a high flyer.
 Unlimited range on his jump shot; has the ability to hit from just inside half court if left unguarded.
 Underrated ball handling and court vision, should be able to be a decent facilitator while still putting up big scoring numbers.
 Well put together with a strong upper body and a quiet toughness that helps him withstand contact when driving the lane.
 Great emotional leader on the court that loves playing on the road and relishes being a “wanted man” on the court by both his opponents and opposing fans.

Negatives:
• Not a great defender and could have trouble defending good NBA point guards due to a lack of lateral quickness and athleticism.
• At 6’2” he has trouble when defended with longer athletes; Kawhi Leonard gave Fredette fits in their two meeting last season.
• In college he was given a green light to shoot at will, at the next level he will be forced to control his game and gets his shots in the flow of an offense.

13. Suns – Tristan Thompson, Power Forward, 6-8, 233lbs.

The Suns are a wildcard here because they could go a plethora of different ways with this pick; I think Alec Burks or Jimmer Fredette are their targets but if both are gone I think they go with Thompson a Power Forward with a ton of upside.

Positives:
 A great combination of length and size; at just 20 years of age he should be able to fill out his frame and become a prototypical Power Forward.
 Outstanding athlete with tremendous bounce; great timing on his jump which led to Thompson being one of the best shot blockers in the nation without being a foul machine.
 A very good rebounder on both ends of the floor with the ball handling skills to start the break and turn a missed shot into immediate offense.
 Fiery player that gives it everything he has on the court and will not be out hustled to rebounds or loose balls.

Negatives:
• Thompson is still a developing offensive player that needs to continue to work hard on his jump shot to be a difference maker on the offensive end of the court.
• Not an overly explosive athlete on the offensive end of the floor; he is not a dominate finisher around the rim.
• A horrendous free throw shooter (48%); this is going to make him a liability in the waning minutes of an NBA game.
• Is probably going to be a pure Power Forward; I don’t think his offensive skills are going to allow him to drop down and play the wing offensively.
• Could have used another year in college to develop his offensive game; with another year of seasoning he could have been a Top-3 pick next year.

14. Rockets – Klay Thompson, Washington State, 6-7, 202lbs.

The Rockets could probably use a big man as I think Yao’s career is just about over but I also think they could use a sharp shooting wing as well. With Klay Thompson on the board I think they go with the best pure shooter in this year’s draft.

Positives:
 Without question the best pure shooter in the draft; he has shown the ability to consistently hit contested jumpers.
 Above average offensive skill set with the ability to get open off screens and well as using his dribble; he also will attack the basket and use his athleticism to penetrate into the teeth of the defense.
 A solid ball handler with decent court vision; he could fill play Point Guard, Shooting Guard, and Small Forward at the next level.
 An outstanding free throw shooter.
 A solid defender with good length and good lateral speed
 Has been the focal point of Washington State’s offense for three seasons so he should relish the opportunity to be a go-to guy in the NBA.

Negatives:
 Will need to add bulk to his frame to be a durable NBA player for the next decade; his frame is thin and wiry at this point in his career.
 He looks like he could settle to be a one-dimensional player in the NBA if he can’t find the ability to get to the basket against bigger, stronger wings.
 He can be streaky on the offensive end.
 Needs to keep his emotions in check as he has shown to be overemotional on the court at times.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 20 June 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Pro Lacrosse-MLL Boston Cannons @ Chesapeake Bayhawks (Saturday 7pm Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium); Arena Football: AFL Kansas City Command @ Utah Blaze (Friday 8pm from Salt Lake City live on NFL Network); Boxing: Friday Night Fights-John Molina vs. Robert Frankel (Friday 9pm from Temecula, CA live on ESPN2), Devon Alexander vs. Lucas Matthysse (Saturday 9:45 from St. Charles, MO live on HBO); WNBA: Indiana Fever @ Washington Mystics (Tuesday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Tulsa Shock @ Washington Mystics (Sunday 4pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet)

10. Bad Teacher” and “Cars 2” out in theaters (Friday)

Both of these flicks appear to be watchable at worst. Bad Teacher looks particularly good, as it includes the great Jason Segel…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5ZtwbzUFZE[/youtube]

…Phyllis from “The Office”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCZIfPAWMis[/youtube]

…and of course the great Justin Timberlake…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pi7gwX7rjOw[/youtube]

9. Roots Fest (Wednesday-Sunday “Highway to Nowhere”-Route 40, Franklin and N. Gilmor)

Perhaps the highlight of the event? The dialogue on the future of Baltimore…with the cast of “The Wire.”

Given the folks involved, is it safe to say that the future of Baltimore somehow involves drugs?

I’d pay ten dollars just to go and watch the guys re-enact their interrogations. Pardon the language…it’s art.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EeFa8QOq_Y[/youtube]

8. Auto Racing: NASCAR Toyota/Save Mart 350 (Sunday 3pm from Sonoma, CA live on TNT); IndyCar Series Iowa Corn Indy 250 (Saturday 8pm from Newton, IA live on VERSUS)

Rex Snider said something on Twitter the other day about NASCAR TV ratings being up. I would have kept reading, but it involved NASCAR so I’m pretty sure no one cared.

Jeff Gordon recently won an event. With Cars 2 set to open soon, I will admit that I am much more concerned with how Jeff Gorvette is doing…

gorvette

7. Golf: PGA Tour Travelers Championship (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel, Saturday & Sunday 3pm live on CBS. All golf from Cromwell, Conn.); Champions Tour Dick’s Sporting Goods Open (Friday 6:30pm Saturday & Sunday 7:30pm from Endicott, NY live on Golf Channel); Wegmans LPGA Championship (Thursday & Friday 12:30pm Saturday & Sunday 4pm from Pittsford, NY live on Golf Channel)

With the U.S. Open in the books (and Rory McIlroy still making a birdie somewhere at Congressional), all of us not named Drew Forrester now go right back to doing exactly what we were doing before-not really giving a crap about golf.

You know how that would change? More Bubba Watson in overalls and “ooh-da-lolly lolly.”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PM2NocuEihw[/youtube]

Seriously…these guys need to make one of these videos every week, especially if Tiger Woods is going to totally stop banging whores.

I mean, what the hell else are we supposed to do? Talk about golf???

6. Mixed Martial Arts: UFC Live 4-Nate Marquardt vs. Rick Story (Sunday 9pm from Pittsburgh live on VERSUS); Strikeforce Challengers-Caros Fodor vs. James Terry (Friday 11pm from Kent, WA live on Showtime)

A couple of things. One-Is Kevin Connolly REALLY interested in making a movie about the life of one-time MMA star Kimbo Slice? REALLY? Is Mr. T available to play him???

And also-did you see this picture of Conor Heun that Bloody Elbow posted after the Strikeforce event Saturday night? Looks normal at first…but keep looking at his right arm. I’ll give you about 5 seconds before you exclaim “Ohhhhh…………”

heun

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Turgeon Formally Announces Maryland Staff

Posted on 20 May 2011 by WNST Staff

Here is the official release, courtesy of the Terps’ Sports Information Department…

TURGEON ANNOUNCES COACHING STAFF

Spinelli, Hill join Ranson as assistant coaches

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Head men’s basketball coach Mark Turgeon announced Friday that Scott Spinelli, Dalonte Hill and Bino Ranson will be the assistant coaches on his new Terrapin staff. In addition, Dustin Clark has been hired as the director of basketball operations.

“I feel good about the talent of the assistant coaches we have assembled,” said Turgeon. “They all have their own unique abilities as coaches that, as a group, will make us complete. They all have been successful recruiting this part of the country and will be a big part of the resurgence of Maryland Basketball.”

Spinelli will join Turgeon for the sixth straight season, having worked with him during each of Turgeon’s four years at Texas A&M and for one season at Wichita State. He was the Aggies’ associate head coach and helped direct the program to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances.

Hill, a native of Washington, D.C., will join the Terrapins’ staff after six seasons at Kansas State. Long noted for his recruiting ties to the D.C. area, Hill helped a resurgence in the Wildcat basketball program that had Kansas State hit the 20-win plateau for a school-record five straight years.

Ranson will be retained as an assistant after he spent last season on the staff of retired coach Gary Williams. A native of Baltimore, Ranson has strong recruiting ties in that area and aided in the recent recruitment and retention of shooting guard Nick Faust.

Clark has been an athletics assistant for three years and, last year, moved into the role as team administrator on Turgeon’s staff with the Aggies. A graduate of Texas A&M, he has played an important role in recruiting and in the recent success of the Aggies’ basketball program.

Bios on the new staff members follow:

SCOTT SPINELLI

Hometown: Leominster, Mass.

Education: Boston University ‘89

Following five seasons on various staffs for head coach Mark Turgeon, Scott Spinelli comes to College Park to be part of the coaching staff at the University of Maryland.

“Scott is a bulldog recruiter with tremendous connection up and down the east coast,” said Turgeon. “He is also an excellent coach with a tremendous basketball mind.”

Spinelli sent four seasons with Turgeon as the associate head coach at Texas A&M, and was in the same position with Turgeon at Wichita State in 2006-07.

Prior to that, he was an assistant at Nebraska for three seasons, when he helped land two nationally-ranked recruiting classes. He was the Cornhuskers’ associate head coach in 2005-06. All-Big 12 center Aleks Maric was among the players he signed at Nebraska.

From 2001-03, Spinelli was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Loyola-Chicago. He helped the Ramblers to 32 wins over two seasons (2001-02 and 2002-03) — the program’s most in a two-year span since the mid-1980s — including a berth in the championship game of the 2002 Horizon League Tournament.

Spinelli recruited and developed Paul McMillan, a junior-college transfer who won the Horizon League’s Newcomer of the Year Award in 2003. His first recruiting class for the Ramblers also included Terrance Whiters, who was ranked among the top 70 overall prospects in the country and among the top 20 point guards by ESPN.com.

Spinelli has been recognized by several media outlets as one of the nation’s top assistant coaches. Before joining the Ramblers, Spinelli spent one year as a scout for the Philadelphia 76ers, evaluating players in the Big East and Atlantic 10 conferences, along with high school players from the Northeast.

Spinelli served as an assistant coach for Cincinnati of the International Basketball League (IBL) in 1999-2000, helping the Stuff to an Eastern Conference regular-season championship.

Prior to his work in the IBL, Spinelli spent two years as associate head coach (1997-99) at American University in Washington, D.C., where he was responsible for two nationally-recognized recruiting classes. Spinelli’s first collegiate coaching stop came at Wyoming in 1996-97.

He began his coaching career on the prep level in 1990 at the Milford Academy, where he spent three seasons as head coach. In 1993, Spinelli started the basketball program at The Winchendon School in Winchendon, Mass., where he produced several Division I players. The school remains one of the top prep school programs in the Northeast.

The Leominster, Mass., native earned his bachelor’s degree from Boston University in 1989. As a student-athlete, Spinelli initially walked on with the Terriers before earning a scholarship as a point guard under Mike Jarvis, who went on to a successful stint as head coach at St. John’s.

Spinelli and his wife, Lynn, have three children: Gianna, Gabriel and Joseph.

SPINELLI CAREER

2007-11 – Associate Head Coach, Texas A&M
2006-07 – Associate Head Coach, Wichita State
2005-06 – Associate Head Coach, Nebraska
2003-05 – Assistant Coach, Nebraska
2001-03 – Assistant Coach, Loyola-Chicago
2000-01 – Scout, Philadelphia 76ers
1999-00 – Assistant Coach, Cincinnati Stuff
1997-99 – Associate Head Coach, American University
1996-97 – Assistant Coach, Wyoming
1993-96 – Head Coach, Winchendon (Mass.) School
1990-93 – Head Coach, Milford (N.Y.) Academy

DALONTE HILL

Hometown: Washington, D.C.

Education: Charlotte ‘01

Noted as one of the top coaches and recruiters nationally, Dalonte Hill is coming home to the Washington, D.C., area to join the staff of head coach Mark Turgeon.

“It was great to be able to bring Dalonte home,” said Turgeon. “He is a terrific recruiter and will be a great addition to our staff. His relationships on the east coast will be huge for the growth of our program.”

A native of Washington, D.C., Hill was hired as an assistant coach at Kansas State by former head coach Bob Huggins in April 2006 after three seasons at Charlotte.  He was elevated to associate head coach and recruiting coordinator just over a year later upon the promotion of Frank Martin to head coach.

Hill played a significant role in helping to revitalize the K-State program, which has tallied five consecutive 20-win seasons for the first time in school history.  With his help, the Wildcats have posted 118 wins the past five seasons, including 50 in Big 12 play, and have advanced to the postseason in an unprecedented five straight seasons, including trips to the NCAA Tournament in 2008, 2010 and 2011.

The 118 wins are the most in school history in a five-year span, shattering the previous mark of 107 wins set from 1957-62, while the 50 conference victories are the most since the squad posted 56 from 1971-76.  K-State is one of four Big 12 schools (along with Kansas, Texas and Texas A&M) in that span to total five 20-win seasons, while the Wildcats and Jayhawks are the only teams to finish in the top-4 in the Big 12 and receive a bye at the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship in each of the past five seasons.

Hill has also played a major role in helping Kansas State land some of the country’s best recruiting classes, including the nation’s top-rated class by Scout.com and Rivals.com in 2006, which included No. 1 recruit Michael Beasley and No. 6 recruit Bill Walker.  In 2008, he helped the Wildcats pull down their second top-20 class in the past three seasons, including their fourth McDonald’s All-American (and second in last four seasons) in Wally Judge.  The four-man class was rated 17th by Scout/ESPN.com and 18th by Rivals.com.

Hill spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Charlotte under Bobby Lutz.  He helped guide his alma mater to a 61-30 (.760) overall record and three consecutive postseason appearances from 2003-06, including a pair of trips to the NCAA Tournament (2004, 2005).  He also helped the 49ers to a share of the 2004 Conference USA regular-season title as well as runner-up finishes in C-USA in 2004-05 and the Atlantic 10 in 2005-06.

During his tenure at Charlotte, Hill helped coach two All-Americans, one C-USA Player of the Year and seven all-conference players. Two 49ers earned All-America distinction as Eddie Basden and Curtis Withers were named to SI.com’s third team and honorable mention lists in 2005.  Withers was also named to Basketball Times’ All-America third team in 2004.  A two-time conference Defensive Player of the Year, Basden was selected as the 2005 Conference USA Player of the Year as well as the national Defensive Player of the Year by CollegeInsider.com.

Prior to joining the college ranks, Hill served two years as the head coach of the AAU’s DC Assault.

A three-year letterman at Charlotte from 1997-2000, Hill played on three postseason squads for the 49ers under head coaches Melvin Watkins and Bobby Lutz.  As a true freshman in 1997-98, he averaged 4.2 points and 2.9 rebounds in 26 games with one start for the 49ers in helping the squad to the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a 20-11 record.  As a sophomore, the 49ers captured the 1999 Conference USA Tournament title and once again advanced to the NCAA Tournament second round with a 23-11 record.  During the 1999-2000 season, he averaged 6.2 points and 3.5 rebounds in 23 games with 11 starts in helping Charlotte earn a Postseason NIT bid with a 17-16 record.

Hill transferred to Bowie State for his senior season where he averaged 10.9 points and 5.7 rebounds in helping the Bulldogs to a 19-9 record.  He returned to Charlotte following the season to complete his bachelor’s degree in sociology in 2001.

Hill and his wife, Tish, have three daughters: Danae, Dakotah and Daeja.

HILL CAREER

2007-11 – Associate Head Coach, Kansas State
2006-07 – Assistant Coach, Kansas State
2003-06 – Assistant Coach, Charlotte
2001-03 – Head Coach D.C. Assault (AAU)

ORLANDO “BINO” RANSON

Hometown: Baltimore, Md.

Education: Southern New Hampshire ‘99

Orlando “Bino” Ranson was hired as an assistant coach at Maryland in the summer of 2010, and the halls of Comcast Center immediately lit up with energy. He has been retained on the staff by new head coach Mark Turgeon.

“Bino is a young man I have known for a long time, and I have watched him grow as a coach,” said Turgeon. “He is a grinder when it comes to recruiting and he has many connections all over the east coast.”

Ranson has strong ties to the Baltimore-Washington area, having coached for two seasons at St. Frances Academy in Baltimore. He came to Maryland after one season as an assistant at Xavier, during which the Musketeers went 26-9 and reached the NCAA Sweet Sixteen. In his lone season on the staff of Maryland head coach Gary Williams in 2010-11, the Terrapins went 19-14.

Ranson said he’s followed the Maryland program for a long time and is familiar with its national reputation and rich history. He spent two years as an administrative assistant at Loyola University on the staff of long-time Maryland assistant Jimmy Patsos.

Prior to Xavier, Ranson was an assistant coach at James Madison for one season, helping the Dukes to a 21-15 mark, the most wins by JMU in a season since 1992-93. The Dukes advanced in the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament for the first time since 2003 and their berth in the College Insiders.com Tournament marked their first postseason appearance since 1994.

Ranson also worked for Matt Brady at Marist University for three seasons. The Red Foxes were 62-33 in those three seasons and won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular season in 2007. That season, Marist won at Oklahoma State in the Postseason NIT.

Considered an outstanding recruiter, he helped bring in excellent classes at James Madison, Marist and Xavier. Ranson helped land Jay Gavin at Marist, who went on to become the MAAC Rookie of the Year.

Ranson coached at St. Frances Academy for two seasons before joining the Loyola staff. He handled St. Frances’ junior-varsity program, directing the 2003-04 team to a 24-5 record, titles in the MIAA and the Baltimore Catholic League. He also founded Team Baltimore, one of the top AAU programs in the Northeast.

Among the players Ranson worked with at the AAU level are Sean Mosley and Juan Dixon of Maryland, Ricky Harris of Massachusetts, Jermaine Dixon of Pittsburgh and Donte Greene of Syracuse.

A 1999 graduate of Southern New Hampshire with a B.S. in sports management, Ranson completed his collegiate career as one of the top players in the history of the school. He ranked seventh in career scoring (1,899 points), fifth in assists (598) and fourth in 3-point field goals (226) after lettering for four seasons. He was inducted into the school’s hall of fame in January 2007.

Ranson and his wife, Shannon, have two sons: Orlando and Bradshaw.

RANSON CAREER

2010-11 – Assistant Coach, Maryland
2009-10 – Assistant Coach, Xavier
2008-09 – Assistant Coach, James Madison
2004-05 to 2006-07 – Assistant Coach, Marist
2003-04 & 2004-05 – Administrative Assistant, Loyola, Md.
2001-02 to 2002-03 – Coach, St. Francis Academy

DUSTIN CLARK

Hometown: Waxahachie, Texas

Education: Texas A&M ‘07

Dustin Clark comes to the Maryland men’s basketball program as the director of basketball operations on the staff of head coach Mark Turgeon. In that role, Clark will be in charge of the administrative duties in the men’s basketball office, including scheduling, operations and travel.

“Dustin is one of the bright young coaches in this business,” said Turgeon. “He has tremendous passion for his job and will build great relationships with our current players. His understanding and experience of how I want the office and program to run is big in our transition.”

Clark spent five seasons with the Texas A&M basketball program. After serving as an athletics assistant for three years, he was the team administrator in the 2010-11 season. During his five seasons, the Aggies won 124 games, produced three NBA draft picks and had Turgeon earn back-to-back Big 12 Coach of the Year honors.

His duties included on-campus recruiting, coordination of recruiting correspondence, academic quality control and student-athlete affairs. Clark was the director of the Mark Turgeon Basketball Camp, as well as a coordinator for the Texas A&M Elite and Junior Elite camps. He has played a key role in helping the Aggies land multiple nationally ranked recruiting classes.

In 2008, the Aggies won the Preseason NIT and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament where they lost in the closing seconds to top-seeded UCLA. A&M closed the next regular season on a six-game winning streak and again reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

In 2010, Texas A&M reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament despite playing the second-toughest schedule in the nation. A year ago, the Aggies exploded to a 16-1 start, the best at the school in 91 years and earned its sixth consecutive NCAA Tournament bid.

A native of Waxahachie, Texas, Clark received his degree from Texas A&M in 2007. Clark graduated from Avalon High School, where he was a four-year letterman in both basketball and baseball.

CLARK CAREER

2010-11 – Team Administrator, Texas A&M
2007-10 – Athletic Assistant, Texas A&M
2006-07 – Student Assistant, Texas A&M

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Jordan Williams Signs With Agent, Will Not Return to Maryland

Posted on 04 May 2011 by WNST Staff

Here is the official release, courtesy of the Terrapins’ Sports Information Department…

WILLIAMS SIGNS WITH AGENT, WILL NOT RETURN TO TERPS

Center will remain in NBA Draft

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Jordan Williams has signed with an agent, ending his eligibility to play at the University of Maryland, it was announced Wednesday.

Williams, a 6-foot-10 sophomore center from Torrington, Conn., had earlier entered his name for the 2011 NBA Draft. He could have retained his eligibility by not signing with an agent and withdrawing by May 8.

“We wish Jordan well as he pursues his dream of playing in the NBA,” said head coach Gary Williams.

Jordan Williams led the Terrapins in scoring (16.9 points per game) and rebounding (11.8 per game) this season and led the Atlantic Coast Conference on the boards. A third team All-America selection, Williams also was an All-ACC first-team pick.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 03 May 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Mixed Martial Arts-Bellator Fighting Championships 43 (Saturday 9pm from Newkirk, OK live on MTV2); Arena Football: AFL Tampa Bay Storm @ Orlando Predators (Friday 8pm from Orlando live on NFL Network); Soccer: MLS-Seattle Sounders FC @ DC United (Wednesday 7:30pm from RFK Stadium live on MLS Direct Kick), FC Dallas @ DC United (Saturday 7:30pm from RFK Stadium live on MLS Direct Kick)

10. Carbon Leaf (Saturday 7pm Rams Head Live), Manchester Orchestra/Cage The Elephant (Sunday 6:30pm Rams Head Live), Donald Glover (Monday 7pm Rams Head Live); Mint Condition (Saturday 7pm Bourbon Street); Ballyhoo (Saturday 7pm Recher Theatre); Asia (Tuesday & Wednesday 8pm Rams Head On Stage); FOALS/Freelance Whales/The Naked & Famous (Saturday 8pm 9:30 Club), Airborne Toxic Event (Sunday 8pm 9:30 Club); Talib Kweli (Wednesday 8pm Sonar), Bowling For Soup (Friday 8pm Sonar); All Time Low/Yellowcard (Saturday 7pm RAC Arena-UMBC); Towson University Tigerfest feat. Brand New, Reel Big Fish, Far East Movement (Friday 3pm Unitas Stadium); Plain White T’s/Parachute (Saturday 12:45pm Pimlico); Harland Williams (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); Beastie Boys “Hot Sauce Committee Part 2″ available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

If you’re not familiar with Carbon Leaf…I suggest you get familiar with them as soon as possible…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcyS90pdcuw[/youtube]

I REALLY dig Cage The Elephant. I mean, I REALLY dig Cage The Elephant. This song is quite good…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v27TRan1SBI[/youtube]

Airborne Toxic Event=totally underrated…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKEu3EmBCzQ[/youtube]

Really surprised Towson couldn’t do better than Brand New and Reel Big Fish for Tigerfest. But at least I really dig “Jude Law and a Semester Abroad”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlAqE1zgY-I[/youtube]

9. Maryland Film Festival (Thursday-Sunday Charles Theater), Ocean City Springfest (Thursday-Saturday 10am Ocean City inlet)

George Jones and Richard Marx are the headliners for this year’s Springfest. Now word on why Rick Astley wasn’t available.

As far as the Maryland Film Festival is concerned-I’ve amazingly never attended the event. I feel a bit ashamed as a Baltimore native to say that, as the event is one of the city’s more significant economically.

Of course, I feel like I would have been more inclined to make sure I got out there had they ever screened something more along the lines of…say…Superbad…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNib30GghKw[/youtube]

8. Deadline for underclassmen to remove name from NBA Draft (Sunday)

This is a little bit different than the last time this day was significant for area sports fans.

In 2009, Terps fans were concerned about the future of guard Greivis Vasquez after an impressive run to the NCAA Tournament. The “Vivacious Venezuelan” rewarded Terrapins fans by returning and leading the team to an ACC regular season title.

This year-we’re not expecting the news to be quite as good.

Gary Williams’ team is coming off a disappointing year that ended with the team even being left out of the NIT. Now it appears that All-ACC, All-American big man Jordan Williams will not give Maryland fans the same good news that Vasquez did two years ago.

If the news goes the wrong way Maryland fans, take heart. We still get to keep this thing he did to Jon Scheyer…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAF6i1DvZ5s[/youtube]

7. Golf: PGA Tour Wells Fargo Championship (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel, Saturday & Sunday 3pm live on CBS. All golf from Charlotte, NC); Champions Tour Regions Tradition (Thursday & Friday 1pm, Saturday & Sunday 3pm from Shoal Creek, AL live on Golf Channel)

I have no idea what’s going on in the world of golf. Forrester kept saying something about Bubba Watson this morning, but I figured that was because he was involved in some sort of weird dream sequence Drew had.

But in golf-related news, former “Big Break” star Nicole Sikora recently changed her Facebook profile picture. I’m assuming she did so because she loves America…

sikora

6. Auto Racing: NASCAR Showtime Southern 500 (Saturday 7:30pm from Darlington, SC live on FOX)

So we’ve reached the part of this where I literally have nothing to say about NASCAR. As I’m writing this, I looked at my girlfriend and said “can you help me with some shtick?”

She said…”How much does it cost for a pirate to get his ears pierced?”

I responded, “I don’t know.”

She said “A buck an ear.”

This has been the first episode of “a contribution from my girlfriend.” I’m sure it was a hit.

5. NBA Playoffs: Eastern Conference Semifinals: Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat (Game 2 Tuesday 7pm from Miami live on TNT, Game 3 Saturday 8pm from Boston live on ABC, Game 4 Monday 7pm from Boston live on TNT), Atlanta Hawks vs. Chicago Bulls (Game 2 Wednesday 8pm from Chicago live on TNT, Game 3 Friday 7pm from Atlanta live on ESPN, Game 4 Sunday 8pm from Atlanta live on TNT); Western Conference Semifinals: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (Game 2 Tuesday 9:30pm from Oklahoma City live on TNT, Game 3 Saturday 5pm from Memphis live on ESPN, Game 4 Monday 9:30pm from Memphis live on TNT), Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Lakers (Game 2 Wednesday 10:30pm from LA live on TNT, Game 3 Friday 9:30pm from Dallas live on ESPN, Game 4 Sunday 3:30pm from Dallas live on ABC)

Holy crap could Greivis Vasquez’s run in the NBA Playoffs be any more exciting? I’m not sure I can even find Memphis on a map, but I’m the biggest fan of the Grizz of all time!

So much so that I recently purchased this t-shirt…

grizz

4. Boxing: Manny Pacquiao vs. Shane Mosley (Saturday 9pm from Las Vegas live on Showtime Pay-Per-View); Friday Night Fights: Gilberto Sanchez Leon vs. Diego Magdaleno (Friday 10pm from Las Vegas live on ESPN2)

Is there any way for me to make a joke about the fact that the biggest boxing matches of the year always come right after Cinco De Mayo and yet not have it sound racist?

Nope. Okay, moving on…

Cinco De Mayo is Thursday. I’ll be celebrating by drinking a lot of Pacifico and doing the Macarena.

That’s what people do on Cinco De Mayo, right?

3. NHL Playoffs: Washington Capitals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (Game 3 Tuesday 6:30pm from Tampa live on Comcast SportsNet & VERSUS, Game 4 Wednesday 7pm from Tampa live on Comcast SportsNet, Game 5 if necessary Saturday 12:30pm from Verizon Center live on NBC, Game 6 if necessary Monday TBD from Tampa live on Comcast SportsNet & VERSUS)

So, while we all know I’m rooting for the Bolts during this series, but I encourage you to come join me at The Dark Horse in Bel Air Tuesday night to root on the Caps.

Yep, I’m as confused as you. But it’ll be fun because we’re drinking beer.

In the meantime, I share with you this picture. I’m not sure what it is, but here it is.

hockey

Hockey is so great.

2. College Lacrosse: Johns Hopkins @ Army (Friday 7pm from West Point, NY live on CBS Sports); Colgate @ Maryland (Saturday 3pm Byrd Stadium); ECAC Tournament: Loyola vs. Fairfield (Thursday 6pm from Denver live on AM1570 WNST), ECAC Championship Game (Saturday 1pm from Denver live on ESPNU-and AM1570 WNST if Greyhounds win Thursday); America East Tournament: UMBC @ Hartford (Wednesday 7pm from Hartford); NCAA Tournament Selection Show (Sunday 9pm live on ESPNU)

Best news about Selection Sunday? Monday will be BRACKET DAY! $15 to get in on my pool, but don’t be a pansy and pick all one seeds to get through. No way Syracuse, JHU, Maryland and Notre Dame all find their way to Baltimore!

Good luck to the Retrievers and Hounds, who will be fighting to get their way into the Dance. If they don’t make it, they can get a nice parting gift from me…this picture of Lisa Marie de Oliviera. (Thanks, Gorilla Mask!)

lisamarie

1. Horse Racing: Kentucky Derby (Saturday 4pm from Louisville live on NBC), Kentucky Oaks (Friday 5pm from Louisville live on VERSUS)

I’m really bitter I won’t be going.

But I’ll share a few things with you anyway. One-if you’re headed to Chuchill Downs, bring sunglasses…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAKeXKwzmco[/youtube]

Two, don’t bet on anyone Rick from Reisterstown tells you to bet on…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJxkbTYekdY[/youtube]

Three, if you don’t like this…move to Russia. This is the best moment in sports…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWbNPQ7XWG4[/youtube]

And as a bonus, here are my friends from Nappy Roots. This song is incredible. I can’t believe I won’t be there…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_f8EiNTuh8[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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In Shadow of Vasquez, Maryland’s Stoglin Continues Emergence

Posted on 20 February 2011 by Glenn Clark

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — It seemed fitting that the University of Maryland would hang the No. 21 jersey of Greivis Vasquez in the Comcast Center rafters during a season where the entire program faces adversity.

Fitting of course because “adversity” could have easily been Vasquez’s middle name during the four seasons he patrolled the floor for the Terrapins before being selected in the first round of the 2010 NBA Draft by the Memphis Grizzlies.

It was much too easy to point out coming into Maryland’s Sunday night tilt with North Carolina State that Gary Williams’ team was still looking for a way to replace Vasquez’s production on the floor and more importantly his leadership on and off the court. It seemed to be the biggest reason why the Terps entered Sunday in imminent danger of having their NCAA Tournament bubble hopes completely burst.

Greivis Vasquez came to Comcast Center Sunday night with a Maryland team facing significant adversity. It was a familiar script.

The difference Sunday for Vasquez was that he had to remain in his seat as the Terps faced a second-half deficit against the Wolfpack. Instead of personally carrying the team on his shoulders through a time of adversity, the “Vivacious Venezuelan” would simply have to watch from his seat to see if one of Maryland’s young guards could carry the team to only their third victory of the season in games decided by a single-digit difference.

Had freshman Terrell Stoglin not stepped up, arena officials may have had to use force to keep Vasquez off the floor.

Stoglin was fantastic for Maryland, scoring 25 points (matching a career high he posted just five days earlier in a loss at Virginia Tech), dishing nine assists and turning the ball over just once as Maryland (17-10, 6-6 ACC) held on for an 87-80 win over NC State (14-12, 4-8).

The win doesn’t get them much closer to the NCAA Tournament, but it at least kept them from burying their hopes altogether.

After being inserted to the starting lineup alongside fellow freshman guard Pe’Shon Howard for the first time all season, the young man from Tucson, Arizona may have well taken a mighty step towards replacing the Under Armours of Vasquez. It started with advice he received when his team faced a 40-38 deficit at halftime.

“I just wanted to push the ball and go, but coach told me to calm down and just stay within our offense” said Stoglin. “That’s what we did and that’s when we came back to take the lead.”

Stoglin was particularly impressive in the second frame, scoring 18 of his 25 points after intermission to go with four more assists and no turnovers. He admitted finding inspiration in the pregame ceremony honoring Vasquez.

“When I saw his jersey number go up there, I thought to myself, ‘Man, that’s what I want.’”

Stoglin is a long way from being remembered with the likes of Vasquez, Steve Blake, Lonny Baxter, Juan Dixon, Keith Booth, Len Elmore, Len Bias and the nine other men who have been honored in such a way just 27 games into his collegiate career. But performances like the one he put together Sunday night are at least reminiscent of some put together by Vasquez.

When the game was on the line, Vasquez came through. Stoglin was aware of that trait when asked what he most admired about the newest Terp to have his jersey honored.

“Honestly? His heart. He wasn’t the most athletic, most talented person but he had heart and I respect that a lot.”

Tying a career high in points and reaching a career high in assists in a potential bubble-eliminating game that was tied with 5:20 to play?

I’d say that qualifies as showing heart.

Williams noticed Stoglin’s performance, but admitted there was one area in particular where the freshman still needed to improve.

“Terrell thinks the green light is always green. He’s never seen a red light.”

The coach would go on to add of his 6-foot-1 freshman: “He’s going to make some mistakes once in a while in terms of shot selection, but what he gives you is someone who wants to be out there and really likes the competition. He really enjoys playing. He’s a tough little guy, and it’s great to see him advance during his freshman year.”

If you take out the word “little”, does it sound like something you heard Williams say about Vasquez?

“It’s the great competitor that thinks he can score against anybody,” Williams added about Stoglin. “You gotta channel that a little bit because you’re going against good people now, and see where it’s best for you to pick your spots. I thought he took two bad shots the whole day, and he scored 25 points. So I’ll take two bad shots for 25 points.”

Williams thought the comparison to Vasquez was fair.

“Greivis gradually came along to where he realized he had to be a leader. That’s what I think changed his game more than anything else was knowing that he had to get people (like) Landon Milbourne and Eric Hayes involved in the game. That’s what moved Greivis up to the level where he could play in the NBA.”

For his part, Vasquez was happy to see Stoglin and Howard both in the starting lineup.

“That’s great,” said Vasquez. “That puts a lot of pressure on the upperclassmen. They’ve got to take it as ‘if these guys as freshmen are playing hard, now we’ve got to wake up.’”

It’s not worth getting too carried away about a game against NC State, but 50 points in two games is enough of a statement that it cannot be totally ignored.

Maryland has a long way to go to reach the NCAA Tournament, likely needing to start with wins against Florida State and North Carolina this week to have any hopes of reaching the NCAA Tournament.

But the emergence of Stoglin alongside the continued dominance of sophomore big man Jordan Williams (who scored 26 points and collected eight rebounds against NCSU) give Maryland fans hope that a magical run like the one Vasquez lead Maryland on in 2009 might still be possible.

And in the eyes of Gary Williams, the comparison between Stoglin and Vasquez is favorable towards the youngster in at least one area.

“Greivis is a lot crazier than that. Terrell’s like easy to coach in his freshman year.”

-G

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Huevos! Maryland’s Vasquez Named WNST Local Sports Person of the Year

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Huevos! Maryland’s Vasquez Named WNST Local Sports Person of the Year

Posted on 23 December 2010 by Glenn Clark

Had it simply been based on accolades, Greivis Vasquez would have won WNST’s 2010 Local Sports Person of the Year award going away.

In 2010, the former Maryland Terrapins guard was named first-team All-ACC, second-team All-American, ACC Player of the Year, and the Bob Cousy Award winner — given to the nation’s top point guard. He also helped the Terps clinch a share of the ACC regular season title. When the Memphis Grizzlies selected him with the 28th pick of the NBA Draft in June, Vasquez became the first Terrapin selected in the first round of the NBA Draft since Chris Wilcox and Juan Dixon were picked in 2002.

In terms of on-field (on in this case on-court) accomplishments, no athlete in the state of Maryland reached the heights that the “Vivacious Venezuelan” did in 2010. As Jason Jubb (WNST.net contributor and former “Sunday Morning Blitz” co-host) said, Vasquez “took over this year.”

However, Vasquez’s selection was about more than just on-court ability. There was something about watching Vasquez play in 2010 that made fans in Baltimore and throughout the state heap adoration at a level not seen since Dixon’s graduation.

Sometimes a picture explains just about everything.

vasquez

It was the passion displayed by Vasquez when he stepped foot on a basketball court that made fans fall in love.

WNST’s Ryan Chell said Vasquez in 2010 was “hated by every other ACC fan and adored by the Terps nation. He put the team on his shoulders.”

Never was it more evident than in the game pictured above.

On March 3, Maryland defeated then No. 4 Duke, 79-72. It was Senior Night at Comcast Center, and Vasquez’s final game was one of the more passionate displays in recent college basketball history.

Vasquez led the way for Maryland with 20 points and 5 assists in the victory, but it was one particular shot that was a total display of “huevos” (a term first labeled by ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt) in the final seconds.

With Maryland clinging to a 71-69 advantage over the Blue Devils in the final minute, there was no question Vasquez would take the shot. And despite the shot being an off-balanced, running 12-footer that looked more like a heave than an actual basketball shot, there was really no question whether or not the shot would go in…even if it had to find every piece of the rim before it would fall.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dA_qoFMFITA[/youtube]

It wasn’t only the Duke game that stood out in 2010 for the young man from Caracas. In fact, Vasquez’s shining moment may well have occurred just one game earlier.

The Terrapins traveled to Blacksburg to face Virginia Tech February 27. The game was delayed more than three hours due to a water main break outside Cassell Coliseum. Maybe the anticipation built during the delay made the nature of the performance even greater.

Vasquez posted 41 points, seven rebounds, and six assists en route to 104-100 win over the Hokies in two overtimes.

The two wins would ultimately be the difference for the Terps in sharing the ACC crown.

Watching Vasquez play in 2010 was special.

It’s unlikely that Vasquez could have won a 1-on-1 contest with some of the great all-around players in recent Maryland history. Vasquez’s game wasn’t nearly as polished as someone like Dixon, Steve Francis or even John Gilchrist.

Yet in terms of fortitude, only Dixon could match Vasquez. Vasquez cared deeply about representing the students, the University and the entire state.

“Every time I put on the jersey I did my best and cared about them,” said Vasquez after learning he had won the award. “Those four years at Maryland were a big part in my life, and I eventually want to raise my family around Maryland because it meant very much to me.”

It was the type of passion that rubbed off on everyone around him, including his teammates.

“He was a great teammate,” Maryland guard Adrian Bowie told WNST. “His passion was evident on and off the court. He loved us and we loved him.”

Perhaps that passion was no more evident than in his final act as a Terrapin, a devastating 85-83 defeat to Michigan State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Trailing by 16 late in the second half and seemingly limping out on a disappointing note, Vasquez took his team on his back a final time, scoring nine of Maryland’s 11 points in the final two minutes. His final basket with six seconds left to give the Terps a one-point lead looked to be another brilliant moment before the Spartans’ Korie Lucious broke the hearts of Terrapin Nation with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer, ending Vasquez’s collegiate career and leaving fans wishing for one more chance to watch him.

“It’s a memory all Maryland fans want to forget, but his final game left you wanting more and epitomized what he meant to this program,” said WNST’s Luke Jones. “We throw around words like courage and heart all the time in the sports world, but his passion, his determination was authentic. In those final minutes when he nearly willed the Terps to victory when it seemed all but impossible, it summed him up perfectly. As disappointing as it was for the team, knowing Vasquez would never wear that uniform again was sobering. You didn’t want it to end.”

Vasquez truly was loved by fans both on campus in College Park and throughout the mid-Atlantic region. His talent as a basketball player was appreciated, but his incredible passion made watching him play a joyous experience for Terps fans.

For as much joy as Maryland fans (and WNST contributors) took from watching Vasquez on the court, Maryland Head Coach Gary Williams told WNST he took equally as much joy from coaching him.

“If you pay a lot of money for a ticket, I think you want that guy that you paid the money to see to really work as hard as (in your mind) you would if you were a player,” said Williams after learning Vasquez had won the honor. “And that’s what Greivis gave all those people that bought the tickets. He gave them that player that played they way they would play if they got the chance.”

“I’ve always felt a big part of college basketball is the passion in the game,” added Williams. “I talk to pro players that have played here, played other places, and they really miss that passion that you get at college basketball in big games. Greivis was a part of that. He was nationally known as one of those guys.”

In a fitting twist, the brilliant performance of Vasquez in 2010 came after what would have to be considered the last “low” moment in what had previously been a roller-coaster career.

On Dec. 30, 2009, Vasquez pulled up but missed an important three point shot in transition in the second half of Maryland’s 83-77 loss to William & Mary at Comcast Center. Trailing by seven points, the miss turned into a five-point swing in favor of the Tribe as they would go on to upset the Terps.

The tone for Vasquez in 2010 was set that night. Not by the miss, but by the support shown by Williams despite the crucial miss (and poor decision). When asked about the shot after the game, Williams responded:

“Greivis has won a lot of games for us pulling up for threes. He didn’t make that one. Sure, he missed it, so I wish he would have driven the ball. But if he would have driven the ball and gotten his shot blocked, I’d wished he would have taken the three. It’s the way it works. I want Greivis to keep playing like he’s playing. He’s working hard, he’s trying to help us win. As long as he does that-I’ve had a lot of great players here that take shots once in a while that take shots that you might not like as a coach but that’s part of what makes them great. They have that aggressiveness, they have that no fear of being out there playing which you try to put into a lot of players, but not everybody has that.”

With that support, Vasquez never looked back in 2010.

“I can’t say enough about coach,” Vasquez told WNST. “I think he made a big impact not only in my game but in my life. He mean so much to me not only as my coach, but as a father and a friend, everything I needed. He’s more than a good friend, he’s a mentor. That’s why he’s successful and wins championships and went to the Final Four. I can’t say enough about coach Williams and he will be a special person to me for the rest of my life.”

Vasquez’s personality wasn’t left on the floor. He was as engaging on the campus in College Park and in the community as well.

“Greivis always had time for people,” Williams said. “Sometimes I’d have to get on him because he was trying to do too many things to please too many people. The time he read books in elementary school to kids in Spanish-in a lot of Spanish areas around here-nobody even knew about that stuff. He was just always willing to show up. If they had a shoot-a-thon to raise money for charity on campus, Greivis would come in and try to make one from half court. That’s just the way he was. He was just always willing to be like the other students, which they really appreciated.”

“Greivis had a passion for both basketball and for life that was infectious,” Maryland associate Athletic Director Doug Dull told WNST as well. “He had a confidence and a personality that was magical and unforgettable.”

Watching Greivis Vasquez play basketball in 2010 was a special feeling for Terrapins fans and even those who support other schools but live in the area and found themselves glued to Maryland games.

There were two voting qualifications for the Local Sports Person of the Year honor.

The first was that the person had to play for a professional, college or high school team in the state of Maryland OR represent the state of Maryland in an individual sport.

The second was that the honor was year-specific. The honoree had to be someone for whom 2010 stood out not only in comparison to other sports figures, but also to things they had accomplished themselves in other years.

D1scourse.com writer (and regular contributor to “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST in 2010) Patrick Stevens offered a very well thought out explanation as to why Vasquez best met both qualifications.

“Vasquez came to Maryland with maybe his biggest obstacle being the language barrier. That’s almost a bigger impediment for someone who sort of knows a second language and tries to fit in while learning on the fly than someone who just relies on a translator and stays in his comfort zone. The thing was, Vasquez was always supremely at ease on the court, where it was immensely easier for him to express himself than through his many, many words.”

Stevens added, “For as much as people latched onto Vasquez’s rhetoric throughout his college career, he was always better measured through his deeds. It didn’t matter if it was on the floor (a 41-point night at Virginia Tech or helping topple Duke in his last home game) or off (posing for picture after picture well after games ended or simple gestures like handing a pair of shoes to a security guard at the ACC Tournament). Vasquez was the most impactful University of Maryland athlete since Juan Dixon, and never more so than in 2010.”

Vasquez’s often hard-nosed head coach was emotional in summing up his feelings about his former star player.

“The person that he is…is really tremendous. I really miss him. Obviously, you miss his playing ability, but you miss him being around.”

He’s not the only one.

-G

(Vasquez joined Rex Snider, Luke Jones and Glenn Clark on “The Afternoon Drive” Thursday to accept the honor. That interview is available now in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net.)

Final Voting For WNST Local Sports Person of the Year-

1-Greivis Vasquez (20 points)
2-Buck Showalter (19 points)
3-Ray Lewis (10 points)
4-Joe Flacco (7 points)
4-Danny O’Brien (7 points)
6-Anquan Boldin (5 points)
7-John Rallo (4 points)
8-Gary Williams (3 points)
8-Jay Davidson (3 points)
8-John Harbaugh (3 points)
8-Forest Boyce (3 points)
8-Caitlyn McFadden (3 points)
8-Pam Shriver (3 points)
8-Cal Ripken (3 points)
15-Bill Ripken (2 points)
15-Ben’s Cat (horse) (2 points)
17-Pete Caringi (1 point)
17-Kevin Plank (1 point)
17-Reggie Holmes (1 point)

Panel of AM1570 & WNST.net contributors eligible to vote included: Glenn Clark, Drew Forrester, Thyrl Nelson, Rex Snider, Nestor Aparicio, Luke Jones, Ryan Chell, Ashley Bishoff, Pete Kerzel (CSNBaltimore.com writer/regular contributor to “The Mobtown Sports Beat”), Jon Schmidt (WNST Sales), Paul Kopelke (WNST General Manager), Christine Cortezi (WNST sales), Jason Jubb, Mark Suchy, Patrick Stevens (D1scourse.com/regular contributor to “The Morning Reaction”), Sam Angell (WNST.net contributor), Allen McCallum (regular contributor to “The Afternoon Drive), Ed Frankovic, Gary Quill, Derek Arnold (BMoreBirdsNest.com/WNST.net contributor), BJ Appel (WNST.net contributor), Chris Pika, Lawson Lambert (WNST.net contributor), John Rallo (“Shogun Fights”/regular contributor to “The Mobtown Sports Beat”), Jay Trucker (Examiner.com writer/WNST.net contributor), Todd Helmick (NationalChamps.net writer/regular contributor to “The Mobtown Sports Beat”) and Brian Billick (WNST part-owner). Not all contributors eligible submitted ballots.

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Regarding LeBron: How Would We Have Felt?

Posted on 13 July 2010 by Glenn Clark

If I chime in on LeBron James, does that officially mean that EVERY columnist/blogger in the world of sports media would have dedicated print/type to the subject?

I will admit that I have much less moved by the LeBron James saga than the large majority of this country. I was unmoved by his free agent courting process, I was unmoved by ESPN’s “The Decision” special, I was unmoved by his decision to bolt Cleveland for Miami, and I was unmoved by Dan Gilbert losing his mind Thursday night.

I will also admit that rarely am I particularly moved in any way by a subject in sports that doesn’t garner any sort of emotional investment from me. With no offense to the Boston Celtics or Los Angeles Lakers, my level of involvement in the NBA Finals was minimal at best. If I was home and the games were on, I watched them. I certainly did not plan my month of June around making sure I was home to see Kobe Bryant go up against Paul Pierce.

I have no emotional investment when it comes to LeBron James. I have enjoyed watching him play at times (his masterpiece against the Detroit Pistons in the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals was special), but I have never been much too concerned about what he was doing on or off the floor.

Apparently I’m one of the few.

The most compelling thing about the LeBron saga for me has been the reaction-both in Cleveland and across the country. Be it fans burning LBJ jerseys in “The Comeback City” or Jesse Jackson forcing himself into the topic, I have been intrigued by all of the attention that has been placed on the subject.

Heck, even my partner on “The Morning Reaction” Drew Forrester has been inspired to talk about the NBA, a subject I couldn’t even ask him to discuss the other 11 months of the year.

Obviously the most irrational reaction has come from the shores of Lake Erie, where sports fans have not only burned jerseys; but have made much more dangerous threats and have compared the man they previously called “The King” to their other most despised sports figure-former Baltimore Ravens majority owner Art Modell.

Also amongst the reaction have been the inevitable comparisons to heartbreak-or potential heartbreak-in other cities. For example, Yahoo! Sports’ Les Carpenter (formerly of the Washington Post) wrote a column comparing James’ decision to depart Cleveland to the decision Cal Ripken made in 1988 to re-sign with the Baltimore Orioles.

It’s a fair comparison. Both were local products who achieved great success early in their career with their hometown team. There are also key differences.

Had Cal Ripken walked away from Charm City following the 1988 season, he would have been doing it in an era where fan reaction would have been much more difficult to gauge.

There were no sports talk radio stations in Baltimore in 1988. Blogging didn’t exist. Only the columnists at the Baltimore Sun and Washington Post would have REALLY had a chance to express the feelings about Ripken’s decision in a way that could have been knowledge to the man who would eventually become a Hall of Fame-caliber player.

There are also career differences-as Cal Ripken had helped lead the Birds to victory in the 1983 World Series, while LeBron James had never reached the mountaintop with the Cavs. Cleveland fans are starved for a championship at this point considering the many near misses of not only the Cavs, but also the near misses of the Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Indians over the last 25 years.

Part of the angst felt by Cleveland fans certainly has something to do with the fact that they had to be convinced James would be part of the solution to finally end the city’s title drought. In reality, it’s hard for fans in ANY city in the country to really understand the mental makeup of a fanbase that hasn’t claimed a major pro sports title since 1964. Heck, in Baltimore alone we’ve won 5 titles since then, despite having only two pro sports-one of which was missing for over a decade.

However, I don’t necessarily think it’s unfair to try to consider how we’d feel in the situation. It’s with that in mind that I offer this hypothetical, which may or may not have any real validity in the big picture.

Let’s imagine that the Baltimore Bullets never left town. Instead of moving the team to Washington, Abe Pollin was granted an expansion team in DC and sold the Bullets to local ownership. Let’s also consider that instead of the Bullets franchise winning the 1978 NBA Championship; the “Washington Wizards” expansion team won the title.

Stay with me.

Let’s continue with the hypothetical and say that the Baltimore Bullets franchise during the 80′s and 90′s had about the same success level as the team that ACTUALLY moved in the nation’s capital did. The Bullets/Wizards franchise made just one playoff appearance between 1988 and 2004-a 1st round sweep at the hands of Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in 1997.

Now let’s consider that in the mid-1990′s, the team had moved out of the clearly defunct Baltimore Arena and into a new building, potentially where M&T Bank Stadium now sits. The building is now known as the “Under Armour Center”, but was previously known as “PSINet Arena.”

Still with me? I hope so. I’ve laid the groundwork for the “Baltimore Crabs” (the NBA still forced a name change due to the violent nature of the name “Bullets”); a team that has existed since 1963 without winning a NBA Championship and has at times struggled to survive given the organization’s struggles and the level of pro competition in both Baltimore and DC.

Now, let’s have that organization meet a significant player. Let’s say that Towson Catholic graduate Carmelo Anthony decided that instead of going to Syracuse, he would follow in the footsteps of fellow Catholic League star Juan Dixon and could commit to Maryland. During the ’02-’03 season; ‘Melo would join with Steve Blake and Drew Nicholas to lead Gary Williams’ Terrapins to a 2nd consecutive NCAA Championship and then bolt to the NBA.

Look, I said this was a hypothetical. I probably should have said “dream sequence.” But let’s not split hairs here. I know Carmelo was BORN in New York and has always been fascinated with The Big Apple, but let’s pretend he was MORE fascinated with staying home. It works better here.

Being one of the poorer teams in the ’02-’03 season, the Crabs obtained the #2 (or #3) overall pick in the NBA Draft; where they were able to select Carmelo after the Cavaliers selected LeBron James.

Suddenly, a franchise with no direction and no hope becomes a team with a local star player-a player that would quickly develop into a perennial All-Star and would lead his team to the playoffs year in and year out.

Games at the Under Armour Center are now sold out before the season after previously being attended at O’s-like rates. Businesses near the Inner Harbor boom 50+ nights a year when the Crabs are at home. Crabs jerseys with the Number 15 on them are as popular sellers as Ravens jerseys with the Number 52.

On top of all of that, the Crabs really put things together in 2010-2011, and Carmelo eventually leads the Crabs to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history-where they unfortunately lose to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Did you stay with me?

It’s the summer of 2010. The Baltimore Crabs have acquired some solid players, but were fortunate to get past the Miami Heat in ’11 because Chris Bosh was hurt early in the season. With a healthy Bosh teaming with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, the Heat are again viewed as the significant favorites to win the East. Amare Stoudemire had a stellar season for the Knicks, and rumors swirl that New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul will join him at Madison Square Garden to try to make a run at the Heat.

Carmelo Anthony is now facing free agency. He’s beloved in Baltimore, where his family and friends have enjoyed watching him play night in and night out. The people of Baltimore view him as an icon, but he’s not sure he can get over the hump and win a championship given the commitment level from ownership.

With all of that in mind, Carmelo bolts. He signs a max deal to join Amare and Chris Paul in New York, where a welcome party is held in Times Square and he’s given a key to the city by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Now here’s the question.

How do you feel?

Are you burning a jersey in the street?

Are you calling Carmelo a “coward” or a “traitor” or “Benedict Anthony”?

Are you ready to picket outside the Carmelo Anthony Youth Center?

Or are you willing to say “he’s still a hometown guy, and I’ll always be grateful for what he did here”?

I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer.

The reality is that I might be closer to “burning a jersey in the street” than I would be to “thanking him for the years he gave to the city.”

How would you react? How would Baltimore have felt if this were OUR star?

It’s worth considering.

-G

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Not JUST a Cheap Shot-But a Low Blow AND a Fact

Posted on 09 July 2010 by Glenn Clark

I will be enjoying my first day off in some time today; as I will be headed up to HersheyPark with some family during the day, then on to see Dave Matthews Band with friends tonight. Some might say I don’t deserve it, but to you I say…yeah…yeah, you’re probably right.

If you missed out “Cheap Shots From the Bleachers” segment yesterday, I responded to the fact that some in town (including 105.7 and the Baltimore Sun) were about 4 days late in getting to the “Ed Reed wants a new contract” story that we found out about during an interview with Ed last Friday with Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST. (Which you can of course hear in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net.)

As I pointed out yesterday, it really doesn’t bother me if others in town give us credit when we have something first-whether it’s an interview, story, or anything else. I understand the way things work in Baltimore. There are partnerships-The Orioles have partnered with the Sun, MASN, WJZ 13 and 105.7. The Ravens have partnered with the Sun, MASN, WBAL Radio/WBAL 11 and 98 Rock. Therefore, those folks need to give each other backrubs. That doesn’t bother me, it really doesn’t.

Instead, it reminded me that maybe some folks TRULY believed that by listening to other folks in town, they would be the first to get info or hear interviews. That’s simply not the case. If you want to hear from a sports newsmaker in Charm City, WNST IS the place to turn. Consider just these things from the Spring and Summer of 2010…

-WNST.net was the first media source to talk to new Ravens WR Anquan Boldin. We posted comments from Anquan via the website and Twitter (follow us @WNST) less than 15 minutes after the Ravens acquired him from the Arizona Cardinals; and before even BaltimoreRavens.com had posted comments from the receiver. Boldin appeared with us on WNST for a live interview after being introduced in Owings Mills.

-WNST was also the first media outlet to talk to DT Cory Redding after he was acquired by the Ravens. Redding, Shayne Graham, Ken Hamlin and now even Walt Harris (who appeared with Drew Forrester Friday morning on AM1570) have all since did their first Baltimore interviews with us on WNST. Dwan Edwards did his first interview after leaving Baltimore for the Buffalo Bills with us as well.

-While WBAL’s partnership with the Ravens allowed them to speak to certain members of the Ravens 2010 Draft class before anyone else; WNST was the first station in town to speak to ALL members of the Ravens draft class-Sergio Kindle, Terrence Cody, Ed Dickson, Dennis Pitta, David Reed, Arthur Jones and Ramon Harewood. We also spoke live on-air with the undrafted free agents who have the best shot at making the roster out of Training Camp-CB Prince Miller and FB Mike McLaughlin.

-Did I mention the Ed Reed thing?

-It isn’t just that we’re first with the Ravens though. Following Selection Sunday, WNST was the first to talk live with Morgan State’s Reggie Holmes and Todd Bozeman, as well as Maryland’s Eric Hayes and Gary Williams. In fact, all 4 made live radio appearances on WNST within 13 hours of the Selection Sunday announcement.

-Since then, WNST was the first place to hear from Hayes, Landon Milbourne and Greivis Vasquez as those Terps prepared for the NBA Draft.

-Before that, WNST was the first place to hear from football Terrapins like Nolan Carroll, Chris Turner, Terrell Skinner and Bruce Campbell as they prepared for the NFL Draft.

-Also, WNST has been the first station to talk to Debbie Yow after she departed College Park for NC State, as well as Maryland interim Athletic Director Randy Eaton. We were also the first station to talk to new Maryland lacrosse coach John Tillman, new Loyola AD Jim Paquette and Towson interim Athletic Director Ted Zaleski Jr. After breaking the news that Xavier assistant Bino Ranson would be leaving Cincinnati for Maryland, WNST was also the first media outlet in town to talk to him.

-There’s more than that. After winning the Kentucky Derby and while looking towards the Preakness, both Calvin Borel and Todd Pletcher did their first Baltimore interviews with WNST. After winning the Belmont Stakes, both winning jockey Mike Smith and first time Triple Crown race-winning trainer Bill Mott did their first Baltimore interviews with WNST.

There’s more, but we’ll leave it at that for now. None of these were locker room sessions, press conferences, or a case where one of our hosts stuck a mic in someone’s face and got a comment. These were all LIVE radio interviews, and they were the first interviews done in town by important newsmakers in Baltimore sports.

Clearly, the Baltimore Orioles are missing from the list. That being said, the Baltimore Orioles have been missing from the field for the better part of the season as well. I could point out that WNST was the first to talk to Frederick Keys pitcher Nathan Moreau after he threw a no-hitter, but I’m not sure that would matter much. The relationship between the O’s and WNST is well-documented, and I’m not interested in re-igniting that fire here.

The reason I wrote this isn’t to “trash” other media outlets in town. I think a lot of folks in town do a really good job. I would know, as I have checked out the archives of every outlet on a daily basis to make sure that I wasn’t lying about any interview I claimed WNST had “first.” In fact, I’d encourage you to check out our own Audio Vault at WNST.net, and then check out the archives of other outlets in town (105.7, 1370, 1090) to confirm for yourself. Of course, you’ll learn exactly what I wrote above.

The reason I wrote this is to remind you that the BEST place to go to hear from sports newsmakers in Baltimore is AM1570 WNST and WNST.net.

Some other outlets like to tell you that they’re the “Sports Leader.” I’ll just encourage you to check our work.

A lot of folks in town do a great job of talking to folks ABOUT the news. But there is one CLEAR choice when it comes to hearing from the folks who are MAKING news.

It’s all there.

-G

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 29 June 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Tuesday!

It’s a Happy Tuesday for me because someone found a YouTube video of a guy holding an AK-47 and lip-syncing or singing a karaoke version of “Hello” by Lionel Richie. There’s absolutely no reason for me to enjoy this video, but yet I do…

I have no idea WHY I’d enjoy this video so much, but for some reason…yeah…this…this is just fine.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pGBu6wYYkI[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Jason Berken, Ty Wigginton, Nick Markakis likely All-Star Game candidates for Orioles, Juan Samuel supports Adam Jones

And with that, congratulations to the Birds’ interim manager for winning his first ever “Apologist of the Morning” honor, as selected by “The Great Arbitrator” Drew Forrester. I’m well aware that Adam Jones is on an absolutely TORRID pace right now, but hitting well for a few weeks does not a season make. (How was that for poetry?)

Jones’ OBP is just .296. I know he’s hit 12 home runs this season, but he has just 8 walks. Those are NOT All-Star numbers. If the team had done anything before the last 5 days, I’d say he should be a candidate for American League Player of the Month; but getting hot quickly doesn’t qualify you to be an All-Star. Sorry Juan Samuel. Wigginton is in a similar boat. Hitting well to start the season and then falling off the face of the planet doesn’t qualify you as an All-Star either.

The reality is that if the player who has been the best for the O’s all season were to go to Anaheim, it would be Berken. He’s given up 8 earned runs all season, with just 12 walks and 32 strikeouts. He’s absolutely been fantastic. Does he have the pedigree of an All-Star? Of course not. But has he been the team’s “best” player this season from Opening Day until June 29th? I think there’s no doubt about that.

My choice to go to Angel Stadium remains Markakis. As far as someone who “belongs”, Markakis fits the bill. He’s been consistent throughout the season, although he clearly has lacked in the HR and RBI department. The fact remains that this team SHOULDN’T have an All-Star representative, but rules dictate that someone has to go. If someone has to go, I would certainly feel most comfortable with that player being Markakis.

2. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Garrett Atkins not interested in accepting AAA assignment to Norfolk

And as Drew stated so well via Twitter last night (follow us @WNST), the Tides reportedly responded by saying “Somehow, we’ll survive…”

In fairness, Norfolk already has a few Garrett Atkins’ on their roster in Nolan Reimold and Brandon Snyder. I’m not sure that this organization really needs another Garrett Atkins around. It just didn’t work here. For all parties involved (especially one Andy MacPhail), it’s probably best that the sides part ways cleanly.

As a note, I saw the Sun report that Brady Anderson is working with Nolan Reimold. I don’t know that it will make Nolan Reimold a major league baseball player again this season; but I certainly see no reason why it wouldn’t be a good idea. Having the likes of Brady Anderson, BJ Surhoff, Mike Bordick, etc. around is a perfectly good idea in my eyes.

3. The AP/STATS’ Mike Lipka previews O’s-A’s series starting tonight at Oriole Park at Camden Yards

First pitch tonight at OPACY is at 7:05pm, with Dallas Braden facing Brian Matusz. If you’re like me and not really interested in dealing with the heat; you can check the game out on MASN2. As Drew and I discussed this morning; the amazing thing here is that despite the fact that we’ve already seen Oakland 6 times this season-I still can’t name more than 5 or 6 position players off the top of my head.

Rajai Davis can ground out into a triple, I know him. Kevin Kouzmanoff has as many letters in his last name as he does significant hits in his career. Daric Barton is the only human being on the face of the planet with the name Daric. Kurt Suzuki is a worse option to hit cleanup than anyone Baltimore has trotted out this season. I’m pretty sure they have a Sweeney as well…Ryan Sweeney if I remember right.

That’s all I can think of off the top of my head. Is Mark Ellis still on the roster? I know Eric Chavez got hurt, I used to be able to name him. I know the A’s pitchers have been pretty good this season. But in reality, the Birds still have a realistic shot at winning a few more games this week.

Of course, I’ve found myself thinking that before.

4. Virginian-Pilot says Chris George rocked in Tides’ loss to Louisville Monday night on farm

You know what else got rocked? MY MIND when I heard WWTDD had pictures of Kelly Brook from her vacation…

kellybrook

5. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens 6th round pick (Morehouse State OT) Ramon Harewood agreed to 3 year deal

This now leaves the Ravens with more SIGNED picks (Harewood, Dennis Pitta, Arthur Jones and David Reed) than they do UNSIGNED (Sergio Kindle, Terrence Cody, Ed Dickson). Nothing surprising here; as I’ve stated before that there’s no reason to think the team will have any trouble getting their picks signed this year.

As far as where Harewood fits in with the Ravens; he’s going to have an uphill climb to be on the roster Week 1 when the Ravens face the New York Jets on Monday Night Football. Michael Oher and Jared Gaither (who I’ve said before is expected to be on the roster come Week 1) are entrenched at the starting tackle positions. Behind them, Oniel Cousins has shown himself to be the #3 guy. Marshal Yanda’s flexibility kept Tony Moll from dressing much last season, but he was on the roster all season after being acquired from Green Bay.

The simple answer would for me to say that Harewood is competing with Moll for a roster spot. That’s not entirely true. Moll has some ability to go inside, which makes him more valuable on Cam Cameron’s offense-even if his natural ability isn’t at the same level as some others on the roster. Harewood is also going to be coming off a knee injury suffered in minicamp when he reports to Westminster. There is ABSOLUTELY a chance that the team could try to store him on IR or the practice squad.

Stefan Rodgers and Joe Reitz are also options at Tackle, and Harewood would have to stay ahead of them to have a shot at making the 53 out of Training Camp. I had him JUST off the bubble on my initial mock roster, I doubt that will change as we get closer to reporting to McDaniel College.

6. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says Greg Mattison thinks Tom Zbikowski playing like Ed Reed

And there isn’t much of anyone better in the world for Zbikowski to model himself after. Similarly, I try to get my girlfriend (you may be familiar with her-”The Luckiest Dang Gal on the Face of the Planet”), to try to be more and more like Mallilany Malin (Thanks Guyism!)…

malin

7. Yahoo! Sports’ Jason Cole says Ravens have 2nd best D-Line in NFL

With the Minnesota Vikings at Number 1, I can’t possibly argue with either of the rankings. Clearly the line with Kevin Williams, Pat Williams and Jared Allen HAS to be considered the best in the National Football League; but the Ravens have built something that deserves recognition as well.

Clearly the Ravens’ D-Line is anchored inside out; with the likes of Haloti Ngata, Terrence Cody and Kelly Gregg holding down the middle. The depth the team has built inside with the likes of Kelly Talavou, Brandon McKinney, Arthur Jones and Lamar Divens behind that.

The reason the Ravens couldn’t really even be CONSIDERED ahead of the Vikes is the lack of a true premier rush end. There was a time that Trevor Pryce WAS that guy, but he isn’t anymore. The team believes that Pryce and Cory Redding can combine to anchor the position moving forward; and I don’t doubt that they can. There’s still a hope that Paul Kruger can develop into a true rush end; but obviously he isn’t there yet.

8. UMTerps.com says Randy Eaton named interim Athletic Director at Maryland

Which is a MUCH too logical decision for the University to make. Eaton has been VERY involved with the program in the role of CFO in recent years, and has been hands on in important decisions with finances, scheduling and personnel. There is no question that if there is someone on staff who at least deserves CONSIDERATION for the job permanently, it would be Eaton.

If you’re interested, Eaton will join Drew Forrester tomorrow morning at 9:00am to talk about his new role. I think Eaton will do a great job in the role, which he could have to fill for some time. With no timetable to complete the search to replace C.D. Mote as University President, the search to find a new Athletic Director could certainly extend into the academic year.

9. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Debbie Yow will make basically same salary at NC State as she did in College Park

If you missed Debbie Yow’s appearance this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST, it is absolutely worth the listen. You can head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net now to check it out.

Maryland soccer coach Sasho Cirvoski joined the show to go around the World Cup, and Washington Capitals GM George McPhee recapped the NHL Entry Draft as well. It’s all there in the Audio Vault if you want to check it out.

Also, the new weekly episode of the “D1scast” with myself and Patrick Stevens is also available now in the Audio Vault. We talk at length about Debbie Yow, Randy Eaton, Greivis Vasquez, the NBA Draft, and the great 4th of July scene in “The Sandlot.” It’s must listen…if you must.

10. Inside Lacrosse’s Terry Foy says former Terrapins lacrosse coach Dave Cottle has interviewed at Harvard

I have no idea if Cottle would be a good fit in the Ivy League. Regionally, he has no coaching experience in New England-but he IS a hell of a coach.

As sad as he was to leave his players, do you get the feeling Dave Cottle felt WORSE about leaving when he found out that the girls in the Undie Run were hanging out with Testudo???

undierun

And finally, I leave you with this.

If you haven’t picked up Drake’s new disc “Thank Me Later”, I suggest you do. I’m FEELING “Miss Me”, even if I’d fight Drake over his desire to marry Nicki Minaj…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84N0xXE_WjM[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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