NORFOLK, Va. — Coppin State’s Patrick Cole was named the Co-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week the league announced on Monday. Cole shared the award with Darryl Palmer of South Carolina State.
Cole scored 25 points against USC in his Coppin State debut. He finished the game 7-of-13 from the floor and made 3-of-4 three-point attempts to lead the Eagles in scoring against the Trojans. He also added a game-high six steals.
Cole scored the most points by a Coppin State player in a season opener since Jorge Cajigas had 28 points against UMBC on Nov. 19, 1999. It also was the most points scored by a CSU freshman in a season-opening game since the Eagles joined the MEAC in 1985-86.
Brandon Goode of Norfolk State was named the MEAC Player of the Week and Marques Oliver of Delaware State was honored as the Defensive Player of the Week.
Coppin State will face Texas tonight at 8 p.m. in the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational in Austin, Texas.
As always, this week’s 15-7-0 is brought to you by Roofing By Elite. Visit them at roofingbyelite.com. We make 15 observations about football that are ELITE, 7 that are “not so ELITE” and one “zero” who deserves to sleep on the roof from outside of football.
(As a reminder, we don’t do Baltimore Ravens game analysis here. We do PLENTY of that elsewhere. This is about the rest of the world of football.)
Not a joke. Geno Smith and Matt Barkley have been done for weeks…no one is excited about Collin Klein…and Kenjon Barner played at midnight the other night. Meanwhile Johnny Football was throwing touchdowns even on plays where he fumbled…
Hey Nick Saban-where are you in the polls now???
Elsewhere in the SEC, Auburn fans are looking forward to when coach Gene Chizik gets “Dooley-ed”…
After advancing to the postseason for the first time in 15 years, the Orioles are apparently targeting the top free-agent hitter on the market this offseason.
According to a report from FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi, Texas Rangers outfielder and 2010 American League Most Valuable Player Josh Hamilton tops the club’s wishlist this winter as he would provide an excellent fit in left field. Nate McLouth is a free agent, so there is a clear opening in the outfield to add one of the game’s most feared hitters.
Hamilton hit .285, clubbed 43 home runs, and knocked in 128 runs in Texas this past season, but the 31-year-old struggled in the second half of the season with a .259 average and drew the ire of Rangers fans as he struggled down the stretch during a team-wide collapse that cost Texas the AL West division title.
Much doubt remains over how serious executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette and the Orioles would be about Hamilton, who is reportedly seeking a deal in the range of seven years and $175 million. Baltimore’s Opening Day payroll in 2012 was an estimated $84 million, so the addition of Hamilton would drastically alter their current payroll structure.
Morsosi also reports the same source said free-agent outfielder Cody Ross would be another option they might target should Hamilton’s price prove too steep. He hit .267 with 22 home runs and 81 runs batted in with the Boston Red Sox in 2012.
Here are tonight’s lineups as the Orioles play the Texas Rangers in the first ever American League Wild Card game in which the winner advances to the American League Division Series to play the New York Yankees …
LF Nate McLouth
SS J.J. Hardy
RF Chris Davis
CF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters
DH Jim Thome
1B Mark Reynolds
2B Ryan Flaherty
3B Manny Machado
SP Joe Saunders
Here is the Orioles’ full available 25 man roster for the game…
Robert Andino INF
Endy Chavez OF
Chris Davis RF
Ryan Flaherty INF
Lew Ford OF
JJ Hardy SS
Adam Jones CF
Manny Machado 3B
Nate McLouth OF
Omar Quintanilla INF
Mark Reynolds 1B
Jim Thome DH
Taylor Teagarden CA
Matt Wieters CA
Jake Arrieta RHP
Luis Ayala RHP
Zach Britton LHP
Tommy Hunter RHP
Jim Johnson RHP
Steve Johnson RHP
Brian Matusz LHP
Darren O’Day RHP
Troy Patton LHP
Joe Saunders LHP
Pedro Strop RHP
2B Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
LF Josh Hamilton
3B Adrian Beltre
RF Nelson Cruz
1B Michael Young
DH Mike Napoli
C Geovany Soto
CF Craig Gentry
SP Yu Darvish
Here is the Rangers’ full available 25 man roster for the game…
Yu Darvish (starter), Scott Feldman, Roy Oswalt, Joe Nathan, Alexi Ogando, Koji Uehara, Yoshinori Tateyama.
Matt Harrison, Derek Holland, Michael Kirkman, Robbie Ross.
Mike Napoli, Geovany Soto, Luis Martinez.
Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus, Ian Kinsler, Mitch Moreland, Jurickson Profar, Michael Young.
Nelson Cruz, Josh Hamilton, David Murphy, Craig Gentry, Leonys Martin.
A day before playing their first postseason game in 15 years, the Orioles have decided on left-hander Joe Saunders to make the start against the Texas Rangers in Arlington.
Baltimore skipper Buck Showalter had mentioned left-hander Joe Saunders and rookie right-hander Steve Johnson as top candidates but decided to go with the former as Johnson deals with a sore knee. Saunders will be on regular rest and has more experience pitching in big games. The Orioles will undoubtedly lean heavily on a deep and well-rested bullpen, meaning Saunders will have a short leash against a powerful lineup.
Though he did not face Texas in the 2012 regular season, Saunders is 0-6 with a 9.38 ERA in six career starts in Arlington.
The 31-year-old has been effective since his first start with the Orioles in late August. In his last six starts, Saunders has posted a 3-2 record with a 2.75 ERA in 39 1/3 innings.
Rangers manager Ron Washington has already announced Japanese rookie Yu Darvish will take the ball against the Orioles. Darvish finished his first major league season at 16-9 with a 3.90 earned run average. He struck out 221 batters and walked 89 in 29 starts covering 191 1/3 innings.
In five September starts, Darvish was 3-0 with a 2.21 ERA in 36 2/3 innings and collected 39 strikeouts and seven walks.
The Orioles did not face Darvish in the regular season.
Texas owned the best record in the American League for much of the season but dropped nine of their last 13 games to lose the AL West to the Oakland Athletics in their final game of the season Wednesday. The Orioles owned the top road record (46-35) in the league.
Playing in the first ever AL Wild Card play-in game, the Orioles and Rangers each finished with a 93-69 record, but Texas was awarded the home-field advantage due to their 5-2 record over Baltimore during the regular season. The game will begin at 8:37 p.m. at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
The winner of Friday’s game will go on to play the top-seed New York Yankees in the American League Division Series. That series would begin on Sunday, with the Yankees traveling to the play-in game winner’s ballpark for Games 1 and 2.
I probably should’ve saved a few hundred of the words I spent on last week’s missive about the Baltimore Ravens’ kicking competition.
Hey, at least I’m going to save you from a story about my 16th birthday party. (Although if you really want to know the details you can always feel free to email me. I always have stories.)
I’m glad our own Drew Forrester has taken the time to commend former K Billy Cundiff over and over again for how he handled himself after missing a crucial kick that cost the team a chance to send the AFC Championship Game to overtime. Drew has been right to point out that Cundiff could have made excuses, could have dodged reporters, could have gone into hiding and waited to hear his fate after an underwhelming season.
He didn’t do that. He manned up. It truly is commendable.
There’s a caveat to our praise however. The fact is that we all know that if Cundiff had made the kick and then given the Heisman to media members postgame we wouldn’t have batted an eye.
The fact is that the only thing any of us (rightly) care about was that in a situation where a team (and a city) counted on one player to do their job, the job wasn’t done.
We’ve been through this exercise repeatedly in the months since the Ravens fell just short of a Super Bowl return. I actually have no interest whatsoever in reliving that moment and determining what happened or who deserves blame. I’m just reminding everyone that while Drew is right to commend Billy Cundiff, there’s an obvious reason why such praise isn’t prevailing throughout Charm City to start the week.
I could not begin to tell you whether or not the Ravens made the right decision by releasing Cundiff Sunday and sticking with rookie K Justin Tucker for the 2012 season. I understand the reasoning behind the decision (I’m pretty sure I made a compelling argument for both specialists last Monday) and support the organization in making the move.
I also fought off the urge to headline this column “Good Tuck, kid” so I feel like I deserve a bit of credit here.
Tucker has a great opportunity to establish himself as an above average kicker for a franchise finally moving past the significant shadow of Matt Stover. Tucker has the opportunity to not just make crucial kicks for the Ravens in 2012, but perhaps also for future Ravens teams both competing for Super Bowl titles and (unfortunately) just trying to stay afloat in the AFC North.
Based on my early conversations with Tucker (the most recent of which-from last Wednesday’s episode of “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net-can be heard in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault), I have every reason to believe Tucker is aware of the opportunity in front of him. He seems like an intelligent young man with what we can already tell is an exceptionally capable leg.
BALTIMORE – Coppin State is one of 12 teams selected to participate in the 2012 EA SPORTS Maui Invitational as the field for the tournament was announced today. The Eagles will travel to Los Angeles to face USC on Nov. 9 in an opening round game.
Coppin State will then travel to Austin, Texas, to face Texas on Nov. 12 in another opening game of the tournament.
Following the opening games, Coppin State will then participate in the regional games at Elon University on Nov. 17-18. The Eagles will face Florida Atlantic on Nov. 17 and play either Colgate or Elon on Nov. 18.
The format of the Maui Invitational includes four Mainland Teams in addition to the eight teams bound for Hawaii, called the Island Teams. The Island Teams will continue with the traditional three-day tournament played at Maui’s Lahaina Civic Center. The Island Teams include Butler, North Carolina, Illinois, Marquette, Mississippi State, Texas, USC and host Chaminade. This final stage of the tournament is known as the Championship Round.
Prior to the Championship Round, seven of the eight Island Teams (Chaminade not included) will host Mainland Teams in what are known as the Opening Games. Coppin State, Colgate, Florida Atlantic and Elon comprise the Mainland Teams.
Coppin State becomes the first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference school to participate in the 28-year history of the tournament.
EA SPORTS Maui Invitational Complete Schedule Opening Games
Nov. 9 – Colgate at Illinois (Assembly Hall – Champaign, Ill.)
Nov. 9 – Coppin State at USC (Galen Center – Los Angeles, Calif.)
Nov. 10 – Elon at Butler (Hinkle Fieldhouse – Indianapolis, Ind.)
Nov. 11 – Colgate at Marquette (Bradley Center – Milwaukee, Wis.)
Nov. 11 – Florida Atlantic at North Carolina (Dean Smith Center – Chapel Hill, N.C.)
Nov. 12 – Coppin State at Texas (Frank Erwin Center – Austin, Texas)
Nov. 13 – Florida Atlantic at Mississippi State (Humphrey Coliseum – Starkville, Miss.)
Regional Games (Alumni Gym – Elon, N.C.)
Nov. 17 – Elon vs. Colgate
Nov. 17 – Florida Atlantic vs. Coppin State
Nov. 18 – Game 1 Loser vs. Game 2 Loser
Nov. 18 – Game 1 Winner vs. Game 2 Winner
Championship Round (Lahaina Civic Center– Maui, Hawaii)
Nov. 19 – Butler vs. Marquette
Nov. 19 – Mississippi State vs. North Carolina
Nov. 19 – Texas vs. Chaminade
Nov. 19 – USC vs. Illinois
Chris Davis might be the best example of what the 2012 Orioles are all about.
Entering the season with untapped potential and more failure than success at the big-league level, both Davis and the Orioles have blossomed in the first 2 1/2 months of the season, surpising critics and even the most optimistic fans in what’s been Baltimore’s best start since 2005.
The 26-year-old Davis has morphed into a fan favorite in his first full season with the Orioles, not only becoming one of the team’s most productive hitters but providing one of the craziest memories in club history when he pitched two innings to earn the win in a 17-inning marathon at Fenway Park on May 6.
Add a broken-bat home run against Pittsburgh last week and his first games in right field at the big-league level this past weekend in Atlanta and you have all the makings of a folk hero in Baltimore.
Much like the 39-27 Orioles, at times, it’s difficult to believe what you’re seeing when watching the designated hitter/first baseman/right fielder/pitching extraordinaire.
But there’s no understating how important Davis’ emergence has been this season, especially with stints on the disabled list by Nolan Reimold, Mark Reynolds, and Nick Markakis. Center fielder Adam Jones has emerged as a superstar by leading the Orioles in batting average, home runs, runs batted in, slugging percentage, and runs scored, but Davis ranks second or third in all five of those categories in becoming a legitimate middle-of-the-order threat in the lineup.
His 12 home runs and 60 strikeouts in 211 at-bats entering Monday night aren’t overly surprising given Davis’ reputation when the Orioles acquired him in the Koji Uehara trade last July, but his .294 average defies what we saw over his last three years in Texas where Davis went from looking like a future star in 2008 to a player fitting the mold of a “Quad-A” hitter before being dealt.
The raw power has never come into question — evident by his broken-bat homer to right field off Pittsburgh reliever Tommy Watson last Wednesday — as Davis hit 17 home runs and batted .285 in 295 at-bats during his rookie season with the Rangers in 2008. However, the left-handed slugger quickly earned the reputation of a hitter who struck out too much, didn’t walk enough, and struggled to handle plus-fastballs in the major leagues. Those flaws led his batting average to plummet to .238 in 2009 and .192 in 2010, causing Davis to bounce back and forth between the Rangers and Triple A in his final three years in Texas.
It was difficult to project Davis as anything more than a less-patient, less-powerful version of Reynolds entering the season, which didn’t speak highly for his potential when considering how flawed Reynolds is as a player.
In 2012, Davis hasn’t made any dramatic changes to his overall approach — 60 strikeouts to just 13 walks — but his improvement against plus-fastballs has led to the substantial increase in average. A career .204 hitter in 255 career at-bats against power pitchers (those in the top third in the league in strikeouts plus walks) entering 2012, Davis has handled them at a .286 rate in 42 at-bats this season.
Davis has also handled left-handed pitching at a far more successful clip, batting .327 in 53 plate appearances against southpaws in 2012 after hitting only .236 against lefties in 275 career at-bats entering 2012.
While his high strikeout and low walk totals aren’t indicative of a hitter that will continue to hover around the .300 mark, Davis has been a model of consistency through his first 57 games this season. Aside from an abysmal seven-game stretch in May in which he went 3-for-28 and struck out 14 times, the left-hander has consistently sat somewhere between .290 and .310 as we reach the final two weeks of June. His .355 batting average for balls put in play indicates Davis has been fortunate, but it’s actually lower than the .366 combined clip he posted last year for the Rangers and Orioles.
When seeing the ball well, Davis shows exceptional power to straightaway center and the opposite field has eight of his 12 home runs have traveled in either of those directions.
After Markakis was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a broken hamate bone, manager Buck Showalter turned to Davis to hold down the No. 3 spot in the order as the Orioles were depleted even further offensively. He’s hit only .206 in 34 at-bats batting third, but the lineup shift could present an interesting decision for Showalter when Markakis returns — projected to be some time during the next homestand, according to the right fielder.
Should Davis remain around the .300 mark, would you consider keeping him in the third spot and moving Markakis to the No. 2 slot? The move would allow Showalter to drop J.J. Hardy in the order, which would make sense with the shortstop hitting only .253 despite 11 home runs.
Whatever the Baltimore skipper decides, it’s a good problem to have.
For a team suffering its fair share of injuries and not receiving the same power numbers it enjoyed from Reynolds a season ago, Davis’ emergence has been one of the most pleasant surprises of the season.
His willingness to do whatever is asked of him reflects the spirit of the 2012 Orioles.
Need someone to pitch? Not a problem.
You want to put me in right field in a National League ballpark, even though I’ve never played there in the big leagues? Sure thing.
Whatever it takes to win.
Much like watching the Orioles, you keep waiting and wondering if it’s going to last, but Davis has given no indication of slowing down any time soon.
And he just might be realizing the potential so many saw in him when he first arrived in the big leagues.