Bulldogs Lose Freshman Safety Paris Bostick to Injury
Actually probably not a big loss for the Georgia Bulldogs this season, even with an all new safety rotation, Paris Bostick was probably not going to have a big role in the Dogs plans in 2013. The surgery was to repair an injury he suffered during his senior season at Tampa Plant HS, so something Georgia was aware of, and had already taken into account. But he does become the second freshman to undergo season-ending surgery, following CB Reggie Wilkerson, which is of course a much bigger loss for the upcoming season.
Bulldogs should actually be really good at safety this season and seasons to come with sophomore Josh Harvey-Clemons (once he gets past his one-game suspension) and true freshman Tray Matthews, who's in the mold of a Thomas Davis and Alec Ogletree. Clemons is a guy that is very versatile and will play OLB in the Dogs nickel package. Another name to remember in the safety rotation is early enrollee freshman Quincy Mauger out of Atlanta's Kell HS. DC Todd Grantham said in the spring that he had really picked-up things quickly and would contribute.
Stoops off to Great Start at Kentucky but let’s wait…
Let’s wait and see if the buzz that Mark Stoops has created, actually pans out on the football field. The Wildcats currently have 247 Sports' #10 nationally ranked recruiting class for 2014, and #4 in the SEC, led by 4-star DE Denzel Ware and 4-star QB Drew Barker, but we're still more than 7 months to NSD and we kind of had a similar situation with Vandy last summer and watched as a few of their commits eventually got picked-off by other schools. So turning it around is gonna be tough. Since 1954, the year after Bear Bryant left, the Wildcats have had only 3 winning seasons in the SEC and two of those (1976 and 1977) resulted in NCAA probation. So that’s one winning season (1964) in the last 58 years not tainted by probation.
Miss State & South Carolina Rank 1-2 in best places to watch Baseball
Mississippi State ranks #1 on the website Stadium Journey and South Carolina is #2 with Arkansas #3, LSU 7th and Vandy 9th. For pure atmosphere it's hard to beat old-school Dudy Noble Field in Starkville. I remember the first time I called a game there in 1988 and the BBQ smoke would roll in and cover the outfield when the visiting team was in the field and clear-up when the Bulldogs when out in the field, still trying to figure out how they did that. But the left-field lounge made up of seats in the back of pick-up trucks is simply classic. And the fan support that you saw in Omaha for the Bulldogs tells you all you need to know about how much they love their team. It's the second biggest sport on campus behind football.
Among the new ballparks you can't beat the House that Ray Built...as in Ray Tanner the former coach and now AD of the South Carolina Gamecocks. The ballpark is immaculate. Have yet to find one bad thing about it. From an announcer’s standpoint, it is a pleasure to call a game there. It has all the amenities of a little major-league park and of course Gamecocks fans pack it out.
My Plan to “Fix” the NBA Draft
I would modify the NBA draft rules to closely resemble those of the MLB Draft. The one exception would be that I would not allow players to be drafted right out of high school. If you allow players to be drafted after their high school senior seasons, it'll be like the old days when kids like Kwame Brown were the #1 pick in the draft. Then teams fearing that they might get beat on a future star, will once again draft these players out of high school and things will be even worse than they are now. What I would purpose is that after one year of college ball, everybody is eligible for the draft, but you don't have to declare and you can't go work-out for NBA teams. If players are selected, like college baseball players, they can then decide if they want to play pro ball. This would also eliminate these players declaring for the draft and then not being picked and then being ineligible to continue playing college ball.
Noel Upset Knock the #1 Pick
The Nerlens Noel vow "to make them pay," makes me laugh. The former Kentucky star is upset that instead of being the number-one pick in the NBA Draft, like many projected, he was instead chosen sixth and then traded by New Orleans to Philly. When you decide to make basketball your business, then you need to be willing to treat it like a business. The five teams that decided to draft somebody else and then Pelicans who decided to trade Noel you, did so because they felt it was the best thing to do for their business.
Certainly the fact that Noel suffered a devastating knee injury just five months ago had to be factored in and after just one truncated year of college ball, just how polished is he? He was a strong rebounder and shot blocker in his one season at Kentucky but offensively, he's got a long way to go. He scored in single digits in nine of the Wildcats 24 games and averaged just 10-and-a-half points per game. Guess what...it's going to be harder, not easier to score in the NBA. This vow to make teams pay is silly...nobody owes Noel anything...except the 76'ers...who now own his NBA rights.
Oriakhi Goes in Second Round
People might have been surprised that Mizzou standout Alex Oriakhi was selected in the second round by the Phoenix Suns because he is not a flashy player, but he's a grinder, an apparently strong-work ethic type player that's just the kind of player you need to fill out a roster in the NBA. Missouri Coach Frank Haith said he was one of the most coachable players he ever had. Remember he played only one season at Mizzou after three at UConn and played a big role in the Huskies 2011 national championship season. Oriakhi is a guy who's gonna get rebounds, block shots and score garbage baskets and NBA teams need those kind of guys. Not everybody is a star but you can still make a very wealthy living by playing hard.
Mock Drafts for 2014
This year’s NBA Draft was hardly over before the mock drafts for 2014 started to surface. Five Kentucky Wildcats are projected, three in the lottery and a total of four more players from the SEC. While this means the SEC will be better in 2013-14, this definitely means that the Kentucky Wildcats are going be a lot better. If this 2014 mock draft is any indication, the Cats led by Julius Randle and the Harrison twins will be right back where they were, or close to it, when Kentucky won the 2012 national championship and had the top two players in the draft, four total first rounders and two more players taken in the 2nd round for a total of six.
Florida Gators incoming big man Chris Walker is in those mock drafts but he is not yet academically eligible to enroll. But if he gets those problems straighten out, the Gators could have an intimidating front line along with senior Patric Young. Tennessee brings back projected NBA draftees in Jarnell Stokes and Jordan McRae and the Vols should pick-up where they left off last season and just keep getting better. Everybody talked about how last year was a down year in the SEC but as so many coaches pointed out to me, that's because 12 players went in the 2012 draft, not to mention two others from Mizzou.