Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Tuesday Grab Bag: The State of the CU Athletic Department

The news broke last night: the great Pat Summitt had passed.  A titan of the college basketball world, Summitt owned the women's game for nearly four full decades, heading the Lady Vols of Tennessee through 8 national titles, 16 conference crowns, and well over 1,000 wins (at an 84% clip).  Really, the only head coach who can hold a candle to her success is UCLA's John Wooden, but Summitt coached longer, endured against more persistent competition, and ultimately won more (though Wooden did leave a bunch of years on the table). In that vein, there is a very credible argument to be made that Summitt, not Wooden, is the sport's greatest coach.  Oh, and did I mention that she graduated everyone and ran a clean program?

It's with all that in mind that the entire basketball world mourns the loss of a legend; RIP.

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Today in the bag, I'm talking the Rick George roundtable, some recruiting news that has BuffNation all abuzz, and soccer notes from both the Copa and the Euros.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Tuesday Grab Bag: A new Mayor for Chicago

While Rham Emmanuel isn't gone, the City of Chicago did see some Mayoral reform last week. Yep, the one, the only, Spencer Dinwiddie is headed to the Madhouse on Madison, as the former CU star was traded to the Chicago Bulls late last week.

The move by Chicago, ostensibly to build guard depth while avoiding paying guaranteed money to a bench slot, makes sense.  As Blog A Bull pointed out, with Dinwiddie's non-guaranteed portion of his contract lasting through November, the Bulls get a relatively cheap look at the former Colorado guard before having to make a decision on the roster spot at season's onset.  All it cost them was Cameron Bairstow, a reserve forward who was probably going to get cut anyway.

Sure, this essentially innocuous trade isn't going to turn too many heads around the basketball world, but one thing it did do is lead me into a victory lap around my office. For me, to see one of my favorite CU stars of the recent past winding up on my beloved Bulls is a wonderful turn of fate.  I still believe Spencer has the talent to play at the NBA level, and the team that gives him a solid chance should be able to reap some good rewards.  If it's My Bulls, you better believe I'm dropping the cash for a new jersey... and boy will the Bulls.com shop be surprised when they receive in that online order.

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Today in the bag, I'm talking Game 7, Copa America, and the solidifying of the non-conference schedule in men's hoops.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Tuesday Grab Bag: ... and just think, summer hasn't even started yet!

Straight to the action today, as we all wind our way towards the true opening days of summer.

Today in the bag, I'm talking playoffs in three sports: the NBA Finals, the Stanley Cup Final, and Copa America Centenario.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Tuesday Grab Bag: A new hope on the recruiting trail?

Before I get to the bag today, I want to take a minute to remember the true Greatest of All Time, Muhammad Ali.  If you've been living under a rock, and hadn't heard, the three-time heavyweight champion of the world passed away last week, at the age of 74.  I won't spend too much time here, as others much more capable then myself have written on the subject, but there isn't a single athlete of past generations that I resent having missed more than Ali.  Beyond simply being a boxer, he commanded the ring and the narrative more than should've been capable, owning the public spectacle at a time that you still got your news from papers.  To have been alive, watching as he held the sporting world in the palm of his hand, must have been awe-inspiring and transformational.

Even today, watching film of his fights is fascinating.  No one takes punches like he could, no one that size has ever been as fast, no one more ferocious when he had a man stunned; this isn't just smoke, he was, legitimately, the GOAT.  As a boxing fan, I pain seeing what others got to absorb in real time.  As a historian, I marvel at the impact he had outside of the ring.  We will never see another athlete like him, a defining American caricature now lost to the ages.  RIP.

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Today in the bag, I'm talking one last gasp on the 2016 recruiting trail for Coach Boyle and crew, the NBA Finals (such as they are), some #SoxThoughts (as promised).

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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Tuesday Grab Bag: Back from the Dead (aka, a road trip with the White Sox)

Having returned from vacation, I'd like to point you all in the direction of Bill Walton's autobiography, Back from the Dead.  I spent my extended weekend on a road trip to Kansas City, which provided plenty of time for an audio book.  I chose Walton's recent release for the journey, and it was with his dulcet tones in ear that I sped down the highways of central Kansas towards the City of Fountains.  The book was a fantastic tour through his life, celebrating his love of all things basketball, biking, and music. It also dealt with the trials of pain and injury, the loss of the gifts that made him such a beloved star in the 1970s.  Through it all, I found it an open and honest tale of everything that goes into existence - success, failure, joy, sorrow, excitement, fear, learning, teaching, etc.  I can't recommend it enough, especially if you, like me, wonder at Walton's World from afar, and just want a small peek into his circus.

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Today in the bag, I'm talking the Baylor thing, the NBA Finals, and the MLB standings.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Tuesday Grab Bag: The Pac-12 moves to curtail court-storming

Cleaning out their inbox, the Pac-12 went ahead and announced a few minor end-of-year tidbits this morning.  Of primary note was the reduction of night football starts (by as many as four dates), and the institution of a fines schedule for court/field storming.

The reduction in night football kickoffs makes sense.  Nearly everyone in the conference complained last year as, weekly, the Pac-12 would be the last conference ticking on any given Saturday night. Fines for court-storming, however, strikes me as a solid defeat for Fun in its everlong struggle against the forces of the aged and the entitled.  This, no doubt, stems from Arizona's Sean Miller going on the whinge after getting beat and rushed in Boulder last February (and I assume your reaction to said incident almost comes down to whether you wear red and navy on a regular basis).  I get that the conference is under some obligation to kowtow to the league bigwigs -- they generate the most revenue, afterall -- but to just roll over on this issue for one or two schools seems two-faced.
The Pac-12 now hates Fun, because Sean Miller told them to.  From: the BDC
'But, what about player safety,' you say?  Please; I will assert this until the day I die, Miller's concern trolling over the scene in Boulder has much more to do with him being butt-hurt over a loss than any real concern for the safety of his players. Were he really that concerned, he would've, you know, actually tried to help usher his charges off the floor, rather than stare (quite dumbly) at the students jumping for joy in front of him... but I digress.

The long and short of it is that college conferences leverage court- and field-rushing for quality promotional material, and their television partners glorify the scenes by conducting on-court, post-game shots.  For them to turn around and say, 'shame on the schools' for letting these beautiful moments of student exuberance go down is hypocritical.

Also, Sean Miller can blow it out his ass.

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Today in the bag, I'm talking the Webb thing, looking at the NBA playoffs, and chortling at the notion of little brother to the BigXII.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Tuesday Grab Bag: Basketball Recruiting Remains Open to Interpretation

Before I get going today, I want to give a special shout out to Ryan Koenigsberg who's leaving his post as the editor of BSN Buffs for bigger, brighter things on that site's Broncos landing.  Since I give not two shits about the Donkeys, that pretty much means that RK is gone from my sporting life, which is a true shame.  He did some great things on the Buffs beat, and the entirety of Buff Nation will miss his voice this coming season.  Good luck, dude, and kick ass covering that stuff that everyone but me cares about!

In his stead, we all get to benefit from the return of William Whelan, which is a lot like going from DiMaggio to Mantle... or going back from Mantle to DiMaggio?  Not sure, but, regardless, Will is an Elite commentator on all things Colorado Athletics, and is just about the most knowledgeable source on Centennial State hoops around.  If you can't have RK dropping knowledge on the Black and Gold, you might as well get tha man himself to pick up the baton.  Welcome back, Will!  Can't wait for that weekly podcast drop!

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Today in the bag, I'm talking renewed pratfalls on the basketball recruiting trail, the NBA Playoffs, and the basebrawl between the Blue Jays and Rangers.

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