Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday Grab Bag: Los Gringos fall on their face

 Not too much on my radar over the past weekend, but enough to fill an abbreviated bag.  There's international soccer, interleague baseball, and a Buffs Olympic sports title to discuss today.

Click below for the fun...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Quick-Post: Alec Burks ends up in Utah, where there is no music.

Predictions about former CU superstar Alec Burks slipping out of the lottery were wrong.  While clubhouse favorites Milwaukee and Charlotte indeed decided to pass on the talented wing, the Utah Jazz weren't about to let a player of his caliber slip past them.  With the 12th pick of the NBA draft, they grabbed Burks.
Nice suit, dude.  Good luck in Utah!  From: the SLC Tribune

Alec was pretty happy with the development, as the SLC Tribune quoted him as saying “I’m crazy hyped, I got so much excitement. I finally realized my dream, so it’s a great thing.”

While it's not as bad a destination as ending up in Charlotte would've been, the Jazz aren't exactly a team ready to take off.  Had this been the Jazz of 2-3 years ago, with a quality point-guard in Derron Williams and quality coach in Jerry Sloan to nurture Burks through the inevitable growing pains, then I'd be all for it.  Instead, this is a franchise definitely on a rebuilding kick.  In addition, many Jazz fans will see Burks as "not Jimmer" for the foreseeable future, as the notably Mormon SG out of BYU ended up in Sacramento of all places.  It's kind of an awkward situation all around.

But that's the point of the lottery: good players end up in bad spots.  By default good teams don't end up in the lottery, and the situation Burks found himself in this morning could've been a lot worse.  Sure, a franchise like Milwaukee, who's definitely on the rise, would've been a choice destination, but Utah will do just fine for the time being.  The cool thing is that he's in the same division as the Denver Nuggets, so at least he'll be making a decent number of stops through the Mile High in the near future. 

Either way, much congratulations go to Alec for achieving his dream.  Here's to a long and fruitful NBA career for CU's own #10!



Utah also selected big Enes Kanter in the first round.  They grabbed the big man with the 3rd overall selection.  Kanter had attended Kentucky, but never got to play as he was ruled ineligible by the NCAA for accepting $33k from a European basketball team a few years back.  While he's talented, he's been out of competitive basketball for a year, which is never a good sign.  He'll need some time to get back his game; luckily, for Utah at least, they have some front court depth to prop him up for a while.

FYI, Alec will be getting paid to the tune of $1.7 Million next year.  If you're going to have to live in Utah, you might as well be making bank to do it.

BTW, I finally got my answer as to why Burks was slipping in certain mock-drafts.  Listening to the Chauncey Billups interview on 104.3 last night, Chauncey postulated that the injured shoulder that kept Alec out of the first few workouts would end up requiring surgery.  Finally, a solid reason why Alec was moving down, not up, draft boards.  (The consternation over his shooting was horse-shit, he was always going to be a slash-first guard in the NBA).  Despite these concerns, he still ended up in the lottery, which was his goal, and will start his NBA career on a high note.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Quick Post: NBA Draft Preview

It's go day for Alec Burks.  Time to get paid; time to become a professional.  Time to take the baton from Chauncey Billups and become the new face of CU's NBA presence. 

I haven't looked forward to an NBA draft this much since the '08 draft when my Bulls drafted the great Derrick Rose.

Coach Tad Boyle is excited too; he's got a get-together planned in his house with the other CU coaches to watch the draft.  Considering what happened the last time he held a get-together to watch presumably good news about the Buffs, maybe he'd be better served by watching it alone in a darkened room.  But, CU can't get screwed by the basketball world again, right?

Most experts have the overly-talented Buff swing-man going in the lottery (top 14 picks), and the NBA seems to agree, having invited him to the Newark green room.  However, as the past week has gone on, pundits like ESPN's Chad Ford have slowly slipped the overly talented swing-man out of the top half of the first round (Ford now has Alec at # 18 to the Wizards).  While they admit he may go as high as 7th, concerns over his shooting must be forcing him down the board.  In a draft system based on upside, I find this hard to fathom; with more time to work on his game, I feel Alec will be a fine shooter, and his ability to get to the rim and the free throw line already separate him from competing talent.

The prevailing consensus had been that Burks would go to Milwaukee with the 10th pick. I mentioned a few weeks back that they really seemed to like Alec, but it now appears that they may have fallen in love with Washington State's Klay Thompson.  Two thoughts: Alec is better, and will have a better career, than Thompson.  Additionally, if Milwaukee and Golden State, who have the 11th pick, pass on Alec, then whatever team gets him in the middle-part of the first round will be getting a steal.

I think my dream scenario would be a combination of him falling and the Nuggets trading up to get him.  This would allow me to watch him on a continued basis.  However, while the "Rich and Creamy's" are apparently talking of moving up, I doubt they'd move up too high for Alec. I'll stick with my gut and say Milwaukee comes to their senses; Alec deserves to be a lottery pick, and he will be.

Prediction: Milwaukee with #10

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday Grab Bag: the Dead of Summer

Not that I'm breaking open a closely guarded secret, but summers in the sporting world can get a bit dull.  Now that both the NBA and NHL champions have been crowned, there's really nothing other than baseball and golf available for viewing until August (And even I, lover of baseball that I am, can get a little tired of the game by the All-Star break).  From here until the start of football season it's baseball, baseball, baseball; with the odd, intermittent pause for a major golf tournament thrown in for kicks.  Hope everyone enjoys dudes hitting balls with sticks.

Today in the bag I'll touch on some baseball, some golf, and some recruiting news.

Click below for the bag...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Basketball Summer Preview Series: Roster Turnover

Hey, look!  A basketball post!  It's just less than a week away from the official start of summer, and I'm already back to basketball on the brain.  I believe this is what the late, great Barry White was singing about on the Space Jam soundtrack.   

The upcoming season may prove to be one of the most interesting/important in recent memory as the CU mens basketball program tries to carry over the momentum built by last year's NIT warriors.   Periodically throughout the summer I will be posting parts of a preview series  to keep the basketball flame alive while everyone else is gearing up for footballHopefully this will keep my start-of-the-season preview post from ballooning into 30,000 words.

First up: Roster turnover

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday Grab Bag: It's all about the NBA Finals

This is an all NBA Finals edition of the Grab Bag.  Baseball will have its time, as all other professional sports drop off the radar, but for now it's time to recap the NBA Finals.

Click below for the bag...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Quick Post: pre-emptively hating on NCAA 12

I had been extremely excited for the July 12th release of NCAA 12.  The thought of Ralphie being in the game (finally; an aesthetic touch, but necessary) along with a revamping of the dynasty mode that keeps me recruiting till the wee hours of the morning had me more amped than usual to donate my annual $60 to EA's coffers.

Then came the release of the team rankings

You'll have to scroll all the way down, past fucking CSU at #87, to get to the Buffs at #89.  (Rating us below CSU's shit program is just a low blow.  Some Ram must work on that staff, there's just no other explanation.) And the shit has truly hit the fan as what was once a 4-star rated program not three years ago is now 2-star rated along with a bunch of BCS rejects like Bowling Green and Wyoming.  We now have a tangible cost associated with the Hawk Dynasty: our virtual football reality is on par with the Bulldogs of Louisiana Tech.  Scorched earth indeed.

Hawk bashing aside: 2-stars?  It's not that bad is it?  I know the product hasn't been what we're accustomed to in recent years, but the program was in the Big XII title game not even a decade ago.  C'mon EA, give us a pity 3rd star.

Please, I'm begging you.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Quick Post: 8 points

How the hell does LeBron James only score 8 points in a Finals game?  Sure, he added 9 rebounds and 7 assists, but seriously, how the hell does he only score 8 points last night?

In the wake of all the recent discussion over whether LBJ is better than Michael Jordan, I would like to submit Lebron's doleful shit of a performance last night as MJ defense exhibit "A."  Michael would never have allowed himself to only score 8 in a playoff performance, let alone a Finals game.  He would've ripped the ball out of teammates hands rather than live through 48 playoff minutes without cracking double-digits.  LeBron is otherworldly talented, yes, but he's no Michael.  Michael was defined not only by his talent, but his crushing will to constantly prove that he was better than his opponent.  Dropping a sad and lonely 8 points in a losing game 4 effort proves that LeBron just doesn't have the fire, the lethal burning hate of losing, to compete at MJ's level, and I'm betting he never will.  You were either born with that shit, or you weren't.

(For the record, Michael scored 15 in a '89 playoff game for his lowest postseason total.  In the '96 finals, he only got 22 in game 4, but was still the Bulls leading scorer that night.)

Sure, LeBron may drop 50 Thursday night, and the Heat may very well  cruise to a 6-game series victory, but last night definitively proved that Michael is still the G.O.A.T.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Monday Grab Bag: Bohn gets a well deserved extension

In a light bag today we have some welcome news on the business side of CU athletics, and a slight hiccup in the Alec Burks draft express.

Click below for the bag...

Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday Beer Post: The remote awesomeness of Alpine Beer Company

If you were a brewer (if only!), and you had to imbibe something other than your own product, where would you turn?  Apparently, the answer for many of crew over at Stone involves a tiny brewery called the Alpine Beer Company.  When visiting my friend at Stone last month, he near demanded a visit to the joint, which included a trek to the far eastern edges of the San Diego area.  I was not to be disappointed.

Situated in tiny Alpine, CA, the nearly decade-old brewery has quickly gained a reputation for great brews and food.  It's somewhat awkwardly located in a tiny strip mall; the modesty of the brewery and tap room quickly giving way to the quality of its offerings.  They seem to be fellow worshipers of the all-mighty hop, as they offer 5 different varieties of "west-coast IPA," with the best being their Pure Hoppiness Double IPA.  A fantastically large amount of hops go into making this brew something to remember.  The blast of hops is certainly impressive, and welcome, but it doesn't necessarily overwhelm the beer experience.
PH is a fantastic brew for a hop-head like myself.  Picture ripped off from here.

The biggest surprise of the tap room, however, is the quality of their food offerings.  Some damn tasty BBQ litters the menu, and gives you more then enough reason to want for return visits.  The BBQ topped nachos were a hit, as well as the brisket plate.  Combined with the beer it made for a blissfully contented ride back into SD.
This gives you a good idea of the size of the bar.  Picture ripped off from here.

You have to drive a ways to get there, and it's in a very quiet, unassuming locale, but it's worth the trek out there if you're in the SD area.

 Happy Friday!