Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Monday, May 12, 2014

Monday Grab Bag: Paul Richardson and the NFL Draft

The day has finally arrived; CU will break ground on the new facilities project this afternoon.  While no one is sure about real dollar numbers in place, Kyle Ringo did report today that the project has been officially greenlit to proceed.  Just the idea of everything being completed for the 2015 football season is exciting, but we'll have to wait and see how the money situation shakes out.  Until then, enjoy the pictures of shovels being placed into snowy mud that are sure to pour out over the next few hours.

Today in the bag, I'm talking P-Rich's draft day, basketball scheduling, and the NHL playoffs.

Click below for the bag...

P-Rich to the Seahawks - 

I generally ignored the NFL draft over the weekend.  Like most elephants in small rooms, it was hard to avoid, but I found a way.  Still though, I kept an ear to the ground, waiting to hear who would take the lone CU talent on most draft boards: wide receiver Paul Richardson.  Luckily, I didn't have to wait all that long.

The first round on Thursday night would, expectedly, go by quietly.  Friday night's second round, however, was a different story, as most anticipated that Paul was a prime candidate for a second day choice.  The 'experts' had this one right, as the speedy Richardson was swooped up by the Seattle Seahawks with the 13th pick of the second round, #45 overall.
Seattle should be very happy with the receiver they pulled out of the second round.
The general consensus is that this is a great spot for P-Rich to land.  Seattle head coach Pete Carroll loves speedy wideouts, and should get good value out of one of the fastest receivers available. Seattle actively pursues players with 'special traits,' and a 4.4 40 with an even quicker first step seems to fit that bill. Additionally, as the 'Hawks traded down out of the first round, Richardson stands as the highest player taken by Seattle this year.  As such, he'll be receiving a level of local attention (read: sponsorships, jersey sales, media requests) usually reserved for first round picks.  Finally, on the defending Super Bowl champs, he'll have a chance to win right away, something that flashier talents can't boast.  Honestly, I don't think this could've turned out any better.

In addition to Richardson's draft day exclamation, defensive end Chidera Uzo-Diribe has already received a free agency call from the New Orleans Saints.  CUD's is the first of hopefully a few more NFL claims for the 2013 senior class.  As poor as the team was the last few years, there was some identifiable talent to be found on the field, and they should get their due in the coming weeks.

Congrats to Paul and Chidera!

Some filled holes in the basketball schedule -

It's getting to be that time of year.  Having now paid my money for the 2014-15 basketball season, I'm eagerly anticipating which teams I'll get to see in Boulder as part of the non-conference schedule.  Answers are starting to pour in, and the open dates on the calendar are filling up.  Below is a breakdown as to where we stand as of this weekend:

@Wyo - TBA
AF - 11/25
Auburn - TBA
@Georgia - TBA
Diamond Head Classic - 12/22, 23, 25

NCAA rules allow 27 regular season games plus an in-season tournament.  With 18 games locked in for Pac-12 play, and three for the Diamond Head Classic, CU has a max of nine non-conference slots to fill.  To date, we know five of them, leaving four to schedule.  Considering how good Coach Boyle has been at massaging non-conference RPI the last few years, I would expect at least one more 'name' school to be added to that list.  Already a little SEC and Mountain West heavy - two leagues that were RPI dogs last season - the slate could certainly stand for the addition of a neutral site showcase game, similar to the affairs with Baylor and Oklahoma State from last season.
CU could use another 'showcase' event, like last year's tilt with OSU, to flesh out the non-conference schedule.
Outside of that, however, I'm anticipating at least two games of small conference 'filler' to be thrown in at the last minute.  Along with mastering the RPI formula, Coach Boyle has proven to be reticent in leading his troops into hostile territory outside of the region.  With two out-of-state road games already scheduled, it would be a big surprise to see another true road test added.

Regardless, expect to know more in the coming weeks.  In Tad we trust!

Around the NHL Playoffs - 

New York Rangers vs Pittsburgh Penguins

Well, well, well, look who's still hanging around.  Few had given the Rangers much of a chance against the star-studded Penguins, but back to Pittsburgh this series goes for a Game 7 tomorrow night.  New York owned the first period of Sunday's Game 6, powered by an emotional Mother's Day goal from forward Martin St Louis, who had lost his mother to a heart attack last week.  Watching the action, I had a hard time not tearing up as St Louis celebrated.  I'm now solidly in the Rangers' corner.  New York would go on to win 3-1.
St Louis lead an emotional effort from New York.
Minnesota Wild vs Chicago Blackhawks - 

OK, so maybe the Wild are competent enough to share the ice with My 'Hawks.  Chicago looked distracted, lazy, and tired in Minneapolis for Games 3 and 4, which allowed Minnesota to tie up the series. Back home in the Windy City, the Blackhawks looked just as ugly early on in Sunday's Game 5, to the point that there was an audible sense that the Madhouse on Madison was just plain mad at their lackadaisical heroes. Luckily, the 1st intermission served as a wake-up call, and the 'Hawks bull-rushed their way to a 2-1 win that wasn't as close as the score would indicate.  Chicago will have a chance to close things out Tuesday evening back in Minnesota, but the Wild have been undefeated on home ice in the playoffs.  A Game 7 wouldn't surprise me at this point.

Boston Bruins vs Montreal Canadiens - 

This series continues to grab headlines, but it will take another stunner for the Canadiens to force a Game 7. Saturday night in Boston saw the Bruins score the first three goals of the game en route to a 4-2 win. Highlighted by back-to-back power play goals from Reilly Smith and Jerome Iginla that were separated by only about 30 second of game time, the win puts the Bruins within one more of the conference finals.  A raucous Montreal crowd stands in their way of finishing things off this evening, however, and I expect a blood bath in Game 6.  Should be a good one...

Happy Monday!

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