Tuesday, February 25, 2014

SEC Update February 25, 2014


Paul Mainieri’s squad faces their potential toughest test of the early season tonight when they welcome the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns to Alex Box Stadium.  

No matter which of the five college baseball rankings you put stock in, this is a match-up of two of the country’s best teams.  Baseball America has LSU ranked 8th with ULL two spots below them at number ten. 

The Baton Rouge Morning Advocate reports LSU lefty, Cody Glenn is expected to face the Cajuns Greg Millhorn who didn’t give up a run in his first outing that last seven and a third innings.
First pitch is set for 6:30… you can listen to the game here on 1130 The Tiger. Cox Sports Television will have the game as well.

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The Arkansas Razorbacks blueprint for future football success may get a boost from the school’s Architectural Design department.  According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, DeShon Elliott, one of the top safeties in the Class of 2015 out of Rockwall-Heath High School near Dallas, is strongly considering the Razorbacks thanks in large part to his longing to become an Architect.  In addition, Elliott, who has family in the Rogers, Arkansas area—has a keen eye for fashion, crediting the Razorbacks uniforms for a portion of his interest as well.

“I feel if I go to Arkansas, I can go to the NFL. I can go there and play right away. I love their uniforms,” Elliott said.


The 6’1”, 205 pounder with reported 4.53 speed in the 40 also loves the Dallas Cowboys.  Elliott said he and his father are aware that Jerry Jones loves his alma mater and keeps an eye on the Hogs---another plus for Bret Bielema and the Arkansas coaching staff in their pursuit of Elliott who already has offers from A&M, Oklahoma, Texas, Baylor and several others.

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Missouri wants to avoid the same fate as the last time they played Georgia in hoops. In the SEC opener for both, the Bulldogs roughed up the Tigers in Columbia, pounding the boards with a  43-34 advantage in rebounding in the overtime upset of Mizzou.  The Bulldogs, easily the surprise success story in the SEC this season, also were more aggressive on offense, shooting more free throws than Missouri---and that’s a bad omen for the Tigers. The Kansas City Star reports Missouri is two-and-five in the seven games when the opposition goes to the line more often than Mizzou.  Tough task for Missouri tonight playing at Georgia, where the Dogs are 6-1 in SEC play.

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Vanderbilt has top-ranked Florida right where they want them tonight---in quirky Memorial Gym on the Vandy Campus.  In their five most recent battles at home with the team ranked number one in the country, the Commodores have won four and lost only once.

Vandy coach, Kevin Stallings understands to make it five wins in their last six games with the country’s best team, it will take a monumental effort from his outmanned Commodores. Vanderbilt will suit up just seven scholarship players tonight against a Florida squad that features not one, not two, not three---but four SEC player of the year candidates according to Stallings.

The number one Gators face off with the Commodores tonight at 6pm.

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Why is former Louisiana Tech head coach and current Cowboys wide receiver coach Derek Dooley mentioned in a Nashville newspaper article about Tennessee basketball coach Cuonzo Martin?  

David Climer, a columnist for “The Tennessean” appears ready for the University of Tennessee to part ways with Martin, even though it will cost the school over $1.5 million to buy out Martin.  

Where does Dooley fit in? He’s still getting paid handsomely not to coach in Knoxville as part of a $5 million buyout that won’t conclude until December 2016.  Former athletic director, Mike Hamilton has four more $37,083.33 monthly paychecks coming as part of HIS buyout. In all, Climer says Tennessee has paid $15 in buyout bucks over the last decade.
 
The point of the article is to illustrate how Tennessee can’t afford to keep Martin around for a fourth season in Knoxville.  Season ticket sales have dropped each year since 2009 and the Vols are in definite danger of missing the NCAA Tournament without a winning streak that runs at least to the SEC Championship game. 

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Former Tennessee Vols basketball coach, Bruce Pearl paid a visit to Nashville as part of SportsFest, hosted by sports talk radio station 104.5 FM.   Pearl, an ESPN analyst, urged fans to stick with embattled current head coach Cuonzo Martin, saying he believes the Vols will be in the NCAA tournament.  

Outkick the Coverage website founder and Nashville radio personality Clay Travis begged Pearl to come back to Knoxville and take over his old post---Travis’ plea, according to “The Tennessean”, was met with thunderous applause from the Vol-heavy crowd.

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Lamin Barrow blew through the 40 yards before him at the NFL Scouting combine in a blistering 4.64 seconds, the third fastest time among all linebackers.  The LSU standout from last year has added ten pounds to his frame since the Senior Bowl---and still didn’t lose any speed or quickness—a good sign for his draft prospects.  

Considered by most NFL pundits to be a late round pick and a special teams contributor next season, Barrow impressed many with his speed, one of his weaknesses heading to the Combine.  Barrow said, “I think I’ve improved tremendously with my coverage.”

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Former Carthage Bulldog and current Texas A&M Aggie freshman, Isaiah Golden was arrested for pot possession over the weekend according to the Bryant-College Station Eagle newspaper.  

The report indicates Golden was in the drivers seat of a car parked in a handicapped spot at an apartment complex after midnight Saturday.  A patrol officer heard one of the four occupants in the car yell, ‘water in it,’ loud enough to break the city’s noise ordinance.  As the officer approached the car, he smelled marijuana.  

A second officer arrived…minutes later, he found a pack of Swisher Sweets and a small  pack of hydroponic marijuana on the drivers side of the car. Golden admitted they belonged to him… officers also found a bottle of brandy in the backseat.  

Speedy Noil, the heralded five-star wide receiver from Karr High School who spurned LSU for the Aggies, was in the backseat along with another man.  Neither Noil nor the other gentleman were arrested.  The Aggie in the passenger seat, Darian Claiborne was hustled downtown for the noise ordinance issue. Claiborne was also arrested in December for marijuana possession. 

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Former Centenary head coach and current Aggies hoops coach, Billy Kennedy has apparently won over one College Station newspaper columnist with his sense of humor.  

Richard Croome, who looks like a barrel of laughs in his mug shot for the paper, says Aggie fans were sympathetic and gave Kennedy a little breathing room last year despite a poor record due to Kennedy’s battle with early onset Parknson’s disease.  Croome says the sympathy in year two of the disease has dissipated as the losses have piled up. 

However, Croome discovered Kennedy’s sense of humor when Billy tweeted for Kentucky fans to remain in their homes on a wintry night in Lexington when the Aggies faced the talented Wildcats.  Two other laugh-riot episodes have given the sportswriter all the proof he needs that Kennedy can withstand the trials and tribulations of what is shaping up to be a rough finish to the season.

For the reoord, Kennedy spent two seasons in Shreveport at the end of the 90’s and several of us had the opportunity to visit with Billy on the court and off… his sense of humor hasn’t just been recently discovered. It’s been there all along. 

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Auburn baseball coach, Sonny Galloway is not having an easy time on the Plains.  A 3-4 start against college baseball lightweights, Alabama State and East Tennessee State in which Auburn’s team batting average is an anemic .208 has Galloway on a tear.  

Monday he dismissed senior outfielder Hunter Kelley. Two other players, first baseman Patrick Savage and pitcher Chase Williamson, left the team.  Galloway isn’t through.  He said at least two other players are on the bubble right now with their roster spots.

Good times on the Plains. 

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