Minnesota Kids in the Elite Eight

While reading about the NCAA Basketball tournament, I read about several Minnesota kids, that will participate in the Elite Eight.

  • Army v Duke  Tres Jones

  • Tres is the starting point guard for Duke. He is from Apple Valley, where he starred for 4 years. He is following in the footsteps of his brother, Tyus, who now plays for the Timberwolves. Coach K calls him a game changer. He is a freshman, and is projected as a draft pick, in the upcoming draft, if he chooses to come out. Jay Bilas says he is the best defensive player in college ball.

 

Gonzaga - Crandall

  • Geno Crandall                                                                                                                   
  • Played high school ball at DeLasalle in Minneapolis. He chose North Dakota for college. He graduated early, and still had a year of eligibility, had several offers, including the Gophers, and chose to attend Gonzaga, because he felt that going there, would give him the best opportunity, to get top the Final Four. He is averaging 7 points, and 2.5 assists, per game

kentucky-reid-travis-grad-transfer

  • Reid Travis

  • Also an alum of DeLasalle. He led the team to the state title, while scoring over 29 points, and 9 rebounds, per game. He was a 2014 McDonalds All-Star. He had several college offers, and chose Stanford. He was redshirted, because of injury, therefore having a year of eligibility, left after graduation. He chose to go to Kentucky, where he has averaged 9 points a game backing their point guard.

All 3 of these young men are looking forward to returning home for the Final Four.

Jerry Kill Slays P.J.Clark

For those of you, who follow me; you know that I’m not a fan of University of Minnesota Football Coach,  P.J.Fleck. He has always appeared to me, to be an egomaniac, only interested in promoting P.J.Fleck.

I was always appalled, by Fleck throwing all previous Gopher coaches under the bus. He has always talked, of how bad the culture was in Minneapolis. How he was going to build a program, that Minnesota could take pride in. He has stated that we haven’t had a team, we could be proud of since 1967. And even then , he stated there was not a strong culture.

Having been a long time fan, I’d like share the records of some recent coaches, all better than Flecks first two years:

  • Tracy Claeys       9 – 4
  • Jerry kill                8 – 5 (twice)
  • Tim Brewster      7 – 6
  • Glen Mason          7 – 5 (twice)
  • Glen Mason          8 – 5
  • Glen Mason        10 – 5  

These were all coaches Fleck has knocked. He’s the one that should be thrown under the bus, by these coaches.

Jerry Kill has come forward with some criticism, on a national Sirius radio program. Kill stated that Fleck had coached for him for 2 years @ Northern Illinois, before he left to go Rutgers, under Greg Shiano. Kill said he changed while there. Kill said, he then helped Fleck to get the head coaching job, at Western Michigan, and supported the University of Minnesota in hiring him.

Kill said “When he went to Minnesota and treated people, the way he treated my recruits, telling them he had to come in, and completely change the culture, because it was a bad culture, run by bad people”

Kill said there must be a lot of people, who disagree with Flecks style, based on the players, and coaches, who have left the program.

Kill also said he called and talked with Fleck, after he got the Minnesota job. He said “Yep, and that will be the last time”

minnesota_golden_gophers-mascot-1986

NFL Combine Shines

My wife said to me “How can you watch guys run the same track, the same distance, do all the same drills, for 3 days in a row. Who’s the winner?”

My response; “It’s my favorite 3 days of the year. It’s like you watching 3 nights in a row, of the Bachelor.”

What a great display of very talented athletes. After viewing the process from beginning to end, I’ve developed my  list of the top talents in each category. I don’t know where they will all get drafted, but am sure, they will all be gone, by the end of round 3.

Offensive Line

  • Garrett Bradbury; OL NCST: sub 5/ 40, top performer in drills. 1st yr starter.
  • Andre Dillard; OL WSU: sub 5/40, Sure 1st rounder.
  • Jawaan Taylor; OL FL: A+ in the movement drills. Stock up at combine.
  • Jonah Williams; OL ALA:
  • Cody Ford; OL OK:
  • Michael Jordan; OL OH ST: 6-3 and 315 lbs. Agile in all drill
  • Running Backs

  • Justice Hill; RB OKST: Spectacular at Combine. 4.00/40.  40″vert.
  • Miles Sanders; RB Penn ST:4.47/40. Top Notch in all drills.
  • Mike Weber; RB OH ST:4.47/40 Great in drills.
  • Josh Jacobs; RB ALA:

Tight Ends

  • Noah Fant; TE IA: 4.5/40. 39″vert.@6-4 249 lbs. Best of WR’s.
  • T.J.Hokanson; TE IA: 4.7/40.37″ vert. First Round. 1st TE taken.
  • Josh Oliver; TE SJ ST: 4.63/40.6-5 249. 103/4 hand.
  • Caleb Wilson; TE: 4.50,40.

Wide Receivers

  • DK Metcalf; WR MISS:4.33/40, 40″vert, 6-2 & 230 lbs.
  • Parris Campbell; WR OH ST: 4.31/40. Great Hands.
  • AJ Brown; WR OLE MISS: 4.49/40. 36 vert. 6ft& 230lbs.
  • Miles Boykin; WR ND: 4.42/40. 43″vert.: Highly skilled.

Quarterbacks

  • Dwayne Haskins; QB OH ST: 6-3, 231 lbs. Best Passer.
  • Ryan Finley; QB NC ST: 6-4 & 213. Big Hands
  • Easton Stick ; QB NDSU: 4.63/40
  • Drew Lock; QB : 4.69/40
  • Murray; QB OK: 5-10 208 lbs. Did not participate in the combine.

 

  • Defensive Line

  • Rashan Gary; DL MI: sub 5/40
  • Nick Bosa; DL OST: sub 5/40
  • Dexter Lawrence; DL CLEM: 5.05/40 @ 343lbs
  • Quinnen Williams; DL ALA: 4.83 at 303 lbs. Top Ten pick.
  • Renell Wren; DL AZ ST: 6-5 & 318 lbs, ran a 5.00/40. 1st Round

EDGE Rushers

  • Montez Sweat ; MISS ST EDGE: Outstanding At 6’6″ & 260 he ran a 4.41 /40
  • Chase Winovich; EDGE: Sub 5 /40
  • Ben Banajo; EDGE TCU: 6-3 and 250.4.62/40. Led conference in sacks.
  • Josh Allen; EDGE KTY: 4.64/40 @6-5  AND 282lbs.

Linebackers

  • Greedy Williams; LB LSU: 4.37/40 Big corner at 6-2  185.
  • Byron Murphy; LB W: Not fastest, but best overall in drills.
  • Deandre Baker; LB GA: 4.52/40

Defensive backs

  • Jonathon Abrams; DBack MISS ST: 4.45/40. Excelled in all field events.
  • Byron Murphy; Dback: 4.5/40 and excelled in all drills.
  • Darnell Savage Jr.; Dback: 4.36/40 and a 39″vert.
  • Chauncy Gardner- Johnson; Dback FL: 4.48/40 at 210 lbs
  • Deandre Baker ; Dback GA: 4.52/40 and excelled in all drills.
  • Juan Thornhill; Dback  4.42/40 with a 44″vert and a 10ft. 9 in broad.

From my vantage point the Top Five at the combine were

  1. Dback JuanThornhill 4.42/40 & 44″vert,

  2. EDGE Montez Sweat with a 4.41/40 @260lbs.,

  3. DL Quinnen  Williams with a 4.81/40 @318lbs.,

  4. WR DK Metcalf with a 433/40 @6-3 230lbs.

  5. TE Noah Fant with a 4.50/40 @ 6-5 and 249lbs.

Lindsey Vonn Retires

Lindsey Vonn was born in Minnesota, got her start  skiing from a venue called Buck  Hill. It truly was just a hill, having only a 300 ft. elevation. She was an active participant in the Minnesota ski scene, being a member of the Buck Hill ski team. She won a lot on the local scene, and decided to test herself against the best, the US had to offer.

She eventually moved to Colorado, where she began to hone her skills, on the best ski venues, in Colorado. She developed into a US Superstar. She eventually headed to Europe to ski against the best in the world. She began competing successfully on the best venues in  the world accomplishing the following resume:

  • 82 World Cup victories. The most by any women in history.

  • 14 World Cup Season victories.

  • She won in every ski discipline. Only women to do so.

  • 214 Top Ten finishes. A women’s record.

  • She won one Olympic Gold Medal in the 2010 Olympics, becoming the first American, to win an Olympic downhill race  in history.

  • She won an additional 3 bronzes, while competing in 4 Olympics.

Vonn will always be defined as aggressive & fearless. In her later years she showed the competitiveness along with the will & commitment, she made to return to the world ski scene. following many of her spectacular crashes.

It’s hard to believe that a girl born and raised on the flat roaming countryside in Minnesota, would arguably become the best skier of all-time. We in Minnesota are proud to claim her as our GOAT.

College Basketball Analytics Need Analyzing

 

I recently read about a new evaluation tool, for the NCAA to help determine the participants, in the annual NCAA Basketball Tourney. The new tool is called the NET. Here is what will factor into the NET:

  1. Game results

  2. Net offensive and defensive efficiency

  3. Winning percentage

  4. Adjusted winning percentage

  5. Scoring Margin (capped at ten points per game)

A NCAA Vice President, said it’s going to be a great opportunity, for the committee, to have a modern and more contemporary and sophisticated metric, to use as the primary metric, in the process to evaluate teams.

Many coaches have expressed their feeling that NET almost forces you to strive for big winning margins. To move up in NET you have to have wins with an excess of at least 10 points. A good quality win, against a ranked team, under 10 points is not counted in the system.

Using the University of Minnesota as an example. They are currently the number #50 in the NET process, yet they rank #33 in the RPI. Look at the discrepancy. That would be the difference, between being a number 7 seed, and probably a 11 or 12 seed. While the Gophers are 16-5, Indiana is 12-10 having lost 8 in  row. Indiana is # 48 in the NET and # 66 in RPI. Under the new system, Indiana would go to the big dance, before Minnesota. So much for using analytics to improve the system. We may as well select teams for the big dance, by the team colors.

 

 

 

Rams vs. Saints: It ain’t Over Yet!

This past week, all the local sports talk shows, couldn’t get enough  chatter, about the controversial non call in the Rams- Saints game.

Let me set it up for you:

The game is tied at 17. There is a little under 2 minutes left, in the 4th quarter. The Saints are driving, with 3rd down and 10 from the Rams 12. Brees throws a pass at the the goal line to Tommylee  Lewis. It appears to be easily caught, when he gets creamed, in a helmet to helmet tackle, by Nickell Robey- Coleman. That brings up 4th down and the Saints kick a 33 yard field goal, and take a 23-20 lead with under 2 minutes. Everyone in the Saints stadium, felt it was pass  interference. All the Rams felt it was a PI, including Robey-Coleman. The NFL admitted it was a blown call.

Conventional wisdom would be, that had the call been made, it would have been 1 st and ten from the 12. Brees could take 3 knees and chew up a minute and a half, then kick the field goal, for a 3 point advantage, the kickoff giving the Rams under 30 seconds, to tie the game with a field goal.

As I mentioned, there was a lot of conversation, about this. The senator from LA has filed suit against the NFL. There has been talk of a boycott. Every sportswriter in the country has expressed their opinion.

There was a lot of betters who lost big on the no call. Some of those betters are unsavory vicious characters.

The NFL and their glorious leader Goodell, always say, the key to solving all the controversial plays, is to get it right. That was the reason for initiating challenges, then expanded to the official review, in New York.

My two cents worth, sez: Play another playoff game. Big money for NFL and the teams. Let the play on the field decide who goes to the Super Bowl, instead of a board room decision.

Vikings 2019 Forecast: Conflict

viking imagesKU2705H5I get so sick of the media, not reporting truthful stories, but not lying, just not telling the whole story. An example would be, when an NFL  General Manager is fired, here’s the story: General Manager of the white knights  and the owner mutually agreed, to end his contract, and wish him well in his future endeavors.

A perfect example, is the hiring of Gary Kubiak, by the Minnesota Vikings. The stories all seem to indicate that, Zimmer put the deal together. My guess is Ziggy made the hire, and jammed it down Zimmers throat.

Who do think hired Klint Kubiak, as quarterbacks coach? Who do think hired Rick Dennison, as O-Line coach? Who do think hired Brian Pariani as tight ends coach? These should have been positions hired by Kevin Stefanski, but we all know they weren’t. I’ll bet Zimmer cringed  as well. They were part of the terms necessary, to bring in Gary Kubiak’s army. All these coaches have 20  plus years experience with Kubiak. Remember Stefanski’s has no experience as an offensive coordinator.

After digesting the above, who do you think, will be the lead, in developing a new offensive strategy?

Then think, who has the most Super Bowl victories, Kubiak or Zimmer?

I can’t believe the Vikings would enter into this relationship, knowing  the conflicts, that will occur. The writing is definitely on the wall for Zimmer.