April 26, 2011
I hope that Brandon Inge is a forgiving man because posting this photo essentially guarantees that he won’t ever agree to an interview with me, ever. But sometimes they say it’s better to ask forgiveness than to ask permission. Plus, it’s just so good, how could I not use it? Anyway, here’s Inge’s spectacular little league photo. Brandon, if you want, I’d be more than happy to dig up some of my awkward little league photos and post them here. In addition to a one-time pseudo-mullet, I also had big, ugly glasses (that were sometimes broken).
April 25, 2011
Just checking in as we barrel through the final week of April. As rumored, George Mason’s Jim Larranaga has packed up shop for Miami. Good luck to Jim, who was always a good interview and always courteous. He’ll be missed in The Association.
George Mason is now at a critical stage as a program. The Patriots have a great deal of momentum, driven by years of success, but rumors that Larranaga’s departure was brought on by Mason’s unwillingness or inability to make improvements in certain areas are troubling. This is a big hire for George Mason. The Patriots have plenty of talent to be successful next season and will likely still be the CAA preseason favorite, but after that, it’s up to the next guy. Does Mason go young, up-and-coming assistant like VCU has the last eight years or so, do they try to snatch a rising start like Mike Lonergan of Vermont or an established retread (ala Buzz Peterson at UNC Wilmington)? Should be worth watching.
MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE HALL OF JUSTICE…
Courtney Hurt hasn’t played a basketball game in a month and a half, but that hasn’t stopped her from dominating. Hurt was invited to the 2011 USA World University Games Women’s Basketball Team Trials. There are 30 or so players vying for 12 roster spots. If she were to make the team, Hurt would compete at the World University Games in China in August. Awesome stuff. Hurt is the second Ram in recent years to earn an invite to the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. Quanitra Hollingsworth was twice invited to try out for the USA Basketball U18 Team.
Also, here’ s a video of recent VCU signee Teddy Okereafor. What I learned from this video is that if people play intramural league defense on Teddy, he will shred them. In all seriousness, the kid looks like a player. He sees the floor well, can get to the rim and looks to have some range as well.
Also, just for laughs. Sorry if you’re a San Francisco 49ers fan.
April 22, 2011
In case you missed the Commonwealth Challenge at the Stu last night, have no fear. The Hoopstown USA squad, headlined by VCU’s four seniors, as well as Richmond’s Kevin Anderson and Dan Geriot, lost to the NCAA Seniors team in overtime, 125-122. It appears that defense was in short supply. How do I know? Perhaps it was the 51 3-pointers taken by Hoopstown that tipped me off. That’s a good place to start.
Here’s the box score from last night’s event, which I was told went well and was fun for all involved. If you’re a Facebooker (my Mom is on Facebook now, so if you’re not, you need to get it together), you can view this photo gallery from the game.
April 22, 2011
An interesting story has been gaining momentum the last 24 hours. There are multiple reports that George Mason Men’s Basketball Coach Jim Larranaga is mulling an offer from the University of Miami. CBS’ Gary Parrish is reporting that Larranaga is undecided and some have speculated that the Mason coach is leveraging the Miami offer for a better deal and/or greater commitment from GMU. The only thing about leveraging one job for another is that if your current job says, “thanks, but no thanks”, you’re packing your bags. Meanwhile, Brian Mull says that Larranaga wants Mason to pony up more for assistant coaches’ salaries and other upgrades.
I’ve never been to Miami, and I’m sure it’s a great city, but as far as sports go, it’s not a great town by any stretch. The Marlins have been playing in front of friends and family only for years, Heat fans didn’t care about basketball until some sellout from Akron started playing there (and they still don’t care that much) and even UM’s beloved football team hasn’t drawn well in recent years. The Miami basketball team ranked last in the ACC in attendance last year at an average of 4,700 a game, a number that would rank behind George Mason, VCU and Old Dominion. They also once disbanded the program from 1972-85 due to a lack of interest. (Anthony Grant, a Miami native, once said that he would’ve loved to play at Miami, but they didn’t have a hoops program at the time.)
I’m hoping that this is a power play by Larranaga because the CAA is much better with him than without.
April 20, 2011
Busy, busy today, but wanted to make sure I posted these links:
Nice interview with Teddy Okereafor by NBC12′s Matt Lincoln. Dude is out there getting after it.
I mentioned already that Shaka Smart would be throwing out the first pitch at Wrigley Field this summer. Well, now we know when.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
This is how you run a trick play in baseball. Game. Set. Match. This was the final play of the game.
April 19, 2011
VCU Public Address Announcer Hunter Elliott was spoiled this year. Since the departure of Kirill Pishchalnikov, there’s been a degree of difficulty missing from announcing this team. Well, that is all about to change. Teddy Okereafor has signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Rams next season. I don’t have a clue how to pronounce that name, so good luck boys. It’s no L.F. Likcholitov, but it’ll have to do. Oh, he’s supposed to be a really, really good player too, if you’re into that sort of thing.
T.O. will be the first Brit to play for the Rams since Nick George filled it up during the 2005-06 season.
Also of note, if you scroll down that link, you’ll notice that Coach Shaka Smart has accepted an invitation to sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” at a Chicago Cubs game this season. Smart will do just fine if he follows the lead of Green Day singer Billie Joe Armstrong. However, do not, I repeat, do not do this.
I didn’t see this before, but thanks to District Baller for posting it elsewhere and bringing it to my attention. A little shoutout to former Ram Mike Anderson, who was playing a game at the same time VCU was beating Kansas to get to the Final Four. Speaking of Anderson, he finished his first NBA D-League season with a flurry. Anderson averaged 12.1 points and 5.3 rebounds for the season, but from February on, he averaged nearly 18 points a game.
April 18, 2011
“He played 17 holes at age three,” Matt’s father and VCU Golf Coach Matt Ball said. “And just conked out, exhausted. He didn’t make it to the 18th hole. He played from 150-yard markers and he’d hit it, run and chase it, hit it, run and chase it. He’d stop for frogs and stuff.”
Matt Jr. doesn’t remember that round or the subsequent nap, but he’s been playing golf as long as he can remember. When your dad is a golf coach, it only seems natural to find a home on the links.
“I’ve never known anything different,” Matt Jr. said. “It’s just part of life for me. It’s that much integrated into our family. That’s how we were raised, playing golf. It never really crossed my mind to not play golf.”
April 15, 2011
I got an e-mail this morning from Joey Rodriguez’s dad. He says that Joey will be making his professional debut tonight for the San German Athletics in Puerto Rico. He’s not expected to play much, since he hasn’t even practiced with the team. He also plays Sunday night. However, Rodriguez will be playing alongside former Ram Jesse Pellot-Rosa, who also plays for San German. The two were never teammates, but I’m sure know each other well. Jesse still comes around the facility to work out during the offseason and the two men have surely played in some pickup games together.
I’m told those games will be televised by Direct TV, but I’ll have to look into which channel. If you speak Spanish (I do not), then you’ll have a lot easier time figuring this out than I did. Here’s the league website.
YOUR MOMENT OF ZEN
Micky Mouse accepts breakdancing challenge. Promptly takes snot-nosed kid to school