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The Latest Sports News

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The Boston Celtics continue their home-stand tonight against the Brooklyn Nets. CLNS Radio and CelticsBlog will have all your post-game coverage.

Immediately following the game, the Celtics Post Game Show will go live. Tonight's hosts will be Ty Ray, Mike "The Scotsman" Munger" and Daniel Baker.

As always, the guys will be hanging out in the CelticsBlog chat-room, and taking your calls throughout the entire broadcast.

Call into the Studio: 347-215-7771 | Listen Live | Join the Chat

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Wednesday, 10 April 2013 02:24

Tim Whitehead Fired: What's Next For Maine Hockey?

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After 12 seasons on the job as the University of Maine's hockey coach, Tim Whitehead was relieved of his duties today, much to the joy of everyone in the Pine Tree State. The Black Bears have been progressively worse in the Hockey East, ticket sales are down, and students are becoming less and less interested in a losing program.

The next question for UMaine is, "Where do you go from here?" I have some ideas on who the next hire should be and bring Maine hockey back to where it should be: The top.

Jim Montgomery- Head Coach, USHL Dubuque Fighting Saints

This hire would be a popular one with the fans. Montgomery is a former Black Bear having played with UMaine in the early 90s. He was the NCAA Tournament Championship MVP in 1993, when the Black Bears went 42-1-2 in a very dominant season.

Montgomery would later play six seasons in the NHL before entering the coaching field. Montgomery is currently the head coach and general manager of the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the USHL and has success at that position winning the 2011 USHL Championship in the team's second season of existence. Montgomery has experience as a coach on the college level as an assistant coach at Notre Dame and RPI, but he is ready for a head coaching gig now.

Montgomery spoke today about the possibility of returning to Orono as a head coach, saying,

“As an alumnus of the University of Maine hockey program, I have a lot of pride and effort and sweat put into that great program. I would like to look at the opportunity to lead the program back to national prominence.

He's interested, but is UMaine? He would be a very popular pick.

Steve Kariya- Assistant Coach, WHL Portland Winterhawks

Another former player makes this list and its a well known name in Black Bear hockey lore. The Kariya's, Paul, Steve, and Martin, have all been successful during their playing time with the Black Bears, but its Steve Kariya that has a coaching career now and has an outside shot at the job.

Steve Kariya was the captain of the 1999 National Champion Maine Black Bears, but his NHL career didn't turn out like his brother, Paul's did.

Steve is now an assistant coach of the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League, a junior hockey league based out of the western provinces of Canada and the Pacific Northwest. However, he has only held that position since the beginning of March and this is his first coaching position, so, its very unlikely that Maine would hire him, but it couldn't hurt to kick the tires.

Greg Cronin- Assistant Coach, Toronto Maple Leafs

This pick would be a blast from the past. Many UMaine fans pine for the years when Shawn Walsh was on the bench and with a Greg Cronin hire, they could very well get it.

Cronin was an assistant for four seasons under Shawn Walsh and was the interim head coach when Walsh was banned from coaching for one year. During that time, Cronin led the Black Bears to an appearance in the Hockey East Championship game where they would eventually lose to Providence.

Cronin spent six seasons behind the bench at Northeastern to mostly losing seasons before heading to Toronto to be an assistant with the Maple Leafs. Cronin has the experience at the college level and could bring some of that much needed Shawn Walsh magic back at the Alfond Arena.

Norm Bazin- Head Coach, UMass-Lowell

Maine could take the same route they did when they first hired Tim Whitehead by taking UMass-Lowell's head coach. Norm Bazin, a former UMass-Lowell Riverhawk, has quickly turned the UMass-Lowell program right around by winning their first ever Hockey East title and clinching their first ever Frozen Four berth. So, yeah, he's a good coach.

 

Very, very unlikely that Maine even takes a look at him. Bazin used to play with the Riverhawks and has turned the program in the right direction. Bazin doesn't leave for anything.

John Tortorella- Head Coach, New York Rangers

I think its a rule that I have to have a way out there pick and this one is mine. 

If John Tortorella ever wants to get out of the NHL game, and if the rumors are true about him being on the hot seat, look no further than Maine. Tortorella used to play with Maine and is a coach full of fire and energy that could give this team a much needed spark.

Although he is a Stanley Cup winning coach, he has no experience in the college level, but it wouldn't be hard to recruit players to Maine, just flash them your Stanley Cup ring and they are yours.

However, Orono, Maine, although a great college town, cannot compete with New York City at all. Torts has too much fire to step away from the NHL game right now, plus I don't believe the Rangers would part with their head coach.

If you ask me, Montgomery has the inside track at getting this position. He is an up and coming coach and really wants to be there, but anything can happen at this point. Whoever they hire, Maine fans are just hoping to bring the National title back to Orono and the Black Bear program back to the national stage.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013 00:35

LSU offensive lineman Faulk visits Patriots

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Photo courtesy of CBSSports.com

FOXBOROUGH, Mass.—According to a report from Allyson Bullock of NESN.com, the Patriots recently visited with LSU offensive lineman Chris Faulk. This story was first reported by Aaron Wilson of Scout.com.

Last season was one that Faulk would have liked to forget. After recording 4.5 knockdowns and playing 67 snaps in Week 1 against North Texas, the junior from Sidell, LA suffered a “season-ending right knee injury while practicing for the Tigers game against the Washington Huskies in week two, according to his LSU football profile.  Even though the knee injury dampened his junior campaign, it did not diminish what he had done the prior two years.

2011 was an especially notable season for Faulk. Then a sophomore, he appeared in all 14 games, starting 13 of them at the left tackle position. He was named the SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week after he posted 12.5 knockdowns in 69 plays, making his presence known in the Tigers’ 38-7 win over Tennessee. He also accomplished an impressive feat not recorded in the game statistics, playing every snap in five games that season (Oregon, Florida, Tennessee, Alabama and BCS National Championship Game). For his efforts, he was named to the SEC All-Conference team at the conclusion of the season, an impressive honor given the SEC’s immense talent pool.

At the NFL Combine, he was bothered by a knee injury that sidelined him for most of it, according to Wilson’s report. He did however manage to bench 225 pounds 25 times. He could be a tremendous asset to New England given his size and his football background at LSU. His familiarity with a winning tradition does not hurt matters either.

 This is the second LSU product to visit New England, with the Honey Badge (Tyrann Mathieu) being the first. It is clear that LSU has a seemingly endless talent pool, and now the Patriots must decide if they want to make that pool one of their resources come draft day.

Tuesday, 09 April 2013 22:26

MLB Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Week 1

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We are just over a week in to the MLB season and it's been action packed. Players being put on the DL and others who are reaching for the stars. Chris Davis started the year off with a home run in each of the Orioles first four games and is leading the league with 17 RBIs in just seven games.  Many other high draft picks have yet to find their swing as J.VottoM.TroutMiguel CabreraM.Kemp, and J.Hamilton have a combined total of 0 HRs through their firs week of games. In fantasy baseball, it is important not to be too concerned early on. The MLB season is long and that makes for a long fantasy season with games every night that can change a players fortune. This early in the season, if you are quick enough, you will be able to find cheap high end replacements off the waiver wire. It is important to note that these high end, early season players who are off to a hot start, can disappear in a matter of a week. On the other hand, a smart addition now, may become the corner stone for your team, so be careful and always go with your gut.

 

C- Jonh Buck (NYM)- As I right this, Buck's popularity grows. He has been the top catcher so far, after week 1, and has shown some power in the passed as he had 20 HRs in 118 games with the Blue Jays in 2010. He's a smart early pick up at catcher, although it wouldn't be smart to drop a top name for him at this point.

 

1B/3B- Mark Reynolds (CLE)- If the league you are playing in doesn't count strike outs, he is a monster power hitter. Very capable of getting 30 HRs and 80 RBIs, he has started off strong this year with 2 doubles, 4 HRs and 7 RBIs on just 7 hits. This shows his power is where it needs to be this early on in the season.

 

1B/2B- Daniel Murphy (NYM)- Not a player that will be a power hitter, but he will be able to show value with his speed and batting average. He had 40 doubles and 3 triples last year and already has 2 doubles, 1 triple and 2 HRs in 7 games for the Mets. His duel position is also a huge boost.

 

1B- Kendrys Morales (SEA)- Many fantasy players seem to have Morales as an after-thought. Before breaking his leg back in 2010 with the Angels, he was playing some top quality baseball, then missing 2011, he was left behind. He has now found new life in SEA where he is batting DH and is being quite productive in almost all categories except SB. He is owned in 62% oh Yahoo! leagues, but his popularity is on the rise, take note.

 

3B- Chris Johnson (ATL)- With F.Freeman being put on the 15 day DL this weekend, Johnson will be given all sorts of chances to succeed and play his way in to the starting line up. Johnson had 3 singles on 4 at bats on Monday as he looks to build on this performance.

 

3B- Nolan Arenado (COL)- Keep and eye out for Rockies 3B Arenado. He is just waiting for his chance to shine in the bog league. If and when he gets the call, expect a huge inflation. Pick him up and store him if you have an N/A spot or a free spot in a deep league.

 

OF- Daniel Nava (BOS)- He has homered in back to back games for the Sox and will be seeing more playing time if his bat keeps up. Nava has never proved anything much in MLB yet, but his 4 game hit streak with a decent spring training batting average of .327, he isn't a bad deep sleeper.

 

OF- Chris Young (OAK)- Young has been on a steady decline over the passed couple year with the Diamondbacks, but he looks to have found new life in Billy Beane's Moneyball Oakland system. Young, who also has a hit in all 4 of his games to date, has shown power in the passed, and it's anyone's guess if his swing is coming back.

 

SP- Dillon Gee (NYM)- I think D.Gee will surprise a lot of people this year, and his first outing was a good sign. He allowed one run, on 3 hits, with 4 strike outs over 6.1 innings. He is one to snatch up if you have an empty spot because of an injury in your rotation.

 

SP- Justin Masterson (CLE)- Masterson is finally showing his worth to the CLE organization. I personally drafted Masterson late in drafts as a deep sleeper since he has always had good potential, but if his first two starts of the year are any indication, Masterson is in for a career year.

 

SP- J.A Happ (TOR)- Happ had a nice start to his career in PHI before being a bargaining chip for teams. Happ made the team as one of the last starters and beat out former ace Ricky Romero. He has the stuff to be a 2/3 starter in the MLB, is this the year that he shows how good he can be?

 

RP- Jim Henderson (MIL)- Axford is simply not getting the job done and Henderson is the one that is doing the most with his opportunity. Henderson recorded his first save of the year on Monday and looks to have won the closer role.

 

RP- Kyuji Fujikawa (CHC)- Fujikawa was light up for 3 earned runs on saturday against the Braves, but don't expect Fujikawa to be scared next outing. He is the closer for the Cubs so he has lots of value.

 

RP- Joaquin Benoit (DET)- There bas been a closer by committee approach so far for the Tigers to start this season but Benoit is the best bet to have a legitimate shot at closing duties.

 

Thanks for reading, I hope that you enjoyed my waiver wire week 1 segment!

If you have any questions or comments feel free to tweet me @phillipbeneteau

Tuesday, 09 April 2013 22:13

Careless Whispers - On Demand 4-9-13

Will you look at this!  It is Tuesday and you know what that means!  That's right, Matt Rury and Calvin Chamberlain are back again with Careless Whispers at 9 PM EST!  Not only is this the hottest show on the NEW CLNS Radio, but it's also the coldest show on CLNS Radio.

Red Sox, NBA and business as usual tonight!

Find out what that means tonight!  Call them if you must, at (347)215-7771.

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Recently, we saw Rajon Rondo shooting around before a Boston Celtics game. Today, Jared Sullinger took to the practice floor in a surprise session of free throw shooting. It's a terrific sign to see Jared Sullinger shooting around with his teammates. When I spoke to him on Friday night, he told me he was feeling well and was ear-to-ear smiles. I certainly didn't expect to see Ben Rohrbach posting videos of 'Sully' shooting around today though. I guess the warm weather has everyone in a good mood and more motivated.

 

Tuesday, 09 April 2013 21:23

Bruins sign Seth Griffith to entry-level deal

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Photo courtesy of the London Knights

BOSTON—According to DJ Bean of the Big Bad Bruins Blog on WEEI.com, the Bruins and center Seth Griffith have agreed on a three- year entry-level deal.

Griffith was taken in the fifth round (131st overall) by the Bruins in last year’s draft.  Prior to joining the Black and Gold, he spent three years with the London Knights of the OHL. His best season came in the 2011-12 campaign when he tallied 45 goals and 40 assists for 85 points in 68 contests. His sophomore campaign was equally as impressive as he notched 22 goals and 40 assists for a total of 62 points.

In three years with the Knights, he recorded 69 goals and 81 assists in 153 games played. Griffith also   put on a stellar performance this season as he notched 33 goals, with 48 assists for 81 points in 54 games.  As a reward for his efforts, he was given the Jim Mahon Memorial Trophy, which is given to the OHL’s top-scoring right wing.

Griffith should provide some depth and scoring punch at the center position and as a result, this is a great move by the Bruins. He should be able to make an impact once he gets to Boston and one of the more overlooked aspects of this is that they did not have to trade for him. They just simply (as simple as a player acquisition gets) signed him to a contract and received his offensive firepower without giving away anything in return.  I think that this move will pay big dividends for the team in the long run.

Tuesday, 09 April 2013 20:02

Soderberg agrees to terms with Boston Bruins

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Photo courtesy of NESN.com

BOSTON—According  to a report from hockey journalist  Kirk Luedeke , the Bruins and center Carl Soderberg have agreed to a three-year contract.  In Ludedeke’s initial report, the deal was not official. However, he tweeted the following earlier this afternoon.

“Done deal- Soderberg to Bruins happening & expect him in next 7 days (give or take).”

The 27-year-old was acquired by Boston in 2007 in exchange for goalie Hannu Toivonen. However, the former 2004 second-round pick (49th overall)  of the St. Louis Blues had rebuffed the Black and Gold’s chances to sign him up until this point.  As Luedeke indicates, Soderberg is eligible to join the Bruins this season and can play in the postseason as well. This is in agreement with the rules of the International Ice Hockey Federation . The rules indicate that the Swedish League has seven days to deny Soderberg leave from the country. As Jimmy Murphy from ESPNBoston.com indicated today via Twitter, a portion of this process is complete.(You can read his story here.)

“According to my source, Soderberg's release from Linkoping has been finalized but release from Swedish Ice Hockey Association isn't yet.”

The Malmo, Sweden native finished with 31 goals to contribute to a total of 60 points in his second year with Linkoping, which was tops in the Swedish Elite League. Now, he brings his tall stature (6-3) and uncanny scoring skills to the Bruins, and as Luedeke notes, Soderberg has “a wicked shot and release” in his arsenal.

He should be fun to watch, especially in the postseason, as the Bruins gear up for a tough road ahead.

Tuesday, 09 April 2013 19:46

Source: Orioles sign Cale Iorg to minor league deal

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According to a source with knowledge of the situation, the Baltimore Orioles have signed shortstop Cale Iorg to a minor league contract. Iorg, who is the son of former major leaguer Garth Iorg, will report to AA Bowie after being released by the Detroit Tigers at the end of spring training.

The Canadian-born infielder was drafted in the sixth round (211th overall) of the 2007 draft by the Tigers, and spent six years in the organization, reaching AAA Toledo in 2010, 2011, and 2012. Following the 2008 season, Iorg was ranked as the third best prospect in the Tigers system, but offensive struggles and injuries have hampered his career to this point. He is still known as an excellent fielder, and will provide the Orioles with organizational depth at the Double-A level.

Iorg suited up for Team Canada in this year’s World Baseball Classic, posting a 1-for-11 line in the tournament. Following Canada’s elimination, the 27-year old returned to Tigers camp until he was told that he was traded to the Orioles at the end of camp. For unknown reasons, that deal fell through, and the Tigers decided to release Iorg, making him a free agent. After a couple of weeks of free agency, the Orioles reached out to confirm that they still had interest, and the sides agreed to a deal.

 

For the latest MLB news and rumors, follow Chris Cotillo on Twitter @TradeDeadliner.

You can find Cale Iorg on Twitter @EuSouCI.

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Smack Talk Sports will end its run on CLNSRadio.com with a Patriots draft preview and more offseason talk with Field Yates of ESPNBoston.com (@FieldYates) who will join Sean Bakke and Chris Hogan tonight at 7:30 PM.

 The hosts will also discuss with Yates the recent signing of DT Tommy Kelly.

The Red Sox are off to their hottest start since 2006 so Bakke and Hogan will review the first week of the MLB season including Opening Day at Fenway Park yesterday.

Chris Hogan will also preview the start of the season for the Pawtucket Red Sox on Thursday, whom he will be covering for CLNS Radio this season.

 As always they will take your calls at 347-215-7771 Press "1" to come on the air.

                                                Listen Live Here!

"Like" Smack Talk Sports on Facebook.

Follow Sean on Twitter @CLNS_Sean

Follow Chris on Twitter @HoganReports

Boston Globe Celtics, MCCA will discuss application for All-Star Game - Gary Washburn looks into the possibility of an NBA All-Star game in Boston in the near future.

Boston Herald For Randolph,it's no big deal - Steve Bulpett examines the emergence of Shavlik Randolph as a contributor off of the bench. 

CSNNE Wilcox, Randolph stepping up for Celtics - A. Sherrod Blakely discusses what the backup centers have added to the team lately. 

ESPN Boston Bloody good play for Shav - Chris Forsberg gives his take on Randolph's recent success as well. New first unit in focus - Sunday's game marked the debut of what will likely be the playoff starting five.

CBS Boston Paul Pierce wins second Red Auerbach Award - It was announced before Sunday evening's game. 

Celtics Hub In praise of Brandon Bass - The power forward has had a difficult season, but has shined lately.

Celtics Blog Nobody wants the Celtics in the 1st round - Like the Captain said, they'll be a very difficult matchup.

Celtics Life Paul Pierce says the Celtics are "as tough to beat as anyone in the East." Is he right?

Huffington Post (AP) Basketball Hall Of Fame Class Of 2013 Includes Rick Pitino, Bernard King, Gary Payton, Jerry Tarkanian - Two former Celtics are headed to Springfield.

 

Follow Mark on twitter @LucidSportsFan

 

Tuesday, 09 April 2013 00:43

Bruins Offense Comes Alive

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The ailing Carolina Hurricanes visited North Station on Monday night and this would be a prime opportunity for Boston to regain some of their confidence. Wearing their all black alternates, the Bruins took to the ice welcoming back Alternate captain Chris Kelly, who was making his return from a broken tibia.

The first half of the opening frame did not start well for the B's, as Carolina dominated play and out shot the Bruins heavily. Despite being outplayed, at the 10:00 minute mark, the Bruins somehow saw themselves up 2-0.

Rich Peverley would get the scoring started when he gathered his own shot for a nice wrap-around goal, beating Justin Peters just 3:51 in. It would take the Bruins just over 4 minutes to tally their second goal. Brad Marchand would score his first of two on the night as he cleaned up some garbage in front of Peters. The goal would mark the end of Peter's night, as he gave up 2 goals on 4 shots.

Brad Marchand would net his second at 17:20. Jaromir Jagr and Dennis Seidenberg would each get an assist on the play, the second of the evening for each player. Despite the Bruins starting to control play in the second half of the period, the Bruins went into the room out shot 18-9. They were opportunistic, worked hard, won some good battles, and were rewarded with a 3-0 advantage.

The B's picked up in the second where they had left off, coming out with effort and intensity. A nice pinch along the boards by Andrew Ference would be rewarded when a Dennis Seidenberg wrister went off his back side and in at 3:57. This was Seidenberg's first 3 point game since he was playing for Carolina, 4 years and 1 day prior.

Jordan Caron would score his first of the season on a back hander at 10:29, again a clean up goal that was a product of grit and effort. This period was a solid 20 effort from the black and gold. There was a good pace and Tuukka continued his stellar play, making a few key saves. The 'canes got their share of chances, each team registering 12 shots in the period. Carolina still held a significant advantage in shots on the night, entering the 3rd they were up 30-21.

You could tell when the third started that Bruins were feeling a little too comfortable. They continued the theme of being out shot, but it was the lack of crisp play or a sense of urgency that was worrisome. Luckily, Tuukka continued to stand on his head.

The Bruins should have gotten a wake up call when a weird play where the puck went straight up in the air and landed on Rask was almost a goal. A review confirmed the call on the ice, no goal. Then, 22 seconds later, the 'canes would continue to battle and get on the board when Patrick Dwyer found an opening five hole. Just :45 later, Drayson Bowman would cash in for the second goal of the night, beating Tuukka Rask. The play continued back and forth until at 16:46 Nathan Horton would put the Bruins back up by four goals.

Jaromir Jagr and Brad Marchand looked like they were creating some chemistry, and Jagr tried on three different shifts to set up "the little ball of hate" for the hat trick. There was no doubt it was Tuukka Rask who was the first star, but it was nice to see the Bruins finally open up a six-pack on someone, even if it was the lowly Hurricanes. The negative was that they allowed 42 shots on the night, beating the previous high this season faced by Rask. The Bruins power-play went 0-2, again looking improved at times with Jagr on the ice, and sometimes looking pretty bad.

Next up for the Bruins will be a clash with the point needy New Jersey Devils on Wednesday night. The Devils are currently 2 points out of a playoff spot, and will be looking to get back in at the expense of the B's. Expect another tight game, low scoring, with a lot of stellar defensive zone play. Puck drops at 7:30.

Until next time, Let's Go Black and Gold!!

Tuesday, 09 April 2013 00:33

National Championship Louisville vs Michigan Preview

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National Championship Preview

               Well folks we finally have gotten through March and the madness and what a tournament it’s been.  We have seen many storylines ranging from Florida Gulf Coast aka Dunk City beat the likes of Georgetown and San Diego St and Wichita St a 9 seed made it to the Final Four by upsetting Gonzaga and Ohio St. This is why every year millions of people fill out a bracket for the greatest tournament in sports for the pure madness of upsets, buzzer beaters, game changing performances and just the plain history of the game.

                                                           Michigan Storylines

                The day is finally here after 3 unbelievable weeks of college basketball putting everyone on the edge of their seats. The National Championship what every college player dreams of winning as a kid puts the last two teams remaining in the tournament the Louisville Cardinals and the Michigan Wolverines.  So many story lines surrounding this year’s national championship game whether it be the 20 year anniversary of the Fab Five including Chris Webber, Jalen Rose and Ray Jackson. This year’s team for Michigan is quite similar to that team with the youth of Trey Burke, Glen Robinson III, Nik Stauskas and Mitch McGary. They might not have had the hype of 4 High School McDonalds All Americans but they are definitely proving their value when it counts.

                                                          Louisville Storylines

                We transition to the Louisville storylines with Rick Pitino getting elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame today and having the chance to be the first coach to win 2 national titles with two different teams. This magical run started with blowing out their first three opponents and pitting them in an elite eight matchup against Duke. In that game one of the most gruesome injuries happened to backup guard Kevin Ware and he has been Louisville’s inspiration to get them that elusive National Championship. In turn, in the interviews Kevin Ware had post injury we have seen such a bright young man with a heavy heart and is truly an inspiring story

                                                         Starting Lineups

                                Michigan                                    Louisville

                Trey Burke   PG                                                Peyton Siva   PG

                                Nik Stauskas   SG                                           Russ Smith   SG

                                Tim Hardaway   SF                                          Wayne Blackshear SF

                                Glen Robinson III PF                                       Chane Behanan   PF

                                Mitch McGary    C                                              Gorgui Dieng   C

 

Keys to the Game

                Will Michigan be able to handle the Louisville Press?  So far the Louisville Press has been tantalizing on team’s offenses and has had them coast into the Final Four. Wichita St. had great success for the first 35 minutes of their National Semifinal game but crumbled down the stretch. I believe Michigan will be able to handle the press but they will have at least 10 turnovers.  

                Will Louisville’s Guards stay out of Foul Trouble? In relation to the first key to the game with the style they play Louisville’s guards are at risk for early game fouls with the amount of pressure they put on opponents. Since Kevin Ware’s injury they have lost depth at the guard position and they are going to have to count on Luke Hancock and surprise walk on Tim Henderson. My estimation is that the Louisville guards will stay out of foul trouble. Hancock should have a decent game off the bench with 10 points to give the starters a rest during points of the game.

                Louisville’s Free Throw Shooting: Louisville’s two big men down low struggle from the free throw line. Gorgui Dieng and Chane Behanen both are around 50% free-throw shooters so if it’s a close game late this may play a pivotal role in the outcome.  Should be interesting to see what the strategy is for Michigan is late in the game.

               Overall Prediction: Michigan wins 76-68 over Louisville with the upset in front of the members of the Fab Five.  Trey Burke is the player of the game with 25 points and 8 assists.    

 For the latest info on NCCAB and MLB stay here at CLNSRadio.com or follow me on Twitter @RobBestWiller.

 

Former Boston Celtics coach Rick Pitino will be enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame.

Pitino enters the Hall primarily on his stellar work as a coach at the collegiate level with Boston University, Providence College, University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville.  He leads the Cardinals into tonight’s NCAA Championship Game against the University of Michigan.  Pitino has one NCAA championship (1996 Kentucky Wildcats) and tonight marks his third appearance in the Championship Game (along with his seventh appearance in the Final Four). It was an unlikely Final Four run with the upstart Providence College Friars in 1987 that earned Pitino a shot at the NBA.

The New York Knicks hired Pitino as Head Coach in 1987 and he led them to two consecutive playoff appearances including a trip to the second round in 1989.  Pitino used that performance as a springboard to land an even higher profile position; Head Coach of the Kentucky Wildcats.  After eight seasons in the Bluegrass State, the Boston Celtics lured him back to the NBA to turn around the storied franchise.

Over three plus seasons, Pitino submitted a less-than-Hall-worthy performance as Team President and Head Coach of the Celtics.  During his tenure, he managed to enrage or alienate virtually everyone associated from the franchise – from legendary franchise patriarch Red Auerbach all the way down to a majority of the fan base – through a series of impetuous personnel transactions and curious coaching decisions.  He resigned his position with the Celtics in January of 2001 after posting a 102-144 record.

Another name with brief ties to the Celtics joins Pitino as part of the Hall’s Class of 2013. Former Seattle Supersonics point guard Gary Payton spent the 2004-2005 season with the Celtics during the twilight of an outstanding 17-year NBA career.

Former NCAA coaches Jerry Tarkanian, Guy Lewis, and Silvia Hatchell along with former NBA player Bernard King and former NCAA and WNBA star Dawn Staley round out the class that will be inducted on September 8th in Springfield.

Tuesday, 09 April 2013 00:18

Mauro Gomez claimed off waivers by Blue Jays

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After being designated for assignment last week by the Boston Red Sox, first baseman Mauro Gomez was claimed off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday. He was assigned to Triple-A Buffalo to begin the 2013 season.

Gomez was one of many position players vying for a backup role behind Mike Napoli this season along with Lyle Overbay, Mark Hamilton, Daniel Nava and Mike Carp but was a long shot to win a spot due to his lack of versatility. Both Nava and Carp ended up beating out Gomez, Overbay and Hamilton for the final two bench spots.

Last season, he put together solid campaign for Triple-A Pawtucket hitting .310 24 HR 74 RBI in only 100 games with the Pawsox. Gomez also posted an incredible .522 slugging percentage along the way. When he made his major league debut with Boston at the age of 27 in 2012, he hit .275 2 HR 17 RBI in 37 games. At Fenway Park, Gomez hit .300 2 HR 10 RBIs in 20 games.

There were questions if he could become a capable defensive player in the major leagues, which concerned some Red Sox front office officials. If Gomez wasn't’t claimed by any other MLB team, he would have likely spent the season with Pawtucket. Gomez’s new team the Buffalo Bisons won’t visit McCoy Stadium until June 13-16.

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Monday, 08 April 2013 23:26

In Case You Missed It: Red Sox Opening Week

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As the Red Sox win their first game of the 2013 season at Fenway Park, here's a quick look at how the Sox have opened up their 2013 campaign: 

 April 1: Red Sox opened the 2013 season in New York against their long time rival, the New York Yankees. Jon Lester toed the slab for the Sox and labored through 5.1 innings, throwing 96 pitches while surrendering 5 hits and 2 earned runs. Lester also struck out 7 and walked just 2.With the bats the Red Sox came out with guns blazing against Yankees ace, CC Sabathia. In the second inning, Jose Iglesias, Shane Victorino, and Dustin Pedroia all grabbed RBI's as the Red Sox jumped out to a 4-0 lead and never looked back. The second inning also saw highly touted Red Sox prospect, Jackie Bradley Jr draw a walk in his major league debut. Bradley would also notch his first major league RBI on a ground out in the 7th. Sox would go on to score in the 9th on a pair of singles by Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino. The Sox pen also flexed its muscle in the season opener; Koji Uehara, Andrew Miller, Andrew Bailey, Junichi Tazawa, and Joel Hanrahan threw a combined 4 innings of one hit ball, striking out 3 and walking 2.  Red Sox: 8, Yankees:2  April 3: After a normal day off after opening day, the Red Sox went right back to work against the Yankees. Clay Buchholz was opposed by Yankees right hander, Hiroki Kuroda. For the Sox, Buchholz tossed 7 innings allowing 6 hits, 1 walk, and 1 run, while striking out 4 Yankees and throwing 96 pitches. Unfortunately for the Yankees, Kuroda didn't have the success that Buchholz did. Similar to the opener against Sabathia, the Sox jumped on Kuroda early. Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Daniel Nava collected their first RBI of the season in the first and second innings, respectively. The Sox would go on to score 4 runs in the 3rd inning on three singles by Shane Victorino, Jackie Bradley Jr, and Jacoby Ellsbury.However things did get a little hairy in the 8th inning. Sox lefty Andrew Miller entered the game and hit the first batter he faced and retired the next. Sox manager, John Farrell brought in Alfredo Aceves who promptly allowed a single to Kevin Youkilis, retired travis Hafner on a ground ball, and then served up a 3-run home run to Vernon Wells. But fortunately Aceves was able to stop the bleeding in the 8th. Joel Hanrahan pitched the 9th and recorded his first save of the year and his first save in a Red Sox uniform. Red Sox: 7, Yankees: 4 April 4: The Red Sox had visions of an opening series sweep in their minds on Wednesday. The Sox sent out newcomer Ryan Dempster, while the Yankees called upon the lefty veteran, Andy Pettitte. For the Red Sox fans who are unfamiliar with Ryan Dempster, this was not a good introductory outing. Dempster, who is usually and innings eater, labored through 5 innings and allowed 3 runs on 5 hits while walking 4 an striking out 8. On the flip side, it seemed like the Yankees turned back the clocks to the mid-90's. New York's veteran starter Andy Pettitte stymied the Sox offense over 8 innings, allowing 1 run on 8 hits. In the ninth, it was enter sandman as Mariano Rivera came on and eventually shut the door, sealing the win for NY and salvaging the final game of the series. The Sox only runs came in the 7th and 9th. Jackie Bradley Jr doubled in a run off Andy Pettitte and Will Middlebrooks grabbed his first RBI of 2013 on a ground out against Mariano Rivera.  Yankees: 4, Red Sox: 2  Series 2: @Blue Jays  April 5: Red Sox traveled North of the boarder to play their second series of the 2013 campaign against the Toronto Blue Jays. Game 1 of the series saw Felix Doubront get his first start of the year, while Toronto countered with Josh Johnson. It was a bit of a back and forth battle for most of the game. Red Sox scored early on a Jacoby Ellsbury RBI single but the Blue Jays  answered back and tied the game on a Mark DeRosa sac fly. The see saw continued to teeter back and forth; Pedro Ciriaco drove in Shane Victorino and Mike Napoli homered. But for the Blue Jays, Mark DeRosa and Jose Reyes homered and tied the game at four in the seventh. But the very next inning Mike Napoli broke the tie again, driving in Jonny Gomes on an RBI ground out. Will Middlebrooks added an insurance run in the 9th with a home run and the Sox beat the jays 6-4.On the mound, the Sox got a decent start from Felix Doubront. The MLB sophomore surrendered 9 hits over 5 innings but was able to keep the damage to just 3 runs. Once again the Sox pen played an integral role in the victory. Koji Uehara pitched a clean 6th, Junichi Tazawa allowed a run on a home run by Reyes, Bailey set up and Hanrahan closed down shop in the 8th an 9th respectively. Red Sox: 6, Blue Jays: 4 April 6: Game two in Toronto saw John Lackey take the hill for the Red Sox for the first time in over a year. The big righty lasted only 4.1 innings before he appeared to re-injure his throwing arm. The mishap occurred after Lackey released a pitch to Jose Reyes, he immediately grabbed his bicep and grimaced in pain before exiting the game. Initial exams and later reports confirmed that Lackey only had a "mild bicep strain", meaning that it looked at lot worse than it was. To add insult to injury the Sox bats were non existent against Jays starter, JA Happ. The 30 year old blanked the sox through 5.1 innings, striking out 6 and only allowing 1 hit. The Jays bullpen followed suit as Steve Delabar, Aaron Loup, and Sergio Santo's combined to throw 3.2 innings allowing just one hit. The Jays, on the other hand, put up runs on a two run home run by JP Arencibia, and a three run tatter by Colby Rasmus.  Blue Jays: 5, Red Sox: 0 April 7: In the third and final game at the Rogers Center, the Sox were looking to grab their second consecutive series victory. Boston threw their ace, Jon Lester while Toronto countered with the 2012 Cy Young award winner, RA Dickey. It didn't take long for things to get way out of hand in this one. The Sox hung a 5 spot on the score board in the first thanks to RBI hits by Pedroia and Napoli, as well as Will Middlebrooks first of an eventual 3 home runs; Middlebrooks would homer again in the 5th and 7th innings as well. Also joining the home run party was Mike Napoli, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Daniel Nava. The Sox scored 8 times off Dickey before he exited the game after pitching just 4.2 innings. The Blue Jays then called upon Dave Bush to stop the bleeding and save the pen. However Bush allowed 5 runs on 5 hits, 4 of which were home runs, over 3 innings of work. With all the run support immediately inherited, Jon Lester was given a walk in the park. Lester took advantage of this opportunity and threw 7 shut out innings, surrendering just 5 hits, striking out 6, and not allowing any walks. Clayton Mortensen pitched the final 2 innings in shut out fashion. Red Sox: 13, Blue Jays: 0
Monday, 08 April 2013 21:16

Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Week 12

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It's playoff season for fantasy hockey players! Aside from the always anticipated draft, playoffs are the next best thing since white, crustless, sliced bread. It's that time of the year where many managers are happy to be in the running to either win their share of dollars, or the always important bragging rights. On the other hand, it's also that time of year where most fantasy hockey players aren't even involved in since their team(s) have been eliminated. For the managers still vying for a fantasy championship, a key pick up this week can be the reason for fantasy euphoria, or fantasy misery. I will be highlighting some names of those players who are probably available on your waiver wire, in which will help your chances at a fantasy championship.

 

C- Marcus Johansson (WSH)- Johansson was mentioned last week in my week 11 waiver wire section, and his name is on the rise. If you were smart enough to grab him last week, you were surely happy with his 5A and +5 rating. He will continue to see his fair share on the top line alongside OV and Backstrom who are both hotter than Tim Thomas after a shoot out loss. With three games this week for Johansson and the Caps, he will be a nice assist in your fantasy journey.

 

RW- Jakob Silfverberg (OTT)- You may not have noticed who is scoring for the Sens lately, mainly because they have had injuries to their top players, but the young trio of Silfverberg-Zibanejad- and newly acquired Conacher have been the wheel for the Sens. Silfverberg has not gone back to back games without registering a point since March 6th.

 

C- Mika Zibanejad (OTT)- Zibanejad is turning in to exactly what the Senators thought he could do when they drafted him 6th overall back in 2011. Zibanejad has been excellent of late with 11 points in his last 12 games. The Sens won't be playing against tough defensive teams this week as they will be visiting TB, NJ, and Philly. Expect the top line for the Sens to keep this team alive.

 

C- Frans Nielsen (NYI)- Nielsen has caught lightning in a bottle. This streaky Isles forward has 23 points on the year and 12 points in his last 15 games, while he is currently riding a 4 game point streak. Nielsen and the Isles have finally found some secondary production behind the Moulson and Tavares combo. Nielsen is a nice add in deeper leagues but has a couple tough opponents this week as the Isles will face off against Philly, Boston, and the Rangers.

 

LW- Brandon Saad (CHI)- Saad is playing on one of the top teams in the NHL in a high octane offense where his name can be easily forgotten with the rest. Saad has been enjoying his coming out party as he has 20 points in his last 19 games. His name is still not as popular as it should be, but when times are tight like this in playoff season, it's always important to stick with the hot hand.

 

RW- Ryan Callahan (NYR)- I usually don't post waiver wire additions who are owned in more than 50% of the leagues, but Callahan is my exception. Callahan is currently owned in less than 60% of Yahoo! leagues, he has 3 good match ups this week as the Rangers take on TOR twice and one game against the Islanders. If he is available in your league, he is a must own.

 

D- Jay Bouwmeester (STL)- The Blues traded a good amount of value to acquire Bouwmeester from the Flames, but the Blues are quite happy with their early rewards. Bouwmeester has been playing over 23 minutes a game and has 2 assists in the 3 games since being traded. The Blues play 4 times this week which is a major boost to his value, pick him up before it's too late.

 

D- Matt Carle (TB)- He is owned in half of the leagues on Yahoo! so he may not be available, but if you are struggling with your D and his name is on the wire, he is your guy. He currently has a 5 game point streak, where Carle has totalled 1G and 6A. The Lightning have 4 games on tap this week so expect nice numbers for your playoff match.

 

G- Brian Elliott (STL)- After the first month of the season, I would have never believed that I would be in the situation to say that Elliott could be gold for your fantasy playoff match up, but it's true. With 4 games this week, expect Elliott to get at least 2 starts with a Blues team that is on a roll.

 

G- Ben Bishop (TB)- I believe that the Sens and the Lightning made a fantastic hockey trade that filled some voids. Bishop adds another young big goaltender to compete with Lindback (who is on the IR) and who hasn't performed up to par this year for the Bolts. Bishop had a wonderful 45 save shut out in his first game as a Bolt. He will likely get most if not all of the starts if the Bolts can get hot. With 4 games this week, he will be a nice pick up.

Patrick surprises many at Martinsville

With all odds against her Sunday afternoon, Danica Patrick rebounded from an early spin with Ken Schrader, to finish 12th at Martinsville.  She had to start from 42nd, due to an engine change that was made by the team on Saturday.  

She slowly, but surely worked her way up through the field, recovering from the spin, and from going two laps down.  This came as a surprise to many, due to the diffuculty of the track.  It was the first time ever she had been on the track this weekend, having three practice sessions and her qualifying run prior to the actual race.

She entered the top 20 towards the end of the event, and was involved in a small brush-up with Dale Earnhardt Jr and Brian Vickers on lap 467.  A shove from behind by Vickers, sent Patrick up into Junior, sending him spinning in turn three.  Dale later said that he knew it wasn't Danica's fault, that he could tell someone shoved her into him.  

During a late race caution with eight laps to go, she stayed out, and restarted inside the top 15 where she never left.  She wound up crossing the line in 12th, leading the drivers in the Stewart-Hass team. 

She later said, "It was just nice to have a good weekend after having so many that weren't good since Daytona."  She went on to say, "I don't mind this place at all.  Let's come back."

Patrick sits 26th in the points after six races this season.  Her next attempt to improve that will be this Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway. 

 

 

 

The Patriots have reached an agreement on a 2 year deal with former Raiders DT Tommy Kelly according to Ian Rapoport. Kelly was released by the Raiders on March 27th.

The Patriots are back at it, bolstering their defensive line with another veteran in Kelly. The 6-foot-6 , 325 pound defensive tackle struggled last year in Oakland recording only one sack, and six quarterback hits. Overall, he has 34 career sacks in his 9 year career.

Bill Belichick loves adding depth to his defensive line around this time of the year, so it should come as no surprise that Kelly has jumped aboard the Patriots ship. His versatility in the 3-4 and 4-3 makes him more valuable for a team like New England.

Kelly was a Pro Bowl alternate just two seasons ago, so the hope is that the Patriots can squeeze out all of the gas left in his tank.