Posted on: August 28, 2011 3:21 pm
 

Matt Kemp NL MVP

The Los Angeles Dodgers have had a subpar season because of injuries to their bullpen (Jonathan Broxton, Hong Chih Kuo), and starting pitching staff (Jon Garland, Rubby De La Rosa) and position players (Casey Blake, Rafael Furcal, Juan Uribe), but the biggest distraction has been the front office. Owner Frank McCourt and his divorce proceedings has taken a toll on its players, fans and the city of L.A.

Although that hasn't stopped centerfiedler Matt Kemp from having a MVP type season. He currently is tied for the lead in the NL in homreuns (31) and is 2nd in RBI's (100) and is 3rd in stolenbases (33). His .324avg ranks him 4th in the league and his 84 runs ties him for 6th. His numbers alone should land him the NL MVP trophy, but because the Dodgers have had a mediocre season, he may be overlooked. However, Andre Dawson landed the award eventhough the Cubs had a horrible record.

If Matt Kemp finishes the season strong and possibly gets the Dodgers to a sub-500 record then the league should award him the honor of being the National League MVP.

 

Posted on: February 27, 2010 2:35 am
 

LT no longer a Charger?

Its going to be strange to see LaDanian Tomlinson no longer carrying the ball for the San Diego Chargers. Although he has been injured the last few seasons and his play making ability has regressed in recent years. He is no longer considered the great back that single handedly carried the Chargers on his back since 2001. He leaves as the Chargers all-time leading rusher (12,490) and rushing touchdowns (138).

San Diego has decided to go in a different direction and focus their offense behind their talented quarterback in Philip Rivers and their passing attack. There is no doubt that Vincent Jackson and Antonio Gates are elite recievers and are the reason why they made the postseason. However, I believe LT still had a few more productive seasons left in him and the Chargers should have done the loyal thing and kept him in a Chargers uniform. Unfortunately, for Tomlinson there isn't much of a market for a 10 year veteran that has been injury plagued.

Where he ends up this off-season is anybody's guess, but LT will be motivated to show that he still has plenty of gas in his tank and will try to add that elusive championship ring to his hall of fame career.


Posted on: February 16, 2010 3:27 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2010 1:53 am
 

UCLA Bruins are officially done!

UCLA is one of the storied college basketball programs in NCAA history. Coach John Wooden is a walking legend who led the Bruins to 10 National Championships. In 2003, when UCLA landed University of Pittsburg head coach Ben Howland, it was a match made in heaven.

Coach Howland quickly turned the program around and compiled an amazing record in 145 wins and 49 losses in 6 seasons. He led the Bruins to NCAA Tournament in 5 out of the past 6 seasons and took them to the National Championship game in 2006.






All this success in Westwood is the result of him having great point guards to run his offense and dictate the tempo. During his inaugural season in 2003-04, he had a junior guard in Cedric Bozeman (Mater Dei High) who battled injuries his entire collegiate career and never materialized to the guard that Coach Steve Lavin envisioned. But he was able to give Howland a tall guard who created match-up problems during their Championship run in 06’.

The following season, in 2004-05, Howland recruited a young freshman point guard in Jordan Farmar (Taft High) who was considered one of the elite guards in the country. He quickly learned the offense and garnered Pac-10 Freshman of the Year. Bozeman along freshman guards Josh Shipp (Fairfax High) and Farmar teamed up in the back court and won 18 games and led them to their first NCAA Tournament in the Howland era.

The 2005-06 season would be the greatest season since 1995 when UCLA took home the Championship under Coach Jim Harrick. That year Jordan Farmar, Bozeman, Shipp along with Aaron Afflalo led the Bruins to a 32-7 record and to the National Championship game against the Florida Gators. The Bruins were officially back and more was to come…

During their great run in 06, a skinny freshman point guard who was a top prospect in the Inland Empire was waiting his turn on the bench to contribute his skills on the court. His name was Darren Collison and after Bozeman graduated, he quickly rose up the depth chart and gave Howland another point guard with a great speed burst and most importantly was defensive minded. Collison would end up leading the conference in steals the following year.

 Farmar also left UCLA that year for the NBA draft, but Howland had Collison and a young guard in Russell Westbrook waiting to showcase their skills. The next 2 seasons, they led the Bruins to back-to-back Final Four appearances. During Westbrook’s sophomore season he emerged himself as a top guard during the NCAA Tournament and had every NBA scout drooling over his talent. He quickly bolted to the NBA after 2 seasons just like Farmar.

 Howland not only was able to recruit top guards but landed the most coveted big man in the country in Kevin Love who had superb passing skills and finally gave UCLA a big man they needed inside the paint. Although he left after his freshman year and was an NBA lottery pick.

 The next season the Bruins finished 2<sup>nd</sup> in the Pac-10 and had a 26-9 record and lost in the 2<sup>nd</sup> round in the NCAA Tournament to a strong Villanova team. Darren Collison had stayed to play his senior year and Coach Howland recruited Jrue Holiday to replace Collison after he graduated. Although Holiday who was an All-American had a shaky freshman season and surprisingly left for the NBA draft.

 Howland would be left for the very first time at UCLA without a point guard to run his offense. This year, the Bruins are 11-13 and unless they win outright the Pac-10 Tournament they will fail to get an invite to the big dance. 2009-10 has been one of the worst seasons in the Howland era and is mainly due to not having an elite guard. Malcolm Lee was given the reigns by default and is better suited to come off the bench. If only Jrue Holiday had stayed, UCLA would still be in the title hunt. But now, it looks like the Bruins won’t even get a NIT invite.




Coach Howland has been able to recruit Lazeric Jones who is considered the best junior college point guard in the country as well as a tall shooting guard in Tyler Lamb (Mater Dei). Moreover, Josh Smith a 6-9 McDonald’s All-American center will be arriving to Pauly Pavilion next year and hopefully have UCLA rise to prominence once again.    

 

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: April 21, 2008 1:42 pm
Edited on: August 28, 2011 3:01 pm
 

Oakland Raiders best & worst draft choices!

The Oakland Raiders have made some pretty bad choices in the draft especially in recent years. Although Al Davis did acquire HOF bound WR Tim Brown, OL Steve Wisniewski, C Don Mosebar, DL Howie Long and RB Marcus Allen. However, there have also been many draft bust players such as QB Todd Marinovich, S Patrick Bates and OT Robert Gallery.

Top 10 worst draft selection since 1980

1) JaMarcus Russell, QB LSU drafted number 1 because of his big arm and size, but lacked the mentality to be a leader on and off the field. Considered to be the all-time biggest draft bust in NFL history.

2) Patrick Bates, (tie) S Texas A&M 1993 size and speed, but yet he never was able to make any impact in the NFL and was a total draft bust)

2) Todd Marinovich, (tie) QB USC 1991 was to be the Raiders future QB, but failed to make it and ended up having a decent AFL career with the LA Avengers. Has had multiple run-ins with the law in regards to drug marijuana possession.

3) Rickey Dudley, TE Ohio State 1996 was envisoned to be a great recieving TE and had size and speed, but lacked good hands and never panned out with the Raiders or the Buccaneers.

4) Darrell Russell, DT USC had decent subpar seasons with the Raiders after making it to the pro bowl in 1998 1999 but never lived up to the hype of being the overall #2 pick. Was suspended by the NFL for repeated drug abuse and later was killed in a car accident.

5) Derrick Gibson, S Florida State 2001 just 2 picks later the Sliver and Black could have selected WR Reggie Wayne or TE Todd Heap. Only started half the 69 games he played and only registered 3 interceptions, 2 sacks and 1 forced fumble recovery.

6) Robert Gallery, OT Iowa being the overall #2 pick he has finally began to show some promise but after 3 years he was consistently being beat by faster DE's and was only until this season that he moved to LG and had a decent contribution.

7) Marc Wilson, QB BYU he was the one who paved the way for Jim McMahon, Steve Young, and Ty Detmer to be successful in which head coach LeVell Edwards implemented a system where the QB's was given 5 recievers to pass on a given play. Although Wilson was part of 2 superbowls. He was enthroned to take over for Jim Plunkett but was out of the league by 1988. Threw for 14,391yds 86tds and 102 interception. Led the New England Patriots to a 1-15record.

8) Tedd Watts, CB Texas Tech 1981 just one pick later was DB Hanford Dixon who played in 3 probowls with the Browns while Watts had a decent rookie year but only managed 5 career interceptions.

9) Bob Buczkowski, DE Pittsburgh possibly the biggest draft bust he only managed to play 2 games with the Raiders and had a 1.5 sacks for his short lived NFL career.

10) Matt Stinchcomb, OT Georgia the fact that Jon Jansen and Luke Petitgout were still available is mindboggling and after 7 seasons he ended up retiring and had the size and agility to anchor the O-line for at least 10 years. His younger brother has had a better career thus far.

honarable mention: Fabian Washington, Phillip Buchanon, Chester McGlockton, Darrius Heyward-Bey

Top ten best draft selection since 1980

10) Don Mosebar, C USC 1983 went to the pro bowl 3 times and his NFL career was cut short by an eye injury. Was an All-pro in 1991.

9) Napoleon Kaufman, RB Washington only played 5 seasons with the Raiders but he ran for over 4,972yds with a 5.8avg per carry and retired abrubtly to pursue a career as a minister.

8) Greg Townsend, DE TCU recorded over 109.5sacks and was selected to 2 pro bowls and was a 4-time All-pro selection.

7) Sean Jones, DT Northwestern although he only played 3 seasons with the Raiders and ended up having a great career with the Houston Oilers and registered 113sacks and made a probowl appearance in 1993 and was a 2-time all-pro.

6) Bo Jackson, RB Auburn although orginally a overall #1 pick by Tampa Bay he opted to play baseball for the Kansas City Royals. While shring the ball with Marcus Allen he ran for 2,782yds and 12tds and pummeled Brian Bosworth and ran for 221yds in a game. His career was cut short by a hip injury, but he had a lasting impact with the Raiders. He is considered one of the best 2 sport athletes.

5) Steve Wisniewski, OL is an 8-time pro bowler and was named to the all 90's decade team. he was known for being a dirty player but he solidified the O-line for 12 seasons.

4) Charles Woodson, CB Michigan former Heisman Trophy Winner had a great season with the Green Bay Packers and is considered the top shut down corner in the NFL. Has recorded over 595tckls and 29int. Has been to 4 pro bowls and is a 3time all-pro selection. Still considered an elite corner and dangerous punt returner.

3) Howie Long, DT Villanova HOF defensive linemen registered 91.5sacks and was on the 80's all decade team and was an 8-time pro bowl player as well as a 6-time all pro selection.

2) Marcus Allen, RB USC 1982 Rushed for over 12,243yds and was the 1st player to rush over 10,000yds and have more than 5,000 recieving yards in a career. Scored 123tds and won the NFL MVP in 1985. Was a 6-time probowl selection & 5-time all-pro selection and was admitted to the HOF in 2000. Ran a then record 191yds in the Superbowl against the Redskins.

1) Tim Brown, WR Notre Dame was the 1st WR to win a Heiman Trophy and leads every major career receiving record for the Raiders and caught 1,094receptions for 14,934yds and 100tds. Was selected to 9 probowls and 7 all-pro and was voted on the 90's all decade team.

 Honorable mention: Nnamdi Asomugha, Sebastian Janikowski, Terry McDaniel, Matt Millen, Raghib Ismail, Greg Biekert, Barrett Robbins, Jon Ritchie, Jerry Porter.

Posted on: April 19, 2008 3:38 pm
Edited on: April 19, 2008 8:15 pm
 

2008 NFL Mock Draft

The NFL draft will be held next weekend and it seems that the Miami Dolphins have already determined who they will take as their number 1 overall pick and there are plenty of teams who are willing to trade up in this year's draft.

#1 Miami Dolphins, Jake Long, OT Michigan 6-7 315pds (has good size and techinque and with Vernon Carey at the tackle position they can now solidfy their offensive line in order to protect QB John Beck)

#2 St. Louis Rams, Vernon Gholston, DE Ohio State 6-3 266pds (has good speed and can be a hybrid DE/LB, the Rams need to rebuild their defensive line and paired with Adam Carriker, they should be a killer tandem)

#3 Atlanta Falcons, Matt Ryan, QB  Boston College 6-4 211pds (Joey Harrington is clearly not the future of this franchise and with the recent signing of FA Michael Turner, Darren McFadden is no longer an option.)

#4 Oakland Raiders, Chris Long, DE Virginia 6-3 272pds (Al Davis loves speed and will possibly trade down, if RB Darren McFadden is still available at number 6 or 7.) Trade w/ Jets

#5 Kansas City Chiefs, Glenn Dorsey, DT LSU 6-1 297pds (If Jared Allen leaves, this will be a no brainer pick, could have been the overall number one pick if it weren't for his history with injuries)

#6 NY Jets, Darren McFadden, RB Arkansas 6-1 211pds (could potentially trade up with the Raiders for their 4th pick and possibly give up a 3rd rnd pick in order to take DE's Long or Gholston due to the vacancy that John Abraham left a couple of years ago.)

#7 New England Patriots (via 49ers) Aqib Talib, CB Kansas 6-1 205pds (with Asante Samuel leaving to the Eagles, this pick will ease the loss of their once franchise corner)

#8 Baltimore Ravens Branden Albert, OG Virginia 6-6 309pds (with the retirement of Steve McNair, now Kyle Boller heads in this season as their #1 QB and the Ravens must shore up the offensive line in order to protect him and to open up holes for RB Willis McGahee)

#9 Cincinnati Bengals Sedric Ellis, DT USC 6-0 309pds (The Bengals were just dead awful on defense and will be looking for Ellis to help stop against the run.)

#10 New Orleans Saints Leodis McKelvin, CB Troy 5-10 186 (Alot of analyst have LB Keith Rivers as their selection, but having already on their roster LB's Dan Morgan and Jonathan Vilma does not make any sense in taking Rivers)

#11 Buffalo Bills, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB Tennessee St. 6-1 180pds  (need secondary help especially after the loss of Nate Clements last year)

#12 Denver Broncos, Ryan Clady, OT Boise St. 6-6 320pds (will be able to win the LT position and help protect Jay Cutler)

#13 Carolina Panther, Keith Rivers, LB USC 6-3 237pds (with him falling out of the top 10 he is a draft steal and has enough talent to eventually start by the of the regualr season)

#14 Chicago Bears, Rashard Mendenhall, RB 5-10 225pds (Cedric Benson has shown that he can't carry the load by himself as the featured back and the Bears need to establish a running game as well as providing insurance if Benson gets injured again.)

#15 Detroit Lions, Derrick Harvey, DE Florida 6-4 271pds (With the loss of DE Kalimba Edwards and trading away DT Shaun Rogers to the Browns, the Lions have enough offensive weapons and need help on defense)

#16 Arizona Cardinals Fred Davis, TE USC 6-4 250 pds (Leonard Pope is not a great recieving TE and QB Matt Leinart can definetly use another weapon to spread down the field. Although he had a bad NFL combine he has a slight edge over Dustin Keller.)

#17 Minnesota Vikings Philip Merling, DE Clemson, 6-4 270pds (with DE Kenechi Udeze out while recovering from leukemia, they need depth on the D-line.

#18 Houston Texans Mike Jenkins, CB South Florida, 5-11 200pds (facing Peyton Manning twice a year, they need all the secondary help they can get)

#19 Philadelphia Eagles Jeff Otah, OT Pittsburgh 6-6 339pds (will provide excellent depth for Jon Runyan and will be the future OT for Donovan McNabb)

#20 Tampa Bay Buccaneers DeSean Jackson, WR Cal 5-9 169pds (has blazing speed and will be able to be a factor on special teams returns)

#21 Washington Redskins Kenny Phillips, FS Miami 6-2 212pds (Looking to replace the loss of Sean Taylor)

#22 Dallas Cowboys Felix Jones, RB Arkansas 5-10 207pds (Need depth at runningback since Julius Jones signed with the Seahawks)

#23 Pittsburgh Steelers Sam Baker, OT USC 6-5 312pds (Losing Alan Faneca from the offensive line was a huge loss and hopefully Baker can help rebuild the O-line)

#24 Tennessee Titans Lawrence Jackson, DE USC 6-5 268pds (DE Jevon Kearse is not the player he once was and he can serve as a mentor to Jackson)

#25 Seattle Seahawks Devin Thomas, WR Michigan St. 6-2 215pds (They need a big play reciever to compliment Deion Branch and the other recieving corps)

#26 Jacksonville Jaguars Calais Campbell, DE Miami 6-9 290pds (need replacements after the loss of Marcus Stroud and Bobby McCray)

#27 San Diego Chargers Jonathan Stewart, RB Oregon 5-10 235pds (need a backup for LaDanian Tomilison due to the fact that Michael Turner left via FA)

#28 Dallas Cowboys Linas Sweed, WR Texas 6-5 219pds (Terry Glenn is showing some signs of aging)

#29 San Francisco 49ers Chris Williams, OT 6-6 317pds Vanderbilt (biggest steal in the 1st round, and he will provide blindside help for Alex Smith)

#30 Green Bay Packers Dustin Keller, TE Purdue 6-2 242pds (wll give Aaron Rodgers a deep threat receiving TE and will provide depth for Donald Lee)

 #31 New Patriots forfeited

#32 New York Giants Jerod Mayo, MLB Tennessee 6-1 242pds (are reloading in order to repeat another Superbowl title)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on: March 29, 2008 6:30 pm
 

Tyler Hansbrough NBA bound?

There is no question that the North Carolina Tar Heels would not be in the Elite 8 if it were not for Tyler Hansbrough who is a beast around the basket. He is a finalist for the Wooden Award which is given to the best player in college basketball. Although the real question is whether he is able to make the next transition into the NBA? Many scouts believe he is simply a bigger Mark Madsen (Timberwolves) in that he lacks athleticism and is too slow to play at the next level. I would have to agree in that good techinque could only take you so far and that speed and natural talent is where the big boys play (NBA). I really don't think that Tyler has what it takes to compete in the next level and a once promising top 10 selection is now falling fast toward the 2nd round of the 2008 NBA draft.

 Players like Kevin Love UCLA Bruins and Michael Beasley Kansas State will be shoe-ins for a lottery selection, as well as fellow teammate Tywon Lawson whose draft stock is soaring. Unfortunately, for Tyler Hansbrough he will be riding the bench if he is selected by a NBA team who is willing to take a chance on a player that has limited offensive skills and his defense is subpar. He should defintely consider going to Europe to develop his game and make a name for himself overseas. Furthermore, staying in the states will not allow him to potentially blossom because his competition will be either in the NBDL or practice games. I wouldn't be suprised if he did not get drafted at all because looking at his stats from this year, against good quality teams he hs been limited to less than 20points.

11/14/07 vs. Davidson  14pts 14rebs 2to

11/28/07 vs. Ohio State 13pts 11rebs 1to

12/01/07 vs. Kentucky 14pts 11rebs 2to

1/19/08 vs. Maryland 17pts 14rebs 2to (lost)

1/31/08 vs. Boston College 18pts 6rebs 3to

3/08/08 vs. Duke 16pts 15rebs 1to (8 for 21 from the field)

1/06/08 vs. Clemson 12pts 14rebs 1to (42min and was limited to only 3 baskets)

In addition, Tyler Hansbrough has shot 6-14fg & 6-15fg from the field in the last 2 games in the NCAA Tournament.

At this point of his career, he should consider the fact that his role will greatly diminsh in the professional league and must realize that he could utilize his skills to be a role player similar to Slava Medvednko (Lakers) or Austin Croshere (Pacers). To expect anything more would be wishful thinking because speed and athleticism is what the NBA is all about and many GM's will be very careful in not falling for Tyler simply based on the fact that he a a great run in North Carolina.

Other players that great college careers but have had trouble adjusting to the NBA

2004 nba draft

Sean May, (Charlotte Bobcats) injured DNP

Adam Morrison* (Charlotte Bobcats) injured DNP

Julius Hodge (Denver Nuggets) out of the league

Jay Williams* (Chicago Bulls) career cut short by motorcycle accident

Michael Sweetney (N.Y. Knicks)

William Avery (Minnesota Timberwolves) out of the league

Michael Olowokandi (LA Clippers) biggest draft bust

Bryant Reeves (Vancouver Grizzlies) could'nt get a handle on his weight

 Ed' O Bannon (New Jersey Nets) never materialized

Yinka Dare (New Jersey Nets) never was able to get an assist.

Tyler Hansbrough (?????)

 

Posted on: March 25, 2008 3:30 pm
Edited on: March 31, 2008 3:49 am
 

Kobe Bryant finally wins the MVP!

For the past 4 years, it has been argued that Kobe Bryant is the best player in the NBA, but has never won the MVP award. In fact he has never finished in the top 3 in voting, but this is the year he will finally take home the trophy that he righfully deserves. It is hard to imagine a player that has scored 81 points in one game against the Raptors and had a 4-games consecutive streak in where he scored 50 or more points, has not yet won the MVP. Although Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki had amazing seasons when they won their MVP's, but Kobe Bryant is a player that can take over a game just by himself.

The Lakers currently have the best record in the western conference and his late game heroics in last night's thriller win against the Warriors proved to skeptics that he is the most valuable player in the league. In the last 2 games, he has averaged almost a triple double and he is the major catalyst why Lamar Odom, Sasha Vujacic and Jordan Famar have been able to improve their game this season. The man has pretty much done everything humanly possible to win the award and it would be a devastation to see the league give it away to LeBron James or Kevin Garnett.

Furthermore, I don't think there is any other player in the league that is able to recieve MVP chants from the opposing team's fans at their home court! It is very strange to hear Boston Celtic fans or Sacramento Kings fans yell out "MVP, MVP, MVP" when Kobe Bryant is shooting free throws. There is no excuse and no valid reason why he shouldn't win this year especially since he has been doing all this with a broken pinkie finger. Most every other player would have opted to have surgery and sit at home while recovering. However, he has been playing through the pain and could you just imagine what he could do if he was 100% healthy?

  Finalists for this year's Most Valuable Player in the NBA:

Kobe Bryant SG Lakers

Chris Paul PG Hornets

Kevin Garnett F Celtics

LeBron James F Cavaliers

Steve Nash PG Suns

Tim Duncan F Spurs

 

Posted on: March 17, 2008 2:24 pm
Edited on: April 6, 2008 12:02 am
 

Houston, we have liftoff

Are the Houston Rockets the team to beat in the West? They are currently on a 22 game winning streak which is second best in NBA history and they have done this without their franchise center Yao Ming. Although many critics argue that they are primarily a perimeter shooting team and that come playoff time they will be unable to compete with teams that have bigmen such as Pau Gasol Lakers, Tim Duncan Spurs, Shaquille O'Neal Suns, Erick Dampier Mavericks, and Tyson Chandler Hornets.

However, aging center Dikembe Mutombo has done a decent job in making his presence known in the paint and it is remarkable that at his age he can still contest and block shots as well as rebound against players half his age. Moreover, Tracy McGrady has really stepped up his game during this win streak and is becoming a true team leader in which he understands the importance of setting up plays for his teammates rather than him trying to score on every possession. Although I do agree that they lack a post presence inside and I don't think Luis Scola or Carl Landry will scare opposing teams in April. But if they can knock down wide open three-pointers like how Bobby Jackson and Rafer Alston did yesterday against Los Angeles than it doesn't really matter where their buckets come from as long as they keep scoring and winning games.

How long will this winning streak last is anybody's guess, but I know that nobody will want to face them in the 1st round of the playoffs because a team that is playing on the same page and is a cohesive unit is a commodity that not too many teams have the luxury of having. Coach Rick Adelman is a shoe-in for coach of the year and Tracy McGrady should be considered in MVP discussions because if it were not for him this team would not be in 1st place in the Western Conference.

    

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com