All posts by Daniel Damico

This is a place of sports. I write about a couple sports, mostly college basketball and soccer. I will eventually get into the NBA, but there are enough people that get paid to do that. I also write on a great sports writing community called Bleacher Report and have had a couple articles featured on CBS Sportsline and am writing a weekly article for Fox Sports all season long recapping Tuesday college basketball. I’ve had another blog for awhile that I did everything on, but now it is for things not sports related. Mostly music, politics, religion. All topics of a “lighter” nature. It is called: My Ramblings. As for me, I live in a land called Fargo with my beautiful family. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.

What A Sports Weekend!

Busy Basketball Weekend

The college basketball teams ranked No. 3-6 and 8, 10-14, 16-18, 19-21 and 23 are all playing on Saturday.  Then on Sunday the No. 1, 7, 9, 15, 19, 22, 24, and 25 teams have games.   And there are match-ups on ranked teams all over the place - some on television.

Saturday

  • Colorado at No. 2 Texas
  • Georgia at No. 3 Kentucky
  • No. 4 Purdue at No. 20 Wisconsin
  • No. 5 Duke at No. 17 Georgia Tech on ESPN
  • Marquette at No. 6 Villanova
  • No. 8 West Virginia at Notre Dame
  • No. 10 Kansas State at Missouri
  • No. 11 Michigan State at Iowa
  • No. 13 Connecticut at No. 12 Georgetown on ESPN
  • UNLV at No. 14 New Mexico
  • Miss. St at No. 16 Mississippi
  • No. 18 Gonzaga at Portland
  • Boston College at No. 21 Clemson
  • No. 23 BYU at UTEP

Sunday

  • No. 1 Kansas at No. 15 Tenn on CBS
  • South Florida at No. 7 Syracuse
  • Virginia Tech at No. 9 UNC
  • No. 19 Florida State at Maryland
  • No. 22 Washington at Arizona
  • No. 24 Butler at Detroit
  • No. 25 Temple at Rhode Island

That is every-single-team ranked in the USA Today Top 25 playing this weekend.  That is nuts.  But here are my picks of the bunch.

Duke at GT – GT had one of the best recruiting classes this year, headlined by the want to see GT’s super-freshmen Derrick Favors play.  Favors was the No. 2 recruit in the nation last year and while he is not getting the headlines like other freshmen (John Wall and Xavier Henry), Favors is averaging 12.2 ppg, 8.8 rpg and 2.2 blocks per game.

Kansas at Tennessee – Does anyone know what is happening or going to happen to the players arrested?  I think they are suspend indefinitely, so this match-up may not be as close as it would be with Tyler Smith in the line-up.  Still these are both talented teams, but Kansas is just bigger than Tennessee.  Update – Smith has been dismissed from the team.

Purdue at Wisconsin – I know that Big Ten basketball can be very painful to watch, but this is the Boilmakers first real road test at the toughest place to play in the Big Ten - i.e. Duke in ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

UNLV at New Mexico – I know nothing about either of these teams, but there is buzz surrounding both teams.  Should be a tough conference game.

NFL Playoffs Getting Started

The first round of the playoffs are also happening this weekend.  And there are two rematch from last week with Philly and Dallas and Green Bay at Arizona.  A lot people are picking upsets and home teams losing.  Here are match-ups:

Saturday

  • NY Jets at Cincinnati
  • Philadelphia at Dallas

Sunday

  • Baltimore at New England
  • Green Bay at Arizona

Every match-up really could go either way, but here are my quick thoughts.

  • New York beats Cincinnati, I have no real thoughts about this game.
  • But the Philly/Dallas game is very interesting.  Was what we saw last week real with Philly?  I am not sure.  But I think The Eagles go back to Dallas and upset the Cowboys.
  • New England could struggle without Wes Welker, but I am not confident in the Ravens offense.  So, I am picking New England.
  • Green Bay rolled over Arizona – or did the Cardinals roll-over when they knew there was nothing to play for?  I think Green Bay wins again.

The Vikings will play either Dallas, Arizona or Green Bay next Sunday.  I fear only the Cowboys – but the Cardinals beat the crap of the Vikings and it is very hard to beat a team three times in a season.  But the Purple are playing at home.

Minnesota Timberwolve GM David Kahn Podcast

I listen to a lot of podcasts – ESPN has a ton – and one that I listen to is the NBA Today with Ryan Rusillo.  He however is not the reason that I listen.  Rusillo just thinks to much of himself and kind of drives me nuts, but he gets a lot of good guests on the podcast.

he latest podcast features an interview with T’Wolve GM David Kahn and they discussed the team and his thoughts on the future of the team.  Click here to get to the NBA Today podcast page.

Quick Hits: 1/06/10

Happy New Year.

Hope you all have enjoyed the holidays and all of the sporting events.

What a great time of the year.  The NFL is gearing up for the playoffs, college bowl season is fantastic, out-door hockey, and college basketball has started conference play.  Plus international soccer leagues are about to open transfer season and the NBA has been strong since the season started.

But let’s start with my favorite NFL Team – The Minnesota Vikings. Who are now taking the week off to rest before their match-up next weekend.

The Vikings beat-up a tired, ready-to-be-done New York Giants, 44-7.  Yes - we are back on track! I would be very careful about getting to comfortable with a win against a team that had a 0% chance of making the playoffs.

Let’s recap:

After the Vikings started 10-1 and gave a win away to the Steelers, they lost 3 of their last 5 games and really showed flaws – but we will not getting to that now.

Let’s look at their schedule.

  1. Of the thirteen different teams the Purple played in the year, only five had winning records. The Packers (11-5), Steelers and Ravens (9-7), Cardinals (10-6), and Bengals(10-6).
  2. Twelve wins were against teams with a combined record of 66-94, highlighted by wins against Green Bay (2 wins), Baltimore, Cincinnati, and two 8-8 teams in the 49ers and the Giants.
  3. Four losses to Arizona, Chicago (7-9), Carolina (8-8) and Pittsburgh with a combined record of 34-30.
  4. Total combined record of all opponents = 93-115*.

*Some of the numbers may look off – but I only used the records of conference opponents once.

I know you can only play the teams on your schedule, but there has to be more concern about a team that has played so inconsistently against poorer teams.  The Vikings have weapons all over the field – yet there now is an uncertainty that was not there in the first half of the year.

Losing E.J. Henderson was huge, Antoine Winfield missed a good deal fo the season, and Bernard Berrian is finally healthy.  Bryannt McKinnie is playing better of late, but was awful for a while.  The offensive line as a whole needs to give Brett Favre time.  Jared Allen looks like every other defensive end in the league, not like Allen who was an MVP candidate.  That falls on the defensive cordinator for not scheming enough to get Allen away from double and triple teams, because you know Allen’s motor is not problem.

We still have Favre, AP, Percy and Rice – the Sydney Edition – and very good defense.  Yet, I have this feeling that the Cowboys or Eagles are going to come to the Dome and blow it up.

The thought of the Vikings woes have not kept me up at night – I have a six-week-old baby girl to do that for me – but there has to be concern running through this organization.  Head Coach Brad Childress has never been in this situation – a first round bye.  A lot will be said about what kind of coach he really is with this much time to prepare.  Childress – prove you are worthy of the contract extension.  Because I don’t think you deserved it.

Best College Basketball Program Of The 2000′s

I started this around Christmas, and totally forgot about it.  But this decade has been quite the decade for College Basketball  powerhouses to reestablish themselves and new ones to appear.

So here the suspects: Michigan State (Champs in ’00), Duke(’01) UConn (’04), UNC (’05 and ’09), Florida (’06 and ’07), and Kansas(’08).  I did not include the ’02 Maryland and ’03 Syracuse – no real reason to explain.

And here are the Top Five.

Honorable Mention: UConn - The Huskies have been monsters in the Big East and had a great team in ’04.  But they were a George Mason run away from their second title of the decade in ’06.  Can you imagine that game Florida Vs. UConn?  Just to get to the Championship game.  So much NBA talent – head – going –  to – explode.

5.  Duke – Winning in 2001 with arguable the best team of the decade - Jason Williams, Shane Battier, Carlos Boozer, Mike Dunleavy, Nate James and Chris Duhon.  Had more wins in the 2000′s than any other program with 291, won 7 ACC Tourney Championships and four regular season Championships.  But played in only two Final Fours and came up very short later in the decade – by Duke standards.

4.  Florida - I know what you are thinking how can the only back-to-backers in the decade be 4th.  A couple of reasons.  The “What have you done for me lately” mentality kicks in hard since the last title.  Only won three SEC tourney championships, but only one outright SEC regular season championship and two co-championships.

3.  Kansas - Consistency kills.  From Roy Williams to Bill Self, the Jayhawks never slipped.  Never fell into the funk that Florida did.  One very good team with Kirk Hinrich, Nick Collison that played in two Final Fours and then one great team in the 2008 Jayhawks, led by Bradon Rush, Mario Chalmers, Sherron Collins, Darrel Arthur, and Darnell Jackson.  They also dominated the Big 12, like no other powerhouse dominated their conference with seven total regular season Championships.

2. Michigan State - One National Championship, four Final Four’s (with the ’99 Final Four, they made three appearances in a row.  Only other team to do that is UCLA in the last ten years).  Fall victim to the fact that they never dominated a conference that was very weak for most of the decade, winning only three regular season Championships and only one tourney crown in 2000.  The 2005 team is one of my favorite teams of the decade with Shannon Brown, Maurice Ager, and Drew Neitzel which beat Adam Morrison’s 43 points and Gonzaga in triple-overtime in the Maui Invitational.

1.  North Carolina - Two National Championships, four Final Fours, and probably has built the biggest and best recruiting/NBA pipeline ever.  UNC does not rebuild – they “reload”.  But then you have the Matt Doherty fail.  Doherty took the team from No. 1 in the country in his first season to 8-20 in his second to 17-15 in his third.  He had players, the same players the Williams won with in 2005.  We can not forget Tyler Hansbrough.  Without him, 2006 would have been difficult.  This program has returned to dominance and there is not end in sight.

Coach of the Decade Award - Tom Izzo.  Roy Williams would be a very close second, but Izzo just wins.  And like many of the top coaches, his passion is obvious.  Izzo has also become such a part of the community like that make the fans love him even more.

College Basketball Mini Hits

  • Evan Turner is expect to be back tonight against Indiana, earlier than first thought.  And all is right in the Buckeye nation.
  • No. 4 Purdue beat the Gophers pretty handily, 79-60.  The first half was close only because the Boilermakers could not shot the ball.  That changed in the second half.
  • No. 2 Texas was pushed by Arkansas 96-85.  Even with foul trouble, Damion James won the game with a couple big jump shots to seal the game. 
  • UNC lost to Charleston 79-82.  While it is big for Charleston, it is still early January.  Everything will be OK.  UNC will be just fine, they just need to get healthy.

Landon Donovan Has Arrived In England

The US Soccer golden boy is set to begin his 10-week loan with Everton which is a soccer club in the English Premier League.

“I am ready to enjoy it and I want to personally get myself sharp while I am here,” Donovan said Tuesday. “Tim Howard has had nothing but great things to say about this team so I am excited. Going into a World Cup year this experience will keep me sharp.”

The loan is great for Donovan as he has come into his own as a player.  With his showing with the US in the Confederations Cup and with the LA Galaxy, Donovan is looking to replace the issues he has had in Europe with a good spell with Everton.

This loan also increase the amount of attention surrounding the US National Team’s opening group stage match against England in South Africa this summer.  SideNote:  ESPN will be showing World Cup games in 3-D.  WHAT?

Donovan will need sometime to get back into shape, but this is a great situation for him.  Donovan is a very sensitive person, and his play fluctuates with his emotions.  So having Howard there is key.  A fellow American who has seen Donovan play to the best of his ability and can be there to give guidance if needed.

Click here for the entire article.

Happy Holidays

I am sure everyone is busy trying to get loose ends taken care of before the end of the year.  I have all my shopping done – which means my wife completed out shopping – I did buy her gift, all by myself!  And I did a fine job, thank you very much.

I hope you have a good holiday and safe travel as we take time to forget about work and focus on family and friends.  With this “time-off”, there will be plenty of sporting events to watch.  The other day we had  No. 2 Texas beat No. 9 Michigan State and No. 1 Kansas beat a tough California team.

So here are some very Quick Hits before I go into a Christmas Cookie Comma.

Final Four = Two Conferences?

There is a very good chance that in the Final Four, we will have two teams from the Big 12 (Kansas and Texas) and two from the Big Ten (MSU and Purdue).  What is missing?  A team from either coasts, the SEC, Big East or the ACC.

Look at the rankings and tell me other than Kentucky, who looks like a legit team?

  • No. 3 Kentucky – Even though I think they are legit – at this point - the Calapari Crew is a John Wall injury away from getting knocked out in the second round of the NCCAs.

Kentucky Side-Note:  Patrick Patterson needs to buy John Wall a very nice Christmas present for getting him easy buckets, and raising his draft stock.  Patterson is ranked No. 9 on Chard Fords Big Board.

  • No.5 Syracuse and No. 6 West Virginia – I have more faith in the Orangemen than the Mountaineers.  But to be fair, I have not seen much of either team.
  • No. 7 Duke – While Kyle Singler is the pre-season All-American, Jon Scheyer is the most important player in Durham.  And if Scheyer goes down, they only have two guards who can really play in Nolan Smith and freshmen, Andre Dawkins.
  • No. 8 Villanova – Could struggle mightily against teams with height and they also do not have the depth like the other teams.  ‘Nova has only two players over 6’8″ in freshmen Mouphtaou Yarou and Maurice Sutton.  Both play around 17 minutes a game, but thats against the cupcakes.
  • No. 10 UNC – While this team is loaded with NBA draft picks,  I am not sure which is the “go-to-guy”.  But I am sure that Roy Williams doesn’t know either.  My suggestion – Will Graves needs more touches.

Note To Media – Everything Will Be Fine With The Vikings!

I am so sick of hearing about a schism - or a feud involving Head Coach Brad Childress and Brett Favre.  Did you notice that I did not have to tell you what Favre’s role is, we know it.  Childress…um…not so much.

This happens to every team, but when it is Brett Favre, it becomes front page news.  Granted, when it is Randy Moss or Terrell Owens, it’s pretty much the same.  Isn’t “ego” great.

If there really is an issue, and Childress is talking about Favre and not to Favre, there is an issue and ultimately Childress is biting the hand that has fed him a nice-new contract extension.  But this happens, you hug-it-out and then you move on.  The have won the division and already locked up their playoff spot, and are playing only because the games are on the schedule.

It will be OK, everyone breath.  Have some egg nog and just one more cookie with the Hersey Kiss in the middle.

*If you go to the serach engine on ESPN.com and type in “Brad Childress” – you get 1948 articles/stories/podcast where Childress is mentioned.  Roughly 92.3% is from the last three days.  Seriously ESPN, way to be your own bull @#$! hype machine.

Mini-Hits

Happy Holidays everyone.

Quick Hits: 12/08/09

Happy Holidays everyone.  I apologize for my lack of posting – I find it tough during the holidays – but this year I have an even more legit “excuse”.  My daughter was born on Nov. 24th.  So my wife and I have been busy with that, along with trying to get everything ready for Christmas.

That being said, here is a very Mini-Quick Hits.

1. Allen Iverson returns to Philly – I will have more on this later.  Here is ESPN.com’s Chris Sheridans view on it.

2. The US Men’s National Team will play England in the first round of the Group Stage of the 2010 World Cup.  I have said this before, but the US Soccer site is pretty sweet.  Here is the article from www.ussoccer.com.

3. Speaking of soccer (that was my well thought-out transition) – Everton, a mid-table club in the English Premier League - also the team of US National Team goalie Tim Howard, is reportedly interested in Landon Donavon.

4. Injury Update

  • Ohio State’s Evan Turner broke 2 vertebrae and will be out up to eight weeks.  Here is the AP article.  I am a big fan of Turner and feel bad for the kid.  I hope he comes back ath the same level, with even more drive!
  • Vikings middle linebacker and Captain E.J. Henderson broke his leg in the game on Sunday night.  After playing in only 4 games last season because of an injury with dislocated toes, the Henderson will be out the reminder of the season.
  • On the other end of the healing spectrum – The Timberwolves welcomed back Kevin Love from a broken wrist. In the three games back, Love has played 24, 26, and 30 minutes and is averaging 15.7 ppg, 9.3 rpg and two steals a game.

5. North Dakota State’s All-Time leading scorer, Ben Woodside, is set to play in the Pro A League All-Star game in France.  Woodside was selected as the member of the best non-French team that will compete against the best French players in the league.  Woodside is averaging 16.6 ppg in 31 minutes a game. 

Woodside also has a blog that he keeps rather up-to-date at http://benwoodside.blogspot.com.

6. The Heisman Trophy finalist have been announced.  They are: Toby Gerhart - RB from Stanford, Mark Ingram – RB from Alabama, Colt McCoy – QB from Texas, Ndamukong Suh - DT from Nebraska , and some guy named Tim Tebow . 

7. It is Really no Surprise, but Joe Mauer was Announced as the Winner of Most Valuable Player in the American League of Major League Baseball.  I wanted that sentence to feel grand and important - so I capitalized a lot!

The following info is from ESPN.com.

AL MVP Voting

Joe Mauer received 27 of 28 first-place votes to win his first AL MVP award. The only other player to get a first-place vote was the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera, who finished fourth. A breakdown of the voting:

Player, team Total
Joe Mauer, Twins 387
Mark Teixeira, Yankees 225
Derek Jeter, Yankees 193

Here is the link for the full article by the AP on ESPN.com. Plus you get some video.

Mauer is only the second catcher, Ivan Rodriguez in ’99, to win the award.  And is the second Twin on the current roster to win the AVP Award.  Justin Morneau won the award in 2006 – that announcement was not as accepted as this one.  Mauer was the best candidate, and it would have been fun, if Morneau would have been healthy, to see them both as top five finisher.

Twins MVPS

  • Mauer
  • Morneau
  • Rod Carew (’77)
  • Harmon Killebrew (’69)
  • Zoilo Versalles (’65)

The Brawl at The Palace

YahooSports.com has an article that looks into the Indiana Pacers and what has happened since the brawl in Detroit in 2004 with the Pistons and their fans.  Click Here for the article by Peter May.

I remember watching this game live.  I turned to it very late.  Literally as Ron Artest committed a stupid foul on Ben Wallace.  Needlessly hitting him in the afro-covered-head.  I actually remember saying “that was stupid, you’re up by fifteen (points)” to no-one in the room.

When Wallace went at Artest, I was not surprised by his reaction or did I feel that he was completely out of line.  I would have been pissed.  Look at it from Wallace’s position.  You’re down fifteen, there are 45 seconds left in the game, you have been embarrassed by the Pacers, and now you have to shoot two meaningless free throws which is not your strong suit and you’ll probably miss.  I may not have pushed Artest – he is much bigger than I am – but I would have said something.  “What the @#%& is your problem” comes to mind.

I will not go any further into it, we all know what happened.  The whole thing was ugly and disgraceful, but I remember it.  I remember thinking that I could not believe it was happening and that I actually got to see it, I was stunned.

Quick Hits: 11/20/09

New Look Twins

The Minnesota Twins are heading to a new Stadium in the 2010 season.  And what do you do when you make a  majorchange?  You make another change, but not-so major.

The Twins showcased their new uniforms for the first season in the new pad.  Here is a gallery of photos from the Star Tribune.

At first look, I didn’t really see any major differences to the home jerseys, but I like the road jerseys.  Both are semi-retro jerseys that are a tribute to the 1961 uniforms.

That is outfielder Denard Span in the home white and pitcher Scott Baker in the road uniform.

I love the colors of the Twins.  Dark blue and red with white or gray.  My favorite colors of any Minnesota team.

College Basketball

I am watching an ESPN Classic game from Nov. 9th, 2000.  Kansas vs. UCLA played at MSG with lineups filled with future NBA players.

  • For Kansas: Kirk Hinrich, Nick Collison,  and Drew Gooden,
  • For UCLA:  Earl Watson, Jason Kapoano, Matt Barnes, and Dan Gadzuric.

Watching just a part of that game got me thinking about the depth of the those teams and of the top teams of this season.  Look at the top eight teams in this seasons ESPN/USA Today poll.  What do you see?  Teams that can easily go eight or nine deep.

  1. Kansas – We all know about Sherron Collins, Cole Aldrich and Xavier Henry.  But in the Morris twins, Brady Morningstar and Tyshawn Taylor ( and others), this team has a lot of players who played meaning minutes.
  2. Michigan State - This years Spartans exemplify the saying: “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.”   But they still have a go-to guy in Kalin Lucas – the Big Ten player of the year.
  3. Texas - The Longhorns not only have depth, but they have senior leadership.  In Justin Mason, Damion James, and Dexter Pittman – who is set for a breakout season.  Plus they have a killer freshmen class highlighted by Avery Bradley and Jordan Hamilton.
  4. UNC - The Champs have six players 6’8″ or taller and all of them should see playing time.  Plus they have Will Graves, Larry Drew, and Marcus Ginyard.
  5. Kentucky – Some guy named John Wall.
  6. Villanova – They are guard heavy led by Scottie Reynolds, and the Corey’s – stoke and Fischer.  Plus Duke transfer Taylor King adds fire power.
  7. Purdue - Do not forget about the Boilermakers.  Robbie Hummel, E’Twuan Moore , Chris Kramer, JuJuan Jackson, Keaton Grant, Lewis Jackson, plus a talented freshmen class.  PS – Out of all the players on the Purdue roster, only 3 are not from Indiana.
  8. Duke – Lead by Kyle Singler, Jon Scheyer, and Nolan Smith.  This years Blue Devils has more height in the Plumlee brothers, both are 6’10″, Brian Zoubek at 7’1″, and Ryan Kelly at 6’10″ and they have freshmen Andre Dawkins.

Most every team would survive an injury to a major player (minus the backcourts of UNC and Duke and the frontcourt with Villanova), and that is what has separated the good teams from the great teams.

My early season Final Four: Texas, MSU, Kansas and Purdue.

Quick Hits: 11/16/09

I have not posted lately, and there are a couple of reasons for that.  The main reason is that my wife and I are expecting a baby any day.  Not that I have blocked sports out completely – I am reading Bill Simmons The Book of Basketball - and have of course watched The Vikings and as much soccer and basketball as allowed.

Here are some quick and thoughts.

1.  The Vikings look like a legit team.  I know what most of are thinking, of course they do, they are 8-1.  But some of the Vikings faithful will remember that the purple also had a 6-0 start in 2003 and pooped all over themselves and did not make playoffs.  So yeah, I held out judgment until now.

2.  I watched the Texas Longhorns Men’s Basketball team play the other night.  I am having an internal struggle as to which team is deeper, Texas or Michigan State.  Both have experienced leaders, but Texas has a killer freshmen class.  Good thing they play each other in Texas on Dec. 22nd.

Warriors Bucks Basketball

3.  Who has Brandon Jennings on his fantasy basketball team?  That would be me.  I have also received a ton of hits on this site because of this post, when I said the following about Jennings prior to the draft:

“I have not seen much of him after the high school all-star games, but I do not like what I have heard.  The word is that he reminds people of Iverson, and I am not a fan of Iverson.  Jennings is quick, picks the flashy over fundamental, and looks to prompt himself.  Sounds like Sebsastian Telfair all over again.  But he could do very well playing for Golden State.”

We do not get a lot of Bucks games, but what I have seen you can sense a level of maturity that and respect for the game that was not there before.  Teammates respect him, he carries himself very well in interviews, and he plays within the offense.  None of which were said about him before he went to Italy.

4.  The other night I had trouble sleeping because I did not get to see the end of the LA Galaxy - Houston Dynamo match-up.  I am old and need sleepy-time.  Now, I am not a David Beckham rub – I prefer Mr. Donovan – but I was thinking about what it would mean to soccer in the US if the Galaxy win the MLS Cup with Beckham.  Everyone would forget Grant Wahl’s book – Yes, that is the second sports book reference at Barnes and Noble. I have a membership.  Everyone would forgive the trip to Italy, and all the other Beckham mess.  Everyone would ignore the response he got from his own fans when he came back.  All because he made it about the team, and they won.

Side – note:  I am not sure which is worse,  three different links to www.bn.com or the fact that I struggled sleeping thinking about the outcome of the game.

Stephen Jackson

Breaking News: The Golden State Warriors sent Stephen Jackson to the Charlotte Bobcats. “In a deal that NBA front-office sources said came together quickly Sunday night and received the needed league approval Monday morning, Golden State sent Jackson and guard Acie Law to the Bobcats in exchange for veteran swingmen Raja Bell and Vladimir Radmanovic.”  from ESPN.com.

This may not seem like a big deal, but Jackson will fit in well with the Bobcats, while Charlotte did not give much up to get him.  Larry Brown got a player with offensive fire power, who still works on defense.  Now he has a starting line-up of Raymond Felton, Jackson, Gerald Wallace, Boris Diaw and Tyson Chandler with D.J. Augustin, Gerald Henderson, Derrick Brown coming off the bench.  Can you say “Up-Grade”.

And Jackson will be on his best behavior with Brown on the bench and the Greatest of All-Time - Michael Jordan in case you were wondering – not too far away.

Side – Note:  I bet that is the first ever blog post that has been interrupted by breaking news.  Well, at least on this blog.

5.  I watched all of ten minutes of the Kentucky Blue-White game, and I already love John Wall. In that ten minutes he had two dunks, at least four assist – two lobs – and was all over the place.  Kentucky coach John Calipari has done it again with another one-hit-wonder.  See: Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans.  I have heard rumors that Wall is even quicker than Rose.  That is unfair.