Friday, April 30, 2010

National Letter of Intent - What happens to the MSM signees in this situation

Written for your enjoyment by: Raff

Taken from the NLI section of
$3 Flat Rate Shipping on All Orders!The NCAA Eligibility Center manages the daily operations of the NLI program while the Collegiate Commissioners Association (CCA) provides governance oversight of the program. Started in 1964 with seven conferences and eight independent institutions, the program now includes 612 Division I and II participating institutions.

The NLI is a voluntary program with regard to both institutions and student-athletes. No prospective student-athlete or parent is required to sign the National Letter of Intent, and no institution is required to join the program.

By signing a National Letter of Intent, a prospective student-athlete agrees to attend the designated college or university for one academic year. Pursuant to the terms of the National Letter of Intent program, participating institutions agree to provide athletics financial aid for one academic year to the student-athlete, provided he/she is admitted to the institution and is eligible for financial aid under NCAA rules. An important provision of the National Letter of Intent program is a recruiting prohibition applied after a prospective student-athlete signs a Letter of Intent. This prohibition requires participating institutions to cease recruitment of a prospective student-athlete once a National Letter of Intent is signed with another institution.

The National Letter of Intent has many advantages to both prospective student-athletes and participating educational institutions:

Once a National Letter of Intent is signed, prospective student-athletes are no longer subject to further recruiting contacts and calls.
Student-athletes are assured of an athletics scholarship for one full academic year.
By emphasizing a commitment to an educational institution, not particular coaches or teams, the program focuses on a prospective student-athlete's educational objectives.

Based on what I am reading there - the NLI means that another school cannot recruit the player without a release from the NLI. Therefore, if Morales is visiting UNCW as reported - he is doing it either having been released from the NLI or breaking the agreement.

In addition the Basic Penalty as described at
Basic Penalty.  I understand that if I do not attend the institution named in this document for one full academic year and I enroll in another institution participating in the NLI program, I may not compete in intercollegiate athletics until I have completed one full academic year in residence at the latter institution.  Further, I understand I shall be charged with the loss of one season of intercollegiate athletics competition in all sports.  This is in addition to any seasons of competition expended at any institution.
Based on all of that it sounds to me like Morales has to be released from the NLI to compete somewhere else next season - and if he is not released, he would only have 3 years of eligibility in total.

I do not know the specifics of this case. But I think you can draw a few conclusions based on the above. Let's hope it all works out for the best.

As a followup - the internet buzz is that Morales has requested and been granted his NLI release. Some folks close to the program knew nothing of it or didn't want to share if they did. The other part of the rumor mill is that Morales will resign if Dunlap is hired. As far as I know, neither Burrell or James has asked for the release, but that could happen if they don't like the ultimate decision.

However, go back to Burrell's comments at the time of the signing and there is some hope that it isn't just the coaching staff that attracted him....

From an article at
“I picked Mount St. Mary’s because the school was a good fit,” said Burrell “I felt I fit in with their system of play, I had a good feel for their coaching staff and I got along with the players there.

“Once I got up there, I was sold.” “It’s a smaller campus,” he said, “and everything is right there. I liked that. I got to see the players and they’re all guys who work hard. I got a feel that I can play at that level.”
 “With my penetration and fast-pace running the break,” Burrell said, “that’s what I do well and that’s what they focus on.”

But that is not to underestimate the connection he had to the old coaching staff, and current candidate Brion Dunlap.

 “I spoke with coach Dunlap a lot,” Burrell said. “He’s from the area and he was involved in a lot of my recruiting. He came to a lot of games and open gyms. He’s also good friends with my cousin, Hollis Johnson—it’s a good connection.
 Again I hope it all works out for the best.

Mount O Links

Goode exploring options; Greece, Australia or Italy seem like probable final destinations

Who wants to teach Journalism at the Mount?

At least the Hoyas have an excuse

Save 80% Off Retail Prices on Replacement Cell Phone Accessories
Cuse Awards

Defense on Alert in Arizona

Snake Skins

NHL 2nd Round Preview

Akbar Waheed, whose name surfaced briefly during the search for Milan Brown's replacement, has been hired as an assistant on Steve Donahue's staff at Boston College. Waheed was not believed to be a serious candidate for the Mount position - and this essentially rules out any possibility.

According to Adam Zagoria of Rutgers is down to two finalists. Fran Dunphy and Al Skinner are out - and the remaining two candidates are Robert Morris' Mike Rice and ESPN Analyst Fran Fraschilla. As we've written before, Rice turned down Tulane because he expected the Knights job to open, so he is wanting this big time. He has a lot of support in the Jersey Area - and frankly if we're comparing Rice to Fraschilla and choosing simply between those two, we take Rice in a heartbeat. But we'll wait and see what happens. If they are down to two, it can't be much longer.

More on Moore

Another idea for the NCAA tournament

I'm not a big fan of this at all. Pre-determining the conferences - and not having the enjoyment of Selection Sunday for four low-major teams doesn't really include them in the whole thing. And how much interest would these games generate if they're being played opposite of the Big East and Big 12 Tournament Championships.

NEC Track & Field Championships

Day to Day for Juanita Ward

Notable moments from Day 1 of Giants Rookie mini-Camp

Tim Welsh charged with DWI

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bad, Bad News

Written for your enjoyment by: Raff

Donte Morales has reopened his recruiting. The 6-5 swingman, with long range jumper ability signed a LOI to attend the Mount in November, but after spending a year at Fishburne Academy decided to re-enter the recruiting pool - when Milan Brown left for Holy Cross.

The first stop on his recruiting tour is North Carolina-Wilmington with new coach Buzz Peterson. According to Brian Mull of the Star News Online, Morales is also receiving interest from several A-10 caliber schools.

The Mount originally landed Morales after he had decommitted from the Air Force Academy after finding the military life wasn't for him. As a senior at Landstown, Morales averaged 19.6 points and 8.5 rebounds a game.

Since Brown left the Mount, the rumors have been flying that the only way to keep the incoming recruiting class was to hire assistant Brion Dunlap. Now it appears that Morales has acted before the University.

With that said, reopening recruitment after a coaching change is common and does not always result in a player changing his mind. But the fact that Morales is taking official visits before the Mount has named a new coach can not be viewed as a good sign.

Brown left the Mount on April 16th, which is two weeks tomorrow. Mount Athletic Director Lynne Phelan Robinson originally set two weeks as the timetable for finding a new coach. The AD and the search committee have been interviewing candidates during the last two weeks. It seems that the ability to name a new coach is now more urgent than ever.

Sort of Silent

Written for your enjoyment by: Raff

There really hasn't been a lot of movement or a lot of noise surrounding the Mount coaching job today. It seems as if we might have gotten to the point where the sorting out has been done and now the decision needs to be made.

I did hear that there is the possibility of one more interview. It might be Kurt Kanaskie the Associate Head Coach at Penn State, but I had someone else tell me that it is Dan Earl from Penn State who has the real interest in the position. Kanaskie still seems like the better fit with his experience than Earl.

I also spoke with someone today who had real high praise for Mike Rhoades. Rhoades is the former head coach at Randolph Macon, having led the Yellow Jackets at the Division III level for 10 years, before becoming the assistant at VCU. Its been awhile since the Mount and the Jackets were connected on the basketball court and this would be an interesting situation. He brings the head coaching experience that the Mount seems to be looking for, he obviously has a lot of recruiting contacts in and around this area, but like Chris Harney - how that would translate to the DI level would be a question mark. I really don't know if the interest on either side has been too great, but the name has been mentioned and it came up again today. He would seem to fit into what the Mount would be looking for.

To recap:
The confirmed interviews are Strickland (former Dematha assistant and Coastal Carolina head coach & current NC State assistant), Jamion Christian (Mount alum, coaching experience at Bucknell & William and Mary), Martin Ingelsby (Notre Dame assistant), Brion Dunlap (current Mt assistant for 7 years).

Names that have come up too often to think its just a coincidence: Kurt Kanaskie (current Associate Head Coach at Penn State, former head coach Drake, IUP, Lock Haven), Chris Caputo (assistant George Mason), Mike Rhoades (assistant VCU, former head coach Randolph Macon), Chris Harney (St. Mary's (Md) coach), Robert Burke (assistant American, former assistant Georgetown).

Out: Names that surfaced that took other jobs - Kevin Nickelberry (Howard), Bill Courtney (Cornell), Chuck Driesell (Citadel).

The pool could be larger than that. But based on the information that I have, that is the best listing that I can come up with. I would expect that an announcement will be coming in the not to distant future.

Moore to stay at Quinnipiac - but for how long?

Written for your enjoyment by: Ray Curren

OK, trying to read between the lines of Tom Moore's new 5-year extension at Quinnipiac from here in the CT.

First, depending on who you talk to, Moore did look and was asked to interview for a couple of the openings, but couldn't get an offer he wanted to listen to.

He still lives near the Storrs (UConn) campus and reportedly doesn't want to uproot his family unless he gets a really quality offer (see: A-10 level or something else close to a BCS-type school).

Moore also has some unfinished business at Quinnipiac, as in trying to get the school into the NCAA Tournament for the first time.

Does he stay in the NEC for all five years? I think next year will be the key. If he has success and gets to the NCAA Tournament, he may be gone. If he doesn't, or if two years go by without a tournament appearance, he may not get an offer he wants. He doesn't seem desperate. Remember, he's doing OK for himself and the contract extension at least makes him one of the top two paid coaches in the NEC.

Quinnipiac's athletic program (despite being nationally ranked in hockey) has put a lot into their men's basketball program, as they try to outspend their NEC rivals on the way to the top of the class.

Right now, they need Moore and Moore needs them. We'll see if that changes.

(Side note: An interesting quote in there about the expansion of the NCAA Tournament and whether that will mean an automatic play-in game for a conference like the NEC).

Mount O Links

Written for your enjoyment by: Raff

Lehrer scores 3 adds 3 assists; Mount clinches berth in MAAC postseason

All eyes on Lehrer

Reality Dad in Frederick for Mount Women's Soccer

The school is saying it has no direct connection to the fundraiser. The Greene Turtle is now saying that the proceeds will be donated to a charity of Gosselin's choice.

SU Michigan State December 7th at Garden part of Jimmy V Classic
Kansas Memphis to play in Opener

Rice has favor of local hoops community in Rutgers search

And Rice's "fiery" demeanor scared off Seton Hall after he interviewed for that vacancy in March. Robert Morris was assessed with nine technical fouls this past season, which is an extraordinary amount (only two of those were on Rice). At the end of the Colonials' near-upset of Villanova in the first-round of the NCAA Tournament, Rice had to be restrained by his players after his team got a series of tough whistles.
Meanwhile ESPN's Andy Katz is reporting that Rutgers has focused on three coaches. Rice, former BC Boss Al Skinner and Fran Fraschilla. A decision is expected sooner rather than later.

Has Penn State's move to the Big Ten been a success?

Disagreeing with Coach Boeheim

From's DJ Gallo's Offseason Pigskinpalooza
Delone Carter, Syracuse's leading rusher, has worked out a deal with the school that will allow him to return in the fall. He is still banned from campus during the spring and summer over an incident in which he allegedly punched another student. Wait a minute. Don't they play football in the fall? Huh. What a stroke of good luck for Carter and the Syracuse football team!

Michigan's coach surprised by move to just 68

Juanita Ward trying to survive WNBA cuts

Sidney Ponson still has a job

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mount O Links

Save EXTRA 5-20% off Almost Everything including reg, sale & clearance prices 8pm 5/1 - 4am 5/3 CSTPoor UCONN

Expansion could make hoops weird

Braica the man at SFNY; Only four openings left in NCAA D-I.

QU signs Moore to extension

Rutty named Connecticut 6 Player of the Year

Big East? Big Ten? Big Difference

Written for your enjoyment by: Ryan McNaughton

And now, a brief respite from the Mount coaching search. My money is on Raff getting the gig. He's just using this place as a smokescreen.

RingCentral Mobile $10 Off 1st 2 monthsThe "other" school discussed at-length on this blog is Syracuse. For the second time in less than a decade, there is talk of the Orangemen (that's what they were during my tenure, and that's what they'll always be to me) perhaps jumping ship to the Big Ten. Plenty of experts and fans are weighing in, with many saying they need to stay in the Big East. To them, I say this: you're all nuts.

If Dr. Gross and Chancellor Cantor take more than three minutes mulling an offer from the Big Ten, they should be given a police escort out of Central New York. A move to the Big Ten would ensure the survival of big-time athletics for all sports at SU, not just football. The extra money (yes, this move is certainly about caish) generated would help boost the non-revenue programs that are actually doing quite well of late, giving them more of a chance to compete on the national level. It would also put them on a national television network, giving them a leg-up on recruiting.

As for the money sports: football and basketball. The football discussion doesn't even need to take place. Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State (that rivalry begins again with this move), Wisconsin, along with perhaps Pitt, Missouri and Nebraska, should they be offered, would all face Syracuse on a regular basis. Or would you be happier with Louisville, UConn, and schools like East Carolina or Memphis brought in to replace those that do indeed get the call? Football gets an "in" in the football-crazed Midwest. The 25th-best player in Ohio tends to be better than the best player in Delaware (no offense to my friends in Delaware). And heaven forbid...Syracuse in the Rose Bowl??? Sign me up.

SU is currently in arguably the best hoops conference in the land. But do you think that is going to change with a Big Ten move? Michigan State has been in half of the last 12 Final Fours. Tom Izzo coming to the Dome on a regular basis? Are you kidding me? Ohio State is always in the hunt. Purdue, Wisconsin, Indiana, along with the possible combo of Pitt/Missouri. That's a darn good conference, kids. And you can always schedule Georgetown and UConn on a non-conference basis.

I understand Jim Boeheim's concern, but this decision has to be made for the benefit of the entire program, not just his. His pipeline to New York City will not be cut off. In fact, his pipeline to the Midwest will just get stronger. Syracuse becomes an even bigger NATIONAL brand with a jump to the Big Ten.

Tradition is a wonderful thing, but keeping it in this case will come at a cost. The Big East has been very good to Syracuse, but I argue Syracuse has been even better for the Big East. SU owes nothing more to the conference. Stay, and Syracuse becomes a big fish in a mid-major football conference. What it does owe is a major Division I future to the next generation of athletes to don the Orange and blue. My hope is that future takes place in the Big Ten.

Left Field

Written for your enjoyment by: Raff

From where I'm sitting, I can see left field.

That is where Fred Hoiberg came from. The former Iowa State Cyclone was named head coach of its basketball program - straight out of the T-Wolves front office. Or also straight out of left field. I didn't follow the Cyclone search very closely....and it happened quickly....but in the group of names I saw thrown out there, never was Hoiberg considered a candidate.

So could it be that the next coach at Mt. St. Mary's will be someone that's name has never been mentioned here on The Fan Blog. It could be. Would that surprise me? Sure. Would it shock me? No. The four or five sources that I usually find information out from - are all asking me for information. Doesn't mean they don't have any. But it does mean that they don't think they have it all. The search process has been pretty tight-lipped. And there aren't a lot of media sources breaking down the walls to get information. There are a couple other internet sources that have named some names. For the most part, they correspond with the information I've been hearing. At times you hear a new name and you inquire - and you find out there is nothing to it - or at least nobody knows anything about it.

Free Shipping (Everything you need for the outdoors)I posted the link yesterday to the Chicago website that stated Martin Ingelsby interviewed. In addition, I've seen or heard from various sources that Pete Strickland has interviewed. The former Coastal Carolina coach, and Morgan Wooten assistant at Dematha is a current NC State assistant. He's a name that keeps popping up in discussions about the job....and with confirmation that he did interview - I would expect that he is a real candidate at this point.

So basically what I'm saying is....I'm trying pass along what I know. Trying to weed out the muck from what I hear. But that doesn't mean I've always done that. Have I perhaps included a name or two, that at one point expressed interest but never materialized - possible as well.

The word I got this morning is that the process is still ongoing. I don't think it has been narrowed down from those that have interviewed. I think the total number of interviews is likely to be between 5-10. But as teams hire possibilities and others remove their names or become less interested - that number and those that make it up, may be constantly changing.

Bottomline is, we may not know for sure - until the announcement is made. But there seems to be a small niche of people who want to have some information about the search. I'm trying to provide that.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Noon News

Written for your enjoyment by: Raff

I'm at home over the lunch hour watching Ernests Gulbis dispose of Roger Federer in Rome. He's up a break 5-3 in the third. What I'm amazed the most about (other than the spelling of Ernests) is that the crowd is behind Federer trying to rally him. Huge favorites don't get that treatment in the NCAA Tournament.

So does the talk of Mike Brey being in trouble at Notre Dame have an effect on the Mount job. Martin Ingelsby is one of those that we know interviewed for the job - and is a Brey assistant. So since Brey might be dumped (forced to resign) because of an alleged extra-marital affair his recommendation might not be worth as much now. A situation to monitor - and maybe it is nothing more than some internet babble.


Federer just staved off a match point, but Gulbis will serve for the match after the break.

BG gives us good information that Dunlap's interview will take place tomorrow. It might very well be the final interview. That keeps things within the two week time period that Lynne Phelan Robinson outlined to begin with.

The sense I'm getting is that the most serious candidates right now are Dunlap, Kurt Kanaskie, Robert Burke, Chris Harney, Cliff Warren and maybe Chris Caputo. Anything outside of that would surprise - but not shock me - at this point.

The Baltimore Sun asked for the one move that you'd make as GM of the Orioles today if you could. It sounds like an easy question, but there are so many problems that its hard to fix just one. But I'd say they have to fire Dave Trembley. Because we know it is going to happen at some point - so why not sooner instead of later. There is rarely any intensity within the group, so something needs to be done to ignite that. Bringing up Brandon Snyder would be second on the list, but Rhyne Hughes has played well in two games, so finding at bats for both would be tough.

Roger Federer is showing why he is number one in the world - he just saved a handful of additional match points - six in all now to get things even at 5 in the third set. Something tells me Gulbis isn't going to survive this.

Mount O Links

New Coach hosts Siena on November 27th

Confirmation of an Ingelsby interview

The Mount Sportsline

More expansion chatter


Hurley pulling in players already

Gosselin at the Greene Turtle

Alex Guererro photo

Monday, April 26, 2010

Driesell hired at Citadel

Written for your enjoyment by: Raff

Built Like a Vault - Save $10 at Magellan'sChuck Driesell will be the next head basketball coach at The Citadel. The Maryland assistant was a name that had been mentioned as a possible replacement for Milan Brown at the Mount. Not sure there was a lot of reality to that, but it was a name that had popped up.

Driesell is the son of longtime Maryland head coach Lefty Driesell. I remember Driesell's one trip to the Knott Arena. It was a Saturday afternoon affair after he had moved onto James Madison. It was early in the Mount's days in Division I and one of the first seasons at the ARCC. The Mount took a one point lead with 4 seconds left, but the Dukes inbounded the ball and the point guard went the length of the floor to score off the glass and over the leap of Alex Watson at the buzzer and give the Dukes the win at the buzzer.

On some other coaching news - that likely doesn't have a huge effect on the Mount. Greg McDermott is likely to be the new coach at Creighton. He's skipping out of Ames Iowa and the Big-12 to move back to the Valley. He previously was the head coach at UNI. His leaving will open up another BCS Conference coaching job.

Rutgers is also still vacant. Jim O'Brien seemed like the early frontrunner. However, there are still some who think it will be Mike Rice from Robert Morris and others that think it will be Fran Fraschilla. Jim Barron - another former NEC coach also gets some mention there. I still think Rice turned down Tulane expecting Rutgers to open, sooner if not later.

The Search

Written for your enjoyment by: Raff

There aren't a lot of new bits of information out there. But a couple things to pass along. I think the desire to have someone with head coaching experience is real. However, Kevin Nickelberry won't be that guy. Nickelberry just landed the head coaching job at Howard.

Mackenzie Limited
So if that becomes a major factor - and a deciding one, I think the options are likely Cliff Warren - who has proven he can win at this level at Jacksonville - and can recruit to the school Chris MacGuthrie and Riley Inge. I have a lot of friends in the Penn State area - and maybe the Kurt Kanaskie option has more legs than I originally thought. Chris Harney the head coach at St. Mary's also makes some sense. His team was 28-4 last year and made the NCAA Division III second round. Harney is a 1997 graduate of St. Mary's and has been the Seahawks coach for 5 years - improving the win total each year. The other name still left with coaching experience is Pat Flannery. It might be far-fetched to think he wants to get back in the coaching game. But if he does, this is a good fit.

If it is an assistant coach - Brion Dunlap has a good of a resume as anyone - and he has the support of the present and past players. Marty Ingelsby of Notre Dame has a lot of support, including leading our non-scientific poll here on the Fan Blog. However, I wonder how his lack of experience as an assistant coach will keep him off the final list. Robert Burke certainly has the experience as an assistant, and has great ties in and around the area. I heard the name Mike McKee, a Denver assistant, mentioned yesterday. And that is intriguing, I like the resume, assistant to Joe Scott at Denver and Air Force - assistant at Richmond. But I just don't like that whole Princeton offense. And it looks like that is what they've run - or a variation of it - everywhere he's been. Jamion Christian was on campus last week, we assume for an interview. He's an alum and he's doing a nice job working through the assistant levels.

So we'll continue to wait for the official word. I'll let you know as soon as I know anything concrete. It looks like we're closing in on that.

Mount O Links

Dana Buchman Only at Kohl'sAny win over UConn is a good win

Anyone else surprised that Boeheim doesn't think Big 10 is good fit for Orange? Me Neither

Where does Wes rate?

Mount Lax still in the Hunt

Big Connecticut High School Baseball game washed out

Garcia honored by El Diario

More Connecticut Baseball

Gaitley & Barbour leave Monmouth program

Rutty QU Athlete of Year

Bruins advance

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Tids and Bits

Written for your enjoyment by: Raff

HBO Shop Logo - 88x31

Watched more baseball yesterday than I have all season....A couple of observations....

Barry Zito is back. He's been back for awhile. But the lefthander who moved across the Bay a couple of seasons ago, in a big offseason free agency move, and then essentially stole money from the Giants for the first few years is top-notch right now. Last night he outdueled Adam Wainwright to earn a very nice win.

The AL East might be the best division in baseball, but the NL West is probably the most competitive - top to bottom. Most expected the Dodgers, Giants and Rockies to compete for the title this year. But three short weeks into the season and the Padres lead the Division. A few folks thought the Friars would be improved this year - but I don't think many thought they'd be be a true contender. And maybe in the long run they won't be. But they've got the early advantage....and I don't think anybody is going to run away and hide in that Division.

The Dana Altman move to Oregon sort of surprises me. Personally, I think it is a good move by the Ducks. Altman has proven he can win. Creighton basketball has been solid under his direction, however they haven't been great the last part of this decade. After making the Big Dance five straight years, the Blue Jays had only been there two out of the last seven years. Consequently, Altman hasn't been on a lot of upper level coaching searches. That and of course, the issue that occurred at Arkansas. Altman took that job a few years ago, only to change his mind the next day and return to Creighton. Maybe that is what took Oregon so long, they were waiting for Altman to be sure.

Not much news on the Mount coaching search. The process is ongoing. The administration isn't saying anything - and they shouldn't be. The information that comes out usually comes from other sources. Jamion Christian, who it has been rumored was on campus and interviewed last week, tweeted that writing thank you notes is always hard - or something of the sort. You see things like that and you immediately think he is writing thank you notes to the MSM admins who he spoke with on campus. The reality is, it could have been for birthday gifts. You don't know. However, I still feel confident that the Mount will land a top notch new coach. They have several candidates with direct ties to the University - and the overwhelming response from others has shown that the job projects as one, enough people want more details of.

Is anybody with me that its time to kill this WhiteOut thing? You can't turn on the TV these days, without there being the entire crowd decked out in white. Unless its a Caps game, then you've got to Rock the Red. At least that is a bit creative. The White Out dates back to 1987 with the Winnipeg Jets - and I've got to admit I liked it then. But I was young and impressionable then. And it wasn't overblown and overdone. Oklahoma City and Charlotte both had whiteouts in the NBA playoffs yesterday - and it seems like almost every NHL game is that way.

Mount O Links

Written for your enjoyment by: Raff
Shop the Official FIFA Online Store

Siena wins battle of league unbeatens

Natalie Stovall plays the Spring Fling

Kris Joseph highlight reel

Cruel late penalty dooms Birmingham

Princeton the home of US Soccer before the Cup

Didn't notice any Orange here; but did notice former Orange Wideout Jeremy Horne

Is 68 a good number?

All the games on TV

Friday, April 23, 2010

Throwing out a Few More Names

Written for your enjoyment by: Raff

We're told that the number of inquiries about the Mount head coaching job has to be at least triple figures. We're starting to believe that - as names and more names continued to be associated with the position.

Web Exclusive - Samsung MyShot II Sale - 50% off After Mail In RebateHere are a few that haven't been previously mentioned....

Kevin Nickelberry - former Head Coach Hampton University

Pete Strickland - former Coastal Carolina coach, current NC State assistant

Chris Harney - St. Mary's head coach

Chris Caputo - George Mason assistant

Rob Moxley - former assistant at Charlotte

Mike Rhoades - assistant coach Virginia Commonwealth

Obviously, if the numbers are in triple figures we don't have everyone here. But these are the folks that we've heard and in some cases more than once, which gives us the belief that there might be some legs in these folks.

What I'm determining based on the names and credentials that are being talked about is that the next basketball coach at Mt. St. Mary's will come with a top notch pedigree.

Mount O Links

An endorsement for Inglesby

$3 Flat Rate Shipping on All Orders!St Francis' release on its signing class

Syracuse Hoops S.O.B awards

Ray delivers a cool website

Dallas manages draw on late penalty

Wilson shuts down Red Sox

LT Likes the Giants pick

NewEraPinstripe Bowl

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Courtney accepts Cornell Job

Written for your enjoyment by: Raff

Bill Courtney will be introduced as the new Cornell head basketball coach at a 3pm Friday press conference.

Obviously, that means he is out of the running at the Mount.

Mount O Links

The return of Mount O Links in a little different format than what you've seen in the past...but this will be the place to check for all the news of the day.....
Tywain McKee #22 of the Coppin State Eagles tries to get a shot off past Jean Cajou #0 of the Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers during the opening round of the Mens NCAA Tournament on March 18, 2008 at the University of Dayton Arena in Dayton, Ohio. Mount St. Mary's won the game 69-60.
Arena Football anyone?

Tourney field to be 68

Reaction from Syracuse

Play in Games are Great; Unless you lose

Sal hanging out with Stephen King....sort of

NFL Draft Pick-by-Pick Live

Expansion the Other Topic of the Day

Mount beats Penn State

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Making some Progress

Written for your enjoyment by: Raff

A few things to pass along before I retire for the evening.....

Former Mount guard Jamion Christian is on the school's radar. A two-year assistant at William & Mary, the former Virginia High School player of the year is viewed as a rising candidate - and it is likely to garner him an interview. There is a Facebook Page....Jamion Christian for Mount Head Coach. I kid you not. 247 people like it.

Another former Mountaineer - Cliff Warren continues to have his name bantered about as does former Georgetown and current American assistant Robert Burke. Warren has a head coaching gig at Jacksonville and the head coaching job at his alma mater might be a paycut - and a little bit of a risk as Warren has things rolling for the Dolphins and keeps hearing his name mentioned for bigger jobs.

Ironically, Christian worked under Pat Flannery at Bucknell. And there have been some reports that Flannery might want to get back into the coaching game. This would be a great fit.

Cornell will name its replacement tomorrow according to several reports. If that ends up being Bill Courtney, you can scratch him from the list, if he was even on it to begin with.

Kurt Kanaskie is another interesting name. The Mechanicsburg, PA native grew up just a short ride up 15 from the Mount and played at LaSalle. Since then he built a strong program at IUP and that landed him a job at Drake. Things didn't work quite as well with the Bulldogs, but he's been back in PA as an assistant at Penn State since and could be one of the rare candidates with head coaching experience.

Marty Ingelsby an assistant out of Notre Dame is likely to get an interview. Brion Dunlap the current Mount assistant will interview for the head job - if he hasn't already.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Checking it Twice

Written for your enjoyment by: Raff

I'm going to be honest, I don't think you're going to see a lot of information about the next Mount basketball coach, until there actually is a next Mount basketball coach. Athletic Director Lynne Phelan Robinson declined to name names in this mornings Frederick Post  This is the first time in 57 years that there has been a search. I think they are going to spend some time finding the next coach, yet I don't think it will drag on.

Here is what I know....

There are a lot of people expressing interest in the position.

The thought among the coaching community is that the jumping from Mt. St. Mary's to Holy Cross is a bit of a lateral move - and that doesn't help to attract the next coach. Because it means 1 of 2 things, A) The pay is a lot more at Holy Cross or a lot less at Mt. St. Mary's - depending on which way you look at it. B) The Mount and the NEC aren't direct lines to the level of coaching stops that most people are ultimately trying to achieve.

I think there is a sentiment that finding someone who would be interested in the longevity of the position is appealing.

There is an assistant on the Notre Dame staff with ties to the area - played at DeMatha. Rob Balanis Marty Ingelsby is a name you may want to familarize yourself with.

It's always been known that the Mount is one of the smallest athletic budgets in the land. So that probably means, without an increased commitment to the program, you aren't going to draw interest from too many other Head Coaches. Cliff Warren at Jacksonville might be the one exception, by my guess is Warren would have to settle for less on the payscale.

A lot of local people are pushing for Tom Dickman, who was the coach at TJ in Frederick before moving onto Hood College. He might be the under the radar selection, but he knows X & O's and would have the tie to the community.

Two other names I've heard mentioned around Akbar Waheed an assistant at Niagara with DC ties and Bill Courtney the former assistant at Mason, now at Virginia Tech.

And the players - past, present and future - seem to have a real passion for the hiring coming from within, meaning Brion Dunlap would move one seat over on the bench.

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Making a List

Written for your enjoyment by: Raff

I don't know if there is really any interest on either side of the equation with any of these guys, but here is a list of guys that I'd start looking at....and checking their interest.

Robert Burke - assistant American - former assistant at Georgetown has all sorts of contacts in the Metro Area - but could he get kids to venture outside of the city.

Jerry Dunn or Jeff Lebo - Both have some ties to the area - and both would be looking to rebuild their careers. Dunn left Michigan midway through last season though to deal with some personal issues, not sure that has been resolved. Lebo had a lot of success at Tennessee Tech and then Chattanooga before being dumped at Auburn.

Steve Wojciechowski - The Severna Park native is one of the Associates on Coach K's bench and might be looking for his own program to run.

Cliff Warren - Wouldn't make sense for the former Mount point guard to leave Jacksonville for his alma mater, would it?

Brett Gunning - I don't think you can get him away the Rockets. But the former Villanova assistant is ready to run his own program and being from Philly this would be a good place to get started.

Jeff Battle - Many including me - think Wake picked the wrong guy in Dino Gaudio when Skip Prosser passed away. Battle is another guy with Philly connections.

Andy Enfield - An assistant at Florida State, the former deadeye shooter from Johns Hopkins has roots in this area - and should be ready to lead his own team. He's a solid recruiter who has NBA ties as well - and is a great teacher of shooting the basketball.

Jeff Rafferty - a highly regarded assistant right down the road at Delaware

Brion Dunlap - Dunlap appears to have the recommendation of those who played for the Mount the last several years. So that is a positive. And the continuity within the program would help.

Robert Wilkes - A top flight assistant at the top flight mid-major in the area right now in Old Dominion. Wilkes is the son of Glenn Wilkes, the longtime head coach at Stetson, and would keep the current connection to the Virginia area. He's had success with every program he's been at - and would likely be a good fit.

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Knew the day was coming

Written for your enjoyment by: Raff

I'm writing this about an hour after I heard that Milan Brown has accepted the head coaching position at Holy Cross. In the meantime, I've talked to a few folks about the change. And I can't say that anybody is overly surprised that Milan is in fact headed out of Emmitsburg.

First off, if Milan Brown thinks it is a good move for himself, and his family, good for him - and best of luck. I hope the move pays off for him and gives him what he wants out of his career.

I just jumped over to Crossports and read their message board. They don't seem to excited by the move. And I'm being nice. Let's wait and see what Holy Cross alum Bill Simmons has to say on But I don't think the Crusader fans have any idea what they are getting. Milan Brown is a great guy, who excites young men to play basketball for him and will represent Holy Cross well - just as he has at the Mount.

Still I'm a Mount fan, and I look at it as sort of a lateral move. At least as far as where the programs are. However, I think if you really examine the situation, you'll find that Holy Cross is a better place to build a program and therefore move onto a BCS type job. And I really think that is what Milan Brown wants. And I hope he gets there.

I'll keep you posted on anything I hear about the coaching staff - and who might be the replacement here. But the one thing I know right now, is that Mt. St. Mary's lost a great guy and a good coach. It's a happy day for Milan Brown, but a sad day for the Mount.

Holy Milan

Written for your enjoyment by: Raff

According to a report in Worcester Mass, Milan Brown will be the next basketball coach at Holy Cross. The Fan Blog has confirmed that Brown is leaving the NEC school and headed to Holy Cross. Brown replaced the legendary Jim Phelan 7 years ago, and took the Mount to one NCAA tournament and 2 NEC tournament championship games.

Let the search officially begin for his replacement....and the word I heard earlier this week is that there was a lot of interest in the Mount position should Brown move on.

More on this I hear more.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Tick-Tock goes the Devo clock

Written for your enjoyment by: Ryan McNaughton

Free Shipping on Orders $75 or more The tale of former Syracuse University basketball standout Eric Devendorf took another turn halfway across the world over the weekend. And for anybody who knows his story, you had to ask the question, "why did it take this long?"

Devendorf was released by his 6-1 New Zealand team that he was averaging over 24 points for. Players with that kind of production are rarely, if ever, released. As you suspect, there's more to the story:

Read about it here

Now, before I write anything else, can anybody other then myself find the irony of Eric Devendorf being involved in an off-the-court incident with a former Big East Conference Sportsmanship Award winner? Felix and Oscar are more alike than Josh Pace and Devo.

So Devo is involved in an altercation...the police get involved...nobody gets arrested....Devo is released shortly there-after, but the incident "leant no weight to our decision to cancel his contract"? Right. That goes up there with, "it has nothing to do with money", "I'd play this game for free", and, "I don't read what the media says." The club says they're looking for more of a pure point guard. I dunno, wouldn't it more sense then to release your shooting guard who isn't averaging 24.4 points per game, move Devo to the two, then sign another pure point? But it's not about the altercation......

I'm not here to defend Devendorf. During my time working in the media in Syracuse, I'd absolutely be lying if I said every single one of us in town didn't go to work most days wondering if we'd be getting a press release from SU discussing another incident. He was a very polarizing figure in the region. Either you loved him for his tenacity and effort on the court, or you loathed him for his off-court behavior. Just when you thought he was getting things back together, you'd hear something else. His last incident in town nearly led to nearly a season-long suspension for the '08-'09 season, but thanks to an Appeals Board, he missed just a few games. Sure, I heard some things from people I consider quite reliable about this incident that made me question how that appeal was successful, but only a handful of people truly know what happened that early morning. I only reported on facts, not speculation. But the facts are these: the kid needs to get his head on straight in order to succeed in the rest of his adult life. Words are exchanged between people all the time. Move on and forget about it. It's a great way to ensure a more-pleasant day.

Despite not being arrested this latest time, you have to wonder exactly how many more opportunities this guy is going to get? For all of his marvelous on-court talent, Eric Devendorf continues to battle with off-court issues that threaten to curtail any chance he has of making a living playing a kid's game. Sure, he's a young man in the game of life, but all these stories are truly getting old.

"Controversial" is not an adjective you want to have following you everywhere. Especially when you have to travel to such far-away destinations as New Zealand to play the game you love so much.

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Mariana Freeman into Delaware Hall

Written for your enjoyment by: Raff

I know that a lot of folks who regularly read this blog have a personal experience or two they could tell you about Marianna Freeman. And for those of you who don't know's still worth the read.

From Smyrna Park to the Hall of Fame

Congratulations to Coach Freeman on this honor.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Tids and Bits

Written for your enjoyment by: Raff

For those of you who haven't noticed....Mount O Links has a new home. Instead of showing up within the general posting on this has graduated to having its own page. So be sure to check out the stories that have interested me - and have some relevance to the Mount, the NEC, Syracuse or none of the above at the Mount O Links page of the Fan Blog. For example, this morning there is a story about the new AD at Central Connecticut.

Speaking of new hires. Not sure how serious Siena ever got with Cliff Warren. Or for that matter how serious Warren ever got with the Saints. The former Mount point guard has it good in Northern Florida - his Dolphins have made it two straight trips to the NIT - and eliminated Arizona State in the first round this year. Plus his wife is a Southern Girl from Texas. Not sure the New York Snowstorms would appeal. But it doesn't snow in Clemson does it? Warren is apparently one of five who has interviewed for the Tigers opening. And I don't think it matters how good you have it at Jacksonville, you can't turn down an ACC school can you?

Mike Rice turned down Tulane. No doubt about that. And that is good for the NEC. Rice is talking about establishing a Butler-type (it would have been Xavier or Gonzaga a year ago) in Pittsburgh. Sounds like the RMU administration is really behind it as well. Rice made some boastful comments about dominating the NEC since he arrived - and now having better players - and getting ready to bring in more. It surprised me that Rice stayed. I thought he was at the job simply to move on. But he's talking about growing roots. That is good for the Colonials and good for the NEC. But what happens if Clemson or Oregon calls? I don't have the answer for that one, but I think we all know.

The Orioles have played four one-run games in their first four this year. They've blown two ninth inning leads, and had an early lead in the third loss. There were a lot of boos on Opening Day at Camden Yards yesterday. How much more of that can Mike Gonzalez or maybe even Dave Trembley survive?

Teams that have looked good so far that might be pretty good...San Francisco, Minnesota, St. Louis and Tampa Bay. Teams that I think are sprinting through the first mile of the race, only to have nothing left at the end....Oakland, Toronto, Arizona. But isn't great to have baseball back?

I got an email from a reader and a friend this week....asking why the FanBlog had no story on Tiki Barber and his alleged girlfriend from Mt. St. Mary's. The answer was simple...we don't cover babysitting. Seriously though, the real answer was that it was the wrong Mount. The student/intern/babysitter/assistant in question was from Mt. St. Mary College in Newburgh NY. It's not the first time the two schools have been confused. Heck Gettysburg College played the Newburgh outfit the other year - so they could say they finally beat the Mount in basketball. And I'm sure it won't be the last. But rest assured had Tiki Barber been sneaking into - and we suppose out of dorm rooms in Emmitsburg - the Fan Blog would have been all over that.

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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Thanks for the Memories, Jeremy Goode

Written for your enjoyment by: Raff

We were three-quarters of the way to the car, maybe a little more, when she realized it. "Dad, that is the last time we are going to see Jeremy play." I knew she was my daughter then - because it was exactly what I had been thinking as we exited Knott Arena that night. The Mount had just finished off a first-round NEC playoff win over St. Francis PA - and the other results indicated that a Semifinal wouldn't take place at home - and even an upset on the road against Robert Morris would likely not result in a home game in the finals. It was pretty observant for a ten-year old girl.
Celebrate Mom at
But for her - Jeremy Goode and Mount basketball - well they are synonomous. The you can't have one without the other. The salt with the pepper. The cherry with the whipped cream. Because she's been going to Mount games since she was, well about 3 weeks old - an exhibition clash with that outfit John Moore used to run around with - but I'm not sure she remembers it quite as well.

But she remembers the last four years. It was at that time - that she stopped watching the cheerleaders and started watching the basketball. And #1 quickly became her favorite. Probably from the first night we all saw him - in that scintillating double overtime win against James Madison - right down to the final walk to the parking lot.

We'll remember Goode for a lot of things. He leaves as the school's all-time assist leader. Perhaps, he played his best basketball during his sophomore year as he led the team to the NEC Tournament Championship and an NCAA tournament win. But that isn't to say he didn't have good junior and senior years. He led the team in scoring each of those seasons - as his long range shooting became more effective. And there were nights when he was simply unstoppable. All of this at 5-foot 9-inches, give or take a few. The display at American his junior year will be one of my fondest memories.

But I'm always going to remember Jeremy and thank he and this group of seniors for one thing. They made my daughter love Mount basketball.

The Mount has always been at the top of my list as far as basketball goes. I don't get to as many games as I'd like to - but I try to plan my schedule around the Mount's. I was young and impressionable when a point guard out of Steelton took the Mount to the NCAA Division II national championship game. He was my Jeremy. Jeremy was my daughter's Durelle Lewis. For some other Mount fan, it might be Chris McGuthrie, or Riley Inge or George Young or Gregory Harris. But for us it was Jeremy and Durelle.

And I'm glad that he was. He carried himself well on the court - and was respectful and courteous off of it. We often say that sports players aren't supposed to be role models - and maybe they aren't supposed to be - but the truth is they are. To this day, I remember playing basketball in my driveway wanting to be Durelle Lewis. My daughter has told me about the steals she has made - just like Jeremy. (I tell her to work on her left hand). And from where I sat - Jeremy Goode was as good as any to model yourself or your basketball game after.

She is an only child and we spend a lot of time together. Time that I cherish. And I am so happy that that time includes Mount basketball. And I'm also happy that she really enjoys it - and I'm not dragging her along. For that I will be eternally grateful.

For four years the basketball was in Jeremy Goode's hands. The coaching staff will tell you that many were scared off in the recruiting process wondering if Goode could "run the show" instead of "being the show". In the end, I think he ran the show - while being the show.

The show has ended. The curtain has fallen. It's time for Jeremy Goode to move on - to record the next chapter in his life - whatever that may be. We'll be watching from a distance, and someday, maybe someday we'll get to see him play again.

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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

New Season, Different Names, Same Orioles

Written for your enjoyment by: Raff

I know that you can't read too much into one game. And I only saw bits and pieces at that. But the fact remains - the Orioles at least the manager is lacking confidence in a couple of his players. Most notably the guys who were brought in over the offseason.

Mother's Day: Save on Apparel and Jewelry plus $5 off $50 w/ SEARS5OFF50The day before the season Trembley told MASN's Roch Kubatko this at The School of Rock

"Well, he's the closer," Trembley replied. "He's going to get the opportunity to save the games. If it's a save situation, he's going to pitch and I'm confident that he's going to give us 100 percent of what he has. He's an exciting guy. He's got a lot of energy. He loves to compete, and I think you'll see him turn it up."

At that point the skipper was talking about the bad spring Gonzalez has had. Wasn't a real ringing endorsement now was it. So was it really a surprise when Gonzalez blew the lead handed to him in the ninth last night. Eight innings of good work spoiled by the closer - and if you read between the lines on Monday - you could almost feel it coming. Watch carefully how the Orioles handle this. And you may want to grab Jim Johnson in a Fantasy League.

The other guy is Garrett Atkins. A lot of Oriole fans think Felix Pie has unseated Nolan Reimold in left. Could be. Pie played well last year - and had a scorching spring. Reimold is recovering from an achilles injury. Reimold has been taking a few grounders at first - and then has to be looked at. Because the Orioles don't believe in Garrett Atkins. Not hitting eighth in the order. Expect to see something change...Reimold plays there, Brandon Snyder is summoned, something and it may happen quickly if Atkins doesn't get going.

So 0-1. And a game that had a lot of promise. But the three homers were solo shots and the key hits with guys in scoring position never came. Again its one game - and there is a long season still ahead of us. That is what scares me.

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Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Extremely Quiet on the Northern Front

Written for your enjoyment by: Raff

Rice offered Tulane job

Turns it Down

RCA Flat Panel Indoor HD AntennasThere hasn't been a lot of news out there about Siena and its head coaching position. I sense that is because the Saints are waiting for some of the bigger schools to make their hires. Or more likely, there is someone high on Siena's list waiting to hear back from their A choice.

It makes sense that is current Cornell coach Steve Donahue. He is now rumored to be the front-runner at BC. And it would seem to me he would be the frontrunner at Siena should he not end up in Chestnut Hill.

The shock of the day came from Chicago where Oliver Purnell signed on with the Demons. As so often is the case, Purnell found out that he really couldn't compete with Duke and Carolina in the ACC. But someone explain to me how that is going to be different at Depaul. Only difference is he won't be recruiting the same region as most of his conference foes. But he's still going to play second fiddle to Syracuse, UCONN, Georgetown and the likes in the Big East - and realistically he might be third chair. But hey its $15 million over 7 years. Who is going to argue that?

So who becomes a possibility at Clemson? Mike Rice? Jeff Capel? Brian Gregory? Cliff Warren? Cliff Ellis? Dave Odom? Chris Mooney? Brad Stevens? Bobby Cremins? There are a lot of capable guys.

As far as assistants go - It does seem Jimmy Patsos is staying at Loyola. But Danny Hurley is apparently pursuing his brother Bobby to join him on the staff at Wagner. That combo could be a deadly recruiting duo for the Seahawks.

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Monday, April 05, 2010

Don't know What you've Got.......

Written for your enjoyment by: Raff

Any allegiance I had to the Philadelphia Eagles ended last night. You see I was never really an Eagles fan. Instead, I am a Syracuse fan, who happened to live about 2 1/2 hours from Philadelphia and who rooted for #5. Therefore, I wanted the Eagles to do well.

I've always been a San Francisco 49ers fan. Always of course starting when they got good. So go ahead call me a bandwagon fan. In some cases, it is true. But I was young, impressionable and the Colts, who were my team, had taken the Midnight Mayflower voyage out of Baltimore.

So when Donovan McNabb became a Philadelphia Eagle, the Eagles had every opportunity to reel me in. To make me an Eagle fan. To get me hooked. I never really wanted that - because from McNabb's first moments as an Eagle - the relentless and unnecessary boos on draft day - when he was selected over Ricky Williams - right until the end he was never appreciated for everything that he was to the franchise.

I tried to explain to my Eagle loving friends that it was a good move. That Donovan was so much more than an option QB. So much more than a run first kind of signal caller. To this day, I don't think they understand what they had.

In 11 seasons (if you count the rookie one - where he basically redshirted), McNabb led the Eagles to five NFC championship games. Prior to his arrival the Eagles were little more than an afterthought in the NFC East picture. The Division was dominated by the Redskins, Cowboys and Giants before #5's arrival - and you had to go way back to the days of Ron Jaworski, Wilbert Montgomery and Harold Cahrmichael to really feel any differently.

With McNabb's initial success some of the boos disappeared. But in recent years as the Eagles got close to the summit they started to reappear. All of a sudden the job that McNabb was doing wasn't enough. The smiling face that he brought, the constant playoff trips, the engaging personality, the consistent success was all overshadowed by a perception - fair or unfair - to be unable to win the big game. The thought that someone else could do better, provide more, flooded the airwaves.

So now the Eagles management has decided to move on. A year ago they brought in Michael Vick, at McNabb's urging, and gave the convicted felon another chance. Several years ago they drafted Kevin Kolb - and he has worked diligently as the understudy - and might very well be ready to take over the reins. From a pure football standpoint, it is probably obvious that McNabb's better days are behind him. Having three capable quarterbacks didn't make sense - and trying to move one of them to help other need areas - also made sense. I'm not trying or going to argue that. I might even be able to be convinced that McNabb had the most value on the market - therefore it made the most sense to try to deal him.

But there is something about all of this that still bothers me. Bothers me tremendously.

In sports, so often we root for the uniforms and not the guys in them. It is the rare exception where we really root for the player. Today's hero - gone tomorrow is all of a sudden a bum. In contrast, the opposing team's villian - all of a sudden wearing the home team's colors is forgivable and loved.

McNabb was   is the good guy. Always has been. Always will be. He's the guy you want running your team, the guy you want on your side. For me, he was the guy inside the jersey - and that guy was easy to root for.

Still this morning, I think there are more Eagle fans happy that he is gone, then there are that still want him around.

I'm not one of them.

Probably never was.

Never will be.

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Saturday, April 03, 2010

Tids and Bits

Written for your enjoyment by: Raff

Find it fascinating that Oregon is waving all this money around and can't find a head coach. Does it mean that Tom Izzo might really be considering it? And they are waiting until after the Final Four? That is the only thing that makes logical sense to me. But maybe the whole situation isn't logical.

Surprised that Tommy Amaker's name keeps getting mentioned as a possible replacement here or there. And BC really surprises me. I liked Duke when and Amaker and Dawkins were in the backcourt, but Amaker was a failure at Michigan. And he has certainly had relative success at Harvard - but if I was an AD - I'd have Amaker on the waiting list - I need to more proof that he can coach at this level.

Baseball season starts tomorrow night with the best matchup in sports The Yankees and the The Red Sox. Good way to conclude an Easter Sunday. It's hard to imagine the Yanks not being the best team in baseball this year, but the Sox feel they are improved.

Folks in Washington are starting to talk about Corey Hart in the team's discussions about another outfielder. You have to wonder when the Nats folks are going to learn that bringing in someone else's problems isn't a solution. Hart has regressed the last two seasons - and had an awful spring for the Brewers. That is why they are trying to move him.

I think Minnesota could be the real story of the early part of the American League schedule. The Twins have improved at several positions and the opening of Target Field should provide some real excitement. Plus the middle of that order can just flat out mash. If they get the pitching, and I'm expecting Liriano to come back very strong this year - they could be a real contender the whole year.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Cajou named mid-major Defensive All-American

Written for your enjoyment by: Raff

Jean Cajou was named a mid-major Defensive All American by Cajou was bypassed for the NEC award as top defensive player of the year. But is the only NEC player on this list. Cajou is a great denial defender - and this is a deserved honor. I didn't have a vote for the NEC award - or this one for that matter - but its hard to imagine anyone getting after (and doing a better job) anymore than Jean does. Sometimes when you follow a team you tend to take things for granted. But watching Jean defend is a joy on all occasions.

Following up a little on the bit about Brown and Siena from last night. I found a few other sites mentioning Brown's name, including a Siena fan message board. The consensus seemed to be among the Siena fans that Brown wasn't good enough for that program. I think he fits right in with the other guys they are mentioning. There was some concern that his defensive-minded style wouldn't be as attractive as what McCafferty brought. And there was even one opinion that said something to the effect of "Didn't Mt almost beat Siena last year. Another example how opinions are formed by one game."

I did find it interesting that none of the stories mentioned Mike Rice's name. I think he needs a jump to this level before going to the BCS conference level. However, I think he might be in consideration at BC. That makes some sense - and the New Englanders are certainly familiar. Robert Morris won at BC - a few years ago - and the Colonials near miss in the NCAA came in Providence. That wouldn't shock me.

But back to the Siena thing. Remember last summer when the Mount and Siena series was announced. All the Saints fans said that they shouldn't have to come to the Mount. That they should be able to get a better team to come to Albany to play them....etc, etc. They don't have a lot of respect for the Mount program, and no matter who is coaching them, I'd like to send them back North with a loss after they visit the ARCC over Thanksgiving.

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Thursday, April 01, 2010

Milan on Siena's Short List

Written for your enjoyment by: Raff

If you believe this blogger that is the case.

RingCentral Fax 20% Off First 2 Months Also noteworthy is that Cliff Warren, as I expected, is also a candidate.

You'll note that there is a lot of moving going on in the MAAC. And the rumor of Patsos headed to St. John's with Lavin makes me chuckle. Actually it makes me belly-laugh. I don't think Lavin is a good coach. If you can't win at UCLA- how you going to win anywhere else. But I'm sure Patsos could help him out.

The entire basketball world is in Indianapolis - so expect most of this to get sorted out in the next few days.

My thoughts on the Siena situation are this...  I'm sure it would be a step up for Milan Brown in terms of salary, and Albany is a much bigger city than Emmitsburg. An airport in the city is huge, plus the Arena is top-notch - and a well-supported team. Not sure if his recruiting ties to the Beach District in Virginia would play as well there, but he's shown he can bring in players from lots of areas. I'm guessing the job doesn't goto Brown. But I do think if he has aspirations at coaching at the top D-1 level - he needs to get a job at this level before he gets to that level.

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Help out the Orange

Written for your enjoyment by: Raff
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Syracuse can win this battle of fans - and 100,000 dollars from HP for the University. But it needs your help and votes. So visit the link above and help out the Orange.

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Worst Final Four Ever?

RingCentral Fax 20% Off First 2 Months Written for your enjoyment by: Raff

That is the question I keep hearing being bandied around this week. That this Final Four lacks the luster. Lacks the prestige. Lacks the real dominant teams.

I just don't get it.

We've got representatives from 3 of the top 4 conferences - and then the King of the mid-majors in Butler. And within those big time schools, we've got the ACC champion (both regular and postseason), the Big East postseason champ (and second place regular season) and a Michigan State team that finished tied for the Big Ten regular season championship.

And let us not forget that if you go back to the Preseason polls, you couldn't find a poll without these four in them. And the AP poll had them in the Top 11, the Coaches in the Top 10 - that's right all four of them in the Top 10. Michigan State was #2 - and a fixture in the Top 10 most of the season.

Let's look at that MSU team. Certainly, the Spartans have been the most consistent NCAA tournament team in recent memory haven't they? So why are we surprised when they make this run every year? Is it because they look beatable in conference play - and three game losing streaks and early exits in the conference tournament spell that out. Maybe its because Kalin Lucas is out with the injury. Or maybe its because they didn't beat anyone (sorry Maryland fans) to get here. At least Butler took down the two top seeds in its region.

And what about Butler. Should we be surprised? Certainly this team plays in a terrible conference. Without Butler - the Horizon would be a bottom half of the barrel conference. But they won thirty games two years ago and extended number 2 seed Tennessee to overtime in that tournament. Last year LSU bounced them in the opening round. But as far as mid-majors go - there is none better than Butler right now. It only is cemented by this performance.

And just because West Virginia hasn't been there forever doesn't mean they aren't any good. This is a team that was rarely out of the Top 10 all season and is playing its best basketball with the bright lights on.

And certainly nobody is going to knock Duke. Not with the Devils past history. But some of that has been forgotten in recent years. And maybe Duke doesn't carry the same luster it once did, but they are still Duke and the ACC champ.

So if you want to call this the worst Final Four ever - go ahead. Maybe we're all still basking in the memory of the all-#1 Final Four of a few years ago. This isn't the worst Final Four, it is a different Final Four. But isn't that what this tournament is supposed to be about anyhow.

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