Category Archives: General Sports

The Untainted, Unresearched, Mostly Uninformed NCAA Tournament Preview


UKAs college basketball falls more and more out of the mainstream consciousness*, it gets harder to motivate oneself to a) follow the sport in the regular season, and b) fill out a bracket with the dedication and research, or in the timely manner, that was once en vogue.

*- A 2010 Gallup poll ranked college basketball the 8th most popular sport among Americans, down from 3rd in 1991. 

Having said that, Kentucky is your undefeated, gargantuan favorite. There are no appointment-watch one-and-done players, such as Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, and Michael Beasley from years past (DeAngelo Russell at Ohio State is the closest). There are no appointment-watch white guys a la Adam Morrison or the Jimmer.

All we have this year is a lot of parity, which hopefully leads to a lot of close games and a lot of clever “NOW ITS OFFICIALLY MARCH!!!!” comments from the announcers.

Midwest Bracket

Favorite: Since we mentioned Kentucky, why not start here? Kentucky’s roster would be the second-tallest in the NBA, only behind Portland. Forward Karl Anthony Towns is gaining momentum as the #1 pick, twin guards Aaron and Andrew Harrison were ridiculous in last year’s tourney, and its going to take a parade of 3’s and an extreme off night to beat them.

Other contenders: Well, #2 Kansas lost to Kentucky by like, 35 points earlier this season. That’s never good. The cavalcade of 3’s I mentioned that could beat Kentucky? It could come from 3-seed Notre Dame, who spreads the floor with four knockdown shooters.

Sleeper: Going with #7 Wichita State. They were undefeated in the regular season last year, and still have a lot of those players. Insert catchwords like “moxie”, “poise” or “experience” here. And Wichita/Kansas in the second round could be a lot of fun.

Super Dark Horse: #12 Buffalo? They led Kentucky AT Kentucky at the half back in December, which I realize means absolutely nothing. So whatever. Carry on.

Best NBA Talent: The real reason most of the DYC staff is here. I’ve got to go with Towns, or Anthony-Towns, as I’m not sure if the Anthony is part of his first or last name. 6’10, agile, explosive, developing face-up game, Blake Griffin potential without the gaudy college numbers to back it up (because he has talent around him).

West Bracket

Favorite: Logic would dictate I trump the #1 seed Wisconsin here, but (say it with me now) NEVER TRUST THE BIG TEN. Give me Arizona, who has the talent, length, and athleticism to challenge everyone, including the presumptive champs.

Other Contenders: With Wisconsin being one, I don’t trust a slowdown-and-threes team. #4 North Carolina could carry the momentum from a nice ACC Tourney run…or they could bow out in the first round, and neither would surprise me. Quite frankly, not a single other team strikes me as Final Four-quality (which could explain why college basketball is so down).

Sleeper: From the same template as Wichita State, VCU is the 7-seed, has recent success on its side, and has a legitimately terrifying ability to completely bury you. Next best guess? Their first round opponent, Ohio State, who just seemed to sleepwalk through this season and could turn it on.

Super Dark Horse: #14 Georgia State. Seriously. They get an underwhelming 3-seed in Baylor in the first round, and could feasibly take out Xavier or Ole Miss in the round of 32. Why not? Nobody’s reading this far anyway.

Best NBA Talent: A ton of good choices here. Arizona F Stanley Johnson and Ohio State G DeAngelo Russell are one-and-done lottery picks. There are great college talents such as Wisconsin three-balling C Frank Kaminsky, whose name you will hear a ton. I’m going sleeper here though, Arkansas F Bobby Portis, the SEC player of the year. Almost 50% on catch-and-shoot 3’s, 18 points per game in SEC play, and 6’11. And I had never heard of him til last week.

East Bracket

Favorite: All about the V-schools here. I’d take #2 Virginia if Justin Anderson had proven he was healthy, but his complete inability to play offensive basketball in the ACC tournament with his broken pinkie has me steering clear. By default, then, you have #1 Villanova.

Other Contenders: #4 Louisville has Rick Pitino and crazy person Montrezl Harrell, and plays a style that makes everyone uncomfortable (enter Pitino restaurant joke here). I have no reason to believe in #3 Oklahoma as they’re inconsistent. We’ve been beaten over the head with #5 Northern Iowa for me to say there’s no way.

Sleeper: Realistic sleeper candidates include #10 Georgia sorry it’s just not happening; maybe the winner of the 8/9 game between N.C. State and LSU? Both teams have impressive strengths and no glaring weaknesses, and both have enough athleticism to compete with Villanova.

Super Dark Horse: #11 Dayton hasn’t even qualified for the field of 64 yet, but they made a run to the Sweet 16 recently. #14 Albany could spring a first-round upset on Oklahoma.

Best NBA Talent: A little tough to lock down here. Louisville’s Harrell is the only first-rounder according to the wildly inaccurate and speculative NBADraft.net. UVA’s Anderson is a big 2, but as I said he’ll be worthless at least the first weekend, so no help there. Go Harrell and enjoy his antics.

South Bracket

Favorite: $&(@Y@&*#((! Shaping up just like their joke of a run in 2010, Duke arguably drew the biggest lightweights in the #2 (Gonzaga) and #4 (Georgetown) spots. Damnit.

Other Contenders: Gonzaga has never made it to the Elite 8, yet we keep trumpeting them as a true contender. I’m on that wait and see. #3 Iowa State made a nice run last year and *pulls out megaphone* Fred Hoiberg’s team is the most entertaining team in college basketball. Watch them play if you can. I’ll go Iowa State as legit, #5 Utah as a light sleeper.

Sleeper: #9 St. John’s. The Johnnies (I think Steve Lavin is still their coach) gave Duke 32 minutes of a game earlier this year, and could meet them again in the round of 32. With no overwhelming teams in the 4/5 pod, they could play for a shot at the Final Four potentially.

Super Dark Horse: #10 Davidson. They won an A-10 that included VCU and others (don’t ask me to name them without research).

Best NBA Talent: Duke’s Jahlil Okafor, Justice Winslow, and Tyus Jones. Okafor is a young Al Jefferson, Winslow is a poor man’s (insert crazy athletic young NBA wing), and Jones is a steady point who could top out as an offensive-minded CP3. F**k Duke.

Final Four

I guess, based on the above, that I have Kentucky/Arizona/Villanova/Duke as favorites to make the Final Four. No way in hell this happens, but in keeping with the format above, those are your best bets.

If this comes to pass, Kentucky/Arizona, in my opinion, is for the title. And Kentucky wins. And demolishes Villanova or Duke.

Let’s hope the parity shines through on the first weekend, because beyond that all we get is TruTV jokes.

The NCAA: Still The Worst


In case you had forgotten, John Oliver helpfully reminded the audience of Last Week Tonight that indeed, the NCAA is still the worst.

Thanks John.

Love this? Hate it? Think I’m an idiot? Don’t just curse at me under your breath, head to the Dude You Podcast iTunes page, and leave a 5-star review to make sure I know it, and have your voice heard on the air. Follow me at @dpalm66.

Be sure to download The UGA Vault for all your Georgia highlight needs.  Download for FREE on Android and iOS.

NBA: Mid Range Jumpers


This is a new weekly blog breaking down the past week in the NBA. In today’s advanced-metric stat world, pace and space offenses have realized the value of open threes and driving the lane. We here at DYC grew up on 90’s basketball: John Tesh theme music, Ahmad Rashad on the sideline, and Michael Jordan mid-range jumpers.

At my previous internet home, I did Mid-Range jumpers as a quick way to whip around big stories. Since the weekly Hangover has replaced the need for that, I’ll be using Wednesday afternoons to wrap up some news from around the Association. I’ve had this planned for a while, so don’t think I’m just capitalizing on the unquestionably biggest story from last night.

  • I was having a nice evening last night, live tweeting some choice Tuesday night programming, when my twitter feed exploded during the last few minutes of The Real World with the news of Derrick Rose’s latest knee injury. Comparisons like Penny Hardaway and Brandon Roy have been tossed around over the last few hours, but I’ll just say this: it’s unfair that this guy’s body keeps betraying him and I hope he can bounce back again, as he was playing his best ball post-first knee surgery right before the All Star Break.
  • Speaking of injured former MVPs, Kevin Durant is back on the shelf, with an aggrevation of his foot injury. Unlike Derrick Rose, his most recent procedure appears to have been elective, and is designed to keep him fresher in the playoffs. Also unlike Derrick Rose, Durant has a teammate who can more than step up in his absence. And he has.

WestbrookIsNuts

  • Rajon Rondo and Rick Carlisle got into a screaming match on the sideline last night, resulting in the point guard getting benched for the final 20 minutes of game time. I hope you had February 24th in the pool, as this was an eventuality, not a possibility.
  • Sam Hinkie is rumored to be looking into trading Joel Embiid for a lottery pick. This guy is determined to ruin basketball, but is doing a great job securing his employment while lying to people’s faces.
  • Cleveland has won 17 of their last 19, LeBron just passed Scottie Pippen on the all time assists list at 30 years old, and Kevin Love hit 8 threes last night. Can anyone prove that LeBron isn’t behind this Love injury? Is he going to order a hit on the Hawks next? I’m worried.
  • #LOLLakers.
  • The Sloan Conference is coming up, and that means papers have started to leak. Given all of our writers fall easily into the cross section of sports fan (duh) and nerd (seriously, go count the number of DudeYouCrazy‘s posts that involve graphs and charts), this piece on NBA defense stole more of my life than I’d care to admit.
  • Y’all gonna argue with him?

    Well said.

    Well said.

  • Weekly Hawks Update: 44-12, 1-1 since the All Star Break, 1st in the East by 7.5 games, 2nd in point differential at +6.1, 2nd in points allowed per game, 3rd in points scored per game.

This has been your first installment of Mid Range Jumpers. I’ll be back here every Wednesday to drop more knowledge dimes next week.

(In basketball-speak, a dime is an assist. You’re welcome.)

Love this? Hate it? Think I’m an idiot? Don’t just curse at me under your breath, head to the Dude You Podcast iTunes page, and leave a 5-star review to make sure I know it, and have your voice heard on the air. Follow me at @dpalm66.

Be sure to download The UGA Vault for all your Georgia highlight needs.  Download for FREE on Android and iOS.

NBA: Fast Lane to the Playoffs


All Star Weekend is firmly in the rear view mirror, and its full steam ahead to the playoff hunt. Not only does the NBA do it’s showcase event better than any other American sports league, but they time it perfectly too. No one is looking more forward to the next game (NFL), or is exhausted at the thought of approximately 1 billion games left to play (MLB), but with 2/3 of the season down, it’s crunch time for everyone. What better time than to give our readers a taste of not only what’s happened so far, but arm them for conversations they will be having now that we’re forced to not watch football. Here are 7 stories so far, predictions for the rest of the way, and some 2/3 awards to be delivered.

1. The Hawks are Scary Good…

For once, this isn’t JUST my well-known Atlanta bias creeping through – this Hawks team is amazing. Eye popping ball movement, stifling defense, and great depth off the bench, even the notoriously fickle home crowds of Atlanta have gotten behind the Hawks. They own the season’s longest winning streak in the Association to date, beating top contenders from both coasts along the way, and are becoming a ‘cool’ team to get behind. And I didn’t dream any of it!

Stop trolling me ESPN. And America.

2. …The Warriors are Just Scary

Golden State started the season in a bit of tumult, as they fired their most successful coach in my lifetime after he improved their record for two straight years. They flirted with trading away Klay Thompson, Steph Curry was mad they got rid of his coach, and they landed former Phoenix GM and TNT analyst Steve Kerr only after he got lowballed by the Knicks (more on that dumpster fire later). But all the upheaval has worked out for them, as they own the best record in the NBA and are appointment television at this point. If you have League Pass, please DM me your login info and schedule your life around Golden State games.

3. The Lakers are Hilariously Bad

They’ve been good for the past 70 ish years. Get your jokes in now. I am.

4. Hot and Cold Cavs

LeBron made history this summer by being the first person to willingly move from Miami to Cleveland, and he’s made history this season as the first player/coach/GM. Really, an impressive move by him. Things started unevenly and the Kevin Love experiment hasn’t gone well thus far, but ever since LeBron took 2 weeks off to rest finish building his team, this squad has more closely resembled a team to take seriously. It’ll be interesting to see how the experiment plays out, what with Love unsigned for next year.

5. Western Conference

Once again, the West is the place where you do NOT want to be to make the playoffs. Even as Phoenix seems positioned to slip out with the current Dragic noise, either the Thunder or the Pelicans look to be left out of this year’s field which is INSANE since those two teams employ three of the best ten players in the NBA (if you haven’t been watching this year, Anthony Davis has fully arrived as a force of nature). Hell, Memphis is the 2 seed in the West right now which would mean a 7 game series with the Spurs. Seems like a crappy prize for taking 2nd in the West.

6. Playoffs. PLAYOFFS?!?

A loaded West means we get to rehash a familiar argument that occurs every three or four years: that the NBA should move to open seeding between the two conferences. In the 90s, this was an argument because the East was so strong. Look, there are a lot of things wrong with the NBA schedule (three games in four nights in three cities, too many games), but nothing gets solved by eliminating conferences and divisions from the equation, which is what would have to happen with open seeding. It’s too big of a fix for a cyclical problem that seems to resolve itself every few years.

7. LOLKnicks

They are sitting at 10-43. After successfully outbidding no one for Amare Stoudemire (Center, crappy poet) in 2010 with a 5 year $100 MILLION deal, they bought him out this week, and he’s a Dallas Maverick now. The buyout occurred because his knees are uninsurable and have been for years, which is why no one else was bidding for him in 2010. Carmelo Anthony is their best player, and he is shutting it down for the season with an injury AFTER clocking 30 minutes (second on the team!) wasting space playing in the All Star Game. And people are writing things like this about Phil Jackson. (Also, if you have Lakers fan friends who are also Phil Jackson disciples, this is a good time to revisit number 3 on this list. You’re welcome.)

DYC Officially Official NBA Finals Pick: Hawks vs. Grizzlies. Admittedly, this is a dream for me because I like conflicting styles and barbecue, but wouldn’t this be the most southern thing ever? AND IMAGINE THE MUSIC. Sir Foster is giddy just thinking about it.

DYC 2/3 MVP: Stephen Curry (Runners-up: James Harden, LeBron James, Anthony Davis)

Until we retroactively take away Steve Nash’s MVP for just his offense, this case stands. Hell, it’s even stronger. Curry has evolved into a MUCH better defender under Kerr, and he’s a top 10 performer in scoring, 3-pointers, assists and steals.

DYC 2/3 Most Improved: Jimmy Butler (Runners-up: Klay Thompson, John Wall)

THAT is how you play in a contract year. He added an ability to create his own shot, and it didn’t take away from the defending and rebounding that was already well-known. With Derrick Rose still finding his way, Butler has kept the ship afloat in Chicago, even as he priced himself out of town this coming offseason.

DYC 2/3 Rookie of the Year: Andrew Wiggins (Runners-up: LOL, JK)

And it’s not even close. This is the award that’s going to keep LeBron from capturing the coveted DYC Executive of the Year award. Damn shame.

DYC 2/3 Defensive Player of the Year: Draymond Green (Runners-up: Anthony Davis, Tim Duncan)

If the Spurs didn’t have more injuries, Old Man River probably wins this, but the biggest difference maker for the Warriors this year over last has been Green. People know about Steph, Klay, and the Warriors offense. People forget that they also trot out the best defense in the Association as well. And Draymond is a big reason why.

DYC 2/3 Sixth Man of the Year: Jamal Crawford (Runners-up: Isaiah Thomas, Manu Ginobili)

Can we rename this award the Jamal Crawford?

DYC 2/3 Coach of the Year: Mike Budenholzer (Runners-up: Steve Kerr, Jason Kidd)

Longest winning streak in the league. Zero max contract guys. Eighth in the East last year. Cue the music.

Love this? Hate it? Think I’m an idiot? Don’t just curse at me under your breath, head to the Dude You Podcast iTunes page, and leave a 5-star review to make sure I know it, and have your voice heard on the air. Follow me at @dpalm66.

Be sure to download The UGA Vault for all your Georgia highlight needs.  Download for FREE on Android and iOS.

 

 

***EXCLUSIVE*** Interview with Elite 4-Star ATH Marquez Callaway: Where do the Dawgs stand?


Marquez Callaway - Photo courtesy of robinsfootball.com

Marquez Callaway – Photo courtesy of robinsfootball.com

Marquez Callaway – ☆☆☆☆
#55 Overall; #3 ATH; #7 in GA
Warner Robins (Warner Robins, GA) ATH
6-2/170

Check out his highlights HERE.

Marquez Callaway is an elite athlete in the class of 2016. I said back in the fall that Callaway would without a doubt be ranked in the top-100 once 2015 rolled around, and sure enough, that’s where he sits on Rivals, 247 Sports, and ESPN. He has the skills to play wide receiver or defensive back for pretty much any school, but I really see him playing receiver at the next level. Marquez can go up and get the ball as well as any receiver I’ve seen in this 2016 class. He also possesses tremendous speed (sub 4.5), and great vision when he has the ball in his hands. He is certainly a player to keep an eye on throughout the next year, and one I fully expect the Dawgs to make a main priority.

Monday night, I had a chance to catch up with Marquez and get the inside scoop on where things stand with his recruitment. First off, let me say that I left my conversation with Marquez very impressed. He has a good head on his shoulder, and you can tell immediately that he is a very polite, very humble young man. Whichever school lands him will not only be getting a great talent, but also a tremendous individual.

 

Johnny Sanders: I know you don’t have a firm leader yet, but could you tell me what teams you have at the top of your list?
Marquez Callaway: Georgia, Tennessee, Florida State, Notre Dame, South Carolina, and Auburn

JS: Where is Georgia telling you that they’d like you to play?
Callaway: They want me to play safety for them, but they told me that if I wanted to play receiver, I can play receiver.

JS: Do you have a feeling of what position you would like to play?
Callaway: Yeah, I want to play receiver.

JS: You mentioned Auburn as one of your top schools. What would you say stands out about the Tigers?
Callaway: I have a good friend, Jeff Whitaker, that went to Auburn and played, and he told me lots of things about the school, and now that I’ve looked at the school, I see that everything he told me was right. So, I know if he says it’s a great school, it’s a great school.

JS: What would you say stands out about Georgia?
Callaway: The location. It’s not too far from home, and all the coaches seem like they have great personalities. I really like the people there.

JS: What are going to be the biggest factors for you when you make your decision?
Callaway: I think that it’s going to come down to if we’re all on the same page. Like, if they respect what I want, and I’m going to respect wherever I go. So, it’s going to come down to whether or not they’re going to respect me for me.

JS: What coaches are recruiting you right now for Georgia?
Callaway: Coach Lilly and Coach Richt both talk to me.

JS: I guess you’ve seen the news now about Coach McClendon becoming the receivers coach and Coach Brown coming in to coach the running backs. Have you gotten a chance to meet Coach McClendon or talk to him?
Callaway: No, I haven’t met him yet. But I plan on it.

JS: What about Georgia do you like outside of football?
Callaway: This past year, I had a couple of good friends that graduated from my high school, and they’re attending UGA now. They tell me how fun it is outside of football and how they all have a good time.

JS: Do you have any friends on the football team at Georgia or anyone that’s coming in?
Callaway: I don’t know anyone on the team, but I have a good friend, Rashad [Roundtree] who’s going there next year.

JS: What school do your parents like best so far?
Callaway: To be honest, I think my mom likes Auburn and Georgia, but I don’t know about my dad. He just goes along with her.

JS: With the major need that UGA has for wide receivers and defensive backs, will that affect you at all knowing that there’s a good chance you can come in and play early?
Callaway: That’s going to be my main question I’m going to ask them, so I can find out if they’re really going to play me.

JS: You mentioned that you want to play receiver, and obviously the big talent that is going to attract guys to Georgia for the next couple of years is quarterback, Jacob Eason. Is he factoring into your decision at all, and do you ever talk to him?
Callaway: I met him one time at a camp we were at together, the Under Armour All-American camp, and I didn’t really talk to him. I just saw him, and he saw me, but he probably didn’t really notice anything about me, and I didn’t notice anything about him, so we just kept the distance.

JS: Have you been in contact with him at all?
Callaway: Oh, no. I don’t think he knows me.

JS: What did you think after watching his film?
Callaway: I wish he could throw to me.

JS: Some quick hits: Who has the nicest facilities?
Callaway: Tennessee.

JS: The best game environment?
Callaway: Probably Florida when they played LSU.

JS: The best college town?
Callaway: Probably Auburn.

JS: When are you planning on getting down to Athens next?
Callaway: I’m not quite sure. I’m going to try to make it to some junior days, but we’re still in basketball season. We made it to the state playoffs. So we have some basketball games on some of the junior days. I do plan on being at Georgia in the summer for Dawg Night.

JS: Do you have a date set that you want to commit? Or do you know when you at least want to narrow down your list?
Callaway: I’m probably going to drag it out to signing day. I haven’t visited all the colleges I want to, but after I visit all the ones I want to, I’ll probably narrow my list down.

JS: Where would you say Georgia’s chances are compared to other schools?
Callaway: Georgia is on my mind. The Dawgs are on my mind

 

***Rankings from 247 Sports Composite

 

Check back for more recruiting updates!

Jonathan

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