Monday, April 2, 2007

The breakout of the Warrior Sports News

Don't you wish Colorado and Air Force coach Jeff Bzdelik would just get a room and get it over with already?

After all, we've been subjected to watching them make out in front of us for some time now.

Oh, they think we haven't noticed but come on, we all remember being in bars watching new love do everything but switch positions in front of us.

We know CU and Bzdelik want each other. The fun thing right now for the Falcons' coach is that he knows CU is in a bad way for him so he's having fun yanking its' chain, deciding if he wants what he can easily have, without any work, or if he thinks he can find something better.

Air Force, right now, and you can see it coming, is going to be the one getting used and left with the broken heart. We see it because we're not involved. We try to tell our friends or in this case, our neighbors in Colorado Springs that the beat down is upon them if they try to hold on and when it all comes down, it's going to hurt like hell.

Look, we say, and see -- horns blaring, the brights on and you're clueless to how bad its' all going to hurt. Let it go inside and move on, we try to tell them but like they say, love is blind.

Gonna be a crusher.

More Bzdelik

Now, if coach "B" really wants what he says he wants, which is to win, does he believe that is going to happen, long-term, at Air Force where no amount of coaching is going to make up for the very-real recruiting limitations?

Not saying Colorado is the "gold mine" some think it could be but isn't it more set up for success?

If I'm Air Force, I'm concerned more with other schools throwing themselves at my coach than CU. The Buffs are merely the first to go all out. If they don't steal him away someone else will be next in line.

Bzdelik is only a man. He's not Superman. He has his kryptonite, and gold and prestige are being laid at his feet.

Smoke and mirrors

A little insider information for you -- Colorado State will have the running game it wants and needs when Kyle Bell proves healthy.

No stories about the Three Muskateers ripping through the Rams' defense is going to impress me. That likely is more an indictment on the defenseless-D than a testimonial of those toting the ball.

Ring that Bell and watch the ground game make that CSU offense hum again. Without that baseline for success, it will be another lonnnnnnnnnnnng season at one of the many schools I once called home. Face it, the Rams' passing attack, while not that bomb of a video game -- CU 2006 -- it's hardly USC-caliber either.


Maybe it's just me. I guess I'm neurotic in many ways but I'm conflicted over someone I want to love.

See, CU has this 6-foot-3 safety who was a playmaker at Idaho before coming to Boulder and that combination of size and production had me dancing in the streets until I read that D.J. Dykes couldn't outrun your mama and I'm like, uh-oh.

Sure, Buffs coach Dan Hawkins and defensive backs coach extraordinaire Greg Brown lavish praise all over Dykes for his intelligence, effort and skills but speed still matters, right? Otherwise, let me out there, as I'm sure I still have eligibility.

So unless Dykes is brilliant on the field, reading plays long before they develop, like some sports' Nostradamus then I think the possibility of smelling burnt toast is pretty likely come fall.

Window shopping

Chris Lowery, who would have looked good in Boulder, has just re-upped with Southern Illinois as men's basketball coach.

Knew the Buffs and him didn't have chemistry but call me jaded as I thought a stud like Lowery would be able to score a honey -- of a job.

Yes, Lowery is coaching where he played ball but SIU is still SIU, isn't it?

Maybe he didn't see the plum job he wanted, especially with Kentucky lusting for the one it can't have -- Billy Donovan and Arkansas foolishly looking elsewhere, and hate to say it but someone has to do it after Nolan Richardson and Stan Heath got the boot, but the Hogs are likely hunting for a white man.

In the end, it's an awfully good day to be a Saluki as Lowery is one mean young coach, you know?

Hear that champagne a poppin' in Carbondale?

Smith's marketing campaign working

CSU 7-footer Jason Smith put together an enticing resume and because of it, he's getting checked out hard now.

Yes, he's been good since the day he first set foot on campus but it was last season when he showed he was willing to knock heads on the boards that likely showed NBA scouts the toughness they needed to see.

Smith has always had offensive talent but he was a one-trick pony for a man who stands so tall.

So, doing some reading and see a scout in Marc J. Spears' work in the Denver Post says that Smith could be as good as Keith Van Horn and is better than Nick Fazekas of Nevada and Josh McRoberts of Duke.

Man, some people do like to get carried away, don't they?

Here's the quick skinny -- Van Horn was a superior college player to what Smith is and Smith will only turn out better if he bulks up and becomes a shark in the water for the rebounding wars, which I don't currently see happening for him at the next level. McRoberts can't score like Smith but he is a rare passer for a big man and has to eat glass against much tougher competition in the ACC and out-of-conference competition so for now, that one is a push. Fazekas is reportedly slow as my past cars and with the body of a supermodel but his skills demand respect.

So yeah, give me Smith in the first round of the draft but until he shows better toughness and a willingness to bang and score inside, let's hold off on the NBA starter shout-outs.

Preps keeping it local

CU scoring Levi Knutson's services out of Arapahoe High School is going to prove a real coup. In past years, a player like him would be ditching the state for success elsewhere. Knutson is a shooter, he's a scorer and he is going to prove a strong play for the Buffs.

Stephen Franklin at CSU sounds good to me, if that proves to still be a go. Keeping the state's best at home has to remain the goal for local schools. Franklin has size, talent and skill to be a strong starter for the Rams.

Diamond Truth

O.K., here it goes -- the next year of the Rockies' development plan.

Actually, the team is full of promising and widely-respected prospects, both on the roster and in the minor leagues but what will determine if it's the real thing or fools gold is how many of those stars shine big in The Show.

For years, Colorado could not develop positional talent. That no longer is an issue. What is still disturbing is the inability to produce top-quality starting pitching. Maybe Aaron Cook is finally ready, maybe Jeff Francis is on the verge of becoming a big winner and maybe a Jason Hirsh, Ubaldo Jimenez or someone else will prove themselves All-Star quality but who knows at this point.

The Rockies are intriguing right now because of the sticks they have in the lineup but if you look outside state lines, you'll see the Dodgers, Padres, Diamondbacks and Giants aren't sweating yet because they all have better arms.

What's he thinking

O.K., wrote at the Black and Gold Truth the other day that Dan Wilkinson refusing to report to Denver after the Broncos traded with Miami for his rights was a good thing -- a very good thing because of what Denver could do with that sixth-round draft pick (see Terrell Davis or Tom Nalen, a seventh-round selection) but what should be asked is why Wilkinson decided he couldn't even contact his new team to express his apathetic feelings about playing?

Of course, after a few days, the Broncos should have moved on. You know, they weren't waiting on someone like Roger Clemens, someone who can still play at an extremely high level. It was Dan "Big Overrated" Wilkinson and he hasn't even been a factor in years on a defense in which he's played.

In the end, Denver didn't get hurt. It only wasted a little time and early emotional attachment. Those two things are part of life and you get over it quick.

In the sixth round, Denver selects...

Nuggets Noise

Do the Nuggets have a psychologist because if they don't they should get one. That team is as schizophrenic as they come. Who can figure them out? You? I certainly can't box them.

The latest example was last night when they go to Seattle and dump the Sonics, 114-103, by shooting 55 percent from the floor and while still allowing Rashard Lewis to use them, turn the tables on Seattle because Carmelo Anthony did the dirty (rebounding) with the pretty (scoring), Allen Iverson and Steve Blake moved the ball (14 combined assists) and because Linas Kleiza produced some bench scoring.

This just in, though -- Denver still stinks.

Maybe next season.

Wake me then.

Avalanche or flat land

Colorado is no longer the team of high-priced talent that used to be a dominant franchise in the NHL but it hasn't ended up in the gutter as many sports teams do upon watching players grow old or move on to new challenges. The Avalanche still provides entertainment but the bar was set high here from the outset so for the franchise to gain serious attention anymore it will have to be a playoff player. The roster has offensive skill but defensively it is Nuggets-like terrible. Nice season in 2006-07 but hardly overwhelmed with excitement about it. Will check back next season.

Someone else speaks sense

So happy to hear I'm not the only one not ready to enshrine Ohio State's Greg Oden in the Basketball Hall of Fame yet. For a while, thought my eyesight was shot or I needed new medication but now I know that craziness usually has company.

Still say it is not Oden's lack of skill or polish that is most alarming but his apparent lack of passion to be great. He is more of a flasher of his talent as opposed to the legends who never get tired of crushing an opponent.


Geoff writes from my previous project, the now-defunct Black and Gold Truth, to comment on my interior decorating in this space.

Lose the RED background! It looks like a Nebraska Cornhuskers website (apart from that, great idea)!"

Warrior Sports News: Ah, Geoff, you know something, my man? I, too, thought the color selection was going to make some take notice and not in a good way. Would you believe that the choice had no Husker connection, that it was just a bold look that caught my eye? Will try to make it up to you and everyone with top-shelf content and as few mentions of that hamlet to the east as possible. Oh, and Geoff, I made some changes thanks to your question. I'm known to tinker in the shop.

And now from Nick, a little love, a little setting me straight on the final post at the Black and Gold Truth about CU losing in-state prep Nolan Brewster to the University of Texas before the fall even hit Colorado.

"I agree, it hurts.

"But never considered Brewster an in-state kid. He followed his dad around from job to job. He grew up in North Carolina while dad worked on the UNC staff until he was 7. Then he moved to Texas where his dad works on the UT staff for three years. He develops a friendship with Mack Brown and was around the program quite a bit. Moves to San Diego where he spends a few years and then off to Colorado for the last few.

"So we lost a kid that is technically "in state". But his dad worked for the Broncos so see no reason he would have had any kind of love affair with CU. Especially since he has been in Colorado, the Buffs have received nothing but bad press and not been very good on the field.

"Sure you knew this already, was just making sure.

"Great blog- always enjoy the read."

WSN: Nick, you took me deep on that one. I did know of Tim Brewster's background but for some reason didn't make the connection I should have and that you did about his son being an in-state player only on a technical basis and how no emotional ties could have been established in the short period of time the family as been in Colorado. Have to give it up, Nick, that was nice -- you're hired.

Youth message

I'm sure messages such as these are now commonplace but they should never grow old when talking to young athletes. They all want to be like their heroes and live the life that those accomplishments bring. Hopefully, with love and wisdom all around them, they won't take the same train to that end.

Beggers' Note

If you think this space worthy on any level, please help spread the word with a mention to family, friends or others to check it out.

Owe you a favor.

Catch you tomorrow,


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