Friday, April 20, 2007

Friday Jam Session

Where's my country club membership, my perks, my money?

The University of Colorado board of regents has spoken and the word is good, very good. New Buffs' basketball coach Jeff Bzdelik "got his" and his wife and family are smiling.

Momma needs new shoes.

The best part of the contract for fans, other than the buyout from the Air Force Academy (sorry, Hans Mueh), is the financial incentive to win.

Fifteen games gets you paid, each additional couple of victories get you paid, tournament invites earn more lettuce and tournament victories get even more love.

It says here that those amounts should have been a much larger with less guaranteed money, but hey, I understand that's not the marketplace reality.

That's just the way I do business, you know?

Bottom line -- well-written deal, for both the school and the new coach.

Smith in

CSU star forward Jason Smith is not looking back. The man is in the NBA draft to stay.


While he could still withdraw if he doesn't sign with an agent you can tell his mind is made up and honestly, after last season, he should go. Factor in CSU not having Dale Layer coaching, thus giving Smith a comfort level if he felt anxious about the draft, and Smith has to go.

Poor guy, though, being labeled a poor man's Dirk Nowitzki.

Two important points -- Smith won't be poor for long and Nowitzki is insulted.

Smith has a legitimate shot at playing in the Association for a long time if he develops a Karl Malone-type work ethic to get better every day, every season. Smith has more talent than a lot of big stiffs littering NBA rosters so all he has to do is out-prepare them to succeed and in the words of Napoleon Hill, Grow Rich.

180 degrees

If former Wyoming head boy Steve McClain is Bzdelik's new lead assistant in Boulder, how can you not be excited for CU basketball?

From under-qualified Ricardo Patton (x's and o's) and his band of misfits on the bench to a proven NBA and college commodity (Bzdelik) and an assistant with a 157-115 record as a ringmaster, how can CU not be better, as in right now, today.

This team, in dream land, could hit the Coors Events Center floor this very moment and beat last season's team 10 out of 10 times.

Buffs' athletic director Mike Bohn tore down the house and is putting in a new foundation for a new one, one that should no longer be an eyesore.

Rams take one step back, two steps forward

CSU loses off-guard Tim Denson to a transfer but finally gets the autograph on star in-stater Stephen Franklin from Aurora Central High School.

CSU is losing recruits and players from the roster lately but a fresh start might not be a bad thing in the rebuilding of this program from both a talent and attitude standpoint.

Denson's loss is difficult for a team lacking in talent and scoring punch but no need trying to hold on to someone who doesn't love you. Franklin, in time, under new coach Tim Miles, it says here, will be a dependable player capable of "moments."

Miles scored yesterday, inking point guard Donte Pool from the desert -- North Las Vegas. You win with guards and if Franklin and Pool have the goods they will be given every opportunity to get what they most desire -- heavy minutes -- in Fort Collins.

You're the boss

So, do I get the job, sir?

I come into your place of business and I'm a hotshot with a resume that makes you fall in love immediately, knowing I can make your life easier while earning you a lot of money. No one is close to as qualified as me. I'm also tremendously good looking.

And modest.

Then, in the process of doing a background check, you find out I've smoked pot. Maybe I'm not a habitual user but hey, I'm young, I've tried it, maybe I even still go Bob Marley once in a while, likely at company parties.

I fess' up and admit I have crossed paths with that sticky green herb.

Do you hire me?

The NFL draft is here and touted prospects Calvin Johnson, who I think has already been inducted into the Hall of Fame from all the press I've read, baby defender Amobi Okoye and supreme-pass rusher Gaines Adams have all confessed to inhaling.

They were honest and that deserves respect in my book.

But does ignoring that admittance as a problem, as in not letting them slip in the draft, send the proper message -- smoke brother, it's o.k. as long as you are a premium talent because skill trumps lawbreaking. You know, sort of like letting hot chicks get out of speeding tickets.

For the record, I was a college student once. I'm human. I have flaws, I have regrets.

I'm taking the Fifth.

Draft note and comps

CU's Mason Crosby is the consensus top kicker in this April's draft but some are not convinced he is the real deal. Todd McShay of's Insider (subscription) writes, well, let's just say he believes Thunder Leg is overvalued.

The WSN book on Crosby is this and have written this before -- he could go as high as round 2 and will not last past the fourth go-around. He will stick in the league and play for years and has Pro Bowl ability.

An indoor stadium would make him the next Morten Anderson or Jason Hanson, which is to say one of the all-time greats.

No need being a wallflower and being shy about it.

Broncos lose Myers

So Michael Myers is checking out of Hotel Colorado, going to the jailbreak that is the Cincinnati Bengals, as a free agent. Denver didn't want Myers anymore because, from what I read, he wasn't "fat" enough for new defensive coordinator Jim Bates, who's type is really big men.

Hey, who doesn't like really big men?

Seems Bates needs that size to make his defense roll, to stone the run.

Myers was a solid contributor while in town and because of that, best wishes sent his way for success and contentment with the Bengals. Just guessing Cincinnati isn't as fun as Denver.

Nuggets cooked by media

As expected, San Antonio is expected to roll over Denver in the team's first-round NBA playoff series matchup.'s Marc Stein is picking the "Texans" in six games, which might be giving the Nuggets one game too much credit.

Denver will have to prove it can break the Spurs' defense and score in the 100s while also finding a way not to get eaten alive by the Tony Parker-Manu Ginobli backcourt.

Up front, if Carmelo Anthony doesn't start showing up in the playoffs like he does the regular season, he's going to get a bad rap as a Barry Bonds' postseason flop. Other questions include Allen Iverson, as in can he make the plays when they need to be made, can Marcus Camby prove his worth now that the games mean more, can Nene be a difference maker, and will Linas Kleiza and J.R. Smith disappear on the bench now because of shaky fundamentals?


So who are the greatest dunkers of all time?

Both ESPN Classic and writer Chris Broussard of' Insider put former Nugget guard David Thompson at no. 8 on the list.

"Skywalker" had the lift that few did at his time. He has, however, been surpassed since. Names on the ESPN's list include all the usual suspects -- Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins, Vince Carter, and Julius Erving.

You and I didn't make the grade.

So, out of curiosity, how many on the ESPN Classic top-20 list won titles?

Four -- Jordan, Dr. J., Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade.

Turning over a new leaf -- Hog to Trojan

So, former uber-recruit Mitch Mustain is heading West, leaving Arkansas for USC? Difficult to argue going to L.A. as it is a glamor school for a glamor position. Questions, Mr. Mustain -- wasn't Mark Sanchez a super-hyped recruit at QB? Won't he be ready to play next season after J.D. Booty enters the NFL draft? What about Aaron Corp, who will be a redshirt freshman next season and is highly thought of? You're confident, as all great players are, but if you don't win the job next season, whatcha' gonna do then? Arena ball? And last thing -- you were upset when Arkansas ran the ball so much with Darren McFadden but last I checked, the Trojans usually have outstanding backs and want to take advantage of that in the ground game. Is that o.k. with you and your momma? Something tells me this isn't going to turn out well in Troy.

Farming news

Jack Etkin of the Rocky Mountain News puts out a labor-intensive report on Colorado Rockies' minor-league talent and in it, some notes of interest:

At AA Tulsa, Juan Morillo throwing flames at 101 miles per hour, shortstop Jonathan Herrera tearing it up (remember the name), hitting .333 and last year's top draft pick, Greg Reynolds, making it difficult for opposing hitters (1.50 ERA).

No one is catching my eye at the other levels to this point. Will give you the WSN insight all season long.

Etkin did highlight single-A Asheville shortstop Hector Gomez in his article and he is another middle infielder to watch, a player with range, arm and pop. Continue to check him out.

Now, here's some skinny for you -- at the highest level of the minors the players to track if you're a Rockies' fan are third baseman Ian Stewart (if he doesn't lose confidence and keeps working, he'll be spraying balls all over Coors Field one day) and outfielder Seth Smith (slight power but a quality hitter, potential starter). A secondary name is Ryan Spilborghs, a quality reserve and someone I think will eventually be part of a trade package.

Point to ponder's Bruce Feldman, one of the best college football writers in the land, shares his view of the Virginia Tech shootings in his blog, saying, in essence that the media coverage should focus more on the good of the dead than the emotional autopsy of the twisted, poisoned mind of the killer.

Of course, in a case where people are slaughtered, it is our natural human inclination to ask the painful and obvious "why?"

We seek answers where there are none that will satiate us. We want to understand why this was the "answer" for someone when it didn't truly alleviate his pain. It was just a terrible tantrum.

With guns.

Sometimes, as Bruce Springsteen sings, "I guess there's just a meanness in this world."

And all we're left with is memories of lost today's and tomorrows, dreams that will never actualize themselves.

Scoreboard grumblings

Those stick-less Rockies fell to the Dodgers, 8-1, on Thursday, at Coors Field.

Where's the outrage by national writers over the way the park plays? Yes, L.A. scored eight times, courtesy of lousing pitching, not altitude, but how could Colorado push across but one run with its' lineup where runs are guaranteed, right?

Pitiful effort by the home team.

Please wake me when this team becomes interesting.

Lopez lost

Rodrigo Lopez, who was really dealing for the Rockies to this point, has a sore elbow and will shut it down for the foreseeable future.

Things like this happen to bad teams. A lot. Have you noticed?

Thought of the day

Nice guys get nothing.

They get run over.

At least, at Air Force, according to Milo Bryant of the Colorado Springs Gazette.

Note for the road

Had to re-schedule my interview with new Air Force football coach Troy Calhoun but we're on for Monday morning. The former Falcon player, assistant and former Broncos and Houston Texans' assistant will share his best in an interview, likely mid-week.

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