Thursday, April 12, 2007

Rams score talent; Buffs lose muscle

Stephen Franklin finally feels comfortable and the Rams are better off for it.

The Aurora Central star small forward ditched sinking boat Colorado for CSU this spring but after Dale Layer was not asked back to coach there were doubts about Franklin's commitment to the school. Now, Franklin has decided he's in for good.

The impact of his decision to remain in Fort Collins is big. He's from the state and that's important for future recruiting, he was once CU's and now he isn't and he was once being chased by some quality programs like Purdue, Washington, Washington State.

New coach Tim Miles now can claim his first recruiting victory.

The upheaval of change

CSU keeps Franklin but will lose two junior college talents -- guard Omar Leary and forward Shane Edwards-- as they have asked to be released from their commitments. If that's how they feel, they should be granted their request.

This not like Kansas State's anxiety attack over losing Michael Beasley, thought by some to be the top recruit in the country.

This is typical business for a new coach and CSU will not be devastated by the losses.

Perez cooked

Oh brother, what did I write about wasted talent yesterday?

Thomas Perez, a big, talented running back that would be a strong fit for the Colorado offense now appears to be yesterday's news in the Buffs' program, because he sees academics as one might cleaning the toilet.

Who knows, maybe he resurfaces at Wal-Mart Big-Intersection College and excels but his loss is disappointing.

The other backs on the roster are smiling, though, as it is one less hurdle to getting on the field.

Big plays coming this fall

Kory Sperry
has been all about making plays down the field since he got to CSU.

The big tight end knows the impact he can make for the Rams and the potential he has on the post-eligibility job market.

That's why the reemergence of the running game is so important. If CSU can fix that problem then Sperry becomes even more difficult to guard. He then becomes someone like ex-CU pass catcher Joe Klopfenstein, which is to say a playmaker on the underneath routes and a future high draft pick.

As for this whole blocking "thing," that he is soft, let's just say he will never be a masher at that request with his body type. All he has to do is minimize being a liability in that part of his game.

Secondary improvement not hard to fix

Colorado's pass defense from 2006 got examined in a Patrick Ridgell article in Longmont's Daily Times-Call and while it is undeniable that the secondary got scorched it is also fair to point out what?

Who, outside of the departing Abraham Wright thought it important to rush the man delivering those downfield strikes to the receivers?

That's what I thought.

Improved talent, technique and desire would help the brothers out on the back end of defense.

So how about some heat up front in 2007.

Abatemarco not a fit at CU

Longtime college basketball assistant Tom Abatemarco, subject of rumors that he was coming to CU, is not leaving the WNBA afterall.

Of course, new coach Jeff Bzdelik laughed off the rumors as "comical" but come on now, there had to be a reason for their genesis. Something, no matter how preliminary, was going on, whether it be a mild conversation or asking for a phone number.

That it all died out and proved to be nothing, well, with Abatemarco's reputation for ugly behavior, that's a positive piece of news for the Buffs' program. CU is not in a position to gamble at this stage.

Scoreboard joy

How 'bout them Nuggets! What are they on these days? Mowing down opponents like they should have been doing all season but haven't. Now, they have beaten the Jazz, 115-106, and they're a team that normally gives them fits. The defense wasn't even moderately good but offensively, Denver was aggressive and making it happen from the field and at the foul line. All five starters "got theirs" with Marcus Camby continuing his shot-blocking presence, Carmelo Anthony scoring at will, Nene looking like the Money Man the team made him this past offseason, Allen Iverson besting young stud Deron Williams at the point and Steve Blake shooting lights out. I think the Nuggets have somethin' goin' on now. You expect winning ways.

Nine games into the season and the Rockies have serious problems -- a lack of punch in the offense and a shaky pen. Are you ready for another long summer? After all, they just got shut down again last night, getting blanked in Los Angeles, 3-0. It ain't all bad though as newcomer Jason Hirsh is showing flashes of being a decent to better-than-average starter. Those bats, however, have to realize the regular season has started and it's o.k. to rake the ball around the park. Quit being shy!

Pounding the rock

Drew Brees isn't tall, Chase Daniel isn't tall and neither is CU's Cody Hawkins. And Doug Flutie? Well, he wasn't JaMarcus Russell either. So talk of Hawkins being a toy quarterback by recruiting analysts is short-sighted. Daniel is a new person for Hawkins to emulate.

Talent and heart win big in life. Size is nice but it doesn't guarantee jack. It means you get into the party, many times, but once you're there, you have to show it all means something.

Coming Friday

Woke up Marc J. Spears, the Denver Post columnist, yesterday and for some reason he still was willing to talk about the inside dope on new CU coach Jeff Bzdelik from his experiences covering Bzdelik when he was leading the Nuggets. Look for that interview Friday morning.

Spears also offered up some goods on the Nuggets and that will be come your way later this week.

Later today, being granted time with CSU athletic director Paul Kowalczyk to talk Rams' basketball. Check back for that conversation.

Notes of interest

A shout out and compliment to Steve Foster for not turning his head and pretending it wasn't his business. That's being big-time in this world.

I don't know what happened in the Duke rape case involving the lacrosse team but I do know some things. Something happened that night and if either of the women were injured then they deserved much better and it is criminal and sick to think of the legal system failing them and women everywhere. However, if the accusers created their own reality and presented it with enthusiasm as the world's reality, as many in this life enjoy doing, then they are disgraceful human beings who should be jailed, not sued. What financial resources do they have of value for the college guys who might have been harassed, humiliated and taxed greatly with legal expenses. Then the fact that you can never erase false allegations remains. Jail, like say, six months, sounds about right. Those women, if they did lie, just did a great disservice to other women and children who will be doubted in the future. Like I said, disgraceful.

Don Imus got what he deserved. Maybe not having sponsors parachute out on his show but the trial in the court of public opinion was all brought down on his head by his loose mouth. His comments were ugly and yes, hateful. You simply don't talk about other human beings in that manner. Imus, to his credit, is taking the whippings reasonably well but a less-powerful personality, if we're going to be honest, would likely be forever blacklisted from a national show again. Imus is getting off easy.