Thursday, June 21, 2007

CU saved, Marshall scoped, Mutombo loved

Some CU fans longed for New Mexico State's Reggie Theus to replace Ricardo Patton as men's basketball coach, which really was a fresh, bold idea. It would have also proven to be a poor one as Theus has just been sold himself with smoke and mirrors to coach the Sacramento Kings, saying, ignorantly "I'm an NBA guy coaching in college." Theus, it says here, will get chewed up and spit out, regardless of his NBA-guy claim, and end up back in the college game, where he can be a dynamic coach.

You'd think college coaches like Theus would be paying attention to the pro failure morgue of Carlesimo, Kruger, Floyd, Hamilton, and Calipari. The smartest cats, like Coach K and Roy Williams, never take the bait. Even Billy Donovan reneged on Orlando before it was too late.

CSU is excited about the commitment of Andre McFarland. The 6-foot-6, 220-pound forward sounds, if you listen to coach Tim Miles, like he's full of heart and a winning mentality. If he can play too, well, the Rams might have themselves somebody.

Broncos on tap

So, we know what Broncos wide receiver Javon Walker can be but what about Brandon Marshall? What's his upside? His strong qualities are size, strength, blocking and aggressiveness. What he lacks is speed and polish. The book is still open on him as no one really knows what he will become. He had but two quality games as a rookie. However, if he applies himself to his craft, if he is willing to be humble and learn from Walker and grandpa Rod (Smith), there are enough positives he could evolve into a second-tier pass catcher and an all-around player. The next two seasons will tell all.

Tight end Tony Scheffler will never be Shannon Sharpe but he could turn out to be a long-time starter because of his size, soft hands and mojo with quarterback Jay Cutler. He just has to stay healthy, block better and learn the nuances of the game.

You have to wonder about the defensive-line rotation now that Denver has brought Big Daddys Sam Adams and Jimmy Kennedy to town to go with fellow mountain, Gerard Warren. Where do rookie Marcus Thomas and interior short stack Elvis Dumervil figure into the mix? Will say it now, if the Broncos don't lose track of ED, he could explode this season as a pass rusher, although you have to wonder if the team also feels that way with its' draft-heavy run on lineman.

Nuggets Noise on Mutombo, defenders, draft

One of this space's favorite all-time athletes is Dikembe Mutombo.

Maybe it's because he was something the Nuggets never had before him -- a personable, brash, fly-swatting board hog who just happened to be good people. What impresses more than his basketball accomplishments is his humanity -- his love and passion for others far less fortunate and his will to to pour his heart into big change, as his hospital and research center project in the Republic of Congo proves-- showing the capability that athletes have to make a profound difference.

His example of what an athlete can accomplish with his fame and riches is something that all pro sports commissioners should look at and realize should be shared at every rookie symposium when athletes enter the pro ranks. Hope all the commissioners are listening. Make it happen. It shouldn't be about winning the lottery, getting 'fat' with materialism and easy livin'. Here is my closing statement your honor:
This world is and will long be a better place, because for the time that Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean Jacque Wamutombo walked and lived this life, he gave all of himself and showed, yes, showed love for people, not dollars, realizing that power comes in giving, not hoarding, as many of his contemporaries fail to understand.

His name, his time on this earth will long live and be respected.

No, this is not a eulogy.
For the record, letting him leave town for Atlanta years ago was one of the absolute dumbest, and most stupid moves ever in Denver sports history. It was obvious then and remains so today. The Nuggets looked like buffoons for that bumbling behavior.

Former Nuggets guards T.R. Dunn and Elston Turner are now settling down in Houston, assistants to new Rockets coach Rick Adelman. Ah, remember the days of Denver defending in the backcourt? Dunn and Turner were sickly shooters but could jock up an opponent.

Most likely to be traded come NBA draft night?
  1. Future draft picks
  2. Eduardo "Senor Grit" Najera
  3. Nene
  4. Marcus Camby
Rockies Rap

Former Rockies player Joe Giradi, who was widely respected for his dugout work in Florida before getting dismissed is apparently going to become the next manager of the Baltimore Orioles. Great choice...for the "O's." Who knows if being owner Peter Angelos' pool boy will be rewarding for Joe G. but it will be interesting to see if the manager can make the whole greater than the sum of the less-than-impressive parts Baltimore fields each game. Seeing Girardi compete against his ex-boss -- the Boss, George Steinbrenner -- will be entertaining, especially if the Orioles can work over the Yankees a little bit.

Colorado pitcher Jeff Francis has been a successful find and development for the franchise. He is fast becoming one of the better lefty pitchers in the game.

Garrett Atkins will again hit for power one day. Todd Helton won't. He's cooked. He's no more than an expensive singles and doubles hitter. He's the modern-day Mark Grace or Tony Gwynn with the stick. That said, Atkins lack of pop and production has killed the Rockies offense this season. They need power in that lineup and no one has been a bigger drain on it than the third baseman. He's not the only big bat doing little this season, however. There is something going on in the game that no one is writing about that I know of and that is, overall, power numbers are down. Not saying anything more than that -- I don't have to.

Rightfielder Brad Hawpe's arm gets toasted for it's strength and accuracy, as well it should. He is Larry Walker-esque with it. Now, if he could only hit like the Canadian. At least he's not the constant in-patient that Walker was so hey, he's got that goin' for him. If Hawpe can continue his powerful plate production he will take a step to another level as a player, at which point, he should be immediately dealt for a large booty, as he isn't likely to ever be a consistent 25-homer, 100-RBI guy.

Most likely trade chum for Colorado this summer if it decides to sell
  1. Aaron Cook
  2. Josh Fogg
  3. Brian Fuentes
  4. Yorvit Torrealba
  5. Brad Hawpe
  6. Jeremy Affeldt
  7. Willy Taveras
Sweeping the Nation

Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro and Barry Bonds have or had the competitive fire to be great. They all achieved elite numbers but they are going to find that allegations of steroid use will not bring them the public adulation after their playing days that they had hoped. It is going to be a real awakening for them. Lying about it all, as Pete Rose has found out, won't bring forgiveness. The sad reality is all these men were so talented at their sport they could have still been names for the ages without dabbling into the dark areas of possible cheating.

Linkin' you Up

Mile High Report (Broncos)

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