Sports Morning Headlines-Friday, 01/14/11

News from around the Texas Sports Scene for Friday, January 14, 2011.

Spurs calling up Larry Owens? - The San Antonio Spurs may soon be following the Phoenix Suns with the second D-League call-up of the season, but according to Jonathan Givony of Draft Express, that player won't be coming from Austin.  Tulsa 66ers forward Larry Owens appears to be a player the Spurs have targeted and is rumored to be receiving a 10-day contract from the Spurs this week.   READ MORE

Spurs-Mavs rivalry built on respect - Seated on press row at the Target Center on Tuesday, Mavericks scout Greg Dreiling watched as Spurs guard Tony Parker toyed with Minnesota’s Luke Ridnour, starting and stopping three pick-and-roll dribble-drives that eventually sent Ridnour reeling into Spurs center DeJuan Blair.  Free in the middle of the lane, Parker drew two defenders intent on halting his drive to the rim. Flinging a pass to George Hill in the left corner, Parker watched as his teammate, unattended, splashed a 3-pointer.   READ MORE

Driving right works for Bonner - For one night, at least, Spurs forward Matt Bonner was a right-handed Manu Ginobili.  Using a variety of moves and fakes when Bucks defenders closed on him at the 3-point line, Bonner on Wednesday shook his tormentors and got to the basket. He always drove to the right, just as surely as the left-handed Ginobili always seems to get to his left.  It was enough to make a coach with a fast-breaking hairline pull out the few follicles that remain on his head.  “Nothing against Matt — we’re Matt Bonner fans — but we know he’s going to pump-fake and go right,” Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles said after Bonner burned his team for 17 second-half points in the Spurs’ 91-84 victory at the Bradley Center. “He pump-faked and went right over and over and over again. We were just closing out, letting him go right, and he made us pay for it.”    READ MORE

Nowitzki misses S.A. practice - The Dallas Mavericks’ athletic training staff literally had Dirk Nowitzki running in circles near the end of Thursday’s practice session at Trinity University.  As part of his slow-going recovery from a sprained right knee, Nowitzki jogged the perimeter of the practice court, working up a nice sweat in the process.  Nowitzki never actually made an appearance on the court for team drills, which would seem to point toward Dallas’ leading scorer missing his ninth consecutive game tonight against the Spurs at the AT&T Center. After the workout, Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said his star forward is “making real progress” in his rehabilitation, but he remained tight-lipped about his status for tonight’s key Southwest Division showdown.   READ MORE

Mavericks work on defense as they await Nowitzki's return - Another day goes by.  Dirk Nowitzki runs circles around the court and works on strengthening and agility exercises for his sprained right knee.  Everybody continues to wonder when the Mavericks' star will be back in uniform, and while it's a hot topic, Tyson Chandler wants to make sure everybody keeps this in perspective.  "We're not winning the championship right now," Chandler said Thursday after practice at Trinity University.  And, largely because of their 24-5 record before Nowitzki's injury, they aren't losing the championship now, either, no matter what happens tonight against the San Antonio Spurs.   READ MORE

GameDay: Mavericks at Spurs - 7 tonight, AT&T Center, San Antonio - TV: FSSW, ESPN - Radio: ESPN/103.3 FM, KFLC/1270 AM (Spanish) - Records: Dallas 26-11, San Antonio 33-6.  Scouting the Mavericks - They gave up 102 points Wednesday to Indiana, a team that had failed to reach 100 in nine of its previous 10 games.... Dirk Nowitzki probably won't be available tonight.... In five games since returning from a thigh bruise, Shawn Marion has averaged 17.0 points and 6.4 rebounds.  Scouting the Spurs - They have held their last four opponents to an average of 89.5 points.... The first two meetings in this series were won by the road team.... The Spurs' bench has gotten much stronger this season with the addition of Gary Neal, who is averaging 8.5 points and shooting 39 percent from 3-point range.    READ MORE

Martin's shooting touch fine - Second-teamer at heart.  After two weeks as the Rockets' starting center, Jordan Hill still sounded more comfortable coming off the bench. With Chuck Hayes expected to return from his sprained right ankle, Hill might return to his role with the second unit.  In nine games as a starter, Hill averaged 6.2 points and 4.4 rebounds in 22.2 minutes per game, making 40 percent of his shots.  In 28 games off the bench, he averaged 6.8 points and 4.4 rebounds in 17.2 minutes per game, making 51 percent of his shots.   READ MORE

Injuries really do hurt team - Rockets hate to admit a return to health essential.  The Rockets have been stretched thin by injuries and struggled in the first half of the month.  Try as the Rockets might to fight human nature and deny the obvious, injuries hurt more than body parts.  The Rockets have insisted, often convincingly, that they refuse to accept their injuries as excuses for their struggles. They can cite their 108-102 victory Monday in Boston, taken after a delivery of a fresh batch of injuries, as proof.   READ MORE

Is it wicked not to care - about this Rockets season? - Let me qualify that - is it wicked not to care as much?  (Let me also remind you that I'm a season ticket holder as well.)  I still care pretty deeply about the Rockets or I wouldn't allocate so much of my copious time to writing about them.  But the tone of this season changed for the worst when Yao went down for the count without really ever having gotten back up.  Now my interests can be broken into about four areas.   READ MORE




Five prospects in Rangers camp worth getting to know - One of the beauties about traveling to spring training is it affords a chance not only to look at the upcoming Rangers' team, but also the up-and-coming prospects. As usual, there will be a handful of prospects in big league camp (at least for the first couple of weeks) and they may get some late-inning time in early exhibitions. Don't get bored when these guys enter the game or when you see them in workouts. They are the future.    READ MORE

Utility player signs his second minor league contract with the Texas Rangers - Baseball America is reporting that the Rangers have signed utility man Matt Kata to a minor league contract.  Kata most recently played for the Houston Astros last season, appearing in 40 games for the team. He'll get the chance to remain in Texas after signing a new deal with the Rangers.    READ MORE

Busy offseason puts Daniels extension on hold - GM Jon Daniels has made it clear he would like to remain in Texas, and Rangers ownership wants to keep him in the fold, but a busy offseason has slowed talks of a contract extension.   READ MORE

Rangers Spring Training tickets on sale now - Tickets to see the Rangers in Surprise, Ariz., are currently on sale. Don't miss your chance to see Josh Hamilton and the defending AL champs prepare for the season.    READ MORE

Vandergriff to be honored at Rangers banquet - The Rangers will pay tribute to former Arlington mayor Tom Vandergriff, who passed away in December, at next week's Mid-Winter Banquet.  Tickets are still available for the Mid-Winter Banquet, which will be held at 6:30 p.m. CT on Friday, Jan. 21, at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine.  Vandergriff was mayor of Arlington from 1951 to 1977 and was responsible for convincing Washington Senators owner Bob Short to move his franchise to North Texas in 1971. Vandergriff Plaza at the Ballpark in Arlington was named in his honor.    READ MORE

NASA tour highlights Day 1 of Astros caravan - Bill Hall, Chris Johnson and Brian Bogusevic took a tour of Johnson Space Center on Thursday and were not only in awe of the operation, but also by the kids who accompanied them.   READ MORE

Don't miss out on 20 Prizes in 20 Days - All season-ticket and 27-game mini-plan holders will be entered into daily drawings and become eligible to win one of 20 spectacular prizes through Jan. 29. Get your tickets now.    READ MORE




 

New developments alter Cowboys' search for new coordinators - A tumultuous day ended Thursday with the Cowboys looking at the possibility of having one of the flamboyant Ryan brothers as their defensive coordinator.  The Cowboys received permission from Cleveland to interview Rob Ryan today. Ryan, whose twin brother, Rex, is the New York Jets' head coach, has one year remaining on his contract with the Browns but is not wanted by the new regime of coach Pat Shurmur.    READ MORE

Cowboys To Keep Wade Wilson As Quarterbacks Coach - Calvin Watkins ESPNDallas.com is reporting that quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson will be given a new contract although details of the deal have not been made public. Wilson is one of 4 coaches on the staff that had contracts expiring at season end.  John Garrett brother of Jason Garrett interviewed with the Dolphins about the Offensive Coordinator opening. Ray Sherman who was the Cowboys Wide Recievers coach did not have his contract renewed. Bobby Wilson of Alabama interviewed witht the Cowboys on Tuesday about the Wide Reciever Coach opening.   READ MORE

Dallas Cowboys 2010-'11 Final Report Card - The Cowboys season is over and now they're working towards next season. However, we'll take one last look at the Cowboys 6-10 season position by position. Although it was an ugly one for fans and players alike and by the last game everyone just wanted the season to end, the changes that will be made should make for some optimism.   READ MORE

Johnson, Foster among Sporting News All-Pros - "Only one team placed two offensive players on The Sporting News' All-Pro team. Texans receiver Andre Johnson and running back Arian Foster were voted to the team by players, coaches and club executives. Foster led the NFL in rushing (1,616 yards), yards from scrimmage (2,220), total touchdowns (18) and rushing touchdowns (16). Despite missing three games with a high ankle sprain that required arthroscopic surgery after the season, Johnson caught 86 passes for 1,216 yards and eight touchdowns."   READ MORE

If Phillips is to succeed, he'll need Super Mario to do so - "Mario Williams can make or break Wade Phillips. How's that for simplifying a complicated topic? Phillips can change the schemes and move the players around, but one of the easiest ways he can improve the NFL's 30th-ranked defense would be to have Williams become a game-wrecking, chaos-creating force. Wasn't that the original plan? Yes, the Texans saw him doing for them what Reggie White once did for the Eagles and Packers and what Lawrence Taylor did for the Giants. Super Mario's numbers say he has been that player, but you and I know better. His 48½ career sacks put him among the NFL's leaders during his five seasons, and he's a two-time Pro Bowl starter.    READ MORE







Reports indicate that DeRuyter will remain at A&M - Texas A&M fans might be able to relax tonight.  Maybe.  Reports out of Arkansas and Oklahoma indicate that Tulsa is strongly leaning toward Arkansas offensive coordinator Garrick McGee as its new head coach, not A&M defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter. The two had emerged as leading candidates in the last 24 hours for the Tulsa job vacated by Todd Graham.   READ MORE

Mustangs make it two in a row over Memphis at Moody - The 80 or so students ran to midcourt and surrounded the SMU players, jumping up and down as they converged as one.  The players joined in the celebration. But nobody's feet left the floor.  "We believed we were going to win this basketball game," said SMU coach Matt Doherty. "We expected to win. I told the guys we weren't going to jump up and down this time."    READ MORE

Oklahoma has best odds to win 2011-2012 BCS National Championship - Bodog.com recently released its odds to win the 2011-2012 BCS National Championship.  Oklahoma is the overall favorite at 7/2. Of the in-state teams, TCU and Texas had the best odds at 20/1 followed by Texas A&M at 35/1 and Texas Tech at 125/1.    READ MORE

Report: TCU co-offensive coordinator is candidate for position at LSU - TCU co-offensive coordinator Justin Fuente is reportedly one of several top candidates for the offensive coordinator position at LSU.  Tiger offensive coordinator Gary Crowton announced Thursday that he took the offensive coordinator coaching position at Maryland.   READ MORE

SMU's lack of depth won't be a problem at the end of the month - With little depth to tap, SMU coach Matt Doherty doesn't face much of a decision when Papa Dia or Robert Nyakundi get into foul trouble.   READ MORE

Texas A&M women's basketball coach signs contract extension - Texas A&M coach Gary Blair received a three-year contract extension through the 2014-15 season.   READ MORE

Texas' Mack Brown turns to young coordinators for new ideas - Texas football coach Mack Brown has delivered one loud, clear message in retooling his staff following a disastrous 5-7 season.    READ MORE

California guard Gary Franklin headed to play for Baylor - Freshman guard Gary Franklin is transferring to Baylor after starting 11 of California's first 13 games this season.  Baylor coach Scott Drew said Wednesday that the California native has enrolled in classes on the Waco campus. The 6-foot-2 guard will have three seasons of eligibility after sitting out the rest of this season and the 2011 fall semester.   READ MORE

Early returns say high expectations for Texas A&M in 2011 - With the 2010 college football season in the books, it is never too early to look at the preseason rankings for 2011. A couple experts around the country have done just that and all have some high expectations for Texas A&M following a 9-4 turnaround season that included wins over Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.   READ MORE






Stars' goalie Kari Lehtonen returns to Atlanta back in top form - Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen conceded he might get a tad worked up Saturday night, assuming he starts for the first time against his only previous NHL employer, the Atlanta Thrashers.  Teammate Steve Ott, experienced in igniting opponents' emotions, is unconvinced.  "He's extremely calm and casual every single day," Ott said. "I've never seen him too high. I've never seen him too low."  Those qualities – and a 6-4, 215-pound frame that fills the net – went a long way toward Atlanta making Lehtonen the second overall draft pick in 2002 at 18 after he won the Elite League championship in his native Finland. But a succession of groin pulls and back surgeries made the phenom expendable.    READ MORE

Stars trade Brunnstrom to Leafs for Belarusan forward - The Stars today traded forward Fabian Brunnstrom to Toronto for Mikhail Stefanovich, who is playing this season in Russia's KHL.  Stefanovich is 21 years old, 6-2 and 202 pounds. On loan from the Maple Leafs, he has one goal in 15 games with Dynamo Minsk. Before going on loan, he played two games for the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League and four games for the Reading Royals in the East Coast Hockey League. He previously played three seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, with 106 goals and 210 points for the Quebec Ramparts. He was the Leafs' third-round draftee in 2008.    READ MORE

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MVPTEXAS RT @AnwarRichardson: #Longhorns #HookEm coach Charlie Strong said he wasn't pleased with the defense. Said they could play better
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MVPTEXAS RT @LonghornSN: Former Texas walk on Dylan Haines with 74-yard INT return vs. ISU http://t.co/EfhCI6k7K4
 

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