Sports Morning Headlines-Friday, 02/25/11

News from around the Texas Sports Scene for Friday, February 25, 2011.

Houston Rockets Made Two Deadline Deals, But Did They Improve? - Carmelo Anthony, Deron Williams, Gerald Wallace, Jeff Green, Carl Landry and Kendrick Perkins all switched addresses before today's trade deadline, and all of them will still enter the Toyota Center as visitors.  The Rockets now own four first-round picks in a starpower-drained draft where franchises seem determined to move down instead of up. I was going to center my column about Daryl Morey's inactivity around a Hasheem Thabeet joke. Yeah, they were even desperate enough to inquire about the seven-foot stiff with less game than Milos in the American Airlines commercials.   READ MORE

Did the Rockets Get Any Better? - The hope with every trade made is to make the team better than it was, but did the Rockets do so with their last minute trades Thursday?   READ MORE

ProjectSpurs: Spurs news and notes: Celtics trade for matchup vs. Spurs, Mavericks' Chandler on the Spurs, and more - • Did the Boston Celtics make their trades today to matchup with the San Antonio Spurs should they meet in the NBA Finals?  They'll never say so in so many words, but actions speak much louder. And today's actions said that when playoff time rolls around, Boston thinks it will need perimeter depth, floor spacing and the ability to play smaller a lot more than it'll need quality low-post defenders.  Translation: Miami is the threat here, not Orlando. And if the Celtics survive, it's San Antonio, not the Lakers, whom they now match up better against.   READ MORE

Spurs, not Carmelo, are true story in NBA - The NBA should listen to what the Spurs have to say.  Carmelo Anthony, widely alleged to be a franchise player, has been to the playoffs in each of his seven previous NBA seasons. Six times his team was eliminated in the first round. Five times the squad he led came away with a single win or less.  Now, it’s not Anthony’s fault he’s merely a great scorer. But with the season now mercifully past its halfway mark, all the ’Melo Mania has obscured the real and meritorious story.   READ MORE

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban lambasted the NBA - And this time he has a point.  Cuban on allowing trade: 'It's just wrong'  Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban lambasted the NBA on Wednesday for allowing the league-owned New Orleans Hornets to complete a trade with the Sacramento Kings in which the financially troubled franchise will absorb salary and send an undisclosed amount of cash to the Kings.  New Orleans sent guard Marcus Thornton, who is earning $762,195, plus cash to Sacramento for forward Carl Landry, who is earning $3 million. The Hornets, who are over the salary cap, were able to fit Landry into a trade exception.   READ MORE

Mavs: playoff contender or pretender? - So, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban wants to sign Justin Bieber, awkward hair and strangely addictive music included.  If he replaces JKidd, I am all in.  Bieber Fever has to be better than First-Round Fodder, which is basically what the Mavericks have been since JKidd arrived. I know, I know, it is not all his fault. He is just a symptom.  I have been on record for a while now about my ambivalence about this Mavericks team. It is a crisis of faith, really. My problem is I want to like them, want to believe, but I am sick of being gut-punched by them every spring as The Fighting Cubans demonstrate how very different good is from good enough.  All of those times, I wrote "Blow It Up," though, I do not think I fully comprehended how ugly it would feel. Watching Deron Williams being sent to the Nets and Melo to the Knicks in the past couple of days and the cratered-out messes left behind in Utah and Denver is like watching one of those Man v. Food episodes, strangely addictive yet leaving you wanting to vomit.   READ MORE

 

 

Meet the new Matt Harrison, who's on a mission with Rangers - Motivation for most Texas Rangers players this spring takes root in the 2010 postseason run that took the franchise to its first World Series.  Missing out on the world championship and finishing the task in 2011 has juices flowing at the Surprise Recreation Campus.  Matt Harrison's motivation is a little different. He definitely wants the Rangers to bring home the Commissioner's Trophy this fall, but he wants to actually participate in winning it.  The left-hander was on the Rangers' roster for almost the entire season -- losing time briefly because of injury and an undeserved stint at Triple A. When the playoffs came around, though, he was never on the active roster.   READ MORE

Who should lead off for Rangers in 2011? - Manager Ron Washington is pondering that question, one that will begin to get answered Sunday. Washington said we'd have a better idea of his plan for the leadoff spot then, but it's obvious that he has two candidates in mind: Elvis Andrus and Ian Kinsler. Washington said one day Julio Borbon could be a leadoff hitter, but it appears that's not April 1, 2011.  Kinsler has turned into a solid, all-around hitter. Interestingly, the way he hit last year was more indicative of a leadoff guy despite the fact that he wasn't a leadoff hitter (he was all over the lineup, but most of his at-bats came in the 3-hole). Kinsler hit .286 with a .382 on-base percentage (the highest of his career), had 15 stolen bases and had just one more strikeout (57) than walk. He makes contact, but also has some power. He hit just nine homers and had 45 RBIs in 391 at-bats in 2010.   READ MORE

Astros set rosters for Sunday's intrasquad game - Astros first-base coach Bobby Meacham and third-base coach Dave Clark, who will serve as managers for "Team Clark " and "Team Meacham" in Sunday's intrasquad game on practice field No. 1 at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee, Fla., drafted their respective rosters Thursday morning following the club's staff meeting.   READ MORE

Quintero prepares to issue alert - Quintero to issue alert.  Humberto Quintero said he hasn't warned the new guys yet, but be assured it's coming.  The Astros' backup catcher led the majors in pickoffs from behind the plate with seven, despite starting only 74 games and playing just 87. And they were to all bases, meaning infield acquisitions Bill Hall at second base and Clint Barmes at shortstop have to be on superior alert.  "I'm going to talk to the new guys Bill Hall and Barmes," Quintero said. "When we start playing games, I'm going to tell them no matter where the pitch is at, I'm going to throw to the bases."  It's been defense that has helped Quintero hold down a job as just a .232 career hitter with 13 home runs in parts of eight seasons.   READ MORE

 

 

Cowboys Assistant Coaches Discuss Cornerbacks, And Dez Bryant - In an earlier post, we mentioned some of what Jason Garrett had to say about the Cowboys and the combine. But he wasn't the only Cowboys coach talking to the press recently, some of his assistants got in on the act.  Dave Campo, who managed to survive as the secondary coach even though Dallas was courting another guy, had this to say about his cornerbacks.   READ MORE

Garrett likes what Ryan can bring to his defense - It was the perfect segue illustrating just what a true odd couple the Dallas Cowboys have in the coaches leading the offense and defense.  Cowboys coach Jason Garrett followed New York Jets coach Rex Ryan on the podium at the NFL Scouting Combine on Thursday.  And, of course, the bombastic Ryan again predicted his Jets were going to win the Super Bowl next season.  Asked if he was going to make the same prediction, the professorial and conservative Garrett declined.  "I cannot do the same," Garrett said. "We all want to compete and certainly participate and win a Super Bowl. We're going to be more focused on the process along the way."   READ MORE

Harbaugh talks Alex Smith, Lombardi talks Kevin Kolb - Contract "talks are going on" between the 49ers and Alex Smith's representatives, according to 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh. He and the 49ers have one week to work new deals with players like Smith whose contracts are set to run out at the end of the day on March 3.   READ MORE

Second Year RB Ben Tate Cleared to Resume Play - When the Houston Texans drafted former Auburn running back Ben Tate, everyone knew they had something special.  When Tate broke his ankle before the season started, Texans fans took their first step towards the door in the long and hard Texans 2010.   READ MORE





Competitive Cheer Falls to APU and Maryland- Bears take third in final home meet of season.  Baylor competitive cheer lost to both Azusa Pacific and top-ranked Maryland in its final home meet of the season Thursday night at the Ferrell Center.  The Bears were unable to overcome an early deficit, placing third in the meet with a final score of 273.453. Maryland won the meet with 283.811 points and APU finished second with a final score of 277.328.  "I am proud of the girls," head coach Karry Forsythe said. "They really pulled through. We had some major adjustments this week. 23 freshmen makes it tough. I don't want the inexperience to wear on us all season, but it looks like at every meet they continue to get a little stronger, a little bit better, a little bit more prepared."  APU held a slim lead after Compulsories, scoring 39.32 points compared to Baylor's 39.12 and Maryland's 39.01.   READ MORE

Psst, what's up with the Horns this spring? We'll never know. - On a sunny, cheery Thursday afternoon, Texas opened its spring football practices for all to see.  And ... now they're closed. Hope you didn't blink.  So what do we know after watching about 30 minutes of passing drills, blocking drills and some serious, hard-core calisthenics?  No clue. And there won't be any more first-hand enlightenment until the Orange-White Whallapalooza on April 3.  Texas' last 143/4 workouts are closed to the public, the media and anyone else without a hall pass.  Couldn't tell you if the 2011 Texas team is bound for next year's Bridgeport Education Holiday Bowl or for a second straight losing season for the first time since 1988-89.   READ MORE

A dream realized: Preble finding success with juggernaut Ags - The concept of the 12th Man originated when a student came out of the stands to help a short-handed Aggie football team.  Middle distance runner Michael Preble didn't walk out of the stands to join the Texas A&M track and field team three years ago, but the junior knew he wanted to be a student at A&M long before he ever thought about being one of the school's athletes.  Two national championships later, Preble is living out the dream of countless Aggie fans.  "I always wanted to go here," Preble said. "My parents went to A&M. My grandparents went to A&M. This was pretty much the only place I applied. We've been coming to football games since I was 2. It's pretty cool to be a part of athletics here as well as being a part of A&M with all the traditions that go along with it."   READ MORE

Men's Basketball Returns to Hofheinz Pavilion this Weekend - Cougars play host to Conference USA leader UAB at 5 p.m., Saturday.  The University of Houston men's basketball team returns to Hofheinz Pavilion this weekend when it plays host to Conference USA leader UAB at 5 p.m., Saturday.  The Cougars look to snap a three-game losing streak when they meet the Blazers for the only time during the regular season. In Houston's most recent action, Memphis used a late rally to break open a close game and hand the Cougars a 69-58 loss at FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn.  Against the Tigers, freshman forward Alandise Harris did a little of everything to lead the Cougars, racking up game highs of 16 points, seven rebounds, two assists, two blocked shots and three steals.   READ MORE

Tulane Comeback Stuns Rice, 82-77 - Rice Hosts UH on Sunday at 2 p.m.  Rice Owl freshman Jessica Kuster led all players with game-highs in points (23) and rebounds (nine), but Tulane scored the last 10 points of the ball game to come away with an 82-77 victory over Rice in a Conference USA women's basketball tilt at Tudor Fieldhouse. The Green Wave is now 19-8 and 8-6 in C-USA, while the Owls drop to 17-11 and 9-5 in league action.  Kuster for the evening made nine of 11 field goals in 29 minutes. The Owls were also led by junior Brianna Hypolite, who poured in 18 points with nine rebounds, and Jessica Goswitz tallied 13 points. Morgan Mayse also scored 11. Rice point guard D'Frantz Smart dished out a season-high 11 assists. Both Smart and Goswitz played the full 40 minutes.   READ MORE

MBB at Marshall Saturday at 6pm CT; SMU T-4th In C-USA One Game From First - Mustangs Have Won 7 Of Past 9 Overall; 3 Of Last 4 On The Road.  The SMU Mustangs play at Marshall on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. CT. SMU is tied for fourth in C-USA at 8-5, just one game behind first-place Memphis (9-4), Southern Miss (9-4) and UAB (9-4). The Mustangs are tied with Tulsa (8-5) and UTEP (8-5). Marshall is in seventh at 7-6. SMU enters the game after a 76-66 overtime triumph against Rice on Wednesday. Robert Nyakundi led SMU with 26 points while Papa Dia totaled 20 points and 13 rebounds in the victory.   READ MORE

Commissioner reprimands Tim Floyd - Floyd Ejected, Escorted Off By Police.  First-year UTEP coach Tim Floyd was reprimanded by the Conference USA commissioner Thursday after an on-court outburst that got him ejected and then escorted off the court by a police officer during his team's loss at East Carolina.  The Miners (20-8, 8-5 CUSA) were whistled for 27 fouls and five technicals in the 83-76 loss at noisy Minges Coliseum in Greenville, N.C., on Wednesday night. The Pirates (14-13, 6-7) went 35-for-45 from the free-throw line.  Floyd started screaming at one of the officials early in the second half, and when he earned his first technical, he stormed onto the court and confronted one of the referees. Eventually, a police officer stationed at courtside intervened and led Floyd to the locker room.   READ MORE

Josh Elander Ruled Out This Weekend - What was supposed to be a catching competition has turned into an extended audition for Jimmie Pharr. According to Baseball America quoting Coach Schlossnagle, the Frogs will not play Josh Elander who is still suffering from a deep hip bruise. In the Saturday game against Kansas, Elander attempted to make a catch in foul territory by laying out as if he was Superman. Though he did not come up with the ball, it may have ranked as one of the best attempts I have ever seen. And he won a lot of fans over with the effort.   READ MORE

Late ASU Run Too Much For NT Hoops - For the first time in 30 games, the North Texas basketball team couldn't make a halftime lead stand up, falling to Arkansas State, 63-47, at the Convocation Center.  The Mean Green (17-10, 6-8 Sun Belt) led by a single point at the break, 26-25, and won the pivotal rebounding battle, but a season-high 20 turnovers were simply too much to overcome. Arkansas State (16-14, 10-5 Sun Belt) improves to 12-0 at home this year and held NT to a season low 47 points.   READ MORE





Brad Richards skates for first time since injury - After Thursday’s 4-1 victory in Detroit, Dallas Stars coach Marc Crawford provided a brief update on the status of center Brad Richards, who has missed the last five games with concussion-like symptoms.  Richards skated in Frisco for the first time since he was injured February 13 in a game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.   READ MORE

Observations from a 4-1 win - First a few fun facts:  Dallas stopped a five-game losing streak with a 4-1 win at Joe Louis Arena.  The Stars finished the season series against Detroit 3-1-0 and are now 9-3-0 over the past three seasons against the Red Wings. (Kinda makes you wish for a No. 7 vs. No. 2 first round playoff series, eh?)  The Stars stopped a seven-game road losing streak and avoided tying the franchise record of eight consecutive losses, set in 1975 and tied in 1988.   READ MORE

Stars get back in the win column - The Dallas Stars got a boost from two returning players, a stellar performance from goaltender Kari Lehtonen, a solid 60-minute team performance and a much-needed win, topping the Detroit Red Wings 4-1 at Joe Louis Arena on Thursday night.  “It was a big win for us,” said center Mike Ribeiro. “It’s a boost of confidence, especially when you lose a lot lately.”  The victory snapped a five-game losing streak for the Stars and the much-needed two points put them back into the top eight in the tight Western Conference playoff race.   READ MORE

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