Sports Morning Headlines-Wednesday, 02/09/11

News from around the Texas Sports Scene for Wednesday, February 9, 2011.

Notebook: Spurs @ Pistons: 2/8/11 - THE FACTS: Guard Tony Parker had 19 points and center DeJuan Blair supplied 18 points and 12 rebounds as the San Antonio Spurs pulled away to a 100-89 victory over the Detroit Pistons Tuesday night at The Palace. The Spurs won for the 14th time in 16 games while improving to 3-1 during their annual February Rodeo Road Trip.  QUOTABLE: "There's still some teams playing better than we are. We're not the best team in the league. Just because we have the best record doesn't mean we have the best team. To be the best team, we have to get better defensively."  - Spurs coach Gregg Popovich after his club pushed its record to 43-8.   READ MORE

Notes on a scorecard: Why the 3-ball saved the Spurs at Detroit - The Spurs came into the Tuesday’s game ranking tied for second in the NBA in 3-point shooting, hitting 39.2 percent from the beyond the arc.  But the return of Matt Bonner helped the Spurs improve that in their strongest outside shooting effort in nearly a month in their 100-88 victory at Detroit.   READ MORE

ProjectSpurs:  Can the Spurs survive without Duncan or Ginobili? - All San Antonio Spurs fans collectively gasped at the sight of San Antonio Spurs' forward Tim Duncan's fall to the court in the game against the Golden State Warriors in January.  Fortunately for the Spurs Duncan was fine and fans breathed a sigh of relief. However, it made me think, can the Spurs survive without Duncan or Manu Ginobili for a while should either suffer an injury?   READ MORE

For Rockets, Wolves no longer a guaranteed 'W' - 13-game streak ends as hot-shooting Minnesota finishes strong.  No matter what went wrong for the Rockets, they always had the Minnesota Timberwolves.  When the Rockets were winless through five games to start the season, they broke through against the Timberwolves. For four years, when the Rockets needed a win, they could count on beating Minnesota.   READ MORE

Brooks contrite after leaving court - Rockets guard says he made terrible decision.  Contrite and “embarrassed,” Rockets guard Aaron Brooks returned Tuesday from his one-game suspension vowing to make up for leaving the court in the fourth quarter Saturday.  “Just a lot of emotions. Just a bad, bad, terrible decision,” Brooks said. “I’m going to try to make up for it any way I can, just play hard and show I’m truly sorry.  “Emotions got the best of me. It was an embarrassing moment for myself. I wish I wouldn’t have done it. That’s not the type of guy I am.”    READ MORE

NBA Trade Rumors: 5 Reasons It Would Be a Big Mistake To Trade Aaron Brooks - Aaron Brooks has had some problems in Houston lately.  Starting off with an ankle injury that kept him sidelined longer than expected, you could tell Brooks was frustrated.  When he got back into action, Brooks was not himself.  He obviously has his differences with head coach Rick Adelman, showing it in public just a few games ago.  Brooks pulled a big no-no move by walking off the court after Adelman took him out of the game with over six minutes left in the fourth quarter.  Although that might not have been a very smart move by Brooks (getting him suspended one game), he was obviously trying to send a message. For the Rockets sake, executives in the front office need to take notice of what exactly Brooks was trying to say.  Here are five reasons why the Rockets would be making a huge mistake by trading Brooks, and what they should do instead.   READ MORE

Coach canned - Sighting a need for a "fresher look," Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban unceremoniously canned longtime play-by-play guy "Coach" Bob Ortegal today.  
He'd been there for 23 years, but hadn't been doing games for two weeks as Brad Davis and Derek Harper have filled in (Sam Perkins and Uwe Blab came off the bench).  No real word as why this change is being made mid-season. Ortegal is 70. Maybe it's a medical thing. Otherwise, Cuban kind of looks douchey firing a steady hand like Ortegal in the middle of the season.   READ MORE

Mavs now have three-man committee at center - Apparently, it’s nothing personal when Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle decides to play third-string center Ian Mahinmi ahead of backup center Brendan Haywood.  That’s what happened Monday against the Cleveland Cavaliers when Mahinmi played a season-high-tying 21 minutes and tallied 11 points (4 of 6 shots) and collected eight rebounds. Haywood, meanwhile, didn’t play for just the second time this season.  Mahinmi was playing so well that Carlisle just couldn’t find a reason to take him out of the game.  “He just played a terrific all-around game, great energy, presence at both ends,’’ Carlisle said. “He gave us a big lift.’’  Mahinmi said he simply wanted to go all-out once he was given an opportunity.   READ MORE

Homecoming of sorts for Mavs' Stojakovic - Peja Stojakovic is going home today probably to a hero's welcome.  From 1998-2004, Stojakovic was one of the most popular and more efficient players for the Sacramento Kings and helped put that franchise on the NBA map. The Kings were an elite club during Stojakovic's tenure, and were always butting heads with the Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs for supremacy in the Western Conference.  So when Stojakovic's newest team - the Mavericks - face the Kings at 9 tonight in Sacramento, Mavs guard Jason Terry can already feel the love that's going to be in the air in Arco Arena for Stojakovic.   READ MORE

 


Get ready to draft with the 2011 Fantasy Preview - With the 2011 season drawing near, it's time to get ready to step up your game. Check out bios, analysis, videos, stat projections and cheat sheets for more than 800 Major Leaguers.    READ MORE

Abad's hot winter prompts Astros to mull options - Fernando Abad is a prospective lefty relief specialist, but after an impressive performance in the Dominican Winter League, he may have pitched his way into the Astros' rotation plans.   READ MORE

Brett Wallace visits Texas Children's, just because. - Hospital visits are commonplace among baseball teams, scheduled mostly during the winter with a couple worked in during the regular season, during homestands.  Those visits are arguably a team's most important community endeavor, seeing how many children they reach. The Astros have always had a regular presence at several hospitals throughout the state, including cities such as Temple, San Antonio and Austin, and addition to Houston.  Another one of those visits took place on Monday at Texas Children's Hospital, but this time, it wasn't arranged by the Astros.    READ MORE

Rangers working to find trade partner for Young - With the whole world knowing that veteran Michael Young wants out of Texas, no team appears
to be stepping forward as the favorite to acquire him in a trade with the Rangers.    READ MORE

Story turns sour for Young, Rangers - Texas won't be same team without veteran clubhouse leader.  Just moments ago, it seems, we were all congratulating Michael Young on his willingness to take one for the team. It was another uplifting chapter in a very encouraging story.  Now it appears that Young is done with the concept of taking one for the team, in this case the Texas Rangers. You cannot necessarily blame him, but this story was a whole lot more heartwarming when Young was being remarkably selfless and he and the Rangers were one big, happy family.  Young has requested a trade from the Rangers. The origin of the issue here was the Rangers' signing of free-agent third baseman Adrian Beltre in early January. With that signing, Young, the incumbent Texas third baseman, was asked to move into the designated hitter spot, in combination with a "super utility" role, in which he could fill in at each of the infield positions.    READ MORE


NFL Making Amends for Super Bowl Ticket Snafu at Cowboys Stadium - Jerry Jones wanted as many people as possible to see the game in his stadium; he should have made sure that there would be enough seats.   READ MORE

Cowboys Are One Of Top 5 Super Bowl XLVI Favorites - WHAT?!  Yes, you read that right. The Dallas Cowboys who put up a stinker of a season and a losing record are one of the top five favorites to win Super Bowl XLVI. Ridiculous. In fact, the Cowboys are the third favorite at odds of 8-1.  The Cowboys heads  were bigger than they should have been going into this season when they were Super Bowl favorites, so we just have to hope this will not be the same old song. Players entered the year with a sense of entitlement, now head coach Jason Garrett will have to keep the team grounded and remind them that they were awful this year.   READ MORE

Rating Jon Kitna’s Performance as a Backup in 2010 - Jon Kitna took over for Tony Romo during the first half of the Cowboys’ week 7 loss to the Giants. Kitna then started nine games, going 4-5 in the process.  The question for the day: Where does Kitna’ performance rank among other backup quarterbacks in team history?  Only two other true backups in team history have had to start as many games as Kitna did in 2010, so it is difficult to rank all of them. One of those QBs was Craig Morton, who lost the starting job in 1971 but then started all 14 games in 1972 because of an injury to Roger Staubach. The other QB was Steve Pelluer in 1986, who struggled to replace an injured Danny White. Pelluer started a total of nine games in 1986 but only went 1-6 after White was injured for good against the Giants that season.   READ MORE

Texans Fans Are Hard To Find, Even In NFL Commercials That Are Supposed To Feature Fans Of Every Team - Remember that cool commercial the NFL produced and then ran during the Super Bowl? The one where they showed clips from TV shows with characters retroactively outfitted in NFL team gear? According to people who actually break these things down, the commercial featured 31 of the 32 teams. I'll give you three guesses which NFL team was not featured, and the first two guesses don't count.   READ MORE

Matthews to interview with Titans - "The Titans have informed the Houston Texans of their plans to interview Bruce Matthews for an offensive line position on their staff. Matthews, who played with new Titans head coach Mike Munchak, recently agreed to a contract extension with the team, but did not sign the contract. So the Titans don't need permission. The interview is expected to take place in the coming days. It's just a matter of time before the Titans hire Matthews. He's best friends with Munchak, and his son, Kevin, plays offensive line for the Titans."   READ MORE

Hey, owners, lock out each other instead - "Now that you've been bowled over by a super game on Super Sunday, prepare for the not-so-super news. America's most popular sport is headed for a work stoppage that in many ways would be laughable, except fans won't find it so funny if NFL teams are not on the field playing games next September. Despite the looming lockout, we are a long way from games being lost. Actually, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell maintains the owners have not determined whether they will lock the players out March 4, the day after the collective bargaining agreement between the owners and players is set to expire.   READ MORE



Football Duo Invited to NFL Combine - Phil Taylor and Danny Watkins to work out at pre-draft NFL event. Baylor seniors Phil Taylor and Danny Watkins have been invited to work out for National Football League coaches and scouts at the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine to be held Feb. 23 to March 1 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.  The annual combine allows top executives, coaches, player personnel staff and medical personnel from all 32 teams to evaluate the nation's top collegiate football players eligible for April's NFL Draft.   READ MORE

Breakfast with Bevo: Going for 9 and 0 - Good morning. Breakfast is served.  It’s February the 9th: 40 days down, 325 to go.  And 4 till the first wave of 2012 recruits visit the Longhorns.   READ MORE

Lopiano, Wilkinson join Texas Sports Hall of Fame - All members of the 52-year-old hall of fame must have 'contributed significantly to Texas sports history.'  Hindsight illustrates Donna Lopiano's genius, and Monday night's Texas Sports Hall of Fame induction in Waco gave reason to look.  Lopiano served as University of Texas Women's Athletics Director from 1975-1992, and she presided over the Longhorns as they won 18 national championships and produced more than 300 All-Americans.   READ MORE

Pat Henry named top collegiate recruiter by ESPN The Magazine - Henry credits staff of assistant coaches for earning a honor regarding the recruiting process.  ESPN The Magazine featured college recruiting in its latest issue to coincide with national signing day, held on Feb. 2, and included a ranking of top college recruiters in the nation across all college sports.  Pat Henry, Texas A&M track and field head coach, topped the list of coaches ranked by the publication. ESPNU and ESPN The Magazine asked an all-star panel who are the top 20 recruiters in college sports.   READ MORE

Time to stop the skid - For the fifth time in Mark Turgeon's career at Texas A&M, the Aggies have lost three straight Big 12 games.  The Aggies have avoided a fourth straight loss with a home victory on the three most recent occasions, the last coming in 2009. They will not have the luxury of being at Reed Arena this time, instead traveling to face a Colorado team that has lost only once this season at home -- by four points to No. 2 Kansas.   READ MORE

RPTV: Inside the Lane with Andy Ellis - Former Red Raider basketball player and current radio color analyst Andy Ellis breaks down the past games and looks ahead to Texas Tech vs Texas A&M on Saturday.   READ MORE

Houston Cougars:  The skinny on the football staff changes - After speaking with coach Kevin Sumlin this afternoon, here's a little more depth and perspective in regards to the coaching staff changes made today.  Leon Burtnett, who has been the linebackers coach the last three seasons, becomes the program's Director of Player Personnel and Quality Control. Burtnett has been coaching since 1965 and coaching college football since 1969 (which included stints as Purdue's head coach and the Indianapolis Colts' running backs coach). Sumlin said that Burtnett, 67, will work more closely with the players in day-to-day operations and following up with them in their off the field responsibilities, including academics.   READ MORE

Report: Former UH interim coach may join Owls - KRIV is reporting that former University of Houston interim coach Chris Thurmond is being considered for the cornerbacks job at Rice.   READ MORE

Baseball: Wayne Graham to debut radio show March 7 - Rice baseball coach Wayne Graham will debut a radio show on 1560 AM beginning March 7.  The Wayne Graham Radio Show presented by Waste Management will air live from Prince's Restaurant near the Southwest Freeway. It will also be available on the web at riceowls.com.  There will be a total of nine hourlong shows during an 11-week span, beginning at 7 p.m. March 7 through the remainder of the regular season. The show, co-hosted by Rice baseball broadcaster David Brady, will feature current and former Rice baseball players and special guests. Fans will also be able to ask Graham a question.    READ MORE

SMU OPENS HOMESTAND AGAINST MARSHALL - Mustangs Face Marshall In Moody Coliseum Thursday At 7 p.m. - SMU looks to even C-USA record against Thundering Herd.  Radio: KAAM 770 AM Scott Garner (Play-by-Play).  TV: Texas Time Warner (Live).  Location: Dallas (Moody Coliseum).  Live stats available on SMUMustangs.com.  THE MATCHUP-The Mustangs begin a weekend homestand against Marshall Thursday night. SMU enters the contest with an 11-11 record, 4-5 in C-USA, after a 69-60 loss at Rice, while the Thundering Herd arrive in Dallas with the momentum of a 57-48 road win over Southern Miss.   READ MORE

SMU Defense Getting It Done - The reason many around the SMU program are starting to allow themselves to get excited about what this team is starting to do is because of the elite-level defense the Mustangs have been playing.  The reason many around the SMU program are starting to allow themselves to get excited about what this team is starting to do is because of the elite-level defense the Mustangs have been playing.   READ MORE

UTEP Team Update - Without so much as a squeak of the sneakers on the floor of the Don Haskins Center floor, the Miners took over sole possession of first place in the Conference USA standings on Feb. 2.  With the way the defending C-USA regular-season champions have continued to buy into everything first-year head coach Tim Floyd has told them-no matter how different his decisions have been compared to those of recent years-the Miners don't plan to relinquish that spot anytime soon.   READ MORE

SpitBlood Rumor Mill - With the great Snowpocalypse of 2011 having finally left town - at least until tomorrow - along with the North Texas Superbowl, it is officially the off season. Well, I suppose it's been the off-season since the Rose Bowl ended for the majority of us, but for the sake of being official, it was over when Ben Roethlisberger raped an incomplete pass to, meh, who cares? And while baseball season is just around the corner, as lyle said in an earlier post, most of us are football junkies first and foremost no matter if the games are still being played or no, so what better time to fire up the 2011 schedule rumor mill?  We've talked it to death on this site, but here is what we can more or less confirm. TCU will play Baylor and SMU in non-conference games next year 100% set in stone.    READ MORE

UNT: The story on B.J. Lewis and the impact of losing him - I made a few calls today and got the full story on what happened with B.J. Lewis.  Lewis was going to be a senior, but is set to graduate in May and decided he needed to spend time with his family. I talked to Chris Griffin, one of his old coaches at Waco Robinson. Lewis had a son around the end of last season and feels like he needs to take care of his family.  His departure won't hurt UNT's APR number because he is graduating.   READ MORE


Stars look to get on track with homestand - With two days of practice under their belts, the Dallas Stars are hoping to get back on track as they open a key three-game homestand. The Stars, who open the homestand Wednesday against the Phoenix Coyotes, have lost three straight games since the All-Star break. Toss in the three games prior to the break and they’ve lost five of six.    READ MORE

Dallas Must Take Advantage of Critical Three Game Home Stand - The sky is falling on Dallas Stars fandom these days, or so it seems.  Losing five of six games has been excruciating for a fan base that was picking up steam in January. Excruciating because it included several horribly lopsided results bordering on embarrassing. Excruciating because it included injuries to Jamie Benn, Tom Wandell, Adam Burish and Krys Barch.    READ MORE

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