Sports Morning Headlines-Monday, 02/28/11

News from around the Texas Sports Scene for Monday, February 28, 2011.

Duncan ties Mourning for 10th on NBA blocked shot list - With his fifth block of the Spurs’ 95-88 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies at the AT&T Center on Sunday night, Spurs captain Tim Duncan moved into select company among the NBA’s all-time interior defenders.  Duncan’s rejection of Zach Randolph’s short jumper with 3:55 remaining in the third period was the 2,356th block of his career, tying him with Alonzo Mourning for 10th place on the NBA’s list.   READ MORE

ProjectSpurs:  Spurs news and notes: Duncan is a rare player, Spurs in tuxedos and tennis shoes, and more - • Our very own Mike De Leon did a mid-season Q&A with our fellow NBA Bloguin Blogger Sean Francois of Hoops Head North. Here is an excerpt:  Hoop Heads North: Even though the Spurs have the leagues best record, do you feel like they're the underdog and are seemingly flying under the radar?  Michael De Leon (Project Spurs): I don't think they are flying under the radar anymore, but they certainly are not getting the respect they deserve. However, if you ask any Spurs player, they wouldn't have it any other way. Respect is earned in the postseason.   READ MORE

San Antonio Spurs 95, Memphis Grizzlies 88: Manu from heaven - Last time the San Antonio Spurs and Memphis Grizzlies hooked up at the AT&T Center, Zach Randolph put up 24 points and 21 rebounds, Tony Parker scored 37 points and the Spurs won.  Sunday night was the same, except different. Randolph grabbed eight rebounds in the first quarter alone and looked on his way to match his numbers from that mid-December game. Manu Ginobili scored 35 points on 22 shots and the Spurs won 95-88. You see, the same, but different.   READ MORE

Mavericks enjoy a crazy blowout of Toronto, 114-96 - It probably wasn’t supposed to be this hard, but the Mavericks rumbled to a 114-96 victory over Toronto Sunday evening at Air Canada Centre with their biggest comeback of the season.  The Mavericks fell behind by 19 points in the first quarter, but ended up ahead by 20 in the fourth, coasting to their biggest comeback win of the season.  They had rallied from 15 down to beat the Los Angeles Clippers on Jan. 25.   READ MORE

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban calls writer a 'coward' on Twitter, verbal battle ensues - Mark Cuban and writer Buzz Bissinger -- who is known for his book Friday Night Lights -- clearly don't see eye to eye on the NBA's future. Earlier this afternoon, Cuban Tweeted "Buzz Bissinger is a coward," which suddenly set off the fiery Bissinger, who questioned why Cuban was calling him a coward over Twitter.    READ MORE

Reaction: Shawn Marion sparks rally - The Mavs started out Sunday's early evening game in Toronto as if they'd played the night before in a different city. That's because they did.  But a 19-point first-quarter deficit was just a bump in the road for the Mavericks, who wound up leading by as many as 23 points before putting away the Raptors, 105-99.   READ MORE

Rockets rally back, hold off Hornets 91-89 - Martin scores 33 points, defense steps up late in fourth straight win.  Kyle Lowry probably could not have denied that the ball had slipped from his grasp anyway, but his laughter gave him away.  The Rockets had come all the way back from a 16-point deficit to the tie the New Orleans Hornets heading into the final minutes, when Lowry went up for a jumper. The ball squirted from his grasp as if he were pulling a redfish from the Mississippi. Chuck Hayes grabbed it, and before he landed, redirected it to Brad Miller for a layup, a three-point play.   READ MORE

Houston Rockets Salary Cap Update - An Entirely-Too-Long Treatise On Where the Rockets Go From Here.  After an admittedly disappointing trade deadline, in which the Houston Rockets were unable to make that big move for a superstar like Carmelo Anthony or Deron Williams, Rockets GM Daryl Morey is left in the unenviable position of having to sell Houston fans on the product that will be on the floor for the remaining 20+ games of the regular season. After losing what head coach Rick Adelman described as "two of our six best players," the new-look Houston Rockets are younger, less experienced and in a much worse position to compete for a playoff spot this season than they were a week ago.  However, Morey did what he felt that he had to do: position his team for the future in order to improve its chances of eventually competing for a championship.   READ MORE

Q&A on Goran Dragic and Aaron Brooks - To discuss Thursday’s trade between the Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets, I got together with Michael Schwartz, author of Valley of the Suns, ESPN TrueHoop’s Phoenix Suns affiliate.  What ensues is the transcript of our discussion:  Rahat: So let’s jump right to it.  What were the reactions to this trade on your end? Michael: My first reaction was surprise. The Suns did not plan on being active at all at the deadline and if they did something I thought it would involve relieving their glut at the wings. Dragic has been ingrained as the point guard of the future for so long I just didn’t think it was possible he would be dealt. But he was brought in by a different regime and has really failed to take another step after his breakout sophomore season so perhaps it shouldn’t be such a surprise.   READ MORE

 

 

Rangers stood pat so youngsters could help - No one here denies the obvious. World Series teams from the season before basically don't come to spring training with three looming holes in the starting rotation.  Plus, the established 1-2 members of the rotation, C.J. Wilson and Colby Lewis, have no history of extended success in this role.  "Kind of unusual," Nolan Ryan said Sunday, conceding the obvious, although not in a concerned tone.  Actually, that's exactly what you won't find out here in the Arizona outback. Rotation questions, yes. Rotation concern, no.  Kind of unusual indeed. Go ahead, honk if you think Ryan needs to be displaying more worry. Or maybe more second-guessing of himself and general manager Jon Daniels over a failed off-season of attempted rotation maneuvers.   READ MORE

Wilson tunes up mechanics in Cactus League-opening loss to Royals - C.J. Wilson allowed two runs (one earned) in two innings, and outfielder Doug Deeds swatted a two-run homer in a Cactus League-opening loss to Kansas City before the largest first-game crowd (5,385) in Surprise Stadium history.  Wilson threw 40 pitches, 27 of which were strikes. The Royals opened the game with three hits, but Wilson (0-1) retired the final six batters he faced.   READ MORE

Young will lose only 60 plate appearances in 2011 - Evan Grant has a blog post up at the DMN, looking at the issue of how many plate appearances Michael Young will lose in 2011, and ultimately figuring that Young will miss out on about 60, the result of hitting sixth in the lineup (primarily), rather than second.  The problem with this analysis, though, is that it assume that when Ron Washington says that Young is going to be playing everyday, that Washington means that Young is going to get the same sort of playing time he has his whole career, when Young has been averaging close to 160 games per season.  I simply don't think it is realistic to expect that Young is going to get 155 starts this year, though.   READ MORE

Another Astros intrasquad game, another Koby Clemens sighting - Maybe it was Astros third base coach Dave Clark’s keen eye for talent. Maybe it was Clark’s inspirational skills. Maybe it was something else entirely that propelled Clarkie’s Crushers to a 5-1 intrasquad victory against first base coach Bobby Meacham’s Mashers on Sunday.  “Just luck of the draw,” Clark said. “It was a fun day. It was good to see those young kids get out there and display a lot of energy. They definitely bring it.”  Nobody brings it to the intrasquad games quite like first baseman Koby Clemens, a non-roster invitee. Clemens, 24, went 3-for3 for the Crushers, homering in his first at-bat and driving in two runs in the six-inning affair that didn’t include the Astros regulars.   READ MORE

Astros draft radar: Indiana LF Alex Dickerson - Indiana University junior slugger Alex Dickerson turned heads in front of a substantial amount of Major League Baseball scouts this weekend at the Kleberg Bank College Classic at Whataburger Field in Corpus Christi, Texas, especially when he blasted a three-run homer over the right field wall off projected first-round pick Matt Barnes to lift the Hoosiers to a 3-1 victory over UConn on Saturday.   READ MORE

Astros agree to terms with LHP J.A. Happ - The Houston Astros agreed to terms on a one-year, $474,000 contract Sunday night with left-hander J.A. Happ prior to the 5:00 p.m. renewal deadline for player contracts, according to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com.   READ MORE

 

 

Cowboys Chat with Cam Netwon at the Combine - ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that five teams have interviewed Auburn University quarterback Cam Newton this week. The Dallas Cowboys were known to have met with Newton, but that list has expanded to include the Dolphins, 49ers, Seahawks, and Titans.   READ MORE

Dallas Cowboys Talk With Notre Dame Nose Tackle Ian Williams - The Dallas Cowboys sat down and met with Notre Dame defensive tackle Ian Williams, who would be a prototypical nose tackle in the Cowboys defensive scheme. Williams is projected to go in the fourth round of the draft and he has experience in multiple schemes.   READ MORE

Cowboys Will Interview Nebraska Cornerback Prince Amukamara - The Cowboys will be interviewing Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara at the NFL Scouting Combine. Many mock drafts have the Cowboys addressing their secondary needs by selecting Amukamara with the ninth overall pick in the upcoming draft.  The former Cornhusker is open to the possibility of playing in Big D. “I think it would be a very good opportunity to play for the Cowboys,” Amukamara said. “I’m not foreign to that stadium. I played there twice. It’s a really nice stadium.”   READ MORE

Offensive Tackles, The Scouting Combine, And The Cowboys - It's no secret that the Dallas Cowboys could use some help along the offensive line. Especially at tackle, where the play of Marc Colombo fell off dramatically from previous seasons. The Cowboys have the #9 pick in the 2011 Draft, and almost certainly have offensive tackle on their radar. Our own rabblerousr summed up some of the options the Cowboys have as to their draft strategy and securing a top-line tackle in this post.  So who has stood out at tackle so far at the combine?   READ MORE

Who’s on your Texans 2nd round draft radar? - By now your early first round favorites are starting to fall into place. With the Combine wrapping up this week, our wishlists will start to solidify, and then we’re in for two months of repeated arguing (and agreeing) with each other. It’s what we do.  BUT WHAT OF THE SECOND ROUND!?!?!  I’ll kick off some discussion by hitting on two of my early favorites, then I’ll list a few more that I want to learn more about.   READ MORE

NFL Preview: 10 Players the Houston Texans Need To Step Up in 2011 - We as fans can speculate all we want about possible free-agent signings and draft picks, but the fact of the matter is no big-money free-agent or stud rookie can fix all the Texans' issues.  The Texans need several of their current players to step up and take on a larger role. Without those guys taking the next step, the Texans will be back in this same position come next offseason.  Let's take a look at the guys that most need to raise their games.   READ MORE

Sources: NFLPA to decertify by March 3 - Absent a last-minute agreement that no one around football expects, the NFL Players Association plans to decertify by Thursday in an effort to pre-empt an owners-generated lockout, according to multiple league and union sources.  The collective bargaining agreement says the NFLPA in effect must wait six months to decertify if it does it after the collective bargaining agreement expires. It expires at 11:59 p.m. Thursday night.   READ MORE





SB Drops First Game To No. 23 Houston, 1-0 - Baylor outhit the Cougars, 4-3.  Despite outhitting No. 23 Houston (13-3) 4-3, one unearned run was enough to hand Baylor (14-1) its first defeat of the season in the final game of the QTI Powers Invitational on Sunday afternoon at Getterman Stadium. The 1-0 loss snapped the longest winning streak in school history.   READ MORE

Football Begins 2011 With Spring Drills - Bears open fourth season under Briles coming off successful 2010 bowl season.  Baylor football will open spring drills Monday, Feb. 28, at its on-campus practice fields at the Highers Complex on University Parks Drive.  The Bears are scheduled to conclude their 15-practice spring workouts Saturday, April 2, with a controlled scrimmage presented by Time Warner Cable. The scrimmage and all spring workouts will take place at the Highers Complex fields located behind the Simpson Center.   READ MORE

Austin High receiver Cayleb Jones picks Longhorns - In the end, it came down to this for Cayleb Jones: take football out of the equation, and where would he want to go to college?  For the sleek Austin High receiver, the answer became obvious. He would pick Texas. And for the record, football is very much part of the equation.  Jones, regarded as one of the top receiving prospects in the country, picked Texas as his destination Sunday over bids from programs throughout the nation. He becomes the Longhorns' 13th pledge for their 2012 recruiting class.  "It was a tough decision because of relationships I had with coaches at a lot of schools," Jones said Sunday. "But I'd also built relationships with a bunch of the Texas coaches, too.   READ MORE

UT doesn't have inside presence to solve A&M - Texas almost beat Texas A&M.  For a Longhorn women's basketball team playing short-handed — and, for long periods of time, not playing very well — that represents progress.  And unfortunately, coming close in a 68-65 loss to the fifth-ranked Aggies on Sunday afternoon may be about as good as it gets in this UT season of dashed hopes, doomed expectations and a damaged foot.   READ MORE

No. 8 Aggies Fall to Gonzaga to Suffer First Loss of the Season - The No. 8 Texas A&M baseball team saw its season-opening, six-game winning streak come to a halt Sunday afternoon at Olsen Field as the Aggies dropped a 6-3 decision to Gonzaga.  After winning the first two games of the series, A&M fell just short in the attempt to complete its second straight sweep of a weekend opponent. The setback dropped the Aggies' season mark to 6-1, while Gonzaga captured its first victory of the season, improving to 1-5.   READ MORE

A&M men win first ever Big 12 Indoor title, women runner-up - Aggies claim first indoor conference title since 1980, women's four-year title run stopped by Nebraska.   READ MORE

McGruder Powers Tech to 14-8 Victory Over Huskies - Texas Tech starts season 7-1 for the first time since 2005.  Texas Tech sophomore outfielder Jamodrick McGruder went 3-for-3 with two triples and three runs scored to lead the Red Raiders in a 14-8 victory over Northern Illinois in the final game of the Brooks Wallace Memorial Classic on Sunday afternoon at Dan Law Field.  Texas Tech improves to 7-1 overall for the first time since 2005 and for the 11th time in school history while the Huskies fall to 0-6 overall and finished 0-4 in tournament action in Lubbock.   READ MORE

Texas Tech Completes First Spring Scrimmage - Texas Tech put its first full week of practice in the books, capping it off with its fist spring scrimmage on Saturday.  With the quarterback battle getting closer and closer as spring practice wears on, many people were interested to see who would step up at the Red Raiders first spring scrimmage Saturday at Jones AT&T stadium.  The Red Raiders stepped onto the field at about 10:30 a.m. and got in a good 150-160 plays.  “It started out really good defensively, then we ended up a lot better out on offense,” Red Raider head coach Tommy Tubberville said. “We had a lot of guys with stage fright with this being their first scrimmage in the stadium, but there was a lot of effort.”   READ MORE

No. 23 Houston Claims QTI Powers Invitational Crown, Defeats Baylor, 1-0 - Cougars hand Baylor its first loss of the season to finish weekend, 4-1.  The University of Houston softball team received shutout performances from its senior pitching staff to defeat Baylor and Louisiana-Monroe and claim the tournament title on the final day of the QTI Powers Invitational.  Senior right-hander Donna Bourgeois (4-3) threw a complete game shutout to earn the victory in the first game of the day against Louisiana-Monroe, 1-0. Completing the one-two punch was fellow senior righty Amanda Crabtree (8-0), who tossed her fourth complete game shutout of the season to hand Baylor its first loss in the final game of the weekend.   READ MORE

UAB Takes Win vs. Houston Men's Basketball on Saturday - Maurice McNeil, Kendrick Washington and Zamal Nixon scored in double figures.  UAB used a big run early and never looked back in taking a 68-55 win against the University of Houston men's basketball team Saturday evening inside Hofheinz Pavilion.  The Cougars jumped out to a 6-4 lead early, but the Blazers used a 23-4 run over the next six minutes to build a lead they would never relinquish. UAB took advantage of some long-range shooting during the rally, connecting on five of their nine 3-pointers in the game during that time.  Houston trimmed that deficit to 38-24 by the halftime break, but the Blazers erupted on a 13-2 run to start the second half to take control of the game. With the loss, the Cougars fell to 12-15 overall and 4-10 in C-USA games. UAB improved to 20-7 overall and 10-4 in C-USA play.   READ MORE

Owls Complete Sweep of USC With 3-2 Win Sunday At Reckling Park - Rice Wins Fourth-Straight; Owls Next Play Two Midweek Games At Arizona.  Sophomore first baseman J.T. Chargois delivered a clutch, two-out triple to right field to drive in a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh inning and help the Rice baseball team to its fourth-straight win, a 3-2 victory over visiting USC Sunday afternoon at Reckling Park in Houston.   READ MORE

Rice Falls Short to Eastern Carolina, 71-68 - Tamir Jackson led Rice with 18 points, and Kuipers had 15. Arsalan Kazemi added 13 points and 11 rebounds.  Jontae Sherrod knocked down a deep 3-pointer with 2.3 seconds to play Saturday to lift East Carolina to a 71-68 victory over Rice.  Sherrod's shot was one of 14 3-pointers for the Pirates (15-13, 7-7 Conference USA), with most of those coming at key junctures.   READ MORE

SMU Comes up Short to Marshall 64-62 - Papa Dia led the Mustangs with 21 points and 12 rebounds.  Robert Nyakundi nailed a 3-pointer with 7 seconds left to pull Southern Methodist (17-11, 8-6) within two, 62-60, but Damier Pitts knocked down two free throws on the ensuing possession to seal the win for Marshall.   READ MORE

Christian Sets School Record With Eight 3's As SMU Defeats UTEP 70-64 - Christian scored career-high 32 points to lead the Mustangs to the season sweep of the Miners.  Raquel Christian set an SMU single-game record with eight 3-point field goals to score a career-high 32 points and lead the Mustangs to a 70-64 victory over UTEP in the Don Haskins Center Sunday afternoon.  SMU improved to 14-14, 7-8 in Conference USA, after completing the regular season sweep of the Miners, who fell to 14-13, 6-9 C-USA.   READ MORE

Miners Score Win Over Bradley, 15-7 - The UTEP softball team closed out competition of the 2011 UTEP Invitational with a 15-7 win over the Bradley Braves at the Helen of Troy Complex on Sunday afternoon.  “We are still making mistakes in the circle, but our offensive attack has helped overcome those errors,” co-head coach James Rodriguez said. “We have more work to do next week, but we are happy with this weekend.”   READ MORE

UTEP wins big over Memphis - Randy Culpepper scored 20 points to lead UTEP to a 74-47 rout of Memphis on Saturday in the Miners' first game since coach Tim Floyd was reprimanded by Conference USA for an on-court outburst.   READ MORE

Cal State Fullerton Rallies To Hand TCU Tough 2-1 Loss - Andrew Mitchell tosses five scoreless innings.  No. 12 Cal State Fullerton rallied for two late runs to earn the series victory with a 2-1 win over No. 3 TCU Sunday afternoon at Lupton Stadium. The Titans tallied a run each in the eighth and ninth innings to earn the victory. Andrew Mitchell continued his impressive campaign with five shutout innings and Jimmie Pharr tallied two hits to lead the offense.   READ MORE

Frogs Fall to Lobos in Home Finale - Cerina, Fields score 17 points apiece to lead TCU.  TCU led by as many as five points midway through the second half, but a strong effort by guard Dairese Gary helped New Mexico pull away late during an 80-70 Lobo victory Saturday at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.  The setback dropped TCU to 10-20 overall this season and 1-14 in Mountain West Conference play. New Mexico snapped a four-game losing streak while improving to 18-11 overall and 6-8 in the MWC.   READ MORE

Thoughts on UNT losing Spencer at the end of the year - Thoughts on UNT losing Spencer at the end of the year.  Cameron Spencer is not going to be back next year. I had that tidbit in my notes last night in case you missed it.  Spencer never played a lot after transferring from SMU. He's out for the year with a knee injury. It would have been nice for UNT to have him back next year, though, due to his size.  UNT is losing pretty much everybody who is a key contributor with the exception of Kedrick Hogans, Jacob Holmen (out for the year) and Alonzo Edwards. UNT will get Alzee Williams back next season. He's also out for the year with an injury. Ben Knox is back, but he has pretty much fallen off the face of the Earth.   READ MORE

UNT mailbag - There were a couple of good questions posted on the blog today in regard to Cam Spencer, a forward who sat out this season with a knee injury.  I mentioned after the game yesterday that Johnny Jones said Spencer's appeal for a sixth year from the NCAA was denied.  Spencer used his redshirt year when he had to sit out after transferring from a certain school to the south of Denton that I have promised to never mention on the blog.   READ MORE

Roadrunners finish perfect weekend with shutout of Nicholls - The UTSA tennis team blanked Nicholls 4-0 in a ran-shortened home match on Sunday.  The Roadrunners improved to 5-4 overall and 2-0 in Southland Conference action, while the Colonels dropped to 6-4 overall (0-3 SLC).  The contest was delayed due to weather and doubles play canceled.   READ MORE

Late free throws lift Texas State past UTSA, 82-80 - Sophomore Melvin Johnson III scored 21 points, but Ryan White poured in 25, including the winning free throws with three-tenths of a second left, to lift Texas State to an 82-80 victory against UTSA on Saturday afternoon at Strahan Coliseum.  The Bobcats improved to 15-13 overall and 10-4 in the Southland Conference, while the Roadrunners fell to 14-13 (7-7 SLC).  Both teams attempted 23 free throws, but Texas State made 19 compared to 11 for UTSA.   READ MORE

Softball Run Rules North Dakota, 11-0 - The Texas State softball team closed out the UTEP Invitational in fashion as it slammed North Dakota, 11-0, to end the game in five innings and close out the tournament, 3-2. The Bobcats recorded their second run rule of the season to capture their third win in a row.  Texas State registered 11 hits and 11 runs and it all started in the first inning and continued until the last run was scored.   READ MORE





A look at the Brad Richards situation - The Dallas Stars will be center stage as Monday’s 2 p.m. (Central Time) NHL trade deadline approaches because of center Brad Richards. Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk must decide if he wants to try to trade his No. 1 center or risk losing him via free agency later this summer.  The situation is complicated by several factors, including Richards having a no-trade clause, the fact that the Stars are right in the middle of a tight playoff race and a couple of question marks – in the short-term, there’s Richards’ health (he’s missed the last six games with concussion-like symptoms) and in the long-term, there’s the status of Dallas’ ownership situation. And there’s the question of just how much should a team give up to get Richards now when they could possibly land him on July 1?   READ MORE

Standings are insanely close - OK, check out the NHL standings from Sunday night.  Not only are the 7-9 teams (Minnesota, Dallas and Chicago) tied with 72 points, they have the exact same 33-23-6 record.   READ MORE

Analyzing The Loui Eriksson GWG on the Power Play from Alex Goligoski - Hockey is sometimes a game of opportunity. When you miss them, you bemoan those lost chances.  It seems over the past month we've done our fair share of complaining about the Stars power play's inability to either get back into games, or take them over during this February slump.  Yesterday, it finally came through at the most opportune of times when Alex Goligoski fed Loui Eriksson for a redirect past Pekka Rinne. So naturally, when Predator fans either opened up their newspaper or fired up their web browser and navigated to The Tennessean's game story from yesterday afternoon's game, what did they find?  Complaints about the Preds missed opportunity on a short handed 2-on-1 with David Legwand and Joel Ward where the puck hopped over Ward's stick and bounced into the corner for Goligoski to start the play.   READ MORE

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