Sports Morning Headlines-Thursday, 01/06/11

News from around the Texas Sports Scene for Thursday, January 6, 2011.

Recap, Part 1: Burning Pain - Rockets Lose To Blazers - Well, just got home, and I have to say, there may not be a cocktail that really answers this defeat.  Perhaps something from Dr. Kervorkian, just an aperitif, as I'm not ready to go to the light, but the lounge outside that hallway?  Maybe.  Depends on the music, really.  But I do have a recipe for defeat below.  I'll offer an assessment on what I think The State of The Rocket is later this week that includes much of this, but I'm too wrecked to do that now, and it'd just sound like a particularly tedious Goth Lad.  (Rivers of ash flow through the crumbled stone of my heart...)   READ MORE

Recap, Part 2:Rockets Spoil Martin's 45, Kindly Hand Over A Win To Blazers, 103-100 - To those of you who chose to remain at Toyota Center for the final fifteen seconds of Wednesday night's game when the Rockets were only down by three, because, pending a legitimate excuse (for instance, child labor), I don't feel like writing to the low-lifes who inexplicably fled the premises early*:  Put the "big picture" thinking on hold for a second. Forget the gauntlet of a schedule that lies ahead of the Rockets, forget their disastrous start to the month of January, forget how this affects who gets traded and whatnot -- just forget all of that for a second.  Let's talk about Wednesday night's stunner, because it was a fantastic way to lose a basketball game.  READ MORE

Martin’s 45 not enough - Blazers rally from 13 down in fourth quarter.  The Rockets’ 13-point fourth-quarter lead was long gone, replaced by a one-point deficit in the final minute. But Kevin Martin had been unstoppable through most of his 45-point night.  The 6-7 guard liked his chances.  Martin, isolated on Nicolas Batum, hesitated at the top of the circle, then took off to his right. He felt a bit of contact, then faded toward the baseline, launching his runner from seven feet.  Martin waited a moment for the whistle that had been ringing all night. It never came. He looked for the shooter’s roll on the rim. It betrayed him.  The Portland Trail Blazers pushed their lead to five points, and when Courtney Lee’s heave at the buzzer fell short, the Blazers held on to beat the Rockets 103-100 on Wednesday night at Toyota Center.    READ MORE

ProjectSpurs:  Rondo leads Celtics to win over Spurs - "They executed better in the last minute and a half in the third-quarter and the last minute and a half of the fourth-quarter."  Execution was on the lips of San Antonio Spurs' coach Gregg Popovich after the game; however, it was not the Spurs who executed properly in Boston.  It was a meeting of the top two teams in the NBA in what was billed as an NBA Finals preview between the Spurs and Boston Celtics.  The Spurs were coming off a stunning loss to the New York Knicks and were looking to shake it off against a Celtics team without Kevin Garnett. However, in the opening moments, the game had a feel that what happened in New York was about to happen in Boston.   READ MORE

Spurs nearly produced a comeback for the ages - It was almost one of those games that Spurs fans would have remember as one of the most memorable in team history. 
Instead, their hopes for a wild comeback after a stirring comeback in the final 56.8 seconds was snuffed out.  Manu Ginobili missed his first shot of the fourth quarter on the Spurs’ final possession when Paul Pierce blocked his game-winning attempt with 2 seconds left. It was about the only feat he didn’t accomplish as he led a stunning fourth-quarter reversal that fell just short as Boston escaped with a wild 105-103 victory.   READ MORE

Rondo’s 22 assists rank among top four opponent totals in Spurs history - Rajon Rondo blistered the Spurs for 22 assists in the Celtics’ 105-103 victory Wednesday night to join an illustrious group of opponents who have produced huge games against San Antonio.  It tied for third on the all-time list of opponents’ single-game totals for assists in NBA games and was the highest total against the Spurs since Kevin Johnson notched 25 assists for Phoenix on April 16, 1994.  Utah’s John Stockton set the opponent record with 28 against the Spurs on Jan. 15, 1991.  Here’s a look at the opponents who have notched at least 20 assists against the Spurs in a single game in the franchise’s NBA history.   READ MORE

Mavs' Beaubois progressing but return weeks away - Roddy Beaubois was launching jump shots during the Mavericks' practice on Wednesday and you'd have thought Michael Jordan was in the gym launching a comeback.  All eyes were focused on the slender guard who was hitting jumpers after five months of not being able to go airborne after left foot surgery.  The set shot, he said, is history.    READ MORE

Oklahoma City Thunder at Mavericks preview - 7 p.m. today; TNT; ESPN-FM (103.3), KFLC-AM (1270 in Spanish)   READ MORE





Rangers' commitment to success wins over Beltre - Adrian Beltre, who signed a six-year, $96 million deal with the Rangers on Wednesday, said he'd hoped to join Texas all along because of the organization's commitment to winning.   READ MORE

Spring Training tickets go on sale Saturday - Tickets to see the Rangers in Surprise, Ariz., go on sale Saturday at 8 a.m. CT. Don't miss your chance to see Josh Hamilton and the defending AL champs prepare for the season.   READ MORE

Arbitration-eligibles await turn on Rangers' agenda - While the Rangers' free-agent chase has been garnering the attention, the club still intends to address contracts with Josh Hamilton and his fellow arbitration-eligible coworkers.   READ MORE

Rangers prepared for Beltre's payroll impact - The Rangers' annual payroll hasn't exceeded $100 million since 2003, which was Alex Rodriguez's last season in Texas.  The Rangers could hit that number again in 2011, club president Nolan Ryan acknowledged, after they agreed to terms with third baseman Adrian Beltre on a six-year, $96 million contract.  Much will depend on what else the Rangers do this offseason and what happens with five players who are eligible for arbitration. But Ryan said the club is prepared for the payroll to go over $100 million for the first time since 2003 after finishing at approximately $65 million in 2010.    READ MORE

Bagwell misses Hall's call in first year on ballot - Jeff Bagwell drew optimistic numbers Wednesday in his first year on the Hall of Fame ballot, earning 41.7 percent of the vote to finish sixth and set up a realistic shot at election in '12.   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

Astros face substantial group of arbitration cases - Five Astros are eligible to file for arbitration through Jan. 15. Overall they make up over a quarter of the team's '11 payroll, and three are considered to be future cornerstones.   READ MORE





 

Worst of the Worst: Most Disappointing Seasons in Franchise History - The Cowboys’ terrible performance in 2010 was stunning, and most would consider it to be the most disappointing in the franchise’s history. The focus of this post is whether the 2010 season has any competitors when it comes to most disappointing.  The Cowboys have had a losing record in 16 of 51 seasons. The team was obviously in building or rebuilding mode in several of these seasons, so expectations were low entering into the season. There have been other seasons in which Dallas was expected to make the playoffs, yet just missed after barely getting over the .500 mark.   READ MORE

Super Bowl's interactive trivia challenge kicks off - The Drew Pearson Super Trivia Challenge is sort of like the two-minute offense.  The faster you answer, the better you score, the greater your chance of winning a pair of tickets to Super Bowl XLV next month.  A free iPhone app, which is required for this new interactive game, was unveiled Wednesday at BoomerJack's Grill & Bar by Pearson and several Arlington Convention and Visitors Bureau officials.  "When I was approached to see if I would be interested, I didn't even know what an app was," Pearson admitted. "I'm old school. I still peck on a typewriter."  He quickly realized what it meant when his grown children and grandchildren shared the same reaction: " Cool. Dad's got an app."    READ MORE

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones keeps options open while interviewing Todd Bowles - Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has proved to be a man of his word when it comes to the Rooney Rule.  He promised he would interview Cowboys receivers coach Ray Sherman and an outside candidate to adhere to the league-mandated policy of interviewing minority candidates before making a coaching hire.  After talking to Sherman for three hours Tuesday, Jones interviewed Miami Dolphins assistant coach Todd Bowles for two hours Wednesday afternoon at the team's Valley Ranch headquarters.  "It went good," Bowles said. "I'm grateful for the chance to come in here."   READ MORE

Only a 'matter of time' until Jason Garrett is named Cowboys' head coach - The wait for Jason Garrett's coronation continues.  The Cowboys enter Day 4 with no announcement scheduled. But with a contract close to completion, two candidate interviews done and no more scheduled, it's only a matter of time until Garrett becomes the eighth coach in franchise history.  Miami's Todd Bowles became the second candidate to interview for the position Wednesday. The Dolphins defensive assistant was ushered into the office of owner Jerry Jones around 2 p.m. and left just under two hours later.    READ MORE

What Jerry Jones can learn from Redskins' blunder - If the Cowboys stay on track and install Jason Garrett as coach today, they should first take a moment to silently give thanks.  It was on this day one year ago that the Cowboys were saved from making a mistake that would have sent the franchise reeling into the dark ages. They will get a second chance with Garrett.  This day marks the first anniversary of the Washington Redskins hiring its latest celebrity coach: Mike Shanahan. Had a few games gone differently in the 2009 season, Shanahan could have landed with the Cowboys.    READ MORE

Texans hire Wade Phillips; Cowboys save money, but might lose coaches - The Houston Texans hired Wade Phillips to be their defensive coordinator Wednesday, a move that has financial and staff implications for the Cowboys.  Phillips, who was fired after the Cowboys 1-7 start, is scheduled to be paid by his former club through 2011 season. But there is an off-set clause in his contract, meaning what he receives from the Texans can be taken off the total the Cowboys owe.  Contract terms weren't released, but defensive coordinators in the NFL often make $1 million to $1.5 million.  It is also believed Phillips will make a run for at least two members of the Cowboys staff – linebackers coach Reggie Herring and secondary/safeties coach Brett Maxie.    READ MORE

A lousy recipe - "After the 2009 season, Gary Kubiak vowed to improve a running game that ranked 30th and a red zone offense that was 12th in touchdowns and 25th in points. Now, Kubiak has to find a way to improve the defense and the victory total after a disastrous 6-10 season. Looking back on the Texans' season, it's obvious the problem wasn't on offense. The Texans ranked third in offense, seventh in rushing, fourth in passing, sixth in touchdowns, fourth in red zone touchdowns and second in red zone scoring. The offense was among the NFL's best despite having the league's worst starting field position (25.6-yard line).    READ MORE

New coordinator must be a proven winner - "Gary Kubiak should follow the leads of New Orleans coach Sean Payton and Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy, both of whom made shrewd moves after the 2008 season that continue to pay dividends today. If Kubiak hires Wade Phillips to be his defensive coordinator as expected, they'll try to duplicate what the Saints and Packers have accomplished since they were in similar situations. New Orleans finished 8-8 in 2008. The Saints' high-powered offense led by quarterback Drew Brees scored 463 points; their defense allowed 393.    READ MORE









Basketball: Mean Green upset by scrappy Middle Tennessee - It doesn’t seem to matter how good a season is going for North Texas or how badly it might be unfolding for Middle Tennessee. The Murphy Center always seems to be a tough place for UNT to win.   READ MORE

Aggies are hotter team, but Tigers will win because of superior talent - Columnist Tim Cowlishaw answered your questions in a chat Wednesday. Here are some highlights.   Guest asks ... Who do you favor in the Cotton Bowl?   TIM COWLISHAW: I like LSU to win. Aggies are the hotter team. Game probably means more, well, it definitely means more to them. Or their fans, I should say. But I think as long as LSU plays a decent game and Les Miles reaches into his bag of tricks, the Tigers' superior talent will win. Think their QB is coming along. Finally.   READ MORE

Titans owner Bud Adams: Former Longhorn QB Vince Young will not be a Titan next season - ESPN's Adam Schefter just Tweeted this little nugget that may interest some Longhorn fans. It appears Jeff Fischer has won the battle against Vince Young. Schefter's tweet:  "Bud Adams: Vince Young will not be on our roster next season."
READ MORE

Diaz hired as Texas defensive coordinator - Manny Diaz, a rising star in the coaching ranks after one season at Mississippi State, has accepted the defensive coordinator job at Texas, the school confirmed.  Diaz, 36, replaces Will Muschamp, who left to become the head coach at Florida.   READ MORE

TCU Denies San Diego State Wednesday, 49-47 -  TCU out-rebounded SDSU Wednesday night, 48-29.  Sophomore Starr Crawford recorded 16 points and 13 boards Wednesday night to lead TCU to an exciting 49-47 victory over San Diego State at Viejas Arena.  TCU, who is on a three-game winning streak, is now 9-6 on the season and 1-0 in Mountain West Conference play. San Diego State dropped to 6-7 overall and 0-1 in league play. Overall, the 49-47 victory is only the second win in the Jeff Mittie era and fourth in school history where the Frogs have scored less then 50 points and won.    READ MORE

Texas A&M counts heavily on lineman Patrick Lewis: Cotton Bowl notes - It didn't take long for former East St. John All-State offensive lineman Patrick Lewis to get acquainted with college football.  From the time he got to Texas A&M in 2009, Lewis was entrenched among the top blockers on the Aggies' roster. Lewis, a sophomore, is a two-year starter at right guard, and last season he was honorable mention All-Big 12, selected by the conference's coaches, and second-team freshman All-American, picked by collegefootballnews.com.  Texas A&M Coach Mike Sherman said Lewis is an integral part of the No. 18 Aggies.    READ MORE

Men's Tennis ranks No. 5 in ITA preseason poll - Longhorns return All-Americans Ed Corrie and Kellen Damico from 2010 squad that reached the NCAA round of 16.   Texas ranks fifth in the preseason college tennis team poll released by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), and the Longhorns command six additional slots in the preseason singles and doubles rankings.  Under 11th-year head coach Michael Center, the Longhorns return four of six singles starters from the 2010 squad that finished at No. 4 in the final ITA team poll and put UT in the NCAA round of 16 for a fifth consecutive season.    READ MORE

Women's Tennis ranks No. 17 in ITA preseason poll - UT sophomore Aeriel Ellis ranks a career-best No. 8 in the ITA preseason singles rankings.  Texas ranks 17th in the preseason college tennis poll released Tuesday by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA).  Under sixth-year head coach Patty Fendick-McCain, the Longhorns return four of six singles starters from the 2010 squad that totaled a 19-6 record and reached the NCAA round of 16 for the second time in the last three seasons.  Sophomore Aeriel Ellis, the 2010 Big 12 Conference Freshman of the Year, ranks a career-best No. 8 in the ITA preseason singles rankings. The Californian has qualified for all five national championship events contested in her one-plus seasons of college tennis. Ellis and junior Krista Damico hold a No. 87 ITA preseason doubles ranking.   READ MORE

Baylor Freshmen making immediate mark on Big 12 - Freshmen are making a sudden impact in the Big 12.  Baylor's Odyssey Sims came into the season with the most fanfare and has done nothing to diminish her status as the preseason freshman of the year. But the list of rising stars is getting longer as conference play begins this week.  "Year in and year out we have great freshmen in our league," Texas coach Gail Goestenkors said. "This year, in particular, there is a great group of freshmen from all over. With the freshmen we have, it bodes well for the future of our conference."    READ MORE

Baylor guard scores 43 points, hits 10 3-pointers in win over Morgan State - LaceDarius Dunn scored a career-high 43 points and set a school record with 10 3-pointers as Baylor broke out of a shooting slump Tuesday and raced past Morgan State, 89-72.  Dunn hit three 3-pointers within 58 seconds during a 19-4 run midway through the second half as the Bears (10-3) broke open a tight game in their final tuneup before beginning Big 12 play Saturday at Texas Tech.    READ MORE

Ex-Texas Tech coach Mike Leach thought he was match for Maryland - The former Texas Tech coach interviewed for the Maryland job and was thought to be the front-runner to land it, but Randy Edsall was hired away from Connecticut to coach the Terrapins instead.   READ MORE

Hot-shooting Texas Tech tops Delaware State, 79-60 - Brad Reese scored a season-high 21 points and Jaye Crockett had a double-double to lead Texas Tech to a 79-60 victory over Delaware State on Tuesday night.   READ MORE

Fox Sports Net replacing ESPN as Conference USA cable partner - Fox Sports Net is replacing ESPN as a Conference USA cable partner.  READ MORE

Mustangs lose final nonconference game, but guard will be eligible - Trailing a talented and deep Mississippi team by two at halftime, SMU might have felt good about its situation.   READ MORE

FCS briefs: Delaware coach says TCU is best team in country - Friday night marks K.C. Keeler's 10th national championship game – three as Delaware's head coach, two as a Blue Hens linebacker in the late 1970s and five as coach of Division III Rowan.   READ MORE

No signature win: TCU loss almost as painful as it was artistic - The 20 NBA scouts watching San Diego State on Wednesday night could call it an evening well spent. They saw what they expected.   READ MORE

TCU's Gary Patterson on BCS system: 'Right now I only have to win a couple ball games' - "Well, right now I'd leave it like it is for the simple reason that no one has showed me a way, being a non-automatic qualifying school, that it would be easier getting into a playoff without being undefeated just like it is right now," Gary Patterson said.   READ MORE  http://collegesportsblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2011/01/tcus-gary-patterson-currently-in-favor-o.html

TCU announces celebration for Rose Bowl winners on Jan. 16 - A celebration to honor the TCU football team's Rose Bowl championship and undefeated season will be held Sunday, Jan. 16, at 4 p.m. in the Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.   READ MORE

ESPNU to re-air TCU's Rose Bowl victory - If you forgot to record the Rose Bowl or just missed the game all together, you are in luck. ESPNU is re-airing the TCU win over Wisconsin on two separate occasions over the next week.  ESPNU and ESPNUHD will air the game on Jan. 7 at 5 a.m. and Jan.12 at 2 a.m.    READ MORE





Stars show why they've reached Pacific heights in win vs. Blackhawks - In one of the most bizarre and interesting games of the season, the Dallas Stars showed why they will hit the midway point of the season on top of the Pacific Division.  They are very resilient.  In taking a 4-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center on Wednesday, Dallas not only survived a penalty shot that hit both posts and the crossbar, they fought back from a freakish accident that cost them two defensemen for the entire third period.    READ MORE
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