Tag Archives: Evan Turner

Throwback Saturday Part XII

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Bobby Valentine (pictured above) is the current Red Sox manager due to a horrible September collapse last year. Will he right the ship in Beantown?

By Josh Kramer

Three months and still going strong.  The “Throwback Saturday” experiment has gone better than expected.  For those of you who have no idea what “Throwback Saturday” is, here’s a quick synopsis.  It is a time to look back and reflect.  What was happening on April 7, 2011? How about April 7, 2010?  Let’s find out.

One year ago..

Panic Time in Beantown?

Here is a snippet..

There are currently only two teams in all of Major League Baseball that we can call “defeated.”  Otherwise known as, “winless.”  Surprisingly, both of these teams are perennial playoff teams that reside in what most, including myself, consider the best division in all of baseball.

Were we all too high on the mighty AL East?

Tampa Bay currently sits at 0 and 5.  While the team that Sports Illustrated and most baseball experts picked to win not only the American League, but the World Series, sports the worst record in baseball.  Yes, the Boston Red Sox, the team with the most potent and dangerous lineup in all of baseball sits at 0 and 6.

Is it time to press the panic button in Beantown?

How many games are in an MLB Season?  162 right?  Boston has completed a little less than 4 percent of their games and people act as if the world is ending.  SportsCenter is providing stories on why history is against the Red Sox.  Most internet sites are calling the Red Sox a fraud.  And if you forget what a fraud is, just ask Colin Cowherd what the term means.

Well I am not playing into it, yet.  Sure the BoSox supposedly unstoppable offense has only scored 16 runs on the year, which is tied for second worse in the American League.  Sure Boston’s supposedly, “very solid” pitching staff has given up the second most runs in all of baseball.  38 to be exact, which translates to a little over six runs a game.  Even in Little League, giving up six runs a game is not part of a winning formula.  But they have only played six games.  It is a six month marathon for a reason (To finish reading this post, click this link). Continue reading

Throwback Saturday Part VII

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Last year at this time, everyone expected Ohio State to be cutting down the nets when the "Madness" was done. Can Sullinger (left) and Kraft (right) shock the world and lead OSU to a title this time around?

By Josh Kramer

Welcome to the 7th edition of “Throwback Saturdays.”  What was going on in the wide world of sports on March 3, 2010?  How about March 3, 2011.  Ironically, on “TheSportsKraze,” the news centered around the Scarlet and Grey (Ohio State) both times.  Maybe we should just declare March 3rd a “Buckeye Day” on “TheSportsKraze?”

One year ago..

OSU/Wisconsin Preview

Here is a snippet from the end of the post..

Jared Sullinger made it clear to ESPN’s Dana O’Neil that he wants no part of splitting the Big Ten title. “It’s like sharing your girlfriend or your husband,’’ Sullinger said after OSU’s 82-61 win over Penn State Tuesday night. “You wouldn’t want to share your husband, would you? We don’t like to share.”

Furthermore, a win would further enhance coach Thad Matta’s squad chances of claiming the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament.

One would be hard pressed to say OSU isn’t the best in the country. The two teams to topple OSU this season, Wisconsin and Purdue, haven’t lost at home this season.

Kansas lost at home to Texas and got dump-trucked at Kansas State. Texas has six losses, including dropping three out of four. BYU also has two losses, but the Mountain West isn’t the Big Ten or Big East. Pitt would probably make for the best argument, but they’ve lost twice in the city of Pittsburgh. Duke isn’t a title threat without Kyrie Irving.

Come Sunday, it’s strictly business for OSU…with a personal touch (To finish reading this post, click this link). Continue reading

Throwback Saturday Part V

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. I proclaimed Jon Diebler (pictured above) as the Buckeye "X" factor last year. Ohio State truly misses the Big Ten's all-time leader in 3-point field goals made.

By Josh Kramer

Welcome to the fifth edition of “Throwback Saturdays.”  Though this campaign was originally intended to just last a month, I couldn’t resist.  It is always fun to look at the past when analyzing the present and the future for that matter.  What was going on in sports on February 18, 2011?  What was transpiring on February 18, 2010?  Let’s find out.

One year ago..

Buckeye X Factor

Here is a snippet..

As I have mentioned many times on this blog, dating back to well over a year ago, Ohio State will go to the Final Four this year.  In my opinion, they are the nation’s best team.  I do feel that Duke would have been the favorite had Kyrie Irving not have gone down.  But injuries happen.

I have talked about what makes Ohio State so good.  They have the perfect mix of talent, experience, and chemistry.  When rumors of an outstanding incoming freshman class started transpiring well over a year ago, many considered Ohio State to be a team that would be in contention.  But when Evan Turner left for the draft, people already wrote them off.  They decided that Ohio State would be solid, but probably a top 20 team that was not quite as good as the Big Ten’s elite teams, Purdue and Michigan State.  I stuck by the Buckeyes and will continue to.  And here is why.

Freshman talent is a great thing.  Just ask University of Kentucky Coach John Calipari.  These one and done phenoms can make your team an instant contender.  But sadly, they are not enough generally to bring home the crown.  UK last year had arguably the two best players in the country, in John Wall and Demarcus Cousins.  They had 5 guys get selected in the first round.  Yet they did not even make the Final Four..

Experience still matters even in the one and done age people.  Though I will state that Kentucky will put this theory to the test next year when they bring in 4 of the top 5 rated players in America.  Experience is something that this Ohio State team possesses though.  They returned 4 starters from last year’s very talented squad.  3 of these gentlemen are seniors while the other is a junior.  Then they brought in this phenomenal freshman class.  And little did most people outside of Buckeye Nation know, but 4 of these diaper dandies came from the same AAU team.  An AAU team that dominated the summer circuit more than any team has in recent memory.  This team brought home 3 consecutive National Titles and really just laid a smack down on any and all teams nation wide.  These 4 kids are good friends.  And they all decided to take the next step together.  Thad Matta hit the jackpot when he visited the All Ohio Red Basketball program.  Or maybe he hit the jackpot in that JJ Sullinger (Jared’s older brother), played for him at Ohio State.  Either way, Matta reeled in the perfect class that had a great winning demeanor and was ready to work from Day 1 (To finish reading this post, click this link). Continue reading

“Buckeye Nation Seeks Redemption”

Ohio State Super Freshman, Jared Sullinger (pictured above), will be scoring early and often in helping lead the Buckeyes deep into March Madness this year.

2007 was the year of the Gator in College sports.  And really it could have been called the year of the Buckeye.  Two dates that will forever live in infamy in the eyes of all related to the school that sports the “Best Band in the Land (Ohio State)” are as follows:

January 8th, 2007-  On this date, a heavily favored Ohio State team was downed by a Florida team that featured a lethal quarterback tandem in Chris Leak, and some freshman named Tim Tebow.  The Buckeyes were the best team in the country all year and fully expected to ride their horses, Ted Ginn Jr. and Troy Smith to their first National Championship since 2002.  Sadly for Brutus and the Buckeyes, Florida demonstrated the amazing speed of the SEC and dominated Tressel’s team 41 to 14.

April 2nd, 2007- A few months after the BCS National Championship massacre, Ohio State was led by 2 outstanding freshman in Mike Conley Jr. and the ultimate big man (who calls himself a chameleon on commercials), Greg Oden on the basketball court.  The Buckeyes were looking to redeem themselves from the embarrassment that Gator Nation had laid on them a few months before on the gridiron.  This was the Buckeye’s chance to reign on the Gator parade.  Florida was the defending National Champs that had returned all 5 starters and were the heavily favored squad.  Donovan’s team featuring the likes of Joakim Noah, Corey Brewer, Lee Humphrey, Al Horford, and Taurean Green did not disappoint.  Ohio State once again suffered a defeat and was once again number 2.

Fast forward to 2010.  Both basketball programs appear to be back at the forefront of the College Basketball stratosphere.  Florida is ranked number 10 in the country and appears to be the favorite to bring home the SEC.  Ohio State is ranked 5th, and look to be a major contender to bring home the Big Ten title despite the loss of last year’s National Player of the  Year, Evan Turner.

I know it goes unspoken, but you better believe the Buckeyes are looking to extract some revenge on their Southern rival.  This is a rivalry that has really kind of flown under the radar.  Yes, I realize that Ohio State got a little redemption when they handily defeated the Gators in December of 2007, but neither team was ranked at the time.  Both teams were in the rebuilding phase.  Well now both teams are ranked again and looking to make a run at the Final Four.

This is the first major showdown of the season.  And boy should it be a doozy.  Florida features a squad led by Kenny Boynton, Erving Walker, and seniors Alex Tyus and Chandler Parsons.  This team is experienced.  This team has speed.  This team can shoot the rock.  And you better believe that Coach Billy Donovan has them ready to play on a night in and night out basis.  Plus Kentucky no longer is the super squad of a year ago.  Though they are tough, the SEC will now have to go through the Swamp.

Ohio State is a team that I have been saying for some time now will be one of the last team’s left dancing come March.  I will not stop talking about this squad any time soon in that they were a major pick that I spotted over a year ago.  They have the perfect mix of experience and talent.  They returned 3 senior starters and 1 junior starters.  Plus they brought in a phenomenal freshman class which features many players off of the same AAU team.  Freshman like Jared Sullinger, Deshaun Thomas, Aaron Craft, and Jordan Sibert are ready to make a major impact now.  And honestly, Sullinger and Thomas could easily be 1st team All Big Ten performers this year and be players of the one and done variety.  Thad has been to a championship game as mentioned earlier.  He is accustomed to winning and playing deep into the tournament.  Well expect this team to have a major shot at being the last one standing.

Look for Ohio State to Gator Chomp the Gators tonight in the first big time matchup of the season.  This Buckeye team is the real deal.  Could 2010/2011 be the year of the Buckeye?

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“Class of 2007 Hitting Stride”

Pictured above (from left to right), Derrick Rose, OJ Mayo, and Eric Gordon. These three phenoms from the high school class of 2007 are all emerging now as NBA Superstars.

Eric Gordon put on a show for Team USA yesterday, as the Americans finished off pool play at the FIBA World Championships with an undefeated 5 and 0 record.  Gordon was extremely efficient, going 7 of 10 from the floor with 21 points.  Many people are clamoring for the kid to get a starting spot.  “Air Gordon,” as many from the Indiana area like to call him, is one of many rapidly developing stars from the mythical 2007 High School Basketball Class.  The legend of this class is continuing to mount by the day.

People remember how quickly this group took over the College game (they still are running the College game as I will talk about later).  Now this group is finally starting to make some real noise in the professional game.  And want to know the scariest part?  These kids, on a traditional path, would be entering their senior year of college now.  Could John Calipari and the young blood Kentucky Wildcats have handled that?  Could the College Game have handled these phenomenal talents hanging around for the old and traditional, 4 year college experience?

Now take a moment to think about who was in this class.  Here is a rundown from the Rivals 2007 rankings:

Michael Beasley, Eric Gordon, Derrick Rose, OJ Mayo, Kyle Singler, Kevin Love, Bill Walker, JJ Hickson, James Harden, Anthony Randolph, Jerryd Bayless, Austin Freeman, Patrick Patterson, Jonny Flynn, Blake Griffin, C0rey Fisher, Cole Aldrich, E’Twaun Moore, Kalin Lucas, Nolan Smith, Andrew Ogilvy, JaJuan Johnson, LaceDarius Dunn, Evan Turner, Jeff Teague

This is 25 names from that year’s Rivals top 50.  Right away you should recognize every one of those names.  First of all it goes without saying that the guys that are now currently in the League did big things at the College level.  Michael Beasley, during his freshman campaign, was the real National Player of the Year in my eyes, regardless if they gave it to Tyler Hansborough.  Derrick Rose took his team to the National Championship game.  OJ Mayo put on quite the show in Southern California. Blake Griffin took home a National Player of the Year Award his sophomore year.  Evan Turner was the National Player of the Year last season.  Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler led Duke to a National Championship last season.  And I could go on and on. 

Current NCAA Scene:

Though there are only a few guys from this list (above) that have not gone to the League yet, the remaining are the guys that will run the College game this upcoming season.  Singler and Nolan Smith lead a team that many expect to repeat as National Champions in Duke.  Corey Fisher is the best returning player in the Big East and is expected to lead Villanova deep into March.  E’Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson have returned for their senior years to lead Purdue to a Final Four.  Kalin Lucas will be back to lead the Spartans back to yet another Final Four.  LaceDarius Dunn is the best player in the Big 12 and ready to get Baylor over the hump.  And I could go on.

Current NBA Scene:

Eric Gordon dropped 17 points a game last year for the Clippers and is wowing people at the FIBA World Basketball Championships.  He will finally get to form the dynamic duo with Blake Griffin that Clipper’s nation has been waiting for.  Griffin is  healthy and expected by many to bring home the NBA’s Rookie of the Year Award.  OJ Mayo has dropped an average of 18 points a game over his first two seasons and is occasionally mentioned in the same breath as the League’s Elite (Kobe, Melo, Wade).  The kid continues to improve and along with Rudy Gay, provides the Grizzlies with some bright prospects for the future.  Then of course there is All Star point guard, Derrick Rose.  Rose is quickly developing into the best point guard in the NBA and is globally renowned for his amazing speed and tenacity.  People refer to him as “The Human Fast Break.”  The guy saves his best performances for the playoffs and will be the leader of a very formidable Bull’s team this upcoming season.

So there you have it.  The Class of 2007, has not only taken over the College Game, they are starting to emerge with the NBA’s elite as well.  Most of these kids are at the ripe age of 21 years old.  Can you think of a better age to have fun and take over the game?

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze