Tag Archives: San Diego State

NBA draft 2011: 5 must-miss prospects and 5 possible steals

Photo courtesy of USAToday.com. Kenneth Faried (pictured above) led the country in rebounds this past season. Our very own Nick Craddock thinks that Faried can one of the major steals of this year's lackluster draft class.

By Nick Craddock

As you’ve probably heard, the 2011 NBA draft is shaping up to be one of the weakest in years.

Rumor has it that one of the possible taglines the NBA league office considered to promote the event was: NBA draft 2011…where underwhelming talent happens.

In fact, if we likened all the hopeful hoopers waiting to hear their name called at the Prudential Center in friendly Newark, N.J. — Madison Square Garden is unavailable to serve as the venue this year because of scheduled renovations — to popsicles, then all the NBA teams have a disappointing box full of grape-flavored popsicles to select from (maybe there’s an orange or raspberry hidden somewhere in the box).

Just as any sane person should consciously avoid grape popsicles (I don’t care how hot it gets, I won’t settle for grape), if I’m an NBA GM, I’m avoiding taking these prospects: Continue reading

“Sweet 16: Day 1 Predictions”

I expect the clock to strike Midnight tomorrow night for the Jimmer Show.

The madness resumes tomorrow evening with 4 big time games.  And it cannot come soon enough.  Out of the 8 teams that play tomorrow, I correctly picked 6 of them in my bracket.  Plus all 4 of the teams I predicted to move on to the Elite Eight in my bracket are still in tact.  Here is a closer look into each of tomorrow’s matchups. Continue reading

“NCAA March Madness Preview Part 1”

The brackets are out. Let the journey to Houston begin!

The Brackets are finally officially set.  No more speculation.  No more bracketology.  I will admit that what ESPN Bracketology specialist Joe Lunardi does is pretty remarkable.  But it is made out as if his bracket is more important than the real thing some times.  I will take the bracket presented by the CBS Selection Show every day of the week over Lunardi’s.  Anyways, after watching the Selection Show this evening, here are a few initial items that really jumped out at me: Continue reading

“Weekly Nickel”

We have an amazing week of College Basketball ahead and I foresee Jay Wright (pictured above) leading his Villanova squad to 2 major victories. Expect Nova to be in the top 10 come Monday.

I will admit that I enjoyed All Star Weekend more than I normally do.  The Dunk Contest had a little spice to it, unlike last year’s fiasco.  Though it did seem a bit rigged to go in Griffin’s favor.  JaVale McGee put on a pretty strong showing in his own right.  Then the game.  Though very boring for a while, really picked up in the 4th.  The play of the game in my eyes was when Kobe flushed home the dunk on the break in King Jame’s grill.  And then he gave him a little pat on the butt.  Kobe sent a message last night to the Heat, Celtics, and other contending teams.  The Lakers will be ready come playoff time.  You can count on it. Continue reading

“Player of the Year Thus Far?”

Kemba Walker is my favorite for the National Player of the Year at this point. But Jimmer Fredette and Jared Sullinger are not far behind.

College Basketball has already delved into the wonderland that is conference play. Teams are beginning to gel. There are no more excuses for working out the kinks. Now is the time where you ride or die when building up that resume for the NCAA Tournament Committee. This is the point in the year where the boys get separated from the men. Over the next month and a half, bubbles will be formed and bubbles will burst.

So the question I pose to you all today. If the season ended today, who would be your National Player of the Year?

In my eyes, it is a 3 man race… Continue reading

“Weekly Nickel”

The Under Armour Senior Bowl is set for Saturday. Derrick Locke (pictured above) is one of many players looking to wow the NFL scouts before the combine.

After the weekend “that was,” we are now heading full steam into another amazing week in the wide world of sports that “will be.”  Saturday was arguably the best day of College Basketball we have had since last March and Sunday was just an outstanding day of NFL Football.

So whats in store for this week?  Here is a closer look. Continue reading

“Food for Thought 1-11-11”

 

Former San Diego State and Ball State Coach, Brady Hoke (pictured above), is the new Head Coach at Michigan. Can he live up to the high expectations in Ann Arbor?

What a last 24 hours in the sporting world.  Major headlines galore.  It is a heck of a time to be a sporting fan.  And I pose the question to you.  When is it not a good time to be a sports fan in this day and age?

Here is a look at some of the main topics going on.

SEC Supremacy Continues

Most of you probably tuned in to  the BCS National Title game last evening.  From the record-setting TV ratings, it is very likely actually that you watched this game.  Well either way, you are aware that an SEC School brought home the title for an unprecedented 5th consecutive years. Though an entertaining game, it came nowhere near the 2006 National Title matchup between Vince Young’s Longhorns and the supposedly “unbeatable” (and cheating)” USC Trojans.  The game last night went somewhat as I expected.  The first quarter was a demonstration of both teams crapping their pants.  Neither team executed offensively the way they are capable of.  Consequently, neither team put up any points.  This is typical with the nerves that come from playing in a National Championship game.  Ultimately, the game came down to the wrist of Auburn’s Freshman Running Back, Michael Dyer.  What a game for the Freshman out of Little Rock.  But nobody wanted the game to come down to a call that is still very debatable in my eyes.  So it was a fun game to watch regardless of the sloppy play.  But here are some key takeaways.

-Number one, give me a playoff.  Neither of these teams had played a game in well over a month, and boy did it show.  That was not the Oregon offense that averaged over 49 points a game this season.  Now kudos to Mr. Fairley, and Auburn’s defense, which put together a stellar effort, but the time off hurt Oregon.  In addition, that was not the Cam Newton that we watched in the SEC Championship game against South Carolina.  Sure Newton played well, and did enough to win, but much of his momentum had been lost.

-Also, my apologies to TCU.  Sure they are acting like they do not care and are very happy with a year in which they got to win the prestigious Rose Bowl.  But you are going to tell me that they did not want or deserve some sort of shot at the title?

-I realize that the game was on the West Coast, but it went entirely too late.  Anybody who worked yesterday had to be struggling to stay awake for the 4th quarter. 

How does it feel to know that you were at best the 3rd choice for a job?

I will admit that statement above is a bit harsh, yet it is true.   Jim Harbaugh passed.  Les Miles passed (whether Michigan’s AD admits it or not).  And now Brady Hoke is the new coach in Ann Arbor.  Boy does he have a tall task ahead of him.  Yet, I have a good feeling about this guy for some reason.  Maybe it is the optimist in me, but the winningest program in NCAA history will eventually have to turn things around.  People will just have to be patient.  Former Wolverines like Charles Woodson, Tom Brady, and Lloyd Carr all rave about this guy.  Believe me, they are not being forced to hype this guy up.  They could always just give a “no comment” or an extremely generic answer.  These guys seem ecstatic to have this Hoke guy running things in the The Big House.  I just have one piece of advice for Mr. Hoke as he steps into his supposed “dream job.”  Make sure to put up an over 500 record in The Big House.  Or Hoke will be let out the back door inside of 3 years without questions asked.

The Closer Shuts the Door

It is hard to fathom, but the time has come.  Trevor Hoffman is finally hanging up the cleats.  Arguably the greatest closer of all time, Hoffman is calling it quits after 17 years.  He retires with 601 saves, the most in MLB history (41 ahead of Mariano Rivera).  Will the game ever see a closer hit 600 saves again? In an era where consistent relief pitchers are few and far between, Hoffman flourished over the better part of 2 decades.  The MLB will definitely miss this sure-fire Hall of Famer.  Cincinnati has to be kicking themselves for not keeping the kid that they drafted out of Arizona University in 1989. 

So I realize there are many other major headlines going on today.  Ron Rivera was hired as the new head coach of the Carolina Panthers.  Ed Reed has returned to his 2nd family, the Baltimore Ravens, after tending to some family business.  And the NHL has revealed their All Star Roster in full.

Please steer any questions or thoughts you have to the comments section or shoot me an email at contact@thesportskraze.com

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“College Football Weekly Bowl Outlook”

San Diego State's hope of beating a tough Navy team rests on the right arm of their star Quarterback, Ryan Lindley (pictured above).

 Five bowls down and 30 to go.  So the Bowl Season has not been too glamorous thus far.  Outside of a nail biter in the Beef “O” Brady’s Bowl between Louisville and Southern Mississippi, the games have been blowouts.  Are you really surprised?

Generally the bowls Pre Christmas are pretty weak.  This year has been no different.  Here is a look at the bowl games upcoming for this week.

Thursday

SAN DIEGO COUNTY CREDIT UNION POINSETTIA BOWL

Navy at San Diego State:

New school vs old school football.  A team that hardly throws versus a team that lives and dies on the pass.  Navy has looked extremely strong down the stretch.  They even put up 76 points on East Carolina.  So much for people saying that football is all about high-flying passing offenses now.  Somebody forgot to relay the memo to Navy.  They also beat up on Notre Dame earlier this year.  San Diego State is a team on the other hand, that lives and dies on the throwing arm of QB, Ryan Lindley.  This team has had a great year.  All 4 of their losses have come by 5 or fewer points.  The Aztecs have been in every game that they have played this year.  Well expect this game to be the 2nd nail biter of the bowl season.  I do fully expect the dominant rushing attack of the Midshipmen to control this game down the stretch though.  Navy by 3 in a very close battle.

Friday

SHERATON HAWAII BOWL

Hawaii vs Tulsa

Make sure you come into this game well rested.  Because this will be an up and down affair from start to finish.  This will be like watching the Knicks play the Suns in the NBA.  There will be a lot of scoring, followed by more scoring.  These teams both have lethal passing attacks and rank in the top 10 in the country in scoring.  There are two differentiating factors in this game.  Number one, Tulsa can run the ball effectively to go along with their lethal aerial attack.  The two-headed rushing attack of quarterback  G.J. Kinne and running back Damaris Johnson could win this game for the Golden Hurricane.  The other differentiating factor is the home field advantage that Hawaii has. And I feel this factor is more important than the ability to run the ball effectively. My head is saying to pick Hawaii at home, and I am going to listen to my head.  Hawaii by 6 at home.  What a year for Tulsa though.  A win in South Bend.  And a bowl trip to Hawaii.  Who cares if they go home with a loss.

Sunday

LITTLE CAESARS BOWL

Florida International vs Toledo

The Florida International Golden Panthers lost 4 games to start this season.  How often does a team that loses for the entire first month of the year get to play in a bowl game?  Florida International has won 6 total games this year.  In my opinion, a 6 win team out of the Sun Belt has no business playing in a bowl game.  Now I realize that Troy, a 7 win team out of the Sun Belt, embarrassed an OU team that finished towards the top of the MAC.  This is the same sort of matchup as a Sun Belt team is taking on a top of the conference MAC team in Toledo.  So logic would say to pick Florida International after watching what Troy did to OU right?  I mean OU did beat Toledo early this year.  And Florida International did defeat Troy.  But I am going out on a limb and taking Toledo in this one.  Neither of these squads do anything especially well.  But I said I thought the MAC was a stronger conference than the Sun Belt last week.  And I am sticking with that statement even though Troy whooped OU down in New Orleans last week.  Look for Toledo to steal one by 3, showing great poise late in the 4th quarter.

So there you have a look at some of the upcoming bowl games as we head into Christmas.  It still is not the most exciting of matchups yet, but expect some closer games this week. And have no fear, the Bowl Season will heat up in a hurry as we head into the New Year.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“Weekly Nickel”

The Heat have now won 12 games in a row. The "Main Event" this week involves a matchup between the Heat and the Lakers on Christmas Day.

Its Monday.  And you all know what that means…

It is the start to another stellar week in the wide world of sports.  Lets take a look at the pulse of the action.

5.  Come Thursday, there should be a heavy focus on the NHL.  It should be no surprise to you why people should tune in to NHL Hockey.  Sure two of the top teams in the NHL are going head to head.  But it is the Kobe/Lebron matchup of the NHL.  Sid “the Kid” Crosby leads his Penguins to the nation’s capital to take on Alex Ovechkin.  Who you got?  Crosby or Ovechkin?

4.  College Football Bowl Madness continues.  3 of 35 are complete.  Lets keep them coming. 

Tuesday

Beef “O” Brady’s Bowl:  Southern Miss vs Louisville-America will get to see 1st year Louisville coach, Charlie Strong, lead his team into their first bowl game in 4 years.  Contrasting styles should make for a fun one in St. Petersburg.  Louisville has lived on its defense all year while Southern Miss has lived on its O.

Wednesday

MAACO Bowl:  Utah vs Boise State-This is hands down the best game of the week.  Two teams that were both ranked in the top 5 at different points during the course of this season.  Plus, this could be the last time we get to see Kellen Moore suit up in the Bronco Blue.  If you get to watch one College Football Game this week, watch this one.  You will not want to miss Titus Young and Austin Pettis play in their last game.  Outside of a kicking breakdown, Boise has played a near perfect season.

Thursday

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl:  Navy at San Diego State-Navy can straight pound the rock.  Not the most appealing game to watch.  But if you want to see some old school, smash mouth football, Navy is the team to watch.  San Diego State will provide some pass heavy offense, led by their QB, Ryan Lindley.

Friday

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl:  Hawaii vs Tulsa-Tulsa is one of the luckier teams in the country.  They first of all got to defeat Notre Dame in South Bend.  Now they get to head to Hawaii for a bowl game?  Not to shabby.  Both of these teams can really score.  Expect both offensive units to put up 35 plus in this one.  Hawaii has the most lethal passing attack in the country for a change and Tulsa is right up there as well.  The difference is that Tulsa can run the ball effectively too.  Take note of this fact when picking a winner for this one.

3.  Not the greatest week for College Hoops.  Christmas always is a time to spotlight the NBA.  But, there are some good matchups, especially on Wednesday.  Here is a look at the two marquee games on Wednesday.

Missouri vs Illinois:  One of the top dogs in the Big 12 takes on one of the better teams in the Big Ten.  Missouri plays basketball at a gut wrenching pace for all 40 minutes.  Welcome to the fastest 40 minutes in basketball.  Outside of Washington, not many teams play at this pace for the duration of games anymore.  Outside of a heartbreaking OT loss to Georgetown, a game they should have won, this team has looked pretty strong.  They will score points, averaging just under 86 a game.  Illinois on the other hand fell to the only other Big 12 foe they played this year (Texas), and are coming off of a shocking loss to Illinois-Chicago.  This team though also has beaten some very tough teams this season such as UNC and Gonzaga.  You will not want to miss this one.

Texas at Michigan State:  I applaud both of these squads for playing brutal non conference schedules.  They are already preparing their teams for March.  So what if they each have suffered multiple losses.  You cannot undervalue big game experience in November and December.  Please note though that all 3 of the Spartan’s losses are against current top 10 teams.  Texas did suffer a loss to an unranked foe in USC, but they have beaten some top-notch opponents such as Illinois and UNC.  This should just be a great all around game.  I will be very interested to see how Cory Joseph, the Longhorn’s freshman phenom, matches up with experienced Spartan guards such as Kalin Lucas, Durrell Summers, and Korie Lucious.  Should be a fun one to watch.

2.  I had to give Geno and his ladies some love.  Sure I realize that most are not as in to Women’s College Basketball as Men’s.  But this is history folks.  The great John Wooden’s record could fall.  Tomorrow (Tuesday) evening, Auriemma looks to make history.  The Lady Huskies go for their 89th consecutive win!  Yes I said 89th.  Can you imagine winning 89 straight games?  Can the Seminoles somehow stop this train?  Do not count on it.

1.  This week’s NBA slate will not disappoint.  Every night features a big time matchup.  Tonight, there are two great games.  The Magic bring their new look squad to the ATL to take on the always dangerous Hawks.  And the Mavs head to Miami to take on the red-hot Miami Heat.  Can the Mavericks cool off the South Beach All Stars?

On Tuesday, the Mavericks have to recover in a hurry as they head over to take on the new look Magic.  Come Wednesday, the Garden will get a taste of Kevin Durant.  Can he put on a big time performance against the overachieving Knicks?  Then Thursday, as Orlando continues on with their “hell week,” the Spurs come to town. 

Christmas is always an awesome day in the NBA though.  Boy did the League outdo themselves with the slate of games that they put together.

Chicago at New York:  Derrick Rose and the “Noahless” first place Bulls head to the Garden.  Big time players always put together memorable performances at MSG.  Plus it is Christmas.  Expect Derrick Rose to put up a triple double as he wows the New York crowd.  Now I will state, up until the 2nd half of the game vs the Heat on Friday, the Knicks had thoroughly impressed me.  They have played way above their talent level.  Amare looks like an MVP.  Gallineri is playing like an All Star and really has developed an all around offensive repertoire.  And Felton has rejuvenated his career.  So what if the New York guys are not quite at that Miami or Boston level.  They are good enough to make the playoffs this year.  Plus they have caught the attention of Melo.  You add Carmelo to this team, they are a contender in the East.  You add CP3, the Knicks are a title contender again.  Boy would that be fun.

Boston at Orlando:  The two teams that have owned the Eastern Conference the past 3 years link up in Disney World.  This is the final game of the Magic’s “Hell Week.”  Will Orlando have anything left in the tank for this one?  They will have already played the Hawks, the Mavericks, and the Spurs already before they even get to step on the floor with the C’s.  Boston is playing outstanding basketball.  Though they are missing Rondo, do not expect a huge drop off.  I am curious to see how the new look Magic match up with the Mean Green Fighting Machine.

Heat at Lakers:  Kobe, Lebron, Wade, Gasol, and Bosh on the same floor?  No this is not the All Star Game.  This is the primetime game of the day though.  And boy is it one that every basketball fan in the country has been waiting for. The Heat have gelled, winning 12 straight games.  There could not be better timing for this game.  All of the stars will be out (not just those on the floor).  Do not take away too much from this matchup though.  There is still a lot of basketball to be played.  But outside of Lebron’s return to Cleveland, this is the year’s most anticipated game up to this point. 

Also, there are two other games on Christmas.  It will be a Merry Basketball Day.

So there you have a look at this week’s main events.  And I did not even touch on the NFL’s Week 16.  You better believe that there is a ton going on.  Let me hear your thoughts.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze