Tag Archives: Thad Matta

Throwback Saturday Part XI

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. The Boston Celtics shocked the San Antonio Spurs one year ago today at the AT&T Center. This was thanks in large part to a huge performance by Rajon Rondo (pictured above).

By Josh Kramer

We are nearing the three-month anniversary of the initial “Throwback Saturday.”  I for one am very proud of this segment and have truly enjoyed time traveling with you.  What was happening on March 31, 2011?  How about on March 31, 2010?  Let’s find out.

One year ago..

NBA Night Tonight

Here is a snippet..

People need to realize though that College Basketball is not the only game in town.  The NBA season is coming down to the final stretch before the playoffs, with much left to be decided.  Plus, tonight features two mega matchups.  So after you watch your respective MLB teams open up the season, tune in to one of the two insanely good matchups the NBA has this evening.  Sorry to my Giants and Dodgers fans.  As the only night game, you will have to make a decision, but for the rest of the country, watching the NBA Action is a no brainer.

Matchup #1

Boston at San Antonio:  Many are proclaiming this matchup a possible preview of the NBA Finals. Both of these elite squads have looked somewhat vulnerable as of late though.  Granted they both have easily secured home court advantage for at least the first round of the playoffs, but both would like to end up with the overall number 1 seed in their respective conferences.   In the East, the 1 seed has not meant much in recent years.  Just ask King James about that.  But in the West, the Lakers have secured the number 1 seed 3 consecutive years (this year is much in question though).  They have also represented the West in the NBA Finals 3 consecutive years.  Home court matters no matter how  you spin it in playoff basketball (To finish reading this post, click this link). Continue reading

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Food for Thought 3-27-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Not even "Slick" Rick Pitino (pictured above) can pull off this upset. It appears inevitable that UK will cut down the nets on April 2nd.

By Josh Kramer

The race for second place

13 National Championships.  49 Final Four berths.  Big East.  Big Ten.  Big 12.  SEC.  An elite rivalry.  Rick Pitino.  John Calipari.  Bill Self.  Thad Matta.  Three of this year’s five first team All Americans.  Cinderella teams are fun for the general public.  But they have never been major moneymakers.  Four very tradition filled programs with large followings will take over Bourbon Street for the next week.  It appears Bourbon Street has hit the jackpot with this year’s Final Four.

Wrong. 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

A Huggins Guy

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Kevin Jones (pictured above) is your typical "Huggins Guy" and will very likely be a lottery pick at the NBA Draft in June.

By Josh Kramer

Bob Huggins is known for three things by the American public.  Winning, toughness, and of course drinking.  Huggins established himself as one of the elite coaches in America during his sixteen year tenure in Cincinnati.  During that time, Huggins won an astounding 399 games (average of 25 a year), went to three Elite Eights, and of course earned UC their first trip to the Final Four in nearly 30 years.  In addition, Huggins lived and breathed toughness.  This was reflected in how his players approached every game.

Many in Cincinnati grew to love the man often referred to as “Huggy Bear.”  They loved his very casual dress, his temper-tantrums, and of course the fact that he won.  And not only did the fans worship Huggins, but so did his players.  Bob Huggins may not be the best X’s and O’s guy.  He also may not be the best recruiter in the country.  But I can safely say that Bob Huggins is the best coach in America at getting the optimum effort level out of his players on a nightly basis.  There will never be questions about effort and backbone when talking about a player on a Bob Huggins team. Huggins developed players to fit his system.  A good few of these guys are commonly referred to as “Huggins Guys.”  I am talking about players like Kenyon Martin, Jason Maxiel, Eric Hicks, and I could go on in terms of Cincinnati.  From a West Virginia standpoint, I am referring to guys like Joe Alexander, Da’Sean Butler, and this list will continue to grow in time.

The following are the characteristics of a “Huggins Guy.” Continue reading

Food for Thought 2-21-2012

Photo courtesy of ESPN.com. Iona point guard Scott Machado (pictured above) has been simply sensational all year long and will make some noise in March.

By Josh Kramer

Want to hear a cool name?  Try “Machado.”  Now many of you are probably confused as to why I would share a cool name with you.  Granted, the vast majority of you are already aware of plenty of cooler names.  For example, God’s Gift Achiuwa.  And though God’s Gift is having a stellar freshman campaign for a very young St. John’s team, a man by the name of “Machado” is absolutely stealing the show in the MAAC (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference).  Currently, the Gaels sit atop the “Mighty MAAC (it is not really mighty but I like the sound of the expression)” and are a likely tournament team.

Now many of you are probably still scratching your heads as to where I am going with this.  Well a few weeks ago, I had the distinct pleasure of introducing you all to Creighton star, Doug McDermott.  A star that is making it rain from long-range in Omaha like Kyle Korver did back in 2002/2003. Well today, I am going to introduce you to another big-time player that could make some real noise at the “March Dance” and beyond.  Meet Scott Machado. 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

Food for Thought 12-13-2011

Photo courtesy of sportsillustrated.cnn.com. UK lost for the first time this season on Saturday. Still there is no reason for John Calipari (pictured above) and Big Blue Nation to panic by any means.

By Josh Kramer

The past few days in sports have been anything but ordinary.  In fact, it has been an extraordinary past few days in regards to sports, just the way we like it.  Here are the items that have caught my attention.

Have no fear, UK is here

-Any of you that know me personally are well aware that I am not the biggest advocate of the Big Blue Nation (University of Kentucky).  By no means am I a guy that you will find at Rupp Arena for a showdown on a Saturday afternoon.  But I will admit one thing; this year’s version of the “Calipari All Stars” is the real deal.  Yes, I realize it is ironic that I am talking about this team following their first loss of the year.  A heartbreaking defeat at the hands of an Indiana program that finally appears to be back from the dead. Continue reading