Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Maybe Orgeron's just a big Duran Duran fan

The buzz around the UF basketball team all year has been that Nick Calathes would like to enter the NBA Draft after this season. I'm not saying that he will, but that much like Marreese Speights was last season he's looking for someone to tell him what he wants to hear. If you believe the NBA scout who Seth Davis quotes in his latest column, that doesn't sound likely....

"I like him because he loves to pass and he has size, but I don't trust his shot in the least. It's kind of a set shot. It's similar to Brent Barry's, that quick-release set shot, but Brent is a great shooter and this guy isn't. I don't think he's athletic enough to be a starting point guard, but a backup point? Sure. Can he play against Acie Law? Yeah. Can he play against Derrick Rose? No way."

Sounds like a textbook description of a second round pick or free agent player. Billy Donovan has always been well connected in NBA circles and gives his players solid advice on their draft status. It's up to Nick whether he'll choose to listen, of course, but it sounds like he should stick around.

Washington signed their new savior Albert Haynesworth on defense last week, so it's time to let the 2008 model go. Jason Taylor gave the Redskins 3.5 sacks in his season with the team, and now he's gone. They gave up this year's second rounder for a guy who won't even be on their roster the day of the draft, and there's still a sixth rounder owed the Dolphins in 2010. That's a pretty expensive rental, even by D.C. standards. Chalk up a big win for Bill Parcells here.

One of the bizarre stories going around after Ole Miss hired Ed Orgeron was that the new head coach had a first team meeting with his team where he ripped his shirt off, challenged them to a fight and made them chant "Ole Miss! Wild Boys!" over and over. It's a big part of the lyrics to Chris Vernon's classic song "Colonel Reb Is Crying". It would appear that story was completely true based on comments recruits are making from this weekend's Tennesee junior recruiting day. Kiffin and company don't seem to get that they aren't going to win big by outrecruiting the rest of the SEC. They may get a top ten class, but so will three or four other conference schools. At some point Coach 5-15's staff will actually be on the field coaching these guys, and Coach 0-8 in the SEC in 2007's shirt will need to stay on.

We have a new frontrunner for lamest criminal athlete excuse of 2009. Freshman Iowa defensive back Shaun Prater was busted for drunk driving over the weekend. He blew a .134 and a .127 on the Breathalyzer, but he had a good explanation for the officers...

Prater told police his bartender “must have put alcohol in his Coca-Cola”.

Those darned bartenders, always pulling pranks like that. What scamps they are! That must have one big Coca-Cola for Prater not to notice the booze - I bet that crazy bartender gave him extra syrup to cover the taste.

I love books, but I'm fascinated at how many of them seem to have almost no appeal to actual buyers. "Big names" get a lot of these kind of deals. For example, why did a publisher think the first winner of Survivor was so intriguing people were going to pay to read his thoughts on anything? Even with the economy in the tank, there's actually someone dumb enough to give disgraced Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich a six figure deal to write a book. I'm sure he'll make some lurid and likely unverifiable allegations against his enemies, which we'll all hear about on the news and thus have no reason to purchase the book to read them. The rest will be self-promoting craziness. Seriously, do you know a soul who would spend even fifty cents on a Blagojevich book? Same here.

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