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Story Archives: Touching on this and that
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|Touching on this and that|
Scattershooting while wondering what I ever did to make pollen so mad?
Lane Kiffin? Gene Chizik?
Best new SEC coach?
I'm telling you to keep an eye on Dan Mullen at Mississippi State. Guy has winner written all over him.
• Sure is nice to have Drew Brees at quarterback for the Saints. Remember the many years of wondering who would lead the team from behind center. Good gracious it wasn't that long ago that we were actually thinking Adrian McPherson might be the answer.
• So if basketball players get an extra point for shooting from far out (OK, it's not that far out), should football teams get four points when their kicker nails one from 50 yards or more?
• I'm not a big fan of Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach , but I love what he said in response to some NFL teams questioning whether former Red Raiders QB Graham Harrell can play from under center? At Tech, it was all shotgun formation.
"Any coach who has ever said or uttered those words or considers that a concern, here's my message for them: How could you possibly look yourself in the mirror and consider yourself an NFL coach and not be able to teach a guy to run back three steps, five steps and seven steps?," Leach told the Dallas Morning News. "I can teach a child that! Any coach in the NFL who can't do that ought to be fired!" • In a list of coaches I would most like to hang around for a day, Van Chancellor would be right near the top. The guy just enjoys each and every day. And what a great sense of humor. The job he did with the LSU women't basketball team this past season was really impressive.
• I am still shaking my head at the performance by Ferriday sixth-grader Jada Griggs at a 3-point shootout contest held at Ferriday Junior High by Frederick Marsalis. Griggs is going to be a good one. Keep your head up, young lady, stay out of trouble and do what your coaches and teachers say and we will be hearing a lot from you in the future.
Speaking of the 3-point contest, I would love to see Marsalis set one of those up for the parish. It would be quite a task, but I have not seen anything yet Frederick Marsalis cannot do once he sets his mind to it.
• Anthony Grant to Alabama. And now John Calipari to Kentucky? If that's the case, don't look for many more years of only three SEC teams going to the NCAA Tournament.
Grant will build Alabama's basketball program back up and if Calipari accepts the UK job (if he doesn't, there are some serious problems in Lexington), Big Blue basketball will be a factor on the national scene once again.
Calipari is courting two top recruits who were going to join him in Memphis - John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins — and if those two followed him to UK to suit up alongside Jodie Meeks and Patrick Patterson, you have your preseason No. 1 team in the SEC right there.
• Last football season, Georgia ranked 115th out of 119 Division I-A teams in penalties. The Bulldogs were penalized 112 times for 938 yards, 72.15 yards per game.
That has not been forgotten in spring practice. Georgia coach Mark Richt told the Atlanta Journal Constitution the emphasis this spring is on curing the cause of excessive penalties.
"We're going back to the basics and trying to create habits," he said. He thinks a superbly conditioned, fundamentally sound player who gets into proper position on a play is less likely to commit an infraction. "The better we are at fundamentals and the better condition we are in, I think the less chance we'll have these kind of penalties."
• I wonder how long before the Atlanta Braves bring pitcher Tommy Hanson up from Class AAA Gwinnett?
Hanson was 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA in four Grapefruit League games, allowing 14 hits and six walks with 14 strikeouts in 14-2/3 innings. The guy has superstar written all over him. Then the question will be how long before the Braves let him get away to another team where he will lead them to the World Series.
• No, I did not expect LSU's baseball team to be 6-3 at this stage in the SEC.
I also got caught up in all the hype and expected LSU to cruise through the SEC without a challenge.
OK, I didn't really expect that, but the team has struggled a bit more than expected early in the season.
Then again, it would probably be a problem if they were peaking right now.
Considering the number of young players contributing, this team will continue to improve and will be ready to make a serious run in Omaha when the time comes.
There are some very good teams in the conference and just winning the SEC West will be quite an accomplishment this year.
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