Thursday, May 31, 2007

Josh Carter and DeAndre Jordan will be competing for spots on two USA Basketball squads that will compete internationally this summer. Carter trying out for the USA Basketball Men's Pan American Games Team and DJ is trying out for the USA Basketball Men's U19 World Championship Team.
Congrats to our newest All-Americans Megan Gibson and Amanda Scarborough. Gibson was named as a utility player and Scarborough as a pitcher. Both girls mad the All-American team last year, but this is Megan's first year on the first team.
Joe Joes has informed Turgeon “that he wants to follow his dream but said if it doesn’t work out, he’ll come back and ‘have a great season.’ Jones said he needs to hear from teams that he has improved and is projected high enough (he declined to say if that meant first or second round).”
As previously reported, Antanas Kavaliauskas is working out at the NBA draft camp in Orlando this week. I have good news and bad news about the camp. First the good news. In yesterday's game AK put in a "strong performance" with 14 points and 6 rebounds. And the bad news. According to Danny Ainge, people "don't put a lot of stock into this camp and how guys play" because "this is not an advantageous environment for some players." At best, a player's performance at camp is a "very small piece of the whole puzzle." But what the hell does Danny Ainge know about spotting talent? His Celtics have reached the .500 mark once in his four years as Executive Director of Basketball Operations.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

If you look at the NBA draft camp roster, you will notice that Acie is only going for a physical, and will not play in any games. Why would he do that? Let's ask him...

Me: Your team makes Joe and AK are planning to work out in Orlando, but you are not. Why is that?
Acie: I feel that is the best thing for myself. I think I did a great job putting myself in a good position, so I just don't want to go out there and play. I'll focus on the team workouts.

Me: The NBA is full of stars and stars love to talk about each other. I know you are not in the league yet, but can you drop some names?
Acie: I've got the same trainer that is working with Florida's Joakim Noah and Corey Brewer. Lately, I've been working with Josh McRoberts a lot. I worked with John Lucas.
Me: Ill give you Corey Brewer and John Lucas. But freak-show Noah and f-bomb McRoberts, leave them out next time. They should be dropping your name, not the other way around.

Me: Thanks.
Acie: I feel like I've been afforded a great opportunity and this is a very exciting time for me.
The NBA draft camp roster was released. I expected Acie and Joe in Orlando, but it was pleasant surprise to see AK on the list.

In other draft news, Acie and Josh McDidntLiveUpToTheHypeRoberts are working out with former Syracuse start/NBA flop Billy Owens.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I need to stop watching sports more often. I leave for the weekend and both the men and women take care of business. As the anonymous poster indicated...
Softball in the world series
baseball will have to beat rice to make the cws.
The women advanced to the world series after winning their super regional in three games, 2-0 2-3 2-0. Game two brought back bad memories of past seasons when the Gators hit a walk-off home run. But Jo knew that "no one was going to come onto our field, in our house, and beat us twice." After giving up the game winning homer, Amanda Scarborough came back to pitch her 10th shutout of the year and advance us to the world series. This is our first appearance in 19 years. (Note: Does anyone understand how pitching stats work in softball? Scarborough got all three decisions (2W 1L), even though she only pitched two innings in game two and came in with the game tied. I guess someone has to get the loss.) We will face the original UT in the world series on Thursday in Oklahoma City.

I listened to the first game of the Big-12 tournament and we lost. Thankfully by the next time we played I was miles from television and the Internet. Coach and the boys felt they had something to prove after game one, and man did they prove it. We went on the clobber our opponents. The four game skid ended with a 7-3 W over Texas. We did a similar job (7-2) on K-State and won the conference tournament by "pummeling" Baylor 14-6.

The conference tournament title guaranteed a regional in College Station, but watching the selection show on ESPN "was exciting" for the team. I can't judge I was excited to watch Titanic. We will host Louisiana-Lafayette, Ohio State and Le Moyne in the College Station Regional this weekend.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I am headed into the wild, untamed wilderness of Northwest Maryland this weekend so there will be no new posts for a few days.

Feel free to post baseball/softball updates. My prediction is that the men beat Texas today, and the women take the super regional in two.
This was a game of missed opportunities.” No joke. In the 3-5 loss to Nebraska we had runners in scoring position in every inning but the ninth but only managed to get three across the plate. In total we were 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position. The game ended with two men stranded after Black Stouffer chased a slider that he "should not have chased." Today we face Texas. Childress thinks we have something to prove after our four game skid and Stouffer will be playing with a chip on his shoulder. Our batters are going to have to get hot because our pitching is looking a little weak. Kirkland Rivers will be getting his second career start and coach will only use Kyle Nicholson in short relief if we are winning late. Rivers has an ERA of 5.87 and 20 strike outs in 23 innings.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

And it is a ball game. We lost 3-5.
No way that just happened. Two straight BALKS and a run scores.
I just threw up. Top eight, bases loaded and we are down 3-4. Stouffer (who is 3-for-4 at this point) is at bat looking at a 3-1 count. 1 more ball and the tying run scores. The next two pitches are strike two looking, and strike three swinging. Inning over, 3 stranded.

[UPDATE] The count was 3-0, then 3 straight strikes.
The Big-12 handed out the postseason awards yesterday and we did quite well. Eight Aggies earned all-conference awards:

Co-Newcomers of the Year: David Newmann, Brandon Hicks
All Big-12 First Team: Luke Anders, Blake Stouffer, Kyle Nicholson
All Big-12 Second Team: Parker Dalton, Brandon Hicks
Honorable Mention: David Newmann, Ben Feltner, Craig Stinson

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The NBA draft is nearing, and no one is happier about a weak point guard class than Acie Law. Acie was the best guy in the draft for a few days, then Mike Conley put his name into the hat. Now he is sitting at the two or three spot (15ish overall) with G-Tech's Javaris Crittenton. Law and Crittenton bring out the tough choice NBA teams have to make. No one will argue that Law played like "a man amongst boys" in college, however he "doesn't project to get that much better over time". While Crittenton is a "risk-reward" guy. He could be the best point guard in the class five years from now, but he is not there yet. So who do you pick? The guy who can play today, or the guy who may play in a few years? Considering a number of teams draft players only to send them to Europe to "develop", I am guessing they will assume the risk. This is not bad news, it is not like Acie wont go in the first round.
The D-Morn News named Kyle Nicholson Big-12 pitcher of the year. My favorite stat is his conference record, 7-0 in 6 starts. Very impresses. The last Aggie to get the honor was Ryan Rupe in 1998. Craig Stinson, Nicholson (obviously), and Blake Stouffer all made also first team all Big-12. Parker Dalton, Brandon Hicks, and David Newmann were named to the second team. 6 all-conference guys! Anyone still not a Childress fan?

(Thanks to AllDayAP for this photo)
T-Murph was the most exciting Aggie wide out in recent memory and our last player to be selected in first day of the NFL draft (2nd round, Green Bay Packers). Unfortunately his career was cut short by a helmet-to-helmet hit in his rookie season. Tests showed he had stenosis, a narrowing of the spine near the neck, forcing him into early retirement.

Now he is back on the sidelines. T-Murph is the wide receivers and return specialist coach for Trinity Valley Community College and will also serve as a quarterback coach during the Packers' training camp. It is great to see him back on the sidelines. Maybe he will send a few 5-star guys our way.

Monday, May 21, 2007

In a previous post I claimed that not winning 3 of our last 6 conference games would be a "melt down." According to that definition, and pretty much every other reasonable definition, we melted down. I should be hardened to this ending. It is one, as and Aggie, I know well. The media hypes us up a bit, we buy into it and start making claims about going .500 in our last 6 games and then we crash and burn. But maybe this one was worst. Day 1: A VERY bad ninth inning (2 runs off 1 hit) gives them a road win. Day 2: An unearned run in 8th gives them series and the Big-12 title. Day 3: They crush us in a game where they really had nothing left to play for. Childress is a coach, so he says things like "a new season starts tomorrow and we're 0-0 right now."

All of that said, it was a great season for us. After missing the Big-12 tournament the past two years, we finished 5th in conference at 13-13. The first game is against Nebraska. We won 2 of 3 in a home series against Nebraska this year.

Our women beat Houston twice in a row, 13-2 and 5-0, to win their regional. We will host Floria in the super regional this weekend.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Regions. Super regions. Who is hosting, who isn't? With all other major sports dormant, and the strange situation we are in, this is pretty much all we have to talk. As a top-10 team it seems obvious for us to host a region. However things become less obvious when you consider that OSU and Missouri are likely to finish ahead of us in conference and two other Texas teams are in the hunt to host (Rice and TCU). Childress is saying exactly what every coach would say: "We're not going to get caught up in it...", "you lose your focus..", "all we can take care of is the next game...". He didn't land the most appropriate (an my own personal favorite)coach quote, "if we win our game things will take care of themselves".
Just like football and basketball the "UT-A&M [baseball] series is offering signs of relevance again nationally." They are ranked 5th nationally and looking to lock up the Big-12 title. We are ranked 9th nationally, 4th in conference, and are only a year removed from being last in the Big-12. It is great to be back. I hope we are back for good, in fact, I am optimistically looking forward to an extended downturn in Longhorn athletics. There are absolute zero signs of this down turn, that is why am simply optimistic. There are a million story lines to this series, and Brent Z covered them all:

Brent has amazing access to Blake Stouffer and the Stouffer family. Maybe they are neighbors. Do you think the SA-Express pays Brent enough to live in Alamo Heights?

In more Blake Stouffer news, he was named a semifinalists for the Dick Howser Trophy (top player in collegiate baseball).

Blake Stoufer.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Joe Jones says he will stay in the NBA draft... if he thinks he would be "picked in the top 15." I have yet to see a mock draft with him picked in any round, so I think we are safe.
With the addition of Denzel Bowles, Bob Gibbons of Scouts Inc ranks our recruiting class as 13th nationally and 2nd in the Big-12 (behind K-State). "The Aggies have reloaded ." Never heard of Denzel Bowles? Ya, me neither. Bowles (6'9''/210/PF) was a prized WSU recruit, but "lost interest in WSU" when $Bill stole Turgeon et al. Gregg Marshall (new WSU coach) was unable to convince Bowles to fulfill his commitments so he was released for his LOI earlier this month.

This may sound pretty shady but according to Bowles, Turgeon did not recruit him to A&M until after the release. Don't roll your eyes just yet, I think there is truth to this. Here is the series of events:
  1. Billy G recruits more players than we have spots in anticipation of Joe not returning
  2. $Bill hires Turgeon, WSU hires Marshall, Bowles is released from his LOI
  3. Joe decides to return, we are forced to release Victor Dubovitsky
  4. K-State signs the ruskie
  5. Beasley decides to transfer, we have an open spot
  6. Turgeon does not want to burn that spot so he signs a now uncommitted and prep school bound Bowles
Seems okay to me. If I was a Shocker I would be pissed.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I recently found out that A&M has a (club) lacrosse team. This surprises me. Until I moved to the east coast my understanding of lacrosse was that it was a Native American sport. I was VERY wrong. It is now played almost exclusively by the ancestors of those who wiped out the large portions of the Native American population. Rich white people. In fact, the Tracy Jordan character (a black guy) on 30 Rock made a reference to the homogeneous demographic of lacrosse players, "I'm going to have so much money, my grand kids are going to play lacrosse. Lacrosse Liz Lemon." Now that is funny. I know that Houston, Dallas etc. have private schools, I just didn't know that those kids went to A&M. Why would they pass up SMU and Trinity for College Station? It is totally possible that I missed that subculture considering I lived on Northside.
My buddy Brent Z from the SA-Express wonders what life would be like if Robert Cade and Dana Shire (the Gatorade guys) had been A&M researchers. There would be some simple satisfaction about Micheal Jordan whoring himself for 'Aggieaide'.

Another good sign for our women's basketball program. Morenike Atunrase, A'Quonesia Franklin and Takia Starks have been invited to the USA Basketball's Women's National Team Trials. This invitation says a lot for the players and for coach Blair. He has been recruiting the top talent and coaching them to play their best. I learned another odd fact from this article. Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie will be the coach of the U.S. team. What the hell? Duke coaches are coaching BOTH U.S. teams? Do the Blue Devils have some sort of lobbyist working U.S. Basketball?

The women's track team(?) won the Big-12 track and field title.

Monday, May 14, 2007

David Newmann was named Big 12 Pitcher of the Week for is work against K-State. In his eight innings he struck out eight and only allowed one earned run. With a record of 8-1 and an ERA of 3.320, Newmann has done well in returning from Tommy John surgery but has struggled at times only to be bailed out by some timely hitting. In his win against Tech, he threw four scoreless innings but gave up four runs in one inning to finish with an ERA of 7.2. Here is a chart of his ERA over the course of the year:

As you can see, he has had some really amazing outings (sub 2 ERA) and some not so amazing outings (plus 6 ERA).
There is a rumor that Bryan Beasley will be transferring. I have no confirmation or link.

Beano Cook from ESPN's SportsNation made note of our less than stellar NFL draft class in his latest chat session...
[The Aggies] should do well since none of their players were drafted in the NFL. Think about that---Albany (NY), Central Connecticut State and Western Oregon each had more players in the draft than the Aggies. As for this season,it is hard to say. Playing Oklahoma, Texas and some of the tough Big 12 teams makes this a challenge.
Yes we know. None of our players were drafted. None of our players were even projected to be drafted. This story is not only old, it was not a surprise when it happened. Let it go. Besides that, spot on analysis Beano. How much do you think he gets paid to say that the Big 12 has good teams?

I have was starting to equate recruiting news with bad news, so it is a great to read that "the Aggies also have hit the ground running with the '08 class." I was almost brought to tears when I read that our "secondary looks like a strong point." I would not be against giving every scholarship we have to d-backs. Anything to keep Tech from picking us apart.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

It looks like Texas will win the Lonestar Showdown trophy. There are a total of 19 possible points, with 10 points needed to win. In the event of a tie, the winner of the previous year is deemed the winner of the current year. Texas picked up a point today in Men's Outdoor Track, which puts their total at 9 1/2. If we take the baseball series we will get the last remaining point and tie it up, which, by rule, means they retain the trophy. The good news is that this race is MUCH closer than in the past. In 2005 we lost 14 to 4 1/2 and in 2006 we lost 14 to 5.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Childress noted that "the offense has carried us for the most part the last couple of months." That was not true in the K-State series. In the first two games, pitchers Kyle Nicholson and David Newmann allowed only two runs in 17 innings. Their performances made up for a couple of very slow games at the plate. Nicholson struck out nine in nine innings (yes, nine innings is a complete game) and got the 4-2 win. Newmann also averaged one strike out per inning in eight innings and got the 2-1 win. Game three was a different story. To say that we didn't "bring our good stuff" would be a bit of an understatement. Scott Migl got the start but was pulled after he gave up six runs in 1.1 innings. One would think that our bullpen would be well rested after only getting one inning of work in the past two games, but we had to send out three guys before we got a K. Kyle Thebeu (pitcher #4) got the bulk of the work and did well. In 4.1 innings he struck out four and only allowed one run. Unfortunately our batters could not catch up and we lost it 11-6.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Our baseball team needs three wins to clinch a conference tournament bid. We have six games left: three in Manhattan, KS, one in College Station, and two in Austin. Not going at least .500 in those six games would be a complete collapse, however some people would not be "too surprised if A&M loses four of six." The good news is that even if we do go 4-for-6, Tech would still have to play out of their minds (win out against OU and OSU) to tie things up. At that point we would likely make up the rained out game to break the tie.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

As you may or may not have noticed, the open call for information related to the anonymous claim that Turgeon is "full of it" and "people in Kansas would not call him classy" didn't shed any light on to the true personality of our new head coach. Not a big surprise. This blog is certainly not known for its lively Deadspin-like comments forum. But an article by Rachel Cohen in the D-Mon News recapping Turgeon's days at KU may help. While the article is pro-Turgeon, it has hints as to why some Kansas fans may not be a big of of "the Surgeon".

In college he was probably the only "skinny white dude with the big nose" and NAIA skills to get a scholoarship. Yes KU had been down for a few years, but I don't think their recruiting had dried up to the extent that they were signing guys based their "natural passion for Jayhawks basketball." Don't get me wrong. I am a huge fan of the Brain Blackburn's of the world (NOTE: Brain is two inches taller and weighs 30 more lbs than Turgeon). I just don't want my team giving them scholarships and I am guessing neither did a number of KU fans.

His cockiness could have gotten under people's skin. Turgeon has droves of players and coaches singing his praises ("We won an awful lot of games with him", "He was always there to bridge the gap" etc). But that in-the-locker-room stuff does not always translate to fan approval. Maybe people in Kansas just see him as some "brash" kid who that let David Rivers put up 40 points.

Personally, my mind has not been changed. I still think he is a class act and, in the words of Lary Bray, "will be a great coach."
Blake Stouffer was named the Big 12 Player of the Week. No, this is not a re-post, Stouffer got the nod AGAIN this week after hitting .900 with eight RBI against Dallas Baptist. He was 5-for-5 in game one, 3-for-4 in game two, and 1-for-1 in game three. 10 at bats, nine hits, that is easy math.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

We will get a chance to see what kind of talent judge Turgeon is when we face K-State next season. After being released from his A&M commitment, Victor Dubovitsky has committed to Kansas State. Gillispie signed an extra player just in case Joe Jones didn't return next season. Now that Joe's departure seems unlikely one player had either be released or not get a scholarship. I am guessing that Turgeon looked at the incoming class, and picked V-Dub to be the odd man out. Lets hope that pays off.
An anonymous poster just made a comment on an old post that reads...
You will find out soon just how full of it Turgeon is as a person. Many people in Kansas would not call him classy.
The claim is strong but the details are weak. So I ask you, people of Kansas (or anyone else), please educate us of his personality flaws. Post your stories about here as to why Turgeon is, or is not, a class act.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Damion Square (defensive end, Houston Yates) had a standout Junior year, racking up 91 tackles and 16 sacks. Fran shuffled Square into College Station and he "committed on the spot." Now that is good recruiting. You know who is going to be good and you put yourself in a position to sign'em when the time is right.

There are two problems with a guy having standout Junior year: 1) his commitment is non-binding and 2) he gets the attention of those pesky schools with recent national championships. Now Miami, Alabama, Texas, Arkansas, Florida, and Florida State are all knocking on his door and apparently he needs to do "more research and see some places this summer" so he can make an "informed decision.” As you know/might have guessed, Square decommitted. Don't get too sad, yet. “Texas A&M might be the school.” He likes the 12th Man, the fans, the assistant coaches. I am guessing he does not like the not winning.

Prospects are allowed five official visits, and Square is going to all of them to "out-of-state schools.” He will still visit A&M and Texas, but since he can drive to College Station and Austin, they will be unofficial. Maybe this similar to how I didn't really want to work for Microsoft, but I took an interview so I could get a chance to see Seattle. You can't blame a guy for wanting a free trip to Miami and... um... Fayetteville.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

David Newmann had a rough start in the final game of the Dallas Baptist series, but he settled down and ended up with "his best start of the year" and the 14-6 win. In the first inning Newmann threw a wild pitch, walked a run in, and let another run score off a throwing error. He followed that up with five shutout innings and seven strikeouts, allowing us to make up for the early deficit.

If you like baseball you will like this one. In the third inning we only had one hit, a single, but managed to score six runs and strand three runners. How does that even happen? The eight walks may or may not have been a factor.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Our pitchers had a little trouble with the Dallas Baptist hitters in game one. Eight of the Patriots 10 runs were scored off homers including a ninth-inning grand slam that put them up 2. After 12 inning and almost five hours, we were able to drive in a run and win the ball game 12-10. It was not our prettiest game, but Childress “was proud of what we did... There is no quit in this team.” Giving up a grand slam then coming back to win it after three extra inning, that is the kind of toughness that will help in the postseason.

Game two was a different story. We scored three runs it the first, but one would have been enough in the 3-0 win. Migl, Ueckert, and Campfield combine for our third shutout of the year. Migl got the win with three strike outs and six hits in seven innings. He is now 6-1.
And I am back...

Turgeon "flatly denies" that DeAndre Jordan and his AAU coach, Bryon Smith, were a package deal. Commence eye rolling. What may be true is that the deal was sealed in the pre-Turgeon era. According to Smith, he and Gillispie had discussed the director of basketball operations position. Regardless of the circumstances Smith is here. While Smith might not "use a kid to get a job," he better get some blue-chip kids into our program to keep his job.

To cut both of these guys some slack, I should note that a number of sources are giving Turgeon credit for putting together a crack recruiting team. With the help of Smith and Associate Head Coach Scott Spinelly, Turgeon is expected to "successfully make the leap from recruiting in the Missouri Valley Conference to recruiting in the Big 12."

Thursday, May 3, 2007

According to D-Kirk, the men's basketball banquet was "pretty awkward ." The athletic department showed its continued disdain for Gillispie by giving Ricky Barnes more speaking lines in the 20-minute highlight video. Acie was unable to attend due to Houston traffic. He is from Dallas, why is he in Houston? The night was a bitter sweet for Aubrey Bloom. He was named Reed Rowdy of the Year but came up sort in the coveted Crowd Controller of the Year Award.

Cody Wallace was selected to the 2007 Rimington Trophy spring watch list for the second straight season. Each year the Rimington Trophy is awarded to the most outstanding college offensive center.

"Dallas officials are close to bringing two more Big 12 universities to the Cotton Bowl," Texas Tech and...... OSU. Sorry to those of you who were hoping for an A&M-Tech match up Big-D. A number of arguments support a neutral-site game. 1) It would bring in more money ($neutral-game + $neutral-game > $home-game + $away-game) and 2) statistically speaking, an neutral site favors the better team. But I always thought it was a bad idea.
  • I would never want to give up a home game.
  • It is no longer safe to assume we are better than Tech, so the neutral-site statistics are not necessarily on our side.
  • A game in Dallas allows alumni in Northeast Texas to attend, but it effectively prevents students from going to the game.
  • Traditions are part of what make college football so enjoyable. Our students standing, the script Ohio, Nebraska's black shirts, and yes the Red River Shootout Rivalry. This game has been in Dallas since 1912, that's ten years before coach Dana X Bible called E King Gill down from the stands. In my opinion, adding another game almost 100 years later does not respect that tradition.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Congrats to Blake Stouffer. Has was named the Big 12 Co-Player of the Week for the second time this season. Stouffer had a hell of a week at plate. He drove in nine runs in last four games, averaged .500, had a slugging percentage of 1.125 and an on base percentage of .571.

As you know, the draft was not a good to us. In fact Bryan High did better than we did. Former Viking Syndric Steptoe was taken in the seventh round by the Cleveland Browns. The good news is that Both Melvin Bullitt and Justin Warren have been picked up as free agents. Bullitt received a call from Tony Dungy five minutes after the draft and is now a Colt. Justin Warren will be joining Ty Warren in New England. Seems Bill Belichick loves Aggies named Warren as much as he loves married women.