Ray Jr. on Sports

 

  1. The Final Four-I have to admit; this is one of the more exciting Final Fours in recent years. To no surprise, North Carolina is there, but if someone would’ve told me that Gonzaga, Oregon..and especially South Carolina would be there, I would’ve had your head examined. But here they are, among the final four teams in the NCAA Tournament.
  2. My picks for the National Championship-Well, I’ve been rooting for North Carolina to get back there (and play defending champ Villanova again, until they got eliminated) and I stand by that prediction. And I would like to see South Carolina continue their Cinderella story and make they’re first ever titled game.
  3. My pick to win it all-In a possible All-Carolina (North vs. South) final, I will predict the Tar Heels to become National Champions for the first time since 2009, which would be their 3rd under HC Roy Williams. Sorry South Carolina, but your upsets will end in this game, provided you get past Gonzaga.
  4. Archie Miller leaves Dayton for Indiana-Most Pitt fans don’t like this because he turned down the offer to join the Panthers as HC to stay at Dayton. Last week he left to join the Indiana Hoosiers, a legendary team, but also a team who hasn’t won a championship since 1987 under HOF Coach Bob Knight.
  5. Should Miller have left Dayton? Most will say no, but I would say yes because he put the team on the map with 3-straight NCAA Tournament appearances and an Elite Eight appearance in 2014. Plus, he was named the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year this season. He’s exceeded expectations in Dayton. But the expectations will be high in Indiana.
  6. Should Keith Dambrot have left Akron to join Duquesne? Now this one is interesting. I would say no because he left a good thing in Akron, taking them to the NCAA Tournament 4 times and the NIT five times. He also coached LeBron James in high school, so that part of his resume’ will always stand out. Going to Duquesne will be a challenge for him, and apparently, he’s up for it.
  7. What did LeBron James have to say about Dambrot’s hiring? His comments were funny but supportive: “I support everything that Coach D do. He’s paid more dues than any other coach in Akron history….Did he get a seven-year deal? He probably got a pay raise, too. He’s going to have to take me to lunch when I get back.” Classic
  8. Another Pitt Basketball Departure-But at least this time, it’s an understandable one. Assistant Coach Jeremy Ballard will leave the school for the same position at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) a year after being hired. Ballard feels that the VCU spot is better for him and you can only respect him for that. But another Pitt departure is another black eye for the school.
  9. The current state of the team-Well for now, the smoke has cleared after they saw four players depart this month. But HC Kevin Stallings certainly can’t cry over spilled milk of long; he has 2017-18 to think about. He has two more scholarships to fill, and it doesn’t take Einstein to know that he will check the graduate-transfer circuit. Here’s hoping that he’ll find some scorers and rebounders in his team after the departures of Mike Young and Jamel Artis.
  10. Uconn’s Geno Auriemma wins AP Coach of the Year-I need to add ‘again’ to the end of that sentence because all this dude does is win. It’s his 9th AP Coach of the Year award, he also won his 7th WCBA Coach of the Year award, and he’s on track for his 12th National Championship at Uconn. Wow. Just imagine his trophy case.
  11. NBA News Well, as the regular season continues to wind down, there’s no surprise that the Golden State Warriors (61-14) are still the best in the league. Will they win 70 again? Perhaps, but I bet you a dollar that they don’t care if they do, or don’t. Winning 73 last season was a record, but it didn’t give them a ring. San Antonio (57-17) is right behind them, and Houston (51-23) are 3rd As for the East, the defending champion Cleveland Cavs (47-26) lead Boston (48-27) by a hair with Washington (46-29) and Toronto (45-30) right behind them. Should be interesting how they finish.
  12. Can the Cavs get it together-TI feel that LeBron James is distracted with arguing with folks in the news and frustrated with the team’s struggles on the court? He’s the leader. Once he gets his head straight, the rest of the team will follow. But they’ve also been dealing with lots of injuries too. Time will tell.
  13. Russell Westbrook does it again-Does what you ask? Come, one man, another Triple-Double, but this time, it’s the highest-scoring triple-double in history with 57 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists as OKC beat Orlando 114-106 in OT. Impressive.
  14. NBA MVP Race-I mean, is there a debate? Sure James Harden has led Houston back to the playoffs, and LeBron can probably qualify every season, but you gotta give it to Westbrook. He’s leading OKC all by himself after Kevin Durant left. The Human Triple-Double should get the MVP award.
  15. Carmelo Anthony is at peace with the reduced role with Knicks-I mean seriously, what is it going to take for this dude to get out of New York? The team is going nowhere and if he’s trying to get a ring. He needs to flee while he still can. Hopefully, someone will orchestrate a trade in the offseason.
  16. Are the Seahawks listening to offers for CB Sherman? Apparently, they are, and I think it’s stupid. He’s the best CB in the game, but he also can be disruptive and disrespectful to coaches, and I feel that HC Pete Carroll is sick of it. Nothing’s gonna happen, but I hope Sherman keeps his intensity on the field.
  17. Still no word on Martavis Bryant’s reinstatement-And I hope this continues to humble him because being suspended for a year is nothing to blink at. He needs to realize that an NFL career shouldn’t be taken for granted and the Pittsburgh Steelers can win without him.
  18. Big Ben’s decision-I didn’t think he was dramatic, but now I feel that the Steelers QB is being ‘a little’ dramatic in making it known that he will play for a 14th I can understand him taking some time, but he just answered a question days after losing the AFC Championship Game. He knows it’s not best to operate via emotions. He’ll be back.
  19. Pirates news-As their first game of the season is around the corner, the Pittsburgh Pirates almost have their starting pitchers set: Gerrit Cole, Jameson Tallon, Ivan Nova, Chad Kuhl and possibly Tyler Glasnow and Trevor Williams for that 5th I’m glad that Drew Hutchinson is not because he wasn’t good enough. Shame on the team for trading Francisco Liriano for him.
  20. Pirates Outlook-If their pitching will do well, I can see the Pirates finishing 85-77 this season. But will they make the playoffs as a Wild Card? Not sure. Time will tell.

 

 

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