Archive for Detroit

Here’s Your Paycheck Mr. Stafford…

Posted in NFL with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 25, 2009 by sportsguru09

*From the Associated Press*
DETROIT — Quarterback Matthew Stafford agreed to a six-year deal with the Detroit Lions, who will make him the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft today, his agents told The Associated Press last night.
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Tom Condon and Ben Dogra, who both represent the Georgia star, said the Lions will pay Stafford $41.7 million guaranteed and up to $78 million altogether.nfl_draft_065121

Quarterback Matt Ryan, the No. 3 pick last year by Atlanta, got a six-year, $72 million deal with $34.75 million guaranteed.

Stafford’s guaranteed money tops the record of $41 million the Washington Redskins gave free-agent defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth two months ago.

Detroit desperately needs a quarterback to help turn around the NFL’s first 0-16 team, which has had the worst eight-year stretch in the league since World War II. Stafford was a three-year starter at Georgia.

Courtesy of the Associated Press

Alpha Inventions

Tom Izzo…The Magician…

Posted in College Basketball with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2009 by sportsguru09

He’s done it again. Tom Izzo has pulled yet another rabbit out of his hat. Instead, this time it was a 2009 Michigan State Spartan.

Courtesy of psufanblog.com

Courtesy of psufanblog.com

Izzo and his “under the radar” Spartans have stepped back onto the NCAA stage and stolen the spotlight heading into the Final Four…in Detroit, Michigan. Home Sweet Home State? I think so. Izzo has taken a bunch of unknowns outside of Michigan and turned them magically into another overachieving unit that has simply played flawlessly throughout March Madness and the NCAA Tournament. Whatever tricks that Izzo has had up his sleeve have proved brilliant in the team’s journey through the NCAA field. This says a lot about Izzo and his leadership. Though I cannot stand the Big 10, you must give credit where credit is due. Outside of the Michigan State campus, if you asked someone, including me, to name one member of their current roster they and I would’ve laughed and said “Who cares? They’re not going to do anything anyways.” And there you go folks, I was wrong. I’ll admit it. Shoot, they’ve proved us all wrong, even so-called bracketologists. NO ONE, and I mean no one, had them in the Final Four of their pick’em bracket, let alone winning the dance and cutting down the nets. Why would you have? They play in the Big 10! That’s strike 1. But Izzo and company have simply stunned the College Basketball world and booked their trip to Detroit where they are likely to sell the place out with Spartan fans so close to home. It’s going to be ruckus and absolute pandemonium when State steps onto the court…

izzo_mainDo I think Michigan State has a chance against UConn and likely UNC this weekend? Well, Izzo’s already proved me wrong once getting his guys to play outside their minds. Why not two more games, huh? I think he’d tell you they’re pretty good…but that’s just a hunch. Don’t count them out…It could be another night at Izzo’s Magic Theater. We’ll just have to wait and see, but for now, buy your tickets folks and get out your wands. You’re in for a treat. Nobody knows how he does it, but he’s got the right touch..the magic touch if you will.

Blake Griffin or Tyler Hansbrough?…

Posted in College Basketball, NBA with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2009 by sportsguru09

Who will be a better NBA player, Blake Griffin the OU Sooner or Tyler Hansbrough the Baby Blue Tar Heel? My answer is Griffin. And let me preface this post: my position is not a result of my hatred for Hansbrough and the Tar Heels. The Duke-Carolina rivalry aside, Griffin is much more athletic and an overall bigger powerhouse. Hansbrough is a real “creative” post player and finds ways, ugly or not, to get the ball in the hoop. As much as I hate to say it, Psycho T does it quite frequently, thus taking over the ACC All-Time Scoring Record previously held by my boy J.J. Redick. But honestly, can you see Hansbrough throwing up that trash in the NBA? The likes of Dwight Howard, Kevin Garnett, Shaquille O’ Neal, and others will stuff it and probably throw it 12 rows deep and turn it into a souvenir.

Courtesy of yardbarker.com

Courtesy of yardbarker.com

Griffin, however, can actually go coast-to-coast, with speed, and smash the ball through the hole overtop of multiple defenders. Both are great college players, but how does that translate into the NBA? Let’s compare the two by NBA potential in the skilled categories:

Strength – Advantage Griffin…Griffin is an absolute monster underneath the basket and has a great presence that keeps opponents out of the lane when they drive and is able to do whatever he wants on the Offensive end. If you watch him play, the whole game revolves around him. Why? Because no one else can physically stop him. Hansbrough is also a tough guy but does not seem as dominant in the post. He’s a scorer but doesn’t tend to throw people around in the paint.

Speed – Advantage Griffin…Hansbrough, though great in the post, struggles to outrun anyone down the court. He has great court presence and vision, but fails to physically beat defenders out on the break. Griffin, as we’ve seen at multiple times throughout the year, has stolen the ball underneath his own basket and left everyone in the dust on the way back down the court only to throw down a ridiculous dunk while defenders sit back and watch.

Dunking – Advantage Griffin…See above…Griffin is a man-child all by himself. In overall dunking ability, able to jump higher, Griffin is a great lob-catcher and more talented in the alley-oop department than Psycho T. Hansbrough is not nearly as explosive or fun to watch. Put the two in a dunk contest and Griffin wins hands down.

Post Play – Advantage Hansbrough…I definitely give the nod to Tyler here. Somehow, someway, Hansbrough finds ways to score against multiple defenders in the paint. Trust me, I know. I’m a Duke fan…he’s done it four years in a row, in Durham gosh dang it. It’s ugly, but it works. Griffin tends to be a better one-on-one player and because he’s a more skilled ball handler, tends not to go down and sit in the paint. However, because Hansbrough finds home underneath the basket, I’d take him over Griffin if you need a great post scorer. Yes, Tar Heel fans, I am applauding Hansbrough’s ability…though it sure isn’t pretty.

Ball Handling/DribblingAdvantage Griffin…This definitely goes to Griffin. Without a doubt, Griffin would dribble around Hansbrough. Not to take anything away from Psycho T, but Griffin goes between the legs and around the back much better and on a more frequent basis to school defenders soon before posterizing them.

Defense – Advantage HansbroughIn the defensive block, Hansbrough has better court sense and the ability to take a charge. As dominant as Griffin is on the boards, he is all risk or all reward in trying to block shots. When’s the last time you saw him take a charge? When an opponent drives the lane, Hansbrough steps up and usually takes one for the team, risking his body to get a turnover and the ball back.

Rebounding – Advantage Griffin…Has anyone seen Griffin’s stats this year? I can’t even count the number of double-doubles that Griffin has had this year. Simply put, when you average over 20 points and close to 15 rebounds over the course of a season, you deserve Player of the Year honors. When the ball is up for grabs, count on Griffin to use his brute force to get the ball wrapped up securely in his arms for whatever NBA team is lucky enough to draft him.

One on One Ability – This is a wash, but are great in finding ways to score, no matter who’s guarding them.

Overall, Griffin has more talent and will likely find it easier to get playing time and make an immediate impact in the NBA. Hansbrough will likely be a 7th or 8th man and be a role player until he finds his way onto a team that needs a talented Small Forward. Both will be taken high in the NBA Draft, but look for Griffin, assuming he stays healthy, to be a better talent in the professional arena.

Want a look at Blake Griffin’s athleticism? Check out the video….see for yourself…

Courtesy of YouTube

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Saturday’s Elite 8 Predictions and Thoughts…

Posted in College Basketball with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2009 by sportsguru09

After last night’s chalk results, the NCAA Tournament is on to the Elite 8. Tonight, we’ll see Villanova-Pitt and Missouri-UConn. Below is my analysis on each game and my prediction as to who will make it to Detroit and represent in the Final Four….

Villanova vs. Pittsburgh

In the late night matchup, Pitt faces off against another Run ‘n Gun type squad and will have their hands full with Jay Wright’s Villanova Wildcats. If they think they’re going to cakewalk to the Final Four as everyone once thought they would, think again. Pitt hasn’t impressed me yet so tonight they better show me something, especially Lavance Fields. Show the nation that you can lead your team and not rely on DeJuan Blair and Sam Young each time down the floor. Pitt’s tournament journey has been far from easy so far as each one of their games has been relatively close and down to the wire. Shoot, Pitt even struggled to knock out East Tennessee State. Tonight should be no different though. I think they’ll do just enough, once again, to take down the ‘Cats and move on to Detroit.

Though Villanova is hot right now, I think their “gas” finally runs out later this evening.

Courtesy of rushthecourt.net

Courtesy of rushthecourt.net

After watching them dismantle my Dukies the other night, I have been more than impressed by what Scottie Reynolds and Dante Cunningham have done on both ends of the floor. Nova’s hawk style defense has been shutting opponents down from 3-point land and has made it tough for anyone to establish a balanced offense. However, they haven’t seen size like Pittsburgh and I think that because Nova has a smaller team, they will get largely out-rebounded and be hurt by second chance points. Look for the ‘Cats to shut down Lavance Fields but not be able to contain DeJuan Blair and/or Sam Young. One of them is bound to go off tonight. It won’t be of any surprise to see Blair or Young put up a monster double-double. Though I do give the guard play advantage to Villanova, I just don’t think it will be enough. I see the ‘Cats racking up fouls inside the paint and giving Pitt the opportunity to cash in at the free throw line. It will be competitively close on the scoreboard the entire game, but Pitt pulls it out in the end. Congrats Jamie Dixon….see you in the Motor City.

Prediction: Pittsburgh 78, Villanova 73

Missouri vs. Connecticut

UConn-Missouri…intriguing. No one knows a lot about the Missouri Tigers but they have been the dark horse in this stage in the tournament, without a doubt. Where did they come from? Who cares, they’re lights out. UConn, however, has done its job and taken care of business each round with Thabeet leading the charge and A.J. Price following close behind…like everyone thought they would. Tonight, UConn will match up against Mizzou’s pressure defense and fast-break offense and will hope to slow the game down enough to take over and move on. I think this game stays close for a while but UConn pulls away in the second half when the Tigers finally struggle to shoot it….

Look for Thabeet, assuming he stays out of foul trouble, to have a big night against the Tigers’ less-than-big-men down in the paint. Thabeet should take full advantage of size differential and he’ll likely get four or five dunks/layups being so close to the basket.

Courtesy of usatoday.com

Courtesy of usatoday.com

On the other end, Mizzou will have to rely on the three point shot…look for them to be hesitant to drive to the hoop because of UConn’s monster in the middle. I give Missouri a chance here, but just a little one. They might surprise everyone by leading at half time but look for UConn to continue to go inside and if Mizzou doubles down, UConn will take advantage of open looks from behind the arc. If I had to guess, Thabeet will likely go for 22 points and 11 rebounds, doing it all for the Huskies. Huskies roll late and Jim Calhoun gets another ticket to the Final Four…

Prediction: Connecticut 82, Missouri 71

Tourney Pick’em and Analysis to Come…

Posted in College Basketball with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 15, 2009 by sportsguru09

To all my readers out there, I will be doing a region by region analysis of the 2009 NCAA Tournament bracket through Thursday of this week. Check back each day to see what chances I give YOUR team.

If you want to join a NCAA Tournament Pick’Em Challenge, join mine at:fantasysports.yahoo.com
-Click on NCAA Tourney Pick’Em
-Click on Join Private Group
-Group ID# is 90706
-Password is “baseball”

Name your pick set and good luck!