Sports news from around the great state of Texas.
Preseason: Cleveland Cavaliers 106, San Antonio Spurs 80 - If Tuesday night’s preseason game against the Los Angeles Clippers had few takeaways for the San Antonio Spurs, Thursday night’s 106-80 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers had even less. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Richard Jefferson all flew back to San Antonio after the Spurs’ game against the Clips. This left the Spurs with a young and inexperienced roster to test out on DeJuan Blair’s homecoming trip to Pittsburgh. And the final score shows that. San Antonio was competitive for about two-and-a-half quarters. And then they weren’t. After three quarters, the Spurs were down 79-62. So what did we learn this game? Well, not much.
If ever there were a chance to shine - I’m sure a few of our readers in San Antonio knew this before the news came out this morning, what with Manu’s propensity to swim the Riverwalk when in town to stay in shape, but for those of you somehow unaware Tony, Timmy, Manu, and RJ did not travel to Pittsburgh with the rest of the team. I wouldn’t expect much in terms of crisp execution tonight as the bench and other roster hopefuls will be getting extended minutes against a somewhat weak Cavs team. What I do expect is for Pop to come away from tonight’s game with better sense of who will be playing off of the bench and in what order (as much of a idea as he ever has) and what he wants to do with the end of the roster.
Miller back on floor - Rockets coach calls center 'rusty'. Rockets center Brad Miller went through his first full practice since spraining his left ankle before the start of training camp and hopes to see his first game action with the Rockets on Saturday. Miller is listed as day-to-day, with his availability to play to be determined by how his ankle holds up in practice. “We’ll see how it does,” Miller said. “I’m not going to play a lot of minutes — that’s for sure.” That would give the Rockets two centers available for limited playing time. “He looked really rusty,” coach Rick Adelman said. “It’s going to take him some time. I think he tried to do too much, but at least he got out there. He ran. He didn’t hold anything back, so that’s a good sign.”
Stern, Stars & Bogus Technical Fouls That Could Ruin The NBA - I'd prefer to call it "The Sheed Rule," but, while that would make perfect sense, I can't have fun with something that I truly, sincerely despise. As someone who has been a fan of NBA commissioner David Stern's decision-making over the years, I'm baffled by this new technical foul business. Absolutely baffled. The NBA has been a League of Stars under Stern's reign. No other league markets or protects its stars better. Referees have always been known to favor the star players, whether or not they'd care to admit such (see: Dwyane Wade in the 2006 NBA Finals). The stars carry the league. Who watched the Spurs/Pistons NBA Finals? I'm actually a fan of boring, fundamental team basketball (really, I am), but nobody watched that series. There were no "stars" involved (it's sad that Tim Duncan doesn't really qualify as a STAR, because he's probably the best player of the last decade).
Kidd has enjoyed reduced preseason playing time - The Dallas Mavericks' preseason has been pretty uneventful for Jason Kidd. You might even call it boring, although after going through 16 training camps before this in his NBA career, mundane is exactly what Kidd shoots for. That, and trying not to make too many concessions to his age. Oh, there was the interview when he was asked about young point guards such as Chicago's Derrick Rose, who he'll see tonight, and Washington rookie John Wall emulating him.
Rangers rewarded for standing by Washington - Seven months ago, Ron Washington was answering questions about drug use. Now, he has the Rangers in the ALCS and has proved worthy of the franchise's unwavering support.
Rangers ALCS tickets are on sale now - Enjoy postseason baseball in Arlington. Don't miss any of the action at Rangers Ballpark -- come out to support your Texas Rangers. Tickets for ALCS games are on sale.
Engaging Wilson brings unique edge into Game 1 - C.J. Wilson may be the overlooked left-hander in this ALCS, but the story of the man who will start things off for the Rangers on Friday at 7 p.m. CT is fascinating on several levels.
New guard faces old in meeting of ALCS closers - The old guard and the new will be on full display in the ALCS, when playoff-tested Yankees closer Mariano Rivera goes opposite Neftali Feliz, the Rangers' flamethrowing rookie.
Wide range of Rangers on TYIB Awards ballot - Neftali Feliz is up for three different This Year in Baseball Awards, and the Rangers are nominated in 13 different categories. Show your support by casting your vote.
Rangers rewarded for standing by Washington - Manager proves worthy of team's support after drug issue. Rangers manager Ron Washington is truly living the dream. His team is in the American League Championship Series and people are asking him baseball questions. He sits in front of a microphone in an interview room at the Ballpark in Arlington, answering questions about Cliff Lee, C.J. Wilson, his lineup, what he is going to do with his bullpen and his catchers. He is a baseball "lifer" -- finishing his 40th year in the game -- and the Rangers manager can talk baseball for hours. Seven months ago, there was a day in Spring Training where the questions weren't about baseball. That time, Washington had to stand in front of a microphone in Surprise, Ariz., and answer much harder questions. He was being asked about testing positive for cocaine in summer 2009.
Wilson takes unique perspective into Game 1 - Whether it is his Game 1 matchup against CC Sabathia or his place in his own team's pecking order behind Cliff Lee, C.J. Wilson is very much the overlooked left-hander in this American League Championship Series. But that doesn't make him any less interesting. In fact, the story of the man who will start things off for the Rangers in their quest to knock off the mighty Yankees is fascinating on several levels.
Yanks confident in 'formidable' rotation - "Formidable," to borrow Phil Hughes' word, is how the New York Yankees' rotation appears going into the 2010 American League Championship Series. That would be formidable, one through three. In the fourth spot, there will be A.J. Burnett, he of the impressive stuff and the substandard regular season. But the three people ahead of him have resumes so impressive and/or recent Division Series outings so impressive that the Yankees can approach this meeting with the Texas Rangers with their usual October quota of confidence. The Rangers are a team with a wonderful offensive blend of speed and power, but this is the postseason. Typically, the pitching is more of a determining factor than ever. Here, there will be larger issues at stake for the Yankees and Rangers, but any postseason series that can give you a matchup between Andy Pettitte and Cliff Lee is already in the plus column.
Randy Moss: I forgive Jerry Jones for draft snub, 'but I never forget' - It's been 13 years since Jerry Jones passed on drafting Randy Moss, but who's counting? Moss is. He said the snub still motivates him. It just so happens that he'll play the Cowboys in his first home game with Minnesota since being traded by New England. "Am I still mad at the Cowboys? Man, I always carry a certain chip on my shoulder for the Cowboys,'' Moss said on a conference call with Dallas-area reporters on Wednesday. "You let bygones be bygones but at the same time I've still got that chip.
Vikings QB Brett Favre practices, expects to start vs. Cowboys - Brett Favre returned to practice Thursday on a limited basis after being held out of drills a day earlier because of tendinitis in his throwing elbow. The quarterback was wearing a wrap on his arm during the practice. Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, who also was Favre's quarterbacks coach for three seasons in Green Bay, was asked about Favre's statement on Wednesday that he would be open to ending his NFL-record starting streak of 289 consecutive regular-season games if that would help him recover. "All the times that I've been with him, he's never missed one," Bevell said. "It's hard to imagine, but he wants to do what's best for the team. We want to do what's best for the team. Could it happen? Yeah, it could happen, but I'm with you, it's hard to see." Favre is expected to start Sunday against Dallas at Mall of America Field, but Bevell said a decision could go up to game time.
Cowboys' beat-up, aging offensive line a legitimate concern - Jerry Jones was several minutes into his filibuster. The Cowboys owner assured the media the offensive line that returns to the scene of the crime Sunday in Minnesota is better than the one that fell apart in a playoff loss nine months ago. He dismissed the argument that age has caught up to this group and boasted about its good health. A few feet away, outside of Jones' sight, starting center Andre Gurode came up lame and limped off the practice field to get an MRI on his right knee. He doesn't need surgery but will be fitted with a brace. His status for the Vikings game is unknown. This season has not gone the way the Cowboys envisioned. Nowhere is that more evident than on the offensive line.
Jerry Jones: Penalty on Marc Colombo wasn't 'right or fair to the overall game' - The officials were right to penalize Cowboys right tackle Marc Colombo for excesisve celebration due to the letter of the law. But owner Jerry Jones made it clear Thursday that in his mind, the spirit of the law was lost in that interpretation. "There's been a debate for years and years, almost the entire time when I served on the competition committee, that was always debated about how much celebration they were going to have, and I've always been on the side of more celebration,'' Jones said. "Always. I think it's fun for the fans. I do not think it takes away from the players or the sanctity of the game. "Any time that you legislate a rule or legislate behavior, if you live by that, then it can have unintended consequences. I really don't think that somebody falling down was an intended consequence of this rule to have that dramatic of an effect on the ballgame. I don't think that was intended.''
Cassel, Schaub took the same road to becoming NFL starters - "The Chiefs have yet to give any hints that they are dissatisfied with their starting quarterback, Matt Cassel. But if in private moments they're looking for encouragement that trading for a young, largely untested quarterback can indeed pay dividends, they need to look no further than the opposition in Sunday's game against the Texans in Houston. Houston's Matt Schaub, like Cassel, was once traded from another team where he had no apparent future other than as a backup. Schaub has succeeded to the point that the Texans view him as a franchise quarterback.
For now, Pollard is saving his shots - "He refused to take the bait initially, and given the situation, Bernard Pollard is likely a better man than most. With his old team coming to Reliant Stadium on Sunday, the same team that kicked him to the curb on the final day of preseason cuts a year ago, the Texans strong safety resisted unloading on the Kansas City Chiefs. It will be the first time he faces his former organization, and Pollard spent Wednesday attempting to squelch any notions that payback might be on his mind. "It's not personal at all," he said. Later, it was more of the same. "It's not about any individual," said Pollard, who signed with the Texans on Sept. 24, 2009.
Several players miss practice - "The Texans had a lot of players miss practice Wednesday, but most are expected to play against Kansas City. Defensive end Jesse Nading (knee), guard Mike Brisiel (knee) and linebacker Kevin Bentley (knee) won't play against the Chiefs. Receiver Jacoby Jones (calf) missed the Giants game and also could miss the Kansas City game. Unlike last week, when he wasn't able to come on the practice field because he was getting treatment, Jones did some running."
Mad team outplays one that's happy - So here's how it's probably going to play out Sunday at Reliant Stadium when the Kansas City Chiefs come in laughing, overconfident and trying to take the Texans seriously after watching tape of their wretched performance against the Giants. When the Texans win and start to feel good about themselves, they stink it up. When they get ripped for playing bad, or they have obstacles placed in front of them few believe they can overcome, they usually respond with a vengeance. You know what I'm talking about.
Texans need Brian Cushing back in top form fast - "It was garbage time, the final minutes of an embarrassing 34-10 rout on Sunday that sent thousands streaming out of Reliant Stadium to get an early jump on the traffic jam and left the Houston Texans with a bushel of questions about their legitimacy as a playoff contender. But Brian Cushing wanted to keep playing. "I didn't want to come off the field," Cushing said, unwinding in a near-empty locker room, still in full uniform and yet to wipe the eye black from his face, a half hour after the game ended. "Even when they told me I was coming off, I didn't want to. I have a lot of time to make up and a lot of plays I have to give this team."
Texans hungry for some home cooking - "The Texans are as perplexed as anyone with their inability to win at Reliant Stadium over the last two seasons. Going back to the start of the 2009 campaign, the Texans are 5-6 at home and 7-3 on the road. In those six home losses, including two this season, the average margin of defeat was 12.1 points a game. Only once have the Texans been beaten by fewer than seven points, and that was a 20-17 loss to Tennessee last season. They had better find the right tonic because the surprising Kansas City Chiefs, who currently lead the AFC West at 3-1, are coming to town on Sunday.
Baylor dismisses receiver charged with pot possession - Baylor receiver Willie Jefferson has been dismissed from the team after his second arrest on a drug charge in as many weeks.
Baylor officials clear LaceDarius Dunn to return to class - The attorney for Baylor guard LaceDarius Dunn says the university has cleared the star player to return to classes while he faces allegations that he broke his girlfriend's jaw in a domestic dispute.
Men's basketball: Mean Green returnees eager to return to practice court - Shannon Shorter has been talking about this day with the rest of his North Texas teammates for months. The Mean Green’s starting small forward was a key component on a team that might have been the best in school history a year ago. UNT advanced to the NCAA tournament for the second time in four seasons and also set a school record for wins while finishing 24-9. With four starters returning and a few key players coming back from injuries, UNT believes it could be even better this season if it can recreate the chemistry and sense of urgency it played with a year ago.
Father's relationship with Dodge led Orr to UNT - By the time Zach Orr developed into a standout linebacker at DeSoto, he felt like he knew North Texas head coach Todd Dodge, even though he had barely ever talked to him. Orr had read about Dodge’s exploits at Southlake Carroll, and perhaps more importantly, heard all about his years as a player at Texas from someone who knew a lot about them -- his father, Terry Orr. Dodge and Terry Orr were teammates, not to mention friends, who played together in the Longhorns backfield from 1982-84.
Winning in different ways helping SMU meet rising expectations - When athletic director Steve Orsini strolls The Boulevard – SMU's genteel tailgating Mecca – before home games, he hears longtime fans relishing the Mustangs' football evolution.
TCU to face Alabama in Sugar Bowl; Oklahoma State is most surprising team - If there was still any doubt that being a so-called traditional power in college football isn't what it used to be, consider the AP Top 25 halfway through the 2010 season.
TCU tries to ease fears about football stadium makeover - After two days and two meetings totaling nearly four hours in which TCU director of athletics Chris Del Conte fielded some difficult questions about the plans for the revamped Amon G. Carter Stadium, the "closer" arrived to make the nervous fans feel better.
Nebraska's Tom Osborne to Husker Nation: Stay classy Saturday vs. Texas - As much as Nebraska officials have dismissed any ill will toward everything burnt orange, a pair of pleas this week showed the emotion Texas will face Saturday. Football coach Bo Pelini and athletic director Tom Osborne each directed messages to Husker Nation. The short version: stay classy, Lincoln. The reminder to a fan base considered one of the most fair-minded in college football spoke volumes. They really, really don't care for the Longhorns in Nebraska. "It's a state pride thing along with Nebraska leaving the Big 12 after this year," said Jeremy Clements, the assistant general manger at Brewsky's Food & Spirits, a popular sports bar on Cornhusker Highway in Lincoln.
Power in short supply at Texas with Cody Johnson out - Each week, Chuck Carlton answers your questions in our college newsletter. Some highlights of his most recent newsletter: The Longhorns don't have the offensive line to play smash-mouth football. And with a lot of Texas high school teams playing a spread offense, kids aren't being taught power football as much. How long before the Horns scrap this idea and go back to spreading them out? CARLTON : If you listen to Mack Brown, the experiment with the power running game has been over for a while. Part of it was because of the early-season ankle injury to Cody Johnson, the 250-pound tailback best suited to the downhill running concept. Part of the decision was probably an offensive line that has been running the spread since they've arrived on campus. There's a huge difference between pass blocking the spread and run-blocking in a conventional offense. For now, the best thing Texas does is throw the ball. That said, if Nebraska has shown any defensive weakness, it's against the run. Does Texas really want to have Garrett Gilbert throwing the ball 45 times or so at Lincoln with Jared Crick up front and a secondary led by cornerbacks Prince Amukamara and Alfonzo Dennard?
Texas needs to beat Nebraska to preserve the Big 12's pride - My friend Cedric Golden of the Austin-American Statemen nailed it this morning - the game on Saturday in Lincoln is not about Horns v. Cornheads. This is the We Hate You More Bowl. I don't entirely blame Nebraska for the breakup of the Big 12 . Mostly that falls to the feet of Big 10 and its commish, Jim Delany. I don't blame Nebraska for looking for more money. I don't even blame them for feeling like the redheaded step child of the Big 12, and feeling like the South rules this league. Nebraska should have known when it jumped into bed with the South, and Texas, that it was no longer going to be able to do whatever it wanted as it had in the Big 8. The problems NU had in the Big 12 it will experience in the Big 10; Michigan and Ohio State call the shots there. I do blame Nebraska for not even considering an alternative within this league. For not even talking to Big 12 boss Dan Beebe and UT and A&M and OU about creating its own TV network, which is what this is about.
Texas will retire former quarterback Colt McCoy's No. 12 - At today's press conference, Texas coach Mack Brown announced that the university will retire former quarterback Colt McCoy's jersey number 12 prior to the Baylor game on Oct. 30. The Browns have a bye that week so McCoy will be able to come to Austin for the pre-game ceremony. McCoy will join Earl Campbell, Bobby Layne, Tommy Nobis, Ricky Williams and Vince Young as the Longhorns sixth national player of the year to have his jersey number retired. Texas' first criteria for a student-athlete to have their jersey retired is earning National Player of the Year honors from one of the NCAA recognized awards. McCoy was a two-time Walter Camp Football Foundation National Player of the Year and won the Maxwell Award in 2009. "I was just overwhelmed, humbled and psyched when I was told about his," McCoy said. "It's a dream come true! "This is such a tremendous honor, but it's not about me. It's about all the great coaches that helped me develop as a player and a man, the tremendous teammates that made my job so much easier and the most supportive family anyone could ask for." Brown said that the retirement of McCoy's jersey is something that has been discussed for quite awhile but he felt like announcing it this week was perfect considering McCoy will get his first NFL start this weekend against the Steelers.
Texas-Nebraska Preview - Texas Longhorns at Nebraska Cornhuskers - Leave it to Nebraska coach Bo Pelini to start the week trying to tamp down the buildup for Saturday's grudge match with Texas. Cornhuskers fans have had this one marked on their calendars since last December, when - in their estimation - the Longhorns stole the Big 12 championship from Nebraska. That's just one of the delicious subplots for this game. "What motivations there are, as far as the fans are concerned, you can chuck those out the window when it's time to line up and play," Pelini said Monday. Pelini would have his hands full trying to calm the masses in Nebraska regardless of this week's opponent.
Prediction: Texas A&M's slide will continue at home against Missouri - Matchup : No. 19 Missouri (5-0) at Texas A&M (3-2), 11 a.m., Saturday, Kyle Field, Fox Sports Southwest. What's on the line: The Aggies have had two opportunities to convince the general public that this program under coach Mike Sherman has taken the next step. And in two games, they've failed to come up with the necessary plays to do so. Now, another ranked team lines up on the other side of the ball and A&M fans everywhere are expecting this talent-filled Aggie team to finally get a statement victory.
Aggies' Heisman winner John David Crow to be honored - Aggies icon John David Crow will be honored at 3 p.m. Friday with the unveiling of his statue in front of the Bright Football Complex in College Station.
How long will Texas A&M make its fans wait? - Texas A&M remains one of the most puzzling football programs in the country. Not as a team, necessarily, though Jerrod Johnson's struggles still continue to fill my mailbag. And, no, I don't see Mike Sherman pulling the plug on Johnson, barring something unforeseen. We're talking the program, the whole big picture aspect and everything involved therein.
What was the deal on Texas Tech's onside kick against Baylor? - Q: What was the deal on Texas Tech's onside kick against Baylor? CHUCK CARLTON: All you need to know about the sheer strangeness of the play is that it has generated a Gundy-esque 3.5 million views on YouTube. Donnie Carona's kick went 8 yards. While Carona and several teammates looked at the ball, Baylor's Terrance Ganaway swooped in on the live ball and ran 38 yards for a touchdown. Suffice to say, we probably won't see that play again this season from Tech, which also had an onside kick return for a touchdown at Iowa State.
Bobby Knight, appearing at SMU Athletic Forum: 'Pleasing everybody has never been foremost in my mind' - It didn't take Bob Knight long to express himself during Wednesday's SMU Athletic Forum at the Hilton Anatole. He took control of the microphone to interject after the Rangers' playoff series win Tuesday night was playfully mentioned in the invocation. "I think Cliff Lee had a hell of a lot more to do with it than the Almighty," the controversial sweater-wearing Hall of Fame college basketball coach said. The former Texas Tech and Indiana coach turned television color commentator kept the lunchtime crowd tittering with his trademark cocktail of surliness, unfiltered and slightly off-color anecdotes and even some charm. Whether the winningest Division I men's coach in history cared how his talk was received was another matter.
Thursday October 14, 2010
Brandeis - 34
Taft - 2
East Central - 31
Southwest - 24
Highlands - 7
CC Carroll- 31
Eagle Pass Winn - 0
Laredo Alexander - 35
Central Catholic - 41
St. Anthony - 0
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