Texas Sports Recap - Friday 10/15/10
Sports news from around the great state of Texas.
Spurs Steal Thriller in Phoenix - Richard Jefferson flashed his old form at the right time for the San Antonio Spurs. Jefferson hit four fourth-quarter 3-pointers, including the go-ahead basket with 1:38 remaining, and the Spurs edged the Phoenix Suns 112-110 Wednesday night. "It was just one of those things where the ball was coming my way," Jefferson said. "My teammates made some great passes, they left me open a few times and I was able to knock them down." Jefferson was largely disappointing in his first season in San Antonio, averaging 12.3 points and 4.4 rebounds.
Project Spurs: Smith to appeal Flagrant-2 foul - It was the take-down talked about by San Antonio Spurs fans -- Los Angeles Clippers' Craig Smith hard foul on Spurs' guard George Hill of the second quarter in the Spurs win over the Clippers this past Monday.
Jefferson puts mark on Suns-Spurs series - To Spurs rookie James Anderson, there was no Robert Horry hip-check. There was no Tim Duncan overtime-inducing 3-pointer, no black eye or busted nose for Steve Nash. As far as Anderson is concerned, his team’s 112-110 victory Wednesday night at the US Airways Center might as well have been the first game ever played between the Spurs and Suns. “All that stuff was before my time,” Anderson said. “I wasn’t paying attention to it.” The holdovers from the Spurs’ championship era, however, know how sweet a win in Phoenix can be. READ MORE
Dirk's big night helps Mavericks get out of Denver with a W – The Mavericks had what is generally known as a made-to-order win handed to them on a silver platter Wednesday night when Denver's three best big men were out of commission. It wasn't easy, but Dallas found a way to take advantage of a golden opportunity. A huge night from Dirk Nowitzki and a go-ahead 3-pointer by Caron Butler made the difference as the Mavericks squeaked out a 102-101 win over a short-handed and 3-point happy bunch of Nuggets. Defensively, the Mavericks again were solid. And Nowitzki was virtually unguardable as he rang up a season-best 35 points and ripped down 12 rebounds. Jason Terry added 20 points and Butler had 16, including a 3-pointer with 2:01 to go that put the Mavs up, 102-99.
Mavericks survive final Nuggets shot - The Dallas Mavericks had what is generally known as a made-to-order win handed to them on a silver platter Wednesday night when Denver's three best big men were out of commission. It wasn't easy, but they found a way to take advantage of a golden opportunity. A huge night from Dirk Nowitzki and a go-ahead 3-pointer by Caron Butler made the difference as the Mavericks squeaked out a 102-101 win over a short-handed and 3-point-happy bunch of Nuggets.
Mavericks defense showing early grit - Before Wednesday's game, Nuggets coach George Karl was talking about the differences in the Dallas Mavericks and noted that they no longer treat defense as if it's a third-degree felony. So far, that's been true. And while the Mavericks didn't keep Denver under 40 percent shooting as they had their first three opponents, they still were good enough while they continue to work on their budding reputation as a defensively gritty team.
Ariza returns for first game since trade - Trevor Ariza said that his first game against the Rockets since they traded him would be business as usual in a league in which "Teams make business decisions." But Rockets forward Shane Battier expected some extra motivation to drive Ariza, who had five points. "I think we'll see more than corner 3s from Trevor tonight," Battier said. "I think he'll be aggressive." Ariza, however, said he is happy in New Orleans.
Rockets Lose Another One: 99-107 - Things haven't gone too well this past week or so. The Texans lost to the Fightin' Peytons, the Longhorns lost to some sort of clown college, and America's last, best hope was defeated by what I'm certain were nefarious forces. Oh, and the Rockets have lost a lot, and that trend pretty much continued tonight.
The Yao Conundrum: harder than the Pythagorean Theorem - A quick primer: The NBA has a limit teams can spend on player salaries called a salary cap. Much like the national budget, this cap is routinely exceeded. To preserve the intent of the salary cap, the NBA has a luxury tax that assesses a dollar-for-dollar fine to teams in the amount they exceed it. The luxury tax does its job fairly well, but deep pocketed owners can be impervious.
Washington expected to get contract extension - Ron Washington is set to sit down with Rangers president Nolan Ryan and GM Jon Daniels on Thursday to work out a contact extension after leading Texas to its first World Series.
Rangers decline to pick up option on Guerrero - The Rangers have declined to pick up the option on Vladimir Guerrero. However, the club still wants the DH to return for 2011, and Vlad has expressed interest in staying in Texas.
Rangers show gratitude to loyal fans at rally - Players and members of the front office were on hand as the Rangers paid tribute to their fans at a rally that drew approximately 10,000 fans to Rangers Ballpark on Wednesday evening.
Lee and Rangers a perfect match - Free agent's praise for teammates first step toward reunion. With the understanding that one of life's easiest and sometimes most enjoyable activities is spending someone else's money, sure, the Texas Rangers ought to spend whatever it takes to keep Cliff Lee. Lee demonstrated his worth again during the 2010 postseason, even with an 0-2 record in the World Series. This wasn't news. He was 22-3 and an American League Cy Young Award winner in 2008, then he dominated during the '09 postseason as a member of the Phillies. It has been hard to avoid Lee's impact on the game, since he has excelled with three clubs -- Cleveland, Philadelphia and Texas -- while being instrumental in helping the latter two reach the World Series.
Thompson in running to be Astros hitting coach - Milt Thompson, who spent more than five seasons as the hitting coach of the Phillies before being let go in July, has interviewed for the Astros' hitting coach position that became vacant when his former teammate, Jeff Bagwell, decided not to return. Astros general manager Ed Wade said Wednesday that Thompson, who was in Houston on Monday to meet with Wade and manager Brad Mills, was one of a handful of candidates the team has interviewed either in person or by phone. Wade confirmed Thompson interviewed, but stopped short of naming any other candidates. "He's one of several people we've talked to over the last three days," Wade said. "We hope to get to a point of making a decision by the end of next week or the early part of next week."
Bourn picks up first Fielding Bible Award - Astros center fielder Michael Bourn, who won his first Rawlings Gold Glove last year, has been named the best defensive center fielder in Major League Baseball, according to the 2010 Fielding Bible Awards released Monday. A panel of 10 analysts, including MLB.com's Peter Gammons and stats guru Bill James, voted on the best defensive player at each position using a system in which the best player is given 10 points, the second best nine points and so forth. Each of the panel members voted on 10 players from each position. Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina won his fourth consecutive Fielding Bible Award with a perfect score of 100, the first in the five-year history of the awards. Joining Molina as repeat winners were Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki, White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle and Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.
Does Wade Phillips need to adopt more of a mean streak? - The moment was from 1977, Tony Dorsett's rookie year, and the Hall of Fame running back can't remember the player, but he can remember the feeling inside the meeting room as Tom Landry spoke. "We're in the meeting room on a Monday, and we're going through the film, and Tom stops the film, and he pretty much calls the player out," Dorsett said. "He says, 'Look, I can tolerate this from rookies, I will not tolerate this from a veteran.' That's all that was said and everybody, we knew who he was talking about, but it didn't just fall on the ears of one guy." Earlier this season, according to multiple sources, a player's cellphone went off during a team meeting when Wade Phillips was talking about discipline.
Problem with Cowboys starts with Jerry Jones being GM, 'a problem that will never go away' - The Dallas Morning News columnist Tim Cowlishaw chatted with fans on Wednesday and answered questions about the Dallas Cowboys and the head coach situation. Here are some highlights: Who are the Cowboys going after for their next head coach? What about Jim Harbaugh of Stanford? Not sure how Cowboys' off-season search will go. I think Harbaugh is a definite candidate. I think Jerry will want an offensive minded coach that can fire up the fan base. Like it or not, I think Gruden will be a real candidate if he can play with Jerry's rules, which I think he could. It's funny how everyone wants Wade Phillips fired when the problem is clearly the players. If these guys can't get up for a guy like Wade then I don't think they play for anyone. I disagree. The problem involves a whole lot of things and obviously it starts with Jerry being the GM, a problem that will never go away. But Wade does have responsibility here. The country club atmosphere only works if you have responsible leaders among the players. This team doesn't.
Wade Phillips has no plans to make changes to Cowboys' lineup - After the 1-6 Cowboys suffered their most lopsided loss of the season Sunday against Jacksonville, coach Wade Phillips changed the team's practice approach but remains reluctant to alter the lineup. When asked Wednesday if he had any personnel changes in mind before this week's game at Green Bay, Phillips said, "No, not really. There will be different guys playing some. But as far as the starters are concerned, no."
Ankle not expected to sideline Johnson - "Receiver Andre Johnson, who limped off the field during the Texans' last drive at Indianapolis, aggravated the high ankle sprained that has plagued him early in the season. He should be ready for Sunday's game against the Chargers. "He tweaked it a little on the touchdown (28-yard catch), but he came back to the sideline, said he was OK and went back in and did it again late in the game," coach Gary Kubiak said. "Hopefully, we can get through a few weeks with him being fine and not continuing to tweak it. "But we don't feel like there is anything worse being done to it."
Run-pass decisions scrutinized - "One day after the Texans lost 30-17 at Indianapolis and plummeted from first to third place in the AFC South, coach Gary Kubiak defended his decision not to run Arian Foster more in the first half when they fell behind 17-3. In the worst half of his career with the Texans, quarterback Matt Schaub threw 15 times, completing five for 37 yards. He threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown by cornerback Kelvin Hayden. Foster carried eight times for 65 yards, an 8.1-yard average per carry in the first half. "We ran the ball well," Kubiak said.
Not time to panic ... yet - "The problems the Texans' offense had in the first half of the Indianapolis game are indefensible and inexcusable. By coach Gary Kubiak's admission, they had trouble in the huddle, with their splits and lining up correctly. And they did it on national television. The ESPN audience witnessed what Texans fans had been dreading and didn't want to admit — the equivalent of stage fright by these not-yet-ready-for-prime-time players who proved they're one step from mediocrity after starting 2-0. Just think how pathetic the Texans would have been if they didn't have two weeks to prepare.
A fresh outbreak of low grade fever - "It is going to be one of those weeks. Texans owner Bob McNair would be wise to stay away from the Internet for a few days. The noisemakers there don't yell fire in a crowded theater. They post "run for your lives" on Facebook while standing in the ticket line, then send it as a Tweet with several exclamation points added while waiting on a box of Jujubes at the concession booth. The Texans suffered a defeat at Indianapolis and that means the season is over, the players are all terrible and the coaching staff, well, why do they even have a coaching staff?
Frog Women Ranked No. 23 in AP Preseason Poll - The TCU women’s basketball team was ranked No. 23 in the preseason Associated Press Top-25 poll released Friday, the highest preseason ranking in program history. TCU received 117 points in the poll, ranking just behind No. 22 Iowa (121) and just ahead of No. 24 Vanderbilt (117). The ranking is the highest the squad has ever received in the AP preseason poll. The only other time the squad was included in the list of rankings was in 2003-04, when it found itself No. 24 to begin the season. That season, the Frogs reached their highest-ever spot in the poll of No. 13 late in the campaign.
Football. No. 3 TCU Heads To No. 5 Utah In Battle of Unbeatens - No. 3 TCU travels to No. 5 Utah in a key Mountain West Conference contest. Kickoff is 2:30 p.m. CDT for the game televised on CBS College Sports. ESPN's College GameDay will be on site in Salt Lake City.
Women's basketball: TWU upsets UNT again in exhibition - TWU forward Jeanee’ Thompson turned and saw no one between her the basket on Wednesday night at the Super Pit, where she had spent so many afternoons during her freshman year. Thompson began her career at North Texas and came back to haunt her former team when she hit a layup with 35 seconds left to give the Pioneers the lead for good in a 71-69 win, one that meant a whole lot more to her than any other exhibition victory ever could.
Baylor football parallels basketball team - About eight months ago, the Baylor men's basketball team kept defying the odds and eventually came within a few minutes of reaching the NCAA Final Four.
'The Goon Squad' key to SMU's offensive success - A couple of SMU's offensive linemen decided this spring that they needed to brand themselves. They came up with "The Goon Squad." "It's kind of an underground thing," left guard Bryce Tennison joked. According to the dictionary, goon is defined as a "hired hoodlum or thug" or an awkward person.
Big game? TCU has been there, done that - Big-game experience is always important but never bigger when the biggest of them all comes along.
TCU could emerge as serious contender for Big East expansion - Among the BCS busters, TCU probably has a better chance than Boise State to reach the title game if it finishes undefeated.
Bowl bid is no guarantee for struggling Texas - Five Big 12 teams enter November bowl-eligible. Defending champion Texas, which played in the national title game last season, is not among them.
Mack Brown targets three areas for improvement for struggling Texas squad - Four defeats in five games have taken a toll on Texas.
Texas OL Michael Huey to miss at least four games with knee injury - Texas left guard Michael Huey, the Longhorns' most consistent offensive lineman during an up-and-down season, is out for the next four games because of a knee injury suffered against Baylor.
Early success of Texas A&M's Tannehill no fluke - Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill never envisioned being the highest-rated passer in the Big 12. Not this season, anyway.
Texas Tech DL Pearlie Graves making most of opportunity to play - Texas Tech defensive lineman Pearlie Graves, a redshirt freshman, was lost somewhere within the Red Raider depth chart until two games ago.
Fight night: Stars battle past Penguins, 5-2 - Loui Eriksson showed Wednesday why he is fast becoming one of the more respected players in the NHL. In a wild game against a talented Pittsburgh Penguins team, Eriksson had a key assist, a penalty-shot goal and an unassisted goal to lead Dallas to a 5-2 victory.
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