Thursday, September 12, 2013

Random NBA Player of the Week: Dorell Wright

Dorell Wright is a Small Forward from Los Angeles. He entered the NBA straight out of high school, a graduate of South Kent Prep, a boarding school in Connecticut. He had originally committed to playing at DePaul, but instead was picked 19th overall in the 2004 NBA Draft.

He spent his first six seasons as a bench player for the Miami Heat. He won a championship ring with the team in 2006, despite not playing a single game in the playoffs.

In the summer of 2010, he signed with the Golden State Warriors, and 2010-11 was his breakout year. That season he played and started all 82 games, led the league in three-pointers made and attempted, and scored more points that season (1,344) than he did in his first six seasons in Miami combined (1,333). For his work, he placed third in the voting for Most Improved Player.

During the 2011-12 lockout season, Wright's production went down as he only averaged 10.3 points and 5.3 boards a game. In the following offseason he was a part of a three-team trade that sent him to the Philadelphia 76ers. With the Sixers he moved into a sixth man role, averaging 22.6 minutes and 9.2 points per game.

On July 10th, he signed as a free agent with the Portland Trail Blazers, and will look to be a huge contributor on a team that features stars Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge as well as rookie C.J. McCollum.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Deng Extension Talks Cool, What It Means For the Bulls

Luol Deng going in for a lay-up during the 2013 Playoffs
Wednesday will be the new day for my editorial columns, which were previously supposed to be on Tuesdays. This Wednesday, however, I've got nothing. While there are a few subjects I'm interested in, I didn't really do any deep research on those topics. And I wouldn't want to give you a bland, un-researched column. Who do you think I am!? [Insert sports columnist you don't like]!?

So instead, I'll link to a column about a topic that I do enjoy and would've considered writing about. Here, Blog-a-Bull's Rickey O'Donnell discusses the breakdown in talks between the Chicago Bulls and forward Luol Deng. They couldn't come to an agreement on a contract extension for Luol, and Rickey brings up the ramifications for the Bulls for this year as well as heading into the 2014 offseason. A very interesting read, especially if you are a Chicago Bulls fan.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Coliseum Fantasy Insider

Happy Tuesday! I'm starting a new weekly feature in this slot, in which I discuss my sports fantasy endeavors. Y'know, my own fantasy leagues, my fictional leagues I kept planning but never really starting. Things like that. Currently, the only thing I'm actively doing is my fantasy football team that goes by the ├╝ber-creative name "Team Simms" (Suggestions are welcomed). However, I have plenty of projects coming down the shoot. Or else I wouldn't be starting this feature!

My fantasy football team is a member of a league that is ran by my father and is entering its fifth season. Most of the members live in the Las Vegas area, so I'm a bit of a satellite member. I have been to the championship twice (I think), but never took home the crown. Every year brings new hope, but after my draft, I'm a bit on edge.

The problem is that I'm pretty light in the running back department. This league is a PPR league, so I was focused on getting the best receivers and a couple of good QBs. In turn I lost sight of the fact that running backs need love, too, and I came out with Reggie Bush, Ryan Mathews, Danny Woodhead, Knowshon Moreno. With super-slim pickings in free agency, these are essentially the guys I'm stuck with. I came in to Week 1 prepared for a long season.

But in the end, things actually worked out. Below was my starting lineup with their point total:

QB: Drew Brees (27)
RB: Reggie Bush (31)
RB: Ryan Mathews (13)
Flex: Marques Colston (17)
WR: Brandon Marshall (24)
WR: Roddy White (3)
TE: Brandon Myers (19)
D/ST: Chicago Bears (12)
K: Blair Walsh (8)

I can't get too upset with Roddy White's performance, as he was battling an injury. Everybody else did great. I didn't expect Brandon Myers to get me that many points, but he was able to pick up a touchdown towards the end of the game which really helped. The big surprise to me was Reggie Bush leading all scorers. He got a lot of carries and a lot of catches out of the backfield. I'm hoping he can stay healthy and will be a big asset to the Lions this season.

As my biggest concern was running back, I was really worried about how Ryan Mathews would do this first week. I picked him because he was the best available at the time, forgetting about his injury history. He was my only starter playing on Monday, and I was down 8 after huge performances for my opponent by Anquan Boldin, Andrew Luck, and Reggie Wayne. I kept my expectations low on Ryan, but he came through! I was able to win the week 154-149.

Heading into week two the projections say I have the upper-hand, but again I'm going to keep my expectations low. I'm going to substitute Steve Johnson for Roddy White and Knowshon Moreno for Ryan Mathews right now, but those situations will be fluid through the week.

Tune in next Tuesday to find out if I can improve to 2-0!!!

Now, before I go, let me take this time to discus some of my upcoming sports fiction work. All of these projects will be posted on my blog for the Coliseum Sports Network. You can click the link here or the one located at the top of the right sidebar.

For one there's the United Basketball Clubs, a project of mine that I have worked on on-and-off for over a decade. I have tried to bring to the web in various forms over the past several years, but I'm looking to stick with it this time. I will begin posting events about the league October 1st.

Also in the vein of basketball I'm going to be doing a fantasy college basketball league called the Futures League of Professional Basketball. The idea from this league stemmed from the idea of having a professional league for college-aged ballplayers as refuge from the restrictions of the NCAA. At first I was going to make up the stats based off of player projections, but that would be too time-consuming. Instead, season play will be a Head-2-Head Points league while tournament play will utilize the SimMatchup engine on Posting for the FLPB should begin about early November.

Lastly, I have a baseball and football league in mind for the spring. The leagues will utilize the customization abilities of the MLB: The Show and NCAA Football franchises. Even though the football league won't begin until after the Super Bowl and the baseball league won't start until late May, I'm going to start working on those very soon.

I will continue to keep you posted on the development of these projects in this spot each Tuesday. But, again, don't forget to check out the Coliseum Sports Network site.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Illinois College Sports Report Vol. 2, Post 1

Eastern Illinois's Jimmy Garoppolo
Hello all, it's time for the second season of the Illinois College Sports Report. You may remember it as illisports and illihoops, but this year I decided to keep it simple. Every Monday until the last baseball team in the state plays their final game, I will give you scores and (very soon) news from each of the 13 Division I teams in the Land of Lincoln.

We join the Illinois college sports scene in Week 2 of college football season. Most of the seven pigskin-playing schools are off to good starts. Below are scores and summaries of last week's action. Ranking numbers are for the week of the games. FBS rank derived from AP Top 25 poll, FCS rank derived from The Sports Network Top 25.

Football Bowl Subdivision
at #19 Northwestern 48, Syracuse 27: "Chicago's Big Ten Team" made slight work of the Orange in a 48-27 blowout at Ryan Field. The game was over by halftime, when the score was 34-7. The rest was academic. Quarterbacks Trevor Siemian and Kain Colter split passing duties and did equally well. Colter, the starter, 15/18 for 116 yards and a two TDs (one passing, one rushing). Siemian went 15/19 for 259 yards and three scores. Tony Jones had a huge day on the receiving end with 9 catches for 185 yards and a touchdown. The Wildcats didn't giveaway any turnovers in the game, but was able to snatch four interceptions against Syracuse's Drew Allen. After this dominant performance and the win at Cal, the schedule will get slightly easier for Northwestern, as they host Western Michigan and Maine over the next two weeks.

at Illinois 45, Cincinnati 17: It was another impressive aerial by senior QB Nathan Scheelhaase. After going for 416 yards and a couple of TDs against SIU, he went for 312 yards and four touchdowns against the Bearcats. Illinois got off to a hot start, reeling off 21 unanswered points to open up the first half. However, a one-yard pass from Munchie Legaux to Max Morrison with 8 seconds left in the second quarter gave the Bearcats the momentum to score 10 points in the third quarter. After three it was 28-17. However, things opened up in the fourth when Illinois were able to tack on a field goal and two touchdowns for the win.

Northern Illinois (1-0) was idle this week

Football Championship Subdivision
#14 Eastern Illinois 40, at Southern Illinois 37: It took two overtimes to put this thriller in Carbondale to rest, as a 36 yard Cameron Berra field goal helped EIU eek out the 40-37 win. While both teams were evenly matched, the more impressive came from the victorious Panthers. QB Jimmy Garoppolo took to the skies and pulled down 440 yards off of 34/56 passing along with four touchdowns and an interception. His two main targets were receivers Erik Lora and Adam Drake. Lora racked up 11 receptions for 136 yards and a touchdown while Drake got 7 catches for 103 yards and two touchdowns. For SIU, Kory Faulkner went 28/50 for 294 yards and 4 yards while MyCole Pruitt paced the receivers with 8 cathces for 98 yards and two touchdowns.

The win is EIU's second straight 40-point performance, coming off of an impressive upset at San Diego State. SIU was once again on the losing end of a high scoring performance, falling 32-42 at Illinois last week.

at Western Illinois 34, Quincy 6: After a dominate defensive performance in Week 1 against Hampton that saw the Leathernecks force nine turnovers, it was the offense that got the job done in the 34-6 victory over D-II Quincy. WIU rounded up 549 total yards, distributed fairly evenly between the pass (278) and run (271). Trenton Norvell threw 24/34 for 278 yards and two touchdowns. Running back J.C. Baker lead the rushing attack with 14 carries for 144 yards and two touchdowns. If anything was glaring it was the penalties, as Western Illinois racked up 15.

Quincy was shut out for most of the game, but were able to get on the board at the fourth quarter buzzer when Nick Lonergan scored on a 4 yard keeper. It was the first time the Hawks scored at Hansen Field since 2004, when they scored on a touchdown reception in the fourth quarter in a 31-38 loss to the Leathernecks.

#19 Illinois State (0-1) was idle this week

With another week of games in the books, here are the new rankings from both the FBS and FCS poll:
AP Top 25 (FBS)
#17 Northwestern: +2 from last week

The Sports Network Top 25 (FCS) [Updated 9/9/13 12:48 PM CT]
#9 Eastern Illinois: +5 from last week
#18 Illinois State: +1 from last week

Friday, August 9, 2013

Game of the Week: Rangers vs. Orioles 8/22/07

Happy Friday! I figured this week I'd give you the textbook definition of an Avocado Beatdown. On a late summer day in Baltimore, the Rangers came to town and smacked up the Orioles to the tune of 30 to 3.

A few records were broken in the process. For Texas, they set the modern MLB record for most runs in a game. However, the all-time record is 36, which was set in 1897. Baltimore set a record for most lopsided victory in franchise history as well as most hits allowed in a game in franchise history (29).

Oddly enough, the O's started the game with the lead, going up 3-0 after three innings. Then the bottom fell out and the Rangers reeled off 30 unanswered. Marlon Byrd hit a grand slam in the 6th, Travis Metcalf - who had been called up from AAA earlier in the day - hit one in the 8th.

Here's the box score of the game and a recap from

Footage courtesy of Mid-Atlantic Sports Network. Jim Palmer and Jim Hunter with the call.