So now that I'm sure you've finished reading that link...when I got to the gym on Friday I spoke briefly with the Upper Cape coach and Michaela. Afterwards, I went over to introduce myself to the guy in charge of filming. We got the tech stuff out of the way and got prepped to do the game.
I was working with an Upper Cape student named Brian on the call of the game while the guy in charge handled the video. Things went reasonably well. I was by no means perfect but I did well enough that the guy said after the game that things sounded good.
As for the game, WHAT A GAME!
Things started out a bit slow in the first quarter with Nantucket holding an 8-4 lead but UCT's Amber scored 5 quick points to have the Rams up 9-8 after one quarter. In the second half, UCT's offense went cold for a bit and Nantucket built a 16-11 lead.
But Amber (a freshman) helped counter that finishing with 13 first half points (on the way to a career high 26 points on the night) and Upper Cape was up 25-20 at the break.
Not to be outdone, in the second half Amber's older sister Krystle nailed three straight three pointers as the Rams eventually built a 38-21 lead. The offense went ice cold again and Nantucket cut the lead to 41-35 after three quarters.
But the Rams re-established things in the fourth and went on to grab a 60-42 victory! Survive and advance is the name of the game. Upper Cape will play West Bridgewater in the Division 4 South Sectional semifinals on Tuesday March 4th.
Missouri State - The Lady Bears split their two games this week. Things began with a 66-57 loss to Illinois State. Tyonna Snow had a season high 26 points while both Hannah Wilkerson and Mikala McGhee scored 10 points apiece.
A couple of notes about the team before talking about their next game.
Bry Snow was one of the recipients of the Missouri Valley Conference Leadership and Service Award this past week.
I had found myself wondering why Kenzie Williams had disappeared from the boxscores of the Missouri State games. I didn't see any stories about an injury or her leaving the team. Finally, I did a Google search on her name and found out that she had torn the ACL in her left knee. The sophomore had hurt the same knee last year as a freshman. Mystery solved, but sadly not in a fashion I would've hoped for. Here's to a quick recovery for Kenzie!
Against Southern Illinois, the Lady Bears got a season high point total as they ran off to a 93-76 victory. The win raises their record to 13-14 with an 8-8 conference mark. They won the game despite being outrebounded 49-40.
Bry Snow had 26 points and 8 boards to lead MSU while sister Tyonna Snow scored 18 points. Mikala McGhee (15 points) and Desiree Phillips (12 points) established new career scoring highs for themselves in this game as well.
Hartford - After a stellar week for the Hawks in last week's game action, Amber Bepko picked up the America East Player of the Week award.
On the court, Hartford lost to Binghamton 55-51, dropping them to 11-17 (8-7 in conference). Cherelle Moore had 15 points and Alyssa Reaves added 10 points
Tennessee - It was a good week for the Lady Vols as they continue their season of "Grind for 9", their mantra in chasing a ninth national championship.
They beat a tough Missouri squad 56-50 with only 7 players entering the game for Tennessee. Meighan Simmons had 25 points to lead the scoring while Bashaara Graves added 11 points. Isabelle Harrison had just 5 points, but grabbed 10 rebounds. Mercedes Russell scored 6 points and had 11 rebounds.
In the first half of their game against LSU, the Lady Vols built a 21 point lead going into the break. But things got tougher for them in the second half. They ended up hanging on to win 72-67 and now stand at 23-5 with a 12-3 SEC record. It was Simmons powering the offense once again as she finished with 31 points. Cierra Burdick scored a career high 22 points to go with 10 rebounds and Isabelle Harrison added 11 points and 11 boards.
I'm not a fan so don't expect this to be a regular included part of my columns. Pat, one of my former players who was on the very first team for which I was the head coach, was supposed to be fighting his last fight on Friday night. The local paper had a story about him which you can read here: http://wareham.wickedlocal.com/article/20140224/SPORTS/140228084/?tag=1
However, the fight ended up being called off as his opponent didn't make weight. And if the Tweets I read from the guy who wrote the article are to be believed, the training for the fight has apparently made Pat rethink the decision to retire.
Last Saturday, the Celtics were in Sacramento. The 105-98 loss to the Kings was made kind of a secondary story when, with 35 seconds left in the game, coach Brad Stevens got ejected. It is the first time he's ever been tossed from a game on any level. The replays I saw do not really show what he did to get the ref to run him, but after a week of being amazed at how Syracuse men's basketball coach Jim Boeheim reacted to a call that got him thrown out, Stevens is the anti-Boeheim.
Instead of yelling and screaming, he calmly called down to the Kings bench to get their coach's attention, gave him a wave and said "good game" and calmly left the court.
The funniest thing is that his reaction became the story of the game. It was just so surprising that he got tossed and then how he didn't lose his mind on the way out of the arena.
As for the game itself, Jeff Green had 29 points to lead the Celtics and Kris Humphries added 19 points.
But even the ejection paled in comparison to the unwarranted brouhaha that happened when the media learned that Rajon Rondo stayed behind in LA to celebrate his birthday with family and friends instead of traveling with the team to Sacramento. He wasn't scheduled to play against the Kings so not traveling with them wouldn't be such a big deal.
But as usual, it was the pinheaded way he went about it that seemed to rile the media. Apparently, he didn't get the official permission of the team to stay behind. A tempest in a teapot likely but once the media got its hooks into the story, suddenly it was disrespect to Brad Stevens and how would the coach handle things. Not too mention Rondo and Danny Ainge.
I don't see what the big deal is all about. It seems like a minor infraction. Sit Rondo down with Stevens or Ainge or both. Behind closed doors, this situation is ironed out in five minutes. And no one has to do any media dance as if they've someone been wronged on a galactic level.
Jeff Green scored 21 points and Rondo had 18 points and 10 assists when the focus got back to the actual games on the court. Unfortunately, it still ended up being a loss. This time it was Utah taking a 110-98 victory.
The doom and gloom of fans who actually think the Celtics should TRY to win the games got a little sliver of sunshine when Boston beat Atlanta 115-104. Jerryd Bayless scored 29 points as the Celtics raised their record to 20-39. Ronda had 22 points and 11 assists while Jeff Green scored 17 and Brandon Bass chipped in with 14 points.
Men's Basketball - The Eagles fell to 7-21 (3-12 in the ACC) after losing 66-59 to Pittsburgh. Olivier Hanlan scored 25 points in the game (putting him over the 1,000 point mark for his career). Patrick Heckmann added 15 points and Ryan Anderson had 10 points.
Sportswriter Mark Blaudschun had a good read on why coach Steve Donahue should be kept as the man in charge of the basketball program. You can check it out here: http://ajerseyguy.com/?p=9306
The Eagles got a solid 80-72 win over Wake Forest on the road. Ryan Anderson led the team with 24 points and 7 boards. Olivier Hanlan scored 17 points while Lonnie Jackson added 12 points. Patrick Heckmann finished with 10 points. The win puts them at 8-21 (4-12 in the ACC).
Women's Basketball - Leading up to the Thursday night home game which would serve as Senior Night, the BC women's basketball site had brief Q&A's with the team's two seniors.
As for the game, the two players were honored before the game. You can see photos (by BC photographer John Quackenbos) of the players with coaches and family below. Doherty first, then Zenevitch.
To start the game, Zenevitch was sent out. Maryland won the tap and the Terps coach Brenda Frese immediately called a timeout so that Zenevitch, who was dealing with a knee injury, could be taken out of the game.
It was a classy move that the two coaches had agreed to before the game. Whichever team won the tap would call the timeout thus enabling Zenevitch the chance to "start" in her last home game.
The rest of the game was not so nice for the Eagles. Maryland just pasted them and cruised to a 92-66 win. Doherty led the Eagles with 15 points, Kat Cooper added 13. Freshman Kelly Hughes scored 12 points and Nicole Boudreau finished with 10 points. The Eagles got outrebounded 37-21 and have now lost 10 of their last 11 games. They are 12-17 overall with a 3-12 ACC record.
BOSTON RED SOX
While the spring training games don't really matter much to me, the annual Sox vs. college teams games saw the Red Sox beat Northeastern and Boston College by identical 5-2 scores.
Movies - The opening scene to the upcoming Veronica Mars movie has been released. It works to catch viewers up on the three seasons of the TV show before launching into the movie. The film is due in theaters and On Demand March 14th.
TV - In the lead up to the fourth season of Game of Thrones, the HBO PR machine has now unleashed a bevy of promo posters with the phrase "Valar Morghulis" (All Men Must Die) on them. My favorite is the one featuring the Arya Stark character which you can see below.
Books - I finished reading the Rhys Bowen mystery The Family Way this week. It's the latest in her early 1900's New York set series featuring Molly Murphy. It was a nice read and managed to show how Murphy gets to solving a case despite promising her new husband to give up detective work now that she has a baby on the way.
And though it isn't actually due out until Tuesday March 4th, I got my hands on the paperback edition of the latest Spenser novel Robert B. Parker's Wonderland. It's written by Ace Atkins. While I'm normally loathe to see a series continue after an author dies, I just can't stand the thought of not knowing where the new author (copious notes from Parker aside) takes the characters I've been reading for more than 20 years.
It was a big week for BC this week as hockey and basketball were active and grabbing at least some of the headlines in the papers. They won some and they lost some.
But for the entire Boston College community, the biggest loss came when the news broke that one of their longtime employees (and BC grad) Dick Kelley had passed away after a long battle with Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS). He spent 22 years working in the BC Sports Information office and was a huge BC basketball supporter. You can read more here: http://www.bceagles.com/genrel/021414aaa.html
As for the sports teams, the hockey programs for both the men and the women saw a huge bit of success when each of them captured the annual Beanpot tournament. It's the local tournament held each year between BC, Boston University, Harvard and Northeastern. The men's team won it for the fifth year in a row while the women picked up their second straight win.
Men's Basketball - The Eagles got beaten in the last second yet again this week. Against Georgia Tech, Olivier Hanlan (pictured below) hit a shot with 3.4 seconds left in the game to put BC ahead but the Yellowjackets nailed a 3 pointer with .7 seconds left and went on to win 74-71.
The loss drops Boston College to 6-18 on the season. Hanlan finished with 21 points and Ryan Anderson added 13. Joe Rahon scored 11 points, but with the team being outrebounded 31-17 for the game, the problem seems to be coming from everywhere but the offense.
Women's Basketball - The long spiral downward continued this week for the women's team. With Kristen Doherty still out with concussion like symptoms, the team once again was playing shorthanded. It's been a season long refrain, injuries sapping bodies from the available roster.
Last Sunday's game against Florida State was particularly disappointing. The Eagles were on the road and so was I. I had to take my mother to a baby shower but commandeered one of the TVs in the house and watched the game on NESN.
BC started out 12-6 but then FSU went on a 14-0 run to take command of the game, something they would never relinquish the rest of the way.
In the first half, BC was outrebounded 21-10 and turned the ball over 13 times (they were averaging 15 turnovers PER GAME.) Their interior defense was pathetic. Of the 35 points Florida State scored in the first half, 32 came in the paint. Katie Zenevitch (12 points, 5 rebounds) got exploited a number of times but even more depressing was just how bad Karima Gabriel played. She was a turnstile on defense, got her shot blocked EASILY, and turned the ball over a number of times.
Things just kept getting worse in the second half as FSU went on to win the game 72-55. They outrebounded BC for the game 46-22, including 24 offensive rebounds. Yes, you read that stat correctly. The Seminoles had more OFFENSIVE rebounds than BC had rebounds for the entire game.
While FSU's Natasha Howard had an outstanding game with 26 points and 11 rebounds, more impressive to me was the play of their point guard Cheetah Delgado. At five foot two, she's the smallest player in the ACC, yet with her speed she essentially slapped the BC defense around for the entire game. She had 6 points, dished out 15 assists and grabbed 9 rebounds. Can you believe it? The BC defense was so bad, that the smallest player on the floor had 9 boards!
While the game was pretty much nothing to really write home about, the Eagles did have one bright spot in the form of freshman Kelly Hughes. She tied her career high with 23 points and got 5 boards as well. She ended up picking up the ACC Rookie of the Week award later in the week.
By the way, you can check out the weekly press conference with coach Erik Johnson below.
On Thursday, the Eagles were at home facing off for the second time with Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish haven't lost all season and that trend continued against the Eagles. After blowing them out by 40 points the first time around, I suppose the 82-61 loss suffered by BC is somewhat of an improvement. But the loss drops them to 12-13 on the season with a 3-9 ACC record.
Kat Cooper (pictured below) led the team with 13 points. Katie Zenevitch had 12 points and 8 boards. Nicole Boudreau added 9 points and 7 assists.
The post game press conference is below.
They play today against Syracuse and I'm supposed to be there with courtside seats. Hopefully I'll have a report to post afterwards.
Hartford - The Hawks dropped to 9-15 (6-5 in the AEC) after their loss to Maine 60-56. Deanna Mayza (pictured below) scored 17 points to lead Hartford. Amber Bepko finished with 10 points. Alyssa Reaves had 8 points and a career high 13 rebounds. You can see highlights of the game and the post game press conference below as well.
Missouri State - The Lady Bears split their two games this week. They beat Bradley 78-72 to start their week. Bry Snow (pictured below) had a career high 29 points to go with 8 rebounds and 4 blocks. Her sister Tyonna Snow scored 17 points.
On Friday night, Tyonna Snow was the only player in double figures (17 points) as MSU lost to Northern Iowa. They are now 12-11 on the season with a 7-5 conference record.
Tennessee - After their 81-53 victory over Vanderbilt this week, the Lady Vols stand at 20-4 (9-2 in the SEC). Meighan Simmons led the victory with 22 points. Isabelle Harrison had 18 points. Andraya Carter (pictured below) scored 11 points while Bashaara Graves had 6 points and 10 boards.
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
You can check out my two high school basketball blog updates from the past week below.
The NBA is now on their All-Star Weekend break but before those not playing in that exhibition farce went their separate ways to presumably get some R&R from the season's grind, the Celtics had 3 games to play.
Last Sunday, the Mavericks knocked off Boston 102-91. Jeff Green led the offense with 18 points, but it was Rajon Rondo who provided the gas for the entire Celtics engine. He had 15 points, 12 assists and 8 rebounds.
Chris Johnson added 14 points and Jared Sullinger tallied 11 points and 12 boards. He was also later named Eastern Conference Player of the Week. Kris Humphries chipped in 10 points.
The Celtics beat then beat the Bucks 102-86. Jeff Green had 29 points and Kelly Olynyk had 14 points and 11 rebounds. With Rajon Rondo getting another DNP for "rest", Phil Pressey stepped up with 13 points. Jared Sullinger scored 13 points as well and had 10 boards. Brandon Bass finished with 12 points and 7 boards.
Boston then closed out the figurative first half of their season with a 104-92 loss to the Spurs. Rondo had 16 points to top the scoring column. Kelly Olynyk had 15 points and 10 boards. Brandon Bass added 12 points and Jerryd Bayless finished with 11 points. Green had 10 points.
The loss has the Celtics at 19-35. It's a bad record but in terms of what the Celtics had in mind, not bad enough. Boston Herald sportswriter Gerry Callahan even wrote an article that basically implored GM Danny Ainge be more proactive in making the team worse. He used the line from the first Rocky movie "He doesn't know it's a show, he thinks its a damn fight" to punctuate the point that coach Brad Stevens has been too damn good for the team's own good (read, high draft pick hopes).
While I understand the plan is to be bad enough to get Jabari Parker or one of the other two potential great team changing players expected to be in the next NBA draft, the fan in me finds myself disgusted by other people who WANT to lose. I know losing now to win big later is the plan and the logical part of my brain gets that. But purposely trying to be bad enough to lose and lose often...ARGHHHH!
Besides the 1980 Miracle on Ice US hockey victory over the Russians, I've spent the week try to figure out what my favorite Winter Olympics moment was. And I figured it out. I watched it as it happened and I was simply blown away by the figure skating performance of Sarah Hughes during the 2002 Olympics. She was ranked 3rd out of the three US skaters at the Games and was in fourth before the long program. And then she went out and delivered one of the most amazing skates I've ever seen. It was technically awesome and the zest she delivered it with brought the house down. And when she found out that she'd pulled off an amazing upset, her unbridled scream of joy was electric!
You can see her long program skate below followed by another link that shows all of the skates and her reaction (and that of her coach) about 34 minutes into the second video.
I remember being glued to the screen during her performance and actually cheering as she finished. And a "HOLY SH*T!" escaped my lips when she was announced as the winner. Just a classic moment.
As for the current Winter Olympics, I missed the first period on Saturday morning but caught the last two periods, overtime and the shootout between the US and Russian hockey teams.
The US caught a break late in the third period when a Russian goal was disallowed, but this was a heck of a game. With Doc Emrick on the call, everything seemed so intense. This game showed exactly why I love Olympic hockey. Each attempt in the shootout was so epic and when T.J. Oshie drilled a shot past the Russian goalie on the 8th attempt between the two teams, the US picked up the win! Can I get a HELL YEAH!!!!
TV - The television world lost one of its best known dads this week when actor Ralph Waite died at the age of 86. For those who grew up on the 1970's family dramas, you will remember him as John Walton, the patriarch on The Waltons. In recent years, he's appeared on the soap opera Days of our Lives as well as playing the father of Gibbs on NCIS and the grandfather of Booth on Bones.
Music - One of the upcoming CDs I'll be reviewing is the House of Lords album Precious Metal. The band has released a video for the song "Battle" and you can check it out below.
Books - I picked up the Rhys Bowen mystery The Family Way this week. It is the latest paperback release in her Molly Murphy series. The series is set in the early 1900's with Irish immigrant Murphy as she winds her way as an unlikely PI in New York. Each book has been highly entertaining and I'm so glad I discovered her books.
I also discovered by virtue of an excerpt printed in Sports Illustrated that there is a new book about the 1985 Chicago Bears out. It's called Monsters: The 1985 Chicago Bears and the Wild Heart of Football. The author is Rich Cohen and after reading that excerpt, I am definitely adding it to my want list.
While pondering this quote by philosopher Arnold Schopenhauer as paraphrased by the late great Warren Zevon: "We buy books because we believe we are buying the time to read them"...
The Celtics had a busy week with four games on the schedule. There was a nice moment of sunshine in the overcast look to the season, but it was fleeting.
The week started off with a 93-91 loss to the Orlando Magic. I saw the second half of this game and as you might expect by the slim final margin, the Celtics were in the game until the very end. But with one last chance to tie or win the game, the team just couldn't get the shot they were looking for and went down in flames. Jeff Green had 22 points, Kris Humphries had 18 points and 12 boards and Avery Bradley had 18 points.
Five players hit double figures when Boston faced off with the Miami Heat but it wasn't enough as Miami took the game 93-86. It was Brandon Bass leading the way with 15 points. Kris Humphries was once again a big factor with 14 points and 13 board. Jared Sullinger had 12 points and 11 boards. Green had 12 points and Chris Johnson added 11 points.
Gerald Wallace hit the game winning layup with 2.5 seconds left in overtime to life the Celtics to a 113-111 victory over the Washington Wizards in the team's third game of the week. Wallace finished the game with 9 points and 9 assists.
Jeff Green exploded for 39 points and 9 boards while Phil Pressey scored 20 points. It wasn't all hearts and flowers for Pressey though. He had 6 turnovers and fouled out of the game. Sullinger finished with 14 points and 11 boards.
On Friday night, the Oklahoma City Thunder played their first game since moving to OKC where neither Russell Westbrook or Kevin Durant were in uniform. I know OKC is a good team, but I thought that with both of those players out of action the Celtics could do a good thing and pull off an upset. Silly Me!
The Thunder rolled to a 101-83 victory. Green had 16 points, Wallace added 13 points and Bass finished with 11 points. Rajon Rondo (who was a DNP-CD for one game this past week in order to rest) had 8 assists in the game.
The Celtics are 15-30 on the season. They are a bad team but in the minds of many I'm sure, not bad enough.
Julian Edlow of Celticslife.com had a piece this week on Jeff Green. He called him the biggest tease in the NBA. This would be in reference to the up and down nature of Green's scoring prowess.
His article was a good read and I responded that it is frustrating that Green can't be more of a consistent double figures scorer night in and night out. But I also said to imagine how bad the team would be without him in the lineup.
I wrote in an previous Sunday Musings entry that after Green had two sub-double figure nights, he then went for a long period of games where he hit double figures each game. I think getting rid of Green would accomplish the goal of tanking the season official.
I wish that his numbers wouldn't vary quite so much for his scoring totals but I also don't believe that Green has to be the main scorer every single night. They've got guys on the team that can all get nights where they put a ton of points on the board.
It would be nice if it was Green all the time and the Celtics were winning but I do agree with Edlow that the ship on Green's year to year growth as a player has probably sailed. But I just can't see dumping him in order to be that much worse of a team.
It was revealed this week that two of this year's inductees will go in with no team logo on their plaque. Greg Maddux couldn't decide between the Cubs and Braves and Tony LaRussa couldn't decide between the White Sox, A's or Cardinals.
I can sort of see LaRussa's point because he was so successful with the A's and Cardinals (sorry White Sox fans) but with Maddux saying that the length of time he spent with each club was a major factor for his indecision, I call BS. He was far more successful with the Braves and at least to my mind, going into the Hall with a Braves logo on his hat should've been a no-brainer.
BOSTON RED SOX
I picked up the NESN DVD Band of Bearded Brothers yesterday. It's their version of the World Series celebratory DVD.
This week saw the Boston Baseball Writers Dinner and Awards ceremony. One of the news bits out of the dinner was that the beards that played such a big role in last year's title team will be a thing of the past when the Red Sox take the field this year.
You can count me in as one who wants to see the two sides come to an agreement and keep Lester in a Red Sox uniform.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
After the debacle that was the AFC Championship game last Sunday I'm over the NFL season. I know that as a football fan I'm still supposed to be supercharged to watch the Super Bowl, but given that I really have no rooting interest in either team, I don't know if I'll even catch any of the game.
As for the Patriots loss, there's really nothing to say in defense of how ill suited they seemed to be to play against the Broncos. I listened to the first half of the game on the way home from the BC women's basketball game. If their lack of quality play wasn't bad enough, the Patriots radio announcers are two of the worst I've ever heard. They made the game that much more painful. Once I got home, the game didn't really get much better when I could visually witness what was going on out in Denver.
There was no running game, the passing game was sub-par at best and the defense could do nothing to stop a slight breeze much less the Broncos offense.
As much as I would've loved to see the Patriots make and win the Super Bowl, the plain truth is that they went about as far as their talent (or what was left of it after the parade of injuries) would let them.
The offseason news surrounding the Patriots started with the news of the coaching staff departures. Pepper Johnson quit to find a new job. There's no confirmation but reports I saw in the Boston Herald that said he was unhappy after getting passed over for the defensive coordinator job last year in favor of Matt Patricia. Johnson did release a classy statement with the news of his leavetaking.
The bigger surprise was the retirement of Dante Scarnecchia. He'd been an assistant with the Patriots for 30 years through 6 different head coaches. He's been the one constant for the team during all that time and his position and institutional memory are going be tough to replace.
I don't know what the Patriots will do this offseason, but they really have to upgrade the talent on the team and figure out a way to keep their players HEALTHY. They need to better their passing game attack by getting receivers who can stretch the field from Day 1. And they need to better their secondary.
HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
You can check out what I had to say in my recaps about the various high school basketball teams I follow in the two links below.
Hartford - The Hawks saw their season fortunes turn around a bit this week. They've won three straight games. While the record improves to just 7-13, when you are doing that bad you take what positives you can get.
Amber Bepko (pictured below) scored 19 points to lead Hartford in their 80-76 win over UMass-Lowell. Deanna Mayza and Cherelle Moore each finished with 19 points. Alyssa Englert had a solid game with 6 points, 7 assists and 8 boards.
The Hawks got a 66-42 victory over Binghamton with Alyssa Reaves and Mayza scoring 12 points. Reaves had 8 boards in the game as well. You can see highlights and the post game press conference below.
Yesterday afternoon saw the Hawks knock off UMBC 65-55. Cherelle Moore scored 16 points off the bench to lead the offense. Mayza had 11 points. Bepko, Englert and Reaves each scored 10 points in the game. Reaves also had 7 boards.
Tennessee - On Monday, the Lady Vols led by as many as 12 points but ended up losing to Notre Dame 86-70. Meighan Simmons (pictured below first) led Tennessee with 23 points (but had 7 turnovers), Ariel Massengale added 14 points and Isabelle Harrison (pictured below 2nd) finished with 13 points and 16 boards.
The loss stung to be sure, but Coach Warlick's team rebounded with their 89-69 win over Florida later in the week. Simmons led five players in double figures for the Lady Vols with 21 points. Bashaara Graves (pictured below) had 17 points and 8 boards. Andraya Carter scored 14 points and dished out 8 assists. Jasmine Jones chipped in 13 points and 6 boards while Harrison hit for 12 points.
Tennessee is now 15-4 with a 4-2 conference record.
Missouri State - Bry Snow scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds but the Bears came up on the short end of the scoreboard in their 68-60 loss to Northern Iowa early in the week.
As for the game against Indiana State, the Bears ended up losing 74-57. They committed 24 turnovers in the game and shot just 36.4 percent from the floor. Tyonna Snow had 15 points to lead Missouri State. Katie Palmer finished with 12 points and Bry Snow had 10 points. The team is now 7-10 overall with a 2-4 conference record.
BOSTON COLLEGE ATHLETICS
Football - The 2014 football schedule for the Eagles has been released.
I'm not one for sitting outside in the cold so it isn't like I would be going to any of the late season games, but in all honesty there is no team coming to Alumni Stadium that makes me want to attend a game.
Men's Basketball - Before the team headed into an 8 day layoff, they got knocked off by Georgia Tech 68-60. Olivier Hanlan had 19 points and Lonnie Jackson added 14 points.
With the fan talk swirling about a coaching change, there was an article I read that suggested Bruce Pearl (ex-Tennessee) as a possible candidate. But he put the kibosh on that rumor.
I was talking to a friend of mind and mentioned that the fanbase was unhappy with how the team is progressing under Steve Donahue. He said a name that might be an intriguing hire would be current Minnesota coach Richard Pitino.
There was also a brief weekly press conference with coach Erik Johnson.
Things didn't get any better for the Eagles when they went on the road to play NC State on Thursday night. The Wolfpack went out 9-0 to start the game and that margin ended up being the final margin of victory as the Eagles fell 85-76.
The loss was their fifth in a row against a ranked opponent. They are 11-9 with a 2-4 ACC record going into today's game against Wake Forest. It is also serving as Alumni Day at Conte Forum.
Kat Cooper was out for the game which leads me to believe her injury was worse than they thought against UNC. This despite me getting a response from whomever runs the BC women's basketball Facebook page saying she was fine when I asked how she was doing right after the UNC game.
In place of Cooper, freshman Kelly Hughes got her first career start and made the most of it. She hit 6 out of 10 three point attempts and finished with a career high 23 points. Katie Zenevitch had 19 points and Kristen Doherty added 10 points and 6 boards.
In celebration of the 25th anniversary of BC's Conte Forum, they've been talking to a variety of former players about their best memory of their time at the school and in the venue. This week they had a brief piece with former BC women's basketball player Carolyn Swords. You can check that out here: http://www.bceagles.com/sports/w-baskbl/spec-rel/012414aaa.html
First off, for those that don't waste enough time on the Internet already, I potentially have another little stop you can make on your surfing time.
It seems that someone read that article I wrote a couple weeks back about my favorite mysteries/thrillers of 2013. It prompted them to try and get in touch with me. But as I was later told I am a hard guy to get in touch with.
The guy got in touch with my buddy J.D. who forwarded me the email he sent. Seems he wanted to send me a copy of a new spy novel that is coming out in May for review. Who is this guy? He's the director of publicity for Atria Books, an imprint of Simon and Schuster. For those in the know about the book publishing business, S&S isn't exactly a small press publisher.
So that was pretty sweet news. But not being able to get in touch with me seems to be an issue these days. So after a long time of "badgering" by J.D. and this latest development, I have reluctantly given in and created a Twitter account. You can find me @TheOneTrueJay
Food - Speaking of good eats, I read a review of a restaurant this week. Actually, it's technically a pub. Flynn's Irish Pub to be exact. The review was intriguing and made me want to check the place out. And then I read the menu at the pub's website and think I'll have to hook myself up to a cardiac monitor to try any of their 21 different burgers. You can check it out for yourself at http://www.gotoflynns.com
TV - I'm happy to report that I am now a very happy NYPD Blue fan. After years of waiting since the release of Season 4, I've now got my hands on Season 5. It was released this week and I immediately bought it. Now I'm in the midst of watching it and grooving to the rewatch of the adventures of the 15th Precinct.
Oh, and while I have to catch the first episode on On Demand, the Starz original series Black Sails debuted last night. It's a pirate drama and looking at the previews this isn't your usual Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum look at the life of a pirate. I'm optimistic about this series and hope that once I do watch the first episode, I don't feel let down. You can check out the trailer below.
Books - It's been a busy work week so I haven't finished any books this week. But I did pick up a new one. It's the Iris Johansen thriller Silencing Eve. It is the third book in a trilogy story featuring her Eve Duncan forensic sculptor character.
Music - I picked up the debut solo album from Sugarland singer Jennifer Nettles this week. It's called That Girl. I've given it one listen thus far, but have to play it again before I'll feel comfortable reviewing it.
You can check out the video for the title track below.
You can check out the video for the Red Dragon Cartel song "Deceived" below. I've got the album on order and a review of it will be forthcoming.
And this week was a sort of sad week for me musically. This past Friday would've been the 67th birthday of Warren Zevon. Sadly he passed away in 2003 but his music remains as important today to me as ever it was. You can check out the http://www.warrenzevon.com website. There's a Facebook page dedicated to getting him inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and you can always go on Youtube to check out his incredible music.
Or go really crazy and buy his CDs! You probably know his biggest song "Werewolves of London" so I'm going to skip that one and instead you can check out a couple of different songs below.
There's a lot more to discover from raucous rockers to beautiful love songs and everything in between. And my love for all things Zevon extends to my choice in avatars that I use online. See that cigarette smoking skull next to my name? That's Zevon's Ol' Velvet Nose that was used on his backstage passes among other things.
Warren Zevon...music legend...still missed to this day.
While anticipating the end of the Brady versus Manning hype and laughing over being told about "The Jay Factor"...
MY SORT OF GOOD BASKETBALL WEEK
Tennis fans have been abuzz this week over the Australian Open results and the insane heat that is hanging around Down Under during the matches. But I've never been a big fan of that particular Grand Slam event, even when I was a big tennis fan.
Instead, this week's entry deals with a retired player and her legal troubles getting a resolution.
My favorite tennis player for a number of years was Jennifer Capriati. I made mention of her a while back when she was arrested on charges relating to assaulting/stalking an ex-boyfriend. The update now is that she cut a deal to avoid going to trial. I'm hoping that this gets her straightened out, I don't want to spend the rest of my life wondering what crazy ass thing she's done now to get into more legal trouble. You can read about it here: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/capriati-gets-deal-fla-battery-174448064--ten.html
The Celtics have had a very busy week once again. And I speak of both on and off the court news.
On the court, the Celtics lost two more games before ending what was a 9 game losing streak by knocking off Toronto. But the biggest on court news was Friday's return to the lineup of Rajon Rondo.
They lost to the Portland Trail Blazers 112-104 despite 25 points from Avery Bradley. Then came a 104-92 loss to the Houston Rockets. Bradley was the leading scorer (24) in that game as well.
Meanwhile, off the court news saw Keith Bogans given permission to leave the team indefinitely for personal reasons. Basically, he had no role with the team and he's been unhappy. While he is under contract and still being paid, it doesn't seem to me that he's likely to rejoin the team.
GM Danny Ainge made a move this week as well in anticipation of the return of Rajon Rondo on Friday night. In a three team deal that involved both the Golden State Warriors and the Miami Heat, Ainge sent Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks to the Warriors and got center Joel Anthony and two future draft picks from the Heat. Brooks has had little to no role with the Celtics and Crawford getting dealt will be good for him since he was going to lose his minutes to Rondo.
Back on the court, the Celtics got a monster game from Jared Sullinger (25 points, 20 rebounds) and beat the Raptors 88-83.
As for Rondo's return to game action, he saw 19:25 in playing time on Friday night. But it didn't make much of a difference in the final score as the Celtics lost to the Lakers 107-104. They are now 14-27 on the season and have lost 13 of their last 15 games.
Kelly Olynyk scored a career high 25 points to lead the six players who hit double digits for Boston. He also dished out 7 assists. Phil Pressey had 9 assists in the game.
Speaking of the Lakers, there was a buzz at Boston College yesterday afternoon as Kobe Bryant dropped by an international marketing class at the school:
" A Boston College professor says he used Kobe Bryant as an example in his first international marketing class of the semester — and then the Lakers star walked into the class and started taking notes.
Boston College says Bryant arrived shortly after the class began Thursday night and stayed for two hours until it was over. Professor Nick Nugent says Bryant's visit was not planned.
Bryant told students that he loves to learn and is interested in international marketing."
WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Hartford - The Hawks got a career high 21 points (and 10 boards) from Cherelle Moore but couldn't beat Albany, falling 69-52.
Yesterday, the Hawks squared off against New Hampshire and blew a 33-22 halftime lead as they lost 61-56. Alyssa Reaves had 10 points and 10 boards to lead the Hawks. Amber Bepko and Deanna Mayza each scored 9 points. But Hartford is now 4-13 with a 1-3 conference record.
Missouri State - The Bears came up just short in their game against Loyola earlier in the week. They gave up the last 6 points of the game and had two shots of their own blocked in the last 5 seconds of the game to fall 63-61.
Tyonna Snow had 13 points (but turned the ball over 7 times), Mikala McGhee (pictured below) had career highs in both points (12) and rebounds (9). Bry Snow added 9 points and a career high 11 boards while Kenzie Williams continued her season long double figures scoring run with 10 points.
Facing Drake on Saturday afternoon, the Bears got 21 points from Bry Snow while Tyonna Snow added 19 points and 8 boards and the team rolled to an 89-66 win. Kenzie Williams scored 13 points and grabbed 10 boards. Hannah Wilkerson tallied 10 points.
The win moves Missouri State to 7-8 on the season.
Tennessee - The Lady Vols had two games this week. They got knocked off by Vanderbilt 74-63 to start the week off on the wrong foot.
Meighan Simmons (pictured below) scored 19 points to power the Vols. Jasmine Jones added 13 points and Cierra Burdick had 11 points. Center Isabelle Harrison had 10 points but fouled out of the game with 9:23 left to play.
I don't know if it would've made a difference to the final result but given how productive Harrison has been throughout the season, I would think to be on solid ground to say the game would've been different if she hadn't fouled out.
Though the game was close, Tennessee rebounded from the loss to beat Mississippi State 67-63. The win moves them to 14-3 (3-2 in SEC play). Ariel Massengale and Bashaara Graves scored 13 points apiece to lead the team. Harrison added 10 points. The win over MSU keeps Tennessee's record over them perfect. They've beaten them all 35 times they've played.
The Lady Vols play on Monday night in a big game against Notre Dame.
BOSTON COLLEGE ATHLETICS
Football - While the season is over and things are technically on the back burner, the news out of the Eagle football office is the transfer of now ex-Florida Gator QB Tyler Murphy to BC. He's only going to be suiting up for the Eagles for a year under the transfer rules for players who have graduated from their previous school, but given that he was recruited by BC's coach Steve Addazio when the coach was at Florida, he will hopefully give the Eagles at least a stop gap measure for that year before they have to have a long term solution under center.
Men's Basketball - The Eagles started their week off with a 9pm tip-off on Monday against Syracuse. It was a home game that if I'd been able to attend would've had free tickets for.
The game saw BC drop to 5-12 for the season with a 1-3 ACC record after the #2 Syracuse team won 69-59. Lonnie Jackson scored 18 points to lead BC with Ryan Anderson adding 14 points.
It was announced Friday that junior center Dennis Clifford has been shut down for the season due to chronic knee problems. He's going to apply for a medical redshirt and come back next year.
On Saturday afternoon, BC visited North Carolina for a game that was on ESPN. I caught the start of the 2nd half on the radio while out running errands and then saw the last 9 minutes or so while eating lunch. And what I saw was a BC team that hung with the Tar Heels for the first 30 minutes of game time.
But once again, the lack of defensive stops and taking care of the ball did the Eagles in. They were down 56-55 with about 10 minutes left in the game. But they kept turning the ball over and the Tar Heels took advantage and went on to win the game 82-71.
BC hit 11 three pointers in the game but their 18 turnovers just killed their momentum. If you combine that with how UNC picked apart their defense, it was another in a long line of games where you wonder if BC will ever compete for real in conference play.
Olivier Hanlan scored 16 points to lead the offense, but had 6 of the 18 turnovers. Lonnie Jackson had 14 points. Joe Rahon hit for 13 points and dished out 6 assist. Eddie Odio turned in a career high 12 points before fouling out. Ryan Anderson (pictured below dunking) scored 11 points and led the team with 12 rebounds.
The loss leaves Boston College with a 5-13 record and they are now in last place in the ACC with a 1-4 record.
Women's Basketball - I watched the second half of the women's game last Sunday as they played #2 Duke. Unfortunately, Duke blew the Eagles out 78-57. BC just doesn't seem to have the horses to run with those highly ranked teams. They don't quit and I really like the grit and hustle on display from BC, but their offense went cold twice during the game and it killed them.
Kat Cooper had 21 points to lead BC. Katie Zenevitch had 10 points and Kristen Doherty (pictured below) finished with 8 points and 11 boards.
Boston College turned the ball over 21 times in the game and shot just 9-34 from three point range. Another big problem in the game was their inability to get to the foul line. Duke hit 17 out of 27 foul shots while BC only took 9 shots from the line for the entire game.
After getting crushed by two highly ranked teams, the women's team needed a win to stem the tide and Thursday's matchup against Miami gave them that opportunity. And though it was a close game, the opportunity was not squandered. They beat the Hurricanes 63-62 and stopped their losing streak. They are 11-7 with a 2-2 ACC record now.
Nicole Boudreau (pictured below) led the team with 15 points. Katie Zenevitch had 12 points and 10 boards while both Lauren Engeln and Kelly Hughes added 10 points.
(photo by John Quackenbos)
I'm headed up to Conte Forum later today to see the women's team take on #9 North Carolina and I'm sure that I'll have something to say about the game afterwards.
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
In case you didn't see my separate entries, you can check out my recaps of the week that was with the high school teams I follow below:
TV - Just a reminder that the third season of the British series Sherlock debuts tonight in the US. It airs at 10pm EST on PBS. The show has already aired in Britain but I know that fans of the show here in the States have been eagerly awaiting the show's return.
Also, you can check out the first official trailer for the fourth season of HBO's Game of Thrones below.
Oh, and thanks to selling off some stuff on eBay recently, I had the money to add the 9th season of Cheers to my DVD collection.
Yes, I had a good week of a sort. Okay, it was slightly unfulfilled for reasons I'll delve into below, but it was a decent enough week thanks to Boston College and Upper Cape.
When I walked into work this past Monday, there was a note on my desk. Apparently someone from Boston College called after I left. I was confused as to why the school would be calling me.
I returned the phone call and found out that they were calling because they wanted to know if I was still coaching a youth team. I had brought four of my teams up to see games through the ticket program the school used to run for the women's basketball team.
It seems that if I had been coaching a team, tickets were available for me to bring up a team this year. Sadly, since I'm not coaching (it took more than a year for me to have a regret about not coaching, how about that?!?), I wasn't able to take advantage of the offer. But it was very cool that they were able to track me down to make the offer.
But that isn't where the phone call ended. Next I was asked if I went to the men's games. I could've had tickets to that night's game for BC against Syracuse that was on TV. But I had to pass on that offer as well because I had previous plans. Then it turned out it was good I didn't say yes, because the tip time was 9pm.
But there was a third offer forthcoming. I could get courtside seats if I was interested. The women's games would be easier to get but the men's games would be workable as well with advance planning. I'm going to the BC women's game against North Carolina on Sunday Jan. 19th, so I asked if there were courtside seats available for that game. Unfortunately, they were all gone.
However, I already had a ticket for the February 16th women's game against Syracuse, so I asked about that game. And seats were available. So I'll have two courtside seats for that game. Yaay Me!
And things got better thanks to Upper Cape. Wednesday afternoon, my phone rang while I was at work. It was the mother of my former player Allison. She said that one of the mothers of a player on this year's team was trying to get in touch with me.
I took the phone number down and gave the woman a call. It seems that Thursday's game for the Upper Cape girls varsity team against Sturgis East was going to be taped for broadcast on cable TV. They had someone lined up to do the play by play (actually I think it was the analyst role but I could be wrong about that) but that person had to bail out. They needed someone to fill in and my name was the first name suggested by her older daughter, the varsity assistant.
Unfortunately, I couldn't do it because I am at work until 5pm and couldn't leave early due to being in the midst of prep work for a big order we are running next week. I was going to the game but couldn't be there early to do any kind of prep work that might've been needed for the broadcast.
I talked to the varsity assistant after the game and thanked her for suggesting me and to keep me in mind if there was anything else I could do to help the girls team. She told me the guy they originally had didn't even know the names of the girls on the team so I would've been a much better option. The head coach said that the plan is to have their state tournament games taped for broadcast as well and I would be in the running to do some announcing for those games.
The funny thing is that even though I couldn't do it for last night's game, I was still writing notes in my head to use as if I was doing the game. I had tidbits and observations from having a player on both varsity teams that I'd coached as well as stuff I could use from following both teams through the papers and seeing UCT play live. Not to mention the stuff I was thinking as I watched the varsity game develop. I sure do wish I'd been able to get out of work early!
Though the JV team lost by 2 points last night, the Upper Cape varsity won by 31 and have a 9-0 record. They are just one win away from qualifying from the state tourney.
And thus endeth the tale of my semi-fulfilling week of basketball!