What’s the deal with Kenny George?

So with the Terrelle Pryor announcment scheduled for tomorrow at Noon, and the basketball Buckeyes not making the NCAA torney, this by all accounts will be the last Ohio State basketball post for a good while. Tongiht, they are opening up the NIT at home against UNC-Asheville. Asheville was a loser in the Big South tourney championship to Winthrop, so that’s why they’re here. Here’s my question:

HOW DO YOU NOT WIN A CONFERENCE LIKE THE BIG SOUTH WITH A GUY ON YOUR TEAM THAT IS 7’7″, 360 POUNDS?!

Yes that’s right, Kenny George, a 7’7″ 360 pound man-beast in the paint isn’t enough to get UNC-Asheville into the dance. That’s unbelieveable. I mean I’m not claiming to be an avid UNC-A Bulldog fan, but how isn’t this team better?

I found out why, when I took a look at the numbers:

— George rarely starts. In fact, he plays about 19 minutes a game.

— George is ninteenth in his conference in scoring. 

— George (who is 7’7″ if you forgot) gets SIX REBOUNDS A GAME. SIX. REBOUNDS. A. GAME. So this means, on average, George is one foot taller than the number of rebounds he pulls down.

I urge all of you to watch the OSU UNC-A game tonight, and try and figure out why this guy, Kenny George, just can’t get it done.

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Just the Box: Orlando 104, Cleveland 90

I was worried about this game when that trade went through. I was worried the Magic would have an opportunity to exploit our perimeter defense. I was right.

 Magic 104, Cleveland 90

Lebron’s line: 30 points (team high), 9 rebounds (team high), 6 assists (team high). There is no way that nine rebounds and six assists should be the team high. With a scorer like LeBron James, our guards should be able to get somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 assists between them, whoever is playing. Last night, Sasha Pavlovic, Damon Jones, and Delonte West combined for a total of seven assists. That’s just pathetic.

— Cavs actually out-rebounded the Magic, 44-40. Not bad, but when you consider that the Magic were…

— 14-32 from three point range, it doesn’t really matter. Anytime your opponent can get over 40% shooting from deep with double digit makes, you won’t win too many of those games. We knew giving up Larry Hughes would really take a bite out of our perimeter defense, and when you have guys that can shoot like Hedo Turkoglu, Rashard Lewis, and to a lesser extent Keith Bogans, they will test you. They passed the test.

Then there’s Dwight Howard. He’s an absolute man child. Guy goes for 23 points and 13 rebounds, and I’m sure Stan Van Gundy will tear into him because he only had two blocks. The Magic have been overlooked all season, partly because Howard doesn’t care if people don’t pay attention to him. Here’s the thing: he’s a top five player in the game, and is the best in the paint. The Magic have just three fewer wins than the Pistons, and have already locked up a playoff spot. I would not want to mess with them in the playoffs, hell I’d rather play Detroit, at least the Cavs know they can beat them in a seven game set.

— Why is Wally Szczerbiak only playing six minutes a night? That’s unacceptable, and just another testament that Mike Brown has no idea what hes doing. This was supposed to be a guy that can come out and shoot from anywhere in the building, but Mike Brown plays him for six minutes. There’s just an endless strain of things to complain about when the Cavs lose.

— Bottom line: when the Cavs made The Trade, all of the experts immediately started talking about if this trade means they can compete with Boston and Detroit, completely overlooking Orlando who has been there all along. Last night proves that either these new guys still haven’t gelled, or that the trade wasn’t worth making. Either way, Cavs cannot play enough games before the playoffs arrive.

Bizarro Browns: Pittsburgh cannot get over Hadnot

I don’t know what’s sweeter: all of the moves the Cleveland Browns have made so far in free agency combined, or their move yesterday. Of course, you would rather have a re-signed Jamal Lewis and Derek Anderson, in addition to the signings of Shaun Rogers, Corey Williams and Donte’ Stallworth, but yesterdays move, above all of the others made this off-season, really made me feel good about where the Browns are heading.

Sure, signing offensive lineman Rex Hadnot on the surface isn’t much, he will compete for a starting gig on our offensive line, and could prove to be a valuable, versatile player. But, if not, all of his value was sealed yesterday, as Browns fans everywhere had an opportunity to stick the Hadnot signing right in the eye of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They were after him, we got him. Not only that, but they needed him, and we didn’t. Some might be quick to call this a sign of the times in the AFC North, and I am one of those people. VERY rarely to the Steelers come up for air in the free agent market, and when they do, they have a pretty good track record of reeling in who they want.

This signing thrills me as a Browns fan. It makes me feel like our front office is going after Pittsburgh. This is a mean move, going after someone that Pittsburgh clearly wanted and needed. The Pittsburgh Post-Tribune has more on the Steelers need for Hadnot:

The veteran nose tackle [Casey Hampton] recently talked to his friend, Rex Hadnot — and talked up Pittsburgh and the Steelers’ organization to the former Miami Dolphins offensive lineman.

Hadnot could fill a need at either guard or center — the 6-foot-2, 325-pounder has extensive experience at each position — though the Steelers are hardly the only suitors for the fourth-year veteran.

Here’s the other AMAZING thing about this Hadnot deal: the Steelers were pursuing him despite the fact that they have some serious money issues. They are only a few million under the projected salary cap this season, biggest reason being the monster deals they gave to Troy Polamalu and Ben Roethlisberger, both record Steeler deals at the time of their signing.

Follow me here. Doesn’t it seem like the fiscal roles are reversed? The Steelers throwing a large amount of money at specific players (while ignoring glaring holes at other positions) , with the Browns making shrewd deals to bring in “puzzle pieces?” I’ll stipulate that both Big Ben and Troy are good players, only if Pittsburgh will concede that they still have some serious issues on the offensive line, and, thanks in part to James Harrison, potentially at linebacker. Not to mention the fact that their answer to lessening the burden on Willie Parker and his broken leg is Mewelde Moore.

If you’re a Steeler fan and you’re reading this, I already know your argument: “you can be as good as you want on paper, we’ll still beat you on the field like we always do.” Sure, rest on your laurels. If you guys can find an offensive line, we’ll see you later this year.

Ummm… what?

Cavs beat writer Brian Windhorst is probably the best basketball beat writer in the NBA, and I think many people outside of the Cleveland area would agree with me on that. He once again is doing an amazing job at finding out the details that make this NBA season interesting. For instance, a seventeen year old fan who rushed the court when the Cavs played the Knicks to meet his Idol, Devin Brown. Just kidding, LeBron James:

A source said Anthony Erskine, 17, who ran across the floor and past several guards in a James replica jersey, is about to get even closer to his idol.

Erskine has been in touch with James’ representatives, and there are plans for him to be James’ guest Wednesday when the Cavaliers visit the New Jersey Nets. There might be a private meeting between the two.

”He had something he wanted to say to me and he got it out before they took him away,” James said. ”I respect him and his pride.”

First of all, I think the line “I respect him and his pride” was in the movie Deliverance somewhere. I respect him and his pride? What does that mean? I respect the fact that he has enough courage to burst onto the court (at MSG no less) and approach LeBron, but if more people knew that a little intestinal fortitude is all it took to meet their favorite player, it would be supreme chaos after every sporting event.

Also, he had something he wanted to say? Apparently, it was something LeBron enjoyed hearing, considering that he might be meeting with him tomorrow night in New Jersey.

My question is, where is the line? People scoff at adults that bring mitts to the ballgame, and some athletes refuse to sign autographs for adults. This kid, Erskine, apparently didn’t cross the line with LeBron, and that’s surprising. The fact that he could even get that close to James makes me nervous. Wouldn’t it be just Cleveland’s luck that some sicko New York Knick fan sneaks past the guards and attempts to injure LeBron? Especially after his earth shattering MSG performance?

I need a lot more information on this story, because right now, none of this is adding up. I’m sure Windhorst will be on top of this after the game Thursday night.

Buckeyes’ Bubble Hopes Rest in Cleveland

 

With championship week now in full swing, near-locks for at large bids keep falling by the wayside. You’ve heard the names: Gonzaga, St. Mary’s, South Alabama. And, of course, with every win by the likes of San Diego the bubble chances for a host of high major teams shrink even further; just ask Gary Williams, whose Maryland Terrapins likely saw their bubble burst in the West Coast Conference finals last night.

Another team in a similar predicament is Ohio State. With a couple of horrendous losses on their resume and a so-so performance in the top-heavy Big Ten, the young Buckeyes have their tournament hopes pinned to late-season home wins over Purdue and Michigan State. Last night’s craziness that saw Gonzaga and South Alabama fall to at-large status put the Bucks down to the bottom of most bracketologists’ “Last Four In” categories, meaning that if OSU can’t pull back-to-back wins over the Spartans (not outside the realm of possibility), they’ll need a lot of help to avoid hosting a first-round NIT game.

That help for the Buckeyes may have to come twofold from their neighbors to the northeast in Cleveland.

 

The first bit of help from Cleveland could come tonight–in the form of a loss. That is to say, Ohio State would really, really appreciate it if Cleveland State went ahead and lost to Butler. A win by Gary Waters’ Vikings would be a real double-whammy on OSU, as Butler falling to at-large status would soak up another bid that could’ve gone the Bucks’ way while in turn making the thrashing the Bulldogs laid on the Scarlet and Gray earlier this season a weaker loss in the eyes of the committee (though, on the other hand, it would improve the OSU win over CSU, so maybe that last part’s a wash).

The next bit of help Ohio State could use from Cuyahoga County kicks off Thursday at The Q (as mentioned previously) with the start of MAC Tournament play. What would really help OSU here is wins; lots of wins–by Kent State. With a strong second half–including a huge Bracket Buster win over aforementioned St. Mary’s–the Golden Flashes have become the first MAC team since Wally Szczerbiak’s Miami team (some 10 years ago) to have a tourney bid sewn up pre-conference tourney. Anything short of a MAC title for Kent would prove catastrophic for Ohio State, as their neighbors to the northeast would snipe away yet another precious at-large bid.

Again, OSU can make this all a moot point on Friday if they can go back-to-back on Michigan State. A second win over Sparty and the Buckeyes are in comfortably; a loss in the season series’ rubber match, though, and the Bucks’ are going to be eyeing the North Coast all weekend long.

FAKE REPORT: Carey signs with Indians

WINTER HAVEN– Drew Carey, come on down.

In an ongoing effort to keep up with the Yankees, the Cleveland Indians have signed their own hometown comedian to a contract with their big-league club. Drew Carey, the native Clevelander, agreeing to a one-day deal worth close to $1.2 million dollars with his boyhood team. This coming one day after the New York Yankees announced they had signed Billy Crystal , a move that can only be described as a PR stunt. General Manager Mark Shapiro has other ideas for Carey. “He will bat fourth in our lineup for our upcoming game against Toronto [Thursday] and we’ll take it from there.” Shapiro adding that Carey is a viable, “contingency plan” in case Travis Hafner gets off to another slow start.

Hafner, the current Indians designated hitter isn’t worried though, and couldn’t be happier to have his new teammate aboard. “I’ve always been a big fan of The Drew Carey Show and The Price is Right.” The native South Dakotan is excited to talk to his new teammate about calling one of the games on Price is Right “Pronk.” “It wouldn’t have to be a car game necessarily, they could give away a f*****g dinette set for all I care.”

Carey also hasn’t taken long endearing himself to his manager, Eric Wedge. “I’d say about 95% of our interaction has been positive so far. The only thing I didn’t care for was his take on the Aristocrat joke. Amputee defecation is off-limits for me.”

The Carey deal isn’t Shapiro’s first venture into comical contracts. Before the 2005 season, Cleveland negotiated terms with outfielder Juan Gonzalez, a move that delayed current center fielder Grady Sizemore’s development into a big league player. Gonzalez began the season on the DL, then tore is groin running out of the box in his only at-bat for the Indians that season. $500,000 well spent.

Once again, Carey scheduled to make his spring appearance Thursday against the Toronto Blue Jays, we will have a full report from Indians camp after the first contest of the Drew Carey Era in Cleveland.

Just the Box: Cleveland 88, Portland 80

This will be a frequent column here at Sons of Nev, my take on the Cavs game that just took place on any given evening. It’s called “Just the Box” because, being that I am not in the Cleveland market, I can’t watch the game. I will also avoid watching any highlights until I post this to give a complete analysis without having watched a play. Why is this valuable? Well, sometimes it becomes difficult to notice the details of games when you watch them; the details that only the box score contains.

Cleveland 88, Portland 80

— Lebron’s line: 24 pts (team high), 10 reb (team high), 11 ast (team high). Seventh double double this year, seventeenth of his career. This guy is obviously a talent, and he still is obviously not getting much help. I know we’re going to have to wait to get all of these guys back that are injured, but it still looks like LeBron and everyone else out there.

I take that back to some degree. Joe Smith putting up 18 points and five boards. Seems like Drew Gooden could have done the same thing. The knock has always been on Gooden that he’s so inconsistent, so lets see if Smith can put up close to 20 every night, which will be hard considering he only played 26 minutes because Ben Wallace was hurt. This guy needs more minutes, especially when Z gets back, for a few reasons:

1. Z is an above average passer as a big man, problem is he hasn’t had a consistent guy on the low block to chuck the rock to, well, ever. Joe Smith could be that guy.

2. Smith can hit free throws (8-8 tonight). That matters, especially down the stretch. If you can put the lineup of Gibson, Sasha, LeBron, Smith, and Z on the floor late in the game, you sacrifice nothing, and you put five guys on the floor that can consistently (at an 80% clip) sink them from the line.

3. Regardless of Z, this guy has to be the hungriest newest member of the Cavs. Smith has the dubious honor of being on more teams than any number one overall selection in the history of the NBA. He’s been in the league 13 seasons, made it to five playoffs, never getting out of the first round. He lands on a crappy Chicago team and thinks he may never have a chance to hoist that trophy. This is his opportunity, let the guy play.

We got away with Brandon Roy not turning it up a notch. The kid only had nine points in the second half, six if you don’t count the meaningless three he hit with 0:22 left in the fourth (ok, so I look at the play-by-play too). Roy has proven this season that he can lead a team, and normally players like Roy can turn it up in the fourth quarter. Especially when players like him play LeBron, it becomes a back and forth sniper match. That never happened, but give Roy another year and it just might.

— I’m sure this has been said before, but the Blazers are going to be set in the frontcourt for years to come once Greg Oden is healthy. LaMarcus Aldridge had 25 points and 10 points tonight. If you factor in that Roy should be a 22-25 point guy next year, Oden can come in, get 10 and 10 (which shouldn’t be a tall task) and fit right in. The West is a rough road, but this team will be a force if they can stay healthy.

— Both teams missed a boadload of shots. Blazers shot 39.7% from the field, Cavs 42.9%

I’ll take the win, that’s for sure. Next game is Wednesday night at New Jersey. Great, just what Cavs fans need, LeBron hanging out with Jay-Z again, on the heels of Simmons incredibly convoluted “What If” column.