Thursday’s Den: Doing some thinking out loud…….

13) They were telling a story on TV Tuesday night that helps explain the current state of college basketball. Kid on Texas Tech goes to an NBA combine last spring, trying to determine if he would get drafted last summer. He didn’t get good news, so he is back in Lubbock.

But while he was at the combine, he talked to a kid who played at Oral Roberts last year, and they became friends. The Texas Tech kid talks the Oral Roberts kid into bolting to Tech, making the Red Raiders a stronger team this season.

The ESPN sideline reporter is telling this story like it is a great thing, but if you’re the coach at Oral Roberts, it ain’t so great- they lost one of their best players because he did so well that he tried out for the NBA, and a bigger school peached him. 

Coaches have to have their heads on a swivel these days, to make sure bigger schools aren’t going to steal their players. Happens all the time.

12) There hasn’t been a punt return TD in the NFL this season; this would be the first time in at least 50 years that the league didn’t have any punt return scores.
11) Last fifteen Army-Navy games have stayed under the total, mostly because neither team throws the ball very much. This year’s total is only 34; supposed to be warm on Saturday.

10) Wisconsin 64, Indiana 59:
— Hoosiers led this game 42-20 late in first half.
— Indiana has lost 19 straight games at Wisconsin
— Davis had 23 for Wisconsin, the only Badger in double figures.
— Indiana was only 6-13 on foul line.

9) Marquette 64, Kansas State 63:
— Marquette was 11-37 on arc, 15-28 inside arc, 1-3 on line.
— Marquette played 8 guys 15:00+; five of them are freshmen.

8) West Virginia 56, UConn 53:
— Mountaineers survived 12-27 shooting on foul line.
— UConn outrebounded West Virginia, 45-31.
— Two guards on West Virginia played all 40:00.

7) Tennessee lost 57-52 in OT to Texas Tech Tuesday night, and they looked awful doing it, going 6-40 on arc, 13-31 inside arc. But at this time of year, things can be deceiving. 

Tennessee won 69-54 at Colorado Saturday, then flew to New York City, worked out at the Brooklyn Nets’ facility Sunday, practiced Monday, then played Tuesday. Too much travel for a college team this early in the season.

6) Fresno State hired Jeff Tedford as its new football coach; he coached the Bulldogs from 2017-19, but quit for health reasons. Tedford was 26-14 in his first stint with Fresno; he’s also been a head coach for the BC Lions in the CFL, and was Aaron Rodgers’ coach with the Cal Bears, leading Cal to an 82-57 record.

5) If the NFL Draft was today (it isn’t), these would be the top 7 picks:
Lions, Jaguars, Texans, Jets, Giants, Jets, Giants.

4) Speaking of the Giants, they’re spending this week in Arizona, as they prepare to play the Chargers at SoFi Stadium Sunday. No word yet whether Jake Fromm will play in his first NFL game, or whether Mike Glennon will clear concussion protocol and get the start.

3) During the pandemic, when there were no ballgames on TV, I became more interested in movies, and the career paths that actors/actresses have. 

Was watching A League of Their Own the other night, the 1992 movie about the women’s baseball league, and the character who ran the league was Ira Lowenstein, played by veteran actor David Strathairn.

Turn the clock ahead 27-28 years, and David Strathairn was in eight episodes of Billions, playing political operative Black Jack Foley. Quite a career he has had; you might not know the name, but you’ve probably seen him in at least 1-2 movies.

2) Las Vegas Raiders signed K Daniel Carlson to a 4-year extension worth $18.4M, with $10.2M of that money guaranteed.

1) In the NFL, under is 40-21-1 this season in AFC-NFC games, 69-62-1 in all other games.

Author: Armadillo Sports

I've been involved in sports my whole life, now just write about them. I like to travel, mostly to Las Vegas- they have gambling there.