13) Jeremiah Martin is a 6-3 senior at Memphis; he was scoreless in the first half Saturday at South Florida, when the Tigers fell behind USF 27-1; it was 38-13 at halftime.
Then Martin scored 41 points in the second half. By himself.
Martin made 7-9 on arc as Memphis made a run but fell short, losing 84-78 to the Bulls.
12) Oakland Raiders will play next season at the SF Giants’ baseball park, before moving to Las Vegas in 2020. Two new NFL stadiums in ’20, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
11) Deondre Francois was dismissed from the Florida State football team on Sunday by coach Willie Taggart one day after a video was posted to Instagram by a woman — believed to be Francois’ girlfriend — where you could hear (but not see) a man making threats and admitting to various forms of physical and mental abuse.
Francois is a pretty good QB; schools will be interested in him, despite all that.
10) A new football league kicks off this Saturday, the AAF, with 8 teams playing a 10-game schedule. Most of the head coaches are well-known names, but coach of the Atlanta team is a guy named Kevin Coyle, a 63-year old football lifer. Here is his coaching resume:
— 1978-79: U of Cincinnati, grad assistant
— 1980: Arkansas, coaching assistant
— 1981: Merchant Marine Academy, defensive coordinator
— 1982-5: Holy Cross, assistant coach
— 1986-90: Holy Cross, defensive coordinator
— 1991-93: Syracuse, defensive coordinator
— 1994-96: Maryland, defensive coordinator
— 1997-2000: Fresno State, defensive coordinator
— 2001-02: Cincinnati Bengals, cornerbacks’ coach
— 2003-11: Cincinnati Bengals, defensive backs’ coach
— 2012-15: Miami Dolphins, defensive coordinator
— 2016-17: Cincinnati Bengals, defensive backs’ coach
— 2018: LSU, defensive analyst
Quite a career.
9) All the AAF games will be televised this season, either on NFL Network, CBS Sports Network, Turner Sports or B-R Live (I’m not really sure what that is).
8) Bill Walton told a great story on TV Saturday about way back in the mid-60’s, when freshmen were ineligible to play college basketball, so they had freshman teams.
UCLA’s varsity had won the national title the year before, but now they had a freshman named Lew Alcindor; the freshman team beat the defending national champs by 20 in a preseason exhibition game. UCLA’s fans were stunned.
After the game in the locker room, coach John Wooden looked at his current varsity and said, “Looks like we’ll have a pretty good team next year.”
Bruins didn’t win that year (Texas Western did), but then they won the next seven national titles.
7) Bob Valvano brought up an interesting point Sunday night; Super Bowl commercials aren’t funny anymore, because advertisers are terrified of offending someone in our more politically correct world. To be funny is to be edgy, but if you’re edgy SOMEONE will get offended, and then you lose that someone’s business. No one wants to lose business.
Our society, to a large extent, has lost its sense of humor. Or, to paraphrase what Michael Jordan once said, “(Fill in demographic) buy sneakers, too.”
6) Big East is a two-horse race this year:
Villanova is 9-0, Marquette is 8-1 in conference games.
No one else in the Big East is at .500 in conference; St John’s, Creighton, Georgetown are all 4-5 in league games. Butler, Seton Hall and DePaul are 4-6. Providence is 3-6, Xavier 3-7.
Any game between teams in the bottom 8 is interesting; Marquette has more skilled shooters than anyone else. Villanova seems to be improving a lot as the season goes on.
5) We have a minor league baseball team here in the Albany area, the Tri-City Valley Cats, who play games at Hudson Valley CC in a nice ballpark. Valley Cats’ manager this year will be Ozney Guillen, son of the former White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen.
Valley Cats are a Class A affiliate of the Astros, playing in the NY-Penn League.
4) Wednesday of this week is National Signing Day for college football, then Thursday is the NBA trade deadline, so there will be lot of news this week made off the field/court.
3) Nevada sportsbooks won $10,780,319 off of $145,939,025 worth of bets on the Super Bowl
New Jersey sportsbooks lost $4.5M statewide on the Super Bowl off of $34.8M wagered
2) Last year’s Final Four was the first one since 2005 where all three favorites covered the three Final Four games.
1) So I go to the mall for lunch the other day, looking forward to some pizza and a Coke; I get there, and the freakin’ pizza place is boarded up, closed. How does a mall not have a pizza place?