One final reminder to everyone that tonight is UC Night at the Reds game. Events in the fan zone and UC dignitaries on the field are all part of the festivities. There will be a pregame shindig at BlackFinn from 4-6 p.m.
--- Bill Koch caught up with former Bearcats TE and current Philadelphia Eagle Brent Celek. Apparently, Celek's wife was a rower for UC and recently picked up boxing. If your wife throws a mean jab, I'm not sure that's good news for you.
--- Brian Bennett talked about Big East bargains in the draft and included Jason Kelce. We'll find out who grabs the deal on Saturday.
--- The Big East landed one player in the first round of the NFL Draft in Pitt's Jon Baldwin going No. 26 to KC.
--- The SEC landed five of the top six picks, the No. 1 overall and a high of 10 total in Round 1. Oh, and they've won five consecutive national titles. It's not really fair anymore.
--- How does the Panthers' selection of Cam Newton affect Tony Pike? Well, it's not good. We can start there. At least, not for Pike's chances of hitting the field in Charlotte. Perhaps, it could grant him an eventual release and allow him to grab on with another team willing to develop him. (He's as desirable as Dan LeFevour if you want him back in town)
Regardless, Pike was among a handful of players to be the first to arrive at the Panthers compound Friday.
--- The language from the Bob Huggins roast was so colorful the WVU folks aren't releasing it as of yet. (There was a roast of Huggs from last year that is out there, if you'd like to see Chuck Machock in a yellow suit). However, a few bombs Mick Cronin slipped out serve as a glimpse of why Mick was so excited to take the podium.
Here's an interview with Mick before.
Eamonn Brennan posted a blog about it, but here's a great Mick quote:
"There's a few things that people don't know in the state of West Virginia about their basketball coach. He holds more Best Western points than any coach in the history of college basketball. We were No. 1 in the country at Cincinnati, and we stayed at Best Westerns all year because Coach Huggins was trying to get a free tractor trailer through their points system from John Deere. It's an obscure fact...And he still records his Delta miles personally because he thinks that he gets cheated."
--- Much ballyhooed JuCo transfer God's Gift Achiuwa chose to attend St. John's next year, from a final list that included UC and Washington. Gift averaged 22.3 points and 11.2 rebounds last year for Erie (NY) CC. The moment the Bearcats signed Cheikh Mbodj, Gift's likelihood of attending UC diminished greatly.
Cronin couldn't pass up a player like Mbodj for the hope of Gift. Signing one or the other was too much of a neccesity for next season. At the end of the day, it's probably best Gift went elsewhere (though, out of conference would have been nice -- have you seen the class Steve Lavin built at St. John's?!?). Finding a spot on a roster with all 13 scholarships taken would have created some tough decisions nobody wanted to make. There's oodles to like about the group coming back next year, with each player slotted into an important role. Cronin has a great collection of vets, depth and talented youth to make a tournament run. Not messing with a good thing probably was a gift in itself.
--- The deadline for withdrawing your name from NBA consideration and to be done testing the waters moved closer to the end of the NCAA season. Many people thought the day already was too close for players to make an informed, accurate decision on where their stock would be. Many aren't thrilled with the latest decision, to say the least.
--- A concerning study about the increased risk of Sudden Cardiac Death among D-I basketball players. The risk is 14x more than that of other athletes. This from Rush the Court:
"According to the authors of the study, there is one incident of SCD for every 3,124 men's college basketball players in Division I per year. This is an alarming number for many reasons, especially when compared to the incidence of SCD among ALL college athletes that was measured at a much less frequent 1 in 43,770 athletes in a given year."
In an age where a risk of something affects every sport played, this does cause a double take in my book.
--- Sad to see scheduling get in the way -- even if temporarily -- of a great event honoring Skip Prosser, who meant so much to this city's basketball landscape.
Some Friday randomness...
--- Flowchart! How to tell if your NFL Draft pick is a bust.
--- Don't hit Reply to All when the email contains the personal information of 20,000 season ticket holders.
--- It's Flying Pig Marathon weekend in Cincinnati, so in honor of the Pig and keeping up with the 80s music magic on the blog, Flock of Seagulls to spice up your Friday. Have a great weekend.