Have to start off today's blog by congratulating UC baseball coach Brian Cleary for his 392nd win to grab the new school record for career victories.
Every interaction I've had with Cleary has been a sheer delight and he's obviously a tremendous baseball mind. The university is lucky to have him.
He continues the job of building on that win total this week with four more home games to round out the regular season. They host Butler on Tuesday, then UConn comes to town for a three-game set with games Thursday, Friday and Saturday. All games start at 6:30 p.m. except for the 1 p.m. first pitch Saturday.
--- Was watching NFL Network's latest list of the Top 100 Players in 2011 last night and former Bearcats star Trent Cole showed up at No. 73.
He'll be the only Bearcat on the list, but couldn't be more deserving. In fact, you could argue he should be higher on the list if you consider the numbers. PhiladelphiaEagles.com did. They point out only two players have more sacks since 2006 than Cole.
Of the active sacks leaders, Trent Cole (No. 19, 57 sacks) and DeMarcus Ware (No. 8, 80) are the only two players with less than seven years in the league gracing the top 20.
Over the last four seasons Cole averaged 52 tackles and 11 sacks per season. Yeah, pretty productive for any player, much less a fifth-round selection.
Here was a quote from Andy Reid:
"You talk about motors. You take your greatest motor that's ever been made and that's what Trent is ... One speed, and that's 110 miles-an-hour.
"He's the only player that's come to me, in tears, and told me, 'Don't ever take me out of a game.'"
--- BleacherReport put together a list of the top five game-changers for UC football in 2011. The list is pretty standard for anybody who follows the team.
I'd rate Derek Wolfe higher and move back J.K. Schaffer. That's in no way a slight on Schaffer. If discussing "game-changers," Wolfe has the capability to completely alter a gameplan with his run-stopping and pass-rushing skills. J.K. provides a different asset. He bring consistency and intelligence. You can't change your gameplan because of Schaffer, he will always find you 10-15 times a game. I'd call Schaffer the most irreplaceable player on the UC defense and the heartbeat of the team, but not as much the typical "game-changer."
--- Pat Forde mentions 10 things he's excited about next season. None of them directly involve UC, but still a great read for my hoopsheads.
Carolina will be as fun a team to follow next season as there has been in college hoops for a while. The return of three lottery picks including future superstar Harrison Barnes, playing Michigan State on an aircraft carrier, game at Rupp Arena that will include 6 or 7 first-round draft picks on the floor in a likely 1v2 and the standard fare against another quality Duke team.
--- The Murray State pipeline that moved Mick Cronin to UC took his successor there to Texas A&M.
--- Kim English spent his offseason thinking about UC's elimination of his Mizzou Tigers in the NCAA tournament, but he has a particularly lovely fan club to console him. They call themselves "Cougars for Kimmie." And, no, it's not BYU fans who enjoy Missouri basketball.
Can we start a "Cougars for Paulie" club here? I'm willing to fight the copycat stereotype for the potential outcome.
--- Likely you've heard by now what Brandon Phillips did last week by attending a little league game after a Twitter request. If not, here's the story. Phillips has taken to Twitter better than any athlete I've seen, sans the noted Twitterer on the other pro team in town. It's no coincidence either, Ochocinco talked to Phillips this winter about Twitter and how to properly utilize it to market himself. It's paying off.
--- Do you want to know more about Cosby sweaters? Sure, why not.
--- I do love some hidden ball trick. This is the first time I've seen it in lacrosse.
--- Star Wars and Legos together? It's like a nerdpocalypse.
--- I like Dan Le Betard. Seeing him do a show on ESPN2 next year should be entertaining. It can't be worse than the rest of the garbage on the deuce.
--- Taj Gibson became a household name last night. Both his dunk on Dwyane Wade and his putback late in the game were spectacular, but I think I give a nod to the putback for play of the night.
As Mark Jackson would say, "Mama, there goes that man."