So much going on Saturday at the Varsity Village will be hard to keep up. Here's all the details on the men's/women's basketball doubleheader and baseball game all happening in a span of four hours.
You can get into the baseball game for free with your basketball ticket. Baseball should be throwing out the first home pitch of the season as those leaving the men's game walk along the outfield wall. Hey, it's free, might as well stop in. Don't forget your blankies, though -- mid to high 30s.
Plenty coming tomorrow on the blog including a story on baseball, I'll be hanging with Tubs as spring practice opens and have plenty of reaction from today's basketball media availability with Mick. For today, though, the fodder bucket is a little low.
Here's a quick-hitting three:
1. Shabazz Napier "tweaked" his ankle in a double OT loss to GTown last night. He showed up at the postgame news conference in a boot. Kevin Ollie seems to think #NaughtyByNapier will tough it out Saturday and everything's gonna be all right. (Naughty puns this morning, anyone?)
We shall see, but he's been fighting some pain lately. Of course, he looked pretty painless in OT against UC. Regardless of health, there will be plenty of attention paid to 'Bazz on Saturday considering his last two games against UC he's dropped 27 each time. As Mick said on 700WLW earlier this week, "he sees us coming."
2. Isaiah Pead in line for more opportunities in St. Louis. Talked briefly with my guy in the St. Louis media trying to figure what was going on with #BestPlayerOnTheField last year and he said that was a matter of being beat out by seventh-rounder Daryl Jackson early in the season and never could jump back ahead of him. But, expectations are for plenty more chances for Pead next year as Steven Jackson looks to be on his way out of town.
Running backs are the most difficult position to project from college to the NFL. They are so reliant on factors out of their control when it comes to success on both levels, you never know who will be a stud and who will be a dud.
The two I believed to be the most sure-fire RBs for NFL success I covered were Knowshon Moreno and Pead.
I haven't been proven completely wrong on both yet, but neither off to the start I expected. Heck, maybe it's me, which certainly isn't out of the question.
Hoping to have @iPead on the podcast some time this summer. Love to talk to him not just because his NFL experience has been fascinating to this point, but, well, I just love talking to the dude -- he's got personality oozing out his high-top fade. He's perfect for a long pod.
3. The transformation of this offense is my No. 1 storyline entering spring football. Talked to TommyT a little about this on signing day and he inferred the switch from spread to pro style won't be as drastic as one might think. Says they'll be "multiple" in what they do. And, really, when you think about it, the Bearcats were more pro style than spread by the end of last year anyway. TE Travis Kelce was always on the field and they were pounding a heavy-hitting RB behind a tough offensive line the majority of the time. Still, different personnel pieces are necessary for what OC Eddie Gran and Tuberville have in mind. Look for plenty more on that topic in the coming weeks.
Some randomness ...
--- In case you weren't in the baseball mood, check this catch by Brett Williams of NC State -- he goes somersault after the dive. That was probably piling on a bit, but it sure looks impressive.
--- The list of every celebrity mocked by South Park over 16 seasons is not short. In fact, if you are not on this list, you probably aren't a celebrity.
--- Had a long debate about this song last night and it's been stuck in my head ever since. One of the all-time classics.
Enjoy the day everybody and shoot any questions, comments or opinions on "Let's Get It On" as one of the most beloved opening five seconds of an R&B song ever to firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me up on Twitter at @pauldehnerjr.