—The U of L baseball team gave up three runs to Western Kentucky in the top of the first inning last night, but still managed to rally and pull out a 5-4 win.
—The feud between Terry Rozier and Drew Bledsoe finally came to a head last night.
For those wondering, Eric Bledsoe and Terry Rozier still don't like each other very much. pic.twitter.com/CzLgipWSKs— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 25, 2018
Rozier said after the game that the two were “just having fun.” Terry scored 16 points and had five assists as Boston won to take a 3-2 lead in the series.
—U of L plans to sue former President James Ramsey, his chief aide, and others formerly associated with The Foundation for “fraudulent misrepresentation,” “breach of fiduciary duty” and “improper diversion of funds for personal gains.” The board hopes to reclaim millions in what it calls “misused” funds.
It’d been a while since our last incestuous lawsuit. Good.
—It’s nice to know this kid still has Louisville on his radar because he is the real deal.
STORY: 5-star power forward Matthew Hurt says he could "fit well" into Chris Mack's system at Louisville. Plays for same AAU team as for Xavier star @jpmacura played for before going to X. https://t.co/FRbSUK1QtS— Jody Demling (@jdemling) April 25, 2018
—The deadline to declare for the NBA Draft — whether the players have signed with an agent or are just “testing the waters — has come and gone. In all, 236 players -- 181 players from colleges and post-graduate institutions and 55 international players -- have filed as early entry candidates. That is a large number, and it doesn’t include seniors.
—Jeff Goodman says both Deng Adel and Ray Spalding need another year in college, but it’s a little late for that now.
—The Miami Dolphins have elected to pick up the fifth-year option on DeVante Parker’s rookie contract. That’s news that could result in Parker making $9.4 million in 2019.
—Everyone needs to chill and let LamarJackson be what he is: An NFL quarterback.
Scouting reports tended to harp on Jackson micro-inefficiencies without ever considering the fact that he may be a bridge between the NFL’s past and its future. After all, the Philadelphia Eagles just won a Super Bowl by upsetting the long-accepted calculus of offensive football with run-pass options, and they did it with two quarterbacks who are slower and less athletically gifted than Jackson.
When an anonymous ACC coach says that “Jackson has no shot at playing quarterback in the NFL,” saying he can’t read coverages, the rebuttal should be the Los Angeles Rams and coach Sean McVay, who built an offense that is among the NFL’s best around the same hole in his quarterback’s game. Jared Goff piloted an attack that shredded defenses using play-action and reads that are “almost always” on one side of the field.
There are fair ways to criticize Jackson. ESPN’s Bill Polian questioned Jackson’s accuracy and called him short and slight, and that’s not wrong. Jackson isn’t huge at 6’2, 216 pounds, and accuracy concerns have followed him throughout his career. His issues are tied closely to his footwork.
Still, Jackson improved his accuracy every year he was in college. He was a 47 percent passer in high school, then became a 57 percent by his junior season at Louisville.
That percentage is the same as his peer, Josh Allen. Yet Allen’s accuracy didn’t matter to Mel Kiper Jr. when he was asked about it, while Jackson’s did. When confronted with that disconnect, Kiper said that Jackson leaned on more high percentage “layup” throws. But numbers show that Jackson had fewer throws to targets standing behind the line of scrimmage, and was more accurate on deep throws than Allen. He also was affected more by drops.
—The college basketball coaches association asking for “unequivocal support” of the commission’s recommendations before they even came out is ridiculous.
—Michigan State is a cesspool of abuse and indifference. And there’s no telling where the bottom is.
—The Louisville Bats made SportsCenter last night.
—Pro Football Weekly looks tells the story of how an unknown QB coach is working with Lamar Jackson to get him ready for the next level.
—The NCAA’s biggest problem is that it refuses to admit that it’s not 1947 anymore.
—Brayden Mack still killing the game.
—College athletes are doomed so long as the clowns currently in power stay there.
—Kansas didn’t produce a written report of a recent examination of its athletic department, and the school’s chancellor saw no need for an external report. Of course not and of course not.
—Jeff Greer does a deep dive on Chris Mack’s pack line defense and how differently Louisville will look next year.
An even better comparison for Xavier’s defense is Arizona, where one of Mack’s mentors, Sean Miller, preaches his dad’s defensive gospel. John Miller, a high school coach in Pennsylvania, put his own spin on Dick Bennett’s “pack line” defense that he used at Wisconsin-Green Bay, Wisconsin and Washington State.
The biggest difference between what Mack liked to do at Xavier and what Dick Bennett’s son, Tony, likes to do at Virginia is on the opposite end of the floor.
While Virginia’s offense plays a pivotal role in setting up its defense, Xavier’s offense was a departure from that deliberate, walk-the-ball-up style.
”The way we play offensively doesn’t near what Virginia does in any way, shape or form,” Mack said. “For us, we want to be a team that can get some cheap baskets, going from defense to offense. We want to be a team that emphasizes a little more on the offensive glass than Virginia does.”
Still, the defensive principles are very similar. The goal is to play defense like a hand, with five players moving together as a unit.
—The PJCS expansion continues to take shape.
—And finally, shoutout to U of L athletics for ranking in the top five nationally in community service.