Mike Lantry, 1972
So Why Should You Know Him? First and foremost, because it’s great rooting for goofy-looking Canadians to do badass things on a basketball court. I loved him last year, but now that he’s turned into a star, it’s even better. Nik Motherf—in’ Stauskas is fun for everyone.
I have no idea if Stauskas can be as good as Klay Thompson in the NBA, but for now, the Klay comparison works well. Imagine if there were no Steph Curry in Golden State and it were on Klay to lead the offense. Substitute Trey Burke for Curry, and that’s sorta where Michigan is right now. They have an improved Caris LeVert, Glenn Robinson III … but it all starts with Stauskas, the Lithuanian Canadian wild card at the center of the offense.
Blue Guava posted this in the other Nik thread and also mentioned that the author missed the "not just a shooter" memo, but it's nice to see Nik getting the pub on the "journalistic" side of the WWL
I find most of what Charles P. Pierce writes to be worth a read, and this column didn't disappoint.
Saturday afternoon, as the autumn haze burned away, there was no BCS. There were no delicate made-for-TV calculations. When and where and against whom undefeated Ohio State would be playing at the turn of the year became irrelevant within the confines of the Big House. (And may we now paraphrase the late football aficionado R.M. Nixon and point out that it is, indeed, a Big House.) Because of the way simple history can reassert itself, this game, this one right here in Ann Arbor, and later that one down in Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, solved all of college football's annual end-of-the-season conundrums. History solved all those conundrums by complicating them, and by providing the simplest answer of all to the question "Who's no. 1?"
The answer: Who the rammer-jammer hell cares? Did you see those games?
Club Trillion (Former OSU Walk-on Mark Titus) has written up his B1G Basketball preview.
He makes the case that the B1G is an Elite Bball conference despite the fact that the B1G hasn't won a National Title since 2000 (that was a clean block!)
He thinks McGary is over-hyped, GRIII is going to be the best pro, and Spike is awesome. His anti-Michigan bias comes through a bit, but in general it's a good read. I'm hoping that McGary can be tournament McGary for the year, but we'll see what happens moving forward.
Nice write-up on Grantland that talks about the Packers' defense, specifically the Nickel role that we saw Charles Woodson in for the last few years.
I think that with a very-hyped Freshman making his way into the Nickel Spot we'll see just how valuable Dymonte could be.
Seventeen years later, Capers had déjà vu. The only difference was the Woodson. When Capers came to Green Bay in 2009, Charles Woodson was the team’s best defensive player. For Charles, it took less than two years for him to become the Packers' nickel corner. That season, he was the league’s Defensive Player of the Year and the team finished 11-5.
There was a time in the NFL, as early as a decade ago, when the conventional thinking for slot corners was that if they improved enough, they’d make their way outside. Playing outside the numbers came with prestige. Some derisively called the nickel the “third” corner.
Capers has defied that thinking for some time, but now NFL offenses are identifying the nickel corner as a key part of any defense. “This varies from defense to defense, but the amount of your sub package that you play nowadays — because we’re seeing more three wide receivers on the field — your inside player is going to play as many, if not more plays,” Capers says. “You could be in some form of your sub defense two-thirds [of the time].” The number Hayward throws out is 75 percent; Whitt says 80. No matter the math, the point is that the nickel cornerback is as much a “starter” as any other spot in the defensive backfield.
Trey Burke appeared on Grantland with Jalen Rose and Bill Simmons to do a full NBA job interview:
Periodically Grantland will attempt to write the worst sports column possible. Yesterday Grantland's Andrew Sharp stepped up to the plate, writing this GEM on Tim Tebow's move to the Patriots. During the long offseason you owe it to yourself to read this article. Hell, you owe it to America.
Grantland does a fantastic job parodying the saccharine style of so many popular sportswriters (and not letting facts interfere with a narrative). A sample? A sample:
Tim was never given anything in this life. This quarterback was something like a Hail Mary, himself. Too short. Not athletic enough. Bad mechanics. They said he couldn't play quarterback. He was always a longshot. In college he turned into a superstar, he proved everyone wrong. When he got to the NFL, all he ever did was win. He impressed me, he impressed you, he impressed everyone.
But then Tim found out the hard way: Negativity sells with today's media.
So the more he won, the more he was crucified for poor decisions and poor throws. Eventually, all the negativity got him shipped to New York City, and that was a whole other story. He came to Manhattan pregnant with hope, but destined for an abortion. Rex Ryan was never going to give him a real chance.