Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Gopher 2013-2014 Basketball Schedule Revealed

The Gopher hoop non-conference schedule was revealed Tuesday.  And here it is.  Rankings are from last year.

11/8 vs. LEHIGH  (RPI 107, kenpom 96):  A possible top 100 team is always a solid way to kick-off the new year, however the Gophers are a year too late.  The players responsible for that awesome Lehigh win over Duke in the NCAA Tournament two years ago have graduated, with C.J. McCollum in the NBA and Gabe Knutson probably like, filing taxes or something since Lehigh is a nerd school.  Nerds and wrestling I think.  Definitely not basketball. 

11/12 vs. MONTANA (RPI 74, kenpom 160): Hey an NCAA Tournament team last year!  Let's rock and roll!  Actually the Grizzlies have a nice little program going with back-to-back Big Sky Championships and despite losing two of their top three scorers Montana is the most likely non-conference home opponent to end up in the NCAA Tournament this season.  Yes, that is correct.  I'm serious.  No you shut up.

11/16 @ RICHMOND (RPI 91, kenpom 83):  The back half of a home-and-home started by Tubby Smith, Richard Pitino honored the commitment so the Gopher will face the Spiders in their only true home game of the non-conference schedule.  Richmond brings back three starters from last year's totally mediocre team, and not only might this be a road game but is likely to be the toughest Gopher opponent this year outside of the Maui Invitational.  Richmond plays at a pretty slow pace under Chris Mooney so I really like this one as a test to see if the Gophers can impose their will and influence tempo in a tough environment.  Could be a pretty good barometer for the entire season, although I believe it's pronounced thermometer. 

11/19 vs. COASTAL CAROLINA (RPI 259, kenpom 226):  Not really the Gophers' fault they got stuck with these guys as their "first round mainland opponent" in the Maui Invitational, but they weren't good last year and lost their starting back court so I'm guessing they aren't going to be good this year either.  On the bright side, you can count on at least one member of the Twin Cities' sports media to bust out an article about what a Chanticleer is (besides tasty, terrific pizza).  I predict Reusse, especially if the Gophers lose the previous game at Richmond.  He loves that condescending shit, too bad he doesn't do it well.

11/21 vs. WOFFORD (RPI 250, kenpom 256):  Wofford has really fallen off since the great Noah Dahlman brought the Terriers to back-to-back NCAA Tournaments (and near wins against Wisconsin and BYU), but at least they are bringing some firepower back from last year's terrible team.  Plus they got a guy named Indiana Faithfull which is pretty fricking crazy.

11/25 vs. SYRACUSE (RPI 14,  in Maui, kenpom 8):  The jewel of the schedule without a doubt, because Syracuse should be in the mix to be a top 10 team again this year.  Also, earlier when I wrote about this match-up I mentioned it would be the great back court of the Gophers vs. the great front court of Syracuse, but it turns out I forgot about Michael Gbinije.  He's a combo guard who transferred to the Orange after one year at Duke.  He was the #29 recruit in the country coming out of high school.  He's also 6-7 and should play at the top of the most wing-spanny zone I've ever seen, which could have all five guys at 6-7 or taller at times.  As that weird creepy witch said in the Robin Hood with Kevin Costner, "We're doomed."

11/26 vs. ARKANSAS (RPI 95/kenpom 71)(CAL (RPI 54/kenpom 56) in Maui:  Cal should be the better match-up here with both teams saw their top player leave school early to enter the NBA Draft (Cal = Allen Crabbe, first round pick; Arkansas = B.J. Young, undrafted - ha ha!) because Cal brings back Justin Cobbs (back in more ways than one) and most of their team from last year while Arkansas also loses Marshawn Powell, the team's second leading scorer, who left the team to go play in Europe or something.  This will either be an addition by subtraction year for Arkansas or subtraction by subtraction and probably that second one.  Hope for Cal.

11/27 vs. Team 3 in Maui, anywhere from Gonzaga (RPI 6/kenpom 4) to Chaminade (not in D-I):  Other options are Baylor (RPI 70/kenpom 26) and Dayton (RPI 114/kenpom 67).  Obviously the better the opponent the better the potential results, but seeing as how it's not a random draw for each game you need to win to continue getting quality opponents.  Syracuse will be tough, but losing to them and then beating Cal and Baylor or something would still be an outstanding result.  Most likely results are a loss in round 1 and then a win over both Arkansas and Dayton.  Not bad, but not great.  Like a night with your mom.

12/3 vs. FLORIDA STATE (RPI 84/kenpom 124):  Andrew Wiggins screwed up everything by choosing Kansas over the Seminoles and now this game is more yawn than not yawn.  Last year was one of the worst year's these guys have had under Leonard Hamilton, and with Michael Snaer gone the question is if they'll be worse.  Most the rest of the team is back and guys like Okaro White and Terrance Shannon could certainly take a leap, and there's a nice freshman coming in but Snaer was the do-everything team leader type that's tough to replace.  Although given how little that mattered last season maybe it turns out chemistry is overrated after all.  Don't tell Gardy. 

12/7 vs. NEW ORLEANS (RPI 346/kenpom 346):  Now things get really, really ugly.  You could probably talk yourself into the schedule so far, but these last four games are just nasty, starting with the worst of the worst in the Privateers and yes I had to look that up.  They're also in the Southland starting this year after being independent (looked that up) after they used to be D-I but somehow dropped back into D-II or something like that and then got reinstated (remembering this on my own).  Should be a fun game though for the first half at least since they're one of the most uptempo teams in the nation.  I got news for you though.  Ervin Johnson isn't walking through that door. 

12/10 vs. SOUTH DAKOTA STATE (RPI 62/kenpom 103):  I'm sure everyone is thrilled again because for some reason people love the stupid little teams from the Dakotas, but guess what?  With Nate Wolters off to the NBA maybe SDSU just becomes a shitty little shithead team again.  Remember when the Gophers played them last year without Wolters?  Yeah it'll be like that again but probably worse because Jordan Dykstra probably still hasn't cut his hair.  I don't know what he's waiting for.  There is good news, however.  According to their website there are ZERO Minnesota natives on the roster this year.  So shut it already.

12/20 vs. NEBRASKA-OMAHA (RPI 285/kenpom 321):  I think they've been a D-I team for like 2 years, which is usually a pretty bad sign.  They kind of give the appearance of maybe being slightly interesting because 6 of their top 7 scorers from last season should be back.  The first college hockey game I ever went to was UMD vs. Nebraska-Omaha.  Their nickname is the Mavericks and they abbreviate their team NEOM.  The college World Series is still in Omaha.  I once had alligator in Omaha (not making that up...might have been Lincoln).  I'm just writing random facts now.  I once spent a night getting drunk in a hotel in Nebraska by myself.  Here is what I wrote that night.  Gripping.

12/28 vs.  TEXAS A&M CORPUS CHRISTI (RPI 323/kenpom 309):  Remember when these guys made the NCAA Tournament somehow and threw a little teeny tiny scare into Wisconsin before losing?  Man that would have been awesome if they one, am I right?  Since then they've had as many seasons with single-digit wins as double-digit, and I don't want to throw too many fancy stats at you or anything but not even winning 10 games in a season is a pretty good indicator of sucking and TAMUCC has back-to-back years with 6 total wins.  I was going to try to find something good to say but I need to get a drink so let's just wrap this up.

The key to a good schedule is lots of games against teams in the 50-150 range and avoiding playing teams that are sub 200 and especially sub-300.  The Gophers likely will have six or seven games against 200+ teams and might have three against teams in the top 100.  A strong league can smooth that out but you have to, you know, win the games.  It was always going to be an interesting season, but as Lewis Carroll once wrote, it's getting "interestinger and interestinger."

Friday, July 26, 2013

Big Ten Media Days

I watched some of the B1G Ten Media Days.  Here are some pieces of information I gleaned from it.

Brady Hoke, Michigan Q&A
Hoke looks like he might collapse at any moment.  His face is red and sweaty and as @FrothyGopher puts it “he looks like his shirt is a sausage casing”.   He should go Barry White style and just bring up a kerchief or towel to wipe down once in a while.  According to Hoke, Devin Gardner “Spins the ball tighter” and is more of a pro-style QB, which is what Brady Hoke teams prefer.
After the Q&A, BTN shows Devin Gardner highlights that appear to all be against the Gophers.  FML.  Minnesota plays at Ann Arbor on October 5th.

Gary Andersen, Wisconsin Q&A
Maybe you were hoping for former NFL kicker Gary Anderson, but alas this isn’t that Gary Anderson. Are there any former NFL kickers that are now anything but special teams coaches?  Probably not.  Wisconsin Gary Andersen uses the phrase “young men” a lot, which creeps me out.  My favorite part with these Q&As is when the moderator guy tries to get one last question and there’s crickets.  The coach kind of fidgets around for a bit before he’s allowed to scurry off. 
Tanner McEvoy will apparently battle with Stave and Curt Phillips for the starting QB and the Badgers will have an awesome running game again led by James White. 

Joey Chestnut

Bo Pellini, Nebraska Q&A
Pellini is one of these guys that looks really weird without a baseball hat/visor on.  He should probably cover as much of that mug as he can.  Also, let’s face it – he doesn’t look very smart and the way he repeats the same phrases over and over doesn’t help that impression.  Some things he said:
“Footballwise” we’re looking forward to this upcoming season.  Also, lots of crap about challenges ahead and how they’re looking forward to them. 
When questioned about the shocking losses –what are you improving:  “It’s about tackling better, executing better.”  Says better like 9 times.  “Work.”  “Better.” “Execute.” Ad infinitum. Blah Blah Blah.
Targeting Rule concerns: They looked for examples. All for safety but we should “make sure we’re not messin with the integrity of the game”
Thoughts on offense:  4-year starter at QB with “dynamic weapons” around him.  “I wouldn’t trade our offense for anybody.”
About Taylor’s Mechanics Changes – External Coach driven:  “There’s still a lot more room for growth.”

Mark Dantonio, Michigan State Q&A
Dantonio notes they’ve had 6 straight bowl games, winning the last two.  He’s very brief and to the point on his intro. 
Best quote: “Wisconsin is relatively close to Michigan when you look at it on a map.”  This was in response to their recruiting presence in Wisconsin.  He mentions a ferry ride across Lake Michigan to get there.  If I were Dantonio I’d get a team speedboat to more quickly navigate the Great Lakes and get to recruits.  That would kick ass.
Dantonio tries to leave early before the last question “I think we’re good to go, GO GREEN”.  Oops, one more question.  This year’s mantra “chase it” or something that rhymes with that – it was hard to hear.  Last year it was P4RB “Prepare 4 Rose Bowl”.

Urban Meyer, Ohio State Q&A
Urban comes right out and says he isn’t going to talk about the negatives, we’ll see if a journalist tries anyway.  Meyer says they lost entire front 7, but thinks they did well in recruiting. He also mentions Curtis Grant taking over at MLB.  He says they have one of the better secondaries in the B1G.  Meyer drops “esprit de corps” with regard to his linebackers showing he’s into French and probably knows how to treat a lady.
A media member mentions good news regarding Carlos Hyde punching chicks in the face and Urban responds with – “I didn’t receive the news” “I guess I’m not a big social media guy” “once facts are evaluated we’ll make some decisions”
Regarding two freshman making stupid decisions –  Urban was “disappointed” and “furious” that “a couple of knuckleheads make a decision that affects the entire program”  He also stated, “I wanna make sure our punishment is as harder or harder than what’s out there [been done]”
Urban basically got hammered by the media on discipline and his reputation.  There was only one question that wasn’t about off the field issues.

Jerry Kill, MN Q&A
Kill starts off mentioning they had biggest crowd at Spring Game since Lou Holtz was the coach and that his staff is the longest tenured staff in the country.  He also gets 190MM new facilities plug in.  Kill says, “This team is different, getting better this year.”
On the certainty at QB:  “Great growing process” for Phillip Nelson.  “Mitch Leidner is a tremendous athlete.”  “Gonna be a strength down the road here.”
On Kill’s Health:  “Doin’ great.” Has a “great doctor that is a specialist in epilepsy.”  “May not look it - feel like I’m in the best shape of my life.”
On the Ed O’Bannon suit with two current Gophers a part of it:  “Let the process run its course”  “NCAA issue”
End the season playing WI:  “Tremendous game for both schools”  “Great thing about the B1G Ten is all of the rivalry games” I love how when Kill says Wisconsin it comes out “Wessconsin”.
On Donnell Kirkwood:  “We’ve always had great running backs”  “Big, strong physical backs – that’s kind of who we are.” 
Tim Beckman, Illinois Q&A
Beckman is fun because he seems like he’s almost always losing his voice.  Most of his spiel involves whining about injuries and looking forward to people to be happy.  He said the word “excited” about 52 times – just saying it doesn’t make it so, guy.
And wow does he love Nathan Scheelhaase.  This is the guy that threw 4 TDs and 8 INTs last year, right?
BTN says they have what could be one of the best LB trios in the B1G.
Kevin Wilson, Indiana Q&A
Last year was “not a season we wanted.”  Wilson says they’re unsettled at QB with three guys in a dead heat.  THEY HAVE A GREAT KICKER!  You should go see him apparently. 
Indiana was #2 in passing in the conference last season and returns 9 defensive starters per BTN.  4 of 5 OL and 3 receivers, RB Stephen Houston and TRE Roberson all return as well.  Roberson hasn’t been given the QB job yet though as said above.
Darrell Hazell, Purdue Q&A
Former RBs and WRs and Kent State HC coach Hazell takes over at Purdue.  Purdue returns 9 defensive starters but has some questions on the offensive side with RB Akeem Hunt being the exception.  I didn’t listen to his presser, but who cares about Purdue really?

Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern
If there was a king of the mountain sort of battle royale between B1G coaches, Fitzgerald is the heavy favorite to stand alone at the top.  The guy is a tank.  It would take something like a Pellini/Urban Meyer tag team effort to bring him down.  Which of course would end with Meyer back-stabbing Pellini.  Jerry Kill would need to quickly implant his brain into some kind of giant robot to even compete.  Hoke would be trouble for the first 25 seconds until he tires.
Fitzgerald’s Wildcats are coming off their first ever bowl win.  The Wildcats return Trevor Simien (QB), Kain Colter (QB/RB/WR) and Venric Mark (RB) along with almost all of their WRs.   
Kirk Ferentz, Iowa Q&A
Ferentz is really “enthused” about the team this year.  So “enthused”, in fact that he uses “enthused” twice in his 40 second intro. 
Ferentz is the 3rd or 4th coach to be asked about the spearing rule.  He says the same thing everyone else says.  Way to be original, media.

Bill O’Brien, PSU Q&A
O’Brien is in a battle with Kill for least handsome coach in the Big Ten.  His face/head looks like how I imagine Seth McFarlane would age if he wasn’t constantly getting plastic surgery and hair plugs and was coated in a patina of make-up.  Ok, it's stretch, but I already wrote it and I'm too lazy to delete it.
PSU’s QB situation is still up in the air but it could be Tyler Ferguson, but it could be decided about half way through training camp.  O’Brien refers to sanctions as “water under the bridge”.   O’Brien has instilled the phrase “next man up”.  These guys sure love their catch phrases.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Richard Pitino is Making me Tired

No matter what you thought of the Tubby for Pitino swap, there's no denying that the new coach has had an electrifying effect on recruiting for the Gophers.  He's been working his ass off, as you can see from this post at From the Barn.  Not only does he have more offers out to top players than Tubby ever did, recruiting experts and AAU coaches on Twitter continually bring up Minnesota with one even mentioning, "Minnesota has suddenly become one of the "it" places among recruits."  Pitino has yet to land a commitment, and it's still more than possible that he whiffs on all these top players, but just for kicks lets take a look at who is in the crosshairs.  Rankings are ESPN first, then Rivals.

PG Tyus Jones, Apple Valley, MN (#3/#2):  I'm fairly certain you've heard of him.  There is a lot of speculation that he's simply keeping the Gophers on his list because they're the home town team and I think that's probably the case, but you never know.  He and Jahlil Okafor (#1 for 2014) continue to talk about playing together and Okafor isn't interested in the Gophers.  I'd be pretty stunned if Jones ends up anywhere besides Duke or Kentucky.

SG Rashad Vaughn, Golden Valley, MN (#11/#7):  Of the Big 3 Minnesota kids in this class I continue to believe Vaughn is the most likely to wear the maroon and gold, simply because he seems to do things his own way.  He also recently gave an interview where he acknowledged that if he stays home for college he "knows [he] will be a superstar and the city would love [me]."  That's certainly true, but the heat will be on him big time from other programs as well as coaches/scouts have been drooling over his ability to Byron Buxton levels in this evaluation period.  Rumors about that he wants to play with Josh Perkins (PG, #24 in the class, see below) and if they do stick together it's probably going to be Minnesota, UCLA, or Kansas.  Vaughn is the #1 guy I hope the Gophers end up with.  He recently transferred to Findlay Prep in Vegas for his final high school season, and although some claim that's good for the Gophers and some claim that's bad, I will admit that it could go either way.  Hopefully he gets really home sick.

C Goodluck Okonoboh, Boston, MA (#19/#32):  Haven't heard much on this kid since the initial offer went out and it sounds like Indiana is holding pretty strongly in front for his services.  He's a great defensive center which would fit perfectly with the Gophers, but it's not looking likely.

PG Josh Perkins, Denver, CO (#24/#28):  I would love to have this kid because although I think I remembered reading about some issues off the court (and I could be remembering wrong) he's described everywhere as a true pass-first point guard and I would love another Arriel McDonald back in my life.  If Pitino's (and staff) recruiting efforts truly pay off with a lot of talent coming here, a pass first point guard would be a great addition to an uptempo offense.  I think I heard Arizona was the leader at one point, but they just signed a different highly ranked point guard so that may open Perkins back up and hopefully Rashad Vaughn can push him towards the Gophers.

SG Isaiah Whitehead, Brooklyn, NY (#35/#17):  This is the guy who has everybody, myself included, really excited for many reasons, beyond simply that he's an elite scorer.  First, he's a guard from New York, and the fact that the Gophers were able to get him to seriously consider coming to the midwest is huge considering Minnesota hasn't had a NY guard since Eric Harris I believe.  Pitino's assistant, Kimani Young, was touted as a great hire for the program because of his deep ties in the Northeast and specifically New York, and it looks like it's already making waves.  Secondly, he and Ja'Quan Newton (Philly PG, #67 in the class, see below) seem to be very strongly leaning towards playing together next year (they sound more committed to it than Perkins/Vaughn) and Whitehead seems to love Pitino/Young, getting him could result in top guards committing.  Lastly, combining all these factors instantly makes Minnesota more relevant in the recruiting game than even getting Vaughn would (because of the home town factor).  That's why even though Vaughn is probably my #1 in terms of ability for the Gophers to sign, Whitehead is probably more important to the long term health of the program.

PF Reid Travis, Minneapolis, MN (#40/#40):  The third of the Big 3 and the toughest to get a read on for me because he has so much else going for him besides basketball.  He's a stud on the court, but he's also a pretty good football player with an offer to play QB for Boston College (and a hoops offer there as well) and I haven't heard if he plans to try to play both in college definitively one way or the other.  Additionally he's a great student and holds a hoops offer from Harvard and people have done stranger things than choose athletics over academics before.  Stanford is apparently sniffing around as well but hasn't offered yet, so it will be interesting to see what happens there.  If you're serious about both academics and athletics it's tough to beat Stanford, although luckily Minnesota ranks pretty highly in those academic things as well, although they aren't elite.  Travis holds some additional importance because Pitino and company seem to be hammering guards as their top priority, so locking down a big man would be helpful.

PG Kaleb Joseph, Nashua, NH (#51/#56):  Joseph has a really weird profile because although he has offers from Syracuse and Georgetown he also has offers from Fordham and Delaware, and despite the high ranking his scouting report talks about how he has to "turn potential into production" so I'm wondering if he's the rare PG project.  In any case, getting an east coast PG to take a strong look at the Gophers, considering they're the westernmost school to have offered, only bodes well for the future.  I'd put Joseph as the #3 PG on the wish list behind Perkins and Newton (#4 I suppose if you want to keep dreaming about Tyus).

PF Paul White, Chicago, IL (#57/51):  ESPN doesn't have this guy as having a Gopher offer, but Rivals does and I'm pretty sure I remember reading that the Gophers offered him so we're going to run with it.  Of course this guy has offers from every non-Kentucky/Duke/Kansas school out there pretty much, so there's a lot of competition.  He's another guy that will likely move up the recruiting rankings when they are revised, so hopefully the Gophers got in on him early enough to make a big impression since it sounds like he's a pretty complete player already and is described as a "crafty low post scorer" which I really like.  Pretty boring name though.

SF Terry Larrier, Bronx, NY (#59/#38):  Another east coast guy giving a long look at the Gophers, Larrier is similar to Joseph in that he holds an offer from nearly every northeastern school no matter how big or how small, but he stands out a bit thanks to offers from Florida, Florida State, Arizona, and VCU as well and just picked up a couple more from NC State and Texas.  He's described as a "classic jump and run athlete" who "wants the ball and isn't afraid to make plays in the open floor" so you can understand why Pitino (and VCU) would be drooling over him.  He's visited the campus, along with a few other schools, and says he's going to trim his list this month and then make a decision in November or December.  I'd like him here, but he's just exploding nationally so it's going to get tougher and tougher.

PG Ja'Quan Newton, Philadelphia, PA (#67/#41):  I'm finding myself falling for Newton because he seems to be a guy who is being mentioned in every recruiting story as a guy who is playing well to the point where I'd be surprised if he's not significantly higher in the next set of rankings that come out if they update them which I am guessing they will after this evaluation period.  That, the east coast thing, and his connection with Whitehead make Newton a top priority get, but after being more of a scoring guard and successfully adding more point guard-ish stuff to his resume he's blowing up.  Pitino has been on him since minute one and hopefully has made a nice impression, because Newton is going to be getting a lot more attention in the coming months.  I WANT this guy.  I used all caps to make that point clear.

SG Sandy Cohen, Green Bay, WI (#70/#93):  Usually when I mention Sandy Cohen people ask how he could let Trey move in with him since he clearly was a very different case than Ryan, but this time I'm talking about the guard from Wisconsin.  He's another riser with the majority of his offers being regional and/or mid-majors, but Memphis has jump on board and it's only a matter of time before he starts hearing from some more premiere programs.  At this point he seems to be pretty much in love with Marquette and they've made an offer, so it's curious as to why this marriage hasn't been made official yet.  Some have speculated that perhaps Cohen is a back-up plan for Marquette, much like Taylor was for Ryan after Marissa's death, and that could lead to Cohen going somewhere else.  Somewhere fabulous.  Like Minnesota.

PG Alex Robinson, Arlington, TX (#89/#71):  Robinson is cool because he's a fairly recent offeree and when he was asked who was recruiting him the hardest he said "Minnesota" which is nice of him.  I don't really know much about him, but his scouting report makes him sound like a pretty complete point guard who needs to get stronger and is a bit of a streaky shooter, which pretty much sounds like almost all incoming freshmen point guards.  One other point in his favor, other than how he is obviously totally in love with the Gophers, is that he's a lefty, which means that even if he's streaky with his jumper it's going to look so, so pretty.

SF Josh Cunningham, Chicago, IL (NR/#69):  One of the weirdest cases on the list, simply because one site has him as a top 70 player while the other doesn't have him in the top 100 and while that would probably be a common thing if these lists came about truly independently but since I'm pretty sure these guys mostly just crib off each other it's kind of strange.  He's also kind of strange because his best offer outside of the Gophers is either Oklahoma or DePaul, depending on your opinion of the two programs (note: I'd go Oklahoma - have you ever been to DePaul's arena?).  Check out some of these words/phrases used to describe him in his scouting report though - "warrior", "tenacity", "nose for the ball", "makes winning plays", "prototypical high mid-major prospect", "undersized", and "blue collar attitude."  Doesn't that sound like a scouting report for Nick Punto, outside of the mid-major thing because that wouldn't make any sense?  Pass.

PG Wade Baldwin, Hillsborough, NJ (NR/#117):  If Pitino misses out on all the other northeast point guards Baldwin isn't a bad consolation prize if that's who ends up at the U.  He's a bigger point guard (6-2) for a college kid and augments his height by being big and strong for a upcoming freshman.  The knock on him is that he doesn't have much of an outside shot, but not only is that a skill that can be learned at a later date (see:  Harris, Eric) but if Pitino is successful in instituting an up-tempo system it's more important to have a point guard who can get to the rim than it is one that can shoot the 3 (see: Siva, Peyton) as long as you have shooters around him.  Which I assume is the plan.

C Chinanu Onuaku, Upper Marlboro, MD (NR/#120):  Hey a center.  That's weird.  Knowing Pitino he must be a really athletic dude who maybe isn't all that skilled, right?  Check.  A "long and strong" (tee hee) shot blocker who has a major strength in his ability to run the floor for his size.  With not very much of an offensive game.  Totally makes sense.  You know what Gorgui Dieng's profile said coming out of high school?  Pretty much the exact same thing.  Except the Dieng already had a 15-foot jumper whereas near as I can tell Onuaku has a 3 foot jumper.  Also Dieng spoke five languages, and there's no mention of multilingualism in Onuaku's profile.  For shame.

SG J.P. Macura, Lakeville, MN (NR/#126):  This is the guy I expect to be the first signee in the 2014 class, although more and more schools are starting to get in the mix.  From the sounds of things Macura had been waiting for an offer from the Gophers and was ecstatic when he received it.  Prior to that I think the leader was Butler so who knows where that stands now with the Brad Stevens to the Celtics weirdness.  I've watched a couple highlight videos and he can flat out score.  He's got great range, a quick release, and an ability to score in the paint that's impressive and some might even call crafty.  I don't know how much he will be able to contribute in his first year wherever he ends up going because I think his defense looks like it's a bit suspect.  I don't really know what I'm talking about though.

SF Marial Shayok, Ottawa, Ontario (NR/NR):  This is confusing because ESPN says this guy is from Canada but Rivals says he's from New Jersey.  Man this reporting stuff is confusing and difficult.  This guy doesn't have the immediate impact potential of most of the rest of the guys on this list, reflected by his lack of a ranking at either site, but his scouting report makes it sound like he's the type who just hasn't tapped his potential yet.  Unfortunately I can't be bothered to wait for all the winning so begone with you.  He does hold offers from West Virginia, LaSalle, and Marquette so it's not like he's a terrible get or anything, I'm just unreasonable with my expectations.

PF Tory Miller, Lee's Summit, MO (NR/NR):  Well he's from Missouri yet doesn't hold an offer from Missouri, so that's pretty much a big red flag right there, but he's also got potential.  He's a big dude with a real power game, and once again Marquette is in the mix for his services so I'm pretty sure they're just following Pitino around and offering all the same dudes.  Or maybe Pitino is following Buzz around.  Either way, it doesn't seem like the ideal way to recruit.

PG Jalyn Patterson, Alpharetta, GA (NR/NR):  He's from Georgia and he does have an offer from both Georgia and Georgia Tech so huzzah!  Also Georgia Southern and Georgia State!  Wow, Georgia officially loves this kid.  I would say more but they didn't even give this dude a scouting report.  Uh, he also has an offer from Auburn and he's 6-1.  

That is a lot of offers.  Hopefully this works.  He's also already hitting the trail for 2015 with some of the top kids both nationally and locally, and also just offered 2016 Minnesota kid Amir Coffey (yes, Richard's son).  I've upgraded from cautiously optimistic to less cautious, more optimistic.  Once we get that first signing down I'm going to throw a party.  With a keg and everything.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

MLB Trade Deadline

First off, screw you Ryan Braun.  I hope your balls fall off.  Braun tried so hard to tell us all he was innocent, but of course he wasn't.  Meanwhile, children in Milwaukee are sad and Braun goes right back to his $100MM contract next season.  At least it happened to Wisconsin.  If someone deserves this, it's them.  I enjoy that MLBers like Skip Schumaker and Jesse Crain are getting sick of the cheaters and are coming out and speaking against it.

It seems like there are a lot of veterans that are on the block this year as we approach the trade deadline.  The increase in potential activity is probably due to some close races in divisions as well as the addition of the second wild-card.  Here are some dudes that might be on the move.
Matt Garza - Well, I was so lazy writing this that Garza already got traded to the Rangers.  The Cubs receive Mike Olt, Justin Grimm and CJ Edwards as well as 1 or 2 players to be named later.  It's only 1 if they choose Neil Ramirez.  Mike Olt was the #22 prospect at the beginning of the year according to Baseball America.  He's 24 and has struggled at AAA after mashing AA the year prior.  He was dealing with some weird eye thing which could have contributed to the suck.  He's a solid defender at 3B.  Grimm is a starter that's been poor in 17 starts for the Rangers, but was a top 10 prospect for them and has mid rotation potential.  Edwards is 21 and is ripping up class A ball with a 1.83 ERA over 93 IP. 

Alfonso Soriano - It sounds like if I don't type fast enough today Soriano will be a Yankee by the time I post.  A deal requires Soriano to waive a no-trade clause.  Also, the Cubs will be paying quite a bit of the remaining $24.9MM owed to him.  The Yankees would be sending a minor league relief prospect like Chase Whitley and/or Tommy Kahnle.  Soriano is hitting .256 with a .286 OBP, but does have 17 homers.  He has a 1.2 WAR so far this year.  Vernon Wells, the player he would likely replace, has a 0.0 WAR. 

Jake Peavy - With Garza gone, Peavy is the next mostly heavily talked about pitcher available.  The 32 year old just returned from a stint on the DL due to a rib injury.  He has a 4.19 ERA, but advanced stats show he's had a bit of bad luck out there.  (xFIP 3.65)  He's still striking out 8.5/9 and walking just 1.85/9.  The Red Sox seems to be the hottest after Peavy and they could definitely use him.    Peavy is due $29MM over the next two years.  The Giants, Rockies and D-Backs have also shown some interest.  Peavy should garner a Garza-esque package.  Especially since he's under control for two years, where Garza is a free agent after this season.

Justin Morneau - Jon Heyman wrote that teams are "soft" on the idea of trading for Morneau.  The Pirates and Yankees were the most rumored over the last week.  You would think Morneau could see a spike of production in a new environment that isn't Target Field, but his home/road splits show that he's actually worlds better at home.  He hits 320/368/521 with 6 of his 7 homers at home; he's a miserable 222/294/284 hitter on the road.  Maybe teams have cooled because they googled some Morneau splits and don't want to pay the last $6MM of Morneau's 6yr/80MM deal for that type of production.

Aramis Ramirez - Aramis is on the DL, but teams are still showing interest.  In fact, he probably won't even be off the DL before the deadline.  However, his $16MM price tag this year means that he would likely clear waivers and could be moved in August when he returns.  Both the Red Sox and Yankees have a need at 3B that might make Ramirez a good fit.

Michael Young - The Phillies aren't sure whether they should be buyers or sellers.  They're just 7.0 games behind the Braves despite being a game under .500 and they've won 6 of 10 recently.  They actually have a better record than the pre-season darling Washington Nationals.  For now, they're saying Young isn't available -- again, the Yankees and Red Sox have interest.  This is a case where the two wildcard system is likely keeping someone from selling.

Yovani Gallardo - Let's face it, the Brewers might as well punt now that Braun is out for the year and Gallardo is another name that is drawing some interest.  Gallardo isn't doing the Brewers any favors though by pitching like crap.
Francisco Rodriguez - Lots of teams are after K-Rod, notably the Tigers, Red Sox and Dodgers.  The Tigers would possibly plug him in at closer.  He stills throws it at 93-94mph and has that sick slider.  His contract is a palatable $2.25 with some games played incentives.  Huston Street is a name that has come up for reliever-seekers as well. Althought a lot of Tigers fans seem to not want him:

Jason Kubel - There are mild rumors out there about Kubel being moved; he's another guy that has played poorly this year and is hurting his trade value.  Unlike Morneau, he sucks equally both at home and away.  He might be a cheaper trade alternative to Alex Rios or god forgive me, Nate SchierholtzA mid-level reliever might get it done as AZ has stated they're looking for pitching.  The guy did hit 30 homers just a year ago.  Plus this:

Friday, July 19, 2013

Ra'Shede Hageman Should Be Rated 99 on NCAA 14

Hageman's Helmet

Minnesota Gophers senior defensive tackle Ra'Shede Hageman is a force on the football field.  The converted tight end is 6'6" and 311 pounds and dominates on the interior for the Gophers.  In May, Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports listed Hageman #2 on his list of freak athletes behind Jadeveon Clowney.  Feldman refers to Shede's 36" vertical leap and ability to still do a 360 dunk.  He also lists Shede's 465 pound bench press and 1.57 10 second sprint.

Last year, Hageman had 35 tackles, 7 for loss.  He recorded 6 sacks, broke up two passes and forced a fumble.  He's back for 2013 to continue to polish his NFL resume and help lead a defense that was 33rd in the nation a year ago.

Dustin Hockensmith listed him as the #10 opposing player Penn State will have to face this season.   He refers to Feldman's piece as well as the multiple pre-season All B1G selections from various publications.  He's also on the Rotary Lombardi Award watch list and a whole bunch of other awards lists

Everyone understands how awesome Optimus Prime is except EA Sports.  They only give him an 88 rating in this year's NCAA 14.  Now, I don't know what the formula is but we need to take a look at some individual ratings here.

Let's start with strength.  Hageman might be the stongest man alive, let alone the strongest in college football.  An 87 for strength is an insult.  If he wasn't such a nice guy, Hageman would literally decapitate QBs.  Awareness of 79?  HE SEES EVERYTHING.  Acceleration of 72?  1.57 second 10 yard sprint down?  Breaking tackles of 46?  Why in the world would you try and tackle Ra'Shede Hageman?  Are kidding?

EA: If you're going to use Ra'Shede Hageman's likeness at least give him the respect he deserves and rate him a 99.  You don't want to make him angry.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Fun With WAR: AL's Best Players by Position at the All-Star Break

Here's a look a the top players by position at the All-Star Break for the American League.  I thought I'd do this mainly as an exercise to see how far off the Twins are at position from the best players.  I'll look at WAR and try and include offensive and defensive tidbits.  For these purposes I'll use Fangraphs.com's WAR calculation and ratings because they're much easier to pull into a report than B-R.

Catcher - Joe Mauer, Twins

The beauty of the catcher position is that there are only 7 that qualify with enough plate appearances for me to rank.  Two of them are actually Twins thanks to Doumit's multi-positional weirdness.  Mauer leads this group with a 3.9 WAR, with Houston's Jason Castro at #2 with a 2.3 WAR.  Carlos Santana is 3rd (1.7 WAR).  The best rated fielder is Matt Wieters with Mauer second.  Wieters threw out 17 of 39 base stealer guys.  Mauer's All-Star backup Salvador Perez had just a 1.4 WAR.

For numbers that people actually understand, Mauer led in hits (113), runs (50), AVG (320), OBP (402) and was .002 behind Castro in slugging at 473.  Blue Jays' catcher JP Arencibia hit 16 homers and Wieters had 44 RBI to lead those categories.    None of them stole more than a couple bases because they have knees like I do, only mine are from sitting on the couch.

First Base - Chris Davis, Orioles

This is a no brainer as Davis is right there with Cabrera for first half MVP.  "Crush" (not sure where I stand on that nickname yet...the beverage is delicious though) produced a 5.1 WAR, giving him a healthy lead over Edwin Encarnacion at #2 (2.7).  James Loney is a surprising #3 on the list with a 2.2 WAR.  Prince Fielder was way down at #11 (0.8) because he gets dinged on his poor defense.  Justin Morneau is #13 with a 0.6 WAR. 

Davis led AL first basemen in hits (108), HR (37), R (70), RBI (93), AVG (315), OBP (392) and SLG (717).  It was a clean sweep for him.  Just sick.  Loney tied him with the .315 average.  Encarnacion (25), Dunn (24) and Mark Trumbo (21) also cleared the 20 homer mark.  The best fielding rating belonged to Mike Napoli (6.2), which seems pretty weird.  Trumbo (4.9), Hosmer (4.7) and Loney (4.0) are also among top defenders.  The worst fielder was Mark Reynolds at (-7.8), with Fielder hot on his tail at -7.7. 

Second Base - Robinson Cano, Yankees

Cano is having another great year and led AL second basemen with a 3.8 WAR.  Dustin Pedroia and Jason Kipnis were right on his heels with 3.7 and 3.4, respectively.  Brian Dozier is 7th (1.5) thanks to his very good defense and base running ratings. Oh, and just to give you an idea how well no-batting-gloves Matt Carpenter is playing for the Cardinals in the NL; he has a 4.3 WAR.

Cano leads in homers (21), RBI (65) and slugging (531).  He's just average in fielding (0.4) and is actually a negative value in baserunning (-0.6).  Pedroia leads in hits (119), average (316), OBP (396), runs (57) and is just behind Omar Infante (5.1) in fielding with 5.0.  Kipnis leads in steals with 21, although somehow Zobrist gets the best base running rating with a 3.6.  Apparently he has a great UBR, which has something to do with how many extra bases he takes.

Third Base - Miguel Cabrera, Tigers (duh)

It's no surprise that last year's Triple Crown winner is on the top of the heap here.  What is amazing though is that he's nearing a second consecutive Triple Crown, which has never been done.  Blockhead Chris Davis is tripping him up right now in the homers and Davis is also right behind Cabrera in RBI.  There are some great AL third basemen this year with Cabrera (6.0 WAR), Evan Longoria (4.4), Josh Donaldson (4.3) and Manny Machado (4.2) at the top of the stack.  Poor Adrian Beltre is 6th despite hitting 316/358/543 with 21 homers.  Trevor Plouffe barely doesn't qualify, but if I lower the plate appearances standards a bit he clocks in at 8th with a 0.4 WAR.
As if you didn't know, Cabrera leads in everything with 365/458/674, 30 homers, 95 RBI and 73 runs.  Only 11 players had at least 30 homers and 95 RBI in all of 2012.  The best fielder is Manny Machado with a whopping +16 runs saved.  Our guy Plouffe is at -6.7, but Cabrera is worst at -11.9.  Miguel laughs at your defensive uber stats.  The best base runner besides utility guy Jayson Nix (2.5) is Kyle Seager (0.9). 

Shortstop - Derek Jeter  Jhonny Peralta, Tigers

Jhonny freaking Peralta is the best we have to offer at shortstop in the AL.  It's a motley crew where Mark Belanger would fit right in.  Peralta is actually hitting really well and providing average defense.  Funny that he's in better shape and playing so well in a contract year.  Peralta has a 2.7 WAR, Yunel Escobar is 2nd with a 2.3, Jed Lowrie is 3rd with a 1.8 and Pedro Florimon is tied with Alexei Ramirez for 4th with a 1.7!  JJ Hardy, who leads AL shortstops in homers (16) and RBI (52) is 6th with a 1.6 WAR because he doesn't walk and has a poor average.

Peralta leads shorstops in average (303) and slugging (447).  He's second to Lowrie (364) in OBP with a 361 mark.  Elvis Andrus leads in runs with 50 and is a +4.8 runs thanks to great base running.  Otherwise, he sucks the big one (0.6 WAR).  Nice signing, Texas.  Nice fantasy trade, WWWWWWWW. 
Florimon is the best fielder with a +9.0 runs; he's also a +2.8 base runner.  The worst fielder is Jed Lowrie (-7.9) and the worst base runner is Asdrubal Cabrera (-2.4).

Left Field - Alex Gordon, Royals

Alex Gordon is second to Mike Trout actually; Gordon has a 2.2 WAR and Kelly Johnson is third with a 1.8.  However, since 2/3 of Trout's games were in CF, we'll cover him there. There's a lot of sucky left fielders out there.  .224 hitting Josh Willingham is 14th with a 0.4 WAR.

Raul Ibanez leads left fielders with 24 homers, 578 slugging and 56 RBI.  Someone get some of that dude's pee ASAP.  Alejandro De Aza has the runs with 54.  Daniel Nava leads with a 288 average and a 374 OBP. Nate McLouth leads in steals with 24.  The best fielding LF is Andy Dirks with a +10.6; the worst is Daniel Nava at -9.5 splitting time between left and right field.  The best base runner is McLouth with a +3.6 runs; Melky Cabrera is the worst wtih a -3.3 tally.  Funny how Melky's numbers have dropped back to where he was at in his Yankee days after getting suspended 50 games for roiding.

Center Field - Mike Trout, Angels

Trout is cranking out another pretty great year; in relative silence because the rest of the Angels have been pretty sucky and Cabrera and Davis have been putting up massive power numbers.  His 5.7 WAR in the first half puts him on pace to exceed his MLB leading 10.0 WAR from last year. Colby Rasmus and Jacoby Ellsbury are tied for second at 3.5, Desmond Jennings and Brett Gardner are tied for fourth at 2.7 and Adam Jones is sixth with a 2.5 WAR.  Aaron Hicks is dead last at 15th with a 0.0 WAR.

Trout leads in AVG (322), OBP (399) and SLG (565).  Adam Jones leads in homers (19), runs (67) and RBI (67).  Ellsbury leads in steals with 36 and also is tops with a base running with a +8.7 runs.  The worst base runner in CF is Lorenzo Cain with a -0.5 runs.  Cain however, is the top fielder with a +11.8; De Aza is last at -7.9.

Right Field - Jose Bautista, Bleu Jays

Joey Bats!  His 3.0 WAR leads right fielders.  Shane Victorino is second with a 2.4 WAR; Zobrist is third with 2.2.  Torii Hunter leads in AVG (315) and OBP (352) unless we count Nava again.  Chris Parmelee isn't last!  He's second to last ahead of JD Martinez.

Nelson Cruz leads in homers (22), RBI (69) and SLG (517).  The only stat Bautista actually leads in is runs (61), but he's close in a number of categories.  The best fielder is Victorino, a converted center fielder, with +14.0; JD Martinez is worst with a -7.1 (again unless we count stone legs Nava).  Drew Stubbs is the best base runner (4.0) and Boom Stick Cruz is last with a -2.6.

Final Tally for the Twins:

C:  1st
1B: 13th
2B: 7th
3B: 8th
SS: 4th
LF: 14th
CF: 15th
RF: 14th

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Gophers to play Syracuse in Maui Invitational

The Brackets were revealed for the Maui Invitational today, and your favorite team will play Syracuse in the first round, a game that is interesting not just because playing a team like the Orange is pretty sweet, but also because the rumored package deal of Isaiah Whitehead and Ja'Quan Newton is also considering the Cuse along with Minnesota.  WINNER TAKES ALL.

Interesting clash here, considering the Gophers are almost totally perimeter based right now thanks to the graduation of Mbakwe and Rodney Williams, while the Orange lost Brandon Triche, Michael Carter-Williams, and James Southerland and will be more reliant on inside play than ever with nearly every impact returnee an inside (or wing at best) player.  Of course, this being Jim Boeheim and Syracuse and they don't rebuild they just reload, they are bringing in ESPN's #5 point guard (#20 overall) in the country in Tyler Ennis as well as a couple forwards in the Top 100, which means the Cuse will have a huge size advantage over Minnesota but will be relying on a freshman point guard against a veteran laden opposing backcourt as well.

Speaking of point guards and dealing with some difficulties, the Gopher guards will have to contend with Syracuse's vaunted 2-3 zone.  The good news is Coach Pitino has experience in game planning for it from his days with Louisville.  The bad news is Syracuse's zone will likely be made up of Ennis and four guys who are at least 6-8 with wing spans that could probably cover the entire court end-to end.  The other good news, is without the guys who left Syracuse has almost no 3-point shooting unless one of the incoming freshmen is a marksman.  The other bad news, is I'm terrified of the Gopher guards going up against this zone, but that's from years of scarring after watching Monson and Tubby coached teams go up against zone defenses and collectively lose their shit.  Things should be different with Pitino at the helm.  Could be different.  Hopefully.  Please please please be different.

Anyway, this is a pretty sweet draw, and then in round two they will face either Arkansas or Cal, depending on win/lose.  I'm too tired to look it up, but I'm pretty sure Arkansas still sucks and Cal is a fringe NCAA team, so Cal would be the much better match-up but the Gophers would have to beat Cuse to get to them most likely.  Right now I'm not sure I see that happening, but hey, hooray for optimism.  Looking forward to it.

Elsewhere, brackets for a bunch of the other tournaments were announced as well.  Of note:

OLD SPICE CLASSIC (Big Ten rep: PURDUE):  The Boilers caught a rough draw in the first round in National Champion contender Oklahoma State (you heard it here first), especially much of the rest of this tournament is blah at best.  Outside of Memphis (and OK St) the best team might be LSU (who is supposed to be better this year) and that's an ugly tournament.  The good news for the Boilers is they should be able to run right through the loser's bracket to end up going 2-1.

VEGAS INVITATIONAL (Big Ten rep: NORTHWESTERN):  It's not a tournament because the matchups are already set between four teams (Northwestern, UCLA, Missouri, and Nevada) with UCLA and Missouri each playing Northwestern and Nevada.  Because we aren't getting that UCLA vs. Missouri match-up this is a super boring tournament invitational.

PUERTO RICO TIP-OFF (Big Ten rep: MICHIGAN):  Assuming the Wolverines can get past Long Beach, and they should, and VCU can get past FSU, and they should thank you very much Andrew Wiggins, that's a heck of a second round match-up.  After Michigan blew up everyone's bracket in dramatic fashion by blowing the doors off VCU last year, I'm interested to see how they handle havoc without either Burke or Hardaway.  Georgetown should come out the other side, now that Bruce Weber has another year under his belt at Kansas State and should begin dismantling everything Bob Huggins and Frank Martin built.

LEGENDS CLASSIC:  No Big Ten rep in this one, but notable because of Texas Tech and Tubby Smith's appearance.  The Red Raiders actually may be able to win their semifinal match-up (there are only 4 teams) against Pitt since the Panthers lost a ton off last year's team, but then they can expect to get their doors blown off by either Stanford or Houston.  Neither team is great, but Texas Tech is significantly worse than either.  Then again, Tubby has shown an aptitude for getting the most out of his teams in these early tournaments, so maybe his magic will work again.  Just watch out for February.

WOODEN LEGACY:  This is kind of a crappy tournament with teams like Fullerton and George Washington involved (and on the same side of the bracket for some reason) but there's probably enough intrigue to make this interesting considering how much people want to make sex to Doug McDermott of Creighton.  I'm most interested in seeing if Maurice Creek (transferred to GW) can make an impact or if those knees are 100% shot.

There's other tournaments too but they're mostly boring and holy crap did I ever just run out of steam.  Go to ESPN or whatever.  I'm done here.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Sharknado: The Return of Tara Reid (a DWG Live Movie Blog)

A movie called Sharknado.  About sharks and tornadoes or sharks in tornadoes or tornadoes made of sharks or something awesome like that.  Starring my old flame Tara Reid, and the never aging Ian Ziering?  Written by the guy who wrote, produced, and directed Mutant Vampire Zombies from the 'Hood! (exclamation point actually part of the title)?  Of course I'm in.  I'm a bit worried that rather than take itself seriously and, as such, become unintentionally hilarious like the rest of these kinds of movies, it's embracing the stupidity (I mean, shark tornadoes?) and thus won't be quite as fun to make fun of (plus the movie poster just says "Enough Said").  But then again, maybe it will be awesome in an awesome way instead of a stupid way.  In any case, I'm watching.  Join me here on another DWG Live Movie Blog.

-   We open with a giant school of sharks swimming in a rain storm.  Something tells me we're not going to be wasting any time here.

-  Oh yeah, and there's a tornado too now.  And it just sucked all the sharks up into it.  So yeah, no wasting time.  But answer me this - isn't a tornado in water a hurricane?  Shouldn't this be called "Sharkicane"?  And isn't that a cooler name anyway?  You know it is.

-  Oh no, we see dudes finning sharks.  If you don't know what that is it's something really evil unscrupulous fisherman can do where you catch sharks, cut off their fins, and then throw the sharks back to die, using the fins to make shark fin soup, a delicacy in Asian countries.  It's illegal and basically just a shitty thing to do.  Hopefully these guys, and all shark finners everywhere, die soon.  Especially this stupid french guy with really bad teeth.

-  This is one crazy storm.  And I know it's crazy because the camera man keeps bobbing up and down to similate waves while they show stock footage of storms.  Now the sharks on board thanks to the Sharknado.  They're all on board.  And they're hungry and crudely computer animated.

-  Ok wait like, some of them are just jumping into the boat to eat french people.  It's almost like sharks don't need a tornado at all to kill people.

-  Cut to credits as everyone died.  Requisite beach montage full of boobs and butts.  At least this movie got one thing right.

-  Ian Ziering is here now and he's going surfing.  You know what Wonderbaby answers if you ask her what sharks eat?  Surfers.

-  We just met a waitress who I think is probably going to be the hero.  Also we are now guaranteed Tara Reid won't be the hottest chick in this movie, because whoever this girl is rates a 10.

-  Another montage, this one of some broad and Ziering surfing.  Feels like filler.  Feels like that might be a good thing.

-  Montage mercifully interrupted by a shark attack.  That's good.  And that chick got eaten like crazy by like 10 sharks.  And, if you're wondering by the way, the shark footage is a big mish mash of a whole bunch of different types (all computer animated by the way) and now they're all hanging out together and just eating everybody they see, and none of them are in a tornado at all - not even a little bit.  This is all like, really fake and stuff.

-  That hot waitress's name is Cassie Scerbo.  Here she is:


-  Ian Ziering and some old guy at the bar who looks familiar are convinced that the reason there are so many sharks and the reason why they're so aggressive is because of Hurricane David which is pushing all the sharks all up the coast, which, again, means this is a hurricane not a tornado.  Also, great theory, 90210 boy.  Makes tons of sense.

- Yes and there's Tara Reid.  Man I was so in love with her back in the American Pie/Urban Legend/Bodyshots days.  She was my #2 girl (nobody ever has or ever will pass Tiffani Thiessen for #1).  Sure, she's now the poster girl for wrecking her body and career thanks to bad plastic surgery, drinking, and drugs, and yeah she's aged but it's not like she's all rotten and gross or anything.  It's more like she's changed from a grape to a raisin.  She's not as smooth or round or shiny or firm anymore and she's spent a little too much time out in the sun and has a few too many wrinkles, but she's still delicious and I'd like to put it in her.

-  Steve Sanders and the beautiful Tara Reid are apparently ex-married people with a kid together, which means they'll end up together battling sharks in a hurricane for love.  Also, Tara Reid still can't act, but I'd still dry hump her in the back seat of a small car.

-  They keep cutting to aerial shots of this place that's supposedly experiencing this horrid storm, but in the aerial shots the water is completely calm.  I love you SyFy OH MY GOD SHARK IN THE BAR!  SHARK IN THE BAR!  So bizarre.  This is insane.  They aren't even bothering with a semblance of a plot, it's just sharks flying around the city and landing on stuff.  I guess that sort of sounds awesome but it's really not.

-  And now the Ferris Wheel broke free and is just rolling down the pier.  We're only 26 minutes from teh start of the movie and completely pandemonium has set in.

-  According to the Newslady on the day after, "the waves also brought several sharks in to shore."  I'm pretty certain that's not a thing.  

-  Somebody found this blog today by searching for "drunk girl puke" on google.  Somebody from Japan.  I feel so dirty.

-  Man the whole city has flooded.  I bet people are looting like fucking crazy.

-  There are sharks in the street.  SyFy isn't even trying anymore.  So the water is shallow enough for people to drive through, but deep enough for a shit ton of sharks to just cruise around in including big-ass Tiger Sharks, which, fun fact, are never found off California.  They are, however, found off Mexico so I guess the waves must have pushed them North.  Makes sense.

-  Holy shit that old guy is the dad from Home Alone.  Wow.  He looks terrible, but what can you expect when you live in a world where tiger sharks are just cruising around ignoring stop signs like some kind of toothsome bicyclists.

-  Ok, last time I'm going to complain about this, but they keep showing people standing/running in ankle deep water, then the cut to computer generated dorsal fins swimming in what would have to be much deeper water, then they show people dying by shark.  As dumb as this sounds considering I'm watching a movie called Sharknado, I feel like my intelligence is being insulted.  And Mr. McAllister just died.  RIP.

-  The computer animation of Ziering driving his car through a bunch of waves or whatever is reminiscent of Excitebike.  But hey, now they're on the freeway and there are no sharks around.  Probably should stay away from the shark infested areas and stuff.  Guess the movie's over.

-  Wait, no.  There's a shark on top of a building.  And now sharks are being belched out of whatever you call those things where water drains from.  Culvert, maybe?  Whatever it is.  And now one just came shooting out of a manhole cover.  There are more sharks in this damn town than at a surfing convention off the coast of South Africa during a bleeding competition.  Waiting for Grandpa to show up to say, "One thing about Santa Monica I never could stand....all the damn sharknados."

-  Now a shark jumped from Tara Reid's swimming pool into her living room and ate Tara Reid's boyfriends head off.  It's ok though because the good guys stopped it by crushing it with a book shelf.  Not joking.  This is the worst thing I've ever seen, and I've seen a lot of guys naked.

-  After the guy died and the shark died the entire living room is flooded with red water because of the blood (and the water, of course).  Ziering's friend guy says, "must be that time of the month."  I may not be able to go on, I think this movie is giving me glaucoma.

-  And where is this Sharknado everybody keeps talking about?  I just see a bunch of lame flooded streets and Tara Reid's face which never moves, but which wouldn't stop me from making sweet love to her awkwardly.  And now the house just exploded.  It exploded.  I don't know either.  I need to drink A LOT faster.

-  I'll give them a little credit, at least they didn't try to shoehorn in some plot with villains and were content to just make the sharks the bad guys.  Unfortunately I'm rapidly losing interest.

-  There's a bus stranded in the middle of somewhere.  The sharks are circling even though the the water is either 2 feet or 200 feet deep depending on what camera angle they're using.  Ziering's answer?  Rappel down from the bridge and into the bus, of course, because who doesn't have a bunch of rappelling equipment in their car, along with like, 4000 rounds of ammo for several different weapons?  If you don't, what are you going to do when the street becomes the ocean?  Huh, pal?  You probably sit around on your couch eating range free cheetos and you don't even have a gun and you're just waiting for the King of England to show up and start pushing you around.  Thought so, pansy.

-  I wish this movie was over.

-  You're never going to believe this, but after saving all the kids Ziering is climbing back up and the rope STARTS TO FRAY!  DUN DUN DUN!  But don't worry, he just barely makes it back up in time.  Whew.  And they really need to stop showing wide shots of the city, because every time they do they just show a calm, normal city with zero sharks in the streets or bars.  Zero water too.

-  Sharks are now falling from the sky.  I have sat through some terrible movies, but this one truly takes the cake.  Not even that hot waitress chick can save it.  And their car just exploded for some reason.  It's possible they explained it when I wasn't paying attention, but I feel safe just assuming it was for no reason at all.

-  Awesome name for a shark movie:  Sharkpocalypse.  MONEY.

-  You know, Ian Ziering really isn't a terrible actor.

-  Now they have a Hummer.  Of course.  Makes me think about Tara Reid for some reason.

-  Now our heroes are being chased by the cops through dry land for some reason.  I think they're trying to get to Tara Reid's daughter's brother who's stranded at 31 Flavors or something.  All I know is it's not raining, it's not flooded, there's no tornadoes, and even less sharknadoes.  There's not even a Jarvis Varnado.  What a gyp.

-  Oh hey, there's a tornado.

-  Remember this?
Good Lord.
-  The son apparently lives in an airplane hanger.  I don't know.

-  Ziering, "A hurricane can pick up marine life and drop it hundreds of miles away."  Oh.  So there's your justification for this entire movie, although I suspect we're talking starfish and seahorses, not 1,000 lb. tiger sharks, but whatevs.  Also, there you go with all your hurricane talk again. Effing false advertising.

-  The new plan, rather than finding shelter since they could, with nothing happening right now, work on finding shelter or even driving further away from the coast, is to "stand and fight." A sharknado.  With things from the local hardware store like chainsaws and an axe and a weed wacker.  And everyone is just accepting that "when those tornadoes show up they're going to be dropping sharks down upon us."  This is so fucking stupid.  It's worse than Arby's. 

-  Now Daddy and Daughter are arguing about how "he's never there for her."  Ain't it just like a woman to bring up irrelevant shit at the worst possible time?

-  The plan is to take the helicopter (don't ask) and drop bombs into the tornadoes to kill the sharks.  Did nobody really see how stupid this was before we got to the "greenlight it" phase?  This is impossible to enjoy, on any level.  This might even be the worst shark movie ever.  And I'm including Jaws 4.  Yeah, I said it.

-  It appears SyFy made a movie called "Chupacabra vs. The Alamo."  I am damn pissed off I missed that one.

-  Nothing like taking a chopper into a tornado.  Full of sharks.  This movie is worse than Wisconsin.  And nobody has died in like 45 minutes.  In the movie, I mean.  I'm guessing several people in Wisconsin have died in the last 45 minutes from firework related accidents and farm animals alone.

-  So the bomb made the tornado disappear.  Why the F don't we just do that whenever there's a tornado here in Minnesota?  Seems like an easy solution.

-  At least people are dying now, as sharks randomly fall in areas which clearly are not being affected by the weather in any way.  Please just end.

-  If you dump gasoline in a pool and throw a match in what would happen?  Would it start on fire?  According to this movie it just straight up explodes.  Like that car that exploded earlier.  And that house.  Suspecting Michael Bay might be secretly involved here.  Or, more likely, his "special" cousin Tony.

-  Oh snap that hot chick fell out of the helicopter and right into the mouth of a shark.  That sucks.  Also we haven't seen Tara Reid in quite some time.  This is probably the part where they were filming but she was passed out because she took all the drugs so they just went ahead without her after drawing a shlong on her face and taking pictures.

-  Ziering (to his son):  "Take care of your mother and sister."
Son:  "Where are you going?"
Ziering (serious face):  "To finish this."

Fucking finish what?  It's a god damn tornado and you know what, when weather conditions change the stupid thing will go away.  Just go in your basement with a flashlight and read a book.  What the fuck?  And how in the holy hell do bombs make a tornado go away?  And where did these thousand of sharks come from that a fucking tornado picked them all up?  They didn't even try to make sense.

-  A shark swallowed Ziering.  Then he chainsawed his way out, no worse for wear.  And he rescued the hot girl at the same time when he pulled her out of the sharks stomach on his way out.  Fuck off.