Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Oh. Hello.

It has been a long damn time since I posted.  A month.  Not dead, just lazy.  I do plan to be back full force once Gopher basketball gets going, I really do.  For now, since at least 1 person is asking for a new post, I'll write something.

-  Welcome aboard, Eric Curry!  Quickly following up the Amir Coffey signing (yay!) the Gophers also picked up forward Eric Curry.  He's a combo type forward from Arkansas, and while he's not ranked on Coffey's level he's well regarded in his own right:  ranking #106 by 247sports national composite and the #21 ranked power forward.  He ended up besties with Coffey and once Amir signed Curry was pretty likely to follow in what hopefully becomes a trend.

He's described as a combo forward, which generally means he's either too fast for PF and too strong for SF or too weak for PF and too slow for SF.  Hopefully the former and it sounds good so far.  Scouting reports tout his athleticism and he's already got a decent amount of polish posting up which will be a nice change for a Gopher team that hasn't had a true post up artists since, I dunno, Ralph Sampson I guess.  Before you jump all over that remember Ralph had some moves.  Curry's other highly touted attribute is his "high motor" which means the Sampson comparisons can pretty much end now.

His weaknesses are he needs to get stronger and he needs more of a perimeter game.  Well, he's a high school senior right now, and I'm pretty sure the ESPN scouting report just rubber stamps "must get stronger" on early every recruit because that's a pretty common and understandable need.  The perimeter game should come around because, get this, he's a 78% free throw shooter.  Sign him up!

-  The Twins season ended, you may have learned, and I struggle whether or not to say this was a successful season though I lean towards yes.  We got to watch some meaningful baseball almost all the way to the final day of the season - that's good!  Then again, they cratered and didn't get the Wildcard spot - that's bad!  Though, they probably weren't as good as their record anyway - that's bad!  But we got to see a glimpse of many of the future hopefully building blocks of future success - that's good!  So I'll stick with slightly good.  Here's some other Twins stuff:

1.  Say good-bye to Trevor Plouffe.  I found some sight the other day that gave projected arbitration salaries for players, and Plouffe is guessed at $7.7 million.  I like Plouffe and he's a decent player who works hard and seems like a good dude and was part of some very bad teams without complaint, but at that salary, with Miguel Sano slated to be the third baseman for the next billion years, the world's most unmovable contract stuck at 1st, and a slew of younger, cheaper bats that need DH appearances and spot starts there's nowhere for him to play.  Whether via trade or simply non-tendering him I just can't see him sticking around, which is unfortunate because he's WonderBaby (who is now 7)'s favorite player, though she calls him Treasure Poof.

2.  Do the Twins need an ace?  More on the need for an ace later, if I feel like and/or remember, but I don't think this is doable.  They've tossed way too much money at Ricky Nolasco, Ervin Santana, and Phil Hughes lately to really go after it, unless they were going to pony up the big bucks and do it right by going after David Price or Jordan Zimmermann or something but I don't see that happening.  With Hughes, Santana, Kyle Gibson, and a slew of young arms worth trying out I'm not even sure they need to do anything with the starting staff (but the bullpen?  Fire everybody).  There are enough decent names out there that if they can get a steal (a real steal, like that 2/$20 million contract the Cubs gave Jason Hammel) then it might be worth it.  But please, no 4 year deal for Jeremy Guthrie.  Please.

3.  Overall the future here seems pretty neat.  They need a catcher and a shortstop for sure and those are not very easy to fill so hopefully dudes who are already here can fill those roles, but other than Brian Dozier's second half cratering things seem pretty clear.  I hated the Torii Hunter signing when it happened because that money could have been better spent, but hell, maybe there is something to clubhouse chemistry and veteran leadership.  I'd be happy to see him back at a reduced rate assuming he's cool being the 4th outfielder at best.  Next year should be pretty fun.  Looking forward to it.

-  Seems like we are heading towards a Royals vs. Mets World Series.  I'm good with that.  Of the playoff teams you had teams that were too successful (Cardinals), too evil (Yankees), too rich (Dodgers), too big of assholish fans (Toronto), too unlikable (Rangers), too it hurts because it should have been us (Astros), and the Pirates, Cubs, Royals, and Mets, and you have to eliminate the Cubs because the whole Back to the Future thing is already more irritating the constant DFS commercials.

So really, Royals and Mets gives me probably two of my top three choices (with the Pirates).  And yeah sure, the Mets are terribly run organization and the Royals are kind of dickish and have the most clueless manager in the playoffs, but you're never going to get perfect.  It should be fun and I won't be annoyed no matter who wins.  What's wrong with that?  Plus the less R.A. Dickey there is to watch, the better.  Though I will really miss watching Kyle Schwarber play outfield.

And I'm determined to do a live blog of at least one World Series game.  I think I have almost every year, so I can't just stop now.

-  Wolves should be pretty fun.  Rubio-LaVine-Wiggins-Towns-Dieng.  Could be a lot worse, right?  At least it should be fun.  A legit shot at back-to-back Rookie of the Year winners, finding out if LaVine can be like, good, and seeing if Rubio can stay healthy is a good reason to at least occasionally watch.  I mean, Rubio running a break with those two wings and Towns trailing?  That's awesome.

And how good can Towns be?  Rookie of the Year is pretty much a lock, the only question is can he challenge for MVP.  I say yes.  Did you see him hitting those threes against no defense this offseason?  I mean, most guys can't do that.  And have you seen his preseason stats?  Averaging 10.7 pts, 6.7 rebs, and 1.0 blocks per game, but that's only in 21 minutes per game!  If you extrapolate that out to a whole game it comes out to something like 35 pts, 18 rebounds, 9 assists, and 7 blocks per game.  You know the last player to put up those kind of numbers?  Yep, that's right - Hot Sauce.  Towns is that good.

-  I know what you're thinking - "this blog sucks now."  But I know what else you're thinking, why is there no mention of this year's Gopher hoops team?  Well, I'm not ready yet.  I'll rip something off at some point, but right now it's like, no.  I am not ready to write about Joey King just yet, and I don't really know how to spin the Bakary Konate/Gaston Diedhiou stuff into a positive, nor can I figure out how to look forward to Carlos Morris being a big key to the season.  I'll get around to it, I swear.  For now, let me write something quick about other NCAAB stuff.

-  ACC is going to be garbage, relatively speaking.  Only North Carolina looks poised to be good.  Duke lost everybody and will now count on Grayson freaking Allen, Virginia I'm pretty sick of already so move on, Louisville lost literally their entire roster, Notre Dame without Jerian Grant is meaningless.  Miami and FSU could be semi-interesting but in general I'm expecting the Big 10 to take the challenge thing.

-  LSU is one of my big sleepers and you can still get them at 50/60-1 to win the National Championship.  Yes, they lost Jordan Mickey and Jarrell Martin, but they have a ton of guard play coming back and two absolute stud recruits in do everything big man Ben Simmons (likely #1 pick in next year's draft) and swingman Antonio Blakeney (who is now linked to the Louisville "scandal").  There are a lot of questions about the front court, though Simmons can maybe do it all, but all those guards back and a monster recruiting class scream contender to me.

-  Another team I like a lot is Cal (don't worry, Justin Cobbs is gone).  They pick up the #4 and #7 players in the entire country, both front court guys, who join their three best players, all guards.  Add in Cuonzo Martin, a really, really good coach, and you'd be a fool to pass them up at 20-1.  A FOOL!!

-  I might end up doing a Big Ten preview post, and if I do I promise I won't be like every other writer and say something like "based on talent the Badgers shouldn't be this high, but Bo Ryan blah blah blah barf"  No!  This is the year the Badgers suck ass.  They are gutted.  They have Nigel Hayes, who I love and is awesome, Bronson Koenig, who is annoying and super hateable and sucks, and that's it.  All of their other players suck.  They won't be bottom of the basement, but there's zero chance this team makes the NCAA Tournament.  None.  Zero.  None.

-  A Big Ten team I do like a ton this year is Purdue, though that seems like a not uncommon thought.  And their games are going to suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck to watch.  Massive rim protection in A.J. Hammons and Isaac Haas (Hammons is elite, Haas is 7-2 so should get there eventually) is joined by 6-9 Caleb Swanigan, one of the top couple center recruits in the country, and Raphael Davis is back who, you surely don't remember this, won B10 defensive player of the year.  They also couldn't shoot for shit last year and there's no real reason that should change.  I fully expect multiple games where they win without breaking 50 points.

-  Oh yeah, speaking of points we have a new shot clock now at 30 seconds.  Even better though they got rid of the 5-second closely guarded rule.  I'm not sure if that's a positive change as far as the game goes, but it's going to be super fun to go to games this year and hear morons yell "5 seconds!" one billion times because nobody reads anymore.  Also, speaking of going to games, Snacks and I were lining up our trip out to Sioux Falls with our sons to go check out the Gophers vs. Oklahoma State game and then right as we were figuring stuff out bam, it turns out my parents' have this dumb christmas party that same day where we are supposed to be blackjack dealers or something.  Thanks a lot, mom and dad.

-  Perry Ellis, the 37-year old Kansas power forward, is back for another year.  He has now surpassed Wade Lookingbill, Jess Settles, and Brian Cardinal for longest tenured player in college basketball history.

- I don't know.  I guess that's all for now.

-  Oh yeah.  Also Rick Pitino 100% knew there were sex parties for recruits and also that happens at every single school.  Haven't you seen He Got Game?


E. Rosario said...

Trevor Plouffe "seems like a good dude"? I beg to differ. Never even high fives me after big hits. (clubhouse cancer)

E. Escobar said...

How dare you vendejo

S. Mitchell said...

I think you mean Rubio-Wiggins-Prince-Garnett-Towns, bro.

Gi said...

glad your back writing... kept checking in, mainly for Gophs basketball stuff and you sense of humor

John R said...

yeah i check here on a regular basis - hope to see a live (movie? world series? wolves game?) blog soon!