Thursday, April 23, 2015

2015 NFL Mock Draft


 By Michael Schneid


UPDATED: 2/28


1.Tampa Bay BuccaneersJameis Winston, QB, FSU
2.Tennessee TitansMarcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
3.Jacksonville JaguarsAmari Cooper, WR, Alabama
4.Oakland RaidersKevin White, WR, West Virginia
5.Washington RedskinsLeonard Williams, DT, USC
6.New York JetsDante Fowler, LB, Florida
7.Chicago BearsBreshad Perriman, WR, Central Florida
8.Atlanta FalconsVic Beasley, OLB, Clemson
9.New York GiantsAndrus Peat, OT, Stanford
10.St. Louis RamsLa'El Collins, OT, LSU
11.Minnesota VikingsTrae Waynes, CB Michigan State
12.Cleveland BrownsTodd Gurley, RB, Georgia
13.New Orleans SaintsAlvin Dupree, DE, Kentucky
14.Miami DolphinsBrandon Scherff, OT, Iowa
15.San Francisco 49ersDanny Shelton, DT, Washington
16.Houston TexansKevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest
17.San Diego ChargersMelvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
18.Kansas City ChiefsByron Jones, CB, Uconn
19.Cleveland Browns (from Buffalo)Devante Parker, WR, Louisville
20.Philadelphia EaglesErick Kendricks, LB, UCLA
21.Cincinnati Bengals Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska
22.Pittsburgh Steelers Marcus Peters, CB, Washington
23.Detroit LionsMalcolm Brown, DT, Texas
24.Arizona Cardinals Cameron Erving, OT, Florida State
25.Carolina Panthers DJ Humphries, OT, Florida
26.Baltimore Ravens Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska
27.Dallas Cowboys Shane Ray, DE, Missouri
28.Denver BroncosEreck Flowers, OT, Miami
29.Indianapolis Colts Damarious Randall, S, Arizona State
30.Green Bay PackersBenardick McKinney, LB, Mississippi State
31.New Orleans Saints Jalen Collins, CB, LSU
32.New England Patriots Jake Fisher, OT, Oregon



















Saturday, April 11, 2015

NBA College Teams



Honorable Mention:

Washington

PG - Isaiah Thomas
SG - Tony Wroten
SF - Terrence Ross
PF - Quncy Pondexter
C - Spencer Hawes

CJ Wilcox, Justin Holiday



Syracuse

PG - Michael Carter-Williams
SG - Dion Waiters
SF - Wesley Johnson
PF - Carmelo Anthony
C - Arinze Onuaku

Tyler Ennis, Jerami Grant,




10. Wake Forest


PG - Chris Paul
SG - Jeff Teague
SF - Al-Farouq Aminu
PF - James Johnson
C - Tim Duncan

Ish Smith




9. Kansas

PG - Mario Chalmers
SG -Andrew Wiggins
SF - Paul Pierce
PF - Markieff Morris
C - Nick Collison

Marcus Morris, Ben McLemore, Cole Alrich, Darrell Arthur Tarik Black, Joel Embiid, Drew Goodon, Kirk Hinrich, Jeff Withey, Thomas Robinson, Brandon Rush


8. Arizona:
PG - Jerryd Bayless
SG - Andre Iguodala
SF - Chase Budinger
PG - Jordan Hill
C - Channing Frye

Jason Terry, Aaron Gordon, Solomon Hill, Richard Jefferson, Grant Jerrett, Nick Johnson, Derrick Williams



7. North Carolina

PG - Ty Lawson
SG - Danny Green
SF - Harrison Bares
PF - Brandon Wright
C - John Henson

Vince Carter, Reggie Bullock, Ed David, Wayne Ellington, Marvin Williams, Raymond Felton, PJ Hairston, Tyler Hansbrough, Brendan Haywood, James McAdoo, Tyler Zeller



6. Florida

PG - Nick Calathes
SG - Bradley Beal
SF - Chandler Parsons
PF - Al Horford
C - Joakim Noah

Mike Miller, Matt Bonner, Corey Brewer, Udonis Haslem, David Lee, Marreese Speights



5. UConn

PG - Kemba Walker
SG - Jeremy Lamb
SF - Caron Butler
PF - Rudy Gay
C - Andre Drummond

Ben Gordon, Shabazz Napier, AJ Price, Charlie Villanueva


4. UCLA 

PG - Russell Westbrook
SG - Aaron Afflalo
SF - Trevor Ariza
PF - Kevin Love
C - Ryan Hollins

Jrue Holiday, Matt Barnes, Darren Collison, Zach LaVine, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Travis Wear, Shabazz Muhammad, Kyle Anderson Jordan Adams 



3. Duke

PG - Kyrie Irving
SG - JJ Redick
SF - Luol Deng
PF - Carlos Boozer
C - Josh McRoberts

Jabari Parker, Elton Brand, Michael Dunleavy, Gerald Henderson, Rodney Hood, Dahntay Jones, Ryan Kelly, Mason Plumlee, Miles Plumlee, Shavlik Randolph, Austin Rivers, Lance Thomas, Kyle Singler


2. Texas

PG - DJ Augustin
SG - Avery Bradley
SF - Kevin Durant
PF - LaMarcus Aldridge
C - Tristan Thompson

Jordan Hamilton, Cory Joseph, PJ Tucker




1. Kentucky

PG - John Wall
SG - Eric Bledsoe
SF - Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
PF - DeMarcus Cousins
C - Anthony Davis

Rajon Rondo, Enes Kanter, Terrance Jones, Brandon Knight, James Young, Archie Goodwin, Chuck Hayes, Jodie Meeks, Nazr Mohammed, Nerlens Noel, Patrick Patterson, Tayshaun Prince, Julius Randle






NBA Mock Draft

By Michael Schneid

Updated: 4/11

1. Knicks - Jahlil Okafor, C, Duke
2. Wolves - Karl-Anthony Towns, C, Kentucky
3. 76ers - Emmanuel Mudiay, G, Congo
4. Lakers - D'Angelo Russell, G, Ohio State
5. Magic - Justice Winslow, F, Duke
6. Kings - Kelly Oubre, F, Kansas
7. Nuggets - Myles Turner, F, Texas
8. Pistons - Montrezl Harrell, F, Louisville
9. Hornets - Willie Cauley-Stein, C, Kentucky
10. Heat - Trey Lyles, F, Kentucky
11. Pacers - Sam Dekker, F, Wisconsin
12. Jazz - Bobby Portis, F, Arkansas
13. Suns - Frank Kaminsky, F, Wisconsin
14. Rockets (via NOLA) - Jerian Grant, PG, Notre Dame
15. Celtics - Kevon Looney, F, UCLA
16. Hawks (via Bklyn) - Kristaps Porzingis, F, Latvia
17. Bucks - Cliff Alexander, F, Kansas
18. 76ers (via OKC) - Buddy Heild, G, Oklahoma
19. Wizards - Jerrell Martin, F, LSU
20. Raptors - Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, F, Arizona
21. Bulls - Caris LeVert, G, Michigan
22. Mavs - Devin Booker, G, Kentucky
23. Cavs - Justin Anderson, F, Virginia
24. Spurs - Mario Hezonja, G, Croatia
25. Celtics (via LAC) - Delon Wright, G, Utah
26. Blazers - Christian Wood, F, UNLV
27. Cavs (via Mem) - Ron Baker, G, Wichita State
28. Lakers (via Rockets) - Tyus Jones, G, Duke
29. Nets (via Hawks) - Cameron Payne, PG, Murray State
30. Warriors - Joseph Young, G, Oregon

2015 College Basketball Coaching Carousel

By Michael Schneid

Only half a dozen job openings remain in college basketball, none from the major conferences.

We wanted to take a look at the top jobs from this past year and analyze the hirings/firings that took place.


Texas: 
Hired Shaka Smart; Fired Rick Barnes
Barnes was one thing for Texas - consistent. 17 years and 16 tournament appearances but only one Final Four and that was over 10 years ago. Shaka is a smart hire for Texas because while Barnes has a career track record of underachieving with too much talent, Smart has always overachieved. No knock against VCU or the talent on his team's but if you look at the Texas roster the last two years vs. VCU's roster, it's hard to compare the talent level. The one question with Smart is can he handle the pressure? He ran a specific system, known as Havoc, which involves fast paced offense and pressing defense. Will top recruits buy into that system? It worked with 2-3 star four-year players. What about 5 star one-and-done guys? Shaka is a smart coach and should be fine.

Tennessee
Hired Rick Barnes; Fired Donnie Tyndall
While Rick Barnes wore out his welcome at Texas, he should be a good fit for Tennessee, a school that has lacked consistency for many years, in both basketball and football. Barnes is a good recruit and a good enough coach to at least have the Vols in tourney contention every year. But can he take that next step? The one that he struggled for so long to take at Texas? Only time will tell...

St. John's 
Hired Chris Mullin, Fired Steve Lavin 
The Johnnies and Steve Lavin mutually parted ways after five years. I went to STJ vs Duke earlier this year and immediately began telling people Lavin should be fired. His team's have underacheived for five years and were often inconsistent and out of control. The most telling part of that Duke loss was how undisciplined the offense was. A lack of chemistry and rushed shots cost the Johnnies the game. Out is the well-dressed coach with the slicked back hair. And in is the Queens-native, former St. John's legend, Chris Mullin. Mullin has zero coaching experience. Even as an assistant. Only NBA front office experience. You know who else had a similar resume? Fred Hoiberg. And that's worked out pretty well for Iowa State. Who else would be as passionate about a school or a city than someone from there. Mullin will be able to attract NYC recruits but will he be able to coach? We think he'll be just fine.

Arizona State
Hired Bobby Hurley; Fired Herb Sendek
Herb Sendek was a quality coach whose teams never lived up to the potential. Bobby Hurley has only been a head coach (at Buffalo) for two years but people have long believed he has "it". The biggest uestion now surrounding Hurley is can he out-recruit and out-coach Sean Miller? History says no..

Mississippi State
Hired Ben Howland; Fired Rick Ray
Rick Ray got a raw deal. Coaches should get at least 5 years. That means coaching your first two recruiting classes as seniors, and really your second one is your first full class. Ray was fired after three years partly because of his team's struggles but more so likely due to the availability of Ben Howland. Howland is an experienced coach with three Final Four appearances in his career. That kind of experience will be welcomed and appreciated in Starkville, as well as the SEC as a whole.

Alabama
Hired Avery Johnson; Fired Anthony Grant
Grant led Alabama to just one tournament appearance in five years, so this move had to happen. The one that followed however, was pretty surprising. Avery Johnson has no college experience, only NBA and does not have any direct ties to Alabama. In fact, his only southern tie is that he grew up in New Orleans. Johnson was a good NBA coach and on the sidelines and in the ESPN studio has shown to be very passionate. Time will tell if this is a good move, but one thing is for sure regarding Johnson - he needs to surround himself with a strong staff for recruiting purposes. Johnson's resume will be well-respected by high schoolers. Despite his lack of experience recruiting, he should be just fine. 
 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

2015 NFL Free Agent Predictions

By Michael Schneid

Quarterbacks:

1. Mark Sanchez - Bills
Sanchez would "compete" with EJ Manuel and reunite with Rex Ryan in Buffalo

2. Jake Locker - Eagles
Chip Kelly is familiar with Locker from PAC-12 days and could serve as a backup to Nick Foles while continuing to develop.

3. Brian Hoyer - Texans
Whether or not Ryan Mallet resigns, Bill O'Brien will be interested in signing his former project from his time in New England

Bonus Predictions:
  • Bucs will draft Jameis Winston #1
  • Eagles will find a way to trade up and draft Marcus Mariota
  • Titans acquire Jay Cutler


Running Backs

1. Demarco Murray - Cowboys
Ultimately, Murray will return to Dallas on a team-friendly deal.

2. CJ Spiller - Jets

3. Ryan Mathews - Ravens

4. Mark Ingram -Cardinals
Andre Ellington is a good player with durability questions. Ingram has those same questions but is more of a bruiser (thunder) to Ellington's lightning. The former Heisman winner would add a whole new dimension to the Arizona offense.

5. Justin Forsett -Titans
Titans could use more weapons and Forsett could compliment Bishop Sankey and replace Shonn Greene

6. Frank Gore - Patriots
Gore wants to play for a Super Bowl contender. Pats could always use RB depth and won't use Gore as workhorse.

7. Shane Vereen - Colts
Vereen is an excellent pass catching RB and Luck could certainly use one of those out of the backfield to dump off passes too

8. Darren McFadden - Jaguars
New OC Greg Olsen was with McFadden in Oakland. Jags could do worse than pairing McFadden with a high draft pick.


Wide Receivers:


1. Dez Bryant - Cowboys
Bryant will likely be franchise tagged.

2. Demaryius Thomas - Broncos
Franchise tag

3. Randall Cobb - Browns
Cleveland in desperate need of playmakers and are likely to meet Cobb's asking price...and more.

4. Jeremy Maclin - Eagles
Chip Kelly and Philly cannot afford to let their top WR get away

5. Torrey Smith

6. Michael Crabtree - Chiefs
Could take short term, incentive deal and reunite with former teammate Alex Smith. Would be KC #1 WR.

Bonus - Brandon Marshall - Ravens
Marshall isn't a free agent...yet. But there are rumors Chicago may cut the star wideout to save money. Ravens took a shot on an older Steve Smith in 2014 and that worked out well. With the possible loss of Torrey Smith, Ravens may take a chance with another older WR who would reunite with new Balt OC and former Chicago HC Marc Trestman.

Tight Ends:
1. Julius Thomas - (prediction to come)

2. Jordan Cameron - Seahawks


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

College Basketball: Top 5

By Martin James


March Madness is less than a month away, which means that more and more people are tuning into college basketball to see who the favorites are. The five teams below are all very much in the discussion for one of the #1 seeds in the tournament on Selection Sunday. Here’s a look at the most recent power rankings.

#1 Kentucky
There is really no debate when it comes to which team has been the most impressive in the 2014-2015 college basketball season so far. With a perfect 25-0 record, Kentucky is trying to be the 1st team since 1976 to go undefeated and win the national championship. Those are certainly high expectations, but the Wildcats knew that they were going to be outstanding before the season even started. Everything hasn’t been smooth sailing the entire year for Kentucky, but they have always found a way to win the close games. Look at their schedule, they have a very good shot at entering the tournament undefeated. Their depth is what sets them apart.

#2 Virginia

Losing Justin Anderson definitely hurt Virginia’s title chances, but the fact of the matter is they have found ways to continually win even without one of their best players. They only have one loss on the year, and that is to another team that is pretty good in Duke.What really hurts Virginia is the fact that they lost their best 3 point shooter on offense. Anderson was able to space the floor, and without him, they are really struggling to put up points beyond the arc. It is something to watch in the next couple of weeks in the ACC. They could start to slip down rather quickly if things don’t go their way.

#3 Wisconsin

Wisconsin only has two losses on the year, and one of them came without star player Frank Kaminsky. After making the Final Four a year ago, this team looks like a good bet to make it back. They know that the final stretch in the Big Ten is going to be difficult, but that would just give them an opportunity to strengthen their bid. They probably do not even need to win the Big Ten tournament to get a #1 seed.

#4 Duke

The Duke Blue Devils might be playing better than Wisconsin right now, but it is very difficult to put them ahead of the Badgers when they lost to them earlier in the year. Duke has survived a rough patch at the beginning of the ACC season to look like a strong #1 seed option.Even though it was controversial, the dismissal of Rasheed Sulaimon seems to have the Duke Blue Devils playing better than ever. They are really starting to put together a strong campaign.

#5 Gonzaga

Is Gonzaga the fifth best team in the country? That is certainly debatable. However, they have the clearest path to a #1 seed if one of the others fall off. They have one loss on the year, and that is likely going to be their only loss going into the tournament. A weaker conference and a lack of historic success (compared to other top notch schools) could keep them at a #2. They certainly have Final Four talent though.

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Monday, February 16, 2015

College Football 2015: Top Returning QBs

By Michael Schneid

Here is a list of the top 5 returning QBs in college football in 2015.

  1. Braxton Miller/JT Barrett/Cardale Jones (whoever starts at Ohio State)
  2. Trevone Boykin, TCU
  3. Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
  4. Connor Cook, Michigan State
  5. Cody Kessler, USC


Other returning QBs to keep an eye on (no particular order)

DeShaun Watson, Clemson
Gunner Kiel, Cincinnati
Maty Mauk, Missouri,
Brad Kaaya,Miami
Everett Golson, Notre Dame
Brandon Daughty, Western Kentucky
Jared Goff, California
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Kyle Allen, Texas A&M

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Forecasting NFL Head Coaching Changes

By Michael Schneid


Raiders: John Harbaugh (current 49ers HC)
It's been long known that Harbaugh has worn out his welcome in SF. Assuming he decides to pass on the Michigan job to stay in the NFL, he may choose Oakland for three reasons. 1) His wife reportedly loves the bay area. 2) Money. Oakland is desperate and will pay him. 3) Power. Oakland is desperate and would likely fire GM Reggie McKenzie and give Harbaugh power to make moves if that was a request.


Dolphins: Brian Kelly (current Notre Dame HC)

Miami may look to make a splash. Considering the success another Kelly has had (Chip), the Dolphins may look to the college game and hire Brian Kelly for his offense.



Jets: Darrell Bevell (current Seahawks OC)

Current Jets GM John Idzik used to work in Seattle and knows Bevell. Jets need a creative, offensive mind and Bevell has done a great job developing Russell Wilson


Bears: Mike Singletary
This job is one of the hardest to forecast. Marc Trestman has only been in Chicago for two years, but the Bears have been a disaster this season. A tough defensive-minded coach may be the way to go and Singletary's name has been mentioned. He has previous experience coaching the 49ers and is a former legend in Chicago. If nothing else, this hire can reinvigorate fans and excite them to see the Bears going back to their history. If not Singletary, Todd Bowles makes sense here.



Falcons: Rex Ryan (current Jets HC)
Rex may not be a bad coach. But he was constantly dealt a bad hand in NY. Even the two years he took the Jets to the AFC Championship games, his offense was simply average. A revolving door of offensive coordinators didnt help. But the Falcons have all the pieces in place on offense. They can leave OC Dirk Koetter in place and bring in Rex, who is known as a  player-friendly, disciplinarian, tough-minded coach. Sort of the opposite of Mike Smith. Falcons dont need to reset, per say, but they need to pull the plug on Smith and bring on someone who can regain the franchise's momentum. 


49ers: Adam Gase (current Broncos OC)
Jim Tomsula has long been considered the front runner. He is the current SF DL coach. Its quite possible the front office decides to move on from this season and the Harbaugh regime altogether. Gase is one of the younger, brightest minds in the NFL. He has been Denver's OC for two years and replaced Mike McCoy when the Chargers hired him, and so far that has worked out well.

Friday, December 19, 2014

NFL Off-Season Preview: AFC East

QB and coaching changes

Patriots:
Status quo. Bill Belichik will walk away when he wants to, as will Tom Brady

Bills:
QB - Yes
Coach - Probably not
Word in pre-season and training camp was that Doug Marrone was on thin ice and had a very cocky attitude to him with front office officials. The Bills finally have a new owner who may decide to clean house. But with the possibility of finishing over .500, it is unlikely a major change is made.

The biggest change will be QB. The Bills drafted EJ Manuel in the first round of the 2013 draft and benched him one month into his second season. Manuel was replaced by Kyle Orton, who is as about average as there is. It's unlikely Manuel will be given another chance and it's highly unlikely Orton returns, especially at his current $5 million salary. The Bills may not risk using another high draft pick on a QB so they could look for one in middle of the draft or pursue a veteran to go with their stout defense.

The Bills will certainly have plenty of veteran options. Jay Cutler, RG3, Brian Hoyer are among some of their options.

Jets: 
The Jets SHOULD clean house but likely won't. GM John Idzik is likely to remain in his current position, despite gutting a roster that was once a routine playoff contender. Rex Ryan is going to be fired next week and that's going to be a mistake. Rex was never give enough talent on offense and the GM gutted his defense, specifically in the secondary.

If Idzik remains as assumed, the Jets will probably pursue a coordinator or first time head coach. 1) Because Idzik is not much of a "splashy" kind of guy and 2) because hiring a first-time head coach buys him more time in his current role.

Head coach options: Adam Gase (Broncos OC), Kyle Shanahan (Browns OC), Pep Hamilton (Colts OC), Greg Roman (49ers OC)
Likely frontrunner: Darrell Bevell (Seahawks OC)

Bevell worked with Idzik in Seattle and has a strong background on offense. He has been credited with Russell Wilson's development and can work with a new, young QB in New York and focus on the running game.

Dolphins: 
Miami should make a change at head coach. Joe Philbin has been in Miami since 2012 and is 22-24. A few years ago they went bananas in free agency spending millions on just about anyone who would listen. The Dolphins haven't gotten any better but haven't gotten worse. They are stuck on neutral and need to accelerate their progress.

Bringing in a new coach, with previous experience would be a good way to light a fire under the franchise. The Dolphins could make a major splash. The Dolphins have previously expressed interest in John Harbaugh and he is expected to be available and could be interested in Miami this time around. If Miami strikes out on Harbaugh, perhaps they can pursue Harbaugh disciples such as 49ers OC Greg Roman or DC Vic Fangio. Or even current Stanford head coach David Shaw.

If the Dolphins turn to college to make a splash, someone like Brian Kelly would be a fascinating hire.

2014-15 College Football Bowl Predictions

By Michael Schneid


BOWL MATCHUP PREDICTION
New Orleans Nevada vs. La.-Lafayette Louisiana-Lafayette
New Mexico UTEP vs. Utah State Utah State
Las Vegas Colorado St. vs. Utah Utah
Famous Idaho Potato Western Mich. vs. Air Force Western Michigan
Camellia Bowling Green vs. South Ala. South Alabama
Miami Beach BYU vs. Memphis BYU
Boca Raton Marshall vs. Northern Ill. Northern Illinois
Poinsettia Navy vs. San Diego State Navy
Popeyes Western Ky. vs. Central Mich. Western Kentucky
Hawaii Rice vs. Fresno State Rice
Heart of Dallas Illinois vs. La. Tech Illinois
Quick Lane Rutgers vs. North Carolina Rutgers
St. Petersburg NC State vs. UCF UCF
Military Virginia Tech vs. Cincinnati Cincinnati
Sun Duke vs. Arizona State Arizona State
Independence Miami (Fla.) vs. South Carolina Miami
Pinstripe Boston College vs. Penn State Boston College
Holiday Nebraska vs. USC USC
Liberty West Virginia vs. Texas A&M West Virginia
Russell Athletic Clemson vs. Oklahoma Oklahoma
Texas Texas vs. Arkansas Arkansas
Music City Notre Dame vs. LSU LSU
Belk Louisville vs. Georgia Georgia
Foster Farms Maryland vs. Stanford Stanford
Peach Ole Miss vs. TCU TCU
Fiesta Boise State vs. Arizona Arizona
Orange Miss. State vs. Ga. Tech Mississipi State
Outback Wisconsin vs. Auburn Auburn
Cotton Michigan St. vs. Baylor Baylor
Citrus Minnesota vs. Missouri Missouri
* Rose Oregon vs. Florida State Oregon
* Sugar Alabama vs. Ohio State Alabama
Armed Forces Pittsburgh vs. Houston Pittsburgh
Gator Iowa vs. Tennessee Tennessee
Alamo Kansas State vs. UCLA Kansas State
Cactus Okla. State vs. Washington Oklahoma St
Birmingham Florida vs. East Carolina Florida
GoDaddy Toledo vs. Arkansas State Arkansas State
CFP Champ. Game Oregon vs. Alabama Alabama

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