published Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

5-at-10: Draft numbers, Heyward's way, Auburn's strength

Gang, remember Friday's mailbag. We've got a couple of spots open. Let's do work.

From the "Talks too much" studios, six minutes, six minutes, six minutes Dougie Fresh and you're on. Uh-uh, on.

Merry Draft eve

We have a soft spot for the draft — some would even say we love it — but you know this.

We have discussed the shortcomings of star-power in this class. With a lack of star-power, however, comes the chance to land a surprise, a potential difference maker after the first 10 picks. And if you don't think that can happen, well, take a look at some of these NBA stud ducks:

In 2010, emerging Pacers star Paul George was picked 10th.

In 2009, Jrue Holiday was picked 17th.

In 2008, centers Brook Lopez and Roy Hibbert were picked 10th and 17th respectively.

In 2007, Marc Gasol fell into round 2.

In 2006, Rajon Rondo dropped all the way to 21st.

In 2005, Andrew Bynum (10th), Danny Granger (17th) and David Lee (30th) were available later in round 1.

So, what does this tell us.

Well, we like your chances with picks 10 and 17.

Seriously, the above group of folks picked 10 and 17 would leave you a starting five of Holiday at the point, Danny Granger at the 2, George at the 3, Bynum at the 4 and the best center duo in the league with Lopez and Hibbert. That group wins 50 games easy. Compare that to the No. 1 overall picks those six years — Andrew Bogut (2005), Andrea Bargnani ('06), Greg Oden ('07), Derrick Rose ('08), Blake Griffin ('09) and John Wall ('10).

So let's see who picks 10th and 17th tomorrow... Portland and Atlanta... Well there goes that theory since Portland and Atlanta are only the two worst drafting teams since the A's left Kansas City.

So it goes.

————

Braves future

This will be an on-going topic through the summer, but we likely need to start somewhere.

What is Jason Heyward's career arc going to be?

Will he be the left-handed Jeff Francoeur? A home-grown Atlanta guy who made a big splash early but has a fatal flaw (Pedro Cerano can identify and even thinks Jesus can't help with the curveball) in their game that is magnified by being the home-grown Atlanta guy?

Is Heyward fixable — and he crushed a hanging curveball against the Kansas City version of Jonny Venters for what proved to be the game-winning homer in a 4-3 win Tuesday? Is he a franchise guy that the Braves must hang on to or is he a piece that must be moved while there are still those out there that believe his flaw can be fixed?

Discuss.

————

Auburn, Day 3

As we discussed last week, we're going to look at some of the area's high-interest college football teams as we crawl toward the start of college football season.

We started this week with Auburn, and offered an overview Monday and a look at the Tigers' weaknesses on Tuesday (well, their major weaknesses, a thorough look at the questions in Auburn would take a while).

Today, let's examine the two biggest strengths for the Tigers.

Offensively, the Tigers are built on a firm foundation that can run the football. Tre Mason rushed for more than 1,000 yards last for an offense that had quarterback play so inept that it would have made Rainman feel sorry for the unit's awkwardness and worry about the offense when it tried to handle pressure situations. (Definitely 247, 247 toothpicks.)

Still Mason was able to find yards and the offensive line was able to create space, even with 22 defenders in the box. That's a positive. (It also helps that as much as Gus appears to be a "system" coach, he is a maestro at maximizing his pieces — the guy made Chris Todd a record-setting quarterback for crying out loud — and Mason is his best piece.)

The specialists — kicker Cody Parkey and punter Steven Clark — are as good as there is in college football. That's a really good thing, especially in regard to Clark if the Tigers do not find some answers at QB.

————

This and that

— So A-Rod takes to the Twitter and the Yankees GM Brian Cashman channels his inner-Steinbrenner and cusses about it during a news conference. Ah, the Yankees. Side question: If you could cover one beat as a sports writer, the Dallas Cowboys gig would be pretty high-profile and entertaining. The Yankees beat would be through the roof.

— And maybe Cashman overreacted — it's never a good idea to drop the queen mother of all cuss words into a microphone, unless you're either a) a stand-up comedian; b) a rapper; or C)-Lo. (See what we did there 9er?) — but man it's hard to be on A-Rod's side about anything. The guy is a goof. And slimy. Dude makes more than the Astros (all of them) for crying out loud and all he does is get hurt, vanish in big spots and get linked to steroid controversies. OUCH-standing.

— Speaking of the Braves earlier, it was nice to see Kris Medlen look like Kris Medlen again. After starting 1-6, Medlen's been effective by remembering that he can spot his fastball as well as almost anyone in the NL. He's not overpowering mind you, but he pitches and moves the ball directionally and in regard to pace. It's fun watching him pitch when he's grooving. Now, let's do something about that flat-bill, platypus.

— Enjoyed Downtown Patrick Brown's introduction of UT super-recruit Robert Hubbs. Yes, he would be just another cog in the ointment for the UK recruiting star-machine. (Six McDonald's All-Americans in one class? CUH-razy.) Still, Hubbs brings five-star billing to Knoxville and fills a position — shooting guard — opposite Jordan McRae that gives the Vols a legit scoring punch on the perimeter. We like The Conz a lot, but another tournament-less winter in the 865 with this group would be unacceptable.

— Congrats to UCLA for winning the college world series. And so concludes the college sports season. Side note, if the Bruins had won Monday, the college baseball season would have finished before the NHL season. That's weird, wild stuff.

— The NCAA reportedly will rule on the Oregon investigation today. Quack, quack.

————

Today’s question

As always feel free to flow freely.

Let's spin this puppy sideways today.

We need some suggestions — what's the best movie you've seen this year? Better yet, what's the best movie you have rented in the last few months?

Discuss and feel free to chime in on the Heyward stuff or the draft or the stink-a-tude/promise of the Auburn Tigers. (Did you know that one poll has Auburn as high as 23rd — and no it was not the TFP's Sports Editor's double-secret probation poll.)

Discuss.

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

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Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
jomo11 said...

I listened to Sporttalk yesterday, It was neat for a Vol fan to win that contest. However, I know Dr. B is a doctor, but I was afraid he was going to "play doctor" when he had Butch Jones sitting next to him. As close to an on air sexual assault as I have ever heard. . . . .down boy ! Dr. B.

June 26, 2013 at 10:52 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Ten Ring:

As an outsider looking in, I cam easily imagine covering the Dallas Cowboys beat as being the absolute cream of the crop in sports writing. Except given the fact I'm an "actual" semi reader (and clip supplier) of the Dallas Morning News, I can venture to say it's not all Gatorade wishes and Dallas Cowbow Cheerleader dreams. In fact, to most "locals" down here, Emperor Jones has pretty much reduced the 'Boys to the "Ottoman-Empire" of the NFL (aka once great, now the sick-man of the league).

Any talk of the Cowboys involves either criticism of Jones' constant interferance, the fact only the super wealthy can afford to watch the games in his private Death Star across the street (literally) from "Nolan's place" (aka letters to the editor), the fact no one believes in Romo and Jerry green-lighted a salary bigger then St. Payton's, and so on. Naming names, Jean-Jacques Taylor had columns about the Cowboy's struggles that were so flaming they made anything Drew Johnson writes look like it was written by Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh.

I'm not trying to burst your bubble, just pointing out things I notice from a semi-local's perspective. ;)

Movie-wise, other then the usual summer fare, I haven't really seen anything that particularly grabbed at me. Since I've been on a hot-streak in the local stand-up circuit, my energy has been focused in that general direction.

As noted in previous posts, I no longer have cable so any television I do watch is through Hulu on my computer. Currently, I've only followed two live action shows, Master Chef and Definence. And the only reason I'm watching MC is because of local-yokel neo-hippie GPS-er Beth. Upon recommendation from several friends within the "anime" community, I started also watching "Attack on Titan". Domestic anime distributor Funimation bought the commerical rights to the series and has them professionally subtitled within "days" from the actual Japanese broadcast...Welcome to the 21st Century. I still want to see it dubbed on the account Japanese voices sometimes don't match with the emotions they're trying to generate. After four episodes, I'm enjoying it but the first episode is extremely tramatizing to sit through (NOT recommended for 13 and under).

June 26, 2013 at 11:16 a.m.
chas9 said...

Jomo described The Good Doctor's Jonesing perfectly.

I love Rajon, but he never hit his stride in his two years at UK, so 21 was as good a pick as he could have expected. In 2005 he scored 8 PPG and had 3.5 assists per game. In 2006 it was 11 and 4.9. His freshman year he failed to make either the coaches' or the AP all-SEC teams. Sophomore year The Cats were 9-7 in the league. Rondo failed to make the coaches' eight man first team, and was not among the 16 players on the AP first and second teams. (Chris Lofton and C.J. Watson were chosen over him.) Big Baby was the Stud of the Year for 2006.

Cuonzo's orangeclad can expect a good year. They won't beat UF or UK, but they should finish the season in the top 25.

June 26, 2013 at 11:48 a.m.
Todd962 said...

My first TFP paper arrived in the driveway this morning. They even called to confirm its arrival. If they got themselves a decent sports editor they'd have a well oiled machine going over there. Jokes.

I think you could argue that the mother of all cuss words is no longer the f bomb. It has almost blended into common society as an acceptable adjective. Now you drop a see you next tuesday on somebody and heads begin to melt. The f bomb just doesnt turn heads like it once did.

So, A-A-Ron Hernandez was arrested this morning. Few quick questions, one, why were his arms not in the sleeves of his shirt. I have had a few pairs of handcuffs brush my wrists briefly(if their scare tactic of handcuffing you occurs two or more times, has it lost its effectiveness?) but never recall being sleeveless as one of the requirements. Two, did this jack wagon really think he was going to get away with everything by destroying his phone and security system. Theres a dead guy up the street with contact to you all over him, dont you think they might bring up any of that? Of course if you are dumb enough to commit the acts, you likely arent going to have the sense to foresee the consequences. They havent stated if he was arrested as a suspect or for just plain dumbassery, but one of those is going come back as a sure fire guilty verdict. Andddd....the Patriots released him this morning in an attempt to distance themselves from the train wreck. Shocker.

June 26, 2013 at 11:59 a.m.
chas9 said...

Good reason to draft Nerlens Noel: His steals numbers are amazing for a big guy, about what Rondo's were at UK. He will, however, have to work on his post moves.

Todd, the Hernandez pic is odd looking, as you point out. I'd guess they cuffed him while he was shirtless, then slipped a shirt over him for decency's sake.

June 26, 2013 at 2:05 p.m.
GratefulDawg said...

To answer the side question, right now the New England Patriots beat is blowing up. You have a live-action episode of Law & Order playing out with Aaron Hernandez. You have the most famous third-string quarterback in the history of football. I wonder if anyone on ESPN has any thoughts about Tebow? Rob Gronkowski is always a story waiting to happen. Since porn starlet Bibi Jones (it's not important why I know her name...I know a lot of stuff) hooked up with The Gronk, he has become somewhat of a magnet for girls who just want to get nekkid and famous. Not a bad gig for a footballer who seems to be young, dumb and full of, uh, spirit. The Patriots tight-ends alone are a beat writers dream. Michael Hoomanawanui, you're up.

Best movie I have seen this year? Well, it was a small independent film starring Bibi Jones...No, seriously I haven't seen many movies that really grabbed my attention lately. I did watch "Inglorious Basterds" again the other night. Great cast of characters furiously killing Nazis; That's just good, clean, all-American fun right there.

June 26, 2013 at 2:31 p.m.
Todd962 said...

9er, that was on my list of possibilities. The police granted the public the decency not to be exposed to such criminal nipples and lacked the decency to allow him to properly put on a shirt before hauling him off. My other theory was he had written some sort of message on his chest or back such as "Free A-A-Ron!" or "I'm with stupid -->" or "Save me Tim Tebow!" All very plausible possibilities...

June 26, 2013 at 2:33 p.m.
jomo11 said...

looks like Aaron Hernandez wont be a tight end for long . . wink,wink

June 26, 2013 at 3:01 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

As for the Atlanta Hawks (never heard of em), well, since Sonja Heinie's out ... maybe they ought to take Danny Noonan.

Maybe we ought to judge the irrelevancy of certain pro teams. The Hawks are, at best, the No. 4 option in their own town behind two pro teams and a college team that isn't even in their town. Taking the Redskins in Washington and the Cardinals in St. Louis as the top dogs, what would be the top 5 or 10 (get it?) pro teams in their own towns and what would be the bottom 5 or 10?

Now, this is a matter for great debate at a table at Doc's, the Algonquin round table of the South.

June 26, 2013 at 3:24 p.m.
MocTastic said...

To sum up Hernandez...bound over on murder and weapons charges, bail denied.

June 26, 2013 at 3:34 p.m.
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