Hope this finds you well and with power. But if you don’t have power then you likely aren’t reading this. Unless you have a laptop, or are at work, or could be having a morning cup of Joe with that crazy WiFi Intertube access, or, nevermind, this is confusing.
Here we go...
NFL Combine by the numbers
Auburn defensive lineman Nick Fairley runs a drill during the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Monday, Feb. 28, 2011. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
The combine is almost complete. This makes the 5-at-10 sad.
Here are four numbers to know heading into the final day of physical drills:
49 — Number of bench-press reps of 225 pounds for Stephen Paea, the former Oregon State defensive lineman who may have moved into the first round with his record-setting lifting performance;
48 — Former Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy’s reported score on the Wonderlic test. McElroy, who was a Rhodes Scholar candidate, allegedly matched the third-best score ever on the 50-question, 12-minute test. Former Cincinnati punter Pat McInally scored the lone 50 more than three decades ago;
12 — Number of University of North Carolina players at the combine. Wow, talk about a disappointing year, the Tar Heels, who needed a botched call at the end of regulation to beat Tennessee in the Music City Bowl to finish 7-6, had more invited combine participants than any other school. UNC had more players at Indy than the teams that played for the BCS title — Auburn and Oregon — combined.
4.3 — That’s the neighborhood (in seconds) in which LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson wants to run the 40-yard dash. If Peterson, who is 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds, gets below that, he could jump to the top of draft boards everywhere and could be the first cornerback ever drafted No. 1 overall.
College hoops update, Volume 6, Chapter 2
Texas guards J'Covan Brown and Jail Lucas leave the court after losing their last home game of the season to Kansas State in Austin, Texas Monday Feb. 28, 2011. (AP Photo/Derek Stout/The Daily Texan)
— The eyes of Texas are crying. Less than a month ago, the Longhorns looked like a dunk No. 1 seed. They were on the short list of teams that were considered favorites to make a run to the Final Four. Texas lost 75-70 at home to Kansas State on Monday. It was the Longhorns’ third loss in their last four games.
— The aforementioned Wildcats, however, are surging in the other direction. K-State, which was a preseason top-10 team before falling on hard times on and off the court, has won five straight — with three of those against teams with an RPI in the top 30. Monday’s win at Texas all-but-punched the Wildcats’ ticket to the Dance.
— Are you ready for Notre Dame and BYU to have No. 1 seeds? It’s looking more and more likely, after BYU bounced San Diego State last weekend and Notre Dame manhandled Villanova 93-72 on Monday. Notre Dame made 20 of 32 3-point tries. Read that again.
— Beyond racing for a possible No. 1 seed, BYU and Notre Dame share another quality — each team is led by an experienced, high-scoring guard. Irish senior Ben Hansbrough had 30 points, 10 assists and five steals in the blowout of the Wildcats. Jimmer Fredette, the Cougars senior guard, is among the nation’s leading scorers and is a frontrunner for national player of the year. In what may be the great equalizer against the traditional powers such as Kansas and Duke and UNC and Kentucky, players staying around for three and four years will be dangerous in March during these one-and-done days of college hoops.
Huge hoops week around town
The schedule is loaded this week for area basketball fans.
On the high school side, there are regionals and state tournaments and everything under the sun for basketball fans in the city, in the area and in North Georgia.
On the college side, the Southern Conference men’s and women’s tournaments start Thursday and Friday in McKenzie Arena.
The 5-at-10 was considering breaking down the SoCon brackets for all you folks who are in SoCon tournament pools, but then we realized that if you’re in a SoCon tournament pool, you need to see someone about your gambling problem.
Anyhoo, enjoy the hoops action.
Why don’t you dial it back, Champ
Atlanta Braves third baseman Brandon Hicks falls while trying to field a pop fly hit by Houston Astros' Carlos Lee during the third inning of a spring training baseball game Monday, Feb. 28, 2011, in Kissimmee, Fla. Lee was safe at first on the play. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
The 5-at-10 got a rather whiny e-mail after the Atlanta Braves’ first spring-training game, a 5-5 tie with the Mets on Saturday, that there was no build up for the first game. Huh?
The Braves played again Sunday and lost, and Holy Buckets, the Braves played yet again on Monday and beat Houston 13-3 to move to 1-1-1 on the young season. There may even be a game today, and tomorrow and the next day and the ... next day until the middle of college football season. For the love of Yogi Berra, it’s a long season and you have to trust it.
At this pace, considering the Braves play roughly 33 spring training games, Atlanta will have a 92-92-11 record come the first week of October. (Breakdown: 11-11-11 in spring training games in which ties are allowed; 81-81 in regular-season games in which ties are impossible).
Sometimes sarcasm may not translate through a computer screen. Now is not one of those times.
This and that
— Huge news that Sugar Ray Leonard and Pittsburgh receiver Hines Ward have accepted invites to be on Dances with the Stars. According to the AP, here’s the rest of the cast for the next season: Also hitting the dance floor will be Kirstie Alley; model Petra Nemcova; Karate Kid star Ralph Macchio; professional wrestler Chris Jericho; “Loveline” radio show co-host Mike Catherwood; one-time rap prodigy Romeo (former Lil' Romeo); Chelsea Kane of Disney Channel's “Jonas”; talk show host Wendy Williams and reality star Kendra Wilkinson. The 5-at-10 is more than a little curious about how regular-e-mailer SteelerFan feels about Ward’s participation in this escapade.
— Eric Smith was dismissed from the Auburn football team. It’s only a mild surprise considering Smith’s frequency to find trouble on and off the field. He was listed as a running back but was primarily a blocker during the Tigers’ national championship run. His dismissal, though, leaves Auburn with one true running back — Michael Dyer — on the roster that weighs more than 200 pounds. That’s a scary proposition in the SEC.
— The power’s still out at the 5-at-10 Compound. Last night, the clan had a Mrs. 5-at-10-prepared five-star dinner of chicken and dumplings. The 3-year-old son of the 5-at-10 clan declined his chicken and dumplings amid flashlights and candles, saying, “I don’t like dark meat. Get it daddy? It’s dark... meat.” Wonder where he got that from?
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 ...