published Thursday, March 24th, 2011

5 at 10: Coaching search, Sweet 16 and the Atlanta Braves

Remember about the Friday mailbag — we want your e-mail, because competition breeds success. Today, we're going more traditional than yesterday's 1980s rap throwback show. (Still a great idea, Osograndeee, and one we may have to revisit in the not-too-distant future.) That said bear with us this morning, the 5-at-10 Princess will be 11 months old within the week and apparently she wanted to celebrate like her old man used to and howl at the moon all night. What day is it? Alas.

Here we go, and remember everyone's comments are always welcomed...

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    Bruce Pearl and forward Tyler Smith embrace after Tennessee's first round win over American at the 2008 NCAA East Regional tournament. AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

A little stabilizing in UT hoops

The five names leaked that are reportedly atop the University of Tennessee's list to replace Bruce Pearl are a mixed bag that ranges from nice names (Alabama's Anthony Grant and Texas A&M's Mark Turgeon) to pipe dreams (uh, Jay Wright is not, repeat NOT leaving Villanova, and the same can be said for Jamie Dixon at Pitt) to front-runner (Gregg Marshall, c'mon down).

Marshall, who beat College of Charleston last night — something that Pearl could not do earlier this season, has Wichita State in the NIT semifinals. He has ties to the South from his time at Winthrop and he was among the finalists for the UT job before the Vols picked Buzz Peterson more than a decade ago.

Is Marshall the right guy? Man that's a tough question, because this is a pretty tough job after what Pearl accomplished on the court and the havoc he wreaked off it.

Plus, there's the dangers of falling for the hot name out there as our TFP ace Mark Wiedmer discussed HERE.

Marshall appears to be the leader, but it's hard to know if he's the answer.

But know this, with jobs open at Missouri (Mike Anderson left the Tigers for the Arkansas job), Georgia Tech, N.C. State and Oklahoma among others, names such as Marshall and Grant and VCU's Shaka Smart will be frequently tossed about. That makes for entertaining discussions. The closing windows and number of openings may mean ADs and search firms have to move quickly than they would like.

Will be an interesting couple of weeks, huh?

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    Staff Photo by Patrick Smith Tennessee quarterback's coach Darrin Hinshaw talks on the sidelines with freshman quarterback Tyler Bray (8) during the fourth quarter of Saturday's game against Georgia.

UT football spring break(down), Part I

More times than not, quarterbacks, like head coaches, get too much credit for wins and too much blame for losses. So it goes.

For last year's Tennessee Vols, that was seldom the case because of the margin of most of the defeats and the realization that Matt Simms and Tyler Bray were dropped into a mountainous challenge.

Now, each has a year under the coaching staff. Each has been through a spring practice. Each has a chance to be the guy.

While each has more experience, it's obviously Bray's job to lose. He seized the moment in a strong second-half showing at South Carolina last year and started each of the last four regular-season games (all wins) and the bowl game (a hard-to-forget overtime loss to North Carolina).

Let's just throw it out there: Bray has the tools to be at the very least a good SEC quarterback, and the mix of his arm and his height and his moxie could make for a big-time college quarterback. That said, his growth in areas that do not include completion percentage and pre-snap checks are paramount.

What's you're lasting image of Bray last year? Was it the amazing TD throw against South Carolina? Was it the reports that while the game was still going on, he was crying on the sideline after his OT interception in the Music City Bowl loss to North Carolina? Was it the first-quarter barrage against Ole Miss or the first-half throat-slash in the bowl game?

Hey, he was an 18-year-old freshman, put in a pressure-filled situation. It's early in his career, but Bray's biggest steps this spring will be taken without a football in his hands and without a coach looking over his shoulder. Is he ready to be the man — figuratively and literally?

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    Kansas State's Curtis Kelly, left, falls back after trying to get a shot off as Utah State's Brady Jardine (22), Tyler Newbold (24) and Morgan Grim (21) look on during a Southeast Regional NCAA college basketball tournament second round game Thursday, March 17, 2011, in Tucson, Ariz. Kansas State's Shane Southwell (1) looks on at left. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

NCAA tournament look ahead

Big night for the 5-at-10's office bracket (let's just say we need Jimmer Fredette to be less than his Jimmer-ific self).

There are four games tonight. Think we can give out picks in 10 words or less? Yes, this would a rare-and-never-before attempted 4-in-10 at the 5-at-10. (What's the state record for hyphens in a sentence?)

Buckle up.

Duke vs. Arizona: Duke's Kyrie Irving's atop most NBA draft boards. That's enough.

UConn vs. San Diego State: SDSU's Kawhi Leonard can play, but he's no Kemba Walker.

Butler vs. Wisconsin: Low-scoring slugfest made-to-order for Badgers. Sorry, Brad.

BYU vs. Florida: Gators have balance; Cougars have Jimmer. Jimmer by a nose.

———————

While we're here, let's check on the tie-breaker for the Underrated/Overrated Bracket challenge. Each of the teams that tied for first needs to submit three players, and the trio that combines to score the most points in the next two rounds will be the winner. In an effort to limit duplicate entries, you can select either Jimmer Fredette or Kemba Walker, but not both. And if there are duplicate entries, the first one received will get the tiebreaker edge, so either be quick or be creative. And remember, everyone is welcome to play — whether you're in the tie-breaker or not, because what's better than bragging rights on a family-oriented, Intertube rambling web-based sports column? OK, money's better. And fame. But bragging rights are up there somewhere.

Quick updates on the tie-breaker (in the order in which they were received):

EC — The Morris Bros. (Zac and Mercury), Nolan Smith

5-at-10 — Jimmer Fredette, Nolan Smith, Harrison Barnes

Charlie S. — Jimmer Fredette, Brandon Knight, Jared "Tiger Blood" Sullinger

Pretend Al Davis — Kenny Stabler, Lew Alcinder, DITKA

Bigbearzzz — Tyler Zeller, Nolan Smith, Kemba Walker

OTWatcher — Jared Sullinger, Kyle Singlar, Jimmer Fredette

ThatIdoKnow — Jared Sullinger, Nolan Smith, Kemba Walker

STILL NEED PLAYER TRIOS FROM:

scole023

BIspy4

Chris Goforth from "The Show" on Fox 1310AM

Quake from SportTalk on 102.3 FM

Dr. B (He's a doctor after all) from SportTalk on 102.3 FM

Darrell Patterson, Channel 9 sports anchor

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    In this image made with a slow shutter, Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Tommy Hanson throws a pitch in the third inning of a spring training baseball game against the Boston Red Sox, Wednesday, March 16, 2011 in Kissimmee, Fla. Atlanta won 4-3. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Atlanta Braves spring update, Volume 2, Chapter 4

Did you see Tommy Hanson's line in a minor league start Wednesday? It was less than stellar — 5.1 innings, five runs allowed, including a pair of homers. The big news, though, was that the stiff back that caused Hanson to miss Monday's start was a non-issue. "His back was fine," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez told reporters Wednesday.

Hanson is a sneaky question mark for these Braves. He's got big-time talent, there's no doubt, but is he ready to be a No. 1- or 2-type of starter? The Braves have a No. 1 with Tim Hudson, and then there's a group of solid-to-good pitchers that can range between No. 4 starters to No. 2 starters.

In a perfect world for Johnny Braves Fans everywhere, Hanson will be the No. 2 guy sooner rather than later. Sure, Jair Jurrjens, who will pitch today against Toronto, and Derek Lowe can be a No. 2 starter, but this needs to be Hanson's spot and let the others fall in place.

Having to put a No. 2 starter in the No. 4 spot in your rotation is a great problem to have. Having three No. 4 starters and hoping one of them will be a No. 2 is less than desirable. Of course, despite the grief we gave the Phillies rotation, having three No. 1s and scattering them about is pretty sweet, too. (Case in point: While the Braves are wondering who will emerge as their No. 2 starter, the Phillies are deciding which surefire No. 1 — Cliff Lee or Roy Halladay — will be their No. 2).

L-Dub update: Larry Wayne "Chipper" Jones, who we affectionately call L-Dub, continues to dazzle this spring. He had a two-out RBI double off of Marlins' starter Ricky Nolasco in Wednesday's 4-4 tie — a game in which Chipper played nine innings for the first time this spring. He was 1-for-4 Wednesday and has 14 hits in his last 25 at-bats.

Here's what Jones told MLB.com: "I'm just anxious [to get the season started]. The one thing you want coming out of spring training is confidence, and I got it. Hopefully, it flows over into the season."

This and That

— The numbers coming out of Auburn are staggering. And no, were not even talking about arrest reports and/or legal fees (And please remember to tip your wait staff). According to various reports the scholarship count for the defending national champs is around 53 or 54. From last year's roster, the Tigers lost 22 seniors, three players declared for the draft, another five have been dismissed for run-ins with various law-enforcing agencies in the greater Lee County, Alabama area, another four with eligibility remaining are no longer on the roster. Buckets, the Tigers may have to bring in another team to scrimmage on A-Day.

— We talked about the All-Duncan team yesterday. Be thinking about players from all sports you would include on the All-Duncan team, which is named for Tim Duncan and signifies players who would have been much, Much, MUCH bigger stars if they had not spent most of their careers in a relatively low-keyed city. Here's one: Ichiro. Discuss.

— Well, it looks like we're going to need to form an All-LT team, too, and this one is named after Lawrence Taylor and is for all-time greats who also are all-time scumbags. After avoiding jail time by pleading guilty to two misdemeanors — sexual misconduct and patronizing a 16-year-old prostitute — stemming from an incident in May 2010, here is how Taylor tried to explain the situation on Fox News Wednesday: "That's not my M.O. I've been around kids and people all my life. I'm not the cause of prostitution. And sometimes I make mistakes and I may go out there. And I didn't go pick her up on no playground. She wasn't hiding behind the school bus or getting off a school bus. This is a working girl that came to my room. ... It's the world of prostitution. You never know what you're gonna get. Is it gonna be a pretty girl, an ugly girl or whatever it's gonna be. ...You can only ask [about their age] I don't card them. I don't ask for a birth certificate." You stay classy, LT. And please say hello to Ty Cobb and O.J. Simpson as charter members of the All-LT all-time scumbag squad.

— Sweet Granny Clampett, Lou Holtz is getting a honorary doctorate from Notre Dame. Read that again. Among some of the others to get honorary degrees this May will be Iranian Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Prize-winning physicist John Mather, former NASA Administrator Michael Griffin and Tucson Bishop Gerald Kicanas. Uhhhhh, let's go old-school Sesame Street here: "One of these things is not like the others,

One of these things just doesn't belong,

Can you tell which thing is not like the others

By the time I finish my song?"

— Until tomorrow and the Mailbag.

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.
Eustice_Chase said...

Could we add MIke Tyson to the all LT team ? Yeah Tyson has warmed our hearts with choreographed dance routines to "In the Air Tonight" but the man did some awful things... and Im sorry but I felt like L.T had R.Kelly write his interview answers...i saw the interview of L.T and thought..." EC you have heard this before...somewhere" L-Dub = confidence...and as for Hanson...His delivery doesnt hide the ball enough...so its just a matter of time before hitters pick him apart....Tommy Hanson is not the answer....

March 24, 2011 at 10:22 a.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

Ichiro...wow...All-Duncan CO-Captain...c'mon how many MLB players won the ROY and MVP in the same year? Not to mention he's a gold glover every year hes been in the majors...you can practically pencil him in for 200 hits....what a player!

first ballot unanimous HOF!

March 24, 2011 at 10:59 a.m.
BIspy4 said...

The Mean Machine need a pass rushing LB to go after Walking Boss at QB.

March 24, 2011 at 11:10 a.m.
jgreeson said...

EC,

Tyson is an absolute first-team All-LT pick. In fact, if that first class has five spots, LT, Tyson, Cobb and O.J. are dunks and we're looking for one more.

Ichiro is a stud, plain and simple. Guy is amazing. (BIspy can correct me here, but I believe Freddy Lynn was the only other one to pull off the MVP/RoY in the same season). Definitely an All-Duncan guy and a Hall of Famer — but c'mon, there will never, Never, NEVER be a unanimous Hall of Famer because too many baseball writers are wound too tight.

BIspy4,

If you add LT to a front seven that includes a bunch of legit thugs and the guy who said "I think I broke his flippin' neck," that would make the 86 Bears look like a group of pillow-fighters.

Linnx,

Welcome to the show and feel free to tell us more about the jordan shoes $32 and the Ed Hardy Bikini $23.

— 5-at-10

March 24, 2011 at 11:21 a.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

...What is it with you uptight Sports Writers.... Well IM pretty sure we could add Jason Williams to the list...the NBA guy that shot his driver or bodyguard...

March 24, 2011 at 11:40 a.m.
BIspy4 said...

Let's see. Three scorers. Jimmer (um ... duh?) Nolan Smith (see above) Dithering between Matt Howard and Chandler Parsons, sort of a wild card pick. I'll take Parsons.

EC, careful of the many Jason (or Jayson) Williams out there. I think the one you want is Jayson, the big man who took out his limo driver — and not "Jay" Williams, ex-Dookie and current Worldwide Leader talking head, or Jason Williams, Randy Moss' high school teammate at Nitro High and later of Florida and a handful of NBA benches.

March 24, 2011 at 12:11 p.m.
jomo11 said...

Look for Gregg Marshall and Mike Hamiliton's relationship with ESPN's Chris Lowe ( a Rock Hill, S.C. native and home of Winthrop ) to play a role in Hamilton/Marshall

March 24, 2011 at 1:19 p.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

Yes I was hoping there would be clarification in the J.Williams I was reffering to. Thanks Blspy16/4

March 24, 2011 at 1:27 p.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

Is Gregg Marhsall really "the" guy...Is the kind of guy that can lead TN to be a National Power? It sounds good on paper but is he really the Dude to get it done?

March 24, 2011 at 1:34 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Jomo double toothpicks —

Do you have a bug in phones at the 5-at-10's main office? Heard similar swirlings about that — it's the 5-at-10's understanding that Low and Marshall are long-time buddies — but it's hard to fathom any AD making a major hire because of a suggestion by a sports reporter, and that's coming from the opinion of a sports reporter.

Whether he's the guy or not as EC asked is next to impossible to know for a coach that has worked his way through up the ladder. To be a national power you have to be able to land a 5-star or two every few years, and whether Marshall can do that with UT as his backdrop is tough to know. For what it's worth, TFP ace columnist Mark Wiedmer sings Marshall's praises as a coach, and Wiedmer flat-out knows his hoops.

EC — Jayson Williams certainly has the street cred to be an All-LT pick, but for these first ballot guys, let's hold out a bit and see if we can come up with a more athletically accomplished scumbag. Tip of the cards about tomorrow's mailbag: Someone asked about our 5-at-10 teams, and we're going to trot out the early top-5 for the All-Stan White team (guys that seemed to have 15-year college careers — and no, 15-year careers as just students doesn't count or the 5-at-10 would be a front-runner), the All-Duncan team (guys that are flat-out awesome, but don't get full credit because of spending a large chunk of their career in small markets), and the all-LT team (which we have discussed and seems to have only one opening).

Here's an update on the scoring trio challenge, and remember Jomo, you can submit your best guess here too (Heck, throw Johnny Taylor, circa-1997 in there if you like).

EC — The Morris Bros. (Zac and Mercury), Nolan Smith

5-at-10 — Jimmer Fredette, Nolan Smith, Harrison Barnes

Charlie S. — Jimmer Fredette, Brandon Knight, Jared "Tiger Blood" Sullinger

Pretend Al Davis — Kenny Stabler, Lew Alcinder, DITKA

Bigbearzzz — Tyler Zeller, Nolan Smith, Kemba Walker

OTWatcher — Jared Sullinger, Kyle Singlar, Jimmer Fredette

ThatIdoKnow — Jared Sullinger, Nolan Smith, Kemba Walker

BIspy4 — Jimmer Fredette, Chandler Parsons, Nolan Smith

scole023 — Derrick Williams, Harrison Barnes, Jimmer Fredette

STILL NEED PLAYER TRIOS FROM:

Chris Goforth from "The Show" on Fox 1310AM

Quake from SportTalk on 102.3 FM

Dr. B (He's a doctor after all) from SportTalk on 102.3 FM

Darrell Patterson, Channel 9 sports anchor

March 24, 2011 at 1:54 p.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

Then I guess that opens up a spot for....Mike Vick...?

March 24, 2011 at 2:12 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Richard Kiel, "Jaws" in "Moonraker" and he of the line "I think broke his freakin' neck" married a little gal from around Reidsville or Glennville way he met while they were filming the original (and the best) "The Longest Yard." My informants tell me he's a really nice dude.

March 24, 2011 at 2:16 p.m.
bigbearzzz said...

IM DISCOMBOBULATED....ITS BEEN ONE OF THOSE DAYS...WHERE AM I....WHO AM I....WHAT ARE WE TALKING ABOUT?! WHY IS THERE AN AD ON HERE FOR WOMENS BIKINIS?!?!

March 24, 2011 at 2:20 p.m.
jgreeson said...

EC — Vick's a pretty strong call. We certainly know where the PETA lobbyists will be putting their support. We were down to Vick, Roethlisberger and Pete Rose here at the ranch. Thoughts? Do we put it to a vote? BIspy4 — Of course people are going to say Kiel's a good dude. Look at him, do you want word getting back to that fellow you said he's goofball? Sweet Mother of Thunderlips, he'll break your flippin neck. Osograndeee — Welcome back. The good folks here at 5-at-10 wanted to make sure you had all your sporting goods and spring needs met for you and yours in the upcoming season. Stupid Spam (not real life Spam, mind you, it's only that InterTube Spam stuff that's stinky).

— 5-at-10

March 24, 2011 at 2:34 p.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

Well, I would say that Vick would go ahead of "Big Ben" but ol Rosey would have to be an alternate or even the Coach...that seems fitting...right?

March 24, 2011 at 2:50 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Thanks for the Rocky 3 reference. Nobody talked smack like Clubber Lang, not even Manny Pacquaio or Vinnie Pazienza. Oh, and EC, MVP and RoY in the same year? How about Fred Lynn, 1975.

March 24, 2011 at 5:34 p.m.
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