published Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

5-at-10: UGA home run hire, LeBron jealous of Durant and worst trades in sports

And then that happened. Dang, and FSU's defensive coordinator done R-U-N-N-O-F-T.

From the "Talks too much" studios, everyone wants to be a part of the SEC except those who say no thanks. (And they are not really invited any way.)

Georgia's home run hire

After an entire season of hearing the Georgia fan base complain about defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, Mark Richt made the bold and loyal move of saying he was not going to make a change.

Then, Grantham up and leaves for Louisville to work for the anti-Richt known as Bobby Petrino.

Then, after a relative eye-blink in terms of coach searches, Richt delivers a grand slam hire by swiping FSU DC Jeremy Pruitt. Wow. Just wow. It was like a gift from the Heavens. Maybe all that missionary work is paying off after all.

There are not enough words to describe this home run. This is on the short list of best trade-ups in sports history. We even said on the Twitter (@jgreesontfp) that swapping Grantham for Pruitt was like the Braves dealing Doyle Alexander for John Smoltz.

Let's look at the all-time Rushmore of upgrades:

1) The Orioles dealing outfielder Milt Pappas for Frank Robinson

2) The Indy Colts going from Jim Harbaugh/Paul Justin/Kelly Holcomb to Peyton Manning

3) The Alabama Crimson Tide going from Mile Shula to Nick Saban

4) Caddie Joe LaCava going from Dustin Johnson to Tiger Woods


NBA science

LeBron James says he's "jealous" of Kevin Durant. King James is mostly kidding of course talking about Durant's role as the shoot-first, shoot-last option for the OKC Thunder.

That said, if James was playing for, say, the Hawks, and he was given free reign over an offense of a merely average NBA team rather than the most high-profile NBA team James could score 30-35 a night easily.

Let's examine the numbers:

For the season, King James is averaging 26.0 on a mere 16 shots per game. Dude is hitting almost 60 percent of his shots form the field (and better than 40 percent of his 3s).

His per-game scoring average ranks third in the league behind Durant, who is at 29.6 points per game, and Carmelo Anthony, who is clocking 26.2 a night.

But to compare apples to opportunities, Durant is just under 20 shots agame and is shooting worse from the field (48.8 percent) and from 3 (39.6 percent) than King James. As for Anthony, well, he takes 21 shots a game and shots less than 45 percent from the floor and 39.6 from 3.

Any questions?


And the spiral continues

Alex Rodriguez, the disgraced former slugger, has become the butt of jokes and the laughingstock face of the PED era. And considering what Lance Armstrong put us through, that's really saying something.

And just when you thought it could not get any worse for A-Fraud, his lawyer goes on ESPN radio and tells Colin Cowherd that while he did not want to name names of PED users, some of them are treated like Gods in Boston.

You stay classy, A-Rod lawyer. So, let's get this straight, A-Rod went from denying, to appealing, to pounding his fist in the arbitration, to taking his case to Federal Court, to denying '60 Minutes' an interview, to now using the old "Yeah, but everyone is doing it, why are they picking on me defense." Real nice, Clark.

A-Rod is suspended for 2014, a ruling he is appealing. If the fans got to decide, A-Rod would be suspended through 2114.

This and that

— The Cubs introduced a new 'mascot' this week and are surprised by the fan backlash. Hey, Cubs, your fans do not want a teddy bear, they want a pennant. And if you want to appease them with some cartoon buffoon, at least name him Harry and give him Coke-bottle glasses. "Here's a guy, Sammy SO-SA, that's A-sos backwards."

— Here's one request for Peyton Manning to work Chattanooga into his presnap cadence.

— Congrats to legendary coach Catherine Neely, who retired Tuesday, as TFP prep sports ace Stephen Hargis tells us here.


Today's question

What are the most lopsided trades in sports?

Or who are with Coach Neely on the Rushmore of Legendary High School coaches in the Tri-State area?

Go. (And don't forget 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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chas9 said...

In consecutive games at Bud Walton Arena The Hogs took the SEC's best two teams to overtime, proving what we thought, that Florida and Kentucky are about equally good right now.

Yes, UK lost and winning's better'n losing. But this one doesn't really hurt. For one thing, no sane person thought either The Gators or The Cats would finish the SEC road unscathed.

And if you take the long view, as Cal frequently says, it's about peaking in March. The good news for Kentucky is that the team is progressing at the rate it needs to.

UK had a ton of turnovers (Arkansas will do that to you), but the turnovers were offset by dominant rebounding (except for the last two seconds) and better shooting (except for free throws).

And most important, The Cats played their game. They've learned the offense and they execute it. They're talented and strong, they don't get rattled, and they play hard all game. That's a winning combination.

Well-earned congrats to Catherine Neely. My sister played for her (back in the three-on-three plus three-on-three days) and she (Neely, not my sister) taught me all I needed to know about sex in tenth grade health class.

January 15, 2014 at 10:12 a.m.
MocTastic said...

Hutch Lewis of Red Bank and Jim Smiddy of Bradley come to mind.

Some trades: Doyle Alexander/John Smoltz, Lou Brock/Ernie Broglio, Jeff Bagwell/Larry Anderson, Ryne Sandburg/Ivan deJesus

One for you old timers is 1975 NFL draft. The Falcons had the third pick and the Colts had the first pick. The Falcons coveted qb Steve Bartkowski. The Colts made some public noise to the effect that they were thinking about drafting him. So, the Falcons gave up their third pick and a starting All Pro offensive lineman, George Kunz, and a latter pick to get Bartkowski. After the draft it was made clear that the Colts and the Cowboys who had the number 2 pick had zero intention of drafting Bartkowski. The Colts played the Falcons like a drum and stole an all pro lineman.

January 15, 2014 at 10:13 a.m.
chas9 said...

Red Etter, Ken Colquitt, John Farr, Henry Bowles.

Loved Richie Farmer when he helped Pitino revive UK, but he betrayed the public trust and deserves every minute of his sentence. Perhaps an example of a hero athlete feeling too entitled. What's the proper sentence for shutting down three of four traffic lanes across a NJ bridge?

January 15, 2014 at 10:22 a.m.
MocTastic said...

After posting I went for some info on Smiddy, it is astounding what he did at Bradley in girl's basketball.

Stands alone as the winningest basketball coach at any level in the history of the sport

• Posted a 1,217-206 ledger during 45-year coaching career for an .855 winning percentage

• Coached eight seasons at Charleston (Tenn.) High School before taking over the reins of the Bradley Central (Tenn.) High School program in 1957

• Guided the Bearettes to five state championships (1962, 1970, 1973, 1975, 1976) and to mythical national titles in 1975 and 1976

January 15, 2014 at 10:26 a.m.
WilliamRscott said...

Red Etter, Wayne Turner, Dorsey Sims, Bill Eskridge [Go Blue!], Joe Galloway, Mickey Haddock, Gene Etter, Steve George...heck, if you have had a Best of Preps award named after you, you are a legend...


January 15, 2014 at 10:27 a.m.
chas9 said...

MT--Amen on Smiddy.

BiB--Good mentions. Robert High had a good run, too. It's hard to narrow it down to four.

At East Ridge I brought up the rear for the track team while my hero Mickey set the state record for the mile. Twenty years later I astonished the world by beating him in a road race. The rest of the story is that he had packed on some pounds and had just started getting back into running shape.

January 15, 2014 at 11:11 a.m.
rustyvol said...


With all the talk, studies, increased awareness about concussions in football and the damage concussions and head injuries can do to a person, how do you and the Mrs. feel about the lil' 5-at-10 wanting to play one day? I love the game just as much as the next guy and believe that grown men know the risk they are taking when playing. I'm not sure how I will feel if my little guy decides he wants to play one day and just wanted the opinion of a fellow father and sports fan. Keep up the good work.

January 15, 2014 at 11:57 a.m.
fechancellor said...

10 Ring,

Chattanooga is out of the question just as Sequatchie has too many syllables that can the confuse the offense. Possibilities for a Tennessee connection Ocoee, Toccoa, Grundy, are crisp for maximum clarity. And yes, Signal and Lookout are fine too.

Stripping gears here. I was happy for Jon Franklin when landed his dream job at Penn State, however I am more than nonplussed by rumors of Franklin's recruitment/raiding of Vandy's 2015 class. What must Penn State's committed but not signed recruits be thinking at this point? How will Penn State's players react when ten or so Vandy commits, whose only touchstone to the place is Franklin, join the team?

January 15, 2014 at 12:24 p.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

Agree that losses like last night's — especially in a game in which the officiating was far from textbook — add character. So it goes, and we talk about the SEC hoops being down, well, the blame lies on Arkansas. They have enough support and facilities, the Hogs should be top-20 every year.

MT —

Bagwell for Andersen was an inspired call — and one that will make Spy bang his head against his desk. Although Larry Andersen was a hilarious dude, famously asking "If Americans throw rice at weddings, do the Chinese throw hot dogs?" and "Why do we drive on parkways and park on driveways?"

And wow, the Smiddy resume is pretty stout.

Also of note, Coach Neely is in eight — EIGHT — halls of fame. Wowser.

BiB —

We have a slew of BoP awards. And some are assuredly named for legends, and some may need to be changed in the coming days.

Rusty —

Mailbag question for sure right there. Well-played sir.

FE to the C —

Yes, there are a few extra syllables there but he can work it.

And Franklin spinning his recruiting roll-a-dex trying to spin some Vandy commits has not left a favorable taste around the midstate. And tell No. 1 it's mighty cold in State College, and there are some fine co-eds in the greater-Auburn area.

January 15, 2014 at 1:23 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

5, on paper, Bagwell for Andersen looked OK, even it was fairly lopsided. Peter Gammons famously got the news and took the piece of paper in his hands and tore it up and threw it away in disgust at what the Red Sox were giving up.

And Doyle Alexander was pretty stalwart for the Tigers in the 87 stretch. At the time, Smoltz was a highly thought of Class A pitcher, so it was still low risk for the Tigers. Bagwell, on the other hand, had just torn up the Eastern League in AA and was killing it at Pawtucket in AAA.

I want Peyton to work in "Ooltewah, Ooltewah" instead.

January 15, 2014 at 2:43 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Lou Brock for Ernie Broglio? And weren't Steve Carlton and later Ryne Sandberg involved in one-sided swaps?

Franklin was on a radio show yesterday and said players commit to the coach, which I guess is the secret to his recruiting but ultimately, shouldn't they really be thinking about the school in the end, because the coach can leave at any time, either on his own volition or that of somebody else's. Certainly the school and whatever offense/defense they employ has to be a factor. But those things are quite frankly variables. They can change. The school doesn't necessarily do so.

January 15, 2014 at 2:56 p.m.
WilliamRscott said...

I think the Cards sent Lefty + his receiver McCarver to my Phils for a young Rick Wise, who at the time seemed to have unlimited potential.

As a UTC alum, me thinks it would be easier to graduate from PSU than Vandy...if that matters to a FB recruit.


January 15, 2014 at 3:03 p.m.
GratefulDawg said...

The news about the defensive coordinator gig at UGA has been coming fast in the last 48 hours or so. To say that me and my Bulldog brethren are pleasantly surprised would be an understatement. Until reading today's 5-at-10 column, I had not considered the role of divine intervention in the hiring of Jeremy Pruitt. Perhaps the Dawgs, like the Blues Brothers, are on a mission from God. Coach Richt just lit a fire under Bulldog Nation.

As for that other guy, Ol' Rod "third-and-forever" Bakedham, or whatever his name was...No longer will I waste space in this forum moaning and caterwauling about the depth of his ineptitude. Verily.

January 15, 2014 at 3:30 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

A-Rod's lawyer's first mistake, besides being A-Rod's lawyer - and hey, I met with my attorney for lunch today and who picked up the tab? I did - was going on Colin Blowhard's show.

January 15, 2014 at 4:18 p.m.
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