Red Right 88

Life as a Cleveland Sports Fan

KSU, MKG, ESPN and CR7

It’s not the way we wanted to see it end, but the Kent State baseball team still had one heck of a run.

The Golden Flashes were eliminated from the College World Series on Thursday, losing to two-time defending champion South Carolina, 4-1. Gamecocks pitcher Michael Roth allowed only two hits and didn’t allow a base runner after the second inning.

Kent State pitchers Tyler Skulina, Casey Wilson and Brian Clark were almost as good, shutting down South Carolina’s offense after the third inning but it wasn’t enough.

“We have a lot of guys returning next year, and with all of this experience under their belts, it will help them out a lot,” Skulina told The Associated Press. “We have a really good class coming in next year for our freshmen. So that’s going to motivate them to want to beat us out for spots and be able to play, so that’s just going to make our team better.”

The Golden Flashes finish the year at 47-20. Along the way they won the Mid-American Conference championship for the fourth consecutive year, swept through their regional and beat Oregon in the Super Regional to become the first MAC team to reach the College World Series since Eastern Michigan in 1976.

Once in Omaha, Kent state lost the opening game against Arkansas, but rallied to eliminate the top-seeded Florida Gators before falling to South Carolina.

“I think we made a statement that we belong here, and we made a statement that we’re a program that should be recognized nationally, not just regionally,” Kent State coach Scott Stricklin said. “That’s what I’m really proud of.”

And to think they did it by beating an SEC team and without lying or cheating. Maybe someone from Ohio State should make the trip up from Columbus to learn what that is all about.

***

We have to admit to getting a little excited when we heard about the trade between Washington and New Orleans where the Wizards received Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza from the Hornets in exchange for Rashard Lewis.

As in, welcome to Cleveland Michael Kidd-Gilchrist excited.
But not so fast my friends.
With the Hornets almost guaranteed to take Kentucky’s Anthony Davis with the first overall pick (OK, 99.9 percent guaranteed), the question becomes who Charlotte (No. 2) and Washington (No. 3) will select before the Cavs have their shot.
The Bobcats are a bit of a wild card in all this, but that could work in the Cavs’ favor.
Anything is possible, really, for a team run by Michael Jordan that just hired its fifth head in in the franchise’s eight-year history in Mike Dunlap, an assistant coach at St. John’s University. Because hiring college coaches always works in the NBA.
Charlotte isn’t exactly a model NBA franchise and no one knows for sure what they are thinking come draft day. They could go with North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes to help sell tickets and it’s not hard to see Jordan feeling the pull of a fellow Tar Heel, Kansas power forward Thomas Robinson, or even the next Kwame Brown in Connecticut center Andre Drummond.
The Bobcats reportedly were not impressed with Kidd-Gilchrist when he worked out for them and the feeling appears to be mutual as Kidd-Gilchrist told The Beacon Journalthat the thought of joining a team that was 7-59 last season would make him “cry some nights.”
As for the Wizards, Ariza plays small forward, the same position as Kidd-Gilchrist, so it would seem likely that they would want to go in a different direction. The Wizards can also use someone who can make a shot as Wall hit 0.71 percent of his 3-point shots last season (that’s not 71 percent, that’s 0.71 as in 3-of-42 from 3-point range), which means Washington coule be very interested in selecting Flordia’s Bradley Beal.
The knock on Kidd-Gilchrist is that he has a “hitch” in his jump shot that may or may not be correctable. But he is also an athletic, physical player who plays defense, rebounds and hates to lose – which all sound like things the Cavs could use.
A lot can happen between now and the draft next Thursday. Kidd-Gilchrist is considered by many to be the second-best player in the draft, so the chances of him falling to No. 4 would seem to be unlikely, but we are talking about the Bobcats and the Wizards here.

And we also think the chances that the Cavs will get significantly better for the second year in a row just got a lot better.

***

Very interesting interview at The Sherman Report with Vince Doria, ESPN’s senior vice president and director of news, on his views about the rise of social media which gives Doria “a headache.”

According to Doria:

“If social networking never existed, we wouldn’t miss it. We wouldn’t know it ever existed. We wouldn’t feel our life was impaired in any way.”

And this:

“For every good piece of information that comes out on social networks, a lot of mindless patter comes out too.”
Funny, we could say the same thing about ESPN.

***

Cristiano Ronaldo’s header put Portugal into the semifinals of Euro 2012 on Thursday with a 1-0 win over the Czech Republic.

Portugal will play Spain or France in the semifinals in Donetsk, Ukraine, on Wednesday.

“We have suffered,” Portugal forward Nani told ESPN. “But we always wanted to win and that’s what we showed. We were superior, then we scored and we really deserved this result.”

(Photo by The Associated Press)

About these ads

Single Post Navigation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: