Friday, January 12, 2007

Ron Brooks LSU's 23rd Commitment

Coach Les Miles picked up his 23rd commitment of this recruiting season late Thursday afternoon in Ron Brooks, a 5'11", 180, (ATH) from Irving, Texas. Brooks was recruited by Todd Monken of LSU to play wide receiver, but he is also a great cornerback prospect. Brooks played quarterback this past season at MacArthur high school in Irving, Texas, rushed for almost 1,300 yards on 185 carries, and threw nine touchdown passes. Brooks chose LSU over FL, TN, ARK, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, ND, OU and Nebraska, and, according to my Texas source that I spoke to last night, had scholarship offers on the table from all the above named schools. Brooks made Dave Campbell's preseason All-Texas first team and that tells me that he is a great prospect.

Dixie Smoothies Named Official Sponsor

In Breaking News, Dixie Smoothies has been named an official sponsor of "The Truth Blog". It is now the Official non-alcoholic Beverage of the Blog.

Smoothie King is a smoothie corporation. It began in 1973, founded by Stephen Kuhnau, the creator of the original smoothie. The smoothies sold by Smoothie King are marketed as high in nutritional value.
Smoothie King is currently the second largest smoothie franchise in the United States. Rated the #1 juice bar franchise by Entrepreneur Magazine for 15 consecutive years, it has over 430 locations in the United States and over 12 in Seoul, Korea. It has over 50 smoothie flavors available.

OXFORD — Ole Miss coach Carol Ross had to fight her team after Sunday's win against Vanderbilt.
It wasn't an actual brawl. It was more of a chew-out session. But the attitude adjustment was deemed necessary after noticing the Lady Rebels weren't handling a big win against a ranked team the way she expected.
"I fought them for a day-and-a-half," Ross said. "I figured if they could get through me, LSU would be easy. They got through both of us."
Four days after beating 11th-ranked Vanderbilt, Ole Miss proved it got Ross' message by delivering a bigger surprise with a 77-74 win against No. 5 LSU in front of 2,661 in Tad Smith Coliseum.
The Lady Rebels (14-4, 3-0 SEC) blistered the nation's top-ranked scoring defense in the first half to open a 17-point lead, then found enough offense after the break to hold off a fierce LSU comeback. It helped the Ole Miss snap an 11-game losing streak to the Tigers (15-2, 1-1) and send a stern message to the rest of the SEC.
"The Vandy win was good," Ross said. "I'm not sure what people thought of that win. But I know they didn't think we could turn around and back it up with another one."
Guard Alliesha Easley led the Lady Rebels with 19 points against LSU, which allowed a season high after giving up just 43.6 points a game. Ole Miss, the nation's third-best scoring team (82.1 points), shot 46.9 percent from the field in the first half and closed the first half with a 21-6 run to open a 38-21 halftime lead.
But LSU, which won its last three games after trailing at the half, mounted a comeback after the break. Sylvia Fowles (25 points, 19 rebounds) and Quianna Chaney (19 points) led LSU on a 20-5 run to creep to within 43-41 with 12:16 left.
The Tigers closed to within two on three different occasions in the second half, but Ole Miss always had an answer. The Lady Rebels went up 75-64 with 56 seconds left, then held off one last LSU charge to seal the win.
"It's a great win," said Armintie Price, who scored 18 points and was still wary of her coach's message after the game. "We work so hard and once you do it, it's unbelievable. We want to sit back and relax, but we know we have another game on Sunday."

Ryan Perrilleaux update

OK, this is still rumor but it makes sense. Apparently, Ryan Perrilleaux was given $7000 in counterfeit $100 bills by his worthless brother. Perrilleaux took the money, cashed it at a casino and without playing at all, cashed in hi chip. Naturally the casino recognised the bogus bills immediately and called in the feds and that how the hapless Tiger QB got his but nipped. If this is true it is really a tragedy for this talented young signal caller as well as LSU's football fortunes.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Russell Fowles Named LSu Athletes of the Week

Quarterback JaMarcus Russell and Lady Tiger center Sylvia Fowles were named the LSU Male and Female Athletes of the Week Tuesday following a vote by a local media panel.
Russell was a unanimous selection for MVP of the 2007 Allstate Sugar Bowl after guiding the Tigers to a 41-14 dismantling of Notre Dame last week. The junior from Mobile, Ala., completed 21-of-34 passes for a career-high 332 yards, while passing for two touchdowns and running for a third.
With his performance Russell set the LSU single season records for completions (232) and completion percentage (67.8) and tied the single season record for touchdown passes (28).
Fowles, a native of Miami, Fla., led LSU to a pair of come-from-behind victories over South Florida and 15th-ranked Georgia last week. Against the Bulls, Fowles scored 15 points and grabbed a season-high 16 rebounds. She followed that with 12 rebounds and 20 points on 10-of-14 shooting against the Lady Bulldogs.
Fowles has now turned in three straight double-double performances. She has also collected a total of nine on the season and 44 for her career.

Ole Miss Songs

Melissa sends this link to hear Ole Miss songs. Check it out.

Rebels Ranked #11 in PreseasonRankings

OXFORD, Miss. – The Ole Miss baseball team continued to find itself in the rankings heading into the 2007 season as the Rebels were ranked 11th-nationally in the preseason baseball poll released on Tuesday.

It is the third poll to have the Rebels ranked nationally as Ole Miss was also in the top 15 in the Baseball America (25) and Collegiate Baseball (20) preseason polls.

“We are excited to find ourselves in the rankings to open this season,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “It is a testament to where this program is and where we want to be that we have been ranked four years in a row heading into the season.”

Ole Miss is coming of a 44-22 season and claimed the 2006 SEC Tournament Championship before advancing to the NCAA Super Regionals for the second straight season in 2006. The Rebels are the only program in the SEC to host an NCAA event each of the last three seasons as Ole Miss has played host to three-straight NCAA Regionals and back-to-back NCAA Super Regionals.

With the 44 wins in 2006, the Rebels posted back-to-back 40-win seasons for the first time in school history. Ole Miss was 48-20 in the 2005 season.

Returning to lead the Rebels are four position starters who all hit .328 or above including Justin Henry, C.J. Ketchum, Logan Power and preseason All-America selection Zack Cozart.

The Rebels return 76 percent of innings pitched from a year ago as the whole starting rotation comes back to the mound for Ole Miss. Brett Bukvich, Will Kline and Lance Lynn all return after closing out the season as the starting three for the Rebels. Closer Cody Satterwhite also returns to the bullpen after posting a freshman record of 11 wins last season, while the versatile Craig Rodriguez returns for his senior season after moving fluidly between starter and reliever for the Rebels.

Satterwhite was named to the Brooks Wallace Award watch list for the nation’s top baseball player along with Cozart, while Kline was named to the Clemen’s Award watch list honoring the nation’s top pitcher.

Ole Miss will open its season on February 10, when the Rebels play host to the University of New Orleans Privateers. First-pitch is set for 1:30 p.m. at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field.

Miss St 77 Ole Miss 67

Ole Miss forward Trey Hampton caught the ball on the right block, stepped toward the basket and missed an open layup Wednesday.
A bucket would've given the Rebels a second-half lead against their in-state rival. But the miss? That was a little more fitting for Ole Miss' night.
The Rebels' undersized and outmatched frontcourt left Ole Miss with only one logical strategy in its 77-67 loss in front of an announced crowd of 10,053 in Humphrey Coliseum: Let the 3-pointers fly and see what happens.
Ole Miss, which had been attempting 18.3 shots a game behind the arc, took 32 against MSU. It made 7 of 20 in the first half, hoping to make up for its troubles in the paint against the Bulldogs' big and athletic frontcourt.
It helped the Rebels stay close in the first half. But it couldn't mask their troubles the entire night.
"We're grasping for straws," coach Andy Kennedy said. "We're trying to find a way to manufacture enough points to win games and we're having a hard time with it on that end."
Ole Miss guard Clarence Sanders - who scored 17 points on 6 of 25 from the field - was 4 of 16 from 3-point range. Senior Todd Abernethy scored 20 and made 4 of 9. Leading scorer Bam Doyne added 12 and was 2 of 6.
Abernethy said it wasn't the Rebels' strategy before the game, but MSU's size inside made it a necessity.
"The big boys down low blocked some shots," Abernethy said. "It was easier to shoot 3s than take it down low and get a shot blocked."
When the Rebels did get open looks, they usually missed.
Like Hampton's blown attempt with Ole Miss trailing 53-52. The Rebels were scoreless over the next four minutes, while MSU used a 10-0 run to open a double digit lead.
He wasn't alone. Ole Miss' frontcourt was 6 of 18. The Rebels were 11 of 32 (34.4 percent) behind the 3-point line and 14 of 44 (31.8 percent) inside.
MSU coach Rick Stansbury said Ole Miss "shot the cover off the ball," but only made four 3-pointers in the second half. When the long range buckets trailed off, so did the Rebels' hopes.
"When you make them that's good," Stansbury said. "It shoots you in. When you don't. It shoots you out."

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Perrilloux under Federal Investigation

LSU quarterback Ryan Perrilloux is the subject of a federal criminal investigation and Baton Rouge attorney Nathan Fisher has been hired to represent the reserve quarterback.
A New Orleans radio station is reporting that the investigation is underway. Fisher said he is Perrilloux's attorney and that he could not comment about the nature of the investigation, but could only confirm that the investigation is taking place.
Perrilloux has not been booked on any charges, Fisher said. The Baton Rouge attorney also said he is unaware of any pending hearings or other court actions scheduled to take place in connection with the investigation.
"I don't think it would be appropriate at this time to comment any further," Fisher said late Wednesday afternoon.
LSU Football Coach Les Miles declined comment late Wednesday. Athletic Director Skip Bertman could not be reached for comment.

QB Lee not Changing his Mind

The lone quarterback pledge in LSU’s 2007 football recruiting class said the departure of Tigers offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher won’t deter him from honoring his commitment.
Jarrett Lee, the nation’s seventh-ranked quarterback by, said Monday he still intends to sign with LSU on Feb. 7 despite learning that Fisher, who was pivotal in his recruitment, resigned his post at LSU to accept a similiar position at Florida State.
“I’m definitely sad that he’s leaving because he was a big part of my commitment, but I’m going to LSU for more than just one coach,” Lee said of Fisher. “I’m still getting letters and phone calls every now and then but I guess they all know that I’m purple and gold all the way.”
Lee said that after a conversation with LSU head coach Les Miles he came away assured that an offensive coordinator, with a similiar philosophy to Fisher, will be in place in the near future.
“I believe they’re still going to keep the same type of offense,” Lee said. “In my opinion Jimbo is the greatest offensive coordinator in the game of football. It’s going to hurt a little bit but they’ll still be doing the same thing they’ve been doing. They can still have the same great athletes running the same stuff.”
Lee, who led Brenham (Texas) to the state Class 4A state semifinals, passed for 6,181 yards and 71 touchdowns over the last two seasons. He took part in Saturday’s Offense-Defense All-American Bowl in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., joining LSU commitments Josh Dworaczyk of Catholic-New Iberia, Jarvis Jones of Rosenberg, Texas and DeAngelo Benton of Bastrop as members of the West squad, which lost 28-14.
That aforementioned group also took a moment out of their schedule last Wednesday to watch LSU defeat Notre Dame, 41-14, in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
“I watched every second of it,” Lee said. “All the LSU commitments got together and watched every second of it. It was pretty amazing. They really got after it.”

QB Lee not Changing his Mind

The lone quarterback pledge in LSU’s 2007 football recruiting class said the departure of Tigers offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher won’t deter him from honoring his commitment.
Jarrett Lee, the nation’s seventh-ranked quarterback by, said Monday he still intends to sign with LSU on Feb. 7 despite learning that Fisher, who was pivotal in his recruitment, resigned his post at LSU to accept a similiar position at Florida State.
“I’m definitely sad that he’s leaving because he was a big part of my commitment, but I’m going to LSU for more than just one coach,” Lee said of Fisher. “I’m still getting letters and phone calls every now and then but I guess they all know that I’m purple and gold all the way.”
Lee said that after a conversation with LSU head coach Les Miles he came away assured that an offensive coordinator, with a similiar philosophy to Fisher, will be in place in the near future.
“I believe they’re still going to keep the same type of offense,” Lee said. “In my opinion Jimbo is the greatest offensive coordinator in the game of football. It’s going to hurt a little bit but they’ll still be doing the same thing they’ve been doing. They can still have the same great athletes running the same stuff.”
Lee, who led Brenham (Texas) to the state Class 4A state semifinals, passed for 6,181 yards and 71 touchdowns over the last two seasons. He took part in Saturday’s Offense-Defense All-American Bowl in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., joining LSU commitments Josh Dworaczyk of Catholic-New Iberia, Jarvis Jones of Rosenberg, Texas and DeAngelo Benton of Bastrop as members of the West squad, which lost 28-14.
That aforementioned group also took a moment out of their schedule last Wednesday to watch LSU defeat Notre Dame, 41-14, in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
“I watched every second of it,” Lee said. “All the LSU commitments got together and watched every second of it. It was pretty amazing. They really got after it.”

In the baseball notes column in Sunday's Globe, Red Sox principle owner John Henry told the Globe's Nick Cafardo Boston was still interested in pursuing Roger Clemens: "We feel that Roger coming back to finish his career in Boston transcends a lot of obstacles. We feel he is the greatest pitcher in history. We want to see him come full circle. All of New England wants to see this." Clemens's agent Randy Hendricks said he recently heard from the Red Sox: "We have talked, and Boston is one of three teams special to Roger," said Hendricks. "He has not decided whether he will play, and I don't think he will decide for some time. We have discussed a shortened season, similar to last year. If he decides to play, I am sure he will consider Boston. I also am sure it will be a tough decision, just like last year." In a Friday conference call to introduce first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz, Yankees GM Brian Cashman told reporters he was not close to signing any pitchers: "I have nothing hot going with any free-agent pitcher right now," he said. Cashman declined to comment on his team's interest in free agent Roger Clemens, according to the Newark Star-Ledger. With a deal in place to send Randy Johnson to Arizona, the Yankees will make a strong push to bring Clemens to the Bronx, a baseball official told the Star-Ledger. Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte said he expects to see Roger Clemens back on the mound in 2007, though Clemens did not tell Pettitte he was coming back, according to a story in the New York Post: "I would have to imagine he is going to play," said Pettitte. "He continues to come back and continues to be the best pitcher in the league. Why wouldn't he play? I am sure he will come back and play. Who with? I have no idea."

Jevan Sneed to Ole Miss

Turn back the clock to 2005 and Jevan Snead had just completed his senior season and was rated by and several other recruiting services as one of the top two quarterbacks in Texas and the No. 3 overall dual-threat quarterback nationally. He ultimately signed with Texas but now will enroll at Ole Miss next week.

Tigers Lose to Alabama in Tuscaloosa

Coach John Brady's LSU basketball team lost to a fired-up Alabama team, 71-61. The Tigers played hard and never gave up in the game, but came up short. Alabama lost on the road by 28 points last Saturday and I knew Bama would be fired-up to play. LSU took a 13-7 lead in the game with 14:55 to play in the first half, but Alabama outscored LSU 28-13 the remainder of the half and led 35-26 at the break. LSU cut the nine-point half time lead to 37-33 with 17:30 remaining, but that was as close as the Tigers would get. Alabama led 52-41 with 10:50 to play and led by as many as 13 points in the game. Glen Davis, playing in pain from minor injuries he received in a two-car accident Saturday night, led LSU in scoring with 24 points and pulled down 17 rebounds. Tasmin Mitchell also had a good game scoring 18 points. Five other LSU players combined for a total of 18 points. LSU had a terrible night shooting the basketball making only 25 of 60 field goals attempted for 40 percent. The Tigers only made three of 17 three-point shots. LSU will return home to play Auburn at 2:00 P.M. Saturday afternoon.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

J. T. Curtis Rumored to Alabama

One of the rumors being circulated is that J.T. Curtis will be leaving John Curtis to take a job at Alabama, and as part of the deal he will bring along Joe McKnight. I do not believe this is true, and I don't believe J.T. Curtis would leave John Curtis to work for a coach who has lost all his creditability for not being honest and for walking out on his last two jobs. J.T. Curtis has always preached to his players to play with class and to never quit before finishing the job. I would be very disappointed in J.T. Curtis if he recommended to Joe McKnight to attend Alabama, and I don't think he has. I am hoping that J.T. will recommend that McKnight remain in state and help LSU win a national title.

Ryan Perrilleaux in Trouble with Law

I got this rumor from Melissa in Oxford. Then I searched Dandy Don & this is what I came up with:

There is also a strong rumor going around that Ryan Perrilloux is in trouble with the law. The rumors range from him being involved with counterfeit credit cards to traffic violation tickets. I am not going to talk very much about the rumors because I do not have any inside information.

If this is the case, it will be the end of the career of a QB who never to develop his boundless talent.

Baseball Time Line

2007 Baseball Calendar / 2007 Baseball Events
02-01-2007 Salary Arbitration Hearings Begin 23 Days
02-15-2007 Spring Training : Pitchers & Catchers 37 Days
02-27-2007 Spring Training : Mandatory Report Day (You too Manny) 49 Days
02-27-2007 Veterans Committee HOF Results 49 Days
02-28-2007 Spring Training : Grapefruit Games Begin 50 Days
04-01-2007 2007 Opening Day Game
82 Days
07-10-2007 2007 All-Star Game (AT&T Park)
182 Days 09-01-2007 Active Roster Expands from 25 to 40 235 Days
09-30-2007 Final Games of the 2007 Regular Season 264 Days

Comments on the Championship Game

1. Why did Florida win?
Obviosly because they were the better team, and not just by a little bit. The announcers kept harping on the concept that Bib Ten Goes for big and SEC for speed. Yeah, but these Florida kids were big and fast! Granted, Ohio State lost their speedy running back on their first possession, but even with him on offense, the Buckeyes would have had no answer for Florida's offensive team speed.

2. It seems ovbious to me that this year the SEC was the toughest conference. Second, believe it or not may have been the Pac-12 and third the Big East. I believe that The Big Ten was way down the list. Ohio St. and Michigan were good footbal teams and Wisconsin too, but put each of them in the SEC and they have 2-3 losses each. The fact is, that after Texas, Ohio St. did not play a top 25 caliber team until they played Michigan, and we saw what caliber they were in the Rose Bowl. Meanwhile, Florida was playing the likes of Tennessee, Georgia, LSU, Auburn and Arkansas. This is something that the Eastern Sporting press will never admit. But it's true.

3. Ohio St. and Big Ten football is stogy and antiquated agains anyone except another Big Ten Team or Notre Dame which is like a Big Ten Team. They can no longer overpower other teams the way they used to, hence their dismal showing in the BCS Bowl. Ohio State, Michigan and Notre Dame didn't just get beat, they got mauled. Listen, I'm not saying the Big Ten & Notre Dame are awful. This year they were but in any given year, they may be as good as anyone, but not this year.

4. Did you notice that Notre Dame has lost 9 Bowl games in a row. We were sitting amoung a bunch of very nice Notre Dame Kids at the Sugar Bowl and they were bemoaning thier fate in Bowl Games. We didn't want to say this to them, and we didn't. But the reason they always loose is that they are always over rated. There was no way they were good enough to be in a BCS bowl game this year, but there's big bucks involved in a BCS Bowl, especially for ND which doesn't have to share the money with anyone. The Advantage to being Notre Dame is that they start out ranked high. The bad news is that everyone wants to pick them off.Because of their academic requirements which I applaud, they are no longer able to glean the cream of the crop in recruiting. It's ashame. Football's better when Notre Dame is good.

5. I'm not sure Ohio State has the best band in the country but the dotting of the Script Ohio is as good as any band tradition there is. Right up there with Notre Dame's victory march and Slow Dixie at Ole Miss.

Florida Routs Ohio State

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Not even close.
Florida — yes, Florida — owned the field it wasn’t supposed to be on, embarrassing Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith and No. 1 Ohio State 41-14 on Monday night to run away with the college football national championship.
Chris Leak and Tim Tebow showed off coach Urban Meyer’s twin quarterback system to perfection as the No. 2 Gators became the first Division I school to hold football and basketball titles at the same time.
Now, only one question remains: What about Boise State, the last undefeated team left standing?
The Broncos stunned Oklahoma on the very same field in the Fiesta Bowl on New Year’s Day, while Florida and the Buckeyes finished with identical 13-1 records.
Former Gators star Emmitt Smith did the chomp on the sidelines, punctuating the amazingly easy victory. That left Florida, Wisconsin and Louisville each with one loss, and surely will renew calls for a playoff system.
Ted Ginn Jr. returned the opening kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown, then it quickly fell apart for the Buckeyes. He hobbled off minutes later with an injury and by the time he returned for the second half on crutches, Florida led 34-14.
Leak, maligned for never winning the big one, completed 25 of 36 passes for 213 yards and a touchdown. The Rambo-like Tebow threw for one TD and powered into the end zone for another.
Smith, meanwhile, joined a long list of Heisman Trophy quarterbacks — Jason White, Eric Crouch and Gino Torretta, among them — to fall apart in bowl games. He was just 4-for-14 with one interception and never showed off his elusive running.
Instead, defensive ends Derrick Harvey and Jarvis Moss made it a miserable night for Smith. Linebacker Earl Everett got into the act, too, running down Smith despite missing his helmet.
Florida won its second national title, adding to the one Heisman winner Danny Wuerffel brought home in 1996 under coach Steve Spurrier with a 52-20 romp over Florida State in the Sugar Bowl.
This time, the man in charge was the 42-year-old Meyer, once a .200 hitter in the low minors in Atlanta’s farm system. Since then, he’s made a rocket rise in the coaching ranks, topped off by a title in his second year at Florida.
The Bowl Championship Series added an extra game this year to determine a champion. Some fans were certain Michigan deserved to be here, that is until it got pounded by Southern California in the Rose Bowl.
This game had no name — perhaps now it might be the Meyer Bowl, at least for a year.
Ohio State coach Jim Tressel’s team looked as if they belonged at the Holiday Bowl, because it took this night off. Given 51 days to prepare, and favored by a solid touchdown, the Buckeyes were confused from the get-go once Florida got the ball.
In the first football matchup between these schools — they’ve both played the sport for 100-plus years — the Gators emphatically stopped Ohio State’s 19-game winning streak.
The Buckeyes beat a pair of No. 2 teams earlier in the season, defending champion Texas and Michigan. They were no match for Florida’s speed, strategy and style.
The Buckeyes looked completely flummoxed by Florida’s frenetic offense at the outset. Trying to match up with the Gators’ shifting formations, they often jumped around at the line and still were out of position.
Leak gladly took advantage of the confusion, picking wide-open receivers at will and hitting his first nine passes. Criticized most of his career for a lack of fire, the guy with the soft, green eyes seemed real comfortable.
Meyer’s gadgets made it easy pickins for the Gators. They came out in a five-wide set after Ginn’s return and Leak hit Dallas Baker with a tying, 14-yard touchdown pass.
The next time they touched the ball, the Gators let Leak, Tebow and scatback Percy Harvin all take direct snaps from center. Harvin later tucked it under his right arm — the one with a lion tattoo — and powered for a 4-yard TD.
A flanker reverse by Andre Caldwell helped Florida move to a third-and-goal at the 2 as the first quarter ended. When the second period began, Meyer immediately reached into his bag of tricks.
Florida put three running backs directly behind Leak — a power-I-plus — and gave the ball to the last one. DeShawn Wynn scored on the first play of the quarter, plunging into the end zone right in front of the Gators’ band, for a stunning 21-7 lead.
Ohio State returned to its roots and ran the ball. Antonio Pittman’s 18-yard burst made it 21-14 with 13:32 left before halftime.
Undaunted, the Gators came back with something totally out of character, even for them — field goals.
Chris Hetland was only 4-for-13 on kicks this season, and his longest was 33 yards. But Meyer said he would trust him in this game, and Hetland made good, from 42 and 40 yards on the next two possessions.
Hetland’s second kick came after Tressel showed a little early desperation, gambling on fourth-and-1 at his own 29 and saw Chris Wells stuffed.
The Buckeyes got the ball on their 20 with less than two minutes left before halftime and were determined to see a score before the break. They did — by Florida.
Moss sacked Smith and forced him to fumble, and the Gators took over at 5. Tebow ran twice up the middle, then faked a quarterback draw, rolled to the left and tossed a 1-yard TD pass to Caldwell.
At 34-14, fans on both sides were stunned as the teams ran to the locker rooms.

LSU Opens SEC Play at Alabama

Against what might be the SEC’s most talented and productive front line, a spectacular effort by LSU’s talented big men might be the only recipe for success tonight when the Tigers take the floor against Alabama.
While that doesn’t seem like a major stretch under normal circumstances, LSU might face a different challenge than it has over the last 2 1/2 years.
The No. 13 Tigers (11-3) launch the defense of the 2006 SEC regular-season championship against the 14th-ranked Crimson Tide (13-2, 0-1) at 8 p.m. at Coleman Coliseum.
What loomed as a showdown of LSU’ inside duo of Glen Davis and Darnell Lazare against Bama’s frontcourt of Jermareo Davidson and Richard Hendrix has taken on a different dynamic.
Davis was in a two-car accident early Sunday morning, and although he escaped with no serious injuries, the 6-foot-9, 300-pound reigning SEC Player of the Year is stiff and sore. He went through a full practice Monday before the Tigers left for Tuscaloosa, and is expected to make his 82nd consecutive start. How long he can go and how effective he’ll be remains to be seen.
If Davis can’t go or is limited, or if LSU coach John Brady shifts his big man to a wing position to alleviate some of the body banging he would encounter inside, the Tigers may lean heavily on Tasmin Mitchell and Magnum Rolle to handle the battle in the lane.That may not be the worst thing in the world.
The lanky 6-foot-10 Rolle is coming off of the best game of his 51-game LSU career. In the Tigers’ physical 66-49 victory against Connecticut, Rolle supplied four points, six rebounds, four blocked shots and was conspicuously more aggressive and assertive than he had been all season.
“I talked to my Bahamas coach (Darrel Sears) on Friday and he told me to stay within the system, but still (be) me,” Rolle said. “He told me to cut out the (mess) and just do whatever I’ve got to do to stay on the floor.
“My main thing is to carry over the enthusiasm I had for the UConn game into Alabama, stay motivated and keep pushing.”
Mitchell’s role could be similarly enhanced. A starter on the wing and one of LSU’s top 3-point shooters, the 6-7 Mitchell has proven he could hold his own inside despite often giving up several inches.
He produced 16 points vs. UConn and led the Tigers with 10 rebounds. Mitchell ranks second on the team behind Davis in scoring (14.1) and rebounds (7).
“It’s very natural for me to play inside,” Mitchell said. “It gives us mismatches. I can go down to the post and rebound like a big man, but I can also shoot the ball like a perimeter player. I’m ready to do whatever it takes.
“We all hope Glen can go full speed, but if he can’t we’ve got a lot of guys who can do the job inside. We’ve got a big challenge inside against Hendrix and Davidson, but they’re going to have a handful with us, too.”
Regardless of who mans the interior for LSU, the Tigers will likely a defensive performance similar to Saturday’s.
Alabama stands fifth in the SEC in scoring offense (78.3 points a game) and is the league’s third-best shooting team (48.4 percent). All five Tide starters average in double digits, paced by Hendrix and Alonzo Gee — a player similar to Mitchell — with 14.7 points a game and Davidson with 14.1. Point guard Ronald Steele has battled through an injury-plagued season to lead Alabama with 56 assists and is scoring 10.7 points a contest.
“They’ve got a collection of players at any time who can beat you, so you have to be real aware defensively,” Brady said. “I don’t know if we can guard those post men straight up man-on-man the whole game. We’re going to have to mix some with doubles and zone and change it up on them. We’re going to have to know who we’re guarding, play great team defense in terms of helping and recovering and then keep that team off the glass.
“If we don’t have a significant team defensive effort in terms of stopping dribble penetration, guarding ball screens in different ways and rotating the floor defensively and rebounding the weakside — if we can’t get those things done then Alabama is going to make it difficult for us.”
The Tide found things difficult in its SEC opener Saturday at Arkansas. Alabama fell into a huge first-half hole and never recovered in an 88-61 loss.
Steele, a preseason All-American, suffered a severely sprained ankle in Bama’s 99-85 loss at Notre Dame on Dec. 7 and is noticeably hobbled — to the point where coach Mark Gottfried said coaching friends have told him it “breaks their hearts” to watch Steele right now. Steele has missed three games this season with tendonitis in his right knee and the bum left ankle and Gottfried admitted he’s considered sitting his star down to let him recuperate.
“We hope he’s going to get better, but I don’t know if he’s going to get better,” Gottfried said.

Tigers Finish 3rd

For unbeaten Boise State, No. 5 will have to do.The Gators finished atop The Associated Press Top 25 after upsetting Ohio State 41-14 in the BCS national championship game Monday night, a matchup Florida lobbied hard for late in the regular season when it looked as if the Gators would be left out.The Buckeyes had been No. 1 since August and were looking to become the third team to hold the top spot in the media poll from preseason through the bowls. Florida State was the first in 1999 and Southern California did it in 2004.Instead, Ohio State finished No. 2. LSU was third, and Southern California and Boise State rounded out the top five.Florida received all but one of the 65 first-place votes. Boise State, 13-0, got the other from Greg Archuleta of the Albuquerque Journal in New Mexico."This is the greatest feeling in the world," Florida senior quarterback Chris Leak said. "All the hard work and sacrifice that we have gone through the last two years to get where we are today makes this unbelievable."The Gators were stuck behind Michigan and USC in the polls in late November, and it looked as if no matter what they did the BCS championship game would be out of their reach. Urban Meyer and the Gators made it known, loud and clear, that they believed they deserved a shot at the national title.The first weekend of December, the Gators got their wish with the help of a major upset. UCLA knocked off USC and Florida jumped Michigan, a loser to Ohio State, in the polls and the BCS standings.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Rebs come up short against Wildcats

Todd Abernethy (right) in Saturday's SEC opener against KentuckyIt took an 8-of-10 night and 23 points from junior point guard Joe Crawford for the University of Kentucky (12-3, 1-0 SEC) to extend their win streak to eight games and walk out of Oxford with a 68-58 victory over the Ole Miss Rebels.The Rebels (11-4, 0-1 SEC) came out of the gate strong against the visiting Wildcats, playing almost tic-for-tac with Kentucky for the whole first half.Crawford gave UK an early 7-6 lead with a wide open three-pointer after Bam Doyne had gone for a steal at the top of the arc and missed.In the final seconds of the first half Clarence Sanders put the Rebels up 37-33 after draining a fast-break three following a blocked shot by Jeremy Parnell to start the push up court. The shot, as well as the block, incited the fans and electrified the Tad Pad with just seconds left to play.However, Kentucky's Bobby Perry brought the game 'Cats within two as the game clock expired with a lay-up to put Kentucky down 37-35. "I thought in the first half we were very fortunate to be up two because they shot the ball and scored at will," Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy said. "We couldn't do anything with Randolph Morris, we played right into their hands, and yet we were still up two."At the half Morris and Sanders were tied with the game-high of 12 points.Ole Miss took a 53-51 lead in the second half on a Kenny Williams lay-up on a Todd Abernethy pass below the goal.However, the Rebels were not able to keep the lead. Kentucky responded to Williams' lay-up by going on a 17-5 run down the stretch to go up 68-58, which included back-to-back threes by Ramel Bradley."The second half the game was pretty tight. They make a run and we make a run back to get that lead, and all of a sudden Ramel Bradley scores eight points," Kennedy said. "We had our looks and we don't come through. It's the difference between winning and losing."Bradley's eight points at the end of the game capped off a 13 point night. Bradley also had seven rebounds and five assists.Crawford had a game-high 23 points, while Abernethy led the Rebels scorers with 17 points.Abernethy was 6-of-10 from the field, 2-of-3 from behind the three-point arc, and 3-of-4 from the charity line to lead the Rebels with 17 points. His 17 points were his second highest total this season, and marks just the second time the guard has led Ole Miss in scoring this season.Ole Miss' Dwayne Curtis and Kentucky's Morris were quiet in the second half. Both big men were held to just three and two points in the second half after scoring 11 and 12 points respectively in the first half.Morris finished the game with his eighth straight double-double, tallying 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Curtis earned 13 points and 10 rebounds of his own.Ole Miss will hit the road Wednesday for their next game, traveling to Starkville to take on in-state rival Mississippi State.
Good Morning, Tiger Fans. I hope that all of you enjoy the BCS national championship game tonight. I will be pulling for Florida, but I believe Ohio State will win a close game. The final polls for the 2006 season will come out Tuesday and it is going to be very interesting to see where LSU finishes in the polls. In my opinion, LSU should not finish any lower than No. 3, but I have seen stranger things happen. In LSU football news, JaMarcus Russell will hold a press conference Wednesday morning to announce that he is going to bypass his senior season at LSU and go pro. Russell has made the most improvement from one year to the next of any college player I have been following in my many years of following LSU football. After his strong performance in the Sugar Bowl, Russell will likely be the first player taken in the draft by Oakland. Jimbo Fisher deserves a lots of credit for developing Russell. The hot topic of discussion the next four weeks will be high school football recruiting. Coach Les Miles picked up two huge commitments over the weekend at the Army All-Star game in Luther Davis (defensive lineman from West Monroe) and Joseph Barksdale (defensive tackle from Detroit, Michigan, who is the No. 1 ranked player in the state of Michigan). At this time, LSU is sitting on 22 commitments counting Gabriel Bryant who has grade problems and might not be eligible to sign with a four-year school. Coach Les Miles will probably sign up to 27 or 28 players and has a great chance at finishing in the top five in recruiting if he finishes strongly. Below are a short list of players who the Tigers are still recruiting and my odds on the players signing with LSU. I am sure there are five to 10 more players that LSU is recruiting that I do not know about. Joe McKnight, (RB), 5’11”, 195, John Curtis, 60-40, LSU-USCWill Blackwell, (DE/OL) 6’4”, 290, West Monroe, 60-40, LSU-Notre DameChad Jones, (SS), 6’2”, 210 Southern Lab, 60-40, LSU-USCSteffon Francois, (SS), 6’3”, 215, 60-40, LSU-Arkansas-AlabamaJason Peters, (DE/TE), 6’2”, 260, Catholic BR, 70-30 if offered, LSU-GA TechTerrance Tolliver, (WR), 6’5”, 185, Hemstead, Texas, 50-50, LSU-FloridaRon Brooks, (WR), 5’11”, 180, Irving Texas, 70-30 if LSU has room Christian Scott, (DB), 6’1”, 190, Dallas Skyline, 30-70, OU-Texas-LSULonnie Edward, (OL), 6’5”, 310, Brownsboro, Texas, 80-20 if offered Rishaw Johnson, (OL), 6’5”, 300, Hammonds, 70-30 if offered, LSU-Ole MissCameron Hayward, (DL), 6’6”, 320, Atlanta, GA, 30-70 There is nothing new to report on coaching changes at LSU. As reported in my Sunday morning update, Stacy Searels has accepted a coaching job at Georgia coaching the offensive line. After announcing that Searels was leaving, Coach Miles said he would move quickly in finding a replacement. According to one of my very reliable sources for information, Miles interviewed Chris Scelfo Saturday afternoon. Scelfo was recently fired at Tulane. Scelfo went to Tulane from Georgia. If my memory is correct, Scelfo coached the offensive line at Georgia. I feel certain that Miles will interview a few more candidates for the job later this week. There is nothing new to report on Jimbo Fisher, but the Louisville job came open last night and Fisher will likely be a candidate for it. My guess is that Fisher will remain at LSU because of the amount of money he is making and because of a great chance at winning a national title in 2007. Today I will start posting my top 100 prospects for the 2008 signing class. I will post No. 50 down to No. 40 today, and each day after I will post five spots per day. I am sure that I will overlook a few in-state players and as soon as I learn of prospects who I do not have on the list I will add their names as a tie at a certain number. I think the list is going to be very good. I welcome your input, especially input from coaches who have seen players on my list play. I want to remind everyone that my top prospect list is not an LSU list, and I have not spoken to any coaches concerning my list. I post a top 100 list each year as a labor of love for high school football and recruiting. No. 50 Don Brown, (FB), 5’11”, 235, West MonroeNo. 49 Geanie Lyons, (DT), 6’3”, 330, Bastrop No. 48 Alfred Williams, (CB/S), 6’2”, 176, KentwoodNo. 47 Tripp George, (SS), 6’0”, 180 Lloya College, Shreve.No. 46 Jordan Miller, (CB), 6’1”, 180, Teurlings Catholic No. 45 Dyron Hart, (DT) 6'2", 280, SlidellNo. 44 Michael Carvajal, (DT), 6’1”, 290, AcadianaNo. 43 Blaine Gautier, (QB), 6’1”, 185, LutcherNo. 42 Ryan ST Julien, (DB), 6’1”, 180, Catholic NINo. 41 Joe Dave Petijean, (RB), 6’1”, 200, Notre Dame No. 40 Trent Kropog, (DL), 6’2”, 290, Brother Martin In basketball news, Glen Davis was in a minor automobile accident Saturday night after the LSU will over UCONN, but according to John Brady he will be able to play Tuesday night at Alabama. In women's basketball news, the LSU Lady Tigers defeated Georgia 57-55 yesterday in a hard fought game. The Lady Tigers came out came out ice cold and fell behind 18-4 in the first half before going on a 14-0 run to tie the game at 18-18. LSU led 27-22 at half time and led by as many as nine points in the second half before Georgia went on a 20-6 run to lead 53-48 with 3:52 to play in the game. LSU scored five unanswered points the next minute to tie the game at 53-53. The game was tied 55-55 when Sylvia Fowles hit her only basket of the second half with under a minute to play and won the game for the Lady Tigers. Fowles led LSU in scoring with 21 points. Quintella Chaney scored 15 points. Allison Hightower scored 12 points off the bench. A crowd of 7,666 attended the game.

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