Friday, March 28, 2008

Court Chatter


I gotta say, this is one of my favorite times of the year.

This is the season of pick-up basketball in all its forms. Ward ball tournaments are raging forward with a full head of steam, city leagues are thriving and (for those who are still playing in them) BYU intramural leagues are more intense than ever.

In addition, it's getting warm outside and fenced and caged courts everywhere are full of has-beens and never-will-bes, all having a sweaty good time.

I hate to say it, but I'm definitely one of those guys that's all about chatter. It's bad when I'm on the court, but it's even worse when I'm sitting on the bench. My teammates are nice enough to never say how really annoyed they are, but sometimes I catch a glimpse of the disgust in their faces.

I don't blame them. Truthfully, sometimes I annoy myself.

But I thought it might be funny to let you, the reader, in on my world of chatter. I've decided, therefore, to publish my most popular quips and define them. That way if you happen to see me at a game, you'll know what the heck I'm talking about.

By the way, it should be noted that I didn't come up with these sayings, necessarily, but they are my definitions. If I'm using a phrase incorrectly, please let me know.

"Good take" - I figured I'd start with a classic. Generally, this is said when a player drives and hits a short jumper or lays it in. Usually accompanied with a running five as we transition to defense.

"Good hit"/"Nice hit" - Similar to "good take," but different in that it doesn't usually involve a drive. Mainly used for longer jump shots, and no five necessary.

"Good find" - I think I may have coined this phrase, but I'm not sure. I say it when someone makes a really good pass to an open person under the basket. I like to congratulate guards who make the extra pass and find the open guys. Assists deserve credit too.

"Body up!" - Usually said while on the bench, this is used to inspire toughness and physicality to get rebounds. It literally means get in front of the other team, get your butt into them, and get a rebound. Sadly, it doesn't inspire players as effectively as you might think.

"NO!," or "Wooo!" - I usually scream this when the guy I'm supposed to guard spots up and shoots (usually a three pointer). Often I'm too lazy to actually get out and defend the shot, but "Wooo!" is a surprisingly effective substitute.

"Don't call it if you don't see it." - I don't really verbalize a lot of smack to referees - I usually leave my complaints to non-verbal communication like rolling the eyes and smashing down the ball, with the occasional "Come on!" sprinkled in there - but this phrase has crept into my basketball vocabulary lately. I like to remind the refs that you don't have to call a foul because you anticipate a foul; call it when you actually see one. Warning: This may seem like harmless chatter, but I did receive a technical foul once for saying it, so be careful.

"We've got horses" - I thought this was a pretty common expression, but I'm not sure the guys on my ward ball team quite understood me when I yelled it while on the bench the other night. Simply put, it just means that there are plenty of guys on the bench who can offer relief to tired players on the court. It's usually paired with a "hustle"-type comment, e.g. "Play hard! We've got horses!"

"Get in the hole!" - I stole this phrase from golf, but I've found it translates well in the world of basketball. Said in a frustrated tone, I use this phrase when I miss a shot I should have made, or when a shot is bouncing around the rim and in question. Variations include "You better get in the hole," which is said after an easy shot barely rattles in. A stern warning to the basketball, implying negative consequences if it bounces out.

That's pretty much it. I'd say those phrases make up about 95% of my basketball chatter. The other 5% is usually reserved for smarty pants wisecracks and witty observations.

Now please feel free to share your favorite chatter, or give me suggestions. I'm always willing to improve my game.

BYU getting some love

My good friend Justin Lee pointed this out to me earlier today, and I found it pretty impressive. This is the cover of today's Yahoo! Sports College Football page:


There's a lot of hype around BYU this year. BYU has been getting love from ESPN, The Sporting News and now Yahoo. The Sporting News even calls Bronco Mendenhall one of the top five coaches in the game.

So is this a good thing or a bad thing? Will BYU respond to the national hype by throwing down their enemies? Or will they fold over like a thin juicy slice of Chuck-A-Rama rotisserie chicken?

Watch for more posts about spring football soon!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A great site for BYU fans

Hey everyone. I just wanted to give a quick shout out to a new BYU sports site to which I've just been introduced. It's called CougarChampion.com, and it's a site dedicated to bringing fans together to talk about BYU sports.

It's a news site, but it's unique because it lets fans rank articles, and even submit their own. It also incorporates local bloggers' work, unlike some other BYU athletic sites.

Check it out and have a look around. You won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

ANTOGA Issues

Some people have complained recently about how the voting for America's Next Top Obscure Guest Author is "rigged," or otherwise not fair.

They point to the fact that there are 80 votes in one day as proof that the voting is not authentic.

I understand your complaints, but frankly I don't care.

To be honest, if someone has the passion to visit 80 different computers to vote for themselves 80 different times, I think they should be rewarded and not punished. That's the kind of passion and self-promotion that Adam's Sports Blog needs in a guest author.

In short, if you need to email all your friends to get more votes, do it. If you need to visit the BYU library at 11 p.m. to use all the computers, you do it. Do whatever it takes, because I'm sure whoever wins this thing will have earned it.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Final Thoughts

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, breaking news stories, or other interesting tidbits, this will probably be my last post about the 2007/2008 BYU basketball season.

I’ve been a little depressed about BYU basketball lately (obviously), but I’m happy to say that my cooler head has finally prevailed. When all is said and done, even I have to admit we have a good team.

What’s more, we have a good program, we have a great coach, and we have great tradition. All these things and more lead me to believe BYU basketball will be successful for years and years to come.

The problem is sometimes I get ahead of myself.

It’s not likely BYU will be winning any national championships any time soon, but what we have done over the last few years is really actually quite remarkable. After the ’93 season, BYU was stuck in a bog of basketball mediocrity. This was punctuated by our darkest moment: The 1995/1996 campaign in which our record was a bonechilling 1-25.

Steve Cleveland came in and put together the occasional good team, but nothing ever felt like it would be long-lasting. That’s why Dave Rose is so valuable to BYU: He changed the culture surrounding BYU basketball.

In 2004/2005, BYU basketball had a 9-21 record. That was Steve Cleveland’s last year. The next year, after a plucky young assistant named Dave Rose was installed as head coach, BYU won 20 games and tied for second place in the MWC (they were picked dead last). Rose installed a running, fast-paced and aggressive system, and he brought swagger back to the Marriott Center.

In 2006/2007 BYU improved upon the previous year and rode MWC Player of the Year Keena Young to an outright MWC regular season championship, and an NCAA tournament bid.

This last year, after losing Young, Austin Ainge, Mike Rose and some other seniors, BYU reloaded, beat some pretty dang good opponents, made Dick Vitale chortle with joy, and gave powerhouses like North Carolina and Michigan State all they could handle. We again won the MWC, this time by a full two games, and posted the largest number of regular season wins in MWC history in the process. Additionally, we won the most regular season games of any BYU team in school history. We ended the season just like last year, by losing to UNLV in the conference tournament championship, and then losing in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Rose has three consecutive 20-win seasons. The last coach to pull off a streak like that was Roger Reid, and his streak ended in 1995.

Rose has done a good job with our team. More importantly, though, than how I feel about our past is how confident I am in the future.

Next year we lose exactly four players: Chris Collinsworth (mission) and seniors Ben Murdock, Sam Burgess and Vuk Ivanovic. Four solid guys, no doubt, but definitely not our very best players.

Contrast that with the list of players to return next year: Trent Plaisted, Lee Cummard, Jonathan Tavernari, Jimmer Fredette, Michael Loyd, Chris Miles and Gavin MacGreggor.

Additionally, we’ll bring in Charles Abuo, Noah Hartsock and we’ll welcome back Jackson Emery—one of the funnest guys to watch in the 2004/2005 season.

I like our chances next year. A lot of talent is coming back to Provo, and I see no reason why we shouldn’t be picked to win the MWC for a third consecutive year. Hopefully next year we can make some noise in the NCAA tournament too.

So to sum up, I feel good about BYU’s past, present and future. I have made peace with this year’s loss, and while it disappoints me that we seem to play a step slower come tournament time, I recognize that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and Dave Rose is laying the foundation for much success in the realm of BYU basketball.

Epilogue:

There has been a lot of talk lately about Trent Plaisted going pro. I think it goes without saying that this would be a colossal mistake if he does in fact choose to leave BYU early. Guys like Tyler Hansbrough, Kevin Love and Greg Oden leave early for the NBA.

Trent, I love you, but you are not on the same level as these guys.

I know, I know, you run well and jump high, blah blah blah. However, anyone who has watched you play knows that you won’t make a lot of noise in the NBA. It’s not what you want to hear, but consider me your personal John McCain driving the straight talk express.

Do us all a favor and come back to BYU. I know you graduate this year and have no real reason to stay, but trust me: Your little hook-flip shot over your right shoulder won’t work in the NBA. You need to know how to, um, square up to the basket and, uh, shoot free throws, among other things.

Trent, I know you think you’ve arrived, but believe it or not you have some work to do. Don’t believe what those slimeball agents tell you.

And think of it: you could be THE GUY next year. You could be the biggest part of what could be the best BYU team in school history next year. That will only help your NBA prospects, big guy.

Anyway, I know it’s tempting, but make sure you keep a level head over the next few months. Don’t end up like so many other BYU alum: playing for a crust of bread in Brussels, Belgium.

Monday, March 24, 2008

ANTOGA Update

Lest you think I've forgotten about my little contest, I now give you the finalists for America's Next Top Obscure Guest Author! (For time's sake, I narrowed it down to the top-five vote-getters based on a long-running poll)

Finalist #1: Justin Lee

About Justin: Justin is a self-described "toe head" who has two great loves in his life: The BYU Cougars and the great outdoors. Often seen astride a lonely fence in the prairies of New Mexico, Justin has cultivated some strong opinions about life while gazing into the flaming New Mexican sunsets.
Fun Fact: Justin can guzzle Mt. Dew faster than any one of his BYU friends, but still gets schooled every time he challenges his mom.
Why Justin is Unique: Justin may be the only finalist qualified to speak intelligently about NASCAR.
Notable quote: "Life's a garden. Dig it."





Finalist #2: Jeris Hobbs

About Jeris: Jeris represents the Idaho Falls region of Cougar Nation. Born and bred an ISU Bengals fan, Jeris only recently discovered a passion for the LDS church and BYU athletics. Jeris is a finalist for the distinguished Brigham Award, he is now employed, and somehow found a major that doesn't require knowing how to construct complete sentences.
Fun Fact: Jeris has never seen any movie starring John Travolta.
Why Jeris is Unique: Jeris has the unique ability to instantly make people laugh while reading his writing - presumably because the reader instinctively hears Jeris' slow, slurred voice in his or her head while reading.
Notable quote: "Hhhhiiiii you've reached Jeris HAWBS... Please leave a MESS-agggge."



Finalist #3: Lesley Winn

About Lesley: Pronounced LESS-lee, Ms. Winn has distinguished herself as a tough, street-wise woman who somehow attached herself to a train-wreck of a husband. Her hard-hitting, take-no-prisoners attitude has cost her some friendships in Relief Society, but it's a small price to pay to dominate the dojo.
Fun Fact: Lesley hails from Gerkin, Oregon- home of the Beer Brat.
Why Lesley is unique: Lesley makes thought-provoking points, and knows more about the game of basketball than Kurt Rambis.
Notable quote: "There's two things I do well: Talk sports and kick [expletive]. Take your pick, Hoss."




Finalist #4: Becky Olsen

About Becky: The author has to be careful about what he says about this particular finalist for reasons that won't be discussed at this particular time. Suffice it to say, Becky is a real tomcat.
Fun Fact: Becky was once personally invited to attend a party at the famed "Hockey Stick House" near BYU campus.
Why Becky is Unique: Extensive knowledge of anthropology and indigenous Native American tribes gives Becky a unique perspective into why we compete.
Notable quote: "This ain't a bake sale!"




Finalist #5: Brett Zobell

About Brett: His friends know him as "The World's Most Lovable Buffalo," but his enemies know him only as a shadow in the night. As ruthless as he is handsome, Brett doesn't play with his food: He destroys it. Most recently, Brett has been seen listening to the new hit single "Low" by Flo Rida ft. T-Pain.
Fun Fact: Brett and the author of this post have known each other since kindergarten, and with the exception of a brief falling out in Jr. High (the Aubrey Hunter incident), they have been friends for life.
Why Brett is Unique: Parasite-induced weight loss and weekends at Newport Beach have given Brett invaluable real-world experience.
Notable quote: "Freedom isn't free"



A new poll has been created, and it's now time to choose America's Next Top Obscure Guest Author!

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Sky is Falling

Sometimes it sucks being a BYU fan.

It sucks because every once in a while you are able to see the reality of the college sports world, and BYU simply isn't a part of it.

Ever seen The Matrix? It's like when Neo takes the red pill and it shocks his system enough to wake him up and see things as they really are. Occasionally, as a BYU fan, I too get a chance to wake up in my cell filled with translucent goo, pull the power cords out of the back of my head and see the real world for what it really is.

It usually comes after losses like the BYU basketball team suffered last night, and it's not pretty. It's a dark place.

I'm in that dark place right now, and I don't know when I'll come out the other side again. I feel like I can see BYU for what it really is, and where it really belongs in the world of NCAA sports.

Here's the reality: BYU has a mediocre athletics program in a mediocre conference that gets absolutely no national exposure. We are successful as long as we play the teams within our own conference, but the minute we leave that bubble we are vulnerable like a little pink newborn baby.

We can't recruit good athletes, because our Honor Code scares them away.

We can't even get the best LDS athletes, because the lure of playing at a big-name school is too tempting.

So what does that leave us with? Overachieving, but under talented, LDS kids. Tough kids, but unable make any significant waves on the national level.

We've got great coaches, but like the players the best coaches won't ever come to BYU. Too many restrictions, too little money, not enough prestige, etc.

In short, we're on the outside. The NCAA is throwing a party, and we're at home playing World of Warcraft. If the NCAA were a high school, USC would be the captain of the football team, Ohio State would be the Student Body President, and BYU would be the goth kid who spends his time playing Magic: The Gathering in the science lab during lunch.

Utah would probably be the school slut.

Anyway, I guess what I'm trying to say is it sucks knowing that the school I love so much will never be able to make any waves on a national level. We'll get close, like to, say the Las Vegas Bowl, or the first round of the NCAA tournament, but anything more is out of the question. The minute we're asked to play a team that isn't named Colorado State or New Mexico, we'll always be the underdog.

And not the cool cartoon hero Underdog of my youth; the underdog that gets trampled and embarrassed on national TV.

Like I said, sometimes it sucks being a BYU fan.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Round One


Why BYU will win: They say you need three scorers to do well in the NCAA tournament. I think we'll have that base covered. Depending on the night, we have three scorers and potentially more.

The Aggies will lock on to Trent Plaisted and Lee Cummard, to be sure, but that will open the field for outside shooters like Jonathan Tavernari, Jimmer Fredette and Sam Burgess. If the Cougars have a good shooting night it'll be devastating to A&M. The outside game will open up the inside game, and BYU will shoot their way into the second round of the NCAAs.

Plus, it's been well documented that Texas A&M is one of the most inconsistent teams in the country, so BYU's chances will ride on which Aggie team shows up to play today.

Why BYU will lose: One word: Defense. BYU has struggled against teams who defend aggressively and skillfully. Aggressive teams don't always do the trick, but the teams with talent, knowledge and athleticism prove tough tasks for BYU. Remember UNLV? A&M is better than UNLV. They play tougher defense, they're faster and they're bigger.

Plus, Texas A&M grabs rebounds like a fat kid grabs devilled eggs at a family barbecue. They are all over the glass - especially on offense - and their second chance points, as well as free throws, will give them a lot of easy scores.

BYU will win if: Trent Plaisted shows up, and not just offensively. If Plaisted can pull down boards and put up 20-25 points it'll make our game a lot easier.

BYU will lose if: We don't grab defensive rebounds. Everyone needs to be aggressive on the glass and limit A&M's second chance points.

Prediction: I'm sorry to say it, but BYU loses in the first round for the 231st time. Aggies 74, Cougars 66.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Catching Up

This weekend did not treat me very kindly, friends.

I always approach weekends with a measure of joy, and usually that feeling gains momentum during those two days off, and it vaults me into another week.

This past weekend had exactly the opposite effect. Coming out the other side of last weekend has made me more bitter, more jaded and more nauseous than I've ever been before.

Let me catch you up.

Firstly, on Friday night, the Sloths! suffered what has to be considered the worst loss of the season. Spirits were high when we checked in. Jokes and laughter poured out our mouths like a champagne waterfall during the captains meeting. None of us had a care in the world when we were up 15 points and I was shooting Archie Rose-style free throws.

But our carelessness caught up with us, and we took a nice pootch-kick in the face in the second half. We lost, and frustrations eventually got the better of us (me). In a moment of weakness I... well, I pushed a kid.

Tempers flared, emotions ran high. I'm not proud of what I did, but let it never be said of Adam Olsen that he doesn't take his crap seriously.

Okay, enough of that.

Secondly, BYU got UNLV-ed on Saturday night in the MWC Championship game. We came out strong, just like last year, but the Rebels rode their adrenaline-packed home court to another resounding victory in the second half, just like last year.

The most frustrating thing? BYU looked like sloppy, slow, slack-jawed little monkeys in the process. We were supposed to be the #1 seed, and yet we got absolutely owned. Their defense was stifling, their offensive speed was blinding, and we looked gassed and totally inept on offense.

I know the easy road is to play the "home court advantage" card, but I don't want to do that now. I'm supremely disappointed in BYU, because I really thought we were going to make a statement this year. A good team would have and could have beaten UNLV on Saturday night, even if it meant doing it on their own court.

The fact is, we just couldn't find the desire. Their heart was bigger than ours. Also, they played faster, they hit shots when it counted, and BYU threw in the towel with about 5 minutes to play.

Now (thirdly), as a result, we have been given an eight seed in the NCAA tournament. As if that isn't bad enough, our first opponent is Texas A&M. Yes, the same Texas A&M that spent a good chunk of the entire season in the top 20. Yes, the same Texas A&M that won the pre-season NIT. Yes, the same Texas A&M that beat Texas, by 17, and yes the same Texas A&M that just barely lost to #4 Kansas in the Big 12 title game.

But there's a bright side: If we beat A&M, at least we'll most likely get a cupcake in the next round: UCLA.

(Do me a favor and read that last sentence again with a twinge of sarcasm in your voice. There you go.)

I hate to say it, loyal fans, but I don't like our chances this year. As much as it pains me to be the bearer of obvious news, I think we may have to wait yet another year to get that ever-elusive win in the NCAA tournament.

Then again, every other year I predicted a BYU victory, and they ended up losing. Maybe this year, since I'm absolutely predicting a BYU loss, the fates will converge against me and propel BYU into the second round.

And maybe, just maybe, if we play UCLA, Ethyn Manumaleuna will appear on the court at the end of the game to magically block a game winning layup by Kevin Love.

Now finally, if you'll allow me to return to the subject of BYU intramurals, the Sloths! may be down, but we are certainly not out. If there's one thing I have learned about this team is that we play our very best when our backs are against the wall.

We have been placed in tournament division 2, and our first game is tomorrow night at 8 p.m. in the West Smith Fieldhouse court.

It is now time for all true Sloths! to awake with the sunlight, and prepare to emerge into a brand new life of intramural basketball success!

Friday, March 14, 2008

MWC Tournament predictions: Vol. 2


Before I start, let me pause for a moment to let you all know that this is my 100th post!

One thousand thanks to you, readers, for giving me the strength and encouragement to waste 100 posts-worth of my time. Here's looking forward to another thrilling and hopefully more profitable 100.

Now for a little MWC Tournament action.

The first day of the tournament featured some intense games, as I'm sure anyone who watched them already knows. BYU throttled Colorado State, obviously, but after that every game was competitive.

San Diego State was beating Air Force the whole game, but the Falcons came back at the end to make it competitive. They even had an open look with about 5 seconds left to grab the lead, but Anwar Johnson missed an open lay-in. SDSU went on to win the game.

UNLV and TCU might have been the best game of the night. TCU hit huge shots and gave the Rebels all they could handle. I admit- I thought UNLV would overpower the Froggies. Instead, the Runnin' Rebs needed a controversial foul at the end of the game to finally put TCU away.

Utah and New Mexico played each other well, and Utah ended up winning in overtime. Frankly, I wasn't surprised. Utah is a good team, and JR Giddens didn't do enough to help his team win. Sure, Giddens scored a whole mess of points, but his selfish play and bad shot selection (not to mention free throws) didn't do his team any good.

That's what went down in day one, and I'd like to point out that I was spot on in the picks I made yesterday.

Now today's games will look something like this:

(1)BYU vs. (4)SDSU
The Rub: BYU is the best team in the league by far, and they played like it yesterday. They absolutely ran Colorado State out of the building, and shot the lights out. Plus BYU has a deep bench, they played the first game of the tournament, and their blowout win gave them a chance to rest their starters. Expect BYU to be rested, confident and ready to TCB (Take Care of Business). On the other hand, SDSU is a high energy, physical team, and will make BYU work for it. Lorenzo Wade is a huge playmaker, Ryan Amaroso is a force in the middle and Billy White is a high energy defender and scorer.
The Difference Maker: BYU, I believe, has more of a "home" feel in Vegas. There are going to be all kinds of BYU fans cheering them on, and all their guys have been in this situation before. Plus, SDSU just got off a big time game against Air Force, and might still be reeling a little bit. If BYU plays unselfish basketball like they did last night, expect them to pick up the win.
Prediction: BYU by double digits.


(2)UNLV vs. (6)Utah
The Rub: Utah is a better team than we would all like to believe, and they might march through UNLV like they did New Mexico last night. The Rebels can't stop Luke Neville, that's for sure, and when Johnnie Bryant is on his game he can be dangerous. UNLV, however, plays the best defense in the league. Curtis Terry and Rene Rougeau are simply stifling in the back court, and Joe Darger plays some of the toughest defense I've ever seen (he needs to- he guards guys six inches taller than him). This will be a good game, and it might come down to the wire.
The Difference Maker: UNLV's percentage behind the arc, and Utah's presence down low. If UNLV is hitting their threes, they'll come out on top. However, if they're struggling, and if they can't defend Neville in the paint, it's going to be a tough night for the Rebels.
Prediction: Utah rides Luke Neville like a pony to another close win

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Tournament Predictions, Vol. 1

Lest you think this blog is entirely about contests and amateur basketball leagues, I wanted to jump on before the BYU game today to give my thoughts about the MWC tournament.

(1) BYU vs. (9) CSU
The rub: BYU is the best team in the league, and BYU travels to Vegas better than any other team in the MWC, besides... you know, Vegas. Plus CSU's best player, Stu Creason, is out with injury. Their back up big man, Ronny Aguilar, got five fouls in five minutes last night against Wyoming. This is going to be a bloodbath.
Prediction: BYU wins easy

(4) SDSU vs. (5) Air Force
The rub: Air Force can be a tough team... at home. Away from the Clune Arena they look like the Quintuplets. San Diego State is going to run them up and down and sideways. Look for Lorenzo Wade to do pretty much whatever he wants.
Prediction: SDSU

(3) New Mexico vs. (6) Utah
The rub: This matchup is actually pretty intriguing. Utah is a better team than their seed suggests, but they have problems finishing games. Case in point, the last time these two teams met, Utah was down by three, but couldn't get anything more than a lay-in, giving the Lobos the one point win. The deciding factor will be Co-Player of the Year J.R. Giddens. If he turns it on, Utah won't be able to stop him. If he doesn't show up, which has happened a few times this year, Utah will pull off the upset.
Prediction: Utah wins a close one.

(2) UNLV vs. (7) TCU
The rub: When UNLV gets going on their home court, they can challenge BYU as the best team in the conference. Their defense is almost impossible to penetrate. They are quick, tough, and when the crowd gets behind them they'll hit shots all day. Especially dangerous are Rebel guards Curtis Terry and Wink Adams. In other words, TCU is finished.
Prediction: UNLV wins easily

***UPDATE***

(1) BYU defeats (9) CSU, 89-62.

First of all, I told you so. Second, CSU gave us a run for our money for about 1/3 of the game, so give them credit for that.

Great game, and great win for BYU. I just want to mention one thing: I looked up with about three minutes left in the game and noticed my favorite lineup: Loyd, Martineau, Rose, Collinsworth and Miles. Not wanting to miss a golden opportunity for cheap humor, I grabbed a pen and paper and documented each offensive series. Here's how it went when I started taking notes:

1. Miles is fouled. 0-2 FT. Nothing special here.
2. Martineau drives, and travels. Buckle up for some laughs, I say to myself.
3. Loyd hits an open three. Apparently no one told him we were already up by 25.
4. Miles is fouled again. 1-2 FT. Miles is a good player.
5. Rose touches the ball, I get on the edge of my seat, and he actually makes a good move and hits a 5-footer. Good work, Rose. You earned your chants this afternoon.
6. Miles misses a 7 footer. Give the ball to Rose!
7. Loyd drives to the hoop and lays it in.
8. Loyd dribbles out the clock.

So I guess my favorite lineup didn't deliver in the laugh department this time, but maybe that's better in the long run.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Quintuplets suffer another beat down

The No. 22 Quintuplets suffered another embarrassing loss to No. 20 Money tonight at the Tiger Fieldhouse at Orem High School. 

Money jumped out on the Quintuplets early, taking a quick 13-0 lead, and never looked back. 

"Anytime you spot the other team 13 points, it's going to be a problem," said forward Andrew Law. "It doesn't take a BYU Law student to figure that out." 

The Quintuplets started so slow, in fact, they didn't hit a field goal until nearly the 12-minute mark of the first half. Law finally ended the drought with an open lay-in, but the Quintuplets never recovered. 

"We fought back nicely in the first half," said leading scorer Andrew Young, "but we kept shooting ourselves in the foot."

Added Young, "I can't believe I gave up the first night of my Sping Break for this." 

The Quintuplets gained some ground before halftime, closing the gap to 16-26 at the break, but that was as close as the 'Tuplets got to the bigger, and more athletic Money. The visiting Money shot out of the gates in the second half and overpowered the struggling Quintuplets.

"I'm really glad we beat those guys," said Money captain Alex Coombs. "I'm not going to lie, I personally don't like any of them. Orem High rules!"

Rebounds, turnovers and lack of offense killed the Quintuplets' chances of picking up their first win, and now the scrappy Quintuplets sit at 0-2 in the Rocky Mountain League standings. Additionally, with competition as strong as its ever been in the league, the Quintuplets will have to work that much harder to get in the win column this year. 

Notes: 

*Quintuplets point guard Andrew Young was named player of the game for his ability to be the only scoring threat on the court.
*Russ Nelson, an often volatile guard, was issued a citation for criticizing the game's officiating. Nelson was overheard badmouthing the fake-baking, leg-shaving pretty boy referee to his wife on the way to their car.
*League owner DJ Conner misses Trevor Winn more than his own teammates, it seems. Conner repeatedly asked where the oft-absent Winn was for tonight's game, and was heard muttering "that kid can ball," under his breath several times during the night. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

America's Next Top Obscure Guest Author

I'm all about making this blog about you, the reader. I want this to be your blog. I mean, it's always going to be my blog, but I want you to feel like you're a part of it.

That's why it brings me great pleasure to announce the first ever "America's Next Top Obscure Guest Author" competition. 

This is a competition designed to give you an opportunity to be a guest author on this blog, and write one post about whatever you want. You get the spotlight, and I won't get in your way. You can write anything, about any topic. Possible topics may include celebrity weight-gain, the decline of The Simpsons, Joe Darger's childhood, Oprah's next book selection, anything. 

Also, if the winner happens to be in the Provo/Orem/Draper area, I will buy him or her the Coca-Cola product of their choice ($1.25 limit).

Here's how it will work: Since this is the first contest, I will select the contestants. Vote for your favorite potential guest author in the poll to your right, and after one week the bottom two vote-getters will be ousted. It will proceed thusly until our champion has been identified. 

So if your name is on the list, start campaigning for your place now. 

If your name isn't on the list, start making your presence known! Leave a comment or two, and before you know it you could be America's Next Top Obscure Guest Author. 

Adam's Mission Statement

It's been a while since I started this crazy project, and I feel like now is a good time to pause for a moment, and reflect on what it is I'm trying to accomplish with this whole crazy blog thing. 

Therefore, without further adieu, I present my official mission statement: 

What is the purpose of Adam's Sports Blog? One word, four syllables: Entertainment.

If you're looking for hard news, you're a long way from home, Chancho.

If you're looking for objectivity, try Fox News. 

This is a unique forum for my thoughts, commentary and experiences in the world of sports. Yes, BYU sports dominate the conversation, but I promise this blog will make room for any sport that is deemed worthy of its time and space (some sports are just on shorter leashes than others - BYU Hockey, for example).  Suggestions? I want them. Ideas? I yearn for them. If you don't see something you love, be a part of the solution: let me know about it.

This blog is for everyone- not just my idiot friends. Join the conversation. Read much. Comment often. 

If you think I'm full of it, I want to hear it. Think I'm funny? You're right. Boring? You probably didn't get the joke. Make this blog your own, and in return I pledge to give you my very best. 

I pledge to write words. Lots of words. Punctually and candidly. 

I pledge to be responsive. I read every comment, and each one cuts me to the core. 

I pledge to never, ever, EVER write about Real Salt Lake. 

Welcome to the brain of a guy who loves sports like it was a living human, but was never good enough to play them competitively in high school. 

Welcome to Adam's Sports Blog. 

Monday, March 10, 2008

UNLV's Tournament

Answer: Barack Obama, Mission: Impossible 2, Omarosa from Celebrity Apprentice, and the MWC Championship Tournament.

Question: What subjects will spark Adam into a white hot rage?


It happens every year, and yet I am powerless to stop it. The inevitable and overpowering anger that accompanies the MWC tournament has housed itself in my brain yet again.

What's worse, the more I stew about it the more pickled I become. That's right, pickled.

Here BYU is, the MWC regular season champs by a full TWO GAMES, and yet we are relegated to playing the championship tournament on someone else's home court like a sideshow clown. If this is a joke then I'm not laughing.

Yes, we're the number one seed. And yes, we will be considered the "home" team for all of our tournament games. But what good will a white jersey do against 12,000 screaming UNLV fans?

For those of you who aren't familiar with the MWC tournament, let me give you a brief history. Since 1999, the inception of the MWC, the MWC Men's Basketball tournament has been held in Las Vegas, then in Denver for a brief period, then back to Vegas. The reason Sin City is the venue of choice? 1. Wyoming fans like the pretty lights, 2. Utah fans like to gamble, and 3. TCU doesn't care.

Oh by the way- EVERY time the tournament has been in Vegas, UNLV has made it to the finals. Coincidence? Hardly.

Hey, I'm all for Las Vegas. Nothing makes me happier than a 4X4, animal style. But come on MWC people- do we really need to play at the Thomas & Mack Center - UNLV's home court? Is there no other basketball venue in the entire city?

It's an outrage, frankly, and I demand the tournament be moved to a neutral site. MWC Officials, I await your reply.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

MWC Champs!


Last night's win over the Wyoming Cowboys completed a season-long journey to a second consecutive outright MWC championship.

For those of you who don't understand the significance of this event, the last time we won two outright conference championships back-to-back was during the Coolidge administration. The conference was called the Intercontinental Basketball Gentleman's Conference, and it included Brigham Young Academy, John Stamos Memorial College, Tufts Grammar Institute and St. Martha's University of Hope and Charity.

But we did it again here in the modern era last night in dominating fashion.

A special kudos to Sam Burgess, Ben Murdock and Vuk Ivanovic - our seniors who have played their last game at the Marriott Center. Burgess and Murdock will be missed, and Ivanovic... well... Ivanovic has a nice smile.

We'll sure miss you guys. I know I will. Sam, you're as tough as nails. You can make the granite stones of A.F. Canyon weep for mercy. Ben, your boyish good looks and ability to not screw up was invaluable to our team, and will not easily be duplicated. Vuk, I hear you can speak Serbian. Being bilingual is a must in today's expanding marketplace.

Good work, Cougs. It was a great win last night over a team I never expected to lose to. Now do us all a favor and beat down TCU. The more wins we can rack up, the better it will be for our seeding in the NCAA tournament.

Other quick notes:
  • How in this great earth does a guy like Brandon Ewing, a quick and speedy sharpshooter from Chicago Illinois, end up in Laramie Wyoming? I've been to Laramie; it is America's compost heap. What can Wyoming offer a guy like Ewing? Or Brad Jones? I don't get it. There's got to be some backdoor shenanigans going on during those recruiting trips.
  • Special shout out to my dad who braved the roaring crowds of the Marriott Center even though he's battling a nasty flu. Dad, your dedication will be rewarded.
  • My contempt for Wyoming teams is waning; I like their coaches too much. Heath Schroyer is a former BYU guy, and you've got to love him for that, and Joe Glenn is just a good old boy. You'd have to have a steel-wool heart to hate Joe Glenn. Maybe the BYU/Wyoming rivalry is dead. Maybe Utah has taken our place as the most loathsome in the hearts of the Cowboy nation.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Beaten like a red-headed stepchild

A word of advice for all you youngsters out there who have dreams of forming a city league basketball team: If you have a chance to pick up a red-head, you jump on it.

Red-heads are the ruling class of the basketball world. They are the lords. They are the land-owners. They are the elite.

I usually don't engage in profiling, but in this case I'm spot on: Red-heads are the best basketball players in the world. And I have proof.

May I present exhibit A:












And exhibit B:




















Finally, exhibit C:

















I rest my case.

I guess I should back up and explain a little bit. Recently, in addition to the much-renowned Sloths! intramural basketball team, some friends and I formed a city league team (officially called the RM lleague) called the Quintuplets.

Last night was our first game in the RM League, and we got owned. It was 70-something to 40-something, and it was a tough pill to swallow.

And it was the red-headed captain of the other team who was the dagger that stabbed us in our collective heart.

We actually hung with the other team in the second half, actually scoring more points in the half than they did, but their sharp shooting and red-headedness in the first half gave them a lead too big to overcome.

Plus it didn't help that no one on our team could hit anything from anywhere. We were all ice cold. Especially funny was one certain high school friend who air-balled a wide open layup. You know who you are.

Anyway, it was a rough loss, but every hardship builds character. I predict the Quintuplets will come back stronger than ever next week.

Monday, March 03, 2008

BYU wins, Utah loses: Another Saturday in the books

I'll try to keep this post brief. There's just a few points I wanted to bring up about Saturday's games involving BYU and Utah.

BYU, of course, put the hurt on Air Force 76-57. The game was surprisingly close in the first half, but the Cougars came out swinging and deployed the tomahawk missiles to put away the Falcons for good. It was a fun game, but when we were up 30 with 10 minutes to go, I admit: I was watching the clock.

This game did feature two gems, though: First, an over-the-head, no-look pass from Jonathan "Show Time" Tavernari to Trent "Czar of Dunk" Plaisted for the slamma-jamma and the foul, and then my most favorite Cougar line up of all time to end the game:

Nick Martineau - G
Archie Rose - F
Chris Miles - C
Jimmer Fredette - G
and Chris Collinsworth - F

Watching these five guys play was just too precious. It was like watching the "Basketball" episode of The Office. I mean, they're all good players I'm sure, but this is not our most talented lineup.

Good for some cheap laughs, though.

It was the perfect punctuation, though, to all the kids behind me yelling "We want Archie! We Want Archie!" Archie Rose is a nice guy, don't get me wrong, but the dude sucks. How he ended up with a scholarship to play ball at BYU is completely beyond me.

Keep shooting though, Archie, because it's usually good news when you're in the game: If you're in, it means we're winning big.

Now on to Utah.

I don't know who has seen this story, but after Utah got chopped in the throat by Wyoming on Saturday, Coach Jim "We came out a little tight" Boylen exchanged heated words with Wyoming coach Heath Schroyer. The conflict came as a result of a late alley-oop to Wyoming forward Joseph Taylor, and Boylen thought the dunk was a bit "disrespectful."

Boylen confronted Schroyer, and both coaches became a little heated, apparently. Read the story here.

When Jim Boylen was hired at Utah, I was impressed, I'll admit. I thought Utah found a good coach, and I thought the Utes would definitely be more competitive than they were under Giacoletti.

Boy was I wrong.

Jim Boylen has completely turned into a spoiled little brat on us. All he needs is a saucy little school boy outfit and a lollipop. First he whines like a mule to refs during the BYU/Utah game, now this. And this is all in addition to his bizarre post-game pep-talks, his now famous temper tantrums, and his gremlin-like scowls during the games.

What a mess. Jim Boylen is going to do more harm than good if he continues this behavior. He's going to break his players' confidence (not to mention embarrass them), he's going to alienate his fellow coaches in the MWC and he's going to offend and repel the Utah fan base (eventually).

But then again, that's not my problem. Utah is just a joke to me anyway.

So all in all, it was yet another red-letter Saturday. Bring on the Cowboys.