Posts Tagged ‘Cleveland State Vikings’

1. The Cleveland Indians were featured on one of the regional covers of the Sports Illustrated MLB preview edition. Naturally, Cleveland fans panicked and brought up the dreaded SI cover jinx. Relax folks. There have been plenty of examples that defunct that so called jinx. Here’s one such example.

russell-wilson-sports-illustrated-cover

 

2. Speaking of the Tribe, they’ve announced their starting rotation. Taking the mound for the home opener next Friday will be Zach McAlister, who earned the number 4 spot. So far this Spring McAlister has a 3.32 ERA in 19 innings pitched with 24 strikeouts and just four walks. While McAlister had a 5.23 ERA in 2014, he did finish strong, posting just a 2.84 ERA in 19 innings in the month of September.

3. The best marketing department among the Cleveland professional sports teams easily belongs to the Indians. Their latest “Mean Tweets” video is priceless. If you haven’t seen it by now, check it out!

 

4. We are down to the Final four in college hoops. The baseball season is about to start. The two month long NBA playoff season is about to start. But you know what I’m really excited about? The start of college football season! Yes, I’m aware we’re still about five months away but I get the privilege to work on the “Bible” of college football. Of course I’m talking about Phil Steele’s College Football Preview. The official “on sale” date is July 1st, but there is a way to get it three weeks sooner! How, you ask? We are accepting pre-orders right now by clicking the link below.

https://www.philsteele.com/store/

5. Speaking of College Football, spring practices are underway. Want to get a heads up on the season? Well we at the lovely offices of Phil Steele have put together our annual Spring Preview and it’s available for free.

http://philsteele.com/Pdf/SpringGuide/2015/2015_Spring_Guide1.pdf

6. Time to recognize some Cleveland hoop stars doing big things. Former Shaker Heights High standout & current Louisville Cardinals point guard Terry Rozier has announced his decision to turn pro after two seasons in the college game. The 6-1 Rozier led the Cardinals in scoring, averaging 17.1 points/game. He is projected as a late first round/early second round pick. Hmmm. I know of a particular pro team that plays its home games at Quicken Loans arena in Cleveland that could use a backup point guard.

Louisville may not have to look that far for a replacement as former Garfield Heights High star and current Cleveland State Viking guard Trey Lewis is exploring his options as a graduate transfer and the Cardinals, among many others, have shown interest according to his high school coach and former Ohio Mr. Basketball winner Sonny Johnson.

Lewis set the Viking single season three point record with 93 while averaging a team high 16.3 points/game en route to being named to the Horizon League first team. He played two seasons at CSU after transferring from Penn State after his freshman year following a coaching change there. He will be eligible to play right away because he will have graduated already. To clear up any confusion, it’s the exact same thing Russell Wilson did when he transferred to Wisconsin from NC State for his final year of college eligibility. I have no issue with Lewis transferring at all. I wish him the best. If you never went down to the Wolstein Center to see him play, shame on you.

7. Speaking of amateur hoops, anyone catch the McDonalds All American skills challenge on ESPN? Note to girls that think they belong in a dunk contest with a bunch of dudes. Stop it. Just stop it. I may sound like a chauvinist here, but so what. These are my thoughts and I’m surely not alone in thinking this. This girl for some reason thought it was a good idea to enter the dunk contest and proceeded to miss EVERY SINGLE one of her attempts. I can’t make this up. Every time I see girls on the basketball court I think of this greatly thought about video game concept.

 

8. Those of you who know me or even those of you who don’t but are among the privileged to be among my Facebook friends (I’m being sarcastic here folks, relax, I really don’t take myself that seriously) are aware of my dislike for one Lebron James AKA ‘LeQuit’. That being said, there is no doubt whatsoever that he is the MVP this season. He won’t win it, which is a disgrace, but can you name another player in the NBA that can make his team among the elite in the game, leave and the aforementioned team sucks so bad that they win the draft lottery THREE times while failing to make the playoffs for four straight years, then come back to make the same team among the elite once again? No you cannot. Also remember, the MVP is a regular season award, so you can bet come crunch time in the playoffs or NBA finals, something will come up with LeQuit that will cost the Cavaliers a championship. Mark it down. It WILL happen.

lebron-james-carried-off-court-leg-cramp-nba-finals

9. The Browns were of course in the news again this week but the news wasn’t that bad for fans of the team. The NFL handed down its punishment from the result of GM Ray Farmer sending text messages to coaches during games. The team wasn’t docked any draft picks, but Farmer will be suspended for the first four games of the season and the team was hit with a $250K fine. The punishment was fair. They shouldn’t have lost any draft picks. What Farmer did had absolutely no bearing on the outcome of any games. Now let’s hope the team can get some solid contributors in the draft. Here’s a hint. GO INTERIOR DL WITH YOUR FIRST PICK!

10. Boxing is once again on Free network TV this weekend! This time it will be on CBS. Like the March 7th NBC telecast that featured some of the top fighters in the world, this weekend will be no different. The Light Heavyweight division will be the focal point as the main event features the lineal Light Heavyweight Champion of the World, Adonis Stevenson against Sakio Bika. The opening bout will be between a battle of legit top 10 contenders in the same division as Ring Magazine #9 ranked Gabriel Campillo takes on #10 ranked Artur Beterbiev. Don’t miss it as there will surly be fireworks. The broadcast starts at 3PM ET.

 

11. Speaking of boxing, Cleveland’s Mickey Bey, the IBF World Lightweight titlist, is making the first defense of his title on April 30th in Las Vegas against Denis Shafikov in a fight that will be televised on ESPN2. Bey is a former US Olympian and is a slick boxer with great footwork and defense to go along with excellent hand speed. He is rated as the #4 Lightweight in the world by The Ring and is a member of Floyd Mayweather’s famed TMT.
***Update 4/3. The fight is now off as the two promoters, Mayweather Promotions and Top Rank couldn’t compromise. Instead the fight will be promoted by the highest bidder. Stay tuned for more details.

12. Okay enough about sports. When I do find time to relax and watch something on TV non sports related, it usually consists of something comedy related. I’ll admit, I am a bit of a sitcom guy. Right now there are two shows that I am extremely enjoying. Broad City and Fresh off the Boat. If you enjoy laughing and want to take the edge off, I suggest these two silly shows. Below is the trailer for one of the shows.

 

13. And finally I’m a bit of a sneaker head. Don’t judge me. Picked up a fresh pair of Kyrie 1’s last week. If you want to be cool like me go cop yourself a pair as well.

My new Kyrie's

My new Kyrie’s

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They needed extra time to do it, but The Cleveland State Vikings (2-0) came back from a 7 point 2nd half deficit to force overtime and defeat the Bowling Green Falcons 79-72 in the 1st round of the pre-season NIT Tournament from the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Tim Kamczyc, the lone senior on the Vikings roster , scored a team high 21 points to go along with 7 rebounds. Of his 8 field goals made, 5 came from beyond the arc.

CSU’s Tim Kamczyc. Photo courtesy of Cleveland State University

Marlon Mason (11 points, 13 rebounds) and Charlie Lee (14 points, career high 10 assists) had double-double’s for Cleveland State. Pre-season All Horizon pick Anton Grady was plagued with foul trouble all night and finished with 10 points in 20 minutes before fouling out early in the OT session.

Leading the way for the Falcons was A’uston Calhoun, who scored a game high 30 points.

The overtime session ended a Viking school record streak of consecutive games ending in regulation at 170. CSU last played an OT game almost 5 years to the day, on Nov. 17, 2007 when they defeated Florida State during the Glenn Wilkes Classic in Daytona Beach, Fla.

CSU will play in the 2nd round of the NIT Tournament tomorrow against the winner of the Michigan/IUPUI game, who play later tonight. Tip off for tomorrow’s contest will be at 8:05. The game will be televised live on ESPN2.

 

The Final Four will be in Atlanta this college basketball season and both the Ohio State Buckeyes and Cleveland State Vikings quests begin tonight.

Despite the Buckeyes losing two starters, including first round draft choice Jared Sullinger, they return two pre-season All-Amercians in forward Deshaun Thomas (1st team) and point guard Aaron Craft (3rd Team).

Tonights game will be played outdoors on the USS Yorktown in Charleston, SC against Marquette. NBC sports channel will televise.

Uniforms Ohio State will wear tonight

Uniforms Ohio State will wear tonight. Photo courtesy of Ohio State

The Vikings lost four starters from last seasons NIT tournament squad and this season may be a struggle at times. The constant for the Vikings is the fact that they still have the best coach in the Horizon League in Gary Waters. Tim Kamczyc is the lone returning starter, while sophomore forward Anton Grady is easily the most talented player on the team and is expected to improve on his 8.5 ppg and 6.4 rpg averages this season.

The Vikings tip off with Grambling State tonight in the annual John McLendon game.

Cleveland State Vikings senior guard Norris Cole was named the Horizon League Conference player of the year as well as defensive player of the year after leading the conference in scoring (21.6 ppg), assists (5.5 apg), and steals (2.2 spg).   He also averaged 6.0 rebounds per contest. 

He was named league player of the week five times, sharing the league record for most awards in a single season with two other players.

With Cole leading the way, the Vikings shared the regular season Horizon League Title with Milwaukee and Butler, the first time they’ve been regular season champs.  This was also the first time a Vikings player has been named player of the year in the Horizon League.

The last chance for Cleveland fans to see Cole in action could be tonight, as the Vikings play host to UIC in the opening round of the Horizon League Tournament at the Wolstein Center.  If Cleveland State wins, their next game will be in Milwaukee against the winner between Wright State and Green Bay on Friday evening.

Despite getting 27 points from senior guard Norris Cole, the Cleveland State Vikings fell to the Milwaukee Panthers 87-83 Thursday night at the Wolstein Center.  Trevon Harmon added 22 points as the Vikings record now stands at 23-7 overall, 12-5 in conference play. 

The Vikings are now in a four way tie for first in the Horizon League with Buter, Valparaiso, and Milwaukee as each have five losses in conference play.  Due to tiebreakers, the Vikings are not likely to get a number one or two seed in the Horizon League postseason tournament. 

The regular season concludes with a home game against Green Bay on Saturday.  Tip-off is set for 2:00 PM at the Wolstein Center.

1.  I told you last week, to take a Cleveland Browns win, no matter how ugly it is or was.  Memo to Browns offensive coordinator Brian Dabol, when you are facing the worst rush defense in the entire NFL, like you were last week, Peyton Hillis has to have more than 21 carries.  I know, Hillis had three fumbles, but I’d much rather take my chances feeding Hillis the rock, then relying on Jake Dellhome and his three yard passes.  There were two different drives in the second half, in which the Browns went three and out, that drove me freaking nuts.  Can you guess what the play calls were for those drives?  I’ll fill you in.  First down – Pass.  Second down – Pass.  Third down – Pass.  I’ll just fill you in on what happened on fourth down.  Punt. 

2.  Has anyone regresses more rapidly than JJ Hickson of the Cleveland Cavaliers?  I mean, at the beginning of the season he was one of the few bright spots on the team.  He seemed like a guy that was “untouchable” when talking about players to trade.  Now, the guy seems lost on the court and isn’t even making plays on the offensive end.  I don’t think the Cavs should give up on him just yet, however.  He’s still a young player that is learning a new system.  I think he can still be a solid offensive NBA player.

3.  Bernard Hopkins will become the oldest boxer to ever win a true championship when he defeats Jean Pascal this weekend for the Lineal Light Heavyweight Championship of the World.  The odds are stacked against Hopkins; He’s nearly 46 years old, will be fighting on Pascal’s home Canadian turf, and is coming off a lackluster performance over Roy Jones Jr in April.  It doesn’t matter.  Hopkins is at his best when people start counting him out.  I think this will be his last great performance in the ring.  Showtime is televising it.   

4.  It’s funny that Terrelle Pryor said that if he were playing in the spread offense, he would “dominate.”  Here’s an idea Terrelle, stop shot putting the ball, make better decisions, and dominate in a pro-style offense so you can improve your draft status.  And while you’re at it, give another Rose Bowl type performance against Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl.  Do that, and many of the “Haters” will start supporting you again.

5.  We will get to see just how good Cleveland State is when they go on the road to take on West Virginia on Saturday.  This will be the best team that Cleveland State will have played this season and it is on the road.  Head coach Gary Waters will have his team ready and in years past, where Cleveland State has sometimes gone into games like this with “Big Eyes,” I don’t think that will be the case.  The most significant matchup will be in the paint between Aaron Pogue and Kevin Jones.  If Pogue can control that matchup, CSU will remain unbeaten.

6.  When Cleveland Indians and Major League Baseball great Bob Feller was taken into hospice care last week, I knew the time was coming, but didn’t want to think about it.  After learning of Fellers passing last night I was in shock.  This is a man that I’ve personally spoken to before and is a living legend.  Please go and read all of the articles on this great man.  Go to every major sports website and read about him.  He’s an all time great who lost nearly four years of his prime while serving America during World War II.  A great pitcher, but an even greater American.  And he had to pass away while Larry Dolan owned the Indians.  Damn you Larry Dolan.  Damn you.

There isn't a better player that will ever put on a Cleveland Indians uniform

7.  I still think it’s crazy that freshman are for the most part the best players in college basketball.  Ohio State’s Fabulous Frosh Jared Sullinger earned his second Big Ten Player of the week award in the first four weeks of the season.  He leads the second ranked team in the nation in scoring and doesn’t seem to mind the adjustment from high school to college ball.  He will win the Big Ten Player of the Year award.

8.  Arrive to Christmas concerts and recitals early.  If you are just a tad late, you are stuck in the back and won’t see anything.  My son had his Christmas concert last night at St. Anthony’s and I got there about 5 minutes before it started.  I was stuck in a pew in the back of the cathedral and missed out.  Couldn’t even see him. 

9.  Colt McCoy should be the starter for the rest of the season and I’m happy to see that Eric Mangini has listed his as such.  Despite improvement in the team, it appears that Mangini is going to be on the outside looking in when the coaching reviews happen after the season. Mangini should be coaching the Cleveland Browns after this season.  The team is headed in the right direction and this organization needs some stability in the worst way.

10.  There are some Cleveland Boxers in action.  Raynell Williams and Terrell Gausha are fighting tonight in World Series of Boxing matches.  Both won their first bouts two weeks ago.  Heavyweight Ray Austin is going up against former Olympic Gold medalist Odlanier Solis from Cuba on Saturday in Miami.  The winner gets a shot at titlist Vitali Klitschko.  Michael Moore improved to 6-0, 4 KO’s after a first round knockout Tuesday night in Texas.   

11.  Go see “The Fighter” which hits theatres this week.  It’s the true story about “Irish” Mickey Ward and the struggles he had to endure while also being a damn good professional prizefighter.  You will be amazed if you don’t know the story behind this man.  The only bad thing about it is it doesn’t go into the epic trilogy that Ward had with the late Arturo Gatti.  SMDH.  Why are you still reading this?  Go see it!! 

12.  Amir Kahn and Marcos Maidana put on what essentially will be voted as the fight of the year this past Saturday on HBO.  What an epic back and forth battle featuring everything you look for in a prizefight; knockdowns, drama, blood, and of course excitement!  If you missed it and have HBO, go check it out on the HBO On Demand channel.  Hopefully it will turn you into a boxing fan, if you aren’t one already.

13.  Congrats to The University of Akron Zips soccer team as they won the College Cup and were crowned National Champs!!  Ohio featured the High School National and College National Champions in Soccer this year!!  If you have kids, you understand my excitement for soccer.

1.  When the Cleveland Browns win a game, no matter what it looked like, take it.  Don’t complain about it.  Don’t say they didn’t deserve it.  Don’t say they were lucky.  Again, take it.  The Browns have lost so many games over the years that left us fans in disbelief so just take a deep breath and enjoy the fact that the Cleveland Browns won a game. 

2.  The Cleveland Cavalier fans have more heart than any of the players that play on the squad.  What a bunch of bitches those players are.  Every single one of them.  Instead of playing grab ass with players on the opposing team, mix in a physical foul once in a while.  The Cavs are obviously one of the less talented teams in the NBA, so they have to make up for it in heart and playing physical.  The problem is they have no heart, and the players don’t know how to be physical.  There is a difference between being physical and being dirty.  I’m saying to play physical.

3.  Wladimir Klitschko was set to defend the Heavyweight Championship of the World this weekend.  That was until he tore a pectoral muscle earlier this week.  Reports say he tore it while working the punching mitts.  I don’t buy it.  I’m going to say that he and his girlfriend Hayden Panettiere were practicing cheers to revive her Hollywood career and he hurt himself after they did some crazy acrobatic maneuver. 

These two don't look akward together do they?

4.  The biggest surprise players on The Ohio State University Buckeyes this football season were Boom Herron and Brian Rolle.  Sure, both players were well-known coming into the season, but had underachieved in prior years.  Herron proved to be a tough player inside the tackles and was the most consistent offensive player of the season.  Rolle, an undersized linebacker, stepped up and showed the playmaking abilities that the Buckeyes were looking for when they recruited him out of Florida.  Herron will be one of the top running backs in the country next season.  The most disapointing players?  Terrelle Pryor and Cameron Hayward.  Pryor continued to be inconsistent as a quarterback and didn’t capitalize on his near perfect Rose Bowl game from last year.  Heading into the season he was the frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy, however, he failed to even make first or second team quarterback in his own conference.  Cameron Hayward passed up first round riches to play in the NFL last year to come back and play his senior year.  A commendable act no doubt, but he should have dominated this year.  There were games when you didn’t even hear the announcers mention his name.  Sure, he was double and triple teamed much of the year, but if your Cameron Hayward, you’ve gotta find a way to make plays.  I’m being extremely critical here, because Heyward still had a solid year, but a player of his stature didn’t have the type of dominating season that was expected.

5.  I’ve said it before, and i’m going to continue to preach it.  THE BEST BASKETBALL IN THE CITY CONTINUES TO BE PLAYED BY THE CLEVELAND STATE VIKINGS!  They are 11-0 and are on the cusp of being ranked in the top 25.  Don’t get caught up in their ranking.  Just know that head coach Gary Waters and his staff are concentrating on getting them ready for postseason play.  Also Norris Cole, who has already been named athlete of the week twice in the Horizon League this season, is more fun to watch than anyone on the Cleveland Cavalier roster.

http://www.horizonleague.org/blog/cole-collects-second-horizon-league-mens-basketball-player-of-the-week-accolade-of-season.html?types[]=2&sport_id=2

6.  It’s great to be a Cleveland Indians fan right now.  I mean, while Boston is picking up Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez, and the Yankees on the verge of signing Cliff Lee, the Indians are promoting Snow Days at progressive field and getting close to signing Nick Punto.  Nick Punto!!  Punto is a stud at 33 years old and coming off a monster year in which injuries limited him to playing 48 games, but he hit an astounding .238!!  I’m camping out for my Tribe tickets already.  Damn you Larry Dolan.  Damn you.

7.  While Jared Sullinger, Jon Diebler, and William Buford get most of the attention and accolades for The Ohio State University Buckeye basketball team, the heart and soul of the team is David Lighty.  The Cleveland native leads the team in scoring, and is averaging career highs in assists and steals.  What you won’t see in the box score is the defensive intensity he brings as well as the hustle plays that he makes on the court by tipping balls and frustrating opposing players.

8.  If you have a bad lower back like I do, get an inversion table.  The thing works wonders. Takes every ounce of pressure and removes it from your back.  Simply amazing. 

9.  I know its early, but TJ Ward and Joe Haden remind me an awful lot of the Frank Minnifield and Felix Wright combination.  What a backfield.  Keep it up guys.

10.  There are two Cleveland boxers that are participating in the World Series of Boxing.  For those that don’t know, the World Series of Boxing is an amateur boxing league that follows professional rules.  There is no headgear, no shirts, and rounds are scored on a ten point must system.  The fights last five rounds.  The two Cleveland boxers are Raynell Williams and Terrell Gausha.  They both participate on the Team from Memphis called the Memphis Force.  Both were victorious in their opening bouts.  The bouts are televised on Versus. 

Raynell Williams during his first bout with Memphis.

11.  I heard that there is going to be a new Top Gun movie coming out.  Please say it isn’t so!!  First The Karate Kid was remade, and now Top Gun?  SMDH.

12.  There is excellent boxing on this weekend.  Both Showtime and HBO are giving fans their money’s worth.  Showtime is showing its Bantamweight tournament bouts, featuring four of the top six bantamweights in the World against each other, while HBO is focusing on the Jr Welterweight division, with three of the top ten Jr Welterweights in action.

13.  The University of Akron Zips soccer team has made it to the Final Four of the College Cup.  They are on their way to back-to-back National Championships!

1.  I’m getting tired of every so called “expert” talk about second half adjustments and play calling every time the Cleveland Browns lose a game.  I’ve got an idea, how about the other team just made more plays at more crucial moments? 

2.  If no one showed up to the Q to witness “Quitness” on Thursday, wouldn’t that be the ultimate bitch slap back?  I mean, I don’t want to be anywhere near that Arena during the game.  If everyone followed suit, LePrick would notice just how important he really is.

3.  There isn’t a classier boxer in the world than Ring Magazine number 1 ranked Super Middleweight and former USA Olympic Gold Medal winner Andre Ward.  He wore trunks dedicated to Showtime blow-by-blow announcer Nick Charles as he battled cancer earlier this year, and after his hard fought decision over Sakio Bika on Saturday, he gave a shout out to North East Ohio Native Kelly Pavlik to let him know that he was in Ward’s prayers as the former Middleweight Champion is undergoing alcohol rehabilitation.   

4.  Certain things in life are undeniable.  Death.  Taxes.  And of course The Ohio State University Buckeyes beating Michigan while winning another Big Ten Championship and securing another BCS Bowl bid.

5.  The best basketball in the City continues to be played by the Cleveland State Vikings and it’s not even close.  They are off to the best start in School history at 8-0, and begin Horizon League play this week.  I’m shocked that the Wolstein Center crowds have been non-exhistant.  Truly embarrassing if you ask me.

6.  I’m dropping down $25 to play in the snow at Progressive Field.  There will be more sounds of joy this winter in that ballpark then what was heard all year during the baseball season.   Damn you Larry Dolan.  Damn you.

7.  Jared Sullinger has continued to impress me despite being double and triple teamed continuously down on the block.  He has three double-doubles already, which is the second most by a Freshman behind UK’s Terrence Jones.  Can I get a Buckeye versus Wildcat matchup in the tourney this year??

8.  It’s simply not worth staking out overnight to get Black Friday deals.  Wait it out and you will find deals that are just as good on Cyber Monday from the comforts of your own home. 

9.  Jake Delhomme should put the football down and pick the clipboard back up.  As much of a veteran as he is, I’m still astonished at the decision he makes with the football.  INT after INT.  He’s like a poor man’s JaMarcus Russell.

10.  Kelly Pavlik was reportedly in rehab ten days before his fight with Sergio Mora.  Ten days.  Pavlik was winning the fight before suffering his second cut over his eye and therefore, unable to see punch’s coming his way.  This is astonishing given how much Martinez’s stock has risen.  Had Pavlik been on the straight and narrow, he would have destroyed Martinez and would be on everyone’s pound for pound list.  Sad story about Pavlik.  Knowing him personally makes it even more difficult for me.  I wish him the best and hope he comes back. 

11.  The biggest pet peeve in the world is getting ready to park in a parking space at the grocery store and when you’re just about to pull in, there’s a empty shopping cart in the way.  SMDH.

12.  Manny Pacquiao isn’t fighting Juan Manuel Marquez again.  At least not next.  The reason?  Marquez will beat him.

13.  Despite not scoring a goal in Barcelona’s 5-0 thrashing of Real Madrid, my boy Lio Messi set up David Villa for two perfect goals and was the Man of the Match, drawing six fouls and controlling the middle of the pitch

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