Not long ago there was a steady chorus of voices emanating from Iowa State supporters holding up Oklahoma as the model for a rebuilding Cyclones team. The closest thing ISU is going to get to a Young-like player is Lindell Wigginton, ISU’s highest-rated recruit in a generation and the owner of one of the finest rookie campaigns in ISU history. He’s immensely talented and plenty skilled, but his game remains sloppy at points. Not a national player of the year candidate, I don’t think, but being an All-American is pretty dang good. Wigginton isn’t alone either. That Lard is a double-double machine and maybe the best big man in the Big 12. It’s one more punch that Oklahoma has. Nick Weiler-Babb and Solomon Young return healthy, and that’s two more players that win you games in the Big 12. That’s a lot of reinforcements for a team looking to rebound from the season that signified the start of a new era after the best run in school history that featured six NCAA tournaments, three Big 12 tournament titles and two Sweet 16s. Oklahoma isn’t the model.
Kristi Scales, the sideline reporter for the Dallas Cowboys radio network, answered questions and shared interesting notes about the team during a live chat recently. Another position group is linebacker, especially if Anthony Hitchens departs in free agency. Question: Regarding the contract negotiations of D-Lawrence and Hitchens, I think is a similar situation than when DeMarco Murray and Dez were free agents the same season. D-Law and Hitchens are entering the primes of their careers and while defensive ends and linebackers certainly take a pounding, I think those positions are viewed differently by the club than a high mileage running back. Question: Will Jourdan Lewis prove himself to be the best CB on the Cowboys next season? Lewis got off to a faster start than Awuzie, but Awuzie had a strong finish. Coaches love both of these young guys, as well a Xavier Woods, the safety who finished the season playing in the nickel slot as a third cornerback. They are impressed by Awuzie's physicality as well as coverage. On the Wonderlic test: Scales: Dak Prescott is a really smart guy who scored a 25 on his Wonderlic test, nearly as high as his new position coach, the brainy Kellen Moore (who scored a 26). That would be impressive...except for the guy up in the broadcast booth who just aced his first test as an NFL analyst (Tony Romo scored a 37).
Why the Warriors had no regrets skipping White House visit for tour of African American history museum
As guys around the league understand the power of their voice and having each other’s back and spreading love and positivity, that has been the biggest thing I’ve noticed in the last eight months to a year. “We felt like young people, we want to give them an opportunity to experience that. “It’s one of the most powerful experiences you’ll ever have.” Half of the Warriors spent last year’s off-day in Washington, D.C. visiting the same museum. Even though they went for about two or three hours, Kerr said many on the team walked away thinking, “we need, four or five hours.” West already visited the museum on Tuesday, and yet he felt like he had not spent enough time at all the exhibits. “There’s this amazing cultural excellence in the African-American community through sports, history, politics, medicine, music,” Kerr said. “It was beautiful,” said Durant, who visited the museum for the first time. “We put a lot of time and effort into it. I’m proud of being part of the league because so many guys out there on every team are really doing positive things,” Kerr said. “We’ve got good guys. A lot of teams have really good guys,” Kerr said.
“Paul joins us having spent time working in and working with some of the most respected programs and people in our coaching association,” Potter sad. Paul has experience in recruiting in some of the most respected and best talent pools in the country. People spoke highly of his credentials, but more importantly about his character. We are delighted he has joined our team and accepted the challenge of helping our athletes compete for championships.” Hart, a former professional goalkeeper, comes to Norman from the University of San Francisco where he spent the last two seasons as an associate head coach and goalkeeper coach. The other motivation was to work with Coach Potter who is recognized in the coaching community as one of the best coaches in the country for developing outstanding players and people. I am looking forward to adding to the success that has already been established while supporting the staff and players help reach the next level of excellence.” Before his stint at USF, Hart was at UC Santa Barbara where he spent two years as the head strength and conditioning coach for both the men’s and women’s soccer teams with an emphasis on sports performance and data analytics. In 2011, Hart was named NSCAA Junior College Assistant Coach of the Year for the Far West Region as a member of the staff at Santa Barbara City College, where he helped guide SBCC to a women’s Western State Conference title in 2011 and men’s conference crowns in 2008, 2009 and 2011. With a coaching range that stretches across all levels of athletics, Hart has also served as the director of goalkeeping, Olympic Development Program coach and scout with the Cal South Youth Soccer association of Southern California, in addition to a role as the director of soccer with the Peak Performance Project, where he employed his strength and conditioning background while working with professional MLS, NBA and MLB athletes, as well as local high school and club soccer programs in training, college recruiting and injury prevention. Hart’s playing career was highlighted by a three-year stint as a goalkeeper with the Queens Park Rangers in the English Premier League from 1995 to 1998, where he took home goalkeeper of the tournament honors in 1998 in a tournament in Germany. A standout collegiate athlete, Hart was a three-time Midwest Region goalkeeper of the year at West Texas A&M from 2000 to 2004, while earning Lone Star Conference goalkeeper of the year distinction all four years of his career.
"It all depends on what they think of me, but I am ready to compete in the big leagues." Mendez making the team might be a good thing if he pitches like he did on Monday against the Dodgers. Mendez, 23, is one of 13 pitchers ranked in the Rangers list of Top 30 prospects by MLB Pipeline. But both of them are expected to pitch at Class A. Mendez is ranked sixth, but he's the closest to being ready for the big leagues after going 7-8 with a 3.79 ERA at Double-A Frisco last season. The Rangers have been working with him to better command his fastball on both sides of the plate. "He has a plus changeup like Martin Perez, and his slider is getting better. Mendez was a September callup last season and made seven relief appearances with a 5.11 ERA. But the Rangers' long-term need is starting pitching. Even if Mike Minor and Matt Bush transition into the rotation, there will still be a need for starting pitching. But it still appears to be in the Rangers' best interest for Mendez to not make the team out of Spring Training.
Durant has a bad night, it’s, ‘OK, let the other guys loose,’ ” one scout said describing the 46-14 Warriors. “We know what type of problems Golden State brings, the pace that they play at. One Knick who knows that better than most is center Enes Kanter, part of the 2016 Thunder team that had the Warriors in a 3-1 playoff vise and let them escape. Durant was part of the 2016 Thunder before joining the Warriors. The 2016 Western Conference final, in which the Thunder had the Warriors 3-1? I played a pickup game with him last summer. I play for the Knicks, so whoever I go against, I don’t like them. 1 scoring, shooting, 3-point-shooting, assist-making, shot-blocking team on the planet. “The advantage they have is Draymond can play defense and switch off on point guards. So if a team is good at switching, it makes it tough on teams, and [the Warriors] are probably one of the best.” And not just in switching.
FRISCO (105.3 THE FAN) – Kirk Cousins to the Dallas Cowboys? Mike Florio at ProFootballTalk.com, in speculating about where the quarterback might land next, included Dallas among the QB-needy teams who might pursue him. “I wouldn’t put that past him at all,” answered Williams, who was at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for years but now works under Florio. And suddenly – in part because Charean is a sober and credible journalist – silly speculation from Florio has become a “news story.’’ I spoke to Charean this morning, and she confirmed my assumption: She was simply answering a “fun’’ question from the boss. Charean, of course, knows the cap implications alone make the idea a non-starter. Cousins is likely looking at a new $25-mil-a-year contract somewhere; it wouldn’t be fiscally smart for Dallas to do that when it already employs Dak Prescott, who in 2018 is scheduled to make $630,000. Prescott dipped in 2017 but nevertheless has on his resume maybe the greatest rookie QB season in NFL history. Jones will charge coach Jason Garrett and staff with getting the most out of Prescott in Year 3, not by clouding the team’s psyche by adding a player who would quite possibly be (or at least begin) a $25-million backup distraction. Florio doubled-down on his belief that the Cousins-Cowboys connection “makes sense,’’ though, in a Friday appearance on “Shan & RJ’’ on 105.3 The Fan in which he noted that Jones is “infatuated with bright and shiny objects’’ like Cousins. That’s what this story is: Maybe “fun,’’ but definitely “filler.’’
DieHards wants to tackle the best questions from Oklahoma fans. Look for our Oklahoma question of the day Monday through Friday. Bobby H. Manning Jr. asks, is there an Oklahoma dark horse, outside of the obvious, who could be drafted? Six Oklahoma players received invites to the NFL combine. Most teams refuse to use anything more than a final-day pick on a fullback. It’s surprising he didn’t get a combine invitation. All of Parker’s hopes ride on the Sooners’ pro day on March 14. Parker has a chance to do what Jordan Evans did last year. He put up impressive numbers at his pro day workout and became a sixth-round pick for the Cincinnati Bengals. Parker has that potential.