Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Evan Cleveland latest to join Mount family

Written for your enjoyment by: Raff

The FanBlog has confirmed that 6-foot 6-inch wing Evan Cleveland from Fort Wayne Indiana has enrolled in classes for the fall semester at Mt. St. Mary's and is on campus as a scholarship basketball player. Cleveland averaged 11.8 points per game for his high school team which reached the semistate Final in the highly competitive basketball land of Indiana.

It had previously been thought that the Mount did not have any scholarships available, so something must have changed in the last few weeks. The FanBlog is hearing that Bowie Md product Jeff James has not enrolled at the Mount and will not be a part of this year's incoming class. We are still trying to confirm that bit of information.

Initial reports on Cleveland are very promising. However, it does leave the Mount in a position where they signed all three incoming freshman after the departure of former head coach Milan Brown during the late signing period. It does show the ability of the new staff headed by head coach Robert Burke to bring players into the system. I'm still very optimistic to see what develops into this year's class, his first with a full year to evaluate and recruit players for the Mount.

Here is one news story from the Fort Wayne paper that involves Cleveland

More on this story as it develops.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Don't feel sorry for Dustin Johnson

Written for your enjoyment by: Raff

You're sick of reading about Dustin Johnson and the PGA Championship that he lost the opportunity to win when he triple-bogeyed the last hole at Whistling Straits while holding a one-shot lead. Of course, two of those strokes came from a penalty for grounding his club while in a sand trap (hazard). So without that penalty he'd have forced his way into the playoff. Well I'm sick of reading about it to.

Johnson broke the rules. And for all of you non-golfing folks out there who think the rule doesn't matter. It does. And it's not an obscure rule. The first round of golf you play, the first time you go in a sand trap, you know from that point on when you're in a bunker (or any hazard for that matter) you can't ground your club. And you come to realize that grounding your club is a tactical advantage. Of the 50-60 swings I make in a normal round, I ground my club on all of those. Except for the ones I'm in a bunker. And if for no other reason than the comfort of it, grounding the club becomes an advantage. And if every golfer had the opportunity to ground their club in a hazard they would take that opportunity.

This wasn't the case of a silly rule that had no effect on the actual result of the tournament being ignored. Instead, it was a rule that was misinterpreted by Johnson. He took the liberty of assuming he wasn't in a bunker. All the information that the PGA and Whistling Straits put out about the local rule ahead of time said differently - but at the time where he needed clarification he got none. There was a rules official with him, all he had to do was ask. He didn't. And if he disagreed with the decision with the rules official with him, he could have asked for a tournament rules director to get clarification. He had all those opportunities. And maybe he never even thought he was in a bunker - but come on, it was a sandy lie on a course with 1100+ bunkers, chances were pretty good it was a bunker.

For those of us who play the game, we know that when we hit the ball 70 yards right and we venture into the wilderness we're looking for red or yellow stakes or asking our playing partners what we can or can't do with the lie from there. It's a real part of the game. And at the most important part of his golfing career, Johnson forgot about the rule. Or forgot where his ball was. Or forgot to ask. It's a pretty big mistake.

So don't feel bad for Johnson for making that mistake. Don't feel bad that he finished two strokes (the penalty) out of the lead instead of tied for it. It's a simple rule, one that he knows, and has known for as long as he has played the game. And at the time where his game needed it the most, he chose to ignore it. Something tells me that next time, he'll ask.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Milan lands first recruit at Holy Cross

Written for your enjoyment by: Raff

Malcolm Miller committed to the Crusaders earlier today. The 6-foot 6-inch rising senior guard from Gaithersburg High School will join Milan Brown and his staff in Worcester next season.

Miller has had a breakout summer and chooses the Crusaders over other D-I offers from Virginia Military Institute and Youngstown State.

Monmouth notches a pair

Always disappointing when players less than 60 miles away go elsewhere within the conference. Be interesting to watch their careers. But a good get for Monmouth, no doubt.

Here is the story from Zags Blog

"TheRecruitScoop: #SCOOP Eastern York (PA) teammates Austin Tillotson and former Rutgers pledge Andrew Nicholas have committed to Monmouth, sources say."

Local high school coaches have been telling me that it is a great crop of players coming out of the Central PA area this year. Dallastown (high school of former Mount Point Guard John Moore) just sent a recruit to Vermont. Now this pair goes to Monmouth. Sounds like Nicolas had the better of the offers. Lots of schools the Mount has been competing with recently, (Vermont, Siena, Quinnipiac) were interested. But sounds like Monmouth won his services by offering Tillotson. Ironically, I had one area high school coach tell me that Tillotson is the better player. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tids and Bits

Written for your enjoyment by: Raff

Click Here for SOCCER.COM

So the marquee home game of the Mount schedule is off the books. It is a disappointment that Siena won't be visiting the Knott Arena this year. Let's hope the Saints still have to return the game in future years. My thoughts are that by connecting the dots they do. But I maybe looking too far into it. The Mount moved the game because of a scheduling conflict with the MTE it was a part of. The one that has games in Dayton and Cincinnati. At one point Murray State was also a part of that, but when the Racers were offered a spot in the ESPN-run tourney in Anaheim over Thanksgiving they bolted. That changed some dates around and the Mount was left with Florida A&M at home, and Savannah State on the road. And that brought up the conflict with the Siena date. So now Princeton will host Siena. You may remember that Robert Burke was an assistant at Princeton so it's possible that Princeton gets the Mount's home game against Siena - and then comes here in a future year. Or maybe the Mount helped Siena get the game, which will keep it on the schedule in a future year. I don't know the particulars, so I'm clearly speculating...but it is August and there is a lot of that allowed.

Congrats to Coach Jim Phelan on going into the Marine Hall of Fame. The folks in Springfield are still missing out....but this is a great honor. Phelan seemed pretty excited about this induction as well, which is a little more than normal for him. But he was wearing a Marine Corp hat the last time I saw him. A well deserved honor. He'll also go into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame later this year. They just don't get it in Springfield.

7 out of 8 for the Orioles now. And it was all offense last night. I liked how Buck Showalter gave his young pitcher a chance to get through five innings and earn the win. As far as I'm concerned wins are overrated as a pitching stat in baseball - but its the one we measure folks so. So Showalter allowing Arrieta to get the win in Cleveland last night was a big thing.

I've got to admit, I didn't hang in there with the US National team last night. I guess it was just a post-World Cup funk. But I just wasn't interested in watching a half-rate US team try to battle Brazil. The Brazilians were also using a young and inexperienced lineup. But look for that team to be ready come 2014, when Brazil hosts the World Cup. Color the Brazilians the Favorites.

If you liked Mount O'Links in the past follow my Twitter feed - and get links to all those articles via the tweet.

And I guess I can't get through an August posting without something about the Orange football team. A bowl is the goal this year. And with the return of Delone Carter and Colgate and Maine on the schedule it isn't unrealistic. Expect Syracuse to be the champion of the inaugural Pinstripe Bowl when they play in the Bronx this winter.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Fun again

Written for your enjoyment by: Raff

Buck Showalter is cautious to take all of the credit. Cautious that maybe what we've seen in his first week as manager of the Orioles is only a mirage. Cautious to know that at any moment now it might all blow up in his face.

But let's be honest no one, least of all Oriole fans, could have imagined his first week as manager as being so productive. Even if those fans would have daydreamed about a successful first week, they would have hoped for four wins or maybe five. Certainly not the six that Showalter and his Orioles have provided.

Buck has been quick to pass the Buck. Quick to point out that he's got "a few more bullets to fire". That Brian Roberts wasn't available for the two previous managers, that Felix Pie wasn't healthy, that some of the bullpen parts were not available. But no one is listening. The Orioles have won six of seven, and for the first time in forever August has been fun for an Oriole fan.

It was only last year that Dave Trembley told us he expected the Orioles to be playing meaningful games this time of year. He certainly didn't mean meaningful in the sense of trying to keep the games behind less than the total wins. But that was the fate the Orioles were wrestling with when Buck took over, and it may again be the fate they wrestle with as the season wears on.

The fact remains this. I'm an Orioles fan. Always have been always will be. But the days of actually getting excited about a game in August are pretty much a thing of the past. Heck, I've based success the past several years on whether or not the Birds are still in it by the time I stop working 18-hour days on Jackie Robinson Day. This year they were long done.

But since Rafael Palmeiro was suspended and the Orioles train-wrecked to the cellar a few years ago something hasn't been right. The team was never as good as it seemed it should be or maybe better said worse than they should have been.

So here we are at the start of August playing good baseball. The pitching has been better than good since Showalter arrived. I don't know if he has had anything to do with that or not. And it has been fun. I don't know if its been meaningful or not. But it certainly has provided more excitement in this one week of August than the last several put together.

And it has me thinking that maybe just maybe....real meaningful games in August aren't that far away.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Paulus will appear at ARCC

Written for your enjoyment by: Raff

Greg Paulus will end up at Knott Arena afterall this year. It just won't be as a member of the Mount coaching staff. Instead, Paulus will venture back to Emmitsburg - he interviewed for a spot on Robert Burke's staff - when the Navy Midshipmen come to the ARCC during the non-conference portion of the schedule.

Fox Sports Jeff Goodman has reported that Paulus will join Billy Lange's staff as an assistant.

Frankly, I wasn't a big Paulus fan out of high school and at Duke. But a year under center for the Orange proved to me that the guy is going to be successful. Good for him - and I hope Navy wins a bunch of games and Paulus moves up the coaching ranks as quickly as possible. Of course, I hope they lose - badly - when they come to Emmitsburg.

The Mount won at the Naval Academy last season - before dropping 11 straight games.

Navy will also face former Mount Head Coach Milan Brown and his staff twice during the Patriot League regular season.