This guy, again? -- Geez, we have to endure yet another two week lovefest for Tom Brady, huh? Say it ain't so. But this time, oddly, I think we can all sorta-kinda understand why it makes sense to bow at the feet of TB12. He just took a Tampa Bay team that meandered through a pretty bland 11-5 regular season and waltzed through three road playoff games -- eliminating Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers along the way -- to reach his 10th career Super Bowl.
Brady has been the starting quarterback in 20 NFL seasons and he's now reached the Super Bowl in 10 of those 20 seasons. Unreal, isn't it? I'll stop with the accolades now. You'll hear and read 100 more Tom Brady stories over the next two weeks, I don't need to ruin your Monday with a full menu of why he is so great.
But this post-season run with the Bucs has solidified Brady's stature as the best quarterback of the last 50 years, and, perhaps, of all-time even.
Clayton Kershaw, Greg Norman, Aaron Rodgers (?) -- While we worship at the altar of all things Tom Brady, there's another story on the opposite end of the spectrum that will get thoroughly examined by the national media in the next few days. Aaron Rodgers is now 1-4 in NFC Championship Games after the 31-26 loss to Tampa Bay yesterday.
It might actually help Rodgers that the Super Bowl match-up is Brady vs. Mahomes. Most of the national guys and gals will spend the next 13 days focusing on those two and the Green Bay QB might become an afterthought for the time being.
Rodgers is not a playoff bum, mind you. He's 4-2 in the Wild Card Round and 5-3 in the Division Round in his Hall of Fame career. But when he reaches that last game in the NFC, he's a 4-time loser and a 1-time winner.
But his 1-4 mark in the penultimate game of the season strikes a comparison to some other who were great, great, great in the lead-up events and then suddenly not-so-great when it mattered most. The two quick references are Clayton Kershaw (who finally won his first World Series in last year's virus-shortened campaign) and Greg Norman, who shoulda/coulda/woulda won 8 major championships in his career but somehow only won twice.
All three of those guys were (are) the best in class in their respective sports. Kershaw is a first-ballot Hall of Famer, so, too, is Rogers, and Norman is arguably one of the top 20 players in the history of golf, despite his flawed major championship history. But something happens to all three in the big moments, for whatever reason, although it's fair to point out -- in their defense -- that their performance in the biggest of moments was never terrible, it just didn't meet the standards they set along the way.
How will the Ravens compete? -- One thing stood out to me as I watched the Chiefs dismantle the outclassed Bills on Sunday night to reach their 2nd straight Super Bowl. For the time being, at least, how on earth are the Ravens going to compete with the Kansas City Chiefs?.
Sure, the Chiefs will have their day when age and contracts and the salary cap catches up with them, but that doesn't look imminent to me. And while they still have Mahomes, Hill, Kelce, Hardmen, Edwards-Helaire and any other offensive stalwarts they draft and groom, the Chiefs are clearly the team to beat in the AFC.
I'm not in the K.C. front office, obviously, but they should just keep adding weapons to Mahomes' artillery belt. Give him another tight end, another wide receiver, some more offensive line help and.....welll.....sit back and enjoy the view from the penthouse.
How will the Ravens team as its currently constructed compete with Kansas City? Answer: They won't. They need to be much better on offense and still need to solidify their defense, particularly their pass rush, in order to have even a prayer of unseating the Chiefs at the top of the AFC. As AC/DC said on their album, High Voltage, "It's A Long Way To The Top If You Wanna Rock-n-Roll."
Si Woo Kim wins in Palm Springs -- I'm a Patrick Cantlay fan, so I was a little bummed to see Cantlay's final round 61 not hold up for the victory yesterday at The American Express Championship in Palm Springs, California. But if Cantlay was going to lose, I didn't mind seeing a guy like Si Woo Kim beat him.
Kim, who won for the 3rd time on TOUR with birdies at 16 and 17, is just one of a handful of outstanding Korean golfers who are emerging as elite players in professional golf. Korean women have long been dominant on the LPGA Tour, but it's only been in the last five years or so that their male counterparts have started to become household names on the PGA Tour.
If you're a fantasy golf enthusiast, you'd be well served to play at least one Korean player every single week if they're in the field. Sungjae Im, Byeong-Hun An (Ben An), Kevin Na (who just won last week), Sung Kang, Danny Lee and Seung-yul Noh are the best of the best Korean players. Na technically grew up in Southern California, by the way, but the others were all born and raised in South Korea and played their formative golf over there.
Don't be surprised if one of those listed above wins a major championship this year. Im is the most talented of the Korean players, but, as Kim showed yesterday, all of them are capable of winning on any given week.
It was pass interference, but... -- OK, look, there's zero doubt -- unless you're a total Green Bay homer -- that the critical late 4th quarter play was, in fact, pass interference on the Packers' Kevin King. He grabbed the receiver's jersey and prohibited him from making a play on the pass. It was pass interference. Period.
But here's where the folks who say "that hasn't been called all day" do have an argument. Just like baseball pitchers know early on what the umpire's strike zone is going to be for the game and hockey players know what the ref's tolerance for rough housing will be after a shift or two, football players also know what sort of leniency they might get from a certain officiating crew.
So when you play 58 minutes and holding, grasping and those other "nitpicky" things haven't been called, you, as the player, kind of assume that's the way it's going to be all day (night). This is not to excuse King for his infraction. It was interference, and it came on a highly critical play. But if it was interference in the first quarter, it's interference in the fourth, too. When the officials don't call it early on, the players get the notion things are going to be that way throughout the game. And then when it does get called, they're confused.
So just to prepare you, it's "Weeknd", not "Weekend" -- His real name is Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, but he goes by, for some reason, the Weeknd. It's pronounced "Weekend". Don't ask me why he wouldn't have just spelled it "Weekend", I haven't a clue. Anyway, he's a R&B crooner who has unleashed a fury of hits on the music world and he's the halftime act at Super Bowl 55 in 13 days.
The halftime show was once a great idea that's been thoroughly overhyped over the years. It used to be simple: Someone will play some songs at halftime to make the TV network some additional money and make the game or some part of it appealing to non-football fans as well. There have been some great halftime acts along the way. It's not a terrible idea to celebrate the biggest game of the year -- and, perhaps, the highest rated TV show of the year -- by including music at halftime. Let's just hope the musical artist lives up to the billing.
Just to prepare you, here he is. By the way, the guy can totally sing. He's beyond legit.
Whenever asked, #DMD readers are always quick to help out. I've seen that countless times over the last six years, including every December when we donate clothes to Helping Up Mission or last spring when we bought food and distributed it to 27 different area hospitals for doctors, nurses and emergency personnel fighting to battle Covid-19.
So here I am again, asking for your help.
John Minadakis and the folks at Jimmy's Famous Seafood have created the "Famous Fund" in an effort to help Baltimore area bars and restaurants who have been crippled by the pandemic and the restrictions that have been placed on them by either state or local government.
They're closing in on $350,000 raised over the last 10 days. Please watch the "Drew and Friends" interview with Minadakis to get a full idea of how and why the fund is being used to help Baltimore and if you're inspired to donate, please do. We're not looking for any credit here, but if you want to tag #DMD when you donate, that would be cool. I'm proud of the community work our readers always do and would love to see lots of #DMD tags on social media when you reach out to Jimmy's Famous Seafood to make your donation.
You can follow Jimmy's on Facebook and Twitter (@JimmysSeafood) and make a donation, big or small, through those platforms.
"The Keen Eye" of
|DAVID ROSENFELD is a former sports publicist who still keeps his eye on the game. Looking at the game, the news or the players on an in-depth level is what he likes to do. Follow his work here at #DMD every Monday & Thursday, brought to you by Glory Days Grill.|
News came Saturday that Larry King had passed away. At 87, he outlived tens of things that should have killed him much earlier, including eight divorces from seven wives.
In his prime on television and on the radio, and even in his later years after his CNN show ended and he worked on the internet and streaming platforms, King was a master interviewer. That skill, and his network’s broad reach, allowed him to interview anybody and everybody you could name—the famous, the infamous, and everyone in between.
Like most people who like to ask questions, King wasn’t particularly fond of answering them. His response to what makes a good interviewer was pretty simple…being a good listener. He sometimes didn’t know where the interview was going until it happened, and those ended up being his best shows. Many of them will go into the historical record way beyond the digitized archive that surely exists somewhere.
Talking to someone is usually easy, even if you tend to be an introvert. Interviewing someone is not easy, no matter how much well you think you’re doing it. So many interviews have lost steam when the questioner does or says something that shows that he or she didn’t do the research, so to speak. For every Robin Williams, who bolted on stage and basically took over for Letterman or Leno for 10 minutes, there’s a Sean Penn, who has to be egged on to speak in more than one-word sentences.
The best interviews of President Trump (or any President, to be honest) were not ones that exposed an ideological bent by the interviewer but instead exposed the President’s inability to respond well to difficult questions. The best sports interviews are ones where the interviewer is able to pull any honest answers at all; the cliché and sound bite and, yes, sometimes even the references to the Lord are typically designed to avoid doing so.
You may recall that I’ve echoed (ok, copied) King a few times in this space, specifically the “News and Views” format he used to great success in USA Today for two decades. It was a kind of Twitter before social media existed, and many years later he would take to Twitter to make the same random observations.
People made fun of King for those columns, and I was trying to make a little fun of him too. To my surprise, however, they are the most difficult columns I’ve written for #DMD. I didn’t always hit the mark, which just goes to show you that something so random and seemingly “throwaway” can actually be really hard.
Olev ha-shalom (rest in peace) Mr. King, born Lawrence Harvey Zeiger in 1933 in Brooklyn. Everybody who’s ever tried to do an interview or a silly blog was trying to copy you in one way or another.
Maryland beat Minnesota the other day, going away. The game featured one of those great defensive efforts that the Terps have put in several times a season in the Mark Turgeon era. His teams, at all four of his coaching stops, have been way more consistent on defense than offense, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
So the Terps now have three Big 10 wins this year, and the big deal isn’t even that they’ve all come on the road, which isn’t really “the road” this year. It’s the quality of competition that’s been of note—Wisconsin, Illinois and now the Gophers, who last week beat an outstanding Michigan team by 18 points at the same Williams Arena.
As an aside, sports can be amazing sometimes. Just the other day, Dale Williams noted that the Maryland-Michigan game last week was never close. Four days later, the Maryland-Minnesota game could be described in the exact same way.
Despite those three road wins, Maryland is not a particularly fun team to watch in 2020-21. It’s not that they can’t be “good,” as we’ve seen; it’s simply that the Terps lack the overall talent they’ve had in most years. There are no NBA players on the roster, and not even one player that can truly dominate a game either physically/athletically or with great skill.
That’s not a great combination…but what Maryland does have is experience, even with this shortened season. Darryl Morsell, Eric Ayala and Aaron Wiggins have all played a lot of games in a Maryland uniform, and they aren’t afraid, especially with no true road games to make it hard on a team.
Transfers Jairus Hamilton and Galen (not Jalen) Smith are like many of Turgeon’s transfers—average players at best, though Hamilton is an excellent shooter. That being said, both of them have played a lot of college basketball games also at high levels, Hamilton in the ACC at Boston College and Smith in the SEC at Alabama.
Of course, experience only means so much, especially in this era of college basketball. You need guys like Jalen (not Galen) Smith, last seen on the Xfinity Center floor dominating some of those same guys from Michigan who’ve beaten the Terps twice this season in blowout fashion. Smith, by the way, has only played in three of the Phoenix Suns’ 15 games in his rookie season. He is, for now anyway, the proverbial last guy on the bench in Arizona, though he did play almost 10 minutes Saturday against the Denver Nuggets.
Over the next few years, as the college basketball world gets back to normal like everything else, I think Maryland will restock itself in the talent department. Then you can go back to wondering whether Turgeon can coach those guys well enough to win a conference tournament or make a deep NCAA tournament run.
Not sure about you, but in my workplace I’m required to complete a yearly online training course about sexual harassment. Like you, probably, I pay as much attention as necessary in order to pass the “quiz” given at the end of the course. These training modules are perfunctory, and operate as a bare minimum for companies to prove they are taking harassment seriously.
I thought about that just this weekend when I read Britt Ghiroli’s account of her experience with an Orioles’ player in his Dallas hotel room the night before the 2012 AL Wild Card game against the Rangers.
If you didn’t read about it, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that Ghiroli was able to rebuff the player’s unwanted efforts, which included lit candles and music, with relative ease. The bad news is that it happened at all, and that Ghiroli spent about seven years wrestling with how to deal with it in the best way.
I’m really not interested in countering the peanut gallery (of both men and women) who respond to this story and others like it in half-joking fashion—something to the effect of “what did she think would happen when a guy invited her to his room?” Ghiroli did a good job of explaining that, and I can tell you from experience that she speaks the truth.
Instead, I want to go back to those silly harassment training videos. As they would say, women who cover sports like Ghiroli simply have a hostile work environment. Case closed.
Not a “difficult” work environment, or a “stressful” work environment, or a work environment that can get heated, which big-time professional sports certainly can in a host of ways. No, I mean a hostile work ecosystem that serves to foster this behavior and then explain it away, a work environment where the players, coaches and front office use their “power” with female reporters to act as if this stuff doesn’t exist.
Female sportswriters want to be sportswriters, not “female sportswriters.” They want to act like their male colleagues without getting messages (no pun intended) from players and staff that those male reporters don’t get. These incidents are not isolated at all, as we found out recently with the firing of Mets’ GM Jared Porter, hailed by the national media after his hiring as a guy with great character and integrity.
When I first heard this story, my immediate thought was to look back at the roster of the 2012 Orioles, especially to those who are no longer in baseball. But I stopped myself, because this isn’t about “outing” a player. It’s about a culture where people who are just trying to work and make a living are made to feel uncomfortable for being who they are.
|Shelby January 25|
|Thank you John and Jimmy's Famous for all that you do!!!!
|Davey January 25|
|So when you lose at golf you get mean and full of contempt for the person who beat you? That's why I don't play I guess. Maybe Brian should take up a different hobby, one that doesn't leave him so sore and angry all the time.
One interesting Orioles rumor I've heard recently is that John Angelos is going to maintain ownership of the team but he is moving to Nashville to get more into the country music scene. So while Angelos himself might move to Nashville the team is staying put in Baltimore.
|J.J. January 25|
|Drew, I know I speak for a lot of readers here when I say I'm disappointed you didn't at least mention the pre-season pick of KC-Tampa Bay in the Super Bowl. Come on, son, you had a chance to rub it in!!!
Chiefs 33 - Bucs 23 (you heard it here first)
|Jason M January 25|
|RIP Larry King - he proved there's no such thing as a stupid question. Yes the Chiefs rolled the Bills and look unstoppable, but we have seen this before. Remember the unbeatable Patriots team that lost to Eli Manning and a determined but under matched Giants team? Give them their due, the Chiefs are a machine and I don't see the Bucs keeping up, but I'd love to get another shot at them in a meaningful game with the Ravens. The O line and the receivers are a key area we need to improve, I saw great protection and receivers making plays and coming back to get open, I saw screen passes and quick hitch routes, stuff that we can do too if we invest. I think we need to invest heavily in our offense if we want to beat Andy Reid and Pat Mahomes, I think we can build around Lamar but we have to protect him and give him real weapons.|
|Rich January 25|
|Even when Drew does some good and teams up with John and Jimmy's Famous he still gets the jabs from Brian Jessup. Brian is the new "MLF" (Mean Little Fella) around here. As for me, I'll keep coming here and keep helping out when I can. Just sent $50 to Jimmy's with the #DMD tag. I hope others can see to it to help out the Jimmy's Famous Fund. It's a great idea and I love supporting Baltimore people like Drew and John M.|
|Sam January 25|
|It sure sounded like Rodgers is trying to start an exit plan after the game yesterday. But why? That's the question.|
|Bill P. January 25|
|Has anyone figured out what "Brian Jessup" has against @DF? Another guy who lost to @DF on the golf course and comes here to even the score?|
|GM January 25|
|DF living rent free in @Brian's head, as someone noted yesterday. Funny to see it happen here on an almost daily basis.|
|HERMAN January 25|
|Our own coach Harbaugh implied last week that all the armchair quarterbacks out there were without credentials and therefore incapable of understanding the game sufficiently to critique the game plan and coordinators. He may be right. But the Bills D coordinator's plan yesterday to play zone, where # 48, and # 58 covered open field grass, while the tight end was running wild didn't seem to me to be working at all. Seems to me you'd cover the tight end when he is the best in the game, but I'm at home, without coaching pedigree, so what do I know. And it would make sense to put a man on the line against # 10, slow his route running with a shove at the line, a block on him, anything to take him out of rhythm or timing. Maybe pay strict attention to taking away the tight end, and # 10 exclusively, even at the cost of having a deficiency against another receiver, or back coming out of the backfield. # 10 has the best stats in the league prior to game time, paying extra attention to him would make sense.
But Harbaugh says we don't know enough to critique from our couch, I guess that high paid D coordinator knows more than me. He got paid millions to get beat like a rented mule and red headed stepchild combined.
|Brian Jessup January 25|
|Wow, todays podcast looks eerily similar to another podcast in Baltimore.
Kudos to Jimmys and their owner. If only those in congress knew how to dial down the help where it's really needed and not just support their rich friends. It's the hospitality industry that's been hit the hardest, get the money to them, not corporations.
|Steve from Cape Coral January 25|
|Along with what Drew said, the Ravens need to be more imaginative in there play calling. You watch K C and just when you think you know what play is coming, they throw a wrench into that or a variance of it !!! That's why we need new blood in the play calling !!!|
|Pratt January 25|
|@William J - Brought to you by virtual learning everywhere.
Interesting point about the Ravens being able to compete. I think you have to go into the process assuming you can compete with anyone on any given day but it is a sobering thought. Knowing that is a huge task how might that effect the Lamar Jackson extension? Do you give him huge money to be the best of the rest or do you try and find an above average QB and spend the money on a more balanced approach? Beats me but something to ponder.
|Chris in Bel Air January 25|
|So Allen is now 2-2 in his brief career in the playoffs. I guess he is a bum and Bills need to rethink their future with him too.
Rodgers and his team have lost 3 straight NFC title games. For as superb a QB as he is and all his skills, he still only has 1 SB appearance (a winner at that). I really like Rodgers, I'm not bashing him but for us Ravens fans lamenting Lamar, Roman and Harbs, having a superior passer does not guarantee a SB trip or victory... Unless of course you have that Brady guy. Smh.
Speaking of which can we say Brady has proven he doesn't need Bill but Bill needs Brady?
The call on the Packers defender was correct. The problem I have is that on a series or two earlier, that was a clear hold by a TB defender that was not called and also a hands to the face by a TB D lineman. I just don't get the refs in such an important game and moment. You're either letting them play or you're not.
|Chris January 25|
|Does someone want to explain the Dish headline to "William" or should we let him stew over it for a while?|
|unitastoberry January 25|
|I think that even if the Ravens had won the game in Buffalo the party would be over in KC. That team is so freakin good its scary. They may have the best depth or deep depth as Earl Weaver used to say going back to the 74 Stillers. They really have no weakness. All 3 of their wideouts are number ones and Hill is Rice like at them moment.The tight end is the best in football. And the qb is the hottest in the league now over 3 years. If Tampa figures out how to beat them it will be Jet like.
Thanks George I was just kidding you rock.
"News came Saturday that Larry King had passed away. At 87, he outlived tens of things that should have killed him much earlier, including eight divorces from seven wives."
Larry lived like a rock star and the gold diggers flocked to him. My guess is he didn't mind all the divorce settlements. Pretty good for a geek who made it big just doing interviews which he was very good at. I recall in a interview where he was saying how he feared death once. I hope he found the big guy upstairs before he took his last breath. RIP
|P.T. January 25|
|Rodgers sure sounded like a guy who might be thinking about getting out of Green Bay after the game in his press conference. Why would he leave there?
I'm sure I'll be sick of all the Tom Brady hoopla but you have to give the guy credit for what he's done, especially this year.
|William J. January 25|
|Typo in the headline. Weekend is spelled wrong. Sheesh, first line of the website is mucked up. Where's the editor?|
|Scott R January 25|
|I used word and Alex Len and Xfiniti are obvious mistakes. By the way Terps are 34th today in NCAA net rankings, 7th of all B10 teams.|
|Rich January 24|
|Congrats on the Super Bowl prediction DF.|
|George January 24|
|@UnitasToBerry -- "I could play the video of our favorite drunk telling Scott Garceau at the airport he has no plans to move the g-d D team but you can't post videos on here. I have been asking for an edit feature forever lol much less video posting lol." --- Suggest copying-and-pasting the video's URL into the body of the Comment.|
|Barker January 24|
|Drew calling the K.C. vs. Tampa Bay Super Bowl correctly at the start of the season is even better when you realize how many people here are going to have a cow over it. lol|
|Billy January 24|
|Had to laugh at Scott R and his "expertise" on Maryland basketball. That Alex Lynn, what a player he was! Did he play at Infiniti or Cole? HAHAHAHA|
|Scott R January 24|
|The point of me writing was twofold. As indicated by the reaction I received on this forum from my post I feel the Turg bashing is out of control. People act as if he is totally incompetent. His team won (tied) for the B10 championship last year. His team tied for doing the best the team could possibly do . They have beaten three top 17 teams on the road this year. Turg is a four time conference coach of the year. Before coming to Maryland he won Coach of the Year twice in his four seasons when he was coach at Texas A&M and compiled a 97-40 record. He was also Coach of the Year at Wichita, and in 2015 at Maryland. I realize being the successor to a popular coach is not easy. Gary was a national championship Hall of Fame Coach. People forget the Terps struggled with only two winning conference seasons in Gary’s last eight years.
I like Gary, worked his camp numerous times, attended countless numbers of his practices at both Cole and Infiniti, got to be good friends with assistant Billy Hahn, and one of my former players went on to be on the Terps staff. Gary’s practices were amongst the best entertainment I have ever had. He was constantly on his players and his staff. There are hundreds of Gary stories. Gary got good athletes and got his players to play hard. His ultimate undoing is the same thing Turg is running into. Not being willing to play the game with the AAU circuit. Gary’s unique social lifestyle and treatment of coaches, players and other support staff would have a difficult time working in 2021. His loyal and very entertaining former assistant Jimmy Patsos found this out when he gets fired at Sienna. Jimmy is a great guy, but some of the things Gary and Jimmy got away with just don’t fly in this era.
Turg is a Larry Brown disciple and his practices still reflect his mentor’s philosophies. His teams are fundamentally sound. Entering this season Turgeon’s .652 win percentage in Big Ten play ranks fifth among coaches with at least 50 wins in the last 40 years, trailing only Bo Ryan (.717), Bob Knight (.700), Tom Izzo (.696) and Thad Matta (.658) (source Maryland program guide).
As I said in my previous post Maryland has the fourth best conference record since entering the B10. Only Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Purdue have a better record in the 14 team Big 10. His biggest problem right now is recruiting. To his disadvantage Maryland has the worst facilities in the B10. They are they only program in the B10 without their own basketball facility. In fact they are one of only two power 5 schools without their own facility. In addition the loss of Dustin Clark a couple of years ago was a tough blow. Dustin was responsible for the recruiting of Alex Lynn, Jake Layman, Kevin Huerter, Bruno Fernando, and Aaron Wiggins. All but Wiggins are currently in the NBA. The Terps have not recruited well since Dustin's departure. Bino has stepped up this year with three good 2021 recruits. The poor recruiting the past few years is the reason for the Terps B10 struggles this year. Ultimately that is on Turg. This may sound ridiculous to some but being an Under Armour school is a disadvantage on the recruiting circuit. Keith Stevens the matriarch of Team Takeover the nation’s premier AAU team only sends his players to Nike Schools. Jalen Smith played for Stevens for two years and is the exception. Turg tried to get involved with the DC Assault AAU program hiring Dalonte Hill as one of his assistants, but that coach had a DWI and he had to be dismissed.
The B10 has been the best league in the country the last two years. This year it is a tough game each night. Last year it was unfortunate that Turg’s best team was not able to compete in the tournament. This year I feel the Terps are undermanned each game and quite frankly I am surprised they have won three games. I have been involved at the collegiate and high school level for the last 40 years. I have been to Turgeon’s practices. The guy can coach. I don’t agree with everything he does, but I can tell you he treats his players, his coaches, and all Maryland employees well. His assistants that have been at previous stops will tell you how well he treats them. I realize in the end it is all about producing championships. If Turg doesn’t he will be gone. I for one want to see good guys succeed. Turg is as good of guy as you want to meet.
|Mark in Perry Hall January 24|
|Don't the trolls ever take a day off?|
|Billy January 24|
|DF living rent free in Brian Jessupp's head. You love to see it.|
|Brian Jessup January 24|
|Rants and Raves.
OMG, it only took a 1/2 for the SOD to sing the praise of their "Jim Jones". So the anthem is he predicted the SB teams, well if he was so sure he didn't show it, he chose the Packers today, he chose wrong and obviously had no courage to stick to his original convictions. Kudos if he gets the other side but lets hold the HOF nomination for a bit longer.
Watched a bit of the woman's golf. On the 18'th hole every player and caddy had books and pens out, I thought they were trying find another Covid vaccine or comparing notes on the tracking of bigfoot. I mean really you've only played the hole a minimum of 4 times. Then on the playoff D. Kang who just played the hole goes back to the notes, really? You just played the hole. The position of the hole didn't change, the tee box was the same, good grief. And on one of the previous holes she stops 3 times over a putt because of a cart then on 18 has no problem with a DJ blaring tunes while they tee off. Sometimes you can't make this stuff up.
WTH, anyone want to talk about Harbaugh's decisions? Good lord, if that coach isn't on the hot seat he should be. And Rodgers not running it in, throwing into a man who had 3 defensive backs all over him. What were they thinking.
I also watched 2 of the greatest to play. Brady has a wide open man and doesn't see him, over throws for his third pick. Rodgers has a wide open man for a probable TD doesn't get it done. Let Lamar do that and what would the reaction be?
It's a game, Brady wasn't all that good but wins. Rodgers has a chance at a tie and his legs lock up and then his coach takes the ball out of his hands. You can't explain it.
|Eric January 24|
|William J. with the strawman post of the day so far. Talk about howling at the moon. "Hey you kids, get off my lawn!" LMAO|
|JJ January 24|
|Drew is halfway to the Super Bowl matchup he predicted back in September. Now I definitely want KC to win the AFC game to see the meltdown from the haters here.|
|William J January 24|
|The PTSD that is so rampant after surviving Hart Rd. surfaces from time to time. Yesterday on Twitter and today on DMD is one of those times. After getting his snout spanked on Twitter by a former Orioles exec(again,about the numbers,it's always the numbers that are way off), site owner doubles down by making a mole hill a mountain in terms of some salary negotiation. Zero context, no history lessons of how many teams do this.
So let's assess DMD fiduciary responsibility or will that get banned? All of this is a counterpoint to what is posited above.
1. Peter Schmuck is available. How about paying him Writers Guild wages for a weekly column? It would make the entity better, wouldn't it? If it doesn't happen does that indicate that "really not trying to win" applies?
2. The continuing problems of the lack of editing/ quality control must mean something. Is that the mark of a professional organization? Puzzling for sure. Editing occurs in the comments section but not in the content section? Errors? No big deal, we'll fix them in the 2nd edition.
3. MASN cuts. How about the decision to close down NBC sports network? Gone. And they have NHL hockey as a standard bearer. So any hatchet job anywhere is way more understandable. But the mindset, led by our local sports "intelligencia" always go to the "cheap" angle.
So potshots of "they can afford it, they're rich" fall on deaf ears. It costs money to run a sports team or Network or a website, spending or making bold claims about someone else's money is a fool's (or PTSD survivor) game.
This is all done for context. Slamming on the Orioles is SOP,and the reaction to this falls to the name given to Henry VII by the Pope in the 16th century.
The Pope was very impressed with Henry VIII, he called him "The Defender of the Faith". Old "Hank" lived up to that name until he wanted an heir. A barren 1st wife? Pope says No to a divorce, so Henry leaves the Faith that he defended. Necessity? In his eyes, yes.
Defender of the Orioles? Yep
|Frank January 24|
|Just a friendly reminder that before the season, DF called a KC vs. Tampa Bay Super Bowl. Be prepared for an onslaught tomorrow if it winds up that way. Expect it to be the headline of Monday's Dish. LOL|
|KC January 24|
|So Turgeon's better than Gary and Lefty? Is that the point? If so, please delete your account, Sir.|
|Billy January 24|
|Fake Billy giving Billys a bad name. That statement of the obvious does not negate Scott R's point at all|
|Billy January 24|
|Does someone want to tell Scott R. that Turgeon coaches in a different conference than Gary and Lefty did while they were at Maryland? I don't feel like doing it.|
|Scott R January 24|
|Conference Coaching Records
Gary Williams ACC record 199-156 552%
Lefty Driesell ACC record 122-100 550%
Mark Turgeon Big 10 record 98-74 570%
Turgeon has a better in conference and out of conference record then both Lefty and Gary. During his tenure only Wisconsin, Michigan State and Purdue have better in conference B10 records. Maryland has a better record during the Turgeon era than blue bloods like Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio State. Gary won a national championship and got to another final four. That is where the bar for some is set. Turgeon tied for the Big 10 title and didn't get to the compete in the NCAA's with his best team that included a lottery pick. In Gary's last 8 seasons competing in the ACC, he only had 2 winning ACC seasons during that 8 year time period.
|KJ January 24|
|Great factoid there from @David. WE all sorta know the "game has changed" but that data point shows just how much, amazing. Thanks David.
Eh, Coach K has always had snark, when he wins, everyone says it's part of his allure. Who's to say he was not just trying to groom the next generation of sports "journalists" lol.
|David Rosenfeld January 24|
|Here's a note for "The Game Has Changed" File, in reference to the Steph Curry byte:
Reggie Miller made 2560 three-pointers in 1389 games. Steph Curry has now made 2562 three-pointers in 715 games. 674 fewer games, equivalent to more than eight(!) full NBA 82-game seasons.
Now, carry on with any Coach K discussions, as I enjoy hating him as much as the next guy...
|MJN January 24|
|Spot on with your Coach K. analysis Drew. He's answered that exact question 24,000 times in his career but I bet he's never answered it like that until yesterday. You're right. Amateur hour.|
|Bill P. January 24|
|I'm not a Duke fan or Duke hater. I went to Colorado State. But I agree with @Drew that Coach K would have never responded like that to a veteran or well known reporter. Could you imagine Jim Nantz asking him that question? And if so can you imagine Coach K saying to that Jim Nantz?
Never in a million years would he talk down to John Feinstein like that.
|Chris T January 24|
|Someone actually defended Coach K? Impossible. That was such a bad look for him. Spoiled loser.|
|Delray Rick January 24|
|Watched the video several times and since this site hates or (dislikes is nicer word) DUKE it would be nice to hear HARBS after a bad game what he would (and has) said to questions ofthe same sort. COACH K wasn't off base what he said. Wonder if our site owner was ever "snarky" with his students.|
|unitastoberry January 24|
|This just in....pro sports owners lie like rugs. I will be the doubting Thomas on this. Maybe its not 1983 but I could play the video of our favorite drunk telling Scott Garceau at the airport he has no plans to move the g-d D team but you can't post videos on here. I have been asking for an edit feature forever lol much less video posting lol. Lets hope for the best but when your a multi billionare looking to screw your two best offensive players out of a paltry 1.5 million you have to wonder? But then again this is sop with that crowd for a long time.|
|eric January 24|
|What's really odd is the Orioles are doing this the same week they gave 2 teenagers a combined 2.5 million. Makes me believe the other cost cutting is more want than need|
|KJ January 23|
|Stop with the Angelos boys gonna sell and move. I am banking on that NOT being true mostly cause the local snake oil salesman insists its a reality. He has no press pass, how would he know? Sell? Maybe. Move? No.
Thorne was good on hockey, for O's, he's always been mailing it in. Funny when he was drunk on air, but that's about it.
Dempsey, Hunter, Bordick, awful. Cakes always a good listen, Big Ben good too. But agree , TV market, and RSN's, definitely being ousted by streaming options.
Did that Jessup guy post something vulgar? If so, then I get it and not too bright on his part. All I saw earlier was a comment on stealing the LF sponsor format. A shot at site owner, but no reason to get banned.
Nice call by Dale today!
|Steve of Pimlico January 23|
|Anyone still believe the Angelos family won't sell or move the Orioles. They will do whatever necessary to maximize their profit. The inheritance tax alone will force them to sell and Baltimore doesn't have any billionaires ,pardon the pun, capable of stepping up to the plate|
|Jeff January 23|
|Dale and Maryland both broke a 2-week losing streak today! Way to go!!|
|Ian January 23|
Unless I'm wrong, weren't Thorne and Palmer gone last year? Ony remember Palmer doing occasional commentary from his home. Thought the main team was Garceau and McDonald. And weren't Hunter's and Davis's roles cut way back last year as well?
|DJ January 23|
|Looks like Dale is finally going to get a MD hoops game right. Terps up by 12 in the 1st half.|
|Carl in Owings Mills January 23|
|@Keith, I could be wrong on this because he definitely comes here to stir up trouble but I think the second, vulgar post from "Brian Jessup" wasn't from the Brian Jessup who normally posts. I agree that it should have been removed but I'm not 100% sure they were the same people. But maybe they were.|
|Hal January 23|
|Firing Gary Thorne is definitely as stupid as firing Jon Miller. So stupid, just telling fans not to watch the games this season.|
|Keith Merrill January 23|
|Agree with @BO. That foul post from @BrianJessup today has no place here at DMD. Get him out.|
There are two football games today, you might have heard. One is in Green Bay and the other in Kansas City. The winning teams from today's two contests get to play in this big game called the "Super Bowl".
I'm neither interested nor uninterested today. I'll watch the games, at some point, in between clicking over to see if Max Homa can win the PGA Tour event out in Palm Springs, California and the Capitals can run their early-season points streak to six games with a point (at least) against the Sabres down in The District.
What would I like to see happen? I always have a soft spot for organizations who haven't been there in a while, so my natural rooting interest would have me pulling for Tampa Bay and Buffalo today. But I can see plenty good in both Green Bay (Aaron Rodgers is a rock star) and Kansas City (Andy Reid is awesome) and wouldn't mind at all if both home teams win this afternoon.
Who do I think will win? I'm going with Green Bay and Buffalo. I don't think Rodgers is losing at home and my guess is the Tampa Bay offense finally lays an egg in a 31-17 Packers victory. In Kansas City, I'm going with the notion that Mahomes' toe injury is going to limit him to the point where Buffalo squeaks by them on a late field goal, 26-23.
It's really hard to repeat in sports. It's incredibly significant that Kansas City has now hosted three straight AFC championship games. That is quite an accomplishment in this day and age. But the odds say the Chiefs won't go back to the Super Bowl for the second consecutive year. It's just really hard to do.
Truth of the matter: I don't care who wins, but it would be great to see Max Homa pull off the golf victory. If that happens, I'm whole for the day.
I totally understand the community reaction to the last 48 hours worth of Orioles news and completely get why people are nervous.
Something weird is going on. Some folks are opining that the Angelos family is preparing to sell the franchise, hence the stripping of payroll within the playing roster and the front office, but a few ear-to-the-ground sources in Charm City have been saying for the better part of six months now that the two sons -- John and Louis -- are not interested in selling the franchise when Peter eventually passes away.
There was a pesky estate tax that had grown to something like $80 million that would have been due upon transfer of the franchise, but apparently that's no longer the "real" number and some legal wrangling has made it possible to keep the franchise in the family and not be forced to hand over that kind of money to the state.
Believe that if you like, but more than one person in the know has been saying that -- to anyone who asks -- for a while now.
But the last 48 hours have been strange, nonetheless. The reduction-in-force at MASN is certainly part of the equation, since, of course, the Angelos family has controlling interest in that entity. The news that the organization let the entire PR department go at season's end, plus some other front office members, is also now part of the story. And then came yesterday's news about the Trey Mancini and Anthony Santander arbitration hearings.
The Orioles, according to sources, apparently asked both Mancini and Santander to defer part of their 2021 salaries. This move, unprecedented in Major League Baseball, would have saved the organization a grand total of $1.5 million.
You read that right. There's a period in between the "1" and "5". It would have saved the Orioles $1.5 million. It's one thing if that tactic -- had it been accepted -- saves the team $15 million. That's worth going to battle for, obviously.
But when you're trying to save $1.5 million, that raises a bright, candy apple red flag.
There's also the lease issue at Camden Yards that remains unresolved. The current lease expires at the end of 2021, although the O's do maintain an option to merely extend it by five years in lieu of negotiating a new one. The absence of a lease agreement in this, the final year of the current agreement, is a growing concern in the city.
I agree it all looks rather strange. Cutting payroll, drastically altering the make-up of a once-successful regional sports network, trying to swindle $1.5 million from two young players, and no lease agreement...those things are indeed puzzling from a "professional" organization.
However, here's one piece of the puzzle you don't have to worry about finding: The Orioles are not moving. There has been speculation that Nashville could be attempting to lure the Birds from Baltimore. Las Vegas has also been rumored to have an interest in adding professional baseball to their sports landscape.
I don't know much, but I know this: The Orioles aren't leaving Baltimore. Major League Baseball would never allow it to happen. This isn't 1984, where teams just pick up and move in the middle of a snowy night. The league essentially controls the relocation process now, with their own staff dedicated to scouting out potential new cities. Additionally, 75% of the owners would have to agree on a move (by any team, anywhere) and that's not happening without the commissioner's influence.
I agree things look sketchy with the Orioles but they're not moving.
What they are doing is anyone's guess, but they're not relocating to Nashville, Las Vegas or anywhere else.
Mark Turgeon and the Terps picked up a nice win yesterday in Minnesota. Dale Williams gives you the insight in his article below on how it happened.
After the game, I took to Twitter to give Turgeon credit for guiding Maryland to a third win over a nationally-ranked team this season.
You would have thought I was applauding the Son of Sam for winning the prison table tennis tournament.
People went ballistic, reverting back to their tired argument about how Turgeon stinks and "this wasn't a real road win because no fans were there" and so on and so on.
I've never been a huge Mark Turgeon fan. I'd call his work in College Park "admirable", which is, I'd say, about what I'd call Marquis Brown's work thus far in Baltimore in his two years with the Ravens. Not great, not terrible, some really solid moments...but more was expected.
But despite not being a huge believer in Turgeon, I'm capable of giving the man credit when the team does do something well. I've never thought he was the elite recruiter that some believe he is and I've never considered him at the top of the list as an in-game coach, either. His work is, as I said, "admirable", but nothing more, really.
That said, Maryland has wins this year over Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota and, if not for some middle school foul shooting, would have also defeated Purdue earlier in the campaign. Turgeon deserves credit for those wins in the same way he deserves scrutiny when they get blown out at home by Iowa, Michigan and Rutgers.
"Balance" is probably the thing our country needs the most these days. We have seen it on full display in the recent Presidential election and the ensuing inauguration. If you're a Democrat, the Republicans can do nothing right and if you're a Republican, the Democrats do nothing right. There's no balance at all in our culture. You're either "for" everything or "against" everything. It's a joke, frankly. Clown shoes stuff.
Maryland went to Minnesota yesterday and won a game. They didn't only win, they trounced the Golden Gophers. That leaves the Terps at 3-6 on the year. They can't escape their record. It's not very good, obviously.
But the idea that you can't simply say "That was a great win today, good job by Turgeon getting those kids to play hard and man up" is a character flaw. Sorry if that's harsh, but that's what it is.
Balance. We need it. A lot of it. It's one of the things holding us back.
Coach K and Duke lost a tough one yesterday to Louisville and after the game, the coach of the Blue Devils was in no mood for rookie journalism.
A student journalist who was participating in the post-game virtual press conference asked "K" an entirely reasonable, varsity softball question. It was one of those simple questions that Krzyzewski has handled, oh, about 24,000 times in his legendary career.
But instead of answering it with a quick, coaching 101 answer, Coach K belittled the kid. "What's your hardest class at Duke?" he asked the young man. "How would you like it if, after a hard test, someone asked you what's next?"
Come on, man. Is that what making $9 million a year to coach basketball does to someone?
Rather than tweak the kid with snark, why didn't Coach K just say to him what he would have said to any veteran reporter he respected?
"Well, we obviously have a lot of room to improve. This is clearly a tough year for everyone giving the circumstances with the virus. We've been good at times and then not so good at times. We'll just do what we always do. We'll get back in the gym and work on the things we need to work on in order to get better for our next game against a good Georgia Tech team this Tuesday."
That answer accomplishes everything. It reminds everyone there's a virus going around that has plagued a lot of teams, including Duke. It emphasizes that Duke has also had some good moments in their 5-5 season to date. And it gives some praise to Georgia Tech, in the event their players and coaches see the clip.
Instead, Coach K took 35 seconds to embarrass a kid who didn't deserve it.
Amateur hour stuff there. Bush league...
dale williams aims the
|DALE WILLIAMS returns for his sixth season of covering all things Maryland men's basketball for #DMD. Terps Spotlight will preview and review all games in the 2020-21 season.|
There were enough bricks in the Williams Arena yesterday to resurface the Indianapolis speedway.
Only 12 field goals were made in the second half, but it all worked out for Maryland. For the third time this year, they walked off an opposing court with a victory against a top 25 team.
This time, it was a 63-49 victory over a Minnesota team (4-5, Big Ten) that shot just 30% from the field. Eric Ayala had 21 points for Maryland (3-6, Big Ten) while Donta Scott added 15. Marcus Carr had 25 for the Gophers.
Maryland pulled off this upset by keeping Minnesota off of the offensive glass (just 6 offensive rebounds), and by attacking Liam Robbins. Robbins, who played only 22 minutes, fouled out with 4:42 left in the game. Other than his 3 blocked shots, he was no factor in the game.
The speedier Terp big men continually dribbled past Robbins, and his defensive response was to foul. It was a brilliant strategy from Mark Turgeon, and perhaps the determining factor in the game.
Minnesota was so bad on offense that Maryland actually outscored them by 5 points in the second half despite the Terps hitting just 28% of their field goal attempts, going 3-12 from the three-point line, and making only 12 of 22 foul shots.
Maryland’s 17-29 performance from the foul line is almost identical to their 17-30 effort in the blowout loss to Michigan. Not many teams will miss 25 free throws over two games. That’s a problem that needs to be fixed moving forward.
After getting out to a 17-3 start, the Terps managed to hold a 36-27 halftime lead. Only a string of 6 Terp turnovers in 7 possessions around the midpoint of the half, and the offensive production of Minnesota’s Marcus Carr, kept the Gophers from being in a huge halftime hole. Carr had 14 first half points, the rest of his team had just 13.
The Maryland defense was active and aggressive, while the Gopher offense helped by shooting just 38% from the field and 27% from the three-point line. The Terps shot the ball well in the first half, hitting 54% overall and 45% of the threes.
Assisting in Maryland’s shooting percentage was their ability to get inside and get to the rim. Eric Ayala especially enjoyed the porous Minnesota defense as he tallied 14 first half points. The Terps also executed some nice backdoor plays that resulted in easy buckets.
Starting the second half, the Gopher’s poor shooting allowed Maryland to extend their 9-point halftime lead, to 12, with 7:47 remaining in the game. Fouls were beginning to mount for both teams. Liam Robbins had already been benched after picking up 3 fouls in the first 2 minutes of the half. He didn’t return until the 7:47 mark. That’s when Maryland’s Aaron Wiggins left the game with his fourth foul. Darryl Morsell, Hakim Hart, and Galin Smith had three fouls each, as did Carr and Eric Curry for Minnesota.
Robbins eventually fouled out while attempting to block a Jairus Hamilton dunk after Hamilton blew by him. Getting beat off of the dribble was a common occurrence for the 7-foot Minnesota center.
For most of the second half, it seemed that the Minnesota possessions were on repeat. The Gophers would miss a shot and the Terps would get the rebound. Minnesota made just 24% of their shots in the second half. The Terps weren’t much better, hitting only 28% of their attempts.
Some credit for all the poor shooting needs to go to the defensive efforts of both teams. After allowing Maryland to shoot 54% in the first half, the Gophers came out in the second half with much greater intensity. Maryland didn’t handle the rejuvenated Minnesota defense very well. Many Terp second half possessions ended with a Hail Mary shot as the shot clock was running out.
Maryland’s defense impressed me with the quickness in which they switched on screens. Not trying to work through screens, the Terps chose to switch. They were very effective doing this without causing mismatches favoring Minnesota because the players handling the ball, and screening were relatively the same size.
Maryland’s defensive stats were also greatly helped by Minnesota’s horrible shooting day, even by Gopher standards.
The win gave Maryland their third road victory against a ranked team. It’s the first time in school history that the Terps have been able to accomplish this feat.
On Wednesday, Maryland will play another ranked team when the 10th ranked Wisconsin Badgers come to the XFINITY Center looking to extract revenge for the loss that the Terps handed them on December 28. The Badgers will be Maryland’s 7th ranked opponent in their last 8 games.
There's been no official word yet from the folks at MASN, but the story broke yesterday on The Athletic website and Britt Ghiroli's reporting is as solid as it comes. In other words, here's the story:
The broadcast teams for the Orioles and Nationals on MASN are getting torn apart for the 2021 season. And, even worse, the network itself appears as if it's on the verge of dissolving in the wake of a memo that has instructed both the Orioles and Nationals to participate in their own programming efforts in an effort to maintain the quality of their broadcasts.
Gary Thorne, Mike Bordick, Dave Johnson, Rick Dempsey, Tom Davis and Jim Hunter are among those who are expected to not return in 2021. Hunter was the only one of the five to make a public comment on Friday, as he announced the end of his 24-year run as a broadcaster within the Orioles organization.
In a legal document sent to both organizations, MASN not only informed the teams of the slashed on-air staff for game broadcasts, they notified the Orioles and Nationals that there would be no pre-game or post-game shows for either team in 2021 unless the teams themselves are willing to pay for the product. That means hiring all the talent and production people, paying them, handling all travel costs (if any) and any other fees and charges accrued in the process of doing pre-game and post-game shows.
That's MASN's classy way of saying: "No more pre-game and post-game shows", basically.
There will be a 15-minute "lead in" show, apparently, that features the in-game announcing team previewing the game, but no formal pre-game show as in past years with a more extensive look at the game, pitching match-ups.
More importantly, the post-game show is gone. Whether you liked it or not -- and let's face it, some nights it was "comedic relief" after another 9-3 loss -- it was an important aspect of the game and gave viewers a chance to learn something about baseball from the likes of Dempsey or Dave Johnson, with occasional insights from Palmer, Thorne and others.
Why is this happening? Good question.
The most obvious answer is likely the right one: MASN is in financial trouble.
There's also the ongoing uncertainly surrounding Covid-19 and how broadcast teams are actually going to perform their duties in 2021. Last year, of course, none of the on-air personnel traveled to away games and even their work at Camden Yards was restricted due to the virus.
When they do make a formal announcement about the staff cuts and reduction in programming, MASN is likely going to shuffle and dodge their way around the question of "Why?", but it stands to reason they're losing money and can no longer afford to run the business the way they once did.
If there's any other explanation, I'm all ears.
MASN owes the Nationals over $100 million from a lawsuit that is still fluttering around in a court system somewhere. Perhaps the clock is running out on appeals and such and the higher-ups at MASN are finally coming to terms with having to write that check.
There's also the notion that other than cable providers sending them money every month, there's no real "cash flow" moving around at MASN. Broadcasts of Orioles games (not sure about Nationals) are largely brought to you by an airline, office furniture/equipment supplier, and an insurance company. That's pretty much it. And it's been that way for a long time.
Salaries at MASN, particularly those of guys like Thorne and Palmer, are a well kept secret, but industry standards would suggest both of those guys are making upwards of $150,000 annually. Throw in the rest of the on-air hosts, production professionals, etc. and MASN is easily spending well over $1 million annually in salaries to air Orioles games.
Because fewer and fewer people listen to games on the radio these days, and all 162 games are on TV, the "TV people" are now the ones with which most fans connect. The broadcasting staff cuts in Baltimore will be similar to what was felt when the O's and talented radio man Jon Miller parted company in 1996. Viewers associate their summer nights with the likes of Thorne, Palmer, Dempsey, Davis, Johnson, etc. It will be a tough pill for MASN viewers to swallow, for sure.
Baseball programming and streaming rights are very complicated in 2021. Like most other regional sports networks, MASN is part of a widespread effort to bring more broadcasts into a "compartmentalized look", which could mean pre-game and post-game shows move to a YouTube channel or some other form of streaming that requires far less expense to produce and distribute.
But one thing stands out about 2021: The telecast of Orioles baseball will look very different, be very different and, most likely, offer the viewers an inferior product in comparison to what they've been used to seeing since 2007.
No more Gary Thorne?
No more Jim Palmer?
Orioles baseball simply won't be the same in 2021.
We first started our video interview series back in December with "Drew's 15 Days of Christmas". It wound up being something like "18 Days of Christmas" because I enjoyed doing it so much, I added a few extra guests along the way.
I mentioned late in 2020 that I was planning on expanding the ZOOM interview format in 2021 and.........well.........here we are, with today's formal debut of "Drew and Friends", brought to you by Primary Residential Mortgage.
We kick off the first edition with a visit from two of the "primary" guys at PRMI -- pun intended -- Dean Johnson and Vic Biscoe. These men are not only longtime friends of mine, they've been ardent supporters of Drew's Morning Dish since the inception of the website in 2014. They're also both Calvert Hall grads, so you know they have impeccable character!
Dean and Vic are also huge sports fans, as you'll quickly find out below in our 20-minute sitdown to announce their partnership with #DMD and "Drew and Friends".
Oh, and they also just happen to run one of Maryland's most successful mortgage companies, too. I recently used Primary Residential Mortgage for the mortgage on my new home, with Vic and his staff leading me, literally, by the hand throughout the entire process to make sure everything went right at the settlement table. I've also used them for other mortgage efforts in the last 15 years, including a refinance in 2010 that saved my family a lot of money.
"Drew and Friends" will likely air here twice a week during 2021, with interviews from athletes, media members and anyone else who is an important part of my life, Baltimore sports or Drew's Morning Dish. We appreciate the continued support of Primary Residential Mortgage and, by all means, if you have a mortgage need in the future, please give them a shot at earning your business.
dale williams aims the
|DALE WILLIAMS returns for his sixth season of covering all things Maryland men's basketball for #DMD. Terps Spotlight will preview and review all games in the 2020-21 season.|
It is quite possible that no college basketball team has ever started their conference season by playing eight straight games against nationally ranked teams. Until Minnesota, this year.
The 11-4 Gophers (4-4 in conference) finally play a team outside of the top 25 when they take on the Terps today at the Williams Arena in Minneapolis. Game time is 2 p.m. and the contest can be viewed on BTN.
The Golden Gophers have lost all four of their Big Ten road games, and won all 4 of their conference home contests. They lost by 27 at Illinois, by 12 at Wisconsin, and by 15 at both Michigan and Iowa. Their home wins were against Iowa (7 points, in overtime), Michigan State (a 25-point win), by 17 against Ohio State, and a revenge win by 18 against Michigan.
The rankings of the Big Ten teams Minnesota has played range from #5 (Iowa) to #25(Ohio State). The rankings were at the time of the game, not as of now. Regardless, they were dealt a brutal early schedule, and their record shows it. The latter part of their season is a bit easier as only one of their 10 remaining regular season games comes against a ranked team.
The 17th ranked Gophers are building a resume worthy of an NCAA tournament invite. They have yet to suffer what would be called a bad loss, and have five quality wins. In addition to the four conference wins against ranked teams, they also beat a very good St. Louis team.
Today, we can expect Minnesota to launch a ton of threes and take many ill-advised shots. A large percentage of their shots will miss. Whether it be from the field or the three-point stripe, they are the worst shooting team in the Big Ten. I won’t be surprised to see them take 25 threes today. I’ll put the over/under on air-balls at three. We can also expect Minnesota to grab a bunch of offensive rebounds. They have good athletes and go to the offensive glass hard. As a result, second chance points are a staple of their offense.
The focus of Minnesota’s offense is 6’2” guard, Marcus Carr. He’s good for over 20 points a game, but only hits 41.5% from the field. He’s real quick off of the dribble and is not shy about putting up a shot from anywhere on the court. He may be NBA material, but not until he becomes more disciplined on both ends of the court. He’s a wildcard for sure. He might go off for 30 points, or he could shoot 3-16.
When Carr isn’t doing his thing, look for Liam Robbins to get into the offensive mix. Robbins averages almost 14 points per game. At seven feet tall, Robbins is a quality three-point threat, hitting 40% from long range. He can score inside as well, but he’s not really an intimidating force down low. He’s big, but the Terps have faced better low post scorers this year. At 235 pounds, Robbins can be pushed around inside and look for the Terps to do just that.
Both Gach (yes, his name is Both) and Gabe Kalscheur are the next two highest scorers for coach Richard Pitino, but the guy who worries me more is the 6’8” Brandon Johnson. He’ll be a tough match-up for Maryland and the Western Michigan University transfer is knocking down 38% of his three-point attempts. He is a streaky shooter who loves the corner three. If the Terps allow him to heat up, it will be a long night for them.
Defensively, Minnesota will provide good pressure in the half court and will cause turnovers. In their most recent game, the big win against Michigan, the Gophers forced the Wolverines into a whopping 20 turnovers. Robbins (a Drake transfer) is really good at protecting the rim or offering weakside help. He is also the league leader in blocked shots.
Call me crazy, but I think this Minnesota team is a good match-up for Maryland. Carr is tough, but he’ll work against Darryl Morsell. Morsell will make him work hard for every shot he takes. Carr is a scorer, but I say Morsell holds him under his average. Robbins’ height will give the Terps problems, but if his Maryland defender can keep him off of the offensive glass, that’s a win for the Terps.
The expected Gach / Aaron Wiggins match-up goes to the Terps too. Both are athletic 6’6” guards, but Wiggins has the better offensive arsenal. Defensively it’s a draw. Gabe Kalscheur and Eric Ayala are similar in size, but with Kalscheur’s three-point percentage dropping from almost 42 in his freshman year to just 32 now, he hasn’t shown to be the offensive threat that he once was. Advantage Maryland.
The Terps, as currently comprised, will never win the big man match-up, but it’s important today to limit Robbins. He can get 15 or 16 points, but he can’t be allowed to get 18 or more. That leaves us with what I think is the key match-up of the day. If Donta Scott outplays Brandon Johnson, Maryland can win. Johnson is longer, but Scott is stronger. I’d like to see Scott get some good looks on the low blocks. He could do damage inside.
The keys today are to keep Minnesota away from the offensive glass, and to make Carr work hard for his shots. They also need to limit Robbins. Then, lastly, they need to win the battle at the 4 spot (Scott, Johnson).
Minnesota is due to lose to an unranked team and perhaps their fresh legs (their Nebraska game on Wednesday was a COVID-19 postponement) really equate to rust. Maryland matches up well at all but one position. The books are wrong here. Making Minnesota a 6.5 point favorite was a mistake.
An off-day shooting for the Gophers causes them to drop a 75-72 decision to the Terps. Scott and Wiggins lead the way with 18 and 16 points respectively.