Saturday Scorecard: Something to shout about
Welcome to Saturday Scorecard, the official pre-pre-pre-pre-pre-game show for that little football game/Springsteen concert coming up tomorrow in Tampa.
Because we need to procure the pork rinds and beverages for the festivities, we will keep the items short and sweet today.
Move over Larry King, here come the notes...
Ringing out the Hoyas: The Bradley Center absolutely throbbed during Marquette's 94-82 victory over Georgetown. The students were loud and involved, as always. Longtime Golden Eagles radio broadcaster Steve "The Homer" True said before the game that the line of students waiting to enter the East Atrium stretched out the door two blocks down State Street.
"I've never seen it that long," True said.
The kids in line were treated to donuts from Buzz Williams and handwarmers. Once inside, they and the rest of the crowd, announced at 19,041, was treated to an outstanding display by the eighth-ranked Golden Eagles (19-2), who overcame a sluggish first half and broke the game open with a 17-4 run in the second half.
"They are a good team with a couple great players who played like great players," Georgetown coach John Thompson III said.
"They do a good job of getting the shots that they want. There was a stretch in the second half where I thought we were playing good defense and -- Bang! -- they would make a shot."
The buzzwords in the interview room -- maturity, poise and toughness (especially toughness).
Quick question: When did Jerel McNeal get this good? Everybody knew the guy was a terrific defensive player and a total gamer, but he is likely going to go down as the leading scorer and one of the greatest all-round players in school history.
McNeal scored 26 points, grabbed six rebounds, blocked three shots and dished a personal-record 11 assists against Georgetown. The only blemish on his line -- three turnovers.
"If that number was zero, he might have been perfect today," coach Buzz Williams said of McNeal.
McNeal has scored 1,705 points in his career and ranks third all-time. He needs 31 to pass Butch Lee for second. George Thompson is the all-time leader with 1,773, but he played when freshmen weren't eligible and there was no three-point line.
McNeal also needs 15 steals to pass Michael Wilson and become the all-time leader.
If there is a player in the nation doing more at both ends of the floor, I'd like to see him.
Welcome aboard: By all indications, the Brewers will name Cory Provus to replace Jim Powell in the seat next to Bob Uecker. Provus, a native of Highland Park, Ill., and a graduate of Syracuse, has worked the last two seasons as the pre- and post-game show host on Cubs radio broadcasts and has called one inning per game so that Pat Hughes can take a break.
While some Brewers fans may be skittish about allowing a lifelong Cubs fan into the booth, both Hughes and Cubs TV announcer Len Kasper (who attended the MU-Georgetown game Saturday) give Provus a thumbs-up and say he'll do a good job.
Waiting game: Former Brewers right-hander Ben Sheets is a victim of bad timing - again. In his final two seasons in Milwaukee, Sheets was hurt and unable to pitch when his team needed him. You have to believe that circumstance, coupled with the economic downturn, is preventing teams from signing the right-hander.
The Brewers admitted last week that they are out of the Sheets sweepstakes. Texas has had a few meetings (no doubt spurred by new pitching coach Mike Maddux), but everyone seems hesitant to take a chance on Sheets.
How do we know Sheets' timing is bad? Two words: Gil Meche. Two years ago, the guy (who is the same age) signed a five-year, $55 million deal to pitch with Kansas City. Sheets is the superior pitcher, but won't see as much money as a free agent.
Joltin' Joe: As manager of the Yankees, Joe Torre spent much of his time putting out fires and minimizing controversy. Now that he's in L.A., he's created one with some seemingly benign excerpts from his new book with Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci. Some wonder why Torre didn't wait until retirement to do the book. I'm wondering what juicy stuff he left out.
Larry King Lounge: Marquette's Lazar Hayward surpassed the 1,000-point plateau Saturday.... The Golden Eagles allowed Georgetown to shoot 65 percent in the first half and 56 for the game, but won because they made 30 of 38 free throws. The Hoyas were 8 for 13.... Bruce Smith, Rod Woodson and Derrick Thomas - three superior defensive players - made the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday along with longtime Bills owner Ralph Wilson, former Minnesota guard Randall McDaniel and the late Bob Hayes, a standout for the Cowboys and the 1964 gold medalist in the 100 meters.... Former Giants catcher Bobby Estalella, who was known more for being huge than for his skill at or behind the plate, could be the guy to bring down Barry Bonds. Estalella may testify that Bonds told him about taking steroids, which would torpedo Bonds' defense that he didn't know what he was taking... It won't get a lot of attention, but Federer-Nadal final in the Australian Open could be a classic.... Look for the Steelers to win by 10 on Sunday.
DT | Jan. 31, 2009 at 10:33 p.m. (report)
Solid Saturday at the BC. Big wins for MU and Bucks!
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