Kentucky Football Picks Up Two Commitments

The University of Kentucky football team held their festivities today for one of their designated “Junior Days”. The day saw a reported 50+ prospects make their way through the Kentucky campus. It was apparently a big hit as two new prospects saw offers and committed on the spot.

KY LB Josh Harris


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Josh is fast, but he has to put on a lot of weight to play linebacker in the SEC. As you may notice in the tape, a lot of his time was focused on running back. It should be noted that the tape was from his sophomore season. Hopefully someone that has seen him play this season can give a better testament as to how close he is to SEC ready.

The second commitment on the day comes from KY DL Thomas Chapman. Chapman is one of Manual’s stars down in Louisville. He has a good frame. Roughly 6’4, 295 lbs. I have yet to be see tape on him, so I will hold judgment on his strength, speed.

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Winners, Losers at the NBA Trade Deadline

Each season, there are teams that make deadline deals to make themselves better in the present or in the future. However, there are also teams that you question what they are doing.

Winners:

Cleveland Cavaliers- I may be in the dissenting opinion here, but I think the Cavs made a good move. They picked up a top ten NBA pick and at least a name for their franchise in Baron Davis. Davis won’t be around long, but that’s what the first round draft pick is for. In the trade, they gave up two serviceable guys that were good to the fans. Neither were going to make a big impact on the team’s future though. This year’s crop of draft talent is ultimately weak compared to other years.  However, you build for the future with draft picks.

New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets- Mutually, this was a great trade. Everyone knew from the beginning that Carmelo was going to the Knicks. He held all the cards. He wasn’t going to sign an extension with anyone else and the Nuggets had come to terms with the fact that they were going to lose him in free agency. In return, they received a nice package of talent with Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Timofey Mosgov, Raymond Felton and a pick.

New Orleans Hornets- For those of you that don’t know, the NBA bought out the Hornets former ownership. Each NBA owner now holds a minority stake in the franchise. With that said, trades in the NBA have to be relatively split financially. In the Hornets trade with Sacramento, they took on an additional $2 million prompting a frustrated Mark Cuban to sound off. The Dallas Mavericks owner feels that the NBA gave the Hornets preferential treatment for allowing such a trade with his money. I imagine that he’s not the only owner that felt that way. Regardless, the Hornets got a good young player in exchange for Marcus Thornton and his small contract.

Utah Jazz- The Jazz received a nice package in return for star point guard, Deron Williams. They received Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, a first and cash for the former Illinois standout. A good return on investment for a team that knew they weren’t going to be able to keep the player in Salt Lake City.

Portland Trailblazers- Joel Pryzbilla for Gerald Wallace? I don’t think I need to go any further.

 

Losers:

Detroit Pistons- Still have all their players and head coach. That’s a mistake.

Charlotte Bobcats- Gave up arguably their best big man in Nazr Mohammed as well as Gerald Wallace for Morris Peterson, Joel Pryzbilla and DJ White. They gave up a player that interacted well with fans as well as the face of their franchise.

Boston Celtics- I don’t even know what the Celtics were thinking. Athletically they are overpowered by the Miami Heat. With Perkins, they had the physicality on their side, but they just traded it to Oklahoma City. You have four all-stars cemented into your rotation, so where does Jeff Green fit in? Do you move Kevin Garnett to center and plug Green in to the power forward? Regardless, you’re trying to stoop down to the Heat’s level when you already had the advantage. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Jeff Green is a great young player, but I question he and Nenad Krstic’s role in the Celtics scheme.

 

Incomplete:

New Jersey Nets- Let me be the first to state that I am very pro-Mikhail Prokorov (Nets owner). I think he gets it and is dedicated to building a contender. However, if you can’t get Deron Williams to sign an extension, then this trade is a huge bust. If you give up a better than average point guard in Devin Harris, along with your young star, Derrick Favors, without locking Deron Williams up long-term, then you are really putting yourself out there. I like the trade if you can get him signed, but until then, you get an INC.

Questions, comments, concerns?

Product Recall for Dumars’ Pistons

Deadline deals were made across the landscape of the NBA. There was one team, that for me, was noticeably absent; the Detroit Pistons. It was clear early on that while the team had a lot of veterans, they lacked leadership. None of the players have respect for head coach, John Kuester.

Early in the season, Kuester clashed with star forward Tayshaun Prince. The Yahoo Sports article ( http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=mc-princepistons111610 ) quoted Prince as saying, “I hope it doesn’t happen again. I can’t say it won’t because I’m the type of guy that if I don’t see something right, I got to say something.” The problem was that this was already the SECOND reported incident of the player and coach arguing.

In fact, there have been other player-coach run-ins documented through the course of the season. Point guard, Rodney Stuckey, was another one of many Pistons that has been reported to have been in a confrontation with the coach.

So when the NBA trade deadline came and went on Thursday, there was only one surprise. No one had been moved. When you are endorsing moving forward with the same head coach and the same discouraged players, then you can’t be surprised when it turns in to an episode of The Real Housewives. And it did.

Several Pistons sat out the team shoot around in Philadelphia in protest of the team moving forward with John Kuester. In response, Kuester sat out Tayshaun Prince, Tracy McGrady, Richard Hamilton, Chris Wilcox, Rodney Stuckey, Austin Daye and Ben Wallace. The Pistons would dress only six players in an unsurprising defeat to the .500 Philadelphia 76ers. The game saw the Pistons’ head man get ejected in the second quarter, which sparked this reaction from the bench.

So why were no trades made at the deadline? You have expiring contracts and a revolting team. Was it their desire to build on their 21-39 record with only six guys willing to play for the former Cleveland Cavaliers assistant? Or was it their desire to continue to age and not get any better? Whatever the reasoning, the Pistons are in a bad spot. To get better in the future, you have to prepare in the present. Can the Piston’s organization say they made themselves better at the trade deadline? I say no. Like the city’s main industry, you have to admit your mistakes and scrap the product in hope that you learn in the future.

100 Things to Do Before I Die (#13)

*Image is from Bard Entertainment

Time and time again, I have taken in the New Year’s Eve festivities with my close friends, family and Dick Clark. We gather around the TV as the clock approaches midnight watching the enjoyment of those in Times Square. Just once, I want to be “one of those people.” It’s another one of those things that I honestly don’t mind not doing. However, it’s a unique moment that I wouldn’t mind taking in. My roommate this year told me that she had intentions of being in Times Square for the dropping of the ball. However, it was so structured and with the little room for movement, she went to the bars. With that said, this is an experience, so I’m going to change things up a bit. Number 13 on my Things to Do List is “Spend New Year’s Eve in Times Square…with Dick Clark.” It wouldn’t be the same without ya, big guy.

1. Spend time in all 50 states…without a terrorist.

2. Attend a BCS Title Game Featuring UK…without “the” recruiting room.

3. Go on a cruise…without Stewie Griffin.

4. Play Slamball…without LeBron.

5. Learn to Scuba Dive…without BP.

6. Take a plane ride…without luggage.

7. Eat authentic Italian food in Italy…without Jersey Shore.

8. Ride in a Limo…without the mafia.

9. Sit front row at a game of one of my favorite team’s…without Make-A-Wish.

10. Get a hot dog at the original Nathan’s…without some guy named Nathan.

11. Eating Authentic Brooklyn Style Pizza…without Jersey Shore.

12. Travel across the Atlantic to Europe…without a girl named Rose and a guy named Jack.

13. Spend New Year’s Eve in Times Square…with Dick Clark.

Lots of Commotion in the High School Football Ranks

A lot of positive buzz around the University of Kentucky’s recruiting efforts, particularly in-state. It sounds as though one or multiple prospects are “about to pop”.  Who will be that first commitment? Sounds as though there are a few waiting on someone else to be the first to stick their toe in the water. Once the first domino falls, it may be quickly followed. It’s that time of year where some question, “am I ready for this?”, “why hasn’t anyone else committed?”, “am I rushing things?”. This class won’t have quite the playmaking ability of some in the past, but early reports indicate that this year’s class could very well better last year’s. Stay tuned. BigBlue247 is doing their best at being Johnny on the Spot. Covering their bases all around.

The Art of Fundraising Pt. 2

In part one of “The Art of Fundraising”, I explained how fundraising can be done effectively. Effectively means increasing brand awareness as well as monetary reserves. In Part 2, I will explain how you build and maintain a relationship with your donors.

First, as in any business, you have to know your customers. Some people simply just don’t want to be bothered. For them, you send a card every now and then explaining what has been going on and say that you’ve been thinking about them. In as much of a non-creepy manner as possible.

However, there are those that want to be spoken to. For those people, you must treat them like family or a family friend. Get to know their family, their values and their likes/dislikes.

A lot of big donors like to play golf, so you should always have a golf “specialist” on your fundraising staff. However, there are people who don’t enjoy a good round of golf. To suit those people, suggest another activity or even just going to get a bite to eat or grab a cup of coffee. Fundraisers tend to overthink things. Donors are people. Get to know them. Don’t be fake. Don’t focus on business. Ask them about their family and their life or just talk about the teams in general. Make sure you host an event for all of your donors and potential donors to get together and converse. Here at Ohio University, we do an ox roast each year. There are games for the kids as well as free food at the stadium and it is open to all donors and potential donors.

The important thing about building and maintaining a relationship is to be cordial and interested in people. It’s no different than how you would treat people outside of your employment.

Finally, the biggest thing an athletic department can do in any capacity is to utilize social media. There are free and endless opportunities to reach out to new and current customers. Twitter, Facebook, blogging, whatever. Whether you believe in it or not, you have to embrace it to be a successful athletic department. Those who are ahead of the changes will prevail. Hold contests, divulge information and ask questions to your followers. It’s a quick and easy way to not only keep everyone informed, but to build your brand. Again, the University of Tennessee leads the way. @TennesseeFund on Twitter. The best way to effectively market your social media is to have your head coaches send it around and even advertise it on your website, sporting events. 

That’s all I’ve got. I hope you found it enlightening. If you have any questions or ideas, then feel free to express them in the Comment portion below or send me an email JoshEdwards.je@gmail.com.