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Georgia Pine Smells Good and MSU Looks Great: Women’s Golf Advances to NCAA Championship Finals
May 10th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

Georgia Pine Suits MSU Fine

The MSU Women’s Golf team seems to excel when playing in the neighborhood of the Tall Georgia Pine. Continuing its trend of solid play under pressure MSU advanced out of the Athens, Georgia Regional to the 2017 NCAA National Championship Round to be held in Sugar Grove Illinois on May 19th-24th. A full recap is [here].

Meanwhile the Detroit Tigers of MLB continue their West Coast Trip, taking on the Snakes in Phoenix.  Detroit beat Arizona 7-3 on Tuesday night with newly designated Closer Justin Wilson pitched a perfect 9th – although not a Save situation.  The Tigers are 3rd in the American League Central 1.5 Games behind Cleveburgh.

MSU Women’s Softball (seeded #7) takes on Indiana tomorrow to begin the B1G Tournament Championship.  The game will be broadcast on BTN at 4:30 PM (EDT).  The background story is [here].

For the first time in decades, no Red Wings in the NHL Playoffs.  However, there is a Game 7 being played with the winner advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals.  Follow [here]

MSU Takes 2017 B1G Women’s Golf Championship Title – Spartan Will at its Finest
Apr 23rd, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

Like a well trained, well equipped, motivated, and organized force;  the Michigan State Women’s Golf Team decided the 2017 B1G Women’s Golf Championship was their prize to capture. To those who were desiring of holding off MSU – our sincerest condolences.  Oh, and the truck you believe just hit you? It looked to be the color Green – more specifically WEB Color: 18453B.

2017 MSU Women’s Golf Team. Yes, they are smiling. The reason? They know (as do many opponents) that after three rounds they are likely taking a title home with them.

MSU blitzed the competition in the 3rd and Final Round of play to claim the victory at TPC River’s Bend in Maineville, Ohio.  The Spartans overcame #12 Northwestern’s 4 stroke lead at the start of the day and beat them by 2 strokes overall – finishing the tournament at + 2 PAR (866) to the Wildcats +4 (868).

The reward – a sixth B1G Championship for Head Coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll and a trip (for the entire team) to the NCAA Regional Championships.

For the Tournament MSU’s Sarah Burnham (JR) placed 2nd at -5 PAR (211), Allyson Geer (F) finished 4th EVEN PAR (216), Katie Sharp (RS JR) placed (T) 5th at +2 PAR (218), Carolyn Markley (SO) and Paz Marfa (F) placed (T) 25th at +12 PAR (228) and Logan Otter (RS F) finished at +21 PAR (T) 53rd.

Similar to its taking the title of the Buckeye Classic last weekend MSU overcame a national power (Texas last week and Northwestern this week) after spotting the competition a first round lead.

For the 2017 B1G Championship MSU wore down Northwestern’s 10 stroke lead after round 1 in two distinctly different manners.  On Saturday MSU’s Burnham scorched the PAR 72 course with a  B1G Championship and MSU all-time individual round low (-9 PAR 63).  On Sunday the entire MSU squad was the total difference.  MSU adhered to the adage play-the-course-not-the-competition.  Geer, Sharp, Markely shot under PAR final rounds and Otter shot +1 PAR. Burham shot a +3 PAR and Marfa shot a +4 PAR.  Meanwhile Northwestern seemed to do the opposite and faded in the final day as four players shot +5 to +12 PAR for the round.

Michigan’s Elodie Van Dievoet shot a -2 PAR for the final round (-6 210 overall) to claim the individual title by one stroke over Burnham.  It is the second week in a row Burnham placed 2nd in the individual scoring to pace the squad in its title grabbing venture.  Burnham was the B1G Golfer of the Week last week and given her unprecedented round on Saturday will likely receive similar recognition this week.

As for Slobodnik-Stoll it is another B1G Title in a stellar career.  The former MSU player in 20 coaching seasons has led MSU to six B1G Titles, and with today’s victory 18 NCAA Regional appearances.

Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll, alongside her mentor and former MSU women’s golf coach, Mary Fossum. With today’s title, the two have combined to win 12 Big Ten Championships.

 

Spartan Surge – 2018 Women’s B1G Golf Championship: Round 2
Apr 22nd, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

Sarah Burnham

Spartan Sarah Burnham (JR) shot a scintillating -9 PAR 63 on Saturday to lead a surging MSU at the 2017 the B1G women’s Golf Championships on the TPC River’s Bend course in Maineville Ohio.  Burnham’s 2nd round result is the lowest single round score in B1G Women’s Championship and MSU team history. After two rounds Sarah sits at -8 PAR (136) which provides her with a 4 shot lead over Elodie Van Dievoet of Michigan and Emie Peronnin of Minnesota heading into Sunday’s Final Round.

MSU shot a combined -5 PAR (283) to vault into 2nd place behind #12 Northwestern who retained its 1st place standing by shooting a combined -3 PAR (285). The Spartans and Wildcats have three players each in the Top 10 Leader-board heading into the 3rd Round.  The Spartans (+5 PAR) are 8 strokes behind the Wildcats (-3 PAR).

Burnham was not the only Spartan to experience good fortune on Saturday as five of the six team members equaled or improved on their results from Friday’s opening round.  Freshman, and the state of Michigan’s perennial top female amateur golfer; Allyson Geer replicated Friday’s score and stands in 9th place overall.  RS Sophomore Katie Sharp improved three strokes from Friday’s round to shoot an EVEN PAR (72).  Sharp stands in 10 place overall.  Paz Marfa, the Freshman from Barcelona, Spain is in 21st.  Sophomore Carolyn Markley, who hails from the host city of the tournament is in 41st place and RS Freshman Logan Otter improved six strokes from Friday’s round and is in 75th place.

You can follow the championship via live stats [here].

Round 1 Recap is located [here].

Can Spartans Find Their Groove? – 2016 Women’s B1G Golf Championships
Apr 22nd, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

Sarah Burnham

Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll’s MSU Women’s Golf team stand in 5th place after Round 1 in the 2016 B1G Golf Championship.  Can the Spartans find their groove and move to the top of the leaderboard? They did it last week to take the Buckeye Classic.  However, MSU will have to make up 10 strokes (or about 1.5 strokes a player) – I would not count them out.

Why? MSU has two All-American’s on the six member card who are a clear threat to take the individual title;  Sarah Burnham (JR) and Allyson Geer (FR).  Both carded a +1PAR and sit at 4 stokes off the lead.  Both are used to thriving on the big stage.  Burnham represented the United States in last year’s World University Games – finishing 9th and helping the USA to a Bronze Medal.  And as for Geer, simply put; she is the best female amateur golfer in the state of Michigan.  Geer was named 2016 Golf Association of Michigan Women’s Player of the Year, won the 2015 and 2016 Michigan State Amateur Championships, becoming the youngest and just the third player in the last 23 years to win the event in consecutive years, and has been ranked #1 in Michigan since 2013.  MSU also has four battle tested teammates to help make up the ground in Katie Sharp, Carolyn Markley, Paz Marfa, and Logan Otter.

You can follow the championship via live stats [here].

US & USMC Stand Tall at TUS HQ.

TUS Cup

TUS HQ Grounds at – The Valley Club, Sun Valley Idaho.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Highly placed sources tell TUS that both Burnham and Geer feel their college career’s will not be complete until they take on The Marine (TUS’s MSU HOFer Tommy Hardenbergh.) on the links.  Our source says that Burnham was overheard saying, “None of this St. Augustine Florida or Portage Lake Michigan Cabin home course stuff.  Ideally I want a site such as the TUS HQ Valley Club course in Sun Valley, Idaho.”  Supposedly added Geer, “In fact, we should simply be able to compete for the TUS Cup.”  When asked for comment, TUS Compliance Officer GoSt8Go says “the ladies are Spartans and therefore – by rule – automatically eligible to be considered for membership in TUS.  Membership Committee Chairperson Maureen Whitman (aka Boston Spartan) says “both players – and in fact the whole squad – could gain membership in a Special Plebiscite.”  TUS Cup Director Rick Hurula (aka Trophy) says, “The Marine is tough tee through green, but I might as well start looking into shipping cost for the TUS Cup heading to East Lansing. We can ship it to Dave Pruder, and he can handle it from there.”

The scorecards and standings after Round 1.

Notice the Greer Eagle on the 18th hole.  Nice Finish!

J.D. Slams 3—Jordan Spieth Half-way To Slam
Jun 21st, 2015 by Kindle

Detroit 12, N.Y. 4: J.D. Martinez’s 3 HRs lead Tigers’ rout

J.D. Martinez homered three times and Victor Martinez homered once as the Tigers turned the tables on the Yankees during a 12-4 victory on Sunday at Yankee Stadium. Anibal Sanchez tossed seven strong innings against the Yankees, allowing three runs on seven hits and striking out five to get the win.

After losing by 11 runs Saturday night, Brad Ausmus held a closed-door meeting with his team in an effort to bump up the energy and intensity. The manager didn’t think his hitters were grinding at-bats consistently enough.  Call it payback if you want. But call it history, too.

Jordan Spieth won the 115th U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, emerging from a power-packed final-round leaderboard to defeat Dustin Johnson and Louis Oosthuizen by one shot and claim his second major title of the season. The 21-year-old Masters champion fired a final-round 69 and needed a final-hole birdie and some help from Johnson, who three-putted the final green, to secure the victory.

We have a Grand Slam march headed to St. Andrews and an American superstar golfer. Pretty exciting times!

Exciting finish. Horrific greens.  USGA … ahem’d … the pooch on the course and the greens, but got bailed out by possibly the most compelling hour of televised golf since Tiger vs. Bob May.

RELATED: View the Final Leaderboard From the U.S. Open

 

Jeopardy Sports Answer— “Who is Joe Buck?”

 

 

 

 

Max No-Hits ‘Em—Day Steadies—Tigers Blow Up
Jun 21st, 2015 by Kindle

Max Scherzer following his no-hitter, that was almost a perfect game, on Saturday. In his previous outing he allowed just one hit. These rank right up there with the best back-to-back performances in major league history. Scherzer became the fifth pitcher to allow one hit over consecutive complete games: Scherzer became the 13th pitcher in major league history to lose a perfect game with two outs in the ninth inning, and the first pitcher since Kevin Brown in 1997 to throw a no-hitter in which the only baserunner reached via a hit by pitch.

Jason Day walks off No. 18 after his second straight birdie put him at 4 under through the third round of the U.S. Open. Dealing with the lingering symptoms of vertigo and at times struggling to keep his balance, Jason Day somehow shot a 2-under-par 68 on Saturday at the U.S. Open to join a four-way tie for the lead after the third round. Day, who is ranked 10th in the world, collapsed on the final hole of the second round Friday, and it was unclear whether he would be able to play Saturday. Day, 27, walked slowly, bent over carefully to read putts and somehow plodded his way through 18 long, unforgiving holes at tough Chambers Bay in what turned into the round of the day and positioned him as the tournament’s newly minted sentimental favorite. Fans who’d seen Friday’s highlights when Day collapsed on the final green, a scary moment, cheered him on around the course throughout Saturday’s round. In a tournament that was hoping for a strong showing by Tiger Woods, Jason Day is providing the theater that Fox Network could not have scripted.

 

 

Tigers:

The Tigers’ blow-out loss to the Yankees yesterday is undeserving of a photo.

Fresh off a shutout of the Reds, Anibal Sanchez will take the mound for the Tigers this afternoon.

He’s starting to find his groove in June, but he is 5-7 with a 4.65 ERA this season.

Primetime U.S. Open
Jun 18th, 2015 by Kindle

2015 US Open: Odds, how to watch live and stream online

By Kyle Porter | Golf Writer

What is Greg Norman’s photo doing here?  I like the hat.~~~~Now, on to the U.S. Open…….

A US Open unlike any we’ve seen previously is what’s in store this week at Chambers Bay. The first of essentially two 2015 British Opens gets cranking on Thursday morning.

Since it’s played in the Pacific Northwest, it will be on television during primetime on the East Coast which always makes for some fun viewing.

So what are we going to see from the links-iest track in US Open history? Nobody really knows for sure which is part — or most — of the fun.

Let’s take a look at this tournament:

What: The 115th US Open
Where: University Place, Washington
When: Thursday-Sunday (June 18-21)
How to watch (all times Eastern): Click here for a full breakdown

Start times (all times Eastern)

Thursday, June 18 (First Round) – 10 a.m.

Friday, June 19 (Second Round) – 10 a.m.

Saturday, June 20 (Third Round) – 10 a.m.

Sunday, June 21 (Fourth Round) – 10 a.m.

Television schedule

Thursday, June 18 (First Round) – 12-8 p.m. (Fox Sports 1) and 8-11 p.m. (Fox)

Friday, June 19 (Second Round) – 12-8 p.m. (Fox Sports 1) and 8-11 p.m. (Fox)

Saturday, June 20 (Third Round) – 2-10 p.m. (Fox)

Sunday, June 21 (Fourth Round) – 2-10:30 p.m. (Fox)

Live streaming on USOpen.com (click to watch)

Thursday, June 18 (First Round) – 10:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. (Featured groups and holes)

Friday, June 19 (Second Round) – 11 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. (Featured groups and holes)

Saturday, June 20 (Third Round) – 2 p.m. – TBD (Featured groups and holes)

Sunday, June 21 (Fourth Round) – 10:30 a.m. – TBD (Featured groups and holes)

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow @KylePorterCBS on Twitter and link up with CBS Sports Golf on Facebook and Google+.

Tiger Woods will be a main attraction this week at Chambers Bay. (Getty Images)
Tiger Woods will be a main attraction this week at Chambers Bay. (Getty Images)

Participants and odds (via Bovada)

Rory McIlroy: 7-1
Jordan Spieth: 8-1
Phil Mickelson: 16-1
Dustin Johnson: 18-1
Justin Rose: 18-1
Rickie Fowler: 18-1
Henrik Stenson: 25-1
Adam Scott: 28-1
Bubba Watson: 28-1
Hideki Matsuyama: 28-1
Jason Day: 33-1
Jim Furyk: 33-1
Jimmy Walker: 33-1
Sergio Garcia: 33-1

Field strength: A+

It’s not the Players or PGA Championship, but the upper part of this field is immense as is always the case with a major. It’s interesting to look at the odds, though. Some names at the top (Stenson, Matsuyama and Walker) are normally not ahead of some names farther back (Tiger Woods, Hunter Mahan and Martin Kaymer).

Story to watch: It always comes back to Phil Mickelson. Lefty turned 45 on Tuesday, and he probably only has a couple of big runs left in him at the US Open.

Will Phil Mickelson finally get his slam? (Getty Images)
Will Phil Mickelson finally get his slam? (Getty Images)

It would be quite a thing to see the man who could never solve a British Open win a tournament on US soil that’s been universally deemed “an American British Open.”

Course breakdown

There are going to be casual golf fans who tune in this weekend and think “what am I watching?” Others, I’ve been told, will consider it, “the most stunning sports venue ever televised.” Either way, it’s going to be absolutely riveting to see how the leaders try and solve this Rubik’s Cube on the water.

Tee-to-green shots are going to be pretty standard, if not downright straightforward. How golfers get from these mammoth fairways to the greens and then navigate the bowled-out areas, is going to be fascinating.

Scoring

At the 2010 US Amateur here, Jordan Spieth shot an 83. That should give you an idea of how difficult it is. The last time a score worse than 1 over won this tournament, it was Angel Cabrera’s 5 over in 2007 at Oakmont. That’s in play this week depending on how the course is set up.

I’ll tab the winning number at 2 over mostly because Rory McIlroy said he thinks somebody can get up and go like last year at Pinehurst. That worries me a little bit.

Stats to know

Mark Broadie, who is much smarter than I am, thinks adjusted scoring in PGA Tour events leading up to this event is a massively-important indicator of who’s going to win. That means Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia and Jim Furyk are all going to play well.

At least two of those guys will. By the way, are we sleeping a little bit on Jim Furyk? Yeah, he might need a cutoff man off the tee, but he’s also No. 1 in proximity to the hole from the fairway and top 10 in tee-to-green strokes gained. It’s worth considering, anyway.

Past winners

2014: Martin Kaymer
2013: Justin Rose
2012: Webb Simpson
2011: Rory McIlroy
2010: Graeme McDowell

You have to go back to 2009 to find a bad-name winner (Lucas Glover). This tournament usually crowns kings of the sport and almost all of these guys qualify. Plenty of people have said this year’s version is going to produce a no-name winner. I completely disagree.

Gordon Spieth on the Cusp of Historic Masters Moment
Apr 12th, 2015 by Kindle

Phil Mickelson will have to make up five strokes on Sunday to win his fourth green jacket.

When Jordan Spieth set out on Sunday 12 months ago at Augusta National, there were 11 players within four strokes of the lead. When the final turn begins this year at the Masters, only one player will be within four, and he’s not named Bubba.

Justin Rose produced a blistering charge late in the third round of the Masters to close to within four shots of the leader, Jordan Spieth. Photograph: Mark Blinch/Reuters

Gordon Speith holds a tournament-record 16 under par after 3 rounds and is four shots clear of Justin Rose (67) heading into Sunday.  For a moment after the 16th hole it appeared as if Speith had this thing sewed up…..but then a 3-putt on 17 for a double bogey brought him back to the field just enough to allow for some drama in today’s final round. Spieth featured a deft touch on the 18th green to keep the margin from closing even further.

Justin Rose conjured up five birdies in his last six holes, including a chip-in from the bunker on 16, to finish at 12 under and remain in the hunt for his first Green Jacket. Phil Mickelson is five shots back, while Charley Hoffman signed for a 1-under 71 and a 10-under total. No other player is fewer than 10 shots back to start today’s play.

Four golfers have won the Masters wire-to-wire; Craig Wood in 1941, Arnold Palmer in 1960,  Jack Nicklaus in 1972, and Raymond Floyd in 1976.  Should Speith falter and one of those chasing him end up wearing the Green Jacket it will call to mind the 1996 Masters:  In that memorable one Nick Faldo overcame a six-stroke deficit going into the final day as Greg Norman, leader after each of the first three rounds, choked down the stretch (once again) at Augusta.

 

CURRENT LEADERBOARD

 

Weekend Questions~~~What has #18 QB Connor Cook been up to? How about #14 Gary Harris? Who’s on the leaderboard @ British Open?
Jul 19th, 2013 by Kindle

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Photo courtesy of Rick Waugh

Mike Griffith told us today that the 6’4″, 215 pound Michigan State redshirt sophomore Connor Cook followed QB coach guru George Whitfield Jr. to Ohio to continue working with him this week, according to numerous reports on social media.

The rifle-armed Cook, who enters fall drills No. 2 on the Spartans’ depth chart, was in San Diego learning how to operate under pressure and in limited space underWhitfield’s direction last week.

Whitfield is one of the most noted teachers of QB skills in the nation, with a laundry list of star pupils including Heisman Trophy winners Johnny Manziel and Cam Newton, as well as up-and-comers like Michigan’s Devin Gardner.

Cook’s willingness to polish his skill sets is a positive for the Spartans, no doubt, but it’s Cook’s decision-making that must improve if he is to earn the trust from his offensive coaches.

Cook’s former quarterbacks coach since turned offensive coordinator, Dave Warner, said as much following the Green-White Spring Game.

“Like a lot of guys he needs to be consistent and not make the bad plays,” Warner said following the April scrimmage. “He’s certainly capable of making big plays, like scrambling around.”

The scrambling and extension of plays is a positive; Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio has harped on his quarterbacks looking to make more out of less.

But not at the expense of turnovers or sacks.

Cook drew much praise for directing an eight-play, 45-yard game-winning drive for the Spartans’ in their 17-16 victory over TCU in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.

But it was hardly a case of Cook throwing one completion after another.

In fact, Cook finished 4-of-11 passing for 47 yards and a touchdown.

Incumbent Andrew Maxwell wasn’t any more impressive against the Horned Frogs, finishing 6-of-15 passing for 28 yards.

The Spartans’ pass game improved this spring, but not to a level that made Warner comfortable as the team exited the spring phase.

“I continue to be concerned with our pass game, with our efficiency there, throwing, catching, protecting, the whole thing put together,” Warner said in his closing spring game statement. “I think we made strides this spring there, but think we have a ways to go.”

Cook’s time with Whitfield represents baby steps.

The real test will come in fall drills, when Cook looks to perform within the confines of the Michigan State offense and show his coaches he’s capable of making good decisions.

Where Maxwell has been known to check down and make the safe throws — Maxwell tossed only 10 interceptions last season — Cook was more of a gunslinger, anxious to get the pass game vertical even if it meant forcing passes on occasion.

The jury is out on whether Cook has pulled the reins in on himself enough to satisfy Dantonio.

“I just need to clean up some of the stuff I did, trying to do too much,” Cook reflected after his spring game performance. “I just have to play within myself and trust myself and everything that I do. Not trying to create all this stuff that is going on around me.

“High risk, high reward — the majority of the time, I would say big plays don’t happen, but every once in a while you’re bound to find a guy and have a big play created scrambling around.

“The only guy that can do that and get away with it every time is Johnny Football, not me.”

In the spring game, Cook was 10-of-26 passing for 217 yards — including a 63-yard completion —one touchdown and two sacks.

Maxwell was 9 of 20 for 110 yards, one touchdown, two sacks and a 46-yard completion.

Both quarterbacks experienced drops from a receivers corps that, while improved, continued to have its struggles with nine dropped passes in 54 opportunities.

Dantonio’s initial spring game assessment seemed to give the edge to Maxwell.

“I thought Connor Cook executed and threw the ball well, but had a couple of critical runs backwards and around and that’s something he has to learn to do,” Dantonio said. “As far as the white team, I thought Maxwell was consistent, had some dropped passes. The wind was swirling out there; there were bad weather conditions. Nevertheless, I thought that he threw the ball pretty effectively, but you have to catch the ball on the other side.”

Cook left the spring game saying he felt he and Maxwell were “pretty close” in their battle for the starting job.

Dantonio has said many times this summer that Maxwell is No. 1 heading into fall drills.

But, the head coach has also said, starting jobs “will be determined in the fall.”

Hondo Carpenter also used the G word when he spoke of Cook this week—” …Cook has a lot of Brett Favre gunslinger in him. A lot. We saw it in the 4th quarter of the Buffalo Wild Wings game. 2:42 to go, 1st and ten, and MSU had the ball at their own 25. Cook stood in the pocket, unfazed by the rush and made a perfect quick decision read to pass the ball to Bell. He has the instincts and he has no fear at all. He is a playmaker.”

On the other hand………”Against CMU in the 4th quarter he had the ball at the CMU 46 with 1:49 on the clock and MSU facing a 3rd and 17. The Spartans were in the gun and he had a RB offset to his right. The play call was a pass. Cook threw a swing pass to the RB, it was a toss more than a throw; a mistake that was picked off and run into the end zone for a pick-six. He was a freshman trying to make a play and it is something he can easily overcome. He has to be accurate. Favre took chances, Favre threw interceptions, and Favre also struggled at times with accuracy. Winning covers a lot and Cook is a winner.”

Can Cook win the pitched battle that some are predicting to be the top dog?

Author’s note: (Personally I do not see it as a “dog fight.”  Dantonio has shown that he is capable of handling a multiple dog household).

No matter who wins the job, they could well be on a short leash.  While unlikely to enter the season as the starter, surely Connor Cook will get plenty of reps this year. When he does, he has to make them count.

Lately Gary Harris has reportedly been putting a lot of time in the weight room and working on his ball handling.

High expectations????  The sky is the limit for #14.

As a freshman, Harris:

— Finished second on the team in both minutes played and scoring, averaging 13 points per game.

— Led the team in offensive rating.

— Shot a fabulous 41% on threes, a very-good-for-a-guard 50% on twos, and a solid 76% at the free throw line.

— Was the most trustworthy Spartan player with the ball in his hands (15.2% turnover rate).

— Played, by general acclamation, the most consistent defense on the team (including posting the second best steal rate on the team).

It’s pretty hard to “break out” from that.

Early in the season, we noted how much more explosive Harris was out of the gate than previous MSU wing players of the Tom Izzo era. Looking at his full season numbers, he really stands out as a unique figure among MSU freshmen in the KenPom era (PORPAG info is here):
MSU Freshman, 2003-2013
Min% of 25%+
Player Season OffRtg Poss% Min% PORPAG
Erazem Lorbek 2003 105.1 21.5 38.5 0.88
Maurice Ager 2003 102.4 20.2 33.0 0.60
Paul Davis 2003 94.1 26.6 44.3 0.45
Shannon Brown 2004 97.1 21.2 56.3 0.67
Drew Neitzel 2005 96.0 17.4 40.5 0.35
Goran Suton 2006 95.2 14.2 32.9 0.21
Travis Walton 2006 94.8 10.7 45.7 0.21
Raymar Morgan 2007 96.5 25.4 55.1 0.74
Chris Allen 2008 101.1 23.6 31.0 0.59
Durrell Summers 2008 107.9 23.7 27.2 0.80
Isaiah Dahlman 2008 106.1 15.9 28.8 0.51
Kalin Lucas 2008 103.4 25.3 62.6 1.51
Delvon Roe 2009 103.2 18.7 44.9 0.79
Draymond Green 2009 111.5 16.6 27.8 0.67
Keith Appling 2011 101.2 15.2 56.7 0.71
Branden Dawson 2012 109.8 21.8 43.1 1.27
Travis Trice 2012 97.7 16.9 37.1 0.38
Denzel Valentine 2013 93.9 18.7 52.0 0.36
Gary Harris 2013 114.7 20.6 70.1 2.39

The only other freshman over the last decade Izzo has trusted to play anywhere close to the minutes he gave Harris was Kalin Lucas. And, while Harris didn’t have to consume quite as many possessions as some other key freshmen have had to, his offensive efficiency was head and shoulders above the rest of this group.

If there’s a key for Harris as a sophomore, it’s simply this: Stay healthy. After basically missing two games early in the season when his left shoulder popped out in the first minute of the Boise State game, Harris battled issues with both shoulders throughout the season. This pretty clearly affected his game at times. After looking to drive to the rim more aggressively early in the season, Harris drifted outside more regularly toward the middle of the season (not that that was necessarily a bad thing, given this three-point shooting prowess). Harris did regain his confidence in the lane later in the season.

Following the conclusion of the season, Harris and the coaching staff decided rehabbing his shoulder was preferable to undergoing surgery. The report is that he’s good to go now, although shoulder injuries have a way of lingering through a player’s career. In a worst case scenario, hopefully Harris can fight through any issues with the same toughness he displayed this past season. Harris on the whole thing:

“I’m just the type of person that’s going to play through regardless,” said Harris, who had offers from Notre Dame, Kentucky, Iowa, Indiana and Purdue to play wide receiver coming out of high school. “I sat out the first two games, but after that I couldn’t sit out anymore. I was going to play even if the shoulder fell off. So it feels good to finally get back to 100% healthy and get back to how I used to be.”

Avoiding injuries would also potentially make Harris a bigger factor in getting to the free throw line (29.8% free throw rate) and crashing the glass (3.7%/6.2% rebounding percentages)–although the presence of Branden Dawson and Denzel Valentine as guards who rebound well reduces the importance of that skill for Harris. Harris’ only other arguable weakness from a statistical standpoint is passing the ball (9.8% assist rate), but it’s not like he has shown a tendency to take bad shots instead of passing the ball off to open teammates.

Through one season, Gary Harris has been everything he was billed to be–and more. We will now have the privilege of being able to watch a guy who could have easily been an NBA lottery pick compete on behalf of our college team for another season. He enters his sophomore season as the likely preseason Big Ten Player of the Year and a clear All-American candidate. (The Only Colors)

Miguel Angel Jimenez, British Open 2013, Second Round

Miguel Angel Jimenez (above) has the British Open lead after a second round 71.  Tiger Woods was among four players just one stroke behind, a group that also included English favorite Lee Westwood, long-hitting American Dustin Johnson, and Sweden’s Henrik Stenson. Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and first-round leader Zach Johnson were another stroke back, still in the game despite tough finishes.

View the LEADERBOARD HERE.  Nine players sit under par after Round 2

GULLANE, Scotland — Halfway through this sun-scorched British Open Championship, it’s clear that no one is going to win the claret jug. Rather, one player is going to lose it a little bit less than everyone else.

The stretching routine that Miguel Angel Jimenez goes through before each round may look a bit ridiculous.

Even more from the British Open– When Thomas Bjorn hit his tee shot way left on the first hole at Muirfield Thursday, he may have thought it would cost him a shot or two … but not $80,000.

Mickelson: ‘Too Much Course For Me’

Phil Mickelson talks with Tom Rinaldi after shooting a 3-over-par 74 in Round 2.

 

Who is Going to Put on the Green Jacket?
Apr 14th, 2013 by Jeffrey Lubeck

So who is going to take the Masters Tournament Title in 2013?  Who will earn the right to put on the famous Green Jacket?

The largest single comebacks on the final day at this magnificent tournament are:

Jack Burke – 9 strokes in 1956 (eight at start of play on Sunday)

Gary Player – 8 strokes in 1978

Nick Faldo – 6 strokes in 1996

At the start of play today 26 golfers are within 8 strokes.  Thirteen golfers are within five shots of the lead.

Where are the Green Jackets stored? At Augusta National in a wooden, finished locker with gold name plates on the front, with each year listed for the year won.  Burke and Tiger Woods share a locker.

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