Archives for December 2009

Less than “24” hours until Outback Bowl kick off

By West Lamy

Northwestern is completing their final team preparations including the television series “24” for movie night before the January 1st Outback bowl in Tampa, Florida. “Jack Bauer, that is all that need be said, he is the modern day MacGyver” Coach Pat Fitzgerald said in the early news conference. The Wildcats are making their first trip to a January bowl game since 1997, and the 11 a.m. ET kickoff is less than 24 hours away. And for two straight years, before all games their team activity has been watching the television series.

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Ten reasons why it’s great to be a fan of Wisconsin Badger and Green Bay Packer football

By Jake McCormick

It’s a good week to be a fan of Wisconsin professional and collegiate football.

After a year and a half of consistent scrutiny surrounding Ted Thompson, Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers, the Packers are headed back to the playoffs and are considered one of the hottest teams in the NFL in a wide open race to the Super Bowl. Throw in all the clichés you want here (A dangerous team no division winner wants to face, peaking at the right time, don’t sleep on the Packers, etc.). [Read more…]

Illinois vs. #25 Northwestern, LIVE from Assembly Hall!

7:40 PM: Welcome back to the cozy, cozy Ass. Hall, in Champaign-Urbana Illinois!  The prairie is covered in snow, and the Illini are taking to the court! Happy Holidays all, and hopefully we’ll have a great game to start the Big Ten season, one that will need to spell redemption for the Illini, or trouble could ensue…

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Sidetracked: Adam James Trapped in a Closet?

By: Melissa S. Wollering

Every so often in Sidetracked, we veer off topic, down the path everyone’s thinking but no one’s saying.

With no disrespect to what I’m sure was slightly abusive and highly uncomfortable, it sounds like Adam James was trapped in a closet. “Confined to a small dark areas while the rest of the team practiced” sounds almost poetic.

Literary greats were trapped in closets and cupboards and turned out allright. (Feel free to list referenced characters below.)  Doesn’t solitary confinement serve a disturbing yet therapeutic purpose? Perhaps Adam James’ experience can best be told through the eyes of R&B lyricist extraordinaire, R. Kelly. [Read more…]

NBA Draft Stock Report 12-30

By: David Kay

Every week The Sports Bank’s resident NBA Draft and college basketball nerd, David Kay takes a look at whose draft stock is on the rise and whose is falling.  You can check out full player prospects here and David’s 2010 NBA Mock Draft here.
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Iowa State’s Craig Brackins has “League” Potential

By Paul M. Banks

After a sophomore year that was pretty close to 20 and 10 per outing, 6-10 Iowa State forward Craig Brackins decided to return for his junior year. Since most 2010 NBA mock drafts have him any where from the lottery to the mid/late first round, it’s not likely he’ll stay in Ames after this year.

I recently had an exclusive with him during the Chicago Invitational where I asked him what he’s focusing on to take his game up a notch. “Working on taking more contact, finishing on contact plays, my defense, rebounding, there’s a lot of things I need to work on, so I’m just trying to work on everything”

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Big Ten Power Rankings 12-30

By Paul M. Banks

1. Purdue (12-0, 1-0)
Now that conference play has started for what seems like the earliest point in history, it’s time to decide who the conference favorite is, and it’s pretty obvious as the Boilers are off to their best start since the Glenn “Big Dog” Robinson era

2. Michigan State (9-3)
They are a tad overrated. Even in this specific power rankings, I probably gave them to much credit. But I have a feeling Izzo’s benching of Kalin Lucas might wake them up. By the way, backup (sometimes starting) F/C Derrick Nix is shooting 3-28 from the charity stripe this season. No, that’s not a typo.

3. Northwestern (10-1)
Ranked in the Associated Press poll for the first time in 41 years and winners of nine straight, the #25 Wildcats have done it all without injured star Kevin Coble. That’s got to make Bill Carmody the Coach of the Year award front-runner so far

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Prized recruit Alex Legion Leaves Illini

By Paul M. Banks

Special thanks to Illinois for the picture

It’s yet another move for the highly heralded recruit, who just can’t seem to find a spot anywhere. Junior guard Alex Legion (Detroit, Mich.) has left the Illinois basketball program. “Alex is a good kid who faced a difficult situation in returning to the court last year at semester break,” Illinois head coach Bruce Weber said. “He worked hard during his time here and gave great effort. We wish him the best and we’ll do whatever we can to help him in his transition.” When he came to Illinois last year, he was rated the highest recruit of the Bruce Weber era at the time.

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Outback Bowl Preview Northwestern vs. Auburn

By West Lamy

The storyline coming into the 24th annual Outback Bowl is Northwestern’s coming up short in the postseason since 1949. That’s right, a 60-year streak without a bowl win. In their first trip to a January bowl since 1997, the 8-4 Cats will try and lay to rest a six-game bowl losing streak on New Year’s Day. “ It will be great to get that monkey off our back. It is the last negative said about out football program. A win will be a great way to send off our 21 seniors,” coach Pat Fitzgerald said.

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Texas Tech Coach Mike Leach Puts Player in Closet

By Alex Simon

If you thought Texas Tech was playing with fire when hiring Bobby Knight, Tech was messing with a forest fire by not firing head football coach Mike Leach when they had the chance this offseason.  And if the accusations against Leach are true, then hall of fame hardliner Bobby Knight looks like a true mench.

Red Raider redshirt sophomore receiver Adam James, son of ESPN college football analyst Craig James, filed a complaint about being mistreated by Leach after suffering an injury.

A source close to the family said James sustained a concussion on Dec. 16, was examined on Dec. 17 and told not to practice due to a concussion and an elevated heart rate. The source said Leach called a trainer and directed him to move James “to the darkest place, to clean out the equipment and to make sure that he could not sit or lean. He was confined for three hours.”  James said Leach told him that if he came out he would be kicked off the team.

According to the source, Leach told the trainer, two days later, to “put James in the darkest, tightest spot. It was in an electrical closet, again, with a guard posted outside.”

Leach has been suspended in light of these accusations and will not coach their bowl game.

NFL Mock Draft 12-29

Northwestern Basketball Nationally Ranked for 1st Time in 41 Years


By Paul M. Banks

Northwestern ranked No. 25 in this week’s AP poll

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