Alex Bentley

Recent Articles

‘Under-the-radar’ rookies take their best shots




They haven’t as yet received attention similar to “The Big 3” WNBA rookies — Brittney Griner, Skylar Diggins and Elena Delle Donne — but here are two other “under the radar” rookies who are also worth noting.  

Ta’Shauna Rodgers 

A first-round selection usually is a roster lock, but that’s not necessarily the case for players picked in later rounds. Once a projected first-rounder, Minnesota guard Ta’Shauna “Sugar” Rodgers was the 14th overall pick in the 2013 Draft. “I had to come in here and try out,” recalls the second-rounder. “When I made the team, I was excited. Continue Reading →

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WNBA season preview




The 2013 WNBA season opened last weekend in Dickensian fashion — great expectations. “I think this is the most anticipated season for me,” proclaims ESPN analyst and former WNBA coach/general manager Carolyn Peck. SB Nation’s Nate Parham analyzed each W club, in 25 words or less, by conference, beginning with the East:

[New coach Mike Thibault] “will make a huge difference” in Washington, but unresolved ball-handling issues may prove too much. Atlanta still is Angel McCoughtry’s team, but point guard might be a problem. This year’s second overall pick, Elena Delle Donne, will help Chicago, but can the Sky overcome the early absence of star guard Epiphanny Prince, who contractually must play in Russia in June? Continue Reading →

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Rooney Rule misnamed — should be called Rooney Ruse


The NFL’s Rooney Rule that mandates teams looking for a new head coach to interview at least one Black candidate today resembles a Peanuts comic strip. Team general managers and owners are like Lucy holding the football, and Black coaches are Charlie Browns watching head-coaching jobs perennially snatched from beneath them under the guise of an inclusive interviewing process. Seven recent head-coach job openings — zero Blacks hired. Andy Reid was hired four days after being fired. Former college coach Chip Kelly met with two teams, returned to Oregon, and falsely told his bosses that he was staying put, then bolted off to Philadelphia to replace Reid. Continue Reading →

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Message to student-athletes: ‘No means no!’


Apparently based on recent events, two suggested prerequisite courses for all college studentathletes at all three NCAA division schools should be, first, an English class on the true meaning of the word “no,” and second a class on “making right choices.”

A former Hamline University men’s basketball player was recently charged with felony second-degree assault after he allegedly hit a woman in the face while in Spokane, Washington on New Year’s Eve. When she heard about the incident, Crystal Flint briefly chatted with one of her sons: “I told him that no one knew how it was going to turn, [but] somebody has to do the morally correct thing and go…at least tell somebody,” she recalls. If Flint, herself a former University of Minnesota student-athlete, is successful in convincing her youngster to do the “morally correct thing,” it will help eradicate the notion of individual willfulness embedded in too many young people’s minds that falsely tells them that whatever they do, rightly or wrongly, is acceptable these days. This notion we adults have somehow, consciously or unconsciously, planted and watered in them, thus enabling them and bankrupting them morally. This is even more so if the young person has been tagged a “star athlete” in his or her formative years, depriving them of understanding and of consistently hearing the word “no.” Sometimes we see a dangerous pattern developing and allow it to go unchecked. Continue Reading →

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Gophers tackle represents local talent on the team

It’s a rarity in Gopher football to see a player listed on its current roster from the Minneapolis City Conference. It’s even rarer that a city player is a starter as well. Ra’Shede Hageman is that rarity. Hageman plays nose tackle this season for Minnesota (5-3). He formerly played tight end at Minneapolis Washburn but was switched to the defensive line when he was redshirted in 2009. Continue Reading →

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