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U of M assistant coach helps guards transition to college play

 

 

The main teaching point Saul Smith stresses to the Minnesota Gophers basketball guards he works with is tempo. “As a former point guard, I think tempo is going to be crucial to any player. “[Controlling] tempo — whether that’s faster or slow, whatever you play — you are going to be more successful. This is what we preach to our guys,” says Smith, the sixth-year assistant coach who helps develop the team guards. Does the fact that he once played guard in college help? Continue Reading →

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Vikings clinch playoffs, beat Packers 37-34

 

Yes, the Vikings are relevant again. They clinched the final NFC playoff spot Sunday by beating Green Bay 37-34 before 64,134 fans in one of the most electric, pressure-packed Viking games in franchise history. The great Adrian Peterson’s remarkable, incredible return from knee surgery fueled the Vikings’ return to the playoffs. Peterson came up just nine yards short (at 2,097) of breaking the all-time single-season rushing record of 2,105 set by Eric Dickerson in 1984. If you witnessed this game Sunday, you saw one of the greatest games in NFL history. Continue Reading →

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Sports highlights, plus banished words of 2012

Two members of our MSR sports experts’ panel recently released their 2012 best sports stories. Nate Parham of Swish Appeal places at the top of his list the Indiana Fever winning the 2012 WNBA championship. “I think Tamika Catchings [the finals MVP] has done so much for women’s basketball…throughout her career. I think the entire women’s basketball world was rooting for her to win a championship. People are comparing it to LeBron James [winning his first NBA title this year].”

Baylor’s undefeated season “obviously was a huge story,” Parham says. Continue Reading →

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Park Center-Osseo rivalry showcases b-ball talent

 

Last year in late December a friend of mine, former Minneapolis North and University of Minnesota women’s basketball player ELLEN HEBERT, suggested that I attend a boys’ basketball contest between Park Center and Osseo on Friday, January 6, 2011. I will admit I blew the invitation off at first. I live in St. Paul, and the thought of driving through traffic was enough for me to want to attend a game closer to my home. Not sure if it was voices I kept hearing or a gravitational pull that turned my car west on I-94 instead of east. Continue Reading →

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W’s goin’ through them changes

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

 

The WNBA last week did a Buddy Miles “Them Changes” and announced several new moves for the upcoming season.  

W draft in prime time 

After years of having their annual draft shown during daytime soap opera hours, the 2013 WNBA Draft will be shown for the first time next spring in prime time. ESPN2 will show the first round at 7 pm Central time on Monday, April 15. The second and third rounds then will be shown on ESPNU. Both league and network officials cite the historic change due to an anticipated star-studded first round that is expected to include Baylor center Brittney Griner and Notre Dame guard Skylar Diggins. Continue Reading →

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Top performers in boys’ hoops

The boys’ basketball season is off and running, and some of the state’s top players are already serving notice that they will be heard from before the season is over. Check out these top performances so far:

QUINTON HOOKER (Park Center) — The leading candidate for Mr. Basketball dropped 26 in a 72-70 victory over top-ranked Apple Valley. TYUS JONES (Apple Valley) — Considered by many as the top junior in the country, the point guard scored 20 in a loss to Park Center. RILEY DEARRING (Minnetonka) — The University of Wisconsin recruit had 16 in a 79-71 win over Robbinsdale Cooper. BRIDGE TUSLER (Osseo) — The all-state football player scored 16 points from his point guard position, helping the Orioles defeat Eastview 50-40. Continue Reading →

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Minnesota Timberwolves: The ‘Whitest team in the NBA’ has an even Whiter front office

 
Director of basketball operations counts coaching staff as front-office staff to claim diversity 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

The National Basketball Association for years has been graded as “the most racially diverse group of players of the major professional sports” by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES). Seventy-two percent of its players are Blacks and 82 percent of its players are people of color. This racial diversity has not yet found its way into the local NBA team, however, as a Star Tribune article recently pointed out with respect to the players, without even mentioning the club’s all-White front office. According to the 2011-12 “NBA Racial and Gender Report Card” by TIDES Director Dr. Richard Lapchick, 13 percent of team presidents/CEOs, 23 percent of GMs, 10 percent of vice presidents, 13 percent of senior administrators, 14 percent of professional administrators, five percent of team physicians and 21 percent of head trainers are Black. However in contrast, the Minnesota Timberwolves has no Blacks in any of the aforementioned positions: Since Billy McKinney, its first-ever player personnel director (1988-1990), the team has not had a person of color in a key front-office position in 22 years, and only three Blacks total in decision-making roles in the franchise’s entire 24 years. Continue Reading →

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In college sport, it’s still a White man’s world

 

An unfortunate imbalance continues in college sport according to the latest report by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES): White men run the show, and women in particular, in spite of Title IX, are losing ground rather than making progress. TIDES Director Richard Lapchick said last week in “Mild Progress Continues: Assessing Diversity among Campus and Conference Leaders for Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Schools in the 2012-13 Academic Year” that key leadership in schools such as Minnesota, and major conferences such as the Big Ten “remain[s] overwhelmingly White and male.”

The telling numbers: White men (92 of 120) hold 76 percent of the college president positions, 84 percent of athletic directors (101 of 120), and 64 percent of the faculty athletic representatives (81 of 126). Whites overall hold nearly 91 percent of the 366 campus leadership positions in America. Moreover, all 11 FBS conferences are run by White men. As a result, Lapchick points out, there’s little change in the number of Blacks in leadership roles: Four of the five Black presidents are male, and all nine Black athletic directors are males as well.  Also three of the five Black FARs are males. Continue Reading →

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