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LOC goes ‘midnight mad’ in basketball showcase


On Tuesday evening and into the wee hours of Wednesday morning, The LeMoyne-Owen College hosted Midnight Madness, a showcase of its 2014 men’s and women’s basketball teams.

The event was part skills showcase, part rap concert, part Greek step show, and all around “a lot of fun, and good for the students,” said second year athletic director Clint Jackson.  “It’s good to get the students out of the dorms and here to support our teams.”

East-Whitehaven matchup looms large

Prep Football

The Mustangs of East High School are ranked second among Class 5A football powers by the Asssociated Press. Whitehaven High School’s Tigers are ranked third among the Class 6A elite. The two forces clash on Friday (Oct. 17th) at Whitehaven.

Coach Marcus Wimberly and the Mustangs (6-1, 3-1) will travel to Whitehaven (6-0, 3-0) for the big game, which is set to kick off at 7 p.m.
Here are the Associated Press’ Top 10 teams in each of Tennessee's six Division I non-financial aid classifications and in the combined Division II financial aid classification as selected by Tennessee AP-member sportswriters and broadcasters. It reflects first-place votes in parentheses, records through October 13, and total points based on 10 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 10th-place vote:

‘Bummer’ finish aside, Titans glad for a win

If you’ve been a Tennessee Titans fan since their move to Nashville, you know they have a way to keep things interesting.
The Tennessee Titans (2-4) managed to bounce back after a horrific loss last week to upend the Jacksonville Jaguars 16-14 at LP Field in what seemed to be a half-filled stadium of fans.
  • Written by Christopher Hope
  • Category: Original

Grizzlies preseason now in session

by Kelley D. Evans

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The preseason has officially started for the Grizzlies. On Wednesday (Oct. 8th), Memphis fell to a Bucks comeback in Milwaukee, 86-83, before heading to Houston where they lost 113-93 to the Rockets the following night.

The Grizzlies will host their first preseason home game on Saturday (Oct. 11) against the Atlanta Hawks.

The Griz geared up for preseason on Monday, with fans welcomed to check the team’s skills at FedExForum during the first open practice of the season.  More than three hundred people were in the building to watch what began as an hour-long practice session with shooting drills and ended in a dynamic three-point shoot out.

It is no secret that outside shooting has been a growth area for the Grizzlies. The winners of the three-point contest were newcomer and NBA veteran Vince Carter and Courtney Lee. Each tallied 16 points. The tiebreaker was the first to hit a half-court shot.  Lee won the shootout with his first half-court attempt after Carter’s miss.

“I didn’t think Courtney Lee would just shoot from half court and call it a day,” said Grizzlies head coach Dave Joerger.

The three-point contest started with Quincy Pondexter (13) vs. Jon Leuer (11), Carter (17) vs. Zach Randolph (9), Beno Undrih (12) vs. rookie Jordan Adams (11) and Marc Gasol (16) vs. Lee (18).

After the open-practice concluded, players signed a few autographs and took photos before making their way onto the practice court, where they completed more drills and went through a rigorous, almost two-hour routine.

“We’re trying to develop guys,” Joerger said. “All of October is training.  It’s all part of the preseason. I think guys are getting better each and every year.”

As for Joerger, during training camp he spotted things that need to get better.

“We’ve got to continue to do a better job getting back in transition defensively.  We have to do a better job talking, on the pick-and-roll, the weak side defense has to get better, the on-ball pressure has to get better, we need to consistently run better and we’ve got to turn the ball over a lot less with better fundamental passing."

As for the newcomers, rookie Jarnell Stokes said, “It’s definitely tough. I’m definitely realizing that I can play with these guys. But I’m mostly realizing why some of the All Stars are All Stars and why they are such a championship-contending team.  They play tough but they run the offense to the tee.”

  • Written by By Kelley D. Evans
  • Category: Original

Grizz 2014 – from here to … ?

by Kelley D. Evans

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Fresh from training camp in San Diego at the University of California, the 2014 edition of the Memphis Grizzlies is a work in progress toward the ultimate goal – NBA champions.

With an open practice at the FedExForum the order of the day on Monday (Oct. 6th), fans got a peak at the evolving team in motion. A few days earlier, head coach Dave Joerger fielded a question about high expectations during Grizzlies Media Day.

“I don’t think there are high expectations for this team,” Joerger said.  “We’re the team that nobody’s talking about nationally.  There are really good teams in the west…”

By most accounts, Memphis, which fell to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the NBA playoffs last season, is projected to be one of those really good Western Conference teams.

As the players were shuffled in for Media Day interviews, much of the chatter surrounded the desire to win a championship. Players, front office management and coaching staff were on hand to answer questions.  To the core of Mike Conley, Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol and Tony Allen the Grizzlies have added some more veteran pieces to the roster, including the most talked-about person of the day, Vince Carter, and the most intriguing person, Michael Beasley.

Carter’s presence is expected to offset the departure of fan-favorite and sharpshooter Mike Miller to Cleveland. And Beasley, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, is riding the lifeline of a non-guaranteed contract.

“We have good depth, we have good experience. Guys keep getting older but are not old yet, with good experience (and) good chemistry.” Joerger said.  “With Courtney Lee having a training camp under his belt, with Quincy (Pondexter) coming back and with Vince Carter built in to make shots, that should help us from the wing so that teams don’t cheat as much in the paint on Marc (Gasol) and Zach (Randolph).”

Joerger began his first season as Grizz head coach with a more offensive-based model, but went back to the team’s bread and butter – feeding through the big men in the paint.

“I liked a lot of the stuff we were able to do offensively in the last 25 or 30 games,” Joerger said.  “I liked what we did with (point guard) Mike Conley in really encouraging him to be a scorer first. That will help him be more of a playmaker if he is more of a threat offensively.”

  • Written by Kelley Evans
  • Category: Original

Memphis at Ole Miss: The Four P.A.W.S.


Possibilities: With the Rebels having a matchup against No. 3 Alabama the week after hosting Memphis, it’s quite possible that Ole Miss could overlook the Tigers –a nearly three-touchdown underdog. Much of Tiger Nation is hoping to catch the Rebels sleeping and get out of Oxford with a victory on the road.

Assumption: Although Rebels coach Huge Freeze has backpedaled on his comments about the Ole Miss game being the “Super Bowl” to the U of M football team, it’s safe to assume the Tigers will use those comments to fuel their fire. If the Tigers can come in with a chip on their shoulders, it may be the necessary ingredient to cook up an upset.


‘A Little R&R on Sports’: Ghetto bravado


Signifying, joning, jiving, talking smack, playing the dozens and trash talking are all types of verbal war games in which a majority of us African-American males growing up in urban environs were engaged…regularly.

Strategically, the key is to point out and exploit any real or perceived weakness, deficiency or shortcoming of the other person. Tactically, the key is to make it as sharp, cutting and as funny as possible. This verbal jousting used to be limited to community venues like: street corners, playgrounds, barbershops, gyms, etc. But now, broadcast, social and print media have given this ghetto bravado digital platforms for instant distribution to huge global audiences.

Cowboys spoil home opener for Titans and new coach Whisenhunt


After an impressive season-opening win on the road in Kansas City last week, the Tennessee Titans (1-1) came out flat against the Dallas Cowboys (1-1) on Sunday and the result was a spoiled home debut – the first for head coach Ken Whisenhunt.

In the first half, the Titans rush defense was very ineffective, allowing Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray to look unstoppable. Murray racked up 115 yards in the first half to help power the Cowboys to a 16-0 halftime lead. By game’s end he had amassed 167 total yards on 29 carries with one touchdown.

"He ran hard and he ran downhill,” Dallas head coach Jason Garret said of Murray.

  • Written by Christopher Hope
  • Category: Original