Written By: Kenny Mauss

The East and West All Star reserves were announced January 28th, and to much dismay David Lee’s name was not called. That changed today, when David Lee was named to the East squad after Allen Iverson pulled out of the game citing family reasons (his daughter is sick). Iverson’s play on the court however has not been All Star worthy, while David Lee’s play most definitely has been.

David Lee will make his 1st career all star appearance in his best statistical season of his young career. He is averaging 20.0 ppg, 11.4 rpg, and 3.5 apg. The 3.5 assists per game leads the NBA among all centers. Lee’s ability to help his teammates when defenders collapse on him has allowed players like Gallinari and Al Harrington to have open shots on the outside.

This is a much deserved reward for Lee and I’m happy to see a Knick making the trip to Dallas, Texas. This is the first Knick to play for the Eastern squad in the All Star game since 2001, when Latrell Sprewell represented the Knicks as the East defeated the West 111-110 in Washington D.C. Congratulations David Lee, it was well deserved, and long overdue.

Written By: Matt Vereb

In a bit of tabloid/irrelevant entry, Alex Rodriguez was spoted at a Miami party with actress, Cameron Diaz. The tipsy Diaz was apparently “grinding” with Rodriguez in a Miami club. Rodriguez has been linked to various women throughout his tenure with the Yankees. Rodriguez has dated Madonna, Kate Hudson, and married to ex-wife Cynthia Rodriguez at one time. Many will remember Hudson sitting with A-Rod’s friend and rap superstar, Jay-Z during the playoffs. Many even credited Hudson with helping Alex overcome his postseason woes. Regardless of who he dates, Alex Rodriguez will always be in the tabloids. Let’s just hope Ms. Diaz helps A-Rod have a fast start this season.

Written By: Kenny Mauss

In a classic Big East battle between two bitter rivals, the Orangemen of Syracuse were able to hold off the Huskies of UConn. Led by Wes Johnson, Syracuse was able to win its 11th straight game and 10th straight inside of Big East conference play.  Rick Jackson led the Orange with 15 points while Jerome Dyson paced the Huskies with 19 points.

Late in the 2nd half, with Syracuse clinging to a small lead, Jim Boeheim was granted a controversial timeout as Scoop Jardine drove down the lane. Boeheim was visibly angry with his star point guard for taking the ball to the basket with little over a minute remaining in the game. He could be seen lecturing the young court general telling him, “That could have cost us the game!” Fortunately for Boeheim’s Orangemen, The Orange were 23-28 from the Free Throw line, and 6-6 in the waning minutes to hold on vs. Connecticut.

This game meant a lot more to the desperate Huskies than to the high flying Orangemen. Wins like this will continue to prove the legitimacy of this 2010 Syracuse team. Upcoming games versus arch-rival Georgetown and the upstart Villanova Wildcats will either propel Syracuse into the Big East Conference tournament and NCAA tournament, or potentially put a damper on their status as national title contenders come March.

Overall, it was a great win for this young team. The wins keep flowing as Syracuse is now 24-1 overall with a 12-1 record in conference play.

Written By: Matt Vereb

Today’s Streak Pick features two bitter rivals from the Atlantic 10 Conference. The A-10 has been one of the more competitive conferences in Division I Basketball this season. Temple and Xavier are NCAA Tournament locks, but Dayton, Charlotte, Richmond, Rhode Island, and Saint Louis are all ‘bubble teams’ that need a strong showing in the A-10 Tournament. Charlotte has already been eliminated after losing in the opening round to Massachusettes.

Matchup: 6:30 PM Dayton Flyers(20-11) vs. #24 Xavier Musketeers (23-7)

These two teams have split their regular season matchups. Xavier was victorious at home 74-71; however, The Flyers blew out the Musketeers, 90-65 at Dayton. Since that loss at Dayton, Xavier has won seven straight games. During this winning streak, Xavier has posted some impressive victories at Florida and at St. Louis.

This game is being played in Atlantic City, New Jersey so all home/road splits can be ignored in this matchup. Xavier must stop Dayton’s three-point barrage. Dayton shot 53% from behind the arc in their win against the Musketeers. Flyers’ sophomore guard, Chris Johnson scored 18 points in that victory.

The key to this game is Xavier sophomore guard, Jordan Crawford. Crawford has averaged 19.7 PPG this season and has shot 40% from behind the arc this season. Crawford is best known for dunking on LeBron James.

Dayton needs this game to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive. However, Xavier is on an impresive winning streak. Xavier is a deeper team and will prove their superiority in the A-10 Tournament.

The Pick: Xavier Musketeers(23-7)

March Record: 8-3

Bookmark US (CTRL, D) and Check Back Tomorrow For Another Pick

Photo Credit: mouthpiecesports.com

Written By: Matt Vereb

Syracuse takes on Georgetown in the 3rd round of the Big East Tournament at 12:00PM today at Madison Square Garden. #1 seeded Syracuse Orange will look to rebound after they lost their final Big East regular season game at Louisville, 78-68 on Saturday. The Orange come into this contest focused on winning the Big East Championship and solidifying their claim to an NCAA Tournament #1 seed.

Led by Big East Player of the Year Wes Johnson, Syracuse defeated Georgetown in both of their regular season meetings. Johnson averaged 15 points per game in those victories.

Syracuse will need to contain guard Austin Freeman and center Greg Monroe in order to win. Monroe and Freeman combined for 41 points in the team’s last meeting.(SYR victory, 75-71). Look for Syracuse Senior Forward/Center Arinze Onuaku to do a better job defending Monroe in this game.

Georgetown has been one of the streakiest teams in the Big East this season. During the regular season, they defeated Duke, 89-77, but lost to South Florida three days later at home, 72-64. Georgetown was able to avenge that USF loss yesterday(69-49), but their overall inconsistent play resulted in a 10-8 conference record.

Look for the Orange to grab their first Big East tournament win tomorrow.

Prediction: Syracuse 75 Georgetown 66

Photo Credit: meghangrace.com

Written By: Alex Lowenthal

Future Hall of Fame running back Ladainian Tomlinson is scheduled to meet with the New York Jets on Friday.  Today, he is meeting with the Minnesota Vikings.  If he signs with Minnesota today, he will obviously not be in New York tomorrow.  However, the Jets are interested in him and what he could bring to last season’s NFL leading rushing attack.

After losing veteran Thomas Jones, the Jets could definitely use a guy like LT.  I think that he would be an excellent mentor for the young star Shonn Greene, and also think that he could put up some solid numbers himself behind one of the best offensive lines in the league.  Tomlinson, Greene, and  a healthy Leon Washington would be pretty scary for any defense.

What do you think Jet fans? Would you like to see LT in white and green?

Photo Credit: bolttalk.com

Written by: Alex Lowenthal

Jose Reyes’ agent reported today that the star short stop will miss 2-8 weeks to allow his thyroid levels to normalize.  His tests this week confirmed that he has an overactive thyroid gland.  I don’t think this is really a big deal at all in the long run, but for now it’s rough.  Hyperthryroidism is often controlled with medication, and the more extreme cases are cared for with surgery in which the thyroid is removed.  Sometimes it just goes away on its own.   Mets’ doctors say that medication is not an option for Jose.  Instead he will “rest, refrain from athletic activity and make changes in his diet.”  Doctors think that once his thyroid levels return to normal through this rest/diet routine, there will not be a recurrence.  Omar Minaya says that Jose will probably start the season on the disabled list.

Written By: Mike Ulatoski

Kenny Phillips knew what people were thinking when the Giants signed Antrel Rolle for $37 million on the first day of free agency. He knew some would take it as a sign that the Giants were worried he’d never make it all the way back. But, Phillips said on Wednesday that his recovery from left knee surgery is right on track. It’s going so well he’ll more than likely be on the field for the start of training camp in July. And once he’s on the field, he and Rolle plan on forming “the best safety tandem in the NFL.”

“The coaches have reassured me they didn’t bring him in to replace me – they made that very clear,” Phillips said. “After the performance we had last year in the secondary, they had to bring someone in. It would be foolish not to. It’ll be a privilege playing next to him.”

That will happen, the third-year pro insisted, even though several orthopedic surgeons have said that the condition in his knee – patellofemoral arthritis – can be career-threatening. Phillips and the Giants have denied that possibility from the moment his season ended after Week 2 this past season. In fact, Phillips recently wrote in his blog, “I feel like I could play tomorrow.”  Phillips added that team doctors have continually “assured me I can return and be 100 percent when I do.”

“I feel real good,” Phillips said. “I’m making a lot of progress. The rehab is coming along real well. I should be running soon – probably by the end of this month. As far as they tell me, it’s looking good. The knee is getting stronger.”

The rehab, which Phillips has done mostly from his home in Miami, has been a very long process since he underwent surgery in September, mostly involving weights and exercises to strengthen the knee.

“When it first occurred, I didn’t really know what it was myself,” he said. “But after talking to trainers and doctors, I felt great about it. I already feel myself get stronger and getting back to the form that I had. I feel that I didn’t lose anything, to be honest with you.”

Phillips will likely sit out the “organized team activity” (OTA) sessions in May and June, as well as mini-camp in mid-June. However, he definitely expects to be ready for the start of full-speed practices in late July. He’s so sure, in fact, that he often pictures himself back on the field for the first time since mid-September.

“I kind of picture it all the time,” Phillips said. “From the way my rehab is going I feel I’m definitely not going to lose anything. I can only get better. So I sometimes picture myself making interceptions, making tackles, just making the plays I used to. I just can’t wait.”

It’ll be very exciting no that he and Rolle will be on the same field. Both University of Miami defensive backs can be summed up in one word: playmaker. Phillips and Rolle both have exceptional athleticism, great cover skills, and a nose for the ball.

Phillips, who has known Rolle since he was a senior in high school and Rolle was a senior at Miami, said he helped the Giants recruit Rolle and constantly talked with him as he pondered the Giants’ offer. Rolle was scheduled to arrive in Miami on Wednesday to workout with Phillips.

“It’s going to be a great addition to an already pretty good secondary,” Phillips added. “He’s going to bring so much more to our secondary because of things he can do. He’s basically a playmaker…That’s kind of what we were missing this last year.

“I’m definitely excited. [Rolle] has that Miami swagger. There’s nothing wrong with it. He’s very confident. And tell you the truth, we just have two guys that can go out and get it. Most teams usually have just one dog. For us, we have two of us that can go out make some plays.

Like Rolle said, if they can put in the work, there’s no doubt that they could be the NFL’s best safety tandem.

Written By: Matt Vereb

North Carolina has had a pitiful season. Everything has gone completely wrong for Roy Williams and the Tar Heels. Thursday Night will mark the close of UNC’s 2010 regular season.

The Matchup: North Carolina Tar Heels(16-15) vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets(19-11)

North Carolina laid an absolute egg in their last game at Duke, losing, 80-52. The team seemed almost uninterested in the game as they shot only 33% from the field and 20% from three-point land. Their games get no easier as they take on the Yellow Jackets in the first round of the ACC Tournament.

Georgia Tech has defeated UNC in both of their meetings this season. Georgia Tech Junior Forward, Gani Lawal has been a force this season, averaging 13.6 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. Lawal pulled down double digit rebounds in both of GT’s wins over UNC.

UNC Seniors, Deon Thompson and Marcus Ginyard, will put up a strong showing. Both players have enjoyed a lot of success during their tenures in Chapel Hill. I just don’t think they’ll be able to put it together in time for the ACC Tournament.

UNC got destroyed on Saturday by Duke. UNC is not a good team this season. Georgia Tech has won both meeting this season, but it is always hard to defeat a team three times in one season. The game will also be played in Greensboro, North Carolina, so UNC will have their fans at the contest. However, it won’t be enough to save them. GT by 5.

The Pick: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (19-11)

March Record: 6-3

Photo Credit: jamati.com

Written By: Mike Ulatoski

The Rangers faceoff against the New Jersey Devils tonight (7:00 p.m.) at the Prudential Center in New Jersey, in a matchup between Atlantic Division rivals. The Blueshirts currently rank fourth in the Atlantic Division, and ninth in the Eastern Conference with a record of 29-28-9 (67 pts.), three points out of eighth place. The Rangers enter tonight’s contest having been defeated by the Buffalo Sabres, 2-1, in overtime on Sunday at Madison Square Garden. The Devils enter tonight’s game with a record of 38-23-3 (79 pts.) to rank fourth in the Eastern Conference. Following tonight’s contest, the Rangers return to action on Friday, March 12, when they faceoff against the Atlanta Thrashers at Philips Arena (7:30 p.m.).

The Rangers are in the middle of a three-game losing streak, two games being overtime losses. Over their last eight games, the Rangers have registered a point in six, posting a record of 4-2-2 (10 pts.) over that stretch. The Rangers are in the middle of their annual scramble for the eighth playoff spot, but they’ve lost three straight games. The Devils, meanwhile, are in the midst of a two-game losing streak and have lost seven of their last ten games.

Henrik Lundqvist will lead the Rangers to a 3-2 win tonight. He always gets up for games against Marty, and I think Hank is playing the best hockey of his career.

Shot Caling –
goal for Vinny Prospal.