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It seems like just a season or two ago that Derrick Rose, the Prodigal Son of Chicago, was leading a gritty, defensive beast of a team straight towards a maybe mortal LeBron James. Then we all know what happened with Rose’s health, and the team understandably fell out of contention in his absence. But even as recently as May of 2015, the Bulls were seconds away from taking a 3-1 lead on LeBron’s Cavaliers in the playoffs.
Now it’s 2016; 3-1 leads can be blown, and the preseason Bulls are in basketball purgatory.
The 2016 Chicago Bulls are an enigma. Fred Hoiberg replaced Tom Thibodeau, in a move that was poised to usher in an era of competent offensive play predicated on floor spacing. It hasn’t worked so far, and Chicago fans are right to be vexed with the Bulls offseason moves. Instead of a max contract, game-changing caliber player, the Bulls welcomed the aging Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo. The two guard’s style of play is a rejection of what the modern NBA has become. Rondo and Wade are horrible for floor spacing. Their presence will stunt the team’s ability to ruin a fluid offense. Against the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday, the starting lineup connected on two shots from beyond the arc.
When Thibodeau was the Head Coach of the Bulls, teams feared the we-aren’t-better-than-you-but-we’re-gonna-out-work-you Bulls. Now Hoiberg deals with this in the wake of a preseason defeat:
We’ve dug ourselves a hole, early on in the first quarters of the last several games. I’ve been the one who had to call the timeout to try to get us going, you know we talked about it after the game, in the postgame, locker room, that’s what we talked about… It would be nice to go out and play a complete 48 minute game.”
More newsworthy than the game on Monday however, was the trade the Bulls made with the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bulls traded Tony Snell for Michael Carter-Williams. Carter-Williams might be the one player in the NBA that would make dealing Tony Snell not an occasion worth celebrating. Once a Rookie of the Year, Carter-Williams couldn’t get traction in an organization built on length and athleticism: the attributes he can allegedly display. In fact, Jimmy Butler’s best memory of playing against Carter-Williams in the first round of the 2015 Playoffs is indicative of his overwhelmingly mediocre upside.
I remember he fouled me on an and-one in the play-offs. I’ll put him in a group chat. I’m gonna make fun of him as soon as I get his phone number.”
Butler himself is even a cause of consternation for Bulls fans. He carries the swagger of a man who can drop 50 in any given game, while shutting down any man he’s asked to guard. Rightfully so, because he can do that. But he also failed to keep this team in the playoff picture last year, and is often the loser of the match-up with other superstars around the league.
So on one hand, the team is clearly Jimmy Butler’s: the incumbent star in his prime. However, on the other hand, the team just brought in four NBA titles in the form of Rondo and Wade. Naturally there’s a rift in the chain of command, and the deserved prompting of an NBA fan’s most coveted discussion topic: “Who gets the last shot?”
According to young bright spot, Doug McDermott, the veterans are even causing some confusion regarding whose leading practices:
They set the tone in practice along with Jimmy [Butler.] Coach Hoiberg lets them help coach and we’ll stop practice and those guys will lead us in certain ways. It’s great to have.”
With LeBron operating at full killing capacity, and the Mega-Death-Warriors waiting for anyone from the East who happens to get past LeBron, this season is pretty much a wash. It just seems odd that the Bulls have tucked themselves into this nether-region of “Not even close to making a title run,” and “Out of the star sweepstakes.” Teams avoid this region with the precision of a politician avoiding discussing sexual assault, but somehow the Bulls find themselves bracing for dominion over the realm of average. If I was a Bulls fan, I would be confused.
Its a new season in Chicago, and with it comes some new faces, Rajon Rondo has replaced Derrick Rose, Robin Lopez has replaced Joakim Noah, and of course, Dwayne Wade signed a 2 year $47.5 million with the Bulls to be their new starting shooting guard.
Yes, I am not used to him in this uniform yet either.
Fred Hoiberg enters his second season as Bulls head coach with over 50% of his startng lineup from last season gone? So the question now becomes of course, is this team better?
It seemed pretty clear last season that after Joakim Noah went down that the Bulls were lacking in effort. After Noah was lost for the season with a dislocated shoulder on January 15, the Bulls season completely changed. After defeating the Pistons to move to 24-16 on the season, the Bulls went 18-24 to finish the season 42-40, 2 games behind Detroit for the 8th spot in the East.
The Bulls clearly lacked leadership in the locker room, amid reports of Joakim Noah and Jimmy Butler reported feud. Now with him and Rose in New York, Butler now assumes his role as the leader of this team.
With the additions of Rondo and Wade, reports are that there has already been a change in the culture at practice this season. Rondo and Wade bring accountability and a winning culture to the team that has Jimmy Butler excited to start the season, “I’m excited because there is so much growth that I can handle in that aspect of the game.”
“When you look at what Wade has done for his career, a future Hall of Famer, I think that I can model the way I do things around him.”
Fred Hoiberg has been taking a step back in practice and allowing Wade, Rondo, and Butler to call out guys in practice, cussing guys out when they miss assignments.
While not the scorer Rose was, with the addition of Rondo, the Bulls add the NBA’s assist leader from last season, a stat no Bulls player has lead the NBA in since Guy Rodgers in the Bulls inaugural 1966-67 season.
See how short that Good Portion was? Where to begin, well first, the Bulls have no three-point shooting, or at the very least not a whole lot. After losing Pau Gasol in Free Agency and trading Mike Dunleavy to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Bulls enter the season with only one player (Doug McDermott) who shot over 40% from three last season. Though the Bulls were able to draft Denzel Valentine who shot 44.4 percent last season at Michigan St., outside of Valentine and McDermott, the only other consistent three point shooter the Bulls have is Nikola Mirotic, but there is more to be concerned with at the moment with Mirotic.
After winning Rookie of the Month averaging 20.1 PPG and 7.0 RPG in the month of March under Tom Thibodeau, Mirotic has struggled to find a role in Hoiberg’s system and has proven to be extremely inconsistent, and during the preseason so far this year, Mirotic’s consistency issues have continued, shooting just 2-14 in his first two games.
There is also the question of defense, after losing Joakim Noah last season, the Bulls went from 4th in the NBA in defensive rating to 15th by season’s end. There is also the question of how will the players fit into a system that Hoiberg has made famous through design as a 3-point shooting offense as that concern was shown last season with the Bulls finishing with an offensive rating of 102.1, which ranked 25th in the NBA.
While this team does have some talented players, the pieces just don’t really fit together. While I do think Wade and Butler will have good chemistry together, the lack of 3-point shooting and defensive problems this team has remain a major problem.
Given how weak the Eastern Conference is, I could still see this team making the playoffs, but I do not see them going anywhere other than a first round exit.
Record: 43-39, 7th Place in the East
on the Weekend Sports Report with Packer Dave and Steve Leventhal
..our special guest, Mark Grote, Cubs pre- and post-game host gives us his take on the Cubs in September. Mark, along with SRN expert John Poulter look at the rest of major league baseball. Jeff Rich joins us to preview week one of the 2016 NFL season.
Hear interview audio from Aaron Rogers, Mike McCarthy, Jay Cutler, and John Fox.
All four golfers had gotten off to a rough start in the first round, with Mickelson being the only one mentioned above to finish in the top 10, having tied for fourth with five under 67. Chris DiMarco had led after the first round with a seven under 65. Woods had shot just two under 70, and had a six-way tie at 15th place. Vijay Singh, the defending champion never finished in the top 10.
In the second round, DiMarco once again led with a ten under 134. Meanwhile Woods and Mickelson were tied at second with an eight under 136. Duval had slipped to a five-way tie for fourth place with a seven under 137. Calcavecchia was stuck at ninth place with a six-under 138 in a three-way tie that included two time Masters champion José María Olazábal.
Tiger Woods took the lead at the end of the third and never let it go; shooting a 4 under to finish the round in first place with a 12-under 204. Mickelson ended the day in second place with his third straight round in the 60s with an 11-under 205. Calcavecchia and DiMarco each tied for third place with a 10-under 206.
Woods captured his fourth consecutive title, the first to do so since Bobby Jones in 1930. However, because it wasn’t the same calendar year, it technically does not qualify as a grand slam and there has yet to be one in the modern era. Mickelson had finished in the top 10 for the twelfth time in his career, only to fall just short and had yet to win a championship. Chris DiMarco, the leader of the first two rounds, shot a two over 74 and finished in a tie for tenth.
“If I’m going to come out on top tomorrow, I don’t really need to play any different I just need to reduce the mistakes a touch. Turn the double into a bogey, I’m going to get bad shots. I’m not perfect and I’m going to miss putts and so I will make bogeys. But if I can just reduce it, and turn the six into a five, I should be able to overcome it with a bogey or two.” -Phil Mickelson
“It was a weird feeling because you know when you’re focused so hard on each and every shot, you kind of forget everything else. When I didn’t have anymore shots to play, that’s when I started to realize what I had done. I had won the tournament and I had started getting a little emotional.” -Tiger Woods
on the Weekend Sports Report with Packer Dave and Steve Leventhal
…Jeff Rich joins us to dissect the top NFL draft picks for the Cleveland Browns. He also talks football, and NBA hoops with us. John Poulter gives his take on the NHL playoffs, the Major League Baseball season to date, and the top stories in international soccer.
Hear interview audio from Packers coach Mike McCarthy and Chicago Bears All-Pro Offensive Lineman Kyle Long.
FINAL ROSTERS ANNOUNCED FOR 2016 COPA AMERICA CENTENARIO
THIS SUMMER ACROSS THE UNITED STATES
World Stars Lionel Messi, Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez
and James Rodriguez Headline 23-player lists
source: – www.CA2016.com –
CHICAGO (May 23, 2016) – The Copa America Centenario Local Organizing Committee, unveiled today the final 23-player rosters submitted by the 16 participating member associations for this summer’s Copa America Centenario.
World stars Lionel Messi (Argentina), Michael Bradley (USA), Dani Alves (Brazil), Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez (Mexico), James Rodriguez (Colombia) and Arturo Vidal (Chile) are among the notable inclusions to the 16 National Team rosters.
In accordance with the Tournament Regulations, a player listed on a team’s final tournament roster may only be replaced in the event of serious injury up until 24 hours before his team’s first match, after the Local Organizing Committee has received a detailed medical assessment and only after the acceptance by the tournament Medical Committee that the injury is sufficiently serious to prevent the player from taking part in the Competition. Injury replacements must come from the preliminary 40-player roster. By rule, all players on the final 23-player rosters were included in the original, provisional 40-player rosters provided by teams earlier this month, except in specific cases of force majeure, appealed directly to and approved by the Copa America Centenario Executive Committee.
The tournament will open on Friday, June 3, when host United States welcomes Colombia to Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, in Group A action, preceded by an opening ceremony to feature some of the hottest musical acts of the summer, including J Balvin, Jason Derulo and MAGIC!. Fans are encouraged to arrive early to catch the high-energy performance which will begin at 6 p.m. PT, with the match kicking off at 6:30 p.m. PT. The Opening Ceremonies and match will be televised live on FS1 and Univision.
Tickets for all matches at the Copa America Centenario are available by visiting www.CA2016.com. Copa America Centenario – which will count on the participation of half of the world’s Top 10 nations per the May FIFA Rankings – will be broadcast around the world, and on the Univision Network and FOX family of networks, as well as on Futbol de Primera Radio in the United States.
- Buy your tickets now at CA2016.com
- Copa America Centenario tournament schedule
- Follow the tournament news at the event’s official Twitteraccount and Facebook page
GOALKEEPERS (3): Mariano Andújar (Estudiantes La Plata, ARG), Nahuel Guzmán (Tigres UANL, MEX), Sergio Romero (Manchester United, ENG)
DEFENDERS (7): Victor Cuesta (Independiente, ARG), Ramiro Funes Mori (Everton, ENG), Jonathan Maidana (River Plate, ARG), Gabriel Mercado (River Plate, ARG), Nicolás Otamendi (Manchester City, ENG), Marcos Rojo (Manchester United, ENG), Facundo Roncaglia (Fiorentina, ITA)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Éver Banega (Sevilla, ESP), Lucas Biglia (Lazio, ITA), Augusto Fernández (Atlético Madrid, ESP), Matías Kranevitter (Atlético Madrid, ESP), Javier Mascherano (Barcelona, ESP), Lionel Messi (Barcelona, ESP), Javier Pastore (Paris Saint-Germain, FRA)
FORWARDS (6): Sergio Agüero (Manchester City, ENG), Gonzalo Higuaín (Napoli, ITA), Erik Lamela (Tottenham Hotspur, ENG), Ángel Di María (Paris Saint-Germain, FRA), Nicolás Gaitán (Benfica, POR), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Hebeir China Fortune, CHN)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Carlos Lampe (Sport Boys, BOL), Rómel Quiñónez (Bolívar, BOL), Guillermo Viscarra (Oriente Petrolero, BOL)
DEFENDERS (7): Diego Bejarano (The Strongest, BOL), Marvin Bejarano (Oriente Petrolero, BOL), Nelson Cabrera (Bolívar, BOL), Ronald Eguino (Bolívar, BOL), Luis Gutiérrez (Ironi Kiryat Shmona, ISR), Mario Saavedra (Bolívar, BOL), Edward Zenteno (Wilstermann, BOL)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Pedro Azogue (Oriente Petrolero, BOL), Jhasmani Campos (Kazma, KUW), Raúl Castro (The Strongest, BOL), Samuel Galindo (Petrolero, BOL), Cristhian Machado (Wilstermann, BOL), Alejandro Meleán (Oriente Petrolero, BOL), Fernando Saucedo (Wilstermann, BOL), Martín Smedberg-Dalence (Goteborg, SWE), Wálter Veizaga (The Strongest, BOL)
FORWARDS (4): Juan Carlos Arce (Bolívar, BOL),Yasmani Duk (New York Cosmos, USA), Bruno Miranda (Universidad de Chile, CHI), Rodrigo Ramallo (The Strongest, BOL)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Alisson (Internacional, BRA), Diego Alves (Valencia, ESP), Ederson (Benfica, POR)
DEFENDERS (8): Dani Alves (Barcelona, ESP), Rodrigo Caio (São Paulo, BRA), Fabinho (Monaco, FRA), Gil (Shandong Luneng, CHN), Filípe Luís (Atlético Madrid, ESP), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain, FRA), Miranda (Inter Milan, ITA), Douglas (Atlético Mineiro, BRA)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Renato Augusto (Beijing Guoan, CHN), Casemiro (Real Madrid, ESP), Douglas Costa (Bayern Munich, GER), Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool, ENG), Elias (Corinthians, BRA), Luiz Gustavo (Wolfsburg, GER), Lucas Lima (Santos, BRA), Rafinha (Barcelona, ESP), Willian (Chelsea, ENG)
FORWARDS (3): Gabriel (Santos, BRA), Hulk (Zenit St. Petersburg, RUS), Jonas (Benfica, POR)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Claudio Bravo (Barcelona, ESP), Johnny Herrera (Universidad de Chile, CHI), Christopher Toselli (Universidad Católica, CHI)
DEFENDERS (7): Jean Beausejour (Colo-Colo, CHI), Paulo Díaz (San Lorenzo, ARG), José Pedro Fuenzalida (Universidad Católica, CHI), Mauricio Isla (Marseille, FRA), Gonzalo Jara (Universidad de Chile, CHI), Gary Medel (Inter Milan, ITA), Eugenio Mena (São Paulo, BRA), Enzo Roco (Espanyol, ESP)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Charles Aránguiz (Bayer Leverkusen, GER), Marcelo Díaz (Celta de Vigo, ESP), Matías Fernández (Fiorentina, ITA), Pedro Pablo Hernández (Celta de Vigo, ESP), Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich, GER), Erick Pulgar (Bologna, ITA), Francisco Silva (Chiapas, MEX)
FORWARDS (6): Nicolás Castillo (Universidad Católica, CHI), Fabián Orellana (Celta de Vigo, ESP), Maurico Pinilla (Atalanta, ITA), Edson Puch (LDU Quito, ECU), Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal, ENG), Eduardo Vargas (Hoffenheim, GER)
GOALKEEPERS (3) : Cristian Bonilla (Atlético Nacional, COL), David Ospina (Arsenal, ENG), Róbinson Zapata (Santa Fe, COL)
DEFENDERS (8) : Felipe Aguilar (Atlético Nacional, COL), Santiago Arias (PSV, NED), Farid Díaz (Atlético Nacional, COL), Frank Fabra (Boca Juniors, ARG), Stefan Medina (Pachuca, MEX), Jeison Murillo (Inter Milan, ITA), Oscar Murillo (Pachuca, MEX), Cristián Zapata (AC Milan, ITA)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Edwin Cardona (Monterrey, MEX), Guillermo Celis (Junior, COL), Juan Cuadrado (Juventus, ITA), Sebastián Pérez (Atlético Nacional, COL), Andrés Felipe Roa (Deportivo Cali, COL), James Rodríguez (Real Madrid, ESP), Carlos Sánchez (Aston Villa, ENG), Daniel Torres (Independiente Medellín, COL)
FORWARDS (4): Carlos Bacca (AC Milan, ITA), Roger Martínez (Racing Club, ARG), Marlos Moreno (Atlético Nacional, COL), Dayro Moreno (Club Tijuana, MEX)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Leonel Moreira (Herediano, CRC) Keylor Navas (Real Madrid, ESP), Patrick Pemberton (Alajuelense, CRC)
DEFENDERS (9): Johnny Acosta (Alajuelense, CRC), Francisco Calvo (Saprissa, CRC), Oscar Duarte (Espanyol, ESP), Cristian Gamboa (West Bromwich Albion, ENG), Ronald Matarrita (New York City FC, USA), Bryan Oviedo (Everton, ENG), José Salvatierra (Alajuelense, CRC), Michael Umaña (Persepolis, IRN), Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps FC, CAN)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Randall Azofeifa (Herediano, CRC), Christian Bolaños (Vancouver Whitecaps FC, CAN), Joel Campbell (Arsenal, ENG), Celso Borges (Deportivo La Coruña, ESP), Esteban Granados (Herediano, CRC), Bryan Ruiz (Sporting Lisbon, POR), Yeltsin Tejeda (Évian Thonon Gaillard, FRA), Johan Venegas (Montreal Impact, CAN)
FORWARDS (3): Ariel Rodríguez (Bangkok Glass, THA), Álvaro Saborio (D.C. United, USA), Marco Ureña (Midtjylland, DEN)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Máximo Banguera (Barcelona, ECU), Alexander Domínguez (LDU Quito, ECU), Esteban Dreer (Emelec, ECU)
DEFENDERS (7): Gabriel Achilier (Emelec, ECU), Robert Arboleda (Universidad Católica, ECU), Walter Ayoví (Monterrey, MEX), Frickson Erazo (Atlético Mineiro, BRA), Arturo Mina (Independiente del Valle, ECU), Juan Carlos Paredes (Watford, ENG), Cristian Ramírez (Ferencváros, HUN)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Michael Arroyo (Club América, MEX), Fernando Gaibor (Emelec, ECU), Carlos Gruezo (FC Dallas, USA), Pedro Larrea (El Nacional, ECU), Fidel Martínez (Pumas UNAM, MEX), Ángel Mena (Emelec, ECU), Jefferson Montero (Swansea, WAL), Christian Noboa (Rostov, RUS), Antonio Valencia (Manchester United, ENG)
FORWARDS (4): Jaime Ayoví (Godoy Cruz, ARG), Miler Bolaños (Grêmio, BRA), Juan Cazares (Atlético Mineiro, BRA), Enner Valencia (West Ham United, ENG)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Steward Ceus (Minnesota United FC, USA), Luis Valendi Odelus (Aigle Noir, HAI), Johny Placide (Reims, FRA)
DEFENDERS (8): Jean Sony Alcénat (Voluntari, ROM), Judelin Aveska (Atlético Uruguay, ARG), Alex Christian (Vila Real, POR), Romain Genevois (Nice, FRA), Reginal Goreux (Standard Liège, BEL), Kim Jaggy (Aarau, SUI), Mechack Jerome (Jacksonville Armada, USA), Stéphane Lambese (Paris Saint-Germain, FRA)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Jean Marc Alexandre (Fort Lauderdale Strikers, USA), Max Hilaire (Cholet, FRA), Kevin Lafrance (Chrobry GÅ‚ogów, POL), James Marcelin (Carolina RailHawks, USA), Pascal Millien (Jacksonville Armada, USA), Soni Mustivar (Sporting Kansas City, USA), Sony Norde (Mohun Bagan, IND)
FORWARDS (5): Kervens Belfort (1461 Trabzon, TUR), Wilde-Donald Guerrier (WisÅ‚a Kraków, POL), Jeff Louis (Caen, FRA), Jean-Eudes Maurice (Hà Ná»™i T&T, VIE), Duckens Nazon (Laval, FRA)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union, USA), Duwayne Kerr (Stjarnan, ISL), Ryan Thompson (Saint Louis FC, USA)
DEFENDERS (7): Rosario Harriott (Harbour View, JAM), Michael Hector (Reading, ENG), Kemar Lawrence (New York Red Bulls, USA), Adrian Mariappa (Crystal Palace, ENG), Wes Morgan (Leicester City, ENG), Damano Solomon (Portmore United, JAM), Jermaine Taylor (Portland Timbers, USA)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Rodolph Austin (Brondby, DEN), Michael Binns (Portmore United, JAM), Chevonne Marsh (Cavalier, JAM), Joel McAnuff (Leyton Orient, ENG), Garath McCleary (Reading, ENG), Andrew Vanzie (Humble Lions, JAM), Je-Vaughn Watson (New England Revolution, USA), Lee Williamson (Blackburn Rovers, ENG)
FORWARDS (5): Giles Barnes (Houston Dynamo, USA), Simon Dawkins (San Jose Earthquakes, USA), Clayton Donaldson (Birmingham City, ENG), Dever Orgill (Marieham, FIN), Allan Ottey (Montego Bay United, JAM)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jesús Corona (Cruz Azul, MEX), Guillermo Ochoa (Málaga, ESP), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca, MEX)
DEFENDERS (9): Paúl Aguilar (Club América, MEX), Néstor Araujo (Santos Laguna, MEX), Yasser Corona (Querétaro, MEX), Héctor Moreno (PSV, NED), Miguel Layún (Porto, POR), Rafael Márquez (Atlas, MEX), Jesús Molina (Santos Laguna, MEX), Diego Reyes (Real Sociedad, ESP), Jorge Torres Nilo (Tigres UANL, MEX)
MIDFIELDERS (4): Jesús Dueñas (Tigres UANL, MEX), Andrés Guardado (PSV, NED), Héctor Herrera (Porto, POR), Carlos Peña (Guadalajara, MEX)
FORWARDS (7): Javier Aquino (Tigres UANL, MEX), Jesús Corona (Porto, POR), Jürgen Damm (Tigres UANL, MEX), Javier Hernández (Bayer Leverkusen, GER), Raúl Jiménez (Benfica, POR), Hirving Lozano (Pachuca, MEX), Oribe Peralta (Club América, MEX)
GOALKEEPERS (3): José Calderón (Plantense, HON), Jaime Penedo (Saprissa, CRC), Alex Rodríguez (San Francisco, PAN)
DEFENDERS (6): Felipe Baloy (Atlas, MEX), Harold Cummings (Alajuelense, CRC), Fidel Escobar (Sporting, PAN), Luis Henríquez (Tauro, PAN), Adolfo Machado (Saprissa, CRC), Roderick Miller (San Francisco, PAN)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Ricardo Buitrago (Juan Aurich, PER), Miguel Camargo (Mineros de Guayana, VEN), Armando Cooper (Árabe Unido, PAN), Aníbal Godoy (San José Earthquakes, USA), Gabriel Gómez (Cartaginés, CRC), Amílcar Henríquez (América, COL), Valentín Pimentel (La Equidad, COL), Alberto Quintero (San José Earthquakes, USA)
FORWARDS (6): Abdiel Arroyo (RNK Split, CRO), Ismael Díaz (Porto, POR), Roberto Nurse (Mineros de Zacatecas, MEX), Blas Pérez (Vancouver Whitecaps, CAN), Luis Tejada (Juan Aurich, PER) Gabriel Torres (Zamora, VEN)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Diego Barreto (Olimpia, PAR), Antony Silva (Cerro Porteño, PAR), Justo Villar (Colo-Colo, CHI)
DEFENDERS (6): Pablo Aguilar (Club América, MEX), Fabián Balbuena (Corinthians, BRA), Paulo Da Silva (Toluca, MEX), Gustavo Gómez (Lanús, ARG), Miguel Samudio (Club América, MEX), Bruno Valdez (Cerro Porteño, PAR)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Nestor Ortigoza (San Lorenzo, ARG), Celso Ortiz (AZ Alkmaar, NED), Robert Piris Da Motta (Olimpia, PAR), Blas Riveros (Olimpia, PAR), Rodrigo Rojas (Cerro Porteño, PAR), Oscar Romero (Rácing Club, ARG)
FORWARDS (8): Miguel Almirón (Lanús, ARG), Edgar Benítez (Querétaro, MEX), Jorge Benítez (Cruz Azul, MEX), Derlis González (Dynamo Kiev, UKR), Juan Iturbe (Bournemouth, ENG), Darío Lezcano (Ingolstadt, GER), Antonio Sanabria (Sporting de Gijón, ESP), Nelson Valdez (Seattle Sounders FC, USA)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Carlos Cáceda (Universitario, PER), Pedro Gallese (Juan Aurich, PER), Diego Penny (Sporting Cristal, PER)
DEFENDERS (8): Luis Abram (Sporting Cristal, PER), Jair Céspedes (Sporting Cristal, PER), Aldo Corzo (Deportivo Municipal, PER), Christian Ramos (Juan Aurich, PER), Renzo Revoredo (Sporting Cristal, PER), Alberto Rodríguez (Sporting Cristal, PER), Renato Tapia (Feyenoord, NED), Miguel Trauco (Universitario, PER)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Armando Alfagme (Deportivo Municipal, PER), Adán Balbín (Universitario, PER), Cristian Benavente (Charleroi, BEL), Luiz da Silva (PSV, NED), Alejandro Hohberg (Universidad César Vallejo, PER), Andy Polo (Universitario, PER), Óscar Vilchez (Alianza Lima, PER), Yoshimar Yotún (Malmö, SWE)
FORWARDS (4): Christian Cueva (Toluca, MEX), Edison Flores (Universitario, PER), Paolo Guerrero (Flamengo, BRA), Raúl Ruidíaz (Universitario, PER)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Martín Campaña (Independiente, ARG), Fernando Muslera (Galatasaray, TUR), Martín Silva (Vasco da Gama, BRA)
DEFENDERS (6): Jorge Fucile (Nacional, URU), Jose Giménez (Atlético Madrid, ESP), Diego Godín, (Atlético Madrid, ESP), Maximiliano Pereira (Porto, POR), Gastón Silva (Torino, ITA), Mauricio Victorino (Nacional, URU)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Egidio Arévalo Rios (Atlas, MEX), Matías Corujo (Universidad de Chile, CHI), Álvaro González (Atlas, MEX), Alvaro Pereira (Getafe, ESP), Gastón Ramírez (Middlesbrough, ENG), Cristian Rodríguez (Independiente, ARG), Carlos Sánchez (Monterrey, MEX), Matías Vecino (Fiorentina, ITA)
FORWARDS (6): Edinson Cavani (Paris Saint-German, FRA), Abel Hernández (Hull City, ENG), Nicolás Lodeiro (Boca Juniors, ARG), Diego Rolán (Bordeaux, FRA), Cristhian Stuani (Middlesbrough, ENG), Luis Suárez (Barcelona, ESP)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa, ENG), Ethan Horvath (Molde, NOR), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids, USA)
DEFENDERS (7): Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City, USA), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United, USA), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin, GER), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City, ENG), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt, GER), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana, MEX), DeAndre Yedlin (Sunderland, ENG)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake, USA), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes, FRA), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC, CAN), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach, GER), Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids, USA), Perry Kitchen (Hearts, SCO), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers, USA), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund, GER), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City, USA)
FORWARDS (4): Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC, USA), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes, USA), Bobby Wood (Hamburg, GER), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy, USA)
GOALKEEPERS (3): José Contreras (Tachira, VEN), Wuilker Faríñez (Caracas, VEN), Dani Hernández (Tenerife, ESP)
DEFENDERS (7): Wilker Ángel (Tachira, VEN), Rolf Feltscher (MSV Duisburg, GER), Alexander González (Huesca, ESP), Roberto Rosales (Málaga, ESP), Jose Manuel Velazquez (Arouca, POR), Mikel Villanueva (Atlético Malagueño, ESP), Oswaldo Vizcarrondo (Nantes, FRA)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Juan Pablo Añor (Málaga, ESP), Arquímedes Figuera (La Guaira, VEN), Alejandro Guerra (Atlético Nacional, COL), Yangel Herrera (Atlético Venezuela, VEN), Rómulo Otero (Huachipato, CHI), Adalberto Peñaranda (Granada, ESP), Tomás Rincón (Genoa, ITA), Luis Manuel Seijas (Santa Fe, COL), Carlos Suárez (Carabobo, VEN)
FORWARDS (4): Yonathan Del Valle (Kasimpasa, TUR), Josef Martínez (Torino, ITA), Salomón Rondón (West Bromwich Albion, ENG), Christian Santos (NEC Nijmegen, NED)
– www.CA2016.com –
…Dave has updates on free agency involving the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears. Greg Echlin from KCUR-FM in Kansas City has a Chiefs update, and discusses the Villanova – Oklahoma game in the Final Four. SRN Assistant Sports Director Phil Meyers gives us a preview of the other half of the bracket – Syracuse versus North Carolina.
Lastly, our Chicago colleague, Rory Spears, tells us why he picked Villanova to be in the championship game, and offers his thoughts on the upcoming Masters golf tournament.
Don’t miss a cameo from Dick Vitale.
by Richard Lyman
…When Brice Johnson arrived in Chapel Hill, he was supposed to the second coming of John Henson, now with the Milwaukee Bucks. From a distance, they physically resembled each other, but Henson had a big head start in his skill set. During pre-season conditioning drills, one assistant coach confided in Roy Williams that he did not think Brice was going to make it. “Through the season?” “No, coach, through the workouts.” Brice had a lot to learn about the physicality of the college game.
Brice played every game his freshmen year, but often put up [Duke center] Marshall Plumlee-like line scores: more fouls than points. At times he looked lost, completely unsure as to where he should be on the court, often fouling on hedges twenty-five feet from the basket and earning himself a quick seat on the bench. His free-throw shooting was an adventure, leather often did not find rim.
But Brice persevered, he worked hard, he improved every year. Dean Smith was legendary for turning projects into NBA pros after four year of tutelage. Now, self-centered kids whose egos far exceed their abilities leave too soon for the elusive riches of the pro game. They find themselves riding buses in the D-league when another year of practice and work might have gotten them onto an NBA bench.
Either Brice figured it out himself, or his father/high school coach set him straight. You need more time under the wheel. You need to get stronger, shoot better and play smarter.
Now in his senior year, Johnson has demonstrated what hard work will do. From Mr. Basketball in sleepy South Carolina to consensus all-American, the journey is almost complete. No Carolina player had ever blocked eight shots in a game before this year. Now the kid who high jumped his height in high school is using his freakish leaping ability to send balls ten rows deep into the stands. The same kid who often shot airballs at the free throw line is now the guy the opposing coach would never foul with the game on the line. I think Hubert Davis should take some credit for his free throw percentage increasing every year.
On a team that often does not show emotion and is led by a cerebral, charming academic all-American, Johnson’s emotions burn like lighter fluid on the charcoal grill. Before this year, he would fist pump and shout after a dunk while his man sprinted down court unguarded and Roy screamed to get back on defense. Those antics got him a seat on the bench next to Coach Robinson. Now, he controls his emotions and waits for the whistle and the clock to stop to voice a primal howl to the student body so visceral it can frighten those who have not witnessed it before. In the second round tournament game against a gritty Providence team, Brice spun baseline to dunk while his helpless defender pulled on his arm. The whistle sounded and Brice dangled from the rim and reached down in his soul for a primordial scream that made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Maybe it was the culmination of four years of frustration on the court, maybe it was the agony of a teenage boy who lost his mother too soon, but it was a defining moment. His team heard him and they never looked back and quickly put the game out of reach. The man-child has become the man.
on the Weekend Sports Report for March with Packer Dave and Steve Leventhal
….Our NHL expert John Poulter joins us to with his 2016 NHL Deadline Deal analysis. How did the Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago Blackhawks, and other hockey clubs do?
Plus, he also gives us his take on the English Premier League soccer season, as we head into the final two months of the season. Will Chelsea be playing in Europe next year? Can Leicester City go from rags to riches in one season?
The Northwestern Wildcats were back in Evanston after a 2-game road losing streak on Saturday afternoon and they took out their frustrations on a poor Rutgers squad who left their intensity on the bus. The Wildcats improved to 18 – 11 on the season and 6 – 10 in conference play with their 98-59 win over the Scarlet Knights.
It is Tre Demp’s world and we are just living in it as he dropped 24 points on 8-13 shooting while adding 8 rebounds and 4 assist. Demps was 6 for 8 from behind the arc and was left open for open threes all game long. It is not too often that Demps getting to roam free for the entire game but Rutgers were unable to put a body on him to slow the offensive onslaught by the senior.
Sophomore point guard Bryan McIntosh only scored 6 points but was able to dish out 13 assist during Demps hot shooting. Alex Olah had his third triple-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds in limited playing time. The Wildcats didn’t need much from their big three because they had balanced scoring from everyone on the roster.
The Wildcats were up 30 at halftime and it gave fans time to think about the future of this team under head coach Chris Collins. The Wildcats will not make the NCAA Tournament unless they are able to win the conference tournament in March, which is very unlikely.
Northwestern has not had a signature win all year and they have been blown out by some of the top tier Big Ten teams so they do not have a resume that warrants review when it comes to selection Sunday. The Wildcats had a promising start to the season, going 13 – 1 in their first 14 games but were unable to keep up the pace once the Big Ten conference play started.
The absence of second-year wing-man Vic Law hurt the Wildcats perimeter defense and stunted the team’s offensive abilities for the entire season. Olah also missed a handful of game during the middle of the season which completely decimated the interior defense and gave Northwestern no chance against Maryland and Ohio State.
The Wildcats still have two more games before the conference tournament against Penn State and Nebraska next week. Even if Northwestern is able to beat both of those teams and get to 20 wins for the season, their terrible strength of schedule and low RPI will be keep them out of the tournament again.
Hopefully Northwestern 2015-16 season will be a learning experience for some of the younger players on the team and they can provide a spark next season as they will be looking to do something no team has done in school history.
Follow Wes on Twitter @WesEvans24
on the Weekend Sports Report with Packer Dave and Steve Leventhal
….Jeff Rich joins us to preview the 2016 AFC and NFC Championship games. We also have as a guest a current NFL player who has authored a tell-all book about life in the National Football League. Unlike a typical memoir, loaded with whitewashed anecdotes and cute stories, this is a no holds barred, real world look inside the daily life of an offensive lineman playing right now. It’s so explosive, he uses the pen name “Johnny Anonymous” and disguises his voice for interviews. No topic is off the table in this wide ranging interview.
Lastly, John Poulter brings us up to date on what’s going on in the NHL and the English Premier League.
Hear interviews from Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Greg Olsen, and Larry Fitzgerald.
Don’t miss a cameo from Bob Costas of NBC.
…Jeff Rich joins us to preview the Green Bay Packers – Arizona Cardinals playoff game, the three other NFL games this weekend, and the head coaching changes in the league. Also, we’ll discuss the new teams coming to the Los Angeles market, and Alabama’s win over Clemson in the College Football Playoff championship.
Next, John Poulter brings us up to date on what’s happening in the NHL.
Hear interviews from Aaron Rogers, Eddie Lacy, Julius Peppers, Bruce Arians, Ron Rivera, Russell Wilson, and Peyton Manning. Plus, don’t miss a cameo from ESPN’s Chris Berman.
The Northwestern Wildcats welcomed in the Wisconsin Badgers to Welsh-Ryan Arena on Tuesday night for the first time in 15 years without being led by head coach Bo Ryan. Ryan retired midseason after his team was runner up in the NCAA tournament last year. In his 15 seasons as the Badgers head coach, Wisconsin made the NCAA tournament every year and never finished lower then 4th in Big Ten Conference regular season standings.
Ryan left his team in the hands of his longtime assistant Greg Gard, who inherited a young team that is in transition from being one of the best teams in the country to a below average Big Ten team. The Badgers came into the game at 9 – 8 overall and 1 – 3 in conference action.
The Wildcats jumped out an early 14 – 5 lead on the Badgers, thanks to some nice shooting by sophomore sensation Bryan McIntosh and some aggressive team defense. The Badgers were able to climb their way back into the game as they were only down 26 – 28 at halftime.
From start to finish this was McIntosh’s game, as his was dazzling on the offensive end of the floor. Every time down the court it was a “what is he going to do next,” type of feeling. McIntosh was hitting 3’s over centers and beating his man off the dribble at will leaving Coach Gard searching for answers. McIntosh finished with a game high 28 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds.
The over laying theme of this year for the Wildcats is whether or not they make the NCAA tournament but a close second is the maturation of McIntosh. The NU point guard is leading the team in points and assist while running Coach Collins offense and becoming the leader of this team.
The Wildcats have had to change their identity the past 4 games due to a foot injury to senior center Alex Olah. The lack of a low post presence has made the Wildcats play outside-in, compared to feeding Olah when healthy to open up the outside shooters. The Badgers ran the Wildcats off the 3-point line all night and contested every long distance shot causing Northwestern to shoot 4 – 12 (.3333) from beyond the arc.
The Badgers Nigel Hayes did his best to keep his team in the game by scoring 17 points but it was not enough to beat the Wildcats. Hayes came in the game as 1 of 2 players in the Big Ten averaging over 15 ppg, 6 rpg and 3.5 apg. The junior showed his aggressiveness by getting to the line 7 times, an area he is familiar to as he leads the Big Ten in FT and FTA.
Even without Alex Olah, the Wildcats were able to break Wisconsin’s 5 game winning streak in Evanston and move to 3 – 2 in the Big Ten. Northwestern will look to extend their winning streak to 3, when they host Penn State this Saturday night at 7:30 pm.
….Jeff Rich joins us to preview the Packers’ playoff game versus the Redskins, as well as the rest of the NFL playoff slate. They also talk about the coaching vacancies, and which are the more sought after jobs. John Poulter discusses the NHL with us, and lastly, Paul Banks from TheSportsBank will preview the College Football Championship game, and give his thoughts on the just concluded season.
Hear audio from Mike McCarthy, Randall Cobb, Clay Matthews, Jay Gruden, DeSean Jackson, John Fox, Bears GM Ryan Pace, Russell Wilson, Adrian Peterson, Ben Roethlisberger, JJ Watt, and AJ McCarron.
Don’t miss a cameo from comedian Jeff Foxworthy.