Tom Archdeacon: Final Four coach an admirer of UD hire Anthony Grant

Published: Thursday, March 30, 2017 @ 12:46 PM

Anthony Grant and Frank Martin were friends as high school teammates, before going onto success as coaches in college and in the NBA. Getty Images
Anthony Grant and Frank Martin were friends as high school teammates, before going onto success as coaches in college and in the NBA. Getty Images

New University of Dayton men’s basketball coach Anthony Grant inspired one current Final Four coach and former high school teammate to put pen to paper.

Grant is close friends with South Carolina coach Frank Martin, who has the Gamecocks in their first ever Final Four.

The two were high school teammates at Miami High School in Florida. Grant was the All City star, Martin was a glorified manager but was just as dedicated to the Stingarees’ success.

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Eventually both were assistant coaches for their high school head coach Shakey Rodriguez and then each worked their way up through the ranks to the lofty status followed.

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Martin was a successful coach at Kansas State before moving to South Carolina, where he became famous for his in-game intensity and his scowling look, which could scare the paint off the court. But there are no scowls when it comes to Grant.

Martin made Grant the godfather of one of his sons. Before that he did something more telling.

After high school, when Grant went to Dayton on a full scholarship, Martin was a regular student at Miami Dade Community College.

For the very first college paper for his English 1101 class, he was asked to write about someone he admired.

He wrote about Anthony Grant.

“He cared about people, his school, his friends,” Martin told a reporter a couple of years ago. “He walked in the hallways and teachers and students all respected him.

“That’s something I’ll never forget.”

WATCH: ESPN discusses Outback Bowl, substitutes Mississippi State for South Carolina

Published: Sunday, December 10, 2017 @ 10:21 PM

If it was simply in the background playing, this might be difficult to notice, but a closer analysis shows ESPN made a mistake when discussing the Outback Bowl.

Instead of naming South Carolina players and running Gamecocks highlights, they showed Mississippi State instead.

It clearly shows Bulldog’s highlights even though the lower-third clearly shows Michigan vs. South Carolina.

The announcer even makes mention of Aenis Williams, the Mississippi State running back who has 1,019 yards on 224 carries and five touchdowns this season.

While it’s likely an honest mistake, it’s also clearly an easily correctable one and a rare gaffe by the worldwide leader.

James Harrison off inactive list, gets some playing time against Ravens

Published: Sunday, December 10, 2017 @ 10:14 PM

Pittsburgh Steelers James Harrison made sure that football fans everywhere knows that he wants no parts of warming the bench.

Harrison has not seen any game action for the Steelers since Week 7—that was Oct 22. On Friday he told NBC Sports’ Michele Tafoya that if he had known how little he would be playing, that he would’ve signed somewhere else during the offseason.

He was active for the Steelers’ Sunday Night Football matchup against the Baltimore Ravens, and has also spent some time on the field. NBC Sports’ commentators Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth made sure to point out that he had gotten some playing time.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin did take some time after Harrison’s comments to explain why the former Defensive Player of the Year is not playing more. Tomlin said that game has changed, and they need more out of their outside linebackers than simply rushing the passer.

If this season is the end of the line for the Steelers and Harrison, it has been a great run. Harrison has gone from an undrafted free agent to one of the most accomplished defensive players in a franchise history littered with outstanding defensive players.

Hopefully he gets to end his career in the way that he would like it to end.

Report: Jeremiah Donati to be named TCU’s athletic director

Published: Sunday, December 10, 2017 @ 10:13 PM

TCU will reportedly go in-house in finding its new athletic director.

According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Jeremiah Donati will be named TCU’s next director of intercollegiate athletics on Monday, Dec. 11.

Donati has been on the university’s staff since 2011. He served as the director of the TCU Frog Club, the school’s booster program, before being named associate athletics director for development in 2013 — a role which he has since served in.

Former athletic director Chris Del Conte was hired away from TCU by the University of Texas on Saturday after eight years in Fort Worth.

TCU announced earlier on Sunday that an introductory press conference would be held by TCU Chancellor Victor J. Boschini Jr. on Monday afternoon.

Bears run wild over depleted Bengals defense

Published: Sunday, December 10, 2017 @ 7:32 PM

Tough day for rookie Evans

The Chicago Bears took advantage of a Cincinnati defense depleted by injury, but the Bengals won’t use their personnel changes as an excuse.

After combining for 287 total yards of offense over their last two games, the Bears rolled to a season-high 482 yards in a 33-7 win over the short-handed Bengals on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium.

MORE BENGALS

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Cincinnati was missing starting linebackers Vontaze Burfict (concussion) and Nick Vigil (ankle) and starting defensive backs Dre Kirkpatrick (concussion), Shawn Williams (hamstring) and Adam Jones, who went on injured reserved Saturday with a groin injury.

“We didn’t execute the game plan,” defensive end Carlos Dunlap said. “I know there are a lot of young guys in (the game), but that’s an excuse, and we don’t use excuses around here.”

The Bears especially seemed to be exploiting the middle of the defense, where the Bengals had just four linebackers available, including two rookies in Jordan Evans and Carl Lawson. Veteran Vincent Rey was just coming back from a hamstring injury that sidelined him the last two games, and Evans had mainly been limited to special teams before Rey’s injury.

Evans finished with a team-high 10 tackles, Rey added six, Kevin Minter, who has started six games, had two tackles and Lawson didn’t have any tackles, but there were several missed tackles, too.

“We gave them some stuff,” Evans said. “They beat us. I’ve personally got to go back and look at the mistakes and make sure they don’t happen again. They took what we gave them, and they took full advantage of it.”

Bears rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky completed 25 of 32 passes for 271 yards and one touchdown, and Bengals coach Marvin Lewis noted “there were a lot” of receivers open in the middle of the field.

“Some new people, some moving parts and, you know, it was not very good,” Lewis said.

Lewis said he couldn’t explain the missed tackles, but emphasized that players have to get off the blocks better. Jordan Howard finished with a game-high 147 yards rushing and two touchdowns, and Kendall Wright led Chicago’s receivers with 107 yards on 10 catches on 11 targets.

“We were staying glued to them and they were kind of grabbing us — we weren’t separating,” Lewis said. “When we separated, they got called for a couple penalties. We didn’t separate early on, so we just expected it to happen.”

Evans said the lack of time playing together as a group in the linebacking corps shouldn’t have been a factor, and having so many young guys in the back end of the defense also isn’t an excuse.

He felt the defense’s struggles were more of a mental lapse.

“You’ve just got to try to make plays and stop them,” Evans said. “Regardless of the situation someone has to step up and make a play. Especially when momentum switches after maybe a turnover or they’ve been running the ball, you’ve just got to step up and make a play.”