FRIDAY FODDER: Pack’s lineup must change next season to compete
Sports fodder for a Friday morning . . .
Nevada Wolf Pack coach David Carter dropped a hint about the immediate future of his basketball team this week before leaving for the Mountain West tournament. Carter is seriously toying with the idea of starting three point guards (Deonte Burton, Marqueze Coleman and UTEP transfer Michael Perez). The idea of starting three guards under 6-foot-4 is intriguing. Coleman clearly deserves more minutes and Perez, a former UTEP starter, could be the newcomer of the year in the conference. But it doesn’t solve the Pack’s biggest problem: rebounding, toughness and defending the paint.
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The Wolf Pack’s 12-19 season mercifully came to an end with a loss to Wyoming in the Mountain West tournament play-in game. But now is when the Pack’s season really gets interesting. The Pack loses just one player (Malik Story) that played significant minutes this year. It would seem that a .500 season at best is in store for 2013-14. But be patient. It remains to be seen whether everyone (in addition to Burton, Perez, Coleman) who is scheduled to be back — namely Cole Huff, Jerry Evans Jr., Kevin Panzer, Devonte Elliott, Ali Fall, Jordan Burris, Jordan Finn and Richard Bell — do indeed come back. There might be more movement with this roster than you might expect.
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Carter does not stomach losing very well. Every single home loss — all seven of them — had him contemplating the meaning of life. You can bet he won’t go into another season with a roster as unprepared for the rigors of the Mountain West as this one he had this past season. The program is in good hands with David Carter. The Wolf Pack likely won’t go from worst to first in the Mountain West next year but they will compete for one of the top five spots.
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You might see as many as eight Wolf Pack football players taken in the NFL draft in April. Safety Duke Williams, cornerback Khalid Wooten, linebacker Jeremiah Green, running back Stefphon Jefferson, offensive linemen Chris Barker and Jeff Nady and tight end Zach Sudfeld seem to be in most every mock draft on the internet. And that doesn’t even include the best player the Pack put on the field in 2012 (linebacker Albert Rosette). How do you go 7-6 with a half dozen or more NFL players?
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Is Anquan Boldin really necessary for the San Francisco 49ers? He’s definitely an improvement over Randy Moss and odds are Boldin wouldn’t have allowed a skinny defensive back to hold him on fourth down in the Super Bowl. Wide receivers, though, are luxuries in the pistol offense. It’s not really the area where the 49ers should be spending big money. They need to upgrade the secondary. Just ask Anquan Boldin.
Is it really a good thing for the Miami Heat to dominate the NBA? Of course not. Nobody outside of Dade and Broward counties wants the Heat to be successful. If it wasn’t for ESPN, which has a personal interest in the success of the NBA, nobody would even pay attention to the NBA right now. The Heat are probably going to break the Los Angeles Lakers’ record 33-game winning streak and they are certainly going to breeze to their second consecutive NBA title. The NBA right now is merely a glorified AAU summer league where the franchises with the deepest pockets collect all the best players. It’s enough to make you root for the good old days when the Lakers and Celtics dominated the league.
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Wes Welker will clearly help Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. But his absence won’t bother Tom Brady and the New England Patriots all that much. Danny Amendola will do what Welker did for the Patriots. And if he doesn’t, well, the Patriots will find someone who will. Welker seemed to drop as many important passes as he caught in recent years anyway. The NFL is not about individual players. It’s about systems. Very few players are unique talents. Welker is just a possession receiver who happened to be in a great system. If Bill Belichick really wanted Welker, there’s no way Welker would be a Bronco right now.