Rumbling to the endzone for the 2 point conversion is by far one of the biggest players on the Notre Dame Roster, defensive lineman Louis Nix, aka Irish Chocolate.  Listed at 6-3, 326 lb. (ding) its an easy guess why everyone on the Notre Dame defense stepped out of the way.

Nix’s unseen quarterback play was the highlight of the Notre Dame spring game that saw the actual quarterback Everett Golson struggle. Throwing 9-13 passes for 98 yards and 1 interception, Golson’s play in the first half was underwhelming. After playing all last year and a whole off season to prepare as the starter, one would think Golson would come out a little sharper. There’s still plenty of times to work out the kinks until the actual season, but it was a chance for Golson to show the coaches, teammates, and fans that he is ready to take that next step in his game. He has high expectations this year and is expected to make more plays with his athletic ability now that he is more familiar with the offense. The play of Golson is the primary factor to how close the Irish can come to their tremendous undefeated season last year.

The offense as a whole was not impressive and was completely outperformed by the Notre Dame defense. Not only did Nix look good at quarterback, but he played even better at his normal position, nose tackle. Nix and the defense seemed to have picked up right where they left off last season and have only improved over the winter. One of the biggest consistencies of coach Brian Kelly and his staff’s time at Notre Dame has been increasing the speed and strength of his defensive players incrementally each season. This year’s defense is sticking with that consistency and showed a glimpse of the dominance that is expected from them next season.

hoosier pregame huddleAfter this season ended premature of the Hoosiers lofty goals of bringing home another banner for Assembly Hall, the show must go on. It must go on without seniors Christian Watford, Jordan Hulls, and Derek Elston. The show must go on without two more starters in Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller.  Both declared for the NBA Draft just a few weeks ago.  Even more recently, point guard Remy Abell decided that he would transfer in hopes of receiving more playing time.

With all of this being said, a lot of questions remain for Tom Crean’s squad. I think a lot rides on the development of Jeremy Hollowell, Hanner Mosquera-Perea, and Peter Jurkin. While Hollowell did receive some playing time here and there, Mosquera-Perea and Jurkin received little to none. Much of it was due to their nine game suspension they served to begin the season. However, these three must develop into consistent contributors for the Hoosiers to continue to compete for the Big Ten Championship and ultimately another NCAA Title.

Another crucial part of the equation will be the members of the 2013 recruiting class. Star power forward Noah Vonleh will be counted on early to give the Hoosiers a presence lost on the inside with Zeller’s departure.  Others in the class include shooting guard Stanford Robinson, small forwards Troy Williams, Colin Hartman, Devin Davis, and center Luke Fischer.  With Will Sheehey and Yogi Ferrell being the lone players with considerable playing time returning, a lot will be riding on how well the young Hoosiers play in their first season. Therefore, my prediction for next year’s starting five:

PG Yogi Ferrell, Sophomore

SG Stanford Robinson, Freshmen

SF Will Sheehey, Senior

PF Noah Vonleh, Freshmen

C Luke Fischer, Freshmen

nfl draftWith only five picks in the upcoming NFL Draft this weekend, the Colts must be able to get contributions from all of their selections.  The Colts hold the 24th overall pick in Thursday’s First Round.  The only question remains, who will they select?

As I have identified before in several posts titled Colts Prospect Watch, I identified four possible targets in defensive linemen Johnathan Hankins, receivers DeAndre Hopkins and Cordarrelle Patterson, and cornerback Desmond Trufant. However, I think that Colts may benefit most from not selecting someone with the 24th overall pick.

After no quarterbacks have been given First Round grades by most experts save West Virginia’s Geno Smith, this could be the prime target for teams to trade back up into the First Round and snag their guy. Multiple teams have need for quarterbacks and may not want to gamble that their guy won’t make it to their pick in the Second Round. Teams that lack a franchise signal caller include the Jaguars, Raiders, Eagles, Browns, Cardinals, Bills and Jets.  Coincidentally, they all possess top ten picks in the Second Round. The Colts could attain more picks in this way.

Despite this possibility, I think the Colts still could use a lot of help at cornerback and I think that either Desmond Trufant or Florida State’s Xavier Rhodes. Both are considered in the conversation as top tier cornerbacks. While each has a different playing style, the Colts desperately need to improve their ability to cover in the secondary.  Therefore, I think that the Colts will Rhodes with the 24th overall pick.

Terror in Boston

Posted: April 22, 2013 by charlesnieves21 in Uncategorized
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A 60-year-old northwest Indiana mother who had been watching her daughter run in the Boston Marathon on Monday is among those seriously injured in the blasts. “All of a sudden, I was on the ground and there was glass all over the place and the noise was so loud that my ears were ringing a little bit. And then I looked down and I saw that my leg was all opened up. … Then this policeman came and he was so nice and was trying to help. He kept saying, ‘It’s OK. It’s going to be OK.'”

Beth Roche, of Highland, Ind., located about 20 miles east of Chicago, had been cheering her daughter on to finish the race, when the first bomb went off. At least three people were killed and over 180 others wounded in the Monday blasts.She is expected to walk again, but her recovery is anticipated to take between eight and 10 weeks.

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Taking Care of Business

Posted: April 22, 2013 by charlesnieves21 in Uncategorized
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Coming into this past Sunday the Pacers were going to start their 7 game series against the Atlanta Hawks. And from the looks of it they were dialed-in and focused and ready to take care of business on their home-court. Winning convincingly with a margin of 17 and a score of 107-90.

Paul George was the hero of the day for the Pacers with the numbers of  23 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds. Being the frst Pacers player to record a playoff triple double since Mark Jackson in 1998.

George knew for the start he was going to be determine in this playoff series stating “I said before this playoff run I’m leaving everything on the floor. I know as a team what is expected of me now. I want the pressure. I’ll do whatever it takes. I don’t want to be known as a scorer or defender. I want to be a ballplayer.” Game 2 is this coming Wednesday so hopefully we will see a repeat of game 1.

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ESPN

Last night was the 2013 WNBA draft and the field was loaded with Indiana talent. Three of the first 13 picks were girls from Indiana, showing yet again Indiana produces all kinds of basketball talent for both boys and girls.

The first Indiana native selected was Skylar Diggins, who was selected third overall by the Tulsa Shock. Diggins played at South Bend Washington high school in Indiana where she played in the state championship game all four years and won two of them in 2007 and 2008. She then of course went on to play at Notre Dame, where she appeared in two final games in both 2011 and 2012. Unfortunately, Diggins was unable to win a championship in college but will hopefully have a chance soon to lead the Shock to a WNBA title.

The second Indiana native selected was Kelly Farris, who was selected 11th overall by the Connecticut Sun. Farris played at Heritage Christian high school in Indiana and then went out of state to play at UConn, where she won two NCAA championships in 2010 and 2013. Farris is a supreme Indiana talent who won four straight state championships from 2006-2009 at Heritage Christian. Now playing close to her college home, Farris will certainly have more chances to add to her already incredible amount of hardware.

The third Indiana native selected was Alex Bentley, who was selected 13th overall by the Atlanta Dream. Bentley played at Ben Davis high school in Indianapolis and then played for the Big Ten’s Penn State. Bentley also enjoyed some success during her time in Indiana when Ben Davis defeated Diggins and South Bend Washington in the 2009 state championship game. Playing at Penn State, Bentley continued her success when Penn State were Big Ten champs both last year and this year.

All three of these women have an excellent chance for success at the professional level as all of them have shown the ability to win in both high school and college. Picking one out of the three however, Diggins is the one player who will probably have the biggest impact in the WNBA. She is an extremely intelligent player who always knows where to be on both ends of the court, she can make all the right plays for her teammates, and she can light it up scoring on any given night.

With the NFL Draft under three weeks away, the Indianapolis Colts have been busy sifting through all of the NFL hopefuls in hope of adding them to their roster.  Today we will examine a prospect that the Colts have likely identified that will be available at their 1st Round pick.  Today’s prospect watch is Tennessee receiver Cordarrelle Patterson.

Patterson exploded onto the scene for the Vols to start the season and was a dominant threat all year.  Patterson, one year removed from JUCO College, collected 46 catches for 778 yards and 5 touchdowns as well as 308 yards on the ground and 3 touchdowns.  He also doubled as an explosive return man collecting .  Scouts view him as the biggest “wow” factor in a draft class that lacks elite playmakers.

Once again, this is a position that the Colts have several playmakers already.  Reggie Wayne continues to amaze despite getting older every season.  Rookie sensation T.Y. Hilton gave Andrew Luck the vertical threat and second year pro La’Von Brazill started to develop as the season went on.  However, Patterson would give Andrew Luck a weapon that he could have only dreamed of playing with at Stanford.  Patterson is the most explosive player in this draft outside of West Virginia receiver Tavon Austin.  This type of move would ensure another dangerous weapon for the Colts.

Here’s how explosive Patterson can be: