Friday, November 27, 2009

Exclusive Preview: The Hoosiers All-Decade Team

This one is exclusive to Armchair Superstar - I'm currently working on the IUBB All-Decade Team and crunching the numbers to figure out who makes the cut. The way it works is... this is a work in progress! First name listed is the current leader for first team. Italics is the second team guy, tentatively, any names below are also in the running.

Please let me know ASAP if you have any feedback, I'm trying to get this polished and in Cheesecake Slideshow Form for B/R and here by tonight!

Point Guard: Tom Coverdale - 503 career assists. #30 in career scoring. Two ten-plus assists games. 200 career 3 pointers.
AJ Guyton - just one year in the 2000's or he'd be in. 16.4ppg over career, #4 on all time scoring list.
Marshall Strickland
Earl Calloway

Shooting Guard: Bracey Wright - led team in scoring x3. #15 in all-time scoring.
Eric Gordon - one of the best single-year scoring in history. Just a single year though.
Roderick Wilmont - was co-Indiana MVP with White one year.
Devan Dumes - led team in scoring last year.

Small Forward: Jared Jeffries - over 1,000 points in just two seasons, and a good rebounder.
Robert Vaden

Power Forward: Kirk Haston - over 1,400 pts for career in 3yr.
Jeff Newton - led team in blocks 2000-2002, #1 total blocks career.

Center: DJ White - best single game rebounding (at Michigan, 1/8/08) by far of the decade. All-American, Big Ten POY 2008, led team in blocks 2005, 2007, 2008.
George Leach - #83 on all time scoring list, 3 7-block games, 3 6-block games
Marco Killingsworth - led team in scoring 2006, blocks 2006.

Sixth Man: AJ Moye - 15 boards at 6-foot-3 once. Still, he may give way to...
Dane Fife (all-time steals leader!)
Kyle Hornsby

Coach: Mike Davis
Tom Crean

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Here Come the Hawks

About a week ago Noffke asked me to write a Blackhawks post, so I decided to end my vacation from the golf season early (Hey Noffke the Masters is coming up soon). With the NHL season just a bit over a quarter of the way done, we are beginning to see the identity of each team.

The Blackhawks are on a tear right now. They are riding a 7 game winning streak going into tonight’s game in San Jose. The Hawks are half way through their circus trip and are perfect so far. They enter tonight’s game with a record of 15-5-2 with 32 points, 4 points behind the sharks in the Western Conference. Marion Hossa is set to make his Blackhawks and season debut tonight.

The Blackhawks big 3 (Towes, Kane, and Keith) are set to get extensions that I have been hearing are close to being done but have to work out some cap issues, i.e. trade someone first. With that news out of the way here is what I think about the Blackhawks so far.


Cristobal Huet and Antti Niemi have been solid, but I’m still not sold on them yet. Huet has played better his last few games. Well better is an understatement, he has played exceptional. After the rocky start to the season many were calling for Huet's head and were ready to appoint Niemi as the number 1.

The problem with Huet if you watch is he goes down so early that it leaves the top corners open. If players wait a bit longer with their shot they would be able to put the puck right where Grandma keeps the peanut butter. Huet has been doing better with this recently, but whether or not he can play like this all season I’m not sure yet.

Niemi has played well as the number 2. He got the shutout Sunday night in Vancouver and has some other good games. Niemi though is still a number 2 as of right now. Can he be a number 1? Yeah, he might be able to one day, but to think he can be the number 1 now is asking too much. He is still a rookie and don’t know is can handle the game load of a number 1 goalie let alone a playoff just yet.


Part of the reason the goalies have played well is because they have the defense in front of them. Keith and Seabrook have become top blue liners in the league. There are some who think they could be starting for team Canada in the Olympics this February.

As for the others, Nikolas Hjalmarsson has become a decent defenseman for the Hawks. Cam Barker and Brian Campbell are more offensive defenseman with Barker being a sniper and Campbell being able to move the puck up the ice. These two aren’t the best defenseman, but they are still good enough to make this a solid defense group for the Hawks.


With the return of Marion Hossa tonight he will only add to an offense that already has no trouble scoring (like the massacre they put on Calgary last Thursday). Hossa could join the line of Toews and Kane which could already make a talented first line even better.

Speaking of Toews, it is blatantly obvious how much he means to this team. With him out of the lineup with a concussion a couple of weeks ago we saw the Hawks offense struggle more often than not. They still scored but not as much as they were. After Toews returned they went on this current 7 win streak.

Kane is an electric playmaker that has good hands. My friend and I always comment on how well he moves the puck and you can notice it more in shutouts. The Hawks offense also includes Kris Versteeg, Patrick Sharp, and Big Dustin Byfuglien. This core group on the offense provides the Hawks with enough scoring.

Overall I think the Hawks are one of the better teams in the West and maybe even the league. They are playing the best hockey right now and I see them making a deep run in the playoffs. It’s still early, but this is a solid team stocked with talent.

Since everyone will be going out tonight since Thanksgiving is tomorrow, watch the Hawks. It will be an exciting game tonight. Most of you will be at a bar anyways, so it will most likely be on already. The Blackhawks are really the only positive thing in Chicago sports these days.

Lance Briggs Has A Hobby

... and you'll never guess what it is.

Full coverage from the Tribune here.

And I feel a little better about my nerdiness. Hooray!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Top Chef Power Rankings

In the finale of the Las Vegas portion of Top Chef, the Chef’s had short time to prepare food for a world class competition full of world class judges. Eli had an ok night, but was clearly #5 in a four person race. The other four get some much needed time off as the head off to Napa Valley for the Finals.

Top Shelf

Kevin "Red Beard" Gillespie

Red Beard took a huge gamble this week, he cooked a way he has never cooked before in his life. Bryan Voltaggio helped him the night before, but the entire time I was watching the episode I was screaming, “Stick with what you know!” His food came out good though and he ended up winning the competition. I think this competition shows the key to winning Top Chef. Red Beard was not the most creative or used the most creative techniques (especially compared to the Voltaggio’s). He was even criticized for “playing it safe” durning judges table. The key though, is he made no mistakes and cooked his food properly. That’s it. That’s why he won this elimination challenge. That’s also how you win the show, cook good food and cook it properly, do that and you’ll win. Richard Blaize probably would have won Top Chef Chicago with his creativity, technique and cooking ability. In the final, he even said it, “I chocked.” He had better ideas and technique but he didn’t cook the food properly.

Bryan Voltaggio

Big props for him for helping out Red Beard. If I was him, I would have said, this is how you do it, but I don’t know if I’d try doing that for my first time 1 challenge away from the final. Bryan did cook a solid meal, but looked a little flustered for only the second time in the season. I think the discussion at the table put it best, if he had had more time, then he would have probably created the winning dish. They could see his dish continuing to develop. I still feel him and Red Beard are the chef’s to beat, I could see either of them winning it all.

They could win, but I’m not putting money on them.

Michael Voltaggio

Micheal was the only chef of the 5 who had been in a cooking competition before. He felt confident in his ability and for the most part did a good job. The thing that cost him his chance to win was when one of the guests at the table found a bone in his fish. Instantly all the judges commented on how that would be throw out immediately in any real competitions. It seemed like his over all dish was good overall. I feel if the Napa Valley he could win if the challenges are more towards his style of cooking, but I feel his brother cooks that style better. I don’t want to doubt Michael, but I don’t think he can over take the top two.

Jen Carroll

Jen had an ok night. She won the quickfire which allowed her to get an extra 30 minutes of cooking. She seemed more organized and didn’t really need the extra 30 minutes and ended up helping out the fellow competitors. I think this break will benefit her the most. She had clearly hit a wall a few episodes ago when she was saying she was ready to go home. She started off the competition as one of the top competitor’s showing her potential in the army episode where she ran the kitchen. I think if she gets back on her game she could win it all, but like I said about Michael, I don’t see her over taking the top two.