published Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

5-at-10: UT's new coach, Braves, NBA playoffs and Rushmore of patriotic sports moments

Morning gang. How's your mom and 'em?

Great. remember Friday's mailbag. From the "talks too much" studios if we can believe (in the children, teach them well and let them lead the way), we can achieve. Be the ball Danny.

UT hoops

So there are whispers and roars that Donnie Tyndall is the next UT hoops coach. No, not that one — the other Donnie Tyndall. So it goes, and it justifies the concern of running of Cuonzo 'The Conz' Martin when the answer to the question of 'Who you going to get?' is Donnie Tyndall. (And for clarity, Martin left UT for Cal, but it's fair to say there was some running off. Not a full blown R-U-N-N-O-F-T, but there were 36,000-plus willing to Volunteer to drive The Conz to the airport.)

So what do we know about The Don. We know that when he is denied one favor, he never asks for another. We know if you cross him, you could find a horse head in your bed. We know that he is a a superstitious man, and if some unlucky accident should befall Michael, if he should get shot in the head by a police officer, or if he should hang himself in his jail cell, or if he's struck by a bolt of lightning, then The Don is going to blame some of the people in this room. And that he does not forgive. But that aside, let The Don say that he swears, on the souls of my grandchildren, that he will not be the one who will break the peace we have made here today.

Well, that's good stuff. Wait. That's Don Corleone. As for The Donn, well, this is the place to be.

Here's a video of The Donn doing the Harlem Shake. Here's the pertinent info we gleaned from the stats of his Southern Miss team that won 27 games last year: The scored more than 71 points a game with four players averaging in double figures. They were 21st nationally in steals. That screams up-tempo, sharing the basketball and pressure.

The Donn will be introduced at 2 p.m. according to UT officials. And that's what we have — and it appears what Tennessee was left with considering the various folks that either declined UT's interest at the very start (Hi, Gregg Marshall) or pulled out of the running because of contract details (Hey, it's Michael White).

And as our man Weeds wrote today, the attention of these UT moves falls on Dave Hart's desk. If The Donn experiment works, great. If not, well, then the UT supports do not forgive.

The questions for Hart will be even greater considering this speed bump in Tyndall's past. His transgressions at Morehead State are documented and seem pretty serious.

Which begs the question: If Hart was going to look the other way about past indiscretion, why not go with the devil you know and the one your fan base loves despite his flaws?

But on this first day, let's enjoy the peace we have made here today.

———

  • photo
    Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel walks off the mound after pitching the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins in this July 4, 2013 file photo.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Braves

Atlanta is a resilient bunch. The Braves, built around a torrid starting rotation that is simply killing, find ways to win regardless of the obstacles.

After Craig Kimbrel allowed an unearned run in the ninth — he struck out the side with runners on second and third and no one out to keep the game tied — Evan Gattis hit a two-run walk-off homer for a 4-2 win over Miami. The Braves are 13-6 overall and lead the Nationals by 2.5 games.

The good: Next game, same theme. The starting pitching has been superb. Julio Teheran went seven strong, allowing one run — a solo homer to Garrett Jones — while throwing more than 70 percent of his pitches (67-of-92) for strikes. Crazy good.

The bad: The Braves made three more errors. It's the second consecutive time that's happened, and the Braves are lucky it did not cost them the game.

The Uggla: Dan Uggla went 1-for-5 and scored the game-winning run in front of Gattis' walk-off homer. He also made an error — his sixth in 19 games, which is less than good — and sits at .232 on the season.

———

The Grizzlies

And then that happened. Well, alrighty then.

The Memphis Grizzlies have moxie. Flat out juevos.

Say it with us: BEE-NO Udrih. BEE-NO. BEE-NO.

The Grizz pulled even at a game a piece against the OKC Thunder because they refused to go away. They refused to let the raucous Thunder crowd get to them. They refused to let any of the dozen momentum changing moments in the fourth quarter sway the mission. They even overcame a did-you-see-that amazing, fall-away 3 (plus the foul) by Kevin Durant that cut a 5 point lead to 1 with 18 seconds left as the Thunder rallied to force OT

They also capitalized on a rare off-night for soon-to-be crowned MVP Kevin Durant, who was 12-of-28 from the field and is 9-of-25 in the series shooting against super-pest Tony Allen.

So the Grizz even the deal heading back to Memphis.

Game on.

———

This and that

— Wow, the Clippers responded to letting Game 1 get away against the Warriors. L.A. dropped a 40-point Game 2 win on Golden State. Still, the Warriors accomplished their mission.

— Seattle traded for Oakland quarterback Terrelle Pryor, which begs two quick questions: How will the Seahawks use the multi-skilled but pass-limited Pryor as a back-up to Russell Wilson? They have options, which is nice. Also, how do the Seahawks continue to make moves that impress? A seventh-rounder for Pryor? Why not?

— Arkansas is changing its uniforms. Here's the new look. Now if they could change their roster.

———

Today's question

There's a slew to discuss.

Did UT make a good hire? Is The Donn better than The Conz?

If you still need a talking point, how about this:

Meb Keflezighi won the Boston Marathon, becoming the first American to do it since 1983. And after last year's bombing and tragedy, the entire experience was simply outstanding.

So, what's our Rushmore of patriotic sports moments? We can all agree that the 1980 hockey team beating the Soviets is far left, but else do we have?

Discuss.

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

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MocTastic said...

First off, yesterday's Boston Marathon. UTC's own, and current Chattanooga resident, Lannie Marchant ran a 2:30 and change marathon to finish 14th overall woman. There were only four women runners ahead of her other than the dominant Ethiopean and Kenyan runners.

Wow, just wow, with Dave Hart hiring such a dirty hired gun as Tyndall. If this guy had done what he did at a high profile school he probably would have been sitting with Pearl in the "show cause" doghouse for years. I guess the NCAA didn't like being lied to their face, ie Pearl, vs having a coach who just flaunted the rules of recruiting. Does UTK even consider ethics anymore or is it in a win at all costs mode now?

You UTK fans take the time to read the link JG posted, you have gone to the crossroads in Mississippi for real it seems and have signed the same pact that Robert Johnson allegedly did....

Wonder what ol Brucie in Auburn is thinking.

April 22, 2014 at 10:11 a.m.
jomo11 said...

WOW ! Hard to beleive that Hart would hire a coach with this much NCAA cheating baggage. Tyndall should thank his lucky stars that in 2010 the NCAA did not give him a 2 year ban. Using a booster to pay recruits for crying out loud ! with full knowledge by Tyndall . . .What Tyndall did, that the NCAA said was over a 3 year period is WAY WAY worse than what Pearl did, Worse than what Kelvin Sampson did and worse than Calipari. . . .UTK might as well hang a sign that says " We have decided to cheat to fix our Basketball program ".....

April 22, 2014 at 10:12 a.m.
jomo11 said...

If you are a UTK basketball FAN today, you probably dont't care that Donnie Tyndall is an NCAA cheater, its win at all costs. . . . If you are a UTK alumn you are probably embarrased that in order to fix UTK Basketball your AD stooped to this level

http://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/PressArchive/2010/20100825+morehead+state+infract+rls.htm

April 22, 2014 at 10:52 a.m.
chas9 said...

Yeah, he does look like a tv evangelist. Maybe I'll watch the games on the radio. But he does have a smoking hot girlfriend. Guess she puts a bag over his head.

April 22, 2014 at 11:11 a.m.
BWill8 said...

Never knew anything about Tyndall before this latest search began. He seems to have energy and enthusiasm. He may get a technical one day while coaching at UT. It will be welcomed (we're looking at you, Conz).

His background and run-in with the NCAA is troublesome. It's one thing to have a rogue booster but this guy was an active participant in violating NCAA rules. Maybe if it was a simple as if his chubby fingers went a little nutty texting recruits during a dead period or something but to play slap-n-tickle with a booster while doing said illegal activities is scary.

I'd like to point out that the NCAA Chair of the Infractions Committee on the Tyndall/Morehead State affair, Paul Dee, is former counsel and AD at the beyond reproach athletic institution known as The University of Miami. During his tenure, Dee’s program was in bed with Nevin Shaprio; and 57 football players falsified Pell Grant applications among other major violations. That's just some of the fun--feel free to Google him for the rest of the story.

My point is, besides the whole “this is not a glamour hire in the slightest” and/or he could take UT down to Eddie Suttonville, it’s also an indictment of further NCAA crap. Also, I click on yet another Wiedmer story that coulda/woulda,/shoulda taken a better angle with Tyndall, his baggage and what that means to UT. Yet, it was an opportunity to take the easy jabs at Hart, insert more talk of the Bruce petition, AND MOST SHOCKINGLY OF ALL, worked in a mention of his beloved Alabama and Saban.

April 22, 2014 at 11:19 a.m.
WilliamRscott said...

Not sure that UTK has any MBB 'boosters' left, so maybe the New Donn will not be tempted to repeat prior transgressions.

Mr. B. Will: With all due respect, sir, I enjoy reading your posts + agree w/ you most of the time. But let me assure you, Weeds has no love for bammer, or the large fruit. He is All-Blue.

Billy-In-Brainerd

April 22, 2014 at 11:37 a.m.
jomo11 said...

BWill8, you can sugarcoat Tyndall's NCAA violations or blame Miami and the NCAA itself. . . .but Tyndall's problems were NOT things that the NCAA should fix, like stipends, etc. . .He was involved in using boosters to among other things to PAY RECRUITS, thats as dirty as it comes. UTK should not have to stoop to this win at all costs, to get a quality coach. . .shameful !

April 22, 2014 at 12:05 p.m.
fechancellor said...

"Terrelle is an incredibly explosive athlete and we're excited for him to come in and compete," said John Schneider, Seahawks executive vice president of football operations and general manager."

10 Ring, got the Silver and Black tinfoil hat* on this PM. GM Reggie McKenzie and coaching staff tried hard to convince this "explosive athlete" his best days in the league would come as a tight end, H Back or Wild Cat anything but quarterback. Pryor demurred.

Maybe Pryor's new circumstances punctuated by 7th round swap will demonstrate to him the only way he gets on the field is as a position player. If Seattle is successful where Oakland was not, it's yet another downer of what might have been. Of course, this parting of the ways with Pryor as the last player Al Davis (pbuh) took a flyer on was pretty much preordained.

*Actually Raider fans have no need for ten foil hats. In and of itself, Silver is a first class conductor.

April 22, 2014 at 12:18 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Well, looks like the Vols found what they are looking for. The Twitter universe is a buzz.

Taking the risk of sounding like a preemptive apology, good luck finding someone in today's college hoops that is not loose with the NCAA playbook.

That said, the skeletons in Mr. Tyndall's locker are more T-Rex fossils than human remains according to that NCAA report, regardless who wrote it.

Side note: How huge are the buzzards following Ben Howland if he can't get a sniff when La Tech's dude says no to UT and the Vols snatch up The Donn.

And we all know the final verdict — if The Donn gets it done, the hire will be loved; if he doesn't do better than plodding and winning 60 percent of his games and getting hot in one month for the next three years, well, there will be 36K faceless online UT fans wondering if Bruce is 'really' happy at Auburn.

FE to the C —

We believe Pryor is little more than insurance, and for the pick that figures to be Mr. Irrelevant, that seems like a nice move by the Seattle brass. Of course if the Raiders were going to cut him, a seventh-rounder is better than nothing.

Does this mean Johnny Football could be Johnny Raider?

April 22, 2014 at 1:30 p.m.
MocTastic said...

If you put Johnny Football in the Oakland environment, his career will be short, one of the worse possible locations for him.

April 22, 2014 at 1:41 p.m.
Stewwie said...

It will be interesting to hear how Hart describes Tyndall in the news conference. I highly doubt that Hart would have hired Tyndall fresh off of the violations at Morehead State, but The Donn appears to have been clean for two years at So. Miss for what it's worth. If Ben Howland could have gotten a second chance with someone else and stayed clean for two years, you can bet that Hart would have gone after him too. It's a risk for sure, but Hart also knows that his reputation is at stake too with the hire.

Very exciting game last night between the Grizz and Thunder. Incredible 3 by Durant after being fouled and falling out of bounds. The Thunder were fortunate to still be in the game at the end since Durant had an off night. Yes, he had 36 points, and it was an off night for him. And yes, he is a great player.

It will be interesting to see how both the Pacers and Bulls respond tonight after their respective Game 1 upset losses.

April 22, 2014 at 1:43 p.m.
jomo11 said...

Stewwie, my question is if you are UTK, why do you have to take a risk with a convicted NCAA cheater ? ? especially one like Donnie Tyndall that is not exactly on every major schools wish list ?

April 22, 2014 at 2:09 p.m.
Stewwie said...

Jomo,

Most of the fan base wanted a convicted NCAA cheater back at the helm anyway. Wouldn't it be hypocritical if they now blasted Hart for hiring a guy like Tyndall?

I believe that Hart was willing to take the chance on Tyndall for that reason plus the fact that a lot of the good names out there had already said no. Who else was Hart going to go after who was worth a darn? In the end, he probably got the best that he could get. If he had hired a totally clean guy with little to no track record of success, the fans (fair or unfair) would shake their heads and start ripping on Hart if the success didn't soon follow. Hopefully Hart did enough homework on Tyndall to feel good about this one, but it doesn't surprise me that he's willing to take this risk.

April 22, 2014 at 2:55 p.m.
jomo11 said...

Just sends a bad message when you have to hire someone who has had MAJOR NCAA violations. . . . .Im glad my Alma Mater would not stoop that low, but hey if that is what UTK is and their alums dont care, then have at it

April 22, 2014 at 3:04 p.m.
Stewwie said...

Jomo, UTC wouldn't go after a guy like that because they wouldn't have to. TN is on a different level and their fan base apparently doesn't care about a coach's past flaws so long as he wins. Otherwise, why would so many people sign the petition to bring back a guy like Pearl? I think Hart got the message and that's why he is willing to take a chance with Tyndall.

April 22, 2014 at 4:10 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Patriotic sports moments? I give you Rick Monday, center fielder, at Dodger Stadium.

April 22, 2014 at 6:10 p.m.
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