5 at 10: Petrino, Baylor basketball and Jason Heyward

5 at 10: Petrino, Baylor basketball and Jason Heyward

April 12th, 2012 by Jay Greeson in Sports - Columns

We're sorry we had the comments turned off in the a.m. Wednesday. That's our bad. But it didn't slow you folks down. Strong day of comments and it was great to see wc777 swing by these parts again in the afternoon, and he shared some knowledge. Don't forget about Friday's mailbag, we still have a couple of spots open.

News was dominated yesterday by the arrest in the Trayvon Martin case and while we're not going to get into that, we will say that thank goodness that's the only kid that has been killed in the U.S. of A. in the last month. It's tragedy, no doubt, but sadly it's far from the only incident. That said, also Wednesday Dos Equis recalled some of its beer because they found small pieces of glass from defective bottle had fallen into the beer. First, we're completely safe as anyone who knows us knows that unless Dos Equis is Spanish for Bud Light, we're OK. Second, we've decided to do today's show as "The Most Interesting 5-at-10 in the World," in honor of Dos Equis awesome pitch man and commercial spokesman.

From the "Talks Too Much Studios" here we go.

Arkansas football coach Bobby Petrino walks to the sideline as the Razorbacks took on Mississippi State during an NCAA college football game in Little Rock, Ark. Arkansas fired coach Petrino on Tuesday, April 10, 2012, publicly dressing him down for unfairly hiring his mistress and intentionally misleading his boss about everything from their relationship to her presence at the motorcycle accident that ultimately cost him his job. (AP Photo/El Dorado News-Times, Michael Orrell)

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

"He doesn't always tell lies, but when he does he makes Nixon look like a boy scout"

The residue form the Bobby Petrino implosion continues. Records show that Petrino and his floozie exchanged more than 4,300 text messages and 300 calls in the last seven months. Sweet buckets of "Honeys," "Sweet Cakes," and "Smoochies," how did Petrino have time for anything else, never mind getting Arkansas to the top 3 in the polls in November. That's more than 600 texts a month, which is more than 20 a day. Does he have a teenager on staff in charge of text quota? What a loser. Anyhoo.

We thought our ace columnist Mark Wiedmer nailed the increased focus on behavior here http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2012/apr/12/will-coach-behavior-get-better/.

In some ways we're still shocked. Look at it this way, behind Saban, who is at the top of every college football coach Mad Lib (i.e., the Coach with the most _, the coach with the best_, you get the idea), Petrino was right there on almost every list.

And before this, who was behind Saban as the coach with the most job security? We'd put Petrino at least tied with Spurrier and ahead of Les Miles and Gene Chizik.

(Side question: Did he ever get cited for failing to wear a helmet? Yes, in the grand scheme of things that's certainly low on the list, but we're just curious.)

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Baylor forward/center Destiny Williams (10) looks for a way around Notre Dame forward Markisha Wright (34) during the first half in the NCAA women's Final Four college basketball championship game, in Denver, Tuesday, April 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

"If timing is everything, their everything was perfect."

Baylor's men' and women's basketball programs admitted to something like 1,200 total texts and phone calls that were against NCAA rules. (Side question: Was Petrino involved in this? We're still stunned dude was sending 20-plus texts a day to his mistress. And he was getting away with this? Somewhere Tiger Woods read that stat and said, "Rookie mistake.")

In the grand scheme of things, texts and phones calls are not that big of a deal. But when they are in this overwhelming volume, it has to be considered a serious recruiting edge.

That said, the NCAA accepted Baylor's suggested penalties and added some light probation. And that's probably fine.

But if this had been pre-scandal days of college athletics, before the times when we knew about Tattoo-Gate and the seedy side of Miami and the fact that Joe Paterno put his program's reputation before protecting children, the NCAA would have been all fire and brimstone.

Now, Baylor suggests its punish and has to pay the NCAA equivalent of court costs. So it goes.

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Atlanta Braves' Jason Heyward swings at a pitch against the New York Yankees in the seventh inning of a spring training baseball game in Kissimmee, Fla., Wednesday, March 28, 2012. Heyward struck out in the at-bat, but hit a two-run home run in the ninth inning. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

"He didn't necessarily pick baseball as much as baseball picked him."

We're going to whisper this because we don't want to jinx it, but "Jason Heyward looks really comfortable in the batter's box again." Shhhhh. Just between us, OK?

If Heyward gets comfortable and confident, the Braves are money. Seriously, dude is an MVP candidate hiding in his No. 7-hitter shell because of his struggles and mental angst.

That said, dude looked awesome last night - he went 3-for-4 with a homer - and is hitting .316 through six games and has two steals. We know this is a long season and you have to trust it - and you good folks know the 5-at-10's an optimist at heart - but getting jazzed about Heyward's .316 is like getting bent out of shape about an 0-4 start. It's a super-small cross thread for a long year.

But, you have to admit, Heyward looks different. He appears more comfortable and that has to count for something whether he's hitting .316 or a buck-16.

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This and that

- "He doesn't always put messages in his hair, but when he does it's something meaningful." Kentucky landed Nerlens Noel, the stud 6-foot-10 shot-blocker who rather than going through the cap dance ritual of signing-day excess just showed the interlocking "UK" shaved into the back of his high-top fade. Three quick things: First, this is brilliant. Shaving something into your 'do makes a statement of caring and creativity without going permanent. (Ask UT running back Marlin Lane, who committed to Clemson, got a Clemson tattoo, de-committed and picked UT and had to have the tat removed about the benefits of not going permanent out of the gate.) Second, Kentucky did not pull off the sweep Wednesday with Shabazz Muhammad going to UCLA, but the Wildcats did land another top-three signing class and have the freshman firepower to be among the elite again next season. Third, Noel is such a defensive ace and has such a boss high-top fade, do you think his hero is Dwight Howard or that dude from Kid-n-Play that had the best fade ever? Think of it this way, Dwight Howard is the best big man in the NBA, but Kid or Play (we get them confused) had the Michael Jordan of fades. Just saying.

- "Tight ends... position and description." We heard from the start of the Doolander era in Knoxville that he loved using the tight ends. Well, a dearth of able bodies and/or the ability of the five offensive linemen to pass protect without help forced last year's Vols to downplay the big pass catchers. As our UT ace Downtown Patrick Brown tells us here, http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2012/apr/12/vols-tight-ends-are-on-the-move/, the tight ends are again going to get a chance to make plays. First, we think Cam Clear can be an NFL player. Second, with the Vols' weapons on the perimeter, there will be huge gaps in the middle of the for capable tight ends.

- "He's a beast among beasts and a man among men." Sweet Memories of Bill Russell's box scores, Andrew Bynum had 30 rebounds in the Lakers win over the Spurs. Thirty rebounds? Wow, that's a week for most guys.

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Today's question

"He has so much perspective, that he realizes the great thing about perspective is that it's never too late to get some."

The 5-at-10 loves the draft. You know this. And while the NFL draft is the bees' knees, we also appreciate the NBA draft, too.

ESPN NBA draft guru Chad Ford has five Kentucky players going in the first round of this year's NBA draft. Five first-rounders out of 30 picks.

So as Kentucky reloads with a top-five recruiting class and looks to make another one-and-done run, let's try to get some perspective of this UK bunch.

Is this the most talented team in college basketball ever? Is it the best since the Christian Laettner-led Duke Blue Devils went back-to-back in the early 1990s?

(Side question for you: Can you ever see a situation where you would send 4,300 text messages to someone in seven months?)

Discuss, and remember about the mailbag.