5-at-10: Artists formerly known as Lady Mocs cruise, NFL QB shopping, bubble watch and

5-at-10: Artists formerly known as Lady Mocs cruise, NFL QB shopping, bubble watch and

March 11th, 2014 by Jay Greeson in Sports - Columns

And now this happened. Mean man punted Baxter.

From the "Talks too much" studio, if you see it you can see it. Think about that.

Jim Foster and the Lady Mocs

UTC freshman point guard Chelsey Shumpert (25) celebrates after the Mocs' dominating victory over Davidson in the Southern Conference tournament final Monday evening in Asheville, N.C.

UTC freshman point guard Chelsey Shumpert (25) celebrates...

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

And with a quick and decisive romp Monday afternoon, Jim Foster's UTC XX Mocs are NCAA tournament-bound. They deserve it and likely deserve consideration for a No. 10 seed.

As Foster told TFP all-around ace Gene Henley after the 71-44 win over Davidson:

"We're a good team. It's about time we showed how good we are," UTC coach Jim Foster said after the players received their trophy and cut down the nets.

Foster is the first coach to take four programs to the women's dance. Congrats all-around.

NFL free agency

As teams start to make moves in the open waters of NFL free agency, there are two trends we need to explore.

First, teams are trying harder than ever to make trades. There is a real possibility someone like Darrelle Revis will be dealt from Tampa Bay for a late-round pick. Or Steve Smith. Or even Chris Johnson. The main motivation is to try to salvage something rather than letting a star walk simply to save the cap space. This speaks to the importance of the draft, especially this one. The trade deadline is Wednesday at 4 p.m., and if they are not dealt Revis and Johnson likely will be released.

Second, speaking of the draft - we love the draft, but you may have heard this - any and all extra picks help the wise teams to add pieces, and in an NFL that has become consistently decided by having more usable pieces, those pieces are gold.

The free agency market is lacking of big names - most of the stars have been retained or offered franchise tags - there are some intriguing names out there, and those names figure to well compensated since several teams have a lot to spend since the $133 million salary cap was more than teams expected. Case in point: Brett Grimes signed a four-year, $32-million deal. Yes, Brett Grimes is an $8 million man. Brett Grimes.

Still there are a collection of quarterbacks out there, while not mind-blowing, at least have the appearance of being suitable in the short term, especially considering the packaging.

Follow along: If you are the Houston Texans with the No. 1 overall pick, would you rather have a sure-fire defensive end freak with Jadeveon Clowney, a fourth-round pick on Aaron Murray and a two-year stop cap with Luke McCown or push your chips in on Blake Bortles and get an above average pass rusher like Michael Johnson in free agency and use a fourth-round flyer on whomever?


College hoops primer

We are on the even of the big conference tournaments starting and the song and dance before we sing about The Dance starts.

So what do we know? Not much and a little bit of everything. Let's explore.

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's basketball coach Will Wade.

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's basketball coach...

Photo by Angela Lewis /Times Free Press.

1) We talked about UTC some on Monday, and we're hoping to finish the drill with coach Will Wade today on Press Row. And when we graded Wade's first year on Monday's show, we said at least a B and closer to a B+. We feel that way because of the hand he was dealt and the turnaround hr orchestrated. We believe this team was better collectively than individually and will have better individuals top to bottom come October. As in the increased attendance, coupled with a 10-game winning streak that raised Mocs fan interest to the highest point of any of the 12 seasons we've been in Chattanooga, and it's tough not to feel like Wade and company had a good year that was close to great, especially in the regular season.

2) Here's a recap of the teams already in the NCAA tournament: Mercer (A-Sun), Coastal Carolina (Big South), Delaware (Colonial), Harvard (Ivy), Manhattan (MAAC), Wichita State (Missouri Valley), Eastern Kentucky (Ohio Valley), Wofford (Southern). Here are the title games set for tonight: West Coast (BYU-Gonzaga), Summit (North Dakota State-IPFW), Northeast (Robert Morris-Mount St. Mary's), Horizon (UW-Milwaukee-Wright State).

3) If you are a bubblicious Johnny Vols Fan, here are four teams in action in the coming days that you need to lose to help the Vols standing: Nebraska (against Purdue in the first round of the Big Ten tournament, and yes if any team could help Cuonzo, his alma mater seems like the best candidate), Providence (against St. John's in the Big East tournament), Xavier (a team that UT has split with during the regular season which opens the Big East tournament against Marquette) and Stanford (which has a better resume than the rest, but also could suffer greatly with a loss against a less-than-good, 10-20 Washington State bunch in round one of the Pac 12 tournament). Also of note for the Vols - and as Paschall pointed out on Press Row - if Arkansas wins its first round game, a Tennessee-Arkansas match-up in the SEC tournament could very well be a play-in game for each of those schools.

This and that

- UTC adds Chris Malone as its offensive line coach. We believe Malone has a chance to challenge for the Rushmore of Malones, with Karl, Moses, Sam and Jim. Valerie Malone, Tiffani Theissen's character on 90210 was a close fifth.

- New York Knicks have purchased their D-League affiliate and are letting fans name the team. The Knicks' minor league club now will be based out of White Plains, N.Y., and familiar name Allan Houston will be the club's GM. What's a good name for the Knicks' D-Leagie affiliate? (Of course, the way the parent club has been playing, naming the D-League bunch the Knicks would be very confusing for everyone.)

- Happy birthday to Lil' Danny Struggla, who turns 34 today. Here's hoping Struggla has a banner year, hitting like .215 and only striking out once a game. Good luck kid.


Today's question

Discuss any of the above topics.

Here's our question for you: Barry Bonds was back in camp with the Giants as a hitting coach this week and said he 'no doubt' belongs in the Hall of Fame.

Do you agree? Should Bonds and the best of a flawed generation be allowed in? And this is a very layered subject, considering that Bonds never failed a drug test or admitted to knowingly using steroids.

Barry Bonds, Hall of Famer? Discuss.