Monday, June 30, 2008

Flyers trade Niskala

The Philadelphia Flyers announced today that they have traded defenseman Janne Niskala to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for their sixth round choice in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, according to club General Manager Paul Holmgren.

Niskala, 26, was acquired by the Flyers from the Nashville Predators in exchange for forward Triston Grant and their seventh round pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft on June 24, 2008.

Drafted by Nashville in the fifth round (147th overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, Niskala recorded 19 goals and 25 assists for 44 points and 81 penalty minutes in 80 regular season games for the Predators’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals, this past season.

Utley running away in All-Star voting

Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley continues to lead all National League players in the final weekly balloting update for the 2008 All-Star Game.

Utley's has amassed 2,645,027 votes and a starting position is virtually locked up, as he has an edge of more than 1.5 million votes over his closest competition at second, Mark DeRosa of the Cubs.

Florida Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez who leapfrogged Houston's Miguel Tejada at shortstop last week, continued to lead there with 1,483,875 votes, nearly 170,000 more than Tejada.

In the outfield, Brewers slugger Ryan Braun has trimmed the deficit behind Chicago's Kosuke Fukudome, who sits in third place. Fukudome has amassed 1,783,983 votes and leads Braun by just over 20,000. Fukudome's teammate Alfonso Soriano and Cincinnati Reds star Ken Griffey Jr. hold the first two spots in the NL outfield.

The rest of the spots remained consistent, as Cubs catcher Geovany Soto, Braves third baseman Chipper Jones and Astros first baseman Lance Berkman all maintained leads at their respective positions.

All-Star starters and reserves for both leagues will be announced Sunday, July

The 79th All-Star Game will be played July 15 at Yankee Stadium.

Flyers trade for D Ramholt

-Courtesy of the Philadelphia Flyers

The Philadelphia Flyers announced today that they have acquired 6'1, 194-pound defenseman Tim Ramholt from the Calgary Flames in exchange for left wing Kyle Greentree, according to club General Manager Paul Holmgren.

Ramholt, 23, recorded four goals and 20 assists for 24 points and 73 penalty minutes in 77 regular season games for the Quad City Flames of the American Hockey League during the 2007-08 season. He was also scoreless in one regular game for Calgary.

A native of Zurich, Switzerland, Ramholt posted six goals and 30 assists for 36 points and 134 penalty minutes in 144 career AHL games with Quad City and Omaha over the past two seasons. Prior to that, Ramholt had one goal and four assists for five points and 82 penalty minutes in 83 games in the Swiss-A league for Zurich (2004-05) and Kloten (2005-06).

Ramholt also spent one season in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles in 2003-04, scoring nine goals and adding 27 assists for 36 points and 26 penalty minutes. He was originally drafted in the second round (39th overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by Calgary.

Greentree, 24, posted 24 goals and 24 assists for 48 points and 83 penalty minutes in 72 games for the Flyers’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Philadelphia Phantoms, during the 2007-08 season, finishing third on the team in scoring. In 12 playoff games, he had one goal and three assists for four points and 11 penalty minutes. He was also scoreless in two regular season games with the Flyers.

Over two seasons with the Phantoms, the 6’3’’, 212-pound Greentree had 26 goals and 24 assists for 50 points and 85 penalty minutes. He was signed by the Flyers as a free agent on March 15, 2007.

In three seasons with the University of Alaska-Fairbanks Nanooks (2004-05 through 2006-07), Greentree registered 41 goals and 59 assists for 100 points and 163 penalty minutes in 114 games and led the team in scoring all three seasons. He received Honorable Mention for the CCHA All-Rookie Team following the 2004-05 season.

Sixers tidbits

On the eve of free agency, here are a few Sixers notes. The team did not make qualifying offers to forwards Shavlik Randolph, Louis Amundson and Herbert Hill, so hopefully all three will be out of your life...

The team has reportedly invited former Saint Joe's star Pat Carroll and Arizona guard Jawaan McClellan to join their Las vegas summer league team...

Finally, Samuel Dalembert, who spent his formative years in Montreal, was named to Canada's national team that will compete in an Olympic qualifying tournament in Greece from July 14-20.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Welker takes shot at Samuel

New England Patriots star receiver Wes Welker fired a shot at new Birds cornerback Asante Samuel. Welker says Samuel “chose money over championships” when signing with the Eagles.

Flyers sign D Steve Eminger

By Bob Herpen

(The Phanatic Magazine) - The Philadelphia Flyers signed defenseman Steve Eminger to a one-year contract Sunday.

Eminger was acquired by Philadelphia along with a 2008 third-round pick from the Washington Capitals on June 20 for a first-round pick in the 2008 draft.

"Steve is a young two-way defenseman that will fit in nicely with our group," said Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren.

The 24-year-old collected only two assists in 20 regular-season games for Washington last season. He added a goal during the Caps' seven-game Eastern conference quarterfinal loss to Philly.

"I'm happy to get the deal worked out and excited about being part of the organization," Eminger said. "I can't wait for the start of the season to get things going."

A former first-round pick of the Caps (12th overall) in 2002, Eminger has posted six goals and 43 points in 212 career games over parts of five years, all with Washington.

The signing is the latest in a spate of moves the club has undertaken to add depth to the defensive corps, with the health of Derian Hatcher and Mike Rathje in question, along with the expected departure of unrestricted free agent backliner Jason Smith.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Soul to face Dragons in playoffs

The Philadelphia Soul will face the New York Dragons on Saturday, July 5 at 7 p.m. at the Wachovia Center after the sixth-seeded Dragons stunned the third-seeded Dallas Desperados, 77-63, in Dallas on Friday night.

New York QB Aaron Garcia was 28 of 39 for 330 yards and nine touchdowns and WR Kevin Swayne had eight catches for 77 yards and four touchdowns in the win.

Philadelphia swept the two-game season series from New York, most recently handing the Dragons a 59-30 defeat in the regular-season finale for both teams last Sunday in New York. Earlier this season, the Soul downed New York, 63-42, at the Wachovia Center.

The Soul ended the regular season 13-3 and earned the top seed in the National Conference after posting the best record in the Arena Football League.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Smith named All-Ironman

Soul FB/LB Clifton Smith was named to the AFL’s 2008 All-Ironman Team on Thursday. In his rookie season, Smith recorded 45 tackles and a sack on defense while running the ball 50 times for 133 yards and 10 touchdowns on offense.

Smith is the ninth different member of the Soul to honored with an award this postseason. On Tuesday, kicker Connor Hughes was named to the All-rookie team. On Wednesday, QB Matt D’Orazio, WR Chris Jackson and OL Martin Bibla and Phil Bogle were named All-AFL First-Team, while DL Gabe Nyenhuis and Bryan Save and DB Eddie Moten were named to the second team. This marks the third straight season that the Soul were represented with selections on all four award teams.

Flyers re-sign Carter

The Philadelphia Flyers re-signed center Jeff Carter to a multiple-year contract on Friday. Per club policy, financial terms were not disclosed.

"Jeff is a terrific young player who has come up through our organization and we believe that he is only going to get better,” said general manager Paul Holmgren. “It is a priority for us to keep our core of young players intact and signing Jeff allows us to do that.”

“I’m very excited to be staying in Philadelphia,” added Carter. “We have great group of guys on this team and I can’t wait to get back on the ice and continue where we left off last season.”

Carter, 23, recorded 29 goals and 24 assists for 53 points and 55 penalty minutes in 82 games for the Flyers this past season. He was the only member of the Flyers to play all 82 regular season games and all 17 playoff games in 2007-08. In addition, Carter led the team with 260 shots, while finishing tied for third on the team in goals and game-winning goals (5). His 29 goals and 53 points were new career highs.

He also registered six goals and five assists for 11 points and 12 penalty minutes in 17 playoff games, as the Flyers reached the 2008 Eastern Conference Finals.

In 225 career regular season games over three NHL seasons (2005-06 through 2007-08), Carter has registered 66 goals and 66 assists for 132 points and 143 penalty minutes. He has 11 points (6G,5A) and 22 penalty minutes in 23 Stanley Cup Playoff games. He was drafted by the Flyers in the first round (11th overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.

Trexler's Penn State book on Amazon pre-sale deal

By John McMullen
The Phanatic Magazine

The Phanatic Magazine's Jared Trexler spent months combing through record books, statistics, historical and personal accounts of Penn State football. They are all compiled in a statistical and program-spanning look at Nittany Lion pigskin -- from the glossed-over days of Rip Engle to the legacy of his one-time assistant and now college football icon, Joe Paterno.

Trexler's book is available on pre-sale at the following link: Trexler's Penn State book. Michael Poorman, a one-time beat writer and a distinguished member of Penn State's College of Communications faculty, penned the book's foreword. Poorman is a senior lecturer who created a new class for the upcoming fall semester dealing with Paterno's career-long interactions with the media. He also serves as a director of alumni relations and has spent most of his adult life immersed in the Penn State Football Annual.

"Mike knows as much about Penn State football as any writer on the planet," Trexler stated. "He works for the university, lives in State College, spends many minutes of his day around working and aspiring journalists and still maintains a strong journalistic connection to the prestigious program."

The 200-page book is due for an August release through Savas Beatie -- a well-known publisher of historically significant literature. Trexler was assisted in the editing and number compilation process by Marc Maxwell, Daniel J. Brush and David Horne. The trio is responsible for creating the Sports By the Numbers series with four books already published and fully stocked for sale, including the first novel on Oklahoma football and a book about the sports juggernaut in the Bronx.

"Marc, Daniel and David had a vision," Trexler said. "I'm glad they choose me to be a part of it. They all assisted with the many numbers and research, but I hope my friends, family, colleagues, mentors and loyal Penn State fans recognize the style and perspective of my writing. I attempted to both offer a historical look and personal perspective of a great sports program. It was an honor to be a part of this undertaking."

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sixers select Speights

Marreese Speights
Full Name: Marreese Speights
Position: Forward
Height/Weight: 6-10 / 245
Birthdate: August 4, 1987
High School: Hargrave Military Academy
College: Florida

2006-07 33 0 57 85 .671 20 30 .667 0 0 .000 86 2 8 15 134 4.20
2007-08 36 35 216 346 .624 90 130 .692 0 0 .000 290 34 15 49 522 14.5
Totals 69 36 273 431 .633 110 165 .667 0 0 .000 376 36 23 64 656 9.50

An early entry candidate for the 2008 NBA Draft.

Career Highlights: Emerged as a sophomore after serving as a backup to current NBA
players Al Horford, Joakim Noah and Chris Richard as a freshman on Florida’s 2007
NCAA Championship team. Currently ranks eighth all-time in Florida history in
blocked shots per game (0.93 bpg). Would also rank second all-time in field goal
percentage (.633) but falls just short of the minimum qualifications of 500 career field
goal attempts. Has registered 12 career double-doubles.

Sophomore (2007-08): Led team in rebounding (8.1 rpg, ranked fourth in the SEC) and
ranked second in scoring (14.5 ppg). Finished second in the conference in field goal
percentage (.624, ranked ninth nationally) and eighth in blocked shots (1.4 bpg). Scored
20 or more points nine times. Posted 10 double-doubles. Registered a career-high 24
points and pulled down 15 rebounds vs. High Point. Shot 10-for-13 from the field in
scoring 22 points and grabbed 13 rebounds at South Carolina. Tallied 20 points, eight
rebounds and a career-high-tying four blocked shots vs. Kentucky. Posted a 20-point,
10-rebound double-double vs. Mississippi State. Earned MVP honors at the Orange
Bowl Classic after scoring 20 points on 7-for-10 shooting vs. Temple. Recorded 23
points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots at Tennessee and scored 21 on perfect
8-for-8 shooting in the rematch. Led team with 18 points vs. San Diego State in the first
round of the postseason NIT. Notched 14 points and a game-high 10 rebounds at
Arizona State in the quarterfinals. Scored 12 points and grabbed a career-high 18 rebounds
vs. Massachusetts in the semifinals.

Freshman (2006-07): Averaged 4.1 points and 2.6 rebounds in 5.7 minutes a contest.
Set a school freshman record for field goal percentage (.671). Posted two double-doubles.
Registered 13 points, 10 rebounds and a season-high three steals vs. Prairie View A&M.
Recorded 12 points, 12 rebounds and a season-high three blocked shots vs. Southern. Set a
season-high with 16 points on 7-for-10 shooting and grabbed six rebounds in only 10
minutes of playing time vs. Jackson State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Played six minutes in the National Championship game vs. Ohio State, scoring two points
and pulling down two rebounds.

Strengths: Extremely big and strong but surprisingly quick and athletic. Has great hands
and some effective go-to moves on offense. Competes hard on the boards and on the
defensive end, using his long wingspan to block shots.

Personal: Attended Gibbs High School and Admiral Farragut Academy in St. Petersburg, Florida
before spending his senior year at Hargrave Military Academy.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sixers make qualifying offers to Iguodala, Williams

-courtesy of the Philadelphia 76ers

Philadelphia, PA – June 25, 2008 – Philadelphia 76ers President and General Manager Ed Stefanski announced today that the team has extended qualifying offers to restricted free agents Andre Iguodala and Lou Williams. Per team policy, financial details were not disclosed.

In accordance with the league’s collective bargaining agreement, in order for a team to retain its right of first refusal with respect to a restricted free agent, the team must tender the player a qualifying offer prior to June 30. A restricted free agent may sign an offer sheet with any team, but is subject to a right of first refusal with the team for which the player last played.

Iguodala started all 82 games last season, averaging 19.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.09 steals in 39.5 minutes per game. He joined Washington’s Caron Butler as the only players among qualifiers to average at least 19.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.00 steals in 2007-08. Iguodala has played in 322 of a possible 328 games in his four-year career and has the third-most steals of any player dating back to the start of the 2004-05 season.

Williams appeared in 80 games last season and emerged as one of the NBA’s top sixth men, averaging 11.5 points, 3.2 assists, 2.0 rebounds and 1.01 steals in 23.3 minutes per game. He had the fifth highest point/rebound/assist total for any player coming off the bench last season. The 21-year-old also hit 55 three-pointers in 2007-08 after recording just 14 total his first two seasons in the league.

ElieXC returns to CBS on July 26

-Courtesy of EliteXC

LOS ANGELES, June 25 — CBS and EliteXC announced today that the next CBS ELITEXC SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS will be broadcast live from the Stockton Arena in Stockton, Calif. on Saturday, July 26 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT). The four-fight broadcast will be highlighted by the highly anticipated rematch between "Ruthless" Robbie Lawler and Scott "Hands of Steel" Smith for the EliteXC Middleweight Title.

The night of mixed martial action will begin with three live fights on SHOWTIME (8:00-9:00 PT, ET/PT) including an EliteXC Heavyweight Championship match featuring Antonio "Big Foot" Silva.

"One venue, two networks and seven exciting world class fights adds up to an entertaining and memorable mixed martial arts event in prime time," said Doug DeLuca, Executive Chairman, ProElite, Inc.

In a rematch of their exciting, controversial first fight on May 31 on CBS, Lawler, the EliteXC middleweight champion from St. Louis by way of Davenport, Iowa, will put his title on the line once again against hard-hitting challenger Smith of Elk Grove, Calif. Their last meeting, a fight that many called the fight of the night, ended in controversy when doctors called the fight after Smith caught an unintentional finger in the eye late in the third round. Smith claimed he was ready to continue, but the fight was stopped and declared a no contest.

In a second world title fight on CBS, two of the sports' most talented welterweights will collide when San Francisco's Jake Shields, who has won nine in a row, gets his long awaited shot at a world title when he squares off against Nick Thompson of Minneapolis, Minn., who has won 12 straight and 20 of his last 21 fights, for the vacant EliteXC 170-pound belt.

The world title fights are scheduled for five, five-minute rounds.

Also on CBS, hometown favorite Nick Diaz of Stockton, Calif. will face Thomas "Wildman" Denny of Hesperia, Calif. The talented Diaz, who will be seeking his third victory in three months, needs a win to stay in the hunt for a potential rematch with ElliteXC lightweight champion KJ Noons. Denny, a winner in four of his last five fights, is coming off a first-round disqualification victory over the highly regarded Malaipet on March 21, 2008.

The remaining primetime match-ups for the CBS ELITEXC SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS on July 26 will be announced at a later date. The SHOWTIME match-ups also will be announced in the near future.

CBS's inaugural mixed martial arts broadcast on May 31, 2008 dominated its time period in all key young men and young adult demographics. The total viewership increased throughout the night, peaking at 6.51m viewers for the Kimbo Slice vs. James Thompson fight. The entire broadcast (9:00-11:51 PM) averaged 4.85m viewers.

Seven Soul players earn All-Arena honors

-Courtesy of the Philadelphia Soul

PHILADELPHIA – The Arena Football League announced the All-Arena Teams on Wednesday and seven Soul players made the cut. Four Soul players were announced to the All-Arena First Team; quarterback Matt D’Orazio, receiver Chris Jackson, and offensive linemen Phil Bogle and Martin Bibla. The All-Arena Second Team consisted of three Soul Players: defensive back Eddie Moten and defensive linemen Bryan Save and Gabe Nyenhuis. The seven Soul players were the most by any team in the AFL; San Jose had the second-most with four.

D’Orazio’s selection to the All-Arena First Team may come as a surprise considering he entered the season as the Soul’s back-up quarterback. D’Orazio has had the bulk of the snaps for Philadelphia since Week 3 when Tony Graziani first came down with an injury.

D’Orazio ends the season as the highest-rated quarterback in the league at 131.3, throwing 72 touchdowns to just four interceptions. He also finished fifth in the league with 227 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns.

Jackson’s All-Arena selection is exactly the reason why the Soul added the highly touted receiver during the off-season. Jackson ranked second in the league with 140 receptions for 1,719 yards, while boasting a league-best 49 receiving touchdowns. All three marks set new franchise single-season records.

Bogle and Bibla make up two-thirds of the All-Arena First Team’s offensive line. Bogle was named to both the All-Arena First Team and All-Rookie Team last season. This season, Bogle caught seven passes, six of which went for scores. Bibla caught eight passes for 82 yards and a score.

Moten was named to the All-Arena Team for the third straight year. This season Moten recorded team highs with 93.5 tackles and six interceptions. Moten tied for the league-lead with 23 passes defended. Moten’s previous All-Arena Team selections were First Team.

Save was named to the All-Arena Second Team despite missing three games due to injury. This season, Save tied the AFL record for safeties in a season with two. He also recorded 5.5 sacks and 17.5 tackles. Last season, Save was an All-Rookie selection.

Nyenhuis earned his spot on the All-Arena Second Team by terrorizing teams in the backfield. The defensive lineman finished second in the league with 9.5 sacks, and led the league in tackles for loss with 12.5. Both marks set new franchise bests for a single season.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Hughes makes AFL All-Rookie team

Philadelphia Soul kicker Connor Hughes was named to the AFL's All-Rookie team on Tuesday. Hughes, a University of Virginia product, connected on a team-record 123-of-136 PATs and his 138 total points was fifth best among kickers.

Temple extends AD Bradshaw

PHILADELPHIA - Temple University announced today that it has signed Director of Athletics Bill Bradshaw to a new five-year contract that will keep the veteran athletic administrator at the University through the 2011-12 academic year. The contract is retroactive to July 1, 2007.

"Bill Bradshaw is a real asset to Temple University. We are fortunate that he will continue to lead Temple Athletics in the years to come," said Temple University President Ann Weaver Hart.

"We have built a strong foundation for success over the past six years and I am thankful that I will continue to be a part of the Temple athletics family," said Bradshaw. "We have strong leadership at the University in President Ann Weaver Hart, Chairman of the Board Dan Polett and Chairman of the Athletic Board Lewis Katz, who understand the value of athletics at the University. This new contract is a reflection of the strong athletic staff we have in place, as well as the quality head coaches that have led our teams to success."

Appointed the University's eighth Director of Athletics on June 27, 2002, the NACDA Past President is one of the most experienced athletics administrators in the nation. Prior to his arrival in Owl Country he spent 16 years as Director of Athletics at DePaul University in Chicago and nine years in the same position at his alma mater (`69), La Salle University.

Bradshaw's six years at Temple have produced numerous highlights, most notably the announcement on May 17, 2005 that the University would join the Mid-American Conference as a football-only member plus the recent hirings of Al Golden and Fran Dunphy as head football and men's basketball coaches.

Twenty-seven Temple teams have advanced to postseason play during his tenure, with 18 competing in the NCAA Tournament. This past season, six Owl teams - men's and women's basketball, men's gymnastics, fencing, lacrosse and women's tennis - all competed in the NCAA Tournament.

Recognizing the accomplishments of Temple's student-athletes is a point of emphasis under Bradshaw. The department of athletics held its first annual "Breakfast of Champions" to honor those who have excelled both athletically and academically by "committing to excellence" on April 23, 2003.

Temple ranked third among NCAA Division I institutions in student-athlete graduation rate above its student body in 2003-04, and had the fifth highest increase in student-athlete graduation rate that year. In 2006, Temple was one of 10 Division 1-A institutions to earn the Overall Excellence in Diversity Award bestowed by the Laboratory for Diversity in Sport at Texas A&M University

Temple athletics has also undertaken a greater role in community service under Bradshaw. Via the Owl Outreach program, student-athletes have provided volunteer service to numerous community and non-profit organizations, including Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Temple Children's Medical Center and the School District of Philadelphia.

Bradshaw has also been responsible for upgrades to Temple's athletic facilities. He supervised the design and construction of the athletic complex on the Ambler Campus, featuring fields and amenities for the men's and women's soccer, baseball and softball teams. He has also overseen the football program's move to Lincoln Financial Field as well as the addition of a new football practice field at Edberg-Olson Hall, courtesy of a private fund drive that generated over $500,000.

Temple athletics has also displayed its hospitality under Bradshaw, hosting the 2007 NACDA Security and Safety Workshop, 2005 NCAA Women's Basketball Philadelphia Regional as well as the first and second rounds of the 2004 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament and the 2003 NCAA Men's Gymnastics Championships.

Soul's Moten named AFL Defensive Player of the Week

Moten (5-10, 185, Texas A&M – Kingsville) registered two tackles, two interceptions and a forced fumble as the Philadelphia Soul (13-3) defeated the New York Dragons (8-8), 59-30, on Sunday. On New York’s first possession of the game, Moten stripped WR/DB JASON WILLIS, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Soul LB ROD DAVIS in the end zone for a touchback. During the Dragons second possession of the second quarter Moten intercepted a pass by New York QB JUSTON WOOD on the Soul 10-yard line and returned it 25 yards to the Dragons 15-yard line. On a second-and-goal play in the third quarter, Moten intercepted Wood in the end zone and returned it 52 yards for the Soul’s second defensive touchdown of the game. Moten forced three of New York’s five turnovers as Philadelphia held New York to a season-low 30 points.

Flyers acquire D Niskala

Nashville, TN--Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has acquired forward Triston Grant and a seventh-round selection in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for defenseman Janne Niskala.

Niskala led Milwaukee defensemen and ranked second among AHL blueliners in goals (19) in his first season in North America in 2007-08. The Vasteras, Sweden native, signed as a free agent by Nashville on June 1, 2007, also led the Admirals and ranked 10th in the league in defensemen scoring (44) this past season. He earned a bronze medal with Finland at the 2008 World Championships in Quebec City/Halifax, leading Finnish blueliners in points (4) and goals (2) at the tournament.

Grant has played 197 American Hockey League games with the Philadelphia Phantoms over the past three seasons, notching 37 points (17g-20a) and 570 penalty minutes in addition to logging eight NHL contests with the Flyers in 2006-07. Originally selected by Philadelphia in the ninth round (286th overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, the 6-2, 213-pound left wing totaled AHL career highs in goals (10), assists (11) and points (21) in 2007-08.

- Courtesy of the Nashville Predators

Overton leaves St. Joe's for Nets assistant job

PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's assistant basketball coach Doug Overton has resigned in order to become an assistant coach with the New Jersey Netsi.

Overton, the Philadelphia Big 5 Hall of Famer and former Sixers player, had just completed his second year on Martelli's staff at Saint Joseph's.

"This opportunity came and was hard to pass up because it's the NBA and the chance to coach at the highest level. It's always been a goal of mine to coach at that level," said Overton. "I believe the time I spent here at Saint Joseph's has definitely prepared me for this. The things Phil allowed me to do here really honed my skills and I am very appreciative".

"I am delighted for Doug and his family. His impact on our program with his excellent teaching ability, and unmatched class and dignity, will
allow our program to grow and prosper," Martelli added. "Doug has made many friends in his short time on Hawk Hill and he will be missed".

He came to SJU in May of 2006 after working as the director of player development for the Philadelphia 76ers, where he assisted the coaching and scouting staffs and was involved with the team's community outreach programs.

Overton enjoyed an 11-year career in the NBA, playing for eight different teams, including the Nets, while concluding his career with the Los
Angeles Clippers in 2003-04. Originally a second-round draft pick of the Detroit Pistons in the 1991 NBA Draft, Overton began his career with Washington in 1992 and also played for Denver, Orlando, New Jersey, Boston, Charlotte Hornets and the 76ers (1996-98, 1998-99).

The point guard played in 499 games, averaging 4.5 points and 2.1 assists during his career.

Overton was a standout at La Salle University, earning All-Big 5 and All-MAAC first team honors for three consecutive years from 1988 to 1991. The 6-3 guard helped the Explorers to three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, while averaging a team-high 22.3 points per game during his senior season in 1991. He is the Explorers' all-time leader in career assists (671) and steals (277) and ranks 11th on the school's career scoring list with 1,795 points.

A native of Philadelphia and graduate of Dobbins Tech, he was inducted into the Big 5 Hall of Fame in 1997. He is also a member of La Salle's
Hall of Athletes.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sixers to take look at Kansas' Arthur

The Sixers are bringing in four more players to look at on Tuesday in preparation for the NBA Draft. Kansas' Darrell Arthur, a player that a lot of mock drafts have going to the Sixers at 16, is the most notable player that will be on hand.

Also invited were Drexel's Frank Elegar, St. Joe's Rob Ferguson and Alexis Ajinca of France.

Ex-Sixer McKie to be arraigned on gun charges

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman is accusing former Sixers star Aaron McKie of trying to buy two guns despite being under a protection-from-abuse order.

Ferman alleges that McKie failed to disclose the protection order when he applied to buy the guns in April.

McKie never got the guns because of the order, which was filed in Delaware County last year and is in effect until September.

McKie is set to be arraigned Monday on a gun violation and a charge of lying to authorities.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Penn State's Kevin Tan makes U.S. Olympic Gymnastics team

USA Gymnastics today announced the six men and two replacement athletes it will nominate to the U.S. Olympic Committee to comprise the 2008 U.S. Olympic Men’s Gymnastics Team. Paul Hamm of Waukesha, Wis., and Jonathan Horton of Houston were named yesterday at the conclusion of the men's competition at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Gymnastics in Philadelphia, and the balance were selected by the men's selection committee.

The members of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Men’s Gymnastics Team are:

Joe Hagerty, Rio Ranchero, N.M./Team Chevron

Morgan Hamm, Waukesha, Wis./Team Chevron

Paul Hamm, Waukesha, Wis./Team Chevron

Jonathan Horton, Houston/Team Chevron

Justin Spring, Burke, Va./Team Chevron

Kevin Tan, Fremont, Calif./Team Chevron

The three replacement athletes are:

Alexander Artemev, Lakewood, Colo./Team Chevron

Raj Bhavsar, Houston/Team Chevron

David Durante, Garwood, N.J./Team Chevron

“The competition at the Trials this week has been incredible, and the USA has fielded a very strong team for Beijing,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “The U.S. men are medal contenders. The men’s selection committee was very thorough in its deliberations to determine the best combination of men to represent us in the Games. We also want to express our thanks to the gymnasts who have spent years pursuing their dreams and for what they have contributed to our success.”

Local hopeful Sean Golden of Camden did not make the team, but Tan of Penn State was selected.

Soul clinch home field advanatge

The Philadelphia Soul (13-3) clinched the top seed in the National Conference and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with its 59-30 victory over the New York Dragons (8-8) on Sunday.

Flyers draft recap

-Courtesy of the Philadelphia Flyers

The Philadelphia Flyers completed the following transactions at 2008 NHL Entry Draft, which was held on Friday, June 20 and Saturday, June 21 at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada:

June 20, 2008:

The Flyers traded the rights to R.J. Umberger and a fourth round pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft (118th overall) to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for the Colorado Avalanche’s first round pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft (19th overall – previously acquired) and a third round pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft (67th overall).

The Flyers traded a first round pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft (27th overall) to the Washington Capitals in exchange for defenseman Steve Eminger and a third round pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft (84th overall).

June 21, 2008:

The Flyers traded a seventh round pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft (208th overall) to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a seventh round pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

The Philadelphia Flyers selected the following players during Rounds One through Seven of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft in Ottawa:

LUCA SBISA, Defense: Selected by the Flyers in the first round (19th overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft…Born on January 30, 1990 in Ozleri, Italy…6’2”, 190 pounds…Shoots left…Played this past season for the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the Western Hockey League…Recorded six goals and 27 assists for 33 points and 63 penalty minutes in 62 games for Lethbridge…Won the Carl Trentini Memorial Award as the Hurricanes Rookie of the Year for the 2007-08 season…Led all WHL defensemen in playoff scoring with 15 points (3G,12A) in 19 games as Lethbridge advanced to the 2008 WHL Finals…Was selected to participate in the 2008 CHL Top Prospects Game…Was a member of Team Switzerland at the 2008 World Junior Championship Tournament…Played the 2006-07 season with Zug of the Swiss Jr. Elite League…Ranked 12th among North American prospects on Central Scouting’s final report.

Central Scouting on Sbisa: "Luca is a poised and, sometimes, too poised a defenseman. One would say that a lot of times his calmness with the puck is misinterpreted as either slowness or laziness; that's not the case with Luca. He is a smart player who moves the puck at the right time and carries the puck correctly, supports the rush and is adjusting very well to the North American game. He needs continued adjustment to the North American game, he isn't afraid under a forecheck, but sometimes under a hard forecheck of one or two players of the opposition, he will tend to throw the puck away too early. As much as the poise comes in to play with the puck on his stick, when the puck isn't on his stick that will be an area that will get better with time."

MARC-ANDRE BOURDON, Defense: Selected by the Flyers in the third round (67th overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft…Born on September 17, 1989 in St-Hyacinthe, Quebec…6’0”, 205 pounds…Shoots left…Played this past season for the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League…Recorded 12 goals and 47 assists for 59 points and 114 penalty minutes in 69 games for Rouyn-Noranda…Won the Emile “Butch” Bouchard Trophy as the QMJHL’s best defenseman and was named to the QMJHL First All-Star Team for the 2007-08 season…Was tied for second among QMJHL defensemen in points with 59…Was second among QMJHL defensemen in assists (47) and plus/minus (+39)…Was named the QMJHL Defensive Player of the Month for January 2008, after recording 20 points and a +14 rating in 11 games, including five assists at Victoriaville on Jan. 3…Over the last two seasons with the Huskies (2006-07 and 2007-08), he has registered 14 goals and 73 assists for 87 points and 194 penalty minutes in 132 regular season games…Ranked 125th among North American prospects on Central Scouting’s final report.

JACOB DeSERRES, Goal: Selected by the Flyers in the third round (84th overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft…Born on March 18, 1990 in East York, Ontario…6’2”, 195 pounds…Catches left…Played this past season for the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League…Posted a 20-11-0 record, three shutouts, 2.28 GAA and .922 save percentage in 34 regular season games for Seattle…Tied for first among WHL goaltenders in save percentage (.922)…Has played parts of three seasons with Seattle (2005-06 through 2007-08), registering a 30-20-3 record, six shutouts, 2.41 GAA and .916 save percentage in 57 regular season games…Ranked sixth among North American goaltending prospects on Central Scouting’s final report.

ZAC RINALDO, Center: Selected by the Flyers in the sixth round (178th overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft…Born on June 15, 1990 in Mississauga, Ontario…5’11”, 170 pounds…Shoots left…Played this past season for the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors of the Ontario Hockey League…Recorded seven goals and seven assists for 14 points and 191 penalty minutes in 63 games for Mississauga St. Michael’s…Led the Majors in penalty minutes with 191 (fifth in the OHL)…Ranked 119th among North American prospects on Central Scouting’s final report.

JOACIM ERIKSSON, Goal: Selected by the Flyers in the seventh round (196th overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft…Born on April 9, 1990 in Gavle, Sweden…6’1”, 190 pounds…Catches right…Played this past season for the Brynas IF in the Swedish Under-20 League…Recorded a 3.31 GAA and .875 save percentage in 16 games for Brynas IF…Also appeared in nine games for Brynas IF in the Swedish Under-18 League and two games for Valbo AIF (Swedish Division I)…Was a member of Team Sweden at the 2008 IIHF World Under-18 Championships.

Phils sign second round pick

Right-handed pitcher Jason Knapp, the Phillies’ second-round selection (71st overall) in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, has agreed to terms on a professional contract.

As a pitcher at North Hunterdon High School in Annandale, NJ, the 17-year-old Knapp went 6-1 with a 1.37 ERA in 51.0 innings and was named The Newark Star-Ledger’s 2008 Pitcher of the Year. He struck out 79 batters while walking only 16.

Knapp, who stands at 6-foot-5, 215 pounds, also hit .456 with a .698 on-base percentage, seven home runs and 25 RBI in his senior season.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Flyers trade second first round pick to Washington for D Steve Eminger

The Washington Capitals ontained the 27th overall selection in the NHL Draft from the Flyers for defenseman Steve Eminger and a selection in the third round, which takes place Saturday.

The Caps picked D John Carlson of the United States Hockey League’s Indiana Ice with the pick.

Flyers take Swiss defenseman with 19th pick

The Flyers selected Swiss defenseman Luca Sbisa with the 19th pick acquired in the R.J. Umberger trade.

Sbisa is the 12th-rated North American skater by NHL Central Scouting and is the sixth-ranked defenseman on that list...The Swiss blueliner played his first season in North America in 2007-08 and had 33 points (6 goals, 27 assists) for the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the WHL...Is a smooth
skater with excellent puck-moving skills...Needs to work on becoming more physical.

May radio ratings - WIP takes big hit, ESPN 950 also down

The latest Arbitron ratings for May are out and WIP took a huge hit falling from a 3.7 to a 2.8. Cumulative listeners dropped from 668,800 to 477, 500 at 610.

But, before ESPN 950 fans rejoice, take a seat. WPEN fell from a 0.6 to an 0.3 and its cumulative listeners went from 139,300 to 129,300. ESPN 950 ratings are now below what they were before the station brought Mike Missanelli back to Philly and went with 'Mike and Mike' in the morning.

-Ratings are courtesy of

Flyers trade Umberger to Columbus

By Eric Redner

The Philadelphia Flyers traded center R.J. Umberger to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday during the 2008 NHL Draft.

In exchange for Umberger, the Flyers get from Columbus the 19th overall pick, which was originally Colorado's, and Columbus' third-round pick in this year's draft. The Blue Jackets also get the Flyers' 2008 fourth-round pick.

Umberger, 26, had the best season of his three-year career last season with the Flyers. He tallied 13 goals while adding a career-high 37 assists for a career-high 50 points in 74 games for Philadelphia.

During the Flyers' run to the Eastern Conference Finals this past season, the Pittsburgh native totaled 10 goals and five assists in 17 playoff games, including eight goals and an assist against the Montreal Canadiens in the semifinals.

Former St. Joe's player dies in Serbia

-Courtesy of St. Joseph's University

Nemanja Petrovic, who played basketball for Saint Joseph's University from 1994 to 1997, passed away this week in his native Serbia.

Petrovic, 34, was hospitalized more than a week ago for an illness, which eventually turned into a viral infection affecting his lungs and heart.

"Nemanja was a young man who fully seized the opportunity provided at Saint Joseph's. An outstanding student, a great teammate and a proud graduate, he will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers go to his immediate and extended family both in Yugoslavia and America," said
SJU head coach Phil Martelli, who served both as assistant coach and head coach during Petrovic's career.

Petrovic was a member of Saint Joseph's 1997 team that reached the NCAA Sweet 16, was ranked 12th in the nation and won the school's last Atlantic 10 championship. The 6-10 center was also on the Hawks' 1996 team which was the NIT Runner-Up.

Petrovic, a native of Belgrade, came to the United States and completed his scholastic career at North Penn High School. He began his collegiate career at the University of Maryland in 1992 but transferred to Saint Joseph's in 1993.

He played in 18 games in his first season with the Hawks in 1994-95 and was the recipient of the team's Academic Award. He was hindered by a back injury his junior season but earned Atlantic 10 All-Academic Team honors. As a senior, Petrovic started 31 games, averaging 6.9 points and 5.2 rebounds for the squad that reached the Sweet 16. That year, he was a GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-District selection, an A-10 All-Academic honoree, and was the recipient of the
Harry Merril Sportsmanship Award from the Philadelphia Big 5.

He graduated from Saint Joseph's in 1997 with a degree in finance.

Sixers to look at a pair of local players

The Sixers have scheduled another pre-draft workout for Saturday featuring a pair of local players, Delaware State's Roy Bright and Bucknell's John Griffin. Also on hand will be Gary Ervin of Arkansas and Charron Fisher of Niagara.

Phils sign Zach Collier

-Courtesy of the Philadelphia Phillies

Outfielder Zach Collier, the Phillies’ first-round compensation selection (34th overall) in June’s First-Year Player Draft, has agreed to terms on a contract, Mike Arbuckle, Assistant General Manager, Scouting and Player Development, announced today. Collier, a 6’2”, 185-pound left-handed hitter, will report to the Phillies’ Gulf Coast League team in Clearwater, Fla., next week.

The 17-year-old native of Chino Hills, Calif., attended Chino Hills High School where he hit .450 with seven home runs and 27 RBI in 80 at-bats, earning him Inland Valley Player of the Year honors.

Catcher Jean Rodriguez, 19, the Phillies’ 10th-round selection out of the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy, also agreed to terms on a professional contract and will report to Clearwater.

Soul signs former Rutgers star

The Philadelphia Soul have signed linebacker Raheem Orr on Friday.

Orr played for the Soul during the 2006 and 2007 seasons and attended training camp with the team before the 2008 season. In his two previous seasons with the Soul, he recorded 28 tackles, three sacks, and one interception which he returned for a six-yard touchdown. He was released by the Soul on February 21, 2008 and signed with the Grand Rapids Rampage shortly after. He was later released from the Rampage practice squad on June 6.

Orr was drafted out of Rutgers University in the fifth round by the Houston Texans in the 2004 NFL Draft. He was later waived by the Texans and picked up by the New York Giants. He played in two games for the Giants but did not accumulate any statistics.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Soul re-sign C Cleveland

The Philadelphia Soul re-signed center/nose tackle Justin Cleveland on Thursday.

Cleveland was originally signed by the Soul on March 13th and started in two games this season. During Week 3, he started at center in place of an injured Mike Mabry against New York and during Week 12 he started at nose tackle where he totaled two tackles and one sack. He was released on June 14th. Prior to playing for the Soul, Cleveland spent five seasons with the Orlando Predators and one season with the Carolina Bobcats.

Philadelphia also released defensive back Nick Ward and signed wide receiver Brandon Copeland to the practice squad.

Ward has been released by the Soul after playing in five games this season. Ward was first signed by the Soul on May 9th and released on June 10th. He was then signed by the Soul on June 12th. In his five games this season, he tallied three tackles. Before coming to the Soul, Ward played for Kansas City, Columbus, Georgia, the Carolina Cobras, and Florida Bobcats.

Copeland was invited to the Cleveland Browns rookie camp in April 2008 as a free agent. He was a standout at Division III Bridgewater, totaling 53 receptions for 675 yards and nine touchdowns. Copeland ranks second all-time in receiving yards at Bridgewater with 1,924 yards.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Prospal headed back to Tampa

by Bob Herpen
The Phanatic Magazine

The Philadelphia Flyers dealt the rights to veteran center Vaclav Prospal to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday.

The Flyers acquired Nashville's seventh-round pick in the upcoming draft (which was previously acquired by Tampa) along with a conditional pick in 2009.

The deal effectively reverses the one struck on February 25, one day before the NHL trade deadline, which brought Prospal to Philly for his second tour of duty.

"Vinny really didn't express much of an interest in coming back and playing for us next season," said Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren. "His heart is elsewhere."

The 33-year-old recorded four goals and 14 points in 18 regular-season contests last year following the trade, adding three goals and 10 assists in 17 playoff games as the Flyers advanced to the Eastern Conference finals.

Prior to the deal, Prospal registered 29 goals and 57 points in 62 games for Tampa Bay, which finished with the worst record in the East.

He was originally drafted by the Flyers in the third round (71st overall) in 1993 NHL Entry Draft. After stints with the Hershey Bears and Philadelphia Phantoms of the AHL, Prospal played parts of two seasons with the Flyers from 1996-98, posting 33 points in 59 games.

The slick playmaker recorded five points in five playoff games in 1997 before missing the remainder of the postseason with a broken wrist suffered prior to the club's second-round series against the Buffalo Sabres. His first exit from the organization came in a suprise deal to the Ottawa Senators with Pat Falloon in exchange for Alexandre Daigle on January 17, 1998.

Over 792 games with Philadelphia, Ottawa, Florida, Tampa Bay and Anaheim, the Czech native has 179 goals and 554 points.

Sixers to look at Speights, Padgett

The Sixers scheduled another pre-draft workout for Thursday with a pair of big men highlighting things, Florida's Marreese Speights and Louisville's David Padgett. Also on hand will be Ryan Anderson of California, Callistus Eziukwu of Grand Valley State and Kentrell Gransberry of the University of South Florida.

St. Joe's Alum Renee Hykel makes US Olympic rowing team

POZNAN, POLAND - Renee Hykel, a 2001 Saint Joseph's graduate, has qualified for the 2008 Olympic Games as a member of the United States Rowing Team. She joined with Jennifer Goldsack in the lightweight women's double sculls tandem on the final day of racing at the 2008 FISA Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in Poznan, Poland.

With only the top two finishers in the lightweight women's double sculls earning spots in the 2008 Olympic Games, the U.S. tandem of Goldsack and Hykel finished second to The Netherlands' Marit Van Eupen and Kirsten Van Der Kolk, the defending Olympic bronze medalists. Goldsack and Hykel sat in second place at each of the 500-meter splits. The Netherlands won the race with a time of 7:10.53, while the American crew crossed the line in a 7:13.69. Poland, who led for the first 500 meters, finished third in 7:17.44.

Hykel, from Haverford, Pa. (Haverford H.S.), was a four-year oarswoman for Saint Joseph's. A member of the U.S. National Team, she competed at the World Championships in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2005, while winning a silver medal at the 2005 World Championships.
Hykel will next compete in the Rowing World Cup Series, which will be held this weekend (June 22) in Poznan.

Tiger done for season

By John McMullen

(The Phanatic Magazine) - Tiger Woods has decided to undergo season-ending reconstructive left knee surgery.

The Golf Channel first reported that Woods needed ACL surgery to get back to 100 percent and he confirmed the news on his Web site.

"While I am obviously disappointed to have to miss the remainder of the season, I have to do the right thing for my long-term health and look forward to returning to competitive golf when my doctors agree that my knee is sufficiently healthy," Woods said. "My doctors assure me with the proper rehabilitation and training, the knee will be strong and there will be no long-term effects."

In addition to the knee surgery, Woods also revealed he will require the time off to rehabilitate a double stress fracture of his left tibia that was discovered prior to the Memorial Tournament last month. The stress fractures were attributed to Woods' rehabilitation from previous arthroscopic knee surgery and preparations for the U.S. Open.

"My rehabilitation schedule after the arthroscopic surgery was designed with the goal of returning to play at the Memorial, but the stress fractures that were discovered just prior to the tournament unfortunately prevented me from participating and had a huge impact on the timing for my return," said Woods.

"I was determined though, to do everything and anything in my power to play in the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, which is a course that is close to where I grew up and holds many special memories for me. Although I will miss the rest of the 2008 season, I'm thrilled with the fact that last week was such a special tournament."

Woods beat Rocco Mediate on the 91st hole of the U.S. Open on Monday, ending an instant-classic major championship with a par at the 19th hole of a playoff.

"I know much was made of my knee throughout the last week, and it was important to me that I disclose my condition publicly at the appropriate time," Woods said "I wanted to be very respectful of the USGA and their incredibly hard work, and make sure the focus was on the U.S. Open. Now, it is clear that the right thing to do is listen to my doctors, follow through with this surgery, and focus my attention on rehabilitating my knee."

The world's No. 1 player made a birdie to send the scheduled 18-hole playoff into sudden-death, then needed only a routine par at the next hole after Mediate bounced a bunker shot off the cart path and against the bleachers.

It brought to an end one of the longest U.S. Opens in history and gave Woods his 14th major championship, second all-time to Jack Nicklaus, who has 18.

"For an athlete as talented and competitive as Tiger Woods, taking the rest of the season off must have been an incredibly difficult, yet necessary decision, one that we understand and support completely," PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said. "The fact that he needs additional surgery only makes his performance and victory at last week's U.S. Open all the more impressive.

"First and foremost, our concern -- as it would be for any of our players facing surgery or illness -- is for Tiger's health and overall well-being, both on and off the golf course. We wish him the best toward a speedy recovery."

Mets waive the white flag

By John McMullen

(The Phanatic Magazine) - Sure it's a little disappointing that the Phillies couldn't scratch out a run against Jon Lester on Tuesday. But, for the first time in recent memory the Fightins fans can play the haughty one, pretend they are Yankees followers and say who cares?

This is regular season baseball and regular season baseball means bumpkiss when you know the postseason awaits.

And, if there was any doubt the local nine would be playing come October, you can forget about it now. The New York Mets officially waived the white flag at 3:11 a.m. (et) on Tuesday morning when they became Major League Baseball's version of the Baltimore Colts

Yep. the Wilpons and general manager Omar Minaya made the classy Willie Randolph and a couple coaches fly 3,000 miles just so they could whack them in the middle of the night. A smooth move that surely kept the New York tabloids at bay for all of two minutes while garnering valuable public relations points.

Sarcasm aside, let's be honest... managers are hired to be fired and Willie probably should have been shown the door after last season's epic collapse. Not that the six-time All-Star deserved it. It was Minaya who spent $135 million to build a team that lacked any kind of strong clubhouse presence.

You really think Jose Reyes, Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran are all of a sudden going to wake up and start showing some leadership for Jerry Manuel?

You really think Billy Wagner is going to shut up and stop being the world's worst teammate this side of Curt Schilling?

Rest easy Phillies fans...October is right around the corner.

Madden rates the Birds

The Madden 2009 player rankings for the Philadelphia Eagles are out and you can check them out at

Here's the top 10:

1.) Brian Westbrook - 97
2.) Asante Samuel - 96
2.) Shawn Andrews - 96
4.) Tra Thomas - 95
5.) Lito Sheppard - 94
6.) Trent Cole - 93
7.) Donovan McNabb - 92
7.) Brian Dawkins - 92
7.) Jamaal Jackson - 92
10.) Jon Runyan - 90

NBA Draft update

-Courtesy of the National Basketball Association

NEW YORK, June 17, 2008 – Forty-eight players who had declared as early entry candidates for the 2008 NBA Draft have withdrawn their names from the draft. There are 39 collegiate and five international prospects that remain early entry candidates.

The 2008 NBA Draft will be held on Thursday, June 26 at the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden.

Here is the list of players from U.S. colleges and institutions who have withdrawn their names from consideration for the 2008 NBA Draft:

Player School Height Status
A.J. Abrams Texas 5-11 Junior
Josh Akognon Cal State Fullerton 5-11 Junior
Antonio Anderson Memphis 6-6 Junior
Derek Bailey Providence Christian Academy (SC) 6-5 Post-Graduate
Jason Bennett Tallahassee CC (FL) 7-3 Sophomore
Chase Budinger Arizona 6-7 Sophomore
Derrick Caracter Louisville 6-9 Sophomore
DeMarre Carroll Missouri 6-8 Junior
Charles Carter Oklahoma Baptist 6-10 Junior
Josh Carter Texas A&M 6-7 Junior
Lee Cummard Brigham Young 6-7 Junior
Robert Dozier Memphis 6-9 Junior
Wayne Ellington North Carolina 6-4 Sophomore
Alonzo Gee Alabama 6-6 Junior
Paul Graham III Florida Atlantic 6-5 Junior
Danny Green North Carolina 6-6 Junior
Lester Hudson Tennessee-Martin 6-3 Junior
Stefon Jackson Texas-El Paso 6-5 Junior
Ty Lawson North Carolina 5-11 Sophomore
Leo Lyons Missouri 6-9 Junior
Jerel McNeal Marquette 6-3 Junior
Jeremy Pargo Gonzaga 6-2 Junior
Courtney Pigram East Tennessee State 6-1 Junior
John Riek Winchendon School (MA) 7-2 Post-Graduate
Josh Shipp UCLA 6-5 Junior
Kiwan Smith Redlands CC (OK) 6-8 Sophomore
Ronald Steele Alabama 6-3 Junior
Robert Vaden Alabama-Birmingham 6-5 Junior
Lorrenzo Wade San Diego State 6-6 Junior
Gordon Watt Houston Baptist 6-6 Junior
Raymond Wright Arkansas-Monticello 6-9 Junior

Here is the list of international players who have withdrawn their names from consideration for the 2008 NBA Draft:

Player Team/Country* Height Status
Rodrigue Beaubois Cholet (France) 6-0 1988 DOB
Mikheil Berishvili BC Vita (Georgia) 6-9 1987 DOB
Omri Casspi Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv (Israel) 6-9 1988 DOB
Victor Claver Pamesa Valencia (Spain) 6-9 1988 DOB
Nando de Colo Cholet (France) 6-5 1987 DOB
Sergey Ilin Budivelnik (Ukraine) 7-6 1987 DOB
Joe Ingles Melbourne S. Dragons (Australia) 6-8 1987 DOB
Jonas Jerebko Biella (Italy) 6-9 1987 DOB
Mladen Jeremic FMP Zeleznik (Serbia) 6-6 1988 DOB
Maxym Korniyenko Dnipro (Ukraine) 6-7 1987 DOB
Luc Louves Orleans (France) 6-10 1989 DOB
Rudy Mbemba Solna (Sweden) 5-11 1987 DOB
Henk Norel Alicante (Spain) 6-11 1987 DOB
Maxim Sheleketo VEF Riga (Latvia) 6-8 1987 DOB
Giorgi Shermadini Maccabi Tbilisi (Georgia) 7-1 1989 DOB
Maksym Vilkhovetskyi Dnipro (Ukraine) 6-3 1988 DOB
Ronalds Zakis VEF Riga (Latvia) 6-9 1987 DOB

*Country indicates where team plays, not country of nationality.

Following is the list of players from U.S colleges and institutions who remain early entry candidates for the 2008 NBA Draft:

Player School Height Status
Joe Alexander West Virginia 6-9 Junior
Ryan Anderson California 6-10 Sophomore
Darrell Arthur Kansas 6-9 Sophomore
D.J. Augustin Texas 6-0 Sophomore
Jerryd Bayless Arizona 6-3 Freshman
Michael Beasley Kansas State 6-10 Freshman
Keith Brumbaugh Hillsborough CC (FL) 6-10 Sophomore
Mario Chalmers Kansas 6-1 Junior
Chris Douglas-Roberts Memphis 6-7 Junior
C.J. Giles Oregon State 6-10 Junior
Eric Gordon Indiana 6-4 Freshman
Jamont Gordon Mississippi State 6-4 Junior
Donte Greene Syracuse 6-11 Freshman
Kalen Grimes Missouri 6-9 Junior
Richard Hendrix Alabama 6-9 Junior
J.J. Hickson North Carolina State 6-9 Freshman
George Hill IUPUI 6-2 Junior
Reggie Huffman Alabama-Birmingham 6-7 Junior
Shawn James Duquesne 6-10 Junior
Davon Jefferson Southern California 6-8 Freshman
DeAndre Jordan Texas A&M 7-0 Freshman
Kosta Koufos Ohio State 7-0 Freshman
Brook Lopez Stanford 7-0 Sophomore
Robin Lopez Stanford 7-0 Sophomore
Kevin Love UCLA 6-10 Freshman
O.J. Mayo Southern California 6-5 Freshman
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute UCLA 6-8 Junior
JaVale McGee Nevada 7-0 Sophomore
Kojo Mensah Duquesne 6-1 Junior
Trent Plaisted Brigham Young 6-11 Junior
Bruce Price Tennessee State 6-3 Junior
Anthony Randolph LSU 6-10 Freshman
JaJuan Robinson Lincoln (PA) 5-11 Freshman
Derrick Rose Memphis 6-3 Freshman
Brandon Rush Kansas 6-6 Junior
Walter Sharpe Alabama-Birmingham 6-9 Sophomore
Marreese Speights Florida 6-10 Sophomore
Bill Walker Kansas State 6-6 Freshman
Russell Westbrook UCLA 6-3 Sophomore

The following is the list of international players who have applied for early entry into the 2008 NBA Draft:

Player Team/Country* Height Status
Alexis Ajinca Hyeres-Toulon (France) 7-1 1988 DOB
Nicolas Batum Le Mans (France) 6-7 1988 DOB
Danilo Gallinari Armani Jeans Milano (Italy) 6-9 1988 DOB
Serge Ibaka L'Hospitalet (Spain) 6-10 1989 DOB
Ante Tomic Zagreb (Croatia) 7-2 1987 DOB
*Country indicates where team plays, not country of nationality.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

D'Orazio wins AFL Offenvise Player of the Week honors

Philadelphia Soul quarterback Matt D’Orazio was named AFL Offensive Player of the Week for Week 16 of the 2008 season.

D’Orazio (6-4, 230, Otterbein) completed 25-of-39 passes for 283 yards and accounted for eight touchdowns (6 – passing, 2 – rushing) as the Philadelphia Soul (12-3) defeated the Cleveland Gladiators (8-7), 62-61, on Saturday. D’Orazio led the Soul’s offense on scoring drives on nine of the teams 12 possessions, including six consecutive, while compiling a passer rating of 124.1.

Eagles sign three draft picks

By John McMullen

(The Phanatic Magazine) - The Philadelphia Eagles digned three of their 2008 draft picks on Tuesday, cornerback Jack Ikegwuonu, linebacker Joe Mays, and offensive tackle King Dunlap. All three players signed four-year deals.

A fourth round draft choice in 2008, Ikegwuonu was a two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection and three-year letterman at Wisconsin before declaring for the NFL draft following his junior season. An All-America honorable mention candidate as a sophomore in 2006, he played in 39 career games (30 starts) at Wisconsin, finishing with 91 tackles, 29 pass deflections and six interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown.

Ikegwuonu suffered a right knee injury while working out in preparation for the NFL combine, however, and will most likely miss the 2008 season.

A sixth round draft choice, Mays was an All-America selection as a senior in 2007, leading Division I-AA North Dakota State with a career-high 90 tackles, nine TFLs and 2 1/2 sacks, en route to being named the Great West Conference Defensive Player of the Year. A three-time first-team All-Great West selection, Mays played in 43 games (31 starts) and recorded 285 tackles, a school-record 159 solo tackles, 29 1/2 TFLs, 11 sacks and three INTs in his collegiate career.

A seventh round draft choice, Dunlap was a four-year letterman at Auburn. He appeared in 48 career games, including 20 starts, during his collegiate career. His best season came as a junior in 2006, as he was the starting left tackle for an offense that averaged 320.9 yards per game.

Seven of the Eagles ten 2008 draft picks have now signed with the team.

Soul release LB Roundtree

The Philadelphia Soul released linebacker Durrand Roundtree on Tuesday,

Roundtree signed with the Soul practice squad on June 6, 2008. He was activated on June 12 and started in one game for the Soul, June 14 versus Cleveland at the MAC linebacker position, recording one assisted tackle. He also contributed on the Soul special teams.

In his additional professional experience, Roundtree played for the Albany Conquest of the af2 in 2007. While playing for Albany he tallied 27.5 tackles (21 solo), 9.5 tackles for loss, and forced five fumbles. In 2006, he recorded 8 tackles (6 solo) and one sack for the Louisville Fire of the af2. Roundtree was allocated to NFL Europe by the Indianapolis Colts in 2004. In his time with the Scottish Claymores, Roundtree recorded 6 solo tackles and one sack. After attending the University of Maryland he was signed by the Washington Redskins as an undrafted free agent and was released in July 2003.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Sixers draft news

The Sixers have setup another pre-draft workout on Tuesday at PCOM. Among those in attendance will be Jamont Gordon of Mississippi State, Arizona's Jawaan McClellan, Holy Family's Michael Sturns, UTEP's Marvin Kilgore and Chris Clark of Temple.

St. Joe's Calathes to work out for Nuggets

After working out for the Sixers over the weekend, St. Joe's Pat Calathes will be in Denver on Tuesday to show the Nuggets his stuff.

The Nuggets have the 20th overall pick in this year’s draft, which will be held on June 26th.

Comcast and Big Ten Network close to deal

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that Comcast and the Big Ten Network are expected to announce a long-term partnership sometime this week.

Samuel set to enter Phils Wall of Fame

-Courtesy of the Philadelphia Phillies

Second baseman Juan Samuel is the 2008 inductee into the Phillies Wall of Fame, team President David Montgomery announced today.

Samuel was the Phillies’ regular second baseman from 1984 through 1988. As a rookie in 1984, he set modern club records for most at-bats in a season (701), most triples (19) and most stolen bases (72). He became the first player in major league history to reach double digits in doubles, triples, home runs and stolen bases in each of his first four seasons.

The 47-year-old Samuel, current third base coach for Baltimore, will be inducted prior to the Friday night, August 8 game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Orioles have granted permission for Samuel to be at Citizens Bank Park that night. All fans will receive a commemorative poster of Samuel, courtesy of Toyota, the official sponsor of Memory Lane and the Wall of Fame.

Other Wall of Famers who will be here include Robin Roberts (1978), Jim Bunning (1984), Steve Carlton (1989), Mike Schmidt (1990), Dick Allen (1994), Greg Luzinski (1998), Tony Taylor (2002), Bob Boone (2005) and Dallas Green (2006).

Wall of Fame balloting annually begins with online voting on during spring training. A total of 15 Phillies Alumni are on the ballot. The top five vote-getters are then presented to a special Wall of Fame Selection Committee that chooses the inductee. The other four finalists this year were Darren Daulton, Lenny Dykstra, John Kruk and Greg Gross.

The Wall of Fame festivities begin the Phillies’ annual Toyota Alumni weekend. Prior to Saturday’s game, Robin Roberts will be saluted. Family, teammates and numerous other Phillies Alumni will participate. On Sunday, the Phillies Alumni Batting Challenge will be held before the 1:35 p.m. game.

Samuel File

Born: December 9, 1960, San Pedro de Macoris, DR... Resides: Estero, FL.

Career: Three-time NL All-Star during 16-year big league career that included Phillies (1983-89), Mets (1989), Dodgers (1990-92), Royals (1992; 1995), Reds (1993), Tigers (1994-95), Blue Jays (1996-98)... Major league coach with Tigers (1999-2005) and Orioles (2007-current) . . . Managed Binghamton Mets (2006) in the Eastern League.

Phillies stats: .263 AVG... 852 G... 523 R... 921 H... 176 2B... 71 3B (9th all-time)... 100 HR... 413 RBI... 249 SB (7th all-time)... Led Phillies in stolen bases (1984-86)... Scored over 100 runs (1984-85; 1987)... Played 798 games at second base, 4th on club’s all-time list… Only Phillies player to twice have 15 or more doubles, triples and home runs in a season (1984, 1987).

Records: ML, at-bats, rookie, 701; NL, triples, rookie, 19 (1984).

Phillies records: Most stolen bases, season, 72 (1984) . . . Most extra-base hits, season, second baseman, 80 (1987).

League leader: Led NL in triples, 19 (1984), 15 (1987); at-bats, 701 (1984), 663 (1985), 655 (1987).

Phillies honors: All-Star in 1984 (one of seven Phillies to be selected in rookie season) and 1987... The Sporting News Rookie of the Year (1984)... Won Silver Slugger Award (1987)... Selected as starting second baseman on the All-Vet Team in 2003 to commemorate the closing of Veterans Stadium... 2006 winner of the Phillies Latino Legends Award.