May 15th is a date so rich with history, I had a hard time narrowing it down to one single moment. We could celebrate the debut of Mickey Mouse, the signing of the Treaty of Westphalia, the birth of Emmitt Smith, or the creation of the United States Department of Agriculture, which led to the expansion of Richie Farmer’s gun cabinet. All great moments in history. But instead of toasting to Ryan Leaf or pouring one out for Emily Dickinson, this week’s Tuesday News and Views is dedicated to Las Vegas, the city that rarely giveth and loves to taketh away.
Las Vegas was established as a railroad town on Quince de Mayo in 1905, when 12,000 lots owned by the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad were auctioned off in a single day. A bunch of stuff happened after that and now it’s a city full of bright lights, luxurious hotels, exquisite dining, gaming, entertainment, peroxide and silicone. To quote The Sound of Music, those are a few of my favorite things. Throw in In-N-Out Burger, breakfast at Hash House A Go Go, and Joey at Tao nightclub, and it can only be described as Heaven on Earth.
I better wrap this up before I ditch the News and Views for Priceline.com.
While you and I visit Sin City for all those things that send people to hell, Anthony Davis will be visiting Las Vegas this summer to compete for a spot on Team USA. On Monday, Davis and James Harden were added to the pool of basketball talent for the U.S. Olympic team. The original 20-man preliminary roster from January has already lost four players to injury: Bulls point guard Derrick Rose, Magic center Dwight Howard, Clippers guard Chauncey Billups and Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge. The final 12-man roster will be announced on July 7, thanks to an extension from the original June 18 deadline.
Charles Robinson, who is covering the US Olympic team for Yahoo! Sports, said he’d be shocked if Davis doesn’t make the team. If he does, he’ll be the first player to represent Amurrica in the Olympics with no NBA experience since some guy from Duke did it in 1992.
Davis will be playing against a couple of his own basketball family members when he trains for the Olympics this summer. DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall are on the roster for USA Select, the team that’ll practice against the Olympic team in Sin City. The two teams will train from July 6-11.
Tuesday is judgment day for Kentucky target Amile Jefferson, and it’s not looking good for the Cats. Jefferson will likely choose between NC State and Duke when he announces his decision at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday. It seemed like Kentucky stood a chance when Jefferson continued to push back his announcement, but it’s looking like he’s heading to the ACC, where everyone has expected him to go since January. It’s an interesting decision, considering the best opportunity for playing time and a national title is in Lexington. Oh well.
The loss of Amile Jefferson only means Kentucky has a better shot at landing the recently freed Montrezl Harrell. Harrell isn’t ranked as high as Jefferson by the national recruiting services, but if you compare the two players’ highlights, Harrell almost seems like the better option for Kentucky. He provides a strong, physical presence in the post and he’s an excellent rebounder on both ends of the floor. It’s the perfect mold for a sidekick to Nerlens Noel and the exact opposite of what UK already has in Kyle Wiltjer. He would give Kentucky the opportunity to play around with the lineup to match up with whatever the opponent puts in the paint. The downside of his game is that he’s too short for his position (we heard the same thing about Jarnell Stokes) but I’m sure that big guy with the flattop would be more than happy to lend a helping hand from the other side.
The NCAA rules committee must’ve seen a lot of UK games last season because they aren’t happy with the way blocks and charges have been called. To straighten things out, the committee approved guidelines to help better administer these rules:
— Before the offensive player (with the ball) becomes airborne, the defender must have two feet on the floor, be facing the opponent and be stationary to draw a charge. Otherwise it should be a blocking foul.
— Secondary defenders (help defenders) moving forward or to the side are also in violation, and these should be blocking fouls.
— Contact that is “through the chest” is not de facto proof of a charge. The rule in its entirety must be considered before determining a foul.
— In some cases, it appears that a defender is being rewarded solely for being outside the arc, without considering the other aspects of the rules.
The rules committee also recommended a new rule to ban temporary decals and logos on the playing surface that may cause players to slip. The rules committee asked for “consistency in the surface,” and I’m told the NCAA responded by asking, “What the hell is consistency???”
I’m here all week. Tip your servers and bartenders.
What’s the world record for most Yahoo! top stories in a one-month span? Terrence Jones is chasing it. Jones made Yahoo!’s front page yet again on Monday after surprising his mother with a brand new Cadillac.
He’s on pace to win Yahoo! Man of the Year.
Indiana and North Carolina were both dropped from Kentucky’s basketball schedule for next season, so what are the two teams doing to bounce back? They’re playing against each other. Indiana will host North Carolina at Assembly Hall on November 27 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Good luck with that, UNC. The Hoosiers aren’t the most hospitable group of individuals we’ve ever encountered.