Love Penn State hire, what next for Vandy?

Cleveland

Notes, quotes and an opinion or two…

My two cents: Penn State made a fantastic hire in James Franklin., who brought unprecedented modern day football success to Vanderbilt. Since the first time I saw one of Franklin’s Vandy teams play I have been nothing but impressed with his attention to detail and how hard his teams play. Penn State got a good one.

What now for Vandy? Good question. If I were the Commodores I would take a good long look at Mark Hudspeth of Louisiana-Lafayette, a former Dan Mullen assistant. He’s the real deal, too. . . .

Don’t know if I’ve ever seen a more balanced basketball team than that of Donnie Tyndall’s at USM. Headed into a Sunday game at Tulsa, the Golden Eagles have five players averaging between 8.9 points and 11.4 points per game. They have another four players averaging between 4.1 and 5.9 points per game. They are deep and they are as unselfish a team as you will see. Leading the way is senior point guard Neil Watson,, at 11.4 points per game and leading the team with 58 assists compared to 28 turnovers. Watson doesn’t take many shots, but he mades them count, hitting 40 percent of his 3-pointers and 91.5 percent of his free throws….

The 14-2 Golden Eagles have a No. 29 RPI (Warren Nolan), by far the highest among state teams or Conference USA for that matter…. Good job by USM athletic director Bill McGillis signing Tyndall to a new four-year contract at a base of $500,000 with incentives. He’s worth every penny of it. Still, it’s hard to believe that when M.K. Turk first took the USM job in 1976, he did so for $19,000 per year. . . . There’s been some inflation since then but not nearly that much…

See where State’s Gabe Jackson has joined the growing list of players who have chosen Hattiesburg agent Bus Cook’s stable of clients, which also added South Carolina defensive end Jadveon Clowney, Vanderbilt wide receiver Jordan Matthews and North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron in recent days. I haven’t talked to a single scout who doesn’t believe Jackson will be the first guard taken in the upcoming draft. . . .

The annual C Spire Howell-Gillom Trophy Banquet has been set for March 3 at your Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. The defending winners are Ole Miss sharpshooter Marshall Henderson and Mississippi State post player Martha Alwal. . . .

My understanding is that Donte Moncrief’s decision to go pro is a done deal. Here’s one case where I think the player would have benefitted from another year in college. I say this because of the herd of underclassmen receivers who have declared for the draft this season. Most of the experts have Moncrief rated far down that list of underclassmen coming out. Don’t get me wrong, I love his potential. But he needs to have an unbelievable combine showing to move up into the first two rounds of the draft. Most projections I see are late third or fourth round. Had he stayed and had an outstanding senior season, he could have gone much higher. The difference between first round and fourth round money is astounding.

Who you got? I got State over Ole Miss in a basketball squeaker, Jackson State over Alcorn, Saints over Seattle (go ahead, laugh), Colts over Patriots (laugh again), 49ers over Panthers and Broncos over Chargers. Right now, I like the Niners to win it all.

Time to start cooking jambalaya….

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