Just a day after LSU’s season ended, the Tigers have been dealt with another blow as hitting coach Cliff Godwin announced he will join former Tigers’ pitching coach Terry Rooney and accept a position on Rooney’s staff at Central Florida.

Rooney’s departure is a steep one for LSU because of his recruiting and pitching knowledge, but the loss of Godwin is just as heavy for LSU. Godwin was in line to be LSU’s new recruiting coordinator and without Godwin, LSU now will not return any regular coaches from this past year’s staff.

I do not know any names or possible replacements, but LSU fans need to have no fear and remember that LSU coach Paul Mainieri has a great eye for talent. It was Mainieri who hired these guys in the first place, so I suspect the Tigers’ new hitting and pitching coaches will be more than capable of holding their own in the brutal SEC.
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I broke down briefly yesterday what I thought about the odds of LSU’s five underclassmen players returning to school. Today, I will go “Dandy-Don” and give percentages on the give guys based on what I am hearing from those close to the team. The first number is the percentage he stays, the second the percentage he goes.

LHP Ryan Verdugo: 9th round San Francisco Giants: 55-45. Verdugo has two possible frames of mind. The first is that he ended his season on a sour note and could and should go back to school to prove to the Giants he is a future MLB pitcher. The second is that his draft stock will go down next year if he pitches the way he did in the last 4 weeks of the season. I hear Verdugo isn’t thrilled with how his season ended and may stay, but I wouldn’t be surprised either way.

1B Matt Clark: 12th round: San Diego Padres: 15-85. Clark not being a 10th round pick actually helped him in this one. He is expected to get 4th or 5th round money, because he is not in the slotted picks and I suspect his days as a Tiger are done.

Louis Coleman: 14th round: Washington Nationals: 80-20. Coleman was closer to the 65-35 or maybe even 60-40 number until he gave up the grand slam blast that ended LSU’s season. Louis is a fiery competitor and I can not see him allowing his college career to end the way it did, despite a dominant junior season.

Blake Martin: 17th round: Minnesota Twins: 85-15. Martin was on and off for LSU this past season and barring something drastic, he will be back in LSU’s rotation next season.

Jordan Brown: 39th round: Chicago Cubs:
95-5. Brown will be back, unless he is told by the staff that he will see little playing time next season. But I can not imagine that happening, because he will be one of LSU’s best on paper next season.

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I gave you all a taste of my NBA Draft preview a few days ago, but got over my word count yesterday and had to halt my work. But today, it’s back. Here is my NBA Draft preview for the Eastern Conference’s Central Division.

Detroit Pistons

Picks: 29, 59
The Pistons are looking to begin a youth movement with a new coach and an aging roster. What this means for the draft is Detroit will be drafting for depth as the Pistons are getting old as the one, four and five positions. Juicy rumor of the day has the Pistons sending Rip Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace and future picks to the Houston Rockets for Tracy McGrady and the Rockets 25th pick.

Cleveland Cavs:


Picks: 19

Cleveland needs a second scorer to compliment LeBron James, while also needing to find big-man depth behind aging Zydrunas Ilgauskas. If the Cavs can get a sleeper like a Danta Greene or Nicolas Bantum to fall to them, they will pick them in a heartbeat. If not, I see them picking a project big man that can develop for three or four years, because with Ben Wallace, Big Z and Joe Smith, you have three guys about to collect social security.

Indiana Pacers:

Picks: 11 and 41

Indiana has just one blaring need — point guard where Travis Diener held down the fort as starter at the end of last season. The Pacers would love to get Texas stud and Louisiana native DJ Augustin at 11, but if he is off the board, UCLA one-guard Russell Westbrook would fit well, also.

Chicago Bulls:


Picks: 1 and 39

The Bulls control the draft and will either select Michael Beasley or Derrick Rose. The dilemma is less about who the Bulls will draft and more about who the Bulls will part ways with, because drafting Rose likely means the end of Kirk Hinrich in Chicago, while drafting Beasley, likely means the Bulls will be giving up on former Top 5 pick Tyrus Thomas.

Milwaukee Bucks:


Picks: 8 and 37

The Bucks game plan for the draft is fairly simple: Come out of the draft with a backup point guard for starter Mo Williams and a replacement for small forwards Desmond Mason and/or Bobby Simmons. While the Bucks can also choose to fill either of these voids in free agency, I suspect Joe Alexander to be on the Bucks radar or possibly Anthony Randolph if he falls that far.

The Southeastern Division tomorrow, folks.

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I’ve made headway in my Top 10 list. It’s time for my No. 6 athlete today.

No. 6: Tiger Woods

My favorite athlete of all-time, Tiger Woods comes into the list at No. 6 with 12 years on top of the PGA Tour that has included 14 Major Championships. Woods came onto the tour in 1996 with a bang, winning two events. Tiger continued his dominance in 1997 with a 12-shot win at the Masters, a record that will probably newer be broken at Augusta. Woods tailed off in late 1997 and the 1998 season while undergoing swing changes, but those same changes put Tiger back on top of the golf world from 1999-now with Woods having 65 PGA Tour wins, seven European Tour wins.

Tiger earned his way onto the list earlier in the week with his heroic performance at the US Open, winning the event and playing 91 holes despite a broken leg and a torn ACL. Who knows how much higher Tiger would be if we did this same list 15 years from now.

Why he could be higher?

Tiger is the highest paid athlete in the world and will probably be the first billionaire athlete. His dominance of his sport defines the sport itself. Just look at ratings when Tiger plays vs. when Tiger doesn’t play. Tiger Woods IS golf. He is the only other athlete in the world who literally makes the sport in which he plays.

Why he could be lower?

His legacy is not full complete. Yeah, we all assume he will catch Jack, but with the knee injury, he may not ever be the same again. If Tiger comes back 100%, however, 28-32 Majors is not out of the question for the 32-year-old.

We begin the top 5 tomorrow.
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Headlines:

Miller apologizes for remarks about Rocco Mediate– Probably a non-issue, but damn, Johnny, watch your mouth next time. You have the best job in the world. Why lose it being careless?

Cubs put Zambrano on 15-day DL– The wind was swirling at the ballpark Saturday from fans exhaling across Chicago in all directions. A major injury to the Cubs ace would have been a possible fatal blow, but they can float with him down for just a few weeks.

NHRA’s Scott Kalitta killed in crash – Congress is forever investigating professional wrestling and baseball because of alleged steroid use and I understand that, because several wrestlers have died in the past 25 years and baseball is America’s past time, but why not also dig into racing a little bit? Do we really want to market a sport in which on any given day, two or three of its best can die in front of national TV?

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That’s all for me, folks.

Have a blessed Sunday.

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