LSU coach Paul Mainieri ended all speculation yesterday and named his coaching staff for next season. The Tigers were left to replace both their hitting and pitching coaches after former pitching coach Terry Rooney was named head coach at Central Florida and took LSU hitting coach Cliff Godwin with him to serve as his hitting coach.

But Mainieri countered and filled the voids yesterday by naming Michigan State head coach David Grewe as the Tigers’ pitching coach and promoting volunteer coach Javi Sanchez to the team’s hitting coach.

In my eyes, anytime you can get an extra head coach on your staff, it is a major plus, so kudos to Mainieri for bringing in Grewe. My one concern with the hiring is that Grewe is just 32 years old and is likely looking at this LSU job as a stepping stone to become a head coach in the South and I just sense that if you have to mix and match coaches every year, it will eventually affect the program.

Time will tell how long the current staff will be in tact, but I like the moves made by the LSU skipper.
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The NBA Draft has come and gone and really went by without a lot of the promised trades and flare that we expected.

As with any draft, a select number of teams won and a select number of teams lost. Here is my list of winners and losers, even though it’s really pointless right now, because you cannot accurately tell with certainty until next summer who has the gems and who just has fake diamonds.

Winners:

Miami: They didn’t talk themselves out of drafting Michael Beasley. That alone makes their draft a winner in my book.

Portland: It was hard for Portland to mess up with all the picks they had, but I really, really like getting Jerryd Bayless, who should have been a Top 10 pick and Darrell Arthur who also should have been a lottery pick. Good work again by the West’s next power.

Charlotte: DJ Augustin, not Derrick Rose was the best PG in this draft. Larry Brown and Michael Jordan realize that and have gotten the steal of the entire draft.

LA Clippers: The Clippers got possibly the most NBA-ready of all of the “freshman guards” in Indiana guard Eric Gordon, while also getting the best “potential player” in DeAndre Jordan. If things work out the way they could, the Clippers could have landed two studs.

Losers:
Golden State: Isn’t one big, but skinny big man enough? Randolph is a poor man’s Brandan Wright at best and Wright didn’t do a whole lot this past year for Nellie and Co.

Sacramento: The Kings needed a PG to replace Mike Bibby. Instead, they used their picks to get a player from Rider, Patrick Ewing’s son and a ball-hog from Virginia. Not bad.

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It’s time. Finally time. After nine days of my list, it’s time for my No. 1 athlete.
This is a no-brainer to me, but it can be debated by some, I guess, but my No. 1 athlete was the most dominant player in his sport for 10-15 years and won numerous championships and lord knows how many more he would have won had he not used two of his prime years to play baseball.

No. 1 athlete:
Michael Jordan

Simply known as “MJ”, Michael Jordan was a winner from the day he stepped foot on the hardwood in Chapel Hill, all the way until his final shot (following a push-off) for the Chicago Bulls. As a fan, I have eliminated the Washington years from my memory, but he was still productive as a Wizard and averaged more than 20 points in his two seasons.

But no doubt, MJ made his legacy as a Bull where he began his career as a scoring threat, averaging as much as 37 points per game in his early seasons. But with the Bulls acquisition of Scottie Pippen, MJ some much-needed offensive help and under the tutelage of coach Phil Jackson, the Bulls took over the NBA and won 6 championships in 8 seasons with the only two titles being in the two seasons Michael Jordan did not participate fully in because of his first retirement.

Since his career, phrases like “Be Like Mike” have become common place and for any basketball player growing up, Michael Jordan will forever be the benchmark that children set out to surpass.

This list has been a blast and took a lot of research. To recap:

10. Barry Sanders
9. Lance Armstrong
8. Pete Rose
7. Carl Lewis
6. Tiger Woods
5. Babe Ruth
4. Wayne Gretzky
3. Muhammad Ali
2. Pele
1. Michael Jordan

Obviously, with any list, there are people who just missed out and with this one in particular, the names are quite heavy. Here are some of the people who just missed out.

Football:
1. Emmitt Smith
2. Joe Montana
3. Tom Brady
4. Deion Sanders
5. Jerry Rice
6. Jim Thorpe

Baseball:
1. Roger Clemens
2. Greg Maddux
3. Barry Bonds
4. Hank Aaron

Basketball:
1. Wilt Chamberlin
2. Bill Russell
3. Shaquille O’Neal
4. Jerry West

But with a list this hard to construe, I did my best and I hope you all enjoyed it. I’ll begin my next project tomorrow, breaking down the Top 10 coaches in the SEC.
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Headlines:

Bucks trade for Jefferson, give up Yi
– Good trade for the Bucks. Potentially great trade for the Nets if Yi blossoms, because let’s face it, LeBron James will be a Net in 2010. Might as well overhaul your roster now to make way.

Sharapova, Roddick stunned in 2nd round – Roddick gone early in a major? NEVER! Andy Roddick is the most overrated player in all of sports and the longer he is seeded in the Top 10 of these majors, he is becoming close to being the most overrated athlete ever. I understand tennis’s desire to have a top-flight American, but they need to look elsewhere. Sharapova is the real surprise here. Maybe she should work a little more on her game, little less on her attire, which also made headlines after the first round, because she wore a mini tux on the court.

Astros cut Chacon after GM altercation – In case you didn’t hear, Chacon went all WWE on the Astros GM and “choke-slammed” him to the ground after a demotion to the bullpen. If you didn’t like being in the MLB, Mr. Chacon, you could have just retired. It would have been a lot less embarrassing.

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