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I normally begin my blog each day with a “headline story”, usually having to do with an LSU sport or an LSU athlete. Today, I would like my headline story to be about you all, the readers of my site.

Yesterday my NBA Draft recap recorded 1,149 total hits, shattering my previous high mark. So, from the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank all of you who read our site and I would also like to say that it’s because of our great readers that I do what I do, because I get many emails and/or comments a day telling me how much you all enjoy the blog.

So thanks again. You all are much appreciated.
In more NBA business, a lot of things broke last night after I updated my blog and several trades were made — too many to list individually. But I was asked by a lot of people today in emails why I listed this team as a winner, or why I listed that team as a loser, so to clear up a little bit of speculation, I will give you my “Big Board”. Here are the 7 players I think will have the biggest NBA impact out of this NBA Draft.

Gisclair’s Big Board:

1. OJ Mayo – Mayo is hands down the best player in this draft, possessing the cold-blooded ability to score 20 points per game, while also having the playmaking, point guard skills required to dictate the ball. Memphis has a fabulous trio with Mayo, Rudy Gay and Mike Conley.

Projected rookie stats: 16 points 4 rebounds 6 assists

2. Michael Beasley – The Heat took home the best player in the draft this year with Beasley. Paired with Dwayne Wade and Shawn Marion, expect a 1-2-3 punch that takes a backseat to no one in the NBA.

Projected rookie stats: 17 points and 9 rebounds per game.

3. DJ Augustin – DJ is the best pure point guard in the draft, no matter who slobbers all over Derrick Rose. Augustin’s stats are better in every category and he did so against far tougher competition. It’s a good thing competition is something Augustin likes, because he will have plenty of it fighting for PT with Raymond Felton.

Projected rookie stats: 7 points and 4 assists per game. (limited minutes)

4. Eric Gordon – Gordon is probably the best pure scorer in the entire draft out of the guard position. If Shaun Livingston returns to full health and allows Gordon to play SG, he can do big things for the Clips.

Projected rookie stats: 12 points and 3 assists per game

5. Brook Lopez– Lopez is not the most skilled seven footer you’ve ever seen, but he is not soft, which is what kills the majority of NBA centers. Just his aggressiveness alone will make him a contributor in the Eastern Conference.

Projected rookie stats: 9 points and 7 rebounds per game

6. Richard Hendrix – Call me stupid, but I think Richard Hendrix was one of the most underrated players in all of the SEC throughout his entire career at Alabama. He will provide brute strength and good rebounding to a team who does not have a legit big man on their roster, including first round pick Anthony Randolph.

7. Shan Foster – When you win SEC Player of the Year, you should be better than a 51st pick in the draft. Foster will be the next big-time second round draft pick in the NBA. Book it.
LSU baseball had a dominant season on the field. Turns out, they had a dominant spring in the classroom, also as 14 Tigers were named to the SEC Honor Roll team yesterday. The team had a cumulative GPA of 2.89, the highest in team history.

Bravo to the players. Baseball is a difficult sport to balance out, because unlike football players, baseball guys really have no days off, playing both midweek and weekend games, so congratulations to the kids on an amazing accomplishment.

Also bravo to LSU coach Paul Mainieri who has instilled a program where things are done the right way both on and off the field. When Mainieri was first hired, he released a lot of players from the program, some of them big-time contributors and many people wondered why. This is why. Mainieri is a tough man to please, but under his leadership, LSU will be the class of the SEC in baseball.
My last Top 10 list is through and as I promised, the newest one begins today. The last one was extremely difficult, because I had infinite athletes to choose from and no matter what route I took, I had to leave off 10-15 very deserving nominees from the list.

Today’s list is equally difficult even though I am just taking a field of 12 and making a Top 10 out of them. Five SEC coaches have won national championships and three others have come very, very close in their quests, leaving this list next to impossible to narrow down.

But without further adieu, here is the Top 10 football coaches in the SEC, beginning with No. 10.

No. 10: Sylvester Croom

It’s funny, because if you make a Top 30 list of college football coaches in America, Croom is probably in that list, but he barely cracks the Top 10 of his own conference.

Croom landed at Mississippi State following 11 years as an assistant at Alabama and 17 seasons in the professional ranks.

Croom’s early days at Mississippi State were not as bright as many would have hoped, winning just three games in each of his first three seasons. But accumulations of solid recruiting classes led to a more talented and successful team in Croom’s fourth year as the Bulldogs. In that season, Mississippi State went 8-5, including a 4-4 SEC mark capped by a Liberty Bowl win in late December. For his efforts, Croom was named the SEC Coach of the Year by his peers and by the AP.

Expect Mississippi State to continue to be on the upswing in the coming seasons with Croom calling the shots.

Tomorrow, we will continue this list with our No. 9 coach.


Goodell: Rookie scale not right for NFL – Roger, Roger, Roger. You’re not half the commish the man before you was. But glad to see you’re finally going to get something right here. It will be a first for the man who thinks it’s a great idea to play regular season games in Europe.

No. 1 Ivanovic upset at Wimbledon
– Wow. Is this the year of the upset or what? The women’s draw is wide open and here’s to my pick Venus taking it all.

Bills’ Lynch claims he did not know he hit someone
– Give me a break. As someone who has been in auto accidents myself, when you hit someone, you know. What did he think that loud “thump” was? A deer? People make fun of Terrell Owens and other athletes who have publicists, but things like this prove that they all need one, because these guys don’t know when to just keep their mouths shut.

That’s all for me. Thank you all again and have a fabulous, blessed weekend.

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June 2008
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