Burt becomes the second tight end to sign an unrestricted free agent contract with the Patriots after Dan Hope announced last night that Ohio State‘s Rashod Berry will be competing for a roster spot with New England.
Happy Saturday, everyone – we hope everyone is doing well and staying safe, of course!
Starting today – and every day going forward! – we are going to hop back in time and share some exciting sports memories for each particular day. And today, our post is all about what happened in the sports world on April 4th, enjoy.
On This Date in History: April 4th
1948: 84-year-old Connie Mack challenged 78-year-old Clark Griffith to a race from home plate to first base. And the end result was a tie.
1974: Hank Aaron tied Babe Ruth‘s home run record (714) against the Cincinnati Reds. Four days later (April 8th, to be exact) he would break the record from 1935, establishing a new mark for home runs with 715.
1986: Wayne Gretzky recorded his 213th point of the 1985-86 season during a 9-3 setback to the Calgary Flames. Gretzky, who would finish the year with 215 points, broke his old record of 212 points in a single0season.
1993: The Texas Tech women’s basketball team captured its initial NCAA Championship with an 84-82 win over Ohio State. Sheryl Swoopes, who was named the Most Outstanding Player, established a single-game championship scoring record of 47 points.
1994: Arkansas‘ men’s basketball team won its first-ever NCAA Championship – the Razorbacks beat the Blue Devils of Duke in the title game.
1997: The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim secured their first-ever postseason berth, which would conclude in the NHL conference semifinals. The Ducks won their first-ever postseason series in the quarterfinals – they outlasted the Phoenix Coyotes in seven games before falling to the Detroit Red Wings in four-straight semifinal contests.
2011: Coach Jim Calhoun leads the Connecticut men’s basketball team to an NCAA Championship – the Huskies beat Butler, 53-41. Current Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker scored 16 points for the Huskies.
Some random thoughts after looking around at the local and national basketball landscape.
The Atlantic Coast Conference(ACC)/Big Ten Conference(B1G) Basketball Challenge is always at the top of my viewing list each year – I love channel surfing.
This year, the Big 10 Conference reigned supreme with some impressive showings by Maryland, Purdue, Ohio State, and Penn State.
Purdue absolutely dismantled Virginia and exposed the ‘Hoos offensive shortcomings while Ohio State throttled North Carolina. It’s early but Ohio State is looking like they have the horsepower to make a run to the Final Four next April.
Speaking of the ACC, Boston College is on a four-game losing spin and facing a rigorous conference road trip this Saturday at Norte Dame. A highly-touted freshman class must grow up in a hurry or the Eagles will once again reside in the ACC’s bottom quartile.
Save the date: current No. 1 Louisville will visit Conte Forum on Jan. 29. Tip-off is scheduled for 9 p.m.
Carl Pierre, who played high school basketball at Boston College High School, is having an excellent season at UMass. The 2017 Catholic Conference MVP and two-time conference all-star selection is currently averaging 12 points per game.
Pierre and the Minutemen will visit Harvard on Saturday, December 7th with tip-off scheduled for 1 p.m. UMass will attempt to snap a four-game skid, which began prior to Thanksgiving with a 58-46 setback to Virginia. Harvard enters the non-conference clash at 4-4 – the Crimson have lost two-straight since beating Texas A&M last Thursday.
Newton North’s Ethan Wright has seen an uptick in playing time this season with the Princeton Tigers. The second-year guard has logged 93 minutes in six contests this season – he even started a game last month against Indiana. Wright has scored 13 points on 5 of 21 shooting, including 3 of 14 from beyond the arc. He has pulled down 13 rebounds, including two offensive caroms to go along with five assists and two blocks.
Wright and the Tigers sit at 1-6 and are scheduled to compete next Tuesday, December 10th against Monmouth. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m.
Coach Trish Brown and the Stonehill College women’s basketball team are off to an impressive 6-2 start. Sure, their lone setbacks have come against Bentley and Molloy, but they have been fun to watch, especially in their last two contests against Assumption College and Franklin Pierce.
Emily Bramanti, who played locally for Westford Academy, credited all of her teammates in their most recent win against the Ravens for stepping-up and making plays when needed.
Bramanti concluded her team’s eighth contest with a team-high 16 points.
Stonehill hosts Saint Anselm College on Saturday before heading to Daytona Beach Florida two weeks later to compete in the Daytona Beach Shootout.
Finally, the Babson College men’s basketball team scored an exciting and impressive win last night over Amherst College. Frank Oftring, who grew up in North Attleboro, Massachusetts netted a career-high 30 points in the win to go along with 10 rebounds.
Babson’s Andrew Jaworski finished with 23 points with four of those points being recorded during the final 30 seconds of the second half.
Babson, which is 12-3 against the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) dating back to the 2016-17 season, will look to continue its early-season momentum this weekend when they compete in the New England Big 4 Challenge at Salem State University.
I’m getting ready to head back to warm and sunny Florida so I’ll be writing from the Sunshine State next week.
Would Royce White be the right piece for the Boston Celtics? (Photo Credit: IrishCentral.com)
By Lucas Shapiro
Curious to see whom the Boston Celtics will pick tonight?
Aren’t we all?
How Boston picks tonight will be the first indication of what direction the Celtics will go in the potentially post Big Three era.
Here are ten guys that could be wearing a Celtics jersey at the end of the night:
Royce White, (Sophomore | Iowa State | 6’8″ Forward): Although Danny Ainge recently denied it, rumors have been swirling around the NBA that the Celtics had promised White they would draft him as the 21st pick. And for those not too familiar with White, Jonathan Abrams of Grantland.comwrote an excellent piece yesterday portraying the 6’8″, 270-pound forward. He is arguably the most unique NBA draft prospect in years. His hero is John Lennon. He plays exactly like LeBron James. He has a fear of flying. Yet, what makes White so special is how he has overcome adversity to be where he is today. White did not play one minute at the University of Minnesota under Tubby Smith due to the fact he was arrested multiple times, (he also stole a computer). He ended up transferring to Iowa State where he learned the value of being honest and working hard. The product ended up carrying Iowa State to the second round of the NCAA tournament. White is a physical freak with a high skill level. He played point-forward for Iowa State, despite having the body of a power forward. He’d be an immediate impact for the Celtics because they might be losing Jeff Green and Brandon Bass this summer. They also do not have another ball-handler aside from Rajon Rondo, so White could be that guy for spurts of time. The Celtics will need to figure out how to help White with his anxiety issues and fear of flying, but there is a good chance that White could be an impact player for the Celtics right away.
Jared Sullinger, (Sophomore | Ohio State | 6’9″ Power Forward): Let’s get this straight: Jared Sullinger came back to Ohio State, improved his outside shot, improved his free-throw shooting, improved his shot-blocking, lost weight, and carried his team to the Final Four. Yet, for some miraculous reason he is a possibility for the Celtics in the 20’s, (Boston has picks 21 and 22). This is a guy, who was projected to be a Top-5 pick at the beginning of the year, has been knocked down due to bulging discs in his back. A few years ago, former Kansas forward Darrell Arthur fell in the draft due to concerns about his kidney. Yet, in his three years in the NBA, he has averaged 62 games played in per year, so the fact of the matter is that if Sullinger falls to the Celtics, he will be an absolute steal.
Fabricio de Melo, (Sophomore | Syracuse | 7’0″ Center): The Celtics desperately need size and it is unlikely that either Meyers Leonard or Tyler Zeller falls to them. Melo would be the next best 7-footer available. There are a lot of red flags surrounding Melo. He does not have good hands. He is very raw. He is not very intelligent. But one promising sign about Melo is that he improved drastically during two seasons with the Syracuse Orange. When he first walked onto the Syracuse campus, he could barely contribute. He would get lost in defensive rotations and had a hard time getting up and down the floor. So, he lost a great deal of weight before his sophomore year and looked like a completely different player. He made a major impact on the defensive end. It was apparent after he was ineligible for the NCAA tournament that Melo may have been Syracuse’s most important player this past season. He would be a long-term project for the Celtics, but he could fit in, even if he ends up being a guy that grabs a few rebounds, blocks a few shots, and gives a few fouls, which would pay big dividends for Boston.
Andrew Nicholson, (Senior | St. Bonaventure | 6’9″ Power Forward): Nicholson is relatively unknown to the casual basketball fan. He is a big man with a vast set of post moves, as well as deep range on his jump shot. The big problem with Nicholson is that he is 22-years-old, and still had a body that isn’t ready for the NBA. He was a decent post defender in college, but he only allowed 0.77 points per possession in post-up opportunities, which ranked in the 56th percentile in college basketball. At 6’9″ and 220 pound, Nicholson will need to bulk up if he wants to contribute on both ends of the floor in the NBA. He is not an upside pick, but Nicholson could boost the second unit’s scoring.
Moe Harkless, (Freshman | St. John’s | 6’8″ Forward): Harkless is a small forward with a power forward’s game. He has a great deal of potential and could be a sleeper pick for down the road. Think about how great of a pick-up James Posey was for the Celtics a few years back. Harkless could be a similar type of player. He needs to add some polish to his game, but the upside is there.
John Jenkins, (Junior | Vanderbilt | 6’4″ Shooting Guard): If Ray Allen does not return, the Celtics are desperately going to need some outside shooting. Jenkins is arguably the best catch-and-shoot player in the draft. Boston would be an excellent fit for Jenkins because he would not be asked to do anything else. He has some holes in his game, (lack of quickness), but he would always be paired with two of the best defensive guards in the league.
Should the Celtics trade up for Austin Rivers? (Photo Credit: CollegiateStandard.com)
Perry Jones, (Sophomore | Baylor | 6’11” Forward): It is unlikely that Jones will fall this far, but it is not out of the question. If he does land on the Celtics, Kevin Garnett might be the one player in the league that can teach him to play hard. In terms of talent alone, Jones is a Top-3 player in the draft.
Arnett Moultrie, (Junior | Mississippi State | 6’11” Power Forward/Center): The Celtics were the worst rebounding team in the NBA last year. Moultrie is a bit of an enigma in terms of upside, but he certainly can rebound. Would he be an upgrade over Greg Stiemsma? Probably not, but the Celtics are desperate for size.
Draymond Green, (Senior | Michigan State | 6’7″ Power Forward): Green does not have much upside, but the Celtics would know what they are getting. Green is a utility player. He could be like a combination of Marquis Danielsand Leon Powe for the Celtics. When they need rebounds, Green could grab them. When they need toughness, Green can bring the toughness. He would be a great complimentary player to a team that has enough stars already.
Austin Rivers, (Freshman | Duke | 6’4″ Shooting Guard): This is the pick that people do not like on the outside, but secretly want to see on the inside. Everyone wants to see Austin Rivers play for his father. Doc might be the only coach that could connect with him. Who knows what would happen if Austin Rivers is selected by Boston, but according to various rumors on Thursday, the Celtics will attempt to trade up for him. One thing is for sure: Rivers to Boston would make for an amazing HBO “Hard Knocks” series.