Lazzari’s Sports Roundup 1-16-09

Lazzari’s “Lopsided Score of the Week”: In a recent Connecticut girls high school basketball game played just before Christmas, Capital Prep tore apart University 62-9; Capital outscored its overmatched opponent 31-3 in the second half of this laugher. I’m totally convinced that if someone had told the University coach during halftime that his team’s 6 points at that juncture would be 2/3 of its total output that evening, he would have probably believed that a mean individual known simply as “The Grinch” was truly lurking somewhere in the gymnasium that evening ……….TRIVIA QUESTION: The 1989-’90 Portland Trail Blazers had four players on the team who each averaged more than 6 rebounds per game. Can you name these individuals? Answer to follow……….The usual great, funny stuff from WFAN’s Steve Somers following the Bills’ Week 15 loss to the Jets–where Buffalo QB J.P. Losman passed for just 148 yards and threw three interceptions. Somers hinted that the “J.P.” in his name–after a performance like that–should stand for “Just Pitiful”……….In all honesty, folks, I’m now totally disgusted with the state of the current men’s basketball program at Fordham–my undergraduate alma mater. When Dereck Whittenburg took over as coach in 2003, there was a sense of cautious optimism among alumni that the program could be vaulted back into respectability–capturing some of the success it experienced years ago. And after an 18-12 season in ’06-’07–while improving their record for a third year in a row–many of us continued to surmise that the Rams were on the right track. However, since that time, the school (after last weekend) has a record of 14-29 (just two wins this season) and isn’t even taken seriously in the TRI-STATE AREA–never mind nationally. An excuse given to me by administration is that they are now a “young team”–and that several freshmen start and/or see playing time. Question: Isn’t it the job of someone like Whittenburg–now in his SIXTH season–to plan better and to prevent something like that from happening? Go figure……….Watching the PGA Tour’s Mercedes-Benz Championship on TV from sunny Hawaii last weekend–while it was SNOWING here in New England–was almost as painful as watching a Hilary Duff movie marathon……….This week in sports history, January 20, 1968: In a highly-anticipated match-up between college basketball’s two elite teams, the Houston Cougars defeat UCLA 71-69 in a game played at the Astrodome. Lew Alcindor of the Bruins–who had missed the team’s previous two games due to an eye injury–was clearly outplayed by counterpart Elvin Hayes of Houston; Hayes exploded for 39 points, 15 rebounds, and four blocked shots while Alcindor was held to just 15 points. A packed house at the domed court saw the Cougars end UCLA’s 47-game winning streak–the second longest in history……….The “Unwatchable NBA” Update: In a recent game played in Milwaukee, the Pistons beat the Bucks 87-76 (yawn); the teams combined to shoot (ready for this?) 4-for-28 (14%) from three-point range during this “riveting” match-up. If the referees working this game had a sense of humor, they would have stopped the game after, say, the 20th 3-point attempt–and called for arena personnel to check if there was a pair of transparent covers on top of the two rims……….Answer to trivia question: BUCK WILLIAMS (9.8), JEROME KERSEY (8.4), CLYDE DREXLER (6.9), and KEVIN DUCKWORTH (6.2)……….Happy birthday wishes go out to one of Hartford’s own–former NBA guard Michael Adams–who blows out 45 candles on January 19th. A product of Hartford Public High School who played collegiately at Boston College, Adams spent 11 seasons in the NBA between 1985 and 1996 playing for Sacramento, Washington, Denver, and Charlotte; he averaged 14.7 points and 6.4 assists per game during his impressive career. Undoubtedly, Adams’ best year came during the ’90-’91 season while with Denver–a season in which he averaged 26.5 ppg (sixth in the league) and 10.5 assists (third). Adams led the league in three-point goals made in both the ’88-’89 and ’89-’90 seasons and was an All-Star in 1992. A terrific free-throw shooter, Adams shot almost 85% from the charity stripe over his entire career. Best wishes, Michael……….Finally, condolences go out to the family of former major league pitcher Dave Roberts–who died recently of lung cancer in West Virginia at the age of 64. A left-handed starter who relieved in his later years, Roberts pitched for eight teams between 1969 and 1981–winning 103 games lifetime. He finished second in the National League to Tom Seaver with a sparkling 2.10 ERA in 1971 for the Padres, and set career highs of 17 wins and six shutouts with Houston in 1973. Roberts was also a member of the ’79 World Series champion Pittsburgh Pirates. During his off-seasons, he worked as a boilermaker regularly and was exposed to cancer-causing materials. He is survived by his wife, Carol, two-stepdaughters, and three sons; may Dave Roberts rest in peace.

About the Author

Bob Lazzari

Bob Lazzari is an award-winning sports columnist for both Connecticut's Valley Times and NY Sports Day--where his "Sports Roundup" column is featured weekly. He is a member of the Connecticut Sports Writers' Alliance and host of "Monday Night Sports Talk" --a cable television show on CTV/Channel14 in Connecticut. A Fordham grad, Bob is a regular contributor to ESPN Radio's "Inside Yankee Baseball"; he can also be heard weekly every Tuesday morning on WXLM/104.7 FM in New London, CT. He has a popular blog where many of his past columns have been archived.

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