About Me

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I am a freelance writer. I've covered the Cincinnati Reds, Bengals and others since 1992. I have a background in sales as well. I've sold consumer electronics, advertising and consumer package goods for companies ranging from the now defunct Circuit City to Procter&Gamble. I have worked as a stats operator for Xavier University, the University of Cincinnati, the College of Mount St. Joe and Colerain High School.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Xavier Farr Sighted Against Seton Hall

James Farr is putting together a phenomenal year.

His 24 points led the Xavier Musketeers to a bounce back 84-76 win over the Seton Hall Pirates.

Farr, who was third in the Big East with 8.8 rebounds per game gathered in 15 to allow Xavier to outrebound the Pirates as they have all but one opponent this season.

The Xavier (17-2, 5-2 Big East) extricated their loss to Georgetown on Tuesday from their memory by handing the young Seton Hall (13-6, 3-4 Big East) its second straight loss. They dropped a close 72-71 contest to conference leader Villanova on Wednesday.

Sophomore Desi Rodriguez had 21 points and tied teammate Ismael Sanogo with eight rebounds.

"This is a very talented Seton Hall team," Xavier coach Chris Mack said. "They are going to make some noise in March."

Trevon Bluiett had 15 points and Edmond Sumner added 13 for the Musketeers.

Khadeen Carrington had 19 points and Isaiah Whitehead added 17 to the Pirates cause.

Xavier led 40-36 at the half.  Seton Hall closed to within one point at 15-49 with 15:57 left in the game.
The Musketeers asserted itself with a 21-7 run to reach its largest led of 15 (71-56) with 8:30 left to play.

Seton Hall's last basket with three seconds left provided the final eight-point margin.
"They played a good 1-3-1 zone," said Seton Hall's lone senior Derrick Gordon, who played against Xavier junior Myles Davis in Plainfield, New Jersey. "Our shots didn't fall then we lost focus on defense."

Gordon, who lived five miles from Davis in New Jersey compared the Musketeers with the Villanova team that beat the Pirates by a point on Wednesday.

"They're both great teams they are both at the top of the conference," Gordon sadi. "I think Xavier is a little better."

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Hoya Paranoia Justified

Xavier was on their best start in history but the mystique of Georgetown was too strong.

The Georgetown Hoyas (12-7, 5-2 Big East) shot nearly 50 percent from the floor against on of the nation's best defense to defeat the Xavier Musketeers (16-2 4-2 Big East), 81-72.

Tre Campbell had never scored more than 15 points in a game dropped 21 on the Musketeers' unsuspecting heads to pull the upset over the #5 team in the polls.

"We didn't get them off their comfort zone," Xavier senior Myles Davis said.

Campbell felt it was just his time.

"I was in a rhythm and my teammates kept finding me," said Campbell, who averaged a little over 3.5 points per game coming in"

Xavier led by seven points with 6:16 left in the first half but the Hoyas took a 39-33 lead into halftime and never let up.  Xavier found themselves down by 12 with 4:51 left in the game

When Xavier closed within two points at 51-49 with 11:04 left in the game.  Georgetown had an answer. A minute and a half later T.J. Peak got a fastbreak dunk off a defensive rebound by Devauntes Smith-Rivera and Georgetown sported an 11-point lead.

"I'm going to give Georgetown a lot of credit," Xavier coach Chris Mack said. "They had an answer for every run. We played man defense and zone and they handled it.  They played really, really well."

Xavier had problems finishing shots around the basket.  The Musketeers made 10 of 28 (36%) 3-point shots but were only 14-for-40 inside (35%). Compounding the shooting slump the Musketeers were outrebounded for the first time this season.  It was Xavier's worst shooting night of the season.

"We didn't finish a lot of shots," Mack said. "Our front court and our back court were bothered by their size. They blocked seven shots."

Georgetown took 17 fewer shots as Xavier took a season high 68 shots. Xavier had 13 offensive rebounds and very few turnovers (5) but couldn't score enough.

"I can't answer why we shot 50 percent tonight," Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. "I spent the last two days trying to figure out why we only shot 33 percent against Villanova.  This is just a really good league.  The ball just went in tonight. And we were in position to shoot when we got the ball. Xavier closes really fast but we got off some quick shots off good looks at the basket."

Devauntes Smith-Rivera, who scored 20 points, was heavily recruited by Xavier but chose Georgetown, still he talked to Mack before the game.

"I still have a close relationship with him," Smith-Rivera said.  "It is fun to come in here and win.  I enjoy the crowd reactions."  He was booed by the Xavier fans each time he touched the ball.

Peak added 13 points, grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds and blocked two shots for the Hoyas. Freshman Jessie Govan 13 points and six rebounds.

Trevon Bluiett led Xavier with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Davis finished with 15 points.  Freshman Edmond Sumner contributed 10 points.

Finally Pete Rose To Be Inducted In Hall Of Fame As 11-Year Ol Predicts

In the winter of 1964 a poem was read to a group the Ballplayers Of Yesterday.

It was a group of former baseball players that would meet for an annual banquet.  Former Cincinnati Reds public relations director Hank Zureick read the poem written by an 11-year old, who used the tune of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer to work out the rhythm of the poem.

Pete Rose had just completed his rookie season with the Reds.

Pete Rose the rookie Redleg
Swung a very lively bat
He was proud of the Red C
Stiched upon his baseball cap

All of the other Redlegs
Used to laugh and call him names (like Charlie Hustle)
They didn't want young Pete Rose
To take over for Blasingame

Then one sunny Tampa day
Hutch came out to say
Pete Rose with your hustling play
You will start on Opening Day

And how the Reds fans loved him
As he hustled every game
Pete Rose the rookie Redleg
You'll go in the Hall of Fame

That prophecy will come true on the weekend of June 24-26 when the Reds play the San Diego Padres, one of 10 teams that didn't exist when Rose started his 20-year playing career.

It will not be the National Hall of Fame in Cooperstown New York but the Cincinnati Reds own shrine adjacent to Great American Ball Park.  Rose's number 14 which has been used by just one player, his son Pete Rose Jr., since Rose left the Reds.  Now and forever that number will be officially retired.

Rose is technically ineligible for the National Hall of Fame because of a lifetime suspension for betting on baseball. His latest appeal was upheld by first-year baseball commissioner Rob Manfred but he opened the door for Rose to participate in Cincinnati ceremonial events.  He will no longer be required to buy a ticket to attend games.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Xavier Exorcises Demons

Last season an overmatched DePaul Blue Demon squad handled the Xavier Musketeers in Chicago with a 71-68 win at the Rosemont Horizon in Chicago.

This time Xavier (15-1, 3-1 Big East) boasted a #7 national ranking and now has their best record ever after 16 games at 15-1 with a 84-64 win over DePaul (6-11, 0-5 Big East).

Trevon Bluiett scored the first nine points for Xavier enroute to 19 first half points.  He finished with a career-high 24.  Bluiett nailed a pair of 3-point shots and made three free throws after he was fouled on his third attempt.  At one point he outscored DePaul by himself at 15-8.

Bluiett also pulled down six rebounds, second to team leader Jalen Reynolds, who had seven.  Myles Davis had 14 and J.P Macura contributed 13 points.  Freshman Kaiser Gates scored a season-high 11 for the Musketeers.

"Kaiser is earning more time.  He may be the second best shooter on the team," Xavier coach Chris Mack said. "We may have to hold a game of horse to see if he is the best."

Gates from Alpharetta, Georgia is taking advantage of an injury to Edmond Sumner, who is Xavier's most promising freshman.  He scored 10 in a win against Butler but none at St. John despite logging 12 minutes in each game. He played 16 minutes against DePaul.

DePaul senior Myke Henry, who led the Blue Demons with 16 points and eight rebounds, credited Xavier's freshman with being the difference between the Musketeers tonight and the team that dropped the game to DePaul last year.

"They had a freshman come in a play with a lot of energy," Henry said.  "We didn't play well. The coaches prepared us for their 1-3-1 zone but we didn't execute.

Mack passed Skip Prosser to move into second place all-time with 149 wins.  Xavier improved to 210-30 all-time at the Cintas Center.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Xavier Bounces Back Against Butler

Xavier fell of its high horse on Thursday and bruised their sixth ranked ego.

Two days after Villanova humbled the Musketeers 95-64 in Philadelphia, Xavier (13-1, 1-1 Big East) took down long time rival the Butler Bulldogs 88-69.

Xavier now owns and all-time record of 36-18 over Butler (11-3, 0-2 Big East).

Remy Abell picked up the slack for the injured freshman Edmond Sumner, who was hurt early in the game against Villanova.

Abell scored a career-high 21 points with 3-for-3 from long range. Abell led a cast of five players who scored in double figures and on player who rebounded in double digits.

"I am happy for Remy," said Xavier coach Chris Mack, who was equally thrilled that his team rebounded in the fashion it did after the nightmare in Philadelphia.  "Remy is a kid that never changed expression. He always has a smile on his face. Even when he is having trouble on offense, he always gives all he has on the defensive end."

The Xavier defense bothered the visiting Bulldogs.

"They  are hard nosed and made life difficult for us," Butler senior Kellen Dunham said. "We wanted to set a better tone. We have to do a much better job."

Dunham did not start because he had been in a shooting slump that forced his coach Chris Holtermann to alter his starting lineup.

Butler is 0-2 on the Big East in spite of its rightful place in the AP poll at number nine.

"We are just not the team we need to be now," said Holtermann after his team also lost at home on Thursday to Providence 81-73. The 73 points was a season low until now..

"I was happy to see some shots fall but it wasn't enough. I was shooting with the expectations that they will go in. They are going to go in. I have confidence the rest of the year." Both teams knew they had to rebound on a short turnaround.

"It was a tough turnaround for both teams," Mack said. "Most importantly we responded with energy. We beat a good team that doesn't give an inch. It is the character of those guys in our locker room. Coaches tend to hold on to the negative things longer.  It is a credit to our team's resiliency that they responded the way they did. Their resiliency is outstanding."

Jalen Reynolds and Trevon Bluiett backed Abell up with 13 points each.  Myles Davis scored 10 and none of the points were bigger than his 3-point shot at the end of the first half that gave Xavier a 45-35 halftime lead. Freshman Kaiser Gates, who earned more playing time with the absence of Sumner, scored 10 points. James Farr cleared the boards with a game-high 10 rebounds.

The Bulldogs closed the gap to three on a 3-point shot by Dunham with 12:29 left in the game. Dunham had gone four games without a making a 3-point shot (0-for-21) in his last for games and was just 2-for-32 in his last five contests.

Dunham was 3-for-5 against the Musketeers.

"I was happy to see some shots fall but it wasn't enough. I was shooting with the expectations that they will go in. They are going to go in. I have confidence the rest of the year," Dunham said.

Rosevelt Jones led Butler with 14 points one more than Dunham. Kelan Martin scored 11. Tyler Lewis and Andrew Chrabascz contributed 10 but Bulter's 69 points is a season low mark in spite of Lewis' 3-pointer that beat the final buzzer.

Xavier can hold its head up as they travel to New York to play St. John's on Wednesday.  Butler will challenge DePaul on Tuesday in Chicago.

Xavier Plays An Familiar Foe After First Loss

The Xavier Musketeers try to get back on track against a more traditional rival, the Butler Bulldogs.

The two teams competed at the top of the ancient, Midwestern Collegiate Conference (now the Horizen), the Atlantic 10 and now the Big East.

Xavier (6)  has been in nine of the last 10 NCAA tournaments.  Butler (9) made the NCAA Championship Game in both 2010 and 2011, losing to Dukie and Connecticut in the final.

Xavier lost its last game on Thursday on the road at Villanova 95-64 to suffer its first loss of the season after 12 wins.  Butler is 11-2 with losses to Miami of Florida and Providence 81-73 in its Big East opener.

Xavier has a 35-18 lead in the all-time series.