Assorted Sports Thoughts

by A.J. Coltrane

Mike Leach to the Cougars: 

To quote Leach – “You can win here and win big, I believe.”

Washington State football just got a lot more entertaining — I may actually make a point to watch a game or two next year. WSU will throw the ball all over the place, and historically that’s what they’ve done when they’ve been good. At the very least they’ll be fun to watch.

The Sounders get a new keeper:

The Sounders signed 6’5″ Austrian keeper Michael Gspurning. From the Seattle Times: “Gspurning’s size lends to a more aggressive approach in coming out to defend crosses, and he is also more comfortable having balls played back to him and using his feet

The News Tribune has more information about Gspurning, including this YouTube clip of five of his saves:

I’m predisposed to like tall keepers — Kasey Keller would have had a hard time getting to Save #3 on the video, though Keller likely would have been playing another step or two to his left to cover that angle and would have stopped it anyway.

Gspuring is a 30 year-old veteran keeper. I have high hopes the Sounders won’t miss a beat.

Finally, the NBA is dead to me, but:

The Miami Heat signed Shane Battier. I think this is about as important as any signing in the league this year — Battier is absolutely the perfect fit to go with Wade and Lebron. Battier doesn’t need the ball in his hands to be productive, he’s a very good perimeter defender, he’s a good rebounder, a good passer, and he’s a good 3-point shooter. He may wind up being more valuable to the Heat than Chris Bosh. Really, the Heat are the “Big 2 +1” anyway, not a “Big 3”. As Battier approaches the late phase of his career he could basically be Robert Horry all over again. Mike Bibby just signed somewhere else, and if the Heat can get anything besides a corpse to play the point then they have to be heavy favorites to win it all this year. They don’t even need a traditional point guard, it could be a Steve Kerr equivalent and they’d be fine. (Any of the triangle offense non-traditional point guards would work — Kerr, Paxson, Harper, or Fisher. They just need long-range shooting and (ideally) someone to get in the way of quick little guards.)


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