"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" - - - - 1-17-09
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.