2014 NFL Draft: Why is Anthony Barr’s stock dropping?

April 10, 2014 – 6:38 pm by Ryan Phillips

Anthony Barr

At the end of the 2013 college football season, UCLA outside linebacker Anthony Barr looked like a sure bet to be selected in the top 10 of the 2014 NFL Draft. Barr has been pretty solid in his workouts since the end of the season, but for some reason scouts, evaluators and executives have quickly soured on him.

But why? Barr was certainly one of the most dominant defenders in college football over the past two years (23.5 sacks and 41.5 tackles for loss in that time), he’s tested fairly well leading into the draft and he also has good size for an edge rusher in the NFL. The problem seems to be that while he put up great numbers in college, Barr doesn’t actually show as well on tape as his numbers would lead you to believe.

Shabazz Napier: Breaking down point guard’s draft stock

April 9, 2014 – 7:28 pm by Ryan Phillips

Shabazz Napier

Shabazz Napier was the story of the 2014 NCAA Tournament. He threw his Connecticut team on his back and led the seventh-seeded Huskies to a championship with a 60-54 win over a heavily-favored Kentucky team. After a fantastic four-year career, now Napier will be looking forward to the 2014 NBA Draft.

No one improved his draft stock in this year’s tournament more than Napier, but until a few weeks ago he looked like a fringe second-rounder. Now he’s elevated himself to possible first-round status. What follows is a detailed breakdown of Napier’s draft stock and what he will bring to the NBA team that selects him.

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Los Angeles Lakers give GM Mitch Kupchak multiyear extension

April 9, 2014 – 2:19 am by Ryan Phillips

Mitch Kupchak

Despite being in the midst of the worst season in franchise history, the Los Angeles Lakers announced they have agreed to a multiyear extension with general manager Mitch Kupchak. While the team has struggled mightily this season, that certainly can’t be blamed on Kupchak, and over the years he has proven to be one of the NBA’s best general managers.

Since succeeding Jerry West as Lakers general manager in 2000, Kupchak has presided over four NBA championship teams and six Western Conference champions. He has been with the organization since he retired as a player in 1986.

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Johnny Manziel visits Oakland Raiders

April 7, 2014 – 12:29 am by Hickey

Johnny Manziel

It’s a match made in Heaven, or at least whatever after-world it is that Raiders fans are transported to.

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel is visiting Oakland today, as confirmed by various NFL reporters who talk to people that know Manziel and the Raiders organization. Manziel was most recently seen at the Final Four kicking it with his boy Drake on Saturday before flying out to California on Sunday.

Stylistically, it seems like the perfect pairing. Manziel is the roguish prince of college football and a seemingly ideal fit for the franchise that has always embraced a rebellious spirit. His cocksure attitude is also exactly the type of force capable of making a moribund team believe that winning more than 5 games a season is actually an attainable task.

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Why a Girl Will Win Your NCAA March Madness Pool

April 4, 2014 – 9:48 pm by Ryan Phillips

NCAA Tournament bracket

Friend of the site and StyleCaster founder Ari S. Goldberg emailed me on Friday to tell me he had an NCAA Tournament-related story he had to tell. What follows is his fantastic post about an NCAA Tournament picks theory. Enjoy:

For the past 10 years Mikey, Dave and I have had an NCAA Tournament Pool and every year we bet lunch at Suzie’s (Suzie’s is a Chinese joint that we used to go to when we were all at NYU because we couldn’t afford anything and they had an amazing lunch special for $5.99).

And seemingly Mikey has won every year racking up more Suzie’s lunches than we can count over such a long period of time the place isn’t even called Suzie’s anymore it’s now called Uncle Ted’s.

It has been driving me nuts for years. Why? Because I am hyper competitive? Maybe. But I think the real reason is because I am a die-hard sports fan with an insane amount of sports knowledge that exceeds my competitors in the pool and it seems rationally and mathematically impossible that I wouldn’t win at least once in the past 10 years! Once. Not twice, or three times. Just once. But no, not one win in the past decade.

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Video: Adreian Payne makes dunking fun

April 4, 2014 – 1:31 am by Hickey

Adreian Payne dunk

Recent NBA dunk contests have been… well, I can’t even remember. Blake Griffin jumped over a car, and I feel like it was the only interesting thing to happen in the post-Vince Carter dunk machine era.

The college dunk contest, on the other hand, still has a degree of awesome in it. Michigan State’s Adreian Payne made sure of that by doing things we do not expect to see from a 6-foot-10, 245-pound man. Namely, throwing down a 360-degree, double clutch jam.

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Chris Archer signs big extension with Tampa Bay Rays

April 3, 2014 – 5:17 am by Ryan Phillips

Chris Archer

Chris Archer is a nice young pitcher, and I’m sure he’ll do great things for the Tampa Bay Rays. But on Wednesday, the 25-year-old righty signed a big contract that was yet another example of how baseball must be incredibly healthy money-wise.

Archer and the Rays agreed to a six-year, $25.5 million contract that also includes two club options that could raise the total value to $43.75 million. He will now be under club control through his arbitration years and (if the options are exercised) his first two years of free agency.

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