Dan Wolken Shares Trade Secrets with Sparty & Friends

dan_wolken_commercial_appealIn an effort to bring us all closer to the behind-the-scenes sports action, we secured an interview with Dan Wolken of the Commercial Appeal. Dan is a beat writer for the CA and covers the University Memphis Tigers basketball program (click on the link for his story archive; click on his picture for a trip to his Tiger basketball blog).  He has graciously offered some of his time to answer our questions and opine about his participation as a voter in the college basketball AP Poll, recruiting, history, general sports journalism, and other topics.  We sincerely appreciate Dan taking time to talk with us and for his honesty and candor in his answers.  So, that said, I’ll quit blabbering and let you get to the good stuff…

(The questions are in bold.)

Full disclosure, I am an Orange-blooded Vol first and Tiger fan second (I graduated from both, so it’s justified), so when I read through your bio a few days ago on the Commercial Appleal (CA) website and saw you graduated from Vandy, I was required to hate you for a minute. I’m over it now though. Your bio also says that after Vandy, you spent 5 years in Colorado Springs covering NCAA Hockey, Denver pro sports, and Air Force Academy sports. Does that basically cover your post-grad professional life prior to landing at the CA? What drove you to become a sports writer?

That pretty much covers it. I got offered the Colorado Springs job while I still had a few months to go in college, then there was a job freeze, so I went to The Charlotte Observer for a post-grad internship. That lasted about four months until the hire went through. I was lucky to get that job right out of college at a nice mid-size paper, covering a cool beat. I had wanted to do something in sports since I was a kid, but I thought about getting into TV first. Then in high school, I started writing for the paper and continued in college when I really figured out I wanted to do this for sure.

I came across your name as a voter for the men’s college basketball AP Poll. How did you land that gig? How long will you have a vote? When you are filling out your ballot, how do you decide your rankings? Do you employ the generally percieved common practice of poll inertia (i.e. two teams ranked close to each other both won their respective games and even though the lower ranked one looks/plays better than the higher ranked team, you won’t jump the lower ranked team over the higher ranked team since the higher ranked team didn’t lose)? How much basketball do you feel obligated to watch to justify your rankings? How important and/or fair do you view preseason rankings?

There was no magic trick to becoming a poll voter, believe me. Every state has to be represented in the poll, so Teresa Walker, who runs the state’s AP bureau out of Nashville, basically begged me. Just kidding about that, sort of. I almost decided not to do it this year because it’s at least an hour’s worth of extra work on a Sunday and you are bound to tick somebody off no matter what you do.

I would consider myself one of the more educated poll voters because I do watch a lot of games – during the season, it seems like I’m watching at least one or two a night. And the other thing is, I don’t have to cover anything other than college basketball, which is fairly unique. There are only a handful newspapers in the country that I can think of where they split up the college football and college basketball beats.

Anyway, there is a certain amount of poll inertia you have to consider in how to rank the teams, but I am not afraid to move teams around based on how I think they are playing. For instance, I voted Wake Forest No. 1 last week and jumped them over Pitt, even though Pitt hadn’t lost.

Despite a slowdown so far this season, the Memphis Tigers have been on an incredible run with two straight Elite Eight appearances followed up by a runner-up performance in the 2008 NCAA national championship game. How do you view the U of Memphis program compared to other historically solid college basketball programs? Why do you think John Calipari hasn’t parlayed his success at Memphis to jump to a program in a bigger conference?

The idea of history in college basketball is incredibly overrated by fans. Players don’t care about history. If you were to ask the top 100 recruits to list the top five programs ever, I guarantee that far more of them would list Memphis than Kentucky. That’s because Kentucky hasn’t been to a Final Four since 1998. The top high school kids were 6, 7 years old. They don’t remember Kentucky, but they know Memphis because Memphis has won a ton of games, they’ve gotten players into the league and they play in an NBA arena. That’s all the kids care about, really. I always laugh when I read the message boards for the traditional basketball powers and they lose a recruit. It’s always, “How could Player X go to School Y? We play in a better conference and we won a championship in 1970-something and blah blah blah.” Those people are so out of touch with reality, it’s not even funny.

With regards to Memphis, I think it would probably rank as one of the 25 or 30 best programs ever based on the fact that it has been to Final Fours in three decades and a bunch of Elite Eights. At the moment, it’s clearly a top-five program.

The other thing a lot of people get wrong is that Calipari would leave Memphis based on conference affiliation. That has nothing to do with anything. It’s been proven over and over now that the lack of success for Conference USA as a whole has no bearing on anything Memphis is trying to do. It’s had no bearing on recruiting; in fact, Calipari is recruiting at a higher level than ever. It’s had no bearing on NCAA Tournament success, and in fact, the fact that Memphis is able to dominate the conference clearly helps them get a good seed. Last year’s team would have dominated any conference. But two years ago, for instance, Memphis got a No. 2 seed, and its best non-conference win was against a mediocre Kentucky team. Though that Memphis team was good at the end, it was young in the beginning and probably would have lost 4 or 5 games in the SEC, for instance. That would have dropped them from a No. 2 seed probably to a No. 5 or 6 seed. So, in other words, Cal is pretty happy with his situation. Not to mention he’s making nearly $4 million a year all told.

How do you feel about the one-and-dones (such as Derrick Rose and Dujuan Wagner) either at Memphis or just in general? And, does everyone at Memphis assume that Tyreke Evans is gone? Regarding the Tigers’ class next year, they are said to be in the running for both John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins and already have Xavier Henry locked up. Do you think Coach Cal can land either Wall or Cousins? Word is that Cousins wants to play football as well. Do you think Coach Cal and Tigers football head coach Tommy West would collaborate to bring him in?

You’ve got to have pros to win a title. And, in this day and age, your big-time pros are going to be one-and-done in college. So the smart thing to do if you want to win it all is go recruit a one-and-done and fill in around him with a few other talented guys who are three- and four-year players.

Tyreke Evans is probably gone, but it’s too early to say. He still has some holes in his game, and not everybody in the NBA loves him. Let’s see where he is at the end of the year. My guess is that if he left, somebody would take him in the first round.

I talked to DeMarcus Cousins last week, and he said that Memphis was on the top of his list, for whatever that’s worth. I have never heard anything about him playing football, and I wouldn’t advise it at 6-11. Wall is a special talent; he’s almost a Derrick Rose clone, and he idolizes Rose. Memphis has worked hard to get Wall, and they probably have a slight edge right now, but it will be a tough battle to the wire with Baylor and Duke.

It’s my understanding that writers will sometimes cover a significant game with two base columns started that will be filled-in during and after the game based on the result. Did you have something started for the case of the Tigers winning the championship game in 2008? If so, do you care to share with us some of what you may have been planning on saying?

Considering that my deadline for the national championship game was like 30 minutes after the end of the game, I didn’t just have something started. I had something finished. And it was damn good, too. Oh well. Once it started to go the other way, I started working on the “Memphis loses” story and had gotten most of it done by the end of overtime. I went to the media room, filled in a couple quotes, and sent that baby in. I think I still have the other game story in my computer somewhere, but I’d have to look for it. It was kind of an over-arching story that captured the significance of Memphis winning the title moreso than the game itself.

The Tigers and Vols play this Saturday (January 24th @ 3:30 pm) in Knoxville. Your thoughts?

Thompson-Boling is a tough place to play, and I remember two years ago that the Tigers got off to a bad start and it just snowballed with the crowd going nuts and Chris Lofton making every shot in the first half. On a neutral court, I think Memphis is the better team right now. In Knoxville, it’s a toss-up. I haven’t been too impressed with Tennessee this season, especially their effort defensively. UT has always been good at scrambling it up and turning people over, but they have been average at best under Pearl guarding teams in the half court, which is why they have under-performed in the NCAAs. From watching Tennessee, they are not a good shooting team but will go after it hard on the boards. If the Tigers match UT’s rebounding intensity and prevent them from getting second shots, they’ll win.

Do you ever find it difficult to write objectively without becoming too invloved in the negativity, or conversely, homerism that we fans generally embrace?

It’s not hard at all to avoid the back-and-forth between fan bases because I don’t experience the game from a fan’s perspective. For instance, I have a great relationship with nearly every coach in Conference USA because I deal with them on a journalist-coach level, not a fan-coach level. Having said that, I am always looking at things from a Memphis perspective because that’s who I cover and who I’m responsible for knowing about.

Have you ever been wrong in news you reported or found out later that you didn’t have all the facts when constructing an opinion on a subject? What do you feel are your rseponsibilities in situations like that? Do you have a biggest regret or mistake that you wouldn’t mind sharing with us?

I’d have to really go back and think, but nothing is popping out at the moment, so that must mean I haven’t committed any major mistakes. We all get small things wrong now and then, but a good rule of thumb is not to take any chances in this business. Don’t put something out there unless you are absolutely sure it’s true.

In your time covering sports, have you had any funny, surprising, or even worrisome experiences you wouldn’t care to pass along? Have you ever had any confrontations with players, management/administration, or fans because of something you’ve written?

I have definitely had confrontations – a lot of them. People aren’t always going to like what you write about them, and that’s part of the business. The best way to handle it, in my opinion, is to get it out in the open if there’s a disagreement and try to come to some sort of professional understanding about it. I did a couple stories in Colorado Springs that produced some threats – legal and otherwise – and you just deal with those as they come. I think the most surprising moment of my career was watching former Air Force coach Fisher DeBerry and his “Afro-American” meltdown a couple years ago. I’m sitting there listening to what he was saying and I’m like, “Oh my God, this is going to be a national story.” And it was. (Ed note: Here’s the DeBerry quote* in regards to an Air Force loss to TCU - DeBerry said it was clear TCU “had a lot more Afro-American players than we did and they ran a lot faster than we did.  It just seems to me to be that way.  Afro-American kids can run very well. That doesn’t mean that Caucasian kids and other descents can’t run, but it’s very obvious to me that they run extremely well.”)

Do you have any favorite sports or non-sports writers? Do you have a daily must-read newspaper, website, or specific writer?

My favorite sportswriters are Lee Jenkins (Sports Illustrated), Dan Wetzel (Yahoo), Wright Thompson (ESPN Mag), Gary Smith (SI), Charles P. Pierce (Esquire), Jay Mariotti (ESPN), Mark Kiszla (Denver Post), David Climer (Tennessean), Damien Cox (Toronto Star), Tom Sorensen (Charlotte Observer), John Henderson (Denver Post), Bill Plaschke (LA Times), Mike Vaccaro (NY Post), and probably 100 others I am not thinking of off the top of my head. But that’s a good list to start with. As far as people who don’t write about sports, my must-read guys are Chuck Klosterman, Frank Rich, David Maraniss, Andrew Sullivan and David Brooks.

What was your best athletic achievement? When was the last time you played a sport? What was it?

I won a tennis tournament when I was 12 and retired. I played hoops in eighth grade and quit when the coach told me my ass was too big. The only sport I really play is golf, and I’m pretty decent (about a 12 handicap). I play a good bit during the offseason. But I do work out five days a week.

If you could cover any athlete/team/game/season throughout the history of sports, who/what/when?

Covering horse racing back in the 1930s and 40s would have been awesome. To cross-reference your question above, you could have ripped Seabiscuit and felt fairly confident that he wasn’t going to shout you down.

Is there anything you would like to specifically share with us in closing?

The only thing I can say is, please buy newspapers. We need all the help we can get.

*about the DeBerry quote, when searching for the exact quote, I found three different but similar versions.  They all had the same meaning but none were the exact same words.  I doubt he said it three seperate times and it’s amazing to me that I can’t find consistency so I chose ESPN.com’s version.

  • http://spartyandfriends.com sparty

    well done, Miz…..

  • http://spartyandfriends.com sparty

    well done, Miz…..

  • http://spartyandfriends.com sparty

    i am always amazed some of these guys can put teams and school allegiances aside.

  • http://spartyandfriends.com sparty

    i am always amazed some of these guys can put teams and school allegiances aside.

  • knightwhosaysni

    Don’t put something out there unless you are absolutely sure it’s true.

    burn!

  • knightwhosaysni

    Don’t put something out there unless you are absolutely sure it’s true.

    burn!

  • http://spartyandfriends.com/ mizerle06

    I tried hard to not root for the Vols at the Old Spice Classic. trey can attest that I was about to jump out of my skin at various points.

  • http://spartyandfriends.com/ mizerle06

    I tried hard to not root for the Vols at the Old Spice Classic. trey can attest that I was about to jump out of my skin at various points.

  • http://spartyandfriends.com sparty

    yeah miz, don’t ever tell me to go to print unless you are sure.

  • http://spartyandfriends.com sparty

    yeah miz, don’t ever tell me to go to print unless you are sure.

  • john

    Good work Miz. I enjoyed reading it, right up until Dan said he was a fan of Jay Mariotti.

  • john

    Good work Miz. I enjoyed reading it, right up until Dan said he was a fan of Jay Mariotti.

  • http://spartyandfriends.com/ mizerle06

    your source told me to give you a +1 for that. he thought it was funny, and you can take that to the bank.

  • http://spartyandfriends.com/ mizerle06

    your source told me to give you a +1 for that. he thought it was funny, and you can take that to the bank.

  • http://spartyandfriends.com/ mizerle06

    I guess I should have asked that question at the end so you could have made it all the way through, john. sorry for the poor journalistic anticipation on my part.

  • http://spartyandfriends.com/ mizerle06

    I guess I should have asked that question at the end so you could have made it all the way through, john. sorry for the poor journalistic anticipation on my part.

  • http://spartyandfriends.com sparty

    and john wins!!!!

  • http://spartyandfriends.com sparty

    and john wins!!!!

  • rekcalsa

    john–I thought the same exact thing–what?!?!

  • rekcalsa

    john–I thought the same exact thing–what?!?!

  • rekcalsa

    And ya gotta love mize goading him into burning sparty…good call kwsn.

  • rekcalsa

    And ya gotta love mize goading him into burning sparty…good call kwsn.

  • cycledan

    If you think it is hard for beat writers to write about a team they have always disliked, imagine how it is for a player drafted to a team they hate. As a kid, I remember an interview with the NY Yankees #1 draft pick. They asked him who he rooted for growing up and he said the Red Sox and anyone playing the Yankees. Not a politically correct answer but I admired his honesty.

    I was wondering as a kid why the Yankees drafted him. Of course now, we realize that loyalty for a pro athlete better be 99% of who pays you your salary.

    I find people who play or have played sports, realize that team allegiences are not as important as fans who haven’t played sports.

    My friend couldn’t beleive I missed the whole NFC playoff game. Well I went cross country skiing during the first half and then had my son’s basketball game. You have to prioritize your own reality over vicariously living through others.

  • cycledan

    If you think it is hard for beat writers to write about a team they have always disliked, imagine how it is for a player drafted to a team they hate. As a kid, I remember an interview with the NY Yankees #1 draft pick. They asked him who he rooted for growing up and he said the Red Sox and anyone playing the Yankees. Not a politically correct answer but I admired his honesty.

    I was wondering as a kid why the Yankees drafted him. Of course now, we realize that loyalty for a pro athlete better be 99% of who pays you your salary.

    I find people who play or have played sports, realize that team allegiences are not as important as fans who haven’t played sports.

    My friend couldn’t beleive I missed the whole NFC playoff game. Well I went cross country skiing during the first half and then had my son’s basketball game. You have to prioritize your own reality over vicariously living through others.

  • http://spartyandfriends.com sparty

    Vacchiano was a Giants fan growing up. I think he does a really good job of being objective.

  • http://spartyandfriends.com sparty

    Vacchiano was a Giants fan growing up. I think he does a really good job of being objective.

  • graddawg

    this blog’s SEC sources bats about .667, and you can take that to the bank!

  • graddawg

    this blog’s SEC sources bats about .667, and you can take that to the bank!

  • http://spartyandfriends.com sparty

    +1, graddawg.

  • http://spartyandfriends.com sparty

    +1, graddawg.

  • http://spartyandfriends.com/ mizerle06

    .667 gets a bust in the HOF.

  • http://spartyandfriends.com/ mizerle06

    .667 gets a bust in the HOF.

  • http://spartyandfriends.com sparty

    .667 BAL means you are dead

  • http://spartyandfriends.com sparty

    .667 BAL means you are dead

  • gatortrey

    Great interview Miz.

  • gatortrey

    Great interview Miz.

  • sae

    .667 < 11-5 = no playoffs

  • sae

    .667 < 11-5 = no playoffs

  • http://spartyandfriends.com sparty

    The idea of history in college basketball is incredibly overrated by fans. Players don’t care about history. If you were to ask the top 100 recruits to list the top five programs ever, I guarantee that far more of them would list Memphis than Kentucky.

    this is a garbage statement. player’s are most certainly aware of what programs are historic.

  • http://spartyandfriends.com sparty

    The idea of history in college basketball is incredibly overrated by fans. Players don’t care about history. If you were to ask the top 100 recruits to list the top five programs ever, I guarantee that far more of them would list Memphis than Kentucky.

    this is a garbage statement. player’s are most certainly aware of what programs are historic.

  • http://spartyandfriends.com sparty

    it might be true on some level in college football. I am sure kids have no idea that Army was once a powerhouse every year in football.

  • jen

    Great interview, Miz!

    OT…just opened our interoffice mail that comes from our regional office. There is usually our copies of life policy renewals, returned mail, etc., but today there was also a manilla envelope. In it was a letter to the agent and a booklet titled “A New Birth of Freedom” with a photo of the Capitol Building. It is “The 56th Presidential Inaugural Guide Book” complete with bios on Obama and Biden and our Region (Ohio, Kentucky & Tennessee) Senator & House Rep. Election results. I don’t recall getting this 4 years ago?????

  • http://spartyandfriends.com sparty

    it might be true on some level in college football. I am sure kids have no idea that Army was once a powerhouse every year in football.

  • jen

    Great interview, Miz!

    OT…just opened our interoffice mail that comes from our regional office. There is usually our copies of life policy renewals, returned mail, etc., but today there was also a manilla envelope. In it was a letter to the agent and a booklet titled “A New Birth of Freedom” with a photo of the Capitol Building. It is “The 56th Presidential Inaugural Guide Book” complete with bios on Obama and Biden and our Region (Ohio, Kentucky & Tennessee) Senator & House Rep. Election results. I don’t recall getting this 4 years ago?????

  • jen

    Boy I sound like a crabby American today!!

  • jen

    Boy I sound like a crabby American today!!

  • http://spartyandfriends.com/ mizerle06

    this is a garbage statement. player’s are most certainly aware of what programs are historic.

    while I personally wouldn’t say Memphis over Kentucky, I kinda see where he’s coming from. ask a 17 year old kid from Detroit which program’s better and he’s probably not going to be considering history.

  • http://spartyandfriends.com/ mizerle06

    this is a garbage statement. player’s are most certainly aware of what programs are historic.

    while I personally wouldn’t say Memphis over Kentucky, I kinda see where he’s coming from. ask a 17 year old kid from Detroit which program’s better and he’s probably not going to be considering history.

  • rekcalsa

    jen–Get used to that crap…you’re gonna hear it and see it all the time for the next 4 years at least.

  • rekcalsa

    jen–Get used to that crap…you’re gonna hear it and see it all the time for the next 4 years at least.

  • http://spartyandfriends.com sparty

    better teams and better programs are completely different.

  • http://spartyandfriends.com sparty

    better teams and better programs are completely different.

  • gatortrey

    I agree with it Sparty. Look at UF, 15 years ago we had a “decent” program at best. We made the miracle run of ’94, then went back to crap. Billy Donovan immediately brought in big recruits and built a powerhouse.

    Kids aren’t as intuned in college basketball to history and tradition as much as they are coaches and what they could do.

    Look at Hopson choosing Tennessee over UK.

  • gatortrey

    I agree with it Sparty. Look at UF, 15 years ago we had a “decent” program at best. We made the miracle run of ’94, then went back to crap. Billy Donovan immediately brought in big recruits and built a powerhouse.

    Kids aren’t as intuned in college basketball to history and tradition as much as they are coaches and what they could do.

    Look at Hopson choosing Tennessee over UK.

  • http://spartyandfriends.com/ mizerle06

    so, who do you agree with, trey?

  • http://spartyandfriends.com/ mizerle06

    so, who do you agree with, trey?

  • gatortrey

    Not Sparty

  • gatortrey

    Not Sparty

  • Mike

    I think Dan hit the nail on the head with his comments about program history. Calipari has been at Memphis for 8 years.. or since most of this current crop of recuits was in 3rd to 4th grade. They recognize him and Memphis as one of the nations elite programs. If you were to ask them which program is better…Memphis or Indiana… I can guarantee they’d tell you Memphis. Memphis simply needs a national title to go along with their 3 final fours.

  • Mike

    I think Dan hit the nail on the head with his comments about program history. Calipari has been at Memphis for 8 years.. or since most of this current crop of recuits was in 3rd to 4th grade. They recognize him and Memphis as one of the nations elite programs. If you were to ask them which program is better…Memphis or Indiana… I can guarantee they’d tell you Memphis. Memphis simply needs a national title to go along with their 3 final fours.

  • http://spartyandfriends.com sparty

    players do care about history. some do ignore it. but more follow it. That is why programs like UNC, Duke, UCLA, Kentucky, and Kansas never really go into the gutter.

  • http://spartyandfriends.com sparty

    players do care about history. some do ignore it. but more follow it. That is why programs like UNC, Duke, UCLA, Kentucky, and Kansas never really go into the gutter.

  • http://jpmanahan.multiply.com jpmanahan

    there is a balance between both lines. but if you have both:

    i.e. UCLA, UNC, Duke. it is a tremendous advantage.

  • http://jpmanahan.multiply.com jpmanahan

    there is a balance between both lines. but if you have both:

    i.e. UCLA, UNC, Duke. it is a tremendous advantage.

  • http://spartyandfriends.com sparty

    coaches are historic too.

  • http://spartyandfriends.com sparty

    coaches are historic too.

  • http://spartyandfriends.com sparty

    calipari was hugely successful at UMass, what have they done since he left? If he leave memphis, that program will go to shit.

  • http://spartyandfriends.com sparty

    calipari was hugely successful at UMass, what have they done since he left? If he leave memphis, that program will go to shit.

  • marcomarco

    No mention of Shanny in his daily rundown. Shocking.

    /thick, heavy sarcasm

  • marcomarco

    No mention of Shanny in his daily rundown. Shocking.

    /thick, heavy sarcasm

  • http://www.spartyandfriends.com Big D

    this is a garbage statement. player’s are most certainly aware of what programs are historic.

    Is that why Michigan State can’t recruit?

  • http://www.spartyandfriends.com Big D

    this is a garbage statement. player’s are most certainly aware of what programs are historic.

    Is that why Michigan State can’t recruit?

  • JB

    +1 Marco

  • JB

    +1 Marco

  • gatortrey

    UNC, Duke, UCLA, Kentucky, and Kansas never really go into the gutter.

    I’d argue it’s the large amounts of money they put into their programs. Those 5 schools are easily amongst the top spenders in college ball.

    calipari was hugely successful at UMass, what have they done since he left? If he leave memphis, that program will go to shit.

    UMass got the hammer laid to it by the NCAA.

  • gatortrey

    UNC, Duke, UCLA, Kentucky, and Kansas never really go into the gutter.

    I’d argue it’s the large amounts of money they put into their programs. Those 5 schools are easily amongst the top spenders in college ball.

    calipari was hugely successful at UMass, what have they done since he left? If he leave memphis, that program will go to shit.

    UMass got the hammer laid to it by the NCAA.

  • http://spartyandfriends.com/ mizerle06

    calipari was hugely successful at UMass, what have they done since he left? If he leave memphis, that program will go to shit.

    word on the street is that Izzo is in line for the Memphis job when Cal decides to move on.

  • http://spartyandfriends.com/ mizerle06

    calipari was hugely successful at UMass, what have they done since he left? If he leave memphis, that program will go to shit.

    word on the street is that Izzo is in line for the Memphis job when Cal decides to move on.

  • JB

    I think kids do know about some of the history, but they just don’t care. They want to go some place that will help them prepare for the NBA

  • JB

    I think kids do know about some of the history, but they just don’t care. They want to go some place that will help them prepare for the NBA

  • marcomarco

    Biden just kissed some dudes.

  • marcomarco

    Biden just kissed some dudes.

  • http://spartyandfriends.com sparty

    i don’t even consider Michigan State to be a historical program in basketball. we don’t recruit as well on a yearly basis as other big time programs. but Izzo is just a better coach. Just like Calhoun is at UConn.

  • http://spartyandfriends.com sparty

    i don’t even consider Michigan State to be a historical program in basketball. we don’t recruit as well on a yearly basis as other big time programs. but Izzo is just a better coach. Just like Calhoun is at UConn.

  • http://spartyandfriends.com sparty

    just read his speech…thank you, Matt Drudge!

  • http://spartyandfriends.com sparty

    just read his speech…thank you, Matt Drudge!

  • http://spartyandfriends.com/ mizerle06

    sparty – what?

  • http://spartyandfriends.com/ mizerle06

    sparty – what?

  • http://spartyandfriends.com sparty
  • http://spartyandfriends.com sparty
  • http://www.spartyandfriends.com Big D

    How the hell did he memorize that?

  • http://www.spartyandfriends.com Big D

    How the hell did he memorize that?

  • http://spartyandfriends.com/ mizerle06

    they downloaded it to the chip in his brain.

    /conspiracy theorist’d
    //putting my tin foil hat back on

  • http://spartyandfriends.com/ mizerle06

    they downloaded it to the chip in his brain.

    /conspiracy theorist’d
    //putting my tin foil hat back on

  • http://www.spartyandfriends.com Big D

    Behold the power of the teleprompter!

    Too bad there wasn’t one for the Oath of Office…

  • http://www.spartyandfriends.com Big D

    Behold the power of the teleprompter!

    Too bad there wasn’t one for the Oath of Office…

  • http://spartyandfriends.com mikeychx

    this poet is kind of a buzz kill after the speech though

  • http://spartyandfriends.com mikeychx

    this poet is kind of a buzz kill after the speech though

  • jen

    What a good speaker! Wow, no note cards. There really is a teleprompter??

    /so naive at times

  • jen

    What a good speaker! Wow, no note cards. There really is a teleprompter??

    /so naive at times

  • jen

    Yeah, there should have been a good band right now. She is a total buzzkill.

  • jen

    Yeah, there should have been a good band right now. She is a total buzzkill.

  • http://spartyandfriends.com mikeychx

    btw …excellent interview miz – thanks for getting my question in

  • http://spartyandfriends.com mikeychx

    btw …excellent interview miz – thanks for getting my question in

  • http://spartyandfriends.com sparty

    which was yours, mikey?

  • http://spartyandfriends.com sparty

    which was yours, mikey?

  • http://spartyandfriends.com mikeychx

    re: story when memphis was going to win the title…did he have a story written

  • http://spartyandfriends.com mikeychx

    re: story when memphis was going to win the title…did he have a story written

  • http://spartyandfriends.com sparty

    good question, mikey.

  • http://spartyandfriends.com sparty

    good question, mikey.

  • http://spartyandfriends.com mikeychx

    i was hoping he would share the story in its entirety….which wouldnt be realistic….but it would be cool to read one of those “non true” non fiction stories

  • http://spartyandfriends.com mikeychx

    i was hoping he would share the story in its entirety….which wouldnt be realistic….but it would be cool to read one of those “non true” non fiction stories

  • sae

    like 19-0?

  • sae

    like 19-0?

  • http://www.spartyandfriends.com mikeychx

    yeah sae…that would be a cool one to read too

    i wonder how hard it would be to get hands on that stuff

  • http://www.spartyandfriends.com mikeychx

    yeah sae…that would be a cool one to read too

    i wonder how hard it would be to get hands on that stuff

  • http://spartyandfriends.com sparty

    those articles were sent to third world countries so that they had something to read. well, for the ones that can read.

  • http://spartyandfriends.com sparty

    those articles were sent to third world countries so that they had something to read. well, for the ones that can read.

  • Mike

    “calipari was hugely successful at UMass, what have they done since he left? If he leave memphis, that program will go to shit.”

    Memphis has far more money and far better facilities than UMASS. Cal took a Memphis program that already had many things in place, and elevated it to one of the best in the country. Memphis had largely underachieved prior to Cal. If the school made the right hire, then the program would continue to achieve.

  • Mike

    “calipari was hugely successful at UMass, what have they done since he left? If he leave memphis, that program will go to shit.”

    Memphis has far more money and far better facilities than UMASS. Cal took a Memphis program that already had many things in place, and elevated it to one of the best in the country. Memphis had largely underachieved prior to Cal. If the school made the right hire, then the program would continue to achieve.

  • http://spartyandfriends.com mikeychx

    that would be a good book…lets compile it and sell it on sparty and friends….we can start with the chris petersen ariticle from mississippi state

  • http://spartyandfriends.com mikeychx

    that would be a good book…lets compile it and sell it on sparty and friends….we can start with the chris petersen ariticle from mississippi state

  • USCNUT

    Memphis a better program than Kentucky? Thats quite ridiculous. That statement single-handedly destroys your credibility. Pipe Dream

  • USCNUT

    Memphis a better program than Kentucky? Thats quite ridiculous. That statement single-handedly destroys your credibility. Pipe Dream

  • jbelt

    dude memphis a better school than Ky you must be a moron!!!!

  • jbelt

    dude memphis a better school than Ky you must be a moron!!!!

  • Sergeant First Class

    WHAT?? Kentucky’s tradition is not a major factor? Do think young kids make the college decision all by themselves? No. They consult their coaches, parents, etc…, and they know UK is a powerhouse. Memphis is already on a downhill spiral, and UK will be back to usual prominence in a couple years.

  • Sergeant First Class

    WHAT?? Kentucky’s tradition is not a major factor? Do think young kids make the college decision all by themselves? No. They consult their coaches, parents, etc…, and they know UK is a powerhouse. Memphis is already on a downhill spiral, and UK will be back to usual prominence in a couple years.

  • http://www.spartyandfriends.com Big D

    Glad to see the UK Faithful have made their way over to S & F…

  • http://www.spartyandfriends.com Big D

    Glad to see the UK Faithful have made their way over to S & F…

  • Mike

    Memphis is on a downward spiral? They are 14-3 and have only lost to 3 top-15 level….Syracuse, Georgetown & Xavier. Next year they have already inked the top recruit (Xavier Henry) in the country and lead on two more top 10’s in John Wall and Demarcus Cousins. Throw in a Nolan Dennis who has already signed and Memphis will easily have the top class in the nation.

    Sorry Sparty but Memphis is just getting cranked up.

  • Mike

    Memphis is on a downward spiral? They are 14-3 and have only lost to 3 top-15 level….Syracuse, Georgetown & Xavier. Next year they have already inked the top recruit (Xavier Henry) in the country and lead on two more top 10’s in John Wall and Demarcus Cousins. Throw in a Nolan Dennis who has already signed and Memphis will easily have the top class in the nation.

    Sorry Sparty but Memphis is just getting cranked up.

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  • BK

    It’s pretty much ridiculous to suggest history plays no role. Kentucky has quite a few big time recruits and their team was down a few years. Does recent count more? Maybe. What have you done for me lately?

    Yet, it’s naive to ignore that the Notre Dames, Kentuckys, Alabamas, UNCs, and UCLAs, always bounce back. To suggest otherwise would be a strong indication of being a homer.

    True story.

  • BK

    It’s pretty much ridiculous to suggest history plays no role. Kentucky has quite a few big time recruits and their team was down a few years. Does recent count more? Maybe. What have you done for me lately?

    Yet, it’s naive to ignore that the Notre Dames, Kentuckys, Alabamas, UNCs, and UCLAs, always bounce back. To suggest otherwise would be a strong indication of being a homer.

    True story.

  • BK

    There is also a difference from having a good team and having a good program. Having 1 good team doesn’t mean you have a good program. You can phrase the question how it suits you. Which basketball school is more prestigious, IU or Memphis?

    Answer that honestly.

  • BK

    There is also a difference from having a good team and having a good program. Having 1 good team doesn’t mean you have a good program. You can phrase the question how it suits you. Which basketball school is more prestigious, IU or Memphis?

    Answer that honestly.

  • Chuxta

    Of course IU and UK have a stronger history and more prestige than Memphis. That’s not the point. Wolken’s point is that most 18 year old NBA prospects don’t care. Why should they? What can Adolf Rupp or Jamal Mashburn do for them over the next 2 years? Is that anywhere near as relevant as what John Calipari or Billy Gillespie can do for the recruit?

  • Chuxta

    Of course IU and UK have a stronger history and more prestige than Memphis. That’s not the point. Wolken’s point is that most 18 year old NBA prospects don’t care. Why should they? What can Adolf Rupp or Jamal Mashburn do for them over the next 2 years? Is that anywhere near as relevant as what John Calipari or Billy Gillespie can do for the recruit?