VOL. 132 | NO. 149 | Friday, July 28, 2017
The Press Box
Q & A: On Ole Miss, Memphis Football, NBA …
By Don Wade
The floor is open for questions – on Hugh Freeze and Ole Miss, the amazing Memphis Redbirds and streaky St. Louis Cardinals, the start of University of Memphis football practice, and a few NBA matters …
What’s next for Freeze?
Based on his brief comments to a reporter outside his house, he’s going to be watching a lot of volleyball. Professionally, he’s young enough (47) to eventually get another shot coaching college football. If the NCAA hits him with a show-cause penalty, however, that could set him back a few years.
But winning coaches are always in demand. See Petrino, Bobby.
Will the NCAA Hammer Ole Miss?
It’s possible. But forcing Freeze out probably helps Ole Miss. The next coach, however, needs to be a pretty good citizen – a safe bridge, if you will, to the next big-time guy. That’s what Bama did with the hire of Mike Shula, who was followed by Nick Saban.
How can the Redbirds be so good and the Cardinals so frustrating?
Some things can’t be explained, such as shortstop Paul DeJong hitting for more power in the majors than in the Pacific Coast League. Or Tommy Pham showing more of an all-round game in the majors than in Triple-A.
The other answer is that players who are Triple-A-plus, and the Redbirds have had a lot of those guys this season, should win a bunch of games. The Cardinals, meanwhile, have had established major league players underperform. Matt Carpenter and Dexter Fowler are two prime examples.
What’s a great season for Memphis football, a good season, and a disappointing season?
A great season ends with the Tigers playing in a New Year’s Day bowl game or as champions of the American Athletic Conference. A good season is eight or more wins.
Some people might call a seven-win season a disappointment, but I’m taking the long view. There have been too many bad Tiger football seasons to cry about seven wins and a bowl game. But six wins or less? Yeah, that would be hard to take given the expectations for Mike Norvell and this group.
Anybody seen or heard from JaMychal Green?
It does sort of feel like the Grizzlies’ young power forward has fallen off the planet, doesn’t it? Obviously, with Zach Randolph signing with Sacramento, the Grizzlies need Green. He’s a restricted free agent and could come back on a one-year deal and then become an unrestricted free agent after next season. That might be how this plays out.
As long as the impasse between Green and the Grizzlies has lasted, it feels like there must be a wide gap on money and years for a longer deal.
Will NBA Commissioner Adam Silver really address the issue of resting star players?
He will address it to the point he ensures some protection for the league’s marquee TV games. No more star search when the Golden State Warriors and Cavs meet in prime time.
But does that mean he’ll stop the Cavs from resting LeBron when they come to Memphis? No, I don’t believe he’ll take that seriously.
Don Wade’s column appears in The Daily News and The Memphis News. Listen to Wade on “Middays with Greg & Eli” every Tuesday at noon on Sports 56 AM and 87.7 FM.