VOL. 11 | NO. 8 | Saturday, February 24, 2018
Notebook: Memphis WR Anthony Miller Creating a Buzz
By Don Wade
Anthony Miller, the walk-on who became a record-setting receiver at Memphis, is listed as the seventh-best wideout available for the upcoming NFL Draft, according to walterfootball.com.
The site projects Miller to go in the second or third round and also projects a 40-yard dash time of 4.52.
University of Memphis Tigers wide receiver Anthony Miller runs after a reception during a September 2017 game against UCLA. (Daily News File/Houston Cofield)
More from the site’s analysis: “Miller played really well for Memphis, showing good route-running, quickness, good hands and elusiveness after the catch … could be a weapon as a slot receiver in the NFL.”
At nfl.com, former NFL wideout Steve Smith mentioned Miller as one of the 10 WRs to have caught his attention, saying, “Miller’s track background shines through the minute he steps on the field. Miller runs fast, but plays faster … Miller is good at a lot of things, not great at one,” and has an “it” factor.
NBA to continue evaluating playoff format
While NBA commissioner Adam Silver won’t assure that the league will change its East/West playoff format in the near future, he made clear in his address to media at the recent NBA All-Star Game that he has an open mind about change.
Under the current format, the top eight teams from each conference make the playoffs and are seeded 1-8. The conference champions then meet in the NBA Finals. But the imbalance of power in recent years has tilted so much to the West that critics have renewed the call for altering the format to seeding 1-16 and even abolishing the conferences altogether.
Silver said the league will not be bound by history, saying the obstacle to radically changing the format would be increased travel burdens. The commissioner said the league would continue to give “serious attention” to the two-conference playoff format.
NCAA hits Louisville hard
The Louisville Cardinals became the first Division 1 college basketball team to have a national championship vacated as the NCAA upheld penalties against the program, then coached by Rick Pitino, related to a sex scandal that involved players, recruits and prostitutes.
Under the ruling, Louisville forfeits a total of 123 wins from the 2011-12 through 2014-15 seasons. This includes the Cardinals 2013 national title and also its 2012 trip to the Final Four.
More trouble could still be on the horizon. Several months ago Louisville was named as one of six programs in a federal investigation into bribery and corruption connected to recruiting. Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich were both forced out as a result of that probe, which is ongoing.
MLB to limit mound visits in 2018
Baseball’s commissioner, Rob Manfred, has announced a limit on mound visits in an effort to speed up the game’s pace of play. The average game in 2017 took three hours and eight minutes, or 22 minutes longer than the average game in 2005.
Mound visits will be limited to six per team per nine innings. Anytime a manager, coach or player goes to the mound it will be counted as a mound visit. There are exceptions, but in general that’s the rule.
Additionally, pitchers will no longer be guaranteed eight warmup pitches before starting each inning and commercial breaks are being shortened.
Major League Baseball Players Association chief Tony Clark said players are in favor of the game moving at a “crisp” pace, but added: “They remain concerned about rule changes that could alter the outcome of games and the fabric of the game itself.”