Dave’s Free Play, Tuesday 12/30/14

  • December 30, 2014

One last 2014 award to hand out, and that’s my choice for Athlete of the Year. I like to try and come up with something outside of the box when it comes to this stuff. But there’s just no way to do so this time around. So I’ll just have to follow the leader, in this case Sports Illustrated, and chime in with the obvious selection.

Madison Bumgarner is the easy choice and the correct one as well. No knock on anyone else who accomplished something amazing in the 2014 sports world, but there’s just no way to top what MadBum put together.

The Super Bowl is the biggest event in this country, no doubt about that. But the World Series remains one of the great stages in sports and Bumgarner was as dominant as anyone I’ve ever seen as he led the Giants to their third title in only five seasons. I’m still in awe of his electrifying Game Seven showing on just two days rest.

Baseball is my favorite sport, always has been, always will be. That’s what made getting to watch Bumgarner’s extraordinary post-season pitching effort something I doubt I’ll ever forget. There’s no question in my mind he simply has to be the 2014 Athlete of the Year.

————

Another good result on Monday, with 2-1 in both football and college hoops. Things are going well right now and I’ll be looking for more of the same today.

The rest of the Bowl package is now $100, payable via PayPal to cokin@cox.net. I’ll be on two of today’s bowls, and two others have already been sent out, with more to come.

The guaranteed monthly offer is still on the table as well. 30 days of all my plays with a guaranteed minimum gain of at least 10 net units. Purchase via the “buy now” feature that’s on this page, or send me an email with questions or for more info at cokin@cox.net.

————-

Pepperdine did well as the Monday free play, and I’ll try to grab another college basketball winner with tonight’s comp.

12/30 04:00 PM   CBB   (545) ST. BONAVENTURE  at  (546) DELAWARE

Take: (545) ST. BONAVENTURE -9.5

The bloom is off the rose for Delaware. The Blue Hens enjoyed an amazing 2013-14 campaign. They went 22-9 in the regular season, rolled to the CAA Championship with three more wins and certainly didn’t embarrass themselves in an NCAA Tournament loss to Michigan State.

Everyone knew there would be a decline for Delaware this season with so many of the previous campaign’s key components having moved on. But I’m not sure anyone envisioned the disaster that this season has been to date.

The problems for the Blue Hens begin off the court and that has produced an unfortunate domino effect. Monte Ross figured to be in position to get a solid extension on his contract considering what he accomplished last season. Instead, Ross is coaching out the final year of said contract and it certainly appears as though he’s a lame duck.

This is another of the dark sides of university politics as it pertains to sports. Ross arrived at Delaware prior to the arrival of the current president and athletic director. It clearly looks as though they want to hire their own guy to head the hoop program,. just as they already did in football. The duo in charge forced out the enormously successful KC Keeler and the handwriting is on the wall for Ross.

Those I know close to the Delaware program said prior to the season that the atmosphere was strained, to put it mildly. Considering the Blue Hens are 0-10, it looks as though that apprehension was well founded.

Delaware is off a pair of respectable losses on the road in terms of how they competed at Fairleigh-Dickinson and Robert Morris. Getting Kyle Anderson back on the floor has helped. But now the Blue Hens are back home, it’s probably going to be pretty empty at the Carpenter Center tonight, and the opponent is a good one as St. Bonaventure pays a visit.

From a chalkboard standpoint, it’s not an especially good matchup for the home team. The Bonnies are generally going to be at their best playing up tempo, and Delaware figures to cooperate on that count. St. Bonny has a big game with UMass coming up next. But considering that Mark Schmidt’s team is off a poor performance in a home loss to Maryland-Eastern Shore, it’s a good bet they’ll be coming to play tonight.

Maybe Delaware can put its problems on the back burner and start playing more inspired basketball. But they’re going to have to prove it to me. Meanwhile, I’ll be looking to fade rather than follow the Blue Hens and tonight looks like a good spot to expect a St. Bonaventure win and cover.