JOE BIDDLE: Sunday Notes: March 17, 2013

Random ruminations while wondering whatever happened to LaMarcus Golden. …


  • We'll find out Sunday afternoon just how many SEC teams will be dancing in March Madness.

    My guess is either three or four, no more. I think they should change the term bracketology to guessotology. Because until the basketball selection committee in Indianapolis releases the official bracket with the field of 68, then Jerry Palm and Joe Lunardi are giving us their best educated guesses.

    The latest after Ole Miss knocked off Vanderbilt and Florida disposed of Alabama in the SEC Tournament semifinals was not welcomed news if you are Kentucky (out), Tennessee (out with Lunardi, in with Palm), Alabama (out) and even Ole Miss (unless they defeat Florida today they would be first 4 out with Palm and last four in with Lunardi).

    Florida will likely be a 3-seed, Missouri an 8-seed and Ole Miss playing a play-in game against Boise State in Lunardi's bracket.

    Belmont seems to be a 12-seed in both brackets. Palm has the Bruins playing Arizona while Lunardi has them meeting Oklahoma State. Palm has Missouri an 8-seed vs. 9-seed Memphis.

  • The most intriguing player in the SEC Tournament was Ole Miss marksman Marshall Henderson. He is a junior guard with a checkered past. When he burst on the scene this season, it reached a point some were comparing him to the late LSU great, “Pistol'' Pete Maravich. Horsefeathers. This brash showboat couldn't carry Maravich's floppy socks.

    His college career reads like a travelogue. The Hurst, Texas native signed with Utah, going there in 2009-10. He started 30 games as a freshman. He left for Texas Tech, was there 2010-2011, but sat out all season as a transfer. He transferred to South Plains College, a juco, and led them to the national junior college championship. The fact Tech let then coach Pat Knight go, led to Henderson's transfer.

    South Plains was 36-0 and Henderson pumped in 32 points in the title game against Northwest Florida.

    He was arrested in 2010 on a forgery charge when he was caught buying marijuana with $800 worth of counterfeit money. He was placed on probation.

    He ended up at Ole Miss, but last spring tested positive for alcohol, marijuana and cocaine. It earned him a 25-day jail sentence for violating his probation.

    After draining a long distance shot Saturday against Vanderbilt, Henderson put his thumb on his nose and spread his fingers upward while running back up court and playing to the cameras. It was a gesture he has used in the past to honor the football team's defense, which calls itself the Land Sharks.

    Someone tweeted Saturday asking that Marshall Henderson, with 12 hours off in Nashville on Saint Patrick's Day, what could possibly go wrong?

    He was 7 of 17 from the field against Vanderbilt, only 3 of 11 from 3-point land. But the ones he hit were from Rippy's second floor deck. 

  • Talking to former Auburn coach Sonny Smith, we agreed that SEC players in this era don't begin to touch the players the SEC had in the 80s and 90s. Former Alabama Coach Wimp Sanderson, who also attended the SEC Tournament, went to the Sweet 16 on a regular basis.

    Auburn had Charles Barkley, Wesley and Chuck Person to name a few. Kentucky had Jamal Mashburn, Rick Robey, Kyle Macy, Sam Bowie, Melvin Turpin, Kenny Walker and Rex Chapman. Georgia had Dominique Wilkins, Vern Fleming, James Banks, Alex Kessler.

    LSU threw out Durand Macklin, Howard “Hi-C ‘' Carter, Ethan Martin, Chris Jackson, Shaquille O'Neal. Tennessee had Howard Wood, Dale Ellis, Tony White. Mississippi State had Rickey Brown, Jeff Malone. Ole Miss featured Johnny Neumann, John Stroud, Sean Tuohy.

    Coaches in those years were much more accessible to the media. They had outgoing personalities and many of them could have doubled as stand up comics. Hugh Durham, Sonny Smith and Wimp Sanderson come to mind. The antics of Dale Brown kept you off-guard. Ole Miss Coach Ed Murphy was a people person who once paid for beer when the media's hospitality room ran dry at an SEC Basketball Media Days event.

  • Orlando Sentinel funnyman Mike Bianchi said that when the smoke started escaping from the Vatican, the thinking in the SEC was that the Honey Badger was the new Pope.
  • Tennessee football coach Butch Jones hit paydirt when Beech football star Jalen Hurd verbally committed to the Vols. He plans to graduate in December and enroll in Tennessee and participate in spring practice.

    They want Hurd as a running back and why not? I don't remember any running back scoring seven touchdowns in a Class AAA state championship game. He is not only a highly recruited athlete, Hurd is a quiet, well-mannered young man who has his priorities in order. Jones is quickly building a wall around the state and keeping the homegrown talent at home.

  • Bovada in Las Vegas changed the odds for NFL teams winning next year's Super Bowl after the free agent signings were in place.

    The Titans didn't impress the odds-maker as they remain 100 to 1 odds to win next year's Super Bowl, along with Arizona, Buffalo and the Raiders. The only team with longer odds is Jacksonville, so don't waste your money.

    Denver and the 49ers are 7-1 favorites to win it. New England is 15/2 with Seattle 10-1 and Atlanta and Green Bay at 12-1. Miami jumped from 60-1 to 35-1 with impressive signings, while Baltimore slipped from 14-1 to 20-1 by letting more free agents leave than signing new ones.

  • Moving to Knoxville and need a house? Former Vols football coach Derek Dooley's 8,800 square foot pad is for sale.

    Asking price is $2.9 million for the house and 17 acres in a secluded location only 10 minutes from downtown. The Dooleys purchased the house in 2010 for $2.24 million.

  • Will Arkansas be forced to play little brother Arkansas State in football?

    If some state legislators have their way, it could happen. House bill 2274 would require the two teams to play each other on an annual basis.

    The game would be played at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock with a minimum $250,000 going to charity. It's a good idea even if it not forced upon Arkansas.

  • I watched a college game this week where Notre Dame's uniforms nearly blinded me. I considered calling a TV repairman, thinking my set had blown up. It was the brightest green ever, almost neon in appearance. They wore the same color shoes and arm compression sleeves.

    They are Nike uniforms, so they are out of the mainstream. I guess it was a Saint Patrick's Day preview for the Irish.

    Contact Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at











Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s