HoriZone Roundtable 29 | The Rest of the Story

In this episode, Bob and Jimmy recap Bob’s interview with Cleveland State head coach Dennis Felton. Also, with the spring signing period over, they discuss how the league currently shakes out. And has it’s been since Bacari Alexander was fired, Detroit Mercy is still looking for a head coach. And the latest name is former Indiana and UAB coach and current Texas Southern coach Mike Davis.

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Horizone Roundtable 28 | A Conversation With Dennis Felton (Really!)

In this episode, Bob has a conversation with Cleveland State men’s basketball coach Dennis Felton (@CoachDFelton). They discuss a number of topics related to CSU, including the incoming recruiting class, as well as the nucleus of Kash Thomas, Tyree Appleby, Stefan Kenic and DePaul transfer Algevon Eichelberger. There is also a conversation about the surprising Viking run at Motor City Madness and how it will impact next season. Plus, no talk with Coach Felton can be complete without touching on George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic.

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Ducks on the Pod 29 | No Such Thing as a No-No Jinx

Host Mitch Gatzke starts episode 29 by showing love to some listeners who help make it all worth while.  A sincere thank you goes out to all of you who listen and help spread the word.  Mitch wraps up the retractable roof stadium pros and cons list he began in episode 28.  He’s officially started down the path to being an old-timer by joining a softball team.  He has some notes on the major differences between hardball and slow-pitch.  Then, we get into the meat of this episode: No-Hitters.  Mitch has some theories as to why we’ve seen so many serious bids already this season.  He also discusses some of the fun that surrounds these feats.  When do you notice that a no-hitter is developing?  Do you root for your team to break up a no-no?  And most importantly, do you believe in the jinx?  Safe to say, our host does not.  To wrap things up, we have a trivia question that can earn you a Ducks on the Pod Season 2 t-shirt, absolutely free of charge! Continue reading

HoriZone Roundtable 27 | The Search is Mercifully Over (Maybe)

Bob (@BobMcDonald) is hosting the podcast by himself this week, but that’s not to say that there isn’t plenty to talk about. Detroit Mercy may finally be hiring a head coach, and Bob breaks down the potential candidates. Also, with departing seniors and now Isaiah Brock transferring, where does that leave Oakland? Finally, with the spring signing period closing out, what does Dennis Felton, who has four scholarships left at Cleveland State, have up his sleeve?

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Virginia Basketball: Moneyball = Money in the Bank

I really liked the movie “Moneyball”. I liked the book even more. I don’t think you have to be a baseball fan or even a sports fan to appreciate the game-changing, innovative strategies deployed by Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane. Similarly, Malcolm Gladwell’s book “David & Goliath” provides a non-sports related peek into the world of winning through innovation and differentiated thinking. The bottom line of these books – if David tries to beat Goliath in a traditional fight, he dies. If the Oakland A’s try to out-spend and out-market the New York Yankees or Los Angeles Dodgers, they get steamrolled every time. I think both of these books and their underlying themes are perfectly applicable to the strategy Tony Bennett has deployed for the UVa Basketball program and is manifest in his recruiting strategy.

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HoriZone Roundtable 26 | The More Things Change…

Chris Schutte (@ChrisSchutte3) from Mid-Major Madness (@mid_madness) joined Bob (@BobMcDonald) and Jimmy (@PantherU) for this episode to talk about the current state of the Horizon League and how, in spite of a lot of early concerns, IUPUI has fit in quite nicely. Also in the episode, Jimmy talks about the recent spate of transfers from Milwaukee. And, as it’s been the case for about a month, there’s been no movement on the Detroit Mercy coaching front.

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Ducks on the Pod “Preseason” All-Sophomore Team

As you make your way through this list, you’re going to find some guys who are technically entering their third season as big leaguers (Benintendi, Judge, et al.).  Hell, Manny Piña has appeared in four different seasons, dating back to 2011.

I used only one requirement when compiling this list.  Each of these players has one thing in common.  They all exceeded Major League rookie limits (130 at-bats, 50 innings pitched OR 45 days on the active 25-man roster) during the 2017 season.

Here are the best players who fall into that category: Continue reading

HoriZone Roundtable 25 | Taking a New Path

Bob and Jimmy (and, briefly, Bob’s dog Harry) welcome Matthew Johns (@M_Johns12) and Sean McDonnell (@bigmacsnackwrap) from The Reserve News (@TheReserveMedia) and Jesse Kramer, the founder of the Catch and Shoot (@Catch_N_Shoot). The discussion focused first on the origins of the two sites, where The Reserve has grown into the premier venue for Cleveland State coverage, while the Catch and Shoot have focused on Chicago hoops, including UIC. Also in this episode, there was a talk about the evolution of who we look at transfers, as well as the emergence of the G-League and Lavar Ball’s Junior Basketball Association as pro options.

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Ducks on the Pod 28 | Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Try as she might, we refuse to let Mother Nature rain on our baseball-loving parade.  There have been numerous changes to the schedule, but the show must go on!  This week, host Mitch Gatzke has a lot on his mind.  First, he details his Friday night with the Yankees.  The starting pitching was good, but the bullpen is still trying to find its collective groove.  How long can the Bombers afford for that to continue?  Then, he dives into the first breakdown of contenders.  Where does your team find itself after three weeks of play?  Next, the “Preseason” All-Sophomore Team has been finalized.  Which of last year’s breakout rookies are poised to keep up the good work?  Cleaning up, the new rule that’s totally working and Mitch is absolutely loving.  Let’s talk new limits on mound visits and why it’s good for the game.
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Ducks on the Pod Contendership Tiers: April

Power rankings are played out.  MLB.com does them.  ESPN has its own.  CBS Sports is in on it.  You can throw Yahoo, Sports Illustrated, and Bleacher Report in there too.  My thinking is it doesn’t really matter who the “best” team is during the regular season.  What we should be focusing on is which teams look like they have a legitimate chance to win it all.

It’s pretty simple this early in the season, isn’t it?  I mean, you either look like you’ve got a shot or you don’t.  As the old adage goes, “You can’t win a pennant in April, but you can lose one.”  While that’s not foolproof logic, it’s good enough for me and for this exercise.  Here we go: Continue reading