February may be the shortest month of the year, but it still holds a wealth of new knowledge and information for the eye to see and the mind to process. Here are five things I learned this month from the world of sports:
5. I probably spoke too soon on Women’s Basketball
Well, I never said I was Nostradamus.
In December’s edition of “Five Things I Learned,” I said that the .500 women’s basketball team was a big improvement from last season’s campaign. And then the months of January and February and Conference play happened.
The last game the women’s team won was on the last day of the 2015 year. Since then, the team has lost every game it has played; all of which were conference matches.
With the regular season over, the team 2015-16 season sees them at 8-21, which is actually the most wins in three seasons. Expect a first round exit in the opening day of the SoCon Tournament.
4. The Cavaliers can Beat the Warriors
Yes, I know the Warriors are on pace to break the record for wins in a regular season. Yes, I know Steph Curry currently owns the entire NBA. Yes, they look like a varsity team against a bunch of 12 year old during half their games.
But did we forget that the Cavs without Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving beat the Warriors twice during last year’s NBA Finals. Now with the two stars back, as well as new role players in Mo Williams and Channing Frye, and a new coach in Tyronn Lue that is respected in the locker room and coaches to his team’s skills, the Cavaliers are the best competition for the Golden State Warriors.
3. Power: Thy Name is UNCG Baseball/Softball
Though both the baseball and softball seasons are in their infancies, the teams have already given an early illustration of how they are going to be successful this season.
In its five wins this season, the baseball team has scored a combined 34 runs, while the softball team has scored 69 runs in its seven wins this season.
In their combined six losses (five by softball, one by baseball) the teams did not score more than five runs. Both rosters will win many more games this season with scores like 9-3 and 12-8 than 0-2.
2. Cam Newton is the new LeBron: People will find an excuse to Hate him
I did not like Cam Newton walking out of his press conference after losing the Super Bowl. As a professional athlete and the leader of the team you should be able to sit and answer questions no matter the outcome of the game.
But after three weeks, get over it! A crime was not committed. He did not curse out his team or the Broncos. He is still the MVP and a top 2 or 3 quarterback in the league.
And no matter how much you don’t like him for whatever reason, a press conference is not going to change that.
1. The Dunk Contest is Back!
The first dunk contest I remember watching was in 2003, the second Jason Richardson victory. I remember Gerald Green blowing out the cupcake in 2007, Nate Robinson vs Andre Iguodala in 2006 and then Nate Robinson vs Dwight Howard in 2009.
However, the decade of the 2010s have been a disappointment for what is supposed to be the most exciting event for All-Star Saturday night to the point that the Three Point Contest became the main headline not the dunkers. Even with Zach LaVine’s impressive show last year, it did little to generate much excitement for the contest.
But this year, between LaVine and Aaron Gordon, I can not only say that the contest is back, but this was the greatest one yet. What we have here is the perfect contest matchup: A gliding guard in LaVine that seems to be able to fly and a world class jumper in Gordon that will one day actually jump out of the arena.
And I don’t care about 1988 between Dominique Wilkins and Michael Jordan. Forget the names of the players and just watch the contest; it is not even close.
I cannot wait until next All-Star Weekend to see the rematch between Gordon and LaVine, which is something I have not been able to say for years.