After their loss to the Utah Jazz Monday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers are ready to taste a little home cooking against the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday at the Q.
Rick Noland, who covers the Wine and Gold for the Medina Gazette joined the Sam Bourquin Show Tuesday to talk about the Cavs sluggish loss to the Jazz to close out their extended West Coast road trip, and what they need to do better moving through this next stretch of games.
"It's kind of been their M.O. this whole season, they'll go out and play great one night, and then go out and lose against a team, who might be without their best player, as Gordon Hayward didn't play last night," Noland said.
The St. Vincent-St Mary Fighting Irish are coming off a big win over Benedictine on Saturday, and will be heading to Columbus looking to capture another state boy's basketball championship.
Head coach of the Irish Dru Joyce II joined the Sam Bourquin Show Tuesday to talk about his team's mentality heading to the state semifinals and what they've been doing to keep improving all season long.
"The kids are pretty focused, the practices have been good, they understand there's still a lot of work to do and the job's not done," Joyce said.
STVM will play Aiken out of Cincinnati in the state semis in Division II Thursday at 5:15pm. Coach Dru says he sees some similarites between his team and the Aiken squad.
"They're similar in size to us, and they play at a fast pace."
Two Ohio teams will square off in the first round of the NIT Tournament Tuesday, and there might be an upset brewing down in Columbus.
The Ohio State Buckeyes and the Akron Zips will square off on the hardwood tomorrow, and the excitement level might not be at a fever pitch for Buckeye fans, but it is expected to be a solid matchup.
Blake Williams from the Buckeye Sports Bulletin joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about the matchup and his overall thoughts on the season.
"I don't think Ohio State fans are all that excited to be playing in the NIT Tournament for the first time in eight years," Williams said. "The NIT committee did do the team (OSU) a favor by giving them an in-state opponent which hopefully would draw a better crowd."
Akron comes into this game at 26-8 after losing to Buffalo in the MAC Championship game, and Ohio State is coming off a 20-13 season for Thad Matta's group, who some say underachieved this season.
"The expectation in Columbus is to make the NCAA Tournament, which they didn't do, so it's fair to say the season was a disappointment," Williams said.
Blake also touched on the Ohio State women's basketball team, who is looking to find out their seeding for the women's tournament. He says that despite some key injuries, the Lady Buckeyes should be in good shape for the tournament slate with their athleticism and big-game mentality.
On a "Feel Good Friday edition of the Sam Bourquin Show, a friend of the show came to the studios to pay a visit to Sammy B to talk a little Cleveland Sports and to talk about a great cause as well.
Canton native and actor Bruno Gunn joined the show and weighed in on a variety of topics, from the release of Johnny Manziel, to his lastest movie roles, including one coming out later this year.
"I've got this film coming out this year called Officer Downe, and it's a graphic novel they adapted into a moving picture," he said. "It was directed by Shawn Crahan, who is the frontman for the band Slipknot, so it's a smash-mouth, intense kind of film."
Gunn is perhaps best known for his role as Brutus in the film The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and has appeared in various other roles in movies and TV shows.
When he's not busy acting, Bruno catches a lot of the Browns, Indians, and Cavaliers games whenever he can. Bruno had a lot to say about the Browns, including the release of Johnny Manziel and former GM Ray Farmer.
"That guy (Farmer) set this organization back," Gunn said. "I'd love to have been in that draft room to see who picked Manziel." He does say the hire of new coach Hue Jackson is a step in the right direction they just have to be able to have a plan and have sustained success.
Early next week, Bruno will be teaming up with Atlantic Foods for the Tri-County Restaurant Association's 24th annual Celebrity Cuisine event at the Canton Memorial Civic Center Tuesday.
After the first day of NFL free agency, the Browns have let four players go and have not added any new names to the roster, which has a lot of fans scratching their collective heads.
Brad Gagnon from the Bleacher Report joined Brad Russell in the Average Sports Show to talk about the action..or lack thereof from the Browns and how this reactive approach has put a sour taste in the mouths of many fans, who would like to see the team become more proactive in their mindset in trying to pick up some quality free agents.
"They let four players walk yesterday, and I understand they're not from this regime, I understand they are rebulding, but a rebuild in the NFL is not getting rid of all 53 players and starting from scratch," Gagnon says.
"You don't throw out the baby with the bath water."
Four free agants left including Alex Mack, who went to Atlanta, Tashaun Gipson went to Jacksonville, Mitchell Schwartz bolted for Kansas City, and Travis Benjamin departed for San Diego.
The Wadsworth Lady Grizzlies are making their march to Columbus in hopes of winning a state title this weekend, and it all starts with Reynoldsburg on Friday.
Andy Booth, the head coach of the Lady Grizzlies joined Sam Bourquin to talk about how the young ladies have grown game by game and are focused on one common goal: coming home with a state championship.
"Our kids have been extremely focused, the focus has been there every day in practice, and its translated to the games, so they're not just happy to be there, they want to take it all the way," he said.
He says they'll have a tough task on their hands in the state semifinals against Reynoldsburg.
"They're very athletic and they're very talented, just because you're young doesn't mean your're not a good player, and we have to be prepared Friday night."
Reynoldsburg is a young team with no seniors and a lot of their scoring coming from their sophomores, which Booth says is their main ingredient to success.
One of the hot names heading into the 2016 NFL Draft is former OSU defensive lineman Joey Bosa, who is expected to be a top-5 pick in April.
His high school coach offered a little insight into Joey as a player and as a person, saying that the former Buckeye star will do whatever it takes to contribute to his team.
Rocco Casullo, the fomer coach of St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, FL joined the Average Sports Show to talk with Brad about Bosa and what skills he will be bringing to the next level.
"He grew into the program quickly," Rocco said. "He was a big kid, hard worker, someone who took pride in weights, and someone who you thought would have a tremendous future at the high school level."
Casullo coached both Joey and his younger brother Nick at St. Thomas Aquinas before moving on to Mater Academy in Florida.
With NFL Free Agency just hours away, the Browns are having to make some decisions as far as keeping some key players and adding new ones to the roster, in hopes of a solid and significant turn-around.
Scott Petrak, who covers the Browns for the Elyria Chronicle Telegram joined the Average Sports Show to talk about free agency and some of the key names being thrown out either for the Browns, or for other teams.
When it comes to current Browns center Alex Mack, Petrak says that he wouldn't rule out a return to the Browns, despite opting out of his contract.
"I think he's willing to stay, he likes it here," Petrak said. "Having said that he did opt out, he turned down the 24 million left on his contract, he's looking for a raise, and he's going to hit the market."
When it comes to wide receiver Travis Benjamin and defensive back Tashaun Gipson, Petrak offered his take on whether or not either one of those gentlemen would come back to Cleveland, but he's pretty confident Benjamin will return.
"He was valuable for the Browns last year as a receiver and a returner, he stayed healthy all season and despite his frail frame, he stayed healthy, so I was impressed with him."
The Indians are just a handful of games into Spring Training, and there's some questions surrounding the makeup of this team heading into Opening Day.
Matt Loede from NEOSportsInsiders.com joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk Tribe and his thoughts as to the strengths and weaknesses of the Indians before they start the 162-game marathon that is the regular season.
When asked what he's liked from this club so far, it all goes back to the starting rotation, which is one of the best in the AL, if not the entire league.
"The starting pitching is going to be the obvious strong point of this team," Loede said. "They feel that if this team can produce 3-4 runs per night to go along with that pitching, they'll be pretty tough to beat."
With the Indians' offseason pickups, Mike Napoli, Rajai Davis, and Juan Uribe, Loede says Napoli will provide a solid presence in the lineup and in the clubhouse.
"He's excited, he's got a lot to prove, and I think it's going to be a good pickup," Loede said.
The Knights of St. Thomas Aquinas will be competing in the Regional Semis against Oberlin Wednesday night in Canton after a solid regular season and an equally good postseason run, and they're looking for more.
Matt Hackenberg, the head coach of the boys' team at St. Thomas Aquinas joined the Sam Bourquin Show Tuesday to talk about his squad and how they're playing their best basketball as the high school hoops season winds down.
After winning their fourth straight district title against Tuslaw, Coach Hackenberg said he's proud of his team and the effort they gave.
"I thought that (district title) was the most fulfilling to be able to do it against a Tuslaw team that had the resume and the clout they had attach to the season they were having, so out of all four, that was the sweetest," he said.
He says the three-headed monster of Jacob Paul, Logan Newman, and Gino Pellegrene has been key for them in the postseason and throughout the season, and he knows he'll need them along with the rest of the contributors for the Knights as they try to reach their ultimate goal.
First things first, they have to contend with Oberlin at the Fieldhouse Wednesday evening.
"We took a close look at what Oberlin does, and we've been trying to sharpen up our ballhandling," he says.
As the NFL Draft approaches, many people are asking about the Browns' quarterback prospects and one of the names that is popping up is Paxton Lynch, the former quarterback of the Memphis Tigers.
Allen "B.J." Johnson coached Paxton in high school at Trinity Christian in Deltona, Florida. He's coached Paxton since the sixth grade, and he's proud of him both on and off the field.
He says a lot of NFL scouts have been calling him, asking about his former signal-caller.
"He's a great kid," says Johnson. "He has no character issues, and if you don't draft him, you will regret it," he says with confidence.
Johnson says he compares favorably to current NFL quarterbacks Joe Flacco and Colin Kaepernick due to his size, arm strength, and escapability in the pocket. While at Memphis, he guided the Tigers to a 9-3 record and an appearance in the Birmigham Bowl against Auburn.
Coach Johnson says Paxton won't be concerned if he lands to the Browns, who have had their struggles with quarterbacks, but he knows his will to win and desire to succeed will see him through.
There's going to be a big district championship matchup between the Tuslaw Mustangs and the St. Thomas Aquinas Knights at Salem H.S. in Division III Friday and there's a winning streak on the line for one of the area's top teams.
Kevin Lower, the head coach of the undefeated Mustangs joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about the matchup and what he sees not only in his club, but in the Knights as well.
"This should be a great game, two programs that have been to the regionals the last few years, hopefully both teams play their best, and the fans get their money's worth," Lower said.
Coach said the Mustangs' (23-0) halfcourt defense needs to be strong, and they need to limit the Knights' points in transition.
Lower says his young men haven't thought about the streak and have the "next game up" mentality which he says is necessary for success.
"Right now we're 3-0 and to be perfect in the tournament it's 8-0 and that's all we're thinking about now."
One of the players a lot of the experts have the Cleveland Browns taking with the #2 overall pick is former Cal quarterback Jared Goff, and we reached out to his high school coach to give us some insight into what makes the signal-caller from the west coast tick.
Mazi Moyaed, the head coach of Marin Catholic HS in California joined Brad Russell in the Average Sports Show to talk about his former QB and the leadership he brings on and off the football field.
When asked about what kind of leader he was in high school, Mazi said he exemplified leadership and confidence throughout his time at Marin Catholic.
"He's a great player obviously, phenomenal leader, he's always been one of the guys," Moyaed said. "He's embraced by the community, and he embraces the community, he gives people his time, he's well-mannered, but when he's on the field, he's very competitive."
Mazi says scouts have been calling him asking about Goff, his maturation over the years, and how his skill set translates to the NFL. Moyaed says that Goff's smarts set him apart from everyone else and he always stays calm and cool under pressure.
"He really processes things well and just gets it going."
Two of Stark County's better teams will square off at the Canton Civic Center Thursday for a right to move on in the state tournament.
North Canton Hoover head boy's basketball coach Todd Blackledge joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about the Vikings' buying in to the program and playing well at the right time.
"We're excited to play tomorrow night and see if we can earn another 32 minutes," Todd said. "Our chemistry is at our best, our skill level is as good as it's been and our toughness and grit has come to the forefront here in the last couple of weeks."
The Vikings are led by seniors Eli Blackledge (Todd's son) and Nathan Fox, and coach Blackledge says there will be some challenges posed by the tough-minded McKinley Bulldogs on Thursday.