The high school basketball season is in the middle of January, and there's just a little bit of time left before the postseason starts.
Tim Cole, the head coach of the Springfield Spartans boys' basketball team joined the Sam Bourquin Show and talked about how his first season is going with the Spartans.
"The kids have bought in, they're having a lot of fun, the parents have bought in, and every day they (the players) are coming in , ready to work hard, and they're enjoying it."
The Spartans have been relying on senior post player Jordan McLane to provide not only hustle and muscle, but also be a leader for his teammates on the floor.
He's really learned how to make his teammates better," said Cole of McLane.
The Spartans have games coming up against Streetsboro at home on Friday as well as Ravenna and Cloverleaf next week.
The Cleveland Browns are still searching for a head coach and there are a few solid candidates out there from Sean McDermott from the Carolina Panthers, to Hue Jackson from the Cincinnati Bengals, Whoever it is, it will be a unique and challenging experience, due to the new front office structure and the implementation of analytics in choosing a roster and making football decisions.
Steve King from BrownsDailyDose.com joined the Sam Bourquin Show on Monday to talk about the ongoing search.
"I think its going to be one of the guys everyone is talking about, (Matt) Patricia, (Teryl) Austin, and Hue Jackson," King said. "There might be some coordinators for teams who are still in the playoffs, but those guys are the ones most people are talking about."
The Malone University Pioneers have a new head football coach.
Fred Thomas is the new man in charged of the football team after former coach Eric Hehman took a job at Olivet Nazarene University in Illinois.
Thomas joined the Sam Bourquin Show Monday to talk about the new position and how he plans to put his stamp on the program.
"It's been pretty busy," Thomas said. "We had our first team meeting yesterday, we start weight training soon, and we will hit the ground in recruiting."
Fred plans on recruiting the Canton area along with some of the other area Ohio athletes and some speedy kids out of Florida. He also said the revamping of Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium will be a selling point for recruits.
"With effort and toughness, I think that will breed success," Thomas explained.
The rebuilding continues in Berea, and one of the former Browns coaches offered his take on what it's going to take to get it right in Cleveland.
Former Browns coach Sam Rutigliano joined Brad Russell and Sam Bourquin from the I-X Center to talk about the rebuilding process and the fans who are seeking a winner.
"It's going to take three years," Rutigliano said. "Somehow someway we're going to get out of this nightmare."
Coach Sam says it's all about having the right quarterback under center, as well as having the right playmakers in place to make things happen.
He also says having a guy in the front office who knows football is key for success.
"We need Bill Polian in here (former GM of Buffalo and Indianapolis) who knows how to evaulate talent."
Rutligliano says he's tired of the revolving door in Cleveland, saying Jimmy Haslam needs to follow a model of consistency and it does no good to keep firing coaches year after year.
The Kardiac Kids will always hold memories for Browns fans for a long, long time and one of their former players wrote a book about how they captured the hearts of sports fans in Northeast Ohio during that time.
Former Browns punter and kicker Don Cockroft made an appearance at the40th annual RV Supershow at the I-X Center in Cleveland to talk about the book and the frustrations that he and former Browns alumni and fans have been experiencing as it relates to the team.
"I'm very proud of the book," Cockroft said. "It took about four years to put the book together, put together all the interviews, and so forth." The name of the book is the 1980 Kardiac Kids: Our Untold Stories.
The book is over 600 pages and can be seen here.
As a former player, Cockroft feels the same frustration as Browns fans all over the country and in Ohio.
"I just hope and pray Jimmy (Browns owner Jimmy Haslam) makes the right decisions," he said."
The National Championship game is just days away, and Alabama and Clemson are looking to hit the gridiron and claim college football's biggest prize.
Adam Kramer, college football analyst from the Bleacher Report joined the Sam Bourquin Show Thursday to break down the game, key matchups, and size up the coaching matchup between Nick Saban of the Crimson Tide, and Dabo Swinney of Clemson.
"It'll be fun," Kramer said. "You'll have this year's Heisman winner (Derrick Henry) against next year's probable Heisman winner in Deshaun Watson, so it should be a good game."
There isn't a whole lot of buzz excluding Alabama and South Carolina for this matchup, but Adam said the story lines are aplenty.
"The question we all want to know is Alabama going to put Clemson in that vice and squeeze the life out of them," he said.
With Alabama's big, physical defense, Clemson will have to match that physicality.
After the Blue Streaks' 18-point win over the Green Bulldogs recently, Tom McBride and the Lake boys' basketball team is playing loose and having fun.
Tommy Mac joined the Sam Bourquin Show Thursday to talk about how his young men have responded to adversity and how they plan on making some noise in the Federal League.
"We grind it out," McBride said. "I like the fact we bought into the program and execute, Green was trying different things and we grinded it out for an 18-point win."
The Blue Streaks are preaching player accountability, toughness and picking up your teammate, things that each team, including Lake, will be executing from this part of the season, on.
"I think that's been a big growth in our program, more of the things off the floor more so than on the floor."
The Blue Streaks will play the Massillon Tigers Friday and the GlenOak Golden Eagles on Tuesday.
With all the news going on with the Cleveland Browns, there's many different schools of thought on the analytics and the sad state of affairs up in Berea.
Brent Sobleski from the Bleacher Report joined the Average Sports Show on Wednesday to talk about Sashi Brown and Paul DePodesta being hired by Jimmy Haslam to try and get this thing turned around.
"These hires were so far out of the box, it even caught me off guard," Sobleski said.
"My issue is the context of these hires and we don't know what exactly their roles will be."
The Browns finished #32 out of 32 teams at the end of the regular season power rankings put together by Brent and the folks at Bleacher Report.
The coaching search is also a hot topic of discussion and Brent seems to believe that the new head coach needs to not be a "yes" man for Jimmy Haslam and buy into the philosophy and believe in the current structure.
The Akron Zips' men's basketball team is riding high and experiencing a good deal of success coming off a tough win over the University at Buffalo 75-71 at Alumni Arena.
University of Akron head coach Keith Dambrot joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about the Zips, their gritty, tough mentality, and the players who are key into them playing well.
"If you can win some close ones, you can take a pretty good season and make it a great season," Dambrot said.
The Zips have won 9 games in a row to bring their record to 12-2 on the season.
Akron will play Western Michigan at the James A. Rhodes Arena on Friday, where Coach Dambrot says will be a physical, intense game.
"They are perenially one of the better teams on that side (the MAC West), so we're going to have to play."
One of the men on the Browns' radar is former Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone, who is currently serving as the offensive line coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Vic Carucci joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about Marrone and what direction the team is heading in terms of evaluations, analytics, and trying to be competitive.
"They (the Browns) are really heading down a pioneer path with this all in approach and commitment to analytics," Carucci said.
"Marrone and the Bills did use some analytics while with the Bills, and in my experience covering the team, I'm not sure he was 100 percent on board with it."
Carucci doesn't seem to think the analytics approach that Cleveland is looking to implement with new chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta is the way to go, considering football is a different game than baseball, involving more emotion, split second decisions on the field, and so forth.
Lots of moving pieces and parts are going in and out of Berea, Ohio, and with the NFL Draft coming up in a few short months, the Browns have no GM, head coach, or quarterback.
Browns beat writer Brian Dulik joined the Average Sports Show Tuesday to talk about the different things going on and Johnny Manziel going incognito in Las Vegas.
"This has been such a brazen, idiotic move and is trying to force the Browns' hand into releasing him," Dulik said.
Dulik also talked about the Browns hiring Paul DePodesta from the New York Mets organization, and with his knowledge of numbers and analytics, many are calling it an interesting hire.
"It's an unprecedented move by Jimmy Haslam in how front offices in the NFL are structured," Dulik explained.
The Cleveland Browns have hired Paul DePodesta from the New York Mets as their Chief Strategy Officer. The main question is: Can he help the Browns?
Tony Williams from Metro New York joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about the Browns' new man in the front office and if the analytics approach, the "moneyball" strategy is the elixir that will turn around their luck as a franchise.
"He (DePodesta) is a new-age guy, he's a numbers guy," Williams said.
"I don't want to sound like a grumpy old man, but I'm really not big on analytics, I like eyeball tests," he continued. "Paul is an intellegent guy, he played football at Harvard, so there's hope."
Williams also discussed the legacy of former New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin and what he meant to that organization.
The Cleveland Browns are making lots of moves, and with so many things in play, you want to know what's next.
Browns beat reporter Nate Ulrich from the Akron Beacon Journal joined the Sam Bourquin Show Tuesday to talk about the firing of Mike Pettine and Ray Farmer and if owner Jimmy Haslam will ever get it right.
"I think it was a good move to turn the page as far as the GM, but I'm not sure about Mike Pettine, he made tough decisions, but the defense was bad and losing 18 out of 21 was bad as well."
Fast forward to the moves made yesterday and today with Sashi Brown and Paul DePodesta joining the organization, it leaves a lot of people with a lot of questions.
"It's out of the box thinking," Ulrich said. "Can the Harvard guys work with the football guys and make this thing work?" "It'll be interesting to watch," he added.
The circus continues in Berea, and the Cleveland Browns are looking for a new General Manager and Head Coach.
The "Voice of the Browns" WKYC's Jim Donovan joined the Sam Bourquin Show on a "Black Monday" to talk about the feeling heading into FirstEnergy Stadium Sunday and what the feelings were from not only Donovan's perspective, but the fans' perspective as the Browns played another meaningless game in the month of January against the Steelers.
"It was an eerie feeling," Donovan said.
"Going into the stadium it was like going into Heinz Field, because everybody was wearing a black and gold Steelers shirt and waving their Terrible Towels."
"Those are the fruits of being 3-13, that happens when you lose a lot, you lose control of the stadium."
Steve King from BrownsDailyDose.com said he expected the firings of Farmer and Pettine to happen, but he says applauds owner Jimmy Haslam for doing what had to be done.
"You can't move forward until you clear the path and that's what he did."