March, 2013


Young skills coach preps college stars for NBA

Drew Hanlen

The NBA Draft is just two rounds, much more compact than similar talent harvests in other major professional sports leagues, but it’s nevertheless an inexact science that keeps general managers awake at night as they ponder the possibilities involved in making wise choices. Considerable money and manpower hours are spent in pursuit of data that can help guide those choices. Some of that data is provided in-house, and some comes from an array of outside sources—anything or anyone that can give teams reasonable assurance that the players they’re drafting willRead More

Can NBA rookies handle the truth?


As NBA teams work out and interview potential draft picks in the remaining weeks heading up to the draft, one of the most important traits the various general managers and directors of player personnel will be looking to uncover is whether a player can handle the truth. “The NBA is all about the truth,” said Boston Celtics assistant coach and skills instructor extraordinaire Kevin Eastman. “You can’t lie your way through to this level. Sooner or later, your skills, or lack of skills, will be exposed. So you deal withRead More

The resurrection of a classic Tennessee golf course

High School Football

The resurrection of one of Tennessee’s most historic golf courses began in earnest at Augusta National. It was 2006, and six alumni of the University of the South had gathered to play golf and discuss a subject near and dear to their hearts—the school’s 9-hole golf course, which had been around since 1915 but had fallen into disrepair, the victim of neglect and lack of funding. The ringleader of this gathering was King Oehmig, son of the greatest amateur golfer in Tennessee history, Lewis Oehmig, and a 1977 graduate ofRead More

One on One with Chris Dortch: Florida’s Erik Murphy

Erik Murphy

Florida’s game with Air Force on Dec. 29 was just two or three possessions old when the collision occurred. Gator forward Erik Murphy doesn’t recall who ran into him, but he won’t soon forget the blow to his rib cage, just under his left arm. “Sharp, sharp pain,” Murphy said. During the first timeout, Murphy gobbled a couple of ibuprofen, returned to the fray and turned in one of his best games of the season—21 points, 8-of-10 shooting from the floor, including 2 of 3 from the 3-point line, sevenRead More

One on One with Chris Dortch: Arkansas’ Marshawn Powell

Marshawn Powell

About 14 minutes remained in Arkansas’ home game against Mississippi State on Jan. 23 when Marshawn Powell decided to liven things up a bit. After grabbing a pass from teammate Rashad Madden at half court, Powell took one hard dribble, launched his 6-foot-7, 240-pound frame into orbit just inside the free-throw line and soared over the Bulldogs’ Tyson Cunningham en route to a monstrous dunk that can best be described like this: The man’s elbow was over the rim. The Bud Walton Arena crowd erupted, just as Powell knew itRead More

Chris Dortch on NBA TV’s NBA Draft Preview 2012

Undefeated documentary benefitted from Hoops Dreams


When the critically acclaimed documentary “Hoop Dreams” was denied Oscar consideration in 1995, public outcry forced the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to revise its nomination process. That revision came far too late to help “Hoop Dreams,” which esteemed film critic Roger Ebert once called “the great American documentary,” but it paved the way for similar documentaries that may otherwise have been snubbed or overlooked to receive consideration for the greatest prize in filmmaking. One such film will be on display when the Oscars are handed out on Sunday night.Read More

Creekers go off the beaten path to indulge their passion

Creekers Photo

A day after a series of tornadoes carved a deadly path through Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee, an intrepid band of creekers—kayakers with a taste for rain-fueled, rock-lined, steep runs—are somewhere on the Cumberland Plateau, seeking to do what few before them have done. The objective is a 55-foot waterfall. As in, riding it down. This is no whitewater raft adventure at Dollywood. “This sport,” said Nick Murphy, 25, a University of Tennessee at Chattanooga environmental geology major, “is inherently dangerous.” Uh, yeah. And on this day, there’s an added obstacle.Read More

Putting boots on the ground in the Cherokee National Forest


TELLICO PLAINS, Tenn. — On a flawless day in early November, with nary a cloud diminishing the blue sky overhead and the temperature just cool enough to require a light jacket, Tennessee Wild director Jeff Hunter is leading an expedition. Inspired by Jenni Frankenberg Veal’s article about the Tennessee Wilderness Act, photographer Jeff Guenther, an avid outdoorsman, and I are tagging along behind Hunter so we can see for ourselves why this bill matters. Introduced by Sen. Lamar Alexander and co-sponsored by Sen. Bob Corker, it seeks to expand fiveRead More

Bucknell’s Mike Muscala a do-it-all threat

Mike Muscala

Last week, we told the story of South Dakota State guard Nate Wolters, a formerly little-known high school player from Minnesota who has improved his game and his profile enough to be considered a legitimate NBA Draft pick. Clearly there’s something going on in the North Star State besides hockey, because this week we present … another story about a formerly little-known high school player from Minnesota who has improved his game and his profile enough to be considered a legitimate NBA Draft pick. A reasonable argument could be presentedRead More