Good morning. Breakfast is served.
It’s March 10th — 69 down, 296 to go.
And 18 till Texas’ NFL pro timing day.
YESTERDAY: The Texas men’s Cinderella run through the Big 12 tournament — OK, it was only two games — ended with a loss to West Virginia, 63-53. Season over. But hey, at least UT can say it lasted as long as mighty Kansas did; the Jayhawks were felled by TCU. NFL free agency found new homes for guys like Brock Osweiler (Browns), Alshon Jeffery (Eagles) and DeSean Jackson (Bucs). The Bills released Aaron Williams. And the Cowboys are now saying they’ll trade, not release, Tony Romo. The Spurs lost at Oklahoma City and the Cavaliers lost in Detroit.
TODAY: It’s Iowa State-TCU (7 p.m., ESPN2) and West Virginia-Kansas State (9, ESPN2) in the Big 12 semifinals. Texas opens a three-game weekend series against UCLA at Disch-Falk (6:30, LHN, 1260) with Nolan Kingham (2-1, 0.00) on the mound. The NCAA indoor championships begin in College Station. More NFL free agency; will the Texans or Broncos trade for Romo, perhaps?
TOMORROW: The Big 12 championship game is at 6 p.m. (ESPN). Game 2 of the Texas-UCLA series at the Disch (4, LHN, 1260). The NCAA indoor championships wrap up at Texas A&M. And UT running backs coach Stan Drayton will celebrate his 46th birthday.
March 10 has a sports history. On this date, the Dallas Mavericks’ Dick Motta became the fourth NBA coach to win 700 games (1985); Wilt Chamberlain of the NBA’s San Francisco Warriors scored 70 points against the Syracuse Nationals (1963); and Pete Rose made his spring training debut with the Cincinnati Reds with hits in his first two at-bats (1963).
Today’s sports birthdays: Zach LaVine (22), U.S. gymnast Shannon Miller (40), Matt Kenseth (45), Rod Woodson (52), Pam Oliver (56), Bobby Petrino (56), U.S. gymnast Mitch Gaylord (56), Austin Carr (69). Other notables: Olivia Wilde (33), Carrie Underwood (34), Jon Hamm (46), Sharon Stone (59) and Chuck Norris (77).
Today’s trivia: On March 10, 1991, Eddie Sutton became the first coach to lead four different schools into the NCAA Tournament. Name them. (Answer’s at the end of Breakfast.)
Top of the menu: The return of Vince Young.
Thursday, the first day of NFL free agency, gave us plenty of quarterback news — from the unexpected (the Cowboys said they’d trade Romo, not release him) to the puzzling (the Bears replaced the middling Jay Cutler with the middling Mike Glennon) to the shocking (the Texans traded Osweiler and a second-round pick to the Browns for … a fourth-rounder?). But lost in the NFL shuffle was 33-year-old Vince Young re-emerging from his five-year hibernation in Austin, getting another chance by signing a one-year deal with the Canadian Football League’s Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Young joins a CFL quarterback fraternity that included former Central Washington Wildcat Mike Reilly, former Katy High School/SMU/Eastern Washington standout Bo Levi Mitchell and former Saginaw Valley slinger Jonathon Jennings as last year’s top three league passers.
Here’s what you need to know: The Roughriders, based out of Regina, Saskatchewan, went 5-13 last season. Their colors are green and white, the mascot’s called Gainer the Gopher and they play their games at 33,000-seat Mosaic Stadium. Saskatchewan has won four Grey Cups, most recently in 2013.
VY should feel a bit comfortable. There are two former Longhorns already on the team. Well, kind of former Longhorns — offensive tackle Kennedy Estelle started eight games for UT in 2013 before he was kicked off the team in the Great Charlie Strong Roster Purge of 2014, and quarterback G.J. Kinne, who signed with UT in 2007 over Florida, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Tennessee, transferred to Tulsa in 2008 after redshirting his freshman year.
There’s also a linebacker from Texas Tech (Samuel Eguavoen) and an offensive lineman from Oklahoma (Josiah St. John) and a receiver from Kansas (Joshua Stanford) and two former Kansas State standouts — quarterback Jake Waters and running back Daniel Thomas.
“I still definitely love the game,” Young told the Houston Chronicle on Thursday. “I miss it a whole lot. The retirement deal, it happened. I didn’t officially say I was retired. I got away from the game to clean up a bunch of stuff off the field. All that came to light and I’m doing really good.”
Young is likely Saskatchewan’s starting quarterback come June 22 when the Roughriders open their season at Montreal. And last year’s Roughriders starter, Darian Durant, was traded to the Alouettes after 10 years in Saskatchwan. So look for that CFL storyline to later dominate coverage north of the border.
Minus the expected rust from his long inactivity (Young’s last professional pass came Dec. 1, 2011 against the Seahawks) and not knowing what kind of shape he’s in after spending the last three years working for UT, he still has the best résumé among Saskatchewan’s six quarterbacks:
- Young, the third overall pick of the 2006 NFL Draft, went 30-17 as a starter in his six-year career, which included two Pro Bowls.
- Kevin Glenn, a 37-year-old Illinois State product who played last season with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, signed with Saskatchewan this January.
- Waters, 24, couldn’t latch on to either the Jaguars or Seahawks in 2015 and moved to the CFL last year. He started the 2016 season as a backup with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and then was acquired by Saskatchewan last July. He played in three games, going 3 of 5 for 40 yards.
- Kinne, 28, is in his second CFL season. He signed with the New York Jets as an undrafted free agent in 2012 and then bounced around the NFC East with the Eagles (2013) and Giants (2015). He’s played in four CFL games, completing 4 of his 11 pass attempts.
- Brandon Bridge, a 24-year-old CFJ journeyman who played at Alcorn State and South Alabama, signed with the Riders last summer.
- Bryan Bennett, a 25-year-old CFL free agent who played at Southeastern Louisiana, spent last season on Winnipeg’s practice roster.
How’s this going to play out for VY? Don’t know.
But we do know two things for sure:
First, he won’t be wearing his old No. 10. That belongs to Roughriders linebacker Henoc Muamba. VY will wear No. 8.
And second, he won’t be giving us any more fourth-and-5 heroics. In fact, he’ll never get a fourth down chance. There are no fourth downs in the Canadian Football League.
So, what’s being written out there about the Longhorns?
Texas football held its second spring practice on Thursday — and then promptly broke for spring break. It’ll all resume March 21. Here are some practice observation thoughts from our own Danny Davis. Danny also had a nice read on UT pole vaulter Kally Long, who’s making her return from a scary injury in February for this weekend’s NCAA indoors. Brian Davis wasn’t at Denius Fields; he was in Kansas City, watching UT’s season come to an end with a quarterfinal loss to West Virginia in the Big 12 tournament. Here’s his game story, which included one “futility” and two “unacceptables” in the first paragraph.
AROUND THE BIG 12: How big was Thursday’s TCU upset of Kansas? Maybe the biggest win in school history, the Dallas Morning News contends. Here’s how the Fort Worth Star-Telegram covered the game, which was TCU’s first-ever win over a No. 1 team. Like top-seeded Kansas, third-seeded Baylor also ducked out of the Big 12 tourney, losing to Kansas State. Here’s how the Waco Tribune-Herald covered it from Baylor’s side of things. Baylor baseball, meanwhile, is still basking in the glow of its win over Texas A&M, the Tribune wrote. Here’s the Oklahoman’s Berry Tramel’s take on Oklahoma State’s loss to Iowa State in the Big 12 tournament. And the Oklahoman also had a good read on OSU wide receiver Blake Jarwin, who’s gone from Cowboys walk-on to NFL draft prospect. And Thursday was pro timing day at Oklahoma State; here’s the Oklahoman’s coverage. The Tulsa World reported that OSU is close to reaching a contract extension with football coach Mike Gundy. Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star wrote about the greatness that is Kansas State basketball coach Bruce Weber, out of Thursday night’s Wildcats win over Baylor.
AROUND THE FORTY ACRES:
Football: Safety Jason Hall, whose 28 career starts are the most on the team, will miss the rest of the spring with a hamstring injury. That was the big news out of Thursday’s second practice of the spring. The team will now break until March 21 because of spring break.
Women’s basketball: Two UT signees — 6-3 Ocala, Fla. forward Rella Booth and 5-5 Houston point guard Chasity Patterson – were named Naismith High School Trophy All-Americans on Wednesday.
Swimming and diving: Two divers — senior All-American Mark Anderson and freshman Jacob Cornish — earned berths to the NCAA championships by finishing among the top nine Wednesday at the NCAA Zone D meet at Missouri. Anderson will compete on all three boards (1-meter, 3-meter and platform); Cornish will compete in platform. The NCAAs are March 22-25 in Indianapolis; another freshman, Grayson Campbell, also has qualified.. The second-ranked men’s swimming team has qualified 15 swimmers.
Tennis: The eighth-ranked men head west this weekend, facing Stanford in Palo Alto on Friday and then at No. 6 Cal on Saturday. In fact, five of UT’s next eight matches are against top-10 teams.
Golf: The 13th-ranked men will play in the Lamkin San Diego Classic on Monday and Tuesday. The Horns are the highest-ranked team in the field.
On March 10, 1977: Astronomers discovered the rings of Uranus.
On March 10, 1969: James Earl Ray pled guilty to assassinating Martin Luther King Jr. on year earlier in Memphis, Tennessee.
On March 10, 1922: Mahatma Gandhi was arrested in India. He’d eventually be sentenced to six years in prison for sedition.
Trivia answer: The four schools that Eddie Sutton guided into the NCAA Tournament were Creighton, Arkansas, Kentucky and Oklahoma State.
OK, Breakfast is over. Thanks for stopping by.
News on Bevo Beat is free and unlimited. Access to the rest of Hookem.com is included with an Austin American-Statesman subscription in addition to Statesman.com and the ePaper edition. Subscribe today at statesman.com/subscribe.