When in Rome…
When in Rome…
North Carolina Central University moved to 27-23 after their last weekend series of the season before the MEAC Baseball Tournament in Daytona Beach, FL on May 17-May 20. The Eagles lost to Florida A&M in the first game of a double-header Saturday at the Durham Athletic Park after giving up five runs in the top of the 9th, but could only manage one run in the bottom of the 9th; losing 4-7. FAMU scored only two runs in the second game of the double-header, as NCCU scored four in the 4th, and one run in each of the next two innings to win 6-1. FAMU took the series with a 7-5 win on Sunday. NCCU closes out the regular season with games at the Durham Athletic Park on Tuesday against Davidson (30-16), and Wednesday against UNC Asheville (12-32).
Davon Grayson made a big splash on the field at East Carolina University going for 18 catches, 176 yards, and 4 touchdowns as a freshman for Ruffin McNeill’s Pirates before being slowed by injuries. He came in listed at 6’2” 174 lbs receiver, and leaves ECU 25 pounds more muscular at 199. Grayson received a NFL Draft Combine invite, and displayed a somewhat surprising 4.51 forty yard dash; perhaps leaning on some of his high school track and field experience in the Tidewater Virginia area.
Grayson indeed appeared to be one of the next great ECU receivers, and showed the ability to make the deep catch, be effective on the edge and short routes, and being able to make positive plays crossing out of the backfield. After missing the 2016 season with a back injury, and numerous other injuries the following season, Grayson started all but one game his last year, bringing in 6 touch downs on 59 catches for 886 yards; earning All-Conference Honorable Mention recognition from the American Athletic Conference.
I was able to see every home game, and almost all of Grayson’s games away from campus. I was disappointed to see his career slowed by injuries, but always pleased with his game. He maintains good speed downfield, goes after the ball, and shows strength after the catch. Don’t be surprised to see Grayson on an opening day roster. Career totals: 13 touchdowns, 1,767 yards on 135 catches, averaging 13.1 yards per catch.
Others to watch
Jimmy Williams is a downfield threat that could make an impact with the Denver Broncos, who have reportedly made him an undrafted free agent offer. Williams clocked a 4.47 pro day 40-yard dash. He was most productive in 2016 season, scoring 8 touchdowns in 12 games, averaging over 18 yards per catch. Williams scored 12 times overs his career, making 109 catches on 199 targets for 1,589 yards. Expect Williams to see action in the league this season.
Cleveland-Indy Game 7
After getting blasted in game 6 at Indiana by 34 points, Cleveland likely hoped that game would fade from memories like a Friday news dump. LeBron James and Tristin Thompson carried the Cavaliers to a 54-41 halftime lead, but the team only scored four points in the first 4:48 of the second half as the Indiana Pacers went on a 16-4 spree to take the lead by one, 59-58 with 7:12 remaining in the 3rd period.
A Cleveland timeout didn’t stop the bleeding, as George Hill turned the ball over at half court after a poor play by Kevin Love, leading to two more at the line by Indiana before JR Smith stopped the Cleveland drought with a 3-pointer from the right side to get even at 61. Victor Oladipo continued to impress for Indiana, scoring on back-to back plays; for three points as the shot clock ran out, then driving to the basket for two, while James scored 10 straight for the Cavaliers in the 3rd period before leaving for a rest with 1:00 on the clock.
James scored 38 of Cleveland’s 76 points through three quarters, followed by Thompson with 14, and Smith’s 9 points, but started the 4th quarter with a turnover while James went to the locker room to manage cramping and continued to recover; appearing to check in with 9:41 remaining, and the Cavaliers up by 8 after Love’s 3-pointer; but returning to the bench for more rest after an Indiana timeout.
Playing the last 8:25, James got much needed scoring help from Love and Hill, but the team did little to contain Oladipo who finished with 30 points. Cleveland fouls put Indiana in the penalty with 5:18 remaining; however, Miles Turner’s foul rebounding against Smith with 4:33 left took him out of the game for good! A missed shot clock violation at the 1:30 mark allowed Indiana to score two at the line before James was called for an (truly) offensive foul after no call and lots of contact by both teams on the rebound.
Cleveland needed nearly 44 minutes, 45 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, and 4 steals from James to win game 7, but got respectable contributions from Love, 14 points, Thompson 15 points 10 rebounds, and Hill and Smith with 11 points each. The Cavaliers will need strong performances again to get off to a good start against a rested, and underrated Toronto team that earned the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Raptors host Game 1 Tuesday at 8 p.m.
Precision baton move!
Thanks for joining me!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton