MSL Interview: Hurricane Helms

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Former WWE superstar Hurricane Helms joined Kevin Cerrito and Dustin Starr on MSL to talk about his upcoming match in Memphis, superheroes, “Gone Girl”, and more.


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 for more MSL interviews.


MemphiSport Live

Kevin Cerrito hosts MemphiSport Live (MSL) with Marcus Hunter on Sports 56 & 87.7 FM every Saturday from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm. MSL was voted 3rd Best Sports Radio Show in the 2010, 2011 & 2012 Memphis Flyer Best of Memphis poll. 

Week 8 TAM Rankings: Bulldogs Unanimous Number One TAM Team

miss st helmetMississippi State and Ole Miss continue to dominate the college football landscape.  The Bulldogs had a well-deserved bye week, while the Rebels dominated in their contest against fellow TAM team Tennessee.  Ole Miss held the team from Rocky Top to just 191 yards of total offense, zero rushing yards, and just three points.

Tennessee was not the only TAM team to get throttled this week.  Arkansas allowed 31 second quarter points and trailed 38-6 at half time before Georgia stepped off of the gas.

Both Tennessee and Arkansas fell in the TAM Rankings because of their pitiful performances, which means Memphis moves on up to three.  This is the highest the Tigers have ever been ranked in these rankings.

Arkansas State and Vanderbilt had bye weeks as well, and MTSU returned to their winning ways by knockling off C-USA foe UAB.

Southern Mississippi managed to beat North Texas for their third win of the year.

This is another week full of awesome contests featuring TAM Teams, but there can only be one Game of the Week.  Ole Miss vs. LSU gets that distinction this week.  It is one thing to go into Tiger Stadium at night as the hunter, but the Rebels will not be the hunted on Saturday.  Vegas has the Rebs favored by three points in that game so a loss to LSU would be considered an upset.

It is that time of the year where teams begin to separate themselves from one another.  Here is hoping that your favorite TAM team makes you proud.

Without further ado, here are week seven’s TAM Rankings…


The Mid-South is full of fans with allegiances to different area 
college football programs. Which FBS program in the three states surrounding the Memphis area is the best? To help end some arguments and start others, every week MemphiSport ranks all the college football teams in Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi. We call it the TAM Rankings.

1. Mississippi_State_Bulldogs logoMississippi State (6-0):
Last Game: 
W 38-23 vs. Auburn @ Davis Wade Stadium
Best Win: 
38-23 vs. Auburn @ Davis Wade Stadium
Worst Loss: N/A
Wins Against TAM Teams: 1 (Southern Miss)
Losses Against TAM Teams: N/A


2.  ole_miss logoOle Miss (7-0):
Last Game: 
W 34-3 vs Tennessee @Vaught Hemmingway Stadium 
Best Win: 
23-17 vs. Alabama @ Vaught-Hemmingway Stadium
Worst Loss: N/A
Wins Against TAM Teams: 3 (Memphis, Vanderbilt, Tennessee)
Losses Against TAM Teams: N/A


3.
  memphis-tigers logoMemphis (3-3):
Last Game:
 L 28-24 vs. Houston @ Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
Best Win: 41-14 vs. Cincinnati @ Paul Brown Stadium 
Worst Loss: 28-24 vs. Houston @ Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
Wins Against TAM Teams: 1 (MTSU)
Losses Against TAM Teams: 1 (Ole Miss)


4.  Arkansas logoArkansas (3-4):
Last Game: 
L 45-32 vs. UGA @ War Memorial Stadium
Best Win: 
49-28 vs. Texas Tech @ Jones AT&T Stadium
Worst Loss: L 35-28 (OT) vs. Texas A&M @ AT&T Stadium
Wins Against TAM Teams: N/A
Losses Against TAM Teams: N/A


5.   University-Tennessee-Logo-2Tennessee (3-4):
Last Game: 
L 34-3 vs. Ole Miss @ Vaught Hemmingway Stadium
Best Win: 38-7 vs. Utah State @ Neyland Stadium
Worst Loss: 34-10 vs. Oklahoma @ Memorial Stadium
Wins Against TAM Teams: 1 (Arkansas State)
Losses Against TAM Teams: 1 (Ole Miss)


6. Arkansas State Logo 2Arkansas State (4-2):

Last Game: W 52-10 vs. Georgia Southern @ Georgia Dome
Best Win: 21-14 vs Utah State (OT) @ Liberty Bank Stadium
Worst Loss: 34-19 vs. Tennessee @ Neyland Stadium
Wins Against TAM Teams: N/A
Losses Against TAM Teams: 1 (Tennessee)


7. 
 MTSU LogoMTSU (5-3):
Last Game: 
W 34-22 vs. UAB @ Floyd Stadium
Best Win: 50-47 (3 OT) vs. Western Kentucky @ Floyd Stadium
Worst Loss: 36-17 vs. Memphis @ Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
Wins Against TAM Teams:
 1 (Southern Mississippi)
Losses Against TAM Teams: 1 (Memphis)


8.  Vandy LogoVanderbilt (2-5):
Last Game: 
L 21-20 vs. Charleston Southern @ Vanderbilt Stadium
Best Win: 34-31 vs. UMass @ Vanderbilt Stadium
Worst Loss: 
 41-3 vs. Ole Miss @ LP Field
Wins Against TAM Teams: N/A
Losses Against TAM Teams: 1 (Ole Miss)


9.  Southern Miss logo 2Southern Mississippi (3-4):
Last Game: 
W 30-20 vs. North Texas @ Mean Green Stadium
Best Win: W 26-20 vs. Alcorn State @ M.M. Roberts Stadium
Worst Loss: 49-0 vs. Mississippi State @ Davis Wade Stadium
Wins Against TAM Teams: N/A
Losses Against TAM Teams: 2 (Mississippi State and MTSU)

 

SEE ALSO:


CJ Hurt covers college football for MemphiSport. Follow him 
@conradicalness for live tweets from games.

 

 

MSL Podcast: 10.18.14

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HOUR 1:

(Segment 1)  Marcus Hunter joins Kevin Cerrito live from the best football state in the world- Mississippi. The two recap the week’s biggest stories during the Starting 5.
(Segment 2) University of Memphis Deputy Athletic Director Wren Baker join Cerrito to talk about the decision to have controversial hip-hop artist Rick Ross perform at Memphis Madness.
(Segment 3) It’s KeVinsanity when The Memphis Flyer’s  Kevin Lipe calls in for his weekly segment to talk everything Grizzlies including preseason games Lebron James sitting out in Memphis, and more.

 

MemphiSport Live

 

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HOUR 2:
(Segment 1)  Former WWE superstar Hurricane Helms joins Kevin Cerrito and Dustin Starr to talk about his upcoming match in Memphis and more. (Segment 2) Hang Up & Listen with the winner getting a pair of tix to Wild Fire Wrestling‘s Halloween Spooktacular “Bumps in the Night” on October 23rd at Minglewood Hall and a surprise call from WMC weatherman Tim Van Horn.
(Segment 3) Woohoos and Boos

 

Click here for more MSL interviews.


MemphiSport Live

Kevin Cerrito hosts MemphiSport Live (MSL) with Marcus Hunter on Sports 56 & 87.7 FM every Saturday from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm. MSL was voted 3rd Best Sports Radio Show in the 2010, 2011 & 2012 Memphis Flyer Best of Memphis poll. 

Preview: Tennessee vs. Ole Miss

Texas A&M v MississippiMuch like my prediction of the Ole Miss/Alabama game, my prediction for the Ole Miss/Texas A&M game was pretty much spot on*. So go ahead and get your wallets out because my preview for Ole Miss/Tennessee is one you can take right to the bank.

The Tennessee Vols and their rabidly loyal fan base had realistic but high hopes for the 2014 football season. The team is young on both lines, but returned some offensive firepower primarily in the form of Justin Worley. A winning season and bowl bid were not out of the question. But then a few bad things happened for the Big Orange. First, Kentucky started playing good football taking away what many Vol faithful had penciled in as a “W”. The second, of course, was Wil Muschamp and the Gators going into Knoxville and leaving 100,000+ people “disappointed.”

Once Kentucky started winning games and Muschamp trolled the hell out of Vol Nation, it was hard to go through the UT schedule and find six wins. After this week’s matchup with the Rebels, the Vols still have Alabama, Kentucky, and Mizzou at home, and trips to South Carolina and (poor, pitiful) Vandy. There’s no way Tennessee wins three of those and gets to a bowl. They just aren’t ready to win tough games right now. But next year, and really the year after that, watch out, because the Vols will be back in the national picture in a big way.

As for Ole Miss, there really isn’t a whole lot I can say about them that I haven’t already said. After absolutely dismantling Texas A&M in front of about a million (110,000) people, there’s no doubt that the Rebs are for real. The offense is clicking. Bo Wallace has been #GreatBo the past two weeks. And the defense is otherworldly. Before the two garbage time touchdowns A&M scored at the end of the game, the Ole Miss defense had scored as many touchdowns as it had given up. These guys are scary good.

Check out the defensive plays on this highlight video for proof:

As for this week’s game, I think Ole Miss wins easily. Tennessee, like I said earlier, is not ready to win tough games. And Ole Miss has their sights set on something bigger. Hugh Freeze has his team, the fans, and now the national media believing. You can damn sure bet he’s not going to let his men lose to an inferior Tennessee team, at home, for homecoming. It’s just not going to happen.

Three things to watch:

1) Robert Nkemdiche.

After a Tennessee fan released a months old Snapchat of Bobby Murder (Can we make that a thing?) taking a hit off of a bong in hopes of getting him in trouble, I imagine Nkemdiche will be out to make a point. Justin Worley ought to find that fan and punch him right in the face, because with the Busch league attempt at creating controversy combined with the youth of the Vol’s O-line, I think Worley is going to have a long night. Seriously though, #BobbyMurder.

2) Bo Wallace.

Dr. Bo grew up a Tennessee fan. This will be his first time to face the team he always wanted to play for. Will he be out to make a statement against the team that never recruited him? Will he try to force things and return to his Bad Bo ways? It should be interesting to see how he and the offense react to playing a team they should beat after getting past Alabama and Texas A&M. I think Bo will be just fine, but I do think he will throw his first interception against an SEC opponent this week. It won’t matter though.

3) Tennessee’s attitude.

After the heartbreaker against Florida, Tennessee rebounded fine against Chattanooga. But if they get down early to the Rebels, will the young Vols just give up? Or will Butch Jones be able to keep his team fighting? I’m curious to see how well these kids will buy in as freshmen. It will go a long way to determine how they come together as a team and how successful they will be in future seasons.

This weekend will be a fun one for Ole Miss fans. It’s a rare appearance for the Vols in Oxford. The next one won’t be until at least 2026. So I expect it to be quite the party for 2014 Homecoming. There will be plenty of orange in the stadium, but this weekend belongs to the Rebels and their fans. Ole Miss jumps out early; the defense takes UT out of the game; conservative Rebel play calling in the 2nd half; late touchdown from the Vols against second string Rebs’ defense. Ole Miss is going to win big. Make your bets accordingly.

Ole Miss 31 – Tennessee 10

*While my prediction was spot on, there was an error in the article. I wrote that Texas A&M struggled at home against Arkansas. That game was played at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, not Kyle Field in College Station. My apologies.

Warner Russell covers Ole Miss Football for MemphiSport. Read his non-sports stuff over on The Wise Guise. Follow him on Twitter @uncle_warny.

Throwback Thursday: Hurricane coming to Memphis & MSL

1614092_515843335218518_5742660651836774986_oWMC-TV5 Weatherman Tim Van Horn says a severe storm will hit Memphis on October 23rd.  Not just any storm – but a Hurricane is coming!

Memphis Wildfire Wrestling announced last week that former WWE Superstar Hurricane Helms will be appearing at Minglewood Hall next Thursday for the Halloween Spooktacular “Bumps in the Night”.  His opponent?

None other than myself – Dustin Starr.

So, this week let’s take a look back at WWE’s super hero going one on one with The Great One.  In 2003, Hurricane pulled off one of the biggest upsets in WWE history.

Speaking of upsets, I’m planning one of my own on October 23rd.

Not only will Hurricane Helms be appearing at Memphis Wildfire Wrestling, but he will be joining us on MSL this Saturday.  MSL airs live every Saturday from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm CT on on Sports 56 & 87.7 FM .  If you have any questions you’d like to ask Hurricane, feel free to post them here or send them via Twitter @MemphiSport.  Also, be sure to follow Shane “Hurricane” Helms on Twitter.

Also announced for the event:  Jerry “The King” Lawler vs Gangrel, Buff Bagwell vs “Grand Master Sexay” Brian Christopher & a special Halloween Costume Contest.  You’ll have your chance to win FREE tickets to the event during Hang Up & Listen, this Saturday on MSL.  Click here to view the Facebook event page.

Dustin Starr is an active sports entertainer and regular contributor to MemphiSport and MSL. Follow him @DustinStarr.

SEE ALSO:

Week 7 TAM Rankings: Mississippi Schools Are Tied For First

miss license plateThose two schools in Mississippi just keep on rolling and are cementing themselves as two of the best teams in the nation.  More importantly they are clearly the two best teams in these rankings and are tied this week for the number one overall spot.

Ole Miss destroyed a Texas A&M squad that many anointed SEC West Champions after the first week of the season.  It was 35-7 before Hugh Freeze called off the dogs and let the reserves have some fun.

Not to be outdone by their instate rival, Mississippi State forced Auburn to commit two turnovers on their first two plays from scrimmage in route to a 15 point victory over last year’s SEC Champions.

Arkansas suffered another close loss this time at the hands of Alabama after leading most of the game.  The dominate Razorbacks rushing attack was held to just 89 total rushing yards, and managed five rushing yards the entire second half.  This is the Razorbacks fifteenth straight conference loss, and coach Bret Bielema is still looking for his first SEC win.

Tennessee bounced back nicely against UT Chattanooga.  They will get to pick on somebody their own size this week when they face fellow TAM team Ole Miss on Saturday.

After looking like one of the best teams outside the “Power Five”, Memphis came back down to Earth Saturday.  Paxton Lynch and company suffered their first loss to a team outside of the AP’s Top 25 Poll when Houston came to town.  Memphis was playing mistake free football up until their five turnover performance on Saturday.

Arkansas State manhandled Georgia State, while Rakeem Cato and Marshall proved to be too much for MTSU to handle.

Vandy played one of the best FCS teams in the nation and came away with a one point victory.  Southern Mississippi was off this week, and look to get a much needed win against North Texas Saturday.

There are a slew of games featuring TAM teams worth watching this week, but Tennessee vs. Ole Miss is the TAM Game of the Week.

Ole Miss and Mississippi State are both bowl eligible and you can expect a few more TAM teams to join them when it is all said and done.

Without further ado, here are week seven’s TAM Rankings…


The Mid-South is full of fans with allegiances to different area 
college football programs. Which FBS program in the three states surrounding the Memphis area is the best? To help end some arguments and start others, every week MemphiSport ranks all the college football teams in Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi. We call it the TAM Rankings.

T1. ole_miss logoOle Miss (6-0):
Last Game: 
W 35-20 vs. Texas A&M @ Kyle Field 
Best Win: 
23-17 vs. Alabama @ Vaught-Hemmingway Stadium
Worst Loss: N/A
Wins Against TAM Teams: 2 (Memphis and Vanderbilt)
Losses Against TAM Teams: N/A


T1. Mississippi_State_Bulldogs logoMississippi State (6-0):
Last Game: 
W 38-23 vs. Auburn @ Davis Wade Stadium
Best Win: 
38-23 vs. Auburn @ Davis Wade Stadium
Worst Loss: N/A
Wins Against TAM Teams: 1 (Southern Miss)
Losses Against TAM Teams: N/A


3.
  Arkansas logoArkansas (3-3):
Last Game: 
L 14-13 vs. Alabama @ Razorback Stadium
Best Win: 
49-28 vs. Texas Tech @ Jones AT&T Stadium
Worst Loss: L 35-28 (OT) vs. Texas A&M @ AT&T Stadium
Wins Against TAM Teams: N/A
Losses Against TAM Teams: N/A


4. University-Tennessee-Logo-2Tennessee (3-3):
Last Game:
W 45-10 vs. UT Chattanooga @ Neyland Stadium
Best Win: 38-7 vs. Utah State @ Neyland Stadium
Worst Loss: 34-10 vs. Oklahoma @ Memorial Stadium
Wins Against TAM Teams: 1 (Arkansas State)
Losses Against TAM Teams: N/A


5. memphis-tigers logoMemphis (3-3):
Last Game:
 L 28-24 vs. Houston @ Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
Best Win: 41-14 vs. Cincinnati @ Paul Brown Stadium 
Worst Loss: 28-24 vs. Houston @ Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
Wins Against TAM Teams: 1 (MTSU)
Losses Against TAM Teams: 1 (Ole Miss)


6. Arkansas State Logo 2Arkansas State (4-2):

Last Game: W 52-10 vs. Georgia Southern @ Georgia Dome
Best Win: 21-14 vs Utah State (OT) @ Liberty Bank Stadium
Worst Loss: 34-19 vs. Tennessee @ Neyland Stadium
Wins Against TAM Teams: N/A
Losses Against TAM Teams: 1 (Tennessee)


7. 
 MTSU LogoMTSU (4-3):
Last Game: 
L 49-24 vs. Marshall @ Joan C. Edwards Stadium
Best Win: 50-47 (3 OT) vs. Western Kentucky @ Floyd Stadium
Worst Loss: 36-17 vs. Memphis @ Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
Wins Against TAM Teams:
 1 (Southern Mississippi)
Losses Against TAM Teams: 1 (Memphis)


8.  Vandy LogoVanderbilt (2-5):
Last Game: 
L 21-20 vs. Charleston Southern @ Vanderbilt Stadium
Best Win: 34-31 vs. UMass @ Vanderbilt Stadium
Worst Loss: 
 41-3 vs. Ole Miss @ LP Field
Wins Against TAM Teams: N/A
Losses Against TAM Teams: 1 (Ole Miss)


9.  Southern Miss logo 2Southern Mississippi (2-4):
Last Game: 
L 37-31 vs. MTSU @ Floyd Stadium
Best Win: W 26-20 vs. Alcorn State @ M.M. Roberts Stadium
Worst Loss: 49-0 vs. Mississippi State @ Davis Wade Stadium
Wins Against TAM Teams: N/A
Losses Against TAM Teams: 2 (Mississippi State and MTSU)

 

SEE ALSO:


CJ Hurt covers college football for MemphiSport. Follow him @conradicalness for live tweets from games.

MSL Podcast: 10.11.14

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HOUR 1:

(Segment 1)  Marcus Hunter joins Kevin Cerrito live from the football capital of the world- Mississippi. The two recap the week’s biggest stories during the Starting 5 and discuss Kevin’s outrage over Rick Ross performing at Memphis Madness. 
(Segment 2) It’s KeVinsanity when The Memphis Flyer’s  Kevin Lipe calls in for his weekly segment to talk everything Grizzlies including Michael Beasley, Elliot Perry, preseason games and more.

 

MemphiSport Live

HOUR 2:

(Segment 1) Hang Up & Listen with the winner getting a pair of tix to The Fantasticks at Playhouse on the Square and conversation about Rick Ross performing at Memphis Madness..
(Segment 2)  “I Love Memphis” blogger and Kevin’s podcast co-host Holly Whitfield joins the guys in studio to talk about Halloween fun in Memphis.
(Segment 3) Woohoos and Boos

Click here for more MSL interviews.


MemphiSport Live

Kevin Cerrito hosts MemphiSport Live (MSL) with Marcus Hunter on Sports 56 & 87.7 FM every Saturday from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm. MSL was voted 3rd Best Sports Radio Show in the 2010, 2011 & 2012 Memphis Flyer Best of Memphis poll. 

Kevin Durant on criticism in bolting Team USA: ‘I’ve put in work for my country’

DALLAS — Kevin Durant insists he hasn’t lost any sleep.

Even after the Oklahoma City Thunder superstar and reigning NBA Most Valuable Player was criticized for withdrawing from Team USA before the FIBA World Cup in August, Durant on Friday said he wasn’t fazed by the backlash.

“To be honest, I really don’t care,” Durant told reporters after Friday’s shootaround in American Airlines Center. “I slept the same right after I made that decision.”
An eight-year NBA veteran, Durant withdrew from Team USA, citing “mental and physical fatigue.”

KEEP IT MOVING --- Despite being criticized for withdrawing from Team USA before the FIBA World Cup in August, Oklahoma City Thunder superstar and reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Kevin Durant on Friday said he wasn’t fazed by the backlash. (Photo by Jim Cowert/AP)

KEEP IT MOVING — Despite being criticized for withdrawing from Team USA before the FIBA World Cup in August, Oklahoma City Thunder superstar and reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Kevin Durant on Friday said he wasn’t fazed by the backlash. (Photo by Jim Cowert/AP)

Durant’s decision to leave the team came days after Paul George sustained an open tibia-fibula fracture. The Indiana Pacers star landed awkwardly at the base of a basket stanchion after fouling James Harden during a Las Vegas scrimmage and is expected to miss the entire 2014-15 season.

Durant’s departure followed previous withdrawals by All-Stars Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, and NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard.

Consequently, various media pundits questioned Durant’s timing in leaving the team, going as far as to label the 2010 FIBA World Championship MVP a “quitter.”

“If you attended camp in Las Vegas, and if you called coach (Team USA coach) Mike Krzyzewski to ask for advice on how to be a “leader” when camp resumed in Chicago, and then you blindside Coach K and every other member of the national team, you have “quit,” longtime NBA writer Chris Sheridan of SheridanHoops.com wrote in an August 15 column.

Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks on Friday refuted the criticism surrounding his star player, saying Durant’s decision to leave Team USA had “nothing to do with quitting.”

“Well, I haven’t heard anybody call him a quitter,” Brooks said. “Quitting is when you’re not playing, when you fall down and don’t get back up again. And that’s the last thing on Kevin’s mind. Kevin’s going to go down as one of the best players to ever play the game. And he’s obviously very talented and his work ethic is definitely at a high, high level. He goes into every offseason looking to add to his game on both ends (of the floor). “This year is no different. He’s gained some strength through all of the work he’s put in with our group. He’s come back. His attitude has always been great. His leadership skills have improved every year. I think he’s in a good position right now to lead us where we want to get to.”

Still, Durant, who scored 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting in 17 minutes in OKC’s 118-109 preseason win at Dallas Friday night, said he understood why he was criticized for bolting Team USA.

Many, in fact, sensed the five-time All-Star left the team, largely because he was affected by George’s gruesome injury.

 

While addressing the media on Friday, Durant said he understood why he was criticized for bolting Team USA in August. Many speculated the five-time All-Star left the team, largely because he was affected by Paul George’s season-ending leg injury during a scrimmage.

While addressing the media on Friday, Durant said he understood why he was criticized for bolting Team USA in August. Many speculated the five-time All-Star left the team, largely because he was affected by Paul George’s season-ending leg injury during a Las Vegas scrimmage. (Photo by C. L. Guy)

“I made the decision based on me, but it makes people uncomfortable,” Durant said. “So I understood and it comes with the whole territory when you do something like that. So I understand that. I try not to let it affect me and I’ll keep pushing. It’s one of those things where if you keep throwing rocks, it’s not going to penetrate because I know what I really do. I’ve put in work for my country.”

Since George’s injury, Durant said he often reaches out to the two-time All-Star, who appears to be recouping comfortably and haven’t ruled out a comeback this year.

During an interview last week, the 24-year-old George told Pacers.com’s Mark Montieth, “It’s very possible that I can play this season.”

“I talk to him all the time,” Durant said of George. “I call in and check on him. He looks like he’s doing extremely well. I saw him the other day walking with the boot. So that’s good to see that his recovery is coming along pretty well.”

As for the criticism that ensued amid a withdrawal from Team USA that “blindsided everyone,” according to Krzyzewski, Durant said that didn’t affect his offseason routine of doing the necessary things to ensure OKC remains a serious contender to compete for a championship.

Last year, the Thunder lost to eventual NBA champion San Antonio in six games in the Western Conference Finals.

“(The offseason) was fun,” Durant, the reigning NBA scoring champion, said. “I worked hard. I enjoyed my summer. That’s really it. I had a lot of off-the-court stuff to do. But what it really boiled down to was the court. I always make time to get out on the court.”

DreColumnAndre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. Based in Dallas, Texas, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division. To reach Johnson, send an email to andre@memphisport.net. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Preview: Ole Miss vs. Texas A&M

Photo by Chris Evans

Photo by Chris Evans

In my season preview for Ole Miss, I predicted that the Rebels would open the season 4-0, host College Gameday for its matchup with Alabama, beat the Crimson Tide in a close one, and then head to College Station and lose a heartbreaker against Texas A&M. So far, all of that has happened except the loss to Texas A&M.

Do I still think Ole Miss is going to lose to A&M? Some thoughts on the game before I answer that…

Kevin Sumlin and Texas A&M have been all over the place this season. First, they marched into Columbia and absolutely destroyed preseason SEC East favorites South Carolina. At that point everyone looked at the Johnny Football-less Aggies and said, “These guys are for real.” Most media folks that predicted an A&M backslide thrust them to the top of the SEC pecking order after their showing against the Gamecocks. Looking back at that game, having seen how erratic South Carolina has been since, it’s hard to tell how good of a win that was for the Ags.

After running roughshod over hugely inferior opponents Lamar, Rice, and SMU, Texas A&M struggled mightily against a surprisingly strong Arkansas team, at home no less. Those who were ready to proclaim Kenny Hill and the Ags as the SEC West favorite took a few eggs out of the Aggie basket. Despite winning the game, you could see a few chinks in the A&M armor.

The Aggies then went to Starkville for a huge game against Mississippi State and got absolutely embarrassed. Their defense was exploited. Kenny Hill struggled in a big way. They simply had no answer for the Bulldogs.

The season that started out with a big bang (that now looks more like a pop) for A&M, in the span of the only two SEC games since the opener, has now become a big question mark. Where will it go from here?

Unless you’ve lived under a rock this week, you’re well aware that Ole Miss beat Alabama on Saturday. It was easily the biggest win of the Hugh Freeze era and arguably the biggest win for Ole Miss since the Eli days. In just one game the Rebels went from being, in the words of their newest, most famous fan Katy Perry, a dark horse to being a contender for the SEC West crown. The Rebels struggled through a tough first half but outscored the Tide 20-3 in a near perfect second half. The Rebel defense stole the show again, but Bo Wallace was the leader that every Rebel fan hoped he could be as he orchestrated three fantastic TD drives.

Having been at the Ole Miss/Bama game, I can say with certainty that there was no crazier moment in college football last week than when the referee stepped on to the field and uttered the words, “After further review, the ball was intercepted in the end zone,” referring to Senquez Golson’s game clinching interception. The entire stadium went ballistic. Grown men were sobbing. Students were throwing drinks in the air. Women in heels rushed the field. It was, as I predicted, Ole Miss’ moment. And the team, coaches, and fans basked in glory all through the night, next day, and will continue to do so until 8:00 on Saturday night.

When the Rebels take the field against Texas A&M this Saturday, the environment will be electric. Aggie fans still believe this team can win the West and the late kickoff will only increase their fervor (pronounced drunkenness). But what A&M team will show up? Yes they are mad coming off the loss against Mississippi State. Yes they will be fired up to potentially knock off a top-3 team. Yes they have the talent to beat Ole Miss.

But, despite picking the Ags before the season started, I think Hugh Freeze and Ole Miss are going to continue rolling and win this one for three reasons.

1) Texas A&M’s defense is mediocre.

The Aggie defense got lit up by Mississippi State. Dak Prescott went from Heisman hopeful to Heisman contender against  A&M. I have a feeling Bo Wallace will be able to exploit their secondary with his talented group of receivers. The Rebel passing game won the game against Alabama. I think it does it again this weekend.

2) Ole Miss’ defense is only getting stronger.

The Rebels have the best defense in the country. They have been unstoppable, only giving up three touchdowns all season. That is absurd. Mississippi State has a talented defense, but this will be a whole new challenge for Texas A&M. If Robert Nkemdiche and the defensive front can get to Kenny Hill and rattle him early, he’ll likely make bad decisions that lead to momentum shifting interceptions by the stout Rebel secondary.

3) The Rebel hangover from the Bama win is not a factor.

Initially I thought Ole Miss would come into the A&M game cocky and prone to a loss. But I honestly believe that they are locked in and ready. The team understands that it is on the cusp of something unprecedented in Oxford. They aren’t going to lose this game due to lack of focus. The crowd could play a part in how the game goes, but this team, with their resiliency and poise, is going to come out, score early, and take the crowd out of the game.

This time next week, Ole Miss will be 6-0 heading into their matchup with Tennessee. The media will have stopped saying it’s a good story for lowly Mississippi to beat Alabama. Instead they will have started believing that the Rebels are ready to make a run at the College Football Playoff.

Ole Miss 35 – Texas A&M 24

Warner Russell covers Ole Miss Football for MemphiSport. Read his non-sports stuff over on The Wise Guise. Follow him on Twitter @uncle_warny.

Throwback Thursday: Derrick King proposes on Memphis Wrestling

In the late 1990′s, Memphis PowerPro Wrestling took off as the premier wrestling organization in Memphis.  Hosted by Dave Brown and Corey Maclin, PowerPro Wrestling was live every Saturday morning on WMC-TV5.  This version of Memphis Wrestling was the official “farm league” of the WWE for many years, giving Saturday morning wrestling a mixture of WWE superstars.

This week’s Throwback Thursday features a gem that you may or may not remember.  We’ve seen so many storylines throughout the years, but do you ever remember seeing a proposal on Memphis Wrestling?  Well, it happened!

After competing in a hard-fought match against Tony Faulk, “Mr. Personalities” Derrick King was fired up and in love.  Faulk had Brandon Baxter and the late Billy Joe Travis in his corner.  In DK’s corner was none other than Miss Texas.

The storyline continued for quite a while and even ended up in a huge brawl in a local bridal shop.  A wedding never actually occurred.

Can’t get enough of Throwback Thursday?  Join us tonight at The Green Beetle for Wrestling Trivia with Kevin Cerrito.  The winning team will receive FREE tickets to Memphis Wildfire Wrestling‘s annual Halloween Spooktacular on October 23rd at Minglewood Hall.  Click here to view the Facebook event page.

WHAT: Pro Wrestling Trivia
WHEN: Thursday, October 9, 8:00 – 10:00 PM
WHERE: The Green Beetle, 325 South Main StreetSouth Main Street, Memphis, TN.
COST: Free to play

Fun Facts:  Miss Texas is a former WWE Women’s Champion.  In the WWE, she was known as Miss Jacqueline.  She also performed in TNA under the name Jackie Moore.  Brandon Baxter & Miss Jacqueline had several one on one matches at Power Pro.  Brandon is currently the #1 radio personality in Jonesboro, AR.  Oh and one last note – the local bridal shop mentioned was owned by Corey Maclin.

Dustin Starr is an active sports entertainer and regular contributor to MemphiSport and MSL. Follow him @DustinStarr.

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