Wednesday, March 29, 2006

A busy day on the sports transaction wire...

You won't see Edson Buddle leaping like that anymore. At least in a Crew jersey. After being rumored the whole damn offseason the Crew finally pulled the trigger on a deal sending Edson Buddle over to the new rebranded New York Red Bulls for Eddie Gaven. And as if that was not enough news to digest early in the morning, by mid afternoon I hear that IU is naming Kelvin Sampson as their next mens basketball coach. After digesting this most the night, I think I like both moves.

First we will look at the Crew. Yes, it's true we have virtually no forwards up top. But, in today's Columbus Dispatch,we are told Eddie Gaven will be playing up top. At 19 years old Gaven is one of the more exciting young talents in the league. He primarily has played wide in midfield before. In fact he scored 8 goals from that position last year. So, he has a nose for goal. It's true that Columbus does not have an out and out striker up top to start the season, but I remain optimistic. Maybe it's the beginning of season optimism that gets me every time. But looking up and down the roster it seems that Columbus has more of a plan than they have in years past. And that this plan isn't just patching up holes. The team could be great this year if everything falls into place. If it doesn't, it's building towards something with an impressive young nuculeus. It's a different feeling for a Crew fan. Later in the week I will give my MLS Season outlook for the whole league, especially the Crew as thes eason kicks off Monday.

Now, IU. The Sampson hire came out of nowhere, didn't it? I was one who did not really want Alford. It woulda been a great story, but it remains to be seen if he will be a great coach. I think Sampson is a top notch recruiter who will be able to recruit well in state and keep top talent like Greg Oden from going to Ohio St. I also think he has a decent chance of convincing DJ White and Robert Vaden to stay. More than that, I think that Sampson realizes that this is one of the top 5 glamour or prestige jobs in the country. He had a helluva program he built at Oklahoma over the past 10 years plus. He was consistently near the top of the Big 12. When contacted about this job, it isn't as if he seemed to think about it very long at all. He knows that as IU coach he's big man on campus. He won't be a basketball coach at a football school like he was at Oklahoma, he will be THE coach on campus. More than that, in my time of watching Sampson he doesn't make excuses. Something Davis was doing way too much at the end of his tenure. Fans, media, anyone but himself. I expect to see Sampson laud the tradition of IU at his opening press conference, and I expect him to add to it sooner rather than later.

Things are looking up all around the world of sports.